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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Morning Java: 34 + 22 + 16 = 0

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The plan for the week is a Steelers column for Thursday, a Penguins column for Friday and a flight out to Oakland for more NFL stuff on the weekend.

>> Finally got to a hockey game last night, inexcusably overdue on my part, but I did get to see something that fans in these parts aren’t likely to forget anytime soon …


Jean-Sebastien Giguere looked like his decade-ago self from his time with the Mighty Ducks, stopping all 34 pucks the Penguins sent his way. The Avalanche blocked 22 others and saw 16 others miss the net, making for an incredible 72 attempted shots and zero goals.

The game story is by Rob Rossi.

News of the day is by Josh Yohe.

A few of my own thoughts from the evening: There’s almost nothing to analyze beyond Giguere. As Dan Bylsma told us afterward, “We had shots that were labeled. He was rock solid.” But it’s also worth pointing out that the Avs got big defensive showings from Jan Heyda (27 minutes, six blocks, four hits) and Hopewell native Nate Guenin (three blocks, three hits, great PK). … I’ve no doubt about Nate MacKinnon’s No. 1 overall pedigree, but I saw very little beyond a very green rookie on this night. … Evgeni Malkin attempted 15 shots, landed eight, had five blocked and missed two. Sidney Crosby attempted 13, landed seven, had five blocked and missed one. Yeah, it was that kind of night. … Think James Neal and Kris Letang might have made a difference? … Concern over the Penguins’ lack of grit up front really hasn’t manifested because of the hot start, but it sure shows on a night like this. Count up the fourth-line turnovers in the neutral zone, and that looks even worse. … I’ll admit: Robert Bortuzzo is growing on me. … I’ll further admit: There was way too much Matt Niskanen on the ice last night. … Paul Martin and Brooks Orpik aren’t playing like a shutdown pairing. … If a novice fan ever asks how a ref can call both an obstruction penalty and diving on the aggrieved party, show them the clip from the final minute of Guenin legitimately holding Jussi Jokinen and Jokinen legitimately going spastic to try to jazz it up. It really can be both. … It’s got to be asked: If the Avs are the NHL’s No. 1 team right now at 8-1, and the Penguins just schooled them for an hour like a JV shinny session, then what does that make the Penguins?

Here’s our full Penguins coverage.

Here’s Avalanche news from the Denver Post’s Adrian Dater, who sat in the seat to my right on this night.

Here are official game highlights from

>> What’s next for the football team? Alan Robinson looks ahead.

What went right for Le’Veon Bell? Mark Kaboly looks back in his weekly Film Session feature.

What went wrong for Isaac Redman?

I’m increasingly convinced that there’s no better sports talk in our town than that brought to TribLIVE Radio every weekday morning by Ken Laird and Guy Junker, and I don’t particularly care if that sounds self-serving. These guys are good.

Here’s their take on the W over Baltimore …

Here’s our full Steelers coverage.

Here’s Raiders news from the San Francisco Chronicle.

Here are official game highlights from

>> If you thought the Vikings looked lousy in beating the Steelers in London, there’s a reason: They still stink.

>> Francisco Liriano is named the National League’s Comeback Player of the Year, by Rob Biertempfel.

Here’s what our panel on the Subway Final Word had to say about the World Series …

>> I’m off today, then the TribLIVE Radio show comes tomorrow at 2 p.m.

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. Ghost says:

    Wow, Jim Leyland is gone. For good this time, most likely. The guy who could handle Barry Bonds and who turned around three different franchises. Baseball loses a good one.

    But I wonder if Lloyd becomes a candidate to take over the Tigers now? If he wants it (and I’m sure deep down he does), I hope he gets it. Lloyd was green when he was here. But he was fiery and he cared. The dark days of Pirate front office-hood doomed him to never have a fair chance. But a decade later, he’s probably a more sage baseball mind. Rooting for Lloyd to get that Tiger helm and meet us in the 2014 WS.

  2. 21sthebest says:

    “You go, Ghost.
    Dont let anyone squash discussion of any topic you want.
    This is priceless!”

    Plan, I was referring to the discussion with AJ about going to the bullpen during negotiations and not my discussion with Ghost about AJ.

  3. 21sthebest says:

    A.J. tells Colin Dunlap he’ll either be a Pirate or retire.

  4. JAL says:

    Song Four Days Counting Crows

    JAL’s Four Days Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 MLB Important Dates

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Should the Pirates Trade Francisco Liriano?

    Don’t Sleep on Joely Rodriguez as a Future Major League Pitcher

    Winter League Recap: Double For Polanco, Tejeda Homers and Triples

    2013 Bradenton Marauders Season Recap and Top 10 Prospects

    AFL Recap: Two Hits For Dickerson, RBI For Hanson In Win

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates dominate Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year awards

    6 KDKA

    AJ Burnett: “I’ll Be Back With The Pittsburgh Pirates Or Retire”

    7 Bleacher Report

    World Series 2013: Cardinals vs. Red Sox Position-by-Position Breakdown

    8 The Green Weenie

    Pittsburgh – Outfield 2014

    9 Pirates Official Site

    Bucs played up to Hurdle’s lofty expectations

    Leyland’s impact in Pittsburgh proves lasting

    10 City of Champions

    Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano wins Sporting News NL Comeback Player of the Year

  5. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 USA Today

    Why the St. Louis Cardinals will win the World Series

    12 SB Nation

    Jim Leyland, the most interesting man in the (baseball) world

    13 Rant Sports

    Jeff Karstens’ Pittsburgh Pirates Career Is Probably Over

    14 Chicago Tribune

    FACTBOX-Baseball-2013 World Series factbox,0,2616931.story

    15 Boston Herald

    Slight edge goes to Red Sox

    16 Sports Media 101

    Could Nate McLouth Really Garner a $10 Million Deal This Offseason?

    17 St Louis Post Dispatch

    Cardinals trying not to think about Fenway’s Green Monster

    Bernie: Series matchup is a worthy one

    18 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Daugherty: For Reds’ manager, Bryan Price is logical guy


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    The Week in Quotes

    20 Fangraphs

    The Worst of the Best: The Season’s Wildest Pitches

  6. Drew71 says:


  7. Drew71 says:

    I wonder if they’ve felt out AJ’s receptiveness to taking on first base. They need somebody there.

  8. 21sthebest says:

    Well that’s what happens when someone takes one sentence out of a paragraph that was about having a discussion with AJ.

  9. 21sthebest says:

    Pedro’s going to play first base, apparently.

  10. kr70 says:

    One of my favorite Lloyd memories, “going and getting the base.” I hope he gets it too. The dark days of pirate front office don’t reflect well on any manager except Russell. Dodger or Yankee money couldn’t make him look good.

  11. Thundercrack says:

    “The only other option is for both sides to agree A.J. would retire if a move to the pen became reality. He’s not going to let himself be traded.”

    Ghost, how in the heck are they going to agree to something like that?

    And you do realize that when a player in baseball retires – as opposed to getting cut – he doesn’t get paid any more. Do you think AJ is going to forfeit the money? Not to mention the fact that if his union got a whiff of this type of arrangement they would not allow it.

  12. Thundercrack says:

    It’s Halloween. Time for squash.

  13. Thundercrack says:

    So in that clip of The Final Word the hosts asks for a prediction as to who will win the World Series and rants about payroll break out.

  14. Who said that other than general speculation?

  15. 21sthebest says:

    Forget that. What got me about that clip was that I thought Dejan was the best dressed.

    DK: Woo-hoo!

  16. 21sthebest says:

    Lucky, I was just referring to Ghost’s comment yesterday.

  17. Drew71 says:

    So the others were naked?

  18. Drew71 says:

    Exercising molars again today and tomorrow. (Burpees.)

    Everybody have a good day. Even Thunder.

    Yes. Obviously. I’m drunk already.

  19. Jandy says:

    Alcohol = best medicine for molars.

    Feel better, Drew Dahling :*

  20. Jim S. says:

    I read that. Glad to hear we are the only team he is considering.

  21. Jim S. says:

    Feel better, Drew. Sounds like nasty stuff.

  22. Sarah says:

    Well I suppose JS gets all three stars…..

    Re all the blocked shots, as a G myself, I’d suggest that when you know who is going to be shooting on PPs (Malkin or Sid) and they don’t move that much….AND everybody is a lefty shot so the lanes are predictable….you wind up with lots of blocks.

    Additionally when there’s little traffic in front, it gets easier for the G.

    Not to take away from JS…but as many shots as we generated, how often did we make him go laterally? How often did we generate open lanes? when there’s a million blocked shots, the answer is “not often”….

    I know, I know, we schooled them. And JS was great.

    But I think the PP needs at least 1 righty (even if that’s Nisky – and I can’t believe I just wrote that) and more triangle passing to open lanes and keep the G moving his feet.

    Oh and if Kunitz could get in front of the net once in awhile/win a battle/not fan….that would be an improvement.

    Sour grapes over LOL!!

    Hats off to JS.

  23. Jandy says:

    When you have 7 PP’s and you don’t score on ANY of them, something is dreadfully wrong.
    JS was good, bet we made him look like the second coming of Roy.

  24. Jim S. says:

    Tough loss for the Pens last night. My eyes didn’t see the Avs beating the Pens. My eyes saw the Avs goalie, Giguere (sp?) standing on his head and beating them all by his lonesome. He was brilliant. It happens. Give him credit.

    We had a bunch of PP chances, and I thought for the most part we did what we were supposed to do – generated many quality chances. I know we didn’t score, but sometimes you just have to tip your hat to the other guy. The Pens could have scored 3 PP goals with those chances many nights.

    It gets mentioned all the time, so this isn’t news to anyone. But, there were sequences when 87 was on the ice where it looked like he was playing against cardboard cut-outs. Think about how hard it is to be that dominant with 1 puck and 10 guys on the ice fighting for it. He is 100% back at his best now, IMO, and he is far and away the best player in the game.

    Fleury’s arm is going to fall off by summer. Oh, wait. This is hockey. Whatever breaks down on over-worked goalies is going to break on Fleury by January at this pace.

  25. hockeymonster says:

    Disappointing result last night but we should all be encouraged with the patience pens showed. Avs came in with same game plan that we’ve had this season. Be patient in the neutral zone, don’t give up the middle of the ice and block as many shots as possible. More of a chess match last night and looks like bylsma has graduated from checkers after last few post seasons. HOWEVER:

    Connor over Jeffrey is a joke. Wouldn’t blame Jeffrey for demanding a trade at this point. Connor couldn’t get the puck out of the zone along the wall that led to 3 GA in the Vancouver game. Vitale leaving the zone early didn’t help but connor whiffing on the clear was bigger issue. After the 1st period against van whatever adrenaline rush he had wore off but he still put him in last night? WHY? He’s a career quad A player…good for depth but to take out Jeffrey who has been solid defensively during a great start to season is downright stupid. Atleast they realized HZ needs to play but bylsma needs to get over the fact that Jeffrey isn’t a physical player and accept him for the skilled positional role player he is. Especially is he’s going to partake in similar chess matches this season.

    Anyone else notice PM step up in the neutral zone on the GA last night? He got caught out of position which led to orpik being hung out to dry on that rush. Overall he played ok last night but he’s been responsible for 3 out of 4 GA last 2 games. Not starting anything here…just saying :)

  26. Jandy says:

    His head will fall off from him standing on it

  27. Sarah says:

    Even one righty shot makes a huge difference to available lanes.

    But if I had to pick one thing I would say net-front presence. (I’m looking at you, Kunitz….)

  28. radio wave says:

    Catching up after 2 weeks of no internet. Steelers on way up, my Pats down. Red Sox in WS, yes. Pens up, my Rangers ?? College football top 25, unreal. And what free agents return to the Bucs?

  29. Sarah says:

    Actually IMO the issue is Sid is playing WITH cardboard cutouts. Dupes and Kunitz just not keeping up with him (it may be the 1-3-1 for Kuni, not sure Duper’s excuse)….

    And in the playoffs, teams just focus on Sid, cos the other guys cannot hurt them. Has happened repeatedly.

    Same thing going on for Geno, though he’s had a revolving door on wing.
    Bennett will help a lot there.

  30. Sarah says:

    Yeah if you’re going to sit DJ for Connor, might as well trade him. Head scratcher there.

  31. Jim S. says:

    For me, I’m hoping AJ signs for one last year. That is priority one, radio. After that, I’d like to see Byrd come back. But, I think there are other options if he goes elsewhere for more money. I do not want to see Morneau come back. I think we can do better because he is sliding. We’ll have to see about Barmes. I believe they want him back, and he said he wants to come back. But, I doubt he will be the starter and won’t receive starter money again here, so that one could be interesting.

    Not as many pressing needs as in prior seasons. But, now the expectations are higher and maintaining and adding a few final pieces is key. It all starts with AJ, though.

  32. hockeymonster says:

    Maybe they want to get guys like connor an nhl paycheck.

  33. Damon says:

    That game was like watching the Boston series all over again…

  34. Kevin says:

    HA! just saying. I thought it was an important game we played last night, result be dammed. We need to play those tight close games to get into that mind-frame. And agree, patience is important and kept us in that game until the bitter end (last puck in the glove of Giggy weakly shot by Malkin).

    Things ended last night:
    – games this season where penguins scored atleast 3 goals
    – 1st loss for Fleury on the season
    – 1st loss for penguins on home ice
    – Crosby failed to record a point (obviously)
    – Olli Maatta try-out period (no longer a try-out, soon to be extended stay for the dazzling finnish defender)

  35. hockeymonster says:

    How bout just wristing the puck to the net instead of slap shots with huge backswings? Easier to get it thru traffic that way. Overall im not a fan of telling world class players what to do when they have the puck but its worth getting some practice time in getting wristers thru traffic.

  36. Damon says:

    Jokinen tried a couple times to get in front of the net during the later PPs, but he was more off to the side of the goalie. You’re definitely right though – Kunitz or whoever needs to get in front, screen and whack at rebounds. Even if they had Sid or someone go in and out of the crease to create more havoc that would be good. I’m getting tired of seeing perimeter passing and sharp angle shots….I feel like a broken record.

  37. Jim S. says:

    I always like your analysis, Sarah. There probably is a mesmerizing tendency to watch Sid try to do everything when you are out there with him. Or, maybe Kuni and Duper just can’t hang with him. But, that would most likely be an issue with almost anyone they could put on his line, right?

    I think Geno is still too careless too often. I don’t think he has gotten much better over the years. Sid seems to constantly reinvent himself. He dissects every facet of his game and adds each season. Couldn’t win face-offs – conquered it. Wasn’t a great shooter – much better now. Geno is a terrific talent, for sure. But, is he a better player than he was when we won the Cup? He is right in his prime. He should be getting better still. I’m not sure I see it. I only see maybe 1/3 of the games, though. So, I’m just speculating.

  38. hockeymonster says:

    I thought kunitz was hurt last post season…atleast looked like it. Speaking of which…heard some talk about kunitz riding shotgun with Crosby to the Olympics. How bout duper? Who does team Canada have that could do a better job in the bottom 6 at killing penalties, forechecking and backchecking on the big ice? Fleury should def be on the radar for team Canada. Unless yzerman thinks Holtby is the answer…please…

  39. Sarah says:

    When you collapse around your net and have a strong G, and the PP has a tendency to be perimeter-oriented anyway….well, this is what happens. And you’re right it has happened before – and not just vs. Boston.

  40. Sarah says:

    Well SId appears to prefer playing with Kuni/Duper….more head scratching for me.

    Duper is a 3rd line guy. Kuni has looked great with Geno.

    I like chemistry as much as the next fan, but really, Sid had to do everything himself last night, and Kuni booted about 6 chances.


  41. Damon says:

    I’d like to see Bennett with Sid when he is healthy and put Kunitz back with Geno. I don’t see Bennett clicking with Geno at all. Kunitx could geet Geno going again. I guess I am just beating that dead horse again…

  42. Jim S. says:

    Oh yeah, the most amazing factoid I gleaned from the game: Cole Harbour has now produced not only 2 first round picks, but the first pick of the first round 2x in the past, what, 8 years?

    Hockey is an amazing game. But, can you imagine the heights this game could go to if there were more people in more places playing it? I mean, if a little town like that can produce so much talent, imagine if it were played by as many people as a sport like soccer.

    Maybe that’s a good question, actually. Do you think hockey would be a better game if it were able to develop players from a much wider geographic radius? I know the NHL is trying to spread its appeal. But, what do you think that would do for the game if they accomplished that goal? Think of the increased talent level in MLB as a result of Carribean and SE Asian players over the past 40 years. Just wondering what others think.

    DK: Which team sport, other than soccer, has a broader geographic radius than hockey? Maybe basketball, and that’s it.

  43. Wonder where Plan-et Hollywood is today.

    Must be drowning his sorrows after the L last night.


  44. Jandy says:

    With the atmosphere in here, he’s likely just lurking :)

  45. tpbco says:

    If Jeffery demanded a trade would anybody notice?

    JMO, but I do not see the offensive skills to be a top 6, nor the the physcial/grinder defensive skills to be a bottom 6 – on the Pens (injuries not withstanding). To me he is the classic AAAA player that needs to be on a different team or back at WS. That’s not to say that I understand why Conner dressed last nite, I don’t…but Jeffery lilely wasn’t changing the outcome, regardless.

    BB and Neal really change the dynamics of the lineup (duh), hard to say what Matt Agostino (sp?) brings yet. HZ (not even trying) is a known and so should be Jeffery. Perhaps they justed wanted a look at Conner?

  46. tpbco says:


    If you’ve ever priced equipping a kid for hockey, you would’ve answered your own question. And then there’s ice time, expensive AND rare. Like in 5AM weekday practices and or 11 PM weekends. Also, unless there is an exising hockey culture, which even Pittsburgh has only had since Lemieux, tough too see where there’s the interest.

    Relatively speaking, soccer is free (just need a ball and a open field), baseball not much more expensive, same with basketball, unless you start talking about advanced levels.

  47. Scott says:

    Sarah, you are totally right. DK was ranting on Twitter about how there’s nothing to analyze in this game because it was all about the goaltender, and anyone who believes otherwise knows nothing about hockey. That’s just flat-out wrong, as this conversation proves. Giguere played well, but most of his saves weren’t spectacular, and the Pens constantly shot the puck right into Avs defenseman.

    The Pens must have attempted 15 slapshots from near the right wall on their power plays. They were never going to beat Giguere that way. Even the announcers commented very early on about how predictable they were being. Until that 7th PP, they did nothing to switch up their strategy.

    It’s not the end of the world. The Pens still dominated. But there are certainly lessons to be learned from this game beyond “we got beat by a hot goalie.”

    DK: Ranting? That’s not your only hyperbole here, Scott, even amid several other good points.

    I don’t write in absolutes. I might tweet in absolutes because of 140 characters, but not actual writing. The very blog entry above, in which I analyze all kinds of stuff, backs that.

    As for Giguere not making great saves … Good Lord, dude, I can’t help you if you didn’t see great saves in that game. That’s insanity.

  48. Damon says:

    Thought – if your child wants to play football for their school in this area, they are given all the equipment they need. I wonder if in Canada it works that way with hockey equipment.

  49. hockeymonster says:

    I said the other day that I think Jeffrey’s contribution to a good start has been underrated. Last 2 games don’t disprove that.

  50. Jandy says:

    Scott has some valid points here.

    “and the Pens constantly shot the puck right into Avs defenseman.”

    The Pens also shot the puck directly a JS’s chest or right into his glove.
    The made it very easy for him. No one really crasdhed the net.
    Not saying JS didn’t have a good game. He did. He didn’t have a great game, IMHO.

  51. Jim S. says:

    I wasn’t asking why hockey is less popular. Ice time & equipment is very expensive, especially in the US. My son actually played a couple of years at a young age. I’m very familiar with the expenses. On that note, a whole lot of lower income Canadian kids are playing at a high level as youths. I’m sure they save on some ice time by being able to play outside for a big chunk of the year, which obviously you can’t do in very many places. But, I also assume as popularity grows and the need increases for more ice, costs go down.

    I was simply asking if the game could be even greater if more great athletes were exposed to it. Canada does not have the market cornered on 2/3 of the great athletes in the world the last time I checked.

  52. CWalton_67 says:

    Thought it interesting that DK mentioned the lack of grit up front. Not to take anything away from Giguere, but the Pens did absolutely nothing to try to change the game, just continued to do what they do, (which is clearly successful most of the time), and let the Avs do what they were doing. No attempt by any player to get under the skin of a very young Avs team and try to get them off their game. Likewise, it did not appear that the coaching staff tried any adjustments either….haven’t we seen this before? An inability to adjust?

  53. hockeymonster says:

    Agreed DK! Giguere looked he was back in his prime. But how bout that equipment?!?! Those pads regulation? :)

    We could’ve gotten more shots thru but the avs played good team d. Long season…stuff happens.

  54. JohninOshkosh says:

    It’s a great point, Jim. Another factor, in addition to the points made by tbco, is availability of rinks. I live within 20 miles of three rinks and kids also play pick up games on lakes and ponds in the winter. Several parks in the area flood areas for ice as well. A lot of communities in USA have no facilities in the area. Plus, those facilities are costly to maintain.

  55. Jim S. says:

    That’s a good point, DK. Geographic radius was probably a bad way to phrase it. Maybe I should have said “Could it be played at an even higher level if a higher % of the world’s population were exposed to it?”

  56. JohninOshkosh says:

    Just saw your post, Jim. Nevermind.

  57. Jim S. says:

    They must be doing something in Canada to get equipment for middle and lower middle income kids who cannot afford it. I assume in the US most of our best prospects come disproportiately from upper middle to upper income families due to cost. Maybe that is a bad assumption on my part, but it seems logical.

    Maybe the economics just will never work to spread the game to other countries and to people of less means in countries where it is already being played – like the US.

  58. Jim S. says:

    I agree. Families around here often buy kits to install in their back yards each winter. You can do that in the Chicago area where most everything is pancake flat!). My son has buddies to do that, and he spends entire weekends playing on them in Dec/Jan/Feb.

  59. Jim S. says:

    Thanks, Lucky!

  60. Jim S. says:

    It seemed to me, for awhile in the first 2 periods, every time Sid was on the ice he seemed to have the puck and he was laying perfect passes on the sticks of several players time after time.

    I’ve been noticing that every game I’ve seen this year (6 so far). I just feel like he has taken his game to yet another level so far this season. I can’t imagine any playmakers performing much better at any point in hockey history than Sid right now.

  61. tpbco says:

    When asking the question generically, the answer would be yes, of course.

    No different than the quality of where US Soccer would certainly be if the best US athletes participated.

    However, they are already playing hockey in the cold weather countries, probably to close to the max in Europe/Russia and Canada and the Northern US. I can see no scenerio of hockey expanding much where the climate doesn’t help.

    Anybody see the Jamaican Bobsled team lately?

  62. Sarah says:

    And unfortunately the gap between him and his line mates is ginormous……

  63. Jim S. says:

    I hope the NHL can find a way to expand the % of kids playing even in the US. They figured it out in Canada.

  64. Sarah says:

    “There’s almost nothing to analyze beyond Giguere.”

    I thought there was a good bit to analyze, not least was the PP, the nbr of blocked shots including 10 between Geno and Sid as you noted.

  65. Arriba Wilver says:

    My favorite part was when Alby thanked the social media contributors, and MM said,
    “yeah, thanks.”

  66. Joni says:

    I agree completely. Kunitz worked very well with Malkin and Neal a few seasons ago.

    Geno’s level of comfort (in my opinion) dictates his productivity. Neal and probably Jokinen might help Geno feel like he doesn’t have to do it all/force the situation. Just as long as Geno stays away from those blind passes with his comfortable line mates!

  67. hockeymonster says:

    Well normally you’d want to agitate and get under their skin just to get chances on the PP. Considering all the PP’s we had probably wasn’t good idea to give refs a reason to put us on the PK. Pens are fine. Avs I thought played the game of their lives. Especially defending the front of their net.

    Maybe working on some set plays off the point when there are no shooting lanes would be good idea. Maybe if point man cant get the shot thru we can move puck to half wall and have the forward from front of net pop up into the high slot and have another forward crash the net.

  68. Sarah says:

    I think JSG played a superior game, but he is a backup for a reason.

    After the last few years I have gotten VERY cautious about saying “oh we lost to a hot goalie”…..and not go deeper than that.

    We tend to do poorly esp on PP vs. passive schemes, with teams that collapse around the net and take advantage of the Pens preferring pretty perimeter passing to ugly scramble goals, and inability/unwillingness to simply crash the crease/bump the G/screen/deflect and do all the other dirty-fingernails stuff that looks awful but scores goals.

    So while I am the first to tip my hat to JSG I also hasten to point out the lack of net front presence, and screens and rebounds, and general predictability on the PP re shooters and lanes that result in loads of blocked shots….

    All that demands some adjustments, and I’m probably not the first to note that that is a significant weakness of this coaching staff.

    Again, hats off to Giggy. He partied like it was 2003.

  69. Jandy says:

    RIP Noel Harrison. May the windmills carry you to heaven…

  70. 21sthebest says:

    As of right now, he said.

  71. 21sthebest says:


  72. hockeymonster says:

    Another set play I always liked for the PP is to have the dman move the puck to the half way then crash the net essentially clearing sticks out of the way and creating a shooting lane for oncoming shooter….So lets say you have nisky and malkin on the point playing their off sides…nisky can move it to Crosby on half wall then crash the net while malkin skates across and lays into a shot with nisky and other forwards crashing the net and looking for loose change. Trick is to tell Crosby and malkin(or whoever is there) that they need to assume defensive responsibility in case puck goes other way.

    P.S. in case pens and mr. shero are wondering if they can afford me…they can! :)

  73. Arriba Wilver says:

    This year’s performance by the coaching staff is on Shero. He went all in.

    (I know, it’s early).

  74. hockeymonster says:

    Maybe trying to score off the rush on PP is worth trying more often.

  75. tpbco says:

    I agree.

    But again, the climate has a great deal to do with it. I suppose the Beau Bennett route (roller hockey) is a possiblity.

    The NHL image problem would also have to be over come.

    On one hand you have the side that believes that removing fighting is important to expand the popularity of the sport…but I’ve lived in two different warm weather cities (OKC and Houston) who have/had minor league teams and at least 75% of the crowd could care less about the game and were just there for the fights.

    A conundrum.

  76. CWalton_67 says:

    Agree, Pens are fine.

    Anyone seen Brandon Sutter lately?

  77. Sarah says:

    Hah! Yah, with this PP, maybe!
    But that in itself is a problem, no?

  78. Sarah says:

    Well – he did bring in JM.
    I can hope, can’t I?
    Admittedly, not on the PP. but the D is night and day better ….

  79. Sarah says:

    Yes on my milk carton at breakfast this AM……

  80. tpbco says:

    Wow, this is going to be a very long season.

    I think we are way over analizing a 1-0 loss to a team that probably could not play any better.

    I have already read on other blogs that the blame is on MAF…for giving up one goal.

    Here it’s the coaching staff.

    You know the ones that have:

    Won a Stanley Cup

    Was the fastest to 200 wins in league history

    Have been the highest scoring team since 2009.

    Voted the Jack Adams Award

    Named US Olympic Team Coach.

    Are they perfect every night…no. Am I being a little snarky…ya. But I think there are at least a couple of very learned hockey people that think they are pretty good…starting with #66. I am pretty sure they are doing what he wants with the type of hockey team that he wants. You will not see them playing New Jersey style hockey as long as he is around, so with that, I struggle to believe that they are not thinking of or trying any “adjustments”.

    It’s great to be a fan and part of that is cussing and discussing the outcomes.

    Sometimes it really is on the players.

  81. Dom says:

    When do the Pens plan on sitting Fleury? He was due for a rest a few games ago. I know our backup situation isn’t ideal but he has to play sometime. We can’t keep MAF in there game after game.

  82. Damon says:

    Bob Errey interviewed one of the bench coaches during the game – I think it was Granato, and he said when a goalie is seeing the puck like he (JSG) is, you need to get traffic in front. Makes me wonder if it is on the players…

  83. Jandy says:

    Our next game isn’t until Friday, Dom, so that’s three days’ rest. On the other hand, we play back to back Friday and Saturday, so I’m, guessing Zatkoff will see one of those games. Islanders on Friday and Leafs on Saturday. Which on would you rather he plays, Dom?

  84. buggee says:

    time for badminton

  85. Jandy says:

    You’re right it was Granato, and you’re right, it makes you (and me) wonder!

  86. Jandy says:

    is that regular milk or chocolate milk???


  87. Jandy says:


  88. Sarah says:

    Hey tp –
    Don’t disagree, but re coaching staff I don’t think we can objectively look at the last 4 years in which we’ve been repeatedly outplayed/coached by lesser teams and be remotely happy. But that is another discussion!

    Re last night, in fact I was trying NOT to over analyze, and just look at the PP as a microcosm of issues….

    Worry-wart that I am, I see other teams looking at Avs PK and marking it down for how to play against us in playoffs…..ugh!…..

  89. Damon says:

    I think Sutter’s PK play has been great, defense good/OK, but his even strength offensive play is non-existent. No where near what we were used to with Staal. Adams-Vitale-Glass line has produced more pressure and chances than the 3rd line.

  90. Sarah says:

    It’s actually called ZERO GOALS Milk…..

  91. 21sthebest says:

    Hurdle wins Sporting News Manager of the Year.

  92. theplanisworking says:

    What, nothing til Friday? Oh No !!!

    Just popping in for a quick lunch, then back to solving crisises at my friend’s garage. May pop in later, if not, see you Friday? ( I kid, I kid).

    Happy National Nut Day!

    And, for DARYL, …….. HAPPY CAP LOCKS DAY !!!

  93. hockeymonster says:

    Well its either scoring off the rush or working in some set plays to work around shot blockers right? I have some set play suggestions up above.

  94. Jandy says:

    Heyhey Hipposter! Glad you checked in, I was missing your wit here…
    have fun at the garage King Nut :P


  95. CWalton_67 says:

    +++ :)

  96. Jandy says:


  97. Jandy says:

    lol… ZING!

  98. Damon says:

    Hopefully the Pirates players/coaches keep collecting these awards!

  99. Dom says:

    I guess he should play Friday since we are on such a long break. For some reason, i thought we were playing again tomorrow.

  100. Ghost says:

    And this time next year, A.J. wins the Rolaids Relief Man Award!!!

  101. The Justice Avenger says:

    Congratulations, officially, to Clint on the Manager of the Year award. Well deserved.

  102. Jandy says:

    LOL +++

  103. Jim S. says:

    Agree. I guess that is the hurdle to climb.

  104. Jim S. says:

    Pretty sure I saw him splattered against the boards a couple of times last night. He looked like Flat Stanley afterwards.

  105. Arriba Wilver says:

    Hey, you guys know way more about hockey than me. I’m just saying it’s on Shero this year, good or bad. And it’s been long enough (years), that if the players aren’t listening to the coaches that’s on the coaches. Yeah, I know, the players, including the present owner, ran Scotty Bowman out of town. How’d that work out?

  106. Arriba Wilver says:

    That’s funny!

  107. Jim S. says:

    Good point, Sarah. I’d like to see it play out over a bunch more games where teams employ that same shell strategy. If it continues to be a problem, I would agree PP changes must be made. I still think, though, that last night a lot of good PP shots were produced and Giguere was just up to challenge. Could they have situated some players in front for deflections and shielding purposes? Yes. But, overall, isn’t their PP still over 20% while in this mini-slump?

  108. Jim S. says:

    He still has all of his limbs attached, Dom. Not time yet! Haha!

  109. Jim S. says:

    You are right, though. He needs to sit once this weekend.

  110. Jim S. says:

    Yup! Good for CH!

  111. Arriba Wilver says:

    Me. Hasis must be happy.

  112. Arriba Wilver says:


  113. Ghost says:

    Hey guys! A rare weekday off for me. Missed you two! Am now back around, creating mischief in Hippo’s Pond behind his back.

  114. He’ll be even happier when we sign Barmes as Jordy’s backup and Presley hits .210 for the Twins AAA team next season.

  115. Ghost says:

    Mr. Bob cannot be too happy. Presley actually batted nicely for the Twins after he left us. .283 BA and a .336 OBP because the walks started coming.

  116. Arriba Wilver says:

    He’ll fall off, and even of he doesn’t who cares? :-D

  117. Ghost says:

    “…who cares?”

    That was a bit cruel. But… I can’t say I have an answer for that. :)

  118. The Justice Avenger says:

    This solidifies the Pirates are indeed back.

  119. Arriba Wilver says:

    He’s a spare piece, at best. The move made sense. No disrespect intended.

  120. Jandy says:

    LOL Ghostie, you’re on a sheet (not a roll)

  121. Jim S. says:

    Exactly. I hope Presley gets that OBP up and carves out a niche in Minny. But, he was a spare part, as Arriba says. Not a problem filling his slot.

  122. M.L. says:

    Congrats to Clint Hurdle on Manager of the Year – well deserved.

    DK – saw your take on World Series in the Final Word spot. Never let facts get in the way of a good take on the Series. The last three years, only 1 team (2013 Red Sox) have been in the top 5 of payrolls in MLB. Cardinals were 11th in 2011, 9th in 2012, and 11th in 2013. The whining over payrolls in weak and tired. Spend some money if you want to win. St. Louis is a smaller market than Pittsburgh (or at least around the same size). Cincy spends like St. Louis in a small market, why does Pittsburgh constantly whine about payrolls? Ask Pirate management to buck up. Spend some money on the team and watch the revenue and wins rack up.

  123. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’m thinking about renting out PNC to renew my wedding vows.

  124. Ghost says:

    Yes, yes. I know you meant know disrespect. And what you say is the hard truth. Now, way up their in Minnesota, nobody but his own mother is every going to hear from Alex Presley again. A groundskeeper up there poked around behind a field tarp and apparently found Ryan Doumit alive and well.

    Meanwhile, we got Mourneau for the stretch and he got on base in front of Byrd for us a lot. It was a good trade for all parties.

  125. 21sthebest says:

    I’ve been to a wedding there. Very nice.

  126. Jandy says:

    25 Oshie?

  127. JohninOshkosh says:

    Geez, I didn’t even know they did that. I was making a comedic reference to what happened at AT&T last night.

  128. Dom says:

    Excellent idea!

    Best of luck to you in that endeavor.

    Was it your wife’s idea?

  129. Ghost says:

    The St. Louis “market” is an outlier, in that people from all over the Midwest have been solid Cards fans for generations. Pirates fans can be found everywhere, but really, they’re mostly in Western PA and maybe West Virginia. The Cards fan base truly stretches from North Dakota down to Okalahoma, across Arkansas and well back up into Illinois. It’s a Midwest thing and it goes back to the days of radio and the Cards being team located the farthest west in the country.

  130. Milo Hamilton says:

    The official Manager of the Year Award voted on by the writers will be announced in November

  131. The Justice Avenger says:

    Would think it would be the same outcome…

  132. Milo Hamilton says:

    I would certainly hope so. It should be unanimous.

  133. The Justice Avenger says:

    John – I agree with 21. I know someone who got married there, too. Amazing wedding. The Pirates/PNC folks did a great job to make this day special for the Bride and Groom.

  134. The Justice Avenger says:

    Agree with your thoughts there, Milo. As I said earlier…I think this solidifies that the Pirates are back. The recognition is very well deserved.

  135. Bizrow says:

    Thanks Milo, I was wondering if this was the “official” award.

    Still, its nice for CH and the PBC

  136. 21sthebest says:

    Oh yeah those silly kids!

  137. 21sthebest says:

    Honestly, I didn’t think there was an “official” award giving body. I just always figured that the BBWAA was the most respected and reputable for the awards.

  138. Milo Hamilton says:

    It’s the one recognized by MLB at least. The Sporting News doesn’t even publish any more. It’s web only. I hope they can afford a trophy or something.

  139. Milo Hamilton says:

    Weddings are for churches.

  140. 21sthebest says:

    Hey Milo, what did you think of the WPIAL’s decision with resepect to Wash High? Kind of odd, eh?

  141. 21sthebest says:

    Yeah, definitely.

  142. Dom says:

    Some of us belong to the Church of the Jolly Roger.

  143. Kevin says:

    ha, yeah, maybe its part of their universal health-care system “up there”.

  144. Bizrow says:

    Thats what I meant by “official”, the big one ;-)

  145. Bizrow says:

    Chapel of the Bells in Vegas isn’t a bad place.

    It did have a minister though ;-)

  146. M.L. says:

    So the Cardinals’ competitive payroll (and subsequent success) is due to the fact that their fanbase stretches from Oklahoma up to North Dakota. Okay, that explains it. Glad you cleared that up for me. It’s all those North Dakotans packing the seats at Busch we can thank for all this success. Certainly not owners that care about winning more than taking their fanbase to the cleaners.

  147. Milo Hamilton says:

    Seems a bit harsh to me, basically wiping out an entire season. But the kids always bear the brunt, not the adults that didn’t do their jobs. There will be an appeal, and it would be just like the PIAA to rule in Washington’s favor just to stick it to the WPIAL.

    Maybe they should spend some of all that time they apparently have on their hands investigating what happens in the 8th grade. Kids, prospective athletes, are repeating the 8th grade either by homeschooling or private school so they’re a year older than everyone else through high school.

  148. Jim S. says:

    The Cardinals in St. Louis = Steelers in Pittsburgh. 3 million+ fans. 40,000+ per game for the Cards.

    The Rams in St. Louis = (until this year) the Pirates in Pittsburgh. Fans show interest when they win. They don’t even sell out all their home games unless the team is really good.

    So, the Cardinals have a lot more revenue than the Pirates. Cincy may well be spending to a point where they are unprofitable, although they did draw 200,000 more fans and have a better local TV deal.

  149. Arriba Wilver says:

    I don’t know. That “show the colors” video from Pirates of the Caribbean probably describes pretty well what will happen a lot of times. ;-)

  150. Jim S. says:

    Clint will receive a digital trophy from the TSN.

  151. Jim S. says:

    Really? That’s sad.

  152. Milo Hamilton says:

    Keira Knightly is the only good thing about a Pirates loss.

  153. Arriba Wilver says:


  154. Jim S. says:

    Let’s not forget her role in Bend it Like Beckham. I’m sure that’s the first movie everyone thought of, considering the heavy soccer influence here. :-)

  155. Ghost says:

    You don’t have to snark off on me. I agree with your general point that fans will “come” to Pirate ball games if the owners “build it.” This year’s turnaround in attendance shows that. But yes, fans from North Dakota DO faithfully make it down to Busch Stadium to take in games. So do tons of fans from Iowa and all around. Heck, I just met a guy here in Las Vegas who makes it back to opening day at Busch *every year.* (Not sure if that anecdote helps or hurts my “wide Midwest” theory for the Cards. But it’s true.) Anyway, here are the final 2013 attendance numbers for the entire MLB. No. 2 is the Cardinals. Something’s going on if “St. Louis is a smaller market than Pittsburgh (or at least around the same size).”

  156. Baywatch says:

    Afternoon, Y’all! Happy to see Clint Hurdle named “Manager Who Took His Pitchers Out Too Late Of The Year” LOL! Seriously, congrats to the Big Guy! Honestly, I figure a guy who knows how to relate to his players, can keep them loose and have fun with it all is MUCH better than the guy who is great at the X’s and O’s and has the personality of a 2 by 4 with nails in it! Of course, it takes all kinds to make a managerial world just like it does people to make a regular world. Even John Russell … I felt sorry for him because of the way people made fun of him for being a quiet guy. If he’d have had the talent, who knows …

  157. Jandy says:

    Whole lotta snarkin’ goin on today.

  158. Maybe I’ll change the name of our church to that.

    And, I’ll take the cross off the steeple and put a Pirate logo up there.

    That ought to draw some ire of the nearby denominations.


  159. Ghost says:

    Essentially, what I’m saying is two-fold: A) St. Louis is a special case because for historical reasons their fan base is actually “large market,” but B) the Pirates can indeed create a virtuous cycle by investing in players who create a product that brings out the fans. I think the FO is now on to a formula that allows them to be competitive within their own market realities.

    Detroit drew over 3 million fans. So did Milwaukee when they were winning. Those are closer examples to what Pittsburgh can be.

  160. Jandy says:

    You’d have the coolest congregation around, SPunky ;)

  161. Jandy says:

    Howdy Bay Man :)

  162. Ghost says:

    Copyright that Jandy — I believe you have a hit on your hands! :) :)

    Gotta run. The rear hatch on my Ford isn’t opening. There goes a $150 deductible. :(

  163. Russell’s coaches didn’t even support him. He had no talent and no hope. That job was doomed from the start, even with his laid-back demeanor.

    The epitomy of a sacrificial lamb.

  164. 21sthebest says:

    Really odd to me that they also make the kid eligible going forward. If this had happened before the start of the season and he was ruled eligible then, the record stands. Makes no sense to me.

    As to kids repeating 8th grade, I presume you remember Tom Droney. That name just came to mind.

  165. Baywatch says:

    Howdy, Jandy!

  166. Jandy says:

    Ouch…sorry to hear that, Ghostie. Good luck getting it fixed…

  167. Baywatch says:

    I wonder if he’ll ever manage again.

  168. Milo Hamilton says:

    I did not know that. My buddy with no heat in his car went to Sewickley Academy. Micah Mason repeated 8th also.

  169. Arriba Wilver says:

    They still could have done better. No pass there for me. It’s not like they planned on getting a sacrificial lamb. Pure and simple, they didn’t know what they were doing then. What a dumb move!

  170. Baywatch says:

    When I was a kid (1960’s), my Dad subscribed to The Sporting News and I just fell in love with it, that big broadsheet newspaper format. And back in the very back of it, always a big section with news on each team’s minor league stars coming along. I was a big Yankees fan as a boy, and I just devoured that thing for the new up and coming loser Yankess like Bill Robinson (actually traded from the Braves to the Yankees, the Clete Boyer deal, I think), Horace Clark and Walt “No-Neck” Williams! And Roy White!

  171. Not until you join.

    And Plan and Biz, Milo, AW, 21,(even though he’s Jewish), LAD, Oshkosh, Brandecita, Jim S., Groaty, NMR, (if he’s still alive), Playoffs, Sarah, Karen, Barb, Bob H., Dave G. and many more of the regulars on here.

    If a person could pick his congregation, it might work out better for some. Shame that’s not the case.


  172. Jim S. says:

    I don’t know the specifics, but isn’t Ron Rowan’s kid who is supposedly coming to Pitt going to be pretty old for a freshman when he gets there? I think there were some odd educational circumstances there as well.

    I think it is Ron Rowan’s kid, although maybe I am mis-remembering.

  173. 21sthebest says:

    But I’ve always felt that if the Steelers had a bunch of really bad years in a row, you might see attendance change. There were a couple of years there with Bubby when you could see empty seats and I know the season ticket wait list dropped from 11 to 5 years during one offseason. And we’ve seen it with the Penguins.

  174. I couldn’t agree more. Felt it when they made it. He was fired as a 3rd base coach, now he’s the manager.

    You have to be “sommers” before you can be promoted usually, except in sports.

    I don’t think they exactly planned on roasting him, but they sure did.

  175. 21sthebest says:

    “21,(even though he’s Jewish”

    Well everybody knows there are two kinds of people in the world: Jews and other people.

  176. Jim S. says:

    NMR is alive, and occasionally still talking baseball on Travis’ blog. Hopefully, he’ll pop on here again soon.

  177. Milo Hamilton says:

    His name is Maverick. Ron liked Top Gun you see. He plays at Lincoln Park in Midland. Last year he was a 16 year old Freshman.

  178. I pray for the peace of Jerusalem every single day. That’s what the Bible says to do.


    I’ve read the back of it, too. Those who don’t align with Israel are doomed.

    Disclaimer: Not politics.

  179. Jim S. says:

    It was the 70’s with TSN for me, Bay. But, I devoured it, too. I loved reading every boxscore from the previous week. Thanks for reminding me.

  180. Saw him over there. Must be a busy little bee.

  181. Jim S. says:

    Probably so, and I believe that would happen to the Cards as well if they fell on hard times. I think people only commit to season tickets if they feel their team has a chance to compete – and even then, only if they feel they will be frozen out if they don’t do it.

  182. Jandy says:

    The other people ROCK ;)

    (So do the Jewish people)


  183. Jandy says:

    Well, I can be an honorary member if that’s ok with the flock.

  184. Dom says:

    The Yankees are planning on adding Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann, St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran, and keeping Robinson Cano.

  185. Jim S. says:

    You are absolutely right about the Cards and the huge swath from which they draw, Ghost. No doubt about it. They own the bottom half of Illinois, for the most part.

    And when they draw like they do, they obviously have more money to spend on payroll.

  186. 21sthebest says:

    Didn’t know that about Micah. I read a while ago that Duquesne was trying to get a waiver to allow him to play this year due to his medical situation. Can’t find an update.

  187. 21sthebest says:

    Funny thing is, I don’t even practice Judaism. My wife and kid are catholic.

  188. 21sthebest says:

    Of all the mistakes this front office has made, hiring Russell stands out far in front to me.

  189. Jandy says:

    I don’t “practice” anything. I’m an ex-Catholic myself.
    I just try to do unto others…and be a decent soul.

    It’s hard at times, believe me!

    People suck.

  190. Jim S. says:

    Ok, thanks. I was doubting who his father was for a minute. I started to think Mark Marotta (Central Catholic) for a minute. I think he went to Marquette and Rowan (Beaver Falls) to ND about the same time, right Milo?

  191. Milo Hamilton says:

    I always thought the fired as a third base coach thing was a red herring. The manager was fired so the coaches go along with him. If you use that logic, then Jim Leyland was fired as third base coach in Chicago (of course, why did Reinsdorf fire LaRussa in the first place ?).

    None of that changes the fact that he was a complete disaster & should have never been hired in the first place. I did enjoy his wife though. :)

  192. I remember you saying that. I had a family doctor in Beaver years ago that was the same.

    Great guy. Used to take me into his office and ask me questions about the Bible.

    Never even charged us because he said people in the ministry never made enough money. Super person and a good doctor.

  193. Jandy says:

    Wow! That last sentence is quite….uhhh…well…

  194. Above comment was to 21. Didn’t mean to say Jandy said people suck.


  195. Jandy says:

    Well. A decent doctor! Miracles never cease ;)

  196. Milo Hamilton says:

    Rowan started at ND then finished up at St. John’s.

  197. Jandy says:

    haha, Jandy DID say people suck.
    Not all of them, though.
    Just the ones that suck

  198. Arriba Wilver says:

    She is missed.

  199. Milo Hamilton says:

    I saw him 2 weeks ago & he still hasn’t heard. The NCAA takes it’s good old time in these cases.

  200. So ends their frugality measures and building through the draft.

  201. Jandy says:

    OK gotta jet…need to get some stuff done.
    Catch ya’ll later…have a nice evening everyone.

  202. Jim S. says:

    Bears a further explanation, I think.

  203. 21sthebest says:

    Lincoln Park does not recruit. :-)

  204. Jandy says:

    Oh Yeah, but i’m skeered to know… ;X

  205. Milo Hamilton says:

    Oh my !

  206. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’ve always been a Linkin Park fan.

    Oh . . .

  207. Milo Hamilton says:

    It’s Fame with a basketball team. A real good basketball team.

  208. Jim S. says:

    Is he the kid that was originally offered by Drake and had a debilitating illness of some sort? That was sad.

  209. Jim S. says:

    DePaul is in Lincoln Park. Some here would say they don’t recruit.

  210. JohninOshkosh says:

    Hottest Guenivere ever in “King Arthur.”

    “Domino”-an all time clunker.

  211. Milo Hamilton says:

    He’s OK as long as he’s on the proper diet. It’s a gluten issue I believe. He finished top 10 in the country in 3 point % as a freshman while he was feeling crappy all season. Dukes fans will be happy to have him.

  212. 21sthebest says:

    I remember meeting with the Priest Lucky, in preparation for our wedding ceremony. The Priest started talking in Hebrew to me. I was like, I have no idea what you’re saying.

  213. Lad 9 says:

    There was a kid at Peter Township HS a few years back that was already a bit older than his classmates and then repeated 8th grade at a catholic school. He was a decent basketball player, but his real sport was golf. The line around the South Hills was when he got out of high school he could go straight to the Senior’s Tour…

  214. 21sthebest says:

    My Dad said it was a pain to park the Lincoln.

  215. Lad 9 says:

    I’m in! Your church mission statement should be “I’d rather be Lucky than good” :)

  216. JohninOshkosh says:

    Son, you’re gonna drive me to drinkin’ if you don’t stop driving that hot rod Lincoln…

  217. Lad 9 says:

    And the NCAA forgets what it this is about – the student athlete. I really would like to see him get his waiver, but given the travesty of justice with the Mike Cook situation for Pitt a few years back, I am not hopeful.

  218. Nate83 says:

    But he single handedly lost 68 games this year and was responsible for none of the wins.

  219. Thundercrack says:

    Me too, 21.

    That and trading Joey Bats……… we go!!!

  220. BillyBaduka says:

    You’re spot on in your analysis of the PP Sarah. And not just becausei posted tr same thing on Flyer thread.

    They need a threat from left side (right hand shot). It is exacerbated by their lack of movement. Both things make for a predictable PP. Teams set up 2 in slot and 2 on right side and rarely have to move from those positions.

    If the Pens are going to field a left handed PP unit, movement (puck and personel) is paramount to get the PK moving and creating lanes.

    I’d still rather see a right handed shot out there.

  221. Arriba Wilver says:

    I wasn’t a Lloyd fan, either, and there are lots of people saying he should get the Detroit job.

    In my lifetime there’s Murtaugh, Tanner, Leyland and Clint.

    And I liked Harry the Hat as a hitting instructor. ;-)

  222. Kevin says:

    they’re going all-in in October… splendid.

  223. Thundercrack says:

    I was reading some of the articles on the Detroit Free Press web site after the Tigers got eliminated the other day. A lot of readers had a lot of venom towards Lloyd as the Tigers’ hitting coach. I have to wonder how many of them want him to be the managers. (but hey, what do people on blogs know?)

    I did hear some talk today (on MLB XM) that they should go with an experienced manager because they have a veteran team that still has a chance next year and maybe one after that

  224. Arriba Wilver says:

    I hadn’t looked at the Detroit blogs, just saw some strange support for him on Pirate blogs. (Strange to me).

  225. Jim S. says:

    My guess is they will have to go with someone with experience, just to keep peace with their many veterans.

    Bobby Valentine is available. Oh, that’s right. He’s still a high powered college AD.

  226. Arriba Wilver says:

    It’s funny, it seems like a lot of the Pittsburgh support for him goes back to him picking up that base. I’ve also seen, elsewhere, that picking up that base was one of the dumbest moves in recent baseball history.

  227. Jim S. says:

    I hope he has a great career. I know it was bad for awhile until they figured it out. The story I originally read about him said he was a shooting machine. Tireless worker.

  228. Jim S. says:

    Unless Cabrera and Verlander endorse him, I don’t see Lloyd getting the job.

  229. Thundercrack says:

    During his last year here I was not a fan of Lloyd’s. I thought he almost became paranoid regarding the umpires.

  230. Arriba Wilver says:

    The NCAA knows exactly what this is about.


  231. Arriba Wilver says:

    “picking up that base was one of the dumbest moves . . .”


  232. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, that was one of those ones where I think you probably start questioning what you are doing right away. But, you kind of dig your heels in and refuse to back off. He stomped off so indignantly with that base. I remember being embarrassed for him.

  233. theplanisworking says:

    And I would never belong to any club that would have me as a member. With you leading the way, Lucky, I would make an exception to that rule.

    I could also see us being well fed, so to speak, on your local cuisine. I can also envision many quick sermons, so the “flock” could make 1PM Pirate games if needed. Not like a Black Church, where dinner time would roll around, and the preacher would still be going.

    Anyway, that will do for now. I just have to keep a-prayin’ in this corner of the woods…….

  234. M.L. says:

    Completely agree. Not many fanbases stick around when losing becomes a habit. Rams/Pirates is a good analogy too. Both poorly run organizations (at least the Pirates are turning it around). We shall see if they continue to increase spending or go back to the old model of hosing their fanbase with payrolls that won’t field a competitive team. If they want to make money, go buy some stock. If you want to win, spend some cash.

  235. theplanisworking says:

    Rowan played 9th grade at Ellwood City, I think, before moving to Beaver Falls. Saw Rowan play HS basketball once. Golden Dome, at BCCC, WPIAL was on drugs that night………. 2 playoff play-in games there. Seating capacity 3,000……. there were 4100 people there, as the first games fans didnt leave. I was “in-play” for that game, as I was sitting under the basket support, and the refs knew there werent other places to put us. Oh, and Rowan scored 28 to beat us.

  236. Lad 9 says:

    Touche AW

  237. I never preach more than 3 hours. You’ve heard some of them.


  238. theplanisworking says:

    Every pitcher in MLB just now popped champagne corks.

    Tim Lincecum reportedly just signed a 2 year/$35 million contract.
    This is not a typo.
    That is $17.5 million for an average pitcher, folks.


  239. Thundercrack says:

    ‘A source said the Yankees are shedding around $85 million to $90 million in payroll from their 2013 numbers, ‘

    That’s a lot of cash to shed…for any team.

  240. Thundercrack says:

    Wow is right.

    The insanity is coming back to baseball.

    I know it is a short deal but that is a lot of money for a pitcher on the decline.

  241. It’ll be interesting to see how they do that. Especially if they plan to add those guys and keep Cano and his $300 million.

  242. theplanisworking says:

    Wonder if this is TV contract money we have heard about?

  243. Baywatch says:

    Hey, Hey, Hey! Nice to see so much BASEBALL discussion on an out-of-Pirates season thread! Very encouraging! I thought maybe I might not have anybody to play with for awhile!

  244. 21sthebest says:

    It’s all relative to the new TV money.

  245. Thundercrack says:

    My view on all this new TV money is, yes teams have a lot of money to spend but that doesn’t mean they have to spend it stupidly.

  246. JohninOshkosh says:

    There is a lot at play here more than just a financial contract.

    1. Tim Lincecum is a major reason the Giants won 2 World Series. In 2010 he was the backbone in their sensational rotation. In both postseasons he pitched tremendously and was integral to their success.

    2. It was Lincecum who came up at 22 and led the Giants with their development phase until they were ready for postseason success. He is homegrown. His debut was a major event in SF baseball history. Billboards heralded it all over Northern California. The WS win in 2010 broke a long drought in the franchise history for winning a title and erasing years of Cubs like failure in the postseason. That 2010 team is beloved beyond words.

    3. He is still a tremendous marketing draw, especially for young fans.

    4. The Giants are a loyal organization and reward their own. Its admirable. They are willing to spend money.

    What if Gerrit Cole goes on the help the Pirates win two of three World Championships and then has some downward years ? Would you be supportive of the Pirates casting him aside over a mere two year contract to see if he could regain the old form ?

    I think its worth the Giants gamble. I think its the right thing to do. People are always complaining about player loyalty. Nice to see an ownership group that is loyal. It’s a gamble but they arn’t spending it on a FA home grown in another organization. Spending it on one of their own.

  247. Excellent post, John. And excellent North Stars avi.

  248. theplanisworking says:

    I dont know Oshie……………

    You bring up some good points. I just see Lincecum as on the decline. If he regains his “touch” so to speak, its a great deal. If he continues to go south, its an awful deal.

    I do know that mediocre pitchers all over baseball are hugely happy.
    Think Frankie Liriano isnt salivating over this deal? If he has another great year next year, he will be looking at 20-23 million a year. Scary stuff.

  249. theplanisworking says:

    What Lucky said.
    Love the old North Stars logo. Along with the Whale.

  250. Arriba Wilver says:


    I don’t think of Tim and “average” at the same time.

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