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Morning Java: Engine No. 9

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

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>> The Friday column tells the tale of one truly extraordinary athlete and person.

He’s also a guy who could use a dentist right about now, actually …

I could go on about Pascal Dupuis, about how he’s the most self-made athlete I’ve ever covered, about how he’s also among the most selfless, most humble, most unassuming and yet most confident individuals. Of his place in hockey and his lot in life.

Writing about people like this is truly one of the perks of the job.

Goalies have to adjust to new defensive systems, too. Beat writer Rob Rossi has that.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage, including Beau Bennett back on ice.

Here’s Blue Jackets news from the Columbus Dispatch.

Here are official game highlights from NHL.com.

>> If you didn’t stay up way late last night, and if you happen to be among those still looking at the NFL standings, the Bengals lost on an OT safety in Miami. The Cincinnati Enquirer is cited.

This has nothing to do with the Steelers, so please keep it in that context: The Bengals are nothing special. The Ravens are less than that. The Browns are even less than that. The AFC North is as awful as it’s been in a long, long time.

Also, anyone who thinks Andy Dalton is on the precipice of joining some quarterback elite — and yeah, I heard and read some of that entering the season — needs to take a hard look at that OT. He couldn’t handle the Miami rush, couldn’t sufficiently track A.J. Green on deep routes and, ultimately, couldn’t get rid of the football in the ultimate get-rid-of-the-football scenario.

By the way, that’s Cameron Wake up there in the pic. He had three sacks for the Dolphins, including the OT beauty. That’s one big-time ballplayer.

The Steelers will see him Dec. 8 at Heinz Field.

>> Meanwhile, it’s been a ‘challenging’ year for the Steelers’ rookies, by beat writer Alan Robinson.

The pains of the O-line persist, by Ralph Paulk.

The Pats hate being pressed? Mark Kaboly asks, but I’ll answer this much: If New England prefers that its receivers get ample room coming off the line, they’re in for a treat Sunday.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage.

Here’s Patriots news from the Boston Globe.

Here are official game highlights from NFL.com.

>> Justin Morneau tells Travis Sawchik he doesn’t expect to hear from the Pirates.

>> Looking ahead to Pitt and Georgia Tech, by Jerry DiPaola.

>> Doing likewise with Penn State, by Chris Adamski.

>> I’ll check in with TribLIVE Radio today at 11:30 a.m and, just a few minutes after that, we’ll get started with the weekly chat at noon. Remember, you can submit entries — into the actual chat field, please — as soon as you see the post.

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.

Comments

  1. Pucknutz says:

    Nice read, DK
    Ya Duper is something special!

  2. kr70 says:

    So, Mr. Shero can work the wives too. Nice to know, lol. It’s nice to read that some of these elite athletes think Pittsburgh is a pretty nice place to live.

  3. JAL says:

    Song Lemon Tree Trini Lopez 1965 Written in 1960 song was recorded by many folk groups of the 1960s. Lopez had the biggest hit, reaching 20 on the Hot 100 and 2 on Hot Adult Chart

    JAL’s Lemon Tree Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3FSRW2qFjM

    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: What Should the Pirates Do This Off-Season?

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/11/first-pitch-what-should-the-pirates-do-this-off-season.html

    Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Season Recap: Catcher

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/10/pittsburgh-pirates-2013-season-recap-catcher.html

    AFL: Alen Hanson’s Fielding Improves As Team Loses Again

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/10/afl-alen-hansons-fielding-improves-as-team-loses-again.html

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates likely won’t offer Morneau contract before Monday

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/10/31/5051834/pirates-likely-wont-offer-morneau-contract-before-monday

    6 Rumbunter

    Should The Pirates Trade Liriano For Trumbo?

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/10/29/trade-liriano-trumbo/

    7 City of Champions

    Pirates reportedly seeking to re-sign A.J. Burnett, Clint Barmes & Marlon Byrd

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2013/10/31/pirates-reportedly-seeking-re-sign-j-burnett-clint-barmes-marlon-byrd/

    8 The Green Weenie

    Buc’s Halloween History: Fido, Bobby Bragan, Lee Tunnell, Jim Bibby, Ian Snell, Jerry Reuss, Jim Leyland, and more…

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/10/bucs-halloween-history-fido-bobby.html

    9 CBS Sports

    From Pittsburgh’s noise to Boston’s party, an October to remember

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/writer/danny-knobler/24166194/from-pittsburghs-noise-to-bostons-party-it-was-an-october-to-remember

    10 Pirates site

    Bucs have fewer needs, more money for free agency

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/pit/pirates-have-fewer-needs-more-money-to-spend-on-free-agents?ymd=20131028&content_id=63302214&vkey=news_pit

    Bucs’ 2013 surge results in 11 GIBBY nominations

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/pit/pirates-great-2013-season-results-in-11-gibby-nominations?ymd=20131030&content_id=63514114&vkey=news_pit

    Hanson developing into ideal middle infielder for Bucs

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/pit/bernie-pleskoff-alen-hanson-developing-into-ideal-middle-infielder-for-bucs?ymd=20131031&content_id=63573360&vkey=news_pit

  4. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Sports on Earth

    Hot Stove Preview: NL Central

    http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/63601010/

    12 NY Times

    Boston Leaves Worries Behind and Learns to Be Happy

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/31/sports/baseball/boston-leaves-worries-behind-and-learns-to-be-happy.html?_r=0

    13 MLB

    Planning ahead: Free agency launches offseason

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/mlb/free-agency-launches-major-league-baseball-offseason?ymd=20131031&content_id=63552676&vkey=news_mlb

    14 Greensboro News & Record

    The longest day; no more baseball

    http://www.news-record.com/blogs/hardin_hard_n_fast/article_a4df7152-4245-11e3-8270-0019bb30f31a.html

    15 Business Insider

    Every Baseball Expert Was Completely Wrong When They Made Their World Series Prediction

    http://www.businessinsider.com/every-baseball-expert-was-completely-wrong-when-they-made-their-world-series-prediction-2013-10

    16 Baseball Nation

    Picking the Team of the Century

    http://www.baseballnation.com/2013/10/31/5049344/boston-red-sox-greatest-team-21st-century-yankees-cardinals

    17 St Louis Post Dispatch

    Can Cards afford to lose Beltran?

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/can-cards-afford-to-lose-beltran/article_fd55b913-fa7e-51b8-8cbd-db31baecd577.html

    Bernie: Cards couldn’t play to their strengths

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/bernie-miklasz/bernie-cards-couldn-t-play-to-their-strengths/article_69cba625-8560-5738-944f-c336c329457e.html

    18 Gulf Coast News

    Bringing intrigue back to baseball

    http://www.gulfcoastnewstoday.com/opinion/columnists/william_moore/article_74f4f988-4260-11e3-9048-001a4bcf887a.html

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Prospects Will Break Your Heart

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=22149

    20 Fangraphs

    The Cardinals as an Object Lesson

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-cardinals-as-an-object-lesson/

  5. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Which Patriots player would you want on the Steelers roster?

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/steelers-vs-patriots-news-and-updates-heading-into-week-9/2013/10/31/5051718/steelers-patriots-roster-week-9-analysis-preview

    Mat McBriar’s plant leg issue is healed, looking to contribute

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/10/31/5051030/mat-mcbriar-steelers-roster-transaction-punter-week-9

    22 Steelers Gab

    Video: Steelers Gab Preview Of Sunday’s Steelers-Patriots Matchup

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2013/10/31/video-steelers-gab-preview-of-sundays-steelers-patriots-matchup/

    Soccer(football)

    23 Bloomberg Sports

    Bundesliga Column: The Ballon d’Or and the Case for Franck Ribéry

    http://www.bsports.com/statsinsights/football/bundesliga-column-ribery-ballon-dor

    24 World Soccer Daily

    Aspiring players being conned by fake agents – special report by Steve Menary

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/columnists/aspiring-players-being-conned-by-fake-agents-special-report-by-steve-menary

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Evgeni Malkin early season production struggles

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/10/31/5050608/evgeni-malkin-early-season-production-struggles

    26 Pens Official Site

    Matthew Jacko Meets His Favorite Player

    http://penguins.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=689330&navid=DL|PIT|home

  6. Jandy says:

    Understatement…

  7. Jandy says:

    To Dupuis, it’s about the TEAM. Individual glory doesn’t play a factor.
    I loved the guy from the moment we acquired him as a “throw-in” on the Hossa trade…turns out he was the gem from that trade :)

  8. Jandy says:

    Dejan.

    THANK YOU

    Seriously. This article strikes a chord with me. Duper was under-appreciated for so long. It’s nice to see you paint the true picture.

    Thank you.

  9. scapper says:

    My brother and I were just discussing Dupuis a week or so ago. What we raved about was that here we have a guy in his mid-30′s who has had to grind grind grind his whole career. He finally gets to a point where he gets his big payday (and you know that for most of his career he never saw this coming), yet not a thing has changed in his game.

    You sense no self-satisfaction, no 98% effort instead of his ever-present 100%, no hesitation to keep banging bodies and paying the price. That’s what so admirable about this guy. I think that’s true of hockey players more than in any other sport (the big contract not changing their game), but so far this year, you’d think that THIS was his walk year what with the way he’s been playing. We’ll remember this guy for a long, long time.

  10. montyb24 says:

    Great article on a first class guy. While I always understand when an athlete wants to maximize his earnings during a short playing career, it is great to hear someone who realizes that the money is not always the end all be all. Dupuis will be one of very few NHL players who will still be playing for under market value at age 38… Pascal Dupuis D.M.D.

  11. Jandy says:

    scapper, a truly humble person. Shero was so wise in keeping him…and lucky to keep him at the price he did.

  12. Iceman says:

    Thanks for this article DK. Every time I hear Dupuis interviewed or watch him interacting with his teammates on the bench, or giving Potash a hard time, Dupuis always seems to be enjoying life. He seems to be one of the good ones and I am glad that I get to watch him play regularly. It is also great to see a player who cares more about his family and their happiness than a big payday. Class act and great job by DK for writing this article to remind us all.

  13. Jandy says:

    +++++

  14. mjp1542 says:

    Good to see a column about a fake sport linked on the main page of the Trib sports website, but nothing about the Morneau article. I’m sure it’s an oversight, with there being no Pirates subsection anymore, but it certainly doesn’t look good.

  15. Jandy says:

    what are you talking about? ‘Splain.

  16. Jim S. says:

    People in regular life who don’t make vast sums of money pass up on more money all the time for a lot of reasons – happiness, family, geographic location, etc. I think Duper was happy with the Pens, and he put his money where his mouth is. I applaud him for htat. It shows character and loyalty. But, I think he’ll still be just fine financially.

  17. Nate83 says:

    DK I’m with you on Dalton and Cincy but I don’t know if I can fault him on that last play. Wake looked like he was shot out of a cannon. I’m not sure many QB’s could have gotten rid of that ball.

  18. Jandy says:

    He most certainly will be fine. But four kids, Jim! Imagine the college education bills!!! lol

  19. Milo Hamilton says:

    You know, I always thought #9 was cursed with the Penguins. Tony Tanti, Wilf Paiement, Andrew McBain, John Chabot, Ron Flockhart, Ron Sutter, Stan Jonathan, Len Barrie, Rene Corbet, Rico Fata. And Ronnie Francis couldn’t wait to get rid of it.

    The curse has been lifted.

  20. Dom says:

    Geno Atkins looks to be done for the year.

  21. Milo Hamilton says:

    On the Trib’s main page there is a link to a story on the Undertaker, but not the exclusive story Travis Sawchik & 24/7 did on Justin Morneau.

  22. Jim S. says:

    Could not agree more with your assessment of the division, DK. I have been saying that all year. Cleveland, Baltimore and Pittsburgh stink, and Cincinnati is very mediocre.

    I am still amazed at all the good fortune the Ravens had during their run last year to the Super Bowl. I did not see a championship caliber team at all, yet they got hot, caught a ton of breaks and won it all. It might sound like sour grapes coming from a Steelers fan, but my eyes did not see a great team that nonetheless won a Super Bowl.

    The larger question in my mind is, are there really many good teams in the entire NFL these days? Have we finally reached so much parity that there are not dominant teams? Is this just a trend for a few years?

    New England is, what, 6-2? But, they play in their usual horrid division. I watched their entire game vs. the Dolphins last week, and they were being blown out at home midway through the 3rd quarter. There were several awful officiating errors in favor of the Pats, and definitely some huge mistakes by the Dolphins that led to the comeback. But, anyone who watched that game would not think New England is any sort of Super Bowl contender. Denver has had chinks in its armor. How about the undefeated Chiefs? They seem to win every game, even against weak competition, by just a few points with the game hanging by a thread at the very end. Maybe the Colts are the class of the AFC? Two years after they gutted their roster and intentionally tanked their season in order to get Andrew Luck.

    What of the NFC? The Packers are playing better, but they have their issues. The 49′ers may finally be figuring things out, but they have played some awful games as well. Did Seattle look like a dominant team last game? I didn’t think so. Even the teams with good records look pretty flawed to me these days.

    Maybe I am just seeing things. But, I don’t think the top teams are separating themselves the last couple of years the way they historically have. I wonder what everyone else sees.

  23. tpbco says:

    Andy Dalton = Matt Shaub

    Game manager with lots of toys, but can’t take advantage of them.

    They are both a throw back to Cowher’s teams, pre BBR, when the Steelers could still afford to put a talented team on field, with drafting AND free agency…could win a lot of games but couldn’t get over the hump in the playoffs due to the QB.

  24. Jandy says:

    +++++

  25. Jandy says:

    I guess you can’t please everyone.

    :D

    (Thanks, Milo)

  26. Milo Hamilton says:

    Ricky Nelson said it best.

  27. tpbco says:

    I dunno, I’m not sure how many brain cells are left in that sector, but I remember John Cabot and Ron Flockhart being decent or maybe just had decent stretches and McBain was a fighter, wasn’t he? The others…meh

    Was not aware of your comment about Ron Francis.

  28. JohninOshkosh says:

    Baseball fans. smh

  29. JohninOshkosh says:

    Best song ever written about Madison Square Garden.

  30. Excellent points, Jim. The Chiefs don’t seem all that dominant for an undefeated team.

    Poor play calling and clock mismanagement cost the Saints their game in NE.

    Just nobody stands out.

    Last season,the Ravens got hot and so did Flacco at the right time. That and the emotional things around Ray Lewis kind of carried them. We beat them with Charlie at QB, but that was their last loss I believe.
    All that is history now.

  31. JohninOshkosh says:

    Engine, engine number nine,
    Going down Chicago line,
    If the train goes off the track,
    Do you want your money back?
    Yes, no, maybe so!

  32. tpbco says:

    JMO, but the “top” teams either have a $100 million QB and holes in their roster and/or little depth OR have talented teams and no franchise QB. Methink that evens things out during the regular season and then the nod goes to the franchise QB teams in the playoffs – or at least the teams that have a QB that plays like a franchise QB in the playoffs.

    That’s, again in my opinion, the story of last year’s ravens. Flacco played well, they got bounces and calls and didn’t suffer many injuries to key players (thanks to deer antler juice). Then they thought they HAD to pay him (Flacco) and gutted the team as a result.

  33. Jandy says:

    Oh my! We sang that when we were kids!!!!

  34. Jim S. says:

    I do imagine those bills, Jandy. They will soon be all too real for me, unfortunately. Not 4, but 3 college tuitions.

    I love Duper, and I am glad he chose to stay with the Pens. I am glad he said that staying put is what is best for him and his family, even if it means passing up money elsewhere. Like I said, that kind of loyalty is worth applauding. I love the guy, and am so glad he is still on the Pens. The way he plays typifies why he made the decision he made. Team first all the way.

    My other point was just that his decision to stay was cushioned by the fact that he still makes millions of dollars. I bet a large % of people contributing on this blog have to make similarly agonizing decisions in their lives. But, usually we don’t have the luxury of still getting paid millions of dollars when we choose to pass up more money for personal reasons. It was certainly not intended as a slap at Duper. :-)

  35. Jim S. says:

    +++, Lucky. Now, go rake some leaves so you can watch some sports tomorrow. :-)

  36. Jandy says:

    I know that Jim, I was actually being a bit silly. How many people these days have 4 kids? You have three, but I stopped at 2. It’s just crazy, this world we live in.

  37. Jandy says:

    bwahahaha!

  38. tpbco says:

    Only a smart as$ would wonder if they had trains way back then…

    But I sure wouldn’t.

  39. Jim S. says:

    Flacco did get red hot. He is Flacco again this year. Good some weeks, really bad some others.

    I have seen you make the franchise QB dollars argument before, tpb, and I think it is a good one. That definitely disrupts a team’s chances to keep or acquire other stars. Maybe it is a big part of the answer to my question.

  40. We had 40 MPH winds yesterday and last night, Jim.

    None left. Have to wait for more to fall. Breaks my heart.

    :D

  41. Jandy says:

    Need a tissue and some band-aids?

    ;)

  42. pattonbb says:

    Huge loss for the Bungles.

  43. JohninOshkosh says:

    French Canadian Catholic.

  44. tpbco says:

    It’s my soapbox issue on the why the Steelers are what they are right now.

    It magnifies every detail from coaching to drafting to cap decisions and why I ain’t yelling for any firings….yet.

    A very fine line as suggested by a former coach with a chin.

  45. Jandy says:

    Indeed.

  46. tpbco says:

    DK-

    Would really like to see some investigative reporting on the ice conditions at Consol. It’s been talked about, but I haven’t see it pursued, but noted that a few players really danced around the subject.

    There at least three instances in the home game before last, including Scud’s injury, where it could have been a factor.

    With the talent level of the Pens, how can that NOT be a top priority of the team? It’s like taking most of the home ice advantage away.

  47. JohnS says:

    When looking at the PPG differential it is intersting that the top two teams are Denver (15.6) and Kansas City (11.7) and they have done it in very different ways.

    Denver has scored 343 points to KC’s 192. While KC has allowed 98 to Denver’s 218.

    So I guess it shows to win in the NFL you have to be dominant on one side of the ball and hope the other is good enough.

    Carolina is the interesting one as they are +10.6 ppg yet they are only 4-3. Weird to be two scores better and only 1 game above .500.

    So to answer your question are there any really good teams, I would say no. All are flawed and it will be much like last year. Who gets hot and healthy at the right time.

  48. theplanisworking says:

    No, an Ohoho State Brutus hoodie and a glass of hot chocolate.

    ;)

  49. JohnS says:

    When they were building Consol didn’t they bring in the “Ice Guru” from Edminton to ensure the Consol had the best ice anywhere? Maybe I am remembering wrong.

  50. Jandy says:

    Send it over, Hipposter ;)

  51. tpbco says:

    They did.

    But they brought him in because of the ice issues, not before the fact and the rumblings are still going around.

  52. Got the hoodie. More than 1, actually.

    Don’t need the HC. It’s gonna be 65 here today.

    Cue Drew to talk about 80 degrees.

    Where has he been, anyway? On a trip to Iowa?

  53. Jandy says:

    Ha! We had 61 degrees at 5am. Go figure…the wind is blowing like crazy tho.

    Drewster is MIA, send out an APB, please, Hipposter!

  54. theplanisworking says:

    Jandy, if I send out an APB on Drew, we will find his sand crabs also.

    Drew is probably drinking a $35 dollar a bottle beer on the beach, numbing the pain of his molars. When he feels like coming back to snark us, he will.

    :)

  55. Jandy says:

    You have sounds points there, Hipposter, no argument here ;)

  56. theplanisworking says:

    Reverend, I keep hearing that Ohoho State will be left out in the Bull$$it Criminal Stupidity final standings.

    Thoughts?

  57. Milo Hamilton says:

    I was remiss above with my list of #9′s. I forgot German Titov. I just loved the way Mike Lange said Gair-mon Titov.

  58. They probably will, Plansky. They are, at best, the 4th best team in the country.

    The Big 10 isn’t on a par with the SEC this season and hasn’t been for a while. Now, the ACC is better than the Big 10, so I wouldn’t be surprised.

    Plus, their remaining schedule is not enticing, other than the Michigan game. And, like John said last week, they haven’t played any ranked teams early.

  59. Scott says:

    Yes, I totally agree. I don’t know why the city’s hockey writers aren’t making a bigger deal about this. Bad ice is a huge issue, especially considering the skill level on this team, and to the outside eye, it appears that nobody is doing anything about it. Somebody in the front office is dropping the ball.

    Is this the Pens’ version of Hoka Hey?!

    (Probably not, but some media attention sure would increase the pressure to come up with a solution.)

  60. theplanisworking says:

    Great piece on Doo-Pwee this morning. Just re-enforces the view that I, and many others had of him……….. hard worker, always trying to improve his game, tough, tough guy, and great teammate. To think he was the “throw-in” in the Hossa trade.
    As an aside, whenever an athlete says “family considerations”, that is code for “my wife is the boss, and I need her permission”, LOL

    I wonder if Jarvis Jones is another player that is in Tomlins Doghouse? Tomlin seems to pick a player or two (Jonathan Dwyer, anybody?) and just ride them for no reason. Hope that isnt the case………..

  61. Milo Hamilton says:

    Union shop. They won’t let professionals come in to help.

  62. theplanisworking says:

    How could you ever omit Dan Quinn?

  63. Milo Hamilton says:

    Other than getting Mario in trouble with Hooters’ waitresses, I thought he was OK.

  64. theplanisworking says:

    LOL !

  65. Jandy says:

    Hey guys, what’s your opinion/take on the Jonathan Martin bullying thing? I mean, it’s gotta be pretty bad for a guy to just leave the team…

  66. Jim S. says:

    Lucky, you had the perfect (wind) storm! We had the worst possible situation all day yesterday – constant and hard rain with no wind! So, now all the leaves fell and they are stuck like they’ve been glued to my driveway. And they way a ton in the yard. Oh well, I’ll survive.

  67. theplanisworking says:

    In Honor of Jandy giving DK a bold reaming above…………..

    Happy All Saints Day!!
    Happy Go Cook for your Dog Day !!!

    :D

  68. pattonbb says:

    Jandy, I think that young man has some other serious issues that were probably magnified by whatever happened.

  69. Jandy says:

    LOL! I gave Dejan some bold appreciation , you silly Hipposter

  70. Jandy says:

    That’s why I’m asking…what issues? And if that’s the case, why wouldn’t his teammates want to help him? heck, they lost without him the last game they played…

  71. Jim S. says:

    I do think Mr. Urban Renewal needs to beef up the pre-season schedule again, as we discussed last weekend, Lucky. He is not getting help in-season from the Michigans and Penn States of the world much these days. Wisconsin is good, but not great. Same with N’Western. I think MSU is gaining steam, though.

  72. Jim S. says:

    I know you were, Jandy. :-)

  73. Jim S. says:

    Catholic here, too. We had 2 girls, and my wife figured I was going to need a partner in battle at some point. So, we took a shot at a boy on #3 and that’s what we got. Although, truth be told, a 3rd girl would have been just with me as well.

  74. theplanisworking says:

    Go cook for your dog! ;)

  75. Jandy says:

    I always give her leftovers. last night she had steak

  76. theplanisworking says:

    He may have social anxiety disorder, he may have trust issues, he may have had a sickness in the family that caused him to snap.

    This is why not everyone agrees with “hazing” of any sort in sports. You never know when things will go horribly wrong.

    Or when the 9 wides will come out……….. ;)

  77. theplanisworking says:

    Eating better than me, and my re-used ramen noodles………..

  78. Jandy says:

    Still just doesn’t seem kosher. But you could be right, Hipposter. Seems like he shouldn’t have made it to the NHL if he had such issues. But what do I know?

  79. CWalton_67 says:

    Great piece on Pascal Dupuis, a player I have long admired for all he reasons outlined. The columns you write on people are always your best work, Dejan. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

  80. Jandy says:

    LOL I buy the thin sliced steaks. She prolly got a total of 3 ounces, if that…

  81. theplanisworking says:

    I had 3 noodles….. ;)

  82. Milo Hamilton says:

    Yeah, but they were really, really long noodles.

  83. Jandy says:

    I’m NOT going there ;X

  84. theplanisworking says:

    Hahahahahahaha!
    Classic, Milo, classic!

    If I dont get a chance to see you on here later, have a safe trip to the game tonight. I may ask you for a game report tomorrow. And, how many people came down from NC.

  85. CW says:

    Of of my favorite things about Dupuis is when Dan Bylsma was asked about the Marion Hossa trade after he had left the pens, he was corrected and told it wasn’t the Hossa trade, but the Dupuis trade. You have to love that the guy was “thrown in” on the hossa trade but ended up being the winger that they were looking to get for Sid.

  86. Jandy says:

    Thanks, Hipposter. Looks like it is personal emotional issues. I guess time will tell.

  87. theplanisworking says:

    BTW, I didnt know the Dolphins were in the NHL……. ;)

  88. Jandy says:

    To me, that was poetic justice after the way Hossa played the Pens :)

  89. Jandy says:

    Slip of the finger…Jandy typo if you will.
    But how does one have such emotional issues, and make it all the way to the NFL, seriously?

  90. Milo Hamilton says:

    I will absolutely give you a report.

  91. theplanisworking says:

    Actually, it happens more often than you think.
    See, Leaf, Ryan.

    All the background checks done dont get everything……

  92. Jandy says:

    Yes remember Leaf, but this sounds more like a junior high issue, not an NFL issue. I don’t know how to say what is in my mind. It’s just so…odd…at the level.

  93. hockeymonster says:

    Not to sound repetitive but after looking at team Canada’s orientation list couple weeks ago I still don’t think there’s a better candidate save Mike Richards who can do a better job on the PK, forecheck n backcheck than duper. Hope Yzerman is capable of thinking outside the box…that being said: USA USA USA :)

    P.S. hope this game tonight with Columbus isn’t a trap game. After playoff atmosphere with the B’s hope we’re able to match blue jackets intensity which according to multiple monster sources will be pretty high.

  94. theplanisworking says:

    Actually, Hossa never played the Pens.
    He said he was going to sign hwere he felt he had the best chance to win the Cup. He never mentioned Pittsburgh. He did what anyone else would do, but since the fans thought he would re-sign here, he became a villain.

    But the Karma train did derail him when the Pens won the Cup. :”

  95. Jandy says:

    if the Pens make the mistake of letting up on the gas with Columbus, they’re gonna be in for a huge surprise. Those guys come to play.

  96. Jandy says:

    No, I don’t agree, Hipposter. he never game them any definitive answer until the 11th hour. THAT was my issue. (Shero learned a valuable lesson with that one) He DID say – in public – that he wanted to stay with the Pens. I also remember that.

    And yes, Karma was a beyotch and got him good lol

  97. Jandy says:

    I sent in a question about Jonathan Miller to the chat, but someone else beat me to it.
    Derek:
    Have you read about the bullying issue with Dolphin’s Jonathan Martin? I feel like this is an issue that a lot of times does not get reported. It is a shame. He is probably one of their best lineman as well.

  98. Jandy says:

    I sent in a question about Jonathan Miller to the chat, but someone else beat me to it.
    Derek:
    Have you read about the bullying issue with Dolphin’s Jonathan Martin? I feel like this is an issue that a lot of times does not get reported. It is a shame. He is probably one of their best lineman as well.

    Dejan’s reply:
    Dejan Kovacevic:
    I have, and it’s a concern in all walks of society in all forms. Martin’s case will be very much worth monitoring, and it was encouraging to see the NFL Network guys — notably Rich Eisen — pressing it hard even after Miami’s big win. Pointedly, when Eisen asked Cameron Wake after his three sacks how the Dolphins felt, Wake expressed what sounded like genuine empathy for Martin and repeatedly referred to him as “our brother.”

    We’ll see. But you’re right that it’s important.

  99. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I think Pascal Dupuis just became my favorite Penguin……..

    Love guys like that.

  100. Jandy says:

    hahaha Hipposter, nice try!:
    Happy Hippos:
    DK, please rank the Pens-Bruins game the other night on a list of great hockey games you have seen. My all-time favorite was Game 3 of the 1987 Canada Cup Series. Thoughts
    Dejan Kovacevic:
    Oh, no, not anywhere in the same solar system. It was a great October game. Not more than that.

  101. Jandy says:

    Ryan! You couldn’t pick any better.
    My son-in-law and I had verbal sparring matches over Dupuis the season after he joined the Pens.
    The guys just totally gives a chit.

  102. theplanisworking says:

    Are you sure, Nunsense?
    I remember he played coy, talking in vague generalities about the “best team”, etc.
    He also turned down the 5 year and 7 year contracts Shero offered him.

    I just cant remember hin definitely saying he would guarantee re-signing with the Pens.

    But, I dont remember lunch yesterday…………

  103. theplanisworking says:

    :D

    That moniker was for you, Jandy! :D

  104. Jandy says:

    I didn’t say he guaranteed anything. He just said he would like to stay here (Pittsburgh).

    Lunch for me yesterday was a ham and cheese sandwich, just like the one I packed in hubby’s lunch. :P

  105. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Cameron Wake is the real deal. Former PSU guy. Good background story as well, kinda like James Harrison.

  106. Jandy says:

    LOL, good one, you cracked me up :)

  107. theplanisworking says:

    We are just going to have to disagree for the first time I think……. I cant remember him ever saying that.

    But thanks for the food thought, now I am hungry. ;)

  108. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Those are the guys I like.

  109. Jandy says:

    I just had leftover mac and cheese. YUM.. Get some lunch, my friend.

  110. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Be careful how you disagree with Plan……

    Just sayin’

  111. Jandy says:

    Imagine that, Ryan, we totally agree on something :P

  112. Jandy says:

    Hippo and I have a good give and go thing going here. I’m not worried about that. He’s my buddy :)

  113. theplanisworking says:

    Gee Ryan, who is so “sensitive” and “butthurt” now? I have not responded to you, and I asked that you not respond to me. You are a huge troublemaker, and you just keep pushing it, beyond rational thought.

    For the record, Jandy doesnt insult me, attack me, or cause trouble. Try that sometime…….. works wonders.

    I have seen your comments about me when you think no one is looking after most threads are done. You think that is so funny……

    Here is one you, and another have already made fun of me about……. do not respond to my posts. I am sick of your insults and attacks……… that is not being “sensitive” at all, pal…… its called not wanting to give you the satisfaction you get when you deliberately cause your trouble. Just pass when you see me post anything, as I do to you.

  114. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Whhhaaaaaaatttt??? College football talk?

    I’m in.

    First, I can’t stand Urban Meyer.

    Wasn’t he sick? That’s why he retired. Nope, cause he knew the OSU job will be coming open after the terrible things Jim Tressel did.

    Second, B10 stinks.

    Third, Pac12 is slowly catching the SEC at the top of the college football food chain. With the ACC behind those 2.

    College football is awesome. I love it. Willing to discuss it any day of the week.

  115. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Is that really trouble??

  116. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Football could be his way out. On ESPN they have a good story on Rolando McClain as well. Former #1 pick for the Raiders, just signed with the Ravens in the off season and retired at 24.

    These guys come from all sorts of backgrounds and sports is typically thier way out of situations.

  117. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Jandy, as I try to figure out what you’re saying, I believe you’re trying to say that the NFL guys, pro athletes if you will, are typically above this or have put up with this for a long time and they are viewed as being the “big tough guys” and should be immune to bullying.

    Or something like that.

  118. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    See??

  119. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Insults?

    What insults do you speak of?

    Pretty sure I dont come back in to this blog and write things thinking nobody is looking about you….or at all.

  120. Jandy says:

    Well, that’s some of it, Ryan. I really think that by the time these guys reach the NFL, they should be above “bullying” getting to them. I don’t think Big ‘n Tough solves everything…but … ya know…

  121. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I don’t really find that hard to believe…

  122. Jandy says:

    Ahem. Ryan.
    :eyebrows raised:

    YOU escalated that one.

    Now…leave it be.

  123. Lad 9 says:

    Well, I don’t have to imagine the bills I live them. Three down, one to go. Thank God my daughter had an athletic scholarship (partial), but my one son made up for that by going to an extremely expensive school.

    But you know what? I love it. My only regret is that I don’t have a few more tuitions to cover. We had a few miscarriages, and the last one had a scary delivery so we decided we were pushing it. I would take more though – my four make me proud every single day. (even the one that hasn’t called from the west coast in four months. GRRRR).

    Reading about a guy like Duper, who has also turned down better opportunities to stay where he wants to be, kind of validates my own decisions. Thank you DK, for another very special column. Let go Pens!

  124. Jandy says:

    Hey Laddie, good to see you friend. I’d have loved more kids…just couldn’t do it financially. I envy those who do.
    As for the one on the West coast…a call from you at their time est 4am would likely go a long way to them calling you to avoid that again LOL!

  125. theplanisworking says:

    I have posted your insults to me before, I am not doing it again.

    I have seen you go to threads that were “over” so to speak, and respond to me, or engage with others posters to make fun of me. Nice try with the amnesia routines.

    What part of dont respond to my posts dont you understand? Oh, I get it, if you do that, you cant start your trouble. My bad. Being you have bragged on here in the past you just love to argue to cause trouble, it doesnt surprise me at all.

    Just hit the scroll bar when i post. I do it with you, but since you started the shit all over again today, I had to try to stop your lying, and crap. But since you deny everything, I will fail……….. cant stop a troublemaker from doing what he/she always does.

    Just unreal. You didnt have to say anything on this thread at all, but the urge to start crap was too great, huh?

  126. theplanisworking says:

    Jandy, you are 101% right.
    He always starts crap with me, and I try my best to ignore it, but today was completely uncalled for.

    He just cant help himself. Thinks he is an “internet tough guy”. So sad.

    Guess I have to exit here now……… dont want the back and forth with this crap…….. amazing why he had to start this all over again. But its a free blog, so he can do anything he wants.

    He just cant pass by my posts. He cant.
    At least you see what the heck is going on……..

  127. Jandy says:

    Don’t leave, Hipposter, just don’t respond.

  128. Jandy says:

    Dejan posted this in his closer for the chat:
    radio show is Wednesday at 2 p.m. This here chat is Friday at noon. And the blog is like that new breed of stink bug coming up from Kentucky: Incredibly annoying, always there and now it bites, too.

    Hipposter ~ see, I told you *EYE* don’t bite! it’s the blog that bites :P

    Spunky, you have any of those new biting stink bugs at your place????

  129. Lad 9 says:

    Hey Jandy! I wish. He just turns his cell phone ringer off. Still working on him. He is stubborn just like… well I won’t go there. :)

    Believe me, it is a financial push. They all have had to accept some loans, so I know what you speak of.

  130. NMR says:

    Blaming the victim. Nice.

  131. theplanisworking says:

    Jandy, I dont respond to that troublemaker.
    He just keeps going.

    I am out.
    He gets his wish……. again.

    Hope to see you in the Pens thread tonight.
    If not, have a great day.

  132. Jandy says:

    You DID respond to him Hipposter, with a tirade. he gets a kick out of that. Just totally ignore. I know it’s hard. I have to do that with someone on here too. Just try it.

    I hope to be on tonight…enjoy the afternoon. Hope this wind dies down soon :*

  133. Jandy says:

    I don’t see anyone blaming anyone. I do see someone opining that perhaps there are other circumstances that might be having an effect on Martin’s actions.

  134. casper in a-town says:

    Hey Plan — You listening to the Canes’ game tonight? Should be a good one.

  135. Jandy says:

    One of the guys here upset him. He should be on later, casper.

  136. casper in a-town says:

    Thanks the heads-up, Jandy. I think the vast majority of us come here to escape for a bit and have some fun and good-natured back and forth banter. Sad when it turns south. Anyway, I hope he’s back on soon.

  137. Jim S. says:

    Yes, indeedy he does!

  138. Jim S. says:

    I think you had the grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch yesterday, plan. Just looking out for ya’. :-)

  139. Jim S. says:

    “Go cook your dog day?”

    Well, now they’ve thought of every possible Day.

    The family was starting to get attached to that pooch. But, I always celebrate the “Day.’

  140. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Only insults I see are from you Plan…

    A little lame if you ask me. I don’t play any amnesia card and if you’ve posted any insults that I have thrown at you, must’ve been after I already left. I usually don’t go back and look at posts after they’ve moved on.

    Unless its the Pirates ones, those are awesome.

    Ignore all you want, if that’s how you want to play this game…I really dont care. I find it more humorous than anything.

    I must be just a bully…or as you say, I troublemaker.

    Feel like we’re in elementary school.

  141. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Laugh a little dude, or you might explode.

    I pass over numerous posts of yours. Its really easy.

    But I do respond to some that I have an interest in.

    This one was just poking the bear.

  142. Jim S. says:

    You’re going to have to tell us what you really think about Urban, B1G football, etc. Ryan. :-)

  143. Damon says:

    Latest on the Martin bullying by his teammates….great line in the article:
    “Seriously, these are grown men doing this to another grown man.”

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/details-emerge-dolphins-teammates-bullying-jonathan-martin-calling-163745006–nfl.html

    Too bad the trade deadline has passed already, because I’m not sure this gets smoothed over to easily….

  144. Jim S. says:

    “Remi-nisce with my old friends.”

  145. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Someone obviously said something to make him snap. You never know what might trigger someone’s emotional outburst.

  146. JD says:

    He’s a big baby. Always getting insulted and arguing with people. After he pouts for awhile he’ll be back.

  147. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Really? C’mon

  148. NMR says:

    The way it reads, you’re wondering if Martin has “personal emotional issues” that have caused the problem, or at least worsened it, and not whether teamates actions have caused or worsened his personal issues.

    That is blaming the victim.

  149. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    wait wait wait JD.

    I’m a troublemaker and its my fault.

  150. Jim S. says:

    So well said, Lad.

    There are some hard decisions in life. My motto is you make decisions about your future using the best information you have at the time, and then don’t look back. No second guessing. If you made the best decision at the time, it’s all you can do.

    I had an offer within my company a few years ago that I didn’t think anyone in the family but me was going to be interested in making. But, it was a great offer. So, we had the old family meeting. My wife and two daughters (the oldest kids) reluctantly agreed to do it. I thought my son, who was 9 at the time, would be a slam dunk. But, my son just said “Please, dad, don’t make us move.” Melted me right there in my tracks. So, I went to my boss the next day and told him the story. He gave me the best piece of advice I ever got. He said he forced his family to take a similar move when his son was a freshman in high school. He said his son took forever to adjust. He was eating lunch by himself everyday for 6 months. He said he regretted making that move, as a result. So, he said, if you are not completely comfortable, don’t do it.

    So, I didn’t take the job and we remain a happy family. My way is not the way for everyone, and I would never criticize a parent for moving his or her family against the wishes of their kids. Parents have to make the call. But, I am definitely glad I didn’t take that offer.

  151. JD says:

    Ha, you’re right. Someone else is always the troublemaker. It’s never him, even though he’s the one who is always getting into these fights.

  152. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Just heard that one of the things he was called was a “Big Wierdo”

  153. Damon says:

    I can’t believe no one on that team – coach, player, assistant, trainer did anything about it. I was pretty neutral about the Dolphins, but now I’d love for that team to crash and burn….

  154. Jim S. says:

    I would like to know what happened for myself, to make up my own mind.

    I don’t get hazing, never did. Lots of bad things come from it IMO.

    But, what I have read doesn’t say much of what happened other than the reporter seems to be certain the rest of the team has done very bad things to this guy for some reason. Maybe the reporter knows more than he is saying. If so, I’d like to hear it.

  155. Jim S. says:

    umm … I meant “weigh” not “way.”

  156. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I agree. Surely someone saw that it was affecting him differently than others. Captains? Coaches?

  157. Jim S. says:

    I still don’t know what happened other than slamming the tray and no one eating with him, and the Big Weirdo name calling. Has to be more we don’t know.

  158. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Yea. I don’t recall actually ever insulting him, it’s possible, but not to him. Just the guys that pop in to drop the “This team sucks” type of thing. The trolls.

    Guess I hit a nerve. You can see his rants up above. It is someone else’s fault.

  159. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I have 4.

  160. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Absolutely. Sounds like a final straw. No leadership on that team.

  161. Jandy says:

    First of all, NMR, *I* didn’t say Martin has personal issues. It was suggested he did, and I admitted that possibility. As Jim says, we don’t KNOW what happened, what was said, what was done. And as he says, I’d love to KNOW. A guy doesn’t just walk out on his job in the NFL for some silly prank.
    The way you go on, it’s like your blaming ME for his issues.
    Sheesh.

  162. Jandy says:

    There ya go, JD.
    “He’s a big baby.”

    yet, you’ll say you didn’t say anything.
    You jumped on me when I had a disagreement with NMR. Pushing buttons and being downright nasty.

    This is the crap I’m talking about.

    It needs to stop.

    Chit, why do I even bother?

  163. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    -Pirates trying to re-sign Burnett, Byrd,and Barmes before the end of the 5 day exclusive negotiating rights expire.

    Interesting to see what Byrd commands this year after a huge season (for him) on a cheap, 1 year deal.

    I would like to see these 3 resigned, if there are no better options and I don’t think there is. One more year with Burnett would work in case Taillon isn’t ready or any injuries accure during the season.

  164. Jandy says:

    yeah, really. Ryan, I love chatting with you, but sometimes you’re just incorrigible. YOU started the whole thing. You had no reason to, either. If you don’t like Plan, then just stay away from his posts. It will make things a lot nicer around here.
    Yeah, it’s that easy.
    Really.

    But I think you guys ENJOY getting him riled up.

    Just let it alone.

  165. Jim S. says:

    I agree. This kid may very well be a victim, and if so, then it needs to be taken care of immediately. But, I don’t go that far unless I know what happened. Otherwise, it is a leap before I know the facts.

  166. Jandy says:

    LOL you’re crackin me up

  167. Jandy says:

    There’s always three sides to the story. His, theirs, and the real one ;)

  168. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    You’re the one that diagreed with him, I was just warning you and he didn’t take it so well.

    I have no reason to not like plan. Don’t know the guy. For the most part, I agree with his comments.

    I guess I didn’t once or twice. Others’ opinions hurt his feelings. That sucks

  169. Jandy says:

    Of the three, I want Byrd back more than any of them. Barmes should take a cut in pay, no?
    And Burnett is always fine by me. Hope he stays too.

  170. What part of KY?

    I haven’t seen anything out of the ordinary here. We’re extreme south central. Must be up near Cincy in northern KY.

    ;)

    DK should be ashamed, being irreverant about the Bluegrass.

  171. Jandy says:

    That’s just it Ryan, I disagree with him, and we agree to disagree. It isn’t a problem.

    Sure, I’ve seen him go off on others in here. Most of the time, he’s provoked.

    I prefer to just ignore that kinda stuff myself.

  172. Jandy says:

    He will be, casper, he missed his looney friends :)

  173. Jim S. says:

    I continue to maintain that Byrd can get 2 years, so he will not give the Bucs 1. He hasn’t earned gigantic money in his career, and I think he’ll want a little more of a guarantee than 1 year. But, so be it. Sign him for 2, and move him if/when Polanco proves he can handle RF every day.

    I want to see AJ back for another year.

    Since Boston made the qualifying offer for Drew, I think they will try to resign him. They have a lot more money than we do. Unless there is a creative trade for a SS out there, I think Barmes might be the best F/A option.

  174. Jandy says:

    haha Spunky, give him a BOLD REAMING

  175. Jandy says:

    true dat, Jim. When I saw the story, I was rather incredulous, ya know? Oh well, I’m sure more of it will come out.

  176. So he says the blog is incredibly annoying, huh?

    From its originator no less.

  177. Jandy says:

    Oh Lord, Ryan, do you really have 4 kids?

    I can’t imagine that these days…

  178. Jim S. says:

    You would never be “irreverent”, Reverend. :-)

    A Friday pun.

  179. Jandy says:

    yeah, the nerve of that peckerhead ;)

  180. Jandy says:

    I could see Revvie being extremely irreverent ;)

  181. 21sthebest says:

    “Most of the time, he’s provoked.”

    Nope.

  182. JAL says:

    Wandy exercised his option.

  183. NMR says:

    I’m absolutely not, Jandy, but the manner in which we speak of mental issues is absolutely pertinent.

    “But how does one have such emotional issues, and make it all the way to the NFL, seriously?”

    Nobody should be limited in life as to what they can accomplish because of emotional issues. ESPECIALLY ones that are exacerbated by immature coworkers.

  184. 21sthebest says:

    Wandy exercised his option.

  185. Iceman says:

    So much of it depends on what the “hazing” consisted of. I’m all for the rookies/freshman being on the low end of the totem poll, but for me that means filling the water bottles, carrying the gym bag of the senior/veteran, etc. What I am not ok with is when this turns into verbal abuse, harassment, making fun of insecurities, physical abuse, etc. So often this is what hazing turns into and then you end up with a situation like you do with Martin. Teammates are supposed to support each other and help each other grow. This is obviously not what was happening in Miami.

  186. I still say we give Byrd the 2 years, let Polanco develop, which he is doing quite nicely, and trade Byrd if it gets to that. The coin is there and they can make this deal now, better than ever before.

    Unless he wants way too much. Hopefully, not.

    But it’s not my money. They won’t listen to me anyway, because I live in a state with stink bugs.

    :|

  187. Jim S. says:

    Timing is everything, patton. I so wanted to respond to your post about the Bungles with “Just another manic Monday.”

  188. JAL says:

    Of course, that was a given

  189. A true no-brainer for him.

  190. NMR says:

    What possible facts could exist to make bullying anyone’s fault BUT the bullies?

    Martin was the victim the second those other adults chose to act the way they did.

  191. Jim S. says:

    Imagine that!

    Thanks for the update, JAL. I sure hope we get the real Wandy back next year – the healthy one. I’ll believe it when I see it.

  192. Jim S. says:

    Bluegrass Strong, Lucky!

  193. Jim S. says:

    This blog does not harm its moderator.

  194. NMR says:

    Here we go again…this is getting sad.

  195. Jandy says:

    Well, NMR, I can see not being able to handle adversity a huge problem with some mental issues. Don’t preach to me about mental issues, as I helped a personal friend thru 3 breakdowns. Not a pretty sight, and very hard to handle, even when I’m not the one having the meltdown.

    And for the record, I AGREE TOTALLY with you about someone bullying a person to the point they have to bolt. Thankfully for them, he didn’t respond by trying to hurt them. He’s a big boy.

    Again, I was thinking out loud about possibilities that someone else suggested.

    If martin has issues which preclude him from handling adversity, then the NFL is no place for him to be. And that’s not bullying nor is it being impertinent. That’s just stating facts.

  196. Jandy says:

    I actually agree with that second sentence.

    As I have no idea what happened, or what took place, I can’t say where the fault lies, but to me, it sure looks like it lies with the other teammates who were pushing his buttons.

  197. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Oh Barmes will most certainly take a pay cut. He’s not being signed as a starter. Big difference in pay, except for Jordy’s case because he’s still under team control.

  198. NMR says:

    But Martin wasn’t handling “adversity”, he was being harassed.

  199. Jandy says:

    Very well stated, Iceman.

    But, we don’t know the entire story, so I will reserve judgement until/if we find out.

  200. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I believe they realize that he won’t be signing a one year deal. 2 years makes sense.

  201. Milo Hamilton says:

    $13 million buys a lot of Enbrel.

  202. Jandy says:

    Yes, it seems he was…but what prompted the harassment? Nothing? Something else? Again we don’t know.
    I’m going to let it at that.

    :)

  203. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    5.5 paid for by the Astros.

    Hope he’s healthy.

  204. Jandy says:

    me too!

  205. NMR says:

    Maybe something is getting lost in translation, Jandy.

    Seems like you keep leaving room for blame to be put on Martin.

    This story begins and ends with the bullies. As they all do.

  206. Jandy says:

    +++++

  207. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    But is he really provoked? Or do people just continue to disagree with him and he goes off?

    That’s what I’ve seen.

  208. Jandy says:

    Nothing is lost, NMR. Like I said, I don’t know the entire story of everything that happened.
    I’ll keep an open mind until I do.
    End of story
    :)

  209. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I don’t think she’s going that route NMR.

  210. NMR says:

    Prompted the harassment?

    Nothing prompts harassment. Ever. By definition.

    This is a very dangerous way of thinking.

  211. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hi Ryan. Yeah, thank goodness for that. I think this is what they call in the industry “dead money”.

  212. Jandy says:

    Ryan, I think your comment to me was kidding, but not everyone would see it that way. I have seen a good bit of provocation here. I do wish Plan would just ignore it.
    Since you can’t read tone into the type written word, it’s easy to misunderstand intent here.

  213. NMR says:

    Really can’t believe we’re having this conversation in 2013.

    Just awful.

  214. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Wow.

    Maybe he should shut it down then.

  215. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    How can we add tone? I think its something to bring up.

    Almost ALL of my comments are in a joking manner whenever the opportunity exists.

  216. Jandy says:

    NMR? What if MARTIN provoked the others? I’m NOT SAYING he did, but what IF he did?

    Like I said many times, I DON’T KNOW THE WHOLE STORY, so I will preserve judgement until/if I find out.

  217. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    It seems to be brought up more and more these days.

    Am a bit shocked that it hit the NFL level.

    Locker rooms are a different breed. This behavior is almost normal there.

  218. Jandy says:

    *I* know this. But I read you better than some do.

    NMR is another one hard to read at times.

    But the more I interact with you guys, the better I get at reading you.

    Unfortunately, we can’t add tone :/

  219. NMR says:

    Is there a bigger elephant in the room surrounding the Pirates than what “arthritis” has meant to every MLB pitcher who has had it?

    I don’t know how they can go into the season EXPECTING Wandy to pitch.

  220. Jandy says:

    One more time.

    ::deep breath::

    WE ALL don’t know IF Martin said or did anything. We only heard his story.

    I’ve seen instances in this very office, where (mostly females, honestly) started chit, then when others made digs back, the one who started the episode acted like she was being martyred. (sp)

    I do not condone harassment. In no way shape or form. I can’t believe you’d think that I do.

    Thanks Ryan, for understanding me.

  221. Jandy says:

    On that note, I do have to finish up some stuff so I can go home. It’s been a long week. Everyone have a great weekend.

    :)

  222. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Yea I wonder how that works out. Have the Astros already sent that money over or do they make monthly installments.

    Either way, its not mine.

    Esentially, the Pirates are getting Wandy for $8mil. Not bad for a healthy Wandy.

  223. NMR says:

    If the other players were universally provoked by Martin in the form of personal attacks, then by definition they were not harassing him.

    I haven’t read a word on this subject to even SUGGEST that was the case.

  224. Milo Hamilton says:

    There was this guy, I think his name was Sandy Koufax ? :)

    But seriously, Andrews told him to pitch. Andrews doesn’t tell anybody to pitch. Something is being lost in translation here. Literally.

  225. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I think a few of us (myself and NMR, many others as well)are cut from the same mold.

    I don’t think we’re all that difficult to understand. We stick to our guns, can be convinced on others’ viewpoints at times as well.

    Especially, for me, when it comes to hockey.

  226. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I thought “LOL’S” and smiley faces were the tone setters?

  227. Lad 9 says:

    So true Jim. I have no regrets and don’t look back. I am not a Fort Lauderdale or Dallas guy anyhow. I would have been like a yinzer wid no jumbo n’at there :)

  228. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I agree, it seems like Andrews cuts everybody open.

  229. NMR says:

    The thing about Byrd is that whoever signs him will be paying a premium for power. He’s not a plus fielder or runner and has below average on-base skills. These aren’t necessarily negatives, but they also don’t ADD value. Nobody would be talking about large contracts if he has slugged .400 last year and not .500.

    I think it is pretty risky to rely on 36 year old right handed power to produce value when half the games are played at PNC. Not saying it won’t happen, but IF it doesn’t, you’re looking at wasted money.

  230. NMR says:

    Really good point about Andrews, Milo.

  231. Jim S. says:

    I would think he would get a pay cut also, Nor Cal. But, there is a real shortage of SS who can play well defensively. So, the opinion of Barmes on the open market may be better than it is among Pirates fans as a group.

    And, as for him not being signed as a starter, how do we know that? For awhile, Jordy had taken over as the starter. But, once we got to the playoffs, suddenly Barmes was the starter again. Do we know CH is planning on having Barmes back as a back-up to Mercer?

  232. Jim S. says:

    I don’t think it is fair to imply that anyone here condones someone being bullied. Not in elementary school, not in high school, not on a neighborhood playground, not in the conference room of a company, nowhere. If it is happening … and it seems to me like there is a very good chance it was or is happening … then it needs to be stopped and the people doing it need to be held responsible.

    But, I think all Jandy is saying is we don’t know the facts. We don’t know any of them for certain. Facts and investigation are important in 2013, just as they were in 1913. You have to ensure what might be aledged actually did happen. I don’t think that is unreasonable, nor does it amount to blaming the victim.

  233. Jim S. says:

    The thing that bothers me in all of this is that an active investigation is not taking place (or doesn’t appear to be taking place) when it certainly appears some bad things happened to this guy.

    I’m not big on closing ranks, and not letting the light of day in on this sort of thing. The only way to make sure it is stopped is to get it out in the open. But, maybe the Dolphins are embarrassed and just want it to go away. Well, I don’t think that is going to work.

  234. Jandy says:

    Jim, you read me so well…bless you!

  235. Jim S. says:

    The Astros are paying in quarters. Not 4 installments per year. I heard they actually want to pay in quarters …. bags and bags of them. :-)

  236. Jim S. says:

    Good point, NMR. No guarantee 2013 Byrd will show up again at 37.

  237. NMR says:

    Since I was brought into this…the difference I see between myself, you, others, and our issues with plan and his group is that WE at least own it. I know people are going to disagree with me, and I know my style of writing can come off as combative. I don’t “blame” anyone but myself for getting into disagreements, because I know the simple solution is to just quit typing.

    plan’s freakin’ handle is satirical. A remnant of the days where the joke was on the Front Office…and their supporters. His contributions are obviously seen as by others as ours are by him, yet somehow he always is the one that ends up portrayed as the innocent bystander.

    Be yourself. I’m positive that more people here enjoy your contributions than not.

  238. NMR says:

    You bring up a great question that I haven’t seen asked, Jim.

    Hurdle seemed like he didn’t trust Jordy Mercer in the playoffs.

    If there was one “big” move this offseason that nobody is talking about, my money is on shortstop.

  239. NMR says:

    Russell Martin is actually a decent example, Jim.

    Those that thought it was outrageous to give him the money he got last winter seemed to live on the opinion that his power wouldn’t translate to PNC Park.

    Well, they were right. 6 HR and a .126 ISO at home does not justify his salary.

    Where they were wrong was in not accounting for the value he added on defense, which more than justified his signing combined with the offense he provided.

    If Byrd’s power goes the way of Martin’s, what part of his game is there to make up for it?

  240. Jim S. says:

    I think we are coming from the same place on this, Jandy. And I was trying to find another way to explain it. Hopefully, it made sense.

    I also don’t think anyone who was coming from the other angle actually thinks we should round up the accused, whoever they might be, and toss them in jail and throw away the key without ever finding out what truly led to all this.

    Nobody here, from my experience, is unreasonable enough to have an extreme position on either side of the issue. I think we’d all like for justice to be served.

  241. Jim S. says:

    There’s none. You’re right about that. He’s an average outfielder defensively.

    I had no idea Russell Martin was anywhere near the defensive catcher he was BEFORE we ever got him. I saw it this year, but I didn’t know he was a great catcher – which he obviously has been for a long time.

  242. NMR says:

    Another thing to think about with Byrd is that exactly one person in baseball struck out as much as he did last year(25%) and had a batting average over .265, and that was Chris Davis. Only two others who struck out more than 23% of the time joined that group, and they were speadsters Starling Marte and Carlos Gomez.

    It is very difficult to maintain a decent batting average when a quarter of your at bats end in strikeouts, let alone the .291 average Byrd posted last season.

  243. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, it has struck me as odd all along that everyone assumes Barmes will be Jordy’s caddie next season when it seems to me Hurdle’s thoughts were on full display in the playoffs. I don’t know for sure, but I think the error Jordy made in the game at PNC in the 9th vs. the Reds tipped Hurdle in the direction of the “better-fielding veteran” over the younger guy “who makes errors in pressure situations.” I’m just speculating, but it seemed to play out that way to me.

    A trade? I don’t see many guys on the open market that are not as big of a risk as Barmes. So, maybe we would need to upgrade through a trade. I thought Boston would allow Drew to walk, but it doesn’t appear that way. I thought St. Louis would then pounce on him. We’ll see.

  244. Milo Hamilton says:

    Victor Conte thinks you’re nuts. :)

  245. Jim S. says:

    An extremely high BABIP is hard to maintain. I believe my grandpa taught me that baseball axiom when I was but a boy. :-)

  246. Jim S. says:

    Another Milo “drive by” instant classic. Great line!

  247. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    ha ha…would make sense with their payroll

  248. NMR says:

    Can’t see a trade happening, but I’d watch the market on Johnny Peralta very closely.

    Far too little is known about the effect of PED’s to conclusively say that his performance is due to drop after being caught, but there’s little doubt his value will suffer anyways.

    If he goes for a 2 yr deal like Melky Cabrera did last year for less than $10m/yr, thats a risk I’d seriously consider.

  249. NMR says:

    I think in part we as Pirate fans were conditioned to not appreciate how truly valuable a good defensive catcher can be by having to watch so much garbage for so long.

    Rod Barajas being signed for his “defensive abilities” was enough to make any fan jaded.

  250. NMR says:

    Can I implicate Jason Grilli again? Thats how this works, right? :)

    Jim, haha, I love your grandpa line. I find it funny how many of these “metrics” actually fit old school baseball thinking. I know I never had a coach tell me that I can’t control the result of balls I put in play, but every one of them probably stressed making contact over striking out.

  251. Jim S. says:

    I’m just fine with you, Ryan. But, then again, I’m just fine with plan and everyone here. (That doesn’t mean everyone is just fine with me, btw!). I endorse the idea that everyone here should be able to freely express their ideas, and that others should feel free to disagree – but that we should try to do it in a respectful way. If I step out of line, I expect somebody to call me out for it. Then, I apologize and we go on our way. That’s just my take. Doesn’t mean everyone needs to do it that way.

    NMR and I, for example, fight like cats and dogs on some things, but I’m convinced we both appreciate and respect each other.

    Nothing should ever get personal here. I think what happens is one person’s tolerance for needling on a certain subject is far different than another person’s. That’s just the nature of a blog, I guess.

  252. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Numbers nerd

  253. Jim S. says:

    I’ve heard some say he’s a good fit because in addition to back-up infielder he can also play RF.

  254. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Because I know everything.

    Seriously though, you bring up a good point. I’m going off of what I read elsewhere about Barmes.

    I would assume Clint would be re-signed (if) as the inf backup player.

    If he can find business elsewhere as a starter, then good for him and see ya later.

  255. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Pretty sure I never got personal. Maybe some ribbing, but I guess some can’t take my sense of humor.

  256. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I’ve seen Johnny Peralta’s name thrown around as well. I’m not feeling that for the Pirates UNLESS they are expecting him to step in and take over at SS.

    I’m not convinced that the Pirates are comfortable with Jordy as their everyday SS.

  257. NMR says:

    Oh, I don’t think he’d be backing up anyone.

    His defense would seem to definitely be an improvement over Jordy’s, and I don’t think we know enough about Jordy’s bat to call it better than Peralta’s.

    Jordy would get plenty of work throughout the year as a super sub spelling Walker and Pedro against lefties and spot starts at short. Basically filling Josh Harison’s role, except Jordy can actually hit.

  258. NMR says:

    Love ya, Jim.

    Ryan, I’d say I’m with you on the sense of humor, except that I’m also pretty sure I’m just not funny, period. :)

  259. NMR says:

    *hides in mom’s basement*

  260. BillyBaduka says:

    I don’t think Francis wanted to get rid of it as much as he wanted his familiar 10. Barry Pedereson had 10 when Francus arrived. Pedereson had a promising start to his career. Pens released him in summer after Cup and Francis claimed 10.

  261. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    No doubt.

    I’m thinking of a dude in a movie that I can’t think of…

    So that point really doesn’t apply.

  262. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    We all have our moments….you get lucky every once in awhile.

  263. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Sorry Jim, missed this comment and I’m probably late to the party on it.

    But 1, I’m a Gators/Penn State fan. I was never a fan of Urban in UF either, but he got the job done, obviously.

    His illness that forced him to retire subsequently was at a time when the Gators were prejecting to fall off. He left them hanging.

    He’s arrogant and pompous.

    Why do I not like him again?

  264. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I do.

    14, 10, 5, 4

    All boys

    Blended family.

  265. BillyBaduka says:

    I think you’re seeing exactly what’s there. There are no dominant teams. I’m not sure how many good teams are in the NFL. Many of the games I watch are sloppy with mistakes dictating the outcome.

    I don’t think this is a new trend. How good we’re the Steelers when they won SB 43? Defense was great, O line and offense not so much. And they played a 9-7 Arz team.

    With free agency and the parity there is not a lot of difference in skill. There is a lot of difference in preparedness and “want to”. These factors often determine games. And preparedness has gone down across the board use to new CBA. Combine that with a less than stellar drive to win each week and you get a 2-5 Steelers team and a headache if you’re in a pool trying to pick the winner of each game every week. There are a few outliers at top and bottom (DEN & KC, Jax and TB) but most teams are a game or two within .500.

    I don’t think the cohesion or quality of play at a team level is anywhere near where it used to be. But maybe I’m just old and unimpressed with all these new confangled changes.

    “I know I don’t know nothin’. I’m just speculatin’ on a hypothesis” Miller’s Crossing

  266. BillyBaduka says:

    I agree that the $100 mil QB has a lot to do with it. Extremely challenging to get a team around that salary. I should have mentioned this in my post above.

    Another factor that contributes in conjunction with the $100 mil QB is that while QB and a few lucky skill position salaries keep going up, the cap has essentially remained the same for 3 years. In fact it was $8 mil higher in 09 than 13.

    Steelers signed a lot of players expecting cap to rise and it hasn’t. A big factor in the state of the franchise IMO.

  267. BillyBaduka says:

    Bingo!

    Hossa had every right to make the choice he did. And I have the right to view the way he conducted himself as classless.

    I think he’s a great player and after we beat Detroit, don’t hold a grudge. Was glad to see him win a Cup with Chicago.

    Still think he played the Pens in that situation. I think that scenario has ended up making Shero a better GM in long run, well at least he wont ever be caught in that position again. no waiting for players to make up their mind. (been numerous articles on it).

  268. Jim S. says:

    Agree. I can live with Barmes, but I don’t t hink I want him starting this year. Well, maybe if we get Beltran and convince him to play 1b.

  269. Jim S. says:

    Group bro hug!

  270. Jim S. says:

    I think it was “curious” that he left Florida when he did, Nor Cal. Maybe it was all about the sickness. Or, maybe it was similar to Pete Carroll and the Eagles coach (from OR). Seems like the walls were closing in on both of them, and they grabbed the NFL lifeline. I don’t know that for sure about Urban, but it is curious. I have read some things that imply he knew a lot about Aaron Hernandez’s misdeeds.

  271. Jim S. says:

    Good for you!

  272. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, in one of America’s largest markets, they are getting away with next to nothing in payroll. I’m assuming they are not maximizing their TV $$ opportunity, but still have to be pulling in a lot more than teams like the Bucs are. And, their attendance is down, but they still draw enough that when you put all their revenue together they have to be turning a huge profit.

    But, to make payroll, they probably just go out to the lobby of their offices and lift up the cushions on what I’m sure is a Texas-sized couch and they have it handled.

 
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