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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Tuesday Wakeup Call: Special guest Brenden Morrow

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>>The TribLIVE Radio show today — 1-2 p.m. — will feature special guest Brenden Morrow.

There will also be an opening rant on Canada’s neverending Cup drought, a visit from Trib hockey writer Josh Yohe and, of course, the local Twitter treasure @suckmeter offering the Suck of the Week.

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.


Call: 412-320-7925.

>> The Trib will have all hands on deck for Game 1, as well as the full second round. The coverage opens this morning with — what else? — the Matt Cooke effect.

Here’s what some of the athletes had to say yesterday, including Cooke …

>> If you’re interested in the opposing perspective, there’s the biggest paper in Canada’s capital, the Ottawa Citizen, and the unfortunately far better known tabloid, the Ottawa Sun.

>> Meanwhile, another of the Sun chain in Ontario, produced this front page for today to illustrate the Maple Leafs blowing a three-goal lead in Game 7 in Boston …

Nice, huh?

Don’t get me wrong. The headline is fair and accurate. In fact, the Toronto Star, the more mainstream paper, also used ‘choked’ in its main headline.

But what gets you is that those headlines don’t come close to the vitriol that’ll spill over up there. Toronto’s as vicious a place as any in North America toward its own team. And yet they wonder why so few great players have chosen to play there for a very, very long time now despite unlimited cash to spend.

>> Ray Shero for GM of the Year?

Yeah, lots of suspense there.

>> Stopped over at PNC Park yesterday and spent a little time with Travis Snider

Also talked with a few other guys while there, and I can share a bit: Jose Tabata sounds highly encouraged by driving the ball to center-right. His smile is back, but I don’t think he’ll be pleased until right field is fully his job again. … Clint Barmes told me he’s still a little frustrated at lapses at his old lunging habits, but he also — correctly — pointed out, “I’m miles ahead of where I was at this time last year.” … Neil Walker’s back is doing great. No, that’s not what had him on the DL, but it’s a far more important issue in the longer term. … I asked Clint Hurdle if Jordy Mercer can ever be an everyday major-league defensive shortstop, and he wouldn’t answer it other than a we’ll-see. Asked it again, this time focusing based solely on what he’s seen to date, and he still wouldn’t answer it. Do with that what you will.

>> The Riverhounds open a pretty neat — and legitimately open — tournament tonight at Highmark Stadium.

>> Hope to have you on board with the show!

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.


  1. Mizery says:

    First. Game day baby. Can’t wait. Ottawa FO staff and ownership don’t seem like a first class operation.

  2. Ghost says:

    My interest was piqued by a little discussion yesterday by Jandy and NMR on weight training and throwing strength. I’ve been thinking plenty about this myself, recently. So many factors go into what we consider “arm strength,” but to mention just three (at the expense of many others), torque (from flexibility, in shoulder and hips especially) combined with ability to contract muscles quickly are crucial; and then the strength to safely decelerated is also hugely important. Many pitching injuries come from an imbalance between acceleration and deceleration strength.

    What I’d like to know is: besides long toss (I’m a fan of the Jaeger method), which specific exercises do any of you recommend to target which specific muscles for greater explosion going forward, and then greater braking ability for the deceleration phase? I’m thinking the front deltoid head/ back heads, the forearm muscles that control wrist snap, the ‘core’ muscles that invert the upper body and drive it forward, and maybe some bicep thrown in for help with deceleration. (For some of those infield throws by Jordy Mercer that prompted the original discussion, probably a little less of the core and more in the arm for those off-balance throws done more with the arm.)

    On a related note, here’s a great article on Ichiro and his flexibility.

  3. Ed says:

    Didn’t expect the Rangers to win so easily at Washington, due to the history in this series as well as long-term history. Hard to believe that was the first time the Rangers ever won a Game 7 on the road.

  4. Ghost says:

    What I mean I’m looking for is stuff like: dumb bell or cable rows, behind the back presses, etc. — whatever specific exercises any of you may know to work or that are used by pro ball players.

  5. Ghost says:

    Given two chances to say something fluffy about Jordy Mercer, Hurdle still declined, huh? Don’t know how well that bodes for Mercer, but it does show how paramount defense has become in the eyes of front offices, these past few years. I’m certain it’s sabremetric driven, but I also think it’s logical on its face. Now that the pendulum has swung away from laboratory chemicals that went “hiss, boom, bah” for ever greater offense (okay, wrong sport), and is swinging back to the gracefulness of Tinker to Evers to Chance, Jordy Mercer might be an anachronism from c. 2006. (Not saying he juiced. But his burst of power/no glove combo is definitely retro these days.) Conversely, the anachronism, the superannuated John McDonald, is now the new “new.” Mark Belanger, pick up your phone. Mr. Cashman is on line one.

    (And my head is undulating far too much from Ambien so here is where I stop — right before I go full Reese Witherspoon all over the Blog………)

    DK: I’ll give Hurdle credit. He could have offered some flowery assessment of Mercer as an everyday defensive shortstop, but that might have been disingenuous. His very cautious answer(s) was a safer route, maybe a smarter one.

  6. Ed says:

    Besides the obvious of Mercer having an option and McDonald not, I think that Barmes doing relatively well at the plate recently really hurt Jordy’s chances too.

    DK: Could be, Ed. I think they just want to catch the ball at that position and nothing else. And I don’t think they trust Mercer to do that.

  7. Drew71 says:

    This is a simple game. You throw the ball…you hit the ball…you catch the ball.

    You got it, Dejan?

  8. Thundercrack says:

    I think the Q&A exchange between Clint and DK was heard as part of the pregame show.

    If I remember correctly Clint said that the sample size of Mercer playing short in the majors is small – so we’ll see if he can play. DK asked again and Clint basically said the same thing again.

  9. Drew71 says:

    With all the attention the Mecca Meltdown has earned, don’t sleep on this.

    Ovechkin had 0 points over the last five playoff games.

    Ovechkin had 0 points over the last five playoff games.

    I liked that sentence. I wanted to see it again.

  10. MadTurk says:

    Or you can look at it this way, he had as many goals in a 7 game series as Orpik had in 6 games

  11. Drew71 says:

    Ovechkin blamed his play on the referees. And the league.

    Good man. He’ll live forever.

    Cause he’ll never need a cardiologist.

  12. Jandy says:

    I’m thrilled with the outcome….can’t stand the Craps ;)

  13. Jandy says:

    Be careful, Drewster, someone wizzed in Dejan’s Cheerios yesterday. ;)

  14. JAL says:

    JAL’s Tuesday Afternoon Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)

    4 Pittsburgh Pirates Stats

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: The Pirates Need to Find Some Way to Beat Milwaukee

    Prospect Watch: Sanchez Has a Doubles Streak Going, Herrera Continues Hot May

    The Brewers Just Stole Another Base

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates bumble their way to 5-1 loss


    Game 38: Brewers 5 Pirates 1

    8 The Green Weenie

    Bucs Bumble to 5-1 Loss to Brewers

    9 Rumbunter

    New Video: Garrett Jones Career Highlights

    Dan Patrick Confuses AJ Burnett With Bronson Arroyo

    10 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Brewers 5 Pirates 1

  15. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Rested Marco Estrada back in form, leads Brewers to win

    12 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates’ Player of the Week: Jeanmar Gomez

    13 Yahoo Sports

    PNC Park: A local’s guide to enjoying a road trip to the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates

    14 Macon Telegraph

    Bonifay brothers made their mark on Macon

    15 Huffington Post

    The Resurgence of Nate McLouth

    16 CBS Sports

    Milwaukee at Pittsburgh Preview

    17 Sweetspot

    One more note on iron men pitchers

    18 PBC Site

    Brewers continue to mystify Burnett, Bucs

    Morton building toward Altoona rehab start


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    UPDATED: The Baseball Prospectus Futures Guide 2013

    20 Fangraphs

    Pitching and Defense Wins, As Long As You Can Also Hit

  16. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers are still trying to solve mystery of Ziggy Hood and Cameron Heyward

    Steelers Al Woods will be battling the axe in 2013

    22 Steelers Depot

    - CB Josh Victorian One of Several Cornerback Battling for a Roster Spot

    Soccer(football) Will T

    23 Daily Telegraph

    Sir Alex Ferguson given the perfect send-off as thousands pay homage to retiring Manchester United manager

    24 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 13th May, 2013


    25 Pensburgh

    Reflecting on the Penguins/Islanders Series.

    26USA Today

    Ottawa Senators-Pittsburgh Penguins preview

    27 Fox News

    Stanley Cup Playoff Preview – Pittsburgh vs. Ottawa

  17. Jandy says:

    One dimensional player. I couldn’t be happier for him :)

  18. JAL says:

    Tuesday Afternoon Moody Blues 1970

  19. JAL says:

    Corrected link to song

  20. scapper says:

    Been living in the DC area for 26 years now, and Caps Elimination Day is like a second Christmas to me. Feel bad for two good friends who have been fans since long before Ovie showed up, but otherwise…ahhhhh, what a feeling.

    However, Pens’ 3 cup runs all included the Caps. This might be a bad omen!

  21. Vette60 says:

    Happy Tuesday All!

    Well, what a Hockey Night last night!

    Was flipping back and forth last night between games – caught the end of the Bruins and wow, was that wild. Last time I remember a meltdown like that was when Brodeur lost his mind against the Canes and allowable a couple at the end to push the Canes past the Devils.

    Last night’s was crazy for sure with the big Slovak Chara providing a great screen on the tying goal. Lots of chances in the OT and the Bruins game out on top. My Toronto based but Bruins fanatic salesman friend is going bananas!

    And for the Caps, well, can’t say that I am not please with that outcome. My Brother-in-law is a very miuch fair weather Caps fan and didn’t want a thing to do with them early in the year, but OV was the greatest thing since when they were tearing it up at the end…surprised the Rangers won, not really – surprised by the margin of Victory, yes.

    Can’t wait for tonight! Looking forward to a great series. Why not, Pens in 6!

    Let’s go PENS!

    Randy in RVA.

  22. Drew71 says:

    Yes. He might Reply In Bold Print.

    That’ll teach me.

  23. Jandy says:

    you got it!

  24. Jandy says:

    nah….just means the Craps didn’t cut it ;)

  25. likeabugonarug says:

    Reminded me of the Pens game 7 in 2009 down there that was so anti-climatic. So sad, too bad.

    But, enough about the past.



  26. likeabugonarug says:

    Awesome song. Moody Blues had lots of them.


  27. theplanisworking says:

    Truly under appreciated song by the Moody’s.
    One of my favorites.

  28. theplanisworking says:

    Dont cry for Ocrychkin.
    Beautiful, famous g/f.

    Politically connected in good ol’ Russia.

    But it is glorious to see the Craps ousted.

  29. Jason says:

    Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes it rains.

  30. theplanisworking says:

    Re: Hurdle’s answers……….

    CH isnt stupid. He doesnt want to start any controversies. DK could have asked him the question 101 different ways, and still would have gotten nothing. Maybe next time, he needs to take the Hippo along to threaten to sit on him……………

    It is truly amazing how the Pirates treat certain players.
    In 2010, Walker was held down in AAA for the infamous “infield fly rule fiasco”, an event I have never heard of being used against a player before, or since. The late, great Aki Iwamura was the 2nd baseman at the time, and anyone was a better choice, but it took an injury, and much prodding from the Indianapolis manager at the time to get Walker up.

    Now we see a much better option in Mercer than McDonald, yet he goes back to Indy, and the upper ups have the same lack of confidence in Mercer as they had in Walker.

    Truly strange and unusual for a team to repeatedly show such lack of confidence in players, that while may not be great, they are an improvement over what they have.

  31. theplanisworking says:

    Being the rabbit supplying the ears for my TV in Hippoland died, I havent heard who the starting goalie for tonights game would be.

    Anyone know?

  32. dwf says:


  33. Sarah says:

    TG we’re not Leafs fans, Loonies.

    Bad as the last 3 years were, just TG.

  34. theplanisworking says:

    Or Caps fans………..

  35. chethejet says:

    Pens are a run away win in this series if Malkin is healthy. Iginla is getting into the swing of things as he has not played in the playoffs for three years. Sens goalie hasn’t experienced this kind of pressure and that will be a big factor when the heat turns up. Caps goalie was out to lunch in a game seven. He now has the understanding of what one needs to bring to that kind of game. Is Crosby stuck with the American Motors Pacer helmet for the rest of he year?

  36. Naje says:

    DK… thanks for asking those questions and putting out those responses from Hurdle… seems there are only a few voices out there that recognize Mercer’s skill set. But the most important voices are those pros, you know, those guys who have been involved with MLB for 30+ years, that think Mercer has some work to do before he becomes a major league shortstop or back-up middle infielder.

    How do posters and fans know that Mercer is better than McDonald for whatever role the PBC needs in that 25th spot on the team? Especially when so many here actually watch Jordy Mercer play every day in the minors, see him in practice, see how he moves, fields, see his range and actually know what to look for in a player. Still a lot of room to grow. A little extra heat only makes the steel stronger…Mercer will only come out a better player for dealing with all of this. Or, his talent will show that he is what he is.

  37. dwf says:

    It must be a Pittsburgh “thing”?

    Look at the way DD has treated Despres. How do they expect these players to get better/experience if they pull them or send them down if they make a mistake? Same with BB.

  38. Sarah says:

    Er – wow, glad you’re so optimistic!
    I think they were fortunate to move on….and if they keep playing this lousy defensively it could be a short playoffs.

    But I hope they change and tighten up!

  39. Damon says:

    and people actually voted for him over Sid for MVP…

  40. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Read the Toronto headline above… Did Washington even publish a headline for losing? You’d think by now it’s not really a headline anymore.

  41. BillyBaduka says:


  42. Dom says:

    I think our starter for tonight in goal should be none other than MARC-ANDRE FLEURY!!!!

    My rationale is if this team is going to win the cup, Fleury is going to have to be the man that gets us there. Vokoun certainly has played solid but how many backups won cups for their teams? Think about when the Pens won their first cup. Barrasso’s hurt and Frank Pietrangelo is brought in and as we all know, plays stupendously. When Barrasso was healthy again did they leave Pietrangelo in? Of course they didn’t b/c elite goaltenders are needed to win a cup. Remember our goal is to win the cup and not simply get past the Senators.

    The ideal saturation would be to place Fleury in goal after we have a 3-0 lead over the Sens but what if that doesn’t happen? What if Vokoun’s play is subpar for the first three games and we’re down 2-1 or even 0-3 in the series? Would you now feel comfortable going with Fleury?

    DB didn’t announce a goaltender yesterday which might be because he could go with Fleury or maybe he is trying to obtain any advantage whatsoever by keeping it from the Sens who will be in the cage.

  43. 21sthebest says:

    Hey Ghost. I just about died when I saw you mention the Jaeger method. My son discovered it when he was in between high school and college in 2009 and he swears by it. The results have been amazing and he has developed a pretty good relationship with Alan Jaeger. Not only has it improved arm strength but his arm felt great all four years in college.

    This past Fall my son and some of his teammates worked out at this gym near school that trains professional and college athletes (7 locations in the Northeast) and it was very focused strength training for baseball. A lot of focus on the core and a lot dealing with explosiveness. I’ll have to check with him on some of the details.

  44. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Which stat factored in goals+shots+line changes+ length of skate laces minus sneezes per faceoff divided by square root of assists? :-)

  45. Nate83 says:

    I don’t doubt that the Pirates feel that Mercer is a better option then McDonald. I think the question is if they think Mercer is a better option then Barmes. At this point I’m thinking the answer is no and I think I agree. 30 batting average points can’t make up for the amount of runs Barmes saves defensively.

    If Mercer could get 12-15 at bats a week I think he would stay but for him to only get 3 at bats a week instead of McDonald would

    a) not make a huge difference in the grand scheme of things.
    b) not help Mercer with his progression as a player.

    He needs at bats and time playing SS to get better. I personally think he should stay up and also take some at bats away from 2nd and 3rd. That way he would get at least 9-12 at bats a week and be able to work with Barmes in practice. I also personally would like for him to have 350-400 career major league at bats before we name him our opening day starter at SS next year.

  46. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I apparently did the wrong Jaeger method in college. Mine involved a green bottle, a shot glass and not so many memories (and a broken lawn chair thanks to my roommate).

  47. Damon says:

    Nice link! One thing to point out though is that those stats are against a team who has an excellent transition game, and they were running a 1-3-1 system that was brutal against the Pens stretch passes. These create more zone time for the Isles, thereby creating those skewed numbers. Kind of spells out that series though. Against Ottawa, they (probably) will run into a different system and will hopefully spend more time in Ottawa’s zone than the Isles. They will definitely need a ton more shots on Anderson than they got on Nabokov….

  48. Darrell says:

    Randy Carlyle, hockey gods anyone? Be careful what you spew clown…..

  49. 21sthebest says:

    “Be careful, Drewster, someone wizzed in Dejan’s Cheerios yesterday.”

    I heard that’s how they make Honey Nut Cheerios.

  50. Arriba Wilver says:

    One of mine, too, back in the day.

  51. 21sthebest says:

    “CH isnt stupid. He doesnt want to start any controversies.”

    95 wins baby!

  52. Jandy says:

    Not tellin lol. Game time decision

  53. 21sthebest says:

    Brad, the running philosophy that I follow is by a coach whose name is Jack Daniels. I’m guessing you don’t follow that one either.

  54. SeanAY says:

    You say all this as if it’s a given that Vokoun will falter.

    How is THAT meeting in the coach’s office going to go?

    “Tomas, thanks for pulling us out of that tailspin and winning the last two games of the series. As you know though, you’re not a Cup-caliber goaltender, so we’ll be going back to the guy that last clinched a series win in ’10.”

    And I’m a Fleury FAN.

  55. Patrick says:

    I get on opposing fan bases a lot. I chide them for being a lot of things based on a small sampling of fans I have come across. Sometimes it applies to the general fan base but most of the times it doesn’t. Days like this i can’t help but feel a little bit sorry for Caps and Leafs fans.

    Ive been to three Pens/Leafs fans and seen three Leafs fans punched in the face because they wouldnt STFD an shut up. But what happened last night is almost inhumane. Losing to one of your most hated division rivals? Giving up 3 goals in the third? Losing in OT? That’s worse than any punch in the nose.

    We know the few hundred that are the most vocal (annoying) but the vast majority of any fan base are “normal” fans. And they dont deserve this…nobody does. Wow thats gotta hurt.

  56. Jandy says:

    I am starting to get jacked when fans make predictions like this. Look what happened with the Isles. I’ll repeat: Do NOT Take any opponent for granted. It WILL bite the team in the butt. That said, no way we’re gonna walk all over a Senators team looking for revenge for the “Matt Cooke Incident”.

  57. Bizrow says:

    Any Moody Blues song is a favorite of mine

  58. Bizrow says:

    + 1

  59. Jandy says:

    Tells you about their IQ ;)

  60. Jandy says:

    LMAO 21…I won’t ever eat them again ;)

  61. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Can’t say I do… Mr. Jameson is my running coach. He offers a good workout, but the recovery period is kind of painful. I think it might be because he only advises a splash of water.

    But in all seriousness, when did this Jaeger method come about? I stopped playing when I was about 14 and my son’s starting coach pitch this year so I’d like to work with him a bit on mechanics. Been a long time since I’ve been up-to-date on good mechanical stuff. The last big instructional approach I remember when I played was an instructional vhs set.

  62. Jandy says:

    We’re just Dejan’s Lunies ;)

  63. Thundercrack says:

    I like Mercer’s potential – a lot.
    Mercer is not going to start over Barmes.

    Clint had, what I thought, good answers yesterday when asked about sending Mercer down. Mercer did good. Good. He hit some home runs. But he also his .258 (not .358). And we all noticed some hiccups in the field. They are not keeping Cal Ripken Jr down.

  64. Jandy says:

    LOL Thanks for doing my plugs for my son-in-law’s blog site, Sarah ;)

  65. Jandy says:

    All of them combined divided by Pi

  66. Damon says:

    This series will go 6 or 7 games because of Anderson…he’s good for stealing a game or two. Karlsson will probably have the series of his life too…to date anyway… Every game will probably be decided by one or two goals. All this makes me a nervous wreck, but I still think the Pens advance….

  67. Patrick says:

    Hockey coaching 101, or ANY sport for that matter, almost demands that Vokoun play. You have to go with the hot hand. DB rode Vokoun during the winning streak for a few games until he faltered, he’ll do it again.

    And it will be the right way to handle it. Vokoun has earned the right to play himself out of a job.

  68. Jandy says:

    Post, rinse, repeat

  69. Jandy says:


    I’m not saying Fleury WON’T play again, just let Tomas in until the situation changes.

  70. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Or their affinity for Homo neanderthalensis. Or Geico commercials.

  71. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    How does a tiger and a boat factor into that?

  72. Jandy says:

    Anyone swear by Captain Morgan?

  73. Jandy says:

    I feel sorry for them, I truly to. We get on the Pens for meltdowns. That was truly epic. Sad indeed.

  74. Patrick says:

    Yea its a run away. They have the Odds on favorite Vezina trophy winner, beat their higher seeded opponent in 5 games, lead the conference in GAA, are getting back their best offensive player and have a belly full of hatred and motivation to knock off the Penguins.

    Yeeaaa…. just a walk in the park.

  75. Jandy says:

    very carefully!

  76. Brad, Indiana PA says:


    And I have a feeling we WILL see Fleury again. It just shouldn’t be tonight.

  77. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I swear AT him.

  78. Jandy says:


  79. Jandy says:

    Careful, he may make you walk the plank

  80. Jandy says:


  81. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I know the Leafs & their fans have a reputation for being obnoxious. But am I in the minority that wanted them to win? Mainly just because 1. Boston’s been a contender for the last few years and I like to see some variety in the playoffs and 2. I don’t really want us to have to play them.

  82. Jandy says:

    I just adore how you put into eloquent words what I’m thinking :)

  83. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Speaking of which, there is a new pirate show coming out on Starz that looks pretty good. Not sure how historically accurate it is, but looks entertaining.

  84. Jandy says:

    Oh I was pulling for the Leafs. I’m sick of Boston lol

  85. Patrick says:

    I would also like to mention I correctly predicted 7 out of 8 1st round series (missed Anaheim losing to Detroit) and even got 4 out of 8 lengths right. So…you know…like, umm

    Go me!…or something…

  86. Jandy says:


  87. theplanisworking says:

    Jandy, you and Brandie may have to send me a new rabbit …. ;)

  88. Jandy says:

    and sometimes you look worse than a high school team.

  89. theplanisworking says:

    Tiger owns a boat? I thought his ex got that??? ;)

  90. Damon says:

    You’re right – I agree. But if Bylsma starts Fleury tonight though, somehow it will work out. He’s been calling all the right shots lately… You have to think if they started Fleury – since he is the most liked person in the locker room – that the team would play much safer to pick him up which may in turn not only right his ship but get the team in a much more defensive mindset…

  91. Jandy says:

    Nah you come to my house, my tv works just fine ;)
    Or, maybe Brandie can pull one out of her hat?

  92. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    They were predicting an uneven series on the Fan yesterday too because among other reasons, the Sens are slower than the Isles. What?!?!

    I’m not getting that “this is gona be easy” vibe at all.

  93. Jandy says:

    that ain’t all she got!

  94. radio wave says:

    Not surprised at the Capitol’s choke. Predictable. Rangers have not met Bruins and playoffs and 73.

  95. SeanAY says:

    My thought is that Vokoun would probably come out at the first sign of sub-par play.

    If they lose tonight 1-0, but he’s otherwise excellent, he stays in.

    If they lose 4-1, then that’s a good opportunity to transition back.

  96. NMR says:


    You clearly have done some research so I’m not sure I’ll be of much help, but…

    I’m of the opinion that “traditional” upper body exercises(bench press, bicep curl, upright row, etc) are not good for pitcher specific training. They consist of single plane contraction of one specific muscle, an act that never happens when throwing a baseball.

    Body weight exercises like plyo pushups and multi-grip pull ups along with resistance band routines are all I would recommend personally for a kid looking to increase arm strength. More importantly, core core and more core training. Also work lower body plyometrics into core work with rotation movements whenever possible. Take a lunge and add a twist. Bring a knee to the chest after a box jump. That kind of stuff.

    The more a kid can control his own body the easier it will be for him to repeat his mechanics, which should be where velocity increases come from.

    I feel upper body weight training is fine for position players since those muscles will help at the plate as well, but even then I focus core, lower body, and then upper body targetting the back, shoulders (pushups mainly), and fore arms.

    Cool topic, btw.

  97. Damon says:

    Agreed about not wanting to play them (Toronto)….they are the Isles the sequel. I think the Pens match up better against the Bruins. I may eat my words at a later date though.

  98. Jandy says:

    I really don’t care who is in net, as long as the rest of the team plays responsible, defensive hockey. That said, TV earned the start.

  99. 21sthebest says:

    I’m not exactly sure when Jaeger’s approach started to gain some steam. I know on his web site though, he has video working with Trevor Bauer when he was 15.

  100. Jandy says:

    :;throwing confetti::

  101. theplanisworking says:

    Being I am a very simple Hippo, I didnt even try to predict the other series……….. too much counting involved.

    In the ONLY series that mattered, I correctly predicted the winner, the length of games needed, and did a fairly accurate Hippo analysis.

    I wont say go me, because I am large enough as it is………. ;)

    But kudos to you on 7 of 8……… I cannot count that high.

    Maybe I need “Hooked on Numbers” ?? ;)

  102. Damon says:


  103. theplanisworking says:

    We know!

    Mornin’ Jandy! :)

  104. theplanisworking says:

    Hippos dont travel well. ;)

  105. Jandy says:

    I gotta creek running thru my back yard, you can do it!!!

  106. Papa Croz says:

    Ride my Seesaw!

  107. theplanisworking says:


  108. NMR says:

    This. 100 times over.

    Hurdle and the “upper ups” have never given any indication that they believe McDonald is a better player than Mercer. Even have gone on to mention organizational assets, ie players with options.

  109. SeanAY says:

    Back in the Igloo days, in that odd interim where the Pens had Crosby and Malkin but hadn’t turned it on yet and student rush still seated 2,000+, I’ll never forget the night I saw the Pens play the Leafs over Christmas break.

    Seated in section E, while a fight was ensuing on the ice, a Maple Leafs and Pens fan started fighting in the middle of the Club section. Why anyone would want to get belligerently drunk to the point of fighting and being thrown out of the most expensive seats in the arena – with your WIFE AND KIDS SITTING NEXT TO YOU, no less – was and is beyond me.

    Anyway, later that evening, I ran into an old friend outside the arena; as it turns out, he had been sitting near there and saw the whole thing transpire. While he’s relaying the story, we hear yelling coming from near the loading dock. It seems the Leafs fan that started the fight had decided to jump from the loading dock wall onto the concrete. Think 20-foot drop. Other than the broken leg, he was fine.

    So there’s THAT for you.

  110. theplanisworking says:

    That would be like the Edmund Fitzgerald trying to fil through a mud puddle.

    I truly appreciate the attempts to make me a slim beast, but really, Jandy.

    That would be like fitting 20 pounds of sausage in a 6 pond casing.


  111. Patrick says:

    Actually Im not worried about Boston. At all. Pens were built to beat a team like Boston. Toronto I think posed a more difficult task to the Pens than the Bruins did. They play fast, aggressive and physical. Just like the Islanders. It also means its reckless and leaves them open for odd man rushes…which is how they lost their lead last night….but we have seen how the Pens handle teams like the Leafs.

    Not well…

  112. Jandy says:

    PFFFFT! :p

  113. NMR says:

    “How do posters and fans know that Mercer is better than McDonald for whatever role the PBC needs in that 25th spot on the team?”

    I think you might be putting words in peoples mouths.

    I haven’t heard anyone say Mercer is better than McDonald for whatever role the PBC needs in that 25th roster spot. For the way Clint Hurdle uses that spot – backup defense-first middle infielder – I’m not sure you could find anyone who would say Mercer is better than McDonald.

    What people seem to believe is that he is the better all around player, specifically with the bat, and that the team should find a way to utilize him more.

    Again, this all comes down to Clint Hurdle.

  114. Jandy says:

    Your fellow lunies <3 you just the way you are, Hipposter :-)

  115. Jandy says:

    G’Mornin my friend, happy fackin Tuesday :)

  116. Pucknutz says:

    I was gonna add something – but after I read your post a second time – I think you said it all! :)

  117. Patrick says:

    Anyone who thinks MAF should play over TV:

  118. Jandy says:

    wow…low IQ eh?

  119. Jandy says:

    Surely you can thwap harder than THAT :P

  120. CoachWard says:

    “He’ll never need a cardiologist” great line! Was thinking same thing about the entire Pens team in 1st and 2nd period of Game 6.

  121. Jandy says:

    LOL! Priceless!

  122. theplanisworking says:

    Jandy, I am glad you, and a few others think so. :)

    I get the feeling some of the loonies would just as soon see me harpooned and sold for scrap……… ;(

  123. theplanisworking says:

    Welcome to Chilly Hippos Pond Pa.

    Today, we are passing out complimentary booze.

    Then we complimentarily pass out! ;)

  124. theplanisworking says:


  125. theplanisworking says:

    + a whole lot…….

  126. Jandy says:

    who cares what they think? ;)

  127. Jandy says:

    No booze for me until later on…too much work to do. More contracts to review and execute. Work is good :)

  128. CoachWard says:

    It would be great if Barmes could produce more at the plate. Reality is that PBC offense should be plenty potent enough without having to count on him. That has and will depend on Alvarez. The guy has to be more consistent if we are going to contend for anything. Nothing shocking there, I know. I love the fact that Tabata is being forced to compete for RF. He doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy that would thrive by being annointed as a starter unconditionally. Hopefully he earns that spot.

  129. Jandy says:


  130. Jandy says:

    Ouch! Good job, Hipposter ;)

  131. theplanisworking says:

    think? Whats that??? ;)

  132. Jandy says:

    Now you got it ;)

  133. theplanisworking says:


    I am outta here for the job stuff.
    This was a welcome distraction.

    Back tonight for the Pens thread, and more simple(ton) Hippo analysis.

    Hippo Out.

  134. CoachWard says:

    Here’s a question…Will the home crowd be a factor tonight? Home ice is great, but always seems to take the CEC crowd a few games to develop the vitriol for an opponent that translates into the energy that makes it a force. Hopefully with all that’s been done and said between these two teams, the crowd will be loud and enthused from the opening face off of Game 1.

  135. Kevin says:

    I agree Dom. In fact, I was kinda hoping you’d post this yesterday. There’s alot of people *ahem* Patrick *ahem* Jandilicious *ahem* that keep saying “hot hand” or “earned it”. Those are gut check reactions. We can certainly make better “hockey” decisions based on what we know. And what we know is, we need Fleury, at some point, to be the guy of ’08-’09 that can steal games. Why can’t we just use the excuse that ‘hey, Vokoun, Fleury’s going tonight, you’ve been great and we want to keep you fresh for next game’. I just hate the “hot hand” and “earned” philosophy. In a playoff series, you’re playing the same team 4+ times in a row, makes more sense to me to change it up each game to keep the opponent on their toes. For example, (not saying he could but…) you wouldn’t throw AJ Burnett at Milwaukee three nights in a row.

  136. Jandy says:

    Good luck Hippo!

  137. Jandy says:

    First run Ottawa takes at Cookie, the crowd will be in it…

  138. SeanAY says:

    I’ve found that in the grand hierarchy of rums, the higher the rank of the officer on the bottle, the worse it is. Here’s the thumbnail sketch:

    Admiral Nelson < Captain Morgan < Sailor Jerry.

  139. Patrick(ri) says:

    I think the problem will find solution only if Tabata can overcome sporadic starts and not overcompensate (like it seemed Snider did in his first few at bats after sitting some games. Either pick one, or announce a platoon — the alternative produces S Pearce results. Imho.

  140. Kevin says:

    Yeah that was some epic collapse. Not at all like a punch in the face. More like someone kicked you in the bean bag and then ripped your heart out. I woulda much prefer losing like the Caps. You know the goalies hot. Whereas Tuuka kinda sucks in net.

    In terms of penguins v either team, definitely agree prefer Boston. Rask is definitely beatable. Reimer was looking tough and Toronto looked very similar to Isles.

  141. Kevin says:

    I was wrong about everything but especially the Ducks. They were up 3-1 right? Or am I thinking someone else?

    Also thought the Wild would be harder on the ‘Hawks but maybe that was just wishful thinking. Was wrong on Vancouver. They sucked. I knew they’d lose but in 4 games? Against San Jose??? Also thought St. Lou would win their series.. not sure why. So yeah, I was wrong on everything.

  142. Sarah says:

    Sad but true!!
    I think you play Vokoun until he falters, or until maybe its 3-0 Pens. Only the former likely.

    Actually if TV does falter, that would be an easier situation for MAF to come in on, less pressure.

    And I hate to emotionally coddle players, but let’s face it, poor FLeury is a mental potato-chip right now.

    I say Vokoun until he throws a stinker for 3 a whole game.

  143. Sarah says:

    AH did not know!! Which contributor is he??

  144. Sarah says:

    Well Sens are slower but this is gonna be a tough slog.

    I think a chance for the Pens is that the Sens lose their minds over Cookie. Take dumb penalities. Esp at home where the crowd will be egging them on.

    We’ll see.

  145. Jandy says:

    one of the co-owners…Matt Paul

  146. +1 You and the coach.

  147. Arriba Wilver says:


  148. Sarah says:

    Niiice! Fun site. Adams loses his mind occasionally LOL!

  149. Sarah says:

    Er – 3 whole periods.

  150. Sarah says:

    Shortly after the drop of the puck….
    Actually a good test for Ott to see if they can be disciplined.
    Hope they fail.

  151. Pucknutz says:

    Sorry Sarah, my eyes glazed over looking at those kind of stats.
    The Pens had 2 shutouts and won 2 in overtime. I am not sure what that stat means but for some reason I sorta like it. NY clearly outplayed the Pens for long stretches yet in the end could not come close to putting them away.
    Ya the Pens played poorly at times but NY was not a “chump” team, 8 seed or not.

    We got a brand new clean slate tonight. I don’t expect an easy series, this is playoff hockey, nuttin is easy. I am cautiously optimistic that this one will not be as anxiety ridden as the last.

    I have said this before but I do believe that the Pens get into their heads much like the Flyers do to the Pens. If I am correct it could be over in 5. If I am not correct – 6 hopefully not 7.

    New game – we will see tonight !

  152. JAL says:

    Barmes is producing–hitting .370 over past 14 days and .288 over past 28 days

  153. Jandy says:


  154. Jandy says:

    me too!

  155. Naterosboro says:

    From Dave Molinari on Twitter:

    “@MolinariPG 3m

    Penguins D Douglas Murray was the NHL’s most accurate shooter during Round 1, scoring two goals on four shots. #CannotMakeThisStuffUp”

    I guess that stuff [whatever it is the Pens have] rubs off on anyone…

  156. NMR says:

    Agree with this completely.

  157. Says alot about how slow he started, since he’s only up to .232 now. If he can maintain that .230-.240, he’ll be an asset, as he already is in the field.

  158. Jandy says:


  159. Jandy says:

    Gotta love it!

  160. BillyBaduka says:


  161. Jandy says:

    kevin, they make cough medicine, you know :P

    You simply cannot compare pitching AJ 3 nights in a row against ANY team to ANY goalie starting 3 or MORE nights in a row. That makes n o sense at all.
    If it’s your opinion that Fleury should start, just say so. Don’t make comparisons that aren’t a viable argument, dahling.

  162. Jandy says:

    Oh yeah, Mike’s a lot of fun. Pisses me off occasionally. I wouldn’t have him any other way tho, he cracks me up. His passion for the team always shines thru. At least you can argue with him and he makes sense ;)

  163. Nate83 says:

    I feel as if Vokoun should play until he shows that he is not up for the challange. My limited hockey knowledge says play the hot hand until said hand is no longer hot.

    What I don’t want is Fleury playing game 1 of the series and letting in 2 soft goals early and the entire team thinking here we go again. Ottawa seems to be a team the feeds off of momentum more then some teams. If memory serves me right they can go on some crazy streaks where they not only win games in bunches but win the in dominate fashion.

    Vokoun seems more steady but also unlikely to steal a game with spectacular saves. So if we show we are capable of scoring 3-4 goals on their goalie he seems to be the safer bet right now. If their goalie isn’t letting anything in and we need 2-1 or 1-0 victories Fleury at his best would seem to be the best option.

  164. BillyBaduka says:

    Add sniper to Crankshaft’s resume.

  165. Kevin says:

    I remember when the NJ devils would come out and you expect there to be some emotional hard hitting. And then they just beat you with as little emotion as possible. I wish the penguins could do that (especially Malkin). Just for once, don’t fall into the trap and just go out and play great hockey.

  166. Nate83 says:

    Again with the stats JAL. Why do you always have to make so much sense?

    This plus his after all-star break numbers and career numbers make me feel as if his bat is plenty adequate when added to his defense to be a player contributing to wins and not preventing them. I root for all Pirates but I really would like to see this guy be successful. Really seams to want it badly and seems like a really good teammate.

  167. Kevin says:

    Very true. If you can score 4 goals each game (like they did last series), you set yourself up for a very good chance of winning the game no matter who is in your net. But, we are going up against a much better goalie so playing responsibly (the whole team) is even more important in this series. Really wish we could have back a Fleury that can steal a low scoring game. We will need it this series unless Anderson cracks.

  168. Naterosboro says:

    Some news from Adam Schefter:

    “@AdamSchefter: Former Chargers RB Chuck Muncie passed away of a heart attack. RIP.”

    Never got to see him play, but from his bio, looks like he was a damn good RB. And a Pennsylvania (Uniontown) boy as well.

    Sleep well, Chuck. See you on the flipside.

  169. Dom says:

    How many people in Toronto needed to call off work this morning? You got to feel for them. I knew they blew a 4-1 lead in the 3rd but I didn’t realize they gave up two of those goals when the extra attacker was on. At least Toronto isn’t a hockey town.

  170. NMR says:

    What really makes me shake my head about Barmes is that he could increase his value by dimply taking a darn walk once in a while.

    He hits 8th. In front of the pitcher. And can’t walk even 5% of the time.

    Only two players in the league who regularly man the 8th spot (at least 2/3 of the time) have walk rates lower than him.

    All he has to do to make himself better, even moreso than stopping his lunging habbits, is just stop swinging the bat so darn much.

  171. NMR says:

    Funny you mention. Got out of office auto replies from two colleagues this morning. Must be a rough one.

  172. Dom says:

    “You simply cannot compare pitching AJ 3 nights in a row against ANY team to ANY goalie starting 3 or MORE nights in a row.”

    As long as he agrees with me, he can make any analogy he wants.

  173. Dom says:

    Are the leaf fans?

  174. NMR says:

    Is the Pope Catholic? :)

  175. Naterosboro says:

    Is it worse to have it there in the palm of your hand (as the Leafs did) only to have it slip away, or suffer a thorough ass beating in your own building in a Game 7 (never being in the game for even a minute)?

  176. Naterosboro says:

    Bears use the restroom.

  177. Naterosboro says:

    Max Starks update…

    “‏@JosinaAnderson 12m

    Source: Free agent tackle Max Starks is visiting with the Arizona Cardinals today.

    ‏@JosinaAnderson 6m

    I’m told Starks is already in the midst of taking his physical….”

    Even with Whisenhunt out, looks like the Cardinals are still Steelers West haha

    DK: A relentlessly amazing — and amusing — phenomenon.

  178. Kevin says:

    There’s lots of stats and ‘if’s being thrown around. I just want to watch tonight’s game and then decide. What’s wrong with that? My prediction for tonight’s game is 7-1 penguins, ~2 more lost teeth, ~4 game misconducts, and an early exit for Anderson. Most of this from expecting an emotionally taut senators team that will break early… That’s my thoughts anyway. :\

  179. Dom says:

    I’d rather have my team lose the way the pens did in game 7 against the islanders a couple years ago than to lose that way.

  180. Dom says:

    I was hoping we’d bring in one OT and starks in particular. Gilbert’s hurt too often and Adams could have played better. A guy like Starks really could have been useful.

  181. Naje says:

    why bother with a Whis reference when an Arians one will do just fine…? lol…

  182. Kevin says:

    Yeah, my example sucks. I’m trying to make some kind of comparison that could possibly make sense on any kind of level. If the penguins had 5 goalies and AJ Burnett was the best one of the 5, would you play him every night until he breaks? See that doesn’t work either. There’s a better analogy out there somewhere. I guess my point is.. if you lean on one guy for too long, he’s going to falter eventually. Why not keep two good goalies fresh and hungry?

  183. Jason says:

    Vokoun in goal tonight.

  184. Patrick says:

    I cant even imagine. Even for a city that isn’t hockey crazy that would be brutal. For Toronto…just…wow.

  185. Very good points, which address patience at the plate.

    Walk some and don’t lunge and he’s earning the $5,000,000.

  186. Naterosboro says:

    I hear you NMR, but at his age, and being in the majors for half a decade now, I don’t think you’ll see anything change.

    Creatures of habit.

    Try not to get too frustrated. It’s a battle you’ll never win.

  187. Jandy says:

    No he can’t Dom, Mother Theresa will put her size 9 wides up his backside :P

  188. Naterosboro says:

    Do you mean the Canadiens or the Lightning? Or do you mean all the way back to 1993 (last time Pens/Isles played in the playoffs)?

  189. Jandy says:

    Vokoun played two games, Kevin. Two. And he sat for weeks prior to that. Believe me, he’s fresh :)

  190. Naterosboro says:


    Totally forgot that Arizona hired Brucey! So nevermind, Steelers West is still intact with the former O-coord. now in charge (what’s with Arizona hiring former Steeler Offensive Coordinators?!).

    I can say this…

    they’ll [Cardinals] have an average to below average offense.

  191. Jandy says:


  192. Jandy says:

    This will come back and bite the Steelers in the butt.

  193. Dom says:

    I was thinking of the Canadians series where we lost game 7 decisively.

  194. Jandy says:

    Sid nominated for Bill Masterson award. That’s three nominations.

  195. Kevin says:

    honey nut cheerios are delicious.. what are you talking about? :(

  196. Sisyphus says:

    In 2001 was in his 3rd month of successfully hitting at the AAA level, after sucking for most of two years, and had a grand totaly of 21 games experience as a second baseman. The only thing that kept Neil Walker in AAA for 290 games was Neil Walker’s bat.

  197. Naterosboro says:

    Hear ya.

  198. Kevin says:

    I said “two”. :|.. as in two fresh goalies. But fine, play V tonight and then no matter what, play Fleury in gm2. The only way a goalie stays in game speed is by playing a game. It will suck if V falters a week from now and Fleury’s been on the shelf for 2 weeks and has to come in and he sucks too cause he’s rusty.

  199. Naterosboro says:

    This is a bit awful if you ask me…but nobody asked me. Traitor.

  200. Sarah says:

    Wow!! 7 goals v Anderson!!!
    Whatchoo smokin’???

    And can I have some??

  201. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Awards are nice, but only one trophy counts!!

    But yea, he should win them all.

  202. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Whiz is out but they brought in Arians, so no big difference there….

  203. Jandy says:

    cant’ get anything facebook at work…sorry…

  204. Patrick says:

    If the Pens get 5 behind Anderson Ill buy you lunch for a week.

    If the Pens get 6 behind Anderson Ill buy you lunch for a year.

    If they get 7 behind a combination of OTT goalies I’ll proclaim you my lord and master and serve dutifully until my final breath.

  205. Skip says:

    I agree with you on that, Jandy.

  206. Kevin says:

    *sigh* they’ll probly only score 4 now that you say all that but I’ll consider your words “marked”.

  207. Kevin says:

    Not 7 goals v Anderson. Notice I said “early exit for Anderson”. I would not be surprised if penguins put up a 4-goal 1st and we see a different goalie in the 2nd period. It’s happened before. And as others have said, we’ve just played a fast islanders team. It might take more than a period for ottawa to catch up. It took the Islanders a game to adjust. Just going by historical fact. The first game will be a blowout and the others will be 1-goal affairs. The “fat bug-eyed walrus” will adjust while the penguins stay the same. Penguins in 6 again.

  208. Jandy says:


  209. Jandy says:

    That’s just it, Vokoun WAS sitting for a couple weeks. He wasn’t too rusty :) Give the guy some credit.

  210. SJB says:

    After watching the Caps/Ranger game last night, I’m pretty convinced The Great Ape will never win a cup, unless it’s at the end of his career and he’s playing on another team in a 3rd line/PP role, and that makes me very happy.

    He’ll never be a complete enough player to lead a team and by the time his contract is up, he’ll be a shell of himself in the two areas he ever was any good at. Just watching him throw head high illegal hits and spending 90% of his shifts skating between bluelines and loitering just outside either waiting for a pass, or a one timer, has to be sickening to see from any player in the NHL who takes pride in their desire and ability to play a more complete game. What an a$$ clown Ovechkin is.

    I know they like to say the playoffs don’t influence the votes, but there’s no way now he should get MVP or any other award after the performance he gave in the playoffs (no goals after game 1), or the sour grapes comments about the officiating afterwards. He by all accounts should have been ejected in Game 7 and has the gall to complain? What a loser and an absolute a$$. Here’s hoping one of his illegal hits goes terribly wrong and he breaks something, or he gets blindsided so hard he wakes up in Russia. It’ll happen, what comes around…

  211. SeanAY says:

    “I know they like to say the playoffs don’t influence the votes, but there’s no way now he should get MVP or any other award after the performance he gave in the playoffs (no goals after game 1), or the sour grapes comments about the officiating afterwards”

    As I understand it, the votes are already turned in…so the playoffs truly don’t matter in that equation.

    And I think the conjecture of “his style of play must be absolutely sickening to players that play a complete game” is a little harsh. He’s a trigger man, and a dynamic one at that. I’m sure there are quite a few centermen that would love to have him on their wings.

  212. Kevin says:

    Yep no question. Tommy V came in and played lights out. Was fantastic.

  213. Jandy says:

    AO is definitely one dimensional. He has his value, but it’s nothing like the value a more complete player brings….i.e. Sidney Crosby or Patrick Kane or even Marty S. Louis.
    That said, I can’t stand AO and I’m glad the Craps are out of the playoffs.

  214. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    For Pitchers; Flexibility training and lower body lifting. As NMR stated, core exercises are important as well.

    Pitchers’ power comes from the lower portion of their bodies. If you notice, MOST of the power pitchers have a larger lower end, butt, quads,etc. They push off the mound from the lower end which generates more power.

  215. Kevin says:

    Kyle Turris? He’s at least got good ole Danny Alfredsson on his wing.

  216. SeanAY says:

    No doubt, he’s fairly one-dimensional, but I think you can get around that if you were to put him on a line with guys that are defensively responsible, like Sakic in his prime, or a guy like Toews.

    I think if you put him on a line where someone else does the dirty work and you allow him to be your gunslinger, you can make it work.

  217. Jandy says:

    that would get old for the rest of the team doing all the work. :)

  218. Patrick says:

    Pens were #1 in Offense. Senators #2 in defense.
    Pens #1 PP. Sens #1 PK.
    Pens have Hart trophy favorite. Sens have Vezina trophy favorite.
    Pens have home ice. Senators have Spezza returning.

    Their Chris Neil is better than our Matt Cooke. Their Gonchar is better than our Martin.

    I could do this all day. You are allowed to think this will be an easy series. You will be wrong.

  219. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    There are some similaties to that…however, basic economics told me that Mercer was going down and McDonald was staying.

  220. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:


  221. Jandy says:

    I wouldn’t make the mistake of saying/thinking this will be an easy series. No way.

  222. SeanAY says:

    Not if he’s potting 50 and they’re winning. At least that’s my opinion.

  223. Jandy says:

    And it’s a valid one. I must admit my dislike for AO colors my opinion ;)

  224. Jandy says:

    As long as it mixes well with Coke, it’s all good :)

  225. Jandy says:

    You’re ok Kevin, I don’t care what Dom says ;)

  226. Jandy says:

    not if they contain wiz :P

  227. Kevin says:

    As the penguins themselves have proved, the playoffs is absolutely completely different from the regular season. I don’t believe in entitlements but I’ll mark your words yet again and entitle myself to believe that the senators are overrated. And by that I mean, I think the islanders could have beat them in 4.

  228. buggee says:

    True pitching “power” is generated from the hips. This is also true in many martial art styles. Focus should be on exercises that help develop full engagement of the hips as well as flexibility. Greater flexibility = greater hip (core) engagement.

    Lunges are an absolute, but Karate uses a derivation of the traditional lunge called a Kosa Dachi that extends the front leg ie. traditional lunge, however the back leg is bent at the knee which is a couple inches off the floor/ground, and the back foot is up on the toes. This should be done unweighted and until muscle failure.

    Add jump rope to the workout.

    In upper body fitness, I’ll defer to a wizened old Korean (KG) gentleman who was very influential in my life…:
    KG: “How strong is orangutang?”
    ME: “Huh?”
    KG: (smacks my head) “Answer question young sloth!”
    ME: “Uhhh, I dunno…”
    KG: (smacks my forehead again)
    ME: “I dunno… SIR!”
    KG: “Five times weight of orangutang’s body. What mean to you?”
    ME: “That it’s a strong ape?”
    KG: “Sit. I will tell. Does orangutang swim? Does orangutang run much miles at a time? Does orangutang carry heavy weights to make bulbous, bloated arms to impress the girl orangutangs?”
    ME: “I don’t think so, but I’m not too sure about orangutang girls…”
    KG: (pokes tip of my nose with sharp fingernail), “Focus, young sloth! Orangutang spend much time in tree. It hang there and swing from tree to tree and live much of life happily in the tree.”
    ME: “I don’t understand…”
    KG: (floating to his feet (much like a lotus blossom opening to greet the sun)) “Come young sloth, you will live in tree and learn!”

    And there it is! Use bodyweight to build upper-body strength. Pull-ups, Chin-ups, Push-ups and dips. These engage multiple muscle groups and small flexors as well as strengthen range-of-motion. Hit the “Ups” after knocking out the cardio and the Kosa Dachi drills.

    I know 2 local pro baseball players that are using this kind of training regimen with great results.

    Great topic too! (and thanks for reading)

  229. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Dont forget Mendy running the ball.

  230. Zico says:

    Am I missing something? Dejan’s radio show subject was Canada going without a Cup for 20 years. Last I checked, Ottawa is still in these playoffs. Or are the Pens that automatic to win this series?

  231. Arriba Wilver says:

    Finally, some information I can use. All this exercise stuff goes over my head. :-)

  232. ghost says:

    “A single plane contraction… an act that never happens when throwing a baseball.”
    How well put — that makes so much sense. Thanks.
    And bunches of good ideas, things I didn’t even consider: the multi-grip pullups, the plyo pushups (going to YouTube right now to see exactly how a proper plyo pushup is done.)
    Great response!

  233. Ghost says:

    Great response here too, Ryan. I hadn’t thought about that, but yes, many a power pitcher does have ample size in the butt and thighs. Matt Capps and Joel Hanrahan immediately come to mind.

  234. Ghost says:

    No, thank YOU. You guys are great. And all of these three posts compliment each other. Especially the confirmation of the importance of hip/core rotation, and the advice of using lifts that move the body, as opposed to barbells or dumbbells. I came of age smitten by the impressive weight room feats of Rocky Blier, Jon Kolb, Mike Webster, etc. But blocking/getting off blocks in football is a much different animal than the key movements in playing baseball. And I think the science of baseball is only now coming into its own.
    Your humorous analogy with the orangutan was very instructive, too. Great post.

  235. cmat0829 says:

    Greetings fromm 100-degree Phoenix….

    Let’s not overrate OFFENSIVE statistics when it comes to analyzing messers Barmes/Mercer et al. My eyes are still burning after watching that mess of a defensive performance last night, so let’s not be quick to dispatch of Barmes as the starting SS. He has been unnoticeable in the field, which is a very good thing (and what MLB umpires should start aspiring to do). Plus, as others point out, his bat has been very good the past month or so. And for those asking for more walks in the 8th spot, um, let’s just say pitchers are gonna not try to do that too much in front of a pitcher. Does Barmes lunge at times? No doubt, but let’s not think that an 8 hitter is gonna get a massive amount of walks.

    And um, how do I put this nicely… the Fort is a mess defensively. Great guy, good bat, good 1-day a week backup catcher, but that’s about it. Seems to me when RussMartin was signed, a lot of vocal opinions were put forth indicating an overpay (basically) for the player based on offensive stats (.211 average in good hitters park, etc.)… um, any thought at all on the DEFENSIVE upgrade he has given the squad?

    For years, I wanted Doumit gone from behind the plate because, once again, fans overrate offensive and overlook defense (until it is so bad like last night that even obtuse fans have to notice it).

    Let’s hope the Bucs got it all out of their system last night..and that Martin is back behind the plate… it is not time to experiment with Mercer as a ml SS because of a decent week swinging the bat… far from it my friends.

  236. Kevin says:

    Ah hah! So that’s why Tony Horton switched to that lunge style in p90x2. Thanks for this.. very informative.

  237. Sarah says:

    Best analogy I ever read of Sid v Ovie was Beatles v Rolling Stones…..Sid is Beatles, gaining complete skills year by year, Face-offs, Backhands, PK….. like Beatles evolved, after their early fab breakout….we got Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt Pepper….White Album.

    Ovie is Stones, still a one-trick pony, never improved in any important way.
    80 years old – still playing I Can’t Get no Satisfaction.

    (apologies to Stones fans!)

  238. Ghost says:

    Too funny!!!

  239. Ghost says:

    21, The summer before last a guy gave me the link to Jaeger’s web site and when I went there and saw that same video you mention — the one with Bauer and that China McCarty guy — it blew my mind. I had “thought” what my kids were doing before practice and games was long toss/stretching it out, but, boy, had I been wrong. Long story short, I’ve already paid for my two to attend Jaeger’s summer’s clinic in So. Cal. this August. Can’t wait.

  240. SeanAY says:

    Apology not accepted (LOL). In fact, it speaks to my point.

    In my mind, there’s something to be said about being REALLY REALLY good at something, even if it’s just one thing. The Beatles did experiment and change and grow, and they’re probably the greatest studio band ever.

    But if you’re looking for a ticket to a rock and roll show? You know, one where people are going to congregate and have fun? Then there’s no comparison; the Stones blow them out of the water.

    To pull it closer to your analogy; you know why the Stones can get away with playing stuff from 50 years ago? Because they don’t need to come up with anything better. They don’t need to re-invent themselves. They do what they do, and they do it better than anyone alive, even in their late 60s. But you’re right, that does stymie growth (though I’ll argue up and down forever that “Some Girls” is better than “Exile.”)

    Likewise, I’m of the opinion that Crosby is nowhere close to having the physical tools of Ovechkin. He’s a smarter, more complete player, but he’s not as big and strong as him. Crosby HAS to find new ways to kick player’s butts because he can’t do it on talent alone. Ovechkin has always been the proverbial big kid in little league; he’s never had to adjust that game because he rarely plays against someone on his level physically.

  241. SeanAY says:

    To keep this going one step further, there was a really interesting piece re-printed on Deadspin last week. It was written for The Philadelphia Magazine (I think) back in the early 90’s about how amazingly bat-crap insane Steve Carlton is/was. But there was something else about it that relates to this.

    It talks about how Carlton’s decline in his professional career was steeper than with most pitchers because his physical gifts stayed with him longer than others. Warren Spahn, the guy that Carlton was mentioned with (at that time) as being the other candidate for “greatest lefty ever,” started losing his stuff at a younger age; he added more junk to his repertoire to compensate and likewise extended his career a few more years.

    Carlton, on the other hand, still had his hard fastball and nasty slider later into his 30’s. Essentially, he thought he would always be able to out-stuff hitters and never bothered to adjust. Why should he?

    When he lost the zip on the fastball and the bite in the slider, he was in denial about needing to change. And he basically blew up at the end of his career.

  242. Sarah says:

    Er – so you prefer AO?

  243. SeanAY says:

    No…I think I’m saying I prefer the Stones lol.

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