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Morning Java: Bullying vs. beating

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The more the Jonathan Martin bullying story continues to unfold in Miami, each new report sheds a harsh new light on the Dolphins’ locker room and Richie Incognito in particular. Let’s hope that the light continues to be harsh, in Miami and everywhere on this vital topic.

It took a while, and it took a strong prod from the NFL, but kudos to the Dolphins for their suspension of Incognito, as well as making known that he’ll never play in Miami again.

You’ll note what I said there:

1. A prod from the NFL.

2. Kudos to the Dolphins.

So distinguish for me please, the difference between those two simple steps and how the NHL and the Avalanche are doing nothing about Semyon Varlamov after he’s been accused — publicly, powerfully and through a report filed by the Denver Police — of beating and kicking his girlfriend and laughing about it.

Spare me the innocent-until-proven guilty stuff. You and I aren’t the court system. The league and the team aren’t the court system, either. They’re private companies, private employers. They can do as they wish in this regard. They have the right to protect their brand from even a perception that tarnishes them.

That’s the law.

The NHL is blessed to have a large portion of its fan base being female. Certainly in our market, they stand out as compared to any of our teams. And what the league is saying here is that it would rather stand by Varlamov than by those fans or by anyone with the decency to be aghast at the things described in the police report.

I wrote this in the Saturday column, but Roger Goodell uses his power, and Gary Bettman is terrified of it.

Here’s a dissenting view on Varlamov from my friend Adrian Dater of the Denver Post.

And here’s the panel of WPXI-TV’s The Final Word discussing the NHL’s image …

>> Mark Kaboly’s weekly Steelers Film Session is not for the faint of heart.

Neither is the opening segment of his weekly TribLIVE Radio show, featuring a brutally honest Charlie Batch.

The rapid plunge. Beat writer Alan Robinson examines.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage, including deserved

Here’s Bills news from the Buffalo News.

Here are official game highlights from NFL.com.

>> Deryk Engelland, right winger at largeJosh Yohe has it.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage, including upbeat news on Beau Bennett.

Here’s Rangers news from the New York Post.

Here are official game highlights from NHL.com.

>> The Pirates extend no qualifying offers, by Rob Biertempfel. Nothing in this news should surprise anyone. These types of offers are rare.

Here’s our full Pirates coverage, including honors for Francisco Liriano and Andrew McCutchen.

>> Reeling Pitt must rev it back up for Notre Dame, by Jerry DiPaola.

>> On the hoops side, the Pete is sold out a 12th consecutive year. That’s something worth remembering when you see a lot of empty seats in the Panthers’ non-conference schedule. The money’s been banked.

Also, Talib Zanna will be the new center of attention. Beat man Kevin Gorman writes.

>> I’m off today, back at it with the radio show and Steelers coverage tomorrow.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and more, including his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the top four columnists in the country -- highest circulation category -- by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the top three columnists in the country by the National Headliners Awards. For 2013, he was named top columnist in the state by the Keystone Awards and second-place by the Pennsylvania AP Managing Editors.

413 Comments

  1. “………kudos to the Dolphins for their suspension of Incognito, as well as making known that he’ll never play in Miami again. ”

    ^^^ Um, no.

    Kudos for what exactly? Not doing something sooner? Martin left OTA’s this year. Not one person from the Dolphins organization asked why. Here you have a 2nd round draft pick leaving the team, and not a word. Kudos? For finally doing something to Incognito, when this pattern of behavior has been going on for 2 years? Kudos? For claiming to not know this was happening? Kudos? For saying (all in one day), that this was “overblown”, “taken out of context” etc………then saying “we are asking the NFL for help”?, then saying Incognito is gone (for good) in a Dolphin uniform?

    By the time this is done, much more will come out. From the looks of things so far, it is becoming clear that a pattern of harassment was conducted, by both Incognito and possibly others, against multiple Dolphin players, mainly Martin. Voicemails, texts, “parties” that rookies were forced to pay for, racial slurs………… and thats what we know so far.

    What did the Head Coach know? What did other coaches know? What did Ireland, the GM know? Memory refresher…….. Ireland was the GM that asked Dez Bryant if his mother was a prostitute. Classy. I have listened to ESPN (The Bos/NY/LA Network), and they think that this could go way up the organization chart. Too many unanswered questions. Too many people changing their stories……. to go from saying it is overblown, to asking for the NFL’s help, to suspending Incognito in less than a day reeks of something bad. Coverup? I wont go that far, but the Dolphin organization behavior is a bit odd. If it was truly “overblown”, they wouldnt have done the second 2 things.

    This is also more than just someone getting their feelings hurt by hazing. This has the potential to go further…….. extortion (for the forced paying of parties/trips), terroristic threats (for the voicemail where Incognito tells Martin “I will expletive kill you”…………. but we are to give kudos to the Dolphins? Wow.

    Here is what I would give the Dolphins……….. a crash course in human behavior.
    I would cut Incognito immediately.
    I would fire the Head Coach immediately for not fostering a safe locker room environment.
    I would fire the GM, for not conducting an investigation sooner. This has been going on for 2 years, Martin left the team before without anyone bothering to ask why. Harsh? Maybe……… but being the HC and GM are the ones for final responsibility on this type of matter, they needed to know, or at least find out…… with the “parties”, hazing, Martin leaving the team.

    Kudos? No friggin’ way.

  2. I have a feeling the Dolphins knew exactly what happened to Martin, or at least had an inkling of it long before they did anything about it. If they didn’t have any clue about it, then Incognito is very accomplished at covering his tracks and intimidating others from turning him in. But, that is probably a common theme among bullies – they manipulate others into allowing them to continue. So, the culpability of the Dolphins organization is certainly in doubt. What did they know, when?

    I wondered here last week why the Dolphins were apparently not investigating this much sooner. Or, if they did investigate it, why did it take so long to act? Either they have no idea what is going on among players on their own team, or they don’t take this sort of treatment seriously. Doesn’t look good for them in either case. Doing the right thing (saying Incognito will never play for them again) isn’t quite as hard to do when you have no other options left.

    The players who did nothing all along have let their teammate down in a big way, and that is pretty sad in a sport where they all pride themselves in “having each others’ backs.” One guy intimidates an entire team into letting him get away with this? Wow!

    As for Goodell, once the truth started coming out did he really have any choice but to step in? I give him credit for forcing the Dolphins into acting, if that is what he did. But, we’ve seen him suppress the truth from getting out to protect the league in the past. That is all he was doing IMO. I think he just told the Dolphins, “Take care of this or I will.” I guess that at least ensured a stop was put to it. But, I think Goodell picks and chooses when to do the right thing. He has been known to cover things up when it suits his and the league’s interest.

  3. Song Time Alan Parsons Project 1980 The Alan Parsons Project was mainly Eric Woolfson and Alan Parsons with a vast array of musicians on each album. Among contributors to their albums were Colin Blumstone of the Zombies, Allan Clarke of the Hollies, Gary Booker of Procol Harum, and the The English Chorale.

    JAL’s Time Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZteVdxtky4

    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: MLB Free Agency Begins – What to Expect

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/11/first-pitch-mlb-free-agency-begins-what-to-expect.html

    Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Season Recap: Left Field

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/11/pittsburgh-pirates-2013-season-recap-left-field.html

    AFL: Ngoepe Picks Up RBI In Scottsdale Win

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/11/afl-ngoepe-picks-up-rbi-in-scottsdale-win.html

    How Good Are The Pitchers Facing Gregory Polanco?

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/11/how-good-are-the-pitchers-facing-gregory-polanco.html

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates don’t extend qualifying offer to A.J. Burnett

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/11/4/5066214/heyman-pirates-wont-extend-qualifying-offer-to-a-j-burnett

    6 Rumbunter

    Pirates Don’t Make Offer to A.J. Burnett: Is It Really BUCN or Nothin’?

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/11/04/pirates-make-offer-j-burnett-really-bucn-nothin/

    Andrew McCutchen From Worst Start of Career to NL Outstanding Player

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/11/04/andrew-mccutchen-worst-start-career-nl-outstanding-player/

    7 City of Champions

    2013 MLB Awards: Pirates Francisco Liriano named Comeback Player of the Year

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2013/11/04/2013-mlb-awards-pirates-francisco-liriano-named-comeback-player-year/

    8 The Green Weenie

    Stadium Over the Mon

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/11/113-deacon-wins-cy-young-more.html

    WHYGAVS

    Pirates choose not to extend qualifying offer to AJ Burnett

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/11/stadium-over-mon.html

    10 Pirates Site

    Bucs stars Liriano, Cutch honored by peers

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/pit/pirates-stars-francisco-liriano-and-andrew-mccutchen-honored-by-peers?ymd=20131104&content_id=63681814&vkey=news_pit

    Managers headline Hall’s Expansion Era ballot

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/pit/joe-torre-tony-la-russa-bobby-cox-on-baseball-hall-of-fame-expansion-era-ballot?ymd=20131104&content_id=63663010&vkey=news_pit

  4. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Altoona Mirror

    Free agents now think Pirates

    http://www.altoonamirror.com/page/content.detail/id/576309/Free-agents-now-think-Pirates.html?nav=751

    12 Seattle Times

    Teams make more qualifying offers to free agents than they did last year

    http://seattletimes.com/html/mariners/2022192739_base05xml.html

    13 Hattiesburg American

    MLB: Looking back at 2013

    http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/article/20131105/SPORTS/311050019/MLB-Looking-back-2013

    14 Washington Times

    Top eight 2013 MLB free agent pitchers

    http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/tagging/2013/nov/4/top-eight-2013-mlb-free-agent-pitchers/

    15 Portsmouth Daily Times

    Oliver left off HOF balloting

    http://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/news/sports/2724110/Oliver-left-off-HOF-balloting

    16 Bleacher Report

    Why James Loney Should Be the Most Coveted Free Agent on the MLB Market

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1836922-why-james-loney-should-be-the-most-coveted-free-agent-on-the-market

    17 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Cards ponder moves after Series fade

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/cards-ponder-moves-after-series-fade/article_513e9b86-6782-5796-a4e6-ce8ada133b2c.html

    18 CBS Sports

    Mariano Rivera, Liriano named Comeback Players of the Year

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/eye-on-baseball/24187035/mariano-rivera-liriano-named-comeback-players-of-the-year

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    What Do Fielders and Homecoming Queens Have in Common?

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=22163

    20 Fangraphs

    2013 End of Season Rankings: Third Base

    http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/2013-end-of-season-rankings-third-base/

  5. Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Le’Veon Bell: ‘I still have to get better at a lot of little detail things’

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/11/4/5064534/steelers-leveon-bell-rushing-statistics-week-9-patriots

    Whether it’s the players or the coaches, Sunday’s shellacking shows team needs to move in a new direction

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/11/4/5064136/steelers-patriots-nfl-week-9-defensive-coordinator-dick-lebeau-stats

    Lack of energy, enthusiasm seems like one of multiple root problems

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/11/4/5064218/steelers-patriots-highlights-recap-postgame-statistics-review

    22 Steelers Depot

    With the Steelers Season in Flames, Ten Questions That demand Answers

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/11/with-the-steelers-season-in-flames-ten-questions-that-demand-an-answer/

    Soccer(football)

    23 US Soccer

    Heed the Word: U.S. Men’s National Team Players Produce Game Changing Performances

    http://www.ussoccer.com/news/mens-national-team/2013/10/131029-mnt-plaers-club-form-roundup.aspx

    24 World Soccer Daily

    November 4, 2013 – all the stories you need to read

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-november-4-2013-all-the-stories-you-need-to-read

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Pens Points Monday: Fleury Still Hoping for Sochi

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/11/4/5064474/pens-points-monday-fleury-still-hoping-for-sochi

  6. “I love Richie, man,” receiver Mike Wallace said. “I personally think he’s a great guy.”

    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/11/05/3730753_p2/dolphins-suspend-incognito-amid.html#storylink=cpy

  7. On the AJ Burnett non-tender situation with the Bucs, I believe they have been discussing next year with him and his agent all along. I believe they have assured him they want him back, but that they cannot fulfill all of their roster needs and pay him $14.1 million this year. They believe that is too big a chunk of their payroll. I also believe AJ has told them, as we have read from him, that he would either play for the Bucs or retire. If that is the case, they are not losing a compensation draft pick. They are simply saying, “We want to resign you, but we can only offer $X amount.

    If AJ now signs with another team, it will be because he has been dishonest with the Pirates and the public. I don’t believe he will do that. He has his price, and he probably has the Pirates offer, and the ball is in his court.

    • If a contending team goes crazy and offers AJ a one year deal for $14-$15 million plus incentives, I would not hold it against AJ if he accepted it.

      • I have said as far back as during the season that I would not rule out a team close to his home in Maryland (O’s or Nats) as a possible destination for him, simply because it keeps him closer to home. He has stated that family considerations are his reason for pondering retirement.

        But, I have to disagree on him accepting an offer from another team now. He has continued to contend that it is the Pirates or retirement. If he has maintained that stance with the Pirates, I would hold it against him. It means his word means very little.

      • I agree with TC. And from what I heard in Colin Dunlap’s interview with AJ, he leaves an “out” in the so-called promise. He said that was his thinking “right now.” I don’t take that as a pledge, but just a “here’s what I’m thinking now.” He doesn’t owe us, the fans.

        Of course, everyone’s entitled to think what they want about him.

        • Thats the thing that will bother me with this, is if people trash him for leaving. He’s a grown man and allowed to change his mind. He gave Pittsburgh two outstanding years, helped change the Pirates culture, and if he leaves…most are going to think he’s a jackass? That doesn’t sit well with me. You’re right, he doesn’t owe us anything.

    • In AJ’s radio interview with Colin Dunlap, I thought he left his options wide open as to what he may do next year saying twice that “as of right now” it’s either the Pirates or retirement. So if he changes his mind and goes elsewhere, I can’t call him out for being dishonest.

      • I can, but only because he has said many times, it’s Pirates or retirement.

        If that’s not what you mean, then don’t say it.

      • “As of right now.” So, what is the point of saying it is the Pirates or nothing? Maybe he just doesn’t want to look like the bad guy if/when he ends up on another team. You can say that isn’t dishonest, technically, but it isn’t quite completely honest, either.

        “If I am going to play it is only going to be for the
        Pirates …. unless I change my mind.”

        • This is the sports world.

          As of right now (which was right after the end of the season) I will either resign with the Pirates or retire……and this stance can/will change when some other team offers be much more money than I expected

          • #SHOWMETHEMONEY

          • This sounds like revisionist history from AJ. I thought he was pretty adamant all season long that he was going to resign with the Pirates or retire. If he is having second thoughts, why not just say “I’m having second thoughts and I may want to consider other teams besides the Pirates.”

            I think maybe it is because he wants to look like the good guy to Pirates fans if he goes for the money elsewhere. I’m not saying I blame him for chasing more money, if he chooses to do that. Just be honest all along. He wants it both ways.

            • Can we actually wait and see what happens instead of arguing conjecture before calling a man dishonest?

              • I thought a blog was for discussion?
                :D

              • I said “revisionist history” and “not quite completely honest.” I didn’t call him a liar. But, if he says one thing all along then tries to wriggle out of it by adding a disclaimer (“as of right now”), and acts as though that has been his position all along I think his word can be called into question if he signs elsewhere.

              • I heard AJ gave Hurdle a birthday gift, then took it back!

              • I saw on Twitter that AJ was actually making fun of Barmes’ bald head when he was yelling on the field.

                What a liar!

            • I don’t believe AJ commented on this during the season.

            • “I thought he was pretty adamant all season long that he was going to resign with the Pirates or retire.”

              Jim, I don’t think AJ has talked about this at all during the season. I read those quotes from him first in Spring Training. And the next I heard or read quotes from him was after the season.

              “If I was to keep playing, I wouldn’t want it to be anywhere else but Pittsburgh. My wife and I talk about it now and then. But it’s something I’ve got to put on the back burner. I’m just going to concentrate on this season, one start at a time.”

              Read more: http://triblive.com/sports/pirates/3731398-74/burnett-pirates-season#ixzz2jmODwVRP
              Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

              • So, what does he mean by his comments if not exactly what I have been saying?

                “If I was to keep playing, I wouldn’t want it to be anywere but Pittsburgh.”

              • My point Jim was that he wasn’t saying all season long. Which was your point.

              • But TC, I think we established he said it more than once…check the time lines on the articles I posted below. :)

          • “I love the Pirates. I love the fans. I love Pittsburgh. I love my Pirates teammates. I love that big, yellow duck. I love Primanti’s. I only want to play for the Pirates. I’ll retire if I can’t play for the Pirates.”

            “Unless I decide to sign with another team. I don’t know how to be any more clear about my feelings with you.”

            • Of course AJ is free to go elsewhere if he so chooses. He just loses credibility.

            • Let’s look at the numbers, Jim.

              The one thing nobody has mentioned is the payroll implications of Huntington saying he does not want to spend $14m on AJ.

              Last season the Pirates paid AJ $8m, or roughly 11% of the Opening Day budget stated to be around $70m. The 2014 budget would have to be $127m for AJ’s percentage of payroll to remain the same given a $14m salary. Even if we want to be optomistic and put the 2014 budget at $90m, 11% works out to about $10m.

              Since we’re playing the “what if” game, what if Huntington only offers $10m? Doesn’t AJ saying he wants to remain a Pirate come with the understanding of being at least ROUGHLY compensated for what he’s worth?

              When was the last time a player took a 30% hometown discount?

              • But, he didn’t say “All bets are off if they don’t meet my salary demands. In that case, I want to play for another team.”

                I believe the implication was that he would play for the Pirates if the salary was right, and if not he would retire.

                That has been discussed a lot here.

              • So you’re arguing that since he did not cover all possible situations in his interview, he is now somehow held to what YOU believe he implied?

              • the alternative is what YOU believe he didn’t imply ;)

              • No, the alternative is waiting to see what friggin’ happens before making up potential situations and judging people based on their “implied” reactions.

                Crazy, right?

              • But then we wouldn’t get to discuss this on this here blog, NMR :)

              • And yes, I’m just bustin on ya again…
                you’re just a crazy engineer :P

            • “I enjoy it here and I enjoy these guys,” Burnett said. “If I was to keep playing, I wouldn’t want it to be anywhere else but Pittsburgh. My wife and I talk about it now and then. But it’s something I’ve got to put on the back burner. I’m just going to concentrate on this season, one start at a time.”
              taken from: http://www.dailysportspages.com/index.php?threads/aj-burnett-its-the-pirates-or-retirement.4182/

              A.J. Burnett still isn’t sure whether he will retire after the season, Karen Price reports.

              “I do want to go out with a bang, and I do want to go out a Pirate,” said Burnett, who will start Saturday against Cincinnati in the Pirates’ second-to-last home game of the regular season.

              Burnett said he doesn’t have “if…then” scenarios worked out. He has heard advice from people who say to make sure the team has to rip the uniform off you.
              takenfrom:http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/9/21/4755146/a-j-burnett-unsure-whether-he-will-retire-after-2013-season

              “Pittsburgh is the only place I want to play,” Burnett said. “I love it here. It’s a great group of guys in the clubhouse, and the fans here have been great to me. There really is no other place that would appeal to me after playing here.

              Read more: http://www.wcvb.com/news/sports/Will-2013-be-Pittsburgh-ace-Burnett-s-final-season/-/9848968/19541402/-/oo2ibnz/-/index.html#ixzz2jmb7K42i
              taken from: http://www.wcvb.com/news/sports/Will-2013-be-Pittsburgh-ace-Burnett-s-final-season/-/9848968/19541402/-/oo2ibnz/-/index.html

              This from the trib:
              “I do want to go out with a bang, and I do want to go out a Pirate,” said Burnett, who will start Saturday against Cincinnati in the Pirates’ second-to-last home game of the regular season.

              Read more: http://triblive.com/sports/pirates/4740670-74/burnett-pirates-season#ixzz2jmbQvkIt
              Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

              This one is good:
              Burnett told Dunlap, “I enjoy the city, my family loves the area, I love the area.”

              “The city took me in, they took me in more than any team in an city has in my whole career, before I even got here, and that was special to me. Without a doubt I’d love to be a Pittsburgh Pirate.”

              Burnett says his family and his kids are going to be what decides whether or not he’ll be back with the Pirates next season.

              “My decision is not playing for another team, it’s whether or not I’m going to play period. That decision is going to be based on my family. It’s not going to be a Game 5 decision from Clint Hurdle, because that’s yesterday, that’s old.”
              taken from: http://stuckinpittsburgh.com/pittsburgh-news/aj-burnett-says-he-will-be-back-with-pirates-or-retire/

              • Just as an fyi, here’s a Marlon Byrd tweet from a couple of weeks ago:

                Whoops! Turns out he deleted it! He said he wanted to come back to the Pirates because there was unfinished business.

              • All I’m saying, 21, is that for months, you read that AJ was coming back to the Pirates or he was retiring.
                That is all.
                :)

              • Honest question, Jandy…are you going to hold AJ to that no matter what?

                No matter how much the Pirates offer?

              • Nope, I couldn’t do that, NMR, there’s your honest answer.
                No man should be made out to be a fool. I personally wouldn’t hold it against him.
                I like AJ and what he brought to this team. He’s a fighter, a competitor. He helped along a lot of the younger guys.
                Again, I’m just pointing out, he didn’t have “qualifiers” on his quotes. But a man surely has the right to stand up for himself.

              • I didn’t read that for months though Jandy. The only thing I recall was a tweet during spring training that he was thinking about retiring after the season.

                And as I said, if he changes his mind at any time, I have no problem with that. He’s either going to be a Pirate or not, obviously. Whatever happens along the way is just the game within the game and I’ve never really taken an athelete’s or GM’s word very seriously. If the Pirates change their mind on AJ, I have no problem on that as well.

              • Those articles are pretty spaced out time wise, 21. But hey, like I said, Aj has done a lot for the Buccos, and for that he’ll have a special place in my sports heart.

              • Thanks, Jandy, and I would agree.

              • Seems like the old smoking gun to me, Jandy. As I said, “revisionist history.” That means remembering things the way you want them to be, rather than how they really are.

                I’m ok if he says he wants to chase money. I’m ok if he says I am worth more than $14.1, not less.

                I’m not ok with him acting as if he didn’t say he only wanted to play for the Pirates, or he would retire. He wants it both ways.

              • That’s the key, Jim.

                I’m not ok with him acting as if he didn’t say he only wanted to play for the Pirates, or he would retire

                he shouldn’t act lie he didn’t mean it that way, and change his story. Just man up and say, hey, now, this is making me change my mind. And his is why.

      • Sorry, 21. I jumped the gun without reading further.

    • AJ was not non-tendered. A tenure is with a player you control. If you tender them the will be with team next season, The player can accept the tender or refuse it. If they refuse it then things go into arbitration or they can agree on a contract before arbitration. The team still controls them.

      AJ is free agent and teams can give them a qualifying offer. If the player accepts that is what he plays for next season. If he refuses he becomes a FA and can go with any team. The qualifying offer is to get the team a draft pick if the player signs elsewhere.

      Link 6 explains the AJ situation pretty well.

  8. 81 high, 71 low.

  9. I’m not sure what to make of this Varlamov mess. I was outraged when I first read the allegations. Then Dejan had to be fair-minded and post the link to Adrian Dater’s dissenting view (Denver Post). It made me think.
    Why would a woman give up a to top modeling job in Russia to follow an alcoholic to the US, when he abuses her? Weird.
    I in no way condone abusing your girlfriend. This is another of those stories where you have to wait to see what else comes out of it.

    • Sadly, happens all the time. They think they can “fix him”….

      I hope she goes through with charges and the Denver PD brings him up.

      Patty Roy has a similar history so no surprise the Avs had no objection to such behavior.

      • Oh I know Patrick Roy has that history. As does his son…already.

        I’m leaning to the side that he’s guilty, and she’s afraid. I hope she goes thru with it too.

        Just…weird. Including him getting out on $5000 bail. Someone grease the judge’s palm too? ;)

        • I guess it depends on exactly what they charged him with. There’s various degrees of assault. Haven’t checked. But she’s afraid to go back to Russia and her family is getting threats.

          I’d be scared too.

    • Why would woman give up top modeling job in Russia? This is no brainer. I do international business and except for western Europe the whole world wants to come to the USA. A rich model in Siberia vs rich man’s wife in America is no contest. Who cares if your rich but live in Russia? What are you going to do? buy snowmobiles. The geography, entertainment, freedom, weather, etc… in USA blow away the rest of the world.-especially to young females from male dominant cultures. In Russia, if she was beaten she would be told she deserves it.

  10. How much PC Kool aide does one drink to be offended by this? He called him names, and gets suspended…. Martin was part if a prank where they hid someone’s car after practice. Another way to put it stole someone’s car. The steelers stuck up for James Harrison beating his baby’s mama becaus he wanted to get the baby baptized or some crap like that. Next time a Pittsburgh athlete gets all lubed up and drives, putting people’s life at risk, remember how mad you are at name calling and see if real danger makes you mad and makes you call for the while sports originations head. I am guessing there will be crickets comings from the media and fan base….

  11. Anyone know if Jonathan Martin is done with the dolphins? Is he leaving football?

  12. I think there is a huge difference b/w the Incognito story and Varlamov story. Proof and evidence. There is nothing in terms of proof in the VArly case, classic he said she said. There are voicemails and texts that prove Igconitio is guilty. It’s irresponsible to compare the two cases. I hate women beaters too, but ur example doesn’t hold up with me.

    • Er – she has been examined and had her injuries photographed. I believe that counts as evidence.
      As does her testimony.

      • Stop letting facts get in the way of a good story! :D

        • Pictures and her statement mean nothing. People lie all the time. Jerome Bettis was investigated for Rape in the early 2000′s b/c a girl said he raped her in the back of her car. She had pictures too. You know what, she lied. People do it all the time. If he did this, he should be castrated, but you have to prove it first. Much more needed than what they have now. I haven’t seen any emails, voicemails or texts to prove her case. So if you have seen reports of that, post it so we can see. That migth change things a bit.

          • troy, how about you post a picture of you swingin on that wreckin’ ball with Miley Cyrus?

          • Thank you for being the reason women are afraid to come forward after being victimized.

            Disgusting.

            • Don’t blame me for being a skeptic. Blame all the cases brought wrongfully, like the Duke case. That’s why women get blamed too easily in cases like these. I’m sure hundreds of women don’t come forward for fear of backlash, and that’s a shame. But don’t blame me, blame the people looking to make a quick buck by falsely accusing someone.

              • It is shared blame, Troy.

                You’re absolutely right that those EXTREMELY FEW instances where someone has falsely accused another are terrible and a disservice to actual victims.

                But it is YOUR choice to make it impossibly difficult to convict many of these offenders that scares victims away.

                How in the hell is a victim of abuse supposed to gather evidence that is worthy of your judgment if pictures aren’t enough? Seriously, what do you expect her to do?

              • That’s a great question, one i’m ashamed to admit i don’t have an answer for. I’m not proud to admit that when an assault accusation is raised, i’m equal amounts skeptical and angry (towards the man who beats a woman). I wish it wasn’t the case, but i’ve read too many stories of wrongfully accused people, like Brian Banks of the Atlanta Falcons who didn’t get to go to college b/c of a wrongful conviction that was overturned. Maybe a revamping of the Civil Court rules for suing for money will make false accusations less likely. If there is no profit motive to accuse, then maybe only real victims will come forward, and i won’t be forced to be skeptical, feeling like a schmuck at times, i might add.

              • Well, that’s a step (or three) in the right direction, Troy.
                Do you come here much? I mean, to Dejan’s blog?

              • Jandy, i read it often, rarely post though. I find this peticular series of postings interesting and thought provoking. Good to see things from a different perspective sometimes.

              • troy, it’s good to exchange thoughts and ideas…keep the mind open.

                Have you joined Dejan’s Lunatics’ Asylum? Just post your hometown, and Bizrow will add it to the list. :)

              • Thanks for that response, Troy. Honest and reasoned.

                I certainly agree with you that there are awful people out there who try and profit from these things.

                These cases where sports figures abuse their power just get to me.

          • Ohhhh….I SEEE……because YOU haven’t seen any of the evidence personally, then she’s lying…..

            Thanks for clearing that up.

            Dude, just say it:
            What SHE Says doesn’t count.
            What HE Says, does.

            • Sarah, some people don’t have the brains they were born with. Sad.

              • I really wish you would quit talking about me like that. ;)

                What does she gain by lying? The 911 tape shows her screaming for help, and Varly laughing. It doesnt show her laughing.

                Just unreal.

              • It’s not about brains.
                It’s about hating women.

                And abusing women.

                ONE in every FOUR will experience physical abuse in their lifetimes.

              • Hipposter, quit knocking yourself, friend, you don’t fool me ;)

                Sarah, I had no idea the number was that high. I pity the man who tries it with me and doesn’t kill me, because he better not fall asleep under the same roof as I am under.

                But I am blessed with a wonderful husband, so I am extremely lucky.

            • There was a lot of “evidence” in the Duke case a few years back too. Its not about hating women. People love to jump to conclusions. This dude might be guilty, i don’t know. The whole point of the original entry was the NHL screwed up by not suspending him. My point was you can’t suspend him because accusations aren’t enough. Stop making everything so personal. Toughen up a bit.

  13. And if voicemails and texts count as evidence too, her family has a bundle of them.

  14. I don’t know what everyone is so upset about….I just want a new young money video to come out.

  15. On the ride to work this morning I heard Chris Carter on with Mike & Mike. They were talking about the Dolphins.

    ( first, I am not a fan of Chris Carter.)

    I was amazed that Carter and Golic were still saying that Martin should have done something physical to Incognito. And of course they want back in the time machine to when they played – they would have fought the guy. And they didn’t care if they would have lost the fight.

    So is fighting the first response to things like this. (it seems to be a popular response to a lot of things in our society today…sorry for the rant).
    Maybe Martin feels that he shouldn’t have to fight. Maybe he doesn’t want to fight. Maybe he doesn’t want to get injured or injure another person.

    But yet these blockheads in locker rooms, and in front of microphones, thinks it is OK. And that something is wrong with Martin – - and the way he handled the situation.

    Dan Lebetard was on after Carter and was actually the voice of reason.

  16. Morning all.

    When I read the blog last night, I had a feeling it would engender a lot of discussion. Seems it has, and that’s a good thing. So if you don’t mind, let me throw in my thoughts.

    First off, other than timing and the horrific nature of the incidents, I see little similarity between the Dolphin/Avalanche incidents. Yes, both are actions that have no place in a progressive, caring society. Bullying/hazing remain an ugly part of our societal past. There is no defense for that behavior, no “well, that’s the way it’s always been.” One needs no history lesson to think of “always beens” that melt away like the iceberg that dropped the Titanic. Hazing must necessarily melt away: enough damage has been done.

    Violence against others, especially individuals unable to adequately defend themselves, has never been considered acceptable by any society. Abhorrent in nature, repulsive in action; such incidents cannot be tolerated in any way. When society defends the defenseless, it also defends all humanity.

    However, and at the risk of sounding the hypocrite, I see some marked differences in the two incidents involved. There seems to be profound evidence that Richie Incognito did engage in the behavior in question. That the Dolphins and the NFL purge themselves of Mr. Incognito seems just and beyond question.

    The accusation of Semyon Varlamov remains just that, an accusation. I will admit to being of a mindset that he, too, must go, until I read Adrian Dater’s piece linked in the blog. I have to admit, I thought of the Duke lacrosse scandal. I wonder if an accusation is justification for punishment.

    I have no answers here: just questions. We have a legal system designed to see the guilty walk free above the innocent being convicted. Have we arrived at a point where the nature of the accusation assumes guilt first? Is that a bad thing for some allegations?

    Hey, it’s a sports blog, but sport is just a reflection of society. Perhaps a little discussion here can sharpen the reflection, just a bit.

    • George, like you, I hesitated when I read Dater’s article. I still lean toward thinking Varlamov is guilty, but I also still question whether or not the accusations are true.
      I’m going to follow this story.
      Always a pleasure to read your posts, here, sir.
      :)

    • I appreciate the reasoned response, George.

      “Have we arrived at a point where the nature of the accusation assumes guilt first?”

      Excellent question. The problem with Dater’s piece is that he did NOT simply argue in favor of letting the justice system handle the matter.

      By introducing the story with two familiar, well-liked former Colorado hockey stars believing Varlomov’s story, Dater leads with the victim being a liar. And let’s not pull any punches, that is exactly what the Colorado Avalanche, as an organization, is saying. Not that the justice system whould prevail, that the vicim is a liar.

      Time and time again you hear victims of abuse – mental, sexual, or physical – say they are afraid to come forward in fear of being called a liar.

      Dater just helped make this a reality. Instead of leading his piece with the victim’s plight, he leads with the perpetrator’s denial, and even worse, uses well known character references to support him.

      Just awful.

      • I’m pretty much with Jandy on this. And I disagree strongly that Dater was saying, directly or indirectly, that the woman is lying. He’s saying, to me, they don’t know if it’s true at this point. And, that if the goalie’s lying, then the Av’s are going to look REALLY bad, and Varlamov will end up in the same place Incognito is, not playing again for his former team. All situations are not the same.

        And he led his piece with this: “Varlamov faces charges of second-degree kidnapping, a felony, and third-degree assault, a misdemeanor.” Before mentioning the conclusion of the meeting Varlamov had with the Avs. Are we reading the same story? Those sound pretty serious.

        • Of course those are serious. And also the only mention of the victim in the entire piece.

          Dater’s opinion is that the correct approach is to let the legal system play out. Which is fine. But he didn’t recite the law, or even any contradicting evidence, as his support. He presented doubt by using Roy and Sakic as character references for Varlomov. Dater may not have outwardly called this woman a liar, but Roy and Sakic have, and Dater used their doubts to support his case.

          Let me turn the question around. Assuming all of you that were moved by Dater’s piece understood the U.S. law of innocent until proven guilty before reading, what part of that article made you think about this case differently than before you read it?

          • We’re not all lawyer-minded like you, NMR (My boss did tell me yesterday I was thinking too much like a lawyer, go figure), we’re just saying we’d like to see how it plays out. Yes, I’m speaking for the others. There’s enough doubt for us to feel that way.
            I also stated above that my first inclination was to say Varly is guilty. But…there’s still that doubt.

            • Wait, how am I being “lawyer-minded”? You are the one leaning on the judicial system, no?

              All I asked is where you see reason to doubt this woman after reading Dater’s article. Can you answer?

              And fwiw, I’m not saying you’re a bad person or I’m better or any of that balogna. Just truly interested in what would make a person doubt this woman.

              • I thought I did answer you. And yes, you are EXTREMELY black or white minded, NMR. That’s not always a bad or a good thing. Just sayin.

                For one, the bail being only $5000 puzzles me.
                For another, he’s adamant she is lying. I know, I know…he said, she said. Still, there is doubt.

              • Thanks, Jandy.

              • I am inclined, with what I have read so far, to think this guy committed a crime or crimes against this woman. If so, I want him to be punished fully. That absolutely has to happen.

                But, in fairness, if in fact she is lying, she is not “the victim” as you keep referring to her, NMR. In that case, he is “the victim.”

              • And somehow EYE have been labled the lawyer in this conversation.

                Sheesh!

              • You can blame *ME* for that one, NMR :P

                I think Jim is saying what EYE am saying. Wait for more information to come out. Then go from there.

            • Still with Jandy. And you do approach things as black or white, NMR. Not saying that’s bad, just is. And it probably makes you a good engineer. Not sure what type of engineer you are, but I like the engineers who design bridges I’m driving across and the buildings I’m in to be black/white thinkers. :-)

              • Ha, I feel bad because it almost sounds like I’m implying that YOU and JANDY are big bad people falling for Dater’s trap or something like that. Couldn’t be further from the truth.

                I’m speaking of the people who actualy might be swayed by an athlete’s fame into believing these guys, not by actual evidence.

                And yeah, you tend to become black/white when enough contractors try telling you that “good enough” is safe for the public to drive over. :)

              • psssst…AW, as long as NMR isn’t an Architect, he’s good to go…

                NMR, I love bustin’ on you as much as you love bustin’ on me ;)

              • As far as Dater’s “trap”:
                I’m not entrapped. I just feel it’s not all out there yet. When it is, we’ll make up our minds :)

              • Haha, that’s all I’m saying, Jandy.

                Don’t feel like I’m talking about YOU, personally.

                But you can be sure that there are people out there who will believe these athletes over the victim. Always is.

              • Agreed, NMR. And it’s baloney. Let’s hope justice is done.

          • Speaking just for me, Mr. Dater’s piece made me cognizant of the fact that I was reacting viscerally, feeling completely justified in doing so. The nature of the alleged action is so overwhelming that I was and have been ready to be judge, jury, and executioner.

            But what if I’m wrong? Have we become so immersed in information and immediacy that we do just rush into judgment? Is that just?

            As I said, I have questions, not answers. Perhaps we’ve arrived at a critical mass where we need a two-tiered justice system: protect the alleged victim first, at all costs, and work out the details later.

            I wish people who are allegedly smarter than I would spend more time on stuff like this and less time worrying about the potential ramifications of raising the debt ceiling, etc.

            Just saying.

            • Great answer, George. Much appreciated.

              Believe me, I am all for letting the evidence tell the story.

              But we know by now that phiscal evidence is often hard to produce in situations of abuse like this one.

              We MUST provide an open atmosphere where victims feel free to come forward. First and foremost. Creating doubt by placing the Avs word against the victims does nothing but the opposite, in this case.

              The opinion of Roy and Sakik mean nothing.

              • for sure the opinion of Roy means nothing….

              • “We MUST provide an open atmosphere where victims feel free to come forward.”

                Amen to that.

              • Particularly Roy, who was arrested for domestic abuse himself, when playing for the Avs. He lived in the next subdivision. Ripped a couple of doors off their hinges and simiar evidence of bruises, etc.

                Lost here, maybe, it’s obvious at the very least that Varly is a RAGING alchololic at the age of what…23? Dude needs at the very least help, jail or both

              • Roy was a great goalie, but he sucks at being a human being.

          • I’m not basing my opinion on innocent until proven guilty, and I agree with what DK said that an employer is not bound by that. I don’t agree with Dater on that. I thought you misinterpreted his article to be damning the alleged victim. Like I said, I’m with Jandy, but maybe in this case the courts are the best place to sort this out.
            But an employee is also entitled to some due process on at least a fairness basis to determine if allegations are true, and one of the methods to do that is to get their side of the story before acting. Sounds like the situation in Miami was overwhelming evidence that Incognito COULDN’T deny.

            • if you remember, AW, I was one calling to hear the “rest of the story” about the Martin bullying, and I was pretty much slammed for it.
              But hey, there’s always one side, the other side, and the real story!

              • You know who else used that line? Richie Incognito.

                Now, you obviously were using it for different intentions, but when one invokes that logic, they’re almost always insinuating the accuser is lying.

              • There you go again, NMR.
                I have kids.
                it was this one’s story, that’s one’s story…and I KNEW the truth was the other story.
                Simple as that.

              • Jandy, I’m going out of my way to point out that YOUR use of that line is DIFFERENT from Incognito’s.

                I now believe you stated that honestly, not insunuating the victim was lying.

                Which is the exact opposite of how Incognito and every other person accused of something uses that line.

              • Thanks for clarifying that, NMR. Appreciated, friend.

              • Also, I didn’t read where Incognito said that…seriously.

                That’s always been my view, probably because of being a parent.

              • No problem, and not fair at all to make you feel like you were attacked for saying that last week.

                It just always SEEMS like the person using that line is actually suggesting something else.

                You clearly weren’t.

              • No harm, NMR. I try to give as good as I get :)

            • The employee gets due process in the court of law. A court of law that is “sharply” tilted towards letting them go unless it can be proven beyond reasonable doubt that they are guilty.

              A court of law that would let a murderer go free rather than convict an innocent.

              I think the “fairness” of the employer is certainly flexible – but if I’m an employer and my local PD sees fit to file charges, that for me crosses the “perception” line.

              And if I’m media, I’d be playing that 911 tape, with her screaming and him laughing, EVERY DAY on Colorado radio.

              I hope every female Avs fan (and lots of guys too) mails their jersey back to Roy.

              • Thank you so much, Sarah.

                This is exactly what I’m trying to say.

                Dater chose to provide “evidence” of doubt in favor of Varlomov by using two people readers know and many like. The woman gets no such coverage.

                If I were to put myself in her shoes, I would feel like the accused.

              • One should have known by the hiring of Roy, that if an incident like this ever occurred, this would be the result.

                Seriously.

                How incredibly sad Roy has a job in that organization.

                Philthy West.

              • One should have known by the hiring of Roy, that if an incident like this ever occurred, this would be the result.

                Seriously.

                How incredibly sad Roy has a job in that organization.

                Philthy West.

              • There is also industrial due process in a union situation which is contractually and legally required. It doesn’t have to be a lot, and certainly not the same as in a court of law, but it’s there. Usually it entails, at a minimum, hearing the story of the accused. Doesn’t mean you have to believe it.

                I would not want my job status based on what the police think. Look, I highly doubt the allegations aren’t true, but did they “believe them” because they thought if they didn’t do something they would be accused of giving the guy a pass because he was a professional hockey player? I don’t know, either.

              • Arriba, no disrespect – but in most jobs your status is COMPLETELY at the whim of your employer.

                Many jobs have a “fire for NO CAUSE” clause the first 3 months. I have worked for major banks and health care corps and they all had that.

                If they don’t like the tie you’re wearing, they can let you go.

                NO CAUSE.

                Employer’s prerogative.

                If you’re lucky enough to belong to union, then yes you may get some protections.

                But you’re naive in the extreme to think that your employment status is not quite literally at the whim of your employer…..in most jobs non-union. Which is most.

              • Sarah, that’s exactly how employment is here where I work. Believe me, we’ve butted heads. You gotta pick your fights LOL

              • Sarah–thanks for the lesson, but we are talking about two situations, one in the NHL and the other in the NFL. They are both Union situations. The thing you are referring to is the situation of employment-at-will. The union situation is not employment-at-will.

              • Well Arriba – that’s actually not what you said to begin with, so you’re moving the goalposts.

                You said “But an employee is also entitled to some due process on at least a fairness basis to determine if allegations are true”. No mention of Union protection at all.

                Don’t disagree that NHL/NFL do indeed involve Unions, but you only made that argument after you got stuffed.

                But, true enough – it’s a Union thing, and if the NHL Union wants to go to bat for Varlamov with that 911 tape playing in the background, hey go for it.

                On a PR front, it would be stupid.

                Unless they care not about the opinions of their female fans. Or the face of the NHL.

                And as I said, I think they already answered that question.

              • Sarah–I’m not moving anything. This WHOLE THREAD is about two situations. And that’s what I’m talking about. If you want to take one sentence out of one comment to put some spin on it that’s on you. Don’t blame me for moving anything. You can school me all you want on hockey, but you’re going down the wrong lane here. Or post, or whatever you say in hockey.

              • My darling you referred to the employement-at-will in your first post, with this: “an employee is also entitled to some due process on at least a fairness basis to determine if allegations are true,”

                Then when I noted that actually NO an employee is not entitled to any such thing in most scenarios, you came back with the “industrial due process in Union situation” which, yes is moving the goalpoasts from your first assertion in a free-will situation to your second assertion which was Union based.

                Seriously I do not disagree with you on the Union thing. If the Avs suspend Varlamov (which, Roy being a pr-ck, they likely won’t), then the Union would decide if they want to file a grievance.

                So, yes, Varlamov would have some protection from his Union.

                Even as the US Courts find him to be responsible, and deport him, in which case Patty Roy and the Avs can go suck eggs.

              • suck eggs? not good enough for Roy !

                He should suck my big toe after I step in dog doo ;)

              • Sarah, you want to keep this going, so I’m game. You totally ignore the whole post, which said

                “I’m not basing my opinion on innocent until proven guilty, and I agree with what DK said that an employer is not bound by that. I don’t agree with Dater on that. I thought you misinterpreted his article to be damning the alleged victim. Like I said, I’m with Jandy, but maybe in this case the courts are the best place to sort this out.
                But an employee is also entitled to some due process on at least a fairness basis to determine if allegations are true, and one of the methods to do that is to get their side of the story before acting. Sounds like the situation in Miami was overwhelming evidence that Incognito COULDN’T deny.”

                I obviously was discussing the situation at hand, and said “at least on a fairness basis.” I said that to not get into the legalities of the union situation. You jumped on that one sentence, out of context, and ignored the “at least” part.

                You can’t disagree with me on the union situation because it’s a fact. And I personally have been in more than one non-union situation where the “due process” standard I was referring to was applied, on the basis of fundamental fairness. But I was speaking about these two particular union situations. Like I said, stick with hockey in trying to school me.

                Taking legalities out of it, do you agree or disagree that it is fundamentally fair to hear the side of the accused before taking action?

      • The point all along is that the Avs have the prerogative to suspend Varlamov based on the perception of wrong-doing. The Avs are not a court of law, as DK clearly stated.

        Drinking is not illegal.

        You show up at work when you’ve been drinking, you get fired.

        It’s not that difficult. If the allegations have credibility – and the Denver Police Dept thinks that they do, the Avs absolutely can suspend Varlamov. It’s up to them, and what they think of their brand and the publicity surrounding this, and whether they think the female contingent of fans are important to them.

        I think we know the answer.

        • ^^^ What she said.

          By taking no action, the Avs are publicly saying “Varly is telling the truth, She is lying”.

        • “You show up at work when you’ve been drinking, you get fired.”

          What if you tell your employer that you’re an alcoholic and you’d like to go to a treatment program?

          • “Please note that even as you might be seeking assistance for your substance abuse problem, we still expect you to meet the same standards of performance, productivity, and conduct that we expect of all employees, including our prohibition on alcohol or illegal drug use at work. We reserve the right to discipline or terminate your employment for failing to meet these standards.”

  17. For puckheads like myself, here is the lastest from FaceOff Factor, it’s a Q & A with Jason Iacona on the guys at WBS:
    http://www.faceoff-factor.com/5wbs-penguins/4921/chirps-with-chirps

  18. If AJ Burnett retires, the sigh of relief from the Pirates would be deafening.

  19. Here’s a good article that states NFL players with elite college degrees are more likely to be targeted for bullying.

  20. Up front, Incognito is an idiot; a classic bully. That said, I have little sympathy for an adult human without enough self respect to stand up for himself. Can’t say I agree with the kudos to the Dolphins either–that this type of environment existed is a failure of leadership on several levels.

    • I think a large issue we shouldn’t lose sight of is, Bullies were almost always Bullied when younger.

      The earlier we can stop it, the better.
      In school, even pre-school.

      • My younger brother was bullied by neighborhood kids, when we were growing up. He was laid back by nature and wasn’t inclined to defend himself. I stepped in many times and kicked some of his friends’ butts. In just a span of a couple years, their attitudes changed, and they were all best friends again. What if I hadn’t stepped in? Now, this was 40+ years ago, but still. I see his friends around occasionally and we still joke about me kicking their behinds. LOL. They’re mostly all over 6′ tall and I’m lucky if I go 5’6″

    • Often times bullies of all ages justify their words and actions by saying it was just a joke. Well, it may be a joke to them, but sometimes the person who is being affected by “the joke” does not feel the same way. And standing up for yourself (regardless of age) becomes, “What’s the matter, can’t take a joke?” How do you stand up for yourself if you are blamed for not having a sense of humor?

      Ideally, the bullied person has the ability to remove him or herself from the situation or perpetrator. Unfortunately, the world isn’t always ideal.

      FYI – I am not talking about the Martin case here, just bullying in general.

  21. If AJ decides to retire or signs with another team, would it be worth taking a chance on signing Josh Johnson and getting him right again? He was dominant not too long ago. I know pitching isn’t a need, but if you could get him for what you paid Liriano maybe?

    Also how much do you think the Pirates payroll will go up after arbitration for Pedro, Walker, Melancon and Morton?

    Just curious…..thoughts?

    • I don’t like the idea of taking a chance on AJ. I don’t see what the harm is in signing him. I know he’s expensive but year in and year out, have lots of pitching option proves to be successful.

    • If AJ doesn’t come back, Huntington pretty much HAS to land a free agent starter. The good news is that guys like Johnson and Dan Haren are available, presumably less expensive, and potentially equally productive.

      NOT geting AJ back creates a hole that wasn’t there, which usually is never good. BUT, it does free up a (relative) boatload of money to spend elsewhere. If you’re a fan of hot stove rumors, not getting AJ back is gonna be a ton of fun. We could be talking about $30m worth of free agent signings this winter.

      MLBTradeRumors published their arbitration estimates and has those four players you mentioned getting $15.7m. The projected payroll stands at around $63m including arbitration projections.

      • Thanks for the info!

        Yes, the Pirates having $30m to spend in the offseason would be even more exciting than it was before this past trade deadline.

      • And I’m in the crowd that says you have to assume Wandy’s done in terms of planning. Absolutely have to land an FA starter if AJ is gone.

        • Have to.

          Hardest part at this point for the organization isn’t simply filling a rotation. They have plenty of depth to do that. The hard part will be building one good enough to win 90 games with an average, at best, offense.

            • I feel like there could be a race against time. I believe pitchers start throwing, mostly long toss, in December. I don’t know if that’s the plan they have for Wandy but if he starts throwing then and feeling good, I can’t help but think they’ll let him keep throwing while keeping an eye out on who’s available. And I could see that going into January, maybe early February.

              • That arthritis diagnosis scares the bejeebers out of me.

              • I’m with AW.

                It is obviously not optimal, but I think last year showed us that sometimes you don’t have any choice but to back up risk with more risk. Unless you are the Dodgers and can buy eight starters, of course.

      • After the injuries that Johnson has had and the offseason surgery, even if it was just cleaning out the elbow, I want nothing to do with him. In fact, that’s generally my position on pitchers coming off of arm or shoulder issues.

        • I “generally” agree.

          But the Pirates are “generally” not in a position to be picky.

          There was a chorus of people who thought bringing Charlie Morton back last season was a bad idea, for the same reason.

          If you’re gonna bet, bet on talent.

          • I was in that chorus.

            Glad to singing a different tune after the fact.

          • I think bringing back Charlie Morton is a completely different situation than signing Joshn Johnson. We knew Morton wasn’t coming back until mid season and Morton still had 2 control years left. If Morton’s surgery was earlier and he was scheduled to be ready opening day and you were counting on him in the rotation, I wouldn’t want Morton back unless there was a backup plan. Now if we could get Johnson really cheap and had a backup plan if he doesn’t work out or gets hurt early, that’s fine.

            • Thanks for the explanation, given the whole “I want nothing to do with pitchers coming off arm/shoulder issues” comment.

              :)

              • Well I should have been more specific. I was talking traditional free agents expected to slide into the rotation on opening day. Giving Charlie $2M to see if he can fit in mid season was fine with me.

                Brandon Webb would be another example of someone I didn’t want to sign a couple of years ago when some wanted to take a chance on him. Arm injuries and pitchers scare me.

    • Josh Johnson, Tim Hudson, or someone else. He needs to be replaced, I think.

  22. We have to look at the Miami Dolphins situation from a whole society point of view. I see too many times youth mimicking these actions by wanting to not only bully and intimidate others, but to take their pride and never let them “get up” from the abuse. If the dolphins situation frightens you, then you are in for much more fright in the future. This is just the beginning of stories like this. Our schools and youth sports no longer teach kids to be good losers and good winners. We teach them to rub everything in to your opposition’s faces. Bullying is becoming more and more acceptable for our youth and for the adults who are supposed to be teaching them and supervising them.

  23. I was just perusing the free agency list for shortstops.

    This is for Mr. Bob Hasis:

    Your top SS FA: Brendan Ryan, Jhonny “Mr. Suspension” Peralta, Blog whipping boy and Groat favorite, Ronny Cedano and (drum roll, por favor) Clint Barmes!

  24. If I could ask but one thing of the Pirates this free agency period. Please, for God sakes, do not sign Bartolo Colon. I usually watch just about every Pirates game. If he is in the rotation, then I will miss a game very five days.

    Can not stand him. Stay in the AL, please.

  25. Today shall forever be referred to as “turmoil tuesday”. All serious matters just hoping to lighten the mood.

  26. The 49ers released Nnamdi Asomugha….he’s got to be better than Gay, right?

  27. Oh….and someone mentioned above that the woman feels like the Accused….(they did make a movie about that actually!)….here is some related reading by Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
    Called Lucky….

    http://www.amazon.com/Lucky-Alice-Sebold/dp/0316096199

    Re her experiences as a victim trying to move through the legal system….for anyone that thinks it’s “too easy” to accuse people like Roy or Varlamov. Or that he legal system is unfair to them….

    True story. Riveting stuff.

    • Back when Kelly McGillis was still hot.

      • Thanks for the zing Milo. Women aren’t all about how they look y’know. Wrong thread for that remark.

      • Not that anyone’s interested, but McGillis herself is a victim of rape. Why she quite acting for a time I believe.

        • Sarah, I’m certainly interested. I can see this issue strikes at your heart, from your posts. Hugs.

          • Hey Jandy -
            Dunno if I would say “close to my heart’ but i do think women must be VERY vigilant in these exchanges.
            Whether it’s the likes of troy or AW Man-splainin to us why it’s all SO unfair to the guy or Milo casually saying how that movie was back when Kelly McGillis was HAAWWT (what is she now? Fat, therefore useless?) it all disregards womens opinions or reduces them to their appearance….basically de-humanizes them.
            We NEVER do that to men.

            I think women need to be hyper-aware of that and guard against it. It’s embedded in our culture and hard to avoid.

            Thanks Jandy!

            • Sarah—You are SO off-base on this, it’s hard to know where to begin. You interpreted MY posts as being anti-woman victim? As Milo said, WOW. I have 3 sisters and 3 daughters. You’ve jumped the shark on this issue. And I NEVER took the position that it’s “So Unfair” to the guy. Sorry you can’t participate in a reasoned discussion about this. I think in the long run you hurt your cause by your approach.

              • And you never answered my question, “Taking legalities out of it, do you agree or disagree that it is fundamentally fair to hear the side of the accused before taking action?” You aren’t seriously arguing the answer is different based on gender, are you?

              • I don’t know that Sarah was off-base, but she takes this subject to heart.
                Another problem in this type of situation is, the woman may press charges, the man is out on bail or is never incarcerated, and he goes and hurts her even worse BEFORE any hearings are held.

              • I guess we’re on a new tack now.

                What side of Varlamov’s haven’t we heard?

                He denies the charges.

                But he turned himself in.

                Courts will sort out the details.

                MISSED THE POINT AGAIN.

                Beat up girlfriend, bruises,threats to the family, PD files charges including kidnapping which I believe is a felony – enough to get you fired from most jobs I know.

                AND THAT IS THE POINT.
                HARMS the NHL’s BRAND, HE SHOULD BE GONE.

  28. Ok, on a lighter note, I just read something worth sharing:

    “Never look down on someone, unless you’re helping them up.”

    A new golden rule.

  29. How ’bout that Deryk Engelland?

  30. I usually don’t like to throw fuel onto a fire, but man these statements are just bad…

    http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2013/11/05/tyutin-varlamovs-only-mistake-is-that-he-got-together-with-this-girl/

  31. I listened to the Charlie Batch interview DK linked. Excellent. Whoa, I’ve been on the fence on Haley, but while he didn’t come out and say anything directly, based on what he said, Haley needs to go. NEEDS TO GO!

    And, although I’ve said it before, and Charlie’s interview didn’t touch on it, Art II is a disaster.

  32. On the Varlamov topic, I’d like to post something that reminds me of the situation. Not saying it’s analogous, but just that it reminds me of it.

    Back in the 1980′s, when Eddie Murphy was on SNL, they parodied the assassination attempt on President Reagan. Eddie played Buckwheat, who shot John David Stutts. They did a lot of fake interviews of people who knew Buckwheat. I remember there being a neighbor interviewed and they asked him what kind of neighbor Buckwheat was and he said something along the lines of him being a great guy, a great neighbor. Then the interviewer asked him whether he thought he’d ever shoot John David Stutts. And the neighbor replied something along of the lines of “oh, yeah. He talked about it all the time. Said he’d shoot Stutts if he got the chance.”

    My point being is that guys like Tyutin see one side of a person. He may show you the great side, but there’s always another side that you don’t know and wouldn’t like.

  33. Afternoon, everybody. Working too much and bloging too little.

    Enjoyed reading you all today. All I’d add about the creeps dominating the discussion today is that maybe some soul searching about “what we don’t want in our sport” might come from these cases.

    These teams have to be nervous about lawsuits or they’re incredibly stupid.

    The allegations – if true – make me want to sink my spur into somebody. (My version of a Bold Reaming)

    Catch yinz later.

  34. Well, after reading and writing about the creeps and asses of the sports world today, I am out to do my volunteering work for the week.

    The more I follow sports, the more similarities I see to ancient Rome, and that is not a good thing.
    Good afternoon/evening to all.

  35. The Steelers are 28th in the NFL in rushing averaging 3.5 per carry.

    Buffalo is 7th in rushing with 146 yards per game & 5 yards a carry. Their starting guards are Kraig Urbik & Doug Legursky.

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

    • Their tackles have to be far superior to ours though.

      • Positives in the Buffalo Bills defense:
        Mario Williams is a two time pro bowler who has 11 sacks this year.
        Kiko Alonzo has 89 tackles and 4 interceptions.
        It’s the offense that is the problem.

    • I noticed that on Sunday as well. I immediately thought – we no longer have any idea who to draft at OLine. Then, on the rare occasions we sort of get it right, we still get it wrong.

    • Never should of let Legursky go.

      And Urbik is evidence that talent evaluation on this team leaves a lot to be desired.

      Good post.

      Good post

  36. If Beau Bennett is going to play tomorrow, someone would have to be taken off the roster in order to get him off IR. That would mean sending Megna down (which I doubt because he was skating on the 2nd line with Malkin and Jokanin again) or placing a player on waivers. Now would be a good time to listen to offers for Jeffery – Toronto has two centers injured right now…..

    • Bennett won’t be playing prolly until the weekend, according to the Pens’ website. But yeah, they will have to figure out how to work that.

  37. Arizona St. AD Steve Patterson will take the same job at Texas. Anyone know if Penny has family in Austin ?

  38. Mark Madden said both Fernando Velasco and Kelvin Beachum were limited in practice. If they both cannot play on Sunday, who will be the center?

    DK: Both will be fine.

  39. DK will be on Mark Madden’s show at 5PM!!!

  40. Y’all are AWESOME! I saw the top of the thread and DK’s paragraphs, nothing on the Pirates, and you great guys and girls just jump all over the AJ issue, get sidelined with a little hockey then come back to Charlie Batch! I’m curious to see how much they’ll offer him. He did fine, for the most part this year, but nothing like his first year.

    Wonder how Kevin Correia would be as a replacement? 9-13 this year, with a 4.18 ERA on a CRUDDY team! (OK, OK, I thought a Correia sighting would be just as good as a Charlie Batch!)

    DK: Nothing?

  41. Hey, Milo! :-)

  42. Under the heading of…Stuff if you made up that nobody would believe….

    Over at the “other” paper, they ran an article that Tomlin benched A Brown for the last series against NE for running the wrong routes (to teach him a lesson), the same “posters” scream like banshees every time he makes a catch and signals 1st down (that he needs a lesson taught), are now up in arms that Tomlin would do sucha thing.

    VERY little rational thought by Steeler Fans these days.

    I don’t think this football season can get over fast enough.

    DK: All of the info on AB is available right here at this paper, too.

    • Not sure what your point is, and Brown did run the wrong route, but IF Tomlin benched him in that situation (with the score what it was) harkens back to the game where he kept benching RB’s when they fumbled. Not sure his tactics are working. OK, that’s a little light, that’s like worrying about whether the lights are turned off when the house is on fire.
      The more important thing is rational thought by the coaching staff.

      • Just that every time this coaching DOES do what the fans want (not suggesting at all that they are listening to the fans), then the fans want something else.

        It happened even when they were winning and goes into orbit when they don’t.

        This season has been the perfect storm…and a brown one for all involved…the coaches only being part of it.

      • He does tend to fly off the handle, doesn’t he, AW? In addition to RB musical chairs during a game, he did that with WRs last year at least once. And hasn’t he moved OLinemen in and out of games at the drop of a hat?

    • Just saw it there first, because it was titled. I read both, but start here and only post here…not to be defensive or anything.

  43. Anyone else think that Richie Incognito is done in the NFL?

    The Dolphins are expected to release him and no other team will sign him. It will obviously be a PR nightmare that even a team with an OL as bad as the Steelers do not want to deal with.

    Not that I care but for his sake, he better have saved his money.

    • Don’t know if the dude is married and has kids…sure hope not.

    • He’s toast, as he should be. I don’t think anyone will touch him, and he is getting what he deserves from that standpoint.

      Oddly enough, though, you can come back from worse things. Just ask Ray Ray.

      • Depends on your star status.

      • Wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see him playing next year.

        The fact that nobody stood up to him in the locker room tells you that this behavior IS accepted in football circles. His agent will craft a pretty story about how he has now seen the light and a GM will be happy to take a chance on him.

        • But, don’t you think that something good might come out of this in that maybe this WON’T be tolerated in the NFL anymore? In that sense, Martin really stood up for everyone that might be in this situation on a football team. Maybe as a result, some other people in similar situations might stand up and see to it that it doesn’t happen again. I’m not saying it will just automatically go away, but at least jerks who do this in the NFL now know their livelihood could go away in an instant.

          I do not see Inognito getting another job any time soon. Maybe if Martin publicly forgives him, he might get another shot somewhere. But, by then, his time will have likely passed.

          • No, no I do not. Until football gives me any evidence that it has truly adjusted its obvious cultural problems, I see no reason to believe otherwise.

            I live in a city where the quarterback is one of it’s most celebrated citizens…even after – at the very, very, verrrry least – taking advantage of a young, vulnerable, incredibly intoxicated female in the bathroom of a bar.

            The quarterback. The most visible position in any of the major sports. Incognito, a lineman, will be news for about a week when he eventually signs on with another team and then nobody will talk about it as long as he isn’t stupid enough to continue this behavior.

            This is the world we live in.

        • Possible, but he has been exposed now.

          To me he is a “sneak bully”..who does his dirty work when nobody else is lookiing, all the while being a veteran and good old boy to everybody else in the lockerroom. He won’t “get away” with that again, no matter how this plays out and there are enough people that hate him already, before this, that I doubt he has any where else to go.

  44. What was wrong with the “old” Mike & Molly ?

  45. The Mariners have hired Lloyd McClendon as manager. Cement the bases.

  46. DK
    I just heard you on with MM. I applaud your patience.
    All he did was yell at you. I wouldn’t have had the same patience & restraint. And you two are friends and neighbors.

    But you did show him how uninformed he is: what K. Butler really is like and that the Pirates shouldn’t have just handed AJ $14 million.

    DK: I’ve known Mark since childhood. That’s how all our conversations EVER have gone. Glad you listened and liked, TC.

  47. I tell you….you walk away from this blog for a few hours…

  48. Finalists for NL MVP – Andrew McCutchen, Yadier Molina, The Mighty Goldschmidt.

    Finalists for NL Manager of the Year – Clint Hurdle, Don Mattingly, Fredi Gonzalez.

  49. - I hate migraines….

    Now that I just slept one off…

    Great news for Lloyd McClendon, he was a solid bench player for the Pirates and truly desired to get the Pirates to be a good team while the manager but he didn’t have the ownership or front office management support that Clint Hurdle is so lucky to be afforded today. The Mariners have some nice pieces, hopefully they go get some good players in free agency to help add to the team.

    A.J. Burnett…. sign the man. One-year deal for $12 million, fair deal for both sides. It would put the rotation as Liriano, Burnett, Cole, Morton, and Rodriguez with Locke, Cumpton and Taillon as depth.

    If Marlon Byrd is willing to sign a 1-year deal at a team friendly cost, you have to at least consider it as the team can’t possibly go into the season with Jose Tabata, Travis Snider, or Andrew Lambo as the right-field starters.

    But Byrd would be nuts to take that deal, he’ll probably get a 2-year deal from someone and Pirates just can’t offer that kind of money with Gregory Polanco fast approaching his start date in the majors.

    Unless… Pirates would use Polanco to go get a first baseman.

    If Byrd gets a 2-year deal from the Pirates, I’d say that’s a pretty strong indication that Starling Marte or Polanco will be trade bait for a first baseman.

    Finally, other subject… what a mess the Steelers have become. They are truly the third worst franchise in town right now. Ownership has overstepped their bounds, which I think has hamstrung Tomlin by forcing Arians out of town and forcing LeBeau, Butler, and Mitchell as defensive coaches. Remember all the talk about Tomlin wanting to use the Tampa-2 and how he wanted LeBeau to use that with the 3-4 defense…. not happening is it when Polamalu is constantly roaming like a linebacker.

    P.S.
    Great work by Joe Starkey during the press conference.

    • Trading Marte would create a hole in order to fill a hole. Don’t think Polanco would be traded either, regardless of whether Byrd is signed or not. It would create another hole when Byrd’s contract would expire. Other pieces would be traded for a 1B. I’m looking at the some of the wealth of pitching to be traded for a 1B.

    • Great stuff. I agree on all accounts.

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