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Friday Wakeup Call: What’s another word for ‘hooey?’

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, lunatics …

>> The Friday notes column tackles the Bob Nutting/Clint Hurdle relationship, Kris Letang’s carelessness with the puck, and the Steelers’ locker room drama being a bunch of hooey.

If memory serves, this will mark the second time I’ve used ‘hooey’ in a column. I’m certainly open to suggestions here.

>> The chat transcript summarily dismissed all sideshow hooey related to the baseball team. It’s about contending for a playoff spot, or it’s about getting fired.

>> Before the daily rundown of of the Trib’s section, slide the play arrow all the way over to the 9:00 mark of this video below. It’s from Canucks-Stars last night in Dallas …

Been immersed in hockey my entire life. Never seen anything quite like that.

And you thought the Penguins’ penalty-killing strategy was passive.

>> Steve Breaston to the Steelers? He sounds at least amenable, per Mark Kaboly.

>> Full report from the Scouting Combine by our Alan Robinson in Indy.

>> Brandon Sutter’s early impressions on the Penguins are described by Josh Yohe.

>> Jamie Dixon focuses on Pitt’s poor shot selection, by Kevin Gorman.

>> Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon hope for productive springs, by Rob Biertempfiel in Bradenton.

>> I’ll visit with TribLIVE Radio today at 11:30 a.m. to discuss the column.

>> I’ll be all pucks over the weekend, like most of you, I’m sure, then it’s off to Bradenton on Thursday for a week of hooey-free baseball coverage.

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.

332 Comments

  1. Nostalgia: In the mid 70’s when I was 13 years old and a die hard Pirates fan, my folks drove 2 ½ hours to Busch Stadium in St Louis for my first major league ball game. At that time, the Cardinals were not drawing much of a crowd. We were able to get seating near left field/third base line. Before the game started, my mom gave me a small notepad of paper and forced “shy little old me” to go down to the railing to ask for autographs. Jerry Reuss came over and said “hi”. While signing his autograph he looked up and asked “Do you want me to sign them all?”. I shook my head “no” and he looked at me quizzically. I couldn’t understand why he would want to sign all the other players’ names. It wasn’t until I got back to my seat that I figured out that “sign them all” referred to all the pages of the pad of paper. SIGH…. (Reuss is one of only two Pirates to have played for Danny Murtaugh, Chuck Tanner, and Jim Leyland, the other being John Candelaria).

  2. So I guess we can look forward to 5 days of coverage of the “baseball team.” At least after the weekend coverage of the “hockey team,” assuming there are no more revelations from the “football team,” but we’ll probably get some coverage of the “basketball teams.”

  3. AW , personally I like to have it mixed up a little myself although the Bucs have always my main interest. I’ll look forward to next week’s coverage, but I won’t fail to read the hockey coverage.

    In the end, This 50-year follower of the Pirates won’t expect any real news about the Pirates until I hear about a 10 game winning streak in the regular season. I’m not holding my breath for that, though.

    Stuart

    DK: I appreciate your reading, Stuart. Thank you.

    • Stuart, this is not disagreement but conversation.

      There is a whole, wide range of sports discussion that falls between hooey and real news with any team, any sport. The kind of stuff that many fans soak up.

      Just as examples, here are some of the ‘real baseball but not real news’ Qs that some may have now, as practice starts to become more, um, real in Bradenton:

      - Putting aside his horrible #s over the past two years, does Sanchez look like he can actually, you know, pitch?
      - What can we learn about how the first base / outfield logjam will be decided? Presumably some of that will be decided in spring training, as Hurdle implied.

      I had about eight others of these but stopped.

      When I read Qs such as, what do players weigh, who likes/doesn’t like Neal…yeah, I sometimes roll my eyes, too.

      And I also rolled my eyes when I read Dejan’s:

      “>> The chat transcript summarily dismissed all sideshow hooey related to the baseball team. It’s about contending for a playoff spot, or it’s about getting fired.”

      It is not ALL about that. There is a wide gulf between who likes Neal hooey and final accountability. A whole bunch of real baseball stuff, even if it is not yet real news.

      If we read the blog posts immediately after the hockey lockout ended but before the season started, there were a ton of posts about projected lines, defensive pairings, power play strategy, etc. Almost none was of the grand win-or-go-away accountability nature. Yet most was not hooey.

      Many of us want to talk about baseball. Not the size of players’ butts, but many of us also not just make grand statements of win-or-go-away.

      Many of us simply want to talk about baseball.

      Now. In the sunshine of spring training.

      When all across this country, fans of almost every team are asking, in one context or another, is this the year?

      • Like +++++++++++++

      • Sing it, brother.

      • like. And you only used “hooey” 3 times, plus one quoting DK.

      • Drew, you’re preaching to the choir. thanks mainly to JAL, I scan the net daily for scraps of info on the Bucs. I appreciated your first-hand “reports” from Bradenton. my comments to AW last night were only meant to indicate that I won’t self Immolate I’d I have to read about another sport also.

        My wife’s a PSU grad, and I taught there for a while, so I root for them. my youngest son is a student at Pitt, and I root for Jamie and the boys. one of my best friends got me interested in hockey in the 70s, and I’ve been an avid fan of the Pens since.

        Just sayin.

        Stuart

        • Drew, forgot a PS. I don’t blame Dejan for getting tired of many of the same arguments repeated endlessly about Federal Street employees. If I was Bob N. I would have cleaned house immediately after the season last year. I didn’t “fall” for the annual pep talk from Bob, but I’m still a fan of the team and the players. I’m as optimistic as I’ve been every spring for as many years as I can remember.

          when will be your next report from ST?

          Stuart

        • Stuart– I definitely was not criticizing coverage or talk about sports other than baseball. And I can also understand DK’s getting tired of the Federal Street talk.

          • I’m cool with that AW. Wish I was going to ST to watch first-hand, but stuck here in Western PA with this “north Pole” weather. Bring on the season!

            Stuart

        • Stuart, you rock :)

  4. Dejan,

    Since you’ve given the Riverhounds some coverage, I figured I’d ask: Is there any noise about Riverhounds games being televised (maybe on Root)? Granted, most of their games are on Saturday nights and/or would conflict with Pirates games. But if they can find a way onto TV, it’d be a great way to showcase the new stadium. I know FSN Pittsburgh televised a few games at Falconi Field a number of years back (must’ve been 2005 or 2006).

    DK: All I’ve heard to date, Craig, is that the Riverhounds are planning on carrying live video feeds on their website. There’s been nothing about Root or any other outlet, and remember that Root is very much tied down to baseball all summer.

  5. Wasn’t Myron’s term for hooey “Gorgonzola”?

    DK: Well done. We’re off to a double-yoi start.

    • Cool. Second reference this week to an Allderdice Hall of Fame member and JAL, if you had it in your links, I was at this induction too! ;-)

  6. “Gorgonzola” ain’t bad. But Ryan Clark used the word “hooey?” That was cute.

    As for another alternative to using “hooey,” hows about “fragrant untruth”? It recruits multiple sensory perceptions in the imagination at once.

  7. Lots of parsing going on.

    “It’s important that I stand behind our management team and support them as long as they are our management team”

    Hey, couldn’t that just be considered another in a long line of comments from the owner that really don’t mean much, it is just ‘owner speak’? Speak from an owner that doesn’t seem comfortable or all that good at talking to the media? I mean we’re still trying to find out if he said the Navy Seal training is going to end …or not.

    • That sentence about supporting the management team jumped out at me, too, as I mentioned at the time. And it was even more striking read in context. He kind of volunteered it. Sure, he “could” mean a lot of things or nothing. But I interpreted it as potentially meaningful. Maybe just wishful thinking.

  8. Hurdle’s job may be more secure than NH and FC after this season. But only for 2014.
    As is the case most of the time, a new GM and President will want to hire their own guy in the dugout. So that 2015 option for Hurdle won’t help him.

    • If the Pirates tank again, i.e. up by double digits over .500 and then under, I can’t believe anyone escapes, except maybe Frank C.

      If they finish .500, everyone stays

      IF this year they are 15 UNDER .500 at the All-star game, there will be a new leadership team here to finish the season

      I expect about 80 wins, +/- 4, and everyone keeps there job…. maybe

    • TC….thankfully, DK said this and we know how his predictions/beliefs come out. :)

      “Nutting likes Hurdle. Likes him a lot, actually. It’s my belief that Hurdle will remain the manager even if the front office gets cleaned out in 2013.”

      I actually think NH AND Hurdle AND Frosty Frank the beerman will be here in 2014.

      Altho, as I noted to AW, I wasn’t thrilled when they re-upped Hurdle. Can’t wait to see some of his insipid moves again this year.

      Lloyd Fan Foo

      .

  9. I didn’t read Ryan Clark’s comments or see his tv interview.

    But I do think a locker room being ‘fractured’ can be different than a locker room not being ‘cool’ because they are 8-8.

    I think if the chemistry isn’t right, the locker room could be ‘fractured’ leaving Latrobe.

    • I think it is much ado ’bout nothin’.

      Nothing a winning season wouldn’t cure.

      There was some local stuff here about the Ravens’ locker room leading up to the Denver game. Amazing how that was all ‘fixed’ when that Denver safety badly misplayed that easy interception.

  10. “I think everybody would like to see the Mets as a competitive team, and that’s going to require a higher payroll. I trust that the Wilpons and Sandy Alderson, John Ricco, all those people will end up putting together a competitive team shortly.”

    That quote is from Major League Baseball Players’ Association executive director Michael Weiner. It cracks me up AND makes me want to puke. I would love to see his research or survey that says ‘everybody would like to see the Mets as a competitive team’
    I wonder if he asked anyone outside of NYC?

  11. JAL’s Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ndSDeIH2yw

    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

    WBC Final Rosters Out: De Jesus Withdraws

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/02/wbc-final-rosters-out-de-jesus-withdraws.html

    Pirates 2012 International Spending Recap

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/02/pirates-2012-international-spending-recap.html

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Roundup: Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, Jeff Locke, Jason Grilli

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/2/21/4013306/roundup-gerrit-cole-jameson-taillon-jeff-locke-jason-grilli

    Bob Nutting: Pirates building for long haul

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/2/21/4012850/bob-nutting-pirates-building-for-long-haul

    7 Bleed Cubbie Blue

    Know Your Enemy: Pittsburgh Pirates

    http://www.bleedcubbieblue.com/2013/2/21/3992398/2013-pittsburgh-pirates-season-preview

    8 WHYGAVS

    Cole and Taillon will start Black and Gold game

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/february-2013/today-is-intrasquad-scrimmage-day.html

    9 Rumbunter

    Gerrit Cole vs. Jameson Taillon Highlights Pittsburgh Pirates Scrimmage

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/02/21/gerrit-cole-vs-jameson-taillon-highlights-pittsburgh-pirates-scrimmage/

    10 Green Weenie

    Push For The Pine

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/02/push-for-pine.html

    • Diamonds Are a Girls Best Friend Marilyn Monroe 1953 Introduced by Carol Channing in the 1949 Broadway version of Gentleman Prefer Blondes, Monroe’s version in the movie is the most famous. It is mostly Monroe singing but the phrase “These rocks don’t lose their shape, diamonds are a girl’s best friend” and series of No’s are dubbed by Marni Nixon. More about Marni with tomorrow’s song. Madonna’s Material Girl video copies Monroe’s set. Song has been recorded by many others, including Emmylou Harris and T-Bone Burnett.

    • Meant to post this here:

      Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell in the same film….not too shabby there.

      Thought you might go with Donna Summer’s “Last Dance” from the god awful Thank God It’s Friday (1978), arguably the worst movie ever to win an Academy Award. But hopefully that song was not on AFI’s list.

      Be interesting to see if “Everybody Needs A Best Friend” from Ted will win an Oscar for Seth MacFarlane this Sunday.

  12. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Bradenton Herald

    Spring training | Veteran Brandon Inge plans to make Pirates’ roster, help young players

    http://www.bradenton.com/2013/02/22/4403924/spring-training-veteran-brandon.html

    12 Rant Sports

    Should The Pittsburgh Pirates Trade Jose Tabata?

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/02/21/should-the-pittsburgh-pirates-trade-jose-tabata/

    Pittsburgh Pirates’ Garrett Jones Looks For Post-Hype Success Story …

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/02/22/pittsburgh-pirates-garrett-jones-looks-for-post-hype-success-story-in-2013/

    13 KDKA

    Pirates’ Locke ‘Blessed’ To Compete For Spot In Rotation

    http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/02/21/pirates-locke-blessed-to-compete-for-spot-in-rotation/

    14 Chicago Tribune

    Pittsburgh Pirates – TeamReport

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/sns-rt-bbo-pirates-teamreportmtze92mlhc0bp-20130222,0,7693013.story

    15 Buster Onley Blog

    The Pirates face dilemma with Cole, Taillon (Insider story but can see a few paragraphs for free)

    http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/blog/_/name/olney_buster/id/8969961/pittsburgh-pirates-handle-top-prospects-jameson-taillon-ahd-gerrit-cole-very-carefully-mlb

    16 Yahoo Sports

    Pirates C Martin enjoying move to SS for WBC

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/pirates-c-martin-enjoying-move-185921961–mlb.html

    17 ESPN

    Preseason injury watch: 2B

    http://espn.go.com/fantasy/baseball/story/_/page/mlbdk2k13_injuries2b/neil-walker-key-second-base-injury-questions-entering-2013

    18 Washington Post

    Union head Michael Weiner says media shouldn’t jump to conclusions about drug reports

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals/union-head-michael-weiner-says-media-shouldnt-jump-to-conclusions-about-drug-reports/2013/02/21/76da0586-7c8b-11e2-9073-e9dda4ac6a66_story.html

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Rumor Roundup

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=19687

    20 Fangraphs

    Team-Specific Hitter Values by Markov

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/team-specific-hitter-values-by-markov/

  13. Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Kevin Colbert Combine Press Conference: We are not a team in transition. We are comfortable.

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/2/21/4013664/Kevin-Colbert-Combine-Press-Conference

    2013 NFL Free Agency: wide receiver Steve Breaston needs a fresh start

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/2/21/4012570/2013-nfl-free-agency-wide-receiver-steve-breaston-steelers-depth-chart

    22 Steelers Depot

    -The Terrible Podcast – Talking Team Leadership, NFL Combine, Mike Wallace, Steve Breaston & More Episode

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/02/the-terrible-podcast-talking-team-leadership-nfl-combine-mike-wallace-steve-breaston-more-episode/

    Soccer(football)

    23 Daily Telegraph

    Liverpool 3 Zenit St Petersburg 1, agg; 3-3: match report

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/liverpool/9887015/Liverpool-3-Zenit-St-Petersburg-1-agg-3-3-match-report.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    10 Stories You Need to Read 21st February 2013

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-21st-february-2013

  14. DK,
    In your column you mentioned Hurdle lost his clubhouse to cetain players last year during the colapse. Can you say who these players were and if not if these players are still on the team.

  15. JAL, what? No hockey link????

  16. Just thinking about how Mike Milbury loves to rip the Pens. Talk about a guy holding a grudge! His beloved Bruins couldn’t get it done while he was coach so……
    What if we bring Cam Neely and Ulf Samuelsson back from retirement and let them drop the gloves at center ice before the next game? If Cam wins, Milbury shuts up; if Ulfie wins, Milbury shuts up. Fair enough??

  17. So Nutting will keep Hurdle ‘cuz he likes him. That’s sweet of you, Bob.

    Now after you fire Neal, tell me why would any serious GM candidate would work for a guy who doesn’t even allow him to have a say in his Major League manager.

    Nutting continues to run a joke of a franchise.

    • He reminds me in some regards of Daniel Snyder. He treats the Pirates just like any other buisness. He runs it like he would run a chain of restraunts or trucking company. I know the adjustment from “normal” buisness’ to learn how to run a “baseball buisness” takes time, but he sure few changes to his approach.

      Jerry Jones has never figured out how to be a pro sports team owner. Bob Kraft took to it like a duck to water. Mike Brown of the Bengals seems to have figured it out, but it took 20+ years. I hope Bob Nutting is a quicker student than Brown.

  18. I got a kick out of link #6.

    From 2008:

    “It seems like they kind of broke up our team chemistry when they got rid of Sean Casey and good people like that,” says Grilli, now with the Colorado Rockies. “You wanted guys like that around. You wanted a guy like Inge playing behind you, knowing he would go through a brick wall.” – Jason Grilli

    Sound familiar?

    And even better, Jim Leyland’s rebuttal:

    “Jason Grilli oughta just worry about Colorado. Jason Grilli isn’t here any longer because Jason Grilli didn’t pitch good under pressure situations and didn’t pitch very well in Detroit. If Jason Grilli had done a better job, he’d still be here. I don’t wanna hear any weak (bleep) from Jason Grilli.”

    Whether you agree with him or not, you gotta love that guy.

    • Well, right now Jason Grilli is still with the Pirates and obviously does “worry” about them or he wouldn’t have said anything, so I have no problem with him talking about his unhappiness about the trade deadline decisions regardless of how well he himself may have pitched in September. He’s a member of the team and if asked, has a right to tell it like it is if he and others were unhappy with management. Does it put management in a tough spot to have one of their players speaking critically of them? Sure, but until they prove otherwise, that’s a spot they deserve to be in at this point.

    • I’m not the biggest fan of players calling out anybody (management, staff, player or otherwise) but Grili didn’t say anything preposterously false. He didn’t say anything most of us weren’t already thinking anyways. Which is another reason why he really shouldn’t have said it.

      Players should play. Managers should manage. Writers should write. And the name calling, biased opinions and baseless accusations filled with vitriol should be left up to us bloggers.

      But yes, Jim Leyland is beyond awesome.

    • “Whether you agree with him or not, you gotta love that guy.” Yep

  19. NMR, I’ve always loved Leyland lol.

    Still kinda wish he was Pirates’ manager.

  20. So, Clint will stay when the brain trust is removed.

    Fine by me.

  21. My feeilng is for the long term success of the Pirates the Management team needs to go. Hire a Gm that at the very least wont be the laughing stock of baseball. Should not be hard to upgrade.

    • There aren’t to many reputable people that would take the Pirates GM. You certainly would never be able to lure someone out of another position like the Cubs did with Epstein. I’m no fan of NH, but it might be harder than you think to upgrade.

      • Addendum: You wont find to many reputable people who have a resume more impressive than NH to take the Pirates GM job. Lots of people would jump at the chance to be the Pirates GM if Neal was fired, but they would probably have the work history Neal did when the Pirates hired him.

        • I don’t know exactly what you mean by reputable people. If you don’t think there are quality assistant GM’s out there that would take the Pirates GM job, I’d disagree. I don’t think the PIrates will have any problem receiving resumes from reputable candidates. Will those candidates be current successful GM’s? I doubt it.

          • I believe the club has had problems in the past getting their “first” or “second” choice though.

          • Well maybe ‘reputable’ was a poor choice of words. There are a lot of quality assistant GMs that would jump at the chance, but there are a few that might even turn it down. Would being the Assistant GM to Cashman or Epstein be better than the GM of the Pirates? If you KNEW that someday you would get the opportunity, would you pass on Pittsburgh and hope for a better situation? Like NMR said, a situation in which the GM actually gets a say (shocking!) in who the manager is?

            I guess my whole point is, the Pirates GM job doesn’t have the luster and appeal of the other teams. It wouldn’t have the best and most qualified people, and therefore wouldn’t necessarily be so easy to upgrade over NH.

            • Of course some would turn it down.

              “If you KNEW that someday you would get the opportunity, would you pass on Pittsburgh and hope for a better situation?”

              Depends. I’m thinking it’s not a black and white situation.

              I’m also thinking that any new GM will get the say in who the manager is and I think it’s easy to upgrade from NH.

      • How to get Theo Epstein from the Cubs:

        Give hiim a $120 million dollar payroll to work with and free hand…

    • Didn’t someone awhile back mention a woman in the Yankees organization that would be an “interesting dynamic” as a GM? But in all seriousness, from what was said about her she sounded more qualified than the SEAL.

      • Most women would be.

      • why would it surprise you that a woman would be qualified for GM position, whether or not it’s Neal she’s replacing?

        • I’m not surprised at all that a woman could be a good GM. From what I remember she was spoken very highly of and since many teams might be reluctant to hire a woman GM, maybe the Pirates would be able to get a really good GM if they take that step.

          • Kim Ng worked for the Dodgers and interviewed for that GM job and the Mariners GM job. She now works for MLB.

            • Good memory 21, I knew who it was, but could not remember a name

              • Not all memory. I knew the details but couldn’t remember her name. I don’t remember what I had for breakfast!

            • 21,

              Wasn’t there one with the Yankees, too? I could be mistaken but I thought the one that was talked about last summer here on the blog was with them.

              But my point is since they’re so preoccupied with thinking outside the box, I think a more positive and responsible step than Hoka Hey would be hiring a woman GM.

              Maybe Drew’s wife would interview…

        • I just had to throw in the “interesting dynamic” part in to reference the SEAL. I hate when he says that. It’s like when my students hand in a paper saying “Aspects of society are controversial.”

    • Overlooking the ego of people, many GMs have the ego to think they could turn a team around. Taking a bad team and turning them into a winner would be good for their resume

  22. Dejan – any idea of the economics of hosting an Olympic games? For instance, if Pittsburgh had to build an entirely new swimming facility…who would foot the bill? All Pgh? State? Federal money? Olympic committee? Thanks

    If anyone has a link to a good report that explains this I would appreciate it.

  23. “There’s a better chance of the Super Bowl and Olympics and World Cup of Cricket coming here than an NBA franchise.”
    —————————————–
    You and Smiz, duking it out! How about we agree that each of these is the equivalent of buying anywhere between one and dozen Powerball tickets. Sure, the odds of one might be better than another, but in any of the cases, you still stand a better chance of being struck by lightning.

    DK: I was responding solely to David Stern tossing Pittsburgh into a pool of potential expansion candidates. That’s it.

  24. “I really do think,” right wing Tyler Kennedy said, “we can learn something from how Sutter plays.”

    I think Kennedy could learn something from watching a PeeWee tournament.

  25. Sounds like Brad Lincoln is a candidate to start the year in AAA as a starter.

  26. Yippee ki yay?

  27. JAL

    Hey…hey..*poke….little help….I’ll give you half of my twix bar.

  28. There’s no chance that a super bowl will ever come to the burgh nor do I think it should.

    If one comes there, then it will have to go to Cleveland, New England, Philly, etc.

    They should keep the game in a city where the weather will not be an issue. There has to be at least 10 options so I don’t know why it has to be here.

  29. Ya know I’ve kind of stayed away from the blog for a few days. Nothing against DK or his blog but I’ve just been so depressed with the state of sports in Pittsburgh. Is there something in the water in Pittsburgh?

    1. Steelers — up and down finish 8-8; and soon to be mass exodus or release of players
    2. Pitt football — pull off a couple nice wins and crap the bed against teams like YSU
    3. Pitt basketball — seriously I don’t believe in Jamie Dixon; sorry he’s just a lifer hoping for a flash in the pan run to the finals. We can’t score in the Big East what are we going to do in the run and gun ACC?
    4. Penguins — sure long off season, no training camp but god almighty where is the consistency? If every team in the league was doing the same thing I’d say fine its the lockout effect but the fact of the matter is that its not every team in the league.
    5. Pirates — season is about to start; depressing enough

    Its almost like I live in alaska and I have no idea what time of year it is because every day seems the same.

    • Answer to water question: mercury.

    • Speaking to Penguins, it is every team in the league. Just look at New Jersey. Beat us twice then lost bad to islanders and buffalo. Philly is way more up and down than us. I do know what you mean though. Penguins start the season with 2 big wins then struggle defensively, then they start playing like champions again and got socked back to earth by Philly. Hopefully, philly is just the wake up call we need to re-commit to championship hockey. :)

    • Don’t be so distressed, TJ. Always think that things could be worse. I submit Minnesota:

      1. Last Big 10 championship in football: 1967. The basketball team won the Big 10 last in 1997. That title was vacated as part of NCAA sanctions so you have to go back to 1982 for a previous Mens championship.

      2. Original hockey franchise, my team as a kid, the North Stars, left for freaking Dallas in 1993. That franchise never won a Stanley Cup. The new incarnation, my favorite team, the Wild, has played since 2000 and has never won a conference title.

      3. The Vikings have not won a Super Bowl in 52 years of existence. They have famously lost four, and have not played in it since 1976.

      4. The Twins are the most successful, but have not been in a World Series in 22 years. Plus, the fans have to listen to Bert Blylevin do their broadcasts. (Hi Groat!).

      I bet you are one of the younger guys on this blog so most of this happened when you were very young or not even yet with us. Hope you feel better about Pittsburgh.

  30. I would love to get a referendum on Tanner Glass going. I think the guy’s a bum and is bringing absolutely nothing to the team that they couldn’t get out of about 3 dozen other guys. He has no offensive skills and isn’t big enough, tough enough, or instinctive enough for me to consider him even a “good” grinder. I see him out of position a lot and his numbers are terrible. From what I can see, dude can skate a little and is willing to drop the gloves. And like I said, that’s something they can find anywhere.

    Remember when everyone in hockey was telling us that we were going to “love this guy”? I never bought it before and I’m not buying it now. Glass has gotta show something, gotta contribute in SOME way, to keep a roster spot IMO. The most positive things I hear back about him are that he can kill penalties. So can lots of guys, and the Penguins have proven capable of training replacements. I just don’t see an NHL player when I watch this guy play and I’m wondering if I’m just watching the worst stretch of the guy’s career or something. Because I definitely don’t see anything to “love” about Tanner Glass.

    • The thing that has been unfortunate to me is that we let Asham walk when to me Asham showed an ability to put the puck in the net at times. But we have plenty of those guys right?

    • In Glass’s defense, his numbers aren’t much worse than Tyler Kennedy’s.

      • Those kind of numbers defend nobody. But I have a huge problem with Kennedy too and have forever unless he was playing with Cooke and Staal. Usually when they try to “promote” the guy up the ranks, he fails. I don’t think he’s a $2 million player at all.

        You are right, Brad. The two biggest axes in my grindhouse are for Glass and Kennedy. The rest of the team is fine. We need guys willing, ad WANTING, to bang in the corners and crash the net, not float around the slot and behind the net. Go back and check the replay of when Kennedy scored Wednesday night. I think that’s the first time I’d seen him in a scoring position in a month.

        • Dan,

          I didn’t see that game, but I’ll try to catch that clip. The Kennedy reference wasn’t really a defense, just a chance to bash him. Someone ruined that fun for me yesterday by pointing out that he scored lol.

          I’m still not of the opinion that Martin has become all that either. Less of a liability? Sure. Shutdown? Hardly. It’s easy to look good when you start at the bottom.

      • More like Tyler Wright’s old numbers than Tyler Kennedy’s.

    • Asham makes $1M with the Rangers, Glass makes $1.1M with the Pens. Ash scores in the playoffs, not much more. Glass has no goals to date. Asham has one goal.
      eh….pretty much a wash. Glass is 29, Ash is 34. Glass is a younger version I guess.
      Grinders are grinders. I don’t mind Glass.

    • I’m less worried about Tanner Glass than I am Geno. His stats are …OOOkaay…i guess. But he certainly isn’t playing at the level we saw last year. Who is playing on his wing is a greater concern to me than Tanner Glass or Kennedy. If we were to replace Glass I would rather have Mike Rupp before Asham.

      Look, at then end of the day Kennedy and Glass play is exactly in line with their minutes and line placement. Glass plays like a 4th liner and Kennedy a 3rd. No team has guys on their third and fourth line that much better than the Pens. If they did, they would be on someone elses 3nd and 3rd lines rather than 4th. Its a capped league, you can’t have a roster full of Dupuis and Kunitz.

  31. Apparently DK has some inside understanding of Nutthing’s strongarm version of accountability. I didn’t hear him once say “win or you’re fired.” It was more like “win or you’ll be investigated as long as you’re here!”

    And I see Frank the Dank had his hangover glasses on for the video on pirates.com.

  32. 53 losers. Brave words. Was James Harrison around when you wrote this?

    DK: Read the entry again, please.

  33. Not to change the subject, but I found the coolest link ever on the “Astronomy Picture of the day” web site. It is an interactive panorama picture from Mars: http://www.360cities.net/image/mars-panorama-curiosity-solar-day-177#-256.03,3.23,39.8

    Not sure if I set this up as a link or not. Give it a look if you can.

    Stuart

  34. Can’t wait for all the Wonderlic stories from Indy this weekend. I really feel it is important that Ray Graham knows simple algebra.

  35. Lucky you shocked me with your 8 track reference. I had to suffer through car rides with my Dad listening to Fiddler on the Roof on his 8 track. Love my Dad, but the music…

    • I’ve got the DVD of that and a VHS if you’d like to reminice.

      :)

      Now, if only I could keep the bands and the songs straight, I’d be OK. Them were the days.

  36. So, I picked a gravatar… but I do not know if it works. Or maybe I dont understand how it works.

  37. So I just signed up for gravatar, what the deuce do I do to actually get a photo or image in the box?

    • And why does it keep saying “hi” in different languages?

    • Stand in front of your monitor or i-phone and make faces. It’ll pick that up.

      Truly, it will instruct you.

    • Brad, at some point it will ask you to “browse” for a picture that is on your computer. Maybe ahead of time you could go to google images and do a “search” for Paul Martin, or even Paulina Porzakova. when you find an image you like, just right click on it to “copy image” Then paste it to your desktop or picture folder. Then when you browse for it you can select it for your avatar. Mine is a picture of Rudyard Kipling that a friend sent me, claiming that it looks just like me!

      You’re a smart guy, and I’m sure you will figure it all out.

      Regards,
      Stuart

      • Thanks, Stuart. I think I finally figured it out.

      • A woman’s guess is much more accurate than a man’s certainty.
        Rudyard Kipling

        P.S> I vote for Ms.Porizkova! She is the same age as me and still looks great.

      • Brad, Looks like you figured it out. Where on earth did you get the “woe is me” picture?

        Lucky, Confucius say “When man sets face, he is setting path”. My grandmother said “aren’t you afraid you face will freeze that way?”

        Stuart

        • It’s Gollum during his not listening speech. One of my favorite parts of the second movie.

        • Excellent. He probably saw that episode of the Twilight Zone. My favorite one.

          • Lucky, Is that the one where “Captain Kirk” sees a gremlin on the wing of the plane, but no one else can see it?

            Stuart

            • That’s a great one, too, Stuart. I’m referring the one where the dieing man has his greedy family, who is waiting for him to die, wear Mardi Gras masks all evening. When he dies, his face is OK but the others have formed the shape of the mask.

              Classic. I don’t know if Rod Serling wrote it or Ray Bradbury, but it was a great one. We have the box set of all those episodes.

              • Lucky didn’t see that one. Nice to have one of those “sets”.

                Bad storm coming my way here in Western PA. Think I’ll go out for some needed supplies.

                I’m out.

                Stuart

              • Lucky:

                I’ll go with “The Hitch-Hiker” and “I Shot An Arrow Into The Air”. Both by Serling.

              • Oh Lord, Spunky, I saw that one too and I remember pretty much of it lol

              • It does strike a cord, J-girl.

              • I’ve been watching some “MeTV” lately, which has Twilight Zone and Night Gallery. There was a Night Gallery episode where there was this strikingly beautiful actress playing a robot maid. I couldn’t place her, but it turned out it was Lana Wood. The Twilight Zone episode “Hitchhiker” had the equally beautiful Inger Stevens.

              • He loves him his warm weather.

            • It’s icing here in Duncansville, Stuart, and has been for an hour. be careful!

              • It’s 60 degrees here.

                Not trying to be The Real Drew or being obnoxious.

                Not worth moving here, though. Weather is a relative thing.

              • it’s not that cold here, about 28 degrees. But I hate driving in ice.

              • Who’s related to the weather?

              • I know you owe me a few, professor.

                I just meant the weather is relative to the area. (obvious understatement). In other words, I would put up with the lousy couple of months of your’alls’ (local talk) weather to live in that area again.

                The Call is the reason I’m here. :)

              • Good stuff Lucky. I’m so over the winter stuff. Actually, I’ve usually had enough after new years day. Now it’s just rubbing rock salt in the wound.

              • “Not trying to be The Real Drew or being obnoxious.”

                What’s the difference?

              • Posted in the wrong place above.

                Too much for my simple mind sometimes.

                Drew loves his warm weather and is not quiet about it.

            • Now 21, Drew isn’t her to defend himself ;)

          • Both excellent, John. Fine taste in sci-fi.

    • I like Hines, but I also “know” Hines. He appears to have conveniently forgotten calling out Ben on national television for not playing after a concussion. Oops!

      • I would agree. The steelers are in disarray. Can anyone honestly tell me who on the defensive side of the ball isn’t in jeopardy of being a cap casualty? Of course we have the younger guys but there are so many names being mentioned as cap cuts etc. And the news that they are talking to Breaston already signals that they don’t even anticipate being in the run for Wallace.

        The city of Pittsburgh Police department is more stable than the Steelers roster right now.

  38. Only about a month until Game of Thrones is back on!

  39. OK the blog is moving posts, eating posts, who knows what is next?

  40. JAL,

    Any chance of starting an Irish music countdown to St. Patty’s Day?

  41. The Pens problems could be solved…. Islanders just put Rick DiPietro on waivers. He only has 9 more years left on his contract at 4.5mil a year. Quite a steal!!!

  42. Today

    Taillon–Two scoreles innings, two hits, three strikeouts, no walks.

    Cole- Cole: Two scoreless, one hit, no walks, one strikeout.

    Marte 2 run homer off Waldrop.

    • You realize both of these guys were pitching AGAINST the Pirates right?

      • That is not important, what is important is their two top prospects went out and threw well. There were in the strike zone. Young pitcher first time out in front of major league players and coaches can easily get nervous and throw poorly. That is what you look for at this stage, can they control their emotions and throw well.

        • Why wouldn’t they be able to control their emotions? They are pitching against the Pirates…. And all they are likely throwing is their fastball at this point in camp.

          JAL I’m just busting balls here.

        • Always a voice of reason.

          • Concerning Taillon and Cole

            “Many times when runners were on base we were able to give various looks, different reads, hold the ball,” Hurdle said. “Those guys in particular … they were able to hold the ball and change their release times.”

  43. I think Letang is an at times, spectacular player, and on most nights can do things many others cannot. I also think he is impetuous and immature, prone to losing focus. Put him on the market and see what he brings in offers. His team needs a major change, or it will be early golf for them again.

    • Dear lord….

      That is absolute MADNESS. I would never EVER trade a player like Letang.

      Never.

      Never EVER.

      He has his moments in which he can be careless, but lets not forget the kid is still only 25. He has a lot of learning to do. His ceiling is so high its ridiculous. There are only 3-4 other defensemen in the league of his caliber.

      • Don’t forget, also, that whenTanger DOES make a mistake, he’s usually able to cover his own tracks. Not many can say that.

      • Never say never… The Kings once traded Paul Coffey when he was only 27.

      • Patrick, I agree about no trade here, but I have to say that I like Paul Martin on the PP better. for some reason Kris can’t seem to find the net from the point.

        Stuart

        DK: Just can’t get it through. Needs to quit trying to blast the thing like Zdeno Chara and just get it through. Find the legs, the bodies, look up and get it through.

        • Thank you Milo; that was something I looked squarely at and still said the Kings. It was the Oilers that he was acquired from at age 27.

          • I was wrong, he was only 30 when we sent him to LA. He did play 10 more years but his best days were certainly behind him. He didn’t have another 100 point season after he left Pittsburgh.

        • DK: I tell myself that all the time in Golf. Just find the trees, the rough and stop trying to hit it down the middle. Works like a charm.

      • I agree, unless he forces their hand like Jordan S did

        • I honestly don’t know how anyone can expect the Pens to afford to keep Sid, Geno, Fleury and Letang all under contract and still have enough to supply a competitive roster around them. Sid and Geno are going to be 20mil right off the start. Add Neal at close to 5, plus Letang who is going to want probably close to Suter money so say 7 on the low side.

          Thats 32mil without getting into Fleury.

          • I mentioned yesterday that we were already starting to see this happen and didn’t get much love. Our fellow lunatics seemed to believe that Bylsma had all he needed with Crosby and Malkin.

            From the time this team was assembled, it has always been an experiment. In a newly capped league, is it possible to put together a complete team with a handful of guys making the vast majority of money? That’s always been the question and it has yet to be answered.

            DK: Great point. Next challenge will be fitting (or not) Kris Letang.

            • Honestly if I’m the Pens; I’m trying to extend Letang right now. If they don’t feel he’s going to fit into their salary plans I look at a team like the Oilers that are loaded with young talent up front. See if you can’t swing a deal with them and hope that guys like Despres, Morrow etc can fill in.

              • As a fan, I’d hate to lose Letang.

                But unless the organization can start pumping in some young talent making close to league min, I’m not sold that the team is better off with all those big money players you list.

                Not much pie left over to feed a lot of mouths.

      • Letang may well be a top 3-4 defensemen in the league. The question is, do the Pens need that guy? I simply don’t buy that he is untouchable for trade purposes. If he brought a large, 3-4 team defensemen, and a winger with enough skill to play with 87 or 71, Shero needs to consider it. And by the way Patrick, I strongly suspect that The Lord cares little about the Penguins, or hockey in general. If you disagree with me, fine. But leave God out of it.

  44. Well, it’s Friday and I’m stuck at home because the kids have a snow day. Not sure if I’ll be around this weekend so here it is, my Academy Award picks:

    Best Actor: Will Win: Daniel Day-Lewis: Lincoln. Should Win: Day-Lewis
    Note: Incredible that a South London kid could channel arguably the most iconic American in our history. Would be cool if Dejan’s twitter buddy, Denzel Washington, walked away with it, but I don’t think that will happen.

    Best Actress: Will Win: Jennifer Lawrence: Silver Linings Playbook. Should win: Lawrence
    Note: With her all American beauty and capacity to emotionally capture complex characters that belie her youth, expect her to be on the Oscar stage several times in her career. I declare the 2010′s “The Jenny Decade!”

    Supporting Actor: Will win: Alan Arkin : Argo. Should win: Christoph Waltz: Django Unchained.
    Note: Arkin. one of my personal favorites, has never played a role badly, and the Academy will award him in part for his lifetime body of work. But there can be no doubt that Waltz is the best actor on the planet right now. For example the way he delivered the pivotal strudel and cream scene in 2009′s brilliant “Inglorious Basterds”, no other human being could have played that tense scene with such chilling gravitas.

    Supporting Actress: Will win: Anne Hathaway: Les Miserables. Should win: Amy Adams The Master.
    Note: The Academy loves musicals which means sitting through an insufferable acceptance speech by Hathaway.

    Best Director: Will win: Steven Spielberg: Lincoln. Should win: Spielberg.
    Note: Because Ben Affleck was criminally not nominated, Spielberg, often ignored by the Academy, will prevail against the nominated field.

    Best Picture: Argo
    Note: The entire film, from its cast, set design, costumes directing and storytelling, captured completely the feel of 1970′s American cinema, perhaps our finest decade of filmmaking.

    And because my wife is here and follows fashion and can name obscure designers like some of you can name fourth shift wingers, I’ll predict Marion Cotillard will be the best dressed. There are “random gorgeous girls” … and then there is Marion Cotillard.

    DK: Really looking forward to seeing ‘Argo’ on DVD. I’ll be emotionally invested in Day-Lewis winning for ‘Lincoln.’ Brilliant.

    • Nice job, John. I totally agree with your assessment of Day-Lewis. Said the same thing.

    • Meh….I’m still mad they didnt even so much as nominate Liev Schreiber for his role of Ross Rhea in “Goon”.

      And Ive been trying to get “La Flamme” to catch on as Letang’s nickname for two years now…you all need to chip in on that BTW.

    • I think you nailed it, John. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better acting performance than Alan Arkin in “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.” I tear up just thinking about it.

    • Did you see Day-Lewis on 60 Minutes? He said something about it being the hardest role he ever had to stop doing, or something like that.

  45. The more I think about it, the more Lindy Ruffs firing bothers me. He deserved the right to finish the season. His teams had gotten off to slow starts before and battled back. He showed he could adapt and win games. I know its a short season, but they were only 2 points out of a playoff spot and 7 points out of first place in the entire eastern conference. I know its a short season, but it isnt THAT short.

    For gods sake even Philadelphia let Andy Reid end his tenure with dignity and finish the season.

  46. http://www.latinospost.com/articles/12754/20130222/new-england-patriots-star-rob-gronkowski-spends.htm

    I do not understand this. Pittsburgh’s own Rob Gronkowski is being criticized for spending near $10K at a super bowl party in Vegas.

    You might remember that the man was criticized last super bowl for going out dancing after his team was defeated by the Giants.

    Gronkowski is allowed to spend his money on what he chooses to and do what he chooses to after the season is over.

    I dont see how it is anyone’s business.

    DK: Gronk has drawn that magnet to himself with other stuff. And really, I don’t think too many would consider him that much of a native. Played one year for George Novak at Woodland Hills. That’s it.

  47. Pirates Black and Gold game was suspended by Bud Selig after neither team could find a way to win

  48. “the Bucs’ hot sacker has that ingredient of success nailed down.”

    Hot sacker? Really? Oh sing it, Tom Singer.

    I can’t stand that guy. Apparently not many people can if you go by his blog following.

  49. John,

    Didn’t know you were a film buff! Very nice summary and I agree with you on these points ARGO looked and felt like an 70′s movie which was so appropriate DK, saw Lincoln just after you tweeted about it and thought Day-Lewis was Lincoln, Abe not Brad, needed toget sports in somehow…..

  50. Sorry for the lateness of this observation, but it’s pretty easy to see why B Nut would love Clint. Aside from any of the players he’s a great “face” of the organization, or ambassador if you prefer. Makes the other guys (Neal, Frank, Stark) look like what they are—amateurs . . . at best.

  51. Anyone know a good thumb surgeon? I need the Dr. Andrews of the Thumb after scrolling through these comments on an Android.

    DK: It’s a chore. Working on a true mobile platform.

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