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Morning Java: Showing heart

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Thursday column both celebrates and cringes at the return of Kris Letang, and it probably splits that right down the middle.

Here’s news coverage on that topic from beat man Rob Rossi.

And here’s stuff from 58 after the game:

Here’s the game story from the shootout victory over the Red Wings, by Rossi. It meant next to nothing and played out exactly that way. Ugh.

Blogginess from the scene: This was an awful game. Deserves close to zero analysis. If it were forced upon me, I suppose it would be relevant to note that Pavel Datsyuk looked like he was getting back to full health. Which depending on your viewpoint can be good or bad, given that he hasn’t risen up much in the Stanley Cup playoffs. In Sochi, he was pretty much all Russia had. … Mike Babcock made a fool of himself in the postgame. And this from a guy renowned for his class, especially on the Olympic stage. Just embarrassing. Click on the game story up there for the details. … The Penguins at least made a somewhat spirited effort to hit Niklas Kronwall. Not a bad idea. He’d certainly return the favor in the first round. … James Neal’s getting there. He is. … Taylor Pyatt? No. There’s no earthly reason to play him ahead of anyone. Ever. … This can’t be stressed strongly enough: Other than grinders trying to find or keep jobs for the playoffs, there’s nothing to be culled from this. … Nice touch by Jeff Jimerson to ask the crowd to sing along with the Anthem, just after the Penguins asked for ‘thoughts and prayers’ for the stabbing victims at Franklin Regional.

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’s Flyers news from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Here are official game highlights on

>> The Pirates hit five solo home runs! And lose! Rob Biertempfel reports from Wrigley.

Starling Marte’s promising patience, 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

>> The TribLIVE Radio show yesterday opened with your calls and went on to be about as much fun as I’ve had doing that thing. Here’s that whole segment in glorious, riveting video:

>> Thank you, as always, for reading. I’ll have another Penguins column for Friday’s Trib.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

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


  1. DJ says:

    Next time you see Babcock, tell him we’ll stop “talking to the referees” as soon as his players stop interfering.

  2. JAL says:

    JAL’s Kind of a Drag Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 BFFL’s 2014 Pirates Stats Spreadsheet

    4 Pirates Prospects

    Pittsburgh Pirates Organizational Probable Pitching Chart

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Are MLB Teams Getting Smarter With Certain Financial Decisions?

    Prospect Watch: Sadler With Another Strong Start; McGuire Picks Up Three Hits

    An Early Look at the 2015 Pittsburgh Pirates Rotation

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Bucs hit five home runs in 7-5 loss

    7 Rumbunter

    Hey, Mark Madden: Where’re the Holes??

    Charlie Morton: Two Very Different Outings

    8 Green Weenie

    Bucs Blast Five Homers, Still Lose 7-5

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Cubs 7 Pirates 5

    10 Rant Sports

    5 Ridiculous Overreactions to the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Early Action

  3. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 CBS Sports

    Pirates vs Cubs Game Preview

    12 Chicago Tribune

    Mike Olt and Junior Lake homer in Cubs victory,0,4458527.story

    13 MLB

    Former starters thriving in Pirates’ bullpen

    14 Pirates Site

    Wandy drops rematch vs. Cubs amid five HRs

    15 KDKA

    Walk on Wednesday: What Went Wrong For Morton?

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Billy Hamilton steals the show in Reds win over Cards

    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Brewers starting to turn heads

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Bernie: Cards’ record could be better, could be worse

    19 Fangraphs

    Card Corner Plus: 1974 Topps: Manny Sanguillen and Roberto Clemente

    20 Baseball Prospectus

    Projected Roster Core Strengths for 2014

  4. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Mike Tomlin’s take on the NFL’s attention on workplace environment

    Steelers send Kevin Colbert, Mike Tomlin and Todd Haley to LSU Pro Day


    22 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    Demba Ba’s reminder of Chelsea’s attacking options

    23 BBC Football

    Sacked football managers: Where are the clubs now?

    24 World Soccer

    Brazil’s World Cup progress has been slow, but for the Rio Olympics it has been non-existent


    25 Pensburgh

    Pens Points Wednesday: Wings Gameday, Letang’s Return

    Recap: Pens win in a gimmick

  5. cherokee23 says:

    Babcock in full playoff gamesmanship mode already. Probly a pretty smart move!

  6. Karen22 says:

    So happy to see Letang back (she says, cringing all the way)! Didn’t see the game last night (we don’t get NBC Sports), but Kris was on my mind as I watched the mashing Pirates lose. God bless him – heart, indeed!

  7. Pucknutz says:

    Nice column DK.
    ” both celebrates and cringes ” …… exactly.

  8. Jandy says:

    I realize that this game was “meaningless”, but that doesn’t change that the guys aren’t making the correct play too often for comfort. 60+ shots allowed? Ouch. That’s terrible. MAF had his hands full last night.
    That said, they still found a way to win.

    Chipped Ice blog is by Jesse Marshall today. Interesting numbers on Crosby. It’s good reading. I wanted to comment but can’t find where to do it…it’s not like this one…

    Bucs are off to a decent start, even with the loss last night. Hope they keep it going.

  9. As far as Chris Letang goes, I can only hope this won’t be yet another example of the masculine, tough guy type athlete playing until he drops since this is all he really knows. It’s good to have him back on the ice as long as he can handle it, but one will always be worried about him for obvious reasons.

  10. I’m sure you express the thoughts of others.

    Somehow, I find this a little unfair to Chris Letang.

  11. bpn8pitt says:

    I usually stay out of the hockey talk, Groat. But I wonder how soon some guys revert back to criticizing Letangs game. Because before he went down, the only words associated with him on here were “trade” and “turnovers”.

    Not trying to start an argument with the hockey people cause I’ll lose. Just stating what I read on here.

  12. Naje says:

    I don’t understand the fear, the worry, the whatever-else-someone-may-feel about watching Chris Letang play. It seems as though some may believe that he made the decision on his own, without consulting several of the best cardiologists possible.

    Yeah, it’s emotional, but who conditions us to immediately jump to the most devastating conclusions in situations like these?

    In Louisville, two very well conditioned female college basketball players–one at Louisville and one at Div. II Bellarmine Univ–suffered strokes just two weeks apart in November. Not all strokes are the same and the UL player was cleared to play later in the season…while the Bellarmine player was not. They’re both healthy, recovering and the Bellarmine player is hoping to return to action next season pending doctors’ decisions.

    When the time comes, the time comes. Needless anxiety about these situations only hurts us…not the athlete or student-athlete with all of the information about their condition. If a doctor says a stroke happens because x, y, z or is not sure the exact “why” of it, but also says unequivocally that the sporting activity was not the cause nor will it be the cause, I’ll go with that.

    God Bless the guy…he’s earned that.

  13. Jandy says:

    Speak for yourself, Groat. James does NOT express my thoughts. smh

    Tanger knows what could happen, but as the doctors said, the same thing could happen walking thru the grocery store. He realizes the risk. It’s not like he’s some dumb Neanderthal trying to be a hog dog. Please!

  14. Jandy says:

    hahaha bpn…you won’t get an argument from me. I was always Tangers biggest fan, to the point of taking grief for it every day here. It didn’t help that I made it known he’s “eye candy”. Truth is truth.
    But I also admitted his boneheaded stuff hurt the team.

    Still, he’s been missed, a lot. Having him back is helping.

  15. Jandy says:

    Kris deserves our support. He has mine. :)

  16. JohninOshkosh says:

    Every human being that wakes up in the morning faces an uncertain day that just well could be the last. If one lets fear and uncertainty rule the day, then one usually ends up missing out on life.

  17. Jandy says:



  18. DJ says:

    “Oops, was that me? Geez, I didn’t even see you there. Hey, real sorry to impede your progress. My bad.”

    We better get used to it because it’s not going to be called in the playoffs.

  19. Jandy says:

    You know, it’s really odd. We never thing twice about getting behind the wheel of our cars, yet car accidents cause a high number of yearly deaths in this country. From
    In the USA, where the majority of people drive cars, car accident deaths make up approximately 45% of deaths.

  20. DJ says:

    Those two avatars facing off is mind blowing.

  21. Bullpen,

    You’re right! It seems the same crowd that screams, “Fire Bylsma!”——the coach who has won 250 games faster than any coach in NHL history——love to criticize Letang for every miscue.

    They are in their own “bullpens”, warming up their lungs, or their fingers. We will be reading them here soon after this 1-game moratorium for Letang.

    Why would Penguins want a Norris Trophy finalist from last year to help this team in the Stanley Cup playoffs when Pens could have Mr. Clutch-and-Grab Bortuzzo or Mr. “Where Am I supposed to Be?” Despres on defense?!

    Let the brays begin!

  22. Jandy says:

    LOL! ;)

  23. Thundercrack says:

    Link #7 is kinda amusing

  24. Jandy says:

    Crook and Phoni LOL!

  25. Oshkosh b’Gosh,

    You’ve been to the Chinese Buffet and reading the fortune cookies again, haven’t you?

    Actually, I agree with you (and your fortune cookie) 100 %.

  26. DJ says:

    Yeah, it’s not like we ever read similar sentiments expressed about the Pirates.

    Let’s see, let me think back to this off season . . . hmmmm.

    Very silly.

  27. Jim S. says:

    In MLB history, only 142 times has a team hit 5 HR and lost. That’s about once a year in MLB history.

    Only 18 times has a team hit 5 HR and only scored 5 runs. So, that makes it less frequent than a perfect game being pitched.

    Very weird game for the Bucs, and not a well played one. Wandy might be healthy, but he is not Wandy yet.

    Glad you’re back and healthy, Tanger! I hope you can make a difference over the next few months.

  28. bpn8pitt says:

    Jandy, on the ride home yday Yohe said they may consider a Letang/Mattaa pairing down the road? Again, not a big hockey guy, but Fleurys gonna see a lot of odd man rushes if that happens.

    But he did mention that they may have had their top six defenseman together for only a dozen periods or so with the injuries. So that was interesting.

  29. Mike Adams says:

    Well, Babcock IS the expert on talking to the refs. The Red Whines have been doing it for years.

  30. I’m with you, JandyGirl.

    Darn, I hope the Pens make the Stanley Cup Finals. I think their chances just got better.

  31. Jandy says:

    I don’t know that Letang/Mattaa pairing would be all THAT bad, mostly because I think Maatta could adjust and cover. Is that fair? No.
    Still, not a pairing I would prefer.

  32. Jandy says:

    I hope so, Groat! The guys need to keep it simple tho, and practice discipline to make it that far. I’ll be there rooting them on!

  33. Jandy says:


    Haven’t seen you in a while, Mike. Welcome back :)

  34. The word “wind” came up a few times last night, Jim. What’s your local take on that?

  35. Jandy says:

    We need to join them at their own game…and do it better!

  36. Sarah says:

    Working the refs already. To be expected.

  37. Sarah says:

    That wasn’t their top 6 defensemen.

  38. Did you see Casey Sadler in Florida, TC? He’s not in the top 20 prospects and Cumpton is #20, (link 5) but could he be the odd man in with the Taillon setback? Or does that role belong to Cumpton for now? With the trouble Jeanmar is having early, Cumpton may be up before long or even Vin if he elects to go to Indy.

  39. Jim S. says:

    Yes, it was definitely windy, Lucky. It seemed to be blowing straight out.

    There are days like that at Wrigley where it plays more like an American Legion field than a MLB field.

  40. Sarah says:

    Letang needs a stay at home babysitter and the thought was if it’s a young guy, then Kris seems to play more responsibly. So, Maata….
    But I dunno. I like Nisky Maata generally,though neither have been great lately.

  41. Sarah says:

    Yes, and quite successfully!

  42. Sarah says:

    Anyway. Babcock should shut up. We all know that stuff is not gonna get called, starting next week.

  43. Arriba Wilver says:


  44. Arriba Wilver says:


  45. Pirates scored 5 runs and NEVER had a runner in scoring position the whole game!

  46. DJ says:

    Ha! They ARE the masters and we’re mere pikers.

    They could teach a class on this: NEUTRALIZE TEAM SPEED 101

  47. Jim S. says:

    +++, Groat.

  48. Thundercrack says:

    I don’t think I saw him Lucky. How tall is he?

  49. Nate83 says:

    I was in Detroit over the weekend. I had on a Crosby hooded sweatshirt. They sure haven’t let go of Crosby not shaking their hands. I got a lot of Cindy Crybaby comments. I just told them they are jealous they don’t have the best player in the world on their team. Most of them agreed and actually said they respect him and think he is an awesome player once they stopped making fun of him.

  50. Jim S. says:

    I wonder if Stolmy is going to be the first guy to get a spot start. They seem to be grooming him to possibly step into the rotation next year, anyway.

    I have not seen Sadler, but he seems like a pretty savvy pitcher – good control, pitch to contact, low pitch counts most nights, etc. – even though he does not have the knockout stuff, supposedly. Maybe he’s like Cumpton. No one talks about him a lot, but all he does is keep taking the hill and getting guys out.

  51. Wild Bill says:

    It’s not a fair fight. Trenni is known in what, two cities? The other guy is known everywhere. Women want to be with him, and men want to be him.

  52. Dom says:

    Anyone know the cause of Letang’s stroke. How does a healthy young man get a stroke?

  53. Very tall. 6′ 4″, 215, won’t be 24 until 7-13-14 and IS on the 40-man.

    Someone that tall, you had to have seen him.

  54. Wild Bill says:

    Had no idea I was witnessing such a rare event Jim. Don’t feel very fulfilled by having seen it, either.

  55. Sinker-ball pitcher. Another Charlie maybe?

  56. Thundercrack says:

    I think they’ll let the pitchers on the staff get a few innings in warmer weather before they determine if they need to send down or bring someone up. Or at least I hope that is their thinking.

  57. Sarah says:

    Hole in his heart from birth. Can allow blood clots through,which can wind up in the brain.
    Scary stuff.

  58. DJ says:

    Agreed. And it’s equally amusing when a self-professed expert spells a guy’s name wrong.

    Garrett Cole? Chris Letang?

  59. Jandy says:

    Wow, imagine them admitting it? :)

  60. DJ says:

    Had the same take with Stolmy, Jim.

  61. NMR says:


    Neither Wandy or Jeanmar had anything near their typical command last night. Nor did Chuck the night before.

  62. Jandy says:

    I’m satisfied with looking at him :)

  63. Jeanmar has bled his first couple outings. Can’t have that continue very long. He’s got to keep us in games. That 3-spot he gave up were huge runs. He was tough early last season.

  64. Nate83 says:

    I don’t think they give up on Gomez that quickly. He doesn’t have any options left. Pirates have way less flexibility this year with there pitching staff. Hardly nobody has options left. I don’t think they give up on any starters either until at least the middle of may so there really isn’t a need for Sadler or Cumpton until injuries happen.

    If Gomez continues to struggle they will just move Stolmy into that role and make Gomez the last man out of the bullpen. He would only pitch in games with a 4 or 5 run margin. As it stands right now I think they plan on splitting the long relief role between Gomez and Stolmy but I could easily see Stolmy taking over that role.

  65. Jim S. says:

    No, it left me wanting for more also, Wild Bill.

  66. 21sthebest says:

    I didn’t think that was diagnosed as the definitive cause Sarah.

  67. Dom says:

    Oh, I forgot about that. Thanks.

  68. DJ says:

    Was out of town for Game 7 of that Finals and just happened to be in the company of about a half dozen Wings fans watching the game. Very passionate about their team but also very gracious in defeat.

    They certainly love their hockey. They also call it like they see it.

  69. Jim S. says:

    I think Wandy’s biggest issue is just rust. He has not pitched much in the last 12 months. At least, that is what I am hoping.

    Chuck just seemed to have a bad night is all.

  70. Jandy says:

    I do believe you’re right, 21

  71. Jandy says:

    Some of Chuck’s bad night was just bad luck. Missed fly balls, one just over Mercer’s head…really. One or two more go our way, it’s a whole new ball game, so to speak. He wasn’t that bad, IMO

  72. bpn8pitt says:

    Yes, great point.

    Heard Glasnow has back issues.

    Where the hell did our depth go?

  73. BillyBaduka says:


  74. Sarah says:

    Peeps here’s the latest on 1st round match ups….
    42.4% CBJ, 41.2% DET, 14.9% PHI

    Those Jax are getting on a bit of a roll!

  75. chethejet1 says:

    Wandy has lost weight and made an effort to be in shape. He needs to pitch as Clint said. 154 left to see what he can do this year. He has millions of reasons to be very good. Letang is a nice story and everyone hopes he returns to 100%. No question the Pens have their collective hands full if the Wings are the first round matchup.

  76. BillyBaduka says:

    James, Groat, DJ,

    It’s Kris Letang, not Chris.

    Whoever Chris Letang is, I hope he stays healthy too.

  77. Sarah says:

    Well that’s correct….they cannot say a cause. But in lack of other obvious causes, they look for hole in heart,which I believe is how they found Letangs issue.

    I think 30% have them at birth or something? but many close on their own…..

    Thing is there is nothing to stop a clot from getting through to the brain. And in a contact sport like hockey youngest your share of bruises.

    Anyone remember Jagr having surgery for a gigantic clot in his leg from a charley horse?

    Anyway it’s all pretty scary to me.

  78. JohninOshkosh says:

    My Milwaukee Bucks lost to the Indiana Pacers last night. Nothing remarkable about that. What is remarkable is that the Pacers rested their entire starting five players.

  79. DJ says:

    Thanks for that, BB.

    You did understand my point, right?

  80. Jandy says:

    I called for the jackets to be this season’s Cinderella.
    You heard it first right here :D

  81. bpn8pitt says:

    I thought after the broadcast the concern was the low velocity.

    The pitch on Lakes bomb might has well been put on a tee. Location was bad too all night.

    On the flip side, what they did against Hammel the first four innings was atrocious.

    Any thoughts on the Mercer no throw to third? I thought the ball the fell in the gap between Marte and Cutch was worse.

    Jordy has to start picking it up. Can’t have a useless 7,8,9.

  82. Dom says:

    Hey, the NBA is as forbidden on this blog as much as religion and politics is.

  83. Jandy says:

    Let Barmes play if Jordy needs motivation.

  84. Jandy says:

    Bahahahahahaha Dom, there you go again :*

  85. NMR says:

    Traditionally I’d agree with you, Nate. But taking up a roster spot with a guy who only pitches in blowouts just does not seem to be something Hurdle would do, and rightfully so.

    Gomez provides value as spot starter/long reliever. If he gets passed up in that role, he doesn’t have a spot on this club.

  86. Jim S. says:

    I think Trenni’s smirk is playing mind games on Downey. ;-)

  87. Naje says:

    Groat… do you go back to the days of Junior Bridgeman…? One of my all-time favorite UL players.

  88. Jim S. says:

    I do. McCrays, too. Griffith. Gallon.

  89. Nate83 says:

    Detroit and Columbus are tied correct? I was a little confused because I think the Penguins column this morning had Columbus still down 2 points. I would prefer to play Columbus myself but at the end of the day you have to beat everyone so it matters very little.

  90. NMR says:

    I checked that data this morning and his fastball averaged right around 89 mph last night. Fastball average for April 0f 2013 was a shade of 90 mph. Fairly neglible considering his second start of the year, and his secondary pitched also were similarly off meaning the cummulative effect was small.

    Just doesn’t have his command yet. Simple.

  91. bpn8pitt says:

    Maybe Engelland? He hits.

  92. Jim S. says:

    I thought Charlie went back and forth between being very sharp and not sharp at all with this control on Tues., Jandy. He got hurt on his mistakes.

  93. Arriba Wilver says:

    I remember when it looked like he’d end up in jail and/or dead. He did a nice turnaround.

  94. Sarah says:

    You could be right! they are hot right now! good goaltending and just knocked off PHX and DAL…..

  95. Sarah says:

    All three tied at 91 pts. PHL has 3 games left, the others two….

  96. Jim S. says:

    We talk about a lot of players here. Some of them spell their names uncommonly, such as a guy named Kris. There are going to be mistakes, Billy.

  97. bpn8pitt says:

    Thought I saw a couple 86s and 87s…Thought Walk said it on the broadcast, and in the postgame. Radio this morning.

    2 starts though, your right.

  98. Nate83 says:

    OK I just have to come out and say it. Jandy having a guy avatar and JohninOshkosh a woman avatar is really messing me up especially when they are replying to each other. Not to mention at one point they had Mother Teresa and Bo Ryan as avatars so that just makes it even more difficult.

  99. JohninOshkosh says:

    The Red Wings have made the playoffs 23 years in a row.

    Freakin amazing. People graduating from college this year have never lived on the planet when the Wings didn’t make the playoffs. Last time they missed it, Bush was the president. The first Bush.

  100. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think it matters a lot, Nate, if we play Detroit or Columbus in the first round, but Like bpn, I’m not a hockey guy.

  101. Jandy says:


  102. Jandy says:

    h*llyeah lol

  103. Jandy says:

    LOL Nate, you’re CMTFU!

    I’ll be switching it maybe later today, just enjoying looking at it for now :)

  104. 21sthebest says:

    Where are you looking NMR? Pitch/fx still doesn’t have last night’s data up from what I can see.

  105. Jandy says:

    It IS amazing isn’t it Oshie?

    I always followed them behind the Pens, as I really, really loved Lidstrom. Miss that guy. I’m hoping Mattaa is the Next One

  106. Arriba Wilver says:

    Not following you, NMR, about what you mean about the off speed pitches and cumulative effect? Not disagreeing, just don’t understand.

  107. Jandy says:

    Actually I’d much rather play Detroit, as Columbus is simply on a roll. But that’s just me.

  108. JohninOshkosh says:

    In the words of the greatest band that ever picked up instruments and played, Minneapolis’ own The Replacements: Androgynous!

  109. 21sthebest says:

    Darrell Griffith. I’ll never forget the Dr. Dunkenstein SI cover.

  110. Nate83 says:

    Almost every team has an innings eater type guy in the bullpen. That being said the Pirates have plenty of quality options if Gomez is struggling so in this case I agree with the point you made. As we have already seen this year with one 16 inning game that you sometimes need all hands on deck to not only survive that game but possible 2,3,4 games following that game.

    It’s nice that MLB added the double header rule that allows a player to come up for one day or I would have added that to your argument of why Gomez shouldn’t take up a spot he doesn’t deserve. It just feels weird talking about quality pitchers not deserving a spot on the Pirate roster. It’s a conversation that would have been laughed at 3 years ago.

  111. Arriba Wilver says:

    I understood you, DJ, and agree with your point, too.

  112. Sarah says:

    Yeah, I’m kinda torn. Coming in w momentum is huge and Jax have it.

    I just fear Babcock, the amount of possession time the Wings had over us last night was sobering. Their young legs made Orpik and Scuds look like they were skating in cement.

  113. Jim S. says:

    And it wasn’t all that long ago. Seems like less than 10 years since he straightened himself out.

  114. NMR says:

    So did I, but obviously they must’ve been balaned out by a few 90s and 91s.

    Good comment on Jordy. Isn’t showing much sign that he can handle right handed pitching, just like last year. I know I’ve said it before, but I think we’ll be begging for a shortstop much more than a a first baseman by the deadline.

  115. Nate83 says:

    I do think it matters but in the end if you can’t make it out of the first round a cup wasn’t in the cards this year. I personally think they have a better shot of beating the Blue Jackets. Detroit has some young talented stick handlers and doesn’t get many penalties. At the end of the day the Penguins are not a great 5-5 team.

  116. Arriba Wilver says:

    I sure hope Vin accepts the assignment. It would seem like with Taillon going down there will be more room later in the year on the 25 man. And if Jeanmar flames out.

  117. Jandy says:

    AW all the more reason why I like him. It takes intestinal fortitude to turn your career around and back on track. I really give him credit for that

  118. Jandy says:

    LOL. His smirk is pretty nice too ;)

  119. NMR says:

    Haha, I agree with that last sentence.

    Gomez may not have options, but there are at least four guys in Indy that can do his job just as well that DO have options.

    I just don’t think anybody should be getting attached over one decent season, just as they shouldn’t give up on him over a couple tough April outings.

  120. Good actor. Really enjoy his rendering of Sherlock. And Iron Man. Didn’t like him in U.S. Marshalls but he was a bad guy in that. And young and stupid.

  121. Naterosboro says:

    I think Jeanmar Gomez has turned back into a pumpkin.

    Let’s try Vin Mazzaro.

  122. Jim S. says:

    I loved him and David Thompson. Those guys could soar.

    Remember when Pitt had it’s great team that got to, I think, Elite 8? They had to play eventual champ NC St on their homecourt, I think … I could be mis-remembering again.

    David Thompson, Monte Towe, Burleson. I believe David Thompson cracked his head open when he landed on Billy Knight’s shoulders or something when he was bent over.

    I was a little squirt, but I think I have most of that right.

  123. DJ says:

    Ridiculous hops.

    And one of the most entertaining college players I’ve ever watched.

  124. How many tough April outings should he be given, in your humble opinion?


  125. Jandy says:

    LOVE Sherlock Holmes movies. :)

  126. DJ says:

    Agreed. He appears much more hittable this year.

    I have no stats to back it up though. Just the eye test.

  127. Jim S. says:

    But, haven’t we dominated Columbus? It would be 50% Pens in their arena, while the locals stay home and watch OSU’s women’s softball team on TV. ;-)

  128. NMR says:|SI|FC|CU|SL|CS|KN|CH|FS|SB&time=game&minmax=ci&var=mph&s_type=2&startDate=04/09/2014&endDate=01/01/2015

  129. Arriba Wilver says:

    I always fear the Babcock.

  130. NMR says it’s too early, Nate. A couple of tough April outings, one that contributed to a loss, are not enough to make a judgment.

    Just kidding. They gave J. Sanchez and a few others a long leash. It’s a “what have you done for me lately” sport for sure. If he continues to struggle, we’ll surely see a lot more of Stolmy.

  131. Andrew says:

    Are regulation and overtime wins still the first tiebreaker because Detroit has a big disadvantage at 33, Columbus 37, Flyers, 38.

  132. NMR says:

    The effectiveness of offspeed pitches is largely based on relative velocity (the difference between offspeed and fastball) and not absolute velocity (offspeed pitch itself).

    Wandy’s secondary stuff also showed to be about a mph off of last year’s numbers, so the effect the batter saw was generally the same.

  133. Arriba Wilver says:

    Absolutely. That’s what I meant.

  134. Dom says:

    I wouldnt mind it a bit if you confuse me with Fleury.

  135. Jim S. says:

    One of the Franklin Regional students, btw, is said to be in extremely critical condition today, with a stab wound to the abdomen so deep it nearly reached the spine.

    I didn’t understand why the reports yesterday kept being that none of the injuries were considered life threatening when so many were in critical condition.

    It continues to be so horrifying what these kids went through.

  136. Arriba Wilver says:

    I couldn’t get into the Sherlock movies. Maybe too complicated for me. I did like Kick-Ass and Kick-Ass 2 (although he wasn’t in them). ;-)

  137. NMR says:

    “It’s a “what have you done for me lately” sport for sure.”

    Only to fans.

  138. DJ says:

    The best was author Tony Canella at JAL’s link #7 and his reference to “Garrett Cole.”

    Really, Tony? You’re the Pirates expert?

    If you’re going to write for broader public consumption, and take shots at a few media guys by bastardizing their names, is it too much to ask that you get your spellings accurate?

  139. DJ says:

    [smiley face]

  140. Andrew says:

    I just checked the velocity too, before scrolling down. It was better last night, first start I don’t think he topped 90, but like some said up the thread did seem to have very good command last night.

  141. Arriba Wilver says:

    I was kind of wondering if he might be helped getting a spot start. Starting is what got him going last year. But it’ll be tough in April with the off days and potential rainouts.

  142. bradthedad says:

    If memory serves me, Pitt was actually up when he cracked his head. He came back later with a full head bandage and the place went nutso. And, as they say, the rest is history.

  143. 21sthebest says:


  144. Arriba Wilver says:

    Gotcha. Thanks.

  145. NMR says:

    NP. I really should just start adding the links I use.

    But then I suppose I’d have to stop pulling stats out of my arse (just kidding, only my opinions come from there).

  146. Nate83 says:

    What???? You are not Fleury? I had no idea. Now some of your comments make more sense.

  147. 21sthebest says:

    I saw reports yesterday that the student was on a ventilator and far from being out of the woods.

  148. Jim S. says:

    He had a rough patch or two last year. It’s just that he did so well right away that I think he built up some goodwill. He could get things straightened out pretty quickly. I think we have to give him a little more of a chance here.

  149. BillyBaduka says:

    I get that but some repeatedly use Chris for Letang.

    Just a pet peeve of mine.

  150. Andrew says:

    I do not think Gomez is going to keep giving up 50% fly balls with 20% landing in the seats. Gomez is effectively a replacement level player but I am going to side with it is a little soon to DFA guys.

  151. Jim S. says:

    Yes, a big white bandage. Good memory, brad.

  152. Arriba Wilver says:


  153. BillyBaduka says:



    I do get your point now that I actually read the whole thing (embarrassed face).

    I almost replied to James, then to Groat.

    I was scrolling quickly and saw it a third time and just replied without reading whole text.

    Not very good blog manners by me.

  154. Naje says:

    I would come visit my oldest brother in the summer (played football for UL ’74-’79 (redshirt) and stayed here permanently)…he’d take me to Crawford Gym on UL’s campus and I would shag rebounds for those guys… Griff would set up volleyball nets around the perimeter…about 20 feet from the hoop and just shoot jumper after jumper over those nets. Dude would levitate, for a regular jump shot, like he floated on the air.

  155. Sarah says:

    Yes we are 5-0 v Jax this year.
    And we blanked BOS in regular season last year.

  156. 21sthebest says:

    My college basketball memory begins with Marquette winning in 1977.

  157. Nate83 says:

    I thought Ohio State had the greatest band in all the land. OH!!!! IO!!!!!

    I do like Wisconsin as well. They are probably my second favorite big ten team, so don’t be too mad at me for liking Ohio State. I played High School sports against a guy named Kevin Huntley that played defensive back for the Badgers from 1995-98. One of the nicest guys I have ever meant. I have followed them ever since because I liked their program.

  158. Sarah says:

    Spot on. Actually our Eric B had some nasty stats about exactly how bad we are 5 on 5. Ugly stuff.
    We depend enormously in our PP.
    And in the playoffs, refs put away the whistles.

  159. Dom says:

    That’s right I’m unfortunately not Marc-Andre but that’s just me.

    But I suppose 21sthebest could very well be Clemente and you might very well be a Pirates Charity Sign.

  160. Arriba Wilver says:

    I heard this morning that they had to go back in and do more surgery. Still in extremely critical.

  161. DJ says:

    “Their young legs made Orpik and Scuds look like they were skating in cement.”

    [Pause for effect]

    Some posts just need no further comment.

  162. 21sthebest says:

    +1 @ NMR.

  163. JohninOshkosh says:

    Notre Dame breaking UCLA’s winning streak for me, 21

  164. Naterosboro says:

    I was being a bit facetious, but Jeanmar’s struggles could help to keep Vin in the org. He’s got to know he’d be 1 of the 1st names on the list to be called up should someone falter (ala Jeanmar) or due to injury.

    And I do think it’s a bit early to pull the plug on Jeanmar. With his performaces last season, he’s at least earned a little bit of a chance to straighten himself out.

    I also think pro sports in general are a “what have you done for me lately” profession, not just baseball. I understand it may be more of a “fan” mentality, but also think this does affect management and coaching decisions.

    If you’re not getting the job done, they’ll find someone else who will.

  165. Naje says:

    Jim, those guys were my heroes growing up… I wore No. 35 in hoops because of Griff. Have met and run into him many times here in the Ville… great man, leader, businessman and ambassador for the community.

  166. 21sthebest says:

    The knife apparently missed his heart by millimeters.

  167. Jim S. says:

    Yep. We’ve made that point here before, Sarah, and it is a good one. I think the Pens are going to have issues if penalties are not called as frequently in the playoffs.

  168. Nate83 says:

    I saw some accurate reporting as well concerning that kid. It’s really a shame how much wrong information is out there. Originally a lot of reports said it took over 30 minutes for somebody to stop this kid and a lot of finger pointing was going on. We are now finding out it was only 5 minutes and a lot of heroes stepped up and risked their own personal safety.

    Thoughts and prayers with all involved. Hopefully no casualties come from this horrible event and people can at least talk to their kids about how to handle such a situation.

  169. ROFL.

    Even I can follow those Sherlock movies, AW. As long as one of my sons is there to explain everything that’s going on, as they’ve read all the books.

  170. Nate83 says:

    Ha, not for long I will probably switch it out soon.

  171. DJ says:

    Yes, that was exactly my point, BB. And so I was just wondering why you were directing your comment to me.

    [smiley face]

  172. Nate83 says:

    No off day AW. They have 20 straight games starting with this Cubs series.

  173. DJ says:

    [smiley face]

    I’m doling them out all over the place today.

  174. hap2009 says:

    First off good luck to letang as a person and player. That being said I do think we should have traded him prior to this inncident. We have far too many young talents that come with a much lower price tag. Will they be Norris candidates? probably not but we need that money elsewhere as far as i’m concerned. This team is too top heavy in cap. If you sign both 87 and 71 to long term big money deals you need to sacrifice somewhere else. That being letang.
    And as far as bylsma stop getting fancy with lines and startmatcing them. Seems like he started to do one of the two this year. Theirren wasn’t a “bad” coach but it was time for a new face. I think that applies in this situation for bylsma now.

  175. And, are you a fan?


  176. BillyBaduka says:

    Yeah, I picked a bad time to make a point.

    That’s what I get for not reading and flying off the handle.

  177. You’re right, Nate. It’s their money, not the fans. Results oriented.

  178. NMR says:

    Except that the “what have you done lately” concept completely ignores sample sizes, which is incorrect. I wasn’t just being a jerk to Lucky with that comment, I was making a point that this is one thing baseball does seem to do better than other sports.

    If a manager is making decisions with a “what have you done lately” attitude, he’s doing it wrong.

    Now of course for someone like Jeanmar, last year – the good one – IS the small sample relative to the rest of his career. As Andrew said, the guy probably isn’t anything that cannot be easily replaced, but probably deserves more than a few outings before getting canned.

  179. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, a fraction of an inch and that poor kid would already be gone.

  180. 21sthebest says:

    I think management and coaches are a lot more patient than fans. And I agree with that approach.

  181. Agree, NMR. I knew that’s what you meant. And, look at the Lambo situation. Like Milo said, all he had to do was show a pulse and he had the job, but he didn’t, in ST no less. Not “what have you done for me lately?” but “what have you done at all?”

    They didn’t release him, just sent him out and rightfully so. Now, he’s getting his stroke back and hitting like he’s capable and will probably get another shot sometime at the ML level.

    I was just playing devil’s advocate about Jeanmar. I think he should get a chance as long as it doesn’t go into June.

  182. You are so right, 21. A lot of fans would have had Pedro hung after that .191 season with 4 HR’s.

  183. bpn8pitt says:

    Could be interesting how Hurdle handles days off for certain guys in the coming weeks with no off days…Need a couple of the starters to work deeper too, save the bullpen some.

    Face their first lefty today.

  184. Jandy says:

    :( horrible situation all around. The account I read said there were several “critical” patients but that all were expected to live. Didn’t say none weren’t life threatening. But I’m sure there was a lot of trash out there on this horrible event.

  185. DJ says:

    Hanging in the air.

    Supposedly against the laws of physics but don’t tell me that as I’m watching Griffith, MJ, Dominique Wilkins and my all-time fave, The Doctor.

    ESPN’s 30 on 30 about Doctor J was mesmerizing. Still on my DVR.

  186. Jim S. says:

    We seem eminently more patient as fans regarding the Steelers and Penguins. We give those players all sorts of time to work through a few bad performances. ;-)

  187. Jim S. says:

    5/9 last 2 days.

    Ishikawa 0 hits last night.

    Get Lambo up here. He’s obviously the answer! :-)

  188. Naterosboro says:

    At some point tho, it’s about results. You need good results to translate into team Ws. I agree that in baseball, moreso than other sports, a bit longer leash can be given. With 162 regular season games, even if you have a great season, you’re still seeing 60-70 losses. So managers and GMs can afford to be a little more patient.

    If Jeanmar continues to give up runs when he is sent out to the hill, he’ll lose his spot in the bullpen, and I don’t think that decision will be made this upcoming offseason.

    “What have you done for me lately” doesn’t have to be yesterday. It can be last week, the last 2 weeks, etc. If the results aren’t getting better, they’ll find a replacement.

  189. Mike A. says:

    It wasn’t the Red Wings legs making Orpik and Scuds look like that….it was THEIR legs.

  190. And for the prior 20 years, we were’nt finding enough replacements that could get the job done. We have more out there now, chomping at the bit. Great security to have.

    Good points, Nate.

  191. Mike A. says:

    5-0 vs CLB, and Bobrovsky played in all but 5 of those games.

  192. hap2009 says:

    I may be one of those people…

  193. Jim S. says:

    That’s nice, Naje. I hadn’t heard much about him since he retired from the NBA. Sounds as though he took advantage of the opportunities presented to him to make a positive impact in the community.

  194. DJ says:

    Results oriented? Not always.

    Look no further than Scuds and Orpik.

  195. DJ says:

    [smiley face back atcha]

  196. JohninOshkosh says:

    Ward Cleaver!!!

    One of my favorite adolescent jokes:

    Guy 1: What is the dirtiest thing ever said on television?
    Guy 2: I don’t know. What is the dirtiest thing ever said on television?
    Guy 1: “Ward, I think you were a little hard on the Beaver last night.”

  197. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, but Boston had won a Cup recently. COL has never won anything. If we are worried about beating COL in the first round, then we have no chance against just about anyone in the 2nd round. I don’t care how well COL is playing.

  198. I defer to yinz hockey experts on that.


  199. NMR says:

    I can’t bare to have even a slightly combative conversation with you, Lucky. I just can’t bring myself to do it!

  200. BillyBaduka says:


    Loved The Replacements growing up.

    Saw them in the mid 80s at the Syria Mosque. Can’t remember who opened.

    Did you know of the Stinson brothers was only 13 when they started touring?

    Read a story that on their first tour, the manager told them to set their watches because they were in a new time zone.

    The younger Stinson (Tommy I believe) yelled “They can’t do that!”

  201. I take that as a compliment.

    Must be my glowing personality and heart for the human crowd.


  202. Arriba Wilver says:

    Ohio University has the greatest band in the land. :-)

  203. NMR says:

    That is ABSOLUTELY the reason, Lucky!

  204. NMR says:

    I also prefer to pick my battles with the big guy upstairs, just in case he still has room for me. ;)

  205. Always room, brother, always room.


  206. JohninOshkosh says:


    I’ve seen them play live more than any other band. They used to play Duluth, Madison and Iowa City all the time so I caught them a lot. Before they signed with a major label (the great “Let it Be” album), they had one tour where Husker Du was the opening band. Legendary shows and song lists! I saw them play that tour at 4 different venues. I was stalking before stalking was a thing! At one show, they were all sitting in the back of the bar, while Husker Du was playing, just slamming Grain Belts and Jager shots.

  207. Arriba Wilver says:

    Nate–I think your point at 11:24 about Vin is brilliant! Especially since I made the same one at 10:45. :-D

  208. Baywatch says:

    Afternoon, Y’all!

  209. Wild Bill says:

    Hi all. Back to the blog after a break for work. Good stuff, all of yinz!

    Detroit’s 23 years in the playoffs discussion took me back to high school, when all my buds and I had favorite teams in addition to the Pens. Mine was the Red Wings, and the guys had huge days making fun of me because the Red Wings sucked so much.

    Sorta like the Steelers before the 70s arrived.

  210. Jandy says:

    Hey hey Bayman !

  211. Wild Bill says:

    The Mouse network has some interesting excerpts from a coming book by John Calipari regarding the NCAA. Haven’t liked everything he’s been about, but he has given college athletics some thought.

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