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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Friday Wakeup Call: Ottawa’s bag empty?

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

>> There’s no Friday column because it’s pushed back to tomorrow to cover Game 2.

>> There is, however, a chat transcript from yesterday that pretty much run the gamut. This was my favorite one in a long while, actually, entirely because of the caliber of questions.

>> One of the best questions was about what the Senators can bring to Game 2 that was missing in Game 1, and I’m not sure I answered it all that well. Heck, I’m not sure there is an answer, which might be the point.

Don’t misunderstand: I’m not knocking Ottawa. That roster and system are both strong enough that they could take Game 2 by a three-goal margin without it looking even remotely fluky.

Rather, the point is that I don’t know if the Senators have a second gear.

The only real news from either camp yesterday was that Guillaume Latendresse probably will be inserted into Paul MacLean’s lineup to add a physical presence. Oh, and that Eric Gryba, a big, strong defenseman, almost surely won’t play after Brooks Orpik’s Richter-scale hit in Game 1.

That’s it.

The Ottawa press continues to buzz about Jason Spezza skating back in Ontario, but the man’s been on the ice for all of a week after major back surgery — no such thing as minor back surgery — and has yet to have someone so much as breathe near him toward preparing for physical contact. Anyone who thinks Spezza’s coming back for this series is dreaming.

Overall, the Senators you saw in Game 1 are mostly the Senators you’ll get, except for some better execution with the puck and maybe another big save or two from Craig Anderson.

Contrast that to the Penguins, who have Jussi Jokinen, Beau Bennett and Simon Despres watching from the press box. All three, if inserted, could completely change the style and look of how the team attacks.

We’ll know soon enough if the home side capitalizes on its edge without having to turn to Plan B.

>> Here’s our full team coverage of Pens-Sens Game 2. I’ll be up at the rink all day.

>> I’ll check in from the skates with TribLIVE Radio at 11:30 a.m. One click does the trick.

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. Can’t wait for the game tonight. Going up 2-0 on these guys will be huge. Plus I’d like to win all the games at home. Stanley Cup!!!

  2. Brandie says:

    I wholeheartedly support your enthusiasm, Captain Miz.

  3. JoeyBats says:

    Hoka Hey everyone!
    Pirates win…Pirates win…..XXIV wins down, …and LVIII to go.
    Yes, GM Neal and Mgr. Clint ….82 wins DOES make a difference.
    Beat Em’ Bucs ! :-)

  4. Dom says:

    What an impressive win for the Buccos. Winning three out of four would be considered good not matter our opponents but it’s even better when it’s the brew crew.

  5. Thundercrack says:

    The Pirates beat the Brewers last night 7-1. I was there. I saw it happen. Live.

    Always nice to beat the Brewers. And the 6th inning was great —seemed like a while since the team strung that many hits together and scored ‘a crooked number’

  6. JAL says:

    JAL’s Friday’s Child 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: Thursday Thoughts on Liriano, Martin, Wilson, Milwaukee, Sanchez

    Prospect Watch: Tony Sanchez Keeps Hitting, Gregory Polanco Homers

    Prospect Notebook: When Should Taillon and Pimentel Be Promoted to Indianapolis?

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Liriano, Snider dominate Brewers in 7-1 win


    Game 40: Pirates 7 Brewers 1

    8 The Green Weenie

    Bucs Rock ‘n’ Roll Against Brewers 7-1

    9 Rumbunter

    Win a LG Electronics 42-Inch LED TV from Rum Bunter

    10 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Pirates 7, Brewers 1

  7. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Brewers’ offense struggles again in loss to Pirates

    12 Rant Sports

    Next Six Games Are Crucial For Pittsburgh Pirates.

    13 Yahoo Sports

    Quarter Poll: Analyzing the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Hot Start to the Season

    14 USA Today

    Stanford ace Mark Appel has moved past last year’s draft

    15 Delaware Times

    Spirit of Danny Murtaugh lives on in Drexel Neumann Academy gym

    16 CBS Sports

    Houston at Pittsburgh Preview

    17 Sweetspot

    Yu Darvish wins battle of the aces

    18 PBC Site

    Snider’s three-hit night backs Liriano’s strong start

    Notebook: Hurdle gratified with Bucs’ attitude, effort, direction


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    On the Origin of the Switch-Hitting Species

    20 Fangraphs

    Daily Notes: Most Improved Pitchers So Far, Per ZiPS

  8. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers Injury Report: Recovery dictates patience for Sean Spence

    Around the AFC North: What was your favorite Rolando McClain Ravens moment?

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Terrible Podcast: Young Steelers, Wide Receivers, Directional Rush, and more

    Soccer(football) Will T

    23 Daily Telegraph

    David Beckham calls time on his illustrious football career with parting shot at critics

    24 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 15th May, 2013


    25 Pensburgh

    Pens Points.

    26 USA Today

    Senators hope to tighten up against Penguins in Game 2

    27 Yahoo Sports

    Pittsburgh Penguins Suited to Handle Senators in Second Round

  9. JAL says:

    Friday’s Child Them 1966 Only had two albums and one major hit (Gloria) but lead singer Van Morrison has had long successful career

  10. Jandy says:


  11. Jandy says:

    I turned the television on just in time to see the 6th inning fun. Made me smile :)

  12. Danch70 says:

    I just read the chat. DK, interesting idea about Kunitz to top line for Crosby’s benefit. I thought he had a less than stellar game 1. Largely unnoticed because they won handily. Lets see I’d he has a better game 2.

  13. theplanisworking says:

    Hippos like beating the brew crew and PED Master Braun…… ;)

  14. Paperboy says:

    The Pirates have shown a knack of bouncing back after losing the first game of a particular series. I don’t put much stock in that, however, the team isn’t getting down over losses, something I feel has plagued them late in the past couple of seasons. Hopefully the team is tougher in that regard this year to get over that hump.

    I’m expecting a very desperate Ottawa team tonight and a much closer hockey game. DK makes a great point though; Ottawa may not have the personnel to switch up their style of play to gain an advantage. The Pens on the other hand can insert grit, speed, scoring touch, and a great goalie at a games notice depending on how the series develops and how the match ups work out. Great stuff.

  15. theplanisworking says:

    I went to bed after the fifth, so I saw Sniders homer.

    Hippos like their sleep. ;)

  16. theplanisworking says:

    I now have heard of 3 “childs”……………

    Friday’s Child,
    Destiny’s Child, and

    “Hot Child In The City” by Nick Lowe.

  17. theplanisworking says:

    I may have a slight disagreement with DK re: that Ottawa doesnt have the “personnel” to go another notch. I would say sometimes it doesnt matter. McLean has a history of taking runs at players, sending out the “goons”, and brawling. Just look at their series with Montreal.

    Last year, Philly didnt have the personnel to hang with the Penguins, but they played chippy hockey, and got the Pens off their game. So lets figure that somewhere into the equation.

    I am not saying Ottawa will be able to do it, but there is a chance that they can.

  18. SJB says:

    If Ottawa feels they haven’t been physical enough, they might just “physical” themselves right out of the game if they try to take it up another level. Guys like Neil are already going out of there way to make hits and that could lead to even more scoring opportunities for the Pens. They might be better off gearing it down a bit and trying to force the Pens into mistakes but hey, whatever floats their boat, as long as it help the Pens to a win.

    Other than that note; I think the real hidden issue with Spezza playing or not, is he still hasn’t been able to find a dependable coke source in Pittsburgh.

  19. SJB says:


  20. tdb1977 says:

    I was there for the first game. A lose. I was there for opening day. A lose. I was there for first game of the St. Louis series. A lose. I was there for the first game of the Atlanta series. A lose. Does anyone see a pattern with this? And I’m going to be there for the first game against the Cubs. Any takers on what I will witness?

  21. Jandy says:


  22. Jandy says:

    What about Sweet Child O’ Mine?

  23. Jandy says:



  24. Jandy says:

    Saw the replay of Lunchbox’s homer…impressive :)

  25. theplanisworking says:

    Mornin Jandy!

    Off to a busy day for me.

    Already got good news this mornin…… hoping to keep the momentum going.

    Back tonight for the Pens.

    GO PENS!
    GO BUCS!

    HIPPO HEY!!!

    It is a great day to be a fan!

  26. theplanisworking says:


    See my message above.

    Off to a day full of adventure!

    Hippo out!

  27. Paperboy says:

    Ottawa’s squabbles in the last series had more to do with Montreal overreacting to the Lars Eller hit and trying to extract revenge than it did with Ottawa gooning it up. I don’t expect MacLean to go that route.

  28. Jandy says:

    Good news? GREAT! Hope all goes well, good luck my friend :)

  29. Jandy says:

    don’t kid yourself. They’re down one game. if they’re having trouble to start Game 2, look for their goons to goon it up. Chris Neil can’t help himself!

  30. Drew71 says:

    Thanks for the update, Thunder. Otherwise we may never have known.

  31. NMR says:

    And you didn’t come say hi? Frankie’s stuff was nasty from my vantage point.

  32. Drew71 says:

    I can’t believe I’m going to write this.

    Can the Pirates just play the brewers EVERY day?

  33. Paperboy says:

    That’s Chris Neil’s game. To Hippo’s point, I don’t see MacLean sending out his goon squad for the sole purpose of sending a message.

  34. Karen22 says:

    Agree! STAY HOME!!

  35. Karen22 says:

    I can’t believe you wrote that! :)

  36. Karen22 says:

    Thoroughly enjoyable game last night. Let’s have two of those tonight.


  37. Dom says:

    Hippos? Are you calling me fat?

  38. Jandy says:

    You drinking already, Drew? ;)

  39. Jandy says:

    I second that emotion!

  40. Jandy says:

    No, not to send a message, but to try to knock us off our game. Especially Geno and James Neal. That’s what he’d send them out for.

  41. Jandy says:

    You were there, too, NMR?

  42. Naje says:

    You sure the Pirates played? I mean, a wake-up call post gets Riverhounds game scores against 4th division teams thrown into the mix.

    The Pirates play about a mile away from DK. They beat and beat-up the Brewers. They take a series from the Brewers.

    Not one word about it. Oversight? No “who’s going to grossly regress to their mean” stats? Not a thing.


  43. Jandy says:

    Dom, Hippo calls himself a big guy. He would never do that to you, Hippos are shy ;)

  44. Jandy says:

    Oh sheesh, here we go again! :P ;) =-D

  45. Naje says:

    No, “Our R.T. has excellent coverage of what transpired…”? even though I can’t tell if his game stories are complete, incomplete or unedited.

    If a columnist doesn’t acknowledge a professional team in his morning links, do they exist?

  46. NMR says:

    mm hm. Wanted to see this new and improved Liriano in person.

  47. Jandy says:

    :scurrying for cover:

  48. Paperboy says:

    Totally agree.

    What I didn’t agree with was that MacLean has a history of “taking runs, sending goons and brawling” based on the Montreal series. My point was the blame for that circus was on Montreal and their players, not Paul MacLean.

    In any event, looking forward to a great game tonight!

  49. Karen22 says:

    LOVED watching that ball sail over Braun’s PED head and hit the wall. Poetic justice!

  50. Drew71 says:

    Never stop

  51. Drew71 says:

    Regular season is regular season.

    Yet when the Pirates take three of four from their three-year nemesis, that just feels DIFFERENT.

    To Boldly Go Where No Man…Or No One…Has Gone Before

  52. Jandy says:

    Me too! I’m pumped!

  53. Jandy says:

    Play long and prosper!

  54. Paperboy says:

    I just realized that the Pirates have had four 4-game series so far this season. In all four, they have dropped the first game and have gone on to win the last three. (Atlanta, Philadelphia, New York M, Milwaukee)

  55. Now we know who you really are, Drew. Ricardo Montalbon. Exiled to Florida by Captain (Admiral) James Tiberius Kirk and made to live there with the creatures in your ear.

    It’s all coming to light now.

    And you blamed it on booze.

  56. Thundercrack says:

    Is the Star Trek marathon still on?

  57. Jandy says:

    From what I’ve been reading, Searage has tweaked his fastball to a more “over the top” delivery and it seems to be working well for him. I didn’t see him pitch, but I’ve read he did well. What did you think?
    (I didn’t turn the game on till the 6th inning)

  58. Thundercrack says:

    It happened. The Pirates won. I was there.

  59. Jandy says:

    Beam me up, Drewster there’s no intelligent life here!

  60. Jandy says:

    TC, come Into the Darkness….

  61. It is for Drew. It’s his ongoing mission.

  62. Drew71 says:

    Does Baby count? Brian Eno’s Baby’s On Fire (Better Throw Him In The Water)

  63. Jandy says:

    gotta love it!

  64. Jandy says:

    it does if you want it to, Drew Dahling ;)

  65. NMR says:

    This is picking nits, but Liriano himself made the switch to an overhand delivery after getting sent to the White Sox pen last season.

    What amazed me was that he STILL gets an incredible amount of movement on his fastball. Usually you see that from 3/4 arm slot guys like he was before, but to my eye he’s just as nasty overhand.

    Every single ball he throws moves. Nothing is straight.

  66. Arriba Wilver says:

    Here Comes the Night was a hit with me. Still have the ’45.

  67. Skip says:


  68. Drew71 says:

    It is. It IS on! Next Generation TV Marathon today.

    I can hardly breathe.

    Just watched the one where Wesley leaves forever. Dejan called at the conclusion. He was crying.

  69. Jandy says:

    I’m happy for Liriano, and even happier for the Buccos lol

  70. Jandy says:

    45 wow…you’re OLD ;)

  71. Arriba Wilver says:


  72. Now if he can avoid knocking on the doors to wake his kids on Christmas or slipping in the bathroom, we and he will be alright.

  73. Jandy says:

    +1 spunky lol

  74. Jandy says:

    haha I only saw replays but it made ME happy! I HATE Braun…

  75. Naje says:

    Hey, all in jest… making sure we don’t see dozens of replies about not acknowledging ridiculously good stats that cannot be sustained. He can just send one to me. I’m hoping it’s just oversight, but I don’t recall a morning wake up call omitting the results of one of the pro teams from the night before. Ever. Maybe he posted this before the game was over and forgot to add it or fell asleep (and that’s totally understandable).

  76. He slept at the rink. See next to the last line of WC above.


  77. Arriba Wilver says:

    Why did they take out Liriano after 5 2/3? Pitch count? I saw he had 98.

  78. Naje says:

    Yes… struggled a bit w control at times… got deep into counts… lots of Ks but threw about half-dozen to 10 really head-scratcher type pitches: overthrowing the catcher, several 59 footers and some way outside.

  79. JAL says:

    Child is not theme, days of week is the theme.

  80. Arriba Wilver says:

    I did see a couple of the overthrows. Thanks.

  81. JAL says:

    CH talked about that in postgame. Said it was the way baseball goes, no way to explain it.

  82. JohninOshkosh says:

    Missed a golden opportunity, JAL, to include the Cure’s masterpiece, “Friday, I’m in Love” in your days of the week theme. Quite simply one of the greatest songs of the 20th century.

  83. Arriba Wilver says:

    From link #5:

    “Before the game [Martin] and Michael McKenry each saw 24 stolen base attempts. McKenry threw out one runner. Martin threw out nine. The league average for caught stealing has been 28%, and Martin was at 38%. That was before throwing out one of two tonight.”

  84. JAL says:

    Martin clearly a major upgrade at catcher

  85. Arriba Wilver says:

    Give JAL a break. At least he didn’t pick Rebecca Black’s “Friday,” probably one of the worst songs of the 21st Century. :-)

  86. Jandy says:

    JAL we know, just going with the Hippo Flow ;)

  87. Jandy says:


  88. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’m surprised no one has noted that the Marlins had a bigger crowd last night than the Pirates. :)

    I follow the Brewers pretty closely. Get the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel everyday. And to quote our departed friend, Milo, they stink. Shaky starters, poor bullpen. Will not be surprised if they finish behind the Cubs. These are series that need to be taken and the Pirates did just that. Sign of a decent ballclub.

    Now another team comes to town that the Pirates should take the series from. Is there anymore loathsome front office in the majors than the Astros? Jim Crane is one of the biggest tools in sports. Their cable TV contract reaches only 40% of the Houston market! Way to win over the community, Jimmie. And Pirates fans complain that a couple of their games are not on because of the Pens!

  89. JohninOshkosh says:

    I would also note that it looks like the Pirates trumped the Brewers in off season starting pitching acquisitions. If Liriano stays healthy, he will certainly benefit his club far more than pedestrian Kyle Lohse.

  90. Drew71 says:

    There’s probably a very logical reason that other teams have attempted to steal just as often on McKenry when he’s caught fewer games than Martin.

  91. JohninOshkosh says:


  92. Naje says:

    At a far better contract price. But what are the odds we read about that comparison or about the .211 catcher for the team paid $17M for who is, through 41 games, is arguably the team MVP?

    Very easy and logical to criticize the moves in the offseason… just as easy to give the team its due if the moves actually work. At least, so far.

  93. Bizrow says:

    Thats a good point, didn’t think of that before

  94. Dom says:

    That is awful news. I wonder if the fans are still livid after the second straight collapse.

  95. Another thing that doesn’t bode well for the Fort. Tony Sanchez is hitting .307 at Indy. Tony already has the defensive skills to be a ML catcher.

  96. +1 from an avid FO critic

  97. Sisyphus says:

    “Hot Child in the City” was by Nick Gilder. I remember that because I saw him open a show at the Arena for The Outlaws. Had to be the most mis-matched opening act in history. I’ve never seen so many Jack Daniels bottles in the air at one time, as the Outlaws were very popular with the hardcore biker crowd, who didn’t much appreciate Gilder.

  98. NMR says:

    It seemed pretty much understood that the plan was to ride their offense as far as it will take them. They certainly have the players to do it. I’d take their outfield over any in the NL Central and they might also have the best hitting shortstop and third baseman in the Division.

    But it was incomprehensible to me to see them do soooo little to address their dreadful bullpen AND enter the season with guys like Fiers, Estrada, and Narveson backing up Gallardo and Lohse.

    Truly wing-and-a-prayer style management.

  99. JohninOshkosh says:

    Hey Naje: Thanks for the Derby Pie suggestion for the Derby party I went to. It was a hit as my fellow Cheeseheads at the party were generally unaware of the pie custom.

    Who do you like tomorrow? I’m pulling for Orb simply because I would love to see another triple crown winner before I shuffle off this mortal coil.

  100. Kevin says:

    Snider had a fantastic night last night. 1st HR and a stolen base and 3 hits! I have a very serious question – what’s up with his face? His cheeks and nose seem to get super red. Just curious if that was ever explained. I know people with Lupus get a red rash like that but obviously he doesn’t have Lupus or he wouldn’t be playing baseball.

  101. Arriba Wilver says:

    Nah. Sample size is too small for stats to matter. :-D

  102. Arriba Wilver says:

    Me too.

  103. Thundercrack says:

    I always say Snider needs a new makeup person

  104. Yeah, I forgot. 10 years in AAA is too small a sample.


  105. Nate83 says:

    I doubt he keep’s this up but that is very encouraging. Add to that the amount of balls he prevents from being pass balls/wild pitches and the relationship he seems to have with some of the pitchers and I don’t see how he isn’t considered possible are most important player.

  106. Arriba Wilver says:

    The Fort’s caught stealing % in his minor league career is 36%.

  107. Nate83 says:

    Especially since most value defense a lot more then offense for their back up catchers. If Sanchez is hitting well it is a no brainer to go with him over Fort. I like McKerney but I think he may make sense for another team more then the Pirates.

  108. Nate83 says:

    Those are the worse Steroids ever if that is the case. Two home runs in 100 games. I would want my money back.

  109. Drew71 says:


  110. They run on every pitch in the minors. That’s probably from a bigger sample size.


    Truly, I believe it’s his mechanics that need tweeked. Doumit was just poor defensively. McKenry can be fixed.

  111. NMR says:

    Reading those old scouting reports from yesterday had me laughing at how often scouts talked about faces and butts.

    Regarding Snider, I think thats just his birth-given complexion.

    That homerun really makes you shake your head. How can a guy with enough strength to hit the ball 450′ on a rope AND have league-average contact rate only notch three homeruns in 252 PA’s?

  112. :D

    Must have been prednozone. Or deer fur.

  113. Jandy says:

    me three

  114. Arriba Wilver says:

    The long and short of it is he has a fair complexion.

  115. Naje says:

    You are most welcome for the tip, John… and glad you had a good time.

    Yes, Orb… what a fantastic horse. I had the good fortune to be on the backside on the Tuesday before Derby and spent time with Dallas Stewart talking about Golden Soul. Wrote a story about him, the horse and Stewart’s good friend Scotty Davenport. Davenport was an assistant coach under two hall of fame coaches at UofL: Denny Crum and Rick Pitino. He coached Bellarmine (a horse, by the way, that won on Derby day — race No. 5) University men’s hoops to the D-II National Championship in 2011 and has them competing at the very top of D-II every year.

    So, from talking with Stewart about Golden Soul, it was clear that he felt his horse could hit the board… I put 10 across on him and got $290 in return…

    Back to Orb… big, huge trunk on that horse. I mean, remember how huge Big Brown was in his haunches and across his front? Orb is like that in the rump… powerful as all heck. Not sure that post position No. 1 is ideal for him, but Rosario should be able to manage him.

    Like you, I want a triple crown winner. Orb is definitely the horse. Work with Billy Reed… and you may find this story from him interesting… neat to see all of the connections and the family histories here:–no-derby-worries-for-shug-now

  116. NMR says:

    Did you see where Clint is having him take grounders at second base in order to work on his throws?

    I love stuff like that. I have absolutely no idea what the two have to do with each other, but I’m also absolutely sure Clint has a reason for doing it.


  117. Jandy says:

    NMR, I was gonna say he’s so fair skinned…but ya gotta watch what ya say around here…lol
    That and it was HOT yesterday

  118. Jandy says:


  119. Saw that. You’d think he’d have him take them at 3rd for a longer throw, but what do I know.

  120. Kevin says:

    It’ll get alot hotter. I guess it could be a genetics thing… Also, heat stroke people turn red, right? Maybe he doesnt drink enough H2O.

  121. Jandy says:

    then he’ll get a lot redder ;)

  122. Or he’ll end up like Chris Duffy and dehydrate and miss half the season.

  123. Jandy says:

    Spunky, you’re getting ahead of Clint, taking them from third is the NEXT step ;)

  124. Arriba Wilver says:

    Yep. I remember when they got him in that 8 catcher season, his rep was good defense, not much offense. But we were comparing him to Doumit, and to a lesser extent Snyder, who never lived up to his rep defensively.

    One other thing, I think the Fort suffered from the aptly termed ” Organizational indifference” to stealing bases that the Pirates had until this year.

  125. Naterosboro says:

    Clint must have a reason, b/c throwing from 2nd base is nothing like throwing from behind the plate to catch a runner stealing.


  126. Jandy says:

    nah, just give him some bacon and he’ll be fine ;X

  127. Nate83 says:

    Pirates on pace for 94 wins. I don’t know why Hurdle just didn’t predict it 2 years ago.

  128. Jandy says:

    I’m not the best baseball observer, but from what I’ve seen, Fort gets the ball to second, but the throw is either too high or off too far from the bag to make the tag successfully/in time. Just needs some fine tuning.

  129. Wasn’t it Ed Ott or one of those guys from that era who had a hop when he came out of his crouch to throw and they fixed him?

    He was better after they got rid of that. McKenry is fixable. (At least I hope so).

  130. Arriba Wilver says:


  131. NMR says:

    I know the Maple Leafs choke job hurt a lot of feelings in Toronto, but smoking crack is never the answer. Especially when you’re the mayor.

  132. Jandy says:


  133. Kevin says:

    go pepsi? actually I prefer coke.. not that I drink any carbonated beverages other than high quality beer2oh. I agree with what you say though. Hardly think their problem is “not hitting enough”.

  134. AL says:

    Rob Scuderi is an unrestricted free agent this year. Anyone think Shero will try to bring him back? Or are we back to the salary cap thing again which is why he left the first time?

  135. Adam says:


    I kept thinking last night of your line about fans needing to settle for, and ostensibly appreciate, Alvarez for being a .250 hitter who’ll collect 20-30 HR. The guy is hitting .188 and is arguably off to a worse start than the year they sent him back down to the minors. He’s not a professional hitter yet – he seems to be swinging or not swinging blindly, just on a whim – let alone a .250 hitter.

    I would love to see Alvarez hit .250 for a full season. What evidence do you have that he will? Even Barmes is hitting miles ahead of this guy right now. He’s got a .237 OBP, Dejan. I don’t see how he’s different from, say, Brad Eldred right now. But what would you do with him, especially with the Pirates winning despite Alvarez’s lack of contribution to the offense.

    DK: My remark in the chat, as you’ll see if you look again, was a hypothetical for the future as to what Pirates fans might need to accept down the road as an ideal.

  136. Dom says:

    The more I think about it, the more I don’t want the Buccos to spend big money on free agents (not like they did anyway).

    Everyone would have loved it if we signed Jose Reyes back in 2011 but he actually had a negative WAR stat from last seas and he is making on average around 10% of our gross revenue. We really cannot justify paying anyone that much and especially someone who isn’t producing.

    Even guys like Edwin Jackson, Mark Buehrle, or Jonathan Papelbon who aren’t exactly getting Albert Pujols’ money aren’t necessarily playing poorly but not living up to their contract.

    Speaking of Pujols, that’s someone who isn’t living up to their contract by any means. Last year he had a 3.5 WAR, which isn’t bad but if that’s how he’s playing now, what’s it going to be like when he’s in his 40’s and making $30 Million?

  137. Jandy says:

    Dejan’s hockey idol took a puck to the face last night. Got stitches and came back out to play, and fueled a comeback win:

  138. Naje says:

    Working on the turn at 2B to help a catcher’s throwing may sound unconventional, but it’s a pretty good drill. It works on the following: proper footwork; quick footwork; quick transfer from catch to throw; making the feet, the transfer and the throwing motion work together.

    What I’ve seen from Fort this year is that his timing and mechanics are way, way off. And his arm slot is nowhere near what it was two years ago when he’d lock it by his ear and let fly. His arm seems to be too far from his body and his throws are sailing. High throws generally are a result of overstriding and rushing…he gets no snap on those at all.

  139. Jandy says:

    Rob Scuderi will be 35 in December. The Pens are gifted with Defensive talent. I really don’t see it happening.

  140. Thundercrack says:


  141. Naterosboro says:

    Sporting thoughts on a TGIFriday Friday…

    * SUCK IT, MILWAUKEE (x3)!

    * Frankie Liriano had another solid start for the Bucs. I hesitate to call it good, as he only went 5.2IP (and he did walk 3 in those 5.2IP), but only 6 Hs allowed and 7Ks is solid. Plus he picked up his 2nd win in as many starts. Good acquisition so far.

    * It would be nice if the Reds and Cardinals could lose a game every now and then. Or at least when the Buccos are winning.

    * Travis Snider hit a dinger. Even though it was only 1, I can now understand why he was described as “dripping with power”. That was a laser shot to [basically] dead CF.

    * Petey Alvarez is still hitting under .200. I say by the end of June that he’s fully entrenched in the land above .200. Only took 3 months. He better have 15 HRs by the end of June though, I’ll say that.

    * Solid 3.1IP of hitless relief by Justin Wilson, Bryan Morris & Jose Contreras.

    * The Brewers are an average ballclub (as highlighted above by NMR). But they’ve had the Buccos’ number for the past few years. While it may not mean too much, I think that starting to beat the Brewers regularly could propel the Pirates on to that above .500 record.

    * 24-17 after that 3-of-4 against the Brewers. After the 1-5 start, the Pirates are 23-12. That’s pretty darn good baseball, and it seems like different people are stepping up to contribute each night. It’s been a fun ride in the early going, and I hope it continues to a playoff berth.

    * I think the Penguins have the Senators number this season. That said, I expect Game 2 to be much tighter (I’m thinking 3-2, with the winner scored in the middle of the 3rd period; tied at 2 after 2). But, I think the Pens get the Game 2 win, and go to Ottawa up 2-0. Penguins take the series in 5 (maaaaaaayyyyyybbbe 6).

    * Gotta secretly root for Boston (feels a little dirty typing that) as I wouldn’t want the Pens to see Lundqvist in the Conf. Finals.

    * STEELERS! (b/c I couldn’t think of anything to type about our football team). Well, Ok, I thought of something…Ben Roethlisberger was named the 61st best player in the NFL by his peers. I guess that’s something.

    * My final thought: how can people get excited for a horse race, yet pay no mind to one of the best games on the planet (and yes, I’m talking about soccer)? Race cheetahs or ostriches? Then we’re talking…



  142. Arriba Wilver says:

    “Everyone would have loved it if we signed Jose Reyes back in 2011 but he actually had a negative WAR stat from last seas and he is making on average around 10% of our gross revenue.”

    Really? Honestly, I may have missed it, but I don’t remember one poster, on here or on PG+, who advocated signing Reyes. Not one.
    I don’t think you are giving people enough credit.

  143. Adam says:

    are you serious? we own Lundqvist. I have no interest in facing Boston.

  144. Naterosboro says:

    Mark Eaton. ;-)

  145. NMR says:

    I agree.

    But I also don’t agree that they should go wild on the other new trend, player extensions.

    Has any of the younger players on the current team really shown that they are any less risky than free agents? IMO, no. Just cheaper.

    For a team with a low payroll like the Pirates, signing a guy like Neil Walker to a $40-50m extension and having him play like he has this season is just as bad as missing on a free agent.

  146. Arriba Wilver says:

    There are no ties in the Triple Crown. Just sayin’.

  147. Kevin says:

    I hope not. Despite my man-love on Scuderi, we just don’t need another oldie. Need to re-sign Letang and then cultivate our gifted young’ns to come up and fill any holes. I wish there was any way we could sign up Iginla for another year. I mean.. he hasn’t been spectacular yet? (if you ignore the point he gets in every playoff game) Just think it would be nice to see him with Crosby for another year. Eventhough according to everyone else, Crosby likes Kunitz better. :\

  148. Arriba Wilver says:

    If I could understand that, I think I would agree. (You were a catcher, right?)

  149. TJ says:

    I can’t keep up with all the comments so I’m going to ask…

    Anyone know why Adams and Letang were not in the morning skate?

  150. Naterosboro says:

    Yes, I am serious. I’d rather see Rask than Lundqvist.

  151. Kevin says:

    St. Lou did lose yesterday by the way. 5-2 against the lowly Metropolitans.

  152. Naterosboro says:

    It’s still horses! What is this, 1847?! Maybe if you put full-size people on the horses I’d watch.

  153. Dom says:

    I really don’t see the logic in paying relievers Hanrahan money. We really cannot spend that much on guys when we could just as easily get similar production from guys like Bryon Morris, Justin Wilson, Duke Welker, etc.

    Unless we fight for a playoff spot, we should always be looking to deal guys like Hanrahan b/c not only are they replaceable but they for some reason generate more than ample return.

  154. Kevin says:

    I am also serious and I second Naters’ sentiment on Rask v. Lundqvist. If anyone, we own Rask more so than Lunqvist.

  155. Naterosboro says:

    Yeaaa buddy. But the GeeDee Reds won again. The Pirates, with their record of 24-17, would be in sole possession of 1st in the NL East and T-1st in the NL West, yet we sit 3rd in the Central! Arghhhh!

  156. Naje says:


    But JAL and I talk about soccer a fair amount, Nate… there’s nothing going on with soccer right now. The EPL is a runaway; Sir Alex is retiring; Champions League is an all German affair (and no, that’s not a sex scandal I’m talking about)… it’s just been a very mediocre, ho-hum sort of season. The Confed Cup is going to be a bore and about all that we can discuss right now is where the 2014 Cup final will be played because Brasil is having a heck of a time finishing its stadiums.

  157. Naterosboro says:

    Here’s from Dave Molinari on twitter, with DK also tweeting similar things:

    “@MolinariPG 16m

    Bylsma declines to discuss absence if letang, Adams from game say skate.”

    “@Dejan_Kovacevic 32m

    No sign of Letang, Adams off ice. Doesn’t mean anything, other than that we won’t learn anything more until a bit before faceoff. #TribHKY”

  158. Arriba Wilver says:

    Soooo, you have a height prejudice? Hmmmm.

  159. JohninOshkosh says:

    Two thoughts:

    This skirts the political but instead of treating him like an horrific criminal, the Canadians will likely get him treatment and counseling.

    Same thing happened to Mayor Barry and he ultimately survived politically.

  160. TJ says:

    Saw a silly rumor floating that Adams and Letang had an off ice fight

  161. Kevin says:

    And we get to play the hapless ‘stros next. :)

  162. Naterosboro says:

    O I hear ya, Naje. and JAL always provides some links to some soccer articles. I was kind of thinking in general (and sort of referring to Americans).

    Why do we as Americans care more about horse racing than soccer? (I understand that both are down the totem pole in the sports talk scene, but feels to me like more people care about how a horse will run around a track than world class athletes plying their trade).

    And I don’t want this to sound ike I’m slagging off horses. They are beautiful creatures. I used to give the horses carrots that lived next to my grandma. That was fun. But you had to keep your hand straight. Or they’d bite your fingers off!

  163. NMR says:

    Pedro didn’t break out last year until the Cleveland series in where he had back-to-back 2-homer games. That series was June 13-15.

    Coming into that series he was hitting .189/.254/.373. He hit .265/.344/.476 for the rest of the year.

    Pedro’s numbers right now are abysmal. No denying it. But they also don’t mean anything in comparison to last year given the very small number of at-bats.

    Think about it…Travis Snider raised his season OPS 55 points last night. In one game. Jose Tabata rasied his season OPS 143 points last week with his 4 for 5 showing against the Mets. Again, in one game.

    The numbers just simply don’t mean much at this point, at least when projecting the rest of the season moving forward.

  164. TJ says:

    Its nice to see Melancon get back to the pitcher he was for the Astros. Could be interesting to see if NH would be willing to deal Grilli if he could get someone to help the lineup.

  165. Kevin says:

    That is silly. Cant even imagine what they’d fight about.

  166. Naterosboro says:

    Nah, just would like to see how the horses would do if you put a 6’1” 200-215lb individual on their back.

  167. Naterosboro says:

    Adams went to Harvard.

    Letang Yale.

  168. Naje says:

    Yep… he just looks so different releasing the ball… an odd, more overhand motion rather than cocking the ball by his ear and letting it fly…

  169. Iceman says:

    Someone should make sure it is water in his water bottle that he is drinking. I know one reason why many people’s faces get red.

  170. JohninOshkosh says:

    Thanks for the link. Good read. Just a random thought but some of the best sports writing I have ever read has been about horse racing and boxing. Must be something about the colorful personalities in the respective sports.

    I baked the pies off of internet recipes. I’m pretty good at baking and cooking if I do say so myself. The key is that I make my own crusts. Never use the frozen ones.

  171. Arriba Wilver says:

    Isn’t that kind of like saying lets see how Casey Hampton would do as a soccer player?

  172. Kevin says:

    I mean.. are we at that stage yet? Does anyone here have confidence that the pirates might be a legitimate team? And by legitimate I mean, they go out and take care of business and win series against weaker opponents.

  173. Arriba Wilver says:

    ” I used to give horses carrots.”

    Some of my best friends are _______.

  174. JAL says:

    Cards did lose yesterday–to the Mets

  175. They probably slept in.

  176. Drew71 says:

    Goes without saying.

  177. Kevin says:

    Letang went to Yale? *shakes eyes* Letang went to some canadian non-american school. If anything Adams told him to wash his hair and Letang took it the wrong way.

  178. Iceman says:

    Played soccer my whole life up until college and it is still one of my favorite sports to play, but I still have a hard time watching it on TV. Love going to games and watching live, but other than the World Cup, I don’t watch a whole lot.

    On another note, I went to watch some of the WPIAL boys volleyball playoffs and that was quite fun. I’ve always loved Volleyball and those guys are good. It is definitely a sport that I wish got more publicity and I also wish there was more opportunities to watch college, pro, and international games on TV. Great sport.

  179. NMR says:

    Ha, my first thought was of Barry. DC’s done alright since then.

    Also funny – actually, no, not funny at al. Good. – that a couple of colleagues I’ve talked to in the GTA brought up getting him help and not hanging him for all to see. Different cultures for sure.

  180. Iceman says:


  181. JohninOshkosh says:

    “I was kind of thinking in general (and sort of referring to Americans).”

    Who exactly are you talking about? Time magazine just had a terrific piece about how thoroughbred racing is in trouble and dying. On this blog, only a few of us have ever posted about the ponies.

    Soccer is talked about, and written about, quite a bit here.

    You can pry my Daily Racing Form from my cold dead hands.

  182. NMR says:

    Last week I (half)jokingly noted that Boston needs a closer after the Hanny/Bailey injuries.

    Grilli is terribly cheap…but still…wouldn’t you at least be curious?

  183. NMR says:


    I saw that the team has six games in a row at home against the Cubs and Astros and it made me more nervous than at any point in their hellish first month.

    Hard to imagine this team SHOULD enter June 10-12 games above .500.

  184. Sisyphus says:

    “Why do we as Americans care more about horse racing than soccer?”

    Because we can bet on horses without fear that they have been bribed to throw the race. :-)

  185. Naje says:

    Nate… really, if there was some footie to discuss, I’d jump in, but there’s a lull in the schedules and we’re pretty far removed from it.

    As for Americans not talking about it on a consistent basis, well, that’s not going to happen probably for another 20 years. Hoping that Klinsmann has a big impact on the USMNT for the next five+ years.

  186. Sisyphus says:

    I have $50 bet that they’ll win 83 or more, so I have about fifty dollars worth of confidence in them.

  187. Drew71 says:

    Why break up the strength of the team when the rest of the bullpen does not look to be ready to step up?

    If they keep playing well, they will be in a wild card race.

    I don’t think that makes it time to Break Up The Bucs.

  188. Jandy says:

    Oshkosh do you use shortening or butter in yours?

  189. CWalton_67 says:

    Apparently, Iginla and Kunitz have switched lines again. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why this is so hard for Dan Bylsma.

  190. Drew71 says:

    He’s also only 1/8th of the way through his two year contract. It’s not like they’re gonna lose Grilli for nothing in the offseason.

  191. Jandy says:

    mark Eaton signed for the minimum.

  192. TJ says:

    You have to be curious. If the Pirates are serious about winning you have to make bold moves if they are going to bring back the right players. I don’t want another 4 minor leaguers 4 years away.

    I know everyone remembers the “trade” the Pens made to get Francis and Ulf; but just as important in my opinion was the one in which they made with Philly to land them Kjell, Tochett and and Wregett. Sometimes you have to part with contributors in order to get contributors at a position of weakness. Trading Grilli and inserting Melancon doesn’t look like a huge down side to me.

  193. Kevin says:

    Ya, I don’t get it either. Why mess with (what I thought) was a good thing. Is it just cuz Crosby didnt have any points in gm1?

  194. JaxBuc says:

    Ah, nothing like an Ed Ott reference to take me back to my teenage years and regular attendance at TRS for Bucs’ games. I was at the game when Ed Ott went in hard at second and Felix Milan of the Mets tooka swing at him. Ott body slammed him to the turf and broke his collarbone (I think). I still remember the trainers tending to him out there at second base.

  195. TJ says:

    Iginla like most players has performed well on the crosby line; but Kunitz has seemed to have gone quiet as has James Neal. But then again when Malkin has been playing like he has most everyone else does go quiet.

  196. TJ says:

    Yep he’s in a 2 year contract which makes his value that much higher now than it would be in the final year of his contract

  197. Jandy says:

    And besides, we can laugh at Rask when he gets p*ssed and smashes his stick on the goal ;)

  198. Dom says:

    Would you Bucco fans rather:

    1) End the season at 82 wins and end the streak but the president, GM, etc keep their job

    2) End the season with 80 wins and have the management team be replaced.

  199. Jandy says:

    ZING! Wonder where he’ll end up playing this season? Casey that is.

  200. Drew71 says:

    How about going bold in the opposite direction? Trade FOR a back of the pen guy so you have three, not two. More protection if the starters fade wear the pen down as in the last two seasons.

    And if the starters DON’T wear down, or the returning-from-injury starters offset that trend, then WOW. You have some pitching then.

  201. Can’t remember the Otter backing away from anything.

  202. JohninOshkosh says:

    I use a combination of both. Probably 2/3 or 3/4 butter. The ones made only with shortening are too bland, but the ones made only with butter are too crumbly, I think. If I really don’t care about my guests’ arteries, I have been known to use only lard!

  203. Jandy says:


  204. NMR says:

    A little hyperbole, no?

    The rest of the bullpen doesn’t look ready to step up? Perhaps you’ve missed the work of Justin Wilson? Or the two guys dominating in Indy?

    And nobody suggested breaking up the Bucs. We floated the POSSIBILITY of trading one player.

    Like TJ said. BOLD MOVES.

    If a team was dumb enough to give up a young shortstop and staring pitcher, you really wouldn’t even listen?

  205. NMR says:

    They already have three guys in the back of the pen.

  206. Jandy says:

    Did the Buccos get Ray Shero for GM? I must have missed that ;)

  207. Number 1 for me. I want to see the streak end in my lifetime. I don’t care if Joe L. Brown is the GM, posthumously, when they do it. Besides, the light bulb might finally be coming on for Neal, even beyong the pitching staffs he puts together.

    This team has the chemistry (even without Casey McGhehee) to do it. They never quit. The pitching keeps them in every game and they have the right mix of vets and young guys to get the job done.

    And, they have valid talent in most positions and a better bench than in the past. Two, young, 5-tool outfielders doesn’t hurt either.

  208. NMR says:


    It’s like we’ve already forgotten what everyone said about the Joel Hanrahan trade.

  209. Drew71 says:

    I don’t know if that’s a Hobson’s choice, a Morton’s fork or a dilemma.

    But my pick is none of the above.

    Not even sure if #1 is a viable option. Meaning, if the P’s are not in the playoff race in September and end at 82, I don’t know it it is a sure thing that those guys are retained. I know you didn’t mean it as such, but that may make it a false choice.

  210. Jandy says:

    Ahhh Lard…that’s the best! I can make a decent crust, but nothing like the ones my mother used to make.

  211. Naje says:

    Glad you enjoyed it! Billy’s a great writer and has so many connections with the horse industry and Shug is a good friend of his. Yeah, the personalities in those sports is really what drives them.

    And you MUST make your own crusts… awesome that you made those pies and happy to hear they turned out well. Have my mom’s pie crust recipes (and many others that we’ve put in a book) in an honored spot on my bookshelf.

    She’ll often plan on making a pie and always double the recipe for the crusts… she says: hey, it’s always easier for me to make two and then we can have a second pie and leftovers… at 82, she still cranks them out at least twice a month: apple pies (and the turnovers she makes with the leftover crust/apples are incredible), lemon mirangue, coconut cream…can’t wait to visit next weekend for the bounty!

  212. Kevin says:

    why not both?

  213. Drew71 says:

    Ease up, N. I’m not calling it stupid. I’m simply disagreeing and offering an alternative bold move.

    In part because I value strong and deep(er) pitching vs same re lineup.

  214. Naje says:

    Well, how about a 5 year, 30M extension for Walker? Is that more reasonable? When he’s right, he’s a top 5 second baseman in the NL with respect to production.

    With Marte, let him get through this season before moving forward with an extension as his talent seems to be a little more special/reliable… but to have 5 more years of his talent without having to sign him, maybe we wait till mid-or-late 2014 to work with him on that.

  215. Thundercrack says:

    Remember the tizzzy that shocked the clubhouse when they traded Casey McGeheeeeeee last season?

    And what do you think would happen if they traded Grilli?

    What exact help to they need with the lineup at this point? Shortstop and that is about it.

    Hey, maybe we can play the guy we already have a little more….Mercer.

  216. NMR says:

    No, you’re right.

    Just surprised me that you wouldn’t even pick up the phone, as GM’s supposedly say.

  217. Adam says:

    I don’t want any part of a Boston/Pittsburgh series. They have a lot of hatred built up over the Cooke incident, and rightly so, and they’re a much better team in general. Henrik is great, but he’s not great against the Pens. And the rest of the Rangers just aren’t anything special.

  218. Naje says:

    It’s Avogadro’s number.

  219. NMR says:

    Yes, shortstop. A real one. Not a Jordy.

    And while we’re at it, how bout replacing the weak-minded guys that were supposedly affected by McGehee being traded and the FO not going “all-in”.

    Those are REALLY the kind of guys I want coming up to bat in the playoffs.

  220. cmat0829 says:

    I think I have read that the Brewers ‘lost significant money’ in the ‘go for it’ era the last few years; so it seems prudent for them to restock and load up on prospects and not waste money (the Lohse signing, yes indeedy) in seasons where they have no chance at the playoffs. Melvin was right when he didn’t pursue resigning Grienke, etc. but then they contradict and waste money on Lohse. You need to be true to the plan.

  221. Adam says:

    You’re essentially using the “if you take away this month or that month, he’s good” argument, but baseball is 162 games. And every game counts. Pedro isn’t slumping; he just isn’t a very good hitter. Lots of power, not a good hitter. Brad Eldred was the same way, but wasn’t as streaky.

    Bell and Hurdle must be tearing their hair out over Alvarez, but with the Pirates winning, what can and should we do besides wait for him to “come around”? .250 and 20-30 HR would be fine, if he ever does it over a full season, but even then….if that’s his ceiling and someone else was available I’d jump on it.

    I know it’s ages ago, but Aramis Ramirez was a far better hitter in his prime, and the Pirates traded him, in his prime. For a character on “King of the Hill.” Or a bag of balls. Whatever you want to call Bobby Hill. That still mystifies the hell out of me.

  222. Jandy says:

    Vokoun in goal again. Good stuff. Gryba not playing for the Sens.

  223. Arriba Wilver says:

    Yep, the team is doing well, so lets break them up.

    Break up the Bucco’s!

  224. cmat0829 says:

    Those speculating on “sell high” on bullpen pieces like Grilli and Melancon to “help the lineup”…please stop. Closers, especially those like Grilli who are performing so far above their mean, will NOT yield the type of offensive return you think will be worth the trade. Just stop overrating closers already. There are SOOOOOO many examples of “hall of fame” closers one year that are out of the role the next year or 2. Gagne for one. And lots of others.

    Neal needs to ADD TO THE BULLPEN, ala the Reds bringing in Broxton last year. Not only to ease the workload but for insurance at the back end. And Wilson/Morris have been WONDERFUL but need an experienced arm in the stretch run.

  225. Bizrow says:

    I think I could handle a NH extension

    Its the guy above him that I really want to see packing his bags, Slick Frankie

  226. cmat0829 says:

    NOT to start a front office defender/droolers vs. conspiracy theorist debate, but in all objectivity, the front office has been below average but not ‘beyond any redemption horrible’ since 2008. Yes, there are the embarrassments that have been already debated to death (hoka Hey everyone!) but there are many other examples of solid building of a team that can compete. Hurdle’s hiring for one. The bullpen year after year. The top line young talent on the way. Searage. etc.

    So as a fan, how can you really hope for this team to collapse so we can hire say, Jack Z after he is fired from the Mariners…or another GM that has been somewhere else… that team will hopefully be above average but they will make their share of mistakes as well….

    It really goes back to what I’ve said for some time now… if everything up to now means that there is NOTHING that this FO or MGT team can do to redeem themselves, then they should be fired already.. it shouldn’t be “let them win or let them be fired” it should be “clear them out bucause they aren’t up to the job, results be damned”. If it really is win and they are ok to stay, then let them win and let’s stop analyzing every upcoming move with a comparison to the woeful past.

    DK: Hey, HERE’S a new topic!

  227. Maybe some success with change the defensive, know-more-than-you attitude that we’ve seen. Maybe bring some joy to Mudville.

    I’d be all for it.

  228. NMR says:


    All season the meme has been that this team’s success is unsustainable.

    A couple guys float the IDEA of trading from a strength ONLY if a team OVERPAYS at PREMIUM positions and now everybody wants to keep them together.


  229. Hard to even understand what he does.

  230. NMR says:

    ” There are SOOOOOO many examples of “hall of fame” closers one year that are out of the role the next year or 2.”

    If you’re arguing to keep Grilli, you’re doing a really bad job.

    “And Wilson/Morris have been WONDERFUL but need an experienced arm in the stretch run.”

    What does this have to do with Grilli?

    Again, we’re talking about a hypothetically listening to an overpay situation. Not actually suggesting Grilli is traded.

  231. Patrick says:

    Well every signing has risk. In house, free agent, draft picks…all of them. I think the risk for retaining a player is slightly less than a FA if for no other reason than you know how well he gets long with the team, manager, ECT as well as having a much better understanding of his injury history.

    And not to stir the pot in another direction, but we seem to be worrying about BN money again. The long and short of it is Neil Walker is a lot cheaper than a player identical player signed via FA, but more expensive than unknown commodity from Indy. Another team will be glad to pay 10-15% more for Walker than the Pirates could sign him for. If he tanks he tanks. But like you said….they run that risk with anyone, and they would never get bad press for resigning a true homegrown kid.

  232. Nate83 says:

    If they are at the end of July and a few games out of the last wild card I have no problem with fielding calls from other GM’s. A team like Boston or the Dodgers that need more then anything to make it into the playoffs would give up a lot for a guy like Grille. I think the depth is there to cover it and we could possible pick up some pieces that help a little now and alot later.

    If we are in a playoff spot I personally wouldn’t touch the team unless it was to add but that is just my opinion.

  233. Thundercrack says:

    I like saying it

  234. Patrick says:

    Depends a lot on what happens with other guys like Martin, Orpik, Murray. ect….but LA really does love him. I doubt they would let hiim go without a fight. he has meant alot to their young defensemen.

  235. Patrick says:

    They were mismanaged and didn’t have any money to pay him. Simple salary dump. That’s what happens when you give clowns like Derek Bell guaranteed deals.

  236. Nate83 says:

    Number 1 because I admittingly don’t think they have been all that bad when given the oppertunity to spend a little money the last two years. I personally feel that the first two years were a complete tear down of the existing club and that the pieces they had to trade where not as good as some make them out to be.

    The 2009 draft was horrible but it was for a lot of teams (bad draft year). 2010 draft is starting to show a lot of promise and it really is to early to judge the last two drafts but they seem to be trending towards average to above average.

  237. Naterosboro says:

    Not seeing it [Klinsmann’s impact]. For some reason, we (USMNT) can’t find a forward that can score consistently other than Dempsey *PAGING MR. ALTIDORE* If Guiseppi Rossi would’ve realised he’s from New Jersey and not Rome, he could’ve been a legend. Instead, he’s never gotten into the Italian national team.

    We also have no creative-ness in midfield. How, in all these years, have we never produced a creative midfield product?

    And our back 4 always seems to sh*t themselves in the first 10 mins of a game putting us on the back foot.

    If anything, I want Klinsmann to find a young creative midfielder that can open defenses up, and stabilize our back 4. If he can do that, his run will be a success in my eyes, even if it doesn’t produce all that much in the way of winning.

  238. Patrick says:

    Nobody “owns” Lundqvist. Our record against Both teams the past 2 years is very similar, but Lundqvist is by orders of magnitude better than Rask.

  239. Patrick says:

    Makes a mean extra dry martini?

  240. Patrick says:

    I still think NH fate will be (and should be) tied to Cole, Tailon and Sanchez. At least one of those kids needs to turn into a productive player for NH to deserve an extension. Teams at the bottom end of the salary range MUST get players from the draft to make contributions.

  241. Patrick says:

    Number 1 obviously. Its all about results. If they win, they win. IMO anyone who answers #2 is making it personal rather than professional.

  242. NMR says:

    You’re begging the question, Adam.

    You’ve clearly already made up your mind that Pedro Alvarez is not worth having on the team. The only answer you’ll take is “get rid of him”.

    That’s fine. But it makes no sense unless a replacement is found first.

  243. Arriba Wilver says:

    Amazing? Huh? You hanging me with what DK says about the Buc’s? Now THAT ‘S Amazing.

    And where did ANYONE say don’t listen?

  244. Patrick says:

    There’s only one puck. 3 guys cant all score on the same shift. When they are scoring 4+ goals a game, IN THE PLAYOFFS, this incessant line shuffling is baffling.

  245. Naterosboro says:

    I think he’d make a heck of a central defender. It’d be tough to maneuver around him.

    Wouldn’t offer much in the way of going forward though (offensively, to the lay, nonsoccer person).

  246. NMR says:

    Your last paragraph is perfect.

    Frankly, I don’t buy the “let them win or be fired” talk.

    I don’t know Dejan or anybody else who quotes that line personally, but the feeling I get is that their minds are already made up. Even if this team does win and challenge, I feel like the first time they take a step back – such as the Reds did after winning the division in 2010 – will be used as another referendum on the whole bunch.

    DK: Take up that issue with Bob Nutting. Go back and reread his quotes following last season and into the offseason and then into spring training.

    Regardless of what you or I think, his is the only opinion that counts here.

    And hey, HERE’S a new topic!

  247. theplanisworking says:

    Arent all Nick’s the same?? ;)

  248. theplanisworking says:

    Yeah, come on, JAL, respect the Hippo flow! ;)

  249. Naterosboro says:

    No doubt, Adam.

    While I think both the Rangers and Bruins would lose out to the Pens, I’d rather be in an up-tempo series (as I’d think Boston would present this type of matchup) that plays to the Penguins strengths, than a slower-more defense oriented style that the Rangers would present.

    And Lundqvist.

    Don’t need to see him go all Halak on us.

  250. NMR says:

    Sorry, AW. You’re right.

    I don’t know how I could’ve mistaken your incredibly deep and thoughtful comment. Some of your best work yet.

  251. Kevin says:

    That’s right.. they’re still angry we stole their team colors in 1980.. really? D: NY plays better team defense from what I’ve seen and with a hot goalie that spells more trouble than Boston. I dont even remember the Cookie incident. Was that the thing that involved Marc Savard?

  252. Arriba Wilver says:

    Bigger’s better? WTF does the size of the humans involved have to do with how popular YOU decide a sport should matter to the general populace?

  253. theplanisworking says:

    To boldly go where no Hippo has gone before?? ;)

  254. Jandy says: a crazy man…

  255. theplanisworking says:

    Me cant count that high…… :(

  256. Jandy says:

    Go Hippo, Go!

  257. NMR says:


    If thats 5 years AFTER this year, then that would he’ll be making less in his two would-be free agent seasons than he would have in his arbitrated seasons. Doesn’t seem probable he’d accept that.

    Besides, right now Neal Walker is a platoon player.

    I’m not paying any platoon player $10m unless they play premium defense at a premium position.

  258. theplanisworking says:

    Beer and rouge…………
    or maybe a STRONG beer. ;)

  259. theplanisworking says:

    Where am I going, besides crazy??

  260. Jandy says:

    You’re already there :P

  261. theplanisworking says:

    They should put him in goal for the Loafs! ;)

  262. NMR says:

    I’ll believe something that Bob Nutting says when he starts telling the truth.

    But you’re right. Gameday thread material. My apologies, seriously.

    DK: VERY fair rebuttal on Nutting. Just wanted to remind what the genesis of that line was.

  263. I knew we’d get our buns chewed if DK had time to read any of this. Was hoping the Pens’ thread would draw some early interest, but too late.


  264. theplanisworking says:

    Point well taken.

    Sunny, and 78 so far here.
    Busy Hippo today………. more to do.

    Saw Dom’s comment earlier about being called a Hippo, made me laugh. I dont think Dom is as big as a house, like someone here.


  265. NMR says:

    Thank you, Nate.

  266. Arriba Wilver says:

    One final point, Nate. I’m not saying you or anyone else should be interested in Horse racing. You are the one criticizing others for being more interested in horse racing than soccer. The idea that “you should think/like what I think/like” goes back millenniums. Maybe to the Garden of Eden.

    (Yes, I realize you are mainly going tongue in cheek).

  267. Jandy says:

    Sun is shining here too, makes me smile :)

  268. theplanisworking says:

    If Dom comes into the threads tonight, I am gonna get him! ;)

    I have a weird feeling about tonights Pens game.
    I will give my thoughts in the Hippo analysis.

    But, cant keep a good Hippo down!
    Sun is shining, Pond is clean…………. heck, I may even break into dance like my cousisns in Fantasia!!!!!!!!!! ;)

  269. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think Milo was right—you ARE my wife!

  270. theplanisworking says:

    Disco Duck hit the sauce again……….

  271. I’m for giving him a 20-year extension if he’s still around when those guys and Heredia pan out. It ain’t my money.

  272. theplanisworking says:

    Hippos like NEW topics. Especially HERE!!!

    But seriously, I wont even think about those clowns til draft time.
    Pens should be near the Finals by then! :)

  273. Kevin says:

    I’d like to predict a 7-3 win tonight in Pittsburgh. And actually… two 7-3 wins in Pittsburgh. Yes, I still think Anderson is going to crack so why not this game?

  274. theplanisworking says:

    Kevin, pass the Happy Juice, please! I will take a double. ;)

    Seriously, I see a victory, but not nearly that many goals.

    But……… Dream Like a Hippy!! Oops, wrong sport…………… :(

  275. Gosh, don’t bring that up. DK is back from the rink.


  276. theplanisworking says:

    Ok, can i say HIPPO HEY !!!!! ? ;)

  277. Kevin says:

    what, last night wasn’t enough… I could use a laugher. And I’d also like to see the Malkin line score 3 goals on the same shift, like Patrick said above.. that would be absolutely gleeful!

  278. theplanisworking says:

    Hey, I want a 12-1 victory.

    Just keepin it Hippo Real! ;)

  279. That or “Dream like a Hippo” can pass, but the other is a veiled reference to “those we don’t speak of” especially on a hockey playoff day.


  280. theplanisworking says:

    Oh, it WAS a typo!

    I meant to say Dream Like a Hippo!

    Oops. :(


  281. Kevin says:

    12-1 would be crazy… pretty sure the Sun would explode if that happened. (Ottawa Sun) Which would actually please alot of people!

  282. theplanisworking says:

    And we cant speak of the Riverhounds on a hockey playoff day??? ;)

  283. theplanisworking says:

    Exploding Sun reference.

    + 9. (Planets).

  284. Patrick says:

    Same deal for this game as last.

  285. Jandy says:

    Go Hippo Go! lol

  286. Kevin says:

    You don’t think we’ll score more than 4 goals again… just curious why? :\

  287. Jandy says:

    Speak of anything you like, it’s a friggin sports blog >:<

  288. theplanisworking says:

    Jandy, could you see my fat a*^ dancing like my cousins in Fantasia????

    Man, people would be scarred for life!

  289. Patrick(RI) says:

    I am always partial to Occam’s razor.

  290. theplanisworking says:

    Ok Jandy.

    I am listening to Rush on the compooter……..
    I am putting things away…….
    I am thinking of what to cook for dinner, after I run around some more like a nut……
    I am dreaming of a White Christmas…….

    I am wondering what Victoria’s Secret really is……..


  291. Jandy says:

    OK this place is nuts again, I’m outta here…pop in on the hockey thread later on. have a nice afternoon everyone.

  292. Patrick says:

    Because Ottawa only gave 2.08 GAA in the regular season and 1.4 GAA against the Habs. In 48 games they allowed 4 or more goals only 8 times.

    Its just not something they are prone to do.

  293. As long as it’s not…..BMT….

  294. Jandy says:

    She’ll never tell ;X

  295. theplanisworking says:

    Bye………… from a nut! ;)

  296. theplanisworking says:

    Fire Byls……

  297. Kevin says:

    Ok. But, no offense, they did not play the penguins those other 50 times. :D.. and like Morrow said he believes the penguins have another “gear”. I’m optimistic and think they’ll bring it tonight!

  298. Kevin says:

    well, when its nut up or shut up time… its time to go nuts?!

  299. NMR says:

    Ha, seriously though, if I didn’t find our interactions informative or at least entertaining, I wouldn’t bother. Even when we don’t agree, I don’t engage you in conversation just for a good joust once in a while.

    I hope the feeling is mutual.

  300. Bizrow says:

    + 1 to both responses ;-)

  301. Arriba Wilver says:

    It is.

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