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Wakeup Call: A whole lot of nothing

.

Brief and to the Point …

>> A question before we get started: Who is Pittsburgh’s best current coach/manager?

>> I wrote a week ago from Buffalo that the Penguins shouldn’t make any moves, then on Monday that they wouldn’t make any moves. And, wow, nothing at all about that changed yesterday. That might have been the biggest dud of any trade deadline ever.

Unless you count Nashville finding a second Kostitsyn. (There’s got to be a country song in that tale.)

I’ll say it a third and final time: Teams that make moves because they feel some kind of public pressure to do so, those are losers. It just doesn’t work.

The Penguins, as currently constituted, could stand to gain a superstar center and a 20-goal support guy. Sidney Crosby and Tyler Kennedy would do. A checking center would have been nice, especially if the team bumps up Jordan Staal to a scoring line, but seeing the Predators give up a first-round pick for Paul Gaustad from Buffalo … wow, no thanks.

The blue line could have used a big body, but that need would be immensely diminished if NHL officiating director Terry Gregson is transported back from 1995 and sees that obstruction is back.

>> I’ll give Columbus credit, too, for hanging onto Rick Nash. But man, it’s hard to believe that Scott Howson, one of the league’s youngest GMs, had the fortitude to pull that off. This has Craig Patrick’s fingerprints all over it.

Patrick, for those who don’t know, was hired recently as Howson’s senior adviser.

>> I’ll be working on some college hoops for tomorrow’s column. And yes, for those of you cynics who doubted this, that soccer column will run. And it’ll run sooner than most of you would like.

Comments

  1. aglebagel says:

    I realize his stock has never been lower, but I’ve still got to go with Jamie Dixon as best coach in town, with both Tomlin and Bylsma close behind. It’s really splitting hairs with all three of these guys, considering that each is among the best in their respective sports, but I think my admiration of Dixon comes from the feeling that he is more responsible for his program’s success than the other two.

  2. mayhay22 says:

    Bylsma

  3. pgherinfl says:

    Two words on the coach: Dan Bylsma!!!
    What’s soccer? Just kidding!!!!!!!

  4. Hooco01 says:

    Mike Tomlin. Not even close.

  5. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    Keep an eye on that Nashville hockey team… they just might make it to the Western Conference finals.

  6. Jandy says:

    aglebagel, you mentioned on another post that you are on tour…what do you do? Just curious.

    Best coach in Pittsburgh? Bylsma…hands down.

    He’s led the Pens thru 2 seasons of a gazillion man games lost and we’re competitive. Neither Dixon nor Tomlin have done that. Not takin anything away from either of them, jsut sayin. ;)

  7. Jandy says:

    Dave G, as long as the K brothers don’t screw each other up, I fully expect Nashville to make a good push for it this spring.

  8. JAL says:

    JAL’s Just My Imagination 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

  9. JAL says:

    PIRATE BLOGS

    5—Pirates Prospects

    McCutchen Learned From Ups and Downs to Get Stronger

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/02/mccutchen-learned-from-ups-and-downs-to-get-stronger.html

    Competition At First Can Fuel Guys Forward

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/02/competition-at-first-can-fuel-guys-forward.html

    6 Rumbunter

    Nick Evans Plays Third Base

    http://rumbunter.com/2012/02/27/nick-evans-plays-third-base/

    Video: Pirates Erik Bedard Throws Batting Practice

    http://rumbunter.com/2012/02/28/video-pirates-erik-bedard-throws-batting-practice/

  10. JAL says:

    7 Change for a Nickel

    High camp, lowdown, Feb. 27: Pie? Bye!

    http://tomsinger.mlblogs.com/2012/02/27/high-camp-lowdown-feb-27-pie-bye/

    8 Hyzdu Headquarters

    The X Factor

    http://hyzduhq.blogspot.com/2012/02/x-factor.html

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES

    9 Bradenton Herald

    Pirates’ Morton says he’s driven to do better

    http://www.bradenton.com/2012/02/28/3905236/pirates-morton-says-hes-driven.html

    10 Washington Post

    People familiar with the process: Dodgers’ bidders cut to 7 for interviews with MLB

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals/person-familiar-with-the-process-dodgers-bidders-cut-to-7-for-interviews-with-mlb/2012/02/27/gIQAvjSbeR_story.html

  11. JAL says:

    11 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    MLB drug process designed to prevent tampering

    http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/140591403.html

    12 USA Today

    Fenway at 100: Boston landmark is born

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/al/redsox/story/2012-01-03/creation-of-fenway-park/53270848/1

    13 Tampa Bay Business Journal

    Pittsburgh Mayor Ravenstahl to meet with Bradenton civic, business leaders

    http://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/news/2012/02/27/pittsburgh-mayor-ravenstahl-to-meet.html

    14 Philadelphia Inquirer

    Inside the Phillies: Schmidt says current Phillies era is the best

    http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/140664623.html

    15 Baseball Nation

    Inconsequential Spring Training Tweets, And A Man’s Descent Into Delirium

    http://mlb.sbnation.com/2012/2/27/2821553/the-least-consequential-spring-training-tweets-of-2012

  12. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    19 Behind the Steel Curtain

    2012 NFL Scouting Combine: Hightower Interviewed with Steelers, Speculation Surrounds Burfict

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/2/27/2827564/2012-nfl-scouting-combine-hightower-interviewed-with-steelers

    2012 NFL Scouting Combine: Eyes will be on Memphis NT Dontari Poe’s Workout

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/2/27/2827594/2012-nfl-scouting-combine-eyes-will-be-on-memphis-nt-dontari-poes

    2012 NFL Scouting Combine: Linebackers and Defensive Linemen Take the Stage

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/2/27/2827650/2012-nfl-scouting-combine-linebackers-defensive-linemen-steelers-2012-nfl-draft

    20 Steelers Depot

    - Comparisons Of Dontari Poe To Haloti Ngata Are Justified

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2012/02/comparisons-of-dontari-poe-to-haloti-ngata-are-justified/

    21 Steelers Gab

    Video: Schefter on the Steelers’ Offseason Issues

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2012/02/23/video-schefter-on-the-steelers-offseason-issues/

  13. JAL says:

    Pitt Blogs

    22 Pitt Blather

    Bollinger is Semi-Officially the QB Coach

    http://www.pittblather.com/2012/02/27/bollinger-is-semi-officially-the-qb-coach/

    23 Cardiac Hill

    The Week In Review: Catching Up On Pitt

    http://www.cardiachill.com/2012/2/27/2825816/the-week-in-review-catching-up-on-pitt

    WVU Blogs

    24 Metro News

    VIDEO: Mountaineer Player Interviews

    http://www.wvmetronews.com/wvu.cfm?func=displayfullstory&storyid=51220

    25 WV Illustrated

    Huggins Makes Final Four in Charity Challenge

    http://www.wvillustrated.com/story/17027097/huggins-makes-final-four-in-charity-challenge

    Former WVU Guard Alex Ruoff Rehabbing Torn ACL in Morgantown

    http://www.wvillustrated.com/story/17019624/former-wvu-guard-alex-ruoff-rehabbing-torn-acl-in-morgantown

  14. JAL says:

    Todays song Just my Imagination by The Cranberries, Irish group formed in 1989. Their latest album is due to be released this month.

  15. JD says:

    Mike Tomlin.

    No Soccer!!

  16. Milo Hamilton says:

    Has anyone noticed the low class move by the Miami Marlins ? The Mad Tweeter, Logan Morrison, requested to change his number to 5 to honor his late father. That should have been impossible, considering the number had been retired to honor former team president Carl Barger who died before the Marlins had even played a game. Not a problem for the classless Marlins. They un-retired the number & gave it to Morrison – without even discussing it with the Barger family. They said they couldn’t find any of Barger’s relatives. A reporter from one of the south Florida newspapers found Barger’s daughter, in about 5 minutes. She obviously wasn’t happy.

    Numbers are retired for a reason. What a joke.

  17. JAL says:

    Song link did not paste right–here is the correct link

  18. MPM says:

    How about Suzie McConnell-Serio?

  19. NMR says:

    A sure sign of ultimate boredom, I found myself watching the NFL Draft Combine last night while the defensive linemen were running the 40.

    All I could think is that Dontari Poe is not human. They do not make people that look like that.

  20. TJA says:

    We in Pittsburgh really are blessed to have good coaches for our sports. We see and hear crazy things across the country with teams, management and coaches. As it stands today for me…Blysma, Tomlin, Dixon and it’s still early yet on Hurdle, but I like him, and if he can (a really big word here) turn the Pirates around, he’d be #1. Blysma is just tremendous. The whole Pens organization is really tremendous. A class organization all the way around starting at the top w/Mario. Nice question to throw out to us Dejan.

  21. Jandy says:

    Milo, that is so sad. Showing such disrespect and disregard for the Bargers. Perhaps the fans should make some noise about it, or are they as classless as the team?

    NMR ~ Now you’re making me look up Dontari Poe…

  22. scapper says:

    NMR…wow, watching the combine? My sympathy. I’d be interested in a soccer column before I’d watch that.

    Or maybe not. What time is it on tonight?

  23. Jandy says:

    scapper ~ I said ^ there you mentioned being on tour…what do you do? If you don’t mind tellin, I’m just curious. =)

  24. Jandy says:

    Oopps sorry, that was agle bagel, not scapper, scapper’s the trooper ;)

  25. pattonbb says:

    My vote for best coach would be Bylsma, closely followed by Dixon, Tomlin 3rd. After this baseball season, I’ll feel more comfortable adding Clint’s name somewhere to the list, but for now the sample size is too small.

  26. pattonbb says:

    Milo, I just read an article about the Miami Maulers, er Marlins. Sounds like they actually approached Morrison with the idea. Pretty classless move in my opinion. Guess they’re hoping he’ll give them a discount for giving him the number.

  27. JAL says:

    Links 19 and 20 in post 13 have stories about Poe

  28. kurtzy8 says:

    I think TK is more of a 10-goal guy, if that… Last year, the only reason he put up 21 was because he had the benefit of a lot more ice time- more than any player of his ability should have had. He’s a marginal player with no nose for the net. The 2-year deal Shero signed him to this summer was terrible. We should have dumped him.

  29. NMR says:

    Thanks for the sympathies. It was a low that I’m not proud of.

    Anyways, Poe has a lower body that could substitute as the hind quarters of a horse. Closest thing to a living minotaur I’ve ever laid eyes on.

    It’s truly fascinating seeing some of these football players out of pads. Almost grotesque what they put their bodies through.

    ________________________________________

    My vote goes to Disco Dan, btw.

  30. wally says:

    Dixon. Head and shoulders above Bylsma, who is that far again above Tomlin.

  31. John Lease says:

    I wish the Pirates would un-retire #1. Billy Meyer did nothing to warrant that honor.

  32. Corey says:

    I’d vote for Bylsma. When Sid and Malkin were both out last season, the team was still very strong and competitive. Other coaches wouldn’t have been able to keep the team going like that.

  33. AJS says:

    If Dejan asks that question in early June 2011 I bet we all answer Clint Hurdle. Asking it at any other point has to lead to Dan Bylsma. The more I watch Steelers games the less i think Tomlin actually does. And sure Bylsma has a lot of talent to work with, but that talent has been often injured and they still find a way to play at a playoff caliber level. That beat up squad had no business playing as well as they did entering the playoffs last year. Yet there they were. It has got to be bylsma.

  34. Mosca says:

    Best coach in Pittsburgh is probably Thomas Jefferson football coach Bill Cherpak.

  35. PhillyJake says:

    Thinking about this, I’m reminded of something very early in Lloyd McClendon’s first season at the helm of the Pirates.

    Brian Giles was late in getting to spring training because of an injury. When he finally arrived, McClendon’s comment was “I just got smarter”

    There’s a certain abstractness to this question.

    How good would Bylsma look with out Geno & Sid? Tomlin without Ben?

    How much better would Hurdle have looked if Petey hit last year?

    Is Dixon that much worse of a coach this year vs. last year?

    Sometimes I think the job of the head coach/manager is to not muck things up and keep order more so than make a team better.

  36. Bizrow says:

    Dejan’s Lunatic Nation – at the Trib,

    Arizona – Tucson, Chandler

    Arkansas – Rogers

    Austrailia – Mackay

    California – Bakersfield, San Francisco, UNION CITY, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Hollywood, Huntington Beach, Yuba

    Colorado – Ft Collins, Estes Park

    Connecticut – Cos Cob, Bridgeport, Wallingford

    Costa Rica

    Delaware. Newark

    District of Columbia

    Florida – Palm Harbor, Orlando, Valrico, Gainesville, Daytona Beach, Oviedo, Tampa, Jacksonville

    Georgia – Marietta, Atlanta

    Germany – Leverkusen/Cologne

    Hawaii – Honolulu

    Idaho – Mountain Home, Coer d’Aline

    Indiana – Indianapolis, Burns Harbor

    Iowa – Bettendorf

    Illinois – La Salle, Peru, Payson, Chicago, Palatine (3 inmates there), Lincoln Park, Grayslake

    Japan – Tokyo

    Kentucky – Louisville, Bowling Green

    Louisiana – Slidell

    Maryland – Arnold, Odenton, Severn, Baltimore

    Massachusetts – Boston

    Michigan – Kalamazoo, Eaton Rapids, Lansing

    Mississippi – Biloxi

    Nebraska – Omaha

    New Hampshire – Barrington

    New Jersey – Chesterfield, Princeton, Roxbury, Lebanon

    New York – New York, Smithtown

    North Carolina – Asheville, Hickory, Charlotte, Raleigh, Charleston

    North Dakota

    Ohio – Cincinnati, Columbiana, Westerville, Green, Hilliard, Toledo, Louisville, Columbus, Perrysburg, Pickerington, Youngstown, Cleveland, Olmsted Township, Liberty Township

    Pennsylvania – Downtown, Hopewell, Indiana, North Wales, Franklin Park, Forest Hills, Lansdale, Philadelphia, DuBois, Reading, Crafton, Arnold, Wexford, Mt Lebanon, Canonsburg, Lancaster, Huntington, York, Boiling Springs, Philly suburbs, Morningside, Harrisburg, Lawrenceville, Bradfordwoods, Norristown, Hanover, Clearfield, Sewickley, DuBois, Plum Boro, Slippery Rock, Wilks-Barre, Sharpsville, Bessemer, Greensburg, Washington, Imperial, South Side, Duncansville, Newville, Sheppton

    The Phillipines

    South Carolina – Duncan, Longs, Columbia

    Tennessee – Smithville, Nashville

    Texas – Tyler, San Antonio, Belton

    Virginia – JAL, Hampton, Rescue, Richmond, Front Royal, Woodbridge, Suffolk, Warrenton, Springfield, Virginia Beach

    Washington – Seattle, Nine Mile Falls, Spokane, Sammamish

    West Virginia – Martinsburg, Morgantown

    Wisconsin – Madison, Oshkosh, Hortonville

    153 locations represented in the blog,

    2/28/12

    Just say hey from where you are

  37. CWalton_67 says:

    Close between Bylsma and Dixon on best coach. Dixon has a long history of excellence, but in the end, he team has not performed all that well on the biggest stage. Disco led his team to the most difficult trophy in sports. Edge: Bylsma. Tomlin not even part of the conversation.

    As far as Poe–humans do not routinely come in that size and capable of that speed. The likelihood that he hasn’t used performance enhancing drugs of some type is slim and none, with slim walking out the door.

    Dejan, you praised Howson for holding Nash, with credit to Craig Patrick for influencing the decision. Interested to know your thoughts on Howson then throwing Nash under the proverbial bus by later making the statement that Nash had asked to be traded?

  38. pgherinfl says:

    Bizrow,

    Add Sarasota, FL to the list. Just south of Pirate City!!!!

  39. Kevin says:

    Good question today… makes you realize how lucky Pittsburgh is on the coaching front once you think about the answer.

    1. Bylsma – with or without his superstars, he has this team playing exactly how HE wants them to play
    2. Jamie Dixon
    3. Mike Tomlin

    I know it’s not a “ranking” question…just sayin’.

  40. Milo Hamilton says:

    @pgherinfl

    Have you bumped into Dickie V. at The Broken Egg lately ?

  41. Ryan(Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Sarasota FL? I used to live south of there…..miss it.

    @Milo-Gene Lamont lives down there too…also Gary Thorne

  42. IC Heavy says:

    I think if you are looking at it from the outside you have to look at what the coach has to work with as well as how he/she organizes it. My point being that yes Bylsma has a lot of talent, but as many a team of talent has proven, they can be hard to work with. Bylsma seems to take these teams of superstars and make them work together and believe in his system. Dixon is similar, basketball and hockey coaches have less assistance than that of a football coach. At the same time Tomlin has to organize all of the input he gets from the assistant coaches into a coherent game plan that the team can execute. So, I guess my questions is, is this question to simple to answer without looking at all of the variables that all of the coaches have to examine? Or, is it which coach do you like the best? I think that the question is just to hard to answer, who do I like the best, it’s a tie between Bylsma, Dixon, and Tomlin because I can only judge them on what I see not on everything that their positions entail.

  43. Kevin says:

    @kurtzy

    Couldn’t agree more about TK. I have never been a big fan, but I think the money would have been better spent on keeping Max Talbot -

  44. radio wave says:

    I’m not sure who the best coach in Pittsburgh is.
    But isn’t it difficult to cmpare a college coach vs. a pro coach?

  45. Ryan(Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Post #21 by TJA, I 100% agree with this and couldn’t have said it better.

    From a coaching, non-manager standpoint, I would pick Ray Searage and Carnell Lake.

    What Searage has done with a fairly lame-duck pitching staff was just a shade off of genius.

    Carnell Lake taking a pretty weak cornerbacking squad and turning them into the #1 pass defense, was truely a sign of things to come for Carnell. I do believe he will take over as D-Coordinator when Dick Lebeau retires, if he ever does.

  46. Bizrow says:

    Dan Blysma, if only because he determines who is on the ice at a certain time, and he has most certainly gotten the team on the same page within his system.

    Dixon has done that in the past, but this year, uh-uh.

    Tomlin relies on his coaches to call plays

  47. Ryan(Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @radio wave- Not really, its all about production and squeezing the talent when there isn’t much to begin with.

  48. Bizrow says:

    Sarasota added, thanks

  49. jeffsbar says:

    1. Bylsma – 1 Cup, another Cup Final loss and team is consistently good even though team is constantly dealing with injuries. Moreso than most other NHL teams.

    2. Tomlin – 1 Ring, another Super Bowl loss and team is consistently good and has also dealt with several injuries to stars and some off the field issues.

    3. Dixon – This is his first down year so it’ll be interesting to see how he rebounds next year. His teams are usually very good, but he has been unable to produce when it really counts.

  50. Arriba Wilver says:

    radio–”But isn’t it difficult to cmpare a college coach vs. a pro coach?”

    Excellent point.

    There was a thing on the Fan yesterday about what was the best Shero midseason trade, which was kind of interesting. I was curious what DK thought. Cook said it was the Hossa trade (including the other guys involved), but did acknowledge the Guerin pickup as being very important also.

  51. stewart says:

    Bylsma is best coach. Jamie Dixon’s knock is he doesn’t win the big ones in the NCAA tournament.

  52. AJS says:

    @jeffsbar…Bylsma was not the coach when the Pens lost to the Wings. that was Therrien. Bylsma took over in February of the following year when the Pens were teatering on the brink of not even making the playoffs. After the change they went on a tear and the rest is history.

  53. AJS says:

    I think Shero’s best trade was for Kunitz and Tangradi. Tangradi is turning out a bust, but Kunitz is so much more than expected. Not a flashy scorer but one of those key gritty guys that can chip in 15-20 a season if needed. Before all of this is over we may be talking about it being James Neal, even if he didn’t produce in the actual trade year.

    To say it is Hossa at first blush seems obsurd to me but upon further inspection might be valid. He was a rental player that they thought they could resign. He played OK in the playoffs and then bolted town. Didn’t win the cup. Never again contributes to the team. BUT, if they don’t trade for him and fall on their face in round one, the groundwork is not laid for a trip back to the finals teh next year. the confidence is not built. So it may in fact be the most important trade Shero ever made, and I questioned him for it at the time thinking the team was still a year away from being able to make a run.

  54. Nate says:

    Re: Bizrow #37

    Don’t forget Denver!

  55. JohninOshkosh says:

    Pirate Countdown

    4 Days Until First Spring Training Game
    37 Days Until Opening Day

    11 days until start of MLS Season (just kidding, that is a nod to DK’s impending soccer column)

    Thirty seven days until the greatest game devised by human thought (with the exception of perhaps Axis and Allies) returns to Pittsburgh.

    Countdown Question of the Day: Since, for me anyway, the beauty of baseball derives from the defense controlling the ball and the overriding importance of pitching, I’ll commence the countdown with a pitching question:

    Who will lead the Pirates in wins?

    Ever the optimist, I say Bedard remains healthy and pitches himself to a nice new contract to lead the Buccos in wins. I’ll put the over/under at 14 (not that I condone gambling in any fashion).

    On a serious note, has Groat posted anything since ending the spring training countdown? Please post something to let us know you are O.K. Seriously.

  56. Jandy says:

    JohninOshKosh, hey now, *I* finished the spring training countdown =)
    Groat suggested in the goodbye/till later post that it would be nice if someone (Jandy) would continue with the countdown. Even tho baseball is my third favorite sport, I obligingly did the countdown. I hereby relinquish the countdown till opening day to you, tho, John, so keep up the good work =)

    AJS ~ Shero’s trade for Kunitz was indeed one of the best. Tangradi was thrown in. He’s still young, so I’m not yet ready to throw in the towel on him yet….not yet. Look how long it took Ryan Malone to ‘bloom’. It takes power forwards a while. But yeah, Kunitz does so much and is really underappreciated. Good call.

  57. CWalton_67 says:

    @John– A.J. going out on a big limb here–16. Wishful thinking perhaps, but there is just something about this guy, and the situation that tells me he might have some success here.

  58. JohninOshkosh says:

    Jandy:

    I know you finished the countdown. Did it well too. Meant to say has Groat posted anything since taking off to FLA?

  59. Jandy says:

    JohninOshKosh…no and I’m not sure why…nope all is ok :/

  60. Jandy says:

    err that was hope. darn keys…

  61. Jandy says:

    “Groat2Maz2Strangeglove
    February 10th, 2012 – 9:25 am Folks, I’m into the car to wend my way to Spring Training. I have to be back to work on Ash Wednesday so I will only get appetizers while in Bradenton. ”

    Ash Wednesday was LAST Wednesday…

  62. JaxBuc says:

    That is more than a little worrisome. If anyone knows G2M2S, please ask him to check in. We are concerned.

  63. Dan1283 says:

    RE: Best coach? I’d say Dan Bylsma or Jamie Dixon. Probably Bylsma. I am giving Dixon a total mulligan on this season, but never getting to the Final Four versus Bylsma winning a Cup is the difference.

    I am seriously ready for some daily baseball games. Wake up, go to work, read about the game at lunch, go home, meet the boys at the pub for the game. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    Missing being at spring training this year, Dejan? Family abscences aside, for the month of March f you lived alone and had no children, would you enjoy covering the everyday stuff with the column up here, covering the Penguins, or being in spring training with the Bucs?

  64. JohninOshkosh says:

    Dan:

    You just described the ideal day. Damn having kids.

  65. Bizrow says:

    Denver is in the hopper, thanks

  66. Kevin says:

    Josh –

    It’s pretty nice when we can even consider having one starter win more than 10-11. Your bringing up that question might make some believe that there will be…wait, make that MIGHT be, 2 or 3 giving us at least 12-14 wins. I like Bedard as well, but Burnett and (fingers crossed) Karstens might be able to give him a run (if healthy, naturally).

    REALLY looking forward to this season…and I will be there OPENING DAY!! First time since the Bonds era that I will attend an opening day.

  67. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    Best coach: Dan Bylsma, who came in and totally revamped and taught a system that reflects his dynamic approach toward the game. Bylsma’s system has brought continued success despite a mountain of injuries and some shortcomings as far as personnel.

    Mike Tomlin is a good head coach but he inherited a great team of assistants, including one of the best defensive coordinators in the NFL. I see Tomlin’s role as more of an administrative delegator than as a true coaching influence.

    Clint Hurdle has a great baseball mind and is very effective at public-relations aspects of his job, but I’ve yet to see him passionately motivate his players, nor have I seen evidence that the hitting instruction that he was famous for with previous teams is being reflected as an offensive improvement with the Pirates. He strikes me as a ‘fatherly’-type of figure.

    I’m not a basketball fan, so I have no opinion on Jamie Dixon whatsoever.

  68. Ryan(Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I have no idea how anybody, including myself missed this…….but the best coach in Pittsburgh is……….Dick Lebeau.

    DK: Tim Tebow agrees.

  69. Since Dejan has us talking about coaches today, here’s a couple things I enjoyed about Clint Hurdle 10 days ago in Bradenton:

    1/ The Wednesday before pitchers and catchers, Casey McGeheeheehee showed up, and since Pedro was taking all the grounders at 3rd, Casey was sent over to share 1st Base with Matt Hague (Jones wasn’t there until the next day.) As Casey took his first throw over from Pedro, Hurdle walked out on the field and asked to see McGeheeheehee’s glove. It was obviously a 3rd baseman/infielder’s glove. Hurdle, who was carrying a 1st baseman mitt (I thought he was going to give it to Casey), instead told McGeheeheehee to take grounders with Matt Hague, while Hurdle would receive all the throws at 1st from Pedro. The next time McGeheeheehee was out on the field, he brought both gloves!

    2/ As Pedro began to field grounders and throw over (of the 200-300 grounders I saw him field in a week, I never saw Pedro bobble one with his glove), he bounced his third and fourth throws over, and his 5th was over Hurdle’s head. Hurdle never moved to try and field any of them! Then . . . . Hurdle stepped off first and yelled to Pedro: “If you hit me in the chest, I’ve never missed one yet! Hit me in the chest!” Pedro did not make a bad throw the rest of the day.

    Good coaching! No yelling.

  70. Kevin says:

    Welcome back Groat

  71. Ryan(Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @John- Hard to argue Bedard as long as he stays healthy, but in the spirit and to be different, I’ll go with JMac. I really do think that if this guy can stretch it out and get some quality starts under his belt, he will be a awesome starting pitcher. The guy seems to have the pitches in the arsonal, but maybe not the stamina. I can’t figure it out, but when HE does, he’ll be pretty dominating pitcher, especially with that Uncle Charlie he thows…vicious.

  72. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    WB, Groat!

  73. JohninOshkosh says:

    GROAT!!!!!

  74. NMR says:

    The human double play returns!

  75. JohninOshkosh says:

    Ryan-

    From your lips to God’s ear…..Bedard has a nasty bender too. It will be fun to watch.

  76. Ryan(Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    John, very true and not arguing that at all….I like a healthy Bedard over a healthy Maholm. This rotation has upgraded, for sure. But Bedard’s health is ALWAYS an issue, so we’ll see. Comeback player of the year?

  77. Jandy says:

    GROAT! Welcome back :)

  78. Oshkoshb’gosh, Jandy, Jaxbucco, and friends,

    Thanks for missing me. Been so busy catching up at work, catching up with reading here, and emptying my cat’s litter box (I think he had friends over while I was gone!) I haven’t had time to concentrate/comment.

    Oshkoshb’gosh, You go with that countdown until Opening Day!!!!
    Don’t forget———11 days until Dejan’s clock is wrong!!

    JAL, I was smiling and humming “Just My Imagination” by the Temptations until you broke my reverie with the Cranberries. Cute song that I’ve heard before, but the Temps’ song is class-ss-ss!

    Jandy, Thanks for keeping the countdown going! The only way I could have had a better time at Spring Training is if Pirates would have allowed me to shag flies in the outfield. (or, if Brooklyn Decker had gone to Anna Maria Island with me, but that goes without saying!). I DID shag flies in the parking lot behind right field and caught 2 balls by Garrett Jones!

    Dejan——NO SOCCER!! Write a book instead!!

  79. Jandy says:

    @ Ryan ~ LeBeau for Prez…but not best coach ;)

  80. Dave G in Cincy, Kevin, NMR,

    Great to be back among my looney tune friends!

    Kevin, I’m already smiling for you having the opportunity to be there Opening Day!

  81. Ryan(Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Jandy- My arguement is first, not including the managers or head coaches, obviously, but is this: what he has done year in and year out with injuries, offensive adjustments, free agency, and everything else that goes into play. He has been a the rock with the Steelers defense. just my thoughts though….

  82. Ryan(Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Oh and of course, has kept the Steelers D in the top 5 over the years…..there’s a reason for that and I think its his abilities and coaching style that makes this defense what it is…remember, Tomlin’s a 4-3 guy.

  83. Jandy says:

    Ryan, and you’re absolutely right…but I’ll still take Bylsma…but that’s just me being a puckhead ;)

  84. Jandy says:

    Groat, did you get Jones to autograph one????

  85. Jandy says:

    And speaking of missing people…where is Foo?????????????

  86. Bizrow says:

    Foo is around, just pretty active at the “other” place today

  87. No autographs. I thought about it, but Dejan told us a few weeks ago NOT to go for autographs and I always listen to the Head Therapist in the looney bin.

  88. Jandy says:

    Thanks Biz!

    Groat, oh always listen to the Head Therapist ;)

  89. Ryan(Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    And I won’t argue Bylsma either, but I’m not that knowledgeable about hockey. Obviously what he has done with all the injuries doesn’t go unnotice, even to this untrained eye. I just like Lebeau more in this category because of the longevity, which is uncommon in any sport.

  90. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hey Groat,

    You didn’t run into that mean dude at the golf course did you ? Did you stop into Mr. Bones ?

  91. Milo (not the lousy baseball announcer!),

    I was sitting on the dugout bench watching batting practice at that field by the golf course. A high school kid with his parents came up and sat beside me. As Garrett Jones came to bat, I told the kid that if he went out behind the fence in right (there’s a parking lot there), he would get a couple balls, because no one was out there yet. His parents said OK and he went out.

    Jones proceeded to hit 4 homeruns during his swings, all over the left center fence into the golf course. I had warned the kid to watch out over there because of the guy who chases away folks on the course with a golf club.

    His parents and I looked out and, sure enough, there was the golf course dude chasing away two guys——but not our high school kid. Shortly thereafter, the high school kid comes back to the dugout with a big grin. While the golf course guy was chasing away those two others, the high school kid swooped in and got FIVE balls!

    He was in heaven! And, he had not read Dejan’s article about no autographs——so he got Jones to sign one!

    Saw Mr. Bones: didn’t stop either there or DK”s favorite Mixons.

    DK: Groat, welcome back. Hope you enjoy all my future soccer coverage.

  92. That’s a really mean thing to day, Dejan!

    Go write a book!!! That would be a much more positive use of your time!

  93. Milo Hamilton says:

    Groat,

    Thanks for that. I think that’s about as close as I’m going to get to Bradenton this year. Love the Cuban sandwich at Mixon’s. You don’t find those on too many menus in Pittsburgh.

  94. Leah Backus says:

    I would not presume to answer the question about coaching since I don’t follow any other Pittsburgh team besides the Penguins. I do have to say that I was rubbing my hands together and cackling maniacally when Paul Martin didn’t get traded. Muahahahaha! Take *that* haters. (Not that I think it will shut anyone up. The “get rid of him” chorus will just start up again in the summer.)

  95. Ryan(Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    DK: Tim Tebow agrees

    Not cool DK, not cool at all……….

    How many mistakes has the great Dan Byslma made?? Seriously, I have no idea

  96. likeabugonarug says:

    My vote would be for Bylsma, then Tomlin, then Dixon. They all do it with assistants, though. When you mention Bylsma and all the injuries the team has endured, think about all the callups that entails. All those players that are ready to jump in because of the coaches with the Baby Pens. They get those players ready so that they can jump right in when they are called. And since Dan isn’t watching them on even a semi-regular basis, that means the coaches in WBS must be doing a great job, too. And getting that team last year to play as a team and make it to the playoffs while missing the stars is what gives him my 1st place vote.

    For Tomlin, the work he did in getting the team to SBXLV with all the line injuries gives him my vote for 2nd. He’s been to the big dance twice, with split results. And who knows if they would’ve made it farther his first year if they’d called that dang holding on the 4th down play for the Jags!

    DIxon hasn’t made it to the big stage yet. And in my mind has failed twice with teams that were more than good enough to get to the final four. His style of play is great for the Big East, but when they start calling those games differently in the tournament and he’s never been able to develop the go-to guy that is required in the big dance. Those are the regular teams that get there.

  97. PigLegs Robinson says:

    I used to work with Carl Barger’s niece back in the early 80′s.

  98. Vette60 says:

    Checking in from Richmond, VA….

    My vote goes for Bylsma. Mainly due to the how he handled last season losing 87 and 71…it really appears that everyone is on the same page with what’s expected and how things are to be run. It really seems that there is a good connection with the group…maybe I’m saying that due to the insight gained from watching 24/7 last season and then seeing some of the “In the Room” segments this year, but the whole organizaiton just seems to have it together…

    I am a big Dixon fan as well – think that this is an off year and it will be interesting to see how things go with Steve Adams going in. Speaking of, Adams seems like quite the interesting guy after watching the feature on him over at SI as HS athlete of the week.

    I like Tomlin as well, but think at times he can get caught up in his bluster – it will take him a while to live down, in my opinion, the whole “unleash hell” deal…

    Hurdle – grade incomplete as of yet, but I like what I have heard from him and Groat above posted some nice insights.

    Nice to have a solid group of group of coaches involved with our teams and really glad that one ASU Sun Devil Coach is no longer among them…

    R.

  99. JAL says:

    99 posts so lets make it 100 and i have no clue how to rate coaches.

 
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