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Morning Java: M-V-P

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Friday column digs deep in search of praise for the National League’s MVP. And it does so with the considerable and generous help of two men from the Pirates’ past, Ed Creech and Brian Graham. I appreciate the time from both yesterday, especially the former for doing so while on assignment in Venezuela.

It was a spectacular day for the Pittsburgh Baseball Club, and it’s fair that all concerned get their due. I loved this from Creech as we closed our conversation: “Andrew deserves all the credit. He’s a great kid from a great family, and I couldn’t be happier for him. But we as scouts or instructors, these are days you enjoy. You’ll always feel good to have your name attached to a truly special player.”

Here’s some of what that truly special player had to say at PNC Park …

The news coverage is by beat writer Rob Biertempfel. You’ll also find on that file Rob’s full MVP ballot.

>> What was Peter Laviolette doing in the Penguins’ locker room yesterday? Rob Rossi has the answers.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage with the Predators in town tonight.

Here’s Predators news from the Nashville Tennesean.

Here are official game highlights from NHL.com.

>> Emmanuel Sanders is adamant the Steelers won’t be bullied by the Lions, by Alan Robinson.

Jonathan Dwyer is happy to be employed, by Mark Kaboly.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage.

Here’s Lions news from the Detroit Free Press.

Here are official game highlights from NFL.com.

>> Pitt braces its O-line for North Carolina, by Jerry DiPaola.

>> Bobby Engram works for the Panthers but is Penn State proud, by Chris Adamski. Really enjoyed this.

>> I’ll check in with TribLIVE Radio at 11:30 a.m., and we’ll begin the weekly chat at noon right here on the blog. As soon as you see the post go up, you can submit entries. But please do so in the actual chat field, not in the blog comments.

>> Was just about to log off, and noticed a familiar right hand up there in that front-page pic. Small world.

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.

234 Comments

  1. Great Day for Cutch and the Pirates and all the fans of the PBC! Congrats to Hurdle as well as NL Manager of the Year too!

    How many days until Pitchers and Catchers report? Man, didn’t think I would be wondering about that in Mid-November and certainly wouldn’t have in years past, but with the Steelers not going anywhere this year and the Pens just getting started, it’s not too early I suppose to be looking ahead to baseball – especially when the baseball future is much, much brighter for our beloved Bucs than it has been.

    Let’s hope the Pens can get out of their funk and pick up 2 points against the Preds. Would love to see an even strength goal and maybe even one from Malkin!

    Time to hit the sack.

    Have a good Friday all.

    Randy in RVA.

  2. Here’s to Cutch, a deserving recipient of the NL MVP. It does make you look forward to the spring Fla opening.

    Both the Steelers and the Penguins are hard to watch right now, and with Drew posting Fla temperatures daily, it could be a really long winter around here.

    If pro team owners can pay individual players upwards of 20 Million dollars per year as well as lining their own pockets maybe they can exist without taxpayer subsidies for new stadiums. Personally, I think ticket prices for pro venues have reached their upper limits and I think attendance for all of our favorite sports have already started a gentle, but steady decline.

    Stuart

  3. Congratulations to Andrew McCutchen for a well deserved MVP award! Cutch does so many of the little things that are necessary to provide stability, grit, and excitement that he will have me tuning in for a long time to come.

    DK, Thank you for another gem. I could feel the unfettered joy Cutch felt over the announcement. Thank you for all of the work you put in. Keeps me coming back to your columns and the blog for more.

    One more thing…Happy Belated Birthday to my favorite hippopotamus. I am so sorry I missed that. I hope your day was special.

    Have a great day all!

    DK: Glad you found it fair, Brandie.

  4. I’m feeling my inner anal-osity coming out today.

    78 / 69

  5. And by the way. Andrew’s margin of victory was so wide that even Bud couldn’t stop it.

  6. Now the rest of the nation knows what Pirate fans have known for awhile….I just loved those MVP-MVP chants at PNC at the end of the season. He raised those arms on the 82nd win because he knew how much it meant to us!

  7. Congratulation to Cutch, a player so unassuming, it’s incredible in today’s sports world. I am honored to have been able to watch him this last couple of seasons. Thankful that the guys here on this blog sucked me back into the baseball looney tunes world.
    I’ll be raising my glass to Cutch this evening.

    Cheers!

  8. Simply……………..THE BEST!

    Congratulations to “our guy” :-)

  9. Because the Night 10,000 Maniacs 1993 Written by Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith

    JAL’s Because the Night Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ynsdmd0jkj8

    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 Can Andrew McCutchen Post MVP Numbers?

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/11/first-pitch-how-long-can-andrew-mccutchen-post-mvp-numbers.html

    AFL: Hanson Drives In Run As Scottsdale Loses Season Finale

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/11/afl-phil-irwin-makes-his-final-fall-start.html

    Winter Leagues: Polanco Leads Team to Win Over Contreras

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/11/afl-hanson-drives-in-run-as-scottsdale-loses-season-finale.html

    Prospect Rewind: Should Justin Wilson’s Future Be in the Rotation?

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/11/prospect-rewind-should-justin-wilsons-future-be-in-the-rotation.html

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Andrew McCutchen wins NL MVP

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/11/14/5106382/andrew-mccutchen-wins-nl-mvp

    6 Rumbunter

    Andrew McCutchen: 2013 N.L. MVP

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/11/14/andrew-mccutchen-2013-n-l-mvp/

    7 WHYGAVS

    Jay Bell, Jim Benedict, and other things that have been happening lately

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/october-2013/jay-bell-jim-benedict-and-other-things-that-have-been-happening-lately.html

    8 Green Weenie

    11/12-13-14: Ground Chuck, Ultimatum, MVP, Beat ‘Em Bucs, Stan Rojak, Paul Wagner, Cy Young and 9-Man Trade…

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/11/1112-13-14.html

    9 City of Champions

    2013 MLB Awards: Pirates Andrew McCutchen named NL MVP

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2013/11/14/2013-mlb-awards-pirates-andrew-mccutchen-named-nl-mvp/

    10 Pirates Site

    McCutchen’s super season capped with NL MVP

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/pit/pirates-andrew-mccutchen-named-national-league-most-valuable-player?ymd=20131114&content_id=63919734&vkey=news_pit

    • Because The Night is a great song, JAL. Thanks for reminding me of it.

      • Also, did Bruce not also release his own version of Because the Night? I know I’ve heard him perform it.

        • Bruce had a habit of giving songs away to other artists.
          Manfred Mann’s Earth Band “Blinded By The Light” comes to mind. Bruce was happy to get the songwriting credit, but also enjoyed the fact Manfred and co. got the exposure.

        • Jim,

          You should try to hunt down a copy of the famous Bruce Springsteen & the E. Street Band show from August 1978 at the Agora in Cleveland, OH (known in some circles as the “Summertime Bruce” show, and considered by some the greatest show he ever played.) There’s a wild “Because The Night” encore at the end.

          • Thanks for the tip, Sean.

            I saw Bruce once at the Cincinnati Riverfront Coliseum. He played forever that night, and ended up in the hospital from dehydration. That was not an uncommon occurrence for him in those days.

          • That Cleveland show in 1978 was broadcast live on either WYDD or WDVE here in Pittsburgh. My brother taped it on 2 eight-tracks…and then somehow transferred it to cassettes. There has to be a bunch of ‘bootleg’ copies around. SeanAY is right – it is an awesome show.

            When Springsteen re-issued Darkness on the Edge of Town a few years ago, the box set included a documentary on the making of that album which included a great story about “Because The Night”

            • It was, in fact, played on WDVE. The copy I have of the show features the station introduction with a roll call of who was carrying the show.

    • Theme this week is hit songs by artists that were written by artists who also had hit songs. have had Daydream Believer by the Monkees written by John Stewart, Don’t Bring Me Down by the Animals, written by Carole King, Different Drum Linda Ronstadt and the Stone Poneys written by Mike Nesmith, A World Without Love Peter and Gordon 1964 written by Paul Mccartney, and As Tears Go By Marianne Faithfull 1964 written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards prior to today’s song

  10. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Yahoo Sports

    With Marlon Byrd Signing With the Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates’ Best Option Is Already With Team

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/marlon-byrd-signing-philadelphia-phillies-pittsburgh-pirates-best-161900920–mlb.html

    12 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates’ Top 10 Prospects: No. 4 Alen Hanson

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/11/14/pittsburgh-pirates-top-10-prospects-no-4-alen-hanson/

    13 Deadspin

    Andrew McCutchen Is An MVP (And The Pirates Are No Longer Jagoffs)

    http://deadspin.com/5927155/how-andrew-mccutchen-became-a-star-and-redeemed-two-decades-of-pittsburgh-jagoffery/1464785172/@domcosentino

    14 Bleacher Report

    Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez: Pittsburgh’s Modern Day Clemente, Stargell?

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1851325-andrew-mccutchen-pedro-alvarez-pittsburghs-modern-day-clemente-stargell

    15 WCPO

    VIDEO INTERVIEW: Dave Parker on baseball, Cincinnati and Parkinson’s disease

    http://www.wcpo.com/sports/baseball/reds/video-interview-dave-parker-on-baseball-cincinnati-and-parkinsons-disease

    16 San Francisco Chronicle

    Baseball owners ante up for expanded replay

    http://www.sfgate.com/giants/article/Baseball-owners-ante-up-for-expanded-replay-4984369.php

    17 St Louis Post-Dispatch

    Molina, Carpenter finish 3-4 in MVP voting

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/molina-carpenter-finish—in-mvp-voting/article_5d6449d3-26ca-595c-85dc-b1a80fc6a06e.html

    18 Fox Sports

    MLB taking baseball around the world

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/major-league-baseball-global-outreach-brazil-france-china-argentina-colombia-netherlands-111313

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    An Agent’s Take Approaching the Offseason

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=22236

    20 Fangraphs

    The Diminishing Value of Valuable

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-diminishing-value-of-valuable/

  11. Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers Ike Taylor, Ryan Clark weigh in on Lions WR Calvin Johnson

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/lions-vs-steelers-news-and-updates-leading-into-week-11/2013/11/14/5105272/steelers-lions-nfl-week-11-preview-calvin-johnson-secondary

    Lions vs. Steelers: Special circumstances brought Will Allen back to Pittsburgh, and his opportunity to contribute is here

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/lions-vs-steelers-news-and-updates-leading-into-week-11/2013/11/14/5104806/steelers-safety-will-allen-shamarko-thomas-week-11-detroit-lions

    22 Steelers Gab

    What Can The Steelers Do To Try And Limit Lions WR Calvin Johnson?

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2013/11/14/what-can-the-steelers-do-to-try-and-limit-lions-wr-calvin-johnson/

    Soccer(football)

    23 NBC Sports

    U.S. national team in high spirits as sensational 2013 draws to a close

    http://prosoccertalk.nbcsports.com/2013/11/14/u-s-national-team-in-high-spirits-as-sensational-2013-draws-to-a-close/

    24 World Soccer Daily

    November 14, 2013 – all the stories you need to read

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-the-stories-you-need-to-read-november-14-2013

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Flyers post-mortem: finding an appropriate level of concern

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/11/14/5103492/flyers-post-mortem-finding-an-appropriate-level-of-concern

  12. There’s something about Olympic hockey years that sets my teeth on edge. Laviolette in the Pens’ facility. Sid playing for Canada and Geno for Russia. There’s also a feeling that the NHL season – until the Olympics are over – is just a little less important than it ought to be, especially at the prices fans pay to go to games.

    Maybe the stars can’t wait for the Games to begin, but A big piece of me can’t wait for them to be over.

  13. So very cool to see Cutch win the MVP. Great article, DK.

    Of course, this now means we will never be able to afford his next contract. Sorry, I’m always grumpy early in the day.

    DK: Thanks.

    • Considering he is signed through 2017 with a club option for 2018 not a bog concern. That takes him into his early 30s.

      • Thanks for the “pick me up”, JAL. And thanks for all the links, I must have read 6 or so of them today.

      • Yeah, we have him for 5 more years … or, 3 more years until a blockbuster trade. I’m not hoping for it, everybody. But, that’s the reality for teams in markets the size of ours. With a couple years of control left, you try to get a king’s ransom for your best assets and keep the thing going.

      • It’s pretty awesome he will be on the team for 5 more years. Contract looks better and better with every passing year with him getting better and the cost of players going up. The Angels have to be thinking what Trout will cost them in arbitration after next year and then free agency in 4 years. Trouts payday will make Cutch’s contract seem like an absolute steal. The day he signed that contract will be looked back on as the most important thing ever to happen to this struggling organization on their way to getting back to being competitive and nothing is even a close second.

    • That’s ok, Wild Bill. We weren’t going to be able to afford it, anyway. Carl Crawford has a 7 year deal for $142M, and Jacoby Ellsbury is shooting for north of that according to Boras. Cutch is already a $25M per year player, conservatively. Scary.

  14. I’m trying to not be a dummy or anything – but when you read a blog entry, where does one click on to get to the comments? I see the link on the side for most recent comments, but how does one get to the comments for previous entries? Its been a few days since Ive been on the site and my meager skills are not seeing any link. Help!

    DK: I noticed this, too. I’ll bring it up.

    • tbd, if you’re talking about previous articles by Dejan, right above the recent comments and just under his picture is the list of his past 5 articles.
      Hope this helps.

  15. Friday Greeting to All – World Series is over and the Pirates are STILL winning…awesome! Congrats to Andrew and Clint. Think next year on Opening Day will be a bit more special than the past 20 years?

  16. I thought JAL’s song for the day would be: “EASY Like Sunday Morning.” But that would be too easy! ;) (Love the column).

    Andrew McCutchen is a breath of fresh air in the world of Major League baseball. Easy to love him…easy to cheer him on…easy choice for an honor that defines him: MVP.

    Way to go, Cutch! And thank you for reviving baseball here for the starving masses!

    CHEERS!!

  17. Congratulations to Andrew McCutchen. His 2013 picture will be in Webster’s Dictionary next to the definition of “5 Tool Player” next year.

  18. Congrats to Andrew McCutchen! NL M-V-P!!!

  19. Great article again DK….learned a lot about the Pirates drafting Cutch I didn’t know. Congrats Cutch!!!

  20. Dang, Dejan . . . . . choked me up!

    Great direction of article. Still making me emotional here.

    Always go with heart!

    DK: Thanks, Groat. Wanted to try something a little different.

  21. 92 DAYS UNTIL PITCHERS & CATCHERS REPORT TO PIRATE CITY FOR SPRING TRAINING

  22. I’m elated Cutch won this award. I felt he was very deserving. I argued for him and against Goldschmidt on this blog the other day. But, I must admit, folks like Groat and a few others, did open my eyes more to the fantastic season Goldie had in the desert. I’ll still take Cutch for his “total package-ness” but Goldie had a fabulous season. I realized that when I took a closer look at his eye-popping stats, and the fact that he is a great defender. I will say, though, that Cutch would put up much better offensive numbers in that air-conditioned building they call a ballpark in AZ, as opposed to the extreme pitcher’s atmosphere righty batters face in PNC. I still think the voters got it right, but I am inclined to believe the voting should have been much closer.

    Trout vs. Miggy was a tough one in the AL. I don’t have an issue with Miggy winning because, if not for his injury at the end I believe his numbers would have been jaw dropping. And, his team may have won the WS.

    Trout, like Cutch, does a lot of things that you have to dig deep to see. I’m speaking of things like playing great defense at a more demanding position, and taking lots of extra bases with his speed. Even Cabrera said that Trout is by far the best player in the AL. I thought that was a classy admission on his part – although I’m pretty sure Miggy’s keeping the MVP bust for this year. In his heart, I believe Mr. Goldschmidt would have to admit the overall best player in the NL (and baddest dude!) right now is Andrew McCutchen. Miggy and Goldy are the respective best hitters, but there’s a lot more to baseball than just hitting.

    Thank you for making us proud, Andrew! I got chills yesterday when he described how it felt to come to the plate with people screaming “MVP, MVP!” I can only imagine what that would do to your heart rate in the middle of a tight game in a playoff race.

  23. Congratulations to Cutch for winning the MVP award.
    I was struck by the humbleness of the young man. The poise. The “team-first” attitude he carries………. saying all his teammates share in the award. This is the type of player that will carry the banner for the Bucs for years to come, not someone like Brandon Phillips, ass extrodinaire.

    Glad the margin was a landslide also, no room for doubt.
    Groat said 92 days til Spring Training? Being I cant count that high, I guess I will have to wait til February to get excited………..

  24. Interesting from the Incognito camp, on the eve of the NFL investigation. Between this, and Pop Warner numbers severely declining, GODell has some problems……………………

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/9976769/richie-incognito-files-grievance-vs-miami-dolphins

    • G’mornin Hipposter. Hope you finished up the cake and ice cream, I was full..but it was good!

      It will be interesting to see how this Inognito thing plays out…staying tuned…

  25. Interesting from the Incognito camp, on the eve of the NFL investigation. Between this, and Pop Warner numbers severely declining, GODell has some problems……………………

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/9976769/richie-incognito-files-grievance-vs-miami-dolphins

  26. Brian Kenny has been treated & released.

  27. Not to interfere with the Cutch salute today cuz it is well deserved. His defense alone made him MVP contender. But was racking my brain about how to get geno, sutter and team offense going a bit and came up with following lines:

    geno-sid-bennett—-geno on LW not RW
    kunitz-sutter-neal—-physical wingers sutter needs to help on cycles and puck possession along the boards
    jokinen-jeffrey-dupuis or if you wanna really go outside the box you can try jokinen-dupuis-d’agastini with duper playing center. Jeffrey and duper together is better for defense though.
    glass-vitale-adams

    In the past geno would play RW on sid’s line but I would put him on LW so he’s taking passes on his forehand and not be tempted to make plays into the middle when safe plays up the wall are called for. 3rd line is where it gets tricky…duper’s versatility allows for sutter to play with our power forwards while duper holds the fort defensively whether he’s at center or wing. Obviously i’d be willing to give Jeffrey a shot at center in that role too just cuz of pens record with him in the lineup and d’agastini still looking to get his bearings.

    Other combos are more standard and have been discussed but these combos are of the more curveball variety to be used sparingly that would give teams something to think about. Most importantly it gives support to those who need it most right now. Sutter gets some beef to help him out on the boards and geno gets to focus on simplicity on offense.

    And if PM cant play can we put him on IR and call up despres? I like engo as much as anyone but does he really need to play d? Since PM came up I was gonna point out that last 10 games or so he played before getting hurt were probably his best since being here. What’s interesting is that statistically he looks average but his overall play has been better than when he was a plus player last season. Question is can we count on him to be consistent and healthy late in the season and playoffs?

    DK: I like the Bennett idea.

  28. Just for fun (and conversation) before I go…………

    Do the Pens entertain trade offers for Geno?
    If they do, what return would justify such a trade?
    If they dont, what do you do with him to get him back to a high level of play?

  29. Is it selfish of me that I never, ever want Rob Ford to go away ?

  30. Gotta get some heavy duty stuff done…catch yinz loonies later on :)

  31. dupuis-sid-bennett – if bennett strugles switch him and jokinen
    kunitz-geno-neal – Get geno rolling
    jokinen-sutter- Kobasew (Megna, Glass, D’Agostini, Jeffery) in that order and changing depending on circumstace if
    glass-vitale-adams (england for glass, which woud switch adams to lw if injury to kobasew and menga Glass moves up to 3rd line and joikinen switches to RW)

    • ** forgot to say engo only if injury occours to 3rd line like it is now but with both kobasew and megna injured.

    • Hap, those lines fall under the “standard and have been discussed” category I mentioned in my original post. I was looking for something outside the box that would get sutter going a bit and give geno some freedom on offense. Wasn’t making those suggestion are permanent fix just a curveball to keep in back pocket.

      • I see, sorry I missed that twice in your above posts. I was more going for a permenant fix. I have been completly unimpressed by sutter. If stall wasn’t leaving anyway I would start to consider that trade a bust. Unless Dumlin (i believe) starts to pan out.

        • I’m not entirely sure how Sutter is considered a bust at this point. This past game not considered (he was just bad in all aspects) he has been a great third line center. He can hold his ground defensively against the best in the league. Sure his offensive production has not been there, but that is not his number 1 priority. Any points he produces are icing on the cake to his sound penalty killing and defense in general.

        • Ya i thought sutter would be around 18-20 goals and 40-50 points but now i’m thinking he needs bigger and better wingers to get there. He’s still very good defensively but he needs the perfect fit of wingers to reach full potential.

          • Bust may have been a bad choice of words. I understand he is a defensive foward but I just don’t see him stepping up most games. He’s not going to block shots, he’s not going to score, and he’s doesn’t help kep the puck in the attack zone. I’d like to see more and hopefully it’s his wingers but some of those have done better when paired with other lines. Yes, stall is struggling but that’s typically the carolina approach the last couple years. He needs to accept that he’s a 3rd line defensive center, one of the best in the league and play that way.

            So, my real question is, is Shero overated as a GM and got lucky on the neal deal or is Blysma terrible at getting shero’s teams to gel? I’ve always leaned towards Bylsma because doesn’t believe in match ups. For example the flyers kept getting favorable matchups all while being the away team. That should not happen. But, I’m thought Shero overpayed last year for washed up FA’s that we know we were going to lose. Are his scouts bad? Either way there is a problem with this team.

  32. Dejan has said over and over that it is paramount as a sports journalist to check your fanhood at the door. No place for it in professional coverage.

    How then is one to judge both St Louis Post-Dispatch writers, Rick Hummel and Derrick Goold, who just so happen to be the two lone votes out of 30 chosing Yadi Molina over Andrew McCutchen as NL MVP?

    • Methinks the key word is ….professional.

    • That’s almost as nutty as having Neil Walker and Jose Tabata second and third on a rookie of the year ballot. :-)

    • They’re from St. Louis, and the topic was baseball. That means everyone else was wrong.

      Just ask Joe Buck and Tim McCarver.

    • I have said for years that writers shouldn’t be permitted to vote for anyone on the team that they cover.

      • Who should know a player/players than the guys who see them every day?

        That’s why you have 30 voters. I have no problems with them voting their guy Molina #1. McCutch still got 28/30 votes.

        I do have a problem with putting Carpenter in front of McCutch AND Goldy.

        • I’ve heard this one before, Groat.

          Why are we to assume seeing a player every day makes a writer inherantly qualified to judge said players value against their piers?

          What about being a member of the BBWAA makes them any more knowledgeable than you, me, and the rest of the people on this blog?

          Complete appeal to authority, and one that has long been underserved.

        • Not to mention the fact that knowing a player better than most others because you see him every day is also something that creates undue bias.

          “Hey, I know Player X and Player Y have similar numbers, but I see Player X work his butt off in the batting cage every day, and Player Y is just a guy on a stat sheet to me. Player X wins!”

          Of course, I do the opposite as well. I look at the teams I work with and I tend to think like a coach (even though I’m not), and I could nitpick for you every little thing we CAN’T do. I hardly ever think of the things we CAN do.

          One of the jokes on our staff is that every September, college basketball coaches around the country look at their teams in practice and on film and conclude, “Oh my lord, we can’t do this, we can’t do that…are we going to win any games this year?”

      • Agreed. I’m sure the majority are fair, but some are unduly influenced by seeing a player day in and day out IMO.

    • NMR – be careful, you can’t criticize newspaper reporters. DK will let you have it. Feel free though to blast away at reporters who work for network pre game shows.

  33. DK,

    What a great column today about Cutch. This might be my favorite one you’ve done. He says all the right things, does all the right things and actually seems to mean it. He is truly a remarkable athlete, on and off the field.

    Proud to be a Pirates fan today and all season. Cutch deserved this award and I was glad to see the voters agreed.

    As he noted, his numbers were down this year compared to last, but he was able to sustain the numbers all season. Last year he struggled at the end and so did the Pirates.

    As he goes, so does this team.

    BTW, What a great long term signing by Neal Huntington. Could you imagine the price tag had he waited for the extension?

    DK: Glad you liked the column, Ryan.

    • As I’ve said, Nor Cal, let’s see what Ellsbury gets this winter and go from there. Boras says he’s worth a lot more than Crawford’s 7/$142M deal because he’s better and there’s more money in 2013. Ellsbury is 3 years older than Cutch and not nearly as good. Suffice it to say, the timing on the Cutch deal was perfect on the part of the Bucs. It was a great deal then, and it is an out of this world deal now. He has to be close to the best bargain in baseball right now.

      • What???? Boras is using the media to negotiate?

      • Agree. Had they not signed him when they did, they never would be able to afford him.

        • If Marte has a good year in ’14, he has to be a target for a deal as well. They should have an easier time getting that done, as Marte never received a big signing bonus like Cutch did. I would think he would jump at a good deal, since he also has a wife and kids.

          • I agree that they should look at locking SM up as well. I wouldn’t hesitate to do that this off season as well, but the Pirates will still decide his paycheck, so the short term gain would suggest not too.

            • I wondered about doing it this current off-season, Nor Cal, as I wrote that they’ll seek to do it after this season. I think he’s a little less certain with the bat certainly than Cutch was. But, he’s still going to be worth a lot.

              They could pay him something like 6/$35M, take care of his family NOW beyond what he ever probably conceived of, and still a guy like Boras will basically label him an idiot and the Bucs monsters for doing it – as though Boras and his 9 digit bank account always know what is best for everyone else at every given moment.

              • Screw Boras and the horse he road in on. He doesn’t represent SM, so let him speak, but who cares.

                The dudes from the Sac, perhaps I should pay him a visit.

              • ha, that would be The Sac area…….not just the sac, though……

  34. In looking at Hockey Monster’s lines above, I think his thoughts are intriguing. I worry about making that many changes, but lines get mixed up so much on this team anyway that maybe it wouldn’t matter. I would propose a minor change to the third and fourth lines, however. For the third line I like Glass-Jokinen-Dupuis and for the fourth line I like Engelland-Vitale-Adams.

    I have given up on Jeffrey as a Penguin and I think that D’Agostini has been a total bust so far. As much as I couldn’t stand TK, at least he would throw a hit and play with some speed. Also, Engelland as a forward >>>>>>> than Engelland as D-man. I like him there.

    • Agreed on Engelland. This was discussed last season – putting Engo on the wing – but I never thought I’d see it happen.

      • Ya i like engo’s potential at RW too but unless there are injuries or adams or glass are scratched not sure how he gets into lineup.

    • Wow a major kumbaya from iceman…maybe i should quit posting while im ahead :)

      Just was gonna say not a believer in jussi playing center. He doesn’t have the foot speed and IMO would end up being a defensive liability in a spot where we need solid positioning…enter jeffrey.

      Iceman you think its a total accident pens are almost unbeaten with jeffrey in? All but 1 loss is with jeffrey scratched i believe. I’m not saying he’s irreplaceable but i think its wrong to suggest he doesnt bring anything to the table.

    • Engo or adams on LW as righties…eh i dunno…

      • Adams can play all three offensive positions so I stick him on the LW. May not be his best position, but he is smart enough to adjust. Also, I don’t argue with you that the team has won with Jeffrey in, but I just don’t see him offering anything when he’s playing. I do have some concern with Jussi’s speed, but wasn’t he playing center in Carolina before he came here?

        • If you can appreciate sutters defensive positioning you should be seeing Jeffrey do similar things. And I recall Jeffrey making more plays off the boards, on the cycle and getting passes to front of net more than just about anyone in bottom 6 except maybe sutter. And that’s with limited ice time playing wing instead of center where he belongs. Bylsma overlooks him cuz he isn’t physical and next time he lines someone up you can probably set your sun dial but considering our options he contributes to wins and if you recall has a track record filling the net a bit when he had a chance to play. Bylsma needs to get over fact he’s not physical and give him legit chance to get his legs under him after being hurt.

        • Ya I believe jussi played center before but is that where you want him now? Thing about adams, glass, engo even vitale is that they’re all the same…muckers that grind it out but any of them gonna step up to get 10-15 goals? Bennett gonna start to finish? Heck we’re wondering how sutter will get to double digits at this point…i know we’re up against cap but we need to upgrade bottom 6 to win cup.

  35. The story of Jose Fernandez, flame-throwing Rookie of the Year pitcher for the Marlins, is an amazing one. I believe he finished 3rd in Cy Young voting, if memory serves. He may be the most talented young pitcher in MLB right now, at 21. And, that is not even close to the best part of his story.

    No, his story goes much farther. He and his family fled from Cuba when he was 15. They had 3 unsuccessful attempts before succeeding on try #4. Plenty of people get shot fleeing from Cuba, or at the very least, thrown in jail with the key being tossed away. Brave, freedom-seeking Cubans take that chance all the time, nonetheless. His mom apparently fell overboard during the escape, and Jose jumped in the water in the pitch-black night to save her. And, he was somehow successful. A greater force was undoubtedly looking out for this young man and his family that night.

    If you watched how owner Jeffrey Loria reunited Jose with his grandmother on MLB last night, as I did, I assume you were as moved as I was. Jose had no idea his grandmother would be coming, and he talked about the love he had for her and how he missed her, without knowing he would be seeing her in a few minutes. He credits his grandmother with teaching him to catch and throw a baseball at a young age. Grandma was not able to get out of Cuba with the family, thanks to the wonderful dictatorship they enjoy there and all. I did not hear the details of how Mr. Loria was able to get her to the US for when Jose received the ROY Award, but he did. It was a very heartwarming moment.

    The Braves sure taught him a lesson when they felt he disrespected them this summer, didn’t they? I’m sure he won’t treat something as solemnly important as a mid-season baseball game vs. the Braves so casually again thanks to Brian McCann and the Braves. I mean, it’s not as though he has faced bigger obstacles before or anything.

  36. Here is a question for yinz……..

    The Steeler game this week is on Fox.
    In my area, Fox is showing the Iggles-Skins.
    There is no alternate channel like when a game is on CBS.

    Any suggestions, besides going to a bar that has Sunday Ticket, for watching the game this week? Is there any streaming games on the net?

  37. The way the Pens and Steelers are playing, it might be a long nuclear winter

    Whoda thunk the Bucs might be the highlight of the sports season for the Burgh?

  38. Tsk tsk baseball fans. I see from Dejan’s chat you’ve reared your collective heads again.

    Shame on you for expecting competancy from the writers entrusted with giving these awards you care about.

    Shame on writers like Keith Law for having the guts to call attention to his piers who either lack the knowledge or respect to handle voting responsibilities.

    It’s about time you all shut up and be grateful for the work writers do for you.

    • I do think it’s funny that people want to complain that Cutch didn’t win the MVP unanimously. Who cares who the voters in ST.L and AZ voted for.

      I personally felt that there was a stronger case for Molina to win. I was actually shocked at the wide margin of victory for The Great Cutch.

      He needs a cool/better nickname.

      • You sure that is what people are complaining about? That Cutch wasn’t unanimous?

        I see a lot of people upset with the process, not the result. If a guy from Milwaukee and a guy from Miami had voted for Molina, do you really think fans would be upset?

        If you can’t trust the voters giving the award, then the award itself is useless.

        • What do you think would be the best way to do this?
          I feel no matter how and who you have doing the voting, something like this would frequently come up.

          • Absolutely Plan. It doesn’t matter how the process is done, there will be something to scrutinize.

            I would prefer a vote from the player/manager, but then you have those possibly voting for or against their own.

          • Milo’s suggestion of not being able to vote for a guy in your home market is one thing to consider.

            • Jim, then you could possibly have a situation where a writer from St. Louis could cast a vote against another teams player anyway.

              Short of pulling names out of a hat, I dont see any easy answer to this.

          • Maybe they should just get rid of these silly little awards.

            • Nor Cali Ryan,

              Right! Because no one around these parts is excited that Bucs have won 3 of the 4 big awards——MVP, Manager, Comback Player. Ain’t no big deal!!

              Get rid of them (actually that’s what BMTIB is saying . . . . Neal not only lost, but now they have to pay bonuses for the others winning!)

        • My understanding of the complaints, and I could be wrong about this, that the ST.L guys voted for Molina and thought that was showing favoritism.

  39. In honor of my favorite cereal…………

    Happy National Raisin Bran day!! ;)

  40. Sugar Crisp man myself! Afternoon, Y’ALL!

  41. Kudos to the web graphics team on making several recommended changes quickly, DK! The font is darker, which was a good early suggestion. I like the option of font size as well.

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