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Morning Java: Next of the great Steelers?

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Friday column celebrates the truly special season Antonio Brown is having. And it celebrates in whatever manner fits best, as you’ll find out.

On that note, let me throw a question your way: If you take Hines Ward and Louis Lipps out of the equation, who was the Steelers’ best wide receiver between the Lynn Swann/John Stallworth era and now?

I know my choice, but let’s hear yours.

Meaningful football between the Steelers and Browns? Been a while, but it’s back. Alan Robinson reports.

Here’s how Ryan Clark feels about it …

Matt Spaeth took a big step forward. Mark Kaboly reports. That shouldn’t be underestimated. Spaeth is no star, but he’s one of the better blocking tight ends in football and could make a difference.

Why was the NFL alone in taking heat for playing after JFK’s death 50 years ago this very day? Robinson looks back.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage, including a bunch of injury updates.

Here’s Browns news from the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Here are official game highlights from NFL.com.

>> Jeff Zatkoff hasn’t been needed much, which has been a blessing for the Penguins. Josh Yohe reports in advance of tonight’s visit from the Islanders.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage.

Here’s Islanders news from Newsday.

Here are official game highlights from NHL.com.

>> Lauryn Williams is back for another Olympics, only this time it’s the winter edition as part of the bobsled team. Karen Price reports, and I look forward to covering Lauryn yet again in Sochi.

>> The Pirates have inquired on Lance Berkman, who might be retiring. Travis Sawchik reports.

>> I’ll visit with TribLIVE Radio at 11:30 a.m. And the weekly chat will follow shortly thereafter at noon, right here on the blog.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

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

Comments

  1. Vette60 says:

    Hmm…receiver question? My vote goes for Willis Hope “Weegie” Thompson. Good ‘ol number 87. Really though? Charles Johnson? Yancey Thigpen? Tough call as there were some barren years post Swann/Stallworth if you take Looooouuuuu and Hines out of the equation.

    Looking forward to the 149th meeting of my alma mater Lehigh and their nemesis Lafayette on Saturday! Here’s to a Lehigh win for the Patriot title and the automatic playoff birth!

    Take care all.
    Randy in RVA.

  2. Ghost says:

    Yancey Thigpen wasn’t bad. Plaxico was a good one — and delivered a Super Bowl victory, though not with us. But Santonio Holmes delivered a SB victory, and that was FOR us. The greatest SB catch ever, no less. And he was awesome that whole playoff run. If some gal hadn’t thrown a glass at him while Ben was having all his trouble, who knows how great Santonio could have been with us. Santonio is the best WR we’ve had not named Hines Ward since Swann and Stallworth retired. AB may get there or even overtake Holmes. But regular-season stats on a one-dimensional offense doesn’t make him great, at least not yet.

  3. Ghost says:

    Okay, time for more baseball. Mitch Moreland is now expendable. IF you accept that he had an off-season last year, then he might be intriguing to the Pirates as he can play 1st and right field and still is under control for three years. Not sure we have the ability to turn around batters like we can turn around pitchers, though. And not sure he brings anything different than what we hope Lambo has, or that we had hoped Jones had. Still, Moreland will be going somewhere…

  4. Brian Ferber says:

    That conversation would start with Jimmy Smith. Then, I loved Weegie growing up, if only because I got to run the fade pattern in the back yard. Then Yancey had a big season, but he dropped the pass at Green Bay that meant nothing….but was annoying on Christmas Eve. Ernie Mills and Jeff Graham caught some key third down passes, but come on. Probably before that, Eric Green revolutionized the receiving tight end for a minute. By the time you coast through the troubled Plax and Santonio, there is only one receiver who makes me stop and say, “I’m glad he was a Steeler.” Not Kordell (though if he stayed there maybe,) I’d say Randle El. I didn’t see that coming.

    I’d rather have Lupe Sanchez returning punts though!

  5. Scott says:

    Great call on Yancey. He’d be my choice. Plaxico and Santonio rank up there too. There aren’t a lot of candidates, which is unfortunate.

  6. Drew71 says:

    Best receiver? Russell Martin.

  7. theplanisworking says:

    Limas Sweed. ;)

  8. JAL says:

    Friday Without You Harry Nilsson Written by Pete Ham and Tom Evans of Badfinger

    JAL’s Without You 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: Do the Pirates Need to Act Differently This Year?
    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/11/first-pitch-do-the-pirates-need-to-act-differently-this-year.html

    Prospect Rewind: Getting to Know Casey Sadler and Joely Rodriguez

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/11/prospect-rewind-getting-to-know-casey-sadler-and-joely-rodriguez.html

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Quiz: All-time Pirates strikeout leaders

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/11/21/5130772/quiz-all-time-pirates-strikeout-leaders

    2013 Pirates had NL’s worst hitting pitchers

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/11/21/5130402/2013-pirates-had-nls-worst-hitting-pitchers

    6 Rant Sports

    5 Reasons Why the Cincinnati Reds Should Trade One of Their Stars

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/11/21/5-reasons-why-the-cincinnati-reds-should-trade-one-of-their-stars/

    7 Green Weenie

    11/21: Donora All-Stars Stan the Man & Junior Born, Cap’n Willie & Bonds MVP Runner-Ups, Brian Meadows, Clint Barmes Signing…

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/11/1121-donora-all-stars-stan-man-junior.html

    8 Reviewing the Brew

    Why I Hate Major League Baseball Today

    http://reviewingthebrew.com/2013/11/21/hate-major-league-baseball-today/

    9 Baseball Nation

    One smart trade doesn’t negate two bad contracts

    http://www.baseballnation.com/2013/11/21/5129962/prince-fielder-ian-kinsler-trade-rangers-tigers-deal

    10 CBS Sports

    Report: Cardinals, Angels talking David Freese trade

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/eye-on-baseball/24256860/report-cardinals-angels-talking-david-freese-trade

  9. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 USA Today

    MLB players’ union head Michael Weiner dies at 51

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2013/11/21/michael-weiner-dies-mlb-players-union-head/3669853/

    12 Sports on Earth

    Still Slipping In Seattle?

    http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/64076844/

    13 Hardball Times

    Cooperstown Confidential: The tale of the tape in 1965

    http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/content/article/cooperstown-confidential-the-tale-of-the-tape-in-1965/

    14 Boston Herald

    Buckley: Destined for Baseball Purgatory

    http://bostonherald.com/sports/columnists/steve_buckley/2013/11/buckley_destined_for_baseball_purgatory

    15 Sacramento Bee

    2013 Postseason Shares

    http://www.sacbee.com/2013/11/21/5934535/2013-postseason-shares.html

    16 San Francisco Chronicle

    Giants, Lopez agree on 3-year deal

    http://www.sfgate.com/giants/shea/article/Giants-Lopez-agree-on-3-year-deal-5000269.php

    17 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Bernie Bytes: The David Freese Watch

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/bernie-miklasz/bernie-bytes-the-david-freese-watch/article_6a6f7e48-f7d1-57f5-9f83-9838c59bc887.html
    18 Cincinnati Enquirer

    No official word on Schumaker

    http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/2013/11/21/no-official-word-on-schumaker/

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    How to Make Up a Good Trade Rumor

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=22271

    20 Fangraphs

    Tigers Exchange Albatross For Good Player, Get Even Better

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/tigers-exchange-albatross-for-good-player-get-even-better/

  10. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers vs. Browns: The bingo game is about to begin

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/11/21/5130738/steelers-offense-preview-nfl-week-12-cleveland-browns

    Game film shows Le’Veon rings the Bell, despite Smizik’s opinion

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/11/21/5129700/smizik-be-damned-game-film-shows-leveon-rings-the-bell

    22 Steelers Gab

    Look Back: Two Metcalf Punt Returns Sink Steelers In 1993 Battle With Browns

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2013/11/21/look-back-two-metcalf-punt-returns-sink-steelers-in-1993-battle-with-browns/

    Soccer(football)

    23 Fond du Loc Reporter

    Soccer Shorts: Fantastic 2013 for US men

    http://www.fdlreporter.com/article/20131120/FON0210/311200410/Soccer-Shorts-Fantastic-2013-US-men

    24 World Soccer Daily

    The stories you need to read – November 21, 2013

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-the-stories-you-need-to-read-november-21-2013

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Advanced stats review Pens vs. Caps

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/11/21/5130504/pens-vs-caps-sidney-crosby-versus-alex-ovechkin

    Memorable Moments: Capital Punishment</b?

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/11/20/5125292/memorable-moments-capital-punishment

  11. Gary O'Shell says:

    I think it’s a toss-up between Plaxico and Santonio. The O’s have it!

  12. Brandie says:

    You meanLimas “Beans” Sweed? Number one in my book too! ;-)

  13. Jandy says:

    G’mornin you Loonies :)
    TGIF

  14. theplanisworking says:

    Yeah, hands like beans……..

  15. theplanisworking says:

    No camels today !
    Good morning to you also.

    I am shocked at the lack of love for Troy Edwards also. ;)

  16. Brandie says:

    You want bad hands, then Dwight Stone is your guy. Limas was just too smooth and too cool for the job.

  17. Brandie says:

    Forgot about Troy. Good choice, but I was mesmerized by the power of Yancey “The UniBrow” Thigpen.

  18. JoeyBats says:

    LOL …. I’m wondering when Matt Spaeth has become the reincarnation of Mike Ditka & John Mackey!!

    Oh yes…when playing for a team that is 4-6. Yikes, the guy is mediocre at best in all aspects of the game….he ain’t no savior. …………….BUT, I guess, he could be an upgrade over Davey Paulsen & Robert ( “addicted to love”) Palmer. ;-)

  19. The Gunner says:

    I checked out Moreland’s 2013 stats at Baseball Reference (.232 BA, 23 HR, 60 RBI) – see link below. Maybe a platoon of him and Gaby might work. Also, he is 28 & his salary last year was $502,700 but, it will increase via arbitration – so he looks to be affordable.

    http://www.baseballreference.com/players/m/morelmi01.shtml

  20. theplanisworking says:

    ” The Pirates have inquired on Lance Berkman, who might be retiring. Travis Sawchik reports. ”

    Is this similar to “inquiring” on big FA’s?
    ( Milo, the post on the “interest” on Robbie Cano yesterday was simply priceless !! )

    Berman is old, injury-prone, and would be a stretch for Gaby’s platoon partner. He would be a better fit as a DH, if he doesnt retire.

    And nice to see the Pirates be honored at the Chuck Cooper awards. Those types of things sometimes go unannounced, or forgotten. Truly a n honor to be recognized in that area.

    When accepting the award, Frank should just say Thank You, and sit back down. Frank isnt exactly good with the spoken word….would be a bad thing if he was a little tipsy, and embarrassed himself, or the Pirates at such a luncheon. Prayers to him.

  21. The Gunner says:

    Frank continues to be a disgrace to the BMTIB. With the holiday season upon us, he likely will be boozing more than he normally does.

  22. Steve in VA says:

    I’m going to go a little outside the box with my receiver pick. My vote is heath miller. While not a wide receiver, when he is in the play as a receiver he is always seems to catch that 3rd down conversion or touchdown when targeted.

  23. 21sthebest says:

    I kinda like my Bose wireless receiver.

  24. Jandy says:

    Oh my. lol

  25. Jim S. says:

    San Antonio (Cowherism) gets my vote. I was fortunate enough to attend that Super Bowl in Tampa with my son, who was 6 or 7 at the time. A shot of us pre-game taken by one of the 90% or so Steelers fans in attendance is still my background on my desktop. That was an amazing pass and an even more amazing catch.

    Can’t pick Plaxico, who has to have been one of the dumbest players in NFL history. Remember when he caught a pass as a rookie, was untouched on the ground, then got up and spiked the ball? And, I didn’t even bring up the fact that he shot himself.

    I liked Yancey a lot, and he would have been higher on the list if Ben had been throwing to him.

  26. Jim S. says:

    Ok, so I did bring up the fact that he shot himself.

  27. AJS says:

    Yancey to me is the easy choice that’s the name that came to mind immediatey. But a little outside the box…could the answer be Slash Stewart? He made some pretty amazingcatches in only 1 year in that role.

    Holmes is a good answer as well but really one completely dominant drive defines his otherwise normal career.

  28. AJS says:

    I remember that play vary vividly. What a dunce.

  29. Jim S. says:

    I believe Theo Bell was a tad better. :-)

  30. JMB says:

    Great column DK. I really like AB and his overall style, even though I do yell at him on TV once in a while for showboating a minor catch.

    Keeping AB is one of the better moves of the last couple of years from KC & MT.

    I liked Yancy Thigpen, but I’ll go w. Santonio for your question since he was so instrumental in that SB touchdown drive vs. Arizona.

  31. Jim S. says:

    Moreland is intriguing, Ghost. And, I don’t think it would be a bad signing. I would agree with your thought that he is not much different than what we probably have in Lambo – who, by the way, is now playing some 1b in winter ball. I guess it’s good to have your bases covered.

    My choice, though, would be to grab James Loney. I know it is not a sexy signing, and I know he doesn’t pound the long ball as much as we might like. But, he is a slick fielder at 1b, hits for a pretty good average, and he puts the ball in play. I think we need to avoid another big strikeout guy in that lineup. I believe his gap-to-gap stroke would play well in PNC.

    If we get Loney, I think Tabata/Lambo will be ok in RF until Polanco is ready. Quote from Rene Gayo yesterday about Polanco: “He’s very close.”

    Still need at least one starter, and possibly two if no AJ.

  32. The Justice Avenger says:

    Santonio. That being said…Stallworth is still one of my all time favorite Steelers. He will always rank way up there for me to wear the Black and Gold.

    While on the blog…..just want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy this very special day with family, friends and fellow Loonies everywhere! :)

  33. Well put, Jim. I liked Yancey, too, but when he bolted and came down here to the Titans, he lost my vote. Not that Plax or Holmes were good at life choices, either, but I just don’t like the Titans.

    For pure ability, I would take Santonio.

  34. Damon says:

    My vote would go to Yancey Thigpen – just slightly above AB and Santonio. He was a bigger receiver and didn’t have Ben throwing to him, yet still put up nice stats.

  35. Jandy says:

    You better be back before that…but just in case…you enjoy yours too, Justice :)

  36. Jim S. says:

    I just looked up Yancey’s career stats. He had 2 great seasons (1995/1997) – 164 combined catches, 2,705 combined yards, 12 combined TD. Those were great numbers in those 2 years.

    But, that was pretty much it. Never caught 40 passes in any other season, and had a total of 149 catches outside of those 2 seasons. Only 30 career TD’s.

    I was expecting more when I looked him up. It just wasn’t there.

  37. Damon says:

    I based my pick on how good he was with the Steelers when he was here, and who was throwing him the ball to get those stats. AB and Santonio have only had a couple great seasons with the Steelers as well. Ask in a few more years, and it will probably be AB….

  38. Jim S. says:

    Are we, perhaps, forgetting one Mike Wallace?

    Loved his early work on 60 Minutes, btw. Perhaps, overstayed his welcome.

  39. theplanisworking says:

    Thanks, Turkey. ;)

  40. Milo Hamilton says:

    Since Lance Berkman apparently said no, doesn’t it stand to reason that the next call be to Derrek Lee ? All this extra TV money is grand, isn’t it ?

  41. theplanisworking says:

    A-Rod might be available………. ;)

  42. Jim S. says:

    Do yourself a favor and Google “Steelers All-time receiving leaders.” That will quickly remind you just how great Hines Ward was. 1,000 catches for 12,083 yards and 85 TDs.

    Stallworth was next at 537/8,723/63. Different time and different era. Numbers don’t translate. I would rank Stallworth dead even all-time with Hines, and Swannie #3 (336/5,462/51. But, to me, it is really hard to compare Stallworth and Hines and come up with a #1. They didn’t throw a lot of 7-9 yard passes in Stallworth’s day, and Hines racked up a lot of those. But, did anyone, ever block like Hines? I don’t mean any Steelers ever. I mean, any WR, ever? Not in my book. I always said Hines was the toughest player, pound for pound, that I ever saw in the NFL. There are a lot of defensive players that get credit for being tough guys. Guys like Ray Lewis. I’d like to see how tough Ray Lewis was if he was the hunted rather than the hunter. He would not have last 3 years catching passes over the middle with his back turned to guys looking to take his head off. Hines was a beast. Tough WR, for my money, are often the toughest guys on the field.

    Ok, sorry DK. I took this off-course.

  43. Jandy says:

    :thwap:

  44. Jandy says:

    Good way to go off on a tangent, Jim. I enjoyed every syllable of it :)

  45. theplanisworking says:

    Always love seeing the blowup Hines put on Ed Reed.
    And that poor Bengal, whose jaw he broke.

    They wont make another physical receiver likes Hines again. That type of player would be legislated out of the game.

  46. theplanisworking says:

    : thwap :

    ;)

  47. Milo Hamilton says:

    You guys are over thinking this. It’s Weegie Thompson.

  48. Jim S. says:

    +++++

  49. Jandy says:

    AGREED!

  50. Jandy says:

    LOL! :p

  51. theplanisworking says:

    Please dont accuse me of thinking , ever, good sir. ;)

    Besides. no love for Ernie Mills?

  52. Milo Hamilton says:

    Or Charles Davenport.

  53. Jim S. says:

    I think Weegie was the Jim Pagliaroni of Steelers receivers.

    And, I never saw Jim Pagliaroni play for the Bucs. I just have a hunch.

  54. Jim S. says:

    I bet no one has thought of Calvin Sweeney lately.

  55. theplanisworking says:

    How could we ever forget Andre Hastings?

  56. Milo Hamilton says:

    I just love Weegie because people talk about him like he was good or something. News flash, he wasn’t. He was tall, that’s it. In fact, he stunk. I just never want to let the legend die.

  57. Milo Hamilton says:

    Still holds the Steelers record for most catches in a Super Bowl game.

  58. Jim S. says:

    “Splash” free agent signing of last off-season.

    Actual conversation between Spaeth and his agent when told the Steelers were going to make an offer:

    Agent: Matt, how you doing?

    Spaeth: I think I’m unemployed and retired, what do you think?

    Agent: I think you better get off the couch. The Steelers want you.

    Spaeth: You’re sh*tting me! If there is one team that should know what I bring at this point, I thought it would be them.

    Agent: These aren’t your father’s Pittsburgh Steelers. Start running 40′s, my friend!

  59. Milo Hamilton says:

    In 6 years, 92 games, Weegie Thompson caught a total of 79 passes. Antonio Brown has 74. This year.

  60. NMR says:

    Moreland is the guy Texas chose over Chris Davis when he was traded to Baltimore in 2011.

    Fielder is now the guy Texas chose over Moreland, ergo Pittsburgh should trade for Moreland who is destined for 50 homeruns.

    Yeah, thats about the only thing about Mitch Moreland that interests me.

  61. Jim S. says:

    Bingo! And, that’s why Milo gets paid the big bucks around here!

  62. NMR says:

    Remember that time Pirate fans thought they’d be a player in free agency? Free money!!

    Awe.

  63. Jim S. says:

    And, how many times did they insist on throwing him those fades and lob passes inside the 10? I think that was the only reason we drafted the guy. They never seemed to work.

  64. theplanisworking says:

    Yeah, but we have to fine him…….. for accusing me of thinking. ;)

  65. Milo Hamilton says:

    They’re so cute when they’re that age.

  66. theplanisworking says:

    I seem to recall a game in Tampa, maybe…………. threw him the ball, he tripped and fell, but he got one hand on the ball, which promptly went into the stands………..

    Yeah, rarely worked to him.

  67. Stuart says:

    I liked Weegie also, but the Santonio catch when it counted most makes him my #1.

    Stuart

  68. It was just too hard a question posed by DK. I think we need a list to answer it. :)

    Toughest: Hines
    Lankiest: Plax
    Most talented: The Alamo
    Most graceful: Swanny
    Best as a Titan: Yancy
    Smartest: Heath
    Dumbest: Dave Smith (for spiking the ball on the 5 back in 1971 on Monday Night Football)
    Biggest nose: Weegie

    Please add as anyone sees fit.

  69. The Gunner says:

    Moreland does strike out a lot for sure – do we need more of that in our lineup? Absolutely not! I like your ideas about Loney, too. Even Morneau at the right price might be worth considering.

    The Lance Berkman possibility I am not too interested in. Like Chuck Noll said many years ago, ‘if you are thinking about retiring, you most likely should retire.” Berkman was a great player and consistently beat up on the Pirates but, that was then

  70. Who was that other tall wideout back in the 70′s, Milo, that never quite reached his potential? He caught a few big passes from Bradshaw, but never any really big ones like Swann and Stallworth.

    He wore a number in the 40′s and I think he was from Maryland or somewhere like it.

    I know you were a youngster back then, but you may remember.

  71. Rob says:

    Going off the board. Hats off to Jags for tying Gordie Howe for most game winning goals.

    Best receiver I have to go with Yancey, followed not far behind by Plax.

  72. Jandy says:

    Your check is in the mail ;)

  73. Arriba Wilver says:

    We’ve obviously already forgotten what the actual question was. Which is what we do.

    But, Lucky, to add to your list,

    Best potential receiver who wasn’t one: Kordell Stewart
    Runner up: Mark Malone

  74. Jandy says:

    *****ATTENTION*****
    Newbies and lurkers, we want to chat with you.
    If you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it to the list of Dejan’s Lunatics’ Asylum.
    Don’t be shy, we don’t bite :)

    (Pay no mind to theplanisworking)

  75. Milo Hamilton says:

    I remember Warren Bankston. He wore 46 maybe ? Think he was a tight end.

  76. Never mind. It was Frank Lewis. He was from Grambling, not Maryland.

  77. Milo Hamilton says:

    Fast Frankie Lewis wore #43. they traded him to Buffalo for Paul Seymour who had the gout & never played a game here. Noll said he’d never make another player for player trade. And he didn’t.

  78. Yeah, I think he was.

  79. Jim S. says:

    We don’t color inside the lines well, do we? I am one of the biggest abusers, here and in life in general.

    I believe the question was:

    Who was the Steelers best WR (not TE) between the Swann/Stallworth era and now, Hines and Lipps excluded?

  80. Jandy says:

    Another great telestrator article on Faceoff-Factor. It even points out that DB is making adjustment that don’t LOOK like adjustments. A great one to catch, don’t miss it!

    http://www.faceoff-factor.com/1pittsburgh-penguins/4932/ff-telestrator-pens-dominate-caps

  81. Jim S. says:

    Theo Bell, Lucky?

  82. theplanisworking says:

    And we started out well, before I said Limas Sweed, which resulted in the massive coloring outside the lines. I take fool blame for that. Besides, I didnt have any crayons………

  83. Excellent, AW and Jim below.

  84. Jandy says:

    Don’t kid yourself, Dejan loves this. He sits back and laughs at us like a parent at errant children.

  85. Milo Hamilton says:

    The thing that amused me the most about all the excitement over the Pirates extra $30 million in TV money is that people are acting like they’re the only ones getting it. The inequity is no different than it’s always been.

  86. Forgot about old Theophilus “T” Bell, Jim. I would go by T, also, although that’s a good Bible name.

  87. I believe you to be correct on that.

  88. Damon says:

    Excellent break down of those two goals!

  89. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think the vast majority get that. What’s kind of funny is NO ONE is signing these guys yet. It will be real interesting to see next year how/if the extra money affects arbitration awards.

  90. hockeymonster says:

    Good stuff but that pass to geno before beau’s goal wasn’t really a “stretch pass”. It was just a cross ice tape to tape pass to the open player. Bylsma’s idea of a stretch pass is more when player chips an up ice pass into o-zone with a forechecker flying into zone. Fortunately that was rarely done wed night. Fact that beau knew to fly over to geno to receive a short tape to tape pass was very encouraging. I think diagram for pens 4th goal would be a bit more interesting to watch and read. Geno buys time for PM to step up into play to receive short pass then Real Deal scoots across in close puck support for PM to receive short pass on tape at full speed resulting in defender peeing his pants when he realizes whats about to happen.

  91. Jandy says:

    You should go and e-mail them to do the breakdown, Monster Mash. They’d love to hear from you :)

  92. Jandy says:

    I love ho Jesse breaks things down over there, Damon, he’s good :)

  93. Jandy says:

    Oh and Jesse called it a Non Stretch Pass, Stretch Pass, Monster Mash :P

  94. hockeymonster says:

    I’ll think bout it…but can i leave dejan? :)

  95. Jandy says:

    Looks like Zats is starting in goal tonight. Back to back games….which would put Fleury in goal against the Habs tomorrow night.

  96. Jandy says:

    Don’t hurt yourself ;)

  97. hockeymonster says:

    I saw that…but when a player is that open its not really a “playbook” type play as much as just passing to the open guy cross ice. Great play all around even if caps defense got out of sorts.

  98. hockeymonster says:

    Ouch…good burn there

  99. Jandy says:

    You don’t think they suckered the Caps into getting Beau open? C’mon man, give credit where it’s due!

  100. Jandy says:

    I do that to hubby all the time…that was too easy. LOL
    All in good fun :)

  101. Jandy says:

    Gotta get some stuff done…try to be back for the chat….be good Loonies!

  102. 83 DAYS UNTIL PITCHERS & CATCHERS REPORT TO PIRATE CITY FOR SPRING TRAINING

  103. hockeymonster says:

    Well every team in league already knows what disco has been trying to do…fact that they changed it up and went with a more puck possession system probably confused the living daylights out of the caps. So in that sense they suckered the caps into all sorts of chaos all game long. If you look at the still shot you’ll see trapping forward on geno’s side cheating over probably expecting typical stretch pass up the boards but since we took an extra second to make a play there was a MONSTER passing lane cross ice and the caps were in chase mode and beau filled the lane. Text book.

    Now the adjustment to the adjustment is what disco needs to expect. When teams realize that we’re bringing forwards up ice in close puck support for our d they’ll start to shadow our forwards and try to keep tighter gap while they’re skating up ice. Cross corner murphy dumps will be our friend in those cases. And in other cases we should be able to spring our guys on breakaways and 2 on 1 breaks. That’s when the real chess games begin.

  104. theplanisworking says:

    With the good times above, recalling the “great” Steeler receivers of the past, and seeing a drought of great ones from 1983 to 3003, here is another tangenial question for everyone ( apologies ahead of time to AW for coloring off the page)……….

    In addition to few good Wr’s from 1983-2003, that was a time period that there wasnt a franchise QB either. How much does that absolve the WR’s? I mean, Scott Campbell, and Kent Graham anyone? Hard to be a good receiver if you have a QB that cant get you the ball……

  105. Wild Bill says:

    The more we hear agents (like Boras) talk about how much interest there is in their clients, the more I want to lift my feet.

  106. Wild Bill says:

    That’s far too sophisticated thinking for the likes of this blog, Hippo. It’s also a pretty good point.

  107. theplanisworking says:

    ++++++++++

  108. theplanisworking says:

    Yep, should be 2003 above, not 3003………..

  109. Milo Hamilton says:

    I saw the aforementioned Scott Campbell lead the greatest comeback in Steelers history in 1985 against the Buffalo Bills. He brought them back from 21-0 to a 30-24 victory.

    Now you should apologize to “The Dear Scotty Campbell” as Myron would say !

    (But your right, he stunk.) :)

  110. Do you really see Moreland as an upgrade over Garrett Jones? I don’t!

    The question really is: was Garrett Jones’ 2013 season just a bad season?
    Or was it a portend that he is beginning to lose it?
    Jones has had good seasons every other year. Can 2014 be another UP year for him?

    Is Garrett Jones’ salary, via BMTIB eyes, the only reason Mitch Moreland is in the discussion?

  111. theplanisworking says:

    I met Scott Campbell once.
    Was amazed how small he was.
    They listed him at 6′ 0″ , 195.
    No way. Not close.

    He looked like a smallish cousin of mine.
    Of course, since I was the size of Lorenzo Freeman, I guess that would make sense.

    80′s flashbacks on the blog today !!!

  112. Same inequity.

    Yet that does NOT mean Pirates should bank it and not spend it.

  113. The Gunner says:

    Tanked Frank’s retirement would be one of the best Christmas gifts we could ask for! Too bad it is high unlikely to occur.

  114. Saying that Santonio Holmes is the greatest receiver for that one Super Bowl catch
    would be like saying that Scottie Campbell is the Steelers’ greatest QB for this one game.

  115. Arriba Wilver says:

    Even Digital Dan from the PBC Blog, and Garrett’s biggest supporter, accepts he’s gone. That’s enough for me.

    And EYE wouldn’t pay Garrett’s projected arb salary. Time to try something new, even if more expensive. And I like Garrett.

  116. theplanisworking says:

    83 DAYS, GROAT!
    And, Dooooooooooooook got another highly touted recruit today. Dooooooooook may have to play in the NBA next yea.

  117. The Gunner says:

    I would strongly prefer Derrek Lee over Lance Berkman as the Buc 1st baseman in 2014. I wonder what’s up with AJ these days?

  118. NMR says:

    But it DOES mean one shouldn’t expect the type of free agent signing to change.

    That seems to be the biggest fallacy floating around. That the Pirates have more money, thus they should be past looking for “bargain” free agents.

    Doesn’t work that way.

  119. Wild Bill says:

    Looking for the Pens to continue to play this weekend the way they did on Wednesday. If they can do it, we’re all gonna have a lot less to grouse about.

    But since the Consol ice stinks, it’ll never happen. (grins)

  120. The Gunner says:

    I saw Pagliaroni play & Weegie could definitely run faster than Pag!

    However, let’s give Pag credit where credit is due – he still holds the single season record for HRs hit by a Pirates catcher. He hit 17 dingers in 1965.

    Hard to believe that record has been around almost 50 years!

  121. Jandy says:

    ha! Good one, Wild One!

  122. Arriba Wilver says:

    No, but their increased attendance and success should. BTW, I get that it’s way early to be making judgments on what the Bucs will spend and what the team will look like next year. Just a philosophical discussion (not trying to limit anything, Plan)

  123. Jim S. says:

    I’ve heard several people say GIJ is a good “bounce back” candidate. To me, 2014 GIJ will fall somewhere between 2012 and 2013 GIJ. I think he would be better than last year, but I also think he is probably on the decline now. If I knew I was getting 2012, GIJ, then I would want to bring him back. I don’t think the Bucs are sold on that.

    I do think Loney/Gaby is a nice combo at 1b if we need to platoon. Gaby just doesn’t hit RHP, but he mashes LHP.

    Corey Hart is an interesting option. He has been pretty platoon-neutral in his career, so could potentially give you an every day bat, if that is what we’re looking for. I don’t know what it would take to get him. I have a feeling he is thinking he really needs a bounce back year, and will probably be looking for a park that has the best chance of making him look like he still has his power stroke after the injury, and I think he would conclude PNC is not that place for a righty hitter.

  124. Paul Bunyan, you are my kind of guy!!!!!!

  125. Jandy says:

    FirgginPOS

  126. theplanisworking says:

    Thats ok, I colored off the page today, so its all good, AW. ;)

  127. theplanisworking says:

    SE.
    POSSE.
    You’re learning, Jandy! ;)

  128. Jandy says:

    He’s not even a p*ssy, Hipposter, he’s a POS LOL

  129. Arriba Wilver says:

    Nice analysis.

  130. Wild Bill says:

    Is that “point of service”, like in insurance plans, Jandy??

  131. Jim S. says:

    Sinks ships.

  132. Jandy says:

    What do YOU think, Wild One? ;)

  133. Jim S. says:

    Wow, great fact on Pags, Gunner!

    I amend my statement to Weegie was the Jerry May of Steelers receivers.

  134. It’s just that the Pirates were PROACTIVE last off-season.
    They had already gone out and signed Russell Martin.
    They had Francisco Liriano lined up.
    They were shopping Joel Hanrahan.

    This offseason, Pirates seem to have reverted to being REACTIVE:
    let’s look at what’s left over after everyone has already picked over the Black Friday sales.

    It would help if they were being PROACTIVE in expressing desire to sign A. J.
    instead of “whining” about $14.1 million too big a % of Team Budget.

    Take a Public Relations course, BMTIB!!!

  135. Wild Bill says:

    I’m suspicious you might have a more sinister meaning in mind.

    He’s only “Polite on Sunday” or something like that.

  136. Arriba Wilver says:

    Coloring off the page is the rule, not the exception. Kinda one of the things that makes this place work.

  137. Jandy says:

    Third tim MIGHT be the charm, Wild One ;)

  138. Jim S. says:

    How about yesterday, with Dejan’s interaction. To me, it was like that one day a year in class where the teacher had nothing planned, so he/she would just sit in the front of the class and interact with the kids on a wide range of topics. It was usually that half-day before Christmas break or some day like that.

    I like that once in a blue moon day where the monitor interacts with the loonies.

  139. Arriba Wilver says:

    Liriano agreed to the initial, pre-broken arm contract on December 21, 2012. Yes, they got Martin early, but . . .

  140. Jim S. says:

    + a million, Groat.

  141. Wild Bill says:

    Even worse? like “Plops on Sidewalks”??

  142. NMR says:

    Agree with you completely, AW. And I’m all for philosphical discussions.

    I just don’t think anyone knows if those gains are enough to make an appreciable difference.

  143. Jandy says:

    Indeed!

  144. Arriba Wilver says:

    It’s early, man. And with the new TV money FOR EVERYBODY the market’s a little jittery, one would expect.

  145. Jandy says:

    “worser”

  146. Jim S. says:

    But, there was David Woodley, plan. Our 2nd best Woodley ever, I hasten to add.

  147. NMR says:

    Thank you.

    Groat must not have much memory left or else he’d remember everybody last year complaining the Pirates were’t being proactive enough.

    Different year, same tune.

  148. Jim S. says:

    Point-of-sale works also, Wild Bill, in the retail world.

  149. Wild Bill says:

    Poor Alex, Jandy the nun has no love left for him.

  150. Arriba Wilver says:

    NMR—Frankie said they would, and you know I believe everything Frank says. ;-)

  151. NMR says:

    OK, Groat. And what would’ve happened last year if the Pirates didn’t get Martin?

    Plans would’ve had to change.

    This winter, Josh Johnson was clearly the first domino in the Pirates plan. They missed out, and now plans will have to change.

    Just because AJ at whatever number wasn’t in the Pirates innitial plan doesn’t mean he won’t be by April.

    These things are fluid.

  152. NMR says:

    Ha, how could I forget!

  153. hockeymonster says:

    Uh oh…i annoyed jandy into a non-response response :)

  154. Jim S. says:

    :-), Lucky.

  155. theplanisworking says:

    Out of 2 !!! ;)

  156. theplanisworking says:

    Thats ok, he has enough self=love to last for years. ;)

  157. Wild Bill says:

    That might appeal to A-Rod, Jim.

  158. Thundercrack says:

    My choice would be Loney.
    I don’t like Hart because he is coming off an injury and didn’t play much.

    And Garrett Jones looked really bad last year, especially in the 6 weeks or so.

  159. Jim S. says:

    Did you forget Randle El, Arriba?

  160. NMR says:

    Agreed, AW. Well done, Jim.

    Has to be considered, though, that James Loney had a second half OPS of just .700 last year and also an awful 2012.

    A Garrett Jones performance somewhere between ’12 and ’13, which would basically be what he was in ’11, could easily be better than Loney.

    I was big on Corey Hart until I saw his road splits. PNC would eat him alive.

  161. Jandy says:

    Hipposter said it very well, Wild One. That man is….errr..a POS!

  162. Jim S. says:

    Amen, NMR. Small Market is Small Market. It’s all relevant.

  163. Wild Bill says:

    Is it my imagination, or did this discussion just come full circle?

  164. Jim S. says:

    NMR, following up on your 12:00 post (since the bullets are now flying fast and furious around here and I don’t know where my post will land!)

    I totally agree. If they had landed Josh Johnson, which I believe they tried to do, they would have looked very proactive. Didn’t happen, but doesn’t mean they have been sitting on their hands.

    Martin worked out last year. Liriano worked out last year. They have to keep re-inventing their off-season plan based on how things change as they go along.

    But, why can’t they just do everything I want them to do, when I want them to do it? :-)

  165. Wild Bill says:

    Hate to digress from a perfectly ridiculous digression, but what are the chances the Steelers break recent tradition and play well in Clevelend?

  166. Wild Bill says:

    Yes, there’s an “a” in Cleveland.

  167. Jandy says:

    That would be a logical conclusion lol

  168. Jandy says:

    The way things are going…there’s always a chance :)

  169. Jim S. says:

    Gave Buffalo a little of their own medicine, in advance.

  170. Jim S. says:

    Details, details.

    I was looking for the positive.

  171. Jim S. says:

    The ARod-self love comment by plan reminds me of something Joe Theismann’s ex-wife said about him as their divorce was finalized:

    “Now Joe is free to find someone who will love him as much as he loves himself!”

  172. Jandy says:

    That’s exactly how it is, Jim!

  173. Jim S. says:

    I’ll go with even money, Wild Bill. I really think this one is a toss-up going in.

  174. hockeymonster says:

    Grouse? Good S.A.T. word. Had to look it up :)

  175. NMR says:

    Haha, that would take away all the fun, Jim!

    If the Pirates did everything I wanted them to do, then I’d never be able to say “If only they would’ve…”

    Oh, and they’d also probably win about 60 games next year.

  176. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Yancy Thigpen/Santanio Holmes. Holmes with the nod for the amazing, Super Bowl winning catch.

  177. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, same with me. This arm chair GM thing is pretty easy. I bet it’s a little harder when you actually have to put all your theories into practice.

  178. Jim S. says:

    ++ Nice on the road splits. I had not investigated that far.

    And we all know why Hart can’t hit in evening games, right?

  179. Wild Bill says:

    I think so, too. If they can get it done, then Thanksgiving evening could suddenly be known for more than indigestion.

  180. NMR says:

    Hahaha, of course.

    And I’m pretty sure Thunder was the one who tipped me off on the road splits, so kudos to him.

  181. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I’m all for a GIJones signing, but not at his expected ARB price tag. Drop him, then come to terms with him on a lower price. Keep him at a 1B platoon.

    I just don’t see a FA out there that makes the Pirates better off than the combo of Jones/Sanchez, but not at a projected $8mil.

    Combine their numbers and you have a decent hitting 1B.

    I too believe that Jones’ 2012 season was his peak. He’ll be a 15-25 HR type of guy, but I see him destined for the AL.

    -Napoli is he sexy signing, but for what he’s contract demands are, I don’t see the value over what the Pirates already have.

    -Loney: mentioned as a split, but his BA is identical against LHP/RHP, with an obvious increase in AB’s against RHP. No idea on his contract demands, but at 29, his defensive upgrade over the current crop, and batting .299 over the past season, was his highest mark since becoming a full time player and I wouldn’t expect him to hit at this level continuously however, the batting average would be an increase over the current platoon as well. Decent power, but I think a good RBI guy.

    -Corey Hart; No thanks!! Stay away. (He’ll probably have a bounce back/30 HR season now)

    -The best option for a possible upgrade at 1B is via trade, but I dont think Mitch Moreland is an option. I do like his potential though, but he’s been potential for 3 years now. I do like his power to RF in PNC Park and his price tag.

  182. Jim S. says:

    How true! I’m usually gassed by 7:00.

  183. Jandy says:

    Haha Priceless!

    Jandy:
    Are you taking Starbucks with you to light up night?

    Trib Total Media:
    No need. It’ll already be there!

  184. Jandy says:

    they say turkey has that effect on a lot of people ;)

  185. Damon says:

    Interesting comment by Rossi on his blog:

    Kris Letang did not practice with the first power-play unit. He believed the power play was one area he dramatically improved last season, which resulted in a Norris Trophy nomination.

    This is a situation worth watching, as Letang did not looked pleased after the skate – and Bylsma notably praised his recent play in his daily update.

    DK: Letang hasn’t belonged on the power play. If this holds up, it’ll be a real feather for Bylsma.

  186. Jim S. says:

    Nor Cal, I heard it tossed around on MLB Radio yesterday that Napoli is expected to be a 3/$39′ish guy. But, I think it was Bowden who was tossing it around, so …

    In any event, I think Napoli will want too much of a commitment.

    Loney did slip a bit as the year went on. I believe I read he also had an unusually high BABIP.

  187. Jim S. says:

    Tripto something or other. Triptohan?

  188. Jim S. says:

    aforementioned is a good word. I don’t know whether that has been mentioned heretofore. :-)

  189. Nancy52 says:

    I saw that!

  190. Jim S. says:

    tryptophan.

  191. I meant Berkman, but Frank can, too, Gunner. ;)

  192. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    And don’t forget the ones that can not spend this time with family……

  193. NMR says:

    Late to the party and still brings the goods. Great post, Ryan.

  194. Jandy says:

    You were on too :)

  195. The Gunner says:

    For those who care, the late Jerry May was better defensively than the late Jim Pagliaroni. But JM couldn’t hit like Pag could.

  196. Jandy says:

    Go Disco!

  197. Jandy says:

    nah…just missed this…had to do some paperwork quick for the boss..then lunch…then the chat. What, do you think I only pay attention to you? :P

  198. Jandy says:

    But as usual, you won’t give credit where it’s due, Monster Mash.
    Give Disco some love.

  199. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    He wouldn’t have made in the NFL as a WR, you don’t see too many receivers at 6’1 240lbs, though his 40 time was in the 4.5 range. Probably would’ve made a good RB though.

    However, I’m sure you were being facesious, as my comment was as well.

  200. Jandy says:

    We all need to pull on our muckin’ boots ;)

  201. Damon says:

    I agree….glad he is looking in the interest of the team rather that playing to egos.

  202. Milo Hamilton says:

    I don’t need Rossi. I read Eric Bowser & he told us he was pulled from the 1st power play in the 2nd period Wednesday night.

  203. Jandy says:

    + many!

  204. Jandy says:

    I’m a huge Letang fan, and I don’t want him on the first unit at all. Put Martin there, or Olli Maata.

  205. theplanisworking says:

    HA!

  206. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Mark Malone? Bubby Brister could be added to that list of QB’s there also.

    Absolutely the caliber of QB should affect (effect)? the WR’s abilities.

  207. hockeymonster says:

    I did…totally in agreement just pointed out the why. As in why was geno so wide open? Thats all jandster. :)

  208. hockeymonster says:

    Im ok with tanger on 2nd PP but only if BB is on 1st unit. We need a right handed shot to keep PK honest.

  209. Arriba Wilver says:

    Bobby Bonilla? Barry Bonds? Bill Bradley? Bridget Bardot?

  210. Jim S. says:

    Per Ken Rosenthal, Bourjos to Cards. Presumably, Freese goes back. He says full details are not announced yet.

  211. Jandy says:

    The fact that Geno moved backwards, other than forwards, means nothing?

    Jandster? I kinda like that ;)

  212. Jandy says:

    LOL AW….you don’t know Beau! :P

  213. Jandy says:

    ;thwap:

    LOL!

  214. Arriba Wilver says:

    I know Bridget Bardot. (Well, I’ve seen her)

  215. cosmo says:

    I wanted the Pirates to get Davis in 2011.

  216. hockeymonster says:

    I’m sure disco will 100% agree that he doesn’t need to tell geno how buy an extra second for his winger to get open. But still great play all around. Defense cheated cuz they expected the disco stretch up the boards leaving cross ice pass wide open. Geno and Beau did the rest.

  217. hockeymonster says:

    HA!

  218. Jandy says:

    Umm Ok fine.

  219. Jim S. says:

    I’m just thinking out loud, but I wonder if that is to set up a platoon in CF with Jay. That would be odd to me. CF is a place you don’t normally see platoons, but hey, if your lefty-hitting CF can’t hit lefties (.220 w/ limited power), maybe this is what you do.

    I’ve never been that enamored with Bourjos. He’ll be 27 at the start of the season. Not great power, not a great avg., doesn’t draw walks, steals a few bases. I think Tabata is better. Not a bad extra OF, and a replacement for Jay vs. tough LHP I guess.

    On the Freese part, if he goes it doesn’t surprise me. I have a friend there that says they are determined to move him now.

  220. JoeyBats says:

    PITT’s Steven Adams continues to make a name for himself in the NBA with the OKC Thunder ….

    1. He made the NBA roster….when many expected him to have to go to the Developmental League for one year.

    2. After 11 games, he is averaging 19 minutes, 4.9 points, 5.0 rebounds & 0.8 assists per game

    3. He made Yahoo’s “highlights” with this creative move >>>

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/thunder-s-steven-adams-high-fives-himself-after-clippers–byron-mullens-leaves-him-hanging-following-okc-win–video–050801932.html

  221. Jim S. says:

    I’m going to chock this up as a great trade by the Cards. They send Freese & Salas, 2 expendable players for them, to LAA for Bourjos and top prospect, Grichuk. Grichuk could end up being the key guy in time.

  222. NMR says:

    Bourjos will be the starter, and the Cards will be a better team because of it.

  223. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    NMR, I’m always late to this party…..

  224. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Agreed. Jay’s a 4th OFer.

  225. Jim S. says:

    Grichuk just turned 22 in August. Played the full season in AA Arkansas of the TX League. He had 27 doubles, 8 triples, 22 HR. Can run, has a strong arm. Pretty toolsy. Lots up upside. Only drew 28 BB & had 92 K’s. Stole 9 bases. .256/.308/.474/.780.

  226. NMR says:

    Took the kid five years to get to AA and he barely posted an OBP above .300. Non prospect.

  227. Damon says:

    Here is something from AJ Mass on the ESPN site about the Brewers:

    “Melvin also hinted that Braun might indeed be moving — from left field to right field. The switch in position, if it indeed ends up happening, would be a way to get Khris Davis’s bat into the lineup while not exposing his “below-average throwing arm.”

    However, with Davis in left, Braun in right, and Carlos Gomez firmly entrenched in center, that leaves Norichika Aoki without a permanent home. Once again, the Ike Davis deal for Aoki seems to be a good idea for both teams, even as the Brewers continue to deny any interest. ”

    If Aoki is the odd man out, would the Brewers make an inter-divisional trade with the Pirates?

  228. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Perhaps I’m lost on this for the Cards. Are they moving Craig over to 3rd and are riding the coattails of Matt Adams’ rookie season?

    Or did they have someone else at 3rd that I can’t think of?

  229. NMR says:

    Matt Carpenter will most likely moveto 3B and one of their top prospects, Kolten Wong, will play 2B.

    Cards just upgraded defensively, big time.

  230. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    If the price is right, of course they will.

  231. NMR says:

    I’d be shocked at this point i they didn’t land a major shortstop, fwiw.

    Already had a boatload of money to play with and just freed up about $3m more.

  232. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I agree. Carp would definetly be unconventional, offesively, but a big upgrade in defense.

    Defense wins championships, behind their pitching staff?? Stupid good

  233. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I’m surprised they didnt get Aybar in that deal as well.

  234. NMR says:

    Bourjos is also far and away better than Jay in center. Will also allow top prospect Taveras to play right field.

    Defensive upgrades at four positions thus far.

  235. NMR says:

    Yeah, that’s part of what makes me think they have something big in the works at SS.

    Angels are desperate for pitching, Cards have a bunch to give, and Aybar is available (and much better than Kozma).

    Passing up that opportunity doesn’t make much sense unless something bigger is coming.

    Or if we all give Mozeliak more credit than he deserves and he refuses to admit Kozma sucks.

  236. toochca says:

    Assuming that the Brewers would want pitching in return?! “Just say No”!!

  237. Milo Hamilton says:

    Mr. Aoki ? Hooray !

  238. NMR says:

    Aoki will be long gone from the Pirates before the Brewers are relevant again.

  239. NMR says:

    They’re just teasing us at this point!

  240. Milo Hamilton says:

    :(

  241. Jim S. says:

    Good for him! Athletic ability is through the friggin’ roof!

  242. Jim S. says:

    You went from no avatar forever to the angriest, most in-your-face avatar in a week, Nor Cal.

  243. Jim S. says:

    He was 21 until the end of his AA season. He had 57 XBH. I don’t know that I would sprinkle dirt over him just yet. But, he is posting Marte-like BB/K splits. I doubt he defends like Marte, and he won’t steal 40-50 bases.

  244. The Gunner says:

    Groat

    Moreland has a lower salary than Garrett. If the production is same, Garrett is history. That’s the way the BMTIB will think.

    And I have nothing against Garrett, I like the guy!!!

  245. Jim S. says:

    Yes, Wong to 2nd, Carp to 3rd.

    Taveras, if healthy, to RF. I heard just this week, though, that he is not healthy at this point. I don’t know if that is true.

  246. Jim S. says:

    I think Bourjos is the better defender.

    But, are we so sure he is the better offensive player? He has not shown it yet. Is that just a case of not getting full-time starter’s minutes? Slash line for Bourjos is very unimpressive, but I know he is well thought of.

    I’m still not convinced they don’t have a nice little platoon there. Jay hits .300 vs. the righties, Bourjos hits the lefties. Bourjos plays late in games with the lead.

  247. Jim S. says:

    In my opinion, Damon, we would no longer be in the market for Aoki. We can all agree or disagree with that here, but I doubt the Pirates would give up much for a corner OF they feel is expendable when Polanco arrives – especially since Aoki for half a season probably is not a whole lot better than the Tabata of the 2nd half of 2013. The Brewers would want pitching. Why would we give them valuable pitching, and end up with a guy who is likely the odd man out by the AS Break our thereabouts?

  248. NMR says:

    Bourjos doesn’t need a platoon and is the better baseball player, even if Jay MAY have a slight edge at the plate.

  249. toochca says:

    That is what I meant by “Just say No”. You stated it much better though, Obviusly!

  250. Jim S. says:

    affect.

  251. NMR says:

    Aoki has been the “2nd half Tabata” consistantly over two years, whereas Tabby is, well, Tabby.

    Aoki would give the Pirates a legit leadoff hitter, allow Tabby and Lambo to be legit bench depth, and would give the Pirates a legit right fielder without relying on a prospect to come up and immediately succeed.

    Aoki also makes like thirteen dollars in MLB money next season.

    And the Brewers need wayyyy more than just pitching. If they think Ike Davis is equal value in a trade, Pirates can blow the mets away and not even feel it.

  252. Jim S. says:

    Just sayin’, our priorities are not a stopgap in RF – at least, I don’t think that is what NH is thinking. I like Aoki. But, I think they would wait on him until Polanco, Tabata, Lambo, etc. actually do struggle. No way I help the Brewers pitching-wise long term before I know I get something I can use long term. I really think Aoki has no home in Pittsburgh for very long. And, if that was the real Tabby to end the season (I know, big if considering where we’ve been with him) we already have Aoki, essentially.

    And, yes, if the Brewers truly would give him up for the likes of Ike Davis, then maybe we could get him for very little. But, I don’t see the Brewers doing that.

    JMO.

  253. JoeyBats says:

    Agree….Coach Jamie could have put him in better spots last year. “TURN THE BIG GUY LOOSE!!” :-(

  254. Jim S. says:

    You know your up and coming guys, NMR. So, I’ll take your word. I am on the record as saying the Cards OF last year was among the worst in baseball, and Jay is average out there at best. So, I definitely see the upgrade defensively, and that is important in CF.

    But, offensively?

    .251/.306/.398/.704
    .293/.356/.400/.757

    One of them is Jay and the other is Bourjos. These are career #’s.

    Jay bats lefty, and Bourjos is a righty.

  255. Jim S. says:

    I agree. I really don’t think Jamie had much idea what to do with a talent like that. He is not used to having much more than sturdy space eaters at center. If Jamie had him for a 2nd season, I believe he would have turned him loose. But, Steve did what he felt he had to. Good luck to him. Appears he is doing very well.

  256. Jim S. says:

    Let me see if I have this straight. The Cardinals plug in Colton Wong, and he is a can’t miss player at 2b next year – even though he didn’t hit a lick this year.

    Peter Bourjos is a can’t miss player offensively and defensively, even though he has not hit very well in his MLB career yet. And, he’s 27, btw.

    The Pirates need to give up prospects to trade for a starting RF because … Gregory Polanco is going to fail in his first year and Tabata will definitely not continue his play from the 2nd half of 2013?

    I actually think Wong will be a really good player. But, he was over-matched last year. Bourjos can go and get fly balls very well. But, his hitting has been below average for a starting MLB CF in his first 1,000+ ABs. He is no guarantee in St. Louis.

    Is it just because the Cardinals are making these moves that everyone automatically assumes their moves will turn out perfectly? And, is it because we are the Pirates, and years 2-21 in the rear view mirror were all bad so we can’t possibly be doing things right now?

  257. toochca says:

    You forgot to mention that Borjous missed about every other month due to injury.

  258. Arriba Wilver says:

    Just for the hey of it I checked. The Pirates signed Martin November 29, 2012.

  259. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Did you see the one before this one??

    I can’t put up the picture that I’d really want on here.

    The old Johnny Cash, finger in your face, would be an awesome avatar.

  260. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I might’ve missed the part where the Pirates are doing things wrong this off season Jim, but the Cards do have a the better history of moves.

    I don’t have a problem with the Pirates not being in the news right now and think that they only have a few spots to fill or, they can re-sign AJ and move on with what they had last season behind the pitching staff. I think they will be working on a Tabby/Lambo combo out in the RF.

    You said it well up above here, the Cards OF isn’t very good, so I think with them going after Bourjos is a way to solidify their OF defense. Matt Holiday is the worst OF I have seen in recent years, outside of Vlad Guerreo trying to play the OF in the WS a couple of years ago.

    I think they are taking a risk by trading Freese, who wasn’t bad defensively, if memory serves.

  261. Arriba Wilver says:

    Oh, and it was roundly ridiculed at the time, including prominently by the Boss.

  262. Brandie says:

    Least Hand Eye Coordination: Dwight Stone!

  263. Arriba Wilver says:

    No, Randle El was a receiver, at least in the pros.

 
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