First Call: Why the Pirates might have signed Lonnie Chisenhall |
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Tim Benz
Former Cleveland Indian Lonnie Chisenhall is now a Pittsburgh Pirate.

In this edition of “First Call,” Patrik Laine has a “Mario Moment.” Some insight behind the Lonnie Chisenhall signing. An angry high school football coach. And Andy Dalton is done.

Lookin’ at Lonnie

The Pirates acquired Lonnie Chisenhall yesterday. He can provide a left-handed bat in right field while Gregory Polanco is recovering from injury. The former Indian used to play third base, too.

Chisenhall is coming off a season where he suffered injuries in both calves. So, he was limited in 2018. In fact, he only had 95 plate appearances. But he hit .321 with an OPS of .846 while he was healthy.

Cleveland manager Terry Francona had some pretty good things to say about him before the season in

“It’s interesting as guys mature,” Francona said. “Lonnie played third, but from all accounts he didn’t really enjoy it. He goes to right and just loved it.

“I’m convinced if we had a need he could play first, third … he could probably go to shortstop. At some point, that might save us a roster move because of his ability to do that and to do it willingly. Whereas three or four years ago he didn’t enjoy it as much. I just think that’s maturity and confidence.”

Patrik is pumped

The Penguins have to face Jets forward Patrik Laine tonight. He’s coming off a five-goal game against the Blues.

Laine leads the NHL with 19 goals.

And as you can see, his hot November already has him on the verge of passing a Mario Lemieux mark.

By the way, Mario had a five-goal game against the Blues once, too!

Aww. That’s, uh, too bad

The most disliked team in Pittsburgh is probably the Flyers. And former Philadelphia goalie Ron Hextall was one of the most disliked players on the Flyers around these parts.

So, there wasn’t a lot of sympathy when he got fired as general manager in Philly yesterday.

Hextall’s daughter, Leah, took to Twitter soliciting a new team to support.

I scrolled through the first few dozen responses. I didn’t notice a lot of invitations from Pittsburgh.

Dalton done

The Bengals are putting Andy Dalton on injured reserve with an injured thumb .

That means the Steelers will likely face Jeff Driskel during the last game of the season instead. He is 23-36 for 155 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions thus far this season.

The Steelers are 12-3 against Dalton as a starter. He got hurt on this bad snap versus the Browns on Sunday.

The Bengals claimed former Pitt quarterback Tom Savage off waivers yesterday to fill the back-up role.

Sorry, Coach

Meet Randy Dreiling. He’s the head football coach at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Overland Park, Kansas. And his team just won a state championship.

But, he does not like the Gatorade bath.

Wow! It’s like it ruined the whole win. Thank God the kids didn’t try to put him on their shoulders. There may have been a fight or something.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter @TimBenzPGH. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

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