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Morning Java: Pins, Finns and wins

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

SOCHI, Russia — Доброе утро, Lunatiks …

>> The Monday column breaks down the hockey tournament as the medal round becomes set. And the new favorite in the tournament is …

If you missed them over the weekend — and I know you’re better than to wait to read stuff on company time, but just saying — I wrote extended pieces about T.J. Oshie’s signature shootout and about the Russians finally warming up to the Games.

The daily Sochi Hockey Notebook looks at Chris Kunitz’s demotion, Sidney Crosby vs. Teemu Selanne and more.

Here are all eight videos for Channel 11 News so far.

I’m also doing weekday reports for TribLIVE Radio.

Here’s the Trib’s Olympics page.

Here’s the official Sochi 2014 page. This has all the schedules and results.

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.

>> As people get settled, their surroundings become more like home and … well, the sense of humor emerges a bit, too.

The lack of Olympic pins in Sochi — until the past weekend, when a few started to pop up — prompted the Netherlands delegation offices to post the following sign on their door: ‘NO PINS. ONLY WINS’

It was accompanied, of course, by a visual listing of all their many speedskating medals here to date. The Dutch live for the long track.

Not to be outdone, the neighborly Finns, a few doors down, went with this: ‘NO PINS. ONLY FINNS’

>> Back in that other hemisphere, A.J. Burnett spoke his mind about the Pirates. Rob Biertempfel reports from Clearwater.

Here’s a bit of that session …

The Trib is beginning a video series that follows pitching prospect Jameson Taillon around spring training, and here’s the first installment …

Here’s the Trib’s Pirates page.

>> This shooting slump is killing Pitt right now. Kevin Gorman reports.

In football, the Panthers’ Tom Savage and Devin Street hope to impress at the NFL combine. Jerry DiPaola reports.

Here’s the Trib’s Pitt page.

>> If you missed it last night, WPXI-TV’s Subway Final Word went at a few historical topics. Good fun.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

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


  1. “Hey, how many Americans does it take to screw up an Olympics?” — DK

    Bit harsh there, eh? Last I checked, lots of athletes from other countries didn’t get what they wanted, either. And, I believe that the Americans lead in the figure skating events, so there will be some more medals from there also.

    We understand you are going thru StarYucks withdrawal, and you don’t like the dearth of pins, but come on. Americans haven’t dominated the Winter Olympics for about 50 years or so. How about a GO USA !! from you, DK?

    • At last report, the Dutch lead in medals so far with 17 and the US and the Russians were tied for second with 16, although there’s a ways to go yet.

    • Glad someone else feels that way. I love the Winter Olympics and never care where the winners are from. Sure, the networks give us nice back-stories on a lot of the U.S. athletes, which creates a bit of a rooting interest, but every winner and loser has his/her own story.

      I can’t stand the Medal Counts that every newspaper and website seems to have. Matters not one iota to me how many medals the U.S. wins. I just savor the games every four years.

      U.S. Hockey gets a medal? Great. They go home empty-handed? Won’t affect my enjoyment of these games one iota.

      • I thought the Olympics stood for the spirit of competition, and good sportsmanship, not who can get the most medals. Silly me.

        We have already seen medal winners give their medals away, dedicate their attempts to family members, etc. That is what I watch the Olympics for.

      • Exactly. Some people go crazy if you’re rooting for Canada over the U.S. in hockey, for instance. They need to relax. We’re not talking about a world war here. It’s just an athletic competition – an exhibition, no less. People should feel free to root for whoever they want to root for.

  2. Now I know why DK was so snarky in the column. He turned on the Weather Channel on the satellite, and he saw Barney. The weather girl was dressed in Barney purple from head to toe. Yikes!

    Nice article about Taillon this morning. I do hope he makes it up this year…….. and more importantly, does well. With the uncertainty about Wandy’s injury, Locke’s mental state, and Volquez……. well anything to do with Volquez, Taillon could definitely be counted on.

    Hi Frank!

  3. JAL’s Wish You Were Here Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 BFFL’s 2014 Pirates Stats Spreadsheet

    4 Pirates Prospects Spring Training Tracker

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Pirates Starting Entrance Interviews This Week, But What Are They?

    The Pirates 2014 Focus: Improving the Consistency of the Offense

    See Why Joely Rodriguez Was Added to the 40-Man Roster (Video)

    First Look at Pirates’ Taiwanese Left-Hander Yao-Hsun Yang (Video)

    Draft Prospect Watch: Turner and Rodon Make Debuts

    6 Bucs Dugout

    A.J. Burnett explains decision to sign with Phillies

    7 Rumbunter

    Is Neal Huntington Bluffing

    8 Green Weenie

    To Be Determined….

    9 New Pittsburgh Courier

    Jerry Manuel, son work to help youth in baseball

    10 Bleacher Report

    Early Predictions for the Winners of MLB’s Hottest Spring Position Battles

    11 LA Times

    Dodgers plan to monitor Clayton Kershaw’s innings,0,4328666.story#axzz2tZw7Vk3W

  4. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 Bradenton Herald

    Pittsburgh Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage oversees steady progress on mound

    13 WTAE

    Even minus Burnett, Pirates have rotation options

    14 Pirates Site

    Pirates pitching trio seeking variety of comebacks

    15 Sporting News

    MLB season win totals posted in Las Vegas, Dodgers on top

    16 Fangraphs

    Redefining Batted Balls to Predict BABIP

    17 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Report: Bailey ‘close’ to 100M 6-year deal with Reds

    18 St. Louis Post Gazette

    Burwell: Cards have a lot of happy campers

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Ryan Dempster and Jake Westbrook: Two Careers in Player Comments

    20 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Zach Duke sees an opening with the Brewers

  5. Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Regardless of motive, can’t blame NFL for trying to make game safer

    Steelers have the best worst record in the NFL since 1978

    22 Steelers Depot

    The Optimist’s Take – Larry Foote’s Future In Pittsburgh


    23 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    Champions League: Arsenal vs. Bayern & Man City vs. Barcelona

    24 BBC Football

    Arsene Wenger: Jose Mourinho has embarrassed Chelsea


    25 Pensburgh

    Unconventional Wisdom – It’s All Relative

  6. John Shuster can’t ever make a shot in the Olympics.

  7. It will be interesting to see how well A.J. adjusts to Philly and the very demanding fans and press there. Add to that Citizens Bank Park’s little league fences and Team Geritol’s limits, and this might not end well. Glad for him that the short commute from home was his primary motivator. There might not be much else.

  8. AJ…thank you for your 2 years of Bucco service.

    Now you are in another uniform…..STFD !!

  9. Sports Illustrated says that Pitt can’t score enough without Durand Johnson and can barely score enough with him. Anyhow, due to their recent hard luck, Pitt will be dropping out of the top 25, naturally. Now hopefully, they can turn things around next Sunday vs. Florida State.

  10. Nothing like the great Pink Floyd to start one’s day. Way to go, JAL! (might this be a subtle reference to our favorite sportswriter who’s been gone far too long)?

  11. Saturday and Sunday morning, up and at the television both mornings in my pajamas, loving every minute of this Olympic Hockey.
    TJ Oshie stealing the game, the show and my heart.
    Doesn’t get any better than that.

  12. My final thoughts on AJ are that, in the end, I believe he thought he still had interest in Pittsburgh. I think he still likes the team, the fans, the city, and the manager. I’m sure he had some hurt feelings last October. He also had a few blowups during the year, but I think all of that was behind him. Once the Pirates offer got to $12 million (as reported), I actually now think that would have been enough for him strictly from a $$ standpoint.

    The thing he grappled with all along, and I speculated so last summer, was that he wanted to be home. He didn’t want to be 3 hours from home. As I have said, if you can’t drive home after a game at night from Pittsburgh, then Pittsburgh is not really closer than a lot of other cities. In that sense, the 1:30 or so commute from Philly is manageable, and the 3 hours from Pittsburgh may as well be Detroit. It wasn’t about being in the same time zone. It was about hanging out with his wife and kids until 1 p.m. every day in summer when the team is at home, before going to the ballpark. Then, driving home afterward. For Saturday games, he could probably be home by dinner time.

    As someone who has always prioritized the comfort of his family, and tried to figure out a way to make my business life work around them, I know exactly how AJ feels. At some point, the travel gets hard. I hate not seeing my family every day. Like a lot of you, there are times when I have no choice but to travel. And, I do it. But, I also have passed up opportunities which would have taken me away much more often. I think AJ realistically had limited his options to Balt, Wash and Philly. The Phils appear to be the only ones of that group who were seriously interested. He might not have liked the initial offer by the Bucs, but I bet $12 million might have been enough if PNC had been a shorter commute. 1:30 or so is about the outer edge, from my experience, of being a very manageable commute.

    When the Phillies don’t contend this year, as I expect, I bet AJ quits after the season. He’ll officially become 100% stay-at-home dad. He’s very fortunate to be able to manage his life this way, not having to ever worry about money. The other 99.99% of the world is not so lucky at 37.

    Did anyone notice that Ryan Dempster walked away from $13.25 million with the defending champ BoSox this year? Did you hear his reason? These guys are living the life.

  13. Wow, what a game against the Russians. The “Big Ice” really makes a difference in the game. The NHL would never go that way but it would be a positive change. Then again when do they make positive changes in anything.

  14. AJ will be making $23 million all told through 2015 and maybe $7 million more with that option, so although he keeps insisting that his family played a major role in his decision, and they likely did, it was, as always, the money that tipped everything in favor of Philly.

      • Jim, are you saying that if Baltimore offered only $5 million, AJ would have gone there because it is the closest to his home?

        I have to side with James here, the money was a tipping point. Family mattered, but to say that was the sole reason for AJ’s decision doesn’t sound right.

        • No, I didn’t say that at all. What I am saying is that the primary factor was that the ballpark location had to be within driving distance of his house. From that standpoint, I said I thought he limited his options to Wash, Balt and Philly.

          Money, of course, is always a factor. He was not going to sign for an amount that he didnt think was worth it, regardless of the team. But, if you notice, there was never any discussion of far away teams from the part of AJ or his agent. I bet the Dodgers would have preferred AJ to Paul Maholm, as one quick example.

          Let me put it another way. If the Pirates had made the offer he eventually signed with Philly, and the Phils had made the $12 million offer the Pirates are reported to have made, I believe he still would have chosen Philly. We don’t really know, of course. But, that’s my opinion.

          A lot of people seem to think that is not possible, but players are doing it left and right. Dempster just chose to quit with $13.25 guaranteed in front of him. Josh Johnson chose San Diego over a supposed better offer than the Pirates made, and he has earned nowhere near the money AJ has made. Guys are quitting very often now with options remaining, and many guys sacrifice some money to choose geography.

          • Far away teams haven’t been an option with A.J. for some time. His wife doesn’t fly. When he got his deal in Toronto, it included 8 round-trip limousine trips per season between Toronto and his home in Maryland for his wife.

          • We only got AJ because he hadn’t blocked us out. I doubt that was because he “knew they were on the right track.” It was at least partly, if not solely, geography related.

          • A guy here who nailed this from the beginning IMO was Milo. He listed Wash, Balt, Philly, & retirement all before Pittsburgh. Essentially, that is what I think as well.

        • I dont fault AJ for taking geography/money over Pittsburgh. I dont fault the Pirates for being unable to sign him.

          However I do think the Pirates should have decided on him sooner and done something better than just Volquez/Dickerson/Decker/Mcguinness/ect

          • That’s the part that is hard here, bpn. Did AJ string the Bucs along? In the end, I don’t know if that was his intent. I think he was grappling with the proximity of Pittsburgh to his home, trying to decide if it would work. In the meantime, I’m sure he was also hoping the Pirates would increase their offer because that would maybe increase other offers.

            Maybe the Pirates finally upping the offer to $12 million, coupled with Hamels setback made the Phils panic a bit and sweeten the offer significantly. I’m not saying AJ and his agent did not play these teams against one another. I’m just saying I think that in his mind AJ, in the end, decided he did not want to go outside of a certain geographic range. Once he got the offer he wanted from the Phils, he pulled the trigger.

            • AJ was taking care of AJ, which is any player’s prerogative.
              Anyone would do he same.

              Good luck AJ, you’ll need it!

              • Yes, he will.

              • AJ said something like for once he didn’t do something for AJ Burnett, he did it for his family. My my, how touching!! Wake up people – how can you buy what this guy is selling??? I sensed AJ was a BSer a long time ago and now this confirms it. Bob Walk mentioned on 93.7 The Fan that AJ was THE MAN in the Bucs clubhouse his first year but, in year 2, not so much. He couldn’t get it done in the one of the biggest games of 2013 & then he threatens to quit on the team and not make the trip to St. Louis after Cole gets the nod for the biggest game of the year. What a freakin’ baby you are, AJ!!!!!!

                Despite all of this, AJ is a good pitcher. But, it is time to close the book on this selfish egomaniac and get behind the Bucs in 2014.

                Wait until AJ hits some rough water in Philly and he criticizes the fans like he did here.

            • I agree Jim. Theres just so many factors at play.

              I think the hardcore fans, like on the blog ,look at it as a complicated unique situation. The casual fan, looks at it as the Pirates being cheap and or/hoodwinked. And to be honest, even if I dont agree with it, I can understand that perspective.

              • I think the Pirates struggled with whether to bring AJ back as well, bpn. In the end, they increased the offer because they know he is a very good pitcher. But, I think he had his detractors with the club. AJ’s personality will never be universally loved.

                I also wanted to see them make more of an impact this off-season. I think there is a lot of money in the till, and I hope they are going to pursue upgrading this team now and throughout the season.

  15. A lot of you weren’t on the blog yesterday afternoon, but there was a short window when the Russian women curlers were on vs Sweden, and I had to post an admission that they were indeed attractive. However, they apparently aren’t the best at curling, and so they’re eliminated and we will see them no more.

  16. This Just In…

    ‘Op Crusty Eyes is coming back to cover these Olympics. The national nightmare is over. I wonder what backstory NBC will produce to herald his triumphant return?

  17. Well, anyhow, it’s too bad that the men and the women have both been flopping in curling at Sochi.

  18. Of course, the networks don’t know when to leave anything alone, especially as concerning that NBC interviewer yesterday pushing Bode Miller to tears over the death of his brother last year.

  19. Everyone have a great President’s Day.
    I leave now to prepare for 2 more days of shoveling snow.

    I have a Gold Medal in that this year.
    Thanks to my Purple Crew for the support.

  20. It was 45 down here in Florida this morning but it’s expected to warm up into the low to mid 70s this afternoon, and then, it’s expected to reach 80 by mid week, with no rain through the week, and, hopefully, it’ll be okay for the big Daytona 500 auto race next Sunday.

  21. Happy Presidents Day!

    I’m celebrating this holiday by spending 9 hours at work!

    I really know how to live it up.

    The USA women’s hockey is destroying Sweeden 5-0.

    The shots after the first period was 29-3 in favor of Uncle Sam.

  22. In a press release, Groupon announced a President’s Day weekend discount of $10 off of $40, honoring Alexander Hamilton. The Friday announcement was titled, “Groupon Celebrates Presidents Day by Honoring Alexander Hamilton,” and urged customers to “Commemorate a man historically powerful enough to be on money with $10 towards $40 on a local purchase while they last.”

    The release was featured Sunday on Groupon’s press page and states, “The $10 bill, as everyone knows, features President Alexander Hamilton — undeniably one of our greatest presidents and most widely recognized for establishing the country’s financial system.”

    It also featured a picture of the $10 bill with the caption, “President Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill.”

  23. The NBA All Star Game was held in New Orleans yesterday with the East coming from behind to beat the West 163 to 155, and it was the most points scored in All Star Game history.

  24. May the Eisenhower tree rest in peace. 45 years after his death Ike finally gets his way.

  25. Sorry about Lindsey Jacobellis falling down and finishing 7th in the women’s snowboard cross at Sochi yesterday. She called her mishap a ‘real bummer’ in an interview afterwards.

  26. The kids asked me about Ike. I said he played a lot of golf & had a bunch of heart attacks. And oh yeah – HE WON WORLD WAR II.

    • Wow, good stuff, Damon, thanks for sharing!

      • I thought Josh was right on the money – just hope Sid doesn’t have another golden moment against the US if they meet in the semis….

    • Thank you for the link. Let us hope the Olympic well for Sid moments has run dry. The NHL Playoffs, however…

    • Interesting read but lets save the suggestions for canada till AFTER the tourney. I made some suggestions for russia yesterday but wasn’t concerned cuz i know how stubborn they are and that they wouldn’t change lines. USA looks good and sweden is still somewhat a mystery due to injuries but i like where were are. Just hoping to see more of a cycle and possession game from the disco squad in the next few games.

  27. So, Atlanta supposedly is right smack in the middle of a horrible local TV contract that pays less than $20 million per season, and has 13 more years to run – in one of the largest TV markets in the country.

    And, they are also moving into a much better stadium deal in a few years.

    And, they also have committed well over $200 million for the next several years on extensions for their best young players.

    I wonder if they are working with their local TV partner to revisit their TV contract. Or, are they that confident the new stadium deal will bring tons of new $$ to do these extensions? Or, both.

    Or, maybe the national TV deal really is bringing a lot more $$ as well.

    Interesting stuff.

    • Frank Wren said when they announced the Freeman extension that they are counting on increased attendance and revenues at the new ballpark and its connected retail and entertainment village to help offset the “relatively small amount” they get from their local TV deal, compared to other teams.

      Isn’t the Brave’s “relatively small” amount about the same that NH said put the Buccos in the “Upper half” of tv deal revenue?

      Not sure I like the idea of spending money you don’t have yet, but you have to applaud them for trying to get a bigger piece of the pie. Having said that, Atlanta fans are historically fair-weathered as far as attendance goes. 3 years from now they might look like the Marlins and sell everybody off if this doesn’t work.

      • Yes. Hard to believe they would pay Kimbrel that much to stick around if the team struggles. Nice pitcher, but 10 million+ for a closer not named Rivera is too much in my opinion.

  28. I believe the best way to deal with AJ is scorch him in Philly if he pitches against us in one of the 3 games we even play them. He always pitched well at home and semi-lousy on the road at times. And that band box in Philly will help when Pedro, et al light him up.

    If he pitches at PNC, I hope he gets a standing O, then the Cueto treatment. He’s fair game, even though he meant a lot to the club for 2 seasons. All’s fair in love and baseball.

    Time to move on to the Cole-Taillon-Glasnow-Holmes era. Liriano, Morton and a revived Locke and Volquez will be OK, too.

  29. When the Phillies need bullpen relief, I guess it will br named…Wait for it…

    The Life Call (Call) To The Pen.

    Help! My velocity’s falling and my pitches are up!

    We’re sending help immediately Mr. Burnett.

    Brought to you by The Hot Flash Corner.

  30. Anyone else sick of winter?

    We have some openings in the blogs fantasy baseball leagues if anyone is interested

  31. If you haven’t had a chance to read Mark Schlereth’s piece on the Miami Dolphins’ mess, please do yourself a favor & check it out.

    • Excellent read…..Mark definitely has his head on straight.

    • It makes me wonder if Jonathan Martin has been afflicted with some sort of depression for much of his life, but it has taken this series of instances to bring this to light.

    • You’re right, Milo. Excellent read. My opinion of Schlereth just changed dramatically.

      The excellent minister, Rick Renner went through a similiar situation in his youth. A math teacher called him “Stupid” and began using that as his name and it stuck as a nickname.

      All that “stupid” kid has done is plant churches in every one of the 11 time zones in Russia, maintain a ministry of his own and write more books and devotionals than I’ve every read in my 61 years on this planet.

      My prayer is everyone that’s called “stupid” can turn out like these 2 guys.

      Thanks again for the recommendation.

      • I REALLY hate that “S” word. Any teacher that uses it should be fired on the spot. Grrrr!

        • I think they would nowadays, J-girl. My son teaches at a Christian school here locally. He says you can’t even remotely joke with a student about anything. He and a couple other male teachers mentioned to a boy that his shirt was pink and you’d think they’d have whipped him with a bull whip. The kid told him he hated him and he was the worst teacher he ever had.

          Needless to say, he learned a valuable lesson. He doesn’t need to learn it twice.

  32. Ray Rice got into an argument with his fiancee on Saturday. She spit on him. He hit her so hard with an uppercut (according to deadspin) that she was knocked unconscious, then he dragged her out of an elevator by her feet (again, according to some witness deadspin is talking to). Both Rice and his future wife/ex-wife were arrested and booked.

    I’m sure he’s sorry.

    Stay classy, Ray.

  33. Final score in women’s hockey: 6-1 over Sweden, with 70 shots on goal. Gold medal game: Thursday night vs the winner of the Canada/Switzerland match. The men’s team is no. 2, and their next match: Wednesday night vs the winner of the Czech Republic/Slovakia match.

  34. Didnt realize the Cardinals were shuffling so many guys around, defensively.

  35. The Russians just won the gold in two man bobsledding and the US won the bronze in that event, so the Russians, the US, and the Dutch have now all won 17 medals and are thus tied for first.

  36. This US bronze medal was the first one in bobsledding since 1952.

  37. Man how bout Maatta? Just looked up some numbers. He’s got 2 goals, 4 points, 2nd behind timmonnen(or however you spell his name) in minutes(he and salo tied for TOI) and he got the philly treatment from kuni and crosby. Kuni with the elbow and sid showing frustration at the end of regulation by tripping Maatta. What makes him scary is the room for improvement his skating has but for now being the Finns #1 dman will have to do.

  38. I see Penn State announced they hired their new president from Florida State. I know nothing about this guy at all, nor do I know anything about the guy Pitt hired to run their university. But, I like the way Pitt handled their search much better than PSU. I think and have heard Pitt had a good mix on their search committee from alumni…to students…to faculty…to people in the business world…etc. etc. To me, it STILL is like EVERYTHING is a secret at Happy Valley. Will they ever learn? That was all…just some of my thoughts.

  39. The US team of Davis and White has just won the gold in ice dancing, the first US team to win the gold in that event, with the highest score in Olympic history in that event. The Russians won the bronze, and weren’t that far behind.

  40. This is for Lucky per his desire to see Pedro light-up SJ. How is he gonna do that if all he sees in the strike zone are wicked curve balls?

  41. Does it bother anybody else that we only pay our Gold Medalists $25,000 bonuses, when some tiny countries (GDP wise) offer $250,000? Are our amatures less valuable, so to speak?

    I wonder how well the ancient Greeks would have done in speed-skating? Being naked would have given them quite an edge!

  42. So Peeps….picks for the hockey qualies tomorrow???
    Will RUS be too tight to get by NOR?
    SUI should beat Latvia I guess…..
    Jags and CZECH get through??

    PICKS Peeps?

    • Peep peep!

      I look for Czech Republic to beat Slovakia.

      Russia will beat Norway, one way or another ;)

      Switzerland should beat Latvia…

    • I got:

      slovenia over austria 6-4
      russia over norway 5-2
      swiss over latvia 3-1 w/empty netter
      slovakia over czechs 3-2

      Have thoughts on quarters but wanna wait for now. Who you got?

    • I’m a proud American of Norwegian descent but no way does Norway beat the Russians. BTW-Fun trivia fact: Which country has the most Winter Olympic medals of all time: if you answered Norway, then treat yourself to some Lutefisk. Cute how Dejan frets about the USA’s medal count while little old Norway plows through winter Olympics after winter Olympics.

      Russia will win. The Swiss will win and just might ride their goalie to the semifinals. Czech will prevail.

      BTW-before anyone dismissed CCCP, just remember the mighty Canadians, with Lemieux and all, had to play a qualifying elimination game in Utah on their way to Gold.

    • Russia gets by Norway…chances of that increase if Ovie is locked in a closet with no way out.

      Geritol Jags and his Czech brethren for the win over Slovakia.

      Switzerland will handle their business against Latvia.

      • HAH! Geritol Jags!! Love it!!!!

        Interesting picks everybody!!!!

        I think for me the biggest hook is watching to see if Russia implodes. I mean, really, after game 1 they have 2 goals total, with a win in SO.

        Poor Geno has 0 points since about 4 mins into the first game.
        They seem to be driven crazy by the coach.
        The individuals like Ovie, Radulov, Kovy are killing the team and Genos being neutralized.

        It’s like watching a train wreck!…..I can’t imagine the lose to Norway…..but if they don’t medal…..yikes….

        Fun stuff!!!!

    • I’m going to go with:
      Czech over Slovaks
      Swiss over Latvia
      Russians over Norway
      Austrians over Slovenia

      after that, there are two huge games – Canada vs. Swiss, Russians vs. Finland. I’m going to go upset and say:
      Russians over Finns
      Canada over Swiss (although I am soooooooooooo tempted to pick that as an upset as well)
      Sweden over Austrians
      USA over Czechs

      Russians over Sweden
      USA over Canada

      USA over Russia

  43. Does CAN not have a bad history w SUI? That might get interesting if Babcock continues to be an idiot.

  44. Cincinnati radio reporting that the Reds are close to securing a $100 million contract with Homer-frickin’-Bailey.

    Bailey is four games over .500 for his entire career (49-45) and he has a lifetime ERA of 4.25.

    $100 million for a pitcher who loses half of his games.

  45. Tom Singer….. really must need the paycheck because he’s not a journalist anymore.

    That piece on was absolutely atrocious… I could do a better job asking 5 questions while on morphine, which interestingly enough I was on today since I was in the hospital this morning for kidney stone.

    Frank the Tank just can’t keep his mouth shut…

    Mr. President……. my gawd, revoke his journalist credential.

  46. Missed the earlier discussion of Eric Barron’s election as President of PSU. Please do not miss the significance of the election being unanimous from a board that is far from unified. I, for one, did not think that could happen right now. Barron knows PSU realities, having been a dean there, but he’s been other places, too. I think he likely has opinions about what PSU has been through, but he seems thoughtful, careful, and thorough in the jobs he’s handled. That should serve him well at a place where alumni are divided over the events of the past.

  47. You all may have heard by now that free agent infielder Kendres Morales’ agent: Julius Boras has tweeted that his client is a perfect fit for the Pirates. Now let’s hope, therefore, that if the Bucs, who’ve been showing interest in him, actually sign him, that he’ll then justify his agent’s and the Pirates’ faith in him.

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