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Monday Wakeup Call: To concuss or not to concuss

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, lunatics …

>> The Monday column covers a wonderful game by Sidney Crosby and still seeks more.

Here’s some of our pregame talk on how he’s being used …

>> I’ll visit with TribLIVE Radio at 11:30 to discuss the column and more.

>> For anyone who missed it, the Sunday column compared the initial handling of Evgeni Malkin’s concussion-like symptoms to how the Penguins badly bungled the early days with Sidney Crosby.

I’ll hold to that today. Malkin was held out and administered, by all accounts, exemplary treatment leading to the official diagnosis issued late last night that he does, in fact, have a concussion and short-term memory loss.

The Trib’s Rob Rossi reported Sunday morning that Malkin was experiencing severe headaches and mild disorientation. He based that on impeccable sources close to the athlete. I know who they are. If you did, you wouldn’t doubt them for a second. The team responded after the morning skate by having Bylsma deny the headaches and disorientation, explicitly using those terms.

Then came word late last night of the concussion and memory loss.

I’ve only got this in response: I’ve been around the Pittsburgh Penguins, a world-class franchise led by the most world-class individual in Mario Lemieux, for the better part of my adult life. I’m disappointed in how they’ve acted in this specific regard.

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>> Which Pitt team did you guess would show up at the Garden?

If it was the one where Tray Woodall takes over, the one where there’s some actual creativity in working the ball inside, the one where they own the boards … you win. Kevin Gorman reports from New York.

>> Quality Steelers draft analysis from Alan Robinson. Not feeling a first-round running back.

>> Columnist Joe Starkey would like it if the Steelers’ players zipped it.

>> Long-term deal for Neil Walker? Yes, please. Rob Biertempfel breaks it down, but I fear he falls well short of the new gold standard for opening sentences in journalism history.

>> Again, on Thursday morning, I’ll be heading to Bradenton for a week of baseball.

>> I’ll leave you with this beauty from Zdeno Chara yesterday, undoubtedly the greatest move in NHL history by anyone 6 feet 9 or taller …

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.

Comments

  1. Thundercrack says:

    Great synopsis of Malkin’s injury and the timeline of events. And your candid opinion is greatly appreciated.

    I find the way teams in the NHL report injuries is idiotic and most times laughable.

    DK: Well, there’s a difference between concealing injuries and criticizing a report verbatim, only to have the report proven 100 percent accurate by the end of that same night.

  2. Ghost says:

    Here’s hoping the Steelers can snag a good safety in an early round. Ryan Clark is playing elite ball but he’s not getting any younger. Troy, I hope rebounds, but I’m guessing he’s one more injury with downtime away from being jettisoned like Hines Ward was. It’s time to line up our next generation of safeties. I’ll be curious how USC’s T.J. McDonald looks at his Tuesday workout in Indy. He’s big, supposedly fast, and a great tackler. Apparently needs refining on his pass coverage, but who doesn’t? McDonald’s dad, Tim, was a stellar, six-time Pro Bowl-safety, won a SB with the 49ers, and also came out of SC. In fact, SC is sort of to safeties what Penn State used to be to linebackers. If McDonald is available when the Steelers draft in the 2nd round at #48, could be a good pick.

    DK: Echoed on early safety. Clark will be 34 in October. Polamalu will be 32 in April. And there’s absolutely no one behind them.

  3. Rhino says:

    I know this is really uncool to say this but I just dont dig hockey. I look at that move and I am not impressed. Love the column. Keep up the great work

  4. Drew71 says:

    I’ll leave you with this beauty from ThunderChara yesterday, undoubtedly the greatest post in Blog history by any…how tall are you, Thunder?

  5. Deb says:

    This harks back to Sid’s injury where he was called out for not telling the Penguins enough, not having folks on the same page etc. Seems like the miscues were maybe as much the Pens not wanting to fess up as not knowing. Agree, it is embarrassing that Bylsma denies symptoms, then reports those same symptoms 8 hours later.

  6. Drew71 says:

    “Again, on Thursday morning, I’ll be heading to Bradenton for a week of baseball.”

    Great. Just great. Now I am required to figure out if there are at least 500 feet between the press box and my seat.

    Dejan, just to be sure, cause I don’t want to spend another night in jail. Let’s also pick separate beaches.

  7. Thundercrack says:

    “When he was healthy in 2011, we had reports that his stuff was as good as ever,” general manager Neal Huntington said. “

    Hello….check the calendar. You signed the 41 year old in 2013.

    (actually I really don’t have a problem with the low risk signing. Just a problem with some of the quotes)

    Interesting information about Contreras and Cuba in RB’s article.

  8. Thundercrack says:

    Must be Spring Training for everyone. The headline in the Trib says ‘Spring training breakdown: Pirates 9, Twins 2′

    We played the Braves

  9. Drew71 says:

    Must be a split squad.

    Like that pitt game against South Florida.

  10. MadTurk says:

    Yeah, they did not break down, either. They won the game.? :-)

  11. Drew71 says:

    of COURSE they won the game.

    They never lose.

    They. Never. Lose.

  12. JAL says:

    JAL’s Wrapped Up in Books Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LF55LNrHBSw

    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

    Draft Prospect Watch: Bryant Hits First Homer

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/02/draft-prospect-watch-bryant-hits-first-homer.html

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates defeat Braves, 9-2

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/2/24/4025416/pirates-defeat-braves-9-2

    7 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Sunday notes: McDonald, Sanchez, Martin

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2013/02/sunday-notes-mcdonald-sanchez-martin/

    8 Hardball Times

    40000 days since Pittsburgh’s all-time record hits .500

    http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/blog_article/40000-days-since-pittsburghs-all-time-record-hits-.500/

    9 Rumbunter

    Pittsburgh Pirates Catcher Tony Sanchez Put On A Show Today

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/02/24/pittsburgh-pirates-catcher-tony-sanchez-put-on-a-show-today/

    Pirates Spring Training Pics

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/02/25/pirates-spring-training-pics-3/

    10 Green Weenie

    Buc Bench Rolls Over Braves 9-2

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/02/buc-bench-rolls-over-braves-9-2.html

  13. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Bradenton Herald

    Recap: Pittsburgh vs. Atlanta

    http://www.bradenton.com/2013/02/24/4407483/recap-pittsburgh-vs-atlanta.html

    12 CBS Sports

    2013 Prospect Watch: Pittsburgh Pirates

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/mlb-rumors/21754436/2013-prospect-watch-pittsburgh-pirates

    13 Chicago Tribune

    Pirates TeamReport

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/sns-rt-bbo-pirates-teamreportmtze92pr1c0wq-20130225,0,6265003.story

    14 Sarasota Herald Tribune

    Pirates make batboys feel welcome

    http://springtraining.heraldtribune.com/2013/02/24/pirates-make-batboys-feel-welcome/

    15 Baseball Nation

    What if baseball awards were given out like Oscars?

    http://mlb.sbnation.com/2013/2/24/4024528/what-if-baseball-awards-were-given-out-like-oscars

    16 Bleacher Report

    Major League Baseball: Players Looking for a Fresh Start on Their New Teams

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1542803-major-league-baseball-players-looking-for-a-fresh-start-on-their-new-teams

    17 Sweetspot

    Need to add O, how about a platoon?

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/33274/need-to-add-o-how-about-a-platoon

    18 PBC SITE

    Barmes’ blast backs strong pitching performances

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130224&content_id=41940372&vkey=news_pit&c_id=pit

    Pirates view rehabbing Contreras as low risk

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130224&content_id=41940812&vkey=news_pit&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Prospects Will Break Your Heart Top 101 Prospects

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=19694

    20 Fangraphs

    Pirates Outfield Depth Chart Discussions

    http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/index.php/pirates-outfield-depth-chart-discussions/

  14. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Tavon Austin runs an unofficial 4.25 at the NFL Combine

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/2/24/4024048/nfl-combine-wide-receivers-results-fastest-40-time

    Steve Breaston and his agent to talk with Steelers before end of Combine

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/2/24/4025144/steve-breaston-and-his-agent-to-talk-with-steelers-before-end-of

    22 Steelers Depot

    -Steelers Draft Analysis: Running Backs

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/02/steelers-2013-draft-analysis-running-backs-early-look-at-the-rankings/

    Soccer(football)

    23 Daily Telegraph

    Bradford City 0 Swansea City 5, Capital One Cup final: match report

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/competitions/league-cup/9891182/Bradford-City-0-Swansea-City-5-Capital-One-Cup-final-match-report.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    Arsenal woes: is Wenger really to blame for their current plight?

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/columnists/arsenal-woes-is-wenger-really-to-blame-for-their-current-plight

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Bennett Nets His First as Pens Beat Bolts 5-3

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/2/24/4026316/bennett-nets-his-first-as-pens-beat-bolts-5-3

  15. JAL says:

    A Rose for Emily The Zombies 1968 Based on a William Faulkner short story of the same title

  16. Jandy says:

    who’s they?? ;)

  17. JoeyBats says:

    A couple of safeties that I see rated highly behind Kenny Vacarro – Texas (who is projected to go in Rd #1 )….to peek at in Rds 2 & 3 are…..Matt Elam (Fla., 5-10, 208 ), Eric Reid, (LSU, 6-1, 213), Jonathan Cyprien, (Florida Intl., 6-0, 217) and Shawn Williams, (Georgia, 6-0, 215).

    Happy draft watching and GO STEELERS !

  18. Jandy says:

    Who’s they? ;)

  19. Jandy says:

    Moderation? My comment needed moderation? Wow, what sin did I commit?

  20. Eric Majeski says:

    I don’t understand the motivation behind denying Rossi’s report of headaches and disorientation. It doesn’t makes the situation any better to say Malkin was not experiencing either, then announce he had short term memory loss and has been diagnosed with a concussion. It almost seems like an attempt to discredit Rossi, but that makes little sense either, given he continues to host the PenguinsLive show part time.

    I think everyone would be best served to adopt my “Just let me know when he’s playing” approach. People drove themselves nuts during Crosby’s concussion recovery. Sometimes less is more.

    No way that happens though.

  21. MadTurk says:

    The management team of course, they never lose

  22. JAL says:

    Last morning on the road, heading back soon. Everyone have a good day.

  23. 21sthebest says:

    “Must be Spring Training for everyone. The headline in the Trib says…..”

    In the other paper about 10 days ago, in their “Asides,” they said this:

    “The Bucs welcomed Russell Martin, their new catcher signed in an off-season deal with the New York Yankees.”

  24. gregenstein says:

    NHL team are funny about injuries. They try to release as little as possible. I’m surprised the Penguins said anything other than Malkin has an “upper body injury.”

    I don’t like the outright lying though. Glad they corrected it, but they could have just gone with “No comment, sorry. We’ll have more information after the game tonight.” It’s reminiscent of another management team in town, to which it is never good to be compared.

    Yes, I went there.

  25. Jandy says:

    Safe travels, JAL :)

  26. SJB says:

    I’ve come to the conclusion that other than seeding for the playoffs and getting players conditioned and comfortable with the game speed; the NHL regular season is about as important as baseball spring training. Anyone taking the Pens W-L record (or any teams) as a barometer for how they will perform in the playoffs is clearly and deliberately fooling themselves. As for the Pens, I still see a team that can easily be exploited by another that is coached well enough and it disciplined enough to take advantage of all the bad habits they are still guilty of. Unless the Pens come up big enough at the trade deadline to acquire some key pieces to offset those issues, this is barely a playoff caliber team and the term “paper tiger” continues to suit them very well.

  27. SJB says:

    I agree. I don’t know if this is a new management/ownership policy in how to talk to the media, or just Bylsma’s way of sidestepping things, but the way they disclose player injuries or the status of those is not very professional. It’s almost condescending in it’s attempt to hide truths. I’m still waiting for the: “Malkin?…don’t know who you’re talking about.” answer.

  28. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I like your line about the quotes. He must have been half asleep when he said that.

  29. The PBC. Still undefeated.

  30. pirates1fan says:

    That was a hillarious opening on the Contreras article. So true though. I do like the move though, hopefully he will rehab well and have a positive impact on the club at some point soon.

  31. 21sthebest says:

    As far as buying out Walker’s arb years or extending him past 2016 goes, I wouldn’t even think about this until at least the All Star Break and maybe not even until the end of the season. Let’s see how the back holds up.

  32. dwf says:

    SJB,

    How dare you say anything even remotely negative about a Pittsburgh sports team! Especially the Pens? This site is strictly for “homers” and those who want to feel nothing but good from whatever is written here. Those individuals that want to talk about anything negative or want to make a less than flattering observation about a coach or player, take it somewhere else! Or, you will forever be labelled as a “troll”. In case you can’t sense the sarcasim here, I totally agree with your above post.

  33. Sarah says:

    Possibly Bylsma had short-term memory loss after getting the report on Malkin.

  34. TJ says:

    Zack Boychuk and Eric Tangradi = 19 games and ZERO goals
    Beau Bennett = 5 games and 1 goal

    Good to see Tangradi getting a shot in Winnipeg with his 6 min and 21 seconds of ice time.

  35. TJ says:

    As for the concussion of Malkin; as long as its not a long term Crosby type issue it might not be all that bad considering the travel and game time he put in the KHL.

  36. Thundercrack says:

    I totally agree 21. I posted some of my thoughts about this over the weekend.
    His health and age would make me very cautious.

  37. TJ says:

    Anyone happen to catch my appearance on the Oscars last night?

  38. Jandy says:

    That’s ok Rhino, we talk baseball, football, basketball, even soccer here…heck UFC made it last week. You surely like one of those?

  39. Jandy says:

    The Zdeno Chara shot…great shot, actually, but I don’t like Chara much after some the headshots he’s gotten away with the last couple seasons.

  40. Milo Hamilton says:

    You always seem to look a little ragged next to Wahlberg.

  41. Sarah says:

    Well….memory loss is not a great sign. Not sure if that moves it up from Grade I to II or whatever. I used to know all the criteria but I’m sure they’ve changed….

    I have had a couple, all mild, never had any disorientation, or memory loss, vision issues or anything. Just fatigue.

    Last one I felt effects for about 3 weeks.

    Here’s hoping Geno is back sooner than that – but not one day sooner than he’s fully ready.

  42. 21sthebest says:

    I think you should have hosted the show. I wasn’t impressed with Peter Brady.

  43. Milo Hamilton says:

    Actually, Geno’s disorientation isn’t from the concussion. It’s from having to play with Tangradi & Boychuk most of the season.

  44. Bizrow says:

    Like

    The post that is, not the show

  45. Dom says:

    I just missed your piece last night. What did you say?

  46. Bizrow says:

    I get disoriented whenever I listen to NH

  47. Dazed and confused.

    (More Led Zeppelin)

  48. TJ says:

    Ahh Dom I got to give out a couple awards with Wahlberg. Had some good one liners in there that only a corrupt teddy bear could get away with.

    As for the rest of the show wasn’t that impressed although the sock puppet routine the movie Flight was pretty funny.

  49. TJ says:

    I’ve had a few myself Sarah.

    I guess my question is does everyone react the same way to a concussion. For instance you or I may just experience severe headaches and dizzyness while Geno may not but have some memory loss.

    Also are they judging his memory loss on his inability to speak English? Cause I’d like to remind them that his english was not any good to begin with!

  50. TJ says:

    Anyone else impressed with Joe Vitale lately? Man was he showing he deserves ice time last night.

  51. 21sthebest says:

    It appears you listen to NH a lot. ;-)

  52. TJ says:

    Problem with Chara is that even if his elbow is at his waist its still a head shot on most guys; he’s like Manute Bol on skates.

    And an interesting fact I just learned about Manute; he has a son in the 7th grade named Bol Bol who is 6’5. And yes his name is Bol Bol. He’s bound for the NBA or the circus.

  53. Jandy says:

    :;waving::

    He’s been strong. His shot is amazing and he’s really moving. I agree, more ice time.

  54. Arriba Wilver says:

    I thought “We Saw Your Boobs” was kind of funny, in an uncomfortable sort of way.

  55. Jandy says:

    Hoipefully, the circus.

    I dunno about Chara, tho, TJ, I see more than just accidental in his hits, more like intent. And I’ve always like Chara.

  56. TJ says:

    Great great song; I really hope this is kind of a sign that they are getting away from the traditional stuffy shows. Got to mix it up a little.

  57. Bizrow says:

    I couldn’t tell how the people they were singing about were responding though

  58. Dom says:

    Hey, it has to be better than when Billy Crystal hosted it for the 98th time.

  59. TJ says:

    I just found out he’s giving up head shots for lent

  60. Bizrow says:

    Very true

    +1000 ;-)

  61. Sarah says:

    Well – as of a few years ago, they had criteria for “grading” the concussions, and while it’s true everyone is different, if you have symptoms x or y or whatever, it’s automatically Grade-whatever.

    I seem to recall for example that “any” moment of unconsciousness, even a half a second, automatically made it something like Grade II i.e. moderate, not mild….and so on.

    I believe memory loss had the same connotation. If you have ANY loss of memory, you’re not in Mild category anymore.

    But it’s been awhile since I looked up all the definitions.

    Geno has already had one concussion, and the effects are cumulative. So he may take longer to come back from this one.

  62. Jandy says:

    what happened, a bad fur day?

  63. Sarah says:

    No, he’s giving up Lent for head shots! :-D

  64. TJ says:

    Think he was busy having botox

  65. Sarah says:

    Ba da BOOM!

  66. Iceman says:

    Not to mention something like 62% in the faceoff circle. That is just ridiculous.

  67. TJ says:

    Freaking Wahlberg is like an anchor on my career. Its like he’s riding my coat tails again. Otherwise I think I would have been the host

  68. TJ says:

    All legal too; amazing how guys can actually win faceoffs without having to go to the penalty box.

  69. Jandy says:

    lol…but yeah, he’s keeping up with Sid on the face offs

  70. Arriba Wilver says:

    They showed Charlize Theron and Naomi Watts not looking too pleased, but I think that was part of the bit because Charlize was up there dancing with Seth immediately after, dressed differently.

  71. TJ says:

    Sorry I forgot; its DK thats given up his Lunatics for Lent!!!!

  72. Sarah says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concussion_grading_systems

    These are far different than what I recall. Very informative….takes into account previous concussions….

  73. Dom says:

    Anyone want to guess where Alex Smith is headed?

    The trade is apparently all but done. However, we have no idea where.

    I think he’ll go to KC.

  74. TJ says:

    Arizona also in the mix

  75. Patrick says:

    Well I don’t really believe they need Geno to make the playoffs. To win the cup, yes. But to make the playoffs no. I would be in no rush to get him back for all the reasons we know all to well. If there are some silver linings in this:

    The rest will be good for him. He is on game 60 something while everyone else was on game 16. The fatigue of playing almost 40 games in the KHL was starting to show.

    And to be honest, hopefully will lose some of the free-wheeling/wide-open style that Geno brings. It’s hard to not want to play that way when he makes it look so easy, but to many guys try to keep up with him and just can’t. Maybe some time-off will get the Penguins to learn to play more within their abilities and a more “Playoff Friendly” style.

    And I’m not trying to suggest I’m glad he is hurt or don’t want him back or anything crazy like that….just trying to say that this isn’t the end of the world and in the long run there might be some good things that come from this team learning to play without him.

  76. Dom says:

    I think they should give it to Stephen Colbert next year or maybe Jim Gaffigan.

  77. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’m with you Dom. I think KC makes the most sense. I can’t see the Niners trading him inside the division.

  78. 21sthebest says:

    I’ll take Billy Crystal and his opening numbers anyday.

  79. Patrick says:

    Thats nothing. I hear the Pope is giving up being THE POPE for Lent.

    That’s hardcore….

  80. Nate83 says:

    I would agree as well but seeing what Weeks got on his deal and I do think Walker is better I would think a healthy year of .280 and 20 HR’s would start to make Walker pretty expensive. I imagine he is unsure of his own health right now and it took him longer then some to get to this point in his career. Signing him now may give him peace of mind and come at 2-3 million cheaper per year.

    It is a little bit of a risk but his offensive stats consistantly put him in the 6-10 rank among second baseman. The Pirates have had very few of those type of players over the last 10 years so I think it is a risk worth taking for a team like them.

  81. gregenstein says:

    “barely a playoff caliber team”
    ———————–
    You might have some other valid points, but to suggest this is roughly the 8th or 9th best team in conference is a folly beyond words. They are very clearly one of the best in the conference. They are not without flaws, including taking stupid penalties (though without Malkin, that actually should improve), but in the end overall better than all but a couple.

    If the worst you can come up with is “they take too many stupid penalties,” then they are indeed a good team.

    That said, the playoffs are largely a crap-shoot where the team with the hot goalie wins. It’s really hard to control when your goalie gets hot, sorry.

  82. Patrick says:

    Ive been impressed with him for over a year now. I think his lack of playing time is hurting his development. Not to make light of his injury, but another positive that may come out of Malkin’s injury is that Vitale will Probably see some increasedminutes as the thrid line center with cooke and kennedy.

    And quite honestly…Vitale/Cooke/Kennedy sounds like a nice line to me. The bodies will be BANGING.

  83. Nate83 says:

    Good impression TJ. Except Freaking is not the word Ted would have used.

    Seth would have been better if they would have allowed him to be more like himself. This really was a much milder PG-13 version of Seth. He really was in a no win situation.

  84. I agree with you on the risk, Nate. This FO has taken more risk on older, more injury-prone players. They need to get him signed long-term sooner rather than later.

  85. Nate83 says:

    My sources say KC.

    My sources are Milo, Dom and CBS radio.

  86. TJ says:

    Why not? Considering what they gave up for Kolb I’d have them on speed dial.

  87. Patrick says:

    I’d be shocked if KC stands pat with their pick. Geno Smith is good but he simply isnt #1 overall quality. With the whole crop of qbs underwhelming KC has to be trying to trade out of that pick in bad way.

    If you hear maniacal laughter in the still of the night, thats Joe Flaccos agent laughing at Ozzie Smiths decision to not extend him last off-season.

  88. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I love Kristen Chenowith’s voice.

    I love it as much as I love running over my foot with a lawnmower.

  89. Arriba Wilver says:

    Good points, Nate.

  90. Bizrow says:

    I’m betting the Steelers may try to trade out of their pick as well. They need more picks

  91. 21sthebest says:

    What if the back turns out to be a chronic problem? I don’t care if it costs more to wait.

  92. Nate83 says:

    If only the great Wizard of Oz was the Ozzie calling the shots for the Ravens. That would be awesome. Maybe he could do a backflip over the stupid Ray Lewis dance.

  93. 21sthebest says:

    I’m guessing they have President Obama host next year.

  94. Arriba Wilver says:

    Which one? Her talking or singing voice? Best duo presenting last night—Charlize Theron and Dustin Hoffman.

  95. 21sthebest says:

    Actually, I do too.

  96. Dom says:

    Yeah, they’ll go with that OL Luke Joeckel

  97. Nate83 says:

    Trust me as a 37 year that hasn’t been able to play any sport that involves jumping since I was 28 years old because of my chronic back problems I know that there is risk. There is risk with every deal.

    I feel that Walker if healthy is are most bankable player when it comes consistantcy with the exception of Cutch. Imagine if they would have waited another year to sign Cutch. Howard got 18 million in arbitration. Votto signed a giant contract after having back to back years like Cutch’s 2012 season. The Pirates may have saved 20-30 million over the life of Cutch’s contract by signing him last year.

    The player wants financial security and the team gets a cornerstone of the team for 4 or 5 years. There is risk but there is also risk in waiting. Cutch proved that last year.

  98. 21sthebest says:

    Right. Which risk is riskier?

  99. 21sthebest says:

    Agree except that Walker isn’t in the same universe as Howard and Votto and probably not with Cutch. Two are MVPs and Cutch was fairly close.

  100. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Actually, I think I can tolerate her singing voice more than speaking. It just depends what level of migraine I want to deal with.

  101. Thundercrack says:

    It is a good move to sign him up if he is healthy.
    What if this back problem turns him into Aki?
    Then you’re stuck paying him for the next 4 years or so. And I would imagine that the number at the last year or two would be $10 million+

  102. Dom says:

    What do you mean by that 21?

  103. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Joe Vitale is way better than Tyler Kennedy. Paul Martin had a pretty good game too. I’m not ready to nominate him for the Norris like DK though.

  104. Jandy says:

    Is that before or after you’ve graded papers?

  105. Thundercrack says:

    AW
    I guess you weren’t impressed with the girl from the werewolf movies.
    Kristen Stewart? She’s the one that badly needed a hair brush – and instructions on how to use it. Plus some lessons on how to smile.

  106. Kevin says:

    Clearly, there’s a translation issue? O.O but yeah, I agree it looks bad. Especially when Malkin comes out on Saturday and says he wants to play Sunday.

  107. 21sthebest says:

    And look into the camera.

  108. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Before. After might cause a more severe medical condition.

  109. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Kristen Chenowith is a virtual drill-bit to the cranium when she talks. Or sings. Or just about anything.

  110. Arriba Wilver says:

    I was referring to Nate’s earlier post. I would rather have him than Weeks. No, he’s not in those other guys’ class. But you factor that in the price. I have no problem waiting for a while to make sure his back is sound, and it’s not a no brainer, but it’s the closest thing they have to a no brainer after Cutch. He’s worth more than Nate and Doumit were when they were signed up.

  111. Kevin says:

    When healthy, they are easily the most talented show on ice. No homerism needed to make that statement. Obviously, they could use better coaching as shown in losses to the NJD & PHI. Outside of those two, I think if they playoffs were tomorrow. They’d easily sweep the first round against anyone else.

  112. Arriba Wilver says:

    Her singing and speaking voice are like Jim Nabors and Gomer Pyle. Hard to believe they come from the same voice box.

  113. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    + a lot

  114. Arriba Wilver says:

    She stood out in the bizarre category. I’ve liked her as an actress since Zathura because she reminded me of my most difficult to deal with daughter, but she’s definitely different.

  115. kr70 says:

    we need a Bradenton report. where is Drew?

  116. Pat4PGH says:

    Stewart looked like her drugs or booze had just kicked into overdrive, not that I would know anything about those things……..

    I thought she was auditioning for one of the zombie shows as she looked more dead than undead!

  117. Naje says:

    Lucky, they haven’t taken a long-term risk with any older, more injury-prone players. The contract with Walker would be for more than 1 or 2 years… and locking him up for 5 to 8 years, while he still has 3 arb eligible years is a bit soon.

    But again, I have no idea who you’re taking about regarding this front office taking more risk on older, more injury prone players. They may sign an older, injury prone player for a one-year or two-year deal, but you’re overplaying the “this FO” is terrible card with your assessment.

  118. Bizrow says:

    Wrecking havoc somewhere, I’m sure

  119. Patrick says:

    DOH!….Ozzie Newsome.

  120. Your opinion. Anything they pay guys like Liriano, Sanchez, Morton and even the minor league deal for Contreras is overpay to me.

    I know they say those are low-risk moves and they probably are, but they were ready to shove what, 12 million at Lirano before his “accident”?

    Money better served for a Walker-type.

  121. Patrick says:

    I liked it when the one chick/dude went up onstage to accept his/her award in that outfit that everyone loved/hated and their speech was to long/stupid/drunk.

    And i was shocked Seth Meyers made off-color jokes about the snobby Hollywood types.

    Said nobody, ever.

    You folks do know there was hockey on, right? You know…Sticks and Pucks?Canadian mud farmers hitting each other with sticks? A few Americans thrown in because there weren’t enough words being uttered that started with ‘F’ and ended with ‘K’?

  122. 21sthebest says:

    What they’re paying those guys is peanuts and, IMO, would have absolutely nothing to do with a decision on what to do with Walker.

  123. Naterosboro says:

    Hanging with Contreras

  124. 21sthebest says:

    Gotcha.

  125. Good to have an opinion. That’s why I love the good ‘ol U.S. of A. Won’t cost us our lives or anything like that.

  126. Jandy says:

    This folk was watching hockey….

  127. JohninOshkosh says:

    Agree AW: Stewart’s petulance is a turn on for me. Always attracted to difficult women but, hey, that’s just me.

  128. 21sthebest says:

    That sounds like a sitcom!

  129. 21sthebest says:

    You should have dinner with my in-laws.

  130. dwf says:

    Iol! PM has a couple of “decent” games and suddenly he’s BOBBY freakin’ ORR! You have so much to learn DK!!!

  131. Jag7 says:

    Agreed about Vitale. For some reason DB thinks only Vitale or Jeffrey are allowed to be scratched. I’ve seen quite enough of Kennedy. Also done with Engelland, Bortuzzo is a better, younger version with way better puck skills.

  132. Naje says:

    Please name one older, injury-prone risk that this front office has thrown millions of dollars at to sign?

    You can’t. Because they haven’t. You just want to lump everything under the “this front office is awful” umbrella. But when it comes to taking on several years of a bad contract, they haven’t done that.

  133. Arriba Wilver says:

    Naje—please name one winning season this FO has produced since they took over in 2007. You can’t, because they haven’t. You just want to lump everything under “they came into a bad situation.”

  134. Naje says:

    Nice AW… wasn’t asking you and wasn’t talking about wins. I was talking about risky contracts that they’ve given to older, injury prone players, which, according to Lucky, they’ve done. And they haven’t.

    Contracts, that if you’re trying to compare to what Walker’s extension will look like, will not be comparable at all.

  135. Milo Hamilton says:

    This front office is awful.

  136. Naje, is the Lirano mess a mute point since he broke his arm? His ERA was over 5 last year and he’s always hurt.

    I know he did them a favor by hitting the door or falling in the bathroom or whatever the story is this week, but that was a big piece of loot they could have given to Walker.

    Sorry to hit a nerve with you, but their rep. proceeds them.

  137. Iceman says:

    Sounds like the Pens signed Mark Eaton to a 1 year contract. Not sure how I feel about this signing after watching him play with the Islanders last year, but I’m also not remembering who his defensive partner was to know if they were any help at all. I wonder what this means for the current roster. It would appear there are maybe five options and I’m not sure how much I like any of them except for in the short term.

    Short Term Option: Malkin goes on IR and Eaton can fit into the roster. The real question is what happens when he comes back.

    Option 1: Despres doesn’t have to clear waivers and is sent back to AHL. I don’t know how much this helps his development and he seems to be the strongest player on the third line right now.

    Option 2: Bortuzzo is placed on waivers and we say good-bye, similar to what happened with Strait. Bad idea!!!

    Option 3: Boychuck was a nice experience, but we put him back on waivers. Carolina has said they will pick him back up if the Pens were to do that. I’m not sure I’m ready to give up on him yet.

    Option 4: Bennett gets sent back to the AHL without clearing waivers. I hate this idea because I think each game he is developing NHL skill that can be utilized on one of the top two wings.

    Option 5: Pens do some kind of trade that will likely include Bortuzzo or Despres and maybe (fingers crossed) TK for someone who can play on the wing in the top 2 lines.

  138. Bizrow says:

    The FO is just unlucky, a victim of soicumstance

    Just ask them

    And what the heck do we know? (they will gladly answer that question…..)

  139. Bizrow says:

    Malkin goes on IR for a couple of days, you can back date it, right? And its a 7 day DL list, so not traveling on this three game road trip gives them a bit more time.

  140. 21sthebest says:

    I personally don’t think there’s anything in terms of financial commitments right now that would preclude them from signing Walker long term. They can worry about the financial impact when Walker’s larger years approach. Trade Melancon in 2016 when he’d get $10M in arb :-) or whatever.

    I don’t see Liriano’s contract as an impediment at all.

  141. Arriba Wilver says:

    “You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? Then who the hell else are you talking… you talking to me? Well I’m the only one here. Who the ___ do you think you’re talking to? Oh yeah? OK.”

    Travis Bickle

    Sorry, Oscar overload.

  142. No impediment, now, 21. He’s down to a million. I guess I am just a fan of PRNW and would like to see him bought out of his arb years.

  143. Bizrow says:

    The PBC has some decisions going forward, what with getting 13 million from other clubs this season, it will be a challenge for them to have the payroll they have right now.

    I know, I know, Burnett is done, and if we pick up Wandys option, the Stros will send some cashola to us.

    Sign Walker, that way you can even out his earnings.

    IMO, he is the real deal

  144. 21sthebest says:

    I just want to wait a little longer Lucky. As I said above, I’m not thinking about this until the All Star break but I think I prefer after the year ensuring that he’s healthy. And if that’s the case, I’m all for going 1-2 years into free agency.

  145. 21sthebest says:

    Biz, what exactly do you mean that it will be a challenge for them to have the payroll that they have right now?

  146. That’s reasonable, 21.

  147. Bizrow says:

    You were right with first one iceman, Malking goes to the IR

  148. Iceman says:

    My question is, if no one else gets injured, what happens when Malkin comes back?

  149. Bizrow says:

    Total payroll, 21, having it as high as they have it this year, but I am including the 13 million they are getting from the Yanks and Stros. From what I’ve read, even with that, the PBC payroll remains one of the lowest.

    Burnett comes off the books, and so does Barmes next season, right? Cutch goes up. Walker and Pedro, am pretty sure.

    Not trying to pick on the FO, just talking.

  150. 21sthebest says:

    Gotcha, you’re talking about next year’s payroll? I guess I just don’t have the same concerns you do. Revenues are going up.

    Pedro gets the same next year as this year – $700k.

  151. Naje says:

    Lucky, the point here is that they haven’t done what you claim they have done: sign older, injury-prone players to bad contracts. They may sign BAD players to wasted contracts–and I will not argue that here–but saying they’ve done that

    Citing Liriano as a bad signing when it’s really team-friendly, regardless of the circumstances fudges the truth a bit, but I understand the sentiment. Reality: they DIDN’T sign Liriano to a bad deal. Really though, I’m just trying to clarify what some perceive to be the truth when it really isn’t. These guys do bad enough and have done plenty that is worth criticizing… signing older, injury-prone players to bad contraacts is not one of them. Or hasn’t been.

  152. Kevin says:

    Also agree. Paul Martin looked very good.

  153. Kevin says:

    I’m gonna be that guy that says the steelers should have picked him up. Could use a replacement for Ben when he inevitably gets injured halfway through the season.

  154. Bizrow says:

    If Shero is smart, he’ll do whatever Jandy tells him to do

  155. Kevin says:

    bah I wish I could view that at work :|.. oh I know I’ll email the link to myself.

  156. CeehowUR says:

    The Pirates FO is terrible. If your organization hasn’t made the playoffs, not to mention had a >.500 record for 20 years, almost everyone in the organization is probably overpaid.

  157. Kevin says:

    am sure you mean <.500 record? unless you are talking about losing as a success… which… im sure the pirates FO has.

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