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Morning Java: For sale … not much

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

SOCHI, Russia — Доброе утро, Lunatiks …

>> The Friday column is the only one I’ve filed from this side of the planet I really hope you read. It’s about the national hockey team. And the sports page you see above was beautifully designed back in Pittsburgh by our Matt Rosenberg.

The hockey notebook focuses on Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz seeking offense, Finland’s challenge today and much more.

The national women’s team took the loss of a lifetime.

The weekly chat again was all Olympics.

Here are all 12 videos for Channel 11 News so far, including yesterday’s about the national hockey team …

I’m also doing weekday reports for TribLIVE Radio, and here’s yesterday’s edition interviewing Patrick Kane and two other Team USA players.

Here’s the Trib’s Olympics page.

Here’s the official Sochi 2014 page, with 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.

>> When these Olympics are done in a couple days, the Russians will have plenty of keepsakes and souvenirs. Mostly because they really haven’t sold many.

I’m typing this from the press tables inside Bolshoy Ice Dome, where some of the biggest hockey games in history could be played today and visitors are arriving from around the world … and there’s almost nothing to buy. The concourses are blank white walls, separated by an occasional food stand bearing Coca-Cola logos. That’s it. No Olympic hockey programs, T-shirts, pins, pucks, nothing.

The entire Games is like that, and at the risk of engaging in social commentary, you can’t help but wonder if it’s mostly to do with this part of the world still being so ingrained in the old socialist approach that making money seems an afterthought. I mean, there’s one souvenir store in the entire Olympic Park, no independent kiosks. And even inside that store, the shelves are half-empty because what arrived was snapped up quickly and never replaced.

All of which is my very long-winded way of saying, no, I’m not bringing you anything.

>> Back in that other hemisphere, the Penguins expect to elevate the roles of Olli Maatta and Matt Niskanen once play resumes. Josh Yohe reports.

Here’s the Trib’s Penguins page.

>> Jordy Mercer is excited to be the Pirates’ everyday shortstop. Rob Biertempfel reports from Bradenton. Here’s some of what Mercer and Clint Barmes had to say about the position …

Here’s the Trib’s Pirates page.

>> Salary cap relief? Could be coming, Alan Robinson reports from the NFL combine in Indianapolis.

Kevin Colbert calls the Steelers’ past two seasons ‘devastating.’

Here’s the Trib’s Steelers page.

>> In some in-house news, TribLIVE Radio announced yesterday that Chris Peak of PantherLair.com is joining our ranks. I could give you the man’s bio, or I can just tell you that the guy knows Pitt football and the recruiting business. Lives and breathes it. Great addition.

>> Three more days.

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. Wild Bill says:

    Thanks, DK, for this read. If will and motivation by themselves could make a win happen, the US should win today. But as we all know, it isn’t just this simple. The Canadians want this game today as well. Hope it’s a good one.

    After seeing what happened to Tavares, I continue to be concerned about what this tournament might do to the Pittsburgh Penguins when the United States of America’s games are over. In an ideal world, not much. However, ….

  2. scapper says:

    Yet another good column.

    Do I hope they win? Eh, sure. Will I care if they lose? Yeah…for about 15 minutes. I just can’t get all hyped up about a team thrown together every four years for a two-week tournament. I think it’s much more exciting for the players and journalists who get to play and cover the games.

    I’m guessing that today’s and Sunday’s games are pleasant little winter diversions that most hockey fans just aren’t that emotionally invested in. Looking forward to the gut-twisting, chest-tightening March-June hockey that matters most to hockey fans.

  3. JAL says:

    JAL’s Carry On My Wayward Son Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2X_2IdybTV0

    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

    t Pitch: Are the Pirates Better Than Last Year? It Depends.

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/02/first-pitch-are-the-pirates-better-than-last-year-it-depends.html

    Are the Pirates the Top Team in Latin America?

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/02/are-the-pirates-the-top-team-in-latin-america.html

    Draft Prospect Watch: Top Tools and Two Prep Stars Square Off

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/02/draft-prospect-watch-top-tools-and-two-prep-stars-square-off.html

    You Don’t Have to Wait Until Opening Day to Watch Francisco Liriano (Video)

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/02/you-dont-have-to-wait-until-opening-day-to-watch-francisco-liriano-video.html

    Wandy Rodriguez Throwing Live Batting Practice (Video)

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/02/wandy-rodriguez-throwing-live-batting-practice-video.html

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Andrelton Simmons’ extension moves market for defense-first players

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2014/2/20/5430452/andrelton-simmons-extension-moves-market-for-defense-first-players

    7 Rumbunter

    The Pittsburgh Pirates Are Not Doomed

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/02/20/pittsburgh-pirates-doomed/

    8 Green Weenie

    2/20: Tom O’Brien, IA, Frank Gustine, Elroy Face, Pat Meares…

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2014/02/220-tom-obrien-ia-frank-gustine-elroy.html

    9 Pirates 101

    Pittsburgh Pirates and Baltimore Orioles in on Ike Davis

    http://www.sportsmedia101.com/pittsburghpirates/2014/02/20/pittsburgh-pirates-and-baltimore-orioles-in-on-ike-davis/

    10 Saber Bucs

    Nothing but a Whole Lotta Power

    http://saberbucs.com/blog/2014/02/20/nothing-but-a-whole-lotta-power/

    11 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates Will Lean On Charlie Morton To Fortify Starting Rotation

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2014/02/20/pittsburgh-pirates-will-lean-charlie-morton-legitimize-starting-rotation/

  4. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 Beaver County Times

    Liriano could quietly fill Burnett’s vocal leadership role

    http://www.timesonline.com/sports/pirates/liriano-could-quietly-fill-burnett-s-vocal-leadership-role/article_7827aae8-e9fd-598e-b21f-bd857c59d6a7.html

    13 Bleed Cubbie Blue

    Know Your Enemy: Pittsburgh Pirates

    http://www.bleedcubbieblue.com/2014/2/20/5419122/know-your-enemy-pittsburgh-pirates

    14 Pirates Site

    Sanchez ready to make first-base job his own

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/news/article/pit/gaby-sanchez-ready-to-make-first-base-job-his-own?ymd=20140220&content_id=67959636

    15 Tampa Bay Times

    Spring training, 1914

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/perspective/spring-training-1914/2166648

    16 Fangraphs

    Braves Lock Up Andrelton Simmons, Keep Inflating Extensions

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/braves-lock-up-andrelton-simmons-keep-inflating-extensions/

    17 Yahoo Sports

    Five Reasons to Dislike the A.J. Burnett Signing

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/five-reasons-dislike-j-burnett-signing-152900790–mlb.html

    18 St. Louis Post Gazette

    La Russa says replay won’t slow games

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/la-russa-says-replay-won-t-slow-games/article_95ff96b2-71f0-5d48-84d5-537a275d2ba9.html

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    John Hart on Atlanta’s Extension Spree and the Future of Club-Friendly Contracts

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=22868

    20 Rant Sports

    5 Reasons it is Good for Cincinnati Reds’ Brandon Phillips to Avoid the Media

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2014/02/20/5-reasons-it-is-good-for-cincinnati-reds-brandon-phillips-to-avoid-the-media/

  5. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Colbert: ‘This is the deepest draft I’ve ever seen’

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2014/2/20/5430374/steelers-2014-nfl-draft-class-targets-kevin-colbert

    Steelers trades: Pittsburgh picks up Joey Porter in exchange for Lobster Claws

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2014/2/20/5429128/steelers-trades-transactions-history-1999-joey-porter

    22 Steelers Depot

    Colbert Says Wheaton Has Had Some Offseason Surgeries To Fix Fingers

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2014/02/colbert-says-wheaton-has-had-some-offseason-surgeries-to-fix-fingers/

    Soccer(football)

    23 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    European Golden Shoe – Suarez, Ronaldo & Aguero

    http://www.bsports.com/statsinsights/football/liverpool-real-madrid-man-city-european-golden-shoe

    24 BBC Football

    Manchester City to play Liverpool in New York in International Champions Cup

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/26283306

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Minor Distractions – Movers and Shakers

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2014/2/20/5429404/minor-distractions-movers-and-shakers

  6. JAL says:

    As for the theme this week, I’m starting to question my theme. They are supposed to be songs written in the key of G major. However, it seems many people who know music disagree on the key of a song. Anyway, some think the songs I used this week are in the key of G major.

  7. Wild Bill says:

    “Don’t you cry no more”, Joe. Always loved Kansas, especially Song for America.

  8. scapper says:

    Regarding the impact of the games on the NHL, I had to laugh at DK’s blog comment about the Tavares injury. I don’t like to hang on and make an issue out of anyone’s tweet or chat comment, because those aren’t made with the thought that goes into every word in a column, but c’mon, that bordered on the absurd.

    Maybe he’s been in Russia too long and is picking up by osmosis some of those Russian press tendencies, ha ha. I had to laugh when I re-read the line in a thick Russian accent as if it was being said in some cheezy 80′s anti-Russian propaganda movie like “White Nights.” There it is below. Try it.

    “Their feeling — and I agreed — was that John Tavares’ knee could have been blown out anywhere. And, without having seen his medicals, it’s also possible that one or both of the damaged ligaments had damage before he got here.”

  9. theplanisworking says:

    Another “wheathead”.
    Good choice in bands, Bill.

    I have had the privilege to see Kansas over a dozen times, from the old Civic Arena, to the Regatta, to outdoor stadiums, to the old Syria Mosque……… heck, they even did the Rib-off Festival one year. Actually got backstage once…… and have met every band member except David Ragsdale.

    Carry On, indeed. Not bad for last minute song for the Leftoverture album…….

  10. theplanisworking says:

    Joe, now you tell us. I could never have guessed the G Major theme.

    For this song, some have said it is in C major, or E Minor.
    The song does have some serious chops.
    Thanks for playing my favorite classic rock band.

  11. Wild Bill says:

    Very cool, Plan. Just saw Kansas about a year and a half ago at a winery near where I live. Outdoor concert for about 2000 people. Their musicianship was still excellent. A great night.

  12. Jandy says:

    Scapper, you have let yourself wide open for a bold reaming :)

    But then, I doubt Dejan will bother.

    But then again, I happen to agree with him. ;)

  13. Wild Bill says:

    I’m a little more into it than you are, Scapper, but I hear ya.

  14. Jandy says:

    Again, disagree. I’m invested in them. I’d love to see Team USA being home a gold medal.
    I was upset when the girls managed to lose to Canada yesterday. Will it ruin my year? No.
    I’m also looking forward to the Stanley Cup playoffs. And the grind leading up to it.
    yeah I’m a hockey fan and it matters to me.
    But so do the Olympics.

  15. Jandy says:

    being = bring.
    I woke up feeling like someone broadsided me.
    Can’t type for crap. Ugh.

  16. theplanisworking says:

    ++++++++

  17. Jandy says:

    LOVE Kansas. This is one of my favorite songs from the Leftoverture Album…thanks joe!

  18. Jandy says:

    I saw Kansas in Burgettstown, in the open air, and they were just awesome.
    Amazing band, amazing music.

  19. Wild Bill says:

    Have a Starbucks, J-gal. Or aren’t they in Duncansville yet?

  20. Jandy says:

    Dejan, again, thanks for ALL you’ve done in getting up information and coverage for these Olympics.
    Can’t say enough haw great it’s been, almost like we’re THERE at times.
    Hurry home!

  21. Jandy says:

    The only Starbucks available around here is in a Barnes and Noble waayyy across town in a shopping strip.
    I’ll settle for my Sheetz Serious Dark Roast :)

  22. theplanisworking says:

    +++++

    Kansas’s 2 biggest hits, Carry On, and Dust in the Wind were literally last minute additions by Kerry Livgren on their respective albums.

    Truly amazing.

    Now if I could just forget some of the weather associated with seeing them outdoors……… from a monsoon, to a 99 degree evening……

  23. Sarah says:

    Rask out with the flu.

  24. Sarah says:

    ….and is Paul Martin out??

    I see the US D pairs do not include him….?

  25. theplanisworking says:

    It’s a conspiracy!

  26. Sarah says:

    Fowler-Shattenkirk; Orpik-Carlson; Suter-McDonagh; Faulk

    Is Martin injured???

  27. Sarah says:

    too much celebrating?????

  28. theplanisworking says:

    Maybe. Too much vodka?

    When you put your egg in one basket, and it breaks, well……

  29. Jason81 says:

    Sick, according to the NBCSN broadcast.

  30. scapper says:

    They guy is a poster-child for pure journalism. He’s a beast. But that line…whew, I’m not upset about it. I seriously laughed at it.

    And if you agree, let’s say Sid gets his bean rocked today and misses the rest of the season with a concussion. Would be able to think, “Well, this could have happened anywhere.” Not me. I’d feel it’s a huge waste.

  31. Sarah says:

    Cast on his hand I heard???

  32. bummer..he definitely out? Carlson would be a downgrade.

  33. Brandie says:

    Where is a W-B Baby Penguin to replace him when you need one?

  34. Brandie says:

    From a Monsoon to a 99 Degree Evening. Sounds like a good name for this blog.

  35. theplanisworking says:

    You know, with regards to scapper’s post above, every injury, or illness will be used as fodder to not send NHL players to future Olympics. I know DK said that injuries happen, and that Tavares case could have happened anywhere, but I think owners and GM’s will be hesitant to send players to get hurt in what is an exhibition.

    Yes, the same players could get hurt in NHL games, but I think that is more palatable to owners. Just my opinion.

  36. Sarah says:

    wow a squeaker on Hank…..

  37. Ok so there are literally 2 adjustments that i really hope canada does not make today.

  38. Jandy says:

    indeed!

  39. Brandie says:

    Carlson better play like his hair is on fire then!

  40. Brandie says:

    Good morning everyone.

  41. Good morning brandicita

  42. Jandy says:

    Honestly, I’d would think it would happen anywhere. In fact, MORE likely to happen in the NHL games, and NOT the Olympics. I don’t think the nasty stuff happens there that causes so many of the worse injuries.

    But scapper, I <3 you friend, and respect your opinion :)

  43. Jandy says:

    Happy fackin Friday, Sistah….hope you’re in rare form again today :)

  44. Jandy says:

    Dang, I’m not liking the missing personnel from the Fins and USA line-ups…

  45. NMR says:

    Agree with you here, Jandy. Personally, I see this as Team USA, not individual players.

  46. Jandster, i’m actually concerned cuz PM isn’t playing…can you believe it? :)

  47. theplanisworking says:

    How to heave your BisonZ thru a monsoon in a 99 degree evening……… by Brandimal.

    Set to Magnum Opus.

  48. Crap…olli with a soff play.

  49. theplanisworking says:

    Good Morning to ewe, our Bison Muppet.
    Hope all is swell in your world.

  50. Brandie says:

    You are not running a temperature are you? Who would have thought anyone would miss PM?

  51. Jandy says:

    Woah! it better not snow today, Monster MASH!!! :P

  52. Brandie says:

    Or The Anvil Chorus.

  53. Jandy says:

    I’d miss PM in a heartbest any day of the season….

  54. Jandy says:

    that’s heartbeat…the coffee is NOT working :(

  55. Brandie says:

    PLLLLLLLAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNNNYYYYYYYYYYYY!!”’

  56. Wild Bill says:

    Howdy, Brandie!

  57. And calrson better not force me to channel mike keenan’s inner monster. I would ride the top 5 and mix in carlson when necessary.

  58. same goes for carlson :)

  59. Brandie says:

    Why it’s Untamed William or shall I say Big Willy Thrills!

  60. Wild Bill says:

    “Big Willy”. Like this sound of that.

  61. Sarah says:

    Good Lord the Finns are missing Tuuka.

  62. Brandie says:

    And no capable back up. Concerned.

  63. Brandie says:

    Just seemed like a good moniker. Makes you seem like a man with a mysterious past.

  64. Sarah says:

    The more I watch Maatta the more I am convinced we are under-utilizing him.

  65. bpn8pitt says:

    Heard Scuderi on the radio yesterday saying the NHL assumes all the risk where the Olympics reaps all the benefits.

    If Malkin or Crosby were Tavares, Yinzers would be rioting and the airwaves would be filled remorse and blame.

  66. Sarah, hate to say it but olli made boo boo that led to sweden’s 1st GA. Hope the fins come back.

  67. Wild Bill says:

    I do have a mysterious past. Useful when one’s bison won’t heave.

  68. Wild Bill says:

    Ya both are right.

  69. KenKopp says:

    I was already looking forward to noon. The article just stoked the coals. Good job as always DK.

    Can’t help but adding that yesterdays game was sports at it’s finest. Excitement, drama and raw emotion.

  70. Dom says:

    According to Alan Robinson, the Steelers will be about $9 million over the cap when it is raised to $130 million.

    At the moment, we have nine too many men on the roster. If we trim that down to 52 and release key people who haven’t lived up to expectation and making decent money, such as Curtis Brown, we can easily save over $4.5 million. Plus, it’s pretty clear we’re going to be parting ways Levi Brown and that will save us $6.25 million.

    At that point we’ll be $1.75 million below the cap. Plus, Ike is going to accept a decrease in pay or he will be gone. The same goes to Woodley. Troy might also accept a decrease in pay as well.

    I did hear that Worilds wants $8.5 million per year and he isn’t going to get that here but if he’s willing to come down on that price then I really don’t foresee an issue in signing him or a few other key free agents.

  71. Sarah says:

    A mistake doesn’t change my opinion, Monster.

    He should be playing more minutes when he gets back.

  72. Wild Bill says:

    Rask just quietly and efficiently gets the job done.

  73. Sarah says:

    That was awful. For those of you thinking that might have been me in goal there, I assure you it was Lehtonin….Oy.

  74. bpn8pitt says:

    Sarah, I don’t know a lot about hockey but I’m convinced Maatta is like a shiny new toy to a lot of fans. I remember when Letang was like that, honestly.

    Its amazing how we build guys up, just to tear them down sometimes.

  75. Sarah says:

    ….and doesn’t let fly balls go 6 hole.

  76. Jandy says:

    haha priceless!

  77. Brandie says:

    Big Willy Thrills…Heaving Bison Wrangler.

  78. Sarah says:

    Sorry can’t agree. Ollie is the real deal. He does all the little things that are not so noticeable unless you play and/or watch a lot of hockey.

    I totally agree we build guys up just to knock them later.

    That ain’t me tho. I never felt the way you describe about Letang.

  79. Brandie says:

    The man comes with talent and tools. He is also showing that he may be capable of being used even more.

  80. Wild Bill says:

    Woah…better and better.

  81. bpn8pitt says:

    I don’t think its that simple at all.

    Lately I’ve begun to wonder, why is everyone so eager to keep together a team that’s gone 8-8 in back to back seasons?

  82. Dom says:

    Why isnt it that simple? Where is the flaw in my argument?

  83. Inject it directly into your fingers to avoid Jandy/Brandie typo disease.

    :P

  84. theplanisworking says:

    Mercy.

  85. Jandy says:

    LOL, both of you!

  86. I’m with you there…but still can’t wrap my head around having a 19 year old play big minutes in the playoffs. But crazier things have happened….including me being concerned that PM isn’t playing :)

  87. Sarah says:

    Oh no doubt it won’t happen with Disco. Shame.

  88. Jandy says:

    Finland on the PP

  89. Jandy says:

    You said it Monster Mash ;)

  90. Jandy says:

    wasted…

  91. Sarah says:

    He did lead TOI for all D in the W over RUS. He’s playing big minutes and handling it.

  92. Jandy says:

    well, too.

  93. Oh ya no doubt…but one game isn’t a 7 game series in the playoffs.

  94. kr70 says:

    when we gonna get some video of the Russian women”s curling team????

  95. Jandy says:

    Oh ye of little faith ;)

  96. Jandy says:

    LOL! I posted some nice pics a couple days ago, kr

  97. I’ve seen some typos from your way, my purple-eyed friend.

    :)

    My errors are more in names and names of rock bands. My typing is flawless. (That ought to bring Drew out of hiding).

  98. Jandy says:

    apb out on Drewster!

  99. theplanisworking says:

    Guilty.

    If USA wins today, I will post something special in honor of you, Reverend. :)

  100. bpn8pitt says:

    1.75 million under the cap is nothing. They won’t be able to sign there rookie class let a lone any free agent.

    Even if you cut a player it incurs dead money. Especially if he has multiple years left.

    From Peter King, to Bouchette, Kaboly. All of them have said they still had cap issues. Hell even Robinson has said it wasn’t going to be easy.

  101. Milo Hamilton says:

    Cutting Levi Brown alone will nearly bring the Steelers under the cap. It’sreally not a big problem this year.

  102. Sarah says:

    Ugh. Rask was a huge loss.

  103. Where’s bortuzzo when you need him? :)

  104. Brandie says:

    We know your last name is Vokoun! :)

  105. Milo Hamilton says:

    Forgive my Nixonism, but let me make something perfectly clear. I really like Robert Bortuzzo. :)

  106. theplanisworking says:

    I have a question before I go………

    are other blogs on the Trib “closed” blogs?
    I tried posting something on another blog, and it has been “in moderation” for almost a day. Just wondering if certain blogs require some special passcode, or something.

    Go USA!

  107. KenKopp says:

    Yeah its been awhile.

  108. Jandy says:

    YOU AND ME both, Milo.

  109. Milo Hamilton says:

    Levi Brown brings no dead money. $6.25 million in savings free & clear.

  110. Jim S. says:

    I hear NBC put up up a Starbucks near there, Jandy …. but, they probably won’t let civilians use it. :-)

  111. Jandy says:

    I got nothing…dunno.

  112. Jim S. says:

    It matters to me, too, Jandy. I go back and forth about whether the pros should be playing, but I do love the Olympics and I love Olympic hockey.

    Set the DVR before I left for work, and will also make sure it is on in our office conference room.

  113. The Swedes will go for the gold and the Finns for the bronze on Sunday. Meanwhile, hopefully, the US will face Canada at noontime without Paul Martin. Nevertheless, the best of luck to Coach Dan Bylsma’s team.

  114. Jandy says:

    Dejan tried to sneak in and was escorted out, Jim LOL

  115. Get it ready. They’re gonna win.

  116. Milo Hamilton says:

    Just checked, cutting Brown puts their top 51 under the $130 cap and in compliance. Then the hard work starts, clearing enough space to give them some room to improve the team. I saw some stats that showed Ike Taylor to be the worst corner in football last year. There’s $7 million more right there.

  117. Jim S. says:

    SWE over FIN 2-1. I would like a do over on predictions. I was just kidding about Finland taking Gold.

  118. Jim S. says:

    They have good company in being over the cap. Another team long noted for fiscal restraint, the Dallas Cowboys, are also over the cap.

    But, this is the best draft class Kevin Colbert has seen in 30 years. Free agency doesn’t matter this year. He’s going to draft like 25 guys instead, I guess. Oh wait, we don’t stockpile those, either.

  119. Observations from Pirate City:

    Clint Hurdle is what one would call a dominant personality. With 4 fields carrying on activities simultaneously (all home plates meet in the center), he moves from field to field taking in all and inserting himself in all. I doubt there is much he misses. He frequently inserts comments, and when I am standing so close I can catch most of his comments. He new phrase this Spring is “Barrel Integrity.” He explained to a coach and a couple players: “I heard the term ‘Ball Integrity’ used so much during football games and college basketball this Fall and Winter. It makes sense that we should strive for Barrel Integrity.” He and Jeff Branson keep repeating the phrase to every player when he starts beating the ball into the ground or popping it high in the air.

    Hurdle also has words of encouragement when players have a good set. He called Jose Tabata “All World” in Spanish after Tabata had an excellent series of swings. Then Hurdle turned and announced that again to the Hispanic players behind him, to make sure all heard. Tabata got the biggest smile! When Clint Barmes stepped into the box, Hurdle called out “NerdPower” to the fielders. Barmes first two swings were off the top of the fence in left. Then he stepped out of the box and smiled at Hurdle. Hurdle has been especially complimentary to pitchers when they have a good “inning.”

    The pitchers have been doing their initial work of throwing in the bullpen, under Ray Searage and Jim Benedict’s watchful eyes and tutelege. After sitting about 10 minutes, they then move to one of the fields to throw an “inning” (24 pitches, I think, is what I picked up) against life batters. Then they sit for 10-12 minutes while another pitcher throws his inning. After that they go back out for their 2nd and last inning. Well designed. I explained yesterday that batters are only to swing at obvious strikes, so there’s not necessarily a whole lot of action. (4 swings by McCutch in 15 pitches by Cole yesterday.)

    Wandy looked great today in his bullpen. It’s very interesting when pitchers are throwing right beside another pitcher. One can watch the movement of both pitchers and hear the sounds. He was throwing hard (not 3/4 like one might think while babying his forearm) and putting the ball exactly where the catcher put his mitt. Man, can he make that ball move! I kept telling myself a bullpen session is just a bullpen session, but he sure looked better that a whole bunch of his fellow pitchers in their bullpen sessions. Then he got in the live batters situation. I told you the batters are to swing only if they are sure the ball is a strike. Many batters don’t swing at all. Wandy had a stretch where 3 different batters swung at 7 straight pitches——4 swings and misses and 3 foul backs into the cage. His pitches were obviously looking like strikes to the batters before darting away. That’s the Wandy who is premier; that’s the Wandy the Bucs need this year.

    I’ll end with reporting what I saw and creating a rumor at the same time. This will make my questionable friend National Mart of Records apoplectic! With 4 fields plus the bullpen work going on simultaneously, seldom are Clint Hurdle and Ray Searage at the same field at the same time. When they are, they are only at the same field for a few minutes at most. Wilp (1st name Matt, I think) is a lefty reliever who pitched in Korea last season. He is a non-roster player. Ray Searage watched his whole bullpen workout and had a long talk with him, then gave him a hug (it’s a bullpen tradition, I guess) after. He was sent to a field 10 minutes later for his “1st inning” which had 3 lefties of the 4 batters. Lo and behold, both Searage and Clint Hurdle show up to watch every pitch . . . . intently. Normally, the pitcher throws his 2nd inning at the same field. Yet Wilp is sent to a different field, where two of three batters are lefties, Travis Snider and Jaff Decker. (Decker’s a stocky midget!) At that field, Ray Searage AND Clint Hurdle AND now Neal Huntington scrutinize Wilp throw every pitch. Afterward, Hurdle goes over to him outside the fence (right beside me!) and says, “Excellent job, Wilp.” He begins to leave, then returns and says, “Good throwing, Wilp.” Wilp is not a hard thrower but the lefties did nothing but foul the ball back or hit weak infield grounders. Nothing was in the air.

    Here the rumor to start: Bucs do not need another lefty in the pen unless Justin Wilson or Tony Watson were to be trade-bait for Smoak in Seattle or the 1st baseman in Texas whom Fielder has cast aside to DH. Run wild, folks. Hurdle, Searage, and Neal weren’t all at the same field together watching Wilp go against lefties just to have a Prayer Meeting!

    Off to Pirate City . . . .

  120. Rob says:

    The realization the best hockey game of the whole tournament is on a channel you do not have . . . SIGH!

  121. Jim S. says:

    Nobody ever really accepts pay cuts. They accept kicking the problem down the road some more. We already have guys taking up cap space who are doing other things with their lives.

  122. 21sthebest says:

    A little Billy Joel trivia for Drew since Billy is at Consol tonight, Lullabye was written in G major. Beautiful song.

  123. Dom says:

    Yes, it is 1.75 before they lower the cap hit on Ike and Woodley. If worse comes to worse we’d release both of them and be under by more than $15 million.

  124. Milo Hamilton says:

    Adam Wilk – lefty reliever that pitched briefly for the Tigers.

  125. Jim S. says:

    Live streaming, Rob. I think it is NBCOlympics.com.

  126. 21sthebest says:

    Thanks Groat for your Observation Integrity!

  127. Milo Hamilton says:

    Paul Martin is out with the flu. Or Putin’s revenge.

  128. Sarah says:

    Broken hand I thought. In a cast.

  129. Jim S. says:

    We seem to be collecting those this year.

  130. Jim S. says:

    Thanks, Groat. I have been reading similarly optimistic reviews of Wandy so far from various sources. The key will be whether he can hold up throughout the season. Sounds as though he at least will be healthy when we break camp.

  131. Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl says:

    Rob – If you have Comcast Xfinity, set up your on-line account and you can watch live on your computer/smart phone/tablet. That’s how I’ve been catching the day time games on my “extended” lunch hour(s).

  132. Brandon says:

    Regardless of the theme, Carry on Wayward Son is one of the all time best rock n roll songs – Kansas should be n the Rock n Roll HOF…..always good to get the HOF debate on record, regardless of the venue.

  133. Wild Bill says:

    Groat, you dog! Scooping everybody – some media outlet is gonna want you on their payroll.

  134. Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl says:

    Also, other cable providers are included, but not all.

  135. Milo Hamilton says:

    Yep. NBC says flu, Rossi says hand. I go with Rossi. Just perfect.

  136. Jim S. says:

    I think Groat is that guy who is always pushing the envelope as to how close he can get to the action during these workouts. If they don’t put a stop to it, he’ll work his way all the way up to the point where he might be in the batter’s box before someone runs him off.

  137. Sarah says:

    If that’s true they could be down Letang and PM for possibly the rest of the year…..

  138. bpn8pitt says:

    Uh huh. Your still 3 million over, with Worilds, Sanders and Cotchery as free agents, with Pouncey and Ben due for extensions, a rookie class and some FA fillers.

    Do not discount Pouncey, Ben and whoever else needs an extension. Otherwise, your back to cutting and renegotiating in 2015.

    It is not as simple as it seems.

  139. Sarah says:

    Can we all say DEPRES??
    (And Borts???)

  140. Milo Hamilton says:

    Cutting Woodley actually costs your cap a half a million. Savings come in future years.

  141. Jim S. says:

    Our D-men are dropping like flies again. By “our” I mean Pens D-men.

  142. Milo Hamilton says:

    You’re not $3 million over. Cutting Brown makes you compliant. Period.

  143. What a second here…are we sure he’s in a cast???? Or is the flu? Only in russia can those 2 things get conflated.

  144. Dom says:

    Casey Hampton accepted a major pay cut. If Woodley or Ivan the great don’t, they could be gone too. I heard some say the same could be true to Troy as well.

  145. Jim S. says:

    Either way, above my pay grade.

    But, I always love your use of themes, JAL.

  146. Jandy says:

    Thanks Groat!!!!

  147. Sarah says:

    The word on Twitter is he was seen in a cast.
    Team trying to keep it under wraps. So the flu story….
    I guess we’ll see.

  148. bpn8pitt says:

    Dom, you need to spend some time looking at cap penalties. You are going year to year with this. You have to have some forsight.

    Part of the reason I think the Steelers suck right, is this rob Peter to pay Paul business plan. Which was the result of trying to keep the team together.

  149. Jim S. says:

    I assume Tavares still gets paid for the rest of the year – by his NHL team.

  150. bpn8pitt says:

    Are you aware they are still paying penalties for cutting Willie Colon?

  151. Jim S. says:

    He will have to, since LeTang and Martin are both going to be out.

  152. Dom says:

    Not if it is done after June 1st. In which case we’d save $8 million this year and he would be off the books in 2015 and 2016.

  153. Brandie says:

    Danger Will Robinson!

  154. Jandy says:

    Yes he does, Jim.

    And bpn, I wouldn’t be rioting.

  155. Milo Hamilton says:

    Off season compliance is your top 51 players only. All I’m talking about is getting under the cap. Cutting Brown does that.

  156. Jim S. says:

    Well, if they do, great. I hope you’re right, Dom. But, usually it just ends up in freeing up cap space now and tacking it on later. The Steelers have been doing that for a long time now, and it is helping cause these issues.

  157. Jandy says:

    Gotta do some heavy stuff…later Loonies

  158. Thundercrack says:

    Groat
    Maybe we can have you host a daily chat at the end of each of your visits to Pirate City

  159. Jim S. says:

    I’m positive Sweden is now going to be in the Gold Medal game. I’ll get back to you all with an opponent for them in about 5 hours.

  160. Dom says:

    “Are you aware they are still paying penalties for cutting Willie Colon?”

    Yes, that was factored in.

    What other penalities was I missing?

  161. Jim S. says:

    Maybe both.

  162. NMR says:

    I’ll take “questionable” as a compliment, friend. :)

    On a serious note, have you ever thought of keeping a Spring Training journal? You’re basically already doing it. It would be awesome to compile all these reports in one place and look back fondly.

  163. bpn8pitt says:

    So how do resign Worilds if you wait to June 1st to cut Woodley?

  164. Milo Hamilton says:

    It’s that new Putincare. When you get the flu, they cast your hand.

  165. Dom says:

    All penalities were covered on the site I obtained this info from.

  166. tpbco says:

    What I understand is that his hand is in a splint, out indefinitely, to be evaulated back in Pittsburgh.

    And why the hell isn’t he already on a plane?

  167. bpn8pitt says:

    You and Dom both are looking at this year to year, with no regard to resigning FA, guys with 1 or two years left on their current contract, or the amount of money they have to pay their draft picks and guys who get raises next year.

    It clearly is not that simple.

    But like your boy NMR says, write your own narrative.

  168. Dom says:

    Jim,
    You’re confusing restructuring contracts with pay cuts. If Ike accepts a pay cut, it wouldn’t affect the cap next year, like restructuring deals do.

    Bpn8pitt,
    Depending on the amount of the pay cuts, they alone could cover his 2014 cap hit.

    Keep in mind, his cap hit for this year shouldn’t be as bad as the last years of his contract.

    Also, keep in mind that Worilds 2014 gross pay wouldn’t be the amount of the cap hit.

    If Ike takes a pay cut, it might alone cover Worilds cap hit. If he doesn’t and he gets cut then that amount would more than cover it.

  169. Jim S. says:

    I’d watch my back, plan. Just sayin’.

  170. Jim S. says:

    Are you talking to me, bpn? I’m not looking at it as just this year at all.

  171. 21sthebest says:

    I’m thinking you can’t fly from Sochi to Pittsburgh daily.

  172. Jim S. says:

    I’m not confusing them at all, Dom. I know the difference is between a restructuring and a pay cut. What I said is that guys rarely take a pay cut, although they often get reported as a pay cut when it is a restructure. The player is portrayed as having done this wonderful service to the team, when all that is done is the problem is pushed down the road.

    You are saying that Ike, Woodley, Troy, etc. will take a pay cut. All I am saying is that I hope you are right. I don’t believe Troy thinks he is in line for a pay cut.

    I think we are in basic agreement, though. They need to cut ties with a few guys if they don’t take actual pay cuts.

  173. Jim S. says:

    But, there are like 15 daily non-stops from Sochi to Siberia – one way. Just added 2 weeks ago.

  174. Damon says:

    I started reading this article waiting for the joke or the line that says he’s kidding, but it never came…. Not sure if this guy is a real writer, but he goes well out of his way to slam the US team and the US at the same time.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/canada-win-every-way-better-usa-hockey-235823984–nhl.html

  175. Dom says:

    Ron Cook did say he felt that Troy will be gone if he doesn’t accept a pay cut. I don’t think that is true for him but it would be Woodley and Ivan the great. Considering that it is almost certain to happen, I really don’t see how the Steelers cap situation is in dire need.

  176. Milo Hamilton says:

    Jay Paterno. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

  177. 21sthebest says:

    No wonder the airlines go bankrupt a lot of the time.

  178. tpbco says:

    Yep.

    If someone had made this up…no one would have believed it.

  179. Milo Hamilton says:

    All that said, he’s got a shot. There are about 9 people running & he’s got name recognition.

  180. tpbco says:

    Doesn’t have to be a direct flight and I believe his boss (real one) owns a plane.

  181. Rob says:

    I will Czech it out in the past the live streaming only works if you have NBCSN as part of your television package.

  182. Rob says:

    I have DISH but not the package the includes NBCSN.

  183. Thanks again, Groaty. I was hoping for the prayer meeting.

    ;)

  184. Rob says:

    The NFL Network is reporting he has the flu in is hand.

  185. I had a quality chuckle when i heard about jay p.

  186. scapper says:

    Yeah, no worries. They still have a rested and ready Maata…oh wait.

    And heck, Martin could have broken his hand playing anywhere. Or so the logic goes.

  187. Milo Hamilton says:

    No, he’s sniping at me. He likes doing that.

  188. 21sthebest says:

    Well I wasn’t thinking direct flight!

  189. Milo Hamilton says:

    I think I addressed that at 9:34 am ?

  190. Its the thrilla in sochilla…part deux! :)

  191. Is it weird that i’m already wearing my helmet, shoulder pads and cup? :)

  192. Jandy says:

    Not at all :)

  193. Sarah says:

    Goodness maybe we should start a whole new thread! This game is gonna bust the blog!!!!

  194. Jandy says:

    It’s cantankerous in here, that will bust the blog!

  195. I’ll take a picture and make it my avatar :)

  196. Jandy says:

    Double dog dare ya! :P :P :P

  197. Wow is it faulk instead of carlson?

  198. Sarah says:

    Cup? TMI LOL Monster!!

  199. Oh ok…looks like carlson and faulk are alternating. And carlson had a day and a half on that one…

  200. Sarah says:

    Good block 44!!

  201. Sarah says:

    Tragic PP by CAN

  202. I think that 4 carlson not brooksie.

  203. NMR says:

    Only a matter of time before he ran for some kind of office. I thought he’d go after GT’s seat in the House.

    Alway found it funny that he strayed so far from his father politically.

  204. Jandy says:

    Having troubles with the blog loading…grrrrr

  205. Sarah says:

    Yow…..1-0 CAN

  206. Sarah says:

    Orpik has to tie up a stick there….

  207. Jandy says:

    PP USA

  208. Sarah says:

    Blog is broken….

  209. Ya i saw that…brooksie got caught in the wash and carlson faced wrong way.

  210. quick saved brooksies azz there

  211. Jandy says:

    USA on PP

  212. Milo Hamilton says:

    Snore.

  213. Sarah says:

    Thought that would be offsetting penalties there…..if they scire, Kuni will be crucified…

  214. Sarah says:

    I’m sure he’s missing PM….but no excuses….

  215. Jandy says:

    end of 2, Candada 1 USA 0
    Only 20 minutes left to go, boys…put it in high gear!

  216. Its gotta be suter-mcdonagh every other shift rest of the way. I would blend in brooksie as 5th dman with shattenkirk every now and then but for most part i want fowler-shattenkirk and suter-mcdonagh rest of the way. Time to load up with Kessel and Kane flanking pavelski or stastny. Let JVR and parise muck it up with kesler(if he’s in one piece). Then bring the beef with Pacioretty-backes-callahan or brown.

  217. Milo Hamilton says:

    Is this what they call a “friendly” in soccer ?

  218. Sarah says:

    They better bring something. They’re just getting shut down.
    So much for Rossi’s prediction about US speed killing CAN’s D…..

  219. I named the games the ’2014 Selke’s’

  220. Jandy says:

    Start of the 3rd…

  221. Sarah says:

    DK criticizing the 1-2-2 wanting them to attack CAN more…..good points….they seem timid. Afraid of CAN.

  222. brooksie bailin out quick there

  223. chances havent been the problem

  224. Jandy says:

    from cbs sports blog:
    Canada just hammering away on Jonathan Quick right now with a solid two minutes of pressure but it remains a one-goal game. Canada’s forecheck compared to the USA’s is night and day.

  225. Sarah says:

    What forecheck?

  226. Depth on d for canada is staggering.

  227. Thundercrack says:

    NBC is airing soap operas instead of Olympic hockey: USA v Canada. Interesting. What may that be saying?

    1. Hockey still has a way to go (I know it isn’t a gold medal game but it’s still a big game. Can’t the sell a boatload of advertisements ?)

    2. Don’t mess with viewers of the soaps

  228. Sarah says:

    US needs some insane individual effort at this point. I can’t believe they look this flat….

  229. Jandy says:

    Canada on PP

  230. No adjustments with the lines…seeing multiple forecheckers but also seeing a stupendous defense from canada. How bout using the high slot and center point???

  231. Jandy says:

    killed off

  232. Sarah says:

    I’m sorry, “adjustments” did you say?….

  233. Jandy says:

    it says they’re not reaching the right demographic ;)

  234. No worries sarah…wheelers on the ice cold off the bench….

  235. Jandy says:

    USA is REALLY missing Paul Martin :/

  236. Ok now seeing line changes but not what spock would do…

  237. Milo Hamilton says:

    The upside is I’m getting an awful lot of work done. Might even be able to bail out early and go home & watch something exciting. Like golf.

  238. Wild Bill says:

    Canada did what I did not think they could do – play as a unit better than the U.S.

  239. Jandy says:

    really disappointing

  240. Jandy says:

    watch it doesn’t bleed.

  241. Dom says:

    The men’s and women’s hockey team should not be allowed back in the US.

  242. Jandy says:

    Now come on, Dom, the ladies won medals.

  243. 21sthebest says:

    ESPN must have paid off NBC to keep hockey down.

  244. Dom says:

    second is first place for losers

  245. Milo Hamilton says:

    The sad thing about this is that it was probably the Americans last chance for the foreseeable future. The appetite for shutting down the league for two weeks seems to be waning. More and more owners are coming out against the idea & the injuries incurred can’t help that. And, the tournament as a whole has pretty much fallen flat this time around. This format peeked in Vancouver four years ago and I really think we’ve seen the last of it for quite some time. Canada reigns supreme, and we’ll be hearing about until the next time. Whenever that may be.

  246. Canada’s defense was obviously too much as the US lost 1-0! And now, the US will play the Finns for the bronze tomorrow while the Canadians play the Swedes for the gold on Sunday. You naturally wish the US was in the finals but the Canadians plainly dominated totally today.

  247. Milo Hamilton says:

    Chris Kunitz was great today. We’re fortunate to have him here.

  248. 21sthebest says:

    That’s a Jerry Seinfeld bit!

  249. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I’m always quick to say that I don’t follow hockey as much as baseball and football.
    I’ve enjoyed the Olympic hockey BUT….I could do without it.
    Just from a Penguins standpoint alone….You now have Paul Martin with an injured hand, and Sidney Crosby bouncing his head off the boards.
    It’s not worth it in my book……

  250. I just thank heaven the Americans won’t have to worry about the NHL shutting down for the next four years when the Olympics will then be held in South Korea.

  251. Dom says:

    When did he say that?

  252. Dom says:

    Is he going blast me on twitter too?

  253. 21sthebest says:

    Jerry? He does this bit on the Olympics which includes the Silver Medal meaning that you’re the first loser.

  254. Sarah says:

    I am sure that will be the debate.

    I actually don’t know where the balance of power lies…..with the league, or with the NHLPA? If up to the players, they’re coming back in 4 years, N Korea or Mars.

    But I don’t know how that decision is made.

  255. Dom says:

    I just thought it was an expression.

  256. theplanisworking says:

    ??????

  257. I’d like to see more of a pre-lim. As is its 3 games for each team in 3 groups of 4. Would rather see 2 groups of 6 so there are 5 games in pre-lim’s so teams can gel. From there you can do shorter playoff with top 4 from each group playing in quarters.

  258. Side benefit would be that pre-lim games have more meaning which would lead to coaches releasing the hounds more often and sooner which would entertain the masses and milo on a grander scale…IMO

  259. scapper says:

    Now c’mon, admit it. You might be kind of bummed that the U.S. lost, but it’s not really bothering you that much right? How much emotion can you tie into a team you first saw play about 9 days ago?

    Now imagine if this were a game 7 Pens loss. No comparison, right?

    Yet the league shuts down for over two weeks and guys like Tavares, Martin and Zetterberg get hurt playing in this exhibition.

    When’s Thursday’s face-off?!

  260. theplanisworking says:

    It’s my fault the USA lost. I didn’t see the game.
    Now the Reverend is spared by my victory post.
    “Lucky” for him.

  261. theplanisworking says:

    With all the chatter above regarding the Steelers cap situation, an important point was missed……………..

    Even if they manage the cap the next 2 years, what, or how do they approach the Ben extension situation?

    This will not be pretty at all……..

  262. Dom says:

    According to this site we’re well below the cap for next season.

    http://overthecap.com/teamcap.php?Team=Steelers&Year=2015

    I know the $85 million will increase but that is also including Woodley and Levi Brown.

  263. Jim S. says:

    I thought the US had better uniforms. There’s that.

  264. Jim S. says:

    Well, then we should be able to sign a bunch of impactful free agents.

  265. scapper says:

    Commissioner Scapper’s New Rules:

    1. You can play in the Olympics, but you agree to forfeit per-game pay if you get hurt there.

    2. Season ticket holders get a per-game, partial refund for each game a player is out. The bigger the star, the higher the amount refunded.

    3. The league continues play without you. Enjoy the love of your teammates as you take your star power halfway across the globe on your ego trip.

    Just goofing around, of course, but…

  266. Dom says:

    If we are way down, I wonder if they’ll pay Ben extra after they redo this contract so his number wont be as so high in the following seasons.

  267. Jim S. says:

    I don’t know how to rectify this, but it has always seemed odd to me about the Olympics. Team sports, like basketball or hockey, require a bunch of 2+ hour games, played by 6 people at once, and a roster of … is it 20 for hockey and 12-15 for basketball?

    Once all the games are done in those sports, 3 medals are given out.

    Then, someone runs, skates or skis for less than a minute, sometimes, and gets a medal.

    I’m not saying the individuals don’t deserve a medal, by any means. Just pointing out the disparity in some of these Olympic sports.

  268. Jim S. says:

    Hopefully, he is at the point now, financially, where he actually accepts a bit less in order to help them sign other people on his next contract. Peyton doesn’t do that. Brady did.

  269. Jim S. says:

    And, of course, only 5 playing at once for each team in hoops. Oops.

  270. Pucknutz says:

    Certainly would have liked to see a US win….. but hey it is only 1 game. 1-0 game…ain’t like they got crushed…CAN shut em down. Not possible, but would like to see a best of 3 for the Gold.
    Still got more hockey to watch…. I have enjoyed it, not as intense and nail biting as playoff hockey, but entertaing none the less. Little change of pace.
    Players seem to enjoy it – bettin we see em again in 4 years.

  271. JohninOshkosh says:

    The Olympic men’s hockey losses I have watched from 76 to today hurt my sports soul more than any other losses in any other sports.

    They have eternal stings to them.

  272. theplanisworking says:

    But, what about the Tigers bullpen, Jim?????? ;)

  273. Dom says:

    What about them?

  274. JAL,

    Your Never-to-be-guessed theme this week is similar to the sought after clue in the movie “Jumping Jack Flash”, when Whoopi Goldberg was both young and funny.

  275. Jim S. says:

    I still have my doubts, plan.

  276. Jim S. says:

    Isn’t it actually 3+ weeks also, Milo?

  277. Jim S. says:

    Ricky Bobby.

  278. Jim S. says:

    Just joking about your comments being under moderation. Maybe you are on double secret probation.

  279. theplanisworking says:

    HA !!!!!!!!!!!

    With my luck, Dean Wormer is in charge of the blog in question. ;)

  280. Jim S. says:

    So, what did we learn today? Here’s what I learned:

    * A few NHL teams, the Pens included, are going to be short some key players as a result of Sochinjuries.

    * Pittsburgh-area Starbucks locations are likely to see a spike in sales at some point next week. Hopefully, they held off on the drastic layoffs plans contemplated over the past 2 weeks.

    * Groat has given us a glimmer (or maybe more) of hope with Wandy.

    * Sid and Kuni march on, although they have apparently shamed many in their country.

    * Dan Bylsma … I don’t think I learned anything there.

    * The Steelers may or may not be in a great, good, bad or awful cap situation. We still don’t know whether Warren Bankston still has money deferred that is counted against said Steelers cap.

    * Regardless, the Steelers will not sign any impact free agents this off-season.

    * Jay Paterno won’t go away.

    * No. Carolina is still on a roll in hoops. Not sure if Groat even noticed the Dukies lost last night.

    * Soap operas get good ratings, apparently.

    * Plan is under constant “moderation.” But, I’ve always heard nothing is too bad for you, as long as it is done in moderation.

    * The sun will still come up tomorrow. Have a great weekend, everyone!

  281. Pucknutz says:

    “More than 700,000 people streaming at end of US-Canada 1st period — higher than concurrents for NBC’s ’12 Super Bowl” – NBC tweet

    Well……. that could mean a lot of things…..

    Olympic hockey is really popular…..
    Lots and lots of folks watching at work on their “work” stations…… being its not a Sunday,and most people working.
    Not on NBC – just cable……
    Not positive on that last one…as I recall to stream it ,ya had to put some stuff about your cable provider.

    I am gonna go with all 3. :)

  282. theplanisworking says:

    Thanks for the shoutout, Jim.

    Hopefully you will have all your snow melt. :)

  283. theplanisworking says:

    Here is what I learned, Jim……………………

    1)

  284. Thundercrack says:

    Here’s a good column by Ken Rosenthal about the Tigers trading away Fister. Interesting take on how teams did not want to trade away top-end, young pitching.

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/tigers-might-get-short-end-of-fister-trade-but-they-thought-it-through-022014

  285. Jim S. says:

    A lot has melted in the last few days, due to 40′s on Wed/Thur and lots of rain yesterday. But, I still have 8′ walls lining my driveway, plan.

  286. Jim S. says:

    I read that also, puck. I felt like there was a lot of interest in that game today. We set up a big screen in our conference room, and most of our office of 20 or so people spent their entire lunch watching it.

  287. Jim S. says:

    Now, that’s funny.

    I assume your comment is “under moderation.”

  288. Milo Hamilton says:

    He said Warren Bankston ! :)

  289. theplanisworking says:

    :D

    Good one, Jim !!

  290. Jim S. says:

    Consulted the Way Back Machine.

  291. theplanisworking says:

    After 4 days of rain, and 40 degree temps, we still have so much snow piled up, you cant see cars coming in intersections.

    Is it summer yet?

  292. Milo Hamilton says:

    Ambridge tomorrow. I wonder if they’re using the old field house, it’s considerably bigger.

  293. Jim S. says:

    They already canceled summer here. At this rate, we’ll be under water until July.

  294. theplanisworking says:

    Yes, they are.
    The new gym is for minor sports I believe. New Castle did the same thing when they built the new school………. volleyball, gymnastics etc. are played in the smaller gym.

    I see a totally packed house tomorrow……… basically 2 New Castle teams playing there.

  295. Pucknutz says:

    Ya Jim, I noticed a fair amount of interest from a number a people that I never considered more than casual fans.
    Lot of people seem to know about it and asked me about it.
    Maybe it is really a good thing for the NHL. In spite of the chance of injury etc., maybe it is worth it to draw more casual fans into the game.

  296. Jim S. says:

    Good article, TC. I actually know the other lefty they got, Ian Krol. He went to the high school my daughters go to, and he plays for the same baseball club my 12 year old plays for. He’s not as big of a deal as Ray, but he’s still young and I’m pulling for him.

    But, this story brings up a point I always make when I hear fans wanting to trade away Wilson or Watson for someone like Ike Davis. These lefties with good arms don’t grow on trees. It is much tougher to replace them than it is to replace a lefty platoon 1b.

  297. theplanisworking says:

    Also, Milo, think of the “old” Beaver County gyms……. Ambridge, Aliquippa, Midland…… all HUGE gyms at small schools.

  298. Arriba Wilver says:

    Really good stuff, Groat. Really appreciate the man on the scene POV.

  299. Arriba Wilver says:

    Mark Wilp is his Korean name.

  300. Brandie says:

    Here is what I learner from reading the comments…

    1. There will be tremendous teeth gnashing over the Steelers salary cap/gap situation, who gets signed, who is asked to leave due to wanting way too much with little room for negotiation, and who will be thrown under the bus and backed over by said bus for coming into camp being woefully out of shape.

    2. The Pens and many other teams will be minus a few key players due yo this Olympic foray. Pens have been there before. Time to man up and handle your business.

    3. Frank Coonelly is like that strange uncle every family has but no one really talks about until he starts talking out of his azz!

    4. Dan Bylsma is Dan Bylsma. Nothing to see here. Move along yinz!

    5. In related news…water is still wet.

  301. Brandie says:

    Thing number 6…Let there be typos!

  302. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jim—the Pirates attempts to get a lefty 1B would indicate you are incorrect with that statement. ;-)

  303. theplanisworking says:

    Now that is something we always learn from you. :)

  304. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’m not the type at all to lament that things were better in the “good ole days” but I do appreciate that things are both lost and gained with change.

    To that end TCM has two films on tonight that come from a different era of filmmaking, and are well worth your time. At 6:00 ET is “The Sunshine Boys” (1975, Directed by Herbert Ross). It is a film that deals with themes usually avoided by Hollywood like the plague. Growing old and seemingly irrelevant by a youthful changing society. It features two Titans of the cinema: George Burns and Walter Matthau.

    Following that is “Going My Way” (1944, Directed by Leo McCarey). The quintessential Bing Crosby vehicle outside of his likeable signature “On the Road” films with Bob Hope. Doubtful that a film portraying a Catholic priest working for his Archdiocese and working with children would be made today. The Irish lullaby scene brings real tears with it, especially to anyone who, either by distance or loss, is denied the presence of his or her mother.

    This month is TCM’ s salute to the Academy Awards. A great film almost every night.

  305. theplanisworking says:

    +++++++++++

  306. Brandie says:

    Thank you for your input Plan De Parade!

  307. theplanisworking says:

    ++++++

  308. Double+++++++++++++++

  309. Brandie says:

    Nice to see you Revvie. Enjoy the movies. They seem like quality picks.

    Thanks be to you Wisconsin’s Finest.

  310. These are the good ole days.

    (Thank you, Carly Simon)

  311. BillyBaduka says:

    It’s not simple but it’s not as dire as I thought it was towards the end of the season.

    Here is an article that says that the Steelers are one of the 5 teams in the worst cap position. Then goes on to lay out a similar scenario to Dom’s in how they become compliant.

    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on-football/24382087/agents-take-worst-salary-caps-cowboys-saints-steelers-lead-way

    The article is written late December and assumes a 126 million dollar cap based on NFL projection from 12/11/13.

    Are they out of the woods? No.

    Yes they will carry dead money in ’15 and ’16. They gambled with the 2010 team to make few runs and lost.

    They need to be more prudent with restructuring and resigning but it’s not off the table completely. Hopefully they have learned from past mistakes.

  312. BillyBaduka says:

    Bingo

  313. Naje says:

    Dan Bylsma: a coach impervious to adjustments.

  314. It’s good to hear that former Penn State coach Tom Bradley is now a linebacker coach at West Virginia.

  315. Coach Dan Bylsma says he can guarantee the bronze over the Finns tomorrow. Fine, except that we would’ve preferred to be competing with the Swedes for the gold,

  316. Bizrow says:

    Sorry, I did watch, but cannot get excited or bummed about the outcome

    You throw a bunch of players together for a couple days

    Then you play

    The best part of this is Dejan got to cover it and there was no stupid stuff

    Beat Em Bucs

  317. An anonymous high ranking Olympic skatiing official has complained that the awarding of the gold medal in figure skating was slanted towards the Russian Adelina Sotnikova, and so, US Figure Skating has submitted a proposal that would rescind anonymous judging this.summer.

  318. Jim S. says:

    Of course it was. These figure skaters practice hours upon hours every day of their lives leading up to these games, then the “adults” cheat. Sad.

  319. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Orioles have signed Nelson Cruz to a 1 year contract. The Pirates, of course, have done nothing.

  320. pattonbb says:

    Turn down $14m. Sign $8m. Smart guy.

  321. Milo Hamilton says:

    U.S. hasn’t scored in 4 and a half periods. Disco is looking down at Rask & having flashbacks.

 
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