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Morning Java: Imagine if Jarvis outplays James

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

CINCINNATI — Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Monday column counts the many ill-advised moves I’m expecting from the Steelers’ coaches in trying to get the offense moving. Would welcome being wrong and seeing Ben Roethlisberger suddenly airing it out, but not betting on it.

Let’s face it: The defense is going to have to be just as good as the opener, maybe better.

Let’s face this, too: Nothing would feel sweeter for the Steelers — shy of the W itself — than if Jarvis Jones were to outplay James Harrison.

Here’s some of what the first-rounder had to say the other day …

Our Steelers beat team has tons of stuff today to prepare you for the game. And the Cincinnati Enquirer is equally loaded with Bengals news.

Elsewhere in the AFC North, the Ravens and Browns didn’t exactly floor their own skeptics. And don’t look now, but there goes Ray Rice.

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>> The Pirates cut the playoff magic number to six, thanks in large part to a timely basehit off the bench by Justin Morneau, who’s been just as wonderful an addition as Marlon Byrd down the stretch.

This was Morneau afterward …

Here’s our full Pirates coverage. In there you’ll find a thorough look at the team’s defensive plan by Travis Sawchik. Well worth your time.

Here’s Cubs news from the Chicago Tribune, Padres news from the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Here are official game highlights from MLB.com.

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>> Almost-for-real hockey broke out in Columbus, as the Penguins opened preseason play with an OT loss but some notable positives. Rob Rossi was on the scene.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage.

Here are official game highlights from NHL.com.

>> Pitt resets after the New Mexico romp. Jerry DiPaola updates.

>> Bill O’Brien wants better tackling … but without practicing it. Chris Adamski tackles it.

>> If you missed it last night, WPXI-TV’s Subway Final Word covered Steelers, Pirates and Penguins.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

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

Comments

  1. Ghost says:

    Glad this thread is up. Wrote out my post in advance:

    Don’t have a problem with plentiful screens and quick outs because our O-line can’t protect Ben on any longer-developing plays and they can’t power block. But I couldn’t agree more with your larger point that the Steelers need to embrace their franchise player, who happens to be Ben Roethlisberger, not Adrian Peterson. I often clashed with posters over this on another blog or two, on which I used to post. They were just out to bash Bruce Arians and were talking out of their keisters. Arians knew what he was doing in running a Ben-centric offense.

  2. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Here are the current up-to-date standings.
    These factor in the beginning of the season “wagers” as well.
    Up to 84 total players now.

    YOU ALL ROCK!!

    TOP SCORES IN SEPTEMBER
    Bill Born ~ 550
    kr70 ~ 500
    Jandy ~ 450
    Kevin ~ 450
    stickyweb ~ 400

    CURRENT PARTICIPANT TOTALS
    bman ~ 2930
    JRay3 ~ 2225
    Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) ~ 1825
    War Horse ~ 1765
    Nate83 ~ 1725
    blazer ~ 1600
    JUCOFan ~ 1300
    stickyweb ~ 1200
    Bill Born ~ 1030
    Irish ~ 950
    Dadtackular ~ 900
    KJX ~ 750
    RobertoForever ~ 740
    fellocolonial ~ 700
    Chico ~ 600
    Ermine ~ 600
    kr70 ~ 600
    JohninOshkosh ~ 435
    tdb1977 ~ 435
    TCB ~ 425
    theplanisworking ~ 400
    EricBowser ~ 325
    OZ ~ 300
    Vette60 (Randy in RVA) ~ 250
    Boise Bucco ~ 200
    Damon ~ 200
    Evan ~ 200
    Frankie ~ 200
    Hal Smith ~ 200
    cherokee23 ~ 150
    Pucknutz ~ 150
    BDHumbert ~ 125
    A1C McG ~ 100
    Matt hoffman ~ 100
    PetroSteel ~ 100
    Rick in Crete ~ 100
    steelercrazy ~ 100
    MarkV ~ 50
    mlrgenuine ~ 50
    Big B ~ 0
    Fish ~ 0
    pants-n-at ~ 0
    Ruffian706 ~ -40
    cmat0829 ~ -50
    JoeyBats ~ -75
    Ben ~ -80
    Alexandre Giesbrecht ~ -100
    Brian ~ -100
    Dcpinpgh ~ -100
    John in WM ~ -100
    Kevin S ~ -100
    buffalo_bob ~ -150
    buggee ~ -150
    Ghost ~ -150
    Dom ~ -175
    DormontGeorge ~ -200
    Ryan76 ~ -200
    TJ ~ -200
    TK ~ -200
    tmp444 ~ -225
    Arriba Wilver ~ -250
    Drew71 ~ -250
    Jason81 ~ -250
    Patrick ~ -250
    stuart66 ~ -250
    Joey Mellons ~ -300
    Steve J. Smith ~ -300
    The Gunner ~ -300
    toochca ~ -300
    Jandy ~ -325
    absolute59 ~ -350
    Keith ~ -350
    Karen22 ~ -400
    DemonDachshund ~ -450
    radio wave ~ -575
    cosmo ~ -650
    Brandie ~ -675
    pattonbb ~ -800
    JaxBuc ~ -900
    Kevin ~ -1185
    JMB ~ -1350
    Lad9 ~ -1350
    JD ~ -2175
    Bizrow ~ -4850

    ***The Most Points for the end of SEPTEMBER will win:***
    (1) PITTSBURGH PIRATES BUMPER STICKER
    https://twitter.com/TheBuccoWindow/status/323996932466962432

    First Place at the end of the season will win:
    (1) BRAND NEW PITTSBURGH PIRATES FITTED NEW ERA 59FIFTY HAT
    https://twitter.com/TheBuccoWindow/status/323994233155485698

    Second Place at the end of the season will win:
    (1) BRAND NEW PITTSBURGH PIRATES EARTH DAY GIVEAWAY HAT
    https://twitter.com/TheBuccoWindow/status/323994373731794947

    Third Place at the end of the season will win:
    (1) PITTSBURGH PIRATES LICENSE PLATE FRAME
    https://twitter.com/TheBuccoWindow/status/323994796970627072

    Fourth Place at the end of the season will win:
    (1) PITTSBURGH PIRATES BUMPER STICKER
    https://twitter.com/TheBuccoWindow/status/323996932466962432

    Fifth Place at the end of the season will win:
    (1) PITTSBURGH PENGUINS BUMPER STICKER
    https://twitter.com/TheBuccoWindow/status/323996735837982720

  3. Eric Bowser says:

    * When the Steelers put Beachum at TE to provide support for Adams or Gilbert, it removes a passing option for Roethlisberger and increases potential for defenses to slide their alignment away from cover 2 (or deep safety help) and put another defender in the box to run blitz inside and go strong on the outsides.

    * Pleased with the performances by a few Penguins, namely Kuhnhackl, Pouliot, Kobasew, and Jeffrey. Really happy with Beau Bennett, kid can play. As expected, didn’t like what I saw from Niskanen and Glass. If the Penguins can move those two for draft picks, Shero really needs to make the move.

    * Pirates magic number to clinch the playoffs is 6… it is happening and glad to see yesterday’s win off the bat of number 66 Justin Morneau for his first RBI as a Pirates player and team’s 87th win.

  4. Ghost says:

    “We’re hoping (Rodgriguez) will (trigger his $13 million option for 2014),” Huntington said. “We’re operating as if Wandy will be a Pirate next year and we’re looking forward to it.”
    The world’s been turned upside down. Any other year and I call NH a liar. Don’t put it past him to be talking out of the side of his mouth again, but I think I’m gonna take him at his word. AND… this worries me. $13 mil for Wandy for one year – a Pirate record? At whose expense? A.J.’s? I remain a fan of A.J.’s and his occasional irascibility. The Pirates were bland doormats before he showed up. A.J. won’t sign with anyone else anymore. I suppose he might not even play at all next year. But if he did, it would be for us. It wouldn’t take $13 mil. Also want Barmes back – guessing high $2 mil range. Another year of Marlon Byrd until Polanco proves he’s ready to be an everyday starter might also be conceivable, but only if the Bucs pounce early and with same persistence as they showed for Russell Martin. Byrd will be 37 years-old next August, so he wouldn’t be pursued by everyone. Yet teams like the Yankees are always in the market. Especially for geezers these days… But $13 mil for Wandy and a huge chunk of next year’s payroll is already off the table. Wandy’s good, but not $13 mil good for us.

  5. Ghost says:

    Yep, Morneau’s first Pirate RBI came Justin time.

  6. Reading says:

    I believe NH said today that the Astros have to pay part of Wandy’s salary if he executes his player option. I might have misheard, but that’s what I thought NH said today during the pre-game radio show.

  7. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Astros would be on the hook for $5 million, I believe.

  8. Ghost says:

    Really? That would be AWESOME and would happily render most of my above post moot. Do you know how much the Astros would contribute?

  9. Ghost says:

    And there’s my answer to question below.
    So $8 mil for Wandy. BIG difference. Enough left for Barmsie at least, and hopefully a wing of a Byrd, as well.

    Now I see why Neal would be happy to see this come true.

  10. Ghost says:

    Playoffs,
    In appreciation of your invaluable part in this magical, never-to-be-forgotten year, I hereby wish to declare today (well, tomorrow for me), September 15, “Tip the ‘Window’ Day.”
    And I’ll do the honors first by sliding into your palm a FIFTY BURUNDI FRANC BILL. This note is notable because… guess which Lunatic buddy of ours is featured on said note???

    http://www.daggarjon.com/Currency%20pics/Burundi/Watermarked/Burundi%2050%20Francs%202007%20reverse%20P-.jpg

    Don’t spend it all in one place, Playoffs! ;)

    (Future awards to bestowed upon JAL, JRay3, and other deserving loonies for their contributions to the Asylum during this magical season.)

  11. Brandie says:

    DK,

    The Monday column links back to last Thursday’s column.

  12. theplanisworking says:

    MISTAKE.

    Now THAT is The Final Word. ;)

  13. Drew71 says:

    I’m sure Dejan will fix it when he wakes at [insert your favorite afternoon time --HERE--].

    In the meantime…

    http://triblive.com/mobile/4708041-96/story

  14. Drew71 says:

    “Because, you know … ugh, I can’t even come up with a quip for this one.”

    May I be of assistance?

  15. Tom P. says:

    With 13 games left, the Pirates magic number to clinch the second wild card spot is 6 (vs. Nationals), to host the wild card game is 10 (vs. Reds), and to win the division is 14.(vs. Cardinals). The Pirates and Cardinals are one game ahead of the Dodgers for second place in the NL playoff standings. The Braves lead the NL playoff standings by 2 games.

    Series of interest that begin tonight are Padres at Pirates, Cardinals at Rockies, Reds at Astros, Braves at Nationals, and Dodgers at Diamondbacks.

  16. Thundercrack says:

    Morneau is an addition that I am glad they made. But he hasn’t been as good as Byrd.

    It’s just been 13 games, but JM has 2 extra base hits and has scored 3 runs.
    His defense has been solid but no more spectacular than Gabby.

  17. John Lease says:

    Exactly. Byrd’s made a difference, Morneau has fewer RBIs than Jones.

  18. JAL says:

    JAL’s Education Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkAEwZ7dq0c

    GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pittsburgh_pirates/

    3 Pittsburgh Pirates Stats

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

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: The Week the Pirates Clinch the Playoffs?

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/09/first-pitch-the-week-the-pirates-clinch-the-playoffs.html

    Liriano Flirts with History, Pirates Win 3-2

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/09/liriano-flirts-with-history-pirates-win-3-2.html

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Morneau’s single the difference for Pirates in 3-2 win

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/9/15/4734226/morneaus-single-the-difference-for-pirates-in-3-2-win

    Neal Huntington discusses the decision to shut down Rodriguez

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/9/15/4733756/neal-huntington-discusses-the-decision-to-shut-down-rodriguez

    6 Rumbunter

    Andrew McCutchen: From Worst Start of Career to MVP Front Runner

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/09/16/andrew-mccutchen-worst-start-career-mvp-front-runner/

    Pittsburgh Pirates Manager Clintstrodamus Hurdle Nailed It

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/09/15/pirates-clintstrodamus-hurdle-nailed/

    7 IS Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates: Possible playoff rotation

    http://isportsweb.com/2013/09/15/pittsburgh-pirates-possible-playoff-rotation/

    8 The Green Weenie

    Bucs Grind Away, Take 3-2 Win and the Series From Chicago

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/09/bucs-grind-away-take-3-2-win-and-series.html

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Pirates3, Cubs 2

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2013/09/pirates-3-cubs-2/

    10 City of Champions

    Justin Morneau’s first Pirates RBI delivers series win over Cubs

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2013/09/15/justin-morneaus-first-pirates-rbi-delivers-series-win-cubs/

  19. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Rant Sports

    Some Team Will Take a Chance On Former Pittsburgh Pirates Pitcher James McDonald

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/09/15/some-team-will-take-a-chance-on-former-pittsburgh-pirates-pitcher-james-mcdonald/

    12 Chicago Tribune

    Sveum: It’s not just about wins, losses

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-spt-0916-cubs-pirates-chicago-20130916,0,2222326.story

    13 Deseret News

    Taylorsville native John Buck relishes chance to chase a pennant with Pirates

    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865586452/Taylorsville-native-John-Buck-relishes-chance-to-chase-a-pennant-with-Pirates.html

    14 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Brewers stun Reds, win rubber match, 6-5

    http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20130915/SPT04/309150077/Brewers-stun-Reds-win-rubber-match

    15 Washington Post

    Wilson Ramos drives in 5, catches 23rd straight game in Nationals’ 11-2 victory

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals/wilson-ramos-drives-in-5-catches-23rd-straight-game-in-nationals-11-2-victory/2013/09/15/8c511b76-1e47-11e3-b7d1-7153ad47b549_story.html

    16 CBS Sports

    Pirates v Padres Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20130916_SD@PIT/padrespirates-preview

    17 St Louis Post Dispatch

    Cardinals finally solve a new pitcher

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/cardinals-finally-solve-a-new-pitcher/article_8ab9046c-a115-557d-a16c-bec80877e0b5.html

    18 PBC Site

    Liriano, Morneau combine to keep Bucs atop Central

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130915&content_id=60687902&vkey=news_pit&c_id=pit

    Notebook: Mercer building confidence while boosting Bucs at dish

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130915&content_id=60674174&notebook_id=60675774&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    The Week In Quotes

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=21810

    20 Fangraphs

    If Stealing Signs is “Part of the Game,” Why Do People Get Mad About It?

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/if-stealing-signs-is-part-of-the-game-why-do-people-get-mad-about-it/

  20. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers vs. Bengals Week 2 2013: Game time, TV schedule, online streaming, odds and more

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/9/16/4734906/steelers-vs-bengals-week-2-2013-game-time-tv-schedule-online

    I’m OK with lower expectations about the Steelers 2013 season

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/9/15/4732748/im-ok-with-lower-expectations-about-the-steelers-2013-season

    22 Steelers Depot

    The State of the AFC North

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/09/ravens-whack-weedon-move-to-1-1-the-state-of-the-afc-north/

    Soccer(football)

    23 London Evening Standard

    From clinical Klinsmann to dreary Drogba: How London’s high profile Premier League signings fared on their debuts

    http://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/from-clinical-klinsmann-to-dreary-drogba-how-londons-high-profile-premier-league-signings-fared-on-their-debuts-8812466.html?action=gallery

    24 World Soccer Daily

    John O’Brien: all American hero

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/blogs/john-obrien-all-american-hero

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Pens drop preseason opener 5-4 in Columbus

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/9/15/4735408/pens-drop-preseason-opener-5-4-in-columbus

  21. JAL says:

    Education Pearl Jam Recorded in 2000, released 2003

  22. Jandy says:

    Was happily impressed with Kunhackl and Kobasew…even hubby commented on these two. NOT Happy with Malkin’s boneheaded play already. Clean it up, Geno! >:/

  23. Jandy says:

    Keep up the good work, Tom P! :)

  24. Jandy says:

    Wow, my ears were burning all weekend…my name was taken in vain quite a bit LOL.
    It’s all good tho, that means I was missed :)
    Sorry, but working with hubby Friday AND Saturday meant that I was playing catch up with my work around the house. I DID manage to see the Buccos win yesterday, and I was very happy about that. I did see some of the Pens/Blue Jackets pre-season game…and I wasn’t happy with Malkin. Bennett, Kunhackl, Kobasew and Scuds all impressed me. Jeffrey scored a goal :)
    It’s preseason, let’s see how the next one goes.
    Hipposter, glad you’re home, I was worried about watching over your pond for you…and we missed you!

  25. Jandy says:

    YAY! I’m CLAWING my way out of the hole :)

  26. Jandy says:

    I see congrats are in order to Baywatch for his new job…way to go, friend :)

    And also to Karen and her hubby on their recent anniversary…God bless :)

    Oh and I had to share this:
    Hubby as watching the Pens’ preseason game last night, and he comes up with this gem:
    Hey, that knucklehead guy is pretty good! (He meant Kunhackl) lol

  27. Scott says:

    You are correct. Sometimes I think DK just says things to rile up the Bucs Dugout crowd. This is one of those times. Morneau had contributed next to nothing before last night. Even though I loved the trade, the acquisition of Morneau had until last night been a net negative, because Hurdle has been using him against lefties instead of Gaby Sanchez, who destroys lefties to the tune of a .324 average.

    Meanwhile, Byrd has driven in 10 runs and scored 8 more in 18 total games.

    DK: What does this even mean? Rile up someone by crediting Morneau?

    Swear to God, the weird crap that follows me with these people … I’m sure that I don’t even WANT to know what you’re talking about.

  28. NMR says:

    “irascibility” – great word, Ghost.

  29. Nate83 says:

    Facts and logic have no place on this blog.

  30. Dom says:

    I unfortunately had Ray Rice in our Fantasy league. Looks like I’ll be going nowhere this year.

  31. gregenstein says:

    Or any other Pirate Dugout/Prospects/On-Sports location that I’ve seen anyway.

  32. NMR says:

    Today’s lesson in name value…

    Justin Morneau’s first 14 games as a Pirate: .279/.380/.326

    Travis Snider’s first 14 games as a Pirate: .341/.378/.488

  33. defil21 says:

    Pirates
    Steelers
    Pens

    All playing tonight what more could a Pittsburgh fan ask for? All 3 winning would be nice but I’ll take 2/3 since the Pens are in preseason.

  34. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think DK was looking beyond stats. And I know it’s a common belief, even on the Fan, that Morneau should sit for lefties, but my guess is Clint, as usual, is playing chess, not checkers. I don’t think you bring in a guy with Morneau’s pedigree and sit him right away when you want him to help bring you a championship.

    A little poke, too? No comment. ;-)

  35. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  36. 21sthebest says:

    $5.5M.

  37. 21sthebest says:

    “Morneau had contributed next to nothing before last night.”

    I’m clinging to his .279/.380 as a sign that things are going to get better. Especially the OBP. His approach at the plate has been terrific, IMO.

    DK: Was just about to type this as a response. Glad you beat me to it, 21. A .279/.380 line is most definitely not nothing and, in a less tangible sense, if you’ve been watching Morneau’s actual work at the plate, you’ll know he’s been sharp, not straying from the zone and on the ball more often than not.

    The peripheral stuff such as runs and RBIs … aren’t we past using things like that?

  38. Jandy says:

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

  39. Jandy says:

    2 outta ain’t bad…as Meatloaf said a time or three..

  40. Jandy says:

    Thanks, Drew Dahling :*

  41. Pucknutz says:

    Oh no – the ratings war will start again!!!

  42. Jandy says:

    Yup, you’re right, Puckers ;)

  43. Thundercrack says:

    I agree with you AW. You don’t bring him to sit or platoon.

    But he doesn’t have a home run yet. He hasn’t produced like Byrd.

  44. defil21 says:

    I did in the Saturday baseball thread but will do so again. Born and Raised in Washington, PA, but I now reside in Fredericksburg, VA for now. No bites but size 9′s correct?

  45. Arriba Wilver says:

    Size 9 WIDES, to be precise.

  46. Jandy says:

    haha! AW has it, defil21 lol. But the size 9 wides must be earned ;)

    Thanks for reposting, defil…pull up a chair and stay awhile :)

  47. hockeymonster says:

    Wanted to add Payerl, Harrington and domoulin to the list. Hope domoulin is ok. Jeffrey looks like he’s ready to have a solid season. Hope bylsma doesn’t bury him behind jokinen.

  48. defil21 says:

    I will. I usually just lurk but I figured what the heck I might as well add my 3 cents when I can, but I have followed you all for some time now. I work weird hours sometimes, but will try to contribute as best as possible when I can. WIDES got it, noted I won’t forget.

  49. kr70 says:

    your Dejan’s right hand man

  50. NMR says:

    Completely agree that his approach has been good.

    Which is unforntunate considering there doesn’t seem to be an excuse for his complete lack of power.

  51. Dom says:

    I feel a little embarrassed to admit this but I’ll be watching the Steelers, even though I expect a losing record out of them.

  52. NMR says:

    You know I respect the hell out of both of you, but it sounds like you guys acquire 2010 Justin Morneau, not the 2013 version.

    He’s done nothing in the last three years to suggest his batting profile is anything better than a good second baseman.

    Pitcher’s apparently are not caring very much about his pedigree.

  53. NMR says:

    And fwiw, this is just one of those annoying for-the-sake-of-principle baseball conversations.

    Happy as heck to have Justin available for at-bats like the one he had yesterday. Really should be celebrating him today, not knocking him down.

  54. Jandy says:

    It’s OK , Dom, Steelers footballis #1 according to our fearless leader, so someone has to watch them ;)

  55. Jandy says:

    I was busy catching up, and just peeking and the television from time to time…missed Harrington and Payerl…Jeffrey will likely be buried again..poor guy.

  56. Jandy says:

    Uhhh..does that come with a finger puppet>?>?????

  57. Jandy says:

    you’re right, so knock it off ;)

  58. Thundercrack says:

    Thanks for the respect NMR :-)

    I do realize, just as you pointed out, we didn’t acquire the MVP Morneau.
    But I won’t be hypocritical and say that this was a bad deal – because I was for it. (and mainly because I thought the price was right)

    But my whole point earlier is that he has not been as ‘wonderful’ as Byrd. At least not from an offensive production standpoint. Maybe he is accommodating to reporters and good to work with – and a good teammate.
    But we haven’t seen power or RBIs

  59. defil21 says:

    Well if they play like they did against Tennessee you and I won’t be watching for long. Though after watching some of the TN vs Hou game I think TN is better then people give them credit for.

  60. hockeymonster says:

    Can anyone tell me why we didn’t bring in Mason Raymond? Kobasew looks like a decent offensive guy for depth but Raymond could’ve brought the sandpaper cooke took with him. He’s going to be a big help to Toronto.

    Kuhnhackl looks like an intriguing prospect. He’s bigger than I thought and has decent instincts but needs to get much stronger on his feet and on the boards. 2 seasons from now he could be in our top 9.

    Payerl looked better and better as the game went on. Could probably play sparingly from the start of the season but would be better served improving his offensive touch in WB. He’s good at eating the puck along the boards and buying time for his linemates but he needs to be more aware of who to move the puck to so he can get to the net.

    Domoulin looked very mediocre till he started to move his feet and skate. Much more mobile than I thought and seems to have a clue with the puck. Hope he’s not hurt too bad. Interesting to see how things shake out with him and bortuzzo around.

    On the downside I thought Fleury’s demeanor in net was not very good, niskannen looked uninterested and as mediocre as can be and I thought every single player on the ice including all the minor leaguers looked better than Glass. He needs to be more composed with the puck…atleast a little.

  61. Arriba Wilver says:

    Right back atcha, NMR. But here’s my logic. If you look at the last 3 years’ Justin Morneau, you don’t bring him in. This was what I thought was flawed about Nate’s approach to NOT wanting him–comparing his last 3 years stats to Jone last three years stats. That makes sense if you’re looking at him as an off-season addition. But we were looking at a rental, Jones had been given every chance to put it together and Morneau had had a good month, which had been described as looking like he had recovered something he’d lost since the concussion. At least for the short term.

    And we’re looking at the short term. So, to me, if you’re going to bring him in for that reason you don’t then turn around and play him based on his last 3 years’ stats. At least that’s my logic.

  62. Karen22 says:

    And I’ve replaced you IN the hole! I dove from consistently middle-of-the-asylum to the bottom of the heap in one week! BOOOOOOOOO!!! ;)

  63. Tim says:

    When you have exactly 2 seconds to throw the ball before you get crushed does not bode well for your QB. I’m still miffed by your demands to drop back 10 yards scan the field oh so casually while your receiver runs his pattern 20 yards down field and then effortessly place it in his awaiting arms. Until the O-line gets its act together, all your going to get is 3 yards a pop. Hopefully it will be 4 yards a pop. Another thing, whats up with infatuation with Dwyer? He hits the hole way to slowly and he has the stamina of a chain smoker. I don’t like the running back rotation either, but Dwyer? Also, rather hyperbolic on the Despres front, no? I guy coming in out of shape to camp is not the equivalent to sleeping on guard duty at the front.

  64. Jandy says:

    well then, start climbing, like me!
    And happy belated anniversary :)

  65. Arriba Wilver says:

    You know I like them, too, NMR. :-)

    And I agree with both points.

    Jones and Gaby have now become the second string quarterbacks that can save the day if only they played.

  66. Karen22 says:

    Why thank you, Jandy! We were gone all day yesterday – did a turnaround trip to the ol’ hometown (Cleveland) for dinner with family. Got to listen to the entire Pirates game on the drive in, so was very happy on arrival! Didn’t get home till 1 a.m., though – I’m in a bit of a fog today!

  67. Jandy says:

    More coffee ;)

  68. NMR says:

    Never looked at it that way, AW, but makes complete sense.

    I appreciate the change in perspective.

    Still don’t like giving away outs, but the logic makes sense.

  69. Iceman says:

    I didn’t get a chance to watch the Pens game last night, but did get to listen while i was driving home and got to watch some of the highlights. Here are a couple thoughts I have.

    - First of all, really happy to hear that Bennett put on some muscle over the offseason and that he is using that muscle to make space for himself and force turnovers. His vision and skill could add tons to that second line that has gone through numerous players trying to find someone who fits (Zach Boychuck anyone?)

    - It was very intriguing to me how they played Jeffrey. First of all, they had him back at center where it is obvious that he is more comfortable. Only center position not spoken for yet is the 4th line though. Also found it really interesting that they had him on both the PK and PP. I’m really interested to see what ends up happening with him.

    - While it was good to see Kobasew get a couple goals, he was also on the ice for at least 2 of the opponents goals. We don’t need top 6 goal scorers right now, we need 3rd or 4th line players who can prevent the opponent from scoring while cashing in on some opportune plays.

    - Tanner Glass has to go. Trade him if we can, but if not, put him on waivers. He is eating up cap space and sounded like he was poor on the PK which is where we need him.

    - For the sake of WBS, I hope Doumilin and Farnham are both ok. Those two, if healthy, will play big roles for the baby Pens.

  70. Damon says:

    DVR is a beautiful thing….of course my work may suffer for it tomorrow…

  71. JohninOshkosh says:

    (adjusting collar)

    “I tell ya, I get no respect….no respect.”

  72. NMR says:

    I think the right move can turn out to be a bad deal, and one isn’t hypocritical for saying it.

    Morneau put up 6 homeruns in 46 PA’s over 10 games between Aug 1 and Aug 10.

    He hit 8 homeruns over 420 PA’s in 98 games prior to that and 3 homeruns over 127 PA’s in 33 games since.

    Moreso, his power outage extended beyond homeruns as evidenced by his .130 and .140 ISO during his non-hot streak.

  73. defil21 says:

    I agree with your comments about the line. Quick passes and Ben making the quicker reads out there will help until the line starts to jell A LOT better.

    That was last year with Dwyer constantly needing a blow, he was in better shape during the preseason and didn’t tap out from what I remember.

    As far as Despres goes Eric in the hockey thread from last night said he was sick, so I will give him the benefit on that. I think Despres will be just fine if the coaching staff stops jerking him around so much.

  74. Iceman says:

    Hockey season is back and the monster is out of hibernation. Welcome back to the blog. Based on the highlights I saw and what I heard on the broadcast, I agree with you on all the above points. It’s good to start off with a kumbya moment :)

  75. Arriba Wilver says:

    It was the Wide part that always scared me. ;-)

  76. Jandy says:

    You’re about as skeered as the Hulk is skeered of Dejan
    :P

  77. Jandy says:

    Dang, Oshkosh, and you’re being studiously ignored as well ;)

  78. Damon says:

    I keep waiting for Morneau to break out. He’s been hitting cleanup, and he has 1 RBI and 2 extra base hits (2 doubles). I don’t think he’s been a bust yet, but just waiting for that tear that I hope is coming…

  79. Kevin says:

    woop! I’m a top score in September :D… had a great day yesterday, eventhough I didn’t get to see a penguins OT shootout win (I didn’t even realize the penguins were televised until yesterday, another great surprise).

    As fantastic as Morneau has been, that was his first RBI as a pirate. Still has yet to add to his HR total as everyone else has.

  80. Kevin says:

    Is vitale ok? He got absolutely whaled on at the end of the game. Also, not knowing what to expect from Kobasew I was pleasantly surprised… seems to have a talbot-like nose for the puck.

  81. Damon says:

    I wonder if the Pirates will keep John Buck on the playoff roster as the back up catcher, or Tony Sanchez. Martin will probably catch every game, so the Sanchez-Liriano match up may not be that important. Buck is a veteran, but I think you can start to see something in Sanchez.

  82. Kevin says:

    Is Wandy really worth 13mil? I have a really short term memory lately. Cant remember him being especially spectacular as Liriano, AJ, Cole, and Morton have been at times lately.

  83. Naterosboro says:

    I was thinking about this on Saturday evening…

    would it be more advantageous for the Pirates to have to play the WC game? If they win the division, they’ll most certainly have to play the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS. If they were to play (and win) the WC game, they’d go to Atlanta.

    While I think the NL is wide open, I think the Pirates have a better chance of reaching the NLCS if they were to play Atlanta in the NLDS. The prospect of beating LAD in a 5 or 7 game series seems like a tall task.

    Anyways, just my $.02, and wanted to get others’ thoughts on this.

  84. Kevin says:

    +1 for word of the day! :D

  85. Stuart says:

    Jandy, Congrats on your steaming September! I got out of a -700 hole and was up to +200. but then plunged again. Too much betting with the heart vs the head I guess.

    Stuart

  86. Arriba Wilver says:

    He’s worth $7.5, especially if healthy, and that’s what he would cost the Pirates.

  87. hockeymonster says:

    Thanks iceman. Amen! :)

  88. Jason81 says:

    Hopefully the Pirates will go out and put up a few crooked numbers early to support A.J. and you can turn your attention to the Steelers while the Buccos coast to an easy victory.

    The Pens? Eh, as long as no one gets hurt, especially after a number of guys got dinged up last night that will be a win in my book.

  89. Milo Hamilton says:

    Who’s the 1st guy ? I thought I’ve been watching Lyle Overbay (Relax people, it’s a running gag). :)

  90. Kevin says:

    I agree… he seems to be mostly a singles hitter since joining the pirates. Which is bad because the only pirates consistently on base are cutch and byrd.

  91. Jandy says:

    ZING!!!!!

  92. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’d always go for a multi-game playoff over a one game playoff, no matter who the opponent.

  93. Jandy says:

    Thanks, Stuart! Playoffs wagers are fun, win or lose, but it’s been more fun winning :)

  94. theplanisworking says:

    +7.5M

  95. Kevin says:

    Jandy, can you please explain you get to pronounce COO-Knuckle from the name Kunhackl?

  96. theplanisworking says:

    No. It comes with lo…………. nevermind.

  97. theplanisworking says:

    No. It comes with lo…………. nevermind.

  98. Jason81 says:

    Interesting thought. I think if you didn’t have to burn a start from one of your aces in the WC game, that might not be a bad route. However, you’re also now putting yourself in the one and done situation and I don’t think any Pirates fan wants that after waiting 20 years to see playoff baseball again.

    The Braves have fallen off a bit recently as well as the Dodgers and only sit two games in front of STL and the Pirates for the best record in the NL. They close @ WSH, @ CHI, vs. MIL and vs. PHI. Not exactly tough, but if the Nats stay hot and Milwaukee continues to play decent in a spoiler role maybe the best record in the league is attainable and playing the WC winner instead of playing in the WC game could happen.

  99. Jandy says:

    kevin, you’ll have to ask my hubby that one lol. I have no idea…but he sure cracked me up!

  100. Kevin says:

    I like the .380 though almost as much as I like a pinch-hit Snyder HR!

  101. Jandy says:

    LOL! ;x

  102. theplanisworking says:

    Which is a nice to finally have for the first time in 21 years, AW.

  103. Jandy says:

    I like this ballclub’s chances with a multi-game playoffs as well. They’re always pulling wins outta their behinds some way or another…a different hero most nights.

  104. Kevin says:

    I’ll be watching the pirates and begrudgingly switching back-n-forth to the steelers to score-check. I expect absolutely nothing out of the steelers this year and the penguins are still pre-seasoning.

  105. Jandy says:

    Hipposter in DaHouse!
    How are you, friend? Is the Pond neat and tidy???

  106. theplanisworking says:

    Koo-Nuckle? Sounds like the old Hunky lady that helped make food while I was away. ;)

    Thanks for the kind words, ya goof.
    When I go off the grid, I miss this place.
    Like a bad foot.
    Without a bold reaming.
    Or hand puppets.

    :D

  107. theplanisworking says:

    Less Cleveland. ;)

  108. Jandy says:

    LOL Hubby called him Knuckle head. He kills me.

    Yes I was so busy catching up this weekend, I didn’t get much time on the blog…I DO miss goofing around with yinz in here ;)

  109. theplanisworking says:

    I will do my part and watch all 3.
    LETS GO RATINGS !!!

    +8.3
    (Thats for you Lucky).

  110. theplanisworking says:

    Its the fact that she DOES bite that scares me………….. but she has had her shots (or so she claims)……..

  111. Kevin says:

    I really thought Boychuck was the answer. I just forgot the question. And he was obviously the wrong Boychuck. :p Good points and insights. I agree with most.

  112. theplanisworking says:

    Yes ma’am it is.
    Thank you for looking over things.
    Good to be back……………… I reallyt done know how much more “kid duty” I could take (but I did love having them………….)

  113. Kevin says:

    There’s still time and, for the way the pirates and cards are playing, for the NL central winner to be #1 in the NL. And then it doesn’t matter, because the wild card winner will then have to play the NL division winner.

    So, IMO, lil early to start talking about having to play the dodgers and instead preferring to play an extra playoff game just to get to the dance.

  114. Kevin says:

    +1 yes.. what he said and what I said in different words below.

  115. Jandy says:

    :CHOMP:

  116. 21sthebest says:

    Without question.

  117. Jandy says:

    Kids are so much fun, but for us “elder” aunts and uncles (and grandmothers) they sure do tire us out!

  118. Kevin says:

    well I see.. he’s getting 13mil but only worth 7.5mil to the pirates. Point taken.

  119. Kevin says:

    +1 and like the addition of the series of interest.

  120. theplanisworking says:

    Even got to see your daughter yesterday.
    You 2 make this place better just by being here.

  121. Kevin says:

    yes well said… and the great thing about baseball is all the downtime.. well ok not the one and only great thing but in this case yes. You can switch to the DVR and catch up on the other game in between innings.

  122. theplanisworking says:

    I really didnt have much choice. They would gravitate over to me, then didnt want to leave………… whether it be at the funeral home or my cousins place.

    THEN, to top it off, I went to a friends house on the way home. Their 15 month old thought I was a fully assembled jungle-gym as her present…… and bawled every time I put her down……… like waterworks as soon as her feet hit the floor. And I cannot adequately describe her reaction when I had to leave.

    :(

  123. Kevin says:

    Kumbya? you mean Kobasew I’m sure. I agree and also with HM above points as well. Was kinda interested to see so much “passion” from a pre-season game (ie. fights and heavy hitting). It almost felt like a mid-season game except the penguins should have won in a shootout… which instead made it feel more of a late season game.

  124. Jandy says:

    :D
    Glad you think so

  125. NMR says:

    As a fan who hasn’t seen playoff baseball in 20 years, I love the thought of three guaranteed games instead of one.

    But evaluating your hypothetical strictly from a baseball perspective, I have a really hard time coming up with mor than one win for the Pirates facing Kershaw-Grienke-Ryu-Nolasco-Kershaw with only two games at home.

  126. 21sthebest says:

    I’ll take our chances in a multi-game playoff any day. Once you get to the postseason, all bets are off. I don’t care what any team did during the regular season or over the last month.

  127. NMR says:

    I honestly don’t know the answer to this, but do playoff teams usually keep more than two catchers?

    As for Liriano-Sanchez, I had a fun conversation with a friend about this last week. What if Liriano is your wild card game starter? Do you really sit Russell Martin?

  128. Jandy says:

    LOL, it’s so nice to be loved ;)

    Can’t say I blame them, tho :D

  129. theplanisworking says:

    100% agreed.

    Most people have a difficult time tranposing regular-season baseball to post-season baseball. In the regular season, you dont face a certain teams ace twice in 4/5 days. You face many different teams, and many different pitchers.

    in the postseason, everything gets compacted. So the Dodgers, with Kershaw/Grienke, have a huge edge over other teams……….. and you can pretty much throw out the records, because not many other teams can throw 2 #1′s at you. It is no coincidence that the Dodgers got white-hot when grienke returned from injury, and Puig came up. Scarier yet……….. Dodgers di this without Matt Kemp, who has been injured most of the year.

  130. Damon says:

    You probably need at least one back up catcher in case one gets hurt during a game. That’s a position you can’t just throw someone in there.

    It might be smart for the Pirates to have Martin catch Liriano in one of his last few starts because there is almost no way you can give that start to Sanchez rather than Martin. Right?

  131. NMR says:

    “Cant remember him being especially spectacular…”

    Story of Wandy’s career. But at the end of the day, you don’t need more than your fingers to count the number of starters who have posted sub-4 ERA’s over the last six years. In today’s game, well worth the money.

  132. theplanisworking says:

    Thanks. :)

    One huge bonus for me, besides seeing folks I havent seen in 30 years, was I got to stop and get a Primantis sandwich for the first time in 8 years.

    Ok Jandimal, I am out for a bit……… catch you later.

  133. bradthedad says:

    Avoid WC regardless of future matchups. Fluky stuff can happen in a single game not to mention the added strain to your pitching staff. Pitching has carried them this year and you want them well rested and with your best going into the best of 5.

  134. Arriba Wilver says:

    In a one game playoff you are facing the other team’s ace, no matter what team. I get the philosophical discussion, but c’mon. The odds just suck.

    Think ’60, ’71, ’79. Do we win any of those in a one game playoff? Maybe, but not all. The other teams were all supposed to be way better.

  135. NMR says:

    That was my opinion, regarding Martin vs Sanchez.

    But I did at least understand my buddies point. If they’re starting Sanchez right now because they think it gives them a better chance to win with Liriano, that is an awfully compelling argument.

  136. CWalton_67 says:

    The column today is on the mark.

    You could write the same column about the Penguins. MAF giving up two goals on 12 shots is solid? Really?

  137. Arriba Wilver says:

    In a one game playoff, Casey starts Whitey Ford, who won the only two games he started in ’60.

  138. theplanisworking says:

    Especially in the WS.

    I think the best odds for any of those WS was the ’79 team, and they were still a 2-1 underdog. I remember the ’71 Series, the media said Orioles in 3. No respect any of those 3 years, and we won all 3.

    By the way, I dont want a wild-card this year.

  139. Damon says:

    Not as clear cut as it seems….if you said you could have a 7 inning, 4-hit performance from Liriano but not have Martin’s bat in the line up, would you take it? Of course you can’t guarantee that, but that is the argument.

  140. Jim S. says:

    It is Wandy’s option. If he elects to stay, he gets the money. At least, that is the way I understand it. So, it makes sense for NH to welcome him back because it is Wandy’s choice of whether he stays or not.

  141. Jim S. says:

    Could be word of the month.

  142. JohninOshkosh says:

    The Dodgers just lost three in a row at home to the Giants. Saturday the Dodgers gave up 19 runs.

    I’m with AW and 21 here, the more games the better. Never know what is going to happen.

    I’m not a fan of the one game WC. I like that there is a 2d wild card, just not the sudden death game. Budster fell in love with the last day of 2011.

    Anything can and does happen in one game. Good question to think about, though.

    That’s baseball.

  143. NMR says:

    “In a one game playoff you are facing the other team’s ace, no matter what team.”

    Just last year, St. Louis started Lohse in order to save Wainwight for Game 1 of the LDS.

    I don’t think we have enough experience to tell what teams will do in that situation.

  144. Arriba Wilver says:

    I agree about the ’79 team. But we lost the first game and ended up down 3-1 before Tanner turned it around. Yes, a manager does matter. ;-)

  145. Jim S. says:

    At the time of the trade, Wandy was very reliable from a health standpoint. And he was a solid, but not spectacular LHP. He was solid for the Bucs to conclude last year, and was even improving on his K numbers this year before he went down. Unfortunately, he went down and has not come back. I didn’t like the sounds of this injury from the start, and had an inkling it was much worse than a month long deal.

    So, from the standpoint of what was known at the time of the trade, yes, Wandy was definitely worth the 60% or so of his salary that the Bucs were on the hook for. If he comes back healthy and his normal self next spring, he will be worth $7.5. If the injury persists, that is a tough break. But, there was no way of predicting it since it could not be predicted by his history.

  146. NMR says:

    Great examples, guys.

    Personally, I would rather take a puncher’s chance in a one-game scenario when I’m the underdog rather than go head-to-head for seven games.

    But your examples do prove both to be possibilities.

  147. Jim S. says:

    Tom P. is cutting edge with his updates. He doesn’t sit on his laurels.

  148. Arriba Wilver says:

    I stand corrected on that. Still don’t think we have enough experience to think we are better off going WC than winning the Division. ;-) But Playoffs is the expert on odds.

  149. NMR says:

    Considering the Pirates are likely inferior to the Dodgers and Braves, wouldn’t the “fluky stuff” likely help?

  150. Iceman says:

    No i mean Kumbya. Hockeymonster and I have had are differing opinions in the past. Happy that we are starting the preseason in agreement on some things.

  151. JohninOshkosh says:

    Boy, lots of thoughts go out to your “Colorful Colorado” state brethren, CW.

    ABC news had a drone with a camera attached flying over the devastation. Remarkable and heartbreaking images.

    My basement routinely floods. It usually takes a few days to get that mess cleaned up and I don’t have anything down there that’s not elevated off the floor. I just can’t imagine a river flowing through my living room.

  152. NMR says:

    Haha, touche. :)

  153. Arriba Wilver says:

    That is definitely the reasonable counter-argument.

    But, to me, the Bucs don’t seem to follow underdog\favorite. It just doesn’t work. We beat the good guys some time and lose to the dregs. But not as much as in the past, admittedly.

  154. NMR says:

    In a heartbeat.

    Martin’s main benefit as the year wears on is defense, or “run provention” if you will.

    If you could guarantee no runs given up by the starting pitcher, I’d take it.

  155. Jim S. says:

    I think his stats would be better if Clint didn’t (until yesterday) start him vs. LHP. One of the great things about Clint this year is he has mostly stopped asking guys to do what they cannot do. But, for some reason, he has had a blind spot with both Morneau and Gabby all season. Remember when we kept asking why Gabby had so many starts against RHP? Now, the guy doesn’t even start against LHP (until yesterday) and his forte is hitting vs. LHP.

    In today’s Notebook, Clint mentioned that he has given Morneau a little leeway with starts vs. LHP, and that may not be over yet. I wish it were. If you like Morneau so much, well, he still gets 80% of the total at bats because that is the % of RHP. But, Clint is the boss and sometimes he has to try unconventional things to see what mix might work. I don’t think this one will work, but the guy has been pretty good at managing the roster all year, IMO. He says he checked with Minnesota, and apparently the info he got back led him to give Morneau an extended look vs. LHP. We’ll see what he does going forward.

  156. 21sthebest says:

    No so fast Arriba. Lohse was clearly the better pitcher last year. ERA of 2.86 v. 3.94 for Wainwright. WHIP was .15 better as well.

    Lohse was also having a better September so I think it’s reasonable that Metheny threw his best pitcher. And they both were on plenty of rest.

  157. Jim S. says:

    “In a bit of a fog” but checking in nonetheless. Commitment!

  158. Thundercrack says:

    Sorry, what I meant regarding hypocritical was that I was for the trade at the time, and won’t bash them now for making it…especially if Morneau isn’t hitting well.

  159. Jim S. says:

    I still say Clint gets it sorted out between Morneau and Gabby before the playoffs. I also think he will land on: Gabby vs. LHP, Justin vs RHP. Maybe not. Just a hunch on my part. Clint’s a smart guy, and I think he knows he’ll need Gabby in the playoffs. And to get him ready for the playoffs, he needs to start getting him ABs again.

  160. Jim S. says:

    The Pens have time to sort out their issues and be regular season ready. The Steelers need to get on track quick – even in this sorry division. The Bucs are winning without hitting much. I’d like to see them start plating more runs this week, and win 5 of 7 of the remaining games on this homestand.

  161. NMR says:

    Ah, very fair. My bad.

  162. bradthedad says:

    I like our pitching staff and think when it’s at its best, it can handle anybody. People (not saying you NMR) have talked like losing to Kershaw is a foregone conclusion – make no mistake, he is very good but over half of his starts have either been losses or no decisions. So somebody is getting to him. The old cliche respect but don’t fear applies.

  163. Jim S. says:

    :-) :-) :-)

    Funny, Arriba!

  164. NMR says:

    “He says he checked with Minnesota, and apparently the info he got back led him to give Morneau an extended look vs. LHP.”

    This seems a bit silly.

    Tell me again why we’re trusting Minnesota, the team that actively and successfully tried to get rid of Morneau, for scouting info moving forward?

    What did Clint expect them to say? “Ok, we lied, this guy sucks.”?

  165. Jandy says:

    I’ll drink to that!

  166. Jim S. says:

    I don’t think you sit RM in favor of either Sanchez or Buck with Frankie on the mound. So, as has been suggested, I think RM should get back behind the plate at least once with Frankie on the mound. No big deal there, as he caught him most of the season.

    No way on Buck for the playoffs. I think Clint took a look at him a couple of times, noticed his awful pitch framing skills, and rightly sat him. And it is not as though Buck brings anything else of an above avg. nature to the table, unless I am missing something. I think Buck should now only play in an emergency. Sanchez had the bad game last week where it looked as if he forgot to pack his brain for the trip. But, I think he looked good yesterday, and I believe pitch framing has been considered on of his strengths. BTW, that was an impressive blast to RC from a righty!

  167. NMR says:

    “Clearly” is an awful strong word considering Wainwright had better strikeout, homerun, and FIP numbers than Lohse.

    There’s a reason why they extended Wainwright and let Lohse walk.

  168. Dom says:

    Prediction time!

    On 09/06 we had about 10 people on this blog predict the score of the Titans game and not did no one individual predict the score correctly, nobody foresaw the winner. Everybody, including myself, thought the Steelers were going to be 1-0 at this point.

    I predict we’ll lose tonight 24-10.

    I really don’t like it how Cortez is out, leaving Gay to start and Shamarko Thomas in at nickel. The defense could still play well but they’ll be in the game for too long as I’m sure the offense will not be able to make any waves.

    Going against one of the better defensive front seven we’ll probably not be able to run much, not that we would be able to do so against the team with the worst front seven. Considering Issac Redman will be starting, Heath Miller is still out, and how poorly the OTs played against Tennessee I don’t see the offense making much traction.

    The key to victory will be playing smart and making turnovers.

    The Bengals were one of the teams I was considering going with in my survivor league but I ended up picking the Falcons.

  169. NMR says:

    Fair enough, Brad. I like that last line.

  170. 21sthebest says:

    Fluky stuff like a bad infield fly rule call by the umps for example?

  171. 21sthebest says:

    Well then prove it NMR. You may be right but you can hardly talk in absolutes here.

    I think an ERA and a WHIP that much better makes it a reasonable call to start Lohse ahead of Wainwright.

  172. Jandy says:

    What Oshkosh said!
    prayers to everyone involved in this mess :(

  173. Jandy says:

    Mmmmmm Primanti’s!!!

  174. hockeymonster says:

    Kevin is in mid season bloggin form :)

  175. hockeymonster says:

    Also thought the level of play from pens wasnt bad. Looks our team depth will be ok, even at forward. But we still lack the sandpaper that keeps the other team honest.

  176. Jandy says:

    Here’s the injury updates from this morning:
    Head coach Dan Bylsma had some updates on the health of his roster.
    •No update on Joe Vitale
    •Matt D’Agostini’s wife went into labor. Shouldn’t be available for tonight’s game
    •Brian Dumoulin has upper-body injury. Out about a week.
    •Bobby Farnham has a lower-body injury and needs to be re-evaluated.

  177. Kevin says:

    fluky stuff… like hitting back-to-back-to-back homers yet still losing?

  178. NMR says:

    “You may be right but you can hardly talk in absolutes here.”

    Hahaha, you’re kidding, right?

  179. Jandy says:

    Line up information for the preseason game vs the Red Wings today:
    Here are some notes on the Pens’ lineup for tonight:
    •Kunitz-Crosby-Dupuis will make their first preseason appearance
    •Vokoun gets the start in goal
    •The new third line (Jokinen-Sutter-D’Agostini) gets their first look in game action
    •Orpik, Martin and Letang will be in the lineup

    PENGUINS LINEUP

    Goaltenders
    31 ERIC HARTZELL – G
    92 TOMAS VOKOUN – G

    Position Players
    3 OLLI MAATTA – D
    5 DERYK ENGELLAND – D
    7 PAUL MARTIN – D
    9 PASCAL DUPUIS – F
    14 CHRIS KUNITZ – F
    16 BRANDON SUTTER – F
    22 MATT D’AGOSTINI – F
    23 CHRIS CONNER – F
    27 CRAIG ADAMS – F
    36 JUSSI JOKINEN – F
    39 HARRY ZOLNIERCZYK – F
    40 NICK DRAZENOVIC – F
    44 BROOKS ORPIK – D
    47 SIMON DESPRES – D
    49 BRIAN GIBBONS – F
    58 KRIS LETANG – D
    59 JAYSON MEGNA – F
    87 SIDNEY CROSBY – F

  180. bradthedad says:

    Or an umpire deciding he’s not gonna give the low strike which kills a groundball team like the Bucs.

  181. Jandy says:

    I don’t see a ” ;)

  182. NMR says:

    Fluky Stuff would be a great name for a sabermetric 90′s cover band.

  183. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    TOO FUNNY!

  184. Damon says:

    I’m looking forward to all that you posted plus I want to see Maata play. People are saying he is NHL-ready already, so I’m curious.

  185. Jim S. says:

    I wonder if anyone here can remember the last time, while the Steelers and Pirates played at the same time, anyone in Pittsburgh said, “Tonight, I’m going to watch the Bucs and get updates on the Steelers during breaks.” I’m not saying the fanbase has switched loyalties more in favor of the Bucs, but right now I would say the Pirates are the priority for a lot of people and there is not much optimism surrounding the Steelers. I say thank goodness for DVRs, so I can record the Steelers and go back tomorrow and catch anything I might miss tonight. But, my primary focus will be on the Bucs tonight. It has been a l-o-o-o-o-o-n-g time since I said that.

  186. Jandy says:

    Makes two of us, Damon!

  187. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Cincy – 10
    Pitt – 7

    Jay Bruce hits a late 3-Run dinger to win it.

  188. JohninOshkosh says:

    I don’t know, Dom. NFL parity is a remarkable and unpredictable thing. How many people had the Chiefs and Bears at 2-0. Or the Packers routing the ‘Skins. Or Seattle completely outclassing the 49′ers.

    0-2 is the buzzword, though. What is it-only 18% of teams starting 0-2 make the playoffs.

    I’ll factor in the unpredictability of the NFL with my prediction:

    Steelers 21 Bengals 17

  189. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    As DK said last night on the Final Word…The last team the Pirates want to tangle with in the playoffs is the Dodgers.
    I’ve wanted them to win the division all year long, but I’m not so sure the wild card would not be the better route.
    True….It’s one more game (if there is another one afterwards).
    However…. the thought of the Pirates winning the division, and getting a free trip to LA is downright scary to me in more ways than one.
    On a selfish note…..It would be the ultimate torture to myself here on the westside of Los Angeles.

  190. NMR says:

    Very fair, Dejan. Let’s move past runs and RBI.

    What about that .364 BABIP to go along with a complete lack of power?

    Does that look sustainable?

  191. Jandy says:

    Steelers lose, but I have no idea on the score…what a mess this team is. :/

  192. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Does this post officially start the Great Ratings Debate for tonight?

  193. Jim S. says:

    You’re a kid magnet, plan. Some people give off that vibe, and the little ones cans sense it. It’s a good quality.

  194. JohninOshkosh says:

    Mr. Kovacevic ?

  195. Arriba Wilver says:

    You’re in big trouble mister (said the guy who thinks Steeler love will always prevail).

    One of the favorite local sports jokes I heard prior to 2005 was:

    Q: How many Steeler fans does it take to change a lightbulb?

    A: 15, one to change the lightbulb and 14 to tell you how great the Steelers were in the 1970′s.

  196. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t know what you mean NMR.

  197. Jim S. says:

    Can’t argue with much of what you said, Dom. Our secondary scares me, as does just about everything else with this team right now.

    I am going to say 27-10.

    But, stranger things have happened. Maybe the boys will rally.

  198. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    How many VA Tech students does it take to change a light bulb?

  199. Jandy says:

    :thwap:

    ;)

  200. NMR says:

    Just seemed odd to be getting a lecture in absolutes from the guy who said “Lohse was clearly the better pitcher last year.”

    Pot, meet Kettle.

  201. Jandy says:

    Oh, don’t forget this:
    •Matt D’Agostini’s wife went into labor. Shouldn’t be available for tonight’s game

  202. NMR says:

    Dejan gave him a shoutout in the Blog, but Travis Sawchik’s work yesterday is can’t-miss stuff for Pirate fans.

    http://triblive.com/sports/pirates/4689239-74/pirates-defensive-season#axzz2f4chuj6A

    More than just x’s and o’s, the article sheds light on the decision making that turned around the team.

  203. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’ll actually be watching “Dancing With the Stars.”

    It’s a marital concession. My better half is a huge dance fan. I’ve had to take many lessons, watch many dance shows and go to many ballets. I trade ‘em in for me watching sports.

  204. Jandy says:

    They use lightbulbs in VA?

    :fleeeeeeeeeeeee:

  205. 21sthebest says:

    And a baby is a babe magnet. So is a golden retriever.

  206. Damon says:

    I’d love to predict the Steelers will win, but I’m going to say:
    Bengals 19, Steelers 13.

    I think the D will do it’s best to keep the O in the game holding the Bengals to FGs, but I just don’t see the offense scoring enough to win. Maybe they need a defensive or special teams TD (or two).

  207. Naterosboro says:

    +1

  208. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  209. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    How many sorority sisters does it take to change a light bulb?

  210. Milo Hamilton says:

    I think stats are way down the list on deciding who starts in these types of situations.

  211. JohninOshkosh says:

    One. To call Daddy.

  212. Damon says:

    I know he is fighting for a spot, but the birth of a child is much more important than a preseason game! Too bad because I wanted to see him play as well. Guess we will see him sooner or later.

  213. Jim S. says:

    Agreed. Travis is really good.

  214. Jim S. says:

    “For Better or Worse.” Good for you, Osh.

  215. Jandy says:

    Excellent indeed!

  216. Milo Hamilton says:

    For all the folks obsessing about a one game playoff scenario, I bet you’d change your tune if they found themselves down 3 games to 2 in the LCS. One game winner take all doesn’t sound so bad then, does it ?

  217. Jandy says:

    yes family is #1 priority..especially NEW family :)

  218. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Sixty.

    One to change the bulb.
    59 to make t-shirts about the event.

  219. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    One.

    But it will take him at least 6 years.

  220. Arriba Wilver says:

    I hear you, Daq. But like lineups, I’ve never bought into the “the Pirates are better off facing” this team or that team. Without doing an in-depth analysis, it just doesn’t work for me. I’ll go with more games, overall, every time. A one game playoff? Man, that’s really narrowing your odds.

    Which made me remember, earlier in the season we had a few series in a row where we lost the first game, but won the series, several of them 4 game series.

  221. 21sthebest says:

    Fair enough NMR but my only point was it wasn’t the no brainer of a decision that I thought you made it sound like.

  222. Jim S. says:

    That wasn’t really where I was going, but it is an interesting thought. I have no doubt the Steelers will still generate more local viewership. If this were the Cardinals or Reds in town, maybe it would be a more compelling argument. But, the Dads? I don’t think so.

    I was just thinking that the Bucs are really getting the locals excited, while a lot of people are watching the Steelers with their hands over their eyes, and they are tentatively peaking at the game between their fingers – a little at a time – but always able to put the hands back over their eyes if it gets too ugly to bear.

  223. cmat0829 says:

    That’s a bit much…. teams share information directly (not in the press, but directly)…especially managers and coaches. Ron Gardenhire is well respected and so I do think his input is valuable and I think he’d be honest. I’m sure we gave him info on Doumit and Presley as well in return.

    The Morneau thing is another example of a ginned-up blog debate that is way, way overblown in both directions. No one is saying this is the AL MVP version of Morneau (show me one post that thinks that); that said, Morneau is a respected veteran and I see clearly why the manager is giving him more of a chance to play vs. LHPs than say Jones was afforded. Gaby started yesterday, right?

  224. Tom P. says:

    Jim, you and others are too kind. Just doing my small part to help us enjoy our first pennant race of the 21st century. I appreciate everyone’s insights too, especially those who agree with me.

  225. cmat0829 says:

    is he out for a long time? I saw an article that says Ravens think he is ‘ok’?

  226. Jim S. says:

    Good point, and let’s not forget that if we get in the 1-game WC scenario the Bucs are the odds on favorite at this point to have that game played at home where we have a great record. Our most likely opponent, the Reds, struggle on the road.

  227. Tom P. says:

    +1 to both Travis and NMR.

  228. Arriba Wilver says:

    What’s your beef with Va Tech, OshKosh?

    Before you answer, I have a daughter and Nephew who went there. Plus, it’s a favorite destination for the school district I’m in. Just trying to be up-front.

  229. cmat0829 says:

    no Clint isn’t smart, he is a bubble-gum chewing Tony Robbins wannabe who can’t manage his way out of a paper bag. #FREETREANOR

  230. cmat0829 says:

    why not watch steelers with sound off and listen to bucs audio?

  231. Tom P. says:

    I traded a Phantom of the Opera performance for a Giants/Dodgers game in San Francisco on my honeymoon. Good show.

  232. cmat0829 says:

    you’ll only miss like 50 annoying Jon Gruden-isms…..

  233. Damon says:

    But at least you’d get to play 6 playoff games (minimum) instead of possibly only playing one.

  234. Jim S. says:

    I was thinking about something the other day while noticing that with the great season the Bucs are enjoying, Neal Huntington is having a lot of praise heaped on him for the first time in his Bucs career. I was asking myself how I would rank the GM jobs of MLB, NHL and NFL in terms of difficulty. So, how would anyone else rank them as to which job is toughest, next toughest and easiest, and why? Obviously, there is no right or wrong answer. I just wonder what others think about this.

  235. cmat0829 says:

    I agree on Buck’s ‘receiving’ ability… it was really hard to watch the games he caught, he was lunging and awkwardly catching every pitch, even the fastballs down the middle. It’s odd.

    This is a tough one… I think Hurdle would lean Sanchez but do you go with a rookie in the playoffs or with the veteran Buck, and of course planning on playing Martin every game anyway.

  236. War Horse says:

    So, tell us, NMR. Are you one of the five?

  237. cmat0829 says:

    and brandon philliips does the end zone dance

  238. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Never been a fan.
    I went to a different VA school for college.

  239. Jim S. says:

    I thought they did bring him to sit vs. LHP. RHP have been close to 80% of the ABs this year for our team. His pedigree vs. LHP is a thing of the past. Now, he’s a situational player – a potentially very good situational player.

  240. Damon says:

    Good article. I don’t know how many times you see a shot up the middle, cringe, then see Mercer/Barmes take a couple steps to his left and make the play.

  241. Naterosboro says:

    +1

  242. radio wave says:

    Please give us your “take” on the end of the Wisconsin game. Why is a Pac 12 crew working a ASU game against a non conference team?

  243. Arriba Wilver says:

    Sorry, Milo, but my counter to that is all the obsessing over a one game WC is mental masterbation. At the end of the day, whenever you know the result, it will always cause second guessing, either way. Not sure one result would prevail over the other on how people would feel after they know the result. For example, If they win a multi-game playoff, does that mean the “go wildcards” crowd was wrong?!

  244. Jim S. says:

    I’m still for the trade. It’s just that I only want him batting against RHP, which is still a large majority of the time.

  245. cmat0829 says:

    This is a tough one… NFL should stand for “not for long”… usually the best way to approach predicting games is to go counter…i.e. team that looked awesome last week will come crashing down to earth this week, likewise the team that couldn’t get out of their own way (Steelers) bounce back with spirited effort.

    BUT, the Bengals are 0-1 with a home game and are desparate not to fall to 0-2…if they had won vs. Chicago then this would set up perfectly for the Steelers bounceback effect.

    That said, I can see a good Steelers effort but perhaps still fall short… but being a Steelers fan, how can you not predict a W?

    Steelers 24 – Bengals 21

  246. radio wave says:

    My understanding is the Pens game is on Wpcw tonight.

  247. Arriba Wilver says:

    So did I.

  248. Milo Hamilton says:

    Whoa, I thought this blog was PG ? :)

  249. cmat0829 says:

    To me, MLB is most difficult due to how many moving parts there are… the importance of the drafts and international signings (plus the high attrition rate and importance of coaching/instruction/development), plus no salary cap means teams have little margin for error.

    Can’t speak to NHL, but I compare that to NBA in that it is probably the easiest with the salary cap governing what you can really do, so once you determine the make up of the roster, it comes down to in-game coaching, matchups, etc much more.

    As to NFL, it is in the middle..again, salary cap guides most, but need to draft well especially in high rounds and pick the right horses….

  250. Jim S. says:

    Because that is what Managers do, NMR – even ones who have shown the ability to adapt and evolve as CH has this year. We both probably suspect that he still, deep down, trusts his eyes and the eyes of guys he respects in the game more than what the kids in the computer lab are printing out for him. I’m guessing he called Gardy, and Gardy said Justin was hitting LHP a lot better since August. Old habits die hard, and some old habits are ok habits. Maybe he considers this due diligence. I know, I know. We can say, “But, Clint, these games matter.” He knows that. But, as many have said. These guys are not robots and everything can’t be predicted by past metrics.

    So, he’s going with that for now. But, as yesterday showed, he will eventually come around IMO.

  251. JohninOshkosh says:

    +

  252. cmat0829 says:

    To me, the negative of the one-game WC is that after a 162-game season, where you fight and claw your way through multiple obstacles and need to prove it night after night, your reward is one game and it can all be over in a heartbeat.

    The positive is that without a wild card, you can have a great season (Reds/Pirates/Cards this year) and fall short at the end of the regular season with no playoffs at all. I think it was 1993 when the Giants won like 100 games and finished 2nd to the Braves….. no playoffs for that team.

    To me, one-game playoff > finishing with 93+ wins but finishing 2nd in the division and no playoffs at all.

    Now, best of 3 playoff > 1 game playoff and baseball can easily make that happen through the way it schedules, and/or knocking regular season down to 154 games.

  253. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Played against them numerous times in hockey.
    Used to love those games.

    Packed house and I made sure to sharpen my elbows every time I went into the corners.
    I fought their goalie once.

    Good times.

  254. Jim S. says:

    That is a kind estimate.

  255. 21sthebest says:

    How many Thundercracks does it take to change a light bulb?

    We’ll just tee that one up for Drew.

  256. Arriba Wilver says:

    What’s your problem? “Wildcard” or ” result?”

    :-D

  257. cmat0829 says:

    are we really debating another NH quote to determine if it’s what he really feels or whether it’s BS? does that really interest anyone anymore?

    No doubt in my mind NH speaks what he feels on this one… Wandy is a solid veteran ML pitcher, who should (we hope) be ok with rest and not need surgery. At $7.5M (the portion the Pirates have to pay), that is a bargain if he can pitch like he is capable (he doesn’t have to be cy young).

    Besides, it is a PLAYERS option, so it doesn’t matter what NH thinks… if it were a team option, then I’d pay attention to what NH thinks.

  258. JohninOshkosh says:

    Hey rw:

    That play has been debated and examined here like the Zapruder film. My take is that the Badger receiver was probably out of bounds in the key play that led to the controversial one. That being said, Joel Stave is a college kid who was presumably smart enough to get into Madison. He needs to get his knee clearly down. Finally, the refs ought to have called a delay of game on the Sun Devils that were sitting on the football.

    Lot of blame to go around. I was a ref for several years. Most of them do a good job of maintaining objectivity even with teams in their region involved. I don’t have a major problem that the refs were all from the Pac 12. They gotta come from somewhere.

  259. Jim S. says:

    I bet if he asked Liriano the question of Buck or Sanchez for the roster (and he would be a good person to ask), the answer would be Tony. But, once you get into the playoffs I don’t think you plan on sitting RM unless he says he needs a game off.

    It would be nice if the division were settled with a game or two left at the end, so RM could maybe sit for a few days in a row to help his legs.

  260. JohninOshkosh says:

    Um, no problem. Never been to Virgina. I assume you meant Playoffs. :)

  261. Jim S. says:

    Grienke, or is it Greinke? Anyway, I think he’s an overrated, overpaid head case. Tons of talent and always puts up fairly good seasons. But, the production rarely seems to catch up with the promise.

  262. Jim S. says:

    Bill James and the Fluky Stuffs.

  263. Jim S. says:

    I just watched an old episode of the King of Queens, 21, and a babe waitress told Spence she liked him because he seemed to be taking care of Arthur Spooner. She said that was attractive. So, he started bringing Arthur to the bar & grill everyday, combing his hair, helping him on/off with his jacket, etc.

    I still think the baby or dog is the better way to go.

  264. Arriba Wilver says:

    I went to UVA when the Va Tech football team had the grey and blacked striped uniforms that looked like prison uniforms. But the school districts my kids have been in have really liked it. Its not the old Virginia Tech. And my daughter graduated summa cum laude.

    I’m not complaining, just pointing it out. I know nothing about their hockey program. ;-)

  265. Jim S. says:

    I wasn’t expecting much of her, anyway. :-)

  266. Arriba Wilver says:

    Sorry, Osh, I missed that. My bad. But it will take me awhile to get over the fact Playoffs played hockey. I thought he hated hockey.

  267. NMR says:

    ginned-up blog debate?

    Only if you’re cool with the equivalent of hitting Travis Snider instead of Starling Marte.

  268. NMR says:

    Ouch, Jim. Very unlike you.

  269. Jim S. says:

    I would like to see best of 3 WC as well, and then only best of 5 until the WS @ best of 7.

  270. Jim S. says:

    Good points. I also think the multiple layers of farm system in baseball adds to its complexity.

  271. NMR says:

    UVA?

    Well la-di-da…:)

    Just kidding, of course. Very impressive.

  272. NMR says:

    Haha, perfect.

  273. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think they made a mistake in letting me in. And I enjoyed it a lot. I even have a Ron Jeremy story from there. For another time.

  274. Jandy says:

    He never said he hated hockey, I can vouch for that ;)

  275. 21sthebest says:

    Honeymoons are in a separate category of rules.

  276. 21sthebest says:

    I wouldn’t want to be the teams waiting on a best of 3 wild card series to end.

  277. 21sthebest says:

    Hockey players are the most fit, the Stanley Cup is the toughest championship to win, and the hockey GM’s job is the toughest.

    Trust me.

    :-)

  278. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I agree with you Ghost. Ben’s the top dog, but the line can’t protect him.

  279. Dom says:

    What happens if the Pens regular season game this year is on up against a Bucco regular season game that could determine the division winner? Wouldn’t Root have to air the Pens game?

  280. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Marlon Bryd will be looking for a multi-year contract. He’s put up huge numbers on a 1 year, $700k contract. I understand his age, but I still see him seeking multiple years. I would like to think I have a clue to how much, but compare him to other OFers putting up his production, and you’re looking at almost $10Mil/year. Age will be a factor, I think.

    I know AJ has said in the past that he would love to return to the Pirates. He wants to stay east coast, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he signs elsewhere, if he can’t come to terms with the Pirates. I see Baltimore in his future….if not the Buccos. I would like to see a 1 year deal for AJ, if he’d go for it.

    I honestly wouldnt mind seeing Barmes come back as a utility player.

    I would like to see the Pirates kick the tires of Justin Morneau. I would like to see what he can do for a full season in PNC Park. There is no immediate help in the minors at 1B and I think once he learns the NL pitchers better, he will be more effective.

  281. radio wave says:

    Right after I sent the post, twitter reports the Pac 12 is sanctioning the crew. I did not read thedetails.

  282. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Dripping with power……….and why won’t they tell us more about his finger/hand??!!

  283. Kevin says:

    NO I CERTAINLY DID NOT! Thought Seattle would be “close” to San Fran but 49′ers would ultimately best them… or possible SF woulda blown out Sea but not the other way. That was very unexpected. And Kapernik was awful.

  284. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    No doubt Bryd has performed better.

    I am a believer that it takes the hitter more time to adjust when switching leagues. Especially one that has spent his entire career in one league.

    I like JM’s approach and swing. I don’t think the power he once had is still there, but I do believe he has some left.

  285. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    I played for close to 30 years now.
    I’ve been coaching for around 15 or so.

    I still enjoy playing to some extent,
    But watching it is difficult for me.

    The NHL style game is so bland these days compared to the 1980′s and early 1990′s.

  286. Kevin says:

    Anyone else hear that the Nationals/Braves game might not happen tonight? Because of a shooting near the park, they are telling people to stay away… that’s what I heard at lunch anyway… anyone see any update?

  287. Jason81 says:

    Impossible. Pirates regular season ends Sept. 29. Pens regular season starts Oct. 3.

  288. Arriba Wilver says:

    No offense, but where’s the debate about what NH really feels? I think the info about what the Astro’s would pay took care of that, to the extent it even existed.

  289. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Nowhere behind me dude…….my team sucks bad..

  290. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    #StupidHurdle

  291. Dom says:

    Oh, I didn’t know the Pens did start till so late.

    Thanks for the information.

  292. theplanisworking says:

    Then calls everyone a racist…….

  293. theplanisworking says:

    Maybe the baby can play for Fleury………

  294. theplanisworking says:

    1990 – 91- 92.

  295. theplanisworking says:

    being I love both teams/sports, I will watch both.
    That helps BOTH ratings !!!

  296. NMR says:

    #bowlofjello

  297. Jandy says:

    Santa Claus!?!?!?!

  298. Jim S. says:

    Did you come to that conclusion of your own free will, 21?

  299. Kevin says:

    According to Jerome Bettis (Espen’s newest analyst), the steelers O-line is the X-factor and they won’t figure it out this game. Jerome thinks Bengals will blitz early and often and Ben will come up short.

    Jerome Prediction:
    Bengals 28, Steelers 21.

    Which is strange, because unless two of those TD’s are defensive, not sure how this team is able to punch it in the redzone. Therefore, my prediction is such:

    Bengals 17, Steelers 13. Polamalu will intercept the ball earlier and take it for a TD. Steelers O-ffense will generate two more scoring opportunities for FG. Ben will be intercepted on the last play of the game to come up short.

  300. theplanisworking says:

    Baseball — Crap shoot on draft picks, but no salary cap can help, or hurt teams.
    Hockey — Salary cap may hurt teams, the pressure is to win today, hence coaches get changed every day.

    Football — If a GM doesnt pick the right players at key positions, the franchise get set back for many years.

    I think football has the toughest job for a GM.
    Just look how many get the boot every year.

  301. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    IF FL is your wild card guy, no way you sit RM.

    On the flip side. If FL is most comfortable with TS catching him, then you make FL as comfortable as possible.

    I don’t think TS is a huge drop off defensively and he seems to be turning a corner offensively.

  302. Kevin says:

    +1 THIS.

  303. Jim S. says:

    Ouch!

  304. Kevin says:

    Sorry for answering a question with a question, but are penguins even televised tonight? Also, is it really even fair to compare ratings between bucs and steelers… steeler game is national.

  305. Jim S. says:

    Then fakes another injury.

  306. Jandy says:

    X2 lol

  307. cmat0829 says:

    wouldnt be a long delay at all, in fact the wait between LDS and LCS and WS can be much longer if you win in 4 and the opponent doesn’t…plus the WS dates are set regardless of when the LCS end…..

    In best of 3, I’d go with first 2 in home ballpark and 3rd in visiting park… so you can go back to back and only go to the 4th day if you need a 3rd game.

    LDS start Friday or Saturday after season ends…

  308. Jandy says:

    Then shoots his friggin mouth off at a reporter/columnist (I forget which)

  309. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    DK

    Great article on the Steelers. I have a feeling if they continue to go in this direction, it will be a terrible year.

    The talent level at the RB position is not there, at least for a RB-by-committee. I believe their strongest weapons, outside of BB, are their WR’s.

    Establishing a run game with a mediocre (at best) OLine is not the smartest offensive scheme they come up with.

    I would like to think that Coach Tomlin might be showing his pokerface on this one, at least I hope so. However, is the line good nough to protect Ben if/when he drops back? Does Ben need to get rid of the ball faster. (Ha, of course he does, he’s always had to o that)

    But here’s my Steelers question on tonights game; Who has the better advantage? James Harrison for knowing what the Steelers do or the Steelers knowing what JH can do?

    My answer to that, advantage Bengals.

  310. 21sthebest says:

    I just know what’s best for me.

  311. Jandy says:

    Game: Penguins (1-0) vs. Detroit Red Wings (0-0), preseason

    Time: 7:08 p.m.

    Site: Consol Energy Center

    TV, radio: WPCW-TV, 105.9 The X

    Kevin, not sure where WPCW is available.

  312. cmat0829 says:

    To me the choice is Jones or Morneau, and my choice is Morneau. Now, on to Gaby… he has lost a start or 2 because part of the ‘get Morneau comfortable price’ is playing him vs a LHP or two…

    I’d still rather have Morneau on this squad than NOT having him… and to me the rest will settle itself before the playoffs. So yes, any debate on Morneau is a little ginned-up in my opinion.

  313. theplanisworking says:

    :D

  314. theplanisworking says:

    Harrison is playing in a 4-3 now.
    He will be a lost fish out there.

  315. Jason81 says:

    While Dusty Baker sits in the corner and chokes on a toothpick.

  316. theplanisworking says:

    Game is postponed.
    just heard it.

  317. theplanisworking says:

    Stadium is being used as a staging area for victims families, and employees families that worked at the Navy Yard.

  318. Jandy says:

    Evil, I hate evil people.

  319. Jason81 says:

    “Two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl…”

  320. Kevin says:

    I get the sense that anyone can play 1st base, is that not true? People keep saying, with all Pedro’s errors this year at 3rd, Pedro would be better to “stick” at 1st. Of course, then we have a bigger hole at 3rd that only JHay or maybe Mercer could fill. Barmes is probably coming back at this point, right?

  321. theplanisworking says:

    If you do that, they win.
    Try something different.

    What, I dont know, becasue it is so hard to forgive these types of people.
    Maybe give them some 9 Wides?

  322. theplanisworking says:

    Year after Year………..

  323. Lad 9 says:

    And cowardly. Terrorists are the biggest cowards in the world.

  324. Kevin says:

    not in York, PA… our CW is WLYH which I think stands for W, Lancaster, York, Harrisburg.

    the next penguin v. redwing game on 9/25 is on NHL network though…

  325. defil21 says:

    Definitely a sad day here that’s for sure.

  326. Lad 9 says:

    I am completely comfortable hating them Plan. I don’t feel like it gives them a win. They will never win in the US.

  327. Jandy says:

    Amen Lad Man. These “people” (I use the term loosely) need stopped. Don’t just killor execute them, torture them, so other sick people see what happens when you go on a killing spree.

  328. NMR says:

    Yet another cant-discuss-unless-cmat-agrees topic.

  329. theplanisworking says:

    I was talking a more spiritual thing.
    If we hate, we lose, no matter the enemy.
    If Lucky was here, he would say love thy enemies.
    I agree to a point.

    Now as for them winning in the US, I agree with you.

    But this blog isnt a place for debates on church and state. :)

  330. theplanisworking says:

    I would rank them #2.

    People who harm children are #1 in my book.

  331. NMR says:

    “I get the sense that anyone can play 1st base, is that not true?”

    Not at all.

    1B is just the position with the least opportunity to hurt the team defensively. Thus, players with defensive liabilities (that can be made up for at the plate) are often moved there.

    A good first baseman makes his infielders better, an average one is invisible, and a bad one is embarassing.

  332. Kevin says:

    “…running over the same old ground.” (literally)

  333. OK, why would anyone ever mental masturbate?

  334. defil21 says:

    Amen brother. Amen. I could tell you some stories in my line of work that would really make you say What the freak. +++

  335. Ghost says:

    If Byrd can get someone to give him a multi-year deal of $10 per year, more power to him. I hope Neal is actually considering approaching Byrd’s camp, but no way he would extend above type of deal. One-year deal with another year mutual option I think could be done. For how much? I don’t know. But not $10 mil/year. Byrd would have to fly to the Bronx for that.

    I too, would like the Bucs to “kick the tires of Justin Morneau.” I didn’t want to sound like I think we can have everything, so I didn’t bring him up. But the Bucs should approach all of the names we’ve been discussing and see what happens. If Morneau can’t be brought back, people can always start listening to me and move Petey to first ;) ;). (Anyway, decisions do have to be made about Petey. His arbitration clock starts this winter, after all.)

  336. theplanisworking says:

    +1 treadmill…….

  337. Ghost says:

    That sounds like a fair assessment of the position. I do happen to think that Petey could be competent/ “invisible.” Perhaps even “invisible +.” ;)

  338. Ghost says:

    Well, the italics went haywire. Was only supposed to be for the word “that.”

  339. Kevin says:

    hopefully that book is titled “People who suck” or “Just the worst people imaginable”. I don’t own any of those types of books.. tend toward the more inspirational/positive type stories. We deal with enough of that crap in the news everyday.. its more than enough really.

  340. CWalton_67 says:

    Thanks to both of you. It’s been a rough couple of days here, and we’ve been quite fortunate as we only had minor flooding in our house. Others have not been so fortunate, and many will not be able to return to their homes for months. It’s had to even imagine what 20 inches of rain in 7 days can do. Mudslides, roads caving in, and of course the rivers overflowing.

    I was off today and we went by the Red Cross shelter to donate some food items and then downtown to assist friends with clean up. Some folks were inside the little Christmas store on the main drag, cleaning of course. On their little chalkboard outside was written “We’ll be back.”

    Very proud of the way everyone has pulled together. Very proud to call myself a Coloradan. Thank you again for your kind thoughts, friends.

 
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