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Vacation thread: Christmas Eve

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

I’m off all week but will return Sunday to cover Steelers-Browns. Feel free to use this thread as a daily discussion forum. Game posts will go up as usual.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

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

110 Comments

  1. I just wanted to wish all of DK’s lunatics and DK a very merry Christmas and a healthy joyous new year.

  2. JAL’s Let It Snow and Merry Christmas Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGRC2LYmHfU

    GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pittsburgh_pirates/

    3 MLB Important Dates

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/schedule/important_dates.jsp

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Pirates Could Soon Have the Best Outfield in Baseball
    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/12/first-pitch-pirates-could-soon-have-the-best-outfield-in-baseball.html

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Gregory Polanco wins MVP of Dominican Winter League

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/12/23/5239528/gregory-polanco-wins-mvp-of-dominican-winter-league

    6 Rumbunter

    How Times Have Changed for Pittsburgh Pirates

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/12/23/times-changed-pittsburgh-pirates/

    7 Call to the Pen

    The Time An Andrew McCutchen Foul Ball Sent a Pirates Fan Into Labor…

    http://calltothepen.com/2013/12/23/andrew-mccutchen-foul-ball-labor-tiffany-gardone/

    8 Green Weenie

    Bucs ‘ Pecking Order the Central So Far…

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/12/bucs-pecking-order-central-so-far.html

    9 Sports on Earth

    Not A Silent Week

    http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/66131890/

    10 MLB

    ‘Tis the season to get holiday gifts for NL clubs

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20131222&content_id=66134586&vkey=perspectives&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

  3. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Pirates Site

    Being with family is key for Grilli during holidays

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/news/article/pit/being-with-family-is-key-for-pittsburgh-pirates-pitcher-jason-grilli-during-holidays?ymd=20131223&content_id=66103368

    12 Fangraphs

    Looking for Bias in Top 100 Prospect Lists

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/looking-for-bias-in-top-100-prospect-lists/

    13 Think Progress

    Should Baseball’s Free Agent Spending Binge Bother Fans?

    http://thinkprogress.org/sports/2013/12/23/3100351/baseballs-free-agent-spending-binge-bother-fans/#

    14 ESPN

    Let the numbers alone speak

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/10173792/tim-keown-baseball-hall-fame

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Winners and Losers from Steelers 38-31 victory over Green Bay Packers

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/steelers-vs-packers-news-and-updates-leading-into-week-16/2013/12/23/5237088/winners-losers-report-card-analysis-recap-nfl-week-16-steelers-packers

    How the Steelers can get in the playoffs

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/12/23/5237528/steelers-playoff-picture-week-17-nfl-scenarios-what-needs-to-happen

    22 Steelers Gab

    Who Is The Steelers MVP This Season?

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2013/12/23/who-is-the-steelers-mvp-this-season/

    Soccer(football)

    23 US National Soccer

    Remembering the US in the 2010 World Cup

    http://www.ussoccerplayers.com/2013/12/remembering-the-us-in-the-2010-world-cup.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Player of the Year: Cristiano Ronaldo

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/features/world-soccer-player-of-the-year-cristiano-ronaldo

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 CBS Sports

    Anderson makes 27 saves, Senators shut out Penguins

    http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/gametracker/recap/NHL_20131223_PIT@OTT/anderson-makes-27-saves-senators-shut-out-penguins

  4. Thank heavens.

    JAL, your links bring Christmas Spirit every day. Seriously.

    Because with the noteworthy exception of Soldier, I was beginning to think that the Penguins’ “historically bad play” was sucking the life out of this place today.

  5. God rest ye weary Penguins.

  6. To all the Loonies, near and far………

    Merry Christmas,
    Happy Holidays,
    Happy Hanakuh,
    Happy Kwanzaa,
    Happy Eid al-Fitr,
    Happy Festivus,
    or whatever greeting you would like, and wouldnt be offended by……….. to all the blog’s denizens.

    May your stockings be full, and the Little Ones be spoiled.

  7. Happy Holidays (Gov employees cant say Merry Christmas cause its not P.C.). Hope everyone gets a chance to spend quality time with family during this break in the sporting calendar and hopefully the Pens get a chance to recover from another nearly devastating injury year for a strong second half and playoff run.

  8. Merry Christmas, everyone.

  9. Anyone getting anything good this year?

  10. So who’s keeping an eye on Liriano tomorrow morning ?

  11. Oh. So we’re gonna play NICE today.

    Well. EYE have other ideas.

    5-0. Or should I say 0-5.

    First Base.

    St. Louis Cardinals.

    Ray Lewis.

    Milwaukee Brewers.

    Baltimore Ravens.

    Philadelphia Flyers.

    Washington Capitals.

    Dejan’s predictions.

    Ryan Braun.

    A-Rod.

    The Designated Hitter.

    Bud Selig.

    Steelers-Penguin drafts.

    Clock management.

    Woodley’s contract.

    Cartoon Nutting.

    Baseball Bloggers.

    Thunder.

    Merry Freaking Christmas and a Happy Bold Reaming to one and all

    • Bahahahah! Posse! :P

    • I did read somewhere that we can rid ourselves of most of Woodley’s contract after June 1st.

      However, I think we might have to be below the cap before that date. Anyone know if that is true?

      • The key to the Woodley situation is dead money vs. dead weight. You’re going to have to carry a cap hit of about $15 million whether you keep him or not. What you save is real dollars that you can use to extend guys you really want to keep. It’s really a no brainer.

        The way I understand the NFL salary cap is you must be compliant 365 days a year. Waiting until after June 1st lessens the cap hit for this coming season. The remaining prorated value of Woodley’s signing bonus would then count against the 2015 cap.

        • That’s what I thought beforehand. But I did read that we would not have to eat up the majority of that $15 million if we release him after the 1st of June.

          Would you know if we have to have to be under the cap before that date? If so, then we’re obviously going to have to cut someone or at least two guys will have to take paycuts.

        • Are you totally sold on Worilds? Before this year, he was pretty invisible, getting hurt all the time. I’d like to see them hang on to him, but they aren’t getting into a bidding war. Like Kruger last year, someone’s gonna overpay.

          • It’s bad for locker room chemistry to pay some one north of 10 million when they are underperforming, injured with preventable soft tissue injuries and don’t seem to take accountability for the situation.

            This is a terrible example to set in the locker room. This is not behavior that should be reinforced much less rewarded.

            The emergence of Worilds is irrelevant in my opinion. The position would be better filled by a young player with drive and determination even if they are prone to mistakes.

            Looking back, I think Woodley should be forced to pay a portion of his first years on this contract to James Harrison. Harrison could produce with Woodley out out of the lineup; Woodley, not so much.

  12. Romo out for the rest of the year with a back injury! Herniated disc. America’s Team, Ladies and Gents! Poor Little Tony Tim.

    In all seriousness, gotta hate it when the injury bug bites! See Penguins!

  13. Headline in today’s USA Today:

    “Cowboys Confident Orton Can Deliver”

    Bahahahaha!

    So who’s working this morning ? Holler!

  14. Guess I don’t have to just dream about that white Christmas anymore.

    Hey Drew, want me to send some down ?

  15. - I am ‘working’ today

    - I would like to wish everyone in the Tigers’ bullpen a Happy Holiday

    - and of course, Happy Holidays to everyone here on the blog

  16. Merry Christmas to DK, Jandy, Brandie, Plan, Lucky, Jim, Oshkosh, Ghostie, Playoffs, Biz, Milo, AW, Ryan, Drew, Thunder, Dom, NMR, Groat, Wild Bill, Old Soldier, Patton, 21, Bob Hasis and anyone I missed. My Christmas gift came early this year – at PNC Park on October 1, at the best sporting event I have ever been a part of. I still get chills. Hope everyone has a wonderful time over the holidays, and thank you for all of the great insights and spirited conversation this year.

    Oh and Jandy, the avatar is for you! :)

  17. Loonies, I am closing up shop! The business hubby does the most work for (and for whom I sent a crockpot full of hot sausage, peppers, onions, and meatballs with sauce) has asked us to share :)
    I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a healthy, prosperous New Year.
    Thanks to everyone for such a fun year here on the blog.
    God Bless!

  18. Merry Christmas from one member of the Texas contingent. Thankful to get a taste of the Burgh whenever I pop in here. Now excuse me while I go cut my grass before company arrives.

  19. Traveling.

    I’ll check back in on the Hawaii Bowl thread.

  20. Merry Christmas to you all.

    If Dejan is on vacation, does that mean we can talk about baseball today ;-)

  21. Merry Christmas everyone.

  22. And Bettman upholds the Thornton Suspension!

  23. This is for Dejan from the great Ray Ratto:

    “Candlestick Park – 19,613 days as a suburb of Winnipeg.”

    DK: Great line except for one egregious error: Winnipeg has no suburbs. For real. Look at the map. It’s snow.

    • He is a must twitter follow. Don’t know why anyone would try to zing him. He’s just going make you look like a fool.

  24. OK Guys and Gorgeous Ones,

    Still at work but must jump in shower to head off to Christmas Eve Services at Church. My favorite service of year!

    Just wanted to wish my extended family here Merry Christmas. You are important gifts to me in my life.

    When I think tonight of the “presents” God has given me, I will mention YOU!

    The Babe in the Manger is #1, my Family is #2, a 1st baseman with pop and a glove is #3, and you are #4 on my list!!!
    Stick vacationing Dejan in there somewhere also.

    • Is Duke 2a ?

      Happy Christmas, Groat.

      • Oshkosh b’Gosh,

        I want to start quoting lines from Steve Martin “The Jerk.”

        I just need this . . . and this . . . and this . . .

        December 28. 2:00 PM. ESPN2. The last warm-up before the real season begins against Notre Dame on January 4!!!!!!!!

        Merry Christmas!! It’s 18 degrees here now. I know that is balmy for you.

  25. Merry Christmas to everyone !

  26. Let me just go ahead and get the obvious out of the way here, I’m from Pittsburgh and I love the Steelers. In no way am I trying to be biased here or anything(wink,wink). But seriously, in my head my rational of thinking makes total sense as to why Andy Reid SHOULD play his starters. I’m not going to lie to you at all, I sat here with a some chicken wings and some whiskey, at the pleading of my family to not have a note pad and an iPhone and an iPad going back and forth for like an hour. Now mind you before you make judgement my entire family is from Pittsburgh, from my great-great grandparents to my grandparents etc. So my family is die hard, Pens, Pirates and Steelers.

    Ok, now to my point. This is why Andy Reid SHOULD play his starters Sunday. We all remember watching or seeing the Chiefs on NFL Network or whatever the first 9 weeks. Most observers were probably like ” Super Bowl ” and that’s ok because let’s be honest, if the Steelers started off that way…………well lets just say there would be 20 different versions of ” here we go ” and ” the Steelers Polka “. And we ( or anyone who is <— me!) wouldn't be calling for Woodley's, Taylor's, Clark's and dare I say it……wait for it….Troys job. That is a different subject for another time, lets focus on my point for now.

    Look at the Chiefs body of work, all though with a very good record right now locked into the 5th seed. This should come as a surprise, and let me explain. The Chiefs in there first 9 games went 9-0 with only playing one division game against the Raiders. The Chiefs went 9-0 into their bye week, but look deeper than that, 7 out of those 9 teams have losing records or are not a playoff team. Their last 6 games, against Denver (2) and SD and IND are all loses. Their wins coming against Oakland and Washington, 2 teams that are not impressive or making the playoffs. The most interesting fact of their schedule out of their first 10 games only 1 team is in the playoffs and as you read this two of them play on Sunday which means 1 will not make it.

    Now lets look at their Defense and Offense , in the first 9 games they gave up 12.33 points per game and scored 27.67 points per game. In the last 6 games they have scored 31.83 points per game and gave up 27.83 points per game.Looks very deceiving doesn't it? Even though the offense scored 1.15 points more per game the defense gave up 13.37 points more per game, remember with 4 games coming against division opponents. Now why in the world would Andy want to let the Chargers WALK into the playoffs with the chances of playing them again, and also let his team walk ( and I do mean walk) into the playoffs 2-5??? Not smart Andy, not smart all. Play your starters, hey you beat US in the preseason!!! #dontbescaredandy

    Sent from my iPad

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