First Call: Michael Vick remains retired; Jameson Taillon shines for Yankees; Pirates hope for break vs. Rockies

Monday’s “First Call” debunks the thought that former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Michael Vick may try a comeback. Jameson Taillon continues to author a fine season in New York. Josh Bell has cooled off in Washington. The Pirates may get a break with the Rockies in town.

And Patric Hornqvist is struggling, just like the rest of his Florida Panthers teammates.

No more Mike

Michael Vick will remain retired.

The former Steelers quarterback has announced he will not return to play in the Fan Controlled Football league. There was a Reuters report on Friday that Vick was going to return to the field. But the four-time Pro Bowler put that talk to bed via Twitter on Sunday.

Fan Controlled Football is an eight-team league that plays at a single indoor, 50-yard field in Atlanta. It’s a seven-on-seven format, and fans call plays.

Reuters reported that Fan Controlled Football boasts 12 million viewers across Twitch, Peacock, NBCLX, DAZN and fubo Sports Network.

Easier road ahead?

After getting swept at home by the St. Louis Cardinals over the weekend, perhaps the load will be a little lighter for the Pirates in their next series.

The Colorado Rockies are in town for three games — Monday through Wednesday. The Rockies have lost 10 of their last 13 games. Their record went from 16-11 to 19-21 in that time. They have lost five straight series to the Diamondbacks, Royals, Giants, Royals and Mets.

Colorado is now in last place of the National League West, eight games behind the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.

In terms of runs allowed, Colorado has yielded 218. The Pirates (221) and the Cincinnati Reds (219) are the only teams in Major League Baseball to allow more.

Colorado scores a fair amount, eighth in MLB with 190 runs. The Rockies are dreadful away from Coors Field, though. They are 5-10 on the road. That’s the lowest number of road victories in the National League.

JMo’s mojo

Jameson Taillon is continuing his fine season with the New York Yankees.

The former Pirates pitcher went seven innings, allowing just one earned run during a 3-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.

It wasn’t Taillon who took the loss. It was Aroldis Chapman out of the bullpen. He allowed this home run to AJ Pollock in the ninth inning with the game tied at 1-1.

Chapman would allow another run after that as the White Sox pulled the victory out of the Bronx in the first game of a doubleheader.

Taillon is now 4-1 with a 2.95 ERA. He had seven strikeouts and just one walk Sunday. His strikeout-to-walk total in 2022 is 34:5.

In the night cap, Chicago won a 5-0 shutout to take the series 2-1.

Can’t ring the Bell

An ex-Pirate who is suddenly struggling is Josh Bell.

As recently as May 3, Bell was hitting .366. After going 0 for 5 in Milwaukee on Sunday, the Nationals first baseman’s batting average has dropped all the way down to .291.

The switch-hitter is in an 0-for-22 slump. Surprisingly, Bell only has four home runs on the year. For the entire month of May, Bell has only three extra-base hits — two home runs and a double.

Hornqvist struggling

Part of the reason why the Florida Panthers are having such a hard time with the Tampa Bay Lightning is that Patric Hornqvist is unable to find the net.

So far in the playoffs, Hornqvist has just one goal in nine games. He also has only one assist. During Sunday’s 5-1 loss, Hornqvist was a minus-2 with a penalty.

Hornqvist doesn’t have any points so far in the series against the Lightning, and Tampa is now up 3-0.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at tbenz@triblive.com or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

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