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Morning Java: At least the plugs will change

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

LONDON – Top of the morning, Lunatics …

>> The Thursday column is a convoluted collection of random thoughts from an increasingly cluttered mind. And I dare say, even though I lead with Ben Roethlisberger, the signature item exposes my serious man-crush on Olli Maatta.

Here’s some of the talk I had with the Penguins’ top prospect the other night …

Marc-Andre Fleury finished strong, Josh Yohe writes from Detroit.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage.

Here are official game highlights from NHL.com.

And as long as we’re momentarily distracted by pucks, this is as good a place as any to set up the unveiling of Penn State’s state-of-the-art arena. Chris Adamski reports from State College.

He’s got a cool video with that, too …

I’d love to see a game there during the inaugural season, and I’ll apologize now to those who asked if I could cover the opener next week. I will be there for football the next day, but the schedule doesn’t work for hockey this time. Anyway, best wishes to the Nittany Lions on the bold initiative.

>> So much for the Central? The Pirates fall three back. Rob Biertempfel reports from Chicago.

Will the Cubs ever rise up? History isn’t with them, obviously. Travis Sawchik has that.

Here’s our full Pirates coverage.

Here’s Reds news from the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Here are official game highlights from MLB.com.

Aerial Views Of The London 2012 Olympic Venues

>> Yeah, both teams will be 0-3, and I won’t be the only trying to come up with derisive nicknames for the event such as Relegation Bowl. But the broader picture of being back here at the site of the 2012 Olympics is seeing how the Brits respond to our national pastime. That’ll be the Friday column.

Couple links, if you’re looking ahead: This is NFLUK.com, and this is WembleyStadium.com.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage. They’ll be landing here tomorrow morning.

Here’s the latest on the Vikings from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

>> Apologies to all for the delayed Morning Java posting, but I’m pretty sure I was somewhere over Iceland when it usually goes up.

There’ll be much more from here in the shadows of both Big Bens over the next few days, and I can’t begin to tell you how much I’m looking forward to it all even after having spent a month here last summer.

Not least of the experience will be the incredible sight of seeing Pittsburgh’s signature franchise playing in the world signature’s stadium …

Cheers!

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. Kevin says:

    ha! I was just about to ask… where’s the morning java?

  2. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hi Kevin, where is everybody ?

  3. Tom P. says:

    Still posting under the previous thread.

  4. Milo Hamilton says:

    Tony Kornheiser describing his penchant for sea sickness, “I don’t like the water. My people wandered the desert for 40 years.”

  5. War Horse says:

    This, as we say, is a must see into the evil natures of some fans at baseball parks:

  6. Jandy says:

    :waving:

    I’m here!

  7. Jandy says:

    Slap that beyotch!

  8. NMR says:

    I bet she even booed David Wright.

  9. Jandy says:

    Jim S. says:

    September 26, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Good morning all! Boy, the Bucs made life a lot more difficult this weekend with that dysmal offensive showing yesterday. But, nothing worthwhile in life comes easy, and nothing has come easy for this team all year. I still think they will have a successful weekend in Cincinnati, and get back to PNC for the WC game next Tuesday.

    I have no idea what to expect of the Steelers in London. I just don’t. They seem like a mess to me, and I wonder if the rookie RB is coming back a week or two early in part because the QB decided to call out his manhood.

    The Pens seem to be playing fairly well of late in the pre-season, although I admit I have not seen any of the action. They have issues, but still a ton of firepower.

    So, on that note, how would you rank the 3 GMs of Pittsburgh’s 3 pro sports teams right now and why? I’ll start the ball rolling.

    1. Neal Huntington – Very impressive showing over the past year or two, especially. But, the evidence is now pretty clear that the groundwork has been set for several years as far as putting this franchise back on sound footing.

    2. Ray Shero – My opinion was he changed the roster too much heading into post-season last year, but it is hard to argue with his overall track record.

    3. Kevin Colbert – It is also hard to argue with the total body of work for Mr. Colbert, but I think things started going backwards a few years ago and the decline may be accelerating.

  10. Milo Hamilton says:

    That’s better. :)

  11. Jandy says:

    Dom says:

    September 26, 2013 at 9:59 am

    I guess we should be delighted to have three A grade caliber GMs in our town.

    Jandy says:

    September 26, 2013 at 10:01 am

    That’s a tough one Jim.
    I’m a hockey nut, so I’m gonna put Shero first. I don’t think he added too much for the playoff run last season, I think the pieces he added were mis-managed.

    Second, I’ll put Neal Huntingdon. He’s come a looonggg way the last two years and his results speak for themselves.

    Third is Colbert. The decline must be reversed. Can we get Bill Cowher to come back and help?

    LuckyNKentucky says:

    September 26, 2013 at 10:28 am

    +1

    21sthebest says:

    September 26, 2013 at 10:29 am

    I’m a baseball nut and I’ll put Shero first!

  12. Jandy says:

    Dom says:

    September 26, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Shero #1 in my book. The Pens are contenders if not the favorites to win the cup every year.

    Colbert #2. Although the Steelers in regressing they’ve been so good for so long it’s hard to ignore what’s he’s done.

    Huntington #3. Doesn’t mean he’s bad. He probably has the toughest job out of the three men.

  13. Jandy says:

    Dejan said:
    “And I dare say, even though I lead with Ben Roethlisberger, the signature item exposes my serious man-crush on Olli Maatta.”

    There’s still hope for you, Dejan :D

  14. 21sthebest says:

    I bet by the end of the day tomorrow that woman will have been on 3 or 4 evening cable news shows, 3 network morning shows, and have a book deal.

  15. No man-crush for Ben, huh? Guess everyone can’t be Nate McLouth.

    BTW, that doesn’t look much like Heinz Field. Too much red.

  16. Jandy says:

    tpbco says:

    September 26, 2013 at 10:37 am

    I agree that if anything Shero may have over done it at the trade deadline last year, don’t think it was intentional, but the deals must have just fallen in his lap and snowballed and when Sid came back after the first game, then chemistry was problematic.

    It would have to be shown to me that Colbert is doing significantly worse in the draft from prior years. Every draft has/had gimmes, steals and busts. What has changed, due to the salary cap problems, is the inability to sign FAs like Farrior, Clark, Jeff Hartings, Ray Seales, Kevin Greene, etc to “cover up” any busts or holes. Now those busts (if they truly are, rather than just inexperienced) are a lot more visible because they are forced to play.

    Huntington does deserve credit, but after 20 years (yes I know he isn’t responsible for all of them) I think he still has more to do. This year obviously is great. Next year and the year after will demonstrate whether there is truly a positive trend here, rather than a one and done. The Nats thought they turned the corner too, after one successful year. How he maintains and improves the organization form this point may be a little more challenging than not.

    All that said, we’re lucky to have 3 GM’s even in the conversation.

  17. Jandy says:

    You’d prolly win that bet!

  18. Jandy says:

    Kevin says:

    September 26, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Jim, if there’s one good thing about the situation with the pirates. Their opponent in the upcoming series looked as lost yesterday or moreso than the pirates. Reds getting 4-hit shutout by Dice-K. And that’s not my opinion. I was listening to MLB radio on XM on the way in this morning.

    To answer your other question:

    1. Ray Shero – he has been a wizard mastermind since joining the penguins.

    2. Neal Huntingdon – some people on here believe that aliens stole Neal’s brain and replaced it with something fantastical this past season. He clearly has been way better lately but I’ll give him another year before even considering whether he’s in the same league as TGRS.

    3. Distant third. It’s probably not fair but everybody says the steelers keep getting older every year and the window is all but closed at this point. Gruden said quite spectacularly “getting younger doesn’t exactly mean better”. I don’t see much positive coming down the pipeline as I do with the pirates.

  19. Jandy says:

    And still only 19!! That’s the best part about Maatta…so much to look forward to from defensemen in the next couple years…

  20. Milo Hamilton says:

    This week’s Steelers game brings to mind this gem from the great John McKay, “Well, we’ve determined that we can’t win at home and we can’t win on the road. What we need is a neutral site.”

  21. A picture of where you were would have been awesome, if it weren’t just black landscapes! :)

  22. Milo Hamilton says:

    Yeah, and maybe in 5 years or so they’ll even give him a chance to be on the team.

  23. Jandy says:

    perfect!

  24. Jandy says:

    won’t take that long Milo. I know it HAS been a long time for defensemen lately…but with Orpik and Scuds getting “older”, that will change. Martin isn’t young either. This team will HAVE to get younger in a year or two. Don’t want them to follow in the way of the Steelers. Yeah, I said it!

  25. Jim S. says:

    + many.

  26. 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 :)

  27. Jim S. says:

    Great one, Milo. How about this one from McKay, when asked for his thoughts on his team’s execution: “I’m in favor of it.”

  28. Jim S. says:

    Great comments by everyone on my GM question. I wondered how that would shake out, and maybe it would change if more people weighed in. I guess my take would be that, given the situation Huntington inherited he has done a stellar job. I, like a lot of people, was not ready to accept that he was doing a good job until fairly recently. I think that is because of all the baggage that has been attached to that franchise for so many years through its own fault. Also, his boss has not helped the perception of the organization with some of his very public blunders, and that, for better or worse, has attached itself to Huntington to a large degree. Finally, even though it appears now that true progress has been made for several years internally for the Bucs, it is hard to accept looking at it from the outside until actual W-L success is achieved and sustained.

    Huntington is now starting to get credit for the turnaound. His challenge now is to: A) sustain the success on the field that has been realized this season; and B) take the on-field success of this season to the next level and bring a WS Champion back to the Pirates. The other 2 GMs in town have realized that level of success.

  29. My favorite one of all time, Jim.

  30. Jim S. says:

    He has a man crush on Olli Maata and that’s “all that mattas.”

  31. theplanisworking says:

    Jim McKay:

    All-Time great at USC……………….
    relegated to coaching the Bucs….. (but compensated for it).

  32. theplanisworking says:

    You DO bite !!!

    But at least you had your shots…………… ;)

  33. So the Vikes lose a home game over this nonsense and we don’t, is that right?

  34. mmd says:

    I am probably a bigger baseball fan than any other sport. And I am grateful for what Huntingdon has done for the Pirates. However I can’t say that he is better at his job than Colbert. The man has been to 3 Super Bowls and won 2. I don’t think he needs Cowher to be sucessful.

  35. Well said, Jim.

    And get some clutch hitting for next season. (even though there is no such thing).

    We could have won over 100 games with some actual timely hitting or even, as Milo and the rest of us say, some fly balls with men on 3rd and less than 2 outs.

  36. Milo Hamilton says:

    Yes sir. Nonsense is the perfect word.

  37. Jim S. says:

    You want a window into a person’s soul? Well, there it is. Lotsa luck living that one down, ma’am.

  38. Bizrow says:

    ++++++++++++

  39. Scott says:

    At this point you have to root for the Cardinals to finish with the NL’s best record and get the top seed. If the Bucs do win the wild card, I think the Cards would be a much better matchup than the Dodgers or Braves.

  40. I tempered it a little bit.

  41. theplanisworking says:

    The Nonsense Football League.

  42. Jim was great on ABC, El Hippo Dorko, but I don’t think he every coached USC.

    :D

  43. Sounds better than BSFL.

  44. theplanisworking says:

    If I had to be restricted by saying “right now” to rank the GM’s…………

    1) Shero
    2) Huntington
    3) Colbert.

    If looking at overall body of work………….

    1) Shero
    2) Colbert
    3) Huntington.

    If I wanted to be a wizeass, I would rank all the armchair GM’s on this blog #1. ;)

  45. theplanisworking says:

    OOPS!!!!

    LOL!!!

    My bad……….. actually, Jim>John.

  46. theplanisworking says:

    Yes it does.

    But it is all the same result. :(

  47. Jandy says:

    “IF”
    ???
    :P
    :fleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee:

  48. Jim S. says:

    I was thinking that as well, Lucky. This team was built to win on pitching and defense. They have been successful with that strategy this year. But, I feel they have been pretty fortunate with the close games this year, and that usually reverses itself in the following season. I have actually read analysis on that phenomenon for 1-run wins. Baltimore is a great example – best 1-run record in MLB last year, worst in MLB this year. They are probably a better overall team this year, but you just can’t win a high % of close games year after year. It evens out.

    So, in a round-about way, what I am trying to say is I agree that the Bucs need more offense next year even given the strong pitching and defense. If they keep playing so many 1-0, 2-1, 3-2, 3-1, 4-2 games next years, I think there is a very good chance their record will be impacted negatively just from the law of averages.

    On the other hand, if they can become a little more like St. Louis, and have the ability to rout teams more often, while continuing to hold down opponent scoring they can still improve their record. We need to upgrade our offense at 1b and RF, as we all know.

  49. Arriba Wilver says:

    Can’t root for the Cards.

    Won’t root for the Cards.

    If we’re going to win this thing we will have to beat Atlanta or LA at some point.

  50. theplanisworking says:

    Your % just lowered. :D

    Later, troublemaker!!!

    : fleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee : yourself ;)

  51. Kevin says:

    I disagree with your overall body of work ranking without some explanation why you put Shero ahead of Colbert. Afterall, Colbert’s produced 2 super bowl winners where Shero only has one cup winner. If it were me, I would argue that the Stanley Cup is alot more difficult to win… and Shero’s put a product on the ice since 2008 that has been truly elite. but I don’t want to put words in your hippo mouth ;)

  52. Jandy says:

    LOL! Not skeeeeered :P

  53. Jandy says:

    Good job, Kevin ;)

  54. Baywatch says:

    Morning, All! So I guess the only way we win the division is if we sweep ours and the Cardinals lose all three of theirs? (DO THE MATH, BAY!) I don’t much see the Cubs sweeping the Cardinals. ‘Specially in St. Louey.

  55. theplanisworking says:

    Wait…………. you disagree with me putting Shero ahead of Colbert, then you give reasons why Shero should be ahead of Colbert!

    WHAT ????

  56. Jandy says:

    unfortunately, I believe you’re correct, Bay Man.
    How is your day going??

  57. Kevin says:

    I also agree with AW. I personally believe we’ll have to beat both Atl & LA. Because the cards suck, I think they’ll lose atleast one possibly two to the cubbies this weekend. St. Louis will then lose to the dodgers.

    LA will then face us in the NLCS. Yes, I’m predicting that we beat the reds 2 out of 3 then beat them in the Wild card and then beat the Braves handily. Pirates will then get rolled over by the dodgers who will then get absobucnlutely steamrolled by the BoSox.

  58. Jandy says:

    haha he wants to agree with you, and even put the words in your mouth, Hipposter ;)

  59. cmat0829 says:

    Pretty sure the Vikings are well compensated for giving up the home game… plus they have relied on the NFL for help in getting a new stadium up in Minnesota, so it’s no coincidence the vikes are playing in london this year.

    The Jags, who never sell out, have volunteered to move 1 game a year for the next 4 to London, pretty sure it’s in their financial interest to do so.

    We can certainly ‘not like’ the NFL games in London, but I don’t think we need to fret about teams losing home games as a reason to dislike it.

  60. theplanisworking says:

    Huh?
    You congratulate someone for making my argument for me, yet disagrees with my ranking?
    Whatever it is you are smoking, I want some!

  61. Kevin says:

    nope I don’t disagree with the ranking. I disagree with the lack of support to explain what isn’t obvious to a non-puck head.

  62. Jandy says:

    Nah, you got it all wrong, Hipposter. Kevin is giving you a run for that wizeass title! :P :P :P
    :fleeeeeeeeeeeeee:

  63. Jim S. says:

    Jim McKay was good. Wide World of Sports and Olympics, right plan?

  64. theplanisworking says:

    Gotcha.

    I wasnt aware that I had to give explanations.

    I have problems typing, spelling, a nd forming thoughts on most days, and you want to torture me with that stuff, and the dreaded Jandy disease????

    Some friend you are……………………. ;)

  65. 21sthebest says:

    Well we definitely need better situational hitting but we’ve improved our record in one run games each of the past 3 years. Looks like about 7 or 8 teams have a better record in 1 run games this year than we do.

  66. Jim S. says:

    Otherwise, we weren’t going. Sometimes it is good to be one of the league’s marquee franchises. But, if I am a Vikes fan, that is rubbish.

  67. Jandy says:

    But, but, but…we <3 you, Hipposter :)

  68. Jim S. says:

    Good stuff, plan. There is definitely a distinction in timeframe. I agree with you on overall body of work. Huntington definitely slides to #3.

  69. cmat0829 says:

    Tough loss yesterday in Wrigley… giving up HRs is a killer, and something this Pirates staff has been OUTSTANDING in avoiding all year… McDonald had a good look at Liriano all day..and Frankie missed location on this pitch by about a foot. The loss though is chalked up to the offense… lots and lots of chances with runners on base and weak, pathetic atbats. That has to get better.

    The division is over, and it really didn’t matter if the Bucs won yesterday or not. The Cards are not gonna let this slip away with home games vs. Cubs…this division race was over when the Cards won 2 of 3 in Milwaukee and swept Nationals at home. Bucs really helped the cause by the 2 games they blew with 9th inning leads last week, but even with those wins, I still see the Cards sweeping the Cubs and that would have left the Bucs in 2nd place at best.

    The Playoffs start tomorrow, with Friday’s game being HUGE. If the Bucs win, they need only win one of the two games on the weekend, puts all the pressure on the Reds. If they lose, they will need to win both games Saturday and Sunday and all the pressure is on the Bucs. For many reasons we need to host the wildcard game at PNC, and perhaps the biggest would be the momentum Cincy will build by winning the series and the confidence the Reds will have in beating the Bucs at home…..

    LETS GO AJ, LETS GO BUCS

  70. Baywatch says:

    Going well, Jandy.

  71. theplanisworking says:

    See Jandy, Kevin……… A REAL FRIEND !!!! ;)

    If Huntington continues to do well, he will someday climb the chart.

    Gotta run.

    Later, loons…………. :D

  72. cmat0829 says:

    this was a message to Minnesota lawmakers…pass the bill to fund a new stadiium or you will lose more than one home game… you will lose your team to a city that will pony up more $$. The fans are not the consideration, unfortunately. But Vikes fans should not be angry at the NFL, they should be angry at the Vikes owners, they have to agree to this.

  73. theplanisworking says:

    : flooooooooooooooo :
    and no, not the insurance chick.

  74. Kevin says:

    you didn’t hafta… Shero>Colbert is a bold statement IMO and I just wanted to see something more. Sorry if I upset you :-P

  75. Jim S. says:

    Correct, ain’t happening Bay. The Cards have been “red-headed stepchilding” the Cubs forever.

  76. theplanisworking says:

    No, you didnt upset me at all.
    I got a huge chuckle out of the conundrum you puty yourself in.

    Actually, I think that a 4th GM deserves even more praise……. the GM of the RiverPuppies. To see where that team has come to from where they came from is amazing.

    But, what do I know? ;)

  77. Jim S. says:

    I think the biggest reason we need to host the WC game is that Francisco has not been good on the road. In fact, he has been very weak the 2nd half of the season on the road. He has continued to be dominant at PNC. That park is tailor made for him.

    If we end up playing the 4th game in GABP, I would definitely have a plan going in to relieve FL early. Bullpen by committee needs to be in full effect, if needed, as I suspect.

  78. Jandy says:

    Beautiful, Hipposter…including the Riverhounds’ GM is perfect.

  79. Jim S. says:

    Ok, anybody want to weigh in on a ranking of the 3 head coaches / Managers? You can give current status as well as body of work, if you like. For me:

    Current Status:

    1) CH
    2) DB
    3) MT

    Body of Work:

    1) MT
    2) DB
    3) CH

  80. NMR says:

    And Baltimore has been awful in 1-run games because their bullpen failed, not luck.

  81. Iceman says:

    Pens announce that they have reassigned Zach Sill, Brian Doumilin, and Harry Z to WBS. Harry Z has to pass waivers before being allowed to play for WBS.

    I’m a little bit surprised that Harry Z gets reassigned already. I felt he had a pretty decent preseason. I’m also a little disappointed that he gets reassigned because that would lead me to believe that Tanner Glass sticks around. I thought Zolnercyk did what Glass does and does it better and cheaper. I think he would be one of the forwards I keep on the team, even if he is just a sub on the bench.

  82. theplanisworking says:

    How about we weigh in on the 3 mascots?

    I like IceBurgh. ;)

    AND……………………… I’m out on that one !!! :D

  83. NMR says:

    Some day, maybe when they win their 3rd World Series, people will actually give St Louis credit.

    They are the last team anybody should want to play right now.

  84. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, but our 2-run record is even better than 1-run. I should have clarified that. My example for Balt was 1-run. But, I think 1 & 2 are similar games, and I believe we have rung up quite the 2-run record. I also think our situational hitting will get better. I read something recently that showed our offensive slash line as a team is very similar to last year, but we have scored something like 35 less runs. Fortunately, as the close game record shows, we have placed our runs fairly well this year.

  85. Arriba Wilver says:

    Just ask the Nats. ;-)

  86. Kevin says:

    Parrot has to be the best mascot. In terms of concept AND execution. I like Iceburgh but not enough to put him ahead of the parrot. And steelers don’t have a mascot. Unless you are thinking of that big ugly orange steel worker dude… Steely McBeam? He might be the worst mascot ever conceived.

  87. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jim was really good in Woody Allen’s Banana’s.

  88. 21sthebest says:

    Pretty good article on the P2 site on this topic Jim.

  89. Jim S. says:

    Yes, NMR, their bullpen has failed this year and their bullpen over-performed last year. Rob Neyer did a great analysis several years ago that showed over many seasons what happens with 1-run win %. There is a pretty clear pattern that can be predicted with a decent degree of accuracy. Still humans playing the games, though. Nothing is set in stone.

  90. NMR says:

    The myth that Francisco Liriano has not been good on the road stems from one stat, ERA. That stat has been heavily skewed by two bad starts in which he should’ve been pulled long before Hurdle waddled out of the dugout.

  91. NMR says:

    And the Braves.

    And the Reds, for that matter.

  92. Kevin says:

    Why’d you put Michel Therrien as 1st for Body of Work? I’m kidding of course.

    Not sure how you can put tomlin ahead of bylsma in body of work. They’ve both won a cup and they’re both questionable at coaching. I would put Bylsma ahead for some of the same reasons as I would for TGRS. IMO! its more difficult to maintain the energy needed for an 82 game season and 16+ game playoff than it is for a 16 game + 4 game NFL season.

    Also disagree about current status, all of the coaches are on shaky ground IMO. My current and body would be identical:

    1) DB
    2) MT
    3) CH

  93. Arriba Wilver says:

    I was thinking of last year’s playoffs when they came back from being something like 6 runs down in the 7th playing the Nats,

  94. AL says:

    Anyone else feel as I do that this whole “must clear waivers” thing is not really fair to teams who draft well and want to hang on to all of their talent?

  95. NMR says:

    Oh I’m with you on that.

    Further, the Braves and Kris Medlen were picked to win the WC game last year as well.

    And the Reds were picked to win the Central this year.

  96. Jandy says:

    A good read on playing left/right wing and a quote from Beau Bennett:
    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog.php?post_id=54254

  97. Kevin says:

    Yes, the nats who almost got no-hit by the rookie Wacha. I want to play the cards just to prove it that we are better… I don’t think we’ll get the chance though. Like I said above, I think the dodgers beat them in round 1.

  98. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m not real big on “matchups.” Think Padres.

    Just win, Baby!

  99. Jim S. says:

    Hurdle is on shaky ground?

    Good point about Byslma vs. Tomlin body of work. That one is close to a toss up, although that might not be the case after this season for Tomlin.

    I would also say I believe that Hurdle and Tomlin are better at the interpersonal stuff with the players than tactically. I don’t know that I can answer that for DB. The players seem to respect him. His tactics have been called to question quite a bit in the last year, although I thought the perception of him was that he was a master tactician before that.

  100. Arriba Wilver says:

    See my reply at 12:25.

  101. Jandy says:

    DB is close to his players. Sometimes he is to much of a friend, and not enough of a coach.

  102. hockeymonster says:

    Kumbaya times 1000 iceman. Was just about to go off about the same thing. Glad you came around on Harry Z. This probably means it will be engelland over despres as well. Wonder if we can pull HZ back if he gets claimed? But looks like shero couldnt trade glass or eat his contract. Guess they’re counting on injuries to fix their roster issues but the way i see it is that shero and bylsma are limiting the experience Harry Z, dumoulin and despres need if they’re going to be helpful around playoff time. Hope they’re just buying some time till those guys can get onto the roster.

  103. Jim S. says:

    Home – 73.2 inn., 45 hits, 2 HR, 26 BB, 72 K, .174 bat avg., 0.96 WHIP

    Road – 87.1 inn., 89 hits, 7 HR, 37 BB, 91 K, .261 bat avg., 1.44 WHIP

    These are just the raw #’s. He has been a far better pitcher in PNC this year, although that is helped somewhat by PNC being a “pitcher’s park.”

    I don’t disagree, NMR, that he has had some blow-up innings on the road. But, I also think he has pitched a lot better at home.

  104. Jandy says:

    The numbers back that up, Jim.

  105. NMR says:

    You’re right, he has pitched a lot better at home.

    Good thing that “pitched a lot better at home” doesn’t equate to “has not been good on the road”.

  106. Iceman says:

    I’m not sure I’ve come around on him. I still think he’s dirty. That said, I still think he offers more than Glass for less.

    Regarding Despres and Doumilin, I’m ok with sending them down because if they are here they don’t get playing time. I want them on the ice getting experience. Then, whenever one of our older d-men (because it is when, not if) they can be brought up and put on the ice.

  107. Jim S. says:

    In fairness to NMR, he did not say Liriano has been better on the road than home. He only said it is a myth that Liriano has not pitched well on the road. And he based that partly on Hurdle leaving him in too long a few times. Liriano’s road stats would seem to back that up.

    My argument was different, in that I said he is dominant at home much moreso than on the road. I think we have a much better chance with Liriano pitching at home against any team than on the road. But, I’m sure our overall pitching has been far superior at home. The Bucs and Reds are both very good home teams, so the advantage will tilt heavily toward the team with the home game.

  108. Jim S. says:

    Which I was typing at the same time you were typing this.

  109. NMR says:

    At some point, cities are going to get smart and realize the issue-massive-debt-for-my-private-stadium scheme is stupid.

    If you are the NFL, does it make sense to allow a franchise like the Vikings to move form a profitable city to one without a team when many of your current home cities are struggling for attendence?

  110. Jim S. says:

    But, I also thought I read that his road stats of late were pretty bad. I could be wrong about that part, but that is my perception.

  111. Arriba Wilver says:

    As 21 tried to point out, if the question is should Liriano pitch in the Wild Card if it’s in Cincy, JAL’s link #4 has an interesting, maybe compelling, look at it:

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/09/should-francisco-liriano-start-the-wild-card-game-on-the-road.html

  112. Jim S. says:

    Thanks, 21. I read a tweet from Travis, I believe, suggesting such a strategy. Maybe it was one of their other guys.

  113. Jim S. says:

    But, that rookie is nasty. Maybe Gerrit Cole nasty.

  114. Jim S. says:

    :-)

    Their hitting w RISP may be inflated this year. Ok, it is inflated this year. But, the fact is that is a team full of professional hitters. I never underestimate them.

  115. hockeymonster says:

    I think the development of Despres would be stunted by sending him back down. Dumoulin could use the playing time after being hurt but they both need to take the next step, especially despres but contracts are in the way. The top 7 i proposed would also give us more cap room just not sure whats possible for mr. shero.

  116. Jandy says:

    Gotcha!

    You and NMR both know your stuff :)

  117. Brotherhood of the Redus says:

    Ben R. needs help up front. We all know what a good quartherback with no protection looks like…his name is Matt Stafford out of the lineup almost every year and never quite reaching his full potential

  118. Brotherhood of the Redus says:

    Oh and you all are going to LOVE bell come monday morning….trust

  119. 21sthebest says:

    Hey Wink, are you going to take this to Cutch v. Sid v. Ben? :-)

  120. Iceman says:

    I know you’ll say that he can replace Martin, but you know I don’t agree. My problem with Despres being brought up is that we are left with the following pairs:

    Letang – Scuderi
    Martin – Orpik
    Niskanen – Bortuzzo

    Bench: Engelland (I’m fine with Engelland sitting on the bench to fill in occationally.
    Despres

    I know Despres needs some playing time, but after watching the preseason, I don’t think he plays over any of the top six. I’d rather him be playing in WBS and then when one of the top six gets hurt, he can be brought up to fill in.

  121. hockeymonster says:

    Playing the off side isnt a big deal for some but is for others. Trading for iginla wasnt the problem. Trading for him without a clear plan was.

  122. NMR says:

    My issue with that logic is we, presumably, aren’t using these stats simply to evaluate how he DID perform, we’re using them to predict how he WILL perform.

    One season’s worth of home/road splits is already a small sample size, and we all know how good those are at predictions. Narrowing that sample down even further seems to just make that problem worse.

  123. The Justice Avenger says:

    Was talking with a friend of mine earlier today. He suggested the Pirates start Cole for the Playoff game and Frankie on Sunday for the season finale. Hmmm… Thoughts?

  124. Jim S. says:

    Good post, Arriba. I think he should start the game, regardless of location. He is just too good vs. lefties not to start. I think he has pitched better in PNC, both against the Reds and against the league. Nothing I have seen changes my opinion on that.

    My sense is he is tiring a bit late in the season. It is just a gut feel on my part. That is why I said I thought he should have been taken out after 5 tough innings yesterday. He doesn’t look like a guy who has a lot of 100+ pitch outings left in him this year. I believe Travis suggested going in with a lefty plan of Liriano, followed by 2 innings of Wilson and 2 innings of Watson for the WC game. I don’t know if those guys have 2 automatic innings in them. But, if they keep their pitch counts low, they can do it. They would be spent for the start of the next series, but I guess you worry about that later. Melancon is also tough on lefties. Interesting theory. You could also maybe get away with an inning with a RHP on the mound if it is not a Choo/Votto inning.

  125. Jandy says:

    Sid wins, hands down :)

  126. NMR says:

    What do you think it is that makes the Reds a good home team?

  127. Jandy says:

    excellent strategy!

  128. hockeymonster says:

    Piece, despres and bortuzzo most definitely can replace what PM does on the ice while giving us more cap space to retool. I’m not on the same kick to trade PM simply because i heard we tried moving him this off season but couldn’t. Just not sure what we wanted in return. I’d prioritize cap space over return.

    Thinking ahead i’d rather re-sign orpik than have PM for another season after this one. And look at our record with despres in the lineup last season.

  129. Jandy says:

    What I found amusing was suggesting that Bennett was dissing Iginla…which I am sure was never what Bennett intended.

    Iginla wasn’t used properly. But others weren’t either. That’s on DB.

  130. Jim S. says:

    But, he has only been in the NL and only at PNC for one year. Aren’t those the most relevant stats? And, aren’t the most recent starts the most relevant ones?

    I agree that you can’t totally rely on stats. We have all been guilty of looking at batter vs. pitching stats and giving Hurdle a hard time for starting one guy vs. another. Sometimes, he goes off the reservation, in our opinions, and very often he ends up being right. I am confident he is right about those things a lot more than I could be. This is what he does for a living.

  131. Jandy says:

    You need to come up to the threads Jim S. and NMR have going…same topic…and it’s all good stuff. :)

  132. hockeymonster says:

    Ya i didnt think he was talking about iginla either.

  133. Jandy says:

    When will you ever learn, Iceman?? ;)

  134. hockeymonster says:

    Jandy, we’re having a very dignified chat about the roster. Dont hate :)

  135. Jim S. says:

    Most teams are better at home than on the road. I assume the Reds are better at home than on the road for the same reasons as for other teams. They tailor their ball club for their park – hitting, defense, pitching. They are more comfortable with their park because they play there so often. Maybe they are comfortable sleeping in their own beds. They have fan support in their own park. I’m sure it is a combination of a lot of things.

  136. The Justice Avenger says:

    thanks…just got back in and quick ran this on…I’ll check check…thanks, jandy.

  137. 21sthebest says:

    I know, I know…. And hockey players are the most conditioned athletes and the Cup is the most difficult championship to win.

  138. Jandy says:

    I never hate :D

  139. Jandy says:

    hey no worries :)

  140. Jandy says:

    I couldn’t have said it any better :D

  141. Jim S. says:

    I believe Hurdle already said he does not like FL’s chances with 3 days rest. He has done it before in his career, but Hurdle said he does not like that right now.

  142. tdb1977 says:

    No, the worse mascot was Jolly Roger the Pirates came up with a couple of years ago.

  143. Drew71 says:

    Montgomery Inn

  144. gregenstein says:

    We are quick to criticize. It is my hope that, one day, people will wake up and realize how good the coaches are in this town.

    Every coach makes questionable decisions. I’m so glad the GM’s in this town don’t care what gets posted on message boards and said on talk radio.

  145. Jim S. says:

    I think you just did. :-)

  146. Kevin says:

    I ended up watching the penguin game last night. During a “pause in the action” they showed Kris Letang working out. It was fantastic. Jumping over hurdles that looked like they were 5 ft tall.

    I really don’t think you can compare hockey vs any other sport in terms of athleticism of the players.

  147. tdb1977 says:

    If the Pirates have won the first two in the series, then start Cumpton on Sunday. That way Cole can go on Tuesday in the WC and use FL out of the bullpen.

  148. gregenstein says:

    No, I can’t really say I have a problem with it. If Shero’s going to acquire defensemen out the wha-zoo for the purpose of having trade bait, then he should be using said trade bait more often.

  149. Jandy says:

    I don’t think we’re saying they’re not good. Most of us are saying we are blessed to have three great teams/coaches in Pittsburgh.

  150. Kevin says:

    you mean Niskanen over Despres, right?

  151. Jandy says:

    LOL Jim!

  152. Jim S. says:

    Very good ribs, Drew. I try to make a point of stopping in when I’m in Cincy.

  153. tdb1977 says:

    If Cole is going to be the number 1 guy in the staff next year or the year after – make him go against the best now. He is already a bulldog and has shown already this season he can step up in the big situations. The game the other night in Chicago, where it could have gotten out of hand quickly, he shut the threat down and moved on. Plus, his bat at the bottom of the order can help as well. He has 5 runs batted in and if my memory serves me correctly – has more hits than the other starters this year.

  154. Jandy says:

    Kevin, if dedication and work ethic are indicators of everything, Letang and Crosby should be two of the best players in the NHL (and many thing they are). Those two work out like crazy. And their play shows it. The Pens’ website has had these videos posted thru the past several months. There were also some of Geno. Amazing.

  155. Jandy says:

    You just said something I didn’t have the cajones to say…thanks tdb :)

  156. Jim S. says:

    Terrific point, tdb!!

  157. NMR says:

    No, unless there is a distinct change in skill, I don’t believe the most recent starts are the most relevant ones. Way too much inherent variation in the game for me to look at it that way.

  158. Jim S. says:

    But, there is a lot of merit in a lot of people’s minds that Liriano is so good vs. lefties that he needs to start that game. I am actually in that camp. Maybe Liriano followed by Cole if Liriano falters a bit or runs out of gas early?

  159. NMR says:

    Makes sense to me, Jim.

    I was surprised to see that the Reds only had two more homeruns than the Pirates, despite the big difference in home parks.

  160. Jim S. says:

    Hard to argue with your logic, tdb. There is no simple answer here. Of course, if Clint gets it wrong, we all reserve the right to jump all over him on Wed of next week. Haha!

  161. gregenstein says:

    If it’s me, I start Cole if the game has playoff implications and either Brandon Cumpton or Jeff Locke if it doesn’t. So basically, if the Bucs win the 1st 2 against Cincy, Sunday’s game is lob-fest from Locke/Cumpton. Any other scenario, Cole.

    I have to agree with Hurdle in that Liriano hasn’t started on short rest all season. I’m not necessarily “saving” him for the coin flip game; I’d just rather go with the Cole on regular rest if the game means anything.

  162. Arriba Wilver says:

    Next year is irrelevant to a one game playoff this year. Sounds good saying it, but not really relevant IMO.

  163. Jim S. says:

    Conditioning or athleticism, Kevin? Of the big 4 team sports, I think hockey players are undoubtedly the best conditioned. Best athletes? Who is to say, but I would not count out basketball and skill position football players.

  164. tdb1977 says:

    I just want to win this game on Tuesday. I don’t care if its here, there, or on Pluto! Put the best man on the mound and let him hurl. He falters any, have the next man up and ready to go. And just keep going.

    I went back and looked at the stats from the 9 hole for hitting. Cole does in fact lead the team in hits from the P spot with 7. 7 for 37. Leads the team in BA for a picture at .206. Has walked once. Leads the team with 5 rbis. Scored 3 runs.

    His month of September has been outstanding in terms of pitching. He is right now, our best pitcher for the wild card game. If he cant get up for the challenge to move his team on to the next round, then is he really going to be our number 1 picture moving forward?

  165. Jim S. says:

    That’s interesting, NMR. So, no “hot hand” ever getting preference? There is no way of knowing, of course. I would say a large majority would disagree with you. But, that doesn’t mean the large majority would be right, either.

  166. Arriba Wilver says:

    Montgomery Inn is where we went to celebrate my daughter’s graduation from Miami of Ohio.

  167. Jandy says:

    I’d love to see him get the chance. I do believe this is the minority opinion, tho lol

  168. The Justice Avenger says:

    We are having a conversation about the Pirates in POST SEASON. How cool is this?! I understand everyone’s points…all good, indeed. I personally say Cole. The guy has the hot arm right now. He has been the best pitcher the past several starts, followed closely by Charlie.

  169. Jandy says:

    Either one is the way to go…but you gotta keep a short lease on things. I’m glad I don’t have to be the coach and make the decision!

  170. Jandy says:

    Sweet to do this, indeed :)

  171. Jim S. says:

    I have been saying that the Reds are actually a lot more like the Pirates than conventional thinking says. Their pitching staff is better than people believe, and their hitting is not as good. The reverse is probably true of the Pirates, which is why I say they are similar.

    Park factor is always huge in evaluating MLB performance. Cutch and Pedro in GABP for 81 games per year? Oh my!

  172. Drew71 says:

    Miami of Ohio?

    Her mother must be smart.

  173. Jandy says:

    Give it a rest, you two :P

  174. 21sthebest says:

    Selig announces retirement effective January 2015.

  175. Jandy says:

    ZING!

    Arriba has already conceded that point, to be fair :)

  176. Jim S. says:

    Arriba,

    I have had 2 nephews graduate from Miami (OH) in the last 3 years. Strong school. Stunning campus. My daughter, who is a HS senior, took a look there for next year. Ultimately, she didn’t choose it, but she loved it. Just got an offer she couldn’t refuse.

  177. hockeymonster says:

    Well im not in a huge hurry to trade nisky…engelland at this point is easier to replace. Was referring to 7th dman spot.

  178. Drew71 says:

    Brewers. Ravens. Mets.

  179. Jandy says:

    Throw a party!!!!! I’ll bring the wine (red if 21 wants that). Schedule the fireworks! Who’s bringing the food????

  180. Jandy says:

    LOL Drewster ;)

  181. Jim S. says:

    We’re playing nice, Jandy! :-)

  182. buggee says:

    I hoot every time I see that stupid little red charcoal grill in Grilli’s locker. He actually has to move around it to get and place stuff in there. hilarious.

    The wifelett likes the shark-shaped candy bowl. she also thinks Cutch is hot, though–and this is so very much like a woman–she wants to cut his hair. and let’s face it gals (finger pointed directly at Jandylicious), you tune in to the Grand Ole Game for the eye-candy, dontcha. Well, I’m here to tell ya, the Lil Wifelett was denied access to the PBC’s lockerroom, and that’s why we’re still happily wed.

    what’s goin’ on whackos? i missed all of you (as much as a person could miss a bunch of faceless bloggers). If anyone is keeping up with Breaking Bad, Walter’s current locale is not dissimilar to where I’ve been hanging over the last several weeks. that was just a FYI from your Ole Uncle Buggee. put it in your proverbial pipes and puff on it. and while you’re at it…

    RAISE IT YINZ SPUTTERING SHUTTLECOCKS!

    Bucs over the Sensornatti Deads in 2 out of 3 games this weekend.

    fearless prediction for the seismic waste-of-time-UK-bowl:
    Stillers – who the hell cares
    Vikings – who the hell cares, part deiux

    I’m digging Matta’s game, and Bennet’s, but can the puck drop on the regular season already???? please?

  183. Jim S. says:

    Agreed on all points, tdb. We actually kicked around a bit yesterday how good a hitter Cole is. I said that it bothers me that so many pitchers seem to not put any effort into getting better as hitters. Seems like a great way to help yourself out.

  184. Drew71 says:

    I’ll miss him. Really.

    Like when the Browns left. I missed having them to kick around.

  185. Jim S. says:

    I do prefer his paycheck to mine, though.

  186. NMR says:

    I’m not a true saber guy in that sense, Jim. I do think there is soooome truth to the “hot hand” theory, but only when it is reinforced by what we already know about that player.

    Do we sit Cutch because he’s 3-18? Of course not.

    Same logic applies to Liriano.

    The further a streak of any kind goes, the greater chance it ends.

  187. Kevin says:

    best conditioned AND the best athletes.

  188. The Justice Avenger says:

    WAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

  189. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m rooting for Frank to take his place. (Just get him out of here)

    Hi Frank!

  190. NMR says:

    Jandy, I think you brought up the best point yet.

    I give Hurdle plenty of grief, but even I think he will manage the WC game differently. If he handles the starting pitcher the same way he did yesterday – or frankly the other “big inning” games from AJ, Liriano, and Charlie – it will be a fireable offense.

    Yesterday’s start by Francisco is seen as a bad one. But if he were pulled when he should have been, 5 innings of one-run ball would make me perfectly content.

  191. Jandy says:

    buggeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Where ya been, friend????

    Tell the wifelet, she is NOT allowed to cut Cutch’s hair! The horror!!!! Doesn’t she remember the story of Samson and Delilah! Cut his hair, and he’s DONE! No scissors around #22!!!!!

    I admit to enjoying the eye candy in EVERY sport. And it’s easy to admit it :P

    Sorry, don’t do Breaking Bad.

    I’m READY for Hockey Season! bring it!!!!!

  192. Jandy says:

    I’ll refill it for ya, 21 :) :) :)

  193. Jim S. says:

    He needs to retire that bad rug.

  194. Kevin says:

    Nobody’s talked about the bench clearing brawl of ATL v MIL. I thought it was fantastic. Gomez hits a HR and trots around bases barking at everyone. The ATL catcher blocks the plate and gets up in his face and then the benches clear.

  195. Jim S. says:

    Could not agree more, NMR!

  196. 21sthebest says:

    I have no idea whatsoever how anyone can generalize that any sports athletes are better conditioned or are better athletes than that of any other sport. No idea. I wouldn’t even know how to begin an argument on the topic.

  197. The Justice Avenger says:

    21 – are replacement names being thrown around?

  198. Milo Hamilton says:

    Thank goodness the Pens sent Harry Zolnierczyk down. I was really starting to worry I wouldn’t be treated to another year of Dustin Jeffrey or Tanner Glass. Whew.

  199. Jandy says:

    Thanks guys, like I said, I learn from the best right here on this blog :)

  200. Jandy says:

    :snark alert:

  201. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, I’m not completely a “play the hot hand” guy, either. Ability is ability, and it finds its level.

  202. 21sthebest says:

    If we end up playing on Tuesday, hopefully Clint will be checking in with Russ regularly. :-)

  203. Jandy says:

    that’s my boys :D

  204. Jim S. says:

    Sid, 21!

  205. Jandy says:

    21, isn’t that the truth??!!!!

  206. Jandy says:

    21, the first way to test it yourself is, put on some skates and try to skate backwards, taking a puck with you , and don’t lose it when me or someone else tries to knock you on your patootie ;)

  207. 21sthebest says:

    Haven’t seen any yet today but I’m sure Alderson, McPhail, and Torre will be mentioned as they have been in the past.

  208. Jandy says:

    Takin’ a short break…another contract to get out…gotta concentrate on it. Catch Yinz soon :)

  209. gregenstein says:

    In the NFL, a 10-6 or 9-7 team is typically a wild card team or the winner of a relatively weak division.

    In the MLB, the closest thing to a 10-6 team is the Boston Red Sox. Most of the other teams resemble 9-7 teams. Try to remember that when you’re watching the the MLB playoffs this year. NONE of the teams are so stacked that they are unbeatable. Enjoy the ride!

  210. 21sthebest says:

    Well they took years of training to learn how to skate backwards just like it took years of training to hit 90+ mph fastballs, for example. I couldn’t do either. Only a certain number of guys can do what you suggest hockey players can do just like only a certain number of guys can do what baseball players do.

  211. Bizrow says:

    Is there a way we could get a petition going to ask them to take Slick Frank??

    PLEASE?? ;-)

  212. Adam says:

    By the way, last night Barmes and Hurdle were on the big screen at Coors Field separately paying tribute to Todd Helton, who was playing his last game in Denver. What a career – 17 years with the same team. And he homered in his first AB.

    My recap here: http://adamperrywrites.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/todd-helton-goes-out-in-style/

  213. Patrick(ri) says:

    Living in Red Sox Nation, I am acutely aware of just how awful they were last season and how unlikely it was they would go from worst to first after dumping all that salary. In a way, their seaon is more amazing than the Pirate’s.

  214. Arriba Wilver says:

    Maybe I should send an e-mail to CH reminding him what Leyland said in response to questions after the 1992 loss about why he brought in Belinda in the 9th instead of Walk or Wakefield. My recollection is it was along the lines of “you go with what brung ya.”

    How’d that work out? Gotta manage differently. (And Belinda was no shutdown closer, ever)

  215. Dom says:

    What are Isaac Redman’s motives for claiming he had a concussion in week 2 after informing the Steeler during that game medical staff that he was alright?

  216. Arriba Wilver says:

    No it isn’t . ;-)

  217. Dom says:

    I meant to say: What are Isaac Redman’s motives for claiming he had a concussion in week 2 after informing the Steeler medical staff during that game that he was alright?

  218. Arriba Wilver says:

    Is Sid a better athlete than Harper? Not a better person, but a more gifted athlete? They’re both athletic progidies.

  219. How many times is this now that he has retired?!

  220. 21sthebest says:

    I’ll go with the 91 wins and $66M payroll as more amazing than the 96 wins and $158M payroll.

  221. Jim S. says:

    I don’t know, but it is strange that they felt more comfortable keeping him than Dwyer. Not that Dwyer’s all that great, but Redman seems to be out all the time.

  222. Jim S. says:

    You don’t come around often enough, buggee. I always like your posts, the avatar is great, and any mind that comes up with “wifelett” should spend more time here.

  223. Arriba Wilver says:

    How so?

  224. Rhode Island Red!

    You need to get out more often! Or quit listening to that New England propaganda.

    Ellsbury, Pedroia, Papi, most importantly the starting pitching, didn’t leave

  225. Jandy says:

    Thanks for sharing :)

  226. The Justice Avenger says:

    thanks, 21. Personally, I am fan of Joe Torre.

  227. Jim S. says:

    Good question. Both are stellar athletes.

  228. Jandy says:

    Heartily Seconded!!!!

  229. The Justice Avenger says:

    Hey Buggee…as Jandy said…where the heck have you been?

  230. Arriba Wilver says:

    *Prodigies–Geez

  231. Jandy says:

    From a stamina viewpoint, AW. Harper could never keep up with Sid. That’s athletic. Not sure if I’m saying properly what I want to say, and I’m not being a wizeazz, seriously.

  232. Jandy says:

    AW, next you’ll be calling them pierogies! :P :P :P

  233. Jandy says:

    And dang, that’s not just athletic, that’s also conditioning.

  234. buggee says:

    red, absolutely! I’ll “settle” for a nice petit syrah. spellbound, 2010 should work

  235. 21sthebest says:

    “From a stamina viewpoint, AW. Harper could never keep up with Sid. That’s athletic. ”

    From a stamina standpoint, I bet neither of them could keep up with me and I’m not joking and I’ll be 50 in 17 days.

    And I’m not saying that’s a good measure of who the best athlete is. I’m saying you can’t measure it.

  236. The Justice Avenger says:

    He “tutored” under Selig…maybe Selig “hand picks” him.

  237. Jandy says:

    MmMmmmm!

  238. Dave G says:

    Scored two tickets to tomorrow night’s Pirates game vrs Reds.

    Section 111… field box seats!

  239. Jandy says:

    21, are we talking the same thing? I mean…you know…althetics…not errr.. ;X

    C’mon!

  240. Jandy says:

    Lucky dog, you! Enjoy :)

  241. Arriba Wilver says:

    And your evidence on the stamina?

    If Sid ran head first into a centerfield wall, I’m guessing he might miss some time, too.

    Would Harper have missed all the time Sid did with the concussion/neck issue? I don’t know, either.

    But this is kind of a silly debate. They’re all very gifted, and to try to say an athlete in one sport is more gifted than an athlete in another sport isn’t something anyone can prove.

  242. Bizrow says:

    Congrats

    You know your mission for tomorrow, right?? ;-)

  243. Dom says:

    Have a good time!

    Do you live in Cinci or are you making the trip?

  244. Jandy says:

    OK here’s one point:
    A baseball player breaks his finger or tweaks it, an he sits for days, or weeks. Hockey players break their fingers, or a bone in their foot, and they PLAY HOCKEY. James Neal played on a broken foot.
    But yeah, AW, you can’t measure it, but my eyes can see it :)

  245. buggee says:

    I can’t believe they sent that bad boy down. What great fun it is to watch some crazed lunatic skating around hammering anything in sight that’s not wearing zebra stripes. Seriously, Zolnierczyk was dayummed fun to watch.

    Tanner Glass puts me to sleep. Especially after a conversation with me Lil Wifelett. She seems to think he’s a good hockey player, but I notice her eyes seem to be focused on his posterior. WTF woman!?!? “Go git me an Arhn, dammit!” KLUNK

    Dustin Jeffrey has so much potential! This guy could make one helluva 4th line center for ANY KHL club, I tell yinz.

    What’s Cookie up to nowdays? anybody?

    oh yeah, one more thing…
    HOIST THAT MOFO UP ‘ERE ‘N ‘AT, YINZ BEEEOOOOTCHES!

    (good to back, y’all)

  246. 21sthebest says:

    Yes Jandy. I’m talking athletics. 33 marathons and I’m doing two next month. Think either of those guys have that kind of stamina right now?

  247. buggee says:

    your 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates (aka, the New Bronx bombers)

  248. Jandy says:

    Darlin’ buggee, Cookie is in Minnesota, playing for Mike Yeo :)

    I am sick to death of Tanner Glass, and he DOES NOT have a nice posterior LOL

    Don’t be scarce, man!

  249. Jim S. says:

    Awesome! I hope there are a bunch of Bucco fans in attendance. I was there the last time we played the Reds in GABP. Went to the Sunday game. Tons of Bucs fans.

  250. 21sthebest says:

    If baseball players all hit with hockey gloves on, then I don’t think a baseball player would sit out. And there’s the impact of throwing if you have a broken finger.

  251. Arriba Wilver says:

    It’s a prejudice for one sport over the other.

    Think either of these guys are better or more conditioned athletes than Heath Miller?

    I don’t.

  252. Jandy says:

    as a matter of fact, I do, 21. Though I will give you kudos for that…that’s amazing. Seriously, good for you :)

  253. Jandy says:

    I’m sure a glove could be designed for batters to hit with a broken finger. Please!
    But this could go round in circles forever, and I’m not chasing my tail for hours. :)
    Done on the topic.
    next?
    :D

  254. buggee says:

    i humbly thank you. my posts are silly and often nonsensical; a direct reflection of my cranial labyrinth.

  255. The Justice Avenger says:

    Full blown playoff atmosphere ahead, Dave! have fun!

  256. Nate83 says:

    Couldn’t read through everything because well there is a lot and I was away most of the day. I can’t weight in on the GM think because I just can’t wrap my head around what critieria to rank them on. Every sport is a little different. Every team has different restrictions depending on cap, owner, market differences, free agency, etc…. But I will take a shot at it. Shero first but being gained on quickly by Huntington with Colbert a distant third.

    Shero had Crosby and Malkin handed to him. Arguable the best two players on the planet playing on the same team and we have one cup to show for it. However he has been praised for practically stealing players from other teams without giving up much of anything.

    NH also had some high draft picks handed to him but those are hardly as sure of things as they are in hockey. The team regressed a considerable amount before the last three years where things have been better. He seems to have the team poised to continue winning but it really is to early to know for sure.

    I’m pretty sure Colbert is on the bottom of the 3 in my opinon. The same thing the Steelers have been praised for may end up being his undoing. They have always been praised for knowing when to let certain free agents go and which one’s to target and sign long term deals with. Winning the second super bowl may have been the worse thing for them. They felt like they had to keep everyone and gave huge contracts to some players like Ben, Troy, Harrison and Woodley and considerable size contracts to others like Hampton, Colon, Kiesel, Taylor, and Timmons. This team may have painted themselves into a corner and the paint isn’t drying quick enough.

  257. toochca says:

    Wouldn’t call what happened between Atlanta and the Brewers a brawl, maybe call it pushing and shoving from a lot of guys.

    Always enjoyed a good Hockey fight though!! Thanks Jandy!

    Takes me back the the days of the Erie Blades!!

  258. Jandy says:

    I don’t know who you think you’re foolin’ buggee darlin’, but it ain’t me ;)

  259. Jandy says:

    Hi Nate, missed you today, friend :)

  260. Jandy says:

    tooch, glad you enjoyed…I got a kick out of the two goalies going at it LOL

  261. buggee says:

    dude (I assume you’re a dude), that is one bodacious handle!

    i bought some invisibility pills recently, cuz one can get anything from the internet. but I can’t replace my stash because I discovered that they’ve been banned by the FDA, although they ARE covered by one of those medicare parts…

    Anyway, just got back from a month in the Philippines. Spent most of it on the beach at a lovely little island called Palawan. If you go, beware the jellyfish and the insane skeeters.

  262. toochca says:

    And an Exibtion Game too!!

    Goalie fights are always the best!!

  263. Jandy says:

    There’s a skeeter on your……. knock it off! ;)

    and I’m out…later on Loonies :)

  264. Arriba Wilver says:

    Ah, surrender. ;-)

  265. buggee says:

    foolin’ you, lovely jandylicious, just aint possible. Now stop messin with all them thar contracts and get your badmitton racket aht so we can smack a shuttlcock around.

  266. Jandy says:

    Surrender, my sweet Azz :P
    I gotta go tho, too much friggin work to get done…
    beware the size 9 wides, AW ;)

    later on Loonies!

  267. Nate83 says:

    I’m not sure why LIriano starting is a debate. He is the most dominate pitcher against left handed hitters over a 1 year period in the history of baseball in terms of OPS. I know that is only one stat but trust me the rest of the stats are impressive as well. The Reds have a very left handed dominate lineup with almost all of their best hitters being left handed. It doesn’t matter where the game is played those guys for the Reds will be in the line up.

    In my opinion it would be foolish not to start him and have all hands on deck in case he shows signs of not having his best stuff. I would never want to not start him and then end up asking what if.

  268. The Justice Avenger says:

    Patrick…I respectfully disagree with you. I work with a guy here in Pittsburgh who is born and bleeds Red Sox! A die hard fan to the end…you should see his office…everything Boston. BUT, he will even tell you, that this Pirates season was even more special than what occurred at Fenway. Way more. He has fully adopted the Pirates as his “NL team” and wants so badly for a Red Sox/Pirates World Series.

  269. buggee says:

    hasta la-bye-bye Jandylicious. Scope ya tomorrow

  270. Nate83 says:

    Trust me I was in a much worse place then this blog all day. Messy renovation field work. I don’t know why people don’t just knock stuff down and start over. They end up spending more to renovate then they would to build new and there is always more issues. I think maybe the Steelers should start over instead of renovating because it is getting messy and more expensive.

  271. The Justice Avenger says:

    I just hollered down the hall to my co-worker and got a “Go Bucs!”

  272. buggee says:

    Sayanara for the day folks! Scope yinz tomorrow!

  273. Arriba Wilver says:

    Everything is a debate, Nate. Everything. Not sure why you’re confused about that. ;-)

  274. War Horse says:

    Taking a closer look at what happened in Chicago yestrday, I’ve done a bit of fact-checking:

    1. Liriano may have been struggling in earlier innings, having to throw 90 pitches to get to the 6th because the Cubs were waiting him out at the plate (possibly their game strategy), but nothing suggests he was tired or threw a bad pitch to McDonald. Keep in mind, he had given up only one run on six hits over five innings and the run should not have been earned.

    2. Facing McDonald, Liriano’s second pitch was a 94 mph fastball for a strike. With the count 2-1, Sanchez put his glove behind the inside part of the plate just over McDonald’s knees and Liriano threw another 94 mph fastball exactly where Sanchez’s glove was. The UPMC pitch-tracker proves it. Take a look if you subscribe to MLB-TV. The pitch was not thrown by a tired or overworked pitcher. It was a pitcher’s pitch and not “a hanging curveball over the plate” as Nevrett and Walk called it in the booth.

    3. Nor was it this:
    “cmat0829 says: September 26, 2013 at 11:48 am
    Tough loss yesterday in Wrigley… McDonald had a good look at Liriano all day..and Frankie missed location on this pitch by about a foot. ”

    4. Hurdle took some heat after the game for arguably failing to see that Francisco needed relief. The homer came on his 103rd pitch, something he has done comfortably before this season. Why blame Hurdle after the fact? There is no evidence to suggest that Mazzaro, who was ready, would have thrown better pitches to McDonald than the four that our ace starting pitcher threw.

    As serious, longtime fans of the Pirates we sometimes get carried away with our frustrations when they don’t win. I was disappointed too when McDonald hit it out and turned off my computer and went to bed. But I know we have a better team and a smarter manager than those stinking Reds and are fully capable of beating them at least twice this weekend and again on Tuesday, wherever the game is played.

  275. Nate83 says:

    War Horse very good information. Probably could have left fact number 3 off and still gotten your point accross but good informaton none the less.

  276. NMR says:

    That is exactly how I remember the quote, fwiw.

    Great, great point.

  277. Jim S. says:

    21, you need to change your name to 26.2.

  278. NMR says:

    Did you happen to catch that great feature in the New York Times on Calatrava’s history of mistakes? Crazy that anybody with a budget hires that guy.

  279. Nate83 says:

    This is true. I’m the one that always says the blog exist to debate and it would be boring if we didn’t do that. so what the heck am I complaining about?

  280. Jim S. says:

    You know your baseball very well, War. I may not always agree, but that’s the fun part.

  281. War Horse says:

    I agree, Nate, on #3. It was nothing personal. At the same time, we should try to get our facts right before shooting from the hip with irresponsible observations.

  282. Nate83 says:

    Nope I didn’t catch that. I honestly am not one to read many things not sports related at all but maybe I will check that out.

  283. Milo Hamilton says:

    Thank goodness you’re here to keep us straight on the “facts”. Good Lord.

  284. Arriba Wilver says:

    Good point. You might take that to heart.

  285. Dom says:

    Bud Selig is set to retire after the 2014 season.

    That’ll be a good day for baseball.

  286. War Horse says:

    I’m keeping a sharp eye on your facts, Milo, so be careful.

  287. Milo Hamilton says:

    You go right ahead Mr. Rubber Stamp.

  288. Nate83 says:

    Good lord. One of his projects is 4 billion dollars, twice the origanal budget. That doesn’t seem posssible. How do you double something that is already that incredibly large. I’ve only read the first page. Good read so far I will have to finish later. Thanks for suggestion.

  289. War Horse says:

    I will Wilver, when you stop insulting me, as you have been doing regularly since I joined this blog in June.

  290. Nate83 says:

    Well Milo doesn’t use many facts just straight opinion and I have found he is right more often then not even when I think he is going to be wrong. Although he was wrong about the Reds sweeping the Mets. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  291. Patrick(RI) says:

    Sorry to be so tardy, I am overseeing a generator installation.

    Those guys, as you point out, were there last year. They pulled a turnaround in 1 year, not 20. From last to first is still pretty stunning, and though I try not to follow them too closely, I have been surprised and our local beat writer is astonished.

  292. NMR says:

    “There is no evidence to suggest that Mazzaro, who was ready, would have thrown better pitches to McDonald than the four that our ace starting pitcher threw.”

    Except for the very obvious, well documented fact that a pitcher is less effective each time through the order. Liriano’s BAA goes from .192 to .256 in these cases.

    He was over 100 pitches, had just given up a single followed by a walk, and was facing a batter who had the platoon advantage for the third time after already giving up two doubles to him in the same game.

    So yeah, no evidence at all that Hurdle kept him in too long.

    Thanks for the “facts”, boss.

  293. War Horse says:

    Aye, aye, Lt. Minderbinder.

  294. NMR says:

    This guy has to be kidding, right?

  295. theplanisworking says:

    At least the 3rd I can recall.
    Frank is now on the clock!

  296. Patrick(RI) says:

    More “special?” I agree. More surprising finish, not so sure. It should be noted that the division the Sox play in was much weaker than the NL Central turned out to be.

  297. Milo Hamilton says:

    By the way, speaking of facts, as you cited in #4 about Liriano being comfortably at 103 pitches. He told Clint Hurdle & Ray Searage he was through after 94 pitches in his previous start.

  298. Arriba Wilver says:

    You are delusional, dude. (That’s an insult.)

    I didn’t even respond to you until you put me on your ” list ” for something I never said and was contrary to everything I’ve said on here.

    Like I said, take your own advice and get your facts right before you shoot from the hip.

  299. NMR says:

    Glad you liked it.

  300. Karen22 says:

    Very glad this is going viral…saw it earlier on FaceBook. You know, baseball karma is awfully powerful. That vile lady won’t escape something baaaad!

    Bet she puts coal in her kids’ stockings, too.

  301. Nate83 says:

    It a free country so I’m not going to tell you how to post but I can see how the person you directly quoted could take it personally since he isn’t directly conversing with you right now about that topic. It sometimes feels like our post are being graded and handed back with a grade. But in this case the grade is also being shown to everyone in the class.

  302. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  303. Karen22 says:

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++

  304. War Horse says:

    So, let me see if I understand your logic, NMR. Because a pitcher has gone through the order twice before (never mind that he has given up only six hits and one run and is the ace of the staff with one of the lowest ERAs in the NL), he should be pulled for a relief pitcher with the score tied 1-1? Is that your logic? I wonder how often successful managers pull their best pitchers out of games in similar circumstances.
    Your argumentative, disputatious character is the issue here NMR, not my observations.

  305. Nate83 says:

    You would post a fact right after I said you don’t use facts very often.

  306. Iceman says:

    I do think that the cap relief that would come from trading Martin would be nice, but I still like having him on the team. I know he is old, but I think he plays well (no point in us arguing that one. We both know that goes no where).

    I’m not so sure I want to resign Orpik after this year. There I know he provides leadership, but his brand of hockey has done a number on his body and I’m not sure he can stay healthy. With all the talent in the pipeline, it may be time to let ole free candy move on. (“The Shift” will forever be vivid in my mind and I will always love Orpik for it.)

  307. Iceman says:

    Today has actually been a civil conversation btw us :)

  308. Kevin says:

    Sid is a better athlete then everyone else.

    It all depends on how you define athleticism. Really, they are all good athletes. They all do certain conditioning so they can do the particular aspects of their sport even better. To hone their “skills”.

    To compare athletes of different sports, I think you have to draw the line between the “skills” and the “ability”. No, Sid can’t throw a 90+ mph fastball but I bet he can hit a homerun. I bet he can run faster than most from home to first.

    The ultimate method to determine who would be the best athlete would be to put them all through an obstacle course… kinda like American Ninja Warrior but less insane so everyone can finish. Then compare those results.

  309. Arriba Wilver says:

    NMR — have fun , my friend.

  310. Patrick(RI) says:

    yes it is. (couldn’t resist)

  311. Jim S. says:

    Thank you, Milo! I almost said that, but I started to wonder if I was mis-remembering. So, I left it alone. I don’t think he has many 100+ pitch starts left. I’m sure he can throw 100+, but his effectiveness will be gone before 100.

  312. War Horse says:

    So, why didn’t he tell them he was through this time? Or, perhaps he felt he was not through.

  313. NMR says:

    Key word. It is always somebody elses character that is the issue with you, isn’t it War Horse?

  314. Jim S. says:

    Get your popcorn ready! :-)

  315. Nate83 says:

    War Horse you made some nice points to support your side of this debate. There are facts to support the other side. It can’t be ignored that he had already given up two hits to the guy and his pitch count was above the amount it was when he asked to be pulled the previous game. I don’t think it was a glaring mistake for him to leave Liriano in the game but definately could see the point of others feeling he should be pulled.

    I personally would have pulled him. NMR is not one to say Hurdle is in idiot for leaving this or that guy in to long or Hurdle should be fired. He is simply making a logical arguement.

    As to how many managers would have pulled him. I believe a lot would have. Anytime a pitcher gets up to 100 pitches and is going through the order for a 3rd or 4th time the first sign of trouble you get them out of there. Your at 100 pitches you are gaining 1/3 or 2/3 of an inning by keeping in there but for what? You have 12 pitchers and in the Pirates case they mostly are really good. You should use them.

  316. Arriba Wilver says:

    Nope.

  317. Milo Hamilton says:

    :)

  318. Kevin says:

    well said sir!

  319. Arriba Wilver says:

    You guys are too nice. I’m not. Some people are off the rails.

  320. theplanisworking says:

    Since I was never on the “list”, does that mean I am off the rails too?

    Or am I just not getting it with all these “facts” being thrown around?? ;)

  321. Milo Hamilton says:

    The worst part about this is that in trying to defend myself it makes it look as if I don’t like Hurdle. Couldn’t be further from the truth.

    I don’t care where he says he’s from, I still think it’s Roberto. :)

  322. Jim S. says:

    War:

    I would say that no one tries to be irresponsible with their opinions here. By the mere fact that we are expressing opinions, it probably means very often these are 50/50 judgment calls we are debating. I posted as the inning started yesterday that I didn’t understand why Liriano was going back out. As Milo said, he had asked out the week before after a similar # of pitches. He also had some high pitch count innings yesterday, and I think that takes a bigger toll on a pitcher – particularly in mid-Sept. I definitely feel it was a 50/50 call at that point. But, after he had allowed the first 2 runners to reach, and was now at 100+ pitches and facing a guy who had rocked him twice already, it certainly was not irresponsible of anyone to think taking him out was justified.

  323. NMR says:

    Back to the facts, first of all, lets quit acting like whatever “successful managers” have done in the past is the best way to manage baseball.

    Second, no, that is not my logic at all. Only a fool would handle every situation the same.

    My logic is that when he was at 100 pitches after getting only 15 outs, struggling with command, just gave up a single and followed it with a walk, a good, fresh reliever absolutely has a better chance of getting outs.

  324. theplanisworking says:

    Shame you had to defend yourself in the first place.

    Of all people on the blog, you are near the bottom of that “list”, my friend.

  325. cmat0829 says:

    Not sure what we think Bud has done wrong and/or some other person in this same role would do better? I think this is easy to slam on someone in power. No doubt baseball had its PED era and labor strife, etc. but to me those were gonna happen no matter who was commissioner… fact is there has been some good progress in MLB and Bud should get some credit for that.

    Who’s next, do we think? I would’ve thought Joe Torre would be ideal but not sure if that’s the plan….

  326. NMR says:

    Anybody who goes to bed at the end of a day game has to be at least 102 years old.

    Roberto sounds like he is much younger.

  327. Arriba Wilver says:

    Au contraire. This guy makes Roberto seem reasonable.

    And join the club on Hurdle.

    He compared this blog unfavorably to Detroit and other blogs. My guess is he’s been banned from those. Just speculation.

  328. Milo Hamilton says:

    We need to start a Frank Coonelly for Commissioner campaign, for obvious reasons.

    Hi Frank !

  329. Arriba Wilver says:

    You’ve been ” off the rails” from day 1.

    ;-)

  330. theplanisworking says:

    NMR, I think War has said he lives in England.
    I dont know if this is true or not, but the 5 hour time difference would make sense.

    I just dont want to make it on a list, or be told I am not using the right facts. ;)

    What was the original argument again?
    There were so many facts, I forgot. ;)

  331. cmat0829 says:

    I AGREE EMPHATICALLY. You go with your best starter, your best lineup, and go from there. No doubt that you have a shorter leash than normal, and you have other starters ready to come in relief role that otherwise they wouldn’t, but other than that you roll the dice with what got you to this point in the first place.

    I think there is a reason no managers do something like start late-inning relievers in a game like this (Sawchik’s idea today)… it is a bad idea. The example of Leyland starting Ted Power is a weak one. It was game 6 and he didn’t have a ton of other options…and Power was not a late-inning reliever.

  332. theplanisworking says:

    True.

    Finding big enough rails to fit me is a hard thing to do.

    But I am comfortable with that, AW.

  333. War Horse says:

    Milo, I never said you didn’t like Hurdle. In fact, I rather enjoy what you contribute to this blog. Especially the stats from time to time. By no means was I trying to single you out for criticism. Or any of the others. But some of the bloggers here who appear to be a majority of ex-jocks seem to think you always know better what should have been done after a decision goes the wrong way for the Pirates. It’s pure, unadulterated second-guessing and it sucks.

  334. Arriba Wilver says:

    A man after my own heart.

  335. theplanisworking says:

    I will get the first 3 kegs going in his honor!!!!!! ;)

  336. Milo Hamilton says:

    Plan,

    I seemed to remember someone saying he was from England also.

  337. Kevin says:

    I agree with your points but this all doesn’t matter if we can just score 1 or 2 of all the RISP we left yesterday. I don’t think Liriano goes out there for the 6th if we have a lead. #Freerunsupport.

  338. Arriba Wilver says:

    :-)

  339. Dom says:

    I guess I don’t know how much of the following was Bud’s fault but…

    I don’t like it how the Buccos are limited to the amount they can spend in the draft and international free agents but teams like the Yankees can spend $200 million on payroll.

    I don’t like it how no salary cap or adequate revenue sharing was ever implemented.

    I don’t like it how the team that is in league that won all star game will get home field advantage in the World Series.

    I don’t like the 2nd wild card but respect those on this blog that disagree with me.

    I don’t like it how he called that one all star game a tie after everyone in that stadium paid good money to go to the game.

    Some feel he had ample proof of steroid use over the years and didn’t little or nothing to stop it.

  340. cmat0829 says:

    Happy that a blog post of mine was (1) read and (2) used to posit an opposing opinion. I based my opinion that Liriano missed his spot as he threw 3 pitches to McDonald in the atabat….first 2 low and away… the HR pitch was low but inside. My OPINION is Liriano would have preferred that pitch to be low and away not low and in. I have no idea what Liriano really wanted.

    As to McDonald getting good looks at Liriano all day, he had 2 hits I think before the HR… I could be wrong, I’m too lazy to look it up, but I know he had a double to right field and I think he singled also.

    All of that said, if I were manager I would’ve let Liriano pitch too, for the record. Not second guessing Clint, though I’m also not third guessing anyone’s second guessing.

  341. Kevin says:

    well right.. it wasn’t fisticuffs at all… but baseball is like that.. lots of jawing and flying spittle.

  342. theplanisworking says:

    Quit making so much sense, will you?

  343. cmat0829 says:

    DING DING DING DING DING… we have a winner in the “what’s the real reason we lost the game yesterday contest”… it’s less fun than second and third guessing pitching moves, but it’s a fact. The offense left at least 12 runners on base, and I lost count it could’ve been more.

  344. Milo Hamilton says:

    Horse,

    Seriously for a moment, the second guessing (I like to first guess too) and questioning a manager’s moves is part of what makes baseball great. More so than any other sport, in my opinion. I’ve always enjoyed that aspect of the game. No one way is the right way. That’s why I like coming here. So many varied opinions. That’s all.

  345. Kevin says:

    errybody loves a good goalie battle! my favorite was Brent Johnson’s 1-punch KO of Rick DiPietro.

  346. War Horse says:

    Jim, I was watching your posts and those of the others at game time yesterday. You may have been correct. No one would have argued convincingly that it was wrong to take Francisco out after facing the first two batters in the 6th. My hackles went up when the homer was hit and for hours Hurdle was berated for not taking him out on this blog. Maybe it was a 50-50 call. Maybe not. But the blogging got so heated and, in some cases, inaccurate, I thought the whole issue deserved to be examined afresh. I wasn’t trying to make any of you look good or bad.

  347. hockeymonster says:

    Not to go back n forth too much BUT I just believe our pipeline is better suited to replace PM than orpik. And if you’re on the fence about our highest paid dman being the highest paid dman then you probably agree with me more than you think :)

    And no orpik means bortuzzo is the only real physical presence. Don’t think that’s enough for regular season let alone playoffs. And overall the demise of orpik has been greatly exaggerated…he can still skate extremely well and forces the other team to keep their heads up. No surprise PM’s stats improved skating with 44.

  348. theplanisworking says:

    Milo, excellent point.

    If we didnt “secodn-guess”, all we would have to do is look at box scores, and watch hightlights, and mosey right along.

    And, most sports blogs wouldnt exist.

  349. Nate83 says:

    Roberto was just passionate about the bucs. Very, very, very passionate and a little (OK very) irate towards those who showed any negativity towards the bucs. Probably one of their best and most loyal fans.

  350. cmat0829 says:

    Of this list, I can see one maybe two things that were probably heavily influenced by Selig in his role…. the ASG home-field advantage rule (brought on by the tie embarrassment) and the 2nd wild card.

    The rest of this is collectively bargained stuff and any commissioner of any league is not the driving force in how those things come out… the union is powerful and the owners are greedy and the best a commissioner can do is try to put a coalition together.

  351. Nate83 says:

    Yes 100 pitches over 5 innings is much different then 100 over 8 innings.

  352. War Horse says:

    You are a indeed a genteman, cmat. My cap (Pittsburgh Pirates) is off to you.

  353. cmat0829 says:

    The Texas Rangers are 17-2 (that is SEVENTEEN AND TWO) against the Houston Astros and 70-69 vs. the rest of the AL. This team is still in the playoff hunt.

  354. War Horse says:

    Nope, NMR. Just yours.

  355. Arriba Wilver says:

    You forgot the changes to the draft in terms of hard slotting. That’s probably the thing that will have the most long term significance. And it was pretty clear that was Bud pushing it. It wasn’t the Union.

  356. Kevin says:

    I hereby nominate “disputatious” for word of the day!! :)

  357. Milo Hamilton says:

    Roberto & I had reached a sort of a detente (at least I think we did) before he was dispatched. I still think he got Neal’s coffee though. :)

  358. Iceman says:

    My issues with Orpik’s demise is that he seems to be injury probes. For that matter, so does Marrin a little bit at this point. I still like them both for this year, but as contracts run out, I’m not sure about resigning.

  359. Dom says:

    I don’t know if it was Bud personally but wasn’t MLB pushing for the spending cap in the draft? I know I read that a union rep was against it.

    I know the union would be mostly at fault for the payroll discrepancy in baseball but the NFL isn’t that bad. NHL isn’t that bad. NBA isn’t that bad. I would have preferred a year or so w/o baseball 10 years ago in order for MLB to be better than what it is. I’m tired of some team’s payroll being larger than our gross revenue.

    Wouldn’t you also agree that the winner of the all star game determines home field advantage in the WS to be his fault?

  360. War Horse says:

    Just for the record, I have no idea who Roberto is, or was. I live in southern England, so it was quite late in the day when I left the game in Chicago (6 hrs time difference) and, yes, I am quite an old fellow. Having been with the military for many years, I am accustomed to going to bed early. Having been a Pirates fan since the 1940s, I am not accustomed to hearing such sharp criticism from other fans until joining this blog in June. But I will try to adapt and overcome.

  361. Jim S. says:

    I love Clint, too. But, I don’t agree with every decision he makes.

  362. Karen22 says:

    Please, loonies, bring at least two weekend wins home for the Pirates! I’m heading out of town in the a.m. to visit a friend and will miss all of the action (really bad timing after a whole season!). Maybe that’s a good thing, though?? Won’t be able to second guess every move of every game and get all crazy. Praying we just take care of business in Cincy, and let the CARDS (heh heh) fall where they may…an often! Rooting mightily from afar!

  363. cmat0829 says:

    I guess my main point is that the commissioner, WHOMEVER IT IS, is a representative of the owners… so fine, Bud retires and say, Joe Torre or Tony LaRussa or person X takes over… are we saying the owners wouldn’t have pushed for some of these changes?

    I do think Bud came up with the ASG home-field advantage thing and I also think he pushed hardest for the 2nd wild card…the rest? We are fools to think any commissioner isn’t beholden to a cadre of powerful owners.

  364. Arriba Wilver says:

    Not sure why you posted this to me. I didn’t say any of the things you appear to be responding to, other than saying I don’t think you are Roberto.

    And I ain’t no spring chicken, either.

  365. cmat0829 says:

    First change, Hoka Hey mandatory for all MLB organizations. That and happy hour at all ballparks when gates open. Oh and gates now open at 10am.

  366. Jim S. says:

    That’s fair, War. None of us are paid writers. Well, maybe a few are. I know I’m not. We often post in the heat of the moment, and often times things don’t come out exactly as we had planned them to come out. I know that happens to me a lot. I type fast and don’t always proof read before I hit submit.

    I also know that most everybody here (and by that, I mean about 99%) are fair-minded. You can bat the point back and forth, and sometimes it gets a little heated. But, I have always found that small skirmishes eventually come to a truce. The last thing I ever want is for someone to harbor ill will towards me, or I to them, over a discussion of a team we all love. I try to take the stance that I am sitting behind a bar having a few cold ones with my buddies while I watch the game. We don’t agree on everything, and somedays we don’t agree on much. But, I think we try to leave it at the door on the way out. I’m sure we all have real pressures and real problems to deal with outside of here.

    Keep contributing!

  367. theplanisworking says:

    Safe trip, and I will give you the following……….
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++=

    ;)

  368. War Horse says:

    Sorry, AW, I do get a bit delusional from time to time.

  369. Karen22 says:

    THANKS, Mr. Plan! I just can’t focus on the Steelers or the Pens until the Pirates are done doing their thing. Above all, I am a baseball LOON – always have been. Still carry my mitt around with me in case a game breaks out. It has NEVER been just a game for me. NEVER. (Many reasons why). :)

    GOOOOOOOOO BUCS!!

  370. Jim S. says:

    “Still carry my mitt around with me in case a game breaks out.”

    Post of the day for me, Karen!

  371. NMR says:

    I hate to make you come back to reality, but I ain’t the only guy at the bar that has issues with you.

    We’re the problem, though. That much is clear. Since you say so.

  372. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’ m not a fool, at least I don’t think (I know some may disagree reasonably), but based on the evidence I don’t see how one can make a distinction between the home field advantage for the All-Star Game and the second Wild Card, on the one hand, and pushing for a Cap on Draft spending on the other.

    And, yes , he is beholding to the Owners.

  373. theplanisworking says:

    Frank will drink to that!! ;)

  374. Jim S. says:

    Was there any question?

  375. theplanisworking says:

    Just the quality of the booze.
    Being he got the Bowtie Bar, I’m guessing Crudweiser………

  376. War Horse says:

    Thanks, Jim. I like your analogy about watching the game in a bar with other fans, something I am unable to do over here. Maybe if I had, I would be less upset about some of the arguments when I see them in print.
    Cheers!

  377. I see the Horse has been at it again this afternoon. Another list.

    I’m with AW. This guy is laid back compared to Roberto.

    Seems like an OK guy most of the time. Roberto was a jerk all the time.

  378. Jim S. says:

    I think I have mentioned to you before that it would be very hard for me to remain such a die-hard baseball fan in a country where I would be hard pressed to find anyone to discuss the games with. So, I know you are a true fan – just like every single other person on here – and my hat is off to you for that! And, I think you said you would be making the trip home to see the Bucs in the playoffs, assuming you get the opportunity. I hope you get that chance.

    I also appreciate the fact that you spent time serving this country, and that means you defended all of our rights to enjoy this or any other free speech forum. Stick with us. We are often a dysfunctional lot, but as I said, I think the great majority here are fair-minded, good people. Have a great evening.

  379. theplanisworking says:

    Mercy.

  380. Arriba Wilver says:

    Thanks for the support, my friend, but I was arguing the opposite, I think. (And I didn’t care for Roberto, either, going back to his previous identity on the PBC)

    I think the Horse is just more devious. His end game is the same. But that’s just me.

  381. Karen22 says:

    I had no Barbie Dolls…mitts, bats, & balls for moi!

    “Beisbol has been beddy beddy gud to me.”

    :)

  382. Sorry, I misread that. You absolutely said the opposite.

    Robert didn’t care for me at all. I haven’t made any of this guy’s lists. Yet.

  383. War Horse says:

    NMR, If it’s your opinion that Francisco was “struggling with command” throughout the game, that’s yours, but it ain’t mine. Through five innings, he had given up six hits, zero walks and had eight strikeouts. If you call that ‘struggling with command,’ you’re wrong. The fact is that the Cubs’ hitters had been waiting on Liriano in every at bat (thank Baker for that) to wear him down. To argue that “…a pitcher is less effective each time through the order” and that “Liriano’s BAA goes from .192 to .256 in these cases” may be true, but do you think Hurdle or anyone in the dugout was worried about Liriano facing a lifetime .240 hitter (.234 going into the game)? McDonald hadn’t hit a home run in a year and only 20 in a ten-year career up and down in the majors. It wasn’t as if Liriano was facing Cuddyer up there with no outs and runners on first and second. They were looking for a DP and, instead, McDonald got lucky. Okay, maybe Mazzaro would have got us out of the inning without giving up any runs, but we don’t know that, do we?
    Also, you contradict something you wrote on this blog the other week about statistical analysis being “a bunch of bullsh*t.” If so, why mention the irrelevant statistic about BAA? I think you adjust your facts and opinions purely for the sake of making an argument. And if you’re not winning the argument, you insult your opponent. Truly, you may not be as smart as you seem to think you are.

  384. Brandie says:

    Enjoy yourself. Bring home the W. :-)

  385. theplanisworking says:

    Yes Jim, Jim was the best on both those shows.

  386. Lovely Karen,

    I think I am in love with you!!!

  387. Dave G says:

    I live 25 miles north of Cincy… Liberty Township… near Monroe and the factory outlets on I-75

  388. Jim S. says:

    Maybe I’m mis-reading the situation, guys. It’s been known to happen quite often. But, I think War’s just an older fellow who lives far from any Pirates fans, or baseball fans for that matter, in another country. So, this blog is his only outlet to discuss his passion – the Pirates. I don’t think he meant any harm, although I agree he came off a little strong on his opening comments today. He felt like he needed to defend Clint from us, when ironically a majority of the posters here are actually big supporters of Clint. Then, he suddenly found himself locking horns with a bunch of people all at once, and that can make a person pretty defensive. So, I am trying to cut him some slack for today. I thought he tried to reach out to most of the people he had been sparring with and clear things up.

    But, like I said, maybe I got it wrong, and I certainly don’t want to tell anyone how to think. Just putting forth a possible explanation after reading back through it all. If there were other incidents, then I wasn’t part of them. Hopefully, there won’t be any further issues.

  389. Dejan,

    You should still be up over there since it is still only 1:08 AM——your time of day!!

    I really enjoyed your “Brief and to the Point” bits article today. Excellent, touching all major Pittsburgh sports.

    I too am surprised by everything Pirates. I went to Spring Training and follow them rather closely——too closely, in fact. Too much time invested!!

    I had them pegged to win 74 games this season.

  390. Karen22 says:

    :) I’m probably old enough to be your mommy!

  391. Karen22 says:

    OH – Hubby was MY third base coach!

  392. Jim S. says:

    85-77 for me, Groat. And I felt I was being optimistic. Cannot wait for game 160 tomorrow night.

  393. theplanisworking says:

    I predicted 80-82.
    I honestly didnt see the Pitching being so great the first half of the season.

    Then again, I didnt see Steelers being 0-3.

  394. KenKopp says:

    I had ‘em at 94-68. Annalized every game with pitching matchups included and was only wrong on a loss in Atlanta and a win in San Diego (Navy Seal thing). Had us sweeping this series and squeaking into a Division Championship playoff game. Pretty good, huh? :-)

  395. Pucknutz says:

    Wow – just wow
    To use Jandys word That beyotch (hey saints can make up any words they want) should be slapped silly!!
    Took it right outa the kids hand !!
    What goes around comes around – bad – bad juju comin your way beyotch !!!
    Well some people just don’t have a clue.

  396. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Some people don’t believe it (I think Plan remembers)…But I predicted 89 wins this year and a possible playoff birth.
    Despite the Nutting Regime….

  397. Naje says:

    From way up above…

    NMR– 94 pitches v. the Reds lineup is a lot different than 103 pitches v. the Cubs lineup. Not taking sides here, but pitch counts aren’t always the same. The effort he took to get Choo, Phillips, Votto, Ludwick, Bruce, et al, out is a lot different than getting the Cubs.

    When the pitcher comes out of the game after 8 innings and tells the pitching coach, “I’m done,” then he’s done. What would you want Searage to say: “Hey, I don’t care, give me another inning…”?

    Who knows why he was gassed v. the Reds…. could be a number of reasons, but I suspect one of the major reasons was the pressure of facing that lineup.

  398. Cougar! Carrying a ball glove everywhere!

    I truly am in love!

  399. Brandie says:

    I predicted them finishing 85-72 so I am presently pleasantly surprised. But that’s the thing about predictions…Predictions are like noses…Sometimes they’re full of boogers!

  400. Brandie says:

    Way to crank up that Crystal Ball Double K!

  401. theplanisworking says:

    You are a goof!

  402. Brandie says:

    I miss The Terrible Fan! Steely McBeam…Very Village People!

  403. theplanisworking says:

    I do remember that.
    You were ridiculed for that prediction from “fans”.

  404. Brandie says:

    Should be 85-77! Math Fail!

  405. Brandie says:

    Your point being?

  406. theplanisworking says:

    The one on top of your head??? ;)

  407. theplanisworking says:

    :D

  408. Man, if you had Liriano being this good despite not joining the club until mid-May
    ——if you had them pitching so good despite losing Jeff Karstens for the whole season
    ——if you had them winning all these games with Jonathan Sanchez in the starting rotation for the 1st month
    ——if you had them being this good despite losing their All Star closer for 2 months
    ——if you had them this good despite Garrett Jones hitting only 15 HRs
    ——if you had them this good with Pedro batting .226
    ——if you had them this good with AJ Burnett having a losing record
    ——if you had them this good with losing Neal Walker for a month
    ——if you had them this good with Jeanmar Gomez and Vin Mazarro even making the staff
    ——if you had them this good with Russell Martin batting .225 and only 15 HR
    ——if you had them this good with Gaby Sanchez hitting only 7 HR and driving in few runs
    ——If you had them this good with Clint Barmes batting .215 again
    ——if you had them this good with Jose Tabata not showing up for 3 months
    ——if you had them this good with a non-Leadoff hitter like Marte batting Leadoff
    ——if you expected Charlie Morton to come back stronger from Tommy John right away

    Man, if you had all this, you need to shut off your computer and run, not walk, to Rivers Casino or the Meadows. Why are you wasting time with us?!?!

  409. theplanisworking says:

    + many!

  410. Liberty Township Dave,

    You will be carrying the torch for ever person on the blog here.

    Don’t bring any voice home!!!!!

  411. Been by there many times, Dave. About the halfway mark on our trip from here back to our part of Ohio.

  412. Dave G says:

    Peek over the rest area wall… my house is one block behind it!

  413. Brandie says:

    If you had Frank Coonelly being Frank Coonelly…

    Never Mind!

  414. Brandie says:

    My head is actually round, like a super ball!

  415. I’ll remember that. That’s a frequent stop for us. Better than the one going into Cincy from this side.

    That area gets you by Kings Island and most of the traffic out of town.

  416. Baywatch says:

    Brandie! AND EVERYBODY ELSE … Evenin’ (big tip of the ten-gallon Gary Cooper hat)

  417. Baywatch says:

    Not so lucky, Lucky! I had the airport gig today.

  418. Brandie says:

    It’s Revvie and The Bay-Man! Sounds like a cool TV show!

  419. Yup.

    I preach and he flies me all over the country.

    Adventures abound.

  420. Baywatch says:

    We could do like ol’ Dock Ellis did, facing the Red Machine. Go out there and hit every one of them until the manager comes to take you out! LOL!

  421. KenKopp says:

    Very good Groat!

    I got Dick Groat’s autougaph in the Pittsburgh airport when I was 5 years old. Don Hoak wouldn’t sign and my dad didn’t like him after that.

  422. War Horse says:

    Good point, Naje. Actually, Liriano had thrown 90 pitches through five innings. The 103rd was the final pitch to McDonald in the 6th.
    One of the most interesting comments on this thread yesteday was from someone who suggested that if the Pirates had been winning at the point Liriano put two men on base in the 6th, he would have been yanked.
    I don’t know, but is 20-20 hindsight similar to saying, “That’s baseball?”

 
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