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Morning Java: Call!

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The TribLIVE Radio show today — 2-3 p.m. — will feature you once again. We’ve got all kinds of ground to cover, so I’ll open by taking your calls on any topic. Are the Penguins set for playoffs? Still worried about the Pirates at first base? You name it.

So do it. Call me at 412-320-7925.

Feel free to email sportstalk@tribweb.com if you can’t call. But I’d really rather hear from you.

At 2:30, we’ll be joined by Rob Rossi, the Trib’s hockey beat man.

And at 2:45, we’ll have more wit and wisdom from our @SuckMeter.

To listen, just click on the link up top. If you’re mobile, try the iPhone version of the TribLIVE Radio app, or the Android version. Both are free and ridiculously easy to use.

>> The Pirates brought out the bats to make up for Charlie Morton’s rough night. Rob Biertempfel reports from Wrigley.

Clint Hurdle on Hank Aaron, by Biertempfel.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page and our Bucco Blog.

Here’s Cubs news from the Chicago Tribune.

Here are official game highlights on MLB.com.

Our panel on WPXI-TV’s Subway Final Word talked about the Jameson Taillon effect on the rest of this season and beyond:

>> Evgeni Malkin is back on iceChris Adamski reports.

Jackets or Wings? Columnist Joe Starkey asks.

Tomas Vokoun to Wilkes-Barre, by Adamski.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Penguins page and our Chipped Ice blog, with much more on tonight’s matchup at Consol with Detroit.

Here’s Red Wings news from the Detroit Free Press.

Here are official game highlights on NHL.com.

>> Five players to watch for the Steelers’ first draft pick, by Alan Robinson.

The NFL seeks workplace respect, by Robinson.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Steelers page and our Steel Mill blog.

>> Thank you, as always, for reading. Hope you can check out — and call — the show. After that, I’ll cover Penguins-Wings toward a Thursday column.

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. Eric Bowser says:

    Sidney Crosby… By the Numbers

    5on5

    Games 1-20
    Corsi For: 347 (17.35 avg)
    Corsi Against: 256 (12.8 avg)
    Points: 25 (1.25 per game)
    ES TOI: 16.5

    Game 21-40
    Corsi For: 352 (17.6 avg)
    Cori Against: 338 (16.9 avg)
    Points: 30 (1.5 per game)
    ES TOI: 17.44

    Games 41-60
    Corsi For: 296 (14.8 avg)
    Corsi Against: 278 (13.9 avg)
    Points: 25 (1.25 per game)
    ES TOI: 16.64

    Games 61-78
    Corsi For: 262 (14.55 avg)
    Corsi Against: 252 (14 avg)
    Points: 22 (1.22 per game)
    ES TOI: 15.82

    2014
    Games 36
    CF: 537
    CF Avg: 14.9
    Points: 43

    2013
    Games 42
    CF: 720
    CF Avg: 17.14
    Points: 59

    Under 16 ES TOI
    Games 32
    Points 45
    Avg 1.41

    16+ ES TOI
    Games 46
    Points 57
    Avg 1.24

    16-17 ES TOI
    Games 14
    Points 15
    Avg 1.07

    17-18 ES TOI
    Games 11
    Points 14
    Avg 1.27

    18-19 ES TOI
    Games 8
    Points 12
    Avg 1.5

    19-20 ES TOI
    Games 7
    Points 10
    Avg 1.43

    21 or more ES TOI
    Games 6
    Points 6
    Avg 1.0

  2. Eric Bowser says:

    These Pirates of 2014 are already showing the same resolve and resiliency as 2013 with these close game wins. Great to see Marte taking pitches, working the count and getting on base via walk.

  3. Ghost says:

    Took my younger one to the cages tonight, but while there did see the top of the 8th as it played out. Great that Marte is showing patience and getting rewarded for it. Hopefully, he’s learning. Marte’s skill set + patience would truly be awesome.

  4. Ghost says:

    And how about that Ishikawa?! Really got some salt n pepper going with the bat.

    …BTW, Mike Easler coaches kids at the batting center I was at tonight. Watched him as his eyes were glued to the overhead TV during Russell Martin’s key at bat. Nobody but us even cared what was happening on the screen. Easler is still a Pirate. Couldn’t have been more obvious.

  5. Ghost says:

    Oh, and then there’s this little off beat item that caught my eye…

    http://tinyurl.com/o2jgyhd

  6. If the Pirates can keep their bats going the way they did against the Cubs last night, they should do just fine this season.

  7. Matt says:

    Flamethrower? There are so many directions to go with that info, none appropriate. No one in the civilized World really cares, yet that guy has nukes.

    OK, back to the Pittsburgh sports world, I really really like MLB Play By Play channels on the Sirius App. I listened to Yanks/O’s yesterday afternoon. The Pirates broadcast helps ease a little homesickness that sets in every now and then. Baseball on the radio. hard to beat, even with a flamethrower.

  8. JoeyBats says:

    Hoka Hey everyone…and BAT’em Bucs! ;-)

    Switching the topic to the NFL Draft….enjoyed the Alan Robinson link cited above.

    Been out of town for a couple of days…..so forgive me, if these comments were mentioned yesterday or the day before in this forum:

    * I think the 5 names mentioned are all worthy #1 picks.
    * Also would like to mention 3 more names that several of us have thrown around here before on these pages….2 on offense and 1 on “D” :

    1) Odell Beckham, Wide Receiver from LSU is flying up many draft boards. He is smaller….not the protypical “BIG RECEIVER” ……more the Tavon Austin/Antonio Brown big play/big return type of playmaker. 5’11″ 198 4.43 40 yard dash. As Mike Tomlin sez…..>> “makes the splash plays on a regular basis.”

    2) CJ Mosley, Inside Linebacker from Alabama. Let’s face it…..ever since Larry Foote went down in the 1st game of the season last year…Steelers have been “bailing water” out of a sinking ship @ the spot opposite of Lawrence Timmons. Unsure if Sean Spence can come back…..Vince Williams is a run stopper (former # 6 pick as a rookie)….and Arthur Moats was signed to play special teams. Steelers throwing a lot of s*it against the wall here. Mosley fits the bill as a BIG time commitment to fill an immediate DEFENSIVE need. 6′ 2″ 234 4.63 in the 40

    3) Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina. Big time receiver. Has great tools @ 6’4″ 250 runs a 4.60 40 yard dash……may be one of those players off the board before Steelers pick @ # 15. He fits the bill to be a RED ZONE threat and a MIDDLE OF THE FIELD threat for Ben that the “smurfs” don’t. Not a great blocker.

  9. Jandy says:

    Actually I DO care. How that moron gets away with such inhumane acts is astounding. He should be terminated by someone from the civilized world.

  10. Jandy says:

    I didn’t watch the whole game last night…hit the sack shortly after10. But while I was upset they blew a 4-0 lead, I was heartened by their passion and resiliency to battle back. Charlie didn’t give up either. Good for him. Marte and Alvarez are the two showing the most improvement in their batting. Walker looked good too. Ishikawa is a pleasant surprise. After all I read about him, I sure didn’t expect him to do as well as he has been.
    Keep up the good work, boys!

  11. bpn8pitt says:

    I like all those. But its time for some pedigree at CB. Put me down for Dennard or Gilbert. If both of them are gone, Ebron is certainly intriguing.

    With WR so deep and their history of finding them late, they can wait.

  12. Wild Bill says:

    Good recovery by the Bucs last night; found a way to win, rather than a way to lose. Plate discipline seems way up for a number of guys so far.

    Saw a replay of Roidin Braun’s three homers at Philly. Not certain, but don’t think any of them would have been out of the park at PNC Park. Still, hope he’s tested very regularly.

    Like it or not, women’s basketball continues to be Auriemma’s personal playground. He let’s others play in it when convenient.

  13. Wild Bill says:

    Jandy, I was off the blog for a while yesterday afternoon, but posted the eagle cam link later.

  14. Jandy says:

    Thanks WIld Bill.. I did go looking and found it, but I can’t get it on the ‘puter at work, they blocked it lol.
    I’m gonna check it out at home. thanks, friend
    :)

  15. JAL says:

    JAL’s Where Will the Words Come From Morning Links

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ho90HlNTaE&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

    Pittsburgh Pirates Organizational Probable Pitching Chart

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/probable-pitchers

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Where Can the Pirates Exceed Their Projections?

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/first-pitch-where-can-the-pirates-exceed-their-projections.html

    Prospect Watch: Stetson Allie and JaCoby Jones Lead a Night of Home Runs

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/prospect-watch-stetson-allie-and-jacoby-jones-lead-a-night-of-home-runs.html

    The First Look at the Pirates Playoff Odds in 2014

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/the-first-look-at-the-pirates-playoff-odds-in-2014.html

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates edge Cubs, 7-6

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2014/4/8/5596226/discussion-thread-pirates-edge-cubs-7-6

    Bucs Dugout Podcast: Thoughts after Week 1

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2014/4/8/5595782/bucs-dugout-podcast-thoughts-after-week-1

    7 Rumbunter

    RumBunter Heads to GWBOT Washington Nationals Lunch

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/04/08/rumbunter-heads-to-washington-nationals-lunch/

    8 Green Weenie

    Bucs Outlast Cubs 7-6

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2014/04/bucs-outlast-cubs-7-6.html

    9 WHYGAVS

    Game 7: Pirates 7 Cubs 6

    http://whygavs.com/april-2014/game-7-pirates-7-cubs-6.html

    10 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates Are Seeing An Improved Pedro Alvarez In 2014

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2014/04/09/pittsburgh-pirates-are-seeing-an-improved-pedro-alvarez-in-2014/

  16. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 CBS Sports

    Pirates vs Cubs Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20140409_PIT@CHC/pirates-cubs-preview

    12 Chicago Tribune

    Rick Renteria ejected in Cubs’ 7-6 loss to Pirates

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-cubs-pirates-game-spt-0409-20140409,0,2094646.story

    13 KDKA

    Sean Casey: If Pirates Win Division This Year, They’re Going To Earn It

    http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2014/04/08/sean-casey-if-pirates-win-division-this-year-theyre-going-to-earn-it/

    14 Pirates Site

    Pirates show discipline, resilience in win

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2014_04_08_pitmlb_chnmlb_1&mode=recap_away&c_id=pit

    15 SB Nation

    Hank Aaron’s homer and the most revered record in sports

    http://www.sbnation.com/mlb/2014/4/8/5594628/hank-aaron-home-run-record-anniversary

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Bailey loses grip in Reds’ 7-5 loss to Cardinals

    http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/mlb/reds/2014/04/08/homer-bailey-loses-grip-reds-loss-cardinals/7493867/

    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Ryan Braun belts three home runs as Brewers top Phillies

    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brewers/ryan-braun-belts-three-home-runs-as-brewers-top-phillies-b99243174z1-254454191.html

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Cardinals back Lynn, rally past Reds

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/cardinals-back-lynn-rally-past-reds/article_97f64e9a-f752-5784-846a-a68d62369039.html

    19 Fangraphs

    How the Best Pitching Tools Translate to the Majors

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/how-the-best-pitching-tools-translate-to-the-majors/

    20 Baseball Prospectus

    Seven Memorably Misleading April Performances

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=23254

  17. NMR says:

    Very good eye, Wild man! Looks like maybe just one of them would’ve cleared PNC.

    http://hittrackeronline.com/detail.php?id=2014_172&type=hitter

  18. Wild Bill says:

    Hadn’t seen this tracker before; thanks NMR!

  19. NMR says:

    Link #20 is a super fun read, JAL.

    2006 Chris Shelton was my favorite. Not only did ESPN actually run a poll asking if Shelton would go on to break Barry Bonds single season home run record, but 14% of the people who took it actually said yes!

  20. NMR says:

    Excellent Marte observation. The guy suddenly seems like he actually controls the zone. Not getting easy free passes.

  21. NMR says:

    It is pretty incredible, Bill. Even has links to video of each home run!

  22. Wild Bill says:

    A little new eye candy in the avatar, J-girl?

  23. Wild Bill says:

    Clint’s going to have to offer hard cash to the Bucs pitcher who gets Bonafacio out more than once in a game. What the heck is up with that?

  24. bpn8pitt says:

    Was a nice play by Ishikawa on the DP, when Bonifacio was on 1st.

  25. Jandy says:

    haha Wild One, DJ said on the blog yesterday (after someone commented on Oshie’s avatar) that I should change mine to Brad Pitt, for the ladies to enjoy. I prefer Downey or Clooney myself…eye candy indeed ;)

  26. Jandy says:

    +++

  27. Arriba Wilver says:

    His defense has been decent for the most part. I was a little worried after he dropped Liriano’s perfect pickoff throw opening day. Maybe he was nervous.

  28. macchamp74 says:

    Impressive Pedro AB in 8th inning against LH pitcher. Very patient, previous years he may have swung at those low and outside breaking pitches…..he has more walks than K’s….it’s early but I like what I am seeing.

  29. Jandy says:

    AW, Yes that drop made me nervous too, but he’s been fine since. I’m willing to give it a chance, or three :)

  30. Arriba Wilver says:

    Oh, me too.

  31. Thundercrack says:

    It seems like everything that Pedro is hitting is very hard. Everything hit right on the button…not too many slow rollers to the right side

  32. Jim S. says:

    That was a great at bat, macchamp. He was down 1-2, facing a lefty, and he really hung in there. That was good to see.

  33. Jim S. says:

    He hit 2 balls to the Notch last week that were caught that would have easily been HR in many parks. He also had a hard lineout to RF vs. the Cards. I agree that he has been locked in so far. He’s laying off most of the balls, and not getting behind in the count every time up.

  34. Jandy says:

    G’mornin Sweetie :*

    (Had to ;) )

  35. Jim S. says:

    Marte will patience at the plate could be one of the Top 10 players in MLB, Ghost. (Hey, look, I got your name right!). If he even draws 45 walks, it will be a huge improvement.

    I do think he still needs work on the steals, though. A lot of them seem to be closer than they need to be.

  36. Nate83 says:

    Ditto on Marte. It early and not many at bats but so far so good. Maybe Branson is making a difference with these guys. Now if he could just get Snider to swing the bat we might have something. I’m ready for that experiment to be over or at least I’m ready for him batting in the #2 hole to be over.

    The team looks good through the first 7 games. More importantly it looks like they know it and believe they belong.

  37. Jandy says:

    +++

  38. Jim S. says:

    I like the TE a lot, Joey. And, another playmaking WR is always welcome IMO. I don’t know about an Inside LB that high. I know the position is important, but I think we can find that guy at least 1 round later. But, impact skill guys can’t be passed up. If Spence somehow found a way to get back healthy, wouldn’t that be great?

  39. Wild Bill says:

    Really looks like his D will be just fine. If his bat will just play…… good summer ahead, AW.

  40. Wild Bill says:

    Yep, and this month is huge – for an April. All division play: we’ll know a lot by May.

  41. macchamp74 says:

    That is a good point Nate. It’s hard to know exactly but I also feel they are very confident of their abilities individually and as a team.

  42. Jim S. says:

    That’s pretty cool, NMR.

    I couldn’t help but chuckle that the last one was hit off Brad Lincoln.

  43. Jim S. says:

    So, he was hitting .700 for the 4 games vs. the Bucs and gets up in the 9th inning and tries that … I don’t even know what to call that chop swing. It wasn’t really a slug bunt. It was like something from a women’s fast pitch softball game. He tried that last week, too, with similar results. Just gave the at bat away at a time when he is hitting everything hard.

  44. JohninOshkosh says:

    Pittsburgh in the news for all the wrong reasons this morning.

    So, so tired and sick of this shiz.

    Hope no one on the blog is affected by this crap.

  45. NMR says:

    Brad Lincoln will not be a big leaguer for very long pitching in Citizens Bank Bandbox, I mean Ballpark.

  46. Jim S. says:

    (Snarls)

    Cover blown.

  47. Jim S. says:

    I missed the first couple of innings, Nate. But, I thought I heard Snider hit the ball with authority to LC a couple of times. No?

  48. Jandy says:

    ;snicker:

  49. Jim S. says:

    Stabbings at Franklin Regional?

  50. JohninOshkosh says:

    School violence in Westmoreland County. Multiple people stabbed. Not sure about fatalities.

  51. Dom says:

    Me neither.

    I certainly hope nobody perishes from this recent act of violence.

  52. Jim S. says:

    Sounds as though a student stabbed up to 6 others. How horrible.

  53. Nancy52 says:

    Count up to 20. Several airlifted to hospitals.
    None thought to be life threatening.

  54. Jim S. says:

    Speaking of defense, I missed the first couple of innings. Did Marte drop another ball? What happened there?

  55. Milo Hamilton says:

    As many as 20 people transported to local hospitals. Four by medical helicopter with critical injuries. Our 17 year old’s girlfriend is a student there. She hadn’t arrived at school yet & she is safe. Those poor kids & those poor parents.

  56. Jandy says:

    I saw Snider hit hard to the warning track. Just bad luck.

  57. Nate83 says:

    I have to watch most games on gamecast which is just moving dots. I know in the 8th he looked at 3 strikes in a row. All of which looked like they caught a good portion of the plate according to the pitch track.

    To be honest as big of a Snider defender I was previous years I have soured on him quickly so I may not be the most fair person when it comes to evaluating him. Too big a sample size for me to think he will turn it around. His career stats are worse then Ishikawa.

  58. Dom says:

    I wonder what is the cause of all these recent acts of violence. It wasn’t like this 20 years ago, was it?

  59. Jandy says:

    Good Lord!

  60. Jandy says:

    Nothing like this. Not even close.

  61. bpn8pitt says:

    Thought it was a long way to run, but he did get the glove on it.

    Idk, ugly game I thought.

  62. Jandy says:

    Sending prayers for all those involved and their families.

  63. Jandy says:

    I really thought he should have had it. He overhanded the glove to make the catch. Not good.

  64. Jandy says:

    That said, his offense made up for it :)

  65. Arriba Wilver says:

    I also wondered if Branson was having an impact. I wasn’t expecting much since he was here last year, but maybe Bell was a hindrance. Maybe (knock on wood) he’ll turn out to be the organization guy like Searage who is way better than the “name” guy. I am, of course, referring to Ray’s boss Joe Kerrigan, in the pitching category. Or, as Jason Kendall knows him, “Dave Kurwin.”

  66. Jim S. says:

    I wonder if one person did all of this.

  67. NMR says:

    What in the….

  68. NMR says:

    With you here, buddy. Can’t say I’ve seen much different this year than last.

    Also really disappointed with Jordy. Clearly the weakest position on the field right now.

  69. Damon says:

    My brother is a teacher at Franklin Regional High School. Just found out about 30 minutes ago he is OK, but he was with one of the students that got stabbed. Needless to say he is shaken up.

  70. Nate83 says:

    I love any reference to “Dave Kurwin”.

  71. Jandy says:

    YES! Barmes would have made that catch over his head….well…you know…

  72. Jim S. says:

    For his at bat in the 8th, 2 of the pitches were actually very borderline. Even the Cubs announcers were skeptical that they were called strikes until they showed the locations. Looked like they each barely skimmed the plate. They were great pitches.

    I am not a huge supporter of his, but I thought he did ok last night. Again, though, I missed one of his at bats. I saw the replay of his 2nd at bat, and he hit it hard but was caught by the CF.

  73. Jandy says:

    Glad your brother is ok. Praying for all of them…

  74. Jim S. says:

    ++++++

  75. Jim S. says:

    +++

  76. Damon says:

    Definitely praying for them – kids shouldn’t have to witness and/or go through that stuff. As a parent of a 6th grader, just can’t imagine….

  77. When we were in school, chewing gum was one of the biggest problems. And talking in class.

    The devil has eaten our lunch since prayer was taken out of schools. Time we take authority over him and his crowd.

  78. Jandy says:

    +++++

  79. Nate83 says:

    Kids can be mean to each other through social media now. They don’t need to say it to a persons face so it’s easier for them to be mean and pile on. Reading it over and over and over is much worse then just hearing it once. It’s a big problem and I don’t think it’s going away. I can definitely see a person who isn’t chemically balanced losing it after endless insults.

    It’s so important for parents to talk to their kids and know what they are dealing with. Don’t be afraid to admit your child may be a little different and get them into a better environment where they are accepted even if it means home schooling.

  80. Arriba Wilver says:

    That is horrible. Thank God the perpetrator didn’t have a firearm.

  81. NMR says:

    Still have yet to see any reason to play him against right handed pitching.

    He’s just not good.

  82. I’ll go one step further, NMR. He won’t be a big leaguer anywhere until he gets some tutelage from someone on a par with Searage and our group.

    He’s been a totally different pitcher since he left here. Assuming he’s healthy, he could be or could have been an 8th or 9th-inning guy.

  83. Jandy says:

    it’s not just schools, either, Nate.
    I just went to one of my co-workers office and she was crying. She’s only been her a couple months.
    I asked her if she wanted to talk about it and she shook her head no.
    I happen to know two of the other women in the office here have been mean to her, and have heard that one also bullies her.
    I wanted to do something about it before, but she pleaded with me just to keep quiet as it wasn’t bothering her. Obviously, it is. I again wanted to speak to at least a supervisor, but she said it didn’t matter, as she wasn’t going to stay.
    :sigh:
    WTF is wrong with people???

  84. Nate83 says:

    Thanks Jim for the info. I know those online pitch tracks are not always accurate. They showed it catching much more of the plate. Always better to hear it from a person who saw pitches on the TV.

  85. Jim S. says:

    “A surgeon came out and said one of the victims may have saved the life of another by applying pressure to the wound.”

    Now, that’s true heroism.

  86. JohninOshkosh says:

    I remember reading an interview with Clint. He said (paraphrasing) that it was impossible to underestimate the effects Columbine had on himself personally and his Rockies team. It really influenced that club’s season.

    Hoping for the best here. It sure rocks the soul when you’re dropping your kids off to school while listening to news reports like this.

  87. JohninOshkosh says:

    *Overestimate, obviously.

  88. Jim S. says:

    I’ve also noticed the various trackers are not set up the same, Nate. Sometimes my daughter will be looking at one, I’ll be looking at another, and then we’ll see the one on screen – and they are all a little different.

    Snider got very angry after the 3rd strike call. I thought on first glance that he had a right to be angry, especially since I believe Renteria had been thrown out a batter earlier from arguing a ball 4 pitch that wasn’t even close to a strike. I thought maybe it was a make-up call. But, then, as I said, they put the pitch tracker up and 2 of the pitches barely skimmed the edge of the strike zone.

  89. Jim S. says:

    Starling looks like a legit leadoff hitter right now, even moreso than last year.

  90. Milo Hamilton says:

    I think you’re going to hear of the heroism of at least one staffer that jumped & subdued this kid to stop him & was injured in the process.

  91. Nate83 says:

    I don’t know what’s wrong with people. My son is constantly getting in the middle of these social media conflicts. He is always defending the person being harassed and I’ve warned him he is going to have to be thick skinned to handle some of the angst coming back his way for standing up to these kids.

    In a perfect world more kids would do what my son is doing and just not associate with the kids that are doing the bullying. It wouldn’t be cool to do it anymore but I think we are a long way from that. Kids are afraid they will be the one that is made fun of if they defend the “not cool” kid.

  92. Jim S. says:

    +++

  93. Arriba Wilver says:

    Probably because his eyeballs were bouncing.

  94. Jim S. says:

    Same here.

  95. scapper says:

    Saw a statistic that showed that more kids murdered in schools in the 70s than in the 90s or the first decade of this century.

  96. scapper says:

    Again…more kids killed in schools in the past (even with Jesus being crammed down kids’ throats) than today. We just hear about them all these days because of media saturation. (Which is a good thing…the media, not the violence, ha ha.)

  97. Wild Bill says:

    It was bizarre, the way he’s been killin’ it, Jim. We all were thankful!

  98. Jandy says:

    show me.

  99. Jandy says:

    show me.

  100. That’s the biggest pile of crap I ever heard, scap. Sorry.

  101. Sarah says:

    It’s all so saddening. I’m reminded of a scene in the Green Mile with the condemned prisoner where he says|

    “Mostly, I’m tired of people being ugly to each other. I’m tired of all the pain I feel and hear in the world every day. There’s too much of it …”

    Thoughts and prayers to families and loved ones of victims….

  102. Wild Bill says:

    Biggest single thing wrong with people is not enough time spent where Lucky works and others like him. Our input is all wrong.

  103. Wild Bill says:

    I offered above that the biggest problem with people is not enough time spent where Lucky and others like him work, but a second concern is the sheer prevalence of violence in prime time tv today. Acts of violence likely seem normal to kids in this moment.

  104. scapper, you’re a nice person and a good poster and you have the right to believe however you want to or not believe, like you stated in the past. But you better read your history books, accurate ones, on how this country that allows you to believe what you want to, was founded and by who.

    Nobody ever crammed Jesus down my throat in school, but we started the day with prayer and Bible reading in my elementary years and nobody was ever killed (or even maimed) and that was the 60′s and 70′s my friend.

  105. Nate83 says:

    Agree Wild Bill. It all starts with knowing and recognizing right from wrong and that all starts with having a moral compass which I personally have adjusted back in the right direction every Sunday.

  106. Damon says:

    ++++

  107. John Coffey. Like the drink, but not spelled the same.

  108. Damon says:

    Ray Shero just announced Letang is playing tonight.

  109. All the above, brother, all the above.

  110. JohninOshkosh says:

    Wow. Letang will play tonight.

  111. Jandy says:

    :THUD:

  112. Jandy says:

    :THUD:

  113. JohninOshkosh says:

    Mmmm??

  114. Jandy says:

    Well, smack my a** and call me Suzie!

  115. Arriba Wilver says:

    Love you, man, and I highly respect and admire your beliefs and your sincerity. And I’m staying out of the overall debate, but historically, wasn’t the country founded by people who believed in freedom of religion, and several of the Founding Fathers were Deists. And Jefferson wrote the Jeffersonian Bible.

  116. Sarah says:

    Adieu Simon…..

  117. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’m hearing it was a security guard that subdued the suspect & he did suffer injuries in the scuffle.

  118. Sarah says:

    Anyone in the media think to ask who is going to pair w him on D?

  119. Sarah says:

    Bless him

  120. Wild Bill says:

    And it might be best for Depres, he needs to play to grow as a d man.

  121. Jim S. says:

    Hopefully, his injuries are not permanently debilitating or life-threatening.

    I read that this went on for 30 minutes or so, across several classrooms. Horrifying.

  122. Jandy says:

    Unbelievable!

  123. Jandy says:

    Doesn’t matter what “God” you believe in. if you have faith and believe, you don’t do these kind of monstrous things. Deist, Catholic, Bible Church, Buddhist. Doesn’t matter.

  124. Jim S. says:

    Two random and unrelated baseball notes that I nonetheless am placing together:

    * I just read that Matt Latos, who has been recovering from minor knee surgery, suffered a setback in the form of inflammation to his elbow. That would be a tough, tough blow to a team that is already scuffling. But, it might also mean less “incidents” in the Bow Tie deck at PNC when the Reds come to town.

    * Did anyone else notice two separate plays in the last 2 or 3 days where video replay seemed to overturn calls that were made correctly in the first place?

    - Last night, Josh Hamilton appeared to catch a flyball, secure it in his glove, and then drop it as was pulling the ball out and making a throw. The batter was ruled out initially, with the call being overturned upon review.

    - Previous to that, I recall a play at 2nd where either a SS or 2b (can’t recall which) seemed to catch a throw cleanly, then reach into his glove to make the throw to 1b. Again, I thought the ball was dropped during the throw, after it had been secured for the force out. The ruling on the field initially was out, but it was also reversed.

    I’m shaking and scratching my head over these video replay decisions. Did anyone see them?

  125. Depends on who you read after, AW. I suggest David Barton. But he’s come under a lot of fire, too, for what he has put out.

    I know I shouldn’t even mention any of this here and I don’t want to offend scapper or anyone, as this is DK’s blog, not mine and it’s a sports blog, but it came up about deaths, etc. in the 70′s vs. today. That’s the only reason I mentioned it.

  126. scapper says:

    Yeah, we better just get back to sports. That’s why this is the ONLY reader comments I ever look at and participate in. So, we’ll just disagree and leave it at that.

    But I will try to locate the statistics on kids dying in schools. I’ve read numerous times that statistically, school remains the safest place for a kid, and that it’s more true today than ever before. Wasn’t trying to offend anyone.

  127. Jandy says:

    it’s all good scapper.

  128. scapper says:

    Here’s just one article of many on the topic.

    http://www.franklinhomepage.com/safety-expert-schools-safer-today-than-decades-ago-cms-10837

    Not dismissing today’s tragedy. Just trying to point out that all the “What’s wrong with the world today” comments are a bit off base. World’s always had crazies. We just didn’t hear about every single incident.

  129. Dom says:

    About darn time!

  130. Arriba Wilver says:

    They don’t?

    I’m backing out now.

  131. Milo Hamilton says:

    As far as Letang goes, time to cue the outrage from the amateur doctors in the media.

  132. Wild Bill says:

    Thank you, Scapper for the article; it was interesting to read, and it made me think about the acts of violence among teens I’ve heard about where I live in the last couple years. Those have mostly been assaults that took place not on school grounds, but among students. None of them were large scale like the one this morning, thankfully.

  133. scapper says:

    Actually, more stroke-afflicted defensemen came back too early in the 70s and 80s than today….

    Sorry, couldn’t resist. Glad we’re back to sports!

    And Jandy, you now have the coolest Avatar ever on here.

  134. Milo Hamilton says:

    Credit where credit is due: Assistant Principal tackled the kid. Big thanks to him.

  135. That’s because those stroke-afflicted defensemen didn’t read the Bible.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist. I like your sense of humor.

    ;)

  136. Sarah says:

    So did RS say “Kris has been bugging me for awhile to play “?
    So whose decision was it?

  137. Arriba Wilver says:

    Yes, probably talking about different things. Mass assaults versus overall numbers of injuries. I don’t think there’s any question that mass assaults are more prevalent today. The media, in a different form, was around back then too. It certainly would have been a big story then, too, if 20 kids were stabbed in school.

  138. Arriba Wilver says:

    +++

  139. Milo Hamilton says:

    I remember a really good relief pitcher, John Hiller, having a massive heart attack in January of 1971 at age 28. He missed the entire 1971 season but returned to close for the Tigers division title team in 1972 & pitched until 1980. He’s alive & well living in his native Toronto.

  140. Arriba Wilver says:

    You the man, Rev.

    ;-)

  141. Damon says:

    Ebbett sent down, lines at practice today:

    Kunitz-Crosby-Bennett
    Gibbons-Jokinen-Neal
    Glass-Sutter-Stempniak
    Pyatt-Adams-Payerl

    Scuderi-Letang
    Orpik-Martin
    Maatta-Niskanen
    The other three D (Bortuzzo, Despres, and Engelland) rotated

    PP1: Niskanen, Martin, Crosby, Kunitz, Neal.
    PP2: Letang, Maatta, Jokinen, Bennett, Sutter.

  142. Arriba Wilver says:

    We’re STILL talking about the Tiger’s bullpen???

  143. Damon says:

    Here’s an article from the Pens page:

    Defenseman Kris Letang, 26, will return to the lineup Wednesday night when the Penguins hosts the Detroit Red Wings at CONSOL Energy Center 10 weeks after suffering a stroke.

    “Finally some good news regarding injuries, Kris Letang will return to play tonight,” general manager Ray Shero said.

    Letang, 26, was cleared to participate in full contact practice by doctors on March 17 and has worked the past three weeks with the team. Doctors cleared Letang to return to the ice, but the decision was left to him on when he felt ready.

    “Kris has been bugging me for a little while for a return to play,” Shero said. “He feels good on and off the ice so he’ll be back this evening.”

    The nature of Letang’s injury, a stroke for a young and well-conditioned athlete, has caused the team to be cautious in handling the situation.

    “Going through other injuries with him, but this is quite different,” Shero said. “It really shakes you and him. Having a family we want to do what’s best for the player. You don’t take these decisions lightly.

    “Whatever Kris decided we fully supported. He would like to return to play. If it was up to Kris he would have been back before this.”

    Doctors have determined that hockey did not cause Letang’s stroke. Therefore he is at no further risk by playing the game.

    “Hockey did not cause this stroke. Returning to play will not cause a stroke,” Shero said. “Playing tonight versus waiting until October or 10 years from now will not change that. Resting and playing Xbox is not going to make him better. … He’s at no greater risk to suffer a stroke (from playing hockey) than he would be going to the grocery store.”

    Letang suffered a stroke on Jan. 29 and received blood thinners for the following six weeks. On March 17 he was taken off the blood thinners and returned to full contact practice with the team. Letang has practiced for the past 23 days with the team.

    On Tuesday Letang was named the team’s nominee for the Bill Masterton Trophy as selected by the Pittsburgh chapter of Professional Hockey Writers’ Association for his perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to the game of hockey.

  144. Jim S. says:

    POTD candidate right there, AW.

  145. Milo Hamilton says:

    Blew another one last night !

  146. scapper says:

    Well, I just hope your god lets my Pens put a good smiting on the first-round opponent! And yea verily, the Pens did sweepeth those of the Blue Jackets who haileth from the land of Columbus.

  147. Milo Hamilton says:

    Adam Payerl might have opened the door a crack Sunday night.

  148. Jandy says:

    Why, thanks, Scapper, I think the avatar is rather HOT myself ;)

  149. Must have read the Bible.

    ;)

    OK, I’ll quit now. I promise. Maybe I better join Drew, Playoffs and a few others in blogoblivion before I get launched off here permanently like RF.

    :o

  150. Jandy says:

    +++++

  151. buggee says:

    what does it all mean??? So many numbers ‘n’ ‘at. Whaddya think we are, The Best Management Team In Baseball?
    Smack a shuttlecock arahnd and ETCH IT BAYBEE. Don’t forget ro RAISE IT too

  152. Arriba Wilver says:

    Sounds like Ray was being intelligently cautious. Players always want to play.

  153. Having a family we want to do what’s best for the player.

    So, if he was single, they could have shoved him back out there a long time ago?

  154. Milo Hamilton says:

    Don’t you go anywhere. Keep doing your good work.

    Hey, did you see I posted a note from Double-A last night ? The very tall Willy Garcia hit a walkoff at Altoona.

  155. Jim S. says:

    I believe his name is Mr. King. Good thing he acted.

  156. Arriba Wilver says:

    If I ever get down your way I will attend your sermon. (And then debate you about it afterwards). ;-)

  157. Jandy says:

    Not picking, but here’s what you said ^^ there my friend:

    scapper
    April 9, 2014 at 10:06 AM

    Again…more kids killed in schools in the past (even with Jesus being crammed down kids’ throats) than today.

    I do believe the schools are “safer” in that they are watched more and are not easily accessible. I DO NOT believe more children/kids were killed in school 30 years ago. If there was an issue in school in the 70′s and 80′s, the kids likely duked it out and beat the snot out of each other. They used fists, not guns and knives. If they DID use knives, it wasn’t on school property, it was at night at some hang out.

    That said, I do see your point, scapper, that the media gives us easier access to the violent happenings.

  158. Jandy says:

    Don’t you DARE!

  159. Andrew says:

    I saw the first Braun homerun and thought the same thing, the Phillies followed that up with two bad defensive plays that cost them another run. I had to laugh, nice illustration of park factors and defense.

  160. Jandy says:

    It was to be Kris’ decision all along once the doctors cleared him. That was said from the beginning.

  161. Jandy says:

    Looks like it :)

  162. Jandy says:

    Yeah, what buggee said!

  163. Jandy says:

    LOL smart azz :P

  164. Jandy says:

    smh

    Spunky, Spunky, Spunky…

  165. Dom says:

    Im kidding of course. Isnt it a bit too early to come back from a stroke?

  166. Jandy says:

    Thanks, Damon!

  167. Jandy says:

    I know I’d be scared to death, Dom, to come back to hockey at any time after suffering a stroke.
    The kid has cajones.

  168. Saw that. And Indy is 5-1. Lambo had some hits yesterday in their double header.

  169. You don’t have to come down here, AW. All my messages are online from February, 2013 through now.

    Just click on the blue.

    Then we can debate.

    :D

  170. Just sounded funny put that way.

  171. Jandy says:

    You’re on a roll, ;)

    Just makes the Boss think more to send him out to play when he has a family to support…

  172. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m illiterate.

    :-P

  173. But you ain’t deaf. All you have to do is listen.

    ;)

  174. Jandy says:

    AW, and I’m Mother Theresa! :P

  175. Good King James-ease from an atheist. Like I said, I enjoy your sense of humor.

    :D

  176. Arriba Wilver says:

    How about, I’m a farmer and I’d fall asleep?

    ;-)

  177. Sarah says:

    Yah, but it sounded like Shero was preventing it at least for awhile. Hmm.
    Fingers crossed, this all has me very worried for Letang. Strokes ain’t no joke.

  178. We had media in the 60′s and 70′s and we even had a TV in our house. (black and white, 3 channels) I can’t say as I ever remember a school child of any age being killed at school by anyone. Walter Cronkite would have reported it. We got paddled, had to scrape gum off the floors, got detention, etc. etc. Never shot or stabbed anyone and everyone had guns, knives, etc. at home. Most people hunted, cut things in the kitchen and had pen knives.

    Like you say, J-girl, people got in fist fights, mostly boys, but that was usually the end of it.

  179. Bizrow says:

    They are reporting all the kids at the stabbings will pull through, thank God

  180. Arriba Wilver says:

    +++++

  181. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t go to church or to synagogue. Is there something wrong with me?

  182. Jandy says:

    Here’s a secret for ya, SPunky…I went to parochial school for 8 years before attending public high school. Sophomore year, one of my friends was being pushed around and bullied by 2 “popular” girls. My friend and I were part of the “quiet” group. My friend was also tiny…maybe 5′ if that. I got so angry I slammed one girl into the lockers and told her to pick on someone her own size…ME. She and her friend were so shocked they just ran off.

    I was so shocked I was shaking for a half hour. My poor friend was just speechless.

    I hate bullies.

  183. Jandy says:

    Amen!

  184. Damon says:

    Awesome blog by Josh Yohe on one of Mario’s greatest games….you have to watch the video too. Memories…

    http://blog.triblive.com/chipped-ice/2014/04/09/yohe-remembering-mario-magic/#axzz2yLyh5B79

  185. 21sthebest says:

    There were more kidnappings in the 70′s to. But what didn’t they have in the 70′s? Nancy Grace on cable.

  186. Jandy says:

    Damon, I won’t get any work done if you keep posting these wonderful links ;)

    I remember that game. Lord, I was going nuts! Such an incredibly gifted player.

  187. Damon says:

    Seconded!

  188. 21sthebest says:

    I better join you before I get started Arriba.

  189. Damon says:

    I remember loving that game to – who wouldn’t when they scored 10 goals. The stat I love in that column – Mario had 30 goals and 26 assists in the last 20 games of the season after all his radiation treatments. That is incredible….

  190. Jandy says:

    Don’t hold back 21…and while you’re at it, pass the red wine :)

  191. Sarah says:

    Bless them all

  192. 21sthebest says:

    Couldn’t disagree more.

  193. Jandy says:

    Don’t hold back 21, let it all out…and while you’re at it pass the red wine :)

  194. Jim S. says:

    Well said, Lucky. That was awkward.

    I remember watching the news one night, and the broadcaster said, “There were 8 people injured, but fortunately none of them were children.” I know what he was trying to say, but I don’t think the adults who were injured felt all that fortunate.

  195. Scuses, scuses, AW. I don’t know what your vocation is exactly, but you ain’t no farmer.

    ;)

  196. Jandy says:

    I don’t think any other player could have done that. He was a bull.

  197. JohninOshkosh says:

    Wonderful news about the kids.

    Days like this I sometimes will look to comedy to relieve the stress and remind myself of the intrinsic greatness and beauty of mankind;

  198. 21sthebest says:

    Happy to split the driving with you Arriba!

  199. Good job. My daughter was the Mother Protector of a couple of her younger brothers when they went to public schools. Especially on the bus.

  200. Jandy says:

    LOL. Mother Protector, I like that :)

  201. Baywatch says:

    Afternoon, Y’all. So sorry to hear of the tragedy in your neck. Glad to hear it looks like they’ll all pull through.

  202. Arriba Wilver says:

    Sarah— you have a problem with that? If so, can you explain what the problem is?

  203. Bizrow says:

    ++++++++

  204. Jim S. says:

    Saw it. Crushed over LC fence.

  205. Tom P. says:

    21, I can’t answer that question for you. I can only speak to what works for me and some others on this blog. I teach 5th and 6th grade Sunday School, and we talk about treating other people well and putting into practice what we learn. Are they learning? I hope so. Might be an interesting class on Sunday. I remember opening the newspaper one Saturday morning to read about an incident at a local school the night before and thinking, “Well, this week’s lesson has changed.” Hug all your kids tonight, as I will.

  206. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think 21 was responding to the idea you have to go to church or a synagogue to have a moral compass. No doubt it is a means to that end, but I can say from experience it isn’t the only way. I know lots of people who don’t go to church who I would trust over some people that do.

    There are multiple ways to have a moral compass.

  207. Bizrow says:

    Update on the victims today, one is on life support, the other two are in ICU, and if you have ever had a loved one in ICU, it is as scary as all get out. That being said, although the Drs would not say it, if things go well, they should make it thru the woods. Although, they were quick to point out more surgeries are a probability. There was damage to major/vital organs.

  208. I can go to the garage, it doesn’t make me a car. It’s a matter of the heart.

    Church attendance or non-attendance doesn’t make the person. Jesus was an itinerant minister, but he functioned in the office of a Pastor.

  209. Bizrow says:

    No, 21, not at all

  210. Nate83 says:

    Arriba, I was only saying what works for me. There are plenty of church goers doing bad in the world and many that never set foot in a church and live like saints. No judgement was being made and I apologize if anyone thought that. I try not to judge because that is one of the many things church teaches me as well as my parents growing up. I fail at that sometime and going to church is my personal medicine. Nothing is wrong with anybody who doesn’t go to church. Almost none of my friends go to Church and not one of them have I talked to about it unless they asked me.

  211. DJ says:

    You are too funny, Jandhi!

    ROFUDWHIAL!

 
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