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Morning Java: Do-it-yourself Tomlin, Zatkoff, O’Brien

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Tuesday write-your-own-column feature poses the following three questions for your consideration:

1. Would you consider Mike Tomlin’s sideline affair to be embarrassing for the Steelers, regardless of the NFL’s punishment?

2. Is Jeff Zatkoff to be taken seriously as an NHL backup behind Marc-Andre Fleury?

3. Bill O’Brien’s second season at Penn State ended with a bang in Madison to finish 7-5 overall, 4-4 in the Big Ten. Can that be considered an overall success?

To repeat the rules: Please submit all entries down below in the comments section. If it’s your first time here, it might take a bit to post, but it will. Choose only one topic, and limit the entry to 100 words. No more than that. Yes, that forces you to be tight, but anybody who’s ever done this job knows that’s by far the hardest part of it.

One winner for each category will be published in tomorrow’s Morning Java. If you want your name attached to it, by all means include that in the entry.

>> The Tomlin sideline saga is covered by Alan Robinson.

The O-line needs more bandages, please, by Mark Kaboly.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage.

Here’s Dolphins news from the Miami Herald.

Here are official game highlights from

And here’s what the cast of WPXI-TV’s Subway Final Word had to say about Tomlin, as well as the Steelers’ playoff hopes …

>> The Penguins talk Zatkoff, by Chris Adamski. They’ll play tonight on Long Island.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage.

Here’s Islanders news from Newsday.

Here are official game highlights from including every single Metro Division team going down … again.

>> Pitt and Penn State tip off tonight at the Pete for the first time in what seems like eons. Kevin Gorman covers.

Below are a couple questions I had for Jamie Dixon on this topic …

>> Three quality all-ACC honors for Pitt football, by Jerry DiPaola.

>> The Pirates switch backup catchers, by Travis Sawchik.

>> Back to the dentist for me today. And yeah, I know I wrote that in yesterday’s entry, but I showed up at the office all ready to be drilled and filled, and I was politely reminded my appointment was for Tuesday, not Monday.


Let me know how the Tomlin goes. I’ll be focused on more needling matters.

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. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    No. 3. Bill O’Brien and the Penn State Nittany Lions pulled off a huge upset over Wisconsin. On the arm of a freshman QB, this was a huge win to top off a successful season. This should be used as a recruiting tool throughout the state and surrounding areas and will put this program back on the map, setting up successful runs after the sanctions are lifted and separating the program from the horrors of the past regime.

  2. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I should automatically win for being the 1st to post.


  3. DJ says:

    No. 2 I cannot take Zatkoff seriously until the sample size is larger and he performs — and wins — against the better teams on a consistent basis, rather than just the isolated game.

    Although he’s bigger than Fleury, there just seem to more “holes” in his stance. And he’s a bit of a flopper and thus slower to react/recover after an initial stop. For those reasons, there have been many ripe second chance opportunities right at the doorstep where he is either flat on his back or otherwise way out of position. Fortunately for him, most of those to this point have been cleared or swept aside by our d-men and forwards being in the right place at precisely the right time.

    All of that said, still giving him the benefit of the doubt to this point. On the plus side, he seems to be a very bright kid and he has certainly improved since early outings. He just has a long way to go yet before I would regard him as a solid second option.

  4. DJ says:

    Missed new 100 word limit, so abridged version:

    Cannot take Zatkoff seriously until sample size is larger and he wins against better teams on a consistent basis, rather than the isolated game.

    Although bigger than Fleury, there are more “holes” in his stance. He’s a flopper and slower to recover after an initial stop. Consequently, there’ve been many ripe second chance opportunities where he’s flat on his back. Fortunately, most have been swept aside by teammates being in the right place at precisely the right time.

    He’s a bright kid who’s improved since early outings. But he still needs to prove he’s a solid second option.

  5. DJ says:

    . . . I feel like I’m back in English Composition.

  6. DJ says:

    . . . I ‘m going outside now to clap the erasers for the teacher.

  7. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Mike Tomlin’s little “sideline leap” means nothing to me.
    I feel absolutely zero embarrassment towards the Steeler organization.
    If Raven kick returner Jacoby Jones was using his head, he would’ve run into Tomlin and been the recipient of a free TD.
    When one looks closely at the tape, he didn’t even do his “minor cut-in” till he was past Tomlin.

    In a league that has specialized in revered LB’s assisting double murders, head coaches that major in cheating, and rotund bullies in the locker room……I think Mike Tomlin is about 100,000 miles below the embarrassment line.

  8. JoeyBats says:

    Back to the dentist for me today. And yeah, I know I wrote that in yesterday’s entry, but I showed up at the office all ready to be drilled and filled, and I was politely reminded my appointment was for Tuesday, not Monday.


  9. Drew71 says:

    1. The most embarrassing element of TomlinGate was how ineptly unathletic Tomlin looked when he did his little bunny hop. Shouldn’t a former (air quote) athlete know how to, you know, move?

  10. 21sthebest says:

    I think Jones was using his head and didn’t want to risk seriously injuring Tomlin.

  11. Jandy says:

    WOW, this is very sad:

    Pirate’s prospect Evan Chambers died in his sleep…24 years old… :(

  12. JAL says:

    Oh what a Night, December 1963 Four Seasons
    JAL’s Oh What a Night, December 1963 Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 MLB Important Dates

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: The Big Lesson Learned in 2013

    Pirates Tender All Eligible Players, Including Travis Snider

    Evan Chambers Passes Away at Age 24

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates tender Travis Snider and others, sign Chris Stewart

    6 Rumbunter

    Pirates Grab Pitch Framing Chris Stewart from Yankees

    7 WHY GAVS

    Non-tender deadline: Remaining Pirates get offers, plus interesting non-tenders

    8 Green Weenie

    12/1-2: Cookie, Matty, Maury Wills, The Baron of the Bullpen, The Cricket, Danny Murtaugh, Bobby Bo…

    9 City of Champions

    Travis Snider tendered contract by Pittsburgh Pirates; Chris Stewart signs with team

  13. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    10 Pirates Site

    Pirates mourn passing of 24-year-old outfielder

    11 Call to the Pen

    2013 Season in Review: Pittsburgh Pirates

    12 MILB

    Pirates’ big year extended to Minors

    13 NY Times

    Yanks Trade a Catcher to the Pirates

    14 CBS Sports

    Doug Fister trade gives Nationals the best rotation in baseball

    15 Baseball Nation

    Making sense of the Twins spending spree

    16 USA Today

    Baseball’s Jim Abbott inspired one-handed Nick Newell

    17 MLB

    Intriguing non-tendered names join open market

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Cards decide not to offer Axford a contract


    19 Rotographs

    MASH Report (12/2/13)

    20 Fangraphs

    Nationals Steal Doug Fister From Tigers

  14. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Angle from KDKA video shows Tomlin take a full step toward field

    Kelvin Beachum seen limping in parking lot during practice

    22 Steelers Gab

    Has Worilds Done Enough To Push Woodley Out The Door?


    23 US National Soccer Players

    The Anxiety of the World Cup Draw

    24 World Soccer Daily

    Hull City owner in deadlock with fans over Tigers name change – World Soccer Daily


    25 Pensburgh

    Penguins November Ups and Downs

  15. Drew71 says:

    I always want to know how the Tomlin goes. Who wouldn’t?

  16. Jandy says:

    JAL’s link #4

  17. Jandy says:

    Dejan obviously didn’t tell his WIFE what day his appointment was for….she’d have set him straight ;)

  18. Thundercrack says:

    I don’t think that a football player is really going to make the quick decision during the run back to purposely run into Tomlin and get a free TD. The play just happens too fast.

    And the player probably doesn’t know the rules.
    The refs might not even know the rules. The player shouldn’t chance it.

  19. kr70 says:

    You ask us to write if this season was a success. It is just a part of the whole. Bill O’Brien came to Penn State before the sanctions were imposed. The members of his team could leave with no penalties. He had to re-recruit a team that didn’t really know him as a coach or person. He had to convince incoming recruits to stand by their commitment. He had coaching staffs on his campus actively recruiting his players. He could have played the last 2 seasons with 50 walk-ons. He was 8-4 and 7-5. Last year he won numerous coach of the year awards. In my mind his accomplishments deserve legend status. He has led PSU through its darkest hours and the light is at the end of the tunnel. If he leaves tomorrow Penn State should be ever grateful for what he has done. Some men raise to the occasion, this is one.

  20. Jandy says:

    Mike Tomlin’s “gaffe” shouldn’t be a national embarrassment as much as it should be an internal one. To use one of his own “Tomlinisms” – “the standard is the standard.” If the players are held accountable for their actions, then he, as their coach, should also be held accountable for his actions. He should set the example, and set the bar high.

  21. Jandy says:

    Agreed DJ. Zats has done ok, but it’s the weaker teams he has played against. And up until the Panthers game, the team had shielded him. Winning has been a huge boost to his confidence, which is good, but I want to see him do well against a higher caliber team. I’ll keep an open mind, tho, and see how it goes.

  22. Drew71 says:

    Well. Woke to find that New Orleans was Toothless in Seattle.

    Or was that Dejan?

  23. DJ says:

    MT presser today:

    “Obviously, my little crow hops — ‘Ravens hops’ if you will — were laid down on my tape. I’ll take full responsibility for that. Questions?”

  24. Jandy says:


  25. theplanisworking says:

    I just knew all that StarYucks wouldnt be good for his teeth……..

  26. Jandy says:

    happy fackin’ Tuesday, Hipposter :)

  27. theplanisworking says:

    Thank you, ma’am. Back at ya!

    Happy National Mutt Day!

    Happy Birthdays to :

    -Ozzy Osbourne,
    -Daryl Hannah,
    -Katarina Witt,
    -Mickey Thomas (Starship).

  28. Steelkings says:

    Tomlin: Its definitely embarrassing! But lets not look at it as an individual action. Dont look at it as TOMLIN pulls a little bush league stunt against the Ratbirds. As an individual act we would forget about it quickly. But lets look at it for what it really is. More Pittsburgh Steeler coaching Staff Chaos. While other teams have players who make the news for reasons unbecoming, it seems with the Steelers its always the coaching staff. From KC sucks Napkins to MT’s bush league acts makes it hard to see it any other way. Chaos!

  29. Joni says:

    #2 Zatkoff

    So far, so good.
    The Penguins proclaim that Zatkoff is a very vocal goalie. This is a good thing because Fluery made several plays behind the net in games past that resulted in goals against. This phenomenon can be traced back to lack of communication between the goalie and the defensemen.
    And it isn’t just the defense that has provided support for the rookie goaltender. Forwards are reminded that they must also play defense.
    The question is, can the Penguins maintain this level of support for the entire year, and not just when Zatkoff is in the net?

  30. theplanisworking says:


    Yes, Tomlin’s incident is definitely an embarrassment. All coaches and players know to not be in the white painted area. Especially troubling is the fact that the NFL reminded all teams about this on Tuesday of Thanksgiving week. For Tomlin to be anywhere near the sideline is incredible.

    One doesnt have to be near the sideline to see the Jumbotron, you can see that thing all over the stadium. For a coach that always preaches accountability, “the standard is the standard”, etc., this was an embarrassment. One that was unfortunately, self-inflicted.

  31. Dom says:

    Anyone hear how Evan Chambers passed away? When the Buccos weren’t a playoff caliber club I would check how the prospects were performing every day and remember seeing his name.

  32. Arriba Wilver says:

    I probably shouldn’t be, but I’m a little surprised Travis Snider was tendered. They expect he will make about 1.4 million in arbitration.

  33. Nate83 says:

    Nationals got Fister from the Tigers by giving up really not that much. Fister is probably going to make about 7 million next year in arbitration. This seems like the kind of move the Pirates should have been interested in. 7 million is nothing compared to what lesser pitchers then Fister have been getting in free agency.

  34. JohninOshkosh says:

    Someone lost their steak.

  35. Thundercrack says:

    He’s one of Neal’s guys. :-)

    And any season now he is going to turn into Joey Bats.

  36. Rich says:

    #3) Expectations in Happy Valley were low following sanctions levied by the NCAA. The sanctions certainly handicapped the Lions, but not nearly to the extent the PSU faithful feared. O’Brien has done a terrific job keeping the program together and should receive an extreme amount of credit for it. However he should be judged on actual results; not the worst fears of the fans. There were some disappointing losses and surprising wins for PSU this season. Add it up and 7-5 seems just about right for the Lions this season for those not willing to blame it on the NCAA .

  37. Andrew says:

    Tomlin should be benched for, how he likes to say, “not being on his details”. Jonathan Dwyer should be laughing.

  38. Drew71 says:

    I hope so. He puts up some interesting posts.

  39. NMR says:

    I was waiting to hear from you on this one. WTF?

  40. Jim S. says:

    Really? Jacoby Jones, humanitarian.

    I think Tomlin should be embarrassed for not paying closer attention, at the very least. If he did it on purpose, then this is a serious matter that should result in a large fine to him and the organization. I don’t think he would do such a thing on purpose, but I guess I am not 100% certain.

    The Steelers should not lose a draft pick, regardless. And, if it comes to that, the league has totally lost its way.

  41. Thundercrack says:

    You deserved to be zinged for that one.

  42. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    A pleasant surprise this morning, was supposed to be 28° this morning, but it’s actually 53° as of 0630.

    But I’m a half hour late to the gym.

    That makes me crankier than a Mike Tomlin hater.

    Seriously, the sideline thing is blown out of proportion and started by everyone’s favorite announcer, Cris Collinsworthless.

  43. Thundercrack says:

    I didn’t watch the Monday Night Football game last night. But I wonder if players and coaches were standing in the white painted area?

    Maybe I’ll pay closer attention on Sunday.

    The players/coaches know they shouldn’t be on there. The NFL reminds them. But they still do it.

  44. Jim S. says:

    It is very sad, Jandy. 24 year old guys are not supposed to be dying.

    If you didn’t catch the nice note that TC posted yesterday late afternoon about his family’s experience meeting Evan and his family awhile back, go back and read it. Very heartwarming. Evan was obviously a terrific young man. RIP.

  45. Damon says:

    Zatkoff has been decent so far (other than his first start). What he needs to work on is staying in his crease after making the initial save. He sometimes comes across to make a save and leaves the net wide open because he can’t seem to stop himself – he winds up out of position against 2nd and 3rd chances. The D and back-checking has bailed him out a number of times. Still he shows promise, and if Fleury can learn a few things from Conklin and Vokoun in his travels, maybe Zatkoff can learn some things from Fleury. Also it’s promising that he can go a couple weeks without a start, yet still perform well.

  46. Jim S. says:


  47. Jim S. says:

    I have noticed this about Fleury forever, Joni. He is a nightmare behind the net handling the puck. I don’t feel like he has gotten much better in this regard since he was a rookie.

  48. Jim S. says:

    “Below the line.”

  49. Jim S. says:

    So far, all we are hearing, Dom, is that he died in his sleep.

  50. Jim S. says:

    Head scratcher.

  51. Nate83 says:

    I’m not sure what the Tigers are thinking. They just weakened their bullpen by moving Smyle back to the starting rotation. They gave up a player that that doesn’t hit free agency for 2 years and has almost just as good of WAR as Sherzer over the last 3 years. Fister was only going to make 7 million next year and they didn’t get much of anything that help immediately.

    I have heard rumors of them trading Austin Jackson as well and getting Jacoby Ellsbury in free agency which I think would be a good move for them but the 7 million saved hardly seems like it would be to free up money for Ellsbury who will probably get north of 6 years 120 million.

  52. Jim S. says:

    It is pretty amazing. Not only the Pirates, but I would think about 10 teams would have offered at least this much for Fister. Makes it seem like Dombrowski didn’t pursue this trade very vigorously. I can’t imagine that would be the case, though.

  53. Jim S. says:

    I think the one thing they did get, Nate, was bullpen help. Both of the guys coming back are 22 year old LHP. But, I agree with you that they got nowhere near enough back. This was a silly trade by the Tigers – sillier than sending Fielder and a boatload of cash to TX for Kinsler.

  54. NMR says:

    I read that the contract is not guaranteed, meaning he can be cut before the team breaks camp.

    Also doesn’t precludea trade, as we learned with the A’s and O’s. Speaking of, WTF?

  55. Jim S. says:

    Also, ESPN jumped on this so hard after the game you would think they had an ax to grind. Sal Pal was like a dog with a bone.

    Still no discussion that I’ve heard, btw, of the double H2H by the Ravens defenders on our RB that knocked him out for who knows how long.

  56. Jandy says:


  57. tpbco says:

    JMO, but based on reading posts here and elsewhere for the last couple of months…

    The only ones “embarassed” by Tomlin’s gaff, intentional or not, would be still be toasting Bill Cowher if he did the same thing. And he did come close at least once, I don’t remember the exact game or circumstance, but it was on a defensive return against, when he came close to a “Woody Hayes”.

  58. Nate83 says:

    With the value put on starting pitching and so few quality starting pitchers available in free agency I have to imagine he made it known Fister was available. Heck he should have put a billboard in every city that has a baseball team saying have quality starting pitcher will trade to top offer.

  59. tpbco says:

    I do not believe there is a penalty for H2H on a running back inside the tackles.

  60. Jim S. says:

    You’d think they would move some things around. Just sayin’.

  61. Jim S. says:

    Do we have a year on Katarina, plan? She was easy on the eyes in her skating days. I’ll bet she still is.

  62. Thundercrack says:

    If Dombrowski calls the Pirates I wonder if he starts off by asking for Watson or Wilson.

    I would probably still listen.

  63. theplanisworking says:


    Steelers at Jacksonville, Monday Night Football.
    Game-winning FG blocked, ran back for a TD for Jacksonville.
    If Cowher had interfered, I would have supported any punishment the NFL would have meted out.

    Pretty broad brush you have there saying people would cheer Cowher but are embarrassed by Tomlin. I would have been fine with a punishment of both.


  64. rick says:

    The tomlin issue is being so overblown. The media will not let it go. If he was on the field illegally, fine him. I know sports writers have to make a living but the nonstop coverage of this is why I don’t read most of the sports columns or watch sports shows lime espn.

  65. Jandy says:

    The biggest weakness I see in Zatkoff is in his inability to move quickly from side to side. maybe Mike Bales can help him out on that one.
    As I said above, he has played against the lesser teams. I want to see how he fares against a quality opponent before I pass judgement.

  66. Jim S. says:

    Who was the coach who got knee-capped a few years ago because someone rolled up on him? Was it Payton?

  67. theplanisworking says:

    48 Jim.

  68. tpbco says:

    Perhaps I should rephrase and say “MOST”, not ALL the ones embarassed….

  69. theplanisworking says:

    Yep, happened in Tampa Bay.

  70. NMR says:

    Well said, all around, Rich.

    I give O’Brien a bit more credit considering there was no way in heck he should’ve been able to land a recruit like Hackenberg, and this season could’ve gotten ugly without him. But your overall point, especially on the micro level, still stands.

  71. tpbco says:

    No need to smh, after reading what I posted (instead of before I hit send), I didn’t like the way I worded it.

    I do believe you know what I was getting at.

  72. theplanisworking says:

    Wasnt he outside the tackles?

  73. Nate83 says:

    Neither can help immediately like Wilson could have. The Fielder trade will look better as time goes on but it didn’t make any sense the throw in 30 million in cash. They essentially paid 80 million for 2 years of Fielder.

    Dombrowski has a good track record with the Cabrera trade the Scherzer trade, the Fister trade and even the Austin Jackson trade to an extent but I’m not really sure what he’s been doing the last 2 years. He seems to have pushed the panick button and made some desperate moves and now he’s in recovery mode maybe.

  74. NMR says:

    Is there another GM in baseball that makes putting together a half decent bullpen look so damn hard?


  75. Jim S. says:

    I’m sure he would have asked for them, and maybe he did. Who knows? And I would have given one of them up to get 2 years of a reasonably priced Fister back. Either of those guys are worth more than the 2 unproven, 22 year olds they got from Washington, I would think.

    Fister has been one of the better pitchers in mlb for the last few years.

    The one lefty, Ian Krol, went to our local HS and played for the same baseball club that my son plays for. He was called up last year by the Nats and did well for a young guy. But, he doesn’t have a Watson or Wilson arm. And the other guy they got was their #5 prospect. I heard that he may not be able to stick as a starter because he has bad splits. I assume that means he can’t get righties out. Either that, or he doesn’t stretch enough before games. :-)

  76. NMR says:

    Thought he did a great job shedding Fielder, but I give him zero credit considering he’s te one that signed him to an awful contract in the first place.

    Nobody pats me on the back for fixing a project I already f’d up.

  77. Arriba Wilver says:

    Cowher had his share of critics while here. And would on this blog. There are certainly some who seem to be relishing in it because it’s Tomlin, but hardly to the extent you seem to be saying. You can be embarrassed by it without being a Tomlin hater.

  78. Jim S. says:

    It is starting to look as though O’Brien may perform the best of all of the coaching offspring of the Evil Genius in New England. Who’d-a-thunk-it?

  79. Rich says:

    You’re right that it is impressive that O’Brien has continued to get the recruits he has. My judgement of him has been more on what he has done with those recruits. I think Penn St. tradition is recruiting the kids as much as BOB though. Some kids are always going to want to play for Penn St. no matter the circumstance. O’Brien has done a really nice job of reminding kids that if you wanted to play for Penn St. before you should still want to play for Penn St.

  80. theplanisworking says:

    What is Dombrowskis motivation for blowing up his team?
    First Fielder, now Fister.

    makes no sense to do this with an unproven, rookie manager…..

  81. Jim S. says:

    Oops, I think I forgot about Nick Saban – although I think he was a coach for a long time before being on BB’s Cleveland staff.

  82. Arriba Wilver says:

    Sorry, didn’t see your modification before I posted.

    Nevermind. (I don’t necessarily agree with “most,” but I wouldn’t quibble over it.)

  83. theplanisworking says:

    Thank you.

    Oh, almost forgot……. +1

  84. Jim S. says:

    I thought he was outside, tpb.

  85. Jason81 says:

    #3…Bill O’Brien

    At some schools, going 8-4 and 7-5 in back-to-back seasons can get you put on the chopping block. But with a reduced number of scholarships, having to keep other coaches from swooping in and taking his players, to helping reunite a fractured fan base, Bill O’Brien’s tenure has to be considered a success. With some scholarships being returned early starting next year, expectations will no doubt be higher. It will be interesting to see moving forward if O’Brien can start to win some big games or games his team shouldn’t with more scholarship players available to him.

  86. Damon says:

    Thing is, I doubt he will see the better team on a back-to-back (since that is the only time he seems to get it).

    Here’s something to think about – say Fleury gets hurt, do we still feel confident? I guess I’m not sure I can say that yet. Not saying he couldn’t carry the goaltending for say a month and do OK (with the team paying extra attention to back-checking and clearing rebounds), but it would be scary going through it.

    Then again….I think it was Lalime that went 18-0-2 to start his career filling in when the Pens needed him….

  87. Arriba Wilver says:

    When you put the transformation of McGloin next to Hackenberg, that’s some good stuff.

  88. Patrick(RI) says:

    Does that mean Tomlin minors in cheating?

  89. NMR says:

    Fielder was addition by subtraction. Shed his contract, allowed them to finally end the insanity and move Cabrera to First Base, and filled a hole at Second Base with Ian Kinsler.

    Trading Fister allows them to move Drew Smyly into the rotation, but I can’t honestly think of any manner in which it actually improves the team.

  90. Arriba Wilver says:

    I heard he was outside, also (don’t remember personally).

  91. Joni says:

    I hear ya, Jim.

    I cringe whenever Fleury tries to play the puck behind the net. Martin Brodeur, he ain’t!
    Someone must have told Fleury that he needs to work on this skill of handling the puck and knowing where all of the players on the ice are located.
    As for the communication aspect, fleury may need to amplify his outside voice. I don’t know about you, but I look forward to raising my voice in as many situations as I possible can :)

  92. Jandy says:

    I would NOT be ok with Zats the only starter we have if Fleury were hurt. Lalime was an aberration lol.

  93. Thundercrack says:

    I thought the owner was more responsible for signing Fielder.

  94. Thundercrack says:

    I wouldn’t exactly call it ‘blowing up’ his team.

    And there is still a good amount of time before Spring Training starts.

  95. Joni says:

    It should read “Fleury” above. Weirdly enough, my spell check allowed the above incorrect spelling of MAF’s last name. Shame shame, I know spell check’s name! And can spell it. Usually :)

  96. NMR says:


    I don’t know anything about football coaching, but Allen Robinson’s emergence and putting together a decent running game with the likes of Zwinack and Belton seems impressive as well.

    But that defense. Oh, that defense.

  97. Arriba Wilver says:

    Hey, he re-signed Neil Walker’s brother-in-law.

  98. Arriba Wilver says:

    He may be the Walt Harris of Happy Valley. :-D

  99. Jim S. says:

    I can actually see them rising up again as a program in the next few years. I don’t just mean 9-4 rising up. I mean, competing for B1G titles and Top 10 in the country type of rising up. They are still one of the largest and most recognizable schools in the Northeast. From that standpoint, they may not have as much football competition as larger schools in other parts of the country. And, they definitely still have all that football tradition. They had been gradually slipping under the old man, but O’Brien seems to be rejuvenating things.

  100. Jandy says:

    Thanks for the heads’ up, Jim. I hope TC doesn’t mind…I brought it forward to share it:

    December 2, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    That is so sad.

    I believe that I have told this story before here on the blog.

    Two years ago I went to a spring training game. It was Bucs vs Rays at the Rays park. Me and my family stayed after the game and went to the gift shop. When we finally made our way through the parking lot we were walking beside a ‘kid’ with his parents. The kid had a duffel bag with a bat sticking out. So I asked “are you a Pirate”. He said that he was and his name was Evan Chambers. His mother piped up “Did you see that throw he made from right field?!” I said that I did and then I proceeded to tell him that I knew he was a high draft pick, etc…..
    When we got to our car I wished him luck. His mother yelled “We’ll see you in Pittsburgh in a few years!”.

    I always followed his stats. He had some tough years at the plate.

    That summer I was at a Q&A session with NH. I asked him if Chambers was a prospect and told him the story. He said that Evan and his family were the nicest people. He said that Chambers walked too much and is still learning that he may only get one good pitch to hit in an at-bat and that he has to take advantage of it to be ready to hit it.

    My condolences to his family.

    DK: Appreciate your sharing that, TC. Never heard a negative syllable about Chambers from anyone at any level of the Pirates.

  101. Jim S. says:

    I think maybe it is necessary adjustments to keep Scherzer and Verlander. Just a guess!

  102. Jim S. says:

    But, did they really shed his contract? Kinsler’s contract is not as big as Fielder’s contract. But, they sent at least $30 million to TX, didn’t they? I guess they knocked off some of the Fielder contract, but it is not as though they got rid of all of it.

  103. Jim S. says:

    Good for Don Kelly. For awhile there, I was thinking he and Neil’s sister were going to have to move into that basement once Neil finally vacated it. Don Kelly owes a lot to Jim Leyland.

  104. theplanisworking says:

    But as Daquido has so ably spoken about this topic……….. the NFL is much more interested in fining Tomlin, and possibly taking a draft choice from the Steelers, than they are about a double helmet-2-helmet hit to Bell.

    But the “player safety” thing is mostly for show anyway. First settling the concussion lawsuit for pennies on the dollar with no further litigation, to now ignoring a blantant h2h hit by not one, but two players, and that was “rewarded” by taking away a touchdown. Where is the motivation to NOT do that again?


  105. NMR says:

    Illitch certainly enabled the contract, but I’ve never read anything that said he directed Dombkowski to go sign Prince Fielder, specifically, at all costs.

  106. NMR says:

    Bite your tongue, sir. :)

  107. Jandy says:

    Anyone know anything about this CJ Severyn?

  108. Nate83 says:

    7 million just isn’t enough of a savings. Even if it was for a pitcher of Fister’s level they could have got a much better return and made their bullpen much better. Their bullpen today is weaker then it was at the end of last year because Smyle is no longer in it and now they have Porcello and Smyle both starting on the back end. Not horrible but not exactly great.

  109. NMR says:

    $76m in total contract savings while also receiving a top 10 2B in all of baseball.

    I can’t imagine a better outcome than that.

  110. NMR says:

    That $7m will be needed when they inevitably over pay for a “proven closer”.

  111. Jim S. says:

    Wow! Time flies.

  112. Arriba Wilver says:

    I would like to humbly submit my 10:14 post as my entry for #3.

  113. Jim S. says:

    I have wondered why he doesn’t seem to get better at handling the puck behind the net. You would think there would be extra emphasis placed on it each off-season, at the very least. And, maybe they have done that. It just seems to my eyes that it gets dicey behind the net with him way too often.

  114. Jandy says:

    Well, AW, it is within the word limit, so it’s good to go ;)

  115. Arriba Wilver says:

    Ross Ohlendorf signed a deal with the Orioles for $1.25 million. No word on whether there’s a clause about him working in DC in the off-season for the Agriculture Department.

  116. Jim S. says:

    That’s true. Kinsler is a good 2b, but he makes something like $14M per for a few more years, I think. As you say, though, he probably did make the best out of the situation he had gotten himself into with the Big Vegetarian. I’m hoping that nickname sticks, btw. Fielder should embrace it.

  117. The Gunner says:

    Truly unbelievable that this guy gets another chance! Ohlendorf has been everywhere since he left the Bucs.

  118. Jim S. says:

    Jim Johnson, proven closer extraordinaire, is now off the market. Hanny’s available, I think.

  119. Chad says:

    Zatkoff should be taken seriously as a backup, nothing more. Sure his game has flaws but the Pens aren’t counting on him to evenly split the workload with Fleury. With the long Olympic break this year, there is no reason Fleury can’t play over 60 games this season. I think that this situation is great for Fleury because for the first time in his career, he is the veteran goalie of the two. Maybe this is exactly what Fleury needs to help mend his wounded pysche. If so, that is bad news for the rest of the NHL.

  120. Jim S. says:


  121. Nate83 says:

    Yes as time goes on the trade will look better and better. In the short term they paid 80 million for 2 years of Fielder and as you said he shouldn’t be given any credit for cleaning up his own mess no matter how well he cleaned it up. Fielder didn’t do himself any favors by gaining 30 pounds last year but he got his payday so good for him. Apperently you can have your cake and eat it to.

  122. Nate83 says:

    The more I think about it the Pirates should have made this deal even if it cost them Wilson and Kingham and then signed Burnett for 14 million and then call it a day. 21 million for 2 very good pitchers added to Liriano, Cole and Morton. I wouldn’t even care if they didn’t pick up a first baseman.

  123. Thundercrack says:

    He resigned with the Nationals. Steve Pearce resigned with the Orioles.

  124. Thundercrack says:

    I think it is going to take more than $14 million to resign AJ

  125. NMR says:

    Haha, that one has legs. As fellow vegetarians, my wife and I find Prince a walking conundrum. I mean, how?

  126. tdb1977 says:

    Im going to play devils advocate here – what happens if it was Antonio Brown running back a kick off. Head coach of team B (fill in ANY other team) standing in the same position as Tomlin, does the same thing as Tomlin, Brown makes a small move back to the inside and is tackled, when he is clearly going in. How would the reaction be then? You know it and I know it, people will be calling for that coach to receive the maximum from the league.

  127. Jim S. says:

    Maybe they needed an analysis done of all of their past bad free agent signings. Ironically, this just adds to that list.

  128. NMR says:

    If ittakes more than $14m to sign AJ, he won’t be playing baseball next year.

  129. Erik Raney says:

    An upset victory over heavily-favored Wisconsin and a winning season do not mean that the 2013 Penn State Football season was a success.

    Not even close.

    However; not even close would describe the end result of embarrassing losses versus Indiana, Minnesota and Ohio State (although the latter was expected). A home loss to UCF is also unacceptable.

    Sure, the cupboards are nearly bare, but this team did not consistently compete with the “toughness” that Bill O’Brien often mentions.

    7-5 is good enough at most schools. Not at Penn State. Sanctions be damned. The feel-good story of 2012 is over, and success is once again measured by wins and losses.

    -Erik Raney

  130. Thundercrack says:

    I don’t think Prince did himself any favors at the end of the playoffs when he said it wasn’t a big deal and he was going home to play with his kids.

  131. hockeymonster says:

    Que pasa jandster? :)

  132. Bizrow says:

    I used to work with his father and mom at the plant, from Beaver

  133. Bizrow says:

    So who’s left on the FA market SP wise?

  134. 21sthebest says:

    I think Tomlin is embarrassed and I think that’s what his smile was all about. A smile is a perfectly normal reaction in that situation. And I don’t think Tomlin did this on purpose.

    I didn’t say Jones is a humanitarian. I was trying to say that the suggestion that he should have run over Tomlin is cruel, IMO.

  135. Wild Bill says:

    3) O’Brien’s work in year 2 was even more impressive than the last. The obvious team leaders graduated. The number of scholarship players shrank even more to 61. A freshman had to play quarterback. The defense was lacking in speed. The alumni continued to fight with each other. In this environment, the Lions won seven, two as big underdogs.

    In any realistic appraisal, O’Brien’s work was magical. And the biggest bit of magic was, with the restrictions still in place, he continues to recruit incredibly well. By two seasons from now – three at most – the Lions will truly roar.

  136. Jandy says:

    At work, it’s the same ol’ insanity, Monster Mash. How bout you?


  137. Jandy says:

    Really Biz??? can you tell us any stories??

  138. 21sthebest says:

    There was one Seattle coach, not sure if it was Carroll, who was standing on the white line close to the field at the line of scrimmage when Seattle was on offense.

  139. Wild Bill says:

    New PSU developments: Penn State has dismissed Fisher (quarterbacks) and Vanderlinden (linebackers and special teams) from the football coaching staff.

  140. JohninOshkosh says:

    This gets my vote for #2. The Pens will hoist the cup only if MAF rises to the occasion.

  141. Jim S. says:

    I don’t think anyone here is saying don’t punish him. But, what is the maximum (your words), tdb? A hefty fine to the team and coach makes sense to me. Potentially losing a draft pick makes no sense, especially since, short of having Tomlin admit it, I don’t see how you can prove it was more than a stupid mistake.

  142. Joni says:

    Well said, Chad!

  143. Arriba Wilver says:

    I always get those two mixed up. ;-)

  144. Jim S. says:

    “Not everyone can get those last 3 outs.” – Mitch Williams

    He should know. He often couldn’t get them.

    Every current closer or aspiring closer in MLB owes a great debt of gratitude to guys like this for perpetuating the myth that there is something mystical about protecting the lead in the 9th inning to start an inning vs., oh say, coming into the 7th inning w runners on 2nd and 3rd and 1 out with your team leading by a run. Even some GMs still believe it.

  145. Wild Bill says:

    I agree, Chad. Flower is 30 now. It is more than time for him to not only be the starter, but for him to be the Man of the goalie position. If he can’t handle it, them move on. But I think he will handle it, and the break for the Olympics will indeed help.

  146. Dan Kellick says:

    1) While I don’t necessarily agree with Tomlin’s explanation, I do agree the whole thing is much ado about nothing. Two officials are running in behind Jones and they could have thrown flags, yet chose not too. I realize officials miss things or get things incorrect but they were right there. The league will fine him, as they should since there is a rule in regards to where sideline personel can be on the field.
    What is most troubling is two fold – 1) the amount of attention this silly thing is getting in the press and 2) the vitirol toward Tomlin. To each their own I guess.

  147. Jim S. says:

    Did he really say that, TC? Ouch! That’s one of those things you keep to yourself.

  148. Jim S. says:

    Vegetarian pizza is all I can figure. Lots of them.

  149. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    A Baltimore Raven uses his head for one thing…..Killshots.
    Example in point….Le’Veon Bell.

  150. Carmen says:

    Yes, Zatkoff can be taken seriously as a backup in the traditional sense of filling in for 15 or so games during the regular season and the utilizing his chattering nature to cheer Fluery on during the playoffs. But the answer is No, if he would have to assume the role Vokoun did last year, which was to take over the starting job in the playoffs. In a sense, the decision to keep Zatkoff in the backup role might say more about the Pens level of confidence in Fluery producing in the playoffs than Jeff’s ability.

  151. Patrick(RI) says:

    #1: Tomlin steps on the field and ESPN hemorrhages . Days before, an NBA coach spills a drink to stall the game. Taken separately, these create only minor embarrassments to the teams. But if we could blow Tomlin’s misstep out of proportion sufficient to restore more sanctity to the playing field, all sports could improve. For example, NCAA BB could give the ball and a basket to the other team every time a coach steps on a live court. An improvement like this would make Tomlin’s small step a giant leap for all sports fans.

  152. Jim S. says:

    I know, 21. I was just kidding about the humanitarian part.

    I actually believe it is possible to have the presence of mind to bump into MT there. He didn’t need to plow Coach Soundbyte over to get the TD call.

  153. Justin says:

    For a coach who benches players for the smallest infraction on the football field, this should be an embarrassment not only for Coach Tomlin but the Steelers organization as a whole. Basically what we have learned from this personal gaffe from the coach is that accountability only exists with the players and coaches are exempt from retribution for poor performance/decisions. Coach Tomlin knows the rules, was reminded of the rules before the game and still proceeded to break the rules. Whether this was intentional or not is irrelevant, he should be punished by the Steelers as well as the NFL.

  154. Jim S. says:

    The thing about basketball, though, is that the area for a coach to stand is pretty much right up against the out of bounds line on the court. Every college basketball coach goes over that line all the time. It is almost unavoidable, isn’t it? Tomlin and NFL coaches have that restricted area for a reason.

  155. Jim S. says:

    There’s Karstens, Biz. :-)

  156. Bizrow says:

    No, never met the kid, I know they were both excited though when he got drafted, was quite the player in the area. Jeff and Beth, now divorced though.

  157. Patrick(ri) says:

    Not if they keep theiir butt on the bench.

  158. Jim S. says:

    And with only 2 words to spare. 98% word efficiency. SABR-metrics also works in hockey! :-)

  159. NMR says:


    I’d find sports much more entertaining if coaches were fair game.

  160. Jandy says:

    wow, so they are divorced AND lost their son. Sadder yet…thanks for the input, Biz

  161. NMR says:

    And Paul Maholm!

    Serously though, nobody wants Paul Maholm?

  162. Jandy says:

    oops confusing my players. They are divorced…but their son is now auditioning for the Pens. I need a vacation!

  163. Todd Pollock says:

    Is Tomlin’s sideline affair embarrassing for the Steelers? I can’t think of a more loaded question than that. What has been called America’s favorite sport for decades now has sports writers all over the country using microscopes to find any negative story to write about the NFL players and coaches. Whether they are writing about the violence of the game, the locker room antics, or the back and forth talk that goes on during a game, the sport is being written out of existence. Because of all that, I must say that Tomlin’s sideline affair is embarrassing for the Steelers.

  164. Patrick(ri) says:

    Some of these guys should be made to put on shorts and really get in the game!

  165. Jim S. says:

    Fine him, Suspend him. Take away draft picks and cap space. He should have known better, after what happened last week.

  166. Jandy says:

    that would scare the fans away! ;)

  167. Arriba Wilver says:

    It’s understandable since Jandy asked the question about CJ.

    Wait . . .

  168. Jim S. says:

    That’s not realistic. The players need to see and hear them. If you are on the court and you look over, it is much easier for a player if one guy is standing.

  169. SeanAY says:

    And pretty good hedging to say, “I would have supported that punishment,” without the situation actually occurring.

    It’s easy to say how you would have acted back when if it meant supporting the argument you’re making now.

  170. Jim S. says:

    We should want him back at this point, I think. I trust him more than Jeff Locke. PM has sort of slipped under the radar. He is pretty durable.

    What do you think Maholm gets, NMR? I’m not that good at judging these things. His WHIP did blow up pretty bad last year. It was over 1.4.

  171. Arriba Wilver says:

    Just as easy as saying, or at least implying, that it would have been no big deal if it had been Cowher. I don’t see the difference. They’re both hypotheticals.

  172. Court Jester says:

    Not sure if anyone else read this article about the pens potential problems.–nhl.html

  173. 21sthebest says:

    Several years ago, the WPIAL installed a rule that the basketball coaches had to stay seated unless they were calling a timeout. It didn’t take. They reversed it a year or so later.

  174. Jason81 says:

    I think I know which post isn’t going to win for topic #3.

  175. Dale Hemphill says:

    # 3, O’Brien. When he had nothing (Post NCAA sanctions) dumped into his lap, he showed his ability to suceed. It would be easy for the team to lay down and play with out any determination, however Coach O’Brien very convincingly showed his belief with those he had and made him more determined to succeed with less than possible. It’s hard being a Penn State supporter here in the heart of Duck football, Eugene. Yes, He is successful!

  176. Thundercrack says:

    Interesting ..because the quarterback played pretty good this year.


  177. NMR says:

    Especially baseball managers.

    If Dusty Baker is gonna make himself look silly by dressing up like a player and waddling out to second base to argue a call, Neil Walker should be able to take him out with a slide, spikes high.

  178. Arriba Wilver says:

    Yeah, surprising to me, too. Maybe Jay Paterno is coming back.

  179. Jandy says:



  180. Jandy says:

    I can see reversing it. No way should a coach be expected to SIT during a fast -paced basketball game. That’s just inhumane!

  181. Jandy says:


    yeah…that was harsh.

  182. Jandy says:

    LOL AW, rub it in. I’m in paperwork up to my elbows. My co-workers are coming to me for help, and I got confused :P

    Give an ol’ lady a break :P

  183. Arriba Wilver says:

    And I thought sure I was going to get a 9 Wide. Whew! ;-)

  184. Wild Bill says:

    The interpretation regarding Fisher seems to be that O’Brien wants to coach the quarterbacks himself.

  185. Wild Bill says:

    Perish the thought, AW!

  186. NMR says:

    Higher WHIP was almost all BABIP, but thats always been Maholm’s MO. Guy is just very hittable.

    Does not necessarilly mean he was hit harder, though. One could argue that he may benefit from the Pirates defense, but he did just have Andrelton playing behind him.

    Interesting to note that in his last three seasons with Pittsburgh he posted a HR/FB rate around 7.5%. Last two seasons outside of Pittsburgh that rate was about 12.5%.

    As for contract? Certainly didn’t help himself out last season, but league average lefties with good health find jobs. I’d say you could get him for the $6.5m he made last year, or maybe go for value and talk him into $10m over two years.

  187. Jandy says:

    I’m in good mood today ;)


  188. theplanisworking says:

    Lost in all the debate about Tomlin’s actions is this………….

    Why are they threatening to possibly take away a draft pick from the Steelers? They havent done that in the past to other teams. Not for Bountygate, or when the Jets special teams coach DID interfere with a Miami player.

    Just another head-scratcher………

  189. Nate83 says:

    Tigers signed Joe Nathan to a 2 year contract. Apperently they think a closer is greater then more then likely the best 4th starter in the league who would be a number 2 on some staffs. Pizza sales must be down if they can’t afford both.

  190. 21sthebest says:

    I think it was done to try to get them to stop berating officials.

  191. Jandy says:

    Typical NFL baloney….hooey!

  192. Jandy says:

    I was being facetious, but I see the intent….just know that will never work… lol

  193. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I didn’t get a chance to come on yesterday, Im sure there was some discussion on Chris Stewart that went over well.

    Stewart used to be Buster Posey’s back up in SF.

    One of the 1st things you might notice about Chris is that he does not look like a typical catcher. He’s rather tall and lanky for the position, almost looks more like Jordy Mercer with a Jason Kendall goatee.

    He is very good defensively and I like the pick up, though I wonder what that means for Tony Sanchez. Either way, it’s not an expensive deal and can probalby either trade or cut him later in the season if need be.

    His offense makes Rod Barajas look good, but if you’re signing/trading a back up catcher, is your primary concern his offensive ability? Shouldn’t be.

    Sorry to see The Fort go, but he lacked any sort of defensive ability and it’s time to move on. Can’t criticize his work ethic or “want to.”

  194. 21sthebest says:

    By the time this offseason is over, I think the Tigers are going to be better positioned to win the World Series than they were at the end of last season.

  195. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Looks like someone was reading ESPN yesterday…… Jason Kidd got fined $50,000 for dumping his cup over and delaying the game.

    Do you really think the NFL won’t fine Tomlin for the same, if not more?

  196. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    The QB is so good he doesn’t need a coach.

  197. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Pitch to contact…..Wouldn’t mind as a #5 starter though.

  198. Wild Bill says:

    I think the talk of a draft choice loss is a lot of reporter baloney to get people stirred up.

  199. 21sthebest says:

    I’m not convinced that the NFL has threatened to take away a draft pick. Just rumors and unnamed sources are all I’ve seen so far unless I missed something else. And maybe someone in the NFL did make that comment in a flippant, that’s always a possibility manner that some reporter just ran with.

  200. Nate83 says:

    Thanks for the info Ryan. I think it simply means that they want Sanchez playing as much as possible next year and getting better from reps. Playing 30-40 games next year would slow down his progression. Having him play everyday in AAA will be good for his development. If Stewart is just so bad offensively it isn’t working then they can always switch back to Sanchez. They currently had very few options at catcher. Unfortunately Stewart is out of options but you can’t be too picky when trying to feel a void. He seems like a safe bet to be an adequate defensive backup catcher.

  201. 21sthebest says:

    LOL! Just saw this Wild Bill!

  202. jefft says:

    Ain’t technology grand?
    Mike Tomlin explained to the world that he was trying to get a better view of what was happening on the field of play during last week’s Ravens-Steelers game. So, naturally, he stared at the stadium’s “Jumbotron.” If only it was in 3-D, it would have seemed like he was right there.
    Oh, wait…he was right there.
    Performing this stunt to “help” his team did nothing of the sort. The fact that it happened on national, prime-time television makes the Steelers look like just another “win at any cost” team of the NFL.
    Whew…96 words.

  203. Arriba Wilver says:

    The Saints lost two 2nd rounders for Bountygate, not to mention the other penalties.

    Probably a good idea to see what they do before getting our panties all in a bunch.

  204. Arriba Wilver says:


  205. Arriba Wilver says:

    Next week it’s going to be 50, so enjoy it while you can.

    Bowser isn’t even trying.

  206. Chad says:

    Thanks everyone! We’ve all seen what Fleury can do in the playoffs, but recently he hasn’t performed well at all. A change in goalie coach, playing him a ton, and him being a mentor might be just what he needs. We shall see.

  207. The Gunner says:

    I can’t really see the BMTIB paying AJ $14 million. But, anything is possible. Maybe AJ is willing to put some skin in the game with a 1 year contract that provides a $10 million base salary, another $4-6 million in performance incentives, & an option for a 2nd year.

    Sounds like the framework of my old sales commission plan except my base & performance incentives were a much, much lower number.

  208. Arriba Wilver says:

    I agree, Wild Bill.

  209. Jandy says:

    LOL! ZING!

  210. Thundercrack says:

    Apparently they don’t want to go through another season with their bullpen the way it was in 2013. And they picked up a quality closer to help fix the problem.

    And they have the depth at starting pitching to do it

  211. Thundercrack says:

    +1 to 21

  212. NMR says:

    The question is whether or not they needed to make their rotation worse in order to improve their bullpen.

  213. 21sthebest says:

    Fake SportsCenter on Twitter just named Tomlin AFC Defensive Player of the Week.

  214. Jandy says:


  215. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    But that’s not how it works around here AW, you know better than that.

    Panties bunched. (Not mine, I truly don’t care)

  216. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I agree.

    I’m assuming that he’s the #1 catcher in 2015. Doesn’t do him any good to catch once a week.

  217. NMR says:

    I’d have a much stronger opinion if Wandy were either healthy or not on the team at all, but I don’t think Maholm improves the CURRENT 25-man roster. Him and Locke seem fairly interchangeable, at least in terms of actual 5th starter impact, and Jeff is free.

    I’d rather see the artist formerly known as Fausto Carmona signed for the back end.

    Burnett, at this point, is higher priority than all other signings combined, IMO.

  218. Jandy says:

    why is it panties? Why not boxers? :P

  219. 21sthebest says:

    Well he went on the DL last year with a wrist injury and had an MRI September 11th on his elbow which showed no structural damage. Two starts after that though. That’s enough to scare me off. And I wouldn’t take him back anyways.

  220. Jim S. says:

    Except shouldn’t it have been Special Teams player of the week?

  221. Jim S. says:

    Well said, Nate.

    Thanks for the scouting report, Nor Cal. That is about what we heard. Great defense, but no offense.

  222. Arriba Wilver says:

    I have a prejudice against former players coming back. Nice to have known you, Paul.

    Who was the last retread to work out? John Candelaria?

  223. NMR says:

    Joe Randahahahaha

  224. Jim S. says:

    My take as well. Or, he just doesn’t like the way Fisher was coaching and wants to bring in someone who will coach the position as he would.

  225. Jim S. says:

    Jeff Locke’s 2nd half performance should have been enough to at least put a bit of a scare in all of us, don’t you think? I would like to see another lefty starter.

    If I knew Wandy was going to be good for at least 20 starts, I would not consider Maholm. But, I have serious doubts about that.

  226. 21sthebest says:

    +1 I despised bringing McLouth back for that very reason. Sometimes you just have to move on.

    John Candelaria actually played for Murtaugh, Tanner, and Leyland, all as a Pirate. Can you name the only other Pirate to do that?

  227. Jim S. says:

    I think he’d be worth it for $6.5M for one year. I bet PNC had a lot to do with that HR rate being low until he left.

    I don’t see a problem with having Paul back. Wasn’t he a good guy? I don’t remember him causing any trouble at all.

    Did he kick Frank’s dog on the way out of the clubhouse?

  228. Jandy says:

    haha! Prolly a better fit, Jim!

  229. Jandy says:

    and both hypocriticals

  230. NMR says:

    Anyone notice the “WILSON” chants last night on Monday Night Football?

    Best entrance music ever if Justin Wilson ever becomes the Pirates Closer.

  231. NMR says:

    Just a hunch, but I bet Sanchez wil always have a veteran caddie splitting games with him similar to the Reds last year with Devin Mesoraco and Ryan Hannigan.

    In fact, I’d prefer that player to be Ryan Hanigan.

  232. NMR says:

    Speaking personally, no, not really.

    Jeff Locke isn’t as bad as he was in the second half, nor is he as good as he was in the first.

    And I don’t anticipate him being in the rotation at all by the time he wore down last year.

  233. Thundercrack says:

    Nathan as closer + Smyly as replacement for Fister in the rotation > Fister in the rotation

  234. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    And I’m fine with that…I want a veteran presence around for both Tony and the pitching staff.

  235. 21sthebest says:

    Boxer Jocks here!

    Was that TMI?

  236. Arriba Wilver says:

    I was in favor of bringing McLouth back. I learned my lesson.

  237. NMR says:

    Still assumes the Fister salary dump was necesarry, which is ridiculous, IMO.

    Could’ve traded Porcello, a worse pitcher projected to make more money, and still threw a bunch of money at Nathan.

  238. Joni says:

    Thanks for the link! It is spot-on.

  239. Arriba Wilver says:

    Doesn’t assume anything. It’s merely a statement of what is.

    Are they better? If they could have been even better is a different question.

  240. Jim S. says:

    Brian Wilson is expected to sign with the Dodgers. Anyone who actually thought that guy was going to sign outside of Cali must have been smoking something. Quintessential Californian.

  241. Jim S. says:

    I believe I just heard that Oakland acquired Hannigan today.

  242. Jim S. says:

    Manny Sanguillen. Makes a decent BBQ sandwich. Posed for a nice picture with my son over the Labor Day weekend at PNC.

  243. theplanisworking says:

    Excuse me, how do you know if or what I am smoking?
    Besides, Wilson would need 2 unis, one for him, one for that beard. ;)

  244. Nate83 says:

    It’s not a question if Smyle + Nathan is better then Fister. It is Porcello that is the 5th starter now. Smyle would have taken Porcello’s spot anyway. The team just gave 30 million for Fielder to eat donuts elsewhere. They can’t afford 7 million for a pitcher that is worth upwards of 15 million if he was a free agent? He is 15 WAR pitcher over the last 4 years. Those guys don’t just fall into your lap. Oh wait they do. He fell into the Nationals lap.

  245. NMR says:

    Of course it assumes trading Fister was necesarry, since his statement includes Fister being traded.

    My question was whether or not it was necesarry to make the rotation worse in order to make the bullpen better.

  246. @newtang says:

    #1 This should only be mildly embarrassing for the Steelers at worst. Tomlin made a mistake, and was very apologetic. The NFL should give him a small fine, and a stern warning and move on. If you want to talk about embarrassments or the integrity of the NFL, look at Miami’s bullying scandal, racist or homophobic remarks from players, or brain trauma from former players, not a respected coach who accidentally stepped on the field.

  247. 21sthebest says:

    Hanigan to the Rays, Heath Bell to the Rays, Holmberg to the Reds, Choate to the DBacks. DBacks also getting cash or PTBNL.

  248. Thundercrack says:

    It seems that people are assuming that trading Porcello is easy.

  249. NMR says:

    Jim wins the blog for today.

  250. NMR says:

    Nice of Biz to particpate in the conversation, btw. :)

  251. Milo Hamilton says:

    More new exclusive Mike Tomlin video. This one places him on the grassy knoll the day Kennedy was assassinated.

  252. NMR says:

    You’ve seen what starting pitchers are making on the open market, haven’t you.

    It is not an assumption that trading Porcello would be easy. It is fact.

  253. Nate83 says:

    My original post said nothing about Nathan being a bad signing. The last sentence specifically ask why both could not be afforded. They just literally threw 30 million in the garbage. Can you imagine if the Pirates did that? They spent 30 million which is more then the entire Houston Astros team and got nothing in return.

    I can’t imagine NH walking into Nuttings office and saying you know that guy we have paid 50 million to over the last 2 years….well…..I want to trade him to the Rangers and give them 30 million. I then think it would be a good idea to trade Fister for practically nothing to save 7 million when most teams would fight for him like he was the last cabbage patch doll on the shelf in 1985.

  254. 21sthebest says:

    By the time this offseason is over, I think the Tigers are going to be better positioned to win the World Series than they were at the end of last season.

  255. Nate83 says:

    I almost think they could have got the same return for Porcello as they did for Fister. That is how rediculous it was to not only trade Fister but to get that return for him.

  256. Arriba Wilver says:

    How embarrassing.

  257. Arriba Wilver says:

    I hope they have a no facial hair policy.

  258. Thundercrack says:

    The Pirates aren’t the Tigers.

    Yes they traded Fielder, but the got a good player back for him and freed up future money.

    I like Fister. And maybe they could/should have gotten more in return for him. He’s good. But I am not going to go overboard on how good he is.

  259. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    And what is the Quintessential Californian mean????

    It is time for him to lose the beard. Especially since he went to the Freakin’ Dodgers!!

    Giants fans aren’t pleased.

    I know I do not have a “green” card here in Cali, but if you have $100 and a pain, you can get one.

  260. Arriba Wilver says:

    Comparing what the Tigers do financially with what the Pirates do financially is . . . well, ridiculous. Might as well compare the Yanks, Bosox, Philly and LA to the Bucs.

  261. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think it means the guy who lives in California now, but is soon moving to South Carolina.

    Just my 2 cents.

  262. Arriba Wilver says:

    “Nathan as closer + Smyly as replacement for Fister in the rotation > Fister in the rotation”

    Reading is fundamental. Putting your own internal interpretation on those words is not . . . fundamental..

  263. Nate83 says:

    Fine compare them to the Yankees who are not even willing to eat money on A-Rod. It wasn’t the overall point I was trying to make but that is fine.

    The overall Fielder move from the day they signed him to the two years they had him to the trade a few weeks ago is not a good move by any GM in any market. The Fister move makes no sense at all. You are correct financially you can’t compare the Tigers to the Pirates and that is why it makes no sense for the Tigers to money dump 7 million when it is actually a player playing to a level well above that amount.

  264. 21sthebest says:

    That’s why his agent told Cashman he won’t sign with the Yankees when they inquired about him.

  265. Arriba Wilver says:

    “I can’t imagine NH walking into Nuttings office and saying you know that guy we have paid 50 million to over the last 2 years….well…..I want to trade him to the Rangers and give them 30 million. I then think it would be a good idea to trade Fister for practically nothing to save 7 million when most teams would fight for him like he was the last cabbage patch doll on the shelf in 1985.”

    That’s what I was responding to.

  266. Nate83 says:

    Smyly was not replacing Fister. That is fact. Fister was currently with or without Smyly in the rotation a top 5 starter for the Tigers. The equation is not accurate. It would be Nathan + Porcello > Fister in rotation. I personally think the answer to that quesion is no.

  267. Arriba Wilver says:

    Actually, I respect that. It might be stupid financially, but I still respect that.

  268. theplanisworking says:

    Is grassy related to Chuck in any way?

  269. 21sthebest says:

    I’m thinking the Tigers end up with Choo or Ellsbury.

  270. Nate83 says:

    I know what you where responding to. I’m not sure what part of my response implied I didn’t understand that. The overall point of the post was not to compare the Pirates to the Tigers. It was to point out how odd this move is by Dombrowski. A team willing to spend 88 million for 5 years of Anibal Sanchez surely can afford 7 million for Fister who before Sanchez’s breakout year this year had better stats then Sanchez.

  271. Nate83 says:

    21 I have heard Ellsbury connected to them. He actually would fit with that team perfectly. If the money saved on Fielder is used to get Ellsbury I think it’s a good trade off.

  272. Thundercrack says:

    But Smyly is on the roster and he can replace Fister.

    So to me the option is you keep Fister. Or you have Smyly in his place in the rotation and add Nathan to the bullpen, as the closer that they desperately need.
    ( and a Tigers fan told me he was happy that they got a lefty reliever back in the deal)

    I don’t think you add Nathan without without trading Fister ($$).
    And if he can resign Scherzer……

    I hope the Pirates make a move soon. I’m tired of talking about other teams.

  273. SeanAY says:

    Just unbelievable, right?

    Not even in my top 10 of favorite Phish songs, but I mean…it’s like it was written to be chanted in a stadium, isn’t it?

  274. Wild Bill says:

    Welcome, Dale. One of my favorite memories is a party held at my house at the time of the PSU – Oregon Rose Bowl. Fans of both present, and the Oregon fans put ducks all over my television. About 30 people present and a riot of a good time – made better by the Lions winning.

  275. Thundercrack says:

    ‘A team willing to spend 88 million for 5 years of Anibal Sanchez surely can afford 7 million for Fister who before Sanchez’s breakout year this year had better stats then Sanchez.’

    I know it is monopoly money, but maybe these moves show that they can’t afford it.
    And that you have to factor other moves that the want to make (Ellsbury, resign Scherzer)

  276. Jim S. says:

    I saw one this morning as well that showed a guy in a black and gold baseball cap running away from the scene of the Hindenburg disaster just moments before it ignited.

  277. SeanAY says:


    No one knows.

  278. 21sthebest says:

    If I were the Yankees I would have granted him a waiver for the facial hair if he agreed to never wear the tuxedo costume.

  279. theplanisworking says:

    I thought he captained the Titanic? ;)

  280. Jim S. says:

    I just wanted to work in “quintessential” to the blog in hopes someone would award me with “word of the day.” Didn’t happen, obviously. I pledge to regroup and come back stronger tomorrow.

  281. R.J. Freschi says:


    After some initial jitters, Zatkoff’s performed well so far, though the “sample size” is still quite limited. He had by far his best outing against the Panthers on Saturday. Unlike many of his other starts, the Pens often left him out to dry and he really came through.

    Can Zatkoff do the back-up job well all season? Can he replace Fleury like Vokoun did in the playoffs last season and win two series? If I had to guess, I’d say probably not. If Vokoun will miss the season, trading for an experienced back-up goalie would be prudent.

  282. Jim S. says:

    Thanks for the update, 21. I know I heard Hannigan to Oakland on MLB Network at lunch.

  283. Arriba Wilver says:

    I had no I tension to bring Hippos into this.


  284. Nate83 says:

    I don’t buy it Thunder. A team that is going to spend 120 million on Ellsbury and already gave Sanchez way over market at the time and also gave Tori Hunter way over market can’t find room in the budget for 7 million. It would make sense if he wasn’t playing up to that 7 million but he has played way above that level.

    It still doesn’t explain the horrible return for him. I sit next to many Tiger fans at work and they are not happy with the return at all. They are happy with the Nathan signing as they should be but don’t understand why Fister had to be dumped to achieve it. Almost every Tiger fan I know thinks very highly of Fister.

  285. NMR says:

    My original question was whether or not the rotation needed to be downgraded in order to improve the bullpen.

    His answer was “Nathan as closer + Smyly as replacement for Fister in the rotation > Fister in the rotation”.

    Either he didn’t answer my question, or he assumes Fister needed to be traded in order for this improvement to happen. There is no interpretation.

    You’re wrong – and snarky – which is…wait for it…embarassing.

  286. Bizrow says:

    Post du jour ;-)

  287. Arriba Wilver says:

    I talk to a lot of Pirate fans here. They aren’t too happy with the lack of activity by the Bucs so far.

    Is that significant?

  288. theplanisworking says:

    Speaking of smoking something, Jim………… ;)

  289. Jim S. says:

    I always wanted to be blogist for a day.

  290. Thundercrack says:

    Nate, you don’t seem to be counting the money they have to pay for Prince not playing on their team and the money they have to pay Kinsler. And whether the deals for Hunter and Sanchez are/were above or below market doesn’t matter. All that matters is their total payroll commitment and whether the have to make deals to reduce it – in order to make other deals such as signing Nathan (and maybe resigning Scherzer).

    And I agree that the return for Fister doesn’t seem right. It looks low.

  291. Nate83 says:

    I don’t know you tell me because I have a feeling no matter what I respond you will miss the overall point and make an insignificant point of your own that does little to actually stay on the original topic.

  292. JohninOshkosh says:

    Some interesting games in Big Ten basketball tonight. Indiana travels to Syracuse. Notre Dame is at Iowa. Michigan goes to Cameron Indoor to take on Groat’s Dukies and Penn State will be at the Oakland Zoo. A lot of channel flipping tonight.

    Oh, and tomorrow night my alma mater plays Arriba’s alma mater.

    DK: Yeah, but what’s that got to do with an American League bullpen? That’s what I want to know.

  293. JohninOshkosh says:

    Not to mention, the Pens in Long Island tonight !

  294. Arriba Wilver says:

    I don’t seem to be the only one having trouble keeping up with your overall point. Sorry, words and specified facts used to support the overall point sometimes confuse me.

    What’s your overall point again?

  295. Jim S. says:

    Those seem more like ACC games to me, Osh! :-)

  296. Jim S. says:

    The evidence is mounting.


  298. Jim S. says:

    Hangs head in shame and skulks off … like a quintessential Illinoisan. :-(

  299. Jim S. says:

    He’s a free spirit. There are a large contingent of them out there, Nor Cal.

  300. Jim S. says:

    “is” a large contingent of them.

  301. theplanisworking says:

    Chief Illiniwek thanks you. ;)

  302. Nate83 says:

    I’m very aware of their situation because I live in that area. One of my first post today maybe even the first one said that maybe this is because of bad decisions made over the last 3 years by Dombrowski. I do not think their pitching is deep enough. Especially if one of the big 3 get hurt. Maybe they did have to save 7 million but I question if trading away a player that is playing well above that amount is the right move. Even if it is why get such a bad return.

    I’m not a huge WAR fan but I believe they say you start at 60 wins and 5 million buys you another win. Fister is 15 WAR over the last 4 years thats an 18.75 million value per year. He was performing at a level 11.75 million above his pay. How do you make that up? You usually don’t trade players that are giving you that much value. If you do then you make sure the return is something special. They didn’t do that in my opinion.

  303. Nate83 says:

    Overall point is the Fister trade is bad no matter how you look at it in my opinion.

  304. JohninOshkosh says:

    :). It’s all in one’s perspective, Jim!

  305. Milo Hamilton says:

    I don’t know anything about lefty pitcher Brett Anderson other than the fact the A’s are hot to trade the guy. Considering Oakland is looking for bullpen help and I fully expect the Pirates to trade Grilli or Melancon this winter, could we have a match here ?

  306. Thundercrack says:

    Do you know when the Tigers report to Spring Training.

  307. Bill Pintsak says:

    The only thing that is ‘embarrassing’ (if that’s the word) about the Tomlin sideline incident is that it takes focus away from the mere fact that the Steelers may miss the playoffs for the 2nd year in a row. The reality is that people that don’t like the Steelers see it as intentional and you are never going to change their opinion. IMO it’s water under the bridge, move on.

  308. NMR says:

    Haha, thank you.

  309. Lad 9 says:

    Lot of ability Milo, but he makes Lamar Woodley look durable…..

  310. Arriba Wilver says:

    And I can’t agree or disagree with that overall point without looking at the facts and logic used to arrive at it.

    I’m not convinced, especially when any questions about it are met with hysterical responses that I’m missing the overall point.

  311. JohninOshkosh says:

    I was just looking at Oakland’s web page and was thinking the same thing! Heis oft injured, as they say.

  312. NMR says:

    Gregerson and Johnson in the last two days make that need much smaller.

  313. Arriba Wilver says:

    BTW, I think Dombrowski is one of the sharpest GM’s around.

  314. Jim S. says:

    According to Buster Olney, some team offered Carlos Beltran 3 x $16M = $48M. Speculation was Mariners, Royals or Yankees. He can still hit, but he’s 37-38-39 under that deal, if it happens. He can’t do anything else but hit now.

  315. Bizrow says:

    A reclamation project

    It could happen ;-)

    A’s have been pretty busy so far

  316. Bizrow says:

    I think ESPN reported Mariners are after Cano.

    That FO needs to make a splash

  317. Arriba Wilver says:

    Probably explains why the offers are from AL teams.

  318. theplanisworking says:

    I was hoping someone could re-explain the Fister stuff from above……..

    * ducks* ;)

  319. theplanisworking says:

    Yeah, and if they goof, look out…………….

  320. Jim S. says:

    Yep, for sure! My wife is a Big 10 gal, and my oldest daughter will be next year as well.

    I’m just a lowly A10 guy.

  321. Jim S. says:

    My wife is an alum. My daughter starts there in the fall. They take that Chief stuff seriously down there.

  322. NMR says:

    Fister? Barely even knew…ok, I’ll stop.

  323. Bizrow says:

    Jack Z has been goofing for years

    Their GM, used to work for the PBC many years ago

  324. theplanisworking says:


  325. NMR says:

    I would have never guessed…

  326. Arriba Wilver says:


    Don’t ask me. I’m missing the overall point.

  327. theplanisworking says:

    From my hometown.
    Know the family well. Good people.
    Wasnt he some wunderkind in Milwaukee?

    In Seattle, not so much.
    Wish him and Lloyd well.

  328. NMR says:

    Excellent school, Jim. Congrats to your daughter!

  329. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, clear as mud.

  330. NMR says:

    And what exactly does “free spirit” mean?

  331. JohninOshkosh says:

    Unless Brad Pitt is thinking about acquiring and flipping at the WM next week. He is an active lad, after all.

  332. Jim S. says:

    I know. I’m glad I wasn’t in on that. My brain hurt just from trying to follow along.

  333. Arriba Wilver says:

    I was going to nominate this as the best in this category, but you ruined it by stating that people who disagree with your conclusion that it was unintentional just don’t like the Steelers.

    That ” logic” is always a loser with me. It’s a lazy, inaccurate response, in any sport, but the Steelers? This ain’t Baltimore.

  334. NMR says:

    No kidding.

    With all these trades, 24/7 might not have much to cover at the winter meetings.

  335. Jim S. says:

    Look it up. There’s a picture of Brian Wilson next to the definition.

  336. Jim S. says:

    Thanks, NMR.

  337. Nate83 says:

    My main point was made at 9:39 this morning. Anything after that has been directed by what others have said and I responded to.

    As far as the “hysterical responses” I don’t know what to tell you. If anything I said has been more offensive to you then some of the things you say then I can’t help you. Your comment dripped with irony.

  338. Tigers haven’t announced their Report Date yet.

  339. NMR says:

    That’s Ortiz money – for three years – and a draft pick.


  340. NMR says:

    Haha, glad you saw the humor. “)

  341. Nate83 says:

    I did as well until 2 years ago when he signed Fielder and then last year when he outbid himself on Hunter and Sanchez. I think feeling like he had to go all in has changed his normal way of operating and some bad moves have been made. I could easily see them becoming the Phillies in 3 or 4 years.

  342. Jim S. says:

    True, Arriba. I gotta believe he’s strictly DH material now. I read Buster’s write-up on MLB Trade Rumors. He pointed out that Beltran’s defense was deteriorating (as well all saw quite often last year) and his plate discipline was slipping.

    I would also say if it is those 3 specific teams involved, they seem to have one trait in common right now: Desperation.

  343. Baywatch says:

    Zing II! Coming to a theater near you!

  344. Jim S. says:

    + many, NMR.

  345. Jim S. says:

    I thought only Jay Z reported that Cano rumor stuff, Biz. He must have instructed ESPN to report it.

  346. Bizrow says:

    Well, I did see his arm first hand, that helped us win game 2 in the playoffs

    I don’t want him in our outfield, inspite of the stick

  347. Bizrow says:

    Check that, Game 3, 2nd win

  348. Baywatch says:

    I figure even if he makes a comeback, he’s no more than a guy off the bench for us. They paid RAMON VAZQUEZ a little more than a million to come off the bench, didn’t they? (Why is it I can anticipate an answer to that: “THAT’S BACK WHEN WE WERE THE BAD PIRATES!”) I think I’m a surprised, too, Arreebz, but I think I’d like another look.

  349. Jim S. says:

    BTW, I think I read that Brian Wilson is suing the 2013 Red Sox for stealing his “look.” Oh wait, maybe that was Lindsey Lohan suing them.

  350. Milo Hamilton says:

    I just saw Anderson’s contract. $8 mil this year & $12 mil next. They won’t even pay a good pitcher that. Nevermind.

  351. Nate83 says:

    Wait I have a new main point. It’s the same main point but made by somebody else. Please go read Travis’s post on Bucco Blog. It is essentially my main point but posted by somebody who does it for living.

  352. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m just ignoring NMR. He’s the one who’s taking the real potshots.

  353. Baywatch says:

    Evening, Y’all (Well, it’s still afternoon out here in East Texas, but out of deference …) I almost start crying every time I read through and see you guys always come back around to baseball! That’s crying for joy, now! Happy Holidays, YINZ!

  354. Bizrow says:

    Its on their website

    Not that that means anything of true truth or value

  355. Baywatch says:

    Hey, Milo!

  356. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hey Bay !

  357. JohninOshkosh says:

    Yes. Congrats. She must have been too smart to get into Madison. :)

  358. Jim S. says:

    Happy holiday, Bay! You don’t come around here often enough.

  359. Bizrow says:

    You too Bay

  360. NMR says:

    Holy crap, the ROYALS are apparently the team with the offer?

    That can’t possibly be correct.

  361. NMR says:

    Yeah, but what if Oakland pays half… :)

  362. Arriba Wilver says:

    Nate—I was focusing on how you arrived and supported your point. It’s what I do. If you don’t like that, well . . .

    I don’t care that much about the Tigers now that Leyland is gone. But I understand your “overall point.”
    You’ll have to talk to Groat about whether Travis agreeing with you is significant.

  363. Jim S. says:

    Agreed. I said many times that I thought that Cardinals OF was a defensive nightmare last year. They hit like crazy, and really mashed with RISP. But, I believe the Cardinals agreed. No range from any of the 3. They have already solved 1/3 of that, and even Craig has to be an upgrade over Beltran’s balky knees in RF.

  364. Jim S. says:

    Doesn’t Oakland always stick you with the tab?

  365. NMR says:

    Hahaha, that is precious!!!

    Remind me which guy said this: “Reading is fundamental.”

    You know what, nevermind. Let it be known that Arriba is correct and rightious on all counts. Lord knows this isn’t gonna end until somebody says it.

  366. Jim S. says:

    They’re taking turns with the Twins this off-season, I think.

    Do you wonder if it ever crossed the Royals minds: “We had Will Myers, and he was this close to being on our club for about 7 years. And, we took 2 years of Big Game James Shields instead?”

    I have nothing against Shields. He’s a fine pitcher. But, c’mon KC! Get your act together.

  367. Bizrow says:

    The more they pay, the better the prospects you have to give up

    Its only monopoly money, just like the AJ deal

  368. Thundercrack says:

    I agree with you Biz.

    But I wouldn’t mind Beltran in RF at PNC Park for a year.

  369. Arriba Wilver says:

    What’s your problem, Dude?

  370. Bizrow says:

    You know, every time we post about baseball on the thread, we get further away from being on Dejan’s Christmas Card list, or getting to meet him

    Kidding, just kidding

  371. Milo Hamilton says:

    There’s that. And that somebody they’re about to make a trade with must really like Travis Snider.

  372. Jim S. says:

    Per Ken Rosenthal: Nathan deal with Tigers is in 2/$20M range.

  373. NMR says:

    You’re just an innocent observer, aren’t you? Again.

  374. Baywatch says:

    Thanks for the sentiment, Jim, about me not coming round often enough. I’ll try to do better. The rest of you guys can STFD! LOL!

  375. NMR says:

    Who’s this Nathan fellow you speak of?

  376. Arriba Wilver says:

    Dombrowski sucks. :-D

  377. Bizrow says:

    The way clubs seem to be spending, a one year deal won’t happen.

    Plus the draft pick you lose.

    Do you know if we get that competitive draft pick this year?

  378. Thundercrack says:


    I bet I know a certain someone who probably isn’t thrilled that it always comes back around to baseball.

  379. Thundercrack says:

    How did they afford that deal with Nathan?

  380. Jim S. says:

    Mariners said to be offering 8/$200M to Cano. Yankees, per Wallace Matthews, do not want to go above 7 years. Their current offer is in the 7/$160 range, and the thinking is they could go as high as 7/$175M but probably not any higher. They are citing their own history of bad deals as rationale for not offering more than that.

    Ok, so if I have this straight, the Yankees acknowledge they have a history of bad long term deals. That’s good so far. But, then they don’t consider 7/$175M for Robinson Cano a “bad long term deal?” Well, I suppose if your barometer on whether it is a bad deal is that the Mariners are offering even more …

    You can’t make this stuff up. Ok, you can. But, I didn’t. I promise.

  381. NMR says:

    I would assume so… :)

  382. Bizrow says:

    I was going to mention that, getting out of the Prince deal, well, similar to the Sox dump in 2012

    Financial flexibility?

  383. Bizrow says:

    Yanks are the one that owe ARod,

    You never know….

  384. Bizrow says:


  385. NMR says:

    (I think thats a good deal, fwiw)

  386. Jim S. says:

    I believe he owns a little hotdog shack on Coney Island.

  387. Milo Hamilton says:

    Good old reliable Nathan.
    Nathan, Nathan, Nathan Detroit.

  388. NMR says:

    Cashman is acting like the jaded guy who won’t commit to a long term relationship after his last girlfriend left him.

    They’re all bad!!

    Losing Cano over one year is dumber than giving him eight.

  389. Jim S. says:

    Jackpot, Milo!

  390. Arriba Wilver says:

    Still have no idea where you’re going . Why don’t you quit talking in code. Just spill it out.

  391. Jim S. says:

    I gotta run. Was invited to a luxury suite for the Blackhawks game tonight. I’ll graciously accept the free food and drink, while silently rooting against the home team.

  392. Bizrow says:

    The luxury tax supposedly makes the Yanks sweat

    Even with that sweet TV pact,

    That the PBC can’t even sniff

    Hi Frank, remember that designated driver thing ;-)

  393. Jim S. says:

    I read it, too. Just having a little fun, Biz. I don’t think the market for Cano was anywhere near what Jay Z & RC thought. They had to beg the Mets to allow them to buy a dinner to make it seem like they were interested. The Mets took the dinner and then said they weren’t interested the next day.

  394. Bizrow says:

    He was offered a contract, go figure

  395. Milo Hamilton says:

    Say hi to Pat & Edzo for me.

  396. Bizrow says:

    Have fun, Jim

    I gotta start cooking burger and mac and cheese in a bit

    I wish Bay was around to cook us a pizza ;-)

  397. Arriba Wilver says:

    It’s not like we’re married.

  398. Bizrow says:

    # 3- Is Bill O’Brien a success?

    Yes, he has brought honor and integrity into a situation that had none such before he was hired. He has brought stability. He has been successful on the field. He has not lost the kids that stayed and has improved the skills of those that chose to continue their dream at PSU.

    I do not think they could have done better.

  399. Bizrow says:

    NMR, seriously, what is your problem, or points?

    I’d suggest you eat some fiber, but you seem to be good at crapping on folks

  400. Bizrow says:

    Gotcha ;-)

  401. DK: This judging thing is taking a lot longer than I’d thought. Have to navigate through 200-plus comments on the state of the Tigers’ bullpen.

  402. Arriba Wilver says:


  403. The Gunner says:

    Jerry Reuss is the answer you are looking for

  404. The Gunner says:

    You might have to go back to Jerry Lynch & Ronnie Kline. Sanguillen came back after his trade to Oakland in the Chuck Tanner deal & was a decent utility type/punch hitter in 1978 & 1979.

  405. Sarah says:

    On Zatkoff – I’ve seen him only 4 times, so, grain of salt but…
    If I had to judge now, I would say NO he’s not NHL caliber at this time and come playoffs the Pens need someone better.
    He seems to have a cool head and is analytical, all good, but IMO his fatal flaw is poor skating. Someone mentioned he is a flopper – disagree, though he sure looks like one at times due to his poor recovery causing him to flail about trying to regain position. If your footwork/skating skills are poor you cannot compete at the NHL level.

    For extra credit, our Loons can recall Jim Carey of the Caps….trained by Bill Howard i believe, who had some strange ideas about movement. Carey could not move laterally with coverage, which the Pens exploited in playoffs. Zatkoff would meet the same fate, IMO. Though without quite as much stupidity in his HC as Carey had to deal with. Which is saying something.

  406. Jandy says:

    details, details, details….

  407. Arriba Wilver says:

    2 can play.

  408. Bizrow says:

    So 200 + posts is a bad thing??

    Face it, we are lunatics

    Don’t be so grumpy, Dejan ;-), or Sir??

  409. Nate83 says:

    AW I don’t mind discussing (debating) things with you. I actually enjoy it most of the time. Sometimes the tone becomes a little condensending and then it is no longer fun. Instead of giving points and counterpoints it becomes trivial defense of something that was opinion that you seem to take as me saying is fact . Who cares if I commented that people I work with that are Tigers fans didn’t like the deal. Why would you call that out as not mattering by making a snide comment. It matters to me and it actually was only brought up because Thunder mentioned what one of his friends thought of the deal.

    The discussions on the Bucco Blogs the last month has been great. It’s been open minded. Everyone has treated the topics as not being black and white and they give their opinion and then listen to others opinion. They may not agree with the opinion but they respect it.

    Calling my comment hysterical or rediculous is a very poor way to have a good debate and it’s the opposite of the good discussion I’ve been experiencing on the other blog. I’m just giving my explanation as to why I got frustrated this particular time. Maybe it’s just me and that is my issue to deal with.

  410. Arriba Wilver says:

    Nate–I appreciate the response. Seriously. And I thought we were having a good discussion (maybe you don’t agree, which is fine.). I have no problem with you whether we agree or disagree.

    NMR decided to insert himself in our discussion, which would be fine, except when asked to explain himself he went turtle. That’s a different story to me, based on his comments.

    I apologize if I insulted you in some way. It was not intentional.

  411. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:


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