Mailbag

Pirates have third baseman to build around

If David Freese hasn’t talked his way out of Pittsburgh by the time you read this, I’ll tell you the real reason he wants out.

Freese lost his starting job when Gerrit Cole went to the Astros, and the Pirates got third baseman Colin Moran.

Moran could have started on any other team last year but was blocked at third base by the Astros’ Alex Bregman, and he wasn’t going to replace Carlos Correa at shortstop or Jose Altuve at second base.

Freese knew the same thing when the deal was made. I think he is trying to save face rather than get beat out on the field, and what better way to do that than to rip on management.

I’ve had the pleasure of watching Moran in the Astros’ organization for a few years now, and all he needed was an opportunity to play somewhere else.

Pirate fans should take heart. They will fall in love with Colin Moran, and in my mind, there’s not a better player than Moran to start a rebuild around.

Will Walk

Spring, Texas

Youth teams should divide time fairly

My 10-year-old granddaughter plays pee wee basketball for a local team.

Of course, my wife and I enjoy going to the games — until her coach puts her in for less than 1¢ minutes out of a 20-minute game.

To make things worse, her team was winning 14-2 with two minutes to go, and she still wasn’t in. She sits there with her arms crossed looking totally dejected.

After the games, many times she goes home and cries. After seeing her not getting in the last two minutes, I was really upset. I’ve always believed it’s part of the coaches’ responsibility with young children to teach the game, teach good sportsmanship, and not stand back when one of the team members is obviously upset.

I talked respectfully to him after the game. I asked why she hadn’t been put in the game and especially in the last two minutes.

I never said a word about his daughter, who is very good and plays all but one minute. He told me they have a minimum time they have to put each girl in. I did ask him if he was serious, and if he truly believed that was fundamental coaching.

I think many coaches put winning ahead of being a good mentor.

They seem to put their own ambitions and egos to win as the most important endeavor.

These kids need playing time to develop their skills and feel comfortable playing. They all deserve equal time and respect. He did say he would take my advice under consideration.

I truly hope he takes some of it as a fundamental coaching responsibility to young athletes.

Dennis Fieni

Altoona

It’s next year or bust for Chambers

If a viewer watched the last few minutes of Wednesday’s basketball game with Michigan, you would only have to look at the expression on Pat Chambers’ face — a sad reminder that a good guy is a loser in many ways and deserves better.

Chambers came so close to going to March Madness but a fleeting moment deprived him of that. Yes, his team won more games this year than he won in his previous six years, but March Madness remains only a dream.

The Nittany Lions had control of their own destiny in these last four regular season games. This team needs to learn to finish games and find ways to win the ones that get away.

Michigan’s program is hardened by core veterans and a great coach. Penn State will be looked at and passed up by those who pick the teams for the NCAA bracket. The Lions’ resume isn’t enough with only two wins over a top 15 team (Ohio State).

Penn State lost games in Big Ten play to teams that were weak, and remember that big loss to Rider early in the season.

Chambers has next year to keep his job. His goal is to get into the NCAA Tournament of 64, and if he doesn’t, he will probably be fired.

Les Hart

Duncansville

Hart should get over Super Bowl

Is Les Hart a Democrat?

It sure sounds like it so me.

Hart needs to get over the Super Bowl.

New England lost. Give credit to the Eagles.

They were the better team.

Howard Kephart

Bellwood