PITTSBURGH - Welcome back, Mike Wallace?
The buzz around the Pittsburgh Steelers locker room on Tuesday was that Wallace, the holdout receiver, would report to the team by this weekend.
Wallace has been in a contract stalemate that he doesn't have the leverage to win, but maybe he still comes out ahead.
After all, he missed training camp.
There's still time for both sides to win here. Wallace will get no less than the $2.7 million contract tender that he must sign before he can report. That doesn't preclude the possibility of a longer contract, but the Steelers won't negotiate unless Wallace is with the team.
The Steelers stand to regain a deep threat who makes their passing game better, last season's second half slump notwithstanding.
There's no friction with teammates, who have been hoping to see Wallace in the huddle. His presence will be a boost for Ben Roethlisberger, who wants as many weapons as he can get.
Plus there's still time for Wallace to get up to speed on the Steelers' new offense.
There's still time for a positive resolution for both sides.
The Pittsburgh Pirates endured in a 19-inning win over the Cardinals in St. Louis on Sunday, leading to discussion that it could be a turning point in their season.
That's possible, but doubtful.
In a 162-game season, there just aren't that many individual games that are going to carry that kind of weight. Unless it's October, there's always another game, so it rarely matters much how good or bad the preceding game was.
If anything, the long game had a negative effect on Monday's outcome. After exhausting the pitching staff in St. Louis, the Pirates had to go to San Diego, deal with the time change and play again, the 18th game in a stretch of 20 days without an open date.
They appeared to weary in San Diego, although the offense has been dragging for a while now.
It's that time of year. The second wind will probably kick in soon but for now, a lot of teams are sleepwalking through the toughest part of the schedule.
Those who maintain pitch counts are hokum may be interested in the case of New York Mets lefthander Johan Santana.
On June 1, he was allowed to throw 134 pitches to finish the first no-hitter in franchise history.
Since then, he has an 8.27 earned run average.
Maybe it's a coincidence, or maybe there's some merit in limiting the amount of work a pitcher should have with a surgically-repaired shoulder.
Mehno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org