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Vacation thread 2-26-14

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

On break until March 10. Please feel free to use this post as a discussion thread, as always.

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.


  1. JAL says:

    JAL’s JAL’s Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better Morning Links 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: Why Tony Sanchez Spending 2014 in Triple-A Isn’t a Bad Thing

    Taiwan is a Baseball Hotbed, and the Pirates are Getting a Strong Presence There

    Spring Training Notes: Stolmy Pimentel and Tony Sanchez Impress

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Ask Bucs Dugout: Qualifying offers, shortstops, payroll, and why I like baseball

    7 Rumbunter

    Stolmy Pimentel: Trade Bait or Pittsburgh Pirates 2014 Sleeper?

    Tony Sanchez Off To Hot Start, Is It The Hair or The Forearms?

    Pirates Lineup for Yankees, Depth, and Future Strengths

    8 Green Weenie

    2/25: Syd Thrift, Tony Womack, Matt Lawton…

    9 Fake Teams

    Prospect Profile: Gregory Polanco

    10 Saber Bucs

    Neil Walker 2014.

    11 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates: Francisco Liriano Tabbed To Start Spring Training Opener

  2. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 Bradenton Herald

    Pittsburgh Pirates | Catcher Tony Sanchez hungrier after taste of big leagues in 2013

    13 Rant Sports

    Who Cares About A.J. Burnett Making His Philadelphia Phillies Debut Against Pittsburgh Pirates?

    14 Pirates Site

    And they’re off: Spring slate just the start for Bucs

    15 Beaver County Times

    New Pirate McGuiness could be factor at first

    16 SB Nation

    Preseason Predictions: What are they good for? (Absolutely nothing)

    17 Washington Observer Reporter

    Pirates hope Sanchez is answer at first base

    18 St. Louis Post Gazette

    Cards insist Martinez ‘clean up’ Twitter account

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Prospects Will Break Your Heart 2014 Organizational Rankings

    20 Chicago Sun Times

    Faces of MLB managers seem to be getting younger every year

  3. Hopefully, Pitt beats Boston College tonight, since Boston College did upset Syracuse and end the Orange’s winning streak.

  4. Coach Dan Bylsma thinks that the Pens’ defense is still okay despite the injuries, and it better be, considering that he guaranteed that the US would win the bronze against Finland.

  5. Sarah says:

    I am filled with confidence!

  6. Jandy says:

    On the status of Pens’ injured players and the looming trade deadline:

    The injury report provided by Shero and coach Dan Bylsma was grim:

    • Right wing Pascal Dupuis’ knee injury wasn’t just to his ACL but also to his MCL. He was forced to strengthen other portions of his knee before finally having surgery seven weeks following his injury. Dupuis will miss six to eight months, making his availability at the beginning of next season uncertain.

    • Right wing Beau Bennett, dealing with a broken wrist, suffered a setback that will keep him out of the lineup for at least three to four more weeks. Bylsma called the setback “more of a bump in the road than a wall,” but Bennett figures to see little game action before the postseason.

    • The Penguins remain unsure whether Letang will play again this season.

    • Martin will miss at least four weeks with a broken hand and could miss closer to six weeks.

    • Neither Bylsma nor Shero confirmed that goalie Tomas Vokoun, out since September with a blood clot, will play this season.

    Letang’s immediate future should play a role in how aggressive Shero is at the trade deadline. The general manager said he would leave room for Letang to play, should he be medically cleared to return before the playoffs. Shero would have more salary-cap flexibility to make a move if the team moved Letang to the long-term injured reserve list, which would free $3.5 million of prorated salary.

    Shero said the team will attempt to make “an educated guess” regarding Letang’s status, then act accordingly at the trade deadline.

    Read more:
    Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

  7. Sarah says:

    And when is th
    ‘educated guess’ be made?

  8. Jandy says:

    I would imagine right before the trade deadline :)

  9. Sarah says:

    to be made! ugh, need coffee…..

  10. Sarah says:

    I don’t think they can do anything too meaningful without Letang Cap money…..

  11. Jandy says:

    They have Dupuis’ at $3.75M

  12. Sarah says:

    Yes, I was thinking RS should try to get permanent solutions not rentals……we could get someone fofr that for playoffs, but long term?

  13. Jim S. says:

    M.A.S.H. unit continues.

  14. I believe there’s no cap once playoffs start…unless new cba changed that. So technically we could load up then take everyone off IR right before 1st round.

    And dont read too much into yesterday’s press conference. If you’re shero trying to get prices to come down what are you going to say? Of course your gonna say we have no cap space and prices too high.

  15. Jim S. says:

    Since the ladies here have the hockey knowledge this morning, I ask this question to Sarah and Jandy …

    If they put Letang on L-T IR, how much space does that free up? Whatever is left of his salary at the time he goes on?

  16. Jim S. says:

    So, Jaime Garcia, who missed all of last season with arm injuries is still having pain this spring. And, he is being sent to to Dr. you-know-who for a 2nd opinion. The Cards brass say they feel pretty optimistic about things, but they want to be sure. Usually, when you have that appointment with Dr. Andrews, you don’t leave without surgery scheduled. If so, St. Louis will have no LHP in their rotation this year. I think that makes it even more imperative for us to have someone who can swing the bat well from the left side at 1b.

  17. Brandie says:

    Welcome to Hockey Talk with Sarah and Jandy! Long time / first time…

    Seems like the Pens cannot catch a break with injuries this year. My question is, with so many areas of need, who would you suggest for long term solutions instead of going the band aid route that got us bounced from the Playoffs last year? Thank you for your time.

    I’ll hang up and listen.

  18. Jandy says:

    I’d love to have some permanent wingers (top) on this team, but with the cap hits of Sid and Geno, and then Letang, it won’t happen

  19. Jandy says:

    I’m no cap space geek, I bow to Sarah and Monster Mash.

  20. With disco saying the Engo will be back on d, does it really matter? Sarah should i say “oy” or will you?

  21. Sarah says:

    Well I definitely think we should NOT go band-aid/rental if at all possible.

    I’m not enough of a Cap geek to know how match of Letang’s hit we could use if we put him on LTIR.

    Monster’s right we could load up and then take people of LTIR before playoffs…..but then we may blow the cap next year so we;d have to get rid of some people…..which means Rentals I suppose.

    I think the moves from last year have tied our hands a good bit……

  22. Jim S. says:

    I’m not a big fan of making a ton of short term deals at the deadline in hockey any more than I am in baseball. I said when the moves were made last year that the influx of talent wasn’t automatically going to make them a better team as a lot of people assumed. It is hard to integrate so many new players into something that has been building with a different group of guys for months. But, RS kept adding and adding.

    I don’t think he’s going to have that option this year.

  23. Sarah says:

    I really cannot believe after last year’s playoffs they’d even consider putting ENgelland on D again.

    After spending all year preventing Despres/Borts from getting the experience they need.

    It’s just terrible use of personnel and Classic Bylsma.

  24. I see them going with Gaby more against righties. They have little or no confidence in Lambo, McGuinness, Ishakawa or anyone else.

    At least Gaby can field the position. He runs like Barajas sometimes, but, if he can hit righties at all, he might nail it down.

    Hope I’m wrong, but I get that distinct feeling.

  25. Jandy says:

    Sistah!!!!! The pickings this trade deadline are slim. I’ve been paying attention to what The Monster has been saying, and he likes Boyes. :)

  26. Sarah says:

    Yup I hear they are slim indeed. Possibly why RS is hinting at standing pat…..

  27. Thundercrack says:

    I heard (most of the interview) Lambo on the radio yesterday with David Todd. I was impressed. I am rooting for this kid.

    And I think it is a least worth a shot to see what he might be able to do.

  28. Just read Starkey’s column today and he’s definitely on the right track but I wanted to add a few things:

    In today’s NHL coaching up your players to handle defensive responsibility is nothing more than being par for the course. Our playoff success and failure wont be decided by disco’s ability to shoot for par, it will hinge on his ability to nail the occasionally birdie or eagle(i’m not a golfer so bear with me on these analogies).

    When opposing coaches match lines obsessively and tinker with their forecheck and neutral zone play we need to have answers on the fly, not after being outscored by a touchdown in games 1 and 2 at home by boston. Playing solid in games 3 and 4 was too little too late. A bogey so to speak…or worse.

    Now like i was saying yesterday, in canada game we lost to better and deeper team. But at the same time, as the game went on i didn’t see many adjustments on the fly. Canada moved their forecheck and defensive box/triangle up ice to close gap and our only answer was to keep moving up to our forwards via long pass or disco stretch who were bracketed and wrapped up in canadian bacon…mmmm….bacon…then when they chipped the puck into the zone there was no support or speed to allow for the recovery of puck. I bring this up cuz there were plenty of times our dmen could’ve held onto the puck behind the net and allowed for controlled breakouts with support up ice which could’ve broken down the canadian forecheck and trap. But instead it was just a repetitive race to get the puck north instead of reading and reacting to what was going on.

    If that was geno, sid or our guys on the other end of that whats to stop them for losing their cool and taking stupid penalties?…oh wait…

  29. He needs to be 7th or 8th dman.

  30. K that settles it…if we trade for him he needs to change his name :)

  31. Sarah says:

    I hope for Kulemin for Geno……beyond that…..dunno!!
    I actually think they will be fine on D without Letang (AND Engo)…..

    But watching Gladams or Gibbons on Sids RW is gonna be painful…..

    Matta showed he could eat up prime minutes like candy. Will Bylsma actually use him more?

  32. Baywatch says:

    I feel the same way, TC! And I felt the same way when Steve Pearce rocketed through our system that one year. GIVE HIM A CHANCE! Best I recall, they were slow about giving it to him (encouraged along by his failure to adequately handle the curveball), and when they finally did give him a decent chance, he got hurt. Here’s to our potential Rookie Of The Year, Andrew Lambo. I LIKE his approach!

  33. Karen22 says:

    Greetings, Loonies! And welcome home, Dejan!

    Popping in on 1st-Spring-Training-Game-Day to shout: GO PENS!!

    Nothing like talking hockey AND baseball on a below-zero-wind-chill day in Western PA!!

    PLAY BALL! :)

  34. I hope Bay and TC are both right. I’ve been rooting for the kid for a couple years now since he fell pray to the temptations along the way. I’d like to see him make it for his own good and the good of the ballclub.

    I just have a sneaking feeling they like Gaby a little too much at times.

  35. Baywatch says:

    +++ (Which is synonymous with “Two Mules For SISTAH Sarah!”) :-)

  36. Sarah says:

    Spot on…..a repetitive race to the dump in which we kept losing. If F1 loses the battle, I don’t care how aggressive F2 is…’re pooched.

  37. Baywatch says:

    Morning, Karen! Seeing your handle always reminds me of the ’60s show I loved when I was in junior high, “Room 222,” starring, among others, Karen Valentine! Uh … You’re not Karen Valentine, minus a 2 are you? :-)

  38. Jandy says:

    lol just had to ;)

  39. Brandie says:

    Good Morning Say Bay Kid!

  40. Jandy says:

    Agreed, TC

  41. Baywatch says:

    “Say, Hey-HEY!”

  42. Baywatch says:


  43. When we trade for him and he starts to find open ice for shots for sid you guys will like boyes too :)

  44. Brandie says:

    He’s a Boyes Boy then! :)

  45. Jim S. says:

    They do seem to be setting us up for a summer of more Gaby, don’t they?

  46. Brandie says:

    This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco…

  47. Brandie says:

    Greetings to the namesake of the best life guard show on Tv…ever!

  48. Jim S. says:

    I recall you were saying he deserved his shot last year, Lucky.

  49. Jandy says:

    I’ll LOVE Boyes!! ;)

  50. Jim S. says:

    This ain’t no foolin’ around!

  51. Brandie says:

    You really get me Jimmerz!

  52. This be The Consol Dome Round

  53. Yeah and it wasn’t overly popular and met with some scorn when he didn’t hit 15 HR’s in his 30 AB’s.

    Still some negative talk about him already, but time will tell.

    A person earns a shot and it’s up to them to make the best of it.

  54. Baywatch says:

    He does well against lefties. Perhaps that factors into him getting more reps at third these days. Pedro does NOT hit lefties!

  55. Arriba Wilver says:

    Understandable misspelling, Rev.

  56. Brandie says:

    We sing a lot around here. I like it!

  57. Jim S. says:

    The temperature outside, according to my dashboard, was 1 as I drove to work this morning. But, the sun was out with not a cloud in the sky. So, this is a great day to talk baseball!

    Question for the baseball group – Who is the most indispensable Bucco this year, and why? Who can we least afford to lose via injury for an extended amount of games?

    I am going to say El Toro, Pedro Alvarez. We know he is not our best player. But, the guy has been a rock in terms of health the last couple of years, and we don’t have a lot of alternatives at 3b. So, if Pedro goes down, we lose his 35-40 HR (my projection for this year), and that gets replaced with Morel, Harrison, Gaby? Ugh! I guess they could slide Jordy over to play 3b, but then that means Pedro’s bat gets replaced by Barmes’ bat.

    He is not allowed to get injured. If you are still at ST, Groat, please convey that message to the Big Bull!

    Cutch would be a bad loss as well, but I feel we at least have some options to partially replace him better than we can replace Pedro.

    And, I don’t want to lose Frankie or Cole, either. But, I still say losing Pedro cripples us the most.

  58. Karen22 says:

    HAHAHA, Bay!! Hardly! I do remember watching that show, though! Not a Valentine, but I AM old! Matter of fact, just had a Beatles-song birthday…UGH!!!!

  59. Arriba Wilver says:


  60. Baywatch says:

    But I like a good beer buzz, early in the mornin’ …

  61. Baywatch says:

    “It’s my birthday, too, yeah!” :-)

  62. Karen22 says:

    Kaptain of what, Brandy Snifter!?

  63. Brandie says:

    And the typos shall now commence.

  64. Arriba Wilver says:

    I get your logic, but I still think it’s Cutch. Maybe I’m just stubborn. ;-)

  65. Brandie says:

    Why The SS Kovacevic of course!

  66. Where is the other 1/3 of the typo triplets, Brandie, Jandy and Plandy? Did he sleep in?

  67. Brandie says:

    They say grains are an important part of a balanced breakfast.

  68. Baywatch says:

    You got me in tears, Jim! Thinking about losing our guys! Well, gonna remain the optimist and say: “Did the Colts miss a beat when Unitas went out and Earl Morrall stepped in?” WHAT ABOUT WHEN THE GERMANS BOMBED PEARL HARBOR? :-)

  69. 21sthebest says:

    +1 for Cutch. Not the part about you being stubborn.

  70. Karen22 says:

    Well, happy birthday to YOU! Mine was Saturday…always had a day off from school way back in the Dark Ages when “Presidents Day” was actually “George Washington’s Birthday,” February 22nd. (THUS my “22”). I’d share a piece of cake with you, but I’m on my umpteenth diet…and I don’t even like cake.

  71. Brandie says:

    He may be out disco ice dancing somewhere.

  72. Jandy says:

    I think he’s busy this morning, but he should be on later.

  73. Karen22 says:

    HA! I think I’d only qualify as First Mate then. Gotta hand the steering to the boss!

  74. Jandy says:

    + for both ;)

  75. Jandy says:

    Arrrghh mateys, is it a Pirate (pun intended) ship then? I wanna be a Piratess!!!

  76. Jandy says:

    Happy happy Bday to yinz :)

  77. Brandie says:


    Continuing with the normal lunacy you all expect from me.

  78. Baywatch says:

    More like The Love Boat, to me!

  79. Brandie says:

    A Pirate Nun? I like it!

  80. Jandy says:

    Wow, what a costume that would be!

  81. Brandie says:

    Only if you are Isaac.

  82. Brandie says:

    Talk about your heaving bison.

  83. NMR says:

    Cutch, absolutely, without a doubt.

  84. Or when Moses left the unicorns off the ark?

  85. Milo Hamilton says:

    Congratulations to the Burrell Lady Bucs basketball team. Friday night they will carry a perfect 25-0 record into their 1st ever WPIAL championship game.

  86. Jandy says:

    what ever happened to the minotaurs?

  87. Brandie says:

    Why did he do that anyway?

  88. They had to eat something on the ark.

  89. Jandy says:

    Oh My!

  90. Brandie says:

    And Billy Likes to peel the labels off his bottles of Bud!

  91. Brandie says:

    I say Scutcheon definitely. Can’t say Travis Snyder because we have seen how that’s gone.

  92. Brandie says:

    Pardon the typo. Cutch!

  93. Milo Hamilton says:

    Happy 86th – Antoine Fats Domino.

  94. Brandie says:

    I found my thrill…

  95. Jim S. says:

    Or, when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.

  96. Jim S. says:

    The Colts did not miss a beat when the Germans bombed PH, Bay.

  97. Jandy says:

    They didn’t miss the boat, either ;)

  98. Brandie says:

    On Blueberry Hill!

    Naughty Nun!

  99. Jim S. says:

    I figured most would say Cutch. I guess I was thinking Polanco, Tabata, Marte in the OF, with Polanco or Marte shifting to CF and the other holding down LF might not be a total disaster. That asssumes, of course, that Polanco comes up at 22 and is immediately a good contributor.

    But, Bret Morel or JHay trying to replace 35 bombs? Ugh!

  100. Jandy says:

    LOL! As long as you found your thrill sistah ;)

  101. Jim S. says:

    I agree on that, Bay. If Gaby can handle 3b defensively, that opens up some days for Pedro to rest vs. tough lefties.

    Only problem with that, though, is Gaby needs to play 1b against ALL lefties – unless they plan on trading for Kendrys Morales. Or, unless they think Lambo can handle LHP and RHP. Now, that is asking a lot of a rookie who is also learning a new position.

  102. pattonbb says:

    Hard to disagree with your choice, Jim. Pedro certainly holds the most intimidating bat in the lineup. No way they could replace that if he went down.

    Cutch will probably be the popular choice, but if I were to choose one player they can’t afford to lose, it’s Gerrit Cole. I really feel we’re about to see something special from him this year. I think he flirts with 20 wins and joins the Cy Young conversation.

  103. Jim S. says:

    You tee’d that one up for us, Brandie. I was just the first one with the old Driver in my hand.

  104. Jim S. says:

    I really like Cheryl Crow, Bay.

  105. Jim S. says:

    ++, patton.

  106. Baywatch says:

    Hey, Milo!

  107. theplanisworking says:

    Fossils ! ;)

  108. Jandy says:

    There he is! :)

  109. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hey Bay !

  110. theplanisworking says:

    Undefeated records are rare.
    Congrats, and good luck.

  111. Baywatch says:

    Who needs Mike & Mike in the morning when we have Brandie & Jandy!

  112. Jandy says:


    Awww Bay, you make me smile :D

  113. theplanisworking says:

    To answer Jim’s question above……..

    Yes, the Pirates can’t afford either Pedro or Cutch to get injured.
    But, think of this scenario……………

    We know the 1B situation is iffy at best.
    Say Gaby gets hurt. Then what??
    That is a position that will scare me most of the year.

  114. Baywatch says:

    Go, Lady Bucs!

  115. Baywatch says:

    PlanIs! It’s going be the Lambo story over there at first this year! FUHGETTABOUTIT!

  116. theplanisworking says:

    What did you give up?

    Blueberry Hill?
    Your Thrill?
    Heaving Bisons?
    Or your sanity?


  117. tpbco says:

    1. Cutch
    2. Cutch
    3. Frankie
    4. Cole
    5. Martin
    6. Pedro – maybe

    If Pedro can’t bring his BA up a minimum of 20 points and not look helpless against most lefties, he doesn’t even make the list.

  118. theplanisworking says:

    Hey Bay!

    Is the Lambo story anything like West Side Story?

  119. Milo Hamilton says:

    As you well know, there are only 2. Burrell girls, New Castle boys.

  120. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t know how to compare replacing 35 bombs to Cutch’s slash line which includes a .400 OBP and an OPS 140 points higher than Pedro’s. Just my gut feel.

  121. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m scared about 1st even if no one gets hurt. ;-)

  122. NMR says:

    Certainly, Jim.

    But, IMO, this is exactly the type of situation where a stat like WAR is so useful. Cutch’s all around game is simply so damn good that it would be near impossible to replace, or frankly even get close.

  123. theplanisworking says:

    Good point.

  124. Sarah says:

    Monster any thoughts on Ott? See his name bandied about a bit.

  125. Brandie says:

    Trying to make sense of this place and trying to type without typos.

  126. Milo Hamilton says:

    If Rita Moreno is in it I’ll watch. Or is that Omar Moreno ?

  127. Brandie says:

    Is Ott a hot commodity? What is his upside?

  128. theplanisworking says:

    If it wasn’t for New Castle, 2 or 3 other teams would have perfect records. Kiski is in your neck of the woods, right Milo?

    Very interested to hear the game tonight.
    Kiski is an unknown team, and NC always starts slow against an unknown team, till they figure them out.

    I seriously do wigh the Lady Bucs the best Friday night.

  129. Baywatch says:

    ++ (I think it was Omarita)

  130. theplanisworking says:

    That won’t ever happen. ;)

  131. theplanisworking says:

    Omar Moreno….. the Cantaloupe.
    Wait, was it can’t elope?

    OH!! The Antelope!
    Forgive me, I had my meds adjusted today…..

  132. theplanisworking says:

    Ed Ott?

  133. Wow good timing sarah..i literally just got back to my desk :)

    Ott is definitely intriguing but there may be a mini bidding war for him so i can see winnipeg or MN or someone like that who is a fringe playoff team overpaying for him. But then again we got nisky and real deal for Gogo…so who knows…

  134. theplanisworking says:

    And wish also.
    Don’t even know what a wigh is?

  135. Milo Hamilton says:

    I think Shero’s hands are pretty much tied at the moment. Too much uncertainty to deal from their “depth” at defense. If anything, they get a 3rd or 4th line winger in his mid 30’s on an expiring contract for a mid round draft pick.

  136. Karen22 says:

    OK – Piratess Jandy!

  137. Arriba Wilver says:

    Most of the talk has been about Lambo’s hitting, but I don’t think Clint’s real comfortable with his defense there. I suspect that’s why he leans to Gaby.

  138. theplanisworking says:


  139. Based on what shero said yesterday it sounds like even players in florida aren’t as cheap as they should be.

  140. Karen22 says:

    Oh, thanks, Mr. Plan…


  141. Jim S. says:

    Ed Ott is not available. Right now, he is having a very big breakfast with Spanky LaValliere, plan.

  142. Milo Hamilton says:

    I wouldn’t be against flipping Brandon Sutter for another 3rd line center that more fits the defensive/checking line profile.

  143. Jim S. says:


  144. theplanisworking says:


    Is Don Slaught there too?

  145. pattonbb says:

    If Pedro continues to give them 30+ HRs and 100+ RBIs, I couldn’t care less how he looks against lefties.
    If (and it’s a BIG “if”) Pedro hits in the .260-.270 area, he’ll be a NL MVP candidate.

    But I do get your point, tpbco. It would certainly help if he didn’t look like so over-matched against most lefties.

  146. Jim S. says:


  147. theplanisworking says:


  148. 21sthebest says:

    Saw the Vincentian boys go down last night. :-( And the girls are practically around the corner tonight so I’ll head over there.

  149. theplanisworking says:

    No, we weren’t talking about Shawn.


  150. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think it was a political party before the Civil War.

  151. Jim S. says:

    Yes, but he’s having fruit and yogurt. I have a feeling he eats healthier.

    Jim Pagliaroni is at the next table over.

  152. theplanisworking says:

    Ronny Paulino singing at the piano bar. ;)

  153. Hmm…i think sutter isn’t going anywhere just cuz it would take a bigger cap hit to replace him. Unless o’reilly can be had but even then it would take a lot more than just sutter to get him. In general i think this team needs minor tweeks more than significant changes.

  154. theplanisworking says:


  155. Jim S. says:

    Was that an Uncle Cracker reference to Bay above, Jandy?

    You make me smile like the sun, fall out of bed
    Sing like a bird, dizzy in the head …

    Oh, you make me smile!

    Great song.

  156. tpbco says:

    That’s my point exactly. If he CAN hit .260 – .270, then yes he is legit a 4 or 5 hitter and it would be easy to believe that would also mean he’s improved against lefties and hasn’t disappeared for multiple games in a row.

    Keep in mind, his BA dropped 10 points last year and in hitting 35 HRs, that’s a little morer than 1 a week on the average.

    While I really don’t care how he wears his ball cap…I sure would like to hear from Groat about how hard he’s working…not in drills that he’s last.

  157. Jim S. says:

    A duet with Robinson Diaz?

  158. tpbco says:

    I think we discussed before that the list of players that come up to the Bigs with little AAA experience and is immediately a good contributor is pretty short. He likely would be okay defensively, but at the plate…Where do you bat him? And if Cutch ain’t hitting 3rd, who does?

  159. theplanisworking says:

    No, one singing is bad enough…………

  160. Brandie says:

    I heard they are also hanging out with Junior Ortiz!

  161. Jandy says:

    Well Jim, it is now ;)

  162. Jandy says:

    Agreed, AW

  163. Brandie says:

    About finding Raul Mondesi, which the tablet did change to Non Resident.

  164. Jandy says:

    That’s all this team can afford, Monster Mash lol

  165. tpbco says:

    I’m hoping for improving the 3rd line and someone on Sid’s wing not currently on the roster. If GMRS can accomplish that, then the Pens chances go up significantly.

    If not, tough to make it out of the East.

  166. Jandy says:

    Wild stuff indeed, Damon!

  167. Another name worth throwing out there is Vrbata from phx. He was on my list back during #jagrwatch but apparently the pens didn’t want his 25-35 goals for 3M per. If we talk to phx about him i’d want to know if Boedkar could be discussed as well.

    Hansen and Richardson from VAN are on my list too.

  168. Jim S. says:

    Junior Ortiz – well played!

  169. Jim S. says:

    +++, Arriba.

  170. Jim S. says:

    Martin is a good one, tpb. Actually, all your selections are good ones.

    But, the replacements for Pedro, at present, are Bret Morel and JHay. That’s the only reason I listed him #1.

    Cutch is hands down the best player on the team. I think that goes w/o saying – even though I just wrote it.

  171. pattonbb says:

    My favorite Bucco.

  172. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hope you had the over. Jameson Nee is a Highlands kid. Great family.

  173. Jim S. says:

    With his strikeout rate, I don’t see him getting to .260+, patton. He struck out in exactly 1/3 of his ABs last year.

  174. Sarah says:

    Hmm! Yah dunno much about Ott!…..But he sounds like he’d be useful anywhere in Top 9 I guess?

  175. Sarah says:

    Tough to make it out of the Division!!

  176. Andrew says:

    I might be late to the debate but I say McCutchen because I think the drop from him to Marte in center is the same as the drop from Pedro to AAAA at 3rd, but then you leak production by shifting each outfielder up a spot on the depth chart.

  177. Jim S. says:

    You bat Polanco #1, I think, tpb. Or, 2nd. If Cutch is gone, that definitely puts us in a bind. It could be that his loss kills us more than a loss of Pedro. Hard for me to say losing the reigning MVP won’t sink our season.

  178. Sarah says:

    Sorry but the lips are creepy…..

  179. Sarah says:

    ….is there a Steelers logo???

  180. Jim S. says:

    If you buy into WAR completely. I am not totally sold on it. But, yes, that is a numerical way to answer the question. I would say we would be lucky to get much positive WAR out Morel/JHay. As I said, I was assuming a positive contribution from Polanco.

  181. Milo Hamilton says:

    Kiski is right next door. Coached by Kiski alum Joey Tutchstone. He’s a young guy, probably not even 30. I hope he sticks around, they’ve had something of a revolving door up there recently.

  182. Jim S. says:

    NMR is right that WAR is probably the most accepted way to gauge this, 21.

    If Cutch is replaced by a Polanco who plays like Cutch did as a rookie, then I still think the loss is less than if Pedro is replaced by scrubs. Of course, I know it is a tall order to expect Polanco to play as Cutch did as a rookie.

  183. 21sthebest says:

    Always the over with Vincentian.

    And that’ll teach George. He had been talking about how to play Lincoln Park from the time the playoffs started.

  184. Jim S. says:

    Notice I didn’t say Junior Ortiz played well.

  185. NMR says:

    Huge pet peeve, Jim!

    I hate K/AB. Makes no sense at all, compared to K/PA.

  186. Jim S. says:

    Maybe Polanco plays CF, Andrew.

    And, offensively, he would be the one replacing Cutch. I think it would come down to how well Polanco can do immediately as a full-time player. If he looks like Cutch in first year, then maybe I am right that Pedro would be a bigger loss. If he looks like 95% of the rookies in their first year, then Cutch is the bigger loss for sure.

    It’s a good debate, I think.

  187. Think of him as a morrow type…although morrow at one point put up good numbers. Ott is just a savy vet who can help bottom 6 and sutter. We need more than just him regardless.

  188. pattonbb says:

    I don’t either, Jim.

    I just like to daydream about how obscene his power numbers would be if he could hit in the .260-.270 range.

  189. tpbco says:

    No, but the Pens logo is only on one side.

  190. tpbco says:


    Curious to know your thoughts, to this point, on Pyatt. Seems to not consistently play to his size.

  191. So PG saying that Engo was ahead of despres at practice…. :SIGH:

  192. Andrew says:

    Just looked at ZiPs projections for the Pirates and it gives a similar projected WAR value for Marte and Polanco over similar PAs, not sure what position it assumes which would affect the total number, but I guess it is conceivable that Polanco could replace Marte.

  193. tpbco says:

    Saw that. Double sigh.

    Misplaced a question to you up above.

    What are your thoughts about Taylor Pyatt. He doesn’t seem to constistently play up to his size.

  194. tpbco says:

    He would be Willie Stargell.

  195. Dom says:


    There is a Penguin bird in lieu of the Steelers logo. They placed the logo on only the one side like the Steelers do.

  196. 1st of all i think i need to consider using my real name on here…getting kinda silly that you guys address me as monster :)

    About Pyatt, here’s hoping he doesn’t prevent shero from upgrading bottom 6. And i’m sure he wont unless prices stay high. On one hand his pedigree fits our roster but on the other hand is kind of a cerebral bottom 6 player not in the mold of what you would ideally want going into playoffs.

  197. Ya i just dont get it with the pens and Despres. Is shero ok with Engo ahead of despres??? I hope not.

    And a few weeks ago i stumbled upon the 2009 draft list and I really hope the pens have gotten over the fact that they passed on real good forwards like O’Reilly and Silverberg to draft Despres. I’d be kicking myself too if i passed on those guys, especially O’Reilly, but projecting your faults onto despres and holding him up to the standards O’Reilly has set is ridiculous. They’ll never ever admit to holding despres to a higher standard but IMO they are.

  198. Thundercrack says:

    If Gaby gets hurt they will FREE Matt Hague

  199. Pyatt response from above :

    About Pyatt, here’s hoping he doesn’t prevent shero from upgrading bottom 6. And i’m sure he wont unless prices stay high. On one hand his pedigree fits our roster but on the other hand is kind of a cerebral bottom 6 player not in the mold of what you would ideally want going into playoffs.

  200. Jandy says:

    I kinda like the Monster Moniker, it fits you ;)

  201. Bizrow says:

    Open Blog Fantasy Leagues
    All on Yahoo
    12 teams currently one open
    Autodraft, head to head
    League ID 29140

    Dejans Lunatics
    12 teams currently 2 open
    Autodraft, head to head
    League ID 29140

    The PBC Blog Inmates
    12 teams, currently 6 open
    Autodraft, head to head
    League ID 29145

    PBC Inmates
    16 teams, currently 5 open
    Autodraft, head to head
    League ID 29147
    If we can get a league filled and folks choose to change the draft type to live or live auction, we can do it, trouble is scheduling a time where everyone can do it. Autodraft is you simply rank the players and when everyone has done that, the draft is held.

    Any questions, please e-mail me at Thanks, and Beat Em Bucs

  202. I think i’m more like a warm and fuzzy gremlin…up until pens do something to piss me off…then i turn into a ill tempered gremlin :)

  203. tpbco says:

    Either a higher standard, or somehow, at some point…they decided he was trade bait, ala Gogo and now those plans are F* because of the injuries – all year, not just now.

  204. Coach Therrien on 93.7

  205. has a great article in their FAQ on how LTIR is calculated but, fair warning, it’s still very complicated. There’s a reason so many lawyers are involved…

    The Penguins have just shy of $1.2M in cap space right now, and that takes into account LTIR designations for Vokoun and Dupuis. If the Pens were to place either Paul Martin ($5M) or Kris Letang ($3.5M) on the LTIR, it would give them $8.5M in pro-rated cap space relief to spend on replacements.

    There’s a catch, however. If the Pens use that cap relief by placing either (or both) on the IR and then acquire additional players, they won’t have enough cap room to take those players off the IR prior to the playoffs (playoff salaries don’t count against the cap). That could mean keeping a healthy Martin or Letang from valuable game time in the regular season, essentially starting them in the playoffs “cold”.

    I think what Shero is going to do is weigh his options for trade before moving players to the IR. If he can pull the trigger on a trade, and he needs the additional cap space, he will make the LTIR designation at that point. Until then, placing either Martin or Letang on the LTIR may handcuff his ability to place either player into the lineup once they’re healthy.

  206. Jim S. says:

    Spare me!

  207. Lets organize a protest outside consol dome

  208. Jim S. says:

    Good comp. But, Stargell often hit closer to .290. I think he may have ended up at .279 for his career, but I’m going by memory. Willie was a stud.

  209. Jim S. says:

    That’s fair. So, 186/614. Just a tick over 30%.

    That’s kind of like BABIP. I hate that HR don’t count.

  210. 21sthebest says:

    Game thread is up.

  211. NMR says:

    Nobody?! Must be a Bucco Blog thing, Jim. ;)

  212. Sarah says:

    ENgo ahead of Despre because Bylsma.

  213. Sarah says:


  214. Sarah says:

    If they held the vets to the same standards they hold Despres/Borts, we’d field a roster of about 4 guys.

  215. Ha…its funny cuz its true

  216. Yes, the Pirates are actually playing exhibition baseball today in Bradenton, and it’s 2-0 Yankees in the 2nd.

  217. See my comments above about the cap and potential LTIR implications (

    The problem with long term solutions is the cap. The Penguins have just shy of $16M free for the start of next season, but they also have 10 NHL contracts that are up at the end of the season (not to mention Simon Despres, who will be looking for one). There are some pretty big names on that list, including a few UFAs like Niskanen and Jokinen who will be looking for significant increases and a few key veterans like Orpik and Vokoun who the Pens will need to make decisions on. The cap increases by about $7M next season so the Pens do have some room to factor in salary increases, but taking on a contract in the $4M+ range for next season may limit what Shero is able to do to re-sign the players he has.

    The Penguins are in a rather unique situation at this point because they can afford to absorb more salary at the deadline (if they put Martin and Letang on the LTIR). The problem, as most have pointed out, is that there’s few sellers and a lot of buyers. At the skilled forward positions, competition is expected to be fierce for the top players. The Penguins would ideally like to deal from a position of depth, which means prospect defensemen. Considering the injuries to Martin and Letang, Shero is not going to be willing to pay a premium for a top-tier forward if it means decimating his defense. Someone like Sam Gagner, who comes with a $4.8M contract through the next two seasons, would come at a lower price because of his cap hit but still fill the need for a top-six forward. Unfortunately, his salary would probably mean someone like Brooks Orpik wouldn’t be retained.

    Another option I’ll float: take on someone like Ryan Miller from Buffalo as goaltending insurance for the playoff run. Not too many teams are able to deal for Miller, as his $6M+ cap hit is too much for many teams to digest. As I said, Shero is in a unique situation to use the LTIR to his advantage here. The likelihood of Vokoun seeing any action this year is still debatable, and who knows if he’d be in any shape to take starts in the post-season. Acquiring Miller as a rental would be a rock-solid backup for Fleury, and would also take a little pressure off Shero from trying to find additional defensive depth at the deadline (which may be difficult). GM Ted Murray and Miller have both acknowledged that Miller will be traded, and Murray would love to get a player a few years into development in return. Simon Despres would certainly fit the bill…

  218. theplanisworking says:

    Price not in goal for Montreal tonight.

  219. Jason81 says:

    Not expected to play tomorrow night either. Supposedly re-aggravated a lower body injury during the Olympics. The Habs called up an extra goaltender, Dustin Tokarski.

  220. theplanisworking says:

    Wonder if this is another serious Olympics injury, or if it is something minor. I am not glad anyone ever gets injured, but I am glad he isn’t in goal tomorrow. I don’t why I thought they played tonight…….

  221. DJ says:

    Maybe he strained his neck. I’m told the gold is heavier than the silver.

    No need to worry about USA player strains.

  222. theplanisworking says:

    Oooooh. Good one. :)

  223. Why users still use to read news papers when in this technological world all is accessible on web?

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