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Morning Java: Kunitz, Neal for Canada

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> We’ll find out today who Team Canada is taking to Sochi at 11 a.m., and that’s kind of a big deal. If it seems like more attention goes to that, even locally, than for Team USA, there are a couple good reasons:

1. It’s an incredible all-star team, in a video-game mashup kind of way.

2. It’s really the only one that came with any uncertainty related to the Penguins. Think about it: Evgeni Malkin was the only Russian in the equation. Brooks Orpik and Paul Martin were locks for the U.S. Jussi Jokinen and Olli Maatta almost surely will learn today that they’ll play for Finland.

James Neal and Chris Kunitz should hear the same from Steve Yzerman and the Canadian delegation.

I could go through all kinds of stats, but Pittsburgh hockey fans are the last ones who need to be convinced.

I’ll instead just say this: Kunitz knows Sidney Crosby’s game better than anyone, even better than Pascal Dupuis. That isn’t easy. Crosby isn’t Mario Lemieux, who could turn a fire hydrant into a 40-goal scorer. Crosby needs someone moving at his speed, ricocheting off him, trailing him, leading him … and if he has that, he’s nothing less than the best player in his sport.

Some people have gotten a little touchy when this comes up, as if Kunitz would go over to be Crosby’s caddie. It’s ridiculous. He’d be going over to maximize your best asset. There’s no shame in that. If anything, it would make even more sense after Mike Babcock struggled immensely to find that player in Vancouver. I covered those Games, and it became issue No. 1 through the round robin.

Do they really want that drama all over again?

As for Neal … well, Josh Yohe’s in Vancouver, and he covers the Real Deal quite nicely this morning.

And on Sunday morning, Rob Rossi covered the Kunitz angle.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage, including a look ahead to tonight’s faceoff.

Here’s Canucks news from the Vancouver Sun.

Here are official game highlights from NHL.com.

>> Pitt improves to 2-0 in the ACC by totally taking out Maryland, this time sparked by Durand JohnsonKevin Gorman reports from the Pete.

Been saying this all along, but this season could be some fun.

Check out some of last night’s game highlights …

>> Lots and lots and lots of stuff from the first day of the Pirates’ minicamp. Rob Biertempfel is the only Pittsburgh reporter in Bradenton covering the event, and we’re proud of that at the Trib.

The coverage includes this video of newcomer Chris Dickerson

… and of Andrew Lambo, one of the hopefuls for first base and right field:

>> Eights assistants are out as Penn State’s coaching search continues, by Chris Adamski.

>> I’ll be off today. For those of you fellows of the Orthodox faith, a wish a very merry Christmas and health and happiness to you and your families.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

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

Comments

  1. Ghost says:

    With batting stats like that for Dickerson, he must be a plus defensive outfielder. Maybe the Pirates eye him as a Felix Pie-type late-inning insert. Or, maybe if we’re lucky, the Pirates are on the verge of hitting on under-the-radar winter signings for position players by stockpiling them, just as they have done so with pitchers. We can dream that Dickerson will turn out like Jason Grilli. Heck, like Jeanmar Gomez would be plenty good.

  2. Ghost says:

    Okay, so Grilli was a mid-summer find. Same difference (to use a dumb expression that suits the occasion.)

  3. Drew71 says:

    See? The SEC lost its championship death grip. And it wasn’t even, um, close.

  4. Jandy says:

    OK so my car started, and I’m at work. -10 here in Duncansville Pennsylvania, with a -31 wind chill.
    That’s friggin cold. I’m gonna go put on some coffee :)

  5. Drew71 says:

    You think THAT’S cold?

    It’s FORTY here.

    Wind chill (let’s see if I can find the number on my keyboard) 31.

    What happens now? I have no experience with this kind of thing.

  6. Jandy says:

    Drew, come to Pennsylvania, and take your shirt off.
    When you go back home, you’ll think it’s a heat wave
    :D

  7. JoeyBats says:

    HTP !

    ….nice to see Durand Johnson’s “shot” come back. 17 points….3-4 from three point land.

  8. 1 degree here, but up to 20 during the afternoon.

    A rarity for these parts. 40′s and 50′s by mid-week.

  9. Jandy says:

    to be in the 40′s by Friday. We’ll all be sick.

  10. JAL says:

    JAL’s Come a Little Bit Closer Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bu9ZepcV0CM

    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

    4 Pirates Prospects Spring Training Tracker

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/st2014

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: The Pirates System is Built For Long Term Success

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/01/first-pitch-the-pirates-system-is-built-for-long-term-success.html

    Andrew Lambo Working at First Base; Hopes to Win Open Spot

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/01/andrew-lambo-working-at-first-base-hopes-to-win-open-spot.html

    An Early Preview of What Could Be the Best Outfield in Baseball

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/01/an-early-preview-of-what-could-be-the-best-outfield-in-baseball.html

    6 Rumbunter

    Chris Dickerson: Travis Snider Insurance?

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/01/06/chris-dickerson-travis-snider-insurance/

    7 WHY GAVS

    Links: Baseball America’s best farm system, plus Chris Dickerson

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/october-2013/links-baseball-america-s-best-farm-system-plus-chris-dickerson.html

    8 Pirates Site

    Surprise McCutchen sighting at Pirate City

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20140106&content_id=66345826&notebook_id=66345288&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    9 Baseball America

    Pirates No. 1 In Prospect Handbook Organization Talent Rankings

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/pirates-no-1-in-prospect-handbook-organization-talent-rankings/

    10 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates Should Go With Andrew Lambo At First Base To Start 2014

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2014/01/06/pittsburgh-pirates-bucs-go-andrew-lambo-first-base/

    11 Reds Reporter

    Minding the Process

    http://www.redreporter.com/2014/1/6/5280388/minding-the-process-walt-jocketty-billy-hamilton-cincinnati-reds

  11. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 Bradenton Herald

    Jameson Taillon at Pirate Minicamp (5 Photos)

    http://www.bradenton.com/2014/01/06/4922322/jameson-taillon-at-pirate-minicamp.html

    Pittsburgh Pirates | MVP Andrew McCutchen gets early start on 2014 season at Pirate City

    http://www.bradenton.com/2014/01/07/4922895/pittsburgh-pirates-mvp-andrew.html

    13 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates Are Set for the Future with Great Farm System

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2014/01/06/pittsburgh-pirates-are-set-for-the-future-with-great-farm-system/

    14 Big League Stew

    Topps to produce baseball cards of players from the film ‘Major League’

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/topps-produce-baseball-cards-players-film-major-league-210404471–mlb.html

    15 Baseball Nation

    Finding the modern Lou Whitaker

    http://www.baseballnation.com/2014/1/6/5280288/lou-whitaker-hall-of-fame-jack-morris

    16 Amazin’ Avenue

    It’s a great time for leadoff hitters around baseball — except on the Mets

    http://www.amazinavenue.com/2014/1/6/5241900/its-a-golden-age-for-leadoff-hitters-except-on-the-mets

    17 St. Louis post Dispatch

    Bird Bytes: The strain of October innings

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/bernie-miklasz/bird-bytes-the-strain-of-october-innings/article_d3201cdc-3b6c-5daf-8237-1fdab699215f.html

    18 Baseball Prospectus

    The 2013 All-Out-of-Position Team

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=22520

    19 Fangraphs

    The Worst Position on a Contending Team

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-worst-position-on-a-contending-team/

    20 Hardball Times

    The Screwball: The greatest baseball songs (n)ever written

    http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/the-screwball-the-greatest-baseball-songs-never-written/

  12. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    A yearly reminder former Steelers coach Bill Cowher won’t return to the sideline

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2014/1/6/5279246/steelers-coach-bill-cowher-nfl-head-coaching-jobs-candidates

    The state of the Steelers Part Three: what actually happened this year

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2014/1/6/5267700/the-state-of-the-steelers-part-three-what-actually-happened-this-year

    22 Steelers Gab

    Video: Cowher Talks About Recent NFL Officiating

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2014/01/05/video-cowher-talks-about-recent-nfl-officiating/

    Soccer(football)

    23 National Post

    Arsenal from good to great, Manchester City a powerhouse: English Premier League at the halfway point

    http://sports.nationalpost.com/2014/01/06/arsenal-from-good-to-great-manchester-city-a-powerhouse-english-premier-league-at-the-halfway-point/

    24 World Soccer

    Sepp Blatter worried about rate of Brazil progress

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/sepp-blatter-worried-about-rate-of-brazil-progress-world-soccer-daily

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Pens Points Monday: The Cavalry Has Arrived

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2014/1/6/5278118/pens-points-monday

  13. JAL says:

    Songs this week all from Jay and the Americans and the Everly Brothers as the start of the new year saw the deaths of Jay Traynor and Phil Everly

  14. theplanisworking says:

    -3 here, wind chill -22.
    Saw a duck waddle down the street……. couldnt honk, its beak was frozen shut, and its tears were mini-ice cubes. I can only imagine if DK took his StarYucks outside………..

    Bright side is, the kids can ice skate everywhere.

  15. Jandy says:

    Always a bright side :)

  16. Drew71 says:

    So I suppose the Velvet Underground will be part of the theme.

  17. theplanisworking says:

    Referencing links # 5b, and #10 above……….

    Why do I get the feeling that putting Lambo at 1B would be similar to putting Jeff Clement at 1B in 2010? I never thought I would see the day where 2 different articles would appear on the same day to endorse a “scholarship” of sorts, after the disastrous results from the 2010 experiment.

    I do partially agree with rewarding someone in-house, as opposed to giving up too much in a trade, but the in-house option has to produce. We saw last year that hitting 32 HR’s in the minors didn’t translate to the majors for Lambo.

    Being players like Ike Davis would require forfeiting a draft pick (he isnt worth it), and the trade market has gone quiet, I sadly see Lambo/Sanchez as 1B’s. Good Lord, that is a nightmare.

    And no, McGuiness and Dickerson don’t cut the mustard either.

  18. At the very least, Auburn made Florida State earn its No. 1 status since FSU won by only 3 points last night and the Seminoles had to come from behind to do that.

  19. Thundercrack says:

    I didn’t realize Jay Traynor died.

  20. Thundercrack says:

    Ike Davis would be acquired via a trade. He isn’t a free agent – so there wouldn’t be a draft pick involved.

  21. It was below freezing down here in Florida last night and it’s expected to be the same tonight. But then, it’s expected to warm up down here later this week. Let’s hope so.

  22. Thundercrack says:

    I would much rather have the Pirates get a more productive and experienced first baseman to platoon with Gabby. But with Lambo, since he has 6+ years of experience -mostly in the minors – this doesn’t really seem like a scholarship to me. I think Spring Training will be more like a tryout for Lambo at first base. If he hits he will get playing time somewhere. If he shows he can’t field the position of first base I think the team will look for another alternative. (which may include Ike Davis then)

    But I read plenty on this blog last season that people wanted Lambo promoted from Indy and to get playing time. Now — not so much. One year he should get playing time, the next year scholarship revoked.

  23. 36 DAYS UNTIL PITCHERS & CATCHERS REPORT TO WARM, SUNNY, GREEN PIRATE CITY IN BRADENTON FOR SPRING TRAINING

  24. Colin Dunlap, for one, is afraid that James Neal won’t be selected since the NHL usually selects only hockey’s aristocrats for its Olympic Team, although James Neal himself tries not to worry about it.

  25. pattonbb says:

    That was one of the best college football games I’ve seen in a while. Auburn’s running game is really fun to watch, but when FSU scored before the half, you just got the feeling they were coming back. For all of the skilled players Auburn has, they lack depth.

    I think the BCS finally got it right and had the 2 best teams playing for a championship, but I can’t wait for the “mini-playoff” format coming next year.

    Stay warm, folks.

  26. pattonbb says:

    12 more Mondays until opening day.

  27. Jandy says:

    I do believe he was wanted for right field, before Marlon Byrd was acquired.
    Right field, not 1st Base.

  28. theplanisworking says:

    Aren’t you the person who said we shouldn’t believe what we read on this blog?

    Yes, there was much clamoring for Lambo last year. He came up, and didn’t do well. So what is so puzzling about getting playing time, not doing well, and “revoking scholarship”? If Lambo would have done well, this wouldn’t be an issue. We didn’t know what Lambo could do until he came up. We saw he didn’t do well. I don’t understand your point, if you even have one.

  29. I didn’t know Olli Määttä’s name had three umlauts! (It really does: https://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olli_Määttä)

  30. Steve says:

    Durand makes me cringe every time he enters the game. He looks like he’s ready to shoot when he sitting at the scorer’s table. When he’s on, boy is he fun to watch. He has a lot more game than just jacking up threes. Can take it to the rim. A nice stat line last night. Panthers are off to a solid start in the ACC. Bring on the Demon Deacons.

  31. Jandy says:

    Hey hey it’s Alexandre! How are you, friend?

  32. Thundercrack says:

    I read blog posts last year. I know they were there -didn’t mention anything about believing.

    Lambo got 30 at bats last season.

  33. BillyBaduka says:

    It truly is a glut of umlauts.

  34. theplanisworking says:

    Alexandre,

    please send some warm weather our way !

  35. theplanisworking says:

    Nice soft-shoe on the blog posts. So when I read a blog post, it’s wrong, when you do it, it’s ok? Gotcha.

    So now we go into the “Lambo didn’t get enough AB’s” excuse? Ok, but there were people wanting Lambo up sooner last year, when it wouldn’t have been in the heat of a pennant race……… so he could have gotten more AB’s.

    Bottom line, the Pirates are going to give a tryout to a player who hasn’t played 1B a lot in his career……… and looks like is the “leading candidate” to be Gaby’s platoon partner? Yikes!

    I just don’t see the logic here.

  36. brandie says:

    That is a lot of umlauts.

  37. Jandy says:

    what he said!

  38. Jandy says:

    SISTAH! hey, what’s new with you?

  39. Jandy says:

    DIDN’T LAMBO PLAY RIGHT FIELD?????

  40. Damon says:

    Jokinen and Maata make Team Finland:

    http://penguins.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=699359&navid=DL|PIT|home

  41. Jandy says:

    sweet!

  42. theplanisworking says:

    Yes Jandy, Lambo played right field.
    You are 100% correct.

    Now the Pirates are going to give him a tryout at 1B, when his 1B history is 47 games in the minors, and a few games in winter ball. I am surprised the FO hasn’t given Snider a chance at 1B.

  43. theplanisworking says:

    Well, it’s breakfast time , so omelettes……….. oh wait. ;)

  44. theplanisworking says:

    Reverend, do I even want to know why you are Mercying me?

  45. Jandy says:

    well it seems then that this is comparing apples to oranges.

    mercy!

  46. Jandy says:

    Duck, Spunky ;)
    ;fleeeeeeeeeeeeeeee:

    :P

  47. I’m mercying putting Lunch Box at 1B.

  48. NMR says:

    You don’t see the logic in giving part time at bats to a guy who hit 33 homeruns between AA, AAA, and MLB in his age 24 season?

    Start following the Yankees. :)

  49. Jim S. says:

    Good for your car, Jandy! It’s a “keeper.”

  50. hockeymonster says:

    Good stuff! Only appropriate that canada announces their team in sub zero temps.

    Hippo-you making omelettes?

  51. Jandy says:

    My little Type X jaguar….2005….she’s a real bichcat ;)

  52. Jim S. says:

    I like him, too, Steve. He is exactly the kind of “go to” scorer Pitt rarely has. But, those nights when he isn’t on, his throttle stays stuck in the “full on” position. He is going to keep shooting, regardless. I guess you just have to live with that from instant offense type players. But, he really got heated up last night exactly when they needed him.

  53. Jandy says:

    nah, he’s gonna make soup for everyone ;)

  54. Jim S. says:

    Just a lost in prospects well beyond what the Pirates are willing to give – at least at this point.

  55. theplanisworking says:

    Reverend, since the Pirates are giving open tryouts at 1B, why not? Heck, put Barmes over there!

    ;)

  56. Jim S. says:

    Neal is a sniper, and he belongs. The guy has really blossomed as a scorer since coming to the Pens. His goal scoring rate just seems to get better and better each year.

  57. NMR says:

    So has anybody tried the Kovacevic water trick from Winnipeg?

  58. Jandy says:

    hey, I can stop a throw with my size 9 wides :)

  59. Jim S. says:

    Amen, Patton. 4 is going to be a lot more fun. Now, if they could find a way to get to 8 …

    Maybe that it will come in about 10 years.

  60. Jandy says:

    Did you look at Josh Yohe’s article, Jim? His number are phenomenal…it’s a good read.

  61. Jim S. says:

    Extra credit for correct spelling of “umlats” Alexandre.

    I prefer the Western Umlat myself.

  62. Jandy says:

    I wanna try it with bubbles, supposed to be even better! Can’t find any bubbles tho LOL

  63. Jim S. says:

    Hilarious, NMR! I’m too busy surviving in Chicago. No time to throw hot water up in the air, or whatever that was. That was quite entertaining last year when Dejan related the story.

  64. NMR says:

    This “scholarship” business is so played out…ugh.

  65. theplanisworking says:

    NMR —-

    1) Lambo doesn’t have much experience at 1B
    2) Thiose HR’s in the minors really didn’t translate to the MLB level, did they? Yeah, yeah, small sample size, but I still don’t see the logic based on those 2 things.

    And I will leave the Yankee cheering for you. ;)

  66. Drew71 says:

    Hey Pittsburghers.

    Does anybody care that pitt’s new conference:

    1. Won the BCS Football Championship

    2. In so doing, dethroned the SEC…

    3. and is the only conference to win two BCS bowl games this season

    A conference that pitt represented honorably in its bowl game.

    Or should I get back to complaining about minor league signings?

    and PS. I don’t even LIKE pitt.

  67. Thundercrack says:

    So there you go. You used the term ‘tryout’ there. You used the term ‘scholarship’ earlier. As I mentioned I think it is more of a tryout than a scholarship.

    And I was pointing out that last year many people were clamoring for this guy to get a chance. For his bat, not his glove. And now he may be getting a chance.

    And let me cut & past my other previous point: I would much rather have the Pirates get a more productive and experienced first baseman to platoon with Gabby.

  68. brandie says:

    Trying to stay warm. Hope all is well with everyone.

  69. NMR says:

    Plan, come on. Seriously?! 33 at bats, dude.

  70. Barmes coaching first would be fine for me, brother plansky.

  71. theplanisworking says:

    NMR– yes, seriously.

    Pirates have a good farm system, and they can’t bring up a 1B from anywhere in the system? They have to resort to Lambo at 1B? Really?

    I think this is a bad situation to be in. Somewhere, there has to be a better option.
    But that is just my opinion.

  72. theplanisworking says:

    Reverend, now THAT is funny !!!
    Travis Snider…….. first base coach. :)

  73. Jandy says:

    same here!

  74. Jim S. says:

    * One of the regulars yesterday suggested we might have an instant classic last night. He also said it would be very close, but that Florida State would pull it off. Oh, that was me. Blind squirrel theory at work. Great game!

    * I guess Jameis Winston’s “incident” is never to be spoken of again. Everyone seems to have rallied around that cause. It works that way for some guys. I hope he stays out of trouble going forward. He’s quite a talent.

    * Pitt handled Maryland fairly easily once they got past the first 17 minutes. I don’t know what that said about Pitt, because Maryland looks very mediocre to me. But, as I said yesterday, I don’t think this was going to be a very strong year for the ACC if Pitt, ND and Cuse didn’t show up to the party. Maybe one of the original ACC teams will emerge as the year goes on, but right now the only good team I have seen from the original schools is Duke. I haven’t seen them all, though. NC looks pretty lost. Did I miss any hidden gems from Tobacco Road?

    * Pitt has more offense than in year’s past, and Jamie still seems to be allowing some creativity from his players. And, he really hasn’t yet streamlined his rotation as in year’s past. I like where this program is headed.

    * Patterson has been one of the most impressive players in the country to me so far. He’ll be playing on Sundays. Sorry, I was channeling my inner Brent Musberger there.

    * Neal and Kunitz for Team Canada? Yes, of course. Orpik for USA? I don’t think so.

    * Reds appear to be looking to peddle Homer Bailey now – or, at least they would for the right price. Let’s see, Phillips is on the block. Bailey is on the block for the right price. Choo and Arroyo walked. Looks like some other team is becoming “cheap” before our eyes.

  75. Duke Blue Devils out of Top 10 in basketball for first time since 2007.

    122 straight polls.

    I thought I would give you all the appropriate snowballs to throw at me.

    To quote California’s greatest politician: “I’ll be back!”

  76. theplanisworking says:

    No, I have some ground beef to use up, so its chili, and bolognese sauce for pasta today.

    Omelette was already made. :)

  77. theplanisworking says:

    Drew, it must have been difficult to write that.
    I know you are all about the SEC.
    But thank you for this post.

    Now send some warm weather up here!

  78. Jim S. says:

    Some would say a lot of us are already sick.

  79. theplanisworking says:

    But not until pitchers and catchers report, right? ;)

  80. Jim S. says:

    Our freezing is 32 degrees Fahrenheit, James. What is freezing in Florida? :-)

  81. Arriba Wilver says:

    Dickerson is with the Padres.

  82. JohninOshkosh says:

    ++++

  83. Jandy says:

    count me in!

  84. Jim S. says:

    Our roads were more treacherous today than yesterday. The thin layer of snow on them got packed solid, and is now ice. I’m sure you have the same thing in W PA. If you haven’t gone out yet, be careful of that.

  85. Drew71 says:

    That looks weird.

    And yet. They are 16th.

    The program hasn’t been shuttered. It’s not the NCAA Death Penalty.

    And yet. ESPN’s headlined: Duke TUMBLES to 16th.

    Oy.

    And yet. To quote, um, me…

    That looks weird.

  86. JohninOshkosh says:

    The only thing I care about Team Canada is that they enjoy listening to the Star Spangled Banner while they stand on one of the lower levels of the podium.

    Sorry, but the Olympics brings out my xenophobia !

    The 34 year drought ends next month.

  87. theplanisworking says:

    Jim,

    I would add to your list, the development of Talib Zanna by Dixon. Where he was, and where he is now is unreal. Zanna won’t ba an all-american, but from where he was 2 years ago, is simply stunning.

    Virginia is “supposed” to be good this year, we will have to wait and see.

    Reds may have overspent the past few years. Yes, they may be going cheap, but wait until people see the returns before annointing that label. If they dump players, then yes they would be cheap. But if they can get some good returns, the jury will be out. I don’t care, as long as they go down. :)

  88. Jandy says:

    LOL I’m just sick and tired ;)

    Our roads are actually bare here, Jim. The PennDot crews took care of them early and they stayed good.

  89. Jandy says:

    I’ll drink to that!

  90. Jim S. says:

    I wish they had a vet to pair with Gaby also, plan. I side with Groat’s suggestion of Smoak. I think if you expect to compete, you try to eliminate as many question marks as you can, within budget. And, I don’t think they have done that.

    But, I don’t think Lambo is a certain bust. He didn’t really get a legit shot last year. 7 for 30 (.233), 2 doubles, 1 BB and a bomb. Can’t really tell much from that. I guess he could be Clement II. But, I think he’s better than that.

    Dickerson’s signing does nothing for me. Just another body to throw at RF.

    Baseball America says the Pirates have the #1 minor league system in MLB now. That is AFTER sending Gerrit Cole to the big team last summer.

  91. Jim S. says:

    I didn’t, Jandy. I just notice that he seems to score a ton of goals for the amount of games he plays. I’ll get to Josh’s article.

  92. Jim S. says:

    Don’t forget they were also the only conference to sweep all of the major individual honors as well, plan! Another feather in the ACC cap for 2013.

    But, the big bad monster is not going away. They still had 3 of the top 5 teams in the final rankings. It was nice to see another conference win the championship game for a change, though.

  93. theplanisworking says:

    “Baseball America says the Pirates have the #1 minor league system in MLB now. That is AFTER sending Gerrit Cole to the big team last summer.”

    And not a legit 1B in the system. Don’t you find that a bit odd?

    Smoak is still a dream, I guess, because they wouldn’t be trying lambo at 1B if they had real interest in Smoak. Just my opinion, of course.

  94. Jandy says:

    You’ll be pleasantly surprised at his numbers, jim. I promise :)

  95. Jim S. says:

    I did forget about Virginia, plan. Or, as I call them, the Wisconsin of the ACC. And, I mean that as a compliment. They get after it defensively and control tempo.

  96. Drew71 says:

    Honestly, not really that difficult for me.

    It was a great game. THAT’S what I care about.

    One of the reasons I love college football is that i DON’T have a team that I’m All In for. Allows me to root for whoever is behind, for great football.

    I Dejan’d just about every other BCS prediction this bowl season. I had Stanford. And Alabama. And Ohio State. And Baylor.

    So if I had ANY rooting interest, it was for the demise of THE STREAK, and a Florida State championship.

    Not because I care about the Seminoles. I most definitely do NOT.

    But because I had to get ONE prediction right? Didn’t I? DIDN’T EYE?

    That’s ok. I’ll only remember – and remind you all of – THIS prediction.

    That’s what we do.

  97. Jim S. says:

    Duke fell to merely “very good” status thsi week, Groat. All teams should be so lucky. I never count them out.

  98. theplanisworking says:

    I just can’t wait to see Sheldon Jeter join the team next year.

  99. Lad 9 says:

    Found out on the post game show that Durand had been sick for the past couple of games, but was 100% last night. What a difference from Saturday! Someone made the comment on the blog last night about when his jump shot is on, Pitt’s chances to win increase exponentially, and that was spot on.

    Out of all the sporting events I attend, I have to say I enjoy the Pitt basketball experience more than any other. The atmosphere, the venue, the people – it makes for a fun evening or afternoon. A close second would be the Pirates. I am pretty sure the Pens would be very high, but I have only been to two games since Consol opened, so it is not fair to judge. Pitt football is also a real good time. Steelers are last on the list below high school events.

  100. Jim S. says:

    I-DOT was not as good in our area, Jandy. They rushed to get them driveable on Sunday evening and into yesterday. But, they never got that last bit of snow off them, and it got packed in and now there are icy spots. And, as Coach Tomlin says, “Salt doesn’t work at this temperature – obviously.”

  101. 21sthebest says:

    ” I think if you expect to compete, you try to eliminate as many question marks as you can, within budget. And, I don’t think they have done that.”

    In my opinion, we’re still in great shape. I wonder how our “question marks” compare to other teams considered to be the best teams right now.

  102. NMR says:

    Justin Smoak is a career .229 hitter against righties over THIRTEEN HUNDRED attempts.

    And he’s a dream compared to Lambo? Come on now.

  103. NMR says:

    Bingo.

  104. Jim S. says:

    Looked like a great atmosphere at the Pete last night, Lad. The announcers – Bob Pecozzi and Cara Lawson (I might be butchering their names) of ESPN – both talked of how great a venue the Pete is. Bob P mentioned that every regular season game has been a sellout since the place opened and highlighted their stellar W/L record there. Only 22 losses in 12 years.

    I really like Lawson, btw. I think she adds a lot as a color announcer.

  105. NMR says:

    Besides, Andrew Lambo is exactly the type of guy that ends up a first basemen.

    MLB.com ranked Alex Dickerson as the 7th best 1B prospect in baseball. Alex Freakin Dickerson.

    That should tell you how much teams grow 1B only players in the minors.

  106. Jim S. says:

    Correct, Jandy. He has just started preparing for 1b this winter. I think he has played there in the past, but not so much. The talk last year was for RF.

  107. JohninOshkosh says:

    Wisconsin 15-0.

  108. Jim S. says:

    I wish they had a 1b, plan. That’s for sure. But, if they are going to be short at a position, I’m fine with it being 1b. No certain SS in the pipeline scares me a bit.

    But, every organization lacks somewhere I think.

  109. I wish I could trade our recente 90+ temperatures for some true cold. I’ve been setting the air-conditioning at the office to its lowest temperature (about 65; it doesn’t go below that). Every time I have to leave the office — like for lunch — it’s like I’m entering a sauna. I love cold weather! But while I don’t like beaches, I managed to get this Pittsburgh-y picture on Sunday, while at the pleasant location of Toque-Toque Pequeno: https://twitter.com/agiesbrecht/status/419819087808962561

  110. Jandy says:

    Well, it would be nice if he played the position well, and hopefully its better than last season’s small sample size. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

  111. I took German classes in school. :) Had to use them a lot.

    (But they were abolished in Portuguese a few years ago.)

  112. Jandy says:

    Oh Man. 90 degrees. That’s just brutal, Alexandre. Rubbing it in our noses, you know.
    :P

  113. Thundercrack says:

    I’m going to be happy about the #1 rating.

    It may not have a legit first baseman in it, but it is very rich in pitching prospects, outfielders, a catcher from last season’s draft…and a high ceiling SS prospect as well.

  114. Jim S. says:

    I don’t disagree, guys. I’m talking about a tweak here. I’m not saying they need to sign a Kendrys Morales to a big deal. Smoak, to me, is not some big acquisition. And, I don’t even say for sure he would be an upgrade to what Lambo would bring. But, I’d be just a little more comfortable with Smoak than Lambo. In the big scheme of things, I’m ok with Lambo getting a shot, but if that shot doesn’t come through, what, we go right to the McGuinness Sisters?

  115. 21sthebest says:

    “And not a legit 1B in the system. Don’t you find that a bit odd?”

    Not at all. The top rated minor league organizations often have holes. And first base is often a position that organizations don’t worry about too often because it’s not that difficult to convert players to first base. Mark Teixeira, for example, had only a couple of games at first base in his brief minor league career and 85 at third. And as we know he has played almost exclusively at first base his entire major league career.

    Only 1 first baseman was drafted in the first round (39 picks) in 2013, 2 were drafted in the first round (60 picks) in 2012.

  116. Thundercrack says:

    Are we sure what their budget is Jim?

  117. 21sthebest says:

    ” But, I’d be just a little more comfortable with Smoak than Lambo.”

    I would too. But I don’t know what Smoak would cost us.

  118. Jim S. says:

    AFD, as he will now forever be known. :-)

  119. theplanisworking says:

    I didn’t say I thought Smoak was the answer, I was referencing more to the people who are wanting him here. And my point is a valid one…… if the Pirates had Smoak in their plans, they wouldn’t be trying out Lambo at first.

  120. Milo Hamilton says:

    I wish no Penguins were playing in the Olympics. So I hope neither Neal nor Kunitz make it.

  121. Jim S. says:

    I know. But, he did hit RHP better last year. I’m hoping, maybe grasping, that he has figured it out.

    In the end, I do not pretend to know anywhere near as much about these guys as the Pirates scouting staff and NH do. Nor do I know what it would take to get Davis or Smoak. I think I have been pretty clear that I don’t like to give up prospects very often. The 12-step program is not working for me yet in that regard.

  122. 21sthebest says:

    ” He’ll be playing on Sundays. ”

    True. Plenty of leagues overseas play on Sundays. :-)

  123. Jandy says:

    I learn something new about baseball all the time. This blog is the schizznet!

  124. theplanisworking says:

    Oh, I am happy also.
    Just seems odd an important position is bare.

  125. 90′s tolerable if you’re in a place with air-conditioning. Not my apartment’s case, though. Terrible nights. Could have been worse, though. I could live in Rio, with its frequent 100+ temperatures. (One I was there while it was 108. I had two ventilators on me while watching TV, and I couldn’t stop sweating.

  126. Jandy says:

    freakin, as in Craig Freakin Adams…I get the picture….see? Learned something new again!

  127. Jandy says:

    Alexandre, it was 10 degrees BELOW zero this morning. The high is to be Zero today lol.
    I’d take that 90 right about now :)

  128. theplanisworking says:

    Sorry, no bingo here.

    If you agree that the Bucs are in good/better shape (hole-wise) than other contenders, you mean to tell me that you think the Pirates are in better shape than the :

    *Cards?
    *Dodgers
    *Braves?
    *Tigers?
    *Sox?
    *A’s?
    ( I know the last 3 are AL teams, but if the Bucs tgo to the WS, those teams come into play).

    I think the Pirates have holes at 1B, SS, RF, and questions in the starting pitching. That is a lot of holes for a contender.

    Just my opinion, of course……..

  129. Jim S. says:

    BTW, just for devil’s advocate sake, Smoak did produce at a .260/.361/.477 rate in 308 ABs last year vs RHP. I think the lightbulb may have gone on. 13 doubles and 18 HR. They moved the Seattle fences in and he took advantage. If that is the guy we get, sign me up. No way to know, of course. But, Seattle was very punitive to LH batters prior to last year.

  130. theplanisworking says:

    That pic is wonderful. !!!!!

  131. I’m about to leave for lunch, while dressed in a long-sleeve shirt and social pants. It’s 88 outside, and I’m headed to a restaurant with no air-conditioning. I’d trade it for -10 in Pittsburgh in a heated restaurant, with proper clothes to walk there! :D

  132. 21sthebest says:

    Off the top of my head, I’m trying to think of some pure first baseman talent in the majors that were drafted as such. Ryan Howard and Adam Laroche come to mind. Also Goldschmidt. Even Pujols came up as a third baseman.

    I’m not suggesting the Pirates couldn’t have done a better job in this area. Shortstop has obviously been an issue for some time.

  133. Jim S. says:

    Me, either, and I said that somewhere in this elongated thread.

  134. I just hope the Penguins sue them. They’re all over the place at the North side beaches in my state.

  135. Jim S. says:

    Whose budget, TC? Pirates or Reds? I have no idea on either.

  136. theplanisworking says:

    ++++++++++++++++

  137. NMR says:

    1B is the least important position on the field.

  138. theplanisworking says:

    A baseball has red stitches on it……..
    does that count? ;)

  139. Milo Hamilton says:

    AJ Burnett in the fold & Brett Gardner in right field would make Andrew Lambo look a lot better at 1st base.

  140. NMR says:

    That isn’t what he said, Plan.

  141. hockeymonster says:

    That would mean we have a crap team here and jeffrey would still be on roster :)

  142. Jim S. says:

    1b is important, as plan says. But, it is probably the position on the field where the greatest % of the general baseball population could transition to, because you don’t need speed or a strong arm.

    Please don’t send me the hate mail about 1b. I know it isn’t easy finding guys who can hit and hit with power, which you need at 1b. But, you can create successful 1b platoons out of players with obvious flaws that flamed out at 3b or OF. Gaby and a Smoak could be an example.

  143. NMR says:

    Why in the world would they not get Lambo practice at 1B, regardless of their plans to bring in another player?

  144. theplanisworking says:

    I was talking about “question marks” of the Bucs, and other contenders.

  145. NMR says:

    Oh, I’m all for adding another player.

    But not a single guy available is worth more than a win or two better than Gaby himself, let alone Gaby splitting some AB’s with Lambo.

    The options available simply aren’t much better. So so much ado about so so little.

  146. 21sthebest says:

    ” you mean to tell me that you think the Pirates are in better shape than the …”

    I didn’t say we’re in better shape than anybody. I said I think we’re in great shape. I think we’re still a playoff team. And I’ve always felt that if you can get into the playoffs, in any sport, all it takes is getting hot at the right time and maybe some teams that had great regular seasons cooling off a little. And in baseball for me that means if you’re starting pitchers can get hot in the playoffs and you get some timely hitting. So I’m not concerned if there are teams like the Red Sox or Dodgers or maybe some others which are much better on paper than us. All I care about first is getting to the playoffs.

    People look a lot at our holes like first base, right field, and perhaps a spot or two in the starting rotation. But I still feel like there’s a group of players like Pedro, Cutch, Walker, Marte, Cole, some guys in the pen, and even Jordy, who can improve as a group. Maybe even a lot.

  147. NMR says:

    Then yes, every one of those teams have question marks. Some more, some less than the Pirates.

  148. Jim S. says:

    Oh, now I understand your question, TC. I do not know the exact budget, but haven’t they said there is still money available? I would think that includes money for Smoak or Ike or some other low cost 1b option. I just think, as NMR has said many times, NH probably doesn’t see those guys as an upgrade over Lambo/McGuiness. Or, he doesn’t like the asking price at the moment.

  149. Jim S. says:

    Well said, 21.

  150. chethejet says:

    Adding Pitt, the Cuse and ND certainly with Louisville next year will make the Duke’s, NC’s and other traditional teams actually play good teams on a regular basis. Something the old ACC has been lacking for the last couple of years. FSU has 10 potential NFL draft picks after having I think 11 last year. How does this team not beat everyone handily.

  151. NMR says:

    “I know it isn’t easy finding guys who can hit and hit with power, which you need at 1b.”

    Haven’t the Rays completely disproven this statement?

  152. theplanisworking says:

    NMR,
    of course every team has question marks.
    But of the six other teams I listed, they all have fewer holes than the Pirates. Every one of them.

    But I really dont care about their holes, I care about the Pirates holes. And they are more than just a few.

    Plus, for every scenario that allows the Pirates players to improve this year, there is a scenario that allows the Pirates players to regress this year.

    *Will Cutch play at an MVP level again?
    *Will Locke regain form, or be another McDonald?
    *Can Juan D come back from injury?
    *Which Pedro will we get?

    I certainly hope we get the “good” Pirates in every scenario, but that isn’t guaranteed.

  153. NMR says:

    Plan, you just described the game of baseball.

    For EVERY team.

  154. theplanisworking says:

    Doesn’t Tampa Bay disprove a lot of statements regarding conventional baseball thinking?

    Ever since their ownership change back in 07(I think?)….. they have done more with less than just about everybody.

    But, on topic of the 1B question, I think Tampa bay is more an exception than the rule.

  155. 21sthebest says:

    I tried.

  156. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  157. Thundercrack says:

    Then we should be satisfied with Gabby as the full time first baseman, NMR

  158. theplanisworking says:

    “Plan, you just described the game of baseball.
    For EVERY team.”

    NMR —

    I just love it when we agree! ;)

  159. JohnS says:

    As long as he is not Clement V. I will never forgive what he did to the Templars in 1307 on behest of Phillip IV.

  160. theplanisworking says:

    I hope you are thinking in terms of rest and healing issues, Milo…..

  161. hockeymonster says:

    Some of these projections from TSN for canada look more like career achievement awards instead of picking best players and team. Nash and giroux? Please. Tavares at center instead of wing? Actually why am i complaining…sounds good to me…

  162. Jim S. says:

    NMR:

    Gaby struggles vs. RHP, and it seems to be getting worse.

    Career: .242/.313/.387 (1,260 AB)
    2013: .204/.304/.315 (162 AB)

    Gaby killed us when starting vs RHP last year, and I believe his ability in that regard is declining. I think that is what happens when you become a platoon player. You get locked into that status because of atrophy over time. That is what Gaby is now, a platoon player.

    On the positive side, he mashes LHP.

    Career: .300/.399/.496 (476 AB)
    2013: .333/.448/.539

    So, the flip side of losing the skill he hasn’t been using as much (hitting RHP) may be that he is getting better at hitting LHP.

    Just an opinion. Certainly nothing conclusive.

    I think this is the part where I get attacked from afar. And, I’m only kidding about that. I respect everyone’s opinion, even if I disagree. There are plenty of ways to look at things.

  163. Steve says:

    I agree. Lawson does a nice job. Always liked Pecozzi back to his days doing Sportcenter updates on ESPN radio. I don’t need Dickie V’s schtick anymore. Still like Raftery and Gus Johnson though.

    Been to a few games in the Pete and hoping to get to one this season. It is a great atmosphere. Nice facility.

  164. radio wave says:

    Minus 8 degrees and a baseball argument. Love it!

  165. Jim S. says:

    I typed this above, but it was so far up there that I decided to re-post it.

    NMR:

    Gaby struggles vs. RHP, and it seems to be getting worse.

    Career: .242/.313/.387 (1,260 AB)
    2013: .204/.304/.315 (162 AB)

    Gaby killed us when starting vs RHP last year, and I believe his ability in that regard is declining. I think that is what happens when you become a platoon player. You get locked into that status because of atrophy over time. That is what Gaby is now, a platoon player.

    On the positive side, he mashes LHP.

    Career: .300/.399/.496 (476 AB)
    2013: .333/.448/.539

    So, the flip side of losing the skill he hasn’t been using as much (hitting RHP) may be that he is getting better at hitting LHP.

    Just an opinion. Certainly nothing conclusive.

    I think this is the part where I get attacked from afar. And, I’m only kidding about that. I respect everyone’s opinion, even if I disagree. There are plenty of ways to look at things.

  166. Jandy says:

    shhhh! they just might read this blog and figure it out ;X

  167. Jim S. says:

    I love Raftery.

  168. Jandy says:

    LOL! Doesn’t get much better, unless it’s the Stanley Cup Playoffs ;)

  169. Jim S. says:

    Look at you, Jandy. Talking small sample sizes for hitters. You are almost converted to the dark side with the rest of us.

  170. Jandy says:

    No, Hipposter, Mr. Milo doesn’t think that NHL Pros should be in the Olympics.
    That’s his prerogative. :D

  171. Jim S. says:

    But, we apparently liked the name so much we had to go get another one yesterday.

  172. Jandy says:

    And I’d have to say you’re certifiably insane ;)
    Try to stay cool, my friend :)

  173. hockeymonster says:

    I mean on some level there isn’t a wrong choice but seems like there’s a lot of backroom cigar smoke.

  174. Wild Bill says:

    Congratulations to Jim on being right on in his call about last night’s football game, and to Milo for being right on the under.

    And congrats to Plan for the Pitt victory over the tortoises.

  175. theplanisworking says:

    Isn’t Raftery the “onions” guy?

  176. Jandy says:

    No, it means you can be satisfied with a platoon of 2 guys who make a solid position.

  177. Wild Bill says:

    I don’t think I had actually joined the blog when this was under discussion, but weren’t some of you Pitt folks unhappy about the move to the ACC? Seems like all “love and tickles” around here now.

  178. Jandy says:

    if Neal doesn’t make it, and Giroux does, it means someone is smoking something, and it isn’t tires ;)

  179. theplanisworking says:

    Oh, didn’t know that.

    To each his/her/it’s own, I guess.

    Personally, I just love Olympic Hockey, even if they put chimps out there to play. ;)

  180. Jim S. says:

    I don’t know that I would say their first basemen have been the key to their success.

  181. Jandy says:

    cross your fingers everyone!

  182. Jandy says:

    lol, you calling Claude Giroux a chimp???

  183. theplanisworking says:

    No, I wouldn’t want to insult the poor chimp !!

  184. 21sthebest says:

    Before the game, Nick Saban said Auburn needed to score 35 to win and Tebow predicted an FSU victory of 35-31.

  185. Jim S. says:

    I’m going to need directions, plan. That all sounds great to me.

  186. Jandy says:

    LMAO!

  187. Wild Bill says:

    Too bad those stiffs don’t know football.

  188. theplanisworking says:

    Thanks Bill.

    If Pitt continues to play sound fundamental basketball, they could easily be in the top 3 or 4 in the ACC.

  189. theplanisworking says:

    I don’t know about the blog, but I had very few reservations about Pitt joining the ACC. More $$$, great basketball competiton, safer football league.

    What wasn’t to like?

  190. Jim S. says:

    Impressive comeback vs a very athletic Iowa team on Sunday night, Osh. I know very and athletic usually are not something we think of with Iowa. But, Marble is a stud and they have others.

    WI fell behind big early, chipped away, and then finished well. I like WI. A team full of Jimmy Chitwoods.

  191. hockeymonster says:

    HAHA

  192. Jim S. says:

    I think they did this year, chet. Last night was their only game not decided very early.

  193. Jim S. says:

    Thanks, Wild Bill. I’m going to have Dejan accept my honor in my absence.

    Ok, so my honor won’t get accepted.

  194. pattonbb says:

    good stuff, 21.

  195. Jim S. says:

    +++ a million. Those fears some raised of the ACC being swallowed up don’t seem so scary now, do they?

  196. Milo Hamilton says:

    Not really, just don’t want any Penguins getting hurt. I’ll be rooting hard for Team USA & hope Canada doesn’t win a game & Sid gets no points. I gained a new perspective last Olympics, Sid’s really easy to root against.

  197. pattonbb says:

    cheaters, obviously.

  198. Wild Bill says:

    I saw it the same way. I know some wanted Pitt to be a part of the Big Ten plus four.

  199. Damon says:

    I think it was Mark Madden that put Canada’s process the best – they try to assemble a hockey card collection rather than picking the most competitive team. Canada does well in the Olympics in spite of their choices because they have such a large pool of good players to pick from. I’d feel bad for Neal and Kunitz if they don’t make it, but I’d get over it real quick.

  200. Jandy says:

    All right :)

  201. Jandy says:

    Gotta go check the house and by dog….see yinz in a bit :)
    be good :P

  202. hockeymonster says:

    Ya when sid scored that goal i believe my first thought after blank look on my face dissipated was “how cliche”.

  203. NMR says:

    I don’t see any reason at all we should be “satisfied” with Gaby at first base, or any positon that could use improvement.

    I’m saying that the players available right onw to accomplish that improvement just aren’t much of one. Two completely different things.

  204. NMR says:

    I’m well aware of Gaby’s stats, Jim. Gaby was no worse against RHP than Jordy Mercer, Jim. Nobody has ever said Jordy Mercer “killed us” last year, and neither did Gaby.

    And Gaby’s “trend” of getting worse against RHP is a smaller sample size than James Loney’s entire 2012 season. Only significant difference between Gaby ’13 and Gaby ’10/’11is BABIP, and we all know how that can fluctuate. He wasn’t GOOD against RHP in those years, but he was better than ANY of these platoon candidates.

    There just is not much difference between any of these options.

  205. theplanisworking says:

    I wanted Pitt in the Big 14 also…… more $$$$, natural rivalries with Penn St., etc.

    But with ND joining the ACC in almost all sports, the landing spot was a good one.

  206. theplanisworking says:

    Your unwarranted jabs at me are boring and childish.

    How does it feel to have your words used against you?

  207. NMR says:

    @Plan – not just the Rays.

    The moneyball A’s proved that “prototypical” first basemen are overrated and not NEEDED on a playoff team.

    Since ’02, the top A’s 1B by at bats are as follows: Hatterberg, Swisher, Barton, Jackson, and Moss.

  208. Thundercrack says:

    NMR, I have agreed with just about everything you’ve said this morning except “1B is the least important position on the field.”

    I don’t agree with that. And I not sure I think there is least important position in the field.

  209. Old 1SG says:

    Steve, Please leave Kunitz and Neal off of Team Canada. Only because I want to win. (USA, USA, USA! )

  210. theplanisworking says:

    For Jin S., Oshie, and a minority of other who follow the NBA, a trade last night that makes little sense for one team.

    Cleveland sent Andrew Bynum and 3 picks to the Bulls for Luol Deng.

    Chicago can waive Bynum, and get under the luxury tax, and they get 2 picks.

    Cleveland gets an in jured player, who is a free agent at the end of the year, with no guarantee that he will re-sign.

    Just a head-scratcher……….

    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10255605/cleveland-cavaliers-agree-trade-andrew-bynum-chicago-bulls-luol-deng

  211. Arriba Wilver says:

    I didn’t realize Jay Traynor sang for the Velvet Underground.

  212. JohninOshkosh says:

    Cleveland had to get rid of Bynum. Chicago is getting ready for 14-15 and was probably one of the few teams willing to take Bynum.

    If Deng is healthy, he is worth trying to sign.

  213. Wild Bill says:

    From what I’ve heard, the Cavs were desperate to get rid of Bynum. Almost as desperate as the Sixers, who got rid of him after last year.

  214. Jandy says:

    How “Sid”
    :)

  215. pattonbb says:

    I never called you childish, plan. Not once.

    I said the cheating insinuations are boring. And they are. You only aim those comments at SEC schools, my alma mater specifically. I get tired of it.

    Don’t take it personal. I actually enjoy your posts on here quite a bit, when you’re not slinging mud at my school.

  216. Arriba Wilver says:

    Some? Always “some” no matter the subject. But I don’t recall much blowback, and certainly not a prominent Big Ten contingent. But I may be misremembering because I was in favor 1000%.

  217. Damon says:

    Sid & Kunitz in for Canada, Neal, Fleury and Letang out.

  218. Jandy says:

    Ok. there.
    You guys can shake hands and call it quits.
    No more mud :)

  219. Milo Hamilton says:

    Kunitz made it.

    For Jandy – Claude Giroux did not.

  220. hockeymonster says:

    Nash instead of real deal is a joke but canada can pull it off…

  221. 21sthebest says:

    We should send you to negotiate peace in the Mideast!

  222. theplanisworking says:

    Please don’t remind me of the ruination of the Sixers due to trading for Bynum.

    :(

  223. theplanisworking says:

    Chimps are safe….

  224. JohninOshkosh says:

    Subban made it. Maybe he can give Putin a solid cross check.

  225. theplanisworking says:

    I could agree more with this trade if Cleveland got one more year of Deng, that’s all.

  226. 21sthebest says:

    Or better yet, Dennis Rodman!

  227. Court Jester says:

    Thank you Canada for not taking the best sniper in the league. James Neal can sit at home, rest and get pissed off and take out his frustrations once the NHL starts back up.

  228. theplanisworking says:

    I know you don’t agree with the cheating insinuations, but I happen to believe that it isnt right that a certain contingent of schools gets a pass on the allegations.

    Just google all the allegations, and actual schools that get placed on probation down there. The SEC has enough built-in advantages that there should never be even a hint of cheating there.

    Oh, and if you want me to not take anything personal, just don’t make it personal. Simple stuff.

  229. theplanisworking says:

    Did Canada offer any commentary why Neal didn’t make it?
    Or was it just limited to the coverage of the picks?

  230. Milo Hamilton says:

    … and then hit somebody with the shining wizard ! :)

  231. Damon says:

    Nash – 9G, 9A – 18 points in 27 games
    Neal – 16G, 18A – 34 points in 24 games

    Sure, makes sense….

  232. theplanisworking says:

    Any word if Shawn Thornton made any Olympic rosters??

  233. hockeymonster says:

    Indeed. Carter was a surprise for too. He’s a shooter like Neal too. Couture getting hurt must have been a huge monkey wrench. Would’ve taken Thornton and Neal ahead of Benn and Carter.

  234. hockeymonster says:

    Correction. Thornton and Neal ahead of Nash and Benn.

  235. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    ROBERT….ANDINO!!!!

    To quote the late, great Lou Brown, “It’s startin’ to come together, Pepper.”

  236. Damon says:

    Carter a definite surprise….they didn’t take Marty St. Louis either.

  237. Arriba Wilver says:

    Patton provided an olive branch. Just take it, as Jandy suggested.

  238. DJ says:

    I guess Neal not being an “honest” hockey player hurt him.

    Unlike Nash, where having a lousy year and being “soff” helped him.

  239. DJ says:

    You know you have a deep roster when the BPITW cannot make it.

  240. pattonbb says:

    You’re right plan, this is very simple stuff.

  241. JRay3 says:

    And the Pirates make another splash (sarcasm) in Free Agency, as they have signed Robert Andino to a minor league contract with invite to spring training. Light hitting but above average defensive middle infielder who can play both SS and 2B.

    Signed likely to provide depth behind Mercer and Barmes.

  242. Milo Hamilton says:

    Rick Nash must have pictures of Steve Yzerman with a goat.

  243. Damon says:

    Eric Staal didn’t make it either….

  244. DJ says:

    Hey, on Nash, it’s not just his 9 goals and 9 assists this year . . . it’s all about the amazing skill he displayed in getting them. Ha!

    Is this a NY market influence at work?

  245. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    I see the Canadians also left the great Radio Robert off their roster as well. OUTRAGE!!

    ***For those of you who don’t remember Radio Robert…..http://youtu.be/mjmQ_ViEM5U

  246. JRay3 says:

    Also Rob Biertempel reports that the Pirates will appear on Sunday Night baseball on May 11th, marking the first appearance at PNC Park.

    In addition opening day has been picked up by ESPN and will start at 1:05.

  247. Sarah says:

    And three boys under 12

  248. Damon says:

    I keep hoping the Pirates make a move in the next few weeks/end of January to get someone where we all say, “wow, Huntington’s patience paid off” and “Huntington paid his price for the player he wanted/needed.”

    Guess we still have time to see…

  249. hockeymonster says:

    DJ, saw your replies to yesterdays thread kinda late and regarding the one liner just wanted to say that I’ve heard similar comments in seasons past followed by pens getting rocked and swept in consecutive playoffs. But this season has been different…they’ve been listening so here’s hoping that trend continues. ;)

  250. Sarah says:

    Ridiculous for Nash.
    Shame for Neal.

    Goalies no surprise.

    Hope Canada scores a lot cos they do not have any big-game success on that G-list unless you count Jitters Luongo’s bacon getting pulled outta the fire by Sid last time.

  251. Sarah says:

    Well Canada picks according to expectations.
    As opposed to common sense.
    Good for US.

  252. Joni says:

    Hurray!

  253. hockeymonster says:

    Ya i had couture, thornton, real deal and E. Staal ahead of carter, bergeron, nash and benn.

  254. Joni says:

    Hahahahaha :)

  255. DJ says:

    The proof will be in the pudding, HM, but I’m certainly enjoying this year’s ride as well.

    Let’s hope it’s a very long ride.

  256. Joni says:

    And give Putin a slew foot when the refs turn their back.

  257. theplanisworking says:

    Excuse me AW, I will take the olive branch, Thank You very much. I dont need you to tell me what to do.

    I also noticed you didnt tell patton to not do a personal attack on me for a post of mine from yesterday. Why is that? If you can tell me to take an olive branch, then you can tell someone else to not respond in such manner, right?

    AW, please don’t do that to me again.
    Thank You.

    ===================================

    And patton, I do accept any olives you send my way.
    I will try to leave your alma mater out of anything I post in the future. Sorry for that. I just feel very strongly about cheating in college sports, that’s all.

  258. hockeymonster says:

    We need to steal Kraft’s super bowl ring back from putin. You guys remember that story? :)

  259. theplanisworking says:

    JRay, is that Sunday Night appearance the only one for the year?

  260. DJ says:

    Setting aside our Neal snub, I would take Eric Staal on one skate over Rick Nash.

  261. Joni says:

    I had forgotten about that. What cheek on Putin’s part!

  262. Arriba Wilver says:

    Plan–I didn’t interpret Patton’s post yesterday as a personal attack.

    As to the rest, Huh?!

  263. Wild Bill says:

    “Rick Nash must have pictures of Steve Yzerman with a goat.”

    Nobody does major malice like Milo. Nobody.

  264. theplanisworking says:

    AW……..

    patton didnt have to say my post was boring. He could have added substance to why he thought that, or he didn’t have to respond at all, correct?

    As to the “Huh” comment……….
    I don’t tell you what to do or not to do on here, and I would like the same courtesy from you. I was going to accept patton’s olive branch, I certainly didn’t need you to chime in. Very simple.

  265. Jim S. says:

    Did they need to move the regularly scheduled and highly anticipated weekly BoSox-Yankees match-up?

  266. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  267. Jim S. says:

    JHay nervously bites nails.

  268. Well, Sidney and Chris Kunitz made it, which is better than we would otherwise have expected, all things considered. There are those who wanted James Neal to make it, though he didn’t due no doubt to sheer snobbery, but then, the Pens are happy that he’ll get a month’s rest.

  269. NMR says:

    Sure, TC, I can agree with that.

  270. Jim S. says:

    Well said, Jester.

  271. JRay3 says:

    Only one I have seen announced. I do know that ESPN does leave some windows open to be able to select games later in the year.

  272. Arriba Wilver says:

    See your post at 11:37.

  273. Jim S. says:

    I remember it well, monster. I wonder if Putin wears it when he is off killing grizzly bears with his bare hands, or any of the other heroic, manly stuff he does when cameras are around in remote areas of the world.

  274. theplanisworking says:

    +1 Jim.

    Pretty soon, it will be Yanks/Sox/Dodgers/Phils/Rangers/Cards.

    Everyone else will have to wait.

  275. Jim S. says:

    Good deal for the Bulls, plan.

  276. theplanisworking says:

    It’s Kraft.
    I wouldn’t bother to get it. ;)

  277. Jim S. says:

    I think it could have worked either way for Pitt, Wild Bill. But, the B1G just didn’t want them for some reason. They felt like Maryland and Rutgers increases their footprint and TV sets more.

  278. Joni says:

    I remember reading a while back that when Geno was asked about being included in the Russian Olympics, Geno joked that Neal should become a Russian national and change his name to “Nealkin”.
    Thank goodness that ‘s not happening! Although it would be interesting to see Kunitz/Crosby versus Malkin/Nealkin go head to head. In the bronze medal game, of course!

  279. Joni says:

    Don’t forget posing shirtless while sitting on a horse :)

  280. Jim S. says:

    So, you’re saying Nick Saban and Tim Tebow know more about college football than I do?

    Ok, I agree.

  281. theplanisworking says:

    Thanks.
    I don’t follow the TV schedules that much, except for Root.

  282. hockeymonster says:

    I didnt say return it to kraft :)

  283. Jim S. says:

    Someone should ask Andy Reid how he feels about hockey starts playing for their countries in the Olympics. I might actually agree with him on this one. As much as I love watching it, I am a bit concerned.

  284. JohninOshkosh says:

    Didn’t Andino have the base knock that eliminated the Red Sox on the final game of the year a few years ago?

    Too cold to Google….

  285. Jim S. says:

    Posing? What are you insinuating, Joni? He (obviously) has no idea those cameras are around when he decides to horseback shirtless.

  286. Milo Hamilton says:

    If all the chatter is correct & James Franklin is going to be Penn State’s next coach it would be quite a coup for Dave Joyner. Instead of the predictable “he’s not a Penn State man” and “he’ll never stay” PSU fans should be saying “how can we let Joyner leave ?”.

  287. Milo Hamilton says:

    And so what if Franklin leaves after a short successful tenure ? Maybe after what they’ve just gone through, term limits aren’t the worst idea.

  288. Damon says:

    comrade Lazy Nealkin

  289. Drew71 says:

    I just received an email from a Florida beach resort, obviously targeting northern customers.

    The headline: “Isn’t Florida looking good?”

    Are you freaking KIDDING??

    It’s FORTY-ONE STINKING DEGREES

    Yesterday I had my top down. (No, Jandy. The car.)

    Today I had my overcoat and gloves on. Turned my condo heat on. Had to figure out how. I’m not kidding.

    What’s tomorrow? The Mayans? Thunder?

    Now THAT’S cold.

  290. JohninOshkosh says:

    Typical Pirates. Announcing the acquisition of Robert Andino at same time as Canadian Men’s National Hockey Team is announced.

  291. Jim S. says:

    I hope you are right about Gaby, NMR. But, I think NH sides with me on that. He allowed Clint to have his little dalliance with Gaby as a full-time 1b last year, but I think the point of obtaining Morneau was because Gaby couldn’t handle RHP and GIJ was struggling as well.

    So, I think there will be another option this year. Could be Andrew Lambo or the McGuinness Sisters, or someone else.

  292. DJ says:

    Here’s hoping Neal takes out any frustration tonight on Olympian Luongo.

    To the tune of 2 or 3 goals and a couple assists.

  293. Jim S. says:

    I agree with you on Jordy, NMR. He did not hit RHP well. Gaby has a track record of that, though, at a position where I think we need more punch. And, SS is not counted on normally for the offense that you expect from 1b. Your rebuttal to that, of course, would be that Jordy is an offensive SS who struggles in the field, and I would not disagree. Jordy needs to hit RHP better this year, plain and simple.

  294. Jandy says:

    I’ll drink to that!

  295. Jandy says:

    Ok so who is Robert Andino?

  296. Jandy says:

    indeed!

  297. Arriba Wilver says:

    Soooo predictable.

  298. Jim S. says:

    Tigers bullpen is shaping up to be better than last season. Just sayin’.

  299. Jim S. says:

    Hilarious, Osh! Post of the day for me so far.

  300. Jandy says:

    Rick Nash is so over-rated.

  301. Wild Bill says:

    Well, Milo, the media had Al Golden all wrapped up for us just a few days ago, and it turned out to be a no go.

    My feeling is Franklin would be a great hire; it helps if there’s just a little more continuity than O’Brien gave us. But I’m all for hiring the best you can get – previous connections to PSU nice as an add on, but not necessary.

  302. Jim S. says:

    Who says they aren’t Players in Free Agency?

  303. Milo Hamilton says:

    This weather makes me feel like I’m smack dab in the middle of a Coen brothers movie.

  304. Jim S. says:

    Jitters Luongo sounds like an old time gangster name.

  305. Jandy says:

    :thwap:

  306. Jandy says:

    DJ, I wonder if the suspension hurt him….any other players on the roster with suspensions?

  307. Jim S. says:

    You’re buying a dog, Jandy?

  308. Jandy says:

    ewwwww

  309. Jim S. says:

    My early prognosis for the ACC, in no particular order (except for Cuse definitely being #1) is that the following teams are the league’s best:

    Cuse, Pitt, ND, Duke, UVA.

  310. Jandy says:

    Thanks Milo. I actually would like Giroux if he weren’t a Flyer. The comments made by Laviolette about him being the “best” player in the league ticked me off.

  311. NMR says:

    Jim, you keep talking like I don’t think Gaby should be platooned. I don’t know how I can make it ANY more clear that I realize Gaby should be platooned. I was the guy citicizing Clint last year when he was starting Gaby at 1B and Garrett in RF.

    The hard part, as we’ve seen, is finding that lefty. You seem to think any warm body that swings lefty is better than Gaby, and I just don’t think that is anywhere near true.

  312. Jandy says:

    Actually Benn is a good choice.

  313. theplanisworking says:

    You are on a roll in the cold today, Jim.

    I might have to give you a second helping of chili……. ;)

  314. Jim S. says:

    :-)

    Stay away from the wood chipper.

  315. Milo Hamilton says:

    Trust me on this one. Hiring the alum/failed NFL coach because he’ll never leave (until you have to fire him, of course) is not the way to go.

  316. Jandy says:

    dang…jandy typo…*my

  317. Jim S. says:

    So, Dennis Rodman is going to take some of his basketball buddies over to N Korea to play and show us all that they are not so bad. Why do I have this feeling eventually Dennis may get fed to some starving dogs on one of his trips? I mean, if the guy does that to his relatives …

  318. Drew71 says:

    That Saban-Tebow thing. Sorta Lucifer and…?

    Pleased to meet you
    Hope you guess my name
    But what’s puzzling you
    Is the nature of my game

    Sing it, Nick.

  319. theplanisworking says:

    So Franklin is in?

    Bill, I think I had Caldwell and Franklin as my choices. I know you aren’t high on Caldwell, you do think Franklin would be a good hire?

    In other CFB news……… Charlie Strong has a prominent booster against him, it seems. Strong can do well at Texas on the field…… but he will have many problems with the boosters/others. And that will be a shame.

  320. Jandy says:

    21, Dennis Rodman is the pro.
    He’s just a creep lol.

  321. Wild Bill says:

    Maybe that’s what the search group decided. And obviously, you’re referencing Munchak.

  322. theplanisworking says:

    Was the announcement made at the Bowtie Bar??

  323. Jandy says:

    :snap fingers:

    dang!

  324. Arriba Wilver says:

    There’s always a silver lining.

  325. theplanisworking says:

    Too cold for a thwap today.
    Please try again tomorrow……

  326. Jandy says:

    Jim, would that be a bad thing?
    (forgive me but I cannot abide Rodman)

  327. Jandy says:

    Ahahah! AW agrees with me :)

  328. Milo Hamilton says:

    Just rumors so far. A lot of it has to do with his assistants following PSU recruits on twitter. They’re also following Louisville recruits. So, we’ll see.

  329. Jandy says:

    Consider yourself thwapped…thoroughly ;)

  330. Drew71 says:

    Ah yes. Bigg Benn.

  331. theplanisworking says:

    Thanks, Milo.

    I thought Franklin was going to interview with NFL teams.
    I just hope they get a good coach.

  332. Wild Bill says:

    I don’t think Franklin is in just yet, but I’d be fine with it. He’s a bit flamboyant for PSU, but that’s a good thing – I think?

    Remember, this stuff is coming out of CBS, the same sports group that employs Greg Doyel, who’s about as popular with PSU as Satan is with Lucky.

  333. Jim S. says:

    He’s dumber than a door nail. He’s N Korea’s “useful idiot” at the moment.

  334. NMR says:

    Depends on your goal, Milo.

    A school that employs a head coach into his 80′s is not worried about maximizing wins.

  335. Jim S. says:

    I think he was only with one organization (and not a great one) since he left PSU. I questioned that one, good football guy or not.

  336. Jim S. says:

    (Hands out)

  337. theplanisworking says:

    No chili for you…….. I will give Jim another helping… ;)

  338. theplanisworking says:

    Good news, you get Jandy’s helping also.
    She is busy hitting me, so you get hers.

    What hurts, is I shouldn’t tease you with this chili stuff. I make an award-winning chili. Now I may have to start making it, I am making myself hungry…….

  339. Jim S. says:

    No, I realize you think we need a platoon with Gaby, NMR. I guess I just don’t think it is as hard to replace him vs. RHP as maybe you do. I don’t think any warm body will do, but I do think they need to find someone. I’m not trying to mis-represent your position.

    I do think there was a big gap last year between what Gaby did vs. RHP and what Smoak did – or even what Lambo Leap would do this year.

    I guess I just don’t chock up Gaby vs RHP last year to a bad season. I question whether he would do any better this year. And, we really can’t have .204/.304/.315 over 162 ABs again.

  340. Jim S. says:

    Yes, & Matt Latos’ wife was there. Someone punched her in the face and slammed her head off the ground for no reason whatsoever. It was the Wild Card playoff game all over again.

  341. Jim S. says:

    Oh & the PPD decided not to charge anyone – Again! Can you believe that?

  342. Jandy says:

    That’s ok, hubby just bought me lunch :P

    neener, neener, neener :P

  343. Jandy says:

    Neener, neener, neener :P

  344. Jandy says:

    Fire Don Cherry!

  345. Jandy says:

    thanks Spunky!

  346. Jim S. says:

    The power of suggestion worked like a charm. Instead of venturing out into the awfulness at lunch, I decided to go to the deli in the bottom of our office complex and ordered the chicken chili.

  347. Jandy says:

    Dang, Jim, the cold brings out the BEST in you! :)

  348. Jandy says:

    and that’s putting it politely ;X

  349. Well put, Jim.

    I was thinking more of a box of rocks, but a door nail will do.

  350. Jandy says:

    I’m working on it, Jim ;)

  351. Jim S. says:

    Ok, because I was going to suggest you wait until tomorrow. Or else that poor dog is going to think it is a hundred below 0 every day, and he’ll never leave the house.

  352. 21sthebest says:

    Rays DFA Jerry Sands.

  353. theplanisworking says:

    :D

  354. theplanisworking says:

    There ya go!
    Cafeterias/delis are great in a pinch.

  355. Jandy says:

    TC, how bout “least critical”?

  356. Jim S. says:

    And, I really wasn’t kidding about the “fed to the starving dogs” part. There was a story last weekend that basically said that whichever Kim Jun is currently in charge of that place now had his uncle stripped naked and thrown into a cage full of dogs that had not eaten in 3 or 4 days, while he and other high ranking Govt members watched. I can’t even remember the disagreement that caused it. But, that’ll ensure loyalty in a hurry.

    That’s serious stuff. Dennis needs to get his butt back in this country.

  357. theplanisworking says:

    Yes Jim, too cold to respond.

    Latos’s wife better be careful in this cold………. silicone shrinks in it. Just sayin’.

  358. Jim S. says:

    Cue Milo in 5, 4, 3 ….

  359. Jandy says:

    She. She waits for me to come home every day and let her out to do her business. I live less than 10 minutes away from work, Jim, so she’s lucky I can do it :)

  360. NMR says:

    Depends how much you believe in regression and defense, Jim.

    Smoak’s 2013 was light years better than anything he had done previously, and last year showed us that even Gaby against RHP is better than a struggling lefty with poor defense (Garrett Jones).

    What kind of slash line do you see Lambo putting up, if you don’t mind me asking?

  361. Jim S. says:

    Then, she had better cover up.

  362. Jandy says:

    I wouldn’t do that to anyone, not even Dennis Rodman. Not even Shawn Thornton!
    But man, this world is a screwed up place when that can happen without repercussions.

  363. Jandy says:

    ZING!

  364. theplanisworking says:

    A good New Year’s resolution would be to quit insulting door nails, and boxes of rocks. ;)

  365. Bizrow says:

    Can he play first??

  366. Jandy says:

    not to mention “useful idiots”

    :D

  367. Jandy says:

    Hey Biz! You staying warm?

  368. theplanisworking says:

    Tiger Woods in mourning today.
    Lindsey Vonn out of Olympics.

    That is all.

  369. 21sthebest says:

    You just reminded me of this commercial Jim.

  370. 21sthebest says:

    A better question is has he rolled out of bed yet.

  371. Sarah says:

    So…..does DB actually match lines vs Crosby in the Olympics?

    If yes, what does that say about his general refusal to do so in regular season?
    If no, what does that say about Disco?

    Discuss!!

  372. Jandy says:

    true dat!

  373. Jim S. says:

    I’m thinking he’ll get over it.

  374. Jim S. says:

    That’s great!!

    How many takes do you think there were before Mike Tyson pronounced formaldehyde correctly?

  375. Jim S. says:

    I put the over/under at about 12.

  376. Jim S. says:

    Are fence posts still fair game, plan?

  377. Drew71 says:

    Boy, there’s a lot of baseball talk today.

    Maybe it’s minicamp. Or seismic minor league signings.

    My guess: the freaking weather. Even down here, we can’t wait for spring.

    And here’s a new thought. A spring with *gasp* hope for a certain team based in Bradenton. Well. From my geographic perspective, they are.

  378. theplanisworking says:

    Sure, we have to reference something…….. ;)

  379. theplanisworking says:

    FIRE BYLSMA!!!

    Sorry, haven’t done that in a while……….

  380. Jandy says:

    I’ll take the over!

  381. Thundercrack says:

    A little off topic……..

    Last night I listened to a podcast from Jay Mohr. He interviewed Jeff Luhnow , the GM of the Houston Astros.

    Luhnow is a really smart guy. He rapidly rose up the ranks in MLB (Cardinals) – - coming from a non-baseball background. Very interesting story. Total numbers geek, but also understands the scouting aspect too.

    I am going to be paying more attention to the Astros. I’m not sure I am crazy about their owner, but Luhnow almost makes me want to root for them.

  382. Jandy says:

    Do you suppose the Boss is getting upset???

  383. Jandy says:

    so will she

  384. Jandy says:

    That he wasn’t solely in charge of things in the Olumpics?

  385. Jandy says:

    How about fire hydrants?

  386. Arriba Wilver says:

    He was great in The Hangover.

  387. Jandy says:

    I thought the tattoo looked rather good, too ;)

  388. theplanisworking says:

    Only for dogs. ;)

  389. Jandy says:

    LOL!

  390. Drew71 says:

    Why would Springsteen care?

  391. theplanisworking says:

    Nice point here.

    Always root for the underdog. Luhnow seems genuine in the very few times I have seen him talk. The Astros certainly have the top picks coming from being so bad.

    Interesting you even brought up their owner. Jim Crane seems a little sneaky. He has the lowest payroll by far, paid a lot of money just to get the team, and now is suing former owner Drayton McLane, his TV partners, and others over numerous things. A mess of a franchise, just hoping Luhnow can succeed somehow………….

  392. Jandy says:

    :thwap:

    On here, Brucie answers to Dejan.

  393. Drew71 says:

    Thunder. The vulgar language can’t happen again.

  394. Sarah says:

    HAH!!
    You win the washer and dryer LOL!

    Sadly, I think he is mostly in charge.

  395. Jandy says:

    LOL. Sarah I dunno. Like really like DB…thought I do admit he frustrates me a lot at times too. His refusal to adjust this past playoffs really ticked me off.
    What I do know is that until Mario decides otherwise, we’re stuck with him.

    And…if it helps the US win Olympic Gold, he had BETTER match lines to the best of his and all his coach’s abilities!

  396. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, I would think so.

  397. Jim S. says:

    Makes two of us.

  398. Joni says:

    Yes – it isn’t just Disco in charge of this one.

    (Cue “Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie)

    DB has multiple folks behind the scenes who are not members of Shero’s Bylsma appreciation association. I think there are multiple voices of reason and DB would be an azz if he did not take other people’s input into account in such a high stakes venture.

    DB should especially listen to the other coaches who have exposed the Pen’s system already. Hello, Peter Laviolette.

    I am intrigued to see if Bylsma’s “system” works on Olympic ice. And if DB has the cajones to even try. Let the games begin!

  399. Thundercrack says:

    Luhnow sounds a lot like (and uses a lot of the same terminology) many of the ‘younger’ General Managers – including NH.

    He said that they told the fans in Houston that they were going to stink for a few years as they totally rebuilt the organization and concentrated on building up their farm system. And that why should they have a payroll of $80 million and lose 100 games, when they could lose 100 games with a payroll of a lot less.

    He has 2 WS rings from the Cardinals, and most of the team that went to the WS this year was drafted or developed under his watch.

  400. Jim S. says:

    If Lambo ends up the #1 option at 1b vs. RHP (75% or so of the ABs), I’d be ok with about .265/.330/.430 for a rookie there. I actually think he is going to be a decent MLB hitter, but he took a few years to get it in the lower levels. So, I think that suggests it might take a couple of years until he is successful at the MLB level. I could see him getting above .450 as a slugger consistently in a few years.

    Gaby was .315 slugging last year. If he got 75% of the ABs with that sort of production, we’d be in big trouble. That’s where I was going with my assessment that he can’t take that slot vs. RHP. I just think that is too many ABs to have a guy with a low slugging %.

  401. Milo Hamilton says:

    I need an alert on my phone for every time Jerry Sands gets released.

  402. Arriba Wilver says:

    Not to put too fine a point on it, and they may use the same terminology, but that isn’t what they told us. Quite the contrary. Sure, we knew they were full of it, but that isn’t what they said. Not one of the top 3.

    Back to your regular programming. (It’s cold!)

  403. theplanisworking says:

    Isn’t there an app for that?

  404. Milo Hamilton says:

    I would tell Mr. Luhnow that if he plans on losing 100 games with an $80 million payroll he’s not a very good judge of talent.

  405. theplanisworking says:

    “Luhnow sounds a lot like (and uses a lot of the same terminology) many of the ‘younger’ General Managers – including NH.”

    But here is the rub………. NH didn’t have that type of resume when the Pirates hired him. I honestly feel that if he did, fans would have been easier on him.

    And, as AW pointed out, Neal didn’t come out and say anything of the sort. Again, if he had, things might have been a little better for him.

    Luhnow does seem to have his work cut out for him.
    with Crane busy in court for almost all aspects of the teams finances, it could be rough seas.

  406. Thundercrack says:

    I didn’t say that the Pirates told their fans the same thing that the Astros told theirs.

    What I said – and meant – that the way he spoke and the terminology he used, Luhnow sounded a lot like many of the younger GMs in the game. That is all.

  407. Thundercrack says:

    If they would have kept a lot of the players that were already there, their payroll would have been a lot higher. Carlos Lee, Wandy, Bud Norris, etc..

  408. Jandy says:

    And their record a lot better.

  409. Arriba Wilver says:

    But still a terrible team, with no future.

  410. NMR says:

    Well, that certainly explains our differences!

    I am far, far less optomistic on Lambo. Kid struck out 25% of the time – against righties – between AA and AAA. Unless we expect him to graduate to the show and somehow improve his contact rate, it will take an extremely high BABIP to get close to a .260 batting average.

    Something like .240/.290/.420 seems attainable given a >25% K-rate and league average BABIP.

    At that point, it becomes a matter of preferance. Gaby won’t slug that high, but he’ll get on base more and strike out less while providing much better defense.

  411. theplanisworking says:

    There may be more openings in the NFL.

    One never knows what JerryWorld will do in Dallas.
    Dennis Allen, he of 8 total wins (2 of which came against the Steelers), may be let go too……..

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/10258514/dennis-allen-oakland-raiders-owner-mark-davis-odds-fate-assistant-coaches

  412. NMR says:

    It’ll be interesting to see how many years it takes Luhnow, who I agree seems to be doing just about everything pretty well.

    2014 will be Year 4, and you have to squint pretty hard to see a .500 ballclub by Year 5.

    I’m sure the ‘stros would be pretty pleased if Year 6 turned out as well for them as it did for the Pirates.

  413. Bizrow says:

    No, how bout you? It is pretty cold inside today, the dogs refuse to get out of the covers

  414. Jandy says:

    My dog made me get out of bed at 3:45 this morning, Biz. She had to go do her “thing”.
    Then she ate can went back to bed. I didn’t have that luxury :/

  415. Bizrow says:

    Well. its not like he broke up the 27 Yankees ;-)

  416. scapper says:

    I think you refer to one of the two good (okay, great) movies they made. Fargo is a masterpiece. No Country is gold. But the rest? Hall of Fame of the Overrated and the emperor’s new clothes in full effect.

    That being said….agreed!

  417. 21sthebest says:

    I wonder how the Astros bullpen is looking?

  418. Jandy says:

    not as good as the Tiger’s bullpen ;)

  419. Arriba Wilver says:

    Not near as good as Detroit’s.

  420. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jandy, we are on the same page today.

  421. scapper says:

    Just so you know, that ended up being a false report. But still…Rodman is nuts for going over there so cavalierly.

  422. Arriba Wilver says:

    Yeah, I wondered about the source. It was one of those sites that has the credibility of the Globe.

  423. Joni says:

    Blasphemy!

    “The Big Lebowski” is amazing. It has so many great quotes. My favorite being, “Donny, you’re out of your element”!

  424. Arriba Wilver says:

    Miller’s Crossing? Blood Simple? Raising Arizona? (OK, I didn’t like the last one that much, but lots of others did.)

  425. Thundercrack says:

    The podcast was recorded before the winter meetings. Luhnow seemed to think that his farm system would be rated #1…or very close to the top.

    And he said he wanted to build the team from the ground up, from the farm, make it into a contender and have that be sustainable for many years. ( see what I mean about sounding like a lot of GMs)

  426. Milo Hamilton says:

    You’re so right. 100% of GM’s say the exact same thing. And 90% of them get fired.

  427. JohninOshkosh says:

    Just heard on talk radio that there have been several emergency room visits across the nation by people throwing boiling water into the air only to have the wind blow the scalding water back into their face.

    Their blistered skin is on your hands, Dejan.

    Oh, and Darwin was a genius.

    A second oh, apparently blowing soap bubbles into the cold air is pretty cool, too.

  428. Bizrow says:

    One reason why Tiger doesn’t care about the Winter Olympics

    http://espn.go.com/golf/story/_/id/10257010/tiger-woods-hits-13-billion-career-earnings-report-says

    Wonder how much went to alimony ;-)

  429. Jim S. says:

    What ended up being a false report? That the uncle was killed, or that he was killed in that way? I don’t know of anyone saying he was not killed, although there is not certainty that it happened just that way.

    Today, S Korea is reporting that the wife of that same uncle has mysteriously died in the last week or so. That is the sister of the current Dealer Leader’s father and her husband both gone.

  430. If Dennis Rodman had to suffer under the rule of that North Korean monster, his mind would be certainly changed in a hurry!

 
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