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Morning Java: Pittsburgh’s Mount Rushmore

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Monday column is about Chuck Noll and what he did for Pittsburgh. If you read only one thing I write all year, I hope it’s this.

There were a lot of points in this piece I debated with people I trust, not least of whom was Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, and I appreciate all the input. I didn’t want to offer high praise lightly. I didn’t want to miss others from the past who deserved similar citation. Needless to say, the part in particular about Pittsburgh’s all-time Mount Rushmore up there — not for sports, but related to the city — could never produce universal agreement. But know, please, that it wasn’t just whipped up on a whim. Some unbelievably accomplished men and women were left off, most notably, in my view, Thomas Starzl.

At any rate, that paragraph really wasn’t what the column was about. It was merely aimed at supporting the broader point.

I look forward to hearing from you on the topic.

Below is Trib designer Matt Rosenberg’s two-page spread for the column in this morning’s sports section:


Mr. Noll is lauded as a ‘teacher’ during his public viewing, by Bob Cohn.

Mr. Noll’s team-first approach fostered winning, by Steelers beat man Alan Robinson.

Mr. Noll was a winner without peer, by columnist Joe Starkey.

Mr. Noll was loved by people from all walks, by Megan Harris.

Mr. Noll is embraced by social media, by Mike Palm.

Mr. Noll’s funeral arrangements.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Steelers page, our Steel Mill blog, and our photo gallery commemorating Mr. Noll’s life.

Also, WPXI-TV’s Subway Final Word last night was dedicated entirely to Mr. Noll.

>> Vance Worley pitches well, but the Pirates really throw one away. Travis Sawchik reports from Miami.

Gerrit Cole passes key tests, by Sawchik.

The defense must improve, by David Golebiewski.

A late-round riser in the system, by John Lembo in Bradenton.

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

Here’s Marlins news from the Miami Herald.

Here’s Reds news from the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Here are official game highlights on

>> Dan Bylsma was more than just a coach to many here, by Jason Mackey.

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

>> Here’s the official World Cup 2014 page and the U.S. Soccer page.

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

>> Thank you, as always, for reading.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

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


  1. JohninOshkosh says:

    Wonderful, brilliant column.

    I seriously hope this gets you considered for the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. It’s that good !

    Subject matter truly writes itself, with such a guiding hand.

  2. Dan1283 says:

    That floored me, DK. That was a wonderful piece and it really makes you appreciate being from here. And, to your point, so did Chuck Noll. Well done.

  3. AshevilleJeff says:

    Dejan, that is the finest column you have ever written. Thank you!

  4. radio wave says:

    The column is one of your best. I was living in Houston. Really into Luv Ya Blue. Bum told us we were going to kick in the door. Mr. Noll and the Steel Curtain had other ideas.

  5. Bizrow says:

    Dejan, I usually wait till the paper comes before I read your column, but I wanted to read this one.

    Mt Rushmore of the burgh?

    Mr Noll was IMO what the burgh is all about, character, honor and integrity. No fuss, no ego, that we saw, a quiet honorable man that simply passing things like his passion for life on. Much like what makes Pittsburgh so strong, we are a melting pot from many years and many nations.

    Mr Noll was happy in his own skin, much like the people I see in our town that do good stuff and then think no more about it, you do what you thought you should do, and then you go on.

    I don’t think many people remember Jonas Salk, but I remember taking that sugar cube, what a change he made to the world, but polio is not gone quite yet.

    Fred Rogers, wow, last weekend we went to Austin to see my son and his family, took em for toys, Sara was in love with Daniel Tiger? Who his he?? Oh, ok, from Mr Rogers.

    Andrew Carnegie? No, disagree, he was pretty nasty with his workers, some were shot in Homestead.

    I think the 4th is up for grabs

  6. Bizrow says:

    BTW, our old friend Drew raises money to fight Altzheimers. Lets beat the dam thing ;-)

  7. theplanisworking says:

    DK, Thank You for this column.

    At first glance, Mr Noll coached only a ‘sports team’. Some might consider it silly to compare titans of Entertainment (Mr. Rogers), Science (Dr. Salk), Industry (Mr. Carnegie) to a football coach, but Chuck Noll did as much for the betterment, and publicity of Pittsburgh as the other men.

    When we really think of it, we, as Pittsburghers, are very fortunate to have had all the Fortune 500 companies here, the great people and Leaders here, for being a ‘small, big’ city. Mr. Noll helped give us hope when hope wasn’t the best word to describe the period between 1976-1985.

    This column needs to be saved by anyone who wants to know the meaning of what a ‘sports person’ can do for a city ………. both at that time, and for eternity.

    Thank You again, DK, for this wonderful look at Mr. Noll, and the impact he had / continues to have on Pittsburgh to this day.

  8. hockeymonster says:

    Put me in coach.

  9. Bizrow says:

    Who was the fellow that pretty much carried liver transplant?


  10. Bizrow says:

    So, maybe, just maybe, we will remember to be a more peaceful blog due to things we have learned here?

    But can’t be scared to throw that look as Chuck Noll did at a blogger that had gone too far.

    Good night, good tiding.

  11. Bizrow says:

    Thanks, I will do so

  12. JohninOshkosh says:

    Every human being that will ever be born, anywhere in the world, is indebted to Jonas Salk. Wasn’t just a contribution to Pittsburgh, but the entire human race.

    That is quite the company to be in with.

  13. Bizrow says:

    Yup, I hope we can kill it all, in his honor.

  14. Lad 9 says:

    DK, what a piece! Great writing can teach you, it can move you, it can make you think. And once in a while, it can do all three. Just an awesome, special, column! Thank you so much.

    A little story regarding our special slice of the world. Almost five years ago, my company moved my current boss here from Chicago, where he absolutely loved living, to clean up a mess. He is considered the up and coming star, the Gregory Polanco so to speak, of our corporation. Since then he has gotten two promotions that allowed him to stay here, and then last year was offered a position that would require he to move back to Chicago for a huge promotion. He told them no – unless he could move the entire regional office to Pittsburgh. And he was able to convince them to do so! (which was great for me too, btw).

    My point is not just what Pittsburgh did to grab ahold of him in in those five years. You and I and every blog reader knows what we have here. He does not yet understand that he is a Pittsburgher now and why that he is. On Friday he was looking out my window as rain came down in buckets for the umpteenth straight day, and he asked me what possessed him to stay in this town. I smiled and tried to tell him, but he just looked as me as he checked to see if his kid’s game was rained out again and shook his head. On Monday, I will show him this column and to re-quote Charlie Daniels, “I think he’ll finally understand. Thanks DK!

  15. Bizrow says:

    Disagree, Dejan, watching, the Final Word

    The people in our city, would not allow our town to die.

    Many, many voices,

  16. 66sports says:

    Dejan, a great piece, especially for someone who was a product of the sliding economy in Pittsburgh, and caught in a job transfer to TX, and now CA. I feel the sense of jealousy from other sports fans here in CA when I tell them I had season tickets for the Steelers of the seventies when their only response is “Really”. The Steelers and Chuck Noll are very recognizable brands and name across the country.

  17. Reading says:

    If I were to include an Honorable Mention for the Mount Rushmore, it would be another Steelers coach who got the team to its first playoff game in 1947: Jock Sutherland. Read a biography of him someday, the man was a great ambassador for Pittsburgh.

  18. Check up there in the blog entry, Biz.

  19. Stuart says:

    Dejan, this column was your absolute best ever!

    I had almost forgotten “Act like you’ve been there before.”. I remember Lynn Swann calmly handing the ball to the ref after a TD. The enperor Chaz certainly taught his athletes how to win with dignity.

    Hard to argue with your choices for this burg’s Mt. Rushmore.


  20. JoeyBats says:

    Awesome DK….

  21. JoeyBats says:

    BUCCOS — Down on the Farm
    (We’ll keep you apprised of how some of the top prospects are doing; …..this week the position players. Games played through June 15).

    OF – Mel Rojas,Jr – Triple A – Indy – Bats: S … (53 games @ Altoona)
    .309/ .379/ .442 … HR 5, RBI 37,… G 69, AB 249, R 32, H 77, K 49, BB 27, SB 7
    C – Tony Sanchez– Triple A – Indy – Bats: R
    .211/ .321/ .437 … HR 4, RBI 20,… G 21, AB 71, R 9, H 15, K 21, BB 10, SB 0
    1B/OF – Andrew Lambo – Triple A – Indy – Bats: L ….on the DL
    .344 / .430/ .570 … HR 2, RBI 19… G 26, AB 93, R 18, H 32, K 22, BB 13, SB 3
    3B – Stetson Allie – Double A – Altoona – Bats: R
    .221 / .335/ .431 …HR 11, RBI 30, ….G 58, AB 204, R 26, H 45, K 68, BB 33, SB 3
    SS – Alan Hanson – Double A – Altoona – Bats: S
    .273/ .313/ .441 … HR 6, RBI 36… G 62, AB 256, R 33, H 70, K 51, BB 14, SB 12
    OF – Josh Bell – Single A – Bradenton – Bats: S
    .318 / .368 / .512…. HR 9, RBI 42…. G 62, AB 242, R 32, H 77, K 35, BB 18, SB 5
    .OF – Harold Ramirez – Single A – West Virginia – Bats: R
    .291 / .363 / .397…. HR 1, RBI 15…. G 36, AB 141, R 20, H 41, K 22, BB 9, SB…9
    SS – JaCoby Jones – Single A _ West Virginia Bats: R
    260 / .332 / .415…. HR 8, RBI 34…. G 66, AB 246, R 35, H 64, K 74, BB 22, SB…12
    3B -Wyatt Mathisen – Single A – West Virginia – Bats: R
    .262 / .347 / .345….. HR 3 RBI 20… G 65, AB 229, R 25, H 60, K 36, BB 28, SB 2
    C – Reese McGuire – Single A – West Virginia – Bats : L
    .277 / .345 / .335 …..HR 1, RBI 19 …. G 45 , AB 173, R 20, H 48, K 19, BB 17, SB 3
    OF – Austin Meadows –XXXXXXXXX – Bats: L (Injured…rehabbing)
    SS – Cole Tucker – Bats: S – Round # 1…pick # 24……SIGNED
    1B/OF – Connor Joe – Bats: R – Round # 1 …..pick # 39 …..Unsigned
    OF-Jordan Luplow – Bats: R – Round # 3 …pick # 100 ….Unsigned
    C – Taylor Gushue – Bats: S – Round # 4….pick # 131 …. …..SIGNED
    BEAT ‘EM BUCS !!

  22. Pucknutz says:

    Excellent DK.

    Ya beat me to it Stuart……“Act like you’ve been there before.” Says it all for me!!!

  23. JAL says:

    JAL’s Clouds In My Heart Morning Links

    Clouds in My Heart Muddy Waters


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 BFFL’s 2014 Pirates Stats Spreadsheet

    4 Pirates Prospects

    2014 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Pick Signing Tracker

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Evaluating the Ike Davis Trade

    Prospect Watch: Luis Heredia’s Best Start of the Year; JaCoby Jones Homers

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Vance Worley terrific in Pirates debut, but Bucs lose in extras



    8 Green Weenie

    Pirates Mistake Get-Away Day For Give-Away Day In 3-2 Loss

    9 Rumbunter

    Pirates GM Neal Huntington Show Recap

    10 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates Fall Off Tightrope, Spoiling Chance To Sweep Marlins

  24. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 The National

    Polanco’s promotion shows Pittsburgh Pirates’ youth movement starting to pay dividends

    12 CBS Sports

    McGehee leads Marlins past Pirates in 10 innings

    13 Chicago Sun Times

    Bunning: Cubs’ sale at odds with MLB antitrust exemption

    14 Miami Herald

    Clutch-hitting Casey McGehee comes through again in Miami Marlins’ win

    15 Pirates Site

    Worley’s strong debut unrewarded in extras

    McCutchen, Walker move up in All-Star voting

    Notebook: Starters keeping hits on ground during turnaround

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Reds offense erupts in win over Brewers

    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Home run woes continue to plague Estrada

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Cards make Father’s Day special

    Cards complete sweep of Nats with 5-2 win—win/article_b2acc2c7-bc98-5d0f-bcb8-c8ee22c7c031.html

    19 Fangraphs

    The Exponential Nature of Offense

    20 Baseball Prospectus

    The Week in Quotes

  25. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Weekend Checkdown: the top stories of the week

    Belief: Noll’s greatest lesson

    Farewell to The Emperor

    Chuck Noll’s greatest contributions weren’t trophies, they were identity and purpose


    22 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    Ghana vs United States – Match Preview

    23 BBC Football

    World Cup 2014: England loss to Italy need not spell disaster

    World Cup 2014: Is Netherlands defeat the end of Spain reign?

    24 World Soccer

    Switzerland 2-1 Ecuador

    25 Pensburgh

    How Often Do Goalies Get Hot in the Playoffs?

  26. Jandy says:

    Please pass the tissues.

    Dayum, Dejan.

  27. Parrothead says:

    I haven’t seen Taylor pitch, but after sitting in the stands yesterday and watching Davis’s lethargic play. It looks like a bad trade to me. His at-bats look so bad, even my wife was complaining about them and she’s one of the most positive people in the world and with his moping face He carried his bad hitting iinto the field with him. Even an average first basement should’ve been able to scoop at least one of Pedro’s bad throws. It’s time to reduce our two weak corner infield positions to one by moving Pedro to first and Harrison or walker to third.

  28. Jandy says:


  29. Pucknutz says:

    Used em all up Saint, :)

  30. Roger says:

    I want to know when the 3rd baseman is going to be held accountable? Hurdle wasn’t afraid to call out Marte. Why not Alvarez? He made 3 errors yesterday. The official scoring in baseball has turned into such a joke that he was only charged with one. If you watched the game, it was three. THREE. He constantly strikes out. Piles up his power numbers in spurts , not consistently over time, horrible at 3rd. Leads the league in errors at the position . Alvarez arguably costed them that game yesterday. I say arguably bc they also got Hurdled by the over managing one. Taking Vanimal out after 7 was senseless. Especially when the backend of the pen has had a rough weekend. Putting Barmass in for Harrison paid off when Barmass struck out with the bases loaded in the 10th. I know that people are going to crush me for criticizing the mighty Hurdle. I’m sure he is a great guy. But he offers ZERO strategical advantage in games. ZERO. Constant over managing and yesterday was Captain Hook at his finest and it costed them another game.

  31. Jandy says:

    well..then go to WalMart and get some ;)

  32. Parrothead says:

    I won’t argue with you. I was in the stands to witness the whole thing. Defimitly gave away again they should’ve won.

  33. Wild Bill says:

    That was a very meaningful column, and one paralleled by Cook’s column today in the P-G. My wife and I had a great time in Pittsburgh last week, and who would have thought years ago of the ‘burgh as a vacation destination? As DK points out, things were at one time very much up for grabs with regard to the city’s future; Pittsburgh could have become what Detroit became and is trying to recover from.

    Last week I saw a very vibrant city, one that I look forward to returning to, even though I have few family left here anymore. The only thing that keeps me from planning to retire in the Pittsburgh area is a desire to be close to my daughters and their future families, and I don’t think they will be in western Pa.

    Chuck Noll’s good work did provide a lifeline in tough times, and that was all the fine people of the Pittsburgh area needed.

  34. The Pirates are off today. Tomorrow they begin a series vs. the Reds. And, hopefully, the bullpen does much better than it did this past weekend. And, hopefully, they’ll continue to hit, especially Polanco.

  35. Pittsburgh will likely survive in good stead, as will its sports teams. It’s a nice city with good people and there plenty of life left in it yet.

  36. Thundercrack says:

    Well he did take out the starter and replaced him with a pretty good reliever to pitch the 8th. A reliever who’s ERA was under 1.

    I made fun of John Perratto earlier in the season because he wouldn’t let this one point go, but now he may be right to point this out: Pedro never talks. Why no quotes in the paper or soundbites on the radio?

  37. jtownjohn says:


    Have to agree with you on Carnegie, I would prefer George Westinghouse, gave his workers vacation and who limited work week to 55 hours in early 1900’s. That 55 hour week would probably be a reduction to today’s work force. Built quite a world class business only to be decimated by CEO greed in the 80’s

  38. The Gunner says:

    Regarding Polanco, after a week in the big leagues, he is hitting .387 – pretty good in my book. #25 is going to be a good one for sure. Tabata & Snider appear to be forgotten men at this point.

    Pedro’s “yips” are a real problem and needs to be addressed NOW!

    We are still at the point of the season where the Buccos can recover from the many opportunities they have lost thru the 1st 69 games. They lost an opportunity to pick up a game on the Brewers yesterday. They have let the Brewers dominate them all year in head to head competition.

    Now is the time to turn things up a notch or two and dominate (and sweep) the Reds.

  39. The Gunner says:

    Something is definitely going on with Pedro that is affecting his play (especially in the field.) We all know the Bucs need to acquire a Tier 1 starting pitcher badly. Maybe Pedro is on the trading block.

  40. BillyBaduka says:

    Excellent article DK, some of your finest work. I agree with Osh that this should be up for awards.

    I grew up in the Pgh area in the 70s. I remember the feeling in the area as jobs then neighbors left.

    Pittsburgh was often the butt of jokes. But not when it came to football. Once football came up, Pittsburgh was respected, if not revered.

    I can’t imagine my childhood without the Steelers. Family getting together every weekend to watch games.

    Up through Super Bowl IX, I hid under the dining room table. I was scared of whatever that was on TV. Not because of football. Because it was making my parents act like maniacs. What was happening that these usually calm and mild mannered people were screaming at the top of their lungs for 3 hours a week?

    During the ’75 season, I began to embrace it. These are my earliest memories of being a Steelers fan.

    I thought they would just keep winning Super Bowls. My dad after the injury plagued ’76 season didn’t think they would win another. Not to be cynical or a nay sayer, he just saw the decline coming in the defense and couldn’t imagine the offense stepping up as it did. I remember arguing with him and being so glad he was wrong in ’78 and ’79.

    The thing that crystallizes the 70’s Steelers for me is watching NFL films season recaps in the spring of 1980. The scene is the Steelers inside the tunnel waiting to be announced for a game. John Fucinda’s voice booms out “there are 27 teams in the National Football League. And then, there are the Pittsburgh Steelers.”. The camera pulls in to focus on an arm upraised and hand signing number one (I believe it was Swann’s).

    I still remember laying on the living room floor watching that. I still get goosebumps.

    My family loved baseball, probably more than football and my uncle loved hockey most of all. I watched all them and always rooted for the Pittsburgh teams but the Pirates and Pens didn’t stand a chance with the impression the Steelers were making on a young boy.

    RIP Chuck Noll. All hail the Emperor Chaz Noll.

    PS – please excuse the rambling long winded reminiscing.

  41. Dom says:

    That’s the article of the year right there.

  42. NMR says:

    re: Pedro and the media..who cares?

  43. NMR says:

    Really is amazing to see a guy struggle so bad with something so simple. Just have to hope it works itself out. Literally nothing else you can do about it.

  44. 21sthebest says:

    I agree with a lot of your post Roger but I don’t understand the complaint about Pedro’s power spurts not being consistent over time. If he put up the same numbers more evenly spread out, would we score more runs? I don’t know. I’d just like him to be better.

  45. The Gunner says:

    Yep – DK outdid himself with this one.

    I remember the Steelers of the early 1960s, names like QBs Bobby Layne & Ed Brown, WRs Buddy Dial & Gary Ballman, RB John Henry Johnson – these guys came close a couple times but just couldn’t win that big game.

    Then, enter the mid to late 60s with Bill Austin, a Vince Lombardi assistant, as head coach – what a mess that was! Finally, the Chuck Noll era began and after a rocky start in 1969, the consistent winning began in the early 1970s. Chuck laid the foundation for Steeler football that his successors (Cowher & Tomlin) still follow to this day.

    RIP Emperor – you will always be a legend in this town!

  46. The Gunner says:

    Yep, Pedro sure has the YIPS, NMR. God knows how this will all play out. He is due to go on a tear soon!

  47. 21sthebest says:

    If I have this right, I think he’s making the throws where he has no time to think.

  48. Nate83 says:

    Polanco does look great. Very nice approach at the plate. Tabata and Snider may be forgotten right now but one of them will be needed at some point this year. 1 of the 3 outfielder will eventually go on the DL for 15 games or have an injury that keeps them sidelined for 2 or 3 games.

    Pedro’s issues throwing are a shame. He has become pretty solid with the glove. His throwing errors for this year has already exceeded his total for last year. There is no law of averages to account for that. It’s a remarkable increase. Something his definately wrong mentally, mechanically or both.

    3 of the losses in June are very unfortunate. Yesterday, the 1-0 loss to the Brewers and the 1 hit 3-2 bunt game against the Padres. Even with those 3 “bad luck” losses they are still in a good place compared to the beginning of the month and a much better place then the beginning of May. The next 19 games are huge. There is no reason they shouldn’t come out of that stretch of games above .500. If they don’t then there are still problems and they more then likely are too numerous to make short term moves make any sense.

  49. NMR says:

    My eye certainly would agree with that, 21. Seems counterintuitive to have a guy rush his throws more than the play would require, but this most certainly is a situation to think outside the box.

  50. JAL says:

    Excellent column well done

  51. 21sthebest says:

    That’s actually what Tony Sanchez started to do, at least on throws to first. After he threw a couple into right, he started lobbing them to first. Then it seemed like somebody got a hold of him and he started coming out of the box and firing them to first which seemed to work. Maybe that’s what Pedro needs to do to build some confidence.

  52. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    Some guys just throw balls away…

  53. Arriba Wilver says:

    Yeah, but why the big increase this year?

  54. NMR says:

    Actual question requiring discussion on June 16th:

    Which of Cumpton, Locke, and Worley deserve to be sent down once Cole returns from the DL?

  55. Jandy says:

    Deserves or will be?

    I don’t want to make that decision!

  56. Thundercrack says:

    It might be nice (for some fans) to hear what Pedro has to say…when times are good & bad

  57. AJS says:

    Remember how awsome the bull pen was last year. it was that bad in Miami. Yowsa. The team as a whole is trending up but the pen is headed south fast.

    And RIP Chuck Noll. My god Pittsburgh wouldn’t even bother to look in the Steeler’s general direction until that man made them what they are today.

  58. Sarcastic Sword says:

    The column was fantastic.

    Not sure how Mayor Peduto rates as someone you discuss anything with for a column – yes, hes a sports fan. So am I. I dont expect you to consult with me on any column. Just because he is the Mayor?

  59. NMR says:

    Fair and smart take on that, Jandy! You can’t predict baseball.

  60. NMR says:

    We’ve been here before, haven’t we? Guy just isn’t an entertaining interview. Even keeled. Never high, never low.

  61. CWalton_67 says:

    One of your best columns ever, Dejan. Well done.

  62. 21sthebest says:

    Worley is out of options. But we don’t have to make this decision yet. I think the Big 3 of Cumpton, Locke, and Worley will still get to start some.

  63. NMR says:

    Um, yes. Because he’s the Mayor.

  64. NMR says:

    All true, but amuse my premature speculation on a Monday morning. Whaddya think?

  65. The Gunner says:

    Cumpton has options left. Logic says he will be the one to go back down to Indy depending on how Locke & Worley do in their future starts.

    Logic doesn’t always prevail either.

  66. NMR says:

    Disagree on the pen comment.

    They’ve been lights out for over a month. Notice no “discussion” on the Blog lately? Sure sign of success.

    I need more than one series to call a reversal of trend.

  67. Arriba Wilver says:

    Locke’s been too good to send down. If the decision were made today, I think Cumpton because of options. Bigger question will be when Liriano comes back, but that could be a while, and how guys have been pitching to that point obviously could be much different. I don’t think they’ll burn Worley just yet after yesterday’s performance.

  68. NMR says:

    I believe all three gentlemen have at least one option left.

  69. 21sthebest says:

    I agree with AW.

  70. Arriba Wilver says:

    On a column about Noll’s affect on the City of Pittsburgh.

  71. The Gunner says:

    The bullpen can’t be 100% perfect – these guys are only human. Let’s hope they right the ship starting on Tuesday night. The Miami bullpen nightmare cannot continue.

  72. NMR says:

    Thanks, guys. Pretty well echo’s my opinion, as well.

  73. Arriba Wilver says:

    Make up your mind. First you said it was true he didn’t have an option. :-)

  74. The Gunner says:

    According to Pirates Prospects, Worley is out of options.

  75. Sarcastic Sword says:

    I retrack my earlier comment after reading the column again.

  76. Jandy says:

    We can give them some slack, but man, that loss in Miami REALLY hurt…

  77. NMR says:

    Wow, thanks for the heads up, Gunner. So tht mans he cn’t be sent down without being put on waivers?

    I think he’s gotta stay, then.

  78. Nate83 says:

    It’s a good problem to have. I have to think Worly K:BB rate keeps him with the team at this point. I also think getting deep in games must be considered as well with the bullpen a) working a lot of innings and b) showing that they may not be as reliable as last year. Using the criteria I would send Cumpton down.

  79. Stuart says:

    You should “retrack” your High School English.

    Unfortunately, something you write and post, you cannot retract.

    It might be a good policy to read the article before you post.

    Just sayin.


  80. NMR says:

    Oh yeah, no issue at all about criticizing this weekend’s performance.

  81. Stuart says:

    BTW, I see that Shawn Heiney has restarted with his popups each time the blog is refreshed.

    It looked like this was fixed last week.

    What’s up?


  82. ChefAutomatic says:

    very nice column. i was fully prepared to see some tie-in between noll and mario lemieux or sidney crosby in the third paragraph and was pleasantly surprised not to find one. the man stands alone…..anyway, in all sincerity, good work.

  83. NMR says:

    Eesh, tough crowd!

  84. bpn8pitt says:

    I know how everyone feels about “saves” on the blog.

    But I dont feel good about 62%. Nor the HBPs and WPs, or K/BBs.

    Just seems to me a lot more balls are in play compared to 2013. Thats a bad thing having the worst defense in the NL. 53 Errors…

  85. Sarcastic Sword says:

    Where is your glass house located as it seems like you must have never made a mistake based on your harsh criticism?

  86. Thundercrack says:

    We may have been here before.

    But who besides Cutch (and maybe Cole & Martin) are entertaining interviews.

    I’m not asking anyone to be entertaining. How about answering some questions from reporters that can be printed in the newspaper or played on the radio.

  87. Thundercrack says:

    I’m a fan too, but I wait until a move has to be made before I totally fall in love with those 3 guys.
    Worley had a great start yesterday – let’s see what happens after another one.
    Cumpton is OK but not great. I really like Locke this year.


    First, I echo the high praise on the article, DK. That story reads like the synopsis for a book, and it would be a tremendous read.

    There was some debate last Friday with Hockeymonster and Andrew chiming in on possible moves for the Penguins. With the GM’s meeting in NY and both the draft and UFA period upcoming, the NHL trade market is expected to heat up considerably this week. So, the Penguins hockey thread continues…

    The UFA pool is thin this year, which is great for a player like 27-year old Matt Niskanen coming off a career year. He’s ranked the top defenseman available and the line of potential suitors is already forming. Just about every projection has Niskanen’s market value right around $6M per (all of a sudden, Kris Letang’s $7.25M doesn’t seem so bad).

    My point? I don’t think the Penguins should consider re-signing him. I said earlier in the year that Niskanen would be worth considering if he modeled his contract after Paul Martin’s deal, but a shallow free agent pool is bumping him up to the next tax bracket. With two weeks left until free agency opens, it’s the perfect time to find someone willing to trade for his rights. With Dan Byslma on the short list for coach and Florida looking to trade picks for players who can have an immediate impact, Niskanen would be a perfect fit.

    Orpik, too, should be shopped. As possibly the best shutdown-defenseman available on the market, he’s expected to draw in the $4M range. If Rob Scuderi wasn’t taking up nearly that much Orpik would be a good player to keep around, but the Pens can scarcely afford to lock up $8M in lower-pairing defensemen with so many other holes to fill. I’d look to a team like Toronto, who are in desperate need of a shutdown defenseman along with Phaneuf.

    Jussi Jokinen is a question mark. After a 40-point season and a strong playoff showing, he’s got the interest of more than a few teams around the league. I’ve seen market value projections north of the $4M per season mark, which would make him the second-highest paid winger in the Pens lineup. If Dupuis returns healthy and can resume alongside Crosby and Beau Bennett can finally solidify himself as a scoring winger, Jokinen’s salary becomes difficult to justify as a third-line winger. He’s versatile and defensive-minded, but not nearly physical enough for a checking role. If the Pens can re-sign him under $3.5M, his skill makes him a good depth option at forward. Anything more than that, however, really becomes a tough sell. I think Jokinen, however, is worth trying to negotiate with rather than trading his rights.

  89. 21sthebest says:

    Couldn’t agree more. Worley’s ERA in the minors this year is 4.30. If I absolutely had to pick right now, Worley would be the odd man but like you said, we don’t have to make that decision yet.

  90. Arriba Wilver says:

    Last night on the Showdown they really ripped into Terry Bradshaw because he was in Washington County over the weekend and wouldn’t talk to reporters. The impression left was he wouldn’t comment on Noll. I was going to rip him here, but decided to do a little research. Apparently he did a show at the Meadows, and several Steelers showed up, and he did comment on Noll’s passing, from the stage.

    One of the things he’s quoted as saying is “‘Tough day for the Steelers family,’ he said. ‘We lost our coach. We’ll never get over it and we’ll never forget him. I have four rings sitting in a safe, and it’s all because of Chuck Noll. Once again, Chuck, we’re going to miss you. We have lost someone we love. We lost a great coach and a great gentleman.'”

    Ron Cook owes him an apology.

  91. 21sthebest says:

    I believe that Cook as well as a lot of media members had issues with Bradshaw for years which is yet another reason why I like Bradshaw.

    Bradshaw admitted that he had a lot of emotional problems during his playing days and afterwards and decided to put himself in therapy for a long stretch. I believe he had a good post career relationship with Noll and Bradshaw also regretted not coming to Art Rooney’s funeral. I have a lot of respect for him talking openly about these issues although I realize he was also selling a book.

  92. Nate83 says:

    ++++ All still big concerns for this team despite some good baseball since the beginning of May. All teams have areas they can improve in but the Pirates still have more then a typical playoff team. They must solve at least a few of those issues if they want to continue heading in the right direction the biggest on IMO is the save percentage. It just has to be better.

  93. Thundercrack says:

    I would like to think that Bradshaw figured that if he talks to reporters the conversation would get to his relationship with Noll and he would end up talking about himself. (which he could be ripped for)

    I think it is fine that he didn’t talk to reporters. Especially, as AW noted, he said something during his performance.

  94. hockeymonster says:

    Inclined to go dark till Coach Noll is laid to rest.

  95. 21sthebest says:

    Tony Gwynn passed away at the young age of 54. He apparently had cancer for 4 years.

  96. Nate83 says:

    Wow, I didn’t know he was having health issues. That’s pretty young. Great hitter and great person judging by everything I have ever heard about him.

  97. Dom says:

    Do you have a problem with Ron Cook?

    If so, do you mind asking me what it is?

  98. JohninOshkosh says:

    Just horrible news about Tony Gwynn.

    What a testament to the man that hardly anyone knew he was sick. Courageous.

  99. Dom says:

    My sentiments exactly. I had no idea he was sick. He really wanted to keep it private.

    Wasn’t he still doing color commentating for ESPN last season or am I thinking of someone else.

    He always seemed like a nice guy.

    RIP Tony.

  100. Rock Ain't Dead says:

    I’m with you all the way Billy. I remember feeling like it was our right to win the Super Bowl every year when I was a kid.

  101. Arriba Wilver says:

    I don’t typically have a problem with Cook, but last night he blew it big time IMHO.

    I know your question wasn’t directed at me, Dom, but I just wanted to make it perfectly clear.

  102. 21sthebest says:

    Not sure why you’re asking that question Dom. I don’t have a “problem” with him. I have some criticisms though.

  103. Dom says:

    In the past three days, we lost two greats in two different sports.

  104. Thundercrack says:

    Wow – that is a shock.

    And I know this is not going to come across good – but I honestly thought he was a candidate for a heart attack.
    When he played he didn’t look like an athlete, but in his retirement years he seemed to really put on a lot of weight.

    Always like him – both as a player and commentator

  105. Rock Ain't Dead says:

    I thought he was managing the San Diego State baseball squad last I heard…

    That stinks.

  106. Dom says:

    I’m out of the loop. Can you advise what he did? Did he do something on one of the local sports shows on last night?

  107. Maz in Iowa says:

    Sad to read of Tony Gwynn’s passing.RIP

  108. Thundercrack says:

    I don’t have a problem with Cook as a writer.
    He is not very good at all on the radio – – and comes as a jerk. IMO

  109. Maz in Iowa says:

    Cubs are asking for four players in return for Samardzjia. The Blue Jays had two evaluators present for Samardzija’s start against the Marlins on June 7th.Let’s see…Tabby/Lunchbox/Barmes and…..dArnaud :)

  110. Dom says:

    Would they be willing to trade within the division?

  111. Wild Bill says:

    A moment for the World Cup. I tried to watch an entire game over the weekend, and just couldn’t do it. These superbly conditioned athletes go down upon contact of any kind, when not near the goal, in ways that should assure them a Tony Award nomination, or make them look like they’ve been shot with an elephant gun.

    Then when it’s corner kick time, there’s mayhem in front of the keeper, with no flopping at all. Just cannot enjoy it, and it’s a shame, because the talent of the players is unquestionable.

  112. Dom says:

    I didn’t mean to offend you. To me, “Problems” and “Criticisms” are synonymous.

  113. JohninOshkosh says:

    I think Smardzija will end up in Milwaukee, south side of Chicago or Milwaukee.

    There, I started/perpetuated a rumor!

  114. Maz in Iowa says:


  115. Wild Bill says:

    Normally, a team wouldn’t want to trade him within one’s own division. But the Cubs might not care, they need so much help.

  116. Dom says:

    If the US made it deep into the playoffs (there are playoffs aren’t there?) then I’d a watch a game.

    I wish the game today was on name so I could follow it online at work. I don’t see myself sitting in front of the TV at 6 to watch the game in its entirety.

  117. Dom says:

    Oh, I’m sorry, I missed your post from a few minutes ago.

  118. Arriba Wilver says:

    Look at my post at 11:09, Dom. He was the main person going after Bradshaw and sounding like Bradshaw wouldn’t comment on Noll’s passing. It was probably based on incomplete information, but, hey, he trashed Bradshaw based on something he didn’t do.

  119. NMR says:

    When has he refused?

  120. NMR says:

    The save stat everyone usually talks about and the one referenced int hat 62% number aren’t even the same thing.

  121. Maz in Iowa says:

    Actually I thought the Yankees/Brewers were pretty dry as far as prospects.What I’ve read is the Cubs really want pitchers very badly.However the team that gets him better be ready to shell out at least 15 million/year for multiple years.BTW I said at least.

  122. Arriba Wilver says:

    I don’t know the intricacies, but that 62% number seemed strange.

  123. Thundercrack says:

    Right…nobody in the media has asked him for an interview.

    The only one that I hear complaining about it is Perrotto – who I believe said Pedro either doesn’t want to talk and/or is not in the clubhouse when reporters are there.

  124. NMR says:

    I think John was being a little snarky on the Brewers comment, but you’re certainly correct. The literal entirety of the Brewers farm system couldn’t land the Shark.

  125. Arriba Wilver says:

    Even if you could move Cumpton back to AAA without losing him?

  126. Jandy says:

    Wow. Another hall of famer lost….this one to cancer from chewing tobacco :(
    RIP Mr. Padre

  127. 21sthebest says:

    It didn’t offend me Dom.

    The way I look at this Dom is that Ron Cook doesn’t offend me so I don’t have a problem with him. I just have some criticisms of his work.

  128. NMR says:

    Sounds like you shuld be asking the media to interview Pedro, not the oher way around.

  129. JohninOshkosh says:


  130. Dom says:

    In yinz estimation, what would the Buccos have to part with to obtain him?

  131. NMR says:

    That numbers references the technical definition of a save, which is earned by holding a lead in the 7th inning or later.

    The save, as everyne generally considers it, is earned by the closer or whoever the pitcher is finishing out the game.

    7 of the Pirates 13 “blown saves” belong to pitchers who have never once thrown a pitch in the 9th inning with a lead.

  132. Maz in Iowa says:

    I’d think Kingham or Taillon and Bell to star with.(Cubs would love to have a power hitting OF).Glasnow or Rodriquez.

  133. Vette60 says:

    Wonderful column and really sums up what Chuck Noll meant to the entire Pittsburgh region. While I was a little guy during the Super Steelers years, their play laid the foundation for the fan I am today.

    It’s remarkable to think about but without Coach Noll would the Steeler Nation exist today? I really don’t think so.

    There is this such a sense of pride that exists for me due to me being from Pittsburgh. It’s amazing but it seems no matter where I travel I can find someone else who shares that as well.

    I hope everyone has a great day!

    Go USA. Opening match and I am pumped!

    Randy in RVA.

  134. chethejet1 says:

    He IMHO is not going to be better than Tallion two years from now assuming Tallion is 100%. I would consider Price as a lefty and has a much better track record. But his cost is still out of the Pirates range and with a bunch of arms in the pipeline, I would rather address both corner positions and extending Martin. I do think Martin may be a bit pricey for the self imposed percentage of payroll rule. Said it before, I like Headley from SD but he maybe a tough sign. Loves the SD area and he is important to the Padres.

  135. Nate83 says:

    I did know that the blown save stat is misleading but regardless it has to be better. This team can’t continue to give up leads late the game. In my opinion it is the one thing that is hurting them the most. Even more then starting pitching. If the bullpen performed even close to last year they would be 3 or 4 games above .500.

    They have 13 blown saves (failure to hold) compared to 15 all of last year. League average this year is 8.5 blown saves. I expect this bullpen to be better then league average personally.

  136. 21sthebest says:

    I just meant hypothetically if I had to pick one or the other to start a game it would be Cumpton. But I don’t like Worley’s ERA in the minors and that he sat at 89 yesterday which I’ve always looked at as if you’re not hitting your spots, you could get beat up more easily than a pitcher who has velocity and can throw some by hitters. I just feel like Worley was a one start wonder. So I’d still be hesitant to send Cumpton down because you couldn’t recall him for 10 days.

  137. Maz in Iowa says:

    It’s entirely possible Kingham AND Taillon could be brought up next summer.Glasnow the next year and assuming he has a good rehab(and the hype is correct)Clay Holmes in 2016.*Crosses fingers*

  138. bpn8pitt says:

    Not even Jesus can “save” on the Kovacevic Blog.

  139. Thundercrack says:

    Dear members of the Pittsburgh media,
    Please interview Pedro Alvarez.

    Thank you.


  140. NMR says:

    Is that kind of command fluky? I don’t think so.

  141. NMR says:

    Still not sure those numbers tell us much of the story, Nate.

    How many of those leads were blown by what margin? I think it is asking a lot for your pen to protect one and two run leads for 3-4 innings every night.

  142. Jandy says:


  143. BillyBaduka says:

    Thanks Rock.

    I remember that feeling too. Boy, the 80s sure cured us of that. :)

  144. 21sthebest says:

    Not exactly sure what you mean NMR. For example, that’s the way I felt about Maholm. Smallest of margins for error.

  145. BillyBaduka says:

    Much respect for that sentiment HM. Classy move.

  146. BillyBaduka says:

    Thank you for the update.

    RIP Tony.

    My mom always liked him.

  147. Sarcastic Sword says:

    The self-imposed % of payroll rule = lets maximize Mr. Nutting’s fortune.

    As the team that leads the NL in 1-run games, I wonder if El Coffee could have swung a few of those1-run losses into victories?

    Dumb question as I know its more important to worry about possibly spending $15M in 2020 than this season.

  148. Jandy says:

    I’m a bit late, but keep Revvie in your prayers Loonies. He went into the hospital for some tests, and a heart cath is one of them…he didn’t feel it was very serious….but just send up a prayer that he comes back to us very soon.

  149. Nate83 says:

    I don’t think it’s a lets maximizing Nutting fortune move at all. It’s based on historical data. If the complaint is that number isn’t higher because the actual overall payroll isn’t higher I can see that debate but a rule set by the front office that has actual facts to back it up has nothing to do with Nuttings fortune.

  150. Arriba Wilver says:

    Oh, Jeez.

  151. Prestige Worldwide says:

    You cannot have a Pittsburgh Mt Rushmore without Donnie Iris.

  152. Arriba Wilver says:

    Please keep us informed, Jandy.

  153. Sarcastic Sword says:

    Do you need your Kool-Aid refilled?

  154. AJS says:

    I dunno. I agree to a point that certain individuals had been lights out. Melancon and Watson in particular.

    Grilli just seems so up and down since his injury last year and the last couple of outings Wilson has shown some of those control problems creeping back in. Don’t even get me started on Gomez. I was glad to see Pimentel back, but he disappointed on Saturday as well. Maybe a bit of an over reaction to one bad series. But it was REALLY bad.

  155. Nate83 says:

    I think it is more likely the Pirates get a player like Jason Hammel from the Cubs. WHIP under 1, ERA below 3.00 and his pay is 6 million so he will cost about 3 million the rest of the year if they get him in about a month. The asking price prospect wise will be lower and he fits the Pirates payroll. They are not going to give up 2 of their top 7 or 8 prospects for any pitcher they only have 1.5 years of contol over.

  156. Nate83 says:

    Getting a new front office and raising payroll about 20% so maybe a good forecast for skiing this winter. What’s the farmer almanac say for snow fall this winter?

  157. Bizrow says:

    Will do, thanks for letting us know about this

  158. NMR says:

    Did you watch the Pirates at all in May?

  159. bpn8pitt says:

    I already used my free re-fill sticker.

    Can I get a free shirt? I have 3 so far this year. ;)

  160. Nate83 says:

    OK fne. Just ignore facts and assume I love Nutting. Most regulars on here can tell you that I’ve been calling for raised payroll for years and I’m not a big fan of Nutting. I’ll debate all day if the FO makes good moves or they are smart or dumb for not offering this player or that player 3 years instead of 2 and have fun doing it but I can’t debate blatent avoidance of actually laying out your side of the debate.

  161. Jandy says:

    As soon as I hear, I’ll pass it on. He didn’t say NOT to share, so I’m thinking the more prayers and good vibes, the better. I <3 that guy!

  162. Jandy says:

    You read my mind!

  163. Arriba Wilver says:

    Paranoia is so much more fun than “Kool-aid.”

    You do realize the $15 mil figure is over 6 years, right? It actually would lend more support for your point, but the fact you don’t understand that says more.

  164. Nate83 says:

    Knowing what I think I know about him I think he would be happy to get as many prayers and well wishes as possible.

    Prayers and well wishes Lucky. Hopefully your back back to 100% soon and cheering on Polanco and picketing infront of the Pirate offices for the next prospect to come up.

  165. Jandy says:


  166. NMR says:

    I’ve graduated to Big Gulp.

  167. Nate83 says:

    I just gave up and got a kool-aid dispensing machine put in my garage. Bought it from some company called Man my kids are hyper.

  168. BillyBaduka says:

    I’ll keep him in thoughts and prayers. I hope he is well soon and back posting in no time.

  169. NMR says:

    You said you believe Worley was a one start wonder. I believe he was successful in that one start because of ridiculously good command despite average stuff.

    It would seem to me that then you’d have to believe his command was a fluke.

  170. Nate83 says:

    I don’t know enough about him to comment if his command is repeatable. When he put up his nice stat line in 2011-2012 was his fast ball velocity drastically higher? If not I would have to assume that he has always had good control for the most part. He also has over 40 inning in the minors with tremendous control so he has at the very least shown he can maintain it for 6-8 starts.

    I think we have become so fascinated with speed that we forget the most important ingrediant to being a good pitcher is actually be able to pitch. Speed helps hide mistakes sometime but the other option is just not making mistakes.

  171. Naterosboro says:

    They’ll want at least 1 arm back in the deal. Either Jeanmar Gomez or Stolmy Pimintel should do. Plus, they’re already stretched out that they can just hop right in the Cubbies rotation…

    Ok, now that I’m thinking about it, it’ll probably require both.


  172. Dom says:

    I think Bo should get some consideration:

  173. 21sthebest says:

    I wouldn’t say fluke at all. I’m just skeptical that he can be consistently good. Not that he has to be as good as he was yesterday all the time. But I’m skeptical that he’d be a better option than Cumpton.

    Fluke has never been a word that I’ve ever used to describe anything baseball related.

  174. 21sthebest says:

    He had a little more velocity in 2011 Nate, but he hasn’t been good since 2011. And you keep mentioning his walk rate which is very good, but his ERA in the minors this year isn’t very good. Maybe his control isn’t so good and he’s grooving too many. He got bombed on May 28th and June 2nd.

  175. Thundercrack says:

    That park in Miami seems like a pretty good park for pitcher. Especially if your outfielders have some speed

  176. Have I told you lately that I love you?

  177. I appreciated the initial kind sentiment just as much. This mayor is intensely knowledgeable on a lot of things.

  178. Why expect such a thing?

  179. Maybe you were watching the wrong Sunday night sports show.

  180. I’d love it if this topic were to just go away from here. If you want to critique another media outlet, I’m confident you can find a forum there to do so.

  181. Nate83 says:

    I’m kind of in a wait and see mode with him. I saw that the coaches in the minors thought he pitched better then his ERA would suggest. Yesterday didn’t do anything to disprove that. At the end of the day Cumpton and Locke have options left and he doesn’t. So I think that would be the tie-breaker. I by no means am saying he is the answer to our problems but he is worth a look.

    His FIP in the minors this year was 2.69. For his career his ERA and FIP are close so he isn’t one of those pitchers that always underperformes his underlying stats. He also had a really high BABIP of .331 which probably would not continue. His 2012 year was not that bad at all. Not top of the rotation stuff but definately solid number 4.

  182. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m going to assume that was directed at NMR. Also going to HOPE that was directed at NMR.

  183. Tom P. says:


  184. Arriba Wilver says:

    Saw them both, DK.

    I thought the Final Word was the best one I had seen. A lot of class by MM, but all 3 added something. If you guys would get rid of the gimmicks it would be better. WPXI loves to use up all the screen space without considering what the viewer experience is. The visual format is a negative to me.

    Shouldn’t be so sensitive that criticism of the competition requires a response.

  185. Arriba Wilver says:

    Wow. Not even sure how to respond to that one. Have you been following along on the posts?

    Are we not allowed to criticize comments about a Pittsburgh player in reaction to another outlet’s comments?

  186. Wild Bill says:

    Thank you, Jandy. Stay feisty, Lucky!

  187. Dave G says:


    A few years ago, I lamented in the fact that my desire was to settle down in Pittsburgh, but wound up here in Liberty Township, OH (near Cincinnati) with a job too good to give up.

    Your masterpiece this morning only rekindled my feelings.

    I’m happy here and I can follow everything closely on the internet, which helps bridge the distance. I watch all of the games and read all of the articles faithfully.

    I do, however, miss being a part of the home crowd. Or, in this case, being a part of a city in mourning. But I’m grieving from afar.

    Your column shakes a Christmas globe of pride and emotion… the last black-and-gold flakes gently settling with an inner warmth and a profound understanding.

    And then I realize… that…

    …maybe being in Pittsburgh isn’t as important as Pittsburgh being in ME.

  188. Karen22 says:

    Oh dear! Prayers on the way…

  189. NMR says:

    I appreciate the reply, 21, especially the comment on “fluke”.

    As for Worley’s minor league ERA, we’re talking about only seven starts. He gave up three runs or more only twice, including a six run outing that skewed his overall numbers.

  190. Arriba Wilver says:

    Sorry, I meant local. I get that national is free game. (Sarcasm)

  191. The Gunner says:

    Ron Cook, in most cases, comes off as a know it all toolbag – not a fan!

  192. NMR says:

    Good stuff, AJS.

  193. NMR says:

    :sending Dejan the vibes:

    I just get him, man.

  194. NMR says:

    My head just exploded.

  195. 21sthebest says:

    Agree NMR. Small sample size which is what I think you’re saying. And as I said, he hasn’t been good since 2011 so I’m skeptical. Has a Drew Sutton feel to me.

  196. Arriba Wilver says:

    I hope you guys are very happy together.

  197. Karen22 says:

    Fabulous column, Dejan! Born & raised & married in Cleveland, but I’ve lived in Steelers Country for almost 30 years now and I totally GET the Pittsburgh thing. Love the city, love the people, love the magic…and magic exists there. I get it.
    ——Pittsburgh Fan from Cleveland

  198. From the beginnings of this blog, I’ve urged readers not to turn the forum into a media discussion except, of course, as it relates to being accountable for my own work. There are places for that. I’d hope this isn’t it.

    Specifically, if you have praise/criticism or whatever for someone from another outlet, chances are excellent they have their own forums where you can share that.

  199. 21sthebest says:

    “I think we have become so fascinated with speed that we forget the most important ingrediant to being a good pitcher is actually be able to pitch. ”

    I don’t know who you’re talking about Nate but that’s not me. My only point with velocity is pretty much like you said – it allows you to sometimes get away with mistakes.

  200. Nate83 says:

    NMR I think they had just as small if not less of a margin for error last year. I remember a ton of games they protected a 1 or 2 run lead. They came in and shut the door consistantly. I could be wrong and really don’t have the time to go back and look but it doesn’t feel anywhere near what it felt like for the first 110 games last year where you could just go to sleep with a 2 run lead in the 7th inning.

  201. The above reply was written in the most lighthearted way imaginable. I’ll assume my seat in the corner for failing to include a smiley face.

  202. Thundercrack says:

    Thanks Jandy.

  203. Nate83 says:

    I’ve been to that website before. Thanks for sharing. I love this type of stuff. I don’t usually have time to look at it closely. They give good descriptions when you hoover over the columns. I found it interesting that it looks like Clint has actually protected his bullpen pretty good this year. Despite the high number of innings. They have entered in low leverage situations less then most teams and they rarely come in with RISP compared to other teams. They also remarkably had fewer consectutive games pitched occurances then most teams.

  204. NMR says:

    Nate, I don’t think using last year as a baseline for bullpen success is a good idea at all.

    You’re going to be disappointed.

  205. Arriba Wilver says:

    Personally, I was commenting on something I thought was a slanderous comment on a Pittsburgh Steeler. Doesn’t matter where it occurred. If you want to set up rules for what can discussed here that’s certainly your prerogative.

  206. Nate83 says:

    I don’t expect that level. I expect them to be above league average and they simply are not in my opinion. The “blown save” stat is way up compared to last year. If you take a closer look at the stats bpn provided in that link you will see they have not had low leverage situations all that often compared to league average.

    You should be able to protect a 2 run lead for 3 innings especially if your team is scoring during those innings as well. It’s not only costing them games but effecting later games because they are a) using more pitchers to finish the game off because the first guy didn’t get it done or b) going into extra innings to win or lose a game they should have won in regulation.

  207. Arriba Wilver says:

    It’s not a media issue.

  208. Nate83 says:

    Interesting fact about Mr. Tony Gwynn I didn’t know. He was a two athlete star in college. Actually may have been good enough to make the NBA out of San Diego State but decided Baseball was his meal ticket. I guess he picked the right fork in the road.

  209. NMR says:

    Nate, leverage describes the “tenseness” of a situation in which a pitcher enters the game. Basically judges the chances of a teams probability of winning switching.

    So the fact that the Pirates have the 5th most high leverage situations and the least low leverage situtions speaks to the difficult conditions they have faced.

  210. Brandie says:

    Bless his giant heart. Prayers and vibes aplenty for Uncle Revvie!!!

  211. Bizrow says:


  212. Brandie says:


    Put “Whatever It Takes” above my desk at work. Thank you do very much for the excellent column DK.

  213. Bizrow says:

    Randy Wolf has been DFA’d by the Marlins, sure glad it happened AFTER we visited there ;-)

  214. Thundercrack says:

    This explains a lot.

  215. Nate83 says:

    Oops had it backwards :) I would like to say I knew that and was trying to sneak one by you but I was just being ignorant.

    I still think they need to be better.

  216. Arriba Wilver says:


  217. Bizrow says:

    He only struck out 424 times in 20 years.

    Pedro might reach that number in a single season ;-)

  218. Arriba Wilver says:

    No problem with that. ;-)

  219. Nate83 says:

    He only had 3 or more stikeouts in 1 game once in his career. Only had 2 strike out 32 times in his 20 year career.

  220. The Gunner says:

    Aw Biz, it will take K-dro at least 2 seasons to hit that #

  221. NMR says:

    Ha, no worries buddy. I had to use the google machine to make sure I was viewing that correctly.

    I should’ve been clearer from the start…I certainly agree that they need to be better. I just don’t necessarilly think their performance has been accurately characterized by that stat that keeps getting passed around. Especially as it projects for the rest of the season.

  222. NMR says:

    I laughed!

  223. Maz in Iowa says:

    I like being a part of the home crowd as well.Living in Iowa there aren’t very many fans that aren’t Cub or Card fans.I like the people on this blog ….even though a few have have thrown darts in my direction.Yinz are pretty knowledgeable fans.Hats off.

  224. Thundercrack says:


    And I know that I will refrain from proclaiming that The Final Word was the ratings winner of the key demographic segment.



  225. Maz in Iowa says:

    Huge win by the USA in the World Cup in a game they were not supposed to win.

  226. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Only me lately DK, but I had to say it first

  227. Wild Bill says:

    Love this, Dave. Captures how I feel from Central Pa.

  228. DJ says:

    Relentless: We cannot “shop” Nisky or Orpik for either players or picks, as you suggest, because they are UFAs.

    I agree with you on Nisky’s and Jussi’s values. At those prices, if they are realistic, I would not sign either.

  229. Roger says:



    I was speaking of trading their rights before free agency opens. The return is going to be draft picks, not players.

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