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Tuesday Wakeup Call: All the broadcasts

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, lunatics …

>> The TribLIVE Radio show today — 1-2 p.m. — will feature special guest Tony Watson of the Pirates’ outstanding bullpen.

To listen, just click on the link above. It’s free, easy, no signup. One click, and we’re on. If you’ve got an iPhone, iPad or Android, we’ve got the upgraded TribLIVE Radio app. Also free and easy and everything else.

The Trib’s Rob Rossi will be the media guest, discussing the Penguins’ many lingering injuries and the Stanley Cup races down the stretch. And, of course, the local Twitter monolith @suckmeter will offer the Suck of the Week in Pittsburgh sports.

I want you involved, too. Email: sportstalk@tribweb.com or call me at 412-320-7925.

>> If you missed it yesterday, WPXI-TV and Trib Total Media are teaming up for a new Sunday night sports show that will be called The Final Word. It debuts this very Sunday at 11:35 p.m.

I am quite excited about this, as well as the people with whom we’ll be working.

>> You will not believe this garbage from the Ottawa Sun. I’ll leave it at that.

Well, no, I won’t. Let’s just say this: No self-respecting editor in any part of the world clears that piece to run. The author’s going to be embarrassed about this from coast to coast, no question. And he’ll deserve it. But the editor has ultimate responsibility.

I’ll have to shower if I keep talking about this, so …

>> Attended the Steelers’ the pre-draft news conference with Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert over on the South Side yesterday. Much on that topic over the next 24 hours.

>> So let’s count this up: The Penguins played last night in Ottawa without Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, James Neal, Marc-Andre Fleury, Kris Letang, Paul Martin and Mark Eaton … and beat a desperate group of Senators seamlessly, 3-1.

Ask me, and it’s because they lucked out in that lottery.

>> The dream lives. I could either spend my next two weeks in one of my favorite places on the planet, or I could spend it in New York.

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>> Imaginative shot of Andrew McCutchen during pregame in Philly last night, from Getty Images.

>> You know, in the Monday column, I came perilously close to describing A.J. Burnett and Wandy Rodriguez as if they’ll go a combined 50-10 this year. But the difficult loss last night in Philly should remind that they won’t always get it done, either.

A.J.’s kan odd case right now. He’s got what the catchers have told me is the best sinker of his life, but it’s easy to tell he’s using it to miss bats rather than to induce grounders. As a result, he’s striking out a ton of people — which is wonderful — but also running up his pitch count. He had 101 through five innings last night.

Not sure what Ray Searage can do here. Hard to tell a terrific veteran to stop whiffing people when your stuff is great. But harder still to take the ball from him after five.

>> What’s the worst job in America? One new survey brings the glum news.

>> Hope you can tune in today. As always, video and podcast will be up here shortly afterward.

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.

260 Comments

  1. DK, you are the official sage of Pittsburgh sports … therefore, I ask, does Sid return before the playoffs, as Rob Rossi predicted on TribLIVE Radio today? Or does Sid return after the first round of the playoff, as Nick Kypreos aka @RealKyper suggested tonight?

    DK: There has been absolutely nothing to indicate Crosby will be out anywhere near as long as the entire first round. That’s three weeks from now. He’s out on the ice right now.

  2. Wow…Don Brennan is at it again. Writing an article with the sole purpose of lambasting Matt Cooke because Cooke questioned his manhood. Brennan also went on to claim Cooke “looked like he wanted to be elsewhere” for the remainder of the game after the early scrum with Chris Neil. Found a pretty nice spot in the left wing corner to set up Kennedy for that dagger in the 3rd period, but feel free to ignore that fact.

    To Mr. Brennan, Bryan “Sufferin’ Succotash” Murray, and Eugene “CSI: Ottawa” Melnyk, you stay classy.

    http://www.ottawasun.com/2013/04/22/why-is-pittsburgh-penguins-matt-cooke-so-interested-in-don-brennans-package

    • Hockey seriously has some of the sorest losers in sports, and it can’t all be Matt Cooke’s fault. What, is he gonna say that he “had a bad week” too? That’s pathetic. The way teams complain about Cookie, other GM’s better not be offering him money in the offseason.

    • wishing I could un-read that “story”.

  3. With the new show, Dejan, is there anything you don’t do or have experience in? Like cooking a baked potato: take the time to grill it if you have steaks going already, or a solid nuke in the microwave?

    In all seriousness, Dejan, congratulations on the show. I love your work. It’s obvious there’s a specific show on another local network this is looking to compete against, but your show seems like it will be much more viewer interactive, which I find very refreshing. I think there’s an overabundance of “you just watch and listen or else” expert debate.

    DK: Appreciate the kind wishes, Eddie.

    I can’t even make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Totally useless around the house.

  4. Wow just read the Ottawa Sun article. How can you write a piece like that and respect yourself as a professional? And like Dejan said it illustrates the credibility of the paper. I have great respect for players like Gonchar and Alfredsson, but the majority of that organization and its fan base are losing their minds over this.

  5. Is that Don Brennan article even journalism? If so, Hire me because I can write stuff like that all day. I just wasted 3 minutes of my life I will never get back.

    The way the Pens are playing right now we could run out our roster from WBS and still dominate the game. Never felt more excited to watch a squad in the playoffs than this one, and that includes their early 90′s teams.

  6. Just looked up the Ottawa Sun on Wikipedia. Apparently it’s a tabloid, and a pretty sleazy one at that, judging from the front page sample on the Wiki page, and the juvenile and cowardly cheap shots passing for journalism linked to by DK. Unfortunately, crap like this sells. Pseudo-tough guys read this and lap it up, thinking it makes them tough by extension.

    DK: The whole Sun chain across Canada is pretty bad like this, but Ottawa’s Sun still stands in its own class (or lack thereof). This is anything but new for this paper.

  7. ” … but also running up his pitch count. He had 101 through five innings last night.”

    Who ever said that 100 pitches should be some kind of magic number, especially for a veteran like Burnett?

    • Couldn’t agree with you more. AJ only needed 9 pitches to get out of the 5th. He got Young and Howard to hit into ground outs. Maybe he figured something out.

  8. DK,

    I have a long day ahead of me. I just wanted to look at blog posts and not comment. Then, I looked at the Ottowa Sun piece.

    Here goes…

    What a piece of filth! I humbly apologize to any filth I have offended. To question Matt Cooke’s manhood because he did not want to fight? Really? I was always taught that it was not fighting, especially when the temptation is there, that made one more of a man.

    As far as looking like he wanted to be someplace else, I think the writer, and I use the term loosely, was right. Cooke wanted to be someplace else…sipping champagne out of Lord Stanley’s Cup at Consol Energy Center. One game at a time…:-)

    Have a great day, DK.

  9. “Careers that ranked the lowest included enlisted military personnel, lumberjack and newspaper reporter.”

    So you’re a lumberjack. Cool.

    Love the song.

  10. I call BS on that survey! PAROLE OFFICER is #27? Yet accountant is #47?

    I think that’s a bit daffy.

  11. Honestly, I’ve never even heard of the Ottawa Sun. After reading the first 3 or 4 lines of Don Brennan’s “article”, I get the impression that this “paper” should be sold right beside the other “papers” that claim Elvis is alive and aliens have abducted Michael Jackson.

  12. JETS still have a chance!! Thanks TK.

  13. Don Brennan, don’t give up your day job. You’d make a lousy comedian.
    Dorktard.

  14. JAL’s Let it Rain Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mi3WxjnjJ80

    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: Time to Start Looking at the Bullpen Depth

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/04/first-pitch-time-to-start-looking-at-the-bullpen-depth.html

    The Bullpen Didn’t Need Burnett’s Control Issues

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/04/the-bullpen-didnt-need-burnetts-control-issues.html

    Prospect Watch: Sanchez Hits Walk Off Homer, Bad Start For Taillon

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/04/prospect-watch-sanchez-hits-walk-off-homer-bad-start-for-taillon.html

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates not quite at their best in 3-2 loss

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/4/22/4255096/pirates-not-quite-at-their-best-in-3-2-loss

    7 WHYGAVS

    Game 19: Phillies 3 Pirates 2

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/april-2013/game-19-phillies-3-pirates-2.html

    8 The Green Weenie

    Bucs Stumble 3-2

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/04/bucs-stumble-3-2.html

    9 Rumbunter

    Vic Black Is So Dirty

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/04/22/vic-black-is-so-dirty/

    10 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Phillies 3 Pirates 2

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2013/04/phillies-3-pirates-2/

  15. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Rising Apple

    Glory Days: Willie Stargell

    http://risingapple.com/2013/04/22/glory-days-willie-stargell/?utm_source=FanSided&utm_medium=Network&utm_campaign=Hot%2BTopics

    12 Yahoo Sports

    Can the Pittsburgh Pirates Survive Pedro Alvarez’s Massive Slumps?

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/pittsburgh-pirates-survive-pedro-alvarez-massive-slumps-170000955–mlb.html

    13Bradenton Herald

    Pittsburgh Pirates pitching prospect Nick Kingham picks up win for Bradenton Marauders

    http://www.bradenton.com/2013/04/23/4494641/pittsburgh-pirates-pitching-prospect.html

    14 City of Champions

    Philadelphia Phillies outlast Pittsburgh Pirates

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2013/04/22/philadelphia-phillies-outlast-pittsburgh-pirates/?utm_source=FanSided&utm_medium=Network&utm_campaign=Hot%2BTopics

    15 Dominican Today

    Entity’s kudos for Pittsburgh Pirates’commitment to Dominicans

    http://www.dominicantoday.com/dr/people/2013/4/22/47381/Entitys-kudos-for-Pittsburgh-Piratescommitment-to-Dominicans

    16 CBS Sports

    Pirates-Phillies Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20130423_PIT@PHI

    17 Sweetspot

    Everybody strikes out these days!

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/35075/everybody-strikes-out-these-days

    18 PBC Site

    Two homers, Burnett’s effort not enough in tight loss

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_04_22_pitmlb_phimlb_1&mode=recap_away&c_id=pit

    Notebook: Despite struggles, Sanchez scheduled to start Friday

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130422&content_id=45489346&notebook_id=45497454&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    The Story Behind Baseball’s Most Successful Slogan

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=20324

    20 Fangraphs

    Anatomy of Brandon Phillips, RBI Machine

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/anatomy-of-brandon-phillip-rbi-machine/

  16. Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Rashard Mendenhall on Life After Pittsburgh

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/4/22/4253606/steelers-cardinals-rashard-mendenhall-comments

    Mocking Multiple Mock Drafts – UPDATED 4/22

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/4/22/4249080/the-mocking-mock-draft

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Steelers GM Kevin Colbert Says Door Not Closed On Max Starks & Casey Hampton Possibly Returning

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/04/steelers-gm-kevin-colbert-says-door-not-closed-on-max-starks-casey-hampton-possibly-returning/

    Soccer(football) Will T

    23 Daily Telegraph

    Manchester United become Premier League champions after beating Aston Villa

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/manchester-united/10011604/Manchester-United-become-Premier-League-champions-after-beating-Aston-Villa.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 22nd April, 2013

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-22nd-april-2013

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Game Recap: Pens continue winning ways, beat Ottawa 3-1

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/4/22/4255226/game-recap-pens-continue-winning-ways-beat-ottawa-3-1

  17. I must admit last night I was more happy about beating the Senators because of their owner and Brennan. If you all remember he was the one that said the world was coming to an end because Karlsson was out and people would stop going to games. He also called out the Senators and said their would be a price to pay the next time the Pens played the Senators.

    I find it extremely ironic that he’s calling out Cooke for not engaging Neil in a fight yet I didn’t see Neil dropping the gloves when Macintyre grabbed him at center ice. I guess Brennan thinks its wise for a non-fighter like Cooke to go with Neil but not for Neil to go with Macintyre. Both were out there to protect teammates.

    And what is amusing to me is that not only did the Senators fail to do anything Brennan and the off his rocker owner Melnyk had hoped; they didn’t even WIN the game. So what does Brennan do; he writes a comment about Cooke that has nothing to do with hockey. And I’m sure Cooke didn’t bring up Brennan; I’m sure he was responding to a question about the article written by Brennan essentially calling for Cooke’s head.

    Brennan is a piece of work thats for sure. I bet it really drove him nuts to know that Cooke got an assist on the goal that closed the door last night.

    • Engelland and Murray gave him an invitation later in the game, too. Neil didn’t want either one of them either. I’m sure some enigmatic member of the Canadian hockey journalism community will state that some part of the “Code Of Hockey” (cue sounds of holy trumpets blaring) states that the home team gets to select the combatants. So if Neil wants to go with Cooke, then Cooke is the coward. But not the other way around when the invitation is sent to Neil from Murray.

      Gotcha. Righte-yo.

  18. I think we should bring back Starks. With him in the fold we would have depth in every OL position. I’m guessing they’re going to wait till after the draft though.

  19. I’m afraid to look but if there isn’t a hash tag already I’m sure there will be one soon for #DonBrennansPackage

  20. I couldn’t agree with you more TJ and everyone else – can you imagine DK writing something like this? Hell, with the exception of a few local blogger goons, I couldn’t even fathom anyone in the Pittsburgh media writing this piece. I guess it just goes to show how unmitigated hatred can make people write stupid things. And honestly – we’re at the point now where I can’t believe this is even still an issue. It’s pretty obvious what happened, and if you disagree with it, fine, but you need to move on and stop crying.

    Finally, seeing “Toughguy” Chris Neil cowering from Big Mac and from Crankshaft may have been one of the funniest things I have ever seen. He wants to be a big dog, then he sees what one looks like and runs the other way. To quote that horrible article, someone is missing something downstairs.

    • The Sun isn’t the Trib-Review. Not even close. It isn’t even the Butler Eagle. Its a sleazy big city tabloid. Brennan isn’t even as credible as Skip Bayless. Think about that.

      He’s a glorified blogger….let it go.

      • Agreed – I think my biggest problem with the article is the fact that because it’s for the Sun, and not sensrule.com or some fan site, it’s going under the guise of journalism, when clearly it’s some jag who blames Cooke for everything from the Sens not making the Cup to apparently his lack of But yea, we should just let it go because ultimately, we all know who looks foolish here, and we all know who has the better shot at a long playoff drive.

        And thanks Jandy, always nice to get a like or +1 (altho it’s rare for a rookie commenter like me lol!)

  21. Even that Ottawa scumbag columnist is able to see how important Dupuis is to the Pens. Glad Neal didn’t take any liberties on him…

  22. That Ottawa Sun article was hilarious!!!

    It was too ridiculous to get upset about.

    Before reading that, the following article below was the most absurd piece I ever read:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1019658/index.htm

    Now we have a new champion.

    • is that new champion #donbrennanspackage

    • Jeeeez. Mr.Brennan, where I come from, you don’t tell people that your genitalia has been questioned.

      To go along with the Sports Illustrated article: I am getting mighty tired of Bob and Steigy commenting on Doug Murray’s weight. To be “fair”, I have also heard these guys go to town on Dustin Byfuglien and other larger/wider men. Are they trying to capture a younger audience by acting like mean girls? Tsk, tsk.

  23. “A.J.’s kan odd case right now”

    I don’t mean to be disrespectful but what is “kan”?

    Is that some sort of hip new way of saying “kind of” as in:

    I’m kan too old to start learning these new hip phrases.

  24. I was fixing to say I bet even Randy & Curt didn’t go 50-10 with the 2001 Dbacks … but I decided to check first and they came close! Johnson was 22-6, and Schilling was 21-6. They each chunked 250 innings.

  25. Alright folks if you got nothing better to do today feel free to pass along #donbrennanspackage

    I’m about to head out to chicago. Figure its the least we could do for Mr Brennan. Maybe he can get a new job in the adult industry if we give him enough props.

    • And to correct DK the worse job out there is being #donbrennanspackage

      • Not debating your point (except that Brennan is in Canada), but DK needs to notice that those are the 200 BEST jobs in America. While principal and elementary school teacher made the list, middle school and high school teacher didn’t even crack the top 200. Neither did musician. Yeah, I’m pretty much screwed.

  26. I wouldn’t tweet about Brennan’s package, or read his articles. He’s a hack. Believe me he is laughing that he trolled the entire Penguins fan base and has all of us saying his name. He’s Ottawa’s version of Mark Madden.

    Check that. Mark doesn’t even write stuff like that.

    This is what he does. Ignore him.

  27. The only part of that Ottawa Sun article that doesn’t leave me shaking my head is, “Is there a more underrated player than Pascal Dupuis?” That is true. If he wants to make big bucks this summer, he can. Unfortunately, it will be elsewhere. He’s been a favorite of mine for a while. I hope the Pens can/will keep him on the roster.

  28. Happy 74 to Lee Majors. His face is much younger.

  29. This was referenced earlier. Ladies & Gentlemen, Mike Milbury.

    http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2013/04/22/video-mike-milbury-unloads-on-matt-cooke/

  30. why no pirate game on tv tonight? the penguin game tonight, in addition to being utterly meaningless, was not even on the schedule a couple of days ago. how could it take precedence over an already-scheduled game? what a backwards town we live in.

    • You’re in big trouble, Mister . . . :-)

    • Instead of taking a cheap shot at the City of Pittsburgh, your anger should be directed at the man that negotiated the Pirates TV contract. Frank Coonelly.

      DK: This Milo ,,, the Force is strong with him.

      • I’m not sure exactly when times changed and everyone felt it was their right to have every game of their team broadcast on TV. I remember listening to the Immaculate Reception on a car radio while playing touch football in the street.

        Personally, I’m looking forward to tonight sitting in my family room listening on radio.

      • is that true? that’s why i was asking. the pirates negotiated a contract wherein they are given second-class status, able to be tossed aside at a moment’s notice for a game that is essentially an exhibition? if so, that is truly asinine.

        • What they have done is worked out a deal where ROOT produces the games & they get farmed out to the MLB network. So every game is actually on somewhere. Since this was a late switch I’m not sure if this one falls into that category.

        • At the moment, the Pens game, though somewhat meaningless, will still draw 2-3 times the viewership of a Pirate-Phillie game. (And I would be one watching the Pirates first.) I’m glad they’ve done this thing with the MLB network when they’re both on.

          • DK said in the past that the Pirate’s TV ratings were superior to San Diego and Cleveland’s but obtain a less favorable contact. I wanted the Buccos to obtain new offers when they’re nearing the end of the television contract with Root in order to get a more favorable deal but are there any other networks they could go to besides Root?

            DK: It’s America. New networks created every day. In Houston, Astros/Rockets just joined forces, and offers came in from all over. Result was a newly created network and a ton of money ($80M) for Astros.

            • Thank you for your response. Could the Pens be interested in joining with the Pirates? They seem to be treated well at their current network.

              DK: No. I’ve actually got a news piece about this running soon.

            • Imagine if the Pens and PBC got together, wouldn’t help conflicts, but what a power that would be for a network

              • I thought that was one of the ideas behind the Mario/Buerkle and BN (and I assume FC) meeting a couple years ago. You know, the one some on the Pirate side said didn’t occur.

              • Arriba,

                I thought that was the only idea behind that meeting.

              • Even if the Pirates were unable to start their own network, I would assume they could get offers from stations like My Pittsburgh TV or maybe PCNC.

              • I don’t know. It also seemed to be interpreted as an offer by Mario to buy the Bucs. If the Pirates refused an idea, (aside from a change in ownership) to pair up with the Pens to get a better broadcasting deal, they are even worse than I think.

              • So much for the PBC thinking “out of the box”

                ;-)

            • Baseball Prospectus said the Astros are using the additional revenues to paid down debt, according to sources.

              • At least they’re doing something to generate new revenue. The Pirates can’t keeping business as usual.

              • They most certainly can keep doing buisness as usual. If nothing else the record TV deals being thrown together in LA area makes it almost assured that no matter how inept or mismanaged they are the PBC will make a tidy profit thanks to revenue sharing.

                They dont even have to try. In fact if you look at Miami and Houston, the less you try to win, the more you make.

            • From what i have heard (that may be incredibly misleading or outright false) Burkle wanted a partial stake in the PBC for basically helping them get a better contract. For example if the PBC is currently worth 100, and post TV deal it is worth 110, then Burkle wants that +10, which would be a 9% stake.

              Or something to that effect….and of course BN wants no part of sharing the PBC with anyone. He trying to gain full control by buying other partners out. Not selling portions to people who may not share his views on management.

              But I’m sure whatever DK has brewing will be you know…actual facts and stuff.

      • Has anyone really got a straight answer from FC about that contract?

        I think when the Pirates negotiated their current contract:
        -They may have needed the money
        -They were not in a position of strength to negotiate (as opposed the successful and hugely popular Penguins)
        - They certainly underestimated what TV contracts were going to be worth

    • I am looking forward to september and october when the Pens fans are complaining about the Penguins not being on t.v. because the Pirates are almost in the playoffs. Man do I really wish for that day. Lets go Bucs!

      • You forgot an “a” as in “A September and October”

      • That, of course, will never happen for two reasons. But the one that applies here is that the contracts the two teams signed say otherwise. Any conflict & the hockey game is shown.

        DK: Milo on a roll. Other reason: The national networks swoop in at every available Penguins game, eager for the Pittsburgh ratings.

        • Would there be a conflict if the Pirates were playing in October?***

          *** Wow! Can’t remember the last time I typed or said “Pirates” and “October” in the same sentence!

        • DK,

          Also, people have told me this in towns where this actually happens – post season baseball has no local television.

          DK: Right. All rounds, all national.

    • do yinz in Pittsburgh get the Phillies games? Or do you have to be east of Penn State to get Philly games?

      Penguins are totally more relevant. They’re technically still in the race for the President’s trophy. Also, aren’t there a billion more pirates games remaining in the season? Baseball doesn’t really get relevant until August (unfortunately for the buccos).

      • Also, its a great day for hockey.

      • Nothing from any of the Philly teams. The Comcast channel that broadcasts the majority of the games from that side of the state isn’t even a DirecTV channel option, so I can pretty much guarantee no one else on this side of the state has it. Not sure of the reasoning behind that when all other Comcast sports channels are available.

  31. the penguin game tonight, although possibly drawing more viewers, would certainly not draw ’2-3 times the viewership of a Pirate-Phillie game’ if the Pirate game were televised somewhere. unfortunately, tonight’s game is not being shown on the MLB network, or anywhere else locally.

    DK: The Penguins’ ratings would roughly double those of the Pirates, based on what’s been generated this month when they’ve gone head to head. The Penguins are in the 11 range, the Pirates at 6.

    • Breathe, man, breathe!

    • Jeff Locke’s pitching. They’re just looking out for your health & general well being.

    • I guess we’ll never know since “unfortunately” Pirates games don’t get nationally televised, whereas; most Penguins games, like the one tonight, do. The only way you’ll see a Pirates game outside of Pittsburgh is if you are fortunate enough to be in another teams television market when they play the Pirates, or pay for the MLB subscription.

      We know baseball is a bigger sport than hockey (at least in the US) but this isn’t about people wanting to watch the Pirates versus the Penguins, but more about most hockey fans being interested in seeing the Penguins than baseball fans wanting to see the Pirates.

    • DK, I wonder if this has anything to do with the Pirates losing a large demographic of younger fans to a sport that is exciting, successful and not painful to watch and invest one’s emotional and financial allegiance to?

      20 years ago, even with the Pens doing well, this wouldn’t have happened.

      I’ll say it again; That Bob Nutting, what a smart business man. ;)

    • first of all, you rounded those numbers off in a way that benefited your argument. i believe that the last time that we discussed this, you stated that the penguins ratings were 10-something and the pirates were 6-something on a night that they went head-to-head. that’s really not twice the ratings (and certainly not three times, as the above poster suggested). but anyway, more importantly, you are talking about penguins games that at least had some bearing on the standings. the penguins were still trying to clinch the number one seed (despite how meaningless that is in the stanley cup playoffs). i don’t think that ALL hockey fans are dumb, really i don’t, and, therefore, some of them would certainly be able to differentiate tonight’s game–which literally has no relevance to the standings–from a game earlier in the season that had at least some bearing on where they would be seeded. as a result, tonight’s hockey game would surely have fewer viewers than the average penguins game would…anyway, there’s really no legitimate reason to preempt a previously scheduled pirates game, which does have a bearing on the standings, for any game that doesn’t. it just seems stupid.

      • From a 60-year baseball fan, chef, one word:

        Mecca.

      • Except that it’s in the contract.

        Again, I would suggest you call Coonelly and ask him about it but he would probably just shout expletives at you. So venting here is probably the best move.

      • So, how many do you think are dumb? 6 out of 10? 5?

      • Not only are general rating numbers important as to what event gets favorable treatment but key demographics are more so. If broken down, the key demographics that companies who advertise favor (the 18-49 yo for instance), mean more to them than if twice as many 49-65 year old’s are watching the Pirates versus the Penguins. I think it’s safe to assume anymore that the younger and more desirable demo is with the Penguins, so that makes the 10 to 6 comparison, or whatever it may be, even more lopsided when the numbers are further analysed.

        We could easily take a poll right here to show how many people would rather watch a Pens game versus the Pirates if airing at the same time and the numbers would no doubt favor the Pens in the age group sponsors are targeting.

        • well, i would think income would also be a factor, no, depending on the product that the advertisers are trying to sell?

          • It’s hardly controversial that the 18-49 demographic is the key one for advertisers.

            • Grandpa Simpson: “I’m an old man, no one listens to me.”

              Lisa: “I’m a young girl, no one listens to me.”

              Homer: “I’m a white male aged 18 to 49; everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are.”

              [Homer goes to the cabinet and takes out a can of food titled, "Nuts and Gum: Together At Last"]

            • well, again, it depends on what the sponsor is selling. i mean, a 35-year-old male might be a key target for an advertiser, but if he’s a 35-year-old male who gets up on his feet and screams in ecstasy because one player suckerpunches another in the face, and the advertiser is someone who is selling, say, cadillacs, he’s probably not going to make many sales to this guy, given that this 35-year-old likely doesn’t have the intelligence to land a job that would pay him enough to buy a cadillac.

              • Wow, what a great stereotype. So glad you picked today to comment on here.

              • i stand corrected. i have never seen a hockey crowd get whipped into a frenzy when one of the home team’s players mercilessly beats on a player from the other team. i was confusing it with the symphony.

              • I think you’re just confused, period.

              • Dude…have you even watched a hockey game?

                Serious question.

                DK: Has he organized his 8-track collection?

              • Go ahead, DK, I double dog Starbucks’ dare ya :P

              • ’8 track collection’? is this supposed to suggest that hockey is something on the cutting edge? sorry, guys, it’s not happening. nobody likes it outside of here.

              • Nobody likes it outside of here? So Pittsburgh is supporting a $3+ billion industry, all on its own?

              • it’s all relative. how does that $3 billion stack up to the revenue of other sports?

              • It doesn’t have to. You have said multiple times today that no one outside Pittsburgh cares about Hockey.

                You’re upset you can’t see the Pirates/Phillies game tonight. I get that. But you’re trashing hockey, hockey fans and Pittsburgh in the process. Have a good day. You may even be able to catch a flight to Philly in time for the game.

              • of course it does. hockey obviously has SOME fans, it has SOME television viewers, it generates SOME revenue. but it’s insignificant when you compare it to those of other sports.

              • The chef better be careful. He could be chopped like someone else we know…..wait a minute

                :)

              • chef— you’re going to miss your flight.

      • How much relevance does this ONE game in April matter to the Pirates year end record? If we are saying that the Pens game has ZERO relevance, then what relevance does the PIrates game have? The difference between 76-86 and 75-87?

        And it isn’t about relavance, its about entertainment. Engaged viewers. If you want to be frustrated and angry, and really I COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND why you are, be mad and frustrated at the PBC for allowing an entie generation to slip through their fingers. Be mad an entire city fell out of love with their team and would rather watch a menaingless exhinition than a game that does have some meaning, sort of.

        Your anger is justified, but misplaced my friend. Fear not….finding direction for your anger is the second step here for the IKL.

        My name is Patrick. And I’m a Pirates fan!

        • Good rant. DK should start his show with it today.

        • Seems Penguins blaming and bashing is the in thing anymore in more places than Ottawa and Philly. Someday the Pirates will hopefully be lucky enough to be frowned upon outside of Pittsburgh.

          I grew up in the 70′s with the Steelers and Pirates and knew absolutely nothing about hockey or anything about the Penguins until Mario was drafted and they became relevant over-night. Interesting how some like myself loved the fact that there was another Pittsburgh pro sports team to be interested in and how others, some much younger than me, found ways to distance themselves from it for whatever reason.

          Like I said, I never played hockey or knew anything about it other than some guys Gretzky and Orr were really good, but I didn’t have a problem learning to love it. Why others decided to do just the opposite, especially those who one would assume would embrace another Pittsburgh team, especially a great one like the Penguins is beyond me.

          That said, I don’t care for those Pittsburgher’s who are Penguins fans but feel the need to hate the Steelers and/or Pirates. IMO, if you can’t, or simply refuse to be a fan of all the teams, you are not a fan of the city. As much as I can’t stand what the ownership over the past 20 years has done to the team and will mock them mercilessly until I feel they righted the ship, I’m still a Pirates fan and I still have a stack of mint, untouched 1978 Pirates cards to prove it.

        • it’s yet to be determined how much relevance tonight’s pirates game will have to the final standing. we know for a fact that the penguins game has zero.

          • A Steelers preseason game will also have no impact on the final standing, yet not oddly, will obliterate a Pirates game if on at the same time. I’m pretty sure a Dance Moms episode probably will as well. Do we need to explain the “real” reasons for this again?

            • i just find it strange that in a town that wants to hold itself out as a major-league city, it is impossible to tune into a regular-season game in the second-most popular sport in the nation, and yet you can find an utterly meaningless hockey game, a sport that the nation is completely disinterested in. i would not think that this makes us look good. i fear that we come across as rubes.

              DK: This is … I can barely conjure up a response.

              • CBS News Special Report! — Root Sports in Pittsburgh tonight is showing a Pens game instead of a Pirates game. Don’t move there.

                Really?

              • I’m pretty sure the aforementioned episode of “Dance moms” makes us look like rubes no matter how many baseball games we watch.

              • Shockingly, as far back as just three years ago, not every Pirates game was televised. How did you ever survive those frustrating times?

                I can’t wait to read this again next week the Pirates get bumped for Pens playoff games. Wonder if those games will be “meaningless.”

              • well, in some sense, yes, the penguins playoffs games are meaningless. the country doesn’t care about hockey. it’s a nonentity everywhere but here.

              • You really think the nation will look at Pittsburgh differently and as less of a sports town because its fans would prefer to watch a winner over a proven, perennial loser? I myself have found when there’s nothing but a Pirates game on (especially when they are playing embarrassingly awful) browsing through the local HS sports news stories for something more interesting.

                You really don’t see how the Pirates historical ineptitude has lent itself to why people aren’t interested in – not baseball in general – but the Pirates, especially when compared to another local team that in it’s sport, is one of, if not the best, in the nation? Putting the Penguins above the Pirates makes Pittsburgh a second class sports city? How about this; The Pirates make Pittsburgh a second class sports city.

                Regardless of the significant “importance” of the game in question; I’m sorry, but I think the only “rubes” are the ones who feel the need to marginalize the Penguins current success and excitement, or the sport of hockey itself, for the myopic mindset that somehow because it’s baseball, it should be put on a higher pedestal.

                We get it, you don’t like hockey, or the Penguins for that matter which makes your opinion biased and this debate moot. Don’t take this the wrong way but I guess there are people bigots and there are sports bigots. I’ll leave it at that.

              • well, i certainly don’t think it makes us look like a major-league city to not at least be able to have the choice to watch one of our professional teams when that team is playing on a given night. it’s ridiculous that we’re not able to do that….but, anyway, what started this entire discussion from my end of it was that the pirate game was scheduled to be televised on root tonight. this was an off-day for the penguins. i’m not certain how the pirates game came to be pre-empted by a game–meaningless or not–that wasn’t on the schedule three days ago. if this is, in fact, how the pirates television contract is written, then that is truly bad business on their part.

                DK: This is … mmm, still can’t do it. Maybe I’ll try again later.

              • First of all, the hockey game is not meaningless; the Pens are just 3 points behind the Blackhawks with 3 to play. They can still win the President’s Cup. Second, what does it matter what the nation thinks about hockey as a whole? Just because they’re a bunch of Red-necked Nimrods doesn’t mean those in the ‘burgh have to be. Finally, it comes down to 2 choices; watching a team headed to the Stanley Cup Finals or one headed for their 21st consecutive losing season. I know which one I want.

              • The Blackhawks have a game in hand and have only lost 5 games all year. Although not mathematically impossible, it is hard to see them losing 3 of those 4 and the Penguins winning out. It is almost as meaningless as the Pirates’ game.

                That being said, Fox Sports Detroit has contracts for all 3 the Pistons, Red Wings and Tigers. They show if not every game almost all of them because they have a second channel called Fox Sports Plus. It seems like a city of Pittsburgh’s size and sports interest could have a similar setup.

                DK: A fine point. And one somehow made without sounding like a time transplant from 1975 in willfully ignoring that hockey has overtaken baseball — hugely — in our region.

              • nate, this seems like a very intelligent and well-reasoned response. how did you get in here?

              • ‘a time transplant from 1975,’ dejan? come on, how old do you think i am?

              • A good point, Nate. But I have watched most of the Pirates games on Root the last couple of years and don’t recall this kind of conflict before. Maybe there has been, but it just didn’t stick out, to me. It has happened several times this year, which I had assumed was because of the Strike shortened/changed schedule season for the Pens. I would assume that if Root thought it could make money with a second channel it would do so.

              • For years now, even going back to when the Penguins were making the playoffs in the 90′s, the Pirates have been booted to the dreaded RADIO ONLY for both regular season and playoff hockey. So it’s not like this is the first time in the history of Pittsburgh sports and television that this has happened. It happens EVERY YEAR!!!!! It just so happened that this year for the month of April the Pirates worked out a deal with MLB Network to televise games airing at the same time as the Penguins.

                The games airing on MLB Network tonight had already been selected before the season even started, they weren’t going to change when the Penguins had their schedule changed. I’m not sure if they have the same type of deal worked out for the month of May while the Penguins are in the playoffs. But if they don’t be prepared for more *GASP* radio only broadcasts.

                Besides, if you do enough searching around the internet because you aren’t paying for any of the baseball packages, you can find somewhere to watch the game, it’ll just be the Philadelphia feed.

          • SJB said it in a nutshell. You don’t like it, don’t watch it. The game certainly has relevance and meaning. There are scoring titles and other stats to improve upon before the end of the season.

            Hockey, love it or leave it.

            There’s the door —————–>

            • +1

              Every sport is love it or leave it for people and that is perfectly fine. But don’t belittle the people that enjoy a specific sport, which is essentially what this comes down to. I love baseball too, have all my life. However, I would much rather watch a hockey game at this time of year than a baseball game. And it has nothing to do with the significance of the game. We’ll have baseball for another 5 months, hockey for another 2. There is still plenty of time to watch the Pirates.

            • Very long rather heated discussion here.
              I ain’t no dummy -I will be watching the PENS !
              GO PENS!

  32. Here’s a story from Philly.com about Grilli. Some good quotes in there from how he felt when he was getting overlooked at AAA Lehigh Valley before he signed with the Pirates in July of 2011. I know the link says its Pettibone, but trust me, it’s about Grilli; I just read it and copied and pasted the URL.

    http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/20130423_Jonathan_Pettibone__22__gets_chance_to_show_his__guile_.html

    • “He (Grilli) said Pittsburgh took a chance because manager Clint Hurdle was familiar with his talent.”

      ^Interesting little note. I don’t remember hearing that Hurdle had a hand in his acquisition.

      DK: Grilli was not acquired at the recommendation of Hurdle but at that of a guy named Marc DelPiano, a really good, experienced special assistant added from the Marlins’ staff a couple of years ago. He also was responsible for Michael McKenry, Xavier Paul and … someone else, can’t think of it off the top of my head. Oh, yeah, A.J. Burnett. (Wasn’t playing there. Really couldn’t think of the fourth guy.)

      He’ll be someone’s GM someday. Young, smart, the whole deal.

    • I thought they were together in Colorado

  33. I would guess that Pittsburgh either watches a lot of sports or has good national fan bases or both.

    People like to gripe about ESPN and the Yankees/Red Sox, but coming from an out of market viewer I would say the following:

    NFL: Teams with the most Sunday Night/Monday Night and Sunday afternoon predominantly national games are the Steelers and the Packers.

    NHL: Certainly the Penguins are at the top or near the top of the teams featured in national telecasts.

    MLB: Yankees/Red Sox

    NBA: Heat/Knicks/Lakers

    I don’t think there is any evil intent on the part of the broadcasters. They put on what are going to give them the strongest ratings. Pittsburgh is fortunate enough to have teams in 2 of the 4 major sports that fall into that category.

    • I’m about as out-of-market as you can get in the US, and I can attest to those teams.

      My dad and I stopped buying the NFL Season Ticket because just about all the Steelers games were on national TV the last couple years. We might miss 2-3 year, tops. It was even like that when I lived in Alaska.

      For the Pens, out of 48 games this season, I bet that at least 15-20 have been on either NHLN or NBC/NBCSN. For the others, I hit up *ahem* other means, or I listen to Mike Lange on iHeartRadio.com. Still, Pens get represented pretty well out here. Other than that, we get a lot of Northeast teams, and Blackhawks/Kings.

      Pirates? Hahahaha Nooooooooooooo. I had the MLB At Bat for iPad the last couple seasons, so I watched them on there, or if they played the Scrubbies I could catch them on WGN; that’s it. This year, I didn’t buy At Bat. I might go month-to-month, but we’ll see how they do. I bought the radio side of it, but I’m still #allin on the Pens, so I haven’t listened to too many games. I think last weekend they showed Dodgers/Orioles, but I didn’t watch it.

  34. Chris Leroux signs with a Japanese team, per MLBTradeRumors.

    No thoughts here on that, just an FYI

  35. Here’s a good article about the Buccos TV deal. A number of you probably read it back last year:
    http://triblive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/pirates/s_791425.html#axzz2RJ0pjDc4

  36. DK- I see we have something in common however, I beat you on the “worst jobs” list.

    Can’t beat #1!!

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