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Morning Java: Lowest-profile GM anywhere?

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Thursday column focuses on a GM who keeps such a low profile that his bio in the team media guide takes up less space than that afforded to the equipment managers.

No kidding, Kevin Colbert gets half of Page 44 in the Steelers’ guide, while equipment guys Rodgers Freyvogel and Patrick Noone get two-thirds of Page 54.

And be very sure that’s how Colbert likes it.

That aside, I’m curious to hear your thoughts on this column, particularly as it relates to how you feel about the level of accountability involved.

>> Antonio Brown talks about his brief benching, by Alan Robinson.

The Steelers share thoughts on bullying in football, by Mark Kaboly. Below are Ben Roethlisberger’s

Here’s our full Steelers coverage, including Sean Spence being shut down.

Here’s Bills news from the Buffalo News.

Here are official game highlights from NFL.com.

>> The Penguins came hard early but fell hard, too, at the Garden. Funny the difference some world-class goaltending can make. Rob Rossi is in New York.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage, with all kinds of injury updates.

Here’s Rangers news from the New York Post.

Here are official game highlights from NHL.com.

>> It’s a big week for Pitt, and Steve Pederson discussed that and much more on my TribLIVE Radio show yesterday. Much obliged to all who made it happen, not least of whom was the AD himself …

The Panthers’ inconsistent defense braces for Notre Dame, by Jerry DiPaola.

Tony Dorsett has signs of neurological disorder, by DiPaola.

>> Bill Belton’s impact at Penn State is measured by Chris Adamski.

>> Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez win Silver Sluggers, by Travis Sawchik.

>> For those who haven’t already noticed, we’ve had a new mobile platform for this blog up and running for the past week or so. It’s really nice and seems functional, but I’d welcome hearing from you — good or bad — how you feel. Especially as it relates to commenting.

>> I’ll cover the Steelers and Pitt football today, with an eye on the latter for the Friday column.

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. Stuart says:

    DK, enjoyed the column on the invisible GM. Who knew?

    I like the look of the mobile app, but it’s not as easy to respond directly to a specific comment, which I sometimes like to do. On he plus side (no pun intended), it might cut down on some of the short personal greeting posts between a certain clique which can be somewhat tiresome.

    Stuart

    DK: Thanks regarding the column. Do you mean the personal-reply function being difficult? I’ll take a look.

  2. Drew71 says:

    Dejan – I started using the new mobile app a few days ago after the web site version became difficult to manipulate on iPhones.

    So from a new-user perspective:

    - Mostly fine. Easier to get around the ENTIRE Trib Review site. Your blog looks great in this format, posts easier to read than how it now looks in the web site version, at least on my iPhone.

    - What it still needs just to match former efficiency…the go-to-top arrow does not work on iPhones in this new format. That is an important functionality and, now that it doesn’t work, a major hindrance when threads grow to 100+ posts.

    Have the arrow fixed and I’ll love the new format. As it is, it’s a love-hate relationship. (insert spouse joke HERE [X].)

  3. Drew71 says:

    Pedro.

    2012: HR every 17.5 at bat. For what it’s worth, an RBI every 6.18 AB.

    2013: HR 15.5 / AB rate, RBI 5.58 / AB rate.

    This power production improvement came despite a reduction in OBP and batting average.

    After the 2012 season, I proposed that Pedro’s was the quietest 30 HRs I had ever seen. I felt different – and better – about his 2013. Despite the fairly substantial drop in OBP, usually a meaningful stat.

  4. Thundercrack says:

    I have been getting to the blog with the mobile app for about a week or so. I had the site bookmarked on my phone and I liked getting to the blog that way better. It would take me right to the site. With the app I have a few more steps to get to the blog. And now with the bookmark the posts are not formatted as nicely as the app.

  5. Jim S. says:

    I read something last week, Drew, where a big part of Pedro’s HR increase this year came from his average distance of flyballs rising from something like 307 to 312 feet, which was near tops in MLB. Yes, they track that sort of thing. That doesn’t seem like a large jump, but apparently it is. Anyway, Pedro has tremendous power and it may be still increasing.

  6. Papa Croz says:

    While I’m not a tech wiz, I find it hard to read the weekly chat. It’s hard to manipulate / scroll down in the chat box.

  7. Jandy says:

    “On he plus side (no pun intended), it might cut down on some of the short personal greeting posts between a certain clique which can be somewhat tiresome”

    Really?

  8. Jim S. says:

    If you are a fan of watching prospects, MLB Network is showing some games in the Arizona Fall League. Last night, and I believe again tonight or tomorrow, they showed the team that included Alen Hanson, Alex Dickerson and some pitchers (Irwin, Benedict, Thornton). I taped last night’s game, then zipped through it later to try to catch Hanson and Dickerson. Thornton had a nice 9th inning on the mound, but I didn’t watch the other 2 pitchers. Mainly, I wanted to see the hitters.

    Dickerson did not do much from the plate. I only remember one soft single from him. It was just one night, but it seems like a long shot to me that he would be ready to help in Pittsburgh this year. Seemed like he has a ways to go as a hitter, although as I said it was just one game. I was just looking for flashes of talent.

    Speaking of flashes of talent, Hanson was terrific all night. At the plate, while batting lefty in his first3 ABs he had 2 sharp singles (one to RF, one to LC) and a force out in the hole at SS that he would have beaten out if there was not a force at 2nd. He stole 2 bases, scored a couple of runs and drove in a run. Then, he turned around to bat righty his last 2 ABs, and was even more impressive at the plate. He drove a ball deep into LC in front a 430 ft fence that the CF made an amazing diving catch to rob him. That ball had to have been smoked 400-410 ft. His last time up, he lined a single into RF. He hit the ball hard 4 of 5 times, and as I said, his most impressive AB was a laser into LC batting righty.

    In the field at SS, he had a nice assortment of plays to make in all 3 directions (left, right, forward) and he made them all. On one ball that he charged, he threw low and in the dirt but it gave the 1b a nice clean hop to avoid the error by Hanson. He does not have a great arm, but he is very athletic at SS. I agree with the reports that he needs defensive work, but the ability appears to be there to stick defensively at SS. He can definitely handle 2b. Hitting-wise, he is your future leadoff guy in Pittsburgh. I’m thinking we’ll see him 2015. He has a chance to be a dynamic player. The announcers and John Manual from Baseball America raved about him being the best prospect in the game.

  9. JAL says:

    Peanut Vendor Stan Kenton 1972 Song has over 160 recordings. Kenton had a hit with it in 1947 and it remained a staple of his concerts.

    JAL’s Peanut Vendor Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_okd-n42p0

    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: How Long Will Pedro Alvarez Be a Pittsburgh Pirate?

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/11/first-pitch-how-long-will-pedro-alvarez-be-a-pittsburgh-pirate.html

    Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Season Recap: Third Base

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/11/pittsburgh-pirates-2013-season-recap-third-base.html

    AFL: Three Hits For Alen Hanson In Win

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/11/afl-three-hits-for-alen-hanson-in-win.html

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez win Silver Slugger awards

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/11/6/5074898/andrew-mccutchen-pedro-alvarez-win-silver-slugger-awards

    6 Rumbunter

    Major League Baseball Awards Season Is Fun Again

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/11/05/major-league-baseball-awards-season/

    7 WHYGAVS

    Awards! Andrew McCutchen, Clint Hurdle, and Francisco Liriano

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/october-2013/awards-andrew-mccutchen-clint-hurdle-and-francisco-liriano.html

    8 The Green Weenie

    Pittsburgh’s Minor League Free Agents, Past & Present

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/11/pittsburghs-minor-league-free-agents.html

    9 Rant Sports

    Ranking the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Top 10 Prospects Heading into 2014

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/11/06/ranking-the-pittsburgh-pirates-top-10-prospects-heading-into-2014/

    10 Pirates Site

    McCutchen, Alvarez awarded Silver Sluggers

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/pit/andrew-mccutchen-pedro-alvarez-win-2013-silver-slugger-awards?ymd=20131106&content_id=63734106&vkey=news_pit

  10. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Sports Illustrated

    NL Central Hot Stove Preview: Assessing offseason plans for Cardinals, Pirates, Reds, Brewers and Cubs

    http://mlb.si.com/2013/11/06/nl-central-hot-stove-cardinals-pirates-reds-brewers-cubs/

    12 USA Today

    Estranged wife of Kris Benson guilty of assault

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2013/11/06/anna-benson-guilty-of-aggravated-assault-kris-benson/3452363/

    13 Sporting Charts

    Francisco Liriano and His Return to Prominence

    http://www.sportingcharts.com/articles/mlb/comeback-kid-francisco-liriano-and-his-return-to-prominence.aspx

    14 NBC Sports

    A-Rod’s lawyers want the feds to investigate Major League Baseball

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/11/06/a-rods-lawyers-want-the-feds-to-investigate-major-league-baseball/

    15 Cleveland Plain Dealer

    Anyone for a “Bonus At Bat,” and maybe a boost in baseball excitement? – Bill Livingston

    http://www.cleveland.com/livingston/index.ssf/2013/11/anyone_for_a_bonus_at_bat_–_a.html

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Fay’s Wednesday’s wanderings: Reds have little to spend on free agents

    http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/2013/11/06/fays-wednesdays-wandering-reds-have-little-to-spend-on-free-agents/

    17 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Goold: Drew makes the most sense for Cards

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/goold-drew-makes-the-most-sense-for-cards/article_b5f40298-10bf-5c82-b112-3e38bfab324c.html

    18 Baseball Nation

    When the Astrodome lost an election

    http://www.baseballnation.com/2013/11/6/5071820/houston-astrodome-ballot-measure-referendum-fate-demolition

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Today’s Oxymoron is Free Agents

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=22186

    20 Fangraphs

    The Land Mines of the 2014 Free Agent Class

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-land-mines-of-the-2014-free-agent-class/

    The Bargains of the 2014 Free Agent Class
    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-bargains-of-the-2014-free-agent-class/

    21 Post Gazette

    Pirates options in free agency

    http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/smizik-on-sports/2013/11/07/Pirates-options-in-free-agency/stories/201311070284

  11. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Bills vs. Steelers: No Country for Old Men

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/bills-vs-steelers-news-and-updates-leading-into-week-10/2013/11/6/5066900/steelers-bills-nfl-week-10-preview-analysis

    5 Burning Questions in the Wake of the Steelers Loss to the Patriots

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/11/6/5072418/5-questions-steelers-patriots-historic-loss-defense-dick-lebeau

    22 Steelers Gab

    Does Tomlin’s Benching Of Brown Really Prove Anything?

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2013/11/06/does-tomlins-benching-of-brown-really-prove-anything/

    Soccer(football)

    23 North Jersey Com

    Soccer notes: Duo could make national team debuts

    http://www.northjersey.com/sports/230775071_Soccer_notes__Duo_could_make_national_team_debuts.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    November 6, 2013 – all the stories you need to read

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-the-stories-you-need-to-read-november-6-2013

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Recap: Pens Lose Game, But At Least Keep Their Helmets

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/11/7/5075748/recap-pens-lose-game-but-at-least-keep-their-helmets

    Penguins Memorable Moments: Meltdown at MSG</b?

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/11/6/5069324/penguins-memorable-moments-meltdown-at-msg

  12. BillyBaduka says:

    Yeah, it can be tiresome to scroll long posts.

    iPhone/Pac. – If you touch the black bar, where the time is displayed, that will scroll to the top of a page. Unfortunately nothing equivalent to get to bottom of page.

  13. JoeyBats says:

    “The Hawk” was so much fun to watch run wild @ PITT Stadium during the mid-1970′s.
    What a superb athelete. Great memories. So disappointing to see what a toll football can take on the body…. here’s hoping the docs and medical system can provide some help to A.D. :-(

  14. Jandy says:

    That’s the Hanson I saw in Altoona at Curve games…impressive.

  15. Drew71 says:

    Perfect. Thanks for the tip.

  16. JoeyBats says:

    The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Dallas Mavs 107 -93 last night…..why should be care, locally?
    .
    Because the the last 2 PITT impact players playing for NBA teams guarded each other for parts of the game.
    .
    DeJuan Blair and Steve Adams had a few matchups and their game numbers turned out as follows:
    .
    Adams…20mins…6 pts….9 rbs…1 blk…2 steals…0 assist
    .
    Blair ……19 mins… 8 pts…3 rbs…0 blk…1 steal …1 assist

  17. Dom says:

    Great article DK!

    I always thought it was a group effort in ranking the prospects whom to select in the draft. But, what I would like to know is who has the most say in the group? I presume it would be down to Colbert and Tomlin but what if they’re split on whom to select? Who breaks the tie?

    In regards to the #4 issue in DK’s article, I presume that we’re going to part ways with Heath Miller after this season. I don’t want to but between him, Troy, Ike, Timmons, Woodley, and AB who else could go? I’m sure some will think Ike but if he isn’t in at CB then who else would be? We’re kind of stuck there.

  18. Thundercrack says:

    Nice column today DK. And I did know that Colbert did not speak to reporters during the season.

    Sometimes I liked the fact that there was a singular voice heard from the organization.
    I like to hear from Shero and Huntington. But I can also see why a team may not want to have everyone talking. It seems to be an easy set up for people to start wondering if there is a ‘rift’ between coach and GM if they express differing opinions on a subject.
    Of course as a fan I usually like stuff like that.

  19. Drew71 says:

    Here’s another. Pedro’s drop in batting average, from .244 in 2012 to .233 in 2013, is just a bit misleading. That’s because Pedro’s percent of Balls in Play (the holy BIP)…all results, hits or outs…INCREASED from .657 to .667 as a % of ABs from 2012 to 2013.

    How did THAT happen? Well, mostly his K rate dropped from .343 to .333 as a % of ABs.

    So combine that with Jim’s info, and to oversimplify, Pedro has more productive outs. Lower K rate = more fly balls. (Sure, ground balls, too.). But if you combine more fly outs with longer fly balls…well, there you go.

    And what does all THAT mean? Probably not a dang thing except that I’m sitting in a Chamber of Commerce speech as I write this. Or NOT listening, as the case may be.

  20. Drew71 says:

    You like that stuff??

    Well then. You and I have a rift.

  21. Stuart says:

    YYYYEEEESSS!!! Some people are greated enthusiastically 9 or 10 times per thread. Most people, you and I included, are in and out through the day. I also know that the recipients probably appreciate the greetings, but I think it can get excessive.

    I don’t have any real problem with it, just a minor annoyance in the best blog going.

    Stuart

  22. Iceman says:

    Well upon watching last night’s game and the last few games, I think it is time to end the Dustin Jeffrey experiment. He has been basically invisible the last few games, but last night he was very visible. His visibility came from several bad turnovers. I would much rather see someone else playing on that fourth line. Hopefully Bennett is back for the next game so he can fill in on the second line and Megna can move down to the third/fourth line. Even if Bennett isn’t back, I would rather see Harry Z filling in on the fourth line over Jeffrey. At least Zolnercyick plays with some energy and intensity. It is time to move on.

  23. NMR says:

    Nailed it, Drew.

    Sounds too simple, but the easiest thing Pedro can do to improve is hit more fly balls. This is an incredible number to me, but 26.7% of the fly balls Pedro hit last year landed over the fence. 1 in 4. Amazing when you think about it.

    Hitting ground balls not only relegates his power, it kills his batting average. Not very easy to sneak it through three defenders on one side of the diamond, and he almost exclusively pulls balls on the ground.

    Pedro only hit 36% of his balls in the air last season. League leaders were above 45%. Simply hitting more fly balls next year will put him easily over 40 homeruns.

  24. Jandy says:

    uh oh, now you’ve set yourself up ;)

  25. Jandy says:

    Thanks, both of you, for this lesson. I’m taking it all in. Now when I talk with the guys here, they’ll think I’m a genius ;)

  26. Dom says:

    I apologize if this has been brought up before but Troy Polamalu is planning on chopping off his locks to honor veterans.

    http://www.stripes.com/news/steelers-troy-polamalu-to-get-a-haircut-for-veterans-1.242178

  27. Jandy says:

    Thanks for the link, DOm :)

  28. Drew71 says:

    82/68

  29. Jim S. says:

    I also read that, as many of us had suspected, the infield shifts were very effective vs. Pedro. He hits a lot of groundballs to the first baseman and to the traditional hole between first and second baseman which are no longer hits for him.

    As you say, NMR, flyballs are Pedro’s friends. He hits the ball very hard, and guys that hit the ball hard and elevate it, hit a lot of bombs. I hope he can improve on putting the ball in play and taking his walks when teams don’t want to pitch to him. But, he is an effective hitter already – even if the strikeouts can be frustrating.

  30. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, he was very impressive last night. The bat is definitely ahead of the glove, though.

  31. 21sthebest says:

    I am shocked that Adams is even getting time let alone playing fairly well. Apparenly, his development over the summer was fantastic.

  32. Jandy says:

    52/30

  33. Thundercrack says:

    Upward plane

  34. Jandy says:

    LOLyes indeed.

  35. Thundercrack says:

    bully

  36. Jandy says:

    ZING!

  37. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    If Walker is extended…and at some point commits to hitting exclusively from the left side, could he end up being the second piece of a first base platoon to make room for Hanson??

  38. Thundercrack says:

    I had more I wanted to write but I decided it was too much. (I’ll teach you that some day).

    I do like some of that stuff, but I also think a lot of that type of talk that occurs when a GM and coach do not say the same thing or share the same view just causes media (and fans) to start a lot of unwarranted speculation.

    So I guess sometimes I like and sometimes I don’t.

  39. NMR says:

    It really surprised me to see his spray charts. When he puts the ball in the air, he actually does a good job using all fields.

  40. NMR says:

    I doubt they extend Walker with intentions of moving him off 2B and making him a part time player.

    He’s not gonna be cheap.

  41. hockeymonster says:

    I specifically jumped on today to face the music bout Jeffrey so feel free to let me have it :)

  42. DJ says:

    Nice column.

    You can always tell how a team’s season is going by the use of one phrase: “I’ll take full responsibility for that.”

    We’ve heard it so many times this year from Coach T and the players that it has been mind-numbing, the latest being Coach T’s response as to the 2008-09 drafts.

  43. Iceman says:

    I wanted Jeffery to be given a chance because I didn’t think he ever was given a real chance. The last couple weeks he has proven to me that Pittsburgh is not the place for him to be playing. Time for the Pens to move on.

  44. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t believe he’s taking too much off.

  45. 21sthebest says:

    Without looking at further data, and I suppose this is fairly obvious, he’s just got to work the counts better and better to see more fastballs.

  46. hockeymonster says:

    If you’re willing to overlook the teams record with him in that’s your prerogative…and in case you didn’t notice the teams losing streak ended once he went back into the lineup after the team was unbeatable with him playing to start the season. Now i’m not saying that was all his doing…when I bring up teams record with him in I do so semi sarcastically cuz I do realize he isn’t playing a huge role. HOWEVER the defensive positioning and instincts he brings do contribute to wins, especially on a offensive team like ours.

    Last night was a case of the entire team being extremely discouraged and frustrated after lundquist put up a force field on the goal line and Jeffrey was guilty of trying to make plays he normally doesn’t. Its a game of mistakes and if we benched players for a few bad plays or a bad game our roster turnover would be much higher than it is.

  47. Sarah says:

    I have an “Emperor’s clothes” feeling about MT for awhile now….

  48. hockeymonster says:

    I guess the difference is that im willing to accept that Jeffrey has contributed to the teams record with him playing while your not. Guess we’ll see what happens next…

  49. Jim S. says:

    I believe one of the reasons Colbert and Tomlin don’t both speak during the season while Huntington and Shero do it freely is, as was said above, that the Steelers organization doesn’t want a question answered differently from 2 people that are considered equals in the organizational hierarchy. That could cause problems.

    I could have that wrong, but I am under the impression Mike Tomlin does not answer to Kevin Colbert. I believe it was the case with Cowher and Donahoe, and their rift forced Dan Rooney to choose one or the other. I believe Cowher then got along very well with Kevin Colbert, and Mike Tomlin appears to have a good working relationship with him as well.

    I would think most coaches report to the GM, which means the GM feels free to speak and do interviews. If the two are equals in the organization, it probably makes sense to have a distinct division of responsibilities.

    I would definitely like to know who breaks the tie on draft picks.

  50. Nice that he takes responsibility, but that doesn’t change the results thus far and what the future holds.

    Glad he’s accountable, though.

  51. Drew71 says:

    ThunderMartin.

  52. 21sthebest says:

    “I had more I wanted to write but I decided it was too much. (I’ll teach you that some day).”

    No time like the present.

  53. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  54. Jim S. says:

    I was in Clearwater, FL on business since Monday. Flew home yesterday afternoon, and by some odd quirk of fate my flight into O’Hare was actually 40 minutes early. That does not happen often! Anyway, I saw that the game was on NBC sports channel, so I was hoping to watch periods 2 and 3, after listening to the first 18 minutes of period 1 on my drive home from the airport. I walked in the house, said hello to the kids and caught up with my wife a bit. I figured I’d tune into the game for the start of the 2nd period. When I checked my phone, we were down 2-0. Didn’t see it, but it must have been an epic collapse right at the end of the 1st, and then it pretty much continued the rest of the night?

  55. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, I think “I take full responsibility” is a way to defuse the angry mob. It’s a way of saying, “Hey, folks, I know we stink and that you are aware a lot of it is my fault. But, I’m trying.”

  56. Jim S. says:

    21:

    I think SA must have worked really hard since leaving Pitt to get ready for the NBA. But, I also think he was a rare talent that Jamie had no idea what to do with. He never had such a gifted big man, and he was never quite able last year to mesh Adams’ abilities with the style of play he demands.

  57. Jandy says:

    Yeah Jim, it was like…King Henrik stoned them, and they pretty much gave up. Defensive play wasn’t good. I kinda tuned them out myself a bit.

  58. Jim S. says:

    Correct, and Walker would leave before accepting that role in the next few years. He views himself as an everyday player, and there are a lot of teams with worse performing 2b.

    Wouldn’t Ellis be the perfect compliment to NW next season?

  59. DJ says:

    Yes, it’s now used as a way to prevent deeper probing by the media.

    Kind of like saying, “Hey, I just admitted I’m at fault so what’s need for me to answer any further questions?” In other words, move on.

  60. Jim S. says:

    That is exactly what I thought, NMR. When he concentrates on going the other way, he crushes the ball to the LC gap. I say “when he concentrates on that” but that is just my way of saying he has a great LC stroke and great power that way, and I want him to do more of it. The reality may be that he, too, wants to do more of it but it just isn’t as easy to adapt as we would like. He may be concentrating on doing it on a high % of ABs, but it is easier said than done for a fairly young power hitter. It took Ryan Howard awhile to learn that, but his career took off when he did.

  61. Drew71 says:

    The Dolphins imbroglio reminds me of something my father once told me about his observations of professional baseball clubhouses of the 1940s (when he played minor league ball and had a cup of coffee in the majors).

    If a player read a book in view of teammates, he picked up the nickname “Professor”.

    It was not meant as a term of endearment.

    (Not exactly like today’s Miami story but somehow it seems a bit correlated.)

    My dad had a Masters when even undergrad degrees were very uncommon for ballplayers. He never told his teammates. He never read a book during the season.

    PS. His Masters was in Journalism. Sorry, Dejan.

  62. Drew71 says:

    “So I guess sometimes I like and sometimes I don’t.”

    No time for decisiveness.

    I guess.

    Sometimes.

  63. NMR says:

    Fairly obvious, but probably not as extreme as the numbers show.

    In 2013 Pedro hit just .180 overall against lefties. Of all pitches thrown by lefties, he hit .280 against fastballs and .069 against breaking balls.

    Even more interesting (IMO), pitchers threw him exactly the same amount of fastballs and breaking balls (49%) in 0-0 counts (first pitch) and two-strike counts.

  64. Jandy says:

    Drew, that’s pretty neat stuff. Thanks for sharing :)

  65. Jandy says:

    yeah, and you guys talk about women…sheeesh!

    :P

  66. Dom says:

    It has to be really hot in the summer time.

  67. NMR says:

    He would be an improvement offensively, sure, but I don’t know if he’d be a great use of a roster spot.

    Walker, even with his struggles against lefties, is still a pretty darn good all around ballplayer. He still brings enough to the table where I’m not convinced he’s a straight platoon, or at least if it is worth using a roster spot on a straight platoon partner.

    I’d rather get a guy that can play any infield position like his teammate Jaun Uribe. Sit Walker against some lefties, Pedro against others. I’d REALLY like to get a decent shortstop and use Jordy Mercer in the extended utility role.

  68. Arriba Wilver says:

    My thoughts, too, Jim.

  69. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Walked outside this morning and DIDN’T see my shadow.
    Less than 100 days until pitchers and catchers report to Florida.
    :)

  70. 21sthebest says:

    Maybe Khem Birch is another example as he was the Mountain West Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year last year.

  71. Arriba Wilver says:

    I thought it was interesting that the no talk during season thing started with Donahoe. I remember one year he said during the season that the personnel was better than the record. Naturally Cowher fumed. Maybe right after that is when the rule started. ;-)

  72. Jandy says:

    Hey hey! It’s Playoffs! nice to see you, friend :)

  73. 21sthebest says:

    +1

  74. Arriba Wilver says:

    That’s the kid who left the team?

  75. 21sthebest says:

    Yeah, two years ago. Transferred to UNLV. ESPN had him as the No. 2 recruit in the nation when he committed to Pitt.

  76. Milo Hamilton says:

    Did you drop in on Drew while you were down there ?

  77. Damon says:

    I think Jeffery needs a change of scenery – kind of like Letestu. My thoughts were that Jeffery has been playing the last three games because they are trying to move him. He seems to be the odd man out when Bennett comes off IR. Unless they send Magna down – Megna may go down anyway when Neal is ready.

  78. Jim S. says:

    Pedro definitely needs to hit lefties better in order to remain a full-time starter into the future.

    I still like Ellis for the Bucs. He can replace either Walker or Pedro vs tougher lefties. I believe I read he is in the .275/.340+ range vs. LHP for his career.

  79. Jim S. says:

    All good thoughts. I like Ellis, but there are other guys – like Uribe. Ellis can handle 2b & 3b, but not so much at SS. I wonder if Uribe would come East. He has bounced around Cali for a nice spell.

  80. hockeymonster says:

    It definitely felt like a showcase for Jeffrey last few games but you cant dey the record with him playing. Not to mention end of recent losing streak turning into winning streak.

    I think people are overreacting based on one game were lundqvist was lundqvist.

  81. Jim S. says:

    Birch is very talented, but his main contributions are more defensive and overall athleticism at this point. I think he could have fit well with Pitt, but he had a posse in his ear that Dixon’s style was going to kill his pro chances. So, he looked for more of a running style of play.

  82. Jim S. says:

    Exactly, DJ.

  83. Jim S. says:

    Wow, that one would sting a little. If Colbert were to say now that the personnel is better than the record, sadly, I’m not sure I would 100% agree with him.

  84. Damon says:

    No need to overreact about the loss – they lost to the Rangers 6-0 last year after they made the Nash trade (I think). That kind of game can happen against a good goalie on the road. The Rangers are on a roll, the Pens had a nice 3-day layoff. I didn’t get to start watching the game until 10 minutes in, so the team looked very sluggish to me from what I saw. Just one of those nights….

  85. Jim S. says:

    Actually, if the truth be told, the true purpose of my trip was to find out if there really is a Drew in that part of the country. I can say for sure that he does a good job of covering his tracks, if he does in fact exist. There is no conclusive truth that he exists. He’s like Where’s Waldo. There are tales of a local man that seems to fit the description, but the trail always goes cold.

    Then, again, maybe he was right there in front of me the whole time, and he was just (Richie) incognito!

    BTW, I’ve been waiting for the appropriate time to pass to work an incognito pun into the blog. I hope I didn’t do it too soon. :-)

  86. Jim S. says:

    Wait, are you saying the Dolphins have a (Richie) Incognito AND a (Natalie) imbroglio? This is getting far too weird.

  87. Jim S. says:

    A clunker. It happens.

  88. Jim S. says:

    Actually, I don’t think we talk about women enough!

    Just kidding!

  89. Jandy says:

    :thwap:

    ;)

  90. hockeymonster says:

    Oh ok…ya we were on fire early with a ton of chances but there seemed to be some sort of force field along the goal line. Nothing would go in.

  91. hockeymonster says:

    DJ, good points about PP and letang yesterday. He definitely has room for improvement but he’s been getting better year after year. Shot selection and passing still could be better. I think malkin misses on chances to shoot one timers on PP cuz of poor passes by letang but we signed him for potential as much as his current abilities. Lets see how he does this year and next. He sure could use a dose of simplicity to his game with his talent being high enough to create and produce.

  92. Jandy says:

    Gotta love these French-Canadian names:
    http://penguins.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=690395

  93. Damon says:

    I wonder if all that fits on his driver’s license…

  94. Drew71 says:

    I hear what you’re saying, Jim (so to speak) (or write), but I’m not platooning a third baseman who hits 36 HRs and generates (along with the players in front of him) 100 RBI. Especially on a relatively hitting-challenged team.

    Luckily there are fewer left handed pitchers than righties.

    I would just do what they do and very occasionally sit him against wicked lefties, but not nearly to the level of a platoon.

  95. Drew71 says:

    I wonder if his license picture has a black eye and missing teeth

  96. Damon says:

    Josh Yohe tweet:

    Pens practice consisted of them skating a lot. Bylsma didn’t appear pleased.

  97. Damon says:

    With those stats, you’re probably right.

  98. Jandy says:

    BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!!!!

  99. Jandy says:

    Jim’s on a roll today ;)

  100. Milo Hamilton says:

    The NCAA has ruled Micah Mason eligible to play for Duquesne immediately.

  101. theplanisworking says:

    About time. This team is maddening, and I would dare say that wasnt the first time the Pens gave up on a game.

    I remember Dr. Roy Chipman running the Pitt basketball team after an embarrassing loss to St. John’s……………. immediately after the game. Game was on national TV, Pitt lost by 30 or so, and they ran from 10:00 until 12:15. Talked to Charles Smith the next day, and he said the team received the message loud and clear.

  102. Jim S. says:

    I agree, Drew. I’m not advocating taking Pedro out of the lineup vs all LHP at this point. He’s still a fairly inexperienced player. He can still improve. But, LHP starters did only comprise about 30 starts vs the Bucs last year. In our division at the present time, there are not many LHP starters outside of the Bucs. In fact, Cincy and St. Louis sparingly started LHP in 2013. So, it is not as if he would be sitting a large % of the time if that stat kept up next year.

  103. theplanisworking says:

    They got one right.
    Havent they jerked this kid around for a while?

  104. Jandy says:

    hey hey, Hipposter, what trouble have you been brewing so far today?
    :)

  105. Jim S. says:

    I’m on something.

  106. Jim S. says:

    He’s one to root for.

  107. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Nice to see DK steal one of my questions from yesterday, your welcome.

    “3. Knowing this team had immediate needs, how could it invest a fourth-round pick in a clipboard holder?”

    Though he may have worded it a little more professional than I.

  108. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Drew, as long as he didn’t get the degree in Journalism to write about the sports he played and loved, he’s OK.

  109. theplanisworking says:

    Hey, dont greet me!
    Another of the “old guard” will find it somewhat tiresome………… cant have that can we? Especially when one says they ignore that from some posters, yet find the opportunity for said jab first thing on the blog. Unreal.

    Every time I read about a coach “punishing” players like this, I think of Dr. Chipman. One of my favorite people while he was alive.

    Without greeting you, how is the day going for you? Besides the Pens loss last night, that is………

  110. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Agree, had stuff to do myself, especially being on the west coast, so I have the wife set the DVR.

    I caught a quick glimpse by accident on the NHL app that I downloaded (very good app btw) and saw the score.

    Got home, delete.

  111. theplanisworking says:

    So we now call him Punxatawney Playoffs?

  112. Milo Hamilton says:

    And turn down a 3rd round pick for Emmanuel Sanders, who they had no plans for past this year.

    And waste another 3rd round pick to move up a whopping 4 spots to draft a midget safety when he very well might have been there had they waited.

  113. Jim S. says:

    This list could take awhile.

  114. theplanisworking says:

    Jim, I would think just hitting more fly balls would result in more fly outs also. I understand the power Pedro has, but if he mishits it, well, just another fly out.

    I would think seeing pitches better and making better contact would help him a bit more.

  115. Jim S. says:

    That’s exactly what I did. When it got to 4-1, and I still hadn’t switched over, there was no point.

    I just started watching the AZ Fall League game with Hanson, Dickerson, etc. that I had taped from MLB Network.

  116. theplanisworking says:

    Jim, I also think maybe OKC’s system might be a better fit for his skills?
    He made the right choice…… will be interesting to see if he continues to improve. If he does, he has a bright future. OKC doesnt have that many bigs.

  117. theplanisworking says:

    + many, Reverend.

  118. theplanisworking says:

    Is that “something” blog-friendly?

  119. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Jim, you forgot one important aspect of the equation regarding Pedro’s approach or ability to go to the LC gap.

    Pitch location. It also atests to his ground balls to the right side or even, to 21′s point of his working the count.

    Many times we want to blame (I use that term loosely here) the batter on his ability to pull, not pull, or overall hitting ability to his lack of ______. What it really boils down to is the pitcher and his location.

  120. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    *attest*

    ug

  121. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Boom! well played

  122. Jim S. says:

    Tony Dorsett tested at UCLA and apparently showing signs of neurological disorder. Said he is prone to emotional outbursts, and often forgets directions to take his daughters to soccer practice. It is assumed to be linked, at least in part, to head trauma.

    Dorsett is 59 now. I can’t even picture him as getting older. He was the best college RB, for my money, ever. And I’d say Top 5 NFL all-time as well. Even though he played for the hated Dallas Cowboys, he was still a Pittsburgh guy to me. And, even at the end of his career, he looked 20.

    I hope he is getting help, and it is early enough that they can help him. We are certainly seeing all over the place these days what playing a sport like football for a long time can do to a person’s brain – in addition to the toll it takes on every other part of your body. Hopefully, more is being learned every day on head trauma from sad cases like that of TD.

    I remember once seeing a story on ESPN, and they talked about one thing great RBs have in common that you might not realize is great vision. So, they see a hole quicker than everyone else, and they know how to avoid big hits from defenders better than the not so great ones. Someone asked Dorsett how many defenders he could see while a play was developing. He said “All 11 of them. I knew where they all were, and kept track of them in my mind.” I never doubted him for a second. What a player!

  123. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    BTW, LOooooove the baseball talk.

  124. Jim S. says:

    In the words of Coach Tomlin, “Obviously.”

  125. Jandy says:

    ZING!

  126. Jim S. says:

    Good point, plan. Selfishly, I wish he had stayed one more year at Pitt. But, he needed the money and, as you say, he may have landed in a good place for his skill set.

  127. Jandy says:

    LOL Priceless!

  128. 21sthebest says:

    No.

  129. Jandy says:

    eh.l..busy as heck. Lotta paperwork at the office….4 more contracts reviewed…but hey, the work’s coming in so that’s good :)
    Raining…blech.
    Tomorrow the sun is to be back.

    P.S. Greet all you want. I know EYE will ;)

  130. theplanisworking says:

    Yeah, OKC has some pretty good scouts, and identify players that others have questions about. Case in point, remember when Durant was drafted? Portland, and many other teams saw Durant as “too skinny” to succeed in the NBA. OKC drafted him, and you see the results.

    I think Adams will benefit from this in the long run.

    Maybe Coach Dixon’s reputation might be helped by this?
    Aaron gray, now Adams in the NBA?

  131. Jandy says:

    This is going to be sadder and uglier to the bitter end, if there is one.

  132. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, definitely more flyouts. I guess you can look at it in different ways. My take is I want my big guys to take advantage of big guy skills, like hitting the ball a long way. And, I want my little guys to do the opposite.

    But, you’re right. If Pedro is to become a superstar, he needs to cut down the strikeouts and increase the BBs. That will bring his average up, whether he hits flyballs or groundballs. He gets behind 0-2 or 1-2 and is forced to deal with “pitcher’s pitches” way too often. That is no way to hit for a high average.

  133. theplanisworking says:

    HA!

    I guess the EYES have it? ;)

  134. theplanisworking says:

    Not blaming him at all, but the longer Martin stays away from the Dolphins, the worse this will get. I am not in any way saying he should come back before he is ready, but this isnt over by a long shot…………

  135. Stuart says:

    Drew, Thank you for imbroglio. Ranks right up there with contretemps on my fav list.

    Stuart

  136. Jim S. says:

    I remember that. Durant was too skinny! Haha!

    I think Coach Dixon’s reputation is just fine among other coaches. But, young kids are told they are NBA material and just need a short time in college to be ready. I don’t think they like Jamie telling them it will take longer.

  137. Jandy says:

    I just read the third one up from the bottom..Grantland…it’s superb!!

  138. Milo Hamilton says:

    Who wants a guy that ran away & quit on their team anyhow ? All this has proven is that this guy, Martin, isn’t cut out to be a professional football player. Now let’s have all the lawyers just go away & can move on.

  139. Jandy says:

    Milo, read the link I referenced ^^ there.

  140. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I just saw the OTL segment on TD. It is a shame. He played in the day when the helmets were just helmets. No additional padding or any of the scientific things associated with helmets these days.

    The problem is the disease they diagnosed him with, doesn’t have a cure.

    Perhaps when more players come out sooner as they develop these conditions, more studies can take place, prior to their death.

  141. theplanisworking says:

    You didnt use the right bait.

    You needed beer (expensive), sand crabs, and wife repellent.
    Next trip, you will be better prepared.

  142. Milo Hamilton says:

    Will do.

  143. NMR says:

    plan, you just described why it doesn’t make sense to encourage Starling Marte to be more of a power hitter.

    Marte won’t hit more homeruns until he starts hitting more fly balls. The more fly balls he hits, the less he’ll be able to use his speed. The less he can use his speed, the lower his average will be on balls he puts in play.

    Pedro, on the other hand, has a whole different kind of power. Pedro’s fly balls leave the yard at twice the rate of Marte’s. Pedro doesn’t have the speed to beat out hits, and he also has to work against the shift, unlike Marte.

    Marte’s average on ground balls is .298. On fly balls it is .247.

    Pedro’s average on grounders is .179. On fly balls it is .346.

    Two different types of hitters to demonstrate that Pedro’s unique skills (and deficiencies) make fly balls the much better bet.

  144. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Biggest miss.

    Sean Lee…

    Head is still shaking..

  145. theplanisworking says:

    Milo, I cant read your intent with this statement.

    Are you suggesting that extortion and racial slurs are ok to drive a player away? Are you saying a player has to endure that type of thing to not be labeled a quitter?

    Or am I missing sarcasm in your post? Or am i just confused as usual?

    ( Not saying anything bad about your post, but I am truly not getting it.)

  146. NMR says:

    A problem with an opposite field approach for Pedro is that he plays half his games in PNC Park.

    Foolish for a fly ball hitter, even with Pedro’s power, to test the North Side Notch.

  147. Jandy says:

    makes two of us, Hipposter.

  148. NMR says:

    Steelers got the wrong meme.

    PSU Running Backs are busts. Linebackers have done OK.

  149. hockeymonster says:

    Following up on Rossi’s post about malkins slump…I think geno needs to focus on playing solid defense and letting the offense come to him. Without neal or bennett available to draw the defense to them malkins time and space is limited. Jokinen is good when geno finds him open but jokinen doesn’t exactly have the speed to draw the defense over enough to leave geno open. Geno should focus on being in good position and suckering the other team into turnovers. Kobayashi Maru :)

  150. theplanisworking says:

    Thanks, NMR. I was just approaching the topic in a very generic sense. All throughout baseball from Little League on, you are always told “swing level, make good contact”, and “dont uppercut the ball”.

    With Pedro, the numbers seem to say that isnt necessarily the case. Just think how many bombs he could hit if he cut down the K’s.

  151. Damon says:

    Anyone hear what was wrong with Dupuis last night – did he get hurt? I noticed he was out in the 3rd period….

  152. Milo Hamilton says:

    We’re just not going to agree on this one Jandy. Just like not everybody is not cut out to be in the military, everyone is not cut out to play in the NFL. And I’m raising my hand here. I couldn’t take that stuff & I’m the first to admit it. Football is a tough man’s game. Some say a crazy man’s game. Either stand up for yourself (and I didn’t say hit him) or go home. Martin went home. End of story.

  153. 21sthebest says:

    How did you feel about Lydon Murtha’s response to this Jandy?

  154. Milo Hamilton says:

    No sarcasm Plan. The racial stuff bothers me, but I’m not a professional football player. I saw Mike Pouncey laughing hysterically at Incognito’s racial rant. I don’t get. But I’m not supposed to. There was no extortion, read your last story you linked.

  155. Lad 9 says:

    Thanks Milo. That is good news. Should have been an easy call for the NCAA and the decsion should have come down some time ago.

  156. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Absolutely NMR.

    Though in RBI situations, with how Pedro runs the base paths, it might not be the worst approach either.

    Boy does that wall in RF look good for him though.

  157. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Plan, I’ve said all along that if Pedro could hit .260-.270, he’d knock out over 40.

    Amazing power.

  158. theplanisworking says:

    Milo, of course I read the story, thats why I linked it. :)

    Like you with Jandy above, I guess we will have to agree to disagree with this. The last link is Murtha’s side of things, just like there are others’ sides of things that dont agree with his view.

    Bottom line for me, is that Martin did what he felt was right. Now, it is up to the NFL, and unfortunately, attorneys to see if that is the case.

    Maybe I would feel different if Incognito didnt have a long history of being an ass. Maybe not.

  159. Stuart says:

    HIPPOSTER! Good to see you. With you here, I’ll never have to look up the meaning of “hyper-sensitive”.

    Stuart

  160. Jandy says:

    Have not yet read it, 21.

    But I have to say, there are lines that shouldn’t be crossed in any situation.

    I feel lines were crossed.

  161. Jandy says:

    as of lunch time, there was no “official” report.

  162. Jandy says:

    It’s ok Milo, we can agree to disagree.
    :)

  163. Milo Hamilton says:

    I think the happiest guy on the planet since this all broke is Dan Snyder. Fresh meat for the political correctness police.

  164. 21sthebest says:

    I recommend reading it and I also agree with you. I also think there’s a lot of info flying back and forth with a lot more to come out.

  165. Milo Hamilton says:

    It wouldn’t be the 1st time. :)

  166. theplanisworking says:

    Hmmmm, lets see here……..

    last time there was a problem, you said you were going to ignore people. But that wouldnt allow you to take some jabs, right?

    Now, by pointing out your hypocrisy, I am “hyper-sensitive”.
    Good thing to know. Cant wait to see how you change the rules again tomorrow.

    Have a great life.

  167. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    So it’s not too soon?

  168. theplanisworking says:

    Speaking of someone being happy the PC police arent hounding him………..

    Anyone heard from Donald Sterling recently?

  169. NMR says:

    Amazing how human decency has been bastardized into political correctness.

  170. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Shame, I was looking forward to watching it.

  171. NMR says:

    Thank you for terrifically stating the culture problem in football, Milo.

    March on with status quo. Nothing to change here.

  172. Jandy says:

    Well, 21, I see there is more than one side to this story, as usual. There is Richie’s, there is Jonathan’s, then there is the truth. Wonder if that will ever come out?

    But I will admit, Murtha’s story made me think.

  173. Jim S. says:

    I think you’re right, Nor Cal. And, I’ll make a prediction. Pedro will hit in the .260 range this year, and he will hit 40 HRs if he stays healthy again.

  174. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    bwahahahaha

    Easy now Stu, that’s not nice.

  175. Jandy says:

    I am the least politically correct person where I work. And I’m proud of it.

  176. Jandy says:

    I REALLY think you guys need to know when to STFU >:<

  177. theplanisworking says:

    But Jandy, you are a nun.
    You are automatically forgiven.

  178. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I understand the pass on Lee, maybe, from a philopshy stand point. Saying this, I know nothing about Worilds background.

    Steelers have the 3-4 and perhaps (John Wehner) felt that Lee wasn’t suited for that scheme.

    The Cowboys run the 4-3, as does PSU so maybe he is thriving in that scheme.

    I don’t know. Just throwing some logical spackle at the wall and seeing what sticks.

  179. CeeHowUR says:

    While I knew that Colbert didn’t speak during the season, I guess if he can get away with it, more power to him, esp. if he’s not comfortable in front of a camera. But regardless of whether they are winning or losing, it would be nice if perhaps there was a mid-season press conference or interview sessions with local media to review what has happened and what future plans are. That goes for ownership as well. But I guess it has worked for them in the area of salary negotiations anyway, although many of the players seem to be overpaid this year. If they were contending for the playoffs, people wouldn’t be as concerned.

  180. Jandy says:

    Not here. I’ve got a “record” for talking back to the boss lol

  181. Jim S. says:

    And, Nor Cal, that is a great point about pitch location. If they keep busting Pedro inside, he really can’t, and shouldn’t try, to hit the ball to LC. I just think the mentality of going to LC in RBI situations is a healthy one. Going the other way is a good skill to have in RBI situations. Holliday is great at that.

    I hear what you are saying about HRs to the Notch, NMR. When a Holliday or someone of his ilk is out there, I’ll take the doubles. But, a lot of HRs at other parks turn into long outs in PNC. No argument there.

  182. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Totally disagree with the racial stuff, however even Cris Carter mentioned yesterday that is was not unheard of for those words to be used in a locker room. Some coaches don’t have an issue with it.

    Tony Dungy and Herm Edwards are 2 that didn’t condone the use of that language at the facility, whether it be the music played or the use of the language by the players.

    I applaud both of those guys for shutting that stuff down. I would think Tomlin is a guy like that as well.

    I feel for Martin and do not agree with what Incognito said. Other teammates are sticking up for him, which I was surprised to hear about.

    I think this comes down to the lack of leadership on the Dolphins, whichever side of the fence you are on in this situation.

  183. JohninOshkosh says:

    Maybe I’m misremebering a bit, but it seems like in ancient times before the interwebs and around the clock sports coverage, only a small hardy group of fans could name their team’s GM. I first noticed concentration on GM’s in hockey and then it moved on to the other sports. I would say, that even today, the NFL GM’s are the least visible. People tend to focus on the head coach in football, it seems.

    Quick, without Googling, who can name the GM of my favorite NFL team, the Bears ? :)

  184. Jandy says:

    I lose!

  185. Jim S. says:

    I won’t answer, since I live here.

  186. NMR says:

    The one part Murtha got right is that Incognito is the guy taking the fall for a much, much bigger problem.

    But the other bullsh*t about “toughening up” and a “man’s game” is nothing more than blaming the victim.

    Martin was different than the other guys, so lets beat on him until he’s like the rest of the blockheads. Genius.

  187. Jandy says:

    Even though NMR don’t always agree on things, I have to say, I think his last post pretty much sums it up.
    I’m beginning to “see” Martin isn’t a typical, brute NFL player.
    Doesn’t make things right. But also doesn’t make Incognito the only villain in this tale.

  188. NMR says:

    Yeah, I don’t know sh*t about football.

    Sorry.

  189. Milo Hamilton says:

    Jerry Angelo ?

  190. Stuart says:

    The same GM has been here through the last two coaches, but few would doubt under which coach the draft picks were better.

    It seems like the GM’s role is to collect information on talent, and possibly rank them, but the coach has the final say. I wonder who Tomlin would have picked above Jack Ham. I know, he was probably in diapers back then.

    Stuart

  191. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’m wrong. Keep guessing.

  192. Arriba Wilver says:

    I also read even being able to test for it when people are still alive is new. Hopefully now they can come up with some treatments.

  193. theplanisworking says:

    I stated a few days ago, the HC and GM should lose their jobs. Havent changed my mind one bit on this.

    This is why this story happened in the first place, lack of leadership and direction. Having a player “toughen up” another player……….. Good Lord….

  194. I don’t care.

    :D

    Is it George Hallas VIII?

  195. NMR says:

    No, you’re absolutely right, plan.

    And honestly, thats still what Pedro SHOULD be doing. But at this point, he’s unfortunately just not very good at it.

  196. 21sthebest says:

    “Martin was different than the other guys, so lets beat on him until he’s like the rest of the blockheads. Genius.”

    I didn’t come away with that from Murtha’s take on this at all.

  197. theplanisworking says:

    No, Mike Ditka IV. ;)

  198. JohninOshkosh says:

    The answer is the professorial Phil Emery.

    And he is GM in a major market.

    My point is that I’m willing to bet a lot of folks here could name the GM of both the Cubs and White Sox. Football just seems different.

  199. Sarah says:

    Yah monster good thoughts.

    Honestly can’t blame Geno for being frustrated (though he’s a vet now and he needs to work through that…) But the guy’s had a merry go round on LW for 4 yrs now.

    Fedetenko, limited as he was, was able to muck in the corners and give Geno time to get open….And he has not had net-front presence since Malone. Though Neal is a sublime trigger-man….hopefully he gives up wiffle ball!!

    Also – Sarge, even though he was on D – seemed to settled Malkin down a lot, and really he seemed more mature to me in 2009 with Gonchar than he does (at times) now.

    It’s IMO an argument to try Kuni on wing with Malkin (I know, DB will get the vapors lest we mention breaking up KCD!!! Oh my!!) but seriously…there’s shifts when it seems poor Geno is trying to do everything…..dumps it in….then chases it himself….then gets the puck….then passes it to….I dunno!!!

    Moreover, DB needs to find combos with Crosby and with Malkin’s line that do not simply get shut down in playoff hockey by focussing totally on ….Crosby and Malkin. Wingers that can generate. Much as I love Duper, he ain’t that guy.

  200. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  201. Stuart says:

    Could be because we are always talking and speculating about baseball trades, while trades are rare in the NFL.

    Stuart

  202. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    It’s funny how you bring the military into this equation.

    Many of us in the miliary are former jocks. We’re used to this type of “abuse.”

    When you hear former athletes talk about what they miss most about their sport, its the locker room and the commrodiary. The same exact thing most military retirees miss.

    It’s a fraturnity. We stick together and typically, back each other up.

  203. Sarah says:

    Yep. DK had great points on this.

    We can talk draft picks for sure, and MT’s ability to identify and decide on talent…. But also – does anyone get the impression that Tomlin has this team ready to play week in/week out? That he prepares them well to travel to different TZs? (When was the last time they won on the West Coast?) That they seem prepared for the schemes of the opposition (is that all on the coordinators?)….That they respond to MT emotionally? That his game-management/clock management is even moderately decent?

    I guess I’m Negative Nellie today, but I think there’s way more going on than draft picks, though that is a great place to start.

  204. NMR says:

    And just in case it isn’t implied, I don’t have as much a problem with the direct acts on Martin as I do on the sterotypes perpetuated by the defense of Incognito.

    There is absolutely zero question that this messed up culture trickles down to the college, high school, and even pee wee levels.

    States have had to MANDATE water breaks because coaches were killing high school kids.

    How f*cked up is that?

    This entire tough guy culture is what entitles these idiots to take advantage of people on and off the field.

  205. Jim S. says:

    He was the last guy.

  206. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    That Theo guy and used to be Kenny Williams.

    Good point John.

    I couldn’t even name the Raiders GM, unless it’s Al’s kid, but I do know the name of the 49ers GM, because he gets more credit for the product on the field around here.

  207. hockeymonster says:

    I’d be in favor of moving kuni to geno’s line. If geno is a franchise player like his new contract suggests than balancing out the lines would be worth trying.

  208. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Exactly. This has all the former players scared and rightfully so.

  209. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Not as much as a numbers game for you?

  210. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Nope. Never

  211. NMR says:

    Good point, Ryan. You see athletics mirror military all the time.

    I was about as “jock” as you can get in high school. I loved it for the reasons you list, but I’m also embarrassed at what a jerk I was to outsiders. The whole mentality produces such a terribly skewed version of reality at that age. And unfortunately, some adults never grow out of it.

  212. Jandy says:

    Pffft!

  213. Jandy says:

    it gets old, leave it alone.

  214. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Going the other way is most definetly a skill and the hardest part of hitting to do.

    I work with kids every day, trying to get them to learn how to do that at the younger age, most of the time they’re either dead pull or late, regardless of where the pitch is located.

    I also teach the opposite when it comes to pitching.

    Location, location, location.

  215. Jim S. says:

    I’ve been saying since last week that we don’t know the whole story and it is dangerous to believe everything any one person says.

    Per ESPN last night, the NFL is now investigating.

  216. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    100 units on the shadow NOT showing up please

  217. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Pfft!!!

    OK, Nope, Never was wrong to say.

    I apologize.

  218. Jandy says:

    Double it, please!

  219. Jandy says:

    you peckerhead :P

  220. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    You’re right about the view to outsiders.

    I know I was able to turn it off to outsiders, but I rarely hung out with outsiders and I rarely have friends outside of the military.

    Hell, even my wife was military and an athlete as well.

  221. Jim S. says:

    Nor Cal:

    A lot of time spent with a tee will help with the going the opposite way skill. It did for our kids. You can place the ball deeper on the plate on the tee, and have them work on the swing it now takes to drive the ball the other way. It gets them used to allowing the ball to get deeper.

    Then, have them apply it in the cage with live pitching. Maybe you are already working on that.

  222. 21sthebest says:

    And the NFL doesn’t have minor leagues. One draft in April, a few picks, then you don’t hear much from the NFL GM’s again.

  223. theplanisworking says:

    One final thought before I go…. about this whole Dolphins mess…..

    Just watched the DVR of Olbermann, and he had an expert on workplace bullying. She is a Dr. of something-or-other. Anyway, she took 5 minutes to go over what we already know thanks to good discussion here on our little blog.

    Then, she said something profound. For those who want to know why Martin didnt go to coaches, or other people before leaving the team….. she said in any workplace bullying instance, the bullied person has to feel safe before coming forward. In other words, the person has to feel that the person he/she goes to is going to actually foster a safe environment. One doesnt want to go to a “boss”, and meet with more crap, not keeping things in confidence, etc.

    Bottom line, is that she feels Martin didnt feel, given the lack of leadership in that organization, comfortable that they would do anything. This is another issue the NFL has to investigate.

  224. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Yea Jim, Goodell has an attorney heading the investigation.

  225. Jim S. says:

    Preparation is everything.

  226. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Good points.

    Does the NFL investigate the entire league or just the Dolphins?

  227. Jandy says:

    A good point. Why go to someone when you feel you’ll just get more of the same?

    have a nice evening, Hipposter :)

  228. Jandy says:

    You’ll have to take that up with Mr. GODell, Ryan ;)

  229. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Thanks for the advice Jim, but yea, we already work on that.

    I know I put my own kids on the tee as much as possible and line it up down the middle, inside, and then outside.

    Now if I can just get my pitch location down to hit those spots in the cage, they’d be even better.

    Actually, I sit on the bucket behind the L screen and toss it to them that way.

  230. Jim S. says:

    Lacey vs. Bell is shaping up as an interesting one.

  231. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Love Clearwater.

    Good bars, good beaches, good eats.

  232. Jim S. says:

    That’s where I was going, Arriba! Well said.

  233. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    100 is the max bet though.

  234. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I’ve been called worse, by better….LOL

  235. Jandy says:

    dagnabbit!

  236. Jandy says:

    only because I can’t type worse on this famly blog sweetheart :P

  237. NMR says:

    No, not that. My interests have just changed.

    Always have been a huge baseball fan, but really only took a liking to the analytics once the “Big Data” era hit. Just find myself not at all interested in football anymore. Haven’t even made my anual trip back to State College in the last two years, although that for different, but similar, reasons.

  238. Milo Hamilton says:

    Keith Olbermann + “bullying” of a grown man + Dr. of something-or-other = get the remote quick.

  239. Bizrow says:

    Hey, I just read Casey McGhee is a free agent?

    (as I duck for cover)

  240. 21sthebest says:

    And that may or may not have been the case here.

  241. Milo Hamilton says:

    Perfect solution for all concerned, the Dolphins should hire him.

  242. 21sthebest says:

    I saw that last week he had an RBI in Game 7 of the World Series that his team won.

  243. NMR says:

    Really difficult depending on age and strength, but getting your kids to hit off a strong lead leg is the “eureka” moment.

    All good oppo hitters are locked with toe roughly perpendicular to the pitcher at contact. Forces the hips, shoulders, and head to stay through the ball instead of pulling off.

    Uncomfortable as hell, but it works.

  244. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    delete, delete, delete!!

  245. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I suppose it depends on what they find.

  246. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Is anybody else watching ESPN right now?

    Wow. Is all I’ll say.

  247. BillyBaduka says:

    It was right after that. That rift was exactly why this rule is in place.

  248. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    And I teach the toe tap instead of the leg kick.

    Never have been a fan of the leg kick, at least while they are still learning.

  249. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Ha! Now sweetheart?

    That’s something we can talk about.

  250. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I like what Bill O’brien is doing there and these kids are showing great character as well.

  251. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I was never keen on Lacey at the NFL level.

    Shows you what I know.

    Lacey is the power back, something the Steelers have gotten away from since The Bus.

  252. Stuart says:

    Great choice for a platoon at 3rd.

    Also ducking.

    Stuart

  253. Stuart says:

    I didn’t see the last game. Is he really on the Sox roster?

    Stuart

  254. NMR says:

    What a shocker.

  255. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    BTW, I don’t remember if I mentioned this the other day or not, but I was able to pull up the Pens game for free on the internet.

    I dont know what the site was, but I just googled “free NHL televised game” or something like that.

    Worked out well.

  256. NMR says:

    Thanks for that, plan.

    This is the same mentality that keeps players from being honest about concussions and other injuries as well.

    Football is a “man’s game”. You just got your “bell wrung”.

    It’s a culture problem, to the core.

  257. Jim S. says:

    Sorry, I didn’t read anything past Keith Olbermann. Force of habit.

  258. Jim S. says:

    But, will Goodell destroy the evidence if it doesn’t look good for the Patriots? Oh, wait, that’s another investigation.

  259. Jim S. says:

    You weren’t the only one, Nor Cal. A lot of people insisted he was the product of a superior offensive line and that he would be exposed in the NFL. Right now, behind a mediocre offensive line, he is starting to show what he can do.

    If memory serves, I believe Dejan was in the “grab Eddie Lacey in the first round” camp. I thought it would have been a good move at the time. But, I am not unhappy with Bell. I think he has a great deal of potential.

  260. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Bell does have a lot of upside and I don’t know if I would consider the Packers having a mediocre line.

  261. Jim S. says:

    We do exactly the same thing in the cage, Nor Cal.

    Great advice on the toe and hips, NMR. Need to try that one.

  262. Jim S. says:

    I think things are slowly changing with regard to concussions. There was the game a few years ago when the guy on the Eagles went to the wrong sideline and had to be escorted over to the Eagles’ side. But, the sideline medical staff was already attending to other players, and did not even notice he was lost in space. Andy Reid didn’t notice, either. So, a play or two later, they sent the guy back on the field and he still basically had no idea where he was. I remember the Eagles got fined a bunch of money, and the league set some new rules regarding holding teams accountable for absolutely not allowing players who might potentially have concussions go back in. It was at least a step in the right direction.

    Then, the whole Sidney Crosby thing, as well as many others from hockey continued to open more eyes.

    It is moving at what seems like the pace of a snail. But, I do think the hiding of head injuries is getting less and less.

    I do get your point about the culture of toughness causing problems in these instances.

  263. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Steelers are 28th in rushing & 31st against the run. The old maxim still holds true. Can’t run the ball, can’t stop the run – can’t win.

  264. Jim S. says:

    The one that played against the Bears the other night would have to improve to be mediocre, I think. They opened some holes for the running game. But, they also gave up sacks and pressure much of the night against a Bears team that hasn’t struck fear into very many people this year. The Bears vs the Skins looked like the Steelers vs the Pats.

  265. Jim S. says:

    Yes to all 3.

  266. Jim S. says:

    We don’t even need to throw in “last in turnover margin.”

  267. Jim S. says:

    Pirates prospect note – Alen Hanson, Alex Dickerson and the Scottsdale entry in the Arizona Fall League will be shown on MLB Network again tonight @ 9 p.m. Eastern.

    As I said this morning, Hanson is one to watch. But, it is an AFL game. I recommend even die-hard baseball folks DVR the game and flip through it later.

    I just read that Alex Dickerson was playing for the first time in a week last night, which might explain why he looked pretty bad at the plate. Maybe he’ll be more game ready tonight.

  268. Stuart says:

    Thanks Jim, think I’ll tune in.
    Stuart

  269. Jim S. says:

    Enjoy, Stuart.

  270. Bizrow says:

    I think McGhee ate sushi this past season.

    Personally, if they are going to cut the Legend, I’d like them to see what Morneau wants to sign

    But I’m sure it would be too much

  271. Bizzy,

    Your voice sounds more relaxed.

    Having trouble finding stuff to do? Wife keep trying to kick you out of the house?
    Wanna rake my leaves?

    I like Jones very much. Very easy to talk to at Pirate City. Can really hit the ball a long way on the line, not a fly. I agree with you though: the Legend will be a Pirate only in our memories.

  272. Hey Dejan,

    Tunch and Wolf talked about your column today “In the Locker Room.” They liked it.

    They also like it (surprise) that the Steelers are Old School and only Tomlin is the Voice during the season. They complimented Colbert for the stance.

    DK: Interesting on both counts. Thanks, Groat. My respect for both those guys, on a lot of levels, is very high. True Steelers.

  273. BillyBaduka says:

    It has nothing to do with Colbert, not with his demeanor or anything else. Dan Rooney instituted this policy while there was a rift between Cowher and Donahoe (GM previous to Colbert). As AW mentions above, Donahoe claimed the “personnel are better than the record”. This insinuated the teams problems were preparation and execution (Cowher’s domain) rather than talent (Donahoe’s domain).

    This occurred during the rough years in Cowher’s tenure where he was under fire from media and fans.

  274. Bizrow says:

    Hey GTMTS

    Thats a great moniker, handle, now if we could add Don Hoak, well that was an infield

    Nope, not having any problems with things to do. Its only been a week. Just enjoying that the alarm clock has no meaning so far.

    I’m just kicking back and watching the world go by for now ;-)

    But how many days till ST?

  275. Stuart says:

    Who could forget the “Roulette rattler”?

    I’ll take that infield any day.

    Stuart

  276. DJ says:

    Thx, HM. Certainly not thinking Letang needs to go, although, like others, I may have had a thought or two along those lines last spring in frustration (well okay, maybe twelve).

    I would, however, like to see him split some of his off season time away from his unbelievable conditioning regimen and devote it to hockey-specific skills. Like someone shuttling 100 passes to him across the ice every day and him one-timing each of them in stride.

    I just think that if he improved in two key areas (that being one of them) he would be a major force. Let’s see what happens with him this year.

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