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Morning Java: Now it’s Pittsburgh’s turn

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Friday column looks at the Pirates’ place in the standings and their place in the attendance figures and doesn’t find much correlation.

A couple resources that went into the piece — apart from the team itself — are available online in ESPN’s attendance database and The Sports Network’s daily breakdown.

Look forward to your feedback, as always.

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Gerrit Cole takes the mound tonight against Brewers. For what I think about management’s recent handling of Cole and much, much more on Pittsburgh sports, here’s yesterday’s chat transcript.

The Pirates’ situational hitting must improve, writes Travis Sawchik.

The other first-round draft pick, outfielder Austin Meadows, agreed to terms.

Here’s a video interview of pitching prospect Nick Kingham, by Karen Price in Altoona …

>> Chris Kunitz signs a three-year extension, but the Penguins still have tons of unanswered questions heading into a pivotal few days for the franchise. Not least of which is how much is too much for Kris Letang. Rob Rossi never sleeps.

>> Dan Bylsma will coach Team USA at the Sochi Olympics. What’s the Russian for ‘stretch pass?’

>> Gibsonia’s own Stanley Cup champion, Brandon Saad, celebrates. By Josh Yohe.

>> The NHL Draft is Sunday, of course, and here’s the official page loaded with stuff. It starts at 3 p.m., but don’t rush to the set unless you’re a diehard. The Penguins don’t have a pick until the third round, thanks to the Jarome Iginla and Douglas Murray trades.

>> Speaking of drafts, Pitt’s Steven Adams goes 12th overall to the NBA’s Oklahoma City team. Kevin Gorman reports. Best of luck to this very interesting young man.

>> I’ll visit with TribLIVE Radio today at 11:30 a.m., then spend most of the weekend at the ballpark working on baseball columns, then appear on WPXI-TV’s The Final Word Sunday at 11:35 p.m.

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. Reading says:

    Thought your response to the Cole question was spot on- leave the guy up here. He’s an important part of the rotation now. Hand him the ball and calibrate the radar gun.

  2. Patrick(ri) says:

    Amen! And the right player makes the demand.

  3. HappyG says:

    DK, great article and I couldn’t agree more. I live in Huntington Beach, CA. I’ve done my part. I’ve seen my buccos in spring training, at Dodger stadium and last weekend for ALL three games at Anaheim. In addition, I’ll see them in San Diego in August. If the Steelers came of a road winning streak like this Heinz field would be rocking! It’s time for Pittsburgh to sell out all three games this weekend.

  4. HappyG says:

    BTW, I saw Cole pitch last Friday and he’s worth every penny. He made some pretty good hitters look silly.

  5. Reading says:

    With respect to attendance, living 1100 miles away, I’m relegated to the MLB Extra Innings Package. Unfortunately, both times I’m in Pittsburgh this year (April and August) the Pirates were/are on the road. Next year, I hope the schedules will match up.

  6. aglebagel says:

    DK, your stated lack of interest in the NBA has reached epic levels; you can’t even dignify “The NBA’s Oklahoma City team” with their name, the Thunder??? I’m cracking up.

    Seriously though, in response to your inquiry during the chat about how we feel about having a one-and-done player from Pitt, the reality is that even within the world of “one-and-done’s,” there are different types. Unfortunately for Pitt, we had the type whose talent was so raw that he couldn’t immediately contribute, yet whose potential is so great that NBA teams are willing to take him from us and make him a project.

    Certainly he finds himself in a nice situation in OKC, where he can sit back for awhile and learn from some of the best and not be expected to contribute early (like typical Steelers rookies in years past). Of course, DeJuan Blair might have something to say about how nice it is to be on an elite team. You had better be good, or else you’re gonna be sitting on the bench a lot.

    DK: Great point on Blair. There are no doubt any number of teams that would have him starting, and there’s a ton more money to be had that way even if it’s a bad team.

    And you’re wrong about the Thunder. Las Vegas is the Thunder.

  7. aglebagel says:

    I know how you feel. I just moved away from NYC, where I could see the Bucs for a couple of games every year against the Mets and pretty easily make it over to PNC for another couple games of my choosing. Now, in Utah, the closest team, the Rockies, is an 8-hour drive. Yuck.

  8. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I know people in Pittsburgh that won’t even acknowledge the Pirates because of the Nutting Regime.
    Though I can’t take matters to that point, I will say that I can understand their thinking.

    It has “not” been a fan friendly ownership/front office in any way, shape or form since the name Nutting became attached to ownership in latter ’96.

    Being a Pirate fan since birth….I can’t see the Pirates on the field without rooting for them.
    But….The Nutting Regime does stick in one’s craw like a bad lunch that ends up where it shouldn’t.

  9. Vette60 says:

    Hi All.

    Up late tonight and have enjoyed the columns on the Buccos…

    Really looking forward to the weekend series…bummer, but this year won’t be able to catch the Bucs when I am in Pittsburgh in July – both weekends road series for the Bucs. Too much family fun stuff on the 4th to sneak over there as well. Such is life…

    Really interesting to compare all the “stats” versus their record. Things may come back to the middle a bit, but having the big cushion for a wild card sport isn’t a bad thing and the more games they can put between themselves and the Reds is great too.

    Read the article about Letang rejecting the Pens offer – wow. Don’t know if I would go up any higher in $$. Tough spot to be in for Shero for sure. The draft this year is pretty sparse for the Pens given all their pick trading at the deadline. Will be interesting to see what shakes loose – really hope they can get Duper under contract, was a bit surprised at Kunitz being signed.

    Interesting to see Adams go at 12 to OKC, but even happier to see my alma mater Lehigh’s CJ McCollum go at 10! to the Trail Blazers. Tough senior year for him as he was leading the nation in scoring but then broke his foot here in Richmond in January while playing against VCU. Was at the game and seeing him come out on crutches at half time was a tough one. Great for him and he came back this year and finished up his degree to boot.

    Anyway – will check in tomorrow!

    Thanks all and have a good night.

    Randy in RVA.

  10. chethejet says:

    I think they will draw weather permitting for July and August. September you have some football games that may impact attendance. But all in all, the Pirates have to get to 25K per to draw 2 million. Now as you know ticket sales especially next year will depend on how they finish. Wildcard will sell much better for 2014. That is where the jump happens. I also expect price increase per in 2014. So with the added 25 million from TV and maybe 250 K more fannies, with Wanny not using his option for 7.5 net 2 million to Pirates and AJ portion gone with Barmas, that is money used elsewhere. I look for a 70 million payroll and adding a decent contract like Martin this year.

  11. Ghost says:

    You’re both wrong — Las Vegas’ NBA team is the Heat (we hit 112 degrees today. Will be in the *high* teens through Monday).

    Anyway, this season strikes me as one in which fans are waiting before they test the waters, attendance-wise. Though I am yet another far-flung fan, I, myself, have advocated boycotting the product over the last few years. However, I am seriously considering making that trip to San Diego in August. But this would be the first time in four seasons I would be doing so. Finally cautiously optimistic, but leeriness does linger. Can understand why there is probably a lag-time between on-field performance and local fan response.

  12. MGR says:

    Great article, i live 5 hours away and will be making a special trip for Friday nights game. Expecting a great atmosphere.

    I bought the tickets on Monday through the team site and ended up with much worse seats than I expected, could not find two seats together in the entire lower level and ended up upper level well down the left field line. Surprising to read there are thousands of seats available below face value online, I would have expected a sellers market.

  13. BarryVanBonilla says:

    This attendance issue is an old one, and there is no satisfactory answer. Three Rivers was largely empty the night Clemente got his 3,000th hit. The 1974 division title came down to the last night of the season, and Three Rivers was three-quarters empty. The network telecasts of games six and seven of the 1991 NLCS began with the camera panning the array of empty outfield seats. It was a problem at Forbes Field, a problem at Three Rivers and a problem at PNC. I have no explanation for it, but it is and has been since I began following this ballclub as a child in 1965. None of the excuses I’ve heard for nearly 50 years resonates.

  14. aglebagel says:

    A-ha! Now I understand the reluctance.

  15. Eric Bowser says:

    Hello everyone…. back from vacation and what do we have here, a little sensitivity?

    If Kris Letang is truly hurt because of what was written in article by Rob Rossi, it is no wonder he’s a mental mess in the playoffs. This whole thing just confirms my belief the Penguins shouldn’t offer a penny over $7 million to Letang.

    They have plenty of talent coming with Dumoulin, Harrington, Maatta, and Pouliot that they can turn them into top six defensemen or assets for other needs at forward.

    I think the Penguins should be able to acquire a number one pick, a top four defenseman, and forward prospect for Letang. The question is just which team has the desire and assets to offer quality.

    Rossi reported Vancouver and Anaheim interest the Penguins and somehow, Toronto is on Letang’s radar, no idea to what degree.

    For just the simple headcase games, I couldn’t imagine how Letang and his fragile state of mind could handle John Tortorella. The Canucks just don’t make sense, they are up against the cap with no room, so they have to shed salary on defense to give them some room to fill out their forward depth. I can’t get these two teams as a match.

    I do think the Ducks have the assets (pick, defenseman Cam Fowler and forward Emerson Etem) to get Letang but why. They need the money to keep Bobby Ryan and have a good set of defensemen already on the team that I don’t see an urgent need on their part to grab Letang.

    Then there’s Toronto with a number one pick at 19th overall but are they willing to trade defenseman Jake Gardiner with Dion Phaneuf heading to free agency after next season and many of their forwards up for new deals and Phil Kessel also a free agent after next season.

    If I was a betting man, Edmonton under new General Manager Craig MacTavish will want to improve his blue line and make a splash in his new role for the Oilers. They have an enticing draft pick with the 7th overall selection, potentially including defenseman Ladislav Smid but the key will be the forward he’s willing to include in an offer for Letang.

    It is unlikely Shero is going to get one of their best forwards like Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov, Taylor Hall, or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins even in a one for one deal, so scratch those four from any package deal. This would leave center Sam Gagner or disappointing winger Magnus Paajarvi.

    I’ve pretty sure a 7th overall pick, Smid, and Paajarvi could interest the Penguins if someone like Valeri Nichushkin falls to seven.

    All I know for sure is that by Sunday, this mess should have played itself out and we’ll be watching Letang in Pittsburgh for the next eight years or second consecutive NHL draft featured a major trade by Shero.

    Put your money on a trade.

  16. Ghost says:

    I think everyone else is asleep, but I’ll welcome you back!

  17. War Horse says:

    It is truly a good feeling to see the Pirates in first place. It’s also good to know they have the best record in baseball. They’ve earned it, though often by narrow margins. (The Bucs are 12-10 in one-run results; 17-5 in two-run games. Not bad, eh?)

    But, let’s not let our positive emotions get us ahead of ourselves. We would be wise to assume that this is not necessarily the way it’s going to be for the rest of the season. After all, we were in first place at various times last year, and the year before, and some of us felt the team could go all the way to the playoffs. Remember that optimism, that hope?

    The team is in 1st place because the Bucs’ bats came alive in a serious way on the last road trip, especially in Anaheim and Seattle. They scored a total of 45 runs in eight games, an average of 5.6 runs per game, well ahead of their season’s average of 3.73 before the trip. So, they took the series from Cincy and swept the Angels and Mariners. Without those seven wins, the Pirates would be 41-29 and three games behind St. Louis. None of those teams the Bucs beat were pushovers, but they were not the Braves, Cardinals or Diamondbacks.

    In all team sports, overconfidence is a malignancy that can set in when a team is on a hot streak. Also known as “getting big heads.” This has been reflected in the past two days by some of the Tweets by some of the Pittsburgh players. More often, and in more extreme words, by some of the fans.

    Better the modest attitude of Dad in The Incredibles: “We’ll get there when we get there.”

  18. Jay says:

    Cards, Reds, Brewers – no hockey team with deep playoff run to distract fans for first 2.5 months of season. Based on my calcs, the Pirates have played 9 home games since the Pens season ended. In those games, they have their five highest attendance figures (other than opening day) and have eclipsed the 30k mark six times. Will be interesting to see how the rest of the season shakes out.

  19. Drew71 says:

    I have visceral desire to root against that Thunder, too.

    Don’t know why.

  20. kr70 says:

    You know the Bucs are doing good when off days suck.

  21. JoeyBats says:

    CONGRATS to Pitt’s Steven Adams on his high selection in the NBA draft. Would have enjoyed watching you perform at Pitt for several more years….but, understand that when you have family obligations (17 siblings…..wow!) and the lure of a # 1 round selection in the draft….you do what is best for you, your family and the long term.
    .
    Enjoy next season in the developmental league….and we hope to see you in the NBA as a more polished player…real soon. Great kid…all the best to you.

  22. John Lease says:

    I’ve kept my streak alive, have made at least one home game every year since 1974.

    And considering I moved to Washington in 1985, that’s saying something.

    I don’t want the park filled with morons, which it always is when I go. Go eat your food and drink and talk on your cellphones somewhere else, I’m there to watch the Pirates.

  23. Drew71 says:

    That’s a pretty high standard.

    No hot dogs?

    Not sure i know of a business model that would support that.

    I kinda figure if the Pirates sell the stuff, and hundreds of other major league, minor league, college and high school parks sell it as well, it must not be a mortal sin to skip dinner after work, walk across the Clemente Bridge, go to PNC, grab a dog and ~gasp~ maybe a drink, and watch some baseball!

    I think part of the point of Dejan’s article is, ‘c’mon down, grab a bad hot dog and watch some MLB leading baseball! Parking is FREE (at the casino).’

  24. Drew71 says:

    Only thing I want to have banned is drunken, loud, insulting, maybe fighting fans.

    And incidentally, so do the Pirates.

    Nothing more fun to me than watching baseball in a packed house, which if it is packed probably means 1/3rd are very casual fans who are there for the atmosphere and fun.

    WELCOME to them!

    I think that’s part of the business model that Dejan is referring to!

    And I can deal with people asking Qs, as my wife did this week: Baseball has 10 innings, right?” I can deal with the dog eaters. It’s just more fun when it’s PACKED.

    Think of last season before the You Know What when the house was Rocking!

    Because I’d rather discuss the place to BE, than have one of those cynical conversations in which only we, the true believers, get to define a ‘Real Fan’

  25. JAL says:

    JAL’s Keep Your Head to the Sky Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSfNZ21n0qA

    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

    First Pitch: It’s Not Time to Free Andrew Lambo…Yet

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/06/first-pitch-its-not-time-to-free-andrew-lambo-yet.html

    Prospect Watch: Good Starts From Taillon and Glasnow; Lambo Continues Hot Streak

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/06/prospect-watch-good-starts-from-taillon-and-glasnow-lambo-continues-hot-streak.html

    GCL Notes: First Impressions of Shortstop Trae Arbet

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/06/gcl-notes-first-impressions-of-shortstop-trae-arbet.html

    7 Bucs Dugout

    Four right field options not named Stanton

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/6/27/4472648/four-right-field-options-not-named-stanton

    8 WHYGAVS

    Pirates sign Austin Meadows for slot value

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/june-2013/pirates-sign-austin-meadows-for-slot-value.html

    9 The Green Weenie

    First Two Neal Huntington Drafts At Second Glance…

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/06/first-two-neal-huntington-drafts-at.html

    Jordy v Clint So Far…

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/06/jordy-v-clint-so-far.html

    10 Rumbunter

    Three Things That Suck About Pittsburgh Pirates Having Best Record in Baseball

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/06/28/three-things-that-suck-about-pittsburgh-pirates-best-record-in-baseball/

    About Those Tony Sanchez Rumors

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/06/27/about-those-tony-sanchez-rumors/

    11 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Game 79 Preview: Pirates vs. Brewers

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2013/06/game-79-preview-pirates-vs-brewers/

  26. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 City of Champions

    Brains, brawn and everything in-between: Pittsburgh ranked smartest city

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2013/06/27/brains-brawn-and-everything-in-between-pittsburgh-ranked-smartest-city/

    13 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Errors keep piling up for Brewers

    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brewers/errors-keep-piling-up-for-brewers-b9943359z1-213438161.html

    14 NY Daily News

    Baseball legend Roberto Clemente immortalized with statue at his namesake state park

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/bronx/inside-the-park-homer-roberto-clemente-article-1.1384602

    15 Sports on Earth

    A New Hope

    http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/51938516

    16 CBS Sports

    Brewers v Pirates Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20130628_MIL@PIT/brewerspirates-preview

    17 Sweetspot

    The Pittsburgh Pirates: From A to Z

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/37472/the-pittsburgh-pirates-from-a-to-z

    It’s the Pirates’ year — really!

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/9428659/this-year-different-pittsburgh-pirates-really

    18 PBC Site

    Mercer as starting shortstop paying off for Bucs

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130627&content_id=51944576&vkey=news_pit&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Dylan Bundy, Elbow Injuries, and the Evidence That PRP Works

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=21067

    20 Fangraphs

    The Historically Dreadful Pittsburgh Pirates

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-historically-dreadful-pittsburgh-pirates/

  27. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers up a spot in NFL.com power rankings

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/6/27/4469782/nfl-power-rankings-steelers

    Aaron Hernandez an example of the hypocrisy of character evaluation

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/6/27/4469708/aaron-hernandez-arrest-patriots-culture-contract-extension-salary

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Tolerance And Hypocrisy – Misbehavior Is Relative In The World Of Professional Sports – Part III

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/06/misbehavior-relative-world-of-professional-sports-part-iii/

    Soccer(football)

    23 Daily Mail

    United raise the stakes in Baines battle with Moyes to offer up to £20m to seal reunion

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2350300/Manchester-United-bid-20m-Leighton-Baines–David-Moyes-told-Everton-star-sale.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 27th June, 2013

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-27th-june-2013

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Pens re-sign Chris Kunitz for 3 years, $3.85 million cap hit

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/6/27/4469936/pens-re-sign-chris-kunitz-for-3-years-3-85-million-cap-hit

  28. JAL says:

    Keep Your Head to the Sky Earth, Wind, and Fire 1973 Winners of numerous music awards, EWF is the first African American group to sell out Madison Square Garden

  29. Thundercrack says:

    ‘Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer makes a play next to Brandon Inge in front of a sparse crowd last month at PNC Park.’

    Last month was May. That hockey tournament was still going on. And it looks like a day game – my guess in the middle of the week.

    I agree that the attendance should be higher. And I believe people have every right to spend their money they way they want to. I think the two biggest factors is the collapses of the last two seasons have made some people reluctant to get involved early in the season – and – that hockey tournament was going on. Even a certain sports columnist said the was going to be ‘all hockey all the time’ and joked he was going to need a map to find PNC Park. Granted he was “working”, but I don’t think it is far fetched to believe some sports fans had the same attitude.

    I have been to 7 games so far this season (Sunday will be #8) and I believe for the first 3 or 4 games I had to dress like I was going to a Steeler game.

    In closing, I guess I am not worried about the attendance. Just like the Pirates’ record and what will happen to Garrit Cole – it will all take care of itself.

  30. JAL says:

    Traveling this weekend. Morning links will return Monday

  31. Drew71 says:

    I think the woolly mammoth in the room is the recent history of collapses. All the other reasons – at least to SOME degree – occurred last season. Cold Aprils, Pens playoffs (ok, not as deep), Daq’s Nutting Regime, 20 years (ok, 19)…what dramatically differs, and how I could see it affecting the casual baseball fan in a cynical, “prove it first” way, is…

    I’ve Been Here Before.

    I agree that at SOME point, if a playoff pace continues, it will take care of itself.

  32. Drew71 says:

    Safe journey.

    Are you traveling to the game?

    If so, no hot dogs.

  33. Drew71 says:

    My boss is from St. Louis and a Cards fan.

    He said to me yesterday that he pulls for the Bucs, too.

    Him: “How can you NOT like the Pirates?”

    Today I’ll show him Dejan’s column and say…

    “Simple. Move to Pittsburgh.”

  34. meglasdad says:

    I agree whole heartedly. Even today, there is as much Pens talk or more than Pirates. Also DK, you mentioned several markets that are around the same size as Pittsburgh, and Milwaukee which is quite smaller, but one thing you left out is that baseball is all they have more or less. Baseball is all that matters in St.Louis. The Rams have been down for years, and having a daughter who lives in MO, I seldom hear of the Blues when I visit her. Cincy has the Bengals. Enough said. Milwaukee the Bucks. Again, enough said.

    DK: The Blues are a pretty big deal in St. Louis. Always have been, even stronger now that the team is competitive again. The numbers support it.

  35. Drew71 says:

    Yes. Keep looking up.

    Things fall from the sky.

    Unfortunately tractor beams are invisible.

  36. Derek Smith says:

    Great column, Dejan. Really enjoyed it. I wish I didn’t live 3 1/2 hours away. I try to get to Pittsburgh for a Bucco game as often as I can, but it is a little difficult to do sometimes. Can’t wait for tonight, 7 in a row!

    DK: Thanks, Derek.

  37. Jandy says:

    ZING!

  38. Jandy says:

    Wisdom, TC!

  39. Jandy says:

    +100000000000000000000000

  40. Naje says:

    “The only party that profits is the Pirates.”

    I’m trying to figure out exactly what that line means.

    It is a pretty inaccurate statement Dejan. Really, it’s wrong. The tens of millions of revenue dollars PNC generates for surrounding businesses. The employment of hundreds, if not thousands of people in the stadium, around the stadium, all of those bring tax dollars to the city in the form of payroll and business taxes. Not to mention hotels and other services tied to the downtown/north shore areas. The benefits to the city are huge, you know that, and the Pirates are not the only party that profits. Unless you think the North Shore is a ghost town on game days.

  41. Jandy says:

    Welcome home, Mr. PITA :)

    I’d LOVE to have nail Yakupov, but I’d also settle for Sam Gagner, easily.

    If talks have gone this long, Letang is gone. I’ve resigned myself to it. He’ll always be one of my favorite hockey players, but Penguins players take precedence. And if he doesn’t want to be a Penguin, so be it.

  42. Jandy says:

    Mental images abound lol

  43. Al says:

    I know it’s really, really hard to live on a measly 6.75 million/year. Might as well take a job scrubbing floors….the pay would be a lot better, wouldn’t it?

  44. Jandy says:

    He could always try flipping hamburgers ;)

  45. Al says:

    That only pays 6.5 million/year!

  46. 21sthebest says:

    “Look, personally, I couldn’t care less if PNC Park is packed or empty on this night or any other. The only party that profits is the Pirates.”

    At the risk of nitpicking, I’d say the surrounding businesses profit too along with the ushers, vendors, Aramark, parking lot owners and the City.

  47. pattonbb says:

    I know several people who live in Pittsburgh that wouldn’t go to PNC if they were handing out winning lottery tickets. These folks are still fuming about the Pirates only coughing up $40m of that $270m needed to build the park.

    So these people all bought Pen season tickets instead,

  48. Jandy says:

    slly me lol

  49. Jandy says:

    they most certainly do!

  50. Patrick(RI) says:

    I have been pretty much tied to the Boston area this season, but I do not understand why the crowds were not much better during AJ’s home starts. No matter what the team record, these were opportunities to watch a master, admittedly with a soupcon of eccentricity, at work. A baseball fan should skip work, play hooky, or whatever it takes to get out see this guy pitch. From the looks of his tweet DK cited, he must be irked (“you’re good, kid, but . . .”).

    With the best record in bb, our asylum leader is right on — the time is now.

  51. Naje says:

    And who paid for Consol?

    DK: Profits from Rivers Casino. Look it up.

  52. gregenstein says:

    Letang was a +21 to end the 2012 season and +16 to end the 2013 season. Now, you can make that head case argument, but there’s no trade I can conjure up as anything approaching likely that both involves Kris Letang and makes the Penguins a better team.

    The fact is though that they’re going to have to trade somebody here sooner or later as the cap is going to creep up and bite them if they don’t start getting younger (and cheaper) at some key positions. Not everyone on the team can be a $4 million or more player. So, while I’d rather they trade MAF, I realize that money’s tight and decisions have to be made.

    I just disagree that trading Letang is the right move if they’re only a half million apart in negotiations.

  53. Jandy says:

    TAXPAYERS

  54. radio wave says:

    I will be at the game tonight. For the sake of full disclosure, I got these tickets on the discount a couple of weeks ago not knowing that the team would be in first place or that the star pitcher would be going tonight. Should be a good time, looking forward to it.

  55. NMR says:

    Bite your tongue. The Bees are right in town!

  56. BillyBaduka says:

    +

  57. BillyBaduka says:

    Nice!

  58. Thundercrack says:

    I thought Rivers Casino has never made a profit.

    :-)

  59. Naje says:

    I did look it up… that pays for some of it, sure.

    But really, the Pirates are the only ones who profit from it is a misleading statement.

    One day, the PBC can’t generate enough funds to compete with the Brewers (parking money, etc), another day the PBC are the only ones to profit from PNC…? I don’t understand.

    DK: Although you already know this because you’re among most intelligent readers with whom I communicate, the phrase in the column was meant to stress that I don’t have a horse in the race. No one’s dumb enough to think ancillary businesses don’t benefit.

    Put down the gotcha guns.

  60. Thundercrack says:

    Isn’t there a sales tax with every ticket?

  61. Matt hoffman says:

    Great article DK! I live between Cincinnati and St.Louis and very rarely have I been to a game at those places when it was empty. I have only been to Pittsburgh once, in 2001 in July and I was disappointed at how empty PNC was that night. Go Buccos!!!

  62. Naje says:

    Seriously, I just didn’t understand it as a stand alone thought there… thought I’d missed something.

    No gotcha guns blazing here.

  63. Jandy says:

    **** A T T E N T I O N ***
    Any new comers, we hope you like what you see here. We love “chatting” with you.
    Bizrow (a regular contributor) has complied a list of hometowns for everyone who participates here, and we’d like to add YOUR hometown to Dejan’s Lunatics’ Asylum list.
    Please chime in anywhere and Biz or I will see it and make sure you’re represented on the list.
    THANKS! :)

  64. 21sthebest says:

    I’d be willing to bet that there are people in every city that won’t go to their stadiums for various reasons.

  65. 21sthebest says:

    That helps DK because I didn’t understand what the point of the profits comment was.

  66. If we’re going by intelligence levels, I best quit commenting on here.

  67. Thundercrack says:

    Earlier this week our common sense came into question.
    Now we may be dumb.

    Have a nice day everyone.

  68. Pucknutz says:

    Naw,
    I think he signs
    As greg says, only half a mill apart, lotta talking left.
    Unless he does not want to stay and I believe he really would like to.
    Agent just doin his job at this point IMHO.

  69. Reading says:

    Got a Groupon in my e-mail for a Kayaking tour. I don’t like kayaking. So, despite the Groupon freebie/discount, I won’t be going kayaking. Seems that the people showing up at PNC Park on Groupon Night must have had some interest in baseball or they wouldn’t have gone to the game. I ignore Groupons for things that I’m not interested in all the time.

  70. Damon says:

    Nice post! I’ve been thinking Edmonton for awhile now also, and I wouldn’t put it past Shero to pry Yakupov away – even if it meant giving up someone else minor in the deal. I love Gagner, but he is a centerman and is looking for a new contract. If not Yakupov, maybe Shero could pry Dman Justin Schultz instead of Smid. So the 7th pick and Schultz for Letang…..maybe another player.

    Biggest problem would be Letang wanting to sign in Edmonton for a long extension though….has to work both ways.

  71. Karen22 says:

    I couldn’t have said it better, Drew. Fans are still gun-shy. I will admit to being petrified of the All-Star break this year. If the Pirates come out of that break strong, then I might really get excited. For now, I am simply enjoying the 2013 Buccos ONE game at a time.

    My absence at PNC (save Cole’s debut) thus far has everything to do with logistics (I live in Indiana, PA) and my son’s wedding in a week. I hope I will WANT to take in a bunch of games after mid-July. I also hope it will be hard to get a ticket then, because you know what that will mean.

    Let’s DO IT! I’m hoping to believe…

  72. Naje says:

    Don’t tase me, bro.

  73. 21sthebest says:

    Although I don’t understand why you felt the need to tell us that you don’t have a horse in this race.

  74. Jandy says:

    Speak for yourself, peckerhead :P

  75. Jandy says:

    me too Spunky :)

  76. Jandy says:

    like

  77. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    But if we all go to the games, won’t that hurt the TV ratings?

  78. Jandy says:

    ;snicker:

  79. Reading says:

    Not to mention the “Ask Teke” segment.

  80. theplanisworking says:

    I would like to add “up the flagpole” to the list.
    I get raised after every Pirate win, so I now have my own “ceows nest” and zip code up there.
    Thanks. I will now hang up and listen.

  81. Pucknutz says:

    Someone says “How bout them Bucco’s ?”

    We’re talking first place.
    Best record in baseball.
    Six-game winning streak.
    Prized prospect throwing 100-mph heat against a hated nemesis,

    Reply “Ya, so what, its only June.”

    Hear it all the time,

  82. Jandy says:

    You silly ol’ crow you! :*

  83. nc210 says:

    You apparently haven’t looked at recent attendance figures, Dejan: 30,000-plus in six of the last nine home dates, and in another one of those games 29,407 attended.

    People have been showing up for games, but you just need to find something Pirate-related to rail about because that’s your shtick.

    DK: I’ll ask respectfully that you actually read the column. Pretty clear you didn’t. Thanks.

  84. theplanisworking says:

    You forgot “ham-handed”, and “tight-fisted”.

    You are correct on your points. This hasnt been a very fan-friendly FO. Or a very competent one. But amazingly enough, this FO has fans……… some of which have said so right here on this blog. I have never seen a sports franchise have “fans” for their FO. I have seen people like what a FO does, but never “fans”

    Anyway, things seem to be a bit different this year. But 20 previous years, and, 5 previous years for this particular incarnation, give me, and many others, reason to be gun-shy and afraid they might still screw it up.

    Lets hope not.

  85. Michael says:

    Ray Shero use to say he didn’t do deals where he wasn’t getting the best player in return. Last year trading Staal bucked that trend and this year he’s set to do it once again. Granted his hand has been forced but it’s a tough pill to swallow losing Letang. I do NOT think he is worth what was even already offered because he’s not as good on the power play as he should be and because in my opinion he needs to play with Orpik to be more responsible on the back end and Bylsma has went away from that pairing the last couple years. His short fuse which results in bad penalties and his tendency to jump into the offensive zone at inopportune times also is maddening. It’s just a shame Letang can’t buy into the company motto of taking a little less to help pay for the rest because there is no way the Pens get the best player back in any deal involving him.

  86. theplanisworking says:

    And,
    I am a silly old Jandy’s disease follower!

  87. Jim S. says:

    The Pirates have never drawn particularly well, regardless of who owned the team. I’m not dismissing your criticism of Nutting over the years at all, though, Daq. Many horrible mis-steps, followed by many more ad nauseum. Plenty of promises not kept, PR blunders, etc. I could go on. It’s all on the record. I’ve been as frustrated as anyone.

    But, I believe they are turning a corner regarding how to operate a franchise. You may not agree, and that is fine with me because it is far from a guarantee. I think we all want them to become a perennial winner like the other 2 pro teams in town. So, if I am right about them turning a corner in the next couple of years my guess is you would happily say I was right about that because we will both be seeing the winning team we want and we could all focus attention solely on the field.

    Dejan, you hit on a huge issue (but certainly not the only issue), and I believe it does take time to resolve. That is the relatively small season ticket base. The Reds have slowly built their season ticket base back up over the last few years as the team has improved and provided the promise of 90+ wins going into each of the last few seasons. When fans feel a great deal of optimism going into a season for the first time, pre-season ticket sales will spike a bit. If the performance of the team then matches fan expectations, ticket sales will surge during the season and carry over into the next off-season. That makes things so much easier.

    I don’t believe Bucs fans felt a lot of optimism heading into this season, for obvious reasons. But, they are feeling it now. They have not felt the need to buy tickets in advance this season because there was an ample supply available. Hopefully, ticket sales will now surge through the summer. If the team not only ends the dreaded streak, but also makes a legit playoff run all season while giving fans the hope of adding more future stars from the minors over the next 1-2 years (Taillon, Kingham, Polanco, etc.), I believe their chance to increase the season ticket base next winter will be strong.

    There is another reality of Pittsburgh over the years, and it is that it is not a great baseball town from a youth and development standpoint. Cincinnati and St. Louis develop far more MLB players than Pittsburgh does with the same or less overall Metro populations. There is more interest in baseball at the youth level in those cities, and so there tends to be more interest at the pro level as well. Those 2 cities, incidentally, are two of the worst drawing NFL cities, BTW. They often don’t sell out, and even when they do it only occurs in-season when the team is playing well. They have also not developed nearly as many NFL players as Pittsburgh over the years, and they certainly are not developing as many NHL players (although St. Louis is improving in that area). Finally, Cincinnati does not have a hockey team vying for attention in the spring.

    I’m really not trying to make excuses. The Pirates need to draw better, and I believe they can and will. I’m just pointing out that it takes more than a good 1/2 of a season after all that has gone on.

  88. theplanisworking says:

    Las Vegas WAS the Thunder. Defunct since 1999. I know you love hockey and all, but I dont hear you say “Pittsburgh’s baseball team”.

    As to Mr. Adams, looks like he made the correct decision. How someone with his numbers, being a freshman, from another country was identified by many as a lottery pick. Either thats incredible scouting, or the NBA is so desperate for big men, they will take projects such as Steve Adams.

    Incredibly snoozing draft last night, it truly was a down year for talent. Best highlights from the night was the constant booing of Stern. He is retiring, so the fans next year either have to boo the new guy, Silver, or the NBA has to show Stern’s mug occasionally so they can still boo him. :)

  89. theplanisworking says:

    Go Lehigh Engineers!!

    Beautiful campus over there.

  90. theplanisworking says:

    AKA, I cant type.

  91. Milo Hamilton says:

    Either not enough of us go or too many of us go. Depends who you listen to. It’s never just right.

    Point is this, I can’t blame a soul for not buying this. Doesn’t look a whole lot different than the last 2 years. Sure it’s a little better, but last year was a little better than the year before. The collapses haven’t come until game #101. That’s still a month away.

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, seek professional help. Give the people a break, shrinks are expensive.

  92. Not a big fan of attendance columns.

    We missed you while you were gone, Dejan, and your first two columns back were refreshing, seemingly written by a refreshed scribe. I thought Wednesday’s was especially stellar.

    Not a big fan of attendance columns.

    I am a HUGE Pirate fan. The people at my job see my office and comment too frequently. Many moons ago I got engaged at 3 Rivers Stadium (because the lights made the ring look bigger!). I go to Spring Training for 12 days each February. Many less expensive vacations available.

    This year I have been to more Spring Training games than games at PNC Park. Usually by this time I would have been to 10 or 12.

    This TEAM OF PLAYERS deserves my devotion and attendance. However, the ancillary issues have become obstructive to me——I’m mentally working through them——but the obstinacy of Neal Huntington (“we are definitely smarter than you!), the swarminess of Frank Coonnelly, the lack of activity and vision (read “soullessness”) of Bob Nutting {and I have spent time in person with all three} have overcome me to give me pause as I approach my car to head to PNC Park.

    Last year’s second straight collapse without any moves to staunch the bleeding pushed me over the edge and I am still slow to recover. Picking up “prospect” Travis Snider at the Trading Deadline?!?!?!?!

    Ironically, the BMTIB is actually succeeding this year. The year I almost chose to not attend Spring Training. The year I have not chosen to go to PNC. The year I have been giving away tickets instead of using them.

    For some, being a FAN is more than just being where the action is. More than just following a winner. More than joining the crowd.

    Hi! I am Groat2Maz2Strangeglove and I am a Pirateholic. I have fallen off the wagon and I am slowly trying to climb back on. It is an emotional as well as physical trip.

    I am not a big fan of attendance columns.

  93. Arriba Wilver says:

    I know whenever I go there is at least one moron there.

  94. theplanisworking says:

    You know, Pittsburgh has always seemed to have a built-in excuse when it comes to Pirate attendance.

    Too cold —- but same fans will pack Steeler games in single-digit weather.

    Kids in school —- only applies to 3 months, and Pens and Steelers have their seasons ENTIRELY during school year.

    Some people say its too expensive…………. even though it is the cheapest ticket in town (with apologies to the RiverHounds).

    I think the fans just want to see a winner. Now that the Pirates are doing that, the fans will come.

  95. theplanisworking says:

    he should earn that 6.5 million by lifitng Hippos………….

    Cant feel any sympathy for someone making millions a year. Just cant.

  96. theplanisworking says:

    You might be thinking of the amusement tax?

  97. theplanisworking says:

    I should have been banned. Or suspended. Or both.

  98. hockeymonster says:

    Kris take the deal!!!

    But regardless of how things turn out the pens coaches and even shero have a lot to answer for in my opinion! They draft, develop and groom Letang to be their #1 and then they undermine a great achievement in the Norris trophy candidacy by essentially saying Martin was more worthy?!?!

    I know contract negotiations can be messy and if letang really does want more than 7M I can see why they want to beat him up a bit but do that in private while negotiating with the agent. Publicly saying PM was better then offering letang more money than Martin earns puts letang in a very uncomfortable position and should lessen his interest in staying. Especially if he thinks he’s signing a deal that makes him a tradable asset. He’ll think the pens are offering 7M just to appease him instead of believing he’s worth it. How would a situation like that play out at your workplace? Obviously pens knew roughly what letang wanted. Why undermine his achievement of being nominated for the Norris trophy?

    Singling out his shortcomings in this playoff and ignoring PM’s while he’s up for the Norris is shameful! I wonder if anyone pointed out the coaches shortcomings after this season???

  99. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  100. chethejet says:

    St Louis is baseball first, always has been. Hockey is popular now but there were times like the Pens when it wasn’t. Rams will draw for 8 games, but unless they become a contender, only then will they be see them as a must see. Pirates will never be the lead dog unless the Steelers go down big time for an extended period. But the facts remains in baseball and NFL, TV money is the significant contributor to the team and in the Pirates case, fannies in the seats may represent 50% of revenue. But adding fannies is important for all parties involved and I can see them being more in demand as they win.

  101. theplanisworking says:

    If we all go to the games, we can finally remove that Pirates Charities sign.

  102. theplanisworking says:

    BAD CORNFLAKES ALERT ON AISLE 3!!!!

  103. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t think the NBA cares much about college statistics. Freshman that don’t start and don’t play much have been first round picks, for example.

  104. Dom says:

    Don’t get your hopes up. Hopefully we can get a first round and an active player in the deal.

  105. Jim S. says:

    I love basketbal, but find the NBA such a turnoff nowadays. Most of the picks in the draft were traded, and usually it had nothing to do with teams swapping “talent.” They were swapping “cap space”, which is what usually occurs in the NBA. That is one dysfunctional league.

  106. NMR says:

    Not sure I understand this logic.

    When you purchase a ticket, you’re buying nine innings of baseball – not 162 games.

    No idea why someone would chose not to go to a game in May due to the chance that the team MIGHT not be so good in August.

  107. theplanisworking says:

    You may need to look up the nearest chapter of PA (Pirates Anonymous) for help.

  108. NMR says:

    So this is what fans of 1st place baseball teams talk about, eh?

    We’ve reached the promise land, now lets talk about attendance!

  109. 21sthebest says:

    There’s state sales tax.

  110. NMR says:

    So what are you thoughts on attendance columns?

  111. 21sthebest says:

    See now that’s not fair. We don’t have a comparable insult for you [that we can use here].

  112. Dom says:

    I know the fans were livid after last year’s collapse and rightfully so, but our attendance should be higher than what since this is our first great chance of making it to the playoffs in two decades.

  113. 21sthebest says:

    He’s not a big fan but won’t divulge if he’s a medium or small fan. Actually, let me put this in terms DK can understand.

    Groat isn’t a venti fan of attendance columns but apparently grande and tall are still on the table.

  114. Milo Hamilton says:

    I agree with you 100%, that’s why I’ve never given up my tickets. But that’s me. On the other hand I know people who have had tickets for over 30 years and last year was the end for them. Not saying who’s right or wrong.

  115. Jim S. says:

    I hope you have a blast, MGR. I think the atmosphere, like Cole’s other PNC starts, will be electric tonight.

    I will make it back to Pittsburgh to visit my family next month when travel baseball season ends for my son. All 5 of us will take in 2 of 3 games on a weekend between late July and August. Still working out the details. And, on the day we don’t have tickets, my son and I will most likely sneak away from Grandpa’s house for a few hours and take in that game as well. We have to be strategic on that, though, and wait to spring that info. on my wife at the last minute.

  116. Jim S. says:

    I don’t want to trade Letang, either, Gregen. It will be tough to replace such a unique player. But, they can’t re-sign everyone apparently, and he does not seem to be in the mood to provide any sort of relief for them at all. That is his right, of course, but it makes things tough on the GM.

  117. Jim S. says:

    Amen.

  118. theplanisworking says:

    There is state sales tax on almost everything.

  119. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’d be willing to bet that most people who say they won’t go because of the taxpayer funding would come up with a different reason not to go if no tax money had been used.

  120. 21sthebest says:

    I would’ve gone with a Federal Street reference.

  121. Kevin says:

    I agree.. and I don’t think he’s worth more than 6mil per year especially lately. Definitely believe if penguins had tried Paul Martin on the powerplay point during the playoffs, it would have been an improvement. That’s not to say Letang isn’t better than Paul Martin. Letang certainly has flashes of brilliance where he’s the best defenseman ever. I would rather have steady PM (“pylon man” as hockeymonster calls him) than an inconsistent mistake-prone Letang. Can he improve? Of course he can, I believe he still has plenty upside but I don’t think you should have to pay elite dollars (7+ mil) for something not proven.

    And since that’s what Letang wants, I think you get what you can, say goodbye, and move on.

  122. Jim S. says:

    It takes all kinds, Drew, as you say. Come one, come all! It never bothers me that the person next to me, or the youngster in front of me asks too many questions or gets distracted from time to time. Everyone that pays their way in should seek what they want from the game. Those same youngsters may become die hard fans some day as a result of having fun now.

  123. Jim S. says:

    The odds of more than one are going to rise with attendance.

  124. Jim S. says:

    Oops! I just got your meaning, Arriba! You are way too quick for my Friday morning brain.

  125. NMR says:

    Gotcha.

    I can sympathize with those people. Their decision is much more emotional than analytical.

    And I certainly don’t fault anyone for going or not going. I walk past the place every day and have only been to three games this year. No room to talk.

  126. Milo Hamilton says:

    It’s either that or imagine Kris Letang asking his agent how the weather is in Vancouver in February.

  127. Jim S. says:

    Good for you this summer, Karen – all the way around!

  128. Milo Hamilton says:

    Fandom shouldn’t be measured by how many times you walk through the door. Everyone has their own unique circumstance.

  129. 21sthebest says:

    +1

  130. JohninOshkosh says:

    POTD! I love that.

  131. NMR says:

    Ha, yeah, I despise America’s infatuation with using public money to fund private athletic venues.

    But I also happen to like athletics, so I still go.

  132. 21sthebest says:

    I think it’s fair to bring up that attendance is down from the prior year given how the team has performed. But I’m not feeling like we’ve reached any sort of promised land yet.

  133. Jandy says:

    I’m 2 hours minimum away. And if the Parkway or the tunnels are down, I have a mess. Can’t do it.
    I buy Pirates merchandise and Memorabilia. I watch the games on television.
    Like Milo says, it’s each individual has their own situation.

  134. Jandy says:

    yeah but is the MILK bad too?

  135. Bob Hasis says:

    Great point; we haven’t even had it decided for us by that noteworthy guy (NH) about the fate of this year’s team (i.e. the status of Gerritt Cole), or the other guy (CH) if Mercer will continue as the starter, or if Tony Sanchez will be given a bona fide chance to spell Martin from time to time, rather than the Fort, or if Grilli will continue as THE closer rather than Melancon at times, or if John McDonald and/or Inge will be moved far away, (although I do like Inge and his versatility) and other similar examples.

    Remember the GREAT line – IF WE BUILD IT- THEY WILL COME.

  136. JohninOshkosh says:

    Mason Plumlee is a Brooklynite. Too bad there arn’t any Duke alums in the Big Apple. :)

    BTW:

    Mason Plumlee>Steven Adams

  137. NMR says:

    tongue-in-cheek

  138. JohninOshkosh says:

    I hate driving buy dilapidated elementary schools to go to tax supported millionaire playgrounds. But. I’m guilty. I do it.

    I’m like the people who swear off a sport because of labor work stoppages and then are first in line to buy the playoff tickets three months later.

  139. theplanisworking says:

    I dont think milk was used, Jandy! ;)

  140. Jim S. says:

    The Bucs traditionally do well on ROOT and on radio, do they not?

    There is untapped demand there, perhaps.

  141. NMR says:

    Heard from a guy who knows a guy that Dejan owed Nutting this column as payment for his primo exclusive earlier this week.

    Same guy scooped me on Burnett’s injury, so you know he’s legit. Says the doc is still pulling birdshot out of AJ’s calf.

  142. 21sthebest says:

    Ah gotcha. My fault.

  143. Jim S. says:

    +++

  144. Jandy says:

    all of these posts are excellent. +many

  145. Jim S. says:

    Extra employees are needed as well, I would assume, if attendance is greater.

  146. Kevin says:

    I can give you an excellent example of “fans” for a FO. Ready? The Pittsburgh Penguins. How can you not be a fan? This team could be in Kansas City right now but instead is now a perennial cup contender.

  147. Jandy says:

    Why not go with a shorter “show me” deal?
    Kris, we’ll give you 2 years $6.25M. Show us you can be more responsible, and we’ll made the next deal sweeter and longer.

  148. Damon says:

    Here’s a thought about the Pirates and the trade deadline – since the Pirates aren’t going to add major salary or give up big time prospects to acquire a player like Stanton, Ethier, Alexei Ramirez, etc., should they even consider bringing anyone in? They would get a player like Ryan Ludwick who wouldn’t be that much of an improvement over what’s on the team now. You might be able to find someone who hits 20 points more than a current Pirate starter, maybe a couple more HRs over the rest of the season, but is that worth it? Things could change over the next few weeks, but you wouldn’t add a player like that unless you didn’t think the Pirates are worthy being 18 games over.

  149. Jandy says:

    uhh…no comment ;X

  150. Jandy says:

    ZING!

  151. Jandy says:

    Well, sorry 21, you can always make one up ;)

  152. Vette60 says:

    Thanks Hipposter!

    They have done a ton since my wife and I were there in the mid-90′s. Really was nice then and even nicer now how the have made the lower campus a bit more walkable by closing some of the roads to traffic. Got good calf muscles walking up all the hils!

    We’ll be back in November for Lehigh v. Lafayette – home game for the good guys.

    Take care,
    Randy in RVA.

  153. Jandy says:

    seconded!

  154. theplanisworking says:

    safer that way.

  155. Bizrow says:

    + many

  156. Jim S. says:

    I did that take that line as a “I don’t have a horse in this race” statement. But, I guess I can see how it could be taken otherwise.

  157. Big B says:

    If you are able, financially and geographically, and you have enjoyed what you have seen from this team so far this season, get yourself a ticket and get your butt to PNC Park. These players deserve nothing less than a packed house this weekend coming off of a fantastic road trip.

    Beat ‘em Bucs. That is all.

  158. theplanisworking says:

    :D

  159. Jim S. says:

    I agree, NMR. Tough to take a principled, fiscal or moral stance on that one.

    I don’t like a lot of the practices I hear about how chickens make it to my local KFC, but they are sure are tasty.

  160. tdb1977 says:

    You know what this needs. Its needs the PiratesFanAdvisor network to come back to life. This will help with attendance and all that! Plus, it will give the fans a direct link to the front office, if I remember correctly from last year.

  161. JohninOshkosh says:

    My happy thought of the day is that the Brewers are in town.

    I am force fed the Brewers. Their pitcher, tonight, is making his MLB debut. I think the Brewers have had 8 players this season make their MLB debut.

    It will be a happy weekend, I’m all most sure of it.

    To quote one blogger here, “they stink.”

  162. Jim S. says:

    Turn the TV on before you leave the house, Jandy.

  163. tdb1977 says:

    +1

    Be nice to put up a 20 spot tonight on them, just like they did to us a couple of years ago when we stunk.

  164. I think you mean James McDonald, Robert. John McDonald is with his 4th team already this season if you count minor leagues.

  165. Damon says:

    Letang’s issue is that he wants to be paid as one of the best Dman in the league, and he feels slighted that Rossi reported Pens management thought Martin was a better Dman last season. Check out the Rossi blog link I posted above – he does a good job explaining where things are at right now.

  166. tpbco says:

    If Letang is as pyschologicaly fragile as you are suggesting, that may explain his flaming inconsistency. Very few shades of gray in his game, great one shift incredibly horrible the next. Let’s not forget he has been in the league for 6 or 7 years now. Where exactly has he reached his potential? On the PP? His decision making behind his own net? The accuracy of his shot? Talent is not in question, his training/endurance is almost legendary….

    Some might blame the coaches. Easy out. These would be the same coach just named to the Olympic team. And the Jack Adams award winner and the fastest coach to 200 wins in league history.

    Ya, all HIS fault.

    Sometimes it really is on the PLAYER.

  167. Jim S. says:

    Well said, Milo.

  168. Kevin says:

    I just can’t believe that with everyone else (Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz) offering hometown discounts that Letang will hold out for big bucks. If Letang really wants to be here, he should follow suit. That said I am totally biased… if I am getting 7mil or 7.5mil per year, what differently am I doing with that extra half mil? both numbers look big to me. Frankly, I dont see how he’s worth much more than 6mil (long term deal).

  169. Jim S. says:

    Great stuff, Groat. Everyone is at a different place with this team and organization right now. It is to be expected, and we all know why.

  170. Jim S. says:

    I think we need a long term answer at goalie in that proposed deal.

  171. steelercrazy says:

    Dejan,

    I’ll have to ding you (legitimately) on using year-to-year Pirates home attendance averages after 38 games in your story. If you look closely at how the home dates played out through 38 games in 2012 & 2013, it’s really an apples to oranges comparison, and not a true measure of fan turnout/interest this year.

    In 2012, there were 20 home dates before Memorial Day weekend; this year, 27. When school’s in session, attendance obviously takes a hit. In 2012, that hit was to the tune of 7K less fans per game. Also, there were only 17 Monday-Thursday games through the first 38 games last season, while there were 20 this season. Weekend games draw over 10K more fans on average than a weekday game over the last few seasons in Pittsburgh. Add up those two factors, and that deficit of 1,652 fans per game is completely understandable.

  172. Jim S. says:

    If any other out-of-towners here get NFL Sunday Ticket, you will very clearly see a huge sign in the endzone at that building the Rams play in advertising the phone number to call for tickets to their games. They are the reverse of Pittsburgh with football. They support their hockey, but not like here.

  173. Bizrow says:

    + many

  174. Milo Hamilton says:

    If the Penguins do indeed trade Kris Letang this weekend, I believe they will, I expect Ray Shero’s infatuation with Dan Hamhuis will play a part.

  175. Damon says:

    Check out this article and the Rossi blog I posted way down below. It helps explain why things are where the are now….

    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/opinion/2013/06/pens-kris-letang-must-keep-emotion-out-of-contract-talks.html

  176. Bizrow says:

    Well, you gotta park there when you go to the game…

    Just sayin

  177. Jim S. says:

    Good points, Steeler. There are many ways to look at it.

    I think we need to get some SABR-metrics on fan attendance. This simply has not been sliced and diced enough ways yet.

  178. Milo Hamilton says:

    :)

  179. Naterosboro says:

    It does give me some sort of pleasure that Mark Appel went to the Astros. Out of the division and out of contention [at least for this & next season].

    Appel would probably be in our rotation right now had he signed last year.

    Good luck in Houston, buddy. You’re gonna need it.

  180. Naterosboro says:

    Is that the guy who owns a butcher shop on Bleaker St.?

  181. Bizrow says:

    I always believed that there were tons of “closet” PBC fans, just waiting for a reason to get excited. Everyone here at the plant knows I’m a PBC fan, more and more so it seems people are stopping me and talking Bucs.

    Lets see what happens

    Beat Em Bucs

    Go like 60

  182. hockeymonster says:

    Well look if we’re going to nitpick each players game than i’m going to need a lot more time than I got to go thru it all. But the notion that letang is flawed and PM isn’t is just insane!!! And I didn’t translate PM into “pylon man”…I think someone made that conclusion but I was originally just using his initials.

    Either way Letang has improved every year and definitely still has room to grow. Look at his stats and +/-. Saying PM is the answer to our needs for a steady dman is comical and really not even worth rebutting.

  183. Bizrow says:

    Yeah, I’m real glad the Cubbies didn’t get him

  184. Bob Hasis says:

    Lucky, I hadn’t noticed if John was dispatched elsewhere or not. I was presuming he was still DL’ed. My mistake, however there still needs to be a decision on James as well.
    Thanks for the correction

  185. hockeymonster says:

    Kevin, PM improved but he’s far from steady. Please don’t get me started :)

  186. MrB says:

    Well, I’ve read this column twice and my conclusion is “Much ado about nothing”.

    I’m certain that both early season weather, kids in school and the Penguins run all affected attendance to a degree. To get a barometer on this teams attendance, one shouldn’t look any further back than the interleague series against Detroit, and homestands against Cincy, SF and LA. I don’t those numbers were terrible (I’m certain LA wasn’t) and they were trying to keep pace with the Reds at the time.

    Now they’ve been on the road and have vaulted themselves into a first place tie. Summer is here, the kids are home and the Pens are long over. Of course attendance will spike. The sun will also rise in the East tomorrow. Please don’t take any credit when either happens. You’ve done your public service by writing an article about the obvious.

  187. NMR says:

    I think the problem with this logic is that you assume that major salary and big time prospects equate with impact player.

    We saw at last years deadline that they do not, at least not always. This years Ethier/Soriano are last years Victorino/Pence. Big name players having bad seasons who are not any better than lesser known options on the market.

    The Pirates are getting the worst production from right field in the National League. Shouldn’t take a blockbuster move to improve on that.

  188. steelercrazy says:

    FAP+ (Fans Absent Promotions, ballpark adjusted). I’m all over it like stink on a skunk.

  189. theplanisworking says:

    I live in a Pond, and have serious transportation issues. Then, if I were to get there, seating would be an issue.

    Milo hit one out of the park on this one.
    Thank God we didnt have another snarky “real fan” debate. So tiresome.

    I just float in my Pond, adjust my rabbit’s ears, and enjoy. Anything else is gravy.

  190. NMR says:

    Hey Jim,

    Wakeup Call thread from yesterday disappeared so I’m not sure where we ended up in our right field trade deadline conversation, but take a look at JAL’s link
    #7.

    Some familiar names, eh? :)

  191. Bizrow says:

    A picture taken at the end of that game, with the scoreboard is the screen on my computer here at work.

    I would gladly change that to one showing what you suggest ;-)

  192. theplanisworking says:

    Where I live, in the heart of Philthy, and Nats country, whenever I wore the “P” cap, I received pity. Pity.

    Now when I wear the “P” cap, I get people saying “it is nice the Pirates are finally playing good ball. Best of luck to you.”

    Refreshing change.

  193. Not meaning to be corrective. John went from here to Indy to Cleveland and now to Philly.

    James is in another world……

  194. hockeymonster says:

    Oh and never said letang was fragile psychologically or otherwise…I pointed out the office politics taking place when the coaches went public. I don’t blame letang for making a sour beer face at the pens when they offer him more money than PM after saying PM was better. And if letang was willing to take 7M before now he’s saying that at the very least he wants shero and the coaches to sweat by staying by his demands. I’m sure letang will have a chance to accept a deal before any trades are made. Give him a modified NTC, explain to him that contract negotiations are business and not personal, remind him that they believe in him enough to sign him to top dollar long term and ask him to use this off season as motivation to leave no doubt whose the perennial Norris trophy candidate in the organ-I-zation!!!

    And if we’re talking about fixing flaws it starts with the coaches. Maybe if they had more structure in the neutral and dzones players like letang and PM would look even better. I better stop before I really go off…again!

  195. tpbco says:

    Interesting, where exactly did I even mention Paul Martin?

    This is all about Letang. It could very well be that he has “Micheal Vick Syndrome”…million dollar arm and 10 cent brain, in Letang’s case, $+7 million dollar talent, but never gets his brain above $3.5 million level. I don’t know how his career will eventually turn out, but that possiblity DOES exist.

    I am surprised that he rejected that deal, that quick. It has been mentioned ad nausiem that 87 and 71 gave “home town discounts” to help the team.

    His apparent refusal, probably writes his ticket out of town and suggests that maybe where the issues lie is in that 5 inches between his ears.

  196. theplanisworking says:

    Oh, I forgot Go Like ’25. ;)

  197. Bizrow says:

    Lets just hope this thing keeps going….

  198. cmat0829 says:

    I agree with the post above (forget who) that said that attendance issues for the Pirates are like 50years old, well before this ownership, collapses, etc. I recall many games in Three Rivers in the 70s in a penant race and we as a family were able to drive up on gameday and get center field front row tickets for $1. If I recall, a few playoff games in 90-92 weren’t even completely sold out.

    I also emphatically agree with the post in the column page that said the Pirates use of giveaways, fireworks, concerts, etc. are NOT UNIQUE, and I can speak to that from first hand experience (I’ve been to all the major league stadiums in the past 10 years, save the new park in Minnesota)… and trust me, the experience at the park is roughly the same everywhere, possible exception of Yankee Stadium, Fenway and Wrigley Field.

    THAT said, after a 7-2 road trip, being in 1st place, having best record in MLB, and having Cole on the mound tonight, I will be disappointed if the place isn’t completely sold out. It’s a Friday night (I don’t have delusions they can yet sell out weeknight games), but this is doable.

  199. theplanisworking says:

    Biz, I dont know if you ever experienced scorn and pity for wearing a teams colors. I would go to the grocery store, and the only saving grace was a man had a daughter who lived in Pittsburgh, and they would attend the game when he and his wife were in town to visit.

    Doesnt help matters any that the hat I wear, just a black cap with a gold “P” on it, was only $1.88 at Walmart. Nice cap, have had it for 4 years now, but $1.88, just because it was the Pirates.

    Like I said, it is different now, people actually engage me in baseball talk, no pity to be found, and always a good luck message for the team.

  200. TJ says:

    Its truly amazing to me the way everyone is down playing Letang. Its like he’s the 2012 version of Paul Martin.

    Lets say we deal away Letang and have Martin return to the 2012 version; where will our swiss cheese defense take us then? Sure its a hypothetical situation but what was once considered a major depth for the Pens is soon to be a potential weakness unless some of these 20 year old guys can step in immediately.

    This guy wasn’t nominated for the Norris by fluke; and he’s only 26. Shero should have no problem getting a nice ransom for Letang.

  201. Jandy says:

    I’m one of the biggest Letang favs around this blog, and I’m upset with him. I’ve had many people tell me the last few months that Letang has all the tools, but he doesn’t have the toolbox.
    I’d love for him to prove that wrong.

  202. Bizrow says:

    I think people felt sorry for me, thats why they would not talk baseball.

    I never felt scorn though, like I said, deep inside, many, many folks are Bucco fans

    Of course I live in the burgh.

    Even in Vegas, I will get stopped to talk about the Bucs, wear a Clemente shirt there, I guarantee it ;-)

  203. JohninOshkosh says:

    So no one has posted that they expect the Americans to do well in pool play next year at Sochi only to choke in the medal round because Bylsma is too obstinate to make line adjustments against the Canadians and Swedes.

    I, for one, am very please that HCDB will be representing my country at the 2014 Olympics. He is an articulate, thoughtful person who will not embarrass our country.

    I can only imagine Torts in front of the international media, many of whom would be covering hockey for the first time.

  204. Jandy says:

    haha sure is sweet!

  205. TJ says:

    Sorry cmat but you can’t compare 3 Rivers to PNC park. Saying there were sell out issues at 3 Rivers is understandable when it held roughly 25,000 more people than PNC. So bad in fact that I remember the black tarps being put over the upper deck seats at times.

    I’m not down on anyone that doesn’t go to a game. Fans shell out big bucks to go see the Pens, and the Steelers who have shown a commitment to winning. To me its like going to a favorite restaurant. Are you going to pay good money to go to a restaurant where you know your going to get bang for your buck or are you going to go to a place that every so often serves up a good dish.

  206. hockeymonster says:

    Sorry tpbco, I mentioned martin in response to posts above yours while also responding to your post.

  207. TJ says:

    FIRE BYLSMA

  208. JohninOshkosh says:

    Thanks, TJ.

  209. hockeymonster says:

    He has legit reason to be upset with the pens too. How would you feel if a great personal achievement at work was undermined by your bosses?

  210. Jandy says:

    if anyone even THINKS of allowing Torts to coach an international Olympic game, he should be put in a goalie net and have Zdeno Chara and Jarome Iginla shoot pucks at him until he screams for mercy.

  211. theplanisworking says:

    Can we do that to Bylsma anyway??? ;)

  212. theplanisworking says:

    I shouldnt have said that. That was mean of me.

    I should have said he would stop more pucks than MAF.
    There, all better now. ;)

  213. cmat0829 says:

    Sorry TJ but I do think there is a long history of this city not supporting the baseball team compared to other similar cities, which is what DK’s article does. St Louis and Cincinnati had almost identical stadiums to Three Rivers, and I bet a similar comparision of attendance during that time would show PIttsbugh as lagging behind.

    It’s an aside, though, the current point is that with this park, this team, these prices (they are very very affordable), there is NO EXCUSE for the Park not being full especially tonight with Cole going. What more do the fans want? Great park, cheap tickets, ‘mania’ Pitcher going, first place team, winning road trip, chance for revenge against hated Brewers,……and it’s even free shirt Friday….

  214. Jandy says:

    happens to me often, usually in favor of a male, and I don’t make $3.5M

  215. theplanisworking says:

    Correct, the pity thing.

    If the Pirates sustain this run this year, will be very interesting how crowded the Buc bandwagon gets.

  216. Sisyphus says:

    Why in the world would he take that when he’s almost certain to do much better on the open market next year?

  217. Jandy says:

    Thanks, Damon. I understand Tanger’s issue. To me, tho, they are two different type players. Martin is the more “steady, non flashy” type. Tanger is the “fast, exciting, make the splashy play” type of player. They should not be compared as to who is the better d-man as they play a different game.
    Tanger needs to shut out the influence of media and others opinions, and think for himself, and make a decision based on what he wants.

  218. Jandy says:

    many times, yes lol

  219. hockeymonster says:

    Well letang has an opportunity to play hardball…unfortunately the rest of us don’t get that chance too often.

  220. Jandy says:

    works both ways. Whatever the outcome is, we won’t be able to influence it, so it is what it is.

  221. Dom says:

    How about Marlon Byrd of the Mets?

  222. Damon says:

    I’d hate to see him go because of a comment – especially since he has said all along he wants to be with the Pens. You’re right, he needs to take a step back and really figure out what he wants. Maybe chat with Sid or other players.

    Big problem is I’m sure time is running out with Shero probably pressuring to get this resolved.

  223. JRay3 says:

    As for today’s column, doesn’t quite move me one way or the other. Given the recent play and that national swell of excitement starting to generate over this team I’m sure the buzz and solid play will help the numbers as the year goes on. I know their play has made me schedule trips to Denver and San Diego later in the year.

    The Pirates are 25-13 at PNC playing at .657 clip, great shot of witnessing a win if you head out to the ballpark.

    I just purchased tickets to the Saturday and Sunday games against the Mets in July as I will be out that way and am amazed at the great value in pricing you can get at that ballpark. $50 seats at PNC give you best seat in the house those cost $100-$150 at Angel Stadium and other ball parks I have attended.

    Most excited about that fact that the Pirates are 14-9 in June without their top two starting pitchers, after a 1-4 start. I remember some talking about a June swoon early this month, I guess the team has quieted the naysayer for the time being once again.

    Can’t wait to see Mr. Cole try to make it 4-0 in his first four starts.

  224. Dom says:

    #17 on JALs links is a winner.

    It must have been difficult coming up with an item for Q and X. I guess they cheated for X but who cares?

  225. Jandy says:

    Oh definitely time is running out. I’m sure Shero wants it done before the draft Sunday.
    After then stunt Hossa pulled, Shero won’t let that happen again.
    This may sound rude, but if a woman used the emotional “I’m upset at comments” excuse, the’d be laughed out of the sport she was playing in and called a lot of names to boot.
    I love Tanger. He’s a very good defenseman. He also has room to improve his game in his own end. If you want to stay in Pittburgh, take the deal offered. If you don’t, then Shero has his own roster to fill and time is wasting.

  226. Jandy says:

    There’s the door, walk thru it.
    Why is he hesitating?

  227. JaxBuc says:

    VERY FUNNY.

  228. Jandy says:

    LMAO!

  229. Jandy says:

    Hipposter, I didn’t mean as goalie, I meant just throw him INSIDE the net and let the pucks fly.

  230. Jandy says:

    AW has a habit of doing that…makes me lost my coffee many times when I read his posts.

  231. NMR says:

    June swoon!

    Only three more days to say it. June swoon June swoon June swoon.

    It’s just so cute!!

    What rhymes with July? I like this game.

  232. War Horse says:

    Oh, ye of little faith.

    I’d give a minor body part to live within 50 miles, no 100 miles, of PNC park. I’d have a season ticket for sure. I’d be there rain or shine, even to witness a losing season again. I have witnessed more losing seasons than I can remember–far more than the most recent 21 in a row–but I have never lived within 100 miles of Pittsburgh.

    In 1947, the year my Dad got back from Europe, we sat in the family car in a little town in central Ohio (Kings Mills) and listened to the Pirates’ night games on KDKA. Those were long, losing years when the most you could hope for was that Kiner would hit more than 50 HRs and maybe Bob Friend would pitch a winning game. Once in a while, when the Pirates came to Cincinnati, the whole family would pile into the car and Dad would drive us down to Crosley Field to watch a double-header. You can imagine what hearthbreak it was like for a kid like me to watch and listen to all those lost games and losing seasons.

    In 1960, Dad and I got to watch the three middle games of the WS at Yankee Stadium. In 1971, my wife and I tuned in on a short wave radio in the middle of the night to listen to the 7th game of the WS from London, where we lived and worked. In 1979, my boss heard the story of how my Dad had never been to Pittsburgh to see a Pirates’ game, though he had been a fan since 1926, and saw to it that Dad and I got to watch the three middle games of the WS from the sponsor’s room next to the broadcast booth behind and above home plate. Later, Dad said it was the happiest time of his life.

    Dad was a fan because as a 10-year-old, he was befriended by the young shortstop for the Class B Bridgeport, Connecticut, Bears, a teenager named Dick Bartell, who said to him outside the stadium before every home game where Dad was selling newspapers, “Hey, Red, do you want to carry my glove in?” Unable to afford the entry price, Dad got to carry Bartell’s glove and hawk his papers inside the field. The next year (1927), Bartell got called up to play for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Though he played very little, Bartell made it with the team to the World Series. And we all know what happened then.

    I live in semi-retirement in England. I subscribe to MLB-TV and get to watch every pitch, every hit, every game, though I may not be able to stay awake into the wee hours of the morning. To see the team lose, especially a close one, still hurts as much now as it did way back when.

    It hurt last year to have to eat the tickets I’d bought for the final series of the season at home with Cincy. Had booked the hotel and everything. Cancelled the trip to Pittsburgh.

    So, for those of you who live within commuting distance, be grateful to live close enough to go in person to the games at PNC Park. Be thankful you can find other Bucs fans to talk baseball with. (Here we have cricket–not a bad sport, but very, very slow.) Rejoice when you can join thousands of others and cheer as loud as you wish when the team plays well. You get to be a witness. No matter how often you go or how much you appreciate it, it’s a privilege.

  233. Jandy says:

    reply imply alibi

  234. hockeymonster says:

    He’s not a UFA.

  235. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Plan – You speak the “strange and unusual” truth that this is the only FO in sports that seeks out a fan club….And magically receives one.

  236. theplanisworking says:

    Well, you know how easily your Hippo gets, Jandy. Sheesh.

    Trade Letang for a goalie and a d-man?
    I keep hearing how the Pens should get a pick, d-man, and forward for Tanger.

    I say go for a goalie and d-man.
    Then trade MAF for a d-man or forward.

    But, I shall just go back to my Pond. ;)

  237. theplanisworking says:

    Poke in the eye.
    Or EYE.

    Fry. (No French).

    Ah yes, nothing like making fun of Pirate fans who (righfully) havent totally embraced the team yet. Good times.

  238. Jandy says:

    Excuse me while I get a tissue…..there…ok…a bit better.
    Dayum, War Horse, that was quite a story. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing it. Read that last line, everyone, it’s a big one.

  239. Dom says:

    What brought you to England if you don’t mind me asking?

  240. NMR says:

    Not for me, Dom.

    If I ran the team, I’d look to address their low on base percentage, high strikeout rate, and succeptibility to high platoon splits.

    This team already has plenty of guys that can run into a ball. Not enough that can draw a walk, put the ball in play, and hit pitchers of either handedness.

  241. Jandy says:

    +many

  242. Excellent post, as always, JRay.

  243. theplanisworking says:

    + many.

    Many times over.

  244. Ditto. Great story.

  245. Jim S. says:

    What I meant to say at the end is St. Louis supports baseball to the hilt, but not football consistently. Pittsburgh supports football to the hilt, but not baseball nearly as well.

    They also support the Blues, but not as well as the Pens are supported in Pittsburgh.

  246. Jandy says:

    Swim on, Hippo man :)

  247. theplanisworking says:

    Well, I am strange and unusual, but……………………….
    Just cant figure it out.

  248. Bizrow says:

    Nice story, thanks for sharing it.

  249. NMR says:

    I got sick (literally) of meat production in this country, so I turned vegetarian.

    I still go to Pirate games.

    Tells you something about how much I like baseball. :)

  250. theplanisworking says:

    Kevin, no.

    I am not talking about appreciating what a FO does, I am talking about a FO that recruits and receives fans. You dont see Ray Shero recruiting fans to celebrate HIM.

    There are many people who become fans of this FO for questionable reasons. Especially when they were inept.

    Just a head-shaker, thats all.

  251. NMR says:

    Right, because thats exactly what I was making fun of. Not the need to come up with silly catch phrases.

    Defensive much?

  252. theplanisworking says:

    Oh, I’m not leaving silly.

    I was just implying I know nothing. :)

  253. Jim S. says:

    Yesterday, I suggested Denorfia of San Diego. I suggested him thinking he was a bench upgrade to Inge at both RF and 3b, and as a platoon with Snider for at least as long as Tabata is out (and maybe longer). As it turns out, he doesn’t seem to play 3b. But, historically, he tends to drill LHP.

    Of course, Inge didn’t play RF until we stuck a bigger glove on him and sent him out there.

  254. theplanisworking says:

    No, not defensive.

    You mean to tell me you werent making fun of the people who said there wouldnt be a June Swoon?

    Gotcha.

  255. Jim S. says:

    Glutton for punishment, Biz? Or just a “never forget” type of statement?

  256. Jim S. says:

    Hilarious!

    NMR, are you ok with this? You are my SABR go to guy.

  257. Bizrow says:

    Mostly the latter

  258. JaxBuc says:

    Amen, brother Milo (not the elderly announcer with bad hair).

    I live 1000 miles from Pittsburgh. Have been to one game ever at PNC Park (in August of 2009, we beat the Phils that Thursday night). I have one fitted Pirates cap bought about 15 years ago, and can’t really afford the MLB package to watch all the games, but I “watch” online when I can, check the scores, boxscores, game write-ups, etc. religiously. I expect MY team to win every game they play, and if they don’t win that day’s game, I expect them to win the next one.

    It hurt when 2011 peaked early then finished weakly, and hurt more with last year’s epic late season failure (see, I didn’t write collapse).

    So, although I don’t fit the profile most would identify as a die-hard fan (I don’t buy tickets, don’t regularly buy merchandise), I definitely am “buying” tonight’s team, in that I’m excited about tonight’s game and will be checking online when I get home from from daughters’ YMCA basketball game. There are very few people who could be more emotionally invested in the Pirates than I am, even if that is not demonstrated with financial investment.

    And isn’t that what being a fan is? Being emotionally (and possibly irrationally) attached to a team.

  259. Jandy says:

    Truly, NMR, I thought so too.
    silly us :)

  260. Jim S. says:

    One suggestion, Steeler … I think the abbreviation needs to start with an X.

  261. Jandy says:

    +many, many, many

  262. JRay3 says:

    +1

    Enjoyed the read, thanks for sharing.

  263. Drew71 says:

    Ok. I will.

    “Thunder”

    There.

    That’s pretty awful.

  264. JaxBuc says:

    Wow, War Horse, that is column-worthy material.
    DK is in second place today.
    Thank you for sharing. Very sincerely, THANK YOU.

  265. Jandy says:

    OUCH!

  266. Drew71 says:

    Is that a gotcha gun?

  267. Jandy says:

    That’s Hippos for ya ;)

  268. Jandy says:

    The last sentence says it all, Jim S. But…I’ll be watching ;)

  269. Drew71 says:

    Can we go back to talking about attendance?

    I wanna talk about attendance all day long.

  270. Jandy says:

    Yeah but is baseball better than beer????

  271. Jandy says:

    ***** A T T E N T I O N ****
    Any new comers, we hope you like what you see here. We love “chatting” with you.
    Bizrow (a regular contributor) has complied a list of hometowns for everyone who participates here, and we’d like to add YOUR hometown to Dejan’s Lunatics’ Asylum list.
    Please chime in anywhere and Biz or I will see it and make sure you’re represented on the list.
    THANKS! :)

  272. Jandy says:

    :thwap:

  273. NMR says:

    HAHAHAHA!

    Read your first post and thought “no good SABR stat is left without an “x”".

    You nailed it, my friend.

  274. Jandy says:

    Well, if we go somewhere without the dogs, we turn it on for them, so I guess I can do that…but when we’re home hubby and I fight over the TV if it’s game night. he likes car shows, I like Buccos :)

  275. Jandy says:

    SO in that regard Shero holds the cards.

  276. Jandy says:

    Quick! Call the attendance police!!!!

  277. NMR says:

    Day?

    We’re going on weeks!

    Nothing would make me happier than making the playoffs. For the thrilling conversation about rate of ticket sales, of course.

  278. Jim S. says:

    I am also glad he is in the other league. I’m not so certain he is a slam dunk star, though. I also am not certain he’d be in our rotation already. Cole was rated higher, and it took him a couple of years, right Nater?

  279. Jandy says:

    Yeah, and I’m Mother Theresa! :P

  280. Jandy says:

    Don’t forget sustainability!

  281. Jim S. says:

    One of the other coaches on my son’s team (a Cubs fan) made a point before practice last night to tell me how cool he thought it was that the Bucs now had the best record in baseball. He said it gives him hope that the Cubs will eventually figure it out.

    I didn’t want to rain on that parade, so I just took the compliment.

  282. theplanisworking says:

    +1

  283. NMR says:

    How dare you label Milo with the scarlet letter “b”.

    We treat bloggers as inferior and turn our noses to their input on this blog.

    Print media, unite!

  284. Jim S. says:

    I seem to notice a lot of people dressed as empty seats at Yankee Stadium the last couple of seasons. And Boston’s long sellout streak ended this year as well. This is still a pretty crappy economy. But, I believe Bucs attendance will surge.

  285. Jandy says:

    good idea! lol

  286. Jim S. says:

    47-25 since the 1-5 start.

  287. Drew71 says:

    People walking all in the street
    See them running to Federal Street
    Team is good, wild and sweet
    Let the Pirates play on…(Play on, play on, play on…)
    Feel it in your heart and feel it in your soul
    Let the Pirates take control
    We’re going to Party, the North Side, Attendance, forever
    Come on and walk along
    We’re going to Party, the North Side, Attendance, forever
    Come on and join the throng!

    All night long (all night), oooh, (all night)
    All night long (all night), yeaz, (all night)
    All night long (all night), yeah, (all night)
    All night long (all night)…(all night)

  288. theplanisworking says:

    How about RiverHounds attendance?

    Or Steeler mini-camp attendance?

    Or Kenny Chesney concert attendance?

    Or Hippo therapy conference attendance?

    Just trying to help…………

  289. Jandy says:

    Drew, you missed your calling…

  290. Another one of your best, Drewmeister.

  291. theplanisworking says:

    Of being a Lionel Ritchie impersonator?
    Or of a sand crab? ;)

  292. Jandy says:

    nah….he traded his bus for a song-writing manual.
    Too bad the poodles stayed with him.

  293. Jandy says:

    well, that’s an epic fail. it was to say
    He traded his wife for a song writing manual.
    Too bad the poodles stayed with him.

    I SWEAR I have no idea where bus came from.

  294. Now, I’ll have that one in my head the rest of the day.

  295. Jim S. says:

    What a terrific string of stories of your fandom, War! Loved reading every word. I think baseball evokes memories and stories like this more than any other sport in this country does.

  296. theplanisworking says:

    Brandie’s hippie bus?
    An “herbal” VW Bus?
    A double-decker bus to fit a Hippo?

    With you, anything is possible. ;)

  297. Jandy says:

    Tell me about it!!!

  298. Bob Hasis says:

    Go on vacation for a week or so, and all of this good stuff happens.

  299. Jim S. says:

    If this team ever sold out consistently, it would not be long before some people (and I don’t mean you, DK) would start to say the fans who show up every game are a bunch of drones.

  300. Kevin says:

    I don’t have the capability to look back at the old post where you said “pylon”. I also never said PM doesn’t make mistakes. Everyone does. It’s just Letang’s mistake quotient is/was/has been much much higher in the past season.

  301. theplanisworking says:

    Just wanted to say, I clicked on your last sermon.
    Good stuff.

  302. Jandy says:

    +many

  303. I am not so sure the issue is with hard numbers on Letang, rather that he’s looking for a NMC (no-movement clause) from the Penguins. Shero seems steadfast in his reluctance to offer Letang any type of no-trade clause, while Letang is equally as determined to get one. I can understand both sides’ relative positions on this, and I can’t help but think Letang is looking for the NMC as a show of faith from the Penguins organization just as much as for the security such a clause brings. Letang has shouldered a great deal of criticism of late, including inferences that he is no longer the Penguins best defenseman. His ego may need more massaging than his purse…

    I still think it’s in the Penguins best interests to keep Letang, even if that means offering him a deal averaging $7M per with an NMC. If that’s not enough to assuage any concerns Letang has, I’d say it’s certainly time to entertain offers. Considering the gaping hole Kris Letang would place on an already shallow defense (at least at the NHL level), I’d consider getting a top-four defenseman in return an absolute must.

  304. DemonDachshund says:

    Given recent history…

    August bust?

  305. Ermine says:

    It still bothers me that the pirates get the flack about the ’90 Series , with empty seats in the outfield. The A’s had more empty seats the same year, not a peep. The REDS !! didn’t sell out their games either. They were just sneakier. They didn’t sell tickets section by section. They just didn’t sell the last 10 or 12 rows of the upper deck, so the shadows of the over hang obscured the seats.

  306. Jim S. says:

    There are several posters like that for me. It is usually the people that can deliver a quick, great line.

    I have nearly choked to death on my bagel when I read a particularly clever Milo, AW or Lucky zinger. There a lot of other witty people that post here as well. That’s definitely one of my favorite things.

  307. Jim S. says:

    I think you should tell him the fight about Bucs vs. car shows is officially over because the dogs have spoken and they really like a good pennant race!

  308. Jim S. says:

    Will they let us in if we bring a wrench, Plan?

  309. Nate83 says:

    No other fan base has ever been through what this fan base has over the last 20 years. I don’t live in Pittsburgh so the wounds of how things have been handled and the perception of not giving an honest effort to field a competitive team doesn’t hit as close to home.

    I love the team but hardly feel betrayed as some may that helped pay for the stadium and have given money in th past to go to the game only to have an inferior product given to them in return. It’s understandable if some wait until late Augest or September or even next year before giving their hard earned money to a someone who has just disappointed them over and over and over. It would be like going to see the next Rocky movie if it ever came out. It may look promising but we all know it’s going to be horrible.

    For what it is worth I personally would be going to the games but I can understand why some wouldn’t.

  310. Thank you. Means a lot.

  311. Jim S. says:

    That is exactly what being a fan is, Jax!

  312. Matt hoffman says:

    My point is that the seats should be full this weekend whether it’s a “baseball town” or not.

  313. Jim S. says:

    You won’t get past the wand tonight with a Gotcha gun.

  314. Milo Hamilton says:

    Taking my “Kris Letang will be traded to Vancouver this weekend” storyline one step further – he’ll give Tortorella an aneurysm.

  315. Damon says:

    Just saw a story about how the New Orleans Pelicans made a trade. Not sure how long it will take to get used to a pro team being named the Pelicans.

  316. JRay3 says:

    Or how about NBA finals TV ratings averaging 25.0+ and NHL Finals Ratings drawing just 5.6 nationally similar to the shows like “The Voice” or “NCIS”

  317. Jim S. says:

    Steelercrazy needs to get on the phone to B James & his minions stat!

    Come to think of it, they probably introduced the word “stat” in hospital SABR circles.

  318. 21sthebest says:

    Found this from some newspaper article.

    But the Penguins’ new home, which initially wasn’t supposed to cost taxpayers anything, got to this point with $47.6 million in public funding.

    State records the Tribune-Review examined show the most recent infusion of public money — $10.1 million in state Redevelopment Capital Assistance Program grants — was released in February. It’s money the state committed when officials reached a deal to build the arena.

    The latest grant follows $27 million in state grants — for site acquisition and preparation work, and to pay investment bankers last fall when a “swap deal” underpinning the bonds that financed construction went south.

    The grant was part of $174.2 million Gov. Ed Rendell’s administration doled out in R-CAP grants in the first half of 2010.

    Taxpayers’ tab for Consol Energy Center:
    • $10.1 million committed as the state’s portion in final agreement and disbursed in February

    • $ 5.5 million committed as the city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority’s portion

    • $19.7 million in a state Redevelopment Capital Assistance Program grant

    • $ 7.2 million from the state in 2008, for ‘preliminary costs’

    • $ 5.08 million in 2009 for investment bankers in a bond ‘swap deal’

    Total • $47.6 million

    Well you did say to look it up! :-)

  319. Jim S. says:

    They go so well together, Jandy.

  320. JohninOshkosh says:

    I sit corrected. Perhaps I should have written “poster.”. :)

  321. Jim S. says:

    I’m thinking 110,000 for the weekend, Matt. We’ll see.

  322. Sisyphus says:

    Because he’s under contract for next year. There is no door to walk through until then.

  323. Jim S. says:

    As I said the other day, DK might want to look into expanding the blog facilities down here. It is getting more crowded each week.

  324. Karen22 says:

    Good one, Groat!

  325. Jim S. says:

    Indeed. I didn’t catch it at the time.

  326. JohninOshkosh says:

    Good find and good post, 21.

    Confirms my belief that Dejan works for Google as a Work Productivity Killer. :)

  327. hockeymonster says:

    Officially what happened was i called Martin a human pylon then when i used his PM initials someone translated that to “pylon man” which is humorous but wasn’t my intention :)

  328. JohninOshkosh says:

    Don’t forget TV ratings as well.

  329. Dom says:

    There has been a third person arrested in connection with Aaron Hernandez.

  330. Lad9 says:

    Awesome stuff. Simply, beautifully, awesome. Thank you War Horse.

  331. Karen22 says:

    War Horse, you win post of the day, no…at least WEEK…with that one! Bravo! I hope you get to make your way to Pittsburgh this year (no cancellation) at season’s end and cheer on the playoff-bound Pirates at PNC Park! Crossing fingers and toes that happens for you…for US!

  332. Karen22 says:

    YEP!

  333. Jim S. says:

    I remember that, Ermine. That series with the Braves – the Pirates got ripped mercilessly for a couple of thousand really bad seats not being sold out of 60,000. I remember them panning the top of the stadium on screen before the games to bring home the point. Atlanta, BTW, seems to have trouble selling out every playoff game these days. Never a peep.

    The Pirates became synonymous with attendance failure long before they became synonymous with on-field failure.

  334. buggee says:

    Didja see that there’s a Sincerely Yogurt place at the ballyard?!?!?!? That absolutely ROCKS.
    I think I’m going to decorate it with shuttlecocks.

    Hoist IT Mateys

  335. Jim S. says:

    It will be … brief.

  336. Jim S. says:

    Now, they’ll both turn on him, most likely.

  337. Ermine says:

    +1

  338. Vette60 says:

    Wow.

    Thanks so much for sharing – what a great story.

    Awesome tale of how a simple, wonderful act by Bartell really not only impacted your Dad’s life, but yours as well. Awesome stuff.

    Enjoy the rest of your evening – Let’s go Bucs!

    Randy in RVA.

  339. Bizrow says:

    + 1, will post the list on the game thread, we already had Newark DE, btw

  340. Bizrow says:

    current residence in lieu of hometown, thanks again Jandy

  341. Dom says:

    Supposedly, Odin Lloyd was killed by Hernandez b/c Lloyd was aware of the previous murder that Hernandez committed. Does anyone know the motive behind the first murder?

  342. Bizrow says:

    Drew takes the name lunatic where few can follow

    + many x 3

  343. pattonbb says:

    Good stuff, 21. I saw that Trib article too, but didn’t understand the math.

    So does that mean out of the $321 million it cost to build Console Center, the taxpayers paid $47.6m? I was told one time that no tax monies were needed to build Console. Or was that $47m given by the state without tax increases for Allegheny residents.

    Funding for the stadiums are always the point of contention with my Penguin loving, Pirate hating Pittsburgh friends. There’s more of them than you’d think, by the way.

  344. Bizrow says:

    Game thread is up

  345. JD says:

    + 19.4

  346. Kevin says:

    who said “major depth”? and since when… pretty sure we brought back Mark Eaton because our D was lacking in depth. No kidding around, our D’s been weak ever since Gonchar “left”

  347. theplanisworking says:

    I just like the podcast thingy. It saves me from reading, which you know I cant do too well………..

  348. Kevin says:

    Scuderi’s another one we couldn’t replace… I guess I see your point though. If we give away Letang, will we look back at him and miss him like some have of Scuderi?

  349. steelercrazy says:

    Agreed! How xFAP+ correlates to game day conditions, such as weather forecasts (xFAP+TWC), road construction (xFAP+/oppPennDOT), and other competing events in the city (xFAP+/DIris, aka AhLeah factor) could SABR-rattle the stats universe.

  350. Kevin says:

    I didnt watch NHL finals… and I’ll usually watch hockey anything. Penguins getting sweeped just majorly bummed me out…

  351. Milo Hamilton says:

    Anyone else find it interesting that Ray Shero can complete major trades for Brenden Morrow & Jarome Iginla or a contract extension with Chris Kunitz without a peep leaking out. But on the other hand, word of Jordan Staal and Kris Letang turning down huge raises hits the media within minutes of it happening.

    The man knows how to play the media to his advantage.

  352. Kevin says:

    ha pelican brief… seriously though, they’re called the pelicans? didnt even realize there were pelicans in new orleans… I would think with the whole french party scene, they could come up with something more suitable eventhough the “jazz” is already taken.

  353. Jim S. says:

    Definitely a bad name.

  354. Bob Hasis says:

    There was a time in the 50′s I’m guessing, the Pittsburgh Pirates had a farm team called the New Orleans Pelicans. So these guys are now are not original

  355. BillyBaduka says:

    Spot on Milo!

  356. BillyBaduka says:

    Great stuff Groat!

  357. BillyBaduka says:

    Well done, thank you for sharing.

  358. BillyBaduka says:

    Apparently from stories I read, there was an argument after leaving Cure nightclub between the people in the BMW that was shot up and a group that Hernandez was with. No mention of the content of the argument.

    But if the SUV where the shots were fired from was rented by Hernandez during the period the shooting occurred, the motive for Lloyd’s killing just became a lot clearer.

  359. BillyBaduka says:

    Yep, thought roughly the same thing as I read the Letang article this morning.

  360. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m with you guys. I wanted to respond to that but didn’t have time. I checked on the 91 games that were mentioned, and the Pirates really only fell down in game 7. (Yeah, that’s a head scratcher). They only had 46,000,which would fill Nationals Park. The other games were over 50,000, and I think they drew better than Atlanta. That game 7 is a head scratcher, though. Was that Avery, who was killing us?

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