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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Morning Java: Cutdown day?

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> It would be beyond surprising if the Penguins don’t make their major move or moves today, based on all I’ve gathered. I’ll repeat from that special blog entry here yesterday that Dan Bylsma’s as good as gone, and that Ray Shero also is in serious trouble.

If/when something happens, regardless of day, I’ll have a column for the Trib that I can already promise you will include original background and other information.

Latest on that front, by beat man Rob Rossi.

The players offer farewells, some no doubt for good, by Josh Yohe.

Looking at free agents and beyond, by Chris Adamski.

Beau Bennett needs another surgery, by Jason Mackey.

The beat men wrap it up:

The Penguins’ captain does likewise:

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

One last Game 7 remains in this round, that in the Southern California clash that, in all candor, has been such a wonderful series it’s a crime it’s happened this soon in the playoffs. The Los Angeles Times reports.

Here are official game highlights on

>> Oh, House of Horrors. No, you didn’t. Travis Sawchik reports from Milwaukee on yet another in the seemingly endless string of terrible tales from Miller Park.

On the bright side — and I’m being serious here — before Mark Melancon’s blowup, the Pirates got a highly encouraging rehab return from Wandy Rodriguez, two sizzling innings from Justin Wilson and more of the usual from Tony Watson. There was a lot of good pitching in there, which counts more than anything toward the long haul, possibly even a couple options for closer should Melancon and Jason Grilli continue their mutual regressions from 2013. Even if all this game meant was Wandy getting back on track, it will have meant more than the final score.

Still, that’s a tough, tough loss. If only because a fourth consecutive series victory would have carried legit momentum into Yankee Stadium while at the same time stunting the Brewers a bit. Everything flipped, just like that.

Bob Nutting will help choose Bud Selig’s successor, by Sawchik.

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

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

Here’s Yankees news from the New York Post.

Here are official game highlights on

>> The Steelers open rookie camp today on the South Side, as Alan Robinson previews. I’ll be there over the weekend, as well, and write a column for Monday. And not going to lie: I wasn’t wild about the Dri Archer pick, but I am sure am looking forward to getting a look. Those guys can stand out in such settings.

One to bookmark: Here are all of the Steelers’ offseason training dates.

How might Michael Sam have been treated in the old NFL? Robinson asks.

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

>> Thank you, as always, for reading.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

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


  1. Bill says:

    Is there any legit chance Babcock is next Pens coach?

  2. Bizrow says:

    This blog is the best.

    Please speak up and join the Lunatic Nation, but lets not turn it into a soap opera as other sites have turned into.

    All of us here love the burgh and all intertwined in our world.

    Thats why I spoke up the other day.

    Our clubs win, they lose, ok, you pick up the sorrow and move on to tomorrow

    In the overall scheme of things, there is tomorrow.

    I ask please for all of us to post with respect with the thoughts we grow this blog and lose no more folks

    I am still pissed as to why we have lost Drew and others due to, well I am not sure, but it might change with some respect and checking what we have said before we hit the post comment button.

  3. There never was a mystery with Drew. One day when I was in Sochi, he put up a very angry post that he wished I’d invested more of the blog in the Pirates. In February. While I was around the world covering the Olympics. I responded that there are other blogs, including right here in the Trib family, that might be better suited for his wishes. Haven’t seen him since.

  4. Check Wednesday’s podcast, Bill, about halfway through, for what national writer and Detroit man Nick Cotsonika had to say on it. Rather pointed, I might add.

  5. Jamie says:

    I heard their was a (rumored) possibility of mike Babcock as the new pens coach. I love the idea but don’t really see it happening. What do you think about this?

  6. Drew, Playoffs, JRay, Brad in Indiana, Plan, Piglegs Robinson and many others.

  7. Matt in Ann Arbor says:

    I wonder if Babcock is an upgrade. Wings do not have a playoff record that’s any better the Pens since 2009. Lost 2nd round 3 times, 1st round twice.

  8. Joey_Pittsburgh says:

    I honestly cannot envision any scenario where Bylsma is fired yet Shero stays. Yes, he’s been out-coached and failed to gel this team in the way it needs it….but Shero’s given him a pu-pu platter of fringe NHL’ers, cast-offs, and AHL material.

    The Pens strategy, as far as I can tell, is to draft and develop D-men so their perceived value is higher than their actual ability, and move them for forwards. This has worked, to an extent, in the past but not recently and has left the cupboard bare. Very bare.

    I like Bylsma and wish him the best but this team needs a kick in the ass, both behind the bench and in the front office.

  9. Bo says:

    One thing I think is ironic, is that Lemieux and Burkle are worried about hiring a new GM so close to the draft, when the reason for firing Shero would prominently be his poor drafting.
    On another note, I think the firing of Bylsma will be very bittersweet. While I think Dan could be a very good coach, he’s clearly not fit for this team anymore. From the misuse of Iginla to losing the support of the locker room this year, it’s time for him to go. The Penguins need to make the right hire though, with Crosby and Malkin both losing a year more of their primes with each playoff fiasco. I’ve heard there’s mutual interest between Babcock and the Pens, but who knows what Detroit thinks of that. Babcock tops my wish list and probably everyone else’s too, here’s to hoping he’s behind the bench next year.

  10. Bill says:


  11. Bizrow says:

    Thanks Dejan

  12. Bizrow says:

    The rest of my post stands ;-)

  13. Milo Hamilton says:

    Anybody know anything about this Steven Adams ? Pretty smooth.

  14. Bizrow says:

    Reminds me of NH with picking tons of high school of RH pitchers in one draft.

    With Shero, well defense

    Both said, you have this, you can trade for that

  15. Bizrow says:

    Cool beans

  16. hockeymonster says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself:

  17. DJ says:

    Are you Mike B’s neighbor or agent? We’re all on hyper-alert for blog opinion manipulators. You may just find yourself “subject to moderation” if you try and pull a fast one on us. So be forewarned, we’ll be watching you VERY closely.

    On a serious note, on the podcast, DK mentioned he spoke with a reporter who is wired to the Detroit front office who said they would never let Babcock out of his remaining contract year — no chance. Of course, that may just be management speak for “We’re going to need something really sweet in return before we let him go.”

    Me? I say give ‘em Scuds and hope they weren’t paying attention this year.

  18. Reading says:

    Unfortunately, the Brewers haven’t mastered the art of the bases loaded popup and subsequent 1-2-3 double play.

  19. DJ says:

    What’s Neal Huntington doing at the Pens game?

    Besides drinking a $10 beer, that is.

  20. DJ says:

    Although Shero needs to go, there’s a nightmare scenario I don’t ever want to see.

    Ray follows in Fred’s footsteps, lands in Philly and they bounce us from the playoffs the next 3 years.

  21. DJ says:

    He’d certainly have “the book” on agitating our stars.

    Then again, there have been more copies printed than Gideon’s Bible.

  22. DJ says:

    Plan decided to tank it as well? Wow.

    Good men . . . or women . . . or barnyard animals . . . all of ‘em.

  23. hockeymonster says:

    Rough outline:

    kuni-sid-stewart(not the catcher jim)
    super duper-geno-Vrbata(2.5-3M)

    Doing some quick math you can get this top 13 for roughly 43M. Add flower and tanger and you’re up to 55M for 15 spots. That leaves 13M or so for 6-8 spots. 4.5M for nisky would be my max. And if we trade real deal or any other vets we’ll have cheaper players coming back. Despres and bortuzzo wont break the bank, Maatta, harrington, dumoulin add up to less than 3M.

    Sun will come out tomorrow. We can get this done.

  24. Patrick(ri) says:

    Can’t resist asking DK if he ever fell asleep in the third period of a hockey game? (From a lunatic who just woke up after falling asleep during The Daily Show)

  25. hockeymonster says:

    Hextall saved us in the end.

  26. MikeVee says:

    Ya know, I look at the UFA list linked above as well as the players due up next year and I really see a mess. Sherro gave way too much money to some guys as well as signed them for too long, didn’t act on some players that should remain and has an awful pipeline. This may be the most important off-season the Pens have had in many years.
    I’ve hated “in Sherro we trust” slogan since it started. To be quite honest, ownership has a hand in this as well. The ridiculously large and long contracts given to 58 and 4 would never have happened if both had been fired after the Bruins embarrassment last season.
    The more I think about the lost opportunities and mismanagement of the last 3 years (I’m not including the Habs and Bolts losses), the more aggravated and disgusted I become.

  27. tommy says:

    Is that a serious concern? I mean you always want to trade players to another conference so they don’t come back to haunt you. If you’re firing a coach, they can go anywhere.

    Personally, I’m leaning towards it being a non-issue. When we played the Wild this year, did Cooke have the book on how to agitate the stars? Did Iginla and the Bruins have an inside look at the system and potential flaws? I’d say nothing more than what’s on gametape.

    Although the thought of either Bylsma or Shero in Philly would really turn my stomach…too bad Laviolette ended up in Nashville……

  28. DJ says:

    Yeah, saw that, but it’s Philly.

    Lavs was fired after three games. Hextall could be out in five.

  29. DJ says:

    Who’s this Harrington of whom thoust speak?

  30. bpn8pitt says:

    Normally not a fan of interleague. I think it has run its course. But I will enjoy this weekend against the Yankees. No Beltran. No CC. Fortunately no Tanaka. A shell of himself, Jeter. But still the freakin Yankees.

    In general I think the Pirates are at a crucial junction, even though we are only 1/4 of the way. A good ten game stretch they are right back in it. A bad ten game stretch, and its prospect lists and battles over Nuttings wallet.

    Lets barrel the ball, Clint and pitch our way back into this. Please.

  31. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    I’m sure it’s happened. Been falling asleep like a fool past couple says. Feeling exhausted. Like post-Sochi.

  32. tommy says:

    Can’t believe today could be the day. But remember, as DK alludes, its not a knee jerk reaction. Its been brewing for a long time now. All good businesses have a mitigation strategy. I’d be surprised if they didn’t already know exactly who to fire and even a good grip on targeted replacements.

  33. DJ says:

    Hey, tommy. If replying to my post up way up above, well you missed the reply target by a tad I would say. Taking lessons from Letang perhaps?

    On your question of whether Shero in Philly is a serious concern? No, not really.

    Is Philly winning with Shero something I absolutely do NOT want to see? You betcha.

  34. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Hey, for those new around here — and we’ve had quite the jump of late — feel free to make yourselves at home and get some non-grayman avis.

    We use and it’s free and easy. Ask the denizens. They’ll be dee-lighted to help!

    And wipe your feet!

  35. DJ says:

    Not so sure of that. Seems like everything went south in about a week and that could have caught them off guard.

    So while Dan goes, cannot see them not acting on Shero at the same time — either canning or endorsing him — and that decision will likely not be made until they fully assess alternative GMs, which would logically come first and take more time.

  36. JohninOshkosh says:

    Mrs. Kovacevic told us we need to take our shoes off and leave them by the door.

  37. DJ says:

    No worries.

    Blade guards.

  38. Mizery says:

    Maybe they have busy lives now. I have time for a post every three days or so. With my job I can’t get on the chats or participate in the blog that much. Could he everyone not posting just doesn’t have the time to do it anymore. They probably still read it though.

  39. DJ says:

    Don’t ever leave, Mizery.

    We need the company.

  40. Stuart says:

    I’ve been in Delaware without wi-fi for the last 4 days. Saw only the second period of game 7. Missed the blog. Have there been a lot of defections?

    Looking forward to DK’s background on the changes to come.

    Like Biz, I think this is a valuable place and would hate to see mass defections from many
    I consider friends.


  41. Ghost says:

    With at least this one Lunatic, you hit the nail on the head. Been extremely busy this past year and just not able to mix in with everyone
    as much as I once could. But always make time to get my Morning Java fix, as well as all of DK’s columns on the Bucs, the Steelers, and Pittsburgh-themed cafe’s in Sochi!

    …Must say, I do particularly miss Plan. And really could have used his flagpole bending again up the House of Horrors. ;-)

  42. Reading says:

    Somewhat amused to have seen me mentioned (at least jokingly, I think) in the Blog yesterday as some type of FO plant. Awesome!

  43. Rock Aint Dead says:

    shoes at the door, wiping my feet and testing gravatar…

    long time reader, new blogger

  44. BillyBaduka says:

    Thanks Dejan.

  45. Ghost says:

    Welcome Homer, he who once sagely observed, “If God didn’t want me to eat chicken in church, then he would have made gluttony a sin.”

  46. Pete says:

    Newcomer alert.

    I’ve been playing with numbers and If the Penguins want to be really ruthless then they will not only have to use their compliance buyouts but buying out Scuderi could also be a solid idea. According to capgeek he would count $500,000 against the cap next season and no more than $2mil in any season to follow. In an ever increasing cap world its not huge amounts. Now its not perfect and if they can trade him for a 7th rounder it would be better.

    Personally I think this offseason is going to make or break the Crosby era penguins.

  47. BillyBaduka says:

    It’s been going south for years.

    It just seems they only realized it in the last week.

  48. TJA says:

    “In the overall scheme of things, there is tomorrow”… I like your post, Biz, but in particular, this line. Indeed there ALWAYS is a tomorrow. It’s entertainment for us fans. Yes, for the players…it’s their jobs. But it is fun for us fans. We love to cheer, root, support….we love to debate, play general manager, become frustrated, whatever else. But, there is a tomorrow. I said for years: I am a Pirates fan and am so used to losing. There always is/was a tomorrow for 20 years!

    I am more a baseball fan than the other sports in town, but your other line that this “blog is the best” is so true, too. I have learned a lot about other sports on is blog with the good and knowledgeable people who participate. It is a fun place to visit each day. Have a great weekend, fellow Loonies!

  49. JoeyBats says:

    DK…..looking forward to your updates & insights from Steelers’ rookie camp. Please info as much as possible! :-)

  50. Pucknutz says:

    Hey Biz,
    Agree w/ya . this particular blog is one of the most civilized I have ever seen. Very little, if any name calling or personal attacks. Other than the obvious “trolls” that pop in on occasion discussions usually are quite polite.

    That said, I believe one has to have a bit thicker skin and not take offense as quickly as some have. Its an internet blog…..its not like sitting around with a bunch of your buddies and BS ing about sports. In that scenario you can say a lot of “nasty” things with a smile on your face and no harm done. The arguments can get heated but in the end everybody has a good laugh and agrees to disagree.
    Say the same thing on a blog, and even with a bunch of :) s behind it and it still may appear much harsher than intended.
    Nothing new there. Ya would think by now that most people would get that . If you are really going to get upset with something someone posts on the internet you are in the wrong place. And if it turns out that one particular poster is just “trolling”….ignore.

    “I ask please for all of us to post with respect with the thoughts we grow this blog and lose no more folks”
    Agree….take a look at you post before you hit the “post” button….make sure it comes across as intended.
    Not always gonna happen but….

    This place aint even close to being a soap opera! :)
    Keep up the good work. lol

  51. Matt says:

    If the Pens had just invested time in Seal Training we might not be having all of this hockey talk!

  52. JoeyBats says:

    10 pts…11 rebounds…1 block….1 steal… almost 40 minutes last night



  53. JAL says:

    JAL’s Bicycle 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: The Pirates Have Returned to the Days Where They Can’t Beat Milwaukee

    Prospect Watch: Alen Hanson and Josh Bell Homer, Six No-Hit Innings From Buddy Borden

    Prospect Highlights: Strikeout From Casey Sadler, More From JaCoby Jones

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Mark Melancon implodes as Pirates lose, 4-3

    Pirates MiLB recap: 5/15/14

    7 Rumbunter

    Pirates Come-from-Ahead, Lose at House of Horrors in 9th

    8 Green Weenie

    Mark the Shark Gets Harpooned As Bucs Go Down 4-3


    Game 40: Brewers 4 Pirates 3

    10 City of Champions

    Mark Melancon blows another save as Pittsburgh Pirates downed by Brewers

  54. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 KDKA

    Chris Stewart: I Want This Staff To Trust Me

    12 CBS Sports

    Pirates-Yankees Preview

    13 Chicago Sun Times

    Cubs’ frustration grows as lack of timely hitting earns another loss

    14 Pirates 101

    Tony Watson Should Get Next Save Opportunity for the Pittsburgh Pirates

    15 Pirates Site

    Melancon, Pirates can’t hold on in ninth

    Notebook: Stewart, Martin set for reunion with Yankees

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Reds’ bats fall flat in 6-1 series loss to Padres

    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Khris Davis’ big hit gives Brewers ninth-inning victory

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Bernie: What needs to happen to get Cards going?

    19 Fangraphs

    The Slowest(-Working) Team in Baseball History

    20 Baseball Prospectus

    Have Tommy John Surgery, Sign Long-Term Contract?

  55. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Fact or Fiction: Ryan Shazier will be the top rookie in the AFC North in 2014

    Steelers LB Terence Garvin got his start through an undrafted and unsigned tryout

    Steelers UDFA DE Josh Mauro felt he was the ‘most tenacious’ defensive end in the draft


    22 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    Spain’s Tactics at the World Cup

    23 BBC Football

    Liverpool’s Luis Suarez dismisses transfer speculation

    Manchester United: Missing out on Europe to cost club £30m

    Manchester United: Missing out on Europe to cost club £30m

    24 World Soccer

    Cristiano Ronaldo on course to become Europe’s leading scorer


    25 Pensburgh

    Breakdown day round up: Pens duck out of town

    Penguins rumors: Will Ray Shero remain the GM? Should he?

  56. Jandy says:

    Welcome, Rock, pull up a chair and sit a spell.

    have you told Biz your hometown so it can be added to the list of Dejan’s Lunatics’ Asylum?

  57. Jandy says:

    Haha Reading, yeah I got a kick out of that ;)

  58. DJ says:

    Was speaking about need to mobilize THIS week, BB.

    Don’t think they were anticipating that when we were up 3-1, all smiling faces in NYC before coming home.

  59. Jandy says:

    Please, if I might add to Dejan’s welcome…if you post your hometown, Biz will add it to the list of Dejan’s Lunatics’ Asylum. Welcome :)

  60. Jandy says:


  61. Jandy says:

    Payerl, I’ve completely forgotten about him. Intriguing.

  62. Jandy says:

    DJ is on a roll, look out, Jim S ;)

  63. Jandy says:

    Dang DJ, you’re just cruisin’ ;)

  64. AL says:

    This is in reference to some of the posters above regarding the quality of this blog. I’ve been reading it for a long time and I agree……except for the occasional troll, I have been impressed we all can express our different opinions and have the courtesy to never show deliberate disrespect to, or personally attack, another poster. I know I would leave if this blog ever turned into WWE.

  65. Jandy says:

    Well…I see this from Rossi’s article…
    “Crosby on Thursday tepidly denied a falling out with Bylsma. Malkin did not address the media. ”

    Read more:
    Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

    And I think….Yup, there were definitely issues in the locker room. And this explains Sid’s play during the playoffs.

  66. Jandy says:

    “Taking lessons from Letang perhaps?”

    LOL! Yup, Jim S. has serious competition.

  67. BillyBaduka says:

    Agreed DJ.

    I shouldn’t have been responding at 3:00 am.

  68. DJ says:

    Sup, Jands?

    May be day of reckoning for Pens. Have this feeling they keep Shero.

  69. pghgolfgirl says:

    Love your blog. 2 questions: I found it surprising that 2 of the Pens most vocal leaders – Niskanen and Orpik – weren’t available to the media yesterday. Orpik I can kind of understand since he’s injured (but hey, Duper was available!) but Nisky? Can you infer anything from their absences? Also, and this may be really out there, any idea if Barry Melrose wants to get back into coaching? I could sort of see him as a potential coach (much more so than Torts).

  70. DJ says:

    On Sutter, could see someone giving him a nice bump, which could force our hand and further mess with our cap.

    I see us moving a minimum of one (hopefully Scuds) and likely two of our mid-tier guys.

  71. DJ says:

    Saw that too. He really did not address the question.

    Tells me there’s some truth to the topic.

  72. Jandy says:

    I’m just glad it’s Friday. Wildly busy, multi-tasking week. lol

    I dunno, and I’m not really caring one way or another if they keep Shero or let him go, but as much as I like Bylsma, his time here is over. When asked about problems with Bylsma, Sid “tepidly” (according to Rossi) denied there was any. That is very telling for me.

    I’d love to see Babcock here if Shero is let go.

    What do you think?

  73. Jandy says:


  74. Wild Bill says:

    Good morning, all. Gotta say I don’t understand the talk of Shero being dismissed. Would it not be the case that the direction of the club would be a hand in glove effort with an owner like Mario? Or do I just not understand how this works, with Shero having total autonomy to do what he wants and Mario saying “hmmm” like the rest of us when a move was made?

    I could see a total redraw of how the club will do business going forward, but don’t think we need to dump Shero to do that.

  75. Jandy says:

    Gotta find a taker for them first…

  76. BillyBaduka says:

    No way Melrose is the coach, no way.

    It was a debacle when he was brought into TB years ago.

    He’s hot the cushy broadcast job, I don’t think he ever coaches again.

  77. DJ says:



  78. Jandy says:

    Ha! Seconded.

  79. Wild Bill says:

    This was very well said, Nutzie. Gotta come in expecting different views from our own, and be adult enough to learn from them instead of feeling rejected.

  80. DJ says:

    Babcock seems like the best “available” assuming he would be available, of course.

    I think he would tick the boxes for what this team needs right now. Not easily rattled, calming influence, system-oriented, has worked with superstars. And nice hair and suits.

  81. Rbilak says:

    1. Bylsma decision is an easy one. 5 years of consecutive loses to lower seeds. Undisciplined penalties not just from stars, but manifested to 3/4 liners. No clue on powerplay. No clue on PK.

    2. Shero, little tougher, drafts sucked. Roster construction all depends on direction he was given. Did he decide Pens should go with figure skating, vertically challenged guys? Did he really have a trade in place for Letang and was told no, Letang’s hair appeal draws fans? Did Sid say Duper long term? More questions need answered before he gets all blame. Now if he wants Trots, no way.

    3. Finally the team needs a core player shake up. That means Letang or MAF. I think Neal is as good as gone but unless there is a significant roster move! I think the in,ayes still run team, they need a reality check. They are complacent. They think the names alone showing up will win a game. Unless the coach is like Babcock or Keenan, nothing changes.

    4. New GM, line 4, UFA’s – John Scott 6-8, Big Mac back, Biznasty back. Sign all 3, play them, watch the Staal, Dubinsky, Flyer cheapshot’s go away and Sid and Geno have career years. Won’t cost more than 2mill for all 3. I would rather see guys laid out for a 2 minute penalty than the dumb penalties we see in the offensive zone. Want Entertainment, those guys would provide that also. NHL not going to change so combat it.

  82. Wild Bill says:

    Don’t deny that the drafts have been unproductive at forward. But how productive can it be when drafting close to last in most years? If the best player left is a defenseman, what do you do, draft forwards anyway?

  83. Naje says:


    This weekend you’ll be watching a bunch of guys in t-shirts and shorts doing absolutely nothing, over the PBC at Yankee Stadium.

    I know the Bucs aren’t quite the story they were in 2013, but what could you possibly glean from a weekend minicamp that isn’t going to be given to us by the 8,000 podcast, webcast, blogcast types?

    Not going to pull a Drew here, but PBC at Yankee stadium … well, maybe that’s a tougher thing to write about considering the circumstances. And you get to stay close when the Pens owners fire whomever they’re going to fire. And the family…

    You win…

  84. Jandy says:

    I thought Milo’s post from last night is definitely sharing again:

    Milo Hamilton
    May 15, 2014 at 10:07 PM

    This is really good.


    {because NOW is not nearly as important than 6 seasons from NOW!
    ———this statement I have been typing is especially true now that Buccos are 8 1/2 games out of 1st Place in 4th.
    13th out of 15 National League teams doesn’t bode well for that cheap Wild Card game either!}

  86. Arriba Wilver says:

    Hey, DJ, you stole my line!


  87. Jandy says:

    And hats…

  88. AL says:

    The decision on Shero is a tough one because we don’t know how much of a micro-manager Mario is (at least I don’t know). If Ray made all the decisions on his own then the case would be different than if upper management had to approve all his decisions. If yes, then who is to blame?

  89. Jim S. says:

    Thanks, DK. I definitely follow the Pirates the most these days, but it hasn’t always been that way for me. I love all our teams and am glad this blog has room for them all, including area college teams. I also like that national sports issues are kicked around here on occasion.

    When I want the Bucs full-time, I jump over to Travis’ blog, as many here do. It’s a nice other option.

  90. Nate83 says:

    A question for you much more knowledgable hockey fans. Obviously Crosby and Malkin are not going anywhere but it seems like some large contract player needs to be moved just to shake things up. Which of those contracts (Neal, Fleury, Kunitz, Letang and Dupuis) would be moveable. Which player is the most attractive to other teams.

    I assume the return would be a couple lower profile players that fit the mold of good team guys who are solid two way players that can mix it up and grind in playoff style hockey. My fear is it will be the players that actually did play well during the playoffs and play a style I respect that don’t get resigned and are replaced by other parts. I personally like Goc and Stempniak and obviously don’t want to see Niskanin and Jokinin leave. I would rather see money saved by moving Neal or Kunitz and use that money to keep some of those guys. Maybe I’m in the minority with that thinking.

  91. Jim S. says:

    It’s too bad when that happens. I hope they come back, Lucky.

  92. Jandy says:

    Monster Mash and Eric Bowser are the more knowledgeable ones, but I’d agree that moving Neal and Letang would be the most likely path. I also said the last couple days I don’t want Niskie to go. He’s a steady player…and I like how he stepped up all season long when other Dmen went down (like Martin). Jussi should also be kept, we’ll have to see how much the $$ factor plays out on him.

    I’ll leave the rest to the pros ;)

  93. Jandy says:

    Great point, Wild One

  94. Wild Bill says:

    Very much afraid that a sarcastic comment I made about leaving He Who Must Not Be Named in the minors all year because by the time they want to bring him up the race would be over for us – it may turn out to be true.

    But the pitching is the issue even more than the hitting so far. Melancon was scary bad yesterday. Division teams are learning what to do with his outer edge slider – let it go or take it to right field.

  95. Milo Hamilton says:

    Pens press conference at 11:30.

  96. Jim S. says:

    Don’t ever melt, DJ.

  97. Arriba Wilver says:

    “He also has a clause that guarantees him final say over all hockey decisions.”

    That was in ROSSI’s story, talking about Shero’s contract.

    Now, the reality may be different than what’s written on paper, but I thought that was interesting.

  98. Wild Bill says:

    Maybe a cutter is what that pitch is called.

  99. Jim S. says:

    Why can’t Pitt ever successfully recruit athletic big men like that?

  100. Arriba Wilver says:

    What time do the rumors start?

  101. Jandy says:


  102. NMR says:

    It’s ok, Bill. Leaving Polanco in AAA was Groat’s suggestion all winter.

  103. Jim S. says:

    Ugh! No truer words have been spoken, Reading.

  104. Jandy says:

    LOL! Look out, DJ, Jim S. is making a comeback ;)
    (pun intended)

  105. NMR says:

    “Division teams are learning what to do with his outer edge slider – let it go or take it to right field.”

    Mark Melancon’s batting average against in 2013 was .222

    Mark Melancon’s batting average against in 2014 is .219

  106. DJ says:

    Shoe (or shoes) about to drop.

  107. Milo Hamilton says:

    I think it’s pretty obvious that Olli Maata hit a wall. In that same direction something to consider, the last time Sidney Crosby played this many games was 2010. This year Sid played 93 games not even counting the Olympics. The most he had played since 2010 was 50 last year. Not making excuses, just a thought.

  108. Wild Bill says:

    This was a good article. I still maintain that for Sid, getting that second Olympic gold medal meant that his season was made, then he had to come back here to the injuries and other chaos. Did he lose interest? Maybe, for his level of excellence, he did.

  109. Rbilak says:

    Agree Shero decision a bit tougher. Patrick went same way. But he lost Strait, Simon could not play over Engelland, caused them to go for Scuderi, Morrow was a waste, Bennett looks to be frail. But at some point you gotta hit on a later round pick or two. There is zero forward depth in organization, it will hurt for years. 11:30 we will know.

  110. Jim S. says:

    That’s a good line. I missed it the first time.

  111. I’ve heard that Jussi Yokkinen has priced himself out of the Pens’ lineup so this free agent will likely be with someone else next season. As for the Pirates, well, the bullpen had its 10th blown save yesterday since Melancon could get nobody out, and while Manager Clint Hurdle tried to say that they’re only human, this is plainly ridiculous.

  112. Rbilak says:

    Absolutely, thing is they had D depth, he could have been rested more. No one in organization saw this?

  113. Jim S. says:

    Good morning, Garage League lady!

  114. Jim S. says:


    That happened to me last night. I sat down to try to catch a few episodes on DVR of the new 24 season around 9:00, and I kept dozing off. Been running around like crazy lately. I think it happens to all of us. Then, I wake up way too early and it all starts again.

  115. Nate83 says:

    +++ Milo

    That’s an excellent point. The guy takes a beating the entire year not only in the playoffs. I think protecting him and keeping him fresh will be the quickest way to get better.

  116. Rbilak says:

    I like Jussi, but he is one of those guys who is much better with Pens than he will ever be elsewhere. Look at Carolina, he was almost out of the league playing so bad. No we cannot afford what another team will play. Same with Nisky, unless Letang is moved, Scuderi is bought out, I KNOW about CBA, his buyout, would save a million and change each year for 3 remaining years , which is needed over ZERO production.

  117. NMR says:

    Pirates scrambling to set up a press conference for 11:45 to announce they’ve traded Cutch for prospects and are raising ticket prices next year.


    I think the question for me is: would ownership be criticizing Shero’s handling of picks and prospects if the team was winning Stanley Cups?

    All those moves at the deadline where Shero acquired pieces to help the Penguins for a playoff run without disrupting the roster, the assets going the other way had to come from somewhere. I’m with you, Wild Bill: these moves were not made in a vacuum…

  119. Wild Bill says:

    There you go, messin me up with facts, NMR. All I can say is that the division teams try to deal with him differently. His second blown save yesterday.

  120. Jim S. says:

    Well said, bpn. It’s time for a good 9 of 11 streak, or something like that. No more margin for error.

  121. Nate83 says:

    Melancon is still a very good pitcher. It sounds like he got squeezed a little bit yesterday by the umpire. At the end of the day it’s a lot to ask a bullpen to give up zero runs in 4 innings of work.

  122. Milo Hamilton says:

    After the dust settles, I think a larger role in the organization for Tom Fitzgerald would be a good place to start.

  123. Thundercrack says:

    It will be interesting to see who from the Pens runs the press conference. Who is going to stand in front of the media? Mario. Moorehouse. Representative from the Marketing Department.

  124. NMR says:

    I think the issue is with expectations, Bill. Going all the way back to DK’s brilliantly satirical they’ll-never-give-up-another-run-again blog last spring.

    Grilli and Melancon pitched out of their minds last year. Earned every bit of it, but set themselves up for an awfully difficult act to follow.

    Melancon hasn’t been striking out as many guys this year, but otherwise the only difference in performance is sequencing. Giving up similar number of hits and walks, they’re just unfortunately getting bunched together at the wrong times.

    C’est la baseball.

  125. Jim S. says:

    +++, Ghost.

    You can never go wrong with a Homer Simpson reference.

  126. Wild Bill says:

    That is interesting, AW. I guess I’m just having a hard time envisioning Shero thinking about a trade deadline acquisition and not picking up the phone to see what Mario Thinks before doing it. But maybe it worked that way.

  127. DJ says:

    Dan’s fedora at the Stadium Series game looked silly.

    What’s with all the fedoras lately — Pens, Bucs? We need more Bavarian mountian guides?

  128. Bylsma extended for 3 years. How’s that for a rumor?


  129. Nate83 says:

    It’s also not likely to continue. Except for the blown saves statistically the bullpen has not been far off last years pace. Yes they haven’t been as good but they shouldn’t be on pace for 40 blowns saves this year compared to 15 all of last year.

  130. Wild Bill says:

    Neal attractive to scoring starved teams. Flower has one? more expensive season left, then up for grabs what he’s worth. Letang valuable to teams not scared by his health issues. As with all trades, it depends on the return available.

  131. Jim S. says:

    It has been suggested by several, in various outlets, that Sid maybe did not give his all at times in the playoffs this year, and that maybe it was an intentional attempt to sabotage the coach.

    I sure hope that is not true. I don’t want to believe that is true. If it is true, it doesn’t say much for Sid, and I will have lost a lot of respect for him that won’t come back easily. From his rookie year on, I have always thought of Sid as a first class person, on and off the ice. He hasn’t always behaved perfectly on the ice, I know. Taking repeated cheap shots will cause that in a competitor from time to time. But, I’ve always said that if my son grows up to represent his family the way Sid seems to represent his, I’d be very happy. I’d hate to have to rethink even a tiny bit of that opinion after all these years.

  132. Milo Hamilton says:

    No mention of Shero in the press release. He’s gone too.


    Wait until ownership decides what direction they want the Penguins to go before you start speculating. I have a feeling the Penguins design is about to get an entirely new architect…

  134. Wild Bill says:

    With ya.

  135. Jandy says:


  136. Jandy says:


  137. Jim S. says:

    Nisky’s status is up in the air, and even moreso with the coach and GM possibly on the way out. I think it would be hard to have him as a spokesman for the team right now.

    I hope they can find a way to keep him, but that is not something I’m completely confident about right now.

  138. Wild Bill says:

    Agree, Milo. I think the kid had an amazing rookie season, regardless.

  139. Sarah says:

    I think they are all movable, Duper and Letang have health issues, Kunitz age, Neal behavior, MAF may be the most movable actually.

    LEtangs LTC kicks in in July, so they will have to fish or cut bait on him prior to that.

    If I’m another team I doubt I take a chance on an aging Duper coming off a serious knee injury.

    Tangers play in the playoffs perhaps has brought his value back up.

    He’s the one that really has to go to free up cap space I think.

  140. JohninOshkosh says:


  141. Arriba Wilver says:

    Some idiot suggested in the morning thread yesterday that Melancon was doing fine as the closer.

    That was moi.


  142. DJ says:

    Tom McMillan?

  143. Sarah says:

    On Babcock, as I said a couple days ago, he has one more year on his contract in DET. He has expressed a desire to coach the Pens, but doubtful they would let him out of his commitment early.

    Have JM as an interim and make a hard play for Babs next year.


  144. Sarah says:

    Wow. Good news IMO.

    So they will go into the draft with a new (or no) GM…..

  145. Sarah says:

    They both should have been rested a LOT after Sochi.
    In hindsight, poor move to work them that hard for a Divison already wrapped up….

  146. Milo Hamilton says:

    Bob McKenzie tweets that Shero & Bylsma have been fired.

  147. Wild Bill says:

    Can you keep posting the info, Milo? Or is there I way I can follow it from out here in Central Pa.?

  148. Jim S. says:

    Absolutely true, NMR. I said late yesterday that he could have given up 2 runs on Wednesday night in the bottom of the 9th, and we’d have still won. Unfortunately, he imploded yesterday when there was no margin for error after giving up 0 runs on Wed. Last year, it felt like he and Grilli had their bad outings when they were protecting a bigger lead most of the time. That’s just how it goes.

    As you say – sequencing. Nothing mystical about it.


    Be careful, Rbilak: the same could have been said for Pascal Dupuis. He was a defensive-forward with limited offensive upside, but he carved out a role rather nicely. Much like Dupuis, Jokinen’s versatility and ability to play with top-line players shouldn’t be overlooked. That being said, I can’t see the Penguins engaging in a bidding war for his services (no matter who the GM is).

    Niskanen, I suspect, will be looking for Paul Martin money and a long-term deal.

  150. Patrick the suspiciously passionate says:

    I think Shero is gone, too. Mostly because he so permanently attached himself to his coach. I DON’T think he should be fired because of his roster failings.

    But ask yourself this: Is the current Penguins roster, today, talented enough to win a Stanley Cup? On paper, yes. That’s the whole point. Everyone is upset and angry because THEY ARE talented enough to win, they just haven’t.

    The who/what/where/how/when/why this roster was created is pure hindsight. At the end of the day, Ray Shero put together a team more than capable of winning a Stanley Cup. And in my mind that’s what matters. That’s what he is paid to do. The narrative that Shero is a terrible GM is just silly.

    He failed. He made mistakes. He misjudged the wrong people and over/under estimated the importance of others. Those errors should, and likely will, cost him his job.

    But to say Shero is/always was a horrible GM is just wrong.

  151. tdb1977 says:

    TSN is reporting that GM Ray Shero and head coach Dan Bylsma have been fired. Saw this on twitter


    Strap yourselves in, folks… it’s going to be a long summer.

  153. Milo Hamilton says:

    Someone needs to wake Dejan. His twitter is quiet.

  154. Jim S. says:


    Does this “moi” person have an avatar? Sounds like a French guy. :-)

  155. chethejet1 says:

    On what basis is Shero back? If I am Burkle, that is an easy business decision. Shero is well liked as a person and I hope they stick to the business of the franchise. Bylsma is gone and again that is tied to Shero. Two guys that are very likable but simply took the franchise in the wrong direction. The lesson of hiring a first time coach is he spends time learning the job on your dime. And sometimes they don’t have the experience to draw on at critical times. Bylsma’s greatest strength was his single mindedness. that folks is also his worst enemy. He never learned how to coach.

  156. Thundercrack says:

    Listen to The Fan online if you can

  157. Joey Mellons says:

    Yeah, just saw a Sportscenter tweet saying the same thing.

  158. Patrick the suspiciously passionate says:

    Melrose? *shudder

  159. Joey Mellons says:

    Yeah, just saw a Sportscenter tweet saying the same thing.

  160. DJ says:

    Wonder if Jason Botterill moves up or they do a clean sweep.

  161. Jim S. says:

    Did they cancel the hastily arranged press conference to announce that Polanco is still not ready?

  162. tdb1977 says:

    Probably gone to Starbucks to get his morning coffee. And then deciding where to go. Steelers’s minicamp or CEC. To many decisions

  163. DJ says:

    May be in contract negotiations.

  164. chethejet1 says:

    First time coaches are really risky. That is why I move heaven and earth for Babcock. The NHL doesn’t allow for coaches to be traded. Not sure how you can get him though.

  165. Milo Hamilton says:

    Here it is …

  166. Jim S. says:

    Well, they gave him that day off at the end of the regular season. I guess that didn’t fix everything, huh?

  167. NMR says:

    Almost as bad as the idiot who said Tony Sanchez doesn’t have any power. ;)

    The thing I find so odd about Melancon’s “struggles” going back to last September is not only that he’s allowing about the same number of baserunners, but he’s also not getting hit hard at all. Just four extra base hits in 24 innings.

    When relievers go bad it’s usually because walks or homeruns. Melancon, for whatever reason, is just getting bit by hits getting bunched together against him.

  168. DJ says:

    Don’t think they would do this.

    Can’t let another year pass.

  169. Patrick the suspiciously passionate says:

    Only Shero and owners know that for sure, but I distinctly remember one of the bigger trades (the Hossa deal, i think) in which Shero said post-deal presser that he got the owner’s verbal approval before making the deal. I would like to think that any major deal involving big names (Iginla, Morrow, Guerin) involved more than just Shero and his direct reports. Coaches and the people who sign checks would almost have to be involved at some point…wouldn’t they?

  170. buggee says:

    I remember that exchange Dejan.
    Oh well, peeps come and peeps go, but the blog goes on. So off go a number of quality posters to some other venue, yet in come new and different posters with their own style. Always makes for a fun read and evokes both posted and unposted commentary from yours truly (THAT’s one of those words I always misspell!!!)

    So sorry to see yinz go, and–unless yer some kinda jagoff or sumptin–consider it presumptuous of me to state that the digital blog-door remains open for your return.

    Now, let’s return to the regularly-scheduled Festival of Complaints about Pittsburgh Sports Teams (‘n’ ‘at), whilst I embark on my Path to True Shuttlecock Enlightenment.

    Raise it (and don’t you dare pee on it–I’ll have to sic Madden on ya)!

  171. Wild Bill says:

    Got it. Thanks.

  172. Jim S. says:

    I like Jussi a lot, but isn’t he sort of Marlon Byrd here (without the steroids, of course)? I mean, how many guys suddenly get a lot better and sustain it after 30? I’m not a hockey expert. Just asking a question. I know it is possible that he has elevated his game permanently, but I think they would need to overpay him now and it might not turn out so well. I don’t think this team can afford to overpay anyone else.

  173. Jim S. says:

    Well, on the other hand, there aren’t as many picks to make, are there? Gotta look at the bright side.

  174. JohninOshkosh says:

    So, two LA teams will play for a spot in the Western Conference finals. As a lifelong Upper Midwesterner, I get a little envious of Southern California. Always had the beautiful weather and the beautiful women, do they have to have beautiful hockey as well ?

    Here, hockey is a religion. A Mom is much more likely to be a hockey Mom here, rather than a soccer Mom. There, hockey is hip diversion. Not fair!!

    Wayne Gretzky’s greatest off ice contributions: popularization of hockey in Southern California and daughter, Paulina.

    Oh, and I would be remiss…Godzilla opens tonight! 74% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Not bad for a summer popcorn flick. Good cast, too. Although, as long as Godzilla is in the title, I’d go see it even if Carrot Top starred.

  175. buggee says:

    I think Babcock would be fun choice–for about 3 years. Then it’ll be the same thing; “He lost the locker room. The players aren’t playing his system.” Blech.


    I hear there’s some great real-estate he can snap up on Babcock Blvd!

    I told me lil wifelette after our “date night” last night the following: “Cannonball coming!” She did NOT think that was funneh. Like WTF chica? Where’s ur sense a humor ‘n’ ‘at?

    Raise it and yell til you’re all hoarse ‘n’ ‘at

  176. Jandy says:

    Sounds like me too… ZZzzzzzzzz in the evenings….

  177. Wild Bill says:

    Wow. What a day indeed. Wonder if they have a GM successor in mind?

  178. Jandy says:

    :D Good morning, sweetest person on the blog :*

  179. Milo Hamilton says:

    Wherever Bylsma ends up, can we please trade Craig Adams there ?

  180. 21sthebest says:

    With a WHIP under .8 when you said it which makes that comment impossible to be idiotic.

  181. Jandy says:


  182. Milo Hamilton says:

    You would certainly hope this wasn’t a knee jerk decision and that some thought was given to possible ramifications.

  183. Jandy says:

    His wife may be making him clean up after we all traipsed in and forgot our blade covers ;)

  184. Jandy says:

    Buckle up, baby!

  185. Jim S. says:

    I sense this could lead to a “clutch” discussion, though. He should be able to control when he gives up hits because that’s what the great ones do. It is unfortunate that he is tending to give up baserunners in bunches, but as I wrote yesterday, his WHIP was well below 1.00 before yesterday. But, I would say the prevailing opinion among a lot of Bucs fans (not necessarily bloggers here) before yesterday was that he was having a terrible season because he had already blown a couple of saves.

  186. Arriba Wilver says:

    So, 9:52 it is.


  187. Jandy says:

    It might be that he has that “chemistry” with certain players here.
    Like Neal with Geno….and he’s lost without Geno.

  188. Stuart says:

    Milo, I’m not sure that the talk of “Package Deals” is permitted on this blog.

  189. Wild Bill says:

    From what I’ve heard, we ought to sign Godzilla to play on Sid’s left wing.

  190. buggee says:

    Jandeh!!!! Nice to see ya snoozy-gal! happeh Fridah

  191. AJS says:

    You still have to be able to find talent n later rounds. Drafting close to last in the first round is teh equivalent of drafting early in round two, etc. So you mean to tell me no impact player in the NHL can be found unless you pick in the top half of the first round? Nonsense. There are plenty of supporting cast members taken in rounds 3 and later. And with Crosby and Malkin all you need is some competent wingers who are willing to do the dirty work. Kunitz was that guy once upon a time. Loved getting his nose dirty. Now he’s just as much of a flash and dash guy as his line mates.

  192. Patrick the suspiciously passionate says:

    I mentioned this before but it bears repeating; were Shero’s picks really that bad or was it simply Bylsma’s failure to get them to reach their potential? With another coach are Bennett and Despres full-time NHL players?

    It’s rather a moot point since DB and Shero are joined at the hip, but I recall the Bill Cowher/Tom Donahoe. The Steelers slipped in the late 90’s and everyone blamed Cowher. Donahoe got axed, Colbert drafted Casey Hampton/Aaron Smith instead of Jermain Stephens/Troy Edwards and suddenly Cowher was a great coach, again.

    To me, player development is a grey area. It isn’t always cut and dry as to who is at fault. Was it bad drafting or bad coaching? Both?

  193. AJS says:

    Nah, the further the Bucs are out of it the more they need Polanco here now to generate some kind of excitement for the team and keep the fans engaged.

  194. NMR says:

    Dare I say an investigation?

  195. Wild Bill says:

    Or right wing, I’m not particular.

  196. Milo Hamilton says:

    I wonder if the Pens also wanted to make Babcock GM if that would make any difference ? The Wings would look awful bad denying permission in that case.

  197. Jandy says:

    Very happy Friday, buggee, my fine SHuttlecock friend :)

  198. Jandy says:

    Pierre McGuire would be considered, wouldn’t he?

  199. Milo Hamilton says:

    You sir are rolling today.

  200. Johnstown Russ says:

    How did Bobby Cox last so long in Atlanta? 1 Ws trophy in what, 19 years? They won the division every year with 2 hall of fame pitchers, maybe another and chipper jones.

    Would another manager hAve made the right moves to win more rings there?

    At some point it’s on the players. Crosby was terrible. So were others.

    The penguins are baseballs version of the braves. They got their one championship and that’s that. Will another guy make that difference?

    I beleive the front office in Atanta made very few changes. They had enough talent to win every year. Yet in the playoffs, they went limp. Why? Cox didn’t do anything different. They got through long seasons with impressive records with the same players.

    It’s a mystery.

  201. Jandy says:

    It’s a new club…the Rollers.

  202. hockeymonster says:

    I take it that Mr. Burkle was not entertained.

  203. AJS says:

    Then I think it has to be Neal. No one is touching LeTang at 7 million and a heart condition that lead to a stroke.

  204. Arriba Wilver says:

    I had same thought, Sarah.

    So it’ll never happen. ;-)

    I think it was on Madden yesterday where some guest was saying they didn’t expect JM to be a factor because he hadn’t really been a factor after being added for this past season. They were talking something about the lines, though, and I thought the expressed purpose was to help Flower, with the fan speculation being coach in waiting. But I don’t really know.

  205. Ellie says:

    WGN Radio here in Chicago also reporting Bylsma and Shero out.

  206. hockeymonster says:

    Interesting quote from Sutter towards the bottom.

  207. Jandy says:

    Mornin Ellie! We’re all here sitting on the edge of our seats….you name it…wondering what will come next!

  208. Jim S. says:

    I know we have the big mystery news conference coming up and all, but while we wait for that …

    Was there ever a discussion here about the decision to change Big Papi’s popup from last Fri when Darvish was bidding for a no hitter from an error to a single?

    If I understand it correctly, there was an off-season meeting that official scorers for MLB attended. One issue they supposedly resolved was that if in the judgment of the scorer, a ball is playable with normal effort, and the out is not recorded, an error should be charged even if the ball was not touched by a defender.

    I totally endorse that change. I’ve never understood why a pitcher should have to pay for a misplayed ball by fielders. It seemed to me that the scorer did his due diligence, applied the new thinking, and got it right – although I would have charged the error to the 2b there. Then, several days later MLB decided to change it to a hit? First of all, had Darvish completed the no hitter on Friday, we know they would not have changed the ruling. Or, would they have done it, anyway? Why have these guys get together to clarify these situations and then ignore what they decide? Very confusing to me.

  209. Ellie says:

    And it’s snowing.

  210. Jandy says:


  211. Jandy says:


  212. AJS says:

    Detroit won’ let him go. And man I hate that guy anyway. But that type of coach is exactly what this team needs.

  213. Jim S. says:

    Some of us left ours on the porch. Just sayin’. ;-)

  214. Ellie says:

    Mornin’, Jandy. As I mis-posted below, it’s snowing here mid-May. Strange portents … looks like it’s all up for grabs!

  215. Patrick the suspiciously passionate says:

    Every player in the league would see their production go up if they got put on a line with Geno and Neal. He went from playing with Tlusty and Hall to a dynamic line with top players.

  216. AJS says:

    Dejan won’t comment until he has confirming facts and not just speculation from a couple of other outlets. That’s what good, responsible journalism is all aout.

  217. Jandy says:

    see? you ARE the sweetest one on the blog :)

  218. hockeymonster says:

    Is the hamster still churning down in WGN’s basement?

  219. Milo Hamilton says:

    I consider him a boob, yes.

  220. Jandy says:

    Where ya’ll at Ellie that it’s snowing??? Lord, I’d be so mad lol

  221. Jim S. says:

    Or Duper and Sid? Yeah, maybe.

    He’s going to want paid, though.

  222. Jandy says:

    lol I’m serous.

  223. Jandy says:

    yeah…the $$ factor is going to decide a lot of moves.

  224. Nate83 says:

    Maybe Mike Milbury will be the next coach. He seems to think he knows everything that is wrong with the Penguins. He wouldn’t make it to the first practice without the fans chasing him out of town. :)

  225. hockeymonster says:

    Global warming…pffftt

  226. Jim S. says:

    And, I thought Bylsma’s giant window pane suit for the last game was bad. Can you imagine Melrose?

  227. chethejet1 says:

    Is it televised on root sports or on the Pens website?

  228. Jandy says:

    I’ll set his hair on fire!!!!!!!!!!!! Can’ stand that .,… er… &%$%#

  229. Jandy says:


  230. Arriba Wilver says:

    I always liked King Kong over Godzilla. I guess I like monkeys better. But from what I’ve been reading and hearing, it sounds like this could be good. The last one wasn’t.

  231. hockeymonster says:

    His 1st move would be to get Lidstrom out of retirement.

  232. Jandy says:

    Well, you ruined our perfectly good narrative…

  233. JohninOshkosh says:

    Can any of you sports junkies recall when any organization fired both coach and GM after getting to conference semifinals or better ?

    Sure it has happened. Maybe even several times. Just can’t recall off hand. Need. Coffee. Now.

  234. Jim S. says:

    Too much wine on school nights will do that, I hear. :-)

  235. That is TOTALLY INCORRECT!! You infidels have been misquoting my stance all spring.

    But it makes a better story.

  236. Jim S. says:

    Am not.

  237. Nate83 says:

    Me and Oshkosh had a short discussion. The official scorer actually contacted Elias to ask what to do since a no hitter was at stake. You are correct about them changing the rule this off season and official scorers still calling that a hit this year for the most part despite the change in rule. This guy got it correct although my guess is he wouldn’t have if a no hitter wasn’t on the line.

    My take is Darvish did his job and produced a ball in play that should be an out so it should be an error. I actually agree with it being an error on the right fielder which was Rios in this case. It’s his ball and he is running in and was there in plenty of time. Even with the shift on and the second baseman being closer to the eventual landing of the ball he has to go back and that is always the less routine play.

  238. bpn8pitt says:

    Jerry Jones?

  239. Ellie says:

    Chicago Loop. Folks are borderline suicidal. It’s been a rough winter.

  240. Jandy says:

    LOL I busted my rear end last night helping hubby put a ne hood on the Chevelle. Darn thing..he adjusted it 100 times!

  241. buggee says:

    Ok Jandehgal, I’m gonna ask you to expound on this if you would be so kind melady:

    “Yup, there were definitely issues in the locker room. And this explains Sid’s play during the playoffs”

    Sid is a professional; it’s evident in how he communicates with the media and generally how he conducts himself on the ice. He plays the game hard. I watched every game like many of you did, and watched closely towards the end, looking for something, some indication of Sid tanking it, standing around, not battling behind the net, avoiding combat areas around the net/crease.

    I didn’t see much of Sid not being Sid. So I guess I’m just finding it hard to understand unprofessional play from Sid as your observation suggests? That’s why I’m (respectfully) asking for your further analysis Jandy. What did I miss?

    For the blog in general; I have to say that I shelled out over $2,400 for playoff tickets this year for me and me lil wifelett. We also introduced the live game to some friends of ours from Cleveland who have never seen a live hockey game before (Game II against CBJ). And after following this team 47 years, I cannot remember ever having such a level of disappointment costing me so much personally.

    That’s why I’m pissed at this performance this year. We shell out huge amounts of caysh, expecting these professionals to perform to the best of their ability, yet in that very expectation, we forego the simple fact that these people are humans and just as flawed as us idjits who pony up all the caysh. The more I ponder this the more flawed this whole system is. I guess it just makes me long for the simple joy of loving the game without all the strings attached. Like it’s not ok for these guys to lose because OF HOW MUCH IT FRIKKING COST ME!


    So am I irked at the Pens for being human and falling flat on their collectives, or am I pissed at myself for succumbing to these unrealistic expectations? Grrrrrrrrr…

    Losing builds strength and character and resolve and determination and wisdom and so much more of the very things we want these professionals to embody. Yet, I for one do not want to pay for it. Perhaps that’s where one learns to truly identify with a team–in paying for that development with the teams we root for. It’s a price that few want to willingly pay.

    Of course I could be just babbling too. For that I do apologize. There’s more to life than one-liners, silly slogans and win-at-all-cost paradigms. Blessings, bloggers. Thanks to all of you!

  242. Patrick the suspiciously passionate says:

    I didn’t really get the same sense of denial that I kind of wanted with those rumors either. Perhaps it was just Sid distancing himself from ground zero (Bylsma) but I was hoping for a more impassioned defense of his coach to defuse the rumors of a fractured relationship. His reaction wasn’t much more than basic denial and a shoulder shrug. When fans/media gave it to Bylsma and Fleury last spring he was much more demonstrative in his support.

    But I don’t read much into Geno not addressing the media. I would have been surprised if he did, actually. he’s never been a guy comfortable in front of a microphone when times are good, much less now.

  243. Do you really think the Red Wings care if they look bad?

    They will NOT let Babcock out of his contract a year early to go to a team in the same Conference.

    And any discussion of Penguins having an Interim Coach for a year is also shortsighted and foolish! What are Pens: a Minor League team?

  244. Jandy says:

    Good Lord, I feel for ya lady! Now, step away from the ledge…


  245. Ellie says:

    I don’t know what this means, but somehow, I think I’d like it …

  246. Arriba Wilver says:

    The way I look at it, though, is if the closer isn’t closing out games, time to try someone else. We can look at the stats at the end of the year.

    But I also think RBI’s mean something .

  247. Jim S. says:

    I agree that it was technically Rios’ ball. But, at some point, if the infielder settles under it, and doesn’t back off, you let him have it so as not to collide with him. I don’t know if Rios tried to call him off or not. He definitely should have done that. If they both called for it, and the 2b appeared to have it under control, the RF should allow him to have it, since there wasn’t a throw to be made after the catch.

    But, I can see both sides. Maybe this case argues for the old “team error”, Nate?

    In either case, that wasn’t a hit. It was a pop fly that should have been caught. Sorry, Big Papi! Boston Strong.

  248. Ellie says:

    Will do. Can’t miss all this fun, anyway!

  249. JohninOshkosh says:


    I always loved Cold War allegories. Now the boogeyman monsters represent terrorists, climate change and economic collapse instead of the Red Menace or nuclear annihilation. That’s all.

    If it is as good as the recent, Pacific Rim, I’ll be OK with that.

    Also, seeing Spider Man this weekend. Of course, I’d go see a 90 minute film of the fabulous Emma Stone waiting for a bus.

  250. Jandy says:

    Buggee, my friend, I saw Sid NOT being Sid…more than once. Toward the end of the game 7 vs the Rangers, he flat out just didn’t try at all. All during the game, his whiffs were just….too….obvious for want of a better word. I’m not saying I could be wrong. many would tell me I am wrong. Just telling you what I saw. He didn’t have any fire whatsoever, as he usually does.

    I can’t afford tickets to a regular season game, let along playoffs…quit yer bellyaching ;)

  251. Jandy says:

    That’s for sure…I’m positively dying to hear what direction they take with new management and coach.

  252. Jim S. says:

    Sunny and 70 in the Chicago burbs, Ellie!

    Ok, I’m lying. It’s cold and damp … but not yet snowing.

  253. 21sthebest says:

    Yesterday was his second blown save.

  254. Jandy says:

    Spidey!! he’s my favorite…I was thinking of asking hubby to go….but going to Altoona Curve on Sunday, kids visiting with granddaughter Mischa Saturday…might be a bit hectic…will have to wait on Spidey

  255. Patrick the suspiciously passionate says:

    Only if he is allowed to hire Milbury as his coach

  256. Arriba Wilver says:

    Hey, Scotty Bowman was an “interim” coach.


  257. Jandy says:

    I do believe Bylsma WAS interim heach coach until that was changed.

  258. Jandy says:

    ugH! Head coach..darn jandy typos.

    And yes AW, you are right

  259. Arriba Wilver says:

    Thought the same thing.

  260. Jim S. says:

    Please, no! Everyone would be called by their full first names.

  261. Nate83 says:

    I’m fine with team error’s. I’m also OK with splitting the error which has been discussed. Just in case they get it correct. That should have never been considered a hit and saying that it’s always has been a hit so it should remain a hit is a debate I hope I never hear again in baseball. Baseball needs to evolve like all sports do.

  262. Jandy says:

    NoooOo Milbury.nooOooo!!!!

  263. Jandy says:


  264. 21sthebest says:

    Managers seem to play the match ups in innings 7 and 8, but we have to use a designated closer in the 9th. Seems like we have a bunch of good relievers. I’m all for playing the match ups in the 9th too which I suppose is closer by committee.

  265. Jim S. says:

    Well, I mean, who doesn’t like a good, clean foyer?

  266. The previous coach DIED, not intentionally removed!

  267. Ellie says:

    It’s just in the air, JS; nothing’s sticking. But as I’m sure you know, after this past winter, people are a little tetchy.

  268. Nate83 says:

    If you want to take it even further the GM just won GM of the year last year. Usually the GM would be kept but I can’t say I disagree with them going a different direction in both cases.

  269. Jim S. says:

    That’s where I am as well, 21. Sometimes the 7th or 8th can be harder than the 9th, depending on the score and who is up for the other team. I would say Clint thinks Watson is better than Grilli, even though Grilli will probably get the 9th inning back when he is activated.

  270. hockeymonster says:

    My posts earlier today and yesterday give a pretty good idea which direction i want to go.

  271. tdb1977 says:

    Party Pooper!

  272. JohninOshkosh says:

    Mine is a friggin mess!

  273. Jandy says:


  274. JohninOshkosh says:


  275. Mike A. says:

    Bravo! Been thinking the same thing. Remember, he was behind the bench in ’09.

  276. hockeymonster says:

    I just want to know one thing:

    Was Ryan O’Reilly’s name brought up before we drafted Despres 2 picks ahead of ROR and what was said? Not cuz one pick is the end all and be all…but i want to know if philosophy got in the way of a scout pounding the table for a forward.

    And i like despres.

  277. Jim S. says:

    I heard it suggested that Sid was a bit less than fully engaged in several other places as well, Jandy. I didn’t even know you had suggested it. :-)

  278. Jandy says:

    Ty I will :)

  279. Patrick the suspiciously passionate says:

    Even if his drafting had been acceptable, he tied himself to Bylsma. He made it a package deal. It was a risk. he took it. he lost. He’ll be fine, I fully expect both to be working for another team in the division pretty soon.

  280. Jim S. says:

    I always love your posts, and your irreverant off-beat humor, bugsy. I wish you were here more often.

  281. Jandy says:

    was at first thinking I was nuts and defended him. But…man, I started watching just HIM really closely…and it was like..I can’ believe what I’m seeing!

  282. Jim S. says:

    That man and his cars. I tell ya’.

  283. Patrick the suspiciously passionate says:

    Don’t forget Zac Sill. I really thought he played the way a 3rd/4th liner should play when he was up. Nothing flashy. Killed penalties, dropped the mitts, hit anything that moved. A younger Craig Adams.

  284. Jandy says:

    I really think Sid had just had enough. Esepcially with the abuse he was taking on ice…I think that was the last straw.

  285. Nate83 says:

    I saw spider man with my boys last weekend. These last two are so much better then the first 3 with Toby Mcguire. I think you will enjoy it. I did and I’m not even a huge superhero movie fan.

    My 6 year old is a fanatic. He has customes for 6 or 7 differnet guys. They had a superhero day at school this week and he is the only one that showed up in full outfit. He was Thor with mask, cape, outfit and hammer all included.

  286. Thundercrack says:

    You dared to say it. I dare to nominate that for POTD

  287. Jandy says:

    Tell me about it! ;)

    I can’t wait to take it out there…There’s a reason he calls the car “God of Thunder” (disclaimer – no reference to TC here) ;)

  288. Jandy says:

    Agreed. I was sad he was sent back down.

  289. Patrick the suspiciously passionate says:

    Stewart is a talented guy, for sure. Alongside Sid and Kunitz is a nice line. But he has been bumped around a bit and has had his focus questioned each time. I’m not sure that’s the kind of guy you bring in for your top line immediately following management shake-up.

  290. Jandy says:

    Thanks for the input, Nate, now I KNOW I gotta see it.

    Thor, your son has really good taste :)

  291. Nate83 says:

    I’m guessing you like Thor for a little different reason then my 6 year old son. It may have something to do with eye candy.

  292. Arriba Wilver says:

    Agree. (Not sure about Dan working in the division right away, though, at least as a head coach).

  293. hockeymonster says:

    I dont know about you guys but if Coach Babcock is brought in I’m looking forward to more analogies like this one:

    “If you’re a really good speaker, you should find employment speaking,” Babcock said. “If you’re a really good fighter, you should find employment fighting. You walk into the bar, and there’s this beautiful young gal standing next to this 6-foot-5 monster, who you know makes his living fighting for a living, and you’re the best pool player in the bar — are you going to play pool, or are you going to fight?

  294. hockeymonster says:

    Didn’t forget Sill. Just want to see a more complete game from him before I pass on a chance to bring in a gritty Vet like Winnik. But sill, gibby and megna are still in the mix.

    Basically want to lean towards rolling 4 lines with more regularity so Sid and Geno stay at around 20 minutes.

  295. Arriba Wilver says:

    You’re changing the rules.

  296. Patrick the suspiciously passionate says:

    I do too. Obviously somebody missed on O’Reilly, Saad, Gibson and a dozen others. You would almost need a picture of their draft board to know that. I still think Bylsma’s biggest failure is having a narrow idea of what makes a hockey player. Like Zybnek Michalek. He never tried to use his talents for what they were, he just wanted him to “get to his (Bylsma’s) game” even if Z’s talents and skills didn’t really fit. Does Despres fall under that category? Ben Lovejoy didn’t fit Bylsma’s vision but he has found a pretty good role in Anaheim. He was a +21 with 19 TOI for the year. Not a bad get for the Ducks for a mere 7th round pick.

    I mean….how many under-sized Ivy league players can one team have?

  297. hockeymonster says:

    He can play in top 9. Doesn’t need to be glued to sid’s hip but he can bring the beef. Which as we’ve seen has been missing. If Billy G could come in and keep up with sid, so can Stewie. And it’s not optional for the new GM to make the above moves.

  298. Jim S. says:

    I was watching MLB Network on Friday night when it happened. Harold Reynolds practically came unglued as he advocated for a single, with Mitch Williams and the host advocating the error.

  299. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, I am too. I was just kidding. This winter was ridiculous.

  300. JohninOshkosh says:

    Thanks, Nate.

    I’m Norwegian. Thor is like a God around my house. :)

  301. Patrick the suspiciously passionate says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if both wind up on the same organization;

    Shero and Bylsma would have to be interested in another talented underperforming team.

  302. Jandy says:

    Shhhh! ;)

  303. Jandy says:

    he’d be like a God around my house too ;)

  304. Jandy says:


  305. buggee says:

    awwww thank you Jim! And thanks Jandeh for the clarification. you DID see stuff that I didn’t see.

  306. Mike A. says:

    Would the Wings release Babcock for the GM job in Pgh? He could do a dual role for a year or two, then he could elevate a hand-picked successor.

  307. Jandy says:

    buggee…I dunno, maybe we sometimes see what we wanna see. But I really didn’t WANT to see that….

  308. Patrick the suspiciously passionate says:

    I saw it too. It was mentioned in the Online article yesterday about Sid smiling and laughin after going offside in the final minutes of game 7, and I noticed that, too. It was VERY un-Crosbyish for him to be laughing, about anything, in a game they were about to lose, much less a game 7.

    And simply because he WAS taking so much abuse and didn’t do anything about it himself, either. It’s one thing to wonder why nobody else jumped in for him….but he is still a man. He’s still a hockey player. After getting punched in the mouth for the 18th time you would think he would say enough’s enough and fight back. But he just took it….inexplicable…

  309. Jim S. says:

    And, a bunch of people suggested he might be injured, which he denied repeatedly. I guess we’ll never know. But, he wasn’t himself all the time. I just don’t like the thought that Sid might not have been going all out – to get his coach sh*t canned.

  310. Patrick the suspiciously passionate says:

    We’ll never know…butwouldn’t it be interesting to know if there was a trade Shero WANTED to make but got vetoed by Mario/Burkle?

    Or did they always give him enough rope?

  311. Milo Hamilton says:

    David Morehouse says Ray Shero is fired. He says the new GM will evaluate the coaching staff. Nothing about Bylsma. Huh ?

  312. Jim S. says:

    Norse god of thunder is Thor, right?

  313. Patrick the suspiciously passionate says:

    I would want them to hire Mike Milbury, introduce him at a big presser…then have Mario get up immediately afterwards and say with a laugh and a smile:

    “Nah we’re just )@#&)# with you. You’re awful….you’re totally fired. Get out.”

  314. Stuart says:

    Bylsma not fired (yet)!


  315. Jandy says:

    right! ;)

  316. Milo Hamilton says:

    Gonna take the kids down to the arena this weekend to watch Dan Bylsma twist in the wind. Maybe they’ll set up the big screen,

  317. Jandy says:


  318. Milo Hamilton says:

    This is simply bizarre.

  319. Jandy says:

    Ahaha..I typed above that M o l i n a r i from the other paper is reporting them both as being fired…and my comment is await moderation.

  320. Patrick the suspiciously passionate says:


    Keep Bylsma but not Shero? Wha…umm…err?

  321. JohninOshkosh says:

    Wow. Just wow. Bylsma should do the old “You can’t fire me, I quit.”

  322. Milo Hamilton says:

    Maybe they’re trying to make him quit to save a few bucks. It’s the only thing I can think of.

  323. hockeymonster says:

    They want to get Disco and his assistants to resign. DAAAYYYUUUMM…this is gonna get ugly.

  324. JohninOshkosh says:

    Or maybe they want to let reporters know they control the narrative after all the post-Bylsma speculating going on the last few days.

  325. Patrick the suspiciously passionate says:

    I thought that too. I REEEALLY HOPE

  326. NMR says:

    It certainly does, Groat!

    It’s just too much fun to go back and forth with a guys like you who can roll with the punches so well.

  327. Patrick the suspiciously passionate says:

    that isn’t the case. If they really are dangling him just to get out from underneath a contract…well…that’s not a way to endear yourself to potential new coaches. You can forget drawing a high profile coach’s interest when this is the way you treat the outgoing guy.

    If they really are doing this just to keep from buying him out OR to prevent him from coaching against them…well…lets just say the only time it’s acceptable to do this to an employee is during the creation of adult movies…

  328. Jandy says:

    We’ll get more information when Dejan gets his column up today.

  329. bpn8pitt says:

    Tigers bullpen.

  330. toochca says:

    Just got to play “one at a time”!! Longest winning streak this year is 4, I believe!

  331. Jandy says:


  332. Jandy says:


  333. hockeymonster says:

    I get the sense that Mr. Burkle isn’t happy. And if there’s one thing i know in this life besides hockey, its that you don’t want to tick off a self made businessman like Mr. Burkle. 2 years for GM, head coach and assistants is a lot of scratch. I’m not going to judge the Pens based on shrewd business moves.

  334. bpn8pitt says:

    Sorry your boys lost Jandy. Hopefully they figure it out here soon.

  335. Arriba Wilver says:

    Crossed my mind, too, John. Plus, to the guys in the organization who are leaking.

  336. Andrew says:

    Shero hasn’t been a horrible or terrible GM, much of life is grey areas. However this roster is a mess, they are not as talent as the better teams in the league, this past season they where one of the worst teams in the NHL without Crosby and Malkin on the ice, that is on the GM.

  337. Jim S. says:

    Bringing a couch?

  338. Andrew says:

    John Scott? Hahahahahahahaha

  339. Jim S. says:

    FTR, I’ve only ever commented on the lack of “supple” hands by Lambo statement.

  340. buggee says:

    Barry Melrose??????????

  341. buggee says:

    Travis Ishikawa for Pens GM. makes about as much sense as Barry Melrose. Better yet, who’s that putz in Canada–Don Cherry!
    Any one of those moves would be absurd. But hey! (Light bulb goes off over shiny noggin)… EYE could be the GM!!! Yeah. Me. Just like Dat!!!

  342. Jandy says:

    I’ll support you for GM, buggee!

  343. buggee says:

    I can feel the groundswell already. Altogether now…

    To which I blush demurely and bow humbly and mumble about how so don’t deserve this honor and I’ll do the best job that I can and I’ll always keep my ears to the ground of all you little folk… the FANS. The collective FANBASE–especialy the denizens of this here blog–obviously have far superior knowledge and wisdom than anyone anywhere else. Peri-odd baybee.

    The Pens collapsed in games 6 & 7 for one reason: we didn’t see Kris Letang in Wexford Whole Foods to wish him good luck in person. His wifelett must have been doing the shopping and we dont recognize her! (We wished him good luck in person before game 3 against the Strangers).

    No, i do NOT name-drop!!!!

  344. buggee says:

    that’s Vereh Happeh Frideh. say it 5 times fast…
    now take a soup-spoon, turn it upside-down, put it in your mouth and say the word “DORK”.
    Lather, rinse, repeat and tell me about it Monday morning

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