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Tuesday Wakeup Call: Special guest Jarome Iginla

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, lunatics …

>> The TribLIVE Radio show today — 1-2 p.m. — will feature very special guest Jarome Iginla.

There will also be an opening monologue on Root Sports’ recent handling of the Penguins and Pirates. The Trib’s Alan Robinson will be the media guest, discussing the Steelers’ draft. And the local Titan of Twitter @suckmeter will offer the Suck of the Week … in person for the first time!

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.

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

>> The Stanley Cup playoffs don’t start until tomorrow, but the Penguins will have the big story today based on how Sidney Crosby’s visit to the oral surgeon goes this afternoon. He’s hoping to be cleared for Game 1.

All I’ll add here — and it isn’t much — is that I had a brief chat with the captain yesterday at Southpointe, and he was in good spirits … but there also was an uncertainty about him, a pensiveness.

We’ll see.

>> Marc-Andre Fleury is a changed man, writes our Rob Rossi in a terrific piece.

>> Podcast of my thoughts on Penguins-Islanders matchup.

>> The students at Plum High School make a Penguins playoff video every year, and I dare say this one outdoes them all. Amazing coordination …

>> The Pirates lost in Milwaukee. Rob Biertempfel copies and pastes from the scene.

>> Hope to hear from you on the show today!

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.

276 Comments

  1. The Islanders would have to dominate special teams to have a chance in this series. And maybe it’s just me but I can’t see Nabokov giving them amazing efforts game in and game out. We will likely frustrate them with Morrow leading the way on that front.

  2. I am impressed by the Plum High video. That school must be huge, and have a lot of kids, too.

    Without Crosby, the Pens can still beat the Islanders. But they wont go farther than that. Crosby and Malkin must be on their game for the Pens to make the Cup Final.

    Jarome Iginla is the suckmeter? Who knew???

    Last night was a very bad night for the Pirates. Now, I know that these games happen, but they seem to happen frequently in Milwaukee. Too bad A.J. isn’t pitching tonight to bounce back.

  3. Hats off to Plum. That was a good one.

    Will it be Jussi or Sid? It would be nice if Sid could be eased in, like PP only for a couple of games while Jussi centers Jarome and Pascal on regular shifts. Sid wouldn’t be such a target that way, as in past Islander schemes.

    Pens in five.

    Stuart

    • It might be nice, but we all know that won’t happen. And really, why should it? If he’s healthy, take the kid gloves off and let him go. If he’s not healthy yet, they’re better off scratching him.

  4. You know I really hate to do this, but it’s been kicking around in my head, and I feel I should spit it out: In addition to Russell Martin’s terrific production of late, his physique has looked a bit different than it always has.

    Look at that picture of him from the St. Louis game …

    http://triblive.com/sports/pirates/bucsgalleries/3889704-74/pirates-martin-jones

    Each individual muscle in his forearms is popping like they never have before. His face is very taut and lean, also unlike in all his previous seasons. And his waistline could be mistaken for Mick Jagger’s. There are chemicals that can cause all this. Unlike the juice of choice of the previous two decades in baseball which cause conspicuous mass and weight gain, “cutting steroids” such as stanozolol, can provide a similar kick but with a lean body mass appearance.

    GOD I hope I’m wrong. But the lesson of the steroids era is to not shy away from asking the ugly questions and just hope that the questions are in error.

  5. You know EYE would appreciate a good song parody.

  6. Yet another pummeling from the Brewers.

    Good things never happen there.

  7. The Pirates at Miller Park: where hot streaks go to die.

  8. Great Job! Plum H.S. faith restored in the youth of America

  9. Like said above, that’s some video by the Plum kids. A lot of time and effort in that…stick taps all around.

    Pirates last night…meh. See what happens tonight. It would be so nice to exorcise the Milwaukee demons…

    Loved the Rossi article on Flower. Worth a read…

  10. JAL’s Get Happy Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OawAwugtA4

    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: A Look at the Short-Term and Long-Term Pitching Moves

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/04/first-pitch-a-look-at-the-short-term-and-long-term-pitching-moves.html

    A Home Run Derby Breaks Out as the Pirates Fall to Brewers 10-4

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/04/a-home-run-derby-breaks-out-as-the-pirates-fall-to-brewers-10-4.html

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Everything bad happens at once in 10-4 Pirates loss

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/4/30/4284830/everything-bad-happens-at-once-in-10-4-pirates-loss

    7 WHYGAVS

    Game 26: Brewers 10 Pirates 4

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/april-2013/game-26-brewers-10-pirates-4.html

    8 The Green Weenie

    Curse Continues; Brew Crew Bomb Five Homers in 10-4 Win

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/04/curse-continues-brew-crew-bomb-five.html

    9 Rumbunter

    Pirates Enthusiasm Clubbed By Brewers

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/04/29/pirates-enthusiasm-clubbed-by-brewers/

    10 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Brewers 10 Pirates4

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2013/04/brewers-10-pirates-4/

    • Get Happy Frank Sinatra 1954

      • Absolutely superb selection, Mr. JAL.

        The sun is shining
        Come on get happy
        The lord is waiting to take your hand
        Shout hallelujah
        Come on get happy
        We’re going to the promised land

        Sinatra and Nelson Riddle was arguably the greatest collaboration in the history of American pop music. Completely defined music for an entire generation and ushered music from the big band era to rock and roll.

        Riddle’s arrangement is excellent but Judy Garland’s take on the song is probably slightly better. There was a sadness and torture to Ms. Garland’s life that seeped through the underlying optimism of the song. One never got the sense that Sinatra was tortured in any way.

  11. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Savannah Morning News

    Power stomp on Sand Gnats

    http://savannahnow.com/sports/2013-04-29/power-stomp-sand-gnats

    12 Deadspin

    Pitcher Throws At Batter Who Requests Timeout

    http://deadspin.com/pitcher-throws-at-batter-who-requests-timeout-485035523

    13NESN

    Pirates’ Lack of Starting Pitching Will Again Keep Pittsburgh From Competing Late Into 2013

    http://nesn.com/2013/04/pirates-lack-of-starting-pitching-will-again-keep-pittsburgh-from-competing-late-into-2013/

    14 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates: Upcoming Series in Miller Park proves to be the real test

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2013/04/29/pittsburgh-pirates-upcoming-series-in-miller-park-proves-to-be-the-real-test/

    15 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    hange does Tom Gorzelanny good

    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brewers/change-does-tom-gorzelanny-good-9a9on82-205341891.html

    16 CBS Sports

    Pirates-Brewers Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20130430_PIT@MIL

    17 Sweetspot

    April grades: Braves best in NL

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/35302/april-grades-braves-best-in-nl

    18 PBC Site

    Wandy struggles as Bucs’ woes in Milwaukee continue

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_04_29_pitmlb_milmlb_1&mode=recap_away&c_id=pit

    Pirates’ Martin slugs way to NL weekly honor

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130429&content_id=46126692&vkey=news_pit&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Nate McLouth’s Renaissance

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=20402

    20 Fangraphs

    Two Days Most Curious: Pitchers on the Go

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/two-days-most-curious-pitchers-on-the-go/

  12. 22 Steelers Depot

    - Steelers Ignoring Tight Position In Draft Might Mean Heath Miller Is On Schedule

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/04/steelers-ignoring-tight-position-in-draft-might-mean-heath-miller-is-on-schedule/

    Soccer(football) Will T

    23 Daily Telegraph

    Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger poised to end 17-year reign at north London club and move to Paris St-Germain

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/10026250/Arsenal-manager-Arsene-Wenger-poised-to-end-17-year-reign-at-north-London-club-and-move-to-Paris-St-Germain.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 29th April, 2013

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-29th-april-2013

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Penguins Draw Islanders in Eastern Conference Quarterfinals

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/4/29/4280770/penguins-draw-islanders-in-eastern-conference-quarterfinals

  13. great video by the kids from Plum. Nicely done!

  14. Nice video by the Plum HS kids. Good job.

    Couldn’t help notice though, the Malkin and Neal impersonators are both right handed. No tall left handed shots at Plum?

  15. DK: a little East Coast/Pittsburgh bias? I believe the playoff start in a couple of other cities tonight.

  16. Can anyone explain to me why Jonathan Sanchez still has a roster spot? There’s not a single dumpster dive or player in AAA that can take this man’s place??? I didn’t mind the experiment to start the season, but he’s worse than any Rule 5 guy they’ve tried, and all those guys were returned or bought out.

    At this point, I’m beginning to think it’s something weird, like they owe it to Sanchez to have him serve his suspension before releasing him. Either that, or Sanchez has evidence that Bob Nutting is using Pirates funds at Seven Springs. Any other good conspiracy theories that we could pin on Sanchez? He knows where Hoffa is buried? He knows what’s really on the Dark Side of the Moon? He’s the most interesting man in Pittsburgh?

    • I would imagine Sanchez will be gone this weekend. They said Contreras should be joining the team. I’d imagine Gomez slides into the starter role and Contreras as a reliever. Only problem is that we won’t have a true long reliever.

      • This almost feels like some kind of players union rule. You can’t DFA a guy while facing suspension or something.

        • If thats the case and I’m the Pirates I’m telling him to drop his appeal

        • I flipped through the CBA the other day. I didn’t see anything that said a suspended player couldn’t be DFA’d. Common sense tells me there’s no reason why you couldn’t DFA the player or why the owners would allow something to be negotiated into the CBA that says you can’t.

          • The only problem I have with what you said, 21, is using ” common sense” and “owners” and CBA in the same sentence. :-)

            • My thoughts exactly, AW.

              No idea if that’s a real thing or not, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all.

              I still can’t believe JS was Clint’s first arm out of the pen last night, 5 run deficit or not.

              • Who would you have used? Have everyone pitch 1 or 2 innings?

              • As far as last night, I agree with Nate and Redus.

              • Oh trust me, I think Smizik’s stance is a little much. Let’s be honest, sometimes there’s more value in living to fight another day.

                But wasn’t that situation exactly why Vin Mazarro was brought up, and remains up, while Bryan Morris was sent down?

                That’s what I found odd. That Hurdle went to Sanchez in a situation that Vin Mazarro was put on the roster to pitch in.

              • I don’t know. Mazarro had pitched a total of 6.1 innings in 5 appearances, and gave up 4 ER in 1 inning in his last appearance in the Friday game. His longest outing was 2 innings. We might be having a similar discussion if Clint had gone with Mazzaro.
                Sounds a lot like pick your poison. :-)

              • No argument there, AW.

              • At this point I’d settle for anything, Bryan Morris or not. Though I admit he’s the guy I’d call up. I agree they’re probably waiting on Contreras, but you handicapped yourself. You’re basically playing 1 man down, or you’re conceding the game every time you bring him in.

                I agree there’s value in living to fight another day, and I actually agreed that Sanchez was the right guy to use in that situation (sorry Smiz, but that game was over), but the fact he was still on the roster and was the right guy to use was the problem. Bryan Morris, Duke Welker, or Vin Mazzaro could have thrown those 2.1 innings. Or any number of guys on waivers within the past few days.

            • I reread that sentence after I typed and decided to stay with it.

              Go figure.

    • I like Smizik’s comment on this:

      “With the previously terrific Wandy Rodriguez doing his Jonathan Sanchez impersonation — three home runs, four walks, seven earned runs in 3 2/3 innings — manager Clint Hurdle went to the bullpen. And came up with — if you can believe this? — Jonathan Sanchez.

      The Pirates were down by five, still had 15 outs with which to fashion a comeback and their manager was telling them the game was over. He was saying, fellas, we can’t win so I’m bringing Jonathan Sanchez into the game.

      Sanchez backed him up by allowing back-to-back home runs in the fifth inning. Those were the eighth and ninth home runs he had allowed this season in 14 innings. At such a pace, if Sanchez pitched 200 innings, he’d give up 128 home runs. The single-season record, held by Bert Blyleven, is 50. For good measure, Sanchez was touched for two triples by the Brewers that almost were home runs and the Pirates went on to lose, 10-4.

      Questions: Why was Jonathan Sanchez still on the team? What does it take to get released by the Pirates? Why would a team that is competing for a championship stay with a pitcher who — beyond doubt — is incapable of pitching successfully on the MLB level?”

      • “At such a pace, if Sanchez pitched 200 innings, he’d give up 128 home runs. ”

        I love the extrapolation of statistics in sports. Especially after 16% of the season.

      • That type of writing is exactly why I stop reading Smizik. If you want to blame someone blame NH. Its already determined that Gomez is going to be sliding into the rotation so if your pulling wanding in the bottom of the fourth your going 4 1/3 with your bullpen. Not quite as bad as having to go the entire 27 or 24 but none the less still quite taxing on a frequently used bullpen.

        I don’t blame Hurdle I blame NH from not removing Sanchez or making a move to have a fresh arm other than Sanchez.

        • I was with you on the blame NH not Hurdle thing until last night when, inexplicably, Sanchez was the FIRST arm used out of the pen.

          Clint had every option available to him and he CHOSE Sanchez.

          Clint and NH are in this one together.

      • I like Smizik but he’s not always the sharpest knife in the drawer when it comes to baseball.

        Sanchez came in because he hadn’t pitched a third of an inning in days, he’s on the roster and everyone is so worried about taxing the bullpen so early…why not throw an arm that will not be your problem in a matter of days.

        Fear not, Sanchez is gone and his eyes and body language show that he knows it as well. Hurdle was not telling the other 24 PRO BALL PLAYERS on that team anything other than “Sanchez was basically skipped because of the ejection, Wandy didn’t have it, we have to put someone out there…may as well limit the strain on the rest of the staff and make it someone that will no longer be in the rotation or on the team in a few days”.

        Give me a break Smizik

        • Agreed; I mean you could have asked the same question when Cutch was sat. No one was asking what are we telling the other players about trying to win the game. You have to play the cards your dealt and I’d imagine some pitchers may have been pleased with not having to pitch last night in a game that was already getting out of hand.

          This isn’t a 7 game series in the playoffs

    • I think he is purely on the team for the reason we saw last night. Last man in the bullpen available for long relief on a game that gets out of hand. Why not use him for innings that are meaningless and save the rest of the bullpen. I am sure it is only for a few more days.

      If Locke didn’t give us such a good outing he may have been gone already. Saving the bullpen that night allowed the Pirates to know they had plenty of good relievers available for a couple close games against the Brewers if that is what happened. So they could afford to carry Sanchez to throw wasted innings if needed which it was last night.

      • I’m not disagreeing with you. He served his purpose. My point, though not particularly well stated, was that Jonathan Sanchez being the right option there was the problem itself. There should be no point in any game ever again (nor should there have been last night) where I agree with Clint Hurdle that Jonathan Sanchez is the man we need to pitch, even if just to take one for the team.

        • What if we get blown out again tonight and need to use Mazarro. You never know what is going to happen night to night. As long as we have Watson, Wilson, Melencon and Grille rested which they are right now there is no need to make a move because there are better options. If those guys where used a lot over the last 3 or 4 games then by all means get Sanchez off the team and bring up Morris, Contraras, Black……etc.

          I just don’t see the 7th relief pitcher being an important roster move when your top 4 are rested. He would only pitch in a game that got out of hand. If Wandy leaves with a 2 or 3 run deficit then I am sure you would have seen Mazarro and not Sanchez.

  17. Great write up about Fleury by Rossi today. The last three sentences were great and kind of gave me chills,

    “The day after Estelle Fleury arrived, Letang spied her father in a private moment.
    Marc-Andre Fleury, smiling, looked at Letang, took a deep breath and then simply sat still at his locker stall.
    “I know that feeling,” Letang said. “That is why I have a good feeling about him.”

    Awesome stuff. This article along with watching the Plum HS video this morning have me so pumped for the playoffs that I can’t even focus on anything at work this morning. Is it Wednesday night yet???

  18. Anyone happen to catch thet tweet Mike Wallace made after Jason Collins came out as the first gay athlete in Pro sports? Truly classy; has the makings of another Ocho Stinko or TO.

    • Wallace always came off as a young man with a learning disability…he thinks he unique. Yes you are PAL

  19. Stetson Allie hit his 7th and 8th homeruns last night. Now .351/.409/1.069.

    So do we think the anti-Van Benschoten is real or memorex?

    • I have a feeling that they will eventually trade him. He’ll be included in a “package deal” because he’ll be the constant reminder of a failed high pick with a big $ bonus.

      Of course as soon as they trade him he will become Joey Bats II

      • The Joey Bats thats hitting like Pedro right now?

        • As bad as Bautista’s average is right now, his OPS is .801 which isn’t bad and is still .216 higher than Pedro’s.

          • I’m a little curious about Bats. His numbers went way up and he’s come crashing back down. Either he was being tipped by someone in the OF or he was on something. There is no logical explanation of the power surge he had. And yes I know he had surgery. Even in his first full year in TOR he played 113 games and hit 13 HR then jumps to 54?

            • He started out 2012 having an even worse April than he is now. I think it’s a challenge not to suspect the things that you mentioned but one of the things I’ve heard (and I can’t find anything on the internet right now) is that he just started swinging as hard as he could.

              The one thing that made me be patient with him (although I did give up during 2008) was that he always had a good spread between his BA and OBP so I thought he had good vision. With that in mind and starting to swing as hard as you can, maybe that’s why the power numbers are where they’ve been.

            • Along with what 21 is saying, Toronto basically let him open up and start pulling everything he saw as hard as he can. He struggled bad at first while putting together the swing change then literally exploded.

              The Pirates tried making him into an all around hitter, which isn’t exactly shameful, but clearly terribly wrong.

      • I was thinking Allie could be packaged in a trade deadline type deal but I wasn’t sure how he was in the clubhouse.

        • I would really want us to hold onto someone like Allie. We have such pitching depth and lack of hitting prospects, that I would rather have us deal someone like Nick Kingham who had like 13 SO in his last start.

        • I’d like to keep Allie as well. He was actually more of a corner infielder in high school who just happened to be able to hit triple digits on the radar gun. He was totally raw on the mound, which is probably why he wasn’t picked until the second round (considered a “combo” player, he fell to 52nd overall even though he was the MaxPrep player of the year). If he was truly a pitching prospect who could hit 100+, he would have been a top 10-15 pick. In my most humble opinion, he’s back where he belongs.

      • If he continues to hit like this, this is not a failed draft pick or signing.

    • Allie finds himself in a wierd positon. Even though its just a month, can you imagine the hype getting thrown at a guy like Barret Barnes if he was putting up those numbers? I get the feeling that nobody really thinks this guy is for real because of his back story.

      I still think you’ll see Allie struggle too much with better breaking stuff once he moves up a level, but I don’t know how you can count the guy out after the frankly amazing progress he’s made in just a year.

      • I wish they would move him up sooner than later, see what he can do

      • Your last paragraph says it all NMR. Give the kid some credit where credit is due.

      • I posted this above, but probably should have posted this here:

        “I’d like to keep Allie as well. He was actually more of a corner infielder in high school who just happened to be able to hit triple digits on the radar gun. He was totally raw on the mound, which is probably why he wasn’t picked until the second round (considered a “combo” player, he fell to 52nd overall even though he was the MaxPrep player of the year). If he was truly a pitching prospect who could hit 100+, he would have been a top 10-15 pick. In my most humble opinion, he’s back where he belongs.”

        I’d also add that he was a .500 hitter in high school. The kid has always been able to hit so it’s no surprise. And at 6’2″ and hovering around 240 lbs, his power surge at the plate shouldn’t come as a huge surprise.

  20. Thanks for sharing the video, Dejan. Always look forward to seeing the hard work and enthusiasm the Plum kids exhibit. I sincerely hope the Pens players get a look at it.

    Expecting 14 more inches of snow here by tomorrow night. #facepalm

  21. Just watched the video. Got goosebumps. I will give it to the students and teachers for the time they spent putting this together (and not grudgingly, as Plum is my high school rival, but I am way too old for stuff like that). Wonder what Murray, Iggy, Morrow, and Jokinen think about all of this? Let’s go Pens!

    • Their A-V guy that appears in the video is really cool. He heads up a program where they videotape the school’s sporting events & have the students call the games. I wish there was more of that sort of thing back in the dark ages when I went to school.

      • Amen. Schools need more classes where students can gain experience with practical, real world applications and have fun.

        • Yeah, screw History, English, Science, Math, or even Music…High School should be like Vo-Tech…or a Trade School. (read: sarcasm)

          Ironically, most schools don’t have shop classes or Industrial Arts programs anymore. You know, those “practical classes” that at least I thought were fun. I guess people are happy not knowing how to hammer a nail and having to pay someone $200 to build them a bird house or thousand of dollars to shingle a roof or build them a deck. Everything is tech driven now which isn’t all bad except that “practical” knowledge will be irrelevant by the time those kids get out of college and being done by cheap foreign sourced labor anyway.

          If I knew then what I know now I would have become a plumber. It’s gotta feel good showing up at a house in dirty clothes to fix a simple leaky pipe knowing you make easily twice as much as the college educated suit and tie paying you to do it for him ,all the while feeling half the stress or pressure from your chosen line of work or your probability of losing it.

          • There’s a lot of truth to your last paragrpah.

            Signed,

            College Educated Suit and Tie Wearer

          • Was an educator, never followed through on it. Got into mental health instead (big mistake given I only hold a bachelor’s degree and have never had a decent job). If I realized then what I realize now…oh well, not enough quarters in the world for the way back machine).

          • Speak for yourself, SJB! Hubby and I remodeled our own house…with just a bit of outside help. We redid the plumbing: Here Babe, flux this. My reply: Well, flux you too!

            We also did our own roofing. I climbed up the friggin ladder (2 story home) and hubby grabbed my hand and “helped” me off the ladder onto the roof. We put on the ice guard on the 2 front dormers…wind caught one, and he lost it…it ended up wrapped around my head. When I finally got it unstuck and OFF my head, he was looking at me like me expected me to push HIM OFF THE ROOF. I laughed so hard I almost fell off the roof. lol
            True story, I swear.

            The only work we didn’t do was the rough wiring and hanging the drywall. When you work full time and only have a 6 months construction loan, sometimes you gotta let someone else do SOMETHING. :)
            Mind you, this was just 8 years ago, so yes, I was over 40.

          • I would think any plumber, electrician, etc. has just as much if not more stress on them than the tie wearer you speak of.

            Most are small business owners without a steady paycheck.

            • My hubby is a sub-contractor (flooring). Some winter months are veeerrryyyy lean, let me tell you. The summer and holidays you work your tail off. And yes, the stress is always there. Your name is on the line every job you do.

      • I was the president of my high school’s A-V Club (shocking, I know). I used to do the morning announcements by ripping off Walter Winchell. I would say, “Good morning Mr. and Mrs. High Schooler and all the ships at sea … here are today’s announcements!”

        I never went to the prom.

  22. I think it will be the pens over the ducks in the championship!

  23. Happy Birthday Willie Nelson-80 years young today!

    NORML has never had a better poster child!

    Or should I say a better poster octogenarian.

  24. Steven Strasburg left last nights game with right forearm tightness. While not all forearm tightness leads to an elbow injury, all elbow injuries start as forearm tightness. Good thing they shut him down last year.

    • I was shocked when I heard this on MLB XM this morning:

      Steven Strasburg has never recorded an out in the 8th inning of a major league ballgame.

    • with pitchers you never know. Hold them to a pitch count, TJ surgery. Let em pitch out, TJ surgery.

      Nolan Ryan is the best example that I can think of as an advocate against pitch counts. I think he had a decent career as a pitcher.

  25. If you missed the article about the Point Park volleyball coach running the marathon blindfolded, please check it out, and check out the the website. Mike Bruno is one of my oldest friends, and he’s running for a great cause. Please support him if you can.

  26. Sporting thoughts today….

    * I’m never complementing the Pirates again! Don’t you know, the second I heap praise on Clint Barmes’s's’s defense, he boots a potential DP ball (did get 1 out) that extneds the inning and leads to 3 more Brew Crew runs. NEVER AGAIN!

    * Jonathon Sanchez is an infection on this team. He infected Wandy last night with his poisonous control/command. Call up DK, Arriba, Milo..heck, even Drew, but just get him off the team and out of Pittsburgh.

    * I was OK with Sanchez being the long man out of the ‘pen last night. Sometimes you lose the battle, but you live to fight another day. No problem with Clint’s handling of the bullpen last night.

    * The Brewers (since I think 2008; not 100% sure on that, heard Greg Brown say this stat last night) have won 65% of their ball games at Miller Park. While it’s certainly a house of horrors for the Bucs, so is it for everyone else. I hate Miller Park.

    * I can’t stand the Brewers.

    * I can’t stand Ryan Braun.

    * 1 theory (I just thought of btw) of why Jonathon Sanchez is still on this team: does everyone remember “Embrace the Suck”? Is there anyone that embodies “suck” right now moreso than Jonathon Sanchez? You don’t cut things you embrace. Just food for thought.

    * I’m starting it…. #freeoliver

    * It’d be nice if Andrew McCutchen started to get some hits. Not that I don’t think he’ll come around (he will), but it’s so much more fun watching the Pirates when he’s going well. I guess it’s selfish, but I didn’t demand it. Just said that it’d be nice.

    * Well, @PirateJesus didn’t help us last night. Going to go check twitter to see if there’s a @PirateSatan and see if I can conjur up some of the dark magic to help our boys in Milwaukee tonight. We’re going to need it.

    HAVE A GOOD DAY ALL! LET’S GO BUCS!

    :-)

  27. Well not a great night for the Buccos last night, but it was a great day down on the farm:

    Andy Oliver – 6 IP 4 H 1 R 7 K’s
    Stolmy Pimental – 7 IP 6 H 0 R 6 K’s lowered ERA to 0.30
    Tyler Glasnow 5 IP 2 H 0 R 7 K’s lowered ERA to 1.80

    Stetson Allie – Second two HR game hitting .351
    Josh Bell – Two double game hitting .277

    Even Tony Sanchez is hitting a little better down in Indy. Great day for the system.

    • A month into the 2013 season and Tony Sanchez has raised his OPS by 93 points over his first trip through AAA.

      Last season, Tony Sanchez raised his OPS by 102 point over his first trip through AA.

      It’s refreshing to see a kid work hard, make adjustments, and get better. With that track record, Sanchez is another guy you just can’t count out.

      • Does give hope that he still maybe able to end up a Pirates starter at end of Martin’s two year deal.

      • I agree. TS has gotten a lot of crap since he was drafted, but the dude busts his butt every day (or at least so it seems) and should be given some credit.

        I’d love to see him come up and be R Martin’s back up to learn from a proven veteran.

  28. No Orpik at practice today. Thank goodness for depth.

    • He skated alone before practice yesterday. Wonder if he did that again today? Might find out later.

      • According to Molinari, yes. And you know they’ll drag out the Sid situation right up until gametime. The only way we know anything ahead of time is if they just say he’s out.

  29. Little surprised that Dejan hasn’t mentioned the Jason Collins story.

    Not a criticizing, just commenting. Dejan’s my go-to columnist for sports stories that are about much more than sports.

    • You mean that story that they were talking about ALL morning on The Fan, all the while saying it shouldn’t be a story and media will make a big thing out of it. Hypocrisy at it’s finest.

      • Ha, good example of why I choose Dejan for such stories.

        • You mean you don’t want to hear Bostonians and New Yorkers talk about Pittsburgh sports? AKA: Gregg Giannotti and Jim Colony.

          I guess it’s either that or the Pittsburgh raised, annoying Mueller’s and Madden’s of the genre.

          • ““I don’t think football is ready, there’s too many guys in the locker room and, you know, guys play around too much,”

            Hines Ward, yesterday

            • Sorry, that was this morning.

            • There isn’t a sport that needs this MORE than football.

              I’m so sick and tired of these bigotted, egotistical dumb*sses who think sexual expression means exploiting as many women as possible.

              Hines Ward is an idiot. Mike Wallace is an idiot. And worst of all, nobody is surprised about it. Football players have conditioned us to treat them like the meatheads they are.

            • Sounds like there’s already a bunch in football if they “play around too much” to have a gay player among them.

              So stupid.

              • Hines seems completely oblivious to the fact that us peons who use regular ole gym locker rooms manage to comfortably change without oogling each other privates every day.

                Apparently football players wouldn’t be able to keep their hands to themselves?

            • “If you’re a man at night, you’ve got to be a man in the morning” ~ Ryan Lochte

  30. I wholeheartedly agree with NMR’s endorsement of DK as the guy to turn to for super writing that often transcends mere “sports.” Lately, though, I have wondered if he will suffer from what Lloyd used to call “over-exposure?” (no mean thoughts here, just a ?)

  31. Liriano through 6. 4 hits, 1 run, no walks, 9 K’s.

  32. Indianapolis with the Pitt football starting time today?

    • +1

      Always nice to read articles about changing a negative to a positive.

      Maybe our development isn’t the absolute best, but, perhaps, it isn’t a laughing stock either………

      • I thought people would be interested in the video. first high quality footage I’ve seen of Allie as a hitter.

        Terribly raw mechanics. Don’t think any two of his swings were the same.
        Long, long way to go before that swing hits major league pitching.

        But, you wanna talk bat speed? Lordy. That is one bad dude.

        • Wow. 6’2 240 lbs. Biiiiggg dude.

          • I posted this above, but probably should have posted this here:

            “I’d like to keep Allie as well. He was actually more of a corner infielder in high school who just happened to be able to hit triple digits on the radar gun. He was totally raw on the mound, which is probably why he wasn’t picked until the second round (considered a “combo” player, he fell to 52nd overall even though he was the MaxPrep player of the year). If he was truly a pitching prospect who could hit 100+, he would have been a top 10-15 pick. In my most humble opinion, he’s back where he belongs.”

            I’d also add that he was a .500 hitter in high school. The kid has always been able to hit so it’s no surprise. And at 6’2″ and hovering around 240 lbs, his power surge at the plate shouldn’t come as a huge surprise.

          • I’m very high on Allie as a position player. He can flat out rake. Unfortunately, he’s raw at the plate because he wasted the better part of 2 years on the mound with little regard to his plate approach. He was drafted out of high school so he’s still very young ( just turned 22) and has tremendous upside.

    • Nice article. Actually makes Kyle Starke sound like he knows what he’s talking about.

  33. Real Madrid v. Borussia Dortmund today @ 2:45 in the 2nd leg of the UEFA Champions League semi final (Barcelona v. Bayern Munich 2nd leg tomorrow; same time; Bayern have a 4-0 advantage after the 1st leg).

    Dortmund take a 4-1 lead into today’s game, but Madrid have an away goal. If they can win 3-0 over the 90 mins, then they’ll go to the final (would be 4-4 on aggregate, but Madrid would have the tie breaker of an away goal).

    Tough for Madrid, but they do have the home field advantage tonight. I still think Dortmund will go through and play Bayern in what will be the competitions first ever “All German” final.

    Had to get the daily soccer post in. DK didn’t post enough about the Riverhounds this morning. He was all excited for some sort of hockey puck shooter being his guest on his radio show.

    Anyways, if you can, I suggest you check it out. Lots of world class players on display in a big game setting. I think it would be a great introduction to the sport for some (if not a lot) here.

  34. Just was looking at some Penguin stats for the season and something jumped out at me. Not only has Sutter played in every game this season and regularly plays against the opposing team’s top lines, but he only has 4 PIM for the season. For as much as he has played, that is pretty staggering and shows that he has some serious discipline.

    • Maybe he can pass that along to Malkin and Neal???? ;)

    • Not enough penguins talk in here today. Too much belly-achin about the pirates/brewers fiasco. I agree, Sutter has been solid!

      Seriously though, I expected atleast 2 “fire bylsma” posts in response to DK’s column. While it is a nice thought, I think the blame still ultimately falls on the coach for any shortcoming. I don’t think he’ll be fired either way but there will be plenty of blame in his direction if it happens. And thats not even fair, cuz players gotta play!

  35. I’m off to Miller Park. Going with my boss, the Brewers and Braun apologist. I’ll try to do the blog proud and bring home a “W.”

    Or at least Front Row Amy’s autograph.

  36. Coming back here today I feared an onslaught of rebukes for probably my worst late night posts yet. Instead, just a single very mild one from Sisyphus. I deserved worse. Thank you gang. And though I doubt he reads this anyway, a shame-felt apology to Russell Martin.

  37. Sanchez DFA’d. Morris recalled.

  38. Happy trails Jonathon Sanchez. Sorry it didn’t work out for you.

  39. DK,

    Just listened to your opening comments about Root Sport and the Pirates and Penguins. Really great observation about how the Pirates don’t have the young fans and the Pens do.

    I’m 26 years old and basically grew up at Three Rivers Stadium during the summer. Tickets at the old ballpark were dirt cheap so my father took us to a lot of games. I can’t say that I remember the last Pirates’ home playoff game, but my dad says I was there. I was five. Still to this day, no team makes me more excited to watch, read about, and overanalyze everything that they do than the Buccos.

    Having said that, – and this gets to your point about the Penguins – when I started college across the street from Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh had two really lousy teams. One dominated the college market, and one totally bombed. It was so great to stand in line around the Arena for a couple hours, pay $20 and get the best seat available. Sure the Pens’ leading scorer one year earlier was Dick Tarnstrom, sure Mario was a shell of his former self, but when you’re a college freshman, sitting three rows off the ice with a couple of buddies, it really didn’t matter that much how the actual game went. It was just exciting to be there. Doubly so because it felt like you were getting a great value in return. We went back to the dorms talking about the awesome seats we got, not the game.

    I still went to plenty of Pirate games as a college student, but never felt welcomed in the same way. They never figured out the whole student marketing thing. Yeah, they started giving away T-Shirts and had some package deals, but it never was anything like what the team Uptown was doing. Theres something about sitting two rows from the top of the ballpark in deep foul territory, that doesn’t scream “value.” Especially with 15,000 empty seats surrounding around us.

    In general, college kids are always looking for an experience rather than just something to do. They want stories to share with their friends later. Do you remember that time that we were making fun of that beat up Cadillac trying to parallel park outside of the Arena, and then it ended up being Mike Lange’s car, and he walks up to us, makes us compete with a couple right behind us for free tickets to the game that night? I remember. And my friend and I still bring it up at least once a season.

    Never mind we didn’t get the tickets. We were two drunk guys going up against a nice looking couple. We didn’t have a chance. But we still got a great story to tell our friends. We don’t have those stories to share about the Pirates games. They were just games. Didn’t feel significant.

    Look at those two teams today, regardless of on-the-field/ice play. Look at how their fan bases are comprised. One team started stinking and immediately invested in the market that would carry them through the bad years, and now lead them through the great ones. The other still hasn’t figured out how to connect with those fans. Even though they’ve had great runs the last couple of years, they’re still fighting for attention.

    DK: Man, Mike, wish you had posted this with the podcast thread. Thanks, anyway!

    • Mike

      Where do you currently reside out west?

      We are actually keeping a list of lunatic locations

    • Wow, this post has moved me to stop drinking. Very well done and an important lesson for 115 Federal Street if they’re receptive enough to “get it.”

    • Mike, I have espoused this view for years, and most people think I am nuts.

      Forget for a moment the Student Rush, free pizza, players delivering season tickets………. the Pens invest in goodwill. And goodwill goes a long way.

      Think of it in my line of work……….. do you go out for a $200 steak, or do you go out for service and atmosphere?

      Sure, the sports product may or may not stink, but with the right service and atmosphere, you can overcome that.

      Nice post here, btw.
      Hope to hear from you some more…….. from out west!

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