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Morning Java: Like day and night

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

ST. LOUIS – Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Friday column from Busch Stadium very specifically follows advice from the manager regarding how to properly opine on A.J. Burnett’s pitching line.

Here’s some of what A.J. had to say afterward …

The game story, by beat man Rob Biertempfel.

The Pirates were really behind the curve, by Travis Sawchik.

A look ahead to Gerrit Cole in Game 2, by Sawchik … plus a Cole video …

MLB Network’s telecast today leads the notebook, by Biertempfel.

Photo gallery by Chris Horner, including this beauty of Jon Jay scoring the seventh St. Louis run …


Back home, the Federal Street big screen went into action, by Tom Fontaine.

Here’s our full Pirates coverage.

Here’s Cardinals news from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Here are official game highlights from


>> The Penguins opened their 47th National Hockey League season with a well-timed shutout by Marc-Andre Fleury, by Rob Rossi.

Jaromir Jagr had a one-word reaction to my news item that his likeness was replaced from the ring of greats in Consol’s home locker room. Josh Yohe reports.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage.

Here are official game highlights from

>> The Steelers’ defense looks old and slow, by Alan Robinson.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage.

Here are official game highlights from

>> Penn State prepares to lay it on the line at Indiana, by Chris Adamski.

>> I’ll check in with TribLIVE Radio at 11:30 a.m., and that’ll be followed by the weekly chat at noon. The latter always takes place here on the blog. As soon as you see the post pop up in the morning, you’re free to submit entries.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

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


  1. almartin_uscgrad says:

    AJ gave up a lot of runs!! A LOT!!

  2. Arriba Wilver says:

    Pirates 1960 World Series


    16-3, 10-0, 12-0


    6-4, 3-2, 5-2

    Penultimate game—Pirates win 10-9

    It ain’t over yet.

  3. Arriba Wilver says:

    Whoops. The deciding game, not the “penultimate.”

  4. DJ says:

    Want to see how Cole does tomorrow before jumping to the conclusion that AJ has earned the “right” to start a Game 5 . . . if we get that far . . . and presuming we don’t seal the deal in a tidy four games.

    Bennett looked good tonight. Hopefully he will soon be a fixture on the second line where he belongs.

    Maata was impressive overall, especially considering he’s 19. Solid skater, nice balance over top his skates, good with his stick and makes the simple plays.

  5. tomp says:

    Sorry, but it somehow this series gets to game 5 in St Louis, no way can Hurdle give Burnett the nod .

    If so, the team would be beaten before Marte leads off by striking out.

    Game 2 is HUGE, besides the fact a loss would put the team in an insurmountable 2-0 hole, but it would get rid of the stigma that this team cannot win a game in St Louis, when it matters.

    I know hind sight is 20/20, but it was obvious that Burnett didn’t have any control of his pitches after those 1st 2 batters reached in the 2nd inning.

    Hurdle should have seriously had someone warming up as soon a Beltre hit that moon shot.

    I am stunned , that in such a big game , with all the momentum the Pirates had built up over the last 5 days, a disgusting effort by Burnett has given it all away.

    The team is asking a bunch of Cole, but scoring 1 run(on a solo home run) is not going to get it done.

  6. tomp says:

    Sorry, but it somehow this series gets to game 5 in St Louis, no way can Hurdle give Burnett the nod .
    Last time i checked, my calender said 2013, not 1960!.
    If so, the team would be beaten before Marte leads off by striking out.

    Game 2 is HUGE, besides the fact a loss would put the team in an insurmountable 2-0 hole, but it would get rid of the stigma that this team cannot win a game in St Louis, when it matters.

    I know hind sight is 20/20, but it was obvious that Burnett didn’t have any control of his pitches after those 1st 2 batters reached in the 2nd inning.

    Hurdle should have seriously had someone warming up as soon a Beltre hit that moon shot.

    I am stunned , that in such a big game , with all the momentum the Pirates had built up over the last 5 days, a disgusting effort by Burnett has given it all away.

    The team is asking a bunch of Cole, but scoring 1 run(on a solo home run) is not going to get it done.

  7. theplanisworking says:

    At least you didnt say “pendulum” . ;)

  8. theplanisworking says:

    The best thing we, and the Bucs of course, can do is completely forget this game, fast!!!
    It is a series………… but no one wants to come back to Pittsburgh down 0-2. Just tune out game 1, and Buc-kle down.

    Hockey started last night……………. felt weird with baseball still going on. But a nice wierd.
    If one of the puckheads can help me out……….. I read Eric bowser’s game recap last night……. and a 1-3-1 left wing lock was employed on D. Is this the work of Jacques Martin? I know he was brought in for Defense coaching, but this is a radical change for the Pens.

    Go Bucs……….. please win Game 2!

  9. theplanisworking says:

    I would like to ask for prayers, hugs, well wishes, etc. for the Blog’s ray of Sunshine, Brandie. She is going thru a tough time, and she needs all of our support, however we wish to express it.

    Hang in there, kid.
    We’re pulling for you…….. and with my fat a$$, thats a lot of pulling! :)

  10. Brandie says:

    Some Blessedly Random Thoughts…

    Olli Maatta: Welcome to the NHL. You do, indeed, look like Beaker. (Thank you Old Soldier. )The older Dan Bylsma gets, the more he resembles Bunsen Honeydew. You two make quite the pair. Good to see Beau Bennett bringing the grit. Congratulations Pens on your first win. Good Luck against the Sabres.

    Mr. Levi Brown: Keep your poise. Learn the playbook. Ask appropriate questions. Restart your career. Anything you can do toward the tackle portion of your title Left Tackle would be a vast improvement. Steelers chances look iffy against “Bye” this week.

    Buccos: Forget this game and come out swinging. You owe that to yourselves and to your manager who has been there to give you hugs and boots up the bum all the same. Now is not the time to hang your heads.

    Bloggers: Treat each other with respect. Savor this time that has been 21 years in the making. Enjoy yourselves and enjoy each other. Thank you for the hugs, tears, and laughs. Try not to poke DK too much. That man is working all the hours God sends.

  11. OldSoldier21 says:

    I think momentum is over-rated, especially in baseball. As we saw yesterday, just like Jim Leyland said, it all depends on the starting pitching.

    Cole has the stuff to turn this thing around real quick. I just want a split on the road, that takes home field advantage away from the Cards.

  12. OldSoldier21 says:

    + 21

    Well said!

  13. Brandie says:

    Good morning Hippo!

  14. steelercrazy says:

    Insurmountable? I do not think that word means what you think it means. Just ask Cincy, re: 2012 NLDS.

  15. steelercrazy says:


  16. JAL says:

    JAL’s Stuck in a Moment Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Pittsburgh Pirates Stats

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Gerrit Cole Making the Key Start in This Series

    Nothing Goes Right For the Pirates As They Drop Game One 9-1

    Nothing Goes Right For the Pirates As They Drop Game One 9-1

    5 Bucs Dugout

    A.J. Burnett, Pirates overhwhelmed in 9-1 Game 1 loss

    6 Rumbunter

    Cardinals Jump Pirates A.J. Burnett For Seven Runs


    NLDS Game 1: Cardinals 9 Pirates 1

    8 The Green Weenie

    Wainwright Hot, AJ Not As Bucs Are Battered In St. Louis 9-1

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    NLDS Game 2 Preview: Pirates vs. Cardinals

    10 City of Champions

    2013 MLB Playoffs: Burnett hammered as Pirates drop Game 1 to Cards

  17. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Rant Sports

    MLB Playoffs 2013: Pittsburgh Pirates’ NLDS Roster Brings Few Surprises

    12 Bleacher Report

    Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals: NLDS Position by Position Breakdown

    13 LA Times

    It’s Yasiel Puig who unnerves Braves, energizes Dodgers,0,3626136.column#axzz2gfwfzpiz

    14 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Doc: Can the Reds still sell Dusty Baker?

    15 Atlanta Journal Constitution

    Kershaw strikes out 12 as Braves, Medlen lose Game 1

    16 CBS Sports

    Pirates v Cardinals Preview

    17 St Louis Post Dispatch

    Beltran’s homer ignites Cards in Game 1

    Strauss: Let one ace pass baton to another

    18 PBC Site

    Burnett’s short start sets tone as Bucs drop Game 1

    Cole shows maturity amid Pirates’ pandemonium

    19 Sweetspot

    “Clutch” Cardinals crush Pirates


    20 Fangraphs

    Analyzing the Umpires: NLDS Edition

  18. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers bye week: Only direction is up for the team in their week off

    Steelers Film Room: Mike Adams lost in the details of playing left tackle

    22 Steelers Depot

    Bill Polian Says Roethlisberger Was Phenomenal Against Vikings


    23 London Evening Standard

    Anzhi Makhachkala 0 Tottenham 2: Defoe edges towards record in routine Spurs win

    24 World Soccer Daily

    10 stories you need to read, 3rd October, 2013


    25 Pensburgh

    Game 1 Recap: Penguins 3, Devils 0

  19. JAL says:

    Stuck in a Moment U2

  20. DJ says:

    In an odd way, it is good that if we were going to lose Game 1 (and one run was not going to get it done against Wainwright), that AJ got hammered. If Cole comes out and delivers today there should be no debate about the Game 5 starter.

    Had AJ had been pulled say after the 3-run shot, there might have been a question. The way I see it, if Cole locks it down today, he’s the man, with the issue of “veteran versus rookie” out the window.

  21. OldSoldier21 says:

    Hi ho, hi ho – it’s off to work I go. Let’s go Bucs!!!!!

  22. Thundercrack says:

    Did you hear what Burnett told DK in that video?!

    “That’s baseball”.

    That’s baseball? The nerve of that guy.


  23. Drew71 says:

    Respect?? Even THUNDER?

    I’d rather watch soccer.

  24. Brandie says:

    Way to go with the moment, Drew-k!

  25. JoeyBats says:

    You GO Gerrit Cole.
    Love the attitude, demeanor and work ethic of that guy.
    Beat Em Bucs !

  26. Jandy says:

    Do I hear an echo?

  27. Jandy says:

    I can’t say for sure, but I’d bet it was Martin’s idea.

    Happy fackin Friday, Hipposter :)

  28. Jandy says:

    Already sending the prayers, and the good vibes and the HUGZ!

    Brandie, you are loved <3

  29. Jandy says:

    This is excellent!

  30. Jandy says:


  31. Jandy says:

    Work is a four letter word…

  32. Jandy says:

    ha! Maybe I should get my size 9 wides primed ;)

  33. KenKopp says:

    TGIF…… because Thursday sucked. Baseball wise anyways. But the sun is coming up, I’m still breathing and the Pittsburgh Pirates are in a postseason game today. Bad thing is I have to work. Game plan: Record game, avoid news of the game, get home at five and pretend its live.

  34. Jandy says:

    Hey KK! Sometimes, work is a four letter word lol.

    I can click the link DK has for the BOX for the game, and follow it there, but it’s not like it’s on television, because you can’t see the action. Oh well.
    I hope Cole Train is rolling! The Bucs can do this!
    Have a good day, friend.

  35. KenKopp says:

    Back at ya. Go Bucs!

  36. Jandy says:

    While the Pirates laid the proverbial egg last night, the Penguins played a good game. Dejan’s Olli Maata showed he has a lot of composure and maturity for a 19 year old kid. Welcome to the NHL, Olli :)
    MAF not only won his first game of the season, he also got a shut out! Nice!! Keep up the good work, MAF.
    I do believe Jacques Martin had a bit of influence on how the D was run last night…it looked pretty darn good.

  37. Milo Hamilton says:

    Dusty Baker has been fired.

  38. Tom P. says:

    Thanks to everyone who commented on my “family dinner at a Chinese Restaurant during the game” situation last night. I thought of most of those myself, but it was good to hear them from you. Our two daughters were born in China, and the folks at this restaurant really treat our girls well. We are there so much that the staff generally knows 80% of our order before we sit down. As it turns out, I did not miss much, so here’s to better results for the Bucs today.

  39. Jandy says:


  40. Jandy says:

    YES! Too funny…wonder where he’ll land next?

  41. Jandy says:

    TomP, I hope you enjoyed your dinner more than we enjoyed the game…

  42. theplanisworking says:

    Hopefully, on his ass. ;)

    I never want to see anyone get fired, but in this case……………….
    Now, Cincy may get a real manager.

    Toothpicks for everyone!

  43. Jandy says:

    lol Hipposter!

  44. theplanisworking says:

    To you also, Miss Corvette 2013. ;)

  45. theplanisworking says:

    Hope you are doing better, Brandie. :)

  46. theplanisworking says:

    See you later.

    Hippo in stealth mode…………

    Hopefully, we have an outpouring of love for your blog daughter…………

  47. Jandy says:

    pffffttt!! :P

  48. hockeymonster says:

    Maybe pens finally started reading the blog about the defense.

  49. Dom says:

    If there was a game to miss, it was that one.

  50. Jandy says:

    have a good day….I hope Brandie is doing much better today as well. God bless her…

  51. Dom says:

    I dont understand that one.

  52. hockeymonster says:

    Wow..that broadcast and post game press conference with DB was surreal. I heard more about the neutral zone and team d last night than the last few seasons combined…not even a reference to “our game”. Perhaps all my venting on the blog is paying off. Even Brodeur was able to pinpoint Fleury’s problems last few seasons being team d.

    And big ups to glass for playing a decent game. I still believe Maatta should go back to juniors…when the adrenaline wears off reality will set in and he’ll have some trouble. Overall he’s very solid and impressive for a 19 year old. Just don’t think pens should be forcing him into games. Now one was higher on Maatta than me since we drafted him and I hope to see he, Letang, Harrington, despres and dumoulin grow old together but now isn’t the time to start the clock on Maatta.

  53. Damon says:

    Beautiful – well said!

  54. NMR says:

    Worse news than last night’s final score.

  55. How many ways can cat be cooked?

  56. Baywatch says:

    Do you hear what I hear … A song! A song!

  57. theplanisworking says:


  58. Jandy says:

    YIKES! Don’t be giving anyone any ideas!!!

  59. jefft says:

    Naivete & pessimism be darned…I’m still reveling in the fact that the Bucs are in the postseason. Loved Arriba Wilver’s mention of the ’60 WS scores…that’s a great way to think about this. Hoping that Cole goes out & fires a gem today & the offense is able to back him up. Let’s go Bucs!

  60. Jandy says:

    And maybe lots of hot air? ;)

  61. BEAUTIFUL “Pirncess Bride” reference!!!

  62. Jandy says:

    well said, jefft!

  63. Baywatch says:

    Thinking of you, and praying for you, ‘Lita!

  64. Damon says:

    Maata did look really good – love the poke check ability. Almost like having a mobile Hal Gill back there….who can pass too. If that is what he looks like after one NHL game, I’d love to see him get 82 games under his belt and start his career early. Which also would mean Shero dealing someone to keep him here (Letang will be back soon)….problem is, who? They all looked good last night….

    So, so happy for Fleury. He played awesome to say the least. Very few times out of position, incredible leg saves…bodes well for the Pens with Vokoun out.

    Kunitz and Malkin looked a little rusty, but I’m sure they’ll get going.

  65. Drewmeister,

    That’s a REALLY MEAN thing to say!!

  66. The Justice Avenger says:

    Good Morning to All – I was pretty grumpy last night and my wife suggested to me, and then again on the way to work, “…that when we have a really bad day at work – people don’t give up on us”. She looked me and said “…this team won 95 games and you have to support them now…” Well said…as usual…my wife is right. Still, it was a bummer of an evening…not what we all wanted…not even close. Ok another day today…Let’s Go Bucs!

  67. The Justice Avenger says:

    What did you get good, Tom?

  68. The Justice Avenger says:


  69. Jandy says:

    When Neal is out, Malkin has a rough time adjusting…but yeah…hope he gets it going..same with Kunitz…

  70. Jandy says:

    LOL your wife is smart…but that doesn’t mean when you have a bad day, you don’t get any flack for it, right? ;)

  71. The Justice Avenger says:

    Awesome! And, saw yesterday about your Aunt…lots of prayers being lifted up, Brandie!

  72. The Justice Avenger says:

    +1 Arriba!!…Thanks for reminding us of one of the great Pirate weeks in its history!

  73. You probably said the same thing about Jordan Staal. Many did.

    Let’s wait 5 or 6 more games before we decide Maata was playing solely on “adrenaline” and not pure ability. Some, like Gerrit Cole, develop better with the big boys than they do in the Minors. [or especially, Juniors]

    Start the clock now if he is ready to contribute to a Championship!

  74. Arriba Wilver says:


  75. The Justice Avenger says:

    Yea, really good point, Jandy. Our mistakes are just not being mad on national television.

  76. Iceman says:

    I think that both Scuderi and Martin (Jacques) are huge offseason signings for this team. Scuderi is going to be The Piece that holds the Pens defense together. He is so calm and so sound in front of his own goal and does such a great job of clearing bodies and lifting sticks. Look at how good Niskanen looked being paired with him.

    Martin’s help in implementing both the 1-3-1 trap that helped us maintain a lead. I also was amazed at how few stretch pass breakouts there were. I saw more drop passes to the defense last night than all of last season. The team wasn’t forcing the puck forward, but was instead, taking the passes that were available and moved the puck nicely up the ice.

    Maatta looked great last night and is going to be a great defenseman. He made a couple mistakes, but when he did, he didn’t freak out. Instead, he got back into the play and played sound defense.

    MAF looked like his old self having a defense in front of him that plays defense. Scuderi is going to be Fleury’s best friend.

    Glass didn’t look like a traffic cone last night. Surprising.

    Loved seeing CFA getting a goal last night. He deserved it.

  77. Iceman says:

    Get rid of Derek Engelland!!! Maatta offers so much more than Engelland. Also, Bortuzzo offers what Engelland offers, but he can also play the game.

  78. Thanks for the news. Gotta go.

    I’ve got to get to my broker to sell all my stock in toothpick makers.

  79. Dom says:

    Congrats to the Browns. With their victory, they’re now in first place!

    I’d rather have the Browns win the division than any other team, with the exception of the world famous Steelers of course.

  80. The Justice Avenger says:

    LOL, Groat. Good one…

  81. Jandy says:

    this team lost that game as a team. Best thing to do, as suggested, is put it behind them and move on to the next game. Play it to the best of their ability.

  82. Jandy says:

    what he said! lol

  83. Iceman says:

    I’m really not happy about the Bucs game tonight. First of all the game is only on MLB Network. I do not have MLB Network and will not be paying for it for one game. The game is also on at 1:00 so even if I had MLB Network, I would still be at work and unable to watch it and I can’t even go to a bar to watch it because I am still at work. Also, I work in the basement of a building which is basically a bomb shelter so I can’t listen to the game on the radio either and because of dumb MLB streaming restrictions, I can’t listen to it on my phone/computer.

    Guess I am stuck watching stupid gamecenter and hoping to catch highlights tonight…

  84. DJ says:

    Was at the game and watched Maata on every shift. Made a couple rookie mistakes but very, very solid play overall.

    He’s 5-6 as it is right now, in my opinion, but let’s see how the next few games play out.

  85. Thundercrack says:

    Careful Drew. Comments like that will not make soccer fans feel welcome here.

  86. Milo Hamilton says:

    As far as the Reds go, Bobby Valentine’s available.

  87. Thundercrack says:

    I wonder if it is a reaction to one game.
    I don’t like him and wouldn’t want him to be my manager. But hasn’t he won 90+ for more than a few years now with the Reds.

    When Phillips burst into Dusty’s pregame media session and yelled at the reporter. Dusty didn’t do anything. That was a bad move.

  88. Jandy says:

    Well, that sucks! We’re fortunate in that our Dish provides MLB Network…but yeah, I have to work for a living, so I’ll be at work too! I’ll try to follow a bit with the link Dejan provides with the box score thingie…and also a bit on the blog here…1PM time sucks a big one!

  89. Arriba Wilver says:

    The most alarming thing might be the three errors. Let’s hope the boys just had first game jitters.

  90. Arriba Wilver says:

    Way to stay positive, Milo. ;-)

  91. Jandy says:

    So is Dale Sveum :)

  92. Jandy says:

    eh…I think it all fed off AJ’s horrible pitching. They’ll bounce back.

  93. Karen22 says:

    “Princess Bride!” Here’s how the priest, a high school classmate of my daughter-in-law, began his homily at their wedding in July:


    Yes, he did!! Favorite movie of the kids…they did not see it coming. Cracked up the entire congregation!

  94. Karen22 says:

    Prayers to you and your family, Brandie!

  95. hockeymonster says:

    Mos def did not say the same about staal. Pens were in a different place back then.

  96. Jandy says:


  97. Karen22 says:

    WHOA!! Didn’t see that coming, although I should have!!

  98. Arriba Wilver says:

    I agree about the AJ factor. When the guy who’s supposed to hold it together falters . . .

  99. Jandy says:

    Am I the only one who noticed how good Brandon Sutter looked last night?

    Martin is the best addition this team has made.

    Agree with all your points, Iceman. Loved seeing Maata get forcefully knocked on his butt, but just pick up his stick and get right back into the play and make a poke check that likely saved MAF’s shut out.

  100. Karen22 says:

    AWWWW…at least you picked a good game to miss!

  101. Jim S. says:

    I’m with you, plan. They needed to split these first 2 in St. Louis, and they can do that today.

  102. Damon says:

    I have no problem with that, but if Maata plays (and he would have to or else send him to juniors), then Bortuzzo would be a 7th Dman when Letang comes back. Or Niskanen….although that’s tough paying him $2.5m and sitting him. I guess injuries will happen though and they’ll all get playing time.

  103. Dom says:

    You can watch MLB gameday but I completely agree. That’s absurd.

    I really don’t think there should be any playoff games on the MLB network and at 1PM for that matter.

    For some reason Bud Selig doesn’t want to pin one postseason game against another one. The NHL doesn’t care to place to playoff games against each other on the same night but apparently the joke of a sports organization, MLB, thinks someone will start watching the pregame show at noon and will continue watching every baseball game on this afternoon and tonight till it is 1 AM tomorrow morning.

  104. Jim S. says:

    Lou Piniella’s out there.

  105. Jandy says:

    yup. And I’m NOT blasting AJ. It happens. But man, what lousy timing.

    I also hate to say it, but depending on what Cole does tonight, I might also skip AJ’s next start…and use Cole instead. This isn’t regular season. It’s about advancing to the World Series.

  106. Jim S. says:

    Wait! Doesn’t Bobby have the important Sacred Heart College AD gig? The buyout would be too much.

  107. Karen22 says:

    Maybe we should have started J.A. instead of A.J.! You couldn’t have been worse, for sure!! ;)

  108. Jandy says:

    I foresee Maata getting his 9 game cup of coffee and being returned to his junior team.

  109. Jim S. says:

    The Browns actually seem to have a plan these days in this parallel universe NFL.

  110. Karen22 says:

    Me, too…used to be a Browns fan. Home town. Still have a soft spot…wish they weren’t in our division.

  111. Lad 9 says:


    + a lot. Love the line about the “tackle portion” Subtle and very funny.

    Keep that head up girl!

  112. hockeymonster says:

    Jacques will definitely be a big help. About the 1-3-1 I think I was seeing more of what I was hoping for last few seasons where the pens didn’t commit a 2nd forechecker unless there was a chance to pressure. As a result the neutral zone wasn’t a race track for high speed rushes on our defense and we had a forward or 2 back facing the rush instead of hauling a** to get back. If anything they were just playing a 1-2-2 trap with the 2nd forechecker having freedom to pressure if opportunity was there.

  113. Damon says:

    I thought that third line has some nice potential – they all looked good (until Bennett was moved up to Malkin’s wing, but even Jeffery looked good on that line).

    Also agree with Iceman on everything – Glass looked good AND got a point!

  114. NMR says:

    Had to be a helpless feeling out there.

    Guy just plain didn’t have his stuff. Baseball’s version of writer’s block.

  115. Despite what we saw Tuesday night, Baseball is designed to be a SERIES, not a game!

    I would have preferred to win last night, especially with Burnett going, but Bucs are not eliminated. It’s just one game.

    I was a little surprised at Dejan’s column———a little over the top from my view. Frustrating that AJ walked Wainwright to start 3rd. More frustrating when Beltran clubbed that homer. However, not necessarily “concern” yet. Why would bullpen be up?

    Concern starts when Mr. Slide-On-Face pokes the double to right center. No big deal to me when “back foot slider” actually hits Adams on the back foot. I probably would have gotten the ‘pen up then, or definitely after Molina loaded the bases . . . . . . but I definitely remember Jeanmar Gomez coming into games with men on base and proceeding to allow them to score. I had little problem with giving AJ his head there to see if he could get out of the jam.

    Besides, it all mattered little. Wainwright gave the Buc hitters nothing!!

    I do not throw my whole pitching staff out there after I’m down 4-5 runs. It was NOT a do-or-die game.

    I HATE HATE HATE to lose. But this was one game. Win this afternoon and all is forgotten. I thought Dejan jumped on Hurdle with both feet in his column over an issue that made little difference. Just like Liriano would not be beaten on Tuesday, Wainwright would not be beaten, no matter how many Pirate pitching changes, last night.

    Get ‘em today, Buccos!!!

  116. Karen22 says:

    Jandy….Dish doesn’t provide MLB in its basic package, which is what we have. Our game is the ONLY one on the entire post season schedule exclusive to MLB Network. The ONLY one! I am pissed, and will NOT upgrade for a month to get one game. Hubby and I are headed to a sports bar this afternoon. But I’d rather be watching on my own HD screen (I’ve been known to get rowdy and obnoxious)….

  117. Karen22 says:


  118. Milo Hamilton says:

    Did you know he was supposed to be in studio for TBS during the playoffs. But when he stuck his foot in his mouth (go figure) saying the Mets did more than the Yankees after 9/11 he was fired before he even started.

  119. Jandy says:

    Yes and while I was really upset, I still felt bad for AJ…that is the onus fell on CH for letting him in when he clearly should have been pulled.

  120. BEAUTIFUL!!

    “Man and wife! Say, Man and wife!”

  121. Lad 9 says:

    I think that is what will happen too Jandy. But off of a very small sample size, this young man belongs in the NHL. The problem is the rule. If I interpret the rule correctly, after game 9 he has to stay in the NHL once we don’t return him to his junior team. If he slumps and can’t handle the grind, the only option at that point is to sit him and he would lose development time. Can’t send him anywhere. Dumb rule……

  122. Nate83 says:

    I feel bad, but not really. I was talking to my friend who is a Reds fan but doesn’t like Dusty and I said to him after the lose on Tuesday well at least they might fire Dusty but I didn’t actually think they would.

  123. Damon says:

    Thinking on the positive side – the Pirates will win today behind a good performance by Cole (stopper) and get the split at St. Louis most people were looking for. Then come home Sunday with Liriano on the mound to take a 2-1 lead in the series. Then I think Morton pitches his a$$ off to win it in 4 games….

    I can see it…..I really can….

    Then again I saw the Steelers going 9-7 this year….

  124. Arriba Wilver says:

    Right there with you, buddy.

  125. Jandy says:

    OOps,. sorry, Karen. We have the next to the top package I believe, so I get MLB. But I do hope you enjoy the bar…have lunch while you’re there..and hey, if you wanna be obnoxious, then go for it :D

  126. Jandy says:

    why doesn’t that surprise me? lol

  127. Thundercrack says:

    Of course comments like that would warm my heart…if I had one

  128. Lad 9 says:

    I do not like to revel in another’s misfortune. I really don’t. I would be a terrible human being if I allowed myself to do that. I just can’t sink that….. Like hell I can’t!



  129. Dom says:

    Tim Benz on the X morning show just brought up this topic. He said he attempted to call Comcast yesterday and the wait time was so long b/c people were complaining about the MLB network not being provided on their cable plan.

  130. bradthedad says:

    Wow. Compliments to the blog. Lot of truly stupid over the top stuff posted yesterday and I feared the same today.

  131. Jandy says:

    No, stay positive, Damon. There’s no reason Cole can’t pitch a good game today. Liriano is better at home…Morton has been a beast…stay positive and send those strong vibes their way :)

  132. Jandy says:

    LOL hi brad, how the heck are ya? happy fackin Friday :)

  133. Jim S. says:

    AJ’s been pretty rock solid for 2 years. Yesterday was not his day. I thought it was pretty obvious, pretty early. He slipped through the 2nd unscathed, but that 3rd was brutal. What can you say? Clint, like every Manager, trusts veterans to work through issues. He tried to let AJ work through it, and it was a disaster.

    Like a lot of people have said, I don’t know how you could send him back out in Game 5 in that ballpark. But, from where we sit now, I certainly hope that is a decision Clint has to make. AJ has now given up 37 hits and 31 runs in 18 innings in St. Louis. 15.50 ERA. If he didn’t send him back out in a Game 5, I’m sure that might make AJ’s off-season decison easier. But, you still can’t do it. Like I said, though, I’d be thrilled if Clint actually had to make that decision at this point.

    So, the veteran put the just turned 23 year old rookie in a very tough spot. I just hope Gerrit does not try to throw 110 MPH today in the first inning. Just do what you have been doing, kid, and we’ll be ok. We should be able to once again score runs off Lance Lynn and bring this back to PNC at 1-1.

    Barmes played great in the field on Tuesday night, but he stunk yesterday. He has made blunders quite often of late, it seems to me. He has not exactly been rock steady in the field. I’d give Jordy’s bat a chance, but I doubt Clint will do that with the rookie on the mound. And, maybe he’s right about that. That one is a tough call.

    I know Morneau got the pop fly single yesterday, but 1b are supposed to hit with power. And, if they are going to bat 4th, they have to produce. 1b is not a “defense first” position. It is an “offense first” position, and Morneau’s offensive production is hurting this team. Garrett Jones hit more HR in his final AB of the season than Morneau has hit in 5 weeks. If you are not going to sit Morneau, Clint, at least move him out of the #4 hole. Why would a team pitch to Cutch with Morneau batting behind him? I sure hope Justin can channel 2007 today and hit with authority. His bat looks so slow to me. Maybe he’ll perk up today.

    I still think we are going to be sitting 1-1 headed back to Pittsburgh. Keep the faith!

  134. Jandy says:

    LOL! Good stuff, Lad man :)

  135. Nate83 says:

    A little odd to compare Wainwright’s pitching to Burnett’s. Wainwright didn’t go after Pirate hitters aggressively because of the shadows he did it because that is what he does. His pitch count is almost always low. His control is as good as anyone since Greg Maddox stopped pitching. The guy never beats around the bush and rarely walks anyone.

    AJ just didn’t have it yesterday. Ufortunately I think they left him in two batters to long. He fell behind every batter in that inning and I would have liked to see him pulled with the bases loaded when it was 3-0.

  136. Jandy says:

    Zactly, Lad. And he isn’t eligible for WBS because he’s too young. it sucks.
    But he surely shouldn’t be here, and not getting the ice time. That is why I think he’ll be send back.

  137. Damon says:

    Kinda funny how the universe bashed them and called them a joke for trading Richardson, and they are now 3-2…playing better than we’ve seen since Derek Anderson. I kind of have a soft spot for the Browns since my roommate in college was from Cleveland, but I can also see that soft spot harden quickly if this winning keeps up…

  138. Jandy says:

    Now, now, TC…you’re not foolin’ me ;)

  139. bradthedad says:

    It is Oct 4 and we have a game that matters starting in 4 hours. Life is good.

  140. Jim S. says:

    Very plausible, Damon. No reason it won’t happen.

  141. Jandy says:

    Awe-thome :)

  142. scapper says:

    This is probably a week-old line from Kimmel or Leno, but a 17-year-old smart*** just walked up to me and, after a few mocking, “Let’s Go Bucs!” chants, said, “Do you realize that the government shuts down more often than the Pirates make the playoffs?” If that’s old, sorry, but man, I laughed good and hard at that one. .

  143. Jandy says:

    Smilin’ like a butcher’s dog.

  144. Jim S. says:

    Never fails with that guy.

  145. Is Preston Gomez still around?

    Maybe Reds would take Nick Layva. He’s good with the media.

  146. Milo Hamilton says:

    For upwards of 40% of the country, today’s game will be nothing but a rumor. Ahh radio, theater of the mind.

  147. Jandy says:

    ahhh Mr. Hasis will love you for that one!

  148. Jim S. says:

    I knew you would not miss this game, Karen. Enjoy the sportsbar. Get the Buffalo Chicken sandwich. Very tasty!

  149. Karen22 says:

    He finally did. HAHA! Actually, I’d fully expected my SON to launch into that scene (but at the reception) – he’s perfect at that impersonation!

  150. NMR says:

    Boy, not sure Dejan could’ve possibly written a kinder column criticizing a coach. Guy bent over backwards to make that clear.

    My thoughts are that you HAVE to manage differently in the playoffs. Cannot take a single game for granted. And if you’re worried about your bullpen, that is why it makes sense to keep a 5th starter on the roster instead of a fifth outfielder and 2nd utility infielder.

    And I’ll be honest, this quote particularly bothered me…”So as I’ve told you guys, when we win, give the players all the credit. When we lose, give the manager all the blame.”

    Thanks for playing the victim, Clint.

  151. Jim S. says:

    AJ never has his stuff in that ballpark. He’s been very good for 2 years, but yesterday was not his day.

  152. A1C McG says:

    i would have to agree with you guys, martin wasnt brought in to help the offense, he is all about the defense and from the little bit i saw last night between pirates innings it looked solid. heres to hoping the defense and fluery feed off eachothers great play and catch up with the offense that has been the bread and butter of this team for years

  153. Karen22 says:

    Yep…we’ve upgraded to get Pens playoff games on the former Versus and whatever it is now – but you can’t switch back for a month. Not worth it for just one game.

    My hubby would kill me if I got that kind of obnoxious in public….gotta slow down the heartbeat! :)

  154. Karen22 says:

    LOL! One of my favorites, Jim!

  155. +1

    Very good analysis, Jim.

  156. There’s always Gameday Mini.


  157. Jandy says:


  158. Jandy says:

    LOL Hubby just laughs at me ;)

  159. Karen22 says:

    I didn’t like that either, NMR. Hurdle brain-cramped big time yesterday. He should have been serious in his acknowledgement of that. Snarky is unbecoming.

  160. Kevin says:

    Pirates were absolutely woeful. I can’t help but think if this game had gone differently if they hadn’t given AJ a mile-long leash to hang himself with. In my opinion, they allowed 3 strikes and then just kept him out there… like there wasn’t anything to lose.

    Strike 1. The second inning… cardinals leading off with 2 singles and Burnett STRUGGLING to find the plate. Barely managing to come out of the inning thanks to some strong defensive play by Walker for the 1st out and Barmes for the double play.

    Strike 2. Walking the pitcher to start the 3rd. When you cannot get the ball across the plate for the PITCHER, does that not raise flags?

    Strike 3. The meatball over the plate that gave the Cards a 3-0 lead.

    And that’s it for me. I think with any other pitcher.. Cole, Morton, possibly even Liriano would have been pulled. That’s not even a short leash IMO. That’s strike 3 on warning signs. Especially with what Burnett said after the game. How does Ray Searage not see this and raise warning flags of his own?

    So yes, this loss is firmly on Hurdle for failing to recognize 3 fairly obvious warning signs that his pitcher is without his best stuff and struggling to even find the plate.

  161. Jandy says:

    I agree with a lot of what you say.

    But…Barmes didn’t make three errors yesterday.

    I also didn’t see anyone hitting the ball….

    We lost as a team :)

  162. Jim S. says:

    AJ is a good pitcher. Wainwright is an elite pitcher, who wins big playoff games almost every year. That was a tall order to think AJ was going to shut down the Cards yesterday or that we were going to score a bunch of runs off Wainwright. So, AJ pitched worse than we thought and Wainwright pitched better. I thought it was a game we were going to have to steal, and it just didn”t happen.

    I think we have guys going in these next 3 than can all win.

  163. Karen22 says:

    Good post! Hope you’re right. I do feel good about Cole today. He’s been an unflappable beast of late!

  164. Jandy says:

    +++ both of you.

  165. Thankfully, Dale Sveum went to KC.

    Now they can get another clown in there to run the circus.

  166. NMR says:

    90+ wins in three out of four years…and not a single playoff series win to show for it.

    This move is about progress. Not status quo.

    Dusty clearly could not take that team any further.

    This one was easy.

  167. Jim S. says:

    Barmes made one and could have been given an error on Molina’s ball in the 2nd. Just saying that if he is in there for defense and he isn’t going to hit, he needs to be better on defense. Just like if Jordy plays because of his bat, he needs to hit. I know SS is a tough call. Clint is probably going to be 50% right and 50% wrong with fans on that one.

  168. Iceman says:


  169. Naje says:

    Much agreement, Groaty… thought the column was over the top. Bucs were not going to win this game and you just can’t pull a starter at the first sign of trouble in game 1 of a 5 game series. And really, what’s Gomez going to do with the bases loaded and no outs to that lineup?

    Saying that it was Hurdle’s fault for leaving Burnett in too long…well, one man’s opinion. It’s a five game series, not an elimination game. He gets a ground ball in that 3rd inning and the game would have been a bit more manageable, but Bucs would still have been down a few.

    Marte started us off with a poor at bat and it seemed to go through the lineup… and hey, Wainwright’s breaking pitches were really sharp and tough to hit. Didn’t like seeing several flat fastballs being taken by Martin and others, but hey, one game. Wash away and play with fire today.

  170. Iceman says:

    I thought Sutter played a nice game. Could not believe it when he showed some emotion getting in the Devils player’s face and wanting to scrap. I’ve never seen Sutter fired up like that. I think that kind of emotion could make him a better player.

  171. Lad 9 says:

    :) Couldn’t help it….

  172. 21sthebest says:

    Ridiculous and preposterous.

  173. Jim S. says:

    And, you’re right, Jandy. I am being harsh on Barmes when there was plenty of blame to go around. I like Barmes. But, I feel he let us down defensively yesterday, and we can’t have that from him – a guy we trust with the glove. I bet he would be the first to agree on that, since he seems to be a stand up guy.

    They’ll win today, and he’ll probably make a couple of nice plays.

  174. Jandy says:

    Absolutely, Iceman. I was pleasantly surprised myself lol

  175. Jandy says:

    Agree, Jim, we need Barmes to step up…and you’re right, he’s probably kicking himself harder than we all are. That’s how he is.

  176. Kevin says:

    And now for some positive. I believe this team can put the loss behind them. Much like they did early in the season when they would lose the 1st game of a 4 game series then win the next 3. They’ve done this before! They can do it again.

    Mark 9:23 ~ Anything is possible if you believe!

    Per Spunky Rev early in the game thread early yesterday:
    Mark 11:23 ~ You can move MOUNTAINS if you believe!

    Pirates will certainly need to move the mountain of cardinal confidence and momentum and I believe they can.

  177. Jandy says:

    Cracked me up ;)

  178. 1/ I have zero problem——zero——with AJ Burnett starting Game 5 in Busch. It’s NOT the park, it’s the hitters . . . . AJ has been very good AND very bad against the Cardinal hitters. Game #5 would be his turn to be Very Good!

    Wainwright has been very good and sometimes very average against the Bucco hitters. Game #5 would be his turn to be Average.

    2/ Sweet Jimmy, the Cardinals pitched to McCutch yesterday and he got two hits. Where’s your argument about “pitching to Cutch?” And Morneau got one of the other 2 hits!

    There is NO ONE ELSE to bat Clean-up. Put two lefthanded hitters together in that line-up and Cards will LOOGY Bucs to death. Pedro Alvarez has proven consistently he cannot be trusted as a clean-up hitter. Certainly you cannot subscribe to National Mart of Record’s outlandish suggestion of moving Neil Walker to clean-up? His justifications are “Mark Twain statistics”!!!

    Complaining about shifting one of only 3 guys in the line-up to get a hit yesterday smacks of panic. Leave each hitter in his spot of comfort now——the Playoffs are not the time to experiment——and concentrate on not committing to “the pitcher’s pitch” but to the pitch in your zone.

    Did anybody’s bat look “fast” to you yesterday? Even McCutch’s 2 hits were not “driven!”

    Leave ‘em be.

  179. Jim S. says:

    CH has broad shoulders, and he’ll be fine. He knows now that he should have taken him out, but hindsight is … well, we all know that one. Managing a baseball game is a hard gig. Today is bounce back day!!

  180. blazer says:

    Well since I get MLB channel on DTV now all I have to do is start feeling sick around 10:30 or so and get home. 11:00(MST) playoff baseball sucks for the fans. No reason to squeeze all 4 games into 1 day.

  181. NMR says:

    Guess I don’t understand the “over the top” part.

    DK spent an entire paragraph going out of his way to defend Hurdle – after opening with a few deserved jabs at Burnett – before giving a point-by-point explanation of why he felt Hurdle made the wrong decision.

    Can’t imagine how he could’ve been any more fair, short of completely changing his opinion.

  182. Jim S. says:

    I’m picking out the Cole reference and running with it, Groat! That is an excellent observation. Some guys really do develop better with the big boys than in the minors, and Cole is a perfect example. Well said!

  183. Damon says:

    Anyone see Matt Cooke scored a minute into his first game with the Wild? Good for him…hope it helps win those fans over who hated signing him.

  184. Jim S. says:

    I was just kidding you yesterday, Tom. Family time is always, always #1. Any sporting event can wait.

  185. Jim S. says:

    Great post, NMR.

  186. Wild Bill says:

    Appreciated AW and Jim’s thoughts. Yes, a bounce back is possible today. This is asking a lot of Cole, however. We will find out if he is ready for this moment.

    If the offense does its part, we might not have to ask Cole to go 7 or 8. I’m trying to be hopeful for that – a good lead would make pitching a lot easier.

    On Baker’s firing, we may all rue this day. The Reds are really good in personnel, and underachieved. With the right new guy, we may have a problem next year.

  187. Thundercrack says:

    That’s total coach-speak. Every coach in every sport says stuff like that.

    But I do think that Clint waited too long to have someone ready in the pen. Even though AJ was wild and was walking batters – it seemed to get out of hand very fast.

  188. NMR says:

    Missing the point, Groat.

    1. Who was on base in front of Cutch when they pitched to him? Ah, right…

    2. Nobody else to bat cleanup? Where did Byrd hit with the Mets? Ah, right…

    And thanks for making up things I said. Walker absolutely deserves to be moved to the middle of the lineup.

    Outlandish is your complete ignorance toward the hitter that Justin Morneau is right now, in 2013. You’re living in the past, my friend. If his name were Joe Smith, nobody would want him on the roster, let alone batting cleanup.

  189. bradthedad says:

    Agree TC. He fired himself when he sat there like a Cheshire cat with cameras rolling when Philips went off on his profane rant.

  190. Jandy says:

    ” it seemed to get out of hand very fast.”

    Funny you say that…hubby said in the second inning, “Uh-oh. AJ’s having trouble. This isn’t good.”

  191. Kevin says:

    I was listening to MLB radio on the way in to work and they were talking about this very topic. Apparently at that time it was only “unofficial” non-confirmed by Reds FO. They brought on the Reds announcer to talk about it. He made probably the best point. The Reds have not had a real leader in the dugout… and they described it as those guys that “get in your face” and hold you accountable.

    Not having that and also that Dusty was not a real clubhouse presence is probably the most real reason he was canned.

    Well that and 80% of people who voted in a poll that they would cancel their season tickets if Dusty was still the manager next year.

  192. What do you think that squeaky meat with the funny texture is, J-girl?

    Not like any chicken I’ve ever had.


  193. Jandy says:

    Damon, I missed that…thanks for sharing. I’ll always have a soft spot for Cookie. I hope he does well with the Wild, just not against us!

  194. NMR says:

    First inning, the wife turned to me while watching the big screen from about a hundred feet away, and asked why AJ wasn’t throwing the ball where Martin was “sitting”.

    There’s your sign.

    These guys know wayyyy too much about baseball to think ANYTHING happened “very fast” yesterday. The third inning was only the inevitable.

  195. Jim S. says:

    Was listening to MLB Radio on the way in this morning, and they had Reds long-time announcer, Marty Brennaman, on from Cincinnati. As always, neither of the Brennaman boys has any problems telling you what they really think and today was no exception. Those two have so much power in that organization.

    Marty’s take was that the owner and upper mgt. were LIVID at how the team finished the last 5 games of the regular season and put forth such a lackluster effort in Pittsburgh. He thought that was the straw that broke Dusty’s back.

    He also said that he thinks the Brandon Phillips blow-up with the reporter right in the middle of a press conference with local reporters, while Dusty sat there with a silly grin on his face was damaging as well. He talked about how it was all over YouTube, and the Manager did not come off well.

    As the interview went on, Marty had a bunch of parting shots for Dusty. He said that even though Dusty has a reputation of being a “Player’s Manager” he rarely spends any time in the clubhouse. He does not stop by any lockers like other managers to “pump up the players” (Marty’s words). I took that to mean that Marty does not feel Dusty is really a player’s manager. He also said that there is zero leadership on the Reds among the players, and he seemed to put that on Dusty as well.

    He had a few other veiled parting shots for the Manager as well. It was quite entertaining. All I can say about Marty’s interview and Dusty’s firing is “This one belongs to the Reds!” Good luck cleaning up that mess.

  196. Jandy says:

    Hush Spunky! lol
    I like the chicken and broccoli over rice…don’t make me sick ;)

  197. Kulpable Kevin

    A loss is a loss is a loss.

    A team wins as a team and it loses as a team. What is the necessity of heaping the loss on Hurdle?

    Even if we 100% subscribe to your “3 strike” scenario [to which I certainly don’t], Pirates still lose 3 – 1. Wainwright was superior yesterday. Burnett wasn’t; Pirates hitters and fielders surely weren’t.

    Game Over. Let’s get ‘em in Game #2. Stakes now just a little higher!

  198. Jandy says:

    Absolutely. NMR, hubby is still “getting into” baseball. I myself was uneasy during the first inning. The second one, and hubby’s comment set off alarm bells. Wasn’t Clint paying attention???

  199. Jim S. says:


  200. Jim S. says:

    Well, to be perfectly honest, blazer, if you’re not feeling well you really should not stick around and make everyone else at work sick. You owe it to them to get home and get some rest. :-)

  201. NMR says:

    “Even if we 100% subscribe to your “3 strike” scenario [to which I certainly don’t], Pirates still lose 3 – 1. Wainwright was superior yesterday.”

    Good lord.

  202. Jandy says:

    The Altoona Curve (People’s Natural Gas Field) had the park open, and the game n the screen on the scoreboard. Food and drinks were served. Admission was free.

  203. Jandy says:

    Oh I highly agree ;)

  204. Wild Bill says:

    An announcer that tells it like it really is. How refreshing.

  205. Jandy says:

    Ahh thanks SPunky, I missed that.

  206. Jandy says:


    That’s Lord!

  207. Sorry. Don’t want to do that.

    A Chinese Restaurant in our home town was closed for a period of time for serving dog or cat, one of the two years ago. True story.

    I’ve enjoyed poking fun at it ever since.

    My whole family loves it, with the exception of my wife. There are as many Chinese Restaurants here as there are Mexican.

  208. 21sthebest says:

    When I die, I want an XM radio set to MLB radio playing in my casket, just in case.

  209. Karen22 says:

    That’s awesome! Love that little ballpark!

  210. Iceman says:

    Like everything else surrounding Matt Cooke, there was controversy surrounding this goal. The goal went off his skate and all the LA fans (of course) said that it was kicked in. The goal was reviewed and ruled that there was no kicking motion.

    Only seems right that this is the way that Matt Cooke’s time in Minnesota starts.

  211. Different ears for different fears!

    I heard Hurdle taking the spotlight off Burnett’s failure and moving the spotlight to himself, thereby protecting the guy whom he might need to win the Series in Game #5.

    If that’s snarky, I hope Hurdle is snarky about one of my many failures sometime.

  212. Kevin says:

    It changes the game, sir Groat! The necessity of heaping the loss on Hurdle is that because a game where you are down 0-3 is dramatically different than a game down 0-7. 0-7 is insurmountable. 0-3 you can still cheap away and they would have going to 1-3 in the 5th. That’s a baserunner and a homerun away from a tie ball game.

    I agree with you on your last point though. It’s game over and clean slate for game #2. The situation hasn’t changed at all. They still have to win one game.

  213. Kevin says:

    lol.. supposed to be *chip* away.. not cheap.

  214. Jim S. says:

    I love your fire, Groat. I also loved your comment above about some guys (Gerrit Cole being your example) developing quicker with the big dogs. That was spot on. Good stuff. But, Justin Morneau is not a #4 hitter now. Please point to any evidence in the last 5 weeks to show he is. He has 0 HR and about 3 RBI batting smack dab in the middle of our lineup. He is the softest hitter in the lineup right now, this side of Barmes. This has gone on too long. Justin’s hit yesterday was a flare. He found some green space to drop it in is all.

    The Cards pitched to Cutch because of the score and situation (no one on base). The Reds avoided him like the plague in key situations the other night. I’m just saying, so would I. I agree with you on not stacking righties. But, either Pedro or Neil is a better option at #4 right now. Justin now hits like a glove-first middle infielder. I hope he proves me wrong, beginning today. I will gladly admit it. But, after 5 weeks, I think it is time to recognize something needs to be done. They are running out of time.

    I think they will win today and still make this a long series, BTW.

  215. JohninOshkosh says:

    Larry Bowa or get Patrick Roy?

    I need the Reds to stay entertaining.

    Good riddance to Dusty. Haven’t liked him since he was with the Giants. He was a PED era manager. His time has passed.

  216. NMR says:

    “…it sure would behoove the Pirates to not act like it’s some rainy Tuesday night in April.”

    This line really explains it all.

    Would it have been tough to pull AJ before the inevitable? Sure! I won’t make light of that fact.

    But guess what, his JOB is to make the tough calls.

  217. Kevin says:

    I hope he scores 40 goals this season… huge Cookie fan. Not gonna change just cuz he gone wild.

  218. Jim S. says:

    I heard today’s game will also be shown inside PNC. The Bucs are starting to get it. I think they have taken some cues from their new buddies in the NHL.

  219. Lad 9 says:

    The truly negative Nellies don’t come out of the ground until the second opposing baserunner gets on Brad, then if the Pirates fall behind by a run the game is declared over. The response is just like Pavlov’s dog. Great stuff. :)

  220. NMR says:

    Absolutely blows my mind that anyone would give up on a 3-0 deficit in the playoffs.

    Blows my mind.

  221. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’m a little slow on the uptake but why did it take until last night for the Cleveland Browns to put Jim Brown’s name of its ring of honor ?

    He is only the greatest freakin’ Brown in history and, quite possibly, the greatest running back of all time. Shouldn’t he have been the first name up ?

  222. Kevin says:

    bah, you summed it up better than me, Jim. Good job!

  223. SeanAY says:

    Joe Smith, or Garrett Jones.

  224. Dom says:

    Boston Media taking a shot at the Tampa Bay fans.

    Although I do with the premise, I don’t think that they should bring up such a topic on the eve of the series. Not need to insult them, in my opinion.

  225. NMR says:

    It all starts at the top.

  226. Jandy says:

    Karen, indeed! I only get there 2 or 3 times a season (so friggin busy) but I love the park. It’s nice and people who work there are great.

    Jim, Great! It’s a good thing they’re “getting it” lol

  227. Jandy says:

    Be sure to put that in your will, 21 ;)

  228. Jandy says:

    I tell my boss that very often ;)

  229. Jandy says:

    LOL too funny, Iceman.
    I’m glad it counted :)

  230. NMR says:

    Right on, Jandy.

    Important to remember the Curve are independently owned and operated. Pirates just supply the coaches and players.

    Very nice gesture by the Curve.

    Oh, and it is still Blair County Ballpark to me!

  231. NMR says:

    Hey Jim, bear with me here…

    If the ballpark is the issue, what do you think about pushing AJ up to Game 4 and piggybacking him with Charlie?

    Dumb, idealistic, or batsh/t crazy?

  232. Jim S. says:

    This is a good point. Hurdle is accountable.

  233. So, you would bat Byrd 4th, and then put two lefthanded batters together to be LOOGY’d to death as I mentioned above?

    I made nothing up . . . . you have written a number of times here recently in your diatribes against Morneau that Morneau should bat 2nd and Neil Walker 4th.

    I will ignore your “complete ignorance” comment. I know you were just writing without thinking and did not mean that. I certainly am not living in the past.

    I believe in a lefty/righty/lefty/righty/lefty/righty kind of batting line-up. Morneau is batting just about the same batting average, with a little higher On Base %, with less power than Byrd. He hits into less doubleplays, which means if he fails, Byrd still gets to hit with men on base.

    With Pedro untrustworthy at Clean-up, I see no other batter than Morneau to fit into that complementary lefty/righty batting line-up.

  234. Jandy says:

    Yeah It’s still BCP to me too, NMR, I was trying to be politically correct. lol

    The Curve is run nicely from what I see. And from personal interaction with management from the bottom up to the top (Rob Egan).
    I always look forward to going there.

  235. Jandy says:

    I’d seriously think about that, Jim.

  236. Lad 9 says:

    I think his relationship with the franchise has been very on and off and downright rocky at times. Must be on the upswing right now, plus the owner needs any kind of good pub he can to divert attention away from his legal woes. Just a guess…..

  237. NMR says:


    Another ignorant journalist equating fandom with attendance.

    Riveting stuff.

  238. Tom P. says:

    I know, Jim. My wife appreciated everyone’s humor as well. My kids like the restaurant so much that they get an order of fried dumplings to go and eat them for breakfast the next day.

  239. No offense to Karen or my wife, but that town is slow to everything, John.

  240. Jandy says:


  241. Nate83 says:

    I don’t think it’s crazy at all. I’m not upset if they don’t do something like that but I also don’t mind it if they do. If Cole pitches well tonight win or lose you know he can come back in game #5 in the same park against the same hitters. AJ plays with a lot of emotion and maybe the home crowd could help. Morton struggles the third time through the order. I’m good with each pitching 4 innings or one even pitching 5 in game number 4. It also save the bullpen for a possible game #5.

  242. Nate83 says:

    I hope most on the blog get to see the game. As someone who only gets to see about 30 of the games a year on TV I know how frustrating it can be. I fortunately do get MLB Network on my cable system.

  243. JohninOshkosh says:

    I think I’ve read that the Rays get very strong local television ratings.

    We get it, media. Stadium stinks. Attendance stinks. Every year with this stuff. Few stop to think that we have these stories every year because the Rays are contending every year. Far more interesting story than empty seats.

  244. Jandy says:

    let’s just say I was jacked.

  245. JRay3 says:

    One change to Bucs lineup today….Mercer batting 8th and playing SS.

  246. Milo Hamilton says:

    We’ve got Jim Cantore in a tropical storm & Mike Seidel in a blizzard simultaneously, on a split screen. Weather Channel execs are happier than a camel on Wednesday.

  247. Jandy says:

    hmmm….hope it doesn’t bite them in the butt. That said, I hope Jordy is successful :)

  248. Jandy says:

    woop woop!!

  249. NMR says:

    LOOGY’d to death? You’re kidding, right?

    How many LOOGY’s do teams have? Ah, right…

    Sacrificing at-bats on the CHANCE that the lineup might be succeptible to one matchup is the definition of missing the forest through the trees.

    How is it that people have failed to see the fallacy in believing that a singles hitter who doesn’t strike out is any better than a power hitter who does strike out in the four hole?

    25 games. Three RBI.

    Alvarez, literally, could not have been any worse.

  250. Kevin says:

    +1. all good points!

  251. Jandy says:

    I gotta go get some heavy stuff done, so I can click on Dejan’s box score link and catch what is going on in slow time…better than nothing!

  252. JohninOshkosh says:

    Where’s the blizzard ? I’m supposed to be into heavy rains this afternoon as I head SW from here.

  253. Dom says:

    I like it!

  254. National Mart of Records,

    Did you eat kangaroo for supper last night? You seem to be jumping to a lot of conclusions for others.

    Are you saying you would you have taken Burnett out immediately after Beltran’s HR?

    If I were Manager, I would have taken Burnett out 2 batters earlier, after Molina loaded the bases. As I stated above, I grew concerned enough to get up the bullpen when Mr. Slide-on-face hit the double to right center. I would not have removed Burnett after the “back foot slider” actually hit Adams on the back foot. I would have removed Burnett after Molina loading them up, 2 batters earlier than Hurdle.

    However, I have little confidence that Jeanmar Gomez would have gotten Bucs out of inning unscathed. I did have more confidence that AJ would throw a double-play or a K.

    I have heard no one imply here that anyone give up after a 3 – 0 deficit. I cannot control, however, what you “jump” to infer.

  255. Milo Hamilton says:

    Wyoming & South Dakota.

  256. NMR says:

    Very cool, Jandy. I try to make it out at least once a year. Always worth the drive.

  257. Arriba Wilver says:


  258. Jim S. says:

    Well said, Brandie!

  259. JohninOshkosh says:

    Thanks. It’s so warm here right now, I couldn’t imagine I would be heading into colder conditions.

  260. Dom says:

    Some of these cities should never have obtained a team in the first place.

    I believe Miami attempted to leave town five or so years ago. I remember they were interviewing with officials in Vegas, Portland, and Charlotte.

  261. Jim S. says:

    :-) Fried (or any other kind of dumplings!)

  262. JohninOshkosh says:

    Batsh/t crazy. One of my favorite word combinations!

  263. JohninOshkosh says:


  264. Damon says:

    Jandy – try following the game on the Pirates Gameday link. It is about 10 seconds behind the real action, but pretty cool to follow (that’s how I follow the day games here at work). Just click on this link closer to the game, and at the top left they’ll have to choice to load it.

  265. Jim S. says:

    I don’t really know if the ballpark in St. Louis is the issue with AJ. I think it is pretty neutral in respect to hitters/pitchers. But, AJ just doesn’t seem to be executing there, for whatever reason. The Cards potent and professional lineup definitely plays a part in that. They don’t seem to bite on his down and in to lefties slider that gets a lot of teams. So, if it is just that the Cards are a bad match-up for him, then I’d bring Cole back for #5 (assuming he pitches well today).

    I think Charlie deserves Game 4, and since it is PNC I see no reason why he would not pitch well in that one. That is not a bad thought about going with an AJ/Charlie combo. But, that is Monday, right? It would be on 3 days rest for AJ.

    One thing is for sure. We really need Gerrit to come up big today.

  266. NMR says:

    “Even if we 100% subscribe to your “3 strike” scenario [to which I certainly don’t], Pirates still lose 3 – 1.”

    Who said this?

  267. Jim S. says:

    Good thoughts, Nate. I like your thought on AJ feeding off PNC energy.

  268. cmat0829 says:

    I think there can be no doubt that Clint left AJ in too long…. in the playoffs, you have to have a different level of urgency than you do in a regular season game and beyond that, it was the WAY that AJ was pitching (and missing the strike zone so badly) that should’ve eliminated any other thoughts there… I think what may, and I say may because Clint never really answered the question, have been Clint’s considerations:

    1) First and foremost, give AJ the veteran a chance to right the rails (Clint did say that to DK’s question)
    2) Not wanting to go to pen too early, use up Gomez who he may have wanted to piggyback with Cole if necessary today

    I can’t see any other consideration really…and it is just a bad decision. It didn’t cost them the game… AJ giving up he 3-run bomb to Beltran and a weak offensive performance vs. Wainright were all that was needed…but it was still wrong.

    I do think Clint “I give the players credit when we win and I take all the blame when we lose” was a bit snarky but I also factor in that it was moments after a 9-1 defeat and he was asked that question. That said, I think he did answer it decently (he wanted to give AJ the chance to right the ship) and I also think he took the high road (if Freeze’s ground ball was 3-feet to the left…..)… he is not nor should he say “AJ stunk it up, let us down, and made me look stupid for leaving him in in the THIRD inning”.

  269. NMR says:

    Boy, I don’t know.

    I wasn’t there, but did the picture Dejan painted sound to you like Hurdle was truly accepting the blame?

  270. I can’t get anything here at work but Gameday Mini, Damon. (I’ve complained about this ad nauseum, but it stinks compared to actual Gameday).

    And I refuse to use the four-letter one. They have a little ball flying from the mound and it’s too complicated for us simple folk. Probably better than the Mini Cooper though.

  271. cmat0829 says:

    so it’s not affecting any actual people then…cool. hope the cattle are safe

  272. NMR says:

    Carlie can’t get lefties out in any park. PNC won’t change that.

    That’s why I don’t trust him more than twice through the Cards order.

  273. Jim S. says:


  274. Jim S. says:

    It’s the “Boston Way.”

  275. Jim S. says:

    I continue to be amazed that the very concept of a weather only channel is profitable. Meanwhile, I watch it at least a portion of just about everyday. So, I really should not be amazed at all.

  276. Kevin says:

    I’m sure you mean.. 2 batters earlier than what Hurdle took him out as… and not 2 batters before Beltran belted the HR.

  277. Kevin says:

    Groat said that in reference to my “3 strike” illustration.

  278. cmat0829 says:

    didnt read the article, but I think the TB owner, who has done everything right in my book, has expressed frustration with fan support and stadium issue and doubt that they can continue to overachieve much into the future unless it is fixed. Can the TB market be viable for baseball? I have no idea, but safe to say the organization has done all they can to build winners and to put a good product on the field.

  279. cmat0829 says:

    the government has been shut down like 18 times in the past century, so it may not be an old joke, but not sure I find it (1) accurate or (2) that funny. but i’m a tough crowd.

  280. Jandy says:

    Thanks Damon, I’ll try it, but if I have to download anything, the security system blocks it. I’ll try tho :)

  281. Jandy says:

    Mini Cooper lol.
    Hubby and I call that lil car, the Mini Pooper or the Lil Chit ;)

  282. Vinny Giardina says:

    What attitude should he have? Doom and gloom? He’s right. That’s baseball. Sometimes you suck. You just get up and try harder next time.

  283. cmat0829 says:

    Re: lineup and Morneau:

    1) I think at this point he is gonna play, except vs. starting LHPs
    2) Hard to really make a good cogent argument for either Jones or Gabby vs. RHPs, except for the common “anyone, anyone, anyone would be better than Morneau”
    3) Given 1&2 are settled, where does he hit in the lineup? My thought is he should drop to 7th…lineup would be:


    I think this would eliminate the LOOGY argument, which I DO AGREE can’t have Pedro and Morneau back to back.

    I can certainly see the argument for Morneau 2nd and Walker cleanup, but Morneau would really clog the bases I would think… but I wouldnt’ be opposed to that.

  284. Jandy says:

    Agee with your last line…a lot!!

  285. Jandy says:

    ha, it’s ok Revvie. Hubby does that even while we’re eating Chinese lol!

  286. My quote from above: “If I were Manager, I would have taken Burnett out 2 batters earlier, after Molina loaded the bases.”

    It’s not that hard to read, fellows, unless your “jumping to conclusions” jumps you ahead in the reading comprehension.

  287. Jandy says:

    Damon, thanks much, I am able to get this :)

  288. hockeymonster says:

    Kumbaya…he looked stronger on the puck but regular season isn’t the issue for sutter.

  289. hockeymonster says:

    Oh and orpik looked solid too.

    GO BUCS!

  290. hockeymonster says:

    Should’ve listed bortozzo as part of future d-corp earlier…he looks like a future monster! And point about fewer stretch passing by iceman was a good one. Bringing the puck up ice as unit is harder to defend with the talent we got scootin up ice.

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