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Wakeup Call: Pitt turns over familiar leaf

Brief and to the Point …

>> My Friday column looks at the Pirates’ upcoming acquisition of A.J. Burnett. And yes, to repeat the theme from all week on the blog, it will happen. Relax.

>> Covered the Pitt-West Virginia game late last night, and I’ve got to tell you: People who don’t think this is a rivalry worth preserving haven’t participated in it. What an atmosphere.

But oh, what a rotten game. And that was largely because the Panthers committed 17 turnovers, several of them totally unforced. Just throwing the ball into outer space.

Brought that up with Jamie Dixon, and he didn’t wholly agree with my use of “unforced” in this context: “I’d say it was a lack of patience. We pushed right into a defense, we didn’t pull back, we rushed things. To me, that’s a lack of patience. We’ve got to get back to that.”

The Panthers are 4-10 in the Big East. Wow.

>> This was an odd answer from West Virginia coach Bob Huggins, describing his team’s inability to pass well in the early minutes: “We looked like the Pirates, just tossing the ball around the infield.”

I’d love to tell you I definitively knew what he meant, whether it was just an innocuous reference to light tossing as opposed to serious passing, or whether it was a dig at the Pirates. A couple other people I asked in that room were equally unsure. My inclination upon hearing it was that it was harmless, but again, I can’t know that.

>> A fine exclusive interview of Art Rooney II, by our Rob Rossi, can be found on the site. Rooney gets defensive about the charge of meddling, but he does so without explaining how Bruce Arians was fired against the clear wishes of just about everyone.

I can’t begin to tell you how much my image of the Steelers has changed the past few months.

>> If you aren’t old enough to know about Gary Carter, the great Expos and Mets catcher who died yesterday at 57, this video will tell you plenty. That’s the greatest play in any All-Star Game in any sport.

>> Here is the chat transcript from yesterday. Thanks to all who chipped in.

90 Comments

  1. Here’s a link for JAL: voting in the Best Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament is underway at http://seanramblings.blogspot.com/2012/02/2012-pittsburgh-sports-blog-first-round.html.

  2. Huggs comment about the Pirates was that WVU was just passing the ball around the perimeter without any purpose of trying to make a play.

    Basically like the Pirates or any baseball team would do around the diamond to warm up to warm up.

    It doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure that out.

  3. Regarding Huggins’s comment, from what I saw, the Mountaineers were just passing the ball around the perimeter of the zone defense for a bunch of the possessions in the 1st half. My feeling is that Huggins’s comment wasn’t a dig at the Pirates. I think he just simply made the observation that the ball was going around the perimeter (i.e. going around the horn with a baseball) without any penetration off the dribble and little passing into the soft areas of the zone.

    DK: Yeah, that’s kind of what I thought, Dave. But I still haven’t completed my Rocket Science degree because I’m repeating Mental Telepathy 101.

  4. “DK: Yeah, that’s kind of what I thought, Dave. But I still haven’t completed my Rocket Science degree because I’m repeating Mental Telepathy 101.”

    What a cop-out. Apparently you decided to try to make an issue out of something that didn’t exist and now you say “Yeah, that’s what I thought,” when in your article said you had “no idea” what he meant.

    Apparently you are the only one that needs mental telepathy to figure it out.

    DK: You know what? You’re right. And I mean it. I’m going to change the wording above to reflect that.

    Thanks, and welcome to the forum.

  5. DK – Very interesting statistical assessment of Burnett. Thank you for providing us with that type of research. It will be interesting to see how accurately those statistics predict Burnett’s performance in 2012 should he end up ith the Pirates.

  6. Dejan,

    The Pirates take a lot of abuse in the media for not always being fan friendly, and recently when I found myself in a messy situation involving ticketing, I feared the worst. In early December, I organized a large group of devoted Pirate fans to purchase opening day tickets, a tradition our group has embraced since we were children. We put down our deposit, secured seats down the third base line and started counting down the days until April 5th. After all, nothing beats playing hookie from work, drinking beers in the parking lot and the overall feeling of euphoria we feel when that first pitch is thrown.

    By late January, we realized something was wrong. We contacted our ticket representative and were horrified to learn that our tickets had not been guaranteed. Our deposit only ensured us a spot on the waiting list and all of the tickets had sold out.

    We were crushed. No tickets. No baseball. No nachos with double cheese. No more tradition. The thought of sitting at work listening to the game on the radio brought me to tears.

    In an act of desperation, I left a voice message with the administrative offices of the Pirates. Imagine my surprise when I received a phone call back from Pirates president Frank Coonelly, who assured me that he would “make it right.”

    Today, I am happy to report that Mr. Coonelly has made it right. The Pirates were able to find us tickets for the game and have invited us to a future game as guests of the team. They didn’t have to call us back, they didn’t have to make it right, but they did. There hasn’t always been a lot to cheer for these past twenty years, but the Pirates have shown our group that they do care. Only 48 more days until that first pitch.

  7. I’d prefer it if the Pirates tried to win Anthony, but I’m glad you’ll get your nachos. Picking over the scrap heap for EXPENSIVE spare parts is more of an effort than the total dumpster dives of the past, I’ll grant you. Whether it is any more successful remains to be seen Dejan.

  8. I can definitely see the arguments both for and against Burnett, and there are a lot of good ones. I can’t get past his ERAs the past two years to go along with his age. I’m tired of players coming here in their twilight and then retiring.

    “The new Yankee Stadium, a bandbox of a ballpark, allowed the third-most home runs in the majors in 2011.”

    And like we discussed DK, his ERA is much worse on the road. On the above point though, he gave up a homerun every 6 innings at Yankee and a homerun every 5 1/3 innings on the road. About 10% better on the road for whatever that’s worth.

  9. JAL’s Always the Sun 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 Yahoo Free Agent Tracker

    http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=AvN8KLXkNW0TcRjzSCagLIMBbgM6?slug=jp-passan_ultimate_free_agent_tracker_baseball_110211

    4 Pittsburgh Pirates 2012 Spring Training Tracker

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/st2012

  10. PIRATE BLOGS

    5—Pirates Prospects

    TV Contracts — The Next Frontier of Revenue

    http://blogs.piratesprospects.com/creagh/tv-contracts-the-next-frontier-of-revenue/

    (VIDEO) Gerrit Cole throwing at Pirate City

    http://blogs.piratesprospects.com/robinson/video-gerrit-cole-throwing-at-pirate-city/

    6 WHYGAVS

    The daily AJ Burnett update

    http://whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/february-2012/the-daily-aj-burnett-update.html

    7 Rumbunter

    How High is Andrew McCutchen’s Ceiling?

    http://rumbunter.com/2012/02/16/how-high-is-andrew-mccutchens-ceiling/

    8 WHYGAVS

    AJ Burnett Rumors: Day 1138

    http://whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/february-2012/aj-burnett-rumors-day-1138.html

    9 Go Buccos

    GoBuccos.com Interview with Michael McKenry

    http://gobuccos.com/pirates-players/interview-with-michael-mckenry/

    10 Sean’s Ramblings

    2012 Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament: First Round Part I

    http://seanramblings.blogspot.com/2012/02/2012-pittsburgh-sports-blog-first-round.html

  11. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES

    11 Times Leader

    Forever the ‘Kid’

    http://www.timesleader.com/sports/Forever_the__lsquo_Kid_rsquo__02-17-2012.html

    12 Boston Herald

    Red Sox hope healthy Ross Ohlendorf can pitch in

    http://bostonherald.com/sports/baseball/red_sox/view/20220217sox_hope_healthy_ohlendorf_can_pitch_in

    13 New York Post

    Sources: Yankees’ Burnett will be a Pirate ‘probably Saturday’

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/yankees/era_near_an_end_4oNCbhRuIa9z8eEgmon5gL

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    14 Fangraphs

    The Worst Pitches of 2011‎

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/the-worst-pitches-of-2011/

    15 Chasing The Dream

    The Dan Gamache Story and Interview

    http://chasingmlbdreams.com/2012/02/14/chasing-the-dream-the-dan-gamache-story-and-interview/

  12. Steelers Blogs

    16 Behind the Steel Curtain

    BTSC Draft Forum: Members Sound Off On Nose Tackle, Offensive Line Concerns in Draft, Free Agency

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/2/16/2799640/2012-nfl-draft-steelers-positions-need-nose-tackle-running-back

    BTSC Meets With Football Outsiders’ Brian McIntyre, Talks Salary Cap, WR Mike Wallace and Franchise Tag

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/2/16/2802010/steelers-free-agency-mike-wallace-franchise-tag

    With the 24th Pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers Select… a Nose Tackle

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/2/16/2799785/2012-nfl-mock-draft-steelers-position-of-need-nose-tackle-casey-hampton

    17 Steelers Depot

    - Steelers GM Kevin Colbert Says They Are Going To Protect Interest In Mike Wallace

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2012/02/steelers-gm-kevin-colbert-says-they-are-going-to-protect-interest-in-mike-wallace/

    18 Steelers Gab

    WR Cotchery Hopes to Get a Multi-Year Deal

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2012/02/15/wr-cotchery-hopes-to-get-a-multi-year-deal/

  13. Pitt Blogs

    19 Pitt Blather

    Final Brawl Day

    http://www.pittblather.com/2012/02/16/final-brawl-day/

    20 Cardiac Hill

    The Last Basketball Backyard Brawl? Don’t Count On It.

    http://www.cardiachill.com/2012/2/16/2801319/pitt-vs-west-virginia-score-basketball-backyard-brawl-pittsburgh-panthers-big-east-acc-big-12

    WVU Blogs

    21 Metro News

    WVU Smacks Pitt, Keeps NCAA Hopes Alive

    http://www.wvmetronews.com/wvu.cfm?func=displayfullstory&storyid=51021

    22 WV Illustrated

    WVU Hopes Brawl Beat Down is Spark for Stretch Run

    http://www.wvillustrated.com/story/16957322/wvu-hopes-brawl-beatdown-is-spark-for-stretch-run

    Musings Of A Mountain Man

    http://www.wvillustrated.com/story/16948852/musings-of-a-mountain-man

    PENGUIN BLOGS

    23 Pensburgh

    Trade Deadline: Possible Targets for Pittsburgh (forwards edition)

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2012/2/16/2802128/trade-deadline-possible-targets-for-pittsburgh-forwards-edition

  14. Title song by Stranglers, English band formed in 1974 and still touring and recording. This song is from their 1986 album Dreamtime, their only album to chart in the US. They have 23 top 40 UK singles and 17 top 40 UK albums.

  15. I was watching the game on TV and Bobby Knight made a similar observation, just did not link it to the Pirates. Knight said WVU was just passing the ball around the perimeter. He said the guards needed to penetrate, drawing the defense in and that would free players for a pass and an open shot.

  16. Prediction…

    AJ a Pirate on Feb. 21st

  17. Dejan, I know you can’t possibly read every other article out there by other outlets about the Pirates, but I thought you’d appreciate the New York Post’s story about the Burnett deal likely coming down to just the Bucs, as other teams pulled out.

    Why?

    Because, as typical in NY media, they clearly did little research about the Pirates, as evidenced by this quote:
    “Burnett would be the Pirates’ No. 2 starter behind Kevin Correia and ahead of the oft-injured Erik Bedard.”

    Correia is the No. 1? Really? Does he know that? (We won’t touch the fact that they couldn’t just write Erik Bedard w/o saying ‘oft-injured’, even if it’s accurate)

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/yankees/only_one_place_for_to_land_HrUn4rKnMpvWbCjc4rAzXM#ixzz1mdymsIYW

  18. Who cares if Huggins’ comment was a dig at the Pirates. When you lose 82+ games a year for 20 straight years you are always in the line of fire. Maybe Jaime Dixon should say in his presser that “can’t make the tournament when over the last 15 games you have a winning percentage like the Pirates.”

    DK, I would agree with you on the turnovers. Pitt plays like a team in a rec league that all-of-the-sudden plays against kids who played in college. All of the sudden you just can’t settle down and start making passes without really looking. How many times did Woodall pass to Gibbs when Gibbs was guarded? I count 3x and all led to layups. They just play with such a panic. Relax and back door. We haven’t backed door’d anyone all year and the D severely overplays.

    Burnett would be a nice addition and if he pitches well we might be able to get a decent prospect for him in July

    What is the definition of exclusive? Is it exclusive if a reporter sits on 1-on-1 with a subject or is it exclusive if you are the only one to get the interview? I think I read the same story on Rooney somewhere else this morning

  19. Excellent column. Couldn’t really tell if it was written by Neal, Frank or Billy Beane. Thanks for the great insight. I still say Free Brad Lincoln. They draft a guy number one, coddle him through immediate surgery from being over-used in college, bring him up the same time as Strasburg hits the majors, then use him like Pedro Ciraco. Let him pitch. I couldn’t be more relaxed.

  20. That video of Carter reminded me of Doumit.

  21. Amen, Dejan re: your comments on Gary Carter. One of those good old fashioned baseball players that we don’t always see these days. A solid guy. And, I am in total agreement with you on the Steelers. I think this team needs Dad (Dan) back in the office somehow, someway. I am not liking the past couple years what Art has been doing.

    Ahhh…baseball is back with us once again! Have a great weekend everyone…

  22. Very good article on Burnett.
    Most of it should not need to be said, but there you go.
    I am amazed how little Pittsburgh fans know about Burnett. It’s pretty obvious that most folks around here do not follow baseball too closely outside of the Pirates. All the points you mention in the article are common knowledge to anyone who has followed Burnett since he was drafted.

    The whole bit about the home-run happy new yankee ballpark is obvious stuff too, for any competent fantasy leaguer. Burnett has had a lot of bad luck the past two years. Before that, he has been one of the most consistent ace pitchers in the majors. Getting out of that park and off that team will do wonders for him.

    The majority of Yankee fans who comment around on different websites also show that they don’t follow to closely the ‘whys’ of Burnett’s recent adversity. They just know that he hasn’t pitched great. In this case I am pleased that they don’t know how good Burnett is, and how lucky their other pitchers have been.

    I am most excited to have him around Gerrit Cole & Jameson Taillon. I hope they keep him beyond the 2 years, but I fear his price will go way up before then.

  23. I hope next time (whenever it is), Huggs can say “Well, at least we were like the Pirates: great in the 2nd half.”

  24. “I can’t begin to tell you how much my image of the Steelers has changed the past few months.”

    Dejan, I hope that hint is the foreshadowing of a future column in which you tell us how your image has changed, and where you think they have landed. Agree or disagree, that would be interesting. Just as that tease, without telling, is, well, a tease.

    And I suspect there would be some of both from your blogging readership, agreement and disagreement, which also makes for interesting days in here.

  25. And regarding TODAY’S column, I agree with the points you have raised, both about AJ as well as the reaction of the fan base.

    See? Not very interesting.

    Darn. Much more fun when you’re taking cheap shots at a new offensive coordinator or something.

    (There. See?)

  26. I don’t really get the “free Brad Lincoln” stance. He hasn’t exactly been knocking down the door in AAA forcing the Pirates to promote him.

  27. Geez, I sure hope you are right, Dejan, because you are putting your credibility as a columnist on the line with today’s column. I think a lot of us our skeptical because of the twitter era we live in. A lot in the national media had Cespedes going to Miami-ends up with Oakland. A lot said no way St. Louis could let Pujols go. More had several teams, but not Detroit, in the Fielder discussion. In your words, “I could do this all day.”

    I trust you and your reliance on your sources so I’m guessing the negotiations are at a no turning back stage. But I will continue to respect the specter of “mystery team.” As Milo eloquently put it “The Mystery Team is having a good off-season.” I will give you this, it takes guts to hook your your reputation star to the Pirates’ front office.

    Have a great weekend, Dejan and everybody else. And to all us baseball fans: Happy New Year!

  28. Chris,
    Lincoln has pitched well in AAA. Not lights out, but dominant at times. Just messin’ with the stance, but still can’t see the money spent on A.J. at this point. If we’re gonna grow our own, we need to reap sometime.

  29. DK:

    Please listen to the clip of Huggie Bear regarding the Pirates “throwing the ball around the infield…” (after an out) is in the sound bite too. That makes the comment imho to be harmless.

  30. Yeah, things have really changed with the Steelers. I guess I was just imagining Dan Rooney insisting that his 4 time Super Bowl winning coach fire his offensive coordinator after the 1991 season. Rather than fire Joe Walton, Chuck Noll quit. My memory must be hazy.

  31. Burnett also pretty much crashed and burned in the second half last year. I know that people want to short-circuit the analysis by resort to indicators like K rates or advanced metrics, but I’m just not sure how predictive those are when you have a statistical outlier like Burnett.

  32. DK-

    I think you are right; I sense an intergenerational weakening of the spine in the Rooney clan.

  33. OshGoshJohn – To be fair to Dejan (and it is NO FUN being fair to Dejan), in my book, being wrong on a prediction doesn’t blow someone’s credibility. It just makes someone wrong on a prediction.

    From my perspective, credibility goes to things like character, not predictions.

    But what do EYE know? The only character in me is Elmer Fudd.

  34. I wouldn’t even say that Burnett crashed and burned in the whole second half. If you look at his stats, he crashed and burned in August. If you take out his August #s (30 ER in 22 IP), you get a roughly 4.20 ERA. If you could get a 4.20 ERA pitcher for 5out of 6 months of the year for roughly $7.5M, that isn’t the worst deal the Bucs could make.

  35. @drew

    Credibility?

    This is the same guy who predicted the Pirates would hit, Steelers would win, Gore would beat Bush, Pirates charities sign would be dedicated as National Landmark, Lebron James would stay in Cleveland, and Martin would be traded for Nash.

    What credibility?!

    Enjoyed the column, DK.

  36. ONLY ONE DAY UNTIL PITCHERS AND CATCHERS REPORT TO SPRING TRAINING!!!

    Groat, I hope you’re having fun…maybe you can buy me a beer? =)

  37. Yea, you may be correct, Drew. It’s just that Dejan wrote in unconditional language. “This will happen.” He also set out details of what the resolution will likely be (as if he had talked to a person in the know-which I’m sure he did). It seem to me that the tone of the column went beyond mere prediction or speculation.

    And, hey, character and me don’t always get along. My wife would say that the only character in me is protracted adolescence.

  38. Haha you guys, I love it when you beat up on DK…keep up the good work!

  39. NMR,
    I agree with Drew, DK is a character. A credible character. Not Elmer Fudd, like Drew, more like Jimmy Olsen or even Clark Kent.

  40. NationalRecordMart – Well. When you put it THAT way…

    Oshie – In my case, no protraction. “Protracted” sorta implies it might end sometime. And besides. I never could use those dang things in geometry class.

    JandyMan – I thought I was being nice. Was that mean? I so hate to be mean.

  41. LuckyStrike: Wrong character. As someone tweeted,”Come and kneel before Zod! Zod!”

    (Though Dwight Shrute works too.)

  42. Drew ~ nah, not mean at all. You guys beat him up in a fun way….now, if you’d ignore him, THAT would be mean.
    It’s Jandy(girl), I’m not a dude ;)
    But I love hangin on here with you guys cuz I learn so much…and hey, you all kill me lol.

  43. My apologies to my beloved eighth grade English teacher, Mrs. Timmons, wherever you are, for the egregious errors in my post. Few things derail an argument like sloppy proof reading. I hate making slopy errers!

    And Jandy-I could never “beat up” on Dejan. I am a meager Padawan to Obi Wan Kovacevic.

  44. DK, according to the stat guys at katron.org, all but one or two of the hr’s Burnett gave up at the new Yankee Stadium would have also gotten out of PNC (http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/2012/02/how-well-could-aj-do-in-pittsburgh-38574), with several leaving the stadium.

    I still think he could help us out. If the Yanks pay $20M or more, and we don’t give much in return, I like it. But I also think we need realistic expectations. This is AJ Burnett, not Roy Halladay. If he costs $6M/year and wins 12-13 games, the Bucco FO can consider this a (rare) trade “win”.

  45. JohnOshKosh, we all beat DK up at one time or another, but he handles it so well.
    All Hail Obi Wan Kovacevic!

  46. Dejan, you DO KNOW that AJ’s Home/Away splits were 2 RUNS HIGHER away from Yankee stadium?
    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/6314/splits

    I DON’T WANT HIM!!

  47. Dejan–as I’m not a stats geek (only the 2nd part of the statement is accurate:)), the last stat you showed…taking the ballpark out of the equation. I’m assuming that means how the team behind the pitcher plays. Is that something that would go up or down with the Pirates behind him as opposed to the Yankees?

  48. @Patton

    Thanks for the good ballpark info. People tend to look at the amount of homeruns hit at Yankee Stadium and automatically stamp it as a bandbox. What they conveniently leave out is the Yankee lineup. PNC Park & Yankee Stadium’s dimensions are very comparable. And I dare say, If the Yankees played in PNC, more homers would be hit there than at Yankee Stadium.

  49. On my #45, it wasn’t that much better last year, either!

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/6314/splits;_ylt=AkjGcR0RVCueWSMCE1kmRTiFCLcF?year=2010&type=Pitching

    Just say NO!!! to AJ.

    Foo

    ……..

  50. Buster Olney reports that the trade will be on the Commissioner’s desk by the close of business today.

  51. Regarding Brad Lincoln……..5 of his last 7 starts were Quality Starts where he gave up 2 runs or less.

    I would rather see him than AJ in my rotation.

  52. Foo, you’re the man!

    Man Foo

  53. Brad Lincoln stinks.

  54. You must be the real Milo. The one that’s retiring at age 1138.

  55. “It’s Jandy(girl), I’m not a dude”

    Just one of the boys. (In a good way)

    MY prediction:
    1) Deal done today
    2) Budster rejects it. Just cause he can. And it’s him.
    3) Back to the drawing board…reworked…done mid next week.

    And there goes MY credibility.

    - Elmer

  56. @Lucky

    That’s 1136, get it right. But seriously, “stinks” was too strong. But the Brad Lincoln love is killing me. He’s Daniel McCutchen. Destined for non pressure bullpen situations, at best.

    Holy Toledo !

  57. I’m with Milo. I’m trying to ween myself off the prospects Kool-Aid. It will be nice to have a bona fide major league pitching acquisition this off season.

  58. Inside the A.J. Burnett dealings… the lighter side of things.

    http://gobuccos.com/gobuccos/inside-the-a-j-burnett-negotiations

  59. BadgerinOshkosh,
    Bygosh, Burnett is older than Barry Alvarez. I’d rather have Alvarez pitch for the Bucs than Burnett. Wasn’t he from Burgettstown?

  60. I dunno, Lucky. Camp Randall is a bit of a bandbox so Bare’s splits might be skewed. But, yes, he is from the Commonwealth. I love Fridays.

  61. JandyDudette–I think Groat2Maz is a dudette also. (If not, I’m in big trouble).

    I want them to sign AJ just so Foo can complain all year about him (or at least till July 31st). Take some of the heat off Hurdle, who he also doesn’t like.

    Lincoln? C’mon. He wasn’t terrible last year, but his performance sure didn’t cry out for “Why isn’t he in the rotation permanently?” At this point his # 1 draft status is irrelevant (except maybe to a Neal clone who loves those former # 1 picks that haven’t lived up to expectations). I don’t know, obviously, how this will all turn out, but I like the approach, started with letting Ronny go, of “we just aren’t good enough” instead of “all our guys are OK.”

  62. Lincoln is unproven…neither great nor stinks. Yet. It will come out.

    In 2011, leaving out bull pen appearances, he started 8 games at the end of the season. 5 “Quality Starts” (6.0 innings) to start his roll. Then he appeared to wear down. His last three: 5.1, 1.2 and 5.0 Innings.

    His only terrible start was the 1.2, in which he gave up 6 runs.

    Overall, as a starter, 4.36 ERA in those 8 starts. Only one lousy start. Two ok and 5 pretty good. This is NOT fair or accurate, but if you take away the one bad start, his remaining 7 starts: 3.14 ERA.

    For a young guy, those numbers are promising. At least hopeful. The fact that he appeared to fade a bit at the end, if anything, helps his case.

    But it was ONLY 8 starts in 2011. Not an answer one way or another. From what I saw with my own eyes, i would GUESS that he turns out to be neither great nor a schlump. But a typical 3-4 starter.

    But repeat after me…IT WAS ONLY 8 STARTS.

  63. and somebody wake up Dejan.

    we can only poke the bear for so long

  64. AW,
    No, Lincoln isn’t Strasburg, but he didn’t give up 31 home runs last year at any level. I’d still rather sign Barry Alvarez and that’s something coming from an Ohio State fan.
    I’ll be complaining with Foo, but I’ll be Burnett’s biggest fan if he starts 8-0. With our opening month schedule, he’ll probably be 0-4 by May.

  65. Why shouldn’t Burnett’s numbers improve at PNC?

    Heck, all of the opposing pitchers’ numbers do when they pitch there…

  66. “I can’t begin to tell you how much my image of the Steelers has changed the past few months.”

    Not sure what has changed about the Steeler’s – the Rooneys have previously forced the head coach to change coordinators (even forcing a hall-of-fame head coach to retire over this issue) and they do that only occasionally – they have hardly become Jones/Synder

    He may seem weird but the Haley hiring reminds me of Cowher hirings (head coach not afraid to take a strong personality as a coordinator) and the Tomlin hiring (a candidate not expected to get the job knocks it out of the park in the interview) – this was Tomlin’s call and it will be his job to make it work.

    I think the 24/7, 365 days, all football, all the time has warped the discussion – the teeth knashing about when/if Ben and Todd meet in February is crazy – the play-calling in December/January in the red-zone and the last two minutes of actual games is what really matters and a major reason that the Steeler’s don’t have 7 Super Bowl titles and 9 Super Bowl appearances.

  67. “It’s Jandy(girl), I’m not a dude”
    Just one of the boys. (In a good way)

    Thanks Drew, I take that as a compliment =)

    “JandyDudette–I think Groat2Maz is a dudette also. (If not, I’m in big trouble).
    Well, then Arriba, we’ll just have to go have a beer together! I’m a fan of Yeunglings.

    Drew, he sure seems preoccupied today eh? DK??? Where are you?

  68. Quick Quiz……in their last two full years of starting, who had the better ERA? Duke or Burnett. If you said Zach, you win the prize.

    Does that put his “K-ness” into perspective now?

    Foo

  69. #63…..Funny remark. Loved it!!

  70. One of the best parts of this blog is that nobody tries to “one up” each other. Pretty rare for sports talk.

    Be sure that the blog demeanor stems from the captain of the ship, himself. See the responses from last night as proof.

  71. On #62,,,,,,,,Can Barry play 3b?

  72. On #60,,,,,,,,Drew…….8 starts is a, uh, start

    Start(led) Foo

    And will someone PLEASE wake up Dejan?

  73. @Foo

    This is off the subject, but as A Penn Stater maybe you can help me out. When PSU beat the thug Miami team for the National Championship, who was their QB ? I say John Shaffer.

  74. Foo,
    Barry may have arthritis in his hands at his age, but they’re probably not as stiff as the other Alvarez….. I know about board hands. I’m about Barry’s age.

  75. DK:As I posted the other day “the Yankee stadium is a bandbox” and thus responsible for Burnett’s bad numbers last year is just not supported by the numbers. I will reveal some of my inner geek to show why.

    Yankee Stadium HR/AB percentage is 4.4%. His line against was 241/316/441; 4.42 ERA; 1.30WHIP;

    Away games HR/AB percentage is 4.3%. His line against was 287/370/497; 6.28 ERA; 1.63WHIP

    He had much better numbers in the “bandbox” of Yankee Stadium than on the road.

  76. “I can’t begin to tell you how much my image of the Steelers has changed the past few months.”

    In what way Dejan? I’m assuming you mean for the worse?

    My assumption is that things have been handled this way in the past but this particular instance left ownership with egg on their faces. Still, I don’t think that’s enough to change my view of them. Not whatsoever. Not saying you don’t have a valid point, just wanted to get your full aspect.

  77. 70.NMR
    Feb One of the best parts of this blog is that nobody tries to “one up” each other. Pretty rare for sports talk.

    Be sure that the blog demeanor stems from the captain of the ship, himself. See the responses from last night as proof.

    hell yeah!

  78. @Absolute59

    Yankee Stadium HR/AB percentage is 4.4%. His line against was 241/316/441; 4.42 ERA; 1.30WHIP;

    Away games HR/AB percentage is 4.3%. His line against was 287/370/497; 6.28 ERA; 1.63WHIP

    Again, I’m going to look at his August #s. They were absolutely terrible. Nowhere close to his #s the other months. 4 of his 5 games that month were on the road, so I think that makes his road #s look worse. He just stunk in August, plain and simple, and I don’t think the stadiums he played in had anything to do with it. If you take that month out, I think his home and away #s are pretty similar.

    I don’t think the stadium had anything to do with his numbers, and I don’t think leaving Yankee stadium (on it’s own) will do anything to change his numbers. I think the fact that the line ups in the NL Central are so much less potent than the line ups in the AL East will have a much bigger impact, so I actually think will be fine if (when) the trade does happen and he joins the Pirates.

  79. The All-Star link is priceless. I could watch that throw by the Cobra 100 times and still not believe it.

  80. Think about that throw–Parker had to throw it with perfect strength and perfect direction. A lot of players can do one of the two but few can do both.

  81. Burnett deal on last leg of its journey, From MLB “MLB Network’s Ken Rosenthal reported on Friday that the Yankees and Pirates have agreed on parameters and now plan to take the deal to the Commissioner’s Office for approval, as required because of the amount of money changing hands.”

  82. @JAL another Stranglers fan? Besides myself, I didn’t know many existed. Any Ramones, Clash, Replacements fans here?

    I think we have to keep Burnett in perspective, and I didn’t mind how DK wrote the column today at all. There are good reasons to think he may help the Bucs. He might flame out too, but what is lost if he does? I’m no fan of the GMTIB, but doing something is better than doing nothing. Free agents won’t sign here.

  83. CWalton

    Have several Stranglers albums. Probably around 90% of the songs I use for the links title are in my music collection.

  84. @CWalton-I grew up in the upper middle west. The Mats, Husker Du and Soul Asylum (pre-major label) form the Holy Trinity of power trios. Huge fan-saw them in various Midwest bars throughout the early and late 80′s. As for the Clash-my Beatles.

    Another reason to love this blog. So many music lovers, from all genres.

  85. JAL:

    Follow your morning music link religiously. You must have a whole room to house your collection.

  86. @JohninOshKosh Husker Du one of my favs as well. Great band that never got enough credit, but like the Ramones, a major influence on others.

    Looks like the Burnett deal is done, just as DK predicted.

    Also, for those complaining about Art Rooney II, I invite you to see Jones, Jerry.

  87. JohninOshkosh

    They don’t take up that much space. About half LPs and the other half CDs

  88. Word is Diego Moreno will be one player going to the Yankees. Hs a good arm, is wild, and failed when promoted to AA so was sent back to A.Turns 26 in July.

  89. Hmmm…new article on Trib main page about interview with Art II…says he didn’t hire Haley, Tomlin did…go figure!

  90. Dejan has a new thread up on Burnett

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