When Stanford pitcher Mark Appel slid down the board to the eighth slot in the Major League Draft earlier this week, most Pirate fans knew General Manager Neal Huntington couldn't lay off a flame-throwing righthander.
They were right, and it was the right pick for the Bucs. They took the best player available, and he should complement Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon nicely in the coming years.
Hopefully, they can successfully negotiate with Appel's agent, Scott Boras, and get him signed quickly.
I am looking forward to seeing these pitchers, as well as players like Josh Bell, Luis Heredia, Alen Hanson and Alex Dickerson hop through Altoona on their way to Pittsburgh in the coming years.
I thought I'd give my impressions on the Coaches Caravan when it stopped at Penn State Altoona for a breakfast on May 14.
I was like a kid with cotton candy in meeting some of the coaches at breakfast that Monday morning. I was there early to get breakfast and then meet the coaches as they mingled with the 250 or so supporters before they spoke. Coach Bill O'Brien is a natural with the crowd.
I asked a question about what percentage of the New England Patriots playbook would be used this fall. He responded with "a large percentage."
I knew not to ask any further questions, especially on the uniform color scheme. But I did say to the coaches that I sensed a special camaraderie that has developed with those who had traveled on the nine-day, 18-stop tour.
Probably my favorite coach that day was men's ice hockey coach Guy Gadowsky.
When I told him I was New York Rangers fan, he asked some questions on how I thought the Rangers would do in the Stanley Cup series.
He was genuine, and I hope to attend some of the games in their first year in Division I.