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Morning Java: Your turn to ask Tomlin anything

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The TribLIVE Radio show today — 2-3 p.m. — will be loaded with Steelers and Penguins, and we’ll open with a discussion of Mike Tomlin’s demeanor in his press conferences.

Further, we’ll open with a question for you: If you were a reporter at one of those, observing all professional decorum, what would you ask Tomlin?

Here’s some of his session yesterday …

Call me at 412-320-7925.

If you can’t call, email sportstalk@tribweb.com

To listen, just click on the link above. It’s free, easy, no signup. If you’re mobile, try the TribLIVE Radio app.

Hope you can tune in!

>> The Steelers can’t afford another loss in Oakland. Alan Robinson reports.

Lawrence Timmons is set to play despite a broken hand. Because he’s tough like that.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage, including good stuff on Terrelle Pryor.

Here’s Raiders news from the San Francisco Chronicle.

Here are official game highlights from NFL.com.

>> John Harbaugh tries to keep the Ravens from panicking. Other than Terrell Suggs, of course. It’s OK if Terrell panics. The Baltimore Sun covers.

>> In praise of the Penguins’ management, by columnist Joe Starkey.

Anyone remember the club is missing two huge pieces? Josh Yohe reminds.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage.

Here’s Islanders news from Newsday.

Here are official game highlights from NHL.com.

>> Clint Hurdle is The Sporting News’ National League Manager of the Year. Travis Sawchik has it.

>> The Reds apparently upgraded on Dusty Baker. That couldn’t have been hard. The Cincinnati Enquirer has several pieces on Bryan Price’s hire.

>> Pitt will have to do get it done with offense, Jerry DiPaola writes.

>> I’ll be with the Steelers today, leading up to the show, then out to Southpointe with the Penguins tomorrow.

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.

294 Comments

  1. Q: Coach Tomlin, would your mother approve of how you behaved on Sunday?

    (Just joking. I actually didn’t even catch Sunday’s postgame, only heard about it around here.)

    A more serious question: What would a post-Dick LeBeau defense look like with Tomlin still as head coach?

  2. Obviously… ;-)

  3. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Boston Globe

    This World Series needs some villains

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2013/10/23/this-world-series-needs-some-villains/UYvKAoRg5v8VwaInJoy1VL/story.html

    12 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Brewers can watch and learn from the Cardinals

    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brewers/brewers-can-watch-and-learn-from-the-cardinals-b99125662z1-228875841.html

    13 Rant Sports

    5 Players That Pittsburgh Pirates Could Sever Ties With This Offseason

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/10/22/5-players-that-pittsburgh-pirates-could-sever-ties-with-this-offseason/

    14 Peoria Journal Star

    Wessler: Cardinals fans better get used to being hated

    http://www.pjstar.com/news/x1372978479/Cardinals-fans-better-get-used-to-being-hated?rssfeed=true

    15 Boston Herald

    Cardinals all fired up

    http://bostonherald.com/sports/red_sox_mlb/boston_red_sox/2013/10/cardinals_all_fired_up

    16 LA Times

    The Dodgers’ A.J. Ellis breaks down the World Series matchups

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/baseball/mlb/dodgers/la-sp-1023-aj-ellis-dodgers-world-series-20131023,0,7703851.story#axzz2iXYDcmun

    17 St Louis Post Dispatch

    CULTURE CLASH? Not in this Series

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/culture-clash-not-in-this-series/article_2dc0f232-0f77-52a4-8f0d-32f0e2a73b13.html

    Bernie: Cards, Red Sox both play hardball

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/bernie-miklasz/bernie-cards-red-sox-both-play-hardball/article_dfe2fea9-f33a-5221-84b7-ce5bcf6f5082.html

    18 Detroit News

    Tigers’ Gene Lamont wants to manage, wonders if he’s too old at 66

    http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20131022/SPORTS0104/310220088/

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    11 Moves That Helped the Cardinals and Red Sox Win the Pennants

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=22093

    20 Fangraphs

    FanGraphs Crowd: The Top 47 Free Agents

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/fangraphs-crowd-the-top-47-free-agents/

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

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-worst-of-the-best-the-seasons-wildest-swings/

    Dan Haren, Tim Lincecum, and Perception Gaps

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/dan-haren-tim-lincecum-and-perception-gaps/

  4. I posted links 1 through 10 and 21 through 25 but only 11 through 20 showed up so far

  5. Joe Starkey’s column that Dejan included above is a very good read. Opened my eyes to a lot. Also has a Clint Hurdle reference that’s a good one.
    Thanks for the link, Dejan. I don’t always get to the others sports writers’ stuff on the trib site.

  6. For Tomlin, why Mesko over Butler? Mesko has been horrible, and it was good to see Tomlin mention that at least one punt per game is of the junior varsity variety. It seems he may be closer to two of those per game, on average.

    On Matta, they cannot possibly send him back to London. He will benefit more from being with the big club and we need to start bringing these guys along. We cannot afford to break in 2 or 3 new defensemen in a single year. Next year, Pouliot, Dumoulin and others should be pushing to crack this line-up.

    On Pouliot, although I think plus/minus can be very misleading, saw he was +7 in his last game. I’m very excited by the prospect that, in the foreseeable future, he will be quarterbacking our power play if he keeps progressing. It should occur at a nice transition point given Martin’s contract.

    Saw your comment on Niskanen being on the ice way too much against the Avs and was thinking (and saying) the same thing while at the game.

  7. I know I brought this up before but the only question I would have for Tomlin is why has Derek Moye not been in when we’re approaching the goal line? Meanwhile, the Steelers did feel comfortable going long when he dropped that TD pass. Wouldn’t it make sense to have someone who is nearly six and a half feet tall in when we’re on the five yard line?

    I’m sorry but while I am at work, I’m unable to call or email anyone.

  8. Had this on Maata in the links that did not post

    25 Pensburgh

    Why the Pens should keep Olli Maatta

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/10/22/4866726/why-the-pens-should-keep-olli-maatta

    Why the Pens should send Olli Maatta back to London

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/10/22/4866824/why-the-pens-should-send-olli-maatta-back-to-london

  9. Happy Boston Cream Pie Day, everybody!!!

    Nice to see Liriano win Comeback Player of the Year, and Hurdle win Manager of the Year. I think Milo said the “real” awards happen in November?? Well, here is to 2 wins, I guess. Huntington should win Executive of the year, but if the award is for both leagues, I am afraid of Boston’s Cherington winning, becasue the media just looooooves Boston. Yeck.

    And the Reds upgraded over old Dustball Baker? Choo probably gone, and Phillips doesnt have his race-baiting buddy to protect him now. I see a year of potential problems before they figure out the clubhouse issues. Oh, and Dustball can now ask people if they want fries with that.

    • Just a few days ago it was pumpkin cheesecake day. Where do you get this information!

      I saw that Giant Eagle has frozen pumpkin cheesecake but I haven’t dug in yet.

      I have no idea where we can obtain Boston cream pie, except at the cheesecake factory but I’m not going all the way out there for that…

      • Giant Eagle used to sell Boston Cream Pies, but you probably have to go to a “neighborhood” bakery to get a good one.

        I am the blogs master of useless information, so its my duty to post a “useless” holiday every day. ;)

        • useless? I think not, Hipposter :P

          Good to see you this morning…

          • Good to be here, Jandy.

            Happy to provide worthless food holidays to all the peeps here.
            You are in for a real treat tomorrow…………..

            Anyway, havent watched an inning of the playoffs after the Bucs were eliminated, and I wont start now. Yeck to both teams, and the obnoxious following they have. Boston this, St. Louis that. Just as bad as the Dodgers and Yankees. Nauseating stuff.

            Coach cliche better get a W on the West Coast for the first time in 8 years. Tired of seeing the team lay a huge egg out there, only to hear about the standard………..

            BTW, Redman was cut this week. What is going on with Tomlin and his RB’s? The talent evaluation from Colbert and Tomlin is absolutely baffling. I guess we can see Redman return to the team in 3 weeks, as he did to Dwyer?? Yeck.

    • Not hard to upgrade from a low starting point. Dusty may have to retire or be somebody’s “hitting” coach.

      Cherington might win because of worst to first. Pirates weren’t worst or first, but arguably the best turnaround season after 2 EC’s and 20 years of hog slop.

      • Oh, agreed Reverend.

        If the award is one for each league, Huntington wins in a slam dunk.
        If it is for both leagues combined, I know how the media (writers) just love Bos/NYY/LA. Hard to overcome that continual bias, even though the Pirates are a much better story. Guess we have to wait and see.

      • Just an FYI, the media doesn’t vote for the Sporting News Executive of the Year. A panel of Major League Executives do the voting. Last year 57 executives voted.

      • Pretty sure the award goes to each league….like all the others.

    • Gold glove awards on Oct. 29, others in mid November

    • It is definitely National Boston Cream Pie Day today. Not sure where Plan finds this stuff, but I love it.

      I have been telling my boss, who is a Detroit native and a huge Tigers fan, that the three leading candidates to replace Leyland are Lloyd McClendon, Gene Lamont, and now Dusty. He might take a bridge if one of those is the choice! I would throw in Bobby Valentine if I thought he would believe me… :)

  10. Happy Swallows Depart from San Juan Capistrano Day, everybody!!

    Speaking of birds………… the Matta issue should be put to rest by now. At game 39, Shero has to address his FA status……….. Matta will either be good enought to saty up at the NHL level, or will play his way back to Juniors. So we have 2 more months before we have to do any worrying.

    Didnt post anything about the Pens loss to Colorado. I think that SOG are a bit olverrated. I saw many shots go right into JSG’s chest. Big difference between a shot on goal unobstructed from 40 feet, and a good shot on goal. No traffic in front either………. gee, where have we seen that before???????

    Question for Coach Tomlin? Its a family-type blog. Nuff said. ;)

  11. About the World Series, is there any way both teams could lose ?

  12. Posting some of the links in pieces

    4—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Charlie Morton is Comparable to Derek Lowe and Brandon Webb

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/10/first-pitch-charlie-morton-is-comparable-to-derek-lowe-and-brandon-webb.html

    Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Season Recap: The Starting Rotation

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/10/pittsburgh-pirates-2013-season-recap-the-starting-rotation.html

    Winter League Recap: Gregory Polanco Doubles Twice In Win

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/10/winter-league-recap-gregory-polanco-doubles-twice-in-win.html

    The Pirates Have Plenty of Starting Pitching Depth in 2014

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/10/the-pirates-have-plenty-of-starting-pitching-depth-in-2014.html

    AFL Recap: Ngoepe Helps Scottsdale to 5-1 Victory

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/10/afl-recap-ngoepe-helps-scottsdale-to-5-1-victory.html

  13. Enjoyed Starkey’s column.

    I wonder if it will change the perception of this coaching/management staff to some of it’s critics?

  14. For Tomlin, please explain:

    * All the busts of high pick OLinemen, while castoffs seem to outproducing most of them.

    * The ever so curious decision to burn a 6th Rd. draft pick on Levi Brown, when there was almost universal belief that he was not starter-quality.

    * Isaac Redman being kept while Jonathan Dwyer was released, followed by the total reversal of that decision.

    You can be a starter one minute for this guy, and released the next. You can be released one minute, and fighting for starting time the next.

    His performance as coach is “below the line” at this point. He’s great at motivating a veteran-rich, talent laden roster. But, he’s apparently not so good when he doesn’t have the most talent in the league.

  15. Am I the only one who finds it bizarre that only nine people get to vote for this NL Manager of the Year award? NINE!

    Hurdle should have been a slam dunk, but he only got 5 votes, while the Atlanta manager got 3. All the voters are other managers, so I guess the sample size will always be fairly small, but still… it’s crazy they would let such a prestigious award have a voting body so small that one or two oddball votes could completely mess up the results.

  16. be back in a bit….be good Loonies ;)

  17. Is it just me, or do OLinemen get injured way more than they used to? Gilbert and Beachum were added to the injury list this week. Pouncey and Brown are out for the season. Etc., etc. Very few of them ever seem to make it through an entire season.

    Is this just a phenomenon with the Steelers? It seems pretty universal to me, and it has been getting worse each year.

    Is it simply because of the size of these guys now? Maybe it is tougher to keep a 350 lb body that has no earthly reason for being 350 lb other than as an NFL lineman healthy than a 285 lb. body.

    Is there some other reason? It seems to me that whatever benefits the added weight brings, it brings even larger problems due to all the missed time.

    • Not just the Steelers…Denver lost both starting OTs and have been going downhill ever since…bad game against the jags and lost to the colts…Peyton getting hit more.

      The load at 300+++ pds is too much, human body not designed for it. Especially when you see muscle tears.

      While the blocking schemes are taking out Dlineman, the Dlineman are also taking out pulling Olinemen. League only cares about the skill positions.

      • Yeah, it is an epidemic. You need about 8 or 10 good ones to get through a season successfully these days.

        • You know, Harrison and Clark both said that injuries would be more frequent, and more severe when they started legislating hits a few years ago. Just look at all the injuries so far this year.

          Players are going low, to avoid penalties and suspensions for hitting high……. linemen are getting injured more also due to cutback blocks…….

          I think harrison and Clark were right.

          • Now that you mention it, I do remember that too…nice, Hipposter…you have a good memory

          • That is a good point. A lot of guys are saying players are putting themselves in awkward positions in trying to avoid penalties.

            • Good point, Jim.

              I see a lot of players targeting low. Where are the fines for that?

              Goodell is a complete joke on this player safety thing. Cant hit the head, but if you are an offensive lineman, its ok. Depending where on the field of play you are, you are either “defenseless”, or not. Why does it matter where you are?

              Smh.

    • I think some of it is techniques but it is primarily that the tendons/ligaments/joints are not meant to support this kind of weight.

      There was a great article about this a month or so ago that JAL had a link to. I think it was in ‘Behind the Steel Curtain’ website. Guy had a lot of statistics following player size by position over last 40 years. Not surprisingly, OL increased the most with DL second. There was some good analysis too that showed how much force a knee is under which is exponentially greater than the player’s weight.

  18. If the Cardinals win the World Series they should vote Arte Moreno a full share. It’s the least they could do.

    • ++++ Very true Milo!!

    • I agree.

      You could say the same about the Red Sox and their deals with the Dodgers. There’s no way the Sox sign Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli, Koji Uehara, or Jonny Gomes without LA eating all of those other contracts.

    • Wacha for Pujols, who seemingly at the very instant they got rid of him became very ordinary. Nice swap for the Cards.

    • Only the Cardinals organization could somehow get credit for offering Pujols a 10 year $200m+ contract not once, but twice. Biggest myth in baseball is that the Cards were “smart” about the Pujols situation.

      • You’re right. They got outbid. Not like they let him walk, they just didn’t match the Angels offer.

        It did work out very nicely for them however.

      • I actually think they knew what it would take to sign him, then offered a substantial amount of money that was still nowhere near what he wanted. They did not want him, but they didn’t want to look like the bad guys to fans who had loyalty to him.

        I think they played it very shrewdly.

        • And, I’m definitely on the record as not being in “hero worship” mode when it comes to the Cardinals. I think Mozielak is reading too many of his own press clippings these days. He is now the “go to” authority that comments for the press on everything every other organization does. No matter how good a team drafts, there is still a great deal of guesswork involved in almost every pick. I’m guessing he won’t continue to have the best draft year in and year out for very long. He’s not the smartest baseball person who ever lived.

        • Except that they were outbid. By the Marlins. Before increasing their second offer. Which was then beaten out of nowhere by the Angels.

          So I guess in order to save face one is required to be outbid twice?

          • nah….the second time is just the icing on the cake ;)

          • I don’t always believe what I read. It could have definitely happened that way, I guess. I know people in St. Louis who say they know for a fact that the Cardinals didn’t feel like keeping Albert for anywhere near what he eventually got. So, they decided they were better off letting him go. But, they had to make a legit offer. If he had taken their offer, they would have kept him, of course – but at a number they could live with. But, I think they were relieved when they were outbid.

            That’s just my opinion. I could be wrong. Maybe they did want him, and had to bow out when the Angels bid crazy high. Either way, they ended up smelling like roses.

            • Just so I’m clear, your inside sources said they could live with giving him the $220m they offered?

              • I don’t have inside sources. Just a couple of friends from there who don’t know one another, but nonetheless gave me the same take on things.

                I just think the Cards did not want him back all that much, but they were willing to offer a pretty decent chunk of money to appease the fan base. If he had accepted, they were willing to live with it. But, I also think they were pretty shrewd in projecting they would be outbid, and it worked out.

  19. Smize has a nice article on Leyland in the “other paper.”

    DK: How much will it cost me to read it? :)

    • Did he “write” the article or just link to another source?

      DK: If it’s a link to an article about the last time Leyland was relevant in Pittsburgh, it’ll take you straight to some library’s microfilm.

      • I myself, am tired of the Jim Leyland’s a God approach.

        I still see him as a quiter. Just my opinion though.

        • Did you read it, Ryan?

          • I read it. The site let me in. Didn’t ask for my nickel, either. However, the site wouldn’t close. I had to use my program manager to close it down lol.

            BUT…AW is right, it’s an excellent read.

            • Jandy, can you direct me to the Church built in Jim Leyland’s honor?? After all, Leyland is a God. Maybe Lucky can minister there???

              There is a small, but vocal part of Pittsburgh’s fanbase that loves to hate former successful coaches/managers. Leyland, and Cowher come immediately to mind. Dont know why it happens, but it happens.

              • LOL I hear ya Hipposter. I personally like Leyland. Some don’t. To each their own, I guess.
                :D

              • JMO, but those who hate on Leyland for quitting, should be questioning why it happened. Was in Colorado when it happened there and the scuttlebut was that management reniged on some promises. That appears to be what happened in Florida and its was certainly going on in the ‘burgh before he left.

                Don’t ask me to captain the ship, if after I sign on…you pull the plug on it.

              • + many.

              • Understand why it happened or why he left. Still doesn’t mean I have to like it.

                Plan, so now you feel like responding to me via Jandy?

                cool. Please continue.

          • Not at all. I haven’t read his stuff in a couple of years. Not a fan.

            I was just thinking out loud.

    • LOL! Yinz are all killing me!

    • I had heard it was all pay, but it just came up when I was googling something else. I don’t know what’s going on over there, but Smize did a nice job.

    • My, my.

    • It’s a whole new concept…..Pay AND be deleted.
      The wave of the future….

      • It’s really an historical piece from someone who was there, and covers more than Leyland. I found it interesting and well done.

      • Daq,

        I ventured over there to read it. It was a nice piece……….. didnt ever think old cranky-pants had it in him to write something positive about anybody.

        No one was deleted because when I went over, there were no comments. Mere technicality, I know but…………….

    • I have no problem with a paper taking the pay-to-read model on the internet. Journalists need to be paid, and why would people pay for the cow if milk is free?

      Newspapers can’t do more with less, as far as revenue goes. All you can do with less is less.

      • People get married all the time.

      • I don’t have any problem with them doing it. But, that doesn’t mean I will pay for it. It is up to them to make it work financially. They also generate ad revenue on-line.

        • my thoughts exactly.

        • I dont have any problem with it either. Their decision.

          But, when going to all-pay, they should eliminate those blaring ads set on autoplay. Banners at the bottom of the screen, which reduces your readable window to an inch or so.

          It is the job of the paper to make it reader-friendly. If they dont, they can charge all they want to, people just wont purchase it.

      • How many people get their newspaper for free?

        Why should the online version be any different?

        • It’s not a fairness issue. Of course, they have a right to charge for their product. All that really matters is whether the consumer wants to pay what they are asking, just like for any other product.

          • Obviously …

          • That’s true, Jim.

            What I find funny is when people refuse to pay for news because its free on the web…and then wonder why papers are forced to lay off staff, cut down delivery, and end up missing “important” stories.

            Check out what happened in Kalamazoo when you get a chance. Our paper is a joke now. Positions are cut and never re-hired. Readership complains and stops buying papers. Revenues dip further. The snake eats its own tail.

            • It is sad what has happened, Sean. On-line is more convenient, and it has killed home delivery I think. I agree with you that at some point, if the ad revenues from on-line are not enough to sustain it, a site either needs to charge people or go the way of the dodo.

              Hopefully, for this site, the increase in traffic is increasing the ad revenue enough that it won’t go the pay route.

              Newspapers are faced with remaking themselves in this new digital age – same as in a lot of other industries. They end up with shorter writer staffs. But, the folks who survive should be the best of the best.

        • What’s a newspaper?

  20. Just sitting here wondering if DK thinks Edmonton is still the ideal trading partner for the Penguins. One team loaded with young defensemen; the other loaded with young forwards.

  21. The Penguins have a 10 point lead over the Rangers and a 12 point lead over the Flyers in the Metropolitan Division.

    There are still 8 days left until November.

  22. Hey Coach Tomlin, have you ever thought about some theme music when you walk in to the interview room?

    I’m thinking something from the 70′s. Like “shaft”

    Just kidding of course…but he does have that 70′s theme swagger about him.

    • On he lighter side like this, I would ask him if he ever laughs.

      From the great George Costanza:

      GEORGE: (Showing Jerry up) Listen carefully. My mother has never laughed. Ever. Not a giggle, not a chuckle, not a tee-hee.. never went ‘Ha!’

      JERRY: A smirk?

      GEORGE: Maybe!.

    • Tomlin’s a real treat these days. And, we will have the pleasure of his coaching thru 2016, when his contract expires.

      When the going gets tough, you see what a person is made of by how he handles it. Personally, I think he is starting to “lose” it. How about his comments yesterday at the close of the press conference?

      • Treat? is that jerky treat? ;)

      • didnt see any of it.

        “We play to win the game!” or more of the “they were who they thought they were………and we let em off the hook!”

        “playoffs……..you wanna talk playoffs” “didily poo”

        Jim Mora’s were my favorites.

  23. Thinking out loud….it’s possible in a week all the Pens could be back in the line up (other than Neal). That means there are a bunch of fringe players that either need to be released, traded or sent down to get to 23 players. When healthy, the players who are locks on the lines are:
    14-87-9 58-4
    36-71-18 7-44
    #-16-19 2-3/41
    15-#-27
    So that leaves 46-Vitale, 22-D’Agostini, 12-Kobasew, 23-Conner, 39-Zolnierczyk, 17-Jefferey, 5-Engelland to fill 4 spots to get to 23 (if they want 23 on the NHL club). I am guessing 23, 39 & 17 are sent down and see if they clear waivers, 22 & 12 split time as the RW/LW on the 3rd line, and 46 is the 4th line center. 5 should never get in unless there is another injury – he could get a game here and there at 4th line wing. I just wonder if all that keeps them under the cap…

  24. Maata was paired with Niskanen in today’s practice. Letang with Scuds, and Bortuzzo with Engelland. What are the options if Maata is kept: Bortuzzo kept, Engelland waived/traded? Vice Versa?

    • Rob Rossi was saying on the X this morning that he had heard they were listening to offers for Engelland, but you just never know with Shero. He likes to keep things super tight to his vest. They may keep 8 Dman for awhile and stay at 23 players until they figure out what to do – and maybe see if there are any other injuries. Also they may consider Engelland as a D/RW in reserve and not just a Dman.

      • I owuld think that they wouldn’t get a whole lot for Engelland. On top of that, he does have value to the Pens as the reseerve you mentioned.

        I could see Nisky traded, Bortuzzo traded and/or Maata being sent down.

        My personal prefence is try to trade Nisky (value likely won’t be higher) and send Maata down – not popular, but the right decision. He could be captain in London, play the big minutes and the important minutes on the PP and PK. He is not going to get those with the big club and he needs those on his tool belt. It would be an absolute waste to have him have 8-10 minutes TOI, with just the last seconds on the specialty teams , if that.

        Plenty of talent at WS in case of injuries.

        • Playing devil’s advocate – since Orpik and Niskanen are on the last year of their contract and probably not coming back, wouldn’t it be good to have Maata get NHL experience – break in easy – to be fully prepared for next year?

          I do agree with trading Niskanen because several teams would see him as a puck moving Dman that can play the PP point, and the Pens could look for a back up goalie back, prospect or draft pick (since they are looking to shed salary as well).

          • That would be an option, but there (according to reports) are 3 or 4 guys in WB/S that the same thing could be said of and depending on who and what you believe Depres is ready willing an able and already has some of that experience. The reports sometimes conflict, but the last I read was that things were going well for him down there.

            I still am of the belief that the success of this season is not dependent on the decision about Maata….either way. If that’s the case – send him down, keep his clock from starting and let him get the big and important minutes he will not get in the NHL.

            However, if you DO think that the success of this season is dependent on Maata staying…I would sumbit the Pens are in big trouble.

            JMO

    • where was Martin? Is he hurt?

  25. Bloomberg’s estimates of MLB team values.

    http://t.co/QIqw1DdPAb

    I hope you can open it.

  26. I wonder if Lawrence Timmons can play hockey?

  27. OK I have a dentist appointment in 15 minutes. Right down the road from the office. Very convenient.
    Just one small filling. Then good until next year :)
    Yinz be good, hear?

  28. I don’t know why the Bloomberg piece linked to that page of team values. When I open it on my end, it has a wheel that shows all of the team logos. You click on a logo and not only does it show you the team’s overall value, but it also shows:

    Total team revenue
    Gate receipts
    Concessions
    Sponsorship rights
    Media rights
    Parking
    Revenue sharing receipts or contribution

    When you compare the Bucs to each of the other teams in our division, we still lag behind. Just in overall revenue, our division looks like this:

    Cubs – $320M
    Cards – $250M
    Brewers/Reds – $205M
    Bucs – $185M

    I don’t know whether that includes playoff revenue or not.

    If someone else has a better link, I think it is worth seeing. FWIW, NYY overall revenue was $570M. Bosox was $405M. Having a regional sports network that is paying you big $$ is huge.

    • Only the Cubs have a bigger market than the Pirates.
      Yet Pirates in last place.
      You tell me why that is.

      • I dunno, but that is just is more fuel on the fire for this offseason being THE most important offseason in….oh 21 years.

        We’ll find out, as they say, where the bum hid the money…or not.

      • Hopefully, it won’t stay that way.

        But, each of those teams outdrew the Bucs. So, they had higher gate receipts, and sold more food. But, they also have a higher franchise value, so they probably command more in radio rights and sponsorships. It has been chronicled by DK and others in the past that our local TV contract is still anemic. I believe that is on the team to “squeeze” their local partners for a better deal. I don’t know whether they can do that or not.

        I would expect the Bucs to have a guaranteed pre-season attendance of 2.4 million or so next year – and, at a higher $$ per ticket. If they have a good season next year, attendance could spike late in the year again, to maybe 2.7 or 2.7 million. Every revenue stream should increase. But, I think they have work to do on their end. Local TV is one area, for sure.

        • Meant “spike to 2.6 or 2.7 million.”

          • Guaranteed pre-season of 2.4 million seems pretty optimistic if you mean pre-season ticket sales

            • Could be. I think they knew they were in the 2 million range when this season started, right? I would hope they have generated enough excitement to pre-sell an average of close to 30k per game. Maybe it is 2.2M? I’m just guessing.

              • No, not on pre-season sales. They may have estimated that before last year based on pre-season sales and averages from the past, but it was no “guarantee, ” I don’t think. The only guarantee is sold tickets. If they stink, the averages go out the window.

              • I posted earlier this year that ticket sales (and their revenues) are a red herring.

                Say Cinci draws 2.6 million people.
                The Bucs draw 2.2 million people.
                400,000 difference.

                The average ticket price is 24 dollars in Cinci, 19 dollars here.

                400,000 x $5 == $2 million dollars.
                I understand I over-simplified it, but unless we are talking a million fan difference, at say $20 price difference (aka Bos/NY/LA) the ticket dollars arent much.

                TV, radio, sponsorships, etc are the real drivers.
                Oh, and having competent people in said positions helps too.

              • What “said positions” are you referring to?

              • Take your pick of many, AW.

                Head of marketing.
                Head of ticket sales.
                Head of corporate sponsorships.

                And, since I was told previously that the team President was responsible for all those positions, I guess we have to include Mr. Coonelly also. Not my choice, but that was what I was told previously.

              • To your point, plan, per the Bloomberg article:

                Gate receipts:

                Cubs – $128M
                Cards – $105M
                Brewers – $64M
                Reds – $54M
                Bucs – $39M

                Now, I don’t know, for certain, if those are 2012 or 2013. I’d have to dig deeper.

                But, I think your math is wrong on your example of Reds vs. Bucs. The Reds would not just be getting an extra $5 per ticket for the difference in ticket sales between the two teams. The actual comparison would be:

                2.6 x 24 = $62.4M
                2.2 x 19 = $41.8M

                That’s actually over $20 million.

              • Jim, you know I am not good at math!!!

                Good point, but that still doesnt cover the difference in team values. It does explain the gap in ticket revenues.

                Thanks……….. I might have to have you tutor me…. ;)

              • Yeah, I’m sure you are right, Arriba. When I heard 2 million+ early in the season, I’m sure they were using some sort of a season long buying model.

                I think they were at 1.5 at most when the season started. Even that might be generous. Still, I would not be surprised if that spiked to 2 million next pre-season. I believe demand is at an all-time high.

              • No worries, plan. I am in agreement with you that the Bucs lag the others in the division in pretty much all revenue streams, if the Bloomberg data is fairly accurate.

            • Winning helps more, as we saw this year and last year.

              I have a hard time blaming the guys/girls you mentioned, other than FC, but he has way more control.

              Should have just left out the competency part, IMHO.

              Winning is the answer. I think the lower guys you mentioned have actually done a pretty decent job with what they had to work with.

              • Oh, I wasnt blaming.
                Just using a reference point. I will say that having a good person in those jobs is better than haing a bad person in those jobs……….

                And I agree winning helps rise all boats. I also agree Mr. Coonelly has to bear the final responsibility on $$$ matters…….. like the TV deal.

              • Good is definitely better than bad. But I’m still confused, are you saying they were good or bad, or you don’t know?

              • Overall, I just dont know specifically about the Pirates employees.
                I will repeat that generally, competent people are needed for that success.

                Being the Pirates lag in every revenue area, I feel it is a fair question. Not blaming or criticizing.

            • Plan,
              Don’t mean to quibble but, wouldn’t the actual difference caculation be:
              Actual ticket sold price difference: 2,200,000 x $5.00 = 11,000,000

              Addiional tickets sold: 400,000 x $19.00 = 7,600,000.

              Total revenue difference for attendance = $18,600,000.

              • No quibbling at all.

                In my oversimplification, and my poor math skills, both you and Jim are correct.

                Next time, I will stick to food posts……….. ;)

    • Jim, all of those financial numbers are Bloomberg’s guesstimates.

      • Agreed. I didn’t mean to pass them off as Gospel. In fact, my very first line of my first post was “Bloomberg’s estimates.”

        • Oh sorry but I read that as the valuation was an estimate as opposed to the financial data.

          FYI, after the actual financial statements were leaked in 2010 for 5 franchises, I compared them to what Forbes published for those years. Forbes got some numbers close but overall I’d say they were reasonably accurate about half the time.

        • Actually, the team values are estimates. I believe they have actual revenues for a lot of the categories.

          • I don’t know how Bloomberg would have gotten those numbers.

            • Some of them are from revenue sharing and national contracts. So, those should be pretty accurate.

              Not sure if they estimate things like gate receipts and concessions based on averages.

    • Does anyone know if they have a mercy rule in Texas ? The game I had 2 weeks ago was 52-0 at halftime. Thanks to the mercy rule, there were only 34 offensive plays total in the 2nd half and there were only 5 total possessions. It ended 59-7.

      • I dont know if they do.
        I read earlier this week, in this particular game, after halftime both coaches agreed to the continuously running clock, fair catch on all kicks/punts, etc.

        I guess the only thing else that coach could have done was to take a knee on every play? Then, how does he go to the players on the 3rd string and tell them they dont deserve to get their chance?

        • I was just trying to reconcile the time factor. It’s really hard to score that many points with a running clock. No Plan, I’m not one of those take a knee so as to not rub it in guys. I think that’s more embarrassing. Western Hills must be historically awful.

          • I think I read somewhere, that they scored on 3 straight running plays……. fairly quickly. And, if field position was in play, well………

            Sometimes these things just happen. Nobody’s fault. Not like they (Western Hills) played with only 9 players……

            You have been around high school sports a long time, what do you make of all this?

        • Just did some quick homework. Western Hills dresses 3 seniors. Aledo has 34. Ouch.

      • Live in Texas, only 4 years – don’t know but starting to understand the high school football psychology. Enormous differences betwen the haves and havenots. they are trying to build a 40,000 seat HS (only) stadium in the little ‘burb I live in.

        Really doubt there is a mercy rule. I’ve seen some pretty wild scores. HS basketball is even worse.

    • My son’s freshman team was up 41-6 at the half last week and his coach continued to go for a onside or squib type kick. Didnt really change his game plan much either until about the 4th quarter, final score was 60something to 20something.

      they went to just running plays in the 4th, even gave the center an opportunity to run the ball. He’s not your typical center, he’s also the MLB.

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