In Pittsburgh, Joe Starkey wrote following Wednesday's arrests of RBs Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount for marijuana possession (and DUI for Bell), it is time to begin "wondering if the Steelers might have a severe character problem." The arrests come while the Florida State Attorney's office is "examining evidence to determine whether it should charge" Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey with misdemeanor battery after being accused of "punching a woman in the face in an alleged altercation at a Miami nightclub" (PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 8/21). Also in Pittsburgh, Ron Cook writes the Steelers "are something of a national joke today" after they allowed Bell and Blount to play in Thursday night's preseason game against the Eagles (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 8/22).
CHEERS TO GOOD HEALTH: In Minneapolis, Sid Hartman reports Twins GM Terry Ryan "implied he will return as GM next season if his health continues to improve, a decision he won’t make until the end of the year." Ryan had surgery to "remove cancer from his neck in February and radiation treatments before returning to work full-time in June." He said, “Let me get through the year. Like everything around this organization, we usually wait until the end of the year before we make any decisions” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 8/22).
THE HEAT IS ON: In Philadelphia, John Smallwood writes this is a "bad time" for Phillies President & CEO David Montgomery to have given GM Ruben Amaro Jr. "another public vote of confidence." What Montgomery "thinks behind closed doors will differ from what he says publicly about the team's future, but it was irresponsible for Montgomery to have told a group of fans the other day that '(Amaro) is not on the hot seat.'" With a club that is 15 games under .500 and "devoid of promising prospects, no one can be off the 'hot seat' --especially not the person overseeing the entire organization" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 8/22).
WHY THE LONG FACE? GRANTLAND's Sean McIndoe wrote of Charles Wang's tenure as the Islanders' controlling owner coming to an end, "You could hardly call his time in Uniondale a success, at least in terms of results on the ice, and he was often ridiculed for some of his more outlandish ideas." But while "many of Wang’s brainstorms went bust, he succeeded in keeping the troubled team in town, or at least relatively close." The "timing of the transfer of power will coincide nicely" with the Islanders' move to Barclays Center for '15-16 season (GRANTLAND.com, 8/20).