Blogs | Sports | News
Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Morning Java: Why critical coverage matters

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Thursday column lays it all on the Steelers’ O-line … but attempts to do so fairly.

Here’s my full conversation with Ramon Foster on the topic yesterday.

Here’s the TribLIVE Radio show monologue on that and more …

Here’s some of what Jonathan Dwyer and Jarvis Jones had to say before practice …

Here’s our full Steelers coverage, including the latest on Le’Veon Bell, a personal day for Ben Roethlisberger, the mess at center and more by myself and Alan Robinson.

Here’s James Harrison’s feelings about Monday. Ralph Paulk is in Cincinnati.

Here’s other Bengals news from the Enquirer.

>> This story turned my stomach in the professional sense.

Short version, Steve Spurrier didn’t like what a long-respected columnist at The State, a major newspaper, was writing about his South Carolina football team. So, after embarrassing the columnist then refusing to speak with him, he then approached the newspaper about not only getting the guy off the but then handpicking the columnist who’d replace him.

I could go off on a rant here that would set your reading device ablaze, but I’ll pass. Because to me, the loss here is so obvious that’s insulting to point it out.

All I’ll say is this: Be careful what you wish for when complaining about critical coverage of your favorite team. And yeah, that includes baseball teams that lose for 20 years in a row.

Because one day all you’ll be left with is and all of the stories and viewpoints having to be cleared through the teams they’re writing about.

And any team supporter dumb enough to think that was a good idea will finally realize that critical coverage is anything but counter-productive to that team winning.

>> Seems like the city was cursing Tuukka Rask only yesterday, but thanks to the lockout squeezing on one end and the Olympics on the other, here it is just like that: The Penguins open training camp today at Consol.

I know, right?

But there were Tomas Vokoun, Jussi Jokinen and others reporting and posing for team photos yesterday, with an official first-session ice time today of 9 a.m. (Not open to the public.)

There’s a comprehensive preview in our print edition, by Rob Rossi and Josh Yohe, and you can find some of that online. But trust me, this one’s better in your hands.

You’ll also find the latest on soon-to-be-goner Matt Niskanen … or is he?

I’ll be at Consol today, of course, and write the Friday column from there.

>> The Pirates lower the broom on the Rangers. Rob Biertempfel reports from Arlington.

Here’s our full Pirates coverage.

Here’s Rangers news from the Dallas Morning News, Cubs news from the Chicago Tribune.

Here are official game highlights from

>> Pitt’s opposing coach Saturday will make a homecoming. Jerry DiPaola reports.

>> Penn State seeks third-down help. Chris Adamski has it.

>> I’ll visit with TribLIVE Radio today at 11:30 a.m. And on Sunday night, I’ll join Mark Kaboly, Mark Madden and host Alby Oxenreiter on WPXI-TV’s Subway Final Word.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

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


  1. Ghost says:

    Yes, it’s abhorrent what Steve Spurrier has orchestrated down there with the newspaper in SC, and with the way that paper has prostrated and prostituted itself. It also is a black mark on the profession of journalism that the paper and its publisher kowtowed. The comparison to Paterno and Penn State WAS appropriate in that Spurrier apparently now heads a personality cult that no one dare challenge, OR ELSE. I hope outside reporting on everything last thing Steve Spurrier has ever done down to the last time he passed gas now is relentlessly pursued and reported. South Carolina and its fans should be made to become so weary of Steve Spurrier and the albatross I hope he becomes that they purge that totalitarian with the same prejudice with which he destroyed that columnist.

  2. Ghost says:

    And on a happier note…
    Maybe the stats don’t bare out the following notion (I’ve read they don’t in these type of cases), but of the few hits that Clint Barmes manages, it sure seems the preponderance of them factor into important runs for the Buccos in close games. Take his homers. Remember a few years back people complained Garrett Jones only hit solo shots that came in lopsided, already-decided games? Well, all five of Barmsie’s dingers have been in one- or two-run games. Barmes is a role-player, not a starter. But I really like the role he is playing.

  3. War Horse says:

    A. J. Burnett’s emotional outbursts on the mound last night when the Rangers got to him for two runs in the 6th, both on ground ball singles hit just barely through the hole between short and third, were uncomfortable to watch. He blamed shortstop Barmes for playing too close to 2nd base and gestured angrily toward him to move over for the next batter, Alex Rios, who promptly hit the ball to Barmes in his new position about six feet closer to the hole and into a DP. Burnett was quoted after the game as saying he doesn’t believe in the new Sabermetrics shift system the Pirates’ have been using in defense this year, while Hurdle defended it. Barmes was playing where he had been instructed by the coaches to play: closer to the middle of the infield based on where the batters had most often hit the ball before.
    The thing is — A. J. may be right, at least for the final weeks of the season. The Pirates’ record as the best fielding team in the NL has plumeted lately, not only from making more errors (2nd in NL), but from a lower DER. From having the highest Defensive Efficiency Ratio in the NL for the first four months of the season, the team is now fifth, dropping from better than .715 down to .699 currently as a percentage of outs recorded from balls hit in play. Baseball Prospectus judges a .700 rating as “Poor” and .722 as “Great.” That means that the Pirates’ coaches and record-keepers are being outsmarted by opposing teams’ batters who are adjusting their swings to take into account where fielders are being positioned. Being swept in the series in St. Louis proved that the Cardinals were hitting ground balls and line drives where the Pirate players weren’t.
    Maybe it’s time that the sabermetric book-keepers on the Pittsburgh staff made some late season adjustments in their records and positioning of the fielders. Or, as the maths-and-stats geniuses on this blog will argue, it all averages out over a season and the Pirates need to do nothing.
    My argument is that A.J. may have drawn attention to something that needs improvement.

  4. Drew71 says:

    “That means that the Pirates’ coaches and record-keepers are being outsmarted by opposing teams’ batters who are adjusting their swings to take into account where fielders are being positioned.”

    It pains me to give you know Whovacevic credit, but that reminds me of something Dejan wrote three years ago. When the Pirates were playing two right fielders in their zany outfield shifts.

    Old Whover pointed out that overcooked sabermetrics don’t take into account that MLB hitters can, you know, notice. And react.

    It was a point worth raising then. And now.

    Now I have to wash my iPhone out with soap.

  5. Drew71 says:

    I have this fantasy about flying into Pittsburgh today, buying a ticket, going to the Pirates game, putting on my Dejan mask (yes, I have one), finding the blogginistas at whatever bar they’re infecting and having a beer in my Dejan mask.

    Without acknowledging them. Of course.

    That’s my fantasy.

    What’s weirder? That I have a Dejan mask, or that I have a Dejan mask fantasy.

  6. Drew71 says:

    And don’t worry. It’s the fantasy mask from the promo picture.

    I’m just going for creepy, not scary.

  7. Pucknutz says:

    Off your medication again, ain’t ya Drew??

  8. Drew71 says:

    Have I crossed a line I can’t uncross if I mention my Thundercrack hand puppet?

  9. Drew71 says:

    No, I had a beer this morning.

  10. Pucknutz says:

    I was drinking coffee until I read the “mask” post. Dumped 2 shots of rotgut in and chugged it down. Did not help. I am still shaking and when I close my eyes I see really scary things…….

  11. 21sthebest says:

    I think you need another beer.

  12. Drew71 says:

    Too many and I can’t work the puppet

  13. John Lease says:

    You are right, it is the same way with Paterno. I could never understand that, I don’t care how great anyone is, they aren’t perfect.

    In Spurrier’s case though, he IS a perfect ass.

  14. John Lease says:

    AJ is a prima donna, but he has a point I think you’ve glossed over. Pitchers with ability, like him, know how to pitch to get guys to hit it to a certain spot.

    Jim Palmer back in the old days was always moving his fielders around, because he could pitch that effectively.

    I don’t think Burnett is in that same echelon, but he has pitched a lot of ML games, and by now should know how to set up guys to do that more often than not.

  15. John Lease says:

    They are equally, unique…

  16. Tom P. says:

    With 17 games left, the Pirates magic number to clinch the second wild card spot is 10 (vs. Nationals), to host the wild card game is 15 (vs. Reds) and to win the division is 19 (vs. Cardinals).

    The Pirates open a four game series at home against the Cubs tonight. The Nationals finish their series against the Mets. The Cardinals finish their series against the Brewers. The Reds are off.

  17. NMR says:

    “That means that the Pirates’ coaches and record-keepers are being outsmarted by opposing teams’ batters who are adjusting their swings to take into account where fielders are being positioned.”

    Sorry, this is absolutely ridiculous.

    In your understanding of DIPS theory, please explain the difference between BABIP regression and DER?

  18. Thundercrack says:

    We would know it was you.

    DK doesn’t drink.

  19. Thundercrack says:

    ‘My argument is that A.J. may have drawn attention to something that needs improvement.’

    Or it could be that AJ draws attention to himself as sometimes being a jerk out on the mound.

    If those shifts didn’t work a majority of the time I think the team would scrap them. Just like the shift to 2 right fielders.

  20. Thundercrack says:

    And any team supporter dumb enough to think that was a good idea will finally realize that critical coverage is anything but counter-productive to that team winning.

    So reporters and their coverage are responsible for a winning team?

    I can’t wait to hear my hand puppet explain this one.

  21. NMR says:

    Just so I have this straight, if the Pirates are 5th in the league at .699, then 73% of National League teams are poor or worse defenders?

    Sure. Makes complete sense.

  22. JAL says:

    JAL’s Radio Religion Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Pittsburgh Pirates Stats

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: The Texas Sweep Puts the Pirates in a Good Position

    P3 Episode 19: Catching Up With Rocco DeMaro

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates sweep Rangers, confound everybody yet again

    6 Rumbunter

    Pirates Winners Again: Our Best Photoshops of 20 Year Losing Streak


    Game 145: Pirates 7 Rangers 5

    8 The Green Weenie

    Bucs Broom Rangers 7-5 With An Unlikely Cast of Characters

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Pirates 7, Rangers 5

    10 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates reliever Tony Watson unsung hero of “Shark Tank” bullpen

  23. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Rant Sports

    Gerrit Cole To Bullpen Makes Sense For The Pittsburgh Pirates

    12 Chicago Tribune

    Series preview: Cubs at Pirates,0,5189642.story

    13 Dallas Morning News

    Rangers’ Matt Garza lacked location and ‘paid for it’ in 7-5 loss to Pirates

    14 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Reds end homestand at 7-3

    15 The Atlantic

    How Life Got Good Again for the Pittsburgh Pirates

    16 CBS Sports

    Pirates v Cubs Game Preview

    17 St Louis Post Dispatch

    Fireworks start late for Cardinals

    Bernie Bytes: Can we hush up about Holliday?

    18 PBC Site

    Burnett’s strong effort leads Bucs to sweep in Texas

    Notebook: Hurdle sticks to rotation, as McCutchen gets day off


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Reworking WARP Why We Need Replacement Level

    20 Fangraphs

    In the Wild Card Race, Schedule Matters

  24. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Report: Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell could miss another month

    It’s quite easy to go from king to jester in the NFL

    22 Steelers Depot

    Dwyer Says He Is a Changed Person With a Chip on His Shoulder


    23 London Evening Standard

    Galacticos United! Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo meet at Real Madrid training ground

    24 World Soccer Daily

    10 stories you need to read, 11th September, 2013


    25 Pensburgh

    2013 Penguins Training Camp Preview: Jobs to be won

  25. JAL says:

    EXTRA LINKS-an Occasional Posting

    26 LA Times

    No man is an island, especially Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen,0,1622130.column#axzz2ea4wq8y9

    27 KDKA

    Andrew Says: Pirates Playoff Roster Will Have Tough Decisions

    28 Fansided

    How will the N.L. Central Division look at the end of the season?

    29 Think Progress

    The Pittsburgh Pirates Are The 2013 Baseball Season’s Best Story

  26. BillyBaduka says:

    I hadn’t heard about the Spurrier story. Repulsive.

    Well said DK.

  27. JAL says:

    Radio Religion Grace Pool 1990 Short lived alternative-folk rock band. Compared to 10,000 Maniacs although the sounds were not that similar. Grace Pool is a character in Jane Eyre.

  28. Chuck Snow says:

    So Jeff Locke is going to turn it around tonight? 17 games to go and Pirates management hasn’t noticed his second half. I sure hope he turns it around.

  29. Nate83 says:

    Holy crap we are 5th. Let’s panic and abandon what got us that high in the first place. This is crazy. The regression is do to more playing time for Mercer which he should get, Marte not playing, Locke regressing and Cole gives up a lot of hard contact until recently. It’s not softball. Players no matter how good they are can’t pinpoint exactly where to hit to within 5 or 10 feet. You play the percentages and unfortunately it only gets noticed when it doesn’t work and your irrogent pitcher points it out to everyone instead of worrying about his own job.

  30. Pucknutz says:

    I would think that “reporters” coverage ( critical or positive or neutral) should have absolutely no bearing on whether a team wins or loses.
    I could be wrong. Maybe one of the “metrics” guys has a stat on critical/positive coverage against wins/loses.

  31. Parrothead01 says:

    AJ may or may not have a point about the placement of the fielders, but something getting overlooked is that if he had done his job better and not walked the first two hitters, they would not have been in scoring position and there wod not have been an issue. None of his teammates pointed his deficiencies for the whole stadium to see. I understand making your point, but the way AJ does it can cause problems.

  32. NMR says:

    This seems way, way, wayyyy too obvious.

  33. Jandy says:

    Very well said, Ghostie!

  34. Milo Hamilton says:

    I don’t know Thunder, but it sounds like someone’s angling for a playoff share. :)

  35. Jandy says:

    Is it still working?

  36. Maddamma says:


    Thanks for linking to the Spurrier/The State story. Chilling. One need look no further than your and other’s coverage of the Hoka-Hey story to demonstrate how being critical of a team/organization can have a PRODUCTIVE effect. Without that reporting, Nutting does not do a top-down analysis of the organization, seek the trusted advice of many throughout the sport, and demand/institute changes that have had a profound influence on the first winning season in 20 years.

  37. Jandy says:

    well, let’s not let facts get in the way of a totally logical narrative…

  38. Jandy says:

    LOL! White Lightning should calm that down for ya Puckers!

  39. Jandy says:

    The puppet needs to stay in the box, Drew.

  40. Jandy says:

    Just Starbucks ;)

  41. Jandy says:

    Thanks Tom P. keep on keepin’ on…

  42. Jandy says:

    Maybe Barmes should have told AJ to STFU eh? ;)

  43. Jandy says:

    This Spurrier BS makes me wonder if Ron Morris wouldn’t have a case for a lawsuit?

    What a bunch of losers.

  44. Parrothead01 says:

    Yes, and who knows, may e he did in the dugout. Better place for a discussion like that.

  45. Thundercrack says:

    We hope not. That’s how he gets on this blog.

  46. NMR says:


  47. Jandy says:

    oops! forgot the ;)

  48. Jandy says:

    yeah, I like AJ n’at, but he doesn’t need to be a d*ck on the mound. Barmes shows more class.

  49. NMR says:

    “None of his teammates pointed his deficiencies for the whole stadium to see.”

    Deficiencies? You’re sure AJ was BLAMING Barmes, or is that your ASSUMPTION?

    Look, I’m not going to argue that AJ’s antics don’t help his perception.

    But is there any actual evidence that his teammates don’t like them?

    Isn’t it possible that his teammates have a wee bit better understanding of him and what he means than us, the TV observers?

  50. Jandy says:

    Considering AJ stepped on Hurdle’s toes and was put in his place, it’s not out of the question he was being obnoxious. The better way to handle it would have been to call Barmes over and tell him man to man quietly to move over, instead of the theatrics. But what do I know?

  51. JAL says:

    Dan haren did last night, had been dreadful the 2nd half and last night 6 innings 1 hit no runs. Locke wasn’t great last start but he was better. 5 innings 3 hits 2 earned runs the 4 wlaks hurt him. That was against the cards, a much better hitting team than Cubs.

  52. The Justice Avenger says:

    Good Morning All – My niece, through marriage, is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and a die hard SC fan. Actually, her entire family is, too. I am anxious to talk to her about this. Sounds really ugly what Spurrier did. Wow.
    On another thought: Seattle travels to St. Louis for a weekend set and the Reds visit Brew Town this weekend. Of course, our Pirates have the Cubbies. Pirates have to take care of their OWN business, but hoping, too, that the M’s and Brewers can help us out a bit. Not going to count on that though.
    Out all day today on the road…have a great day everyone!

  53. Jandy says:

    There’s hope then. C’mon Locke, give it your best shot tonight!

  54. Jandy says:

    Have a good day, TJA and be safe!

  55. The Justice Avenger says:

    Thanks, Mother T!

  56. theplanisworking says:

    Jandy, if there wasnt some kind of support for this, he couldnt have gotten away with it.

    Spurrier is obviously feeling the heat.
    He should get out of the kitchen.

  57. pattonbb says:

    I’m not a Spurrier fan by any stretch of the imagination, but this story has an awful lot more to it than a Penn State reference. Most Gamecock fan despises Ron Morris. He’s been responsible for a lot of unfounded rumors getting “reported”. Morris and Spurrier had a falling out several years ago, and they both have gone to great lengths to try and make each other look bad since. Morris wrote some slanderous statements about Spurrier and he was rightfully fired for it. The story should end there.

    Having said all of that, The State should be ashamed of themselves for allowing Spurrier to help choose who will cover the football team. That’s beyond absurd. That’s beyond embarrassing.

    Unfortunately, it’s not beyond unbelievable. College football in the South makes every other sporting event look like an exhibition game. Nothing comes close to its popularity. Not the NFL, MLB, NASCAR, Wrasslin’, Bass fishing, corn hole competitions, Golf…..nothing. And these papers, like the State, located in these college towns go out of their way to keep the coaches happy.

  58. Jandy says:

    I dunno Hipposter, it’s bullcrap, and it smells all the way up here to PA.

    Hope you’re doing ok today, my friend.

  59. I believe critical coverage can help columnists and is anything but counter productive. Some examples to support the argument follow.

    DK’s list of predictions:

    1. Absolute lock (only a year off)
    2. The Steelers will beat the Ravens (1 1/2 years later with Charlie at QB)
    3. The Pens will win the Cup (hope springs eternal)
    4. 79-83 (how he hit this one, we’ll never know)
    5. 72-90 (unsustainable)
    6. Steve Spurrier is a(n) ________ (easy to predict this one)
    7. Bold reamings infuse correction into the blog (way off on this 1)


  60. Jandy says:

    Thanks for the info, patton.

  61. pattonbb says:

    Ron Morris is an idiot. He and Spurrier are cut from the same cloth.

  62. theplanisworking says:

    As in most things in life, follow the $$$$$$.

    Ron Morris made things uncomfortable for the coach and football program.
    Spurrier helps get him fired.
    How does one protect the football program and the $$$$ it brings in?
    Why, hand pick the replacement for said paper.

    Why would said paper allow this?
    Because if it didnt, Spurrier wouldnt give said paper Interviews, or scoops.
    That could cost the paper $$$$$$
    Follow the money.

  63. Dadtackular says:

    +1. Well put maddamma.

  64. Jandy says:

    Hey, great list, Revvie! :) :) :)

  65. theplanisworking says:

    This is true.
    But what else is there to cover in Columbia South Carolina??

    They are almost beholden to SC football.

    I am doing good.
    I will be by later to give you the keys to the Pond.
    Just make sure Ghost doesnt get killed by my defences. ;)

    Hope work isnt burying you.

  66. Jandy says:

    patton, saw your post above…thanks for the additional information. :)

  67. Nate83 says:

    We are talking about magic numbers and that is awesome. How awesome would it be to clinch a playoff spot at home. Win 7 or 8 of these 11 and it is a an almost lock they clinch it at home.

  68. John Lease says:

    Haren’s had several good starts since stinking so badly.

    Locke’s had one so so one.

  69. Jandy says:

    Ghostie better be a good sheet! ;)


  70. Jandy says:

    That would be pure magic :)

  71. All in fun, Jandelita. DK can appreciate the humor. He’s been criticized by experts.

    There were 872 comments on the Pirate’s thread last night (an 8.3 share of the blogosphere) so I think people still like him.


  72. theplanisworking says:

    Mybe DK overdosed on Starbucks when he made these predictions? ;)

  73. theplanisworking says:

    But did it outdraw soccer? ;)

  74. Nate83 says:

    Disagree. The better think to do is play the game how your manager wants. He needs to pitch and let the coaches worry about fielder positioning. When players start coaching and telling other players what to do it doesn’t work out well unless that player name is Payton Manning.

    Hurdle said Barmes was positioned how he was supposed to be. End of story. Nothing should be said by AJ to Barmes on the field or off the field.

  75. Careful, plansky. He’ll “go off on a rant that’ll set your reading device ablaze.”

    You’ve forgotten the golden rules:

    1. Never criticize Starbucks
    2. Never comment negatively on another’s sport of choice
    3. Don’t poke the Drew
    4. Never go to bed at night without a rousing rendition of “O Canada, especially Winnepeg”
    5. Never spill anything on a comic book


  76. Jandy says:

    I was running errands with hubby but still caught some of the game…couldn’t find time to get on the blog tho…but..a win is a win!!! :)

  77. Jandy says:


  78. Jandy says:

    LOL Nate…that just supports my opinion that AJ was being obnoxious … again.
    Love the guy…but Hurdle obviously has his hands full. ;)

  79. NMR says:

    So that top-down investigation was intiated due to the Hoka Hey coverage, not those two pesky collapses of historical magnitude?

    Got it.

  80. There was a long running experiment from 1981-2008 in Chicago that may actually lend credence to this…or actually that the lack of critical coverage produces non-championship caliber teams.

  81. Jandy says:

    Oh, and I CANNOT STAND Peyton Manning :P

  82. There were 13 on the Steeler’s breaking backfield news and 5 on the podcast thread.

    Only Drew’s SEC threads will have less.

  83. Karen22 says:

    Interesting points.

  84. Karen22 says:


    Just weird, Drew…just weird


  85. theplanisworking says:

    Being I cant read, I guess I am safe. ;)

    And, I dont like StarYucks, so I wont criticize it. lol

    Ok, gotta get moving here……. will pop back later to drop off the keys to Jandy. Then I gotta travel today.

  86. theplanisworking says:


  87. Karen22 says:

    That would be beyond miraculous! But who predicted ANY of this??

    It’s September 12th, and look what we’re talking about!!

  88. Thundercrack says:


    They were pesky

  89. Karen22 says:

    YEP. I said that yesterday. I thought his act was classless on the mound, considering the circumstances. AJ was completely responsible for those two runners who came around to score. Geeeez!

  90. Jandy says:

    I’ll take good care of your keys ;)

  91. Jandy says:

    Amen Tempress!! I’M ENJOYING it :)

  92. NMR says:

    Shout out to CWalton in Northern CO. Hope you’re high and dry.

  93. Jandy says:

    What’s up, NMR, they getting bad weather?

  94. Jandy says:

    Nevermind, I see there is flash flooding…sending prayers for his and everyone’s safety.

  95. Stuart says:

    NO, You are!


  96. NMR says:

    I believe he’s up in Estes Park. Hopefully out of harms way.

  97. I think Chris is located high enough to avoid what’s happening.

    He may be in the midst of the fray helping, though.

  98. Jandy says:

    Yikes! Water is so devasting…

  99. Baywatch says:

    Morning, Gang!

  100. Nothing on his Twitter about it yet.

  101. Kevin says:

    I don’t know stats… so let me ask the question. Is there any chance this DER regression could be do to the regression of our pitching from the first half?

  102. Stuart says:

    + 1000.

    I get that AJ put himself in the hole by walking the first two batters. He is clearly a competitor, and his outburst was clearly motivated by his intense desire to win.

    AJ is the antithesis of “Operation Shut down, Joggin George Hendricks”, and any other lackadaisical reject from the past 20 years. I’m guessin Barnes didn’t mind getting “permission” to move out of the saber mode! Give me 8 more like him and you can raise the world Series gonfalon!


  103. cherokee23 says:

    Like earlier in the game when pedro was far off the line and caught the line drive! I think the shifts have worked more than they have hurt

  104. Thundercrack says:

    Congrats on your new job Bay!

  105. cherokee23 says:

    i think it’s a stretch to say DK is implying that reporters are responsible for winning teams. I believe what he is saying is more related to “fox guarding the henhouse” idea or a “checks & balances” kinda thing.

  106. Baywatch says:

    Thanks, TC!

  107. NMR says:

    Shhhh, quit asking questions.

    Shifts r bad n the egg hedz r runin the game!

  108. Iceman says:

    I know there are some other puck lovers out there so I am curious to hear what the rest of you think of the news that Despres might be sent to the AHL for the start of the season in order to keep Niskanen on the roster. I’m still not sure what I think about it, but it has to be frustrating for Despres to be called a top 4 defenseman only to then be threatened to be moved to the minor league affiliate. Part of me hopes that Despres has a really good camp/preseason and forces the Penguins hand so management/coaches have to play him.

  109. When can we expect our free tix?

  110. cherokee23 says:

    I have mixed feelings about AJ’s actions on the mound this year….part of me hates it, but another part of me thinks that his cockiness is just what this team needs. Tension can sometimes be a good thing. Everybody being a good guy and getting along all the time doesn’t necessarily produce a winning team.

  111. Jandy says:

    Congrats, Baywatch, hope all goes well for you :)

  112. Stuart says:

    Certainly wouldn’t blame Despres for going all Alex Presley mode if that happens.


  113. Jandy says:

    I’m kinda torn as well, Iceman. Niskie is a good bottom four d-man…and can occasionally fill in a shift on the top line…he’s also good for second line PP duty.
    On the other hand, Depres has so much potential, I hate to see him sent down again.
    Glad I’m not the one who has to make those decisions.

  114. Nate83 says:

    I like Niskanen so I’m OK with it. I assumed he was gone and Despres was a definate. I haven’t looked closely at it but with Niskanen staying is there a spot for Despres. If there is, is it more valuable then the consistant playing time he will get in the AHL? How old is he? Is it getting to the point that he is to old to be sitting in the AHL and in order to find out what we have in him he has to play now? These are honest questions because I honestly don’t follow as close as others.

  115. 21sthebest says:


  116. Jandy says:

    The key thing, Nate, is Depes is the ONLY one who can be sent down and not have to clear waivers.

  117. Baywatch says:

    Starting my list of dependent children as we type!

  118. Jandy says:

    I knew I liked you for more than red wine, 21 ;)

  119. Baywatch says:

    Thanks, Jandy!

  120. Arriba Wilver says:

    But he may have a Thundercrack hand puppet that he wears 60% of the time.

  121. Hey all. I was feeling reflective and thought I’d share.

    Ed Charles, 42, and Pittsburgh

    I have to admit that I’m one not always the timely one. If timing is everything, I’ve spent my life being in the right place at the wrong time. I was in the stands at Three Rivers Stadium the night before Roberto Clemente hit number 3,000. I had ’72 World Series tickets in hand as I watched Bob Moose throw the ball away in the final playoff game versus the Reds. I’m sure that were I an inventor, I would have created 6 Up. And so it was that I finally came around to seeing a wonderful movie, 42.

    Yes, it taught lessons about life, baseball, America. Having been born in 1955, I grew up with a country in transition, and I felt that the movie portrayed well some of the struggles we all faced and the confusion of youth trying to grapple with a growing awareness of who we really were and what we really could be. I sat in audience feeling anger at the atrocious treatment of African Americans. I marveled at Harrison Ford’s portrayal of Branch Rickey. I remain mesmerized by the re-creation of the classic American ball parks portrayed. How did they do that?

    But the truly touching moment seemed to come when an idolizing African American young man, later identified as Ed Charles of what would eventually become the Amazing Mets, was truly awed by Jackie Robinson’s journey to the majors via Montreal and is seen listening to the rails make the hum of the departing train. He tells his friends that he can still hear him, still hear Jackie. That’s when I had my Pittsburgh moment.

    Sitting in the dark of that theater, it struck me that we all have those rails that run from where we were to where we’re going. For me, particularly in 42, I could look at the generated scenes from Forbes Field and see essentially the park that I grew up with. I could pick out the seats where we sat to watch those bumbling Mets because my dad wanted to see their manager, Casey Stengel. I remember walking out of the first base boxes, by home plate (now in Posvar Hall), past third and out the exit near the left field bleachers.

    Life flashes in staccato memory. My mind sees the Steelers at Pitt Stadium, the orange glow of steel mills at night, sparks jumping from the overhead lines of the trolleys. I close my eyes and can hear the accents of my youth – remember the time we were surprised when some southern girls knew we were from Pittsburgh and innocently asked them, “How’d yinz know?”

    But the sights, sounds, smells, all pale in my mind to what really marks us: it’s that eagerness that we have to connect not so much with things as with people. I’ve been to other cities and countries, and often there seems an unwritten taboo against interaction. That’s not the case in Pittsburgh. We look people in the eye. We ask, with genuine interest, how people are on any particular day. We go out of our way to bring everyone into our sphere, to share our world. We embrace John Donne: no man is an island, no matter how many islands are in our rivers.

    And that, I think, is one of the great gifts that I took from Pittsburgh when I left so many years ago. It’s a part of who I am, and it is a part of whom I will remain.

    Listen to the rails: you can still hear it.

  122. Arriba Wilver says:


  123. 21sthebest says:

    I also agree with you on how you feel about Ben.

  124. Jandy says:

    Simple awesome, George.

    I’m sitting here smiling.


  125. Jandy says:



  126. Jandy says:

    That’s true, 12, dayum, I like you more every day, you make me feel 21 inside all over again

  127. Lad 9 says:

    Sorry, I can’t see where sending Depres to the AHL benefits the franchise long term. Give him consistent PT for an extended period in the NHL in the regular season and lets see what he can do. His upside appears to be greater than any other d-man we have except Letang – lets find out and let him grow. I don’t think playing in the AHL at this point will help him much unless he really poops the bed in the early season. Plus, we all found out last year how truly meaningless the NHL regular season is. I don’t think his growing pains will keep the Pens from the playoffs.

    The other thing we are ignoring is what can the Pens get for Niskanen? If we can get a solid third/fourth line forward that does not have hands that go clank in the night (Glass hands) and a smaller cap hit they should move him. Easier said than done I am sure, but maybe the Pens are saying they actually do have cap space for Nisky in an attempt to gain some leverage. If the league knows we have to move him, then all they will get offered are the kind of guys who need double runners on their skates and can’t hit the net from 6 inches……

  128. Nate83 says:

    Thanks Jandy. I think I knew that because of past conversations and the fact that all other defenseman on the team are veterans.

    I guess my question is simply is this what is best for the team in the long term or is it better to just trade Niskanen for a bag of pucks. Despres obviously has shown he may have what it takes. Every player has that point in their young career where it is time to see if they sink or swim. Is this now that time for him or can it wait another year. I don’t know the answer to that question. The team is still set up to win now.

    I could be wrong about this but it seems like you can’t hide a player and let him learn on the job in hockey like you can in baseball. One mistake leads to a goal not just a missed RBI oppertunity. It’s much less of an individual sport then Baseball. Everything is a cohesive unit. I know the Penguins are still built to win now. Maybe they think Niskanen gives them that best chance and Despres can indeed wait another year.

    Next question is, where does the money come from?

  129. Lad 9 says:

    Chills. That is wonderful stuff George. Thank you. I am going to remember the rails….

  130. Kevin says:

    :(.. I was asking a serious question though… not rhetorical. Pitching is a factor right? IE. When AJ’s on, he gets people to ground out. If he’s not, those same people hit the ball where he doesn’t want them to…

  131. Jandy says:

    Nate, Depres is only 22. Personally, I feel he’s be just fine in the NHL full time. I wonder if the Pens are having trouble moving Niskie? His cap hit is 2.2M. Depres is $840,000. So, if Depres is sent down, the Pens are cap compliant, or so they say.
    But then, being only 22, another full season in WBS surely won’t hurt Depres, either. Letang got sent back down, too, if you recall.

    If you can’t get something decent for Niskie, then the logical choice is to send Depres down. I’d hate to see that, but I don’t think it will hurt in the long run.

  132. JohnS says:

    I will start my 3 year rant that Orpik should be the odd man out. He adds nothing to the D especially with Scuderi back. Engelland is Orpik’s equal and much cheaper. As much as Disco hates the thought it is time to let the young guys start taking a role.

  133. Jandy says:

    Spunkster, you and your “mercy” cracks me up! ;)

  134. One can tell you’re an English teacher and a writing instructor without clicking on your website.

  135. JohninOshkosh says:

    This is really fine stuff, JAL. I was not familiar with this band. The lead singer’s voice is reminiscent of Suzanne Vega. I forwarded this to my wife who loves female bands and Jane Eyre (crediting you with the find, of course).

  136. Iceman says:

    Couple thoughts on that. For Despres, I still think it is better for him to get top-four minutes in the AHL then 8 min a night in the NHL or worse, sitting in the pressbox. If HCDB uses Despres like he did last year, than it is better for his development to be playing alot of minutes with WBS.

    Regarding trading Niskanen for a good third liner, I’m not sure how they do it. If they don’t have the cap room to keep NIskanen, I don’t think they can afford a good third liner either. You suggest trading Glass which I think it a great idea. Problem is, no other team is going to want him. Maybe if someone wants Niskanen bad enough we can force Glass into the trade to be able to afford a decent third line winger, but I’m not sure.

  137. Arriba Wilver says:


  138. lupesanchez says:

    He was on thin ice with his editor before the PSU comments, but the irony is rich when comments that point out that bad things happen when a coach gets too much power results in that columnist getting fired and replaced with the coach’s friend who will write puff pieces. Shameful.

  139. Arriba Wilver says:


  140. Arriba Wilver says:


  141. JAL says:

    Haren had 1 good start, 1 so-sos , and 2 terrible ones last 4 before last night–Sept. 6 3 innings 6 hits 5 runs, August 31 2.2 innings 9 hits 7 runs, August 25 7 innings 8 hits 4 runs, and August 20 6 innings 5 hits 1 run

  142. JAL says:

    link 11 about that subject too

  143. JAL says:

    Recommend link 26–good story, not Pirate related

  144. Arriba Wilver says:

    Reality check in order.

    I do wonder how the top down investigation miraculously turned a totally incompetent draft process and development system overnight into a winning team. And NOBODY will accuse me of being an FO fan.

  145. NMR says:

    Yep, just completely wrong.

  146. Jandy says:

    I love Engo, but no way does he have Brooksie’s cerebral capacity.

  147. Arriba Wilver says:


  148. pattonbb says:


  149. Iceman says:

    I”m not sure how to even respond to this. Engelland is not even close to Orpik’s equal. In fact, I would be happy if the Pens cut ties with Engelland because, IMHO, all Engelland adds to the team is that he is a good fighter and the last thing you want is one of your 6 d-men stuck in the box for 5 minutes. Engelland is slow and seems to be out of position more than he is in position.

    Orpik, oh the other hand, plays fairly good positional d (had 114 blocked shots, almost double the second highest on the team which was Letang at 59). The pairing of Martin and Orpik was almost always playing against the other teams first line as well. Engelland was usually playing against the other teams fourth line and still seemed to get beat way to often.

  150. Arriba Wilver says:

    You are on a roll, sir. Keep it up.

    DK worries too much about the 25-30 and/or the 46-48.

    You focus on the 12. ;-)

  151. Patrick(RI) says:

    Re: newspaper/team coverage. I wonder what subtle, or not so subtle, differences there have been in the Boston Globe sports coverage since the Red Sox owner bought the paper?

    Suppose Nutting were to buy the TR?

    Did McClatchy own one of the Pittsburgh papers, directly or indirectly? I suspect the Pirates were so bad, no one would have noticed.

  152. Damon says:

    Part of me feels this is Shero putting that out there to make sure other teams know he isn’t strapped with Niskanen therefore in a weak position to trade him. A way to get more for Niskanen than normal. Plus I would also think he is waiting to see if any Dman get hurt in camp before trading Niskanen away. I have a hard time believing Despres would be sent down after the coach proclaimed him a top 4 Dman in his interview after the season.

  153. Arriba Wilver says:

    That’s going to be a loooonnnnggg list.

  154. Jandy says:


  155. Nate83 says:

    + AW is not a FO fan but he is mostly logical. The top to bottom analysis had very little with winning on the field. The culture changes made which are good will not be felt at the major league level for 2 or 3 years. The only affect Nutting had on this year was spending money when the time was right. He said he would and he has and NOBODY will accuse me of being a Nutting fan.

  156. Thundercrack says:

    I see your point.
    But if we saw an opposing pitcher doing that I would bet that the majority of people would think he was a jerk

  157. Nate83 says:

    Thanks Jandy. I didn’t realize he was that young still.

    So is the team better with Nisky on the team or Despres and what they get in a trade for Nisky on the team? Or is it better with both of them on the team? Although the cap seems to prohibit that.

  158. Damon says:

    Orpik passes better, plays D better and is a team leader. He and Martin make an awesome pair. Engelland may not even be the teams 8th best defenseman (Letang, Scuderi, Martin, Orpik, Niskanen, Despres, Bortuzzo, Doumolin).

  159. Nate83 says:

    I’m not a huge Orpik fan. I use to be but I don’t think he is the same player he was 3 or 4 years ago. I’m not even sure he brings the hard nosed play he use to. I really thing this team will miss Cooke more then they want to admit.

    So that being said whichever between Despres and Niskanen can play a more aggresive style should be a top 4 D-man and stay on the team. This team doesn’t need style points. It needs bloody noses.

  160. lupesanchez says:

    Agree–good points.

  161. Arriba Wilver says:

    One of the visible things, at least, that it may have done is trying to spend the money at the beginning of the season (ex. Signing Martin to that deal) rather than holding some in reserve to upgrade at the deadline. And Nutting made a point at the beginning of the season saying that’s what they were doing. And good for him they also spent some late, too.

  162. theplanisworking says:


    I am out.
    I trust you with my property. ;)

    See you next week.
    Say hi to all I havent seen on here in a while.
    Bring home many Pirate W’s


  163. Jandy says:

    Nate, neither Niskie nor Depres is “physical”.
    I agree with you that Orpik isn’t the d-man he once was, but he’s waayyy better than Engo.
    And yes, yes, yes, Cookie will be missed, much more than the Pens will ever admit.

  164. Jandy says:

    Ok guys, you ALL heard El Hippo Dorko, no messing around with the Pond in his absence. Let’s not desecrate the memory of his beloved uncle. Keep Hippo’s Pond clean :)

  165. NMR says:

    Sorry Kevin, thought your question was very logical and didn’t mean to sound otherwise.

    IMO, pitching is obviously a factor. Doesn’t make any sense to watch Locke, Burnett, and Liriano get slapped around the ballpark on a given day and then in the end blame it on being outsmarted. We all saw those starts. Think about it.

  166. Nate83 says:

    Agree. I can’t complain about anything Nutting has done this year. In the past I complained about the amount of money spent on free agents to upgrade. That money was provided and spent. The Wandy trade was the first sign that the strategy was changing and it has continued all they way up to the Morneau trade which still cost a good amount of money. It’s on the players now. FO and owner have given them about as much as you can expect.

  167. NMR says:

    Ha, mostly. Just couldn’t help yourself, could ya? :)

  168. 21sthebest says:

    I also see cherokee’s point but I can’t help but think that AJ is starting to take things a just little too far and it could get old quickly with his teammates. I mean, 17 of the most important games in the last 20 years to go and who wants to deal with this? Obviously I have no idea and maybe his teammates don’t mind at all, but if it were me, I’d want certain things saved for the locker room not that he even has a compaint, IMO.

    And I don’t recall hearing AJ praise any defensive alignments that worked, not that I think Barmes was in anything but normal double play depth which Bob Walk even confirmed. And by the way A.J., the offense gave you what should have been enough to work with and the team played error free over the entire series.

  169. Kevin says:

    yes sir, good read. Thanks for your recommendation.

  170. Bizrow says:

    Jandy, can you and Roger help me out this weekend? We’re going to Vegas Saturday and won’t return till Wednesday. Could you two keep tabs on the Lunatic Nation?

    Too much hassle taking my computer with me.


  171. NMR says:

    Man, that takes guts…

  172. NMR says:

    Now nobody cares that Gerrit Cole is cleared to start playoff games? SMH

  173. tomp says:

    That is the 1st post i have read where this was brought up.

    I don’t think Burnett was blasting Barmes as much as calling the guys who are designing that defense every curse word imaginable .

    Burnett realizes the defense is set up by the coaches.
    Barmes doesn’t pick and choose where he sets up in the infield, he is TOLD where to stand.

    I agree, Burnett wasn’t ripping Barmes at all.
    His anger was directed towards Levya, or whomever makes those calls on infield positioning.

  174. Arriba Wilver says:

    It’s a very fine line. I don’t want him to be free to be a prima donna, but I want him to be free to be who he is, which is part of what makes him a key part of what’s happening.

    Bottom line—ICIT

  175. JohninOshkosh says:


  176. Naterosboro says:

    Has anyone asked DeCastro what he was thinking on that block [that cost the Steelers Maurkice Pouncey for the season]? If he hits the Tennessee player it’s a chop block (as he was engaged with Pouncey), so what was he doing going after him? Pouncey had the block, DeCastro should’ve tried to get to the next level.

    Perhaps that Stanford education hasn’t set in yet for young David. It better hurry up.

  177. Nate83 says:

    His reputation hid that fact that he was a gifted and talented hockey player. More skilled then his reputation would suggest.

  178. NMR says:

    IT’s not even a question, tom. AJ and Barmes have both said as much.

    Thus my point about the perceived difference on TV and in the locker room.

    Simply not fair of us to judge.

  179. Nate83 says:

    I can’t have him getting a big head. Very few of us are completely logical. We have rooted for a team that has lost for 20 years. There is nothing logical about that.

  180. Kevin says:

    I agree.. with the departure of Cookie and Crank, penguins lost an awful lot of grit.

  181. Arriba Wilver says:


  182. 21sthebest says:

    Totally agree!

  183. Jandy says:

    Sure will, Biz! I’m working with the hubs Saturday, not sure how long, but I’ll scan the blog for new members. Good luck at Vegas!!!

  184. Arriba Wilver says:

    Me and Nate have a mutual understanding. He doesn’t like me and I don’t like him.

    Just kidding. ;-)

    The only time Nate and I worry and check our wallets is when we agree. :-D

  185. blazer says:

    So what time does the Pond Party start again? Misplaced the memo….

  186. Jandy says:

    zactly, AW. I love AJ, but once in a while he needs ‘reigned” in. Whoa boy!

  187. JohnS says:

    Orpik and Engo have the same whopping 0.19 ppg. Orpik isn’t a great headmanner of the puck. Orpik doesnt even hit anymore. He used to have physical component to his game but it is gone. No way the Pens resign him after this season so if you can get someone to take his $3.75 M off the books all the better.

    I would say the same for Martin except he is by far their best PP QB so he will get his $5M the next two years.

  188. 21sthebest says:

    Another small part of this to me is that Burnett missed his spot badly on that pitch. Martin had his glove low and outside and Burnett gave Andrus a pitch up and over the heart of the plate.

  189. Jandy says:

    be good, blazer, no party till Plan gets back!

  190. Damon says:

    Orpik isn’t there to score points, but he is a great skater and makes good break out passes. He may not hit like he used to, but he plays his position well. If they re-sign him, I am sure it will be for less. If they don’t, Doumolin will slide into that spot I’d imagine. Either way I don’t see Engelland as one of their top 6 Dman.

  191. JohnS says:

    It is legal to do cut that guy depending on where you are aligned. As long as the two linemen are next to each other. A G can legally chop the DT being blocked by the C. It would be a penalty if a T cuts the guy being blocked by the C.

    The rule really needs changed. NFL is preaching player safety so much but they only care about the safety of the offensive skill positions.

  192. Bizrow says:

    Maybe everybody could just keep an eye out


  193. Bizrow says:

    The interesting/sad thing is that this type of blocking is a new scheme not previously used by the Stillers

  194. JohnS says:

    I will agree to disagree with your assessment of what 44 brings to the table.

    The Cap brings these kind of decisions to the forefront.

  195. Arriba Wilver says:

    Are you going tonight, Biz?

  196. Jandy says:

    Leavin Saturday AW

  197. Naterosboro says:


    Thanks for the info. I was unaware that it mattered the alignment. And as you state, they should probably change that rule, as the logic behind it, at least to me anyways, makes ZERO sense.

  198. Arriba Wilver says:


    I do know the players have been complaining about this for years.

  199. Arriba Wilver says:

    I meant to tonight’s game, if the rain stops.

  200. Jandy says:

    oops. silly Mother T ;)

  201. Arriba Wilver says:

    Several of us are going separately, with Thundercrack hand puppets. ;-)

  202. Jandy says:

    Those hand puppets sound extremely kinky…

  203. Damon says:

    No problem…

  204. cherokee23 says:

    I hear ya TC & 21…….like I said, i’m really torn on this and can see both sides of the issue!

  205. Lad 9 says:

    Iceman I agree with your playing time issue, which is why I said consistent playing time. Should have said consistent extensive time. :). If not, send him down. .

    I don’t think it will be ez to get a third liner to fit under the cap for sure. But it is worth a shot. Sometimes the cap number is more palatable than we think, and if we can divest of a few dollars elsewhere maybe it would work. Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone else wants Glass either. He would be the perfect one to go.

  206. cherokee23 says:

    If I recall, we did see that with Kyle Lohse I think, not too long ago, and I felt exactly as you said, “he’s a jerk”. Like i said above, part of me hates it, part of me thinks his cockiness is a positive

  207. Arriba Wilver says:

    You have no idea . . .

  208. Jim S. says:

    That was a huge HR yesterday. He also seemed to handle AJ’s childish tantrum with class.

    I want the team to re-sign him next year – not to go into the season as the starter, but as a solid insurance policy. He’s not a great hitter, but as you said, he has had some important hits this year.

  209. Drew71 says:

    No. That’s a voodoo doll.

  210. Jandy says:

    I like Niskie. I don’t have a problem with whatever is decided either way, as Depres is only 22. That said, I do believe Depres is gonna be a force on this team in a few years.
    Again, if Niskie were that easy to trade, I think he’d be gone by now.

  211. John Lease says:

    Several. Locke 1.

    Kinda my point!

  212. Jandy says:

    I’m not sure I wanna know either!!! :P

  213. Drew71 says:

    And Dejan DOES drink.

    He just says that so he doesn’t have to buy.

    How else do you explain his talking buildings?

  214. Jandy says:

    Zactly, Jim. Barmes would be the ultimate bench player. Able to come thru in a pinch, accepts his role well, all in for the team, class.
    I see you say childish tantrum lol. I didn’t get to see it, I was out running errands with hubs.
    I love AJ, but sometimes…

  215. Jandy says:

    Lack of sleep?

  216. John Lease says:

    Ramon said they only used it once during the game(zone blocking).

    If so, why? It’s not like they were doing awesome the traditional way.

  217. tdb1977 says:

    Really looking towards going to tonight’s game. I really hope the home fans give this team a major WOOP when they take the field. I hope the atmosphere is loud.

    Now, if the weather people can get this stupid rain out of here, everything will be perfect for tonight.

  218. JohnS says:

    The NFL has to have the most complicated set of rules ever. How can such a primal sport have rules like the tuck rule”, the fair catch kick, the third QB rule, and legal zones and ways to make illegal blocks. I am all for makng the game esy to officiate for the people that have to do the job. We sit at home or in stadiums and see a play that is clearly a fumble to everyone but because of some obscure rule it is not.

  219. Jandy says:

    Kinda like a smoke in mirrors sort of thing…

  220. Jandy says:

    it’s not raining here in Duncansville…

  221. Jim S. says:

    I usually appreciate your insight and intelligent posts, War. And maybe you are right about the Pirates shifts being a bunch of hooey. But, why do you feel the need to derogatorily call people on this blog who believe some problems in baseball can be solved mathematically “math-and-stats geniuses”? As someone who tries to incorporate both the traditional “eye test” and new “sabermetrics” into his evaluation of baseball, I don’t appreciate that. Far too often, I feel those who don’t like new methods of looking at things feel the need to resort to cheap shots rather than argue their case.

  222. Arriba Wilver says:

    That’s the reason I’m going, tdb.

    And if David Wright was there, I’d boo him and wave my Thundercrack hand puppet.

  223. Jandy says:

    OK Weather report says 90% precip to drop to 60% precip by 3pm then drop to 10% by 6pm. Might get lucky!

  224. Jim S. says:

    If he is going to have a turnaround game, I would think tonight at home, vs the Cubs might present a good opportunity. If he doesn’t pitch well tonight, I would say he is officially of not much use the rest of the way. They desperately need him to give them 7 solid innings tonight.

  225. Jandy says:

    I’ll bet those TC hand puppets are pretty messy by the end of the evening…just sayin’

  226. Arriba Wilver says:

    Amen, Jim.

  227. cmat0829 says:

    Morning/afternoon all:

    AJ’s antics. Unprofessional, regardless of who the target was of his demonstration on the mound. UMMM, it’s game 145, the defensive strategy has been there since day 1, and NOW is the time AJ is gonna complain about it?

    UMMM, AJ knew where the defense was playing, if he thinks that positioning and how he is pitching is that precise, he could’ve adjusted the pitch location or speed to account for it.

    UMMM, if he really had conviction about where the ball was about to be hit, then call timeout, and ask if Barmes can move a little…

    And lastly, the defense sets up before the pitch, pretty much. So I don’t buy this “hitters can adjust to these wild defensive shifts’ theory as being Einsteinian or something… if hitters can control where the ball goes, they can control where the ball goes regardless of whether the defense is ‘traditional’ or ‘untraditional’.

    My view is that positioning pretty much evens out…sometimes sure hits vs. traditional defense are turned into outs (happens a lot to Pedro, GI Jones even Cutch), sometimes outs are turned into hits. I THINK, or it seems to me, slightly more outs are generated than hits created by the shifts. IF players would bunt or slug bunt more to open fields then it would be a different story and the shifts would stop…but they don’t.

    But let’s calm down on this ‘hitters can use their eyes and guide their batted balls so the shift is stupid’ science… I tried not to spit out my coffee in laughter at that one.

  228. Jim S. says:

    Didn’t you read AJ’s post-game tweet? The fans/viewers got it all wrong. He could never be mad at a guy who busts his butt every night like Barmes. The two of them laughed and laughed about it after the game. I’ll bet Barmes busted a gut laughing so hard.

  229. cmat0829 says:

    And YES, very very good news in that Gerrit Cole seems to have enough innings left on his arm’s “credit card” to start for the Bucs through the World Series… many doubted that, we had quite a few blogfights about cheap Nutting sending Cole back to AAA to save money….. turns out much ado about nothing, but it sure was fun blogfighting!

  230. Jim S. says:

    I’ll bet he would have.

  231. Jandy says:

    Amen Jim!

  232. Jim S. says:

    Nicely played, Arriba!

  233. Arriba Wilver says:

    WTF is “UMMM?”

    See Jim’s post above to War Horse.

  234. Jandy says:

    I’m not a twit, I don’t tweet, but I’m glad they laughed about it afterwards. Seems these guys are all in it together :)

  235. 21sthebest says:

    It seems like not that long ago, a legal catch was you caught the ball and came down with two feet on the field. Now, who knows what the catch rules are. They’ve gotten way too complicated, IMO.

  236. Bizrow says:

    No, got tons of stuff to do before I go.

    I read you are going AW, bring home a win for us

  237. Arriba Wilver says:

    Where did you stand on that issue, again? I forget,

  238. Jandy says:

    Admit it, Biz, you’re not going because you don’t have your very own Thundercrack hand puppet ;)

  239. Bizrow says:


  240. Jandy says:


  241. Arriba Wilver says:

    Somebody’s going to be selling them on the Clemente bridge soon, and “somebody” may be me.

  242. Iceman says:

    Orpik was second on the team in hits this year (Tanner Glass was number 1). Sure his hits aren’t as rattling as they used to be, but he does still hit.

  243. Arriba Wilver says:


  244. cmat0829 says:

    so net is AJ was joking and not making a statement about the defensive strategy on the mound for everyone to see? ok, cool then if that is the case.

    UMMM, is not an acronym, it is just saying “ummm”.

  245. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m getting along with too many people lately, Jandy, I need a new foil.

  246. cmat0829 says:

    I thought that they should send Cole down during the ASB when he essentially took 2 weeks between starts anyway just to be sure his Super2 was secured with no loss to his contribution to the big league club.

    And my position will always, always, always be that a full year of player control to this franchise and others in the same economic-competitive position should always matter more than the first 2 months of a season…i.e., next year when Taillon is with Indy until mid June I will support that decision. Same with Polanco and any other high-end talent. Always, always, always.

  247. Jim S. says:

    You have quite the gift for the written word, George.

  248. NMR says:

    Not even going to bother pointing out that he’s also only had one opportunity?

  249. Jandy says:

    Orpik is way better with decision-making than Engo. I agree, he’s slowing down. His physical way of playing has caught up to him. At this point tho, he’s still the better option. We’ll see after this season how things go.

  250. Arriba Wilver says:

    I like NMR, I like Nate, what’s a Grumpy Old Man to do?

  251. Jandy says:

    Kinda like NMR, eh?

    Yinz guys crack me up :)

  252. cmat0829 says:

    only ways to get into an argument with me is to:

    1) laud alex presley as a future Hall of Famer and cry that he ‘never got his chance’

    2) come to the blog only during or after losses to decry that the club is pathetic and doomed and won’t win another game all year

    3) critique Hurdle endlessly for every decision and move he makes, even if you contradict yourself in the process (i.e. take a pitcher out sooner than later one day, then the next time say he took the pitcher out too soon).

    that’s about it, I think, though I feel free to add to my list at any time :)

  253. NMR says:

    I don’t like your mustache.

  254. Arriba Wilver says:

    I didn’t think it was an acronym. What, exactly, does it mean?

  255. Jandy says:

    I like NMR too, he is usually full of himself, but then, what engineer isn’t? it goes with the job, ya know? Any anyway, he’s good at answering all my questions, and he’s a well of knowledge. I’ll take that anyday…as long as he isn’t an architect ;)

  256. JohnS says:

    Probably the main reason that Cole stayed up the whole time was Wandy. If Wandy stays healthy you proably go wtih AJ, Liriano, Wandy, Morton, and Locke. Cole then gets most of the call ups for spots starts that went to Cumpton and company.

    Just further proof that you an’t have too much pitching.

  257. NMR says:

    I’m certainly full of something…

  258. NMR says:

    To add to your shift theory, don’t agressively shifting teams like the Pirates and Rays align defenses based on the HITTERS batted ball history against ALL teams?

    The poster above seemed to think that the Pirates egg hedz should be adjusting their defenses based on hitters consciously beating the Bucs shifts.

    Even assuming that as fact obviously begs the question, why wouldn’t the hitters then consciously hit the ball away from the NEW shift?


  259. Jim S. says:

    I hope we do have clear skies by game time. On the game the other night, they said advanced sales were in the 22,000 range. With nice weather bringing some walk-ups, and maybe a few online purchases since early in the week, I could see them pushing high 20’s. I think that would be a decent turnout, assuming we are probably looking at 110k+ for the 3 weekend games.

  260. Jim S. says:

    Somebody should ask Marcus Gilbert who took his job. He was the designated “injure your own teammates” guy the last couple of years.

  261. Jandy says:

    It means, AW, that cmat is thinking, don’t you smell the smoke???

  262. Bizrow says:

    I got no problem with guys with fire in their eyes playing for the PBC

    They got hot, they worked it out

    Beat Em Bucs

    PS, JR would still be sleeping in the dugout ;0(

  263. Arriba Wilver says:

    I feel bad, though, Biz. I panicked and grabbed 2 seats for my son and me. I should have checked with you. I got two field boxes on StubHub for $35 total, including all fees.
    I’ll take some pictures, and maybe some video.

  264. Bizrow says:

    Its the way most GMs always handle that situation.

    Its the way the game is played now adays

  265. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m thinking he’s thinking ” if you don’t agree with me you’re a moron..”

    But that’s just me.

  266. Jim S. says:

    Thanks, Arriba.

  267. Jandy says:

    ahhh you sense the sarcasm…and he didn’t use a ;) either….
    cmat, ya better step lightly, son :)

  268. Nate83 says:

    I will act like you didn’t say that since you know that is what I do for a living and I know deep inside you like all of us. Without us there would be nobody to blame. We are the Clint Hurdle of the construction bussiness.

  269. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think that was directed to you, Jandy. So I’m going to stay silent.

    Otherwise, even though I like and respect him, I’m going to nail his arse. :-D

  270. Jim S. says:

    I may complain about AJ acting like a jerk on the field from time to time, but I never doubt for a second that he wants to win very badly.

  271. Jim S. says:

    But, do you like Mike Moustakas, NMR?

    I don’t know why I said that. I just like saying Moustakas.

  272. Nate83 says:

    Who doesn’t. I just said it twice while reading your post and enjoyed it very much.

  273. toochca says:

    Yet, I was the one would was told he was illusional when I brought up AJ in regards to his lake of fondness to Mercer yesterday!!

  274. Jim S. says:

    It does cut both ways, doesn’t it, Arriba? If I’m going to complain that old school “eye test” baseball fans take cheap shots at SABR enthusiasts, then I have to acknowledge that some SABR guys bring it on themselves at times.

  275. Jandy says:

    haha I’ll watch and observe….go for it, AW :) :) :)

  276. Jandy says:

    Nate, honestly, you are so cool, I actually forgot you are an architect. That’s amazing :)
    And yeah, I do enjoy almost everyone I come into contact with in my line of work. There are a few exceptions ;)

  277. Jandy says:

    somehow, someway, that kinky mustache/Moustakas thing HAS to be connected to the Thundercrack hand puppets thing…I just know it!!!!

  278. Jandy says:

    tooch, are you illusional or delusional????

  279. NMR says:

    I mustache you a question.

  280. Jandy says:



  281. JD says:

    AW – Where you meeting up for the puppet show and DK dance party?

  282. Nate83 says:

    I was just messing with you. No offense taken. I will try to put fewer refer to structural notes on the drawings.

    I didn’t realize NRM was an engineer. Whenever somebody post something I know he will disagree with that I also disagree with I will just say refer to NRM for rebuttal. This will leave my time more free to get stuff done and let him do all the work.

  283. Arriba Wilver says:

    It will be now. TC ‘s avatar is an Italian Gangster from The Soprano’s, and Bruce Springsteen’s band.
    We can always add a 1970,’ s porn mustache,. But I’m really thinking DK’s image should be on it, with a mustache.

  284. War Horse says:

    At 06:20am this morning, NMR had the following reaction to my post at 03:42am about A. J. Burnett’s frustration in the 6th inning with where the coaches ordered Clint Barmes to position himself at shortstop:

    (quoting me) “That means that the Pirates’ coaches and record-keepers are being outsmarted by opposing teams’ batters who are adjusting their swings to take into account where fielders are being positioned.”

    Sorry, this is absolutely ridiculous.

    In your understanding of DIPS theory, please explain the difference between BABIP regression and DER?” (end of NMR’s comment)

    DIPS theory is being revised all the time, as you should know, to make it more accurate, but it deals fundamentally with pitchers’ ability to get batters out. It leads sabermetricians to BABIP, or Batting Average of Balls in Play. That tells you how well any pitcher does in keeping runners off the bases and is calculated independently of what fielders do once the ball is in play. The formula is:

    BABIP = H(its) – HR / (divided by) AB – K (strikeouts) – HR + SF (Sac Flies). An average for many pitchers would be around .300.

    DER (Defense Efficiency Rating) is a measure of an entire team’s ability to make outs once a ball is put in play and only measures a pitcher’s ability to get an out when he fields the ball, not how well he throws his pitches.

    MLB defines DER this way: “Defensive Efficiency Rating is the ratio of team defensive outs recorded in defensive opportunities. To determine Defensive Efficiency Rating for a team, divide the total number of hits in play allowed (not including home runs) by the total number of defensive opportunities (all balls hit into play, not including home runs) and subtract from one: 1-((H-HR) / (PA-HR-BB-HBP-SO)).”

    So, in answer to your question, one formula measures how well a pitcher does in creating outs and the other measures a team’s fielding ability to do the same. I made the point that the Pirates’ DER has been falling in the past several weeks from first in the NL to 5th. Also, I said A.J. may have had a point about where to position the fielders behind him. It’s arguable, but it’s a valid one.

    Earlier in the season, when Sterling Marte had established himself in LF, I made the point that the Pirates had such a high DER because fielders like Cutch, Marte, Martin and Walker were making plays and getting outs that most other fielders would not have done.

  285. Arriba Wilver says:

    I was waiting to hear from you. My son may have homework which may interfere with the timing for me, but I’d love to meet. But don’t be limited by my schedule. There are others on here who are going, without my restrictions. 21 and TC are going,

  286. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1 to you both.

  287. Nate83 says:

    I would have War Horse do your son’s homework. He just did an excellant job on the homework NMR gave him earlier. I know I learned something.

  288. War Horse says:

    Oh, yes. One more from NMR this morning:

    “NMR says:
    September 12, 2013 at 6:44 am

    Just so I have this straight, if the Pirates are 5th in the league at .699, then 73% of National League teams are poor or worse defenders?

    Sure. Makes complete sense. (sarcastically)”

    The last time I looked, NMR, only five teams in the NL are going to compete in the post-season. We rank fifth in defense (DER) behind the four other likely playoff teams: Atlanta, Los Angeles, St. Louis and Cincy.

    So, why should we care about the other 73%?

  289. Jandy says:

    Nate, it’s all good, friend :)

    NMR is cool too, when he forgets himself LOL
    (I’ll hear about that one too, I’m sure)

  290. Jandy says:

    Oh Lord!

  291. Martin is “by far their best PP QB”??

    DK: Martin is VERY good at the power-play point. Wouldn’t quite call him a quarterback. That’s someone who has all the plays run through them. But he’s much steadier out there than Letang.

  292. Jandy says:

    Ehh…I don’t like all the stat/DER/BABIP/etc etc etc
    I like my EYE test…Drew has it right…EYE!

  293. toochca says:

    Delusionally Illusional!! :D

  294. Jandy says:

    there ya go :)

  295. JohninOshkosh says:

    The worst thing about baseball ? All you numbers guys are so into it. :)

    I’m sure hockey, football and basketball have their unique metrics that arn’t part of the traditional statistical categories but nobody knows what those are, and if they do, nobody cares. :)

  296. JD says:

    I won’t be there until after 6:30 likely. I’ll put a message on the game thread when I’m down there.

  297. pattonbb says:

    No prob Jandy. I’ve been watching this soap opera play out for a few years now. Morris, at times, really went out of his way to push both Steve Spurrier and Ray Tanner’s (former baseball coach at SC, now AD) buttons. Tanner by the way is a class act, nothing like Spurrier.

    Like lupesanchez mentioned above, Morris was already on thin ice. Everyone knew he would eventually lose. Just a shame to see the paper cave to Spurrier and the school like they did with the selection of his replacement.

  298. piratemike says:

    I don’t see anything wrong with what Spurrier has done when you consider what has happened to news reporting in this country.
    Watch all the networks and what do you get?…..
    Nothing but public relations bs.
    Everything the President and the Dems do is great if you watch CNN,ABC,CBS,NBC or read the PG.
    Watch Fox or read the Trib and it is the opposite.
    So what is good for the politicians who run this country should be good enough for an ol’ ball coach.
    Why shouldn’t he have his own reporter when the politicians have their own?

  299. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    You beat me to it.

    I lived in SC for 6 years and I’m moving back in 3 months and I also lived in Florida during the Spurrier days there as well. (He follows me, not me following him).

    I see the comparison’s to Paterno, but this is different. This is old school football in the south and in the south, college football rules, thus, makes Spurrier a God.

    I am a huge SS fan. But I’m not a fan of this bullying.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the south. If you have never been there or don’t know anything about it, it is absolutely ruled by college football.

    I love it. Another reason I’m going back….just wish it wasn’t SC. ug

  300. War Horse says:

    Thanks, Nate. I come from a long line of engineers.

  301. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Spurrier doesn’t give scoops. Of any kind.

    Unless its making fun of his opponent. Now that’s hiliarious..

  302. Nate83 says:

    I’m not a huge numbers guy either but it’s not going anywhere. Teams are using this information more and more to determine that value of players. GM’s and coaches are using it when talking about players. They are being used in arbitration hearings. They are even being used to discuss MVP and maybe even pick the MVP. Cutch probably isn’t as big a threat to win the MVP without the advanced metrics. His raw numbers are a little to low.

  303. NMR says:

    Greatly appreciate the response, Warhorse. Thanks for taking the time.

    So with those definitions stated, how can one tell the difference between natural BABIP regression and purposeful decrease in defensive efficiency?

  304. cmat0829 says:

    no, inserting ummmm in my observations today were directed solely at Batman himself, not at anybody else. My point is that AJ complaining about something they have done all year in game 145 is bushleague. As is complaining after the fact. If the hitter had hit a smash right into the positioning (which has happened a lot this year), is AJ going to start pointing to the infielder and applauding?

    Someone pointed out AJ was just joking so it’s a moot point.

  305. Jandy says:

    That deserves a

  306. NMR says:

    Why should we care?

    Because every one of these saber assumptions should be questioned for validity, just as the standard counting stats have been.

    Does it make sense that a team can go from being “great” to “poor” in a months time? And that 73% of the teams in the league also fall under that category?

  307. NMR says:

    I don’t follow, Jandy.

    Warhorse gave me the definitions, but still didn’t answer my question.

  308. JohninOshkosh says:

    I know.

    Generally speaking, when it comes to things I care about, and was raised in a certain way of looking at that thing, I am not a fan of paradigm shifting. I get that it is inevitable and, admittedly, usually results in beneficial evolution. Sometimes, though, it is just too much for me.

    And I’m not just talking about sports.

  309. Jandy says:

    Having a tantrum on the mound is just joking?

  310. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Can’t spell Citrus without UT!!

  311. cmat0829 says:

    My head hurts…seem to me it’s reasonable to either:

    1) Dispel any use of hitting analytics to position the defense…just play ‘em like you play ‘em in little league, straight up and take your chances.

    2) Embrace the analytics and position the players where the statistics indicate they are most likely to catch a batted ball for an out

    3) Trying to bounce back and forth makes little sense just like it makes no sense in Vegas to “bet red” on a roulette wheel because the “past 5 numbers have been black”. That’s called gambler’s fallacy and it’s why the gaming business can keep it’s doors open.

    The rest of this back and forth I must admit I don’t understand… don’t know what DIPS/BABIP/DER are beyond the basics… I mean I get what they are measuring, just am not smart enough to know whether they say AJ is right to complain or that AJ should STFD, Sabre-style.

    And any notion that hitters can control where the ball goes so they will beat any exotic shift needs to be accompanied by the fact that these same intrepid hitters can also guide a ball through a traditional defensive alignment.

    I will never waver in my opinion that the BIGGEST impact of where a batted ball goes is controlled by…. THE PITCHER! So maybe Barmes should’ve have been pointing and motioning to AJ after those hits yesterday.

  312. Jim S. says:

    :-). To both Nate & NMR

  313. War Horse says:

    Jandy, I’m not a big fan of stats. But when someone gives me a problem to solve, I work on it until I come up with an answer (of sorts). I get igt wrong as often as I get it right. My eyes saw what happened on the field in Texas last night between Burnett, Barmes and the coaches in the 6th inning. As soon as Barmes moved about six feet to his right, the next batter (Rios) hit the ball right at him and into a DP. And that led me to wonder on this blog whether A.J. might have had a case. I agree, the EYEs have it!

  314. Jandy says:

    LOL can’t win, can ya?

  315. tdb1977 says:

    Numbers schumbers! Baseball is this easy.

    You take a piece of raw hide, wrap it around string. Take said raw hide, throw at person standing at house shape object with a piece of a tree in hand, preferably one that is not crack. Person swings piece of tree in rotating motion in attempt to hit raw hide. If contact is made, person moves to square object approx. 90 feet away. (Darn – a number). Another person, with large oven mit on hand catches raw hide out of air or picks up raw hide bonding across the field and throws raw hide to square in attempt to beat out running from home shaped object. If successful, wash, rinse repeat a few more times and then switch sides. If unsuccessful, kept going with same side coming to swing tree while other side with large oven mits on hands attempt to get the 3 outs (Darn – another number) and then switch sides.

    There – baseball without the numbers. Its a simple game ;)

  316. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I’m all for CB as a bench player. But does the player see himself in that type of role?

    That may determine whether or not he resigns.

    If he thinks he can still be a starter (someone out there might think defense is important enough to warrant a starting role), then he’s not staying here to be a bench guy.

  317. pattonbb says:

    “I know why Peyton came back for his senior year: he wanted to be a three-time Citrus Bowl MVP”

  318. Jandy says:

    “Why shouldn’t he have his own reporter when the politicians have their own?”

    See Penn State.

  319. Jim S. says:

    Homework can wait. This is pennant baseball. :-)

  320. 21sthebest says:

    Yeah and I thought homework was the parent’s responsibility.

  321. Jandy says:

    Simple, use the EYE test

  322. War Horse says:

    Sorry, NMR, I don’t know understand your question: “how can one tell the difference between natural BABIP regression and purposeful decrease in defensive efficiency?” I am not a Sabermetrician. Your terms are too esoteric for me. Are they regularly used baseball terms?

  323. Jandy says:

    “And I’m not just talking about sports.”


  324. Arriba Wilver says:

    Sounds good. Me too. But we should decide on a meeting place up-front, just in case. And maybe some other loonies will show up.

    What’s your pleasure? (Outside of hand puppets)

  325. Jandy says:

    War, you stated your side well.
    The only problem I have is with AJ’s execution of the “shift”.
    But AJ I AJ :)

  326. Arriba Wilver says:

    Not in my family. I get lost after 2+2=5.

  327. Jandy says:

    err that should be AJ is AJ

  328. Jim S. says:

    I’m assuming most of work for businesses. Businesses attempt to gain competitive advantage and, therefore, sell more of their product to achieve a greater profit, in part, by analyzing their performance and making improvements. Sometimes the conclusions we draw are incorrect, yet all businesses continue to do it. I assume that is for a logical reason. I don’t understand why it would not also make sense for a baseball team to analyze its performance in an effort to predict future outcomes, then put that information to work. Sometimes the info. will be great, sometimes it will be just ok, and sometimes it won’t be helpful at all. Over time, though, we tend to learn which analysis is useful and which is not.

  329. Jandy says:

    is your child an honor roll student?

  330. Drew71 says:

    Yeah. Jimmy Piersall was pretty sleepy, too.

  331. Arriba Wilver says:

    Luckily, though, my oldest daughter is a math teacher.

  332. Arriba Wilver says:

    You obviously didn’t read my previous post. ;-)

  333. Jandy says:

    I don’t think Dejan is quite THAT bad,…yet..

  334. Jandy says:

    Then they must take after their mother :P

  335. Nate83 says:

    All of this because AJ waved his arm at Barmes. Why couldn’t he just play the game. None of this would have happened. Way to go AJ. This makes me want to return to the how many wins are needed for a none losing season debate.

  336. Karen22 says:


    Stellar, George! One of my most-admired talents is the written word from the heart. You nailed it!

  337. I’ve got a son who’s a math teacher, too, AW and I still can’t get it in my head that you add letters and come up with numbers.

    How does that make sense?


  338. Arriba Wilver says:

    Actually, that’s partially true, but also my father, who’s an f’ing math genius.

  339. Karen22 says:

    The only numbers I like are the bigger ones that my team has over their opponent.

  340. 21sthebest says:

    Jim, I think you just described the point of Sabermetrics.

  341. Karen22 says:

    Here’s a number for TODAY: 85!

  342. NMR says:

    No worries, Warhorse.

    Thought you might’ve had an informed opinion since you brought up sabermetrics in the first place.

    I can see we’ve thoroughly bored everyone else.

  343. Arriba Wilver says:

    At the bar?

  344. Jandy says:

    OK So the Pens have a scrimmage today at camp. First three shots Fleury saw, he didn’t save. Lord save us!

  345. Wild Bill says:

    Hello All. Good stuff on here today; too busy reading it all to post anything myself.

    Could say that I have been overcome by the revelations of Brandie and her dad from the other day, but the truth is that I’m trying to get everything together for a trip of my own, and I’m gonna trump Bizrow by going to NoCal for 12 days. Frisco, wine country, redwoods, and the untoasted part of Yosemite. Can’t wait.

    It also has occurred to me that Pirate and Steeler games will be earlier, and I might be able to stay up until DK posts Morning Java for a change.

  346. Jandy says:

    have fun, Wild Man :)

  347. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’ll be the one with the hand puppet.

    (That is totally a joke—I think)

  348. Jandy says:


  349. 21sthebest says:

    I’ll try to make it but time might be tight.

  350. Arriba Wilver says:

    At least we know where to meet if time allows

  351. Jim S. says:

    Enjoy your vaca, WB!

  352. Wild Bill says:

    Yes, ma’am. (As we say at the ranch)

  353. JHadar says:

    Last Sunday the game was over before I got home and I just didn’t feel like posting, but there was a poll in the Des Moines Register sports section asking Iowa baseball fans who’d they’d like to see in the World Series. They published seven or eight answers to the question — and everyone polled had the Pirates they’d like to see be the NL team. AL picks included Oakland, Texas, Boston, and Baltimore.

    Sadly it was just in the print issue. (I do read print editions, DK) and not on the website.

    Now that we’re back in it I thought it might be worth a mention here. We may not be the favorites in the odds makers sense of the word — but if you’ve caught the imagination of fans out here, you’ve probably got the attention of fans everywhere.

    Just sayin’.

  354. JHadar says:

    Last Sunday the game was over before I got home and I just didn’t feel like posting, but there was a poll in the Des Moines Register sports section asking Iowa baseball fans who’d they’d like to see in the World Series. They published seven or eight answers to the question — and everyone polled had the Pirates they’d like to see be the NL team. AL picks included Oakland, Texas, Boston, and Baltimore.

    Sadly it was just in the print issue. (I do read print editions, DK) and not on the website.

    Now that we’re back in it I thought it might be worth a mention here. We may not be the favorites in the odds makers sense of the word — but if you’ve caught the imagination of fans out here, you’ve probably got the attention of fans everywhere.

    Just sayin’.

  355. Wild Bill says:

    Thanks Jim. Wherever there’s wifi, I’ll be reading the blog.

  356. JHadar says:

    Moderator — sorry for the double comment, I typed my e-mail address wrong. You can delete that and this, too.

  357. War Horse says:

    Jim, I apologize for my remark about “math-and-stats geniuses.” It was caused by having been criticized sharply by a few other bloggers here every time I tried to make sense out of the numbers the Pirates have been putting up this season. I will try to be more polite in the future, regardless of what they post.

  358. Jim S. says:

    That was my intent, 21.

    I get that some of us don’t appreciate SABR stuff. I don’t appreciate much of it. But, I don’t get not liking the intent behind them and why teams use them.

  359. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Interesting break down.

    But I tend to disagree.

    Cardinals swept the Pirates not because of defensive shifts, but from pitch location.

    If a shift is on, typically that pitcher is supposed to pitch to the shift. If they miss their spots, even by an inch or 2, probably doesn’t go to the shift. If he hits his spot, well played.

    MLB hitters are the best in the world, but they can adjust their swing all they want, if the pitcher hits his location, MOST of the time, the hitter plays into his hand.

    Take Liriano as a great example. His success this year is from him keeping the ball down. He doesn’t have over powering stuff, but very good stuff with great movement on the ball. He leaves it up, he gets hit and loses that movement on his pitches. Most of his strikeouts come from bouncing the ball in the dirt.

    Say what you want about the shifts, but its mostly based on pitch location. I’ve said it forever, pitching is the name of the game. If the pitcher doesn’t do his job, I dont care where the defense is playing. He’s going to get hit hard.

  360. JD says:

    Sure. I’ll post on game thread when I’m there.

  361. Arriba Wilver says:

    Skips a generation, like baldness.

  362. 21sthebest says:

    Agree. I love math, statistics, and information in general. All Sabermetrics is to me is additional information. Some of it I’ve come to embrace, some I can’t find a use for. But why some people put it down because they don’t like or understand it is something I’ll never understand.

  363. Karen22 says:

    Lovable (former) Losers! Rooting for the underdog.

  364. JHadar says:

    You may be on to something. There are a lot of Cub fans here living vicariously.

  365. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:


    How can you not like that?

  366. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Drew, you’re definetly a guy I’d drink a beer with. Nothing better than a morning brew……….well, except for something else.

  367. pattonbb says:

    and my all time favorite Spurrier jab…..after a fire on Auburn’s campus damaged a bookstore he says…..”but the real tragedy was that fifteen of those books hadn’t been colored yet.”

  368. Ghost says:

    What Jandy said.

  369. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Understanding that Hurdle is the manager and AJ is the pitcher, coaches talk about having coaches on the field as well.

    AJ is a veteran and that’s the type of presence coaches want on the field. AJ quite possibly had a gut feeling and was P.O.ed about Barmes’ positioning.

    So what?

    I’m not saying how he handled things was appropriate or not, he’s an emotional, aggressive dude.

    Did it work out in his favor?

    That should be all that matters. He stepped on his manager’s toes, so what? It worked out……..

    (If it did, I didn’t actually see it)

  370. piratemike says:

    Politicians do more damage than the worst coach has ever done but it’s alright for them.

  371. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Tanner is awesome!!

    On that note, so is Spurrier.

    Patton, where are you in SC?

  372. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I’m rooting Oakland and the Pirates of course.

  373. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Well said CMat

    I completely agree. I wrote a post about the pitching waaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy^^^^^^^^^^^^ there.

  374. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    MY head hurts.

    Most of us use they EYE test, because we dont know what the hell all that jibberish is.

    I use the basic stats to determine whether or not a player is effective (affective) eh, I always get them confused as well.

    That said, I believe numbers don’t lie.

    Good research, but can you pass the tylenol please? Or maybe that should be mydol. I’m not too crabby am I?

    Good post……

    BTW, am I the only one that sees DER as in DUR……, DUH?

  375. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Nope…….doesn’t cut it on that one.

  376. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I thought baldness was from the mother’s side too???

    Either way, you’re losing…….ha ha

  377. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Ha, you may come visit my territory……….

  378. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Here’s for those that want to read about what’s happenin’ down south….

    It seems what the final straw for the Ron Morris situation was comparing the USC head coach/adminstration to that of PSU. At the time he said it, probably wasn’t a good idea. Understanding where his idea of the situation was going, still a little inappropriate, IMHO.

  379. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    As The Bandit would say ” When you tell somebody somethin’, it depends on what part of the country you’re standin’ in… as to just how dumb you are.”

    The Gamecocks are the Steelers in that part of the country. SEC football fans are crazy about their team………

    Go Gators.

  380. Wild Bill says:

    Thanks, dude. (Already working on my Cal speak)

  381. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    He has a bunch of em……he’s actually calmed down quite a bit. Doesn’t throw his clipboard around as much or his hat….

  382. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    That’s So-Cal Brother……..

  383. Wild Bill says:

    How should I say it up north?

  384. Jeff Z. says:

    would like Barmy in bench role next year. Problem is he made like 5.5 mill. This year not sure how less he would take but besides a good glove and a few timely hits he pirated the pirates.

Other blogs
Sports: Rob Rossi | Steel Mill | Chipped Ice | Bucco Blog | iPreps | Pitt Locker Room | Penn State Sports
News: This Just In | Trib List | ICycle | Flow Back | Stories Behind Trib Stories  

» Top Sports
» Top News
» Top Breaking News