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Morning Java: For whom the Bell rolls …

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> Today’s TribLIVE Radio show — on its new day and new time, 2-3 p.m. — promises some good stuff. It will feature special guest Le’Veon Bell, the Steelers’ most talked-about performer in Latrobe, and maybe your starting running back.

We’ll also talk with Travis Sawchik, one of our baseball beat men, and @SuckMeter, too.

To listen, just click on the link above. It’s free, easy, no signup. If you’ve gone mobile, we’ve got the upgraded TribLIVE Radio app.

I want you involved, too, so email at or call 412-320-7925. And you can email the show at any time.

>> Josh Harrison? Oh, for real. The Pirates walk off in style against the Marlins. Rob Biertempfel has details.

Here’s the rest of our baseball coverage.

Here’s Marlins coverage from the Miami Herald.

And here are official game highlights from

>> Troy Polamalu spoke candidly about his future with Ralph Paulk in Latrobe. That was before the Steelers had yesterday off. They’re back at it, pads and all, this morning.

>> Pitt’s first day of practice saw a key linebacker switch. Jerry DiPaola reports.

>> I’ll head to the yard right after the show for the Thursday column.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

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


  1. Mizery says:

    The Pirates keep doing it. Glad to see Harrison hit that jack when it counted. He is a good guy.

    It is nice to see the Steelers draft picks doing well in camp. I have never seen so many contributors in a single class like this. Of course the first preseason game has not been played yet. I remember everyone getting excited about frank summers and Stevenson Sylvester their rookie years as well. Take care Lunatics.

  2. Dadtackular says:

    Hello everyone. My name is Dadtackular and I am a recovering “fanoholic”. It has been 20 years since I last tasted a winning season for the Pirates. I hope to jump off the wagon this year.
    Who’s with me?

  3. KenKopp says:

    Me, welcome buddy!

  4. Thundercrack says:

    What a great game and super atmosphere at the ballpark.
    27907 were there to witness it.

    Bryan Morris with a very good inning of work.

    And I said this earlier in the night: any talk of moving McCutchen out of centerfield is just crazy talk.

  5. BostonsCommon says:

    A lambo would look nice in my garage, but I might be willing to settle for A. Lambo in RF. Nos. 30 and 31 tonight … If Jordy Mercer can hit his way into the lineup…

  6. theplanisworking says:

    TC, I must have missed all the “remove Cutch from center” talk.

    Who did this?

  7. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Another amazing night for the PIrates!
    As a fan…I went from being totally angry that they could go scoreless with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth….To total elation over Josh Harrison’s surprising game-ending HR.

  8. Drew71 says:

    I was watching the Marlins broadcast because I live in Four-PM-Dinner-Land.

    After The Catch, the Marlins announcers were going nuts, sounding like Pirates fans. Some guys just get it when it comes to good baseball.

    Some center fielders too.

    Not only the ability to make that catch, but the baseball IQ knowing the situation in the game. That he may as well go for it because if not, with the runners going, at least two runs score anyway. The risk-reward: if he misses, it probably only means one more run than if he had played it safe vs ending the threat with zero runs and staying in the game.

    Brilliant. But then. Don’t forget the ability, too.

  9. Drew71 says:

    Totally unrelated, and no sarcasm intended, but Johnny Manziel is starting to remind me of Lindsay Lohan.

    Young star. Out of control. Self indulgent. Squandering opportunity.

  10. JoeyBats says:

    Hoka Hey everyone!
    Pirates win…Pirates win!!! ….LXVIII wins down, …and XIV to go.
    Yes, GM Neal and Mgr. Clint ….82 wins DOES make a difference.
    Beat Em’ Bucs !
    PS: BUCCOS = Best winning percentage in all of MLB …. :-)
    PSS: Nice hitting Josh Harrison….CONGRATS.

  11. John Lease says:

    Anyone want Brandon Inge back instead of Harrison?

    I didn’t think so!

    A win for Morris, is a good thing.

    Vin Mazzaro barely got out of it, he hasn’t looked very good his last few outings, might be an issue there. I saw him get rocked in DC, his velocity was low 90’s last night but he was getting drilled. McCutchen’s catch saved that game.

    Although Pedro SHOULD have won it in the bottom of the 8th. Looked at strike 3 right down the middle.

  12. Thundercrack says:

    “It will be a progression this week,” Snider said. “We’ll see how my body responds.”
    Hey buddy, YOU HURT YOUR BIG TOE!

  13. JAL says:

    JAL’s August 7 4:15 Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)

    4 Pittsburgh Pirates Stats

    5 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Pick Signing Tracker

    BLOGS and such

    6—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: The Bench Has (Almost) Been Fully Upgraded

    Josh Harrison’s Pinch-Hit Walk-Off Homer Wins for Pirates 4-3

    Prospect Watch: Andrew Lambo Adds Two More Home Runs

    7 Bucs Dugout

    Josh Harrison hits walk-off blast in 4-3 win over Marlins


    Game 112: Pirates 4 Marlins 3

    9 Bleacher Report

    Looking at Jameson Taillon’s First Triple-a Stint for Pittsburgh Pirates

    10 Rumbunter

    Pirates and Nationals: A Tale of Teams Headed in Opposite Directions

    11 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Pirates 4 Marlins 3

  14. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 Fish Stripes

    MLB Scores: Miami Marlins 3, Pittsburgh Pirates 4

    13 City of Champions

    Could Jose Tabata be the Pittsburgh Pirates’ answer in right field?

    14 Beaver County Times

    Pirates Insider: Harrison’s blast lifts Bucs

    15 Miami Herald

    Miami Marlins blow lead, lose on walk-off home run

    16 CBS Sports

    Marlins at Pirates: Game Preview

    17 KDKA

    ‘Bucco Time Machine’: What We Were Saying A Year Ago Today

    18 PBC Site

    Harrison’s heroics give Bucs walk-off win in opener

    Notebook: Melancon bringing calm demeanor to closer’s role


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    The Foundation of the Front Office

    20 Fangraphs

    A Few Different Ways To Look at The Steroid Era, Graphically

  15. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    ‘Swinging hammer harder’ philosophy of this year’s camp shows Tomlin’s depth of leadership

    Keisel is betting on a big season for Steelers safety Troy Polamalu

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Thoughts on the Steelers as They Reach the Halfway Point of Training Camp=Part 1

    Thoughts On The Steelers As They Reach The Halfway Point Of Training Camp – Part 2


    23 Daily Telegraph

    Paul Ince asks ‘has someone got to get stabbed before we listen?’ after pitch invasion at Preston v Blackpool clash

    24 World Soccer Daily

    Brian Glanville-German Doping Report Is No Surprise

  16. JAL says:

    August 7, 4:15 Jon Bon Jovi 1997

  17. Jandy says:

    I missed the game last night. Dayum.

  18. Jandy says:

    And criminal too?

  19. Jandy says:

    He must be hanging around Walker too much.

  20. JD says:

    Does anybody know if Tailion is scheduled to pitch in Toledo on Saturday or Sunday?

  21. Damon says:

    Question – if the MLB season ended today, would the Pirates play the Dodgers and not the Cards-Reds winner because they are in our division? Didn’t know if that changed with the additional wild card team or not. Just looking at it, playing the Dodgers, Braves, Cards or Reds would be tough….but would be wonderful just seeing the Bucs in a playoff series again.

  22. Matt hoffman says:

    Should be Saturday:)

  23. Matt hoffman says:

    I watched him pitch monday in Indy and after the first 4 batters he settled down and looked good. Fastball at 97 and good offspeed stuff. The first three batters got free passes and the 4th hit a firstpitch fastball for a bases clearing double. I am confident that he will fare better Saturday with his arsenal of pitches.

  24. Jason says:

    I don’t think it matters whether the Wild Card is in the same division as the #1 seed. It’s the winner of the Wild Card playoff vs #1 seed, #2 vs #3.

  25. Brandie says:

    Hi Dadtackular!

  26. Brandie says:

    Morning Jandy. I will be attending the Curve game Friday!

  27. JHadar says:

    Wow indeed. I did the same thing.

  28. Nate83 says:

    Also the Braves have a very easy schedule the rest of the way and currently sit just 1 game behind the Pirates. It would seem likely that they will secure the #1 seed. However it seemed likely the Pirates wouldn’t win the 95 games Clint Hurdle predicted at the beginning of the year but here we are on pace to win 95 games so who knows. I certainly do not.

  29. Tom P. says:

    Jason, you are correct.

  30. Brandie says:

    He has become “Johnny Football” instead of Johnny Manziel.

  31. Dom says:

    Bell’s got to be the most crucial member of the steelers season. If he’s a bust then we’re in deep dodo.

    Will both Redman and Dwyer make the team this season? Since we brought in that RB from Arizona would we really need 4 backs?

    Also, does anyone know how many WRs does a team normally run with? Are we going to be able to keep Plex on the team if we already have Brown, Sanders, Cotchery, and the two guys we drafted?

  32. Kevin says:

    Just checking in here today to see how many people are “taking back everything bad they said about JHay” because of last night… I went to bed a bit early and missed the whole thing :(. Also missed what happened after we loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the 8th… good thing, I guess.

  33. Dom says:

    I thought that the #1 team doesn’t play the WC winner if they were in the same division.

  34. JD says:

    Thanks Matt, I’m going to check him out.

  35. Lad9 says:

    I can see a rapid fall for this kid to where he will be know as Johnny Foosball if he doesn’t wake up. And top o’ the morning to ya Jandy and Brandie. :)

  36. Arriba Wilver says:

    Interesting article by Tim Williams on “upgrading” the bench in JAL’s Link #6. Very interesting about Lambo, too.

  37. Bizrow says:

    There are several similar examples as well.

    Very good point though.

    He is self destructing

  38. Dom says:

    Two more homers from Lambo. Bring him up already.

  39. Jandy says:

    Hey, Rad Lad! Good to see you :)
    I missed the game last night…but was glad to hear we got the win :)

  40. CWalton_67 says:

    DK, the Polamalu link above sends you to Miami, not Latrobe.

    Very happy for all the Pirates fans on here. Great season for the Bucs.

    It was 43 degrees here in the mountains this morning–autumn is just around the corner. A collapse is looking less and less likely.

  41. Jandy says:

    Woah! I wish I could make it, but not gonna happen this Friday. Hubby has me extremely busy.
    I’ll be thinking of you, tho! bring us the W!

  42. Pucknutz says:

    Brilliant catch for sure – Brilliant analysis also Drew. ++++

  43. Lad9 says:

    Yes, you were conspicuous in your absence. :) What a great win! And the blog negativity was fairly minimal until a couple of posts near the very end and he shut down quick. Most everything offered before that was legit and reasonable. Good night in blog land. Hope the Bucs can do it again tonight. Am splitting a 20 game package with 3 others for the rest of the season and can’t wait.

  44. AJS says:

    When there was only one wild card thsi was the case. When they added the second Wild Card they changed it.

  45. Milo Hamilton says:

    Very timely piece. When is someone finally going to get a big pinch hit around here ?

  46. John Lease says:

    A studied silence has ensued.

  47. AJS says:

    Last night brown made a comment saying he asked NH if Lambo not being on the 40 man was the reason for him not being here already. NH said no, pointing to the fact that they actually have two sposts currently open on the 40 man.

    Walk asked brown if he then asked what the hold up actually is. Brown said he did not because NH was already shaking his head and telling him he was just like a typical fan.

  48. NMR says:

    You’re in Colorado aren’t you, CWalton?

    I’m taking vacation in Ouray, Telluride, and Denver over Labor Day. Any chance the Aspens start changing early?

  49. AJS says:

    Hey don’t use that C word around here.

  50. Thundercrack says:


  51. Jandy says:

    wow, bring us luck!!!!

  52. Jandy says:



  53. NMR says:

    “He might not be a 30 homer a year guy in the majors. A conservative guess would put him closer to 20 homers a year.”

    Stuff like this is why I can’t take Williams opinion peices seriously.

    He’s either wildly optomistic or doesn’t understand the meaning of the word conservative.

  54. Jandy says:

    I don’t recall I had all that much to say about JHay. He is what he is. And right now what he is, is better than other options.

  55. Naterosboro says:

    I find it a little funny that an entity (NCAA) basically has entire control over these kids.

    Does Johnny maybe party a little too much? Possibly. But what 19-20 year olds don’t? I don’t see how you can hold that against someone, or use that to judge them.

    I bet a lot of the people in here are much different than they were at 19 or 20.

    Yet, the NCAA will strike down a kid who has made them a lot of money all because he signs a few autographs.

    Its disgusting.

    And remember…Johnny Manziel, as was the case for all others before and after, (basically) cannot get to the NFL without playing college football. And he has to be there for at least 3 seasons. They’ll advertise his face on TV, and use him to get TV ratings. And they’ll sell his jersey (without his name on the back of course, b/c, you know, that makes it ok. If there’s no name on the back, it could be anyone!) for more profit.

    Basically my question is, how can the NCAA make money off these kids identities, yet not allow them to make a few dollars OFF OF THEIR OWN IDENTITY?

    Monopoly much?

  56. Milo Hamilton says:

    I don’t know about you, but I wonder about a guy whose minor league career looked to be in jeopardy then all of the sudden he morphs into Willie Stargell.

  57. Dadtackular says:

    Hi Brandtackular!

  58. tpbco says:

    Normally they keep 5 WRs, unless there is also a special teams ace. Don’t think there is any of them in this group.

    Common thought is Baron Batch will struggle to make the team and depending on injuries, either Redman or Dwyer is on the bubble.

  59. Milo Hamilton says:

    1st 5 minor league seasons – 2015 AB’s / 56 home runs.
    This season – 467 AB’s / 31 home runs.

  60. Arriba Wilver says:

    Brown should not interview Neal. Too close. Zero credibility. I just don’t listen anymore.

  61. Arriba Wilver says:


  62. tomp says:

    That would be a good trade to work out with the marlins, their announcing team for the Pirates.

    Josh Harrison has more big hits in the last 2 weeks, than Inge had in his 2 month tryout.
    I guess that “veteran leadership” may be a little overrated, after all!.
    Harrison may never be a major league regular, but he is good guy to have on this team, even though he is under 35 years of age.

    I would still like them to give this Lambo guy a few Ab’s at the major league level, sooner than later.
    Tough call to on who he would replace on the roster though.
    I guess Presley could always go back to AAA, but he seems like a good team player.
    Just wishing they could find a trade partner for Tabata.
    His team friendly deal is probably the main reason he is still on this roster.

  63. tdb1977 says:

    A brief recall of the game from sec 318…

    What a game last night. After being down 3 by the midway point of the 3rd inning, it felt like the stadium had lost some air in it. Then came the hits and the baserunners. By the time Cutch came to the plate, the stadium was beginning to become electric. Cutch drives in 2 and the place is going nuts. Pedro up next. All he needs to do is a little base hit and the score is tied. Screw the small ball, Pedro goes big with a triple and the stadium is now in full rocking and rolling mode. Locke didn’t look himself but was able to get through 5 2/3. Vin came in and got the final out of the inning. Still tied at 3 going into the 8th. Miami starts to mount a charge for the lead, but an amazing catch by McCutchen saved the inning from getting away. Stadium is abuzz again with the catch. Still abuzzed going into the home half of the inning and our amazing Bucs have the bases loaded with none out. My buddy and I like what we see coming up. Noise is loud and chants of Let’s Go Pedro rain down from the crowd. But, a scene we have seen all to often an a Pedro strike out. Still have the bases loaded and only one out. My buddy tells me, we can still make this work, all we need is a ball hit to the outfield and Martin is coming up. Should be easy task, but no – Martin ground weakly to second for the inning end double play. The air is completely gone from the stadium at this point. A great opportunity squandered. Only hope now is for a walk off to occur for home half of the 9th. Morris comes in and sits the fish down pretty quickly. The big board plays the clip of the movie to “Hoist the colors”. Fans start to go crazy and Jolly Rogers are waving throughout the stadium. I look around and am amazed at how many flags are waving in the stands. Harrison is announced as the pinch hitter and it feel like a little bit of a buzz kill took place. He takes the first pitch, if my memory serves me correctly. The next pitch he deposits in the right center seats, barely clearing the wall and the stadium absolutely erupts. 29K and its deafening roar with the walk off victory. We stay around to watch Josh get the pie in the face from AJ. What a night.

    Going back for game 2 tonight. Hopefully, they can get out in front of the fish early and run away with this game because the match up on Thursday is going to be a tough one.

  64. Arriba Wilver says:

    I was struck by the it’s either hit a homer or nothing recently.

  65. tomp says:

    Johnny Goofball is a more fitting nickname.

  66. The Gunner says:

    JHay is a spark plug type of player, he is fine and a huge upgrade versus washed up Inge.

  67. tomp says:

    He should give it a couple of extra weeks, like the 2nd week of september, just to be sure it’s healed.

    I liked the trade, at first, but the team is better with him on the DL.

  68. The Gunner says:

    I agree AW. Since they have a roster spot open, I think Lambo will be up as soon as they can figure out who to put on the DL/CL.

  69. Arriba Wilver says:

    I like them sometimes for the factual information provided. I don’t put much stock in the conclusions drawn either. The detail is sometimes very good, though.

  70. tomp says:

    They showed a replay of the HR during the cardinals /dodgers game, and the droopy card’s announcer said it may have been

    “fan interference”, but was not reviewed.

    From the replay i saw, it hit the guy in the 1st row, clearly above the fence/yellow line.

    I am really hoping they can get to at least a 4 game lead before the st louis series.

    Just don’t want to get swept by them.

  71. Patrick(ri) says:

    I am pleased to be able to offer some bragadaccio: I “knew” it and said so.

  72. Sisyphus says:

    Hey buddy, a sore big toe ended the career of Jack Lambert, so cut the kid a little slack here. He tried to play on it for a month.

  73. NMR says:

    Absolutely agree. His site is an excellent resource.

  74. Patrick(ri) says:

    With about a .33 chance of a whiff. Of course, if he can keep that pace of HRs, who cares? With Lambo, Pedro and Jones in the lineup, fans better bring O2 masks, as there will little air left in the stadium.

  75. Arriba Wilver says:

    If there was one person on here who was unhappy that Brandon Inge was finally cut lose I missed it. We’re sure hearing a lot about those non-existent people today, though.


  76. Jandy says:

    Way to bring home the win, tdb!~ Do it again tonight :)

  77. Jandy says:

    I’m not listening! :D

  78. Wild Bill says:

    What a great finish to a very shaky game; this is the sign of a special team when they find ways to win on an off night for most. Jay-Hay yesterday – who knows who will be huge tonight!

    Off now to Rochester, where I will represent the Anyone But Tiger part of the gallery for the next few days. Keep those wins coming, Bucs and loony supporters! Especially, humble that Fernandez kid a little bit tomorrow night.

  79. CWalton_67 says:

    Yes, Estes Park. And ther is a good chance the Apens will change early. We’ve had a wet summer, and now early cool temps. And you should think about visiting here too. RMNP is only 90 minutes from Denver.

  80. Jandy says:

    Hockey players these guys are not. Hockey players play on broken toes and feet.
    But hey, Presley and JHay are filling in nicely, so it’s all good. Even Tabby smacked a few good ones.

  81. NMR says:


    But the guy is also repeating AAA for the second time and AA for the sixth (!!!) year.

    Also striking out more and walking less than at any point in his career.

    He’s always had the “raw power” tag from scouts, maybe he finally just started selling out for long balls.

  82. Jandy says:

    “I bet a lot of the people in here are much different than they were at 19 or 20″
    At nineteen I was married and keeping my own house and paying my own bills. SO, yup, I wasn’t a hell raiser.

    I agree that the NCAA is being hypocritical. But didn’t Johnny sign any papers that said he wouldn’t do what he did?

  83. Milo Hamilton says:

    Having his “come to JoeyBats moment” I guess.

  84. NMR says:

    Maybe I’m just a stickler, but Lambo is only striking out about 25% of the time.

  85. theplanisworking says:

    Well, you have to take that in context. If you are the type of person that lives for “gotcha”, or “I told you so” moments, then you should be pleased as punch today.

    I have seen JHay get picked off base to edn the game, struggle, have baserunning goofs, fielding errors, etc. I have called him what I think he is…………. a AAAA player. I am super happy he hit the HR last night, but let us not annoint him the Second Coming just because of that.

    If he does him on a consistent basis, then people will change their minds.
    Until then, people will think as they want to.

  86. theplanisworking says:

    Are you saying he has a hidden stash from Tony Bosch?? ;)

  87. theplanisworking says:


  88. theplanisworking says:

    Do you ever??? ;)

  89. theplanisworking says:

    Wonder if Phil can do it again?

  90. Naterosboro says:

    Haha! I said a lot Jandy, not all. Not all of us can be saints… ;-)

    And all these players I guess have to sign something saying they’ll play by the NCAA’s rules…

    But that’s my issue here.

    These kids are essentially signing 3-4 years of their life away in the hopes that they’ll be able to stay healthy and get to the NFL to get their “payday”. All while the NCAA is using their likenesses for profit.

    Doesn’t anyone see how wrong this is?

  91. Arriba Wilver says:

    I, for one, enjoy hearing about golf, so I’d be happy to read some updates here.

  92. theplanisworking says:

    Guess you and I are in the minority.

    I get a kick out of the lapdog media not asking Tiger why he hasnt won a major since that Canadian steroid doctor , Garea, I believe, got arrested and shut down.

  93. NMR says:

    Nice! I’ve heard Estes is really growing.

    I spent a summer in Mintern a while ago and made it up to RMNP a few times. Great area, especially with proximity to Denver in mind.

    This will be our first time in the San Jauns, or else RMNP would’ve been our choice.

  94. Arriba Wilver says:


  95. NMR says:

    It would be mildly amusing if he went from psychotropic enhancing drugs to performance enhancing drugs.

    Thats gotta be a first.

  96. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think you’re fighting a different battle, Nate.

  97. Milo Hamilton says:

    What time is Riley Cooper scheduled to say he’s sorry today ?

  98. gregenstein says:

    I can think of plenty of 19 or 20 year olds who didn’t feel like they needed to sew their wild oats. Every single one of the folks who I’ve been acquainted with that also played D1 college sports (not necessarily football) had strong work ethics. Very few of them engaged in anything remotely resembling the rolling frat party that is Johnny Goofball.

    That’s no excuse for the NCAA though. They are hypocrites and a corrupt organization of the highest order. I personally see nothing wrong with good old capitalism. Let the kids get endorsement deals from car dealerships, get free tattoos, have people pay for their autographs, whatever. These are all things regular people are free to do.

  99. Dom says:

    Who will be the odd man out? Plex?

  100. gregenstein says:

    It’s also possible that it’s easier to skate with a broken foot than it is to cover the outfield grass at PNC park without hurting your team.

    Not that it’s EASY. Just that a stiff cast placed inside a hard skate isn’t the same as a stiff cast inside a leather shoe.

  101. Kevin says:

    My notes from last nights pirates loss:

    – Locke was mediocre again for the second time in a row. 9 hits over 5-2/3.

    – I can’t believe Pedro went for the triple. Seemed like the outfielder got to the ball just as Pedro was rounding 1st. I dunno if the guy bobbled it or what. The expression on pedro’s face was absolutely hilarious though. He obviously knew he was taking a big chance. Great slide though.

    – Luckily we were playing the fish and not the cards. Gotta take advantage of your opportunities when they are slapping you in the face like that bases loaded no outs 8th last night.

  102. gregenstein says:

    Not likely. I would think Justin Brown can slip to the Practice Squad.

  103. Kevin says:

    HA – I said pirates loss. It felt like a loss because I went to bed before the 9th inning.

  104. Naterosboro says:

    Oh I am.

    I’m just using Manziel here to get my gripes about the NCAA out.

    They essentially use slave labor (yes, a very strong and harsh term, and somewhat hyperbole, but, in the simplest of terms, they pay these kids nothing, and make massive profits off of them, to the tune of millions of dollars).

    But more people (not necessarily in DK blogland; just in general) have a problem that there’s not a playoff in college football.

    Something’s wrong here, and the only way to correct it is to continue to talk about it and take the NCAA to task.

    I will continue to fight the good fight.

  105. gregenstein says:

    JHay is a fine utility player and a decent 12th or 13th man on the bench. Much better player right now than Brandon Inge.

    I don’t think that makes him a starter, but yeah, he’s decent enough as a bench player.

  106. Naterosboro says:

    Yea, but you can also think of plenty of 19-20 year olds that do “sew their wild oats” (like that term btw).

    And, I also think you’re taking it a little far by questioning his work ethic. Just because the kid partys doesn’t mean he’s not a hard worker.

    I don’t see how the 2 are correlated.

    Good thoughts on the NCAA tho. You are officially in the HeMan NCAA Haters Club.

  107. zivkov34 says:

    Q: What makes Andrew Lambo different frome Steve Pearce and/or Brad Eldred?

  108. Arriba Wilver says:

    Locke was shaky, but for Locke. Still ” only ” gave up 3 ER’s and all in one inning. I mentioned the JMac comparison last night, but I’m not hitting the panic button yet on Jeff.

  109. zivkov34 says:

    Q: What makes Andrew Lambo different from Steve Pearce and/or Brad Eldred?

  110. Skip says:

    Love Telluride. Great skiing – a little pricey, though.

  111. Skip says:

    Same here. I thought it was odd DK never mentioned Phil’s dramatic win at The Open Championship

  112. Arriba Wilver says:

    Look, I think the system could use some tweaks. But why don’t you suggest a system with no scholarships and just paying these guys to play instead? Because right now the scholarships are the payment. (As well as the national recognition the few who really benefit get, leading to big contracts).

  113. gregenstein says:

    I think we’re seeing that regression everyone was worried about the Locke. Good news about it though is that he’s managed to battle his way through and keep the team in the ballgame. He might have another couple of games like this, but I’m worried about him like I once was.

    This is more what a natural regression looks like, unlike what we witnessed last year with James McDonald. I think he’ll be fine and eventually lady luck will tilt back in his favor.

  114. Milo Hamilton says:

    There was a soccer game in Plant City that day.

  115. Arriba Wilver says:

    Just saw a list of the friendliest cities in the US, and Telluride was in the top ten. I think it was a Huffington Post poll.

  116. Arriba Wilver says:


  117. He hasn’t sniffed the majors yet.

  118. Arriba Wilver says:

    We get no respect. Rodney Dangerfield

  119. gregenstein says:

    A1. He’s never been given his chance

    A2. He’s spent most of his minor league career in AA or AAA.

    A3. He’s had a longer minor league career. In theory, his numbers might be a little more projectable.

    Personally, I think he’ll be more like Garrett Jones where he’ll have a nice career, probably a platoon guy, maybe hit 6th or so on a decent teams’ lineup. That’s more than I can say I think of Tabata, Presley, or Snider at this point.

  120. NMR says:

    Count me as one who sees the same pitcher over the last three starts as the first 19.

  121. Thundercrack says:

    I would rather them ask him again the connection between not winning a major since his wife chased him down the driveway with the driver (golf club)

  122. Arriba Wilver says:


  123. Naterosboro says:

    But if they are paid to play, then aren’t they professionals?

    The scholarship to get a free education is good. But that can’t be it (while giving up essentially any other way to make money for 3-4 years). These kids should also be getting some sort of monthly stipend (or be allowed to sign autographs or endorsement deals in college).

    There’s way too much of an imbalance there.

  124. Thundercrack says:


    Baseball’s new buzz word

  125. NMR says:

    Did you notice “the look” come back in the 5th and 6th last night?

  126. NMR says:

    Sustainable, we hardly knew ye.

  127. Naterosboro says:

    As soon as Aaron Hernandez enters his not guilty plea.

  128. Jandy says:

    sometimes ;)


  129. Milo Hamilton says:

    Followed by reaction from Urban Meyer.

  130. Naterosboro says:

    Speaking of Garrett Jones…

    he’s now hitting .249.

    Weren’t we supposed to trade for the better version of him at the deadline? Whatever happened to that trade? Anyone know why it hasn’t come to fruition?

  131. Patrick(ri) says:

    Exactly, only I would argue he is more like 10th or 11th on this bench, with emphasis on his versatility(recall he moved around twice the day he had all those hits).

  132. Arriba Wilver says:

    But I meant updates from Wild Bill. I don’t expect DK to cover it. I mean, he has badminton to cover. ( that was an easy joke, I really was not saying DK should cover it) but I like the comments from the gallery.

  133. Jandy says:

    who said anything about a cast?? These guys don’t have casts. They wrap them up!
    But I was being facetious….since I am a hockey nut ;)

  134. Brandie says:

    I will do my best to report and bring home the W! I missed you last night!

  135. Naterosboro says:

    The only thing I can see is he’s not spotting his pitches quite as well as he was early on (aka missing spots) and his control has also been a bit off (with the higher walk totals recently).

    But, of the 9 hits he gave up last night, weren’t like 7-8 singles?

    Kid will be fine.

  136. Patrick(ri) says:


  137. Jandy says:

    Nate, believe me, I see your point. The NCAA is extremely hypocritical.
    And trust me, I’m no saint ;X

  138. Arriba Wilver says:

    Just a nit, but I think it was a 7 iron,

  139. Brandie says:

    Manziel is also young. Think of Roethlisberger as “Big Ben” and how he had to dig his way out of that. Raaaaadddddd Laaaaaaaddddddd! I am so jealous! Have fun at the games!

  140. Thundercrack says:

    At the game last night.
    I was surprised that some of those hits didn’t go over the fence…way over.

    But I was also surprised that some of the Marlins’ hits ‘sounded’ like they were really smacked good – but were just dropping in to the shallow part of the OF or at infielders.

    If Locke also learned how to handle the bat a little better, especially bunting, he would really be helping himself a lot.

  141. Jandy says:

    I’m glad someone missed me lol ;)

  142. Milo Hamilton says:

    Maybe you missed it, all those guys were traded to other teams at the deadline.

  143. Naterosboro says:

    With a late night candle-light vigil for Franco Harris.

  144. Arriba Wilver says:

    No. Do you mean the “look” to the dugout? I only saw parts, and heard some on the radio. That could possibly be bad, if It’s what I think you’re saying.

  145. Wild Bill says:

    I don’t own a smart phone, AW, and my IPad is not allowed on the course, but I will see what I can do.

  146. NMR says:

    No, I mean “the look” of no confidence that was plastered on his face while getting knocked around the last two Septembers.

    Ever so briefly I saw a bit of that creep back while he was scuffling through the 5th and 6th.

    Which made it all the more relieving to see him make the best pitch off the ball game when he froze Hechavaria high and tight to end the 5th.

  147. theplanisworking says:

    After Aaron Rodgers answers more questions about Ryan Fraud.
    And Tom Brady combs his hair again.

  148. PirateFaninGA says:

    For all of you in the Burgh area, will there even be baseball tonight? I saw the national weather map and it looked like rain extended from down here in Georgia all the way up to the Great Lakes and said it would be that way for the next 48 hours.

    Bucs don’t need another off day…just had one and will have another next Monday. I’d rather them have a few in September.

  149. NMR says:

    His July line of .261/.311/.493 WAS that guy.

  150. Tom P. says:

    I don’t see a comparison between JMac and Locke. A bad night for JMac turned a 7-1 lead into a 7-7 tie in less than three outs. When Locke struggles, as he did some last night, he gives up three runs before none were out in the third, but gives up no more runs until he was removed with two outs in the sixth.

    Yes, his results have not been as good lately as they were earlier in the year. My guess is that hitters have made some adjustments, so he will have to make some also. It’s part of the game.

  151. Thundercrack says:

    I wonder if his back is hurting him.

    Or the thought of a bad back is hurting him.

  152. Arriba Wilver says:

    Like I said, I missed it. He sounded pretty confident after the game. And that is a big part of his game and JMac’s. We shall see, I guess. But thanks for bringing it up.

  153. Jandy says:

    AW said it above…Locke doesn’t get shook up. His confidence carries him thru his struggles.

  154. Thundercrack says:

    I was at the game so I didn’t see any replays or closeups, but I thought at times in the 5 and 6 he may have had the ‘bulldog’ look on his face.

  155. Arriba Wilver says:

    You need to get a smart phone. Pronto. :-)

  156. Arriba Wilver says:

    Seriously, though, a Sunday summary would be great.

  157. Jandy says:

    Hey, Happy Birthday, Sid :)

  158. Arriba Wilver says:

    Like I said, tweaks. But not the dastardly evil system you are portraying. Who is going to get helped by being allowed to sell their name? Mostly the guys who will end up with NFL careers anyway.

    I think being paid to play making them a professional is an NCAA rule, so it gets kind of circular.

  159. Dom says:

    My sentiments exactly!

    We WASTED a perfectly good opportunity by not obtaining anyone at the deadline. I heard that Seattle asked a lot for Morales and this was a problem why?

    The point now is to win the World Series. We have to make a foolish move for the long run in order to win now in the short run. As much as I would have hated to do it but I would have parted with someone of the likes of Hanson and Glasnow for Morales.

    Couldn’t we have even obtained a bench guy?

  160. Iceman says:

    I know some people don’t like Greg Brown, but his call on Harrison’s home run last night was priceless. Watched the replay a couple of times just to hear that call.

  161. Dom says:

    Sid Bream?

  162. Iceman says:

    These were my thoughts too. Several of the hits given up last night were seeing eye, ground balls that just made it through the infield. I thought Locke kept his composure and continued pitching. AJ taking Locke under his wing looks to have been the confidence boost Locke needed.

  163. Dom says:

    Just kidding around Bream’s birthday was just a few days ago though. Sid turns 26. All downhill from here.

  164. Jandy says:

    Nah….life starts at 40, Dom ;)

  165. Jandy says:

    Agreed 100% on AJ. It’s helped immensely. I crack up when they show those two putting their heads together during games. They look like two schoolboys plotting mischief!

  166. Arriba Wilver says:

    60 is the new 40.

    Ask Spunky.

  167. Dom says:

    Then what’s the new 60?

  168. PirateFaninGA says:

    I agree with the assessments of JHay being a nice bench piece and definite upgrade over Inge.

    But what I loved about his HR last night was that as soon as the bat made contact with the ball he took off sprinting to 1B and was half way to second when it cleared….he was thinking Triple if it doesn’t clear the wall.

    If you are going to stare at a HR ball, it better be 10-15 rows deep. I love Cutch and the guy is MVP caliber for sure but he has hit a few lately that he took a nice look at before realizing they were not leaving the Park. Hustle needs to be this offense’s middle name.

  169. theplanisworking says:


    Or so I was told by legends on this here blog.

  170. Lad9 says:

    Coming back from vacation on Saturday and hopped on the airside shuttle at Greater Pitt, looked up and there stood Sid Bream. He knew I knew who he was and just nodded and I nodded back and I chose to think about what a good man he is, and how he played hard for the Pirates, rather than get a mental image of him sliding into home plate and sending us on a 20 $#*%*@# YEAR losing streak because STERIOD BOY couldn’t throw and Chico Lind couldn…. (slapping self) Well anyhow, I really tried not to think that…

  171. Bizrow says:

    One of the announcers, forget who, noted that Locke was looking frustrated, might have been Walkie

  172. Arriba Wilver says:

    Plan has it.

  173. NMR says:

    You missed Nates point.

  174. AJS says:

    When I first saw the play in real time I thought it might have been interference. When they showed the replay from a closer angle it cleared the fence before it was touched…barely.

  175. Naterosboro says:


    If you can, take a look at this link.

    I think it spells it out there pretty clearly.

    And it wouldn’t be that big of a deal if the NCAA wouldn’t come down like a hammer fist on these kids for “violations”.

    Johnny Football is getting too big for them. Gotta put him back in his place.

  176. theplanisworking says:

    They have therapy for this, you know………..

    Go grab one of Drew’s bacon beers………..

  177. theplanisworking says:

    They have therapy for this, you know………..

    Go grab one of Drew’s bacon beers………..

  178. Sisyphus says:

    “We WASTED a perfectly good opportunity by not obtaining anyone at the deadline. I heard that Seattle asked a lot for Morales and this was a problem why?”

    Apparently because it was more than he was worth. I notice that nobody else bothered to trade for him.

    “The point now is to win the World Series. We have to make a foolish move for the long run in order to win now in the short run. As much as I would have hated to do it but I would have parted with someone of the likes of Hanson and Glasnow for Morales.”

    I’m glad you’re not the GM, because the difference in our chances that a bench player would bring is too high a price to pay for 20 more years of irrelevence.

  179. theplanisworking says:

    Well, since I feel 99 most days………… ;)

  180. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think I did hear that on the radio, but it would have been Steve or Tim. BTW, Tim still sucks.

  181. Arriba Wilver says:


  182. AJS says:

    No regression. Just a little bit of bad luck. Outside of the third inning he didn’t get hit hard once. Piddly dribbler ground balls loaded the abses in the second and he did wwell to get just the sac fly. The third inning was dicey but other than that it wasn’t that bad of an outing. He usually walks a lot more guys than he did last night so he is somewhat used to working out of those jams.

  183. AJS says:

    I notice this every year about this time at PNC. the ball just stops traveling. hits that were sure homers in June and July barely make it to the track at best.

  184. Jandy says:

    Are you ready for it??? ;)

    I still feel 21 inside….


  185. Dom says:

    Are you saying Morales is a bench player? He has 17 homers and is nearly batting 300. Are our chances better or worse with him?

    We obtained Zane Smith for Moises Alou when we were in the playoff race 20+ years ago. Were we a worse team in the future for it? Sure but the point back then was to win the WS and that trade gave us a better chance than if we didn’t go ahead with it. Plus, if we kept Alou, he would have been part of the sinking ship over the next few years.

  186. theplanisworking says:

    Thats because you are a nun.
    You have all those miracles.
    I am a Hippo.
    Nuff said, eh?


  187. zivkov34 says:

    People who don’t like Greg Brown need a stronger dose of Potash, Steigy, and Errey

  188. Naterosboro says:


    I was just having a little fun based on DKs column a little while back (and b/c when I looked at the box score late last evening and saw GJ batting .249, I was a little taken aback).

  189. 21sthebest says:

    When did, “he gets swings and misses” become “he misses bats?” And why?

  190. Jandy says:

    LOL Hipposter. I’m still waiting on 21’s response…where has he been lately?

  191. Arriba Wilver says:

    Dom, you’d have traded your grandmother and DK’s mom to minimally upgrade the Pirates bench. Trading Alou in the 90’s made sense because it was a caretaker ownership group. It has little to no relevance today. They got a starting pitcher to help defeat their then nemesis New York Mets. It worked. morales does not equal a starting pitcher. And these guys are looking long term.

  192. zivkov34 says:

    Greg Brown, Lanny Frattare, Bill Hillgrove, (and the inexplicable move of) Mike Lange (being relegated to Radio) are the best of the 80’s, 90’s. 00’s, and “teens?”

  193. NMR says:

    Because its nine characters shorter.

    Big difference when your thoughts are limited to 140.

  194. cmat0829 says:

    I see two very different arguments…one is the extent of NCAA power and whether college athletes are compensated correctly (let’s not forget that scholarships have value, but also not forget that many of them really don’t see value in the education and don’t take the opportunity to get a good one)…. the other is Manziel has broken the rules and is showing terrible judgment, regardless of how old he is. You can’t break the rules because you are a narcissistic d/bag and then cry about the rules themselves and distract attention… you knew the rules, you purposely violated them, and you think you can get away with it because you are “johnny football” ..that is not a good combination of things and yes, it usually leads to bad consequences.

  195. theplanisworking says:

    Hope you are able to make the game thread tonight.
    We had 4 or 5 legends there last night, but not you.
    I was there, but there is a blog law that one zoo animal must be present………I think DK gets tax rebates if I am there?

    Anyway, I am about to just take a “miracle-working” class soon……… after JHay hit that homer last night, I now believe miracles DO come true!


  196. NMR says:

    “Dom, you’d have traded your grandmother and DK’s mom to minimally upgrade the Pirates bench.”


    Dom, we love you, but that one rings true.

  197. NMR says:

    But seriously, not the start to August we wanted out of him, huh?

  198. theplanisworking says:

    Does DK know about this?

  199. Jandy says:

    I hope so too. We have an appointment (hubby and I) but hopefully it’s not too late when we get home and I can check out the blog.
    Happy Miracle Class ;)

  200. 21sthebest says:


    They should limit tweets to four characters.

  201. theplanisworking says:

    Thank you, my 21 year old nun friend.

    Hippos and miracles do go together too well.

  202. Arriba Wilver says:

    I did go to Barstool.Com, but didn’t see anything that spelled anything out clearly, other than “Penn State Student arrested after getting caught ___ing off in an academic building.”

    C’mon, man, can’t you at least get a Bleacher Report citation?

    It did reaffirm my belief In the validity of the Freeh Report.

  203. Kevin says:

    I had this exact conversation just the other day. I contend that “middle age” is from 30-50. And you can be considered “old” after 50 and “young” before 30. This is all based on the national (US) life span average of ~80 years. 0-30 young, 30-50 middle, 50-80 old, 80+ dino old. (40 still being the hill). Although I heard just the other day that if you survive (cancer & other ailments) by 65 yrs old, there’s a much better chance of living well past 80.

    Of course all this being not very useful, you’re as old or young as you want to be. It just comes down to the choices you make and the way you want to live. I plan to still be middle-aged well into my 60’s just as I plan to be young well into my 40’s.

  204. Bob Hasis says:

    He is as pure and genuine as is possible to be. Refreshing, just like last night’s, and all of his impromptu ad lib calls

  205. Bob Hasis says:

    And I’ll throw in Blass and Kent (yo – as in you know) Tekulve

  206. Arriba Wilver says:


  207. radio wave says:

    I recall a moment when a now deceased comedian was on tv giving a concert. He commented he was getting old, that he had turned 60. A woman in the audience shouted “you’re not old, you’re middle aged. The comedian replied,”thank you madam, I’m not going to live to 120, 60 is not middle aged.”

  208. Jandy says:

    “Of course all this being not very useful, you’re as old or young as you want to be. It just comes down to the choices you make and the way you want to live. I plan to still be middle-aged well into my 60′s just as I plan to be young well into my 40′s.”

    ahhhh…the joys of youth :)

  209. Lad9 says:

    I am willing to give anything a try, but I think the answer will be a playoff berth….

  210. Dom says:

    That’s where we see things differently, I am not looking long term. The point is to win this year. We might not and probably wont have the best record years from now when and if guys like Polanco, Hanson, and Glasnow are in the majors.

  211. NMR says:

    2011 was “lightening in a bottle”

    2012 was “all-in”

    Both years the win-now-at-all-cost meme was pitched with the logic that the team will never have a better chance.

    Do you see the pattern forming?

  212. 21sthebest says:

    “I still feel 21 inside….”

    I knew I was good but geez.

  213. 21sthebest says:


  214. JRay3 says:

    Well JHay has earned himself a start, playing RF batting 7th tonight. CH did say he was going to let the hot hand play RF.

  215. JRay3 says:

    I’ve always enjoyed Greg Brown, you can hear his passion and it is evident he bleeds black and yellow just like a fan.

    Having to call games for this team the past 20 years, he has to feel like a kid again watching pennant race baseball and witnessing the scene at PNC each night.

  216. Lad9 says:

    No one will ever top the Gunner for me, but I do like Greg Brown, and of all The Gunner’s successors, he is my favorite. I thoroughly enjoy his passion also.

  217. pattonbb says:

    Didn’t a toe injury force Jack Lambert into retirement?

  218. pattonbb says:

    I guess I should read all of the replies first….oops.

  219. Arriba Wilver says:


  220. pattonbb says:

    As soon as Tebow tells him to.

  221. pattonbb says:

    very nice

  222. Arriba Wilver says:

    Dom–where I think we differ is since around the deadline and thereafter you’ve been pitching crazy deals that scream ” just do something, everything else be damned.” That’s my read. Rationality has gone out the window. It’s beyond “All-In.”

    But I agree with NMR, you’re the best. :-)

  223. Dom says:

    It’s interesting that Sid’s birthday is 8-7-87

  224. Brotherhood of the Redus says:

    I remember Greg being nearly in tears once in 2005 saying that one day “this team will win again”. So glad he is on board and enjoying it. Seems like a great guy.

  225. The Gunner says:

    The Gunner was the best. Lanny was a real pro & always had my support. Milo Hamilton was awful here as was Dave Martin (does anyone remember him – I think he got fired before the season was over, he was soooooooooo bad).

    Brownie is doing a fine job and I support him. He has both some “Gunner” and some “Lanny” in him.

  226. Sisyphus says:

    Nope, I simply failed to include his last sentence when I cut and pasted.

  227. Dom says:

    I’m kidding of course, I know he picked his number to reflect his birthdate.

  228. Sisyphus says:

    We didn’t win the WS. We didn’t even play in the WS. We did have the pleasure of watching sub-.500 baseball for 20 years, though.

    Still, I wasn’t opposed to that deal, as Zane Smith was a much better player than any of the stiffs I saw connected to the Pirates at the latest trade deadline.

  229. Sisyphus says:

    My brain wants me to be 30, but some of my joints are arguing that I’m 80, so my real age of 52 doesn’t seem so bad.

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