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Morning Java: What’s round on the ends and high in the middle?

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Monday column celebrates the spirit of, um, cheeriness surrounding the Penguins all winter long by wondering aloud what manner of apocalypse will befall the franchise with a loss to the Blue Jackets.

Here’s some of my talk after the 82nd game last night with :

[brightcove ]

The story of the 52nd win, by beat man Rob Rossi.

Sidney Crosby and others get a break, by Rossi.

How the Penguins will or won’t advance, by Rossi.

The defensive prospect pipeline runneth over, by Jonathan Bombulie in Wilkes-Barre.

Here’s the first-round schedule.

A look ahead to the Columbus series, by Jason Mackey.

Blogginess from the scene: Not much to say because it wasn’t much of a game. Or anything else. … Most unfortunate to see Tanner Glass engage the lunatic Chris Neil in a first-period fight, but says a lot about why Glass is so respected by his teammates. … All the necessary disclaimers out of the way, I’m still seeing Beau Bennett force too many obvious passes onto opponents’ blades. … Kris Letang’s endurance is just ridiculous. The guy can skate all day, all night and never look any different. … The Penguins used to give out their team awards on the ice before the final home game. Now, it’s been reduced to some lame video presentation between the second and third periods, when no one is in their seats. … Honestly, not much else to say from here. There’ll be plenty in the days ahead.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Penguins page and our Chipped Ice blog.

Here’s Blue Jackets news from the Columbus Dispatch.

Here are official game highlights on NHL.com.

>> The Pirates lost in Milwaukee. Rinse, repeat. Rob Biertempfel reports from the House of Horrors.

Here come those Reds … from last place? Biertempfel looks ahead.

Pitching prospect turned hitting prospect Stetson Allie continues to climb. Bob Cohn reports from Altoona.

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

Here’s Brewers news from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Here’s Reds news from the Cincinnati Enquirer. It’s going to be an Ohio kind of week in these parts. Browns busy?

Here are official game highlights on MLB.com.

>> The Steelers’ depth is a work in progress, by Alan Robinson.

>> Our panel on WPXI-TV’s Subway Final Word had too much fun late last night. I was joined by Robinson, Mark Madden and Alby Oxenreiter.

>> I’ll check in with TribLIVE Radio at 11:30 a.m.

>> Thank you, as always, for reading.

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. DJ says:

    It was certainly encouraging to see Letang play well tonight.

    He seems much calmer with the puck since he’s been back, particularly on the PP and entering the O-zone. A potential life altering event puts things in perspective rather quickly. His extended view of play from up above probably didn’t hurt either.

    I’ll be pulling for him in particular.

  2. Ghost says:

    Lippy the Lion once told the Ohio joke.
    As for the Pirates and their feeble offense, “oh me, oh my, oh dear.”

  3. Mizery says:

    Fear Letestu!!!!!!!

  4. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    It’s not only a feeble offense, it’s a “chronically” feeble offense.
    Who couldn’t see this coming?!
    Offensively….It was all deletion and no addition during the off-season.
    It’s rearing its ugly head in massive fashion.

  5. JoeyBats says:

    BUCCOS — Down on the Farm

    (We’ll try to keep you apprised of how some of the top prospects are doing; …..this week the position players. Yes, it’s early….and the stats are meager).
    .
    .
    RF — Gregory “the Great” Polanco — Triple A – Indy – Bats : L
    G …11 HR…2 RBI…11 AVG….465 OPS…1.265 AB…43 R…9 H…20 K…4 BB…3 SB…1
    .
    .
    1B – Andrew Lambo – Triple A – Indy – Bats: L
    G …9 HR…0 RBI…6 AVG….367 OPS…1.046 AB…30 R…7 H…11 K…6 BB…8 SB…3
    .
    .
    3B – Stetson Allie – Double A – Altoona – Bats: R
    G …8 HR…1 RBI…4 AVG….214 OPS… .705 AB…28 R…3 H…6 K…7 BB…4 SB…1
    .
    .
    SS – Alan Hanson – Double A – Altoona – Bats: S
    G …8 HR…0 RBI…2 AVG….212 OPS… .560 AB…33 R…4 H…7 K…7 BB…2 SB…4
    .
    .
    OF – Josh Bell – Single A – Bradenton – Bats: S
    G …9 HR…1 RBI…3 AVG….343 OPS… .950 AB…35 R…2 H…12 K…8 BB…2 SB…0
    .
    .
    3B -Wyatt Mathisen – Single A – West Virginia – Bats: R
    G …10 HR…0 RBI…1 AVG….250 OPS… .633 AB…32 R…3 H…8 K…4 BB…4 SB…1
    .
    .
    C – Reese McGuire – Single A – West Virginia – Bats : L
    G …7 HR…0 RBI…4 AVG….207 OPS… .475 AB…29 R…2 H…6 K…5 BB…0 SB…0
    .
    .
    OF – Austin Meadows –XXXXXXXXX – Bats: L (Injured…rehabbing)
    .
    .
    Beat Em’ Bucs !

  6. JohnS says:

    Seems like the Pirates forgot how to catch the ball. Ten errors already this season. If you want guys pitching to contact you have to field it.

  7. Sloppy fielding and almost no offense cost the Pirates this past weekend. Meanwhile, I just hope that the Pens will do better in round one of the playoffs vs. Columbus on Wednesday than they did last night vs. Ottawa in that shootout.

  8. JAL says:

    JAL’s I’ve Passed This way Before Morning Links

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tLMH0dJlD4&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: Meet the New Season, Same As the Old Season

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/first-pitch-meet-the-new-season-same-as-the-old-season.html

    Prospect Watch: Irwin and Rodriguez Have Bad Starts, Polanco Continues Streak

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/prospect-watch-irwin-and-rodriguez-have-bad-starts-polanco-continues-streak.html

    Week In Review: Gregory Polanco is On Fire; More Minor League Injuries

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/week-in-review-gregory-polanco-is-on-fire-more-minor-league-injuries.html

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Late-inning weirdness leads to 3-2 Pirates loss

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2014/4/12/5609296/late-inning-weirdness-leads-to-3-2-pirates-loss

    7 Rumbunter

    Neal Huntington Show Notes: Jameson Taillon, Luis Heredia News

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/04/13/neal-huntington-show-notes-jameson-taillon-luis-heredia-news/

    The Brewers Are Back. Sweep Pirates.

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/04/13/brewers-back-sweep-pirates/

    8 Green Weenie

    Lohse Baffles Bucs 4-1

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2014/04/lohse-baffles-bucs-4-1.html

    4/13: Babe Adams, Stuffy, Curt Roberts, Ricardo Rincon, Lumber Company, Carlos Garcia, Zach Duke, More…

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2014/04/413-babe-adams-stuffy-curt-roberts.html

    9 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates bats silenced; swept by Brewers

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2014/04/13/pittsburgh-pirates-bats-silenced-swept-brewers/

    10 Pirates 101

    Pittsburgh Pirates Back at .500 After Milwaukee Brewers Complete Sweep

    http://www.sportsmedia101.com/pittsburghpirates/2014/04/13/pittsburgh-pirates-back-at-500-after-milwaukee-brewers-complete-sweep/

  9. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 CBS Sports

    Pirates vs Reds Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20140414_PIT@CIN/pirates-reds-preview

    12 Chicago Tribune

    Cubs’ Renteria stands by Jackson

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/chi-rick-renteria-defends-edwin-jackson-20140413,0,6099185.story

    13 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates’ Neil Walker Must Contribute With A Stronger Bat

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2014/04/13/pittsburgh-pirates-neil-walker-must-contribute-with-a-stronger-bat/

    14 Pirates Site

    Volquez bringing team-first rah-rah attitude

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20140413&content_id=71932638&notebook_id=71932990&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    15 SB Nation

    Scott Boras claims anonymous owners ‘damaged’ the markets for Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales

    http://www.sbnation.com/mlb/2014/4/13/5611218/scott-boras-espn-owners-stephen-drew-kendrys-morales

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Heisey’s slam caps needed offensive showing for Reds

    http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/mlb/reds/2014/04/13/homers-lift-reds-past-rays-in-series-finale/7675697/

    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Kyle Lohse pitches a gem as Brewers sweep Pirates

    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brewers/kyle-lohse-pitches-a-gem-as-brewers-sweep-pirates-b99246875z1-255091691.html

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Redbirds’ rain man shines again

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/redbirds-rain-man-shines-again/article_250f19b9-599a-5155-9978-66493e93e9ed.html

    19 Fangraphs

    Jose Abreu’s First and Worst

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/jose-abreus-first-and-worst/

    20 Baseball Prospectus

    The Week In Quotes

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=23299

  10. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Rice’s Phillip Gaines shows more reason why the second round is stacked with the position talent the Steelers need

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2014-nfl-draft/2014/4/13/5610154/nfl-draft-prospects-cornerback-phillip-gaines-rice

    Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby beginning to emerge as mid-first round option

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2014-nfl-draft/2014/4/13/5610110/2014-nfl-draft-steelers-bradley-roby-ohio-state

    Soccer(football)

    22 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    The Premier League as an Attacking Force‏

    https://www.bsports.com/statsinsights/football/eplattack

    23 BBC Football

    Liverpool edge Man City in thriller

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/26908682

    24 World Soccer

    From professional footballer to getaway driver, the sad tale of a career gone wrong

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/blogs/professional-footballer-getaway-driver-sad-tale-career-gone-wrong

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Setting the Record Straight on the Penguins and Possession

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2014/4/13/5607828/setting-the-record-straight-on-the-penguins-and-possession

  11. Jandy says:

    :yawn:

    A glorious weekend, and now it’s Monday again. Yuck.

    No, I didn’t watch the last Pens’ game of the season. I didn’t want to ruin my weekend. A lot of people were stopping by, I was catching up with yard work and laundry (hung it outside), and was perfectly content to leave it that way.

    First round match-up: Columbus. Ouch. I hope I’m totally wrong and we beat them fairly easily. I’ve been calling Columbus the season’s Cinderella, but I’d happy admit to being wrong.

    Bucs: The House of Horrors returns. Nuff said.

    Easter is on Sunday. I’m off Good Friday, with pay. Gotta love it!

    Happy fackin’ Monday, lunatics :)

  12. kr70 says:

    Pirates swept in Milwaukee ….Is it back to reality? I know it’s early, but I hate the brewers and especially Braun.

  13. DJ says:

    They say you need at least one short series to win the Cup.

    Let’s hope it’s the Blue Jackets because I don’t see opportunities after that.

  14. The Czar says:

    The offense is anemic. Anyone else think our only chance to score ends once Pedro has batted.
    Time to give some others a look. I say why not let Gaby Sanchez start a few games?
    Ishikawa’s last 7 games has produced a .167

  15. Crap!

    I have consistently said here I fear the Brewers this season. I adjudge the Brewers’ Starting 5 Pitchers stronger than the Bucs.

    Notice they did not bludgeon the Bucs to death this trip into Miller Park———the Brewers outpitched the Pirates. Since Milwaukee’s hitting IS better than the Pirate batting lineup, that spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E in River City with a capital T.

    But at least Pittsburgh has Gaby Sanchez and Travis Ishikawa to help overcome!

  16. BillyBaduka says:

    Jandy,

    Ouch, first round Columbus?

    Weren’t Philly and Detroit, the other possibilities, more of an “ouch” than Columbus?

  17. Jandy says:

    Me neither, just have a bad feeling.

  18. Jandy says:

    BB Bat, You’d think they would, but I’ve had a bad feeling about Columbus for a few weeks now. I just hope I’m wrong. I’ll happily eat my hat!

  19. BillyBaduka says:

    They have been playing well down the stretch.

    No need to set your hat, if the Pens win we’ll be too focused on second round foe to look back.

  20. TJA says:

    Are the Brewers the Pirates from last year in the Central? Still… I hate them…just like the Reds.

  21. Wild Bill says:

    Philly.com is already grousing about how the Flyers/Rangers series could have three games in four nights at the end, right before having to start the next series.

    Awww, I feel so bad for the Flyers.

  22. Wild Bill says:

    Meantime, Polanco is killin it in AAA. This could get comical, if he keeps playing like this and the Bucs have trouble scoring.

  23. JohninOshkosh says:

    I have no doubt whatsoever that Scot Boras is telling the truth (Link # 15). No reason at all those two fine ballplayers should not be on clubs right now, absent some shenanigans by a few colluding owners. Drew would look very nice in a Bucco uniform but, you know, $$$$$.

    Jimmy Ruffin was a nice musician, JAL. Nice mellow R&B way to start the week.

  24. NMR says:

    If Scott Boras wants the reaosn for his clients not being on clubs right now all he has to do is look directly in the mirror.

    He misjudged the market and lost. That is fact.

  25. NMR says:

    Oh, and Travis Snider is the problem?

  26. Thundercrack says:

    I think there are a few good reasons why those two players are not on clubs right now:
    1. Draft pick compensation
    2. Nobody wants to commit long term years & dollars to them, and that is what those players are looking for.

  27. Arriba Wilver says:

    Yep.

  28. hockeymonster says:

    Jandy, i thought i was clear yesterday regarding no negativity!

    And pens know that losing more than one game to columbus is unacceptable. They should sweep considering injuries but if they win a game so be it.

  29. AJS says:

    So about Tony Sanchez’s throwing issues…maybe they weren’t such crazy made up nonsense beig blathered by NH as we thought. i seriosuly thought it was jus one of those things where t happened and it became a stigma he couldn’t shake but was actually fixed. A couple of throwing errors in his last couple outings are changing my mind. Dude couldn’t make the throw to first on a strike out. Allowing not 1 but 2 runs to come around. C’mon Sanchez.

    Not that it matters when you have an offense as aenemic as the Bucs. Same olf Pirates. Three years in a row with the same story. And not a single move made to fix it. Of course I fully expect this team to get how sometime in June and silence the critics. It is like this entire team has turned into Adam LaRoche.

    And the pitcing hasn’t been great either. Another let up by Melancon on Saturday. Grilli ahs been wild. Trying not to over react to 2 weeks of baseball when there are 5 MONTHS left to be played but right now I am a bit worried.

  30. Wild Bill says:

    Not like first base is, NMR. But do you expect Snider to be a plus player for us?

  31. Arriba Wilver says:

    Pirates last year after 12 games—6-6

    Pirates this year after 12 games—6-6

  32. JohninOshkosh says:

    There may be some truth about your market argument. But, I also believe there is Boras punishment going on and some owners skirting the parameters of the CBA, if not violation of it.

    Ridiculous that Drew is not on a MLB roster. How many decent shortstops are out there? Like two ? (Please note hyperbole).

  33. Thundercrack says:

    12 games into the season. Is that enough time to categorize the offense as anemic?

  34. AJS says:

    Agreed NRM. Doesn’t Snider have like the best average on the team right now? The right field platoon isn’t the problem. Nobody is hitting. Pedro is back to his old self. 8 hits, 5 homers. Twice yesterday the Bucs went through the line up without a single base runner. That is not a winning recipe.

  35. Jordy’s slow start has magnified this even more, John.

  36. Thundercrack says:

    Last year is over. And just stop with the facts.

    And light your hair on fire

  37. AJS says:

    Against right handed pitching I don’t see why he can’t be. I woudl rather have an every day right fielder than a Snider/Tabata platoon but I’d still prioritize first base.

  38. NMR says:

    No, I don’t Bill.

    But it makes no sense to salivate over Gregory Polanco as the savior to the Pirates run scoring when the player he’ll eventually replace isn’t the problem.

    Does it?

  39. Arriba Wilver says:

    No offense, Wild Bill, but this seems to be a theme here.

    If Travis Snider sucks it’s because he sucks.

    If Travis Snider doesn’t suck, well, he will, just wait.

  40. Thundercrack says:

    Travis Snider isn’t the problem. But adding a good hitter ain’t such a bad idea.

  41. Wild Bill says:

    Best decision all weekend for me was not watching the Bucs yesterday and just enjoying the Masters. The Spieth kid is for real, and what Bubba does on a golf course is just astonishing. And all this from a self taught player.

  42. NMR says:

    And if you think Hurdle will sit Starling Marte, then you’d be correct.

  43. Arriba Wilver says:

    No doubt about that.

  44. Thundercrack says:

    Once through the starting rotation I wondered if it was a good idea to have Volquez and Morton back-to-back.
    Thinking that Volquez could blow up the bullpen, which would put some pressure on Charlie to go deep into his games. And at times Charlie has gotten his pitch count up early in games. I would have had Cole in the middle of them.

    But hey, what do I know. Seems to working out good so far.

  45. Wild Bill says:

    Looks like I’m in the minority here, and quickly, AW. And it’s not as though I think Snider reeks. I just think we know what to expect already. And I think that in about two years, we will have trouble remembering his name. Hope he can prove me wrong.

  46. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    Absolutely NMR….Boras is showing his true colors again:

    Drew had a bounceback year and pulled in 9.5 mil last season – I’m sorry though, Drew is not a 10+ per year guy. He was in a loaded Boston lineup, and let’s be honest, last year was the first time he was on the field more than 86 games since 2010.

    Morales had a nice season in 2013 (.277 with 23 dongs and 80 rbi), and at 5.2 mil was quite a bargain when you consider that this was the going rate for light hitting shortstops the year the bucs signed Barmes. However not knowing what Boras was looking for, I’d say that the system did it’s job in keeping a guy like this at a reduced price. He would have been wise to sign at this same rate on a one year in hopes of a better two or three year deal after one more season of sustained production. Boras has hurt him badly because at this point his numbers won’t reflect his value moving forward even if they are as strong or better than last season.

  47. Jandy says:

    You need an avatar, Monster Mash :)

  48. AJS says:

    I agree. This guy like to play games and try to beat the system.

    These guys were tied to draft picks. Sign em and the first round pick is gone. Nobody is going to pay single season market price to lose their pick. They are going to reduce the contract by the opportunity cost of a first round pick. The teams that could use these guys services, a lot of them are small to mid-market teams who build through their system. A first round pick, even as unpredictable they can be, still holds a pretty fair value.

    Now Boras is telling these guys we will find you a home after June? So they basically lose out on half a years salary, they won’t be sharp when they come back, etc.

    How many players have to be screwed by Boras shenanigans and attempts to make a point before he no longer is deemed their best option to get paid?

  49. Jandy says:

    Bingo. I’m rather underwhelmed by his slow start…it’s disappointing…

  50. Arriba Wilver says:

    Right there with you there, WB. And I thought it was very classy that the Spieth kid applauded along with the crowd for Bubba walking up to 18.

  51. Sarah says:

    As for the Pens, wow losing to Chris Neil in the SO, Oy.
    That is 4 regulation wins in the last 17 games.

    I sure hope they remember where that Switch is, so they can flip it on like we keep hearing they’re gonna do now that these meaningless games are over.

  52. Arriba Wilver says:

    I don’t think you’re in the minority, WB. ;-)

  53. Jandy says:

    Better watch out, HM will yell at you ;)

  54. Sarah says:

    We’ll, to be positive, no one got injured.
    And Letang had another good game.

    Meanwhile the Pens recalled Vokoun from WBS, which will cause MAF to go in the tank, if he wasn’t going to go there anyway cos Playoffs.

    Oops, negative again!!!
    My bad!!!!

  55. Reading says:

    Not a language expert, but trying to figure out how italicizing the word “should” in “heads should roll” turns a Waffle House special into a Mr. Vegas type bold “prediction.”

  56. NMR says:

    I will quibble slightly on Pedro. There isn’t a guy on this team taking better at-bats and hitting the ball harder.

    Just can’t buy a hit right now unless it is over the fence (.103 BABIP).

  57. TJA says:

    And recall the terrible West Coast trip last year to start the campaign and everyone (yea…me, too) wanted to fire everyone. I think last year taught me to relax and a bit. There is 150 left to play.

  58. hockeymonster says:

    Sarah, we’re not losing to columbus!

    Although this song kind of summarizes how i feel bout all things pens pursuit for cup and jandy drinkin brandy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qkrhx9pULY official video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpOSxM0rNPM

    Side B: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQH8ZTgna3Q

  59. NMR says:

    11 MOAR GAMES THEN WE NEED TO NO NUTTING IS CHEEP!

    Am I doing it right? ;)

  60. Wonder if Tony could throw better from first instead of to first. Would be worth a look at Indy, because the DH alternative still hasn’t hit the NL except for a handfull of games every season.

  61. Milo Hamilton says:

    The 82 exhibition game schedule is finally over. Let the angst begin.

  62. She drinks wine and lots of it, Monstrosity.

    ;)

  63. Nate83 says:

    Right field and first base has not been the reason for any of the losses this year. Sub-par defense, mediocre pitching and some key players in the batting order not playing well has been the issue. All the anger towards right, first and Volquez during the offseason and those are the players that are playing well.

    They have a number of guys batting below .200. Pedro has hit it well and had some bad luck. There is no way Cutch won’t start contributing more then he has. Walker hasn’t been bad but could be better and Mercer although not great has to be better then what he has done so far. We are not even 10% through the season. The team is 6-6 but you would think they are 3-9 based on some of the comments. The Brewers obviously are on some kind of roll right now. They are not going to lead the league in team ERA. They will come back down to earth.

  64. Sarah says:

    Oh I doubt we could lose to the Jax.
    I am just concerned re our play since Olympics.
    We have the worst last 10 gAmes of anyone in the 16 playoff teams I think.

    THe notion of coming in w momentum seems lost on this team. So I hope they can manufacture some in a hurry.
    That Switch thing, ya know lol!

  65. hockeymonster says:

    Not in june.

  66. NMR says:

    No doubt the owners are skirting the CBA, but you don’t hear Boras bitching when those anonymous owners are gushing over one of his clients, do you?

    Scott wants to have it both ways, and it has apparently taken him 50-some years to find out life doesn’t always work out that way.

  67. TJA says:

    I agree….Great Masters. Great golf. Great sportsmanship. So, let me ask you golfers out there: Which is better/which would you rather see: The player to beat the golf course or the course to beat/challenge the player?

  68. Sarah says:

    We need our Eric B to crunch the nbrs for us!
    Mostly I wonder how far we can go w our 5 on 5 nbrs, which last time we checked, were pretty bad.

    Has anyone won a Cup with avg to bad ES nbrs like us? I sure hope so. But I’m not optimistic…..

  69. Dom says:

    Anyone else hate it that we play 82 games just so eight teams in each conference can make it to the postseason?

    I feel this demeans the regular season.

    I also don’t think it makes any sense that there are more teams in the postseason than teams at home.

  70. Jandy says:

    I don’t drink Brandy, but that video is …uh….hot lol

    Wine all year round, Monster Mash. June included ;)

  71. Jandy says:

    Oh boy! JINX!

  72. JohninOshkosh says:

    The owners have been found in the past to have violated the CBA by engaging in collusion among other things. To my knowledge, Boras has never violated the CBA.

    When he throws out stuff like this, he has credibility with me. I get people hate the guy, but many GM’s would give up a draft pick, and the uncertainty and years involved with it, for proven, quality major league talent, especially at shortstop. And they are all awash in money.

  73. hockeymonster says:

    And when lord stanley hands lange gets the brandy you dont want a shot?

  74. hockeymonster says:

    I want to use a still shot from the eminem video i posted yesterday. Guess which one. :)

  75. Milo Hamilton says:

    Many fewer power plays in the playoffs. And take this into account, the Penguins with all that offensive talent didn’t even average 3 goals a game. I attribute that & their lackluster 5 on 5 play to the lack of talent on their 3rd & 4th lines. Check out the hefty minus numbers those guys are lugging around.

    Now that being what it is & I don’t think it will change, the guys that make all the money are going to have to carry them through this.

  76. Jandy says:

    Maybe, but you need an avatar, first :)

  77. Milo Hamilton says:

    People will be screaming for Bylsma’s head if things go badly. But bad job by Shero filling out the roster with role players. The guy seems to get a pass & I just don’t get it.

  78. Jandy says:

    Oh my!

  79. Wild Bill says:

    TJA, for a major, I’ll always choose the toughest possible course and see who can survive.

    Toughest thing about the Masters, I think, is the greens. You get it to the green, and you think all is good. But at Augusta, the fun is just beginning when you hit it on.

  80. Wild Bill says:

    Dom, the regular season has great meaning for everyone who earns a salary playing hockey, coaching hockey, broadcasting hockey, or owning teams.

    It just doesn’t decide who’s the best.

  81. NMR says:

    I don’t hate Boras at all. He’s the best in the world at what he does.

    But no man is perfect, and neither is Boras.

    Teams are getting smarter about the value of their money. Boras takes old logic and pushes for new, higher salaries. The vast majority of the time he is successfull…but not always.

  82. If Scott Boras’ lips are moving, he is lying. It can’t be HIS fault his players aren’t getting paid right now!

    Sort of reminds me of Frank Coonelly.

  83. Other teams would seem to disagree with you. They are pitching around McCutch to get to Pedro.

  84. Dom says:

    For me, the issue is the 16 teams that are allowed in the playoffs, not the 82 game season. In my opinion, they should drop the lowest four seeds in each conference.

  85. NMR says:

    That is the most ridiculous thing anyone has written in a long time.

  86. Pirates have no catcher for 2015 if Sanchez cannot master the defense behind the plate. Teaching him to play 1st Base isn’t a good option.

  87. NMR says:

    The last time a team actually pitched around Cutch, Pedro won the game on the next pitch.

    Cute theory, though.

    How’s Garrett Jones doing?

  88. Sarah says:

    I would not confuse Lackluster Talent with Stupid Personnel Decisions.
    We simply do not ice our best players, on D or on O.

  89. Sarah says:

    Agree. Extended Glass, Adams, got us Dags and Kobasew. Brought in Scuderi to play til he’s 40.
    And eliminated the chance of an elite W for Crosby via 7.25 mil to Letang.

    All poor decisions.

  90. DREW . . . . . . . COME HOME!!!

    I promise not to pick my toes on the couch anymore!

  91. Sarah says:

    And that doesn’t even mention the Iggy Clusterf-ck

  92. Sarah says:

    Hah!!! if the likes of me can jinx us against the likes of Columbus, well, we’re in the shite LOL!!!!

  93. Milo Hamilton says:

    Funny how Adams didn’t need a rest. Clearly the teacher’s pet.

  94. National Mart of Records,

    It’s an interesting interpersonal dynamic to take note that your retorts so frequently focus on the personal attack of a writer instead of his/her comment/opinion.

  95. Milo Hamilton says:

    Heard some sound from Mark Letestu this morning. He says the Blue Jackets are going to take a page out of the Flyers book & try to irritate & agitate the Penguins. He didn’t say this but I inferred after the whistle stuff. Funny how word’s gotten around of how undisciplined the Penguins are.

  96. NMR says:

    I’m just shocked you haven’t stroked out yet after Dejan had the audacity to devote an entire Sunday column to soccer.

    I’m sure we’d all love another rant of yours on the subject.

  97. Sarah says:

    Milo don’t get me started on Adams. Exhibit A for so much that is wrong with Bylsma.

    Teacher’s pet vets, while better young guys get jerked around, and scratched, ruining their confidence.

    Can anybody watch Glass, Adams, Scuderi Orpik on the 1PK and think they are the BEST personnel Bylsma could put on the ice? Seriously?

    Watch how many shifts Adams is out there when they get pinned in their own zone due to his slowness and inability to clear the puck, much less manage a controlled breakout.

    I cannot understand how Mario and Shero can watch that night after night and think this is the best we can do.

    Oh no, you got me started.

  98. Sarah says:

    Well…not like it’s a big secret. Much of the Blueprint to beat us is common knowledge, and getting under our skin is a big page in it.

  99. JohninOshkosh says:

    Mild ended up with the Avs, Milo. St. Louis, everybody’s golden child at the New Year, choked and gagged their way to the finish.

    Thanks for the clarification on that the other night.

  100. bpn8pitt says:

    oHIo

    The word of the day was anemic, apparently.

    Oh my, Jandy. :)

  101. TK says:

    From a prior blog post:

    ziv34
    April 13, 2014 at 5:15 AM

    Dejan, great piece as usual. Couple questions – A.) Being relegated as a minor league franchise to the MLS so to speak, do we have any affiliation to a MLS organization? B.) You imply that our 10 Mil Stadium has no business in the MLS 100 Mil Stadium orbit, does that mean Highmark Stadium is doomed if we make it to the MLS level, or can it be retro fitted? C.) Could you link the NYT story you referred to in the article? D.) Just curious, but do your children participate in youth soccer, hockey, or any other sports?

    On B, you answered “No”. Did you mean “No”, Highmark Stadium is not doomed or “No”, Highmark Stadium cannot be retrofitted?

  102. JohninOshkosh says:

    Buy some aspirin, Tanner. You’re gonna need it.

  103. Andrew says:

    Great look at the Penguins possession numbers this season, puck moving defensemen matter.

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2014/4/13/5607828/setting-the-record-straight-on-the-penguins-and-possession

  104. Milo Hamilton says:

    You are very welcome John. Go Mild !

  105. Jandy says:

    Dejan is good at that…when asked if his children play sports he said they love soccer ;)

  106. My hand is up!! I can.

    What did the Penguins finish on the Penalty Kill in the whole league——#1 or #2? I can’t remember . . .

  107. Jandy says:

    Etch it! ;)

  108. Milo Hamilton says:

    So do skilled enough (and I don’t mean goal scoring ability) 3rd & 4th liners that cycle & possess the puck in the offensive zone. My biggest problem with their defense (actually this goes for the whole team) is that they’re ridiculously easy to play against.

  109. In others words, the children do not love or play a sport.

  110. Jandy says:

    That wouldn’t have anything to do with that agitation factor, would it?

  111. Dom says:

    Anyone think the Pens will go to the cup?

    Personally, I feel we’ll have difficulty getting by the Flyers and certainly the Bruins.

    I cant see us getting by either team.

  112. Jandy says:

    I honestly don’t know…is that so hard to say?

  113. Jandy says:

    You have valid fears, Dom.

  114. 1 game at a time, Domske!

    1 series at a time! If you are thinking past Columbus, you’ll never get to know if you can beat Philly or the Bruins.

  115. Andrew says:

    Also there are not less power plays in the playoffs, less might get called but power plays/game go up slightly.

    Year: Season vs Playoffs

    2013: 3.32 vs 3.36
    2012: 3.31 vs 3.74
    2011: 3.54 vs 3.94
    2010: 3.71 vs 4.19
    2009: 4.16 vs 3.94
    2008: 4.28 vs 4.40
    2007: 4.85 vs 5.13

  116. Jandy says:

    interesting..I suppose then that the obstruction rates go up astronomically, but they do call a few ;)

  117. Nastynate82 says:

    St. Louis Blues might disagree with that

  118. Milo Hamilton says:

    There are many ways for for your bottom six to skin a cat. Size, speed, agitators. The problem is our bottom six have no real particular skills. Just a bunch of guys, roster fillers. I’ll give Glass a pass there because at least he brings something, his fists & his mouth.

  119. Jandy says:

    Very good observation Nasty One.

    I still have that bad feeling…

  120. Jandy says:

    And Chris Neil has a black eye ; )

  121. theplanisworking says:

    Looks like Liverpool is now in the EPL drivers seat.
    Man City was in the drivers seat, but now needs help.
    It might be a 1 point difference at the end of the year.

  122. Milo Hamilton says:

    Thanks for that.

    Look what else you’ve stumbled upon. Look how power plays have decreased. It’s striking. In 2007, 10 teams averaged 3 goals per game. This year, only 3.

  123. Andrew says:

    I think the hope is Sutter, Goc if healthy, then either Stempniack or Bennett can provided passable 3rd and 4th line. I completely agree with the idea that the Pens are a 2nd line team reliant on special teams play.

  124. Milo Hamilton says:

    In 2003-04, only 2 teams scored 3 goals a game. We are back to pre-lockout scoring levels. And the game is suffering for it. It is tough to watch most nights.

  125. theplanisworking says:

    ” Travis Snider isn’t the problem. But adding a good hitter ain’t such a bad idea. ”

    They had all offseason to do just that, either by trade, FA signing, dumpster dive, or Polanco (but, they are handling the Polanco situation correctly).

    Thank You for coming over to the side that wants to add a bat.

  126. Andrew says:

    Definitely, there was like 6 power plays/game after the 04-05 lockout, but now the Babcock interference is a legal play.

  127. theplanisworking says:

    The Pirates have no 1B for 2015 either, correct?
    No C prospects, or 1B prospects in the system ready to produce. If snachez still has issues later this year, oh brother ……

  128. TJA says:

    Good points, Wild Bill. And, I agree from what we saw this weekend. For me: personally I like the US Open a little better. Those courses that are selected (Oakmont as an example) are SO tough.

  129. Sarah says:

    I think there’s no way we beat Boston, and highly unlikely we could beat PHL.
    Having said that, this bracket is the best it could possibly be for us.

    We should get past Columbus (if not, Bylsma’s gone, possibly RS too, and things look decidedly different next year. Which is a good thing IMO….). So kinda win-win there!

    We can hope that PHL and NYR beat each other to a bloody pulp, and that NYR prevail. We could get by the Rangers certainly. For some reason Lundquist does not trouble us the way he does everybody else…..

    Up top, we can hope that somehow BOS loses to the Wings, who’ve handled them well this year.
    Possibly MTL or even TB comes out of that Divison, and we could potentially handle them also.

    What I’m saying, this is the best possible arrangement for us to avoid both PHL and BOS.

    So, it’s not inconceivable that the Pens could go far, even with their shortcomings.

  130. theplanisworking says:

    I am confused by this post.
    When people refer to the 20 years of stink, they are told to not bring up the past years.
    Now, when regarding the record, bringing up past years is ok.
    Guess it is who brings up the subject that matters, eh?

    I will go with what the majority of the group has said on the blog …….. the past doesn’t matter. I care about the 6-6 this year. Plus, with the dowmgrades of the offseason, I feel a bit more nervous about this 6-6.

    But, it is early.
    And, my hair is not on fire.

  131. Andrew says:

    I remember an interview with Orpik two years ago and the reported asked have you change your play, your penalty minutes have been dropping for awhile, Orpik response, No, I play the same way.

  132. theplanisworking says:

    You forgot
    VIVA LE REGIME !!

  133. theplanisworking says:

    Sarah, if Lundquist is on, don’t sleep on the Rangers.
    That goalie scares me.

    Agreed that this bracket is the best the Pens can hope for.
    Now, we will see what AFLAC and Mr Shero have brought us.
    Time to prove they are the real deal.

  134. Jimmy Brown says:

    Morning, Y’all! (Yinz are into AFTERNOON by THREE minutes!) I think it’s going to be interesting in Cincy. They’re gonna be hungry a) because they’ve been terrible, and b) because we’re the Pirates. Glad I’m off and will be able to watch, via the MLB.TV app on our set … Can you still call televisions “sets,” even if it’s mounted on your wall in widescreen format? :-)

  135. Sarah says:

    Kind of like Bylsma having a great regular season record and then having his azz handed to him in the playoffs. Or MAF in reg Season…,,you get the idea.

    And I wasn’t especially referring to PK, more that Adams cannot even get out of his own zone even strength or not. He does not belong on an NHL roster, nor do 3-4 guys regularly iced nightly by Bylsma.

  136. Sarah says:

    Thanks Andrew, that graph from Yost was stunning. Was there a link? couldn’t find one…..

  137. Dom says:

    I think we’re clear to look past this series.

    There is zero Columbus chance is going to knock us out of the series.

    No way these words come back and haunt me. No chance!

  138. Sarah says:

    Yeah Henry always worries me too, but for some reason we seem to handle him.
    A choice between NYR and PHL, I pick the Rangers.

  139. Thundercrack says:

    Who’s Jimmy Brown? And what happened to Bay?

  140. Jandy says:

    Oh no! You and Sarah…double jinx!

  141. Wild Bill says:

    Sarah, I looked at every line you wrote, and I agree with every one.

  142. Jandy says:

    Hmmmm that picture looks like BAYMAN’S Avatar ;)

    WHo kidnapped Bay????

  143. theplanisworking says:

    Yeah, I pick the Rangers also.
    We have seen what a hot goalie can do.

    I am not looking forward to CBJ employing Flyers and Broonz tactics against the Pens.
    I might have to suit up. ;)

  144. Jimmy Brown says:

    Wow! We had serious computer issues over the weekend, and as a result, I’ve been defrocked! I actually tried to change my handle last week on here but every time I try to change something I find it complicated. Back to the drawing board! Thanks for the heads-up, TC!

  145. Thundercrack says:

    My point is regarding Polanco.
    If he is a better hitter than Snider then it will be better (and an improvement) for the lineup.

    But I don’t think Polanco should be up here before the June deadline.

  146. Sarah says:

    So Shero’s old buddy Barry Trotz, just fired as HC from Nashville.
    Hmmm.

  147. Wild Bill says:

    Oops, with the exception of Shero getting canned if we lose early. I just don’t see that.

  148. Jandy says:

    woah!

  149. Jandy says:

    Wonder if Jacques Martin ends up in Nashville?

  150. Wild Bill says:

    Will you promise to clear the crease, Plan? If so, get your skates on!

  151. Thundercrack says:

    We better win the World Series this year.

    Because we’re doomed come 2015.

  152. Sarah says:

    I’ve never thought much of Trotz, but it’s true he’s never had much to work with, so I guess I cannot really have a strong opinion one way or the other…..
    He’s never had offensive talent to use, that is for sure.

  153. Jimmy Brown says:

    Help, Mr. Wizard! How do I get back in to unleash Baywatch again?

  154. bpn8pitt says:

    Volquez has pitched well. No one can argue that.

    But I think Hurdle has pulled him at the right time, both starts.

  155. Sarah says:

    Yeah, good point indeed.

    Bill I guess i just think that Ray totally married himself to Bylsma last year when he recommended the extension. Depending who you believe , Mario was ready to pull the trigger but Ray put his full recommendation behind Disco (who was always his guy, unlike Therrian for ex). And that persuaded the front office, at least for one more year. Anyway…..I think when one goes, the other does too.

    Just MO!!!

  156. Sarah says:

    Gahhh!!!!

  157. Jandy says:

    Sarah, not picking, just curious. You say Mario was ready to pull the trigger on DB,…I’ve never gotten that impression. Where did you get that?

  158. NMR says:

    I don’t have any left. What should I burn?

  159. hockeymonster says:

    Just scrolled thru and for its worth, I’m more optimistic going into this post season than any of the previous seasons since the cup. The bracket worked out nicely and we’re getting healthy at the right time. Breakouts and defensive structure are much better, PM looking like he’s regaining his pre olympic form and tanger looking like tanger. Although we should definitely trade him for depth wingers…pffft.

    Whether or not stempy and BB hold their own against big mobile dmen will be key. And Goc’s return would mean more favorable match ups for sid and geno. But like i said, this is the most optimistic I’ve been in a while.

  160. NMR says:

    So you’re saying Hurdle did his job?

  161. Jandy says:

    Your hat? Then you won’t have to eat it ;)

  162. Andrew says:

    The graph is in this article, I think he just posted it to twitter. Also extra skater’s team page Fenwick close% shows the same thing, there where some games right after the Olympics without Martin or Letang, and a couple without Kuntiz or Neal where the Pens got dominated in terms of puck possession.

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2014/4/13/5607828/setting-the-record-straight-on-the-penguins-and-possession

  163. Jandy says:

    I think he’s saying Hurdle didn’t let Volquez’ hair catch on fire ;)

  164. Sarah says:

    Posts from other sources, Pierre Lebrun I believe one of them. It was awhile ago.

    There are different stories out there, some that the team never wavered on Bylsma, others that they were ready to deep six him.

    I cannot believe their faith hasn’t wavered, but that’s just me.

  165. Andrew says:

    I think the Rangers are 2nd best team in the East, great goaltending, near elite puck possession numbers, and a shooting% that is likely to improve.

  166. Sarah says:

    In fact Madden had Lebrun on more recently and he reiterated it.
    Pens thought “long and hard” re letting Byslma go after the BOS series.

  167. Andrew says:

    I’ll conditionally agree with this, I’m not more optimistic than any other season, that 2009-10 team was fairly elite. I would say I’m given the current state of the team compared to what it has been throughout the season. But if Pyatt plays my optimism is gone.

  168. Sarah says:

    If you’re referring to me, never said we should trade Letang for depth wingers.
    Said his enormous contract is a primary reason why we cannot get an elite winger for Sid or Malkin.

    Implication that Shero has his priorities screwed up but that is another discussion LOL!!!

  169. Sarah says:

    Pyatt….Adams….Glass….Kobasew…..

  170. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    I think it’s worth noting that by Boras’ current line of reasoning, any executive that says anything positive about his clients shou be entitled to a percentage of whatever deal he gets them, because well, you know, their kind words sweetened the deal just like the harsh ones hurt Morales and Drew.

    Nice try Boras. You suck buddy. have fun losing all your clients to Jay-Z

  171. NMR says:

    Just like we were doomed when they didn’t catch “lightening in a bottle” in ’11 and ’12, right?

    Ahh, these things just never go away…

  172. Jandy says:

    Okie dokie…thanks Sarahpova :)

  173. Lots of good catching coming up, maybe not in 15 but not long after.

  174. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hey um, er … Jimmy Brown ?!

  175. Milo Hamilton says:

    I think he might up down the hall in a bigger office.

  176. scapper says:

    Replace “Columbus” with “the Islanders” and you have me shooting my mouth off in May, 1993. Make that an Islanders team without their one real offensive threat, Pierre Turgeon, who was sent from the playoffs by one of the all-time cheap shots from Capital Dale Hunter.

    I don’t see the Pens losing, but I ain’t going all “no way” on Columbus pulling the upset.

  177. hockeymonster says:

    I was taking a dig at DK more than you :)

    Gibby-sutter-BB sounds good in theory as a 3rd line but they need to show they can step up and produce in playoffs. BB and gibby are young and really haven’t been baptized yet so hope they’re ready to make it happen. Goc is the key to getting the matchups you want Sarah. Disco’s option become more limited without him and sid will end up being a FO specialist far too often.

  178. Jandy says:

    Very astute, scapper!

  179. Andrew says:

    Kobasew will not play, I have resigned myself to seeing Adams play, and Glass to a lesser extent, I mean he scored 13 points this year a massive improvement over last years’ 2.

  180. Jandy says:

    I don’t think the Hobbit will be very effective in the playoffs.

  181. Sarah says:

    Y’know I have actually liked JJ with Sutter….or am I crazy?
    That might put BB onMalkins LW I guess….

    I thought Stempy did a better job meshing w Sid than Beau…..though arguably BB has a much higher upside. He just seems to “slow” the play down at times, when Sid wants to go b-lls to wall speed y’know? I thought Stemp did better in that mode.

    But you’re spot on Goc is key, and who saw that coming???

    Any idea when he is back? Or Geno???

  182. Sarah says:

    No one who is that small can be too effective I fear…..he draws penalties with his speed, but penalties are not called in playoffs….so that minimizes his effectiveness….

  183. Milo Hamilton says:

    Bennett brings nothing to your bottom 6. He plays with Sid or Geno or he’s a scratch. Gibbons is a minor leaguer & shouldn’t even be here. Sutter stinks too but there’s really no other place to put him.

  184. Sarah says:

    I should say I prefer him to Adams on the PK though.

    Of course, I prefer ME in full goalie gear to Adams on thenPK lol!!!!
    I may not be able to hit hard, but I can skate faster!!!!

  185. hockeymonster says:

    Ya that team was good but repeating is tough and staal wasn’t 100% after subban sliced his leg. Montreal and JM came up with one of the blueprints we need to counter. If a team is willing to block shots like they did we need to use the high slot for re-directs and the center point as a passing outlet for dmen who don’t want to shoot into shin pads.

    If teams want to open up the game we need to stay disciplined in the neutral zone. If they pressure on the forecheck we need close puck support down low for quick breakouts and short crisp passes. If they clog up the neutral zone we need to have D to D plays set up so forwards can come back and support dmen up ice in close proximity.

    We need to be ready to exhaust all of our options even if some turn out to be unnecessary.

  186. Sarah says:

    Yeah, y’know I can live with Glass in a very limited role.
    Adams has no business in the NHL.

  187. Jandy says:

    zactly!

  188. Monster Mash,

    You called for Pens to bring in Goc long before the deadline.

    So I’m holding YOU responsible for his weak body, that keeps getting injured! That hurts the Pens chances.

    YOU are also responsible for Geno’s weak ankle, Letang’s hole in his heart, Volkun’s lousy blood, and James Neal’s lousy disposition. Take a break, Dude!!

  189. Sarah says:

    Wow! strong statement!
    Not sure I can argue though…..

  190. Jandy says:

    Wow, Groatie, that’s really laying it on!
    :D

  191. Jandy says:

    Well, they DID get rid of Torts, ya know? ;)

  192. Arriba Wilver says:

    1. I’m just speaking for myself. I can’t help it if you want to attribute all kinds of other things to me because others said it. I don’t even know who said it. Do you, Plan?

    2. Regardless, if one is going to talk about “downgrades” from last year, seems logical to talk about the record LAST YEAR.

    You’re reaching, Plan.

  193. hockeymonster says:

    HA! Wow, bring it on groat. But like i said before, I’ll take the blame as long as i get the credit too. Goc doesn’t really have a recent injury history but i hope he’s back yesterday. So does sid and geno. He was filling the role i envisioned and then some…just ask sutter.

    About the other stuff, geno will be back, fleury will make TV’s blood issue moot and Real Deal better get right otherwise i can see size 9′s inserted swiftly in his future. And tanger’s back playing just as i hoped. Just don’t tell Dejan. He still wants to trade him to winnipeg :)

  194. hockeymonster says:

    Adams deteriorating for sure. Hope he has a box of 5 hour energy drinks on standby.

  195. JohninOshkosh says:

    There’s a village hidden deep in the valley
    Among the pine trees half forlorn
    And there on a sunny morning
    Little Jimmy Brown was born

    All the chapel bells were ringing
    In the little valley town
    And the songs that they were singing
    Were for baby Jimmy Brown

  196. Sarah says:

    I think we all need to be aware that anything can happen.
    Interesting tidbit that Todd Richards is HC for COL…..had Bylsma as his asst in AHL…he knows Dan.

    If you’re Richards, missing some of your quality skill, ie Horton, Umberger…..what do you do?

    Prolly clog neutral, collapse around the net, and try to shut down Sid n Geno while irritating the hell out of them!!

    I’m not sure they have enough finishers to take advantage of Pens breakdowns tho….I still have nightmares about Camalleri lighting us up a couple years ago on odd mans!!!!

    But the Jax don’t really have that kind of guy, so I guess we will see.

  197. Jandy says:

    The Size 9 Wides are primed and ready ;)

  198. Jandy says:

    Should we take up a collection?

  199. Sarah says:

    Wow…..some of the hard nbrs on the Pens are so bad.

    Was the Metro really that awful???

  200. Andrew says:

    That is entirely an opinion, feel free to disagree, it manly because I’m not sure what the Lighting bring and I think Montreal is not that good. Also almost no idea what the Penguins will bring.

  201. hockeymonster says:

    DJ: just saw your one liner from yesterday and all I have to say is that I think i’m quite good at spending other peoples money. Especially Burkle’s and Mario’s :)

  202. Sarah says:

    I think Sutter has been Ok with the right wingers…..actually w Stemp he’s been good too.
    It would help if he had the same guys to play with for more than a game or two.
    And to his credit he has stepped it up after the trade deadline talk.

    But if I had to choose between keeping him and say Stemp, I keep Stemp. For sure.

  203. Sarah says:

    Speaking of Mario and Burke, one thing that will grab their attention is lack of ticket sales.
    Which appears to be happening.
    Pens first playoff game still not sold out, when it used to sell out in minutes.

    Discuss!

  204. hockeymonster says:

    Rangers definitely have gradually improved all season and are on my sleeper list. AV knows what he’s doing. Tampa is another sleeper team that I’ve seen improvement from and montreal will be a tough out too. Looking forward to det/bos. Not predicting upset but seems like detroit is getting healthier too and their young guys got all the experience they could ask for.

  205. Andrew says:

    When the opposing goal tender has .956% save percentage 5v5 in the series. and your goaltender lets in 4 of 13 in game seven, you are not going to win. But I agree, being tactically flexible is very important.

  206. hockeymonster says:

    Groat, is that my fault too? :)

  207. Jandy says:

    Need you ask? ;)

  208. hockeymonster says:

    Scrapper, NO WAY we lose more than one game to columbus.

  209. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’d like to say I was thinking about Jim Ed Brown just the other day but that would be a lie. Now Helen Cornelius, that’s a different story altogether.

  210. Sarah says:

    Lol!!

  211. Jandy says:

    And there’s the Trifecta!

    jinx!

  212. 21sthebest says:

    Sounds like Barry Rohrssen is headed to Kentucky.

  213. Milo Hamilton says:

    Couldn’t you just see Lucky preaching at that church ?

  214. BillyBaduka says:

    Lol

    Nice post Milo!

  215. Arriba Wilver says:

    I don’t hate Boras at all John. I respect what he has been able to do for his clients. But he’s human. He’s not always right.

    I do think, though, that what he pulled on Boston with Manny several years ago (the Bay trade year) was pretty low, if not a violation of the CBA. But, it’s not like the owners are any better, and we did end up with Andy Laroche as a result.

  216. Sarah says:

    That series was all about Bylsma not having a clue how to get inside the perimeter.

    A goalies dream for Halak, and a nightmare for Fleury who got to stand around for minutes on end with no shots, then look up and see a 3 on 1 with Camallerri.

    I can tell you, as a goalie, even with 70 shots against, you want to be Halak in that series.

  217. hockeymonster says:

    I remember that series well. Our shots were blocked before we even took the shot.

  218. Sarah says:

    Yep. The first sign of things to Come….the first pages of the Blueprint being writ…..sigh……

  219. Wild Bill says:

    Lack of a sellout is two fold: a “meh” down the stretch performance, and more importantly, a feeling we can’t lose vs Columbus. Savin’ money for the next round – right or wrong.

  220. BillyBaduka says:

    +

    To Milo on GPG being down to 03-04

  221. Milo Hamilton says:

    With the alien-like Barry Trotz’s firing in Nashville, Dan Bylsma is now the 5th longest tenured coach in the NHL (Babcock, Julien, McLellan & Quenneville). Of those five, only McLellan hasn’t won the cup. He’d better not lose to the Kings.

  222. Milo Hamilton says:

    You’re not trying to say that Kentucky pays its assistants more than Pitt, are you ? Next you’ll try to tell me there’s gambling in Casablanca.

  223. hockeymonster says:

    Jandy, columbus games are personal for me. There’s no way we lose more than one game…i can’t have it. No one, I mean NO ONE will be sparred if we lose more than one game to them.

  224. Wild Bill says:

    21, glad you’re on. I posted some stuff last week that you said you strongly disagreed with, and I did not answer further. I didn’t answer, because I was hoping you’d say more. I learn a lot from all our posters, and you’ve been one I’ve learned from. Still interested in your opinions.

    I think I was a little emotional that day. Much is left to be learned about the FR situation.

  225. theplanisworking says:

    Thanks to the 2 of you for our Monday Snark.
    Personally, I hope the Pirates DO win the WS this year.

    But just by pointing out the fact that 2 positions are barren in the “best minor league system in baseball”, of course you 2 can’t address that, its snarkiness.

    What is your take on the C and 1B positions in the minors?
    Oh that’s right, “we’ll wait. Plenty of time”.

    Keep kicking that can down the road guys.

  226. Wild Bill says:

    There is?? I’m shocked – shocked I tell you!

  227. theplanisworking says:

    Not reaching at all.
    But carry on.

  228. Arriba Wilver says:

    I know, at Augusta what looks like a good shot to the green can turn out bad, and vice versa. As to your question, TJA, at least for this year I thought the way the Masters played out was great. Nobody ran away with it, lots of good golfers in it on the last day, but it wasn’t like it was easy.

    It’s still amazing, though, what Tiger did early in his career there the year he won it something like 12 ahead of the closest golfer while breaking a Masters 4 day record that had stood for 32 years.

    The majors all have their own charms.

  229. theplanisworking says:

    Bill, I WOULD be the crease !!!

  230. cmat0829 says:

    EXACTLY…let’s not lose sight of what this current ‘argument’ is about…. Boras and Tony Clark are claiming that executives, in anonymously giving their opinion as to what teams would be willing to pay, have lowered the value of the players. That’s a st-rrrrrr-eee-tccch at best. Today, Rosenthal quotes an anonymous American League executive that teams better sign Drew in a hurry else the juggernaut Tigers sign him to replace Alex Gonzalez at SS. So are Tony and ScottyB going to take action against that anonymous exec for potentially creating a bidding war for this decent, but nothing special, SS?

    I have no idea what the CBA says, and also if Rosenthal has to name his sources… so I can’t see a legal basis for any type of lawsuit or action on this….

    Just a thought… I’ve seen Boras quoted publicly a few times specifically articulating why teams like the Pirates or Mets should sign his client. What do statements like that qualify for? So agents can specifically call out team front offices for not making strategic moves that include signing his clients but execs can’t opine what a player is worth?

  231. Monster Mash,

    Rumor on the street is that you injured the pizza boy bringing the free pies to the Student Rush.

    You are most assuredly responsible for slow ticket sales if that is true.

    Come on, Goc!!!

  232. Jandy says:

    LOL!

  233. 21sthebest says:

    Thanks Bill. I really appreciate that!

  234. cmat0829 says:

    I have never seen any evidence of NH making anything up about a player… have you evidence of any? I know it is blog fodder (and low-hanging fruit) to criticize him for saying our favorite prospects “aren’t ready” and chalk them up to covering for cheap Nutting and his antics, but I think NH has pretty much been right all they way about prospect readiness. See Alvarez, Pedro. Marte, Starling. Cole, Garrett. Not to mention Presley, Alex. Hague, Matt. d’Arnaud, Chase…and many, many more. NH has his faults but he does seem to be level-headed appropriately about prospect readiness and where they project on a good MLB team.

    Tony isn’t ready yet defensively. Not just in throwing but in controlling the game and projecting confidence when he’s behind the plate. He just looks shaky as compared to Martin (though he’s not as bad as Fort and the other keystone cops the Bucs have employed behind the dish).

  235. Sarah says:

    We need a stats Geek on this one! when was the last time a playoff game did not sell out in say under an hour?….

  236. cmat0829 says:

    Not to be Debby Downer, but it was not a great Masters. The script the organizers want is lots of birdies and eagles on the back 9, someone charging from behind with momentum, etc. Bubba pretty much parred out to hold on to win, and Speith, Blixt, Kuchar did not get a single birdie I don’t think on the last 5 or 6 holes. Kudos to Bubba, who is a “Masters-or-bust” majors golfer, but he is great to watch and he can drive it a country mile.

    But it was not a ‘great Masters’ by their standards.

  237. Wild Bill says:

    Better watch out for Barry’s wife, Milo.

  238. NMR says:

    Are you seriously incapable of seeing the gigantic hole in your logic?

  239. cmat0829 says:

    YES, both the NBA and NHL regular seasons are WAY TOO LONG…. playoffs in both sports are way more compelling. I say reduce both regular seasons down to maybe 68 games… I get that owners want revenues, but you can make each regular season game mean something, you can restrict supply to create more demand, etc. 34 home games vs. 40 just means that tickets to each game are that much more valuable and you can increase prices a bit to generate the same revenue. Same concept on advertising rates for media contracts, less supply so raise the prices.

    It’s become beyond embarrassing in the NBA with teams regularly resting their starters during the season, not just at the end but all during the long season.

    And I’d be ok with keeping playoffs as it is.

  240. Thundercrack says:

    My take is that no team is going to a ‘MLB ready’ player at every position waiting in the minors. Many teams would really like to have the Pirates’ prospects at pitcher and outfielder.

    I’m not kicking a can. Just not dwelling on the negative – or perceived negative.

  241. Rohrrsen’s recent rambling, a real disappointment, reminds me that this week’s Sports Illustrated has Duke #1 and Wisconsin #2 for 2014-15 college basketball. Do you think it’s a little early for that?!

    However, it makes 2 of us———and probably only 2 of us———very happy. See ya in the Finals, Oshkosh b’Gosh.

  242. 21sthebest says:

    I agree TC. If we have two barren positions in the minors (which is an opinion and not fact), then we’re in pretty good shape, IMO. Especially if pitching seems to be in good shape and it appears to be.

  243. hockeymonster says:

    Wait a sec…college kids like pizza? Why didnt you tell me that before?

  244. Nastynate82 says:

    As a Rags fan, color me cautiously optimistic. The biggest wild card for them is McDonagh’s health and losing Kreider exposes their lack of forward depth. They look pretty good, but they might get beaten up with that first round matchup

  245. hockeymonster says:

    Oh wow, i really have been out of the loop. Mcdonagh not back yet? Didn’t realize kreider was going to be out for while. He close to coming back?

  246. Jandy says:

    They WILL get beaten up the first round…how badly is the question. lol

  247. Andrew says:

    I thought that the narrative was the Penguins were defensively lapse and gave up high percentage scoring chances hence Fluery’s .891% save percentage.

  248. hockeymonster says:

    Ok so i got Chi/SJ in WCF and so tempted to pick Pit/Det for ECF but it would take a lot for boston to lose.

    I think chicago has an easier time getting thru than SJ but can see SJ scoring more than LA and wearing out ANA who will have their hands full with dallas.

    Pens need full compliment of players to get thru and fleury will need to steal the occasional game. Wouldn’t hurt to have phillthy/rangers and det/bos go 7 games.

  249. hockeymonster says:

    Both can be and were true.

  250. JohninOshkosh says:

    Because executives are specifically prohibited from making public statements that injure a player’s value. There is no prohibition against agents puffery on behalf of their clients.

    The executives are legally prohibited from such behavior under the terms of the CBA. Violations carry sanctions. Of course, Boras accusing them does not mean they did it. But given the track records-where management has past violations that have been upheld by arbitrators, and the fact Boras has never been sanctioned for violating the CBA, all I am saying is that there may be credibility there. MLB agrees with me, by the way, and will pursue an investigation.

  251. stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Good right up about Allie. Could be that pipeline 1B the Pirates are missing.

    September call up? Possible I’d say if he continues to mash.

    Also possible, the starting 1B next season, of course after he clears the Super 2 status.

  252. stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Since everybody is talking hockey, rightfully so with the playoffs right around the corner (I can see it a few blocks away), I was wondering if anybody caught the MLBTradeRumors write up about extending Pedro.

    I’d hate to say it, but I agree with what they have to say about it. Yes, it could be difficult, but not unpusual for a Scott Boras client to be signed, but Pedro will be 30 by the time he becomes a FA and you know they’ll be asking for BIG $$$.

    Would he really be worth it or should the Pirates (and us) just enjoy the next 3 years of Pedro and tell him thanks when he walks?

  253. Sarah says:

    No problem with Chi/SJ…..my ECF pick is Bos/NYR….mostly cos I cannot see the Pens winning 2 rounds.

  254. JohninOshkosh says:

    :)

  255. JohninOshkosh says:

    Winning the Cup is irrelevant in regards to job security. So apparently is winning your division. Or doing both. Doesn’t matter, people will want your head.

    The blog has taught me that.

  256. stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    The only problem is SJ always seems to flop in the playoffs.

    I’m hoping for Pens/Sharks in the finals, just so I can give some old friends some hell.

  257. Jandy says:

    what? You mean SJ and Pens are the same in that regard?

    ;)

  258. Jandy says:

    I’m making sure hubby and I get to some games in Altoona, I want to see llie!!

  259. Jim S. says:

    Pirates record: 6-6

    Pirates runs scored: 44
    Pirates runs allowed: 43

    Sometimes you are what your record says you are. Right now, the Bucs are a .500 team. I think they’ll improve on that. Time will tell.

    Last year at this time, the Pirates were …. 6-6. They had scored 40 runs and allowed 47. FWIW, they were already rebounding from a horrendous 1-5 start.

    Those who said the Brewers look like a good team have been right so far. Osh liked them, and Groat has consistently said they looked like a contender. I said I think they can contend as long as their starting staff stays healthy. We’ll see how that plays out. It’s all very early.

    Was with my son at a turf field tournament in a little town called Jacksonville, IL over the weekend remembering why I love this sport so much. I never heard of this Jacksonville before we scheduled this tournament. I was not expecting 75 and sunny on Friday, then 80 and sunny on Saturday after the winter we’ve had. Now, it is back to the reality of 43 and rainy in Chicagoland today! Had a lot of fun helping coach the kids. We lost in the semi’s yesterday 4-3 in a heartbreaker. I was glad I didn’t have the Bucs to focus on and obsess about all weekend. My son had a nice weekend, with 5 solid singles in the 4 games. He’s a little guy, but he always battles and barrels it up pretty often against some monster-sized 12 year olds with downward planes. Baseball is a great game for building character. You don’t get to hide amongst your teammates like in most sports. Everyone sees your failures on full display, and you have to learn to deal with that. I played a lot of different sports growing up, and was best at basketball. But, for my money, baseball is the best character builder. That lonely walk to the dugout after a strikeout, with friends and family looking on, and the other team riding you, will either stiffen your resolve or force you to quit.

  260. Jim S. says:

    I’d say Allie and Bell both will be looking at taking over in Pgh in the next couple of years, Nor Cal. Hey, am I still allowd to call you Nor Cal? You moved, right?

  261. 21sthebest says:

    The Brewers won 9 in a row last April.

    That’s baseball!

  262. stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    good point……..

  263. stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I would do the same…you know we’ll need scouting reports…..on how he plays.

  264. stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Sure you can and yes I did…….back on east coast time.

  265. Thundercrack says:

    Yes. But what are the chances Braun gets suspended 2 years in a row? We’re doomed

  266. stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Different location, same attitude

  267. stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I was at a tournament in Myrtle Beach. I think I win that battle…

  268. hockeymonster says:

    Ya i know SJ usually burns out in playoffs but i like their team. Kinda counting on them to bust thru this time.

  269. Arriba Wilver says:

    *sniff*

  270. Jim S. says:

    +++. Good to see you posting again!

  271. hockeymonster says:

    If pens have full compliment of players(minus super duper) Im confident against everyone in the east except for boston.

  272. Jim S. says:

    You definitely win that battle. This town was so small that the 1 hotel could not hold everyone. So, we had to stay 30 miles away.

    Great complex, though. 6 turf fields.

  273. Jandy says:

    Here AW, have a tissue :*

  274. NMR says:

    ++

    I started to think he got too god for us!

  275. stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    oh come on now!!

    Different job, not sitting behind a desk anymore…..well, I am right now, but that’s besides the point.

  276. Jandy says:

    Absolutely!!!!

  277. stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Turf fields are nice when it’s cooler weather, but wait until summertime……feet will burn

  278. Jandy says:

    Gotta multi-task, Ryan ;)

  279. Jim S. says:

    We’ll never make up the 4 games. Not with our 1b combo! ;-)

  280. stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    eh, I can do that Jandy, buuuutttt, it’s hard to explain……

    I am on the mobile device during the games.

    You can catch me live at that time!!!

  281. stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I do too, or did…at least while I was able to watch them.

    Young kid on that team, going to be very good…missing the name at this time and don’t feel like googling it.

  282. Bizrow says:

    Anyone know the weather report for Cinci tonight? Some nasty stuff is coming towards the Burgh, they are calling for some snow tomorrow

  283. Jim S. says:

    Agreed. Glad we played there in April. They have tournaments there every weekend through July. It gets really hot and humid in central IL in the summer.

  284. hockeymonster says:

    Tomas Hertl? He and Couture are excellent young forwards.

  285. Jim S. says:

    Looks like 50-60% rain all night and dropping temps on my phone, Biz.

  286. Jim S. says:

    Saw a tweet that Sid is going to be a guest on the NHL Network tonight. I’m guessing they won’t rip him to his face.

  287. stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I’ll see your hot and humid and trump it by SC hot and humid…….

  288. Jim S. says:

    How did you make out at Myrtle Beach, Nor Cal?

  289. NMR says:

    I know this is always the unsexy answer, but it all comes down to the money…

    I thought Charlie made reasonable points until making the gigantic jump in logic that it is LIKELY Pedro won’t age well. That simply cannot be supported with fact. Using Mark Reynolds as a comp is nothing but selection bias as one could just as easily point to Adam Dunn.

    I also question just how many years Pedro would get as a free agent and how that impacts the aging curve. At this point, only superstars are really getting more than five year contracts. I won’t lose any sleeping projecting Pedro to be a 30 HR guy at age 34.

    Ultimately, I feel like the team could probably spend their money better ways, but a 7 yr / $105m deal doesn’t seem unreasonable and is something the team could absolutely afford.

  290. stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Yes Hertl.

    did you see the video of his first career goal?

    You can’t have a career shot on your first goal of the career can you?

  291. Andrew says:

    Hockey, I accept that the Penguins defense was middling in 2009-10, and I accept that Canadians trapped in the neutral zone and then collapse into a shell in the defensive zone in an attempt to restrict scoring chances. What I wholly reject is that there is some definitive causal factor for Penguins inability to score. The Penguins 5v5 shooting% was 4.4%, the average is usually around 8% with the standard deviation of .6%-.8%, there is no defensive system that can sustainably reduce shooting percentage by 4 to 6 standard deviations.

    Playoffs are random and in a 7 game series luck and chance play a huge role, and I dislike after the fact rationalizations. And if there is some “blueprint,” the Penguins have the architect on the bench.

  292. Andrew says:

    And your best coach was your last coach.

  293. Jim S. says:

    I don’t doubt that, but have you ever been to St. Louis in the summer? This town was not that far from there. It gets plenty toasty.

  294. stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    It’s not the sexy answer, but it’s the right one.

    Totally agree that the dude jumped to conclusions about the age progression.

    I’d take a Adam Dunn type of player, but hopefully a few points higher on the average.

    Pedro doesn’t get paid to hit for average, he gets paid for the bombs he hits…..

  295. theplanisworking says:

    But if King Henrik gets hot, Imma tellin ya ………

    But the Pens need to focus on CBJ, and ONLY the CBJ.
    Let the other teams bury each other.
    Fleury needs to get his head screwed on straight, also.
    Now we will see how much all the offseason stuff helped him.

  296. stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    ah yes, I’ve been through there. It might be hell of earth.

  297. Nate83 says:

    What!!!!! We are 4 games down. I didn’t realize it was that bad. It’s over because they waited way to long to call Polanco up :)

  298. hockeymonster says:

    Yup. I think he’s coming back from injury so he could be a boost for them.

  299. theplanisworking says:

    Ladies, DK had a column last month about Shero/Bylsma.
    Even if the Pens get swept and shutout 1st round, I see no changes coming, in my opinion.

    Sad, but true.

  300. hockeymonster says:

    BTW, i’m a big kenny powers fan :)

  301. Baywatch says:

    Hope we don’t have a rainout tonight. And after three days in the House of Horrors, I’d love to exhale with a laugher.

  302. Bizrow says:

    Thanks, Jim, thats what I was worried about.

  303. Nate83 says:

    Mike Milbury is quickly catching up to Ryan Braun as the person in sports I dislike the most. Skip Bayless has a permanent spot in my top 5 but the rest are interchangeable.

  304. Baywatch says:

    Yay! I’m Baywatch again! I think it was a simple/Duh fix!

  305. Jim S. says:

    That’s an interesting thought, NMR.

    $15 million per season doesn’t seem unreasonable to me. I would personally not want to give him 7 years, but I don’t doubt you are right that he can get 7.

    I was thinking if he continues to improve, he might be looking at more like a $20 million per season deal. I was thinking something like 6/$120 million or 7/$140 million. But, I have really looked closely at the comps. 3b are difficult to find was my thinking.

    I’m not sure it matters, though. I don’t see the Bucs ponying up that kind of scratch for anything but a sure superstar. And, I’m not even sure they get to 9 digits for a sure thing.

  306. NMR says:

    I’d love to run into you out at Blair County Ballpark, Jandy! Always try to make at least one trip per year, and I’m unreasonably excited about Stetson Allie. Strong like bull!

  307. theplanisworking says:

    With regards to “Slice” Rohrssen possibly going to Kentucky, that would be a huge loss for Pitt. I mean really, really huge loss.
    But Mr. Rohrssen should be careful. Calipari seems to be always one step away from probation and recruiting violations, which he has had in his other college coaching stops. Just my opinion of course.

    Of course, some posters on this blog were reporting a few weeks ago that Calipari was “guaranteed” to go coach the Lakers, citing Rex Chapman !!!! as the source. I will believe Slice is at Kentucky when he actually signs a contract.

    ( I am hoping he does NOT go to Kentucky, except to visit).

  308. Jim S. says:

    Agree completely, Nate.

  309. stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Not good……new team, it’s for my 11 year old and it was only his 2nd overall tournament.

    The team needs to work on the little things…..kinda cool to just kick back and watch, first time ever for me to do that.

  310. NMR says:

    Sorry Jim, should’ve explained better…7 years, starting next year. 2 arb, 5 FA.

    I’m guessing he’d end up somewhere around $7m and $10m in arb over the next two seasons, assuming no Chris Davisness happening. That would put his AAV as a free agent around $17.5m. Salaries starting out around $13m and escalating to $20m.

  311. Jim S. says:

    Is that Coach Ray with you in that picture, Bay? Sweet!

  312. Jim S. says:

    I would like to see them hang on to Rohrssen a bit longer as well.

    If Cal can help himself and maybe stick it to Pitt a bit, I think he will.

  313. NMR says:

    VANCE WORLEY JOKE.

  314. Jim S. says:

    +++.

  315. Jim S. says:

    Got it. Totally agree.

  316. 21sthebest says:

    I’m not throwing in the towel yet!

  317. NMR says:

    I’m also an unashamed Pedro fan, fwiw. Definitely skews my view of whether or not the PIRATES should go for a deal like that.

    But I think there are many teams that would.

  318. Andrew says:

    This is tricky, I agree with it comes down to money. Alvarez, due to homeruns and RBIs will make a lot in arbitration, and he has the skill then tends to be overvalued on the free agent market. If Pirates want to keep Alvarez they will need something like $13-15 million/year. However I am not sure about years, I think there is evidence to suggest that power peaks early and declines quickly in the 30s, the better hitters make up for the decline in power by improving plate discipline.

    The caveat being that Alvarez has a very high point to decline from, but Alvarez is past the period when the typical improvements are seen in plate discipline. And Alvarez is not Adam Dunn, Dunn walks almost twice as much as Alvarez and it a flyball hitter, Alvarez is not.

    Team usually make good decisions on which players to extend, I hope the Pirates will, I have a hard time reaching a conclusion, I’m torn between the player Alvarez is and the player he might be.

  319. cmat0829 says:

    To get a Boras extension, you have to get his attention and give him something he feels is ‘in his interest’… that means agreeing now to pay Pedro for a FA year or 2 at full projection (biased to the optimistic (player) side)… key question is what is that worth 4 and 5 years from now?

    I think the projection of say $11M then $14M for 2015 and 2016 through arbitration is realistic…so right now, with nothing happening, we are looking at a 2 year , $25M commit to Pedro just through arbitration. The key equation now is what is in the best interest of a 30-year old Pedro (following 2016 season)…. no doubt he and Boras are going to be seeking at least a 5-year deal at that point….

    Scenarios:

    1) He becomes Chris Davis. If that happens, Pedro and Boras will be looking for 6 or 7 years…..
    2) He becomes slightly better than he is now. 5 years, minimum $25M-$28M per.
    3) He has power but still Ks a lot and low average. He can still get 3-4 years I’d think especially in AL.
    4) He regresses or gets injured.

    I don’t think I’d put big odds on #4… he already hits for low average and Ks a lot, so regression would really mean he loses the power stroke and that seems very,very, very unlikely.

    So if the low bar is option 3, and you are Boras why would you take an extension from the Pirates, if it is for essentially the 3 years of Free Agency, when you can offer those terms to every team at FA time…with the upside of options 1 and 2 being in play…..

    If you are the Pirates, I’d absolutely offer it up.. and try to leverage the overpay for the arbitration years to enhance the value of the offer…. say 5 years $140M, 25-25-30-30-30. Pedro pulls $ into 2015 and 2016 but Bucs limit the escalators that would restrict payroll flexibility in years 3-4-5.

    I don’t think Boras signs this but I’d definitely offer it. Key factor? 30 today isn’t the same as in 2017 with all this inflation…and also the media contract will be renegotiated when it comes up in 2018.

  320. cmat0829 says:

    My Boras-attention-getting 5-years $140M might be ridiculous but I don’t see Boras agreeing to value Pedro at $15M per year. No way, not with the inflation in the game. Pirates will have to do a reverse-hometown discount, I will call that a “hometown overpay” to ink Pedro before FA.

  321. theplanisworking says:

    Like I said, he is one misstep away from a recruiting violation any day.
    Maybe we will find out later this year he will have to forfeit yet another Final Four appearance.

    BTW Jim, I was looking at Subarus today as a potential next car.
    Only problem is, they are a tough fit for someone 6′ 4″.
    But, they have piqued my curiosity.

  322. hockeymonster says:

    Van Slyke, nothing after the fact about any of this. Just repeating what i saw and said back then. And like i said, wasn’t just system, halak was the magic slovak, the habs NZ discipline was evident, but also the dzone coverage was stellar and consisted of a willingness to block shots from any and all angles. Result was us shooting wide cuz halak was in our heads and threat of shot being blocked started to alter mindset too. This is what causes metrics to deviate.

    Recent STL game we lost 1-0 is a perfect example of what defensive game planning plus opportunistic offense can do. We couldn’t score on 5 on 3 PP and stl was blocking shots from everywhere 5 on 5. Good news is that last few games i’m seeing us use the high slot and center point much more often.

  323. Jim S. says:

    My brother-in-law is 6’4″. He fits in an Outback. But, there are definitely other brands of cars that are more suited for bigger guys, plan.

  324. Jim S. says:

    I was sort of leaning in that direction as well, cmat. It only takes one team to make a crazy offer. If the Yankees think another big market team is interested, they’ll offer stupid money in a heartbeat, I think.

    I like Pedro, too. We know he’s flawed. But, when he squares it up a few games in a row it always makes me think he will keep improving. That may not be realistic, but I always go there with him.

  325. theplanisworking says:

    Yeah, the only ones I could fit into are Outbacks, and Tribecas.
    Really am impressed with Foresters, but I cant fold myself in there. :(

    But, Imma keep looking.
    Besides, with me dropping 40 pounds recently, maybe I could accordion myself into one ……… ;)

  326. Jim S. says:

    Nice on the -40 lbs!!

    I was going to say sales are through the roof. And, if you buy the wrong model, your head could be through the roof as well.

  327. Andrew says:

    Hockey, I agree and sometimes you just have to tip your hat and concede you got beat. My point was I just do not like the idea that the this series served as some blueprint to beat the Penguins, because Bylsma is an idiot who has no clue what he is doing. I do not really see some definitive connection between the past playoff losses that some fans are quick to make. No team, no matter how well or poorly coached is going to win with a goaltender with a .880% save percentage.

  328. NMR says:

    I think you have to separate arb from FA first, cmat.

    I don’t know, I’m obviously a fan of his, but no players in baseball are getting $20m per year in free agency while striking out 30% of the time and failing to put up a .250 batting average.

    We’d be talking about way, wayyy more inflation than we’ve ever seen before for that to happen with Pedro. I mean, is anyone really projecting Mark Trumbo to get $20m+ per year?

  329. theplanisworking says:

    Thanks for the congrats, Jim. I got 40 more to go. :)
    Funny you should mention that Jim.

    Back in the late 80′s, at the Pittsburgh Auto Show, I got in a BMW 3-Series with a sunroof. My entire head was above the sunroof !!!
    It was quite the sight. And, as an added bonus, I got into a Vette Convertible. Entire head above the windshield.

    Yeah, I know, first-world problems, huh? ;)

  330. hockeymonster says:

    Hmmm…never ever used the word idiot BUT the narrative that disco was stubborn and unwilling to change came from thin air?

    I think even disco would concede and actually has conceded the point that he’s made changes since. Willingness to mind the NZ instead of committing multiple forecheckers no matter what was change number 1. Then willingness to abandon disco stretch as primary method of offense was change numero duex.

    These 2 changes alone have made us much less predictable when you factor in how effective this particular roster can be when playing a close puck support system. Now here’s hoping we add the wrinkles outlined above when facing teams that are willing to sacrifice life and limb.

  331. Jim S. says:

    I’m 5’11″. Those problems are foreign to me.

  332. NMR says:

    Joey Votto is a far superior player and people are already saying he’ll be overpaid at $25m. Prince Fielder is a better hitter and the team that signed him to his deal had to pay someone else a portion of his $24m salary. Adrian Beltre, as FAR superior 3B AND a Boras client will only top out at $18m.

    I just can’t see who’s comp you’d start with to value Pedro at $25m-$28m given realistic inflation expectations and “slight” improvement.

  333. 21sthebest says:

    If you’re referring to my post one week ago today, here it is:

    “Calipari to the Lakers a done deal according to Rex Chapman.”

  334. Arriba Wilver says:

    Like he said, 21, you “guaranteed” it. :-D

  335. theplanisworking says:

    Again, I had no idea who reported it originally, but I do remember seeing it on the blog. Let us not count Rohrssen’s chicken before it hatches.

  336. theplanisworking says:

    Jim, the only good thing about being tall is it hides my weight.
    If I was 5′ 11″, and weighed as much as I did, I would look like an oompa-loompa.

  337. Arriba Wilver says:

    I thought Rohrssen was reported to be going as an assistant?

  338. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t know what your last sentence means.

  339. theplanisworking says:

    I know Rohrssen is going as an assistant. I mean, I put no stock in this ‘rumor’. I will wait until pen is to paper before I believe it.

  340. 21sthebest says:

    Just relaying something I heard on The Fan.

 
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