First call: Suspension details emerge as Deshaun Watson decision looms; Bryan Reynolds’ trade talks are smooth

On Monday’s “first call,” details begin to trickle out regarding the decision on a potential suspension for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson. It looks like Bryan Reynolds is staying with the Pirates, but a Pittsburgh native may be on the trading block. Plus, a look at Kyle Schwarber’s last mind-blowing home run at PNC Park.

Decision day?

A ruling on the suspended status of Cleveland quarterback Deshaun Watson is expected Monday. That’s according to a couple of CBS Sports reporters.

One of them said the NFL wants the suspension to be long.

Citing unnamed NFL sources, Josina Anderson tweeted that “relevant parties have already been notified that (Judge) Sue Robinson is currently expected to brief them on the decision in the Deshaun Watson proceeding sometime on Monday.”

Jonathan Jones then sent out a tweet, stating that the NFL is pushing for “an indefinite suspension of at least one year.”

Jones went on to explain that Watson could receive “a one-year suspension or a suspension lasting at least one year in which he would then have to apply for reinstatement (hence the ‘indefinite’).”

Not long after that post, ESPN’s Dan Graziano reported that there was a gap in negotiations toward a deal that the two sides couldn’t bridge. The NFL was unwilling to accept anything less than a 12-game suspension. And Watson’s camp was only willing to go six or eight games.

Meanwhile, the NFL Players Association released a statement insisting it would not challenge the ruling on Watson’s behalf through appeal, regardless of the outcome. He asked the NFL to take the same approach.

As Graziano explained on Twitter: “The context here is that either party can appeal a ruling they don’t like, and Commissioner Roger Goodell would hear the appeal. (The) union is trying to avoid a situation where the league reverses the ruling of a jointly appointed neutral referee.”

The Steelers visit Cleveland in Week 3 on a Thursday night. They host the Browns in Week 18 at Acrisure Stadium.

Watson was accused of sexual harassment and assault by 24 massage therapists in Texas and has settled 20 of the civil lawsuits filed against him. Four lawsuits remain pending, and the attorney representing the women has said he hopes to bring them to trial sometime next spring.

Two separate Texas grand juries declined to indict Watson on criminal charges stemming from the allegations.


• 7 years after being the Steelers’ last resort, Chris Boswell is among the best kickers in the NFL
• Pirates drop to last place in NL Central as Phillies pound 18 hits to sweep 4-game series
• Tim Benz: Mike Tomlin may not be reassessing the Steelers’ QB battle ‘after every pitch,’ but it seems everyone else is.

Hold Reynolds

As Tuesday’s trade deadline approaches, the Pirates will likely trade some veterans for cheaper minor league talent.

Don’t expect outfielder Bryan Reynolds to be on the move, though. That’s according to John Heyman of MLB Network.

There was some talk about teams pitching attempts on the Pirates during the offseason to get an idea of ​​what the asking price might be for Reynolds, but that conversation has cooled substantially since the Pirates signed Reynolds to a two-year deal. and $13.5 million. in April.

In a way, though, the certainty of the short-term cost of that deal could make Reynolds even more attractive. The Sporting News listed the Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres and Philadelphia Phillies as possible suitors for the Pirates to part ways with Reynolds. San Diego was one of the teams reportedly interested in swinging deal for Reynolds in March.

He’s hitting .251 with 15 home runs, 32 RBIs and a .779 OPS. After a monster June that featured a .989 OPS and a .333 batting average, Reynolds struggled in July, hitting just .222 with a .669 OPS and no home runs.

Mr. Mount Lebanon on the move?

Heyman also reported that multiple teams may be in the mix to acquire Chicago Cubs All-Star Ian Happ.

The Mt. Lebanon alum is said to be attracting interest from San Diego, Milwaukee, Toronto and Atlanta.

Like Reynolds, Happ had a monster June, hitting .327 with a .948 OPS. He is currently at .280 with nine home runs and 46 RBIs along with a .796 OPS.

Statistical Schwarber

Every time Oneil Cruz throws a ball too fast from shortstop or runs at breakneck speed around the bases, Pirates fans and the media blow up Twitter with all kinds of gushing Statcast records.

Twitter also informs me that those numbers are far more important than the fact that Cruz is hitting .206 or has 40 more strikeouts (46) than he walks (6) right now.

IT’S OKAY. I will continue the game. But if we’re going to rave about Statcast numbers whenever they make a Pirate look good, then let’s acknowledge them when an opponent hits Buccos too.

Like when Philadelphia’s Kyle Schwarber hit this home run off JT Brubaker in the fifth inning of the Phillies’ 8-2 win at PNC Park on Sunday.

Statcast states that the ball left the stadium with an exit velocity of 111.6 mph and headed 441 feet into left field. That was Schwarber’s NL-leading 33rd home run of the season.

Through Sarah Langs of MLB Media, that was the deepest home run to the opposite field of any swing in Major League Baseball this season and is tied for the 10th longest since such statistics have been measured.

Langs also noted that it was the longest recorded home run in Philadelphia team history.

Tim Benz is a staff writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Tim at or via Twitter. All tweets can be republished. All emails are subject to publication unless otherwise specified.

Leave a Comment