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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Morning Java: Anyone like Ike?

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Monday column is about the only thing that matters to the 2014 Pirates. Or has ever mattered, really, if you want to get technical.

Here’s my talk with Ray Searage on that particular topic:

And a Q I had for Neal Huntington, too:

Francisco Liriano’s struggles multiply, as the Pirates never come close to completing a four-game sweep of the Nationals. Rob Biertempfel has the game story. And for some idea of how hard Liriano took that, check out how he can’t even finish his answer when I asked how frustrating this must be:

Brandon Cumpton’s big chance begins tonight in the big city, by Karen Price.

The growing science of tracking positional defense, by Travis Sawchik. This was in Sunday’s Trib, actually, but thought it was worth a shout this morning. Good stuff.

Blogginess from the scene: Get this: Since May 6, Major League Baseball’s only hotter hitters than Ike Davis — now 22 for 54 (.407) in that span after two more hits yesterday— are Yasiel Puig (.417) and Miguel Cabrera (.409). If only Davis had been acquired in the offseason, then the Pirates might have done SOMETHING IN THE OFFSEASON, right? … There’s no safer bet in the history of civilization than someone in the New York media today asking Davis if he’s succeeding because he’s had all the pressure of playing in the Big Apple taken from his shoulders. They love this meme, even if there isn’t a sliver of proof to support it. Makes them feel like they’re really tough reporters and all. Some of the same folks who went running for cover every time John Tortorella sneezed. … Josh Harrison, Neil Walker and Davis went a combined 7 for 12, but Andrew McCutchen and a lost-looking Starling Marte came up completely empty at Nos. 3 and 5 spots. Nine men stranded for those two. … I asked Huntington why Cumpton has tended to struggle with opponents the second or third time through the order, and he candidly responded, “One thing we’ve stressed with Brandon from the beginning was the importance of his secondary stuff. He’s always had good velocity, but you don’t see too many starters get by with just a couple pitches.” In particular, the Pirates want to see more of his slider and especially the changeup, though the latter lags out of the two. … How is a player judged to be interfered with on the basepaths when his plant foot was on the grass? … Chris Stewart is no Russell Martin. … Nice to see the place filled up on a routine Sunday afternoon. The Pirates need more of this to create genuine urgency toward weekday sales.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page, our Bucco Blog and our photo gallery, including this brazenly self-promotional shot by our Chris Horner below. Check’s in the mail, bud!

Here’s Nationals news from the Washington Post.

Here’s Mets news from my friend Adam Rubin at ESPN New York.

Here are official game highlights on

>> Daniel McCullers hopes to be more more than just another Snack. Mark Kaboly reports. And here’s a bit of the talk those two had last week at rookie camp:

Feeling former Steelers’ pain, a column by Joe Starkey.

I’ll be with the football team this week, as OTAs begin Tuesday. The plan is to write Thursday and Friday columns from the South Side.

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

>> Latest on the Penguins’ GM search. Rob Rossi reports.

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

Here are official game highlights on

>> If you missed the Subway Final Word last night on WPXI-TV, I had quite the festive time with Biertempfel, Mark Madden and Bill Phillips.

>> Happy Memorial Day, with appreciation to our service men and women past and present. And to everyone, 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. Bizrow says:

    Just following up on the previous thread

    Lets take a moment to thank those that gave their lives so we can enjoy this glorious country.

    They gave their lives for pretty much everything we have.

  2. Bizrow says:

    • Welcome, Lunatics! If you don’t see your current location below, please add a reply to this post:
    • Dejan’s Lunatic Nation
    • Pittsburgh – Sochi – Moscow – New York – Fort Myers – Port Charlotte – Bradenton – Sarasota – Clearwater – Tampa – Orlando – Charlotte – Pittsburgh
    • Afghanistan – skeetermc*
    Arizona – Tucson, Chandler, Phoenix, Sunnyslope, Davis-Monthan AFB*, Lake Havasu City
    Argentina — Buenos Aires
    Arkansas – Rogers
    Alaska – Anchorage
    Australia – Mackay, Gold Coast, Geelong, Sydney, Balmoral (Queensland)
    Brazil – Vitoria, São Paulo
    California – Bakersfield, San Francisco, UNION CITY, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Hollywood, Huntington Beach, Yuba City, Solana Beach, Yorba Linda, Yuba City*, Edwards*, Long Beach, Modesto, Davis, Santa Monica, Solana Beach, Canyon Country, Burbank, West Hills, Encino, Clovis
    Canada – Toronto, Winnipeg, Moncton – New Brunswick, Ontario – Muskoka, Perth – home of the Ottowa RedBlacks, Perth – Ontario
    China – Beijing
    Crete – Vlites
    Colorado – Ft Collins, Estes Park*, Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs
    Connecticut – Cos Cob, Bridgeport, Wallingford, Norwalk, NEWTOWN
    Costa Rica
    Czech Republic
    Delaware – Newark
    Denmark – Greenland – Thule*
    District of Columbia
    England – London
    Florida – Palm Harbor, Orlando, Valrico, Gainesville, Daytona Beach, Oviedo, Tampa, Jacksonville, Sarasota, Palm Beach Gardens, Cape Coral, Coco Beach (Major Nelson and Mary Ann), Niceville (Red Neck Rivera) and a*, St Petersburg, Pembroke Pines, Ft Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, W Melbourne, Melbourne, St Johns, Wesley Chapel, Fort Pierce, Lakeland, Neptune Beach
    France – Strasbourg,
    Georgia – Marietta, Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Acworth, Savanna, Hoschton, Grayson, Newnan, Macon
    Germany – Leverkusen/Cologne, Ramstein*
    Hawaii – Honolulu
    Idaho – Mountain Home, Coer d’Aline, Mountain Home AFB*
    Illinois – La Salle, Peru, Payson, Chicago, Palatine (3 inmates there), Lincoln Park, Grayslake, Algonquin, Chicago, Naperville
    Indiana – Indianapolis, Burns Harbor, South Bend, Bicknell, Ft Wayne, Westfield, Munster, Jasper
    Iowa – Bettendorf, Humboldt, Maquoketa, Urbandale, Muscatine
    Ireland – Dublin
    • Israel – Ginot Shomron
    Japan – Tokyo
    Kentucky – Louisville, Bowling Green, Lexington, Georgetown, Russellville
    Kuwait – Relyks76*
    Louisiana – Slidell, Shreveport*
    Maine – Bangor
    Maryland – Arnold, Odenton, Severn, Baltimore, Waldorf, Hagerstown, Chevy Chase, Hampstead, Elkridge, Frederick, Bowie, Sykesville, Columbia, Towson
    Massachusetts – Boston, Tyngsboro, East Gloucester*, 617 Strong*, Medford, Hamilton
    Mecca – Slienmann*
    Michigan – Kalamazoo, Eaton Rapids, Lansing, Ann Arbor, Mason, Battle Creek
    Minnesota – Yinzer, St Paul
    Mississippi – Biloxi, Ocean Springs
    Missouri – St Peters***
    Nebraska – Omaha, Lincoln
    New Hampshire – Barrington
    New Jersey – Chesterfield, Princeton, Roxbury, Lebanon, Lincoln Park, Berkeley Heights, Somerville, Hammock, Barrington, Delran, Pennsville, Hammonton, Mullica Hills, JERSEY SHORE, Montclair, Monmouth Beach, Flemington, Oceanville, Mays Landing, Collingswood
    New Mexico – Mike, Albequeque, Blazer, Berkeley Heights
    New York – New York, Smithtown, Manhattan, Long Island, Nyack, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Rochester, Albany, Lewistown, Stony Point
    Nevada, Las Vegas, Henderson, Reno
    North Carolina – Asheville, Hickory, Charlotte, Raleigh, Wilmington, Chapel Hill, High Point, Winston Salem, Fayetteville
    Ohio – Cincinnati, Columbiana, Westerville, Green, Hilliard, Toledo, Louisville, Columbus, Perrysburg, Pickerington, Youngstown, Cleveland, Olmsted Township, Liberty Township, Warren, Oregon, Wintersville, Austintown, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base*, New Philadelphia, Powell, Canton, Salem, New Albany, Bloomingdale, Powell, Howland, Grafton, Northwood, Middletown, Dayton, Cambridge, Martins Ferry, Akron
    Oklahoma – Tulsa – OKLAHOMA CITY/MOORE ,,
    Oregon – Roseburg, Eugene
    Pennsylvania – Downtown, Hopewell, Indiana, North Wales, Franklin Park, Forest Hills, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Du Bois, Reading, Crafton, Arnold, Wexford, Mt Lebanon, Canonsburg, Lancaster, Huntington, York, Boiling Springs, Philly suburbs, Morningside, Harrisburg, Lawrenceville, Bradford Woods, Norristown, Hanover, Clearfield, Sewickley, Plum Boro, Slippery Rock, Wilkes-Barre, Sharpsville, Bessemer, Greensburg, Washington, Imperial, South Side, Duncansville, Newville, Sheppton, Grove City, Butler, Allentown, Ross Township, Blairsville, Flood City (Johnstown), Overbrook, Danny’s Hoagies, Baldwin, Economy, Sharpsville, North Huntington, Bellfonte, West Mifflin, Kennywood, Pleasant Hills, Beechview (Mad Turk, No 200), Macgunie, Mechanicsburg, Uptown, Cambria County, Mon Valley, Salisbury, Coraopolis, Emsworth, Cranberry Twp, Garrett, O’Hara Township, McCandless Township, 115 Federal Street, Bethel Park, Harrison City, Penn Hills, Kittanning, Dover, Upper St Clair, Rennerdale, Oakland, Scranton, Moon (RMU), State College, Erie, Penn Twp, Stowe, Elizabeth, Hermitage, Easton, Carlisle, Finleyville, Belle Vernon, Madison, Sellersville, Waynesburg, Warren, Beaver Falls, Chambersburg, Greencastle, East Freedom, Leechburg, Banksville City, Ellwood City, Hollidaysburg, Bethlehem, Mars, Verona, Philipsburg, Phoenixville, Hippos Pond, Oil City, Verona, Hookstown, Squirrel Hill, Natrona, Charleroi, FREEDOM, Denver, Midland (the home of good food and many bars), Selinsgrove, Dormont, Scott Township, Blawnox, Arnold, Ligonier, Wells Tannery, Swoyersville, St Mary’s, Titusville, Shippingsburg, Sharpsville, Brookville, Mountain Top, Mt Joy, Bloomsburg, Portage, Carnegie, Homer City, Allepo Township, Irwin, Claridge, Downington, Cheswick, Antis Township, Union City, Export
    The Philippines
    Rhode Island
    Serbia – Subotica
    South Carolina – Duncan, Longs, Columbia, Bluffton, Greensville, Charleston, North Charleston, Sumter*
    South Korea – Seoul, Mike
    Tennessee – Smithville, Nashville
    Texas – Tyler, San Antonio, Belton, Houston, Katy, Plano, El Paso, Cedar Park, Pleasanton
    United Kingdom – Haslemere
    Utah – Salt Lake City, Provo
    Vermont – North Bennington
    Virginia – JAL, Hampton, Rescue, Richmond, Front Royal, Woodbridge, Suffolk, Warrenton, Springfield*, Virginia Beach, Fairfax, Arlington, Yorktown, Henrico, Aldie, Manassas, Newport News, Clifton, Glen Allen, Roanoke, Vienna, Alexandria, Lynchburg
    Washington – Seattle, Nine Mile Falls, Spokane, Sammamish
    West Virginia – Martinsburg, Morgantown, Wheeling, Mt Olivet, Huntington, Parkersburg, Clarksburg*, Grafton
    Wisconsin – Madison, Oshkosh, Hortonville
    Wyoming – Caspar, Lander
    Unknown – killa_cam7*
    473 confirmed locations represented in the blog, and a couple of strange places
    Lunatic Nation Hall of Fame, people that have, in our opinion, made a difference, either thru talent or character or deeds.
    Nominations are always welcome
    Any Allegheny, Pirate, Crawford, Gray, Steeler or Penguin player in the League’s Hall of Fame
    Stan “The Man”, from Donora
    Lemonade Guy
    The Gunner, Mr Bob Prince
    The Great One, he stays regardless
    Mike Lange
    Myron Cope
    The Honorable Mayor Richard Caliguiri
    Kevin McClatchy
    Mike Emrick
    Commander Hadfield, courtesy of the Space Station
    Fred Rogers
    Mario Lemieux, ditto to the Great One, he stays as an owner
    Chuck Noll
    Eddie Johnston, aka EJ
    Badger Bob
    Chuck Tanner
    Dick Groat, the best darn multi-athelete and announcer from Wilkinsburg/Swissvale
    Steve Blass
    Danny Murtaugh*
    Rocky Bleier*
    John Challis – Courage + Belief = Life
    All Servicemen and women that have been in battle, ever
    Sgt Doug Vitale
    Gary Sinise and the Lt Dan Band
    Barney Dreyfuss
    George Benson
    Phil Coyne
    Tony Dorsett
    Vince Lascheid
    John Barbero
    Art McKennan
    Steve ‘Dirt’ DiNardo*
    K9***, Rocco
    Rick Sebak
    First Responders***
    • Those ordinary/exceptional hero’s that we remember on Memorial Day***
    28 countries
    46 states, plus the District of Columbia, missing 4 states, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alabama, and Kansas
    Three planets, at least confirmed, and the Space Station
    Then there was that Cold day in Hell place
    Honorable mention, England – London – Lisa
    “Terrorists will always lose in America, the sooner they figure that out, the better”- truer words have never been spoken
    Asterisks denote confirmed hero’s of any species, military, police officers or firemen/ladies
    • 5/25/2014 10:41 PM

  3. Carlos Danger says:

    Agreed Biz. We can never acknowledge them often enough. We take a lot for granted.

  4. chris says:

    Hey Dejan,

    You have quickly become my favorite Pittsburgh reporter/analyst. Anyhow two big things that concern me going forward. One is of the near present and one is for next year. For the present, what will happen when Polanco comes up in 3 weeks? Our big problem in the beginning of the year was the lead off man not getting on base be it Marte, Tabata, Snider. When J Hay showed he had the ability to get on base in the leadoff spot, that’s where the offense really started turning around. So what will happen? Will Hurdle find a way to work J Hay in every day, will polanco lead off, or will it be back to the Marte experiment? Those are the only 3 options I see. Whatever the move is, I think our season will depend on its success.

    My question or more of a concern for next year is that do you think the pirates will re sign Russell Martin? He is truly the backbone of this team and I hope the front office can see that. I hope that just because they drafted Tony Sanchez in the first round does not mean he gets grandfathered into the starting role next year. Watching Tony play the game behind the plate makes me cringe sometimes. Martin makes the defense seem so effortless with picks in the dirt, throws to 2nd, etc. Tony Montana on the other hand seems to go all out but, it feels he does not have the comfort level and confidence to make plays. I see if the pirates are unwilling to extend Martin for 3 years 35 million then this team will be below .500 for the next 2 years or longer until Reese is up here or another catcher comes into play with the pedigree of Martin. Again, I hope the front office will pay this man the money he wants, because our winning baseball in the Burgh will suffer if they don’t.

  5. Carlos Danger says:

    Great questions, and I look forward to a response from someone who knows more, but I think Harrison will be more of a super-sub. Not sure who will lead off, that might be more of a trial by error scenario. But I wholeheartedly agree about Martin. Said it on the last post. We saw what we needed when Sanchez filled in. Which was a plus bat and questionable defense/arm. It will be interesting to see what they do.

  6. Bizrow says:

    I think Martin earns most of his pay on leadership.

    IMO the only place JHay’s stick fits is at second base, for a full time slot

    Other than that, he’s a super-sub.

    Glad he’s a Bucco, regardless

  7. I hope that you will all have a nice Memorial Day weatherwise and that you.all will remember how our military has fought to preserve our freedoms. Also, naturally, I hope that the Pirates will prevail against the Mets in NYC tomorrow ‘afternoon.

  8. Carlos Danger says:

    I agree about leadership. Also earned a spot simply due to lack of a better option internally. Sanchez isn’t ready. Not sure if he ever will be. But we have no one else. Martin is definitely solid on defense. The question is, will we pay him?

  9. Bizrow says:

    He probably will want a multi-year deal

    And he might be shipped off come the trade deadline if the PBC is out of the action.

  10. Carlos Danger says:

    I wouldn’t be opposed. If we are out of the action. As the early returns appear to indicate. You think we will stick with Sanchez/Stewart if so? Cause man, well, that sucks.

  11. Bizrow says:

    I think Stewart is on a one year deal too.

    This year is not over, but 2015 will be a real test for NH

    NH keeps saying “small market club”

    Those statements, well hope but expect

  12. Bizrow says:

    I’m going to bed, good tidings to one and all.

    IMO we should have a day to honor all of the folks that have given things/lives/character/points of light to us.

    Be it amazing acts or simple things. It all can make a difference.

    As you said, Mr Weiner,we take a lot for granted ;-)

    That being said, Tomorrow in a few hours is the day we honor those that gave the ultimate for us

  13. Carlos Danger says:

    In no way was I saying that Stewart was a viable option. I believe that was part of my “that sucks” portion of my post. But if we trade or lose Martin,what are we supposed to do?

  14. Carlos Danger says:

    Sure do biz. Have a great night and blog with you soon!

  15. chris says:

    Harrison as a 2nd baseman makes no sense at all for this year or next for that matter. I can see when we lose Pedro, Walker moving to 3rd and Harrison taking over at 2nd as a possibility, but a whole lot of if’s in that statement. I say we keep the focus on this year though. A lot of fans are always looking to the future when we don’t enjoy the present. Regardless of what the pessimists say, the bucs are close to getting back to form. We are only about 2 games from taking 3rd place and not too many more behind 2nd. It’s a marathon, not a sprint so just enjoy it day by day and let the standings fall where they will in late september

  16. A E Graham says:

    Pardon Me, but who really cares?????? All you do is take up interesting space! I really wonder if anyone looks further than their name. Add something to the thread or do as I do and: Just read.

  17. JD says:

    A E, I agree that it is somewhat ponderous to scroll through that list, especially on an iPhone, but Biz will forever be in my personal hall of fame for finally telling a certain poster that his over the top, negative, combative posts were a drag on this entire blog.

    It has been a much better place ever since.

    Happy Memorial Day to all!

  18. Ghost says:

    *I* care. And I ask one and all who also care to post so.
    Scroll on by if you don’t like the post, AE Graham. Nobody’s forcing you to read anything. But some of us have a shared sense of community and happen to like what Biz does.

    BTW, Biz… my time in Las Vegas is coming to an end. In two weeks, I’ll be calling El Cerrito, CA my home. Look forward to seeing it added to your list! Thanks!

  19. Maz in Iowa says:

    Painful start to Sunday’s game.It seems like the beermakers are leaving the door open,but the Cards seem to be the only one able to take advantage.Mercer/Pedro seem to be key players in a turnaround.Keeping my fingers crossed….but no way am I holding my breath.I hope the next few games are better.Sure was nice to see the starting pitching looking better for a few games too.Go Bucs!

  20. Ghost says:

    If I had to guess, I’d say the consensus (here on the Blog) is that Harrison remains as the super-utilityman. Maybe what we are seeing is just an incredible hot streak and that Harrison will soon return to being a .250’s hitter. But I say keep running him out there until until he shows us we shouldn’t. As I posted a day or two ago, he’s only now attained 600 career at-bats and is garnering extended playing time. And his continuing great play in the outfield can’t be attributed to a “hot streak.” He’s clearly stepped up his game there. Once Polanco comes, the only place to move him would probably be to the infield though. Or left field. Make of that what you will.

  21. Jason81 says:

    Here, here, Ghost! I joined this blog long after DuBois appeared on that list, and it’s nice to see it grow with new members all the time. If you don’t like it, maybe this community isn’t the place for you.

  22. JohninOshkosh says:

    Really uncool to attack Biz and his roll call. Biz goes back to the origins of Dejan’s blog-way back to the PG when the community was first being formed. Long before me, that’s for sure. Through the years Dejan has expressed his approval and gratitude for Biz putting it together. I and many others appreciate it as well.

  23. theplanisworking says:

    JD, was he talking about you?

    Bizrow blatantly lied about me saying I “chased” people off this blog. If that sort of behavior makes him worthy of your ‘personal hall of fame’ , that speaks even more about you than we previously thought……. him also.

    Thank God brave men and women have sacrificed for many years for the freedoms of this great country, to allow you to post that trash you wrote, and have constantly written about me.

    Happy Memorial Day to you also.

  24. theplanisworking says:

    Today is a special day for America.

    Whereas most ‘holidays’ are celebrated, today is a day that is remembered more than celebrated.

    Many men, women, and service animals have given their lives so that this country remains a light unto the rest of the world.

    This day is not about cookouts, sales, or other trivial things………. including a sports blog.

    This day is all about those who gave their lives so we could have ours.
    Us older people remember this day as Decoration Day……. when we would decorate the gravesites of our deceased veterans. Growing up, my small hamlet had a parade that rivaled bigger cities. Sadly, that spriti seems a bit lost in today’s world.

    Always remember, never forget.
    We owe to those who came before us.

    Happy, and Blessed Memorial Day.

  25. BillyBaduka says:

    Mr. Graham,

    I care. I appreciate that Biz put this together and maintains it.

    Do I read it every time it’s posted, of course not.

    This is a long standing tradition on this blog.

    Leave Biz alone. Scroll past it.

    Have a nice Memorial Day.

  26. JAL says:

    JAL’s Lemons Morning Links

    Lemons Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers


    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

    Week In Review: Wandy Gone, Grilli Back, Prospect Reports, Mock Drafts

    Prospect Watch: Stetson Allie Crushes Two Home Runs

    Prospect Report: Nick Kingham’s Drop in Velocity and Increase in Walks

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Liriano struggles as Pirates lose 5-2

    Postgame Notes: Liriano frustrated, Huntington talks offensive approach


    Dispatches from the land without interent

    8 Green Weenie

    Bucs Fall 5-2 In Series Finale

    9 SaberBucs

    How Does Ikby Danchez Compare to N.L. First-Baseman?

    10 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Nats Series Wrap-Up / Mets Series Preview

  27. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 LA Times

    Dodgers’ Josh Beckett pitches a no-hitter … who’d have thought it?

    12 CBS Sports

    Pirates vs Mets Game Preview

    13 Chicago Sun Times

    Theo: Manny Ramirez has ‘high-impact’ potential, despite drug violations

    14 Washington Post

    Doug Fister helps Washington Nationals end four-game losing streak

    15 Pirates Site

    Liriano off his game as Pirates drop series finale

    Red-hot Harrison making presence known

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Offensive woes continue in Reds’ 4-0 loss to Cardinals

    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Offense unloads on Marlins to end road trip with win

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Wainwright rolls to another win

    Strauss: Cards can’t rely on Memphis pitching pipeline as much this year

    19 Fangraphs

    The Physics of a Foul Down the Line

    20 Washington Times

    Ballfield to battlefield: Elmer Gedeon was 1 of 2 major league players to die in WWII

  28. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers’ cornerbacks are not a liability

    Troy Polamalu’s presence at OTAs is a non-story

    Steelers minicamp was ‘initiation by fire’ for rookie Rob Blanchflower


    22 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    Why didn’t Atletico have a man on the post?

    23 BBC Football

    Man United: Danny Welbeck rejects Moyes’s training claims

    24 World Soccer

    World Cup preview – United States


    25 Pensburgh

    The Penguins Are In a Holding Pattern

  29. John Lease says:

    I care, he got Export back on the list!

  30. 21sthebest says:

    Stewart is under control through 2016.

  31. JoeyBats says:

    Thank you to all of the folks that have given their service to ur country.

    Here’s a piece of history from 1932 that I never knew about… QUITE AMAZING if you have 6 minutes.

  32. Brandie says:

    On this Memorial Day, let us remember those who gave all. Let us also remember those who are trying to come back in a society that, at times, has segments that do not care to understand the sacrifices of those who are still living.

  33. Neil says:

    Rector. PA

  34. Wild Bill says:

    Missed ya, Plan!

  35. Brandie says:

    Good Day Planetoid.

  36. Wild Bill says:

    My Dad served in WW II, but came home alive or there’d be no me. I’m so glad I had him in my life until 2001, and am conscious of how many did not have this same blessing because their Dad or Mom died defending the USA.

  37. Wild Bill says:

    And Biz, I’m always pleased to see the roll call of bloggers.

  38. Wild Bill says:

    Well said, Brandie, about the trials awaiting at home. This VA deal is a scandal.

  39. Pucknutz says:

    +++ Billy,

  40. Mark E Mahan says:

    add Altoona,Pa. please i will join the Lunatics bcuz of roll call AE Graham ha

  41. Brandie says:

    My uncle served in Vietnam. He passed in 2002. There is an everlasting memorial to him on Warren Jon DuBose. I look at it whenever I miss him or whenever I need the courage to tackle something difficult.

  42. Brandie says:

    Nice column today DK. Pitching is a bit like real estate…location, location, location. Liriano, at least to me, looks like he can’t locate his pitches even with GPS.

  43. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Wait, wait, wait…….Biz called out Plan?

    No way, would love to read it.

  44. Brent Genevro says:

    This blog is awesome. I learn a great deal from the input and opinions of others. The listing of hometowns is awesome as well.

    And on that note —

    The customer service department kept getting letters from an irate passenger, who was disappointed in her service every time she flew. She didn’t like the fact she could only have peanuts, she didn’t like the fact she couldn’t get first class seats, she didn’t like the causal nature of the staff. Finally, when she complained about one of the jokes told by a crew member, the customer service department forwarded the complaint to Herb Keller, CEO and founder. Here was his reply:

    ‘Dear Mrs. Crabapple, We will miss you. Love, Herb.’

  45. NJ07035 says:

    Looking forward to seeing the Bucs the next two games in Flushing (and a more appropriate name has rarely been given) – this afternoon with the wife and kids in tow, and tomorrow night in the club seats with my dad.

    Hopefully it will better than our family experience last Saturday at Yankee Stadium – not only the loss, but my son was daydreaming sitting in the right field bleachers during Pirates’ BP and was literally hit on top of the head by a ball (I think it was Snider, since the starters had already stopped hitting and he was the only lefty). Not only did he get a lump, but we didn’t even get the ball; it bounced off his head and up a few rows of the bleachers, and some 22ish girl grabbed it. When I – and everyone else around us – asked her to give my son the ball, her boyfriend gallantly jumped in and put it in his pocket. The ensuing two-syllable chant that likened him to a particular bodily orifice was much appreciated. Even an NYC cop – after checking on my son and finding out that the kid kept the ball – looked over at him and called him the same thing. Gotta love New York. But, he got a lump (no concussion) and a free bag of ice for his troubles.

    I tweeted a pic of his head to the Pirates; maybe they will let him come on the field during BP today, where it is safer…

    Enjoy your day, and God Bless all who have served our great nation!

  46. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    STarting pitching the main issue with this team? Amazing

    I thought for sure that keeping Polanco down in Indy to jump start this offense was exactly what the pitching staff needs.

    I don’t care who you are, you just CANNOT win without good pitching and it all starts (literally) with the starting pitching.

  47. Leo Walter says:

    Blair County/PNG Ballpark

  48. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I think the Pirates RT’d that pic

  49. Wild Bill says:

    The Habs let their rookie goalie out to dry on all three Rags goals last night. Twice guys in all alone on him after stretch passes. The Pens would have loved it.

  50. Sarah says:

    Hi Sir Plan, glad to see ya!

  51. Justin says:

    Ike Davis is the man. Doing as well as we could’ve reasonably hoped for from any of the FA 1b and trade targets (Napoli, Abreu, loney, morneau) (and notice I said ‘reasonably hoped’).

  52. Sarah says:

    This kid Tokarski has done really well. Has a solid background and record thus far.
    Doubt he will supplant Price, but he has a bright future!

    That said, the Habs are prolly done after last night…..

  53. Pucknutz says:

    LOL NJ
    Laughing at the chant not the lump.
    Glad to hear no serious harm done.
    Funny story he can tell his grandkids.

  54. JohninOshkosh says:

    Great work by company man, Chris Horner!

    Beautiful shot….and an advertisement as well!

  55. Thundercrack says:

    I like what JHay is doing right now too. But am I the only one that feels that some of those ‘spectacular’ catches that he is making are because he has misplayed them a little bit?

  56. JoeyBats says:

    I like Ike.

    I also like the job Steve Adams continues to do with OKC.

    Last night ==> The THUNDER beats San Antonio in Game # 3 of the Western Finals.

    Adams plays 27 minutes, 7 points, 9 rebounds and 4 blocks. Not bad for a rookie. :-)

  57. Matt hoffman says:

    I keep seeing comments about JHay being a bench player because of his versatility and his bat. But WOW on his defense! Maybe the starting pitching is getting a shot in the arm due to their confidence in their defense. Snyder has made some awful plays in RF and Tabata may or may not try and get there to make the awful play.
    When Polanco gets the call, why not stick Harrison at SS? I thought he played there a lot in the minors? If not SS, then LF, I like Marte, but I like Harrison better. Marte is fast and has a great arm, but the strikouts are devastating! Just my 2 cents.

  58. Thundercrack says:

    I disagree with you a little bit about the pressures of playing in NYC. I think it is tougher in a player – when they are going bad
    And it has nothing to do with if their reporters are tough or not. Just the volume of media. No way to escape it.

  59. His defense is suspect at short, Matt. But, when Polanco comes up he can spell people in left, right, third, second and even short like you said, should one of those 2 go down. During the dog days of July and August, we’ll probably see him in the lineup most every day, albeit at different positions.

  60. All I ever see is the end of the play on replay. I never get to see his jump, angle or anything else. At your mercy on that one.

    As far as infield, we have beaten that one into the ground. Many shortcomings.

  61. JAL says:

    agree, Harrison is not a SS.

  62. Matt hoffman says:

    I agree with you Luckmeister. That is probably what will happen and should happen. I have always liked Harrison.

  63. Arriba Wilver says:


  64. Thundercrack says:

    I saw DK’s exchange with MM last night on the final word. Good stuff.

    I like Rob Biertempfel but I couldn’t understand why he kept repeating ‘Yaseil Puig’.

    Puig did help the Dodgers a lot when he was called up (yes, he didn’t start the season in the majors). But tr Dodgers’ starting pitchers helped a lot too.

    Was Puig called up because of injuries to their outfielders?

  65. Me, too. Especially his bat, his attitude and his demeanor. All-around good person.

  66. I miss Drew’s menu list for holidays. He really cooks some off-the-wall stuff.

    Stuffed hermit crab and things like that.

    Wish he’d stop by with his menu for the day.

  67. Arriba Wilver says:

    Very uncool.

  68. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Quit possibly the case

  69. Thundercrack says:

    Just saw a NYC writer post this in twitter

    @WheresKernan: Asked Ike what is best thing about being with Pirates he said going for coffee and not getting hitting tips at 9 am

  70. Arriba Wilver says:


  71. FlBucco says:


  72. Rico says:

    JHay in LF instead of Marte? Is that what you’re saying? You must be having some kind of ectoplasmic seizure! Anyway, Harrison will of course return to the bench when Polanco arrives. If he were even an adequate SS, he could get playing time there to keep his bat in the lineup, but he’s not. The fact is that he’s just not good enough at any one position to play every day, but a versatile guy off the bench is a valuable commodity, so there’s nothing wrong with that.

  73. BillyBaduka says:

    Welcome Mark

  74. Brandie says:

    He just seems to be a different player…more self assured. It is awesome to see a player that some had given up as chopped liver begin to come into his own.

  75. 21sthebest says:

    Agree TC.

  76. BillyBaduka says:

    Drew, please come back.

  77. Brotherhood of the Redus says:

    I just looked AT THE ENTIRE LIST….Thanks for reminding me

  78. Arriba Wilver says:


  79. Great avi. Glad your son’s OK. My wife was practically run over in the Burgh over a practice ball someone through up in the brown seats at TRS. I can sympathize with you. Can’t imagine what would have happened in NYC.

  80. cherokee23 says:

    That’s funny!

  81. Stuart says:

    DK, I just finished watching last night’s Final Word. In real time, I fell asleep near the beginning of Channel 2’s production. Final Word last night was a keeper. I even enjoyed Madden (possibly because of your counterpoint). One of the better things is the insertion of topical video backgrounds to the various discussion points. Taking the time to watch the whole “replay” was my birthday present to myself.

    I did find it ironic that Alby groused about the Indy 500’s use of the split screen on the final laps (they showed Castronoves’ wife’s reactions on one side), while the Final Word continues to split their screen to show moronic tweets and texts. The latter is the weakest point of the show.

    FWIW, put me in the “trade Pedro now” category. My philosophy has always been – “If a train wreck is inevitable, speed up the train to get it over as quickly as possible”.

    Happy Decoration Day to all. Both of my boys are home at the same time, so that is celebration enough for me.


  82. Happy Birthday, Stuart.

  83. Stuart says:

    Thanks Rev.

  84. Arriba Wilver says:

    Based on Travis’ article, we may soon have definitive answers on questions like that.

    Only in baseball.

  85. Wild Bill says:

    Was thinking of you this morning, Lucky. Some buds of mine skipped church yesterday to leave early for the Phillies – Dodgers game, a 3 and a half hour trip from here. When it was over, I sent them a text: “this is what happens when you skip church”. They still haven’t answered me.

  86. Wild Bill says:

    Yes, happy birthday!

  87. Arriba Wilver says:

    JAL’S link 20 is a must Memorial Day read for baseball fans.

  88. Stuart says:

    Thanks wild one.


  89. NJ07035 says:

    Fun game – especially the last couple innings. Apparently, the Mets cut Valverde before he even reached the dugout after blowing the game.

    Happy again to see a definitive increase in people wearing black and gold, just as there were at Yankee Stadium – and they made themselves known throughout the ballpark.

    Looking forward to another one tomorrow night, this time in the club seats, instead of the rest of the riff-raff I sat with (proudly, I might add) in the upper deck today. :)

  90. Rick Crow says:

    Garrison, Montana

    Grew up in Squirrel Hill

  91. Jandy says:

    Welcome to the Looney Asylum, Rick!

    Biz, id you catch this??

  92. Jandy says:

    Biz, did you see this one???

    Rick Crow
    May 27, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    Garrison, Montana

    Grew up in Squirrel Hill


  93. Jandy says:

    I love being in a CROWD of people cheering :)

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