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Morning Java: Staal vs. skull II

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

NEW YORK — Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Thursday column from Game 4 at the Garden eschews the norm about writing on the Pittsburgh team and just basically cheap-shots the Rangers in the back of the skull.

I’ll elaborate on one thing here, while on the subject of Marc Staal, that mention in the column about the Penguins being furious with the player and with the league: I was told late last night that they forwarded to Gary Bettman’s offices various Twitter content about Staal’s stick assaults in Game 3 but also the Tuesday column on the topic. In one ear, out the other.

Some of you had asked if the team pushed the matter to back Sidney Crosby. The answer is an emphatic yes.

Here’s some of what Paul Martin had to say afterward, which amazingly was off the ice rather than on it, where he’d just logged 30:05:

The game story, by beat man Rob Rossi.

The D-men rise up in Brooks Orpik’s absence, by Josh Yohe.

The Rangers’ reaction, by Denis Gorman.

News and notes, by Rossi and Yohe.

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

Here’s Rangers news from the New York Daily News.

Here’s Evgeni Malkin’s reverse spin-o-rama from the NHL’s YouTube channel:

Blogginess from the scene: Some of the nastiest things are shouted on the concourses of the Garden after the Rangers play badly. Should have heard the place after this one. Wow. … It’s just got to be stressed here: After Orpik went down, most of the Penguins’ defensemen had their ice time stay at the norm, but Martin played a half-hour and was a force at both ends. He’s been all that and more. … After Marc-Andre Fleury had gotten down with all the latest gee-didn’t-you-used-to-be-terrible questions, one last New York reporter came by and tried another. Fleury, to his considerable credit, cut him off in mid-question and said, ‘Copy and paste, you know. Just copy and paste.’ Ha! … I didn’t like the decision to scratch Robert Bortuzzo on a lot of levels, not least of which is that Orpik hadn’t looked right all week in trying to come back. Dress seven D and play it safe. Dan Bylsma has had a very good series, but he got away with one there. … No one could like the way Orpik’s knee gave out in that innocent collision with Mats Zuccarello, and one can’t help but fear something bad. We’ll see. … Rob Scuderi was the social media whipping boy with Bortuzzo’s scratch, and not without merit. But other than a bad shift and a half, he was OK. Moot point now. He’s playing. … I’ve been tough on Beau Bennett, so it’s fair to underscore that he had a solid two-way game, even some good F3 work. … The Monster line can be maddening with how it hovers out on the perimeter, but they took what the Rangers gave them. Which was pretty much everything. … I really don’t expect to be back here.

>> The Pirates, thanks to a strong-armed Gerrit Cole, took two of three from the high-flying Giants, Rob Biertempfel reports from PNC Park.

The smart early money is on Gregory Polanco and other elite prospects, by Travis Sawchik.

Couple thoughts of my own on Polanco: Try to picture the thought process of a young baseball player from the impoverished Dominican Republic, one who has yet to take his first cut in the majors, rejecting $25 million in guaranteed money. You’ll at least begin to grasp Polanco’s confidence. No matter what his agents or anyone else told him, that couldn’t have been easy. Beyond that … really, I don’t see how either side can be faulted, the Pirates for making their offer in the spring before Polanco had even begun to establish himself in Triple-A, or Polanco for believing in himself. And I’ll continue to find no fault with the Pirates for keeping him in Triple-A until the Super-2 arbitration line passes. To repeat, it’s just plain irresponsible to pay an estimated $15 million or more for a few weeks of anyone.

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

Here’s Giants news from the San Francisco Chronicle.

Here’s Cardinals news from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Here are official game highlights on

>> It’s draft day!

The Steelers brace for the 15th overall pick, by beat man Alan Robinson.

The franchise and the world lost Bill Nunn, an NFL scouting legend, a pioneer for black players in professional football and a respected journalist. Obituary by Andrew Conte.

This will be the big day for mock drafts, including Mel Kiper’s final, but I’m a Mike Mayock guy through and through. His only mock came out last night, and he’s got the Steelers taking a corner … but not Darqueze Dennard. Kyle Fuller is coming up a lot this week.

Here’s the Trib mock draft, done by Robinson, Mark Kaboly and Ralph Paulk.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Steelers page and our Steel Mill blog. I’ll call attention again to the NFL Draft Primer published on this blog a couple days ago.

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

>> Driving back from New York today, but I’ll be on the South Side tonight to cover the Steelers’ first-round pick. 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. hockeymonster says:

    Mercy is for the weak. We do not train to be merciful here.

  2. Bizrow says:

    I believe in mercy

    Could have used it for 20 or so years with the PBC

    Not so much with finishing the Rangers off.

    But I will be up tomorrow to read the Trib

    Its peanuts to get that paper

    How do they do it???

  3. tommy says:

    All I can think about is one of these Marc Staal cheap shots injuring our captain and THAT being the barrier to us winning the cup. Gutless, as Torerella would say.

    That Nash hit to his head wasn’t dirty but that might have been the scariest moment of all.

    Geno machino looks like the winger for Sid. I like the combo. Even with the perimeter play at times. If shero can kill some dead money (scuderi) and explore trade options (orpik, despres) in the off season, and can pull off adding one more hard-to-play-against type top 6 forward. Combined with a Dupuis return, this team will be pretty complete.

    To the above point, would you guys entertain trading Neal or Niskanen in the off season? I love Nisky on this team, I really do. But his value is so high right now, and we can deal from a strength. Neal is just not a guy who is not good for this team and would fetch a big return. I explore either move it if it lands us an Evander Kane or Ryan Kesler.

  4. tommy says:

    Also, Brian gibbons was on beastmode tonight. If he had a scoring touch, he’d be a special player.

  5. Mizery says:

    I was flabbergasted by Bortuzzo sitting tonight too. He had a very solid game and gets rewarded with a scratching. Great win even if the Rangers are lifeless right now.

    I have no problem with the Pirates holding back Polanco but to lie to the fan base and say that he is not ready is beyond ridiculous. Call a spade a spade. The fans have eyes and brains for that matter. It maddens me that the PBC FO make statements believing that we don’t.

    Excited for the draft but not the hype. I like Mayock the best as well, and can’t disagree with the Fuller pick.

  6. kr70 says:

    I guess the league is sending a message, If you have a problem with Marc Stahl take care of it yourself. I hope we do but not at the expense of losing game 5.

  7. Hopefully, Brooks Orpik will be available for round 3. Otherwise, the Pens’ chances couldn’t be better.

  8. Also, I’ll be watching to see who the Steelers pick today on Draft Day, during round 15.

  9. scapper says:

    You’ll be watching the Draft? Are you on some sort of court-mandated punishment thing? My condolences. Hang in there. You’ll survive it!

  10. Jandy says:

    The league has no cajones, is a Garage League (as Mario told them years ago) and will remain to be a Garage League until leadership changes.

  11. Jandy says:

    Hopefully not.

  12. Jandy says:


  13. scapper says:

    That’s the NHL for you. If you’re not from the Toronto area and you don’t have #99 on your back, you gotta rely on that neanderthalish, knuckle-dragging form of on-ice justice.

    Don’t know if it was DK or a poster on here this week, but loved the line about imagining the NBA allowing its biggest stars to be bashed in the head night after night without any penalties, fines, suspensions, etc. I love NHL hockey but the league can confound year after year.

  14. scapper says:

    Now THAT’S funny.

  15. Jandy says:


  16. Jandy says:

    Get him (Marc Staal) a body bag, yeah.

  17. JAL says:

    JAL’s Give My Love to Rose 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: Which Hitter Not Named Gregory Polanco Should Come Up?

    Prospect Watch: Cumpton With a Strong Return; Rojas and Mathisen Homer

    MLB Removes Several Podcasts From iTunes, Including P3

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Cole, Snider, Stewart carry Pirates to 4-3 win

    Postgame: Bucs take first two legs of important homestand, with 4-3 win

    7 Rumbunter

    One Player Shines For Sloppy Altoona Curve

    8 Green Weenie

    Bucs Hang On To Take Rubber Match From SF 4-3


    Game 34: Pirates 4 Giants 3

    10 Pirates 101

    Best Statistics from Pittsburgh Pirates Series Against San Francisco Giants

  18. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 CBS Sports

    Cole bests Lincecum, Pirates take series from Giants

    12 Chicago Sun Times

    Jeff Samardzija tells Cubs’ front office to butt out of pitch-count issue

    13 Beaver County Times

    Cole developing into a workhorse for the Pirates’ rotation

    14 Pirates Site

    Cole’s eight strong nets Bucs rubber game

    NOTEBOOK: Hurdle working to make most of replay

    15 SF Chronicle

    Lincecum struggles as Giants fall to Pirates

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Reds give two-game sweep to Red Sox, both one run games

    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Arizona shuts down Brewers batters, wins series

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Good times for Bourjos, Wainwright

    19 Fangraphs

    At the Ballpark: Race, Community and MLB

    20 SB Nation

    Royals GM Dayton Moore says silly things, world spins on axis

  19. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    A personal memory of Bill Nunn

    Goodell discusses draft expansion and format on Rich Eisen’s podcast


    22 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    Has Emanuele Giaccherini settled at Sunderland?

    23 BBC Football

    Man City close in on title triumph
    Louis van Gaal wants Manchester United manager’s job

    24 World Soccer

    Brazil security situation not great, but not as bad as Iraq or Afghanistan


    25 Pensburgh

    Game 4 Recap: Pens choke out Rangers 4-2

  20. DJ says:

    Someone needs to beat the living pud out of Staal.

    Total punk. Really.

  21. DJ says:

    Round 15? Long wait. There are seven rounds, James.

    Since Dennard will likely be gone I’m hoping it’s Gilbert.

  22. sam says:

    Gotta give Sid a lot of credit for just continuing to fight through it. First all the slashing and slewfooting in Columbus series and now all the head shots with NY. Amazingly with all the penalties being called for less egregious things, he has drawn very few and has gone down very little to even try to draw penalties. Screwed up league indeed.

  23. DJ says:

    Looks like Orpik’s right knee. Guess is MCL at best, ACL at worst.

    “Paging Doctor DJ . . .”

  24. Jandy says:

    And you knowm, he KNOWS better. From what he went thru getting hit in the eye last season. Friggin makes me ANGRY! Someone just pound him.

  25. Jandy says:

    Don’t think it’s not intentional, this ignoring this blatant bullchit. No one is that blind.

  26. Jandy says:

    Fix it good, Doc ;)

  27. theplanisworking says:

    Wonderful sports day yesterday.

    Pirates won ……. didn’t get to see any of it. :(
    They need to take 2/3 for the rest of the year.

    Pens won, too!
    Bylsma had them prepared from the outset last night. Played a strong 1st period, and played a strong 3rd period. Let us hope BOS-MTL goes 8 games, with multiple fights/OT games too.

    As for Mr. Staal, and his head-hunting……….
    This is what happens when your league’s disciplinary policies are a joke. The Pens should not have to retaliate for Staal’s thuggish play. The League should be able to review the plays, and act accordingly. But when the league is only interested in Neanderthal play, you get what you get. That being said……… how many other teams would let this go? If the pens comfortably win Game 5, I wouldn’t be adverse to taking a few liberties with Mr. Staal.

    Let us hope the Stillerz take a good player tonight.
    Or trade back and get more picks. This team is more than 1 player away from the playoffs.

  28. AL says:

    So……..Ron Hextall is the Flyers new GM. Really? I’m sure the man has changed but for some reason I can’t get this image out of my mind that a players’ agent asking for more money will find himself running down the hallway being chased by a guy wielding a goalie stick.

  29. theplanisworking says:

    Clarke hires another neanderthal.
    Too funny!

  30. Arriba Wilver says:

    Interesting story in 5c related to baseball podcasts, MLB and iTunes, including the story linked at the end of the article.

  31. Jandy says:

    OMG Al, you are so right! LOL

  32. Jandy says:

    I didn’t get to see the Pirates’ game either, I was at work. Gameday just doesn’t cut it. Hoping these guys have turned a corner…

  33. DJ says:

    Another full speed elbow to back of Sid’s head. All his headhunting shots with Sid’s back turned.

    Here’s hoping he joins his bros in Carolina and they’re out of playoffs next 5 years.

  34. AL says:

    Thanks Jan…..maybe he’ll surprise all of us and offer Rob Brown a coaching job!

  35. BFD says:

    So Polanco doesn’t need to work on his outfield angles? He isn’t ready for the majors but is ready to be offered $25 million? More nonsensical BS from the best FO in baseball.
    This was a typical Nutting Pirates ‘offer’. They can say they tried to offer big money without actually having to pay it, due to the weak attempt. According to some ‘experts’, this offer was only about half of what he should get. Nutting ALMOST signs a lot of ball players.
    If winning is your priority and the kid can obviously make a difference, you bring him up before the ship sinks.
    Business as usual with the Nutting Propaganda machine.

  36. Jandy says:

    found this in the comments and found it….sad…

    Ron Loreski
    Baseball and greed. America’s pastimes, coming together more and more everyday.

  37. theplanisworking says:

    Jandy, I am glad that there are no games tonight.
    Yard looks like a jungle, but the puppy gets a night off.

    Then I can join James from up above and wait for the 15th round of the draft. ;)

  38. Jandy says:

    that would be the icing on the cake lol

  39. Jandy says:

    That puppy probably loves you, Planimal. You pay attention to him :)

    I don’t follow the draft, I’d much rather wait till it’s done and see who they got.

  40. theplanisworking says:

    BFD !!!

    Protect the wallet!
    Not the shield, but the wallet!

    Good to see ya here, and have a great one, my friend.

  41. Karen22 says:

    He smashed Geno in the face with his stick, too. Unbelievable a$$hole!! We howled at the poetic justice of Staal’s skate deflecting one into his own net, but that’s not enough. Hoping the Pens jump out to a huge lead tomorrow night so they can announce their presence with authority all over Staal’s “tired” body.

  42. Jandy says:


  43. 21sthebest says:

    2 of 3 the rest of the year would be fantastic! That’s 99 wins!

  44. DJ says:

    Wow, there’s a dilemma.

    Love the guy but want best result for Pens in post-season and moving forward. Thankfully, no Hippocratic Oath for me.

    You may need to try Plan.

  45. Dom says:

    Free Cumpton!

  46. Dom says:

    I think we shoudl have given him a guaranteed $50 million contract.

    It’s worth the risk

  47. Baywatch says:

    An up HERE, in earnest for tomorrow night, Plan … What’s that you say? Wacha pitching for THEM tomorrow? DOWN here!!

  48. Jandy says:

    we can dream, right?

  49. Jandy says:

    haha I didn’t say to fix it in a hurry ;X

  50. Jandy says:

    You tell ‘em Dom!

  51. DJ says:

    I thought with options it topped out at $60 million. Not too shabby for a first offer.

    Before the ink dried all the things he needed to “work on” would have vanished.

  52. DJ says:

    How ’bout an Ace bandage and best wishes?

  53. Jandy says:

    works for me!

  54. Jandy says:

    The kid’s no dummy

  55. DJ says:

    Sincerely hoping they get it done.

    Otherwise they may give him bunting lessons until 2015.

  56. Jandy says:


  57. DJ says:

    And another thing.

    We should stop drafting/signing intelligent prospects.

  58. Arriba Wilver says:

    Those 3 option years were team options, though, so all the risk for those years would be on Polanco.

  59. JAL says:

    Wish someone would offer me $25 million

  60. DJ says:

    Yeah, saw that, AW. So let’s keep negotiating.

  61. 21sthebest says:

    I guess the next time I decide to go buy a car, I’ll make my first offer the MSRP and then some!

  62. bpn8pitt says:

    Very NFL-like, AW.

  63. DJ says:

    Edmonton Oil Kings and Tristan Jarry up 2-0 over Portland Winterhawks and Derrick Pouliot.

    Tristan Jarry at 1.00 GAA and .968 SV %. Kid’s a keeper (literally) and the future.

  64. Jandy says:


  65. Dom says:

    Hey, come on now.

    We’re a small market team. We got to think outisde the box to find success in MLB.

  66. Jandy says:


  67. bpn8pitt says:

    I am a big fan of Mike Mayock. But I didn’t get his mock draft at all.

    But again, I’m really intrigued how this falls out for the Steelers. For some reason, I see a player falling to them and then having a tough choice whether to take him or trade down. Sounds like Colbert would like an extra pick 2-4.

  68. Arriba Wilver says:


  69. Arriba Wilver says:

    The real popular models in short supply actually do get over MSRP. And the salesmen will tell you that when you walk in. ;-)

  70. 21sthebest says:

    You mean like signing a couple of pitchers from India? :-)

  71. DJ says:

    Thought he began playing his best hockey this year in playoffs.

    Sincerely wishing best outcome for Brooks. A class act.

  72. Jim S. says:

    +++, Dom. All he’s done for the Bucs is get outs.

  73. Jim S. says:

    Good post, plan.

  74. Jandy says:

    Don’t get me wrong. Brooksie stuck with this team in the lean years, and he’s been an awesome player for a very long time….but, it’s knowing when to slow down, or hang it up, because if you don’t, you look worse. No way do I want to just kick him to the curb. But man, he’s hurt…again. You know?

  75. Jim S. says:

    It’s what they do, Al

    He’ll make sure they play “Philly hockey.”

  76. 21sthebest says:

    Well I guess that shows you which models I buy!

  77. Jim S. says:

    Hey, Jordan – Your brother is embarrassing the family. Maybe say something to him, ok?

  78. DJ says:

    Had a great run but all good things do end.

    Time to turn to some of the touted prospects. Olli a good first step.

  79. Dom says:

    Yeah, we should do something like that only beneficial.

  80. Jim S. says:

    I have no problem with the Polanco offer on either side.

    I would have jumped at the money if I were GP. He’s not wealthy yet. This is automatic, life-changing wealth and security for the rest of your life.

    But, I’m not him. To me, he seems pretty confident that: a) he’s going to be really good; and b) by turning down this initial offer another larger one will be coming soon. He knows the Bucs want to do this deal, as they did with Marte. He’s betting heavily on himself for passing on this offer. That takes stones.

    As for the Bucs, I think we should keep in mind that very few offers like this have ever been made. The young man has never ventured onto a MLB field yet. As much as we all love his potential, there is a chance he won’t pan out. Some people, like former GM Jim Bowden, are suggesting the Bucs are low balling Polanco. He could get up to $60 million over 10 years with this deal, with about half early on when nearly all players are making close to the MLB minimum.

    Sure, it could turn out that he is leaving money on the table. It could also turn out to be a mistake by the Pirates if he doesn’t become a star. I think that is what they mean by shared risk. I believe they will keep negotiating, and something will get done within a year or so. How well Polanco does beginning next month will determine where the offer goes from here.

  81. DJ says:

    Eric and Jordan both tough yet honest hockey players.

    Apparently too many years with Torts for Marc. Or third son syndrome.

  82. hockeymonster says:

    :shakin my head: at both of you

  83. Jandy says:

    Be careful you don’t hurt yourself, Monster Mash

  84. DJ says:

    Please, HM. Spare it.

  85. DJ says:

    Please, HM. Spare it.

  86. Sarah says:

    So did Orpik come back too early or was this something new?

  87. Jim S. says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I think the Penguins are playing much better hockey. But, let’s face it, this Rangers team is not very good. They don’t seem to match up well with the Pens. Columbus gave us a nice battle, but I thought they were a little light in top end talent. Montreal is making life difficult for the Bean Town guys, and could eliminate them.

    Not trying to get ahead of myself here, but …. ok, I’m going to get ahead of myself here. Let’s say, hypothetically, the Pens finish off the Rangers and the Canadiens do likewise with Boston. I have to believe the Pens will be favored to get to the finals. I realize everyone associated with NBC’s hockey coverage will pick Montreal, but I think the Pens will be favored. The Pens, in that case, could not have chosen a better road through the Eastern Conference IMO. Is that a good thing heading into the finals vs. some brutal team from the West? Or, would we be better prepared if we had to go through teams like Philly and Boston?

  88. Jim S. says:

    I thought the same thing, DJ. I can’t imagine Jordan acting like this.

  89. Jandy says:

    Sarah, he threw a hit and did something to his knee on the boards.

  90. hockeymonster says:

    Its something new but i was wondering same thing. Sometimes your body compensates when you’re not 100% so maybe thats what happened after that hit. Nice to see Piece continue his underrated play. Hope brooks gets a long rest after friday.

    And last night is how we’re suppose to play in the 3rd while protecting a lead. Keep moving our feet quick and the puck quicker. Dmen hold the puck with D to D plays while our forwards patiently regroup and wind it up so we can get speed and numbers thru NZ so we can forecheck, cycle and kill clock much like cowher did in the 4th quarter.

    Oh and who’s 58? That dude has a future…

  91. DJ says:

    I’m taking it one series at a time, Jim. If it’s Montreal, certainly not a given we get to Finals. Subban has been a beast and would do a lot to neutralize even our “Monster” line.

    All that said, I’ll still take the easiest and shortest road to Finals and worry about “best preparation” once there.

  92. Jandy says:

    It’s a good thing, no doubt. Either Philly or Boston would just knock us out of the picture.
    I look at it this way: The Pens started out REALLY sluggish with Columbus. More or less looked down on them. Got an eye opener. The Rags are tired, so again, we got lucky (if you will). But…we are gaining momentum and confidence. I think (ok I HOPE) we are peaking at the right time. And the momentum carries us thru the next round, and that when/if we make the finals, we are rolling.

  93. Yeah, to play baseball.

  94. Tom says:

    All I can think about is one of these Marc Staal cheap shots injuring our captain and THAT being the barrier to us winning the cup this year. Gutless, as Tortarella would say.

    Actually, that Nash hit to the head (not a dirty play) looks like it did the most damage.

    Brian Gibbons was awesome last night. If he had a scoring touch, he would be a special player.

    Geno Machino looks like the winger for Sid. I like the combo. Even with the perimeter play at times. If Shero can salvage some dead money (Scuderi) and explore trade options (Orpik, Despres, Niskanen, Neal) in the offseason and pull off adding one more hard-to-play-against type top 6 forward, combined with a Dupuis return….I think we would be unstoppable.

    To the above point, would you guys entertain trading Neal or Niskanen in the offseason? I love Nisky on this team, I really do. But his value is so high right now, and we can deal from a strength. Neal, IMO, is just not good for this team. Not core piece, $5 million good. And someone would overpay for either player. I think if it lands us a Ryan Kesler, Evander Kane caliber player, I pull the trigger.

  95. Jim S. says:

    That’s sort of how I lean as well, DJ. The harder the first 3 series’ are, the tougher #4 will be.

    And, I’m certainly not counting on anything.

  96. Jandy says:

    Both Sid AND Geno are gaining steam. Our D is clicking and playing well. So are our other forwards. The effort and compete level are rising.

  97. hockeymonster says:

    Jim, i think you’re just seeing why NYR are a better matchup more so than NYR being a bad team. They really are well coached but they don’t have the depth at center to make their adequate wingers better. And when we’re minding the NZ while generating speed and numbers with solid dzone coverage and flower blooming, we’re a tough out.

  98. Jim S. says:

    I am hoping we are gaining confidence and momentum as well, Jandy. But, it is hard to tell if we are playing like serious Cup contenders right now, or if the Rangers have been rolling over and playing dead. A bit of both, I think. That team has no sustained energy.

  99. Karen22 says:


  100. DJ says:

    Leg/knee twisted awkwardly as skate jammed back of NY player’s skate which was planted to ice and barely moved.

    Did not look like sprain. Looks like a ligament, unfortunately for Brooks.

  101. Karen22 says:

    Ditto on that!

  102. hockeymonster says:

    Don’t over think it. Columbus is a big physical team with motivation which makes them a tougher matchup. And with the rangers they can talk about tired this and schedule that but clearly you can see who the better team is. At least when we’re playing a certain way.

  103. Jim S. says:

    +++, monster. Matchups are probably more important than I sometimes think. Very few teams match up well against every opponent in this sport.

  104. Sarah says:

    Yeah I finally found a replay. Ugly. Would guess MCL at least.

  105. Jandy says:

    This is true, don’t forget the Rags eliminated Philly. But…now I wonder, did they out-goon them???

  106. Sarah says:

    The pairing of Martin w Letang has been great….Martin’s calmness and stability seems to steady. Letang beautifully.

    It’s why the loss of Orpik has worked out OK IMO….you get 2 PMD pairings, and then Borts and Scud get fewer minutes. The D has been transformed since Orpik first went out.

    Of course Martin is playing 85 minutes a game since DB has realized he has to minimize Scuds minutes.

    That will be a problem if we get through this round.

  107. Jandy says:

    Yup, this is how I learn my info…from you experts :)

  108. Jim S. says:

    Thanks, Rev!

  109. DJ says:

    Nisky is a free agent so no chance there.

    Neal for Kane is interesting. Would pull that trigger but doubt Jets would.

  110. hockeymonster says:

    No they outskated them. NYR are basically playing or trying to play a system identical to the system we’re playing now. We’re just better and more skilled at it. Montreal is too and their speed is giving boston all they can handle. Looks like pens started quite the trend with that november game against the Caps. But we would need to play philly same way NYR did.

  111. Jim S. says:

    Just like with Marte. There’s a figure where he’ll bite, and the team will still be comfortable.

  112. Dom says:

    I really doubt a trade down will happen. Who will we trade down with?

    If it entails missing out on drafting anyone in the first round, then it wouldn’t be worth it.

  113. Actually, both the Bucs and the Pens are off today so there’s nothing else to follow. And so,,,

  114. Excuse me, since it’s the 15th pick of the first round. But then, there’s nothing else to follow until tomorrow, when it’ll be the Bucs vs. the Cardinals at PNC Park and the Pens hopefully finishing off the Rangers at the Consol Center.

  115. A1C McG says:

    Is it just me or does Olli look like he has lost a step over the past few games? hate to say it but the rookie looks to me like he has played a lot more hockey than usual this year and it may be catching up with him, and not trying to knock on him, i think the kid has a great future but a rookie being asked to perform at top pairing minutes most of the season, throw in the olympics and a few rounds of playoff hockey and thats a lot of time at the rink. most rookies decline toward the end of the yr for this reason, but maybe its just a few isolated games or maybe i am just going “cup crazy”

  116. +++++++

    Then, we could do away with this end of June nonsense, get him up here, do something with Lunchie and/or Tabby and move forward.

    Then, work on pitching. After Cole and Charlie, everyone else that’s started, including Cumpton’s ERA is over 4 or better.

  117. BFD says:

    why should Polonco “share risk” with nutting?
    Forget the club option years. many are saying this “attempt” was for about half of what it should be.
    It would be less insulting if the propaganda machine shut down and the organization was honest for a change and just told people the truth.

    Unless a player is willing to play/sign on the cheap, and/or another team is picking up part of the tab, you will not be signed.
    Spare me the Cuth contract as an example. That was very team friendly and they HAD to sign the team/league MVP

  118. bpn8pitt says:

    You don’t believe if one of those qbs fall, someone wouldn’t be interested?

  119. A1C McG says:

    you know something is wrong with marc, he is the black sheep (the only defenseman out of 4 professional hockey players)

  120. JohninOshkosh says:

    1. I really enjoy the NFL draft. I like seeing people get drafted that will actually be contributing, sometimes significantly, in meaningful games within a few months. Plus, the economic structure of the league as agreed to in the CBA means they will actually get signed.

    It’s the anti-baseball draft where the draft is followed by will he or won’t he sign. And then, when they finally do sign, they disappear for years with yahoos like me debating whether or not they should be called up.

    Draft is big here. Bars and people have Draft Parties, and they will break into evening programming with news, like an election. I kid you negative.

    2. Really like Kevin Durant. Loved his speech about his life and mother the other day, albeit went on for awhile. The guy is a beast. Played every minute, practically, in the Worlds to get us qualified for the Olympics. Coach K said once he thought we might not have qualied without him. He and Westbrook are a blast to watch. Always catch them when they play the Bucks. I know we are all supposed to want the Clippers, but I’m pulling for the Supersonics to go all the way.

  121. Sarah says:

    IMO Olli has long ago hit the Rookie Wall….evident post Olympics.
    In hindsight, he should have been given a lot of rest games down the stretch.

    HEs struggling now, but he still should be playing. Scuds should sit for Despres, or even Engo.

  122. Tom says:

    Good point on Nisky. His value would be sky high but we would be in a no leverage situation. No choice but to pay the guy!

  123. Tom says:

    Agreed. However, I don’t think Olli has been as bad as stated. He hasn’t shown the flashes of offensive brilliance like earlier in the season but his defense has been pretty solid.

    Bylsma simply doesnt have the moxie to replace Scuderi, especially not with Despres. I do think a bottom pairing of Despres/Bortuzzo gives us the best lineup.

  124. bpn8pitt says:

    Agree, Osh.

    I’m glad they moved it to primetime and chopped down the time between selections.

    The time leading up to the draft can get very annoying, but its the one draft I think where just a few good selections can revive a franchise. Every fan of every team can be optimistic.

    Durant is awesome. But its amazing how Steven Adams has pissed off the entire league already in his rookie year. Dude had alot of people take shots at him this year.

  125. bpn8pitt says:

    Just hope they find depth later on. No more Bruce Davis’s or Limas Sweeds.

  126. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, Olli is in the 100 games range now, counting Olympics. That’s a lot of games and traveling for a 19 year old.

  127. JohninOshkosh says:

    Absolutly true about Adams. Whoda thought the kid would PO folks so quickly ?

  128. Jim S. says:

    I don’t know, maybe because there is risk for both sides, and if he wants guaranteed wealth at a very young age – which most people do – he might realize that he can ensure that wealth by risking leaving some of the wealth on the table.

    As for leaving half on the table by Polanco, then I guess all the teams are offering $120 million to top prospects before they ever play. I really need to pay more attention. Wait … no team does that.

  129. Jim S. says:

    I agree on the starting pitching, Lucky. Liriano has just not been dependable so far. Obviously, something is not right with Wandy, and now it seems like it might be more than just knocking off rust and sharpening control. I still don’t have confidence that Volquez is any sort of an answer, although he has pitched well enough overall to merit his signing. I am a bit concerned about his most recent outings, though. I would argue that Cumpton’s ERA should actually be closer to 1.00 if Snider could play defense. Locke was jekyll and hyde the other night – alternately great and bad in the same game. Having no Taillon available to boost the staff this year hurts a bit. I was hoping he could get his feet wet and be ready to hit the ground running in ’15.

  130. BFD says:

    the 60 million number you keep throwing out there includes club options. The true number is more in the neighborhood of 25 million.

  131. Wild Bill says:

    Haven’t typically done several unrelated thoughts, but here goes:

    – Pens will finish off Rangers, who I expect to go goon on us tomorrow, if they keep their cool.
    – Taking two of three from the Giants was big; doing the same with the Cards even bigger, if we can.
    – Would rather play Montreal in the next round, but the biggest reason the Habs are tough is Price. He’s a beast.
    – Agree with Oshie and Bpn above about the NFL draft – now that it’s finally here. First round players who will soon play.
    – Loved the Kentucky Derby, and the story of California Chrome. Would love to see him win the Triple Crown.
    – Could Montreal and Boston please go seven, with nothing but overtimes in the remaining games?
    – If Orpik is gone, Bortuzzo plays and then who? Engo? Depres? Be interesting to see.
    – The “fourth major”, the Players Tournament is this weekend. Love it, and that island green especially.
    – My Mom died in March, and Mother’s Day will not be the same this year. If you still have yours, treasure her.

  132. JohninOshkosh says:

    Great stuff!

  133. Jim S. says:

    Who says the “true” number is $25 million? That is the “guaranteed” number. The true number could be $25 million, or up to $60 million. I agree those last 3 years are club options, so he doesn’t have control over it. If he turns out to be the player most seem to think he’ll be, he could earn more by waiting. But, if he ends up an ordinary player, then he loses big time by not signing now.

    I give Polanco credit for placing a high value on himself, which seems higher than the Bucs are willing to risk at the moment. He’s obviously confident in his abilities and in his negotiating position.

    But, this sort of an offer is very uncommon to begin with. The fact that not every team has been doing it tells me that teams feel there is risk involved for them. Even teams without evil owners must think there is risk. The idea that another team would offer him $120 million or more right now seems ludicrous to me.

  134. True about Cumpton with that tiny sample size and Lunchie’s pass route miscue allowing those 4 runs. He pitched very well at Indy last night, too.

    Lirano is the key. He has to return to last year’s brilliance. Volquez is no more than a 4 or 5 and Wandy may finish his career in the bullpen.

    Locke needs stretched out IMHO. He’s fine the first time through and maybe through 4, but after that he loses it.

  135. Jim S. says:

    With you on the last one, especially, Wild Bill. Well said.

  136. Thundercrack says:

    why should Polonco “share risk” with nutting?

    Maybe because the kid hasn’t played an inning in the major leagues yet.

    ( I don’t blame the kid for not thinking the team option years were good enough for him.)

  137. And a SSS at AAA.


  138. Arriba Wilver says:

    I don’t think so, either, Dom. And there’s no sense in getting something like a second 3rd rounder next year, if this draft is as deep as they say.

  139. chethejet1 says:

    Pens playing a tired Rangers team. Polanco is smart for turning down a guaranteed 25 million. Really? Lets see he has three years at basically minimum salary. then arb starts for three and the first year is maybe 2 million, the next 4 or 5 million if he matches Pedro’s production. The last year he gets some real money if he turns into a star. The team option for 35 million may seem low, but who knows what the landscape will be by then.

  140. Jim S. says:

    By Monday, I’m elevating it to Medium SS for my own purposes. ;-)

  141. A1C McG says:

    hasnt Evander Kane been called a cancer for the jets, read a lot of reports that he is very immature and that his talent doesnt outweigh that fact. Now if we are set on a Neal/Kane trade then maybe we should call Chicago

  142. Dom says:

    They certainly would be but trading down to the second round wouldn’t be worth it.

    IMO, they would have to give up a first rounder in next year’s draft and a second rounder in this year’s draft to make it worth our while and no team would be willing to give up so much.

  143. Like JAL said above, wish someone would give me 25 mil.

    Everyone on this blog has played as much at the ML level as Polanco.

  144. Jim S. says:

    You made me throw up just a little bit in my mouth with the mention of those picks, bpn.

  145. Jim S. says:

    + many, Lucky.

  146. scapper says:

    No matter what the score is tomorrow, no matter the period, the Pens simply can’t exact their justice on Staal in this series, not with the way the Rangers are playing. Last thing they need is a wake-up call of any kind.

    The Pens will remember this and take care of it in the first meeting next year. Hell, they’ll remember for EVERY Rangers game next year. They simply can’t get into that stuff. It’s just not their game and they’re humming pretty good right now.

  147. Arriba Wilver says:

    You keep using the $60 mil figure, Jim, which really skews it in the team’s favor, especially when you take that out to doubling it for argument’s sake. And that’s if it goes, what 10 years?

    I also think you are undervaluing what he can make if he is just “ordinary.” He’d probably make at least half the $25 mil anyway, maybe more. Is Garrett Jones ordinary?

    The option years are meaningless in valuing the contract from his perspective. If he’s good, he’ll make at least what those options are, and if he isn’t, they won’t exercise them. Ask Jack Wilson, Freddy Sanchez, Paul Maholm and Ryan Doumit. Those are what make it a good deal for the team.

    His big risk is he gets hurt. The team can insure against that. Maybe he can, too, I don’t know.

    I’m not criticizing the team, OR HIM, but let’s evaluate it fairly.

  148. Arriba Wilver says:

    My heartfelt condolences, WB. Mine died in March in 1988.

  149. Naterosboro says:

    “Unless a player is willing to play/sign on the cheap, and/or another team is picking up part of the tab, you will not be signed.”

    Russell Martin count? 2yrs./$17mil and largest FA signing in team history.

    “Spare me the Cuth contract as an example. That was very team friendly and they HAD to sign the team/league MVP”

    1st, McCutchen had not won NL MVP when he signed his contract.

    2nd, do you think other MLB franchises (other than the Phillies) just ask players what they would like and then pay them? Are the Pirates the only team (in your mind) that tries to negotiate for the best possible deal?

  150. George says:


    You have got to be kidding with your Penguin biased comments. Since the fixed draft lottery of 2005 the Penguins have been employing the biggest crybaby in the NHL today. Skidney Crosby. There are always two sets of rules for players in the NHL. NHL rules and rules for Crosby and Bettman’s pet Penguins. Crosby can and should be hit just like any other player who plays the game. He is not exempt from physical contact.
    Do ever notice the cheap shots that Malkin takes after the whistle. The slew foots. Probably not. Your glasses are black and gold.
    Just write and worry about the Penguins and stop being a whiny little brat like Skidney Crosby. The Penguins will lose to Boston or Montreal in the next round.

  151. Arriba Wilver says:


  152. Jim S. says:

    Nice sentiment, AW. I lost my mom when I was in college. No matter when your mom passes, the loss is felt for the rest of your life. You can be 20 or 50, and it is hard no matter what.

  153. bpn8pitt says:

    Colbert said yesterday trading back was a possibility. And I thought through what was inferred he wanted picks in THIS draft.

    There are several teams with double digit picks. There will be some movement.

    I just think Colbert might try to get a pick back for the Thomas trade last year. Its also possible they could trade 2015 picks to get another in those mid rounds.

  154. JohninOshkosh says:


  155. bpn8pitt says:

    I was thinking more of swapping 1s and getting back 3s and/or 4s.
    It depends on how many spots a team wants to move up.

    I bet you a lot of picks for next year get moved too. Just to get a shot at all the depth like u mentioned.

  156. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m going to go out on a limb and guess George is a Flyers fan.


  157. JohninOshkosh says:


    This place got crazy after Smiz required FB registration!

  158. AL says:


  159. Jandy says:

    Wild One, let me add my condolences also. Like Jim said below, it doesn’t matter when, the sting is still felt. You only have one Mom. Bless you.
    I hope your wishes are granted for the Pens and that the Broons and Habs beat each other up but good!

  160. Jandy says:


  161. Arriba Wilver says:

    What EYE want to know is whether the Bucs told Polanco their offer was their “Best Bolt.”


  162. bpn8pitt says:

    As far as this stuff with Polanco is concerned. I’m fine with them waiting until June and in not devastated he didn’t sign the deal.

    I just want to see what he does facing talented ML pitching every night. McCutchen had his hiccups early on. Alvarez and Marte are still trying to find consistency…Like I said before, I think he’s gonna be a fine player. I just think we may be setting the bar a little to high, and we will all be humbled a little, right a long with him.

  163. Arriba Wilver says:

    Good points.

  164. Dom says:

    Who has a late first round pick that needs a QB?

    Cleveland does but I doubt they want to be trade partners with us. Dealing away 3rd rounders like we did last year was one thing but I doubt the teams would be willing to trade with one another for first round picks.

    Beyond that no team behind us in the first needs a QB.

  165. bpn8pitt says:

    I would feel like Groat does if Polanco pitched, played SS or 1B and was playing that well. FWIW.

  166. Jandy says:

    George, I guarantee you, Matt Cook makes that stick to the head on Fraud Giroux, you’re crying louder than Sidney Crosby ever cried, even when he was one year old.
    Friggin trolls…

  167. 21sthebest says:


  168. Jandy says:

    I agree with you! Why the rush? (On both counts)

  169. Jandy says:

    dang it, scapper, everytime I get myself talked into knocking Staal into next month, you talk me out of it!


  170. 21sthebest says:

    2001 when I was 38 is when my Mom died. But I really wasn’t prepared for how I felt when my Dad died almost 3 years ago. Being parentless was and still is a strange feeling for me. Like it’s just not the way it’s supposed to be.

  171. Jandy says:

    Mom died 2002, Dad died 2009. You’re right. You can’t just pick up the phone and ask that question, or drop in for a chat, or…. yeah…

  172. TK says:

    May I ask as to why you think the draft was fixed?

  173. scapper says:

    Funny thing is Jandy, I am normally not about that revenge stuff at all, and I don’t let sports make me angry too often, but I am freakin’ incensed about the situation. The whole thing is such a big eff you to the fans. This is a league that lets its star player take blatantly dirty shots to the head, shots that are meant to do real harm, and…nothing. I can’t wait to see them clean his clock next October. Keep Neal in check now but let him have at Staal on his first shift next year, even at the expense of losing a game.


  174. scapper says:

    You know, I never thought about it, but you’re right! Now it makes sense about the Pens winning those last four Cups.

  175. scapper says:

    I gotta ask…why the “Skidney”? I mean, the “Cindy Crosby” stuff has always been side-splittingly funny, as has “Crysby.” Oh my, I’m crying tears of laughter just typing that one. But the “skid”? What’s the joke there?

  176. Jandy says:

    I feel your rage, scapper! It’s my rage as well. Like I said to the troll, had Matt Cooke done that, he’s have been banished forever. It’s totally two-faced and makes the NHL look terrible. If I were Sid, I’d be da*ned if I’d do another thing for this league. Screw that.

  177. Jandy says:


  178. GAWTS2009 says:

    red headed step child!

  179. He must have been blocked on Twitter. It would be easier to get DK’s attention there than here. Even with a post like that.

  180. GAWTS2009 says:

    I think Tampa would have been a better road to the finals but out of who’s left We matchup well with MTL

  181. GAWTS2009 says:

    AS much as the sid geno line has surprised me. have been more surprised by sutter neal and jokinen. Dupuis when (if) he can come back next year could be relegated to the third line and do quite well there. I’m curious to see what happens to the lines next year but one thing is for sure. SIGN NISKY AND JOKINEN!

    On that note I have been very impressed by Byslma at the end of the last series and so far this series. Lets enjoy this while it lasts. Next week could turn everything upside down for all we know.

  182. buggee says:

    I’m a knuckle-dragger that can’t skate a lick. What do I do?

    ETCH IT… and fill that bad-boy with Dom Perignon!

    RAISE IT… and hoist Cole’s number to the rafters!

  183. buggee says:

    it’s the stripes Jandygal; they’re blinding!

  184. GAWTS2009 says:

    I mentioned this yesterday or the day before but got no response. Asked during the chat yesterday too and got no response. I’m happy I’m not the only one that was thinking I was being too harsh. Still waiting for the fake slapshot, wrist shot goal from him this postseason.

  185. Jandy says:


  186. Jandy says:

    haha buggee, my friend, I wish it was that simple…

  187. Jandy says:

    No doubt, Spunky. Friggin trailer trash!

  188. Jim S. says:

    I’m not trying to evaluate it unfairly, AW. I think there is risk on both sides. Each side has to decide when the benefit equals or outweighs the risk. I agree that Polanco should out-earn this offer by being an average or better player by the time he gets into his arbitration years. Maybe I overstated the Pirates side of the risk vs. his in that regard. I think it is probably fair to say that the Pirates would not be taking on as much risk as Polanco if he accepted this deal as it stands. And, that is why I think their offer will improve now that Polanco has apparently rejected it. This could just be a starting point.

    But I also don’t automatically assume what he might earn down the road. Polanco should be far better than Jones, of course. But, as I said, he is not a wealthy person at this point, and I would think that is on his “to do” list. I never underestimate the value of lifetime security as a starting point. I know I would give up some potential future earnings at 22 if I could have guaranteed that I would be financially secure for life while also still retaining the ability to sign another deal in 10 years.

    I doubled the $60 million figure because I heard that argument and more being made by someone who should know how these things work, Jim Bowden, yesterday. He said Polanco should wait because he can double or triple this low ball contract offer. So, that’s $120 million or $180 million. I don’t see how that happens unless he becomes another Mike Trout.

    I have no problem with Polanco rejecting this and wanting more. I have no problem with the Pirates making this exact offer, provided they are willing to negotiate upward to some degree.

  189. Jandy says:

    Milk man ;)

  190. GAWTS2009 says:

    That is one of my biggest fears in the future. How will I cope losing my parents. Heck even my grandparents at this point. I rely on family for so much “real” world knowledge. So many decisions lately that I had to ask for help. I truely do value their input and the experiences they’ve had.

    School may be able to give me a degree but parents are the ones that prepare us for life. I know how to do just about any math problem you give me but it’s funny how little that actually means in the grand scheme of things.

  191. Jim S. says:

    +++, 21. My dad is really slowing down now. I’m the youngest of 5 kids, and I know we won’t have him for much longer. I’m making the drive to Pittsburgh tomorrow morning to visit with him in a rehab facility for the weekend. I’m almost 50, and I know it will hit me like a ton of bricks when that day arrives. Best man I ever met. No one else has ever been even close.

  192. GAWTS2009 says:

    Well atleast one of his glasses are a see through color (gold), unlike the refs in the playoffs who have both glasses black.

  193. GAWTS2009 says:

    I’m only missing the “step ” part of that equation.

  194. NMR says:

    -“This was a typical Nutting Pirates ‘offer’. They can say they tried to offer big money without actually having to pay it, due to the weak attempt.”

    I can literally remember BFD saying this EXACT same thing on Bob Smizik’s Blog when the story came out about Cutch turning down the Pirates first two offers. Oops.

    Never leave, BFD. Never leave.

    -DK nailed an incredibly important point in his few sentences within this Blog that the “experts” blowing hot air have completely ignored:

    “…the Pirates for making their offer in the spring before Polanco had even begun to establish himself in Triple-A…”

    Read that again. The Pirates guaranteed a player $25m with exactly NINE plate appearances above AA. NINE.

    Think about that for a minute, and then just for laughs, consider the player Polanco will be replacing – Travis Snider – was even more highly ranked as a AA prospect.

  195. Jandy says:

    He lives :)

  196. Naterosboro says:

    maybe skidmark? like he’s “a brown stain on underwear” type cheap shot. it’s a reach, but that’s all I could come up with.

  197. Can’t keep a good man down.


  198. Sarah says:

    It’s sad that we can all generally agree that Scuds should sit, that Despres should play, and at the same time we all shrug and acknowledge that will NEVER happen. Just like Adams will NEVER sit.

    Because, again, Bylsma.

    We’ve been beaten down and we just accept shite coaching and personnel management. It’s the norm, it won’t change, so we just accept it.

    This would not happen in TO or MTL.

    A real shame.

    But there I go, broken record again…..sigh…..

  199. Jandy says:

    Monster Mash does not agree with you ;)

  200. Sarah says:

    I am the youngest also, of 3, Jim….

    Mom died when I was 32….Dad is getting older and I know we won’t have him forever ….he’s in VA and I visit when I can, I’m comforted that my brothers are close and help take care of him.

    Glad you’re getting the chance to visit your Pop Jim!!
    Treasure every moment!!!

  201. Jim S. says:

    I still love the draft, too, Osh. Years back, when I had less family obligations and a little more time, I used to print off mock drafts, various position-by-position player rankings, etc. and I’d sit on the couch and cross guys off as they were picked. My wife would stroll by occasionally and cast a “I’m not so sure I chose wisely with this guy” glance in my direction.

    I don’t follow it as closely now, but I will still follow intently as much as possible.

  202. Sarah says:

    I’m not about the revenge bit either.

    But I am about allowing your stars to play trouble free, and as long as the league refuses to step in, unfortunately that means teams have to be prepared to do what it takes to let Sid, Geno and others play without fear.

    Whether that means bringing up some goon from WBS or whatever…..the fact is that after that first shift in the CBJ series when Dubinsky abused Sid in 8 different way including head shots and cup checks, he should have been DESTROYED. Sorry, if the league won’t do it the teams will have to. Dubinsky should have been called out, straight off a faceoff, and annihilated, with the result that Sid could play the rest of the series untroubled. For all we know Sids issues came from a head shot or whatever from Dubinsky. We ‘ll never know. But until the Pens nut up and protect their stars, it will keep happening.

    Same with Staal and the cheap azz head shots. Next shift, destroy him. Such that he won’t go near Sid again. We are incredibly lucky that Sid didn’t suffer a significant concussion on that series of cowardly hits.

    I hate to say it but I wonder if this goes back to Mario and his Quixotic notion that the league can be clean, and in so wishing removing all the enforcers from our line up. Unlike Boston, for comparison.

    Gretzky played free because of McTavish. Don’t kid yourself. Teams were afraid to touch him. And with good reason.

    Sid and Geno should get the same protection. But they don’t. Teams aren’t afraid to abuse our stars.

    Any protection obviously won’t come from the league.

    So it has to come from us. Unfortunately.

  203. Sarah says:

    Good lord. George there’s a rock with your name on it.

  204. Jim S. says:

    Thanks, I will, Sarah. You do the same.

    I remember awhile back (maybe last year’s playoff run by the Bucs), when Milo related a story here of visiting his dad in the hospital when he was very sick. I was so touched from the conversation they had, and that his dad told him to go see the game and he would be waiting for his next visit. It hit me that I have a lot of similar conversations with my dad.

    Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can be about either parent. We’re lucky to still have them for whatever time we do.

  205. Jim S. says:

    + many, Jandy. We grow up often thinking our parents don’t know anything. Then, if we’re lucky, we are able to hit that point where we learn they know a lot more than we’ll ever know. When they aren’t there for advice, life is harder to navigate.

  206. SeanAY says:

    BFD truly is the gift that keeps on giving.

  207. Jandy says:

    Jim, now my daughters are starting to get that message. My 31 year old posted on her FB page…”I’m worried about being over 30, when it hit me, my parents are aging. I <3 u Mom"

    I was like….WAITTAMINNIT! I'm not aging…

  208. buggee says:

    then it must be your beaming presence that is so blinding JandyChika

  209. Jandy says:

    Yup, all the way through the television ;)

  210. Jandy says:

    hey, hey, it’s SeanAy, whaddya say? :)

  211. SeanAY says:

    I say that I feel a lot better about the Pens’ chances after last night than I did after Game 1.

    I still don’t think they match up terribly well with the Bruins or the Habs, and wouldn’t consider it an upset if they were to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals and lose.

    Also, read an interesting article the other day on NFL draft pundits. Mike Mayock has been far and away more accurate than Mel Kiper and Todd McShay. If he says the pick is Fuller, there’s a pretty good chance that’s it.

    I miss the old NFL draft on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. It makes perfect background noise. I don’t plan on watching it in primetime – there’s bar trivia to to be won! – but it’s certainly not the worst thing in the world to have on while your’e doing something else.

    Other than that, I’m just enjoying the 80 degrees and sunny in the ‘Zoo.

  212. bpn8pitt says:

    There are plenty of teams behind the Steelers that need a QB. I’m telling you Dom, if some of those early teams pass the QBs up, there’s gonna be a rush to trade back into the 1st to get one of them.

    I think we will be surprised where one of those top Qbs goes. Always RD 1 reaches and falls.

  213. Jandy says:

    I hear ya on the Pens. I’m happy to see the guys turning it around as well. As much as I hate Montreal and Punk Subban, I’d much rather face them than the Broons. We shall see how it plays out…

    We’re to have close to 80 degrees here in central PA today too, I’m loving it!!!!!

  214. NMR says:

    Hi kids!

  215. Jandy says:


    Where’s my allowance DAD?

  216. Mike A. says:

    Does Brandon Cumpton remind anyone of a poor man’s Jeff Karstens…not much “electric” stuff, but gets folks out… and that’s the name of the game.

  217. JohninOshkosh says:

    Used to be on Saturday mornings, right ? I remember watching it in my youth all hungover with soda, chips and spicy dip. My college roommate used to buy expensive scouting reports (pre-internet days). Good times!

    He’s a high school principal now, by the way.

  218. Wild Bill says:

    Wow. Was out for a while and never anticipated the number of reactions, all of them thoughtful.

    We may not agree with each other all the time, and may even have a dust up now and then, but this is still a pretty cool community.

  219. bpn8pitt says:

    I like Mayock too, but this years mock was a little ridiculous. He has Manziel going to Dallas. If that happens all the talking heads at ESPN may spontaneously combust.

  220. Jim S. says:

    It is indeed, WB.

    Our “strange little corner of the world.”

  221. Jim S. says:

    I would say remind her that you’re getting better, not older, Jandy!

    Then, maybe thank her for loving her mom. :-)

  222. bpn8pitt says:

    Huh. Apparently the picks will have walk-up music.

  223. Wild Bill says:

    Said a thank you above for thoughtful words shared above. But in case you don’t like scrolling back, thanks!

  224. Jim S. says:

    Great story.

    I remember the draft when Rod Woodson was picked. I was in college, and was glad we had ESPN in the house we rented off campus. There was supposedly no way he was going to fall all the way to the Steelers. Then, the unthinkable happened and he did. That is maybe the first draft I really planned my day around.

  225. Jim S. says:

    I always liked Karstens, Mike A. I felt like just when he was learning how to pitch and realizing his potential, he had all the injury problems. When he was on, he could blow through 7 innings in about 80 pitches. But, he tended to give up the long ball if he was off even a little.

    I think Cumpton has a better arm, though, and he throws more groundballs. He may actually have more upside than Karstens.

  226. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, I read that as well, bpn. I have a feeling they may need to bleep out a lot of lyrics.

  227. SeanAY says:

    More specifically, Ed Werder might explode.

    That would be an ESPN circus unlike any other, which makes me happy I only watch ESPN when its something pertaining to WMU.

  228. Jim S. says:

    The league fixes drafts so the team in Pittsburgh can succeed? Care to expand on the league’s rationale with that one? Just curious, George.

  229. JohninOshkosh says:

    The best thing about the draft is that literally within seconds of tonight’s broadcast conclusion, if not earlier, the net and Twitter will be inundated with “experts” grading each club’s draft.

  230. Shame. The draft is getting to be a worse production than Lebron’s choice. Mercy. (I know, Monstrosity, mercy is for the weak).

    Prime time. I’m sure my wife will want to watch that on a Thursday night. Thank God for computers. We don’t have to subject to any of it. I haven’t watched at all since they switched a couple years ago to Thurs.

    I know there are those here who enjoy it. My apologies to yinz. Just MHO as usual.

  231. bpn8pitt says:

    Yea, mixed feelings about that.

    I have a long weekend. Been watching a lot of coverage already. The commercials, suits, watches…This thing has come a long way, when I first started watching 20 years ago.

  232. Jim S. says:

    I was fine with Sat/Sun.

  233. Jim S. says:

    Do you think they’ll surprise us again this year by having Ed Werder in the Dallas War Room? I’m always surprised on those infrequent occasions he’s there. ;-)

  234. bpn8pitt says:

    Understand completely Lucky. I like it, but can certainly understand someone not liking it.

    I think MLB has too many teams, but I would LOOOOVE to watch an expansion draft. For selfish baseball junkie reasons.

  235. Me, too, Jim. I like what SeanAy said above. Good background noise. You could go out and mow the lawn on Sat. and come back in and check what was going on or work around the house and run it.

    Now, you actually have to stay awake.

    (And that gets increasingly hard for some of us “older” folk and even younger ones like Jandy).

  236. Now that one, I follow here at work. Really breaks the monotony around here on a couple June days.

  237. bpn8pitt says:

    Lol. Yup.

    All day one of the things they have mentioned is the Browns QB selections over the years. Couch, Quinn, and Weeden. Like to see the grades for that garbage from back then.

  238. SeanAY says:

    Between him in Dallas and Sal Paolantonio in Philly, it’s a wonder they haven’t just come right out and created an “ESPN – NFC East.”

  239. toochca says:

    On my drive in today I heard that the one and only Mel Kiper got 8 of his 32 picks correct!! That”s 25%.
    He’s and EXPERT?!

  240. 21sthebest says:

    The MLB has too many teams? You mean the quality of play would be better with less teams?

  241. SeanAY says:

    More damning is that someone created a chart of the success of the folks on his “Big Board.”

    Mock drafts are INCREDIBLY difficult for a number of reasons; what if someone trades up ahead of you? What if someone, quite frankly, messes up ahead of you?

    All of those things excuse Kiper, McShay, et al, in my opinion. You’re trying to predict how 100 moving pieces fall.

    But the fact is that the guys he ranks, regardless of position, are usually way off.

  242. theplanisworking says:


    I am always pitching the high heat, Bay! ;)

  243. bpn8pitt says:

    Yes. I feel part of the reason so many HR were hit in the Steroid Era was because the league had been expanded 4 times in 5 yr period and there were 48 pitchers or so who normally would have been in the minors, pitching in the show.

    Its recovered since then, but I can’t see them expanding further.
    Just an opinion.

    But I would watch an expansion/contraction draft in a heartbeat.

  244. Dom says:

    Yes, plenty of team who would have used up their first round pick by the time we select at #15.

    Are you willing to go down 20 slots from a mid first round pick to an early 2nd round just to pick up a 3rd or 4th round pick?

    That doesn’t seem worth it to me. I’d much rather select the best guy available, even if he plays a position that is not of great need at the moment.

  245. theplanisworking says:

    Thanks, Jim.

  246. Dom says:

    Look over the teams that select after us in the first round, the only teams I see willing to move up are the Browns and Arizona.

    I talked about the Browns already.

    Arizona might want to move in front of us b/c we pick right before Dallas who MIGHT be willing to snag a QB, which I doubt. I can see the Steelers willing to move down five slots to the Cards pick but not down 20 or so spots to the second round. A mid first round pick is simply too valuable to part with whatever a team selecting in the second round would be willing to give up.

  247. 21sthebest says:

    Yeah, I don’t see them expanding further but I also don’t feel that there are too many teams. Really doesn’t matter to me. If a market can support a team, so be it.

  248. bpn8pitt says:

    Sorry Dejan. I’m not a board with a WR. Ike Taylor is 34, and none of the other CBs on the roster scare anyone. If the Steelers do make a pick at 15, give me Dennard, Gilbert, maybe even Fuller. Before they signed Mitchell, HaHa or Pryor would have been fine.

    I just look at Antonio Brown, Wallace, Hines and think they can get the WR later.

    Seriously, if they are gonna feed Bell and Blount, and then Brown Heath, and Moore catching passes. Why take a kid who’s gonna sit or be a 4th option.

    They need a defender who can come in and play right away IMO.

  249. theplanisworking says:

    (And Karen). :)

  250. theplanisworking says:

    Problem is, most CB, and WR draftees take a year to learn the pro game.

    Just take the best player available, no reaches.

  251. bpn8pitt says:

    That’s true, Plan.

    I’d be cool with LB too.

    I don’t want Aaron Donald to be there. Cause I know he’s not their type of dlineman. And they will be pass…I think he’s Warren Sapp/Freeney like. And will have a nice NFL career.

  252. Jim S. says:

    Oh yeah, I forgot about Sal Pal. He is always in the Philly War Room.

  253. theplanisworking says:

    Aaron Donald is going to make some team very happy they drafted him.

  254. Jim S. says:

    Probably pretty early, too.

  255. theplanisworking says:

    Hey, Jim, thanks for the kind words above ^^^^^^.

    Mucho obliged-o. ;)

  256. NMR says:

    Man am I glad i went back and read DK’s chat this week. Hilarious!

    Do we have any updates on the mole within the Nutting Regime?

  257. Jandy says:

    Hey! I resemble that remark ;)

  258. Jandy says:


  259. Jandy says:

    Not that I know of….anyone?

  260. Jandy says:

    Jim, I’m really enjoying watching both of them mature. The oldest even tells her friends she loves “chatting with me and can do it for hours” because we really DO listen and interact. I <3 my kids :)

  261. theplanisworking says:

    It’s secretly me.
    I got lost one day, and I ended up there. ;)

  262. DJ says:

    One of my top five favorite Steelers.

    If not mistaken, there was an article in SI earlier in the same college season on his triple or quadruple threat capabilities. Could not believe he was still there.

  263. DJ says:

    He’d first have to crawl out from under it to see his name.

  264. Matt hoffman says:

    WB- my condolences and prayers to you
    Lunatics- i have no scouting reports from Indy yet this year, been so crazy busy that I could only attend ONE game!!! I was deeply disappointed because it was a travel day and Polanco didn’t play.

  265. BillyBaduka says:

    My condolences Wild Bill.

    The loss is always there. As Jim, Jandy 21 and many have said its hard any time it occurs and one of the things you miss forever is being able to call them for advice.

    But it does get easier with time. Not going to sugar coat it, it’s 6-10 years time. That’s not my number, heard it from a counselor (13 years ago)

    My mom died in 2001 my dad in 2002; barely, it was Jan 2nd.

    I was 30/31. My birthday is in Nov.

    Once your parentless you realize (if you haven’t already) that NO one will ever care about you as much as they did.

    It feels like a bigger and more dangerous world. You know/realize they couldn’t protect you but it’s comforting to know they were there for you and that’s gone.

    GAWTS – don’t dwell on losing them (not saying you are, just friendly unsolicited advice). Just spend time and appreciate while you can. Let them know you care about them now. It’s daunting to lose them but you will find other places for support. You don’t even have to look, they will come to you. Challenge is realizing it and being receptive to it. Those things were difficult for me the first 3-4 years.

    So many above have expressed things I’ve felt over the last 13 years.

    It’s emotionally cathartic reading these. Thank you all.

  266. BillyBaduka says:

    Well said.

  267. BillyBaduka says:

    I think you’re right. It’s a silly childish stretch.

  268. BillyBaduka says:


  269. BillyBaduka says:

    It’s all part of the conspiracy against the flyers.

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