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On location: Pirates 10, Reds 7

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (5-6) vs. Cincinnati Reds (5-6)

Starters: RHP Phil Irwin vs. RHP Mat Latos

Time: 1:35 p.m.

Site: PNC Park

TV, radio: Root Sports, 93.7 The Fan

Here’s the official live box score.

Here’s the Pirates’ lineup …

  1. Starling Marte, LF
  2. Travis Snider, RF
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Garrett Jones, 1B
  5. Neil Walker, 2B
  6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  7. Michael McKenry, C
  8. John McDonald, SS
  9. Irwin, RHP

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page. Rob Biertempfel and I are tuning in for pregame radio festivities.

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.


  1. Let’s go Bucs.

    Time for a sweep of that obviously much better Reds team. Go get em Philthy Phil.

  2. Nice story about Stetson Allie…and his hitting coach Orlando Merced.

  3. I just looked at the standings and the Braves are 10-1.

    From what I hear the Riverhounds are 0-1

  4. ‘Rob Biertempfel and I are tuning in for pregame radio festivities.’

    I am sure the follow up on this will be very interesting

    Over/under on things DK points out as utterly ridiculous and/or stupid that comes out of the GM’s mouth?


    • I’ll listen for you and report back.

      • There you go again DK. If you aren’t parsing NH’s interviews for utterly ridiculous and stupid things he says, you’re parsing his draft record for lack of success.

        Granted, doesn’t seem like you need to parse to see either of those things, but, um, look at how well Melancon is pitching!

      • That is unbelievable.

        But the strength of their scouts is to identify pitchers to TRADE for. Part of the plan.

        (sarcasm emoticon)

        • So, they get full credit for Irwin?

          • Darren Mazeroski is still with the Pirates? Impressive!

          • Ok. I’m late to the party.

            In my book (buy it; read it; I need the money), a team gets credit or blame for acquisition (ANY means) OR for development. If they acquired AND developed a player, double credit or double blame.

            Depending on whether the franchise, you know, WINS. Or not.

            In that light, Dejan’s comment: “Let me know if he talks about all of this management team’s draft picks to start a game in the majors before Phil Irwin today.” Seems picky, almost personal.

            I do not CARE how they get their pitchers. Just whether they 1) have some and 2) win.

            Keep in mind as you read this that I am a front office doubter who:
            - wanted the Gang Of Three fired this off season
            - predicted under .500 and a step back from 2012
            - still expects that result
            - and expects the firings, just one season later. Or late.

            Doesn’t mean I can’t be a fan. Or disagree with another doubter. Because this isn’t a political party (though it sometimes feels like it).

  5. I saw Hanrahan blow the save the other night and mentioned that he does not look in the greatest shape. But he still was throwing very hard. It looked like typical JH outings that we have been used to all last year: good velocity, too many pitches. But this time he didn’t have the good results.

    When I mentioned Hanrahan’s recent struggles and what he looked like to my wife, her official scouting report was – “I think we saw the better days of Joel Hanrahan”

  6. Should have taken warning
    It’s just people mourning, running, hiding, lost
    Couldn’t find, find a place to go
    So it’s RED skies at night, RED skies at night
    Oh oh, oh oh, oh oh oh, oh

    Bucs are FIXX’n to sweep today….

    Let’s open The Window…What’ll ya have? What’ll ya have?
    As always this is just for fun and entertainment purposes.

    Max “wager” is 100 units on each separate line.
    All “wagers” must be divisible by 5.
    Please reply in this box, makes it much easier for me to “book-keep” that way.

    TODAY’S PICK ‘EM — Odds are located in the ( )
    What will Phil Irwin get in today’s game
    WIN (2:1 ODDS)

    Anyone can play, and everyone should try!

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

    Thanks to all for playing and good luck!!

  7. One thing that I noticed early on is that Pedro has been very good at starting the 5-4-3 double play.

    Strong, accurate throws to second.

    • He’s also pretty good at hitting into double plays

      • Don’t you usually need to make contact with the ball to hit into a double play?

      • Not usually, unless you are referring to strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out! :)

      • Don’t you have to actually hit the ball to someone , so be good at hitting into DP’s?

        I will say one thing that i appreciate Alvarez doing, is that he is not taking his horrid Ab’s back to the field with him.

        His defense has been WELL above average after 2 weeks, but he is a little larger than last year, but it’s not affecting his arm, or his accuracy.
        If he could only get a few to the outfield, i would stop my feeling, that they should deal him now, and cut bait with “the next Stargell”.
        Why does Pedro do this to all of us?.

    • Pedro goes yard today. It’s a day game against a righty. (He’ll also strike out, hit into a DP and bounce out weakly to second or first.)

  8. Hanrahan is dealing with a hamstring issue like Malkin is dealing with sunburn; I mean an upper body injury

  9. I always enjoy watching MLB debuts, especially from pitchers.

    Can’t wait for today’s game.

  10. MAJOR SHAKE-UP in the standings here!!

    I finally went though and updated the standings with the results from all the lines so far this weekend.

    The UNDER wins LINE #1 on Friday.
    The OVER wins LINE #2 on Friday.
    The OVER wins LINE #3 on Friday.
    The UNDER wins LINE #2 on Saturday.

    CONGRATS to the new Clubhouse Leaders – RobertoForever, cmat0829, Steve J. Smith

    Here are the updated standings. Let me know if there are any mistakes. Thanks.
    RobertoForever ~ 350
    cmat0829 ~ 350
    Steve J. Smith ~ 350
    Jason81 ~ 300
    TK ~ 300
    JohninOshkosh ~ 295
    EricBowser ~ 250
    theplanisworking ~ 250
    Frankie ~ 250
    Pucknutz ~ 200
    Boise Bucco ~ 200
    Kevin ~ 200
    cherokee23 ~ 200
    JoeyBats ~ 175
    JUCOFan ~ 175
    tcb ~ 175
    OZ ~ 150
    Karen22 ~ 150
    bman ~ 130
    Arriba Wilver ~ 125
    JRay3 ~ 115
    tdb1977 ~ 100
    PetroSteel ~ 100
    stickyweb ~ 100
    Keith ~ 100
    Lad9 ~ 75
    radio wave ~ 75
    mlrgenuine ~ 50
    TJ ~ 50
    JaxBuc ~ 30
    tmp444 ~ 25
    Joey Mellons ~ 15
    DemonDachshund ~ EVEN
    fellocolonial ~ EVEN
    Nate83 ~ EVEN
    pants-n-at ~ EVEN
    Ruffian706 ~ -40
    Jandy ~ -50
    Chico ~ -50
    JD ~ -50
    Dom ~ -75
    KJX ~ -75
    cosmo ~ -100
    Dcpinpgh ~ -100
    Kevin S ~ -100
    steelercrazy ~ -100
    TCB ~ -200
    stuart66 ~ -300
    JMB ~ -500
    Bizrow ~ -500

  11. At this point, it’s looking like Pedro is going to be an insanely streaky player. He’ll be awful for month long stretches, and then get red hot for 2-3 weeks. It would be great to see him develop some consistency, but I’m starting to wonder if that will ever happen. It will also be interesting to see if anyone pitches to him once he catches fire.

    At least it looks like he’s a little better defensively this year.

    • He is consistent; consistently bad. Starting to look like the 3B version of Adam Laroche. Don’t show up early and start hitting bombs when the games don’t matter.

      • He hit 30 HRs last year. Can’t do that when you’re consistently bad.

        • Hitting .086 thus far; and a career .230 hitter with a career .303 OBP with 50 total HR’s.

          Sounds pretty consistent to me.

          • OPS last year by month:

            .767, .635, .926, .820, .969, .632

            June through August is why suggesting they get rid of him is just plain silly. The other 3 months is why he’s so frustrating.

            • Never said they should get rid of him. Just saying he’s not performing the way he was expected to perform being the #2 overall pick. The Pirates went with him over Machado who was a SS. Granted it was a solid pick at the time given the projections but he hasn’t lived up to that. If we start accepting .240 with 30 HR’s out of the #2 overall pick year after year your going to be a losing team for a lot longer

              • I think you’re mixing up your drafts. Machado was drafted in 2010. The Taillon year.

              • Your right Arrba; god it doesn’t seem like it was 2008 when the Pirates took Alvarez. Jeez looking at some of the names behind him it wasn’t a good draft for anyone other than SF with Posey. Interesting to see Cole was taken 28th by the Yankees that year.

              • As AW said, wrong draft for Machado. Pedro went before Buster Posey at #5 if you really want to play that card.

                Getting a major league regular out of even the top of the baseball draft is tough. I consider the draft record a failure because of what they’ve done (or failed to do) with the rest of their picks, not for Pedro Alvarez.

    • So that makes him good?

      • He was the #2 overall pick in the draft; the production he’s putting up is not good. Take a look at the guy drafted directly behind him. A .240 average with 30 HR is not what you should be getting from the #2 overall pick.

        • So that makes him good? I don’t care what the success rate is… you can spin it how you want Roberto but your wrong. If your telling me that because he made it to the majors and has hit 50 career home runs and has a .230 average that it qualifies as a solid #2 overall pick then I’m glad your not the GM. Danny Espinosa drafted in the 3rd round by the Nationals that year has 45 career home runs and a career .237 average and plays SS. For every 1-4 that doesn’t make it you have guys in rounds 2-50 that make it. I’m not saying that Alvarez should not have been the pick; I’m saying based on how he’s played he’s a bust as a #2 overall and just as bad as the rest in the draft. You don’t label him a success just because everyone else failed.

  12. I tell ya with the way Melancon has pitched so far I could easily see him taking over the closers job this season if Grilli ends up being dealt for another Travis Snider.

  13. Fire Justin Evans!

  14. A week ago I made this GEM of a comment……

    Playoffs by 2012 says:
    April 5, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    I realize I’m probably in the minority here, but, I really haven’t been all that impressed with Marte since he was called up last year.

    Yes, I realize it is VERY early in his career.
    Yes, I realize he has tremendous upside.

    But so far he’s been pretty…meh.

    Well…when you’re wrong, YOU’RE WRONG!!
    I’ll keep my mouth shut and stick to posting lines.

  15. DK,
    welcome back! And hope your Mom is doing well, also.

    Nice piece on the Riverhounds, althought I confess to never seeing them, and only interested in soccer in World Cup years…………

    You left for a week, and the Pirates won 4 of 5.
    Just sayin’ ……………… ;)

  16. DK– from your twitter…they’ve had five drafts (’08-12), not six…

  17. DK…welcome back. Hope you are well.

  18. Looking at today’s lineup, it is not so much the rookie pitcher that scares me, but the specter of a MLB team trying to compete with 31/2 hitters. On the other hand, what’s new about this predicament?

  19. Easy kid. You made The Show. That’s the hard part.

  20. Ok, maybe it is the pitcher who is scariest!

  21. Not a good sign, Irwin has shown great control in minors and has opened with two walks to first three batters. Some one needs to talk to him, settle kid down.

  22. Needed that DP

  23. Double play will cure what ills ya!

  24. Well could have been worse. Johnny Mac and Pedro flashing the leather we two nice plays to get out of inning. Going to need some bats today.

  25. AW predicted Pedro earlier. I have a hunch The Fort goes yard today as well.

  26. Why do that? Disagree with Bob Walk.

    • Agree. 1st inning, Cutch at bat. Why risk it?

      • Doesn’t make much sense…take RBI situation away from your best hitter. You need to be certain you will make it if you try to pull that and he wasn’t close.

    • I agree. Your best hitter at the plate and a slow runner at second, why steal third? Dude was only half way when the catcher had the ball. Running into outs with a 2-0 deficite is always bad – especially for this team. Can’t afford mistakes.

  27. At least they didn’t strand the double this time……
    Still don’t understand why you would try to steal there.

  28. Gonna be a long afternoon, I think.

  29. Gotta get me one of those hats, though.

  30. I know it’s Irwin’s first start and everything, but why does this team always fall apart mentally in going for sweeps? Slow man thrown out at third trying to steal, Marte kicking the ball around, then air mailing the ball to no one while run comes in to score. Long day indeed.

    • They havent carried enough telephone poles and aren’t thinking like hippies. NH and KS should make them run back and forth across the Clemente Bridge after the game with telephone poles.

  31. This is Thunder’s fault.

  32. Gotta “love” Neverett.” “Pedro’s off to a bit of a slow start.”

  33. What’s the old maxim, “if you can’t say something nice . . “. But Tim is paid to blab.

  34. Irwin looks to be settling down. Good for him.

  35. Old McDonald with a single.

  36. My scouting report of Irwin hasn’t changed much from Spring Training:
    He’s not that good
    He works slow
    He is still tall

    Imagine if he was scouted by Kyle Stark and not Maz’s kid

  37. McDonald getting hits is just going to encourage Clint to play him more.

    Eesh. I can’t stand Barmes, but compared to McDonald he’s Cal Ripken.

  38. This Irwin guy doesn’t look all the FILTHY to these eyes….

  39. Where was Cutch throwing that one?

  40. Dripping with power!!

  41. We can finally blame one on the fans.

  42. This crew of umps just blows. Several clear shots show that the ball was a HR for Snider. Way to go Cutch to at least get him home.

  43. Good gosh how can four umpires with today’s camera views and technology miss that call. Snider robbed of a 2 run HR…two doubles for Snider who shows some of that power he is dripping with.

    Cutch with RBI double and Bucs back in it down 5-3…no quit from this group.

  44. Great argument from Bob Walk…if after all that time and aid of instant replay the crew still can’t get call correct get rid of it and go back to human error.

    • Great argument and Bob Walk should never, ever be used in the same sentence.

      I was switching back and forth on MLB tv between reds team and the Pirates version of Fred and Grady.

      They were vehemently united that the ball did not go out, but of course i don’t think they had access to the Highmark cam, or whatever they use.
      Looked to me, that if that was hit during a game with no one in the front row, it hits the seat.
      How can the umpires not see that?.

  45. Gaby Gaby Doo…base hit, RBI and Bucs down just one…wow!

  46. Sadly McKenry now has as many hits as Martin. Good job Failington.

    • Why are you picking on “Real Deal Neal”? :-)

    • I just looked at the standings. For as slow as the Buccos have started, they are doing much better than the Brew Crew. Early in the season…I hope they can pull this one out.

      • He just needs to do his thing. I think when you are part of a team, you have yo have your own goals as well as be part of the overall team fabric. I hope each player can balance that and overcome 20 years of continual suck. Bring back “We Are Fam-alee” for the 2013 season.

  47. Is this a good time to ask why Clint had Snider stealing third on the bottom of the first ?

  48. In the words of Mel Allen: “How ’bout that!” RBI PINCH-HIT single by Gabby. 5-4 now. Come on Neil! 2-out lightning.

  49. Did Nevrett get the home run call correct?

  50. Lots of surprisingly good Pirates outcomes lately, none of them involving midnight-signing, practice-swinging, first-draft-pick third basemen.

  51. Should have been strike three, sure hope the Bucs don’t see this ump crew again for awhile.

  52. Champions *never* whine about the rules. Every athlete worth her salt knows you must be prepared to overcome at least two bad calls.

  53. Fort ties it with a great shot to Left!!! There’s number two for you John!!

  54. The FORT The FORT The FORT… Can u believe that! And Neverett didn’t want to call it a HR. Let’s Go Bucs!!!

  55. If my contest boat for no decision got in on time I guess that tying homerun gets me some points great job by the fort today.

  56. Kudos to Pedro for drawing walk to allow it to be a 2 run HR…Johnny Mac robbed by nice play by Cosart.

  57. Why do you slide there? If you stand up and the ball hits you in the head, you get ON BASE!!!

  58. Tabata with a walk now this would be an approprite time to try and swipe a base.

  59. I relinquish my tie for the lead to you with my horrible call of a win for today for Irwin. Good job.

  60. Just got a moment to check in here….and Marte with a dinger :)

  61. The Marte Party continues with a two run blast Bucs lead 8-6!

  62. Way to go Marte!!!! 8-6 Bucs!

  63. Was cooking and cleaning up that mess….Lobster Tail and baked potatoes with bacon and cheese on them….and watching these guys come from behind powered by 2 homers by the Fort :)

  64. Statement game being delivered by Buccos today…lots of fight in this team as they will play you all nine.

    • You mean like game 3 or the Arizona series?.
      Come on now, Dusty Baker uses a bull pen like Artie Lange enjoys a cookie puss.

      I thought for sure that Marte home run was a great catch if the glove was a tad to the left.
      It just seems Heisey misjudged that ball, that he had a play on. Am i right or wrong?.

  65. Before we get too excited I would like to remind everyone:

    Marte – not a NH draft pick.


  66. Party with Marte & support The Fort(how about 2 of every 6 games).

  67. I think the bats have officially awoken…14 hit game and pouring it on Reds pen.

  68. what’s the take in here on Snider’s “missed” homer?

  69. Got called into work to put out a fire. Came home and see I missed a heckuva comeback.

    Way to go Buccos. Wow!!

  70. And Sanchez drives in Sanchez on sac fly…9-6 Buccos.

  71. Four run seventh followed five run eighth…what a ballgame Thundercrack is witnessing.

  72. You know you have done well in a series with Reds when the first time you see Chapman is in last game up three.

    And Walker promptly greets him with a rip back at him for RBI and his third hit. 10-6 good guys.

  73. The Pirates have scored more runs today than the Riverhounds will score goals their entire season.

    Cincinnati Reds and Dusty Baker, I do not love thee.

  74. Has to be those “Raise the Jolly Roger” flags they passed out today. Finish it up now, Mark!

  75. That must be why the other guys walked him all day long. 10-7 now.

  76. Come on Melancon!

  77. How did we sweep the Reds without retaliating for last year?

  78. Behind 15 hits and 10 runs in last two innings with two homers from the Fort and a Marte GW Blast the Bucs beat the Reds 10-7 to earn their first sweep of the season and there was Noooooooooo doubt about it.

    The Pirates have now won 5 of their past 6 to jump into second place in the NL Central and will begin a three game set with the leaders the Cardinals tomorrow night with James McDonald taking the mound.

    Go Bucs!

  79. RAISE IT!!!!!

  80. Raise it!! 6-6 and along in 2nd place. I know it’s early, but small steps. Keep it going tomorrow against the first place team. Go Bucs!!

  81. Woo hoo! Nice weekend and great to see the comeback!

  82. Went grocery shopping today with my wife and was talking with a guy in the store who had a Pirates shirt on and he told me me Reds 5-0. We agreed…”we’ll take 2 of 3 any day”. I have to admit…coming home and just checked the scores…mighty impressive. Very, very impressive performance today. And, really this weekend. Ok, wifey wants to go back to Augusta and the Masters.

  83. CONGRATS to the Bucs! …break of the brooms… it…especially sweet against the Reds.
    :-) :-) :-)

  84. It’s over, Jonny (Broxton). It’s over!

  85. Better give McKenry a day off tomorrow.

  86. Time to move on and watch the Masters – a tradition unlike any other.

  87. Don’t wash those ’70 uniforms…wear ‘em tomorrow….

  88. Got to love ESPN game cast. They have the game 6-6 in the bottom of the 8th. Get home to turn on Teke talking about the Snider replay. So much for watching the end!

  89. Ok someone has to help me here… Do I see that Jonathan Sanchez pinch hit today and drew a walk?

  90. .500 day.

    Who’da thunk it so soon after LA?

    Marte just may be the real deal.

    Oh, and I already have one of those 1970 hats. Picked it up last year in Des Moines at one of those mall cap stores. For years they had had only one kind of Pirate hat and it was at the on a bottom shelf in the back corner of the store, and then suddenly last year when they started winning the Bucco Chappeau became Buccos Chapeaux.

    Seems like folks turn out for a winner.

  91. Interesting day. I thought Jason Day would be toast after yesterday, but Snedeker is the one who crumbled, and Day has come back. Cabrera still may pull it out, and Scott’s done well. Still lots can happen.

  92. they started flashing the Z sign in Arizona and that has made all the difference!!! Pirate baseball is fun again, enjoy the ride! Cards and Braves next (nobody hotter than the Braves),,,Beat em Bucs

  93. Holy crap, I gave up down 5-0.

    What a nice surprise! Maybe McKenry can start more than one game a week now?

  94. WOW…just WOW!!!

    The No Decision amazingly wins today.
    CONGRATS to RobertoForever the new Clubhouse Leader!!

    Here are the updated standings. Let me know if there are mistakes. Thanks.
    RobertoForever ~ 390
    cmat0829 ~ 350
    TK ~ 300
    Steve J. Smith ~ 250
    Jason81 ~ 250
    EricBowser ~ 250
    theplanisworking ~ 250
    JohninOshkosh ~ 235
    Frankie ~ 200
    Pucknutz ~ 200
    Boise Bucco ~ 200
    Kevin ~ 200
    JoeyBats ~ 175
    JUCOFan ~ 175
    tcb ~ 175
    cherokee23 ~ 150
    Karen22 ~ 150
    radio wave ~ 150
    bman ~ 130
    Lad9 ~ 125
    tdb1977 ~ 100
    PetroSteel ~ 100
    stickyweb ~ 100
    Keith ~ 100
    Arriba Wilver ~ 75
    OZ ~ 50
    mlrgenuine ~ 50
    JaxBuc ~ 30
    tmp444 ~ 25
    JRay3 ~ 15
    fellocolonial ~ EVEN
    Nate83 ~ EVEN
    pants-n-at ~ EVEN
    Joey Mellons ~ -10
    Ruffian706 ~ -40
    TJ ~ -50
    Chico ~ -50
    JD ~ -50
    Dom ~ -75
    KJX ~ -75
    DemonDachshund ~ -100
    Jandy ~ -100
    cosmo ~ -100
    Dcpinpgh ~ -100
    Kevin S ~ -100
    steelercrazy ~ -100
    TCB ~ -200
    stuart66 ~ -400
    Bizrow ~ -400
    JMB ~ -600

  95. Heckuva ending to the Masters going on.

  96. Good think I had my wife with me today, because I was totally confused when I saw a Sanchez on third base and a Sanchez in the batter’s box. She explained how that happened.

    • You the Man! (Which Sanchez is taller?)

    • Now if that catcher in AAA we used a high pick on could just come around we could have sanchez pitching to sanchez and sanchez throwing over to sanchez at first. Its the Nutting Regime’s version of the 1990′s killer B’s of Bell, Bonilla, Bonds, Backman, Belliard, Bream etc.

  97. I see the Cards lost, we’re only a game out.

    • Rather amazing isn’t it? Heard the guys talking last night about how everyone is raving about Contreras and how close Liriano is to joining the team. If Contreras can come in and compliment Melancon at the back end of the pen and Liriano can just be consistent we could be in position for a historic collapse in the 2nd half.

  98. I was just reading some of DK’s tweets. Have to take a different stance on the Steelers keeping Sanders. They don’t owe Ben anything if they decide not to match the Sanders offer. Its not like Brady losing Welker; Brady actually took a pay cut; Ben restructured to get more money up front.

    • I thought Ed B. had a very good article in today’s other paper, explaining the whole situation….and why they won’t match the offer for Sanders.

      DK: What’s that have to do with taking cheap shots at me? You OK?

  99. Looks like the Sanders comment was all for not as ESPN reports that the Steelers are matching the Patriots offer. Wonder if at all over the past days if the Steelers were discussing a long term deal or if they were allowed to.

    • Hate to tell you boys, but if you are a Steelers loyalist, you are in for a long season.
      When the 1st major offseason decision is to match an absurd contract given to Sanders, you know you are in trouble.

      This guy is a 3rd or 4th best receiver on a Great team, something the Steelers will not be confused as, in 2013-14.
      And they are contemplating paying this guy somewhere in the neighborhood of how much?
      Did i miss something, or is NH moonlighting in the Steelers Front office?.

  100. Masters- pretty cool!!
    Scott birdies – The Angel sticks it!!
    Playoff— love it!!

  101. Best part of listening to Jim Nantz call the masters… Not having to hear Phil Simms making stupid comments.

    DK: I actually kind of miss Simms.

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