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Wakeup Call: Presley’s dodge

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>> My Friday column collects a whole bunch of randomness regarding the Stanley Cup playoffs. Would love to hear some of your own pluses and minuses to date, not just related to Penguins.

>> It’s so easy for me or anyone to say without standing in the batter’s box ourselves, but … man, I can’t help it: Why did Alex Presley get out of the way of that pitch in the eighth inning last night?

Is it OK to even talk about stuff like this?

I’ve seen firsthand the bruises and welts a baseball player can get from being hit by a pitch. They’re huge, ugly, and I’m told they really hurt. So take this, please, in that context.

Presley needs to get on base there. The Pirates were down a run, struggling for offense. The pitch was well down in the zone — 91-mph standard fastball — and he’s wearing one of those protective shin guards. But he leaped back with both legs as if his life depended on it.

Remember how Craig Wilson would get hit all the time despite standing well off the plate?

His secret: He stood there when the pitch came his way and took one for the team. It’s the same thing we ask running backs to do when we want them to take the hit rather than step out of bounds, same thing we ask hockey players to do when demanding toughness in front of the net. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Again, though, like I said, easy for me to say.

>> Anyone who needed evidence that the NFL’s new draft cap would get players signed more quickly didn’t have to wait long. You already know that the Steelers only have David DeCastro and Sean Spence left unsigned out of their nine picks, but did you know every single one of the Ravens’ picks already are signed and reported to Owings Mills for workouts?

Can’t imagine that either DeCastro or Spence will be a problem, either.

It’s a win-win-lose, really, with only the agents ending up on the losing side.

>> I’m headed out to Dallas tonight on assignment, and I’ll be there for four days working on a few things, some immediately, some future. Most of it’s Olympics-related.

143 Comments

  1. Pirates lost a game they could have won. I was hoping for a 6-3 homestand and a 17-17 record after Sunday. I guess 5-4 is tolerable because I don’t expect them to sweep anybody.

    I was a fan of Presley’s line drive stroke, good bat speed, and surprising power… last year. He also was a demon on the basepaths. I’d like to see that Presley again.

    It’s no fun watching a hockey game with two teams incapable of making a combination passing play. They are playing hard and I can appreciate that. I will be watching Game 7.

  2. Good night/morning Dejan, a minus you mentioned was Sidney and other Pens declining going to Worlds. I felt with everything he has endured the last year and a half Sidney made the right decision in not going. I don’t want him taking any unnecessary chances of a re-injury and I want him to concentrate on taking care of himself and preparing for next season. In my opinion him not going was a Plus, not a minus so I’m curious why you felt to make it minus?

    Keep up the good work, I always enjoy and learn from you.

    DK: Thought the item was pretty clear, Tracy, in that the Minus was aimed at the tournament itself. That’s why I applauded all those who decided not to go. Take another look, please.

  3. I did notice that and wondered if that’s what you meant. Folks seems so hip on going to Worlds…..plus it’s very late, just wasn’t sure. Thanks for the reply.

  4. Until this season my detailed hockey knowledge consisted of reading scores from the local paper here in Arkansas…you can imagine how much info that is. I thought Worlds was a “bigger deal”.

  5. JAL’s Sultans of Swing 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 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)

    http://gobuccos.com/pittsburgh-pirate-news/

    PIRATE BLOGS

    4—Pirates Prospects

    Correia Gives Quality Start, But Strasburg Strikes Out 13 in Loss

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/05/correia-gives-quality-start-but-strasburg-strikes-out-13-in-loss.html

    Prospect Watch: Taillon Throws Six Shutout Innings in 16-3 Bradenton Win

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/05/prospect-watch-taillon-throws-six-shutout-innings-in-16-3-bradenton-win.html

    Bedard Feeling Better Today After Exiting Wednesday’s Game With Back Spasms

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/05/bedard-feeling-better-today-after-exiting-wednesdays-game-with-back-spasms.html

  6. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES

    11 CBS Sports

    Houston vs Pittsburgh Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20120511_HOU@PIT

    12 Washington Post

    Nationals vs. Pirates: Stephen Strasburg strikes out 13 to snap Washington out of slump

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals/nationals-vs-pirates-stephen-strasburg-strikes-out-13-to-snap-washington-out-of-slump/2012/05/10/gIQA0A7uGU_story.html

    Bryce Harper makes an immediate impact in a variety of ways for Nationals

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals/bryce-harper-makes-fans-dream-as-big-as-he-does/2012/05/10/gIQANwvfGU_story.html

    Chicago Tribune

    Pittsburgh Pirates – TeamReport

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/sns-rt-bbo-pirates-playerwatchmtze859q7w1po-20120509,0,590929.story

    14 Washington Times

    Stephen Strasburg helps Nats halt skid with 13-K performance

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/may/10/stephen-strasburg-helps-nats-halt-skid-13-k-perfor/

    15 NY Daily News

    Jon Hamm lands first big screen leading role, in Disney’s ‘Million Dollar Arm’

    http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/movies/jon-hamm-lands-big-screen-leading-role-disney-million-dollar-arm-article-1.1075685?localLinksEnabled=false

  7. Pitt Blogs

    23 Pitt Blather

    The ACC Brought to You By ESPN

    http://www.pittblather.com/2012/05/10/the-acc-brought-to-you-by-espn/

    24 Cardiac Hill

    Brandon Lindsey Talks About His Time At Pitt

    http://www.cardiachill.com/2012/5/10/3006472/brandon-lindsey-pittsburgh-steelers-undrafted-free-agents-2012-nfl-draft-pitt-panthers-football

    WVU Blogs

    25 Metro News

    Football Television Money At All-Time High

    http://www.wvmetronews.com/wvu.cfm?func=displayfullstory&storyid=52617

    26 WV Illustrated

    Garvin, Cook Arrested for Shoplifting

    http://www.wvillustrated.com/story/18252137/garvin-cook-arrested-for

  8. Soccer(football)

    27 Sky Sports

    United make Games stand

    http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/20876/7746266/United-make-Games-stand

    28 Daily Telegraph

    Graham Arnold’s pro-teen shake for Central Coast Mariners

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/soccer/graham-arnolds-pro-teen-shake-for-central-coast-mariners/story-e6frey4r-1226352334534

    29 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: Stories you need to read, May 10 th 2012

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-10th-may-2012

  9. Sultans of Swing, Dire Straits, 1978 By 1978 popular music was splintering in many directions. Top songs of the year ranged from Old Time Rock and Roll by Bob Segar to I Wanna Be Sedated by the Ramones to Rock Lobster by the B-52s to two jazz oriented hits, Roxanne by the Police and Sultans of Swing (something we hope a few pirate players become). The song was first released in 1978 though it became a hit after a re-release in 1979. Although Sultans of Swing was a hit, the band had greater success in 1985 with their album Brothers in Arms, which hit number 1 in both the UK and the US. Mark Knopfler continues to perform as a solo artist. Mark’s brother David also continues to perform as a solo artist.

  10. Welcome, Tracy, this place rocks. =)

    JAL, thanks for the links, I always loved Sultans of Swing. Heard it on the radio just the other day.

    DK, I FINALLY got to watch a baseball game (Pirates) as my other half wasn’t feeling good and went upstairs to lie down. Turned it on in the fourth. Then BAM,the Buccos scored 2! I was sooooo excited. I was bummed out when the Nats took over. ::sigh:: ur boys look so….YOUNG!
    But it was fun to watch anyway.

    I miss Pens hockey. Loved your closing line in your column today lol.

    I definitely want to catch some Kings/Coyotes games. Smith and Quick ARE the best in the league right now. I have a soft spot for Scuderi, but I’ll be pulling for the Yotes. I can’t stand Mike Richards.

  11. I’m so glad to see you make that observation about Alex Presley not allowing the pitch to hit him. As a former lead-off hitter in college who set a school record for HPB’s, I recognize the importance of OBP for a guy like Presley.

    There is a technique involved, and too many big-leaguers are not committed to “wearing” a pitch when the situation calls for it.

  12. @Jandy

    I’m no fan of Mike Richards or Jeff Carter for that matter. But think how Flyer fans would feel if those two guys are skating around with the cup. I think that’s the best possible outcome at this point. I laugh out loud just thinking about it.

  13. Getting hit by pitch is an art form. Ron Hunts motto was “Some people give their bodies to science; I give mine to baseball,”. The key is to know how to take a pitch without getting a injury and player like Hunt, Don Baylor, and Craig Biggio mastered that.

  14. Anyone remember the scene from The Mighty Ducks when they strapped the goalie in the net and fired pucks at the goalie so he’d learn to get hit by it? Let’s bring in Craig Wilson as a hitting/getting hit coach and strap Alex in the cage!

  15. Jason Kendall was known to “step into” a few pitches in his Pirates career…was he not? I agree, gotta do what one’s gotta do to help the Bucs win.

  16. @JAL Great song this morning. One of my favorites.

    @DK Good article about hockey this morning!!!

    My plus: Attending 1970s era Penguins games. The mid-70s were some good times for them. They came so close.

    My minus: Not being able to attend games now. Living in Florida will do that to you.

  17. Milo, I see the pull of that scenario, but honestly, I can’t stand Richards so much, I’d rather see the Coyotes win LOL!

  18. I really enjoy hockey… and love the Pens. But there’s only so much of it I can take when the Pens are out of it.

    God Bless you puck-heads… but there’s only so many ways to dissect that sport. And thanks to DK, we get the best combination of analysis and prose as you can get in the sport.

    But seriously, the Pens last game was nearly three weeks ago… we know the defense stunk; we know that DB and TG are or should be on the hot seat for their passive PP defense; we know that there are thousands of reactionary opinions about trading Staal, Malkin and others.

    And now we know about taking pucks off the body should be a skill that Alex Presley learns on the baseball field.

    I’d rather see him get on base at a .350 clip, or even .325. 108 at bats, 26 hits, 27 K’s, 3 walks, 11 runs scored. Does that look like a top of the order guy to you?

  19. @JAL – Great find on the Lowrie article.

    The line that jumped out to me the most was this: “Luhnow had been a Lowrie advocate as a member of the Cardinals front office leading into the 2005 draft.”

    Why? Because the Astros went out and hired a GM from a SUCCESSFUL organization. One that might be the best in the league at recognizing and developing talent.

    Now granted, Lowrie has never played more than half a season and if history repeats itself will be on the DL by Memorial Day, but that is the kind of move that the Pirates HAVE to gamble on.

    While your watching Houston over the next three games, imagine how nice it would be to switch shortstops.

  20. That’s a fair Q re: taking one for the team, Dejan. I once posed it to a former player. (but of course in my case I was totally unfair. Because I do that. It’s who I am.)

    It was just one retired player but here was the answer:

    - Instinct takes over. In most situations, the reflex to avoid is automatic. It is not thought out. A batter doesn’t walk up to the plate and think about it in the context of bases loaded or extend an inning and a HBP would help. It is all a batter can do to focus on having an at-bat plan and hitting a pitch. Other extraneous thoughts, even if they might add value in SOME situations, only distract from the much more likely scenarios of should-I-swing or should-I-not.

    - So in the majority of situations, when I ducked out of the way in a circumstance where a HBP would have helped the team, I’m later thinking the same thing the fans are: OOPS (or worse)…shoulda taken one for the team. But the reflex to avoid 90 MPH just happens.

    - Some guys (maybe C Wilson) WORK on this to overcome their instincts. And it takes work to do so. Practice. Not getting hit in practice but constantly visualizing the situation so they change their automatic reflex in that situation. Without otherwise having to think about it – and distract themselves – during a live AB. Guts are part of it, but not at the moment of impact. Rather, as they make the decision each season that ‘I’m going to visualize this and overcome my instincts…knowing what that will mean for my body by season’s end.’

    Remember, just one former player’s opinion. But it sounded logical to me.

    But what do I know from logic.

  21. @NMR

    I was thinking the same thing while reading that. A buddy of mine has been a big Jed Lowrie advocate. I bet Bobby Valentine is as well. Too bad the Astros will be leaving after this year. It would be interesting to see their progress, or lack thereof, in relationship to the Pirates over the next few years.

  22. @Drew71 – I’ll buy that logic. My first thought after reading what DK had to say was ‘I think it’s just instict to get out of the way’.

  23. DK qualified his statement by saying it’s easy for him to say and it is. I know I instinctively dodge tree limbs on the lawn tractor and those are coming a lot slower than 91 mph. I could “take one for the family” and bear in close to that tree trunk, but I’d rather do it the logical way–with a push mower or weed wacker. Presley is a hitter not a “get-hitter”. I understand the team concept, but one good plunk and he could be re-habbing back in the Hoosier state. Ron Hunt, as JAL mentioned, was the master at HBP, but he wore a uniform “blouse” that was so loose, he rarely got hit on the body at all. Craig Wilson flamed out too early, maybe because of his approach at the plate. Biggio was excellent, but he got hurt, too, and they missed him when he was out.

  24. I not only agree with your assessment of Presley from last night but I wish you didnt qualify the statement by saying, “Its easy for me to say…” A columnist could qualify every opinion by prefacing their views in this manner…

    Youre a columnist who is paid to write opinions…seems like your getting ready for Presley’s retort that you didnt play the game or its easy for you to say that behind your keyboard and want to already be on board with something to lessen your critique…

    Sometimes I wish the columnists in this town for both papers were just brutally honest with no prefaced comments and just criticize….Maybe its not your nature to be blood-thirsty like say the NY writers…Your opinion in this instance is very valid and you stopped short of saying what the real reason is – that Presley wont take one for the team, no matter what..like the Craig Wilsons or Jason Kendalls have done preceding him. In another town, Presley might have been labeled a wuss or gutless….

    DK: Presley’s retort?

    Really?

    You think I’m worried what Presley has to say when I invest the lead item in the blog challenging his toughness and team-worthiness?

    Wow, that’s a conversation that’s not going very far.

    The point I made about it being easy for me to say was made because it’s 100 percent accurate. I’m wondering why another human being didn’t allow a 91-mph hard projectile to strike him in the leg. To me, if anyone makes that point, whether it’s a columnist or Joe on the street, you qualify that by saying it’s easy for them to say. That puts it in the fairest possible light for your readers.

    And your point about the New York media couldn’t possibly be worse-timed, considering their generally pathetic performances in those John Tortorella news conferences. On more than one occasion, Tortorella has freaked them out by simply saying, “Any more questions?”

    Mike Tomlin does that ALL THE TIME, but you don’t see the awkward pause in the press room that affords him the chance to get up and leave. That’s because no one’s afraid. They’re there to do their jobs.

  25. Presley could take lessons from Barmes; say what you want about him, but he barely moves when a pitch is coming his way.

  26. Obviously, I didn’t see this cowardly act of Presley’s, but what exactly did he do? DK mentioned a shin guard, but did he do a ballerina move or cry or what? I’m asking, believe me. All I get here are MLB highlights and that wasn’t on there. Did he do more than get out of the way of a pitch or did he act like Terrell Owens or Ochostinko or what?

  27. Barmes is hitting .152 with a .481 OPS. I wish he’d move a little more.

    Again, though, like I said, easy for me to say.

  28. A 95mph fastball in MLB is a lot different than an 85mph fastball in HS, but not really to a 15 year old who weighs 130lb soaking wet…..

    …with that, I give you this from my not so illustrious high school baseball career. I was a sophomore, called to pinch hit in a game with one of our conference rivals. Down 1, top of the 7th (HS baseball is 7 innings). As I’m standing in the on deck circle, our bench coach (who I’d known since I was about 3) comes up to me and says something to the effect of: “I don’t think you have the b@!!s to take one in the ear hole, and if one comes in and you don’t, I’ll make sure you don’t play another inning this year.” I can guarantee that if one had come inside, I would have been sprinting to first base even if they had to put me on a gurney to do it. I can also tell you that coach didn’t need to say that to me.

    So, yes Drew, instinct has something to do with it. But spit on it and rub it in and get your butt to 1st base. Just a washed up ballplayer’s opinion.

  29. Milo, I am disappointed. Where is all your bad news quotes?

    Had about 10 yesterday. Guess its a slow start for you today.

  30. @Lucky….apples to oranges comparison…saying you dodge tree limbs on a tractor isnt even in the same universe when comparing jumping out of the way of a pitch..the only thing in common would be degrees of injury. A tree limb could injure your head, eye, etc and there is no reason to subject your body to that pain and sacrifice. Presley’s job is to perform as a player for the Pirates and part of that job description should include the same line on most employees job descriptions, ” all other duties as assigned”…or in layman’s terms…whatever is necessary to help the team win..its not like it was a Strassburg 97 mph fastball at his head…..this was a 91 mph fastball down in the zone and hes already wearing a protective shin guard on his front leg….not the same as cutting grass on your tractor and moving out of the way of tree limbs..

  31. “Another old friend, Rob Scuderi, could be a Piece of history with the Kings.”

    Loved that reference in the column, Dejan!

  32. SS,

    The tree limb thing was sarcastic, trying to show the instinct factor. Appreciate your other analysis of Presley’s job. Wish I could see it. Guess I shouldn’t comment on something I haven’t seen. Just like to see the kid cut a break.

  33. Maybe we just need to take Presley out behind the barn and man him up a bit.

    Hold him down and hit him with tree branches or tractors or something.

    Might not work but we’ll certainly feel better.

    Again, though, like I said, easy for me to say.

  34. AW,
    With our luck that is probably just a sign that Barmes vision is getting worse.

  35. Sorry, I don’t think its even ok to talk about it.

    My brother was the king of standing in there and taking one if he needed it, But there were several times he missed the next game because of it.

    There may be some players (re: Wilson) that need that to be a part of the game, but I don’t think its fair to be asking every player to be doing things against their natural instincts if its not something that they normally do.

    Not to mention the fact that Presley is a slighter guy, probably with less ‘meat on the bone’ to protect him. I also did not see the game, but could he have been thinking the next pitch would be outside, therefore was leaning and caught off guard by one at his shins?

    Seemed to me there was 25 other things to analyze from the game yesterday.

    But since its your blog, you can bring up anything you want, and the folks here will discuss. Me, no criticism for AP on that at all. (don’t RB’s take hits all the time in the game so the hit vs step out seems a different comparison)

  36. Drew,

    Sounds like a good idea. Guess I’ll keep my mouth shut from now on.

  37. Right Lucky. Cause you’re next.

    Or maybe it already happened to you a few posts ago.

    Again, though, like I said, easy for me to say.

  38. Yea come on Alex..I mean i saw a seventh grade girl take one for our team last night. It’s not like we have recreated the lumber company here!

  39. A very interesting topic brought up about taking one for the team. I really think instinct takes over to a certain degree in this case. It seems as if you would be so focused on your task of hitting the ball that the split second your brain recognized that a ball is coming at your body I think it would tell you to get out of the way. Ignoring that instinct I have to imagine is a difficult skill that only a few can master.

    That being said not playing baseball past 14 because of the inabiltity to hit a pitch that moved in any direction other then straight I would have to allow those that experienced this first hand to answer.

  40. “And a crowd of young boys they’re fooling around in the corner. Drunk and dressed in their best brown baggies and their platform soles. They don’t give a damn about any trumpet playing band. It ain’t what they call rock and roll.” (M. Knopfler)

    Lyrics for the ages. One of the great guitar songs ever written. JAL, your musical tour of the previous century has been fabulous. For those of us lovers of music and history, it has been a delight.

    Great job by the Trib on the article about the Edgeworth woman and the Beirut bombing. Riveting piece, really. Reminds me of Albert Camus’ maxim, ““There are more things to admire in men than to despise.”

    Good to see a Houston team come to town that requires frequent references to the internet to figure out who they are. Anything but a series win would be very disappointing.

  41. My cousin (Justin Maxwell) plays for the Astro’s and he is the only player I know on the team. I don’t know him well because he married into the family and I don’t live near them but I have meant him a few times and he seems like a nice guy.

  42. Forgive me if I go in another direction for a minute.

    Dejan – I agreed with you that Jaromir Jagr made the best choice in going to Philly. However, two things about him continue to bother me. His need to always subtly bash the Pens and his seeming obsession with altering his “stance” within 24 hours of a quote.

    He was extremely happy to be a Flyer right after the loss to the Devils, but offered these thoughts via Randy Miller’s Twitter account yesterday,

    “Jagr made it clear today that he felt that he would have been better for #Flyers this season if Lavy had given him more ice time”

    “Jagr says he wants to play in NHL next season, but he wants to see how #Flyers would use him before deciding to stay in Philly.”

    There he is throwing his coach under the bus and of course while claiming his year in Philly was his greatest ever, he had to add, “even the cup years,” to get a shot in at the Pens.

    The man is a great player and I have wonderful memories of him with the Pens. Heck, I still get chills when he has the puck even though he is wearing a Penn Dot uniform, but his constant manic commentary and need to “jab” the Pens has grown tiresome.

    The Toronto Globe referred to him as an “odd bird” today. Perhaps that is the case but the only other athlete I can remember like this was Bradshaw and we all know how that turned out.

    Do you think a similar reconciliation will happen with Jagr and the Pens? Is it even necessary? Is he suffering from some form of depression? Should we be worried about this guy post hockey?

    He sure sounds like Bradshaw once did IMO.

    BTW thanks for taking up the cause against this “pack it in” style of hockey winning out in the playoffs. It is nice every once in a while but when it goes this way every night it gets old fast.

    DK: Jagr’s unusual. Some get him. Some don’t. I do.

  43. I was extremely frustrated with Garrett Jones swinging at the first pitch (which the announcers said was a ball) after Strasburg HAD JUST WALKED 3 CONSECUTIVE BATTERS! Little leaguers know that you take the first pitch in that situation. The world that Jones lives in inside his head must be a fun one.

  44. Lucky, Drew, etc. You guys shut up, Mother Teresa is gonna be very p*ssed! We’ll have to ask Dejan and the Trib for an “ignore” button as well as a “like” button ;)

  45. @tmp
    “A 95mph fastball in MLB is a lot different than an 85mph fastball in HS…”

    I gotta disagree with this statement. An 85 mph pitch already hurts plenty. The difference between the two isn’t huge.

    The only problem I have with the move is taht it shows a mindset that isn’t focussed on getting on base. Presley clearly still hasn’t figured out that his game will only play on the ML level if he does whatever he can to get on base.

    His walk% is non-existent, he doesn’t get hit, and I’ve never seen him attempt to bunt his way on base. This tells me that he thinks he can succeed by swinging away.

    Hate to break it to you, Al, but that ain’t turning out so well.

  46. Okel Dokel, you have said what I think/feel aboout Jagr. I’m tired of the Prima Donna stuff. He messed it up here, again and again. I really don’t ever want to see him around here.

  47. Hi Roberto.

    That’s the matter ? You missed me, didn’t you ? It’s OK to admit it, I know you love me.

  48. @Nate

    I think blood kinda needs to be involved to be related to somebody. I’m guessing he’s your cousin’s husband ?

  49. @Roberto

    I’m guessing you meant to say – “Where ARE all your bad news quotes ?”

    Stick with me kid, we’ll get you speaking English yet.

  50. I love the Milo/Roberto feud. Where’s Richard Dawson when you need him?

  51. @NMR — point taken. What I was trying to get across is that if a skinny HS kid is willing to take an 85mph “brie bullet” to the ear hold, AP should be willing to take a 95mph fastball to the shinguard.

  52. Thanks, Milo. You’ve now given me a real rooting interest in these playoffs. Philly fans watching Carter and Richards lift the Cup? If the Kings ever have a chance to clinch, I might drive to Philly and watch the game at a packed Chickie & Pete’s just wallow in the midst of all that Philly angst.

    As for Jagr, I love his honesty, even if that honesty changes from day to day. Seriously. No b.s., polished athlete-speak with 68. He says what’s in his head at the time. Then he feels differently later and out comes something different. And I believe every word of it. I’ve never sensed dissembling or any subtlety in what he says. And I love the guy for it. He’ll always be one of my favorite all-time athletes. Sorry more people can’t see his “Jagrness” in a different light. He’s a gem.

  53. @scapper

    There’s a Chickie’s & Pete’s at PNC Park. $10 crab fries.

  54. @Lucky

    Hang in there, brother.

  55. Sorry, tmp. Reading fail on my part.

    @Milo – Crab fries are the truth. The only edible option at PNC for vegetarians.

  56. @Lucky

    I wish I had a lawn tractor. Still have to push my $50 garage sale special. Hope yours is a Deere. Anything else around here is just plain blasphemous. :-)

  57. Lucky? Lucky!!?? L U C K Y!!?!?!??!!!

  58. BTSP unite !

  59. John,

    It’s a Troybilt. “My hypocricy knows no bounds.” (Val Kilmer’s Doc Holladay character said that in the movie “Tombstone”). Modest price and good quality. No John Deere or Cub Cadet for me! We’ve got 2 acres and I’m not about to push that at my age. Maybe I could hire Alex Presley to mow it for me when his playing days are over soon. When he gets run out of town on a rail, he can head south.

  60. Fear the Trolls!

  61. Getting hit by the ball is definetly an artform.

    I’m sure it was natural instict on Presley’s part, but that has to be in the back of his mind. It never feels good to get plunked, even by an offspeed pitch.

    Coming up, I was a lefty (well, still am) and I was hit quit often. As I moved up in years, I was good for 1-2 plunks a season, even throughout high school. I was taught old school, take one for the team. A lot of the old school stuff has gone by the wasteside….

    I might’ve been known to hit a few guys as well. Some guy named A-Rod comes to mind, but that was after he hit a curveball of mine to never-never land…I don’t think its landed yet…BTW, I might’ve hit Dirty Doug too. (They played on the same High School team)

  62. Oshie –

    Again, though, like I said, easy for you to say.

    - Drew Troll

  63. Good to see Drew, TC, and other old friends on here.
    As for the NHL Playoffs,I’m holding my breath until tomorrow night. I think both teams in the Eastern finals will make the mistake of selling short their eventual Western Conference opponent.
    There have been more upsets than a NCAA hoops tourney. A cup in L.A. or Phoenix, yes this year, I think it could happen.
    Go Rangers

  64. Hey Drew :)

  65. For ALL:

    A couple of us talked the other day about Steve Blass’s book. I had the wife download it to her nook last night.

    I’m not a reader. I don’t read books, I wait for movies. Hell, I don’t even read DK’s articles or the posts on here and just comment on them anyways~ZING~

    Anyways, I got through the first chapter of the book, LOVE IT!! I highly recommend this book to any Pirates fan. The only reason I put it down was because I have to get up early in the AM. I can’t wait to get home and read it. This is highly unusual for me.

    To be honest, Steve to always be the “nice guy” of the crowd, which I don’t doubt. I was amazed that he did drop a few swear words, but they were perfectly timed and cracked me up. I don’t want to give any of the book away, but the first chapter he goes right after the Steve Blass disease. I wasn’t even born yet when this all took place, but I really feel for the guy.

    Great autobiography so far, please read it all…If I can do and enjoy it, anybody can.

    @Jandy-I point the swear words out for the Hen of the Hen house.

  66. Drew:

    I happily saw you were posting so I used an emoticon earlier in your honor. I think Milo did the same. Stop by more.

  67. Freaking Stinking Filthy Aki emoticons.

    And yes, Radio. i AM old.

  68. Ryan, thanks for trying to spare me, but I work in construction…albeit in the inside now…flooring industry…and I have learned to swear with the best of them when need be ;)
    Hen? LMAO, priceless!

    Lucky, don’t make me come out there after you! :p

  69. Drew, tell us how you REALLY feel!
    :) ;) :p

  70. Wait, I thought Lucky had the “old” tag around here????

  71. Jandy,

    You’d be more than welcome, swearing or not! I’ve had many guest ministers at my church over the last 14 years, but NEVER Mother Teresa. (Or a blog-trolling sock puppet). Some of the preachers around here swear better than non-preachers, anyway.

  72. Dejan may “qualify every opinion by prefacing (his) views” too much. Or so I’ve read.
    Dejan may comb his hair with a shovel.
    Dejan may get weirdly weirded out by big signs at the ballpark.
    Dejan may wish he lived in Winnipeg. (Downtown of course).

    But at least Dejan doesn’t use friggin emoticons.

  73. Drew, but Dejan wouldn’t have HALF as much fun doing his line of work without us blog-trolling, emoticon using sock puppets!!! :)

  74. Lucky, I’ve tempered it a bit…but I still surprise even myself once in awhile lol. Old habits die hard.

  75. J-girl,

    Drew can have that tag if he’d like. I’m the oldest everywhere, at home, here at the office, here on the blog (not at church, though). Gets “old” after a while.

  76. Don’t get down on yourself.

    You’re not a sock.

    DK: Drew …

  77. Drew:

    Dejan doesn’t come around here much anymore. Spends his time now with his mistress Sulia. :)

    DK: Leave us alone.

  78. Lucky, I’m thinking Drew is younger than he’s lettin’ on ;)
    But I love his posts. So it’s all good.

  79. I think you’re right, Jandy. And Drew, I thought it was a rake he used on his hair, not a shovel. Oh well, wrong again.

  80. Could be a towel. A dry one at that.

  81. Was that mean? I don’t want to be mean.

  82. He likes that you noticed his hair. It’s not mean, it’s an honor.

  83. Drew is Drew and he’s never through and he is not new and not a shrew.

  84. But has no clue

  85. Drew

    That is true about no clue though we’ve had lunch that I enjoyed a bunch

  86. outside chance I’ll be in DC sometime over the next year…will let you know if it happens.

  87. Drew

    Sounds good to me

  88. DK’s hair looks like most of the guys in the AF nowadays…the 2000′s version of the mullet.

    I used to have mine like that, but realized I wasn’t cool enough for it.

    DK, do you have a cool Fossil watch also?!

    LOL

    DK: Mullet? Dude, I’m buzzed in the back like Sgt. Schultz.

  89. I’m getting like…next to no work done. ::sigh::
    And it’s ALL your faults…all of you ;)

  90. Notice he’s ignoring the Fossil watch question…

    DK: What’s a fossil watch? Other than tuning in to hear what Mike Milbury has to say?

  91. It seems to me that Dejan posted a picture of his wife and him in Mexico a few years ago and he had longish hair. Am I remembering wrong?

    Love the Friday thread.

    DK: That was right. Either that or you confused me with Luis Heredia, who actually snapped the photo.

  92. John,

    You’re confusing him with his wife, who is very attractive, BTW. Sgt. Shultz. That’s a great comparison. Why can’t I think of those?

  93. The wrestler? Or the guy on Hogan’s Heroes?

    I’m just asking.

  94. That Milbury one was even better. He’s on today, top notch.

  95. A picture of you and your wife taken by Luis Heredia in Mexico? What the h…

    Honestly, the life you lead…

  96. OK fine, DK, then you have a Kenneth Cole one. Better than WATCHING Milbury any day of the week!

  97. NeMoR – Sounds like they were filming Bull Durham II

  98. OK Drew is old, and *I* am the fossil loL!

  99. Jandy

    Better to be a fossil–if you just old they will put away out of sight but a fossil and they will put you on display in museum

  100. It was either Bull Durham II or East Bound and Down Season 2 with Dejan as Kenny Powers

  101. DK, not calling a mullet, just the 2000′s version of a mullet..

    gelled, pushed down a front pushed up…

  102. @John

    LOL. I didnt know that show made it to season 2.

  103. Thanks JAL lol!

  104. DK-Bet its not at buzzed in the back as mine!! I got rid of the drop top

  105. Speaking of buzz cuts, maybe we just came up with Presley’s punishment.

    So the next time he sees a pitch like that, he’ll think Take A Buzz Or Get A Buzz.

    I’m sure that’s what he’ll be thinking.

  106. Nice that you can all talk about hair. When what’s left is white and thin, you pull out of those conversations.

  107. Drew,

    He apparently didn’t overthink the one last night. Wonder if his ears are burning today. Might burn his hair right off.

  108. Lucky, he jumped as if he HAD been hit. Not that I’m blaming him. I’d prolly run screaming.

  109. Presley’s “punishment” should be a couple more days on the bench until he understands his role in that situation. To get on base. By any means necessary. Maybe he could learn that in Indianapolis too.

    27 strikeouts, 3 walks & a .264 OBP tells me you had better let that one hit you. Not to be critical.

  110. Holy Crap.

    109 posts by 1-ish.

    4 on Hockey.

    5 on Mother Theresa.

    6 links.

    7 on movies.

    9 on friggin emoticons.

    16 on Dejan’s hair.

    61 in Presley’s manhood.

    And one on Mistress Sulia.

  111. Pressley’s manhood takes the columnby storm! Dejan’s hair a close second!

    Mother Teresa barely beats out hockey…

  112. ON Presley’s manhood. Not IN his manhood.

    That would be icky.

  113. “Mother Teresa barely beats out hockey…”

    Meaning no disrespect to her memory (seriously) but THAT’S something you don’t read every day.

  114. This is seriously cracking me up. I have to get some work done…later on guys…thanks for the good times today.
    and Drew… :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

  115. And a partridge in a pear tree.

  116. as i said, Jandy, icky

  117. Amen, Milo.

    I don’t question Presley’s manhood, I question his approach.

    Ballplayers will go to crazy lengths to succeed. I don’t doubt that Presley would trade a couple bruises for an OBP over .350

  118. Milo

    I have to agree as well.

  119. By my calculation he’d need to trade for about 44 bruises to hit .350. But I agree with your general point.

    To put it another way, if he HAD a .350 OBP we wouldn’t care so much about one ducked buzz.

  120. Agree Drew. It would be a totally different situation.

  121. Find: Molina. No matches found

    Yadier would’ve sold the HBP.

  122. How incredibly tone deaf can Josh Beckett be ? Red Sox fans aren’t questioning the wisdom of Beckett golfing the day after he had been deemed physically unable to pitch. They just want to know if he had fried chicken & beer at the turn.

  123. Great one, Milo!

  124. Presley not starting tonight.

  125. Late to the party again today…

    Liked Milo’s suggestion regarding Richards and Carter skating with a Cup would be pretty galling for Cryer’s fans, but ultimately, i’m with Jandy, I dislike Richards so much I cant pull for L.A.

    Enjoyed the column today, Dejan. All great points, but I will disagree with one: I think Ovechkin’s time as a superstar in the NHL is over. And it’s because I think there is some merit to Mr Steigerwalds contention…

  126. HBP, mullets and pictures in Mexico….man I love this blog!

  127. CWalton ~ We see eye to eye, as I also agree on Ovie. He’ll be ok, but not great any longer.

    jack – how hot is it there today????? We have 65 and sunny here in PA.

    Milo ~ I’d rather have Tebow on my team than Beckett…just sayin…

  128. So this is where Drew’s been hanging out?

    All the more reason to visit here more often ;-)

  129. Biz, you’ll have to update your lunatic asylum records. I’ve seen some new faces lately.

  130. “121.Drew71
    as i said, Jandy, icky”
    Why does work have to get in the way?

    Lord, what a picture…ewwwww

  131. I believe someone sings a song called “Mullets and beer” oh wait………thats. not. mullets.

  132. The next time that someone calls for Malkin to calm down they should have to watch this Russia-Sweden game. He’s been on fire. 2 goals, 1 assist. +3. Involved in at least 4 scrums.

  133. Hat trick Malkin. Give and go with Popov on a 2-on-1. D Ilya Nikulin, the Russian Captain, has jumped in twice for Malkin. Once with Franzen. Great game.

  134. My God. Malkin did that batting of the puck he does. He did it for about 30 feet. He just had a mini breakaway and fired a slapper. He has responded to Sweden trying to get under his skin the proper way. He has gotten angry and taken his game up a notch like the game against Dwayne Roloson and Tampa Bay. I hope that he gets out of the game alive. He’s nuts right now.

  135. Malkin took a couple of hits during an end of game PP, took a pass and skated to the middle and passed to a defenseman who scored. Malkin 3 goals 2 assists 5 points. +5. Russia was down 3-1 and the PP were 5-0 Sweden. Malkin took over and they won 7-3. The game was played in Sweden.

  136. Two more plays to describe.

    A minute into the game Malkin picked a puck out of the air with his glove and set it down just outside the Russia blue line. He flew down the right wing boards on a 2-on-1, the D-man was cheating down to the Russian winger on the left side, Malkin swooped in and jumped to the slot and over the defenseman’s stick and fired a shot from between the circles that was saved.

    Later in the game, Malkin was carrying the puck on the left side neutral zone and he lept to his right and took the puck on his backhand across the blueline as he avoided a Swedish player that tried to check him at the blueline.

    Two unbelievable displays of skill that didn’t even result in a point. One swooping leap right to left. One swooping leap left to right. Amazing.

  137. Yeah, I believe getting hit by a pitch takes determination before-hand. You have to envision the situation ahead of time and make the choice that if it comes at you, you are going to stand there and not move. Not a lot of players have been good at that, but I will say that Jason Kendall was a pro at it.

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