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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: More pucks, please


Brief and to the Point …

>> The worst thing anyone can say about these Stanley Cup playoffs is that they’ve really lacked the vital element of suspense.

Maybe the Devils finally injected a little last night.

Maybe not.

It’s been a weird postseason in that the most anticipated matchup of all was Penguins-Flyers, which immediately turned into this bizarre flashback to the ’80s and fizzled almost immediately. Yeah, there were some Game 7s after that, but none that really captured the imagination across the board. Certainly not the way Sidney Crosby vs. the Flyers should have.

It’s already terrific for the league, I think, that Los Angeles is experiencing this. The U.S. No. 2 market spending even two weeks buzzing about hockey is a dream situation. But the one thing that’s been missing — especially for fans of the Kings — is that playoff angst, that nail-biting, that pacing back and forth, that feeling that even you as a fan had to suffer for your team to win.

New Jersey taking Game 5 on Saturday night ought to accomplish that.

>> Columnist Joe Starkey looks at Tomas Vokoun’s possible effect on Marc-Andre Fleury.

>> Hurts the Pirates in more ways than one that Brad Lincoln lasted only four innings.

Yeah, the loss is lousy in that it tosses out the possibility of a sweep in Cincinnati that would have brought a tie for first place. But the bigger loss is that the rotation could have looked a legit seven deep if Lincoln fared well, now that Jeff Karstens will be back soon.

Maybe Lincoln will bounce back. Worth the benefit of the doubt, since he took a 1.04 ERA into this game and, really, a couple of the Reds’ hits in their big inning came on pitches almost in the dirt.

The Pirates should hope so. Starting depth is the No. 1 trading chip.

>> So Sean Kugler, the Steelers’ offensive line coach, says the coaching staff wants to have the line set before Latrobe. And rookies David DeCastro and Mike Adams not only will be in next week for minicamp but also have been studying the playbook off CD-ROMs for a while now.

Two plus two = These kids are starting.

>> Our weekly chat is at noon today.


  1. Jandy says:

    I crashed last night at 10:30….score for Kings and Devils was still tied at 1-1. Darn Devils anyway!

    I was disappointed the Buccos came up short, but I guess you can’t win them all. Would have been nice to go for a sweep, tho. Isn’t it nice to even be able to talk about it???

  2. Jandy says:

    Just read Starkey’s column on Vokoun. Spot on. The goaltending situation will be interesting next season. Hopefully, this is what Fleury needs to get his game back on course.

  3. JAL says:

    JAL’s Blue Skies Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)


    4—Pirates Prospects

    Pirates Notebook: Lincoln Struggles in Second Spot Start

    Draft Day Three Recap: Prep Players, Pittsburgh Kids, and Tommy John

    Prospect Watch: Alderson Struggles, Kingham Has Decent Start

  4. JAL says:

    Barmes 2011 WAR Causes a Question in the Accuracy of Defensive Metrics Used

    First Pitch: Players Are Signing Quickly

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Reds 5, Pirates 4

    MLB Draft 2012: Pirates Appear To Have Done Fairly Well Given Constraints

    6 Rumbunter

    Today’s Must Listen: Jon Sandfort, Pirates 3rd Round Pick, Ready to Get to Work

    7 McEffect

    Current Pirates and the Draft

  5. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    20 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Pittsburgh Steelers 2012 Schedule Preview Week 8: vs Washington Redskins

    Ike Taylor, Larry Foote Blast NFL Network’s Warren Sapp on Trib Live Radio

    Ravens DE Terrell Suggs Misses Two Championship Opportunities in Three Months

    21 Steelers Depot

    - Haley Doesn’t Sense Roethlisberger Is Struggling With Learning Curve Of Offense

    22 Nice Pick Cowher

    Names and Faces May Change, But Replenishing Talent a Continuing Theme for Steelers

  6. JAL says:

    Pitt Blogs

    23 Pitt Blather

    Expansiopocolypse: Why So Quiet?

    24 Cardiac Hill

    Pitt’s Perceived Weaknesses (Part II of IV): Ray Graham Return From Injury

    WVU Blogs

    25 Metro News

    Mazey Confident Baseball Success Can Occur Quickly at WVU

    26 WV Illustrated

    Big 12 Logo Coming Soon To WVU Facilities

  7. JAL says:


    27 Sky Sports

    FA – Rio talk off limits

    28 Daily Telegraph

    Dutch forward Dirk Kuyt cuts a deal to leave Liverpool Reds for a new deal with Turkish club Fenerbahce

    29 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: Stories you need to read, June 6 2012


    30 Pensburgh

    Season in review: Simon Despres

  8. JAL says:

    Blue Skies, Irving Berlin, 1926 One of the most prolific songwriters in history, Berlin had his first hit in 1911 with Alexander’s Ragtime Band. He also wrote two major standards, White Christmas and God Bless America. This version is by Doris day.

  9. NMR says:

    We can all blame Groat for bringing the wrath of Phillips. Good job, man…

    One start doesn’t ruin a career, but this wasn’t just one start. This was the third season of “one starts”. At some point, the Pirates are going to have to accept Lincoln for what he is.

    They’ve found exceptional value in a given role. Stop trying to make him a starter and utilize him as best you can.

  10. bdubb says:

    I sure wouldn’t worry about Brad Lincoln. They guy hasn’t been stretched out in a month and then got beat up in the 4th. The bigger question is Karstan’s health. Lincoln is fine.

  11. Turner Ward says:

    With Brad Lincoln, I can’t help but think of the old saying, “it’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”

    It would have been really nice to approach the trade deadline with him in the bullpen lighting it up, convincing some team that he’s a viable starter who’s legitimately blocked by 5 or 6 other guys, and then you can trade him for a really nice bat or more. Maybe he’ll have another bounce-back start or 2.

    The same goes for Locke and the other AAA guys. Depth is really nice when all you do is talk about your depth. If these guys are all forced into action, I do not look forward to the results.

  12. NMR says:

    “I sure wouldn’t worry about Brad Lincoln.”

    The same Brad Lincoln thats only had an ERA under 4 at one level of the minors? Thats failed as a starter in three straight major league seasons?

    Ok, I won’t worry. I’m sure he’ll magically turn it around once he’s “stretched out”.

  13. Drew71 says:

    So Brad Lincoln. According to THIS morning, WITH last night’s poor start, his numbers this season:

    3-1, 2.40 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, .31Ks over 30 innings vs. 10 BBs, 202 Batting average against.

    The bum.

    Yeah. But it’s been an UGLY .202

  14. Leefoo says:

    NMR……in defense of Lincoln (and in agreement with bdubb)….hard to go from pitching 1 inn to making a start. He ran out of gas in the 4th (said so on the Fan).

    It’s the Pirates who need to decide ‘what he is’. Karstens would run out of gas, too. I prefer Lincoln as a starter, but I can live with him as a shut down reliever, also. But the PIRATES need to decide what to do with him.


  15. JMB says:

    Stanford vs Florida St tomorrow night 7pm EST on ESPN2.

    I would think Appel will pitch game 1.

    Tallahassee Super Regional

    Florida State vs. Stanford

    June 8 – 7:00 p.m.

    June 9 – 6:00 p.m.

    June 10 – if needed

  16. nate83 says:

    I think the 4th wasn’t really that ugly of an inning for Lincoln. He wasn’t grooving the ball down the center of the plate. The Ludwig hit was a well placed low in the strike zone pitch that he went down and got and another hit was in on the hands and the batter just fought it off.

    Let’s not overreact to one inning this guy pitched and call him overmatched. When he attacks and trust his stuff he is good as evidence by his 31 strikeouts in 30 innings. When he gets in a little trouble and tries to nibble on the corners and falls behind is when he struggles. I think it’s more mental then anything.

  17. NMR says:


    Where did 13 of those 15 appearances come from?

    You didn’t read my first post if you think I said Lincoln is a bum.


    Isn’t that proof that Lincolns stuff is most effective from the pen? Seems an awful big leap of faith to assume that “stretching” him out will enable him to keep the same stuff through six innings. He’s 27. It hasn’t happened yet, and hes not getting any younger.

    Thats all I was saying. Look, I know, you know, and the Pirates know any pitcher has more POTENTIAL value as a starter. But this will be the 7th year of trying to force him into that potential. They clearly have found a way to make brad Lincoln effective this year. If we truly do have pitching depth, what point is it to force him into a starting role?

  18. NMR says:


    “When he attacks and trust his stuff he is good as evidence by his 31 strikeouts in 30 innings.”

    So then lets make Joel Hanrahan a starter.

    Doesn’t work like that, does it?

  19. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I think we all knew Lincoln would run out of gas. He hadn’t been stretched out and hadn’t pitched much in the last week. Most everyone went with the under on Playoffs’ picks, not that that is gospel, but most people had it figured out. Can’t pass judgement on one start, if he is going to start, but, like NMR says, he’s found a niche. Let’s exploit that.

  20. Jandy says:

    Forgive me for making a hockey connotation, but I remember the Pens trying to get Geno to play wing, and he did play the position. But his “natural” position is center and he plays to his potential at center. Not so much so at wing. I’m thinking it’s the same type situation with Lincoln. If he’s an effective closer ( I believe that’s the correct term or correct me if I’m wrong), why mess with that? Let him fill his potential where he thrives the best.

  21. LuckyNKentucky says:

    You’re right, Jandy. Hurdle made a statement a month or so ago about him being a candidate for the back end of the bullpen. Then, he was hitting 96 with his fastball. They need to stick with the plan. Karstens being back should solve that for now.

  22. Arriba Wilver says:

    Lucky–it was close, but I think in the window one more person went with the over. (Not saying that majority rules on what’s accurate here, just trying to BE accurate).

  23. mayhay22 says:

    We had the sustainability conversation last June and I (and many others) felt like it wasn’t going to last. This year, I think we realistically have a chance to make this thing endure. While we need a legitimate middle of the order bat to contend in the division, the pitching seems like it can keep us at or above .500 through the summer.

  24. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Thanks. At least there are more optimistic people than pessimistic ones. Big sample size, though, as he said it was a big participation last night.

  25. JAL, Murray Chass has a whole article on the Pirates today. You might want to include it on your list tomorrow.

    Johnny Cueto gave up 3 runs in the 7th inning last night. I am not ready to dismiss him as a starter.

    Lincoln gave up 4 runs in the 4th last night. He was not grooving the pitches and Ludwick actually went down out of the strike zone to drive that double into the gap. The hitters get paid too.

    I am not willing to yet dismiss Lincoln as a starter. If he is/was given as much chance as Charlie “My Brain Hurts” Morton, I am confident he will out perform him. I like Lincoln’s arm action, his velocity, and his movement—his “stuff.” And, he is a competitor who hates to lose, not a “flower child” singing folks songs.

  26. nate83 says:


    Reading my post back it does come off as I’m pro Lincoln as a full time starter. I actually prefer him in the pen. I was just stating I don’t beleive his outing was as bad as the numbers showed last night. I beleive the job he did in his other spot start warrents him maybe getting one more if needed to wait for Karstens to get back. With guys such as Locke and Owens in the minors there is no need for Lincoln to be a long term solution as a starter, but I think he has earned the right to spot start here or there when a pitcher has to skip a start for stiffness or something.

  27. Jandy says:

    JAL #22 is a good read. Looks like outside people think the Buccos will sustain their pitching form.

  28. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Good one, Groat (not the beloved 60’s shortstop, but the president of the Charlie Morton Fan Club).

  29. NMR says:

    Well done, Jandy! I beleive the out-of-position analogy is completely relevant.

    Are the people saying Lincoln only had one bad inning forgetting the last 7 years?

    One year, at AA, with an ERA under 4.00. If he wasn’t a #1 draft pick, he’d have been in the bullpen long ago, where he would be thriving.

  30. NMR says:

    Absolutely, nate. Couldn’t agree more. Lincoln still can add a ton of value to this team without being “stretched out” into a conventional ever-5th-day starter.

  31. JHadar says:

    Lincoln’s only had one bad inning — this year.

    Does that remind anyone of Burnett’s disaster?

    His career is interesting in that every time he’s moved up a level he’s had a rougher start than what you’d expect, then settled into it and been just fine — and then when the next promotion comes it’s back to a rough time.

    I’m willing to at least wait and see.

  32. cmat0829 says:

    Good day to all… and good day to win a series from the first-place Reds for the second time in a week!

    My two cents:

    1) Lincoln is best when he attacks hitters. It seems to me he does that much better in relief than he does when he starts. No need to (over)react to one start in the Cincinnati bandbox of a stadium, but from his total body of work to this date, there is no question to me he is more effective in relief. It’s a tough call really (the same tough call that other teams have also, see Bard, Daniel from Boston)… My gut tells me Lincoln is more likely to be the CLOSER on the Bucs beginning in 2013 than part of the rotation after Cole and Taillon get here. But that’s more of a 60/40 feeling than a slam dunk.

    2) Karstens deserves the chance to rejoin the rotation as soon as he is ready, in my opinion that will be in Baltimore next week.

    3) That said, we have moved to the “short leash” stage in the season — you can see on the offensive side that McGehee/Jones/Pedro/Barmes/Tabata need to hit now or be out of the lineup… and that Clint will “let the bat play”… same should be said for starting pitching…. AJ/Bedard/JMac are set… the other two spots should go to the pitchers performing (Karstens/Morton/Lincoln/Correia).

    4) Has anyone asked Doc Emrick if he would be interested in being the voice of the Pirates? He has such passion for the team and it would be fine with me if he joined in June each season after the NHL concluded… we would then only have to endure Tim for a couple of months….

  33. Arriba Wilver says:

    Lucky—not so much optimistic or pessimistic on the “window.”. Playoffs just did a Las Vegas type job picking the over/under number. Brilliant! :-)

  34. Jandy says:

    cmat, I do believe Doc himself said that while he loves the Buccos, he doesn’t “have enough” for doing the baseball ammouncing. I myself would love to have him there, tho.

  35. NMR says:

    Any Californians on the blog know what kind of rink infrastructure is available in SoCal?

    It definitely seems that the NHL market is only sustainable in a place where kids play the sport. The surge in youth participation in Western PA has been well documented.

    Hopefully the NHL can take advantage of the Kings success this time around.

  36. JAL says:


    Thanks–have it in for tomorrow

  37. Part of my evaluation of Lincoln is that subjective “eye test” that I have from watching him and others at multiple Spring Trainings . . . . . and I know those were just mound sessions and Spring Training. And I know it’s my eyes and not others’.

    We can throw around #’s all we want, pre and post Tommy John.

    I think Lincoln can be a fine reliever.

    I think his best and strongest spot to help the Pirates long term AND short term is as a starter. His present ERA is still better than Morton, Correa, Karstens, and Bedard, and two of those won’t even be with the Pirates next year! (and who know what planet Charlie Morton will be visiting next year.)

    Patience and opportunity——that has worked with Presley, Barmes, Jones, and Barajas (I just wish he would throw somebody out!). It worked with Hanrahan when he got here. In the long run, the Pirates will be helped more if they give Lincoln the opportunity to start for a string of games.

    JandyGirl, it’s like putting Jordan Staal on the wing or leaving him at center. He can do fine at wing for Crosby (Dejan’s wish) or Malkin, or you can leave him at his best and most natural position—center.

    I think Brad Lincoln’s best and most natural position is “Starter.” That’s where he’ll help Bucs the most.

  38. Jandy says:

    That’s what I like about you, Groat, you make me feel young again, with that “JandyGirl” =)

  39. Jandy says:

    Groat, I will make this point about Jordan Staal….he’s unique in that he does so many things, and does them well. Not many players have that much versatility.

  40. buggee says:

    –> Lincoln needs to STAY IN THE PEN. He’s lights out there. When he starts you can see that he tries to control the amount of effort he puts into each batter, each inning. It’s a mental limitation, and it’s not his strength. Lincoln is at his best when he’s attacking with no regard for lasting 5 innings. There’s another solution in the mix. At least if he has to make a spot start, tell him beforehand that his limit is 80 pitches or 4 innings (or whatever). Cap him and tell him to fugeddaboutit and go after people.

    –> Jandy, since I’ve heard you referred to as “Jandygirl”, I just have one quest (and please forgive my familiarity): Do ya dig the longball? It’s so refreshing to meet a lady who is into the Pirates, and I truly enjoy your perspective. Respectifully…

    –> Two questionmarks pertaining to the Penguins: 1, Organizational development of Forward positions?, and 2, organizational development of Goaltenders?

    –> Potshot at the Pirates’ broadcast team: The radio broadcasts are becoming insufferable. I realize they are paid employees of the team, but seriously? Tim Neverett is a pro, that much is evident, so long as he stays in play-by-play mode, but the rest of them…?. I don’t even bother flipping the game on in the car anymore. It’s painful and annoying. I’d rather listen to a dentist’s drill in my own mouth than those other guys blathering on about something insipid and remotely baseball-related. Blech.

    –> Nice read by Starkey. Dude cracks me up ALL THE TIME. He’s so… quirky that it’s damn funneh. Nice to see that personality come through in his writing style. Keep rockin’ the ‘waves Joe, you’re one of the best ones on the air sir.

    –> Word of the day: “Insipid”. Thanks for reading/tolerating my daily rant, thanks to Jandy for not taking offense (none intended), JAL for his outstanding links, and of course DK for making this blog a reality each and every day.

    DK: Nice entry, man. Thanks.

  41. Jandy says:

    Ha! Lucky is asking Dejan: Lincoln – starter or reliever?

  42. AJS says:

    –Has anyone asked Doc Emrick if he would be interested in being the voice of the Pirates? He has such passion for the team and it would be fine with me if he joined in June each season after the NHL concluded… we would then only have to endure Tim for a couple of months….–

    i was hard on Doc yesterday when someone posted he was the best all time American hockey broadcaster stating that at one time he was but his age is catching up with him some. However, with baseball being played at a much slower pace than hockey, I think Doc would make an unbelievable baseball announcer.

  43. LuckyNKentucky says:

    DK coined a new phrase on the Chat. Lincoln got “Zach Duked” last night, as he needs his best stuff to be at peak level, similar to Evan Meek. Great line. Zach is 6-3 in AAA BTW. Dejan thinks Lincoln is best as a reliever. Not the first time he and Groat disagreed, but both have valid arguments each way.

  44. Jandy says:

    buggee, no exception taken, sir! I don’t follow longball, alas. Sorry about that.
    I used to follow the Pirates eons ago, and wanted to get back into it. Hockey is my passion. But it’s a long offseason until October. The fine people in here have been patient with me and taken me under their wings, so to speak.

    And you’re FAR from insipid ;)

  45. Jandy says:

    AJS< see my post #38 above.

  46. JAL says:

    Starter or reliever will depend on his stamina. Last night he struck out 5 in 4 innings, that is good. First 3 innings were very good–the solo homer is one of things that happens. Wheels fell off in the 4th. If can develop to pitch 6 innings like he pitched the first 3 then he can start. If he continuously falters in the 4th or 5th then he belongs in relief.

  47. AJS says:

    –JandyGirl, it’s like putting Jordan Staal on the wing or leaving him at center. He can do fine at wing for Crosby (Dejan’s wish) or Malkin, or you can leave him at his best and most natural position—center.–

    If Staal is going to stay at center he is not going to do it with Pittsburgh. He wants and deserves more than third line ice time and money.

    He put up 29 goals as a rookie playing on the wing. he can certainly play there and may be more useful in that goal scoring role than in the mostly defensive posture he takes on the third line. he may also add some defensive discipline to one of the top lines that we all saw lacking in the playoffs. If he has a future witht he Pens I believe it to be at wing.

    As for Lincoln, i just don’t see the starting potential. He has the potential to be a strong 8th inning guy or even a closer the way he attacks batters. But you can’t attack every hitter with a fastball 3 times through the line up. He started getting laced in the fourth when the lineup rolled over. he has a .45 ERA out of the pen and his ERA is over 2 in total. What does that tell you about his starts? He is a servicable 5th starter at best.

  48. Young JandyGirl,

    I LOVE the way Jordan Staal plays!

    I think we would not get to see his best if he is put on a wing.

    He’s like a big pterodactyl swooping in down the middle with the puck on the goalie. It makes me smile just to think of it.

    I think Brad Lincoln’s best is also found as a Starter.

  49. AJS says:


    That’s a shame. But broadcasting every day all summer probably would wear on him. I do generally like Doc. He is a PA guy. Love that he stepped up to do the AHL all star game last year when it was in Hershey. He is a huge Bears fan. He is always sure to point out when a player came through that system, it gets a little tiring when he does Caps games though since that entire team came through Hershey.

  50. Jandy says:

    Groat, I LOVE what Jordy brings to the Pens! But, I think is more of a different type player than the norm, in being able to do so many things. And yes I do like him more at Center. But I’d be willing to wing him with Malkin for an experiment. He’s a big boy and can use that size and strength more wisely every season that goes by.

    AJS, I really like Doc a lot. Wish some of these other “homers” would take some lessons from him!

  51. NMR says:

    Good stuff, buggee!

    Thoughts and opinions are always appreciated around here.

  52. JAL———the voice of reason!

    What he said about Brad Lincoln . . . .

    Kentuck Knob, good job asking the Fearless Leader about Lincoln as starter or reliever!
    Of course, how can we trust the judgment of one whose favorite starter is Charles Morton, esquire, he of the tired Brain?

  53. LuckyNKentucky says:


    You’re right. He likes Nate McLouth, too, and this team will hit. (Roberto will be all over this snide one).

  54. Jandy says:

    LMAO Lucky is stirring the pot!

  55. LuckyNKentucky says:

    J-Girl (the artist formerly known as Jandy),

    I’ll leave that to Mother T.!

  56. Jandy says:

    Lucky, you’re a trip today, and you a peacher ;X

  57. Jandy says:

    errr pReacher LOL!

  58. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Sometimes peacher more than preacher. You’re correct.

  59. Jandy says:

    I’m giggling like a kid here, my co-workers think I’m nuts… they are right!

  60. Jandy says:

    buggee, did you remember to let Biz know where you’re from so he can get you on the Lunatic’s list?

  61. Is a “peacher” one who picks peaches?

  62. RobertoForever says:

    IMO, There is no reason to stretch out Lincoln at this point. We have 6 starters, plus solid starters in Triple-A that can fill in. If Brad is dominating in the pen, that we should take the bird in the hand, rather than worry about the two in the bush.

    Especially if NH moves one of the bullpen guys leading up to the trade deadline, Brad may be counted on as a 7 or 8th inning guy.

  63. NMR says:

    So Groat, how long of a scholarship do you give Lincoln to develope this stamina thats eluded him for his entire baseball career?

    This isn’t ’08, ’09, ’10, or even ’11. Karstens WILL be in the rotation. Morton, who seems to be you’re favorite whipping boy lately, has actually had success as an MLB starter. Something Lincoln hasn’t sniffed in three years. Owens has arguably done more at the MiLB level to deserve a shot than Lincoln. Jeff Locke is even having a good season at AAA.

    Right now, there’s no room at the in, and thats a good thing.

  64. Jandy says:

    Oh Lord, what have I started???

  65. LuckyNKentucky says:

    That’s a tattle tale, right Groat?

  66. Jandy says:

    Here you go:
    peach2    /pitʃ/ Show Spelled [peech] Show IPA Slang .
    verb (used without object)
    1. to inform against an accomplice or associate.
    verb (used with object)
    2. to inform against; betray.


    1425–75; late Middle English peche, aphetic variant of Middle English apeche < Anglo-French apecher < Late Latin impedicāre to hold up. See impeach

    Related forms
    peach·er, noun

  67. JHadar says:

    The discussion on the chat about Clement, Marte, and Owens got me thinking.

    I’d like to see Clement succeed, not to pretend anything about management one way or the other, but he’s an Iowa boy like Hanrahan — and that would be a compelling story, overcoming injury and putting the “scholarship” business behind him.

    I’d just like to see Marte play after reading DK’s column about him. I was at McCutcheon’s first game as a Pirate and my impression at the time was that I was looking at an Athlete. (Capital A). Beating the Mets that day was icing on the cake, but it’s a game I’ll remember.

    Owens. I took DK’s comment to mean he’s going to be the real deal — but that there has to be a way to make room for him. (Trade for some bats?)

    Otherwise, play Mercer or send him down.

  68. Kentuck Knob,

    So . . . if she calls you “a peach of a guy” she’s actually calling you a Judas.

    That JandyGirl is one mean woman!

  69. JHadar says:

    I just hope Neal realizes that we are actually in it now.

  70. Jandy says:

    Groat, hey now, I take exception to that remark :p
    I made a simple typo (God forbid I make another) and it gets blown into the beggest soap on a sports column ;)
    You guys really make my day, I hope yinz realize that :)

  71. Jandy says:

    Jhadar, isn’t that the truth?!?!?!!???!!

  72. JRay3 says:

    A lot of talk about Brad Lincoln today and some very interesting takes. I went back and researched a few items, at the time of his recall in 2010 he was tearing it up in AAA, 68 innings, 3.16 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 55 K’s as a starter. Baseball America had a scouting report of two plus pitches – fastball with good life and a curve ball with a big, late break At the time needed to develop his change up. Concluded could be a solid #3,4 guy in a rotation. He held a 7.3 K/9.

    I think it was mentioned that he needs to demonstrate the ability to get through six innings and not falter in 4th/5th to prove he is a rotation guy. I agree. Much like they are working with James McDonald on the development of his slider to go with plus fastball, curve ball, it is of my opinion a top starter needs three plus pitches to work through the order a few times.

    Lincoln owns the third best K/9 rate on the team this year with a 9.3, behind only Grilli and Hanrahan. He has become more efficient in his pitch counts and has gained the confidence to pound the zone with great command and control. Some feel he could fit into the 8th/9th inning role which I believe he could. However will he ever be given a fair shake to see if he could be a solid #3,4 in the rotation? I just feel the Pirates need to make that decision with him and move forward. With Correia and Bedard most likely not in future plans and the uncertainty of Morton the team needs to figure out if they feel more confident that the starting arms knocking on the door in AAA would be more effective than what Brad offers if given the chance and developed.

    I just would like to see him get a sample size large enough to aid in a determination.

  73. JohninOshkosh says:

    I always get busy doing something and forget about the chat despite the numerous reminders. I had such trenchant questions to ask today, too.

    Another good one, though.

  74. buggee says:

    –> Jandy: Thank you for being such a great spirit/sport. I’m enjoying your posts!
    My wife-unit is now a hockey-nut too (and it’s all my fault, mine and that pretty-boy KRIS LETANG!) Great blue-liner, but I wish he’d shave his head or grow a nasty, hair-riddled wen on his forehead or something. A surge of estrogen literally floods my house when his pretty face fills that 60″ screen. Bleck. Shave it already bub. Even when I tell her that he’s a French-Canadian, she doesn’t listen cuz her eyes are glazed over. Then I have to resort to the big guns; an Ulta or Coach catalog, or a flyer from Omaha Steaks or the latest installment of Mobile SIMS (SIM Insects, SIM Zombies, SIM cellphones) to get her to return to earth from fantasyland. “Honey, I’m so glad you don’t like porn.”

    –> Thanks for the encouragement NMR. Would that my pappy were as liberal with it, you all would be writing about me in here. Not that I’m vain or anything.

    –> A post a few daze ago informed this fine, feckless blog that I am a Cranberrian but hail from the North Side. The North Side Notch is named after a dent in my head dontchaknow

    –> Jeff Clement for Tea-Party president

  75. Jandy says:

    buggee, you’re a fine fit in there, friend. And your wife is already a friend of mine. Anyone who is a fan of Tanger is a friend of mine. That kid absolutely rocks and his hair stays! dontchaknow that if you cut Sampson’s hair he loses his strength???? Nuff said.
    North side…my daughter is on the South side…Crafton area. We moved her to her new apartment Memorial Day. No time for fun tho. One of these days I’m coming to DaBurgh to take in a Buccos game!

  76. JMB says:

    I’d love to see JC get another shot. I followed him for fantasy BB when he was a hotshot C for Seattle. He either has to finally show he can hit MLB pitching or find his life’s calling.

    I dont know about the fancy fielding stats (UZR), but in the eyeball test, he did ok at 1B in 2010.

    Tabby needs a nice dl stint, so we can see what this offense can do.

    The only trade rumor that I’ve seen lately is Quentin, and I’m not how exciting or healthy he really is.

  77. LuckyNKentucky says:


    I resemble that remark.(3 Stooges) Of all people, Judas.


    Free Jeff Clement! Right, John?

  78. JohninOshkosh says:

    You betcha, Lucky.

    My brother, JHadar feels the same way.

  79. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Clement’s only hitting .321 on the season including that 17-36 DK mentioned on his Twit page. Wonder if he warrants another look? Trouble is, where do we put him? Jordy Mercer hasn’t played now in several days and pretty soon they’ll be sending him out saying he needs more AB’s.

  80. JHadar says:

    I do have a brother John, but he prefers Carharts to Oshkosh

  81. JAL says:

    Sad story from the world of soccer, Manuel Preciado, who was hired yesterday to coach a team in the Spanish league and was to be introduced tomorrow, died today of a heart attack, age 54

  82. Jandy says:

    RIP Manuel Preciado :(

  83. JohninOshkosh says:


    Ha! That is a good one. Have not heard that one before and thought I had heard all the jokes about my town before.

    Meant we were brothers, metaphorically, because of our shared Hawkeye blood.

  84. JHadar says:


    Where’s home then?

    BTW — They never should have put the Badgers in the other division.

  85. National Mart of Records,

    Sorry: not ignoring you. Just have to do work a little here as well.

    I’m an unabashed Pirate fan, so if they’re a Pirate, they’re a member of my family.
    I like Charlie Morton and have been strongly pulling for him. However, this is the 2nd “Mental Break” to the Disabled List he has needed in 3 seasons. That’s becoming too high maintenance for me, with only seeing 2/3 of a season of good results.

    What is he now: 2 – 6? He is 2 – 6 because of merit, not bad luck. If Morton is going to be just a #4 or #5 starter, he is too much drama for me to handle. I prefer someone like Karstens, who will give me all that he has for as long as he has. So, I’m down on Morton right now.

    Lincoln, despite his spotty career numbers thus far, has a greater upside than Correa, Karstens, and possibly Morton. Neither Karstens nor Morton had good statistics to hang their hat on until last season, and both fell off a cliff 2/3 through that season. We couldn’t count on either for a full season last year and so far we can count on neither this season.

    I think Lincoln is not needed in the bullpen, with Hanrahan, Grilli, Cruz, Hughes, Resop, and the 2 lefties. That could change if Hanrahan is traded.

    I DO think Lincoln can be developed as a #3 starter, starting right now. Burnett and JMac are #1 & #2. Bedard is in that nether #2-#3-#4 range, but throughout his career he has found a way to pitch well and still lose (exhibited in his current 3 – 5 record), and Bedard won’t be a Bucco next year.

    The Pirates will need another starter or 2 next season, and Lincoln is ahead of Owens and Locke.

    Correa is 2 – 5, Bedard is 3 – 5, and Morton is 2 – 6———and the Pirates are above .500!! I like Lincoln’s movement and pitch selection. I like his control (command) this season. While we are still seeing what Pedro’s got and Tabata’s got and Presley’s got this season, let’s see what Lincoln’s got as that needed #3 starter. Karstens is not back yet and is not built up, Charlie is still out there playing Air Guitar, and Bedard & Correa are just trading chips at the deadline.

    Let’s build for next year AND this year! I vote for giving Lincoln 5 straight starts, then evaluate as JAL suggested.

  86. JohninOshkosh says:


    Cedar Falls. Went to school at Iowa City. Most of my extended family is from the Dubuque and Williams area. Totally agree about the Badgers.

  87. Johnnie Ray III,

    Well thought out argument at #77!!

  88. RobertoForever says:

    I love how people have concluded that stints on the DL are “mental breaks” or “convenience”

    Baseball is a tough game on the body, what with all the torqueing and twisting and hard stops and direction changes.

    But sure, a guy struggles, and it must be a “mental break” that put him on the DL.

    As for Tabata, Brandon Phillips talked recently about when his hammy was acting up, and the team wanted him to play, just not to “go full speed”. He said he could have easily been accused of loafing, but it wasn’t the case. Hmmm

  89. LuckyNKentucky says:

    There you go, Groat, you’ve done it now.

  90. Jandy says:

    it was only a matter of time…

  91. LuckyNKentucky says:


  92. NMR says:

    Excellent post, Groat.

    Looks like Lincoln will get at least another couple shots as a starter. Here’s to hoping we truly do have that 7-deep rotation.

  93. National Mart of Records,

    You got me last night with Brandon Phillips. He was superior at bat and in the field.

    Which one shows tonight? ( I think the odds are with you)

  94. Jandy says:


  95. Jandy says:

    JMB, it’s a possibility!

  96. buggee says:

    Thanks Jandy! (I still think Tanger should shave his head and go gansta’)

    and Lucky (Luck-eye), it’s “BuggEE” Just thought I’d help ya out a bit.

    Now where would Jeff Clement play… hmmm. Maybe DH over the upcoming IL games? Who would get sent down? again, hmmm. I’m thinking someone out of the ‘pen, however names elude me at this time. Resop? Just a thought. Methinks Lincoln should stay up.

    @ Jandy: When I told my wifelett (she’s petite, dontchaknow) about the Vokoun acquisition, her immediate response was, “Is he hot like Tanger?” Ugh. Just high-stick me in the temple when the season starts already.

    Be sure to let everyone here know when you and your immeasurably tolerant huzzzzband land in da ‘Burgh for a Battlin’ Bucs game (or 3).

    I do recommend that you turn your radio off, and avoid the all-you-can-eat seats. (My Word, what a total crap promo!)

    Blessings to all and to all another Bucs win! Sayanara

  97. LuckyNKentucky says:


    You know you belong here when your name has been butchered.

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