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Morning Java: Donald pays a visit

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The TribLIVE Radio show today — 2-3 p.m. — will feature Pitt’s Aaron Donald, calling in from Houston as part of his weeklong trophy tour that already tallied the Nagurski Award as college football’s top defensive player.

Can there be any doubt now that he’ll be a first-round pick in the NFL draft?

Call me at 412-320-7925 or email

To listen, just click on the link above. If you’re mobile, try the TribLIVE Radio app.

>> Mike Tomlin won’t be adopting any rebuilding mode in the Steelers’ final three games, Alan Robinson writes, but he is open to a new defensive sub-package that keeps all three outside linebackers on the field. That could be interesting, especially if one among them — say, LaMarr Woodley — looks comfortable in there.

The rapid decline of the defense, by Robinson.

Woodley is OK with the right side, by Ralph Paulk.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage.

Here’s Bengals news from the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Here are official game highlights from

On his TribLIVE Radio show, Ike Taylor talked about frustration …

>> The Penguins have today completely off, as they don’t hit the ice in anger again until Friday against the Devils.

Yesterday, James Neal spoke apologetically of his knee-to-head hit on Brad Marchand, Rob Rossi reports. Here’s the full audio of Neal’s session.

The NHL is stuck in the Stone Age, per Joe Starkey’s Wednesday column.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage.

Here’s Devils news from the Newark Star-Ledger.

Here are official game highlights from

Our panel on WPXI-TV’s Subway Final Word addressed the Shawn Thornton assault on Brooks Orpik, the hearing for which is now scheduled for Friday …

>> The Pirates weren’t moved to move on the second day of the Winter Meetings. Rob Biertempfel and Travis Sawchik are covering the event in Lake Buena Vista.

>> The three winners of this week’s write-your-own-mini-column contest …

Sarah: What is appropriate punishment for Shawn Thorton?

The better questions are: Does the NHL wish to be taken seriously? Or is it happy to continue as the laughing-stock of professional sports? An embarrassment, a “garage league,” proud of a gangland mentality, now being sued for negligence in protecting players from concussion?

Should Bettman suddenly get wise: Thornton’s out of the game for a year. Loss of pay. Counseling. Also heavy fines and a suspension for Claude Julien, who repeatedly sent Thornton over the boards to confront Orpik. Julien directs his team in the worst kind of embellishment, faux victimhood and thug/retribution mentality.

Marlon: Here’s a vote for the beautiful and graceful and violent sport of ice hockey.

Let’s save maybe more than a few brains from felony assault and neurological cell death.

Let’s maybe prevent suicides and early dementia and rescue the sport from stone age concussion-mongers and voyeurs.

Hard legal hits within play are OK. Fighting, assaults, willful blows to the head, etc—banned.

Neal—25 games.
Thornton—1 year.

Major meaningful fines and penalties to the teams of offending players.

Eric Bowser: If I had the power of judge and jury, Thornton’s conduct skating across the ice, slew footing an unsuspecting Orpik, horse-collar him to the ice, throw an elbow punch, and then punch an unconscious player on the ice is unforgiveable.

Todd Bertuzzi was suspended 13 regular season games and 7 playoff games for his criminal actions against Steve Moore. I would argue what Thornton did was worse by the accumulations of all his actions.

I would ask, would you feel bad for a drunk driver that killed a family but had a reputation for doing good things in the community?

>> I’ll be with the Steelers early today, then back to the North Shore to do the show. Would love to have you aboard.

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. Ghost says:

    If the Steelers are resigned to losing Worilds after this season, then it doesn’t make sense to rebuild the linebacking corps around him. For better or worse, figure out what to do with Woodley and the guys who we’re stuck with. After all, we have no cap space to keep Worilds nor any draft choices left thanks to Tomlin doing the Hokey Pokey.

  2. Stuart says:

    First-class avatar Ghost!


  3. Ghost says:

    Rrrrank roo!

  4. Oshkosh b’Gosh,

    Sorry! Your former Fav Girl Alex Morgan announced her engagement to some MLS soccer dude. You’ll have to focus your concentration on Jennifer Lawrence.

    At least two soccer folks are marrying each other. That way they don’t ruin two other people.

  5. JoeyBats says:

    CONGRATS again to Pitt’s Aaron Donald.

    Would love to see him in the Steelers uni next year. Looking forward to listening to him on the 2PM show…thanks DK !

    Some of the current Steelers players need to look at the tape of his recent season to be reminded of what “HEART, DRIVE & DESIRE” is. Mr. Woodley, DO YOU HEAR US calling you ?? :-)

  6. Drew71 says:

    The biggest surprise of the day, at least to me.

    Reading that Mark Prior is ONLY 33.

    Nothing sarcastic intended.

    My thoughts were a combination of Is That It? …and… What A Shame.

  7. JAL says:

    JAL’s Sixteen Tons Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 MLB Important Dates

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: The Next Liriano and The Left-Handed First Baseman

    Pirates Have Shown Interest in Jason Hammel

    Winter Leagues: Lambo and Ramirez Pick Up RBIs

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates announce schedule for PirateFest this weekend

    6 Rumbunter

    Will The Rays Way Be The Pirates Way?

    7 FanSided

    Mark Prior officially announces retirement from MLB

    8 Green Weenie

    Day Two: Baseball Meetings, Rumors, Notes & GIBBY Winners

    9 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates Rumors: Team Interested In Adding Eric Chavez?

    10 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates Rumor Roundup: Bucs hot on Logan Morrison, out on Bronson Arroyo

  8. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 CBS Sports

    2013 Winter Meetings: Tuesday’s hot stove news, rumors roundup

    12 Chicago Tribune

    Cubs’ Renteria: Bring on NL Central,0,7268719.story

    13 Santa Cruz Sentinel

    Soquel High alum Casey McGehee waiting for MLB offer

    14 Detroit Free Press

    Former Detroit Tigers coach Lloyd McClendon: Players make the manager

    15 USA Today

    Trades that could shock the baseball world

    16 San Francisco Chronicle

    Top sportswriting award for baseball author Angell

    17 St Louis Post Dispatch

    Collisions at plate worry Cardinals

    18 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Arroyo’s return not ruled out yet’

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    What Happened to the Twins?

    20 Fangraphs

    D-Backs Make Headlines While Angels, White Sox Make Gains

    Song: Sixteen Tons Tennessee Ernie Ford

  9. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Bengals vs. Steelers: The start of one final push for Emmanuel Sanders

    Expectations of a Steelers win

    22 Steelers Gab

    Roethlisberger Says All Is Well Between He And Haley


    23 Policy Mic

    Definitive Proof That the U.S. National Team Is Screwed In the 2014 World Cup

    24 World Soccer Daily

    FIFA dismiss World Cup draw conspiracy theory


    25 Pensburgh

    What will a $71 million cap mean for the Pittsburgh Penguins?

  10. Jandy says:

    haha! Love it!

  11. Jandy says:

    Call Ray Shero in, he’ll find a way to keep Worilds!

  12. Jandy says:

    Congrats to the winners of the Tuesday essay, especially our very own Sarah and Bowser :)

  13. Wild Bill says:

    While we are appropriately congratulating Aaron Donald, let’s also give a shout out for PSU’s John Urshel, who yesterday won the William Campbell trophy, also known as th “academic Heisman”.

    Wouldn’t mind seeing the Steelers get either or both of them.

  14. Wild Bill says:

    Should have been “Urschel”.

  15. Wild Bill says:

    Hear hear. Liked em all.

  16. jtownjohn says:

    My skepticism on the penalty for Thornton increased this morning when I saw that the hearing is scheduled for Friday. Over the years, I have noticed that when business, government or other organizations want to minimize the impact of a decision, they release it on a Friday afternoon. I hope that there is no pr effort underway with news of Bettman talking about how player response to the safety rules shows the rules are working and this schedule.

  17. Drew71 says:

    Loved him on Family Matters

  18. Jandy says:

    better than Urkel ;)

  19. Joni says:

    Great news about John! While I never had the pleasure of teaching him, I heard nothing but glowing praise from my fellow teachers at Canisius High School in Buffalo, NY.

    As a matter of fact, John Urschel was voted “Mr. Canisius” his senior year. That’s a super big deal. The entire student body voted to name John the most well-rounded of his senior fellow classmates (a gentleman in all facets of life – or as we like to call it, “A Man For and With Others”). It’s great to see John keeping it classy!

  20. Arriba Wilver says:


  21. kr70 says:

    I would say as long as Aaron Donald is 6′ 285 lbs there is a large doubt that he will be a first round pick.

  22. Jandy says:

    Wouldn’t surprise me in the least, not in this garage league.
    Hello, neighbor. I see you’re from Johnstown. Duncansville here :)

  23. Dom says:

    I don’t understand why the Steelers refuse to start the rookies. The season is over. It’s been over since week three. What’s the harm in starting Shamarko Thomas, Markus Weaton, and Jarvis Jones? I also wouldn’t mind seeing Mike Adams continue to start at tackle. I thought he played well last week and I believe he was the only lineman to not commit a penalty in that game.

  24. Jandy says:

    I don’t understand a LOT of things the Steelers did/didn’t do this season, and last too.

  25. Court Jester says:


  26. Might as well at this point.

  27. Tim says:

    Does the NHL wish to be taken seriously? That is the winner of the contest? Some contest. I didn’t know ‘Sarah’ was the resident ‘hockey is not taken seriously’ expert. Give me a break. I want to know who ever played hockey that writes on this thing? A show of hands. What Thornton did was wrong and he knows it. And yes, they need stiffer suspensions. But I have no problem with fighting in hockey. And per the players themselves and as well as former players, they don’t either. They know it’s a tough sport and they wear it proudly. Now, goons for goons sake – yes – that is antiquated. Silly and foolish. But the scrum between Lucic and Engelland I’ll take any time.

  28. 21sthebest says:

    “I would ask, would you feel bad for a drunk driver that killed a family but had a reputation for doing good things in the community?”

    Yes, I would feel bad for that drunk driver regardless what they did in the community. They should be punished to the full extent of the law and I would still feel bad for them and I’d pray for them.

  29. Mike A. says:

    + 1 Billion (for each of the Catholic souls shepherded by the Holy Father). Of course, you don’t have to be Catholic to love Francis and what he has done.

  30. Sarah says:

    Hi Tim –
    3 decades of playing and coaching here. No pro of course, but played at D1 level and had an Olympic tryout.

    You need to work on your reading comprehension – the issue wasn’t fighting in hockey, the issue was Thornton’s assault on Orpik.

    If you think that was a fight, you need to crawl back under your rock.
    Or go back to Boston.

  31. Arriba Wilver says:

    Sarah is a goalie. Not was . . . Is.

  32. Damon says:

    Great choice

  33. Milo Hamilton says:

    Here’s an update on the Pirates activities at the winter meetings:

  34. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’m hoping U.S. Hockey picks Ryan Miller as their #1 goalie. I like the way he has been playing with a bad team. I’m concerned about Jonathan Quick’s injury and his lack of international experience.

    Saw Shaun White. Must have gone to Tim Lincecum’s barber. Looks like a clean cut altar boy. That’s just not right.

    I’m going to Bucks/Spurs game tonight in Milwaukee. I always try to catch Tim Duncan each year. One of the greatest ever in any sport. Bucks continue to play for Jabari Parker.

    Groat, will you go to the game with me? I need someone to leave early to start my car. It’s c-c-c-cold !

  35. hockeymonster says:

    I just want to know one thing…can the knuckledraggers united union fix the ice at Consol Dome? If so im ok with them bashing their brains in all they want…

  36. hockeymonster says:

    Oh no he didn’t….

  37. Arriba Wilver says:

    I thought remote starters were standard equipment up there.

  38. Wild Bill says:

    Haven’t ever played it, Tim. I guess from your question that you have.

    I have watched hockey as a huge fan since the Penguins were formed when I was twelve years old, and am a current season ticket holder for Penn State’s new D-1 team. I believe that Sarah (and others here) know their stuff.

    Perhaps your level of experience says otherwise. But you can share your wisdom without taking shots at other bloggers.

  39. Sarah says:

    You know, let’s not forget the subtext of sexism Tim throws in….

    Cos after decades of playing in men’s leagues, I’ve never run into THOSE kinds of arses either!!!

  40. Cobra39 says:

    I remember Nutting saying multiple times in the past that when the Bucs were contenders that you’d see a change in the team budget. Well Bob, the Pirates are legitimate contenders and, not surprisingly, they’re still trying to do things on the cheap.

    I don’t know why so many people defend Nutting; he’s shown he absolutely will NOT spend the money needed to improve this team in the couple of areas of need that they have. It’s looking like the team will be markedly worse at SP, 1B, RF at the start of this season than they were at the end of last season. Thanks, Bob. You cheap SOB.

  41. Jandy says:

    another friggin comedian….or should I say posse?

  42. Jandy says:

    darn straight!

  43. Jandy says:

    You’re a good Christian, 21.
    That’s NOT a pot shot, it’s a compliment.

  44. Jandy says:


  45. Tim says:

    Ditto Sarah. Including the Olympic thing. Or is it happy to continue as the laughing-stock of professional sports? An embarrassment, a “garage league,” proud of a gangland mentality, now being sued for negligence in protecting players from concussion? This is what I am talking about. What gives you the right? Of course the media pounces on this because 3/4’s of them don’t know a puck from a baloney sandwich, but where do you get off calling it a laughing stock? My friends, family, teammates, etc. worship this sport, so for you to say such cliche’d BS is a little offensive. And to put hockey front and center in the concussion front and say it is a garbage league, what about football? what about boxing? what about the most dangerous cro-magnon blood sport, ultimate fighting? I clearly stated goon for goonism is ridiculous. To target the head or to use sticks as weapons, which is a real issue with me, is cheap. I thought your comments were out of line.

  46. Sarah says:

    He did! Boston Neanderthal, with a soupçon of sexism tossed in! What’s not to like???

  47. Jandy says:

    hahaha! Good one Monster Mash!

  48. Steelag70 says:

    I agree….it’s a pride thing with coaches I think. They don’t want to appear as though they are throwing in the towel o the season if they are still mathematically alive for the playoffs. It drives me crazy too.

  49. Jandy says:

    You want ketchup with that?

  50. Jandy says:

    Reading what is typed is first, Tim.

    NO ONE SAID FIGHTING WAS THE ISSUE, THE ISSUE WAS THORNTON’S PHYSICAL ATTACK ON ORPIK. That wasn’t fighting, that was a criminal assault. Comprehension is your friend.

    You are one bitter…person. Did you get hit in the head with a hockey puck?

  51. hockeymonster says:


  52. Jandy says:

    I myself am fallen away Catholic. But I still love my faith. I think this is an excellent choice.

  53. Milo Hamilton says:

    Not to but in, but doesn’t fighting target the head ?

  54. 21sthebest says:

    I appreciate that Jandy even though I was born Jewish.

  55. Jandy says:

    I would think at most times it does, Milo, but obviously SOME people know more than we peons do…

  56. Jandy says:

    I remember you saying that..but your general ideas are pure Christian, 21 :)
    Again, it was a pure compliment.

  57. Dom says:

    Tomorrow is the rule five draft and i expect more of the same.

  58. Milo Hamilton says:

    My point is , one one hand you say you have no problem with fighting. On the other, targeting the head is cheap. Pick one.

  59. hockeymonster says:

    Wouldn’t be surprised if league leverages all this into having NHLPA sign a waiver if they don’t agree to remove fighting or severe suspensions and fines.

  60. Jandy says:

    that would actually be a smart thing to do.

  61. Jandy says:

    He doesn’t want to argue with you, Milo, you’re not female ;)

  62. Tim says:

    Sarah: Or is it happy to continue as the laughing-stock of professional sports? Sound familiar. Garage or garbage – you’re splitting hairs. Why am I bitter? Because I call you out? If you’re going to write something as offensive as that, you better be prepared for backlash.

  63. Jandy says:

    Shaun White should ALWAYS have wild, long hair…or he’s not Shaun White…

  64. 21sthebest says:

    Oh I know Jandy. Thanks again. And I did marry a Catholic in the Church.

  65. Jandy says:

    I’m not Sarah, you still can’t read.
    I’m not splitting hairs, just making a point that you don’t want to acknowledge.

    Who are you anyway, that you can’t read?

  66. Jandy says:

    There ya go, she rubbed off on you ;)

  67. Thundercrack says:

    Who are all these people defending Nutting?

    I agree the overall payroll should increase. But I believe your idea that ‘he’s shown he absolutely will NOT spend the money needed to improve this team’ isn’t entirely true. I believe he has stepped at the past few trading deadlines.

  68. hockeymonster says:

    Im still confused what you disagree with sarah about? Are you content if thornton gets as little as 10-15 games? Dont think you or sarah are based on your comments. But league precedent suggests he may not even get that much therefore referring to nhl as garage league is appropriate IMO. And in general sarah does know her stuff. I think if you read her posts you would agree.

  69. 21sthebest says:

    So Cutch is supposed to be on Ellen today. Rumor is that he’s announcing that he’s engaged. Let’s hope he puts off his wedding until after he’s traded or signs elsewhere.

  70. Jandy says:

    Oh no!!!! He shouldn’t be allowed to get married, cuz then he’ll be toast!

  71. 21sthebest says:

    Apparently he proposed on the show. Getting updates from my sister in law.

    I guess that’s a little better than on a Jumbotron in between innings.

  72. 21sthebest says:

    I’m assuming he didn’t propose to Ellen.

  73. Jandy says:

    LOL! That’s true

  74. Jandy says:

    Loonies, I have a meeting, and will be away for a bit…good luck with the new…person.
    Later on :)

  75. 21sthebest says:

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  76. 21sthebest says:

    And Milo thinks the Pirates haven’t done anything during the Winter meetings. Which are in the Fall, btw.

  77. Milo Hamilton says:


  78. JohninOshkosh says:

    My wife’s car is equipped with one of those. It’s called me.

  79. Tim says:

    I was responding to Sarah only. Didn’t see the others til now. And Jandy, just tell me where and when buddy.

  80. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing him dance.

  81. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’m much too lazy to do the research, but I can’t believe too many organizations coming off a playoff year have selected a player in the Rule 5 draft.

  82. Sarah says:

    Good Lord.
    Listen Tim, seriously, I’m sorry you’re so angry, but you’ve lost it brother.
    In your first post you tried to disqualify other writers by suggesting they’d never played hockey. When that didn’t pan out—turns out people who disagree with you may actually have decades of experience in hockey—you resort simply to “What gives you the right?”—a kind of generic disqualification of anyone to express an opinion that differs from your own, or possibly “offends” your family. When you can tear yourself away from defending hockey’s low moments, perhaps look into defending free speech and using hockey boards to freely express opinions. It might be more deserving of your support.

    It might help you to know that most us, myself included, worship hockey too.
    It’s BECAUSE we do, that we don’t accept Thornton’s thuggery (actually I blame Julien equally or more).

  83. Sarah says:

    Arrgh….this board is not posting Replies correctly….responded to Tim above.

  84. Tim says:

    Milo: Valid point. But I see it as two different things. One is done in a cheap, most likely, unsuspecting way; from the blindside, behind, slew-foot. Even a knee to the head. The other is two guys in the heat of battle squaring off. For the most part, agreeing on the fight. I do believe they are different. Listen, there is risk and reward in sport. You play a physical, contact sport, things happen. And they do happen to the head. Almost impossible to get around. But what Thornton did was out of line and he should be punished. How long? It would be great to see 25 games minimum. I love hockey, but like you , I don’t need that. But once again, to start your argument with ‘Or is it happy to continue as the laughing-stock of professional sports.’ is inflammatory and should be expected to be treated as such. So call off the dogs.

  85. Sarah says:

    I always understood the “garage” comment to be Mario’s implication of “small-time”.
    Not Garbage.
    Like when we kids played hockey on the driveways iced over outside our Garage.

    IOW, Small-time.

  86. theplanisworking says:

    GET HIM, SARAH !!!!!!!!!!!!!
    FOOD FIGHT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;)

  87. theplanisworking says:

    You are learning………… ;)

  88. Arriba Wilver says:

    And Groat’s cheaper.

  89. theplanisworking says:

    Why yes he did.
    Shattered the poor puck, too.

  90. Wild Bill says:

    Point made, Sarah. I do try to give all benefit of the doubt before sticking my spur in ‘em.

  91. Milo Hamilton says:

    Agreed. As a fan, I can take or leave fighting. I think the main reason it will never be eliminated from the game is because it’s entertaining. They’ll never say it of course.

  92. theplanisworking says:

    You’re dreaming, HM.

  93. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1 (to 21, definitely not to Tim).

  94. Scott says:

    They did the same thing under Cowher – always played for the win instead of developing young guys.

    The more I think about it, the more I can actually understand that mentality – you never want players to get used to accepting losing in the NFL, and throwing in the towel on the final 3 games would be a great way for them to accept losing.

    Remember, we were having that same conversation earlier this year when the team started 0-4. People were saying, Why couldn’t they have made more of an effort to win a couple of the preseason games, if only to establish a winning mentality around here?

    There is, of course, a middle ground, where you can play for the win while still giving a bit more playing time to some of the young guys. It would be nice to see Tomlin go that route.

  95. Milo Hamilton says:

    You just hang tight until tomorrow before you make wide sweeping statements like that. :)

  96. 21sthebest says:

    Rangers in 2012, Yankees and Cardinals in 2011 (Cardinals won that WS), Bunch of playoff teams did in 2011….

  97. Arriba Wilver says:

    Where and when . . . To Jandy? You want to fight her physically, Tim? You obviously haven’t heard about the 9 Wides.

  98. Wild Bill says:

    They sort of remind me of my old cat who lies on the deck and waits for a bird to land in his mouth.

  99. JohninOshkosh says:

    Well, there you go. My laziness paid off. Thanks for the reasearch, 21. Have to say, I’m a bit surprised.

    Clemente was a Rule 5 guy, if I’m not mistaken.

  100. 21sthebest says:

    Here’s CBS Sports’ Rule 5 All Star Team

    SP — Johan Santana 1999 by Twins from Astros
    RP — Willie Hernandez 1976 by Cubs from Phillies
    C — Jody Davis 1980 by Cubs from Cardinals
    1B — Darrell Evans 1968 by Braves from A’s
    2B — Dan Uggla 2005 by Marlins from Diamondbacks
    SS — Everth Cabrera 2008 by Padres from Rockies
    3B — Jose Bautista 2003 by Orioles from Pirates
    LF — George Bell 1980 by Blue Jays from Phillies
    CF — Josh Hamilton 2006 by Reds (via Cubs) from Rays
    RF — Roberto Clemente 1954 by Pirates from Dodgers
    DH — Bobby Bonilla 1985 by White Sox from Pirates

    Honorable mentions: Joakim Soria, Mike Morgan, Jeff Nelson, Derrick Turnbow, Shane Victorino and Fernando Vina.

  101. 21sthebest says:

    I think they should meet at the Double Wide Grill so that we can imbibe during the event.

  102. 21sthebest says:


  103. Arriba Wilver says:

    Well, that explains not capitalizing “lord.”


  104. JohninOshkosh says:

    Wow. Good list. Diamonds in the rough can be found, but I hate wasting that spot on the 25 with a guy who will hardly play. I remember Donnie Veal hardly got in under JR, and that was with a lousy club.

  105. Scott says:

    I’m not agreeing with everything Tim said, but he clearly stated in his original post that the Thornton incident was not fighting and went way beyond the normal discussion of fighting. So everyone accusing him of reading comprehension clearly needs a little help in that regard themselves.

    I think all of you basically agree on most of these issues. Tim just didn’t explain himself very well in his first post, and then people responded in knee-jerk fashion by immediately jumping down his throat and pretending he said things that he did not say – not to mention tossing out absurd charges of sexism against him.

    Neither side is looking very good in this dispute.

  106. JohninOshkosh says:

    Bingo. Give the young man a cigar.

  107. Bizrow says:

    Travis just posted some updates

  108. Wild Bill says:

    Think you’re right on this, Milo, but I’d put it this way – they think it entertains. Having watched college hockey for a while now, where there’s no fighting at all, I can’t say I miss it a bit.

  109. Jandy says:

    I’m not A DOG, you posse.

  110. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t watch the NHL but I enjoy watching hockey in the Olympics.

  111. Jandy says:

    Wow, a big boy who wants to hit an old lady! Such nads, I am verily impressed :)

  112. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Not quite sure what Mike Tomlin has to do with cap space. Pretty sure that’s not his job.

    You would think, that if the Steelers were going to keep Worilds, they would’ve already signed him. That’s usually how they do business.

  113. NMR says:

    Donnie Veal sighting!

  114. Jandy says:

    Yuengling’s for everyone!

  115. Jandy says:

    Glad I peeked in. This tough guy only wants to beat up the women.
    Such nads.

    OK off to luncheon meeting..later Loonies!

  116. Jandy says:

    shhh! Don’t give out my secrets, A W ;X

  117. theplanisworking says:

    Darwin was wrong in his case, Jandy.
    Internet tough guy.

    Wanting to fight a woman over a blog topic.

  118. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I don’t follow Pitt, so I didn’t know much about Donald. Cool to see one of their players get rewarded during the back side of a mediocre season.

    As of now, he’s projected to go 2nd round. I wouldn’t expect to see him in a Steelers uniform. He’s not built for the 3-4. If he can add 30 pounds and keep his current skills, could be a possiblity at the nose, but I doubt it.

  119. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:


    So much potential down the drain to injuries.

    Could happen to anyone

  120. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Yes on John Urshel, no on Aaron Donald.

    Though Urshel might be too smart for football.

  121. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Projected 2nd round

  122. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I think it’s more of a pride thing on the players, moreso than the coaches.

  123. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    That’s a good thing. The Pirates aren’t a team that needs to be going after anybody in the Rule 5, unless there’s another Josh Hamilton in that group. That would be a nice addition.

  124. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    He can go away, anytime now.

  125. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I think fighting in hockey should be treated like fighting in baseball. Doesn’t happen that often, when it does the parties usually get fined and suspended.

    The league needs to minimize fighting.

    That said, what Thornton did wasn’t a fight. It was an attack and he needs the book to be thrown his way. Perhaps hit him in the head.

  126. theplanisworking says:

    Aaron Donald is a beast.
    Glad to see him get the recognition and awards from the national media, which we have been privileged to see all year. I have seen many people wish the Steelers to draft him next year. I am all for that, but I dont think the people drafting for the Steelers would be that smart. Just look at the past 4 years drafting for reference.

  127. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I’m not counting Donald out, but I’m just not sure how a 6′ DL is going to do in the NFL.

  128. Milo Hamilton says:

    Thanks Biz, less depressing than yesterday. Or maybe I’ve just lowered my expectations.

  129. JoeyBats says:

    ….folks….Aaron Donald doesn’t need to be a Round # 1 pick to be successful in the pros.

    ** See “Brown, Antonio …..taken in ROund # 6….Pttsburgh Steelers”

  130. Wild Bill says:

    That’s a nose tackle height most of the time.

  131. theplanisworking says:

    Pirates quiet at the Winter Meetings.
    I understand that a lot of things go on behind the scenes, and some transactions get started , but not finished at these meetings. But it is till very quiet.

    Most players that the Pirates were interested in, are with other teams.
    For what the Angels received for Trumbo, the Pirates could have gotten him, without sending a boatload to the Angels.

    Remember what Nutting, and Coooooonelly have said all along……….. when the Pirates were competitive, the payroll would increase accordingly. I know Neal said the “deals have to make sense”, but no deals are being made.

    And Biz, I read 25/8’s blog. Seems a lot of smoke, no fires.

  132. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Very true….But I don’t know if he’s projected as one.
    He’d certainly have to add some weight.
    Buy hey….I’d be happy for the guy to join the Steelers.
    He can’t do any worse than most.

  133. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Remember this formula….

    + by -

  134. theplanisworking says:

    The Steelers will take another bust DL form Wassamatta U.
    Donald doesnt stand a chance of coming to the Steelers.

    Landry Jones, anybody?

  135. theplanisworking says:

    Oh, I havent forgotten.

    The Pirates payroll will increase just by the arbitration awards.
    But, if AJ doesnt come back, for whatever reason, the payroll will come back down.

    Things are vewy, vewy quiet.

  136. Wild Bill says:

    Nothing to second guess is no fun at all.

  137. Thundercrack says:

    ‘But, if AJ doesnt come back, for whatever reason, the payroll will come back down.’

    How do you know that? And didn’t they only pay about $6 million/ year during his last contract?

  138. Thundercrack says:

    It was a 3 team trade with the Angels.

    And I wonder if the Pirates wanted to give up a young pitcher …of the quality of Skaggs.

  139. 21sthebest says:

    I’m not even convinced that given Trumbo’s strikeout and walk rates that they were interested in him.

  140. Bizrow says:

    Weren’t there rumors out there that the PBC was trying to get him last trade deadline?

  141. theplanisworking says:

    Unless they go get a player/players to replace AJ, their payroll WILL go down, if AJ doesnt come back, and they dont replace him. Unless you have some inside information you would like to share………….

    I also believe the Pirates paid 8.5 million of AJ’s contract.

  142. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’ll be happy with the Pirates getting out of Orlando, or at least have setting the groundwork, with acquiring Logan Morrison. Really like the kid despite his peculiar belief that banning tailgating at the SB is communist. I really like the kid.

    I also like Ike Davis. I think the Mets have given up on him, but I’m not sure that’s not too premature. I think new eyes on him would benefit him tremendously. Could be had for a song, I reckon.

    And as a preemptive remark: Ike Davis stinks.

  143. theplanisworking says:

    But I thought the Pirates were “super deep” in quality pitching prospects, and didnt this FO always state that they would accumulate pitching to trade for hitting?

    Or am I misremembering?

  144. JAL says:

    pirates sign Morton to 3 year extension $21 million with incentives

  145. Milo Hamilton says:

    Jeff Passan reports the Pirates have extended Charlie Morton – 3 years/$21 million. Could reach $30 million with incentives.

    Once again, do the local papers employ beat writers ?

  146. Bizrow says:

    Isn’t Ike a right handed hitter?

    I might be wrong on that, but if he is, that kinda shoots a platoon

  147. Bizrow says:

    I like it

  148. JohninOshkosh says:

    Left handed batter, Biz.

  149. JAL says:

    Morton’s contract has club option for 2017 at $9.5 million.

  150. NMR says:

    Skaggs isn’t a prospect, and they gave up a major league ceterfielder as well.

  151. 21sthebest says:


  152. tdb1977 says:

    So the Pirates DID in fact make some news at the Winter Meetings! :)

  153. Wild Bill says:

    They got beat, that’s correct.

  154. 21sthebest says:

    How did you like that goalpost move by the way?

  155. Jandy says:

    Bettman’s an Azz.

  156. NMR says:

    LoMo is my guy, John.

    I was cold on him at first until taking a look at some video. Seems like he’s developed some bad habits since 2011, his last good year, and may be because of a knee injury. He’s healthy nw, and I think could be a perfect platoon with a bit of tweaking.

    Ike Davis was good until pitchers realized he could only hit fastballs low and in. Then they stopped throwing them. And now he stinks.

  157. NMR says:

    Better learn that changeup, quick. That’s a lot of money for a reliever.

  158. Jandy says:

    Priceless, Wild One!

  159. 21sthebest says:

    In fairness though, they were tweeting about Cutch getting engaged.

  160. Milo Hamilton says:

    And over the top entertaining on twitter.

  161. Thundercrack says:

    Take a look at your first post – which did not mention replacing with other players.

  162. Milo Hamilton says:

    Neither local paper has the Morton extension. Must all be out to lunch.

  163. Thundercrack says:

    They have accumulated pitching. But I don’t think the quality prospects are close enough to the majors —as Skaggs is.

    Unless you want them to trade Cole or Taillon

  164. Thundercrack says:

    Why do you think Morton will end up a reliever?

  165. JohninOshkosh says:

    The Milwaukee Brewers fine beat reporter Tom Huadricourt, blogged that the Brewers seem to be out of the LoMo sweepstakes and have chilled to getting Ike Davis because the Mets wanted a controllable pitcher (Tyler Thornburg). Supposedly, Corey Hart will decide today if he wants to sign with the Brewers. The Pirates would need to outbid the Crew if they wanted the right handed hitting Hart, which of course, would affect platooning at first base.

    Brewers and Pirates are in the same boat as far as first is concerned. It’s Melvin vs Huntington. Mano a Mano.

  166. JohninOshkosh says:

    Probably in the Space Mountain line.

  167. Jandy says:

    Or at Starbucks?


  168. theplanisworking says:

    Sorry if I didnt phrase thing to some’s liking.
    If AJ doesnt come back, the Pirates payroll goes down 8.5 million. They would have to replace him with another player, obviously to make it go back up (unless its Taillon, who is on a much lower contract.)

    There is no goalpost move, as some have stated.
    Common sense says that if AJ doesnt come back, his $$$ are out of the payroll. He would have to be replaced, for payroll to rise again.

    I dont see all the trouble with this, like I said, maybe I didnt word it correctly, but no goalpost move.

  169. NMR says:

    I don’t think he WILL end up a reliever, fwiw, but there is a good possibility that he is better suited for relief work on a contending team because of his splits.

    Guy just can’t get lefties out. Tough for him to get through a lineup three times against a team who stacks the deck.

  170. JohninOshkosh says:

    You got that right. Must read tweets, if that is a possibility.

  171. JAL says:

    Both papers have tweets from beat reporters at the meetings

  172. Milo Hamilton says:

    Remember when DK could get the scoop and his Starbucks at the same time ? Ah, the good old days. :)

  173. Jandy says:

    TC, it seems a safe bet that AJ won’t be replaced, as there have been no moves so far.
    Also, with history.

    I’m sure Plan knows how to add and subtract


  174. Jandy says:

    I don’t tweet, so that doesn’t help me…lol

  175. Jandy says:


  176. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Can’t see anything that special about Morton. Lack of velocity hurt him late season/playoffs.

  177. Milo Hamilton says:

    Nice of them to check in. Apparently they’re also reporting the Storming of the Bastille.

  178. Arriba Wilver says:

    Didn’t know if this would come through, but thought I would give it a try.

    No news from the Winter Meetings?

  179. theplanisworking says:

    Article by Jason Stark on ESPN says there could be red flags regarding Skaggs velocity drop……….

  180. Jandy says:

    Oh cheese and rice!

  181. JohninOshkosh says:

    Holy crap, AW! That made my day.

  182. JohninOshkosh says:

    I see that the good Vegan she is, she is wearing canvas Chuck Taylors.

  183. Milo Hamilton says:

    Blondie !

  184. theplanisworking says:

    Did someone high-five her on the way past?
    Or do I have the wrong blonde?

  185. Bizrow says:

    Thx John

  186. Bizrow says:

    Thanks, AW


  187. 21sthebest says:


  188. Steelag70 says:

    Ground Chuck was finally healthy last year, with confidence and showed just h good he can be down the stretch last year. His ground ball rate fits in perfectly with Hurdle’s philosophy. I like the signing…hewill be a very nice #3 starter.

  189. Wild Bill says:

    Glad she’s capable of doing that so I don’t have to.

  190. Milo Hamilton says:

    Right blonde Plan. Brings a whole new meaning to “having your ear to the ground”.

  191. theplanisworking says:


    And, there is no cheering at the Swan Fountain ! ;)

  192. theplanisworking says:

    All she needs there is a “Will Pose for Food” sign………..

  193. Drew71 says:

    I always thought that Stormy Bastille would be a great name for a stripper.

  194. Wild Bill says:

    Can one of you explain about this girl to me? I live in Central Pa. and have never seen her before.

  195. NMR says:

    Skaggs isn’t in Cole/Taillon territory anymore. More like Charlie Morton territory, maybe Jeff Locke if you buy the All Star narrative.

  196. NMR says:

    AJ BUrnett was acquired in February.

    According to history, the Pirates lack of moves up to this points means nothing.

  197. NMR says:

    Same need, but different stages of competitiveness.

    Doesn’t do the Brewers much good to get a player with only a couple years of control, considering they’ll most likely be awful during that time.

  198. Wild Bill says:

    Ok, I found her on LinkedIn. She seems to have made an impression on yinz.

  199. 21sthebest says:

    Hart signing with Seattle.

  200. Jandy says:

    Funny, I didn’t see any goal posts move…

  201. Jandy says:

    They usually are tougher behind the computer monitor/screen, Hipposter.

    I just shake my head and laugh :)

  202. Jandy says:

    I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with everything Tim said. But I am disagreeing with his tone. And the fact that he wants me to meet him to fight.

  203. Jandy says:

    sharpen them there spurs up, Wild One. I need a second for when me
    ‘n Ol’ Tim meet to fight!!!


  204. Jandy says:

    haha I figgered the * in p*ssy would escape him…

  205. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Or Brady, Tom.

    Way more examples of non #1’s being successful than there are #1.

  206. Milo Hamilton says:

    LoMo to Seattle for Carter Capps.

  207. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Charlie Morton extended today.

    3/21 Million with a club option for 2017.

    I like this deal. A lot.

  208. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:


  209. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Good. Glad he’s out of the division.

    I dont know the numbers, but it always seemed like he killed us.

  210. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I agree with you on LoMo.

    At first, wasn’t a fan of the idea but as the more I researched, I think he still had some potential.

    Oh well. Good luck in Seattle.

    Maybe Justin Smoak is now available.

  211. 21sthebest says:

    I think history says payroll will likely go up.

  212. 21sthebest says:

    I did.

  213. Jandy says:

    Plan can still add and subtract.


  214. Jandy says:

    no doubt you did.

  215. Steelag70 says:

    Looks like the Buccos are playing chicken with Loney….

  216. tdb1977 says:

    And Hart to the M’s as well. What would it take to get Smoak away from the Mariners now? Is Loney the best available option left? I don’t share Real Deal Neal Huntington’s faith that Gabby should be our first baseman.

  217. Arriba Wilver says:

    Pressure is building on Lloyd.

  218. Wild Bill says:

    CBS Sportsline reporting that Mike Tomlin is a candidate for the U of Texas non-vacancy.

  219. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Interesting discussion.

    what if AJ does come back, at a lower price of the $8.5 from last years payroll deductions?

  220. 21sthebest says:

    It’s fine. The comments were clarified. We can go back to complaining about payroll now.

  221. Jandy says:

    Well, Ryan, then I’d be one happy lady :)

  222. Wild Bill says:

    That’s “possible”, of course.

  223. Jandy says:

    Can we complain about the weather, instead?

  224. JohninOshkosh says:

    No doubt Jack Z making his last stand in Seattle during the past few weeks. His career rises or falls from this moment on.

    If I’m a Mariner fan, I would be happy.

  225. Jandy says:

    but…it’s not obvious ;)

  226. 21sthebest says:

    I think we should have cut Morton and signed Karstens. :-)

  227. 21sthebest says:

    Maybe we should try not complaining for like a whole day?

  228. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    NH saying that they are comfortable with Gaby as the regular 1B is fodder. What do you want him to say to the public?

    I call that NH’s poker face.

  229. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    To ride the pine all season……he’s great at spitting out sunflower seeds.

  230. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Remember when the Mariners went out and spent big money on Adrian Beltre’ and Richie Sexson??

    That didn’t exactly work out too well either.

  231. Makes me think of the old Beach Boys song “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”. Then he could tackle people along the sidelines like the immortal Woody Hayes.

    I’m not a Tomlin hater. I just think it might be the time for a change.

  232. I say third place at best for the M’s. Look at the Angels for an example of signing and trading for everyone out there and falling well below expectations.

    Better yet, look at the Bucs’ sweep of the Angels in Anaheim.

    Hope not, because I always like Lloyd.

  233. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Seriously though Jandy, ridiculous to blast the FO at this point because they haven’t made any significant moves in December.

    Or the fact that the payroll will/will not go up.

    Let that complaint start at the beginning of the season.

  234. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Mariners are last years Blue Jays. In full collect-a-guy mode. Throw all of them into a pot with a lousy manager and voila, 74-88 here we come.

  235. 21sthebest says:

    What other ones do you have in the hopper?

  236. 21sthebest says:

    But how does their bullpen look?

  237. JohninOshkosh says:

    Worked for the Dodgers.

  238. The Gunner says:


    Tomlin is not going anywhere………..sorry!

  239. I know, Gunner, but the song still rings in my head.


  240. Arriba Wilver says:


  241. Jandy says:

    Now 21, that’s no fun lol

  242. Baywatch says:

    Hey, Milo!

  243. twentytwo22 says:

    15m on Rodriguez and Morton? Yes
    14m on Burnett? No

    The contract is a leap of faith that I hope works out because if it doesn’t it’s going to suck.

  244. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Ha! Good one 21.

  245. Baywatch says:

    So they’re playing Lambo at first in the Winter League. We failed the last time we scholarshipped an inexperienced guy at first (Jeff Clement). Let’s give it to Lambo and see what happens! The kid’s got two good knees and a bat that plays!

  246. theplanisworking says:

    Some of yinz.
    I am not a big fan………..

  247. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    True, but not for the Mariners when they went “all in” for those guys.

  248. Wild Bill says:

    Lambo might do well, Bay, he might not. But is that the best the Bucs can do?

  249. Baywatch says:

    Bill, it might be, for my money (and granted, it’s not much!) But I’ve always thought Loney was kinda punchless. But they say he has a good on base percentage for a first baseman. It’s probably just me. I’d rather have a bopper and a pitcher that throws heat instead of ground balls! Personally, yeah, I’d like to see Lambo start the platoon with Gaby. See what he can do, if he’s a bust, hope Gaby’s hittin’ em all this year.

  250. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    If they go that route and Lambo doesn’t get the job done, they can always pick someone up at the deadline.

    That said. I’d like to see a future power hitting lefty picked up. I suppose you can make the case that it could be Lambo.

  251. JohninOshkosh says:

    Correct. I suspect you and Milo are right.

    Not opposed, necessarily, to the Bucs inaction this week regarding new player procurement, but sometimes it’s fun to get to talk and think about a new guy. Especially, when they need to address first base, probably shortstop and, always, pitching.

  252. JohninOshkosh says:

    I don’t know if anyone here is a fan. But there has been a Kristy mythology that has emerged on this blog, lo these many years.

  253. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Oh I love the conversation. I’m not a fan of the complaining about it.

    Some just need to relax.

    Honestly, one more starter, a 1B, and a bench guy to back up Jordy and I’d be happy.

    They picked up a very nice defensive back up catcher in Chris Stewart. He can’t hit worth a dang, but pretty sure people don’t acquire back up catchers’ for their offensive production.

  254. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I think it’s hard to judge how well Lloyd will do as a manager, since he has only managed a lousy Pirates team in the past.

    Last few years being Jim Leyland’s bench coach might’ve helped.

    I was watching the SF Giants World Series victory celebration 2 years ago and they talked to Volgesong. The thing that Vogy liked the best about beating the Tigers, was the fact that Lloyd was in the other dugout and he could tell him where to go. Lloyd was the one that told Vogy that he “might want to continue on with his life’s work.”

    I found that funny.

  255. Arriba Wilver says:


    For example, when it was announced that she would no longer be submitting stories for Pirates Prospects, Milo said those would be some very high heels to fill.

    The backstory was she had worn very high heels on the grass fields in Spring Training when interviewing players. But that’s just one example from the mythology. To add to it, she is more attractive than 24/7.

  256. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I’m a fan……..

  257. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hey Bay.

  258. Thundercrack says:

    I would give you a high five for posting that picture.

    Nice find

  259. NMR says:

    People still don’t get that the Pirates finally have a good team.

    This is no longer time when “JUST ADD SOMEBODY” does any good.

    Specific needs, and limited targets.

    If the team enters 2014 without any upgrades, then I’ll complain.

  260. SeanAY says:

    Saw that rumor as well. Not sure it makes any sense for Tomlin. He likely won’t make much more money at Texas, if any more at all. What’s the appeal?

    Money, job security, prestige…he’s got it all here.

    Besides, I’ve thought since the middle of the season, when it was rumored Brown might step down, that Saban is taking that job. There’s no better job in college football.

    I just don’t think the best job in college football is anywhere near one of the best jobs in professional football.

  261. Thundercrack says:

    I am not sure if I will laugh or cry.

    I know some may think that Charlie Morton isn’t that great. But there is so much complaining that the Pirates don’t spend money —and when they do people still complain.

    Have you people seen some of the contracts that pitchers are getting?! Pitching is expensive. And contracts to pitchers can be risky. But the Pirates just took a risk and spent some money. And it looks like they may have actually spend a little less than the going rate. (Scott Feldman, 3yrs/$30 million)

    Maybe if I have a drink it will stop me from laughing or crying.

  262. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Exactly my point. If nothing happens on 1 April, then feel free to complain about this off season or the lack of.

    Yes they need a couple players, but pretty sure there’s enough time to get the couple pieces that are needed.

  263. Thundercrack says:

    That is a funny story Nor Cal.

    The way Vogelsong pitched here I really can’t say that Lloyd was all that wrong at the time :-)

  264. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I agree with you TC. Pitching is the name of the game and you have to pay the price to get it, even if it’s mediocre.

    I think CM still has some upside, but like NMR mentioned earlier, he does need to figure out how to get LHP out.

  265. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    That’s exactly what I said when we were watching it.

  266. NMR says:

    I feel like last winter made their strategy pretty clear.

    They had one primary target for their largest position of need and they got him, Russell Martin. They had one high upside pitcher in mind and they got him, Frankie Liriano.

    Their plan this winter clearly started with Josh Johnson, who took less money to pitch on the opposite coast. There isn’t a Russell Martin of first basemen available to anyone this year, and so they don’t want to throw money at just anybody if that means they won’t have enough to pay Burnett.

    Sh*t just doesn’t always work out the way you plan it. Doesn’t mean they quit trying, and I’ll be plenty vocal if they do, but also doesn’t mean you grade them as failures halfway through the semester.

  267. NMR says:

    Agree halfway with that. Pitching is expensive, and Morton will be underpaid if he repeats his performance of last year.

    But I’m not buying that the Pirates spending on Morton satisfies what any of us are actually saying about payroll. If you’re going to have this argument, you’re going to have to show that the money spent represents an increase that was promised. Morton won’t make any more in 2014 than he was scheduled to be awarded in arbitration, and his ’15-’16 salary doesn’t even match what the team will gain by shedding Liriano and Rodriguez.

  268. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Edison Valquez: 1 year, $5 million

  269. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    100% agree.

  270. Thundercrack says:

    My argument wasn’t regarding overall payroll. It was in regards to spending money and retaining one of their own players. And being proactive about it.

    I don’t have to imagine too hard at what some of the comments may have been if Morton pitched will and then went out into free agency.

  271. Milo Hamilton says:

    I liked it better when they weren’t doing anything.

  272. Thundercrack says:

    That may make me cry –no matter how many drinks I have :-)

    My hope is that they think he can take Locke’s spot – not AJ’s.
    But I am still interested in Locke. And he is out of options.

  273. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    ahhhh, yea. Not sure what I think of this deal.

    It’s another project. Many complained about AJ and Frankie as well.

  274. Jim S. says:

    I don’t get it at all. 1.505 career WHIP. Going backwards at 30. $5 million could have been better spent a lot of other places. I’d rather they give the job to Cumpton. This guy didn’t even pitch well in San Diego.

  275. NMR says:

    I do not have one redeeming thing to say about Edinson Volquez.

    I sure hope Ray Searage was involved in these reclamation plans.

  276. Nate83 says:


    Moves like this need to happen. Hopefully they continue to lock up their own players 1 or 2 years into free agency. This one came a little later in the game but definitely younger players who may not have seen anything approaching the kind of financial stability a 5 or 6 year contract would bring them. Marte is a perfect type of player to lock up 1 or 2 years into free agency. It’s a win-win for both sides.

    Even Tabata who some feel haven’t lived up to potential is a relative bargain compared to some of the contracts being handed out. If that is the low end of return on these type of contracts with Cutch being the high end it seems like a good gamble for small market teams. Much better gamble then a Ricky Nolasco type deal.

  277. NMR says:

    “It was in regards to spending money…”

    If you believe this is really what those guys have been arguing all this time, you’re mistaken.

  278. Milo Hamilton says:

    I still think Locke could be dealt. That’s what they should be looking to do anyway.

  279. Milo Hamilton says:


  280. Jim S. says:

    I think this Seattle plan is going to blow up all over the place, Osh. The fans are going to be facing a bunch of really bad, guaranteed years coming up.

  281. Milo Hamilton says:

    You know, there are still good pitchers out there.

  282. Bizrow says:

    Well, its a higher end dumpster dive.

    We’ve moved up to Eat N Park ;-)

  283. Thundercrack says:

    I wonder if this deal is a guaranteed $5 million? Or if it is less guaranteed + incentives.

  284. Baywatch says:

    LOL! Here’s looking at you, Kid!

  285. Thundercrack says:

    I don’t see any smiley cookies with this signing Biz.


  286. Bizrow says:

    From MLBTradeRumors

    The 30-year-old Volquez was released by the Padres last season after posting a 6.01 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 142 1/3 innings. He looked better in a brief, 28 1/3 inning cameo with the Dodgers, pitching to a 4.18 ERA with a 26-to-8 K/BB ratio.

    Volquez’s 4.07 xFIP was significantly lower than his 5.71 ERA on the season — a commonality that exists between he, Burnett, Liriano and Melancon at the time of their acquisition by the Pirates.

    Volquez will join Liriano, Gerrit Cole, Wandy Rodriguez and the recently extended Charlie Morton in the Pirates’ rotation. That seems to fill Burnett’s spot in the rotation, suggesting that perhaps he’s leaning toward retirement and the Pirates have moved on in favor of a cheaper option with similarly high upside.

  287. NMR says:


    The people making these decisions know far more about baseball than I do, but man.

    You could at least see the vision behind Burnett and Liriano.

  288. Bizrow says:

    Was just trying to deflect any heat when using the old “dumpster dive”


    Speaking of Smiley Cookies, just sent my granddaughters some today.

  289. Jim S. says:

    A light bulb must have just come on in order for the Bucs to sign Edison! :-)

    Seriously, though, this is beyond frustrating. For a team that seems to allow opportunities to pass over a few million dollars on a regular basis, I don’t get handing $5 million to this guy. Ugh! I hope the 2013 reclamation magic continues, but I don’t know what there is to reclaim here.


  290. Bizrow says:

    One thing I think we have to remember is that Wandy is still a huge questionmark for this coming season.

    Not sure if this means adios AJ or not

  291. Jim S. says:

    I’ve been saying since July that I have a suspicion AJ will be an Oriole in 2014 due to proximity to his home. I am starting to hear rumors about that possibility. I guess it doesn’t really matter, though. We know he won’t pitch for us, so retired or in Baltimore doesn’t much matter to me.

  292. Baywatch says:

    Volquez has basically had one good year, where he was All-Star material. I don’t know what to think of it either. I mean when he was with the Reds, I thought him and Johnny Cueto were going to be the STUFF of that rotation for years to come. Hey, after a year like we had you feel pretty bad about getting a bad vibe … but I figure DOUBTFUL on having Comeback Pitchers Of The Year two years in a row. But, Hey … he has eaten a LOT of innings the past three years. How much did we give for Bedard? :-)

  293. Bizrow says:

    I don’t think he will do that well in the AL East

  294. Mercy..

    I’m with TC. Wonder if it’s guaranteed.

    I lean more with Milo and his analysis with the one-word, Jerry Sands descriptor.

    And I agree with Jim. Probably better arms in our own system.

  295. Jim S. says:

    He’s a different guy now, knowing he has to throw the 2-seamer to keep away from the medium-deep fly balls that become HR in Baltimore (if he ends up there). But, I agree with you that there is risk of a flashback in the AL East, Biz. If they flash about $18M at him, or some other crazy number, he may do it for one last season.

  296. Jim S. says:

    Good point. If very little $$ is guaranteed, and this doesn’t keep them from adding elsewhere, I would treat it like J Sanchez last year. Looking for lighting in a bottle, but if it doesn’t work no biggie.

  297. NMR says:

    Have you seen the Orioles budget situation this winter, Jim?

    They will not be acquiring AJ Burnett for anything more than the Pirates could offer.

  298. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’m afraid there’s a danger they’re getting a little chesty here. “We’ll just turn this guy over to Ray, shift some guys here & shift some guys there.” Oh and I forgot, “And screw you AJ.”

  299. NMR says:

    Like where?

    If this is the only money they spend, then sure, that can almost certainly be said.

    But I don’t think you can look at this in a vaccuum.

  300. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’ve been saying this since the season ended and I believe it more today than I did then. AJ Burnett will pitch in 2015 and it won’t be for the Pirates. And it will be the Pirates choice.

  301. Absolutely.

    BTW, that lady that Cutch proposed to on the Ellen show, is she an actress or something? She is a looker. He’s probably a pretty good judge of characters. He comes from a good upbringing.

  302. NMR says:

    And FWIW, I think Searage and Co have earned the benefit of the doubt.

    Just because we don’t see it doesn’t mean it is a waste four months before he throws a pitch.

  303. Milo Hamilton says:


  304. NMR says:

    Lord knows they can’t have anyone challenging status quo.

  305. NMR says:

    I don’t think AJ wants any part of that mess.

    This isn’t a guy looking for a paycheck.

    He’s gonna go somewhere he can win.

  306. NMR says:

    I don’t know if it has ever been reported, but I’ve said that Searage better damn sure be part of these decisions.

    Otherwise, the exact scenario you describe is bound to happen.

  307. Milo Hamilton says:

    OK, Nationals.

  308. Milo Hamilton says:

    Maybe we get lucky & he fails the physical.

  309. Stuart says:

    Small Town regular girl. Decent middle-class family.


  310. Thundercrack says:

    He won with the Pirates. Part of it is the money.

    Or maybe, just maybe, he really is thinking of retiring.

  311. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    That’s the only thing I can come up with. Ray sees something that he can fix

  312. tpbco says:

    It’s almost Christmas, maybe he’ll break his (pitching) arm.

  313. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    You would think both he and Hurdle would be.

  314. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Phillies are a nice hot mess. Glad to see it.

  315. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I’m more concerned about where he pitches in 2014 than 2015.

  316. Milo Hamilton says:

    And while I’m at it, I don’t like guaranteeing somebody that’s started more than 20 games once in his career $21 million.

  317. Milo Hamilton says:

    That’s what I meant. That was truly a typo. :)

  318. cosmo says:

    I guess we will see if Searage is truly a miracle worker or not.

  319. Look for Brett Meyers to be a Bucco.

    Shooting for the 2014 cheap Liriano.

  320. cosmo says:

    I think if they continue to pursue Santana, that would signal AJ won’t be back.

  321. Sisyphus says:

    Morton’s ERA was 2.68 in August. It was 3.55 in September. It was 3.18 in the playoffs.

    His strikeout rate was 5.4/9 innings in August, 7.6 in September, and 6.3 in the playoffs.

    But don’t let the facts get in the way of your narrative.

  322. Sisyphus says:

    Pretty much what everybody was saying last year when they signed Liriano, as I recall. And about Burnett the year before.

  323. twentytwo22 says:

    Chef chicken salad.

  324. Milo Hamilton says:

    If even one person out there believes that the Pirates always wanted AJ Burnett back and gave him time to make a decision, then held off as long as they could, but finally couldn’t wait any longer because they were afraid someone else was going to snap up their Plan B (Volquez) – then they’re PR strategy worked like a charm.

  325. Milo Hamilton says:

    …their PR strategy …

    Just awful, sorry.

  326. Bizrow says:

    So far, its disappointing

  327. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I know it was..

  328. Bizrow says:

    More from MLBTradeRumors –

    According to a club source, the Pirates’ deal for Edinson Volquez won’t preclude them from re-signing A.J. Burnett, tweets Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
    A rival exec says that the one-year, $5MM pact for Volquez makes sense, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The exec says that Volquez boasts a Francisco Liriano-type profile with his strikeout rate and ability to induce groundballs.
    Tim Dierkes of MLBTR (on Twitter) wonders if the Volquez deal could hamstring PIttsburgh somewhat financially in their effort to re-sign Burnett if he calls for a $10-12MM commitment.

  329. Bizrow says:

    Oh yeah, Hi Frank

  330. Milo Hamilton says:

    Burnett was gone the day he stormed out of Hurdle’s office.

  331. Thundercrack says:

    I do believe that scenario is correct, except for the part of Volquez being their Pan B.
    I think they were hoping some other pitchers would be their Plan B – and went somewhere else.

  332. Bizrow says:

    You might be right, Milo

    He probably went over the demerit list with that one

  333. theplanisworking says:

    With you, Jim.

    They should have allocated the $$$$ elsewhere, or on another pitcher.
    Just glad to see almost the entire peanut gallery doesnt like this signing.

    Oh, and +1 LED bulb for the Edison joke……..

  334. theplanisworking says:

    So you are saying the FO has been pulling the wool over our eyes in regards to AJ?

    I believe your point may be correct, but I get the feeling the “Pirates or retire” thing never made much sense.

    But as everyone else has said………. its December 11th.
    Have faith, Neal will prevail!

    Hi Frank.

  335. Arriba Wilver says:

    Nate—do you know anyone who does think Tabby has lived up to his potential? I thought it was only a question of how far short he’s fallen, at least overall.

  336. Arriba Wilver says:

    I remember seeing her in a picture with him last season. Yep, she’s a looker.

  337. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’ve been on the “they don’t want him back train” since Hurdle’s end of the year interview on the Fan.

  338. Brandie says:

    Hi Plan!

    Is Edinson Volquez the coal in the stocking for Christmas? Only time will tell. Good Luck Ray Searage!

  339. theplanisworking says:

    Hi Brandie.
    I dont know what this is.
    Might be an insurance policy/reclamation project.

    Still think the $$$$$ could have been spent better elsewhere, or on another player.

    Hope you have a safe, warm night, from your Hip-Hop Hippo.

  340. 21sthebest says:

    Burnett is going to sign, and then storm out of Hurdle’s office again when Cole is announced as the opening day starter.

  341. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I didn’t say he was a bad pitcher, I just said that he was nothing special.
    I can take or leave the signing.
    You’ve cited his figures for the last month or so of the season.
    What I question is his lack of velocity.
    If he’s not hitting his spots, he can run into a lot of problems.
    That goes for many pitchers, but I don’t see him as a strong #3 guy.

  342. Thundercrack says:

    The ‘Pirates or retire’ came from AJ.

    Unless…the FO asked AJ to say that as part of their wool-pulling plan.

  343. theplanisworking says:

    Anything’s possible…………. ;)

  344. We have to be careful fellows and gals. DK is gonna be mad this blog has been a high percentage of Pirate talk today.


  345. The Gunner says:

    I am afraid that NH is starting to dumpster dive. Maybe the Super Genius is right about the Bucs.

  346. theplanisworking says:


    As long as it isnt the Tigers bullpen talk, which wasnt about the Tigers bullpen.

    It beats talking about Bettman’s incompetence.

  347. theplanisworking says:

    +1 for the avatar !

  348. Jason81 says:

    Morton’s fastball averaged 93.4 mph last year. 2nd highest on the team among starters. Lack of velocity is not an issue. Struggling to get lefties out is.

  349. The Gunner says:

    thanks, Plan. My tribute to the late, great voice of the Buccos, “The Gunner”, Bob Prince.

    I don’t think Bob would be too happy with the BMTIB’s lack of activity thus far this off season.

  350. The Pirates had already hinted that they weren’t going to sign AJ Burnett when they said they weren’t going to sign him for the original $14 million for 2 years offer, and knowing full well he wouldn’t likely come down to $10 million or below. And so, I figure that Volquez at $5 million for one year might be something of a bargain

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