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Morning Java: No one wants your bad, overpriced player

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

ORLANDO, Fla. — Morning, Lunatics …

>> The TribLIVE Radio show will return someday, I swear. But I’ve got to be in Pittsburgh to make it happen, and it’s been a while since that’s happened on the job, so we’ll shoot for next Wednesday at 2 p.m.

>> Before turning full attention to Pitt and the NCAA Tournament — the Panthers practice here at noon at the fabulous Amway Center, home to the NBA’s Orlando franchise pictured above on the left — I wanted to take one last look back at spring training by listing all four columns in case any were missed:

March 13: Who’s on first? Don’t worry about it

March 14: Pirates’ 2013 tale ends ‘NOW’

March 16: These Pirates have a spring in their step

March 17: This has to be Year of the Bat

There will be one more column — just finished it yesterday, actually — but it won’t run until the Trib’s March 30 baseball preview is published. As always, the print version is recommended. Nothing like it.

Thanks to all for the feedback on the spring stuff, especially as it relates to that third one up there. That’s a fun one each year.

>> The Pirates are shopping Travis Snider, Jose Tabata and Vin Mazzaro, according to Rob Biertempfel.

Nothing makes me more despondent about sports fans than reading their reaction to trade stuff. The gullibility level of what can/should happen is almost too much to bear.

Works something like this: Rob’s report goes out yesterday, and the immediate reaction is to the big name in there, which probably is that of Tabata. From there, it goes two ways, possibly both:

1. Great! Because Tabata stinks!

2. What do you think we can get for him?

As if those two concepts somehow are in harmony.

And never mind that the notion that a team is trying to trade a guy is very rarely rooted in punishment, no matter how much some fans will attach it to that. Fact is, trading a player at lowest possible value tends to be a really great way to devalue one’s roster as a whole. Better to let that player bounce back, even if it’s just for a spell. (See Justin Morneau’s August with the Twins.)

OK, so some semblance of sanity sets in, and it occurs to someone that Tabata’s contract is still pretty bad, with three years left on it and the two most expensive ones at the end. It’s possible that maybe, just maybe no one will want that contract.

This is the most painful one of all …

Hey, throw in another player we don’t want, you know, to sweeten the pot a little!

It’s at this point that my forehead meets the desk. Because yes, the one sure way to entice a team to take a player that you don’t want and they don’t want is to add another player that you don’t want and they don’t want. Because that way, the other team can commit yet another roster spot and more salary!

Stop me if you’ve heard all of the above about a zillion times.

Well, how about if we throw in a draft pick?

This isn’t limited to baseball, either. If I had a Canadian dollar for every time someone suggested the Penguins pick up Ryan Kesler by sending the Canucks, oh, Brian Dumoulin, Chris Conner and a third-round pick, I’d have … well, I’d have an American dollar.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page.

Here’s Chris Horner’s updated-daily spring training photo gallery.

Here are official game highlights on MLB.com.

>> Sidney Crosby’s line dominated DallasRob Rossi reports from Consol on the Penguins’ 5-1 victory, as well as Brandon Sutter’s recent drought.

Kris Letang and James Neal made for hard decisions, columnist Joe Starkey opines.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Penguins page.

Here are official game highlights on NHL.com.

Here’s Stars news from the Dallas Morning News.

>> Jamie Dixon’s Colorado counterpart, Tad Boyle, has built the Buffs into a perennial NCAA participant. Kevin Gorman reports from elsewhere in this very hotel.

Mike Young isn’t feeling all that great heading into the tournament. John Harris reports from the Panthers’ last practice at the Pete.

Here are Pitt predictions from the panel of WPXI-TV’s Subway Final Word

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pitt page.

Here’s Colorado news from the Boulder Daily Camera.

Here’s the NCAA’s official March Madness page.

>> Lance Moore is coming to visit the Steelers today, but Jerricho Cotchery just did that yesterday in Charlotte. Mark Kaboly reports on the latest wide receiver routes.

The NFL is spending like crazy, Alan Robinson reports.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Steelers page.

>> Last but most assuredly not least, Cheswick’s Dan McCoy, a Paralympic gold medalist for the U.S. sled hockey team in Sochi, came home to a richly deserved hero’s welcome. Karen Price reports.

I exchanged Twitter messages with Dan while he was still over there and can’t say enough about the young man or his story. Look forward to shaking his hand sometime very soon.

>> I’ll call in to TribLIVE Radio, live from Amway Center, at 11:30 a.m.

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. Sammich says:

    This line of thought always reminds me of an old Dennis Miller joke about K-Mart having a 2 for 1 sale on short-sleeved suits: if they really wanted to *screw* you, they’d make you take three of ‘em!

  2. Sammich says:

    D’oh! I was referring to this: Hey, throw in another player we don’t want, you know, to sweeten the pot a little!

  3. Mizery says:

    I like the trade talk Dejan, and I agree with everything you said. It’s reminds me of fantasy football where I had Calvin Johnson and some guy offered me Trent Richardson, Hakeem Nicks and some kicker because hey I was getting three of his guys to my one. Makes me want the seconds back it took me to reject it.

    I said this yesterday and I’ll say it again today about the Pirates, I don’t care who they take north with them because the bottom of their roster isn’t very good. Pirates have way better talent but it’s not on their bench. Anything they do in house does not interest me in the slightest, and whoever they trade for will not either because look at the chips they are trying to use.

    Penguins looked great. It makes a huge difference when your top 6 lines are intact. These injuries are ridiculous. Penguins will do better than people think come playoff time if their blue line is even slightly healthier.

    If the steelers don’t resign Cotchery I don’t see any other wideout I would like to grab. Just wait for the draft and fill bodies after that.

    Is it me or does PITT taking on the underdog role reek of them building excuses? They know they are in for another first round loss but want to soften the blow for the fan base, and make them think that they are underdogs in this game.

    BTW, Tad Boyle was the head coach at my alma mater northern Colorado before taking the CU job. He got a historically pathetic basketball program turned around and into the tournament in 3 years. Northern Colorado has been respectable since. Great coach.

  4. Brandie says:

    Great win for the Pens. Please keep Stempy on the top line as they just killed it!

    As far as the Pirates and trades…please do not trade anyone for the sake of getting a warm body. The Pirates have made way too many of those trades in the past (Aki Iwamura, Derek Bell, Raul Mondesi, Frank Coonelly, etc.) that set them back too many years and extended that losing streak for way too many years. I am not saying that the Pirates did not have more problems trying to put band aids on a system so horribly broken that shooting it was the only way to put it out of its misery, but taking other teams cast offs will not help anyone. To sum up…Stempniak good…The Pirates taking Wal Mart Roll Back factory seconds bad!

    Good Morning Lunatics!

  5. meglasdad says:

    Remember when Tabata’s contract was such a bargain people felt the Pirates should have felt guilty for letting him sign it? Not so much anymore huh?

  6. JoeyBats says:

    HEADLINE: No one wants your bad, overpriced player (s).

    Agree, DK. If we are to believe the articles…… More DUMPSTER diving by this Pirate front office……disappointing.

    Should have SPENT some of those $$$…..and made a commitment to IMPROVE this roster during the the Free Agency period. Now the trading options & partners continue to get more limited……and we settle for “plug in” players.

    (So far…it remains a totally inefective off season)

    When are we going to load up for NOW?

    The model for this organization seems to be……let’s be content for >>>> ” looking to the future.”

    First it was Alvarez and ensuring we control HIS years of arbitration…..
    Then it was Marte and HIS years of arbitration and control…..
    Then it was Cole and HIS years of arbitration and control….
    Now it is Polanco and Taillon and their years of arbitration of control….
    Next year it will be Glasnow…..

    I understand the concept of controlling a younger player and having him on your team for a full year at age 27 instead of of a partial year at age 22. But I am more concerned about having a FULL TALENTED roster for just one year……ONE OF THESE YEARS. Instead of partial…patch work rosters……. :-(

    Mr. Nutting…YOU LISTENING ????…..How about knocking the moths out of your wallet some year?…and commit to a winner…….ehh?

  7. JAL says:

    JAL’s Tiny Bubbles Morning Links

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlCiDEXuxxA&feature=kp

    GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pittsburgh_pirates/

    3 BFFL’s 2014 Pirates Stats Spreadsheet

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

    4 Pirates Prospects Spring Training Tracker

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/st2014

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Do the Pirates Have Their Third Baseman of the Future?

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/03/first-pitch-do-the-pirates-have-their-third-baseman-of-the-future.html

    Pirate City Notes: Altoona Plays Longball

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/03/pirate-city-notes-cole-goes-5-kingham-vs-polanco-heredia-starts.html

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Mets again shopping Ike Davis

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2014/3/18/5522386/mets-again-shopping-ike-davis

    7 Rumbunter

    Pirates Trade Rumors: Outfielders on the Block

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/03/18/pirates-trade-rumors-outfielders-block/

    14 Wacky Ideas for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2014

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/03/19/14-wacky-ideas-make-sense-pittsburgh-pirates-2014/

    Pirates Trade Rumors: Is Michael McKenry Out in Colorado?

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/03/18/pirates-michael-mckenry-trade-rumors-rockies/

    8 Green Weenie

    Camp Decisions.

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2014/03/camp-decisions.html

    9 SaberBucs

    If the Pirates are Shopping Jose Tabata . . ..

    http://saberbucs.net/2014/03/18/if-the-pirates-are-shopping-jose-tabata/

    10 Pirates 101

    Pittsburgh Pirates Actively Shopping Jose Tabata, Could Look to Move Travis Snider, Vin Mazzaro

    http://www.sportsmedia101.com/pittsburghpirates/2014/03/18/pittsburgh-pirates-actively-shopping-jose-tabata-could-look-to-move-travis-snider-vin-mazzaro/

  8. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Hilton Head Packet

    Right field still question mark for Pirates

    http://www.islandpacket.com/2014/03/18/3009435/right-field-still-question-mark.html

    12 Bleacher Report

    Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen Mimicks Batting Stances of Baseball Legends

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1997552-pirates-andrew-mccutchen-mimicks-batting-stances-of-baseball-legends

    13 NBC Sports

    Happy Anniversary to “Operation Shutdown”

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/03/19/happy-anniversary-to-operation-shutdown/

    14 Pirates Site

    AFL played key role in development of Cutch, Cole

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/news/article/pit/arizona-fall-league-plays-key-role-in-development-of-pirates-stars-andrew-mccutchen-gerrit-cole?ymd=20140318&content_id=69561388

    15 Minor League Ball

    1953 Pacific Coast League MVP: Dale Long

    http://www.minorleagueball.com/2014/3/18/5519088/1953-pacific-coast-league-mvp-dale-long

    16 Beaver County Times

    Answers emerging for Pirates’ pressing questions

    http://www.timesonline.com/sports/pirates/answers-emerging-for-pirates-pressing-questions/article_2177dd7f-d72e-50fe-a892-de7beb7783d9.html

    17 Fansided

    Fantasy Baseball: Pittsburgh Pirates 2014 Starting Rotation Preview

    http://fansided.com/2014/03/18/fantasy-baseball-pittsburgh-pirates-2014-starting-rotation-preview/#!AvxUO

    18 St. Louis Post Gazette

    Final spring question: Kelly or Martinez?

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/final-spring-question-kelly-or-martinez/article_b039f690-083e-5507-84a0-dc89b6003ad9.html

    19 Fangraphs

    How the Best, Most Disciplined Hitting Prospects Have Fared

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/how-the-best-most-disciplined-hitting-prospects-have-fared/

    20 Baseball Prospectus

    11 Spring Training Performance We Sort of Believe In

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=23066

  9. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Jerricho Cotchery deciding between Steelers and Panthers

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2014-steelers-free-agency/2014/3/18/5523300/nfl-steelers-jerricho-cotchery-news-report-update-panthers-contract

    Ben Tate throws shot at Terrible Towel

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2014/3/18/5522554/browns-ben-tate-comments-terrible-towel

    Soccer(football)

    22 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    Tottenham’s Improvement under Tim Sherwood

    https://www.bsports.com/statsinsights/football/tottenhams-improvement-tim-sherwood

    23 BBC Football

    David Moyes defiant over Manchester United future

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/26634094

    24 World Soccer

    Stat of the day: top 20 best paid players and coaches

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/news/stat-day-top-20-best-paid-players-coaches

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Pens / Stars Recap: Sidney Crosby & the first line productive in 5-1 win

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2014/3/18/5524366/pens-stars-recap-sidney-crosby-the-first-line-productive-in-5-1-win

  10. Jandy says:

    Ahhh Miz, I missed your calm voice of reason yesterday. Good to see you around :)

  11. Jandy says:

    Happy Hump Day, Sistah!

  12. JAL says:

    I’ll take a contrary position on Tabata, his contract is not a bad contract to take on. He is only 24 years old. Last season he hit .282, 6 HR, .342 OBP, .429 SLG, .771 OPS, 1.1 WAR.

    Contract is $3 M this season, $4 M in 2015, and $4.5 M in 2016. Contract does go up next 3 years BUT team has $250,000 buyout for 2017, or 2018, or 2019.

  13. Jandy says:

    I can actually relate to the FO’s wanting to have control of the arbitration years. It’s not an easy choice. Glad I don’t have to make it.

  14. Jandy says:

    Another voice of reason :)

  15. Jandy says:

    Dejan has Starkey’s (hard decisions) article linked ^^ there. it’s GREAT reading. I highly recommend it.

  16. He’s 24 in theory.

  17. Jandy says:

    Hey Revvie! Did ya see that horny Hippo anywhere around this morning?? ;)

  18. He slept in. Too much New Castle celebrating last night, J-girl.

    ;)

  19. Wild Bill says:

    NBC Sports Talk is kind enough to remind us that yesterday was the 12th anniversary of Derek Bell’s Operation Shutdown. 4.5 mil for nothing, and he spent the year on his yacht.

    Ah, the bad old days.

  20. Jandy says:

    Ahhh I stand corrected ;)

  21. Wild Bill says:

    Brandon Spikes and Aqib Talib revealed that the Patriots filed false injury reports on them last season.

    The Patriots doing something deceitful???

  22. Wild Bill says:

    Thanks, Joe, for that link. I think.

  23. Jandy says:

    You must be mistaken ;)

  24. Karen22 says:

    24??!! He’s 24 and I’m most definitely not old enough to be on social security!

  25. Karen22 says:

    They have a “convenience” list? I’m shocked!

  26. Wild Bill says:

    DK, you sure know how to reign on a parade. I was counting on the Snakes trading Goldschmidt for Tabata – even up.

  27. Here are President Obama’s four final four NCAA Tournament predictions in case you’re interested: Florida, Arizona, Michigan State, and Louisville.

  28. NMR says:

    Yeah, I have absolutely no idea how Jose Tabata can be considered to have a bad contract in 2014 Major League Baseball.

    This notion has to be conditioned from years and years of, lets say, “Pirate economics”.

    Jose Tabata’s remaining $12m over ONE year would be approaching a bad contract. Over three years is a drop in the bucket.

  29. Wild Bill says:

    Or maybe rain on a parade. Jandhi disease.

  30. DJ says:

    Nice article, Jandhi, and very consistent with the approach I imagined the Pens were taking.

    Setting that aside, I thought I heard or read recently that if Letang were not healthy enough to play, his new contract, set to take effect in June, would not kick in or could be voided. Anyone know the details on that aspect?

  31. DJ says:

    . . . something about a non-hockey related injury or condition, if I recall correctly.

  32. Brandie says:

    Perhaps reign in a parade Wild Bill Cowher!

  33. Dom says:

    Are they going to be punished by the NFL for that?

  34. Brandie says:

    NFL: Now Featuring Liars!

  35. JoeyBats says:

    I hear you, and……………I used to buy “WAIT TIL NEXT YEAR” philospohy …..until I see the lack of commitment from this Front Office regarding “adding on” to the REST OF THIS ROSTER.

    So far they do it with “broken down bits and pieces” waiting for the kids to grow up — and that hasn’t worked, yet.

    Dumpster diving remnnants just doesn’t get it done when you are trying to play in the fast lane with the Cardinals, (inside the division) and Dodgers, Braves, etc. (competing for championships),

  36. Jandy says:

    Well, if it’s a car accident, then it can’t be voided. I’m not sure where this falls, but I’d bet it would be considered hockey related. Docs can’t say what caused the stroke. I guess it’s a coin toss.

  37. Brandie says:

    They do have Frequent Liar miles!

  38. Jandy says:

    I doubt it. They’re the darlings of the league.

  39. Jandy says:

    LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. Really went out on a limb, huh?

  41. Dom says:

    Anyone doing the billion dollar bracket challenge?

  42. Wild Bill says:

    Too soon to tell, Dom.

  43. Dom says:

    This is an old story with the Patriots.

    I remember after they lost super bowl 42, CB Ellis Hobbs was reported as having a sports hernia despite the fact this was not noted on the injury report before the game.

  44. Arriba Wilver says:

    If I recall, they actually did bring up Cole last year before they were assured of him not being Super 2 because they needed him.

  45. Wild Bill says:

    The hairlines are similar. That ten gallon hat takes its toll.

  46. Wild Bill says:

    The time wasted doing it are moments we’ll never get back. As opposed to our uber-important moments on this blog.

  47. JohninOshkosh says:

    I lauded (yes, I’ll use the word) Tabata’s contract when it was signed. Thought it was a good deal then, and I still think so.

    I have always liked Tabata. I think many teams would take a look at him. Not sure what they would get in exchange for him but I’m sure it would be more than what they would get for Mazzaro.

  48. Dom says:

    I agree. At the time it was a very team friendly deal.

    In comparison to the other contracts in MLB Tabata’s still isn’t bad.

    A bad contract would be the one the Yankees gave Kei Igawa.

  49. JohninOshkosh says:

    I have to smile at sports conspiracies. Now, some think Dixon is playing the underdog role and playing up the Buffaloes so that it will potentially soften any criticism of him in the event of a loss ?

    Coaches from Rockne to Wooden to Holtz to Belichick have played that underdog card. It’s been going on since organized sports began. It’s a motivational move and not one driven by self-preservation.

  50. hockeymonster says:

    Where are all the negative nelly’s??? Nothing to complain about? We only won by 4 goals and mostly just on the back of one line…how are we gonna win a single game in the playoffs with one line??? And zatkoff gave up a goal?!?! WAIVE HIM!!! NOW!!! Despres made a mistake…that’s one too many…to wheeling(or the gulag) with him! Goc was 10 for 16 on FO’s, but couldn’t score on PP…send him back to FLA!!! And as for you Disco Dan, only playing sid 16 minutes? How dare you!?!?

  51. Jim S. says:

    I think it will be ok if they make a trade, Bradelita! I know some don’t agree, but they actually are winning more than they lose lately with trades and acquisitions because the Pirates are not idiots any more. Every team makes bad trades on occasion. The Pirates have been on the plus side of more than their share the last several years.

    I also don’t think any of these players they are talking about trading will change the fortunes of themselves or their potential trading partner much. It would be a case of giving up an asset which you have in abundance that someone else needs for one that you need which another team has in abundance.

  52. Jim S. says:

    Well, what is the average MLB payroll? Around $125 million, give or take? If so, the average player makes somewhere around $5 million. I’m sure I’m off on those estimates somewhat.

    My point is Tabata is not overpaid by MLB standards, even as a 4th OF. For a small market team, I suppose he becomes overpaid the year after next. But, his contract is not a bad one for the payroll of a lot of teams. Teams like the Phillies pay more than $10 million per year on a lengthy contract for mediocre closers, as an example. The Yankees just signed a big deal with an OF approaching 40. Tabata’s salary, at it’s highest point, would be the least of the financial worries of a lot of teams.

  53. Jim S. says:

    But, I thought last year actually worked out pretty well, Joey.

  54. Jim S. says:

    Agreed, JAL. I wish I had scrolled down and read your comment before I posted something very similar, above.

  55. Arriba Wilver says:

    +++

  56. Jim S. says:

    Should probably lose a draft pick.

    Wait, that only happens if your coach drifts onto the field on a play.

  57. Brandie says:

    Jimster…

    Make the trade as long as it is for a player of quality in return. In my opinion, people did not want to play for the Pirates because it was the Siberia of baseball, the land of cast offset and players who had committed some serious transgression to cheese off the baseball gods. Though I don’t think one trade will spell a return of the bad old days, I just want the FO to think and evaluate before making that commitment.

  58. Arriba Wilver says:

    Agreed John. Not for a second do I think Jamie is playing to the fans. He’s motivating his team.

  59. Jim S. says:

    I don’t know whether anyone watched NCSU vs. Xavier in the First Round (aka “play in” round) at Dayton Arena last night. I believe I found our own Clint Barmes preparing for life after baseball. Sure looked to me like he was on the Xavier bench as head coach, going by the name of Chris Mack. Xavier got wiped out by NCSU by 15. Clint will be back to baseball full-time now.

  60. Well, anyhow, Pitt is favored by 6 over Colorado tomorrow. Let’s hope that holds up.

  61. Brandie says:

    Henceforth that foray onto the sidelines shall be known as The Tomlin Two Step!

  62. Jim S. says:

    That photo of Putin and the dog is just so disconcerting.

  63. Jim S. says:

    Exactly.

  64. Jim S. says:

    I think they do that on every trade these days. I am not saying they won’t occasionally do a “salary dump” trade, but I don’t see them giving away top notch talents like Aramis Ramirez for next to nothing any more.

  65. NMR says:

    Hahaha, oh yeah, forgot about that!

  66. Jim S. says:

    He’s in the YouTube lab, conjuring up a New Castle mix as we speak.

  67. hockeymonster says:

    Disconcerting as in disturbing and I should take it down? Or disconcerting a sarcastic way?

  68. NMR says:

    I also find it hilarious that people continue to bemoan “dumpster diving” during the same off season people advocate acquiring James Loney and Mike Carp.

    Guess what James Loney and Mike Carp were just one year ago? DUMPSTER DIVES!

    Such an ignorant cliche at this point. Just stop.

  69. Jim S. says:

    Two words: Aaron Hernandez.

  70. Nate83 says:

    Spot on NMR. The notion that it’s a bad contract and we would be selling low on Tabata is odd. He had a very productive year last year. 1.1 WAR with just over 300 plate appearances. There are plenty of teams out there willing to give up a blocked player and pay 4 million a year for 3 years of a 1.5-2.0 WAR player. That production would get a player almost twice that as a free agent.

  71. Jim S. says:

    Tom Brady has been “probable” every week for the last 10 years. I think it’s so when a guy actually is hurt, they can hide it by reporting it the same way as they always have.

  72. Jim S. says:

    TTS.

  73. Jim S. says:

    Wild Bill:

    We could never afford Goldy in a few years. You know that darn well.

  74. Jim S. says:

    I’m going to pass, Dom.

    Supposedly, the odds of getting every game right are in the trillions to one. It is the equivalent of flipping a coin and predicting on which side it will land 67 straight times. Never been done.

  75. NMR says:

    Lauded, people. LAUDED! ;)

    Since you brought up the term, I think it’s perfectly fair for people to like or not like Tabata’s contract. Reasonable minds could certainly conclude that Jose Tabata is not a very good baseball player, which would reasonably mean that ANY contract is one they do not like.

    But using terms like “good” and “bad” I think have to be relative to the rest of the league. And at that point, man, there are a looooooooooooooot of awful contracts if Tabby’s is considered bad.

  76. Jim S. says:

    Or, about a dozen other guys.

  77. Nate83 says:

    +++ voice of reason as always JAL.

  78. Jandy says:

    Ha! ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

  79. Jandy says:

    More voices of reason. I like it! :D

  80. Jandy says:

    Bababa! Thanks for this Monster Mash :D

  81. Arriba Wilver says:

    Serious question–I’m not sure how WAR is calculated, but isn’t it just as likely that if you almost double his at bats that his WAR stays the same or goes down? Seems a stretch to assume he does the same over more at bats. Especially since he also has a history.
    But I agree that in today’s baseball the contract wouldn’t be burdensome to a lot of teams.

    Jose’s psyche just seems so fragile or at least unpredictable, that I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re a little tired of his act. But it’s only Spring Training.

  82. Jandy says:

    Sometimes you find gems in the dumpster, just sayin…

  83. Jandy says:

    Oh no, we love the distractions it provides ;)

  84. Jim S. says:

    I said above, considering the average payroll is around $125M, give or take, that means the average player makes $5 million. I’m sure my math is off a bit, but probably not that far per player.

    The average Dodger or Yankees makes $9 or $10M per season.

    It is relative, but there are a lot of teams where Tabby would be paid below the team average.

    Jonathan Papelbon of the Phils makes over $10M per season on a multi-year deal. He’s just ok at his MLB job.

  85. Jandy says:

    psyche? nah…don’t make it complicated. Sometimes he’s just plain lazy ;)

  86. Jim S. says:

    In a sarcastic way. I really have no problem with it. It’s the thought of that guy taking that photo that I find disturbing.

  87. hockeymonster says:

    Cuz I could it up to a vote.

  88. hockeymonster says:

    Bababa or hahaha?

  89. Brandon says:

    Regarding the trades mentioned and the reactions DK suggests :

    1) The Bucs will likely have (1) extra relief pitcher without options, likely Mazzaro, who is a good middle relief option for many teams that have needs in that area. This is a need for a trade with some potential for a decent return.
    2) Tabata has a relatively team friendly contract for a 3rd/4th outfielder and had a reasonable performance for the pennant run last year – he definitely has value for other teams and the Pirates – very few educated people care what his Grapefruit league stats are this year. I believe that his recent performance may be seen as a relatively higher point in his value – if not, don’t trade him.

    The Pirate’s FO has done next to nothing to improve this team and may have weakened it if they choose to open the season and pitch Volquez – they absolutely mismanaged the AJ scenario in the off-season based on the value he had in the open market. However, their main point of fan reaction which will cause any activity is ticket sales and anticipated ticket sales – the fan base believes this team will be good and is buying tix at a record setting pace – the Trib pole shows that a vast majority of fans believe the Bucs will win the Central over the Cards…..I don’t agree, but the FO is encouraged to not spend $ when it is maximizing the value of its asset – if you expect them to do something differently, don’t buy tickets….otherwise, be amazed as Coonley & Huntington continue to spout nonsense which results in inactivity. They may make trades which don’t affect the roster significantly, but their history shows nothing will happen until ~trade deadline to assure the season ending tix sales are maxed out.

  90. Jandy says:

    I just assumed it was photoshopped

  91. Jandy says:

    dayum jandy typos. bahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!

  92. hockeymonster says:

    No found the picture in a basic pootin search. And the other one too. Brandiskaya likes it so it stays until queen of consol dome says otherwise.

  93. Wild Bill says:

    Yep, but they will not be favored in their next one.

  94. Nate83 says:

    I know he has that reputation and I can completely understand it but I personally think the guy has matured and showed as much last year. He really played well and played hard. A lot happened to this guy at a very young age. Injuries, contract, marriage to a women involved in a scandal…..not everyone matures the same way or as quickly. From what I saw last year he certainly looked like he has figured some things out and is motivated.

    As far as WAR I’m pretty sure the more you play the higher it becomes. Cutch didn’t start the year with a 8.4 WAR. It want up every month. If a guy plays 81 games you can assume his WAR will be double that for the entire season. You could even argue it would be better then double with repetition making him a little more consistent.

  95. Mizery says:

    Thanks Jandy, let the arguments on the Pirates begin.

  96. bpn8pitt says:

    Went to Pens-Stars last night. Been to about half a dozen hockey games between Civic/Mellon and Consol now. Probably the best one after seeing a Mario hat trick when I was a kid.

    In the suite section, their is a newspaper ariticle exhibited the day after the Pens won the draft lottery to win Crosby. How things have changed since that day…

    As a whole, still pretty down on the Pens when they do run into a deep roster thats responsible defensively. But as was mentioned several times on the ride home, it is neat to see what that team can do when they are healthy and gelling. Man, how much better would it be with Dupuis and Letang?

  97. Arriba Wilver says:

    That’s very dark. ;-)

  98. 21sthebest says:

    Average MLB average salary last year was $3.39. A quick calculation based on opening day payrolls puts average at just over $100M. Not sure exactly why there’s a difference because $3.39M x 25 = $85M.

  99. Jim S. says:

    For a guy with a positive WAR, I believe it would go up if he started playing full-time and produced at the same level.

    I hate WAR, btw.

    Not as much as I hate war, of course. But, I don’t like it and I think too much stock is put into it.

  100. Jandy says:

    I’m not arguing, Nate. Tabby certainly came around last season. I’m saying he has no psyche problem :)

  101. JAL says:

    WAR combines offense, baserunning, defense, and position. If Tabby played more games his WAR could up, down, or stay the same.

  102. Jim S. says:

    Stempy Pimentel?

  103. Jandy says:

    What’s dark?

  104. Arriba Wilver says:

    Thanks, JAL.

  105. Jim S. says:

    One man’s trash …

  106. Jandy says:

    zactly!

  107. Arriba Wilver says:

    Tabby’s PA’s have gone down every year, with his first year being 441. I have a hard time believing you could assume he would play the same ( or better or worse) over a lot more PA’s at this point.

  108. Arriba Wilver says:

    +++

  109. Jim S. says:

    If a team believes in the current WAR values, the going rate for 1.0 WAR is estimated at $5 million per season. Some teams can afford to pay market value for WARs, and others cannot. But, plenty of teams could easily afford a 4th OF of Tabata’s production for his current salary.

  110. bpn8pitt says:

    …And as far as Tabata’s concerned, I just think its horrible business to sign a guy to contract like that and then trade him. Its not like its 100 million dollar deal or even a 50 million dollar deal.

    Other agents in baseball see that, whether they represent Pirates players or potential free agents, look at their client and point to that deal and say “Thats why you dont go to Pittsburgh.”

    Not sure whether he will be dealt or not, heck im not even sure if he’s worth the money or not (personally like others mentioned, thats the going rate for a 4th OF)…But I do know, Neil Walker and Pedro Alverez’s agents hear that trade talk loud and clear. They know what it means, and that means you never take a penny less. And I dont blame them.

  111. Damon says:

    Beautiful.

  112. Arriba Wilver says:

    I wonder what the average would be if you factored out all the price controlled pre-arbitration salaries. Certainly quite a bit higher.

  113. Nate83 says:

    That is correct any player even an MVP can have a negative WAR for a month but it is common practice to prorate WAR in the direction that player is going. It’s a safe assumption that a player performing at a certain level would continue that level of play if given more opportunities. Especially a player like Tabata who doesn’t have much of a platoon split. He isn’t gaining anything by being used in only favorable situations.

  114. Nate83 says:

    I know Jandy. I was responding to AW.

  115. Brandie says:

    Interesting marriage of baseball and hockey.

  116. Arriba Wilver says:

    Common practice by whom? The teams paying the salaries or in fantasy leagues?

  117. Brandon says:

    Mostly good game by the D – Depres was very good (+3) with only the one misplayed mistake….let’s see if that gets him benched. Maatta (+3) continues to be very solid & Orpik (-1) continues to be questionable, although he has been less terrible since they have moved Nisky to pair with him in more even strength situations. Zatkoff was exceptional and prevented this game from being much closer than the score.

    Only real complaint to follow your theme is that the 2nd line continues to struggle to score – Neal was in a scoring funk prior to the concussion and Malkin/Jussi have struggled as a result….hopefully, all will come out of this shortly….I still don’t see this match up of forward lines being able to play consistently against the top teams in the east…..current D-lines will be under consistent pressure from good, big forechecking lines like Boston & Philly.

  118. Jim S. says:

    I’m sure there are plenty more to choose from the Putin PR archives.

  119. JoeyBats says:

    Yep…..1 year outta 20 is great! ;-)

    DUCK!!!

    ….I know…..I know ……THIS front office…..6 year, 7 years……and still counting.

    WINNING how many division championships ???

  120. Jandy says:

    Crap. Jayson Megna sent back to WBS…

    http://penguins.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=710152

  121. Arriba Wilver says:

    I acknowledged that in my initial question.

  122. Damon says:

    Might mean Bennett is near ready to come back….but yea, I thought Megna looked good with the big club once again.

  123. 21sthebest says:

    +1 at AW.

  124. Jim S. says:

    Wait til ZIPS projections start getting discussed, Arriba. We don’t even need to have to go through the seasons any more. We know everything that will happen before the season starts.

    And, when it doesn’t happen anywhere near where some experts say it will, we can start talking “regression” again.

  125. 21sthebest says:

    Jim, does that apply to every player? Free agents only? Free agents only with a certain age group? To say 1 WAR = $5M across the board doesn’t make sense to me but I’m not familiar with how that was calculated.

  126. Brandie says:

    I’M CUDDLE DAMN IT!

  127. Scott says:

    Exactly. I laughed out loud when I saw an article refer to Tabata as having a “hefty contract.” At its highest point, the deal only pays him between 3 and 4.5 million per season. That’s perfectly acceptable for a reserve outfielder by today’s salary standards.

  128. Andrew says:

    In regards to Tabata’s contract remember his agency broke up/dropped him because the deal was so absurdly team friendly, salary haven’t exactly gone down. Older players of Tabata’s caliber are getting more than his salary in the free agent market.

  129. bpn8pitt says:

    In one of my bracketts I had NC State making it to second (or third) game. Thought they played some scrappy games in the ACC against Pitt and others. If someone plays around with them, they may get burned. I think there are quite a few teams like that in the tourney this year.

    Im not buying the whole Pitt has no chance against Florida either. If Florida plays like Duke did, in the second half at the Pete, yeah. But they better not mess around either. Pitt has hung with some decent teams this year, just didnt finish. Im predicting a close game there. Hopefully.

  130. hockeymonster says:

    Queen B has spoken! :)

  131. Jim S. says:

    The $5 million per WAR value is what I have been reading, 21. Tim Williams has referred to that figure for this year. Travis has as well. Plenty of others refer to it as well.

    I don’t even buy into WAR from a salary standpoint. I sometimes look at it for a rough guide of one guy’s perceived value on the field vs. another guy’s. I think it has some merit in that regard. It boils as many of the stats in every phase of the game as possible into one total rating.

    But, to me, putting a dollar figure to it is a relative thing. It is not an apples to apples comparison when considering Pittsburgh’s payroll vs. the Yankees. The Yankees pay a lot of guys up to $5M per WAR per season. The Pirates probaby can pay very few players at that rate. If each team needs to use a different WAR, it tells me there is not much financial value to it.

  132. Andrew says:

    I sort of like games not being a referendum on the Penguins organization, the owner, Bylsma’s ability or lack there of, and the effort level of Crosby.

  133. PetroSteel says:

    Trade talk for Tabby is just to try and get him motivated for the season. Tabby has plenty of potential and they need him. What if Marte or Cutch goes down? They can’t trade him. They can’t trade TS either.

    My thoughts were that they did not spend money this off season because they would extend Pedro. They need to extend Pedro. You don’t find 40HR guys very often and you sure as heck won’t have one if you have to go out and trade for one. It will take years and years to find another Pedro.

    I’m not down on the Pirates for not spending money. They have done it in the draft the last several years (It costs lots of money to have the top minor league system). I also saw them spend big money on rental players at the deadline last year. I think they are holding back money because they know that they must sign Pedro ASAP.

  134. 21sthebest says:

    +1

  135. Arriba Wilver says:

    It would be interesting to see what he would get on the free agent market today. I doubt he’d get much more for the next 3 years, but that opinion and $3 will get you a Starbucks coffee.

  136. Nate83 says:

    They project WAR all the time and they do take into account platoons and regression for not having that advantage. Tabata would not be hurt by this because he hits both handed pitchers about the same. I personally feel comfortable saying that he would increase his WAR at about the same rate with more at bats. He had a 1.9 WAR in the 2010 as a 21 year old which was the year he had his most consistent playing time.

  137. Nate83 says:

    You may be right about Pedro but I personally don’t see him signing any extension. It’s not how Boris operates often and power hitting is the most overpriced commodity in baseball. The Pirates usually look for value in things that are underpriced. My guess is they will try to maintain their athletic 5-tool outfielders if possible and some of their pitching. There are more important and productive pieces to the team that need to be taken care of instead of Pedro.

  138. Jim S. says:

    It is very hard to get a Scot Boras client to agree to an extension, Petro. Pedro is a Scot Boras client.

    It is also difficut to get them to agree to “hometown discounts.” The Pirates have as much as said that they cannot afford to pay market value very often.

    Scot Boras has a few clients who are productive players who are not signed for this season, with less than 2 weeks until opening day. Steven Drew, Kendrys Morales are both clients of Boras.

    The Pirates and Scot Boras, IMO, will have drastically different opinions of how much money Pedro Alvarez should be paid in his next contract.

  139. Jim S. says:

    I agree with you on NCSU, bpn. They are definitely on a roll. Warren is an NBA talent, and the point guard is scrappy and smart. I don’t know how far they will go, but I think they can take out the suddenly slumping St. Louis in the next round. That will be 2 NCAA wins for them.

  140. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m asking who is “they.”

  141. Damon says:

    Adam Scheffter reporting Maurice Jones-Drew is coming to town to visit the Steelers:

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/03/19/maurice-jones-drew-visiting-steelers-as-interest-builds/

  142. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    Agreed NMR…and it’s even better when Loney is referred to as 1b wth power…Here’s a good one…In 2010, coming off of arguably his best 2 seasons as a pro (2008 and 2009), who hit more bombs, James Loney or Travis Snider?

  143. Sarah says:

    Hope for Bennet. Still no idea the organization’s objection to Megna, or infatuation w Gladams….but that is a familiar tune.

  144. bpn8pitt says:

    I hear what your saying Pedro. Id love to see them sign him, as would everybody on this blog. That being said, this franchise has never handed out a 100 million dollar contract. While I dont think Pedro’s going to get 200 million, I bet its closer on that side of 9 figures. Its not happening. Scott Boras will take Pedro to free agency, and go to the highest bidder, most likely a NY team where he’s from.

    As far as the OF’s go, I think Decker and Dickerson, along with with Harrison’s versatility (i know, easy there bpn) have made Tabata expendable, especially with their lower pricetages. That, along with Polanco’s impending call up (hopefully) in June. I would keep Tabata if we are talking straight baseball. But with the Pirates we are never talking straight baseball. The dollar is always gonna count, and I just cant see them paying a guy 4 or 5 million or more to ride the pine or pitch in relief. They just have never operated that way.

    But honestly, I’ll be surprised if they find a taker for Tabata. Teams still have their fingers crossed on guys. I do think someone will get Mazzaro though.

  145. Jim S. says:

    It’s a good question, Arriba. Maybe a guy in a part time role produces a decent WAR because he is being used properly. To assume he would continue producing at that rate over a full season’s worth of playing is very risky IMO.

  146. Brandie says:

    Wouldn’t that be something.

  147. Jim S. says:

    I hear you, Joey. And I agree on the 20 years of futility. That sucked … in ever way imaginable.

    But, another way to look at it now is 1 year out of 1, right? They did win 94 games last year. I thought it was more than an accident. I don’t know what they will win this year, but I think it will be north of 81 a bit. I think it is hard to argue with their progress, all things considered. Just my opinion.

  148. NMR says:

    @Arriba

    It is NOT correct to assume WAR increases or decreases linearly with the number of at-bats a player has.

    War is a combination of a players value in three phases of the game. If a given player has negative value as a fielder, for instance, the more he plays will add to the negative value he provides in the field. If he doesn’t provide equal or better value hitting and running, then his WAR will actually decrease the more he plays.

    Or take a player like Jordy Mercer last year. He only provided positive value hitting against LHP. Awful against righties. Many have said that he projects as a so-many-WAR player over the course of a season, but this is incorrect as those additional at bats will come against a majority of right handed pitchers.

  149. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t understand what you’re saying at all. We’re getting close to the halfway point in Tabata’s 6 year deal and he hasn’t become the everyday player that I believe the front office projected him to become because of injuries and performance.

  150. Jandy says:

    French Vanilla, please ;)

  151. NMR says:

    @21

    That $/WAR value that gets thrown around is specifically calculated from FREE AGENT contracts.

    It is only valuable in the absolute most abstract form. As a judge of what the entire league, as a whole, pays for free agents.

    There isn’t a single team in the league that uses that specific number, however, and that makes it practically useless to outsiders judging a given players value to a specific team.

  152. Jandy says:

    They’ve been ongoing, as you can see lol.

    I’m just waiting to watch some good baseball.

  153. Arriba Wilver says:

    Thanks, NMR. That’s what my gut tells me, too, which is the main reason why I was curious.

  154. NMR says:

    For a player like Tabata, specifically, I do believe it is fair to assume a roughly linear relationship between playing time and WAR.

    He isn’t so bad on the field that he provides negative value, and he hits both hands roughly the same. One may argue that his inconsistancy makes impossible to project his value in that manner, but that ignores the fact that his inconsistancies were already accounted for in his original WAR value. The projection would be assuming he is equally inconsistant.

  155. Wild Bill says:

    All too true, Jim.

  156. Jim S. says:

    Have you ever sat down to fill out your brackets with no clear favorite in your mind as to who should win? So, you figure you’ll just start going game-by-game and see where each match-up takes you. Then, you get to the finals and wonder “How did I end up with these 2 teams in the Championship Game?” That just happened to me. I was not expecting to have Mich St. and Louisville squaring off. They are both 4-seeds. I’m not sure I’m going with that.

  157. Jandy says:

    Dear Lord, I’m glad I don’t follow all these incojnsistencies ;)

  158. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1 to NMR.

  159. Jandy says:

    Just having some fun, NMR. I actually understand what you’ve described (thanks!) but man, I’d much rather just watch and enjoy the game. WAR be dayumed ;)

  160. NMR says:

    With the big giant caveat that NOBODY should be putting much value into fractions of WAR.

    The stat is simply not meant to be that absolutely specific. Never was, and anyone who tries telling you definitely that a 1.8 WAR player is better than a 1.4 WAR player, for instance, is abusing the sttistic.

  161. NMR says:

    It is a curse, Jandy!

  162. Jim S. says:

    Another good question, Arriba. I doubt anyone would be signing him to be their regular corner OF.

  163. Damon says:

    I caught the end of the ESPN bracket show Sunday night, and I think all 5 panelists picked MSU to win it all (without knowing the others picked the same), and most had them beating Louisville. So…..maybe you’re OK.

  164. Arriba Wilver says:

    You’re agreeing with the Prez, though. I saw an interesting way to do it, I think on here the other day. Take Nate Silver’s final 4 prediction (which has some gravitas) and work from there.

  165. Jandy says:

    Heck ya!

  166. Damon says:

    He’d be a pretty good second punch for sure. If they re-sign Cotchery and get MJD, this Steelers offseason would have to be ranked up there as one of the best – and most creative given the cap situation.

  167. 21sthebest says:

    Thanks, NMR. That’s what my gut tells me, too, which is the main reason why I was curious.

    :-)

  168. Damon says:

    I think the biggest problem Megna has is that he still has options while Pyatt and others do not. There’s no way he shouldn’t be part of the team full time next year though……you’d think. They were in love with him after last year’s mini-preseason.

  169. JohninOshkosh says:

    Nate must get little alone time when he is out and about or at a cocktail party.

    Saw him give a graduation address at a local college here. Impressive young man.

  170. Arriba Wilver says:

    You’re getting smarter all the time, 21.

    ;-)

  171. bpn8pitt says:

    I dont know, I thought he played okay down the stretch last year while Marte was out.

    But the deal? 3 million this year? 4 million 2015? 4.5 million 2016. Is that really a lot when you look at other teams are giving out to bench guys now?

    .274 BA lifetime.

  172. Andrew says:

    I should have been clear, I was referring the average annual value, I think Tabata would easily get $4-5 million/year. Total years is another question, so I agree he might not get $13 million guaranteed, but Marlon Byrd did get $16 million based on a year of production and an older but slightly more productive David Murphy got $12 million.

  173. Baywatch says:

    Morning, All! (I figure there’s still TWO more good minutes of morning back East!) And, EXCUSE ME! Robert Morris has a nice win last night, vs. a No. 1 NIT seed last night, beating St. John’s handily! Does this not rate as not just a LITTLE news in a non-basketball town?

  174. bpn8pitt says:

    But with the Pirates and their fans, moneys an issue. Roll with Jaff Decker below the Mendoza line unti Polanco comes up, then. You get what you pay for sometimes.

  175. NMR says:

    That’s an EXCELLENT question, AW.

  176. Jandy says:

    Agreed!

  177. JohninOshkosh says:

    As much as I enjoy Dejan’s radio show, I hope he doesn’t have one next Wednesday either. I hope he is in Memphis to cover Pitt in the Regional semifinals.

  178. NMR says:

    Probably not, but then again, regular outfielder are getting much more than he will make.

    Kind’ve apples and oranges.

  179. NMR says:

    I think the best part of Tabby’s contract are the option years. Gives a team incredible flexibility.

  180. It is good news, Bay. Shame they couldn’t beat Mount St. Marys, which is already packing its lockers after being beaten last night in the play-in game.

  181. I don’t think Tabby’s contract is bad, especially since I’m not paying him and I can’t even get to a game to help pay him.

    I just don’t like him as a player. But there are a lot of good points above for having him around for a while longer, anyway.

  182. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t think Tabata’s contract is “a lot.” And if you can find a good trade, so be it. I think agents and players understand this. I still think he’s an injury risk and can’t be counted upon.

  183. Comrade Monstro is a funny guy. I enjoy his posts. That shot with the dog and Vlad is hilarious.

  184. Jandy says:

    Revvie the Peacemaker :)

  185. Brandie says:

    Revvie is a gentle soul.

  186. “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” LJC.

    That’s hardly a stance for peace, though. I would have released him a couple years ago if it was me. He did well last year in a fill-in role for Marte, so I would have been wrong. I can’t stand sulking, loafing……well, you know.

    ;)

  187. Funny how? Ok was gonna do my joe pesci bit but i’ll just say thanks Lucky! :)

  188. How’s “likeable” sound? Better? But I do get a kick out of your entries. Keep up the good work, especially for Mother Russia.

  189. Arriba Wilver says:

    And that’s an EXCELLENT point about the option years, NMR.

  190. Arriba Wilver says:

    Sounds like you’re talking about his psyche, Rev. ;-)

    And who’s fighting?

  191. Jandy says:

    Hey AW :P

  192. NMR says:

    We’re back in the Nate McLouth situation in this conversation, am I right?

  193. Thanks Lucky. Big fan of your stuff too!

  194. Nobody’s fighting that I can see, AW. Jandyskaya said peacemaker. That gives me an opening to quote the Bible.

    I did enjoy the psyche comments. He’s more like a psycho to me. Since he’s not loafing anymore, I have no argument with him.

  195. Thundercrack says:

    SNAPSHOTS!!

  196. Arriba Wilver says:

    Back atcha, Jandy. :-P

    We’re just talkin’. No one’s accusing anybody’s mom of wearing combat boots. (Not sure that’s even an insult anymore, but I digress).

    :-)

  197. Jandy says:

    I know AW, it’s cool, friend. Just had to, ya know?

    :P

  198. Jandy says:

    As you can see I’m in a much improved frame of mind today :)

  199. hockeymonster says:

    Dejan, whats up with the blog and chrome??? I’m making a personal sacrifice using this IE crap just to remain loyal to the asylum…do I really need to download Firefox?

  200. Arriba Wilver says:

    I know, just kidding around. ;-)

  201. theplanisworking says:

    Howdy all……… whatever time of day it is……..

    Pens looked good last night. Of course, Dallas isnt in the heads of the Pens the way the Philthys are, but a much needed win nonetheless. Just hoping the Duck comes to his senses and figures out the Pens aren’t a “grinding team” before the playoffs start.

    Bobby Mo beat St John’s eh? I didnt see it, but a nice bounce-back after the horrible Mt. St. Mary’s game. Bobby Mo for NIT Champs !!

    State High School basketball championships coming up Friday and Saturday. I counted only 6 of the 16 teams playing as public schools. All others are Private/Catholic/Charter/Prep “schools”, which have multiple unfair recruiting advantages……. which should never, ever be in HS sports. PIAA needs to do something about this……. supposedly they are “aware” of this, but they seem to not care. New Jersey has the best system……… in the regular season, everybody plays everybody, but come playoff time, the Publics and Privates are separated. Makes for a much more level playing field.

    ^^^ The above being said, New Castle will be trying for its’ first ever Championship Saturday at 8. Giant Center holds about 10,500 for basketball………. I hope that is enough seats. I know New Castle will probably bring 7-8,000 fans themselves. Opponent is a Philadelphia recruiting school, LaSalle College.

    Condolances to Milo, and his Burrell Lady Bucs, who fought closer last night, but still lost.

  202. theplanisworking says:

    Hey Rootin Pootin…………. you might have to.
    I am using Firefox for the site.
    Darn Moose and Squirrel broke the blog!!

    IE will get you hacked in no time.
    Good Luck, comrade.

  203. theplanisworking says:

    I see Tabata being traded is a hot topic today.
    Now, according to someone yesterday, by “rehashing” this old news, nothing can be learned. Its “not entertaining”. Nothing good can come of it, etc…………

    Tabata was a hot trade topic last summer when Stanton was a blog favorite. Now some posters thing Tabata’s contract is too much? Really? I thought when it was signed, and still do now that it is a team-friendly deal. I would hope the only reason Tabata would be dealt is to acquire a needed piece, like a C, or 1B. I certainly hope Tabata isn’t dealt because of his money owed………………. which would scream cheap.

    I say the Bucs trade Tabata, Snider, and Mazzaro for Pujols. Just kidding.

    Yep, NMR, you are absolutely right…… blog is in mid-August form.
    Not necessarily a good thing.

    Hi Frank!

  204. Thundercrack says:

    I think Tabata’s ceiling at this point may be a decent 4th outfielder.

    But I also fear we trade him and he wins a batting title. Joey Bats II

  205. 21sthebest says:

    +1

  206. Jim S. says:

    I hadn’t even seen that, Bay. Thanks for the info. Yes, that is a nice win.

  207. Jim S. says:

    Or, I could use Duke Silver’s Final 4 selections.

    Sorry, had to toss in a totally random Parks & Rec. reference. One of my fav shows. Ron Swanson’s sax-playing alter ego.

  208. Jim S. says:

    They do seem to be trendy picks, don’t they? Just didn’t feel right going with 2 #4 seeds for the final game.

  209. Arriba Wilver says:

    Who pooped in your Cheerios? ;-)

  210. Damon says:

    Stat just heard – when Sid scores one point or more in a game this season, the Pens are 42-5-4. When Sid doesn’t get a point, the Pens are 3-14. Huh…..if anyone even votes for anyone else for the MVP….

  211. Jim S. says:

    I was never “here” during the Nate McLouth trade conversation. I can only imagine how that went.

    I am glad we have Charlie Morton.

  212. Jandy says:

    Wasn’t me!

  213. Jim S. says:

    +1, 26.2. Of course, they do.

  214. theplanisworking says:

    HA!!!

    No one. I dont eat them (either), I am a raisin Bran guy.

    Just rubbed me the wrong way the the blog censorship committee was out yesterday, saying one cant discuss anything from the past. Baseball is built on its past. Heck, some people in Chicago are still debating the Lou Brock trade 50 years later.

    Oh well, off to more Raisin bran. :)

  215. Jim S. says:

    “No one’s accusing anybody’s mom of wearing combat boots. (Not sure that’s even an insult anymore.”

    Inspired, Arriba.

  216. Jim S. says:

    As a matter of fact, in some circles, accusing someone’s mom of NOT wearing combat boots today may sometimes be seen as an insult. ;-)

  217. Jim S. says:

    I saw that last night as well, Damon.

    Straw that stirs the drink comes to mind.

  218. That’s probably a compliment with these styles today.

  219. Jim S. says:

    We could get into a “higher ceiling, higher floor” discussion about Tabata vs. Snider. Those are always fun. Or, not.

  220. “You’re the raisin bran beneath my……….”

  221. Arriba Wilver says:

    I hear ya.

  222. Jim S. says:

    Friggin’ Cubs. That trade set them back 40 years. ;-)

  223. Jandy says:

    I have Harley Motorcycle boots, do they count too???
    :D

  224. theplanisworking says:

    Good One, Jim !

    There is a reason they haven’t won a WS in 106 years…………
    its that billy goat! ;)

  225. Jandy says:

    Don’t stir the pot! :P

  226. Jandy says:

    Baa-aaa!

  227. Arriba Wilver says:

    But it was only a committee of one. I had the same reaction as you. I’ll shut up now.

  228. theplanisworking says:

    Ornery Reverend………………. ;)

  229. Jandy says:

    Hey, have some Cheerios!

  230. hap2009 says:

    Wrestling seperates private states and public states. However, the catholic schools muscled their way back into public states after not being able to compete at private states.

  231. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, because we refrain from that with the Bucs.

  232. Jandy says:

    I thought it was hor…er….n/m ;X

  233. Jandy says:

    Where’s my muckin’ boots???

  234. Arriba Wilver says:

    I prefer Raisin Bran, but can’t eat them anymore—too much sugar.

  235. hap2009 says:

    obviously Sid has better supporting cast and they can win without him (sarcasam).

  236. Jim S. says:

    Of course, they do.

    My almost 16 year old has some sort of black boots that look like they have metal spikes sticking out all over them. And, she’s about as straight-laced as a kid can be. She had some friends over on Friday night before they went to a school dance, and 3 of the 4 had similar boots.

  237. Andrew says:

    King Claude, BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD, PERIOD, just beat the Blackhawks in OT with 4 seconds left, or so say the Flyers fans I have to tolerate in the center of the state.

    Crosby is atop the league in point/game while taking more defensive zone faceoffs than any of the other top points skaters outside Perry and Getzlaf for the Ducks

  238. Jim S. says:

    I think you put them right next to your Harley motorcycle boots.

  239. theplanisworking says:

    Agreed.

    Good point about them “muscling” back in………

  240. FlBucco says:

    I sometimes think DK listens to too much talk radio…

    1. Down the stretch last year – September and October – Tabata performed at roughly the same level as the great Marlon Byrd – look it up if you don’t believe me.
    2. Take a look at what teams are paying for mediocre outfielders – including the above named Mr Byrd. Murphy – an aging OF leveraged an OK season two years ago into a two year deal with Cleveland for $12M.
    3. The kid is just 25 – he may never hit 20 HRs – but he can be a servicable starter and the price is not too high

  241. theplanisworking says:

    ++++++

  242. Jandy says:

    +++++
    Claude has a long way to go before he can even tie Sid’s skates :)

  243. Jim S. says:

    You can hug it out if you want, fellas! :-)

  244. Jandy says:

    LOL! touché`

  245. Jandy says:

    Then hush and eat your da*m Cheerios! :P

  246. Jim S. says:

    Otherwise, I pull the trigger on that deal in a second. ;-)

  247. Both for Planet Hollywood.

  248. Jandy says:

    hey, I’ll give AW a hug any day…even two if he’s extra good…errr..sweet…errr…sumpin’ ;)

  249. Jandy says:

    I love what the kids wear sometimes…as long as it’s not dirty (as in not clean)
    I don’t want to wear it, but I enjoy seeing them in crazy fashions.

  250. theplanisworking says:

    Claude is a clod !! :)

  251. Jandy says:

    He’s a decent player, but playing in Philly…ehhh…

  252. Jim S. says:

    Clode: “Sid, for the last time … can I tie your skates?”

    Sid: “Sorry, man. You still have a l-o-o-o-o-n-n-g way to go.”

  253. Jandy says:

    :snicker:

    you crack me up, Jimster!

  254. Jim S. says:

    Good stuff, Andrew.

  255. hockeymonster says:

    It’s Cloooode…not claude :)

  256. Jim S. says:

    I was off doing work stuff yesterday, but when I read some stuff late night, you seemed like you could use a “pick me up.” So, I figured I’d try to wrangle a smile from you today. :-)

  257. Jim S. says:

    I always hear Clode.

    I think I would like French guys more if they allowed us to decide how to pronounce their names. :-)

  258. hockeymonster says:

    Nevermind…hippster and jimster beat me to the joke…

  259. JohninOshkosh says:

    It’s interesting how fans feel about their own players. I just ate lunch with my daughter at her elementary school. It is “spirit week” this week and kids were encouraged today to wear their favorite teams’ apparel. There were tons of Ryan Braun jerseys. I even saw a few Greinke jerseys from his Brewers days.

    If Giroux played for the Pens….just saying.

    BTW, wasn’t even close. NFL stuff (Green Bay) dominated the day.

  260. Bizrow says:

    ++++++++++

  261. Arriba Wilver says:

    I ate them yesterday instead of responding. No regrets.

  262. Baywatch says:

    (I saw Jandy, she DID do that!)

  263. hockeymonster says:

    What’s French for ‘grinder’?

  264. Jim S. says:

    I have a really big ladle today.

  265. hockeymonster says:

    I agree JiO…do think he’s elite. There had to have been something rotten in philly with coach Lavs and Cloooode for them to be that bad and for Cloooode to not have any points for 1st 10 games or whatever it was.

  266. Jim S. says:

    For about 90 years, it was the Billy Goat. For the last decade and a half or so it has been Bartman’s fault.

    Then, there are those nutjobs who think the Cubs have never won simply because they were never good enough. Those people are w-a-a-a-a-a-y out there.

  267. President Obama also favors Michigan State to finally win the NCAA Tournament, although he’s only picked the correct NCAA Tournament Champ only once when in 2009 he picked North Carolina.

  268. Jim S. says:

    Your key word was “sometimes.” Agreed.

  269. Baywatch says:

    Hey! Anybody wanna join up, I just created a “Bucco Bloggers” group, in the ESPN Tournament Challenge section. Yeah, thinkin’ about us’nz!

  270. Jandy says:

    If Giroux played for the Pens, I’d be one of his biggest fans.

    I admit it!

  271. Jandy says:

    ya done good, Jiminy Cricket :)

  272. Jandy says:

    Oh mY!

  273. Jandy says:

    Nuh uh! :P :P :P

    neener, neener, neener! :P

  274. hockeymonster says:

    Jandiskova, what I miss? Why’d you need a pick me up?

  275. theplanisworking says:

    Jandy Girl, remember the conversation that we had about Subban??

    Glad to see you are coming around !! :D

  276. Sarah says:

    That is a scary stat re Sid and supporting cast re playoffs. If he gets shut down, bad news.
    And the book is now to focus 2-3 guys on Crosby exclusively.

  277. 21sthebest says:

    And the committee of one didn’t say we can’t discuss the past the way I read him.

  278. Jandy says:

    Oh Monster Mash, I had a very trying day at the office yesterday, all the negativity on here just rubbed me the wrong way, and I was not in a good mood.
    I’m much better today. Brandiskova and Plansky and Jiminy Cricket and many other cheered me up. Even NMR cheered me up :)

  279. Jim S. says:

    Hey, I didn’t mean anything by that.

  280. Jandy says:

    No. Absoutely not. I can’t stand that friggin mobster! No NO and NO!

  281. Jandy says:

    Put the “l” in absolutely and this makes sense ;)

  282. Jandy says:

    Same ol’ book.

  283. hockeymonster says:

    So by ‘trying day’ you mean you actually had to ‘work’ instead being jandiskova here? :)

  284. theplanisworking says:

    But, being the Duck has described the Pens as a “grinding team”, all is well.
    Who needs Sid? The grindes will save the day!

    (Sarcasm meter off)……….

  285. hockeymonster says:

    I think I would be ok with marchand if he were here…subban not so much. He still makes the same mistakes he made as a rookie, but he can definitely skate.

  286. Jandy says:

    Oh no, Monster Mash, not like that at all. I work every day. I’m a great multi-tasker.
    I was doing someone else’s job (accounting – project billing ) because SHE screwed up my job billing beyond repair. I was furious. That in turn gave me a headache.

    Believe me, I work, even when I play in here. If I don’t get my work done, I’m in trouble. I don’t want to answer that bell.

  287. hockeymonster says:

    Just pulling your chain jandiskova…I know you can insert size 9′s while balancing the books. :)

    And the negative nelly’s turned me off too…

  288. Jandy says:

    You two can say what you will, but when we played Philly on Sunday at home, we scored three goals…who scored them? Not Sid, not Geno.

    It was Orpik, Niskanen, and….wait for it….Megna – who is back in WBS.

    So I have to disagree, we don’t have to have Sid score every game. But we need him and Geno to pick it up and be the stars they are paid to be.

  289. Dom says:

    Tom Brady and wife place their moat surrounded home on the market for $50 million:

    http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/report-brady-bundchen-put-l-a-mansion-on-market-for-50m-031914

  290. Jandy says:

    Yeah Monster, I know you get it. I can’t handle the negativity some days. I’m better off to just ignore it.

  291. Jandy says:

    does it come with alligators??

  292. Andrew says:

    My dislike for Claude Giroud (how the real French spell it) is based on his fan bases’ continued insinuations that in arbitrary small samples Claude is better than Crosby.

    Obviously great player, but hockey fandom is more emotionally driven compared to other sports thus irrational, (at least for me) so Claude is overrated. And I do not care if kills penalties, Crosby could kill penalties just like Clayton Kershaw could close games, but this is not the best use of their talents.

  293. Jandy says:

    Oh and just to clarify, I’m not in accounting, I’m in Project Management. She can’t do my job, but I can do hers… ;)

  294. Jandy says:

    All good points. The best way to prove who is better is on the ice. Numbers don’t lie.

  295. Andrew says:

    That stat just says the Pens are reliant upon their power play and top two lines for goals, which is not something we didn’t already know. Hopefully Sutter Goc and the revolving list of bottom six forwards can be moved around to get some productive shifts.

  296. hockeymonster says:

    Ya and Crosby would NEVER tank early in a season just to get his coach fired. Don’t know all the details from the phillthy side of the state but from the outside it looked like Clooode tanked it early. His PPG(points per game) have been Crosby-like since Knuckledragger….oops I mean Berube took over so I can see why people in phillthy make the comparison but they can byte me!

  297. Dom says:

    Not according to the listing sheet.

  298. JohninOshkosh says:

    Does it come with Gisele ? If so, I need to go talk to the bank about a loan.

  299. hockeymonster says:

    What a dump!

  300. Jandy says:

    well h*ll, then I don’t want it ;)

  301. Jandy says:

    Hey, Oshie, here’s a bib for ya ;X

  302. JohninOshkosh says:

    Actually, I always thought Brady’s former squeeze, Bridget Moynahan, was hotter.

  303. JohninOshkosh says:

    Hahaha!

    I think I have a new screen saver!

  304. Dom says:

    I always thought Brady was out of Gisele’s league./

  305. Thundercrack says:

    It’s hot here in Florida

  306. Andrew says:

    Take out his six point October and he gets to 1.14 point/game, so he is getting close to Crosby worst season.

    On more serious note I think firing your head coach three games into a season is more a testament of organizational dysfunction than players tanking. You might have more in the know friends but my impression is that Philadelphia is not the best run organization. Observe the multiple roster overhauls and Lavoilette press conference after being fired in which he stated the organization is living off the image of the Broad Street Bully days.

    Penguins fans like to complain about the organization, some of it very legitimate, but grass is not always greener. I look at the Flyers roster and see a lack of puck moving defensemen and not much NHL ready help.

  307. bpn8pitt says:

    Really enjoyed Travis’s story today…Something tells me Russell Martin is going ballistic this year.

  308. Bizrow says:

    If you run into anyone we know from the blog, say hello for us ;-)

    Maybe he gave up the blog for Lent ;-)

  309. Arriba Wilver says:

    Going for that last big contract. I’m OK with that. That was his plan.

  310. JohninOshkosh says:

    Are the people tall, too ?

  311. hockeymonster says:

    Was it 3 games into season that they fired him? I thought it was like 10-15 games before coach was replaced and Clooode got it going. And I agree about the organ-I-zations. Pens are much more measured with their actions and trades.

    Although I will say that the flyers have built a team with impressive forward depth without the benefit of top 5 picks the pens enjoyed back when this squad was put together. But like you said their roster is flawed and they’ve tried to cover their tracks with aggressive/bad trades but all in all I think they’ve done ok considering they haven’t had the benefit of high picks. Lack of goalie development was just as costly for them as lack of mobile D.

  312. 21sthebest says:

    +1

  313. bpn8pitt says:

    Yup, walk year. He’ll be in demand too.

  314. Sarah says:

    Regular season I agree.
    Playoffs, we do not have the skill in bottom 6.
    It’s Sid n Geno or nuthin……

  315. Jim S. says:

    I was going to say I hope the Bradys lose their shirts when they sell their place in LA. Then, I saw this, and I re-thought that a bit.

  316. Jim S. says:

    I’ve always thought that if you really want to stop 1 or 2 guys you can probably do it. Someone else needs to step up in that situation.

  317. NMR says:

    Everybody ready to have the qualifying offer discussion again? ;)

  318. Arriba Wilver says:

    Not till the end of the year. Be calm. ;-)

  319. BillyBaduka says:

    +

  320. cmat0829 says:

    DK’s point is so valid about trade talk — living in NY for a while, it was at first entertaining, and then nauseating, that call after call to talk radio was “how bout we trade like our friggin useless fillindablank fer Prince Fielder”…and if they need somethin else, give em randombum#1and#2″.

    I guess those that still find that type of talk or blogging entertaining must be the same that enjoy 59 likes on facebook to a picture of that night’s dinner….

    The only news so far is that the Pirates have made it be known that Tabata, Snider and Mazarro would be available in a trade. Not sure how that piece of news elicits 2 full days of blog-a-thonning, but there you have it. Slow news day I guess.

    ** Disclaimer. This post – and any other – is not provided as a means to criticize or -egads- censor anyone at any time for anything. That’s what blogs are for, serving up opinions and having fun while doing so. **

  321. Mizery says:

    Me too. I can’t wait for opening day. I am excited to see Taillion and Polanco this year.

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