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Morning Java: Easy as A, B … A.B.!

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Thursday column looks at the Steelers and those lining up early to be leaders. So good to write some football.

As accompaniment to the column, I’ll add here quick clips of questions I had for Antonio Brown:

And Lawrence Timmons:

Mike Munchak is making a big impact on the big men already, by Alan Robinson.

LeGarrette Blount plays the disrespect card at OTAs, by Mark Kaboly.

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

>> Bartolo Colon and the Mets mow down the Pirates, by Travis Sawchik in New York.

Andrew McCutchen sounds annoyed with all the walks, by Sawchik.

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

Here’s Mets news from ESPN New York.

Here’s Dodgers news from the Los Angeles Times.

Here are official game highlights on

>> Brooks Orpik’s future in limbo. Josh Yohe reports.

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

Here are official game highlights on

>> The Riverhounds advanced in the U.S. Open Cup by beating Croatian side AWB Adria at Highmark Stadium, by Joe Sager.

This means they’ll play the Chicago Fire of MLS on June 18, but it also means they’re still winless in league action. Can’t change that until Sunday vs. Harrisburg. And to his credit, Collins John, the new captain pictured above, seems to grasp that in his postgame comments.

>> 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:

    Lousy game by the BUCS

  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 – Sharing and celebrating our community.
    • 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, Rector, Altoona, Blair County/PNG Ballpark
    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*
    476 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
    • 5/28/2014 11:27 PM

  3. Bizrow says:

    Its a long post

    I’d be interested in intelligent thoughts to help make this work better

  4. I’d limit it to game threads. But that’s just me.

  5. Stuart says:

    Well Biz I appreciate your doing it, and I don’t know how you post it. I think you might make three separate files, one the full file, and one with just the honorary members, and one with all the locations only. Then you could, for example, post the honoraries maybe once a week or so, making that part a little more special. maybe post the full file only on a game thread on the 1st and 15th of the month, and the location one on every game thread.

    I do think DK’s suggestion of posting only on the game threads has merit, as I think the game threads are where we are more likely to get “newbies”.

    The important thing is to not let it seem too much like work. After all, us retired guys are obliged to make time for fun things that we enjoy. You can bet that if you stopped posting it all together, people would come out of the woodwork to complain that you stopped!

    Have a good one, and do you know what day it is?


  6. Ghost says:

    Stuart pretty much takes the words right out of my mouth. When I read Biz’ request for options, my first thought, too, was to divide the post into the categories and then post these on a rotating basis. The idea of posting the honoraries once every weekend, and then the full post once or twice a month sound like good possibilites, too.

    But personally, I don’t have a problem with the post just as it is. I take the time to explore it in parts when I feel like it, and scroll right through it other times when I don’t. Like every other post out there, it’s there for the taking, or passing on — to each his/her own. Biz, don’t let one person’s unfortunate remark the other day weigh on you. Too many of us would miss it if we lost this wonderful thing you do.

  7. Ghost says:

    Good column about #84 and what extra he’s adding to the mix. It’s quite stark how Antonio Brown’s image changed from after the 2012 season to the one he earned during 2013. AB had some dropped passes and other mental lapses during 2012. Others also had a problem with him pointing downfield after making a chain-moving catch. I myself, had no problem with that. But anyway, it was terrific how Brown truly stepped up all season long, last year. And that he wants to fill a leadership void the Steelers indeed have, couldn’t come at a more crucial time.

  8. tdb1977 says:

    On the topic of the Riverhounds… to see them go up against the MLS’s Chicago Fire in the next round US Open Cup and to have a strong showing against them, it could go a long way hopefully in the right direction. The wins in there league will come, and hopefully the first will come this Saturday against Harrisburg.

  9. JoeyBats says:

    Nice article on Coach Munchak….

    Perhaps the biggest impact he can have this season is to have the O.Lineman NOT tripping over each other…and NOT slicing each other UP (read FRIENDLY FIRE to Pouncey) …..but, rather taking out the D.Lineman…for a change! ;-)

  10. Tom P. says:

    The request for suggestions and the responses were all well thought out. Biz, it’s your post, so try something out. If you like the result, great. If not try, something else. My guess is that you will get feedback, one way or the other.

  11. DJ says:

    Munchak one of the team’s best upgrades this off season. See he wants to bring “the nasty” — mindset lacking from several 6′ 5″+, 320+ lb, “teddy bear soff” O-linemen.

    Very welcome attitude adjustment.

  12. Jandy says:

    Well said, Ghostie. I do the same…take it in, in lil sections as my leisure. It’s awesome, and Biz puts time and effort into it. One dumb aZZ poster shouldn’t ruin that for everyone.

  13. Jandy says:


  14. Jandy says:


  15. scapper says:

    Love that you deleted the bit about Jagr and the HOF. Great edit!

  16. scapper says:

    That post was for Biz, not DK.

  17. scapper says:

    Seriously. I usually just scroll past it, but every once in a while I might take a look at a certain state or something else on it. But man, how much effort does it take to just scroll by it.

  18. Jandy says:

    Some people aren’t happy unless they try to make everyone else unhappy. Misery loves company ;)

  19. bpn8pitt says:

    Hear what your saying on Troy. He should be there, getting on the same page with Mitchell.

    That being said, Troy and I our about the same age. Never was anything close to him athletically but I still run miles, go to the gym a couple times a week…Im finding I don’t recover as well as I used too. I can still do it, just with a few more aches and pains.

    I’m fine if he’s not there in May, as long as it means he’s there in the Fall…sometimes these guys do too much football IMO.

  20. Florida Steeler says:


  21. DJ says:

    Not much stock placed in NFL Network top 5 running back combos but Bell / Blount not on list?

    Can see Philly’s LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles and Buffalo’s C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson at Nos. 1-2 but Lions’ Reggie Bush and Joique Bell, Jets’ Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory, and Chargers’ Ryan Mathews, Danny Woodhead and Donald Brown at Nos. 3-5?

    Expecting big things from Bell / Blount / Archer.

  22. DJ says:

    Messin’ with “our little world” can get you in trouble, right Jands?

  23. JAL says:

    JAL’s Lemon Morning Links

    Lemon U2


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 BFFL’s 2014 Pirates Stats Spreadsheet

    4 Pirates Prospects

    Pittsburgh Pirates Organizational Probable Pitching Chart

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: The State of the Pirates Rotation

    Prospect Watch: Tyler Glasnow Strikes Out 12; Vance Worley Strikes Out 10

    Prospect Highlights: Double From Harold Ramirez, Homer From McGuiness

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates lose 5-0

    Rangers claim Phil Irwin

    7 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates Shut Out By Mets In Series Finale

    8 Green Weenie

    Bucs Dazed and Confused In 5-0 Loss

    9 Rumbunter

    Fixing The Pittsburgh Pirates Problems Before It Is Too Late

    Pittsburgh Pirates Should Look to Trade Josh Harrison

    10 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Mets 5, Pirates 0

  24. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 NY Times

    Duda’s Homer Caps Winning Finish to a Trying Stretch

    12 CBS Sports

    Colon leads shutout of Pirates; Mets take rubber game

    13 Chicago Sun Times

    California vacation over for Cubs’ offense, fall 5-0 to Lincecum’s Giants

    14 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates Need Consistency from Pedro Alvarez Moving Forward

    15 Pirates Site

    Bucs shut down by Colon, Mets in series finale

    Bucs prospect Glasnow has strikeout stuff

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Reds snap losing streak with 3-2 win over Dodgers

    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Brewers offense bringing the heat

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Miller has rough outing as Yankees take finale

    Bernie: Crowded outfield is a real problem

    19 Fangraphs

    Prospect Watch: NL Central Prospects

    20 Baseball Prospectus

    This is Not Your Father’s Baseball Road Trip

  25. Jandy says:

    Yeah I’m not a football genius, and that list looks suspect after 1-2. lol

    I’m hoping to see a good bit from our guys.

  26. Jandy says:

    Darn right, DJ ;)

  27. DJ says:

    Munchak factor on O-line + talent of RB group = winning combo.

  28. Jandy says:

    I like your answer to the equation ;)

  29. Pucknutz says:

    Well said Jandy, Ghostie. I do the same……explore little nooks and crannies as the spirit moves me.
    All good suggestions above, just don’t delete it entirely.

  30. Dom says:

    The best argument Mark Madden made yesterday was in regards to the offer the Buccos made to AJ. If they’re committed to winning, why could they not just offer an additional two million so we’d match the qualifying offer?

  31. BillyBaduka says:

    Not sure if this is feasible but maybe you could post the highlights with a link to the full list?

    Or you could post it on a certain day of the week, say Monday?

    Count me with the others that would be disappointed if you stop posting this list.

    Sure it’s a long post but it doesn’t take much to scroll past it if you’re not interested.

  32. Wizard of Oz says:

    The Pirates lack “grit and character”, similar to another local team. They play with no passion, are passive, and show no interest in getting better. They badly need a shock to the system, a bolt of energy to jump start the remaining 2/3 of the season. Polanco is a start but more is needed. Time for the BMTIB to earn their keep.

  33. SeanAY says:

    I applauded the Munchak hire from the very beginning, and it’s a shame that if the line is any good this year he’ll likely take a better position somewhere else. I’m sure he has the head coaching itch again.

    The Steelers have more or less been in the wilderness at the offensive line coach position since Scottdale’s own Russ Grimm went to ‘Zona after that hiring fiasco with the Steelers. And I do mean fiasco.

    Speaking of Grimm, I haven’t heard his name thrown around for coordinator or head jobs since he left. I remember him being a very hot commodity in the mid-00’s.

  34. SeanAY says:

    Jagr is the second-best player this franchise has ever had, and may ever have.

    I remember being so disappointed when he went – hell, I was 13 years old, and JAROMIR JAGR IS GONE AND OH MY GOD HE WANTED TO LEAVE AND OH MY GOD THE CAPITALS THIS IS A JOKE – but I never booed the guy.

    I’d take him back today.

    Scratch that, I’d take him back a month ago.

  35. Jandy says:

    I would have taken him back when #JagrWatch happened right here in DaBurgh. No more….he burned that bridge.

  36. Nate83 says:

    Troy really has never showed up for these things. He has always done his own training which is different then anybody else on the team. I understand the value of him being there but really have no idea how that would effect his own preperation and ultimately his performance. There is difinate value in team leaders being at these type of things but Troy has always been a little different and that is what makes him what he is.

  37. DJ says:

    At $5+ mill per for HC jobs, who could blame him?

  38. SeanAY says:

    Not me. Teams won’t hesitate to can you after one bad season, or less. Make as much money as you can while you can.

  39. SeanAY says:

    Yeah, but the Pens bungled that.

    Who got that money? Tyler Kennedy?

  40. Dom says:

    Another interesting item that was brought up in the Polanco (and more) debate yesterday was that DK said the Buccos, if they don’t increase payroll by $10 million by the end of the season, they would have some explaining to do. If the Buccos have a $10 million profit, why wasn’t it spent before the season began?

    Madden wanted us to bring back AJ and Morneau and that would have obviously caused us to go into debt but I’d assume we’d have to go into debt eventually if we’re going to compete.

    If we weren’t going to go all out and compete in the year following a playoff berth, when are going to do it?

  41. Jandy says:

    The Pens offered him a decent amount…he played everyone.
    Might have been TK, not sure anymore lol.

  42. Milo Hamilton says:

    Thanks for all the Steeler stuff DK. An oasis in the dessert that is, you know, that other thing.

  43. Milo Hamilton says:

    Guess I was subconsciously hungry for something sweet.

  44. Baywatch says:

    This just in: JAMIE ROMAK, who came over to us for three years in our minor-league system in the Adam LaRoche trade in 2007, made his major league debut with the Dodgers last night, after 12 years in the minors. He pinch hit and grounded out in the 7th inning.

    Romak was tearing it up at Albuquerque, hitting .272, with 13 home runs and 30 RBIs, 10 of those home runs coming in May. In his time in Triple-A since the beginning of 2012, Romak has played 90 games in right field, 70 games at first base, 40 games at third base and 23 games in left. Pretty super utility down there!

    Guy’s been down there so long, I’d about pull for him against the Bucs this weekend! He came up for Carl Crawford, who went to the DL.

  45. Jim S. says:

    I like it as it is, Biz. I check it out once a week or so. Maybe DK and Stuart are right to put it just on game threads.

  46. Jim S. says:

    I’m a big Anotonio Brown fan. He seems like the genuine article to me.

  47. Maz in Iowa says:

    I was hoping the Pirates were making progress…till those last 2 games.Pedro/Mercer and Marte are huge keys.

  48. Dom says:

    That said, I still don’t think Nutting and his associates are pocketing revenue.

    I recall reading an article featuring a local accountant who said that Nutting wrote off the last three of the five interest payments he was due on the loan he gave the team in 2003. Certainly not a trait someone would have if they’re out solely to make money.

  49. Jim S. says:

    Well said, Nate. Troy is gonna be Troy.

  50. Maz in Iowa says:

    Thanks Bay.I sometimes wonder where these guys go after they get traded/released.Of course we get to hear about Moss and Joey Bats(mumbles to himself)

  51. SeanAY says:

    I remember that day so vividly, because I was at Nelson Ledges for Gratefulfest. I found a camp of Pens fans and started calling Jagr (and later, Max Talbot) every name in the book.

    We might have had a few pops around the camp fire ;)

  52. Jim S. says:

    I see Aaron Hernandez pleaded not guilty to all his various murder charges. He’s a peach. They ought to put him and Jerry Remy’s son (Jared) in the same cell in Massachusetts. They deserve one another.

  53. Jandy says:

    The letdown was extreme…I agree. I was so naïve I believed it when he said he wanted to come back here and make things right. Silly me!

  54. Jandy says:

    What a friggin loser.


  55. Dom says:

    Supposedly, he killed two men because they spilt a drink on him and didn’t apologize.

    I wonder what would have happened he would have done if they legitimately did something harmful to do him.

  56. Arriba Wilver says:


  57. Baywatch says:

    I have a number of ex-Pirates minor liggers bookmarked at, Maz. Romak is one of ‘em. Jason Jaramillo finally dropped off the minor league radar after last year! Ol’ JJ!

  58. AJS says:

    Well when Munchak was looking for a new job tis last time he was looking at being a head coach in college and many thought that his experience in Tennessee left a bad taste in his mouth when it came to being the head honcho in the NFL. And the head coaching position he was looking at was his alma mater so maybe assistant coach in the NFL is really where he is comfortable.

  59. Milo Hamilton says:

    On a scale of 1 to 10, what’s your confidence level that the Pens will get this GM / Coach thing right ?

  60. Jandy says:

    If you believe that Dom, I have some ocean front property to sell you in Arizona :)

  61. Maz in Iowa says:

    I wonder if Huntington has been following the progress of George Springer?9 HRs in May and the stros are on a 5 game winning streak.Of course we have all been told 1 guy can’t change a team that much(snicker).BUT a 5 game winning streak by the Astros??Hmmm

  62. Milo Hamilton says:

    That’s right where I am. The whole Bylsma thing still confounds me. If I Mario was calling the shots I think I’d feel better about the whole thing. But I have no idea who is running the show over there. I think I just talked myself into a “4”.

  63. Jim S. says:

    I think he still would have killed them.

  64. Jim S. says:

    Those d*mn Blackhawks just don’t know when to quit. They have at least 9 lives.

    I couldn’t believe it when LA clanked that post to Crawford’s left in OT last night.

  65. Milo Hamilton says:

    I really hope people are watching that series because that is the Stanley Cup Final.

  66. Jim S. says:

    I don’t know why, but I knew he wasn’t coming back the whole time.

  67. Jandy says:

    Awesome! I’m enjoying it.

  68. Shame there isn’t enough to complain about on a sports blog without complaining about someone else’s posts.
    Shoot, we have some pathetic showings by the Pirates, two 8-8 sleeper seasons from the Steelers, the Pens’ annual sucking in the playoffs and the winless Riverhounds to complain about. Why bother picking on each other’s posts?

    My suggestions to future trolls is to exercise your index finger and go right past whatever you don’t want to read. It’s a free country. Or, if your index finger is weak, try pulling it out of your hinter parts or someone else’s about 100 times a day.

    The next thing, someone will complain about the length of JAL’s links, which have to take an infinite amount of time to post each morning, or the length of Playoff’s window-whoops, that’s already gone-or the length of DK’s “random bloginess from the scene” stuff or JRay’s synopsis being homer-like….that’s already been done.

    Lord knows, we’ve already lost Playoffs, JRay, Drew, Plan and others. We can’t let let ourselves be swayed by one drive-by trolling.

    Sermonette sponsored by and other lovers of the English language.

  69. Jim S. says:

    I hope Munchak can do a whole lot of attitude adjusting and teaching in one year, because I don’t see him sticking around long. He’s over-qualified for OL Coach.

  70. Jandy says:

    If we retain Bylsma, I’lll be confounded. Not that I dislike him, I just feel it won’t work with most of the players on this team. I really do like DB, and wish him luck…elsewhere…

  71. Jandy says:

    There’s no subconscious for me on that sweet thing…

  72. Jandy says:

    You weren’t duped, Jim :)

  73. Jim S. says:

    Could you be more brief next time, Lucky? :-) :-) :-)

  74. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, it is for sure. I was out and missed the first 2.5 periods. But, the rest was terrific hockey. I smell a Finals sweep.

  75. bpn8pitt says:

    Crazy game. Wish we had Saad.

  76. :D

    I thought of putting a warning on that Jim, to that affect, but changed my mind. Thought it would lengthen it too much.

  77. bpn8pitt says:

    What do you like about him, Dom? I admit I dont know much about him. Be nice to hit on a couple of these late round guys. Still would have like Desir.

  78. Jim S. says:

    I know. That’s tough for me to watch. I see people in Saad jerseys here in Chicago everyday. They love him.

  79. Milo Hamilton says:

    I learned from Jandy a long time ago to exercise my inner ignore button. I’ve found I’ve gotten in a lot less trouble that way.

  80. Jim S. says:

    Haha! You know I’m just kidding. I enjoyed every word you wrote.

  81. Good advice from both of you.

  82. bpn8pitt says:

    There a lot of guys who just read the blog, Lucky and dont comment. Dont forget about those guys. Thats all im saying.

    I like Biz’s post personally. But I understand if guys dont want to see it as frequently.

    JAL’s links are must read as far as im concerned.

  83. Jandy says:


  84. Jandy says:

    haha well said, Revvie…I’ll add just one more thing…

    if the complaining troll doesn’t like it, he/she can suck my big toe AFTER I step in doggie doo :D

  85. Milo Hamilton says:

    I like him too. He helped us win a Stanley Cup. But his time here is through. Just a fact of life in hockey. Reports from people that would know suggest he’s lost the room. You never get that back.

  86. Jandy says:

    Ahh Milo, you know I <3 you, man!

    I had to re-learn my own advice…and I'm a lot happier too :)

  87. If we all cut out posting, what will they have to read?

    Nobody reads Biz’s list every day. But what is it hurting? Some people post long entries that are longer than many of DK’s columns. Who cares? If they don’t interest you, go on by. Do you stop at every restaurant or read every story in a newspaper?

    All I’m saying is folks ought to complain about something that’s worth complaining about or just be content to drive on by and keeping their mouths (fingers) shut.

  88. Jandy says:

    I understand if they don’t want to see it…they don’t have to look at it :)
    Scroll, scroll, scroll :)

  89. Jandy says:

    +++ remember that doggie doo ;)

  90. Jandy says:

    I agree with you 100% Milo!

  91. Maz in Iowa says:

    Dejan how about a thread on the worst/best trades by the Pirates?

  92. Jandy says:

    Off topic, but did anyone see the picture Dejan posted of his better half yesterday? Just wow.
    I saw it on Facebook, don’t know if he tweeted it.

    She is amazing.

  93. I don’t know which sounds better, the doogie doo or your big toe.


  94. He predicted he’d marry an ugly, mean hag and look what he got. Par for the course.


  95. Dom says:

    I like his height and speed. He’s 6’0 and ran a 4.54 in the 40. I certainly like it how he could fill a big need in the near future but I heard he’s pretty raw.

    Maybe he could have gone earlier if there weren’t so many solid CBs, many of which we passed on.

  96. Jandy says:

    haha Revvie..zactly!!!!

  97. Jandy says:


  98. Dom says:

    Is there any trade the Buccos made that was worse than the Aramis Ramirez deal?

    The best one that I can think of is the Brian Giles deal. There is probably another that tops that one though.

  99. Dom says:

    Yep. He’s a lucky man.

  100. Milo Hamilton says:

    Race car drivers, pro golfers & newspaper columnists.

  101. Arriba Wilver says:

    Sorry if this has been posted already, but the 1960 WS game 7 is being shown on ROOT on Friday from 6:00 — 9:00 PM, prior to the Pirate–Dodger game.

    And, if you don’t like this post, take your index finger out of your hinter parts and scroll down. ;-)

  102. Lad 9 says:

    Biz, leave it like it is. It is part of the fabric of this place. Too many traditions get forgotten or ignored, and this one belongs right here where people have the option to read or scroll on by. And thank you for doing it!

  103. Milo Hamilton says:

    Just heard this little nugget on the Kornheiser show. Nate McLouth went 4 for 4 last night raising (I said raising) his average to .182.


  104. Jandy says:


    A reminder is always welcome :)

  105. chethejet1 says:

    Pirates are not playing well no matter who is here this year. Each year is a different year and the Pirates just haven’t played at the level of last year. Many expected a regression even if Burnett signed and was Ok. Lots of things clicked last year, what is and should be repeatable is the hitting and fielding and base running. The drop off is not a regression, it is a indicator that the team is not aggressive and passive in it’s mindset. Passive teams don’t win.

  106. Jandy says:

    Well said Laddie!!!!!

  107. Jim S. says:

    Please … No one tell me how it turns out! I’ve never seen it.

  108. bpn8pitt says:

    Thats my #1.

    The Bay deal close second though. Especially since Moss has really played well for A’s and Andrew’s boy Morris is all we have left to show for it.

  109. Jim S. says:


    More recently, the Hanrahan trade was a pretty good one, and could get even better if Pimentel turns his potential into reality.

    The Bautista trade ended up pretty bad, but the ARam one you mentioned was painful for me, since I had to read about and watch him here for the Cubs for a decade or so.

  110. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, there must be some people who have hamsters running in a wheel powering the scroll bar on their computers.

  111. Jim S. says:

    That signing in the off-season was a head scratcher, for sure. I’m sure he couldn’t sign that contract fast enough.

  112. Maz in Iowa says:

    The totality of complete failures in all aspects is what blows me away.The staring pitching,defense,base running and even the situational hitting are all terrible.Thank God the bat boys do their jobs well. :)

  113. Milo Hamilton says:

    SPOILER ALERT: No strikeouts.

  114. Dom says:

    After a little research, other possible candidates would be acquiring CF Andy Van Slyke, C Mike LaValliere, SP Mike Dunne from the Cardinals for C Tony Pena and obtaining 3B/RF Bobby Bonilla from the White Sox for SP Jose DeLeon.

    In regards to the worst trades we made, no other could possibly match the ARam deal. There are no other that match that one in the City’s history in any sport. There is no research needed for that one.

    I remember feeling bad for DL for having to go on radio shows defending that deal knowing full well we should not have made that trade. Even though he was a terrible GM, I don’t blame him for that one. That one falls on the league being a joke.

  115. Dom says:

    In my mind, there are two ways to judge a trade: Was it a good trade at the moment and was it a good trade in hindsight.

    The ARam deal was a horrible trade in both regards. Although, the Bautista deal was certainly horrible in hindsight, it wasn’t nearly as bad at the moment. When we made that trade, it appeared we dealt a backup outfielder for a backup catcher.

    Another good trade we made that was not mentioned was the Kip Wells and Josh Fogg for Todd Richie deal. We gave up absolutely nothing in exchange for guys would have a few years of success before sizzling out.

  116. bpn8pitt says:

    Milo had an excellent post yesterday (I think on the game thread) on the amount of errors, Wp’s, amount of steals our catchers have allowed, the innings we’ve looked like a little league team chucking the ball everywhere, etc, etc.

    Im with you. An awful display of baseball…One I didnt see coming.

  117. Arriba Wilver says:

    Bonilla doesn’t count since they lost him in an FO snafu not understanding the rules. In other words, they had him, lost him unnecessarily and then got him back. At least that’s my recollection. (And Jose DeLeon was fun to watch at times, like Ollie Perez that one year. Great stuff, but led the league in losses one year, I think).

  118. bpn8pitt says:

    He’s crushed us too. Think he’s right there with Soriano as a Pirate killer.

  119. True. It’s hard to factor in how many losses he’s helped to heap on us and measure that in trade assessment. He’s still at it, too.

    Very good point.

  120. Maz in Iowa says:

    As bad as the last 2 games were,I really dread playing the Brauns….oops the beermakers.

  121. Jim S. says:

    I know we had no way of predicting Bautista would turn out as he did. But, he was a contributor as a player before the trade. Robinson Diaz was never anything as a MLB player. We gave away a starter for nothing. As it turned out, we gave out a superstar in the making for nothing.

  122. Jim S. says:

    I think I heard Hal Smith figured prominently in the outcome.

  123. Jim S. says:

    And, that Clemente extended his WS hitting streak to 7 games. That’s about all I know.

  124. 21sthebest says:

    Agree Jim but so did 4 teams before us.

    I was getting impatient with Bautista in his last year with us (2008) and I don’t think I was alone. After we traded him in 2008, he was still the same Bautista for another full season and didn’t break out until 2010. I bet if he had stayed with us in 2009, we would have brought out the torches and pitchforks.

  125. Arriba Wilver says:


  126. Speaking of Little League, Tony Sanchez tweeted that he wouldn’t be on Twitter until he got out of the little leagues and he hoped that would be soon. Hope he carries some of that chip on his shoulder over to taking his defense to a better level while he’s in the little leagues.

    I was thinking his defense is about Pony or Colt league levels. Wouldn’t want to dis American Legion ball. When I saw him in low-A right after they drafted him, I couldn’t wait until he got to the majors. A couple broken jaws and a broken hammate later, look what we have.

  127. Arriba Wilver says:

    You know I totally disagree with that argument.

  128. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1 to Jim.

  129. Arriba Wilver says:

    It was a real pitchers duel.

  130. Jim S. says:

    I know I felt a whole lot better about him a year ago.

  131. Jandy says:

    Isn’t that the truth?

  132. Jim S. says:

    It is true that he may never have reached anything close to his potential as a Pirate. There is no way anyone could have predicted what he became, just like anybody would be fibbing if they said they knew Davis in Baltimore was going to suddenly start hitting 50 bombs last year.

    But, we gave him away for nothing. He was a starter.

  133. Jim S. says:

    Oh, and I also heard the Gunner missed the ending.

  134. Arriba Wilver says:

    If they don’t start playing better against other teams, the Brewers won’t stand out.

  135. Dom says:

    I certainly agree Jim. I’m not saying it wasn’t a good deal. It’s just the lesser of the two evils.

  136. chethejet1 says:

    Frank Thomas traded to the Reds for Harvey Haddix, Smokey Burgess and Don Hoak is the best trade for the buccos I can recall.

  137. AL says:

    Anyone wish that TV would go back to televising baseball games looking down from behind home plate instead of from a center field camera? It gives you a much better perspective of the game.

  138. Milo Hamilton says:

    If this was wrestling I think we could safely say that Lucky has done a heel turn. And a very entertaining one at that.

  139. Jandy says:

    is that good or bad????

  140. 21sthebest says:

    Jim, I agree with you that we gave him away for nothing. But the fact that he was starting? I mean, Andy LaRoche was too for example, and we weren’t getting much for him if we had tried to trade him earlier.

  141. TK says:

    When did they televise looking down from behind home plate?

  142. Jim S. says:

    The “other” Frank Thomas.

  143. Jim S. says:

    Agreed, Dom. The ARam one was horrible from the get go.

  144. Poole says:


    I feel they will get the best candidate available. But feel that the right candidate isn’t available right now. Not all of these up-and-comer Assistant GMs can be as great as people say.

  145. DemonDachshund says:

    AJ Burnett and 60% of his salary for two bags of potato chips has to be up there as well.

  146. DemonDachshund says:

    Should have been as a reply to Dom’s good trade list.

  147. Dom says:

    Wasn’t Don Hoak the guy who died of a broken heart when he was passed over for the Buccos manager position?

  148. Tom P. says:

    Has anybody else noticed that the Pirates are 7-16 on the road? That’s a .304 percentage. Not nearly as bad as the year they went 17-64 for the season, but they are digging a bigger hole for themselves.

  149. The Gunner says:

    So, Dom, what do you think of the possibility of the BMTIB starting to shop Alvarez for a trade either at the July trade deadline or in the off season? He is clearly not going to sign with the Bucs once he reaches free agency so we might as well get some value in return for him. Besides, I think a change of scenery might be beneficial to Pedro.

  150. Jim S. says:

    For once, no.

  151. AL says:

    way, way back in the 60’s/70’s/80’s….not sure exactly when the transition to center field occured.

  152. Dom says:

    When I first read that I thought we dealt away the 1990s version of Frank Thomas when he was in the minors.

  153. In and of itself, neither.

    But, like Milo said, a heel turn. I really liked the guy’s defense, as they did when they drafted him. Now, he’s on another level and it ain’t a good level at his age.

  154. I really liked that, too, AL.

  155. Arriba Wilver says:

    His singer/actress widow claimed that. Apparently he wasn’t so upset he couldn’t chase the guy who stole his brother’s car the day he suffered his fatal heart attack.

  156. Jandy says:

    OK so I think I follow the term heel turn a bit better…thanks Revvie :)

  157. Jandy says:

    Hey, don’t let facts get in the way of a good narrative ;)


    {because NOW is not nearly important as 6-7 seasons from NOW)

  159. Bizrow says:

    He did sports on one of the local TV stations, didn’t he?

  160. scapper says:

    Another Jagr fan. I love it! I’ve said before that I’ve never seen an athlete — especially one as great as 68 — seem to play the game with more joy than Jagr. Always loved the guy. He’s easily one of the Top 10 athletes in Pittsburgh history.

  161. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think for a couple years. A good guy by most reports, but had a temper.

  162. Arriba Wilver says:

    How old are you, Scap?


  163. Nate83 says:

    I personally think their situational hitting was below average last year and the base running was average. Those warts which all teams have was masked by them being so good on defense and pitching.

    I was a little concerned about the pitching this year but thought they had enough to compete with better offense. The pitching has been disappointing by any measure (starters and bullpen). Cumpton has shown he is capable. Hopefully that continues. Liriano has been horrible and that just couldn’t happen if this team wanted to compete and we all know about Wandy. It’s hard to compete with 50% of your top 4 pitchers giving nothing. Add bad defense in and it’s going to be an uphill battle.

    My guess is they get 30 more games to show some life. If they continue to struggle Cumpton will get a chance to show he can start in 2015 and if Stolmy gets healthy I think he will get a good look as well. Possible Locke gets another extended stint to see if a solid number 4 or 5 exist but he has to be more consistant.

  164. Nate83 says:

    I also know I feel a little better about NH and pirate scouts then I did a year ago. They correctly pegged Sanchez as not being ready. Many called for him to come up last year and didn’t like the Stewart trade. To be fair I think my wife could have recognized defensively Sanchez was not ready. Especially now that GI Jones is no longer on the team distracting her with his “dreamy good looks”

  165. Jim S. says:

    The Pirates are not doing well in very many categories vs. the NL, Tom. But, I isolated just on offensive stats, and it is not pretty, particularly in road games.

    NL Rank (15 teams); 29 home games played / 23 road games played

    Runs/Game home: 5th (4.3)
    Runs/Game road: 13th (3.1)

    XBH home: 13th (67) – rank based on per game avg.
    XBH road: 15th (58)

    HR home: 9th (22; .76 per game)
    HR road: 6th (24; 1.04 per game) – led the NL in road HR in 2013

    Batting avg home: 5th (.267)
    Batting avg road: 14th (.221)

    OB% home: 4th (.343)
    OB% road: 5th (.322)

    Slg% home: 10th (.384)
    Slg% road: 10th (.375)

    OPS home: 7th (.727)
    OPS road: 6th (.697)

    I think they slugged much better on the road last year. Scoring much better at home than on the road, and that is not supposed to be the case when you play home games at PNC.

  166. Bizrow says:

    I think you will see several guys make their major league debut in the next couple of weeks, Taveras from the Cards is another guy.

  167. Thundercrack says:

    At this point I hope the resign Martin and have Sanchez as the backup. Next year, I couldn’t care less about Sanchez’s ‘development’. That ship may have sailed. And he might be a decent backup. And he has to be a better hitter off the bench than the current backup

  168. Jandy says:


  169. On Neal Huntington’s Show on Sunday, he told Greg Brown that Tony Sanchez was expected to be the starter in Pittsburgh in 2015. That surprised me.

    I immediately heard “between the lines” that BMTIB does not expect to be able to sign Russell Martin for next season.

    Did honesty slip out before Neal had a chance to curtail !?!?!?!

  170. BillyBaduka says:

    I have and agree it is the SC Final.

    Those two teams seem so much better that any in East.

    It is some if the best hockey I have seen in years.

  171. Thundercrack says:

    The majors will be flooded with talent!


  172. Arriba Wilver says:

    Either it won’t be about money, or it will be about money, but justified based on the market. (I’m learning).


  173. Jim S. says:

    I’ve read some comments from NH that they have worked to “command the strike zone” better this year. He quickly clarified that he didn’t mean they were trying to draw walks, necessarily. He also stated that this was not a passive strategy. As best I could tell, he was basically saying that they wanted the hitters to be selectively aggressive. When they are ahead in the count, they want them looking for certain pitches to drive. They want them to try to avoid getting behind in the count by swinging at questionable pitches, and then being forced to swing at pitcher’s pitches.

    Sure enough, their OB% is up, they are #4 in the NL in walks taken, and only 3 teams have struck out less on a per game basis. But, they don’t rank as high in slugging categories, particularly on the road.

    I don’t know if the players are being dictated this new strategy or not. And, maybe I’m reading more into a few comments than is actually there. But, their hitting philosophy does seem to be a bit different this year to me.

  174. Jim S. says:

    And, think of all the money owners are saving.

  175. I don’t care about his development either. Do you like the way he performs currently in the field?

    And they could cut Stewart today for that matter and not many would blink, pitch-framer or not.

  176. Jim S. says:

    It would be nice to think it was a trial balloon, and he will quicky hear from fans that they don’t want that at all. But,

  177. Thundercrack says:

    I don’t think Sanzhez is that great in the field. But considering Stewart and the other recent back-up catchers – – it is all about the same to me.

  178. Bizrow says:

    And pretty much all the clubs are doing it, save the Astros and Springer

  179. bpn8pitt says:

    Good xbh stats, Jim. Its one of the things that’s driven me crazy, RISP.

    Ike crushed me yesterday with the 1 out DP. Seems to happen a lot this year.

  180. The Astros must feel so foolish, bringing up George Springer and his 9 homeruns just for 6 extra weeks of play. (not to mention the 5 straight wins)

    Money wasters!!!

  181. cmat0829 says:

    I don’t really care what Madden thinks, he has no more credibility than any of us posting on this blog, but when did he advocate the signing of Morneau? Last fall/winter? Or this May after he sees the Coors-Field-induced stats of the resurgent Justin? If he did indeed advocate proactively then good for him. A stopped watch is right twice a day.

  182. cmat0829 says:

    WOW. Of all the former Bucs, this scrub was low on my list of expecting to get another chance. But, for the record, hitting .272 in Albuquerque, in that pitching-poor league, is not ‘tearing it up’. But good for anyone who perseveres for as long as he has. Just hope he doesn’t go all Steve Pearce on us this weekend.

  183. cmat0829 says:


  184. SeanAY says:

    And how much good has it done them?

    They went from 15 games under .500 to 10 games under .500.

    If George Springer ends up being a special player that demands beaucoup bucks, and the Astros trade him because they cannot meet the demands, are they going to say, “Yeah, but thank God we brought him up early in 2014. We might have finished 15 games out as opposed to 12!”

  185. Dom says:

    Still seems like a foolish idea to me since their season is lost and has been lost for a month now.

  186. I disagree with both of you!

    Win today . . . . and let tomorrow take care of itself.

    If you have a player you KNOW belongs among you top 15 and you keep him off the team, what does that say to the rest of the team?

    According to you, “Seems like a foolish idea to bring Polanco up now, because this season is already lost.” Let’s just wait and bring him up 2 weeks into 2015 and Pirates gain a whole extra year of control!

  187. Jim S. says:

    Pirates team hitting:


    Overall: .248/.322/.375/.697
    RISP: .243/.340/.350/.690
    2 outs w/ RISP: .195/.317/.281/.598

    Definitely not getting it done with 2 outs & RISP. But, overall for RISP situations, their performance isn’t much different than overall situations.

  188. Dom says:

    I don’t understand the logic.

    DK said Polanco will cost the Buccos an additional $15-17 million. With that type of money they could obtain a good free agent, if the same rules apply.

    This season is a certain wash but years from might not be. Why sacrifice the future for now, if now is a certain winning season?

  189. Thundercrack says:

    I wonder if the Astros felt pressure bringing him up….because they offered Springer a long term deal.

  190. And by limiting Polanco’s media access, they avoid putting the poor lad into a slump by asking questions about the $15 million the Pirates saved and the $25-60 million he turned his nose up on, right?

    Shame the CBA prohibits teams with limited resources (I didn’t say anyone was cheap) from putting the best 25 on the field until mid to late June. Talk about the lunatics running the asylum. Good business makes them look like a group of dufuses.

  191. Thundercrack says:

    Ha! I forgot…it was reported that the Pirates also offered a long term deal to Polanco

  192. Thundercrack says:

    I wonder if one of the reasons the Bucs limited media access to Polanco was so the kid didn’t have to continue to answer the same questions “When are you going to be promoted” “What are you working on”, etc…

  193. Jim, I’m surprised at you. You know there’s no such thing as clutch hitting, no matter how many outs there are.

    Where is NMR when you need him? He’ll get the right stats in there for you.


  194. Probably, TC. I was just being ornery. Or onnery, as they say here in the faux south.

  195. Jandy says:


  196. Sweet Jimmie,

    Figure out those numbers taking Cutch out! Your numbers are skewed.

    Every time there are men on base Cutch’s on base % goes up because the other clubs are walking him.
    Why pitch to McCutch when the Cleanup hitter delivers little better than a pitcher?

    It’s 1/3 through the season and Pedro has 13 extra base hits. THIRTEEN!!!

  197. Nate83 says:

    Dom, Groats logic is even more difficult to understand when you consider his stance on Polanco before the beginning of the season. It’s like he woke up one day after getting hit in the head while sleeping and completely forgot what he said about the kid previously.

    The Astros are making a huge mistake and it makes even less sense then if the Pirates brought up Polanco. They have zero chance to compete this year and there was zero harm in leaving him in the minors.

  198. I usually agree with SeanAY and his insightful posts. He is a right smart fellow and does WMU proud. But the comparison to the Astros is apples/lemons.

    Even if Polanco made a 3-game difference (is that a +3WAR?), we would be sitting at .500 now talking about how many games off the WC pace we were instead of writing off the season at 23-29.

    The Astros stink, have stunk for a while and will stink for a while longer until the ship is righted. We were supposed to compete this season for the division and not settle for 2nd place like last season.

    Just MHO and no offense to Sean. Go Broncos!

  199. Jandy says:

    but what if they pitch to Cutch more and he :gasp: hits a double and drives in runs?? The numbers go up more, right?

  200. Andrew says:

    “Win today… and let tomorrow take care of itself”

    That is the Ruben Amaro Jr. organizational philosophy.

  201. Makes you wonder a bit about Keith Butler in the same regard, huh?

  202. Jim S. says:

    Well, I wouldn’t presume to speak for NMR, but I think what he would say is very few hitters have ever shown an ability to consistenty raise their performance in pressure situations. That skill tends to rise and fall from one season to the next, which leads me to believe it is not very controllable. Cutch struggled w/ RISP last season, but his average is back up to .361 this season in those situations.

    But, it definitely has an impact on a team, positively or negatively, in a given season. Plenty of games are won and lost by who hits better in those key situations. St. Louis had the historic year in that regard last year, and they are struggling this year the last time I checked.

  203. Milo Hamilton says:

    My great hope is that after waiting until the Pirates feel it’s safe to unleash Polanco on the National League that he winds up being Super 2 anyway.

  204. Jim S. says:

    I agree totally with you, Groat. Pedro is killing our offense in key situations. It has been a very strange year for him. He has dropped his K% to a career low, by far. He has raised his walk %. But, he’s not hitting the ball as hard. I think he’s been trying to be more selective, as well as use more of the field. But, it is apparently not so simple to do. Maybe he should have just continued to be Pedro and accept the good with the bad.

    And, to your point about Cutch, you are also 100% correct. Teams are pitching around him. He’s hitting .361 w/ RISP, but only has 23 RBI in 50 games.

  205. Jandy says:

    lol now, now Milo…be nice!


  206. Domske,

    1/ It’s not $15-17 million———it’s $10-15 million
    2/ It’s not $10-15 million at one time———it’s $10-15 million spread over 4 seasons
    3/ It would not start until 3 seasons from now!
    4/ What good free agent could you get even today for $2.5 mill to $3.75 million a season for 4 years?
    Even Clint Barmes got $5 mill, then $5.5 mill a season for TWO YEARS.
    5/ Russell Martin got $17 million for 2 years!
    6/ Your $10-15 million over 4 years, starting in three seasons, would only get you a glorified bench player, like Jose Tabata!!!

    7/ You are saving for a rainy day in a bucket rusted out and full of holes. In 3 years you will have nothing but losses!

  207. Milo Hamilton says:

    And that World Series ring shines up real nice. Call me when the Buccos get one of those.

  208. Jim S. says:

    Yep, and that’s why they are pitching around him. Pedro (or whomever bats 4th) has to start making them pay for avoiding Cutch.

  209. Jandy says:

    Thanks, Jim and Groatie, I’m taking this all in :)

  210. Jim S. says:

    Correction: 52 games.

  211. Bizrow says:

    I think Springer was getting ready to file some sort of grievance before he was called up.

    But I might be disremembering ;-)

  212. Andrew says:

    World Series won with Ruben Amaro as GM = 0.

  213. I have to take back something I said late last season about McCutch not driving in runs. I hated his low RBI total last season.

    However, Cutch has been Clutch this season . . . . . . when given the chance to hit with guys on base!

  214. Jim S. says:

    Pedro w/ RISP in 2014: .203/.299/.373

    Pedro w/ RISP in 2013: .243/.325/.451

    I hope he gets it going soon. The league’s strategy of avoiding Cutch is working.

  215. Milo Hamilton says:

    The only thing that changed when Gillick left was that the smart baseball evaluator left. The philosophy didn’t change.

  216. Jim S. says:

    Here’s a scary one for you.

    Cutch has 232 plate appearances this year, and only 49 plate appearances with RISP – just a little more than 20% of the time!

    Of the 49 plate appearances, he has 10 BB, 1 HBP and 2 sac flies. So, only 36 at bats. 13 hits and 18 RBI.

    He’s not only being pitched around by the other teams, but our hitters in front of him are avoiding getting on base for him like the plague.

  217. Wide Receiver Nate,

    Reading Comprehension is your Friend.

    I did not say anything close to what you imply. Take a Mr. Peabody ride and check it out.

  218. I’d love to sit in on Scott Boras taking THOSE numbers into arbitration.

  219. Andrew says:

    That is highly debatable, Ruben Amaro resume includes the Ryan Howard’s contract which was one of the worst in baseball history, he gave a $50 million to a closer, and has successfully doubled down every off-season and deadline refusing to move old players on a non-contending team. Phillies fans are thanking him for his efforts by staying home.

    Fans are fickle, maybe an organization should worry about the long term.

  220. SeanAY says:

    Groat, the point is this: Polanco could come up and be the second coming of Willie Mays, and it’s not, in my mind, going to make this team appreciably better, because the starting pitching stinks.

    Who cares what it says to the team? They’re a bunch of professional freaking baseball players. If they need Gregory Polanco to be on the team to spark them and “make them believe,” then they are already a bunch of losers and the season IS lost.

  221. Jim S. says:

    Last post on Cutch and RISP opportunties, I promise. But, here’s another way of looking at it. Last year, he came to the plate 190 times with runners in scoring position. He is on pace for only 152 plate appearances this season, which is a 20% dropoff. That’s a lot.

    And, he had 156 at bats w/ RISP last season, and is only on pace for 112 this year, which is a dropoff of 28.2% – the pitch around factor.

    I’m just wondering if Starling maybe should still be batting 1st. His on base % is not horrible, and he gets into scoring position more often than JHay/Tabby because he hits more XBH and steals a ton of bases.

    Of course, when Polanco arrives that could be a moot point.

  222. Dom says:

    In three years the Astros might have a competitive baseball team. Right now they do not.

    Why are you so high on the Astros present but not their future? In three years the Astros will start the season 0-0 but their current record is 22-32 and dead last in the wild card. Way too many teams to jump over to have much of a chance. I think they’re better off having a worse record this year to secure another #1 overall pick in the draft.

    Why not save the money, regardless of how little it is and how little it will fetch them and try to win in year where were don’t know how they’ll perform as oppose to investing for the present which is just about a lost season?

  223. SeanAY says:

    Lucky always makes me feel good. Mr. Rogers-esque.

    That said, the biggest issue with this team has been and will be pitching. I don’t necessarily buy that Polanco is going to make that big of a difference.

  224. Arriba Wilver says:

    How many one run games have we lost so far?

  225. Milo Hamilton says:

    Things just haven’t been the same in Philly since Harry Kalas died.

  226. Jim S. says:

    Hey, Nate. One thought I had on Springer is that, even though Houston stinks and has been devaluing their franchise for a bunch of years now, that market is still a sleeping giant. I heard recently that Houston is poised to become the #3 or #4 largest city in America w/in the next few years. If they play their cards right, they could eventually be pulling in that huge Texas money like the Rangers, or even moreso. In that context, maybe they think it is better to have Springer up now to excite the fan base, and they will gladly take whatever financial hit that part of the equation brings later for all the goodwill and added revenue it might bring them right now. I think it is definitely a different issue for a market like Houston than it is in Pittsburgh. Houston could very well be back to big market status in a few years if they start winning.

  227. cmat0829 says:

    Things I think I know – Peter King style:

    1) Springer is a good young prospect, who is off to a great start. Despite opinions to the contrary, exciting young prospects are sometimes worth not trading away and are not always overvalued/overlyhyped/overcoveted.
    2) Polanco projects to be similar in terms of readiness to deliver value in MLB right now.
    3) Completely reasonable for a fan to cry out for Polanco to be with the big club ASAP!!
    4) Completely reasonable for the GM/management to delay his callup until mid June, based on the current system.
    5) 3 and 4 are not mutually exclusive, despite many attempts to argue this on this very blog every day, seemingly every minute.
    6) Ruben Amaro Jr is an awful GM and the Phillies have no plan. And ask their fans if they think otherwise.
    7) Jim Bowden is an ass.

  228. Have to agree with you, Sean. The pitching, overall, stinks.

    Now, to take off my sweater and put my shoes back on.


  229. Arriba Wilver says:


  230. Thundercrack says:

    I do think it would be interesting if they could somehow figure out that if Polanco was here and accounted for X number of runs per week, this is the effect it could have had on our starting pitching and relievers. And what that could have possible meant to our record.

  231. cmat0829 says:

    Just an aside, does anyone know what the Astros are spending in 2014 on their major league payroll in their efforts to ‘capitalize on their market’ and to compete in the AL West?

    I’m thinking they had to sign a slew of veteran players near the end of Spring just to avoid the union investigation…. so no pitchforks outside the Astros ownership suites?

  232. Jim S. says:

    Hopefully, the Big Man will snap back into form for the rest of the year. Plenty of baseball to be played yet. But, he’s definitely in a funk.

  233. Arriba Wilver says:

    This isn’t about the Astros, Dom. This is the Pirates, who were in the post-season last year, and should have been competitive this year.

    Forget the Astros. They’re the Pirates 4 years ago.

    And I never liked them anyway. :-)

  234. cmat0829 says:

    LOL. I think they have this stat… WAR (wins above replacement)…not sure what Polanco projects to be , but I’m sure it’s been opined on by folks that know a bunch more about this than I do. A game or two seems reasonable. Or are you saying that the savior roaming right field has some sort of exponential impact…to the psyche of the pitching staff… to having Pedro throw the DAMN Ball over to 1B on a line everytime…to having Mercer catch the frigging ball when it is right in front of his noggin…. to having Marte concentrate on the bases…

    Because THAT impact of Polanco, the savior, is incalculable. Off the charts.

  235. The Gunner says:

    The 2014 Buccos sure could use a guy of Don Hoak’s caliber. He was a fiery guy and didn’t put up with any BS. He would not hesitate to kick his own teammates in the butt if necessary. And, he could back it up.

  236. Jim S. says:

    14-11, I think.

  237. Arriba Wilver says:

    The Astros, that is. I never liked the Astros. (Got to be careful)

    And if you ask me why I never liked them I’ll throw my keyboard at you. ;-)

  238. cmat0829 says:

    lol, Pedro will get plenty in arbitration. Chicks, and arbitrators, dig the long ball.

  239. 21sthebest says:

    11. We’re 14-11 in 1 run games.

  240. The Gunner says:

    The Gunner was on his way to the Yankee clubhouse to do the post game interviews for the winning team. Then, he got word of Maz’s walk off homer and he had to scramble to the Bucco clubhouse to do the post game interviews. He used to talk about that frequently.

  241. Jim S. says:

    Great post @4:09, cmat.

    BTW, Springer is 24 and Polanco is 22. The Astros didn’t bring him up 2 years ago, or last year.

  242. Arriba Wilver says:

    How true.

  243. Careful with that index finger when you do.

  244. Arriba Wilver says:

    Not sure who you were responding to, Cmat. I asked a simple question, so I assume it wasn’t me.

  245. cmat0829 says:

    IF the Astros were serious about optimizing 2014 performance they’d actually spend some money on their major league payroll. They rank LAST in MLB at $45M, and that was after they signed some players in the Spring solely to avoid the union investigation. So, yea, in that scenario where they mailed it in in March, bringing Springer up before mid-June to me is a fireable offense.

    They likely did so not because of the win-loss record, but because they need to sell tickets… the greedy owner makes a move for no other reason than to pad his wallet.

    I will say this… a truly miser-able owner would be better served by bringing the young player up early, sell tickets, raise the hype and then turn around and trade that player when he starts costing real money.
    That is the disconnect I’ve never understood on the Polanco debate…. a cheap owner has a slew of ways to keep costs down and to maximize profits…. calling up a young player on April 1 or June 15th is pretty far down the list… if and when the player gets too expensive, he just directs the GM to salary dump and the cycle continues. To me this has always been a BASEBALL strategy decision… I’d much more relish this debate if it were about NH’s approach (build a sustained model of competing) to perhaps the Florida Marlins approach of years back… go for it when you get the chance, only to tear it down and start over again when you’ve overreached in payroll and trading prospects. There are merits to each, I tend to prefer the model of sustained success, but I see a lot of posts pointing to ‘the ring’ as proof positive. That is a reasonable stance also… build it up, empty the cupboards, and tear it back down. But that is an interesting discussion, not that Nutting is cheap. Believe me, the owner holds all the cards. The Pirates ability to grow revenues lags almost all other teams/markets. that’s a fact. Wouldn’t Nutting, if he were truly as demonic as some paint him, be better off doing it the Astros 2014 way? With payroll at $45M? The Pirates wouldn’t draw 2.5M fans in that scenario, but I bet they’d draw 1.7M…. and Nutting would pocket WAY MORE profit doing that than what he is supporting right now.

    Anyway I weighed in on a topic I vowed to never weigh in on again… I just can’t resist. I’m addicted to Nutting-ness. I’m Chris and I have a problem.

  246. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’m torn. I hope the Rangers advance. But, I also can’t get enough of the Habs absolutely bizarre pregame ceremony including the Canadian Rosie Clooney.

  247. 21sthebest says:

    Starling’s OBP is .297 when leading off. I’d keep Harrison there for now, then Polanco. And I”d like to see Walker bat 2nd and nowhere else. Walker’s OPB is .357 batting 2nd and he has been there for 26 games.

  248. cmat0829 says:

    the string is all messed up, I was responding to Thunder who wondered if we could track how many runs Polanco contributes to and determine how that would impact our pitchers and record.

  249. 21sthebest says:

    Astros > Tigers bullpen?

  250. Arriba Wilver says:


  251. Arriba Wilver says:

    Thanks, 21. Just thought it would be interesting because it seems like the accepted view that pitching is by far the most important thing has been changing into pitching is the only thing. I don’t know the answer about Polanco’s impact, obviously, we don’t know what he would have done. maybe he would have accounted for no extra wins. But it seems like the more close games you have, the more chance a good hitter could have an impact. If they were all 3 run losses, not so much.

    I don’t think WAR has anything to do with this discussion. That’s a backward looking statistic is my understanding. Polanco has no “backward.” (That’s for Cmat).

  252. Andrew says:

    Milo, I didn’t mean to be haughty, I’m near my saturation point with the Polanco discussion and usually stay out it but I couldn’t ignore Groat’s comment . It if fine for fans to think like that, but it is a dumb way to run an organization.

    Fans may say they will accept mediocrity for one shot to win it all once, but they never act like this, once you win you better keep winning, a la the Pittsburgh Penguins.

  253. scapper says:

    Uh oh…why do you ask? Is it the “Jagr plays with joy” part or the “Top Ten” part that has you asking?

  254. Arriba Wilver says:

    Walk’s on Madden.

    Closest he could get to Walker, I expect.

    Is Polanco III on today?

  255. cmat0829 says:

    The best lineup, IMHO, right NOW is (thinking more inside the box)

    JayHey RF
    Ike 1B
    Cutch CF
    Walker 2B
    Pedro 3B
    Martin C
    Marte LF
    Barmes SS

    Rationale: No good lead-off option so if JayHey plays he should hit 1. Ike is best on the team at commanding the strike zone, taking walks, hitting the other way… Walker is team’s most dangerous hitter not named Cutch and by reputation offers the best protection for Cutch. Pedro hits 5th b/c of his power and to maximize multrun HRs if possible. Marte 7th to re-start an inning.

    Thinking OUTSIDE the box:

    1. Cutch CF
    2. Marte LF
    3. Ike 1B
    4. Walker 2B
    5. Pedro 3B
    6. Martin C
    7. JayHey RF
    8. Barmes

    Rationale: Cutch leads off… to offer a jumpstart to the offense and in a way his own protection. With Barmes and pitcher right before him, odds are he leads off many innings anyway…… Marte right behind Cutch, at this place in the order, can hopefully capitalize on fastballs with runner on base, etc. Also lumps the speed guys together to maximize scoring opportunities.

  256. 21sthebest says:

    Couldn’t agree more AW. While I think the pitching is hurting us the most, the offense obviously has room for improvement and I thought taking a shot at Polanco about two weeks ago would have been worth it.

    And by the way, the defense is awful. That is actually the most surprising thing to me this year. I can see hitters and pitchers having bad years, but the mistakes on defense are really surprising me. And I don’t even have a beef with Jordy to this point who I was very skeptical about.

  257. Jim S. says:

    I’m thinking it is about time to at least throttle back the JHay at bats a bit. Get Tabby in there, and see if he gets hot.

  258. Jim S. says:

    PPV only from here on out.

  259. Arriba Wilver says:

    “easily one of the Top 10 athletes in Pittsburgh history” part. Just curious of your perspective, you may be right.

    He did play with joy till the last couple of years. Personally, I don’t think he was comfortable being “the guy.”

  260. Arriba Wilver says:


  261. Arriba Wilver says:

    DK should charge MM an attendance fee. MM’s been selling him all week. :-)

  262. 21sthebest says:


  263. How could you tell?


  264. Jim S. says:

    Hey, I don’t love Tabby, either. But, JHay didn’t do squat in NY this week. Couldn’t hurt to try something. Does anyone remember the last time we scored a first inning run?

  265. Jim S. says:

    But, don’t you think he’s hitting better now? He was in a slump when he was pulled from leadoff.

  266. scapper says:

    Oh, gotcha. I didn’t just throw that out there though. In terms of being the best or one of the best in his entire sport for a prolonged period, Jagr would be included in my top ten. I’m just tossing out some names, but you got Roberto, Willie, Waner and Wagner. Mario. Dorsett. Greene, Blount and Franco…and Jagr. I think Jagr was more dominant at his sport for a longer period of time than any other Steeler or Pirate not on this list.

    But you know how it goes with lists…they’re fun as hell because they generate so much debate and they’re 100% subjective.

    And when it comes to exuding joy on the playing surface, I guess I’d have to admit that Captain Willie gives ol’ Yags a run for his money…the money he hasn’t gambled away, anyway.

  267. Arriba Wilver says:


  268. Maz in Iowa says:

    Astros bring up Springer and suddenly they are only 2 games worse than the Bucs.AND we have been repeatedly told one player doesn’t make much difference.I recall Trout made a huge diff with the Angels.Granted these might be exceptions,but at least roll the dice.Polanco could be a Trout type.Too bad it’s too late in the season to make a huge difference.But if they make a big turnaround and finish out of the playoffs by just 2-3 games this issue will be revisited!Who knows they might get a large boost in tix this season and more season tix next year.Just sayin’

  269. 21sthebest says:

    At this point, I’d rather stick with Harrison until Polanco comes up. I’m a big believer in letting a guy play everyday.

  270. Bizrow says:

    Thanks for the thoughts on our Lunatic Nation List.

    So we’ll try posting it three times a week, on game threads, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

    I can post referrals to those times along with what we are doing instead of the whole darn list.

    I would get too discombubilated if I tried to split it up.

    One request, if you see a new poster, remind them to check the list out.

    I think I miss folks when they just post and its not linked to the list ;-) 276 posts so far today, and nothing has happened

  271. Bizzy,

    I like your list just the way it is. I appreciate it.

    Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday will fit the needs quite nicely.

    Thank you!!!

  272. I am NOT discounting Lundquist against the big bad Blackhawks or the Hollywood Kings!!

    A goalie is a goalie is a goalie is a goalie . . . . .

    {As you can see, I have already discounted the Habs because they have no goalie.}

  273. Bizrow says:

    I think so far, its more that they chose poorly in not being more aggressive in the off season. I know, I worry too much, but the pitching depth was not there what with losing AJ and the uncertainness of Wandy

    And I think Ground Chuck is going thru that, wow, look at the money I’m making, and so is Marte. The talent is there with those two, they just have to learn to be more comfortable with their paychecks

  274. By the way, Oshkosh b’Gosh,


    Your Bucks gonna get my Jabari?

  275. Bizrow says:

    Thanks Groaty.

    I appreciate you and most all of what the Lunatics bring to this blog ;-)

    But I would also appreciate at least 2-2 vs the Dodgers, think we can do it?

  276. Let’s hope they take the Pirates for the same club as the 20 years before last (and the club unfortunately they have been thus far this season).

    I think Buccos can split by winning two 2-1 games. Gotta get starting pitching!!!

  277. Milo Hamilton says:

    Jimmy Buffett takes attendance every Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday. :)

  278. SeanAY says:

    Wait, what?

    You say in one breath that Polanco could have made a big difference on this team by playing the first two months. Then you say he can’t make a big difference because there are only four months left.

    And then you imply that Polanco could also solve their ticketing woes.

    I’m with DK. This topic is a dead horse. I’m not going to talk about it anymore.

  279. Bizrow says:

    Ever been to his restaurant in Vegas? One time I went there wearing a Clemente shirt. It was also my wife to be’s birthday. The manager was from Pittsburgh and sat with us for 10 minutes. The tab ended up being on the house. Good thing no one noticed us staggering back to the hotel, but who could tell there? And the food wasn’t bad either.

    I thought Sunday was good because its one less change when the Steeler season gets here ;-)

  280. Me, too. And with Tabata, in another city.

  281. Can’t remember, Jim. No offense on the Tabby thing. Just not my favorite Bucco. For several reasons. When he has a pulse, he can be OK. A good fill-in, but, give him the job and he seems to pull the plug.

    I can’t relate to that kind of attitude in any profession.

  282. The Gunner says:

    Cole will battle tonight & put the Bucs in a position to win game 1. God knows what happens after that!

  283. Carlos Danger says:

    I saw on DKs twitter a link to the discussion yesterday. Does anyone know of a link for today’s? I missed it live.

  284. Milo Hamilton says:

    Funny you should ask. Yes I have. I happen to be wearing my Margaritaville Las Vegas visor right this very minute. I want me one of those cool huge wooden chairs for my deck.

  285. Maz in Iowa says:

    Hanson has 15 errors(I believe) in 47 games in AA.I know we are seeing him as the SS of the future…I just hope he is in a bit of a fielding slump from being promoted to Altoona.

  286. Derek Jeter had 56 errors one season in the Minors, and had 29 errors his last season of AAA before coming up to the Yanks.

    Give Hanson time———he has the tools.

  287. Bizrow says:

    You just triggered a memory, another reason why I keep the list ;-)

    Folks from our town are everywhere

  288. Bizrow says:

    Well they haven’t moved him yet

    Now if we sign PRNW to a deal, I’d be more believing that they believe in Hanson as a SS

  289. Bizrow says:

    BTW, if I remember correctly, PRNW was moved because they thought Paulino would be the catcher of the future

    I think someone posted earlier that they moved him because of his arm, although it might have also been discussion on whether or not he could play 3rd

  290. Ellie says:

    Congrats, Rangers. If the Pens had to lose, at least it was to one of the two best.

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