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Morning Java: Pittsburgh 2, Ohio 0

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Tuesday column recognizes the Penguins’ third-period push but doesn’t exactly go ga-ga over the Game 3 victory.

Here’s a question I had for goal-scorer Lee Stempniak on that count:

And here’s some stuff Brandon Sutter had to say:

Marc-Andre Fleury stood tallest again, by beat man Rob Rossi.

Brooks Orpik didn’t just score … he did it with style, by Josh Yohe.

Sergei Bobrovsky faded late in the Columbus net, by Justin Boggs.

Jayson Megna makes his playoff debut and other notes, by Rossi and Yohe.

Blogginess from the scene: Coincidence or not, Evgeni Malkin and James Neal got going after a shift in which Joe Vitale gave them a hard forecheck. Not to take away from Jussi Jokinen after the guy got the winning goal with those two. Just saying. … Chris Kunitz had been almost invisible through two games, but he not only set up Stempniak’s goal but also quietly led the Penguins with six hits. … Easy to get the sense the Penguins are tired of answering questions about being outhit by the Blue Jackets. The most common counter is one akin to Sidney Crosby’s postgame line about ‘having the puck a lot.’ That’s a fair counter, but it’s got to be a whole lot more obvious than last night to negate the hit advantage. … A steady sight for road playoff games: Mario Lemieux waiting for the team as they enter the locker room. … Please tell me the Root Sports broadcast didn’t try to justify Crosby and Malkin not scoring in six games (now seven) by pointing out that it once happened to Lemieux. Please tell me that didn’t happen, because that would mean someone would have left out that Lemieux was a decade older at the time. Besides, if that happened, it would have been pretty petty. … Forget Brooks Orpik’s goal and appreciate instead how solid he’s been defensively. His critics have fallen silent. … The Blue Jackets mostly bemoaned their bad luck and bad bounces for the loss. Uh-uh. Look in the mirror, fellas. Three goals in less than three minutes is a gag and a half. And everyone in that building, I’m telling you, could feel it. … Still wonderful to see the city come alive for hockey. Great scene outside, even better inside. Imagine what a healthy Ohio franchise could mean for the NHL over the long term.

A full video recap from the NHL’s YouTube channel:

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

Here’s Blue Jackets news from the team’s official site.

Here are official game highlights on, including footage of Matt Cooke’s ugly kneeing incident in St. Paul. Hate to see that on a whole lot of levels.

>> Neil Walker is the walkoff king, by Rob Biertempfel. And don’t forget about Ike Davis’ grand contribution in there, as well, in beating the Reds.

If you’re scoring at home, that’s Pittsburgh 2, Ohio 0.

Wandy Rodriguez to the DL with knee trouble, by Travis Sawchik.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page, our Bucco Blog and our photo gallery.

Here’s Reds news from the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Here are official game highlights on

>> Comings and goings with Pitt hoops, by Kevin Gorman.

>> Reminder: Our weekly chat will be today at 1 p.m., live from Nationwide Arena.

>> I’ll also 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.


  1. Mike says:

    Jokinen-Malkin-Neal is the second coming of Fedotenko-Malkin-Sykora, a line built for regular season success that lacks playoff sandpaper.

    Joe Vitale could be the second coming of Max Talbot, the guy who sparked Geno’a Conn Smythe run in 2009.

    Geno is primed to bust out. Anyone can see it. Something just is missing right now. His line needs an energy guy. Vitale is available.

    Kunitz-Crosby-Stemps, Vitale-Geno-Neal = #bestforbusiness.

    History waiting to repeat itself, waiting on Dan Bylsma to remember the move that won him his first and ONLY cup.

  2. Mike says:

    Question: Why Jokinen on ice last minute of the game?

    Waved at Johansen while standing still to give a free zone entry. Comical board work with like 30 seconds left. Then, didn’t pick up his guy going to the net with seconds left.

    Dejan, I’d ask you if you’d ask the coach WHY, but that might crack the thin ice you’re already on, lol.

  3. I’d have to review the sequence on video, Mike, and I’m kind of beat now. The easiest answer would be that Jokinen is a left-handed alternate on draws, but again, I’d need to see who all was out there for Pittsburgh and what circle had that draw.

  4. Aaron says:

    Hey Dejan,

    I am so glad you pointed out the absurd PR spin Root sports tried to pull with that Lemieux nonsense. Let’s see, in 2001Mario had been in the league 17 years, won two cups, beaten cancer, and was dealing with an extremely bad back, and was pushing 40 years old.

    Really ROOT? Really?!?

    Why is legitimate criticism of superstars failing to live up to their expectations and hype so offensive to the Penguins organization?


  5. Mike says:

    Sutter at center. Adams right wing. I think neutral zone draw. He actually had a chance to leave the ice after Adams cleared. Definitely suggest you watch. It was pretty bad, as in game two OT goal against bad.

  6. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Because it wasn’t their idea, Aaron. It wasn’t their message. You’re only scratching the surface of how far they’ll go, too.

  7. Brandie says:

    My high school teacher had his own thoughts about effort: “Garbage in, garbage out.” Time for the men to sustain the passion and fire.

    Pittsburgh 2, Ohio 0. Say it with me Jandy…
    “And there’s your silver lining.”


  8. JoeyBats says:

    VERY sorry to see Wandy go on the DL. Yesterday on 93.7FM they were joking …”due to an extremely inflated ERA.”
    Back in FEB…..I had thought the OVER/UNDER on the # of starts he would pitch for Los Buccos this year would be set @ 15 …and I was taking the “UNDER.” I hope that he can make a strong come back ……but, it looks like parts of the body are continuing to fail him…. :-(
    Now with JAMO Taillon and Wandy on the shelf…..Locke in Triple AAA, no AJ …..I am hoping some of the other dudes can step up their games. Maybe Stolmy, this time ???? …or Cumpton, again …..???
    BEAT ‘EM BUCS !!

  9. JAL says:

    JAL’s Travelin Man 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: Who Should Replace Wandy Rodriguez in the Rotation?

    Prospect Watch: The Unreal Numbers From the Bradenton Marauders Rotation

    Top Performers: Brandon Cumpton Heating Up as Wandy Rodriguez Shuts Down

    Top Performers: Elias Diaz Showing Off a Bat to Pair With His Strong Defense

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Ike Davis, Neil Walker key 6-5 walk-off win against Reds

    7 Rumbunter

    Pittsburgh Pirates Stolmy Pimental Could Get the Chance to Start

    8 Green Weenie

    Bucs Rally Past Reds 6-5

    4/22: Exposition Park, Terrible Ted, Ralph Kiner, Gus Bell, Stomped At Home and More…


    Game 20: Pirates 6 Reds 5

    10 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates: Should Bucs be worried about Jason Grilli

  10. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 CBS Sports

    Pirates vs Reds Game Preview

    12 Chicago Sun Times

    Travis Wood — 9 Ks, 4 RBIs — carries Cubs to 5-1 win

    13 Beaver County Times

    Snider defends his actions during Brewers brawl

    14 Pirates Site

    Walker’s heroics, Davis’ slam key Bucs’ walk-off win

    McCutchen embodies Pirates’ fighting spirit

    15 SB Nation

    Grading the unwritten rules: Carlos Gomez flips his bat on a triple

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    After trading leads with Pirates, Reds lose final hand

    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Carlos Gomez denies bad intentions

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Bird Bytes: Where’s the Cardinals’ offense?

    19 Fangraphs

    The Most or Least Important Pitch-Framing Question

    20 Baseball Prospectus

    The Week In Quotes

  11. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers a proponent of using discounted contracts

    The NFL Draft isn’t about creating instant gratification, it’s about the future


    22 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    Football Dynamics – Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich in the Champions League

    23 BBC Football

    David Moyes: Manchester United ‘no comment’ on boss reports

    24 World Soccer

    Ukraine Premier League’s Crimea crisis


    25 Pensburgh

    Game 3 Recap: Third period rally pushes Pens past Jackets

  12. Glen says:

    So…. I need to point out that this is really, really, really spot on.

    Don’t tell me, you were one of those people absolutely lost your mind seeing Iginla Malkin Neal last season also, yes? Maybe you would even swear that Shero MUST try to get Kulemin for the LW for next season, yes?

    In any case I sense in you a kindred spirit.

  13. NMR says:

    Always enjoy you linking Miklasz from St Louis, JAL.

  14. After a bummer of an Easter weekend vs. the Brewers, the Pirates rallied to beat the Reds and the Pens rallied to beat Columbus and so, Easter Monday couldn’t have been better, although it didn’t start out that way for either team last night. Hopefully, Wandy will recover soon from his knee injury.

  15. Arriba Wilver says:


  16. Pucknutz says:

    Aaron, DK, What is the big deal here ?
    Of course its PR spin. Maybe I am missing something here – they tweet something, so what.
    You want they should send out a PR release saying ” Hey, our two best players really, really suck right now” ?
    ROOT spinning along w/them….duh…like that’s a surprise? I can ignore the ROOT BS a lot easier than the crap Milbury and Co spew.
    DK, your column was right on the mark. They can tweet till their little heads fall off, does not change a thing …. the Pens 2 best players ( whole team really) have been under-preforming lately.
    They pay people to say nice things about the team….thats new and exciting breaking news ??

    Lets just hope the team puts as much “effort” into their game here on out as the PR dept is trying . :)

  17. AL says:

    Maybe the “hate factor” just isn’t there yet for the Blue Jackets. Maybe the Pens were just bored playing them during the regular season beating them in every game and it’s carried over into the post season.
    Not making excuses here, but I really think playing established rivalries like the Flyers and/or Bruins would probably motivate them more.

  18. Dom says:

    I vote for Stolmy to get the open rotation spot!

  19. NMR says:

    Did it strike anyone else as odd last night hearing inning after inning how Billy Hamilton “created” a run without the ball leaving the infield in the first inning when he actually made a mistake?

    All Pedro has to do is play catch with Martin and Hamilton is out by two steps.

  20. Jandy says:

    Indeed, Sistah!

    “There’s your silver lining”


  21. Thundercrack says:

    I thought Hughes pitched pretty good last night. ( Mercer’s injury obviously is affecting his range/fielding)

    I was a little surprised that Clint didn’t have JHay pinch run for Martin last night.
    But hey, it worked.

  22. Thundercrack says:


  23. Jandy says:

    The sad thing is, this PR stunt is fooling nobody, and is only p*ssing people off. best thing to do is ignore it…don’t even give it the benefit of a reply on TwitUniverse :)

  24. Jandy says:

    I have to admit, it’s intriguing. Vitale can do most of what Jussi can do, including draws. Why not try it?

  25. Jandy says:

    The look on Martin’s face as he was coming in to score to win the game was so comical I burst out laughing. Poor guy was going as fast as his short, stocky legs could take him. Bless his heart!

  26. Jandy says:

    This was on ESPN, right?

    There’s your answer :)

  27. Patrick(ri) says:

    Most of his “creation” was made from his dash to third, and his speed no doubt affected Pedro’s toss home. Of course our pitcher had a hand in setting him up. The guy is drama, and announcers cannot resist drama.

  28. DJ says:

    Jussi has scored two goals this series but watching the game last night I could not get the image of Petr Sykora out of my mind. Vitale brings speed, digging, grit and they don’t need him to finish with Malkin/Neal. A good move.

    Could not believe Jussi was on the ice for that last sequence.

  29. cherokee23 says:

    I’ve been mulling a theory with regard to the Pens and their seemingly disinterested & unfocused play at times. We see what they can do at times like first period game 2 & second half game 3, and it’s great. It’s what we all know they can do. But something keeps nagging at me……it just seems that they have very little joy or fun playing the game lately. Maybe it’s the pressure/expectations, but I think they would benefit from finding a way to have fun playing game they love.

  30. GAWTS2009 says:

    Pens got lucky **refraining from the negativity** Got to be more mentally sharp early. I leave it at that.

    2-1 Here we go!

  31. Baywatch says:

    I’ve always liked the Reds announcers, but had to turn it down last night and go with Brownie on radio as the Reds have added Sean Casey in. He is one annoying HACK! We don’t have cable or satellite, so no ESPN. Just the MLB.TV package with a TV app.

  32. Glen says:

    Vitale absolutely cannot do the things Jokinen can, other than being even better at faceoffs. They could hardly be more different. But he CAN do most the things Talbot did in 2009, and the very point is that the qualities Jokinen brings are mostly redundant on a line with Malkin and Neal. On the other hand, someone hustling for lose pucks, forechecking, hitting…. all the things Jokinen can’t/doesn’t… those things are sorely missed, because Geno hardly ever gets possession in the offensive zone unless he skates it in or wins it there by himself.

    Megna and Vitale – on those two half-shifts they had, prolonged offensive zone time for Malkin/Neal more than Jokinen has done in three games on the trot now, and I am not exaggerating by much.

    Either way, your point remains… why not try it? Why not indeed – why not try something, anything, to see if you can get Malkin and Neal going more ES? It is not as if Jokinen has not showed that he can be an X-factor for a third line for us.

    Of course, having said this since August…. I am also per-disposed to consider it self evident.

  33. Tom P. says:

    Last year’s formula of pitching and defense isn’t working so well for the Pirates right now. For those of us old enough to remember the Lumber Company slogan of the ’70’s, we may have to rely on offense for awhile.

  34. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    I’m saying it’s definately going to be Pimentel….Huntington has been absolutely dying to get this guy in the rotation to see what he can do if you’ve been reading between the lines in recent years when he comes up….it’s too bad it take Wandy hitting the DL to find out, but this is how breaks are made for guys.

  35. Baywatch says:

    Tom, given our stickly heritage, but SICKLY offense in recent years, I would welcome that change! Walker is showing signs of production if he can stay healthy, Cutch heating up last night, Davis getting comfy, who knows.

  36. Jandy says:

    I’ve also liked what Megna brings. If he had more experience/time playing on this level…

  37. Jandy says:

    Glen said the same thing ^^ there….are yinz related? ;)

  38. JohnS says:

    The pitching and defense formula definitely doesn’t work when you aren’t playing good defense.

  39. NMR says:

    “…and his speed no doubt affected Pedro’s toss home.”

    No offense, but this is the stuff that I find completely BS.

    Pedro Alvarez had the second most throwing errors of any infielder in baseball last year. But Billy Hamilton caused him to one-hop that throw?

    Come on.

  40. Thundercrack says:

    I don’t think it is BS for a fielder to realize that the fastest guy in the league is on base and he may have to hurry his throw. Hurrying a throw may cause the throw to be bad.

  41. NMR says:

    Amen, John. Biggest issue getting the least attention is defense.

  42. Tom P. says:

    Bay, I think the Pirates are going to need a revived offense to keep up with the Cardinals and (likely) the Brewers this year. As an aside, if the Pirates think they have pitching issues, the Reds were using J. J. Hoover with an ERA over 12 in the ninth inning of a tied game last night.

  43. 21sthebest says:

    I thought Hughes has some serious movement on his fastball.

  44. NMR says:

    Sure. It’s easy to make up hypotheticals. But good luck proving it.

    Billy Hamilton will be in the league far longer than he should be because Managers will convince himself of crap like that.

  45. NMR says:

    Like the whole narrative of Francisco Liriano grooving a fastball to Joey Votto.

    Liriano has noteably poor fastball command and was struggling even more than normal that day. Yet BILLY HAMILTON physically forced him to groove one to Votto.

    Sure. Makes perfect sense.

  46. Jandy says:

    I was watching the Pens, and didn’t get to see Lurch pitch. You’re saying he’s rather improved, then?

  47. Sarah says:

    Well we’ve been saying for some time that Malkin needs someone to grind and puck retrieve for him a la Talbot…I was personally hoping for Kulemin and still am.
    It gives Geno space to move around and find soft spots.
    Jussi just doesn’t bring that.

    Maybe TomFitzgerald paged
    Bylsma last night after the second period…..

  48. Thundercrack says:

    Ha! Yes it’s a hypothetical. When stuff that happens during a baseball game that can’t be measured by a SABR stat or can’t be listed in a stat book can be considered a hypothetical.
    That doesn’t mean they don’t happen.

  49. Sarah says:

    I dunno….last two playoff series vs PHL and BOS did not go well.

  50. scapper says:

    Like my dad used to say about Spanky Lavalliere: “Doin’ 60, makin’ 30.” All that effort and the poor dude just wasn’t getting anywhere. So funny.

  51. Jandy says:

    LOL scapper, then he covered his head with his hands like the ball might hit him. I’m tellin ya, I was dying…I’m so mean :)

  52. Mike says:

    Sounds like we’re kindred spirits. Perhaps we’re not even alone.

  53. Thundercrack says:

    Last night we sat in section 318. Very good view of the field and home plate from up there. You get a good view of the pitch crossing the plate. It takes some getting used to that all hard hit fly balls are not a home run.
    ( I recall Pirate announcers saying that all the visiting announcers comment on that too…and they’re a little higher up)

  54. Milo Hamilton says:

    Interesting note from the hockey playoffs. The home team has won every game in the Western Conference.

  55. Mike says:

    No, he didn’t, because Jussi was back for the third doing his best Petr Sykora impersonation. But, I suppose there’s always hope for Bylsma. I’m told he’s a great young coach who’s learning. Maybe one day he’ll learn- or at least remember- what makes Malkin go in the playoffs.

  56. NMR says:

    And it also doesn’t mean they do happen.

    Except when Billy Hamilton is involved.

  57. NMR says:

    Because Billy Hamilton wills the other team to do bad stuff every time bad stuff happens.

  58. Jandy says:

    He doesn’t watch it, he’ll be learning elsewhere.

  59. Jandy says:

    TC, I was watching the Pens, and didn’t get to see Lurch pitch…sounds like he’s shown some decent improvement…what’s your take on it?

  60. Jandy says:


  61. NMR says:

    And fwiw, I used absolutely zero sabr-type thinking in this entire conversation.

    Just good ole fashioned baseball logic.

  62. Jim S. says:

    I decided to watch the Penguins live last night, then quickly buzz through the Bucs game afterward. Once Columbus got that 3rd goal to start the last period, I was so disgusted I gave up. I switched over to the Bucs, only to find the Pens had scored 3 goals on 3 shots in rapid succession. Obviously (thank you, Coach Tomlin), I was the problem. I thought long and hard about switching back to the Pens game for the end, knowing that might only screw things up for them again. I held off until the last 2 minutes. If the Columbus player had actually completed that long rush to our net with a goal in the last few seconds, it would have been all my fault.

    I will not watch Game 4 live. You all have my promise on that. Go Pens!

  63. Jim S. says:

    Word has it, they are holding leads and everything. :-)

  64. Mike says:

    Amen DJ. But, you’ve got to realize, the Pens won’t succeed in the playoffs putting Malkin with the energy guy who can help and let him play HIS game, not if it means taking his soft as butter skilled European winger away from him. Just like 2009, LOL.

  65. Jim S. says:

    Tim Neverett has never figured out how to read a flyball in that park. But, I have heard Greg Brown state that from their vantage point PNC is the toughest park to read the flight of the ball.

  66. Milo Hamilton says:

    I guess an inflamed knee leads to an inflated ERA.

  67. Jandy says:

    Could be an inflated ego…which is worse? :D

  68. Jim S. says:

    From the Brewers’ standpoint, Tom, it would help us if they stopped winning almost every 1 and 2-run game. Their bullpen, which not many people had projected to be a strong point, has been a shut down unit nearly every night for them – not unlike how the Bucs performed much of last year. We’ll see if they can sustain their excellence out of the pen.

    Brewers are 5-0 vs. the Bucs in 1 and 2-run games so far this season.

  69. Arriba Wilver says:

    I didn’t see the plays, but who said anything about “physically” forcing. It seems to me the argument is the worry about his speed gets in their psyche. So on the pitch to Votto he may very well have been distracted by Hamilton. Doesn’t excuse it, but these guys are human, not just stats.

  70. He didn’t get hurt did he? In the replay it looked like Davis, then Snider were kind of consoling him as if he was injured.

    Hopefully not.

  71. Baywatch says:

    But Chapman’s making rapid progress. Ugh. Interestingly, I thought both late normally-not-that-great pitchers – our Hughes and their Hoover – battled like true warriors. Hughes knuckling down – with some pretty good sink where it counted; and Hoover fighting through his inability to get a curve over.

  72. NMR says:

    But is it actually logical for that to happen EVERY time?

    I mean, come on.

  73. Baywatch says:

    Neverett always appears to be challenged in that area, it seems. Everything hit CLOSE to the warning track seems to be “a drive, way back!” :-(

  74. Arriba Wilver says:


  75. NMR says:

    The guy is lightening quick. He absolutely makes plays on the bases.

    But every time the other team makes a mistake it is not because BILLY HAMILTON.

  76. Arriba Wilver says:

    And Tim does it in every park. ;-)

  77. Baywatch says:

    Hey, Milo! Yeah, I really wish the best for the guy, but figure Juan D is on his last leg … GET IT! AND NO PUN WAS INTENDED. HONEST INJUN!

  78. Thundercrack says:

    In old fashion baseball logic it includes that players press and make mistakes based upon the game situation.

    I don’t know about last night and Liriano. But I think it is logical that Pedro hurried his throw – because of a fast baserunner – which caused his throw to not be a good one.

    And I think after his last start against the Reds, Liriano admitted that he was distracted by Hamilton.

  79. Arriba Wilver says:

    Oh, no, I’m not suggesting every time.

  80. Thundercrack says:

    +1 Jim S

  81. Jim S. says:

    He got away with another potential base running mistake.

    I watched the replay of him going from 1st to 3rd this morning on MLB Network, since I was watching the Pens live last night.

    Liriano was practically staring at him as he had the ball and Hamilton rounded 2nd base. If he hesitates on his throw to 1st for even a half-second, Hamilton is a dead duck between 2nd and 3rd. Liriano should never have thrown to 1st if he had noticed the overly aggressive turn by Hamilton.

  82. Thundercrack says:

    Jandy, it was just one ‘snapshot’ of Hughes but I thought he pitched well. Seemed to attack the strike zone – and not try to nibble.

    A couple of those balls hit to short were hit hard, but I also think Jordy is injured and doesn’t have his full range (not that it was great in the first place). But I did ask “where are the shifts?”

  83. Thundercrack says:

    BTW, my wife calls Hughes “Slingblade”. And she likes him!

  84. Jim S. says:

    I hope so. But, he pitched one inning and gave up 2 hits. No runs, but 2 hits.

  85. Thundercrack says:

    I thought the same thing Lucky. It looked like Martin came up hurt. He may have just been out of breath

  86. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hey Bay (and Ray).

  87. Jim S. says:

    Nice effort, Brandon Phillips. He’s too cool to actually get himself in position to catch a ball properly, thereby being able to react if it slices or takes a bad hop. He has perfected the art of being fashionably late in fielding balls, and I think it cost the Reds the game last night.

  88. Jim S. says:

    Haha! Good one, AW!

  89. JohnS says:

    Yes he does.

    It is really quite asy for announcers. All they really have to do is watch the outfielder track the ball to see how well it is hit.

  90. BillyBaduka says:


    You’re sacrifice and dedication is noted. :)

  91. Jim S. says:

    I hope he’s not hurt. He has that big charity boxing match coming up.

  92. NMR says:

    AW, thats all I’m saying. Every time something happens while this guy is up he gets lavished with praise.

    Last game Liriano started him off with four pitches that you and I could’ve taken for balls even though logic says you’d want to do everything you can to NOT walk this guy.

    Then he proceeds to uncork two wild pitches allowing Hamilton to score and NOW the narrative is created that he CAUSED Liriano to do that by distracting him.

    Pedro makes errors. Liriano is wild. This happens even when Billy Hamilton is not playing baseball.

  93. Jandy says:

    LOL! Slingblade, I like it! I call him Lurch because of the way he walks.
    Glad he seems to be doing well, we sure can use good pitching right now.

    I like Hughes for beaning some Reds last season ;)

  94. Milo Hamilton says:

    They desperately tried to trade his tired act last winter & couldn’t get it done. They had a deal worked out with the Yankees for Brett Gardner but Phillips threw a monkey wrench into the deal by only agreeing to waive his no trade clause if the Yankees renegotiated his contract. The Yankees said no & gave the money to Gardner instead.

  95. NMR says:

    Shhh. Billy Hamilton FORCED Liriano to makes that mistake, Jim.

  96. Jandy says:

    haha, you’re so funny, Jim :)

  97. NMR says:

    I think Barmes booted that ball because he saw Billy Hamilton standing on the top steps of the dugout.

  98. Arriba Wilver says:

    At least one thing I think the ESPN guys did better than our local broadcasters and Root was cut back to the action, even if it was during some long story. Sometimes our guys, and Root, get overly enamored with their stories and you miss the drama of the action. Case in point was opening day when Walker hit his walk off home run, they were busy talking about and showing pictures of the relief pitcher’s mustache.

  99. Sarah says:

    Is that legal??

  100. NMR says:

    I actually noticed that last night as well, AW. None of the marketing fluff, either.

  101. Jim S. says:

    For any Pitts hoops fans out there, I see they inked another local kid – Cam Johnson of OLSH. 6’8″ and a late bloomer. The late bloomer part scares me a bit, because Pitt always seems to have too many of those types of players. 1,900+ SAT and 32 ACT. That’s a very bright kid.

    They also got a 6’9″ JC transfer named Tyrone Haughton, who is supposedly a good shot blocker. Jamie said he expects good defense, but not much scoring from him, though. When Jamie says a guy can’t score, a guy can’t score.

    Ryan Luther and Jeter are also coming next year. There’s also a 6’11” center from the Netherlands named Shaquille Doorson coming. He somehow slipped my notice until now. I don’t know anything about him, but I’m guessing he’s another “project.”

    That is some serious size coming to the program. I think all of those guys are between 6’8″ and 6’11”.

    Any reason for optimism there?

  102. Arriba Wilver says:


  103. Sarah says:

    Yeah once again guys like Vitale and BB get 10 mins or less TOI.
    Can’t take away shifts from Gladams.

  104. Jim S. says:

    True. They really wanted rid of him. Bad contract.

  105. NMR says:

    Pretty sure Billy Hamilton could make Putin retreat from Crimea, according to some.

  106. NMR says:

    BUT TEH RBI’S!!!

  107. Jim S. says:

    That is a sacrifice. I love hockey playoffs game nights. But, I have to accept my fate.

    If they get a 3-goal lead late, I might dip my foot back in the pool and see if I can watch the rest of the game without causing a catastrophe.

  108. Jim S. says:

    Legal, but not an accepted practice in WPA or OH.

  109. hockeymonster says:

    You mean you didn’t even watch da hawks?

  110. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Steelers read the fine print. The new CBA allows teams to pick up a 5th year option on 1st round picks starting with players selected in 2011. The Steelers have done this with Cam Heyward. He must be paid the average of the top 25 players at his position not counting the top three. Right now that would be about $7.5 million. That will probably go up some as they will use this year’s numbers.

  111. kr70 says:

    It’s the CUP! ….and we are talking about effort, sad.

  112. Whose head is that on Ray’s body, Bay?

  113. scapper says:

    You know how people write LOL but they probably aren’t laughing out loud? I was seriously laughing out loud at those two posts. The Barmes one….tears in my eyes.

  114. Milo Hamilton says:

    That $7.5 million salary will be in 2015. Heyward will still make $1.3 million this season. This seems like the first step in negotiating a long term extension.

  115. Baywatch says:

    Luck, that’s me and Jared Hughes the same day of the Ray Searage shoot, Fan Appreciation Day, September 2011.

  116. Jandy says:


  117. mike says:

    The steigy and bob offered no apologies for sid and geno not getting a goal in 7 straight….pointed out it never happened with mario….about the only thing they did was point out (with mario as well) that it was over a 2 playoff period…bob went on to add that you’ll notice mario’s came during years when the pens didn’t win the cup, and it would be awfully hard to win one if the trend continues.

  118. Jandy says:

    baby picture…wow lol

  119. bradthedad says:

    Not meant as a slam of saber guys but we got a picture of the value of D not reflected in stats or box score (hence no mention of it by any of the recappers). A terrific catch and tag by Martin; Mesoralco, not so much.

  120. BillyBaduka says:

    It is a sacrifice Jim, didn’t intend the smiley face to undercut that.

  121. OK. I thought he looked taller and sleaker than President Searage.

  122. Arriba Wilver says:

    Great play, and it was challenged (unsuccessfully), too.

  123. hockeymonster says:

    Anyone else notice how solid tanger was last night? Don’t recall any forced passes, he skated puck out of trouble and joined the rush after forwards pushed back D on stempy’s goal. If he doesn’t use his wheels to join that rush and occupy their dman, stempty never gets a chance to pick that corner. If he and PM maintain this level we’ll be tough to beat.

  124. Milo Hamilton says:

    Let me hit behind a guy that gets on base 60% of the time & I’ll get some RBI’s too.

  125. Baywatch says:

    I noticed that too, Jandy!

  126. Dom says:

    Are you talking about 2015?

    If so, we should still be in good shape cap wise that year. has us at $98 million for 2015. The cap this year is $133 and it could go up.

    If not, that still leaves us with $35 million to work with.

    The $98 million does exclude Gilbert, Pouncey, Heyward, Worilds, and the cost of the two drafts. I’d estimate that if we include all four players that should be $22.5 million. ($2 million for Gilbert, $5 million for Pouncey, $8 million for Worilds, and $7.5 for Heyward) Including the cap hit for the two drafts, we should still be at $32.5 million, with $2.5 million to work with.

    Furthermore, I’m including guys who could be cut, such as Hebron Fangupo and Landry Jones. If someone like Troy Polamalu or Heath Miller is released or retire, then that will save us $3.75 and $2.3 million respectively.

  127. Baywatch says:

    Downright EMBARRASSING how high he towers over me! Looked down on me with some SERIOUS downward plane!

  128. Skip says:

    Just pure speculation on my part, but Martin looks to be battling a hamstring issue.

  129. Baywatch says:


  130. Jim S. says:

    Are you photoshopping this stuff, Bay? I hear Locke may come up from Indy to take Wandy’s start. Are we going to be seeing a picture of you and him next? :-)

  131. Dom says:

    Let’s also hear it for Geno getting that penalty with 4 minutes to go.

    He and Sid still need to score but at least Geno played had a good game otherwise.

  132. Jim S. says:

    It was proper use of the smiley face on your part, BB.

  133. Jim S. says:

    Also, a nice reminder of the strength of Mr. Marte’s arm. That was a dart. Terrible decision by the 3b coach to send a guy home on Marte with no outs and 5 straight guys reaching base.

  134. Dom says:

    I didn’t notice this before but is also including $8.5 on Lamar Woodley. Maybe that’s due to the fact that we haven’t actually released him yet but he should be off the books for 2015 and beyond.

  135. Baywatch says:

    Naw, Naw … :-) I did get pretty much a bevvy of photos that day. But I’m pretty much down now to the one of me and Pedro (not much of a hugger), and a fairly casual one of me and Xavier Paul!

  136. buggee says:

    that’s “Twitterverse” Jandylicious.
    Nice read DK, thanks for that. Have fun in the old cow-town mano.

  137. Naterosboro says:

    Mos Def – Travelin Man (

    Don’t think it’s what JAL had in mind, but I can’t pass up the opportunity to post a Mos Def jam.

  138. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Woodley cap relief doesn’t come until June 1st. That’s when he officially comes off the books. They will be able to sign their draft picks & go about the business of extending guys then.

  139. Jim S. says:

    TC and NMR:

    I actually think you are both right about Hamilton. I do think there are times when guys might make a bad throw because they feel they need to hurry it. I’m talking about infielders on ground balls, for the most part. I probably side more with NMR in that it won’t happen often, but every error will be credited to his speed. That narrative has already been established. But, I wouldn’t discount that his speed is a factor that makes guys adjust somewhat in getting rid of the ball.

    I don’t know that pitchers are going to be bothered with him up at the plate into worse control. If it were me pitching, I’d be happy it isn’t Choo and his .425 OBP up there. Now, on those infrequent (so far) occurrences where he actually gets on base, I think pitchers are rightly concerned.

  140. NMR says:

    Very well said, Jim.

  141. Jim S. says:

    I believe DK assigned partial blame to him for the 3rd COL goal.

  142. Jim S. says:

    What do you think they will do about a BB extension, Dom?

  143. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, he hit behind Votto and Choo. That is 600+ times reaching base safely just from those 2.

  144. Thundercrack says:

    The ESPN guys don’t care about homemade signs in the stands, kids eating cotton candy, or Fake Pedro

  145. Jim S. says:

    You have one of you and Pedro? Now, that’s pretty cool. I anxiously await the unveiling of El Bayo and El Toro!

  146. Thundercrack says:

    I have a feeling that Billy Hamilton will become the new Tigers’ bullpen.


  147. Milo Hamilton says:

    I even forgot about Choo. You know, that’s the biggest problem with our lineup. No good on base guys at the top.

  148. Tom P. says:


    It would be logical to presume that the Brewers will not continue to play .900 baseball on the road. They are currently 9-1. (The word “unsustainable” come to mind.) The Brewers just finished a 13-5 opening stretch to the season. Let’s see what they do in the next one. I still think the Cardinals are the target in the division over the long haul.

  149. Jim S. says:

    Some folks call it a Kaiser Blade. But, I call it a s-l-i-n-n-n-g blade. mhmm.

  150. Jim S. says:

    True. I’m hoping Polanco slides in at #2 and gets on base at a pretty good clip.

    I’m not sure what else they can do right now with the cast of characters they have offensively. Maybe Walker back at #2?

  151. hockeymonster says:

    Really? Didn’t see or hear but if DK can devise a scheme to defend against shots going a mile wide, i’m all ears.

  152. NMR says:

    Absolutely, Milo.

    At no point since Neil Walker has been in the league has Russell Martin posted a higher OBP than him, and yet it is Walker who is currently sandwhiched in between two near-automatic outs against LHP.

    Polanco-Walker will get Cutch many more opportunities than what is currently happening.

  153. NMR says:

    My unpopular opinion is that fake Pedro is kinda racist and yet I still think he’s hilarious.

  154. Dom says:


    Who are you referring to?

  155. hockeymonster says:

    I dunno if counting on twitter is the way to go….

  156. Andrew says:

    I haven’t read through the blog yet but that shot was 15 feet and bounced off a forward who knew nothing about it. I would not say Letang was solid he took a dumb penalty while protecting a one goal lead but he was better.

  157. Dom says:

    Oh, Big Ben right?

    He he. That should have been obvious to me.

    If they do extend him, one would think his cap # will go down around 2-3 million.

    I also read that the cap is projected to be $140 in 2015. If that’s the case and if we do extend Ben, we could have as much as $15 million left over.

    This was the last year the salary cap will be an issue in the foreseeable future.

  158. Arriba Wilver says:

    You were reading JAL’s link 24.

  159. 21sthebest says:

    And Maverick Rowan who is a couple of years away is 6-8 and can shoot the 3.

  160. Arriba Wilver says:

    This stuff gets confusing, but won’t Woodley count some next year, too. I thought by releasing him they could split it up?

  161. Wild Bill says:

    Mornin, all. Thought Orpik played the best game I’ve seen from him in a long time – much more aggressive with the puck and supporting the offense. A nice comeback win, but I’m sure we could do without the stress.

  162. Andrew says:

    Honestly I hate these historic comparison either way, we should just stop using players who played in an era where 70% of the NHL players came from one country and the league wide save percentage was below .900 as a measuring stick for today’s NHL. Expanding the league by almost 40%, having a salary cap and most importantly drawing NHL players form a much larger underlying population significantly alters the competitive balance.

  163. Tom P. says:

    What is the saying, “It is only a superstition if it does not work.”?

  164. Milo Hamilton says:

    That’s right. By choosing to do it after June 1st the hit is split up over 2 years.

  165. Jim S. says:

    On twitter last night. After the 3rd goal.

    “Also on goal, Letang just kept caving and caving, essentially forcing Maata to do likewise. Fairly ugly all around, really.”

  166. Milo Hamilton says:

    And gives them some much needed cap space this year.

  167. Andrew says:

    Milo good stuff on Philips I didn’t know he blocked/hampered the trade to New York. Agree on the lineup issues, not sure why Martin bats second. Hopefully the Reds keep running out speedster Hamilton and that .250 OBP.

  168. Arriba Wilver says:

    Thanks, Milo.

  169. Milo Hamilton says:

    That’s how I’d do it. I’m think you’re going to see Marte and Polanco 1-2 when the jolly roger abacus says it’s safe.

  170. Nate83 says:

    It’s opening day 2015 and for argument sake lets say Stewart is our starting catcher and Mercer our shortstop. Everything else has stayed the same except Polanco starting in right obviously. What is the ideal batting lineup? I would think Polanco has to lead off with 400 at bats under his belt and his better OBP then Marte. Where is Marte batting?

  171. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, I meant Big Ben. I’d like them to get that done sooner rather than later.

  172. Milo Hamilton says:

    If Chris Stewart is your starting catcher I hope you’ve traded Pedro & Cutch.

  173. Jim S. says:

    The Mets are bringing up Bobby Abreu from AAA. Yep. Bobby Abreu, not the guy on the ChiSox.

  174. Andrew says:

    Not a huge fan of ESPN’s baseball broadcast, but less fan shot is always better. I didn’t see much of the game last night but I like how they usually show the infield alignment.

  175. hockeymonster says:

    Oh I think DK would want a mulligan on that. Tanger kept #2 center for opposing team on his backhand on the perimeter. If the standard for a good game is preventing good players from doing anything…i’ll stop there…jandy can fill the _____________________

  176. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, Maverick Rowan. And the guy Rohrssen recruited … Mustapha Heron, from Connecticut. 5-star swingman. I think they are both guys for the year after next, right? And, I also think there is one more guy from that class that is highly regarded.

    The article in the Trib today quoted Heron as saying Rohrssen was the reason he is coming to Pitt, but that he is working on developing a relationship with Jamie. I hope Jamie works on that hard. They don’t want to lose him.

  177. Jim S. says:

    Polanco went 2/5 last night. That’s going to hurt his average.

  178. hockeymonster says:

    Ya it was a bit unnecessary for him to reach in but if they call that every time it happens to sid and geno…..

    I’ve been called for that play a million times and each time i tell the ref’s “i hooked him on the hands but a sniper got him”. That could’ve been embellishment just as easily, even with all those calls we got.

  179. hockeymonster says:

    Sutter should’ve had a penalty shot if that call is any kind of standard.

  180. bpn8pitt says:

    Maybe Jim. Although playing some good non-conference teams in Dec and early Jan would be nice.

    Those guys sound like they can put good numbers up against CCAC State. We’ll see, against Duke and NC.

  181. Dom says:

    Here is my vote for the best pens coverage:

  182. NMR says:

    If Chris Stewart and Jordy Mercer are starting Major Leaguers it better be on whatever team decides to rebuild this winter.

  183. NMR says:

    Would be funny if he didn’t represent an upgrade to Tabata.

  184. hockeymonster says:

    Every era is different. Defense and coaching is on a whole new level last 10 or so years.

  185. Nate83 says:

    That is why it is for argument sake. Sanchez doesn’t look like he is ready and seeing that I don’t have a crystal ball I have to place somebody in that position. You do know Stewart started over 100 games last year. It isn’t out of the question he does become the Pirates safe choice.

  186. Arriba Wilver says:

    My only complaint about Ike Davis so far is he looks like Adam Laroche. (Not his swing, his face).

  187. Jim S. says:

    I agree, Tom. The Cardinals, to me, just have too much pitching for everyone else. They also have a lineup that seems like it can score runs fairly consistently over the season, which is all they need with that 2-3 runs most nights pitching staff.

  188. Andrew says:

    I am not sure I would want to see Stolmy getting a sport start, he went two weeks between appearances and is his last two was barely touching 90 mph, after throwing 94 mph last year. He also could not locate anything, I think he started with 6 straight balls before a mound visit.

  189. 21sthebest says:

    We said the same thing last night.

  190. Polanco would be wasted hitting leadoff. Instead of 100 RBI, he’d be fortunate to get 75 or 80.

    It would be like Parker or Bonds leading off. (I know, Bonds did lead off for a while in his skinnier, more athletic, non-roid days, but not ideally).

    Polanco will be a force in the middle of the lineup somewhere between 2nd and 6th IMHO.

  191. What are you complaining about, Tabloid is up to .222 in the proverbial small sample size? Plus, he’s hustling in the field and running out ground balls. He and Sugar Ray Snider can keep RF warm a couple more months.


  192. Naterosboro says:

    Haven’t posted my musings in awhile. So, without further or do, musings…….

    * After last night’s victory, the Pirates are 9-11. They are 1-6 vs. Milwaukee. 8-5 vs. the rest of the NL Central.

    * The Pirates are 0-0 vs. the rest of MLB.

    * The thing I find a little troubling in the early going is the amount of runs the Pirates are scoring via the HR. It seems like this is unsustainable.

    * Neil Walker leads NL 2Bman in HRs (6).

    * I think a little early adversity for the Pirates is a good thing. This group has a good compete level, but really didn’t face any stretches of adversity last season in winning 94 games. Time to see what they’re really made of.

    * Going into this season, I thought the Pirates were a mid 80s win team. I still hold that thought.

    * Every pitch, from here on out, a Pirates pitcher throws against the Brewers should be directly at the batter. I’ve had enough of them. I don’t care if all of our players get ejected and they have to forfeit. We will not be bullied.

    * It seems like Penguin fans overreact the most (just going by comments on this blog). These are best of 7 serieseseses against the better teams in the NHL. They will not go 16-0 en route to lifting Lord Stanley’s trophy.

    * They say the Stanley Cup is the hardest trophy to win in sports. Not sure why Penguin fans expect it. They had Lemieux & Jagr and only won 2. Wanting them to win, and expecting them to win are 2 different things. Pens fans, relax, and enjoy the ride that is the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

    * I don’t mind when Pierre is the 3rd wheel on the NBC broadcasts, but he is unbearable as the color man. Talks too much, and acts like everything that is coming out of his mouth is the right way to do something. Provide analysis Pierre, not what you would be doing behind the bench.

    * Does Dan Bylsma get any credit yet? No? Ok….was just checking….jeesh!

    * Sidney Crosby & Evgeni Malkin will not go the entire playoffs without scoring goals. This is bad news for the rest of the NHL.

    * This is an observation I’ve made in the past, but James Neal’s playoff [lack of] scoring is a HUGE issue. He’s great at doing it in the regular season, but the return once Lord Stanley’s Cup competition kicks off is paltry.

    * Marc-Andre Fleury is pretty much holding up his end of the bargain. I haven’t exactly seen the “soft” goals we’ve become accustomed to in recent years. And he certainly hasn’t “wilted” in the face of adversity (like that Flyers series a few years ago). That said, will he ever learn to play the puck properly when it’s in behind the net?

    * NFL Draft is coming up…wait, wasn’t it released in theaters a couple weeks ago? Wonder how the Browns will make out with Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner in their front office this year. And I’m surprised Dennis Leary was able to get a head coaching job, with his questionable past and all. I still think the Steelers go 2-0 against them this year.

    Everyone smile. It’s Earth Day. Enjoy it. It might only be here another 4 billion years.



  193. Milo Hamilton says:

    Are you sure you’re not really Larry King ?

  194. Jim S. says:

    I noticed the same thing. Dead. Freakin’. Ringer.

  195. Jim S. says:

    Sugar Ray Snider. Nicely played, Lucky.

  196. Jim S. says:

    I agree that they need to upgrade the schedule, bpn. I hope Jamie finally agrees also.

  197. scapper says:

    Ditto in our house! I’m gonna have to work on getting past that. At least we have no pictures of Ike with a dead bobcat around his shoulders.

  198. Milo Hamilton says:

    Nate, I am aware Stewart started over 100 games last year. I saw just about all of them. He’s a worse hitter than Barmes. The Yankees were so impressed they gave Brian McCann $85 million.

  199. Andrew says:

    Certainly Letang was better, but of the performances from the defense I think I would rank him 4th, maybe 3rd. Letang needs to be one of the best defenseman on the ice, adequate is not good enough. The Penguins rode Martin and Orpik last night and both were great. I also think it is promising that Scuderi had the least ice time of the defense.

  200. Jim S. says:

    Hang some sort of “fresh kill” over Ike’s shoulders and I’m not sure I could tell the difference.

  201. scapper says:

    I like everything he wrote, but we could have used a few Kingisms tossed in there.

    *Call me crazy, but I eat my Oreos whole.

    *Movies don’t have enough of Helena Bonham Carter.

    *Windy days always bring me down.

  202. HeyBullDog says:

    Except for that last rush by Dubynsky(sic), Paul Martin was outstanding.

  203. Jim S. says:

    I guess I need to see him run these days. I would think he is going to be bad in RF. But, I should reserve judgment on that. He can probably still get on base.

  204. Dom says:

    I don’t expect the Pens to win the cup. Nor did I expect it last year.

    This will be the fifth straight year the Pens don’t even make it to the cup finals and with a team that includes Malkin and Sid, that’s unacceptable.

  205. Milo Hamilton says:

    * I love the smell of a freshly mowed lawn.

    * Cal Ripken is tall for a shortstop.

    He’s a genius, give him a million dollars.

  206. Zico says:

    DK just said Letang backed up and caused Maatta to drop as well, therefore giving room to Dubinsky to even try to throw the puck on net. It is a fair observation on the play, and accurate. Letang didn’t play it right.

  207. Thanks, Jim. Polanco could have won that game last night at Indy BTW, but made an out in the bottom of the 11th. However, Santos tripled in Tony, who had doubled to lead off the inning.

    So, Polanco isn’t perfect like I have him painted sometimes, just human. But he’s a human that will be a force in our lineup for years to come.

  208. Dom says:

    With their endless parade of GMs and head coaches over the years, the Browns couldn’t do much worse than Kevin Costner and Denis Leary. They have to make a decision and stand by their man for years. They cannot run this endless parade of front office employees year after year.

  209. bpn8pitt says:

    Recorded “Hillsborough” while flipping between both games last night, then watched after games were over. Dark, but excellent. Pretty amazing something like that could happen. Definitely recommend giving it a watch sometime. Havent seen a bad “30 for 30″ yet.

  210. Jim S. says:

    Somebody please tell me my eyes were deceiving me when I watched the Bucs game after the fact last night. I could swear I saw Martin batting in the middle of the game, with 1 out and no one on and Cutch anxiously awaiting a chance at another hit in the on deck circle. The count was 3-0 on Martin, and he swung … and made an out.

  211. Andrew says:

    Sorry those rankings should be 5th maybe 4th.

  212. Let ‘em go, Dom. That way, they’ll always be where they are, firmly set in last place in the division.

  213. Baywatch says:

    A human and a force. I could get into that. Not many of those around anymore. Cutch. Darrell Evans before that.

  214. hockeymonster says:

    He was playing like a top 4 dman. Nisky took a penalty too but one of the plays of the game was Tanger jumping up to support rush on stempty’s goal. Takes wheels to join a rush like that and occupy dman. Entire team was pretty solid sans 2 bad rebounds by flower. But he more than made up for it. Just need to be ready to play like that from the start.

  215. Baywatch says:

    Like Adam with a nicer smile! He’s really not that big is he? That Billy Hamilton is just a bag of bones! The most unathletic-LOOKING guy I’ve seen in a uni! Looks like he needs Geritol instead of … speed?

  216. Baywatch says:

    LOL!! And I’m Jim Craig!

  217. Naterosboro says:

    30 for 30s are just about the only reason I turn on ESPN these days. That and some live games. Their other programming really has gone down hill (if it was ever up).

    That said, the Hillsborough incident is 1 of the most horrific in sports, made more horrific by the police and political coverup.

    96 fans crushed to death. 96 people who went to support their team that never came home. All because police and stadium security didn’t do their jobs. And then they tried to blame it on the fans, and cover up their negligence.

    You are right, everyone should check this out, even if just to learn about what happened. It can never happen again.

    Justice for the 96.

  218. Jim S. says:

    Scapper with a random Helena Bonham Carter reference! Money.

  219. Naterosboro says:

    How many times did they make the Cup finals with Lemieux and Jagr?

  220. Naterosboro says:

    I can assure you I am a combination of the men in my avatar picture.

    I’ve got the brains of Huntington, the chest of Nutting, and the alcohol tolerance of Frank.

  221. Jim S. says:

    I think they were all in on Harbaugh this year, and it backfired.

  222. Poole says:

    Please dont complain about Root. Being out of the area and watching the game on NBC Sports, I can say that Pierre McGuire was so painful to listen to last night that I could barely watch the game. He clearly is trying to get excitement for Columbus hockey but he was so biased towards the jackets that I wanted to puke.

  223. Jim S. says:

    Maybe Hamilton has a little Mickey Rivers in him, Bay. I loved Mickey.

  224. Jim S. says:

    I agree with you that if he reaches close to full potential, he could put up stats very much like Cutch does. But, I’m thinking he will need to grow into that a bit. I could see him as #2 in the lineup to start.

  225. Baywatch says:

    LOL! Got to hand it to LaRoche: He’s banged out a pretty serviceable career for himself and .. and .. and even Andy’s still playing regularly in the minors!

  226. hockeymonster says:

    Ok so I hate to sound repetitive and I’m not one to tell the pens what to do but if they want to know why the PP isn’t working they need to examine having 4 lefties out there. Opposing teams can focus on defending the one RH shot on the ice which prevents a one timer than catch up to any play cross ice that gets to a lefty. We give them a chance to cheat and they take advantage.

    I saw and Nisky and Tanger out there together on PP which is a start but not sure if i trust tangers finishing ability on a quick one time play. Elixer would be to break up Sid and Geno into 2 units and give them 2 RH shots between Nisky, tanger, BB, Stempy and Sutter. This would force coach richards and PKers to respect quick cross ice passes and therefore give PP units more time and space to work with. Then again, what do i know…

  227. Baywatch says:

    I’ll mount the Baydo & Daydro avvy next time he goes off. Jared & Me are here strictly because he was last night’s winner … and a battler, too!

  228. Baywatch says:

    Mickey had some good soul when he stepped into the box, too! Yeah, loved Mickey and the way he would kinda twirl his bat like a baton a few times before he stepped in! He had a nice little window with the Yankees. Who was the leadoff guy for the Cardinals those years that looked like E.T.? My brother and I ALWAYS liked to watch him! I’ll have to go pull up some old rosters to find his name … pretty good hitter, too.

  229. Baywatch says:

    Willie McGee!

  230. bpn8pitt says:

    I think with social media and camera phones these days, the chances of a coverup now would be slim…But I still think overcrowding or a mass stampede and panic of people is possible.

    Hope the World Cup is safe…and the US can get out of that ridiculous group!

  231. Jandy says:

    Mornin Wild One…was happy to see Brooksie get a goal :)

  232. Andrew says:

    I agree Letang was definitely better and his first two performance may be influencing my opinion. Also agree the entire performance was solid, they controlled play 5v5 even more than the first two games. PK allowed 4 shots on about six minutes of ice time and I remember only once when the Jackets were able to get set up well, I could be wrong there.

    It would be great to see the power play get on the board, or at least get some more shots to the net. And I do not care about being out hit one bit.

  233. cmat0829 says:

    Oh my God it was so awful. The main Reds announcer’s voice is like putting gravel into the disposal… and Casey was hyperactive and impossible to follow or understand. I was putting up with it and forgot about espn and settled nicely for O’Brien, Boone and Kurkjian, who did a very good job of broadcasting.

  234. Jandy says:

    Jandy is busy, please fill it in yourself, Mash dahling lol

  235. Jandy says:

    Amen on Scuds

  236. hockeymonster says:

    No when CF is 60%.

  237. Arriba Wilver says:

    My condolences. ;-)

  238. Nate83 says:

    Lucky I tend to agree with you but the Pirates have zero options for leadoff hitters and Marte doesn’t look like he will end up developing into one. In a perfect world the Pirates would kill two birds with one stone and get a shortstop that can leadoff as well before next year.

    The Tigers got Ian Kinsler this offseason and was able to move Austin Jackson back in the order to 6 or 7 which makes a lot more sense for him. They had been hurt the previous two years by Jacksons low on base percentage.

  239. cmat0829 says:

    Entertaining blog today, big ups for the Larry King humor… my two cents:

    1) Billy Hamilton is overrated. If he can’t figure out a way to get on base more, he will be out of the league in a few years. And he will be a very, very, very fast auto mechanic. Not hating on him but you do need to be able to hit the ball at least a little bit.

    2) Reds’ manager Price makes Hurdle look like Leo Derocher. Many dubious decisions most notably putting Parra in to pitch to Cutch, and wham-o, Cutch hits the lefty hard for a game tying (and season reviving) HR. No doubter move there was to go with hoover first (or even Leake) and put Parra in after Cutch is out of the way.

    3) When did Mesoraco become the right-handed Joey Votto? We can’t get him out (and neither can anyone else it seems).. good for the kid.

    4) I was absolutely hiding under the bed when Clint went with Hughes and not Melancon in the 9th and a tie game. Defied the ‘book’, which says you pitch your closer in a tie situation there, but not the way I want Clint to defy the book. Worked out but my blood pressure was elevated there.

  240. Jandy says:


  241. Jandy says:


  242. Jandy says:

    I’ve never liked Sid and Geno on the same PP.

    Niskie should be on the top unit.

  243. Jim S. says:

    I’m so with you on Hamilton, cmat. He needs to prove he’s more than a 2 tool player.

    I’m also with you on Hughes, but I think maybe Clint felt he needed to give Melancon and Grilli a rest last night.

    I like that Price is coaching the Reds, from what I have seen early on. I like it for the Bucs, I mean. But, let’s not forget Hurdle left Liriano in to start the 8th, then took him out when Bruce (0-14 in his career vs. Liriano) came to bat. I feel like Clint is pulling the wrong levers with relievers so far this year, unlike last year when he had that Midas Touch.

    I don’t think the importance of Marte’s throw and Martin’s catch/tag can be overstated. Along with Ike’s slam, it was the most important play of the entire night for me. Huge turning point.

  244. Nastynate82 says:

    Ahh Matt Cooke. I thought he changed.

  245. Jim S. says:

    That’s a great one, Bay. I loved Willie McGee also.

    I had a friend in college who was a Cards fan. He wanted to ultimately work for a MLB team. He had a project in an Econ course about baseball player salaries, so he sent letters to a bunch of the Cards to ask them about their salaries in the minors. I remember him showing me the only one he had gotten back, which was from Willie McGee. Willie wrote it on a piece of loose leaf notebook paper from one of the small-sized tablets. He just wrote down his salaries for a couple of years, tore it out and sent it to my buddy.

    I’m sure I have the years wrong, as I’m going from memory. It just said something like:

    Nashville, ’82, round 20 gran
    Louisville, ’83, round 22 gran

    Hope this helps.


    I always thought it was nice of Willie to take the time to send that to my buddy. Just pulled it right out of the tablet, scribbled down a few figures and mailed it to him. I don’t think Willie took himself too seriously, even though he was already an established player at that time. I liked that about him.

  246. JD says:

    I’m going to game against Toledo Mud Hens just to see Polanco with my son.

    We’ve done the same with Cutch, Pedro, Marte & Cole. Fun ballpark.

  247. Milo Hamilton says:

    Martin Maldonado has been suspended 5 games & fined $2,500 according to Buster Olney.

  248. Jandy says:

    that REALLY upset me…what he did…

  249. Jandy says:

    peanuts lol

  250. Baywatch says:


  251. scapper says:

    Willie McGee. Perfect example of a guy with a mediocre to weak arm who compensated by charging singles at an insane speed. Always cool to watch him pull that move off. Similarly candy-armed Len Dykstra and Lee Mazzilli never utilized that trick.

  252. Jim S. says:

    Add it to the spreadsheet. :-)

  253. Jandy says:

    sometimes it is all about using ALL the tools in your tool box :)

  254. Milo Hamilton says:

    Well, Russell Martin isn’t done with him yet.

  255. Arriba Wilver says:

    Good for MLB. What a punk.

  256. Nastynate82 says:

    Not surprised. His style dictates that he goes up to the line so we will cross it at some points.

  257. Jandy says:

    Vewy, vewy, astooot observation ;)

  258. Jandy says:


  259. Jim S. says:

    Really? You get to do that for 5 games? I wonder what he’d get if his punch had broken Snider’s eye socket and maybe his cheek? What if he actually knew how to punch and had really done some damage?

    It would have been the exact same act on Maldonado’s part. The only thing I can conclude is since Snider didn’t get badly injured, he got off pretty light. Doesn’t make sense to me.

    What did everyone else get?

  260. Jim S. says:

    ++++, JD.

  261. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’ve always felt that when one of these various malcontents is suspended for whatever reason their team should have to play short for the length of the suspension. The Brewers should only be allowed to have a 24 man roster for Maldonado’s 5 games. Or, in the A-Rod case, the Yankees should only have a 24 man roster for the entire 2014 season.

  262. Baywatch says:

    Amazingly cool of Willie to do that! Another favorite lead off late ’70s/early ’80s leadoff guys for me was Jerry Mumphrey. Raised and finished high school down the road from me here in East Texas.

    I was at Walmart filling up with gas one day a couple years ago, and walked in to pay. Guy at the back of the line with me was wearing an Astros hat.

    Even though we’re only 4-hours drive from Houston, it was a little unusual because we’re only 2 hours from Dallas, pretty much all Rangers and no Astros here. So I asked: “Astros fan?” And he responds, “Yes, I used to play for them.” Of course I had to ask him who he was! Jerry Mumphrey! I gushed all over the place, got his autograph and we ran down his whole career while we waited to pay! I think I said “I loved your game” a dozen times! He was out of that Claudell Washington mold!

  263. Jandy says:

    Dang, Milo, you’re even meaner than *I* am

  264. Not a bad group. Keep your streak alive and put your blessing on him.

  265. BillyBaduka says:

    Ok Lent is over. Where’s Drew?

    All-y, All-y, in come free…

  266. Jandy says:

    or oxen free, as Dom says :)

  267. 21sthebest says:

    I still can’t believe Martin made that play. He short hopped a throw from the outfield about a week ago too that I can’t believe he picked.

  268. Milo Hamilton says:

    That’s all I’ve seen. I don’t think anything’s been announced officially yet.

  269. Baywatch says:

    Amazingly big ugly beautiful win last night. Thankful for that near-final image of Phillips getting the gout on Walker’s flare!

  270. theplanisworking says:

    Big shoutout to Jim S for the Pitt post today.

    Sad to see Rohrssen go. Top recruiter. As if Calipari needs another top recruiter……………..
    Luther coming in to the program — I am not sold on him. Came up small many times against New Castle. I hope he proves me wrong.

  271. BillyBaduka says:

    Yeah, there are many variants.

    I never knew anyone named Ollie, nor was around much oxen (despite growing up in the country) so “All come in free” was the one that made sense to us.

    Really doesn’t matter what words are used as long as cadence is right.

  272. Jandy says:

    Howdy, oh Purple One…or is it Blue One?


  273. theplanisworking says:

    THIS is what sportsmnanship is supposed to be all about. This is taken from yesterday’s Boston Marathon.

    Remember this post the next time the Brewers play a game.
    Or anyone talks about A-Fraud.
    Or any primmadonna athlete opens his/her mouth and complains.

  274. Jandy says:

    and your cadence was perfect ;)

  275. theplanisworking says:

    Any color you want, I guess. :)

  276. Jandy says:

    “big ugly beautiful” win.

    Makes perfect sense….seriously. Love it!

  277. Jandy says:

    Just not pink, right? lol

  278. cherokee23 says:


  279. Jandy says:

    Thanks for sharing, Hipposter, that gave me goosebumps!

  280. theplanisworking says:

    Great to see 2 comeback wins last night.

    Pens looked great for a short while last night, but those 3 goals in under 3 minutes were great. BOB looked lost! The pens still need to concentrate and play better. I am glad that they are up 2-1 in the series, but overall, I feel they have been outplayed. They need to match Columbus’ intensity…………. find a fire so to speak.

    The Bucs were the other come from behind winners …… which I feel they shouldn’t have had to do. I am concerned about the pitching this year………… has been very inconsistent, to say the least.

    How about IKE with a grand slam? Change of scenery sometimes does wonders for a player.

    Also saw the Billy Hamilton discussion above ^^^^^. I think he is a one-trick pony, and his trick is overrated by some. I believe one Matt Alexander in the 70’s comes to mind.

  281. theplanisworking says:

    Well, they do a lot with the pink for Cancer research, so ……..

  282. NMR says:

    2) Our buddy Groat should love this one! Price was clearly putting Parra in to face Pedro and the rest of the lefty sticks. Lineup protection!!!

    3) Mesoraco is going to make Dusty Baker look like a complete fool for jerking him around the last two years. He’ll be a top 5 catcher in the league before long.

  283. 21sthebest says:

    “The Twitter analytics show that 84 percent of my followers are interested in the Steelers, 68 percent in the Penguins, 66 percent in the Pirates. (Which matches, at least in order, the actual popularity of all three teams in Pittsburgh.) ”


  284. Jim S. says:

    Agree on Luther. We’ll see. What do you think about those other guys, plan? I know you love the Jeter signing. Know anything about this Shaq guy from the Netherlands?

  285. Jandy says:

    I thought of you when Dejan posted that lol

  286. Jim S. says:

    Good take. Never thought of it that way.

    I know I watched the remainder of that game on Sunday and was wondering about Maldonado coming up to pinch hit and getting a game winner, when we all knew he should have been tossed.

  287. Bizrow says:

    Maldanado suspended 5 games for punching lunchbucket

  288. Thundercrack says:

    Funny, but even though he was on the Pirates’ beat for a while, I still consider DK as mainly ‘a hockey guy’.
    That’s not a knock on him.

  289. 21sthebest says:

    :-) Very thorough analysis by our fearless leader! I wonder what the age distribution is of his Twitter followers.

  290. theplanisworking says:

    No Jim, I know nothing abut the others. I wonder if the guy from the Netherlands is like Adams? The only question mark I have about Jeter is the year layoff, and Stallings refusing to sign off on his transfer. Don’t know if that will get in the kids head or not.

    And, I am not happy that Rohrssen left the program. I understand when he went to be a HC at Manhattan. Oh well, hopefully Jamie can find a great recruiting coach.

  291. Milo Hamilton says:

    And the Riverhounds ?

  292. Arriba Wilver says:

    I wonder if that counts the ones he blocked? :-D

  293. Jim S. says:

    Good answer by DK on having offers in other cities (he cited Columbus as one such offer), and never leaving. Good for you, DK, and I’m glad you were able to pull that off.

    I remember leaving Pittsburgh at 25, and thinking I’d be back. But, life has a funny way of interceding. I’ve always wanted to get back permanently, but have not found a way. I’m not complaining at all. Would have never met my wife if I hadn’t left our city. But, I do miss Pittsburgh in so many ways – and a lot of them have nothing to do with sports.

    And, DK, I lived in Columbus for a few years about 20 years ago. It’s ok, but it ain’t Pittsburgh. No way, no how. You made the right call.

  294. cmat0829 says:

    Yes, its a bit of catch22 with the ‘stay with or pull the starter dance’… my gut says I’d have stayed with Cole on Sunday but I would have pulled Liriano at the START of the 8th last night.

    As to whether I’d stay with Liriano vs Bruce… that’s a tough one. It wasn’t that Liriano was THAT sharp last night (as opposed to Cole on Sunday)… I guess if you were gonna go with Liriano for the 8th, then you let him pitch to Bruce too.

  295. Jim S. says:

    You 66%’er, TC.

  296. cmat0829 says:

    Yes, I get that Price preferred Parra to plow past the Pirates players (who are lesser vs. LHPs) but why not reverse the order or Parra/Hoover… or go with Leake for Cutch… or go with the other RHP who warmed up later then Parra, then Hoover.

    It just wasn’t very smart and likely lost them the game.

  297. Arriba Wilver says:

    I agree he may be a one trick pony, but the discussion above was about once he exercised that “trick” and was on base. :-)

  298. Milo Hamilton says:

    Oh, here it is. Flat foot tie with Magic the Gathering.

  299. cmat0829 says:

    No issue with 5 games, that is decent-sized… but $2,500 is weak. Anything less than $10-15K is unnoticeable for these athletes. I prefer also the fines be based on a % of salary not a set amount. 5 games is 3% of the regular season. So fine Maldanado 3% of his salary. If he makes $500K, the fine is $15K.

    If this was cryin Ryan who committed the act, then the fine is that much bigger.

  300. Jim S. says:

    I could be wrong, but I think Rohrssen might be occupying the seat right next to Cal, and he probably thinks that gets him a quick shot at a fairly big time gig in the next couple of years. Jamie mentioned something about Slice getting engaged. Maybe he wants to be less of a nomad, as assistants who do heavy recruiting probably are.

    I assumed Jeter was happy coming to Pitt. He’s probably glad to be out from under the program of a guy that would make transferring so difficult. A lot of talented players who sit a year really get to develop in a specific area. We might see better shooting from him, or something like that.

  301. NMR says:

    My first thought, as well. Next game you’re at, look around the stands and ask yourself how many of these people have Twitter.

  302. Jim S. says:

    That was disappointing.

  303. Jim S. says:

    MLB security follows you around for a week or two after you say something like this, but I’m going to say it, anyway. I think Russell Martin may be a better defensive catcher right now than Yadi Molina.

  304. Thundercrack says:

    +1 AW.

    And how many sign up for groupons?

  305. Jim S. says:

    My thoughts, exactly. But, these decisions are so close very often that you can’t get them all right.

  306. theplanisworking says:

    I hope so, Jim, on both your points.

    I do know some better talent is coming in to the program the next few years. Now, the man that could have raised it even more leaves for (Y)UK.

  307. Thundercrack says:

    Jim S,

    I’ve been called worse! :-)

    And I think my percentage, in regards to this blog, has also been worse.

  308. 21sthebest says:

    I’ll take that poll at the ballpark right after I take my poll where I’m going to ask people who the owner is and who else is considered front office.

  309. Jim S. says:

    It’s always nice when a former player appreciates that you remember his career. Great story, Bay.

  310. Jim S. says:

    Judging from coverage on ROOT, I was thinking everyone who attends Pirates games are between the ages of 5 and 12.

  311. Dom says:

    How is that precious?

  312. Jandy says:

    LOL Jim!

  313. Jandy says:

    I’m no twit, I don’ tweet ;)

  314. Jandy says:

    Dom, have I told you lately how darn cute you are? :*

  315. 21sthebest says:

    Gomez gets 3, Snider 2, Martin 1, Cole 0.

  316. Tom P. says:

    Probably fair. Brewers serve 8 days and Pirates serve 3 games, What is unique is a player’s ability to manipulate the system regarding when he serves the appeal. For example, Russell Martin gets 1 game. He can appeal, and play tonight and tomorrow night. He can then drop his appeal and serve his suspension Thursday (the day game after a night game) when he probably wouldn’t play anyway.

  317. 21sthebest says:

    Seems fair to me as well except that I’d give Ryan Braun 20 games just because.

  318. Jim S. says:

    Weeks the Peace Maker gets none, I guess.

  319. Jim S. says:

    I always wondered how those kids got to games by themselves. I wonder if their parents know they are up that late.

  320. toochca says:

    Did the still do the “Farm Report” on the radio early in the morning?! When I was there in the early 80’s they were doing them. I almost wrecked my car when I heard it the first time

  321. Jandy says:


  322. Tom P. says:

    Maybe Ryan Braun is just this generation’s version of Jack Clark of the Giants (and then maybe the Cardinals) who always seemed to pick the wrong time to hit a homer against the Pirates.

  323. Bizrow says:

    I just read a post from JAL on facebook, the suspended players cannot be replaced while suspended?

  324. 21sthebest says:


  325. Bizrow says:

    Suspensions from the brawl: Couple of things to remember 1-Suspensions take place immediately unless the player appeals, then suspension would take place after the appeal process if some part of it is upheld. 2 A team can not replace a suspended player, they must play with a short roster. That makes it likely at least one of the two players for each team will appeal so their team doesn’t have to play a game with 23 man roster

  326. theplanisworking says:

    Is this something new for this year?

  327. Tom P. says:

    NBJC? Not sure of the reference.

  328. Jim S. says:

    I don’t know. That’s a good question, toochca. When I was there in the early 90’s, I recall an NFL game being pre-empted for one of the OSU sports. I think it was women’s volleyball. True story.

  329. 21sthebest says:

    New Brighton’s Jack Clark.

  330. Jim S. says:

    I hope when they all appeal they don’t get reduced. Maldonado down to 4, Gomez to 2, Snider to 1, Martin to 6 innings.

  331. Bizrow says:

    I don’t know, just cut and pasted what he posted. Wrecks havoc with the 25 man, you will have to call up a catcher when Russel is suspended, means you have to send someone down

  332. Nate83 says:

    Red announcers last night said Mesoraco worked hard during the off season with Don Long their hitting coach. Long noticed two or three things in his swing that could cut down on some movement and get him to the ball quicker. Whatever they did it’s working so far.

  333. theplanisworking says:

    Agreed on the roster.

    So there had better not be any 10 player brawls this year, or the roster could be a skeleton.
    Thanks for the update on this, Biz.

  334. Milo Hamilton says:

    Here’s how they need to go about this. Remember, they are operating with one extra reliever. Tomorrow they send Hughes back, call up Tony Sanchez & Martin serves his suspension. Then for Thursday you send Sanchez back, call up your starter & Martin plays the day game.

  335. Milo Hamilton says:

    Cingrani pitches Thursday for Cinci, he’s a lefty, Snider starts his then.

  336. JAL says:

    This from an Sports Illustrated story on Maldonado

    Per MLB rules, the Brewers cannot replace Maldonado on the roster during his five-game suspension, leaving the team to either go forward with Jonathan Lucroy behind home plate or mix up the roster to add some depth in Maldonado’s absence.

  337. 21sthebest says:

    Can Sanchez come back?

  338. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’m happy to hear that. Unfortunately, you can replace players on drug suspensions.

  339. Milo Hamilton says:

    It maybe too soon huh. Hello Nevin Ashley !

  340. Jim S. says:

    Pretty sure you have. ;-)

  341. theplanisworking says:

    Thanks, Joe.

    I can’t recall ever hearing this before. Doesn’t mean it’s new, I just always thought you could replace players.

  342. Jim S. says:

    Jonathan? Please, no.

  343. JAL says:

    Yes, drug suspensions are different category

  344. Arriba Wilver says:

    I did, too. Interesting.

  345. Sarah says:

    Managed to see some highlights of the Pens last night.
    The meme seems to be bad rebound by MAF on the first…..

    Can someone say what exactly he was supposed to do with that puck?
    Above the stick, directly centered such that it hit the top flat part of the pads as he was on the way down. Impossible to trap, impossible to blocker away, impossible to steer with the stick.


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