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Wednesday Wakeup Call: Pitt's overdue signature

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media columnist

Brief and to the Point …

>> The Wednesday column looks at the No. 1 issue the Penguins must address in training camp.

Terrific insight from Matt Cooke and Craig Adams was much appreciated. One of the neat things about this whole columnizing thing is when you have something of a preconceived notion, only to ask, verify, ask some more and learn all you can, only to come out with something else entirely.

Happens quite a bit, especially when dealing with people you trust.

>> Here’s my TribLIVE Radio podcast from yesterday, and below is riveting video of the first segment …

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtvrvCF-s5g

Thanks to Penguins president David Morehouse and to the Trib’s Steelers beat writer, Alan Robinson, for being guests.

>> Just an outstanding night for Pitt down in Georgetown, as our Kevin Gorman reports.

Finally, a win over a quality opponent, with the Hoyas having been ranked No. 19. A complete effort on offense and defense. Some running the floor by guys who can legitimately run the floor. Some actual smiles on the faces of the young Panthers, who just through my TV appeared to be having more fun than any game all year.

It’s unfair to call the third game of the conference schedule a signature anything, but it might at least be a springboard. Marquette is next, Saturday at home, and Jamie Dixon finally has some solid evidence that his guys thrive at a more active, less-halfcourt game. Even the big man, Steven Adams, seems to function more fluidly while in motion.

Learn, and move on.

>> The Pirates … um … oh, just go read it and opine for yourself.

No?

All right then, but I’ll make it quick: The problem with the Francisco Liriano mess isn’t that he was hurt after the parties agreed to a two-year, $12.75 million deal. Assuming the Pirates are telling the truth (not always the case) about the timetable, there’s no real mistake on their part.

Rather, the mistake that could come to pass, would be that they committed money beyond a payroll limit and, as a result, felt compelled to trade Joel Hanrahan and his likely $7 million salary to clear space for Liriano before giving Liriano a physical. It will be harder now to find that badly needed starter.

So, is that dumb?

Disorganized?

Brilliant beyond all reasonable adjectives?

That’s up to you today. These guys wear me down.

Comments

  1. bpn8pitt says:

    Not buying Pitt yet. That was a young Georgetown team that played poorly. Pitt’s defense was good, cant argue, but lets see how they fare against someone who can shoot and not turn the ball over. Im talking about Notre Dame. Pitt has a ways to go yet.

    DK: Very fair, Nate. The Hoyas struggled with Duquesne earlier this season and hardly looked like a No. 19 team against Pitt.

    I’m really looking more at the Panthers and their reaction to playing well. Excellent body language and confidence.

  2. Ghost says:

    Not sure what to make of the news on Liriano – except to note that Bowser ended his self-imposed Pirates abstinence ;) . But should Liriano’s injury be serious, can we trust that the $$ earmarked for him will be put to good use elsewhere? Too often Huntington chases ill-advised reclamation projects.

    *******
    Though he didn’t get the three years he preferred, very glad to see Adam LaRoche got a nice two-year contract and is staying in Washington. He’s been a great older-brother figure to Bryce Harper and really helps to complete the equation in the Nationals’ club house. Couldn’t be happier for him and his recent success.

  3. Ed says:

    Nice to see Pitt get a quality win. Keep it up.

    Give the Pirates credit for one thing. At least they want a physical now before they acquire a player, unlike Aki a couple years ago.

    So some pitching is needed? I hear Karstens is still out there.

    Speaking of former Pirates, I hear Freddy Sanchez is healthy and is drawing some interest. For the right price, a veteran bench guy and spot starter at 2nd and 3rd may be good.

    DK: The bar is set at giving physicals now?

    Oh, yeah.

    Is that akin to praising a team for having their system being ranked No. 8 in the minors even though that’s built mostly on two horrendous seasons that led to two no-brainer picks among the top two in the draft?

  4. Ghost says:

    Ed,
    “I hear Karstens is still out there.”
    After the non-tender, would there still be enough interest on both party’s sides for Karstens to be a Pirate in 2013?

  5. Ghost says:

    “…parties’…”

  6. Ed says:

    Ghost,

    I think Karstens would consider it. I don’t think there was any animosity between him and the organization when he left, strictly business. I, among many others, was highly critical when NH non-tendered him. The fact that other teams haven’t been beating down the door for him shows that maybe it was the right move after all.

    I think he could come back at a reduced rate.

  7. Ghost says:

    Ed,
    Well we could do a lot worse than bringing back Karstens. Didn’t think Correia was shabby either, but he ended up in a better place anyhow.

  8. Drew71 says:

    Dejan. A few weeks back, you referred to the Drunken Fly Effect, as your eyes bounced around the studio during an earlier opening rant.

    i WAS going to have some fun with that, yet again, after getting dizzy watching the latest video.

    But that’s only cause I thought you were kidding about the Drunken Fly. But evidently not. There’s walt at post #8.

    (Until you take it down)

  9. radio wave says:

    Hurdle said last month they might revisit the idea of bringing back Karstens.

  10. Thundercrack says:

    “Is that akin to praising a team for having their system being ranked No. 8 in the minors even though that’s built mostly on two horrendous seasons that led to two no-brainer picks among the top two in the draft?”

    Really? We’re going to circle back to that again? Yes the seasons were horrendous.
    They pick where they are slotted. Should they have petitioned MLB to move their pick lower in the draft order? Oh wait, if they actually were able to do that then it would give us an excuse to bash them for moving down so they could save money on drafting lower. And the ‘no brainer’ is just a lazy argument to me. Of course this organization has showed nothing is really a ‘no brainer’ for them anyway.

  11. Marc says:

    The only bigger joke than the Pirates is the fans who continue to rationalize for them and give them a pass despite their track record of being totally incompetent.

  12. John Lease says:

    I thought walt was banned… If the Liriano signing doesn’t happen, that might be being saved from themselves.

    I wonder if Jimmy Anderson is still available. I do think Kip Wells is still out there, probably not Josh Fogg anymore.

  13. Jandy says:

    hey buggee, from your post yesterday: “Got a new train for Christmas. saw this as a wonderful opportunity to tease my cats. I built a rounded square track about 6′ by 6′ and started to run the engine, a couple flatcars and a caboose (no Jandy jokes there please).”

    Uhhh…suck my big toe AFTER I step in dog doo :P
    ;)

  14. Jandy says:

    ahhh I see Walt got around the quarantee. He must like gay boys if he keeps coming back here…just sayin’

  15. JosePagan says:

    I think DK’s comments about the no-brainer picks were in the context of the PBC’s system being rated higher on the potential of just two or just a few players, rather than the system being rated higher because of depth and development.

    For example, St Louis ranks high every year as their farm has depth and quality, despite drafting much lower than the PBC. Therefore one could reasonably argue that the St Louis farm system is better because there is more talent with major-league potential across the board.

    Once Cole and Taillon either make the club or flame out, where does that leave the rest of the system talent-wise?

    If I have this wrong, DK, let me know.

    Jose

  16. Jandy says:

    Drew, uhhh…better do something about that lol

    my two pitt bulls know better!

  17. Drew71 says:

    Pirates have the best physicals in baseball.

    Número uno.

    Period.

  18. JAL says:

    JAL’s Song Sung Blue Morning Links

    GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pittsburgh_pirates/

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)

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

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Where Would the Farm System Be Without Cole and Taillon?

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/01/first-pitch-where-would-the-farm-system-be-without-cole-and-taillon.html

    Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Top Prospects: #19 – Andrew Oliver

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/01/pittsburgh-pirates-2013-top-prospects-19-andrew-oliver.html

    5 Rumbunter

    If Francisco Liriano Deal Goes Away, Is The Pittsburgh Pirates Offseason Lost?

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/01/08/if-francisco-liriano-deal-goes-away-is-the-pittsburgh-pirates-offseason-lost/

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Francisco Liriano hurts non-pitching arm; deal still not done

    Francisco Liriano hurts non-pitching arm; deal still not done

    7 This is Getting Old

    Pirates Playback Week 1: 4/8/12

    http://thisisgettingold.net/2013/01/07/pirates-playback-week-1-4812/

    8 PBC Site

    Q&A: Prospect Cole set to build on success of ’12

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130108&content_id=40885314&vkey=news_pit&c_id=pit

    9 WHYGAVS

    Francisco Liriano deal in jeopardy due to non-throwing arm injury

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/december-2012/francisco-liriano-deal-in-jeopardy-due-to.html

    10 Raise the Jolly Roger

    A lot of people really like Andrew McCutchen

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2013/01/a-lot-of-people-really-like-andrew-mccutchen/

  19. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Providence Journal

    New Sox closer in ‘situation that you dream of’

    http://www.providencejournal.com/sports/red-sox/content/20130108-new-sox-closer-in-situation-that-you-dream-of.ece

    12 Michigan Live

    Report: Detroit Tigers discuss 3-team trade with Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs; targeting shortstop J.J. Hardy

    http://www.mlive.com/tigers/index.ssf/2013/01/report_detroit_tigers_discuss.html

    13 Rant Sports

    Why Hasn’t Free Agent Kyle Lohse Gotten a Contract Offer From Someone?

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/01/08/why-hasnt-free-agent-kyle-lohse-gotten-a-contract-offer-from-someone/

    14 MLB Daily Dish

    Freddy Sanchez generating interest

    http://www.mlbdailydish.com/2013/1/8/3849704/mlb-rumors-freddy-sanchez-generating-interest

    15 Bleacher Report

    Jason Grilli and 9 Other Players Whose Fantasy Stock Skyrocketed This Winter

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1473731-jason-grilli-and-9-other-players-whose-fantasy-stock-skyrocketed-this-winter

    16 New York Times

    A Voting Process Overdue for Reform

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/09/sports/baseball/baseball-hall-of-fame-voting-process-must-change.html?_r=0

    17 Washington Post

    Nationals baseball: First baseman Adam LaRoche re-signs for two years

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals/nationals-baseball-first-baseman-adam-laroche-re-signs-for-two-years/2013/01/08/3e5ae2a4-59e3-11e2-88d0-c4cf65c3ad15_story.html

    18 Christian Science Monitor

    Baseball Hall of Fame quiz, worthy of any candidate

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Sports/2013/0108/Baseball-Hall-of-Fame-quiz-worthy-of-any-candidate/Electorate

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    10 Memories of Hall of Fame Candidates

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=19312

    20 Fangraphs

    Some Comps for Mike Morse

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/some-comps-for-mike-morse/

  20. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers walked the “fine line” once again in 2012, but stumbled too many times and wound up out of the playoffs

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/1/8/3846252/steelers-2012-nfl-playoffs-schedule-recap

    2013 Steelers free agency: Highlighting each of the Steelers’ 19 pending free agents

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/1/8/3850126/2013-steelers-free-agency-nfl-offseason-contracts-roster-signing

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Steelers Defense Faces Questions At 6 Positions

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/01/steelers-defense-faces-question-marks-at-six-positions-during-the-offseason/

    23 Nice Pick Cowher

    Steelers Offseason Week 1 Wrap-up

    http://nicepickcowher.com/2013/01/06/steelers-offseason-week-1-wrap-up/

    Pitt

    24 Cardiac Hill

    An open letter to the nation: “We’re Sorry”

    http://www.cardiachill.com/2013/1/8/3849178/an-open-letter-to-the-nation-were-sorry-pitt-pittsburgh-panthers-notre-dame-fighting-irish

    WVU

    25 WV Illustrated

    WVU Men’s Basketball: Texas Preview

    http://www.wvillustrated.com/story/20530669/wvu-mens-basketball-texas-preview

    Soccer(football)

    26 Sky Sports

    Bradford stun Aston Villa to lead 3-1 after first leg of Capital One Cup semi-final

    http://www1.skysports.com/football/live/match/280791/report

    27 Daily Telegraph

    Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez insists club needs to replace the old guard

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/chelsea/9789374/Chelsea-manager-Rafael-Benitez-insists-club-needs-to-replace-the-old-guard.html

    28 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 8th January, 2013

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-8th-january-2013

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    29 Pensburgh

    Gonchar to the Pens – probably not happening…For now

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/1/8/3852400/nhl-trade-rumors-pittsburgh-penguins-sergei-gonchar

  21. JAL says:

    Song Sung Blue Neil Diamond 1972. Was his 2nd number 1 hit with 6 more to follow. Also could have used his 7th number 1 hit, 1981’s Yesterday’s Songs.

  22. Ghost says:

    JAL,
    You probably don’t like the unsolicited suggestions, but for this week’s final installment???…

  23. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    JAL,

    Wanted to give a final gracias for the additional NHL lockout links during that wonderful time. Thanks!

    Any additional NHL stuff you could conjure would also be greatly appreciated.

  24. Jandy says:

    JAL, what Brad said! :)

  25. JohninOshkosh says:

    New morning routine: coffee, check of the blog, enjoying Jandy/Drew banter, then reading walt’s small minded offensive daily musing.

  26. Sec.143RowMSeat24 says:

    You are assuming, incorrectly I believe, that the only reason they traded Hanrahan is because they had an agreement with Liriano. I think it’s safe to assume he would have been moved regardless due to Grilli’s signing.

    Also I wonder how many people questioned Washington’s high ranking due tohaving High picks in Harper or Strasburg. It’s ridiculous. The picked where they picked and got talent relative to that draft position.

  27. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    “HOCKEY Hey!”

    I see Dejan removed the Zack Morris sportcoat yet added clever cheesy one-liner. Good column, good show DK.

  28. Jandy says:

    An excellent interview article on WBS Penguins, and why Beau Bennett should stay there:
    http://www.faceoff-factor.com/5wbs-penguins/4650/chirps-on-chirps

  29. Jandy says:

    OshKosh, I’m tellin’ ya! Drew cracks me up every morning ;)

  30. Drew71 says:

    Banter??

    Scorched Earth.

  31. radio wave says:

    Today is Hof day. Many are saying no one gets in this year. What a shame! There are enough “clean” players that someone deserves election.

    Oshkosh:
    Why did Bucks fire Skiles?

  32. Milo Hamilton says:

    Jack Morris.

  33. TJA says:

    Panthers: A nice win for sure. They needed this one for some confidence building. Keep it going guys.
    _____________________________________________________________________
    Pirates: Good Lord… They keep the conversation going on these cold winter days, do they not?

  34. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Drew also aspires to be Mickey Goldmill wed to Ivan Drago’s wife (after she divorced Ivan because Rocky beat the crap out of him and she realized Ivan was too soft, I’m sure). That run was hilarious!

  35. JAL says:

    Ask and Ye Shall Receive

    30 Time

    Hockey’s Back! 4 Storylines to Watch After the NHL Lockout Ends

    http://keepingscore.blogs.time.com/2013/01/09/hockeys-back-4-storylines-to-watch-after-the-nhl-lockout-ends/

    31 Portland Press Herald

    Steve Solloway: Hard to thaw a frosty feeling

    http://www.pressherald.com/sports/solloway/hard-to-thaw-a-frosty-feeling_2013-01-09.html

    32 WBUR

    Deal To End NHL Lockout Has Pros And Cons

    http://onlyagame.wbur.org/2013/01/09/nhl-hockey-returns

    33 City of Champions

    What The Pittsburgh Penguins Need To Have Success In 2013

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2013/01/08/what-the-pittsburgh-penguins-need-to-have-success-in-2013/

    34 New York Times

    An Official Vote, and an Unofficial One

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/09/sports/hockey/official-vote-on-nhl-agreement-unofficial-one-on-gary-bettman.html

  36. Jandy says:

    Too much snow here to be scorched :P

  37. TJA says:

    Jandy – - – 60 degree temps this weekend will melt that snow.

  38. Jandy says:

    TJA, yeah then it will be a sea of mud. lol

  39. Milo Hamilton says:

    ESPN just issued an apology for walt.

  40. Jandy says:

    LOL!

  41. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    “Trading him (Martin) outright for Gonchar would probably weaken the Pens defense, since Martin is capable of playing more (and better) during tough even strength and penalty kill minutes…” Pensburgh link.

    Not a very strong argument IMO. I disagree on all counts. If Martin played decently in any of those situations there would be no reason to even discuss him leaving. I haven’t seen Martin play at top 4 level and he has no stats to back up why he’s a top 4 D.

    Gonchar needs to be Malkin’s new linemate. I’d be ok with Tyler One Dimension Kennedy playing wing in that situation.

  42. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    MUCHAS gracias JAL.

  43. TJA says:

    Jandy – Yea, you’re right about that one. January thaws are a mess.

  44. pattonbb says:

    The only way Jack Morris and his lifetime era of 3.90 should get into the HoF is by purchasing a ticket.

  45. Drew71 says:

    I apologize if my comment was viewed as being disrespectful to Earth.

  46. buggee says:

    >> I just don’t understand what all this fuss is about getting a back-of-the-rotation starter? Aren’t there several quality young arms in the minors? Bring the candidates up now and get seasoning in the early part of the season. Never know, there may be a diamond in the rough. Just don’t need to sign another piece of downed fruit like Eric Bedard. Why why why?

    >> Bought a 10-pack of shuttlecocks last night. In the words of Drowning Pool, “Let the Bodies Hit the Floor”.

    >> Beau Bennett need to be on that wing with Malkin/Neal. He’s young but creative. Give the lad some OJT.

    >> Caught some of that Pitt game on the radio last night, but there was a rather lengthy delay–several minutes–where 93.7 ran a seemingly unending deluge of ads. Anyone have any idea what happened there? Was it a radio glitch or did the game stop for some reason?

  47. LuckyNKentucky says:

    What vile stuff did walt post today? It was down before I got to abhor it.

  48. nate83 says:

    I personally think the Liriano and Hanny transactions are only related in the sense that once the Pirates thought they had Liriano in the fold they didn’t need to get back a starting pitcher in return for Hanny. It made it possible for them to trade for other parts instead of Capuano or Porcello.

    In my opinion Hanny was being traded regardless because there is no way the Pirates are spending that much on the back end of their bullpen. There is no evidence over the last 20 years to suggest otherwise especially the last 6 under NH.

    If for some reason the Liriano deal falls completely apart there are other options. Marcum, Saunders and even Karstans are options. Whatever ends up happening has to happen quickly because with every passing day options will start to dwindle and then something desperate would have to happen like trading Jones and a good prospect for a pitcher.

  49. Dom says:

    Thanks for the links, JAL.

  50. nate83 says:

    Lucky

    His last post was yesterday. I believe he has been banned and rightfully so.

  51. Jandy says:

    Drew, that’s ok, She’ll forgive you.

    buggee, check out my link at #28 on Bennett

    Dom, in case you didn’t get an answer from yesterday, Spunky is Lucky ;)

  52. Jandy says:

    Spunky, walt posted more gay slurs this morning…Dejan rightfully took it down

  53. Drew71 says:

    And speaking of Earth, anyone see the similarities and OBVIOUS lessons from the Terminator series and Battlestar Galactica?

    If you build machines with red lights and evil looking eye-holes, they are just BOUND to turn on you.

  54. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Oh, I thought Drew said he was in post number 8, but that was Drew. And he ain’t walt. There’s only 1 Drew. walts are a dime a dozen.

  55. Drew71 says:

    …which probably explains walt

  56. NMR says:

    Honest question: If the Liriano deal does fall through, why will it be harder now to find a starter?

    Who signed between December 21st and today that the Pirates would’ve targetted? I’m drawing a blank.

    And the only way this situation works out as dumb or disorganized is if you believed there was actually a snowballs chance that Hanrahan was breaking camp with the Pirates, regardless of Liriano or any other signing putting them over budget.

    Once Grilli was retained, I really…really…find it hard to believe the team had plans of keeping Hanrahan.

    No, I take that back. The only way this turns out dumb is if Huntington calls off a two year contract because of an injury to this guy’s non-throwing arm that is any less severe than the d*mn thing falling off.

  57. Steve says:

    Solid game on both ends of the court by the Panthers. Georgetown hardly looked like the #19 team in the country but take the raod win and move on. Hopefully it is the start of a positive trend. Adams can move. If he can get better at finishing when he gets the ball in the blocks – watch out. Solid games by Woodall and Zanna. Nice to see the Panthers crashing the boards and winning the rebounding battle.

  58. Drew71 says:

    See how everything comes around in a circle?

    The circle is not complete yet. I have to end it at the Pirates.
    Always.

    There.

  59. Joe D says:

    The Liriano mess is just another example of poor management. I wrote at the time of Hanrahan trade, that they should have waited until the spring when his value would be higher, especially since they wouldn’t start paying him until April. Now they won’t be paying anyone, which is good for Nutting’s wallet.

    I knew something was up when the deal wasn’t finalized right away. Remember the “travel issues” Pedro Alvarez had after he agreed to sign. I almost volunteered to drive to New York and pick him up. I’m convinced this management team is unwilling to tell the truth.

  60. JMB says:

    RE: Callis’ system ranking

    For all of the money spent on the draft and all of the trades, eighth just isn’t good enough. I know that it’s only one man’s opinion, but as we enter NH’s sixth season, the farm system should be the best in baseball.

  61. LuckyNKentucky says:

    That was supposed to be a compliment, Drewster, left-handed as it was. I’ve been too hard on you. Don’t want you to get that Roberto Forever complex.

  62. Patrick says:

    I am hardly one to defend BMTIB, but this really is just bad luck, is it not? These guys would have no luck at all if not for bad. Some of it is there own poor decisions but you really can’t fault them for this mess. I am not trying to trivialize their mistakes over the years but it really is astonishing how snake bit this franchise is. Unbelievable.

    Personally I like having walt around. His CaRR (comments above replacement reader) is a solid 3.4. How many of us can boast a xHSiP (homophobic slurs in posts) above .456%?

  63. Drew71 says:

    That complex will have to get in line behind all my others

  64. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Patrick,

    I knew you were Foo. The draft is a crapshoot and the poor unlucky Bucs just can’t get a break. Especially on the basepaths, pitch selection and holding runners on, let alone signing a lefty FA.

    Give it up. You’re Foo, aren’t you?
    ;) < kidding emoticon

  65. Jandy says:

    wow, high spirits this morning, good to see :)

  66. LuckyNKentucky says:

    J-girl,

    I was kidding Patrick, but that “luck” thing “sparks the spunk” if you will. Like DK says, his daughter could have drafted for the Bucs the last few years and Neal’s squeal about bad luck last season in the second half had no credibility, let alone any basis.

    I don’t believe in luck. Look at Notre Dame. :)

  67. nate83 says:

    JMB

    That is a crazy standard to hold any team to. What trading pieces did they have that would have brought back a flood of prospects? They haven’t had a Sabathia or a Greinke. They only lose Cole in terms of prospects moving up this year and they have 2 picks in the top 14 this year. They will be in the top 5 next year and if Appel signed this year they more then likely are in the top 5 already.

  68. Jandy says:

    Spunky, I wasn’t being sarcastic, I was being serious. This is the lightest I’ve seen the blog for while, friend.

    Luck is fickle, you are right…you have to help yourself, first.

  69. Patrick says:

    @NMR

    “The only way this turns out dumb is if Huntington calls off a two year contract because of an injury to this guy’s non-throwing arm that is any less severe than the d*mn thing falling off.”

    I’m going to assume that last bit was just for emphasis, because there are certainly scenarios where injuries to his non-throwing arm would have to be deal breakers. Regardless, we have all been talking about Hanny being moved since LAST offseason. It was widely accepted he wouldn’t be back. Signing Liriano made sense, for the PIrates at least. For a lot of other teams its pretty dumb, but all teams are not equal, and I am as guilty (if not more so) of forgetting that.

    The Liriano signing made sense, I guess. This is just bad luck. Maybe thats letting them off the hook, but really, can we logically demonize anyone for Liriano hurting his arm? It happens…

  70. AJS says:

    Dk,

    I keep reading you knocking Huntingtons drafts. And then at the same time knocking player development. It most likely is an issue with both. But, is it possible that NH has done just fine in the drafts but that the development is so bad that players just don’t grow? Or is it equally possible that the draft is such crap that the development team may not actually be an issue? With all of the Hoka Hey stuff I’m thinking that development is DEFINITELY an issue. But could it be such a big issue that it is making the drafts look worse than they actually are? When you talk about finding late round talent that makes it to the pros those guys have to be coached up and willing to be coached up to make it to the pros.

  71. Patrick says:

    @Lucky

    Oh i didnt mean bad luck overall. I’m not trying to let them off the hook for any number of a hundred other mistakes, or suggest that 20 years of comically bad baseball are anything other than the bed they made.

    Just this Liriano mess. This one particular thing. I can’t really logically find fault or blame with anything about about it. Any way you look at it siging Liriano made sense. His injury wasnt anything they caused or, I’m assuming, anything they could have prevented.

    Unless they had him hauling bags of sand around in Dominican Republic. Maybe he tried being more like a Hells Angel and hurt his arm stabbing people at a concert or something.

  72. NMR says:

    @Patrick

    Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’m sure Ray Searage would be the first to give me a lesson on how important a pitcher’s front half is in the delivery. But let’s still keep it in context. How much possible missed time would be worth calling it off altogether?

    If this comes down to simply reworking some numbers, then all this hand wringing is academic. The only way this is a problem is if it is somehow serious enough to void a two year contract. That type of injury to a guy’s non-throwing arm seems rather improbable.

    And I definitely agree with you. The only guy I’m faulting is Liriano for not disclosing a serious off season injury in the first place.

    Anyways, I used the google machine to answer my own question…

    One starting pitcher has been signed since the Pirates agreement with Liriano, and that was Brett Myers, a guy that wasn’t even being targeted as a starter by some teams.

    The Pirates don’t find themselves in any different position today than before the Liriano signing.

  73. buggee says:

    Jandy… you have a toe fetish?

  74. Patrick says:

    But lets nip this all in the bud. We’ve had our first Hoka-hey mention, so before this gets worse and everyone starts leaving open letters to each other we all agree to talk about hockey. Or The past election. Maybe middle east policy or the new tax laws?

    Anything less caustic and venomous than PBC talk.

    How about them Lakers? I know, right? Clippers in first place….crazy you know….

    DK: I love you. How about that Kobe?

  75. JMB says:

    @nate83

    To me, it’s simply ROI. The return on investment needs to be better. The failures of the 2009 draft are being reaped for the 2013 MLB season.

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/draft/2011/08/bonus-expenditures-2007-11/

    $52MM should have led to the undisputed top system in baseball. The Nats also spent a ton of money, but their top two guys are in the majors and helped the team win a division championship during a 98 win season in 2012.

    The 2013 draft will most likely be one big signing and one ‘signability’ guy due to the new rules.

  76. Jandy says:

    “And I definitely agree with you. The only guy I’m faulting is Liriano for not disclosing a serious off season injury in the first place.”
    That’s what I was thinking…wth did he think he was gonna do, hide it???

    No buggee, but you might find my toe…and my size 9 wides….up your derierre with another caboose comment ;)

  77. Arriba Wilver says:

    Size 9 Wides?

  78. buggee says:

    NH has a far better track record in finding pitchers! That’s where he should be directed to utilize his GM skills. He’s very iffy on position players, so take him out of that equation.

  79. Pat4Pgh says:

    AJS

    #70

    Both drafting and development are issues, development rests in the hands of Stark and Broadway teal who have no baseball experience other than that acquired working for Neal – Starks in Cleveland and here and Broadway here.

    Neal is one of the biggest problems the pirates have and,when added to Frank and Nutting, results in the worst FO in professional sports from a fan perspective. They are making ridiculous sums of money for Nutting so I understand why he retained them. Little or no financial risk and a guaranteed profit…….

  80. buggee says:

    size 9 wides?!?!? That would scare an elephant’s proctologist.

    Sorry Jandy, no insult intended in that post yesterday.

  81. Pat4Pgh says:

    Note to self …… Dn NOT mess with Jandy!!!!!!!!!

  82. Dom says:

    I believe there has been just one individual to make the majors from the 2009 draft class and that was Brock Holt. Perhaps someday Zachary Von Rosenberg and Phil Irwin could be Major League starters. But if I were to give it a grade, it get a big fat F.

    2009 was not only bad, it was Littlefield bad.

  83. @ DK (re: PK):
    The PK is one area where I will side with the coach on: I am hesitant to see either Crosby or Malkin see time down a man. Yes, they are adept at take-aways and the threat of a shorthanded breakaway would force opponents to play more conservatively at the Pens blueline. However, there are two other factors which are of greater concern for me.

    The first is the simple math. Crosby and Malkin already get about 20 minutes a night, which is high for any forward. Adding in more time on the PK will push them further into the 20 minute range, which is going to wear both players down faster. Not to mention, playing a man short is a demanding assignment: I’d say one minute on the PK is worth about four even strength. Secondly, you want forwards on the PK to be fearless: sacrificing the body to take away shots. Say what you want about equality, but I’d rather not see Geno or Sid laying down in front of a defenseman unloading from the point.

    If anyone, I’d like to see TK take some PK minutes: he’s a puck-possession player, he’s a bulldog along the boards, and he’s aggressive. He’s not the most defensively aware, but I think he’d be a good fit for the assignment.

    @Brad (41):
    Ok, it’s safe to say Paul Martin is not on your Christmas list. :)

    Paul Martin is better than you give him credit for. When he first arrived and was playing alongside Michalek, he played exceptionally well: sound defensively, made intelligent decisions with the puck, and made crisp outlet passes. Since, he has struggled with Bylsma’s defensive system (as, coincidentally, did Z). Martin has tried to do more offensively, and I see that as the source of his troubles. If he can concentrate on making the first pass rather than carrying the puck through the neutral zone and take a more conservative approach to pinching in offensively, I think you’ll see his confidence, and his value, rise.

  84. Jandy says:

    LOL! Yeah I have big feet ;)

    buggee, no worries, just messin with ya, friend ;)

  85. Absolute59 says:

    My take on the hanrahan/liriano connection is not that PBC had to trade Hanrahan because they signed liriano, I agree with many others that Hanny was gone as soon as they signed Grilli.

    I think the purpose of the Liriano signing was to allow them to change the focus of the return for Hanrahan to a bullpen piece, Sands, and the AA pitching prospect and of course NH’s beloved “years of control” instead of a straight up deal for a proven back of the rotation starter like Capuano who they would have only had one year of control.

  86. kr70 says:

    BRING BACK FREDDY, can out hit most of the Bucs with his eyes closed.

  87. buggee says:

    @ Jandy
    That’s a good read jandy (#28), thank you. And continued appreciation to JAL for all the linkage.

  88. Jandy says:

    Relentless, for what it’s worth, I side with you on Martin .But…he either has to figure out the system or move on. Right now he’s a liability.

    Pat4Pgh, hey, I can take it but I can dish it out sometimes too LOL!

  89. Jandy says:

    buggee, that’s my son-in-law’s blog. I visit there second..after I visit here…

  90. Arriba Wilver says:

    Absolute—I agree with you, but would modify your last point to Hanny was gone as soon as the figure $7 million was attached to his name.

  91. NMR says:

    @JMB

    That $52m number is the cost of doing business. If Bob Nutting doesn’t like it, he can go back to drafting Daniel Moskos.

    The Pirates sucked. The Pirates picked high. The Pirates also picked the players they were supposed to pick(minus Sanchez). That resulted in $36m to the first two rounds alone. That’s 70% of the four year budget.

    All the money spent on overslot picks, Stetson Allie, and Tony Sanchez could barely buy you a year of Russell Martin.

    If we look back a couple years from now and Sanchez never makes it to the bigs, Pedro falls back to 2011 form, and Tailon/Cole fail to live up to expectations, THEN it is a bad ROI.

  92. JohninOshkosh says:

    Lucky:

    walt had one of his usual gems up early this morning but Dejan removed it. Dejan gave him fair warning and allowed him several opportunities to be heard but he insisted on staying on his strange message.

    Radio Wave:

    Skiles had one winning season in 5 years and had a decent club performing at a .500 pace this year. Writing was on the wall for him when his contract wasn’t extended after last season. I get the feeling him and the GM didn’t get along also.

  93. nate83 says:

    JMB

    With all do respect the Nationals had Harper and Strasburg gift wrapped. Two once in a generation players given to them within a 3 year span is unheard of. As good as Cole and Taillon look like they are going to be nobody compared them to Harper or Strasburg when drafted. I guess you are saying the Pirates are guilty for not sucking more and getting those two guys.

    2009 was a horrible draft for all teams. A lot of the money was spent on rounds 3-15 High School pitchers that take 4 to 5 years to make it to the majors. The young High School pitchers drafted in 2010 and 2011 are actually doing well. They are just now getting to the single A level and possible AA as this year progresses. The Pirates are likely to have a top 5 system for the next 2-3 years as those players work their way up through the system.

  94. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’m glad I don’t have a vote for BB HOF. Not sure what I would do although I think Biggio and Morris deserve enshrinement.

  95. Milo Hamilton says:

    Oh yipee, a new prospect list. Woo Hoo !!!!!!

  96. Jandy says:

    Biggio definitely deserves it. Hated the guy but he was good.

  97. redus says:

    Hanny was still a good trade. I loved watching the guy as much as the next…but between price per inning and several appearances that might lead one to believe that Joel was starting to rely too heavily on that slider…there is no reason to second guess the move. I hope he does not decline any further and puts up another all-star year for Boston…but I honestly don’t think he will.

    Sands is going to play – and this is based on NOTHING more than the fact that even Huntington is due to hit on a position player at some point.

    Lariano – oh well – if it never happens, he and walt will be distant memories come July.

    Lohse….he is worth a comp pick. Do it.

  98. Tim says:

    Great to hear you talk hockey. Hockey is my sport, too. Played 20-some years. Trying to get my 5 year old son on the ice. Operative word is ‘trying’. I’m not gonna lie, I’m still bummed about losing Jordan Staal. He was there best player in the Philly series, penalty kill aside. You keep saying the staff loves Sutter, but I’ll wait and see. No matter how much you pump it up, the jury is still out. Me being the jury. Anyway, its a great day for hockey, and hockey coverage.

  99. Skilliemischief says:

    Nice to see how pitt played last night, that was fun to watch!

  100. Kevin says:

    so, when is the first penguins game? I heard rumors NHL season would start Jan 19th but want to see something real. Anyone know has the schedule been figured yet?

  101. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    LuckyNSpunky,

    “sparks the spunk”

    Wow lol. I would have expected Drew to come up with that one… or did he?

  102. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Kevin,

    I heard they won’t release official schedule until pointless voting is done. Why not drag things out a few more days.

  103. JohninOshkosh says:

    One of my favorite writers, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, tweeted that he has never received more hate filled e-mails than over his explanation for his HOF ballot (he voted for Bonds and Clemens).

    These are from people who are presumably Ryan Braun fans, by the way.

  104. Jandy says:

    Kevin, this is what is out there…don’t think a specialized schedule is done yet.
    “Each team plays: 4 games vs. two Divisional opponents (8); 5 games vs. two divisional opponents (10); 3 games vs 10 Conference rivals (30).”

    Brad, Spunkster made that one up himself…gotta give him some credit!

  105. Jandy says:

    OshKosh, I’d prolly send him one too!

  106. Jandy says:

    waittaminit….I’m NOT a Braun fan…

  107. @Jandy (87):
    I can’t argue that point at all: Martin is a liability right now. I do hold out hope that he will find his footing with the right defensive partner. Much more than I hold out hope for Bylsma adopting a defense-first strategy, might I add.

  108. Jandy says:

    Relentless, Bylsma will never go with defense first with Sid and Geno on the team lol.

    As for Martin, I’d like to see him succeed, but who to pair him with? I love Letand and Brooksie together. Is Niskanen good enough to cover for Martin when he slips up?

  109. Milo Hamilton says:

    The steroid stuff doesn’t bother me at all. I would vote for Bonds, Clemens, McGwire etc.. I also respect anyone who wouldn’t vote for these guys because of the issue. 75% is a high threshold. I think this particular system works, unlike football. Now the issue of ballot overcrowding is going to come to the forefront with only 10 spots available. That might have to change.

  110. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Stetson Allie, wow, forgot about him. What is his timetable again?

  111. Jandy says:

    *Letang typo…I need more coffee…or maybe some chocolate!

  112. pattonbb says:

    @John – I’d definitely vote for Biggio. No way I’d vote for Morris, and I was a Jack Morris fan. Just not sold that he’s a HoF’er. If he gets in, so should Luis Tiant and Dennis Martinez (very similar numbers).

    I got a little fired up last night when I heard people are leaving Piazza off of their ballot. He seemed like a no-brainer to me,

  113. Jandy says:

    Was Piazza connected to PED’s? I remember him as a darn good catcher.

  114. Milo Hamilton says:

    patton,

    Biggio & Piazza yes. What do you think about Trammell ?

  115. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    4check,

    You are correct sir about Paulina Martin and my xmas list. A big part of it for me is lack of grit. Not necessarily dropping the gloves, just being able to play defensively AND physically- I think they’re inseparable for successful D-men. I just don’t entirely subscribe to the whole stick in the right place/on puck strategy as a primary tactic for defense, especially not in even strength. What good is a stick in a spot if you’re being pushed out of the way? He gets pushed around badly with and without the puck.

    I think when obstruction was nearly eliminated after last lockout, that was one thing. But it’s come back and we need guys who can take advantage of it. I liked that about Hal Gill.

    Believe me, in all seriousness, I’d like to see Martin succeed. I just haven’t seen it happen and don’t see it happening. There’s no fire in him. That’s the one area I give credit to Clint the Whiff Barmes. If Martin were a rookie/prospect he’da been scratched like a back with a hacksaw (ode to Hockey Hey).

  116. @Jandy (107):
    If you asked me right now, I’d like to see Letang/Niskanen, Martin/Orpik, Engelland/Bortuzzo as the pairings out of the gate. I think it’s going to be a bit of an adjustment for Matt Niskanen to play top-pairing minutes, but I think he’s the best compliment to Letang. I’ll stand by my belief that Martin plays better when paired with a defensive-minded partner anchoring the backfield, and I think Orpik would benefit from second pairing minutes over first. Engelland and Bortuzzo? Well, those two could prove to be a brutal pairing.

  117. Dom says:

    Allie had an ERA of 54.00 last year.

    In my book that is not too good. Of course he asked the Buccos if he could switch to a 3rd basemen. Perhaps he can develop into a decent hitter but he doesn’t look like he will play out like we hoped.

  118. JUCOFan says:

    Heard on DC radio this morning that this was Georgetown’s worst loss in Big East play in terms of point differential. Nice win.

    Nothing with the Pirates surprises me. Wonder when Liriano hurt himself.

  119. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I don’t know what to say about the whole Liriano situation other than, for some reason, I’m not shocked.

  120. Bizrow says:

    I wonder what Liriano hurt?

    @Jandy – I think Piazza may be seen by some as a PED user, thats what makes this whole thing so screwy. And unless the fellow comes out and confesses, folks will never know who did and who didn’t.

  121. Bizrow says:

    @Dom – I think Allie also hit under the Mendosa Line when he did become a position player. So not a good year for him at either pitching or hitting.

  122. Patrick says:

    Martin isnt as big a liability as everyone makes him out to be. His biggest problem is he doesn’t have the “wow” factor that the other guys do. He doesn’t skate like Kris or bang like Brooks and Derek. He doesn’t do anything to make you forget when he screws up. And let me be very clear: Kris Letang gets caught out of position ALL THE TIME. He has the speed and skating to make up for it, SOMETIMES, but that doesn’t excuse it. Kris had a terrible series against Philly last spring just like everyone else.

    Martin’s “good plays” are the basic ones that he does consistently and efficiently. He doesn’t do anything flashy to make you forget the things he did wrong. He had a bad year to be sure. Not trying to deny that. But to listen to some people talk you would think he is the worst defenseman in the league.

    And really folks, the other team is allowed to be good too. Just because Giroux scores doesn’t mean Martin sucks. Even Lindstrom got scored on.

  123. JohninOshkosh says:

    Too bad Sammy Sosa doesn’t know English otherwise he would be able to know that he’s not getting in.

  124. chuck snow says:

    Francisco Liriano-Par for the course…BMTIB…it’s to the point after the last two years that I don’t even have much hope for the season…16 games over .500-I was so excited but my brother said-you know they are the Pirates..and he was right…

  125. JRay3 says:

    Maybe even more important to me regarding last night’s Pitt performance is how desperately this was needed for the psyche of the team. Let’s not forget this was a team that went 5-13 in conference play a year ago. A 0-3 conference start could have had mental repercussions or allowed some doubt to creep in.

    Now with a dominating performance on the road they head home with a real chance to build off this momentum and quickly get back to .500 in conference play. It was encouraging to see a little more transition last night, would really like if Dixon would continue to open it up a bit.

    As for the Pirates and Liriano, what more can you say other than par for the course. Even though the bullpen may have been weakened in the trade that sent Hammer to Boston (and who knows if Melancon performs and Grilli can close maybe it will not be weakened) the questions I still have is how is this rotation being pieced together. Lots of questions after #1 and #2.

  126. Patrick says:

    I think some writers believe that ANY guy who hit more than 35 hrs during the 90′s was taking something. I”m still part of the crowd that wonders how guys like Piazza get labeled as a user but Ken Griffey Jr doesnt.

    Surge in power, then it declines, hamstring/muscle pulls….get past the smile and aura of Jr. and he has all the signs. Minus the giant head of course….

  127. CWalton_67 says:

    Hockey talk…amen.

    Agree with some of the points Relentless makes about 87 and 71…but I would also like to see them on the penalty kill for the reasons stated by DK. I think Bylsma can find a way to balance the pros and cons, maybe by getting them onto the 2nd PK unit to take advantage of tired forwards.

    Also agree with Brad above regarding Martin. I don’t think that defense can be played well without physicality, and he is not a physical presence at all. And that would appear to be from both a mindset and physical strength point of view.

  128. NMR says:

    @Tim – Good luck with your little guy!

    @Dom/Biz

    Either of you guys get the feeling that Allie is far from done as a pitcher? The kid is still just 21 and the arm hasn’t gone anywhere.

    I’d be shocked if the team didn’t convert him back after he, most likely, goes nowhere as a hitter. Think James McDonald.

  129. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Patrick,

    I would have much less ire for Martin if he wasn’t going to be 8% of the cap hit next year barring a buyout. All those other guys have an element of physicality that enhances their game. Martin is on the level of Brian Campbell in shying away from it.

    I know Letang gets caught out of position a lot, but that’s kind of the point with him. He has an offensive skill set that’s extremely rare, like Paul Coffey. Why not utilize it to its fullest?

    And if Giroux scores, the end result and analysis: Giroux is still a tool.

  130. Dom says:

    NMR,

    I heard that Allie asked to switch to a position player. It wasn’t the Pirates that approached him and asked to be a 3rd basement. So, I think he is done on the mound.

  131. Bizrow says:

    Good point NMR, we’ll have to see what happens, I guess

  132. Jandy says:

    Relentless, thanks for the input, friend. I’d love to see Nisky with Tanger…he just needs to pay attention! Camp will show if he has a chance.

    Brad, Giroux is a tool…why? What would you think of him if he were a Penguin?

  133. Patrick says:

    @Brad

    All completely true. I suppose my point was that Martin isn’t the world’s worst defenseman the way some think he is. Overpaid? Definately, especially in a league that just saw the cap shrink by 16%.

    And i don’t think Letang should do anything different, ever. He is an all-star and Norris candidate and he is only 25. He gets better every shift. I hope they sign him for 10 years just like Sid. I was really only trying to make the point that Martin gets a lot of unnecessary criticism only because he doesn’t do the flashy things others do. Derek does a lot of flashy things and some people would think he is a better D-man than Paul, which is absurd.

    If Paul were to go out in the first game in two weeks and drop gloves with Giroux, nobody would say a bad word about him for the rest of the year even if his +/- was worse.

    And OMG is that game going to be ELECTRIC. Talk about starting the season off with a bang. Pens/Flyers, in Philly? After that series last spring? After an extended layoff and 40 angry hockey players ready to get back to work?

    To quote Gen. Troutman: “You better bring some extra body bags”

  134. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Patrick,

    Loved that last line of #71. He hurt his arm trying to be a Hell’s Angel, stabbing people at a concert.

    Hilarious.

  135. Arriba Wilver says:

    Dom–I agree with you that Allie approached the Pirates, but I don’t agree with your logic in reaching your conclusion. Allie was,probably frustrated that he was hitting the backstop pitching. Once he realizes he can’t make it as a hitter he’ll probably think that that pitching thing wasn’t so bad after all. At least when his bonus money runs out. And as NMR said, the Pirates would certainlymtry him againmas a pitcher before throwing him on the scrap heap. Either way, I don’t expect him to succeed as a Pirate, if anywhere.

  136. Dave says:

    Dejan,

    Any chance the Pirates go after a guy like Marcum or Saunders with the recent news about Liriano? Is there more likely a chance they stay with the group they have?

  137. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Jandy,

    Giroux’s a tool because he plays for Philthy. It’s a dishonorary distinction they all get when they don their sweaters that meet or exceed PA Game Commission requirements for visible blaze orange during hunting season. Even Talbot. Loved what he did when he was here and still like him actually. But he’s in the toolshed now.

    Scott Hartnell? His picture’s in the dictionary under long-haired, cheap, dirty, act like a tough guy yet whimper away to the bench and yell obscenities tool.

    If Giroux were a Penguin I’d say substitute him for Paul Martin and/or Kennedy.

  138. CWalton_67 says:

    Jandy–betting we’d all love Giroux were he in Black and Vegas Gold. But all Philthadelphia Cryers are by definition–tools. My antipathy for anyone wearing orange and black knows no bounds.

  139. Jandy says:

    Brad, you crack me up!

    CWalton, I know I’d love to have Giroux in the line-up. The guy is Good.

    I hate Philly clubs, fans, etc as most of them have earned it, but I do know talent when I see it!

    And yes, right now I hate Giroux, but I’d be the first to say I loved him if he came to DaBurgh.

  140. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Patrick,

    I agree he’s by no means the worst. Lovejoy is worse than him along with many others. I personally think Engelland is better overall, but like I said, I value the physicality very highly (of course I’m not the coach so in the end it doesn’t really matter). The cap factor is a huge influence too.

    Like I said, I hope Polly proves me wrong. I just don’t see it happening.

  141. NMR says:

    @Dom – Arriba nailed my response.

    And while expecting him to make it to the show would be a stretch, relievers with that kind of gas can have success without having much control at all(relatively speaking). If the kid could just figure out how NOT to go all Steve Blass on everybody, he’ll get a shot somewhere.

  142. Patrick says:

    Scott Hartnell looks like Side Show Bob from Simpson’s fame. In my house that is how he is referred to. I get tired of people heaping praise on him for being some “rugged power forward”. He can barely skate. He falls down constantly and couldn’t carry the puck with a butterfly net. He’s plays with a great line mate that makes him look really good. I could put a cardboard cut-out of Robbie Brown next to the net on the Power play with Giroux and it would score 30 goals a year.

    Any team that still employs Zac Rinaldo deserves to be called tools, and worse. Rinaldo makes Carcillo look like Datsyuk. I’ve seen more legitimate hockey players playing in a bubble attached to a metal stick than Rinaldo.

  143. Drew71 says:

    Picture this. Autograph show. Jandy. Ryan Braun.

    I’d give my big toe to see that.

    And one dog.

    (you know which one)

    and walt

  144. Jandy says:

    Drew, LMAO! You’re killing me!
    I gotta get my size 9 wide’s all scuffed up ;X

  145. pattonbb says:

    Milo – I say yes to Trammell, but I’m sure a lot of people wouldn’t. I think he gets lost as the 2nd or 3rd best shortstop in the AL during the Cal Ripken era.

  146. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I favor aggressive, physical play all across the board. My solution for the next time the Zeus Bullets spring a “trap” or the Strangers all lay down on top of each other in front of the net with Henrik complaining about his hair being messed up through his obscenely white teeth (yeah, little jealous)…

    Put Steve McIntyre in the front of the flying V, Dupweeee and Letang right behind skating 200mph (Lord knows they won’t stop til they hit the boards) and Geno and Sid at the tail. If Emilio Estevez made it work, we should be able to.

    And I absolutely detest Scott Fartnell.

  147. Dom says:

    You guys are right. If Allie fails at 3rd he’ll get one more hurrah at pitching.

    Let’s not write him off completely has a position player. He would have been drafted has a position player if he never made the switch to the mound.

  148. Jandy says:

    Cal Ripken, wife beater.

  149. Jandy says:

    Brad, damn, the mental images you are conjuring up have me howling! But you’re right about the 200 mph lol.
    Hubby loves calling Scottie Fartsmell. Just gets the biggest kick out of it. :)

  150. Patrick says:

    Side Show bob’s idea of defense is skating into the net, knocking it off and then going to the bench.

    Clown shoes. Dude could play in roller skates and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

  151. Chris says:

    This whole Liriano deal confuses me. What kind of injury to a non-throwing arm 3 months before opening day would derail the deal?

    It seems like the Pirates are maybe trying to sign him for less… But if they actually don’t sign him because if this injury and go into opening day with McPherson and Locke then I will be pretty disappointed.

    Cole can’t get here soon enough

  152. Ryan (Nor Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    -I think the Pirates thing is just a case of dumb luck. Take that has you wish.

    -I don’t think there was any mastermind plan to “sign” Loriano for Hammer money, to offer a trade and an excuse.

    -I don’t see a single FA contract that the signing isn’t based on “after a physical.” Both parties agree in principle, bring in the player for the physical and go from there.

    -It sure does seem to be another one of those, “this only happens to the Pirates” kind of things. If these dudes didn’t have bad luck, they’d have non at all.

    -A good scouting team could solve that luck problem though.

  153. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Jandy,

    Dupweeeee reminds me of that speedskater kid from Mighty Ducks 2 that couldn’t stop. Love watching him play, but worry he’s going to crash through the boards.

    And Frank the Spank consulted with the makers of Mighty Ducks during the scene where Emilio Estevez’s character (ironically with last name Bombay) gets pulled over.

    Officer: Breath or blood, sir?
    Emilio: No thanks. I’m full.

    Patrick,

    Sideshow Bob is perfect mental image of that tool.

  154. Jandy says:

    Brad, Duper is one of my favs on the Pens. The guy has so much heart and he gives 110% every shift.

    Again, the mental images are cracking me up! lol

  155. Milo Hamilton says:

    That Dupuis trade looks like a steal even if you take Hossa out of the equation.

  156. Jandy says:

    Milo, isn’t that the truth!!!!!

  157. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Milo,

    Definitely Shero’s best right behind Gary Roberts, IMO. Ok, it was actually better, but Scary Gary is one of my all time favorites.

  158. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    http://www.hockeyfights.com/fights/38999

    That’s why.

    DK: Magnificent.

  159. Jandy says:

    Brad ~ I *LOVED* seeing the Hockey God beat the snot out of Ben Eager! Showed him up for the wussy he was!

  160. Jandy says:

    Hell, Roberts was old enough to be Eager’s dad lol

  161. Jandy says:

    Hubby swooping in to take me to lunch…can’t say no…later guys :)

  162. 21sthebest says:

    “Allie had an ERA of 54.00 last year. ”

    Well that’s true. The 2/3 of an inning that he pitched last year was a disaster. But his K/9 was 13.5. :-)

  163. CeehowUR says:

    Perhaps Liriano had a change of heart and wanted to go elsewhere, hence claiming injury, followed by a miraculous recovery. We should bring him in for a physical to prove he is injured.

  164. Milo Hamilton says:

    Rossi saying home opener could be Flyers on Sunday night the 20th. A little home and home hatred to start things off.

  165. Patrick says:

    I don’t know, I think the aquisition of The Bad A** Billy Guerin for a mere 7th round pick paid dividends beyond measure. The fact that Guerin is still involved with the Penguins today also speak highly for the quality of the organization. I’m sure he had no shortage of opportunities in retirement and he chose to stay here.

    Of all of Shero’s moves and trades, Billy Guerin was probably the one that had the highest return on investment.

  166. Patrick says:

    Home and Home to start the year? Sounds like Glen Sather’s idea to me….

  167. JMB says:

    Ian Rapoport ‏@RapSheet
    #Cardinals requested interview with Todd Haley. Source close to Haley: “He loves Steelers job. He’s very happy. No interview with Cards.”

  168. Jandy says:

    Biz, thanks for the link, friend.

    Milo, heck yeah! Home and home with Philthydelphia…may as well jump in and get it started!

    Patrick, I am happy Billy’s in the organization, but Gary Roberts is The Hockey God!

  169. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    As much as I can’t stand Neal the Circus SEAL, I have to admit he’s got a knack for building a decent bullpen on the cheap and, in a couple situations, getting some good pickups like Burnett and Wandy while giving up little. His biggest Achilles IMO is free agent position players (insert numerous entries).

    That said, Ray Shero has his own sort of Achilles in non-draft D-men.

    Bad/not-so-beneficial pickups: Darryl Sydor, Zybynek Michalek, Paul Martin, Phillipe Boucher, Jordan Leopold, Jay McKee, Joel Kwiatkowski, Eric Cairns

    Gone and probably shouldn’t be: ROB SCUDERI, Hal Gill, Sergei Gonchar. Not many, but imagine the impact.

    Excellent trades of D: Ryan Whitney, Alex Goligoski (slightly more talented version of Paul Martin), Noah Welch

  170. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’m glad the NHL is getting things started before the MLK holiday. I get the day off and love me some weekday matinee hockey! Kids will be in school so unfettered viewing.

  171. Patrick says:

    It was kind of weird watching that video of a hockey fight from the 12th overall pick in the 1984 draft, playing on the team of the guy who went #1 that year, being color commented on TV by the guy who went #3 in the same year. If the linesman who broke it up had been “Mustache” Kirk Muller it would have been a Scorcese-like scene.

    Pretty good draft class I would think.

  172. JohninOshkosh says:

    Next year there is a sure lock for the HOF. Greg Maddux. Easily one of my all time favorites.

  173. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    There’s no irony like the iron fist of Gary Roberts…

  174. Jandy says:

    Way to go, Brad, you had to make me cry :*(
    When Scuds left I DID cry. Still miss him.

  175. Jandy says:

    Brad, when a hockey player is 41 and he kicks the a** of a 23 year old supposed tough guy…it speaks volumes :)

  176. loyd says:

    “Rather, the mistake that could come to pass, would be that they committed money beyond a payroll limit and, as a result, felt compelled to trade Joel Hanrahan and his likely $7 million salary to clear space for Liriano before giving Liriano a physical.”

    Well isn’t that some Monday Morning QB Mularkey! Really DK? The Liriano deal had nothing to do with Hanrahan. Liriano/No Liriano, you knew, everyone in the city knew, Hanrahan wouldn’t be a pirate come spring training. So to say that pirate management is dumb, disorganized, brilliant beyond all reasonable adjectives because they traded Hanrahan before Liriano officially signed is nonsense. But if you want to say they are dumb, disorganized, brilliant beyond all reasonable adjectives because of the Liriano deal alone, then you may have a point.

    DK: Well, either that, or you could read what I actually wrote about how, yes, Hanrahan was going to be gone. But the timing of FIRST reaching a deal with a starter, THEN dumping Hanrahan, THEN finding out the starter is damaged, really messes up the timing for getting the best starter available.

    See other posts here. They got it.

    Oh, and welcome to the blog!

  177. Patrick says:

    I think if we are going to keep out hitters because their numbers were inflated, then we need to cut pitchers a break too. One of the bigger reasons people seem to have for voting for Jack Morris is his ERA. Well, he DID pitch quite a few games during the ‘Steroid Era’.

    If people are going to askew hitters stats for the purposes of keeping them out of the HoF, shouldn’t askewing pitchers stats be a logical reaction?

  178. Jandy says:

    Did Dejan say he is voting next year? (HOF)

  179. 34 DAYS UNTIL PITCHERS & CATCHERS REPORT FOR PIRATE SPRING TRAINING

    .

    11 DAYS UNTIL PENS DROP PUCK FOR 1ST GAME

    .

    Something is wrong with this picture!

  180. pattonbb says:

    John, I was about to say Maddux would be a unanimous decision. Then I remembered 9 voters left Hank Aaron off of their ballots in ’82. Guess the Hall of Fame doesn’t believe in unanimous decisions.

  181. Patrick says:

    Brian Burke fired in Toronto??!?! whhaaa the heee….?!?!

    Why would you wait this long? This is really weird and/or dumb. Makes absolutely no sense.

  182. Jandy says:

    OMG Patrick, you’re kidding me??!!?

  183. Milo Hamilton says:

    Brian Burke has been fired. Two questions: What took then so long & why do I find it hilarious ?

  184. Jandy says:

    Milo, maybe because it IS?
    Actually, the timing is ridiculous.

  185. JohninOshkosh says:

    pattonbb:

    Always amazing the names that were kept off some ballots. Often for personal reasons. Very unprofessional. At least nowadays most voters release and explain their votes.

  186. Patrick says:

    Toronto FO=BMTIH

  187. Patrick says:

    I mean seriously. Even the Pirates wouldnt wait until after a prolonged lockout, until the eve of a shortened camp, when a newly reduced salary cap needs attended to and an incomplete roster needs reworked…to fire their GM?!?!

    Somewhere Bobby Orr is laughing uncontrollably.

    DK: The Leafs are awesome.

  188. Bizrow says:

    I nominate post 188 for post du jour

    NY Jets FO = BMTIF

  189. Milo Hamilton says:

    So an owner fires a GM before he can make the desperation “saving my butt trade.” Interesting.

    DK: Brian Burke might have given up half his roster to get Roberto Luongo and salvage Toronto’s horrific goaltending situation.

  190. Bizrow says:

    Speaking of Ryans, Rob Ryan fired by Cowboys from the defensive coordinator spot. He said “I’ll be out of work for 5 minutes”

    Class acts, those Ryan brothers

  191. JMB says:

    Ed Bouchette ‏@EdBouchette
    #steelers Haley in Arizona today interviewing for Cardinals job

    So I dont know what’s true.

  192. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Philthy can give Totonto BMTIH a run for their money in the goalie department.

  193. Milo Hamilton says:

    JMB,

    I trust Ed. Ian Raporort is a jabrone.

  194. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Biz,

    Certainly a class all their own.

    And why is RGIII such a huge story? He got hurt, played hurt. What a novel headline in football.

  195. Milo Hamilton says:

    Rob Ryan Update:

    - The 5 minute mark has passed.
    - The 5 hour mark has passed.

  196. Patrick says:

    @JasonLaCanfora Cardinals sour on T.Haley after he injures his finger opening a bag of airplane peanuts

  197. JMB says:

    @Milo

    Yeah, Ed is usually on it.

  198. nate83 says:

    Below are Allies stats. He batted .213 but had a OBP much higher then that at .314. He only had 150 AB and struck out 50 times. He had a .320 average on balls hit in play. He essentially was starting over when he made the switch. Those stats really are not that bad for someone who hadn’t swung a bat in 2 1/2 years. It really will be a long shot for him to make it as a hitter but it’s worth a shot.

    http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=592105

  199. Milo Hamilton says:

    nate,

    The other day, some here were looking for definitions of the word apologist. I think we’ll submit your post #200 to Webster’s.

  200. 21sthebest says:

    “Brian Burke fired in Toronto??!?! whhaaa the heee….?!?!

    Why would you wait this long? This is really weird and/or dumb. Makes absolutely no sense.”

    Maybe it’s a national holiday in Canada or the Argonauts are playing?

  201. Patrick says:

    @Brad

    Because he shouldn’t have been playing. There is playing through pain and then playing through injury. Asking a young kid that is trying to prove himself to his team to take himself out of the game is crazy. Kid had a knee that needed surgery and they ran him out there and very well might have irrevocably damaged his career for a game they probably wouldn’t have won anyways.

    Someone has to be the voice of reason in football. How can the league run commercials with Brady and Lewis talking about how they are trying to “make the game safer” when teams are sending damn-near crippled players out to keep playing.

    I’ve had a sprained/partially torn knee ligament. I could barely walk, much less play a NFL game. NFL=to tough for their own good. He should have been in street clothes.

  202. nate83 says:

    Milo

    I said he is a very long shot to make it. No where did I say these stats make him a good pick by this front office. Thanks for putting words in my mouth.

  203. gonfalon says:

    I agree that it was very likely NH would trade Hanrahan once Grilli had signed, and then the agreement to sign Liriano made it inevitable. However, DK is correct when he wrote, “It will be harder now to find that badly needed starter.”

    Consider that the return for Hanrahan did not include a MLB-ready starting pitcher. If NH and co. had known of Liriano’s injury, surely they would have tried to get a starting pitcher (from a different team?) in return for Hanrahan. With limited resources ($ and players to trade), the Pirates cannot afford to make mistakes like this.

  204. Milo Hamilton says:

    nate,

    You’re welcome.

  205. nate83 says:

    I also stated he struck out 1/3 of the his at bats. That is hardly a glowing review of his performance.

  206. Jandy says:

    Milo and nate, take it outside, boys! >:/

  207. JohninOshkosh says:

    “Though I respect that a lot, I’d be fired if that were my job, after killing Jason off and countless screaming Argonauts”

  208. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Patrick,

    I only saw the replay: and it looked freakin bad. There just seems to be such a movement to crucify both player and coach over it (partly blame ESPN on that). I read something, I’ll try to find it, that was talking about racial implications for taking 3 out or leaving him in. That’s getting a little nuts.

  209. Bizrow says:

    Re Hanny, I think regardless of the Liriano agreement, they should have gone for another starter in any trade for him.

    You know how he is with “infatuation”, he’s been eyeing Stolmy since the last big trade with the Bosox.

    This is not NH’s finest moment, after 5+ years of management, this is the rotation he has “built”?

  210. Patrick says:

    Racial implications?! Yea, that’s ridiculous. His knee is built and repaired the same as anyone else.

    I wonder how all the people in Washington who were crying about Strasberg getting shut down feel now?

  211. Milo Hamilton says:

    Nobody made the Hall Of Fame. Craig Biggio came the closest with 68%, 39 votes short.

  212. radio wave says:

    No one elected to hall of fame this year. Bigio highest percentage at 68%. Needed is 75%.

  213. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I can’t find the article now. Crap. Didn’t read much further than the first paragraph because of that. I hope he gets better. Liked watching him play. Of course I liked watching the Steelers stop him, too. All around unfortunate incident.

    I just know Bendiva and Tomlin have their share of oopsies with injury vs. play pretty much on a yearly basis. Probably why I’m not that interested in all the controversy in this situation.

  214. JohninOshkosh says:

    Cheating does not buy you immortality, Mr. Bonds. Not even 40% immortality.

  215. Patrick says:

    “Mr. Tannenbaum, meet Woody Johnson and Bob Nutting. You should have a lot to talk about”

  216. JohninOshkosh says:

    Curt Schilling, not a favorite of the media in his playing days to say the least, finished ahead of Bonds and Clemens.

  217. Milo Hamilton says:

    See you all in Cooperstown for Colonel Rupert’s induction.

  218. JohninOshkosh says:

    All hail the Colonel!

  219. NMR says:

    @Biz

    Didn’t Neal try three times to land a starter for Hanny(Capuano/Dodgers, Porcello/Tigers, Doubrant/Sox)?

    Takes two to tango, as they say.

  220. Patrick says:

    “… after 5+ years of management, this is the rotation he has built”

    I cannot think of a better tombstone for his tour of duty as GM.

  221. Patrick says:

    @MLB BREAKING: @officialBBWAA elects no one to @BaseballHall for first time since 1996. #HOF

    In related news: BBWAA elects themselves to the HoF. Every other player’s bust removed to make room for their righteous indignation.

    I’m sure none of the guys who passed on Bonds or Piazza or McGwire had ANY IDEA that they were using back when they were beat writers and in the clubhouse every day. NO CLUE.

  222. Bizrow says:

    I don’t know NMR

    I’m not sure what he was trying to do.

    All I know is that the deal he agreed to did not include a starter and we need one regardless of Liriano

  223. Dom says:

    I’m surprised Mike Piazza didn’t make the HOF.

  224. Bizrow says:

    Dom, he is suspected by some of doing PEDs.

    Buster Olney had a good idea, I think, if it is factual that you used PEDS, put a note on your plaque in the HOF.

  225. Pat4Pgh says:

    Neal’s finest moment will be when the Federal Street door hits him in the a$$ after he is dismissed!

    He is and will always be a failure as GM or assistant GM or assistant to the assistant GM (or whatever job he was DEMOTED into with Cleveland before Frank hired him.

  226. Dom says:

    I had no idea, Biz.

    If would much rather have nobody make the hall than have someone who used PED get voted in.

  227. Bizrow says:

    Remaining Starting Pitcher FAs, per MLBTradeRumors

    Erik Bedard (34)
    Dallas Braden (29)
    Aaron Cook (34)
    Freddy Garcia (37)
    Jair Jurrjens (27)
    Jeff Karstens (30)
    Kyle Lohse (34) – declined qualifying offer
    Derek Lowe (40)
    Shaun Marcum (31)
    Daisuke Matsuzaka (32)
    Kevin Millwood (38)
    Dustin Moseley (31)
    Jamie Moyer (50)
    Roy Oswalt (35)
    Carl Pavano (37)
    Jonathan Sanchez (30)
    Joe Saunders (32)
    Tim Stauffer (31)
    Chien-Ming Wang (33)
    Kip Wells (36)
    Randy Wolf (36)
    Chris Young (34)
    Carlos Zambrano (32)

  228. Milo Hamilton says:

    Pat,

    To be fair, he made John Hart’s coffee just the way he liked it.

  229. Bizrow says:

    You got a point there Dom, but supposedly usage was very high, more did than didn’t

  230. Dom says:

    Who do you all recommend from that list of available starting pitching?

  231. Bizrow says:

    For what its worth, as its Jim Bowden, his article in ESPN lists the top 5 GMs on the hot seat this year.

    Guess who is listed first?

  232. TJ says:

    For as quickly as the Pirates traded Hanrahan after the Liriano agreement was leaked you would have thought that Liriano was already getting paid.

    If the Pirates were not moved into trading Hanrahan after agreeing to sign Liriano I would have to ask why such a rush to get a deal done? No one is going to convince me that these 2 moves do not connect.

    I am willing to bet any money that the Pirates tried their best to get a starter from Boston but once they realized that was not going to happen they finalized the deal with Liriano and SETTLED on a package of players from Boston.

    If I am wrong I will voluntarily go through SEALS training.

  233. 21sthebest says:

    I’d go for Jamie Moyer Dom, just so that there’s somebody in the Majors older than me.

  234. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Milo and nate on Allie, I think another year or so for him to get his legs under him will make for a better analysis. He hit .213 in Rookie League, so not exactly AAA or even Low-A. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t bring his average up and make contact more often this season, wherever he starts. Fielding wasn’t terrible. Pedro need not look over his shoulder just yet, though.

    If he puts up similar numbers, he may have to go back to pitching and they’ll have to put plexiglass everywhere when he does.

  235. Milo Hamilton says:

    21,

    Ditto. He’s the only one left. In any sport.

  236. TJ says:

    Pirates might get a tax break if they sign the ageless wonder Jamie Moyer. Or they could bring back former Pirates Kip Wells, Chris Young and Eric Bedard.

  237. Ryan (Nor Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    -I dont know if you guys hit this up or not already, but NOBODY elected to the HOF? Really writers? Nobody?

    -I guess Craig Biggio doesn’t deserve it. Pathetic.

  238. cosmo says:

    Dom

    Not much left, Jurrjens is intriging but I believe he has injury issues. I also believe the PBC was interested in him years ago before being traded to Atlanta.

    Sanchez could be a reclimation project.
    Karstens, you know what you are getting in him.

    Loshe is probably the best of the bunch but out of range $$.

    Saunders could be a possibility

    Bedard, see Karstens.

  239. Ryan (Nor Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Dom

    -Carlos Zambrano. Someone’s gotta fire those guys up and call them out

  240. Ghost says:

    John and Patton,
    Saw you’re mention above of Greg Maddux. That guy just has to be a first-ballot, unanimous pick and if he isn’t, some voters have to explaining to do. By the way, one of my kids is trying to make the team at his high school alma matter, as we speak.

  241. Bizrow says:

    Can Gary Roberts pitch???

  242. Bizrow says:

    Good luck to your kid, Ghost

    Hope he makes it

  243. cosmo says:

    Zamrano can always come off the bench and pinch hit.

  244. Ghost says:

    Bizrow,
    Thanks! We’ll know, sometime by the end of February. Practices already started. And… since I already let the cat out of the bag, you might as well add Las Vegas to you list (or re-add, in my case ;) ).

  245. Kevin says:

    Any early bets on who gets to play on real deal neal and geno’s wing? Or will it be some sort of Bylsma-style carousel of Sutter, Tangradi, Cookie, etc.

  246. Jandy says:

    OK, pitchers. EYE will pitch for the Buccos if they can’t land another starter. I will wear my size 9 wide cleats and…look out!

    Gary Roberts can pitch knuckle soup…

    Ghost, second the good luck to your son!

  247. JohninOshkosh says:

    Ghost:

    A Vegas HS, right?

  248. Ghost says:

    Jandy,
    Thank you!!
    John,
    That is correct.

  249. Patrick says:

    I want to know how Piazza didn’t make it because “he didn’t pass the eye test”, which not only is the lamest non-specific reason ever, but also has absolutely ZERO merit. It’s being petulant for the sake of doing so. Even if any of the writers “knew” but cant prove he was using it’s still a terrible excuse and complete cop-out.

    But the worst is Biggio? Whats the excuse here? Ive seen a few people lament his offensive power numbers. But then, isn’t having high offensive power numbers the excuse you are using to keep Piazza out?

    So his power numbers aren’t good enough to get him in. But if they were, then the BBWAA would say he doesn’t pass some arbitrary “eye test” and still leave him out. What is this magic level of offenseive output that is JUST enough, but not TOO MUCH?

    Does Ken Griffey Jr pass this eye test? Jim Thome? Frank Thomas?

  250. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Jurrjens being the youngest on that list is the most intriguing to me. And he knows how to pitch when and if he’s ever healthy. Other than that, I’m with Milo on Saunders.

    I like Karstens, but he’s a righty and Neal doesn’t like him, so not much chance there.

  251. Jandy says:

    Kevin, starter on that 1-a line will likely be Cookie or TK.

  252. Ghost says:

    Patrick,
    Just my layman’s opinion, but Junior passes the “eye test.” He was the ‘one’ everybody thought would challenge Hank Aaron’s record. And in ’96 or ’97 (I forget), he was on pace to break Maris’ record, but some kind of injury had him miss a little time, and then he just bagged it for the rest of the season. Then, when McGwire and Sosa were off to their steroid-fuel race, Junior never bothered to give chase. I just don’t think he was ever a “win at any cost” type of player – to his credit.

  253. Kevin says:

    @Milo #237: Tom Watson’s still in the majors, right?

  254. TJ says:

    I would not mind seeing Saunders. Kind of surprised he is still out there. The fact that Correia got signed before Saunders makes you wonder what he is asking.

    As for Jurrjens if I remember correctly under littlefield the Tigers offered Jurrjens for Jack Wilson. But that can probably be filed in the box with the Kris Benson for Ryan Howard trade that was never made. Jurrjens was solid when healthy and with pitching being a premium you have to believe there are still some issues there.

  255. Jandy says:

    Kevin, article Rossi had on who Bylsma said might play on Neal and Malkin’s line:
    http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/3248414-74/malkin-bylsma-neal#axzz2HVkIr2LL

  256. LuckyNKentucky says:

    TJ,

    I think you must be right about Jurrjens. Seemed to be hurt quite a bit in the past and that’s what their beef was on Karstens-durability.

    There were rumors of Saunders coming here last season. Must have been just that.

  257. Kevin says:

    @Jandy: Yes, I read that. Very interesting and loving reading all of the new penguins articles. Bylsma says:

    “There could be some movement.”

    So I’m thinking at first there will be some kind of Bylmas-esque carousel which could eventually become a Tomlin-esque “hot” hand approach. I guess I’m just curious who people think will become “the” guy.

  258. pattonbb says:

    Ken Griffey Jr. fails the so-called eye test, but he was extremely likable, so we’ll give him a pass. What a bunch of hypocrites.

    Baseball HoF voters should be ashamed of their selves. The sad part is that waste of a commissioner Selig is doing cartwheels right now. “We showed ‘em. Atta Boys!!!!!!” That’s the same Selig that celebrated McGuire and Sosa during their hr derby of a season after the strike.

    Get over yourselves, voters. It can’t be called the baseball Hall of Fame if the best players aren’t in it. Call it the “Baseball Museum of Really Good Players That Pass Our Eye Test and were Nice Guys, But Not Too Nice or We’d Have to Let Dale Murphy In”.

    What a joke.

    @Ghost – good luck to your son. Hope he makes the team. As a kid, there wasn’t a better feeling in the world.

  259. Jandy says:

    Kevin, it’s hard to say for sure…but I’m pulling for Cookie. Other than that, Tangradi.

  260. Bizrow says:

    NH just picked up some guy named Jeanmar Gomez from the Indians for Quincy Lattimore?

    Memo to NH – not exactly what I was hoping for

  261. Patrick says:

    @bizrow

    Roberts probably cant pitch, but everybody would be too scared to swing lol.

  262. Bizrow says:

    The guy is 1-16 over 3 years, 42 games, 38 starts, 5.18 era, will turn 25 next month.

    Gomez was DFA’s right after the New Year

  263. Milo Hamilton says:

    Art Rooney confirms to Ed that Haley is interviewing in Arizona. Meanwhile Ian Rapoport in the process of throwing his sources under the bus by outing them. Check his twitter. Like I said, what a jabrone.

  264. Bizrow says:

    Make that 14-16

  265. Bizrow says:

    @Partick, I betcha Roberts would have nailed a Red or two after the Cutch dusting ;-)

  266. TJ says:

    Jeanmar Gomez? More fodder for the AAA roster. I love how NH trades for players that have been designated for assignment. I think this makes 3 or 4 he has actually given up players for this off season

  267. Ghost says:

    Patton,
    Much appreciated.

  268. TJ says:

    Chris Resop signed by the A’s for 1.35mil. Still not sure why he was traded….. Oh wait it’s cause of all the cast offs that we took from other teams that will either be starters in AAA or relievers on the big club

  269. Ryan (Nor Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Biz

    -Probably more AAA depth. This doesn’t seem like the typical NH guy though, other than the high ERA. Pretty low K/9 numbers, typical BB/9 though.

  270. Patrick says:

    @Ghost

    If Piazza fails, then KGJ fails for me too. Hamstring and Mucsle pulls/strains are CLASSIC signs of prolonged steroid use. Griffey never showed that massive bulk-up that was obvious in McGwire, Sosa and Bonds but there were other signs.

    I don’t know. I don’t agree with it, but I can understand the position of keeping KNOWN steroid users out of the HoF. But when they start making things up like “eye tests” and applying them to guys like Piazza its even more ridiculous.

    And how does a 3,000 hit 7x all-star, 4x gold glove winning, 5x silver slugger NOT GET IN? If Biggio had done more they would have said he was using PED’s too. Its just dumb.

    I guess my whole point is there is absolutely no logic any of the BBWAA could use to explain this.

  271. Milo Hamilton says:

    Let me guess. He has “an interesting mix of pitches”. Throws with “a downward plane”. And has “tremendous upside”.

  272. Milo Hamilton says:

    Oh, I forgot. He could be “a useful piece”. There. I think I got ‘em all. Did I miss any ?

  273. Jandy says:

    The BMTIB strikes again…. coming soon to a theater near you!

  274. Bizrow says:

    So whadda ya think? This trade is the way NH is headed regarding trying to obtain starting pitching? Right now, he’s taking the spot of vanDerHurk, and if I remember right, Lattimore was not doing much in the minors.

    I just think he needs to make a real smart move and pick up another starter (or two)

    He’s got the money he “saved” from Liriano now

  275. pattonbb says:

    Reasons Griffey Jr. fails the “eye-test”

    1. Griffey, Jr. grew up around the game. He’s been exposed to major league clubhouses since he was an infant. Amphetamines were prevalent. Pete Rose himself admitted to taking them. Ken Griffey Sr was a teammate. He was around this.

    2. Junior was teammates with Alex Rodriguez, David Segui, Shane Monahan, Glenallen Hill, Ryan Franklin, Todd Williams, Ron Villone, David Bell and Josias Manzanillo. All named in the Mitchell Report, or admitted steroid users.

    3. Beginning in 2001, Jr started missing considerable amount of playing time (only 31 years old) from nagging injuries. His body was breaking down. Supposedly, long time steroid users’ bodies do this. His speed and power were non-existent during the final 3 seasons he played.

    4. Junior is very good friends with Bonds. Game of Shadows even implies Bonds decided to start using peds after watching the adulation being heaped on Mac and Sosa during the ’98 season, and discussed the decision with Griffey.

    Look, I don’t think Griffey used ped’s. I’m just trying to show how easy it is to cast suspicion that he might have.

  276. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I saw Latimore throw a guy out at 3rd from the RF corner in Bowling Green, KY a few years ago. Thought he had a good arm at the time. Must not have blossomed enough to suit the boys in charge of “development”. Starling Marte was on that team, but didn’t play that night. Guess he did blossom enough, other than his plate discipline and baserunning skills.

  277. Patrick says:

    @jandy plunked em? Nah..he would have just gone over and beat the crap out of em. Gary had no need of gamesmanship. He had all the subtlety of a kick to the junk.

    Heck with it. Hire Gary as 3rd base coach. Anyone who hits a Pirate will have to walk past him on the way back to the dugout. When he isnt starring daggers at people he can train Pedro “Runs On Dunkin’” Alvarez.

    Get Zambrano too. Hire John Rocker as a bench coach. Hire Ozzie Guillen to be the guy with the hot dog gun. AND THEN TAKE HIM ON THE ROAD!! Yea…think about that one for a second.

    If you cant be good, at least be entertaining!

  278. Bizrow says:

    This PEDS stuff puts a cloud over everyone. Its a shame. Hopefully, this stuff will work itself out. Its hard to believe that a guy that has 3000 hits doesn’t get in.

  279. Patrick says:

    @Bizrow

    You said it earlier:

    “… after 5+ years of management, this is the rotation he has built”

  280. JohninOshkosh says:

    Sacramento Kings moving to Seattle. Kansas City has a beautiful new arena with no NHL or NBA team that wants to play there. Will have to settle for the occasional Taylor Swift concert to fill it.

  281. Bizrow says:

    @Patrick

    Have you been talking to Kyle Stark???

  282. Jandy says:

    Patrick, if you read up ^ there, I did say that Roberts can pitch knuckle soup ;)

  283. Bizrow says:

    Dejan just tweeted that NHL board of govenors ratified deal

  284. Patrick says:

    I will now hear arguements against Craig Biggio entering the HoF that could not be used to also exclude Derek Jeter.

    Think the BBWAA would dare leave out Derek?

  285. Patrick says:

    @Bizrow

    lol. No. Just drinking the Kool-Aid.

  286. NMR says:

    @Patrick

    I know I’ve definitely seen Biggio tied to steroids.

    When you set a career high in home runs at age 39 during the height of the steroid era, people are bound to notice.

  287. Ghost says:

    Patrick and Everyone,
    I haven’t been really following the post-vote story this morning, so I can’t speak to what justifications are being given for leaving out Piazza or anyone else. But regarding Junior, I actually do think that the trajectory of his career is that of a non-user. He came to the game with an advanced understanding of it at a very early age, and so his greatest years coincided with his physical prime — his twenties. When one reaches his(her) thirties is when the injuries DO start to get the better of you — just ask Troy Polamalu. It’s not steroids; the body just starts breaking down more easily, and recovery takes more time. Steroids, and HGH in particular, cause faster recovery from injury. Just look at the chemical users like Clemons and Bonds — they had unnaturally extended “youths.” Junior’s injuries and less impressive stats (comparatively, for him) came about when you would expect them from a mere mortal not on chemicals, and who was lucky enough to actually “know” the game well at the same time he was in his physical prime (his twenties).

  288. @Patrick (122):
    Great post. Really. Spot-on with your assessment of Martin and Letang.

    @Patrick, Brad, CW (re: physical defensemen):
    I don’t think the lack of physically imposing defensemen is the problem. The Detroit Red Wings have proven you can win a Cup with a defense full of quick, agile puck movers: Bylsma is trying to follow that blueprint. However, Bylsma is going to have to make some adjustments in order to take advantage of the speed and the passing ability of his defenders. In short, he has to structure his breakouts and simplify them in order to quickly transition back to offense. If Bylsma can do that, I think the defensive unit the Pens have now can be quite effective.

  289. Patrick says:

    @NMR

    I know. And didn’t Derek Jeter just do almost the exact same thing? And his career highs werent ABNORMALLY high. its not like he averaged 18 home runs a season and then hit 35. He had been hitting 15-20 homeruns a season for almost a decade. One year he hit 26. That isn’t such a large increase that it seems like an automatic indictment.

    Its not like Aaron Boone showing up having gained 20 pounds of muscle in 4 months. Or Luis Gonzalez that went from 26 to 31 to 57 in a 3 year span. Biggio was always fairly consistent.

    But, if you say you read something somewhere that connected him, so be it. I never read anything that had accused him of PED use, but then it was so common maybe he did.

  290. Bizrow says:

    Interesting question on MLBTRadeRumors chat today, which MLB club is the worst run.

    Any guesses on the answer?

    DK: Link?

  291. Bizrow says:

    This on the trade from MLBTR

    Gomez, 24, pitched to a 5.96 ERA with 4.7 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 90 2/3 innings for Indians last season. He owns a 5.18 ERA in 206 2/3 innings across 38 starts and four relief appearances in his big league career over the last three seasons. Baseball America ranked Gomez as the team’s 21st best prospect in their 2010 Prospect Handbook, saying he should be a “serviceable fifth starter or middle reliever in the future.”

    Latimore, 23, was Pittsburgh’s fourth round pick in the 2007 draft. The outfielder hit .252/.321/.433 with 15 homers and ten steals in 462 Double-A plate appearances last season, his second straight year at the level. Baseball America ranked Latimore as the 21st best prospect in the Pirates’ system in their 2011 Prospect Handbook, noting he needs to be more patient at the plate.

  292. Patrick says:

    @Bizrow

    If there is a second place team, the voting is junk. There is only one answer to that. Its like asking which sun in our solar system is the brightest.

  293. Boise Bucco says:

    Not that anyone asked me, but here’s my take on the HOF voting:

    1. Pete Rose and Joe Jackson have been specifically banned from baseball by the commissioner’s office, haven’t they? So we can’t exactly compare PED users to them.

    2. I have no problem with writers voting or not voting for whomever they want, but to say that they’re not going to vote for Bonds/Clemens because they used steroids is wrong. McGwire admitted to it at least, but Bonds and Clemens weren’t found guilty of squat. On top of that, if Bud Selig even uttered either of their names and “steroids” in the same sentence, he’d be facing a 7-figure libel suit at this point. MLB’s chicken**** stance on this just happened to make them a dumptruck full of money, so I think it’s a tad unfair to retcon it all now. If it was sooooo obvious that they were on steroids, then how is it that there was no proof? Either they weren’t, or no one gave a crap. If it was the latter, they ought to be in the HOF.

  294. 21sthebest says:

    “Hamstring and Mucsle pulls/strains are CLASSIC signs of prolonged steroid use.”

    You’re sure about that Patrick?

  295. Patrick says:

    Don Cherry: Bettman saved the season http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2013/01/08/don-cherry-bettman-saved-the-season/

    That man gets more insane and stupid every year.

  296. Milo Hamilton says:

    Al Jazeera Gore.

  297. Patrick says:

    @21

    Yes. Though I’m not willing to go so far as to say that every time someone strains a hamstring it means he has a shaving kit full of dynabol. But when you see some players start pulling this and straining that it can be an indication of prolonged steroid use.

    Look, I dont know if Junior did or not. LOTS of players were named in the Mitchell report. I’m not buying into the idea that everyone who was named is guilty anymore than I am buying into that everyone who wasn’t is innocent.

    My whole point was that the logic being used to exclude guys like Piazza and Biggio can also be used to exclude just about ANY player.

  298. 21sthebest says:

    “But when you see some players start pulling this and straining that it can be an indication of prolonged steroid use.”

    It can be an indication of several things. I’ve never seen it connected to prolonged steroid use. Maybe Junior had a vitamin deficiency he couldn’t correct.

    I never paid attention to the Mitchell Report. Seems like a hatchet job to me.

  299. @Patrick (297):
    I agree completely with Don Cherry. I’ve chastised Bettman for his comments and his bombastic approach to the negotiations, but there were a few non-negotiable conditions which Bettman ultimately relented on (second year cap being one). From what I understand, Bettman has taken a lot of heat from some of the owners for giving up as much as he did in order to salvage the season.

    As much as I would have liked to see some of the proposals the NHL presented survive (5% variance, 5-year contract length), I think Bettman made the right call: I don’t think the league could have survived another full season lost.

  300. JohninOshkosh says:

    Michael Weiner is “sad” no one made the Hall. Isn’t that rich? His former boss is reason one that the Hall voters did what they did today. Donnie was willing to nearly destroy the entire enterprise back in the early nineties when the owners wanted testing in the CBA.

    Someone, who did not release their ballot, voted for Aaron Sele. See how serious the voters regard their charge?

  301. Patrick says:

    @21

    I know, and lots of things can be attributed to a lot of the things we hear about why certain players are considered guilty and other are not. NMR made the point earlier that Biggio set a career high for HRs at age 38. That also could be caused by several things. He was playing in Minute Maid Park instead of the Astrodome for one. And if memory serves me, didnt he give up switch hitting late in his career and go strictly right handed? Either way, 26 home runs in minute miad park is hardly a monumental feat. And to suggest a guy that didnt even hit 300 home runs in his career used PEDs is reaching, at best.

    I cannot understand how a guy with 3,000 hits cant get in. And again, any argument that keeps out guys like Biggio and Piazza can be used to cast doubt on guys like Griffey and Jeter.

  302. NMR says:

    @Patrick

    I was only stating that to support your claims. You can take just about any star in the era and “connect” them to steroids one way or another.

  303. Patrick says:

    @relentless

    If Bettman had taken the process seriously from the start maybe they dont need him to “save the season” in the first place. His ridiculous proposal in August that demanded the players give up FA rights till year tenth year of service, No contracts longer than 5 and the revenue to be split 43/57 was a blantant “!$@ YOU” to the NHLPA. He did all but demand they all wear jersey’s with his name on them and wear pink bonnets instead of helmets. It was a waste of time.

    I’m not letting Fehr off the hook either, but I’m not going to give credit to Bettman for cleaning up a mess he had a hand in making.

  304. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    You mean to tell me the SABR-metric people don’t have a stat that clearly tell us how a player would have performed had he not been on PED’s.

    Also, when will players not be voted for because of their WAR or xFIP?

  305. Chris says:

    Good news everyone,

    Starling Marte has 3 HRs in his last 4 games in the Dominican league!!

  306. Pirates should sign Jamie Moyer.

    Pitchers on Social Security are limited on how much they can “earn” in a year. That’s a godsend to BMTIB!

  307. Patrick says:

    @NMR

    Oh i know. And thats probably the most frustrating thing. Like Oshkosh just said, someone ACTUALLY VOTED FOR AARON SELE.

    Really? SELE? Since every player that made more than one all star game is apparently guilty of steroid use, some people have taken to voting for people who barely even deserve to be on the ballot.

    And it still irks me that only Hitting numbers are considered “dirty”. Should Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson be looked at through a microscope? There are lots of types of steroids, and not all of them add bulk and mass. Why arent all power pitchers from that era being lionized, too.

    AAaahh….what a mess. Truth is Biggio has always been one of my favorite players. He is impossible not to like. How does he get denied? I mean seriously…

  308. Patrick says:

    I meant demonized not lionized. I changed my thought halfway through the sentence and didn’t delete back far enough. Blah.

    I’m going home now.

  309. scapper says:

    Most of the writers with HOF ballots are no doubt hypocritical, self-righteous bozos with short memories. I guarantee you can go back and find multiple glowing, gushing articles they all wrote about the amazing feats those baseball studs were pulling off in the 90s in stadiums packed with record numbers of fans who knew what was going on and loved every minute of it.

    I don’t like Clemens and could take or leave Bonds, but as players? To keep these guys out of the Hall is sickening.

    Give me any one of these guys over an alkie like the beloved “Mick,” who cheated paying fans by showing up half in the bag for a lot of games.

  310. NMR says:

    Good work today, Patrick. Hit the showers. :)

  311. 21sthebest says:

    Patrick, Biggio’s HR total at 38 for me just raises my eyebrow but that’s about it. He should be a first ballot lock, IMO, with 3,000 hits.

    For guys for whom there have been murmurs like a Piazza, I don’t pay attention to it. When you get into guys like Bonds and Clemens with their legal issues, if I was a voter it would make me want to wait and see if any more details come out before I vote them in, or don’t.

    By the way, Mike Piazza’s official autobiography comes out next month.

  312. Dom says:

    Does anyone think guys like Bonds, Clemens, and McGuire will EVER get in the HOF?

  313. Bizrow says:

    Dejan, sorry, I hesitate to post links here, but here it is

    http://www.coveritlive.com/index2.php/option=com_altcaster/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=5016d04660/height=550/width=470

    just like our chat, hit the button, it should be towards the bottom part of the discussion.

    It was based on the 20 year streak

  314. Bizrow says:

    Heres a cut and paste

    Comment From Scott: What’s the best and worst run franchise in baseball?

    3:51

    Ben Nicholson-Smith: You’d need to have much more inside information than I do to try to answer this question comprehensively, so I’ll just point to some telling numbers. Since the 1994 strike the Yankees have made playoff appearances in 17 of 18 seasons. Meanwhile, the Pirates haven’t posted a single .500 record.

    Looking at it again, was not a rousing answer, but as Ben said, telling numbers.

    DK: Nah, not really. Comparing the Yankees and Pirates is about as silly as you get on record/playoffs alone. The Yankees ARE much better run, but that’s not the way to judge.

  315. T.S. says:

    Jeanmar Gomez! Winner winner Primanti’s big sanwhich dinner! Not.

  316. T.S. says:

    Excuse me — sammich.

  317. Bizrow says:

    Agreed, other than a Liriano question though, it was the only mention of the PBC

  318. Dom says:

    Do you mean the Yanks and Pirates cannot be compared due to the salary discrepancy?

  319. TJ says:

    Wait… didn’t the Pirates just hire someone from the Yankees?? We can now compare the two as we have a former member of the Yankees management. I’m starting to notice a trend. Perhaps NH and FC have a soft spot for dogs; can’t let them be put down cause no one wants them. They not only take other teams once promising prospects they now take cast off members of scouting departments.

    Whatever happened to Tim Alderson that we got for Freddy? Is he like 26 and still in AA now?

  320. Bizrow says:

    Good question, TJ, he wasn’t on the 40 man last season, but might not be eligible for a 6 year minor league FA

  321. Leife says:

    DK – Did you turn in a Hall of Fame ballot? And if you did, are you going to talk about your picks?

    If you want to keep your ballot to yourself I won’t fault you. I’ve been reading your writing for many years and would like to hear your take.

    I feel like the writers are dismissing my whole baseball childhood. By accepting the fact the steroid era happened instead of turning our back to it would be better for baseball. And I’ll never understand the idea that someone should be on the ballot for a while before they’re elected. It doesn’t make sense. Either you’re a HOFer or not.

    DK: As you apparently saw from the tweet, I don’t yet have a vote. I’m actually much more interested in what you mean by writers “dismissing my whole baseball childhood.”

    I have a feeling this is the undercurrent behind nearly all of the anger today, and there’s zero part of me that gets this.

    How are the writers doing that, in your view?

  322. Leife says:

    Sorry.. just saw your tweet. I just got home from work and I’m still catching up. Would still like to hear your take.

  323. JMB says:

    Henry Schulman ‏@hankschulman
    Sean Casey on @MLBNetwork. “I know guys who left the game when amphetamines were made illegal. I have no doubt amphetamines are PEDs.”

    I still think Bonds is a HoFer since he competed against numerous pitchers who were also PED’d up. It was a mostly level playing field.

    We’re mostly all hypocrites on some level since the NFL is so popular, and HGH use appears to be rampant in football — and we accept and applaud their bodybuilder-esque physiques.

  324. Leife says:

    One of my earliest memories of talking baseball with my dad is of him pointing to Barry Bonds at Three Rivers and telling me to keep an eye on him. “He’s going to be good.” And he was. In fact the best baseball player I ever saw play the game in person. Then there was Clemens in Boston and the powerful team out in Oakland. The ballot today was a list of my best baseball cards as a kid. (Still waiting for The Kid, but I don’t expect him to be passed over.)

    So when every single player on that ballot today did not make the Hall it was as if the writers said either 1. None of these player were good enough or 2. they haven’t qualified. This doesn’t seem right to me. We know they were good enough. Bonds hit 762 home runs and was 65 hits shy of 3,000! Clemens won 7 Cy Youngs (7 more than Nolan Ryan) and had over 4500 strikeouts. Palmeiro, McGwire, Sosa.. these are some of baseballs greats. How much did that McGwire/Sosa race mean to baseball?

    If baseball doesn’t want these players accomplishments to exist then strike the record. The fact is, the late 80′s to mid 00s was good baseball. From when I was that kid going to the games with my dad to early on in my military career following the games in the middle of the ocean.. these were my games. Now that it’s time to recognize and enshrine the players I grew up with, the BWAA voters decided they weren’t deserving.

    I am not denying steroids were used. We saw how big those guys got. Unfortunately it was the way it was because there was no enforcement. The commissioner, union, or owners didn’t stand up immediately and demand it to stop. Am I to believe steroids made Bonds great? Clemens great? Did it give them more talent? Should we take a look back and make sure every era of baseball was 100% pure?

    I’m rambling here, but I feel like 40-70% of the writers just told the public the we will not see another Hall of Famer until a whole era of players are out of the books. And all the memories I have growing up with the game should be forgotten.

    Did I answer your question or did I just kick around a soap box?

    DK: Yes. You think the writers did that. Not MLB, not the union, not the Feds, not the Hall that keeps a morals clause that no other sport uses … you think it’s the writers at the very end of the assembly line who are to blame.

  325. Milo Hamilton says:

    Feel better ?

  326. Officer Mancuso says:

    Barry Bonds does not belong in the Hall of Fame. Pete Rose does.

  327. pattonbb says:

    So I guess Alex Rodriguez will never get in the HoF either.

  328. Milo Hamilton says:

    There’s a Tommy O’Regan playing for B.U.. Wonder if he’s related to the former obscure Pen ?

  329. Milo Hamilton says:

    Danny O’Regan is on BU, Tommy O’Regan plays for Harvard. Both sons of former Penguin Tom O’Regan. How about that.

  330. JohninOshkosh says:

    Biggest disappointment today in sports? JWoww faked injury to get out of diving on Fox’s ”Stars in Danger: The High Dive.”

  331. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Biggest disappointment for me, John was Nutting talking out of both sides of his mouth to Tom Singer on Pirates site. Apparently, Neal and Frank overrode him on the NAVY Seals stuff. Pathetic.

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