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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Morning Java: Hey, give a shout!

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The TribLIVE Radio show today — 2-3 p.m. — will feature you once again. Call in and share your thoughts on the Penguins’ next GM or coach, Gregory Polanco vs. Bob Nutting, the Steelers’ rookies, you name it. All topics are welcome, as always.

So do it. Call me at 412-320-7925.

Feel free to email if you can’t call. But I’d really rather hear from you.

At 2:45, we’ll have more wit and wisdom, albeit a bit more emotional than usual, from our @SuckMeter.

To listen, just click on the link up top. If you’re mobile, try the iPhone version of the TribLIVE Radio app, or the Android version. Both are free and insultingly easy to use.

>> The weekly chat yesterday covered tons of ground related to the Pirates, Penguins and Steelers, and yeah, there was some Polanco in there, as well.

>> The Pirates are off to their worst start in eight years, with a blowout loss to the Orioles opening this homestand last night. Biertempfel reports from PNC Park.

Jason Grilli sounds eager to return, by Biertempfel.

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

Here’s Orioles news from the Baltimore Sun.

Here are official game highlights on

>> Should the Penguins trade for Evander Kane? The Trib columnists’ bizarre fixation with Winnipeg continues. Only this time it’s Joe Starkey.

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

Here are official game highlights on

Here’s our Subway Final Word panel Sunday night on WPXI-TV debating the Sidney Crosby blame factor:

>> James Harrison and Santonio Holmes are eager to return to the Steelers, Ike Taylor said yesterday on his TribLIVE Radio show.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Steelers page and our Steel Mill blog.

>> Please see a special message on my Facebook page about the ongoing crushing floods in Serbia, Bosnia and part of Croatia.

>> Hope to hear from you on the radio show today, and I mean that. Afterward, I’ll walk over to PNC Park for the first of a bunch of baseball columns.

>> 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. Baywatch says:

    Am I leading off again? Woo-Hoo! As for this being the worst start for the Pirates in 8 years: Can’t figure if I’m betwixt or between. It felt mighty good to be winners last year … but I sure was used to being a loser. On account of … On account of WHAT, Wally?

  2. Stuart says:

    Me to Bay. I certainly am getting a bad feeling about the season. For some time I have been leaning toward having NH trading Pedro to the Yanks before we lose him to FA. After seeing how well the young Yankee 3rd baseman played in the last series, I’m not sure the Yanks would want him.

    I think a major change is needed in the Bucs overall approach to hitting. Too much taking pitches, especially borderline strikes. I’d like to see a more aggressive approach. Maybe a new hitting coach would help, but coming to the plate swinging might be a good start. That might also help with the pace of Pirate games. The games certainly drag on right now.

    Gregory Polanco cannot carry this team alone.


  3. Ghost says:

    Bay, I’d rather have you lead off than some of guys Hurdle’s been penciling in to the No. #1 spot.

  4. Ghost says:

    I’m too lazy to lookup how this year’s run scoring compares with last year’s, but I’ve been out front in complaining about this year’s pitching. I’m fascinated by all the sabremetrics and analysis we fans can gorge ourselves on these days as much as the next guy. But at the end of the day, our pitching just isn’t getting it done. Sure, “Morton pitched well outside of one bad inning,” “Volquez pitched well outside of the four home runs,” “Melancon’s only blown xxx saves.” It’s all true — there are good things to take from each of our pitcher’s outings. But fact remains, they’re losing. We knew all along we weren’t going to be able to lean on our offense. This year we haven’t been able to lean on our pitching, either.

  5. tdb1977 says:

    If your starting pitching cant go more then 3 innings before beginning to implode on most nights, then a great hot young bat down at AAA won’t be the fix to this teams problems. This team seriously needs arms for the starting rotation that can eat innings, not get into jams, and not give up the big innings. For the first time in a very long time last night, while I was sitting at the ball park and watching another starting pitcher implode, I gave a very hardy BOO when the second home run was launched in the 4th inning. I’ve been to many dismal performances over the last several years, but for some reason, my reaction to what occurred in the 4th inning was the first time I gave a BOO like I did in a very long time. It is seriously time to look down at AAA and see if anyone in the rotation down there can come up and help this club. I have so little faith in Wandy, Francisco, and Edinson right now.

  6. JoeyBats says:

    Q: Hey…..anyone here know what AJ did for Phillies last night?
    A: He won another one. A.J. Burnett picked up his third win, allowing three runs over five innings as the Phillies defeated the Marlins 6-5 on Tuesday.
    Stats for the year:
    W- 3, L – 3, ERA 3.32…..G 10, IP 59.2, H 53, ER 22, K 50, BB 30, HR 5, BAA .245, WHIP 1.39

  7. Tom P. says:

    The Pirates are starting to remind me of the old description of an opossum, “They play dead at home and get killed on the road.”

  8. Pucknutz says:


  9. Colin Dunlap says that Bucs owner Bob Nutting should come forward and explain why Polanco hasn’t been called up so far, and that he feels for Neal Huntington and Frank Coonelly since they’ve had to do his dirty work so far.

  10. Paul says:

    So Starkey wants to trade James Neal for Evander Kane straight up and Kane makes more. That’s just stupid.
    Wait for some junior goalie to get to his game? What if he doesn’t. The Pens development with goalies is worse than their development of wingers.

    Say it ain’t so Joe

  11. JAL says:

    JAL’s By the Time I Get to Phoenix Morning Links

    Big hit by Glen Campbell, written by Jimmy Webb


    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: How Long Can the Pirates Give Edinson Volquez?

    Prospect Watch: Brandon Cumpton Leads an Amazing Night of Minor League Pitching

    Prospect Reports: Adrian Sampson Searching for Consistency

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Chris Davis homers 3 times as Orioles crush Pirates, 9-2

    Postgame notes: Chris Davis, Orioles pile on the Bucs, 9-2

    7 Rumbunter

    The Perplexing Pittsburgh Pirates Time Machine

    8 Green Weenie

    Orioles Obliterate Bucs 9-2


    The Final Vortex of all Gregory Polanco Discourse

    10 City of Champions

    Francisco Liriano Struggles Again As Pittsburgh Pirates Bombed By Baltimore

  12. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    2014 Sports = Creative Finance 101

    12 CBS Sports

    Pirates vs Orioles Game Preview

    13 Chicago Sun Times

    Cubs hand Masahiro Tanaka first loss in rainy 6-1 victory

    14 Baltimore Sun

    Chris Davis hits three HRs as Orioles crush Pittsburgh Pirates, 9-2, on Tuesday,0,7044083.story

    15 Pirates Site

    Liriano labors, and Bucs can’t solve O’s Davis

    Notebook: Martin to catch Grilli in simulated game

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Cueto’s streak snapped by Nats, Reds fall 9-4

    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Gallardo hurt as Brewers fall again

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Wainwright throws one-hitter

    19 Fangraphs

    How Much Is a Draft Pick Worth in 2014?

    20 Minor League Ball

    Prospect Note: Casey Sadler, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates

  13. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Evaluating the Steelers 2014 Draft, Part I

    No vote on playoff expansion from owners

    Steelers CB Ike Taylor says Santonio Holmes and James Harrison would like to return to Pittsburgh


    22 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    Talkin’ about a Revolution – New England stretches unbeaten run to ten

    23 BBC Football

    Ryan Giggs: The games, the goals and the gongs

    24 World Soccer

    Yaya Toure comes up with a novel excuse for wanting to leave Manchester City


    25 Pensburgh

    Tuesday Pens Points: Brisson Won’t Pursue Pens’ GM Job

  14. Anyhow, the NFL is not expanding the playoffs to 14 games until 2015 since the owners are concerned about oversaturation, since the sports market has definitely become oversaturated in recent years. And then, they sensibly placed the 2018 Superbowl indoors in Minneapolis.

  15. Jandy says:


  16. WithBBQSauce says:

    I keep seeing suggestions that the Pens buy out Scuderi, the latest being Starkey. Would a buyout get the Pens anything? My understanding is he’ll have the same cap hit even if bought out. If that’s the case send him to WB/S and let him work with our young D (understanding he will still count against the cap). Or trade him, of course.

  17. BFD says:

    Whoever didn’t see this albatross of a season coming had their head in the sand. Last year people were backslapping calling NH “GM of the year” – this year – BACK TO REALITY. As I have always said, at some point the losing streak would end out of dumb luck regardless of managements ineptitude and the owners cheapness. There was a reason why the Nuttings were the only team in pro sports history to lose for 2 straight decades – IT IS NEXT TO IMPOSSIBLE.

    Now? Nutting is bilking the gullible ticket buying public more than ever. 22,000 gullible people crammed into the taxpayers park and watched the team get throttled (again). While this losing is getting worse, managements response? Polanco needs to become “more consistent” is the latest propaganda throw to the masses. The defenders of nuttings wallet accept it. Heck MLB basically gave Nutting their approval of his business practices by appointing him to that special committee to find the next commissioner.

    Enjoy a corn dog and an over priced beer

  18. JAL says:

    Right, runs scored is not the problem. Pitching is the problem. Pirates have scored 169 runs. Reds have scored 158 run, Cardinals have scored 173 runs, Brewers have scored 172.

    Last season after 44 games the pirates had scored 173 runs.

  19. Coach Dan Bylsma is said to be frustrated over his being in Limbo at this time, but then, he’ll have to just hang around and wait until the Pens have settled on a new GM since they owe him quite a bit. Meanwhile, the Washington Capitals have just signed on Ray Shero.

  20. hockeymonster says:

    Starkey messed up suggesting Scuderi buyout. 1st of all he’s tradeable if we want to trade him and secondly he can’t be bought out.

    :shakin my head: at starkey….gave you some pub yesterday and this is how you repay me? smh…

  21. They played 168 games last season. How can you explain that away with luck?

  22. shaking Jandy’s head

  23. Steelkings says:

    “We’ve got to do some things to climb back into that (postseason) discussion, and we probably need to start doing them pretty soon,” Huntington told the New York Times.

    Another example of the pot not knowing he’s the Pot when he is speaking about the kettle.

    Hey Neil…..Pretty soon = last November

  24. tdb1977 says:

    Unless Polanco is a starting pitcher….he won’t fix this teams issues. Seeing the starting rotation continually getting beat, Polanco can’t fix a damn issue team has. Until the starting pitching starts performing and not melting down like a 5 gallon bucket of ice cream left in the sun in July – this team is going NO WHERE! I’m more pissed off today after watching last nights fiasco then I have been in a real long time.

    While at the game last night, I kept humming and hawing at the thought of going on Saturday night to watch the Strasburg/Cole match up…but after watching 6 runs come across by the 5th inning, that thought was vanished. I can’t wait to see what kind of outing Volquez is going to have on Thursday night. My money is on he gives up 6 in 4 2/3 and is yanked.

    It’s time to bring up either or both Cumpton and Sadler, put them in the rotation and place Volquez and Wandy on the bench.

  25. NMR says:

    Really hope you read Dejan’s chat yesterday, BFD.

    It’s a big world out there.

  26. NMR says:

    Now people want Polanco to be the GM?


  27. AL says:

    It’ll be interesting to see how much freedom the new GM is going to have. I got the impression Shero was given full control to do what he wanted to do without being micro-managed from the top. If that works out it’s a good thing but if it doesn’t, look out! You might now be working for a control freak. In other words, you’re in charge; but here’s what you’re going to do and here’s how you’re going to do it. Yikes!

  28. Jandy says:

    LOL Spunkster! ;)

  29. Jandy says:

    You’re getting as bad as me, syh


  30. TJA says:

    “Pirates off to worst start in 8 years…” How ominous sounding is THAT headline? Wow. We all knew that this season would be nothing like last year…it couldn’t be…but to see things come unglued before our very eyes is so painful. Ouch…

  31. Thundercrack says:

    I hope they have corn dogs in the all-you-can-eat seats on Saturday night

  32. Jandy says:

    Are you going, TC? Buy me one too?

  33. Thundercrack says:

    Last night the Pirates had 10 hits. But they also had 9 Ks (none by a pitcher) and only one walk.

    Going into the season I thought the question marks that were are #4 and #5 starters would be balanced out by consistent quality starts from starter #1, 2 and 3. That ain’t happening either.

    Some of you can focus on Polanco and Nutting’s money all you want. Is Polanco going to make the entire lineup that much better? Because the whole lineup has to get better. Maybe he’ll hit enough that it will churn the lineup more.
    But how is he going to improve the pitching?

  34. DJ says:

    Bylsma is frustrated?

    We’ve had five years of his gig. He can wait another month.

  35. Thundercrack says:

    Yes. I’ll be wearing the Viva la Regime t-shirt…..and eating corn dogs.

  36. Arriba Wilver says:

    He’s gettin’ paid.


  37. DJ says:

    So Polanco is now a permitted topic on the call-in show?

    Okay, my question: Why the high socks?

  38. Arriba Wilver says:

    One in each hand?

  39. Arriba Wilver says:

    Look on the bright side. You got to see another high scoring game last night.

  40. DJ says:

    Starkey has been reading our blog posts. We’ve suggested every move he mentions over the last month.

    At least he keeps himself well informed.

  41. Jandy says:


    LOL DJ, we’re good for a lot of things ;)

  42. Jandy says:

    tee shirts or corn dogs?


    Enjoy the corndogs, TC

  43. Thundercrack says:

    No. I’ll need something to wash them down

  44. Jandy says:


  45. DJ says:

    Would trade Evander Kane for James Neal in a heartbeat.

    Gut tells me it would take another “Piece” so I’d throw in Scuds.

  46. Jandy says:

    Love this Tom P lol

  47. Thundercrack says:

    Yes…I guess that was the bright side.
    The Orioles have some nice players.

  48. Jandy says:

    just a few weeks ago, I didn’t want Evander kane on this team. But now…yeah, I’ll make that trade if the Peg is open to it. Dejan, make some calls ;)

  49. Jandy says:


  50. You left out the hit batsman.


  51. likeabugonarug says:

    Remember playing that song in band in junior high school.


  52. hockeymonster says:

    If only his editors could’ve caught that mistake…starkey could’ve saved himself a lot of head shakin.

  53. tdb1977 says:

    More beer might be the only way to watch this team right now.

  54. In a meeting in Timbuctu today. Yinz have a grand day. Wish Playoffs would come up with an over/under for number of HR’s the Birdies will hit tonight.

  55. Jandy says:

    I can’t argue that, tdb

  56. Jandy says:

    Slip out at some point and check in later, Revvie ;)

  57. DJ says:

    Yeah, Jands, you were fearful he might be a locker room cancer.

    See him heavily influenced by Sid’s work ethic. Meaning the one prior to this year’s playoffs.

  58. hockeymonster says:

    I still think the blog should invoice him for the assistance we provided.

  59. NMR says:

    Haha, excellent tdb.

  60. NMR says:

    Section 142. Bringing my glove tonight for protection.

  61. hockeymonster says:

    That’s ok starkey, Stan wants to trade Tanger so i shook my head at him too. Just blame your editors for the mistake…

  62. DJ says:

    Stan is a very wise man.

    Apparently he’s been keeping up with our blog too.

  63. Jandy says:

    A goalie mask might help ;)

  64. NMR says:

    You ain’t kidding.

  65. Jandy says:

    Gotcha, DJ. At this point, we need someone who can make a difference. Kane CAN make a difference.

  66. Wild Bill says:

    Time for me to play the contrarian. I’ve noted above that several of you, whose thoughts I always respect, that the Pirates hitting is not nearly the problem that the pitching is – hence, when Polanco arrives is not a prime issue. But for me the issue becomes, if the pitching remains like this for the season to come, the Pirates are gonna need an even better offense. And there’s a lot of room for improvement. Some of the plate appearances lately have been smelly.

    Could some minor league pitchers (Cumpton, Locke, others) help the pitching? Sure, but how much? My point is, the Pirates won last year by out-pitching people. This year, if they win at all, it may have to be by outscoring them. Any and all hitting help is useful.

  67. Jandy says:

    Put it on his account on account you won’t get paid ;)

  68. Jandy says:

    You’re thinking outside the box, Wild One. Nuttin wrong with that.

  69. hockeymonster says:

    Wise man indeed. Just disagree about tanger.

  70. hockeymonster says:

    If i got as much free advice as disco and PM i would’ve been able to buy the pens from Mr. Burkle and Mario by now.

  71. Wild Bill says:

    Reply to self and all. It does make no sense to bring Polanco up now. That bed was made weeks ago. But improving the team’s offense is still a necessity.

  72. Jandy says:

    HM, is that pens or Pens?


  73. Jandy says:

    yes, but that needs to start with the players they have….accountability.

  74. hockeymonster says:


  75. DJ says:

    Your candidacy for GM just took a major hit.

  76. Wild Bill says:

    That’s right, and coaching of the hitters. Several of them never see a decent pitch after strike one or two. Why should they, if they’ll swing out of the zone? Marte worst offender, but Pedro and others not far behind.

  77. Leo Walter says:

    And why should anyone take Colin Dunlap seriously about ANYTHING ?

  78. hockeymonster says:

    Not in the running for GM. Not qualified for that. Scouting draft and league…that i can do.

    Thought of Pierre for GM is growing on me…as long as Edzo the Tremendous is in the picture.

  79. tdb1977 says:

    Just wear lots of orange. You will fit in just right as it felt like a home game for the O’s last night and not a home game for the Pirates. As soon as they Bucs got down in the 4th, the Pirate faithful lost all interest and the O’s faithful took over pretty much the stadium.

  80. Jandy says:


  81. Jandy says:


  82. Arriba Wilver says:

    Agree with you, WB. On both points. (Second one being bringing up Polanco now would be a waste at this point).

    But I don’t get the argument that the hitting is as good as last year. So what? (sorry, JAL) It’s a team. Sometimes you have to win with offense. And while I generally hate the term ‘unacceptable,’ .218 in RF is unacceptable.

  83. JohninOshkosh says:

    I always love it when people place an organization’s blame at the feet of people who actually go to the games. As if they are the problem.

    Also amusing when people complain about concession prices. “I remember when you could buy a Hershey for a nickle! A nickle!”

  84. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    I don’t want to sound too overoptimistic, but last night once again, the offense was a great defensive play by Schoup? (o’s 2b) and some poorly timed double play balls away from putting up a pattended Bob Walk crooked number…There are opportunities that are there in every game for these guys right now. Anyone else think Snider knows he’s on the hot seat? Man was he jacked up after that poor at-bat.

    At some point Cumpton going to have to get an extended look. He could be this seasons second half “Locke”….

  85. hockeymonster says:

    So i guess the Tampa assistant GM is in town…Brisebois. He’s done well in the draft but we all know that tampa is Stevie Y’s show. So i’d wanna know how much say so brisebois had in the draft. But either way, he’s gonna have his pick of jobs that allow him more freedom than what the pens and Millhouse will want to give him.

    In the meantime, is botterill allowed to make trades? Or does millhouse want in on that too? This will be one interesting off season…

  86. DJ says:

    Pedro got three good looks at “the possible” last night.

    Would love more multi-HR games from him. Even a few single HR games.

  87. NMR says:

    “This year, if they win at all, it may have to be by outscoring them.”

    Some Kovacevic guy said this in his first Pirate column of the year, Bill. You’re in good company.

  88. Dom says:

    Would anyone bring back Santonio Holmes or James Harrison?

  89. Arriba Wilver says:

    Always seem to be a lot of Orioles fans when they’re in town.

  90. Thundercrack says:

    At this point with Pedro I would take a few more multi-single games. Especially with runners on base.

  91. Thundercrack says:

    I would spend about as much time thinking about bringing back Holmes & Harrison as I would spend listening to Ike Taylor’s internet radio show

  92. Arriba Wilver says:

    I remember that, too, NMR.

    Blind squirrel syndrome, I reckon. ;-)

  93. Arriba Wilver says:


  94. DJ says:

    I hear you, TC.

    Expectations adjusted to reality.

  95. Dom says:

    I guarantee that within five years of retirement, Ike will have his own talk show on CNN.

  96. Thundercrack says:


    ‘Expectations adjusted to reality.’
    I may have that printed on the back of my ‘Viva la Regime’ t-shirt

  97. Arriba Wilver says:

    You could always get one of those fraternity beer hats. And have “Nutting Sycophant” printed on it.

  98. Thundercrack says:

    There was a lot of Orioles fans there last night. And plenty in my section.

    I thought they were respectful…at least compared to other teams

  99. DJ says:

    Too funny.

    Here’s another: “Hey, we try hard.”

  100. Thundercrack says:

    By the way, I was talking with an O’s fan who was sitting behind me about the pending free agency of Chris Davis and Weiters. I asked him if his owner was going to spend the money to resign them. He said “He has the money. But they both have Boras as an agent so they’ll probably go on the market”.

    I just SMH

  101. JohninOshkosh says:

    Part of the problem, NMR. Not part of the solution!

    Solution is to watch the games on your billion dollar monolithic multinational pay service provider and rationalize that you are not financially contributing to ownership.

  102. Steelkings says:

    Brown paper bag?

  103. Arriba Wilver says:

    I agree. I’ve never had a problem with them. Plus, their colors are neat. Beats Red.

  104. Steelkings says:

    No no. Ike will soon join Kelly and Michael on the hit show “Live with Kelly, Michael and Ike!”

  105. Reading says:

    Davis: 3 jacks on 4 total pitches. If only he had more patience at the plate, he might have K’d looking 3 times.

  106. DJ says:

    Last one: “Your Buccos — servin’ up disappointment for 20 years.”

  107. AJS says:

    If they would have won 82 games i would call it dumb luck. 94, a trip to the playoffs, and coming within a game of making it to the LCS is more that luck.

    That team may have played over their heads. 94 was a whopping total. But the talent on that team is better than 18-26. I saw regression coming. Maybe 83 or 84 wins. But 8 under before May even ends is beyond anything i ever could have imagined.

  108. Naje says:

    The bigger problem than right field is El-Bore-O at 3B… .200 and failing miserably–and I could not care less about the “that’s what you get with Alvarez” excuse–he’s absolutely killing this lineup.

    Tired of his act… tired of his lack of production… tired of his errors.

    He’s now had 4 years of major league experience and is still clueless when he’s in the batter’s box. You want to place blame in RF… give equal amounts, if not, more, to Alvarez.

  109. AJS says:

    Coaching of the hitters…

    Exactly. The hitting has been terrible for years. They may be scoring more runs than it appears but that doesnt mean the approach is right. Last year they hired a light hitting SS known for eing able to bunt well as a hitting coach. When he left they promoted from within leaving us with yet another terrible hitting coach.

  110. Reading says:

    The notion that Polanco can’t fix the Pirates pitching problems is incorrect. Trade Polanco now and acquire high end MLB pitching in return. Problem solved. You’re welcome.

  111. Dom says:

    They should drop Kelly so they can call it Mike and Ike’s.

  112. Wild Bill says:

    Interesting, NMR. I didn’t recall exactly what DK said then. I do remember him writing about how it would be hard for the pitching to duplicate last year, now that I think about it.

  113. AJS says:

    There is a difference between patience and stupidity. I preached more patience for the buccos when they were taking cuts at pitches that they had no way of hitting even if they were strikes. But the pendulum has swung the other way. They aren’t taking cuts at balls that are hitable now.

  114. NMR says:

    Haha, I can’t. Somebody get BFD a girlfriend.

  115. NMR says:

    We’re gonna start this game again, eh?

  116. Wild Bill says:

    We might want Harrison for depth, and Jones is hardly proven. But only if the price were right.

  117. Wild Bill says:

    Now that’s a novel approach.

  118. Thundercrack says:

    Can we do that before the middle of June? :-)

  119. Jandy says:


  120. Scott says:

    Nobody seems to understand this buyout stuff. Scuderi can be bought out. It just won’t be a compliance buyout. It would be a regular buyout, which would save the team a portion (less than half) of his salary and spread the cap hit over a number of years. If you can’t trade him, then you must absolutely buy him out.

  121. NMR says:

    Lot of talk last night during the broadcast – at least early – about putting up a crooked number in an inning instead of just one run here or there. Walk, I believe, stated that they needed to string together five or six hits to get it done, which struck me as an odd way of going about it.

    So I looked at how the Pirates are getting on base, and something odd jumped out…

    6th most walks
    6th most singles
    5th most triples
    7th most home runs
    And dead last, 15th, in doubles…there’s just no explanation for that. Which seems to be a theme thus far.

  122. Milo Hamilton says:

    Of all the things that have gone wrong for the Pirates this year, and the list is long, none sets the team back further than the Taillon injury.

  123. NMR says:

    You know who Cumpton reminds me a lot of? Joe Kelly of the Cardinals.

  124. Jandy says:


  125. BFD says:

    “But 8 under before May even ends is beyond anything i ever could have imagined.”

    why? this is basically what this team was prior to last years fluke. When the owner doesn’t care about winning, anything is possible.

    My point about blind dumb luck is that at some point, in 20 seasons a team is going win more than they lose otherwise the nuttings wouldn’t be the only team in professional sports to accomplish this futility streak.

  126. Wild Bill says:

    Where do we rank in Ks?

  127. Arriba Wilver says:

    I wasn’t placing blame, Naje. Just one area that stands out regardless of how they’re doing. And even adding Tabata’s stats the OPS for the position is .625. That ain’t gonna get it done.

    But, Pedro WILL go on a hot streak.

  128. 21sthebest says:

    Interesting TC. I didn’t think there were many Orioles fans there last night. I thought there were way more Blue Jays fans which still surprises me.

  129. 21sthebest says:

    I think Roseanne Barr is single.

  130. NMR says:

    6th (as in five teams have less)

  131. Arriba Wilver says:


  132. Jandy says:

    Oh mY!

  133. Arriba Wilver says:

    I have to wonder, IF they had known that, would they have offered AJ the QO?

  134. Arriba Wilver says:

    That’s surprising.

  135. Patrick(RI) says:

    Yes there is. Remember Matt Stairs late career epiphany? Swing with all your might or don’t swing at all? Seems to me several of the Pirates have adopted Matt’s approach.

  136. Arriba Wilver says:

    More importantly, what do you think of the Triple Crown chances next week?

  137. chethejet1 says:

    Hoka hey,
    This year and next year will be salary friendly for the buccos. After that, Arb years for Walker, Pedro, Wilson, Watson, Morris, Malancon , and salaries of Morton, Cutch, Marte, Tabata, start impacting things. No question farm system has to produce to complement things from a cost standpoint. I hope they are correct in drafting and developing starting pitching. Sooner or later, they have to spend to acquire some meaningful bats at first and eventually third.

  138. cmat0829 says:

    what purpose would that serve? Pretty clear EVERYONE who wants to know and has a clue, knows the real reason Polanco is still in AAA. All Nutting would be doing in making that statement is to invite a grievance and unwanted bellyaching from agents, the union, etc. And let’s not insinuate that FC and NH aren’t fully on board with this strategy… in fact if I were the GM, I would fight the owner who told me I had to call him up sooner…. it just isn’t the right strategy in today’s economic system.

  139. NMR says:

    And that explains the singles?

  140. cmat0829 says:

    LOL.. NFL Owners are concerned about oversaturation??? The same owners that are thinking of expanding their draft to FOUR DAYS next year so it can be televised in prime time and have even more hype than it does already? Nah, that might be the company line, but fact is they need to get the union on board with the playoffs and are likely using it as a bargaining chip to make a broader deal…

  141. NMR says:

    Possibly, but it doesn’t look like he’s the answer, either.

    Big drop in velocity, k’s, and big increase in walks. Just not a very good pitcher right now.

  142. Arriba Wilver says:

    You’d fight the guy paying the checks if he was willing to bite the bullet? Think that’s taking it too far. Theory over substance.

  143. cmat0829 says:

    So, let me ‘bite’…. if this owner/front office had called up Polanco, say, 3 weeks ago, does your opinion change? Or would you just find other points to support your position? It is also odd to me to point out things this organization is doing to better compete (higher revenues) is a negative in your opinion…so if I get this right, the team should sell tickets for $2 and call up all their prospects immediately… THEN you’d be happy?

    Seems to me you have already made up your mind… there is nothing this team/management can do to change it… facts are on your side, indeed this organization has a bad track record the past 2 decades…but objectively there is ample evidence the current management team has made great strides and improvements (including the state of the prospects/system)…

  144. 21sthebest says:

    I’m not convinced Nutting is making the call on this. I believe Huntington has a philosophy and makes the baseball decisions and obviously has a budget framework to work with.

  145. Arriba Wilver says:

    There’s no one answer. He’d be an improvement over several of our pitchers.

  146. Jandy says:

    Well done Dom

  147. Arriba Wilver says:

    Right, and his point was they didn’t just break the streak. Your serve.

  148. cmat0829 says:

    he is gone, finished, fired, bye-bye… not sure what ‘limbo’ he thinks he is in. he cant resign or he’d perhaps lose the $$ owed him, so he waits to be fired and then he collects some $ for doing nothing.

  149. Patrick(RI) says:

    Touche. The best singles hitter in recent Pirate history may have been Freddy S. But his approach also led to tons of doubles. Cannot prove it, save a reference to DK calling out Walker to cut down on them, but the Pirates also seem to have lots of pop ups. All of this, plus at-bats for Stewart & Barmes may equal low doubles output.

  150. Milo Hamilton says:

    With age comes aches & pains. And hernias.

  151. BFD says:

    prospects are just that….. prospects.

    No. If Polanco was brought up three weeks ago, it wouldn’t have changed my mind about this ownerships stingy ways. I would have viewed that ONE particular move as having the teams and fans best interest in mind – this particular time.
    I do not think Polanco will alone change the course of this season, just as Cutch can not, BUT a number of good BASEBALL moves (not financial moves) could have lead to different results this season. Instead, the regime didn’t just stand pat…… they got worse due to finances, which has brought us to where we are right now. the start of a new losing streak.

  152. Arriba Wilver says:

    Agree. Although, as you know, I think FC and/or Nutting were behind the decision to bring up Pedro in 2010. Different time, though.

  153. BFD says:

    ummmm, yes. they broke it for one year…… this year. same as the previous 20

  154. Arriba Wilver says:

    OK, I see you are avoiding the point. Probably a good move, since it doesn’t fit your narrative.

    We’ll just pretend they ended up 82-80, and didn’t win 94, win the WC and took the Cards to the max in the playoffs. Pure luck.

  155. BFD says:

    hey, you have historically made excuse after excuse for this stink sandwich.,…… now you gotta take a big bite

  156. 21sthebest says:

    Luck in baseball to me is hitting a weak grounder that sneaks through for a single or catching a crushed line drive hit right at you. What we did last year wasn’t luck. But if it was, why isn’t this year the opposite of that? Bad luck?

  157. NMR says:

    True, but thats unfortunately a pretty low bar to set on $14m.

  158. Milo Hamilton says:

    Former big league catcher Miguel Olivo got into a fight in the dugout with teammate Alex Guerrero during their AAA game last night. Olivo went all Mike Tyson on Guerrero & bit off a piece of his ear. I guess there’s no truth to the rumor that this all started when Guerrero told Olivo that he would be awarded first base if he took 4 pitches out of the strike zone. Commonly known as a walk.

  159. Dom says:

    The Os are destroying us this year

  160. Thundercrack says:

    I think the talent level on this team doesn’t compare to the 20 years previous to last year

  161. Sarah says:

    Speaking of Stan, he was on Madden yesterday and had some interesting things to say….amongst them that a “high level talent” wants out….some mention of “dogging it”….,

    Neal maybe? Sutter was awful for awhile but caught fire when given actual line mates after the TDL.

    More interestingly, Craig Adams was something of a locker room mole. Madden said multiple players have confided this. He would go convene w the coaching staff and generally rat on people.

    I guess we take it all w a grain of salt….but it does explain both Adams’ absurd favored treatment/Ironman streak, as well as certain guys being mysteriously out of favor.

    Who knows maybe Despres said Bylsma Sucks in French once in the locker room, and Craig went and told Dan.

    Interesting stuff, and if it’s true about that locker room, no wonder they were such a mess, and no wonder guys want out. You cannot have rats in an environment like that. What a mess.

  162. Milo Hamilton says:

    Reading further, these guys are in the Dodgers system & Guerrero is a prospect out of Cuba signed last fall. He’s a shortstop represented by … Scott Boras.

  163. The Gunner says:

    AJ’s line last night was not real impressive (5 IP, 96 pitches, 52 strikes, 5 Ks, 4 BB, 3 ER). To his credit, he kept his team in the game & the Phils gave him good offensive support (something he most likely would not receive here). He would be very frustrated if he was a member of this Pirate team.

  164. Naterosboro says:

    And pay raises.

  165. Sarah says:

    Now that I think about it, it explains DKs obscure comment about the coaching staff being “afraid” of certain players, possibly Adams….who knows what everybody says about them, and isn’t afraid to tell people.

  166. NMR says:

    Now that’s what I call veteran leadership.

  167. Milo Hamilton says:

    Madden has been great these last few weeks. Very entertaining. When I heard that Adams stuff it just made so much sense. And about Neal, it’s probably no coincidence that just about every member of the media that covers the Penguins on a regular basis brings his name up first when asked about possible trades.

  168. Sarah says:

    I hate Maddens porn schtick, but he has been accurate fairly often, esp re Letangs stroke.
    I love Stan.

    But God doesn’t it make sense? they’d be afraid to anger Adams, what if told the world the operated their locker room with a snitch?
    It’s an awful mess I fear, beind that door.

  169. Jandy says:

    or downsizing…

  170. Thundercrack says:

    I thought I heard Stan say yesterday on his own show that Neal would not be upset if he was traded.

  171. Jandy says:

    Just wow

  172. Thundercrack says:

    I’ve listened to Madden’s show a lot more than usual the past few days.
    Even though I don’t agree with a lot of his views on sports (ESPECIALLY the Pirates/baseball) I think he runs a good show.

    The thing I hate about his show is how he berates and belittles his callers. Calls them stupid and morons. And I think that makes only stupids and morons call his shows. Smart, reasonable callers don’t want to up with his crap.

  173. Arriba Wilver says:

    Nobody in the Pirate hierarchy is going to the poorhouse this year. Sorry, one year deals, whether it’s for $5 mil or $14.1 mil don’t get my blood boiling in MLB.

  174. Thundercrack says:

    Last night a member of the Philly press tweeted out that AJ knocked over a water cooler in the dugout when he was lifted from the game.

  175. Thundercrack says:

    That would never happen in AJ Burnett’s clubhouse.


  176. Sarah says:

    If that gets out, neither Adams nor Byslma will be accepted in any locker room in the league. When the coaches are out of the room, what is said in that room, should stay in that room.

    It’s really a huge betrayal. You cannot run a team that way.

  177. Arriba Wilver says:

    Hey, as Locke said, with AJ you also get JA. That passion may be one thing this team is lacking.

  178. Steelkings says:

    If there was luck involved it was just the fact that they were fairly major injury free last year. A few things came together last year. The Starters were outstanding. The bull pen was outstanding and generally things went well.

    I described this team earlier as fragile. Small market teams are just that. They dont have the finances to buy their way out of situations. *See Boston and Drew.

    The problem that fans have is with the influx of information, it is easy to see revenues that increase while payroll goes down. Knowing that the brass could have made the team less fragile earlier on. Would it have made a difference? See my first sentence.

  179. Sarah says:

    Yeah, it is a ridiculous schtick.
    He’s actually extremely knowledgeable about hockey and from all accounts is totally different as a coach and a person than he is in his on air schtick.

    Cousin of John Madden who was a force for NJD a few years ago BTW.

    I’d like to ignore him, but he’s much more knowledgeable than most of the media he re hockey.

  180. Jandy says:

    “IF” it gets out?

    I’d say if it’s on this blog it’s OUT

  181. NMR says:

    I’m not worried about anyone’s wallet, AW. Never have been.

    But just like with Polanco, that’s $14m NOT getting used elsewhere. That still matters, right?

  182. Milo Hamilton says:

    That is such a great point. I’ve called shows going all the way back to Myron. Even DK. :) I never once thought to call Mark. Even when his producer was a personal friend of mine.

  183. SeanAY says:


    You also forgot that the Pirates should have gone on a free agent signing bonanza in the off-season. They would have needed to, since the entire roster appears to be underachieving, so they likely would have needed an entirely new line-up to avoid what they’re doing now.

    For the record, I don’t they did quite enough in the offseason. But the position they are in right now is not the fault of the management, but the players.

  184. Thundercrack says:

    Does anyone know where that line “I said good day” comes from?

    He says it all the time. Is it from a movie?

  185. NMR says:

    That “schtick” is the only thing separating him from a part time gig writing for a paper in Beaver County.

    The guy has to resort to the lowest denominator to be relevant, but hey, this is America.

  186. Milo Hamilton says:

    I think That 70’s Show. Fez.

  187. 21sthebest says:


  188. Milo Hamilton says:

    I knew him when he was doing just that. PG I think. Met him several times back then & never had an issue with him.

  189. 21sthebest says:

    Wait. And Willy Wonka.

  190. JohninOshkosh says:

    Race not contested until June 7, AW.

  191. Sarah says:

    Dunno Jandster…..I’d like to see it be confirmed somewhere outside Maddens talk show…but really it seems to ring true.

    Of course it confirms all my biases, so I tend to be cautious and get out the salt…..

  192. Jandy says:

    Still…there are rumors, and people tend to think where there’s smoke, there’s fire…

  193. Mike A. says:

    Bravo. No need to wring our hands over whether the FO will be able to extend him. I don’t even think they should keep him through his Arb years.

  194. Arriba Wilver says:

    BFD—“hey, you have historically made excuse after excuse for this stink sandwich.,…… now you gotta take a big bite”

    That’s hilarious. I could easily disprove that with posts over the last 5+ years, but why bother. You have never, ever been grounded in reality. Just your constant stink sandwich. If someone doesn’t buy what you’re selling 100% then to you they are a Nutting acolyte. Enjoy.

  195. The Gunner says:

    I can understand AJ’s frustration based on his line last night. I like AJ but if he was here, I doubt if he would have had much impact on the overall team win-loss record.

  196. JohninOshkosh says:

    Daughter of Milwaukee Bucks new co-owner wows Wisconsin, and apparently the world:

    Love this from the article:

    “Edens’ Internet fame skyrocketed after she was introduced and most made sure she was old enough to ogle.”

    God bless the New York Post! Always had a secret desire to write their headlines.

  197. Steelkings says:

    Nobody argues that the team is younger and better. What is disappointing is that every so often we are reminded of the short comings of being a fan of this team. I mean you cant help but wonder about whether or not management will deal one of the three Arb eligible guys at the trade deadline for a “Highly regarded prospect”. Will it be Walker, Gaby or Alvarez. Surely all three of those guys cant get big raises in the same year.

  198. 21sthebest says:

    NMR, how is that just like with Polanco and what was their best offer to A.J.?

  199. Arriba Wilver says:

    No question there was some luck involved in 94 wins. There was also some luck involved in the Bosox winning the WS. But, to just say that’s all it was, in either case, is ludicrous.

    (Not directed at you, Steelkings).

  200. Steelkings says:

    I was amazed that they went with Branson after Jay Bell left

  201. 21sthebest says:

    I think that passion he brings might be lacking but when you start taking things out physically on water colors and equipment, people might not take you seriously.

  202. NMR says:

    When Dejan writes that it would be stupid to call up Polanco at a potential cost of +/-$15m, he doesn’t write that because he’s worried about Nutting’s wallet. He writes that because $15m can and should be used in much better ways for much better benefit.

    Just like he wrote about the money Huntington threw away in free agency. Just like he wrote about the money Huntington threw away in the draft.

    It’s the exact same principle.

  203. Steelkings says:

    Pedro is not good right now! No doubt. But he’s better than anything else currently available.

  204. hockeymonster says:

    So we’re permitting Millhouse to waive Adams?

  205. Steelkings says:

    Sports hernia!

  206. 21sthebest says:

    “The problem is mine. The wedding invitations issued at the weekend made me realize that I wasn’t ready for all that marriage entails,” McIlroy said. “I wish Caroline all the happiness she deserves and thank her for the great times we’ve had. I will not be saying anything more about our relationship in any setting.”

  207. Steelkings says:

    Possibly from carrying around a suitcase full of new money

  208. Thundercrack says:

    I hear if you break a watercooler here, Nutting deducts the cost from your paycheck

  209. Jandy says:

    I don’t think Millhouse listens to us, so I don’t think we permit him to do anything. lol

  210. Steelkings says:

    Yes but him being here would have dramatically reduced the number of times I’ve complained about it.

  211. Jandy says:


  212. hockeymonster says:

    He’ll listen with the help of size 9’s…

  213. Jandy says:

    I’m willing to give it a try ;)

  214. Arriba Wilver says:

    1year deals are 1 year deals. And no one has ever been able to explain to me how money not spent this year gets spent down the road. I realize there’s a limit, but we aren’t talking franchise killer deals like Kendall’s. And, bottom line in sports is ya gotta win. And it costs money.

  215. War_Horse says:

    “You rolls the dice and takes your chances and see how the cards turn up.”
    The most mixed metaphor I’ve ever heard. An exact quote from Steve Blass on Root Sports broadcast of the game last night.
    He and Greg Brown were talking about the danger of walking a dangerous hitter (in this case it was Nelson Cruz) to get at a less formidable hitter (J. Hardy) thus running the risk of more runs scoring with an extra runner on base. The discussion continued through several at bats in the top of the fourth inning.

  216. Arriba Wilver says:


  217. Arriba Wilver says:

    I thought it was Dr. Smith from Lost in Space. ;-)

  218. Arriba Wilver says:

    Going against the grain here, but I find the way he treats callers humorous usually. Sometimes he goes over the line, though, just like with everything else.

  219. Mike A. says:

    For my money, they need to acquire a meaningful bat at third NOW.

  220. Arriba Wilver says:

    Just to be clear, I have nothing against water coolers, and am not advocating treating them badly.

    But, it does indicate a certain passion, which I haven’t seen exhibited by one Pirate player this year, other than Cole.

    (And, no, I’m not suggesting they would have to kill a water cooler to exhibit passion).

  221. Bizrow says:

    Ambridge High School is under lockdown due to the possibility there is a gun in the school.

    Will this stuff ever stop?

  222. Steelkings says:

    They would swing and miss….No worries…All part of Nuttings evil plan

  223. hockeymonster says:

    You liberal gun hater. Arm the security guards and teachers. Problem solved.

  224. Naje says:

    AW…re: triple crown from way earlier in this blog.

    Like Cali Chrome’s chances quite a bit. I’m going to play an exacta box on him and Commanding Curve (probably 4 times)… also going to play an exacta wheel with Cali Chrome on top and several horses underneath. May even play a trifecta here, just got to see the odds.

    As far as the Alvarez issues, wake me when he gets hot. He’s an unreliable player. And I couldn’t imagine being his teammate. They see this every day…and do and say nothing about it.

    When’s the last time Alvarez said anything about how much he’s hurting the team or owned up to the fact that he’s not doing his job? Tired of his empty promise.

  225. Steelkings says:

    Monster- Biggest problem is that 1/2 the kids on the planet are now armed. At a school here in Indy after a locker shakedown 16 guns were removed. Its just the new normal.

  226. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    Did cumpton slim down a little too?

  227. Jandy says:

    Same thing happened in Altoona 2 weeks ago.

    I agree with HM, arm the teachers and security guards.

  228. hockeymonster says:

    Wait…what? I was being satirical…were you? :)

  229. Steelkings says:

    If he was a free agent at seasons end, someone would pay him 25 million

  230. hockeymonster says:

    Refer to above. :)

  231. Wild Bill says:

    Don’t have to be liberal to feel what Biz said, Hm.

  232. Jandy says:

    As my mother would say, “half fun and full earnest”


  233. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    If you play enough games and acquire some high draft picks….You’ll eventually win a bit.
    Even Donald Sterling has a team that went deep into the playoffs for the first time in over 30 years.

  234. hockeymonster says:

    Ok timeout…i was being sarcastic and satirical…in a stephen colbert kind of way.

  235. 21sthebest says:

    I can’t say this teams looks less passionate to me than they did last year. I don’t even know what to look for I guess.

  236. Jandy says:

    I know that

  237. Naterosboro says:


    Audio of Clint Hurdle last night after the Pirates 9-2 loss has been released (very NSFW…..)

  238. 21sthebest says:

    NMR, I agree. But the $15M or whatever it ends up being saved on Polanco isn’t realized until several years from now. The money offered to A.J. didn’t get used elsewhere this year.

  239. 21sthebest says:

    I’ve never felt that money saved by coming in under budget necessarily gets spent down the road. Each year’s budget stands on its own.

  240. Sarah says:

    That article is pretty much stating the obvious I suppose……the Pens, if they do want to entertain the notion of moving Letang ( and IMO they HAVE to look at this option, same as they do for a lot players including MAF), are in a fix.

    His trade value is at low ebb due to his health (though I’d argue he put at least some of those concerns to rest with his playoff comeback), and his NTC is kicking in soon, in July, so the Pens have to do something soon or not at all.

    Of course, the time to trade him was this time last year, but either due to meddling from above or Shero’s poor judgment, that train has left the station.

    I still think they explore moving him, and do the same for a lot of the roster.

    This team needs a shake up badly.

    Moving guys like MAF or Letang would send a message to the room.

  241. 21sthebest says:

    I haven’t listened to him once since he left AM radio, but I’d probably feel the exact same way. Blunt, brutal truth types crack me up. And I’ve met him a couple of times and he could not have been more pleasant.

  242. Jandy says:

    Monster Mash would argue that a lot of roster movement is not necessary. Just a few tweaks.

  243. SeanAY says:

    “prospects are just that….. prospects.”

    Say, you wouldn’t happen to be Ray Shero, would you?

  244. hockeymonster says:

    The top 13 forwards i want would be a pretty big shakeup.

  245. NMR says:

    “The money offered to A.J. didn’t get used elsewhere this year.”


    Opening Day payroll is never the same as final payroll.

  246. Jandy says:

    OOOps I guess I read you wrong. My bad.

  247. NMR says:

    Good lord…

  248. hockeymonster says:

    But tanger and flower stay.

  249. NMR says:

    In 2012, a lone gunmen shot and killed his former boss outside the Empire State building. Nine innocent bystanders were also shot…by the NYPD trying to aprehend the suspect.

    The only thing that scares me more than a gunman roaming the halls of a school is a bunch of teachers playing John Wayne while kids run for their lives.

  250. NMR says:

    Tough to tell on my end, Redus.

  251. Jandy says:

    It’s sad we can have this discussion at all.

  252. AJS says:

    Really? Late season epic collapses aside, this team has been right at or only a game or two below .500 at this point in the season each of the last 3 years.

    Was last year flukey? Yes but not to the tune of 94 wins compared to what projects out to 66. You REALLY HONESTLY thought this team over performed so much last year that they are nothing more than a 66 win team?

  253. Bizrow says:

    I remember that, Drew’s son was in the building at the time it happened

  254. Sarah says:

    HM so you would not even explore moving MAF or Letang?….
    I think they must at least take a look…..

  255. BillyBaduka says:

    I always think of Willy Wonka.

    Phrase has been around forever but I think WW popularized it.

  256. NMR says:

    Had to laugh at that one as well, War Horse.

    Mostly because Blass was apparently giving credit to Liriano for knowing where any given pitch would end up, which clearly he did not.

  257. BillyBaduka says:

    + many

  258. hockeymonster says:

    I’m prepared for any offers that are too good to be true. Just think trading MAF and Tanger are WAAAAAAYYYY down the list of things that need to be done. Between this season and next we’re most likely losing Orpik, nisky and PM. Trading a 26 year old entering his prime who is Norris worthy now that he’s figured out how to play, would be a mistake. Unless we get an offer too good to be true.

  259. Milo Hamilton says:

    Gotta find a way to get Dustin Jeffrey back.

  260. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think some people here may be too far removed from having teachers in a school. They aren’t all Annie Sullivan. And I’m not sure I would have trusted her with a gun. From the description of how Helen Keller acted at the beginning, that story may have turned out very differently. ;-)

  261. Jandy says:

    much rather get Joe Morrow back

  262. Jandy says:

    It’s an issue to be sure, AW. But at least arm security officers and allow them to shoot when needed. If there is no deterrent at all, that is just more incentive for kids to pull these stunts.

  263. hockeymonster says:

    Especially considering team winning % when he was in the lineup. After all he was the jewel of shero’s draft class…actually draft classes.

  264. Sarah says:

    Hmmm…..I think in general the opinions on Tanger divide down the line on how much people think or don’t think, that we need to improve our top wingers…..basically how OK they are with the likes of Neal, Kunitz, Duper, JJ complimenting Sid and Geno.

    I think there’s huge problems in that area as I have said before….

    I think Geno could do with one of a Neal or JJ, who are both floater/leeches (I don’t mean that in a bad way, seriously) but not both on his line. Kunitz has been great in the past on that line because he (used to) fill a role that JJ won’t or can’t, i.e. Mucking and puck retrieving in the corners. Freeing Geno up tontine soft spots…..

    Kunitz has done less and less of that (which compliments Sid also) and almost none of it since the Olympics.

    If you think the team needs to be built around Sid and Geno, and you don’t think their current line mates make them better, you’re more likely to want to move Letang and get some really elite Ws.

    If not, not.

  265. Sarah says:

    I think they could lose 2 of Nisky PM and Tanger and be just fine.
    Despres, Borts, Samuelsson, Harrington……

  266. chethejet1 says:

    MAF for who? No one is giving up an elite goalie. Letang may be trade bait in a couple of years if he plays to his potential. But you never know. Shero handicapped this franchise with some questionable contracts for some declining assets. Trade Kunitz while you can. Trade Neal while you can. Trade Martin while he has value. The Pens need substantive change not just some tinkering.

  267. Sarah says:

    Yep that was sheer idiocy. Let’s rent a gimpy Brendan Morrow for 6 weeks (and then not play him) in exchange for Joe.
    Well done there.

    Kinda like 2 seconds for 6 weeks of Murray who didn’t fit the system and wore Nisky out going into his corner.

  268. Jandy says:

    There are several free agents this offseason.

  269. Jandy says:

    Goalie that is

  270. Dom says:

    The only message trading Fleury would send is that we have no starting goaltender.

  271. Sarah says:

    Not sure they need elite, obviously it would be great to have but who is there? You’re absolutely right.

    They need average for cheaper maybe. That might be available.
    But I’d be fine if they kept MAF.

    I do not think that Miller, Hiller, Halak are the answer, IOW…….

  272. hockeymonster says:

    Sarah, continuing from above:

    I would explore trades for Kuni before tanger. Not cuz i wanna trade him but only cuz we do need to get younger. And kuni has been somewhat stymied in the last few playoffs. Sid not digging in obviously wont help him but i can see an up and coming playoff team valuing him. Duper has wheels and is versatile but coming off surgery we’ll need to give him time. Even if its on the 3rd line. I posted my plan and how i want the roster to look on that other pens site. So if you wanna take a gander you’ll see what my thought process is. But right now there are too many variables(i.e. nisky’s demands, PM and Neal’s trade value, bottom 6 replacements for Glass, vitale, etc etc..) to consider before we look to move a player just entering their prime with a Norris nomination.

  273. Sarah says:

    Jandy who would you pick? And would you be OK paying more than MAFs current contract?

  274. hockeymonster says:

    None of them will suffice.

  275. hockeymonster says:

    Whichever scouts pushed for B. Morrow should be drop kicked out of consol dome.

  276. Milo Hamilton says:

    I think this one is quite easy. Fleury plays this year, walks & then Jarry gets his turn next year.

  277. Sarah says:

    Seriously no one on that list I’d go near with a 10 foot pole.

    Look what happened to STL with Miller.

  278. Sarah says:

    Gracious how old is Jarry???

  279. Milo Hamilton says:

    He’ll be 20 in October of 2015.

  280. Sarah says:

    Sorry I missed it, where was your plan?

  281. Jandy says:

    Actually I think I’d stick with Fleury. seriously.

  282. Jandy says:

    Haha hes a baby ;)

  283. Milo Hamilton says:

    I have shoes older than that. :)

  284. Jandy says:

    I still think Miller has it in him tho. Don’t know why he crashed in St. Louis

  285. Sarah says:

    Well….that was one of the mistakes we made w Fleury, putting him out there way too early when he still had huge technical deficiencies.

    I’d think hard about doing that again, no matter how promising this kid is.

    Fleury was a number one.

  286. Sarah says:

    Yeah, maybe. We’d have to pay a lot……

  287. Andrew says:

    When you have the facts, argue the facts, when you have the law, argue the law, when you have neither, pound the table.

  288. Milo Hamilton says:

    I thought the mistake we’ve been making with our younger players like Despres is not playing them. That’s what ownership is saying.

  289. Jandy says:

    B Morrow was good 3 – 4 years ago…not last season..

  290. Jandy says:

    Well, Looneys, I have to get a truck together for a job…no more multi-tasking…catch ya on the flip flop ;)
    Be good to each other <3

  291. Sarah says:

    In fairness Milo, goalies are different, take longer to develop.

    Maatta was a stunner and he’s 19, that is rare to be NHL ready at that age at any position, much less G.

    Yes Despres and Borts should be playing. They are 23 and 25 respectively.

  292. Dom says:

    Mark Madden calling on Neal Huntington, Frank Coonley, and/or Bob Nutting to appear on his show. I would LOVE to listen to that.

  293. Milo Hamilton says:

    I defer to you on the ins & outs of the position. The new hockey people are going to have to take a hard look at this kid & make a decision. I just don’t see them paying $5 million for a goaltender in the near future.

  294. NMR says:

    Oh yeah, thrilling.

  295. hockeymonster says:

    Sorry Milo, jarry is at least 2-3 years away. Much like D. Pouliot.

  296. Milo Hamilton says:

    You’re just proposing business as usual but with someone else pulling the trigger. That’s not what the owners said. Second verse, same as the first.

  297. hockeymonster says:


  298. hockeymonster says:

    I most certainly am not pushing for business as usual. Flower and his 5M cap hit just isn’t a problem compared to replacing Orpik, signing or replacing Nisky and figuring out what to do with an older PM. And then there’s neal.

  299. Dom says:

    It seems to be the Buccos tone is to avoid interviews when things go bad.

  300. Milo Hamilton says:

    You replace Orpik & Niskanen with guys you’ve been drafting for the last 8 years. Again, pretty obvious if you read what the owners said.

  301. Andrew says:

    I have always found the idea that the Penguins did/do not play younger players peculiar, because in the next breath the criticism is the Penguins lack younger players.

    Outside Despres, who is there? I like Despres, he is still young, still has potential and I am glad he is RFA, but I think he has become overrated in some quarters. Despres played a fair amount this year, he would have played more if 1)The Penguins didn’t sign Scuderi 2) He didn’t’ get beat out by a 19 year old.

  302. BFD says:

    he at least might ask the tough questions instead of just giving the regime a “free” infomecial time slot to spew the propaganda

  303. hockeymonster says:

    Orpik’s and Nisky’s minutes are not easy to replace. Look at bortuzzo’s 13 minutes per game in playoffs. Very average against weak competition. Orpik played against the best in the world…literally. Nisky was a top 4 dman playing on our 3rd pair. Bortuzzo, dumoulin and harrington aren’t ready for any of that. They just aren’t. And pouliot is even less ready.

  304. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’m counting Bortuzzo in that mix as well. And Brian Dumoulin will be 23 by opening day. Time to find out.

  305. Andrew says:

    Shero made his reputation on deadline trades and getting top value from trades. The ownership supported the aggressive approach of giving up picks for talent. The problems came when Shero’s recent trades were not the best and the ownership seems a little regretful now.

  306. hockeymonster says:

    Scouts failed Mr. Shero on B. Morrow. Unless shero was the one who watched him play and thought he could help.

  307. NMR says:

    When was the last time they turned one down, Dom?

  308. Sarah says:

    I’d try hard to
    Move Letang
    Keep Nisky
    Let. Orpik walk now
    Let PM walk after next year

    Let Despres and Borts play regular shifts and see what is there from the other youngsters….that may inform the PM decision in a years time.

    HM I missed your roster?…..

  309. NMR says:

    If by “ask the tough questions” you mean rant and rave like a drunken fan after the FO easily deflects his questions, then I agree with you.

  310. hockeymonster says:

    Scroll up. You’ll see the link.

  311. buggee says:

    I yelped big time when Scuds was resigned to that deal; ask Me Lil Wifelett! I said, “They need to be getting younger and faster, not older and slower! Yeesh.” (That’s the edited version)

    On the other hand…

    I thought signing Scuds would help Marc Andre Flopper with his confidence ‘n’ ‘at. Seems like it did for awhile.

    I’m glad I dont have to do that job though. Seems like its a no-win. Everyone loves a splash-trade until the players actually have to… you know… play (see Morrow and Iggy and Murray, circa Pens 2013). Ray-Ray could wheel-n-deal, couldn’t he?!?!

    Hiya Jandy (such a nice lady)

  312. Andrew says:

    Not sure will this will land.

    Bortozzo is a 7th defensemen, a good player to have, but the Penguins haven’t stunted his growth. I hope Maatta doesn’t turnout like Niskanen in Dallas when they played him aggressively at an early age, my understanding is that defensemen have longer development time frames than forward.

    I am fine with playing some of the younger defensemen, but still think you need both Letang and Martin. Niskanen is gone, under 30 free agent coming off career years get paid and someone is going to give Orpik more than he is worth, pending injury outcome.

    The biggest issue is the bottom six, the next GM/coach need to construct a competent third line, that can do something well, so the Crosby line is not deployed like a checking line.

  313. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    Not a huge madden fan but I do respect what he does and what he knows about sports in general. Can’t say you enjoy guys like Howard Stern but not madden…they do what they do on the air and are probably wonderful human beings to know personally. Plus he’s good at it….he’s angered me countless times, and for any artist, invoking emotion in another is what it’s all about.

  314. cmat0829 says:

    I guess I was just pointing out that you have YOUR opinion…and nothing this management would do would change it…. so why bring Polanco and corn dogs and overpriced beer into this? They are just momentary distractions.

    There is ample data to prove the organization is better off now than they have been for about 20 years, current record notwithstanding. And I can most definitely see the difference in an 18-26 team that is OBVIOUSLY UNDERACHIEVING than a team from say, 2007 or 2009 that was probably overachieving… and soon fell apart. But these are facts that wont change your opinion… much easier to sit back and spew at that money-grubbing Nutting and the taxpayer funded stadium and overpriced beer.

  315. Andrew says:

    It is not so much one trade, as a series of bad moves, I think the Murray trade was the worst. Shero was not as bad a GM as some now claim, just as he was not as good as when all were hailing the Niskanen/Neal trade.

    The Penguins have a flawed roster with little cap space to work with and that is ultimately on Shero.

  316. Dom says:

    Well, Madden has been requesting an interview for awhile now. This is not news.

    I also remember searching the web for an interview Littlefield, Nutting, or whomever might have done after the Buccos passed on Matt Wieters in the 2007 draft. When I performed a google search I found zilch.

    Zilch was not the number I was hoping for.

    I think every high ranking member of the organization has a responsibility to answer question when a huge methodical blunder has been committed.

  317. NMR says:

    Anyone that profits from the dumbing down of America isn’t a good human in my book.

  318. cmat0829 says:

    I guess my last point on this is let’s just take it one bitch at a time, ok? Right now, my bitching is pretty much fully aimed at the underachieving players, and there is NO ONE on this roster that is achieving at their best right now. No one.

    Once the players start living up to their potential, then I can move on down the list… I continue to point out that NH has inexcusably left about $12M on the shelf for this season… that is bitch #2… Hurdle is an awesome motivator but doesn’t adjust as well as I’d like — in -game or in-season…. etc. but for now, overpriced beer and taxpayer funded stadium is not on my list. Funding sports stadiums is one of the best investments taxpayers can make… I would never not vote for any tax increase that was used for such a good ROI.

  319. Andrew says:

    You understand the business relationship between ROOT Sports and the Pirates correct?

  320. Thundercrack says:

    NH does a weekly radio show and pretty regularly does local radio interviews. many may disagree with me but I think Greg Brown brings up a lot of topics that NH may wish not to talk about…or would rather talk about other things.

    Kyle Stark was just on the FAN yesterday.

  321. hockeymonster says:

    I would look to sign Fayne and/or Belov.

  322. Thundercrack says:

    I don’t think it takes a ‘super genius’ to rant & rave that “They should have signed Burnett, they should have signed Morneau, and they should have brought up Polanco”. All while calling your listeners stupid

  323. NMR says:

    Madden is not a journalist, or at least not a credible one.

    You’d have to be a complete and utter fool to walk into that situation without knowing exactly what was going to happen.

  324. Dom says:

    Even though I don’t feel that Nutting and the gang are keeping the profits, I would like to hear their explanation why they couldn’t have mustered at least $13 million over two years in order to bring back Morneau.

  325. hockeymonster says:

    I think i remember him pushing for B. Morrow last season too. Super genius…pffft

  326. hockeymonster says:

    Sarah, what you think?

  327. Thundercrack says:

    I think at the time Littlefield was asked why he chose Moskos instead of Weiters.

    And at the end of the season he paid for that blunder with is job.

  328. Arriba Wilver says:

    Not sure things have to go bad, Dom. And who would know, anyway? Usually things are bad. ;-)

    Seriously, though, if I were them, I wouldn’t go on Madden’s show, either. And he’s no baseball maven.

  329. Dom says:

    Is it in the contract that nobody in the organization can be interviewed by someone on a competing network?

  330. Arriba Wilver says:

    I would pay to see Kyle Stark on Madden’s show.

  331. Thundercrack says:

    I can answer that one for them: Because they thought Morneau stunk. Just like I did.

    For the first two months of the season Morneau has proved them and me wrong.

  332. Sarah says:

    Thanks for the link HM.

    I guess I would have to ask first about your overall view of how you want to build… I’ve said, do you feel we lack elite Ws?
    I would guess No, since I don’t really think that Stewart or Vrbata are in that category….though Stewart’s a physical presence we definitely need.
    I cannot see Duper in the top 6, which brings me back to whether you feel we lack elite Ws….

    I cannot see keeping Adams under any circumstances whatsoever…..but I agree we need more toughness and protection for Sid…..I would think that comes in the bottom 6 most likely….guys like Tocchet and Stevens who can play w real skill only come along rarely, so I’d be aiming for a bottom 6 of Cooks and Talbots…..we already have some good players in there with Goc, Stemps, maybe Sutter, BB….but we need the azzholes, desperately.

    Again, all goes back to why we need to explore what we can get for the bigger ticket guys like Neal, Letang, even Fleury. What IMO we require to set Sid and Geno up to succeed, not fail, will not come cheap…..

    Good read thanks!!!

  333. Arriba Wilver says:

    TC–are you describing me or Madden? Oh, I don’t have any listeners.

  334. Sarah says:

    See above

  335. Dom says:

    Who asked that and do you remember what his response was?

    I couldn’t find anything to that affect online.

  336. Arriba Wilver says:

    They didn’t think he stunk, TC. They didn’t think he was worth what they decided his value was.


  337. Sarah says:

    Make no mistake, Iggy and Murray can still play,when used correctly in a complimentary system.

    That requires communication between HC and GM re resource acquisition, and smart coaching.
    Both lacking, unsurprisingly.

  338. NMR says:

    Dom, do you honestly believe Dave Littlefield did not give a single interview after the 2007 MLB Draft?

  339. hockeymonster says:


    Mainly i’m looking for 4 line depth more than loading up on top 6. If sid and geno stay around 20 minutes that would pay dividends late in games, season and playoffs. Stewart is the beef but also dont forget that he’s scored 28 goals twice and was on pace for 30+ goals during lockout year. Not bad considering he had less center support than he would get here. Vrbata has scored 35 goals and is good for 20-30 on his own without geno. So my top 6 would be a blend of age and youth. But not like vrbata and duper are ancient. And i would look to sign Fayne and/or Belov to blend in with young d corp.

  340. Andrew says:

    No, my point was they are the affiliate, they are not going to sandbag or ambush the GM of the team they broadcast in an interview with a series of vitriolic questions based on hindsight.

  341. cmat0829 says:

    let’s be fair… if re-signing Morneau was their offseason ‘answer’ to 1B, most on this blog would’ve HOWLED all winter… he contributed NOTHING to this team last year and appeared to have ONE decent month with the Twins all season… yes, Coors Field is the fountain of youth but let’s not have THAT be the question we want NH to answer LOL

  342. Arriba Wilver says:

    Yeah, he said on more than one occasion that he thought he was better than Weiters, if I recall.

  343. Thundercrack says:

    You’re in my group. Madden isn’t

  344. Arriba Wilver says:

    Au contraire, Cmat, I thought he contributed quite a lot. So did Clint. And he didn’t sign for a king’s ransom, either. Sure, Coors Field helps, but let’s not rewrite history.

  345. Dom says:

    Oh, I forgot about that…

  346. hockeymonster says:

    Oh and i listed adams just cuz he’s under contract. I’d have him on waivers yesterday.

  347. Thundercrack says:

    I would bet that Clint Hurdle was disappointed in the Justin Morneau that was in a Pirate uniform last year

  348. NMR says:

    @AW – but thats like, your opinion, man.

  349. Arriba Wilver says:

    Then why did he play him as a regular?

    Neal told him to?

    He’s a nincompoop?

    He leans towards experienced players despite all the evidence to the contrary?

  350. Dom says:

    I guess it was silly to think that he didn’t do any interviews but I couldn’t find any online when I searched a while back.

  351. Arriba Wilver says:

    Sure it is, NMR. But cmat’s post started out with ” let’s be fair,” and then said “he contributed NOTHING to this team last year.” I think that’s patently false. That’s my opinion.

  352. NMR says:

    Joking, man. Joking.

  353. Sarah says:

    Good! :-D

    Honestly I’m kinda divided…..if the lockeroom was really tuning out DB, maybe things get a lot better just with him gone… do really need to tear the place up?

    Or has the whole country club complacency thing set in so deeply you just need to blow it up big time, including some stars and popular names in the room, (ie MAF, Tang, Duper, Kuni….) just to make it crystal clear that we aren’t in Kansas any more.

    And there will be no more Moustache Boy or Whiffle Ball.

    But there will be Accountability.

    For everyone.

  354. NMR says:

    But to answer your question, Hurdle played him because the alternative was Garrett Jones. That much is clear.

  355. NMR says:

    Who, BTW, happens to be hitting a lot like Garrett Jones right now. Funny how that works.

  356. Sarah says:

    Borts 13 mins were because he was anchored to Scuds.
    He can play more.

    And yes I think they did stunt him, development and confidence. Despres also of course.

    He played one bad game in PHL and was eating nachos in the press box for 3 weeks.

    Multiple players confide of fears of being benched and scratched if they eff up and take a penalty,

    That stunts growth in many areas.

  357. Arriba Wilver says:

    Garrett Jones and Gaby.

  358. Thundercrack says:

    Maybe Moreau contributed something on defense. At the plate he scored 6 runs, drove in 3 (if that is a stat we can still keep track of) and hit 0 home runs.

  359. hockeymonster says:

    RE: borts being anchored by scuds

    Borutzzo got in the game cuz orpik was out. If he was capable of replacing his minutes even a lil bit, he would’ve played more and against better competition. I hope he improves, really do. I like his mobility for a big guy and he plays big. Which is more than we can say for almost everyone else. But he needs more time at this level before i want him being more than a 6 or 7.

  360. Sarah says:

    Well, we can agree to disagree.

    I think Borts sat cos DB/RS would not sit Scuds.

    Nothing to do w Borts ability.

    They would look like idiots healthy scratching Scuds, and Borts paid the price.

  361. Sarah says:

    Really a microcosm of everything that was going on….the best roster was not iced , night in and night out.

    Despres should have been playing ahead of Borts for ex, and he was buried in WBS.

    Bylsma came out and said last year he was Top Four…’s just another sign of the primary problems going on….

  362. Arriba Wilver says:

    .370 OBP

  363. hockeymonster says:

    Guess depends on what our goals are too. Can Borts play? Yes. On a cup contending team as top 4-5?

  364. Sarah says:

    Maatta undergoing shoulder surgery.


  365. Sarah says:

    Out 4 months!! was this reported locally?? Or did Mc Kenzie scoop everyone???


  366. Andrew says:

    Just saw that too.

    Strap on your skates Simon, you’re going in.

  367. Sarah says:

    Why do we hear this from McKenzie for Godsakes????

  368. Andrew says:

    Derrick Pouliot shoulder sx too, same time frame 4-6 months.

    Note sure, injury information is usually kept quiet, maybe the local guys are chasing GM/coach leads. Nothing even from Dave Molinari who I consider a better beat writer than the Trib guys.

  369. Sarah says:

    Yeah heard about DP…..devastating….6 months!

    Now you wonder how long this was an issue w Maatta….?All we heard was Rookie Wall…..

  370. hockeymonster says:

    DM and GC are 2 of the best.

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