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Morning Java: Another step toward MLS?

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 about Ben Roethlisberger and whether or not he’s done enough.

Call me with your thoughts at 412-320-7925. I will get your call onto the show.

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!

>> Taken in pieces, the various news items the Riverhounds unveiled at their Highmark Stadium press conference yesterday: They re-signed their two best players, they announced a controlling owner who pretty much everyone in the local soccer community had been the boss and they discussed a possible expansion of the Steel Army seating area.

No surprises on any of the three fronts, which are covered in detail by beat man Matt Grubba.

But put it all together, and a broader ambition is clear …

Jason Kutney, the savvy CEO doing most of the talking, described retaining Jose Angulo, the USL Pro league MVP and goal-scoring leader, and Matt Dallman, the assist leader, as “a sign we can compete for talent with MLS.” He’s right. The money wouldn’t blow anyone away — probably just under six figures — but it’s genuinely enough to compete for MLS. Good for the Hounds, and good for the sellouts that made it possible.

But what struck me most was hearing Kutney say the Hounds plan to “follow the model set in Orlando” for getting to MLS. The topic’s come up before, but I’d never heard him say it quite that pointedly. Orlando, for those who don’t know, is about to graduate from USL Pro into MLS after averaging about 7,400 at the Citrus Bowl. The Hounds are more than halfway there.

Anyway, here’s a video of a talk with Justin Evans, the head coach who was a player on the original edition of the Riverhounds. Note the train interrupting us at the start …

And here are Angulo and Dallman together, with a rather strong quote from Jose to close …

I’ll have Kutney on the radio show today for more on this MLS stuff.

>> The Steelers hope to flip the script through stronger starts. Alan Robinson reports from the Mike Tomlin press conference, the opening of which is right here …

I was over there at Tomlin, too, and I’ll have some thoughts on the football team for the Thursday column as a result of one of his answers to my questions.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage, including the latest on the banged-up line.

Here’s Patriots news from the Boston Globe.

Here are official game highlights from NFL.com.

>> Jarome Iginla calls his time with the Penguinsan adjustment,‘ and he’s probably being kind as always. Rob Rossi reports on Iginla and the Bruins being in town.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage, with more injury updates.

Here’s Bruins news from the Boston Globe.

Here are official game highlights from NHL.com.

>> No Gold Gloves for the Pirates’ three finalists. Travis Sawchik has that.

>> Paul Chryst remains a mystery. This is Joe Starkey’s column.

>> One hundred days to Sochi. Karen Price reports from New York on the U.S. commemoration, including a couple of surprising local ties on the slopes.

>> I’ll be with the Steelers in the morning, then back to the studio with a fancy new T-shirt.

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.

222 Comments

  1. ///…..looks like the T-shirt has generated LOTS of excitement …. ///
    .
    .
    .
    :-)

  2. The link to the Iginla story goes the Pens game story from the other night.

    (nice report by Rossi)

    And Starkey has a nice column about Paul Chryst

    • The Starkey article was terrific, TC. I agree with him totally that Paul Chryst is a solid guy. And I have no doubt that he is a solid coach as far as training and development go. I just don’t know that he can recruit well enough, and without that it really limits how far you can go as a team. You cannot compete with FSU and Clemson on character alone. You have to at least have decent talent, and I think they are lacking in a lot of areas right now. I would be more encouraged if this year’s recruiting class didn’t look like another mediocre one, at best. I really want the guy to succeed.

      I also question his in-game coaching, as did Starkey. Some things are just head scratchers, such as how he could not see and exploit some obvious physical advantages his team had over Navy. That was a game that absolutely cannot be lost.

  3. Song Banana Pancakes Jack Johnson. Contemporary folk/rock singer songwriter

    JAL’s Banana Pancakes Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Graa_Vm5eA

    GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pittsburgh_pirates/

    3 MLB Important Dates

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/schedule/important_dates.jsp

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Thinking Outside the Box in Right Field

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/10/first-pitch-thinking-outside-the-box-in-right-field.html

    2013 GCL Pirates Season Recap and Top 10 Prospects

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/10/2013-gcl-pirates-season-recap-and-top-10-prospects.html

    AFL: Benedict and Thornton Shine In Relief

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/10/afl-benedict-and-thornton-shine-in-relief.html

    The Angels Would Trade Mark Trumbo For Pitching

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/10/the-angels-would-trade-mark-trumbo-for-pitching.html

    AFL: Two Hits For Hanson As Losing Streak Continues

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/10/afl-two-hits-for-hanson-as-losing-streak-continues.html

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates shut out of Gold Glove awards

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/10/29/5045286/pirates-shut-out-of-gold-glove-awards

    6 Rumbunter

    Pirates Marte and Martin Snubbed Out of Gold Glove Awards

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/10/29/pirates-marte-martin-snubbed-gold-glove-awards/

    7 WHYGAVS

    No Gold Gloves for the Pirates (and a minor rant about defense)

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/october-2013/no-gold-gloves-for-the-pirates-and-a-minor-rant-about-defense.html

    8 The Green Weenie

    Kris Johnson

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/10/kris-johnson.html

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    News and notes: No Gold Gloves

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2013/10/news-and-notes-no-gold-gloves/

    10 PBC Site

    McCutchen, Marte, Martin miss out on Gold Gloves

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/pit/mccutchen-marte-martin-miss-out-on-gold-gloves?ymd=20131029&content_id=63508124&vkey=news_pit

  4. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Boston Globe

    Cardinals familiar with being on the brink

    http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extras/extra_bases/2013/10/cardinals_familiar_with_being_on_the_brink.html

    12 Newsday

    Managers are maddening in this World Series

    http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/on-base-perception-1.3631854/managers-are-maddening-in-this-world-series-1.6338541

    13 New York Times

    Cardinals Give the Ball to Wacha With Confidence

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/30/sports/baseball/cardinals-give-the-ball-to-michael-wacha-with-confidence.html?_r=0

    14 Bloomberg Sports

    Your 2013 World Series Champions

    http://www.bsports.com/statsinsights/mlb/2013-world-series-champions

    15 Boston Herald

    Red Sox know it’s not over

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

    Borges: John Lackey has chance to become a legend

    http://bostonherald.com/sports/columnists/ron_borges/2013/10/borges_john_lackey_has_chance_to_become_a_legend

    16 CBS Sports

    Red Sox hitting for power when it matters most, Cardinals not

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/eye-on-baseball/24156339/red-sox-hitting-for-power-when-it-matters-most-cardinals-not

    17 St Louis Post Dispatch

    Cards spend a long day getting to Boston

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/cards-spend-a-long-day-getting-to-boston/article_5ec9066a-7aa7-5138-a0df-cede0985504c.html

    Bernie: Once more for amazing Wacha

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/bernie-miklasz/bernie-once-more-for-amazing-wacha/article_e3942eac-8e47-5757-b2de-794579844571.html

    18 Sweetspot

    Difficult to defend this postseason

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/41937/difficult-to-defend-this-postseason

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Is Speed Enough?: A PITCHf/x Look at the Effect of Fastball Velocity and Movement

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=22139

    20 Fangraphs

    Some Musings on Letting Lester Hit

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/some-musings-on-letting-lester-hit/

  5. Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Suisham can’t kick six-point field goals

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/10/29/5041914/suisham-cant-kick-six-point-field-goals

    Steelers vs. Patriots: One game at a time mentality is shifting

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/10/29/5042428/steelers-patriots-nfl-week-9-preview

    22 Steelers Gab

    Mesko Bounced At Punter Spot; Waived In Favor Of Mat McBriar

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2013/10/29/mesko-bounced-at-punter-spot-waived-in-favor-of-mat-mcbriar/

    Soccer(football)

    23 Bloomberg Sports

    Joe Hart’s errors leading to more questions

    http://www.bsports.com/statsinsights/football/manchester-city-joe-hart

    24 World Soccer Daily

    Racism in Russia? Whoever would have thought it?

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/columnists/racism-in-russia-whoever-would-have-thought-it

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Pens Points Wednesday: Can Hobbled Pens Pay the Bruins Back?

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/10/30/5045356/pens-points-wednesday-can-hobbled-pens-pay-the-bruins-back

  6. Here’s a great telestration by Face-Off Factor on a couple plays from the Carolina game. It shows how smart Megna played and how one simple pass confused the Carolina players and led to a Pens goal. Good stuff:
    http://www.faceoff-factor.com/1pittsburgh-penguins/4915/ff-telestrator-game-12-vs-carolina

    • Nice link – thanks!

      I hope the fans don’t boo Iginla tonight, but I do hope they keep him off the scorecard. Mostly I hope they pound that team. It wouldn’t heal the wounds from the playoff sweep, but man it would just be nice to see them beat that team.

  7. When it comes to generating interest, soccer never fails to disappoint.

    • LOL! I was waiting for that from someone.

      Actually I am happy for the Riverhounds. And Pittsburgh for supporting them

      I just don’t follow soccer.

    • Growing up I went to several Spirit games at the Civic Arena and enjoyed it. Then I hadn’t followed soccer until about 4 years ago when my daughter started playing, and I am back into it. I also love watching and following the World Cup games. I’m not sure I’d be as hard core with an MLS team as I am with the Steelers, Penguins and Pirates, but who knows…

      • I loved going to Spirit games when I was a kid too. I just find it hard to get excited about a higher minor league. But that’s me.

        • Amen. I wasn’t a kid though in the 80′s. I had a friend that worked for the Spirit and he got us tickets often. Those games were a blast.

        • That’s what I mean when I say I’m not sure I’d be as hard core if I knew the best players in the world play over in Europe. I guess that would be like living in Russia and following the local KHL team. I would still enjoy it though.

          I remember getting one of those bright orange soccer balls as a give away at one Spirit game, and still had it until I got married….

          • hahah love the last line…

          • I got Spirit socks. They were awesome. It was on a Sunday afternoon. I think they played the St. Louis Steamers.

          • Hah! Great Spirit memories for me too! My parents still have that bright orange Spirit ball in the shed at their house! Gets hauled out when my kiddos are there…

            We seemed to go quite a bit and I have pics with me and Stan Terlecki from Player photo day. Went with the Scouts then…

            Good luck to the Hounds. They are in town here in Richmond to play the Kickers as part of the USL The stadium location in PGH is far superior to the Kickers playing in the old Richmond City Stadium…

            Take care all.
            Randy in RVA.

      • I think they are doing it the right way with the Hounds. Keep forging ahead, and let the local ticket buying public ultimately decide if they belong in MLS. Don’t skip any steps. It takes time.

    • You’re lining yourself up for a bold reaming, Milo.

    • The Riverhounds aren’t trying to generate interest from grumpy old men who never cared about the sport anyway.
      .
      They’re after a younger generation that grew up playing, and know what the EPL is. And they’re trying to draw in kids, which they are actively doing with the Riverhounds Academy, and opportunities to “Train with the Pros”.
      .
      FWIW, the MLS outdrew both the NHL and the NBA last year with an average attendance of 18,807. The Seattle Sounders carried the flag averaging over 44K fans
      .
      Now, go tell some kids to “Get off my lawn!!”.

      • ” grumpy old men ”
        ” “Get off my lawn!!”.”

        LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Average Ticket Price:

        NHL – $57.10
        MLS – $26.15

      • And by the way, the old man thing is particularly offensive to me. I’m open to new things. I can’t wait to watch some of these tapes as soon as somebody teaches me to plug in this VCR contraption. :)

      • I think the biggest problem the Riverhounds would face would be expanding their stadium to say 25k seats. I’m sure there is a minimum required to get an MLS team. Then again, if they are as forward thinking as it seems, I’m sure plans/ideas have already been generated for something.

        • Consol Energy Center capacity: 19,758
          Peterson Events Center capacity: 12,508
          .
          If you can sell it out, and get fans on a waiting list, you don’t need 25K to be successful and turn a profit.
          .
          But I agree, that footprint is fairly limiting.

          • I came up with 25k as a number of seats for a stadium that would be worthy of the 18.8k average attendance. PNC had as many as 40k at certain games, but their average attendance was around 28k.

            • Most of the new, soccer only, facilities that have been recently built are around 18K capacity (probably with room to expand).
              .
              PPL Park in Philly, Dicks Sporting Goods Park in Colorado, and Sporting Park in KC, all fit that bill. I just wonder if they would fit in the Station Square footprint.
              .
              They are completely cut off from expansion by the train tracks on the open end of the stadium.

              • I just took a look at a picture of the stadium, and they’d have to get real creative to expand – maybe even have to make the bleachers straddle the road and create a tunnel. Tough to keep that riverside view, but I’m sure some architect could come up with something.

              • I am older myself and don’t have any argument with your reasoning BC.

                I’m for any sport catching on and growing.

                One of my sons played soccer in HS because his school didn’t have a football team. We went to all the games and enjoyed them.

              • But could “easily” be expanded on all three other sides.

                Given 3500 person existing capacity, figure that could be doubled by adding a second deck to the Carson street side and maybe an additional 3000 people on either end. Still think you’d struggle to get more than 12k, though.

                Biggest issue will be finding private investment necessary to do the costly expansions. Good luck getting public money for a soccer stadium in Pittsburgh.

              • I wasn’t really trying to argue with anyone or be a jerk or anything like that.
                .
                It’s just the whole, “When it comes to generating interest, soccer never fails to disappoint.” argument doesn’t fly with me.
                .
                There is interest. It’s real. It’s growing. Even in places like Pittsburgh.

              • Boston, yes it is.
                And I’m happy that Soccer is doing well in Pittsburgh.
                It just doesn’t generate a lot of interest on this blog.

                Baseball is #1 here.
                (This from a hockey fan)

              • Kramer from Seinfeld had the answer to expanding Highmark stadium 20 years ago, when explaining his plans to expand his apartment.

                “Levels, Jerry!”

              • There is interest in the community, and it is real, BC. I hope you also understood that the responses were more about joking around than any inherent animosity to soccer becoming a popular sport in Pittsburgh or any posts about it. No matter anyone’s age.

                One thing everyone, I think, is in favor of is more posters commenting, no matter what the subject (even soccer— ;-) )

              • hahahaha!! Levels, Jerry…awesome call Jim S.

              • @Arriba Wilver
                .
                Understand, agree, and get it. My pot shots were of the same nature.
                .
                I look forward to telling a younger generation than me to get off my lawn, and that lacrosse is for lunatics.

              • Very well said, Arriba.

                We’re just kicking around a topic. (Tried to be soccer-friendly there). :-)

        • I just Googled MLS stadiums. They are all at 18k+, with the exception of San Jose (10,525), and I’m sure they have a plan for expansion. Most are already in excess of 20,000.

          I believe the key is to get demand for tickets to be at capacity for every game. Then, you just raise the prices, if you can, based on that demand growing. The Steelers could sell a lot more tickets than they do. There is a reason they set capacity at most NFL stadiums below what they could sell for a given game.

    • My daughter is in soccer. Happy for her. It’s great for me. I get caught up on my quarterly tax withholding estimates while her game goes on . Meanwhile, the other parents scream about an offsides rule that can neither be defined or explained.

  8. Really good article on Paul Martin by Michelle Crechiolo, on the Pens’ website:
    http://penguins.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=689079&navid=DL|PIT|home

  9. Happy Beantown day all!

    Pens are gonna be facing shot blockers galore tonight so it’s time to get the creative juices going and give the B’s something to think about. I made this suggestion last week and PP hasn’t been any better so here it is again:

    On the PP would like to see point man move the puck to half wall then make a B-line to the net clearing out a shooting lane for an on coming shooter who’s filling the spot vacated by point man heading to the net. Ideally we want malkin swooping into the spot point man vacates to rip a shot with forwards and point man collapsing around the net looking for loose change. Its very important that shooter and passer drop back to assume defensive responsibility in case of shot block but idea is to create a cleaner shooting lane to get the puck thru.

    5 on 5 we need to utilize the high slot much more often as well. When we go point to point in the o-zone the F3 needs to make himself available in the high slot by the blue line so the dman has an outlet in case shooting lane is filled. B’s crowd the house and block shots like its nobodies bizness so introducing some creativity and adjustments is long overdue!

    Monster out! :)

  10. I don’t think Tom Wallisch being a favorite in skier slopestyle or the fact that he is from Pittsburgh is surprising to anyone who even remotely follows freeskiing. Local resorts (Wisp, Seven Springs) and ski shops regular post updates about him. His Scott signature goggles a few years ago were black and gold with hypocycloids! The dude is a bonafide superstar in his sport. Glad to see him getting a little coverage in the Burgh. I highly recommend checking out some of his edits online.

  11. Been out of the country and disconnected for the past week and a half. Wife and I were celebrating our 5 year anniversary by cruising on the Mediterranean. Truly is a remarkable place and we had a great time. Because we were over in Europe, I had no cell phone or internet service for the week. It was great to just disconnect from everything and have some time with just me and the wife.

    What I was disappointed to see that in my week away, the Penguins managed to lose all three of their games. I have not had time to read up on the games to see what happened, but all I see are losses and injuries. No good. I guess what this is telling me is that I’m not allowed to go away during hockey season.

  12. While I’m a Penguins fan, I don’t follow hockey or know it like a lot of the people here. But one thing that stuck out to me from Rossi’s article about Iginla was that Rossi said Malkin had been begging Iginla to shoot more by the end of the Boston series last year. That kind of leadership role isn’t something I’ve normally attributed to Malkin. But maybe that’s just my ignorance.

    • +1
      I am in the same boat as you in regards to the Pens.
      And I thought Rossi article was very good….and that surprised me about Malkin too.

      But I wish Bylsma or Malkin or Sid or someone would have said to Iginla “Hey, we traded for you to come here and be Iginla. Don’t worry about fitting in or speaking up. Be Iginla, Jarome.”

  13. I see that Chris Brown has checked himself into rehab. I didn’t know they had rehab for jagoffs.

  14. The World Series outdrew the NFL on both Sunday and Monday nights on TV. I’m not suggesting this means baseball is taking back the title of America’s favorite sport. Far from it. But, I do think it is encouraging that America will still tune in if it finds the World Series compelling.

    All 3 Bucs that were finalists for Gold Gloves lost. And inside source tells me that Russell Martin actually won the vote at catcher, but Buck and McCarver immediately said they refuse to take the air for tonight’s game unless the vote was reversed. I guess they got their way! :-) :-) :-)

    • Careful, both the Sunday and Monday nite matchups not only sucked, but were known to suck for a month prior.

      I would submit that match ups between almost any of the top teams would have significantly outdrawn the WS.

      RM was the only Pirate truly deserving…and was just that Yolinda deserved it more.

      DK: The Sunday and Monday NFL games both beat the World Series in the key male demo, which is the only figure that matters in that industry. And both those NFL games were crappy.

      http://bit.ly/1aCZvQ9

      • Males 18-49 are the key demo? I’ve heard for years that the key demo was 18-49, but just limited to males? Just asking. (Don’t females buy stuff too?)

        • They do and my savings account is exhibit A that they spend more then most men.

          • I don’t resemble that comment.

            • My wife actually doesn’t either. I was just joking. Now the two ladies I grew up with (my sister and mom) are a differant story. They are both definately a demographic advertisers want watching.

              • I know you were, Nate, and hey, it’s good to see you here, it’s been a while. :)

                My hubby from time to time will pester me about going shopping and getting something for myself. lol
                I do when I need something. I’d much rather see him put together his Chevell. :)

      • Marte was more than deserving, IMO. And, I’m not alone on that one, tpb.

        I’m pretty sure I said “I’m not suggesting this means baseball is taking back the title of America’s favorite sport. Far from it. But, I do think it is encouraging that America will still tune in if it finds the World Series compelling.”

        I stand by what I wrote. Ratings are up for the World Series. The ratings beat the NFL two nights in a row, which doesn’t say anything about the NFL to me. But, it does say MLB is alive and well into October under the right circumstances.

        • Marte is absolutely what the Pirates need for LF at PNC Park.

          Gotta remember tho’ that the “can a corn” he dropped was replayed ad nausem and every voter and his brother (and his dog Sam) saw it over and over and over. The success of the Pirates and the timing of that error, unfortunately would work against him far more than maybe it should have and ultimately did, IMO. Not fair? I dunno. Not surprised in the least that he didn’t win.

          That is all aside of the fact that a GG outfielder just can’t drop that ball in that situation. Ever. Pghers (old enough) still remember Matty Alou’s drop in the late ’60s and he was a good centerfielder (other than his arm) but far from a GGer.

          If Green Bay played San Fran on Sunday nite and Seattle played Denver on Monday nite, 32 people outside of New England and St. Louis fans, other than player’s relatives and some bookies in Vegas would have cared, so I’m not sure how you define the “right circumstances”.

          JMO

          • Once Marte becomes a well-known name, he’ll be a shoe-in for the award as long as he’s in left field.

            • I would think so – especially if he hits well. For some reason, that seems to be a big factor even though it supposedly plays no part.

            • He’s basically a shortstop playing first base.

              • I think you lost me. Who’s a SS playing 1b?

              • Starling Marte.

                He has all the athleticism and skill needed to play the most challenging position of the outfield, but currently actually plays the easiest. Which would be like a shortstop playing first base.

                This isn’t said as a knock on Marte at all, just that he’s going to find the competition comparatively lower in LF.

              • Ok, I thought maybe that was the analogy you were making. Makes sense.

                Yeah, the LF’ers are generally not there for their defense. That’s just a bonus, usually. There are a lot of Matt Hollidays playing LF.

                PNC is flipped, though, from most parks. RF is usually the tougher park, due to longer throw to 3b. PNC needs a better LF than RF because of all the space.

              • Absolutely, Jim.

            • That I absolutely agree with.

              If he had already won a GG, the “drop” likely would have been minimalized. But given that he hasn’t (yet), too much to overcome for his first.

          • So, you’re saying the voters overlooked the entirety of the season and eliminated him based on one play? They have plenty of metrics at their disposal that all pointed to a slam dunk for Marte.

            I think it was about offense and reputation. Carlos Gonzalez has an advantage over Marte in both, just as Yadi has it over Martin.

            Carlos Gomez in CF is likely a couple of years ahead of Marte in recognition (reputation). As NMR says below, he should be a shoe-in later.

            As for the World Series ratings, the “right circumstances” are two prominent franchises playing in a very compelling series.

            • JMO, based on the timing and noteriety of the play, I believe it did have a big impact.

              It happens in May – no way.

              • Just like college football, you lose in Sept you can over come and still win Nat Champ. Lose in November, good luck next year.

              • Can’t say I think that specific error had as much impact as you believe, but I do think that errors in general – of which Marte had double the amount of any other candidate – played a factor.

                You’re preaching to the choir if you believe errors are an antiquated means of judging a fielder’s overall performance, but I unfortunately I don’t trust the voters feel the same.

              • Could be, I guess, tpb.

              • Thank you, NMR, for adding the error comment. You can’t get an error on a ball you don’t get to.

              • Perfectly stated, Jim.

      • Key demo.

        You can slice and dice those numbers all you want.

        But I thought I heard that overall baseball beat those two games.

        The Monday night match up was lousy, but I think the Sunday night game had Green Bay —which now is just not a ‘regional’ team. Their interest is national.

        But baseball has to do something about the length of the games and having them start earlier.

        I heard Mad Dog Chris Russo go over this – and I agree with him on this.

        • I have no idea what they can do about the the length of the games right now and I also don’t want to see instant replay.

          • They can do something about hitters stepping out of the box after every pitch, and have pitches not wasting so much time between every pitches.

            And MLB should limit the number of trips a catcher can make to the mound.

            • With the hitter getting signs, I’m not sure how that’s going to work because a hitter in the box also means he’s ready for a pitched ball. Agree on the catcher’s trips but that’s a little complicated too if they catch runners on second stealing signs which I’m seeing more and more in these playoffs.

              • 20 second pitch clock, from the time the balll hits the catchers glove.

                Absolutely no reason the batter could not get his sign and get set within that time. If he doesn’t, treat the pitch as if time wasn’t granted by the umpire.

                An average five second reduction in time between pitches equates to 25 minutes over a 300 pitch game.

                You’d hear all sorts of b*tching and moaning until about a week of play, at which point it becomes obvious that 3B coach sign language and 5 practice swings between pitches is worthless.

              • How about a clock instead from when the pitcher has the ball. Ball doesn’t always hit the catchers glove.

                I’d also like to see a clock on coach/manager mound conferences from the time they are given the timeout until the time play is ready to restart, or something like that.

              • An even better idea, 21.

              • Also great ideas, 21 and NMR. You are making too much sense. None of it will happen.

            • All good ideas, TC. But, the two biggest offenders are the Red Sox and Yankees. Their games average the longest each year, and they would probably resist.

  15. There’s also this about tonight’s World Series game. I heard yesterday that tickets in the first few rows near home plate were going for $13k each. The average price for resells is in the $1,900 range, and bleacher seats in RC tonight are going for well over $1,000 apiece.

    Baseball … the everyman’s game … the game for the masses.

    • That’s just wrong…

      • Conversation taking place right now between a dad and his 16 year old son somewhere in Boston:

        Dad: “Joey, great news! I scored 4 box seats to tonight’s game.”

        Son: “You are the best, dad! How did you manage that?”

        Dad: “I have my ways. BTW, you weren’t too keen on college, were you?”

      • Nah. That’s not the official price. He’s talking resells. That’s what someone with too much money will pay. So what? Maybe the schlub who sold it needs it more.

        • I got 2 standing room only tickets for the WC game here for $20 a piece.

          They were re-selling for over $100.

          • And, obviously, tonight has added significance with the Red Sox being able to clinch a WS championship at home for the first time in 95 years.

            I don’t really think anyone outside of the Matt Damon/Ben Affleck-types of the world would actually pay $13,000 to go to one game.

            Boston is also a huge metropolitan market with the smallest stadium in MLB. All of these things figure in to make it a truly unique situation.

            But, it is crazy how much tickets are going for tonight.

        • Yes, I was only talking resells, Arriba. I have no problem with any ticket holder selling for what the market will bear. No one sells their house for under-value because “they looked like a nice young couple.”

          Of course, fans of modest means often catch homerun balls hit by multi-millionaires and give balls worth 6 figures to those multi-millionaires (who earn 6 figures per game) for signed jerseys and a few free tickets.

          • I know. I was responding to Jandy’s “That’s just wrong.”

            And I have a sister who lives in Boston, and has said for years how the market for Boston tickets, even in-season, is all about resells because it’s sold out. I get that the price sounds crazy, and the teams are always trying to figure ways to tap into that without turning off the masses. But this is pretty unique, as you say.

          • ” I have no problem with any ticket holder selling for what the market will bear.”

            The problem is that market value is blown up by artificially induced demand created by the presence of scalpers whose sole purpose is resell, not the product itself.

            • The market can only be inflated by people paying what they think a ticket is worth.

              Scalpers can ask anything they want. When people say no, they reduce their prices.

              • When the working class is priced out of events by scalpers who offer no benefit to any party – venue, players, workers, league – it is bad business.

              • But, the scalpers don’t set the transaction price. They suggest a price. They can even demand a price. But, no one has to pay it. If everybody says the prices being charged are too high, the price gets lowered.

                If you are saying it is inherently unfair that prices for big sporting events are too high, I don’t disagree. But, that’s life. Working class people are priced out of a whole lot of things. They are priced out of neighborhoods, they are priced out of stores, restaurants, schools.

              • Thanks for the life lesson, Dad.

                :)

              • You’re welcome … but only because you ended it with a :-)

            • And the solution is?

              • stay home and watch on TV :D

              • Never going to stop every single re-sale, but the easiest solution is to curb the electronic mass sale of over-face value tickets online.

                The dozen guys standing on the corner outside of the stadium aren’t the problem, the hundred guys holding thousands of tickets in a nice, neat online transfer site is.

                Scalpers do this because the leagues/bands/venues have made it so damn easy. Make ‘em work for it.

              • Believe me, I hear what you’re saying. I spent several hours trying to get tickets online, and figured a lot of the problem was professional resellers trying to get prime tickets. But how do you stop it?

              • I’m still trying to figure out what the problems is.

              • @AW

                All sales and admissions are electronic at this point, so I’d imagine some kind of tracking system could be developed. But I’m positive anything I personally could think up would be demolished by somebody that actually knows what they’re doing.

              • NMR ~ quicker than you could think it up!

              • I’m with you, 21.

                Free markets are often messy. They aren’t perfect. But, telling people they can’t resell something they own for what the market will bear …. that’s a slippery slope that ends up in a very bad place.

              • My thoughts exactly Jim.

              • And I’ll side with working class baseballs fans over “free market” idealogy.

              • Oh my.

              • I’m going to suggest something radical. Not everyone reselling tickets for a profit is a “rich guy.” I bet a lot of them are ordinary people who took a gamble and laid out the cash hoping for a nice payday from a “rich guy” who can afford to pay top dollar. Maybe the ordinary guy does something very useful with his windfall. Seems to me that guy acted pretty wisely, and is being rewarded.

              • Ah yes, quite a way to “earn” a living.

    • The only sports left that havent been outpriced, or “corporated” are high school, and things like the RiverHounds. The major sports? Forget it.

      And anyone paying 13,000 dollars for a ticket, should have his human card revoked.

      DK: Baseball remains very inexpensive, especially at the local park.

      • DK:

        I was responding to the $13K seats post.
        Some tickets at PNC are still priced very, very high.
        I would hope you arent suggesting that the seats behind home plate, or the dugouts are inexpensive.
        And, any of the major sports come playoff time, they arent inexpensive either.

        • The home plate tickets at PNC aren’t inexpensive, but the equivalent ones in DC and at Yankee stadium are something like 10x higher.

          • Add Wrigley Field to that list, Arriba. I think people in Pittsburgh often don’t realize what a great and stable market you have in so many ways. Houses are a bargain there compared to most other metros. Ticket prices are a relative bargain, at least for baseball.

            Pittsburgh is a wonderful metro for that and so many other reasons. Dejan is very good at pointing this out in so many ways, as a matter of fact. No one champions the city better than he does.

  16. Gotta finish up this contract…be back in a bit…

    Hipposter, glad to see you finally show up…now be good while I’m gone ;)

    • Dont you start having candlelight vigils if I am late to the party here. ;)

      I am a bit concerned about tonight’s game.
      Boston swept the Pens out rudely last spring.
      Pens have a lot of injuries to key people.
      You may need to get the 9 wides going.

      • Game doesn’t start till 8pm yuck lol
        I’m concerned too. But until we are healthy (relatively speaking) our boys gotta dig in and get it done. Period.

        Malkin, I’m looking at YOU!

  17. Heck, if we are already talking RiverHounds today, this should be discussed also……..

    http://espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/id/9894341/nhl-100-things-need-know-heading-sochi-olympics

  18. Today, Shady McCoy was asked about Terrelle Pryor, “Yeah I know him. I tried to recruit him to Pitt. But we couldn’t afford him.”

    • I usta live in Penn Township, just outside of Jeannette, so since I usually read the sports pages front to back would naturally follow his headlines and knew people that knew him when he was in HS.

      My reply to Shady would be ….yep.

      • I have relatives all over the Irwin/Jeanette/Greensburg area. I have heard some real interesting stories about Mr. pryor also.

        I attended a HS basketball game of his at Robert Morris….. some tournament, they played Beaver Falls. I happened to walk down the wrong hallway after the game. Coming out of the bathroom, I encountered a Terrelle Pryor news conference. You could tell just from his “posse” of advisors that $$$ was definitely talking .

    • Do you think Shady realizes he just threw PITT under the bus?

      • How so?

        • “…But we couldn’t afford him.”

          Not “…But we didn’t offer”.

          • Seems like just a poor choice of words on his part to me. I think he was just being flippant.

            Do you really think they offered money to Terrelle Prior? And, do you think if they did they would let Shady McCoy in on that discussion?

            I guess anything is possible, but I don’t think so.

            • Knowing what we know about college football and about Terrelle Pryor, it seems naive to assume any team with a serious shot DIDN’T offer him money (my alma mater included).

              And McCoy didn’t need to be in the room when the discussion was had to know they offered Pryor money if McCoy himself was also lured to Pitt that way. These things become implied.

              • Like I said, anything’s possible. But, I still say McCoy was just trying to be funny and didn’t realize he set himself and Pitt up for follow-up questions.

                I definitely don’t think Pitt and Penn State are offering money to any recruits. If they are, they sure are picking the wrong ones to offer. :-)

              • Maybe Pitt and Penn State are only on a 2 -3 star budget?

                Just kidding of course.

          • Way over analyzing IMHO. I think he was trying to be flippant by suggesting Terrelle wanted money without coming right out and saying it. Shady didn’t get drafted because of his skills with the media, and he sure isn’t a Pitt spokesperson. Nothing to see here on that is my view.

            • And I’d say the same thing if he went to Penn State. Lucky may want to chime in. ;-)

            • I could easily see that being the case, AW.

              But do you guys really think PITT and PSU were major players in his pursuit WITHOUT offering “incentives”?

              If Shady just cracked, somebody should be there to at least ask some questions.

            • And fwiw, I’m basing a lot of this off of respect I have for Milo. He’s always on the money with stuff he posts, and he seemed to be interested enough in this inauspicious wise crack to post it.

              I have been known to overthink things, though.

              • I saw on the PG twitter feed and assume Milo did as well. There was no context to it, so I am just guessing he posted it given the results of the last game as an interesting sidebar, but don’t want to speak for him.

              • Oh, I think it was worth posting because of the fact Terrelle wanted something. I just was saying I didn’t think Shady threw Pitt under the bus. They didn’t give him anything, and I didn’t take his comment as suggesting they were even considering it. And I don’t remember if either school were “major players” in recruiting him. Maybe my view is because I’m a wise a$$ and how Shady put it might be how I might put it. ;-)

    • Now, that deserves an “oh my.”

  19. Not sure if anyone will read this, but former Steeler, and all-around great guy, Levon Kirkland’s wife Keisha lost her battle against lung cancer yesterday. She did the weather on our local news for a few years while Levon coached high school football here. They were both extremely well liked. She never touched a cigarette in her life. Very sad.

    http://www.wyff4.com/news/local-news/greenville-news/keisha-kirkland-loses-battle-with-cancer/-/9654794/22713934/-/8vgwff/-/index.html

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