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Thursday 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 more, including his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the top four columnists in the country -- highest circulation category -- by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the top three columnists in the country by the National Headliners Awards. For 2013, he was named top columnist in the state by the Keystone Awards and second-place by the Pennsylvania AP Managing Editors.

214 Comments

  1. Hoka Hey everyone!
    .
    Seen enough of JONATHAN SANCHEZ yet? …. 2 games….0-2 record. 12.96 ERA., ….
    , 8.1 IP, 14 H, 12 ER, 6 K, 5 BB, 2.28 WHIP, .368 Bat Avg. …quite the pickup by GM Neal :-(
    .
    GERRIT COLE had a short 2nd outing @ Indy last night pitching only 2 innings in his start. He threw 63 pitches….42 strikes. Indy won the game, no decision for Gerrit. His line was 2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 5 K’s, 1 BB. ……….In 2 games…..Gerrit’s record is 0-1, he’s pitched 6 innings, 9 H, 7 K, 2 BB, 6.00 ERA and 1.83 WHIP.
    .
    For those of you looking for some veteran hitting help, BRANDON INGE has not been ripping the cover off the ball at Indy, so far. In 7 games, his line is 23 AB’s 2 hits, 1 HR, 1 RBI …..087 AVG. …8K’s, 5 BB’s. …..Seems like he would fit right in to the Pirates current lineup?

    • Re Sanchez, no, I’m not ready to move on. I do NOT think he’s going to be particularly good, but here are my reasons to stay the course for NOW:

      1. There really is nobody else. Locke? He has to join the rotation ALSO next week, rather than INSTEAD OF, when after the last off day the rotation will require five starters. So if Locke becomes your new #4, that leaves who for five?
      - Two of the three injured guys (Liriano, Morton, Karstens) will eventually replace BOTH these guys, but none are ready
      - Cole is not coming up YET no matter how well he pitches in Indy. And incidentally, so far, on small sample size, he’s not ready
      - How about the guys who competed with Sanchez in the spring. McPherson? No. He’s been off since about two weeks to go in the spring. Jenny Gomez? Please no. He’s next up if Sanchez fails. Pray he’s not needed.
      - Some young guy in Indy who wasn’t even deemed ready to compete for it in spring training? Who is suddenly going to jump Cole?

      2. Combining Sanchez’s two-game stats is kinda unfair. Considering, you know, 9 runs and 413 hits in 3.1 innings yesterday. Pointing out losses when the team is hitting about HALF the Mendoza Line has no meaning after two games. Sanchez has had one acceptable and one poor outing. At least let’s see how start #3 goes before dumping him when there is NO one else there to step in.

      Except for Jenny Gomez.

      And please. Please, Sanchez. Save us from 867-53o9.

      • All this does is prove how weak and shallow the Pirates pitching is when excuses need to be made to stick with what we saw last night.

      • Yeah, that poor Sanchez had a deplorable game yesterday. The BMTIB will stick with him short term. Let’s hope it isn’t as long as they stuck with arrogant Bedard last year.

        The only good news is NH is paying only $1.38 million for Sanchez as opposed to the $4 or $5 million he paid for that horse’s rear Bedard in 2012.

      • Wisdom from the Drewmeister!!! Good job!

      • Drew I agree with all of your comments and I believe that when Liriano, Karstans and Morton get healthy and Cole is ready we will be fine. Very few teams would have a much better option then Sanchez when they got to their 9th or 10th option.

        What do you think about maybe giving Justin Wilson a shot if Sanchez does struggle for another start and noboby else is ready. Isn’t Wilson a better version of Sanchez when he can’t find the strike zone and a much better option when he can.

    • Why so positive?

  2. Inge is actually supposed to come up this weekend. I’d guess that Harrison goes down, but hope that McDonald is released.

  3. Hanrahan had an epic collapse last night. At least they got something for him. It was a replay of how he’d been in Washington. The Pirates are a low pressure team, some guys can’t take the high pressure.

    • Nats were low pressure when Hanny was them. Record in same area as Pirates

      • I think it’s hard to say that it’s a low pressure situation for any younger player trying to have a career in the Majors regardless of where they are playing.

      • Not really. And his collapses were epic. It really surprised me that he managed to turn it around as well as he did. The Nats weren’t much better than the Pirates then, but they didn’t continuously reward failure, either.

    • I watched that inning last night. I’m not sure it had anything do with Hanrahan feeling pressure. I think it has more to do with that he didn’t pitch well. He still throws hard but his stuff is very hittable at times. His ball drifts too much to the fat part of the plate too often, and hitters don’t always chase the slider.

      Interesting that the blown save came on the night that Boston’s streak of consecutive sell-outs ended.

    • Washington, Pittsburgh, Boston…guys blow saves everywhere.

      For all the “proven closers” out there, the list of guys with 3+ consecutive years with a save percentage over 90% is low. Nature of the position.

      Hanny puts a ton of guys on base. Only reason he’s been successful is that he’s stranded them better then just about anyone over the last two years. Bound to catch up with him every once in a while.

      Let’s just hope it doesn’t become a trend. cough.JohnAxford.cough.

  4. JAL’s Question Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NP9iOqdxS8c

    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

    First Pitch: The Minors Exist For a Reason

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/04/first-pitch-the-minors-exist-for-a-reason.html

    Prospect Watch: Gerrit Cole Bounced Early in Second Straight Start Due to Pitch Count

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/04/prospect-watch-gerrit-cole-bounced-early-in-second-straight-start-due-to-pitch-count.html

    Jonathan Sanchez Shelled As Pirates Lose Sweep Attempt 10-2

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/04/jonathan-sanchez-shelled-as-pirates-lose-sweep-attempt-10-2.html

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Jonathan Sanchez, Chris Leroux struggle through 10-2 loss

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/4/10/4210694/jonathan-sanchez-chris-leroux-struggle-through-10-2-loss

    7 WHYGAVS

    Game 9: Diamondbacks 10 Pirates 2

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/april-2013/game-9-diamondbacks-10-pirates-2.html

    8 The Green Weenie

    Pirates Pummeled 10-2

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/04/pirates-pummeled-10-2.html

    9 Rumbunter

    Jared Hughes Converted Me Last Night

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/04/10/jared-hughes-converted-me-last-night/

    Video: Gerrit Cole Gives Up Bomb, Gets Five Strikeouts, Pirates Minor League Stats

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/04/10/video-gerrit-cole-gives-up-bomb-gets-five-strikeouts-pirates-minor-league-stats/

    10 Raise the Jolly Roger

    D-Backs 10, Pirates 2

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2013/04/d-backs-10-pirates-2/

  5. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates’ Jonathan Sanchez Shouldn’t Be A Major League Starting Pitcher

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/04/11/pittsburgh-pirates-jonathan-sanchez-shouldnt-be-a-major-league-starting-pitcher/

    12 Arizona Republic

    A.J. Pollock powers Arizona Diamondbacks to rout in series finale against Pittsburgh Pirates

    http://www.azcentral.com/sports/diamondbacks/articles/20130410aj-pollock-powers-arizona-diamondbacks-to-rout-in-series-finale-against-pittsburgh-pirates.html

    13 Yahoo Sports

    Starling Marte Provides a Pop at the Top of the Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/starling-marte-provides-pop-top-pittsburgh-pirates-lineup-141800481–mlb.html

    14 Altoona Mirror

    Curve vie for fresh approach in 15th year

    http://www.altoonamirror.com/page/content.detail/id/570516/Curve-vie-for-fresh-approach-in-15th-year.html?nav=742

    15 Boston Herald

    ‘42’ does not go deep in telling Jackie Robinson’s story

    http://www.boston.com/ae/movies/2013/04/11/does-not-deep-telling-jackie-robinson-story/xwwu2JBK98x8B555Jf6OdJ/story.html

    16 Lancaster Herald

    Honus Wagner image has Lancaster link

    http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/836563_Honus-Wagner-image-has-Lancaster-link.html

    17 KDKA

    Steve Blass: Melancon Proving To Be A Sturdy Bridge to Grilli

    http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/04/10/steve-blass-melancon-proving-to-be-a-sturdy-bridge-to-grilli/

    18 PBC Site

    Sanchez’s rocky outing thwarts sweep attempt

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_04_10_pitmlb_arimlb_1&mode=recap_away&c_id=pit

    Marte red hot atop Bucs’ batting order

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130410&content_id=44423006&notebook_id=44423456&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Where the Crazy Closer Comes From

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=20156

    20 Fangraphs

    The Early Trend of 2013: Dingers!

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-early-trend-of-2013-dingers/

  6. Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Emmanuel Sanders offer sheet worth $2.5 million

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/4/10/4210684/emmanuel-sanders-offer-sheet-value-patriots-draft-picks-deadline

    Emmanuel Sanders signing: What are the Patriots up to?

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/4/10/4209448/emmanuel-sanders-signing-compensation-draft-pick-patriots

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Colbert Made His Thoughts Clear on Sanders in March

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/04/steelers-gm-kevin-colbert-made-his-thoughts-clear-on-emmanuel-sanders-situation-in-march/

    Soccer(football)

    23 Daily Telegraph

    Barcelona 1 Paris Saint-Germain 1: agg: 3-3, Barcelona win on away goals: match report

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/competitions/champions-league/9985849/Barcelona-1-Paris-Saint-Germain-1-agg-3-3-Barcelona-win-on-away-goals-match-report.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    Hajduk Split Torcida: trailblazers across Europe

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/blogs/hajduk-split-torcida-trailblazers-across-europe

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    First round NHL playoff matchups coming into focus

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/4/10/4210400/first-round-nhl-playoff-matchups-coming-into-focus

  7. Since Dejan is on vacation…any volunteers to host a “chat” today?

  8. Yea, the same. I travel a lot locally on my job, so, I am on the road today anyways. No can do. Ok, Drew? Anyone else? :)

  9. The Patriots offer to Sanders seems to be $2.5 million. This is significantly less than the $4 million being discussed yesterday.

    The Steelers can match and still have @ $750k left.

    This is a different scenario than $4 million and the Steelers should think long and hard about entering 2013 with Brown, Cotchery, and Burress.

    There are options like Breaston, Doucet, and Rams receivers with names too long to type but they are not great options.

    Signing Sanders would probably preclude any FA signings by the Steelers but did we really think they would pick one up? They could restructure some one if they really want Bradshaw or another FA. I’m not saying they should go after Bradshaw, he’s just the last guy they had a look at.

    At $4 mil, I was all for letting Sanders go.

    At $2.5 I think they should keep him but I won’t be upset if they let him go. They would likely have to bump priority on WR early in draft and I’d rather see an LB. An extra pick in top 100 of a deep draft with that player making $700k for 4 years would be great IF they get the right guy. That’s a big if with the recent draft history.

    Somewhat related note, there has been criticism of the Steelers handling of cap and resigning player to big contracts. One has to remember that these were signed under the old CBA. Under the new CBA the cap isn’t going up as it did previously because the cap is less of a percentage of revenue than it used to be. It’s created a situation where teams can’t spend. This is seen in teams like Steelers that had spent to cap in previous years being cap strapped and a dearth of veteran free agents that can’t find jobs and end up taking much less than they would have in previous years. People have claimed collusion because guys like Urlacher and Harrsion have not been signed. I don’t think there is any current collusion. I do think this is an artifact of the new CBA. I’m not sure if either the owners or players realized the effect the CBA would have but here we are.

    • wee nu wut ewe ment ;)

      • Like! Jandy, have you been texting? Good ones.

        Stuart

        • Stuart, my kids got me texting several years ago. They bullied me into getting my first cell phone. With one in Pittsburgh, and the other in Johnstown, it’s easy to stay in touch. And shortcuts help. u no wut I mean ;)

          • Double amen. I was the last in our family to have a cell phone or get texting. I hate both. But they are necessary evils and in this day and age we live in.

            Even Facebook. I don’t have an account or whatever it’s called. My wife does and my son’s put all my messages on there, so more people actually hear them than even come to our church. Hard to argue with that.

            • Spunky, I’m on Facebook. I also keep in touch with the girls there. Also a lot of my friends. Hubby thinks I’m nuts. His loss ;)

            • Luck and Jandy,

              Me three! Both coments highly “r8ed”. I’ve had a cell for quite a while (even though I had to be bullied into that too), but just started texting this year. My youngest son at Pitt texts quite a bit with his mom, and some with me (especially about the Pens and Pirates). It’s funny I can do all kinds of creative abbreviations with my son, but my wife prefers correct grammar and few abbreviations in our back and forth.

              Sometime deciphering the messages is as much fun as figuring out some vanity license plates!

              Stuart

            • Stuart, you’re so right :)

          • I limit my texting to when I’m driving. I’m conscientious like that

        • I know. It’s a good tool for people to keep in touch. Seems to be more ladies on there than men. I just don’t have time for it. It would cut into my DK Blog time if I did. I’d miss that too much.

          ;)

      • Ed Werder expects this to happen. It might, but I guarantee you Ed Werder is getting no information from inside the Steelers organization. Check the history.

      • If Steelers expect to compete in 2013, they need to sign Sanders and move on.

        They cannot go into this season missing 3 of top 4 receivers from last two seasons!! Thinking two guys brought out of rocking chairs or ice tubs in Training Room can replace Wallace, Miller, and Sanders——or forcing Steelers to reach in the draft to fill the receiver spot——is short-sighted thinking.

      • Let him go. There are two dozen Emanuel Sanders in this draft. If they did match it they would be in the same boat they are in now next spring when they would face losing him in UFA like they just did with Wallace. They don’t have the Cap room to sign him long term right now, so its either:

        -lose him this year and get a 3rd or.
        -keep him for one more year and risk getting nothing.

        He’s an average WR. Personally I don’t see Sanders as the difference between 8-8 and 10-6. It sucks the Steelers have allowed their cap to become this much of a mess, but thats what happens when you keep renegotiating and pushing back cap hits.

        Let him go. Suck it up and move on. I don’t see the Steelers making it to the playoffs next year, with or without Sanders.

        • Apparently the genius Bill Belichick disagrees with you about Sanders.

          I prefer to play for this season and let next season take care of itself. It’s called the “bird in hand” approach. Who knows: Ben could spend next offseason in Georgia or Vegas again.

          Ben only has so many prime years left, and you already want to throw away one by starting 2013 season with 3 of 4 leading receivers from last season gone?!?

          Penny wise . . . pound foolish.

          • Well, I wouldn’t say I WANT TOO, per say. I would have preffered they dealt with their wide recievers last year. When it became obvious that Wallace wouldn’t be staying they did the right thing and locked up Brown and should have done the same thing with Sanders rather than let him get to this point.

            Of course I also wish they hadn’t kept pushing back all the money owed. Now they are in a position to lose even more players. For the last 3-4 years they have been ONLY thinking about the upcoming season and not the future. Again, its not like I WANT to let Sanders go, but I just don’t see him as a vital piece that will be the difference between making the playoffs and not making them. I don’t think they will make it with or without him.

          • Sanders is supposed to be a decent route runner…if that is the case, whtever Haley had going on last year sure didn’t showcase that…and that was with the deep threat (wink wink) and the remainder of “young money”.

            Personally, I don’t think there are that many Sanders’ out there and it’s on Haley to use him.

            After last seasons poor offensive display, it would be reasonable to say just about everyone thta saw the field is/was a dime a dozen…this however is not the case.

            If anyone is interested, take a look at some of the advanced statistics on Sanders and where he ranks. Then find Dwight Stone er…Mike Wallace that is.

  10. Real nice article by Josh Yohe this morning on Mark Eaton. I truly am happy for the guy. I’m not sure how he is still playing the game at his age with the style he has played his whole career. He’s been pelted by so many slapshots, but he just keeps on doing it and is playing extremely well. Seems to be one of the best pickups the Pens made this season.

    • Agreed 100%. With Letang down, Eaton has quietly stepped in and stepped up and made things a bit easier.

    • I can’t believe there are people who still think he should be bumped down to a 7th defenseman when Letang and Martin are back. Outside of Crosby, he’s probably the team MVP this season since the team and especially the defense was going into the crapper until he got here. Best pickup Shero made this season and that includes Iginla and the rest.

      They need to pair him with Letang when he’s back and be done with it.

      • I honestly had reservations when they called him in for a tryout. He’s set my fears to rest. Eaton has more than earned his spot.

  11. Justin Wilson has a track record in the minors. Any chance he gets a shot soon in the rotation? He appears to have tremendous upside.

    • BJ, Tim Williams on Twitter had a nice analysis of Wilson the morning after his appearance. Tim has followed him all the way through the minors and says he’s always been up and down: one day with no-hitter stuff, the next day bad control problems.

      But Brother, wasn’t he lights out the other night. Just hoping his time has come.

    • Going by the history dealing with call ups, or starter/reliever category , it would take a catastrophe , for these clown to make Wilson a starter.

      After 5 years on the job, NH has no suitable replacements for SS, C, and a has allowed a few holes to be had in the starting rotation, when an injury occurs.

      This team will not win 70, and i hope Huntington finally gets his just reward.
      I still cannot believe Huntington, and to a lesser extent, Hurdle, were allowed to return in 2013.
      I just saw on Yahoo, the Pirates are ranked 28 out of 30 in their power rankings.
      Only the Marlins and Astros are stopping the Pirates from the inevitable brand of “worst team in baseball”.
      Great job, Neal, Frank , Clint, all the coaching staff, and a big Thank You, to Bob Nutting, for employing these guys.

  12. I’ve been thinking for awhile that the Vokoun signing was one of Shero’s best, and I mean ever. He knew it was probably going to be a short season and would need a extremely reliable backup to ease the pressure on Fluery.

    But Eaton has been awesome. And he signed him basically off the street for league minimum. Rest of the league is playing checkers…

    • Shero truly is the Wizard of DaBurgh :)

    • Agree regarding Vokoun…he has been a great addition.

      Eaton has been really good as well and a great pickup for no real expense.

      Liked your post yesterday about Shero’s dealing with the 7th round picks and it pretty much turned into Jussi Jokinen…

      Hope that everybody gets healthy soon so we can get things a bit sorted before the playoffs…

      Randy in RVA.

    • The only problem I have is what game was Shero playing when he let Eaton leave…pocket pool?

      • Those games are subject to the times they were made in. Cap restrictions decide a lot of those moves. Hindsight is always better than foresight.

  13. Anyone else see this story? Crazy cuban kid playing in GCL for the Cubs organization went after the other team with a bat…crazy.

    Biggest part of the story I noticed? That the Cubs signed a 20 yo Cuban kid to a 9 year, 30 million dollar contract. 3.3 mil a year for 9 years?

    And the Cubs are complaining that they need to play more night games because they need more money? Sheesh…

  14. Everyone please remember that when people talk about the Steelers having only about $2 million of cap space, that does not count the $5.5 million they will be credited in June when the Willie Colon release becomes official.

    • Whats the ballpark number it will cost them to sign their draft picks?

    • While true, a lot of that money has to go to draft picks.

      After watching him for the last three years and recognizing the probability of a low 3rd round draft pick having an impact (MAYBE 50%), I still say let him go and then try to use the pick to move up in one of the first three rounds to target someone specific and if they can’t, then BAA.

    • Agreed Milo. Good point.

      I was aware of that when I posted this morning but thought the post was long enough.

      That $5 mil is slated for the rookies. I was referencing the money immediately available at the point the decision on Sanders will be made.

      If there is money left from rookie signings they could use that to grab some one available and restructure to get some more if necessary.

  15. Real quick – enjoyed Starkey’s column today on Herbie and Badger Bob…brought back a lot of memories not from their college coaching days, but their time in Pittsburgh…especially Badger Bob.

    Quick Badger Bob story – my sister was at a minor league game at the Igloo with our uncle and cousins. Uncle was very involved with PGH Youth Hockey and managed to score tickets in a box. They were walking down the hallway and who else passes but Badger Bob. My sister being the crazed 13 year Pens fan she was at the time called out “It’s Badger Bob!” He was nice enough to stop and chat and sign their programs…which she still has today.

    Much like now, that was a magical time to be a Pens fan. Let’s hope they can put together a long run which ends with the Cup!

    Randy in RVA.

  16. Palmer, Player and Nicklaus with the honorary start to the Masters.

    233 years and 34 Major titles standing at the first tee.

    They were never arbitration eligible, under years of control or guaranteed one cent through a contract. Pure free agents.

  17. Anyone else bothered that Iginla felt he had to have permission to shoot first? (Josh Yohe notebook article) I finally watched that clip the other day showing Malkin demanding Neal to pass the puck. It occurs to me they have three guys on one line that all should be shoot first type players. Guys like Crosby and Jokinen are more pass first players. I dunno.. just thinking random thoughts.

    • I did not quite read it that he needed “permission”, being the new guy he was sort of deferring to Geno & Kuni.
      Just guys getting used to each other. Iggy is such a class guy he did not want to come in and start dictating how that line played.
      I agree, shoot first, somebody crash the net for a rebound.
      In the remaining games I see the “new” guys just getting comfortable w/the system and linemates.
      Not a lot of pressure to win every game, just work on getting solid for the cup run.

    • Bothered? No. He’s just trying to find his fit on a team and line with a lot of other options to shoot. He’s a smart player though and he’ll figure it out soon. It could be worse, he could be like Ovechkin and demand the puck so much that everyone else is afraid to shoot.

    • Can you link the video of Malkin demanding Neal to pass? I’ve yet to see it.

  18. Are they seriously considering Andy Oliver to take Juan D’s place just because it will be his day to pitch ? SMH.

  19. Anybody going to the Frozen Four at the CEC?

    If Pittsburgh is the professional hockey mecca of North America, then St. Cloud might be the collegiate hockey mecca. That town is positively crazy about the Huskies! Their logo is like the Habs’ logo.

    Very proud that a small Upper Midwest school made it to Pittsburgh. Even if they are from Minnesota.

    Go St. Cloud State!!

    • Oshkosh b’gosh!

      I enjoy your gusto for the Upper Midwest little schools. Their verve is tremendous.

      Let me take this time to tout Chartiers-Houston High School for the girls’ softball championship in the WPIAL this year. They won it last year and won States 2 years ago. This year they embark on the championship trip as a bigger Class AA school.

      Go St. Cloud State Huskies!! Go Chartiers-Houston Buccaneers!!! Go little guys!

    • John,
      I think its sold out – hard to get tickets.
      Pens website said “limited availability”. Clicked on the “tickets” link, said no tickets available online.
      Thinking NCAA had most of em.

  20. uh-oh. Looks like the blog is synchronetically impaired.

  21. Maybe it’s me, I dunno. Pens had an optional skate today. NOT skating were Geno and Kunitz. In my mind, if I want to mesh with my new line mates, I’m at practice. But, what do I know?

  22. Letang playing tonight! :)

    Vokoun in goal.

  23. Good Morning (still morning here in Central Time USA), Everyone!

  24. Hurdle should be ashamed of himself for trotting out that load of garbage he called “a lineup” yesterday.

    Mama always said, “if yinz aint gots nuttin good ta say, dont say nuttin.”

    I guess I’ll shuddup now

  25. Dejan’s latest instagram offering melts my heart.

    Pale skinned, overweight, snapping pictures with a penchant for processed meat and hops.

    My people in the Holy Land!

  26. Letang will play tonight.

  27. Really good blog today. I am enjoying all the conversation back and forth. Too bad the team isn’t as good as the blog is today.

  28. On the Steelers and Sanders. I would let him leave, we can pick up and average WR anytime. Who knows maybe someone would come in that is better and want to show he has what it takes to play in the NFL. Via a rookie or an vet who is out of a job right now. We should draft one anyway since the draft is deep on WR’s so I hear.

    • I was right with you Turk until I took a look at some of the advanced stats on Sanders. He is not as average as one might think…in fact..he is valued just a shade under some of the #1′s on several other teams in two significant categories.

      Pay him and draft one is the only answer. There is no “eye test” for last season’s offense and I hope the fellas over in the ketchup bowl aren’t getting left behind…sort of feels like they might be.

    • maybe TBMTIB can land E. Sanders. He may not be able to hit, pitch or catch but Young Money’s got speed which as we all know would greatly disrupt opposing pitchers…
      That presupposes that anyonce can get on base for which Sanders can pinch-run.

      What is it with CH and playing his bench players like he did yesterday. Yeesh dude. Newsflash: THAT’S WHY THEY’RE BENCH PLAYERS. Yesterday’s team would have lost to a minor-league crickett team (although Rinko Singh might be pit… er bowling for the crickett team.

      Raise it. Neva mind, faghettaboutit

  29. anything to be whipped by you Jandylicious!

    Pointy-headed defenseman playing tonight! Will you be glued to the game?

    Root Sports is cracking me up with their “Pucks n Bucs” promos. Get Real! Like watching a slopfest like the 2013 PBC would even come close to the excitement of a Pens contest. Seriously?

    We started calling Vokoun “6-Goal Vokoun”, and Fleury “3-Goal Fleury” But then they went and got hot so we had to stop all that. now we just append the word “Bag” to each goalie’s first syllable in their last name. “Fleur-Bag” and “Vo-Bag”. not too funneh but it works in my domicile with me lil wifelett.

    Just a tip from yer Uncle Bug

  30. Recently overheard casual meeting between Le Magnifique and the Nutastic Nutting while touring as potential investors in a brand new Carnival Cruise ship:

    BN: (slapping Mario’s back) “Why Mario, its so very good to see you. I’d heard you were considering this as a worthy investment. Is my grapevine correct?”

    Mario: (scowling at the sudden affront) “Eh?”

    BN: “This is a wonderful boat, is it not?”

    Mario: “Oh! Bob Nutting, right.”

    BN: “Now now Mario, you cannot strongarm me, my friend. The Pirates are not for sale. I won’t hear another word about it.”

    Mario: “That’s good because I don’t want them.”

    BN: “Of course Mario. If it’s that important to you I can have my man Frank Coonelly draw up a proposal for you…?”

    Mario: “That won’t be necessary Nutting. (Motioning to a passing waiter) Can I get a refill of Dom here please? Quickly?”

    BN: “I just heard Frank say the very same thing this morning Mario.”

    Mario: “Eh?”

    BN: “Why you know, old chap. ‘A refill of Dom please!’”

    Mario: (impatiently) “Excuse me but what are you nattering about?”

    BN: “Well, you can put your best offer on the table to buy the Pirates but we will retain rights to PNC if that’s ok with you. So, how much are you willing to pay for the Pirates, Mario? You do know they’re an institution around here, and we do have the Best Management Team in all of Professional Baseball.” (Nutting smiles)

    Mario: “Excuse me. I have to go… Have your people contact my people. Oh, and enjoy the Dom since I believe you will NEVER be popping champagne for your baseball team winning anything. You can have this cruise ship too; it’ll probably sink as fast as the baseball team you foist on Pittsburghers!”

    I believe it’s safe to say that Le magnifique does NOT want to acquire the Pittsburgh Pirates.

  31. Okay, something’s fishy, indeed, with the “reply” function not threading correctly.

  32. I imagine the “Hoka Hey,” “TBMTIB,” etc. shirts have been already commented upon. But somebody please tell me that Bob Nutting and Kyle Stark won’t/can’t sue for royalties if these take off like hotcakes. Isn’t satire protected by free speech? Or does free speech not preclude copyrighting and collecting royalties??

    • Lord only knows where this comment will end up, but it is suppose to be a footnote to my “Hoka Hey” t-shirt comment, which in turn was supposed to be after the “thwap” dialogue at about 4:11 EST.
      Not that any of this will matter in 100 years ( or five minutes…)

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