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Wakeup Call: Pitt’s third choice?

Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …

>> It appears that Pitt’s next football coach will be Paul Chryst, offensive coordinator at Wisconsin, as our Rob Rossi and Jerry DiPaola report.

I’ll reserve judgment on that, but here are three questions worth asking:

1. Why should anyone trust a Steve Pederson hire?

2. If it wasn’t a Pederson hire, will we find out whose choice it was? There always has to be accountability with these sorts of things, so I don’t want to hear about some ambiguous committee.

3. If Paul Rhoads and Mario Cristobal were Pitt’s two top choices — and reports strongly suggest they were — why should anyone feel good about anyone’s third choice, much less Pederson’s third choice?

>> Doesn’t look like Chryst will wow anybody with his speech …

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktLTn2_6ZAk

Not sure anymore if that’s good or bad. Mike Haywood wss a cadaver, and Todd Graham … you know.

>> Ben Roethlisberger isn’t playing for the rest of the regular season, according to an NFL.com report.

But wait! Roethlisberger shows up in the Steelers’ locker room without a boot, with no real swelling, and reports no additional damage after playing Monday night. Moreover, he says “it’s news to me” that he isn’t playing. Some of his teammates, including Charlie Batch, echo that.

A cynic would suggest something is amiss here. I have my own theories here, but I’m interested in hearing yours first. Then I’ll share more down in the comments.

>> James Harrison will never learn. He’s apparently so determined to make himself out to be the victim, to create this battle between himself and the NFL with the mythical honor of the game going to the winner, that he’ll risk shortening his own career to do it.

Think that’s hyperbole?

This is someone who retired for a day last year because of a fine. Imagine how he’ll react to the next suspension he gets, which could be several games.

>> Jim ‘Handshake’ Harbaugh of the 49ers said the Seahawks have a better defense than the Steelers.

Are there any non-annoying Harbaughs out there?

>> Colleague Joe Starkey piles onto ESPN’s coverage Monday night in San Francisco.

Really, we live in a very large, very capitalist country. Is there no one anywhere who can mount serious competition for something as obvious as an all-sports network?

>> We will chat today at noon, as always. But don’t mind me if I’m distracted while packing my bag and bundling up for Christmas Eve in Winnipeg!

Comments

  1. Eric Bowser says:

    Chryst is a good hire, I have no problems with him as the head coach. I just hope his offensive philosophy to mold his game plans to the talent on the team goes for both the offense and defense. It would also be nice for him to be able to bring in quality assistants like Todd Orlando, Joe Rudolph, Bob Bostad, and Charlie Partridge.

    Bostad would be an awesome get for PITT as the program needs to re-establish its tradition along the offensive line.

  2. almartin_uscgrad says:

    The Starkey column is pretty funny. But let’s face it, the vast majority of play-by-play/color commentators are terrible. Endless, mindless prattle. They just talk and talk and talk saying nothing of any significance.

    I watched the video of game 7 of the 1960 World Series over the summer. The thing that impressed me the most about the broadcast was the silence. There wasn’t this overwhelming need for them to fill every single moment with chatter. They just let the game speak for itself. If only we could go back to that.

  3. Ed says:

    Funny how this Chryst guy resembles John Russell in his speech pattern and even mentions a guy named Russell during the interview.

    Oh yeah,

    Hello Dejan. Happy Holidays to you and yours.

  4. Bill says:

    Here’s a question…Why make a post like this knowing that your knowledge of College Football is subpar?

  5. JAL says:

    10 Rumbunter

    Pirates Sign Anderson Hernandez, Continue Stocking Up on Experience

    http://rumbunter.com/2011/12/21/pirates-sign-anderson-hernandez-continue-stocking-up-on-experience/

    Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training: Anyone Else Got the Itch?

    http://rumbunter.com/2011/12/22/pittsburgh-pirates-spring-training-anyone-else-got-the-itch/

    11 Bucs Dugout

    Why The Pirates Won The Joel Hanrahan – Nyjer Morgan Trade

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2011/12/22/2654495/pirates-joel-hanrahan-nyjer-morgan-nationals

  6. JAL says:

    JAL’s Snoopy’s Christmas Christmas Morning Links

    GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pittsburgh_pirates/

    3- 2011-12 Pirates Prospects Off-Season Calendar

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2011/10/2011-12-pirates-prospects-off-season-calendar.html

  7. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES

    12 Columbus Dispatch

    Indians sign LaRoche to minor league deal

    http://www.dispatch.com/content/blogs/minor-details/2011/12/indians-sign-laroche.html

    13 Hannibal Courier Post

    Diamond Dirt: Author’s big mistake insults Beckley’s legacy

    http://www.hannibal.net/topstories/x1157704873/Diamond-Dirt-Authors-big-mistake-insults-Beckleys-legacy

    14 USA Today

    Baseball writers’ response to Conlin accusations draws scorn

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/dailypitch/post/2011/12/baseball-writers-response-to-conlin-accusations-draws-scorn/1

  8. JAL says:

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    17 PBC Site

    Pirates Holiday Greeting Card

    http://pirates.mlb-greeting.com/?partnerId=ed-5509590-239388752

    18 Bleacher Report

    Andrew McCutchen: Is the Pittsburgh Pirates Outfielder the Real Deal?

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/993130-pittsburgh-pirates-is-pirates-andrew-mccuthen-the-real-deal

    19 Through the Fence

    Pirates most major-league ready prospect: Jeff Locke

    http://www.throughthefencebaseball.com/pirates-most-major-league-ready-prospect-jeff-locke/15466/

    Ranking NL Central Pitching Staffs: Wainwright, Latos, Gallardo, Who’s On Top?

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/990332-ranking-nl-central-pitching-staffs-wainwright-latos-gallardo-whos-on-top

    20 ESPN

    Prospect mania! Is it out of control?

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/19437/prospect-mania-is-it-out-of-control

  9. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    -Behind the Steel Curtain

    Don’t Lose Hope Just Yet, Steelers Fans. The Black and Gold Have Been Pretty Lucky with Getting Postseason Home Games Over the Years

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2011/12/21/2652643/dont-lose-hope-just-yet-steelers-fan-the-black-and-gold-have-been

    Report: Steelers Could Put Roethlisberger on Shelf For Last Two Games

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2011/12/21/2652134/steelers-ben-roethlisberger-injury-status-wont-play-week-16-week-17

    Steelers Week 15 Defensive Plays of the Game Announce Arrival of New Defensive Line

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2011/12/21/2651477/steelers-week-15-defensive-plays-of-the-game-announce-arrival-of-new

    -Steelers Depot

    Roger Goodell on James Harrison

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2011/12/roger-goodell-on-james-harrison-some-players-may-not-be-able-to-adapt-to-new-rules/

    -Steelers Gab

    Video – NFL32: Roethlisberger’s Performance

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2011/12/21/video-nfl32-roethlisbergers-performance/

  10. JAL says:

    WVU Blogs

    Metro News

    Williamson Continues To Make An Impact

    http://www.wvmetronews.com/wvu.cfm?func=displayfullstory&storyid=49870

    WV Illustrated

    Las Vegas Trip Could Be Memorable for WVU

    http://www.wvillustrated.com/story/16371463/las-vegas-trip-could-be-memorable-for-wvu

    Musings Of A Mountain Man: December 21, 2011

    http://www.wvillustrated.com/story/16368859/musings-of-a-mountain-man-december-21-2011

    PENGUIN BLOGS

    —Pensburgh

    On the Pens: Break in Schedule coming, Suspend Engelland?, Geno the Machine-o and more

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2011/12/21/2651689/on-the-pens-break-in-schedule-coming-suspend-engelland-geno-the

  11. Turner Ward says:

    The easy joke on the Chryst hire is that maybe it’s a good thing Pederson didn’t get his first choice. You saw how his first 2 choices panned out last year. Perhaps Neal Huntington should follow this model to selecting a shortstop.

  12. Eric Bowser says:

    Huntington overpaid Clint Barmes but at least he’s a good fielding SS that is consistent unlike the headache who was here for the last two seasons. Now finding a long-term shortstop has to come from the draft, Latin America, or a trade.

    One guy that I think the Pirates could target would be Texas Rangers prospect Jurickson Profar but that would cost reliever Joel Hanrahan. Unfortunately, Rangers already have Joe Nathan, Neftali Perez, and Mike Adams plus linked to A’s reliever Andrew Bailey.

  13. TJA says:

    I am guessing that Pederson did not have as much say in this hire as the previous ones. Certainly part of the committee, but, not the power as before. And, as has been reported by you, Dejan, and others, Chryst is low key and not a dynamic personality…and that may be a good thing for the Panthers at this time. What they don’t want is another guy to come in like Graham and overpower things. Low key may be a good thing at this point. Come in, work hard, be honest and let your work tell the story, not all the sales talk. Pittsburghers don’t like phonies.

    Happy Holidays to one and all…whatever it is you may celebrate. And, all the best as we turn the calendar to another year.

  14. bdubb says:

    Ok, so what Chryst isn’t a big public speaker and is pretty boring. There is a coach with a similar personality in front of the media up in New England and I think he has done pretty well. The personality is for the donors and if PITT wins the donors will be there. The last year has shown us PITT alum that winning is all that matters anymore. Having the anti-Graham, a person who hates to talk about himself (which is why he probably didn’t interview well last year) is what this program needs.

    As far as the 3rd choice? I would say 2A or 2B. Rhodes was clearly #1. That didn’t happen. I believe Cristobal might have been #2 just b/c of Chryst’s interview last year. PITT probably didn’t expect much. I don’t view this as a situation say at NC ST where 5 coaches turned them down and now you are down to settling. I don’t feel that at all.

    There is no telling if Chryst will be any better than Paul Hackett but I am ready for this guy to come in and get a staff and let’s get rolling.

  15. RightSaidTed says:

    Whether Chryst was the first, second or tenth choice is irrelevant…what matters is whether he is the right choice.

  16. Naje says:

    DK -
    In this era, or in any era, a third choice who makes the money that Chryst has made and has had the coaching experiences that Chryst has had is not a bad thing… it’s not like Chryst is the little scrawny kid picked last in every pick-up game.

    Hey, Chuck Noll wasn’t the first choice of the Steelers. And Mike Tomlin came out of nowhere to get the job over in-house faves Whiz and Grimm.

    I’ll take a third choice any day. Point is, that’s a trite comment and has little to do with Chryst’s ability. But like you, I’d like to know exactly who hired him.

    Now the Niners are pegged as an “elite” team… anyone yet sick of the overuse of the word “elite” this season? Here’s an easy prediction: the Niners will get drilled at Seattle. Badly. The reasons:

    1. The beating the Steelers effect: teams that beat the Steelers generally lose the next week (see Ravens, Baltiimore). Beating the Steelers takes a toll on your team. Go back and look at how many teams lose the week after beating Pittsburgh.

    2. The Harbaugh’s-hell-bent-on-beating-the-Steelers-effect. We’ve seen it twice already this year.

    3. Seattle’s good. And they’re a home dog.

    What will the hype-loving NFL media say about them after the Seahawks win 31-13?

  17. Drew71 says:

    I’m a cynic on the will-he-play thing.

    I’m guessing that the decision has already been made and that Tomlin has decided Ben will NOT play. And the rest of this is just theater to protect the perception of Ben as the courageous leader and warrier. You know; ego.

    By Ben aggressively showing he Can play, that he Wants to play (but acknowledging that it is the Coach’s decision…see? Ben knows his role in this Christmas play), it is perfectly set up for Tomlin to make a Coach’s Decision. Ben will be appropriately disappointed but supportive (because plays are, well, rehearsed), and his courage and leadership will if anything be enhanced.

    Thus Tomlin will take the barbs, not Ben, if in some way the Steelers find a way to lose to an awful team (again, protection), though many will cite Tomlin’s own courage and wisdom when he makes the initial announcement. The Adult in the room.

    The Courageous Warrior and the Adult. See it at Heinz Hall this holiday season.

    Cue the orchestra; let’s get this play started.

    Ignore my cynicism. I have ZERO problem with this “playing” out in this fashion.

  18. Steve says:

    Starkey’s column is a classic. I commented the other day about ESPN’s over reaction to the power outage. I can’t take Berman and Company anymore. It would be great if they had some egitimate competition. That sideline reporter was a disgrace. Made me miss Suzie Kolber.

    I think Chryst is a good choice. Comes from a big time program. Appears to be a stable, no nonsense guy. Good offense without a lot of gimmicks. After Fraud Graham the last thing we need is someone spouting off about high-octane, left lane, pedal to the floor, etc. Just be an honest leader with integrity, be the kind of guy your players will look up to and play hard for and win football games.

    My own theory is that Ben will play this Saturday.

  19. Eric Bowser says:

    I’m not sure the head coach at PITT has to be some rah-rah type as the fan base isn’t exactly booming with big boosters with power and Heinz Field is barely half-filled most games.

    What PITT needed is a guy who will win by X’s and O’s on game day, someone who can teach good talent and win games. if you win games, you’ll have support of the fan base and long-term will help increase attendance and attract more top ranked recruits.

  20. Pattonbb says:

    1. I really think Chryst is going to be good for Pitt. They needed an offense minded coach who’s not known for beating his own chest.

    2. Ben should not take another snap until the playoffs. I don’t care how many yards he threw for, anyone who watched that SF game saw him over-throw open WR’s and limp around on one foot all night. Tomlin probably made that decision on the flight home to sit him for the last 2 games and told his coaching staff shortly thereafter. Ben probably wasn’t told yet. And for whatever it’s worth, I have no problem with this.

    3. James Harrison is my favorite Steeler, but I still wish there was a life-sized mute button for him. Enough already.

  21. Eric Bowser says:

    I wouldn’t play Ben Roethlisberger because the playoffs are more important and if you can’t beat the Rams and Browns, then you don’t deserve to be anything more than a wild card team.

    I’d start Charlie Batch this week and Dennis Dixon next week.

    Agree with Pattonbb, Jim Harrison need to shut his mouth and just play football.

  22. Drew71 says:

    This issue of 1st Choice v. 2nd-3rd-4th Choice comes up with MANY programs.

    What makes it more of a story in THIS case is that Pederson has a (what word shall I use) “history” (that was a calm choice) with this sort of thing.

    It has been well reported that in 1969, Chuck Noll was Dan Rooney’s second choice. (Of course, the other guy was reportedly Joe Paterno.)

    Even in the NFL, teams sometimes end up with 2nd or 3rd choices. (Think Bill Parcells and Tampa Bay. Twice. And Belichick even TOOK a job once and then quit it a day later.)

    But. I keep coming back to Steve Pederson. Remember his Nebraska Blue Collar Comedy Tour when he was turned down (for NEBRASKA!) four or five times.

    I do not know if Mario Cristobal truly was their second choice or if Chryst wrested it from him. Since nothing has been written about an FIU – Cristobal extension actually happening yet. It may evetually, but one would expect that they would have gotten in front of Pitt if that was the reason for Cristobal not moving to Pitt. And since FIU plays in the worst ever Sun Belt conference (where they came in FOURTH…just edging out those powerhouses North Texas and University of Louisiana at Monroe), I’m willing to accept that Chryst – with STRONG support from Barry Alvarez and, because of that, Pitt alumni – passed Cristobal. But clearly Rhoads was looking like their first choice.

    All that said, it looked to me like Pitt had three decent second-tier choices. Yes. Second tier. At best. What would you expect, considering?

    I am not a Pitt fan. But for the sake of the city, which deserves better than their last two choices, I hope this guy turns out like the Steelers’ second choice in 1969.

  23. Eric Bowser says:

    In addition to the list of assistants I listed above, Paul Chryst’s brother Geep appears to be coming with him to PITT.

    This appears to be the coaching staff so far, if reports are true.

    Head Coach – Paul Chryst
    Offensive Coordinator/QB coach – Geep Chryst
    Tight-Ends/Recruiting Coordinator – Joe Rudolph
    Offensive Line Coach – Bob Bostad
    Receivers Coach –
    Running Back Coach –
    Special Teams Coach -
    Defensive Coordinator/LB Coach – Todd Orlando
    Defensive line Coach – Charlie Partridge
    Secondary Coach -

  24. RightSaidTed says:

    Eric: I can’t see Rudolph leaving UW unless he is given the OC position. And even that may be a hard sell as he is already being rumored as Chryst’s possibe successor as the OC there.

  25. Milo Hamilton says:

    DK-

    No, there aren’t any non-annoying Harbaugh’s. Even Tom Crean annoys me, and he’s only a Harbaugh by proxy (married to a Harbaugh sister). I have to go all the way out to Jack Harbaugh’s cousin, Mike Gottfried, to find somebody in that family that doesn’t annoy me. Not that there weren’t times when he was coaching Pitt …

  26. Evilpens64 says:

    The Problem with Chryst ! is the same problem they had with Haywood & Graham, The are the fallback & Safe picks Pitt is going to be a stepping stone for any coach until they become a consistent winner Majors went back to Tenn. Sherril went to Texas A&M even in their heyday coaches moved on

  27. Naje says:

    Apparently, it’ll be a merry Chryst-mas in these parts…

  28. Pat says:

    Why would anyone feel good about Pitt’s first choice, given their history?

    Pitt has already shown a knack for lucking into good coaching hires.

  29. @suckmeter says:

    If Roethlisberger doesn’t play this Saturday then Mike Tomlin will suck even more for not pulling Ben from the game when they were down 3 scores. So he wasn’t hurt enough to come out of the game and risk further injury, but now he’s hurt enough to not play and not risk further injury? I’m confused.

  30. Jandy says:

    Someone throw eggs at Naje LOL!

  31. Drew71 says:

    He’ll just make egg nog

  32. Milo Hamilton says:

    Eggs-actly.

  33. Jandy says:

    And someone please nominate Starkey for some medal for that article on ESPN…priceless!

  34. Jandy says:

    LOL you guys are killing me!

  35. December 22

    58 days until Pirate Spring Training
    80 days until clock is correct on Dejan’s Blog

  36. Naje says:

    guys, don’t egg me on….

  37. Dan1283 says:

    I don’t really care who the hire was gonna be, just please, don’t be a horrible game day coach, get involved with the community, respect our team, our players, our university, and our traditions. You don’t have to win the conference every year, just don’t be Dave Wannstedt on game day and don’t be Todd Graham the other 6 days.

  38. dickyp23 says:

    Agree that Berman is warshed up but if you watch the few minutes before Sunday Countdown starts it is the crew but with Suzy Kolber in for Berman and it is phenomenal….Kolber, Tom Jackson, Schefter, I even really like Keyshawn. They do have some awesome people working there…But they also have some awful people too. That Berman thing was so weird. I couldn’t even comprehend how he got that thought into his head. Post Traumatic Earthquake Syndrome or something.

  39. AJS says:

    Maybe hiring Chryst is a good thing. I mean Maybe Pederson is like Costanza, its best to always do the opposite of what hisa gut tells him. If he had three candidates and ranked Chryst third, maybe that means a good AD would have had him first?

  40. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’m a Badger season ticket holder and follow their program fairly closely. Not sure how good a hire it is for Pitt. He has always had decent running backs at Madison with strong offensive lines. His offensive strategy was to run a rather conservative run based game plan that relied on the superiority of the offensive line. That being said, he did adapt the offense this year to the very athletic play making abilities of Russell Wilson. If he and his staff can recruit decent backs and offensive linemen, then Pitt should win a good deal of games. It probably won’t be too exciting to watch, though. But as Wisconsin has proven in the past-winning trumps excitement.

  41. Bizrow says:

    Well, what we had this season sure wasn’t exciting

    Unless you like players getting thrown under the bus, that is.

    He can’t be any worse, right?

  42. LuckyNKentucky says:

    There is one non-annoying Harbaugh, their father, Jack. He coached here at Western Kentucky and won a national championship a few years ago when it was the old 1-AA. He was a humble and upbeat guy, unlike some we know. Everyone liked him around here.

  43. Bizrow says:

    Apples do sometimes fall far from the tree, I guess

  44. Ryan the Lion says:

    The very fact that ESPN is horrible with MNF makes me hope the Steelers get minimal Monday night games next season. “Jaws” and Gruden feel an egotistical need to constantly let viewers hear their omnipresent football knowledge, yet they fail to comment on QUESTIONABLE (at best) special teams penalties. I

  45. Ryan the Lion says:

    And Merry Christmas!

  46. JAL says:

    I used to be an egg but I cracked up :)

  47. DMac says:

    Nice, dickyp23!

    What I find funny about the whole earthquake freak out, is that it takes more than lights going out to rattle most people who have lived in the Bay Area, or California in general, for a long period of time. It would take a pretty serious shake — like the one during the 89 Quake — to cause the lights to fail like they did Monday night and everyone would have noticed it. Steve Young’s comments made me shake my head nearly as much as Berman’s made me laugh.

    I spent many summer nights freezing my backside off at Giants’ games at Candlestick, and a couple pleasant afternoons at Niner games. THe place has seen better days and is beyond ready to be retired. It sits out on a point, on landfill. THe winds are wickedly cold and swirlilng at night…even, or perhaps especially, in July. Not to mention it backs up to one of the poorest neighborhoods on the Peninsula.

    They probably forgot to check to see if the lights would work, given the relative lack of use they get anymore. :)

    Ben looked better than I thought he would, but looked to me like he wasn’t able to get good follow-through on his passes. I expect him to play this weekend, but am confused as to why he was left in toward the end. Tomlin needed to step up and say “live to fight another day. Go sit your butt on the bench.” But that’s me.

    Happy Holidays everyone!

  48. MattyGabe says:

    @Naje I know this is nit-picking here on one specific point you made, and more specifically that point with regards to the Steelers-Niners game:

    “1. The beating the Steelers effect: teams that beat the Steelers generally lose the next week (see Ravens, Baltiimore). Beating the Steelers takes a toll on your team. Go back and look at how many teams lose the week after beating Pittsburgh.”

    Did you watch the Niners game? I think Alex Smith is going to have more bumps and bruises from practice today than he would have Tuesday morning. I didn’t see any toll being exacted on the Niners Monday night at all.

  49. TheSaltyRogue says:

    Good to know you’ve reserved your judgment of the hire, DK.

  50. Milo Hamilton says:

    Former Notre Dame QB Dayne Crist has decided to follow Charlie Weis to Kansas. Weis recruited Crist & coached him at ND. He had been toying with the idea of going to Wisconsin. There was some thought that Crist the QB would follow Paul Chryst the coach to Pitt.

    Crist could compare notes with Tino Sunseri. He took verbal sideline beatings from Brian Kelly, much the same as the ones Tino endured from Todd Graham. I wish him a peaceful senior season.

  51. Jandy says:

    Engo got 3 games. Shamahan (spelling intended) strikes again.

  52. Drew71 says:

    “Then I’ll share more down in the comments.”

    Dejan – Anxiously waiting for the aforementioned sharing.

    DK: Where were other people’s ideas? Come on. I’m not coming clean without somebody at least trying!

  53. Eric Bowser says:

    @Drew71 – I think he’s traveling to Winnipeg, so we might not see anything until later.

  54. Drew71 says:

    That’s MISTER 71 to you. And travel is no excuse. We are needy.

    By the way, since we weren’t talking about it, this was perfectly played by Chryst: “Pitt and Pittsburgh are absolutely the right fit for us, and we’re looking forward to getting immersed in our new hometown.”

    And this: “Actions have to show it, not words.”

    I’m not a big PR guy but after what just happened to the program, you could not play that any better.

    Finally. There is an adult in the room.

  55. Milo Hamilton says:

    Once again the Pirates have proven that they’re not interested in putting a winning team on the field. Oakland traded Gio Gonzalez to Washington today for 4 minor leaguers. The Buccos were never even mentioned as one of the teams interested in Gonzalez. Who would want a 25 year old lefty that’s won 31 games and struck out 368 over the last 2 years anyway ?

    Last week, Cinci & San Diego swapped Mat Latos for Edinson Volquez. That’s 3 starters better than any in the Pirates rotation moved in the last week alone.

    I guess our rotation is set – set with mediocrity.

  56. Eric Bowser says:

    @Milo – Maybe the Pirates can get lucky with the lack of action/interest on starter Edwin Jackson and get him to anchor the rotation as the number one starter for two years while we find out about Charlie Morton and James McDonald in the majors and prospects Jameson Taillon, Luis Heredia, and Gerrit Cole.

    I’d much rather go into the season with Jackson, Bedard, Morton, McDonald, and Correia/Lincoln/Karstens as the pitching seems to be pretty good in the NL Central.

  57. Milo Hamilton says:

    @Eric

    Couldn’t have said it better myself – “Maybe the Pirates can get lucky…”.

  58. Eric Bowser says:

    @Milo – I guess I could have been more accurate and said Huntington has to wake up and find a clue on his board game of stats.

  59. Milo Hamilton says:

    @Eric

    Seriously, doesn’t it just irritate you to see all these good, young arms get traded & they don’t even make an effort ?

  60. Eric Bowser says:

    @Milo – Yes because I believe the team needs to find a number one and two starter to anchor the staff for three-to-four years while those top prospects work their way into the majors. No way, 2014-2015 is going to produce much of anything if we’re relying on those three young pitchers and let’s be real, McDonald and Morton are not going to be the legit number one or two starter.

    It was a nice start/risk to go after Bedard as a number two starter but they need to find a true number one, even if they would go after Jackson, he’s not a number one like Greinke, Garza, Wainwright, and Latos.

  61. NMR says:

    Am I a complete idiot for wanting to flip Hanrahan after seeing what the Reds and Nats gave up for pitching this week?

    I feel like I’m an idiot. We’ve been down this lonesome road before.

    DK: I’d feel a lot better about such a deal if this management team had a good history with trades.

  62. Drew71 says:

    Dejan must be on the fourth leg of his trip, on a prop plane for the dreaded Anchorage to Winnipeg flight.

    Too bad he doesn’t drink.

  63. Drew71 says:

    Honest to Gawd, this tweet from Dejan just popped up a minute after I posted…

    Dejan_Kovacevic
    “Column tomorrow will be about #Pitt’s newest football hire. Boarding plane now for Winnipeg to cover #Pens and #NHLJets tomorrow.”

    SEE????

  64. Drew71 says:

    (NMR, I’m just trying to prove you’re not the only idiot around here.)

  65. Milo Hamilton says:

    @NMR

    You’re not an idiot at all. If they had a suitable replacement, and they don’t, I’d be open to dealing him. Or if they could get a closer back in the deal. People seem to like their bullpen, I think it still needs work.

  66. Milo Hamilton says:

    @Mr. 71

    It can take up to three days to get to Winnipeg this time of year. I think the last leg is usually by reindeer. God, I can’t wait to see the pictures.

    DK: Pics tomorrow, since you asked!

  67. NMR says:

    @Milo

    Ok, what if I’d take two former 1st rounders (circa ’05-’07), a sure handed shortstop prospect, and a projectable young arm?

    Seriously though, you’re point is valid regarding subtracting from a “strength” without replacing in kind. I still can’t help myself but dream of a trade package actually working out in a 3:1 ratio(like they’re all supposed to). It’s a sickness. Don’t judge.

    @Drew

    Happy to see I’m in good company…

  68. JohninOshkosh says:

    There is a fan base more wretched than us Pirate fans this holiday season-the sad schmucks unfortunate enough to cast their loyalties with the Oakland Athletics. I know they have recently acquired a number of promising prospects but they are, just that, prospects. That organization is asking their fans to attend games at an absolutely dreadful ballpark while patiently waiting for MLB and Bud Selig to pull their heads out of their you know whats and stand up to Giant ownership so that a ballpark in San Jose can be built and a competitive team can take the field in three to four years! (How’s that for a run on sentence!) Losing both Cahill and Gonzalez in a month. Ouch.

    I noticed that the temperature in Winnipeg on Christmas Eve is supposed to be 36 degrees. Not bad, eh?

    DK: Actually, it will be 16. Or, as my cabbie just described it, “Beautiful, eh?”

  69. JAL says:

    The prospects traded would have been Taillon, Marte, Heredia, and a lower prospect if the Pirates would given up what the Nats did. I would not make that trade now. One good pitcher would not make the team a winner.

  70. Drew71 says:

    I think Dejan took one look at the reindeer and went wee wee wee all the way home.

    Fwaidy cat.

  71. Jesse says:

    As long as Nordenberg, a lawyer, and Pederson, a follower, are involved in this process of rebuilding Pitt athletics (athletics-not just football) and have cover-ups of wrongdoings going on, Pitt athletics will from this point on fail!! The destruction and demise of Pitt athletics as I know it, began on November 30, 2010. By January 1, 2011, the athletic program was officially DEAD and has been ever since!! There is no way possible either of these men can make a sound decision to hire anybody much less to hire the leader of the money making sport- FOOTBALL the sport that builds athletic programs (recruiting..etc.) and more importantly bring in the funds to support the other athletic programs.

    Recruits on their visits to the campus, almost always sit and talk to the AD. At Pitt, that part of the recruits’ visit will be full of bullcrap and lies because the current AD can’t be honest with the recruit. The AD will not inform the parent(s) or the recruit (him or her) that the Athletic program is currently being sued and under investigation. I don’t care who Pitt signs to a contract to fail. That coach cannot go out on the field and play. I don’t care what system he brings in or attempts to fit around the current players. TALENT WINS-PERIOD!!!!. Winning brings talent. Winning brings money. Without talented recruits signing on at Pitt and believing in Pitt Athletics, the seats will remain empty at Heinz. Nick Saban and/or Les Miles couldn’t win in Oakland without talented players. It takes more than one talented running back to win national titles. Heck, somebeody has to block for him to run. But the bottom line is, the student athletes’ morale and confidence in all sports at Pitt is at an all time low. You can feel it in the air at Heinz and at the Pete. You can have four to five star recruits at all postions on both sides of the ball, but if the morale is low, YOU WILL NOT BE SUCCESSFUL.

    There is no urgency to win. The tradition of winning has left the feild and building at Pitt. The majority of student athletes signed on with Pitt motivated to be the best and win it all for the University. But once the celebration of signing on settles and they find out the secrets that were withheld during the recruiting visit and more importantly find out about the mistreatment of current and former student athletes (their colleagues) under the current administration, the motivation to be the best for Pitt and win championships, quickly turns into defensive/protection mode. Any successful coach will tell you, you cannot win with athletes that don’t trust their head coach. So, how can they trust and believe in this man that was hired by an administration that has allowed/ allows illegal activity to be committed against former coaches and former/current student athletes. There is no way possible the current athletes will go out and give their all for this man. Mr. Paul Chryst maybe a good one, but he is not a good one for Pitt; simply because the process of hiring him is tainted with hidden coverups, just as the Haywood and Graham hirings were and we all know their story.

    If your heart is not right and you have something to hide when searching for a leader, the leader you find, will turn out to be a failure. I don’t care who you have on the search comittee or involved in the interviewing process..including Jamie Dixon (who by the way I have the utmost rspect for) But being honest, he is a basketball coach and just lost a McDonald’s All-American. Pitt will never return to prominence until they come clean and clean house. It’s a cancer and the cancer is spreading. The cancer is now touching the beloved men’s basketball team. Dixon may take the high road and get out while his stock is high. Now, if Jamie Dixon leaves Pitt, then you know the cancer has won…. it’s lights out.

    Sports writers/investigative reporters/editors or whatever you want to call yourself in Pittsburgh, WRITE THE DARN STORY! It is understood that the Gazette and the Tribune know of this cancerous cover-up. Why not be a part of the cure before it’s too late and write the story? What is the problem? The information is verifiable. The same type of verifiable information that prompted you to cover the Haywood firing and Graham’s smart departure is available.

    Thanks Dejan for your work…good reading.

 
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