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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: Kopitar, king of Kings


Brief and to the Point …

>> If you didn’t stay up late enough to see the goal, take a look. It’s golden stuff.

That’s the Kings’ Anze Kopitar, a tremendous talent who some of you know I’ve been practically singing about for several months now. He isn’t the NHL’s best player. He isn’t even its most talented. But I’ll confess to always having had an extra affinity for those players — in any sport — who make the game look easy.

Kopitar does that with nearly every shift. He’s a blast to watch. And when he has the puck on his stick for a breakaway, you can put it in the bank.

>> You’ll want to read Ben Roethlisberger’s remarks to our columnist, Joe Starkey.

I link especially for those of you who thought I made too much of Ben’s much more veiled remarks to me just a week ago.

>> If good pitching > good hitting, then it’s logical that credit for acquiring good pitching > blame for failing at acquiring hitting.

I’ve been as tough as anyone on Neal Huntington the past month, but give the man credit for the pitching you saw tonight — A.J. Burnett (cash-based trade), Jason Grilli (minor-league free agent) and Joel Hanrahan (Nyjer Morgan trade) — and what you’ve seen all season. Management has built, and Ray Searage has coached an OUTSTANDING pitching staff.

>> Burnett has been really good. One of these days, we’ll get past the notion that anytime the Pirates spend a ton of money on a guy, it’s automatically going to be wasted money. If it’s invested right, it looks like this.

>> You had to love Matt Hague’s two-run double, and not just for the outcome.

If you click on the video there, you’ll see he has to reach outside a bit for a Johnny Cueto pitch that the Reds clearly wanted even farther outside. What you don’t see is that the pitch just before that was almost down to the ankles and still somehow drew a strike call from home plate umpire Adrian Johnson.

It takes some doing for a hitter to stay strong on the next low pitch he sees, much less drive it to the opposite field with that kind of authority.

Wonderful at-bat.

>> Kordell Stewart did what?

If ever you’d have imagined an athlete and a city had torched all the bridges, it would be between Slash and this place. People remember all the stuff done to Kordell but not everyone recalls some of the accusations he leveled against the city.

Never mind this public accusation that Tim Tebow was in the NFL only for his skin color …


>> Our weekly chat will be today at noon.


  1. sidelinespensfan says:


    Just trying to help you put a name to a voice. I enjoyed our conversation today, and I hope I get to meet you in person in the future. I’m not sure if you were able to swing by my place today, but I hope you had a good time if you did.

    -What a fun hockey game to watch! The only drawback was Pierre McGuire. How is that guy still employed by NBC? I personally get the biggest kick out of when he name drops people that no casual fan would have any idea who they are.

    -I’ve learned a long time ago to not listen to Big Ben. He is a drama queen. But he will be there when the season starts, and I want him on my side when the pressure starts mounting.

    -Hague and Mercer are a start. Please, please, please let the BMTIB keep trying to plug in bats to get any kind of offense going. This pitching staff is lights out, and it needs to be taken advantage of. The best part of plugging in Hague and Mercer is that you do not sacrifice defense.

  2. aglebagel says:

    Really nice column by Starkey; it was one of those where every point he made I thought to myself, “Exactly!” I know members of the media keep asking him the questions, but never have I so badly wanted an athlete to answer with the cliche “It is what it is.” I’m grateful we have him as our quarterback, but I have to admit that I’m starting to see him as the diva many others already have. Seriously, it’s time to accept it and move on, Ben.

    “You might see more of [improvisation], because I don’t know what everyone’s doing on every play,” Roethlisberger said. “It might be like my rookie year, where I find one guy, and if he’s not open, I start scrambling…”

    This is, by far, the most disturbing quote of the bunch. If he thinks that the fans want more running, he’s wrong, but I don’t really care as long as he performs. When he’s already conceding that he won’t know the playbook this year? Can we pay Peyton Manning to come spend a week with him this offseason to show him how a truly elite quarterback prepares?

  3. JoeI says:

    I’m right with you on the Kopitar infatuation. He’s the best on breakaways since Mario. The pass by Williams to spring him was just as impressive.

  4. David W. Hannen says:

    I’m getting sick and tired of the comments from Ben. I was thrilled when he was drafted and he will always be one of my favorite players “on the field”. I am fed up with his comments “off the field”.

    Does he realize the impact he may be conveying to his teammates? On a team that will be looking for “leaders” to step up and take over for the veteran departures?

    I would love to hear him say, “I am going to study my tail off to learn Coach Haley’s playbook so the Pittsburgh Steelers can be prepared to play at a high level from Week 1 through out the season”. I believe he and Coach Arians became too enamored with the quick strike scoring. They will be a better team, regardless of record, in the upcoming season under a new offensive system. I also believe Roethlisberger can be an even better QB under Haley’s tutelage. As far as running the ball more, they need to work at the running game as much as possible during OTA’s and training camp so they can run the ball effectively during the season. Especially in the red zone! The team has several years of practice throwing the ball, thanks to Arians. I would like to tell Ben that this fan’s favorite games, during his career, were the ones where the offensive game plan called for short, quick passes with a dusting of the deep ball (Tenn last year). Those are also the games that the offense appeared to dominate and appear to be unstoppable.

    In closing, my only reservations on the Todd Haley hire will be the longevity of his stay. My wish, hope, desire is that he and Ben stay together until Ben hangs ‘em up. Together they have a shot a few more super bowls.

    Ray Searage is a God!

    Coach Lebeau is a God!

    Coach Lake will become a God!

    Can Haley join them?

    Coach Lake may be his apprentice!

  5. Officer Mancuso says:

    Ben apparently is a man with more talents than virtues. No matter the talent, the virtue of coachability can elevate it, but that is one of several virtues conspicuously lacking in he of the helmetless cycle crash and serial complaints that he’s a cad.

  6. Jandy says:

    Something told me DK would be a happy camper after Anze got the GW in OT =)

    Just had to say that…now I gotta go read those links!

  7. JAL says:

    JAL’s Can’t You See Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)


    4—Pirates Prospects

    Pirates Notebook: Burnett Making an Impact On and Off the Mound

    Inside-The-Park Homer Defeats Indians In The 10th

  8. JAL says:

    6 Rumbunter

    Andrew McCutchen’s Hot Month

    What’s Wrong With Charlie Morton’s Sinker?

    7 McEffect

    5/30 Recap | Pirates 2 Reds 1

    5/30 A.J. Burnett Pitch F/X

    8 Hyzdu Headquarters

    Fountain of Youth

    9 Green Weenie

    Burnett Outduels Cueto 2-1

    10 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Burnett, Bucs “collect” big win

  9. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    20 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Many Ohio-Based Contributions to Steelers’ Success Over Four Decades

    Pittsburgh Steelers 2012 Schedule Preview Week 5: vs. Philadelphia Eagles

    Ike Taylor to Mike Wallace: ‘Football Doesn’t Need You, You Need Football

    21 Steelers Depot

    - Report: Adams & Ta’amu Might Be At Next OTA, DeCastro Might Be At Mini Camp

    22 Nice Pick Cowher

    The Steelers and Their Missing Rings: Top 10 Teams in Franchise History to Not Win a Title (10-6)

  10. JAL says:


    27 Sky Sports

    Lampard gives England scare

    28 Daily Telegraph

    Young West Ham star Dylan Tombides and his battle with cancer

    29 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: Stories you need to read, May 29th 2012


    30 Pensburgh

    Season in Review: Arron Asham

  11. JAL says:

    Title Song Can’t You See Marshall Tucker Band 1973 out of Spartanburg, South Carolina, the Marshall Tucker Band had 5 gold or platinum albums from 1973 to 1977. Their biggest single was Fire on the Mountain. Can’t You See was a moderate hit off their first album. The band, with shifting lineups continues to record, most recent album in 2011.

  12. JAL says:

    Traveling today through Monday. Will try to do links tomorrow and Monday but they might be a bit later as I will be in a different time zone.

  13. Jandy says:

    I was switching between the Bucs and the Kings last night. I didn’t stay up to watch the end of the Kings vs Devils tho. But I saw the results first thing this morning and was happy.
    The Hague showed last night why he should be playing. Nuff said.
    Good to see Mercer get his first ML hit.

    Ben needs to grow up. Period. Shut up and put out. Earn that salary you’re being paid. I’m sick of the melodrama already. Maybe he should be benched.

    Kordell Stewart needs to shut up too. What a dumb azz thing to say. Ugh…what is it with these athletes?

  14. Jandy says:

    Safe travels, JAL =)

  15. bdubb says:

    It is apparent NH can work a deal for Pitching. The Yankees deal was pretty good too (or at least it was a just over a year ago). Maybe the Pirates can start a new thing. How about a Pitching GM and a Hitting GM. NH can stay on as the Pitching side. For the hitting side I want a guy who looks out for his own team not some guy he just acquired the day before.

    Speaking of Sutton, DK, do you know why NH traded for him only to trade him away a day later? I wonder how much more money the Pirates got from Tampa than they gave away to get him. $10k? 20?

  16. JAL says:

    No money, PTBML

  17. NMR says:


    A lot of great info regarding the Pirates Front Office talent evaluations(or lack thereof) in DK’s column from Sunday…

    Truly is an odd relationship.

    Loved Hagues at-bat last night. Immediately thought of the conversation we had yesterday regarding plate discipline. That at-bat, contrasted with watching Pedro once again roll over a first pitch fastball off the outside corner at the knees, is exactly what I’m talking about.

  18. NMR says:

    Do I get DK bonus points for picking my first game at the CEC based on the Kings being in town?

    Anze was a boss.

  19. pattonbb says:

    Ben would be so more likeable if I never had to hear him talk again. Love to watch him play, but he always comes off as a pouty little kid who’s threatening to take his ball and go home.

  20. Jandy says:

    I’ve heard so many people say negative things about Ben, it’s pathetic. But my daughter works for a cell phone company in Pittsburgh. He came in and she waited on him. She said he is the most egotistical, arrogant, ignorant person she has ever waited on. It was all she could do not to ask him to leave, but she didn’t want to lose her job. That told me all I needed to know, because my daughter is a “people person” who pretty much gets along with everyone. It’s why she’s successful working where she works.
    So yeah. Ben’s a spoiled brat. He needs to play football and just shut up. ;)

  21. Steve says:

    Am I the only one that “hears” the sarcasm in Big Ben’s comments? I don’t see it as pouting, complaining, etc. Just his way of having fun with the questions and all the expert fans who think they know more than the coaching staff and players. As far as I’m concerned his results on the field year after year give him the right to respond to these questions and comments pretty much however he wants. When the season starts, he’ll get the job done.

  22. Jandy says:

    Steve, maybe not the only one, but one of a few…ijs

  23. mayhay22 says:

    JAL- love that one. Saw Zac Brown Band do a killer cover of it a few months ago in Tampa. It’s on youtube if anyone is interested.

    Have to admit that hockey season ends for me when the Pens finish.

  24. NMR says:

    I can’t comment on DK’s Ben article, nor Starkey’s, because I won’t waste my time on a word of what that idiot says. If he was anything other than the Super Bowl winning quarterback of this football crazed cities team, he’d be viewed as a criminal. I cannot bring myself to root for a guy that has done the things he has.

    I’ll beleive Huntington can evaluate hitters before I beleive Ben has been “reformed”.

  25. Bizrow says:

    The longer we stay in the NL Central race, the more pressure on the BMTIB to do something.


  26. LuckyNKentucky says:


    I think the “something” won’t be Mark Trumbo. He’s hitting .348 and hit his 10th HR last night. They, like us are at .500 with him. Without him, they would be looking at next year. Even Morales is at .295 with 4 HR’s. Pujols is up to 8, but he hasn’t carried them. We may have to look elsewhere.

  27. tmp444 says:

    DK — agree with your sentiments exactly re: “If good pitching > good hitting, then it’s logical that credit for acquiring good pitching > blame for failing at acquiring hitting.”

    I’m sure this has been stated more ways than one on here, but the light bulb went off for me this morning. The frustration I think that we’ve all had on this blog, on the radio call in shows, at the park, etc., is that a T-baller can recognize how good this pitching staff is. It’s that many probably feel that the BMTIB, by not getting a bat, is WASTING a top 3 staff. The Nationals and Dodgers are #1-2 in team ERA and in 1st place in their divisions; the Pirates are #3 in team ERA, but not in first place in the worst division in baseball; not even in that ridiculous 1-game wild card if the season ended today. They haven’t lost a game (I don’t think, at least) when they’ve had the lead going in to the 7th inning.

    So, I agree that credit for acquiring good pitching > blame for failing at acquiring hitting…..but oh what a bat would do!!!! Let’s not WASTE this, Neal!

    That said —-.500 at the end of May, 3 games out with six HUGE games this weekend/early next week, and one of the best staffs in baseball. I’m excited. This is fun. Cheering them on is fun. Being relevant is fun. Positive is the name of the game today. LET’S GO BUCS!

  28. CoachWard says:

    It’s obvious to me that Haley and the rest of the coaching staff came in with the mindset that they wanted to be more physical in the run game and they are obviously placing an emphasis on that in the beginning of OTA’s.

  29. Naterosboro says:

    I’ll say this DK, I was one of those who thought you read too much into Ben’s comments from a few weeks ago.

    The quotes to Starkey, however, do have a bite to them.

    I’m not sure if this is just ego or what, but if Ben can’t understand that the Steelers are trying to do whats best for him & the team long term, then maybe that motorcycle accident did more damage than I thought.

    Fans want the run?! Perhaps those old enough to remember the throwback jerseys they’ll be wearing this year…

    No, (and Starkey hit it RIGHT on the head) the fans want Red Zone efficiency. Touchdowns. Too many times we saw the Bruce Arians offense put up yards, but fail to put up points. You can’t be top 10 in yds, yet bottom 10 in pts. To me, that speaks to something on the coaching side of the ball. If the guys are good enough to put up those, then I think it stands to reason they should be able to score more pts. Under Bruce Arians, that wasn’t going to happen.

    And, with Wallace (hopefully by Game 1), Brown, Sanders, Miller & now Rainey, they have speed out the…wazoo, so don’t tell me Todd Hailey won’t be airing it out this season.

    Ben needs to start getting on the same page as everyone else. Things happen in our jobs that we’re not happy with, but we deal. It’s time to be the soldier, Ben.


    DK: Tried to tell everyone at the time. This was really transparent.

  30. radio wave says:

    At NMR: #28
    Great post:
    I’ve felt the same way about Ben for a long time.
    At Biz: #29
    Just heard an interesting conversation on sirius/xm mlb radio. Because of the 2 additional wild card spots, and so many teams ”
    “still in it”, it will be closer to the deadline before teams decide if they are buyers or sellers.
    Right now, the Bucs have to be considered buyers. Wouldn’t you think they would try and make a move, if a move they can afford is actually available, before the end of June?

  31. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Very well said.

  32. bob hasis says:

    For Playoffs, I was in Washington, PA watching some high school baseball on Wednesday thus I was unable to participate in o/u.
    When I got home, I checked out your line (LOB by Pirates @7.5).
    In your final entry late last night you said the Pirates left 8 on base, and the UNDER squeaked out a win.
    Please forgive me, but shouldn’t the OVER have been declared the winner?

  33. RobertoForever says:


    Great win by Los Angeles. I know as a person with Slovak heritage, I root harder, when the Pens are out, for fellow Slovakians. Do you find that is the case with you?

    Good set of links today. Much as we would like Big Ben to be the perfect gentleman, I see a Pirate winning a battle title before Big Ben becomes Peyton Manning. Sad, but true. I will also trust Tomlin and whoever his assistants are, to keep Big Ben on the tracks enough to keep winning. I don’t really sweat any of this offseason stuff.

    DK: Kopitar is Slovenian. That has nothing to do with my heritage and, from the sound of it, yours. Look on the map. Tiny place.

  34. RobertoForever says:

    Drew Sutton update.

    Batting 1 for 18 in his last 5 games with 8 strikes (his 1 hit was a single) The Tampa Bay Rays have now lost 4 of their last 5.

    Sutton should have no bearing on this or any Pirates season, nor bear any judgement on the FO.

    Also, isn’t it this FO who drafted Mercer and Hague in 2008?? Isn’t there credit for having them ready to contribute if the free agent/trade position players didn’t work out?

    Pitching > Hitting
    This FO gets A+ in 60% of grade, D (and climbing) in 40% of grade.

    Doesn’t equal post-season…………..yet. But I am one who believes that NH is working the phones, looking for a good deal for a bat like D-Lee, or better.


  35. tmp444 says:

    NMR — agreed completely. He’s our quarterback, so to the extent he wins football games, great. Otherwise, his hot air goes right over my head.

  36. Leefoo says:

    Roberto….don’t fooget how badly Nate Adcock is doing for KCR. Another one of those “How could NH let him get away”


    I could care less what kind of person people say Ben is because I don’t know him and I am not going to go by anecdotal evidence. I used to hear stuff about Bradshaw all the time (“He came thru the airport and couldn’t be bothered to say thank you for helping him with his bags” kind of crap).


    I cried when Kordell officially retired….lol


    Why are they playing Hockey this time of year? Doesn’t the ice melt? lol

    Bench Tabata………….NOW!!!

    Have a great day yinz guyz…..the great outdoors continues to call. I love my job, er ah retirement (not that I am rubbing it in mind you) :) :)



  37. bob hasis says:

    Now Roberto, you can’t in one breath seek acclaim for the FO in acquiring Hague, and in another breath say NH is working the phones seeking a D. Lee or better.
    As you know, D.Lee would replace Hague.

  38. Jandy says:

    Lee, the ice is “bad” but REAL men play hockey this time of year ;)

  39. NMR says:


    I beleive Roberto meant a Derrek Lee-like bat, a la contract year, veteran, rental player.

    Carlos Quentin seems to be all the rage.

  40. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Adcock had a bad outing last time out, but he had 2 good ones prior to that and ERA is not bad since being recalled from AAA. Saw him pitch a couple years ago. He has the upside. It was an oversight by someone in the organization to let him get away.

  41. bob hasis says:

    Your point is acceptable. Roberto might well have meant it that way

  42. NMR says:

    Lots of interesting stuff being written on Charlie Morton this week.

    JAL’s links #6 & #19 are worth a read, and might have you reconsidering that demotion.

  43. bob hasis says:


    Would you kindly respond to my inquiry of Playoffs o/u game last night. Since you participate, is my logic accurate @entry #35?

  44. Leefoo says:

    LNK…….our pitching depth made an Adcock extremely expendable.


    Jandy……..I like quiche, too….lol

  45. Jandy says:

    Foo, I like slow myself ;X

  46. LuckyNKentucky says:


    You’re right with present value. Not then, my Midland friend. But that’s beating a dead Leopard. Enjoy your lawn mowing!

  47. Bizrow says:

    Yeah, the Trumbo ship has passed us. Hanny still might be a chip the Angels would want though I don’t know for who.

    @radio, I’m sure the wild card changes will change some things, but I think wild card teams will be over 500 ;-)

    It will be very interesting to see if the BMTIB can pull a rabbit out of their hats

  48. JayH says:

    Two months into the baseball season – let’s look at our projections versus reality. Before the start of the season, I predicted an agonizingly close to .500 record of 80-82.

    Month Projection Actual

    April 9-13 10-12
    May 15-13 15-13

    So the buccos end May at the .500 mark, one game better than I predicted. They were helped by a May schedule with 61% home games. Now here is the bad news – it will get worse before it gets better. The Pirates play 67% of June games on the road and 55% are interleague games – both areas of sustained weakness. In addition, they have no games against Houston or Chicago. Before the season started, I identified that the key to the .500 season was significantly overperforming against the two doormats of the NL Central. So far, the buccos are 5-1 against those teams.

    I predict the bucs will finish 11-16 this month. It starts with a 5 game losing streak (Brewers, reds) and ends with the team losing 5 out of 6 to the Phillies and Cardinals. The key to the month will be the 15 straight interleague games wedged in between. All 9 of their home games are in this stretch and they will need to continue to play well at PNC Park to salvage the month and not sink too far behind.

    Keep hope alive fellow Pirates fans. In July, 50% of the schedule is against the Astros and the Cubs. If the Pirates can stay afloat in June, they can make significant progress in the following month.

  49. NMR says:


    I’d love to help, but I’m fairly clueless as to the ways of the window. I just throw my money down and wait for someone to tell me I won.


    Nice work. Hopefully the baseball gods have looked down upon us by offering up a less than stellar interleague schedule. Royals, Twins, and Tigers don’t do much to draw me out to the ballpark…unless we draw Verlander again.

  50. RobertoForever says:


    You are correct, a D-Lee like bat or better. Also, wouldn’t anyone see D-Lee or Morneau or Youk as ahead of all 3 1B the Pirates have now?

    NH can get credit for drafting Hague, a hit collector, and then go get an even better 1B.

    Btw, Hague’s defense was not rated as good at 1B in the minors. It is not his original position. Looks good so far though.

  51. RobertoForever says:

    Out for now, fellow Buccos fans.

    Off to the mountains of PA, a great place to grow up. Unfortunately its for a funeral for my favorite aunt. She was a great lady, and live to almost 80.

    Probably won’t have much of an internet connection, even if I have a chance. Hope the Bucs go to Milwaukee and bury some more history. Have a good few days, all.

  52. TJA says:

    Sympathies to you and yours Roberto…

  53. bob hasis says:

    In my opinion, Jose Tabata swings defensively – I think to avoid striking out. His swing has little “pop” in it, and rarely does he pull it, although that is not all bad. I would just like to see him drive the over the LEFT field fence here or on the road periodically.
    His defense hasn’t been bad or damaging – he wouldn’t have gotten to the one Gorkys did the other day though.

    I would STRONGLY PREFER Alex Presley be given a shot right now to be that lead-off hitting pest most teams like to have.

  54. bob hasis says:

    @NMR Thanks anyway. I just need someone – anyone in the absence of Playoffs for now – to concur with or refute my entry#36 on this link.

    I hate to even think that Playoffs messed up on last night’s o/u.

  55. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Good pitching beats good hitting anyday of the week.

    What you saw of Hague’s AB, is that a good hitter will beat you when a pitcher makes mistakes.

    99.9% of HR’s that come at this level, come from pitching mistakes. A large portion of hits are the same way, when pitchers miss their spots.

    That’s a reason why I always love to watch Albert Pujols hit. Even when the pitcher makes a good pitch, he can beat you, but when the pitcher screws up, he makes you pay. Best hitter I’ve ever seen.

  56. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    We talked about patience at the plate yesterday. Hague showed great adjustments, great patience in that 2 RBI AB. The kid has a hitter’s mind, gotta like that.

  57. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    To NH’s credit, he has always seem to have built a bullpen on the cheap. He was criticized in the draft, FA signings of wanting “power arms” and I’m not exactly sure why.

    Maybe because we (fans) are used to seeing the “pitch to contact” type of pitchers.

    I love the pitchers coming up in the minors. Those power arms are gonna be a HUGE asset in the future.

    But please, can we get a power bat, just a couple, that’s not too much to ask is it?

  58. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    I see where you say that Jose swings defensively. Can’t argue nor do I care to argue.

    His approach is to go opposite field. This leads me to believe two things; 1. he isn’t picking up the ball out of the pitchers hand, 2. his hands are slow.

    I don’t have a problem with an opposite field approach, that’s what you want to do on offspeed type pitchers. Always look opposite field and when he gets you inside, turn on it.

  59. bob hasis says:

    @Ryan, every word you wrote is correct, and if you took note in my item, I said it isn’t all bad to go opposite field – but not all of the time.
    I think – as he displayed the other night – with the basesloaded and 2 outs he swung at the first pitch and appeared to be timid. He had no conviction in it

  60. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:

    The Cubs want young pitching. It’s the perfect opportunity to load up and go get their minor league shortstop who is blocked by Starlin Castro (Junior Lake). Jordy Mercer has a chance to stick but Junior Lake can flat play.

    Put some of that pitching talent where your mouth is and address a need.

    Cubs may not go for it but it can’t hurt.

  61. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Yes, I see any of those 3 ahead of our 1B options.

    I was thinking last night during the game, that I love what Hague is doing right now, but if the Pirates are in contention, I don’t want him there to carry the load.

    I want a veteran 1B and RF to come in add some veteran experience and ability to this lineup.

    NH did it last year and the pitching went south. I feel that if the Pirates are there, and with this pitching staff they can be, that he will add.

    I know I’m all in favor

  62. Mike says:

    Ben is everything that is wrong with society in a nutshell. He is such an entitled spoiled brat that was notorious for treating women like garbage who we are all just suppose to bow to the alter of. As a player sure he’s great. I think that if he had the work ethic of Peyton Manning however, that he would be the top player in the league. Half the time he is overweight and now this offseason we have to hear him cry at every turn!?! Sorry you boy got fired!t happens. It’s actually borderline honorable how much he stands by Arians, but if you were a true leader you would act like a man and be excited about the prospect of change (at least outwardly). Especially if this change could keep you healthier and bring you more money as a result. I just cannot wait for the day where as a life long Steelers fan I have a new qb to cheer on. Surely the bar has been set quite low from a personality standpoint. I’m by no means a fan of the holier than thou attitute of a Tim Tebow either, but a middle ground sure would be nice.

  63. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    I think his confidence isn’t there right now, he’s still a young guy.

    With the bases loaded situation, patience is key. If the first pitch is a cookie, I’m all for hacking at it, but if its not in his zone, then he better just back off it. I didn’t see the AB, so I dont know about where the pitch location was to answer that one.

  64. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    You had me up until the “holier than thou attitude of Tim Tebow.”

    As someone that as followed TT from his freshman year of college, to rooting against him now that he’s an enemy, TT does not view himself as that position, not even close.

  65. bob hasis says:

    @BlacknGold #64, I like thinking. I wrote earlier (couple of days ago) that we should go after Castro and offer pitching because they have two fairly highly rated shortstops – Javier Baez and Marco Hernandez. I didn’t see Junior Lake’s name.

    To your knowledge is Lake next in line? I know nothing about him, but Theo isn’t shy about making big deals.

    Castro can hit, but there is something about his attitude that turns me off.

  66. bob hasis says:

    @ryan #67, you’ll need to accept my word on this on – bad swing, no patience and no conviction

  67. Better Days Coming says:


    Regarding the Angels, their bullpen has solidified recently and has been quite effective during their eight-game winning streak. I doubt they’re that willing to trade for help right now. Keep an eye on that.

    Also, yes, Trumbo isn’t going anywhere. He and Trout, along with the resurgent Albert, have really carried the team the last two weeks. Nor do they have any top position prospects that are currently blocked that would be a fit for the Bucs.

    So, if you look to the Angels as a partner you’re really looking at Torii Hunter or Vernon Wells.

  68. Jandy says:

    Ryan, thanks for saying that about Tebow. He is the LEAST holier than thou athlete I’ve seen.

  69. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    I will.

    @Jandy, I can’t STAND people bashing TT. I wish he was a Steeler to be honest. Until a Tiger Woods type of story comes out about him, I will continue to praise the man. But I hate he’s an enemy and that playoff game he had against the Steelers. Make no mistake, I am black and gold thru and thru…but did go to HS in Florida and became a Gators fan….before they started winning.

  70. bob hasis says:

    @Ryan #73 I am TOTALLY with you on Tebow. The man has done nothing wrong, but many are quick to criticize because he gives praise to The Lord, for his ability and achievements

  71. Jandy says:

    Ryan and Bob, preach it, guys! I’m thinking maybe Ben should take some lessons in humility and HUMANITY from TT himself ;)

  72. JaxBuc says:

    Living in Jacksonville for the last 28 years has given me a front-row seat to see some good athletes during their formative years. Billy Butler, Brett Myers, Howie Kendrick, Jonathon Papelbon come to mind. Many of these players showed special talent in high school or even before. A buddy of mine coached Tim Tebow when he played park baseball with his son, back when they were 10, 11, 12 years old, and my buddy is still convinced that Tebow would’ve/could’ve/should’ve played professional baseball. He’s been a special player, ever since he set foot onto a field of play. However, many of those other names I mentioned don’t get the attention that Mr. Tebow gets for his convictions, beliefs, generosity, etc. It’s too bad that there aren’t more young men that make their lives a model of unselfishness and deeply religious conviction. However, I think Mike (oddly enough, in post 66 above) is the first writer I have heard invoke “holier than thou” in regard to young Mr. Tebow.

  73. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I find it to be low-blows to someone they wish they were.

  74. Jandy says:

    On a lighter note, the Blackhawks have suggested to Patrick Kane that he seek help after his last bash on Cinco De Mayo. YIKES! The kid has talent but no brains.

    On a sadder note, Nik LIdstrom has announced his retirement after 20 season in the NHL.
    He’s a class act that will be missed.

  75. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    I’ve heard it before. But probably the first here on this blog.

    He is the type of athlete that you want your kids to imulate. I had my 13 year old read his book, if you haven’t read, its a good read.

    (so I hear, haven’t had the chance yet)

  76. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Always with the hockey….

  77. Jandy says:

    Jax, I believe Mike has his religious views mixed up. Sure Tim is spiritual and Christian. That doesn’t make him “holier than thou”.

    Ryan, no doubt … people who are weak will always try to find a way to bring others down, because they crave company….misery loves company.

  78. Jandy says:

    Ryan lol what can I say? I’m a puckhead ;)

  79. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Ben married into a Christian family and his father is a devout Christian. I agree with you on the humility and humanity part. By now, some should have rubbed off from both sides. Mouth and attitude sometimes reflect otherwise, but I believe there is hope for him, even with his past. Tebow would be a good influence on him for sure. Hope Tebow helps that sordid lockerroom mess in Jetsland.

  80. Jandy says:

    Lucky, don’t get me wrong. Ben is a very good quarterback. But GREAT quarterbacks do what is necessary to help the TEAM. There is no “I” in team. Seriously tho, my daughter did indeed wait on him and she said he was so terrible, irritable, childish, ignorant, that she wanted to pass him on to someone else, but she didn’t want anyone to get fired!

  81. bob hasis says:

    To all who just commented on Tebow, think of this; the man doesn’t even think in “holier than though” ways.

    He is simply put -PURE IN THOUGHT WORD AND DEED. Sadly there are too many people who can’t, won’t and don’t know how to deal with that.

    He is everything he wants to be with no intention of offending anyone.

    Now if you want to critique him as a pro QB, that is a totally different story. For me – he is a winner.

  82. Jandy says:

    bob, well said!

  83. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Hey all, just watched this and wanted to share, reminded me of my childhood.

  84. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    I agree. I don’t think it mattered what avenue TT would’ve taken. He would’ve been a winner just because of his drive and motivation.

  85. Jandy says:

    Ryan, Yinzers dig this lol

  86. JaxBuc says:

    Ryan, I’ve bought Tim’s book. I am currently reading Who Was Roberto? a Biography of Roberto Clemente by Phil Musick, so I will be reading Tebow’s on vacation later in June.

  87. JaxBuc says:


    Well said! Not as funny as your Puny joke from the other day, but more substantial.

  88. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    I’m reading Steve Blass’s book…freakin hysterical…then I’ll be moving on to TT’s.

  89. Jandy says:

    Haha! I loved Bob’s puny joke from the other day :)

  90. bob hasis says:

    @Jax, Thanks it was an old, old joke which because it was funny, I remembered it. I’m not above a little humor or levity in my life. J.Hagar had a different opinion.

    But this entry on Tebow is way more substantial. It is truly the way I think.

    My Catholic priest even has a broader ability to accept humor than some folks.

    So let’s agree – Tebow is a real man in every way you’d want your son to be, and in the way your Dad wanted you to be. I think that’ll suffice for me too!

  91. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jandy–just curious, did the incident with your daughter happen before or after the stuff in Milledgeville, GA?

  92. Jandy says:

    AW, long before…

  93. Jandy says:

    AW, she’s also a huge Steelers fan. She and her friends had Tees made up that said f*** Baltimore….she’s hilarious!

  94. Arriba Wilver says:

    I still think the Ben stuff about the new offense is WAYY overdone. If he’s still “complaining” halfway through training camp I’ll start to get worried.

    Mike—be careful what you wish for re a new quarterback. Did you live through Stoudt, Malone, Brister, O’Donnell, etc? Or Mike Tomczak, Kent Graham. (I know I’m missing somebody-on purpose)

  95. Jandy says:

    AW, oh Lord, the nightmares you are inducing!

  96. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jandy—there’s no question he was like that before. Lots of similar stories. He even sorta admitted it. But it’s certainly less damning than if it were after. At least I havent heard any after he said he’s changed. (and I’m not saying he’s an angel, just that until I hear otherwise, I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt.).

  97. bob hasis says:

    Thanks Jandy I felt you would be the benchmark for acceptance; if you approved and weren’t offended, then all was OK.

  98. Karen22 says:

    Just jumping in here to give all a chuckle if you haven’t yet read DK’s chat transcript from today. Best two responses:

    tmk: Does anyone really think Tabata is 23?
    Dejan Kovacevic: Probably not even his mom.

    Brian: If the PIrates had a pinata at a birthday party, could they break it?
    Dejan Kovacevic: Yes, they’d have Joel Hanrahan throw at it.


  99. LuckyNKentucky says:


    You left out Tommy Gun! On purpose?

  100. NMR says:


    I appreciated your insight on the Pirates potential #1 pick, specifically that it will NOT be the shortstop most mock drafts are calling.

    Since you didn’t elaborate further, are we to assume no other specific names have been thrown around?

    No doubt in my mind that you have a better pulse on this than anyone else.

  101. cosmo says:

    AW, how about Woodley, not LaMar

  102. Jandy says:

    AW, I guess I just don’t like Ben the human, myself. He’s a good quarterback, tho. With the stunts he’s pulled, he has to prove himself to me now. He’s already been given the benefit of the doubt.

    bob hasis, Mother Teresa has spoken! ;)

    karen, I was in on the chat and I laughed out loud at those two…I’ll get myself in trouble at work if I don’t watch it lol

  103. Hasty Bob,

    Some of us weren’t here the other day: tell us your joke.

    I know I could use a laugh right about now.

    Although if someone had the time to go back to the top of this thread and record all the names Ben has been called, e.g., drama queen, diva, big baby, little girl, it probably would make a hilarious list!

  104. Jandy says:

    G2M2S, oh you missed bob’s joke? it was a good one!

    I loved yours about Michaelangelo’s relative and your aunt ;)

  105. Better Days Coming says:


    Best of luck on your NBA finals. Wasn’t aware you had finished your undergrad work. Congrats nonetheless.

  106. Karen22 says:


    I’m entirely with you on Ben…I only root for him when he’s on the field. Total A$$.

    I laughed out loud at those, too. Wish I were that clever at quick comebacks!

  107. radio wave says:

    Jaime Moyer has been designated for assignment by the Rockies.

  108. radio wave says:

    jamie moyer has been designated for assignment.

  109. bob hasis says:

    @Groat, This is for Groat only, all others who are slightly or very sensitive, cover your eyes.

    There were two ladies at their 20th high school reunion sitting together talking about their respective love affairs. The first one looked up and said, “isn’t that Bob Hasis over there. The second one said. “yes I think it is.”
    The first one said he was always a nice guy and I dated him for a while after we graduated, but he was a little peculiar.
    The second said in what way? The first one said, on his manhood he had tattooed the word puny, P-U-N-Y.
    The second one burst out in uncontrollable laughter, and said, I also dated him but when we were together that word was PUNXSATAWNY.

  110. Jandy says:

    LOLOL! Good the second time around, bob :)

  111. bob hasis says:

    Jandy you are a real sport. Thanks for your sense of humor

  112. Jandy says:

    Awww…now you’re making me blush, bob! =)

  113. Just what I needed, Bob!

  114. bob hasis says:

    Jandy that’s the same reaction I got from the second lady

  115. My favorite line of the Fireside Chat was:
    “Dejan, don’t you feel you’re being overly critical of Neil Huntington in your criticism of the lineup?”

    I guess he expected DK to say, “Ya know, Adam, now that you bring it up, I would like to publicly say that my prior opinion was grossly incorrect! What was I thinking when I was suggesting that the Pirate offense is the worst ever, despite statistics to back that up? My bad!”

    And it says a lot that the writer from the Czech Republic speaks/writes English gooder than most of us.

  116. Jandy says:

    bob you’re on a roll, friend :)

  117. bob hasis says:

    Jandy, make it a bagel if you don’t mind – a poppy seed one/cream cheese

  118. Arriba Wilver says:

    I don’t like to challenge DK, but he made a statement in the Chat today about interacting with Vin Scully, which I find a little hard to believe in light of this old post from another blog:

    “Jose Lind’s Pants wrote re: [ ]

    I may have mentioned this before but I know a guy who knows a guy who’s brother-in-law’s cousin works at PNC. He surveyed the Baseball Media for their thoughts on our very own Dejan Kovacevic. Here’s what they told him.

    Jim Palmer- “Is that the guy that coaches the Olympic gymnasts?”

    William Rhoden- “He once held a knife on me until I shared my Juicy Fruit gum.”

    Vin Scully- “Young man, I have never heard of him. Now, would you please get the hell out of my stall.”

    Tom Verducci- “That guy’s voice is amazing. The Scorpions are the most underrated band ever.”

    Greg Brown- “Kovacevic? Oh yeah. Years ago I bought a Buick Skylark from him. Turns out he didn’t even work at that dealership and the car was stolen. I spent 4 days in the Allegheny County jail.”

    Rob Neyer- “If you cue up his notebooks they correspond perfectly to The Who’s Quadrophenia.”

    John Perrotto- “Did you know that he got his start by writing the Letters to Penthouse Forum?”

    Peter Gammons- “I met him at Lebowski Fest and he wouldn’t stop talking about the connection between Kevin McClatchy and Eliot Rosewater.”

    Stan Savran- “I don’t understand why he quit wearing the Speedo.”

    Frank DeFord- “Could you ask him if he’s ever going to return my copy of Mahogany?”

    Tim McCarver- “In the offseason he works as an actor in Colonial Williamsburg. As Patrick Henry, no less. Oh Boy!”

    Bob Nutting- “Tried to get me to pay protection money.”

    Bob Walk- “He’s constantly bragging that he’s made in Tony the Lip’s Sullivan Street crew.”

    Mark Cuban- “He plays one helluva mean D chord. Don’t believe me? Look it up on YouTube.”

    Bob Woodward- “He had absolutely nothing to do with All The President’s Men. I don’t understand why he keeps saying he was Deep Throat. He would have been 5 years old. Are you going to eat that cruller?”

    (I hope I haven’t violated anybody’s copyright. And where is Jose Lind’s Pants–the blogger)?

  119. Jandy says:

    you got it ;)

  120. Jandy says:

    Arriba, how long did it take you to do that? LOL!

  121. twentytwo22 says:

    The schedule makers were kind to the Pirates. The Brewers play tonight in Los Angeles at 10:10 PM edt. It takes 3h 54m to fly from Los Angeles to Milwaukee. They won’t be in their beds until 3-4 am Milwaukee time at the earliest. Also, the Pirates won’t have to face Gallardo or Greinke.

    Friday Correia v LHP Wolf (9-6 versus lefties this year, Wolf 5.73 era)
    Saturday Bedard v RHP Marcum
    Sunday McDonald v RHP Fiers.

    Win Friday against a weary team. McDonald pitches Sunday for a 2 or 3 win series. Saturday is a gravy game.

    They have a great opportunity to win a series in Milwaukee.

  122. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jandy. Only thing I did was cut and paste. Jose Lind’s Pants did the writing. He always cracked me up.

  123. Jandy says:

    Aw ~ funny stuff, had me dying here at work ;X

  124. pattonbb says:

    @NMR – Whoa…can’t even imagine what Theo would want in return for Castro.

  125. cosmo says:

    @ bob hasis

    I once heard a version of the same story, but instead of punxytawney it was
    punxytawney pennsylvania home of the ______ groundhog.

  126. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    This was my favorite from the blog:

    Panner: Do you think Barmes could employ a Pakistani cricket bat; considering his propensity to swing at balls in the dirt?

    Dejan Kovacevic: Well played

  127. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Said 2 impact type prospects, whatever that means.

  128. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    To those that watched the game last night, what are you thoughts on Mercer?

    I was fairly impressed with his glove and his arm. Didn’t have any real difficult plays to make, toughest one was probably the double play ball that he turned up the middle.

    His arm on the other hand, looked VERY strong. Trying to compare to Barmes, IMO, his arm is stronger.

    Also, after the game he and Hague were interviewed, couldn’t believe how much taller he was than Hague. Impressive size to someone that plays that position. Best comparison, Cal Ripken. I’m not saying he’s going to have that sort of a career, but the looks of Cal are seen through Jordy, I’d say.

  129. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    How long do you sit on those questions before you answer? Do you know all that stuff off the top of your head or is there some research involved?

    Well played sir.

    DK: Have you been in the room yet, Ryan? You can watch the answers go up. Very, very rarely will I pause to check something. It’s a live chat, so I like to keep it moving.

  130. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    I’ve heard that joke before, but instead of puny and punxa….i heard it say shortys……..shortys bar and grill chattanooga tennessee….

  131. NMR says:


    In terms of Pirates prospects, you’ve gotta imagine it would take Cole/Taillon and Heredia/Bell.

    It seems the shine has worn off the Marte star.

    Castro is under control through 2017. It would take a monster deal, not to mention a premium due to being within the same division.

    The name that interested me more is Lahair. The Cubs are gonna be out of contention, so theres really no reason to keep a decent backup 1st baseman once Rizzo is brought up. I’d give up one of the Indy pitchers and an A-level prospect for him. Shouldn’t take a huge bounty to get.

  132. Bizrow says:

    Honestly, I don’t want Huntington any where near Theo, we will get ripped off, IMO anyways

  133. NMR says:

    No way, Biz. Theo owes him one for the Bay trade.

    Bryan Morris for Lahair, straight up. Bring it full circle.

  134. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Owes us one at the Cubs expense? I’ll take it.

  135. NMR says:

    I really need to start using those sarcastic smiley faces…

  136. pattonbb says:

    “Bryan Morris for Lahair, straight up. Bring it full circle”

    great post NMR.

    I’d give an Indy arm for LaHair too, but as a few people already mentioned, I have no faith in Huntington holding his own in any discussions with Theo.

  137. Karen22 says:

    You can tell there’s no baseball today in BuccoLand…

    DK: Yup. Here’s a Pirates/Castro post I just put up on Sulia, if anyone’s interested …

  138. bob hasis says:

    @NMR #138 I thought I liked LaHair also, then I watched him bat against left-handed pitching, he made Pedro and Jones look strong

  139. Bizrow says:

    Theo could buy NH for his lunch

  140. Karen22 says:

    The AND part, Dejan, would be a deal buster…OR might do it (I’d take that in a heartbeat—Cole OR Taillon).

    But I’d bet anyone’s britches Theo would make Neal look stoooopid.

  141. bob hasis says:

    The Pirates have always shied away from dealing with high-powered agents, I can only imagine how NH would handle – or be handled by Theo.

    I just checked Chicago Cubs Prospects and it seems they have options in the minors that would allow them to dangle LaHair and Castro

  142. Mike says:

    Sorry my Tebow rip got everyone’s panties in a bunch. It is a powerful thing to behold when even just mentioning the guy’s name as an afterthought gets people so intensely driven to defend him. Little tougher to stick up for our guy. The real point is who isn’t sick of Ben b!tching every 5 seconds about things like having to learn a new playbook and how a balanced attack is some awful thing? It has nothing to do with hating on anyone whatsoever and everything to do with how disrespectful and arrogant one of the biggest stars in this city really is. If anyone believes the guy is somehow different let all his childish comments speak higher volumes.

  143. Officer Mancuso says:

    This blog is rocking! I’m off to read JAL’s link 19 about Charlie Morton thanks to NMR’s post #46. In post 66 Mike raised the always interesting question whether you prefer the best athlete or the nicest guy in evaluating a pro. I remember boxer Ali and answer unequivocally, “best athlete”. JayH52’s post rocks and if ArribaWilvur’s not worried, neither am I…I think. GO BUCS.

  144. JohninOshkosh says:

    I thought the interesting part of that Nightengale story on the Cubs was that Jeff Samardzija was deemed untouchable. Really shows the premium clubs place on power pitchers. I would wager all the steaks at Harry Caray’s restaurant that the Cubs have no intention of moving Castro at this point. I believe it was more of a leak to reinforce to the kid that no one player is indispensable in the Theoocracy, and that he better be fighting for his job every game.

  145. Jandy says:

    Hey it’s OshKoshB’Gosh! :)

    Mike, no need to be sorry, good discussion is always welcome in here.

  146. JohninOshkosh says:

    Hi Jandy!

  147. Jandy says:

    No game tonight, it’s a slow evening

  148. JohninOshkosh says:

    BTW, in 2 hours 10 minutes, it will be June 1 in the Eastern Time Zone. So 2 hours 10 minutes until trades can be made. :)

  149. Jandy says:

    June already!

  150. JohninOshkosh says:


    Working late tonight. Waiting for Dejan to post his column. Hope it’s not a hatchet job on the NBA. Some of us here enjoy the Association.:)

  151. Jandy says:

    OshKosh, work is a four letter word lol. Truthfully, I was helping hubby with work related stuff until about 9. Go figure! Good thing like him ;)

  152. Milo Hamilton says:

    Is this kinda the reverse trade deadline ?

  153. Jandy says:

    Good way to look at it Milo

  154. Jandy says:

    I’m getting some shut eye, catch you all tomorrow

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