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Morning Java: The undisputed truth on Ben

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …


>> The Monday column from Heinz Field tries — through the eyes — to get hard answers to the Ben Roethlisberger stuff, and the undisputed truth it produces. Undisputed by anyone who counts, anyway.

Here’s some of what the QB had to say …

And the head coach …

Random randomness from the event: I make only passing mention of this in the column, but seeing fans filing out of Heinz Field beginning late in the second quarter — with the Steelers down by four! — was pretty jarring. I don’t tell people how to spend their money, but I will say that there’s a season-ticket waiting list that stretches tens of thousands. And if these people don’t want to attend games, there are a ton who’d gladly go in their place. … I don’t care if this comes back to bite, but I liked what I saw of Jason Worilds and Jarvis Jones as the outside linebackers. Read into that as you please. … Don’t know if they showed this on TV, but Willie Gay went running half the length of the field to shout in the direction of the Lions’ coaches after that silly fake field goal. Of course, Gay wouldn’t fess up when I poked: “That? Aw, I just got hit in the face because I had to line up against a guard. Me! Like a linebacker! Right in the mouth.” Yeah, that was it. … It’s incredibly rare that Tomlin offers any remark about the opposition strategy, so it was stood out that he said this of the Steelers keeping Calvin Johnson catch-free in the second half: “It might just have been what they didn’t do.” He’s right. Matthew Stafford threw toward Megatron only three times. One was the Will Allen pick pictured above. Why? … It shouldn’t be lost that the Steelers had ample shortcomings. Apart from the obviously grotesque second quarter for the secondary, the running game really didn’t get going. Le’Veon Bell had one 13-yard carry but otherwise a total of 23 yards on 17 carries. That’s practically backward. It isn’t all on him, I know, but still. … Heath Miller is back — eight catches, 67 yards — but not all the way. Still not all there. Still lacking fluidity. … Did a double-take when looking over Detroit’s defensive statistics because I couldn’t find the infamous menace known as Ndamakong Suh. Hm, know why? He didn’t register a single anything. Zippo. Credit David DeCastro in a big way. … This gets to be fun again now, right?

The game story tries to decipher this team, by beat writer Alan Robinson.

Hey, where did Megatron goMark Kaboly tries in vain to find No. 81.

OK, then, how about Mega-Brown? Ralph Paulk reports on AB.

The Lions’ fake field goal had heads scratching everywhere, by Paul Schofield.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage, including game balls, turning points, injuries.

Here’s Lions news from the Detroit Free Press.

Here are official game highlights from, for which I’ll call special attention to Penn State’s own Matt McGloin getting it done in his Oakland debut. Wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if he bumps Terrelle Pryor.

Here’s our Steelers photo gallery by Chaz Palla and Chris Horner, and just to share here, this is a spectacular freeze-frame of Megatron and AB exchanging jerseys right after the game. Love this …

>> Teemu Selanne, one of the greatest players in hockey history, will play his final regular-season game in Pittsburgh tonight. Just in case you were wondering where my head would be today. It’s been an absolute thrill watching the man play and a treasure each time I’ve interviewed him, from Winnipeg to Anaheim to representing Finland in the Olympics.

If you’re going to the game tonight, forget the two points. Focus on No. 8. You’ll be glad you did.

Here’s a video montage done in September of career highlights …

As well as footage for how he was feted during a stoppage last month in Winnipeg …

Ben Lovejoy also will be returning with the Ducks. Josh Yohe interviewed Lovejoy yesterday at practice, and a couple of his quotes about the Penguins’ system are not to be missed.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage.

Here’s Ducks news from the Orange County Register.

Here are official game highlights from

>> Pitt gets a good show from Lamar Patterson to beat Howard, by Kevin Gorman.

>> Duquesne can’t defend West Virginia, by Chris Harlan in Morgantown.

>> If you couldn’t stay up late last night, I was joined on WPXI-TV’s Subway Final Word by Mark Madden and Robinson, and let’s just say we had more than our share of spirited fun.

>> I’ll check in with TribLIVE Radio at 11:30 a.m.

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.


  1. aaron says:

    I am not a Letang hater, nor am I a statistician. I crunched some basic numbers from this season for the Pens with and without Letang. This is a very small sample size, but I believe it may point to a deeper meaning. The Pens always talk about generating offense from defense, but since Letang’s return against the Islanders, they have blown some leads and the offense-from-defense philosophy seems to be long gone.

    I get the causality-vs.-correlation argument, regression to the mean, and also understand the macro picture with other injuries and such. But here they are for the sake of numbers and a fun sports debate! 

    Without Letang:

    9 games

    31 goals for
    17  goals against

    7 wins
    2 losses

    4.43 avg goals for
    2.43  avg goals against

    Since Letang’s return:

    11 games

    26 goals for
    27 goals against

    5 wins
    6 losses

    2.36 avg goals for
    2.45  avg goals against

    DK: Good stuff, Aaron. Thanks for posting and welcome.

  2. Skip says:

    Brought the family in town from Arkansas for the weekend and we were able to enjoy a pretty good Pens win vs the Predators and a great Steelers win vs the Lions. Made the king’s ransom I paid for tickets well worth it.

    Also had some great food and enjoyed some of the great sights Pittsburgh has to offer. Thanks again to Dejan for suggesting a couple things to do while in town.

    Finally, in regards to Mr Suh, I watched him sprint off the field IMMEDIATELY after the game. I mean, he was gone in ten seconds. No handshakes – just gone. Don’t know if he was embarrassed or maybe just had to go the bathroom.

    DK: Ever get to the Incline?

    Sorry again for the slow reply on my end.

  3. Skip says:

    Sobering numbers. I really like the guy but geez, he is just a turnover machine.

    Also, I’m thinking maybe the Pens should flip-flop Kunitz and Jokinen. Just to shake things up a bit. Or maybe put Bennett with Dupuis and Crosby.

  4. Stuart says:

    DK, the link goes to a Cutch column.


    DK: Just fixed it, Stu. Thank you for that.

  5. Ghost says:

    Somebody’s bound to point out your “Undisputed Truth” reference to Ian Rapoport, so it might as well be me.

    Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes
    They don’t tell the truth
    Smiling faces, smiling faces
    Tell lies and I got proof

  6. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Ben Roethlisberger reminded us all once again as to why he still is a franchise QB. It’s time to put aside all the trade talk, and figure out a way for him to get a better supporting cast. In the meantime, he did pretty well today with what was at his disposal.

    A surprising second-half effort by the Steelers. They could’ve mailed in a defeat. But they battled back and won.

    On another (sadder) note … I’m wondering (though I don’t have to wonder too hard) what “supposed” Pirate fans are tweeting gleefully to DK when the Steelers fall behind. It’s time for this bunch to be exposed. As a Pittsburgh sports fan … I’m sick of it.

  7. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Didn’t Suh get injured? Might have something to with him not showing up.

    Some things I took away from yesterday’s victory:

    -I liked the play of the OLB. They got after Stafford all day. Forced a few quick releases on his part, causing him to be off target.

    -I came away from the game impressed with Can Heyward again. Not quite seconnd coming of Aaron Smith, but he puts a hurt in’ on someone when he gets a hold of them.

    -I was impressed with the overall play of the defensive line. McLendon sprinting down field to make a tackle on a RB, Ziggy with a HUGE sack.

    -I like Cortez Allen.

    -I liked the offense for the most part, but why do they go away with what works? No huddle, but not in a hurry up keeps the defense on their heels.

    -Im trying to like David Paulson. DOINK! great play call in the end zone, Ben just missed him.

    -Ben. Led this team all day.

    -LT led the defense. Dude gets all over the field.

    -Dwyer needs more touches. Can we please call him a short-yardage guy? Bell’s not it.

    -Offensive line held up pretty good. Didn’t see that much pressure on Ben and surely didn’t see the eight sacks the idiot JA’s on NFL Network called for this morning.

    Great win against a possible playoff opponent.

  8. Skilliemischief says:

    -the funny part about the Nfl net report is that it’s all based on opinion! The source is saying what’s gonna happen this offseason like it’s already been decided..

    -happy for the win yesterday, thought Ben & the offense looked good in the no hurdle (have all yr). Thought the line did a good job & Ben got rid of the ball quickly… But if I’m a lions fan, I blame Stafford (off target all day except for the 2Q) & some questionable calls by the coaching staff for that loss

    -glad to see Pitt crushing weak teams like they’re supposed to, they have some intriguing new players, can’t wait to see what they do against a quality team

  9. Drew71 says:

    “…the undisputed truth it produces. Undisputed by anyone who counts, anyway.”

    I don’t have any reason to dispute it. But those are awfully forceful, conversation-chilling words from someone who lives in the world of lively interaction and opinion sharing.

    The history of sports is replete with lies in situations quite similar to this. For PR purposes. To try to tamp down on a controversy. Or just to hide one’s motives.

    See also: Saban, Nick; (not) leaving the NFL for the Crimson Tide, and a gazillion other lies.

    I am NOT accusing Art Two or Ben One of lying. I suspect they’re not.

    And I applaud the effort to go to the most meaningful sources.

    They ARE authoritative. But they are NOT indisputable.

    And neither is a statement – or a quote – on a blog.

  10. JAL says:

    Manic Monday Bangles Written by Prince

    JAL’s Manic Monday Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 MLB Important Dates

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    Week In Review: Pirates Quiet in Free Agency, Busy with Awards

    Winter Leagues: Two RBIs For Matt Hague in 6-4 Victory

    5 Green Weenie

    Alen Hanson

    6 Rumbunter

    Walking Dead Governor and A.J. Burnett Have Some Things in Common

    7 Bleed Cubbie Blue

    A Day In Wrigley Field History: September 25, 1927

    8 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates’ Top 10 Prospects: No 1 Jameson Taillon

    9 The LoHud Yankees Blog

    Examining the free agent infield market

    10 Bleacher Report

    10 Outcomes We Hope the 2013-14 MLB Offseason Brings

  11. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Litchfield County Times

    Ed Kirby: A Man for All Seasons

    12 Baltimore Sun

    Lots of love — and snubs — for Orioles in Sports Illustrated’s ‘Greatest’ book,0,5509654.story

    13 Denver Post

    Major League Baseball set to adopt instant replay for 2014 season

    14 Entertainment Weekly

    ‘Eastbound and Down’ finale: Farewell to pop culture’s last baseball star, Kenny Powers

    15 San Diego Union Tribune


    16 CBS Sports

    Examining free agent power hitters by batted ball distance

    17 KMOV

    Feldman: Cards have rare opportunity with starting rotation

    18 Uncle Mike’s Musings

    A-Double Standard. A-Big One.


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    The Week In Quotes

    20 Fangraphs

    Killing Them Softly: Slowest Swinging-Strikeout Pitches of 2013

  12. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Lions vs. Steelers final score: Pittsburgh’s defense comes alive in second half, tops Detroit 37-27

    Lions vs. Steelers: Detroit’s decision to fake field goal cost them momentum

    22 Steelers Gab

    Mike Tomlin’s Post Game Press Thoughts After Beating The Lions


    23 Goal

    Ives Galarcep: USA still lacking options for a playmaker

    24 World Soccer Daily

    November 15, 2013 – all the stories you need to read


    25 Pensburgh

    Pittsburgh Penguins 1st Quarter Results

  13. Wild Bill says:

    What a bummer that out here in central Pa., the Eagles and Washington were all I could get on Fox without getting into some other package or a sports bar, which I didn’t have time to do. Saw the last two minutes with Allen’s int.

    The fans that left early must regret that decision. But their eyeball test for the season so far has given them little confidence.

    The whole deal about Ben possibly leaving is becoming a bore. It’s what commentators write about when teams seemingly underachieve.

    Saw the coach’s brief presser on NFL network. Wish I had skipped it. For all their posturing to the contrary, they are always affected by what writers are writing.

  14. Skip says:

    Oh we definitely got up there. Caught the daylight view and we were up there just long enough to catch the night view too. Thanks, again!

  15. Thundercrack says:

    Aren’t there really two ‘issues’ regarding yesterday’s attendance at the Steeler game.
    Those that left at half time and those that didn’t bother to show up in the first place.

    And I really don’t have a problem with either of them.

  16. Jandy says:

    Bennett with Dupuis and Crosby would get my vote :)

  17. Jandy says:

    + many

  18. Jandy says:

    Like JAL’s song for today, it’s a manic Monday here at work. :sigh:
    I’ll check in later.

  19. radio wave says:

    And Pete Rose said he would never leave Cincinnati.

  20. radio wave says:

    I have the red zone channel on yesterday. At half time they were speculating the Detroit Woodset NFL individual game records for both Megatron and the quarterback. I was amazed when they started showing the Steelers come back and win. Well at least for a couple weeks you have something to play for.

  21. Joni says:

    Reuniting Malkin and Kunitz could be just the thing to give Malkin more confidence (I think). And I believe that Bennett will flourish wherever he goes in the lineup.

  22. Damon says:

    Like all your points, and would like to add how good AB, Cotchery and Wheaton looked – probably Ben had a lot to do with it, but they were all getting open. Also Ike needs to learn to catch the ball…..

  23. Thundercrack says:

    This past Pirates season I witnessed Mike Tomlin, Ray Shero, and Kevin Colbert all leave early from a Pirate game. (they weren’t at the game together –it was 3 separate occasions).

    I remember how irritated I got as I watched them leave. I even yelled over to them “hey, where you going? The game isn’t over”.

    I think I know what that makes me: A sensitive baseball fan.

  24. JMB says:

    The Steelers are right back in the hunt for that 6th seed.

    I sat through a rain game in SF way back in 1999, and it isn’t always pleasant; however, these football Sundays are special, so I was surprised by how many people left an exciting game.

  25. Jandy says:

    I believe Bennett and Crosby would be a great one-two punch. Duper would have to be sure to create space for both of them. Knock some opponents out of the way.

  26. Jandy says:

    Yup, and I’m Mother Theresa ;)

  27. Jandy says:

    Best of luck to Dustin Jeffrey in Dallas. I hope this is a fresh start for him.

  28. Wilco says:

    I watch all the Steeler, Pens and Pirate games on WIziwig P2P stream sharingon line. Google it and check it out.

  29. 21sthebest says:

    I bet you were tweeting DK gleefully during the second quarter yesterday.

  30. Damon says:

    The change in scenery is what he needed. I have a feeling like Letestu and Lovejoy that he will do well getting that chance and not being stuck behind a deep roster.

  31. Jandy says:

    I think so too, and I hope so too, he’s a decent guy.

  32. Iceman says:

    Thanks for sharing this Aaron. I was starting to think myself that there may be some correlation between our slump and Letang returning and that may be correct. Letang just doesn’t seem to have it this year. He has been a turnover machine which makes him a defensive liability and his vision on offense just doesn’t seem to be there.

    I do have to suggest that some of the negative change in defensive numbers since Letang came back could also have to do with Martin and Scuderi not being in the lineup in a large portion of those games. Glad to have Martin back on the ice and hope to see Scuds ASAP.

  33. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Ike has never been able to catch the ball.

  34. Iceman says:

    Agreed. I’m a little disappointed the Pens couldn’t even get a late round pick for him, but oh well…

  35. Mike Adams says:

    I am most certainly not a Letang supporter. I agree he’s a turnover machine and that his new contract i just going to kill them. However, I’d be careful about using the season stats to prove your point. The Pens opened the season with an incredibly easy and mostly home schedule. So who they’ve played has more to do with the numbers than Letang’s return.

  36. Jim S. says:

    Didn’t see the game, but I’m sure glad the Steelers have shown much improvement the last 2 weeks. I don’t know if I still completely buy into them as a playoff contender, but they seem determined to make something of the season. For that, I am grateful. Ben obviously had a magnificent game, and when he plays like that they can beat anyone. But, even with our wins there are disturbing elements.

    * 327 passing yards allowed in the first half, with 27 points and nearly 300 of those passing yards in the 2nd qtr alone

    * DeCastro de-fanged Suh. Could our young Guard be turning into the star we envisioned?

    * We cannot run the ball. At. All. I don’t know if it is Bell’s fault, and I really like his potential. But, Dwyer seems to get big chunks of yardage at times. Maybe he should at least get a few more touches.

    * Woodley and Keisel were out. Really, does it matter? I know Woodley leads with 5 sacks.

    * Antonio Brown is a special player. When he is focused, he makes big plays all day. Cotchery also seems to be a guy Ben looks for at big moments when he knows the focus will be on Brown and Heath.

    * Just asking a question here to see if anyone else saw what a friend told me about Troy’s play. He said Troy just seemed to be running all over the place without a lot of purpose again. Is that what anyone else saw? I have seen a lot of that in the games I have watched, but I keep hearing people around the league say Troy is healthy and playing like his old self again.

    4-6 is better than 3-7. I hope they keep surprising me in a positive way.

  37. theplanisworking says:

    So what you are saying is you lie with your temperature postings? ;)

  38. hockeymonster says:

    I thought that column by yohe on lovejoy was pretty enlightening on a number of fronts. DJ is a good player that was stuck playing for a coach that didn’t like his style. Looking forward to seeing how he does next few weeks in big D.

  39. theplanisworking says:

    That is better than being Father Teresa……………..

  40. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    DK…Any chance that the NFL is more than aware of the problems that they currently face in terms of the level of physicality that has been extracted from their game? Could this be part of the reason why they find it neccesary to drum up controversy, or at the very least allow it to be reported with TMZesque zeal?

    The league has no responsibility to the players, in my uniformed opinion, other than to pay them handsomely with the knowledge that their participation may in the end shorten or reduce their quality of life. Perhaps I am being too simplistic, but if you offer me economic security and an enhanced quality of life for my loved ones (depending upon my own choices) in exchange for 10 years and some memory problems, it might be a gamble I am willing to take…

    Players have pointed out that retired players are unable to pay for medical care and that it’s very difficult for family to watch Das decline all because he played football for a living. We should all be so lucky. How about Phyllis and Ernie down the street? Does anyone care that his should is shot because the mill didn’t do ergonomic studies in the 60’s and 70’s? Does Roger give a crap that he can’t hear his grandchildren sing in the highschool musical from years of poor hearing protection? Nope….and no one else does either. HBO realsports isn’t doing a special on him.

    Bring back hits to the head. Stop allowing Wes Welker survive accross the middle. Cancel the franchis payout on QB’s like Flacco that don’t have the skill to keep from getting recievers killed. All of your problems will go away NFL…do it before this WWE garbage takes over the league entirely.

  41. hockeymonster says:

    Hard to argue with hard numbers and not making excuses for tanger but I will say he looked extra rusty first few games. Lately he looks less rusty but needs to keep it simple. Pens going to back to using stretch pass more often I think is a problem as well. Too easy to defend with forwards further away from defense. Opposing defenders just need to keep tight gap on our forwards and disrupt the chips. Bylsma needs to coach to players strengths and not try to force his system on players. Having forwards come back into zone to generate speed with close puck support up ice for defense would be a start.

  42. Thundercrack says:

    I think I was napping in the second quarter….or returning from Costco

  43. hockeymonster says:

    Indeed. Competition has been better after first 8-9 games but letang still needs to keep it more simple instead of repeating fixable mistakes.

  44. Joni says:

    I hear ya about once again using the stretch pass. I thought I was having flashbacks, and not the good kind.

  45. theplanisworking says:

    I have never been able to figure out why “some” Pirate fans hate the Steelers, and to a lesser extent, the Penguins. This town should be big enough to support all 3 teams without petty jealousy. Just a head-scratcher to be sure……………. these same fans bash the Steelers and Penguins when the Pirates win or lose, so at least they are consistent.

    Just pathetic.

  46. Jim S. says:

    We know Megatron is massive by NFL standards. And, we know AB is small by NFL standards. But, that picture is startling. Wow! Johnson is a monster of a Wide Receiver.

  47. hockeymonster says:

    Nothing wrong with letangs numbers and team record when DJ got a sweater…just saying. Lets hope pens got it together on flight back from jersey cuz next few games are gonna be serious. Letang needs to be better but his mistakes are correctable. I think im more concerned that pens have reverted back to being stretch pass happy instead of moving puck up ice as a unit like they were earlier in the season.

  48. hockeymonster says:

    Sarah and I dissected that issue pretty good yesterday.

  49. Jandy says:

    Quite immature…

  50. Jandy says:


  51. Jandy says:

    he’s a friggin beast! lol

  52. theplanisworking says:

    Interesting column from DK today. things that stood out:

    – “I prefer the eye test. It isn’t infallible, of course, but it’s still best.”
    You mean there isnt a SABR metric for reporting? ;)

    – “Remind me again: What exactly is this controversy that’s consumed our sporting consciousness for a week now?
    I dont know about anyone else, but this hasnt consumed me at all.

    I didnt get to see the game yesterday, but had some friends give me updates. Souned like 3 different games in one………. 1st quarter, Steelers looked very good, 2nd quarter they looked very bad, and the second half they looked good again. I dont know what adjustments LeBeau made at halftime, but to make Stafford go 3-16 in the 2nd half, and shut out Megatron is a huge feat.
    More importantly, is the fact Ben didnt have a turnover.
    And, can we PLEASE have more no-huddle? It works, so why not use it?
    Just need to find a running game, to help Ben out a little more.

  53. Jim S. says:

    I wonder, JMB, if a lot of this is because season ticket holders give away tickets during down years; therefore, those at the game don’t have a vested interest and bail when it looks bad and the weather is unpleasant?

    Personally, I think this happens all over the league. People who buy the tickets can do what they want, and maybe they are sending a message to the organization that what is going on this year is not acceptable to them. They obviously missed a great 2nd half, but who better and how better to send a message to the owner that they have not liked what they are seeing?

  54. theplanisworking says:


  55. BillyBaduka says:


  56. theplanisworking says:

    Quite possibly Jim, quite possible.

    But I agree more with DK’s assessment: if you dont want to go to games, or leave early, give up your season tickts to the thousands upon thousands that want the opportunity to go. Just sayin’.

  57. Joni says:

    Just looked at it. Good stuff!

  58. Milo Hamilton says:

    Has Thom Brennaman stopped talking yet ? Good Lord.

  59. SeanAY says:

    “Bring back hits to the head. Stop allowing Wes Welker survive accross the middle. Cancel the franchis payout on QB’s like Flacco that don’t have the skill to keep from getting recievers killed. All of your problems will go away NFL…do it before this WWE garbage takes over the league entirely.”

    Yeah, and maybe if we’re lucky, someone will die in the locker room after being knocked out cold by a head-hunter like Ryan Clark!

    Ooohh! Even better! Maybe he can die on the field!

  60. hockeymonster says:


  61. theplanisworking says:

    Milo, I was a bit confused with your post yesterday about Ollie Luck and Patty Hayden. They are both buffoons, but which incidents specifically were you talking about?

  62. Damon says:

    My boss was at the game, and he was just telling me Ike looked like a high school player lining up against Johnson….and Ike isn’t small. Johnson is a freak….

  63. NMR says:


    This is completely an internet phenomenon. Wouldn’t even know it exists unless you spend considerable time on Pittsburgh blogs and message boards.

    Some Pirate fans developed a complex over the years after getting sh*t on by other fans. Now that the tables are turned, they seem to enjoy giving it back.

    All parties are presumably adults, mind you.

  64. Milo Hamilton says:

    Just how each in their own way is botching the running of their respective football programs. West Virginia was in better shape when the Governor was running things. Oh I’m sorry, did I say the Governor ? I meant Ed Pastilong. Yeah, that’s what I meant.

  65. Arriba Wilver says:

    After the last touchdown Ben was greeting everyone with a hand tap or some kind of acknowledgement. Everyone except Paulson, who ran right by him.

  66. theplanisworking says:

    Ok, gotcha.

    Hayden has a bit easier task in righting the ship. USC is a destination school. As long as he hires the right coach, they will be fine. Ollie has a tougher road to hoe. Going to the Big 12 was not a good move. Louisville got into the ACC, WVU should have tried harder to get in there.

  67. 21sthebest says:

    Did you leave Costco early?

  68. kr70 says:

    as Sheldon on Big Bang would say, “sarcasm?” …….either way that’s sick

  69. Lad 9 says:

    That is an awesome picture btw. Oh, and it does proved me wrong on one thing. I said yesterday that I bet you can’t even give those bumblebee jerseys away – but you actually can… :)

  70. JohninOshkosh says:

    It’s just twitiots trying to get Dejan’s goat. Dejan loves those twitter flare ups. Fans the flames. Gets good ratings.

    NMR said awhile ago that he stopped following Dejan on twitter for those very reasons. Similarly, I quit following him. Nothing personal to Dejan but, to paraphrase Seinfeld, twitter fights are “the lowest form of male primate ritual. In fact, even some of them have moved on – they’re doing sign language now.”

  71. theplanisworking says:

    HA! Great line!

    Wonder if this is the start of a trend like in soccer……… where players exchange jerseys?

  72. Milo Hamilton says:

    The only thing he DIDN’T say was that Jeff Locke stinks.

  73. 21sthebest says:

    Strawman arguments are quite immature.

  74. Iceman says:

    ” I think im more concerned that pens have reverted back to being stretch pass happy instead of moving puck up ice as a unit like they were earlier in the season.”

    This is exactly what I was thinking watching the Devils game.

  75. radio wave says:

    Nothing like having to suffer through a November football game with the Reds TV announcer. But he’s not all bad, he”s an Ou Bobcat.

  76. Arriba Wilver says:

    I can’t decide what’s worse, ” supposed” Pirate fans doing it, or paying any attention to it. My Momma always told me if you ignore it, it eventually goes away. (I AM curious how one “exposes” them, and what that does even if one does). But I’m going to go back to ignoring the whole thing.

  77. hockeymonster says:

    Milo, how you holdin up with your buddy going to big D? :)

  78. JohninOshkosh says:

    Does Greg Brown do any football or basketball broadcasts? I noticed the last few days that the Phillies guy did a ‘Nova game and the Brewers guy has done some Marquette games.

  79. Chuck Snow says:

    Think the fake field goal is easy, They got cocky. 6-3 coming in..down 14 early then they lay 27 on us in the second. Teams get weird. Hey it was stupid but Thanks!

  80. Milo Hamilton says:

    Was going to ask you the same thing ! :)

  81. Milo Hamilton says:

    Tom McCarthy did the Steeler game on national radio yesterday.

  82. JohninOshkosh says:

    He is really good.

  83. theplanisworking says:

    Neverett did a Pitt basketball game.

  84. theplanisworking says:

    Neverett did a Pitt basketball game.

  85. NMR says:

    Still haven’t figured out if it is a matter of self-importance or just entertainment, but there is nothing in the twitter world I can’t stand more than retweeting ridiculous comments.

    Does nothing but bring down the level of conversation and waste my time.

  86. Arriba Wilver says:

    Seinfeld quotes always welcome.


  87. Milo Hamilton says:

    On a long drive a couple years ago, I listened to him do the Ohio St. – Michigan game & really enjoyed it.

  88. Jim S. says:

    I think you are both right that these guys are both botching things up for their schools at the moment.

    I also think your point about USC being able to right the ship easier is a good one, plan. They can do that easier, with or without Haden because they will always have a multitude of talented HS players at their doorstep if they can get their act in gear. WVU will always need to reach for players, and they run the risk of becoming irrelevant quickly if they slip up for more than a few years.

    I honestly believe Luck got very arrogant and overplayed his hand during the conference shuffling. He seemed to be aggressively criticizing anyone and everyone at that time, including Pitt and Syracuse. At least, that is how it came off to me from a distance. And, I believe WVU lobbied pretty hard for admittance to several conferences – including the ACC. I know people at WVU don’t want to hear this, but I would say their academic standing and the reputation for bad things happening with the fan base came into play. They just don’t have a good reputation nationally, and things like fans attacking pregnant women after games get remembered when ADs of conferences such as the ACC considered the merits of acceptance for WVU. They just didn’t have as many pluses as minuses IMO, and they had some baggage to overcome. If you already don’t bring TV eyeballs to a conference, you really need a stellar reputation.

  89. Jim S. says:

    Did he keep thinking perfect 3-point shots were going to be air balls? Depth perception is sometimes an issue for Tim.

  90. Jim S. says:

    But, the socks Lad. The socks. Awful.

    My son has a Hines bumble bee jersey and loves it! Kids … ugh!

  91. Lad 9 says:

    JIm – good observations. I was at the game yesterday (I stayed until the end btw) and I agree with most of what you said.

    DeCastro has been coming on big time ever since the second game of the year. I think the friendly fire incident with Pouncey really disturbed him and ruined game 1, but he has been a beast since. Future Pro Bowl, probably next year.

    Dwyer does need more touches. Complained about that yesterday to my kid. When he did sub for Bell early it was Felix Jones, who is clearly number 3 on the depth chart.

    I think Woodley may be gone after this year if they can resign Worlds. Never thought I would type that (about Worlds), but Woodley is hurt so much that he just is not worth the cap hit.

    As far as Troy, the Steelers played a lot of their “quarter” defense with 6 d-backs yesteday where Clark and Will Allen were the deep safeties, and Troy played the short zones and was in run support, almost like a linebacker. He was quiet – only three tackles – but is was my impression that the Lions avoided him. He was not targeted much if at all, and I had a good view of the defensive backfield from the end zone. As far as freelancing, I think he did his share and he is probably supposed to in that defense. I didn’t see anything from him that disturbed me.

    One thing I will add. Cameron Heyward is also a beast. He is getting better every game. And for those who think that started this year, check his play out from the halfway mark of last season. He should have been starting back then, and yes, I am on record as saying that. Even a blind squirrel…..

  92. NMR says:

    Pretty sure either Brown or Lanny used to do Bills games, including the big comeback against the Oilers.

  93. Jim S. says:

    Nobody leaves Costco early. I’m sure TC was watching the game on a TV attached to a fence, between sifting through irregular shirts and very large jars of nuts.

  94. theplanisworking says:


    I always get a kick out of john Sanders doing college basketball games.
    Always liked him when he did sports when he was in Pittsburgh.

  95. SeanAY says:

    Oh, I was positively dripping with sarcasm there. It was oozing.

  96. Rob says:

    Just saw this quote on ProFootballTalk; ““It’s ridiculous,” Art Rooney II said Sunday, via Devan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.” Did I miss something Dejan?

  97. Milo Hamilton says:

    Brown did the Bills. He was the color man for Pete Weber who is now play by play for the Nashville Predators. Lanny did Big 10 basketball with Clark Kellogg. They even did the Bobby Knight chair game.

  98. Thundercrack says:

    I think if you buy a ticket you have the right to do what you want when the weather (and the two teams playing) are awful.

  99. Jim S. says:

    Nice tidbit of info. on the Bobby Knight chair game, Milo.

  100. tpbco says:

    Aside from the 2nd qtr, BBR ran the no huddle as effectively as Manning did last nite against the Chiefs. That being said, anyone who doesn’t credit Haley for it as well either doesn’t understand football or has an agenda.

    The only “blame” on Ike Taylor was missing the tackle on the bomb to Megatron. The was a play call that beat the defense – no different than the fake bubble screen to Jericho. Neither Mel Blount nor Rod Woodson was covering Megatron all the way across the field. Aside from that play, I’m not sure Ike could have played much better. Those flags near the endzone meant nothing and he had to play that aggressively. Did you want him to sit back?

    Bell will become a much better back when he learns how to break that tackle 3 yards behind the line of scrimmage, but do give the OLine lots of credit for pass protection. DeCasto ate Suh’s lunch and stole his girl friend.

    Dwyer should be the #2 AND short yardage back.

    Manny Sanders might have lost his job.

    Going back to Letang above….haven’t they being trying to “fix” his brain disconnect issues for about three years now? Great talent. Might need valium.

  101. Arriba Wilver says:

    Must be a Pirates’ fan. ;-)

  102. Thundercrack says:

    No. Didn’t leave Costco early.

    But I did buy one of their big pieces of pizza and ate in the car…while listening to MLB XM

  103. theplanisworking says:

    Good points about WVU.

    It has to be embarrassing to them that Louisville got into the ACC, and they didnt. Guess those couch burnings werent a great thing after all?? ;)

  104. Jim S. says:

    Thanks, Lad. I wanted to hear from someone else on the Troy thing. I think you are right that teams probably avoid Troy.

    Agree on Heyward. He is coming on. No doubt about it.

  105. Thundercrack says:

    Maybe the Steelers should set off fireworks at half time. Or offer a bobble head.
    Then maybe Steeler fans would show up or stay longer.


  106. Milo Hamilton says:

    Anyone wondering how the Giants have turned their season around ? They’ve won 4 straight after losing their first 6. How about Josh Freeman, Matt Barkley, Terrelle Prior & Scott Tolzein ? Those are the four “quarterbacks” they’ve just beaten.

  107. Arriba Wilver says:

    Bell was still a force because of his soft hands. A nice outlet for Ben.

  108. Rob says:

    Thought the same thing. That man truly has the right nickname.

  109. Jim S. says:

    I hear you, plan. That is usually my reaction as well. I would not buy tickets and leave early.

    But, I’m also not opposed to fans showing their displeasure to get the attention of the owner. Whether intended or not, he and his son have to sit up and take notice when fans pay a lot of money to attend games and then either don’t show up or leave at the first sign of trouble.

  110. Jim S. says:

    It’s either that or the over-sized hot dogs!

  111. Arriba Wilver says:


  112. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I repeat: DOINK!!!

    For the one that went off his face mask.

  113. Jim S. says:

    I’d have to go back to the Giants schedule to figure out which teams a couple of those guys play for.

  114. Arriba Wilver says:

    You will be hearing from JAL. :-D

  115. Jim S. says:

    Does John do baseball games on cable for the Tribe? Or, did he at one time?

  116. Arriba Wilver says:

    That was a response to Jim.

  117. Jim S. says:

    I didn’t mean to offend all the great residents of the state and the university. I think the good people of WV (and I do mean that) have gotten somewhat of a black eye by association. That is unfortunate that a small % can ruin it for all. Couch burning, beating people up and throwing things at cars, throwing coins on the court, harassing opposing fans. I don’t think it has all been made up.

  118. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    You don’t think the weather had anything to do with them leaving?

    The owner still got his money, people may not have showed up, but the tickets were already bought.

    For those that left, too bad they missed a good game, but there is no way that sitting there wasn’t a miserable experience in that ugly weather.

  119. Scott says:

    1. The fake field goal was actually a smart strategic call by Jim Schwarz, and I’m glad to see that he’s standing by it. In that situation, he was being aggressive on the road and going for the win. If the Lions convert it, they win the game. If not, they force the Steelers to go 97 yards to take the lead, and based on the way things were going for the Steelers’ offense in the second half, who in their right mind expected them to go 97 yards there?

    2. The Steelers are now very much alive in the wild card race. In fact, I’m convinced either the Steelers or the Ravens will get that final spot. There are nine teams battling for it, but seven of them are just terrible beyond belief (Dolphins, Jets, Chargers, Browns, Bills, Raiders, Titans). The Steelers and Ravens aren’t all that great either, but they have the most talent (and recent playoff success) of the nine teams in the hunt.

    And, for whatever it’s worth, only ONE of those nine teams has a winning record over its last five games. That would be the Steelers, at 3-2. Every other team in that group is trending downward. It’s a strong possibility that 8-8 wins the final wild card spot.

  120. Damon says:

    Go Cats!

  121. Milo Hamilton says:

    If by smart strategic call you mean stupid, I agree with you.

  122. NMR says:

    Figured you’d iron out the wrinkles in my faded memory. Thank you, sir.

  123. Arriba Wilver says:

    It was way worse than snow and/or freezing weather. Yep, it was miserable. But as one who didn’t have tickets, my family room and the big screen worked out great. ;-)

  124. NMR says:

    Unless the game is tightly contested, the final portion of sporting events are one of the most boring ways I can think to spend my time.

    I feel as much obligation to stay til the last snap/pitch/second as I do to stay til the end of a concert or movie I’m not enjoying. Which is none.

  125. Milo Hamilton says:

    Unfortunately I can’t remember the important stuff. And trust me, I’m reminded of that in my house on a daily basis.

  126. Damon says:

    Josh Yohe tweet: “So Beau Bennett is on the top line. Interesting. I like it.” Not sure which player he replaced, but I like it as well….

  127. theplanisworking says:

    I dont know. He might have.

    John does do Big East games, I believe, or a regional network type thing.

    Alan Cutler, where are you now? ;)

  128. Damon says:


  129. Lad 9 says:

    Even the pants are horrible. It was an assault on the eyes yesterday. Like a Wal-Mart at midnight…..

  130. theplanisworking says:

    Unless you are either up by a lot, or down by a lot, or near the end of a game and behind, I wouldnt try a trick play. Too much to lose. Its not like the holder was a 260 pound running back……….

    But thanks Schwartz!!! :)

  131. Scott says:

    Care to explain why it was stupid?

  132. Jandy says:

    I don’t get this Gibbons recall. Sure, he’s hot in the AHL. But man, he’s 5’8″. 170 lbs. I guess Kunitz is gonna have to open up some space for him. smh

    And they sent Megna back down.

    Sorry, I don’t get it.

  133. Scott says:

    Exciting news! I think everyone thought it would be Kunitz-Malkin-Neal if Bennett was moved to the top line, but this could work too.

  134. Milo Hamilton says:

    The NFL is investigating the Steelers for bullying because they made their players wear those uniforms. This could get ugly.

  135. Jandy says:

    Those have to be THE worst uni’s … ever!

  136. Jandy says:

    it already *IS* ugly!

  137. Milo Hamilton says:

    Because it didn’t work & they lost ?

  138. tpbco says:

    Me too. Hope we see it tonite.

  139. theplanisworking says:

    According to some national columnists, the NFL mirrors prison culture already, so the uniforms are a match…………

    The first time those uniforms debuted, my girlfriend asked if they were on work release………

  140. Jandy says:

    I get your humor, Hipposter, but I seriously, just can’t stand those uni’s.

  141. hockeymonster says:

    Iceman this isnt any fun if you keep agreeing with me :)

  142. Milo Hamilton says:

    How will they possibly rehab ? There are no more USC – Stanford games.

  143. theplanisworking says:


  144. hockeymonster says:

    Agreed jandy. Sutter needs bigger wingers not smaller. Gibbons has some quickness but not sure how much help jussi and gibbons will be to sutter down low on the cycles. And defensively…egh not sure what to expect from that line.

  145. Damon says:

    I’d rather see Megna too, but I’ve never seen Gibbons yet (those stats are tough to get past for a 3rd liner). Hope it works because there are a lot of tough games ahead….

  146. Jim S. says:

    The socks alone should draw a lawsuit. Where’s Waldo-esque. Or, maybe the witch from Wizard of Oz that had the house fall on her.

    Then, again, the Ravens wear what appear to be women’s leggings as their uniform pants.

  147. Thundercrack says:

    What I didn’t like about that play is that you had a player that normally doesn’t run with the football doing exactly that …and the weather and field conditions didn’t help any.

    I don’t think I would call it stupid though.

    And then their defense let the Steelers go 90+ yards

  148. theplanisworking says:

    The Packers and Eagles throwbacks from long ago are even worse, IMO.

  149. tpbco says:

    Monday AM QB’s always benefit from 20-20 hindsight, myself included. I do agree it was an agressive call and would have probably won the game. The hole looked huge, but the placeholder wasn’t fast enough to get through it. Probably couldn’t simulate that in practice and why “trick plays” of any kind have high risk.

    That being said, if I ever do end up in a straight jacket (some think I am getting closer and closer) it will over a shotgun empty set backfield on first down in the red zone. Arians loved it and they did it at least three times yesterday and I believed ended up with FG’s every time. Argh!

  150. Jim S. says:

    If so, Brown and Sanders can both fit in the Johnson jersey.

  151. Milo Hamilton says:

    OK, how’s idiotic, asinine or moronic ? I’m being kind here.

  152. Arriba Wilver says:

    One thing I never thought I’d see—Matt McGloin ever start an NFL game. And kudos to him and Bill O’Brien for his performance.

  153. Arriba Wilver says:

    Ill-advised under the circumstances?

  154. Jim S. says:

    I find this odd phenomenon with ESPN and the Eagles. The 4-letter network just seems enamored with all things Eagles, every season. Sal Pal is on-site at every game, every year bringing us first person reports. I don’t recall one of their big-name reporters stationed at many other NFL sites, every week. Maybe I’m just imagining this.

  155. I have a message for Ian Rappaport: Enough already! Ben made his position clear enough on the field yesterday and the Steelers made their position clear enough as well!

  156. Jim S. says:

    I agree, TC. Giving the ball to a non-football player and asking him to be a running back there. I only saw it once on replay, but it looked like McClendon just annihilated him.

  157. Jandy says:

    all of the above ;)

  158. Jandy says:

    how a about we call it a dorktard call? ;)

  159. Jandy says:

    Monster Mash, they had Gibbons on the top line with Sid and Kunitz at practice.

    NOT on the third or fourth line…

  160. Jandy says:

    Hey, I hope Gibbons proves me wrong. I’ll happily admit it!

  161. theplanisworking says:

    Did they wear slippers?

  162. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Straw man?….This issue was brought up via tweets from DK yesterday.

  163. theplanisworking says:

    Is this another thing that if you ignore it, it will go away also? ;)

  164. Jandy says:

    Couldn’t tell thru all the mud :P

  165. Jandy says:

    So, then, is Dejan immature, too?

  166. Jandy says:

    No, that would be the bumblebee uni’s ;)

  167. hockeymonster says:

    Oh i thought damon and other reports had bennett on top line and gibbons on 3rd line.

  168. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Troy running around is the way he’s always played, except for the last couple of years that he was injured.

    He was all over the field yesterday. His job is to create chaos for the offense.

  169. I too at this time would like to thank the Lions’ coach for opting for that fake field goal in the fourth quarter since that allowed Ben and Co. to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat yesterday.

  170. Jim S. says:

    Maybe the Lions had something to do with them all getting open, too. Their secondary is horrible.

  171. Jandy says:

    My bad…so they did. (My mind is messed up from all the confusion here at work, sorry) Still can’t see Gibbons helping Sutter out, as Sutter isn’t all that large himself. Well, let’s see how it goes. Who knows? maybe he’ll score a goal and we’ll all be happy!

  172. Jim S. says:

    That’s a good line. I see where you’re going with that. I was actually at that game in Cincinnati, and heard about the furor afterwards where Thomm denied saying Locke sucks or something close to that during the broadcast.

  173. hockeymonster says:

    I saw some baby pens highlights where gibbons looked quick with good hockey IQ but didnt really see the kind of acceleration a smaller nhler needs. Between those highlights and what i saw in pre-season i think i would’ve given megna another shot before going with gibbons. On the other hand gibbons and harry z have been carrying the baby pens so maybe rewarding him with a call up is ok. But cant say my expectations are very high.

  174. Jandy says:

    Yeah Monster Mash, we have to hope Gibbons goes all Marty St. Louis on the Ducks ;)

  175. Something better work tonight since Malkin hasn’t scored since October 17 and the Pens have lost 4 of 5 and have lately scored only one goal per game on average.

  176. And Penn State won because Purdue provided the softest opposition imaginable.

  177. casper in a-town says:

    Hi All — I saw a few comments above regarding Bell vs. Dwyer. I like Bell’s potential but I like Dwyer better right now because he hits the line of scrimmage in a sprint. Bell likes to stop at the line of scrimmage and try to find a running lane. That might work on the college level, but it doesn’t work in the NFL. NFL defenders, to include down linemen and the linebackers, are too fast and will close in on you (most of the time) before you can re-accelerate into an open running lane. From what I see, this is Bell’s problem, which Dwyer doesn’t have. There is no indecisiveness in Dwyer’s approach. Thankfully, Bell is young and can change his approach. If he does, I think he will be a complete back for us (that route, catch and run yesterday? Sweet!) for years to come. Just my two cents.

  178. And Penn State is currently favored to beat Nebraska next week.

  179. NMR says:

    Jeff Tweedy, is that you?

  180. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I took that play call as a direct lack of respect towards the Steelers defense, just as much as it was going for it on 4th and 3 on the opening drive.

    The play work to perfection for the Lions, except for the punter remembering to hold on to the ball at the end, but they are used to not holding on to the ball for very long.

    I think the call goes more to Schwartz’s (ouch don’t shake my hand too hard) cockiness than anything else.

  181. Jim S. says:

    Makes sense as long as he is actually causing chaos, Nor Cal. I have seen games where I feel like he’s just running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off. Sometimes I wonder if a great veteran like him gets too much autonomy to deviate from the plan. I love Troy, but sometimes I wonder any more. I try not to confuse effort with actually accomplishing things.

  182. Cleveland is currently favored to beat the Steelers this week at Cleveland, although I would certainly hope not!

  183. Jim S. says:

    Really? That’s a bit of a head scratcher to me.

  184. JoeyBats says:

    Paulson = TERRIBLE

  185. Jandy says:

    Hiya casper :)

  186. NMR says:

    Just in case you needed more reason to lose faith in people:

    I’d love to see the correlation between people who post comments on newspaper articles and people who frequent Walmart after midnight.

  187. Jim S. says:

    The Pirates are already working the big pizza slices angle, a la Costco, TC. :-)

  188. theplanisworking says:

    McCain has far bigger problems to worry about, IMO.
    Like why he is shopping at Walmart after midnight……. ;)

  189. Jim S. says:


    Is Rappaport’s new angle that Ben is angry he is only making $12M per season, or something like that? He’s angry that several other QBs make more money?

    A whole lot of QBs should be using Flacco’s contract as ammunition.

  190. Jim S. says:

    15 years ago today, the Pirates traded for Brian Giles. Time flies.

  191. Arriba Wilver says:

    At least he didn’t send a picture of his junk.

  192. hockeymonster says:

    We can hope…however Marty st louis is strong like bull. Sutter didnt have great chemistry with TK so unless gibbons is super strong on the puck not sure how he’ll help offensively or defensively. And jussi on the 3rd line seems like a waste. Unless we go with curveball lines i would prefer to keep jussi with malkin where he can be useful and move duper down to 3rd line in defensive role with sutter where maybe he help on forecheck and puck possession as well.

  193. Milo Hamilton says:

    Thank you for that. I’ll go no further. But really, there’s so much there.

  194. casper in a-town says:

    Hey Jandy — Hope all is well! Looking forward to the line shuffle tonight?

  195. Milo Hamilton says:

    Pirates named Jeff Branson hitting coach & Jeff Livesey as his assistant.

    Must have missed the team’s statement thanking Jay Bell for his efforts & wishing him well in the future. :)

  196. Jim S. says:

    Great Travis Sawchick article about Bucs’ Latin scout Rene Gayo for Baseball America.

  197. Jandy says:

    he (McCain) just needs to put on his big boy pants….and STFD and STFU :)

  198. Milo Hamilton says:

    From the Pirates official release:

    “The 46 year old Branson joined the Major League staff on December 13, 2012 and spent the 2013 season implementing the club’s hitting program along with hitting coach Jay Bell.”

    How nice of Jay to help.

  199. Jim S. says:

    At this point, I think all members of Congress should be focused on meddling in sports.

  200. casper in a-town says:

    Yep. Travis does some good work. As does Rene, obviously.

  201. NMR says:

    “…spent the 2013 season implementing the club’s hitting program…”

    Whew. And to think I started losing confidence in Huntington’s ability to identify good hitting coaches.

  202. Jandy says:

    Thanks for the link, Jim, great read.

  203. Jandy says:

    Well, I’m not thrilled with it, but I’m willing to give it a go :)

  204. casper in a-town says:

    I’m not thrilled either, but I like the fact that Dan and Co. are trying to make some adjustments.

  205. Milo Hamilton says:

    So to summarize, Branson did it, Bell helped. They were worse offensively than the year before. Bell quits, Branson is promoted because it was really him, not Bell, that made them worse.

    Alrighty then.

  206. Jim S. says:

    + many, on both counts.

    Gayo watched Polanco pitching and saw a graceful, athletic outfielder wth a nice, short hitting stroke instead. He asked Polanco if he liked playing OF, and Polanco said he wanted to play OF but kept being put on the mound.

    Gayo saw Marte playing SS awkwardly, and saw a dominant OF.

    I always find it amazing that a guy who could be a star never accomplishes anything if he never finds the right position. The scout who can see not only a talented player, but a guy who is not showing his talent because he is not in the right spot is good to have on your staff.

  207. Iceman says:

    Paul Martin is playing great and Dustin Jeffrey is now gone. I’m sure we will find something else soon :)

  208. Wild Bill says:

    Thanks, Wilco.

  209. casper in a-town says:

    Amen, Jim. On a personal note, my father played centerfield for Ponce in the Puerto Rican winter league back in the early 1960’s. He loved playing centerfield. A scout for the Dodgers wanted him to switch to 2nd base, as he felt my father’s skill set translated better to 2nd and that he’d get drafted by an MLB team if he made the switch. Well, my hard-headed father refused. Needless to say, my father’s glory days were spent in Puerto Rico.

  210. Jandy says:

    The nightmares are closing in!

  211. Arriba Wilver says:

    Two of my nieces, who now live on the left coast, re-posted this on Facebook:

    Thought it might be interesting to some of the ex-Burghers here.

    And I love the doormat.

  212. Jandy says:

    Seems to me a good scout has to “think outside the box” so to speak…

  213. Jim S. says:

    You’re welcome, Jandy!

  214. Jandy says:

    casper, that’s a bummer!

  215. Jandy says:

    YES! SHEETZ!!! I love me my Sheetz!!!

    LOL AW, thanks for this, it truly made my day….

  216. Jim S. says:

    Good story, Casper. Too bad for your dad. But, if he felt strongly about it, he had to take control of his own destiny I think. If he had switched positions for somebody else and it didn’t work out, he would have regretted forever letting someone talk him into it.

  217. casper in a-town says:

    Tell me about it! But I grew up with a lot of great stories about guys like Clemente, Marichal, etc. My father played in the winter leagues when that league was at its peak. Some of my fondest memories as a little kid were of me sitting on the steps of my front porch with my father, listening to Pirates’ games on his little transistor radio, with him telling me “war stories” of his days in centerfield and the legends he got to play against.

  218. casper in a-town says:

    Funny, because he beat himself up over it for years. He said he wished he wasn’t some pig-headed 18 year old, because he would have been in the MLB. Tying this in to Rene Gayo, the real truth in his genius is that he gets these guys to make the switch. That’s the art in scouting when it comes to taking guys from one position and convincing them to switch to another.

  219. Jandy says:

    There’s a lot to be said for ANY adjsutments,indeed.

  220. Jim S. says:

    Loved that, Arriba! People from the midwest are always asking me why I don’t seem like an East Coast guy. Short answer: I’m not from the East Coast! Get an atlas, dude. Pittsburgh is nearly as close to Indianapolis as it is to Philadelphia.

  221. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:


    you hear these types of stories all the time with younger players. MOST of the best players all played pitcher or SS, except for catchers of course. Though many pitched.

    Gary Sheffield came up as a young SS as well.

  222. Jim S. says:

    That’s pretty cool stuff, Casper! As Larry David would say, “Pretty, pretty, pretty cool!”

  223. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Oh I agree, doesn’t mean I can’t root for him though.

  224. Wild Bill says:

    Nice shout out for McGloin, AW. If anybody else besides AW and Jandy cares to look, there is a really good column by David Jones at today about McGloin. I’m lousy posting links, but it’s there and found easily.

    Only bad part is that he’s doing this for the Raiders.

    I’ll bet Megatron put Brown’s jersey in the first trash can he saw in the locker room. Those things are Coyote Ugly.

  225. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:


  226. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Mine too. I think I would rather sit in the snow than cold, windy, rain…..

  227. Wild Bill says:

    Jandy, you are a jewel whose value is beyond price. And you’re good at links, too.

  228. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Like stated above, it’s possible that the opposition is avoiding him, so he could be causing chaos without doing much in the stats category.

  229. Jandy says:

    And it’s an excellent story to read…

  230. Jandy says:

    LOL! Thanks :blushing:

  231. Jandy says:

    I remember my first and only Steelers game at Heinz Field. It was snowing like there was no tomorrow, it was cold…so I decided to keep warm. I had a couple beers and I was fine…lol.
    No way would I have sat out in the rain, tho.

  232. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    And runs around a 4.3 40. Super-sick. should be illegal.

  233. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I had that combo last week for the Niners game as well. Breneman is terrible.

  234. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m guessing DK wasn’t watching outside in the rain and getting soaked and cold.

    Would I have left? Prolly not. I hate leaving any game early, no matter the sport. But I don’t think it’s fair to judge other’s motives in yesterday’s conditions. And that’s not limited just to weather.

  235. Jim S. says:

    It is true that almost all players were pitchers in their younger years, Nor Cal. And, definitely a lot of guys get moved around. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Marte definitely would not have been suited for SS. I’m assuming the same would be said for Polanco as a pitcher. Gayo seems to be able to “project” well.

    James McDonald was an outfielder before the Dodgers converted him to pitcher. Usually, when it goes that way it is because a guy has no chance to hit MLB pitching but has a great arm.

  236. 21sthebest says:

    I didn’t see Dejan’s tweets so I can’t say.

  237. Jim S. says:

    He does seem like a cocky SOB, doesn’t he?

    Ironically, he had the run-in with maybe the most cocky coach in the sport (Harbaugh, Jim).

  238. Jim S. says:

    Rain is usually worse than snow to me. Chills you to the bone.

  239. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Ctrl C, then Ctrl V

    Copy and paste.

  240. Jandy says:


  241. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Agree with all the above statements.

    I have no idea if I would’ve stayed or not, would think that I would, especially considering I was coming from out of town.

    Being out in the elements isn’t new to me though.

  242. Jim S. says:

    A guy gets a Gravatar and suddenly he’s writing code. :-)

  243. NMR says:

    Major respect given to Mr. Nutting, as well.

    “He looks like Clark Kent, but he’s Rambo.”

  244. Jim S. says:

    What does Mike Lange say?

    “He hasn’t scored since the 8th grade picnic.”

  245. NMR says:

    I mean, promoting Gregg Ritchie was such a smashing success that the model of staying in-house should certainly be continued with Branson.

    No sense bothering to see if other coaches out there could do a better job.

  246. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Or developes a nasty knuckleball, like Wakefield.

  247. 21sthebest says:

    Exactly Jandy.

  248. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, I guess it was not Wakefield’s great arm that saved his career. It was that knuckler. Most knuckleball pitchers only go with that pitch in desperation, I think.

    But, he was tanking as a position player.

  249. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Not only saved his career, but made his career.

  250. Arriba Wilver says:

    Kind of ignores that Bell, despite being a Pirate in the 90’s, was from ” outside.”

  251. Nate83 says:

    I’ve always have been a fan of Gayo. Reading stuff like this is slowly making me a fan of Nutting. I can’t complain about the amount of time, interest and effort he has put into developing this organization from the bottom up. He has started to also spend appropriate money at the major league level. I was skeptical that it would be spent when the time was right but it seems as if he has started doing that and may continue within reason.

    I love hearing Gayo say this is only the beginning. He obviously is biased but the guys been doing this a long time and if he thinks the new acadamy is just now starting to show benefits then I have to believe him and look forward to what it produces.

  252. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:


  253. Jim S. says:

    I’m surprised I have not yet seen the stories about the downfall of the Ravens this year being 100% due to the loss of their inspirational leader and greatest player in NFL history, Ray Lewis. I expected to be reading that most of their losses would have been avoided if he were playing.

  254. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:


    True, true

  255. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    They love some Jeff Branson

  256. theplanisworking says:

    Peace. Love. Turnpike.

    As someone who travels the Pike, and sees the tolls explode every single year, “Love” is not the word I use……..

  257. theplanisworking says:

    Too busy finding the real killer in Atlanta.
    And, dispensing great insight on ESPN.
    And, threatening Brian Urlacher………… ;)

  258. Jim S. says:


    You forgot “Mentor to a nation!”

  259. Jim S. says:

    That was just a joke, Nor Cal. Hope you took it that way.

  260. Jim S. says:

    I think he knows what he is doing, Nate. The efforts are starting to bear fruit – Marte, Polanco, Heredia, Herrera (to Mets, for Byrd), Hanson, Ramirez, etc.

    There was a time … granted, a long time ago now … when this organization was considered one of the best at detecting and developing Latin development in the majors. How great would it be to get that back?

    And, Gayo doesn’t want to be someone’s GM. Says he likes what he is doing, and that there is still a lot of work ahead.

  261. Jim S. says:

    Yep, 200+ wins. WS x2.

  262. NMR says:

    I won’t claim my snark-filled rants against Pirate hitting practices are infallible.

  263. NMR says:

    In light of never reading a bad word said about Gayo OTHER than in the Pelotero “documentary”, I’m not sure if it is more a shame that the movie slandered him or that people actually accept that dramatization as fact.

    If it’s on Netflix, it must be true, right?

  264. tpbco says:

    I thought he was lookiing for the missing white suit….

  265. theplanisworking says:

    Dont go racist on us now. ;)
    Poor suit couldnt help what color it was………..

    as Ray Ray would say……………
    PREACH IT !!!!!!!!

  266. Jim S. says:

    Phillies re-signed Ruiz as catcher for 3/$26M. Youth movement continues in Philly.

    Per John Heyman, the Yankees have offered Cano 7/$160M, but he is demanding 10/$310M. 7/$160M seems crazy to me even for a great player like Cano.

  267. Baywatch says:

    They need to tell Cano “there’s always Hardee’s!” (Or McDonald’s Or Burger King!)

  268. Jim S. says:

    I was thinking the same thing about how he was portrayed.


  269. NMR says:

    And the Giants sign Tim Hudson for two years and $23m.

    Remember that time Pirate fans thought their team might actually be relavent in the free agent market? Poor Pirate fans.

    $160m for Cano would likely be a HUGE value for the Yankees.

  270. Wild Bill says:

    Cano’s agent is Boras, right?

  271. NMR says:

    Nope. HOVA.

  272. Nate83 says:

    Ahhh Netflix. My boys have been asking for it for years. It’s amazing how short their attention span is. They never think they have enough to watch. Poor kids only have instant access to everything between their ipods, computer, VOD, DVR. If you watch them closely it looks like their heads will explode when they have to wait just 4 seconds for something to come on or upload. I always tell them the word upload barely existed 30 years ago and it was measured in hours not seconds.

    I’m pretty sure this is the year we finally give in and buy it because we are suckers.

  273. Less than $12 mill a year for Hudson . . . . . . seems like a good value to me.

    I’d be happy to get A.J. for that.

    I was hoping BMTIB would grab Hudson before the bidding skyrocketed.
    Stupid me!!!!!

  274. Jay-Z stole him from Boras.

  275. Nate83 says:

    The yankees would be ignorant to go beyond 7 years. There is no way he doesn’t become diminishing returns after the first 5 years of that contract. I think the 8-10 year contracts will be replaced by 5-7 year contracts. The average per year will continue to go up so the Pirates will always be priced out of many free agents but that is OK because most of them rarely give you great years from age 32-35.

  276. JohninOshkosh says:

    Interesting staff there in San Fran.

  277. Jim S. says:

    Huddy’s up there in age a bit, but I think you’re right, Groat. 2/$23 seems like a good deal for the Giants. Kind of makes me wonder, though, why the Braves didn’t offer that much. He is supposedly their de facto pitching coach.

  278. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, maybe they can re-sign Vogelsong and then get Colon and see how many games they can win with guys who throw 89-91.

  279. JohninOshkosh says:

    The Pirates will end up signing Colon for that. I don’t know why, but I get the sickening feeling it’s destiny that Colon ends up in a Bucco uniform.

    The numbers support signing him, but I just can’t stand him. But, that’s me.

  280. Jim S. says:

    That will be a costly uniform (in terms of sheer material).

    On the bright side, there will be plenty of good Princess Bride banter here on the blog.

  281. Nate83 says:

    I wouldn’t want it unless Bumgardner and Cain have good bounce back years. Their payroll has to be getting pretty high for even them with Pence, Hudson and Lincecum all signing. Although Zito comes of the books I think.

  282. Yankees did NOT learn that with Alex Rodriguez.
    Yankees did NOT learn that with Mark Teixeira.
    Yankees did NOT learn that with CC Sabathia.

    What makes you think they will learn it with Robby Cano?

  283. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Would you say Jay-Z got the “Holy Grail” of the FA market this off season?

  284. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Oh of course. I can read through the cyber sarcasm, I found it funny.

  285. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Young talent moving up in the Braves organization.

  286. theplanisworking says:

    Speaking for big guys everywhere, I am insulted by your material comment. ;)

  287. NMR says:

    I feel like there’s a solid reference in there but I’m too old to get it…

  288. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Zito is off the books.

    I hate to rag on Sabean, but man that guy overpays for FA’s. I know he’s built a team that won 2/4 World Series, but most of that game from the home grown talent that he drafted and developed.

    Signing Zito to one of the most ridiculous contracts in history (even though he was coming off of a Cy Young season), hell, his buyout was $7million. Angel Pagan got $40 million over 4 last offseason, Hunter Pence for $90 million this offseason, Scuturo to 3/$20 at the age of 37 after being a career journeyman.

    One thing I like about Sabean is his loyalty. The guy likes the FA or trade acquistions he brings in.

    That team has been built on pitching since Barry Bonds left. Adding Huddy for 2 years is a risk.

    BTW, he cut Vogelsong this off season too, supposedly trying to re sign him at a lower salary.

    Madison Bumgarner doesn’t need a bounce back season. He had a 2.77 ERA, 13-9 record, 199 K’s, with over 200 innnigs pitched. 8.9 K/9

    The dude is solid and still young.

    Cain on the other hand, struggled.

  289. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Sorry for going off on my Brian Sabean rant, the guy makes my head hurt worse than Neal Huntington.

  290. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    His latest song……..

  291. Nate83 says:

    Thanks for the info. I didn’t realize Bumgarner was that solid. For some reason I thought he struggles as well. Maybe it had something to do with the entire team tanking late in the year.

  292. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    compliments of having a 14 year old raised in California.

  293. Jim S. says:

    Did anyone read about Coonelly fighting for the small market teams with regard to changing the posting system for Japanese players?

    As we know, that system has always tilted heavily in favor of the big market teams with deep pockets. The reason for that is they can bid whatever they want and not face the luxury tax penalty, as it does not apply to Japanese posting. Apparently, Coonelly wants that changed so that a team should be forced to pay luxury taxes if signing a Japanese player drives them above the threshold.

    Predictably, the Yankees oppose Coonelly’s idea, and so do other large market teams. They kind of like getting the pick of the litter from Japan, and not have that affect their luxury tax status which incurs a 50% penalty when they exceed $189M in payroll. Luxury taxes are collected in the league, BTW, and go into their central fund. They don’t get distributed to teams.

    The new proposal by the big market clubs is that the highest bidder will still get the player, but now the highest bidder only has to pay the average of the top 2 bids. So, the newly proposed system is actually even BETTER for the big market teams.

    Unfortunately for the Bucs and other small market teams, the player’s union is likely to side with the big market teams. They never want limits on what can be spent on players – so keeping this out of the luxury tax arena is good for the player’s union.

    Anyway, this is a complicated subject. Coonelly is said to be a thorn in the side of the Yankees on this one. Hopefully, other teams will step up and fight with the Bucs. Otherwise, the Yankees/Red Sox/Dodgers are likely to sign Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka w/o risking their luxury tax status and teams in medium and small markets will continue to have no chance.

  294. Nate83 says:

    The sons are running it now and they have stated that they will not do such things. This will be their first test.

  295. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    They tanked all season. MadBum, is one that didn’t.

    They dealt with a lot of injuries this year.

  296. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Need Jo-Jo the tent maker for that uni…….

  297. NMR says:

    And you didn’t even mention Aaron Rowand or Aubrey Huff.

    Sabean is teflon because of those two titles, but those are also the only seasons in the last ten years where the team even made the playoffs.

    And I’ll never respect anything Sabean did before that due to completely turning a blind eye to Barry Bonds.

  298. Nate83 says:

    You mean small market teams can’t just invest 30 million on a player that may or may not be very good just for the right to negotiate with him. The system is so flawed it’s not even funny. It would be like apple computer bidding against some out of his garage computer company for some invention by some genius that has the next big thing that will change computers. Small and mid market teams are fighting with one arm tied around their backs. It’s a system that really only allows 8-10 teams to take part in the process.

  299. Jim S. says:

    I think they are in for a long, hard fall. But, they’ve proven me wrong before.

  300. Nate83 says:

    I’m hoping for Johnson or Kazmir.

  301. Jim S. says:

    My apologies to big guys everywhere. Happy belated Indian Pudding to all of them! :-)

  302. theplanisworking says:

    Jim, why do you think they are big in the first place?
    Indian pudding is fattening, Man! ;)

  303. NMR says:

    Worrying about diminishing returns is one way to look at it.

    But that is really only a function of how the Yankees, or any team, decides to structure the payments.

    Cano will almost certainly be a huge value at the beginning of his deal.

  304. JohninOshkosh says:

    This is a real obscure reference that probably only a few movie geeks like me might recall, but Colon always looked to me like the pitcher that has his pitches maneuvered by telekinesis in the Scott Baio/Willie Aames tour de force, “Zapped.”

  305. Jim S. says:

    But, if he’s asking for 3 more years and $8 million more per season for all 10 years, they are going to have to go above $160M. Yankees are all about letting their stars “save face” you know. The utter humiliation of a $160M deal could send Cano into a tailspin the likes of which we have not seen since they were negotiating against themselves and decided to increase their bids nonetheless to Posada, ARod, Jeter, & Rivera. In fact, just a couple of weeks ago, the Yankees added a couple of million dollars extra on Jeter’s new deal so as not to insult him.

  306. theplanisworking says:

    McClatchy and other small market teams had a real chance at greater parity in the early 2000’s, but they caved for the revenue-sharing.

    This system isnt broken, it works for the big spenders………. and that is all that matters. Spend big $$$$ for foreign players, eliminate overslot spending for small market teams…….. so sad.

    But Sleepy Bud wants this too, as it drives up the TV $$$$.
    Name the last small market team to win the WS? It has been a while.

  307. Jim S. says:

    I’d like them to get Johnson.

  308. NMR says:

    “Did anyone read about Coonelly fighting for the small market teams with regard to changing the posting system for Japanese players?”

    Except for that little part where nothing Coonelly “fought” for actually affects smalls market teams.

    Always gotta be careful reading Tim Williams.

    Frank is a coward who couldn’t be bothered to raise a finger when the new draft spending and free agent compensation rules were being tailored to big markets.

  309. JohninOshkosh says:

    The only team in the history of the game that has won a World Series and was in the bottom 10 teams in payroll was the 2003 Florida Marlins.

    And that team was summarily blown up after the parade.

  310. Jim S. says:

    That’s a good question. A truly small market team? For me, St Louis doesn’t count because they are actually upper middle in terms of revenue.

  311. JohninOshkosh says:

    Hi Frank !

  312. Jim S. says:

    If these signings were subject to the luxury tax, which teams like the Yankees are always bumping up against, it would limit the amount they were willing to bid and spend, right? Teams with more room under the $189M threshold would at least have some competitive chance at these players if they chose to make offers.

  313. Jim S. says:

    That’s right, the Marlins.

  314. theplanisworking says:

    Dont disturb him, he is drinking……….. ;)

  315. Jim S. says:

    & FTR, I have no interest in trying to make Frank Coonelly out to be some sort of a hero. So, I wish I hadn’t worded the first part of it that Coonelly was fighting for it. That was just how I read it from Pirates Prospects.

    What if it just said the small market teams were fighting for it, which I assume is the case? Coonelly’s manhood aside, would it not be a better thing for small market teams if these postings were applied to the luxury tax threshold? The more costly it is for high payroll teams to bid heavily on these players, the more likely it seems that teams of lesser revenue would have a chance.

  316. theplanisworking says:

    This ^^^^ is post of the day!

    Frank doesnt do much, so when Uber-Propogandist Tim Williams speaks highly of him, I am skeptical.

    ( And I know many people like Tim.)

  317. theplanisworking says:

    This was posted under NMR’s post, but ended up all the way down here.

    New format blues…….. and the white background still is awful. Here is to hoping DK can get this fixed soon.

  318. National Mart of Records,

    I love your 5:09 post, especially the 4th paragraph. Truth!!

    Except you made one wrong statement——Frank DOES lift a finger: his second one.

    Right back at’cha, Frankie Baby!!!

  319. Arriba Wilver says:

    In fact, publicly he was in favor of it, and the Pirates voted for the last CBA. Crocodile tears here.

  320. The sons re-upped CC Sabathia.

    And lying is a gene that is passed down.

  321. Baseball America Top 10 Pirates out:

    first 5——Gregory Polanco—AA
    Jameson Taillon—AAA
    Tyler Glasnow—A
    Austin Meadows—Short S
    Nick Kingham—A

    Still ways to go for all except Taillon.

  322. Thundercrack says:

    Is the posting system only apply to Japanese players? Or is there the same system for Cuban players?

    And I think when FC voted in favor of the last CBA he was doing it on behalf of the Pirates organization. Meaning, if the owner wanted to make a statement back then of not voting for it he would/could have.
    And I believe that after the votes are made the Commish instructs everyone to either keep their traps shut or come out and say how much you love the new agreement.

    I don’t know all the details of the posting system with the Japanese players but from what I do know it doesn’t seem to be too fair to smaller market/payroll teams.

    So tonight maybe I’ll raise a glass to FC…if nothing else for annoying the Yankees.

  323. Arriba Wilver says:

    “And I think when FC voted in favor of the last CBA he was doing it on behalf of the Pirates organization. Meaning, if the owner wanted to make a statement back then of not voting for it he would/could have.”

    Honestly don’t get the point. Is he not speaking on behalf of the organization now? Isn’t that what he does? And doesn’t he have lots of influence as President on what the organization says and does? Seriously, I don’t understand the point.

  324. Thundercrack says:

    I think if Bob Nutting was against the last CBA he would have instructed FC to cast the Pirates’ vote as against it, not for it.

    The Pirates vote gets pinned on FC because he is the person who made the vote for the Pirates.
    “he didn’t raise a finger”

    I don’t think FC or Kevin McClatchy before him could have organized a coalition of small market teams to stand up to Bud and the big market teams. They were probably told ‘you got revenue sharing, be happy with that’

  325. 21sthebest says:

    If teams of lesser revenue had a chance, those players wouldn’t come here.

  326. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    By the way 21…I’ve seen you do it, so you’re quite aware of what I’m speaking of.

  327. Arriba Wilver says:

    Still don’t get the point. We don’t know whether FC recommended it to BN, right? I think as President he owns it.

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