Baseball and radio have a long, important history. I grew up listening to "the Gunner" (Bob Prince) and the "Possum" (Jim Woods).
I still use radio even when the Pirates are on TV.
WFBG Radio in Altoona did a sloppy, unprofessional job of presenting the Bucs this season with dead air, late pickups and commercial break-ins during innings.
Every Sunday they screwed up the Neal Huntington Show - all season and never corrected it.
The Sept 28 game when the Bucs clinched the wild card, WFBG programmed their regular talk format. I called and left a voicemail. Others must have also because around the fourth inning they finally put on the game.
And, of course, they pre-empted an important Bucs game for a terrible away high school football game where we could hear Charlie Weston's imitation of The Chipmunks broadcasting via Hawaiian Punch cans (not Charlie's fault).
It's no better over at WVAM. When Jim Rome's show was still on, you could count on glitches every day, and anytime Cory Giger goes remote, forget it.
Do either of these stations have an actual broadcast engineer who knows how to run a board? (It's not that hard, I did it part-time as a teenager 50 years ago). But then again, when you own all the stations and have a monopoly, why care?
Fortunately, I have discovered the iPhone app TuneIn Radio. Next season I will listen to the Pirates flagship station and forget these local-yokels.
But really, here in the home of the Pirates' Double-A team, local fans deserve better.
Bow hunting cruel tool vs. deer
Now that bow hunting is here, hunters claim that deer are never left to die of a wound by an experienced hunter.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
There are hundreds of thousands of animals that are crippled and wounded, lying terrorized in the woods.
In bow hunting, half of the animals hit with arrows wind up getting away and bleeding to death, dying a slow lingering death.
When deer are hit in the esophagus or nose it might take anywhere from a few hours to a few days for them to die from starvation.
There is no instant kill with bow hunting; the crippling losses are horrendous. It's just a tremendous amount of suffering being caused in the name of recreation.
Twenty-two published scientific surveys and studies indicate that the average wounding rate for bow hunting is over 50 percent. The average wounding rate from all 22 reports of participating states is 55 percent.
Wounding rates for rifle hunting are also significant. Many of these studies were conducted by state wildlife agencies.
More than one out of every two deer shot are never retrieved, and they usually die after prolonged agony from septic infection, peritonitis, blood loss or other complications.
To me, it doesn't add up.
If hunters killed a dog or cat in this manner, they would be charged with cruelty to animals.