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Sunday column: Iginla wings it just fine

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

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The Sunday column covers Jarome Iginla’s day from midnight to matinee to skating alongside Evgeni Malkin and James Neal in his Pittsburgh debut.

A bit of his postgame session, with a couple questions I threw his way …

Here’s our Penguins page for full team coverage of Sidney Crosby’s injury, Paul Martin’s pending surgery and, oh, yeah, that winning streak reaching 15.

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. RobertoForever says:

    First!

    I learned tonight that Pens are winners and the Bucs are losers because the fans of each demand differently.

    I am a fan of both. Do I get credit or blame?

    DK: Do you have different expectations for the two?

    If so, why?

    And no one said anything about blame. It was about how it can make a difference. You saw the timeline, so you know that but elected not to mention it.

    Do you doubt that fan sentiment can make a difference?

    Do you doubt that expectations are perennially, perpetually lower for the baseball team than for the other two teams in town?

  2. Eric Bowser says:

    * Those blue jerseys need to be burned. The Pens should tell the NHL it is done, over with, never again.

    * Never a great time lose a top 4 defenseman such as Paul Martin while another top guy in Kris Letang is on the injured reserve due to a broken toe but it has happened and as I had hoped, more minutes were given Eaton, Murray and Niskanen.

    * Not surprised to see Engelland get more minutes than Despres but this defense needs to see an increased role for the young defenseman as I think it makes the most sense to pair him up with Letang. If today was any indication, Eaton has the coaching staff’s confidence.

    * You have to wonder how Rangers GM Glen Sather processes things like a roster heavy with top talent like Brad Richards, Rick Nash, Marian Gaborik, and Ryan Callahan are supported with quality players like Chris Kreider, JT Miller, Brian Boyle, Derek Stepan, Carl Hagelin, and Taylor Pyatt but yet, somehow they have struggled to score goals, let alone register a pulse on most nights.

    * I believe the Rangers have the talent to shock the Penguins because of the goalie, defense, and depth at forward but with a coach so insanely mad all the time, it has killed the chemistry on the team. It amazes me a team like this hasn’t done something to make things better.

    * Pirates lost to Altoona, no big deal. The big deal is having James McDonald, your number three starting pitcher, go out and lay a spoiled Easter Egg on the mound. Who thought McDonald would only last two innings, walking four and giving up four runs?

    * The other lone discussion point coming from this game is Tony Watson, he’s really struggling this Spring. If the Pirates have any hope of having a good bullpen, he has to step up and be a quality lefty behind Grilli, Hughes, and Melancon.

    * Have a wonderful Easter everyone.

  3. Ghost says:

    While we fans are not to blame for the continuing ineptitude across different regimes of Pirate management over the years, as with most things in life, change for the better with the Pirates may well not come until external pressure forces it. Unfortunately, that means we fans would have to pressure it. The Yankees complain about sending us welfare checks, but ultimately, they know they benefit from the status quo and that sending us checks is literally a small price to pay for getting to keep their ability to outspend all but maybe the two L.A. teams. Scott Boras hates the Pirates for being penny-wise pound-foolish. But he also knows that a salary cap is his enemy, so he’ll grouse but do little more.
    Nope, it’s we fans who are the only ones who have an interest pressuring a change in the status quo.
    The Pirates could actually have an shot in 2013 (though too many “ifs” in the starting rotation and bench probably preclude this). But even if they do, I fear that our BMTIB will pshaw it and sell-off A.J. and Wandy in July to somebody wanting to rent them.

  4. JohninOshkosh says:

    Happy Easter, blogging lunatics.

  5. Boise Bucco says:

    I’ve heard this is the last year for the blue jerseys. Maybe next year they could try out some Lemieux-era throwbacks; the light blue was cool for the first Winter Classic but I think they overdid it with the second set.

    DK: It is, mercifully, the last year. Lousy decision by the Penguins and NHL aesthetically, though I also can appreciate that they made a ton of money off them. Time to go.

  6. JW says:

    I’m not arguing with you, Dejan, but I was struck by how easy it would have been to write a negative column about Iginla if you so chose. “He put himself into the lineup over the coach’s objections! What a prima donna!” “He looked lost out there!”

    I’m happy with the move, and I have no problem with Iggy playing Saturday. It’s just a reminder that there’s usually more than one way to interpret the facts.

    DK: Sure is. But that’s one of the many, many benefits of winning and, in this case, individual excellence. Iginla is a future first-ballot Hall of Famer with impeccable credentials. He was and is a civic treasure in Calgary, a national hero in Canada.

    You’re comparing THAT to the Pirates?

    You think THAT story can “easily” swing either way?

    You really think history, good or bad, doesn’t count?

    Remember: 1. Horse. 2. Cart. Success first, then positive reviews. Not at all complicated.

    Final question: Didn’t I promise myself earlier in the year not to even address stuff like this anymore?

    Yeah, I did. And I’ll get right back to that now.

  7. JW says:

    I didn’t mention the Pirates. In fact, they never crossed my mind as I read and responded to your column.

    DK: Nicely done.

  8. Ghost says:

    This place is going to get real fun in just a few hours. ;)

  9. Reading says:

    Honus Wagner was a civic treasure in Carnegie, and a charter member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

  10. BillyBaduka says:

    Happy Easter.

    Good luck with the in laws.

    I think you indicated you are not looking forward to it. Excuse me if I got the wrong guy.

  11. scapper says:

    This week, Ovie takes a puck in the face and gets 22 stitches.

    Yesterday, Sid takes a puck in the face and loses teeth and gets oral surgery.

    Once again, Sid outdoes Ovie.

  12. BillyBaduka says:

    Step away from the keyboard DK and definitely put down the coffee. :)

    I thought I missed something as I read DKs response.

    See, see what that team does to people. :)

  13. BillyBaduka says:

    :)

    This is one I’d be ok with Ovie winnin’.

  14. 21sthebest says:

    I’ve never understood how fans can put meaningful pressure on management.

  15. JoeyBats says:

    HAPPY Easter to everyone !

  16. TJ says:

    Here is what I love about sports in general.

    1. Pirates haven’t won since I was in High School which was a long long time ago and everyone hates every single move that they make whether its the right one or not; even if its a win move its hated by everyone. Everyone has come to realize they are a losing franchise and have low expectations of this team as long as Nutting is hiring the men to run his business; not his team, his business

    2. The Steelers are beloved and always will be by the city; that being said after a shaky year last year and a off season that has seen players leave faster than Pirates losses the team is in trouble again this year. There will be cries for Tomlin, LeBeau and Haley all to be fired because the team fails to make the playoffs again despite the fact that Tomlin has taken the team to superbowls and has won. Thats not enough fans expect more.

    3. While the Pens have faltered during the playoffs the past few years their in season success isn’t enough. Fans expect more and want a cup year after year. Expectations are always high when you have 2 of the best players in the world on the team but fail to make it past the first round of the playoffs. For all the in season success the fire Bylsma chants will once again ring loud should the team produce anything less than a Cup this season after the moves Shero has made.

    4. Pitt has had zero success any where. They make it to bowl games; they make it to the tournament; they collect their prize money and gift bags for showing up and thats the end of it. Whether in football or basketball post season its a show up and lose situation. For the football team its a revolving door for the coach while the basketball team gives its coach a 10 year extension (Butler, Wichita State and many others have been to more final 4′s than Jamie Dixon)

    So to sum my feelings up….

    1. Pirates suck
    2. Steelers faithful have little patience
    3. Bylsma better win a cup
    4. As long as you win in the regular season your safe at Pitt.

  17. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t have low expectations. I just don’t have any confidence in Nutting.

  18. A hearty amen.

    What’s your thoughts on JMac and Watson’s outings yesterday?

  19. tdb1977 says:

    I didn’t get to make the trip to Altoona, nor did I have a chance to listen to the game yesterday BUT here is my assessment on both. Lousy and Pathetic or is it Pathetic and Lousy? McDonald doesn’t deserve a spot in this rotation. Have hated Watson for so long. This blame falls squarely on Huntington and his lack of good judgment. Hurdle can only play what he is handed to him. Its going to be a long season this year. I’m hoping that Huntington is gone before the June draft so a competent GM is in place by the draft.

  20. 21sthebest says:

    Pretty much the same as everyone else Lucky. Watson is puzzling this spring. JMac? Don’t know what more can be said. Hope for the best.

  21. 21sthebest says:

    And Happy Easter!

  22. Naje says:

    Nice piece on Iginla, Dk… and Happy Easter.

    DK: Thanks, my friend. Mine isn’t for a while yet, but I wish it right back to you.

  23. tdb1977 says:

    Yes, Happy Easter everyone. I forgot to close with that :)

  24. Naje says:

    Groaty…
    Should be a great game this afternoon… good luck. Cards locker room beset with strep throat this past week…Smith, Siva and several others have had it. Hope they’re all at 100 percent today.

    Still can’t believe these teams were put in the same region with so many 1s and 2s just not up to par. A shame this game isn’t being played next weekend.

  25. Drew71 says:

    There are no wrong guys on Easter.

    Well. Maybe Barrabbas.

    Happy Easter, everyone. And Passover, in which we’re still in the midst.

  26. Drew71 says:

    Yes. Those freaking Riverhounds

  27. dwf says:

    I think RS brought in Morrow and Iginla as much for their ability as he did for them to “help” Disco Dan keep his job by winning a Cup or at least making a deep run. I’m sure the conversation that DK mentions where Iginla is trying convince DD to let him play on Saturday, went a lot like this: DD- “Yes sir Mr. Iginla that will fine if you want to play on Saturday. I will pick you up myself Mr. Iginla. What would you like for breakfast Mr. Iginla.” or something to that effect. Another fine example that DK wrote about in his article was when Iginla and Neal changed wings on their own, not waiting for DD to well figure that out on his own. If Disco Dan is smart he will just stay out of their way and let them do their thing on the ice and take ANY suggestions they make and say “thank you Mr. Iginla.”

  28. Drew71 says:

    For those who think that it’s ME that keeps bringing up the Fire Bylsma chant while the team is displaying amazingly good play, look a few posts up.

    Some people write it in satire. Some others can’t let it go, even in the midst of historic winning streaks.

  29. Pucknutz says:

    ” the perpetually awful Consol ice” DK

    Why? New “state of the art building” . I don’t get it.
    Maybe this has been answered here but I missed it.

  30. Eric Bowser says:

    No Cup… no job.

    Happy Easter

  31. Eric Bowser says:

    They have a lot of events at CEC and that doesn’t help the ice conditions. I’d prefer them to figure it out instead of accepting it as ‘just one of those things”.

  32. Eric Bowser says:

    Awesome news!

    No more blue jerseys!

  33. JWE says:

    Agreed!

  34. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    + chocolate bunny

  35. Drew71 says:

    As Sarah sometimes writes,

    HAHAHAHAHA

    Happy Easter, Eric.

    And you too, Brad, along with your little chocolate bunny.

    Maybe I shouldn’t call it little. (It’s a guy thing)

  36. stuart66 says:

    Interesting column on Iginla. Interesting as to how he felt about the superior talent around him. He is clearly looking forward to bonding with the “team”.

    I’ve liked Blysma from the start. Therien was a great guy and family man, but way to much of a scolding parent to the players. Dan has clearly instilled a team first agenda, which certainly isn’t easy given some of the differences in talent among the players. Of course, Sid gets a lot of credit for that also. He’s one of the best ever examples of leading by example.

    In all of my years as a Pirate fan, I have never felt quite this way before the start of a new season. I think that Mr. Huntington has demonstrated his incompetence as a GM, especially in the area of roster management. So in one way I’d like to see a poor start and an early dismissal of Neal. I can’t stop rooting for the player to win though.

    This year’s prime example of GM failure: Ivan DeJesus doesn’t make the active roster despite some clearly demonstrated talent because Neal acquires McDonald. I don’t like roster decisions that block younger, talented players. I’m betting Mcdonald will be adequate, kbut at 38 he is hardly the future. Neal does this all of the time.

    And look at some of his “talent” acquisition history with Matt Diaz, Rod Barajas, Lyle Overbay, and the legendary Akinori Iwamura. The sooner Neal is gone, the sooner we can develope a contending team.

    I see them however, as finishing slightly above .500. This year’s mantra “PROGRESS WITHOUT PLAYOFFS”

    Stuart

  37. Milo Hamilton says:

    Happy Easter everyone.

  38. Milo Hamilton says:

    Pens magic # to clinch the division is 7. Any combination of 7 points gained by the Pens & lost by the Rangers.

    DK: I’m not sure, but I thought I heard it was 10 and over the Devils, Milo.

  39. BillyBaduka says:

    Lol

  40. Bizrow says:

    + 1

  41. Bizrow says:

    Happy Easter/Passover Lunatic Nation

  42. RobertoForever says:

    DK,

    No, I don’t have different expectations. In 2002 when I attended 50 games of the league champion Hickory affiliate, I believed they had the core of young guys that would eventually bring winning baseball in Pittsburgh. Little field mismanaged that talent and McLatchy forced salary dumping.

    As someone who has friends in two other ‘small-market’ organizations, my eyes are wide open to the expectations of this ownership and team. This organization and ownership doesn’t have a salary cap or revenue sharing to help it compete like the Pens and Steelers. And this management team and ownership has not been here or in charge for 20 years.

    So I look at this 5 years and I see a trend towards success. And so does USA Today, Baseball Prospectus, and other media organizations. But somehow, all because you thought they should be all in last year and that wasn’t this plan, they are idiots and deserving of constant scorn. And because you were rooting for Bob Nutting to fire this mgmt team and interpreted his words that he would after an investigation, and he didn’t, then they deserve every chance at a shot, you take.

    If its the fans fault for not demanding more, the its even more so the media’s fault for not hounding Bob Nutting into selling.

    I don’t believe either of those so I am attending tomorrows game and cheering on AJ and Cutch and the rest of the Pirates that I believe, and am ROOTING for, to win 84 games.

    Enjoy your Easter.

  43. JohninOshkosh says:

    @BillyBaduka:

    Thanks for the support up there. Mercifully, the in-laws want to go to a brunch at a restaurant which means I don’t have to cook. Far less stressful. I will, however, be vacuuming up that synthetic Easter grass my kids have spread all over the house until the Pirates have another winning season.

    I do get to watch baseball that counts tonight with my brother whom I only see a few times a year. He’s got the coolest job next to Dejan. He’s an Ichthyologist.. That makes for a pretty cool Easter.

  44. RobertoForever says:

    And you did blame the fans, on twitter and now here. Maybe not complete blame, but you laid blame at the feet of lowered expectations of fans

  45. Milo Hamilton says:

    I had to look it up.

  46. JohninOshkosh says:

    :) Sounds better than fish scientist.

  47. Thundercrack says:

    stuart,
    I may adopt your mantra about the Pirates. Or am I stealing it?

    “I’m betting Mcdonald will be adequate, but at 38 he is hardly the future.”
    – - – this year it ain’t about the future. They gotta win now.

  48. Milo Hamilton says:

    I thought it was the study of flying your waxy wings too close to the sun.

  49. Jordan White says:

    Happy Easter, all!!!!!!

    I’m going to stay out of this whole fandom discussion…but did anybody read that article by David Golebiewski? What a SWEET article. So in depth and well thought out.

    If I were selling news/analysis of the Pirates or sports in general, he would not be a freelance writer for long.

    He should be called The Big Golebiewski after that article!

  50. stuart66 says:

    No sweat TC. That was Neal’s longest term goal – .500. Hope the next one wants to win it all.

    Happy Easter everyone.

    Stuart

  51. TJ says:

    Drew,

    I’ll put it to you this way; 50% of what I say is sarcastic and the other 50% is in fun. So in other words….

    FIRE BYLSMA!!

  52. TJ says:

    21

    I agree with that obersvation. I don’t have confidence in Nutting either which is why I have low expectations for this team.

    My lack of confidence in him grew this off season when he basically told the world that the team that is put on the field opening day is what you will have August 1st. There won’t be any major acquisitions.

    Its extremely frustrating that Nutting and his clan believe that us fans are dumber than they are. But maybe part of their mind frame is well they keep coming to the park so they must not be that smart.

  53. Drew71 says:

    Yes, TJ. I appreciate the use of satire that ewe use.

  54. Thundercrack says:

    Isn’t it funny that about 9 months ago lots of people, including those in the media..mainly The Fan, were calling for Nutting and NH to give J Mac a new contract. Lock him up with a long term deal! Be proactive!

    Funny. Does this mean I have a sick sense of humor?

    And I think NH did have a fall-back plan just in case JMac continued to stink and didn’t turn it around. Unfortunately everyone in his plan is hurt.

    And Liriano hurt himself at Christmas time. Is someone monitoring him during Easter?

  55. Sarah says:

    Perfect thanks eric

  56. Bizrow says:

    + 1

  57. Thundercrack says:

    I thought Neal and Company didn’t care about .500. Championship or bust for them. That’s all they kept telling us.

    Happy Easter to you too.

  58. Thundercrack says:

    “I’m going to stay out of this whole fandom discussion”

    Then, obviously, you are not a true fan.
    :-)

  59. SamnRita says:

    Drew I don’t think anyone who pays attention here has mistaken you for someone who calls for Bylsma to be fired. Nor has anyone here called for same, though plenty of folks seem to equate questioning anything coaching-related with ‘FIRE BYLSMA” , so I understand how the Fire Bylsma meme got rolling.

    I think we know you as someone who mocks people like Eric who criticize Bylsma (often with cogent analysis which you seem to ignore).

    Meanwhile the team is playing great, showing exactly some of the adjustments Eric et al have called for (aggressive PK, defensive responsibility south of the red line, and so on).

    Happy Easter and GO PENS!

  60. JAL says:

    Orthodox Easter–still weeks away

  61. Karen22 says:

    HAPPY EASTER, LOONS! Great game yesterday…and GO BUCS! :)

  62. SamnRita says:

    Yeah really. With the skill they have on this team you’d hope they hire the guys from Edmonton and try to get that ice perfect…… I know it’s tough when there are extra events, but really the ice is awful.

    That doesn’t help our skill players and I hope they find a way to improve it.

    One thing (I think Errey/Bourquey?) mentioned was – they do NOT keep the spare pucks in a cooler. Can that be true?? That is absolutely basic for helping settle the puck and reduce the bounces….

    NO excuse if they are not at least doing that.

    ANybody have inside info on this?

  63. BillyBaduka says:

    That’s cool. My cousin is an avid fly fisherman. I’ve encouraged him to go back to school for Ichthyology.

  64. The Gunner says:

    Happy Easter Lucky

    Now that Opening Day is upon us, I will be coming out of hiberation.

    Simply put, the name of the game is pitching. Except for AJ & Wandy, the starting pitching is horribly suspect. McDonald has earned a trip to the minors, not the #3 spot in the rotation. Sanchez & Locke are question marks. Karstens might be done and how much can you count on Charles Morton & Liriano.

    It sure is looking like the Bucs will be sellers at the trade deadline.

  65. Drew71 says:

    That’s a words-in-mouth game. Fun game.

    I never (read that as “ever”) mocked Eric or anyone else for the specific criticisms. I was mostly silent.

    I mock regularly (read that ad regularly) only those comments such as “for all the in season success the fire Bylsma chants will once again ring loud should the team produce anything less than a cup”

    It’s that. Nothing more. And nothing about coaching criticism of specific tactics which I suspect even Eric would acknowledge we’ve never (again, ever) had a dust-up about. We’ve just disagreed about the firing discussion. Especially now, in the midst of THE MOST SUCCESSFUL INDIVIDUAL MONTH, AND ONE OF THE LONGEST WIN STREAKS IN THE HISTORY OF THE LEAGUE.

    Should the dour predictions or warnings come true during the playoffs, go for it. THAT would be the time for that kind of discussion. If it happens. Then.

    But now seems totally out of place. As if someone can’t let something go.

    But feel free to put words in my mouth about mocking people who critcize Bylsma, even if thats not what I’ve done, and it misses my point. Makes for much more interesting debate.

    PS – loved your point (not mocking) re “showing exactly some of the adjustments Eric et al have called for”.

    There are three parts to SUCCESSFUL adjustments, as these clearly are (in reverse order):
    3. Execution of adjustments…all credit to the players
    2. Communication of and buyin to adjustments…shared credit, coach and players
    1. Strategy of adjustments…Credit to coach

    And yes. Credit as good hockey thinkers to you folks if you posted it.

    that’s a blog thing. But for making it happen? Players and coach.

  66. Jason81 says:

    I think it is 7 for a playoff spot, 10 for the division.

  67. RobertoForever says:

    Stuart, would breaking the streak be so terrible?

    Is this what it has come down to? Some would rather have more losing so someone could be fired?

    What’s the chance that the new GM is not what you hope for? A lot of bad gm candidates mixed in with a few good candidates.

  68. RobertoForever says:

    Happy Easter, Milo.

  69. RobertoForever says:

    Happy Easter!

    Where can I find this article. Always interested in well-reasoned articles on the Buccos.

  70. hockeymonster says:

    Biggest adjustments have been the DRASTIC improvement of my buddy/pal PM and more basic 1-2-2 trapping. PM getting better is a testament to his pride and work ethic to not be a spectator while giving up passing lanes around the net. And moving more towards a trap, especially when getting the lead, isn’t genius…just a long overdue adjustment that Bylsma and his game didn’t want to accept. Been calling for it since last season, glad to see it working now.

    P.S.-now with PM hurt its too bad no one suggested we trade him at the peak of his value for cap and depth purposes…JK…hope he gets better and helps in the playoffs unlike last season.

  71. Milo Hamilton says:

    So Sid has a broken jaw. Things were going so well there for about 50 seconds. SMH.

  72. Milo Hamilton says:

    You’re right about NJ, but I’m going with 9 because they’ll have the tiebreaker. The most they can get is 65. But I’m all bummed now & I don’t even want to think about it.

  73. HAPPY EASTER!!
    Still time to “wager” on the very first OVER / UNDER of the year!!
    This line will stay open until Sunday evening, and as always this is just for fun and entertainment purposes.

    Total number of Pirates Victories in 2013
    LINE is 81.5
    Maximum “wager” is 250 units. All “wagers” must be divisible by 5.

    Anyone can play, and everyone should try!
    What’ll ya have? What’ll ya have?

    **The Window is on twitter @TheBuccoWindow, feel free to follow**

    Please reply in this box, makes it much easier for me to “book-keep” that way.
    If you “wagered” this week, and got a reply back from me, then I have you on the sheet.

  74. Nancy52 says:

    Burn those blue uniforms!!!

  75. DemonDachshund says:

    Playoffs -

    250 on the UNDER please.

    Just don’t see it happening. Want it to happen, but just don’t see it happening.

  76. RobertoForever says:

    Gunner,

    Happy Easter!

    Welcome back from hibernation. Do you see any of the Bucs players having a better season than last year?

    Did you think last April that the Bucs would be sellers in July?

    What is your prediction for wins this year (and what was it last year?)

  77. RobertoForever says:

    Thanks for picking up my post on Friday blog so quickly.

    Btw, are you going to Opening day?

  78. No problem. Glad to see you here again.
    I’ll be at work on opening day.
    Game on the DVR.

  79. Naje says:

    All Duke fans… good luck today… too bad the game’s not being played next weekend. Should be a great one. Go Cards!

  80. JohninOshkosh says:

    RobertoForever:

    Do you have your season’s worth of cowbells bought? :)

    Glad you are going to the opener-Buccos have a good record with you in attendance.

  81. Sarah says:

    HAHAHAHAHAH!!!
    Good lord Drew u kidding?

    Last time I checked you completely refused to engage another well thought out criticism by Eric.

    Many more examples out there. SamRita not putting words in your mouth but I won’t get I the way of his (her?) response.

    Anyway…..You never mock? Just because you don’t name Eric or others doesn’t change your MO.

    Mocking doesn’t need to name targets.

    Wow.

  82. JoeyBats says:

    PLAYOFFS…..

    ……please put me down for 250 for UNDER.

    I would love to be wrong…..but with this front office and this starting rotation (as it stands now)…I don’t think so.

  83. DemonDachshund says:

    Dejan Kovacevic ‏@Dejan_Kovacevic 52m

    #Pirates opening-day lineup tomorrow vs. #Cubs: Marte 7, Jones 9, McCutchen 8, Alvarez 5, Sanchez 3, Walker 4, Martin 2, Barmes 6, Burnett 1

    Unless there’s some matchup based reason, that can’t bode well for Snider.

  84. I still like Jones a little lower in the lineup, but they didn’t ask my opinion.

    Otherwise, this lineup gives us some potential pop.

  85. JohninOshkosh says:

    Carrie Muskat ‏@CarrieMuskat 1h

    Projected #Cubs OD lineup: DeJesus cf, Castro ss, Rizzo 1b, Soriano LF, Schierholtz RF, Castillo c, Valbuena 3b, Lillibridge 2b, Samardzija p

    Not the ’27…oh you know.

  86. Whipped us down the stretch last year, though, sorry to say.

  87. Thundercrack says:

    Well, well, well…..look who’s not starting in RF. Travis Snider.
    .
    I thought NH said it was his job. Scholarship revoked? Major overreaction to what the GM said? Stupid thing the GM said? Mountain out of a mole hill?

  88. JohninOshkosh says:

    This Duke/Louisville game just took a turn for the sad. Hate to see that.

    DK: My God …

  89. RobertoForever says:

    Thanks John.

    Got a good supply ready to use and give away to any young Bucs fans near me.

    I thin we have a great shot to win with AJ ‘STFD’ Burnett on the mound vs the Cubs.

    Might be cold and wet tomorrow, but it will be awesome! Go Bucs!

  90. Good lineup without him, whatever the reason.

  91. Drew71 says:

    Boy did you miss my point.

    Let me be clearer.

    I didnt say i dont mock. I said I don’t mock hockey discussions about tactics. That’s it. Meaning, I don’t mock Eric when he disagrees with a particular coaching strategy. So you are right – I don’t engage when he or others do that.

    I mock LOTS of other things. I’m a mocker. That’s what I do.

    What i DO mock is the constant refrain re coach-firing, a refrain that occurred again this morning.

    Sort of like “HAHAHAHAH!!!” Though not sure if that counts as mocking or bitterness.

  92. RobertoForever says:

    i would guess overreaction and reading into it as usual.

  93. Good to see you Gunner. Bob Hasis was on yesterday and the day before. Must mean baseball!

    :P

  94. Groaty, if you’re out there, Milo and I feel your pain.

  95. JohninOshkosh says:

    Very impressed with Louisville. Steamrolled through the bracket and beat Duke despite the horrifying injury. Actually, impressed with Syracuse as well. The “old” Big East was impressive.

    But, sorry Groat.

  96. Now you can change your avatar to a nice red “W” John.

  97. Naje says:

    No love for the home state team? Surprised… even I cheer for UK against Duke.

  98. The Gunner says:

    The Bucs will take a step backwards this year. 72 wins at the most.

  99. The Gunner says:

    Lucky

    We will have some fun on this board this year. NH did not do enough in the off season to bolster the offense or the starting pitching. That translates to a long year for the Bucs in 2013.

    However, the income statement will be very strong, much to Mr. Nutsack’s delight.

  100. RobertoForever says:

    You missed a few answers.

  101. Can’t stand Duke. Just not a Louisville fan, either. Or UK.

 
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