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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: J-Day, Part II

Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …

>> Going to keep this one short. Long day, plus some technical issues overnight kept me from posting this until after 2 a.m. My apologies to those used to visiting right away.

This is the Trib’s coverage of the Jaromir Jagr spectacle, by Rob Rossi, Josh Yohe and myself. I’m not one to discuss effort on the job very often, but trust me there was an awful lot that went into the reporting, writing and editing of this piece. Crazy day, and I can tell you this was the very best we could give you about it this morning.

Upon participating in the reporting here, I can tell you that I believe Jagr will sign with the Penguins. Not a single person with whom any of us spoke felt otherwise.

But, until it happens …

>> It’s always great talking to the members of the Penguins’ first championship teams, and they never disappoint with any request. I hope you’ll enjoy their thoughts on what adding 68 would mean, on and off the ice.

>> The Pirates were mostly playing on my TV in the background last night because of the Jagr stuff, and I saw just a bit ago — in filling out my scorebook — that they mustered up one run on four hits, none for extra bases, and lost three runners on the basepaths.

All of those shortcomings have happened far too often. And, at the risk of sounding like a wet blanket here, it’s the offense’s unending miseries that keeps me from having any meaningful optimism for this team to make some sort of stirring bid for contention. Not going to happen without bats.

>> Our weekly chat is today at noon. You can begin submitting entries now.


  1. JAL says:

    A few morning links

    Bleacher Report

    Have the Pittsburgh Pirates Finally Seen the Light?

    Pittsburgh Pirates: Is Joel Hanrahan the Best Closer in the National League?

  2. JAL says:


    Pittsburgh Pirates All the Talk of Mario Lemieux Winner’s Circle Party


    2011 Pirates In Close / Low Scoring Games

  3. Drew71 says:

    Seems like an episode of Without A Trace.

    or How I Met Your Jagr

    or The Jagelorette

    or None And A Half Jags

    or Late Night With Petr Svoboda

    or Leave It To Petr

    or Svoboda And Son

    or Jagr Trek

    or Jaromir Jagr’s Flying Circus

    Yes. i REALIZE i have to stop this stuff. But this is My So-Called Life.

  4. Fat Jimmy says:

    Matt Diaz was terrible last night. With runners on 1st and 3rd and no one out, Diaz was overmatched at the plate and his weak grounder to 3B cost the Pirates a runner at the plate. Then he unnecessarily got caught in a rundown in the same inning. He was 0-4 at the plate.

    Dejan, I think the positive thing about the offense is that there is a lot of dead weight that can be removed. I’m just getting impatient about the move to remove it. Notably, Lyle Overbay needs to be DFAd ASAP. I think it’s time to take ABs away from Garret Jones.

  5. Karen22 says:

    Re: JagrWatch: His agent didn’t know where he was?? Right…

    Re: Pirates’ base running: GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!

    Re: Matt Diaz: Please go away. Today.

    Re: Pirates’ offense: OFFENSIVE! Particularly to Paul Maholm. What’s up with THAT?!

  6. Bizrow says:

    Jimmy If we take out Overpaid, Dieaz and Legend, who do we bat?

    That being said, totally agree with you on Diaz and Overbay

    The FAN folks had a partial theory that Jagr was well, um, jagging the Pens, I’m thinking the fact that Shero set a deadline and there is no comment means its a done deal.

    As noted, the PBC offense can be miserable, last night was another one that was there for the taking. Four stinking hits, 10 K’s…

  7. meglasdad says:

    Yes the offense is horrible. But who are going to get to replace all the dead weight? Overbay is having a horrible year, but Carlos Pena? Really? If Overbay pulls an Adam LaRoche and has an average second half for him, you have Pena only with a glove also. Third Base is a black hole, as is most of the outfield. And I know this is sacrilege, but has anyone else noticed that maybe Neil Walker isn’t the second coming of Ryne Sandberg? He is hitting in the .240’s as we speak. Lets face it, the only reason this team is contending is because the pitchers have pitched over their heads ( do we really expect that to keep happening?) and the National League Central is putrid. I think this team is still a year away from being legitimate contenders and to trade away even average prospects to win this year could lead to another 18 years of losing with the minor league system still being on the thin side. I want to see them win also, but for many years, not just one.

  8. J-Ro says:

    Maybe GI Jones gets distracted by thoughts of his potential as a male model sometimes when he’s on base. I bet he has a “Blue Steel” pose.

  9. JMB says:

    Thinking about 2012 options / trade options.

    I read that the O’s have started ext. neg’s with Hardy, and I have to think the Rays will be doing the same with Kotchman.

    Our offense is putrid, and the signing of Overbay ($5m – 1yr) & Diaz ($4.5m – 2yrs) this off-season has been another boondoggle (not in an Aki-esque trade sense, but still pretty bad). I saw Matt Morris being brought up every time Raj Davis batted, but NH has had his full share of Morris-esque bad moves.

    I remember Huntington saying in the off-season that this wasnt the year for big moves (he must be as surprised as the rest of us by this team being around .500 on June 30), but I cant help but wonder where we would be if we had signed Pena & traded for Hardy.

  10. JMB says:


    I am with you on Ethier (or Kemp), but I keep reading that the Dodgers will not do a fire sale a la the 2004(?) Pirates w. A-Ram. Bud-meister doesnt want the Dodger “brand” to be damaged any more than it already is by the bankruptcy.

    Time will tell.

  11. JohnS says:

    Last year Legend had 21 hr’s and 86 RBI. I will be interested to see if the two guys replacing him (Diaz and Overbay) will combine for 21 and 86. At about the halfway point they are sitting at 6 and 41. I know that Legend’s numbers aren’t great but it is only his second full season in the majors and I have more faith in him improving than the other two.

  12. Chuck Snow says:

    Wow so sad to see another great game by Paul go to waste. Where is Syd Thrift(R.I.P) when you need him.

  13. Baywatch says:

    DK, I definitely hear what you’re saying about “ain’t going to happen without bats,” BUT … Was wondering: Can anyone think of a team in the past that DID make it to the playoffs with a similar team – good pitching, and putrid offense averaging MAYBE three runs a game on MAYBE 4 hits a game?

  14. Baywatch says:

    In all fairness to the rest of our poor hitters last night, Neil Walker seemed lost up there, too, last night. I never saw his swing look that weak before, especially batting from the left side. This one will be back though.

  15. Curt says:

    I say we start a picket line outside Federal Street with “We Want Ethier” signs and chants. Also we will have Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin” playing on repeat. I think that should get it done. Lol.
    Seriously though think about a winter will NHL will be king?!? The NBA is going down and if NFL stays down, the only winter sport will be hockey.

  16. Arriba Wilver says:

    Bay–I share your impression of Walker,not only last night, but lately. Definitely a sophomore slump going on there. Daryle’s been questioning him lately, and I have defended him, but he does not look like the same guy right now.

    Good to “see” you, Bay.

  17. JoeBucco says:

    I remember meeting Jagr back in ’93 at Kennywood, and asking to get a picture with him. You will never see a pic with a more disinterested person (Jagr) standing next to a guy with the biggest smile in the world (me) in the same photograph. Absolutely classic pic.

  18. JAL says:


    Back in time the Dodgers won with pitching and little hitting. In 1963 they won the World Series with a team BA of .251 and team ERA of 2.85. The Go-Go White Sox of 1959 won with a .250 team BA hit 97 HR, team ERA 3.29 The 1969 Mets hit .242 with team ERA 2.99

  19. Vote4Pedro says:

    Does anyone think that Pearce could stay healthy enough to be a contributing bat at 1b? Never hear anyone talk about him anymore, but I have always liked him and rooted for him. It just seems that everytime he gets a shot, he gets hurt. Could he be the bat we’re looking for?

  20. Bizrow says:

    Too bad the system isn’t really “flooded” with talent, otherwise we’d have some flexibility to make a trade or two.

    I am betting along the lines of JMB’s post regarding NH being surprised by the success of this club, “This was not part of the master plan, crap, what do we do now???”

    He is currently reprogramming his commodore ;-)

  21. ChrisH says:

    Just out of curiosity, what have the Red Wings offered Jagr in terms of a contract?

  22. Better Days Coming says:


    I would offer up this comment from Nolan Ryan ijn response to a question about the Astros and their rebuilding efforts via the draft. Keep in mind the Rangers have built one of the more talented minor league systems.

    •Jim Crane, who should officially become the owner of the Astros this year, will have to be patient if he wants to build through a strong farm system, Ryan said. “You have to keep putting people in the pipeline because you’re going to have all type of things happen from injuries to mis-evaluations to players not performing,” Ryan said. “There’s a tremendous fallout rate.”

    It doesn’t happen overnight, Biz, and we’re still years away from being where the Rangers or Royals are in terms of depth. You can only draft, sign and develop as quickly as time allows.

  23. Drew71 says:

    JAL – I think you confused Bay with me.

    Happens all the time.

  24. JAL says:


    Sorry about that

  25. Drew71 says:

    I consider it a compliment.

    And besides, I’m Wall to Wall Jags today. No room today for Pirates offense.

    (Unfortunately neither do the Pirates.)

  26. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    @Jimmy: Neither of them has been good. But you’re punting away a ton of money there, and that just can’t be taken out of the equation. Besides, Diaz actually has hit better than most people realize of late.

  27. Bizrow says:

    @Better Days

    Yup, Rome wasn’t built in a day, I understand that, but I was just quoting a statement that was made. The “flood” was used in reference I think to all the trades that were made.

    Maybe we could trade Alderson and Morris for a good stick?

    Nah :-)

  28. Better Days Coming says:


    I hear you. They can metric the heck out of all of these guys but at the end of the day it’s a big crap shoot.

    I read recently a “good draft” means two guys make it to the show. May have been on here by a poster. When you’re trading for prospects there are no givens as we’ve seen. The core argument I think is how much value the trading pieces really had. We needed NH to fleece some folks and we didn’t do it. I believe in the plan but as I’ve stated before, it’s been delayed by the whiffs.

  29. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    @Chris: I was told yesterday it was $3.2 million, but then I quickly had that shot down. So who knows?

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