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Wakeup Call: The amazing Los Angeles Kings


Brief and to the Point …

>> Wow.

What else can you say about a No. 8 seed that goes 16-4, takes out the top three seeds in its conference, then steamrolls a worthy opponent to raise sports’ greatest trophy?


The Los Angeles Kings, born the same year as the Penguins, finally raised the Cup late last night at the Staples Center. They had every ingredient from scoring depth up the middle (note to Penguins in terms of keeping their own), big, banging wingers (note to Penguins in terms of finding some), a talented defenseman playing up to his level in Drew Doughty (note to Kris Letang), stay-at-home defensemen like Rob Scuderi (note to wherever else Scuderi’s money went), and a goaltender playing his best in the biggest games in Jonathan Quick (note to Marc-Andre Fleury).

I write this not to cut down the Penguins but, quite to the contrary, to stress how remarkably similar they are with three notable differences:

1. The Penguins have the two best players in the world. The Kings don’t.

2. The Penguins became too small on the boards.

3. The Kings knew what to do when stuck in their own zone. Their plan actually accounted for something more than, hey, let’s get it to the other end.

And I’ll add a fourth: The Kings very clearly were coached superbly on the power play. You could see it in their movement, their unpredictability, their decision-making. The results weren’t always there, but I’ll take that system over the Penguins’ coaches flailing for answers.

Anyway, not a time for negativity: It’s exceptionally cool as a lifelong hockey lover to see the Kings as champions. Not sure why. Just one of those franchises you kind of felt sorry for, all the way out on the West Coast by themselves for so many years, always with the worst travel schedule, often blessed with great players but no championship.

What a season.

>> Here it is, the greatest trophy presentation in sports. All others pale.

>> Here is the Los Angeles Times’ front page. There still isn’t anything that captures a big moment like a hold-in-your-hand newspaper.

>> Brad Lincoln takes the bump in Baltimore, where the locals are glowing about the Orioles similar to what’s beginning to happen here.

There are all kinds of reasons this series is important for the visitors, most of them terribly obvious. But I’ll reiterate that Lincoln needs to step up for the Pirates to have full faith in their pitching depth to make a trade. If he looks like a legit — even if unspectacular — starter, you add Rudy Owens into the chart, and there’s plenty to give.

>> This Jerry Sandusky trial is going to be a nonstop stomach turn, but it’s also essential to a horrific problem in our society. That’s not just at Penn State, obviously, though this is going to be painted by some as the institution on trial.

At the same time, the words of Victim 4 regarding Tom Bradley and others previously not implicated … wow. Can’t imagine where this will go. Really can’t.

>> I’ll be over at the start of the Steelers’ minicamp on the South Side, where the headline of the day is sure to be the arrival of rookie linemen David DeCastro and Mike Adams.

Curious to hear: How do you feel about starting two rookies on the line?

>> I’ll leave you today with this photoshop special from my 11-year-old yesterday …

She wanted it to kind of look like real graffiti.


  1. Pete D. says:

    Cautiously optimistic.

  2. Merrick says:

    I have no problems starting DeCastro right away. The man is a beast and he’ll be the second best lineman behind Pouncey (if he’s even healthy). Adams still has some things to prove but seeing how weak the o-line is I know coaches will make the right decision. I’d have no problems starting both if they earn it.

    As for the Pens, you hit the nail on the head. The teams are so similar yet obtained such different results. Biggest issues in order: PP, wingers, defense breakdown. I have the breakdown last because I think it can be easily fixed. There’s no excuse for the bad pp though. Not with those weapons. Would love to see Knuble sign for cheap but it won’t happen.

    DK: Good stuff. Welcome.

    But I can’t help but ask: How do they earn it? At Latrobe? In preseason?

  3. Pete D. says:

    Starting rookies is always somewhat unsettling until you’ve seen what they can do in an NFL uniform, but it’s even more of an issue when it comes to the O-Line. This is the most important unit on the team and when your quarterback isn’t adequately protected — well, we saw what happened last season. But it’s because of that inadequacy of the line last year that I’m willing to actually be excited about these two rookies. If DeCastro is anything like the player he’s been touted as so far, it’ll be an improvement. Obviously Adams is more of a question, but if he can beat out someone to start, I trust the coaching staff made the right choice and I’ll fully endorse him. Like I said before, I’m cautiously optimistic.

    DK: You trust the coaching staff made the right choice even though the coaching staff’s stated choice just months earlier was to remove the player completely from their board?

    I’m not disagreeing. Just poking for a little more.

  4. Tyler says:

    Why hasn’t Owens been given the chance to take a start in the absence of Morton and Karstens? Starting Lincoln does take an arm out of the pen, where he will probably end up if there is a stretch run for this team, and I think its important to at least see what Owens can do with the big club for a start before the organization becomes confident enough in him to declare themselves 7, or 8, MLB starters deep.

    That said, what a big series for the Bucs in Baltimore and also in Cleveland. You cant help but look at the other side of this road trip and say, “The team coming to town is even worse than the team we just swept out of the park last weekend.”

  5. Merrick says:

    DeCastro will earn his spot before Latrobe. He’s by far the best option. Could have been starting at guard for us last year. Adams first needs to prove he really wants to play then he will have to battle Colon through camp and preseason. I wouldn’t be surprised if colon started week one but Adams ended the season as a starter. Also, Colon’s injuries have been pretty serious so who knows if he will even win the spot?

  6. Pete D. says:

    Yeah, that’s certainly something that I’ve thought about. They must have had some serious doubts to erase his name from the possibilities, but what intrigues me is this question: What does Adams possess that made the Steelers put him back on the board? Meeting with a team and explaining to them how much you want them to draft you is a far cry from an assurance they’ll do so. It must have been more than just a plea and an a conduct agreement that made the Steelers take such a chance with such implications, such as a starting spot on the offensive line. The reasoning they used to put his name back up there could mean he has some tremendous intangibles or things beyond what his film showed (the film wasn’t too shabby either). But I guess we have to start seeing his reps at camp before we get a more firm grasp on his talents.

  7. NYRinChina says:

    Memorable playoff performance by the Kings, although I think too much is being made of them being a No. 8 seed. The Kings went into the final weekend of the regular season with a chance to win the division, which would have given them the No. 3 seed. So, I don’t think they were a typical No. 8, barely getting in and then shocking the world. Going 16-4 is pretty awesome, though, no matter the seed. Also, it was nice to see the Devils implode in Game 6.

  8. DiLo says:

    If there is any position I’m “comfortable” with starting a rookie, it is on the o-line. Especially guard. The task is simple: know the snap count, move your feet, block. The 49ers started two rookies in Iupati and Anthony Davis (20 years old btw) in 2010 and we all saw how quick they helped turn that team/ line around within a year. Obviously no position is easy and a good player will excel no matter where they play, but in todays game early picks are ready to play now. Especially lineman. Besides, could it get worse than Kemo’s 8 flags per game?

    Huge week for the Bucs. Have a feeling they’ll cool off against Baltimore (bad match-ups), but will win the Cleveland series (JMac/ Burnett games). Hopefully they prove me wrong and win both. If they sweep either series, then this team could provide us with one of the most memorable seasons since 1992. Will also spark the “Hurdle for Manager of the Year” campaign.

  9. pghboyinca says:

    There is not a huge risk starting two talented rookies on the O-line when the alternative is starting two bad players. And in terms of Adams don’t make me laugh with “character issues”. He smoked some weed and got paid for clothing? 2 types of athletes getting drafted out of college into pro sports concerning tests for weed. Those testing positive and those who stopped smoking long enough to beat the test.

    The Pens underachieved pure and simple and that makes 3 straight years they have. (one year was without Malkin and Sid) If it happens again it is time to change the makeup of the roster.

  10. bob hasis says:

    Being held firmly in the grip of insommia – without bail or bond – I am glad the Wake Up Call is posted, so I can read something of value to help a return to slumber, but having written a viable comment before such possibility might occur.

    I think the return to the board (after the heart to heart meeting) occured due to the same factors which had Adams high up there in the first place, plus the character values which surely emerged to dispel most of the problems he encountered to fall out of favor.

    Both he and DeCastro came from great programs with a rich recent history for sure that must have provided the preporatory and rudimentary knowledge necessary. DK, the heat of Latrobe and the defensive people who will be on the field to attempt to exploit them will give a clue how really tough they are. Most assuredly the pre-season games will have the spotlight on them as well.


    I have seen enough of Lincoln to be able to say, he has the physique, athleticism, the stuff, and the strength/endurance to be a starter. In his last effort against Cincinnati, his command was absent, but the ball was moving. If he can continue to be given a chance to start and thus continue to earn the respect of Searage and Hurdle, his presence as a starter should alleviate the need for MORE bullpen talent.

    With the uncertainty of Karstens and Morton, Owens too should be looked at right away while we are in this pressure cooker of a road schedule.

    If we can utilize the same magic from May 25th, and go 4-2 in these next six, the renaissance will have begun. I think I just got touched with “the good fairy’s sleep dust”.

    To quote my good friend Bill Shakespeare, ” . . .to sleep, To sleep, perchance to Dream, Ay there’s the rub . . . . . . . “.

  11. David W. Hannen says:

    I could care less about 2 rooks starting on the line, as long as the overall performance is better than a lesser skilled vet can provide. Mistakes will be made by young player’s, regardless if they are rookies or in yr 2-3. One of them can even potentially make a mistake to cost them a game. Talent should play and if they have more talent than an Essex, Foster, or Legursky, start ‘em both from day one and live with it. It will also benefit them by yr 2.

  12. JAL says:

    JAL’s Camelot Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)


    4—Pirates Prospects

    Wilson Dominates As Indians’ Bats Explode

    Prospect Watch: Wilson Pitches a Gem, Marte Has a Three Hit Night

    Prospect Trends — Week Ending 6/10

  13. JAL says:

    Pirates Debating DH Decision; Clement an Option?

    First Pitch: Good to See the Pirates Finally Be ‘That Team’

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Return To Average: The Pirates In Week 9

    Minor League Roundup: Big Day for Justin Wilson and Indianapolis; for Zack von Rosenberg, Not So Much

    6 Rumbunter

    Andrew McCutchen is The Reason, But Can He Keep This Up?

    7 McEffect

    Pirates Look to Add a Bat

  14. JAL says:

    8 The Green Weenie

    Stuff Happens, Even On An Off Day

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    News and notes

    10 WhyGavs

    Pirates sign Wyatt Mathisen for full slot value

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 CBS Sports

    Pirates-Orioles Game Review

    12 Baltimore Sun

    Orioles taking an ‘old school’ approach to get Jake Arrieta back on track,0,1229998.story

    13 The Virginian-Pilot

    Yes, it’s true: Pirates, O’s, Nats all contending

  15. JAL says:

    14 Sports Illustrated

    Pirates need more diverse offense to keep on winning, more notes

    15 Bleacher Report

    Pittsburgh Pirates: Why Andrew McCutchen Is the Barry Bonds Curse Buster

    16 Bradenton Herald

    Bradenton Marauders | Mel Rojas Jr., like dad, enjoys the ride in professional baseball


    17 PBC Site

    Bucs’ bullpen keeps jamming offenses

    18 Fangraphs

    Three Things About the Pirates

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Scouting with PITCHf/x

  16. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    20 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers News Bulletin: Is This The Year of Emmanuel Sanders?

    Breaking Down the AFC Playoff Contenders: Baltimore Will Have Tougher Time Defending Title Than It Had Winning it

    Breaking Down the AFC Playoff Contenders: New England Patriots Set For Another Re-Branding

    21 Steelers Depot

    - Starting a Rookie in the Middle: Can You Stand the Sus-Spence?

    22 Nice Pick Cowher

    Steelers MMQB: NFL Offseason News

  17. JAL says:

    Pitt Blogs

    23 Pitt Blather

    Florida State Tries To Tap the Big 12 Brakes

    24 Cardiac Hill

    Big East Expansion: Will Big East’s National Reach Hurt During Bowl Negotiations?

    WVU Blogs

    25 Metro News

    Tweets From The New Mountaineers

    26 WV Illustrated

    Move to Big 12 Benefiting WVU Recruiting

  18. JAL says:


    27 Sky Sports

    Nasri spoils Lescott party,,11065_3472052,00.html

    28 Daily Telegraph

    France fight back through Samir Nasri to share points with England in their European Championships opener

    29 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 Euro 2012 stories you need to read, 11th June, 2012


    30 Pensburgh

    Season in Review: Marc-Andre Fleury

  19. JAL says:

    Camelot, from the musical Camelot, 1960. Performance by Richard Burton in 1978. Burton originated the role of King Arthur on Broadway. Written by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, who had their first hit show in 1947 with Brigadoon. Their second big hit was My Fair lady in 1956. Camelot was their last major Broadway production

  20. Hey If the girl starts asking for spray cans for holidays look out. Does she like trains?

  21. RobertoForever says:

    What? No question mark on the photo-shopped ‘first place’

    DK: Wow. You are one unhappy dude. She’s 11. She didn’t do or see the blog entry from the previous day.

  22. Jandy says:

    June 11th, 2012 – 3:36 pm @Jandy

    Just because a few of you in your circle praise each other and attack others that don’t support the group, doesn’t even remotely make you close to a majority. There have been countless lurkers who pop in on occasion and talk about the negativity and snideness. But, if that’s the kind of blog you want, have at it.

    Its funny, y’all always talk about an ignore button, but you can’t find your own ‘mute’ button when you have a snide comment or attacking comment when you need to ‘circle the wagons’

    No don’t run off and email daddy with some nonsense. It doesn’t get you anywhere.”

    Need to get this off my chest, so here it is:
    Roberto, if you think for one second I need a circle to validate my opinion, you’re much more small minded than I thought. Milo had a good point when he said yesterday that you made the most ridiculous remark you’d ever made, then you went and outdid yourself yet again.
    This blog is for expressing your opinion, your emotions, your joy, your frustrations and anything else you may feel. You come in here all holier-than-thou and paste everyone with a nasty brush. You need to look in a mirror, dude. Snide? it’s in YOUR perception. We’re being humorously sarcastic. You’re the one throwing around snide remarks. Someone, I forget who, asked you if you had a splinter in your behind end. More like a telephone pole. Oh, and I don’t run to “daddy” for assistance. Please, grow up. That’s snide if ever I heard snide.
    This is all I intend to say on the matter. I don’t care if or when you reply I won’t respond to it. Nuff said.

  23. RobertoForever says:

    Somehow, I don’t that the snide comments to and about will stop. Just my opinion.


  24. TJA says:

    Love the photoshop item from your daughter, DK! Great stuff.

    Also, re: the Kings: I have lots of family that live in L.A. and they are as stunned in someways as the rest of us. Everyone knows this is a good team and they did amazing things in the playoffs, but… It’s still kind of like…The Kings? A Stanley Cup? In L.A. California? I sure know from a family standpoint…we all are looking back on things and saying “Wow…Pens and Kings…that would have been fun!”

  25. Jandy says:

    DK, your eleven year old did a great job…maybe she will follow in Daddy’s footsteps ;)

  26. Sarcastic Sword says:

    Your daughter’s photo shop work is fantastic – kudos young lady.

    I was very much interested in seeing how the LA crowd would be reacting in the final minute and unless NBC was muting the crowd audio, I was disappointed in what appeared to be laid back fans…..The noise wasnt deafening – people for the most part were standing but were still – no one jumping up and down as if the goal of winning a Stanley Cup was a life-long dream (like it was for me and many Pens fans). Anyone else share that viewpoint?

  27. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Great picture. I’ll send up a case of real spray paint when it happens in October.

    The Sandusky thing isn’t the only “non-stop stomach turn” to quote our fearless leader. “Nuff said,” to quote our fearless Mother T.

  28. Lyca says:

    You said the Pens need to keep the scoring depth up the middle and find some big banging wingers. But if you put so much of your limited cap space into the former, it is much harder to pay the latter — thereby failing to fully maximize the former as well. So Sidney Crosby ends up playing with Pascal Dupuis. I love Dupuis, but not as the sniper for Sidney Crosby. Which is one of several reasons why the Crosby/Malkin/Staal dynamic does not seem sustainable for the long term, unless Staal wants to/can play wing, which it seems isn’t an option. What is the point of paying 3 centers top money when that assures that you’ll lack players of the appropriate caliber to play with them? It’s just not an efficient use of your dollars.

    Of course, this is a big indictment of Penguin drafting. They may not be able to sign top dollar wingers, but they sure could draft some. I’ll be curious to see how the careers of Beau Bennett and Emerson Etem (chosen right after Bennett, scored 50 goals in junior hockey last year) compare. But we won’t know that for a few years….

  29. JohninOshkosh says:

    Today’s Pirate series at mind to my most beloved Pirate memory. Game 6 of the 1979 Pirates/Orioles World Series. The Candy Man and Kent Tekulve combined to shut out future Hall of Famer Jim Palmer and the Orioles to force a decisive Game 7.

    I was 13 years old. The Candy Man was one of my favorites, and I couldn’t stand Jim Palmer, for some reason. I had to get up early the next morning for a paper route and school so my parents made me go to bed before the game was over. I listened to the finish under my covers with the national radio feed on my transistor radio (kids will need to Google that). The next night I missed most of Game 7 because my mom always insisted that I go to CCD (Protestants will need to Google that). Finished listening to that game in bed on the radio, too. But Game 6 has always stood out.

    Great job of Photoshopping by the kid. Maybe she’ll someday get a job Photoshopping Sydney Crosby pictures for the Philadelphia Daily News.

    Can’t wait for tonight’s game.

  30. CWalton_67 says:

    Happy to see Rob Scudieri raise the Cup again. Especially after taking that brutal shot from behind.

    Sincerely hoping that Ed Snider, Bobby Clarke, and all of Philthadephia have a severe case of heartburn this morning after watching Richards hoist the Cup.

    Agree with DK that the Kings were coached superbly–and not just on the PP. Superbly coached all around. Seems that Sutter adapted the system to the skills of his players. Once he gained their confidence, they got hot at the right time. And it certainly helps to have a superstar goalie.

  31. Jandy says:

    Lucky, State College and the sordid Sandusky affair is less than an hour from where I live. This truly makes me sick to my heart and to my stomach. God bless those poor souls, and give them strength to testify. I don’t know if I could do it.

  32. JAL says:

    Chance to throw out first pitch and win a more stuff-only open to Pennsylvania residents

  33. Jandy says:

    CWalton, I was so happy for Scuds last night! What a mug, poor guy! Had to laugh out loud at your heartburn comment. lol.
    Do you think Bernier will be held accountable with a suspension to start next season? Guarantee you had that been Cooke, he sure would be!

    OshKoshB’Gosh, love the Philly Daily news reference ;)

  34. Jandy says:

    JAL, thanks! I registered.

  35. JAL says:

    Starting out as a Snidely Whiplash day :) Where is Nell?

  36. JAL says:


    Good luck

  37. LuckyNKentucky says:

    For Milo;

    The Yankees defeated the Braves, 3-0 last night in Atlanta. Ryota Igarashi was shocked he was not needed out of the bullpen for NY.


    I remember my friends going to CCD. They hated it. I wasn’t Catholic, so I better not comment on it. That ’79 series was a great one! How many transistors did your radio have and was it a “crystal” one?

  38. Jandy says:

    JAL, thanks friend :)

    OshKosh and Lucky, believe it or not, I used to TEACH CCD to 3rd and 4th graders. They loved me. I bribed them with Candy to get them to learn their prayers. CCD director told me I couldn’t and I told her, but I am. She went to the Monsignor, and he said, hey, if it works, let her do it! Smart man ;)

  39. LuckyNKentucky says:


    You could testify if you had to. I had to last year in a similar case. Not to the extent of his doings, but it’s the only time I’ve ever had to testify in court. The boldness and courage rises up because you see the person that was so drastically mistreated in your mind and heart and, right in front of you, the perpetrators of the action. Sad thing is, these were people I had in my office many times and, as far as myself and other state workers knew, they were good people. I always think the best of people until they prove me wrong. I learned that from my wife and the Bible, but, in this case, they proved me wrong.

    Then, you read the whole thing in the newspaper and they put your testimony in, word for word in a small town like this, and you think “Did I really say that?” And you know you did the right thing and the system actually worked in that instance.

  40. Bizrow says:

    Re 79

    I remember just being absolutely crushed after game 4, went home, went to bed, didn’t want to go to Game 5.

    That team though, Chuck Tanner and Willie just would not let them give up, and a great gutsy start by Rooker in Game 5….

  41. Jandy says:

    Lucky, I’m sure you’re right. I just know it would be a gut-wrenching feeling. I try to think the best of people also. You just never know…

  42. NMR says:

    The most heartbreaking part of the testimony is hearing how many chances adults had to spot Sandusky’s behavior. I’m not talking about citizens arrests or pummeling him to a pulp, I’m talking about pulling the child aside in private and having an open, honest discussion.

    I’m sure many of us have kids in sports and other activities, which makes it all the more difficult. This needs to be a lesson in communication. We have got to let our kids know they can talk.

  43. NMR says:

    JAL link #12 is a great find.

    While reading the article, substitute “Morton” for “Arietta” and tell me its not eerily similar.

    I think Charlie would benefit from the O’s treatment more than the Pirates.

  44. Bizrow says:

    The statement from the PSU uppity-ups that the “humane” thing to do was to not report Sandusky was totally mindboggling, IMO

  45. LuckyNKentucky says:


    You’re 100% spot-on right. In the situation we had here, it took a neighbor to blow the whistle or the problems would still be going on. Somebody to step up and do the right thing, not hide behind fear and public figures. The person in our case has learning disabilities and he couldn’t communicate, use a phone or anything to report abuse.

  46. JAL says:


    Always try have something from the paper covering the team the pirates are playing–glad you liked it

  47. NMR says:


    That statement truly made me question the people I’m surrounded by in everyday life. Those “uppity-ups” all have wives, kids, friends, who I’m sure would vouch for their morals.

    The use of the word “humane” in that context literally gave me chills. Unfathomable.

    Hopefully it puts Spanier in jail, where he belongs. Also gives me hope that PSU truly is serious about justice and change since it was their own internal investigation that uncovered the emails.

  48. Jandy says:

    JAL, we all hope you know that you do a fine job here with your links. keep them coming, man!

  49. JohninOshkosh says:

    @Lucky: Don’t remember the specs on the radio. My Dad got it in the early 70’s, I think. Bet it is still somewhere in my attic if I felt so inclined to wade through that Quagmire (my kids can do that after I check out!)

    @Jandy: I bet it worked. I can still recite an Act of Contrition on the spot. And modern educators say rote teaching doesn’t work.

  50. Jandy says:

    Sarcastic Sword #26 ~ I guarantee you Pens fans would have been much more “exuberant” and brought the house down. LA people just don’t seem to be as passionate.

  51. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Back in the 60’s, you could get those little crystal radios really cheap. They could get a couple strong stations, like KDKA, WKYC in Cleveland and that one in Chicago. At least they were good for Pirate games and sneaking around after hours. But I had a 10-transistor. Thought I was something big. It drank batteries, but it was great for the times. But, these ARE the good old days! (Carly Simon)

  52. AJS says:

    I mentioned to my wife when Bettman came onto the ice the LA fans didn’t even know enough to boo him!

    I laughed at them when they were already chanting “We want the cup” with 17 minutes left in the game.

    At the end they could have been louder but i didn’t think enough of it to comment.

  53. Leefoo says:

    Loved Karen Price’s column on Jared Hughes. Who knew he was so ‘happy go lucky’ when off the mound?

    On the mound, he’d scare the ghost of Vincent Price.


    Don’t care if two rookies start on the O-line as long as they can do the job. And, Colon may be a vet, but he is a ‘rookie’ at Guard.


    I was a sophomore in college during ’71. I remember walking around campus (PSU) depressed as he!! after losing the first two games. In ’79, I had just moved out to Mech/Hbg area. Had the same gut wrenching feeling.


    Sandusky….Capt Hindsight, like in sports, ALWAYS has all the right answers. I have that same Hindsight in my life. Let it go. Move on. And convict his showering a$$.


  54. Mark says:

    Anyone see this article on Yahoo yet about need for a DH rule? Makes me sick. Article is pretty much a butt kissing for AL teams. David Brown says they should adopt universal DH rule. I say they abolish the DH rule. Just because Beckett (who has been under scrutiny this season for not caring) decides he just wants to look at three pitches with the bases empty. Doesn’t mean a universal DH rule needs to be implemented.
    Like I always say during pick up games. If you can’t get off your butt to play the field, you don’t bat.–mlb.html

  55. CWalton_67 says:

    @Jandy- I’d like to say that Bernier will definitely be suspended, but who knows with Bettman and his bunch of clowns. It was a dangerous and unnecessary hit. Even though Scuds apparently passed the required tests to return, hope they take another look at him. Concussion symptoms can be delayed.

  56. Jandy says:

    I hope bob hasis got some shut-eye and pops in later on to say hi to all of us.

  57. Jandy says:

    CWalton ~ Clowns is the correct term for those….clowns.
    Scuds has been one of my favs since he wore a Pens uni. I hope he’s ok.

  58. Leefoo says:

    Mark #54…….agree…get rid of the DH

  59. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Baseball puritsts unite. Get shed of the DH. The only problem with that, it shortens the careers of people like Edgar Martinez, David Ortiz and countless others. But really, we don’t need no stinking DH!

  60. Arriba Wilver says:

    DH ain’t going nowhere, except to be added to the NL when Houston moves to the AL.

    Snidely Wilver

  61. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Snidely AW,

    You’re right. They’ll add that and 7 more Wild Card teams. Then, we can have the 8th best team in a division win the WS. That’ll be great.

  62. JohninOshkosh says:

    1. MLBPA will never ever give up the DH rule. I bet it is near the top of their non-negotiable items going into every CBA talks. I think it would be defended to the point of work stoppage.
    2. With interleague play going to everyday next year, the ridiculousness of a sports league having two separate rules for its two leagues will be painfully on display each day. It will be a mess for rosters. I think they will either have to put the DH in both leagues or at least modify roster rules.
    2. Generations of fans have grown accustomed to the DH. It would be interesting to see research numbers on what those under 35 think about it.

    I don’t care for the DH. If it becomes the law of the land, I will likely learn to accept it because of my love for the game itself.

  63. Milo Hamilton says:


    You’ve pretty much summed up the DH right there. I’ll add one thing. With offense being on the decline and especially scarce this year, that will be another argument in favor of the DH. Hard to believe it’s been around for 40 years. Ron Blomberg anyone ?

  64. Naterosboro says:

    * I don’t have any problems starting 2 rookies on the O-line, provided they’re the best options. If it’s obvious that 1 (or both) can’t hack it after training camp and pre-season games, then time to go with the back up option. It would serve them well to figure out who that 5 is going to be early on though. O-line is one of those things where playing together and learning how to work as a group is actually extremely important. It’s very rare that you can slot a guy in along the O-line and not see a drop-off in play.

    * For some reason, I think the Bucs drop 2 of 3 in Baltimore, yet take 2 of 3 in Cleveland going 3-3 on this little interleague road trip. Hopefully they come back home 35-30 or better.

    * DK, I’m telling ya, you gotta do a column on Jared Hughes. But…I’m not telling you how to do your job or anything… ;) Can you at least get some insight into why he looks so mad when he pitches?

    * Call me crazy, but after the Pens were eliminated, I got much more interested in the NBA playoffs. The NBA is a league that I’ve grown to dislike since about 2002 (when I really stopped paying attention). I’m not sure if it was the 76ers run (when they had NO business beating the Bulls) or the fact that I can’t stand the blind hatred of LeBron James. Whatever, Heat/Thunder Finals matchup starts tonight. Getcha popcorn ready!

    * Euro2012 is back again today with Group A action. Russia faces Poland and Greece plays the Czech Republic. Russia leads group A with 3 pts, Poland & Greece are tied for 2nd with a point a piece, and the Czechs in last with 0 pts. I think Russia and Poland will come out of Group A. There’s 6 pts left on the table for these teams, get as many as you can!

    * Finally, I wrote a blog entry ( and will have a column up on Mondays. Please read & comment (if you so choose). You can also follow me on twitter (@hepennyp) and friend me on facebook (my name on facebook is H.E. Pennypacker (my picture is of a guy pretending to eat a bad between 2 slices of bread lol)).

  65. Arriba Wilver says:

    Wasnt it Boston that was complaining last year that the DH put them at a disadvantage in inter league play? They sure complain a lot, and won’t be happy until there is a rule that they have to win each year. Full disclosure—I have come to accept the DH. If for no other reason that it will shut Foo up complaining about Hurdle’s bunting.

  66. Naterosboro says:


    Should read:

    “You can also follow me on twitter (@hepennyp) and friend me on facebook (my name on facebook is H.E. Pennypacker (my picture is of a guy pretending to eat a baby between 2 slices of bread lol)).”

  67. AJS says:

    I fall into that under 35 category, if only by a few years. i hate the DH. Never understood it. How did it even come to be anyway? One day someone said, hey, our pitcher stinks at hitting so we think we should be allowed to ahve someone who can hit bat instead? here is an idea. have the pitcher pick up a bat and hit the cages. How hard is it to get your bull pen session in and then go take some cuts? People at every level do it. Why can’t the best in the game do it? Quit being whiny pansys and step in!

  68. LuckyNKentucky says:


    You’re right about the DH. That will alleviate the problem of Igarashi being shocked that he might have to bat.

  69. Arriba Wilver says:

    Nate—I think you may have just set the “window’s” line.

    What I’d like to see DK do is a “What the heck is wrong with Jose Tabata” story. Dude’s supposed to be a core player, has a long term contract, was on DK’s rookie of the year ballot, and he’s lived up to none of those. And I don’t buy it’s all physical ailments.

  70. JHadar says:

    Mark — the DH rule is an abomination.

    That said, with interleague play now becoming season-long constant, MLB needs to find one set of rules.

    The differences between the leagues need to be totally eliminated, everything from the DH to the different umpire protectors and how they stand needs to be addressed.

    More importantly the financial rules have to be addressed. A salary floor and cap, hard slotting for the draft, international draft, revenue sharing, a comprehensive TV package. I don’t see anything wrong with one owner making more money or less money than another, but the game should be about the skill of the organization and not who can throw the most money at free agents.

    The fact that there are “small market” teams (whatever that means — baseball markets are in no way synonymous with media markets) that succeed, only indicates that there are some skilled and/or lucky front offices out there as well as some mediocre but rich ones. The fact that there is a strong correlation between payroll and winning indicates that the field just might be tilted against teams unable or unwilling (I don’t want to open that can of worms; I think everyone’s taken a stand on that one) to spend.

    Yes, I know it’s not likely to happen. I get that it’s a dream. But it’s a game, and I keep hoping that the Pirates can be the Jamaican Bobsled team without the runners coming off the sled just once in a while, I would prefer thinking the national pastime was fair and on the level.

    As long as the financial disparities skew the odds, though . . . well, it’s a good thing that I enjoy rooting for the underdog.

  71. NMR says:


    Well said on all points.

    As a member of the demographic in your 3rd point, I’ll say my problem with the DH isn’t that it violates the spirit of the game, blah blah blah. To me, watching a pitcher hit is about as fun as an extra point in football.

    My problem with the rule is that it further exploits the wealth gap between the haves and have nots. In an uncapped league, high revenue teams can use this position as a revolving door for high priced bench players. Teams like the Yankees don’t have one set DH, they have three players that would start for many teams. Not only does this raise the price of the DH itself, but it takes commodity off the market, thus lowering the supply of suitable players for the rest of the teams.

    Pirate fans felt this effect when discussing Mark Trumbo trades this year. The Angels never once had an issue finding playing time for any of their players because of the DH rule. As much as fans wanted to beleive they had a problem, it simply wasn’t the case.

    But don’t worry, Selig just overhauled the draft to ensure an equal playing field for all. Nothing to see here. Move along.

  72. AJS says:

    The only argument I can come for in favor of a DH is that Jim Abbott may never have got to play in the pros if he was forced to bat.

  73. Milo Hamilton says:

    The American League instituted the DH in 1973. Baseball began to notice that the NFL was rising in popularity & times they were a changing. Aging stars such as Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Frank Robinson & Harmon Killebrew would soon retire & create a void. The DH was created to extend those great Hall Of Famers’ careers, much like the PGA Senior Tour was for Arnold Palmer, and boost offense in a time when baseball was lagging in popularity.

  74. Arriba Wilver says:

    ALS–check out the wiki on the DH, it may give you a different perspective. Pitchers only get to hit every 5 days, so no amount of cage work is going to improve their hitting that much. It was first proposed in 1906.

  75. Milo Hamilton says:


    The Yankees don’t have a DH this year. They’re just rotating their old guys through. Teams that watch their pennies SNIDE ALERT – SNIDE ALERT like the Pirates, may adopt this strategy.

  76. bob hasis says:

    @Jandy #56

    There is a thing in life called “love at first sight”. We’ve never met, but you are one where love can exist WITHOUT ever meeting.

    Yes I was able to get back to the zzzz’s, but up again at 9:30 and ready.

    Thanks for your concern.

  77. pattonbb says:

    The DH stands a better chance of being adopted in the NL than being done away with. Casual fans want to see offense. I think Bud recognizes this. Plus, “chicks dig the long ball”.

  78. NMR says:


    The Yankees are spending up to $11.5m on those “old guys”. You’re only proving my point.

  79. LuckyNKentucky says:


    That’s called “love at first write”.

  80. Milo Hamilton says:


    Good for them. I was simply stating that they don’t employ a full time DH.

  81. bob hasis says:

    @Nater #64

    Jared was interviewed this past weekend by Dan Potash, or Stan Savran about his facial countenance. But first let me say he is extremely congenial, very articulate and an engaging smile. When the interviewer persisted about his “angry” face on the mound, he simply explained,”all you’re going to see is the bottom. The cap is pulled down over the eyes, his jaw set is that of some kind of a ghoul with tongue flapping from side to side to look mean I would presume.
    It’s his shtick, but listen to him talk and you’ll know it isn’t him either. The classic Jekyll and Hyde personna – and that plus a devastating sinker makes him effective.

    My opinion of the DH supports most of what I’ve read above – I don’t like it. But don’t be comparing a pitcher batting as boring (ask AJBurnett) like kicking an extra point. If you want to make that comparison, how about all of the foul shots at the end of EVERY basketball game that is not a 20 point blow out – now that is boring to me.

    With a pitcher batting, there is game strategy taking place often; what strategy exists in kicking an XP or shooting a lame foul shot in the last 20 seconds being ahead by nine?

  82. bob hasis says:


    Lucky you are beautiful too! I wish I could recall just what it was I wrote. No matter – I feel the love.

  83. Jandy says:

    Awww bob, I’m blushing now ;)

    Glad you caught some ZzzZZZz’s

  84. Jandy says:

    6’7 and 245 YIKES!

  85. Naje says:

    @DK –

    Not one mention of Euro 2012 (yet… unless I missed it over the weekend)… disappointing.

    As for the NBA Finals, two questions:
    1. Who ya got? (just kidding)
    2. What will have the higher rating in the Pittsburgh viewing area: the Bucs-Orioles broadcast or Game 1 of NBA Finals?

  86. Jandy says:

    I vote Bucs/Orioles!

  87. Milo Hamilton says:

    After a couple days to investigate, I’m expecting all the Robbie Grossman stories to come out today. Just wanted to tell the local media that I appreciate their hard work on this in advance.

    DK: Milo, with all due respect, I’m certain that you’re overestimating the importance of the story (Grossman wasn’t even suspended. He’s been benched for a few games), and you’re underestimating the Pirates’ wish to keep it a secret. If this will blurt out somewhere, it’s going to be in Altoona, on the scene. Not through phone conversations.

    As you know, I’ve found out stuff like this before. But even then, it was off the record, just so I didn’t assume the kid had done something awful.

    In this case, again, he wasn’t even suspended.

  88. NMR says:

    “Teams like the Yankees don’t have one set DH, they have three players…”

    Um…thanks for reiterating what I said?


    The foul shot analogy came to mind, except that those same shots in a tight game are some of the most nailbiting, heartbreaking, scapegoating plays in the sport. Can’t remember any time a pitcher hitting has ever given me the same feeling.

    I also, personally, think the strategy angle is hugely overblown. Pitcher on deck and base open? Pitching around #8. Man on 1st or 2nd with less than two outs? Sac bunt.

    Yep, just about covers it.

  89. NMR says:

    Plus, the use of bullpen specialists arguably forces managers to use MORE strategy when the DH is in play.

  90. LuckyNKentucky says:


    You figure if DK doesn’t know, nobody does, except the proverbial “Powers That Be.” You can’t expect him to work 24/7 on it. Besides, Opie is too busy signing HS pitchers to concern himself with Grossman. Maybe they’re considering sending him to Bradenton for a third year of High A-ball. Count me as one who would like to know, too.

  91. Naterosboro says:

    @ Naje

    Czech Republic is up on Greece right now 2-0 in their 2nd Group A game. Its almost HT (or may already be, I’m streaming over the internet). Russia plays Poland later this afternoon.

    @ Foo & bob

    Thanks for the info on Hughes.

    I echo Jandy’s sentiments…6’7”, 245lbs?! Yikes indeed (altho, I guess, Yikes in a good way ;) )

  92. Milo Hamilton says:

    When one of the Yankees position players is the DH, which is basically everyday, these players go into the lineup – Eduardo Nunez ($523,800), Eric Chavez ($900,000), Andruw Jones ($2,000,000), or Raul Ibanez ($1,100,000).

    In effect they are paying $1.2 million for their DH. What a huge advantage.

  93. NMR says:

    All four of them, huh?

    You’re completely missing what I’m saying. Oh well. You’re right, as always.

  94. Milo Hamilton says:

    Thank you, I knew you’d get it eventually.

  95. Bizrow says:

    Regarding the DH, if it has to stay, I like the idea being floated that you use the DH in the National League parks, and let the pitcher hit in the AL parks

  96. Arriba Wilver says:

    Definition of “snide comment” in the dictionary:

    “What? No question mark on the photo-shopped ‘first place’”

    Courtesy of RobertoForever.

    The fact that the photo-shopped aspect was DK’s 11 year old daughter, but still led to the comment is just off the charts …

    DK: Roberto was at Forbes Field for Game 7 in 1960. When Maz hit the ball, even as fans jumped for joy and tried to chase Maz around the bases, RF turned around at some random guy three rows back and wagged his finger for ever having mocked Maz’s lack of power. Pretty much made his day to prove that guy wrong.

  97. Jandy says:

    Arriba…I’ve been quiet but I gotta say it…picking on an eleven year old is just BEYOND RIDICULOUS!

  98. JD says:

    Who cares about Euro2012? I also don’t care who wins the Japanese World Series. The only time I’d even consider watching soccer is if the USA is in the world cup.

  99. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. You’ll know them by their fruit. I know this ain’t a Bible blog or a political one, but it’s all true anyway. (Sorry if that offends anyone).

  100. JD says:

    Jandy – I agree with you. I’ve defended Roberto a few times for the grief he gets here, but that was a jerky thing to write.

  101. Milo Hamilton says:


    Thanks. You say benched, I say suspended. Semantics. Neal could have quelled all this speculation by saying he’s hitting .217. He needed to get away from it for awhile & work on some things in the cage. The way he answered it left the door wide open for speculation.

    And by the way, I’ll never underestimate this group’s willingness to keep anything a secret. Like contract extensions, DUI’s, etc.

  102. AJS says:

    @NMR in #90

    That is pushing it. Reminds me of the statement that Leyland made that it is more difficult to manage in the AL than the NL. AL games manage themselves. never have to worry about pinch hitting for the pitcher or letting him go another inning. Never have to be pressured into deciding whether to take that offense you need right now by pinch hitting or sticking with a pitcher who is tossing a shutout through 7. Never have to figure out a double switch.

  103. AJS says:

    @DKs response to AW in #97…Best post ever!

  104. RobertoForever says:


    So that ’nuff said’ lasted all of about 5 hours. A little longer than that “ignore button”

    Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh. Those who quote the Bible might do well to remember the mote quote.

    And for those who are “claiming” an 11 year-old was picked on, hilarious. Just because you say it is so, doesn’t make it so. But feel free to make up more claims and then condemn them. I know it makes some folks feel better about their crusade.

  105. pattonbb says:

    With all due respect to soccer fans, I kind of relate all things soccer related to the tv show Mad Men. Everyone claims it’s the best thing going, but I don’t know anyone that watches it.

  106. Jandy says:

    Awww Roberto, don’t feel bad because you’ve been proven wrong and proved an insensitive ingrate. Join the cirle…come on in :)

  107. Jandy says:

    errr circle…darn typos ;)

  108. nate83 says:

    Why should we be speculating on a double AA players personal matters? If it comes out great but my dirty laundry isn’t out there for everyone to see. If I did something wrong at work my wife would know about it and possible my co-workers. Why should his be on display? I beleive Neal owes us nothing and that includes if he is just being benched for hitting .217.

  109. NMR says:

    Alright, AJS, you got me. I miiigghhht have pushed it a bit with that one. Good comment.

  110. NMR says:

    I mean, semantics.

  111. RobertoForever says:

    I was waiting for some mention of the 1st place Indy Indians and their beatdown last night.

    I guess if it doesn’t denigrate “Jogata” or the FO, or the “Killer B’s”, no sense in discussing.

    For those who care about relevant baseball news, the Indians pounded the Rochester (NY) Red Wings 16-0 last night. Biggest every margin of victory for the Indians in a shutout in franchise history. Justin Wilson with 7 IP and only 4 hits vs 6 K’s.

  112. Milo Hamilton says:


    We need to get into radio.

  113. RobertoForever says:


    Awww with all of your sweet talk, why wouldn’t everyone want to join your circle. Insults and snide comments for everyone!

  114. Milo Hamilton says:


    I watch Mad Men.

  115. bob hasis says:

    @NMR #89

    I think you succeeded in twisting my analogy to suit your own opinion. I mentioned the foul shots in a game that has been virtually decided, yet the fouls continue as does the parade to the line. I did not include nail-biter games.

    You simplify the “Yep that about covers it ” with one meager possible example. Surely you have heard it said by most if not all managers, that strategy is required more in the NL because of the lack of the DH. C’mon you know you’ve heard it!

    You mentioned not having a special feeling when a pitcher comes to bat, by mixing your metaphors with a spine tingling foul shot in a tight basketball game. That is the apple/orange cliche at work to suit your opinion.

    How about a pitcher coming to bat in the fourth inning, bases loaded, two outs in a 0-0 game? Just a thought to give you a spine tingle.

  116. AJS says:

    Vlad Guererro leaves his AAA assignment with the Jays because the deadline they had agreed upon to move him up to Toronto has passed. Sounds like he was raking in Las Vegas. Does this guy still have game or has his day passed? i don’t think he has any range left to play the field or he might be worth a DLee type accquisition.

  117. Jandy says:

    PP & Milo, I don’t watch MadMen :p

  118. JAL says:

    To each their own, I have been watching Euro 2012–just about to start Russia and Poland

  119. Better Days Coming says:


    Just one opinion but I think Vlad is now limited to DH duty with an occassional/emergency start in the field. He’s never played first base in his ML career.

    In his day, a top five hitter in MLB.

  120. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Roberto, why don’t you give us the mote quote if you can see to read it. Trouble is, everybody here likes you, but this Jekyll-Hyde thing of yours wears people thin. It’s even pushed DK to the edge and he can take a lot.

  121. Arriba Wilver says:

    Lucky–gotta disagree with you, I don’t like RF. No Jekyll/Hyde. More like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

  122. pattonbb says:

    @Roberto – Did you see Sean Burroughs was playing 1B for Rochester? I remember when people thought he was going to be the next Chipper Jones. What a sad story. Hope he straightens his life out.

  123. JohninOshkosh says:


  124. JHadar says:

    “I didn’t really say everything I said” — Yogi Berra

  125. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Sorry. “Everybody” is too all-inclusive. I like the sheep, not the wolf.

  126. Jandy says:

    John…you’re not holding your breath are you???? ;X

    Lucky, a brick wall is easier to deal with, eh?

    AW, I’m with you!

  127. JAL says:

    Or as Sheldon Harnick wrote and the Kingston trio sang

    the Whole world is festering iwht unhappy souls
    The French hate the Germans, the Germans hate the Poles
    Italians hate Yugoslavs, South Africans hate the Dutch
    And I don’t like Anybody very much.

  128. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Great minds. I was hoping John wasn’t turning blue, too.

  129. pattonbb says:

    Milo – I’m sure Mad Men is an entertaining show. No offense was intended.

  130. Jandy says:

    Lucky, lol. he’s too far to rescusitate…

  131. Jandy says:

    Pattonbb, don’t take Milo seriously, he doesn’t take himself seriously.

  132. Milo Hamilton says:


    None taken.


    That’s the goal. Too bad the written word can’t include facial expressions. And I love Mad Men. I’m going to miss it, especially Joan.

  133. JohninOshkosh says:

    Actually, I was waiting for Milo and NMR to continue their bout about the Yankees and the inequity of the DH rule. :) (For Drew, wherever you are)

    I love this blog but I don’t hold my breath for any post, unless it is Dejan posting about what music he is jamming to.

  134. JohninOshkosh says:


    I think almost all of us will miss Joan, for obvious reasons.

  135. nate83 says:

    You guys are piling on a little much on RF. He has been aggressive with his counter arguments but you guys do poke the bear a considerable amount. You back anybody into a corner they are going to come out swinging.

  136. Jandy says:

    nate83, I disagree. Anyone so-called adult who disses an 11 year old is just…RIDICULOUS. Sorry.

  137. Jandy says:

    and another thing, nate, there’s a lot of instigation going on. Some just are sneaky in how they go about it, kinda like a wolf in sheep’s clothing…

  138. LuckyNKentucky says:


    We try to appeal to the “nice” Roberto, the one without the knife. The one that gives stats, opinions without sarcasm to the nth degree and info on MiLB. It’s just the other one is so defensive and ready to pounce, the nice one gets overshadowed.

  139. Jandy says:

    Ok where’s the ants???

  140. Jandy says:

    OO0< OO0< OO0< OO0< OO0< OO0< OO0< OO0< OO0<

  141. nate83 says:

    Just calling it how I see it. The instigating goes both ways and it does seem like as if sometimes it is being started not by Roberto but by others.

    I didn’t read his ? mark comment as an attack on an 11 year old, but instead a statement about the negativity he feels some have towards a team that is in first place. Ask yourself if someone else made that comment if it would have been disected and morphed into an attack on an 11 year old.

  142. Jandy says:

    nate, I believe DK thought the same thing. You’re being too generous, but that’s your prerogative, just like it’s ours to see what is obvious for all to see.

  143. JohninOshkosh says:


    The only perception about that comment that really matters is the perception taken by the 11 year old’s father. He made his feelings known.

  144. nate83 says:

    I honestly think he was commenting strictly on the fact that their is still a lot of negativity when he feels there should be positive reaction to what the Pirates are doing. He may have not even known the picture was completed by DK’s daughter (I didn’t until I read the caption above after his comment). That being said if I ever mistakenly said something that offended anyone because it was taken the wrong way I would man up and apoligize and state my intentions.

  145. NMR says:

    @Oshkosh – Milo and I only get into it over sabremetrics. He beats me up over Yanks payroll cuz he knows I’ll take it to him if we discuss xFIP, wOCTx,, etc…

    @bob – Just bustin’ yer chain a bit. no blood, no foul?

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