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Tuesday Wakeup Call: Special guest Suzie McConnell-Serio

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media columnist

Morning, lunatics …

>> The TribLIVE Radio show today — 1-2 p.m. — will feature special guest Suzie McConnell-Serio, head coach of the red-hot Duquesne women’s team and arguably the greatest female athlete our region has seen.

Here’s where to find info on the Dukes’ next game, at home tomorrow vs. Saint Joseph’s.

To listen to the show today, just click on TribLIVE Radio. It’s free, easy, no registration. If you’ve got an iPhone, iPad or Android, we’ve also got the TribLIVE Radio app that’s recently been upgraded.

Also on the show, Winnipeg Free Press columnist Gary Lawless will be on to look ahead to Penguins-Jets II later in the week, as well as look back on the Super Bowl he just covered. And yes, the local Twitter legend @suckmeter will offer, in his own inimitable manner, the Suck of the Week in Pittsburgh sports.

I want you to be involved, too. Email: sportstalk@tribweb.com Or call 412-320-7925.

>> College basketball rankings can be as weird as they are meaningless: Consider that Pitt vaulted up to No. 16 in the AP poll yesterday, one notch behind Georgetown.

As if this annihilation never happened.

The USA Today coaches poll is no better, with Pitt at No. 17, two spots down.

Again, I get that it means zip. It’s just odd that so many intelligent people could look at these 25 teams and would never consider a head-to-head victory this lopsided.

>> Let me offer one collective thanks to all who commented on the Monday Paterno column, whether from Penn State or not, regardless of your stance. It’s an enormously difficult topic to discuss, and our blog thread yesterday handled it in an intelligent, civil manner with absolutely zero interference.

Thank you.

>> If you can’t hear the show live today — and would like to — I’ll have a podcast link up right here on the blog about an hour after it’s done. Oh, and a video, too, to show off my new $12 haircut.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and more, including his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the top four columnists in the country -- highest circulation category -- by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the top three columnists in the country by the National Headliners Awards. For 2013, he was named top columnist in the state by the Keystone Awards and second-place by the Pennsylvania AP Managing Editors.

251 Comments

  1. Duke lost to Ray Lewis U by 27, yet Duke is ranked higher. Another blowout that didn’t happen.

    DK: Well, I get it if other things aren’t equal. But Pitt and Georgetown have very comparable records.

    • I believe that Duke has 2 Ls while the U has 3. But rankings probably don’t matter now as the Conference Tourneys will sort things out. Unless, teams intentionally lose to rest up for the real tourney. But nobody does that.

    • This happens because of preseason rankings. Georgetown & duke were “supposed” to be better than pitt & Miami. Never understood why you rank teams before they’ve played any games. Then at the end of the season a team ranked 25th could be on the “bubble”…. Huh?! So they’re the 25th best team in the nation but might not make the field of 68?!? All because nobody thought they’d be good in preseason!

    • And Pitt lost to Marquette yet they’ve passed them in both polls. Further proof of just how meaningless they are. Seems the RPI may be the best ranking system out there if you’re in to such things. Bottom line is the Panthers are on track to make the NCAA tourney and are really playing for seeding at this point. Continue to win games and they will project to a high seed. Think some of the “experts” already have then as a 4 seed.

  2. Is the radio show archived for listening post-broadcast? If so, I’m probably doing something wrong because I can only find your opening monologue by clicking through the above link. Other times I’ve gotten a message telling me to download QuickTime (I have no idea how I did that). Don’t have any Apple programs on my computer though. Are they the only way to access the show at this time?
    Thanks.

    DK: No, the audio should work with any platform. As for archives, we’re working on adding that to my feature page (the thing you can find up top among those tabs). But in the meantime, you can use the “podcast” tag right here on this blog. By clicking that tag, only the posts with that tag (or any tag) will show up.

    • Was able to find the podcast link from last week’s blog post. Unfortunately, I also rediscovered how I got that “Quicktime failed to initialize” message. I don’t have Quicktime on my PC and I’m guessing I need that (long story, but I am anti-Apple). Oh well. If the show eventually becomes accessible on Media Player or some neutral application, please do mention in blog. Thanks again.

  3. I’m not a huge fan of Michael Bourn (think he is a bit over rated) but I think it is a very good signing by the Indians. 4 years @ $12 million per year. That price seems right. Especially when his agent set the bar at 5 years, $15m +

    They’ve had a good offseason.

    • I think they made good individual deals – Swisher, Bourn, Reynolds, Bauer – but I don’t think it makes them a winning team.

      They finished dead last in ERA and they’re solution was Brett Myers? That ain’t gonna do it.

      • Not contenders but I think they’ve done a nice job in the offseason.

        • It does put things in perspective. Pirates signed their most expensive free agent in team history for $17m. Cleveland adds $123m.

          • Well I think it is a bit apples/oranges. The Indians spent, but had a lot more glaring holes to fill. And they filled theirs with longer term deals – the Bucs signed shorter term deals (and traded Hanny).

            And you forgot Russell Martin :-)

            • Indians had to give up their extra competitive balance pick

              We got Gaby for ours…..

              • Their competitive balance pick…and $48 million.

                But who’s counting, right?

              • Yes, I understand 48 million for a pretty good outfielder. Thats a going price right now. Interesting the story is the Indians have extra money now from their TV contract so they can afford the going rate

              • This was not my intention of my original post about the Indians —it didn’t have to circle back to ‘Federal Street’.

                But it seems that any talk about draft picks –goes back to what the Pirates got for their supplemental pick. And whatever another team spends makes its way back to the lousy TV deal the Pirates have.

                By the way I will be interested to see who the Marlins take with that pick from us, how much they pay him to sign, how long it takes him to reach the big leagues, and how much he produces. I will then compare that to the production we get from Gabby Sanchez.

                Just please remind me to be interested in a few more years.

            • Obviously.

              Just funny to see people freak out about signing a $17m player like its gonna bankrupt the franchise.

    • Yeah, I wish the Pirates had traded for him a couple of years back since he would have looked great at the top of the order, but that window has closed.

      I’m sure the Braves are bummed to only get the 71st pick as comp.

    • I think they overpaid for Nick Swisher though, the last 2 years, he’s the Pirates version of Garrett Jones.

      Anybody see Garrett Jones getting $56 million in the future?

  4. JAL’s Now or Never Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkMVscR5YOo

    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/

    4 Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Spring Training Tracker

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/st2013

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    Spring Training 2013 Position Battles: The Rotation

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/02/spring-training-2013-position-battles-the-rotation.html

    First Pitch: Murphy’s Law and James McDonald in the Rotation

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/02/first-pitch-murphys-law-and-james-mcdonald-in-the-rotation.html

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates’ Spring Training: Guide to the NRIs, Part 2

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/2/11/3976032/pirates-spring-training-guide-to-the-nris-part-two

    Pirates’ prospect Tyler Gaffney leaves baseball, at least for now

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/2/11/3977850/pirates-prospect-tyler-gaffney-leaves-baseball-at-least-for-now

    7 Raise the Jolly Roger

    What to watch for in Bradenton

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2013/02/what-to-watch-for-in-bradenton/

    8 WHYGAVS

    Open your windows, baseball is coming

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/february-2013/open-your-windows-baseball-is-coming.html

    9 Rumbunter

    Pirates Nutting Saw Room For Scouts Who Rely On Eyes, Rather Than Analytics

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/02/11/pirates-nutting-saw-room-for-scouts-who-rely-on-eyes-rather-than-analytics/

    10 Green Weenie

    The Week In Pirate History

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-week-in-pirate-history.html

  5. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 USA Today

    Baseball’s 100 Names You Need to Know: Nos. 21-40

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2013/02/11/mlb-100-names-you-need-to-know-top-prospects-nos-21-40/1908325/

    12 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates: Is this Pedro Alvarez’s Make or Break Year?

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/02/11/pittsburgh-pirates-is-this-pedro-alvarezs-make-or-break-year/

    Neil Walker Could Be On Way To Career Year For Pittsburgh Pirates

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/02/11/neil-walker-could-be-on-way-to-career-year-for-pittsburgh-pirates/

    Russell Martin May Struggle With Pittsburgh Pirates

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/02/11/russell-martin-may-struggle-with-pittsburgh-pirates/

    13 Bradenton Herald

    Pittsburgh Pirates | Tony Sanchez ready to live up to his potential

    Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/2013/02/12/4389827/pittsburgh-pirates-tony-sanchez.html#storylink=cpy

    http://www.bradenton.com/2013/02/12/4389827/pittsburgh-pirates-tony-sanchez.html

    14 Guardian Express

    Pittsburgh Pirates Look to Finish Strong this season

    http://guardianlv.com/2013/02/pittsburgh-pirates-look-to-finish-strong-this-season/

    15 Lets Go Tribe

    Pirates and Mark Appel Help Indians Land Bourn

    http://www.letsgotribe.com/cleveland_indians_2012_2013_offseason/2013/2/11/3978936/pirates-and-mark-appel-help-indians-land-bourn

    16 The Daily Herald

    Lillibridge is looking for a place in The Show

    http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20130212/SPORTS/706289999/1004

    17 KSTC TV

    Column: ’I had an idea I wasn’t going to make it’

    http://www.kstc45.com/article/stories/S2928245.shtml?cat=11028

    18 Sweetspot

    Over/under: Felix Hernandez’s innings

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/32846/overunder-felix-hernandezs-innings

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Is This Man the Next R.A. Dickey?

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=19617

    20 Fangraphs

    The 10 Worst Transactions of the Off-Season

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/the-10-worst-transactions-of-the-off-season/

  6. Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    NFL Mock Draft: Expect a run on quarterbacks in the top part of the first round

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/2/11/3973906/nfl-mock-draft-2013

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Pittsburgh Steelers 2013 Free Agents Analysis: TE Leonard Pope – Unrestricted

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/02/pittsburgh-steelers-2013-free-agents-analysis-te-leonard-pope-unrestricted/

    Soccer(football)

    23 Daily Telegraph

    Liverpool 0 West Bromwich Albion 2: match report

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/competitions/premier-league/9852581/Liverpool-0-West-Bromwich-Albion-2-match-report.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    10 stories you need to read, 11th February, 2013

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-11th-february-2013

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Pens Ups and Downs

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/2/11/3976278/pens-ups-and-downs-evgeni-malkin-effort

  7. Great article today by Josh Yohe on this kid Connor McDavid.
    Does anyone think there’s a snowballs chance in hell of the Pens drafting him in a few years?

    • The Islanders will probably get him :/

      • If I may be permitted to ask a dumb question……I honestly don’t know the answer to this….what exactly are the rules for signing NHL prospects? Are teams allowed to sign guys “under the table” or is everyone required to go through the draft system?

        • AL, no question is dumb….it’s only dumb not to ask if you don’t know.
          I will gracefully bow out and let our resident expert, Eric Bowser, answer this question. He is much better at it than I can ever hope to be!

          • Good terminology. “Resident Expert” or RE for short. I still think you should be Pope-ette.

            Does a pope have to be a male? I know they have to be Catholic, right? Not necessarily Italian, but what about gender?

            :P = joking, so don’t you Catholics get mad, please.

            • Wel, Spunky, I’m rusty on the Catholic, since I haven’t practiced since 1999, but yes, the Pope has to be male. he does NOT have to be Italian. He DOES have to be Catholic. Females aren’t allowed. Another reason I feel the Mother Church is archaic.

        • AL,

          Teams have two years to sign players they draft. If after two years, the player hasn’t been signed he goes back in to the draft if he is under 20. If he is over 20 years old, the player becomes a free agent.

          The exception to that rule is college hockey players. As long as they do not play a pro game or hire an agent, teams retain their rights until 30 days after the player leaves college.

            • Jason81……

              thanks for the detailed info after the player is drafted. But the question still remains can teams sign prospects by getting around the draft in the first place?
              ( Like this 16 year old kid McDavid who would love to play with his idol Sid).

              • AL,

                You are welcome, and since I misread your question…all I have been able to find is that all players that turn 18 by Sept. 15 but are not older than 20 by Dec. 31 of that draft year are eligible.

                So it would appear since he is currently the property of a junior team, he has to follow the draft process. I would assume that since there is no info about getting around the draft for the younger players, it can only be done if you are over 20.

    • Al, the evolution of a blog comment.

    • AL,

      I could be mistaken, but I think unless there are really unusual circumstances that players have to be drafted, but they obviously don’t have to go through NCAA so it’s a very different setup than football. I don’t think NHL teams can work like baseball and go over to other countries and just sign players.

      • I don’t know all the ins and outs, but I do know there are ‘undrafted” players that are signed by teams. I also know this is not the norm. I don’t know the guidelines.

  8. I disagree with the premise of #21 on JAL’s list.

    I really see just one team, two at the most, using an early first round pick on a QB. This year’s QB class is nowhere near the level it was at last year. That link has Geno Smith going to KC with the first pick. Although he is the top rated QB and KC is dire need of one, CBS ranked Smith as the 15th best prospect in the draft. Andy Reid was also known for stock up on lineman in Philly so he won’t pass on Luke Joeckel, who was ranked as the best overall prospect. They also think that the Cardinals will take Tyler Wilson with the 7th overall pick. Meanwhile, CBS thinks he’s the 42nd best overall. With a pick that high up on the draft board, you have to take the best available.

  9. So who showed up to spring training in the best shape of their life?

    I can see we won’t ever confuse Russell Martin with Rod Barajas. Guy looks like he could be a strong safety.

    Tony Sanchez also looks like he’s been doing bicep curls and shoulder shrugs morning, noon, and night.

  10. Had some thoughts on the Pensburgh link…

    Paulina Martin- slowly reverting to Paulina Martin. On the ice for 7 outta 10 goals. Youch. He and Orpik are only shutting each other down right now. I was thinking maybe they shouldn’t buy him out. This past week is changing my mind.

    Orpik- I wouldn’t be shocked if he gets traded. He’s just not what he once was and he doesn’t have the offensive impact to make up for defensive lapses. I still like him, but his window is closing and it might be wise to move him while he’s overvalued, especially if some other D make an impact the next few weeks with Letang back to his suite in IR and Niskanen recovering. It’d be best if Orpik would just freakin play better.

    Despres- might be my new man-crush. I love that when he makes mistakes he usually fixes them himself. Watch and remember closely and you’ll see what I mean. Makes a bad pass, but then gets in position to break up the play. Little stuff like that I see every game. Plays a nice combo of physicality and positioning.

    Letang- I got nothing. Has any Penguin been on IR more than him over the past few years, Crosby aside?

    Kennedy=garbage. Take it out.

    Fleury- anyone still wish he was sitting?

    Free Dustin Jeffrey? For what?

    • Quit your whining and put on your big boy pants.
      ;)

    • “Fleury- anyone still wish he was sitting?”

      I was never one in that category.

      Fleury is the GREATEST goalie ever in the history of the Pens.

    • I dont think you can pin one bad weekend on Orpik/Martin. Everybody had a bad game(s), Sid included. Two bad games cant be enough to warrant trading the two best defesemen they had in the previous 10 games.

      Despres looked good, when he was with Letang. The last two NJ devils games he looked like a very talented rookie. You can take that for what it means. Letang makes him 3x better.

      I think Letang might be OVER-training. I know he works out with George St Pierre of UFC fame at times. Those guys fight maybe once or twice a year, for 15-20 minutes at a time. Letanf may be pushing his body to far. But thats not something any of us can really say. He has been knicked and banged up an awful lot.

      Call me crazy, but Boychuk doesnt look THAT bad with Geno and Neal. No he doesnt have any points, but neither did Jeffrey, Kennedy or Tangradi. Everyone remember James Neal’s first 23 games as a Penguin? 1 Goal in 20+ games? Boychuk is getting good looks he just isnt finishing. The other 3 guys werent even getting to the right spot. Sometimes being on a line with uber-taleneted players isnt as easy as we think.

      • I certainly wouldn’t pin the whole weekend on those 2, just that they’ve been less than strong the past few games. Trading Orpik isn’t something I’m pining for, but I would understand if he was dealt, especially with Shero’s knack for netting returns on D. Like I said, I’d most rather he just play better.

        One thing I forgot to mention was that Sid looked awful at times. He’s back to that form from a few years ago when he’d make some ridiculous pass instead of taking an open-net breakaway shot himself.

        I’m just baffled by Letang’s injuries. Jandy is putting too much pressure on him.

        I’m still impressed with Despres, even without Letang.

        I’m all for giving Boychuk a little more time, 2-3 more games. If it doesn’t pan out, put Kunitz back with Geno and put Boychuck with Sid. Bennett is just recently back from injury I believe, and no one else is looking like they should be top 6.

        • I still think they might be able to get a top 6 for a defenseman they have on their roster. Im hopin it isnt Orpik just because I think he means alot more to this team than just his play on the ice, but his contract and age certainly make him the leading contender to be dealt.

          • That’s what I’m thinkin. If they could just get a Kunitz-type that line would be awesome again- not that it’s bad now.

      • Patrick, the voice of reason. Pretty much agree, all around. Depres’ style of play is pretty much Tanger’s. And that’s a good thing.
        Can’t blame the second line’s scoring woes on Boychuck. Geno and Nealer are stinkin’ up the rink. Give the kid some more time. Heck, give Kunitz back to Geno, and put Boychuck with Sid. See what happens. Sure can’t hurt.

        • You’re stealing my line shuffles!

          And Colby Armstrong proved Patrick’s uber-talent theory incorrect when he scored a goal off his stomach a while back (I think against the Leafs). As long as you stand in the right spot and take 90mph of frozen rubber to the breadbasket, you CAN produce. That’s still one of my all-time favorite goals. It was hilarious.

          • Well, I’m not sorry! :P lol

            I miss Cheese (Colby) but players come and players go.
            At this point, something has to be done to jump-start that line. Geno should be a scoring machine. Neal too. Don’t know what the issue is.

    • I don’t care who is playing defense; if you only score 1 goal in a game your not likely going to win. Not until the Pens started getting sloppy with the puck did they put themselves in a 3-1 hole they never got out of. I swear the Pens spent the lockout watching the Steelers. Hot one game; dead the next.

      Also getting a little bored with the inconsistencies with ref’s on boarding calls. This penalty is the new diving penalty in my opinion. See a guy coming just turn your back and its boarding.

    • Brad – I disagree about Orpik. Sure he isn’t hitting players into the fourth row anymore, but, as of last week, he was number 2 in the league in blocked shots. Makes me think that his positioning has been pretty decent if that is the case and I don’t want to lose that shot blocking potential.

      I too still want to give Boychuck 2-3 more games on the Malkin line to see if it pans out. I feel like he hasn’t made big mistakes (insert Kennedy here), he just needs to start cashing in on opportunities. He has had a couple of really nice setups that he just hasn’t put in the net. If he still is missing those chances after 2-3 more games, I’m with Pensburgh and say to “Free Dustin Jeffries.” I liked him on that line in the 2 games he played there and I still think he has a chance to be successful if they would just give him a chance.

      Love the edge that Bortuzzo is playing with. Dude just plays angry, but is also playing fairly solid defensively. After his fight on Sunday, I’m thinking most people would stray away from fighting him, if for nothing else, because he is so tall and lanky with those long arms, it’s hard for many people to reach him.

      • Ice,

        Orpik’s not washed up or anything, but I just have a feeling that if there’s a trade for a top 6 winger this season it’s going to involve him. Not sure why, just my feeling. I wouldn’t be entirely opposed as long as it’s netting a Kunitz type. He’s had quite a few blocks, but his positioning’s been sketchy the past few games.

        Regarding Jeffrey, I think I don’t really have much cuz I haven’t seen him. Maybe he will succeed, it’s just hard to think that when he hasn’t played. Not sure why Kennedy is playing over him. Actually, not sure why Kennedy is playing over Iceburgh right now.

        And Sid and Geno are 2 big culprits right now. They are throwing pucks away constantly instead of taking good shots- open shots for crying out loud.

  11. If Donald Wuehrl is named Pope, I’m suggesting Pope Yinzer I.

  12. 1. Very happy to see Justin Verlander gave the high and proud middle finger to the WBC. I hate that event! Nothing good can come from the WBC!

    2. I haven’t followed closely this off season, but has Travis Snider gotten fat over the winter? I’ve gathered from some of the posts that he hasn’t missed many meals.

  13. Dejan’s program today is going to make me temporarily suspend my self imposed vow to ignore everything about women’s basketball.

    • that could be a good thing ;)

    • Remember how ESPN pushed it down our throats as recently as a couple years ago & now it’s thankfully all but disappeared. Here’s the dirty little secret – nobody watched so it went away.

      • I fully support Title IX and I am happy there are many organized athletic opportunities for my daughter. But, sorry, the sport at any level is unwatchable.

  14. Since tomorrow is the beginning of Lent, does any know of the best fish frys in the area, specifically the south hills? Also, aren’t there some churches that have good perogies? Isn’t there one in Mckees Rocks? If that is true, what is the name of that church?

  15. Lent? Oh yeah, that Catholic thing…so today is Fat Tuesday, Travis Snider’s favorite day ;X

  16. Was just reading some of the Tom Singer display on pirates.com before I venture into grading papers. I hope my students aren’t as woefully biased as Tom. I know he’s an mlb/pirate employee, but some of his stuff just makes me laugh.

    “Grilli poised to take closer role…” Wasn’t that sort of a given when Hammer was dealt?

    “…ventured into blockbuster territory with the late-December trade of Joel Hanrahan and Brock Holt to Boston for a quartet headlined by reliever Mark Melancon and slugging prospect Jerry Sands.” I don’t recall Boston, nor much of Pittsburgh, seeing it as a blockbuster.

  17. If DK is flummoxed by Pitt ranking lower than G’town due to head-up score, how about Miami below Duke? They stomped all over Duke.

  18. Gotta agree with ole $12 haircut himself. Great folly for the IOC to drop wrestling. I grew up in Iowa where the sport is practically religion. Never followed it myself, but the sport has provided some iconic Olympic moments. Not to mention it dates back to antiquity and the ancient Greeks.

    Bizarre decision. Not certain as to what politics are involved there.

    • Im not going to discount some of the other sports because I know there are people who feel strongly about them. But no wrestling in the Olympics? I was upset about baseball. This just doesnt make sense.

      I think you are right, Dejan. Something is a miss here.

    • I don’t know what everyone is so upset about… its only a matter of time before video game wrestling is introduced into the olympics.

  19. @DK

    Going to throw out another name for local female athlete. How about Swin Cash?

  20. Seriosly, what is the plural of Zamboni? Is it ZamboniS or ZambonI?

    Is it like Mouse/Mice? As in “look at all those Zimbani parked in a neat row!”

  21. Two days after insulting every Blogger in Pittsburgh on twitter, Mark Madden posts (on his blog) his upcoming porn star/march madness bracket.

    MMMmmriight…..how am I tool again?

  22. For what its worth, Jim Bowden ranks the PBCs off season at No. 24

  23. Niskie and Tanger both skating with the team at practice today. Good sign.

  24. I wanna know…

    do we still have incest in the yoga mat???

  25. Can someone please explain to me why Michael Bourn was worth 12mil per year?

    • There’s a successful run of movies named after him?

    • This logic only makes sense in the magical land of major league baseball, but if Shane Victorino is worth $13m per year, then Bourn is certainly worth $12m.

      Bourn is one of those guys you just have to see in person, I think. I caught enough of him in Houston to agree with the salary considering his baserunning and defense were great and he does get on base.

      • Right. Without looking up what his OBP is, I’ll say that he is an OBP guy that produces runs. gets on base, steals, scores runs and has a gold glove.

        All-in-all, they typical CF/lead off guy. Anyone would love to have him.

    • He must be ok, TJ. Neal didn’t sign him.

      That was bad. Season hasn’t even started yet. I take it back.

  26. Wanted to thank DK for addressing my Despres man-crush on the radio show, though I don’t go by Bradley and reserve that nomial for my mom and my wife (it usually involves me getting yelled at)- and I don’t refer to my hometown as “Indy”. I refuse to be associated with a city that spawned Jim Harbaugh. Good stuff though- DK hasn’t responded to any of my stuff in weeks.

    My Brooks Orpik question (which I actually sent) stemmed from Therrien putting D on wings as a punishment way back when. Orpik actually had a few good games on the wing. He couldn’t do worse than Tyler Kennedy.

  27. DK-
    Heads up, if you don’t already know, Smisik’s Blog is going FaceBook tomorrow. It’s up to over 70 see ya laters in about an hour. I would suspect this blog will get a lot busier.

  28. Brad-

    The issue with Orpik, IMO, is the TOI right now due to schedule and injuries. I think I saw stat that he was averaging over 25 min/ game. Way too much. It’s the cumulative effect on him and Martin that contributed to the bad play this past weekend. Pens have played more games than anyone in the division to this point, but maybe it helps later on when they catch up.

    • tp,

      I should have worded better. It really wasn’t a stab (look around for Ray Ray) at Orpik at all as much as the 2nd winger problem on Geno’s line. He really did have some good games on the wing. I’m almost positive he had more points on the wing than any on Geno’s line currently that’s not named Neal.

  29. Ya, right now hard to see Boychuk as the answer, I read a blurb from a W/B Pens writer/blogger that suggested, based on seeing him in their league, as a great AAA talent (period) and that’s what we are seeing. Limited upside, much like Jefferys. Probably not too popular, but I would put Tangradi back in and leave him there as long as he banged. To me, he stills has the biggest upside, but also the most risk in getting there.

  30. Tangradi doesn’t bang, that’s the problem. TK does that much. And he scores occasionally. I’ve been a Tangradi supporter, but I have to say, I’m pretty much exhausted.

    • I see your point but based on the improvements John Hynes saw in him in Wilkes-Barre this year both mentally and physically (columns in the Trib a few months ago) , I think Tangradi still deserves more than just a two game trial period on the Malkin line.
      He’s 6’4″ for crying out loud!

    • Tangradi is too slow to bang. People just side step and he crashes akwardly in the boards. He poses as much threat as a fir hydrant. Only way he hits anybody is if they aren’t paying attention and run into him. I have long wanted him to do well to, but I think if he ever becomes a ever day player in the NHL it isnt going to be here.

  31. ESPN just interviewed the Pope’s brother for reaction and insight into the shocking decision to resign

  32. Just watched the opening rant. If DK paid $12 for that haircut, he overpaid by $10.

    Dali could do that with a set of clippers from Wal*Mart.

    No offense to the boss. He still looks better than some of us. :P

  33. Just read that Ryan Malone has been put on IR again for a lower body injury. As much as I loved having him in Pittsburgh and I do really like the way he plays (I think his playstyle would fit great on the Geno line), he cannot stay healthy and that is a huge issue. If nothing else, the Pens are not trading for him right now.

  34. Just a few more Penguin quirks I forgot to mention earlier…

    Dupweeeeee and stop don’t happen in the same sentence.

    A “hit” by Craig Adams is scored both for and against.

    A p-b-p mentioned Bortuzzo and “smooth skating” in the same sentence. Error.

    Sid and Geno should be receiving an email stating that “Tis better to take a low percentage shot than to float the puck through the center with no teammates in sight”.

    This weekend, Tyler Kennedy was able to overcome the nearly impossible feat of putting a circular piece of rubber in motion towards a 24 sq. ft. rectangular target and actually displace said rubber into the physical parameters of said target. Congratulations Tyler.

  35. Just read that the Olympics are dropping wrestling (both freestyle and Roman Greco) as events. This, to make way for golf and rugby. It boggles the mind. First Jacques Roguefort Cheese or whatever his name is drops softball, breaking the hearts of girls all across America and Asia. But now the Olympics will no longer have one of the world’s oldest and most widely practiced sport‽‽‽ Even women wrestlers competed in the Olympics. I’m thinking it’s been a while since we’ve had a good Olympic boycott…

    • Let me pose a question on the wrestling debate. How many of you can honestly say that you watched one wrestling match in the last olympics? How many of you can honestly say you know who the top USA contenders are for the next olympics?

      The bottom line for Olympic Committee is the same as it is for any company; its money. Wrestling was probably broadcast some where between 3-4am between infomercials for oxi clean or the flobee.

      Its not a glamour sport and likely had little ticket sales, no interest for TV coverage and thus the committee is looking for a sport that may appeal to a broader scale of audience based on todays trends.

      Its kind of like an old school restaurant that never updates its menu. Sooner or later you have to update your menu to meet customer demands or your going to end up out of business. Can’t hang on to what used to be; that doesn’t pay the bills.

      • Well. A direct Q deserves a direct A.

        I did. Several.

        Not a huge wrestling fan. Olympics usually is the only venue where I watch wrestling. But the few times I watch, I get hooked by the intensity of the athletes.

        • Drew I appreciate your honesty. I am not a swayed one way or another when it comes to keeping wrestling as part of the olympics. I’m just not one that believes in keeping something just out of sentimental reasons. Businesses that do that end up doing one thing…. Costing you and I more money. The money lost by keeping wrestling has to be made up some where so ticket prices etc for other events become more expensive; or the cost gets passed along to sponsors which may not want to sponsor the event because of the lack of viewers.

          I would rather watch wrestling than fencing thats for sure.

      • Thomas Jefferson,

        I watched wrestling——as many matches as I could come across.

        And I will NEVER watch an Olympic golf match!!!

        I would watch the pitch of “the sport that must not be named” before I would watch a golf match in the Olympics.

        I like wrestling very much. It’s a man’s sport . . . with equality of size.

  36. TJ – I usually will watch the Americans wrestle. it’s usually very competitive. I’ve also watched some Big Ten matches when flipping past the Big Ten network. It beats the heck out of girls basketball.

  37. I met Pie Traynor

    Who can, American Can (an advertisement on Saturday wrestling, with Ringside Rosie)

    Also fooled around with Chilly Billy Cardilla’s daughter while in college

    Saw wrestilng matches at the Igloo

    Izzy Moidelle was a true dark side official

    Seriously, wrestling is the ultimate battle of individuals

    Sorry its toast

    I knew a guy in high school, Lynn Hafner, that had a streak at Lebo, he was totally committed to that sport

    • Bizzy,

      Wow! Going from straight wrestling to “Studio Wrestling”——that’s quite a jump. Imagine WWE style wrestling in the Olympics. Ha!

      I envy you for meeting Pie Traynor. I remember his commercials.

      You fooled around with Chilly Billy’s daughter. Fix me up. I would enjoy fooling around.

      Wrestling at Iowa, Penn State, Edinboro, the Rock, Oklahoma and State——all STILL serious stuff!!

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