The Pirates are now 2-4 on this road trip, and they are dangerously close to giving back much of what they gained during their hot period earlier this month. That makes this San Diego series crucial on two fronts: (1) staying in the division race, and (2) determining their trade deadline strategy. I believe that if they come home 6 games out or so, with 3 teams to climb over, they shouldn't make any move for the purpose of contending in 2017.

One move they better start considering is how to get Starling Marte on the planet of the conscious. How many more bonehead plays from this guy are they going to tolerate?

Hail, hail, the gang's all here (or most of it, anyway). The Steelers report today, and we'll talk to Mike Prisuta at 12:30 from Latrobe.

Is there any story in the fact that the contracts of Mike Tomlin and/or Kevin Colbert have yet to be extended? I don't think so. I'll talk about it with Mark Madden at 1:30.

And an NFL player is apparently too smart to keep playing, while the NCAA addresses the safety issue for their football players.