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Vacation discussion thread 10-15

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Here’s a discussion thread for the day. I’ll be back from this five-day break with coverage of Steelers-Ravens on Sunday from Heinz Field and, really, a whole new outlook on life.

Game posts will continue to go up as usual, beginning with Penguins-Oilers tonight.

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. Drew71 says:

    Good for Dejan. He needs a vacation. Gives him a chance to sleep in until noon every day.

    Oh wait…

  2. Jandy says:

    Silly Drew.
    This is a time for Dejan to bond with his children.
    And to thank his wonderful wife for putting up with him.
    She has to share him with all of us, you know.
    Not to mention everyone on twitter ‘N’at…

  3. JAL says:

    JAL’s Four Little Diamonds Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Pittsburgh Pirates Stats

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Season Recap: Second Base

    First Pitch: There is No Need to Extend Neil Walker

    AFL Recap: Hanson Triples, Makes Two Errors in Loss

    5 Bucs Dugout

    The danger of getting too attached to the 2013 Pirates

    6 Rumbunter

    2013 Pittsburgh Pirates: Nate Silver’s System Was A Bit Off

    7 Three Rivers Burgh Blog

    Starling Marte And Getting Hit By Pitches

    8 The Green Weenie

    Summer To Remember Epilogue: Wild Card & NLDS In Buctober

    9 IS Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates: Season ends but the beginning is now

    10 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates should let free-agent pitcher A.J. Burnett walk

  4. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates Smart To Focus On Future This Winter

    12 Hartford Courant

    John McDonald Has The Best Seat In House For Red Sox Games,0,329864.story

    13 Wall Street Journal

    Does Defense Even Matter Anymore?

    14 Detroit Free Press

    Jeff Seidel: Red Sox Nation invades town with attitude, but Tigers fans undeterred

    15 Boston Herald

    Verlander vs. Victorino

    16 PBC Site

    Pirates’ Taillon removed from Fall League roster

    17 St Louis Post Dispatch

    Bernie: Blasé Birds let Dodgers climb back into series

    Cardinals suffer letdown in LA

    18 LA Times

    Hanley Ramirez, Andre Ethier make sure Cardinals hurt worse,0,7427228.column#axzz2hmoKO6Ks


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Does Postseason Experience Really Matter?

    20 Fangraphs

    There’s No Right Way to Build a Playoff Rotation

  5. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers Troy Polamalu leads through painful example

    Steelers pathetic run game has been productive enough

    22 Steelers Depot

    Steelers Need to Improve Starting Field Position


    23 US Soccer

    Just How Good Is the U.S. Soccer Team?

    24 World Soccer Daily

    10 stories you need to read, 14th October, 2013


    25 Pensburgh

    Weekly Roundup: Crosby/4th Line Own, Should Refs Have Helped Stamkos?

  6. theplanisworking says:

    “Vacation Discussion Thread 10-15″.

    So now we have to discuss Dejan’s vacation.
    He never discusses our vacations when we go on one. ;)

    Of course, we dont take 100 pictures of that big duck, either.

  7. Jandy says:

    <b QUACK!

  8. Jandy says:

    oops QUACK! ,/B>

  9. Jandy says:

    lol I need more coffee~!

  10. theplanisworking says:

    You need more something :D

  11. Drew71 says:

    You had me until “wonderful wife”, Jandy.

    Not doubting. Just can’t relate to the concept.

  12. Jandy says:

    Yeah, right?


  13. theplanisworking says:

    Would another beer help?

  14. Jandy says:

    Ask Dejan, he’ll attest to it.

    Ask my hubby, he’ll endorse it as well.

    Sounds like you made a BIG boo boo, Drew

  15. theplanisworking says:

    I wont be on much today until the Pens thread.
    Dont want to make any more typos like yesterday……

    Hope to see a few people tonight………. some were MIA since Sunday……….

    Maybe they are vacation secretly with DK ? ;)

  16. Jandy says:

    Hey Hipposter! I know I’ve been catching up with a lot of stuff at home, so likely everyone else is too. Hockey isn’t every night like baseball, so it will be easier to jump on the thread. Hope to see you tonight too, friend :*

  17. theplanisworking says:

    Maybe they are all in shock that the Steelers won, or in shock Ben’s wife is going to have another baby.

    May see you before tonight, if not have a great day, and see you in the Pens thread.

    (You are in charge of the blog today). ;)

  18. Jandy says:

    Not I! Drewster is in charge ;)

  19. Boo Boo Drew. Sounds like a Brandelita handle.

  20. Of what? Paper clips?

  21. Jandy says:

    Anything he wants ;)

  22. Dom says:

    We have discussed the topic of signing Neil Walker to a long term deal. Since he has been underperforming, injury prone, and since he’ll be under Bucco control till he’s 31, what’s the rush?

    Plus, as #4 points out, we do have prospects, well just Alen Hanson, who could replace Walker before he even reaches free agency.

  23. Kevin says:

    “Weekly Roundup: Crosby/4th Line Own, Should Refs Have Helped Stamkos?”

    No of course they shouldn’t have. If he couldn’t get off the ice because of an injury, they woulda blown the whistle… whats the difference?

  24. Arriba Wilver says:

    Underperforming? Tim says he’s 8th out of 26 full time 2B’s. I thought his article was flawed. He said they saved $10 mil by not signing Sanchez and going with Walker. But that ignores the close to $5 mil they spent on Aki.

    And, no, I’m not convinced they should buy out any free agent years with Walker, but that has more to do with his age than fudging things.

  25. And number 4 also points out, Hanson is not known yet for his slick fielding.

  26. I thought his pix of the Mr. Rogers statue and his kids he had on Twitter were great. Couldn’t get mine to swivel, though.

    DK could easily be a photographer if he wanted to quit writing. Some guys just have a knack for stuff like that. Others, not so much.

  27. Arriba Wilver says:


  28. Jandy says:

    Some of you guys might get a kick of this hockey fight between US and Canada’s Women’s teams:

  29. Drew71 says:

    I’m just joshing.

    My marriage has been three of the best years of my life.

  30. Kevin says:

    underperforming AND injury prone. I read that article… very interesting read, thanks Dom. He said there was a large drop off after the top 5. In my mind, top 5 then would be “elite” whereas 8th is just above average. I think if Walker comes back next couple years and is in that upper tier, they’ll wish they had extended him. BUT, It’s more likely that he’ll decline. I guess that’s the risk.

  31. Kevin says:

    cat fight on ice?? :O

  32. Kevin says:

    aww blocked by work browser blocker :(

  33. What about the other 21?

  34. Jandy says:

    well that sucks lol

  35. Bob Hasis says:

    Hmmmn. Three for 24; sounds like Barmes BA.

  36. Arriba Wilver says:

    Underperforming what?

  37. Arriba Wilver says:

    I didn’t question the injury prone. And I think his back is an issue.

  38. tpbco says:

    It was also noted in the “other newspaper”, that Walker when compared to other NL 2B with more than 250 ABs was 4th in OPS and 5th in HRs.

    Its highly likely the Pirates will lose in arbitration and Walker could see his salary doubled.

    Would that be better?

    Especially given that it is also likely Pedro will also elect arbitration and despite his BA, his HR numbers could send his salary into orbit as well.

    How much $$$ will that leave for any FA’s?

    Should be an interesting offseason.

  39. Ha! That would be .130, Bob. Clint hit .209 didn’t he?


  40. Bob Hasis says:

    It’s in the neighborhood, but in either case – nothing to boast about.

    But you obviously got my drift

  41. tpbco says:

    Thanks Jandy…did find it interesting, although the cages, I am, sure saved on any “repair work”.

    Wonder what was being said?

  42. Arriba Wilver says:

    Good to see Bob has joined the other 99% on the planet who don’t think Barmes can hit.

  43. Who are the 1%, AW?


    You don’t have to answer that.

  44. Jandy says:

    Ha! I’d love to have been able to hear it! LOL

  45. Bob Hasis says:

    I’ll have to find a new whipping boy next season, after CB is gone.

    Aside; yesterday there was a discussion about length of games. Nomar Garciaparra can lay claim to a good portion of that problem, with his incessant stepping out after every pitch and adjusting those silly wrist bands. Now everyone does it.

    The other detriment is the catcher getting the sign from the dugout for every pitch. IMHO

  46. Jandy says:

    from what I see here, just another “ snow job

  47. Bob Hasis says:

    AW, I hate when that happens; I’d rather lead a very small parade of like-minded people, than be a mere pimple among the mass.

  48. Did you ever watch Johnny Gomes get in the batter’s box, Bob? He yanks that batting helmet so many times, you’d think he was going out into a tornado.

    And between pitches, too. Hurts my head to watch him.

  49. Iceman says:

    Pens just placed James Neal on IR and recalled Harry Zolniercyk. Hopefully he doesn’t do anything stupid.

  50. Bob Hasis says:

    Yes Lucky I have just recently, then he crams it down seemingly very hard.

  51. Jandy says:

    I just saw that….and yes, hopefully he remembers he’s not a Flyer, he’s a Pen.
    Then again, we play the Flyers on Thursday…

  52. Kevin says:

    oh I dunno.. trying to remember a hit he had in the postseason. I don’t even know if thats fair. I’m not sure how you can say someone had a mediocre yar and still end up at 8th among all 2nd baseman. In that case, there’s alot of mediocre 2nd baseman.

  53. Kevin says:

    what other injury news you got, Iceman? How long is Bennett going to be out? Only thing I saw about him was lower body injury.

  54. How long is the IR for hockey? Not full season, right?

  55. Dom says:

    Yeah, I think I did go overboard by saying he was underperforming.

    His batting average has decreased over the years but he did hit a solid 16 homers, which is a career high. His WAR stat has been consistent.

    The good news is that we don’t have to worry 2nd base for the next few seasons.

  56. tpbco says:

    No not full season.

    W/O looking it up, I think it is openended, but has a minimum of a couple of weeks or so.

  57. Kevin says:

    Looked it up, it’s only a week minimum. And, its retroactive (max 7 days). So, if Neal injures himself a week ago and you put him on IR retroactive to last Tuesday, you can take him off IR on Thursday for the game against the flyers.

  58. Iceman says:

    Welcome to the world of hockey injuries. All they are saying about Bennett is lower body injury and that he is day to day.

    Letang still listed with lower body injury. He is currently skating with the team, but Bylsma says, ““Still needs to continue to progress to move toward a game.”

    Neal is an upper body injury and is still week to week. Just placed on IR.

    D’Agastini, with a lower body injury, is scheduled to start practicing with the team next week.

  59. Iceman says:

    I think you are thinking of Long Term IR. This is not the option they are using with Neal. With regular IR, as Kevin has stated below, is 7 days retroactive to initial injury. I believe that Neal remains a salary cap hit with this option, but it clears a roster space so they can bring up Harry Z.

  60. So it’s like the baseball DL in some ways, not the football IR?

    That’s good. Thanks.

  61. Milo Hamilton says:

    At least that Levi Brown thing was well thought out. SMH.

  62. Arriba Wilver says:


  63. Arriba Wilver says:

    No, that’s not fair, unless you consider Barry Bonds “underperforming” when he won 2 MVP’s for the Pirates. (NO, I am NOT comparing Bonds and Walker, just the concept).

  64. JohninOshkosh says:

    Testing to see if avatar attaches to phone….

  65. Dom says:

    Levi Brown and David Johnson have been placed on the IR. The Steelers signed tight end Richard Gordon and cornerback Isaiah Green.

    Max Starks is available again after being cut by the Rams. That is the second team that cut him this season so maybe he nearing the end of his career.

  66. Mercy.

    At least Max would be a warm body and probably make it through warm-ups without getting hurt.

  67. Milo Hamilton says:

    At least the Paul Seymour trade no longer stands alone as the worst trade in Steelers history.

  68. Kevin says:

    maybe we should pick em up?

  69. Damon says:

    Line up’s getting thinner. Too many more injuries will force Shero to make a move. Neal to IR was the only way to bring someone up.

    Odd thought I just had….I wonder why no one wears #1 in hockey who isn’t a goalie? Is it just a “thing”? I would have figured some hot dog would have wanted to wear it and be unique…

  70. Jandy says:

    Always lookin for the silver lining ;)

  71. JohninOshkosh says:

    I saw a good documentary on Joe Namath on HBO. Some good scenes of Beaver Falls. No mention of Mr. Belvidere, though.

    I recommend it.

    I always wondered why he ended up at Alabama.

  72. Jandy says:

    Shouldn’t have let him go in the first place…but what do I know?

  73. Arriba Wilver says:

    The AD’s secretary was attractive?

  74. tpbco says:

    I just happened to catch Max’s “last game” with the Rams…came in because of an injury and proceeded to make Mike Adams look like Anthony Munoz…was cut a few hours later.

    Not quite sure how warm the body is.

  75. Milo Hamilton says:

    Trying real hard ! :)

  76. Jandy says:

    I need that today.

    Horrid day at work. Speaking of…

  77. JohninOshkosh says:

    Hahaha. Good one.

    BTW, Ann Margaret had it goin’ on. Yowsa.

  78. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’ve done basketball games at Beaver Falls. Great old gym. The hallways above the sunken in floor have old football & basketball team pictures. The photos of Namath are probably worth a fortune. And Todd Thomas’ mom made great pepperoni rolls.

  79. JohninOshkosh says:


  80. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    There was one way that the Cards could’ve avoided the irritating antics of the miserable Dodgers…..DON’T ADVANCE in the playoffs!!!!!!!!

  81. Milo Hamilton says:

    Especially in Viva Las Vegas.

  82. Arriba Wilver says:

    Thanks, John. It’s scheduled on my DVR now. Seems like Bear Bryant may have been the draw. Looking forward to it, especially after seeing this on WIKI:

    “Namath’s time at Alabama was a culture shock for him. Beaver Falls’ Lower End neighborhood was (and still is as of 2010) predominantly African American. Namath attended Alabama at the height of the Civil Rights movement in the Southern United States (especially the Deep South) and often got into fights with his white teammates and other white Southerners when defending African Americans.”

    Did not know that,

  83. Jandy says:

    Pacifico bakery in Altoona makes great pepperoni bread loafs ;)

  84. Dom says:

    Maybe this is the end for his career.

    I wonder what he’ll move onto next.

  85. JohninOshkosh says:

    Good stuff this post.

  86. JohninOshkosh says:

    Oh, one of my favorites. Elvis’ best movie, certainly.

  87. JAL says:

    They could try to sign Walker to a contract through his arbitration seasons.

  88. Arriba Wilver says:

    And his incentive?

  89. Arriba Wilver says:

    Any movie with Ann-Margret was the “best.” My favorites were Kid Galahad and Love Me Tender.

  90. TK says:

    R.I.P. Marvin “Goose” Goslin

    Always enjoyed him on kdka radio.

  91. Milo Hamilton says:

    My dad was an extra in Blue Hawaii. He was in the Army stationed at Schofield in Honolulu. He never got to see Elvis but he got 50 bucks.

  92. Dom says:

    A discussion was brought up here in the office about who would be the Steelers’ Offensive and Defensive MVP thus far this season.

    On D my pick was Ike Taylor but I had a difficult time picking someone of the other side of the ball.

    My first thought was Big Ben but then I remembered he threw a number of interceptions in the early part of the season. Maybe AB but he had some drop balls and we hardly heard from him in the first couple games. I guess if I had to choose someone, I might have to go with Fernando Velasco. He has been the only one on the line who has been playing past what has been expected of him. Also, as DK said yesterday, we have hardly heard his name thus far, if we heard it at all and that’s a good thing when you’re an OLman.

  93. Damon says:

    Ike is a good pick for the season so far, but if Timmons keeps playing like he did Sunday he could be it by the end of the year.

    Offense I’d have to go with AB. He’s made a lot of plays and is starting to look more like a #1 WR in the past few weeks. Heath is another one who is coming on as well….

  94. tpbco says:

    Agree with you on Offense, expectations were not only low on Fernando in general, he did have to come in learn a new O in a hurry and under a little bit of pressure.

    On D, agruements could also be made for Woodley, Troy, Timmons and everybody’s favorite CB, William Gay…little question he has outperformed most people’s expectations.

  95. tpbco says:

    The “Train Robbers” w/ John Wayne.

    He was quoted later “I want Ann Margret to dance on my coffin…if you don’t see me in 5 minutes, you’ll know for sure I’m dead”.

  96. casper in a-town says:

    Hello All — Just wanted to post a RIP to MLB umpire Wally Bell, who died yesterday at the age of 48 from heart disease. He was born and raised in Austintown, OH (right outside of Youngstown) and was a pretty darn good umpire. He was on the crew for our NLDS with the Cards. By all accounts, a great guy.

  97. Milo mentioned that yesterday. Way too young.

    My niece and her family live in Austintown.

    You a Fitch Falcon?

  98. Arriba Wilver says:


  99. casper in a-town says:

    Hi Lucky — I’ve lived in Austintown since 1999 but I’m a transplant. I’m originally from New Castle, PA. Through work, I met and eventually married a Fitch Falcon and my son graduated from Fitch a few years ago. My wife and her brother and sisters grew up with Wally.

  100. Kevin says:

    obviously its shaun suisham on offense so far…hasn’t missed on a FG kick yet this year… I could be wrong but I think he’s leading anyone else on the offense in points earned.

  101. Kevin says:

    I agree definitely thought it would be huge loss having Gay over Cortez.

  102. Oh, yeah, I remember you mentioning that before. Plan is a New Castle Red Hurricane.

  103. Jason says:

    Who here is an NHL capologist? The Flyers’ GM has come out and said that Pronger will never play again. If he continues on LTIR, Pronger continues to get paid. If he retires however, the Flyers will have his $4.9 mil cap hit for the next few years. My question is why would they get the full hit when the Devils are only billed $250k per year when Kovalchuk retired from the NHL? If Pronger stays on LTIR, Philly is circumventing the cap.

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