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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

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: 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, recently, 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 country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.


  1. Reading says:

    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.

  2. Ghost says:

    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?

    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.

  3. Ghost says:

    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.

  4. Reading says:

    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.

  5. Thundercrack says:

    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.

  6. JAL says:

    JAL’s Now or Never Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)

    4 Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Spring Training Tracker

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    Spring Training 2013 Position Battles: The Rotation

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

    6 Bucs Dugout

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

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

    7 Raise the Jolly Roger

    What to watch for in Bradenton


    Open your windows, baseball is coming

    9 Rumbunter

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

    10 Green Weenie

    The Week In Pirate History

  7. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 USA Today

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

    12 Rant Sports

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

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

    Russell Martin May Struggle With Pittsburgh Pirates

    13 Bradenton Herald

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

    Read more here:

    14 Guardian Express

    Pittsburgh Pirates Look to Finish Strong this season

    15 Lets Go Tribe

    Pirates and Mark Appel Help Indians Land Bourn

    16 The Daily Herald

    Lillibridge is looking for a place in The Show

    17 KSTC TV

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

    18 Sweetspot

    Over/under: Felix Hernandez’s innings


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Is This Man the Next R.A. Dickey?

    20 Fangraphs

    The 10 Worst Transactions of the Off-Season

  8. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

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

    22 Steelers Depot

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


    23 Daily Telegraph

    Liverpool 0 West Bromwich Albion 2: match report

    24 World Soccer Daily

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


    25 Pensburgh

    Pens Ups and Downs

  9. JAL says:

    It’s Now or Never 1960 Elvis Presley. Melody based on Italian classic O Solo Mio

  10. Skilliemischief says:

    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!

  11. AL says:

    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?

  12. NMR says:

    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.

  13. Drew71 says:

    Ah. Good choice.

    A Pirates theme song for the pessimists AND optimists.

  14. Drew71 says:

    “Bite me” takes on a whole new meaning.

  15. Jandy says:

    The Islanders will probably get him :/

  16. Jandy says:

    LOL! it’s amusing that in this tough and tumble (to quote Errey) sport, the guys revert to cat fighting…amazing…LOL!

  17. Jandy says:

    err that’s tough and rumble….friggin typos! ;)

  18. Drew71 says:

    They can’t be too rough around the edges if they’re referencing Tetanus. Wasn’t he the 10th (Xth) Roman emperor?

  19. AL says:

    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?

  20. Jandy says:

    Drew dahling, any time grown men, who play tough and rumble sports, resort to hair pulling and biting…well…Tetanus being an emporer or not, that’s just wild lol.

  21. Thundercrack says:

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

  22. Jandy says:

    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!

  23. LuckyNKentucky says:

    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.

  24. Jandy says:

    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.

  25. NMR says:

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

  26. Dom says:

    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.

  27. JMB says:

    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.

  28. NMR says:

    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.

  29. Dom says:

    Are you at Bradenton, NMR?

  30. LuckyNKentucky says:

    My wife was actually Catholic when I married her. Her family still is technically. My mom was, too, growing up. She was 100% Italian.

    I knew all that, but I would vote for you in an election, anyway. :)

  31. Jandy says:

    Good to hear, NMR, maybe it will help. Can’t wait to find out.

  32. Jandy says:

    Thanks, Spunky! ;)

  33. Jason81 says:

    I hope those bicep curls involved more than 12 ounce bottles.

  34. AL says:

    If his eminence Donald Wuerl (former bishop of the diocese of Pittsburgh) is elected the new pope, remember you heard it first right here in Dejan’s blog!
    Hey…what does all this have to do with my question about NHL prospects and the draft?

  35. LuckyNKentucky says:


  36. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Al, the evolution of a blog comment.

  37. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    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?

  38. Jandy says:

    AL, does it matter? lol We’re waiting for Eric Bowser to tell us the draft rules.

  39. Thundercrack says:

    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 :-)

  40. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I prefer to use 12 oz cans.

  41. Jandy says:

    Quit your whining and put on your big boy pants.

  42. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Jandy= Pope Bachslapus I

  43. JohninOshkosh says:

    Best. Link. Ever.

  44. Brad, Indiana PA says:


    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.

  45. Bizrow says:

    Indians had to give up their extra competitive balance pick

    We got Gaby for ours…..

  46. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Not whining, merely observing. (smirking canary-colored bald guy with dimples)
    Besides, they are in the wash (finally).

  47. Bizrow says:

    Just a Mike Tyson copy cat ;-)

  48. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    + a lot

  49. Bizrow says:

    Any male Catholic is eligible.

    I’m not Catholic, just heard that on TV

  50. NMR says:

    I wish, Dom. Just saw a few pictures on the web.

    DK ran a blurb about Sanchez in his Friday notum. I share his skepticism.

  51. Dom says:

    “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.

  52. Milo Hamilton says:

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

  53. JohninOshkosh says:

    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.

  54. NMR says:


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

  55. Jandy says:

    Brad, you’re killing me! lol

  56. NMR says:

    Their competitive balance pick…and $48 million.

    But who’s counting, right?

  57. Jandy says:

    Biz, you gotta admit, it’s freakin hilarious lol

  58. NMR says:

    “big boned”

  59. JohninOshkosh says:

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

  60. Dom says:

    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?

  61. Patrick says:

    I follow him on twitter, and if what he says is to be believed he has been doing exactly that. If you see him….tell him there is a red-haired girl with an axe and video camera that wants to see him if he doesnt stroke .290.

    (Its a movie reference. Sinister. scared the !(#&*)@& out of him. lol

  62. JohninOshkosh says:

    Sorry, I knew “fat” wasn’t PC the second I sent it!

  63. Jandy says:

    that could be a good thing ;)

  64. Milo Hamilton says:

    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.

  65. Jandy says:

    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.

  66. Jandy says:

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

  67. Patrick says:

    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.

  68. Jason81 says:


    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.

  69. Patrick says:

    John Kruk could roll out of bed drunk and go 3 for 5 with a double. Cecil Fielder may be a vegetarian, but he certainly has been eating mixing bowls full of pasta for years and i think he does ok. CC Sabathia does OK for a “big-boned” guy.

    Hell even the reigning MVP Cabrera would be wise to incest in a yoga mat and a pilates ball. I dont care about looks.

  70. Drew71 says:

    Good link but I wouldn’t go to “best”.

    Now if it said skip the workout and JUST drink beer, I’d go to best ever and ever will be.

  71. NMR says:

    Honestly, though, he was listed at 5’11” 230 lbs on draft day in 2006 and shows up as 6’0″ 235 lbs on the Pirates site today.

    I think he’s just built thick.

  72. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Incest in a yoga mat? That takes on a different nature. :P

    CC’s bones aren’t the only things that are big, Patrick. His uni ranks up there among the biggest.

  73. Drew71 says:

    When the conclave starts, we’ll need a thread, Dejan.

  74. Steve says:

    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.

  75. NMR says:

    My “best shape of his life” comment was meant tongue-in-cheek. Thats usually code for “I sucked really bad last year and blamed it on the weight”.

    It is good to see Martin clearly has the athleticism and conditioning left to succeed.

  76. Bizrow says:

    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

  77. Drew71 says:

    PC rules.

    I need to tell my wife that she needs to adjust her favorite term of endearment to big boned head.

  78. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    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.

  79. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Neal the SEAL said Snider is Phat.

  80. Drew71 says:

    Not all typos are created equal.

    Some are just better than others.

  81. 21sthebest says:

    Jandy, it appears it’s most of America’s favorite day.

  82. LuckyNKentucky says:

    You’re so right, Drewmeister.

  83. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I don’t know why, but the conclave makes me think of the ending of “The Rock”. It’s too bad they had to bother Sean Connery with Nick Cage.

  84. Bizrow says:

    Yup, you can’t make this stuff up

  85. Patrick says:

    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.

  86. Jandy says:

    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.

  87. Patrick says:

    *sigh…I really should have woken up for that 9am typing class…

  88. Jandy says:

    LOL You’ll have buggee going with that one!

  89. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Was just reading some of the Tom Singer display on 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.

  90. Jandy says:

    OMG Patrick, that one takes typo of the year award! Makes me look like a novice LOL! (pun intended)

  91. Jandy says:

    21, that could be. I don’t observe Lent anymore, so if I wanna pig out, I don’t care what day it is! ;)

  92. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    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.

  93. Jandy says:

    Thanks, Jason!

  94. LuckyNKentucky says:

    TOTYA to Patrick.


  95. Jandy says:

    I’ll drink to that!!!!

  96. Patrick(RI) says:

    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.

  97. Dom says:

    If you no longer practice that religion why do you have a picture of Mother Teresa as your avatar?

  98. JohninOshkosh says:

    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.

  99. Vince says:

    Right click > Save link as.. > Save mp3 > then you can listen on Media Player

  100. Jandy says:

    Long story short, Dom, one of my pet peeves is people who look me (or anyone) in the eye and lie. A lie so blatant, it’s ridiculous. My usual response is, “Yeah, and I’m Mother Theresa!”

  101. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    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.

  102. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Double amen, Brad on both the above.

  103. Jandy says:

    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.

  104. JohninOshkosh says:

    Touche, Drew.

  105. JohninOshkosh says:

    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.

  106. AL says:


    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).

  107. Thundercrack says:

    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.

  108. bpn8pitt says:

    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.

  109. TJ says:


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

  110. TJ says:

    Snider now plays for the Pirates… Its the greatest of all job security. The Pirates have proven they will take players of all shapes and sizes, broken arms, blown out elbows and over paid contracts.

  111. Patrick says:

    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!”

  112. Patrick says:

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

    MMMmmriight… am I tool again?

  113. TJ says:

    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.

  114. TJ says:

    I just checked and didn’t see a job opening posted for Pope. Seems like discrimination to me.

  115. TJ says:

    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.

  116. TJ says:

    I think Jandy’s avatar is why he and I could never actually argue with each other… can you imagine mother theresa vs TED in celebrity death match.

  117. NMR says:

    Rooney Rule my butt.

  118. Drew71 says:

    My wife just called. She said that’s spelled with a D.

  119. Bizrow says:

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

  120. Jandy says:


  121. TJ says:

    Rumor has it that the front office is closed for the rest of the day as the celebrate this accomplishment

  122. TJ says:

    I work for the BMTIB what do you expect Jandy?

  123. 21sthebest says:

    Didn’t see that. I saw Fangraphs worst 10 transactions of the offseason though. They had the Royals on there three times.

  124. Jandy says:

    It’s jus zambonis, Patrick.

  125. Jandy says:

    eh….ya got me there! ;)

  126. Bizrow says:

    I shouldn’t do this, but this is what was said

    “The fact that they were above .500 at the All-Star break last season is some small consolation. However, the Pirates’ offseason has been a mixed bag of reclamation projects in Liriano, Sanchez and Melancon. But they did improve their catching with Martin, who will slow down the running game and add 15-20 homers.”

    Only Houston, White Sox, Padres, Baltimore, Colorado and Miami were below in that ranking

  127. JohninOshkosh says:

    Good stuff.

  128. NMR says:

    Is there ANYTHING that doesn’t get “ranked” by every talking head these days?

    Its an insult to readers intelligence.


  129. 21sthebest says:

    I’ll just jump in on Dejan’s behalf. I hope he doesn’t mind.

    How could you not improve from Barajas?!?

  130. 21sthebest says:

    I’ll just jump in on Dejan’s behalf. I hope he doesn’t mind.

    How could you not improve from Barajas?!? Geez!!!

  131. 21sthebest says:

    My favorite was ESPN’s preseason ranking of the divisions. Maybe they’ll rank the AL and NL next.

  132. TJ says:

    Actually next up for ESPN is ranking of the Pope’s

  133. Iceman says:

    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.

  134. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I thought they’d be ranking Ray Lewis’ various facemasks.

  135. NMR says:

    I appreciated them linking the previous years “10 best” article as well.

    Those are more entertaining to me since I could care less how high or low Joe Schmoe ranks a move before either team throws a pitch.

  136. Iceman says:

    Dumb penalties, bad passes, and a player who is trying (and finally starting) to get used to a smaller rink and faster game.

    These are the issues I see with line 1B

  137. Jason81 says:


    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.

  138. Bizrow says:

    You are in a fine mood today

    Just sayin ;-)

  139. Bizrow says:

    One thing about talking heads, they get paid to do it, we don’t.

    Just someones perception, I would have noted it had the PBC been listed first

    Just something to talk about

  140. Bizrow says:

    I do think the PBC has upgraded in the dumpsters they visited this off season

  141. TJ says:

    First they have to rank his miracles

  142. NMR says:

    Ha, sorry Biz. Wasn’t trying to shoot the messenger. Just a pet peeve of mine.

    I’d rather discuss Travis Snider’s dinner menu than another worthless list.

  143. TJ says:

    ESPN will be ranking NMR’s pet peeve’s next

  144. Jandy says:

    Dumb penalties most of all.

  145. Jandy says:

    TJ’s the one on a roll today :P

  146. Jandy says:

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

  147. NMR says:

    I don’t know if you did this intentionally, but I can’t help but read every one of your comments in the “Ted” voice.

    Makes things exponentially funnier.

    Same goes for Jandy, now that I think about it.

  148. Jandy says:

    Uh-oh…dunno if that’s good or bad!

  149. TJ says:

    ESPN ranked Letang ahead of Niskanen in skating ability

  150. Drew71 says:

    Friedrich Nietzsche? Or his brother?

  151. Jandy says:

    Toss ESPN a Scooby Snack!

  152. Jandy says:

    I wanna know…

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

  153. TJ says:

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

  154. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    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.

  155. Brad, Indiana PA says:

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

  156. tpbco says:

    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.

  157. Ghost says:

    It worked! It worked! It worked!
    THANK YOU Vince.

  158. NMR says:

    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.

  159. TJ says:

    Having frequented the smizik blog often in the past I will say that DK’s blog is my new home. There is at least 90% rational thinking 50% of the time. And you can at least disagree with the author without being called out and attempt to be shamed.

  160. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    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?

  161. tpbco says:


    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.

  162. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Martin is the poor man’s Pudge Rodrieguez (sp)

    I think his signing really shows the FO feelings on Sanchez though. I do hope for the best from that kid.

  163. tpbco says:

    Agree, plus more hockey talk here.

    I like(d) both…but most important….No FB, no way, no how.

  164. Ghost says:

    Yeah, Smizik is too mercurial too. But the biggest problem is that he always allows his village idiot to keep coming back under barely altered monikers.

  165. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    He is a pretty stout dude…dont think “fat” is the word for it though.

  166. Brad, Indiana PA says:


    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.

  167. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


  168. NMR says:

    “And you can at least disagree with the author without being called out and attempt to be shamed.”

    You haven’t been paying attention to Thunder, have you? :)

  169. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I read Jayson Stark’s piece yesterday on the off season. I saw Pirates in once and it wasn’t for anything special.

    they didn’t make the worst or the best of any category, so I guess it was a successful offseason for them.

  170. tpbco says:

    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.

  171. Jandy says:

    Yeah, and I can call you three different names in one day, and you still talk to me the next day :D

  172. Jandy says:

    haha everyone knows TC’s boom is worse than his bang ;)

  173. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Steak, steak, and more steak…

  174. Jandy says:

    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.

  175. Drew71 says:

    Nice. Was he the Wookiee?

  176. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    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.

  177. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I left that blog a long time ago…its terrible.

  178. TJ says:

    To be quite honest I’m shocked Cooke hasn’t seen time on the 2nd line this year; after all he did have a career year last season and they have tried everyone else.

  179. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    + appreciate.

    Never even thought of that.

  180. Drew71 says:

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

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

  181. 21sthebest says:

    Ahhh. His bark is worse than his bite.

    And speaking of which, I wonder what the chances are of getting a Best In Show thread up tonight!?!

  182. Jandy says:

    uhhh Westminster?

  183. Jandy says:

    I think they’re afraid to take him off the third line. It’s the most steady line we have.

  184. Drew71 says:

    TJ. I’m calling you out and attempting to shame you.

    Sorry. But it’s what I do.

  185. TJ says:

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

  186. Jandy says:

    Quick! Everybody close your eyes!!!!!

  187. 21sthebest says:

    Well is there any other dog show this evening?

  188. LuckyNKentucky says:

    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

  189. Jandy says:

    LOL 21, down boy! I thought that was what you meant…and actually I like it. Hubby doesn’t, tho. He prefers his car shows.

  190. Iceman says:

    What she said.

  191. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Thanks for the warning on that, 21. I’d rather watch Storage Wars Texas or Chopped than that dog show.

    Guess I’ll have to hide the remote.

  192. TJ says:

    I thought for sure with all his new responsibilities he would have been hooked up with a wardrobe, and stylist

  193. Jandy says:

    See??? What the heck is wrong with watching a dog show? lol
    Hubby likes his car shows better too, so we won’t be watching.

  194. LuckyNKentucky says:

    He’s got one at home, a lovely wife. He probably sneaks out in the morning before she sees him.

  195. 21sthebest says:

    Love the dog show. The judges are so pompous they’re entertaining.

  196. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I see enough dog shows with the strays roaming the area here. ;)

  197. Jandy says:

    I bet his daughter could handle the job just fine ;)

  198. Drew71 says:

    Did you mean GOOD ones?

  199. Jandy says:

    lol two legged ones or four????

  200. Jandy says:

    I like it too, 21….it’s good stuff.

  201. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Good point. Probably his son, too.

  202. Drew71 says:

    Um, meaning what TJ said.

    I don’t usually take shots at family members.

    Unless they are mine.

  203. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Hard to tell the differnce sometimes.

  204. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I haven’t shot any family members since my sister-in-law went home.

    I hope DK glosses over this one like he usually does. If not, we may get banished to another blog.

  205. 21sthebest says:

    Lucky, would you like to? Even if it was somebody else’s sister-in-law?

  206. Ghost says:

    I think DK could show up with a bespoken suit from Saville Row and a $500 haircut by some “guy” named Cristophe, and you guys would still needle him. (Good thing nobody can see MY haircut — I do it myself. O )

  207. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I could, easily. Not the right attitude for a Christian minister, I know. Bitterness can tear one apart. I’d like to. But, I won’t.


  208. LuckyNKentucky says:

    He brought it up. He can take it, anyway. It doesn’t bother him. It’s not like someone is dissing Winnepeg or something.

  209. AL says:

    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!

  210. JohninOshkosh says:

    “…as long as I have my suit and tie”

  211. 21sthebest says:

    Didn’t think it could hurt to ask.

  212. Patrick says:

    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.

  213. Brad, Indiana PA says:


    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.

  214. LuckyNKentucky says:

    True. I’ve got 3 of ‘em. Only 1 is insane, though.

  215. Jason81 says:

    We’re waiting on the DNA tests to confirm it.

  216. Ghost says:

    You have a point, Lucky.
    As for “…as long as I have my suit and tie,” John, I thought that was a reference to Chevy Chase doing the news in his underwear or something. But Justin Timberlake?! Seriously?!?! Now we have to disinfect the whole blog.

  217. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Zack Morris wore suits from Saville Row?

  218. 21sthebest says:

    Same here. I’ve got 3 of ‘em and 1 insane.

    One is completely off her rocker and the third one should be put away for life. How my wife emerged normal from that group is a mystery that even she recognizes.

  219. LuckyNKentucky says:


  220. Iceman says:

    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.

  221. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    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.

  222. Brad, Indiana PA says:


  223. Ghost says:

    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…

  224. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’m not a fan of it all, but endlessly fascinated as an observer of pop culture. Pop Culture is one of the great things about this country-from its most banal moments to the ones that make you proud to be human.

  225. Drew71 says:

    I didn’t know I was your brother, Lucky.

    Just one complaint. You missed.

  226. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I wouldn’t shoot you, Drew. But, if I did, I would miss. So no worries.

  227. TJ says:

    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.

  228. Drew71 says:

    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.

  229. TJ says:

    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.

  230. 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.

  231. Drew71 says:

    Manly yes. But I like it, too.

  232. JD says:

    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.

  233. MadTurk says:

    I believe the Pirates are looking into signing him

  234. Thundercrack says:

    Thank you. Thank you very much.

  235. Thundercrack says:

    Did you watch Thomas Jefferson wrestle? What the…..

  236. Jandy says:

    Problem is, golf isn’t a sport, it’s a game :P

  237. TJ says:

    Deep Groat

    Totally agree with golf and for that matter tennis being an olympic sport that features professionals. I have no idea why you have professionals in some sports but not others. Then again back to my main point… People want to see the names. Just a theory. Not saying its right

  238. Bizrow says:

    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

  239. 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!!

  240. JandyGirl,

    You are a wise woman!!!

  241. Thomas Jefferson was a poor wrestler, because his wig kept falling off.

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