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Morning Java: Who’s this Liz Frank lady, anyway?

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The weekly chat will take place today at noon, right here on the blog. As soon as you see the post, you can submit entries. Just be sure to do so inside the actual chat field rather than the blog comments underneath. All topics welcome, as always.

>> The Steelers’ day was brightened by word that Le’Veon Bell’s lisfranc injury won’t require surgery and that he should be back much sooner than initial estimates of two months.

So, what is lisfranc, anyway?

Better question: Why do we only ever hear about it relating to football when other sports also, you know, use feet?

Here’s the official answer, courtesy of the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society, and the telling point in there is that the Lisfranc joint complex is on top of the foot. And it generally involves impact to the top of the foot. So whether it’s Bell or Matt Spaeth or any football player, it tends to come as the result of someone stepping or stomping on that area.

In hockey, the skate boot comes with a fairly hard shell and, even then, you aren’t often going to trampled by skates — yeah, I know, don’t tell it to Erik Karlsson — or take shots to the top of the skate. Hence, the term is a great rarity in the NHL.

In baseball, someone could step on a foot in the field, obviously, or take a pitch there. But if you think about the rarity of either convergence — certainly compared to that of football players engaging in hard contact every snap — it explains why you don’t see it there, either.

Can you think of injuries mostly unique to hockey, baseball, basketball or soccer?

I’ll go with the groin in hockey (takes a terrible beating from skating, especially for goaltenders), the elbow in baseball (does things it isn’t supposed to do), the ankle in basketball (better land right or else), and the calf in soccer (mostly from cleats on hard or cheap tackles).

Here’s our full Steelers coverage. I’ll be writing the Sunday column from Heinz Field off the preseason game with the Chiefs.

>> If you think the Steelers’ preseason has been rough, did you see the Ravens last night?

It’s amazing to me that so many seem to overlook the incredible amount of talent that walked out of Ozzie Newsome’s door as soon as the confetti was cleaned up.

>> The Pirates benefited from big nights by Pedro Alvarez and Jose Tabata but had another wobbly start by Jeff Locke — four innings, 73 pitches — against the Giants. Travis Sawchik is in San Francisco.

Here’s the rest of our baseball coverage.

Here’s Giants news from the San Francisco Chronicle.

Here are official game highlights from

>> Pitt’s running backs are falling. Jerry DiPaola reports.

>> The Panthers’ hoops schedule includes Duke and Syracuse at the Pete. Nice. Kevin Gorman reports.

>> The Penguins’ roster for the NHL’s rookie tournament is out. Josh Yohe reports on that, as well as Gibsonia’s Brandon Saad bringing home the Stanley Cup.

>> The Riverhounds will have an outdoor viewing party at Highmark Stadium for their playoff match tomorrow night in Orlando, Fla. Matt Grubba previews the USL Pro quarterfinal.

>> The Trib’s unrivaled high school football preview hits the streets this morning in all of Trib Total Media’s member newspapers. The amount of dedication and knowledge that goes into this annual monster can’t be overstated, but here’s hoping you can find a couple quarters for it.

It’s one of the many things that print still does best.

>> Ill join Alan Robinson, Richie Walsh and Bill Phillips 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 more, including 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 top four columnists in the country -- highest circulation category -- by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the top three columnists in the country by the National Headliners Awards. For 2013, he was named top columnist in the state by the Keystone Awards and second-place by the Pennsylvania AP Managing Editors.


  1. Those were not the Pirates we know and love. Jonesey had two hits, including a bomb into the drink. And Tabby and Pedro hit well (though they have been since San Diego). And Cutch is going bonkers, recently.

    • Hippo informs me: “I have some special surprises for you in and around the Pond tonight.”

      Oh boy-oh boy-oh boy!! I love surprises! Especially, Easter egg hunt-like surprises!

      (Puts his disguise back on before venturing pondside….)
      Oh, YOU HOO! HIPPY-POO! Come here, big feller! Baby has something for YOU HOO!

      • Why do I feel like Bullwinkle J. Hippo, and you are Boris Badanov??

        I knew your disguise was a fake………. Hippos dont wear grass skirts.
        Why do you think I let you into the Pond so easily?
        And I didnt laugh too hard, when you sat down , and the bear trap got your keister again.
        Never knew a “Hippo” could scream so loud!

        I wish you the best of luck next time.
        Have a wonderful day!

        PS — hope you were able to crawl out of the hole I dug on the path to the Pond, covered in tall grass. :D

  2. As for sport-specific injuries, football also gets “hip pointers” though we don’t seem to hear about them quite as often as before. Same with “turf toe.”

    Baseball players get “intercostal muscle strains” from swinging hard without properly loosening up. And then all those arm injuries pitchers get. Quarterbacks can throw 100+ passes a day, every day of the week, and not get half the arm injuries pitchers get.

    DK: Ah, yes, the strained oblique.

  3. I didn’t get to see the game, just the highlights. Can anyone let me in on why Locke bats in the Top of the 5th but doesn’t come out to pitch after being given a 7 run lead?

    • Rick,

      Gomez started warming up in the bottom of the fourth when the Giants tied the game with a two out single and the batter advancing to second on the throw. Locke got the last out of the fourth. The Pirates then sent 11 men to the plate in the top of the fifth. Locke hit ninth and singled. Because Gomez was already warmed up (and perhaps because it was a chilly night in SF and they did not want him to have to get loose again), Gomez came out to pitch the fifth.

      Some of that is speculation on my part, so if anyone has a different impression, feel free to comment.

      • That seems about right to me too, for Gomez. As for Locke, it didn’t seem like it would hurt at that point to let him get some swings in. Bud Black did the exact same thing with his pitcher just the other night. Who knows what the exact thinking was in either case, but I happen to like getting pitchers some live cuts when the rare opportunity presents itself. Not really fond of the automatic outs a lot of pitchers settle for.

        • Also as far as Locke hitting in that situation goes, why waste a pinch hitter when the Pirates lead by 4?

        • At the point Locke hit though they had a 4 run lead. I guess they thought that they could save a bench bat by letting Locke hit. But there was a man in scoring position. it all worked out as Locke singled and the scored 3 more in the inning but it seemed odd to let him hit only to not let him pitchthe 5th to try and secure a win. Makes sense from the Jenmar angle but letting Locke hit with a guy in scoring position seemed odd.

          • I was thinking that also. At least put up a better hitting pitcher. Well, sadly, maybe Locke is as good as it gets for our group of pitchers when it comes to hitting.

      • Locke does not hit if the game is tied or they are behind. Being up 4 you don’t wast a pinch hitter in that situation.

        God forbid the Giants come back and tie the game and we have one less hitter going into extras when you’ve already got Marte injured and on the roster. Was 100% the correct move.

    • Stop it.

      This is SUPPOSED to be a Logic Free Zone.

  4. With 35 games left, the Pirates magic number to eliminate Arizona is 27, to host the wild card is 33 (vs. Reds) and to clinch the division is 35 (vs. Cardinals).

  5. DK, if Locke continues to stumble down the stretch and Wandy stays on the DL, do you think the Pirates may consider putting Gomez back in the rotation?

    • I think they should. He’s a 5 inning pitcher, but September is just around the corner and they’ll have plenty of bullpen help then.

    • Sounds good to me. Just can’t give that many free passes and expect the offense to show up like last night and bail you out. Locke just looks fatigued.

    • I would not be at all surprised if Cumpton goes into the rotation come Sept 1 rather than Gomez. I think they like having Gomez as the long relief guy. Why mess with him now; he’s doing a good job of it.

    • I think Gomez is that odd pitcher who is not really great out of the bullpen consistently because, for some reason, he loses effectiveness if he throws more than a couple of days per week. Even he has said that. And, he also loses effectiveness, according to Hurdle, after about 65-70 pitches in a start. So, it is tough to get much more than 5 innings out of him as a starter. But, when he has been rested and ready this year (like last night), he has been terrific. He gets out of innings quickly. Keeps the ball down in the zone and gets ground balls.

      I am not criticizing him for what he is. In fact, he is very unique and valuable. You don’t find many guys that can stay fairly stretched out all season long without consistent work. He was a great find by NH. A real savior this year for the staff.

    • Another bad start or two from Locke and I would absolutely put Gomez back in the rotation. He won’t give you 8 innings per start, but he’s a proven commodity, unlike Cumpton, who has all of four major league appearances to his name. I’m not throwing a guy with a total of 1 career win into the rotation in the middle of a pennant race.

  6. Happy, Happy, Happy with a WIN WIN WIN.

    That was a quality win too, against Matt Cain. Too bad the frigging Braves AND D-Bags couldn’t do the Pirates any favors, but winning 3 of these 4 games should keep the Pirates in first. And you can’t win 3 out of 4 without winning one.

    If Locke continues to struggle, I hope Cumpton gets back in the rotation. Evidently McDonald is done?

  7. JAL’s California Sun Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Pittsburgh Pirates Stats

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Why Don’t Pitchers Speak Up Sooner About Injuries?

    Pirates Light Up Giants’ Cain, Mijares for 11 Hits in 10-5 Win

    Prospect Watch: The Numbers From Tyler Glasnow’s Latest Start Are NSFW

    Rationalizing the Value of RISP Issues

    5 Bucs Dugout

    7-run 5th inning keys 10-5 Pirates win

    Bucs Dugout Podcast: Pie, Morneau, Cole, and September

    6 Rumbunter

    Pirates Garrett Jones Has Become Public Enemy Number One


    Game 127: Pirates 10 Giants 5

    8 The Green Weenie

    Wandy Still In Pain; Will Visit Doctor Andrews Next Week

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Pirates 10 Giants 5

    • California Sun The Rivieras 1964 Short lived group out of South Bend, Indiana. California Sun made it to number 5 the same week the Beatles first hit number 1.

  8. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    10 San Francisco Chronicle

    Pirates bounce Cain, then sink Giants

    11 San Jose Mercury News

    Matt Cain injured as San Francisco Giants routed by Pittsburgh Pirates

    12 City of Champions

    Pirates avoid early danger, rout Giants to open series

    13 USA Today

    Braun admits to PED use: ‘I was in denial’

    14 IS Sports

    Playoffs or bust for Pittsburgh Pirates

    15 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Reds take three of four against Diamondbacks

    16 CBS Sports

    Pirates vs Giants Game Preview

    Pirates’ patience with Pedro Alvarez now paying long-distance dividends

    17 St Louis Post Dispatch

    Strauss: Cards, Braves not so similar in postseason

    18 PBC Site

    Pirates ride seven-run frame to win over Giant

    Notebook: Wandy to see surgeon for arm diagnosis


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    11 Plays for Which We Wish We’d Had Instant Replay Review

    20 Fangraphs

    Multi-Year Deals for Relievers: An Ugly Retrospective

  9. Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers Le’Veon Bell views foot sprain as ‘blessing in disguise’

    Coach Tomlin intends for Steelers starters to play entire first half against Chiefs

    22 Steelers Depot

    Roethlisberger Says Wheaton Doesn’t Make The Same Mistake Twice


    23 London Evening Standard

    Arsenal will break the bank to sign Karim Benzema

    24 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 22nd August, 2013


    25 Pensburgh

    Pens Points 8/22: Expand NHL Video Replay? We Took All the Captains, So Let’s Pick New Ones

  10. The new envogue and fairly unique to hockey injuries are “hips.” Hip impingement, labral tears etc are becoming more and more common as the diagnosis has improved and scopes have been added to hip replacement which was the only option before. I had two hip surgeries performed by one of the Hurricanes doctors and came into contact with several other players from all levels of hockey.
    As for baseball specific injuries, I believe there was a strained eyelid once.

  11. Jones cannot hit. He’s lost. Sit him.

    (Hey. It worked yesterday. I’m wearing the same underroo’s, too.)

  12. I got the feeling last night that Clint Hurdle was telling Jeff Locke, “the right to pitch is something that has to be earned.”

    Even though the game was tied at 3 after 4 innings, Gomez was up because Locke kept putzing around the strike zone, throwing 73 pitches.

    Even after the Bucs scored all those runs in the top of the 5th and it would have been easy to throw Locke back out there to get the ‘W’, the right to pitch is something that has to be earned.

    And Hurdle was telling Locke, “Get back in the game, Bud!” “If you’re going to pitch for me, you need to control the game——not let the game control you.”

    Tough love! Hopefully, message received.

    • Got the same feeling. STFD if you can’t throw strikes.

    • I could not agree more, Groat! I was thinking Hurdle was telling him, “You didn’t earn this win tonight, and I’m not going to just give it to you.” I was thinking tough love also.

  13. “Better question: Why do we only ever hear about it relating to football when other sports also, you know, use feet?”

    Even better question:

    - What body parts do, you know, columnists use?

    So good it makes my head explode, if I do say so myselfacevic:

    - Can you think of injuries mostly unique to columnists?

  14. Bizrow,

    George Benson is one sensational jazz guitarist from our beloved Pittsburgh. He’s played with the best and made a wonderful cover of “On Broadway”.

  15. Heard a very interesting interview with Tiki Barber yesterday. He blames the rash of lisfranc injuries on the shoes these guys are wearing. The shoes the manufacturers are making these days are much lighter than they used to be but offer less protection. The injuries come when the back is tackled from behind and the defender is holding onto the ankle. Barber said he used to put a form fitting steel plate as in insole.

    By definition, Bell does not have a lisfranc. Lisfranc is a displacement of the small bones in the mid foot area. The Steelers describe Bell’s injury as a ligament strain.

  16. We should consider predicting what day/game the Pirates will reach their 82nd win. Its not the goal but to a Pirates fan its the first step.

    I’m going to go with Saturday August 7 at the Cardinals.

    Sad thing is unless they go on a really good winning streak they will likely hit 82 on the road when they start a 9 game trip against the Brewers/Cards/Rangers.

  17. Nice to see Brandon Saad get his big day wit Lord Stanley’s punch bowl. I can think of some other teams where these days would be a lot less fun to watch. It’s time for the Pens to stop messin’ around.

  18. As for the injury question DK posed I would offer up these…

    Strained oblique — only really started coming up in baseball a few years ago
    Torn achilles — football and if stomped on in hockey
    Tommy john — outside of baseball not really happening
    Torn triceps — football
    Turf toe — football

  19. Good Morning, Blogateers!

  20. Kurt Suzuki going back to the A’s from the Nationals.

  21. If the Pirates go on a skid and fall back into 3rd in the division before reaching 82 wins; will the place still be as exciting?

  22. From USA Today in JAL’s link #13 on Braun’s “apology”:

    “It’s nice to get his full view, his side of things, I guess,” Neil Walker of the Pittsburgh Pirates said Thursday. “As a player, it’s refreshing to hear the whole truth. But from another player in the game of baseball’s standpoint, it doesn’t really change too much, to be honest with you.”

    This was described as an example of an “indifferent” response, in contrast to anger, which it said might sting Braun more than the vitriol.

    • friggin P*ssy!

    • As refreshing as hot chocolate in August.

      Neil, wtf?

      • yeah, and slap him too!

      • Couldn’t agree more. I have been saying since word leaked of Braun’s pending apology that it would not really be an apology in the sense that he would come clean about what he did. I knew it would be more along the lines of “I’m sorry I let you all down. I’m not perfect – although I’m still pretty close to that.”

        I knew Braun was going to say:

        1) It was a very short term thing – Ah, the Andy Pettitte defense. Just a bad decision that he quickly reversed the minute he found out it was illegal. Maybe he was talked into it.
        2) He was merely rehabbing an injury – Let’s face it, when you boil it down, he was doing it for his teammates and Brewers Nation, and not for selfish reasons. If you look at it in that light, he almost becomes “heroic.”
        3) He wasn’t taking the hard stuff – just a few lozenges … you know, like what you take for a cough; and no needles … the bad guys use needles, while the good guys use lozenges and creams.
        4) He was instructed by somebody else that this would get him on the field quicker – working the team concept again. Can’t let anyone down.
        5) Told himself he was not really doing anything wrong – His alter ego is guilty at most.

        Braun is, was and always will be a pathological liar. I think he has been juicing since college, and there is more to come on this. I don’t think his apology will ring true with anyone but Brewers fans and his teammates.

    • That wasn’t an apology

      He said he used PEDs in 2011 for a “short period of time” to help with a nagging injury.

      If thats the case; and it was only a short period of time why does he get 62 games but the rest only get 50 games? They can’t use the arbitration thing against him cause he won that on a loop hole. They didn’t claim he did not use PED during that case.

      That wasn’t an apology; it could not have come across more fake. And really kind of insulting to think that the public would believe that it was for a “short period” of time and yet he gets 62 games.

    • I’m still trying to figure out how the guy can hold a huge media event and stand up there and pronounce his innocents, talk about being wrongly accused and esstailly commit what is now slander against others when he was found not guilty and then just release a statement like this after it’s all proven to be true.

      Be a man and stand in front of the media now and answer the hard questions. His teammates are currently doing that because of him. I guy lost his job because of him. All other players lost credibility because of him. A large amount of money and time was wasted because of him. Arizona got eliminated from the playoffs because of him that year.

      I also don’t beleive he only used it at the end of 2011. I think he is giving us 25% of the truth and hoping that is good enough. Most cheaters are liars as well and only tell any version of the truth after being painted into a corner.

  23. Can someone explain to me why Locke did NOT get the win last night? I mean… he factored in on one of the runs that won the game in the top of the 5th?

  24. DK, spot on with the sports-specific injuries. I used to play soccer 15 or so years ago. Remember one of the guys on my team got speared in the calf by an opponents hard slide with cleats up, broke his leg in 2 places… had to have been atleast partially due to a stress fracture though.

    Another good sports-specific injury for football… turf-toe!

  25. I just can’t wait until 15-20 years from now when some of these guys waste away their money and write books that expose just how much PED’s were used between 1990 and 2010. I don’t think many or any will give specific names but I think we will hear how readily available it was and percentage of guys using.

    I’m on the side that doesn’t blame the players for use during that time period. I beleive it was very common and baseball allowed it to happen. It is much differant now. A player using now I do blame because baseball has put an emphasis on getting it out of the game and a majority of players are playing without the benefit of it. I just don’t like it when somebody is caught with their hand in the cookie jar and they still fight it. Just man up and say I am aware of what I was putting in my body and I got caught. Don’t even apoligize to your teammates or fans. Your not sorry, your only sorry you got caught.

    • Nate, the PEDs of the last decade or so are simply the evolution of pharmacology from the amphetamines that Jim Bouton wrote about long ago in Ball Four. Fifteen to twenty years from now, I’m afraid that we will be discussing the new drugs of that era rather than thinking back to the bad old days when PEDs were a problem. An ugly opinion, I know.

  26. “Rehabilitation-like exercises”. – Tomlin kills me.

  27. Hipposter in DaHouse….

  28. Judging by last night’s all important 3rd pre-season game (Translation: not important at all), the Patriots & the Ravens stink. Yeah, sure they do.


    The Steelers have traded linebacker Adrian Robinson to the Eagles for running back Felix Jones. You might remember him at Arkansas & with the Cowboys.

    That lisfranc worse than they’re letting on ? They really hate Jonathan Dwyer.

  30. Great now he can ruin the real life football team I like instead of just the fantasy one I ran 3 years ago.

    • Fantasies should not be about football.

    • Does he stink?

      • He actually showed flashes of being really good early in his career. Never seemed to be able to become an everydown back and avoid injuries. Didn’t hear much about him last year so I’m not sure what he is still capable of doing.

        • The Cowboys had Demarco Murray running the ball. But if you look at his career numbers he’s at nearly 5 yards per carry.

          I think we should look at it from the opposite aspect…. Was Adrian Robinson going to make this team as a LB?

          If not then there is no harm in trading for Jones and giving him a look. Even if he doesn’t make the team its not a loss as its unlikely that Robinson would have made the team.

          • I was just joking about the fantasy stuff. I think it’s a good trade that is low risk/decent reward. If nothing else he could be a valuable third down back although Howlings would seem to fit that role as well. At this point it seems like we just may need to start each running back for 1/4 of the season.

          • How could Adrian Robinson break through our stellar corps of LB’s to make the team?

        • I thnk that about covers him Nate. The talent is there but…..

  31. Hah! TO is suing Drew Rosenhaus for 6.5 million. Claims he introduced him to a financial adviser who made a series of bad investments that cost him millions.

    Poor guy

    • That is funny and couldn’t happen to two better people. I can’t imagine that lawsuit goes far unless Rosenhaus somehow benefitted from it himself.

  32. Btw anyone see Doug Murray signed with the Canadians for 1 year at 1.5 mil

  33. Liz Frank? Barnie’s sister? Lovely woman.

    Reminds me of a VW commercial I saw awhile back where they said “Lisa Jetta.” I thought I remembered her from HS Biology class. Turns out they were saying “Lease a Jetta.”

    You have to love Jeanmar Gomez. All he does is step in at exactly the right time and save the day. I don’t know how many innings he can give as a consistent starter because CH says he loses effectiveness by the 70 pitch mark. But, we can get him back up to 5 innings, I think. Maybe he and Locke can be considered a tandem when it is their turn in the rotation.

    GI Jones. I was just about to give up on you. Please keep it up.

    Tabby – Do not get any new ideas with this talk of lisfranc. You are getting some key hits, and we really need that right now. I like it when you don’t have mysterious ailments popping up overnight.

    Starling – Please come back! You are really good, even with the strikeouts.

    Neil Walker vs. RHP is on base, one way or another, a couple of times most nights.

    Pedro – Don’t make your long doubles bounce so high, please! That’s all I can come up. He was clutch last night.

    Cutch is seeing the ball real well right now. I can usually tell because he stops swinging at pitches just off the outside edge. When he gets the count in his favor, and even takes some walks, look out.

    Jordy can hit. He is not Barmes in the field, but he can hit. He destroys lefties.

    • Love this, Jim.

      A while back I mentioned rarely, if ever looking up Andrew McCutchen’s number for the simple fact that I never worried about him. But my gosh, the man is somewhat quietly putting together a monster year. Saw goodbye to the second half slump stigma, Andrew.

      I laughed at the Tabby joke. Possibly the only ailment he has yet to endure. Really a shame, too, because he’s putting up the kind of numbers just about any team wouldn’t mind out of a 3rd/4th outfielder.

      Sure hope Jordy can punch back once the league adjusts to him next year.

      • Thanks, NMR.

        Cutch is getting it done in a big way. I loved about a week ago when he said what happened to him in August last year was not going to happen again this year. He just put it out there. And, all he has done since then is get 2 hits and a walk or two most nights.

        I don’t think Tabby makes up the ailments. I think he genuinely thinks he is injured. Loved it the night before when he self-diagnosed himself with tendinitis to the training staff. Sat out a night, and came back strong last night. Hey, as long as he hits, I can accept giving him his maintenance day or two per week.

  34. Baseball only injury: hamate bone.

  35. For injuries

    root canal – hockey

  36. Woke up and read Dejan’s entry.

    I couldn’t help but picture Groat sitting in the Oakland Zoo next to some guy dressed up as a gorilla. He’s just sitting there, happy as a clam, with his blue and white pom poms and his Blue Devil temporary tattoos on his cheek.

  37. *****ATTENTION*****
    Newbies and lurkers, we want to chat with you. If you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it to the list of Dejan’s Lunatics’ Asylum.
    Don’t be shy, we don’t bite :)

  38. Since we are on the topic of injuries….

    Have you ever seen so many tight ends going down with injuries in the NFL?

  39. Even though I like the addition of Felix Jones, I feel the Steelers should focus much more on the pass. When we won the superbowl in 2008, we did it mainly with an offense that focuses on the pass. Of course, that was due to necessity as we were literally down to a 3rd down back.

    Our best chance is to let Ben loose and allow him to make plays.

    • Haley has said they want to improve the running game to make the passing game more effective. No worries.

      • Smells like running back by committee again this year. Not my favorite. If you have three starters, you have no starter…..

    • Behind this line I think he lasts all of about 5 games under that scenario, Dom. Now, if the line protects better and stops improvising ….

      The decade old question, are we better off letting Ben be Ben?

  40. Baseball:

    Marquis Grissom: Strained buttocks.
    Sammy Sosa: Sneeze.
    Jeff Kent: “Washing” truck.
    Kevin Mitchell: Eating cupcake.


    Art Schlichter: Gambling addiction.

  41. It’s not even a given that Jones makes the team. Or passes the physical for that matter.

  42. Just noticed that Lemire at Sports Illustrated ranks the Cards as the number one MLB team at the moment, with the Bucs at 11. Anyone else smell disrespect, here?

  43. Ok gotta go…breaktime…colleague is leaving for another job…catch you loonies later..

  44. Lunchtime!

    Best part of any work day.

  45. Hipposter made the show!

    Comment From theplanisworking
    Win, Place, or Show for the Bucs in the Central?

    Dejan Kovacevic:
    All I’ll say is that I’ve thought from Day 1 the Reds were the most talented team in the division, and they’ve got help on the way to go along with their current surge. They’ve always been the team to watch.

    And as usual, Dejan doesn’t answer the question lol

  46. Holy Cow, been trying to log back on here for the last half hour and it wouldn’t load. I thought Jandy broke the blog again.

    DK thinks that the PBC really doesn’t think too much of Lambo. ( ha, tried to type his name and the iPad wanted to type Lamborghini). I’m not so sure about that yet. I thought they just got in a pitching jam and had to send him out while they were trying to get his feet wet at the MLB level.

    • I think we’ll see the answer to that in spring training.

      • Depending on his performance, of course. So if he hits .280 with three doubles and two HRs and is sent down, or is promoted, there’s your answer. But if he hits .180 and is sent down, well, that doesn’t reflect any preconceived opinion of PBC.

        • Who has a preconceived opinion?

          And what part of PBC?

          The part that embraced the suck or the part that decided not to?

          I have to disagree with DK on that one, but he has more insider info than I ever will.

          They could have shipped him this season while he was hot if they didn’t think something of him. He’s been with the team longer than Greg Brown.

          • And less annoying.

          • Very close to my thoughts, Lucky.

            Dejan has, or at least used to have, his finger on the pulse of what is going on in the Front Office, so I don’t feel comfortable saying he’s wrong.

            But this whole “Front Office doesn’t think much of X” narrative is getting pretty redundant, isn’t it?

            Hasn’t the same been said about Locke, Jordy Mercer, and Tony Sanchez at one point or another this year?

            To my eye, they’re making these guys earn their starts, Hurdle first and foremost.

            I don’t see what is wrong with that.

            • Many of players have been ruined by being thrown to the wolves and seeing if they can survive.

              Mercer is probably the most interesting case. One could easily argue that they waited to long to give him more at bats but who knows if they did or did not. He may have struggled if he played more at the majors the previous 2 years. Doing it this way he may have matured and just being around it and taking it in a little bit at a time was part of the process that has led to him being a productive major league player in his first extended look getting a majority of the at-bats.

              I personally was completely wrong about the guy and think going forward he will be a solid player at that postion. That can’t be underestimated. It saves so much money and allows it to be used elsewhere such as first base and starting pitching over the next 4-5 years.

    • haha Mother Theresa sure can so some evil pranks eh?
      Wasn’t me, Wild Man, it hasn’t been loading very well all day.

  47. Felix Jones is now in the back field……Not a bad trade. I wonder how many prospects they gave up? just kidding

  48. Pete Prisco of CBS sports believes the Bengals will win not only our division but also the superbowl.

    I understand how he thinks they’ll win the division but the superbowl…

    • I’ve heard others mention them as a superbowl contender for the AFC. Some of that has to do with there being no dominate team in the AFC. Denver could have been but injuries/suspension seem to have them coming back to the pack. Some of it may be them being on hard knocks. It sounds silly but they are on peoples mind because they are in front of their eyes more.

      I don’t see it myself. I don’t say Andy Dalton and think Superbowl winning quarterback. He is a solid QB but definately not elite. They are solid across the board but not dominating in any one part of the game. With no elite QB you better be really good at something else to win the superbowl like the Trent Dilfur led Ravens.

      • I’m with you, Nate, on the Bengals. When was the last time they even won a playoff game? But, I will say our division could easily go their way. I don’t see the Steelers as being that great, and the Ravens were not nearly the best team when they won last year and lost a lot of players. I don’t think there are any dominant AFC teams.

        But, how could anyone pick Cincy over San Fran right now? I’ll take Green Bay over them as well, and probably others if I get in a football mood and think it through.

        • There are plenty of really good NFC teams. Seattle, San Fran and Atlanta are at the top of my list. Giants, Green Bay, Washington are all good as well and then you have New Orleans, Detroit, Arizona and St. Lious should all be better then last year. Good teams will not make the playoffs in the NFC.

        • My power rankings would go:
          1) Seattle
          2) San Fran
          3) Broncos
          4) Patriots
          5) Packers

          • You never know with the NFL, Dom. There are always surprise teams that are very good. But, I like Seattle and San Fran a lot. I don’t think all that much of NE or Denver. I think Nate brought up some good teams. Washington and Detroit might be good.

            • Why are you down on the Pats? I think Brady alone makes them one of the better teams.

              • Down on the Pats and Brady for that matter, for the lack of offensive weapons.

                Gronk out, some dude got arrested or something, Welker in Denver.

                A lot of unknowns.

          • Mine would be.

            2)San Fran

            In my opinion the Packers margin of error is smaller then any other team in the top 10. Injuries could destroy them. Not very deep on the OL or the DL/LB. Seattle is really good and extremely young. Pete Carroll must know what he’s doing.

  49. Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen! Go Jeanmar! Three scoreless innings bringing him to 3-0 on an OFFENSIVE night like this… he gets elevated no higher than “Unsung Hero.” But I’m elevatin’!

    As for tonight’s game, I got a little trivia: My good friend from my North Carolina upbringing, Mark, has a son, Robby, who pitched and played against Madison Bumgarner in legion ball. He took Robby very deep one summer afternoon. Oh, and where I’m from there are more Bumgarners than there are people!

    Fixin’ to go deliver the pizza pie. Is there a phone app for the blog … just in case I want to bring some highlights from these deriveries, Honarable Runatics? :-)

  50. We have 8 openings in a fantasy football league on Yahoo

    Dejan’s Lunatics

    Please sign up if interested, its now a public league, but made for burghers at heart ;-)


    Sorry for shouting…

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