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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 more, including 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 top four columnists in the country -- highest circulation category -- by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the top three columnists in the country by the National Headliners Awards. For 2013, he was named top columnist in the state by the Keystone Awards and second-place by the Pennsylvania AP Managing Editors.


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

    Oh wait…

  2. 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

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

          • Underperforming what?

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

            • 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.

              • 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).

            • 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.

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

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

    • 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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?

  5. “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.

  6. “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?

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

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

    • 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…

    • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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…

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

  10. Testing to see if avatar attaches to phone….

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

  14. R.I.P. Marvin “Goose” Goslin

    Always enjoyed him on kdka radio.

  15. 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.

    • 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….

    • 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.

    • 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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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