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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Morning Java: Take the Fifth

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> If the Pirates win, they’re headed for L.A.

If not, thanks for coming.

It’s up to Gerrit Cole to get it done, Joe Starkey writes for his column today. You’ll want to check Ray Searage’s quotes about A.J. Burnett in there, too.

The game preview, by beat man Rob Biertempfel.

Can Adam Wainwright stay ahead of the curve? Karen Price has that.

Preparing for an elimination game, by Bob Cohn.

Contact is critical, by Travis Sawchik.

The Cardinals hope Busch gets louder, by Price. Good luck with that. Really old crowd.

On the North Shore, Federal Street will hold another viewing party, by Chris Togneri.

In Bradenton, some Pirates minor-leaguers were interviewed by police about an alleged sexual assault. Biertempfel and Kevin Gorman have the exclusive.

Photo gallery by Chris Horner, Chaz Palla and staff.

Here’s our full Pirates coverage.

Here’s Cardinals news from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Dodgers news from the Los Angeles Times.

Here are official game highlights from


>> Jussi Jokinen gets all tricky with his old (and in some ways current) employers, and the Penguins improve to 3-0, by Rob Rossi.

All I have to say about this game: No way Olli Maatta can back to the OHL. Just no way. This kid’s got no business in any league other than this one.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage, including a Jordan Staal catch-up by Josh Yohe.

Here’s Hurricanes news from the Raleigh News-Observer.

Here are official game highlights from

>> Mike Adams and Ziggy Hood are sent to the sideline, by Alan Robinson. I’d petition that the NFL that the Steelers get credited with their first W for that.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage.

Here’s Jets news from the Newark Star-Ledger.

Here are official game highlights from

>> Pitt braces for a hostile crowd in Blacksburg, by Jerry DiPaola.

>> You wouldn’t like Bill O’Brien when he’s angry, by Chris Adamski.

>> Duquesne hoops are picked to finish 13th in a conference called the Atlantic 10, by Denis Gorman.

Aw, I’m just having fun at my old school’s expense. I actually like the approach Jim Ferry is taking by bringing in a ton of juco. The only way to raise the bar on the Bluff is to add hired help. You’re just not going to win local recruiting wars. Maybe someday, but not now.

>> I’m flying out to St. Louis this morning, then hooking up on TribLIVE Radio with Ken Laird for a half-hour beginning at 11:30 a.m. We’ll do this in lieu of the full radio show, which is kind of challenging when on the road, but yes, we’ll still have @SuckMeter as part of the mix.

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. Dave G says:

    Win or lose today, GREAT season for the Bucs.

    But I hope they win… not ready to let go yet…

  2. Karen22 says:

    Safe journey, Dejan…to St. Louis AND L.A!!


  3. David says:

    Curious as to who people think should start in the OF today. Obviously Cutch and Byrd are playing but do you still play Marte? He’s the best option the Bucs have long term, but he’s struggled since coming off the DL and they’re trying to win 1 game, not 95. Jones gives you a lefty against the righty Wainwright but Tabata has hit better than both since the beginning of September. It’s an odd mix. I might consider a lineup of
    8. McCutchen 4. Walker 9. Byrd 3. Morneau 5. Alvarez 2. Martin 7. Tabata 6. Mercer 1. Cole
    in order to maximize Cutch’s opportunities for ABs at the top of the order (after he almost didn’t get to bat at the end of Game 4 and because he’s been an OBP machine) and get the guys who have been the best hitters over the last two months into the lineup

  4. theplanisworking says:

    I would like to take this opportunity to wish our fearless leader, Mr. Dejan Kovacevic, a Happy 100th Birthday!! (100 in Starbucks years!!!)

    Here is to many more………… and to continued good health to write many more thought provoking columns for us to enjoy. Also, for providing us for this here blog………. to meet many different peoples to enjoy comraderie with.

    Special Blessing to your wife and kids, to be able to continue to put up with you. ;)

    Срећан рођендан !!

  5. Vette60 says:

    Well, it comes down to game 5 and I am really pulling for our Bucs to get it done!

    My folks are coming down this weekend to Richmond and I really would love to watch some playoff Bucco baseball with my Dad. Been a long time, as we all know, since I was able to do that…

    Hope that Cole can continue to pitch well and is able to shut down the Cards line up and allow the Bucs to stay in it. While Wainright really shut down the Bucs in Game 1, I am expecting better results in Game 5.

    Regarding AJs reaction per Searage, did we expect anything less?

    Take it easy all.

    Let’s go BUCS!

    Randy in RVA.

  6. aglebagel says:

    Dejan, I know that you were watching the Pens game, but I hope you DVR’d the PBS Frontline special. Fascinating stuff, and even more so given the fact that Pittsburgh plays such a large role.

  7. Stuart says:


    I’ll echo both of those sentiments. It was a baseball year that finally vindicated our loyal fandom, and probably saved the jobs of several members of the BMTIB!

    Let’s play for the League championship. Let’s go Bucs!


  8. tomp says:

    this current playoff lineup K’s enough of against Wainright, without adding 3 or 4 by Jones to add to the total.

    I will take the speed and defense of Marte versus the potential power source Jones would add to the lineup , any day of the week.

    Go with what got you here, and if Marte is healthy, he stays in LF and leads off, no questions asked.

    Win or Lose, great season by this team, which in my eyes looked no better than a 70 win team, leaving Bradenton, last April.

    Very proud to be a lifelong Pirate fan, and just hoping the team keeps improving over the next few years.

    I just hope, that if somehow they come up on the short end of the scoreboard tonight, they at least make the Cardinals work for it.

  9. Reading says:

    Getting psyched watching Game 7 of 1971 World Series. Some interesting notes. Murtaugh had Maz take out the lineup card to Jome Plate. Just before the game, Murtaugh dropped Stargell from cleanup to 6th, bumped Robertson to cleanup and Sanguillen. Blasd’ pitching performance was phenomenal given how precariously the game started. He fell behind Buford 2-0 and ultimately walked Bufotd to lead off the game. Johnson then popped out attempting to bunt. Powell then rocketed a foul ball deep into the stands down the right field line. Blass got ahead 1-2 on Powell when Weaver pulled his circus stunt protesting Blasd going to his mouth too often and digging a hole on the first base side of the pitching rubber. After about a 5 minute delay, Blasd threw 2 balls to fall to a full count on Powell. Blass, in a great pitch, faked Powell out of his shorts on a curve for a swinging K. F. Robinson then flew out deep to Clemente to end the first. Think of this precarious start tonight when Cole is going in the first if he walks a guy, etc. He can overcome like all great Pirate pitchers of the past.

  10. Brandie says:

    Very classy, Plan.

    Mr. DK,

    I echo Hippo’s sentiments. When they made you, they blew up the mold. :-)

  11. SheckyW says:

    Just got home from CEC. I watched the first two games, but this was the first one I attended this season. A few thoughts:

    Maatta is more impressive than he appears on TV. He is positionally sound, poised, skates well, and plays smart. If Simone Despres is watching, he is wishing he worked harder in the off season. He may have lost his spot to this kid. I don’t see how they can send Maatta down. The big question is what move they make to keep him. I was leaning towards Engelland, but I think the Pens need him to keep teams honest late in the season and in the playoffs. It might be time to trade Niskanen, to free up cap space, and restock the Baby Pens.

    MAF is tracking the puck well, squaring up, and getting out on top of his crease. No wasted motion. He looks good. Let’s put the goalie conversations to bed until the playoffs. I think he will be fine. Time will tell.

    87-9-14 look sharp. No worries there.

    71-18-36 might be the best line in the NHL when Neal gets healthy. Jussi can think the game with Geno, just like Neal does.

    Beau is a top 12 forward. I think that kid can play any role at a high level.

    Hockey is the greatest sport, bar none. What a treat to be able to watch the Pens play this season.

    Raise the Jolly Penguin.

  12. Drew71 says:

    My dream of past and future glory is still alive, at least for two more days. Hopefully longer than that.

    During spring training, when I predicted 75 wins, I posted that I was pulling for a Pirates-Leylands World Series.

    Since I Dejaned the first half of the prediction, I’m hoping I nail the second, by Thunder. (And his dirty, lucky hat.)

  13. Jandy says:

    Hear, hear! Let’s drink to Dejan’s health and longevity!

  14. Jandy says:


  15. Jandy says:

    “Hockey is the greatest sport, bar none”

    Well said, friend :)

  16. Jandy says:

    TC, you better be wearing that dirty, lucky hat this evening ;)

  17. DJ says:

    Well, after making the most important change of Cole for Burnett, I see Hurdle has no other changes planned for our line-up, including the 1-2 slots of Marte and Walker. According to Clint, “These men are both capable” and “they’ve both done it in the past.”

    Capable, yes, but not hitting. Done it in the past, yes, but not the recent past.

    Let’s hope he’s right.

  18. JAL says:

    JAL’s You better You Bet Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Pittsburgh Pirates Stats

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Pirates and Cardinals Showing They’re Evenly Matched

    Jameson Taillon and Alen Hanson Highlight Arizona Fall League Preview

    AFL Recap: Jameson Taillon Looks Good in Season Opener

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Polanco, Hanson, Kingham make FSL top prospects list

    6 Rumbunter

    Wouldn’t It Be Nice?

    7 Bleacher Report

    How the Pittsburgh Pirates Have Proven They’re Here to Stay

    8 The Green Weenie

    Playoff Stats & Stuff…

    9 Southtown Star

    Disabato: Garrett Jones ready to deliver in a pinch for Pittsburgh Pirates

    10 City of Champions

    2013 MLB Playoffs: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez starring on postseason stage

  19. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Wichita Eagle

    Where’s my hate for the Bucs?

    12 LA Times

    Gerrit Cole is making the most of an early arrival with Pirates,0,1554424.story#axzz2hDmZKxbP

    13 Rant Sports

    2013 NLDS: How Will Pittsburgh Pirates’ Gerrit Cole Respond To Being On The Precipice Of Greatness?

    14 KDKA

    Colin Dunlap: All The Pressure On Cardinals In Game 5

    15 Bleacher Report

    How Cardinals, Pirates Match Up in NLDS’ Winner-Take-All Game 5

    16 CBS Sports

    Pirates vs Cardinals Game Preview

    17 St Louis Post Dispatch

    Van Slyke goes with Pirates

    Bernie: Cards’ lack of hitting is reason to worry

    18 PBC Site

    Second look at Waino could be just what Bucs need

    Pirates counting on Cole, relief corps for big outs

    Hurdle’s decision to go with Cole the right one


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    8 Memorable Manager Decisions in the Playoffs

    20 Fangraphs

    Michael Wacha Thinks Throwing Inside is Stupid

  20. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers vs. Jets: Shamarko Thomas will gain snaps over Ryan Clark in base defense

    Steelers vs. Jets: Cameron Heyward to start over Ziggy Hood

    22 Steelers Gab

    Steelers at Jets Week Six Capsule


    23 London Evening Standard

    Patrick Barclay: Why the long faces? Roy Hodgson can count his blessings

    24 World Soccer Daily

    10 stories you need to read, 8th October, 2013


    25 Pensburgh

    The Finns Steal the Show. Pens win 5-2

  21. JAL says:

    Song You Better You bet by The Who

  22. Baywatch says:

    Good morning, Gang! I’m hearing Rocky music – and glad I’m off tonight to watch the fight.

  23. Jandy says:

    let’s all send our strongest vibes to St. Louis for the Cole Train!

    Go Bucs!

  24. Thundercrack says:

    See how Drew automatically thinks my hat is dirty. See how he is.

    EYE have switched to the new black playoff caps.
    I wore it at the Wild Card game and at the first game against the Cards.

    I’ll be wearing it tonight.

  25. Thundercrack says:

    “I didn’t know how long it was going to be,” Cole said. “I did understand the situation. … I didn’t try to think about it too much. Now all of a sudden it felt like we were in September, and all of a sudden I had gotten a lot better.”

    I am really looking forward to seeing this kid pitch tonight.

  26. Drew71 says:

    Then it won’t take long to become dirty.

  27. Jandy says:

    Makes two of us.

    All aboard the Cole Train!

  28. Jandy says:

    Good job, TC….keep that dirty hat on ;)

  29. steelkings says:

    Take the 5th can also mean win the 5th inning. The Cardinals have scored in every 5th inning so far.

    Also I like Garrett cole because he doesnt walk many hitters. (DYK?) 8 of the Cardinals 15 total runs were walked on base.

  30. The Justice Avenger says:

    Happy 5th Game Day Everyone! Well half of the “final four” is set and here’s to our Pirates being the third team in this evening! Beat ‘em Bucs!

  31. The Justice Avenger says:


  32. The Justice Avenger says:


  33. Jandy says:

    Ok game time is 8pm correct?

  34. The Justice Avenger says:

    Game 1 Friday in L.A.!! :)

  35. The Justice Avenger says:

    Yep…nationally televised! Ours is the only game on this evening. Game 5 for the A’s and Tigers in tomorrow in Oakland.

  36. The Justice Avenger says:

    Pens looking really good in their opening week.

  37. Jandy says:

    Sure are. :)

  38. Jandy says:

    This from Cole:
    “I’m sure there’s going to be even more of an electric atmosphere over there at Busch (Stadium),” Cole said. “They saw me a few days ago, but at the same time, I’ve seen them, too. It comes down to executing a handful of pitches — being able to hit spots when I need to.

    “It’s a great opportunity for me, a high-pressure situation. It’s what you prepare for all year, to be mentally and physically ready to go. I can’t wait.”

    Read more:

  39. scapper says:

    I would like to thank the Braves for sticking it most Pirates fans yet again and, with their loss, moving the game back to 8:10,which means not only a late finish but an inability to fall asleep if this game ends in dramatic fashion, win or lose. God, I hate the Braves so much. Even when they lose they cause us pain.

  40. Jandy says:

    I like the game at 8. I’ll watch it upstairs and be happy. I guess there’s some who like it and some who don’t.

  41. Jandy says:

    I gather from Starkey’s column that AJ isn’t happy. While I feel sorry for him, this is elimination, and you gotta go with the hot arm.
    I DO give credit to Searage and Hurdle for going with Cole.

    Now if Cole were to falter, and if AJ gets called upon, it’s up to AJ to be ready. Same for any other pitcher who gets called upon. Step up and give it your all.

  42. Patrick(RI) says:

    I have already selected my 5th and have it at the ready. Sleep will not be a problem, if things go badly.

  43. Jandy says:

    Actually if we win, and I can’t sleep, I really don’t give a rat’s *zz lol.
    If we lost, I’ll be bummed, and fall asleep quickly.
    No worries here.

  44. Karen22 says:

    It’s a BEAUTIFUL BUCtober day, eh, loonies?!

    And a very HAPPY BUCtober birthday to you, Dejan! Hope we have more than birthday candles to light tonight!

    Here we go, Buccos! Your time is NOW!!!


  45. Drew71 says:

    No worries. It’ll probably stick.

    If not, I’ll bring nails.

  46. Jim S. says:

    I think you make good points, David, but the only change I would consider to the starting 8 would be Tabata for Marte. Marte is the better player, by far. He runs better, he throws better, he fields better, he hits for more XBH. The only wildcards are: 1) Tabata hits Wainwright well (.376, I think) and Marte struggles against righties; and 2) Is Marte completely back from the injury? That is a tough call, and I don’t fault Clint for sticking with Marte.

  47. Jim S. says:

    Great recap of Game 7, 1971, Reading. I was pretty young and remember very little of the game. I’m sure I didn’t even watch all of it, although I remember the last out.

    Blass was cool as a cucumber throughout.

  48. Drew71 says:

    I sure hope that headline isn’t a prediction, Dejan.

    Don’t mess with us, Dejan.

    Not today.

  49. theplanisworking says:

    This is the equivalent of living in a rundown shack for 21 years, being handed $250,00 dollars to improve the situation, then bitching and moaning about having to pay taxes on the money.

    Pirates havent been in the playoffs for 21 years, and because they are the last team standing in the Division Series, TBS rightfully moves them to prime time. I do believe that you gave this scenario to any Pirate fan at the beginning of the uear, or any year, they would take it.


  50. theplanisworking says:

    Its his birthday, so all bets are off………….

  51. Jim S. says:

    Excellent points, Shecky.

    Last night was the first one I have caught this year, and I was pretty impressed. I just think back to when Jokinen was acquired last year and the popular wisdom was that several of the other players acquired were more important. All this guy does is produce. What a great acquisition by Mr. Shero.

  52. Jim S. says:

    Great sone, JAL.

  53. Arriba Wilver says:

    Blass said that he was very nervous at the beginning of Game 7, and that, ironically, Weaver’s stunt and the delay calmed him down.

  54. theplanisworking says:

    What few people remember , is that Stargell had a HUGE regular season, and had a horrible WS. Yet, in the top of the 8th, Willie got a clutch hit, and scored all the way from 1st base!!!! by Jose Pagan.

  55. Jim S. says:

    I’m glad they switched it to a night game, Bay. That way, I don’t have to leave work early. I also had to inform my daughter that I will be missing her soccer game tonight. It’s state playoffs, but early rounds and they are playing a team they should handle easily. She said I couldn’t miss the Bucs. She’s right about that.

  56. theplanisworking says:


  57. Jandy says:


    TC will be hammered ;)

  58. Jim S. says:

    They looked great last night.

  59. Jandy says:

    “quietly” produce


    In Shero We trust

  60. theplanisworking says:

    Should say $250,000, not 25,000.
    Jandy disease is bad……………………………. ;)

  61. Jandy says:

    Your daughter is a wise young lady :)
    I hope their team wins, along with the Bucs!

  62. Jim S. says:

    I predicted that AJ would blow a gasket. I don’t know if it got to that level. But, you are right, suck it up and be a professional and a good teammate, AJ. I realize he is disappointed and he’s a competitor who always thinks he is going to win. But, if he steps back a minute, and puts himself in Hurdle’s shoes, he would do the same thing.

  63. Jandy says:

    You have the worst case of it, ever :P

  64. Arriba Wilver says:


  65. Tom P. says:

    Several more random thoughts.

    1. Except for the third inning in Game 1, the Cardinals have scored 8 runs in the four games.

    2. Since Game 1, the Cardinals have 1 hit with a runner in scoring position, Beltran’s two run single in Game 3. The other four runs have scored on a Molina homer, a Beltran homer and a Holliday two-run homer.

    3. The Pirates lead the season series with the Cardinals 12-11. The Cardinals have outscored the Pirates 15-14 in the series. Counting the post-season, the Cardinals have 99 wins, the Pirates have 97.

    4. On April 7, the Pirates were 1-5, and they didn’t look good doing it. If somebody had told us then that the Pirates would be in a one-game playoff with the Cardinals to go to the NLCS, would we have been thrilled? Absolutely (or absoBucnlutely, as some like to say).

  66. Jim S. says:

    Oh, and I also predicted this could very well end any thought of AJ re-signing with the Bucs next year. He is stubborn and prideful, and might not feel he is wanted. I hope not, because he still has some gas left in the tank and we could really use him next year. This was just a bad match-up.

    The best solution is for Cole to shut the Cards down tonight, so Clint can hand the ball to AJ in Game 1 vs. LAD. Then, he’ll quickly get over the hurt feelings.

  67. Jim S. says:

    Plus, they side stepped any chance of playing us.

  68. theplanisworking says:

    I am a night janitor Hippo.
    Never got a quality education like the other kids……. ;)

  69. Dom says:

    Dont the Buccos have more luck against Wainwright than most teams? I believe I heard he has an ERA around 4.8 in his career against us. Meanwhile, he has a career ERA of 2.94.

  70. Jim S. says:

    the night janitorisworking. :-)

  71. 21sthebest says:

    I’m actually pretty ticked at the Braves myself because I stood an excellent chance of going to games 6 & 7 in Atlanta!

  72. Jandy says:

    Amen Jim S. If this game had been in Pittsburgh, I would have been fine with AJ starting. It’s not. Cole gets the nod. The kid is amazing. Hope he continues to amaze tonight.

  73. Arriba Wilver says:

    Cole’s a cool cucumber.

    And his one syllable name doesn’t chant well.

  74. Jandy says:


  75. Jandy says:

    The nerve of them! >:<

  76. Dom says:

    Is it really DK’s birthday?

    If so happy birthday, DK!

    Also, what’s a starbuck year?

  77. Jandy says:

    haha! Good point, AW!

  78. Jim S. says:

    I know there have been occasions where we have knocked him around a little over the last 2 years. But, he’s an established big game pitcher. I would like to think we’ll get to him for a bunch of runs. In reality, though, I’m thinking we are going to have to scratch this one out. I’m thinking 3-1 or 4-2. I’m also thinking the Bucs will be the team with the 3 or 4.

  79. Jandy says:

    Dom, you are so adorable, I could just kiss you!

  80. Jandy says:

    let’s hope you are watching Buc’s baseball with your Dad this weekend !

  81. A1C McG says:

    a couple quick thoughts,

    Don’t know if DK can verify this but my wife was talking to someone way out here in Ohio where everyone hates (is extremely jealous) Pittsburgh, and told me last night she heard the Steelers scrimagged their second team last week and lost to the second team guys. Really hope that is false but if anybody can shed any light onto this let me know.

    Jussi Jokinen…wow what a performance a couple posts to go with a hat trick

    Lastly, if this is it today, it has been an amazing summer, I have faith this team is good enought to move on and win today in St. Louis but if we dont this was awesome. It has been an amazing feeling to watch this team end a streak that started when i was 7, my wife was 5 my sister was 2 and my youngest step brother as well as my wife’s brother were not even born yet. Thank you Pirates for reminding me and a lot of other people how amazing Playoff Baseball is.

  82. Jim S. says:

    That is true, thenightjanitorisworking. Willie had over 30 bombs by the All Star break, I believe, and ended up at 47 or 48.

    Ok, I’ll stop with the new name for you now.

  83. Jandy says:


  84. Jandy says:

    ha! I love the new name ;)

  85. Jandy says:

    Gotta meeting, catch you Loonies in a bit…

  86. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think this “what would we have thought in April” line is a leftover of 20 years of losing and trying to find something positive. Let’s retire it along with the losing seasons. IMHO

    Let’s win.

  87. Jim S. says:

    +++ many, Arriba. I heard him say that also.

    I have also seen him describe the moment in the late innings when he decided to take a minute and look around at the stadium while he rubbed the baseball. He said he thought there was a very good chance he would never be in that situation again and wanted to take it all in. I think if you have the presence of mind to do that, you are officially “locked in.”

    Blass’s career pretty much fell apart just as I was beginning to follow baseball. But, I read up about him and knew how good he was. I also felt that he handled what happened to him with a lot of class and dignity. I know some will disagree because they might not think he is a great announcer, but I really like Steve Blass. I always will. He never overcame the wildness issues that killed his career, but he also stuck with baseball and the Pirates.

  88. The Justice Avenger says:

    Score predictions for this evening? I said yesterday 5-3 Pirates…sticking with that.

  89. Kevin says:

    “Raise the Jolly Penguin.” – also said well :)

  90. 21sthebest says:

    Yeah but the St. Louis fans are all class. They’d never chant or boo.

  91. Jim S. says:


    No offense to Iginla, but I’m glad we kept Jokinen. I think he may be better at this point, and he’s a lot cheaper.

  92. Kevin says:

    he’s no longer quietly producing… well I guess it could be because Neal’s out. That he’s stepped up in a big way. I really hope it continues… he looks sharp.

  93. Jim S. says:


  94. Jim S. says:


  95. Kevin says:

    Link #25 for sure! Jokinen with the 3 goals, Maatta with the 2 assists and nearly assisted again when he sprung Beau Bennett on a breakaway late in the 3rd.

  96. Kevin says:


  97. Thundercrack says:

    ‘ On April 7, the Pirates were 1-5, and they didn’t look good doing it. ‘


  98. Arriba Wilver says:

    Blass was one of my favorite players, partly because he was so good, and partly because he was the first kind of goofball player I was familiar with. Everybody else seemed to come across as all business, and he was a little nutty. Like he was having fun.

  99. Kevin says:

    I did NOT know that, steelKs. Thanks for the infos.

  100. Jim S. says:

    No, never 21. They are likely to stand and applaud the Pirates after we win tonight. In fact, they’ll probably all stick around to greet the Pirates team bus on its way back to the hotel or airport after the game with bouquets to toast our team – win or lose. They are that classy. Really they are. Just listen to all the natinoal media telling us that. Must be true.

    And, before I forget, they have the most talented, smartest, and best group of guys playing for them of any team in the league. Their coaching staff is the smartest in the league, as are their scouts and front office management. The men and women who catch foul balls hit down the line are the best I’ve ever seen, by far. The Pirates should be thankful just to be given the opportunity to play this game tonight. The league could have just as easily delcared the Cards the winners after Game 4.

    Hooey! Go Bucs! Take it to them!

  101. Kevin says:

    yes they did… looked way better than last year when Carolina exposed some serious defensive flaws in the penguins and made us look silly.

  102. Jim S. says:

    Me, too. He’s in a tough spot for any pitcher, let alone a rookie who just turned 23. But, he’s no ordinary rookie.

  103. Thundercrack says:

    I believe if the Pirates offer AJ enough money he will forget how stubborn and prideful he is and resign with the Pirates.

  104. theplanisworking says:

    It really is DK’s birthday.

    A Starbuck year is approx. 2.5 regular years.
    It is also heavily caffienated.
    And it is very, very………… bold. ;)

  105. Kevin says:

    my prediction: they have wainwright, they will wish they had Wacha again. We have Cole, we’ll be glad we had Cole again. Pirates win 5-1. :)

  106. Lad 9 says:

    Good morning Loonies. Back from Cleveland thank God. Happy birthday DK! 10.5 hours to gametime and I have to work through this. Ouch.

    A few random thoughts:

    Lets get to Wainwright early tonight. I feel very confident that the Buccos will bounce back and do just that.

    Enjoyed the sports night last night, especially the Pens. Got an immense kick out of Jussi torching the Canes.

    Can not agree more about Maata. The kid is special and DK was on this from the word go. Kudos

    Anybody want to be Todd Haley’s real estate agent this morning? :)

    Gotta get back to this conference call. LET GO BUCCOS!

  107. Jim S. says:

    I’m going with a tight, low scoring win. 3-1 or 4-2.

  108. Kevin says:

    ha!, whats your poison, Patrick? :D… all I got is homebrew IPA beer. Oh and a jar of Moonshine hiding in my closets somewheres.

  109. Jim S. says:

    Didn’t I read a story last year that he was building a new home in Pittsburgh, Lad? If so, I’m sure it is a modest 2 story, 1,600 sq ft home that would be snapped up in a matter of days. :-)

  110. Jim S. says:

    I think Jussi scored on one of those last night as well, TC.

  111. Kevin says:

    I might be totally crazy but I think Maatta is better than Letang. Also, get a kick out of Jussi scoring a hat trick against his former employees… but then laugh harder when you realize they still pay half his salary. Bob Errey said it best:

    “It’s like they are paying him to score goals on them”

  112. Jim S. says:

    I hope you are right, TC. Maybe his threat to retire is just a smokescreen. But, he is finishing up a really big deal and has made a ton of money in his career. Maybe he really does value other things more now.

    No one is saying it but me, and I certainly hope I’m wrong. But, he lives in Maryland, says he wants to be closer to his family, and the Birds need starting pitching. Seems like a good fit with another club that is expected to contend.

  113. Milo Hamilton says:

    Happy ??? Birthday – Dejan Kovacevic !

  114. Vette60 says:

    Thanks Jandy!

    Lots of fun stuff lined up – pumpkin picking with the kiddos and grandparents, folk festival (lots of grest music & food!) Really pulling for some Buc’s playoff baseball to top it off!

    Take care,

  115. Dom says:

    Weird he’s building a home in the Pittsburgh area when he might very well be fired from the Steelers before it is completed.

  116. Thundercrack says:

    If the St Louis fans were really classy they would wear black.

  117. bradthedad says:

    Best news is 8pm start so won’t have to deal with shadow and picking up Wainwright’s breaking ball will be much easier. They were helpless during shadow time and by the time it passed, he was locked in.

  118. Jim S. says:

    & that’s probably why he was able to put the frustrating end of his career behind him so well and get on with life.

  119. Thundercrack says:

    Gotcha Jim.

    And with this next comment I am not trying to pick a fight.

    But you used the term “threat to retire”. I never perceived it as a threat. Just a statement from him.
    And here’s what could happen (on this blog). People will read that and think that it is true. (it may be, but I didn’t read it that way from him).

    Then if he does leave for another team people will have an excuse to make AJ out to be the villain. Just as he supposidley he had a temper tantrum after leaning he wasn’t starting today.

  120. Jim S. says:

    Grandpas & sons & grandsons all watching baseball. Life is good, Vette!

  121. radio wave says:

    A brief hockey question on this great baseball day. How will the NHL determined it’s eight playoff positions in each conference this year?

  122. Arriba Wilver says:

    Very true. Class guy.

  123. Jim S. says:


    Dunkin Donuts years are at least 3 regular years.

  124. Lad 9 says:

    Don’t know if everyone saw this, but Haley was sued by a builder for a number of issues, including allegedly trashing the house that was built for him.

  125. Nate83 says:

    Thanks Tom for putting things in perspective. I always enjoy your post. I for one have no issues with your thought number 4. It puts in perspective how fortunate we have been this year to take this ride with this team after 20 losing seasons. I have to imagine when they started 1-5 most if not all of us where thinking here we go again.

    Win or lose today we have all been treated a very exciting years and that 20 years of losing does play a role in that. There is no way this season is so memorable if the team and it’s fans didn’t go through the previous 20 years.

  126. theplanisworking says:

    Top 3 in each division.
    Then top 2 “wildcards” from each conference.
    This setup allows the potential for 5 teams from one division making the playoffs.

  127. defil21 says:

    2 words will sum up the way the D is playing:

    Jacques Martin

  128. theplanisworking says:


  129. Arriba Wilver says:

    I don’t blame AJ in the least for not embracing the decision initially. That’s who he is, and wouldn’t want him any other way. We’ll find out tonight, though, who the real AJ is. And I think he will be a good teammate.

  130. Tom P. says:

    Lad 9 suggested that a quick start was in order tonight. To reinforce that thought, there has not been a lead change in the series. The team that scored first has won each game. The Cardinals forged two ties in Game 3 after the Pirates had taken the lead.

    As AW suggested, I am in favor of winning, too. Why not us?

  131. Damon says:

    That Jokinen-Malkin-Neal line could be sick….awesome one-two punch with the Sid line. Love that stat where Jokinen has 10 goals in 13 regular season games with the Pens. Nice trade-deadline-day acquisition by Shero…

    Agree with your sentiment about the Pirates totally…

  132. Nate83 says:

    Pulled the below from a column explaining it.

    “In turn, the league will reconfigure its playoff formatting as well. Under this new system, the top three teams in each division will earn an automatic bid to the postseason. Each conference will be allotted two wild card playoff spots, which will be distributed to the two teams who had the highest point totals amongst non-playoff qualifying teams, regardless of division. The wild card teams will be matched against the teams with the highest points.”

    So in short top three from each division and then two wild cards regardless of division. Both 1 seeds (division champion) will play the wild card and then the 2 and 3 seed from the same division will play each other.

  133. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t understand why these stories are in the news. This is his own personal business. Why he’s building a home, leasing a home, living in a hotel, is none of our business.

  134. Nate83 says:

    What I don’t like is it still allows the possibillity for the two teams with the highest point totals for the season to play each other as early as the second round. Detroit could win their division with fewer points then the top 3 teams in the Penguins division and not play any of them until the 3rd Round (Conference finals). By then the other 3 teams which had better records would have beat up on each other just to make it to that point.

    That being said none of this matters because a 6 seed usually wins the Stanley Cup.

  135. Damon says:

    I don’t think Maata is better than Letang, but he is definitely showing he is an NHL defenseman. Excellent poise and puck movement, gets shots on net, good positionally. It would be a shame to send him to juniors, but that would mean Shero needs to get on the horn and start taking offers for Niskanen or Engelland only taking draft picks or prospects in return because of the cap constraints. I have no problem with that though…

  136. Jim S. says:

    “I’t’s like they are paying him to score goals on them.”

    It’s exactly like that, as a matter of fact.

    The following exchange was overheard between Canes GM, Jim Rutherford and Jussi Jokinen after last night’s game:

    JR: “Great game, Jussi! Makes me wish I hadn’t traded you and got so little in return.”

    JJ: “Gee, thanks, Mr. Rutherford. I guess it turns out I was a much better player than you thought. By the way, Mr. Shero said I’m supposed to tell you to make sure you stop at the payroll office with this month’s check on the way out tonight.”

    JR: “Thanks for f***ing reminding me about that, Jussi.”

    JJ: “Sure thing, Mr. Rutherford. Say hello to Coach Cowher for me.”

  137. theplanisworking says:

    He also has an “unusual” hobby with his wife…………

    On the one hand, I could care less what he does at home, or trashing homes. If he wants to be an ass, let him be.

    On the other hand, he is a “celebrity” of sorts, and when those people do stupid things, the news media will pounce on it.

    In other news, the Steelers are 0-4, ans were a heavy underdog in the bye week. ;)

  138. theplanisworking says:


  139. theplanisworking says:


  140. theplanisworking says:

    This playoff setup is similar to the playoff setup from the late 80’s/early 90’s. But the best team eventually wins.

  141. Jim S. says:

    My take on the original story I read was that it was a puff piece. He and his wife wanted it in the news.

  142. JohninOshkosh says:

    Happy Birthday, Dejan!

    You are exactly 230 days younger than me.

    You share a birthday with the late, brilliant John Lennon (would have been 73 years old today).

    I love that photo on twitter of young Dejan meeting Adam West. Did he have to ask you how to spell your name for the autograph. How the tables have turned. I believe now Mr. West would be asking for your autograph!

  143. Arriba Wilver says:

    I wasn’t intending to pick on Tom. I enjoy his posts, and he started the magic number countdown before others were focusing on it.

    But there have been lots of similar posts over the last several days about “April, ” including from you, Nate. Just my opinion. It’s a different mindset, and not one I grew up with following the Pirates.

  144. Damon says:


  145. Milo Hamilton says:

    Youngsters. :)

  146. Lad 9 says:

    Hee hee hee ++++

  147. Damon says:

    Happy Birthday Dejan! Hope you wished for Pirate win tonight when blowing out all those candles! Heck, hope you wished for a Pirate World Series win…..

  148. BillyBaduka says:

    + 1

  149. Jim S. says:

    Didn’t Adam West make a comeback of sorts on Family Guy, Osh? To your point, though, I believe it was a pretty slow 30-40 years until that gig.

  150. Jim S. says:

    Several brilliant passes last night from Ollie as well.

  151. Kevin says:

    could it also be that we are missing our least stay-at-home defensemen in Letang? and so the defense is sound partly because of that.

  152. Kevin says:

    bah I dont really mean that. I like Letang. The team is playing more defensively minded but they are still scoring 5 goals even without the real deal. There.. that’s more positively worded.

  153. Jandy says:

    I’ll go with low and tight ;)

  154. Jandy says:

    LAAADDDD NNIIINNNEE!!! Welcome home :)

  155. Jandy says:

    LOL Jim, priceless!

  156. defil21 says:

    Well Letang does take some gambles when he’s on the ice pinching that’s for sure. I know Jacques Martin is a VERY defensive minded coach, and with his experience and pedigree I think the players probably listen to his guidance maybe a bit more than Todd Reirdon’s. Just my opinion though. I think once Letang get’s back and being partnered with Scuds as well will help his game tremendously. Maata also has been fantastic. No way this kid gets sent back no way.

  157. Arriba Wilver says:

    You really think Adam West would want the autograph of a guy in a Green Lantern T-Shirt?


  158. Jim S. says:

    You’re right, TC. Probably not a good choice of words by me. It is more fair to say he has expressed the possibility that he may retire.

    And FTR, I could not fault him. Everyone is working toward the day they can choose freely to either continue to work or retire without financial woes. AJ is in that position. If he decides to call it quits, that is his call. And, if he decides to keep playing but to do so with Baltimore or some other team, it’s still his life and his call. I would be disappointed that we would be losing a good pitcher, but I can’t begrudge somebody for deciding what he thinks is best for him and his family.

    Also, I have no inside info. on the Baltimore thing. I just know he lives in Maryland and they still need starting pitching. Just putting 2 & 2 together.

  159. JohninOshkosh says:

    Yes. He has a recurring role on Family Guy as “Mayor Adam West.” I think Seth MacFarlane is a fan. Last time I saw him in live action was on an episode of “King of Queens” playing himself.

    MacFarlane is reportedly dating actress, Charlize Theron, after breaking up with actress Alexis Knapp.

  160. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m not sure episodes about him marrying his hand are much of a comeback.

  161. Jandy says:

    PFFFFTT!! :P

  162. JohninOshkosh says:

    This is great!

  163. BillyBaduka says:

    I’m pretty sure that line about Steelers losing to their second team is a joke to get a reaction. It’s similar to “they couldn’t beat a college or local HS team.”

    You could spin it and say that if there is that much depth it bodes well for future. Back to reality, trouble is I don’t think either statement is true.

  164. Drew71 says:

    News flash. He usually is.

  165. Kevin says:

    DEJAN, happy birthday! Again, how bout that Tanner Glass? I asked you in last chat if you thought it was a different Tanner Glass that showed up to camp. You said something along the lines of he’s had good starts before but… he definitely looked different last night!

  166. BillyBaduka says:


  167. Jandy says:

    Now, where did I put my muckin’ boots?


  168. Dom says:

    May I ask how you all know that today is DK’s Bday?

  169. Kevin says:

    bah different = better**…

  170. Jandy says:

    Kevin, kudos to YOU for calling the Jokinen first goal…little did you know he’d end up with 3 :)

  171. Jandy says:


  172. JohninOshkosh says:

    He talked about it on twitter, Dom.

  173. Dom says:

    Oh, i’m sorry i missed where you said you got that info from twitter.

  174. The Justice Avenger says:

    Happy Birthday, Dejan! Enjoy your special day!

  175. Dom says:

    He also shares his birthday with…
    Tony Shaloub from Monk.
    Tyler Williams from Everybody hates Chris.
    David Cameron the PM of the UK.
    Scott Bakula from Quantum Leap.
    Sharon Osborne as in Ozzie’s wife.

  176. Dom says:


    The best part of the work day is reading his blog and column.

  177. Damon says:

    He definitely looks better than last year – looks more confident and comfortable. Plus he is a part of the PK, fits well on that 4th line.

  178. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’ll try this link with adding “Adam West” to it in order to avoid big video image: adam west

  179. JohninOshkosh says:

    By jove, Wilver, it worked!

  180. Kevin says:

    I want to disagree with you about the 20 years making everything more memorable but after thinking about it… it does make all the things that have happened more clearly. Mainly because I was more “into” the games. Like the game where they hit back to back HR to start the game or back to back to back HR to tie it. Both games were late in the season that I wouldn’t have even watched in 2012.

  181. Nate83 says:

    No problems AW. I just was giving my opinion and didn’t want Tom to be discouraged to post because I do enjoy his post.

    I actually don’t remember posting anything about April recently but it is possible. I have always been more positive about the Pirates then most people. So I actually think we have about the same mindset as far as expectations for the team we root for.

  182. Lad 9 says:

    JANDYYYYYY! Good to be home. Only had to do an up and back yesterday. Well, at least that is how I scheduled it. When I thought we were playing at 5:00 tonight, there was no way I was going to kill myself getting home from Cleveland for that!

    And Happy HUMP DAA-HAAYYYY! Woop Woop!

  183. The Justice Avenger says:

    Whatever the score…we just need ONE more run than the enemy. That’s all…

  184. Arriba Wilver says:


  185. Jim S. says:

    Loved Tony Shaloub in Wings also.

  186. Jim S. says:

    It’s a job. Well, a type of job, I suppose.

  187. Jim S. says:

    + several.

  188. JohninOshkosh says:

    I think it would be great if the Steelers are the team that deliver the knockout blow to Rex Ryan’s head coaching career.

  189. Dom says:

    I wouldn’t write them off quite yet. They have a winning record at the moment and nearly defeated the Pats in New England. If they win on Sunday, they could very well be in first place.

  190. JohninOshkosh says:

    Yeah, I think he survives even a loss to the Steelers. But the Jets owner, Woody Johnson, has seemed pretty dismissive about Ryan lately.

  191. Dom says:

    He’s on a new show now but I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet.

  192. defil21 says:

    I can see the Jets winning this game more than I can the Steelers that’s for sure.

  193. Dom says:

    I remember him on an episode of 30 Rock.

  194. Milo Hamilton says:

    From what I’ve seen of the Steelers so far & what I’ve seen of the Jets Monday night I expect the Jets to win by 2 or 3. Touchdowns.

  195. toochca says:

    I don’t see Matheny panicing and pulling Carpenter out of the line up.

  196. Jim S. says:

    I just hope I have more local baseball to look forward to afterwards if it goes like the last 4.

  197. Jim S. says:

    I saw him on a Big Bang Theory a couple of years ago.

  198. Dom says:

    The McFarlane/Theron rumor turned out not to be true.

    However, they did confirm that there would be a Ted 2.

    Speaking of which, I haven’t see Ted post here lately. Anyone heard from him?

  199. Jim S. says:

    Coach Tomlin appears to be rearranging deck chairs again this week.

  200. toochca says:

    But know I have a good chance of attending games in LA!! On mans trash is another mans treasure!!

  201. Jandy says:

    LOL woop woop!!!!!

  202. JohninOshkosh says:

    Yeah, where did he go ? Miss that teddy bear.

  203. Jandy says:

    I was wondering that myself the other day.

  204. Vette60 says:

    Yeah – that pretty much would top it off to get my Dad, son and I together to catch the Bucs versus the Dodgers this weekend.

    My Dad has great stories from the ’60 World Series as a 21 year old and I was a bit younger than my son in ’79…high school senior in ’92 so it’s been way too long.


  205. toochca says:

    Yes, Happy birthday!! Nice pictures on Instagram too!!

  206. Jandy says:

    Tim Thomas with the Panthers already out with a groin injury lol

  207. Drew71 says:

    Dejan’s birthday?? Why didn’t we plan something?

    Let’s send Thunder to him, wearing gift wrap. After all, he has to wear something.

    (Check out The Gift by The Velvet Underground)

  208. Arriba Wilver says:

    That’s the move I would consider, too.

  209. theplanisworking says:

    You rang?

  210. Jandy says:

    wow, just saw this…Tomas for the Sharks scored 4 goals against the Rangers….Sharks won 8-2. Tomas won’t be 20 until next month.
    Here’s a video:

  211. Jandy says:

    What about topping it off with that dirty hat?

  212. defil21 says:

    Jim I totally agree hopefully we have more playoff baseball to look forward too. It’s about time Heyward got the call over Ziggy, and heck I think a cut out of Max Starks would have been a better option than Adams.

  213. theplanisworking says:

    Can you tell me about this baseball game tonight? I know nothing about it…….. ;)

  214. pattonbb says:

    Everyone who plays gets a trophy.

  215. likeabugonarug says:

    Ok folks. I’ve been debating on when to bring this out, whether at the beginning of the playoffs, or now in this thread or the game thread. Just feel the time is right to bring on the good karma…………

    Everyone now, sing with me:

    WE ARE FAM I LEE…………………..

    LET’S GO BUCS!!!!


  216. NMR says:

    Amen, AW.

  217. Jandy says:

    Just hop on the Cole Train, Hipposter :)

  218. 21sthebest says:

    I think the NFL’s wild card games should last one quarter if they expand.

  219. toochca says:

    I got all my Loonies with me!!

  220. Bizrow says:

    • Welcome Lunatics, if you don’t see your current location below, please add a reply to this post

    · Remember – When you play Pittsburgh, you play every person on this blog and in the city

    Dejan’s Lunatic Nation

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    430 confirmed locations represented in the blog, and a couple of strange places
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    Three planets, at least confirmed, and the Space Station
    Then there was that Cold day in Hell place
    Honorable mention, England – London – Lisa
    “Terrorists will always lose in America, the sooner they figure that out, the better”- truer words have never been spoken
    Asterisks denote confirmed hero’s, military, police officers or firemen/ladies

    · 10/8/2013 10:17 PM

    I have no doubt that today, the PBC is going to win tonight.

    Karma, hidden vigorish, all of you and the guys that wear black and gold

    I am so proud of this club
    I am so happy I expect rather than hope

    Plus Drew probably bet his boss something that no lunatic deserves

    The best, no matter what, is yet to come

    Beat Em Bucs

    Jandy, Roger

    I have to work in a place where there is no internet or phone cells from 4-8 tonight

    Could one of you please cut and paste this on the game thread?



  221. Damon says:

    The kid can score – he has 6 goals so far this season to lead the league.

  222. toochca says:

    Southern California kid delivering them to his home!!

  223. defil21 says:

    OMG I just said that to a guy sitting next to me at work! Minus the Hipposter part.

  224. JohninOshkosh says:

    The Rangers play their first 9 (!) games on the road. Almost the entire month of October. Odd scheduling. Are they doing renovations to MSG or something ?

    I like this Wednesday night rival games on NBCSN, by the way. Television doesn’t always get it wrong.

  225. JD says:

    Yesterday was Danny Murtaugh’s birthday. It’s hard to believe he was only 59 when he died. He died 2 months after retiring.

    Let’s Go Bucs!!

  226. toochca says:

    Make them Sudden Death!! First one to score wins… Unless of course it’s a field goal…

  227. Jim S. says:

    Next, they’ll go to best 2 of 3 series’.

  228. JohninOshkosh says:

    Nice post, JD.

  229. Jim S. says:

    A cut-out of Max Starks. Hilarious!

  230. Steelag70 says:

    Buccos clinched a playoff spot on the road….clinched home field for the WC game on the road….hmmmmm……

  231. Jandy says:

    You got it, Biz!

    430 strong…and growing!

    Lunatics, stand up and be proud :)

  232. Jim S. says:

    Circle of life.

  233. Jandy says:

    things that make you go hmmmm….

  234. Jandy says:

    Damon, that last goal was simply amazing…talk about being a natural…

  235. defil21 says:

    If they do you should sue Jim since you had the idea first. Wait and see 10 years from now they will.

  236. pattonbb says:

    1. I’d be disappointed if AJ was OK with the decision. That being said, the best available pitcher should start tonight, and he is. AJ gets the ball in game 1 of the NLCS.

    2. Doesn’t matter who pitches if the bats don’t show up. Wainwright will be ready. We better be too.

    3. Steelers finally waived Kion Wilson. While I hate to see anyone lose their job, this one was about 3 months past due.

    Lets Go Bucs. I’m not ready for this ride to end yet.

  237. Jandy says:

    That’s just nasty, Drew….nasty >:<

  238. Jandy says:

    what he said!

  239. Jim S. says:

    Regarding #1, patton, you could not be more right IMO. I expected AJ to be upset and disappointed. I then expected AJ to get over it and be a positive influence to pump up Gerrit Cole for tonight. I imagine, like all of our young guys, he probably looks up to AJ.

    I believe this decision was made by Hurdle last Friday. I speculated on the game thread that day that CH might have taken him out to bank an inning for Game 5. Game 2 was well in hand, and I believe CH felt there was no reason to have Cole go 7. It saved some pitches for tonight, and it also kept some Cardinal hitters from getting another look at him prior to tonight. CH has known who his Game 5 starter would be for 5 days.

  240. toochca says:

    Jim, I agree on all your points. If AJ wasn’t dissappointed/upset by the decision, one would have to question his competitivenes. One thing AJ is and has always been is a competitor who wants the ball every 5th day!!

  241. Jim S. says:

    I hope he has gotten over the disappointment by now, toocha. We need him behind the decision and supporting GC tonight! If AJ does that, there is a very good chance he gets 2 starts in the next series.

  242. Jim S. says:

    Stargell Star to you for that, bug.

  243. theplanisworking says:

    I do believe they are finishing renovations to the Garden before the NBA Knicks season starts.

  244. theplanisworking says:

    Brings a tear to my EYE knowing I had a very small part in this.

  245. defil21 says:

    LETS GO! I have ALOT of nervous energy.

  246. Kevin says:

    I like the new guy wearing the #12 as well, Koby. Definitely seems to have a nose for the puck around the net.

  247. Kevin says:

    yep! yet another penguin on pace for an 82 goal season :D

  248. likeabugonarug says:

    How perfect, toochch.

    +1979 for you!


  249. toochca says:

    “2 starts in the next series”…
    That would have been part of the message I gave him. I would like to think it was part of Clint’s. Clint does have a way of spinning everything towards the positive.

  250. toochca says:

    Thanks Kevin!

  251. Jandy says:

    Let’s hear it for the Night Janitor!


  252. theplanisworking says:


    See you in the game thread tonight.
    I am not nervous about this game.
    Our best is going out there, so win or lose, thats all you can ask for.

    Ciao! :)

  253. Jandy says:

    Later on, my friend :*

  254. JD says:

    Thanks John.

  255. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Do or die tonight. Winner take all.

    It’s going to be a tough match up, but I like it. I dont think any of the Pirates will be distracted by the crowd, perhaps by the pitching though.

    I am not ready for this ride to end though, I know that. It has been an amazing year and I would love for the Pirates to be the ones that wins the last game of the year.

    The future is bright and exciting.

  256. toochca says:

    We are just stopping in St. Louis for a “tune up” game before heading to LA!!

  257. JaxBuc says:

    Within the last hour I told a coworker that I would play Tabata instead of Marte.

    Also,my batting order would be
    1. Tabata
    2. Mercer
    3. Cutch
    4. Byrd
    5. Pedro
    6. Morneau
    7. Martin
    8. Walker
    9. Cole

  258. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I love it. Sure hope so.

  259. BigE says:

    Why do you think they lost? Fear of retribution!

  260. JHadar says:

    I posted the essence of point one on another blog and was politely told that Liriano will start game 1 against the Dodgers. AJ game 2. I think he’ll be fired up whenever he pitches next though.

  261. cmat0829 says:

    exactly. Cards won the other day TWO to ONE… and they got THREE HITS. Their forte, unsustainable hitting with RISP that they sustained all season long, is now a weakness.

    Not saying that I wouldn’t tinker with the lineup but it’s not an imperative in my opinion… I think you ‘go with what got you here’ slightly outweighs the ‘throw the kitchen sink at a winner-takes-all game’, but it’s slight.

  262. tpbco says:

    Here we are again, on the cusp of another big sports event for a Pittsburgh team and its fans.

    I’ve been around long enough to witness victories in 3 World Series, 6 Super Bowls, 3 Stanely Cups, my alma mater (Pitt) with a Football National Championship and its Basketball Team having one of the best records in the country in what used to be the baddest Conference in college hoops. That doesn’t even begin to count the preliminary playoff victories and big regular season wins by all of them.

    How lucky we are.

    Or is it “luck’? I dunnoe why or how a city of modest size and financial resources could have such accomplishments in so many different sports, for so long a time. It is mind boggling when you think about it.

    As I said…here we are again.

    Someone posted yesterday the motto of the British Special Air Service – the equivalent to our Seals, Rangers and Marine Recons. “Who Dares…Wins”.

    Mario texted all the Penguins before Game 7 against the Red Wings “Play without fear and you will be successful” Basically the same sentiment.

    Buccos – Play Without Fear, Dare to be great.

    And then we – “Raise The Jolly Roger!” (at least those of us still standing).

  263. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    not just score, but did you see how he scored? The 4th goal (I think) was absolutely amazing… he did it, I still dont know.

  264. cmat0829 says:

    GERRR-ITTTT, GERRRR-ITTTT… it’s not hard folks.

  265. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    No that’s hockey

  266. Arriba Wilver says:


  267. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    If McFarlane actually dated any actress, I’d be shocked.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but 2 words come mind regarding him, besides very funny.

    Show tunes

  268. JaxBuc says:

    I appreciate the tongue-in-cheek assessment of the fans in St. Louis. However, I’ve never seen a group miss more catches in the stands than I saw in those first two games at Busch. I don’ think a single ball was caught cleanly in those two games.

  269. cmat0829 says:


    The Cards seemed ‘plenty confident’ as they provided lots of quotes for the media after squeaking out Game 4, 2-1. Their hitters can’t wait to face Cole, including Beltran, who said he’d sit on the fastball and look for the slider, and Kozma, that offensive juggernaut, who said it “didn’t matter who the Pirates started’.

    If there is one thing I know about this series, it is that these teams are EVENLY MATCHED. 12-11 regular season I think… no reason for both teams not to be confident they can get this done.

    LETS GO BUCS.. let’s send the ‘best fans in sports’ home politely and orderly…

  270. Jandy says:

    We are truly spoiled as Pittsburgh fans.
    great post, tpb

  271. Jandy says:

    politely? ;)

  272. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    It was CW that posted the “Who Dares…..” part.

    Also, what I get from this is……….man, you’re kinda old.

    Just kidding.

    Good post.

  273. 21sthebest says:

    “Or is it “luck’? I dunnoe why or how a city of modest size and financial resources could have such accomplishments in so many different sports, for so long a time.”

    Great owners!

  274. Jandy says:

    lol I told Damon above (see up there) that the last goal was simply amazing.
    What a talent.

  275. Jandy says:


  276. cmat0829 says:

    My two cents on the lineup… I feel pretty strongly you stay with Marte and Walker at the top…. and my feeling isn’t about any data — we know how poorly both have been at the plate this series — it’s that this is game 5 in a hostile environment… this team needs to play without fear… and I don’t think Marte is capable of having fear in his game… and Walker has been so clutch for this team in so many situations…..

    I also don’t think you can move Marte out of the leadoff spot… if he has any value tonight, it’s in the top spot. I can be had on moving Walker down, but not Marte.

  277. cmat0829 says:

    no question Liriano goes game 1 on regular 4-days rest. Choice is Morton or AJ for game 2, but I think it would be AJ. Cole in game 3 and Morton in game 4.

  278. Jandy says:

    Old is cool, whippersnapper :P

    Where's Hasis when ya need him eh?


  279. Jandy says:


  280. The Justice Avenger says:

    Just got a text from a friend and wanted to share his thoughts: “…..the Pirates have acquitted themselves well. I hold my head high as a Buccos fan, regardless of the outcome tonight…” Well said…

  281. NMR says:

    “…including Beltran, who said he’d sit on the fastball and look for the slider…”

    Haha, as if there is another way you can approach a guy who throws 100 mph.

  282. toochca says:

    Even Pitt’s baseball team was nationally ranked this year!! Had to give them a “shout out” because my HS classmate is their head coach!!

  283. Jandy says:


  284. George Labecki says:

    There’s a fellow in my neighborhood, seen him for years walking his dog. In my family, we just call him “the nicest guy in the world.” You see him every day, walking his little dog, big smile on his face, waving to everyone.

    I recall one recent summer day: it was thundering and gushing rain. He and his little dog were huddled under a tree. I pulled up and offered to give him and his dog a ride home. His response: “Thank you, but no thank you. You see, it’s all a part of the adventure.”

    The wife of the nicest guy in the world had her share of troubles. She had cancer, and the chemo therapy robbed her of her hair. Yet you’d see the two of them, walking the dog, waving.

    I learned last week that the nicest guy in the world came home from four days working in DC and found his wife: she had died. And today I saw him out walking the dog, smiling and waving.

    I love my Bucs, Steelers, Pens, Nittany Lions. There were times in my past when their performances would decide what kind of day or even week I would have. After the Steelers lost to the Raiders in a 1973 playoff game, I went outside and shoveled the walk of everyone in the neighborhood.

    So I’ll sit down this evening with the sixteen-year-old and root for the Bucs. We’ll hang on every pitch. We’ll debate the merits of every decision Clint makes. My son Nick (aka Homer because blue or the refs are always the culprits) will protest every close call that goes against us.

    And at the end of the game, if the Bucs win, we get to do it all over again. And if they lose, we’ll feel badly for a little while and maybe have a root beer and talk about it, but no one is going to have to get talked off the bridge. Regardless of outcome, it’s been a tremendous year.

    Hey, it’s all a part of the adventure.

    Enjoy the game everyone.

  285. Arriba Wilver says:

    Oh, I think there’s at least a question. (Was that polite?)

  286. Kevin says:

    I get the whole AJ in game 1 answer…. who goes for game 2?? Morton? I am of course going under the assumption that we want Liriano for game 3 in Pittsburgh.

  287. Jandy says:

    :sniff, sniff:

    Thanks for sharing that, Mr. Labecki.

    Puts things n perspective for sure.


  288. Kevin says:


  289. Jandy says:

    sure it was :)

  290. Jandy says:

    You know, you guys correct me if I’m wrong.
    Isn’t AJ better at home?
    Start Liriano first, then whoever, put AJ in at home.
    But what do I know?

  291. The Justice Avenger says:

    George…thanks for sharing this wonderful story…

  292. George Labecki says:

    Retired teachers like to leave the Mr. behind. It’s George, please.

  293. tpbco says:

    I kinda am (old -59) but I still have a 7 handicap in golf and play in a lot of tournaments and really enjoy the emotions of playing in them and spectating like tonite.

    Fortunately, my wife has put up with me, the empty beer bottles, occasional broken furniture (not lately tho’), celebrations and dirges for the last 32 years…not to mention the DirecTV bills

    Only 5 more hours.

  294. SheckyW says:

    Don’t forget the impact Olli can have on Despres’ career with the Pens. If Olli makes the team, Despres is an injury call up, and Pouliot will be nipping at his heels next year. Despres might be this year’s Joe Morrow.

    DK: Maatta already beat out Despres.

  295. Jim S. says:

    I read all those quotes as well, cmat. I hope those quotes pumped up the Bucs, even though I’m not sure how much good it does in baseball. The Cardinal hitters acted as though Cole had just been beamed down from Mars for that game, as if they did not have well over 150 innings of video to review in advance of the game. Somehow, his domination of them seemed to equate to automatic victory tonight in their minds. I wonder if Kozma was standing behind Holliday and Beltran when he popped off.

    Cutch made a very innocent comment about how the Pirates basically got themselves out against Wainwright by swinging at balls. Wainwright almost sounded Tom Brady-like today, actually naming McCutchen in saying he would be plenty prepared for tonight. He sounded so arrogant. But, I guess if you can back it up it ain’t bragging.

  296. Jim S. says:

    Probably swimming laps.

  297. Jim S. says:

    Followed by one-arm pushups.

  298. SheckyW says:

    Ollie is clearly a better dman than Despres, but he has not made the team yet. External factors could still send him back to Juniors this year.

  299. Jim S. says:

    I don’t play as often as I’d like, tpb, but I’d like to shoot a 7 over just once in my life. Low 80’s is about the best I can ever do. I only play about 10x a year, but I bet if I played 50 I still couldn’t do it.

  300. Jandy says:

    you have a few on me tpb, but old is good :)
    Hubby just puts in the ear plugs when I yell and scream.

  301. Kevin says:

    George, yes this is fantastic. I am definitely one who takes these sporting events a little too seriously. When the penguins lost to the bruins I was in a funk for a week and a half. I wasn’t necessarily mean to people but I definitely wasn’t as nice as usual either. Thanks for this post to put things back in perspective.

  302. Jim S. says:

    ++++, toochca

  303. Baywatch says:

    Yeah, we’ll probably be right here by the computer watching the cheap $4.99 mlb split-screen version … unless I last-minute decide to go to our Chili’s and watch it in the bar. But the downside of that is I wouldn’t be with the Pirates-Crazy Mrs, who guards here privacy like I open myself up (opposites attract!). Probably go with staying at home.

  304. Jim S. says:

    Actually, just about all of the pitchers are better at home. PNC is a pitcher’s park. I think Liriano would go in Game 2 to maximize his starts in the series.

  305. Baywatch says:

    He really hasn’t had a bad outing, as in being SHELLED, has he? (Let’s see if I can pull up his numbers before anyone gets back with me on this!)

  306. Jim S. says:

    There is definitely at least a question.

  307. JHadar says:

    If I understood DK’s column a few days ago — TGMTIB after the owner bangs their heads together and puts them all on the same page.

  308. BillyBaduka says:

    Thanks for the story. Good stuff.

    Let’s go Bucs!

  309. Jandy says:

    you got it :)

  310. Lad 9 says:

    Wow. Thank you George. Really makes you think. “It’s all part of the adventure”.

    Stories and people like that are what make this a special place.

  311. NMR says:

    Joe Jordana seems like one of the good guys. And he’s a hell of a coach.

  312. NMR says:


  313. Kevin says:

    As far as I know, Coles the only one with a better away ERA.. not sure why that is.

  314. Jim S. says:

    Because a lot fewer runs are scored in PNC.

  315. WVStarship says:

    I’m going to say the same thing that I said the day of game 7 vs the Braves in 1992: I don’t care if they lose 20-0, I’ll be satisfied with this season AS LONG AS THEY DON’T SNATCH DEFEAT OUT OF THE MOUTH OF VICTORY!

    I’ve had to wait 20 years to rid myself of the stench of that night: Let’s Go Bucs!!!

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