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Morning Java: Special guest Steve McLendon

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> Today marks the opening of the Steelers’ three-day minicamp on the South Side, of course, and the TribLIVE Radio show today — 1-2 p.m. — will feature an interview with one of the participants. Which is to say, I’ll get someone on the spot, then tweet out the name as soon as I do.

Also, I’ll begin with a few thoughts on where the Penguins are headed this summer, a few more on Gerrit Cole’s Pittsburgh debut, and we’ll discuss with Trib hockey writer Josh Yohe the upcoming Cup final between the Bruins and Hawks.

Oh, and don’t miss a very special @Suckmeter segment dedicated to the Penguins’ fans.

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

I want you involved, too …

Email: sportstalk@tribweb.com

Call: 412-320-7925.

>> The past week has seen a couple milestones for the blog. Last Thursday marked our record day for unique visitors, a day when we had the usual Morning Java, the weekly chat and an extra blog-only column on Marc-Andre Fleury. And yesterday brought the single most visitors ever to one post, the Morning Java entry on trading Kris Letang.

I’ll say it a million times over: Thank you, Penguins fans. Your trust means more than I can say.

 >> Mike Tomlin’s top offseason priority has been conditioning — can’t imagine why — and today might offer the best early test for all that.

What it won’t have, of course, is Ben Roethlisberger throwing to his receivers, which is a bigger loss than most seem to be conceding. Not the end of the world, mind you, but any chance to take that newfound QB/coordinator spirit of cooperation out onto the field and execute plays is one you’d embrace.

>> Barring something significant on the hockey front — which still can’t be ruled out — I’ll be over at PNC Park tonight to write about Cole.

This was our Cole segment on The Final Word a couple nights ago …

This was my column on Cole when I visited him at the Arizona Fall League in 2011.

And this was my column on Cole from Bradenton this spring.

>> Hope you can tune in — and call! — to the show today.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, 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.

Comments

  1. Eric Bowser says:

    * Gerrit Cole making his MLB debut is great stuff, I hope he pitches with some of it.

    * John McDonald traded to Indians for the top prospect from the California Penal League

    * Ben Roethlisberger missing mini-camp shouldn’t be a big deal as long as he’s just away from the physical stuff and still shows up for film and study work.

    * Kris Letang is going to get paid, good for him but that can’t happen in Pittsburgh with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on the team. The Penguins drafted all those young defensemen for a reason right?

    * Trading Letang isn’t a simple task. The team only has Brooks Orpik, Paul Martin and Simon Despres as legit top four defensemen, so they’ll have to find someone to play in the veteran role with Despres.

    * I have zero interest watching Matt Niskanen and Deryk Engelland playing hockey.

    * Bring back Rob Scuderi…. Penguins are missing ‘The Piece’. He would be a wonderful partner for Despres.

    * That leaves the third pairing to pick one young defenseman from internal options like Robert Bortuzzo, Philip Samuelsson, Brian Dumoulin, Scott Harrington, Derrick Pouliot, and Olli Maatta. The other third pairing defenseman needs to be a veteran like Michal Rozsival (RD) or Ron Hainsey (LD).

    * Orpik-Martin, Despres-Scuderi, Hainsey-Bortuzzo might not have the flash like they’ve had in the last few years without Letang but they’ve got Dumoulin, Harrington, Pouliot, and Maatta that should be able to push for a job by mid-to-late next season that should be able to take the spots from Orpik and Bortuzzo.

    * Pens could also use Letang to get back a young forward and a veteran D, so something to watch as the offseason moves along.

    * I suspect we’ll hear about deals for Dupuis being completed before the week is out.

    * Malkin shouldn’t make more than $8.7… sign the deal and be done with it.

    * I might walk over to the yard tomorrow night after work and watch Cole pitch for the first game of the season. Guess we’ll see how things go at work.

  2. Sammich says:

    So the John McDonald era is over in Pittsburgh. And, true to form, Pirates management is trying to distract the fan base from this loss by calling up some pitcher from the minor leagues.

  3. Dave B says:

    DK,

    I was curious as to whether or not you are aware of the Pirates happiness/future plans with Tony Sanchez? I’m curious about this because he’s currently hitting the ball quite well in AAA, but the team drafted Reese McGuire in the 1st round of this year’s draft.

  4. Ghost says:

    We all hope Cole dazzles in his debut and hope that he continues to do so — that this is not just a spot start. What would really be great is if something like Fernandomania or Nomomania took hold. A significant, sustained increase in ticket sales would mitigate the possible back-end loss of time before Cole’s arbitration clock started. I want this decision by the FO to call up Cole now to be as rewarding as possible for them. Like a Scooby snack for being a good dog.

  5. Brendan says:

    Just to clear that up, one has nothing to do with the other. The Pirates considered McGuire the best player available at #14 and took him (whether or not he indeed was remains to be seen).

  6. Brendan says:

    It appears, from what I’ve read, that the Cole will miss the Super 2 deadline by a day, meaning it would have been today (Monday).

  7. Ghost says:

    Yes, but as others have previously mentioned, the Super 2 deadline won’t be known for sure until the season is over and the calculations are made. Today’s date is an educated guess which the FO may, or may not, have factored into debuting him tomorrow.

  8. Ghost says:

    “Colemania” would be lame. “Colirium?” Need suggestions.

    His section of fans can be the Colelition. Strikeout victims will have been be “Gerritted?” Given a lump of “Cole?” “Colenoscopies?”

    DK: Wherever Cole-mania might be happening, it isn’t in the real world. The Pirates had sold 18,000 tickets BEFORE any word regarding Cole had leaked, and their projection with or without Cole was to have 22,000. This game isn’t yet close to sold out. The capacity is roughly 36,000, only a 14,000 gap.

    Tickets as I type this are available at every level, even the $10 seats.

  9. Reading says:

    Too bad Cole doesn’t get to debut against the Pirates. Strasburg seemed to enjoy that, and a few others over the last few years making their debut. Can we bring the Lastros back? All joking aside, the Giants- defending World Champs- are a tall order. Looking forward to triple-digit heat. Hope it is a big W.

  10. Dadtackular says:

    DK. I’m a lifelong Pittsburgh fan who has never been to Pennsylvania. My hunger for Pittsburgh Sports information is fed by your columns. Your blogs are a true smorgasbord of information. Thank you for your offering. I enjoy it all!

    DK: Wow, thanks. Would love to hear more about that.

  11. Ed says:

    McGuire is a HS kid that will take 4-6 years to reach the majors, if he makes it at all. Sanchez is already at Indy.

    Even in the best case scenario, that both become really good players, the Pirates will get a nice, long look at Sanchez before McGuire ever becomes part of the equation.

  12. Ghost says:

    Yes, one game wouldn’t do much of anything. The more fanciful scenario I was envisioning would be a significant bump in gate *every time* Cole pitched, and possibly a spillover into other non-Cole games. Fernandomania was pretty electric back in ’81 (though the Dodgers were already drawing 3 mil per year back then, I think). But Nomomania was definitely a shot in the arm for the Dodgers and all of baseball in 1995, the year after the 1994 season was canceled due to a disillusioning strike.

    DK: I’d go easy on the kid. Let him throw a pitch in the bigs before assigning a level of mania to him.

  13. Reading says:

    Puig-mania will be happening this weekend, although the weekends usually draw decently with the give-a-ways/concerts/fireworks, etc.

    DK: Who is Puig?

  14. Ed says:

    Just an FYI for you baseball fanatics out there:

    MLB.com is offering is Premium TV package for $49.99 for the rest of the season — half off the regular price and good for this week only.

    I jumped on it. Good deal.

  15. Brandie says:

    Howdy All,

    Special vibes to Hippo, even though I know he is off grid. I wish Gerritt Cole much luck tonight. I hope he makes the most of his time in the majors, and definitely in a Pirates uniform. Count me a member of “The Cole Patrol”.

    Cruise by Hippo’s Pond and make sure it is as neat as a pin. I wouldn’t want to let him down. Take care until later.

  16. twentytwo22 says:

    The last time the ghost of Tim Lincecum appeared at PNC Park the Pirates won 13-2. I’d like to think the Pirates can win this game with their offense and make Gerrit Cole’s first start a part of the story and not the whole story.

  17. tdb1977 says:

    Guess its time to cough up some more $$$ and get myself a Cole jersey. Then the decision last winter before Christmas to get the Tabatha jersey wont look so ridiculous at all. Hey, he just signed that contract extension and had a pretty good 2010. Ever since, its been tank city. It can be regulated to the back of the closet.

  18. JAL says:

    JAL’s All Shook Up Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaI3zwZYuGw

    GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pittsburgh_pirates/

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)

    http://gobuccos.com/pittsburgh-pirate-news/

    4 Pittsburgh Pirates Stats

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AsjN0zO-DxI0dHVOMzdPYm9wUEJtdVJ0WWUzVWhFc2c#gid=0

    5 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Pick Signing Tracker

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013draft

    BLOGS and such

    6—Pirates Prospects

    What Should We Expect From Gerrit Cole?

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/06/what-should-we-expect-from-gerrit-cole.html

    First Pitch: Is Gerrit Cole the Most Important Player For the Pirates Going Forward?

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/06/first-pitch-is-gerrit-cole-the-most-important-player-for-the-pirates-going-forward.html

    Prospect Watch: Kingham Makes Final Start For Bradenton; D’Arnaud Homers

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/06/prospect-watch-kingham-makes-final-start-for-bradenton-darnaud-homers.html

    7 Bucs Dugout

    John McDonald dealt, draftees signed, Kingham promoted

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/6/10/4416888/pirates-deal-john-mcdonald-sign-some-guys

    8 Lets Go Tribe

    MLB Transactions: Cleveland Indians acquire John McDonald from Pittsburgh Pirates

    http://www.letsgotribe.com/2013/6/10/4416792/mlb-transactions-cleveland-indians-acquire-john-mcdonald-from

    9 The Green Weenie

    Notes On An Off Day

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/06/notes-on-off-day.html

    10 Rumbunter

    The Pirates Most Exciting Young Pitcher Not Named Gerrit Cole

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/06/10/the-pirates-most-exciting-young-pitcher-not-named-gerrit-cole/

    Gerrit Cole Debut Won’t Be Strasmas, But Pirates Fans Deserve A Big Night

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/06/10/gerrit-cole-debut-wont-be-strasmas-but-pirates-fans-deserve-a-big-night/

    11 Raise the Jolly Roger

    It’s time for Gerrit Cole

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2013/06/its-time-for-gerrit-cole/

  19. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 Yahoo Sports

    What Are the Pittsburgh Pirates Getting with Gerrit Cole?

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/pittsburgh-pirates-getting-gerrit-cole-144400608.html

    13 KDKA

    Colin Dunlap: Cole Debut Should Make You Stop Everything

    http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/06/10/colin-dunlap-cole-debut-should-make-you-stop-everything/

    14 New York Daily News

    MLB Power Rankings: Braves back near the top, but Cardinals hold on to No. 1 spot

    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/mlb-power-rankings-braves-bounce-back-article-1.1368218

    15 San jose Mercury News

    Lincecum continues to work on his consistency for the Giants

    http://www.thereporter.com/sports/ci_23433116/lincecum-continues-work-his-consistency-giants

    16 CBS Sports

    San Francisco vs Pittsburgh

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20130611_SF@PIT

    17 USA Today

    Pirates ready to welcome highly touted Gerrit Cole

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/pirates/2013/06/10/pirates-ready-to-welcome-highly-touted-pitcher-gerrit-cole/2408793/

    18 PBC Site

    Cole making Major League debut against Giants

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_06_11_sfnmlb_pitmlb_1&mode=preview&vkey=preview_web_home&c_id=pit

    Pirates build up talented organization through Draft

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130610&content_id=50205988&vkey=news_pit&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Painting the Black Swinging With Starlin

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=20899

    20 Fangraphs

    Francisco Liriano Teases Again

    http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/blog_article/15000-days-since-luzinski-rings-the-liberty-bell/

  20. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Brett Keisel feels Pittsburgh Steelers “have the team and the talent to get back” to top of AFC North

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/6/10/4415318/pittsburgh-steelers-brett-keisel-afc-north-division-title

    Steelers nickel package could take on another look with Shamarko Thomas

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/6/10/4413878/steelers-defense-nickel-package-personnel-2013-nfl-draft

    22 Steelers Depot

    - The Terrible Podcast – Talking Plaxico Burress, 2014 WR Depth, 53 Man Roster Projection & More Episode

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/06/the-terrible-podcast-talking-plaxico-burress-2014-wr-depth-53-man-roster-projection-more-episode/

    Soccer(football) Will T

    23 Daily Telegraph

    Jose Mourinho returns to Chelsea saying: ‘I am now The Happy One’

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/chelsea/10110633/Jose-Mourinho-returns-to-Chelsea-saying-I-am-now-The-Happy-One.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

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

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

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Bylsma, Penguins Need Culture Shock

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/6/9/4410832/bylsma-penguins-need-culture-shock

    First look at what the Pens look like next year

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/6/10/4414152/first-look-at-what-the-pens-look-like-next-year

  21. JAL says:

    All Shook Up Elvis 1957 Number 1 on the pop chart for 8 weeks it also was number 1 on the R&B chart for 4 weeks and hit number 3 on the country chart

  22. Thundercrack says:

    That is a good deal.

    Trust me.

  23. Jandy says:

    Dadtackular, have you posted your hometown so that Bizrow can add it to the list of Dejan’s Lunatics’ Asylum?

  24. Jandy says:

    I sure hope you’re right about Duper :)

  25. Dom says:

    It should be Yasiel Puig vs Gerrit Cole on Sunday.

  26. NMR says:

    manbearpuig

  27. radio wave says:

    This is a very important series vs. the Giants. Could factor in head to head tie breaker the wild card. Cole needs to stay and do well, all the pitchers the Cards called up have won.

  28. radio wave says:

    Plus 1

  29. Arriba Wilver says:

    “There’s no tiebreakers in baseball.” Tom Hanks

    Seriously, though, are there tiebreakers for wildcards? I thought someone a couple of days ago talked about a one game playoff before the one game playoff. I don’t know the answer.

  30. Nate83 says:

    It’s a 40 man move made to clear space to bring Cole up. No distraction once so ever. Cole being brought up is what warrented the trade of McDonald. Them trading McDonald and getting anything in return just means they don’t have to swallow that contract. He is hardly a loss. The last time I checked we have a gifted defensive shortstop batting close to .200 which sadly actually hits with more power. Not to mention Mercer has been playing well.

  31. Arriba Wilver says:

    From what I’m reading, Chase getting healthy and hitting OK is what probably motivated the move, although not necessarily the timing. There is probably little that generates more widespread agreement on this blog than that McDonald is no loss. I’m sure Sammich was joking.

  32. Dom says:

    Nick Kingham has been promoted to Altoona.

  33. Arriba Wilver says:

    The rookie Puig is making $3.7 mil this year.

  34. JAL says:

    Mentioned in 3rd story in link 6

  35. Jandy says:

    Darn, Sammich forgot his ;)

  36. Arriba Wilver says:

    And in Link 7.

  37. Dom says:

    I’m sorry.

  38. Thundercrack says:

    Trust the links

  39. Bizrow says:

    + 1

  40. John Lease says:

    Nate, I think your humor meter is broken! I get humor Sammich, and thank you! :)

  41. Thundercrack says:

    I watched 4 or 5 innings of the last night’s Rays-Red Sox game. I really wished the Rays would have pulled off the comeback for the victory.

    The Red Sox had scored 6 runs in the top of the first—before they had an out.

  42. Bizrow says:

    Anyone hear anything on how Wandy did with his throwing session yesterday?

  43. Baywatch says:

    I’m in the process of producing my next Made-For-TV movie: “Tabby: A Hamstring Waiting To Happen.”

  44. Baywatch says:

    Reminds me of Mark DUPER, Marino’s little Dolphins receiver from years back!

  45. JohninOshkosh says:

    Plus 2

  46. I don’t think anyone can convince me that trading Kris Letang is a good idea, especially when the reason is you don’t want to pay him. The Penguins need to bolster their defense, not remove their best player. The Penguins should do whatever they have to in order to pay Letang and add another legitimate top-four defenseman, even if it means losing some of the supporting cast around Crosby and Malkin. Norris-caliber defensemen are almost a requirement to get to the Stanley Cup finals.

    Matt Niskanen, after a big step forward the season prior, regressed backwards last season. He’s still yet to shake the “project” label, and he’s clearly not ready for a role in the top-four. If things go as they should, the bottom pairing should get more crowded this season…

    With all due respect to Scuderi, no. If anything, I’d like to see the Pens bring in another top-four defenseman and push Brooks Orpik to the third pairing to work with Despres. Orpik is no longer a top-pairing defenseman.

    Pittsburgh has to improve their defense. They cannot improve by subtracting Kris Letang.

  47. Arriba Wilver says:

    Probably lives in Florida.

  48. JAL says:

    No problem, just pointing out where more info might be found.

  49. Milo Hamilton says:

    Ray Searage is on The Fan, hopefully they ask.

  50. JAL says:

    Twas a crazy game

  51. Dom says:

    It’s not that I didn’t see the links, I just wanted to start the conversation about him getting promoted.

  52. Jandy says:

    haha!

  53. Jandy says:

    We love you Dom :)

  54. Jandy says:

    who Stars as Tabby?

  55. Arriba Wilver says:

    Looks pretty dreary out now, but the forecast for the game is lower to mid-70′s and 10% chance of rain. The only thing that could be better is if they had fireworks. :-)

  56. Milo Hamilton says:

    He doesn’t sound too optimistic. Didn’t give a straight answer, but didn’t sound good.

  57. Jandy says:

    The only way Letang has a prayer of staying is if he gives a discount. Do you see that happening?

  58. Jandy says:

    maybe he just doesn’t know?

  59. Jandy says:

    The bench-clearing kind?? ;)

  60. 21sthebest says:

    I saw the Rays bat in the 10th. The Red Sox reliever looked tired.

  61. Naje says:

    Good stuff from Searage… and spoke highly about the bats coming around.

  62. Milo Hamilton says:

    He was there, he knows. He’s just an Indian, gotta let the Chiefs make those announcements. :)

  63. Arriba Wilver says:

    They aren’t going to take any chances. I agree with Milo, sounds like DL. Clint sounded like if he didn’t look OK in this session he was going on the DL.

  64. DJ says:

    Although a media favorite as a blood-and-guts player who always tells it like it is, we need to plan for Orpik’s eventual replacement. I don’t see us re-signing him once his contract expires next season so perhaps Domoulin is carried next year and actually gets then needed in-season experience, unlike how they handled Depres. And although I appreciated his contribution to the Isles 6th game, Orpik’s game has deteriorated in case anyone has noticed.

    Two aspects in particular are his passing (rarely tape-to-tape anymore) and his shooting, although I realize the latter is and has never been his principal value to the team. Although this question never got asked because the result became the focus, I wondered why he was taking a full slapper that was headed at least 12-14 feet to the left of the goal on the play where Sid was struck. I realize the puck was deflected upward, but that shot was ridiculously off the mark, and it was clearly a shot, not some slap-pass to Sid. All of that said, not suggesting he would not be valuable to this team for the one year remaining on his contract, particularly in a mentoring role to younger d-men.

    On larger note, I think the defense is where the overhaul is needed. Improving our play in our own end and requiring our forwards to come back to move the puck up the ice in unison (a la Boston) rather than resorting inordinately to the stretch pass would solve a lot of ills. It would make us more post-season ready on the defensive end, improve goaltending and goaltender confidence (both MAF, as absolutely needed, and to lesser extent TV as well), and ingrain in our forwards once again that we can still play an “exciting” brand of hockey — defined as less losses in the post-season — that begins with a defensively responsible mindset and approach.

  65. Milo Hamilton says:

    He wouldn’t even acknowledge that he threw. I wonder if he even did ? He was happy to report that Charlie threw & threw well.

  66. Searage for mayor.

  67. Al says:

    One thing I love about this blog is where else would you ever see Mother Teresa having a conversation with the Godfather? Total opposites….that’s pretty cool!

  68. chethejet says:

    With AJ Burnett, Locke, Francisco L, Morton and Wandy, Cole will have a hard time staying unless Wandy is hurt more than we know or Morton can’t come back and pitch good enough. JMAC may be out regardless. Pens will make minimal changes as Shero is under zero pressure to do so. Letang will be signed or he will be traded and that is pretty much it. Malkin returns, Dupuis as well and Bylsma will be back. I am not sure on Iginla but finances will limit any offer if Dupuis is 3.5 per. The only wrinkle is if Ron and Mario step in and and are still upset over being swept by the Bruins.

  69. Baywatch says:

    My casting director is out on the road for that one right now! (Time-honored stalling technique)

  70. Nate83 says:

    My bad if he was joking. Sorry Sammich. There really should be a sarcastic font or maybe I shouldn’t wake up in such a bad mood.

  71. 21sthebest says:

    The only tiebreakers are to determine home field/playoff seeding.

  72. NMR says:

    Putting himself in line for a late-2014 callup.

  73. Jandy says:

    lol

  74. Karen22 says:

    I’ll be cheering on Gerrit Cole tonight from behind the Clemente Wall. First PNC Park visit this season. Bringing my mitt so I can catch Jonesy’s & Petey’s attempts at the Allegheny. GO BUCS!

    (And please stop raining)!

  75. Thundercrack says:

    I missed part of the game. I was tired.

    My arm feels great though.

  76. NMR says:

    Pirates rotation is about to get young. Fast.

    Conceivably could end 2014 with Liriano (30), Morton (30), Locke (26), McPherson (26), Cole (23), Taillon (22), Kingham (22).

  77. Jandy says:

    Have a blast, Karen!!!!!

  78. Jandy says:

    Just your arm?

  79. hockeymonster says:

    Agreed on letang Forecheck.

    Trading Letang THIS off season makes absolutely no sense whatsoever!!! How much do we save on the cap if we trade his 3.5M cap hit and get 2-3 players back? I’d much rather have his services next season for 3.5 THEN next season if its determined we cant build a legit roster with sid, geno and letang making 25M or so THEN you make the trades you need with cap savings coming back in the form of players who make half as much combined.

  80. Naterosboro says:

    +1

  81. Karen22 says:

    Hope the Bucs have a blast…MANY, in fact!

  82. Kevin says:

    Charlie Sheen? D:

  83. Arriba Wilver says:

    Thanks, 21.

  84. Damon says:

    As for the Pens and finances, take a look at link #25 from JAL above regarding what the Pens look like next year. Even if they signed Duper for $4 mil per season, they still have $5 left in cap space with only a couple spots left to fill in the line up (3rd line RW, 4th line players) plus whatever extra Malkin will get per year on a new deal. That is without knowing what will happen to Letang and Fleury as well.

    That said, how much different will the team look next year then – what will have really changed?

    The next three weeks or so will be very interesting regarding the Pens….

  85. JohninOshkosh says:

    Game is part of regional coverage on MLB Network at 7:00.

  86. Scott says:

    *Pascal Dupuis is gone. People had better start accepting this now, so they’re not shocked later. There’s very little chance of him returning, despite the inexplicable optimism among Pens fans. Rossi has already reported that the Canadiens will likely offer Dupuis four years at $16 million. The Pens can’t come close to matching that. Dupuis knew he was gone after Game 4 at Boston, which is why he sat at his locker with the same look Ryan Malone had after his last game with the Pens.

    *Niskanen is just fine as a top 6 D man. Don’t know why you’d want to run him out of town. Engelland is a different story, but if he ends up being your #7 guy, that’s perfectly fine.

    *Scuderi would be a great fit, but he’s going to get in excess of $5 million per season and it won’t be here. It’s so strange that people keep suggesting the Pens go out and sign top free agents from other teams. They’re simply not going to have the cap space to do this.

  87. Jandy says:

    +many

  88. hockeymonster says:

    Hey DJ, read the column today for bout Bennett and despres? They almost plagiarized our discussion bout Harrington and maatta :)

  89. hockeymonster says:

    Don’t think we can say anyone is gone till we know what kind of cap space shero may create…I think you all know where I stand on who should go :)

  90. Jim S. says:

    Maguire is 7 years YOUNGER than Sanchez.

  91. Milo Hamilton says:

    As the blog’s self appointed unofficial weather guy I want to assure you the weather is going to be fine. The sun will make an appearance this afternoon with temps in the mid 70′s.

  92. Scott says:

    You’re thinking about this all wrong. This offseason is not about improving. It’s about retooling and getting under the salary cap in the years to come. Trading Letang is essential since the Pens can’t sign him to an extension. Yes, it will hurt the team in the short term. Yes, the team will take a step back.

    The city’s finest hockey minds – Dejan, Madden, Rossi, Savran – all agree trading Letang is the way to go. I noticed you never mentioned the salary cap in your comment. If you keep Letang, then who would you get rid of?

    When it comes to rebuilding this roster, you have to put salary concerns first, talent concerns second, and hope the young guys coming up from Wilkes Barre can step up and fill in the gaps. Sorry, but that’s the reality. Next year’s Pens team will not be as good as this year’s. Accept it.

  93. Jim S. says:

    The Cards’ rookie pitchers have done amazingly well. That is to the credit of their organization for spotting, drafting and developing talent. They are on a talent roll right now. But, we should not expect the Pirates or any other team to have such success with a string of young pitchers being called up and immediately producing at a high level. It just does not happen anywhere in baseball very often. This is a once in a generation thing that St. Louis could be on the verge of. I hope the same ends up being true of the Bucs young arms over the next couple of years, but the odds are extremely long for that occurring. As well as St. Louis has done with their young guys, they are not that much smarter than every other team. There has been a lot of luck involved for St. Louis as well to make this happen. The Bucs have a chance of producing a nice group of young stud pitchers over the next few years that could be the envy of MLB – with the possible exception of maybe just the Cardinals.

  94. hockeymonster says:

    Hahaha…finest hockey minds….hahahahaha….scott you kill me

  95. NMR says:

    I wouldn’t even take a chance with this type of injury. Wandy in August and September is more important than Wandy in June and “forearm tightness” can turn into “broken elbow” real fast.

    If Charlie Morton and Gerrit Cole are truly major league pitchers, Wandy should be DL’d without a question.

  96. hockeymonster says:

    In all seriousness I really hope the pens and shero don’t view next season as empty season like you do…And I ask you and anyone else again…if we get 2-4 players who are any good back for letang how does that save us money with letang only making 3.5 next season?

    And savrans the only voice I give credence to from your list of hockey minds….scott you made my morning with that one…

  97. Jandy says:

    tons of work…back later loonies

  98. Jim S. says:

    Cole has a chance to be special, but even he recognizes he is not the finished product yet. I believe the Bucs have decided, and rightly so, that a not quite finished Cole is still one of their best 5 starting options right now. As DK says, let’s allow him some room to get his feet under him before assigning him mania status. The differentiating factor with Fernando and Nomo in LA was the multi-cultural nature of the LA area fan base. Mexican-Americans and Asian-Americans definitely helped stoke the mania in those instances. Those factors are not present here. If Cole simply becomes a very good pitcher, no given, the attendance will follow during his (and others’) starts because the team will be significantly improved.

  99. Bizrow says:

    Agree, NMR, just get Wandy ready by the trade deadline, it would be like picking up another pitcher

  100. Dadtackular says:

    Hi Jandy. Yes I have. Payson, Illinois! Thanks!

  101. Jim S. says:

    All joking aside, the Giants (though world champs) are not such a tall order so far this year. They are barely above .500 in a worse division than the Bucs play in.

  102. Brandie says:

    Sending good vibes your way, Karen.

  103. Bizrow says:

    Our bats or the other guys bats? ;-)

  104. Thundercrack says:

    My feelings aren’t hurt, trust me.

    :-)

  105. Brandie says:

    Have a good day, darlin’.

  106. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Fire Bylsma.

    Trade Tyler Kennedy.

    And while we’re at it…

    Let’s score some runs for Cole tonight so he doesn’t have to throw a no-hitter just for a chance at a W. Let’s go Bucs! (minus SEAL Huntington)

  107. Brandie says:

    Lol! SEAL Huntington.

  108. Jim S. says:

    Tabatha needs to come off the disabled list soon; otherwise he won’t reach his goal of a strained hip flexor by July 1. But, these are the types of nagging injuries you can expect as players get older.

  109. Brandie says:

    Good day, Milo.

  110. Jim S. says:

    Talk about an under the radar guy. Kingham has been very impressive, and it goes nearly unnoticed by Bucs fans because of the Cole/Taillon/Glasnow show.

  111. Bizrow says:

    So Andy LaRoche has been DFA’d again.

    A top 100 prospect for 3 or 4 years.

    Prospects, well they are prospects

  112. Jim S. says:

    With Morton pretty much ready to take Wandy’s spot, I thought it was telling that Cole is also up. Tells me they are not certain Wandy will be back shortly. I’m not predicting a long DL stint, but I think it maybe a few more weeks. Just a hunch.

  113. Arriba Wilver says:

    Kingham’s been on the radar, at least this year. He was #10 in P2′s preseason prospect rankings.

  114. Brandie says:

    Tonight, that is going to depend on Gerritt Cole.

  115. Jim S. says:

    I should have clarified that, Arriba. I meant he has been under the radar to most average fans. The folks on here, being super-fans, all know about him. Those truly in the know are quite aware of what he is doing, as you say.

  116. JohninOshkosh says:

    Important years in history:

    1066
    1492
    1776
    2013

  117. Brandie says:

    Future is always cloudy when you are talking prospects. An injury or lack of mental preparedness can derail even the most promising talent. With that said…Have a great game, Gerritt Cole.

  118. Jim S. says:

    I’d be quite happy with 6 solid innings of 2-run, very composed pitching out of Cole tonight. Just give the team a strong chance to win late. He doesn’t need to go all “Strasburg debut” for me to be happy. There is plenty of pressure on any #1 when first called up to pitch, especially in front of the local fans. If he doesn’t try to do too much, (which is when most scouts seem to think he gets into trouble – same with any young fireballer) I think he’ll be fine. And, once he gets this one under his belt, he should do nothing but get more and more comfortable.

  119. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hey Brandie, hope all is well.

  120. Jim S. says:

    Let’s say McGuire arrives in Pittsburgh in 5 years, at 23. That is a nice trajetory for him. Sanchez will be 30 by then. They might form a nice due for a few years. Or, Sanchez could have moved on or even been replaced by then.

  121. Bizrow says:

    + 1

  122. Bizrow says:

    Ok, I’ll bite?

  123. Dom says:

    Why is this year important?

  124. Jim S. says:

    tdb:

    Put it on the DL, along with its originator.

  125. Jim S. says:

    Good for you, Karen! As long as the weather cooperates, I think it will be an electric atmosphere tonight.

  126. Jim S. says:

    Well said.

  127. Jim S. says:

    Cliff hanger.

  128. Reading says:

    Currently batting .500 (16 for 32).

  129. Brandie says:

    Getting better all of the time. Hope all is well with you.

  130. JohninOshkosh says:

    It was obviously a poor joke about the importance being placed on Cole’s debut. :)

  131. Reading says:

    I’d rather he debut against the Astros than the World Champs. But that’s just me- Mr. Vegas.

  132. Bizrow says:

    What happened in 1066? ;-)

  133. Brandie says:

    Maybe The Pirates earn respectability? Not sure…in any case, I would also like to argue that 1974 was important as well. Why? Because that is the year I was born.
    :-)

  134. Brandie says:

    Battle of Hasting.

  135. Brandie says:

    Should say Hastings.

  136. Naterosboro says:

    Interview with Neil Walker from the National Catholic Register. Got it from Rob Biertempfel on Twitter (@BiertempfelTrib)

    http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/pittsburgh-pirates-second-baseman-on-the-gift-of-life/

  137. Jim S. says:

    I hear you. But, I think he can contain the Giants fairly well. They just lost Big Panda. I think they are kind of beaten up, and can be had if he just pitches how he has been his last few starts. Plenty of free swingers on that Giants team.

  138. Ghost says:

    These are my more realistic expectations, too. Late last night I mentioned a mere “fanciful scenario” about taking off and becoming something exciting around here, but it must have been late for DK too, because he twice counseled me for seeing a “mania.” I get it, I get it. Got it from the beginning.
    But no, a “Strasburg debut” is not what we should be expecting from the kid. Besides, Strasburg went down to season ending surgery soon after. Definitely don’t want THAT repeated by Cole!

  139. Jim S. says:

    Dadtack,

    Why such the big Pittsburgh sports fan having never been to the Burgh? There has to be a good back story.

  140. NMR says:

    I’m trying to find any articles saying his start is not sustainable.

    Haven’t any of those idiot writers looked at his BABIP?

  141. Jim S. says:

    And it could get even younger and better the next couple of years later, NMR. The pipeline is filling.

  142. Arriba Wilver says:

    I knew you got it, Ghost. Knew from the first post.

    Trust me. ;-)

  143. Jim S. says:

    Nice answer. I was going to guess Magna Carta, but I think that was a little later.

    I thought the battle of Hastings was over the 4th WR position on the Steelers early in the Cowher era.

  144. Jim S. says:

    And, don’t get me wrong, Ghost. I’d be as thrilled as you if this kid took the city and MLB by storm. That would be so great for this town. As good as the Pirates used to always be, a fireballing #1 was usually not one of their weapons.

  145. Naterosboro says:

    Dude, No 1215?

    Magna Carta…bro.

  146. Arriba Wilver says:

    Even if he bombs, tonight is a big deal for Pittsburgh sports. I can tell already, though, that the attendance, short of a sellout, will be mocked.

  147. Bigchinook says:

    The savings on the cap should not be considered against Letang’s 3.5 next year; it’s the 6-7.5 he will command the year after. Spread that money over 2-3 roster players vs. one Letang.

    Shero would be smart doing prior to next season.

  148. NMR says:

    Now what would ever give you that impression…

  149. Jim S. says:

    Thanks, Nater. Great read. Regardless of one’s faith, Neil Walker, to me, seems to be a guy that tries to incorporate role model into his career as a MLB player. I’m sure his parents are more proud of the man he has become than of any stats he produces as a baseball player.

  150. Jandy says:

    TY Dad :)

  151. Arriba Wilver says:

    :-D

  152. Really? They just re-called him on Friday. The Jays don’t waste any time.

  153. Jandy says:

    I mean your feet, silly :P

  154. Jandy says:

    well said, and hey girl :)

  155. JohninOshkosh says:

    Are either one of you going ?

  156. Jandy says:

    ZING!!!

  157. Naterosboro says:

    Enablers.

  158. Jandy says:

    2013, the year the Buccos regained respectability :)

  159. Brandie says:

    Maybe when he is a star, I will learn to spell his first name, Gerrit.

  160. 21sthebest says:

    +1

    If my calculations are correct, there’s less than 5,000 tickets left.

  161. NMR says:

    I’m walking over after work to see Cole. Doubt I’ll make it much longer than that, though.

  162. Jandy says:

    BOOM!

  163. 21sthebest says:

    +1 was meant for Arriba.

    I’m going.

  164. Brandie says:

    Thinking the same things. You know what they say about great minds…

  165. cmat0829 says:

    Will be fun to see Cole, haven’t seen much of him other than the highlights they showed on the Bucs postgame the other day… but let’s calm down on the expectations… let him get through 5 innings and get his feet wet, anything more than that is a plus. He has the stuff to have a nice career in MLB, and this one start, win or lose, get shelled or dominate, won’t have much of an impact.

    I’ve seen posts today that go both ways ….some say that Cole is here to stay, some say it’s a spot start, and one even says that he can’t break into a rotation with AJ/Wandy/Locke/Liriano/Morton…. I don’t know if it’s a spot start or not, but let’s be clear… COLE will be in the rotation when he is ready to so, and it doesn’t matter who needs to be bumped from the rotation. The Bucs have a huge investment in the kid and he is a potential ACE of the staff and those guys don’t have to ‘wait their turn’. When he is ready, he pitches in Pittsburgh, end of story.

    I think Wandy will go on DL, even as a precaution, because it gives Cole the room to do more than spot start and it lets the Bucs get a look at Morton….

  166. DJ says:

    If it’s true the Canadiens are preparing to offer 4 yrs @ $4 mill/yr to Dupuis, then I cannot see him staying. While Shero would undoubtedly prefer 2 yrs and might go to 3 for the right overall $, he’s not going to be giving him a 4-yr contract under any circumstances.

    That said, still holding out hope Duper takes 3 yrs $10 mill or thereabouts. We’ll know very soon. He’s an emotional guy (which I love) so I don’t think his crying was tied to knowledge of him leaving, even if he ultimately leaves.

  167. Sarah says:

    Would love to see a Scuderi type, but only if there’s a new coach and a new more D-oriented system. We got a bruiser like Murray and Bylsma couldn’t use him, shortening the bench severely in G3.

    Man I hope they find a way to keep Duper.

    Is Meloche resigning a sign that Fleury’s staying, or leaving?

  168. Brandie says:

    Three cheers for perspective. I like it.

  169. The place holds more than 15,000, right?

    37,000 or whatever at PNC is two of CEC’s attendance or am I off on that, he says, mockingly.

    :P

  170. Dom says:

    Not me. It’s raining.

  171. Brandie says:

    Such a pot stirrer.

  172. JohninOshkosh says:

    I was just asking because I hear there are plenty of $10 tickets available

    I, for one, am excited. I still remember watching Lincecum’s debut on ESPN. Circle of life.

  173. DJ says:

    Yeah, just saw that. It was mind-boggling what HCDB said about Depres and Bennett at his press conference. The thought that, had they played full-time, they could have been difference-makers in two 1-goal games and one 2-goal game is very upsetting. I have this distinct feeling that we will all be looking back again and wondering the same thing come next fall.

  174. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m going. But only so I can razz all the locals who don’t go.

    Seriously, I want to be there.

  175. JRay3 says:

    Big night indeed, even if not in Pittsburgh. MLB thought it was a big night as the MLB Network has picked up the game to air this evening. So for baseball fans in general there seems to be some excitement around this debut.

  176. JRay3 says:

    So true.

  177. Brandie says:

    Ahh! The memories.

  178. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1.

  179. Jandy says:

    :thwap:

  180. Arriba Wilver says:

    cmat–”even as a precaution?” Are you suggesting there is a CL? ;-)

  181. JRay3 says:

    I would have to imagine if you are calling Cole up, unless he just absolutely looks over matched he would be here to stay. I can’t envision a scenario where you play head games with your future ace if he comes up and performs at this level.

    Was hoping for some good news with Wandy, as pitching appears to be the key to this team staying in the playoff race, but better to be cautious. Just hope Morton can be an adequate fill in, all about whether he can keep the ball down with his sinker or not.

  182. cmat0829 says:

    Oh, happy days that Johnny Mac was traded to the Indians…… I think the Bucs had made up their mind about a week or so ago, when Clint announced that Johnny Mac’s rehab had a ‘setback’… I think at that time they had no intention of calling him back (barring injury) and they started the trade winds… Good for the player to get a chance to go to Cleveland and play…

    I know it’s fun to pile on veteran players who don’t have much left in the tank but it’s a bit cruel… these guys have paid their dues, have stayed around the majors for several organizations and need to be treated with respect. That said, I’d have been stewed if the Bucs recalled JMac and sent Mercer down, but this outcome is best for all involved.

  183. Naterosboro says:

    Interview with Pirates pitching prospect Nick Kingham from Baseball Life 365. This may be old, but I just saw it today (got it from their twitter acct. @BaseballLife365; they tweeted it as a congrats on him moving up to Altoona)

    http://www.baseballlife365.com/#!nick-kingham/cdzb

  184. Jim S. says:

    Frustrating, isn’t it, that attendance always becomes a story for the Bucs? The key to MLB attendance is about pre-season sales, and fans here want more assurance of success going into a season. It is tough to move the needle on a moment’s notice in-season when fans adopt the wait-and-see approach. But, I think attendance is about to spike now and hopefully will continue the rest of the year.

    Just my opinion, but I think things are finally looking up for the Bucs in the years ahead. I know that’s no given, and others are free to disagree. But, I have a positive feeling about where this organization is headed. Attendance will follow, big-time, if that is the case.

  185. cmat0829 says:

    I’ve posted many times that there is indeed a CL, and all teams use it. But in this case, when a starting pitcher comes out of a game in the 1st inning, if he is put on the DL to give it time to make sure, it isn’t the best example of a “CL”.

    The Contreras situation was much more clear… pitcher gets shelled and then has lower back tightness….

  186. JohninOshkosh says:

    POTD

  187. Milo Hamilton says:

    I was just thinking, the government monitors this blog, don’t they.

  188. Jim S. says:

    Good for you, Arriba! Enjoy tonight. I’m not a local these days, but I’ll be rooting them on from Chicagoland via DirecTV MLB pkg – and I will gather my troops and head back to see several games later this summer! Go Bucs!

  189. Jim S. says:

    Can’t we all just …. ah, never mind! Ha ha!

  190. Arriba Wilver says:

    Not intentionally, apparently, according to Mr. Clapper.

  191. cmat0829 says:

    JRay… I don’t consider any of this ‘head games’ one way or the other. I know Cole was disappointed he didn’t start season in the rotation, and many feel that the only reason was the Super 2 stuff…but I think it is clear that Cole was still working on things he needs to have to be ‘ace material’ in the bigs… and I tend to agree with NH that better timing to call Cole up was likely after another couple of starts to solidify the progress he has been making recently….

    The major concern I have in terms of ‘head games’ is that Cole has that ‘edge’, that ace mentality… and I worry about his confidence if he were to struggle a bit in the bigs… I think Pedro came up too soon and that has impacted his performance….apples and oranges to be sure, but the bigger worry with Cole’s head is going to be the pressure he puts on himself and what happens if/when he faces adversity.

    But, yes, long story short, I agree, if I were GM he is here to stay… you find out what Morton has while Wandy mends…. and then go from there .

  192. Patrick(ri) says:

    Now that Cleveland has solidified their bench (no doubt striking fear into division rivals with this acquisition), the real fear should manifest in Steeler fan hearts now that the team up here has Tebow on the bench!

  193. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’m guessing that goes to the lowest intern at NSA. Same guy who has to read all the Yelp reviews.

  194. cmat0829 says:

    Not to get on this topic, but lots more than the government monitor this and other blogs… and your credit card info, etc…. it’s called ‘marketing’ when private enterprises do it, ‘spying’ when the government does it. Anyone who thinks they have privacy when they put their lives on facebook needs some sort of an exam. but back to the John McDonald trade, happier topics.

  195. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think the overflow crowd is going to be watching it on the big screen at Highmark Stadium.

  196. First, I think LA’s Drew Doughty is a good comparable to Letang in terms of contract, and the Kings awarded Doughty $7M. So, if we use that as a guestimate…

    I think the Penguins are closer than you realize to being able to sign Letang. The cap is expected to increase about $6M this offseason to $70M, giving the Penguins about $14M of uncommitted cap space. Figuring Malkin gets $8.7M, that leaves a bit over $5M left.

    From there, the Penguins have a number of options. Looking at underperformers or players who just didn’t play a prominent role, I’d say Jussi Jokinen, Tanner Glass, and Matt Niskanen could be moved for draft picks. That alone frees up another $5M, giving the Pens enough room to comfortably sign Letang an extension and give Pascal Dupuis $3M per year.

    Of course, after that the decisions get more difficult. The Pens do have a “nuclear” option to buyout Fleury at $7.6M and erase his $5M from the cap.

    There are decisions the Penguins can make to provide them a bit more cap space, none of which would be very

  197. Bizrow says:

    + 1

  198. Jandy says:

    Oh! And he’s TALL!

  199. cmat0829 says:

    The Pirates really don’t have any history of things moving the needle a ton on weeknight home games, and I’d think Cole’s debut will be more of the same. I think if the attendance climbs from 22k to say 27 or 28k, that would be a huge Cole effect… sellout is out of the question… I think in past years, they have had something like 8k in walkup sales but that has been on weekends in summer with premium opponents, but I could be wrong on this…. just seems to be my recollection.

  200. DJ says:

    . . . make that one 3-goal game.

  201. Brandie says:

    Hahahahahaha! I like Abe Vigoda’s dry wit.

  202. cmat0829 says:

    My two cents…for every strikeout, the scoreboard would flash “Cole’d”… with the law and order sound effect or something like that….

  203. Jim S. says:

    I would just say, cmat, that if he is truly going to reach his potential as a #1, he has to be able to fight through a little adversity. If I were a guy with a 99 MPH heater, and an 87-90 MPH change that has been compared to Verlander, as well as some wicked breaking stuff, I would like to think I would be able to figure it out. Talent isn’t everything, for sure. But, I would think his obvious physical tools should make him more confident than most.

  204. “…put salary concerns first, talent concerns second…”

    With that kind of thinking, Scott, you have a bright future ahead as GM of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Rebuilding the roster? I’m sorry, Scott, but this is a team that went to the Eastern Conference Finals not a team that failed to make the playoffs. With this level of talent comes high expectations, which is why the Penguins have been in the short list to contend for the Cup every season since winning it in 2009. I am not ready to accept blowing up the roster and rebuilding, which is exactly what will happen if the Penguins choose to trade away such a valuable piece of the core in Kris Letang.

  205. Brandie says:

    We shall see, said the blind man.

  206. Jim S. says:

    The Genius of NFL coaches will figure out how to finally crack the Tebow code where no one else could. Or, at least that will be the story line for the next 3 months from ESPN – once they stop talking NBA, that is.

  207. Jim S. says:

    Are we sure Cleveland isn’t going to come back and say we sent the wrong McD/MacD? To be doubly sure, I say send them both.

  208. Reading says:

    Maybe spell Cole with a “K” as in Koled.

  209. Jandy says:

    Indeed, Brandie. it’s just fun seeing what the predictions are.

  210. Reading says:

    He dipped to .484 (15 for 31) briefly before getting another hit. He’ll probably hit a couple off of the Clemente Wall this weekend.

  211. Brandie says:

    Interesting prediction.

  212. Brandie says:

    Vewy, vewy, tall.

  213. NMR says:

    Agreed on your first paragraoh.

    IMO, “head games” would be telling the guy all spring that he was in the minors until his command improved only to promote AND keep him in the majors because another pitcher was injured.

    I think he should absolutely be making the start tonight. I also have no problem leaving him in the bigs to work on command.

    But sending him back down would be completely consistant with what the team has been saying all along.

  214. Brandie says:

    Biting wit from the Jimster! :-)

  215. T.S. says:

    Who’s Puig? Only the 1# prospect in the Dodgers organization. He’s a beast. Kid’s the real deal.

    DK: And he’s that well known that a mere mention of Los Angeles’ top prospect is supposed to elicit a response?

  216. Jim S. says:

    The L&W sound effect is a great one.

  217. Jim S. says:

    Sorry, meant L&O.

  218. Arriba Wilver says:

    And a 22 year old Cuban defector with a $42 mil 7 year contract.

  219. NMR says:

    It certainly doesn’t sound like the dude lacks confidence.

    If anything, it seems he “struggles” with his temper. See Sawchick’s feature on the Pirates page.

    Personally, I love that about him. I love that kind of personality on the mound. Sure, it can get the best of him, but I’ll take ten AJ Burnett’s before one Jeff Locke.

  220. Brandie says:

    Notice how no one defects TO Cuba?

  221. Jim S. says:

    +2.

  222. Jandy says:

    :thwap:

    ;)

  223. Jandy says:

    Great read, Naterosboro.,..thanks :)

  224. Jandy says:

    +many

  225. pattonbb says:

    Gerrit Cole has that swagger the real top of the rotation guys need to go along with the electric stuff. I can’t wait to see him take the mound tonight.

    He’s not going to pitch a shut-out and fan 12 tonight. I think he’ll look good, and I think a lot of people will see why they should be excited about this guy.

    Gerrit Cole’s going to win a lot of games wearing this uniform. Don’t be surprised if it starts tonight.

  226. radio wave says:

    I stand corrected. But if both teams tie for the second wild card spot, does that mean a one game playoff?

  227. Kevin says:

    I hope the bruins win 4 straight. And its crappy hockey thats not even worth watching… all four games 0-1 4+OTs. I have my reasons.

  228. Brandie says:

    I predict success, as long as he can channel his temper into passion.

  229. Jim S. says:

    I think it is up to Cole. If he is ready (and I think he is), he will prove it on the mound and earn more starts. If he does not show he is ready, he goes back down. This is a pennant race, and they need to have the best 5. But, even if he doesn’t stick right away, it will be a case of him going down for a few starts, getting his head (and command) right, and then coming right back up to prove it for the 2nd time. He’s the real deal, and he’s a bulldog.

  230. radio wave says:

    Lst Pirates starter to win his MLB debut was in 2005. Nine pitchers since then have lost their debut for the Bucs. Do you know who that winner was in 05?

  231. Jim S. says:

    If they think they can learn anything from these conversations, Milo, we truly are in a sad state in this country. But, I don’t like these recent developments either.

  232. cmat0829 says:

    was it the just-released Zach Duke?

  233. JaxBuc says:

    Thank you Dom. I barely have time top read the bog comments and would not have read the stories linked above.

  234. DJ says:

    I think Scott was suggesting rebuilding the roster in the sense of making hard decisions given salary, what’s in Wilkes-Barre, etc., not gutting the roster.

    You happen believe that starts with keeping Letang and others believe that means moving Letang. No one is disputing Letang is talented. I also don’t think you’d dispute he has certainly had his shortcomings — glaring ones exposed in the Boston series. In the end, the issue is fielding the best overall team — now and for the future — given all of the competing considerations.

    Personally, I believed earlier this year there could be a way to keep all of the “core players” including Letang. I don’t see that happening now. Will our defense suffer some initially if Letang is not there? Maybe. But I also think that we will be much better off as a team by the playoffs of 2014.

  235. radio wave says:

    Nice try, not correct.

  236. cmat0829 says:

    ok, then ‘give paul the ball” maholm

  237. Jandy says:

    dang…didn’t see your post…but yes,..GMTA!

  238. radio wave says:

    That is correct.

  239. Milo Hamilton says:

    Could it be the rapidly expanding Paul Maholm ?

  240. radio wave says:

    Yes sir, correct.

  241. JaxBuc says:

    Excellent. Just sent this link to my 14-year-old son to read. Thanks.

  242. JaxBuc says:

    Oh, and two or three Tiger Woods features per week (or day).

  243. NMR says:

    Rest easy, PITT fans. Steve Pederson isn’t going anywhere.

  244. JohninOshkosh says:

    The best second game as a Pirate pitcher has to go to Jeff Karstens, right?

  245. JohninOshkosh says:

    Somebody has to say it:

    Figures the Pirates would start Cole the same day PITT announces Pederson’s contract extension.

  246. Milo Hamilton says:

    Rutgers must have called.

  247. Naterosboro says:

    Downward planes.

  248. Milo Hamilton says:

    Best second game ever – Wilson Alvarez pitched a no hitter.

  249. hockeymonster says:

    So how much are those 2-3 roster players gonna make? More than 3.5? Rather have letang for that number and fill in from within. People need to remember that replacing letang is MUCH harder than any of the fill in roster spots your referring to…point is trading letang when we can have his services for 3.5 is absurd IMO. You sign him to an extension then after next season you see what the cap situation is. Trading him when his cap number is 6-8M and getting 2-3 players back makes sense. Trading him now would be a mistake on the level of Mats Naslund for stojanovic or however you spell his name…

  250. JohninOshkosh says:

    I wonder what would happen if Cole was perfect through say 6 or 7 innings ?

  251. hockeymonster says:

    Ya for a young coach he has an old geezer mentality regarding veterans…

  252. hockeymonster says:

    DJ you remember mats naslund? Trading letang could be an even bigger mistake…

  253. Ouch. Felt that one.

  254. hockeymonster says:

    Where you read that the cap is going up to 70M? 10% jump after a shortened season sounds too good to be true…

  255. JohninOshkosh says:

    Does anyone know if the Pirates have an official historian ? Or even an unofficial one ?

    And does that person have a website ?

  256. Jim S. says:

    I will preface my remarks by saying my prediction was the Pens would beat Boston in 5 or, at most, 6. So, you have that as my lead-in.

    I think the Hawks will handle Boston fairly easily. But, if Tebow suits up …

  257. Naterosboro says:

    Elias.

  258. Karen22 says:

    Thanks so much for this, Nate! I am wearing my Walker jersey to the game tonight!

  259. Jim S. says:

    +1

  260. cmat0829 says:

    if he’s perfect, then his pitch count would likely be manageable, so if your question is he left in the game, the answer would most likely be yes.

    If he had like Locke, a no hitter but lots of walks, they won’t hesitate to pull him.

  261. Jim S. says:

    I was all ready to guess Jimmy Anderson.

  262. Jim S. says:

    Yes, for the Pale Hose.

  263. Jandy says:

    Goalie of the year!

  264. Jandy says:

    as long as it’s not dirt balls ;)

  265. Jandy says:

    :-*

    all better??

  266. Jandy says:

    Well, hubby bought me two new Buccos tee shirts. One is a “Raise the Jolly Roger” shirt…the other is a nice gold one…with the likeness of Cutch on it…and it says
    Andrew 22 McCutchen on it. I like them both…I gotta wear the jolly roger one tonight for good luck for Cole.

  267. Jack Laurence says:

    That’s because they only pay in pesos and cigars.

  268. Jim S. says:

    +1.

  269. Jim S. says:

    RELENTLESS_ FORECHECK is an awesome handle! That is all.

  270. Milo Hamilton says:

    Sosa ?

  271. Jim S. says:

    Perish the thought.

    Then, again, if Locke is pitching he’ll be stranded anyway.

  272. cmat0829 says:

    Jimmy pitched well before then I think… back to 2000 or so…. not clear but i think so

  273. Milo Hamilton says:

    It wouldn’t matter because nobody would be there to see it.

  274. Dom says:

    Today is Vince Lombardi’s 100th Birthday.

  275. Jim S. says:

    That sounds good, Arriba. But, where will the inevitable overflow from Highmark watch the game?

  276. Jim S. says:

    Good idea! So good, in fact, I just stole it and did the same for my wife and kids.

  277. Jim S. says:

    If no one is there to see it, will it make a sound?

  278. Jim S. says:

    Too bad he didn’t live to see it.

  279. Jim S. says:

    Brandie:

    I think they shoot at you, coming or going.

  280. The problem, DJ, is that between the defensive prospects the Pens have in WBS and what’s currently on the roster, there is no one who can replace what Letang brings to the table. Despres shows the most promise, but he still requires at least a year or two of seasoning before we can even evaluate that comparison. Paul Martin has proven he can be a capable top-four defenseman, but he doesn’t possess the same skillset as Letang nor has he put two consecutive seasons of solid performance together as a Penguin. After those two, the next in line is Brooks Orpik, who is legitimately a 4/5 defenseman at this stage of his career.

    You’re right, I will not dispute that Letang had his shortcomings and was exposed against Boston. Although he was certainly not alone in his sub-par performance, I put more of the blame on the coach for allowing and encouraging such high-risk and/or low-percentage plays in an effort to generate offense. I am convinced all Letang (and, frankly, the rest of the team) needs is a bit more disciplined and structured approach to get the best out of him.

    I am passionate about this because I do think it would be a huge mistake if the Penguins do not do everything they can to retain Letang. The Penguins really do not have anyone who can replace what he brings to the table, nor do they have enough NHL-proven depth at defense to even make up for the minutes he plays on a nightly basis. Offense, on the other hand, the Penguins have in spades. Is it any wonder that the Detroit Red Wings were able to build such a dynasty with Nik Lidstrom and even average goaltending? Or that both teams in the Stanley Cup Finals have a defenseman with a Norris Trophy on his resume?

  281. Jim S. says:

    I seem to have a mental block with it also.

  282. Dom says:

    It’s also Joe Montana’s birthday and Dr. Oz’s birthday.

  283. Jim S. says:

    Yes, you’re right cmat.

  284. cmat0829 says:

    let’s guess the Pirates lineup today vs. Linecum…here’s what I THINK it should be…and what it will be.

    My Lineup

    1. Presley RF
    2. Marte LF
    3. Walker 2B
    4. Cutch CF
    5. Jones 1B
    6. Martin C
    7. Alvarez 3B
    8. Mercer SS
    9. Cole P

    What i THINK it will be:

    1. Marte LF
    2. Walker 2B
    3. Cutch CF
    4. Jones RF
    5. Sanchez 1B
    6. Martin C
    7. Alvarez 3B
    8. Mercer SS
    9. Cole P

  285. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  286. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’m told tonight’s game will either sell out or be just shy. Already over 30,000 sold.

  287. Arriba Wilver says:

    Kyle Stark.

  288. Arriba Wilver says:

    The Pens fans have to go somewhere, right? ;-)

  289. Jandy says:

    I wish I COULD be there. Working till 4 or 5…2+ hours to DaBurgh…but I CAN watch it on television :) :)

  290. Jandy says:

    Joe Cool was my favorite QB ever…

  291. cmat0829 says:

    thats cool, who told you that? :)

  292. Milo Hamilton says:

    I can’t go either but if the powers that be see fit to leave him in the big leagues, I’ll see him on Sunday.

  293. Milo Hamilton says:

    Let’s just say it’s accurate.

  294. Jandy says:

    Let’s hope that happens :)

  295. Bizrow says:

    Milo has connections in many places….

  296. Milo Hamilton says:

    And no I don’t work there ! :)

  297. JRay3 says:

    If the powers that be see fit to leave him up with the big club I will be fortunate enough to see him pitch next Friday in Anaheim against the Angles…fingers crossed.

    Great news on the crowd numbers Milo, nice to see the response the team and this kid is getting.

  298. Bizrow says:

    Non sports related, but another thing for the burgh to be proud of.

    http://healthyliving.msn.com/pregnancy-parenting/kids-health/best-childrens-hospitals-2013-14-honor-roll

    We spent several months back in the 80′s there due to my son being injured, and its good to see the place has not changed.

  299. Dom says:

    Wow. I now feel a little guilty by not going.

  300. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    -Excited for Cole’s start tonight.

    That’s about all I have. I do believe that the advantage goes to him.

  301. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    That’s a good thing! People should be excited about this guy and what the future holds for the Pirates.

  302. Jandy says:

    In the top 10…awesome :)

  303. Milo Hamilton says:

    We just left a matching pair of tonsils & adenoids there yesterday.

  304. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I think that depends on Wandy

  305. DJ says:

    Markus. . . but I don’t see the situations as comparable. We have a cap to contend with now and the focus is doing what is the best overall interests of the team given the allotted funds. That means some things on the wish list are not always attainable.

  306. Jim S. says:

    Caught me good.

  307. Jim S. says:

    I think Gabby should sit vs. RHP and wait for an opportunity to do damage in the late innings as a PH vs. LHP. I definitely agree with you that he should sit.

  308. Jandy says:

    Jello, ice cream and soup :)

  309. Jim S. says:

    +++

  310. Jim S. says:

    I’m sure there’s still a negative attendance story line to be found there somewhere, Milo. I’m told people are working on it as we speak.

  311. Arriba Wilver says:

    Disagree. I think Cole’s progression will be based on Cole. At least that’s what I think should happen. We’re not talking McPherson here. And I also think you are forgetting about Gomez’s spot.

  312. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Marte
    Snider
    Cutch
    Jones
    Walker
    Martin
    Pedro
    Mercer
    Cole

  313. DJ says:

    I’m resigned to the fact that Letang is not going to be “replaced” this year, at least not his talents on 5-on-5 offense. On the PP, I think there will be addition by his subtraction. And so, if we will have offense “in spades,” as you say and which I happen to agree with, then I’m placing a premium on improving our defense, not improving our team’s offensive capabilities through those who play defense.

  314. Jim S. says:

    I remember as a 7 yr old being told how I was going to love having my tonsils out because I would get all the ice cream I wanted. The last thing I wanted after that was ice cream. Kids are such suckers!

  315. As a representative of the government of the state of KY, yes the government does monitor this blog.

    :)

    Would you like to apply for Food Stamps or Medicaid?

  316. Milo Hamilton says:

    … and freeze pops.

  317. NMR says:

    Sure there was a PAID attendence of 35,000, but no way more than 31,000 were actually there.

  318. NMR says:

    How bout a scouting report on Big Time Timmy Jim. Pitching better as of late, no?

  319. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    But what will the ratings be?
    Especially in the coveted 18-49 male demo.

  320. DJ says:

    I was thinking the same thing. Not to diminish the value of grinders — every team needs its fair complement — but HCDB’s undying allegiance to them at the expense of a little faith shown in new guys (those with much greater upsides, to boot) has been confounding, to say the least.

  321. Milo Hamilton says:

    The same guy responsible for tallying attendance for Pitt football games did tonight’s count.

  322. Jim S. says:

    I’m with you on Cole, Arriba. His performance will determine how long he stays. I think the Gomez slot is available. Even as well as he pitched, if Clint never trusted him for more than 75 pitches due to his history, then he was destined to be pushed to long relief at some point.

  323. Jim S. says:

    SRO it is!

  324. 21sthebest says:

    There’s going to be 25,000 Giants fans in attenance.

  325. Jim S. says:

    I don’t feel particularly coveted, although I’m in that demo. I’ll be tuned in.

  326. cmat0829 says:

    Agree, Cole gets a spot regardless, when he is ready..and that may be right now. Probably is.

    Rotation is Cole/AJ/Wandy/Liriano/Locke…leaves Morton out in the cold… they do need the depth that Morton and Gomez offer, so do either of them have options?

    I don’t see a rotation veteran acquisition unless Wandy’s injury is more serious…they have the vets (AJ/Wandy/Liriano) to go with the youngsters Locke/Cole.

  327. hockeymonster says:

    Oh ya thanks for correction…

  328. pattonbb says:

    Barmes will be in there. Guaranteed.

  329. cmat0829 says:

    pretty close…actual lineup :

    Marte
    Snider
    Cutch
    Jones
    Martin
    Alvarez
    Walker
    Barmes
    Cole

  330. JAL says:

    What it is

    LF Marte,
    RF Snider,
    CF McCutchen,
    1B Jones,
    C Martin,
    3B Alvarez,
    2B Walker,
    SS Barmes,
    RHP Cole

  331. JRay3 says:

    Wandy to 15 day DL. Pencil Morton in for Thursday.

    Lineup – Marte, Snider, Cutch, Jones, Martin, Alvarez, Walker, Barmes, Cole.

  332. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    He’s so hit or miss. This whole rotation is. No idea which Timmy will show up. We definetly want a chance at Zito though. Worst pitcher on the road.

  333. JAL says:

    Wandy to 15 day DL, Cole added to 25

  334. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    They do travel well.

  335. Jim S. says:

    +1.

  336. Jim S. says:

    Zito is bad on the road, Nor Cal. But, PNC plays pretty well for lefty pitchers.

  337. Jim S. says:

    Maybe they told Cole he will get at least a few starts because they want to make absolutely sure Wandy is 100% before he comes back. That would let him know that he doesn’t have to pitch lights out tonight to stick awhile.

  338. Jim S. says:

    His hair is shorter.

  339. Jandy says:

    My daughter craved freeze pops!

  340. Jandy says:

    You guys are ALL coveted on this blog :)
    Well, MOSTLY all you guys…trolls not included ;)

  341. Jandy says:

    Will you hand deliver it?

  342. You can do it all by phone, now. We’re all modern-’nat.

  343. Jim S. says:

    But, what about Wednesday?

  344. Jim S. says:

    I don’t spot the trolls well, but thanks!

  345. Arriba Wilver says:

    Just talked to a buddy who traded in some unused season tickets for the game tonight. They said he wouldn’t be counted in the attendance since he was counted in the game he missed. He also was told they may end up selling SRO tickets the way things are going.

  346. Ghost says:

    +1 for the post
    and
    +1 for the PBC’s positive direction

  347. Arriba Wilver says:

    Just to clarify, I AM a Pens fan, but I’m a Pirates fan first.

  348. NMR says:

    I think Morton will take the long man spot in the pen while Gomez and James McDonald (yeah, he still plays baseball) will be DFA’d.

  349. MadTurk says:

    I think they are now predicting a sellout

  350. MadTurk says:

    So long as they meet the bat all will be well.

  351. Sarah says:

    Did anyone see this?
    http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/ron-cook/ron-cook-first-move-give-bylsma-an-extension-691081/

    Honestly I feel like I have to avoid Ron Cook’s columns lately, it just makes me feel like reading them lowers my IQ.

    Unless The Onion hacked the PG and posted that … ?

  352. MadTurk says:

    The only reason he Pens lost and I mean the only reason is that DK predicted them wining in 6.

  353. MadTurk says:

    Funny I am NOT a CooK fan but he did have some quotes from the players that make perfect sense. You can blame DB some for what ever reason you like but when it comes down to it none of the best players on the team scored in 4 games. That is on them.They had the chances to do it.
    You can lead the horse to water but you can’t make him drink it.

  354. Very wise, Angry Turkey!

    I agree 100 % with you!

  355. MadTurk says:

    Thanks I was wondering if I needed to go back to my deadhorse Gravatar or not. :-)

  356. Sarah says:

    Well, cannot agree.
    They had 5 rebound attempts in 4 games. They never broke the box, or got screens or deflections or crashed the crease.
    They could not be bothered to roll up their sleeves and score ugly goals, which has been their hallmark last few years. Perimeter play. Remember MTL and their box? And how everybody said Halak played out of his mind?

    Bylsma either neglected to tell them to change up and crash the crease, or they didn’t listen.

    Either way, that’s on the coaching staff.

  357. MadTurk says:

    So now it’s the coaches fault that the opposing goalie did not give up enough rebounds and the few he did the players did not score on. Now I heard it all.

 
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