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Wednesday vacation thread

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

On vacation all week. Next column is Sunday.

The floor, as ever, is yours …

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. Stuart says:

    Nice game last night. JMAC made a nice recovery. Travis Snider had some good at bats, and Marte continues a good streak of 4 lead off hits in a row, as well as some key RsBI.

    Get out the brooms!

    Stuart

  2. Drew71 says:

    Holy Crap. I didn’t realize they played a catcher. Until Russell got a hit last night.

    And Snider. TWO hits. Three in two days.

    Let’s not overdo it with Snider. Way too early for a statue.
    I’m thinking maybe Dapper Dan Award.

    One more win and they’re playing for playoff positioning.

  3. TK39 says:

    Nice win by the Pens last night. It’s nice to know we’ll be raising at least one more banner next year. Clinching the Atlantic is only another box to check on the to-do list but that list is getting shorter and shorter. Next Step: Win 4 games in the first 2 weeks of May.

  4. Drew71 says:

    Congrats to the Pens on the division and what sounds like a scrappy, comeback win.

  5. Joey Mellons says:

    OK, we won a game yesterday. If we win today, it’s called “two in a row”. And if we win again tomorrow, it’s called a “winning streak”… It has happened before! –Lou Brown. Lets go buccos and break out the broom today. I also can’t believe that I took the over on the buccos getting 2.5 walks last night. Such a Sucker bet. Great line playoffs.

  6. MadTurk says:

    You called it with JMac helping out with the bat Drewman

  7. Jandy says:

    Shouldn’t have had to be scrappy. They played down to their opponent again. But still, nice win. And nice first Penguin goal by Morrow.

  8. Jandy says:

    YOu’re not alone lol

  9. Drew71 says:

    and congratulations to the Leadership Councils of both Pittsburgh teams.

  10. Drew71 says:

    I don’t want to take TOO much credit.

    You know what they say about squirrels, acorns, columnists and predictions.

  11. JAL says:

    JAL’s Reelin In the Years Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGWVHyKRV2I

    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 Stats

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AsjN0zO-DxI0dHVOMzdPYm9wUEJtdVJ0WWUzVWhFc2c#gid=0

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    Bucs’ Bats Finally Show Signs of Life in Win at Arizona

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/04/bucs-bats-finally-show-signs-of-life-in-win-at-arizona.html

    First Pitch: The Downside of the New CBA Starting to Appear For the Pirates

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/04/first-pitch-the-downside-of-the-new-cba-starting-to-appear-for-the-pirates.html

    Prospect Watch: Lambo Hits For The Cycle

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/04/prospect-watch-lambo-hits-for-the-cycle.html

    The Book on Justin Wilson

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/04/the-book-on-justin-wilson.html

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates hold on for 6-5 victory over Diamondbacks

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/4/10/4207812/pirates-hold-on-for-6-5-victory-over-diamondbacks

    7 WHYGAVS

    Game 8: Pirates 6 Diamondbacks 5

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/april-2013/game-8-pirates-6-diamondbacks-5.html

    8 The Green Weenie

    April 9th – Buc Dates In History

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/04/april-9th-buc-dates-in-history.html

    9 Rumbunter

    This Week In Bad Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball Infographics

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/04/09/this-week-in-bad-pittsburgh-pirates-baseball-infographics/

    Pittsburgh Pirates Minor League Stats

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/04/09/pittsburgh-pirates-minor-league-stats/

    10 Raise the Jolly Roger

    J-Mac’s revenge: Pirates 6, D-Backs 5

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2013/04/j-macs-revenge-pirates-6-d-backs-5/

  12. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Rant Sports

    2013 Fantasy Baseball: Have Patience With Pedro Alvarez

    http://www.rantsports.com/fantasy/2013/04/09/2013-fantasy-baseball-have-patience-with-pedro-alvarez/

    12 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates: Who steps into rotation if Wandy Rodriguez heads to DL?

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2013/04/09/pittsburgh-pirates-who-steps-into-rotation-if-wandy-rodriguez-heads-to-dl/

    13 Altoona Mirror

    Lambo’s cycle helps Curve win

    http://www.altoonamirror.com/page/content.detail/id/570505/Lambo-s-cycle-helps-Curve-win.html?nav=751

    14 Arizona Central

    Arizona Diamondbacks’ Brandon McCarthy rocked again as Pittsburgh Pirates get another win

    http://www.azcentral.com/sports/diamondbacks/articles/20130409arizona-diamondbacks-brandon-mccarthy-rocked-again-pittsburgh-pirates-get-another-win.html

    15 KDKA

    PG’s Bill Brink: Pirates Will Be Patient With Pedro Alvarez

    http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/04/09/pgs-bill-brink-pirates-will-be-patient-with-pedro-alvarez/

    16 Bleacher Report

    Pittsburgh Pirates: Wandy Rodriguez Injury Could Spell Trouble for Rotation

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1599096-pittsburgh-pirates-wandy-rodriguez-injury-could-spell-trouble-for-rotation

    17 CBS Sports

    Arizona-Pittsburgh Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20130410_PIT@ARI

    18 PBC Site

    McDonald settles in, picks up win after rough start

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_04_09_pitmlb_arimlb_1&mode=recap_away&c_id=pit

    If Wandy can’t go Sunday, Cole not option to start

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130409&content_id=44335724&notebook_id=44343032&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    11 Successful Career Reinventions

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=20128

    20 Fangraphs

    Anatomy of a Really Bad Call

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/anatomy-of-a-really-bad-call/

  13. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin appointed to NFL Competition Committee

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/4/9/4206004/steelers-head-coach-mike-tomlin-appointed-to-nfl-competition-committee

    Hey London, I guess American football isn’t such a bad pastime, after all

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/4/9/4196576/hey-london-i-guess-american-football-isnt-such-a-bad-pastime-afterall

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Steelers 2013 Draft – Michigan State RB Le’Veon Bell Scouting Report Profile

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/04/steelers-2013-draft-michigan-state-rb-leveon-bell-scouting-report-profile/

    Soccer(football)

    23 Daily Telegraph

    Borussia Dortmund 3 Malaga 2; agg 3-2: match report

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/competitions/champions-league/9982460/Borussia-Dortmund-3-Malaga-2-agg-3-2-match-report.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    Face to face: Theo Bucker

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/features/face-to-face-theo-bucker

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Atlantic City: Pens Clinch Division, Clip Canes in Messy Affair, 5-3

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/4/9/4207358/atlantic-city-pens-clinch-division-clip-canes-in-messy-affair-5-3

  14. JAL says:

    Reelin in the Years 1972 Steely Dan

  15. MadTurk says:

    And guys named Drew

  16. Jandy says:

    ZING!

  17. Jandy says:

    Drew is ALWAYS first!

  18. Drew71 says:

    and congratulations to the Morning Links, which look especially winsome today

  19. Jandy says:

    Drew must have scored last night ;)

  20. John Lease says:

    Another winner!

    I’m feeling very satisfied today.

  21. Papa Croz says:

    Glad to see the Pens play a physical game, ALMOST
    wish Philadelphia was in there future.

  22. Drew71 says:

    No. Just lucky.

    Small L.

  23. Jandy says:

    Bite your tongue! ;)

  24. Jandy says:

    like last night? ;X

  25. Thundercrack says:

    Jandy,
    Please don’t go there.

    Do not encourage him to ‘open up’ to us.

  26. SJB says:

    I’ll be just as happy seeing the Flyers miss the playoffs as the Pens getting in. That’s how much I hate that team. The only thing that makes me really like Halloween is I get to stab a fat, orange thing with a knife.

  27. Thundercrack says:

    - We’re not in last place
    -lots of other teams seem to have the same record as the Pirates – or WORSE (how did NH shape their rosters too?!)

    After watching Locke pitch on Sunday I thought he would definitely be the first one out of the rotation when Karstens, Liriano, or Morton came back. But now I am not so certain.
    JMac is really tough to watch. So many balls and long counts. One inning he looks great, the next he looks like an outfielder who decided to try pitching.

  28. AL says:

    Maybe you could paint the words Giroux or Briere on it first.

  29. kr70 says:

    + 1/2

  30. SJB says:

    As far as the Pirates win goes, wake me in mid-August if they are somehow in contention for anything. Baseball season is too long and it’s too early to care about anything now, let alone a team that we have no real reason at all to believe will be, or should be any further along at that point, than they were last season. Hope is nice and it’s great for the religious, but I wouldn’t want to go to church every day from early April until October either.

    That said, I’m all in favor of a 48-game hockey season, every season. I think it’s the perfect amount of games for teams to play to determine playoff eligibility and seeding. Wish baseball would have more lockouts and shortened seasons.

  31. Jandy says:

    lol TC, he’s soooooo upbeat, I just assumed…you know….

  32. Karen22 says:

    NICE pucks & Bucs doubleheader win last night! I hit the sack after the Pirates’ 4th inning outburst, & was mildly surprised to see they hung on the rest of the way. That said, JMac is again driving me batty! Is he schizophrenic? Does he need a shrink?? Inquiring minds want to know.

    Now let’s get out the brooms & chase the snakes out of Chase this afternoon!

  33. Thundercrack says:

    Jandy,
    Prepare for the weather forecast from wherever he is in Florida. You know it is coming…..

  34. The Gunner says:

    Watching JMac is not for the faint of heart. His line wasn’t that great last night and definitely not real pretty but, guess what, folks? He was the winning pitcher – that’s all that matters.

    The Bucs just need to have plenty of offense when JMac pitches. Hopefully the bats are starting to come alive. Maybe with a day game today, Daydro will not be K-dro and go deep at least once.

  35. theplanisworking says:

    Is the poodle making these predictions for you? ;)

  36. theplanisworking says:

    Who is on the Leadership Council of this blog??
    Inquiring minds (and me) want to know…….

  37. theplanisworking says:

    +1

  38. theplanisworking says:

    I dont think Philthy is in their future………. unless the Pens go deep sea diving to find them at the bottom of the Atlantic……….. ;)

  39. SJB says:

    With most teams and sports, I still like to believe it’s not if you win or lose, it’s how you play, as how you play usually takes care of the win/loss thing, but with the Pirates you take what you can get. At this point, I’m all in favor of them cheating if it helps.

    Speaking of which: How’s Braun doing so far this year?

  40. Patrick says:

    Two things struck me about last nights win as outstanding:

    JMacs mental toughness. Im sure he is aware how is perceived in the media and fan base. Its hard to keep it together when the wheels start flying off. But he held it together, regrouped and had THE KEY at-bat in the Pirates 5-run rally. Speaking of which..

    Hurdle’s decision to have Jmac fake bunt/hit-n-run with one out and two on is equal parts gutsy and criminally insane. When it worked it made him look like a genius and a Jmac like a hero. If it doesn’t Jmac’s has to trot back to the dugout as the losing pitcher AND the guy who killed the rally with a DP. Really gutsy call right there, and even though it worked, I’m still not sure if I agree with it.

  41. Jandy says:

    Sunny and hot in Florida….my kids are on vacation there with my Grand daughter :)

  42. Jandy says:

    Drew is ALWAYS first!

  43. Wally Kanowski says:

    Horse shoes, quoits (thank you, Gunner) hand grenades, atomic bombs, and first dates.

  44. theplanisworking says:

    Does his poodle have a spot at the table? ;)

  45. CWalton_67 says:

    Jandy- agree 100%. Any comeback win feels good, and there is still confusion as new players learn the system, but it felt like Carolina came to win. The Pens simply showed up. Somewhat disturbing as we know this can become a trend.

  46. So you know his wife?

  47. Spots under the table.

  48. CWalton_67 says:

    +1

  49. theplanisworking says:

    LOL, no……………………
    but I keep reading about a poodle……
    and no, I am not going there

  50. CWalton_67 says:

    It is -3 here in the Rocky Mountains this morning. A little cool for April. Even at 8k feet.

  51. I meant that for Jandy’s comment about Drew always being first.

    But all of us feel we know his wife in a spiritual sense, right?

    The poodle is his wife’s, too.

    :)

  52. Arriba Wilver says:

    I didn’t see much of the game, but wasn’t that connected to the Wheel Play put on by Gibson? One of the announcers said after the game that the decision by Gibson was crucial to the win.

    Melancon sure looks good,

  53. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’ve also been impressed with what I’ve seen of Martin as a catcher.

  54. JAL says:

    It is the proper call when the wheel play in motion as the middle of the infield opens. You have to count on your player to execute. DP more likely if he bunts, the wheel play looking for a DP on a bunt.

  55. tpbco says:

    Ah, I say a GOOD win, considering the Pens were missing two of top 3 forwards, one of which just happens to be the best player in the world, as well as top two Dman, against a team embarrassed the night before, playing at home with the J Staal element AND 4 new guys still working on getting the system down (although Joikenen? looks like he’s been here for years – nice pick up GMRS).

    If not for the two ‘canes scores off of faceoffs….

    Let’s keep things in perspective.

  56. Patrick says:

    It was, but only that if Gibson hadn’t done it (which wasn’t a horrible decision, really) then it makes the fake bunt an improbable option. Hurdle only did what he did because of what Gibson did, but that still doesn’t make what Gibson did a horrible idea. Jmac was showing bunt with two on, one out. The wheel play is maybe a little over aggressive with a pitcher that isn’t quick by any means, but isn’t unheard of in that situation.

    Hurdles decision to have the pitcher fake bunt took stones. Its a risky play. There’s a better chance that Jmac swings through the pitch and the runners are dead in the water. Instead of one out two on it would be two out, one on with the pitcher in a 2 strike count.

    And the Pirates were trailing 4-1 at that point. It worked, but i still think it was a bad idea.

  57. theplanisworking says:

    Well, I am off to enjoy the beautiful sun shine and 78 degree weather today.
    First time in a long time the weather has been nice for a day off of mine.

    I posted last night, I have watched 5 games this year………all losses.
    Havent seen 3 games……………………. all wins.

    After enjoying the weather today, I want to watch the game, but with the abobe results, I dont think I will.
    May have to settle for seeing updates here in “the asylum”.

    Go Bucs!

    CWalton_67……………. I feel your pain.

  58. Patrick says:

    Yea but a pitcher? Even with the wheel called a DP is still hard to turn. Its not possible at all if you don’t call the wheel play, and it probably was a little aggressive with a 4-1 lead. But for Hurdle to give JMac the green light to (or allow him the freedom too) to pull it back and slap it up the middle is still pretty gutsy for a team struggling to score runs. If that scenario plays out ten more times this year the pitcher probably fails 7 or 8 times and the runner is dead in the water at third.

    Really, really good work with the stick by Jmac. And it should really help his confidence that Hurdle put that kind of trust in him in that situation. If it doesn’t work the Pirates probably lose and the both of them look like complete idiots this morning.

  59. Jandy says:

    Don’t forget tpbco, the Canes had a goalie also who has been struggling. Cam Ward is down. We made Peters look pretty good until Bennett knocked one in off another Cane and Geno poked in a rebound.
    Keep things in perspective.

    But, all that said, I’m happy with the win.

  60. Jandy says:

    LMAO Spunkster, you’re VERY Spunky today…yes, his wife is ALWAYS first…even before the poodles :P

  61. Arriba Wilver says:

    JMac is probably our best hitting pitcher right now. I don’t think Clint does that with Burnett. My point wasn’t that Gibson made a bad call, but rather that Clint’s call in that situation was, while maybe a little gutsy, a legitimate response. Not a bad idea.

  62. Jandy says:

    Amen!

  63. Milo Hamilton says:

    The fact that he bunted right into it the first time he saw it & then swung the next time has to be credited to the manager and coaching staff. And McDonald certainly gets credit for getting bat to ball. It was so nice to see that all work out for a change. I think it was the key to the game.

  64. Jandy says:

    Keep it there!!!

  65. Milo Hamilton says:

    You swing 100% of the time when the wheel play is on. Pitcher or not.

  66. Jandy says:

    I’m thrilled SOMEONE had the cajones to call this play. The talk was yesterday about how there was no spark, no support even in the dugout for any play well turned or a nice hit.
    This is a good sign and I hope someone else comes up with cajones to make more good plays.

  67. Patrick says:

    I keep trying to wrap my head around the obscene amount of talent the Penguins have when (if?) they get healthy. Last night they beat a team without their best player, best sniper and two of their best puck carrying defensemen that are are the point on both PP units.

    Kunitz/Crosby/Dupuis
    Neal/Malkin/Iginla
    Cooke/Sutter/Morrow
    Adams/Jokinen/TK

    Orpik/Martin
    Letang/Eaton
    Murray/Niskanen

    That…thats almost not fair.

    I mean SERIOUSLY….

  68. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  69. Patrick says:

    Isn’t in nice to actually talk about the minutia of baseball rather than the economics?

    Its times like this that make being a PBC fan worth it.

  70. Jandy says:

    Yes!

  71. Sisyphus says:

    Elliott Randall played a guitar solo on that song that Jimmy Page called his favorite solo of all time.

  72. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Pirates won a game because of properly executed fundamentals. Yessss.

  73. Arriba Wilver says:

    Speaking of cajones, when Hinske came up I thought, “what a jabroni.” He got booed, too, probably from the Pirate fans there. I was glad he struck out swinging,

  74. Jandy says:

    Oh and their top D-man Joni Pitkanen was also out.

  75. Jandy says:

    Seriously…

  76. Patrick says:

    In hockey talk, the equivalent is

    “Hinske…what a farmer….”

  77. NMR says:

    Saved at least two runs in the Cubs series. Heck of an athelete.

  78. Patrick says:

    I’m still chirping back and forth on twitter with a few Philthy fans. Its comical. They keep blowing the horn about only being a few points out of the playoffs. How everyone in the EC is scared of them

    “Nobody wants to see the Flyers as the eighth seed!”

    Their pain makes me happy. Their nonsense makes me laugh and smile.

    Does this make me a bad person?

  79. theplanisworking says:

    Thank Goodness we have Shero as GM…….

  80. Drew71 says:

    Eye prefer to attribute Spunk’s wife comment to the spots under table post.

  81. NMR says:

    I’m not really sure if there is much separation between Jmac, Sanchez, Locke, Karstens, Liriano, and Morton. They’re all back-end quality. How you make the call on who pitches, I don’t know.

    I see the #1 slot as the hole in the Pirates rotation, not the #5.

    If they had a true #1, AJ and Wandy would play up as great 2/3 options and the rest of the bunch would provide a ton of depth as 4-4.5 ERA guys.

  82. Drew71 says:

    According to Jandy, so am i

  83. Jandy says:

    In Shero We Trust

  84. Jandy says:

    Not bad for an “old” man eh?

  85. Jandy says:

    He** no, enjoy it, Patrick. They’ve earned all the scorn that gets heaped on them!

  86. Jandy says:

    Oh. My.
    LOL!

  87. Milo Hamilton says:

    Can you imagine the price of doing business if he would have waited to make those trades after all the injuries ?

  88. Drew71 says:

    But not a good one. It was cloudy this AM. Almost looked like rain. I had to keep the top up as I drove to work. Couldn’t see the beach. Depressing.

    But do not worry yourself about it. It burned off.

    Now it looks like one of those beautiful summer days in Pittsburgh. Bright blue. Sunshine. Just like Pittsburgh in July.

    You know. After the Art Festival closes and the rainstorms stop.

  89. Iceman says:

    Good for the Pens to pull out the win yesterday. The goal by Morrow was real pretty. He picks up a couple of those goals in the playoffs and keeps hitting like he does and I am thrilled.

    It is obvious that Malkin loves playing with Kunitz. He looked much better on the ice yesterday. I’m thinking that maybe Bylsma will see that as well and keep Kunitz on Malkin’s line. My desire for lines moving forward:

    Dupuis – Crosby -I ginla
    Kunitz – Malkin – Neal
    Cooke – Sutter – Morrow
    Adams – Jokinen – (not sure here. Could be Bennett, Glass, TK, or Vitale at center and Jokinen at wing)

    Pretty wicked line up. I wouldn’t want to play against them.

    Good win by the Bucs too. Marte has really come into his own as a leadoff hitter and how’s about Snider getting hits in back to back games. I’d say right field is his for now since none of the other options are hitting. Bad first inning by JMac, but I was impressed that he was able to gain some composure after that. In the past I think an inning like that would’ve broke him and it shows some maturity that he was able to adjust and get through the next few innings.

  90. Jandy says:

    He learned his lesson on waiting for players last season.
    He saw someone he wanted and went for it. I love it.

    But yeah…just imagine how many millions more…
    YIKES!

  91. Jandy says:

    Iceman, I’d LOVE to see TK sit and Bennett play, but I doubt that will happen. The rink ice will melt first.

  92. JHadar says:

    Right now he’s the fourth best hitter on the club . . .

    I’m sure that will change.

  93. Jandy says:

    My little grand daughter had red rosy cheeks yesterday…My daughter sent me a pic…she was sound asleep and looked like an angel.

    Heck we had 82 here yesterday with the sunshine. Amazing!
    It’s going to thunderstorm today. But still warm…76.

  94. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Patriots have finally signed Emmanuel Sanders to that long rumored offer sheet. It’s a one year deal. If the Steelers don’t match they get the Patriots 3rd round pick this year, #91 overall.

  95. Drew71 says:

    I won’t tell you what it is here at 8 (no k) feet.

  96. stuart66 says:

    + many (Despres too)

    Stuart

  97. Drew71 says:

    Are the dollars known?

  98. Milo Hamilton says:

    Nothing yet.

  99. Arriba Wilver says:

    2 hours, 43 minutes

  100. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Steelers should take the pick & move on. What has this guy ever done except get hurt ?

  101. Bizrow says:

    So if you are the Steelers, what do you do? And I know the $$ has to have something to do with the decision, unless you look at who they still have to play WR

  102. The Gunner says:

    “Win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat”. I think that’s one of Ric Flair’s great lines.

  103. JHadar says:

    34 and drizzle on the prairie. I misspoke about the snow yesterday — it’s supposed to come tonight. (I was up all night with the thunderstorm if I want to find something else besides old age and bad memory to blame.) The good news is that they’ve reduced the prediction from 6-10 inches to 2-4 by tomorrow afternoon The rain has finally turned the grass green, but the juncos haven’ gone north yet. We had a couple of really heavy hailstorms go east of us last night. No crops to damage yet, but they were saying to get cars into garages!

  104. Dom says:

    Sounds good to me. Is Sanders really that much of an upgrade of Jerricho Cotchery?

    Since our needs are starting to pile up, we really need as many draft picks as possible.

    I’m a little surprised that the Pats would sign him since they’re now down to just a few picks in the 1st, 2nd, and a couple or so in the 7th.

  105. JRay3 says:

    Another great night of Pirate baseball last evening, sure makes it much more enjoyable when you witness a win.

    Thought JMac showed a lot of mental toughness to come back and battle after choppy first. Marte, Walker, and Jones account for six of the 11 hits, three runs and all six RBI’s. Sprinkled in was Snider once again getting bat to ball and even Martin with the double and a ball he crushed just foul on what would have been a potential two run HR.

    Coming back from an early 4-1 hole could be beneficial to the team from a psyche standpoint. They battled back and one big inning they retook the lead.

    Tough assignment today as the Bucs go for the sweep. Wade Miley had a very sharp first outing and looks as if he is ready to pick right up following his All-Star campaign from a year ago. Expect to see the getaway lineup today and more right handed bats with Tabata and Sanchez versus the leftie.

  106. Dom says:

    Also, his contract is up at the end of the season. Let him go to Foxboro.

  107. Jandy says:

    Yes and Depres too!

  108. Bizrow says:

    Right now, Sanders cost 1.3 million on the salary cap

  109. Dom says:

    He’s the front runner for comeback player of the year.

  110. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  111. You did a fine job yesterday. Keep up the good work.

  112. Milo Hamilton says:

    Remember, he’s unrestricted after this season. With no compensation. This is a no brainer.

  113. JHadar says:

    I think the best thing about the win last night was that the bats woke up.

    With the pitching we’ve been getting if the offense had been there, well . . .

    I know, history is history and can’t be changed from the moment it happens.

    Still, optimism is creeping in — and that’s a good thing.

  114. Milo Hamilton says:

    Since the Steelers offered him the 3rd round tender, a $1.3 million cap figure is committed to him. If he goes, that’s freed up also.

  115. Jandy says:

    ZING!

  116. Jandy says:

    Don’t be putting words in my mouth, Drew dahling, you’ve been glowing all morning….

  117. Patrick says:

    SILENCE INFIDEL!!

    There can.
    Never.
    Be.
    Enough.
    Hockey.

    :p

  118. Dom says:

    How long do the Steelers have to match the offer?

  119. Patrick says:

    Fundamentals is an interesting baseball term. When I hear it, I think of the basic things that apply to any team, in any league at any age.

    Not trying to be confrontational, only conversational, but I wouldn’t consider a hit-n-run fake bunt during a wheel play by the Pitcher a fundamental.

    Unless of course all the PBC regulars here think my definition of ‘fundamentals’ is..well…fundamentally flawed.

  120. Bizrow says:

    5 days, and sources say the $$ would not “scare” the Steelers

  121. Until they show, organizationally-wide, that they can run the bases, throw to the correct base, situationally hit, hit behind the runner, hit a fly ball with a man on 3rd and less than two outs, etc., etc., etc., etc., I still think they lack in fundamentals, however you define them.

  122. Milo Hamilton says:

    Boston Globe is reporting that the Sanders offer sheet is believed to be in the $4 million range.

  123. Bizrow says:

    Early reports, offer is in the 4 million dollar range

  124. Patrick says:

    This is one of the deepest WR drafts in years. there are 4-5 guys that in some other years could have been 1st rounders. Im actually surprised to see the Patriots willing to give up a 3rd round pick for a guy with more fumbles than touchdowns last year. I know Belichek likes his veterans…but you could get at least as good a rookie for a third round this year.

  125. Dom says:

    $4 million? Entirely too much. Let him walk.

  126. Patrick says:

    He traded Tangradi (career 2g/9pts) for a 7th round pick, then traded his own 7th (which will hopefully be the last pick in the draft!) for Jussi Jokinen (career 122g, 348pts) AND got Carolina to pay half his salary in the process. Tangradi is a slower version of Tanner Glass (think about that for a minute) while Jokinen plays signifigant time on the PP AND PK units, and is one of the best face-off guys in the league.

    He managed to get a vastly better player, move UP in the 7th round AND get someone else to pay for it.

    If I’m any other GM in the league I’m putting a block on any number coming from CEC and taking inventory on all my jock straps.

  127. Dom says:

    Agreed. There is a chance someone like Keenan Allen could fall to the second round. If that would happen we could use that 3rd rounder we got from the Pats, move up, grab him, and just like that have our offense greatly improved.

  128. Naje says:

    right on Milo.

  129. Milo Hamilton says:

    We’ve taught that exact play at the high school level, JV even. How about we call it an advanced fundamental ?

  130. kenerdivanis says:

    Any chance the Steelers match?

  131. JohninOshkosh says:

    Hinske is a from a town just north of me.

    I have seen him a few times but every time it has been at the food court at the mall.

    Looking at him last night it looks like he spends a lot of time at the food court. Washing down his PED’s with (non diet) Coke.

  132. Dom says:

    Yeah, like I said that is too much. That 3rd rounder we’ll get or maybe even a later selection would be great trade bait if one of the top receivers in the drafts falls to the 2nd round, which could happen.

  133. tpbco says:

    Won’t argue, but it WAS a bigger game to them than us at this point and they came out that way.

    The Pens withstood their early barrage, got there stuff together and won. The ‘canes by no means gave it to us. And I would point out that a heck of a lot more of those bounces have gone against us, inspite of our record, than have favored us for most of the season.

    Given our circumstances, lots of people yesterday were calling it a trap game. I thought the locker room comments afterwards were appropriate.

    Take the win…don’t they don’t give “style points”.

  134. Arriba Wilver says:

    He looked that way to me, too.

    Probably one of the most “hated” non-key players to play for the Bucs during the streak. And all he had to do was keep his mouth shut (or play better when he was here).

    Jag-off.

  135. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Emmanuel Sanders isn’t the great WR.
    However….If the Steelers go into this season with Antonio Brown and a crew of rookie wide outs (please don’t bother mentioning Plaxico Burress), they will go nowhere.
    For all intent purposes, we’re talking about a 4th round pick here.
    If at all possible, I would keep Sanders in an effort to avoid one less hole on this team.
    There are no guarantees with the 90-something pick in the draft.
    That late 3rd rounder could net a guy that doesn’t even make the squad in late Aug.

    Meanwhile….Bill Belichick (and a crew of shady accountants) work well into the night….In their continued effort to convince some that they are under the salary cap.

  136. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Just as I hit reply, I tried to change the word great (in the first line) to greatest.
    Didn’t get it in time.

  137. SJB says:

    Another New Money chasing Mo Money cause the Steelers got No Money.

  138. AL says:

    Despres seems to be in the doghouse and TK never seems to sit.
    Go figure.

  139. Arriba Wilver says:

    I don’t think it’s a no-brainer that you let him go, but a lot may depend on whether they really think they can seriously contend this year. If it’s a double-secret “rebuilding” year, let him go. Otherwise, that one less hole theory has a lot of merit.

  140. tpbco says:

    Depres is an engima. Very good offensive skills, and yes, as been pointed out, throws an occasional “solid” check…but he does not play physically, especially for his size.

    I believe that up until last week, they have been picking his spots and protecting him. But with the injuries, he had to play real minutes against the Rangers and it did not go well. Timid is too strong, but he got pushed around a fair amount. IMO, that’s why he sat and Bortuzzo dressed. Bortuzzo was caught watching on one goal, but also made a nice play to score and was generally okay the rest of his minutes.

    He has got to step up his grit factor or he will not dress in the playoffs.

  141. Dom says:

    Is he that much of an upgrade over Cotchery? Since Sanders contract is up at the end of the season we might as well get something for him.

  142. SJB says:

    Don’t worry, the Steelers aren’t rebuilding or anything…they still haven’t finished blowing up the current team to rebuild just yet.

  143. likeabugonarug says:

    More likely in the Delaware off the old Navy yard. Rusting away like those ships.

  144. JohninOshkosh says:

    Much grist for the mill regarding Dejan’s return to columnizing this Sunday.

    Pens, Pirates, Steelers.

    But who wants to bet it will be on the Riverhounds? His tweet over there actually induced me to look at their website. They have an auto launch with music. I hate that.

    I’m hoping he will write about the upcoming NBA playoffs.

  145. Jandy says:

    No need to argue, just stating opinion here :)
    Just don’t say the Pens were without top players, when the Canes were too. They were using their 3rd string goalie to boot. And recent history suggests that the Pens would come out flat in that situation last night, but they didn’t. And I’m happy. I’ll take the win! :)

  146. JD says:

    Does anyone who keeps tab on the Indy team know if Cole is due to start either next Mon or Tues in Toledo?

  147. Jandy says:

    +10000000000000

  148. Dom says:

    He goes today at 1:35.

  149. Jandy says:

    works for me

  150. Jandy says:

    Tangradi a slower version of Glass? Maybe…but without the physical play. But yes, you are right. Ray Shero is The Wizard of DaBurgh.

  151. NMR says:

    I tried to reply, but it must be off floating around the internet with half of Milo’s comments.

    Cole is scheduled to go on Monday, it looks like.

    The Pirates Prospects website charts every probable starter on all teams in the organization. I included the link but it probably got moderated.

  152. He pitches this afternoon and there are no off days between now and then, so he should pitch either Monday or Tuesday, depending on how they set that rotation.

  153. JD says:

    Thanks! I might go check him out.

  154. Dom says:

    I’m sorry I didn’t finish my statement. Since he’s goes today, he’s next scheduled to pitch Monday.

  155. Does that make Neal the Lizard of DaBurgh?

  156. theplanisworking says:

    Please quit insulting lizards. ;)

  157. theplanisworking says:

    Nice to have a reporter at the games, JRay.
    Kudos to you.

  158. theplanisworking says:

    The Steelers have so many holes right now, another one wont be a big deal. Let him walk, take the pick.

    The important thing is to make the pick count.
    No more whiffs.

  159. True. The ASPCA will be on our backs.

  160. casper in a-town says:

    I agree. I’ll add my two cents: Despres is playing at AHL speed. My guess is that he does the same things with the baby Pens but he gets away with it at that level and probably even gets kudos from the coaches. However, unless he picks up the intensity at this level, he’ll never get out of DB’s doghouse.

    And I also agree on the grit factor. TK plays with grit and some speed, although that’s about it. Despres has the skills, but lacks the grit. DB loves the grit, as that’s the type of NHL player he was.

  161. Kevin says:

    That goal by Morrow came out as pretty. In reality, it was a falling forward wrist flick that found a hole. Still, very nice goal for a first as a penguin. Also, very much enjoyed Bortuzzo’s goal. Both Bortuzzo and Bennett drove the net and got rewarded. I like those goals. :)

  162. The Gunner says:

    I agree with you. We need a Doug Drabek or John Candelaria type now. Maybe Gerrit Cole gets thrusted into the #1 slot when he arrives sometime in June. Hope he can handle the pressure.

  163. Iceman says:

    It was the move from backhand to forehand that impressed me most about the Morrow goal, not the shot itself. Sweet pass by Duper on the Bortuzzo goal too.

  164. Jandy says:

    LOL the geico lizard has some competition ;)

  165. Jandy says:

    Yeah Dorktard even! ;)

  166. Jandy says:

    Yes, Duper with three points last night :)

  167. BillyBaduka says:

    I understand your concern going into the season with this receiving corps minus Sanders.

    But if the Pats offer is 4 million, I think the Steelers have to walk away with the pick.

    With as many holes as this team has and the need for depth pretty much everywhere, they can use the extra pick. I know that this creates another hole, I still take the pick over a 4 million dollar Sanders.

    The Steelers only have about 2 million under the cap and would have to come up with approx 700k to match (with 1.3 currently slated for Sanders getting to 4 mil). They would have restructure some one else. I think they have done enough of that.

    If Sanders goes that frees up 1.3 and Steelers could use that 3.3 (with 2 mil avail) on a FA:

    WRs available rated about same as Sanders:

    Josh Cribbs
    Steve Breaston
    Early Doucet

    And there are others.

    As the days drag on their prices come down. Breaston may have wanted $5 mil at the start of FA but he’s got to realize he’s not likely to get that now.

    Or it could be used on Bradshaw if he’s healthy to shore up RB. Michael Turner is still available. A lot of wear on Turner sure but he would improve this group.

    Or a FA anywhere that fills a hole. There has to be one that could be had for $ 3.3 mil.

    Are these great options, no but Sanders at 1 year at $4 mil isn’t great either.

 
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