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Morning Java: 82

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

BTxWWJBCcAESLTm.jpg_large

>> 82.

Rob Biertempfel is in Arlington.

I pretty much emptied my emotions and thoughts with the 82 column last week, just before the team went on this trip, but I’ll add these two right here:

BTxLI_GIIAA5bWM.jpg_large 2

Andrew McCutchen got it.

What an image those relieved, raised arms will be for fans of this franchise to have for years to come.

BTxXEvmIUAAmsHb.jpg_large 2And let me throw this out there, too: I couldn’t stop thinking of Chuck Tanner during that ninth inning and after it was over. No one — I mean no one — would have enjoyed this more. That man is missed on so many levels, but most especially on any day when it’s OK to feel good about the Pittsburgh Pirates because no one loved them more.

Here’s our full Pirates coverage.

Here’s Rangers news from the Dallas Morning News.

Here are official game highlights from MLB.com.

>> Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin were busy scouring the recycling bin. Alan Robinson takes names.

>> Our first Steelers Film Session was rated R. Mark Kaboly gives a thumbs-down.

If you couldn’t stay up late Sunday night, here’s what our panel on WPXI-TV’s Subway Final Word had to say about laying blame on the Steelers …

Here’s our full Steelers coverage.

Here’s Bengals news from the Cincinnati Enquirer.

>> Sidney Crosby does it all, even delivering tickets to longtime season-ticket holders, as he did yesterday and has for years. Rob Rossi checks the captain on the eve of the Penguins’ training camp, which officially begins with a reporting tomorrow and the first full practice Thursday at Consol.

>> Pitt prepares for New Mexico. Jerry DiPaola also looks ahead.

>> I’ll be back with the TribLIVE Radio show tomorrow. Hope you had a chance to catch Kaboly in his debut yesterday. Not surprisingly, it’s wall-to-wall Steelers and loaded with info.

>> It’s over. It’s really over.

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.

448 Comments

  1. On October 14, 1992, I flew from Providence, RI, to Honolulu, through Atlanta, with my wife, two year old son, and one month old daughter, on PCS orders. Upon landing, we listened to the Pirates lose in the bottom of the 9th on the radio of our rental car. Today (9/9), my daughter turned 21. Happy Birthday!!

  2. Been waiting 20 years to do this…………………..

  3. Cutch’s response to the final out may go down with Blass’s reaction to winning the WS in 1971 in terms of visual lore.

  4. It just had to be a game like this to ensure the winning season, right? Darvish and Cole matching each other with zero after zero, inning upon inning.

    Look up filthy in the dictionary and there ought to be a picture of both of those guys for their performances tonight. Fortunately for the Bucs, though, our guy was just a teensy bit filthier. Gerrit Cole with the best performance of his young career, after what I thought was his best performance up until tonight in his last game. He could indeed be growing up before our very eyes. I believe he is now on a 12 inning scoreless streak.

    Pedro has been scuffling of late, but he got a huge double to win it. Isn’t it amazing that when Pedro goes to LF/LC he almost always seems to have success? I sure wish he would do it more often.

    You could tell how badly Cutch wanted this one, both by his gesure of relief after the final out had been recorded and by how quickly he got from home to 3rd on his triple in the 9th inning. You are not supposed to be able to get a triple on a ball hit IN FRONT OF the right fielder. He got to 3rd in record time.

    Watson and Melancon were superb out of the pen to nail it down.

    I continue to scratch my head with Morneau batting against LHP, whom he struggles mightily with and has done so for a long time. I think Gaby was the better option vs. the LHP in the 9th, and you could also argue that Walker should have been PH for there as well. But, I am ok with Neil batting to keep his glove on the field at a key defensive position in the 9th. But, those are minor squabbles with CH. He has managed the team brilliantly for the most part this year.

    19 games to go. I game behind St. Louis and 1 game ahead of Cincinnati. Go Bucs!

    • So true about Cutch’s reaction. Need a picture of that juxtaposed with one of Van Slyke sitting in the Atlanta outfield.

    • Jim glad to hear from you tonight! Always look forward to your posts. Our Buccos are now winners, although from a human being standpoint i think this group has always been winners. Strikes me as a great bunch.

      • I’m with you, lad. I hope, as Teke said, we have a huge walkup crowd on Thursday to fill the place. These guys deserve it.

        Of course, we still need to TCB the next 2 nights first.

    • A great, “filthy” post. Viva Gerrit’s filth!

    • Mr. Cole recently celebrated his birthday. Here’s to you, Mr. Cole. Hugs to you, Jim S! Here’s to the grand rebirth of the lovable winners!

    • How ’bout that curveball Cole showed last night, Jim? Kid was lights out. Next level stuff.

      I, too, share your frustration with Hurdle and Morneau/Walker vs Lefties. It is easy to forget about those mistakes when the team wins, but giving away outs is bound to hurt them at some point.

      Does this team even NEED Jason Grilli? Tony Watson, stud.

      • Oh my. that’s blasphemy!

        • Right? Trust me, I’m far from a “proven closer” addict, but even I’m surprised how little the team misses Grilli.

          Then again, they haven’t exactly had a huge need for late inning stoppers lately, have they?

          • The Bucs bullpen has held it’s own, NMR, but it’s not right to diss Grilli like that…he carried them thru right up until her got hurt.

            That said, Watson and Melancon have been lights out. I give them tons of credit.

      • National Mart of Records,

        Hurdle’s choice was Morneau against the lefty or Gaby Sanchez against the righty reliever that Texas would surely bring in.

        Give peace a chance! (I mean, Morneau)

        • That’s a good point, Groat. And I think Hurdle wanted both Walker and Morneau in the field for the 9th more than either of their replacements.

          NMR, yes that curve was pure nasty by Cole tonight. If/when he gets to the point where he has stuff like that about a dozen times a year, he will officially be an ace. I think he feels so confident right now. Finally, showing wipe out breaking stuff.

          • Except that Hurdle subbed Sanchez for Morneau later in the game.

            And I’m sure Washington would’ve brought in his righty to face Sanchez. But guess what? Sanchez still has an OPS 100 (!!) points higher against righties than Morneau has against lefties.

            Oh, and he strikes out 8% less.

            There is absolutely no justifiable reason to bat Morneau against lefties. None.

            • In all the excitement, I didn’t even know Sanchez had come in. I guess I need to pay more attention. The streak ending had me off my game, I guess.

              I don’t know what to say about leaving Morneau up there, then, except that all managers at some point revert to the “veterans are always preferred in key situations, numbers be damned” mindset. I hope he gets over that real quick, because this is not 2006 and Justin Morneau is now a platoon player.

              • Gaby Sanchez did NOT replace Morneau.

                Morneau got on base in top of 9th, Starling Marte ran for Morneau to steal the base with 2 outs, and was on the move to steal when Marlon Byrd swung and hit the ball for last out, thereby negating the steal.

                Gaby Sanchez then came in to play 1st for bottom of 9th.

                Not quite: Gaby Sanchez came in anyway for defense to replace Morneau.

            • Relax! NONE?!?!

              Do you know Gaby Sanchez’s splits against the righty warming up for Texas? Did you look and see if Justin Morneau had a previous Homerun against that lefty?

              And you are excited that Gaby Sanchez strikes out ONE TIME OUT OF 12 ABs less than Morneau?! 12 ABs!!

              Trust the guy whose eyes and mind are so in tune that he is PAID to make those kinds of decisions. That’s not John Russell pulling the strings.

            • Except that we all have been convinced that Morneau is really good and needs to play all the time and would be the spark plug this team has needed for three years.

              That spark plug is Byrd. Morneau is a nice addition for what we gave up but not a difference maker. I hope I’m wrong and the guy contibutes like an all-star over the next 19 games + playoffs. I just don’t think it’s all that likely.

              Awesome win, to continue an awesome year. Hopefully there are many more moments like last night over the next month or two.

              • But the scouts! The swing change!

              • That is a HUGE overstatement about the expectations for Morneau, who you have dissed from the beginning, Nate.

                “Morneau is a nice addition for what we gave up . . .”

                That part is accurate.

              • Maybe a bit, AW.

                But I have read Morneau described as an “impact bat” and an “all in” move by Trib writers.

                This is all obviously a matter of personal interpretation, but those types of compliments are pretty lofty, IMO.

                Expectations, thus, should follow.

              • I agree, NMR, especially about the interpretation part. I, personally, agree with the Trib writers that it was an all in move, and he is a potential impact bat (for the short term).

                But that doesn’t mean I think he’s a savior by any stretch. He was a very worthwhile investment over hoping Jones would recover, in the situation we are in this year, which has the potential to be pretty special.

              • Maybe you were not treating Morneau as a must have addition AW but others did. Many would have been fine with giving up a top prospect to get him. That would have been unfortunate and more then likely would have given us very little of what we needed. Byrd is so much better of an addition then Morneau in my opinion. Like I said Morneau is a nice addition and they gave up appropriate players to get him. I’m not sure he has given us more over the last 9 games then Jones/Sanchez would have given us.

              • Let me just say, Nate, Im glad you aren’t the GM. To be fair, I’m glad I’m not either, but Geez.

                Many would have been happy with giving up a top prospect to get him? Really? Was that on Twitter?

              • Good reply, AW.

              • To me, not necessarilly Nate.

                Nate, I’ll let you guys have at it. :)

              • Nate and I have a special relationship. :-D

              • AW I saw many on here saying to get Morneau at any cost. How quick we forget all the “at least we tried” comments and the “whatever it takes just get it done” comments. I’m not saying you made those comments. Others made those comments. Maybe it was all a dream and nobody was saying that Morneau was a must get for two weeks leading up to the waiver trade deadline. The guy who runs this blog typed Morneau’s name about 1000 times in the month of August.

              • And you’re the guy who said no player available could improve this team. Until I threw out Dunn’s name. Works both ways, man.

              • I believe I was talking about Morneau spefically and/or other players being mentioned as trade candidates. When you said Dunn’s name I said that I thought he would help this team win games. I think the same about Byrd. Great pick up. Just not a fan of Morneau.

                I will admit when somebody has convinced me they are correct or when I may have overstated something. In this case I have not overstated things. People wanted Morneau at any cost and they did think he would significantly impact this team. I disagreed then and I still disagree. I do think it was the right move for the price. Any more would have been foolish.

              • Nope. But you did back off after I brought it to your attention.

                To quote Bill Clinton, it depends on what the definition of significant is. And we both hope you’re wrong.

              • AW I think you may be confusing me saying that no player added in 2012 could have helped that team win. I only remember saying that the players being talked about on that particular day on that particular blog would not help the team win very much. I am pretty postitive I didn’t say no player could be added that would help because I said all along that they needed to add a player (just not Morneau at a high cost)

            • Morneau vs that particular lefty (Neal Cotts), Morneau was 5-11 w/ 2 HR’s….I’m guessing that’s why Hurdlelet him hit…

          • As for Cole, whew. I’m still buzzing after that start. First time I’ve REALLY been impressed, and that is with all the hype baggage attached.

            The whole “ace” label is a pet peeve of mine, think it is thrown around way too liberally. But Cole stood toe-to-toe with Yu Darvish, who I consider to be a top 10 pitcher in baseball. Speaks for itself.

            • National Mart of Records,

              I agree 100 %. Cole has dominated no where, including his last year of college.

              THIS was a dominating performance. He looked like a pitcher, not a thrower last night.

              I too get tired of the “ace” crap thrown around with this staff. Ask Russell Martin: he says AJ is the Ace. Let’s just drop that term.

            • He finally threw everything and the kitchen sink at a team, and as it turns out….he’s pretty good (understatement). Also shows he has that “stopper” mentality (another label, but oh well….)

              • One thing I did notice is that it seemed like he kept the changeup in the tool box most of the night and used his curveball as his change-of-pace pitch.

                Probably best, at this point.

                The change stays up far too often with far too little speed difference. Essentially turns into a 90 mph fastball.

    • And that was a “filthy” post, Jim!

      Oh, I see now that Ghost beat me to it…still “filthy!”

    • In defense of the right fielder, the ball took a weird jump off the right field wall… otherwise it woulda just been a double… or Cutch woulda been out at third. But, triples are always nice and it DID happen.

  5. Teke got emotional a few times on the post game show. Especially when telling fans they should pack the park on Thursday. I am happy for him

    Now lets go get some groupons!

    • Seems like Teke was doing a emotional sales pitch , in order to drum up some ticket sales.

      I thought we was going to cry there, for a second.

      Just think, if Alvarez didn’t swing and miss at that pitch 3 sundays back, Marte would still be in the lineup.

      I have a bad feeling we may have seen the last of Starling for this season, except as a pinch runner.
      Maybe the 1st diagnosis(surgery) , was right after all.

  6. Total times I’ve produced actual tears over a sporting event until tonight:

    1: March 2, 1993. Lucky enough to be three rows from the roof the night Mario returned from Hodgkin’s treatments in Philly and the fans gave him that long standing O before the anthem.

    Guess we can add #2 with that last out tonight. Knew it would be huge for me, but…wow. What really drives home just how long this streak has been is to think about who/where you were in 1992. Yeesh, here I go again with the waterworks…

    Haven’t been commenting or even checking comments much of late, but did see one on here that I just loved. Someone said that during that awful 20 year run, Bucco fans never seemed to have adopted that “lovable loser” thing. Great point. It was nothing but misery, sadness, bitterness, anger…but never did we become Cubs fans.

    • I know I said it last week after #81, scrapper. Others may have as well. My thinking was that, even with 20 straight years of losing, this franchise is still 200 games over .500 all-time. We do not now, nor have we ever accepted losing like some teams do. It has embarrassed everyone who follows this team for far too long.

      Well, it’s over now. I have a feeling 2 years from now we will be celebrating a 3rd straight winning season! And it won’t be over then, either. Things are trending up for our Buccos. With apologies to Ronald Reagan – It is morning in PNC Park!

  7. I really like Gerrit Cole.

  8. {sarcasm alert}

    It figures that Sidney Crosby delivers Pens season tickets on the same day the Pirates win #83.

  9. Between Jim’s “filth” post and Hippo dusting off the the purple booty dance in celebration, I think we should proclaim that dance the official dance of the 2013 Pirates and hereby name it “The Filth.”

    Hippo — Prepare to be a dancin’ fool doin’ “The Filth” the rest of the way in!

  10. Yes Ghost. I don’t type so well when I am mad. :-)

    Happy 82!

  11. I’m still stumped on the math?

  12. To anyone who has remained a loyal fan all these 20 years, this was for you. We all momentarily lost faith countless times, but we were always drawn back. We all had our noses bloodied and sand kicked in our face many, many times. We took a lot of body blows and gut punches. But, we always came back.

    We all continued to check the scrawl at the bottom of ESPN just to see the Bucs score, night after night, year after year, even though they might have been 48-71 at the time. We all continued to check the apps on our smart phones that gave us in-game scores when we were out and about, even if when we checked earlier our 32-47 Bucs team had already fallen behind 6-0 in the 3rd inning. We still had to know the score, because if by some freak turn of events the Bucs managed to rally and pull out a win, we had to experience it in real time. Anybody who endured as much pain as we all have for the last 20 is a real fan and deserves to feel really good tonight.

    But, this is not over. There are plenty of big wins still ahead this year. Good night all! Savor this win for 20 hours or so.

  13. #82…..It’s been a long time….Too long.

  14. I was just fine until I saw that picture of Chuck Tanner.

    • I loved Chuck Tanner. What a great baseball guy. What a great Pittsburgh guy. He was the main Bucco Skipper of my youth.

    • Just for you then Milo(and I concur), let’s all remember Chuck’s testimony during the drug trials. He had no idea anything was happening…

      He’s not the ‘greatest’ Pirate fan ever. We are all right here.

      • For you, John and for Milo: I should read the blog before posting. Just now saw this thread — all that was required was a +1 for both of you.

  15. Gerrit Cole post-game quote:

    “I don’t know that I fully understand 82. I don’t know if there’s anyone who doesn’t live in Pittsburgh who fully understands it.”

    I beg to differ with Gerrit. I think he DOES get it. His quote proved it. He nailed it.

    • I think the response these guys are going to get when they hit the field at PNC Thursday night will drive it home for any of those guys who don’t quite get the depth of it yet.

  16. Nice gesture bringing up Chuck Tanner on this night. I’ll second that sentiment.

  17. I was able to find footage of John Russell’s reaction to hearing the news the Pirates had finally won #82. Enjoy…..

  18. From a Bucco fan for 40 plus years…

    82 feels great! But I’m not satisfied. Hopefully this win will spark the team the way that it should and they win the division. That’s when we should be satisfied. This was a very big win tonight and maybe the biggest in a long time and not just this year because they desperately needed it. I think Cutch’s is reaction was not just about 82 but because he knew how desperately they needed a win.

    Let’s Go Bucs! Go get the Pennant!

  19. How fitting is it that the pitcher of our future delivers us from our past? Great job, Mr. Cole!

  20. Great blog entry, Dejan. On par with your columns.

    Very nice and appropriate to bring up Mr. Tanner.

    The picture of Cutch says it all. Cutch knows

  21. Operation Shutdown terminated.

  22. I don’t post often, but for some reason, after the win tonight, this song popped into my head. The lyric, “20 years now, where’d they go. 20 years, I don’t know. I sit and I wonder sometimes, where they’ve gone” is especially poignant. Maybe this should be their song for the remainder of the season…

  23. Not sure why this didn’t embed properly, although I’ve honestly never tried to embed anything before.

  24. Congrats to the team.

    For those who don’t know, I loathe the Pirates. 20 years of heartbreak & severe disappointment fuel my reasoning. But even I can say congrats to this team. I won’t hop on the bandwagon though. For me, this team needs to do it for another 2 or 3 seasons before I become impressed. One season to me still says fluke.

  25. Fell asleep during the game.

    Just woke. Expected to see another loss.

    I don’t know how to feel.

  26. Hoka Hey everyone!
    .
    Pirates win…Pirates win!!! ….LXXXII wins down, …and 0 to go. That is NONE !!!
    .
    Yes, Owner Bob, GM Neal and Mgr. Clint ….82 wins DOES make a difference.
    .
    For all of the loyal, long suffering fans, as well as, new Pirate fans out there — thank you 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates…..LONG TIME COMING. I farnkly never thought I would never see the end of this curse/streak………………. :-)
    .
    Just P-E-R-F-E-C-T.
    .
    Beat Em’ Bucs !

  27. Gerrit Cole certainly made a huge impression on the Rangers hitters and the Rangers radio broadcast team too. Elvis Andrus said that Cole was the toughest pitcher he has had to face this year. On the Rangers post-game, the studio guy said: “Gerrit Cole, OH MY GOD”…..

  28. With 19 games to go, the Pirates magic number to clinch the second wild card is 12 (vs. Washington), to host the wild card games is 18 (vs. Reds), and to win the division is 21 (vs. Cardinals).

    Arizona lost again. They are now two games behind Washington.

    • Good stuff, Tom, keep up the good work :)

    • Thanks, Tom

    • I use this information everyday on my white board. The white board should be a ton of work, but instead, I have turned it into the daily standings board. Everyday I come in, I put the record up, update the magic numbers and the final score from the before. I then put my work stuff up on whatever space I have left. Today, there isnt much room as across the top, in big bold words is written – The Streak is OVER!!!!

    • AZ is toast. They have moved on to trying out younger players because Kirk Gibson knows they are out of it. You can keep watching Washington but no need to keep track of AZ.

      • Cmat, I was thinking the same thing about AZ. I kept them on my list out of habit, although your post may be an appropriate farewell.

    • I may be mis-understanding the magic number… but it would great if the pirates could now finish the season going 12-7 in the last 19. If they do go 12-7, that would mean the cardinals would have to also lose 9 games for the pirates to win the division?

      • Kevin,

        Yes. Any combination of Pirates wins and losses by the other team equals a clinch by the Pirates based on that magic number. To use your example, 12 wins by the Pirates in 19 games gives them 94 wins. If the Cardinals lose 9 times in 19 games, they end up with 93 wins. Thus the Pirates win the division.

        To apply that example to the Reds (who have 17 games remaining and the Pirates magic number is 18), if the Pirates go 12-7 and the Reds go 11-6, 12 wins + 6 losses = 18, and the Pirates host the wild card game with the same 94 wins.

  29. Dejan just called.

    He’s predicting that 82 wins are an absolute lock.

  30. Thanks boys. Wish I could be at the park on Thursday to do it personally.

  31. I’m exhausted emotionally, btw. Once they got their run, I kept away from the computer to not jinx it.

  32. JAL’s Yesterday’s Papers Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TobFGg7jTmg

    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 Pittsburgh Pirates Stats

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

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    The Fall and Rise of the Pittsburgh Pirates: 100 Moments From The Streak

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/09/the-fall-and-rise-of-the-pittsburgh-pirates-100-moments-from-the-streak.html

    Pirates Post First Winning Season Since 1992

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/09/pirates-post-first-winning-season-since-1992.html

    Pirates Prospects 2013 Minor League Player of the Year

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/09/pirates-prospects-2013-minor-league-player-of-the-year.html

    Pirates Prospects 2013 Minor League Pitcher of the Year

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/09/pirates-prospects-2013-minor-league-pitcher-of-the-year.html

    Command of his own Kingham

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/09/command-of-his-own-kingham.html

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates clinch first winning season since 1992

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/9/9/4713708/pirates-clinch-first-winning-season-since-1992

    Thoughts on the end of the Pirates’ streak, and an announcement

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/9/10/4714032/thoughts-on-the-end-of-the-pirates-streak-and-an-announcement

    6 Rumbunter

    Gerrit Cole, Pedro Alvarez Lead Pittsburgh Pirates To 82nd Win

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/09/09/walkingdead/

    7 WHYGAVS

    Game 143: Pirates1 Rangers 0

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/september-2013/game-143-pirates-1-rangers-0.html

    82 Wins

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/september-2013/82-wins.html

    8 The Green Weenie

    Cole Comes Of Age In 1-0 Win…Oh, And It’s #82

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/09/cole-comes-of-age-in-1-0-winoh-and-its.html

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Pirates 1, Rangers 0

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2013/09/pirates-1-rangers-0/

    10 City of Champions

    Pirates clinch winning season with first-ever victory in Texas

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2013/09/09/pirates-clinch-winning-season-first-ever-victory-texas/

  33. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Rant Sports

    Justin Morneau Not Giving Pittsburgh Pirates Immediate Impact Needed

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/09/09/justin-morneau-not-giving-pittsburgh-desired-immediate-impact/

    12 Beaver County Times

    Pirates’ 1-0 win at Texas clinches winning season

    http://www.timesonline.com/sports/pirates—win-at-texas-clinches-winning-season/article_03a55382-b329-561f-afc3-bdb26c1cfeff.html

    13 Dallas Morning News

    Gosselin: Yu Darvish back to looking like an ace for the Rangers, but he needs run support

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/columnists/rick-gosselin/20130909-gosselin-yu-darvish-back-to-looking-like-an-ace-for-the-rangers-but-he-needs-run-support.ece

    14 Fort Worth Star Telegram

    Yu Darvish bounces back, but Rangers come up empty

    http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/09/09/5148386/yu-darvish-bounces-back-but-rangers.html?rh=1

    15 Fox Sports Southwest

    Win No. 82 small step toward bigger goal for Pirates

    http://www.foxsportssouthwest.com/story/Win-No-82-small-step-towards-bigger-goal?blockID=938105&feedID=3799

    16 CBS Sports

    Pirates v Rangers Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20130910_PIT@TEX

    17 St Louis Post Dispatch

    Bird Bytes: A closer look at NL Central race

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/bernie-miklasz/bird-bytes-a-closer-look-at-nl-central-race/article_5bde88c8-733a-510c-806a-835f7c9b8000.html

    18 PBC Site

    Victory No. 82 seals first winning year since ’92

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_09_09_pitmlb_texmlb_1&mode=recap_away&c_id=pit

    Longtime Pirates relishing club’s turnaround

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130909&content_id=59431476&vkey=news_pit&c_id=pit

    Bucs fans have right to revel in win No. 82

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130909&content_id=60093070&vkey=news_pit&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    The Week In Quotes

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=21752

    20 Fangraphs

    Player’s View: Is Creating Backspin a Skill?

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/players-view-is-creating-backspin-a-skill/

  34. Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Homer’s take on the State of Steeler Nation

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/9/9/4713070/homers-take-on-the-state-of-steeler-nation

    Steelers PFF grades: Week 1 vs. Tennessee Titans

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/9/9/4713008/steelers-pff-grades-week-1-vs-tennessee-titans

    22 Steelers Depot

    Suisham’s Injury Prevents Steelers from Replenishing ILB Unit

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/09/shaun-suisham-injury-prevents-steelers-from-replenishing-ilb-unit/

    Soccer(football)

    23 London Evening Standard

    David Bernstein: Our teams are well organised but we need creativity

    http://www.standard.co.uk/sport/interviews/david-bernstein-our-teams-are-well-organised-but-we-need-creativity-8806158.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    10 stories you need to read, 9th September, 2013

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-9th-september-2013

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Pens Points Tuesday: Almost Time to Go Camping

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/9/9/4712496/pens-points-tuesday

  35. Thanks, Dejan for placing the image of Chuck on the blog today. All you said…very true. Chuck and I share a birthday, July 4th, and indeed, always one of my favorite Pirate Skippers. The man had Black and Gold blood in him…always. A nice touch to number “82″ this morning.

  36. How appropriate it is that the winning effort for such an historic ballgame was played so perfectly by the entire Pirates’ team. An absolutely flawless performance by Gerrit Cole, our youthful rookie who really stepped up and delivered his best performance in the majors. He seemed to be pitching his heart out with every throw. And what a fine show by the bullpen: Watson and Melancon to nail this beautiful victory down.
    Against one of the best pitchers in the AL, one run was enough, driven in by el Toro when, perhaps, it was least expected (at least by some of us). Pedro, you have atoned for your sins. And hats off to the Byrd Man for getting himself in scoring position with that neat two-bagger. You have made your bones as a Bucco.
    Finally, the fielding was flawless, too. There were no errors, no throwing mistakes, not even a near error. In fact, there were no great catches or fielding gems, just fine professional play in the field.
    Everything in the Pirates’ play was pristine–against a tough ballclub trying as hard as we are to win their division.
    Congratulations to all you fighting Buccos, and to all you loyal fans who’ve stuck with the team (as I have) for these past 20 years. Maybe most of the fans who are just now drifting back to support the team will begin now to love these guys as I do. Every one of them.
    I am saving my chilled bottle of Champers for Thursday night. Somehow, drinking it across the Pond while the team is on the road doesn’t seem quite right, at least it would not be as much fun as it will be in a couple of days.
    This morning, the copy of Sports Illustrated with Cutch on the cover arrived from the States. I am going to enjoy reading it immensely.
    Best wishes to all of you, DK included, from ‘Over There.’

  37. I think Barry Bonds should throw out the first pitch on Thursday when the Pirates start their homestand vs. the Cubbies. Or, maybe for Game One of the playoffs. Then, we will have come full circle.

  38. Nothing witty to say, no wise philosophy to espouse…just extremely glad that it’s finally over. Now, LET’S GO BUCS & take that next step…a division title!

  39. Charlie to rejoin the Bucs in Texas. From the Trib:
    Morton is rejoining the club in Texas, and will throw the bullpen session at Rangers Ballpark to test how his left foot — his anchor foot in the delivery — feels.

    The right-hander had returned to Pittsburgh soon after leaving Sunday’s game at Busch Stadium after 1 2/3 innings, when the left-foot discomfort was triggered as he ran to cover home plate after unleashing a wild pitch.

    A baseball source confirmed the issue was plantar fasciitis, the sole-heel inflammation known to have given Morton a little trouble in the past.

    “Of course he wants to give it a try,” said manager Clint Hurdle. “Everybody wants to keep going at this point of the season. But he won’t really know how he feels until he gets on the mound and tests it.”

  40. *****ATTENTION*****’
    Newbies and lurkers, we want to chat with you! Celebrate #82 in this blog with us.
    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 :)

  41. “I’m proud to put this Pirates uniform on for a great franchise. It’s definitely great to get this 82nd win out of the way. But, we’re looking way past that.”

    - Andrew McCutchen

  42. Phew, 82. Finally.

    Let’s go BUCS!

  43. Cole was a stud last night. Earlier this year he had been criticized a bit for overreacting in certain situations (petulance?) rather than displaying the level-headedness that you would like to see of a potential No. 1 pitcher and the No. 1 pick in the draft. But it’s that same bulldog, never-give-in mentality that the best pitchers possess and that you have to love about this kid. I have faith he will soften out his rough edges soon enough. And his last two starts show that he’s truly rounding into a big-league pitcher before our eyes.

    Wouldn’t it be a great story if he were to be our team’s difference-maker both down the stretch and into the playoffs?

    • About Cole: “He’s got really impressive stuff,” said shortstop Elvis Andrus. “Tonight, he didn’t make any mistakes the whole game. He kept the ball right at the knee with great breaking stuff — pretty tough. Not too much to do tonight.”

  44. Gotta get to work…Will check in later…Have a good day everyone!

  45. The streak is over!

  46. Dejan,

    Prominently in my office hangs the Front Page picture from P-G of the Pirates dropping that 20 – 0 game.

    I may replace it now with your Trib picture above of ’82′

    Tell the Sports Editor “Thanks!”

  47. As significant as last night was for the past 20 years (and I can’t believe the amount of tears I shed in my San Antonio airport hotel listening to Tim Neverett succinctly call the clinching out of #82), it was as important to the next 5 years. Gerrit Cole had the defining outing in his path to being the ACE of this franchise he was drafted to be. He is the real deal and so very important to this franchise taking the next step. LETS GO BUCS!

  48. As has been mentioned, we are now 1 game ahead of the Reds. But, we are actually 2 games ahead of the Reds in the loss column. That’s significant.

    Cards 83-60
    Bucs 82-61 1 game back
    Reds 82-63 2 games back

    We are 1 game behind St. Louis and 1 game ahead of the Reds. We are 7 games into one of our toughest road trips of the year, at which point we come home for (I think) our longest homestand of the year. A minimum of a split in TX for these last 2 games is needed.

    • I saw the Cards were facing the brewers, Mariners, and Rockies on their schedule.

      • Yeah, they have no one tough left.

        • Speaking of no one tough left, the Reds swept the Dodgers over the weekend, but then got shut out by the Cubs last night. Baseball is not the NBA where the first place team can count on a 30 point win against the last place team. Perhaps one of the reasons I like baseball better than the NBA. My guess is that we end up gritting our collective teeth for 19 more games.

          • As we know, Tom, if the games are decided by 1 run, either team can win. Usually, it doesn’t work out that one team wins 3 consecutive games over the same team by 1 run.

            IMO Baseball and hockey are the sports, of the big 4, where upsets are most likely to happen due to the relatively low scoring.

      • It all depends on what pitchers they face in that Mariners series. There are two studs on that staff. If they face either or both of them they are as tough as anyone in the league. Brewers can put up some runs so you never know. These games are never as easy as they seem and road games are still road games.

        We have 11 games against the Cubs and San Diago with 8 of those being at home.

      • They can all be tough, think of what happened to us last year

        Anything can happen ;-)

  49. FEELS LIKE ’58!

    As one of the longest suffering Pirate fans, I celebrated quietly
    Ast night.

    I wish I cou
    D say that this years team feel like the 1960 team, but in truth it feels more like the 1958 team that ended a streak of 9 losing seasons (1949 through 1957). The ’58 Pirates were 84 – 70. In ’59 they were 76 – 74 before the big breakthrough of 95 wins in 1960.

    I think the same thing might me happening here; that is we may need a couple of years more to reach the ultimate goal. Still, the road will noe be a lot more fun. 1959 was (more fun). ElRoy’s streak and many late inning game winning homers by “my boy”, Dick Stuart.

    Hete’s a stupid, smarty song for today – “We’ve Only Just Begun” by the Carpenters.

    Stuart

  50. “Smaltzy” not smarty. A big Jandy curse on auto correct!

    Stuart

  51. Arnold Palmer is 84 years young today.

  52. Lots of Posts today on 82. woke up ,looked at the score did a quiet fist pump…looked at twitter…went back to bed thinking about March 15, 1978. My roomate pinned a note on my door that we had signed Jim Bibby. Then the next year we won the world series. It’s feeling like that kind of special times are coming back to the Pirates. Looking forward to what this ball club will bring us.

  53. Sorry, folks. Had to do it one more time.

    No, on to the division title.

  54. Not a fan of Greg Brown. I think he is overdramatic in many game situations and likes to take shots at the people that were upset with the Pirates/the organization over the past 20 years. he doesn’t have that right considering the play on the field that we have seen the past two decades. To tell you the truth, I never listen to him anymore and would rather listen to the opposing team’s broadcast – especially when they play the likes of St Louis, Cincy, LA, San Fran. Far more educational and knowledge without the theatrics – better baseball people. However, with that said…I will say that Greg Brown’s final out call for win #82 was well done. It should have been…he’s endured it and passionate about the organization…I will give him that. As for the Buccos other announcer – Tim N – that call was pretty bad and you can tell that it didn’t mean as much to him as it did to Brown. I grew up watching Clemente and Stargell and went to my first game in ’71. Would love to see that magic return but still think Bucs are about 2-3 years away from being dominant due to their lack of hitting. This lineup is a wildcard team at best but that is light years ahead of what we have watched the past 20 years. Congrats on breaking the streak Buccos!

  55. I have watched at least part if not all of each of the games since 81…including 81. Last night I was gared up to watch another one fearing what yu Darvish would do to this line up. And fearing a fifth loss in a row.

    But when I got home my wife says we ahve nothing to make for dinner so we are going to grab some food and go to the grociery store. We didn’t get home until almost 9. And we needed to wash bottles for the baby. By the time we are done with that I look at my phone to see it is still 0-0. My wife had some things to do so I was tasked with trying to feed the baby. game still not on my TV, i look at my phone again…byrd doubles. Pedro with two strikes. I toss the phone aside figuring that surely pedro is going to K. Baby finishes the bottle. Pick up the phone to see that there is a 1 in the box score beside the Buccos and I thought…I should turn this on so I can hopefully see history. But instead I put the baby to bed. Again I though I should put this on. And I had the following conversation with myself:

    “Turn that game on. You gotta see 82″
    “nah, they’ll blow it in the 9th. then you will be so irate that you won’t be able to go to bed”
    “Good point. Plus i watched every game that they got crushed in. They are winning with me not watching”
    “exactly. just continue following uit on your phone”
    “Sounds like a good plan”

    Then when Melancon got that final out I raised my fist in celebration. And then started kicking myself for not turning the dang thing on.

    Who did the T side last night? Brown or Nevrett? The regret I have is not hearing Brown’s call if it was him. neverett’s call of 81 was so blah. To hear Brown say “Raise the Jolly Roger” in his most excited moment yet would have sent a smile to my face and a chill down my spine. but I missed it. The only thing close to what that would have felt like is “lord Stanley Lord Stanley bring me the brandy.” When I hear that replay it STILL gives me chills.

    • AJS, hubby told me last night: “we are NOT turning the game on. They’ll lose and you’ll get all upset and frustrated. I said OK, and promptly grabbed the lappy and came on the blog. I pulled up the box score thingie Dejan posts and saw it was 0-0 thru the second inning and I took the remote and turned the game on. LOL
      So glad I did. Hubby fell asleep :eyeroll:
      I woke him up when Byrd got on base with my woops and then again when Pedro hit him in. He stayed awake after that.

    • Brown did the TV… the only part I remember is when they cut to Cutch doing the Jesus pose and Brown says something like “…and that tells the whole story right there”

  56. Had a strange reaction to 82, and not what I expected. Last night I felt relief more than elation. This morning I feel anger again – anger that such bad management soiled a proud baseball franchise for so many years that we have to feel good to have 82 wins.

    Even worse is the truth that they made money doing it.

    I will now just try to focus on the current players, who don’t deserve to be associated with those twits who ran the Pirates into the ground before they got here.

  57. Updated version of a classic………….

  58. Cole looked very calculated out there….very good to see. He was clearly thinking about his work. He seemed to have a bit of a routine going out there. I like seeing him change the pace of how he’s working on the mound. That tells me that he’s being conscientious about not tipping pitches and burrying guys when he’s got them on the ropes. Russell Martin caught an awesome game too.

    • Great point about Martin. John Buck makes The Fort look like Yadier Molina back there.

      • Yeah, I blame Liriano’s last outing on Buck.

        • While that is tempting, it wasn’t buck who was leaving pitches up in the zone and not snapping off his curve balls or following through on his change ups. doesn’t matter who was calling the pitches Liriano was not getting it done withthat effort.

          Now, I still don’t think Buck calls a very good game but Martin or Sanchez(who had been catching Liriano) would not have really made a difference.

          • I was referring to what had been reported that, I believe, his change-up wasn’t working and Buck didn’t adjust the gameplan and kept calling for it. Martina’s history is he adjusts, even within the same batter. But I obviously don’t know for sure.

    • Amen on Martin and I was just about to say that I thought he called a great game which included a lot of breaking stuff down that he knew he was going to have to stay in front of.

      • He’s the best catcher the Pirates have had that I have seen since . . . Can’t think of anybody off the top of my head. Spanky?

        • Tony Pena.

        • I’d like to try and extend Martin this offseason into 2015 at least.

          • Tough chance.

            Remember that he turned down Huntington’s three year offer in favor of a two year contract so that he’d still have one more shot at free agency, presumably for a multi-year contract.

            I’d say it would take extending him to 2017 to get him to bite. Obviously just my opinion, though.

            • I agree with you NMR. He got trashed a little for saying it at the time, but I thought it was a good thing to have him playing for his next contract. Little did I know what he would bring, though.

              • Well I’m hoping that in Martin’s mind the situation has changed and he feels a bit of gratitude. I can’t see anyone taking him into 2017 but I guess you never know.

              • Absolutely, AW.

                @21

                2017 will be his age-34 season. Assuming his body, and play, holds up next year, I wouldn’t settle for any duration less than three years if I were him.

              • I get all that NMR. I’m hoping that because he’s already signed for ’14 and maybe the team exceeding his expectations this year is an opportunity to extend him in a hometown discount sort of way.

              • It would be nice, but there’s no way RM takes a home town discount, not on his last chance at a multi year contract.

                Would be nice though.

  59. Sunny and warm on the prairie this morning.

    Looks like quite a few were up late last night savoring #82.

    I get that. Even out here. I get that.

    Feels good, doesn’t it?

    There was a time when 82 was a routine stop in the season.

    May those days return.

  60. I have been a Pirate fan since the days when Bobby Bragan (or it might have been Fred Haney) said Pittsburgh had “the best basketball team in the National League.” I have lived through three awful eras, and though the latest one was the record setter, it was not the “worst” IMHO. I would give that honor to the ’80s horror shows. And, I respectfully disagee with the majority about Chuck “see no evil” Tanner, due to his presence during that evil era.

  61. Happy #82 happened last night. The team would never, ever admit this, but they were pressing, and tight trying to get that victory. That is now in the rearview mirror.

    Now for the much more important streak to be over…………. 34. The number of years since the Pirates won the WS. The Holy Grail.

    I read all the nice thoughts on 82 above……….. some pretty impressive things were recalled. But to me, a franchise is supposed to hit .500 once in a while. A franchise is supposed to get to the playoffs once in a while. I didnt celebrate last night. I thought it was a nice thing, but not worthy of my joy. I want a playoof berth, and a WS title. Maybe not this year, but soon.

    To me, 34 is the streak that matters.
    82 was an annoyance that reminded me of the ridicule that the Pirates have endured for 20 years.

    Go Bucs!

  62. I agree with the sentiment on the “Jesus” pose. It’s more than that though. Not only is it a “Thank God” pose but a “FINALLY – WE CAN MOVE ON” pose. Really was hoping it had come during the Cardinals series… not that one, the one at home. Oh well, pittsburghers can’t be choosers I guess. And settling for a penant race is the middle of September is a pretty damn good silver medal. ;)

  63. Oh, and all things considered… nothing like the arm of pirate future to quell the ghosts of pirate past!

  64. I may be wrong, but I don’t think the Pirates have faced a left-handed starter since they got Morneau…any ideas about their lineup against lefties now?

  65. To totally change topics, anyone watch the iggle game last night? I’m no iggle fan but as a Pitt fan, it was nice seeing Shady cut loose a couple times. And with RGIII shaking off the rust, the NFC east definitely is shaping up as a power conference again. I predict Cowboys 1, Redskins 2, Eagles 3, NYG 4. Only because I don’t think the iggles are lucky enough to have both Shady & Vick healthy for the whole year.

  66. My brother (Mets fan) called me to give his congratulations.
    My boss (Brewers fan) stopped by my office to do the same.

    I must admit, I broke into the Dewars 18 year old scotch last night (it’s younger than the streak!).

    Feels like a holiday today….except for the work.

  67. 10 years from now, we’ll all be surprised to learn that it was the Rangers who were the team we beat to finally end the streak.

  68. Because it couldn’t get to 21.

    Not that number.

    Congrats to the boys, but business is NOT finished. As that little girl from the AT&T commercial says….

    We want more.

    For everyone needing a little Clemente in their life today, here ya go.

  69. Oh dear, Oklahoma State.

    • Not sure what to think of that last paragraph, John.

      Other than being complete f’ng bullsh*t, the tone seems almost sympathetic.

      • No sir. No sympathies here. Greed, money, sex, cheating. All of the classic plagues. Alabama et al were doing this 50 years ago under Bryant. Not a sympathetic story at all, NMR.

        • Just to be clear, I meant the last paragraph of the SI article”

          “At Oklahoma State the bonus system, the booster and coach payouts, and the bogus jobs provided players with money that was seldom spent on extravagances. One or two standouts bought a new car or expensive jewelry, team members say, but the vast majority of the players used the extra cash to purchase everyday items — food, clothing, tickets to a movie. “There were some athletes who were almost starving,” says Carter. “Wherever the money came from, they were like, Yeah, I’ll take that.”"

          A little too “aw shucks” for my taste.

          • Oh, sorry NMR. I was confused because I hadn’t used any paragraphs. :) Nevermind!

            Oh, and I agree with you.

            I’ve also read that SI claims they did not go into this with a hatchet job in mind. Said they wanted to look into a program that had turned its fortunes around in a short period of time. SI claims stuff started coming out and, poof, an onion with layers had appeared. (My analogy).

            Yeah right, SI. Just own your investigative journalism, please. Are they afraid of scaring off institutions with which they have good sources ?

            • Interesting, John.

              I actually have developed a fair amount of cynicism towards SI regarding scandals like this since the Penn State coverage. Not because I think they were necessarily unfair, but because that story raised the bar to (hopefully) unattainable heights of sensationalism. Nothing (again, hopefully) will top what happened.

              But SI still has to sell magazines and get story hits, and shock value obviously draws. I think they lost a lot of credibility, at least with me, when they “leaked” their own UCLA “scandal” involving Ben Howland and player misconduct. Played the story for far more than was there.

              Maybe this is their defensive response to some of those complaints?

        • And I completely agree with you.

          This kind of behavior isn’t just about paying college athletes who are exploited by the NCAA, it is about systematic entitlement of young men who so often lack the slightest bit of perspective once they leave the locker room.

    • Wow, guys got paid. Shocking. Gambling in Casablanca ? Interesting to see how far reaching this will be. I’ll personally enjoy seeing Holgorsen & DeForest squirm at West Virginia. As well as Les Miles, of course.

  70. http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/eye-on-baseball/23566065/anatomy-of-the-2013-pirates-how-the-streak-breaking-team-was-built

    Good column about how the team was built. It’s amazing how many things go into assembling a major league baseball team. In my opinion it is the hardest sport to GM and the toughest one to dig yourself out of a deep hole.

  71. I’m very much enjoying everyone’s reflections on the recently deceased streak. But I’m saving my celebration. Mine will come at some point on this upcoming homestand when they clinch a playoff berth on their own home field in front of their starving fans. That will really mean something to me.

    • Amen. That does and will deserve a great celebration.

    • Agree. 1 step at a time though, let’s enjoy this until the next pitch. Then its time to hunt down the division title.

    • I’m just celebrating like baseball players. They celebrate when they win a division or wild card. They celebrate when they win a division series. They celebrate when they win a league championship. They celebrate when they win a title.

      Always thought that was odd. You don’t see hockey players or NBA players jumping on each other when they win the first round of the playoffs, etc. They only let it go when a title is secured.

      • Maybe that’s because in the NHL and NBA, 16 teams go to the postseason.

        • Well, I can see celebrating when you make the postseason. But what’s the point of the champagne showers when you win a 1 game WC playoff or the division series. You are already in the playoffs. Winning those are just steps on the way to the championship, which is the ultimate goal.

  72. Breaking the streak is nice and about time it happened.
    Now when they become playoff bound several years in a row and or win the WS that will be something to celebrate.

    Does make for a happy day though in the meantime.

  73. What a game last night! Seriously, would the Pirates win #82 in any other fashion?

    Cole proved why the Pirates liked him so much as the #1 pick. This type of outing is what’s expected from him.

    I envision the Pirates future much to the same as the Tampa Bay Rays. Once they started winning, they continued to win with the same agenda. They’re not big money spenders, but they continue to develop and contend through pitching.

  74. Neat former Pirate story of the day…

    Gorkys Hernandez hits walkoff 3-run homer in the playoffs, then anounced “I can’t be in the finals because I’m going to Venezuela to check on my baby,” he said. “I want to be with my family because it’s my first.”.

    http://www.minorleagueball.com/2013/9/9/4709650/gorkys-hernandez-finishes-his-season-with-a-bang?utm_source=minorleagueball&utm_medium=nextclicks&utm_campaign=blogs

  75. In a post earlier today, someone mentioned both the image of Andy Van Slyke sitting dejectedly in centerfield after Sid Bream scored, eliminating the Pirates from the playoffs and Andrew McCutchen raising his arms after the team’s 82nd win last night. On one hand, that’s an example of how expectations have changed in a generation. One the other hand, (figuratively speaking), a team has to walk before it can run. Now that the streak is out of the way, let’s see if the Pirates can win a dozen or more and make the Cardinals work before it is determined who wins the division.

  76. A couple of interesting notes that were broadcast on ESPN today. The Yankees have had a total of 21 losing seasons in their entire history. The Cardinals have had 20 losing seasons in the last 75 years. In the last month the Pirates pitching staff has given up the fourth most runs in the National League.

    • I hate all of those stats, especially the last one.

      Pitching doesn’t come back to where it was, kiss the playoffs good bye.

      • That last one is startling. Of course tose last 4 starts prior to cole had something to do with that.

        Frankie will get it back on track tonight. And a good start from AJ tomorrow will get it all back together. Hopefully.

        I do look for a little bit more of a sporadic pattern from this staff though. The bull pen in particular. Wilso is reportedly gassed. Grilli hasn’t looked quite like himself yet. Mazarro has looked awful in his last couple. And I never liked Morris to begin with.

        Watson, Melancon, and two innings tops of Jenny is about all I trust out of that pen right now.

  77. BTW, not that anybody is counting, but in 3 more months I’ll have to change my name on here, still wont get a avatar though…..

  78. I see part of the 2014 schedule was released today. Red Sox coming to PNC Park in September 2014. Have a co-worker from Boston who is hoping that the Red Sox come to PNC in October of **2013**!

  79. I just read that Redman is going to be the starter for week 2.

    My question: Why? What did he do in week 1 that would warrant another start? I might even start Jones, have Dwyer #2, and Redman #3.

    I guess it isn’t a huge deal since there really isn’t much of a variance among the three but still I cannot understand why Redman would be the man after what we saw on Sunday.

    • I still don’t get teh Dwyer dismissal. All I can think is that they still think Redman is their short yardage guy and that Howling is the third down guy. Jones is good at catching all of those darn screen passes I guess an provides some “veteran” depth. Bell will be the guy when he is healthy. So you can’t keep 5 and you just went out and got Howling and Jones. A GM can’t possibly admit fault so quickly so one of Redman and Dwyerhad to go. And redman is of course a hort yardage beast.

      What a bunch of hoowy. Dwyer has his faults but to me was the best option they had.

    • I certainly understand this sentiment, especially with the fumble. On the other hand, going back to last season Tomlin has changed up who the starter is so frequently that I think there’s something to be said for just running one guy out there for a stretch of games and see if he can get things going. Anyway, with our O-line they’re all going to look like bums.

    • MY guess, Jones doesn’t know the offense well enough yet, Dwyer still on the outs with Tomlin.

      I’m not surprised by this at all. Lack of talent at the position. I dont see a win by starting any of the 3 over each other.

    • Don’t know why Redman is “the man” on Sunday, but my eyeball test said this: the Titans had three backs last week who were better than anyone we put on the field. Get well soon, Mr. Bell.

      • I unfortunately can’t watch some of the games this year because my sons football games are on Sunday at 1:00 and living in Northwest Ohio I can’t even DVR the games because we get Browns and Lions every week but looking at the game stats it didn’t seem as if the Titan running backs played that well at least not statistically.

        • Your son’s games?
          Do tell!

          • Not much to tell. 5th and 6th graders playing tackle for the first time in their life. Play is stopped every 3 or 4 plays for an injury. The QB gets tackled before he is able to hand it off to the running back almost half the time. Parents yelling because the referee didn’t call a holding penalty that was commited. Come to think of it it is almost exactly like watching the Steelers play this weekend.

            • I coached that level for a couple of years.

              Sad to see the parents haven’t changed ;-)

              • Parents getting worked up is part of the experience. As long as it doesn’t become abusive (though, unfortunately, it can) it actually doesn’t bother me. Except when the coaches are pulling a “daddy baseball” number and are giving the shaft to some kids for the naked benefit of their own. That’s been my the bane of my existence as a parent with kids playing sports. Even when my own kids are doing well and get lots of playing time, it hurts to see other kids get the shaft.

              • I know. I’ve seen it in other sports a little but football was an entire new level of angry parents. I just want my kid to be aggressive, not get hurt, learn the right way to play and have fun at this age. Yelling at the refs or him doesn’t help anything.

                I just tell him nice game and look for oppertunities when we watch football later to teach him things he may have done wrong during his game without actually telling him he did them wrong. Football is a tough sport at this age and there is a lot going on. Especially on defense. There is no set play, just reacting to what happens which at his age is a lot. The main thing is being aggressive.

            • Got it. That’s cute stuff! Watching our kids play — these are the days.

        • I don’t mean to imply that they dominated statistically by total yards alone. Johnson, Battle and Greene had 37 rush attempts between them and nine first downs. They were a threat that had to be accounted for, especially Johnson. They blocked well enough that Locker was sacked just once. Our backs had 14 rushes and no first downs and blocked badly.

        • After last Sunday, not being able to watch the games might not be such a bad thing.

          Luckily, you’ll be able see the game against Bengals.

    • I don’t blame Dwyer, Jones, or Redman. These guys are just flat out not good enough to not only be starters but backups either. Every other NFL team had their chance to obtain Dwyer and not one team was even willing to add him as a #3.

  80. I printed out the 82 at the top of the blog and hung it in my work cubicle. 5 people asked me what the 82 was for. They didn’t understand the significants but that’s OK. It makes me smile everytime I look at it.

  81. Rob Biertempfel‏@BiertempfelTrib15m
    Good news for #Pirates: Starling Marte (hand) is taking swings in batting cage on field right now.

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