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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: A draft through Downtown

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Brief and to the Point …

>> The Friday column is about Jordan Staal. Had something else ready on the eve of the NHL Draft, but it’ll have to run some other day. This news was a little too significant.

>> Here is that Staal news coverage, by Josh Yohe and Rob Rossi.

>> I’ll pose it to you: What’s the scenario in which Staal stays?

>> I’ve always enjoyed the NHL Draft, its setup, its fanfare, the prospects right out there in the seats with their suits and ties and nail-biting parents and siblings. Often makes for terrific theater. Especially in the later rounds, when kids have heard hundreds of names go by until theirs finally comes. Those of you diehards heading over to Consol not tonight but tomorrow will see what I mean.

Tonight’s questions:

Will the Oilers take fire-breathing winger Nail Yakupov — pictured up there atop Mount Washington a couple days ago — at No. 1 or punt down if someone gives them the elite defenseman they’ve needed for a really long time?

Check out what GM Steve Tambellini had to say to Edmonton reporters in a Downtown hotel yesterday, and you’ll get the idea he’d like to trade down just a little and get D-man Ryan Murray. We’ll see.

And what of Rick Nash?

The people with whom I spoke in Vegas sounded close to certain the Blue Jackets finally will move their franchise piece, which I find surprising in light of free agency being just around the corner. Teams would much rather give up money than hockey commodities. And they surely would have offered more at the deadline. We’ll see on this one.

This much seems certain: The Jackets have the No. 2 pick, and Scott Howson told Columbus reporters he has no intention of taking No. 1.

For those planning on following the draft intently, there’s never a better resource annually than the NHL’s official pool from its Central Scouting Bureau. They’ve even got video clips.

>> James McDonald’s complete-game gem — the highlight of which had to be how McDonald came off the field following the eighth, then hurried to the end of the dugout opposite Clint Hurdle – just has to be enough to get him into the All-Star Game. Not by itself, of course. But his overall statistical rankings are just too much to ignore.

>> If you haven’t seen Pedro Alvarez’s home run, stop, point, click.

>> Yet another promising debut from one of the Big Three pitching prospects: Luis Heredia made it look pretty easy in State College.

Oh, and feel free to come up with a better nickname than Big Three for these guys. To be honest, I cringe every time I type it. Terribly unoriginal.

>> The rescheduled chat will be today at noon. You can submit questions right away.


  1. pghboyinca says:

    Hate to see Staal leave but they can’t risk losing him without a return.

  2. Boise Bucco says:

    I’m not so sure this was a great move for Staal and his agent. Now, I’m not saying that he should have accepted the offer–he was put in a bad spot. Shero really knew what he was doing in offering him the deal now. If he accepts, great; we get Staal in a Pens uni for the next 10 years. But now that he’s rejected it, right before the draft no less, this lets the other teams know that he’s on the trading block in a big way. And the caliber of team that would trade for him at the draft–the Oilers/’Canes/Leafs of the league–aren’t exactly winning teams right now. Sure, he could change all that, but it would pretty much be entirely up to him to do it.

    Otherwise, I just have a quick question: Does anyone know if Luis Heredia has a high-school diploma? It just seems funny to me that he’d be allowed to be a professional athlete without one, and being 17, I wasn’t sure if he’d gotten his diploma or equivalent yet.

    DK: The Pirates have their own classroom settings at the Dominican facility and in Bradenton. Luis is a really bright kid who was still going to school in Mexico.

  3. aglebagel says:

    Great sports night. McDonald, Cutch, Pedro, Heredia, and some guy named LeBron.

  4. Sammich says:

    I imagine Heredia probably does not have a high school diploma. But as a non-US citizen, the Bryce Harper rules don’t apply to him.

    DK: You guys are assuming the Mexican school system is the same as the U.S., with the same age levels. Do we know that?

  5. Boise Bucco says:

    @DK, thanks for the reply! I figured as much, it just seems like, for everything I’ve read about his downward plane and 97 mph fastball and plus-potential changeup, I’ve never read whether or not the kid even got a diploma.

    For every story I’ve read about college football players not graduating, or schools getting banned from post-season tournaments for low APR, baseball seems to get around this issue. Maybe it’s just not as much of an issue for baseball players–I haven’t heard of any popular baseball players filing for bankruptcy 2 years out of the league. But for a league in which most of the prospects never see an MLB stadium, I’d hope that they take their education seriously.

  6. Scott says:

    I disagree with the popular notion the Penguins “can’t risk losing him for nothing.” I’d be fine with trading him if they get a quality return, but I’d also have no problem with letting Staal play out his contract and going for broke one more time.

    By keeping him for another year, the Pens would be giving themselves the best shot at winning another Cup. The name of the game is winning championships, isn’t it? Staal on the roster gives the Pens their best chance of winning one.

    DK: You might be right in theory, Scott. But a player’s got to want to be where he is. That’s human nature. Moreover, the subject might be moot since Ray Shero has said he won’t do this.

  7. Evan says:

    Great to see that kind of outing from another one of the Three Alarm Arms (I tried).

    Pitching, Pitching, Pitching. What happens if/when Appel joins these guys. And JMac and Pedro really delivered tonight. Great to be a Pirates fan.

  8. Jake says:

    So Dejan, what do you think happens with Staal? Personally I would trade Staal because I wouldn’t like seeing Staal leave without any compensation. But on the other hand I don’t think Shero trades him. It’s just my gut feeling. Especially after hearing his quote from his presser the other day “When in doubt do nothing” And if Shero were to trade Staal I think it would have to be before the season starts. A big mid-season change I think will affect the team bigtime. What are your thoughts on all this?

    Thanks and again GREAT WORK.

    DK: Thanks, Jake, and welcome.

    Like the column states, I’m not seeing an outcome other than a trade this summer. On top of that, Shero has stated pretty bluntly that he will not let Staal walk for nothing. And distractions don’t help, either.

    Summer is the time.

  9. Jake says:

    Not that I doubt you or anything (I have the utmost respect for you) but when and where has Shero stated that he wouldn’t let Staal walk for nothing? Like I said I’m not doubting you it’s just ever since this Staal news came out I’ve been bugging out

  10. Devon Moore says:

    Question Dejan

    How much stock would you put into what Shero says/hints at to the media?

    In particular to the “not trading Jordan Staal” comments?

    Do you think Mr. Shero likely does not wish anyone, media or otherwise to think he really wants to deal #11, mainly because it depreciates a players value when other teams know they are desperately trying to deal them?

    I suspect Shero hoodwinks the media every now and again to buoy his players’ perceived team values. Evidence of this can be found in him speaking rather glowingly of Paul Martin after the playoff failure.

  11. Dave says:

    If Mark Appel signs, would he, Heredia, Taillon, and Cole be the 4 Horsemen? I know that’s pretty unoriginal, too, but I figured Appel should be in there if he signs.

  12. David W. Hannen says:

    I’m going with… Fantastic Four (Boras guys do sign)

  13. Ace McTasty says:

    Thank you, DK. I’m surprised by the “all is well, this is just part of the process” attitude of many local media types on Twitter. Staal has made it clear he wants no part of contract discussions with the Pens at this time, yet has indicated he would talk contract with Carolina. Doesn’t take much to put two and two together and come to the conclusion that Carolina is Staal’s preferred destination, even over Pittsburgh. To dismiss these reports as negotiation tactics is to ignore the reality of the situation.

    Staal is willing to negotiate with the Hurricanes, but not the Penguins. Case closed, time to deal him.

  14. Jandy says:

    This is not good. Looks like Staal is a goner. He’s such an integral part of the team, it’s going to be very difficult to replace him. But Shero will have to do just that. Terrible news. Ruins my morning :(

    Last night was awesome with the Buccos. Again, I didn’t get to see most of it. Hubby turns the channel and BOOM Barajas hits a homer. Then Pedro does too. Good stuff.
    Looked like Jmac was in a zone.

  15. Jandy says:

    Oh yeah, on Pedro’s HR, now that’s what I call “outta here”!

  16. JAL says:

    JAL’s Anyone Who Had a Heart Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)

    4 Pirates Prospects Draft Pick Signing Tracker


    5—Pirates Prospects

    Pirates Notebook: Guidance Key for McDonald’s Impressive Season

    Indians Earn Sweep Of Braves

    Heredia’s Prospect Status Could Soar With More Outings Like Tonight

    Prospect Watch: Heredia Dominant in Debut, Rojas Hits Grand Slam

    Stealing Ten Wins

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Minor League Roundup: Strong Start for Luis Heredia, Big Comebacks for the Marauders and the Power

    7 Rumbunter

    The Best of Pittsburgh Pirates Photoshops, Part One

    8 McEffect

    Why is Brad Lincoln Starting Saturday?

    9 The Green Weenie

    Bucs Fire On All Cylinders, Romp 9-1

    10 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Taking care of business…in style

    11 WhyGavs

    Game 68: Pirates 9 Twins 1

  17. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 CBS Sports

    Pirates-Tigers Game Peview

    13 Bradenton Herald

    Call-up Singer a hit so far with Bradenton Marauders

    14 Chicago Tribune

    Pirates Report,0,4650805.story

    15 Minneapolis Star Tribune

    Another poor start leaves Twins in dust

    16 Sports Illustrated

    Being The Natural Isn’t Enough


    17 PBC Site

    Pirates power up to claim series over Twins

    Notebook: Pirates may be looking to make deal for offense

    18 Sweetspot

    Ballpark guide: Best eats and seats

    19 Fangraphs

    A More Radical Pitching Staff Proposal

  18. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    20 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Navigating the Wasteland: Coping Until Camp

    If the Steelers Fall Short in 2012, A Combination of these Five Things Will Have Happened: Part I

    If the Steelers Fall Short in 2012, A Combination of these Five Things Will Have Happened: Part II

    21 Steelers Depot

    - 2012 Pittsburgh Steelers Training Camp Roster Battles: Cornerbacks

    22 Nice Pick Cowher

    Former Steelers Bradshaw Predicts End of Football

    Pitt Blogs

    23 Pitt Blather

    NCAA vs PSU – Lack of Institutional Control?

    24 Cardiac Hill

    Is The Big East’s Death Greatly Exaggerated?

    WVU Blogs

    25 Metro News

    A Different Perspective

    26 WV Illustrated

    Miles Gains Confidence into Sophomore Year


    27 Sky Sports

    Ronaldo knocks out Czechs,,11065_3521612,00.html

    28 Daily Telegraph

    FIFA President Sepp Blatter says goal-line technology ‘a necessity’ following controversial Ukraine no-goal at Euro

    29 Goal Com

    Bilic: The European Championship is the cruellest of sporting events


    30 Pensburgh

    Jordan Staal “Not Prepared” To Sign Extension with Penguins at this time

  19. JAL says:

    Title song Cilla Black, Anyone Who Had a Heart. Dionne Warwick had the hit version in the US but Black’s version sold over 800,000 in the UK. She had moderate success in the US but is considered one of the greats in Britain and Europe and one of the best song interpreters of the rock era. Multi-talented, she still sings, acts on stage, and does television programs. 2013 will mark her 50th year in show business and EMI just released Completely Cilla: 1963-1973 – a 5CD set containing 139 recordings

  20. CraigWilson'sRevenge says:

    A Staal trade could free up some money for….


  21. dcpinpgh says:

    How about calling the pitchers: The Border Patrol

  22. Skip says:

    Really bummed about Staal. But they have no choice but to trade him now. They should send him as far to the West as possible. Unfortunately, I have a feeling other teams (other than Carolina and maybe NY) will consider him un-signable long-term, which will make it pretty hard to get appropriate value in return.

    On the positive side, I’m very encouraged by Alvarez lately – in particular with the balls he’s hitting hard the opposite way – that’s a real sign he’s starting to figure it out.

  23. Jandy says:

    Craig, don’t even go there! :p

  24. Milo Hamilton says:


    Great column. And don’t think the timing of all this is a coincidence. Just because Staal hasn’t worked up the gumption to channel his inner Denis Lemieux, don’t think that Ray Shero isn’t going to do what has to be done. Like today, for instance.

  25. JT says:

    I never expected Staal to be a Penguin next season anyway so I’m not all that surprised by the news. At this point it seems like Carolina knows Jordan will be there next season one way or the other. It just stinks that Penguins have no leverage at this point with Staal. His intentions are known.

    Brandon Sutter is a fine player, a capable replacement for Staal on the defensive side of things, but not nearly the potential offensive upside. But I’m not sure the Pens could even get him for Staal at this point. Why would Carolina give up anything of value for Staal? They know if they wait until after this season he’ll be there for nothing more than the price of a contract. And that sucks for the Penguins.
    At this point your not going to get a return of anything close to equal value for Staal.

    At this point now that every team knows Staals intentions, wouldn’t the best thing for the Pens be to keep him, take one more run this year? I can’t see a deal being made that will make the Pens a better team this season than having Staal would. Let him play out this season and say goodbye, thats the best bet for the Pens dont you think?

  26. Naje says:

    Would hate to dub them T(aillon), H(eredia), C(ole)… but I’ve got a feeling they’ll opponents will be stone(walled) by all three of them and the, ahem, gas that they throw.

    (that’s awful for an early morning pun; apologies all around)

  27. Jandy says:

    Naje, I almost spewed my coffee on the monitor LOL!

  28. Chuck Snow says:

    Bucco Bats coming alive? Pedro plays a whole season and hits____ Homers and has___RBI and ___K’s. and hits .230..Is Baseball history full of these guys? Dave Kingman? Let the kid play!!!

  29. TJA says:

    huge weekend series for the pirates. and then, it doesn’t get any easier…4 in philly and 3 in st. louis. i must say…this is pretty exciting. go bucs!

  30. CWalton_67 says:

    Naje–made my morning.

    Not the end of the world if Staal leaves. If that is he choice, Jeff Skinner would look pretty good in black and vegas gold.

  31. JohninOshkosh says:

    Dejan is a DC man. How about the Strikeout Hunters Three or the K Hunters Three?

    Although, we all playing in Naje’s world today…..THC….:)

  32. DanW says:

    I wish Staal wanted to stay, but it sounds like he doesn’t. If he is traded to Carolina, will their local TV and NBC Sports actually show their games, or just a repeating loop of the Staal brothers playing pond hockey as kids?

  33. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I don’t know hockey or as much as you all know about Staal, but it seems like leveraging to the Nth degree to me. What would you want to do, play on the same team as your brother or make 10 million dollars?

  34. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Or was it 10 years? Sorry for addressing something without knowledge, but it seems like a ploy and a half. If not, I apologize for the skepticism.

    Can’t help but be happy for Pedro. Halfway to 30.

  35. OCD says:

    Jameson, Garrit & The Lu.

    Pedro knows Pittsburgh. Hits it to a guy in a sleeveless T, and when that guy can’t get it, another guy in a sleeveless T is there to make the save. Good eye, Pedro.

  36. scapper says:


  37. Jandy says:

    Lucky, it’s reportedly $60 for 10 years. I’d take the money and golf with my brother after I retired.
    I adore Staal, but this really, really reeks.

    I’m thrilled for Pedro as well! What a beautiful homer “it’s outta here” last night!

  38. Naje says:

    Just have a feeling that some profoundly good fortune is headed towards the PBC… And those three giant pitchers and their giant arms (is there a Mount Washington tie-in for a nickname?) may just be a part of that in the next three seasons.

    But this year, totally different feel of expectation and results. They’re learning and developing with every series, every road trip, every week’s worth of games.

    A 21-12 home record… that’s incredible for a team that has never been more than a .500 club at best at PNC.

  39. steelercrazy says:

    “The Penguins recently made Staal an overwhelming 10-year offer.”

    Really??? An offer where on the back end of his contract, with a salary cap advancing to the 90M range, he’d be vastly underpaid? I’ve read at least two respected national columnists who feel that this was a lowball offer, and I agree. A 5-year/$35M offer is more in the ballpark, allowing Staal can see what the league market will be like circa 2018. Maybe Shero made the offer as part PR (running to the press to make sure everybody knows the Pens made the offer, get serious), part cost certainty. In either case, for you to make the judgment that the Pens offer was “overwhelming” is up for a serious debate. Maybe the Pens’ internal valuation missed the mark greatly, and Staal’s dismissive response was because he feels he was being lowballed. It’s a natural human response. I’d take it at face value, not Carolina dreamin’.

    One more possibility. Maybe Staal sees that the “paying 6 players 75% of your salary cap and filling the remainder of the roster with rookies and retreads” model that Shero clings to so stubbornly will not work in the NHL, and he wants out.

  40. Jandy says:

    LOL make that $60Million. Me and my typos ;)

  41. JohninOshkosh says:

    I love to watch the NHL draft. Always a lot of kids with Wisconsin connections in the mix. However, this year is a little bittersweet because I feel the specter of one Donald Fehr hovering over all these off season events like an ominous Sword of Damocles.

    I hate it when you spend more time reading about off season news in Bloomberg rather than the sports pages.

  42. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Thanks Jandy. I missed by a mere 50 mil. With you on the golf thing. I don’t have a brother and both of my sisters have passed away, so I’d stay in Pgh. I’d like to be “vastly underpaid” at 6 million a year average. Shero is such a lowballer.

  43. Jandy says:

    Lucky, Steelercrazy makes some good points, but if Staal felt he is being underpaid or is tired of being the odd man out then why did he say after the Pens were ousted from the playoffs that he’d love to stay in Pittsburgh? Sounds like Marion Hossa…we all know where THAT went.

  44. LuckyNKentucky says:


    He does have good points, but, salary cap, etc. aside, $60 million to play with arguably the 2 best players in the world for 10 years sounds pretty good. The supporting cast thing could be a problem though.

  45. buggee says:

    Young Guns? Been there, done that.
    The Blazing Trifecta? Too many syllables.
    Aces in the Hold? That almost sounds obscene (lol).
    Jerry’s Kids? That IS obscene
    Blazing Slingers? An odd twist on “Blazing Saddles”.
    The Nasty Boys? hmmmm, I think the Reds used that one already

    Nice work on that Staal column, Dejan. Very astute. I think most hockey players are a little different from other pro sports in that I see very few actually tanking during games. Kovalev, Jagr, Barasso, maybe a few others, but most are hard-working guys that take great pride in their game. Staal strikes me as that kind of guy, but I could be way off base in that assessment.

    I think Shero will try to pull off a deal tonight (or this weekend), but he will not allow the Pens to get roped into making a bad deal. If it’s not favorable, I think Staal stays and plays next season, and he’ll continue to push himself to produce at a higher level. Jordan’s going to make his big payday and end up wherever he wants, but only if he continues his upward progression. If he tanks, the league’s perception of him changes with Jordan’s possible devaluation.

    I believe that Shero is not as backed into a corner as it seems, and he is pulling all the “right” strings to prepare Pittsburgh for the possibility of a quick deal getting done this weekend

  46. JohninOshkosh says:

    Too bad Nickelback isn’t opening up tonight’s draft, though.

  47. gregenstein says:

    Staal – Personally, I’d tell Carolina that, if they want him this year, they better either pony up the 1st round pick tonight and some other picks in other drafts OR Jeff Skinner OR they have to take Paul Martin too. If that means some salary dead weight coming back, so be it. Staal might be a human, but his incentive to play well this year is the same. If he wants a nice contract from Carolina next year, he better play well this year. No trade without just compensation. Shero’s a fool if he lets him go to Carolina, where they know they can lock him up long term, for less than a nice ransom. I don’t think this totally kills Shero’s leverage. I personally would be fine letting him walk after the season, and hopefully Shero will come to that position to the point where he won’t accept the best offer simply because it is currently on the table. Sometimes, the best offer on the table isn’t good enough. I’ll be more upset if he trades a $4M cap player who should generate 60-70 points next season for a bucket of pucks and a 5th defenseman.

    Pedro – Oh my, that was a fabulous hit. I loved Brown’s call on that one. “Cannon ball headed for the Allegheny.”

  48. Jandy says:

    Oh OshKosh, that was low! (nickelback)

  49. Jandy says:

    “Aces in the Hold? That almost sounds obscene (lol).”
    I’m dying here! LOL!

  50. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Seems like Pedro likes that low stuff, middle in. Maybe he plays a lot of golf or he’s been talking to Manny Sanguillen. Sangy could hit one off the ground with authority to all fields.

  51. Jandy says:

    Lucky…hubby said Pedro “golfed” that one out of the park lol. Seems he does like the low stuff.

  52. DemonDachshund says:

    Given that it’s at least 3 years until those 3 guys pitch together, I’m going to hold off on the nickname for now. That also assumes continued success and no injuries for all 3, and very fast progression for Heredia/the Bucs being willing to throw a 20 year old into the MLB fire.

    I will also continue to hope that the team trades off one of these guys to bring back a TOP hitting prospect. I hope to never see THC together at PNC Park for this reason.

  53. bob hasis says:

    DK, I would like to offer up the title nickname for those three soon to be legends in Pittsburgh as, The Three Rocks. It is a reference to Jesus Christ saying to Peter, “you are the rock upon whom I will build my Church”.

    The analogy I think is fairly obvious.

  54. Arriba Wilver says:

    For the pitchers? The Troika?

  55. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Anyone with a great name like Demon Dachshund should not wait 3 years to come up with a name. That’s probably the best name on this blog other than Chupacabra Chihuahua.


    Better not go with that Bible name. DK hasn’t shut us down on scriptural references yet, like he did with political ones. We better not push the envelope.

  56. bob hasis says:


    It is only a scriptural reference from me to DK and you. Beyond that, no one would need to be aware of the origin of the name – unless they asked.

    And don’t you get the symbolism – Man it’s powerful!

  57. Jandy says:

    Mother Teresa deems it a valid name with strong symbolism. =)

  58. LuckyNKentucky says:


    I get it. Just yankin’ your proverbial chain.

  59. JaxBuc says:

    I’d like to think that someday they will be universally known as the heart of the World Series winning Pittsburgh Pirates Rotation. But I guess that’s a little wordy.

  60. LuckyNKentucky says:


    The rest of that reference, which I’m sure you know is “the gates of Hell will not prevail against My church”. I guess that means the Yankees and Cardinals won’t prevail against the Pirates in your usuage, right? Or should we say, the Brewers?

  61. Milo Hamilton says:


    I think Jimmy Buffett said it best – “There’s a fine line between Saturday night & Sunday morning”. :)

  62. JohninOshkosh says:

    Actually, the more I think about it, how about no nicknames at all.

    How’d that all work out for the Mets and “Generation K” ?

    These boys have enough pressure on their shoulders.

  63. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Buffett 1:1 is exactly right.

  64. bob hasis says:

    Jandy, once again you have shown yourself in the pious way Mary Magdalen did with her great loyalty.
    But I do like the Mother Teresa name.

    I must leave myself wide open with a very inviting chain to yank. Lucky seems always to get a tug on it.

    My chain was never mentioned in Proverbs.

  65. buckeyehba says:

    We have “The Legend”, why not just call them “The Future”.

  66. LuckyNKentucky says:


    That’s the beauty of it. No chains on you!


    You’re right, they are!

  67. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Three Minor Leaguers.

  68. bob hasis says:

    I guess I allowed myself to get caught up in the aura of needing an apt title for these hopefuls. What if . . . . . . . . . . well I don’t even want to think about it.

    You are perfectly right and in the moment – they are simply, for now, three minor leaguers.

  69. Milo Hamilton says:

    Don’t apologize Bob, just having some fun.

  70. bob hasis says:

    Milo, you and Lucky must have graduated from Chain Puller U. together, at separate times

  71. Vette60 says:

    Ok. Very interesting news on the Staal front. I was a big proponent of trying to keep him, but things don’t look so good now…

    Pie in the sky scenario. Pens package Staal, Martin and Michalek to the Oilers for the #1 pick and take Nail! Winger for Sid anyone? Hah Hah Hah.

    I’m torn on this one really. I’d hate to “keep” him for this last year and really have it weighing on everyone. But they are pros, right. They should be able to adapt and overcome…

    I agree with others that I think Shero can work this out for the Pens, alhthough there is no way that I see Skinner coming over from Carolina. As much as I would like that, I don’t think the Canes would part with him. Maybe getting this years #8 pick along with Sutter and others would work. Would be nice to include Martin just for the removal of the salary, but that’s a big anchor.

    Quite a potential wedding gift for Jordan, now isn’t it.

    Last thing – the Pedro home run was a rocket! Quite the apt description as a cannonball. Let’s go BUCS!

    Randy in Richmond, VA.

  72. LuckyNKentucky says:


    I have my CPU t-shirt on today, as a matter of fact.

  73. Jandy says:

    I gotta get a scholarship to CPU!

  74. LuckyNKentucky says:


    You don’t need a scholarship, you’re on the Board of Regents!

  75. scapper says:

    Two hockey comments:

    1. When they start calling the names at the draft, will that crackerjack, whipsmart organ-eye-zation known as the NHL have someone there who can actually pronounce the names correctly?

    2. I’m always shocked when fans take at face value a player telling the media he wants to remain with his current franchise. What else would he say? A guy says something honest in an emotion and adrenaline charged post-game locker room atmosphere like “I feel like I’m dying alive” and he gets booed for the rest of his career. Staal has known he was leaving for a long time. I love the guy and appreciate how great he is and how must greater he might become. But if this 23-year-old man wants to leave, good luck and no hard feelings.

  76. gregenstein says:

    I need to ask…why do some folks think Staal’s situation is going to be this huge albatross? Do we think so little of the psyche of this team that we will be sitting here in 11 months saying, “Boy, Staal’s contract sure was a factor in them losing their 4th straight playoff series?” if they are unable to trade him this summer.

    Stars walk all the time. Staal isn’t even a true star to me; he’s on that second tier with guys like James Neal.

    Shero may have said he won’t let him go for nothing, but that’s not smart business to back yourself into a corner. Don’t throw away a player for pennies on the dollar just because he’d rather be somewhere else. Staal has always been a good teammate, class act, hard worker, etc. I wouldn’t expect anything less from him or his Penguins teammates this winter. If it truly is that big of a distraction, then maybe this team needs to be blown up anyway.

  77. Fillet_Mimnaw says:

    Before overreacting to the minimal information out there about Staal’s rejection of the offer, think of a few points:

    1) The timing of Shero’s offer. Since the first round loss to Philly the Pens have been golfing for quite some time . Why does Shero chose the week of Staal’s wedding to make the offer? Yes, I realize the draft is upon us and suddenly the timing is critical. I’m not buying it. As shrewd a GM as Shero gets credit for being, maybe he thought a fare to low-ball offer would get accepted without much hesitation due to the pre-wedding planning and festivities?

    2) Chicken little, the sky is not falling (at least not yet). This is after all a negotiation process. Both sides are posturing. The rumor of the 10yr – $60 million deal while life-changing to many (ok all) of us fans supporting the team, is still below the market for a player of Staal’s caliber. 25 goals, 25 assists and a plus 11 in 62 games. Let’s also note here that only five of those goals came on the man advantage. No first line power play time available and minimal second line power play time. Take power play points out of the stats for 71, and 18. What do the numbers look like? 38 regular strength goals for Geno and 22 for Neal.

    3) Signing one’s career away – why 10 years on the contract offer? Why not something in the Neal range (6 years – $30 million)? With the current landscape of the salary cap why stake your future on a 10 year contract only to find yourself 4 to 5 years in playing for a perennial non-contender because you were traded for cap issues and players tbd. How many 10 year contracts have really worked out for both sides across the league to this point?

    Now just hang on for the ride and watch this thing play itself out. Just don’t plan on watching it at Console on a Saturday night in the ‘burgh (at least not in the regular season).

  78. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:

    Jordan Staal better be preparing himself to get the Jaromir Jagr treatment if he does what he seemingly wants to do and seeks the most money and top billing. Fans usually don’t give the player the credit for doing what they (fans) would probably do in that situation as well. That’s all I have to say about it. Good luck to him.

    Heredia, in my opinion and based on my observations, will end up being the best pitcher of the bunch (Cole, Taillon, et al). The kid has it all and he’ll be in the Major Leagues by the time he’s 20 if they don’t hold him back more than necessary.

    On another Pirates note, I don’t think people are giving the offense the credit it deserves for the incremental improvements it has achieved. The overall numbers aren’t impressive. That is 100% correct. Part of that has been struggling hitters. I think most of that was a result of the absolutely brutal schedule during the teams first 40 games or so. They had faced 29 starting pitchers with ERA under 3.0 at that point. However, the offense has improved every month and they deserve credit for that.

    23 games – 65 runs on May 1: 2.82 runs/game total

    51 games – 155 runs on June 1: 3.03 runs/game total [3.21 runs/game from 5/1 to 6/1]

    68 games – 239 runs on June 22: 3.51 runs/game total [4.94 runs/game from 6/1 to 6/22]

  79. Jandy says:

    Lucky ~ Woot! I’m a Regent ;)

  80. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Much responsibility with that title. You can carry it out proudly, I’m sure.

  81. Jandy says:

    Lucky, I’ll do my best. With your support (and others) I’m sure to succeed ;)

  82. PetroSteel says:

    Staal: Sounds like a negotiation strategy on his part.

  83. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Without sounding foul or dirty, you are already one of the best chain pullers around! Just be yourself.

  84. Jandy says:

    Lucky shhhh! You’re letting my secrets out! ;X

  85. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Good chat Q, Jandy, but not a good answer from the boss.

  86. Jandy says:

    eh….it’s all good. The Boss doesn’t follow Mother Teresa’s line of thinking…which sometimes goes around a bit…

  87. Jandy says:

    Uh oh Dejan missed the Stanford hockey thing…lol
    Gregory on the chat got the link.

  88. likeabugonarug says:

    I agree with Fillet. And remember, DK said this didn’t come out of Staal’s camp. So if it came from the Pens, what do they have to gain? Sounds like they are shooting themselves in the foot with regards to being able to trade him. Who would take him? And why would Carolina put out anything to pick him up? And one other thing no one seems to be mentioning….who has guaranteed that Carolina wants to sign him? True, they probably would but still.

    There’s something else afoot here, but what? At first, I had a negative reaction to Staal, but after thinking about it and remembering it wasn’t a leak from him, I’m not sure I could be down on him at all. It’s not like he said he wants out of Pittsburgh because he can’t stand it or the team. And I really wouldn’t blame him for leaving because if he puts up good numbers again this year I could see another team paying him closer to top money than the Pens can without moving one of Sid/Geno/MAF and I don’t see any of that happening in the near future.

  89. Jandy says:

    OshKoshB’Gosh, you suckin up to DK on the chat? ;)

  90. JohninOshkosh says:


    I was thrilled that Dejan answered the question. Should have known his family has good sense! He’s the best (now there is some “suckin up”).

    Have a great weekend! Any car shows for you and the mister?

  91. Milo Hamilton says:


    You said in your chat that the Pirates shouldn’t turn Jordy Mercer into another Miguel Dilone. No chance of that happening. Bet you your choice at Coffebucks that Jordy Mercer never hits .341.

  92. Jandy says:

    OshKosh, as a matter of fact, we’re headin to Carlisle in the morning. You have a great memory! And you have a wonderful weekend too =)

  93. Jandy says:

    JAL, your link 16 Sports Illustrated – Being The Natural Isn’t Enough, I totally enjoyed that!

  94. JohninOshkosh says:


    I remember talking to you a couple months ago about Miguel. I think Pig Legs brought him up originally. Jody Mercer will never have that speed, that’s for sure. I’m glad he lives on in this blog!

  95. Jandy says:

    I just had an opinion given to me that the Staal deal is already a done deal for 8th pick plus players. It will be announced tonight at the Draft. This way everyone saves face. Hmmmmmm….

  96. Double-D says:

    If Appel doesn’t sign: The Three Strikes
    If Appel signs: The Fab Four

  97. Milo Hamilton says:

    I find it interesting that people say you can’t play out the season and then let Jordan Staal go “for nothing”. If it’s true they offered him $6 million per, $6 million in cap space gained is hardly “nothing”.

  98. LuckyNKentucky says:


    The second one is too Michigan-like for us Ohio State fans (both of us), but the Beatles wouldn’t mind us using it. Three strikes remains to be seen, but they have the capability of throwing them.

  99. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    On the Staal thing; maybe he wants to be the “man” on another team? Don’t want to lose him, but its aweful hard to keep so many superstars, though I would classify Staal as a star.

  100. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I’d stay away from the FAB 4.

    Reminds of the FAB 5 from Michigan………

  101. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:

    Given Heredia, Taillon, and Cole’s natural ability to throw smoke…

    How about the Three Rocketeers?


    Better than the Big Three…haha

  102. Jandy says:

    Ryan, Staal isn’t a superstar per se, but what he brings is very much under rated and under appreciated by many.

  103. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    That’s why I said I would consider him a star instead of superstar…….

    But, he may think of himself as one, thus wanting to go elsewhere.

  104. Jandy says:

    Ryan, you have a good point, but I don’t think Jordan feels he is as good as Crosby or Malkin, but he knows he’s good enough to be on a first line and get more PP time. He’s a very talented guy. That said, I’m sure the idea of playing with his brother Eric is tantalizing. But again, he’d not be top dog, because Eric is. He’d still command more top line minutes.

  105. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    You understand all of that a lot better than I do. Try watching the Sharks…blah.

    Just a thought. I think every athlete wants to be the MAN of any team.

  106. Jandy says:

    Ryan, that’s a man-thing lol. Seriously. I don’t know everything about hockey, but I do know that Staal does so much for the Pens that isn’t flashy and is overlooked by average fans. Some would accuse me of over-valuing him, but I’ll argue that with anyone.
    Jordan has lived in Crosby’s and Malkin’s shadow since he joined the team. That’s a lot to ask of someone with ambitions.

  107. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I wish I didn’t miss the majority of the Pirates game last night. To be honest, my brother predicted a blowout. I never would make that prediction with this team, but he was actually right.

    Glad to see it. This June the bats have come alive for the most part and showing what their potential can be.

    That being said, I still believe that an added veteran with some pop or consistency would be greatly appreciated to this lineup. I’m not throwing out names, because its really hard to predict who would be sellers at this point. But I still say someone on the right side of the field. A 1B/RF type player.

  108. bob hasis says:

    Regarding Staal, in whom I have the utmost regard, I don’t think he is a sniper or a bona fide sharpshooter. If he were, he’d be on the shootout squad.

    Having said that, if he were to be placed on the No.1 PP, he’d have to be the guy in the front screening and picking up the tap in “garbage goals” because of his size and hands.

    The rest of the No.1 PP would be Sid, Geno, Neal and Letang. Is that a functional PP unit? I don’t know. Would he be happy with that? I don’t know.

    I do know this; he is a fantastic forward on the PK, and I say every goal he prevents, is one less we have to score.

  109. ChrisH says:


    I wanted to ask something based on one of your chat responses. You said the Penguins just can’t get nothing for Staal. I’m not sure I agree. Isn’t it the Penguins priority this year, and basically every year since the Crosby/Malkin era, to win THIS YEAR?
    Wouldn’t you agree having Staal on the roster gives them the best chance to do that this year? To me, by saying you can’t lose Staal for nothing, basically says that you’d rather give the team a better chance to win in the future, rather than now. And that seems like the model the Pirates followed for several years: they knew they had no chance to win, so they got whatever value they could get for their top players and planned for the future.

    But for the Pens, the top priority is to win NOW, and the best chance to do that is to keep Staal. That may not be the most popular choice, but it’s just the way I see it.

    DK: I’ll agree with the theory, but not the reality. these are human beings. They all need to have their hearts in it.

  110. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    ANY team needs those in-the-trenches type of player. If Staal is that guy for the Pens, they need to try and keep him.

    We all overvalue our home town team players, that’s what makes us fans.

    Same with the ones that want to argue. There are experts that decide actual value of players and they have a lot more intel on those guys than we do. Just look at all the people that try to analyze the Pirates after the first month of the season.

  111. Jandy says:

    bob hasis ~ “I do know this; he is a fantastic forward on the PK, and I say every goal he prevents, is one less we have to score.” and there, you have hit on something huge. Jordan hasn’t had the opportunity to be on the PP so much because he’s been on the PK, where he is exceptional. His rookie year on a line with Geno was his best for goals – 29. I think he could morph into quite a good offensive forward. He’s only 23 and has played for the Pens for 6 seasons.

  112. Jandy says:

    Ryan, I’m with you 100%. I feel if we lose Staal (the in-the- trench player) we lose big time. One player can’t replace what he does. Sure, we’ll move on with someone else. But to me, it won’t be the same.

  113. Jandy says:

    And we have Burnett on the mound tonight. Let’s get this win, Bucs!

  114. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Jandy, you do so know everything about hockey. Admit it.

  115. Jandy says:

    LOL Lucky, I know a good bit, but I’m not a pro like some of the guys in DK’s Lunatic Asylum. I can hold my own, tho.
    I’ve made some pretty good calls over the years in debating with my son-in-law, who has his own blog for the Penguins. He’s had to admit I was right, how sweet that sounds :)

  116. Jandy says:

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

  117. buggee says:

    The Three Minor League Pitchers Who Are Learning About Arm-Slots and Motion Consistency? Too wordy.

    Trade Bait. hmmmm

    Let’s get out the cornhole box. “Hey Jerry…”

    Swing Pedro SWING! (De bazeball wanna go for a swim)

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