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Morning Java: Gold, anyone?

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

SOCHI, Russia — Доброе утро, Lunatiks …

>> The Thursday column observes Shani Davis’ speedskating bomb and wonders where all the American gold will come from now.

The Sochi Hockey Notebook looks at Evgeni Malkin not on Russia’s top power play, Dan Bylsma not using the Penguins’ system and more.

Here are all six videos for Channel 11 News so far, including the latest one explaining out loud my hockey medal picks

I’m also doing weekday reports for TribLIVE Radio, and the Wednesday podcast included fresh stuff rom Bylsma and Ray Shero.

Here’s the Trib’s Olympics page.

Here’s the official Sochi 2014 page.

Here’s the official U.S. Olympic team page.

Here’s the official NHL Olympics page.

And here’s NBC’s Olympics page with all the highlights.

>> Organizers report about 75 percent of tickets being sold out, and that’s visible in the  higher-profile events being legitimately filled. But those that aren’t filled are getting some help: Once an event has begun and seats remain empty in significant blocks, organizers usher volunteers to take their place. That way, the atmosphere doesn’t appear as hollow to the participants or on TV. As a side benefit, it rewards volunteers for long hours of work.

Sounds like a practice worth praising, right?

Well, it is right up to the point that Sochi organizers deny that it’s happening. They’re adamant that Russian crowds are traditionally late arrivals.

>> Back home, Pitt gets dropped by No. 1 Syracuse on a Tyler Ennis buzzer-beaterKevin Gorman reports from the Pete.

The lame offense is to blame, writes columnist Joe Starkey, also on the scene.

>> A.J. Burnett signs with the Phillies, by Travis Sawchik. Cue the countless phony narratives about A.J. being some bad guy. This guy was a fierce competitor here. Some didn’t get that, but they can get this: He changed the franchise.

The Pirates open camp for pitchers and catchers today. Rob Biertempfel is in Bradenton, and so is Andrew McCutchen for that matter …

>> It troubles me to have missed Kevin Colbert’s annual media session, which brings you much more useful info about the Steelers’ plans than you might think. Alan Robinson was there.

>> Talked a whole bunch of Olympic stuff with Mark Madden via Apple’s FaceTime yesterday. Here’s the full podcast from 105.9 the X.

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. Drew71 says:

    I saw Dejan’s headline, Gold Anyone? And I thought, ah, finally. A column about AJ.

  2. Drew71 says:

    Hey. How bout a link to Biertempfel’s article about the reigning MVP on the day the Pirates open freaking camp? Oh, well. I found it myself.

    Could you imagine the links and notes the morning Latrobe opens? Yes, even a year when the Steelers (again) do just about nothing in the offseason.

    At least there was SOME Pirates mention. The straw dog comment about hating on AJ.

    As those who, you know, read this blog yesterday, 90% wished AJ well. (I even wrote a goodbye song. But I’m an idiot.) The other 50% hated on the Pirates. And the, um, final 50% fought over who originally predicted what about AJ.

    But let’s discuss a false narrative about hating on AJ.

    It’ll kill time until Steelers camp opens.

    DK: Relax, Drew. I don’t even know what day it is at this point, I had NO CLUE it was pitchers and catchers day, and I didn’t see Rob’s article or the accompanying video until you just mentioned it. Both are up.

    I’m going 16 hours a day focusing on one thing here. I’m not even calling home but once every two days. I have people emailing and tweeting me fuming that I wasn’t discussing Pitt-Syracuse last night. Because, you know, Russian TV was airing Pitt-Syracuse. Your other comments are terribly unfair and, to be candid, not at all like you.

    When I’m in Bradenton in mid-March, the Pirates will get my all. When I’m in Russia, the Olympics will get my all.

  3. 21sthebest says:

    “Some didn’t get that, but they can get this: He changed the franchise.”

    I love what AJ did here but to me, he’s one of several components in helping to change the franchise. I think Hurdle, Searage, good drafting and development, an excellent defensive catcher free agent signing, and the National League MVP were just as important if not more.

  4. Drew71 says:

    And for all you Slicks in Turtle Crick who are dealing with Weather Events, and now even all your ex’s in Texas and Atlanta, I just want you all to know that…

    You. Are. Not. Alone.

    From my local weather service:

    THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MELBOURNE, FLORIDA HAS ISSUED A LAKE WIND ADVISORY… WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 PM EST THIS EVENING.

    WINDS…SUSTAINED WEST WINDS 20 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS TO AROUND 30 MPH.

    Gosh.

    Even EYE have to admit. We really don’t have very big ones down here, do we?

  5. Drew71 says:

    Don’t confuse my mind with facts.

    It breaks the narrative.

  6. Drew71 says:

    An emoticon. A freaking emoticon.

    Et Tu, Brute?

  7. Pucknutz says:

    “Straw dog” ….. good one …. I like that….. very pithy.

  8. Drew71 says:

    Not at all like me?

    Have you read my stuff?

    Do you know who I am?

  9. Drew71 says:

    i DID have to reset my clocks.

    So there’s that.

  10. Drew71 says:

    Saint Jetersburg leads off Mike & Mike.

    Lord. (Not Jeter. I’m just asking for intervention.)

    This is gonna be a long season. Leading to Saint Sports Center Desk.

    ~Sigh~

    Then they run the Syracuse shot.

    I think I’m gonna watch the weather channel.

  11. NMR says:

    Man, I do not envy Dejan.

    Does he really have to qualify every statement he makes? Considering he’s also written about the impact Hurdle, Searage, Rene Gayo, and others have had on changing the franchise, I’m positive he did NOT write that statement as AJ being the only one.

    Give the guy a break once in a while.

    DK: Thanks.

  12. Drew71 says:

    They just read Jeter’s goodbye statement.

    It was beautiful.

    No sarcasm. It really was beautiful. It hit ALL the right notes. Even made me think I might miss the era when it ends.

    Crap.

  13. Jandy says:

    Oh My! A BOLD REAMING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. DJ says:

    Was totally in favor of trading for AJ when it was only in the exploratory stage a couple winters ago, because I thought he would bring to the team exactly what he delivered — an attitude.

    That said, it’s now time to move on, and I’m more than fine with that. A guy like AJ making $17 million a year doesn’t want to be told he’s worth $8 million, or even $10 or $12 million. Money is how AJ measures himself against his peers.

  15. Jandy says:

    I gotta lot to do today, as I was goofing off yesterday.

    1) Dejan, you are a SAINT (eve bigger thanSaint Jeter) for putting up with us. Lord knows we provide you with comic relief, but sometimes you prolly want to :thwap: us.

    2) AJ ~ I loved what AJ brought here to this club. But as some astute persons said up there ^^ (don’t let it go to your head, guys :) ) AJ wasn’t the only factor in the Pirates having their first winning season in 20 years. Thanks for the fun and the memories AJ, and good luck. We’re gonna miss you but we have to move on. There’s a baseball season coming up.

    3) This weather SUCKS!

    That is all.

  16. Jandy says:

    Great minds think alike, DJ :)

  17. Jandy says:

    We have winds like that all the time here, Drewster. But I bet it helps with the sailing there, right? ;)
    (An emoticon!)

  18. DJ says:

    Touche´ Jands.

  19. Thundercrack says:

    +1

  20. Jandy says:

    we know you have poodles…incontinent one at that!

  21. Thundercrack says:

    (I even wrote a goodbye song. But I’m an idiot.)

    Line of the Day so far.

    But it is still early

  22. theplanisworking says:

    AJ officially left the Pirates yesterday.
    Pitt lost last night.
    I don’t know which is worse……………….

    The realization that Pitt played fairly well, but lost the game in the final 2-3 minutes last night, when one or two little things could have won it………. but only to lose on that 35-footer (that was well defended),

    or,

    The Pirates have lost AJ, and replaced him with Volquez……… and given Lambo the 1B platoon job. And, yes, I know that Volquez didn’t directly replace AJ, but that is the final effect.
    I did read somewhere that AJ was offered a $12MM deal…….. I also read in here yesterday that someone said Perrotto said $8MM was offered?

    In the words of the great Milo Hamilton…………. what a horrible Pirate offseason this has been so far.

  23. theplanisworking says:

    Oh, and I , for one am impressed that DK is even able to get the game threads up on time while suffering through that 57 degree “winter” weather over there. Especially since he can’t get his StarYucks.

    I wonder if, when DK is in Bradenton, the same people will e-mail, and tweet him about not talking about the Penguins and NFL combine stuff?

  24. Drew71 says:

    Well. At least it’s a Reaming.

    Lucky will be pleased.

    And by the way. It’s a little tight when you get under that (thin) skin.

    Not Lucky. Kentucky Bourbon makes you kinda loose. Trust me.

  25. Jandy says:

    Love me some Bourbon…loosens up a lot of things….

  26. JAL says:

    JAL’s Waiting for Superman Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXjXKT98esw

    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 BFFL’s 2014 Pirates Stats Spreadsheet

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AsjN0zO-DxI0dDNkaWxFNWIwNDVUQzEwYXp5SlpGNkE&usp=drive_web#gid=0

    4 Pirates Prospects Spring Training Tracker

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/st2014

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Should We Change the Way We Value Pitchers?

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/02/first-pitch-should-we-change-the-way-we-value-pitchers.html

    Pittsburgh Pirates 2014 Spring Training Preview: The Rotation

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/02/pittsburgh-pirates-2014-spring-training-preview-the-rotation.html

    Pittsburgh Pirates 2014 Draft Preview: Prep Hitters

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/02/pittsburgh-pirates-2014-draft-preview-prep-hitters.html

    6 Rumbunter

    Pedro Alvarez: From Persecution to Pursuit of 50

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/02/12/pedro-alvarez-persecution-pursuit-50/

    Pirates Want to Set Record, Will They Follow Yankees Lead

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/02/12/will-pirates-follow-yankees-lead/

    7 Bucs Dugout

    Phillies a poor fit for A.J. Burnett

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2014/2/12/5405636/phillies-a-poor-fit-for-a-j-burnett

    8 Green Weenie

    2/11-12: Aldridge-Grimes, TRS, Dutch, Woody and Joe Garagiola…

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2014/02/211-12-aldridge-grimes-trs-dutch-woody.html

    9 KDKA

    Grilli Reflects On Magical Season, Looking Forward To 2014

    http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2014/02/12/grilli-reflects-on-magical-season-looking-forward-to-2014/

    10 Saber Bucs

    NL Central Starting Rotation xFIPs

    http://saberbucs.com/blog/2014/02/12/nl-central-starting-rotation-xfips/

    11 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates: Can Starling Marte Avoid Taking A Step Back?

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2014/02/12/pittsburgh-pirates-can-starling-marte-avoid-regression-2014/

  27. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 Bradenton Herald

    Spring training | Five reasons to watch the Pittsburgh Pirates

    http://www.bradenton.com/2014/02/13/4989717/spring-training-five-reasons-to.html

    13 Rant Sports

    Projecting the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Depth at Shortstop

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2014/02/12/projecting-the-pittsburgh-pirates-depth-at-shortstop/

    Pittsburgh Pirates 2014 Spring Training Profile: Jake Brigham

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2014/02/12/pittsburgh-pirates-2014-spring-training-profile-jake-brigham/

    Pittsburgh Pirates 2014 Spring Training Profile: Tony Sanchez

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2014/02/12/pittsburgh-pirates-2014-spring-training-profile-tony-sanchez/

    14 Pirates Site

    Pirates narrow focus in wake of Burnett’s deal

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/mlb/pirates-narrow-focus-in-wake-of-aj-burnetts-deal-with-phillies?ymd=20140212&content_id=67690892&vkey=news_mlb

    15 SB Nation

    Derek Jeter: Greatest shortstop in Yankees history

    http://www.sbnation.com/mlb/2014/2/12/5405740/derek-jeter-announces-retirement-greatest-shortstop-yankees-history

    16 Fangraphs

    Stephen Drew And Where An Opt-Out Isn’t Insane

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/stephen-drew-and-where-an-opt-out-isnt-insane/

    17 Cadillac News

    NL Central teams at the start of spring training

    http://www.cadillacnews.com/ap_story/?story_id=205256&issue=20140212&ap_cat=3

    18 St. Louis Post Gazette

    No rotation roulette for Cardinals

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/no-rotation-roulette-for-cardinals/article_b83dbdc5-365a-553f-aaec-d100bd24a699.html

    19 ABC News

    Pro Sports Glamour? Minor Leaguers Say They Barely Get Paid

    http://abcnews.go.com/Business/minor-league-baseball-players-minimum-wage/story?id=22467458

    20 New Jersey Star Ledger

    Baseball wars: Did Cooperstown’s myth steal Hoboken’s claim to fame?

    http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2014/02/post_451.html

  28. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers brass impressed with recovery of Sean Spence

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2014/2/12/5405626/steelers-brass-impressed-with-recovery-of-sean-spence

    Some random thoughts from Ben Roethlisberger

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2014/2/12/5404964/some-random-thoughts-from-ben-roethlisberger-ryan-clark-michael-sam

    22 Steelers Depot

    Report: Steelers Intend On Drafting Ben Roethlisberger A Tall Wide Receiver Early

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2014/02/report-steelers-intend-on-drafting-ben-roethlisberger-a-tall-wide-receiver-early/

    Soccer(football)

    23 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    Bundesliga Column: Hannover 96 Is Doing the Splits

    http://www.bsports.com/statsinsights/football/bundesliga-column-hannover-96-splits

    24 BBC Football

    Steven Gerrard scored a last-gasp penalty as Liverpool moved to within four points of the Premier League summit after a dramatic win at Fulham

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/26043715

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Pensburgh Writer Roundtable

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2014/2/12/5401270/sochi-olympics-hockey-preview-sidney-crosby-canada-team-usa-bylsma-coach

  29. Cobra39 says:

    Cheapest owner in sports and a liar to boot. “We’ll spend whenever we become contenders.” FU, Nutting.

  30. Jandy says:

    Love the song, Joe! Reflects a lot of feelings lately…

  31. Thundercrack says:

    1) What I don’t get is this talk from NH about how $14 million is such a large chunk / % of the total payroll and would have impacted what they could have done at other positions. But then it is reported (in the Trib) that they offered him $12 million. That doesn’t seem like much of a difference in baseball’s economy.

    2) Regarding the QO, NH says this:
    “Teams that offer qualifying offers either feel very strongly that the player is going to get a multiyear deal elsewhere that incentivizes them to decline the qualifying offer, ‘or they have complete comfort with that player returning on the fourteen-plus-million qualifying offer,” Huntington said. “In both scenarios, the answer was ‘no’ for us.’ That reaffirms my believe that they didn’t think AJ was worth $14 million AND they didn’t want to pay him that much.

    3) I find it interesting how local reporters have such a different opinion of AJ, in regards to him being some type of bad guy or jerk. DK has one that seems to be very different than Ron Cooke. I’m not saying one is right and the other is wrong. Maybe they are both right.

  32. Thundercrack says:

    4) And I wonder if the Pirates have adopted some type of team building model that has them saving cash to use at the trade deadline.

  33. theplanisworking says:

    This is an interesting point.

    Lose AJ, sign Volquez. Don’t re-sign Byrd or Morneau, swap backup catchers, go internal with RF and 1B.

    The new national TV deal, increased attendance from last year, ticket price increase. Oh, yeah, Frank and his “top 50%” of TV deals talk.

    So, where is all the money at?
    I don’t have it……… other people in this here blog don’t have it, DK doesn’t have it, or he would be bribing people for StarYucks……………….. it surely isn’t in the payroll. Where is the money at?

  34. 21sthebest says:

    “He changed the franchise.”

    That’s what he wrote and I have no problem with it. I was just giving my opinion. I don’t know exactly what Dejan meant but that statement needed more in my opinion. Two more words would have made what you described clearer NMR.

    I shouldn’t have to qualify my opinion either.

  35. NMR says:

    re: 1) What you haven’t accounted for is timing. You’re looking at the situation as happening in a moment, removed from all other variables.

    I don’t fault Huntington at all for starting his offer low while trying to also snag other free agents. Nobody was saying back in October that this winter should be AJ or bust.

    What if they would’ve signed Josh Johnson for $10m instead of AJ at $14m? They had no idea at the time that it would take 3+ years for James Loney, either.

  36. NMR says:

    Up until yestrday, they had $12m on the line for AJ Burnett. That would’ve put them around $85m.

    What else were they supposed to do with that much already leveraged?

  37. NMR says:

    Look, I get on DK more than anyone, but in this instance I felt he deserved better. So I gave it to him. That’s only being fair in my book.

    You are obviously free to disagree.

  38. theplanisworking says:

    How about a 1B…….. Loney, which I believe we both liked?
    How about giving the QO………. if they penciled in $12MM, $14MM would have been not much more. If AJ doesn’t accept the QO, Bucs get a pick. How about not signing Volquez? That is $5MM there.

    They could have done things differently.

  39. kr70 says:

    I just hope they aren’t unloading our guys at the trading deadline.

  40. Thundercrack says:

    I don’t fault NH for starting his offer low either.

    But in regards to timing, NH keeps talking about how $14 million is such a big percentage of their payroll. He said it at the time of the QO and he says it now.

  41. Wild Bill says:

    It would really be nice if Huntington would explain what the heck it is that they are doing, Tc. Confusion reigns for us peons.

    I can sort of parse Huntington when he speaks. Nutting says little, and what The Prez says, well, who cares?

  42. Thundercrack says:

    NH said “We never assumed it was Pittsburgh or nothing,”
    Well in most cases you extend the QO. Protect the team’s interest and guarantee a draft pick.
    But what we see here is that it was not in the team’s best interest to extend the offer and have AJ accept $14 million.

    (that was what the team thought was in their best interest)

  43. Wild Bill says:

    Time for some USA hockey, followed by much snow removal.

  44. 21sthebest says:

    I think you’re making this a much bigger deal than necessary. The statement made me wrinkle my forehead a little so I added my two cents.

  45. Thundercrack says:

    Wild Bill,
    I think they have told us — maybe in a not so direct manor

    1) They are waiting for Polanco in RF, and feel Tabata & Snider (and maybe Decker) can hold the fort down until he arrives. (it is a bit of a gamble)

    2) They didn’t like the choices and ‘acquisition costs’ in regards to first basemen out there. They are going to start the season by rolling the dice with Sanchez & Lambo

    3) They didn’t want to pay AJ what he was looking for (or much more than their internal value)

    4) They feel comfortable with Mercer at short and Barmes backing him up.

  46. BillyBaduka says:

    Hey now. ;)

  47. Wild Bill says:

    Your interpretation seems right to me – just not very satisfying.

    Want a job as Pirate spokesperson?

  48. NMR says:

    Exactly. And he’s right. STARTING at $14m and working up from there would’ve just about precluded them from doing any other significant (by Pirate standards) moves.

    In this instance, it looks like once he realized they weren’t going to land Loney or Johnson he increased his offer as much as he could.

  49. Brandie says:

    Good morning everyone. I see the blob, er, blog is off to another roaring start as per usual.

    GO USA HOCKEY! Be careful Wild Bill!

  50. Wild Bill says:

    Russkies off to a good start vs Slovenia. 2 – zip, 1st pd.

  51. NMR says:

    You’re not understanding what I’m saying, plan.

    If they had $12m on the line for Burnett, that is money they cannot extend to other free agents.

  52. theplanisworking says:

    But how does one figure the $5MM given to Volquez?

    If they don’t give him that, the $$$$ could have been used elsewhere.

  53. Jandy says:

    That happens a lot around here
    :D

  54. BillyBaduka says:

    Don’t hold back. :)

  55. Wild Bill says:

    Carlson scires off a drop from Kessel. One to zip, USA.

  56. Brandie says:

    You see Tin Man.

    You always had a heart!

  57. Thundercrack says:

    WB,
    That would take time away from me being ‘Defender of the Front Office’. That’s a full time job. :-)

    But seriously, if I can spell it out like that – wouldn’t be great if they came out and say it like that? But my guess is that if they did that, many would focus on the money part of the equation (and not the talent portion)

  58. NMR says:

    They couldn’t wait around on AJ to make a decision forever.

  59. Wild Bill says:

    Thanks, Brandie. Will take my time with it, office closed.

  60. Brandie says:

    I like the fact they the word score is no longer used, thanks to me.

  61. Jandy says:

    Finland KO’d Austria in hockey last night 8-4. Jussi had a goal and an assist. Maatta hada goal :)

  62. Wild Bill says:

    Ovie and Malkin scired.

  63. NMR says:

    In the end, they put together a $12m offer for AJ Burnett. Many, many people would’ve said that is an offer AJ was likely to take.

    You can fault them for not getting the results in the end, but this is what is going to happen more often than not when you’re forced to squeeze pennies.

  64. Jandy says:

    RUssia beating Slovenia 2-0 AO and Malkin with the goals.

  65. Brandie says:

    Way to go Ivie and Chocolate Malkin!

  66. NMR says:

    How is that any different than what they’ve actually, physically said?

  67. Jandy says:

    US beating SLovakia 1-0 end of first. Carlson with goal, off Kessel assist.

  68. Jandy says:

    oops sorry wild one ;)

  69. Brandie says:

    Meant Ovie. Ivie will do though.

  70. Jandy says:

    This is one time I’ll root for Ivie!

  71. Wild Bill says:

    Don’t you mean he haadda goal?

  72. theplanisworking says:

    I totally understand you.
    I still say the QO was probably the best way to go. That ties up $14MM. No guarantee he signs it (no player has ever signed a QO in history) , and provides the Pirates a draft pick if he signs elsewhere. The key is, if AJ rejects the QO, the Pirates aren’t on the hook for anything technically.

    Then, they go and try to sign other players.

    Oh well, water under the bridge now.

  73. theplanisworking says:

    Oh, I agree with you……….. but some posters have said the Pirates tried to be the smartest men in the room, and it didn’t work.

    Now, the focus has to be how Searage can help the staff…….. if JuanD is healthy, Locke not being a basket case, etc.

    Bigger fish to fry.

  74. Not pleased about your BR, Drewski because I like you. But, like Dennis Green said, you are who we think you are. ;)

    BTW, DK is only working 16 hours over there? That means he’s 2-4 hours short of his usual schedule. What’s he complaining about? Should feel like a vacaction, especially with the Seecaucus Mountains and that dorm room he’s staying in.

    :P

  75. Thundercrack says:

    My version is much more succinct.

  76. NMR says:

    This is true. :)

  77. Jandy says:

    LOL! yeah, that’s what I meant ;)

  78. Wild Bill says:

    No problemo.

  79. theplanisworking says:

    Remind me to never guess the snow amount by quickly looking out the window.
    What I thought was only 2 inches on the ground, is actually 7.
    Off to shovel again.

  80. Your breakin our hearts.

  81. NMR says:

    Fair points, here and below, buddy. Tough break for PITT last night, btw.

  82. theplanisworking says:

    Yeah. and you forever put heaving BisonZ in the blob, errrr blog.

  83. theplanisworking says:

    Ack, to the ending of the Pitt game.

    Sometimes you just have to tip your hat to the other team.

    But, Ack!

  84. Brandie says:

    Has it occurred to anyone that even if the Pirates made the QO to AJ, it might not have mattered because AJ had already made up his mind to go, due to him not liking whatever was or was not going on to put the final pieces of a team together who could seal the deal on a World Series championship?

    The man is a competitor. Perhaps he thought the Phillies, besides giving him a healthy offer, also gave him the nest shot at a championship before the window closes?

    I know…pure girlie speculation on my part.

  85. Brandie says:

    Do you have to defend frank too?

  86. Wild Bill says:

    Suter coughs it up, no offside called, and it’s 1 – 1.

  87. CraiginVA says:

    I understand that last season bought a certain amount of goodwill and some benefits of the doubt for the organization, but a couple years ago, a description like that above would have been blasted by nearly everyone. I think a lot of that was over the top, but let’s also remember that these are the same guys making the decisions. They seem to be learning and getting better, but I still have grave doubts about their ability to judge and develop talent. I think their business and operational models as demonstrated over the years- not just last year- lead one to be sceptical. Hoping for the best…

  88. With all this AJ talk, many have missed the point that DK, in his Channell 11 clip above, guaranteed Canada will not repeat with Olympic gold in men’s hockey. Predictocevic is at it again.

    Also, we may now see some money flow for a 1B. Polanco will be around soon enough, along with Taillon.

    Remain calm. The best is yet to come.

  89. I saw a flat footed PM…the no call was bad too.

  90. Wild Bill says:

    Kane to Kessler and we have the lead again.

  91. Brandie says:

    I felt that sigh through the gelatinous substance of our blob, whoops, blog…followed by Kessler with a SCIRE! USA on top as it should be’

  92. The nesting instinct in Philly?

    You sure have taken over for Jandecita in typo leadership, Brandola.

    :D

  93. Thundercrack says:

    I think that all the teams that met AJ’s geographical preference are going to be competitive.

    And I like the Pirates’ chances in their division more than I like the Phillies’ chances in theirs.

  94. Kane is entertaining with the puck…

  95. :)

    Looking forward to the Ivie blob thread.

  96. Brandie says:

    Thanks for talking people back from the brink Revvie!

    SCIRE STASTNY!

  97. Wild Bill says:

    Stasny on a rebound, and it’s 3 – 1.

  98. Jandy says:

    LOL!!!

  99. Wild Bill says:

    Kane IS really good.

  100. Jandy says:

    ++++ TO BOTH!

  101. Brandie says:

    Nesting is very girlie Revvie. Maybe he did have the nesting instinct indeed.

  102. You’re very right. Our dog had pups once.

    ;)

  103. Wild Bill says:

    Asking us to have a little faith, Lucky?

    By the way, I did that last night, and my Lions beat Indiana on the road.

  104. Brandie says:

    I should have never watched that movie as a kid. I always had a fear of the blob coming out of the toilet to get me as a kid. Made being in the bathroom quite an adventure. Also hated getting my hair washed as I thought the blob would eat my head down to the skull.

  105. bpn8pitt says:

    Honestly I think thats being overlooked. Who knew when AJ hit the market that Philly was gonna jump in? No one else looks like they were going to go to 16 million, not just the Pirates.

    AJ basically had a team with in driving distance of his offseason home make him a 25% better offer. Who in real life passes that up?

    Some of these people really bashing this better get a grip on reality, as the clocks on Alvarez, Cutch, and Cole keep counting down. Those guys are going to leave in their prime and its going to be much more significant.

  106. Brandie says:

    Like I said…pure girlie speculation.

  107. Jandy says:

    Waittaminnit….I thought the Hamel situation is what changed all this?

  108. Wild Bill says:

    Kessel scires again. This Bylsma is a pretty good coach.

  109. Brandie says:

    4-1! DANG STRAIGHT!

  110. Jandy says:

    WOOP WOOP!

  111. Jandy says:

    Monster Mash, what’s your take on the Slovakian team?

  112. Wild Bill says:

    Maybe Backes scired it. Gets him even with Chara.

  113. Brandie says:

    I saw that. My husband works for PSU and when the basketball team wins, it annoys him because the success means Chambers will be extended. He wants a real basketball coach…even though he cannot stand basketball.

  114. Thundercrack says:

    If Hamels isn’t hurt does this signing even happen?

  115. Wild Bill says:

    What’s not to like with Chambers?

  116. Jandy says:

    Well, that’s what I was wondering.

  117. Jandy says:

    Slovenia giving Russia a good game. I’m surprised.

  118. Brandie says:

    The lesson here..Slovenians are snipers, don’t sleep on em’s.

  119. Excellent win, Bill.

  120. Brandie says:

    DAMN STASTNY! JUST DAMN!

  121. Wild Bill says:

    Stasny from Shattenkirk, and the rout is on.

  122. Brandie says:

    Husband wants more wins. Football team spoiler him.

  123. scapper says:

    Perfect.

  124. BFD says:

    Amen Cobra39

    There was no way Nutting was going to Nutting was never going to pony up the money for AJ. The only reason why he and some of the other key Acquisitions who helped bring this franchise out of the toilet for one season was on the Pirates last year was because their previous team was footing a hefty portion of the salaries.
    The question to ask is – “is this team better without him on the team” the answer is NO. That is all any fan should care about. The argument of not tying up a large percentage of payroll on one player is silly. Raise payroll like we were told would happen and his percentage becomes a smaller percentage of overall payroll.
    The team has gotten worse over the offseason. Nutting and his crew are going to shop at the dollar store and hope to pick up a couple has-beens that nobody wants in hopes of getting lucky and giving scholarships to a few unworthy minor leaguers. The goal of every team should be to improve over the previous season.
    Nuttings goal was to capitalize on last year’s miracle season financially….. period.
    The fans were lied to again….. some of you will fall for it again and make excuses….. again.

  125. Jandy says:

    Looks like Halak is chased.

  126. What makes you think i have a take?

  127. Wild Bill says:

    Kessel again. What a beat down of a second period.

  128. Brandie says:

    Call me Tina Typo!

  129. Jandy says:

    it’s all good. you don’t have to have one :)

  130. Russian svinkter muscles getting tight…

  131. Jandy says:

    This is getting embarrassing.

  132. Wild Bill says:

    Wow. Might have to go back to grousing about the Pirates.

  133. buggee says:

    wrinkling my forehead causes my chitin to flake off

  134. Jandy says:

    that sounds serious, buggee!

  135. 21sthebest says:

    You can always pull the offer before it’s accepted.

  136. buggee says:

    Dude, that’s just NOT right!

  137. Brandie says:

    Went to put coal on the fire…then it’s. 7-1!

  138. Jandy says:

    Wow, you fire a coal furnace…I tip my hat to you Sistah!

  139. Jandy says:

    Slovenia scores again. Still Russia up 3-2

  140. theplanisworking says:

    BFD………. Dollar Store?

    I thought you would have pulled out that chestnut…… “dumpster diving”. Love me some dollar store fig newtons……. great price. ;)

  141. 21sthebest says:

    I’ve been wondering what the Phillies timeline on this whole thing has been.

  142. Jim S. says:

    Exactly, 21. I said that yesterday. I thought AJ was great for the Bucs. I wanted them to resign him because I think that would have represented a few more wins over whomever takes the bump in his place every 5th day.

    But, AJ was a mess of a pitcher when he arrived in Pittsburgh. They got him to buy into their strategy of using his 2-seam fastball to induce groundballs, just like they are doing successfully with several other pitchers. He owes the Pirates as much for salvaging his career as they owe him for pitching so well the last 2 years.

    I have a feeling AJ is not going to like pitching in front of that group of defenders in Philly, in that park that surrenders a ton of HR, as he did in Pittsburgh. Maybe he’ll like the fact that they don’t believe in shifts. Of course, while the Pirates were #5 in MLB in turning balls into play into outs last year, the Phils were in the bottom 5 of MLB in that category.

    I really liked what AJ did for the Pirates last season. But, he is getting way too much credit for their success. They already had a pretty good strategy starting to take shape before he arrived, and they rescued him from the Yankees.

  143. theplanisworking says:

    Well, that certainly was invigorating.
    By the time I shoveled to the finish, what I had started at was re-covered.

    Good thing I have albatross arms.
    And hot chocolate……..

  144. Jim S. says:

    Pace yourself, Drew. It is only Day 2 of the Tributes.

  145. Brandie says:

    I thought that was the sole reason for the blog’s existence. We are what happens when medication is skipped.

  146. Brandie says:

    Hot Chocolate! That’s me! What’s up Plan?

  147. Wild Bill says:

    Plan, aren’t you near the ‘Burgh? I thought it wasn’t snowing much there?

  148. Brandie says:

    Predictocevic. Oh great!

  149. theplanisworking says:

    Mercy, Reverend.

    If everyone remained calm all the time, sports blogs would not exist.
    Then we wouldn’t hear about the bluegrass, or drew’s adventures.

  150. Milo Hamilton says:

    Forgive me if this has already been brought up but …Tomas Surovy ?

  151. theplanisworking says:

    You are a nut!

    Just sipping the warm goodness of Hershey’s here.
    It is really coming down here.

    I am in the worst of the storm. Oh well, let it snow.

  152. Brandie says:

    He is off of 78 East…Fort Indiantown Gap. I litterally passed his house last summer due to a traffic accident detour.

  153. theplanisworking says:

    Nope, south-central Pa., Bill.

    Near Fort Indiantown Gap.
    Gettin hammered here………

  154. Brandie says:

    Makes me feel all rugged.

  155. Wild Bill says:

    My bad. I must have been off line when his location was mentioned.

  156. Jim S. says:

    Is this the worst winter you can ever remember, plan? It is for me since I moved to Chicago. That’s for sure.

  157. NMR says:

    No organization produces the top minor league system in baseball from only one year of good decisions. Just doesn’t happen over night.

    In hindsight, we have to admit we were wrong before for harshly criticizing their drafting and development.

  158. Wild Bill says:

    Yeah, you are. I’m about 70 miles northwest of you, and it’s just starting to really pick up here.

  159. theplanisworking says:

    Thanks Muppet!

  160. Jandy says:

    I did that 30+ years ago when I was first married. Did it for years…I liked it ;)

  161. Slovenian goalie looks like a player to me.

  162. Brandie says:

    I like to masquerade as other blog inhabitants from time to time.

  163. Jandy says:

    Loonies, just got a text from my younger daughter that she was in an accident on Rt 219 north of Johnstown. She is ok, but her Subaru Forrester didn’t fare too well in the front end. Hit an icy patch, did a few donuts and the guard rail helped her stop. Thankfully she dropped Mischa off at day care already so she wasn’t in the car. SHe is fine, other than being shaken up. God is good!

  164. theplanisworking says:

    It would take 5 of you to masquerade as me.
    Just sayin’.

    :)

  165. theplanisworking says:

    Glad she is ok.

    Jim (or Oshie) will not like seeing this post.
    I can’t remember which of the 2 is the Subaru employee.

  166. Karen22 says:

    Bet they’re WARM winds…;)

  167. Jandy says:

    and a lot of purple ;)

  168. Jandy says:

    Ice defeats the best of vehicles, Hipposter.

    Thanks for the well wishes.

  169. Brandie says:

    Glad she is okay. Sending my good vibes!

  170. theplanisworking says:

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

  171. bpn8pitt says:

    I like all of that, Jim.

    Even with AJ, they needed a lot of things to go right to meet or exceed 2013.

    A lot of my Phillies friends were stunned. They were blindsided by this. With Hamels going down in one hand and their billion dollar TV deal in the other?

    “Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect.”
    ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

  172. buggee says:

    ROFL!!! (I’d say LMAO but that might be just a bit much)

  173. Karen22 says:

    PLAN!! ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

  174. Brandie says:

    So…Prince masquerades as a hippo? He likes purple.

  175. Jandy says:

    Thanks :)

  176. Damon says:

    Indeed he is – those can be scary. I did the same exact thing you describe about 15 years ago in a Thunderbird Turbo Coupe (RWD sucks on ice). Glad all is well….

  177. Wild Bill says:

    Good to hear she’s ok.

  178. theplanisworking says:

    :D

  179. Damon says:

    I noticed that too…..blast from the past…

  180. buggee says:

    God IS good. Hope the car isn’t totaled.

  181. Karen22 says:

    OH my! This is one scary winter…very happy your daughter’s car took the brunt!

  182. theplanisworking says:

    I am almost twice as tall as prince………… ;)

  183. Jandy says:

    it’s towed, so we’ll have to find out…the front end looked rather beat up in the pic she texted me. :(

  184. Jandy says:

    Indeed Karen..thanks!

  185. Jandy says:

    thanks :)

  186. Jim S. says:

    Pitt – Ugh! That, like all of their games vs. good teams this year, was painful (for those of us who want them to win, that is!).

    Nothing new there. Everyone here has pinpointed their weaknesses, which continued again last night. They played hard all night. Defended well, went to the glass, made key shots, etc. But, they just don’t have anyone who can take his man to the hoop, and the only consistent outside shooter they have is Patterson. Cuse has Ennis and Fair, who can both get to the hoop pretty much any time the offense breaks down, and Cooney can nail open 3′s.

    Even still, Pitt had the game seemingly wrapped up again. Then, the last 2 minutes happened again. Darn those last 2 minutes! Cuse started scoring on every possession, and Pitt just killed time on it’s possessions and threw up prayers at the end of the shot clock. Yet, they made a key play to take the lead with 4.4 seconds after 2 clutch free throws by Zanna.

    I know a lot of people probably criticized Jamie for calling the TO there, which allowed Cuse to set up a play for their final possession. I don’t see it that way. First of all, Jamie is a defensive coach. He doesn’t want players scrambling around on defense for the last possession. So, for everyone who says Cuse would have scrambled to get that last shot off w/o the TO, I would counter that Pitt’s defense would have been scrambling as well. And, do you really trust a defense w/o a set plan to stop Tyler Ennis from going all 94 feet for a layup? I don’t.

    So, they called the TO, set up their defense, and actually played the last possession very well. Give Ennis credit. He nailed a 35 ft, contested shot at the buzzer. With 4.4 seconds on the clock, and that guy with the ball, I’d say Pitt did pretty well on that last possession. It just did not work out. He made an amazing play. Everything has gone wrong for Pitt in crunch time against good teams this year, and everything has gone right for Cuse. Cuse has much more talent to turn to when it really matters. Please, Jamie, get some offense!

  187. Jandy says:

    Indeed Revvie!

  188. Brandie says:

    My dog is curled up on top of pillows in a chair. What a life, what a princess!

  189. Jandy says:

    LOL Sistah!

  190. theplanisworking says:

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

  191. Jesus’ prayer for protection for us:

    John 17:15

    Psalm 91 is for us all, too.

    Cars can be replaced. Easily and quickly.

  192. Brandie says:

    Know that from experience…almost flopped my var on ice on a hill 11 years ago.

  193. With our farm system, planetoid, we have reason to be calm. Last year’s draft was the best ever IMHO.

    Some are on the doorstep and Gayo is working hard.

    A lot to look forward to. The future is bright.

    I disliked the AJ acquisition because I was a Brad Lincoln fan and I thought he was the next big thing and I was very glad to be wrong. But that money can be used elsewhere. Now whether it is remains to be seen.

  194. Jandy says:

    Spunky, this is no lie. EVERY morning before I leave for work, I ask God to look after me, my hubby, my children and everyone on the roads. God does answer prayers.

  195. Jim S. says:

    That’s me, plan. I’d say our cars handle as well as any in winter, which is why they are so popular in the roads of Pittsburgh. I’d also say they protect occupants as well as anything on the road. But, ice is ice.

    I’m thankful your daughter is ok, Jandy – and that the little one was dropped off before this took place. Metal can always be replaced. People can’t.

    On the way to school a few weeks ago, my daughters were in a pretty nasty accident. They were going through a green light at an intersection, and a woman making a left turn obviously did not see them and plowed right into them. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt. Just some soreness for awhile for my daughters, and both are fine now. Dealing with insurance companies is a pain that I am living now.

  196. 21sthebest says:

    I can think of 16 million reasons why I believe A.J. will survive the Philly fans even though he said in November it’s not about the money.***

    *** I would have given him the $16M. I had been saying that I would go to around $15M but I wouldn’t let one measly million be a deal breaker.

  197. Jim S. says:

    Well said, Lucky.

  198. That is most likely why your daughter is alive right now, J-girl. That prayer of protection. The devil uses every means to get his foot in the door, but you didn’t let him.

    Your spiritual authority as a mom and wife and your diligence to act on God’s Word is what gets the job done and will continue to.

    Keep up the good work!

    :D

  199. Jim S. says:

    My dog has never put in a decent day’s work in his life.

  200. Jandy says:

    AH yes. I asked my daughter if she felt ok, especially her neck. She said it’s a bit sore but no big deal. I advised her to go to the ER an get it checked. it will likely be worse tomorrow and having medical backup might help when it comes to the insurance companies.

    Glad your girls were ok too, Jim!

  201. Jandy says:

    Thanks! A mother’s love knows no bounds…I do what it takes.:)

  202. Milo Hamilton says:

    7-1 USA & Ryan Miller in a ball cap. Doesn’t get any better than that.

  203. Arriba Wilver says:

    I agree with that, NMR.

    But I still think they think they’re the smartest guy in the room. ;-)

  204. theplanisworking says:

    Hi Frank. ;)

  205. Scott says:

    That’s exactly why you extend him the QO. So when he signs elsewhere, you get a first round draft pick as compensation.

  206. Jim S. says:

    That is so true, Jandy. People always get out of the car, the adrenalin is flowing like crazy, and they think they are fine. They don’t realize the severity of the collision they were just involved in. Then, that night or the next day, the pain catches up. Make sure she goes to see a doctor.

  207. Arriba Wilver says:

    It was a ONE YEAR DEAL. It’s wasn’t impacting signing those guys long term. So, get a grip.

  208. Lord, I hope I didn’t sound like Frank or Neal.

    :(

  209. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think he was just trying to help out Crosby.

  210. At last the US comes through at Sochi, beating Slovakia in men’s ice hockey 7-1! It’s about time!

  211. Sarah says:

    Glad she’s OK Jandy! but yeah an ER checkup couldn’t hurt!

  212. Sarah says:

    Bug on windshield stuff for men’s hockey thus far today.

  213. Jim S. says:

    I had been saying that I thought it was worthwhile to give him around $14 million. Once you get to that point, 21, I guess you ask yourself if $2 million more is worth it. Seems silly to let him walk over the $4 million between what he got and their supposed offer of $12 million. But, I wonder whether he would have taken anything but a crazy high offer from the Bucs at this point. I am now buying into the theory that this was personal for him, that he was so angry about last October that he really did not want to come back. He may have just let us all think he wanted to come back so as not to look like a bad guy to Pirates fans who supported him so well the last 2 years. Just a thought.

  214. Jandy says:

    Mercy!

  215. Jandy says:

    Thanks Sarah! I coaxed her. It’s up to her :) She’s an Occupational Therapist so she knows I’m right ;)

  216. scapper says:

    So from now on Jandy should just add “…and our cars, too” and ol’ God’ll keep them safe, too? Yeesh.

    Glad your daughter is okay, Jandy! I’m sure that was one of those moments that gave you wobbly legs.

  217. Jandy says:

    Indeed it made my stomach do somersaults, scapper.
    I’ll add all the Loonies to my prayer list.
    No yeesh, it’s something I believe in
    :D

  218. theplanisworking says:

    Jandie, if you add me to your prayer list, you won’t have time for anyone else. I need all the prayers I can get, and I wouldn’t want to deprive anyone else.

    So, figure something else out. ;)

  219. I don’t know. The comments I read from NH in the Sawchik article gave me the distinct impression that the Pirates are still learning how to play in the big leagues.

    “…If we had a crystal ball and seen this is the way it would play out, maybe things are different.”

    I don’t think that excuse is going to cut it anymore.

  220. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jamie said the reason he called it was to force them to have to go the whole court. And Boeheim said that they ran the wrong play. That last play was all Ennis, and as Plan said, well defended.

    At least that’s what I understood between Gorman’s and Starkey’s reports.

  221. Jandy says:

    Too late Hipposter, you’re already on it…God can handle it ;)

  222. Arriba Wilver says:

    Good to hear, Jandie (that she’s ok, not the accident). I just saw a Subaru commercial last night showing mangled cars and the perfectly healthy families standing by saying, “at least we’re all right.”

  223. Jandy says:

    I gather the Subaru’s have a good crash rating lol

    Thanks AW, she’s a tough cookie like her Momma ;) Or learninig to be …

  224. Caught up on russia’s game on dvr and i think the slovenian goalie just earned himself a nhl camp invite if not a contract. Russia tickled the twine a few more times to make it 5-2 but that kristan dude was my #1 star for the game. And datsyuk doesn’t look anywhere near 100%. Surprised they played him today.

    Now gotta decide if i wanna work from home…

  225. Arriba Wilver says:

    +++++

  226. NMR says:

    I’ll say that given my belief that AJ is neither naive nor stupid, his Pirates-or-retirment comments seem disingenuous at best.

    He couldn’t possibly believe the Pirates would end up with the best offer, which is clearly what he took.

  227. NMR says:

    +4.0 (Neal’s GPA) :)

  228. Milo Hamilton says:

    So Gaby Sanchez is in the best shape of his life ? He’d better be. :)

  229. bpn8pitt says:

    Negative. The Phillies pick was protected. It would have been there next pick somewhere in the 40s. Still a good pick, but not the end of the world.

  230. 21sthebest says:

    One small bit of nice news. Micah Mason is now leading the country in 3 point shooting. 49-84, .583.

  231. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jandie? More like Jandy disease. ;-)

  232. Jandy says:

    LOL it’s all good, AW ;)

  233. Milo Hamilton says:

    And he broke his shooting hand in December. Best pure shooter of the basketball I’ve ever been around. But I’m probably biased.

  234. tpbco says:

    I’m with ya Jim.

    Just remember, against Pitt, the shot ALWAYS goes in. Doesn’t matter who, where or how.

    Kinda like the pre 70′s Steelers (SOS).

    It can be really frustrating to be a Pitt fan.

    H2P

  235. Jim S. says:

    So, AJ took the money. The Pirates supposedly offered $12 million, and he opted to string them (and us) along all off-season. Out of the blue, Philly offers $16 million, a week after saying their pitching staff was set. An injury to one of your best pitchers has a way of forcing the hand of teams with huge local TV contracts and not so bright GMs.

    This season could prove me wrong, but I believe the Phils are a hot mess. People can buy into advanced metrics or not, but it is a fact that Philly was #28 in MLB last year in turning balls in play into outs, and that stat doesn’t even take into account that they play in the most HR-friendly park in MLB. The Pirates were #5 in that category. AJ is potentially walking into a situation not all that dissimilar from what he left in NY a few years ago. Philly does have a lot of great pitchers, though, so maybe they can overcome their questionable defense. As for AJ, he does have that extra $4 million. Enjoy 2014, AJ! Thanks for 2012/13! This fan appreciated your effort.

    I get as frustrated as everyone here when I think the Pirates are being cheap. And make no mistake, I think their tendency is to be cheap. I know they have to be frugal, but I see a distinction. I think they determine an acceptable level of profit for the season, and they don’t budge from it – even to put a better team on the field. That is their right, but it frustrates me as a fan. Plenty of other teams do not operate that way. This year, it appears (to me) they will now exceed their profit target. Maybe I have all of that wrong, but that is how I see it. I think Pirates fans deserved better than what the Bucs have done this off-season.

    Putting that aside, I really do believe Huntington knows what he is doing and has assembled a staff that knows what it is doing. They are now recognized as having one of the best minor league systems in MLB. They were awful in this regard 5 years ago. The only chance for a team in a market the size of Pittsburgh to compete regularly is to be smarter than most of the other teams. That means they need to consistently draft well, acquire well, develop well, and have a successful plan of execution at the MLB level.

    I believe they are doing all of that. The cornerstone of their MLB strategy appears to be building around pitching and defense. They acquire and develop pitchers who keep the ball down with 2-seam fastballs mainly, throwing to strong defensive catchers who specialize in pitch-framing. As we know, they also use advanced positioning strategies. You can either be in the camp who believes this stuff works, and point to last season as proof, or say last year was a fortunate aberration and this is all a bunch of hooey. You can say that guys like Burnett, Liriano, Gomez, Mazzaro and others turned their careers around in large part because the strategies the Pirates employ have made it possible. Or, you can say that one year doesn’t prove anything. I recognize that they have not sustained anything yet. But, I still believe they are on the right track. I am disappointed, however, that they did not find a way to sign AJ because, right now, I believe he could have been the difference between a WC slot and missing the playoffs.

  236. tpbco says:

    He’s concerned with Matt Hague in camp.

  237. Jim S. says:

    I saw a tweet from Doug Gottlieb right after the game last night, where he sarcastically said Dixon called a timeout to allow Syracuse to set up its offense. I thought that was a hindsighted cheap shot. Had they not called a TO, I have no doubt Ennis goes 94 ft agaist a disorganized Pitt defense.

  238. Jim S. says:

    Yes, Arriba. It’s called “They Lived.” Family survived a horrific crash in an Outback.

    Great crash ratings on every vehicle. It’s a big part of why we have been so successful – fastest growing US car company over the last 6 years.

    Ok, I promise not to say anything else.

  239. bpn8pitt says:

    Agree, Jim.

    In the end, until we know how AJ (and Byrd) performs for the Phillies how can really give this a pass/fail?

    PNC Park and Citizens could not be more different.

    http://rotogrinders.com/pages/Ballpark_Factors-49556

  240. Jim S. says:

    Has any chubby guy from the previous season ever not shown up in the best shape of his life?

    LaMarr Woodley is currently getting “in the best shape of his life” as we speak.

  241. Arriba Wilver says:

    One small nit. The report is the Pirates offered AJ $12 mil, but the implication is that was fairly recently. I don’t think it automatically means the $8.5 offer wasn’t made earlier. My only point being, I don’t think it means AJ strung us along all offseason with a $12 mil Pirate offer in his pocket.

  242. Jandy says:

    I said it before Jim, I’m a huge Subaru fan. I went thru 3 of them…all Legacy Wagons The last one I put 162,000 miles on. Traded it in and got $4000 for it…the person who bought it later called me…their daughter bought it and her father works for my company…small world :)

  243. Jim S. says:

    Good point, Arriba. I think you may be right on that. We don’t know exactly how any of the negotiations went this winter with him. It is entirely possible that AJ didn’t string anyone along.

  244. bpn8pitt says:

    Thats the only two offers Im aware of. 12 million from the Pirates, 16 from the Phillies. The others that seemed to have interest, we havent heard anything. Why isnt anyone calling them cheap?

    Another park factor page.

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/parkfactor

  245. tpbco says:

    Given the differences in ball parks, the evaluation of AJ and Byrd is a little more complicated.

    My personal frustration is that appears the TBMTIB really does think it’s collectively the smartest guy in the room and that’s dangerous.

    This year will tell us if last year was “Lightening in the Bottle” or true progress. At this point in time, one has to lean toward the former.

    It’s one thing to think that AAA hopefuls can come up in midseason and have an impact. It’s a whole nother thing for them to HAVE to make a contribution in a potential wild card race. I hope folks recognize that, because a whole lotta posts are suggesting otherwise.

  246. Jim S. says:

    I think it will continue to always be frustrating to be a Pirates fan, bpn. Even though I think they are going about building a team the right way, I believe this payroll should be in the $90 million range this season. If they miss the playoffs by a couple of games with a very similar payroll to last season, that makes it even more frustrating to me. I am still hopeful they will upgrade at 1b, and also add elsewhere as necessary. They should have the $$ flexibility. They admitted it by making a $12 million offer that was not accepted.

  247. 21sthebest says:

    I like the timeout and as I said last night, I think you have to try and deny Ennis the ball on the inbounds pass.

  248. Jim S. says:

    I think fans in Balt are calling their team plenty cheap.

  249. Thundercrack says:

    Just wondering if people would be feeling better ( or how much better) today if AJ signs for $16 m and the Pirates received the comp pick (somewhere in the 40′s)?

    I’m not sure it really makes me feel better. Not much, at least

  250. tpbco says:

    Jermain Stephenson?

    Spelling prob wrong, but the #1 pick OL that Cowher drafted and then couldn’t finish the Training Camp sprint test his second year and was cut on the spot.

    And yes, there were OL draft pick busts before Tomlin.

  251. Milo Hamilton says:

    Can’t figure out what I like more, park factor pages or prospect lists.

    2013 AJ Burnett home ERA – 3.53
    2013 AJ Burnett road ERA – 2.74

  252. Jim S. says:

    But, doesn’t every management team in MLB think they are smarter than everyone else?

    Have you ever heard the things that come out of the mouth of Brian Cashman? How about Stan Kasten in LA? Does John Mozielak ever dispute anyone telling us how wonderful the “Cardinals Way” is. They all have pretty healthy egos.

  253. bpn8pitt says:

    -1

    Thats SO/BB walks slick.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=burnea.01&year=2013&t=p

    His ERA was almost 2 runs higher on the road.

  254. Jandy says:

    In other news, from the Pens’ website:

    Pittsburgh Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis underwent successful knee surgery today on his torn right anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), it was announced by executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero.

  255. Milo Hamilton says:

    Slick, I like that. I met Slick once (the doctor of style, that is) and he was much nicer than you just were. But I digress. Thanks for pointing that out.

  256. Arriba Wilver says:

    Would make me feel better than getting nothing. ;-)

  257. Arriba Wilver says:

    +++

  258. tpbco says:

    One could argue that the Cards have earned that right.

  259. Jim S. says:

    I think those are actually his K/BB rates, aren’t they Milo?

    I think his home ERA was 2.37 vs. 4.22 on the road.

  260. tpbco says:

    Was his first name Arnold and was he from Turtle Crick?

  261. Milo Hamilton says:

    Yes they are Jim, I messed that up.

  262. buggee says:

    does that mean that you’re blushing? That makes shuttlecocks happy everywhere Jandygurl!!!

  263. Jim S. says:

    Exactly, Arriba. A nice parting gift.

  264. Jim S. says:

    You don’t mess up often! :-)

  265. Arriba Wilver says:

    John Perrotto reported the $8.5 mil offer. You may not believe him, but you are now aware of it.

  266. Jim S. says:

    One could argue that pretty convincingly.

  267. Milo Hamilton says:

    Come to my house & say that.

  268. tpbco says:

    Hopefully closer to the 6 months number to rehab. Maybe they delayed the surgery to improve the odds.

  269. buggee says:

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

  270. buggee says:

    Maybe she’s Jandiced? Is she looking yellowish?

  271. Jandy says:

    :) Jim is the nicest guy on this blog :)

  272. Jandy says:

    The delayed the surgery in order for him to strengthen the surrounding muscles so he could do better in rehab. Read that somewhere, prolly on the Pen’s site. Not sure.

  273. Jandy says:

    LOL buggee :thwap:

  274. Jim S. says:

    They made him make a spectacular play. To his credit, he did make the spectacular play. But, I find it hard to fault them for forcing him to make that shot.

  275. Arriba Wilver says:

    I said last night it made me scratch my head a little, but after reading all the explanations, I get it.

    I thought it was kind of funny that Boeheim said what they were supposed to run was a long pass. ;-)

  276. chethejet1 says:

    The Pirates pick up approx 30 million more in revenue from last year. So the net payroll goes from 65 million to 75 million. Quite frankly there was no splash players to sign in the positions of need. But more importantly, it appears the cards are on player development, Polanco and Tallion for this year. Both are prime time talents and will be significant upgrades over what is presently on the roster. A trade has to be done to upgrade 1st base at some point.

  277. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think DK said it in a chat. ;-)

  278. Jim S. says:

    Haha! Thanks, Jandy.

  279. Nate83 says:

    Who is this AJ guy everyone keeps talking about?

  280. Jim S. says:

    Doesn’t it also take awhile for inflammation to subside?

  281. bpn8pitt says:

    Its fine. Ive whiffed on blogs a lot more than you.

    By that same rationale, its why I have doubts about Volquez. Liriano and Burnett came from the AL, more offense, deeper lineups, DH as opposed to pitchers.

    Volquez to me looks more like Jonathan Sanchez. Got hammered in two of the best pitchers parks last year. I dont like that the Reds are very familiar with him, as is the rest of the NL Central.

    But he might benefit from Searge and the Pirates two seamer philosphy Jim mentions, the Pirates utilization of shifts.

  282. Jim S. says:

    Pierczynski.

    He’s an offense-first catcher, with a bristly temper that the Pirates stupidly did not sign as a free agent. Real jerk in the clubhouse. :-)

  283. NMR says:

    FWIW, that kind of journalism is why I don’t trust anything Perrotto writes.

    I can’t ever imagine Dejan making a story out of an offer mid-way through negotiations.

  284. Jim S. says:

    Me, too. My wife just reminded me of my latest screw-up this morning. Our furnace was acting up, I called and a guy came yesterday, changed a part out, and said everything was fine. I just got a call from my wife, who assured me that wearing a coat, hat and gloves inside means everything is not fine. Guess I called the wrong guy.

  285. Jim S. says:

    Are you angling for a compliment, Jandy?

    Ok, you’re the nicest lady on the blog.

  286. Jim S. says:

    Hey, NMR! BTW, I sure hope you are right about this Volquez guy possibly being the latest pleasant surprise turnaround project for Searage and company.

  287. Thundercrack says:

    What do you mean by ‘making a story out of an offer’?

    If DK found out that the Pirates had made an $8.5 million offer to AJ (and had it confirmed by his sources) I think he would have reported it.

    And yes, I believe DK’s reporting more than JP’s

  288. buggee says:

    I kvetch at my cats Urchin and Fat Sajak about how disgusting they are and how they make me wanna wretch. And then I reach out and pet ‘em and bow my head in thanks that we have been blessed enough in our lives to spoil beasts of the field like this. And then Fat Sajak does something really disgusting like purr while Urchin reaches out with her front paws to pull my hand to her head.

    makes me almost wanna forgive ‘em for demolishing my hand-crafted shuttlecock. Just a little glimpse from Yer Ole Uncle Buggee

  289. Jandy says:

    Oil furnace, him? it’s the nozzle, you could replace that yourself :)

  290. Jandy says:

    Nope, just reiterating what I said yesterday, even NMR agreed with me ;)

    But thanks for the compliment :D

  291. Jim S. says:

    I have big doubts about Volquez, bpn. I initially HATED the signing. I looked up his stats and tried to put a good spin on them anyway I could. There was just nothing good about how he has pitched the last few years.

    But, I am being open-minded. Some have said, and rightfully so, that he still has a good arm, and he does throw ground balls when he uses the 2-seamer. Maybe there’s hope for a decent pitcher if he totally rethinks himself and listens to Mr. Searage.

  292. 21sthebest says:

    I completely understand that Jim but I would have liked to have seen them try to get a different player make a spectacular play.

  293. WOOP WOOP….staying home today! :) :) :)

  294. 21sthebest says:

    This is the first year in the last 9 that I haven’t gone to any Duquesne games but I really want to see him.

  295. pattonbb says:

    If we’re going to start using nicknames, I’ve got dibs on “T-Bone”.

  296. tpbco says:

    And what exactly do you expect of them, in their first season, with limited AAA experience?

  297. tpbco says:

    Curious Jim.

    I may be in the market…Outback or Forester?

  298. It’ll be interesting to see what AJ does next after his one year stint with the Phillies.

  299. Arriba Wilver says:

    I hear there are seats available. ;-)

  300. It’s cold and windy down here in Florida today after we had a thunderstorm last night. Hopefully, it’ll warm up over the weekend as predicted.

  301. We’re not amused james…

  302. Jim S. says:

    I usually drive an Outback as a demo, and I really like it.

    My wife just got a new Forester and loves it. It won SUV of the Year. Foresters are usually sold before they arrive at the dealerships right now. Outback tends to skew more male, and Forester more female. But, it is a personal preference.

    Outback is a little pricier, depending on equipment.

    Crosstrek has only been out for abot a year and a half, and it is pretty cool if you want something a little smaller. Those are hard to keep in stock also.

    New Outback coming late summer. It should be another winner.

    Hope I’m not boring everybody. But, since you asked tpb.

  303. Jim S. says:

    I’m going to need proof that James T and Drew are not the same person.

  304. NMR says:

    Think about this, Jim…

    Right around this time last year many on this blog were wondering why the Pirates signed Francisco Liriano while letting Kevin Correia go, coming off a season in which he pitched to a 4.21 ERA. That same season, Edinson Volquez pitched to a 4.14 ERA with more K’s and IP.

    Volquez is just not as bad as he’s being made out to be.

  305. NMR says:

    I believe Dejan would’ve reported it, but not DURING negotiations. Since, you know, offers can change.

  306. bpn8pitt says:

    This might be apples and oranges but Id like your take on this.

    Something somewhat similar happened with the Mets and A’s. The A’s let Colon walk without a qualifying offer. He went to the Mets for two/for 20. While I like him pitching in Citifield back in the NL, him running the basepaths is a joke. We’ll see.

    My point is, did the Mets even kick the tires on AJ at all? Was he a firm no to play back then? Thats what I think the whole Phillies/Hamels getting hurt last minute thing is really being overlooked. I cant really sit there and get mad if the Pirates waited it out and made I think a competive offer and then someone swooped in the last minute with 4 million more. To the Pirates, 4 million is a decent amount of change, whatever anyone wants to nitpick.

    I remember when Sabathia left the Brewers and they made an offer of like 5 years/100 million which at the time was pretty good. Then the Yankees came a long and dumped what 6 years/140, lightning fast. The Brewers owner was furious.

    And I think the fact Philly was so close to home was a factor too…If Cole Hamels doesnt get hurt, we all might be on here today congratulating the Pirates for waiting it out, and saving 2 million dollars with a one year 12 million dollar deal.

    Sorry Jim, theres a lot of angles to this. I dont think it was just one thing. Even the run production might have been an issue to AJ. Thats why he overlooked Citizens ballpark.

  307. Arriba Wilver says:

    Agree.

  308. When is someone gonna freakin facewash someone?!?! What is this? 2014 selke’s?

  309. Arriba Wilver says:

    Isn’t it up to the “source” when it’s reported, not the reporter? I mean, if its not off the record or deep background, why would DK or any reporter make a personal decision not to report it because of the status of the negotiations?

  310. NMR says:

    Because when you write an article based around how a team won’t raise a low ball offer BEFORE the negotion actually ends, the chances of you turning out to be wrong are obviously high.

    Think about how much speculation has been thrown around based on that alone. Perrotto knew exactly what he was doing.

  311. NMR says:

    Travis Sawchik has a new Bucco Blog up with a bunch of good AJ info.

  312. Sarah says:

    Yes they often wait a little bit before surgery to let fluid/swelling go down.
    But this was a long wait. Not sure what that means. I would imagine his strength was better right after the injury than it could be several weeks later. Almost like they were thinking of letting him play on it after some rehab. It has been done before, depends on the nature of the tear.

  313. Sarah says:

    Team canada playing like arse right now. Babcock had Msl on SIds wing for a bit.

  314. I chortled about keeping Correia, but that was before Jonathan Sanchez got several starts and others rounded into shape. (Their broken arms healed).

    I wouldn’t want Correia now and I don’t want Volquez.

    (By saying that, maybe the Dejan-effect will kick in and he’ll be the Comeback Pitcher of the Year).

  315. Arriba Wilver says:

    +++

  316. Sarah says:

    Good stuff Monster! Thanks !

  317. DK’s fault for predicting a gold for them.

  318. Jim S. says:

    I’m starting to think you are right.

    I think Volquez is not very much like Correia. Volquez has a much better arm. I could never stand Correia, although I realize he was serviceable while here. He was more of a fly ball pitcher, I believe.

    And, I think Sanchez was just a bonehead who refused to change anything.

    It really does seem that if a guy has a decent arm and is willing to consider throwing that 2-seamer a big chunk of the time, he has a chance here.

  319. Arriba Wilver says:

    Did he say they wouldn’t raise it?

  320. Jim S. says:

    & FWIW, I always valued Liriano more than his stats indicated. I always loved the swing & miss stuff and movement.

  321. bpn8pitt says:

    Im not following.

    What about Bedard and Sanchez? Why couldnt they fix them? Why were the unable to get Mcdonald right?

    Who else bid on Volquez?

  322. No problemo. You see the slovenian goalie?

  323. Price has looked shaky when tested. I hope zuccarello busts thru for a chance on him.

  324. Sarah says:

    Yep he did very well indeed under an onslaught!

  325. Sarah says:

    And weber breaks the ice. Yikes what a blast.

  326. Arriba Wilver says:

    Salo talking about Maata:

    “There’s poise, there’s talent and … I don’t see the ceiling. I really don’t. He’s special,” Salo said. “And you know, it’s good for Finnish hockey. It’s good for all of us. We’ve been waiting for someone like him to arrive for a while.”

    Read more: http://triblive.com/sports/dejankovacevic/dejancolumns/5565552-74/states-united-maatta#ixzz2tE5irOUA

    Dang!

  327. Milo Hamilton says:

    Great job by Travis as usual.

    So where does this rank them in what teams wanted to spend ? Huntington should just keep his mouth shut.

  328. DK said the same thing on Twitwell.

  329. Arriba Wilver says:

    My biggest disappointment this offseason, and my concern going forward, is they didn’t get Loney because they refused to go 3 years. That’s the kind of thing that gets me.

  330. 21sthebest says:

    To the Bat Blog!

  331. Sarah says:

    Does anyone think jeff carter is looking better than Neal would on SIDS wing??

  332. Jandy says:

    jeff Carter is a fine player. I don’t know how Nealer would look but I am fine with Carter :)

  333. tpbco says:

    Thanks!

    Been leaning towards the Forester w/the bigger engine, for Colorado driving.

  334. You read my mind…

  335. Oops should clarify….sarah read my mind…not jandy :)

  336. Sarah says:

    Hmm. I think he’s been awful. Not saying he’s not a fine player in his own right. But he’s been awful thus far this game IMO….

  337. Sarah says:

    Ah! Ok….

  338. NMR says:

    I honestly don’t mean to be condescending, bpn, but you can’t expect EVERY pitcher to work the same way. Baseball just doesn’t work like that.

  339. Sarah says:

    W apologies Jandy!!

  340. Jandy says:

    I can’t see the game at work, only have comments. I know I’ve liked Carter for years, except when he wore a Philly jersey ;)

  341. Jandy says:

    None needed, Sarah. He’s done well with the Kings. He’s not a superstar, but he’s good.

  342. JohninOshkosh says:

    Moral victory for my Norse ancestral homeland!

    Only 2-0 after 2 periods to the big bad Canadians.

    My cousin in the old country just called. Very excited!

    Go you descendants of Thor, Go!

  343. Jandy says:

    I gotta check out this Crosstrek. I’m not too familiar with it.

    :) Thanks Jim.

  344. NMR says:

    Jonathan Sanchez has become such a red herring. This is guy guy who was signed as the epitome of AAA depth lottery ticket, and even then not until AFTER Liriano hurt himself.

    There is no reason for him to be included in these discussions any more than guys like Kris Johnson.

  345. Jim S. says:

    We love Colorado, tpb. I think we have been the #2 or #3 top seller there over the last few months. Amazing, since we are #9 or #10 nationally.

    But, if you throw mountains, snow and people who enjoy both together that always works for us.

  346. I’m impressed with level of coaching, goaltending and talent by some of the lower tier teams. 46 for norway looks like a player too.

  347. Jim S. says:

    I think you’ll like it. Smaller, sportier, SUV.

  348. JohninOshkosh says:

    He’ll yes!!!!

  349. And theres 46 with the goal…unless there was a tip.

  350. Jandy says:

    how does that compare in size to the Impreza? Are they keeping that too?

  351. Jandy says:

    Wow Carey Price just made a boo boo

  352. NMR says:

    I thought he had said he preferred staying with the club.

    You think simply matching Tampa’s offer would’ve convinced Loney to sign?

  353. Jandy says:

    Olimb!

  354. JohninOshkosh says:

    From your keyboard to Thor’ s ears, HM!

    And just like that, Canada scores.

  355. Jim S. says:

    I know this could ignite a small brush fire if I just mention his name. So, I’m hesitant to do it. But, I often like his stuff. Not always, but I admit to often liking it.

    Ok, the “Don’t Shoot the Messenger” disclaimer is out there.

    Tim Williams wrote something yesterday about how to look at building a pitching staff. Yes, I know it is easy to say he takes the Bucs position then tries to work his story into those parameters. But, if you can get past that part, I think it was an interesting read.

    (Ducking and slowly walking away backwards).

  356. Here’s hoping they get more shots on price.

  357. Jandy says:

    I’d love to see Sid and Kunitz manufacture a goal.

  358. Glad you feel that way, NMR. Shame he started any games for us at all. He threw like a fish. A red herring or a carp, he still stunk like a fish and he still got in games.

    I believe Volquez is better than Sanchez was then but not better than what we’ve got coming.

  359. Jim S. says:

    :-)

    I didn’t you had said that yesterday.

  360. toochca says:

    1976 was the worse one I remember!! Move to California in ’85!

  361. toochca says:

    or worst! ;)

  362. Jim S. says:

    I thought Loney was a nice fit also, Arriba. Doesn’t whiff so much, and plays solid defense. But, I also thought his asking price and years were a bit much. In the end, I had no problem with them not extending to what that likely would have taken.

    But, when you see Tampa and the Bucs looking at the same guys, I think you get a glimpse of the future. We are clearly modeling a lot of what we do after what Tampa does. That means shoestring budgets, but hopefully it also means stacking 90-win seasons.

  363. Jandy says:

    NMR
    February 12, 2014 at 12:14 PM

    I lost respect for AJ when he was too afraid to go back to the AL East. That showed me the guy is more talk than action.

    And by the way, Jim S., I owe you an apology. You had this guy pegged all the way.

    Jim S.
    February 12, 2014 at 1:11 PM

    Blind squirrel & acorn theory is all, NMR

    Jandy
    February 12, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    There ya go, Jim, you’re the nicest guy on this blog :P

    NMR
    February 12, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    Seriously Jandy. He’s so damn frustrating! :)

  364. Arriba Wilver says:

    I don’t know for sure. I do know that it’s been reported that Neal said they had offered the yearly price but weren’t willing to go 3 years. And that’s by people who are patting Neal in the back.

    Not sure him saying after he stayed with the club that that was the reason should be given much weight. What would you say?

    And it’s the thought process that worries me, so whether he would have come for that or not isn’t what I’m talking about. They said the reason they backed out was the 3 years.

  365. Jim S. says:

    It is basically a 5-door Impreza on steroids. Built on the same platform. Just more aggressive. Bigger tires, more outdoorsy, etc.

  366. Jim S. says:

    I didn’t answer the 2nd part. Yes, Impreza is staying. It was new 2 yr ago – sedan and 5-door versions. Bigger than the old Impreza.

    This is like a Car Talk segment.

  367. JohninOshkosh says:

    Famously mild mannered and reserved Norsemen getting chippy with Sid!

  368. Jandy says:

    Thanks!

  369. Jandy says:

    What set Sid off?

  370. They shouldn’t poke the bear….

  371. Jandy says:

    LOL! Sorry, but I like cars :) And thanks for your patient answers.

  372. Just a minor gathering by the net…

  373. Jim S. says:

    Chortled is a really good word, Lucky. You could have gone with chuckled, but you went the extra mile.

  374. JohninOshkosh says:

    He’s not been much of a factor so far. Plus, inferior teams have to try to get under the superstars’ skins, which, of course,doesn’t work with players of Sid’ s caliber.

  375. JohninOshkosh says:

    Scrum involving Kunitz, who goes to the box.

  376. NMR says:

    I may be getting who you’re talking about mixed up so I’ll put your quote and you can corret me if I’m wrong…

    “Not sure him saying after he stayed with the club that that was the reason should be given much weight. What would you say?”

    If “him” is Neal Huntington, then I think you may be mistaken. Loney himself said he wanted to stay with the Rays, and that was before he actually signed. He was quoted.

    As for the thought process, I would agree if I thought there was an absolute no three year contract offer rule. But there isn’t, since we know they offered Russell Martin three last year.

    I know I personally wouldn’t be comfortable going that many years (and dollars) with a guy coming off an unsustainable career year and only a season removed from being terrible.

  377. Thundercrack says:

    NMR,
    I don’t recall JP based his on the fact that he heard the Pirates had offered him $8.5 mil.
    He didn’t say that they didn’t raise it.

    I think if DK or any reporter finds out what the offer is they report it, unless their source asks them not to until after the player signs.

    And I wonder if this is the same type of thing in regards to stories of how AJ is a bad guy/jerk. They will come out now that he is gone.

  378. Jandy says:

    lost his temper I bet.

  379. Jandy, did iceman melt? Haven’t seen the top gun…pun intended.

  380. Jandy says:

    I couldn’t say, Monster Mash.

  381. bpn8pitt says:

    NMR, I think sometimes the whole “Ray Searage/Jim Benedict pitching guru” naratives get a little overblown sometimes. For every Burnett and Liriano, theres a Sanchez and a Bedard. For every Morton (and thats pushing it some) theres a Mcdonald.

    Hurdle was the hitting coach for the Rangers before he was named the Pirates manager. Before that he managed the Rockies. All those teams hit. Because of his teaching abilities? No, those team all had some nice sticks!!!

    Volquez even pulled a Burnett/Liriano when he came from Texas to Cincy, his first year in the National League. Since then, its been steady downhill. How he garnered 5 million is amazing

    I hope your right man. I think this dude got figured out awhile ago. The fact he might get a bunch of starts against Cincy really bothers me. They got tons of tape on this guy. The Pirates might need to change him a lot, and thats not always a good thing.

  382. JohninOshkosh says:

    Stupid goal differential tie breaker. Norway not pulling goalie even with PP under 2 minutes.

  383. Jim S. says:

    Never a bother, Jandy. You know that!

  384. tpbco says:

    My fault I guess, but always want to hear from those that are informed, then make my own decision.

  385. JohninOshkosh says:

    Canada wins 3-1.

    The Norse acquit themselves well.

    Price not really tested. Babcock ought to start him next game, but his plan is not to do so.

  386. Jim S. says:

    Absolutely, tpb. I’d probably have to know more about what you use the car for, who drives it, how many people ride in at once, what kind of gear do you need, etc. But, overall, those two cars are shopped against one another. They definitely have crossover appeal.

    BTW, Jandy, I know you are a dog lover. Have you seen any of our commercials with the dogs? We started doing some funny commercials a few years ago with dogs driving our cars because we did some research and we think our owners have the highest propensity to own dogs. Anyway, the commercials tested so well that we actually run some of them on prime time. All of the dogs used are rescue dogs.

  387. Arriba Wilver says:

    I was talking about Loney. And the timing of the comment doesn’t really change my point.
    (See AJ comment about staying in Pittsburgh— ;-) )

    But I had forgotten about the Martin offer. Was that a 3 year deal or the famous 2 year with a team option for the third?

    And they may have offered that Colorado pitcher a couple of years ago 3, but I can’t remember about the details, if that was also a team option. (I remember he got a player option from Colorado that I agreed the Pirates shouldn’t do.)

    But my main concern is they are too financially risk averse to accomplish what they want to accomplish on the field. Works for the pocketbook for sure. Just a concern.

  388. Thundercrack says:

    Rob Biertempfel has some video up on the Trib website asking Locke and R. Martin about AJ being gone.

    They’ll miss him, but I think those guys will be fine.

  389. Wild Bill says:

    Thanks for the link, Hm. I’m looking forward to this weekend at the Pegula Ice Center.

  390. Arriba Wilver says:

    Can someone refresh my memory?

    Is Olympic hockey like the NCAA’s one and done, or is it best of _____.

    Apologize in advance for my ignorance. ;-)

  391. Drew71 says:

    EYE am amused.

  392. Jim S. says:

    I must not have been around for the tail end of that thread.

  393. NMR says:

    @bpn

    “All those teams hit. Because of his teaching abilities? No, those team all had some nice sticks!!!”

    This is exactly why I’m calling Jonathan Sanchez a red herring!!

    I don’t think it makes much sense to point out that a guy like Jonathan Sanchez couldn’t be fixed when the player you’re comparing him to is significantly more talented. And yes, Edinson Volquez is significantly more talented than Jonathan Sanchez.

    That being said, I agree that sometimes Searage’s influence gets overblown.

  394. JohninOshkosh says:

    NBC features a question from Brady McCollough at DB’ s presser. Not sure if Fearless Leader was there or not. Byslma compliments USA defensemen and refuses to name goalie against the Russkies. DB says he felt the importance of Olympics today and looking forward to Saturday’s match with Russia.

    Mike Milbury highly complementary of venue, Bolshoi Ice arena. It does look beautiful on the TV, I must say. Love how they illuminate the roof with the competing nations colors.

  395. Jim S. says:

    US not looking good in the medal count right now. DK mentioned something to this effect in a tweet last night, and my response is it may be time for the good old US of A to create some more new sports that we can dominate for the first 8-10 years to boost our medal count. We can’t even dominate the snowboard stuff now.

    I think we need to get NASCAR vehicles on some sort of skis. Create about 15 different medals. That would boost our medal count for at least 3-4 Olympics cycles before anyone catches up.

  396. Wild Bill says:

    If I recall correctly, they play three games, eliminate no one, but reseed for the rest of the games from there.

  397. JohninOshkosh says:

    Yes, in medal round it is sudden death. Teams qualify for medal round by playing three other nations in group.

  398. Jim S. says:

    Is Milbury over there? Hmm … wonder if there is a way to have him “detained” when he tries to leave?

  399. Drew71 says:

    Here’s the thing LAST offseason. They overpaid a bit (as it looked at the time), quickly striking with an above market offer to Martin to fill their greatest need, C. And it was Martin, not the Pirates, who rejected a longer offer and agreed to two years.

    Here’s the thing THIS offseason. They did NOT strike quickly to fill their greatest need, 1B. And it was the Pirates, not Loney, who rejected a longer offer.

    We’ll never know. But had the Pirates struck quickly and offered a three year contract to fill their greatest need, they may have snagged Loney.

    And then we’d be moaning about Mercer today. Or about something.

    At least EYE would. I like to moan.

  400. NMR says:

    OK, thanks for the clarification. And you’re right.

    I believe it was reported the Martin offer was three years, but Martin preferred two so he could hit free agency sooner. Talk about ballsy. I love that guy.

    Are you thinking of Jorge de la Rosa? Also can add the infamous three year offer to Edwin Jackson.

  401. JohninOshkosh says:

    Top two in each of three groups advance. Remaining 2 of rest also go after ‘ll as ting additional qualifying game. Canada had to play extra qualifying game in Salt Lake on way to gold.

  402. JohninOshkosh says:

    Me speak pretty one day. Geesh, I hate tablets. Unnatural typing with horrid autocorrect.

  403. Arriba Wilver says:

    Thanks, guys, but I still have no idea what you are saying.

    As a good friend of mine once said, talk to me like I’m a German Shepherd. ;-)

  404. Arriba Wilver says:

    Take a look at his column today.

  405. JohninOshkosh says:

    Simply put. Once quarterfinal teams are established by performance in group play, it is a sudden death competition.

  406. bpn8pitt says:

    Snowmobile Long Jump. :)

    I actually try to check that one out on the X games.

  407. Arriba Wilver says:

    Good point.

    (That’s to both Drew and NMR)

    And on Jackson, yeah, we dodged a bullet.

  408. Bob Walk says that AJ’s signing with the Phillies is a loss to the Pirates, but that Gerrit Cole has what it takes to be the Pirates’ ace. Also, the Phillies are trying to draft an option that might let AJ pitch for them for more than a year.

  409. Arriba Wilver says:

    Thanks, I ll just go in the next room and bang my head against wall. And then start paying attention in the Quarterfinal play.

  410. Also, it seems that AJ was insulted that the Pirates didn’t extend the qualifying offer, and that’s why he did what he just did.

  411. Arriba Wilver says:

    How so? I mean, based on what?

  412. Thundercrack says:

    I thought that the deal includes a mutual option and limited no trade clause.

  413. Wild Bill says:

    Hey Hipposter, you still alive after shoveling? We are up to 8 in. now in Snyder Co.

  414. 21sthebest says:

    Essentially, it’s round robin in group play to determine 8 teams who then go to a quarterfinal round where it then becomes win or go home. Righto?

  415. Arriba Wilver says:

    Sooo, how many times in the round robin does the US (or any team) have to lose to be eliminated?

  416. Arriba Wilver says:

    Thank you.

  417. JohninOshkosh says:

    Think of the groups like baseball divisions. Three groups. Top two from each group advance to quarterfinals. Three points per win. I think one point for shootout loss. You play round robin-within your group. So, for example, USA does not play Canada in group play. However, remaining 2 teams are wildcards, if you will. There is a dizzying tiebreaker system with an emphasis on goal differential. The final two spots require a qualifying game to join the other six. An extra game.

  418. Milo Hamilton says:

    Clint Hurdle called AJ Burnett today. This time it was Burnett telling Hurdle he wouldn’t be pitching for the Pirates tomorrow.

  419. JohninOshkosh says:

    Just saw 21′s link. lol.

    I was trying to pull that from memory. Forgot about that crazy new thing the kids are talking about-the internet.

  420. 21sthebest says:

    Please tell me there’s no shootout once they get to the quarterfinals.

  421. Brandie says:

    Leave it to Meye-low! POTD!!!! :)

  422. NMR says:

    Were Locke’s eyes big and puffy?

  423. Brandie says:

    Getting the white stuff blues here in Centre County.

  424. JohninOshkosh says:

    Blog gearing up for Pirates season.

    450 posts and counting.

    May I suggest a USA/Russia game thread ? I’ll be up.

  425. BillyBaduka says:

    The blob coming out of the theatre was filmed in Phoenixville, PA. My “hometown” since ’98. They reenact it every year with people running out the the theatre screaming, sans blob oozing afterwards. Small town, limited budget and no one wants to clean up blob. Local micro brew sells blob ale.

  426. Thundercrack says:

    He was lighting candles

  427. That 1200 plus one during the playoffs was exciting.

  428. theplanisworking says:

    I just got back from round 3.

    We have anywhere between 11-14 inches right now. :(

    Still dont have the car shoveled out……. I have shoveled around it.
    I might wait til tomorrow morning to shovel it out.

    Did I mention I love snow, but have had enough of it this winter?

  429. theplanisworking says:

    Indeed.

    And, there was theCardinals series where 900+ per thread was sustained. :)

    Mercy!

  430. theplanisworking says:

    Any truth to the rumor that AJ borrowed one of Jim’s Subarus to drive over to Pittsburgh to tell Volquez to STFU?

    Unless Neal has some magic up his sleeve for a deal/signing at the end of ST, I just simply do not like the offseason moves. Or, more aptly, lack of moves.

  431. I heard that on 93-7 the fan this afternoon.

  432. Jim S. says:

    Oh, I haven’t read his column yet.

  433. Thundercrack says:

    Well, I can also certainly envision a scenario where AJ would be mad at the Pirates for extending the QO – especially if he declined it. His market would have dried up pretty quick because of the draft pick.

    But then again maybe not for a team like the Phils and their protected pick.

  434. Brandie says:

    Snowmageddon sucks!

  435. Ya they owe MSU a sweep.

  436. Brandie says:

    Just an observation…back in the day, as far as the Pirates were concerned, STFU meant Shut The F Down. (See Derek Bell).

    The team has come a long way since then, but it still has s long way to go.

  437. Arriba Wilver says:

    A caller’s speculation? Worse, a host’s speculation?

  438. Arriba Wilver says:

    Brandie—on The Daily Show last night for the “moment of zen,” Jon Stewart said that comics all over the world had lost their grandfather yesterday. Then they showed a clip of Sid Caesar from Your Show of Shows.

  439. Brandie says:

    A true original Arreebz. I know I owe some of my funny to what I saw from his clips.

  440. Milo Hamilton says:

    Former Bucco & all around good guy Jim Fregosi has died after falling ill on a cruise earlier in the week. He was 71.

  441. JohninOshkosh says:

    RIP Jim Fregosi

  442. Brandie says:

    Wow. Peace to his family, friends, and those touched by his presence.

  443. Eric Bowser says:

    * Great win for Team USA

    * Maybe Shero can get Tomas Surovy back to Pittsburgh. Pens need a LW for 3rd line.

    * Paul Stastny didn’t disappoint!

    * Quick was steady and that’s what Team USA needs.

    * Where have I heard this one before…. Gaby Sanchez in the best shape of his career.

    * Sorry I haven’t stopped laughing since news broke about AJ Burnett signing w/ Phillies.

  444. Milo Hamilton says:

    Apparently, we have a Mae Young situation. Jim Fregosi has been taken off life support. Don’t believe everything you read on the internet. Especially from me today.

  445. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I’ve seen more moves by the proverbial “ice cream truck man” in the winter than I’ve seen from Huntington since last October……

  446. Cobra39 says:

    T-Bone is taken. From now on you’ll be known as Koko the Monkey.

  447. Brandie says:

    STFU should be STFD.

  448. Brandie says:

    Comment below still applies.

  449. You may all have heard by now that Vice President Joe Biden called Syracuse’s Tyler Ennis last night to congratulate him on that buzzer beater over Pitt. I don’t know if that was good judgement while it showed where his sympathies lay.

  450. The Gunner says:

    Sad to hear the news about my fellow Italian, Jim Fregosi. His stay with the Bucs was short but, he sure was a class act.

  451. The Gunner says:

    Yep, I am sure ol’ Gaby is really chiseled.

    Gimme a break!! LOL!

  452. The man could work a walk when he wanted to. Bases loaded and winning run on 3rd, the guy to have up.

  453. LHP Yao-Hsun Yang was shocked at his own signing to a minor league contract by the Pirates.

  454. Brandie says:

    Come on…just leave Flabby Sanchez alone!

    Wait a minute…that is not right of me. Bad Muppet.

  455. Let’s see if he can ever replace AJ as the Pirates’ ace.

  456. JohninOshkosh says:

    He’s a Syracuse alum, Jimbo.

  457. Milo Hamilton says:

    :)

  458. JohninOshkosh says:

    ++++

  459. Arriba Wilver says:

    +++

  460. JohninOshkosh says:

    I see why Frankie was unable to secure a good media contract. Painfully obvious from today’s news that media giants like Comcast simply don’t have any money to spend.

    Hi Frank.

  461. Arriba Wilver says:

    I wonder if he will fly his poodle to ST?

  462. Drew71 says:

    “Women weaken legs”

    - My hero Mick

  463. You may also have heard today that Ed Reed, formerly of the Ravens, then the Houston. Texans and now the NY Jets, had $50,000 in a paper bag stolen from his car which was in a bank parking lot in Houston, Texas at the time. Apparently, thieves smashed the front windows of Reed’s car and stole the money while he was in the bank.

  464. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jagger?

  465. Milo Hamilton says:

    I often leave 50 grand laying around in a paper bag.

  466. Drew71 says:

    As you can probably tell, I’m watching one of my favorite movies.

    That’s right. Dirty Dancing.

  467. Milo Hamilton says:

    Nobody puts Drew in a corner.

  468. Drew71 says:

    Close. Most people call me Jagoff.

    Or Straw Dog.

  469. JohninOshkosh says:

    Pre-rhinoplasty Jennifer Grey.

  470. Drew71 says:

    Now you have to lift me.

    Too weird?

  471. Drew71 says:

    Ah. Another Straw Dog.

  472. Arriba Wilver says:

    :-D

  473. theplanisworking says:

    HA!!!

    Get your ice cream here !!!!!!!

  474. Arriba Wilver says:

    I thought that was Susan George?

  475. Milo Hamilton says:

    Just a little. :)

  476. theplanisworking says:

    Edninson Volquez is now very worried.

  477. You have also likely heard of today’s bobsledding accident in Sochi in which a track worker who failed to hear the warning call suffered two broken legs and a concussion when hit by a bobsled while making ice on the track with a blower.

  478. theplanisworking says:

    Either way, she wasn’t good.
    Classic case of have more money than sense…….

  479. JohninOshkosh says:

    Susan George……..sigh (not the Jandy type of sigh)

  480. JohninOshkosh says:

    Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, guys.

    Ignore or forget at your own peril.

  481. Drew71 says:

    I choose peril

  482. Bizrow says:

    +500 comments today

    Not too shabby

    Hi Frank

    If I were you, I’d do the usual and practice selling snake oil in front of a mirror

  483. Bizrow says:

    Can’t win, I asked my lady what she wanted, she said, nuttin, now she wants a steak dinner at a popular spot.

    Good thing she’s not a PBC fan

  484. theplanisworking says:

    If you would have gotten her the original wish of “nuttin”, you would have been in even bigger trouble.

    Sympathies to you.

  485. Ghost says:

    Not too shabby.
    Gabby is still flabby.
    And Drew was referencing Rocky.

    Hi Frank.

  486. Drew71 says:

    I think I’m having a déjà foo moment

    I think I’ve been here before and I think I don’t like it.

  487. Drew71 says:

    But if the new morning thread was gonna say anything about freaking valentines day, maybe I should be happy with this old thing.

    Besides. I like Groundhog Day better than valentines day.

    Same goes for the other 363 days.

    Plus leap year day.

  488. And Monday is another holiday: Presidents’ Day.

  489. Jandy says:

    Definitely a testosterone sigh ;)

  490. Jandy says:

    SOmetimes, we like to be surprised, Biz. Flowers puts a smile on any woman’s face.
    Hubby asked me what I wanted. I said, dinner, a movie, and you for dessert…wait…is that allowed on this blog>????

  491. Jandy says:

    You should at least get the poodles some treats….

 
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