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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Morning Java: The Penguins’ butchery

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Monday column is about what I love about soccer, what I hate about soccer, and what I love and hate about the general American reaction to soccer.

Oh, and it’s also about these two fruit bowls that drive me nuts …


At any rate, on a day dominated by soccer across our country, there also was the small matter of this U.S.-Portugal tie that … well, you saw it. Unreal.

Here’s the Trib’s sports cover this morning …

Next up, of course, is the deciding match against Germany at noon Thursday. Here are the official World Cup 2014 page and the U.S. Soccer page.

Meanwhile, on the home soccer front …

The Riverhounds are just awful. And their coach is ‘disgusted,’ beat man Matt Grubba reports from Highmark Stadium after the latest loss.

Blogginess from the scene: So, the Riverhounds are just awful. Oh, wait, you just read that? Well, I’ll try to expound, but it won’t be necessary. … When you see a team forcefully head the ball into its own goal, you generally don’t have to expound. But that happened. It did. Saw it with my own eyes. … The back line has gotten better, Niko Katic assured me before the match, but it still needs so much strategic enforcement that it’s crippled the areas where the Hounds should have been good. Rob Vincent, in particular, was a disaster. That wasn’t always the case, but it was on this day. … So, wait, the MLS’ Houston Dynamo flew up five guys to help the Hounds, and the Hounds dressed only two of them? Because? … A lot of bad things have happened to this team, but no decision has been dumber than reducing the role of reigning league MVP Jose Angulo. Angulo had another strong match, even apart from his goal, and showed yet again why all the offense should have continued being funneled through him rather than newcomer Collins John. The latter has no height, no ability to win a 50/50 ball, usually not even much of a will to gain body position. And yet since he was curiously named captain, all he’s done is call for passes relentlessly that, amazingly, never make it through. If those balls were going Angulo’s way, the offense would look much different. … I didn’t recognize the Matt Dallman I watched yesterday. Not at all. Can no longer get a routine cross past the first defender. And this from the league’s reigning assist leader. … Maybe I’ll stop here. Bad team. Many problems.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Riverhounds page.

The Penguins will visit Winnipeg on Nov. 6. The rest of the newly released NHL schedule is covered by Josh Yohe, if you’d actually want to know more.

It’s draft week and, despite some terrible recent drafting, the new front office says it plans to keep the same approach, by Rob Rossi.

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

Brandon Cumpton cuts down the Cubs, by Rob Biertempfel at Wrigley Field.

Andrew McCutchen talks World Cup, by Biertempfel.

Reese McGuire powers West Virginia, by Ryan Pritt in Charleston.

Here’s Cubs news from the Chicago Tribune.

Here’s Rays news from the Tampa Tribune.

Here are official game highlights on

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

>> Chuck Noll and Terry Bradshaw, a complicated duo, by columnist Joe Starkey.

The Steelers are implementing helmet-cam technology, by Mark Kaboly.

Josh Miller authors a book about the Nation, by Jason Mackey.

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

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

>> Thank you, as always, for reading.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

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


  1. Bizrow says:

    This boils a bit down to goal diffential, and who beat who, does it not?

    This was a disappointment tie, but its the WORLD CUP

    Not for the faint hearted

    USA has a shot

  2. DJ says:

    Heard it was latest goal scored in history of World Cup.

    And Portugal was undefeated when scoring first.

    Hope we don’t look back on this as an opportunity missed.

  3. wvstarship says:

    Uh…why is this column called ‘The Penguins Butchery’ when it has almost nothing to do with the Pens? Just askin’.

    I always watch the World Cup and enjoy it; it’s a great game when played properly. But I have tried to watch U.S. based soccer, mostly MLS, and I’m bored to tears in no time flat. The level of play is, in a word, awful. Until we have at least one established pro soccer league in this country that looks something like what is played in Europe the sport will always be an afterthought here.

  4. Dave G says:

    I wondered that myself …

  5. Richard says:

    I have no interest in the World Cup or soccer period.

  6. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Video to come.

  7. DJ says:

    Thanks for sharing, Richard.

    We were wondering when you’d weigh in.

  8. Arriba Wilver says:

    If it makes you feel any better, I won’t.


  9. DJ says:

    Enjoyed the Portugal – U.S. match.

    Raul Meireles’ performance alone was worthy of an Oscar.

  10. DJ says:

    We keep a bowl of fruit in our kitchen.

    Fruit is/are good.

  11. Ghost says:

    Howdy Biz. Still doing the roll call at least once a fortnight? My Vegas days are over. In El Cerrito, CA, now (wonderful place, even if thick with Raider fans ;-) ) Please do add El Cerrito, if still keeping the roll. THANKS!

  12. Luiz Mello says:

    About this excerpt from your column: “I hate offsides. Not the spirit of the rule. I understand why it’s always been there. Rather, it’s that the default mode is to raise the flag on every close call. It should be the opposite. Always reward ambition.”

    Actually, it should work the way you wish. Not because referees are supposed to reward the attacking side, but because referees are only supposed to call an offence if said offence effectively happened. An offside should never be called, then, unless officials are sure it happened.

    Of course, this is way easier to say, than to get right by human beings in split second, real time decisions.

    Interestingly, this may have worked out for the US yesterday. In Dempsey’s goal, I thought DeAndre Yedlin was slightly offside on the wing when he got the pass that initiated the play. Most attention was understandably given to Dempsey’s position in the box (and Dempsey was perfectly onside, showing sharp positional awareness at that) and some did not notice Yedlin might have been offside instead.

    [And what a match!]

  13. Richard says:

    DJ…glad to make your day.

  14. JoeyBats says:

    BUCCOS — Down on the Farm

    (We’ll keep you apprised of how some of the top prospects are doing; …..this week the PITCHERS. Games played through June 22).

    P- Casey Sadler – Triple A – Indianapolis – Throws: R
    W- 7, L – 1, ERA 2.34…..G 10, IP 61.2, H 50, ER 18, K 40, BB 13, HR 5, BAA .227, WHIP 1.02
    P- Vin Mazzaro – Triple A – Indianapolis – Throws : R
    W- 2, L – 0, 2 Save 4…ERA 0.51…G 11, IP 17.2, H 9, ER 2, K 12, BB 6, HR 0, BAA .150, WHIP 0.85
    P – AJ Morris – Triple A – Indianapolis – Throws: R ……(3 games pitched @ Indy, the rest @ Altoona)
    W- 6, L – 3 ERA 1.56…..G 16, IP 75, H 58, ER 13, K 53, BB 23, HR 4, BAA .215, WHIP 1.05
    P – Nick Kingham – Triple A – Indianapolis– Throws: R….. (2 games pitched @ Indy, rest @ Altoona)
    W- 2, L – 7, ERA 2.65…..G 14, IP 85, H 80, ER 25, K 64, BB 26, HR 3, BAA .248, WHIP 1.35
    P – Joely Rodriguez – Double A –Altoona – Throws : L
    W- 3, L – 6, ERA 4.48…..G 14, IP 76.1, H 83, ER 38, K 39, BB 23, HR 3, BAA .283, WHIP 1.39
    Adrian Sampson – Double A – Altoona – Throws: R
    W- 5, L – 4, ERA 2.39…..G 15, IP 86.2, H 73, ER 23, K 65, BB 19, HR 5, BAA .230, WHIP 1.05
    P – Tyler Glasnow – Single A – Bradenton – Throws R
    W- 4, L – 3, ERA 1.66…..G 10, IP 48.2, H 26, ER 9, K 55, BB 30, HR 0, BAA .160, WHIP 1.15
    P – Luis Heredia – Single A – West Virginia – Throws : R
    W- 0, L – 2, ERA 4.94…..G 6, IP 23.2, H 22, ER 13, K 16, BB 15, HR 3, BAA .242, WHIP 1.56

    P – Mitch Keller – Throws: R …..Rd. #2….pick 64…….SIGNED…..GCL Pirates (Rookie League)
    P- Trey Supak – Throws: R ……Rd. #2 …..pick # 73 …..SIGNED…. GCL Pirates (Rookie League)
    P – Tyler Eppler – Throws: R…Rd. # 6…pick# 191…..SIGNED…Jamestown (NY Penn League)
    W- 0, L – 0, ERA 1.29…..G 2, IP 7, H 2, ER 1, K 4, BB 0, HR 1, BAA .083, WHIP 0.29
    PS: Still can’t get over that last minute, errrrrr……. almost last second US-Portugal TIE. :-(

  15. Wild Bill says:

    A very good love/hate column, DK. I love the athleticism and creativity of world level “football”. But it is more than offset by the faking of injury and embellishment. It’s just plain unmanly. Until that changes, I might watch a U.S. game as I did yesterday, but that’s it.

  16. The US has apparently more opportunities than naught to advance on Thursday vs. Germany since they did tie with Portugal yesterday whereas Portugal is barely alive, or so the commentators tell us, while it is disappointing that they didn’t win outright due to Ronaldo’s last minute tying goal. Now what I don’t completely get is why that is so.

  17. Thundercrack says:

    ‘I hate that it’s still such a polarizing subject in our nation’
    – Really? A sport is a such a polarizing subject in our nation.

    ‘I love that someone today will call soccer boring and be a fool for doing so.’
    Well there you go. Maybe that adds to the polarization. Those poor soccer fans get to label people a fool just because they think that the sport is boring to them. Having a personal opinion gets you labeled a fool.

    I love baseball. Makes me wonder if I ever thought someone was a fool when they told me that they thought baseball was too slow, too long, and didn’t like the game. If I did, I’ll try to be a person and a better sports fan. For the sake of our nation.

  18. radio wave says:

    Love this, and not taken for granted. Thanks

  19. radio wave says:

    I don’t know the first thing about soccer. Was surprised they playto a tie. No tiebreaker? Hope U.S. does well.

  20. JAL says:

    JAL’s Black Magic Woman Morning Links

    Black Magic Woman 1968 Written by Peter Green and charted in England but the big hit version was by Santana in 1970


    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: The Moves the Pirates Will Have to Make This Week

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Brandon Cumpton leads Pirates to 2-1 victory
    An interview with Alen Hanson

    7 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Pirates 2 Cubs 1

    8 Green Weenie

    Bucs Win Duel With Cubs 2-1, Take Series



    10 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates Nearing .500 With Win Over Cubs

    11 Rumbunter

    Pirates GM Neal Huntington Show Recap

    Pirates Josh Bell Is Having A Monster 2014

  21. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates’ Tony Watson is Best Left-Handed Reliever in NL

    13 CBS Sports

    Rays v Pirates Game Preview

    14 Chicago Sun Times

    Hammel strong, but gets no support in 2-1 Cubs’ loss

    15 Pirates Site

    Cumpton’s scoreless start leads Bucs to series win

    After slow start, Mercer heating up through June

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Reds’ Jay Bruce can see payoff coming

    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Brewers continue to rule on the road

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Cards beat Phils but lose Garcia, Wacha to DL

    Strauss: Cards must make adjustments

    19 Fangraphs

    The Best of FanGraphs: June 16-20, 2014

    20 Baseball Prospectus

    The Week in Quotes

  22. With Fred and Pepe, that makes it two Brazilians you hate. :)

    I can understand why anyone would hate Fred for diving. I do, too, hate his diving (not necessarily him, after all he’s been always innefective against my team), and not only against Croatia. At the time of the “foul”, I was complaining about him trying to get a penalty, instead of going for the goal, which was a good possibility — despite Marcelo’s diving next game being a better goal possibility before he fell down. Fred got lucky the ref was gullible enough. Marcelo didn’t. I just don’t understand the “cheap-shotting” part. I may be forgetting some play, but I really can’t remember it.

    As for players writhing in “pain”, the best solution is to stop the time when play is halted. There will be no need to try and “burn” minutes (actually, seconds each time) by laying on the field or faking injuries or the goalie taking his time to put the ball into play again. It won’t be 90 minutes anymore, but something like 60 or 70 would mean more playing time than the current 90-minute format, that yeald something like 50-60 (ok, sometimes 65) minutes of playing time. Never will happen, though. Never.

    (But there’s your answer for DeCastro.) :)

    Highmark stadium is one of thenicest stadiums I’ve seem, and I’ve been to my fair share of soccer stadiums around the world. The only problem is that, even during the season, it’s not always open, with, say, a team store. I wanted to buy a team jersey, never managed to, because the stadium was closed and empty (even though the team was practicing like an hour earlier; I could watch them from Mt. Washington). One employer advised me to try at Station Square. Also, no luck.

  23. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    2014 Steelers season senarios: Le’Veon Bell rushes for 1,000 yards

    Weekend Checkdown: the top stories of the week

    Steelers taking a ‘whatever it takes’ mentality into 2014 season

    New book details former punter’s journey to Steelers bars across the country


    22 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    United States 2 Portugal 2 – Stats & Post-Match Projections

    South Korea 2 Algeria 4 – Stats & Post-Match Projections

    Belgium 1 Russia 0 – Stats & Post-Match Projections

    23 BBC Football

    World Cup 2014: Roy Hodgson asks Steven Gerrard to play on.

    World Cup 2014: Van Gaal gets Dutch dazzling again – Seedorf

    World Cup 2014: Experts have their say on England’s failure

    24 World Soccer

    World Cup Day 11

    25 Pensburgh

    Penguins 2014-15 Schedule Released

  24. Roger says:

    Soooooo, since I think soccer is boring that makes me a fool? Really? Really? So having an opinion makes me a fool? Good to know. DK, I have tried several times to watch the World Cup and try to get the ‘excitement.’ I just don’t get it. I respect the endurance these athletes have. I respect that they have to work extremely hard to score. But it’s boring. I compare it to NASCAR. I respect the skill involved in doing the competition but I find going around and around to be boring. The main problem that I am having is that people I look forward to following on twitter, reading their columns, listening to on the radio, etc are shoving this soccer down my throat. The games are all over ESPN . When the games aren’t on, Sportscenter is doing a preview or recap. I turn on the radio to hear bout the Steelers, Bucs, and Pens and I am getting World Cup recaps and previews. It is shoved down my throat! Hell, there was even a pirates article bout the players following the World Cup . WHO CARES! ARRRRGGGG! I know this will get me killed but I am so glad that the US didn’t win yesterday bc hopefully this abusive coverage that is shoved down my throat will die down. Thank god this is only every 4 years. But, I’m just a fool……

  25. Matt hoffman says:

    I agree WB. I would like to suggest that every time a player falls to the ground holding his shin and grimmacing like his leg snapped in 3 places; he has to spend the rest of the game in a penalty box enduring continual reruns of “The Partridge Family”.

  26. Arriba Wilver says:


  27. Arriba Wilver says:

    Starkey’s column about Noll-Bradshaw was excellent.

  28. DJ says:

    On CineSport and coach quest, maybe we commission a preseason bobblehead for Rutherford.

    Although remaining optimistic, easy to be pessimistic.

  29. TJA says:

    Maybe not a great comparison, but yesterday’s U.S.A. draw w/Portugal made me think of Sid Bream coming around 3rd base…. Just tore your heart out with just seconds left. Have a great Monday, Everyone!

  30. Wild Bill says:

    Love it, Matt. Maybe the penalty box could be painted in pastels, too.

  31. Sisyphus says:

    Nothing wrong with preferring other sports to soccer. It’s starting to grow on me.

    As for the game being all over, well, do you think that your dislike for soccer should overrule the desires of all of the people who love it? From the ratings it’s clear that the World Cup has established a large and growing audience in the U.S. Should ESPN drop the NBA because I don’t care for it?

    As for soccer being forced down your throat, well, that’s absurd. You have a TV remote. You can change the station on your radio. Nobody his holding you down and forcing you to read about soccer from Twitter, your newspaper, or any other source. Read the articles that interest you, skip the ones that don’t. That’s what I do.

    For boring, give me the following sequence: Touchdown, commercials, point after touchdown, commercials, kickoff, commercials. That pretty much sums up the state of the NFL for me; I haven’t watched an entire NFL game that didn’t involve the Steelers for over 20 years now, and I fail to make it through an entire Steelers game as often as not. I was a big fan of the NFL back when it was a sport. Now that it’s a TV show, not so much. So I don’t watch, and I read only a few articles about it. What I don’t do is whine and complain that I am bombarded with Steelers coverage.

  32. DJ says:

    Outside Polanco and JHay, best story so far has been Locke / Worley / Cumpton.

    A very pleasant (and needed) surprise.

  33. Arriba Wilver says:


  34. Tony Clifton says:


    The comment “I love that someone today will call soccer boring and be a fool for doing so” is really something that makes me think less of you. Boring is an opinion, and everyone has a right to decide what is and isn’t boring to them. Calling them a fool because they don’t agree with you is petty and defensive, and frankly I’ve always thought you were above that sort of thing.

    As for soccer, I’ve tried many times. I’ve tried watching international games (haven’t yet tried watching MLS), and I really do find it dull. The field is so overwhelmingly large that I rarely see scoring chances. It’s not my cup of tea, and I find it boring to watch. I don’t think having that opinion makes me a fool, but perhaps I’m just a faithless heathen in the eyes of the evangelical.

  35. dcpinpgh says:

    if the reports are true, offering a coach two years and an option for a third, just backs up that the GM will only be there 2 years, maybe 3.

    Obviously, working as the Pens GM or coach is not a job most people want. The question has to be asked. Is it something going on at the top or is something going on with the players? There appears to be 5 constant in this equation. Mario, Burkle, Morehouse, Sid and Geno. At least one member of that group is making the Pens organization toxic….

  36. TJA says:


  37. TJA says:

    Well said and very, very true.

  38. DJ says:

    Interesting tidbit about Black Magic Woman, JAL. Santana’s “Soul Sacrifice” at Woodstock an all-time favorite.

    Thanks for sharing.

  39. Pucknutz says:

    I was going to comment on your column, but I really just do not care even one little bit either way.

    As for the Pens butchery….
    I think they have lost their minds up there at Consol. They have mangled this from the firing of Shero on.
    Rutherford is appearing more and more like a guy riding around the rink in a clown car, But…
    as you note, bring on Ulfie and Tocchett and all will be forgotten.

  40. Jandy says:

    June 22, 2014 at 7:48 PM

    Finally heard from Revvie. I got back from Ocean City around 4ish and was doing laundry and putting stuff away. Got the urge to check my e-mail. Revvie just got home today after…are you sitting down? FIVE bypasses! Ykies! Thank God something “didn’t feel right” and he went in to see what was going on. Thanks for all you Loonies who sent prayers and good vibes for Revvie….prayers answered. Please keep sending them for his continued recovery.

    This is a repost of one I made yesterday, for an update on Revvie

  41. Arriba Wilver says:


  42. Dom says:

    Thanks for the update. Free Casey Sadler!

  43. Arriba Wilver says:

    I love watching golf on TV.

    I don’t care what anyone else thinks about it.

    I hate watching NASCAR.

    I don’t care what anyone else thinks about it.

  44. DJ says:

    JAL: Since you got me on Santana, just had to post this. Forgot how young Carlos was at the time.

  45. TJA says:

    Thanks, Jandy for the update. Wow! No more chips and dip for a while for Revvie.

    Hope you had a nice vacation!

  46. Pucknutz says:

    “At least one member of that group is making the Pens organization toxic….”

    Maybe two…

  47. DJ says:

    Thanks, Jands.

    Hope he’s back to his irascible self soon. Miss his posts.

  48. Jandy says:

    Thanks, guys! I miss him too. He’s family.

    Vacation was fun, but way too short…gotta go back some time :)

  49. Dom says:

    That is one scary looking breakfast.

  50. Jim S says:

    Get well soon, Lucky!

  51. Jim S says:

    Remember when the Pens were an organization that was emulated throughout the league? Not that long ago. How quickly a pro franchise can lose its way.

  52. likeabugonarug says:

    Has anyone else seen the “Despicable Me” minions doing their interpretation of a soccer foul? I saw it through Facebook, but I guess it is a commercial? Anyways, it is very funny! Google it.


  53. Arriba Wilver says:

    When I was selling my house I was told that, for staging purposes, a bowl of green apples was very pleasing and inviting, (those soccer nazis are unscrupulous). ;-)

  54. Tom P. says:

    Get well soon, Lucky. Take good care of yourself.

  55. hockeymonster says:

    DK, leave the Ulf pipedream alone. Please. He wasn’t even top assistant with NYR. Scott Arniel was. He has HC experience and if he picked up AV’s overachieving techniques than he’s worth a interview. So is Doug Houda now that crawford took his name out of the running-dont blame him by the way. And if someone wants to come up with an intriguing story you would look into why Scott Neidermeyer isn’t being talked to.

    Mike Kitchen, who is a Quenneville disciple is worth talking to as well. Same with Brad Shaw.

    But please leave the Ulf alone. He wouldn’t want 2 years either and he wasn’t even top assistant with AV.

  56. Tom P. says:

    I thought the same thing. Although I slept a little better last night than I did that night 20+ years ago.

  57. Jim S says:


    The US is in a group of 4 countries (Germany, Portugal, Ghana). We each play the other 3 teams in our group, and the top 2 countries from the group advance to the round of 16. In group play, we get 3 points for a win, and 1 for a tie.

    Right now, Germany and the US have 4 points while Portugal and Ghana have 1 point. The US and Germany will play one another, and Ghana plays Portugal. Those gems will conclude pool play.

    Goal differential comes into play for tiebreakers. If the US beats or ties Germany, we advance for certain. If we lose to Germany, and Ghana beats Portugal, a very real possibility, a tiebreaker will be required to decide whether the US or Ghana advances. It is unlikely Portugal will advance, since they lost to Germany by 4-0.

    I think I have most of that right. Bottom line is the US controls its destiny in that a tie or win puts us in the round of 16. However, Germany is likely to be our toughest opponent in the group.

  58. Jim S says:

    Make him serve the penalty sitting in a large psychedelic bus.

  59. Matt hoffman says:

    Prayers for Lucky!

  60. George Labecki says:

    I love that we live in a country where life is so good that we can debate the merits of being a fan of a game. Seriously, we debate this? And yet I find myself enjoying the moments that I can debate this very subject with the resident seventeen-year-old, the kid who plays high school football and baseball yet loves the World Cup and European soccer.

    I hate that I never developed an understanding or true appreciation of the game. I’ve tried. I went to Penn State when the Bahrs were there; went to games that were highly touted, and always walked away wondering what the big deal was. But that’s on me. I wasn’t hamstrung by soccer snobs way back in the ‘70s; I just didn’t get it, so I quit trying.

    I love that the resident seventeen-year-old is bent on changing my opinion. Hey, my wife and I know that a little over a year from now, he’s sitting in a dorm room, so we enjoy any opportunity to spend family time. And if that means having him explain the nuances of soccer to us, if that means a lesson on the various leagues and who plays for whom, then that’s just marvelous. The older I get, the more I believe that the true beauty of sport is that it serves as the fulcrum for family experiences. That’s why we take an annual pilgrimage to Heinz Field to measure his growth by having him pose next to the statue of Mr. Rooney. That’s why we’re giving the kid his Pittsburgh fix by going home for a few games vs. the Mets. It is all about the family.

    I hate that I have to imagine soccer as ice hockey played slowly. I watched the gut-wrenching Portugal goal yesterday, and I swear I saw it coming. I, of course, don’t know the players names, but I saw the defense letting a man alone in the slot rather than take the body. But maybe that’s the first step for me getting to appreciate if not fully understand the game.

    I love Tommy Smyth. We did a cruise a few years ago and looked forward to watching his Auld Onion Bag. He reduced a lot of the game into things that even I could get. He did it again after yesterday’s game. The one point that I found most interesting: why not just kick the ball in the stands, give someone a nice souvenir, and have the clock run out before they could get a new ball in play. Geeze, that sense.

    I hate that there’s no real clock that I can watch. What’s with this extra time? One thing the NFL got from the AFL was an official clock that we could all follow, and what in improvement that was. And if you went to an NHL game back when they counted up to 20 minutes (and had to sit there doing the math to figure out how much time was left), maybe you can appreciate the improvement when they started counting down. How much would at least the American perception of soccer improve if we could watch, tension filled, as a real clock ticks down?

    I love that most of the blog readers probably looked at how bloody long this post is and just skipped it.

    I hate that there will still be a snarky few who will have an opinion to post even though they looked at how bloody long this post is and just skipped it.

    I love that we live in a country where life is so good that we can take the time to even post this.

    Enjoy the World Cup, or don’t. But my family will be there, and maybe I’ll even get to understand just a little bit of the game.

  61. Stuart says:

    My post is about Penguin’s butchery, and photo journalism. The Trib has shown a photo of Pens GM JR in the foreground with this slightly out-of-focus figure in the background. I presume it is David Morehouse. What excellent symbolism! Morehouse portrayed as lurking in the background. Does that mean the GM is really a straw dog? Why do the Pens need a non-hockey CEO? Is Morehouse hired to be the body guard for Burkle’s money?

    The photograph is perfect. It sums up what I feel about the Pens right now. I think the butchery will continue, as there are obviously too many cooks spoiling the broth right now.


  62. DJ says:

    Very nice perspective, George.

  63. Jandy says:

    Excellent post, George. I don’t watch soccer. Never got into it, either. I don’t like it, I don’t hate it. it’s just there for me.
    But the fact that it is something for your family to discuss/watch together, that’s just beautiful.

    Why do people feel the need to be hatin’ something they don’t understand?
    or belittle something they don’t like?
    or just constantly try to wiz in someone else’s Cheerios?

    Let it be.

  64. Bob says:

    Yedlin was certainly offsides on the Dempsey goal. Not even close.

  65. Steve B. says:

    DK, The whole “love or hate” soccer topic doesn’t really apply to me as I simply don’t watch it very often and didn’t grow up with it in my life enough to care one way or another.

    I do however find this movie clip funny, as I have a feeling it sums up both a soccer haters feelings on the issue and helps explains the whole; “what is a Yinzer?” topic as well.

  66. Arriba Wilver says:

    I see more defensiveness (from soccer lovers/likers) than “hate” from others, but that’s just me. Like most things, there’s 2 sides.

    Definitely get the family dynamic George is talking about. Could be fishing.

  67. Arriba Wilver says:


  68. JohninOshkosh says:

    The NHL awards are tomorrow tonight in Vegas.

    Phillip Phillips is going to perform throughout the ceremony. Now, there is something to hate.

  69. JoeyBats says:

    Welcome….enjoy doing it!

  70. I am Brazilian, I like soccer more than football (even though football is my fourth favorite sport), but… I loved the lines!

  71. hockeymonster says:

    Now Dreger saying that they’re talking to WHL coach Mike Johnston. And the hits keep coming.

    Mario, fire millhouse and call me. Or call me so i can fire him. (412) mon-star

    We can still fix this once and for all. By the way, would put my professional resume up against Millhouse and anyone else you have working there. And my hockey resume isn’t bad either ;)

    Before it’s too late….

  72. JohninOshkosh says:

    Lucky, we all love you.

    Take care. I know you will recover quickly.

  73. I just remembered a story about soccer haters. Last year, at PNC Park, I sat right in front of a father and two kids. Since it was the first game of a doubleheader, there were few people there and my wife hadn’t arrived yet, because, well, she was at Kaufmann’s — she’d arrive for the second game, but actually arrived minutes before the walk-off single on the first game.

    I could overhear most of their conversation between the children. And they started talking about soccer. One of them described his “painful” experience while watching a game at their school. He said it was so boring it even finished 0-0. He took one game he saw at his school for the whole game, and that was it for him.

    Also, he said soccer was boring during a baseball game! Don’t get me wrong: I love baseball, but I can understand why I get those same stares when I mention here that I like baseball, because if you don’t get the game it can be really boring.

    So I think it’s the same thing: You have to “get” the game, be it soccer, baseball, hockey, football, maybe even golf.

  74. Jandy says:

    UGH! That just killed it!

  75. Jandy says:


  76. Jandy says:


  77. Andrew says:

    The MLS is obviously not the most technical of leagues and teams surrender possession like a hockey game but the athleticism is too high of a caliber to call the league abysmal. The MLS attendance is comparable to second tier European leagues, what it lacks is an established hierarchy of teams, a promotion and regulation system, and better salaries for players.

    Penalty of countries have developed very good national teams and players without quality domestic leagues, pretty much every African nation does this. Croatia have the best attacking midfield in Brazil and their domestic league has an UEFA Coefficient in the 20s.

  78. Milo Hamilton says:

    The new format even makes JAL’s morning links backwards. Nothing like change for change sake.


  79. Jandy says:

    I STILL want a friggin LIKE button !!!



    Interesting that Dan Bylsma was passed up for about three coaching vacancies since he was dismissed. I didn’t think Florida was the right fit for Dan, but I didn’t think the Panthers would pass up the opportunity to bring in a coach of his pedigree into the fold. Carolina took Bill Peters, and Vancouver is expected to announce Willie Desjardins shortly. With the Penguins as the only team still looking, I think Dan Bylsma may have to take a job in the broadcast booth for a while until a good opportunity presents itself.

    And Rutherford… sigh. It seems as if the Pens new GM operates only on his schedule and only at his carefully measured pace. I’m not going to say a more aggressive approach could have snared Desjardins away from Vancouver, but I dare say it would have given Whiteboard Willie a bit more to think about. Now, Rutherford is reviewing his A-list and adding some candidates from the B-list. When the A-list includes names like Crawford, Wilson, and Maclean, I shudder to think who now makes the cut.

    If I were Rutherford, I’d put the search on hold. There’s no pressure to beat any other NHL team out for a candidate, so don’t just hire someone to meet a self-imposed deadline. With three days until the Entry Draft and 11 free agents still outstanding, there’s more important work to be done…

  81. Andrew says:

    Adam Schefter: “World Cup, Wimbledon, NBA Draft, NBA free agency, opening of ESPN’s new studios…a rare time the NFL takes a backseat.”

    You can get back to coverage of football in shorts and Ron Jaworski declaring Colin Kaepernick “elite,” soon.

  82. Milo Hamilton says:

    Mahone must not have been available.

  83. Ellie says:

    Or maybe all of the above.

    Was this truly an organization everyone else wanted to emulate? I’m not being snarky. *We* all thought so, but then, *we’re* Pens fans. Looking back, the feedback from outside always had a lot of “whiner” and “entitled” in it.

  84. Scott says:

    You know, I think I finally understand the impulse some people have to bash soccer whenever the subject is brought up. Because after watching the game yesterday – a fantastic, entertaining contest – all I want to do is bash soccer right now.

    Here’s the logic, from my perspective at least: We as sports fans want our sports to MAKE SENSE. Much about soccer doesn’t make sense. That frustrates us, and as reasonable people who want to see things get better, we respond by speaking out about the things we don’t like about soccer, in the hope that someday things will change.

    So, DK, there’s the answer to your burning question about where the unprovoked hatred comes from.

    I would love to love soccer. And I do enjoy the drama of the World Cup. But I hate the stupid running clock. I hate adding some arbitrary amount of stoppage time at the end of halves. I hate the absurd amount of diving and faking injuries – that’s by far the worst thing about the game. I hate how close the penalty kicks are – they’re so easy that even a middle-aged columnist can score one against a professional goalie. I hate the card system for penalties, which is based entirely on arbitrary judgment calls and provides situations where the penalty doesn’t fit the crime (two fouls causes a one-game suspension?!) I hate the uneven distribution of teams across groups – there shouldn’t be a “group of death” if the teams were properly organized.

    And don’t even get me started on the corrupt organization that is FIFA. Yeesh.

    I say all this because I’d truly like to see soccer become a better game. I’d watch a lot more if these issues were cleaned up. I can’t speak for everybody else, but my criticisms, at least, come from a place of wanting to genuinely improve the sport. If soccer fans get offended by that, oh well. Make your sport better and a lot of the complaining will go away.

  85. Scott says:

    Totally agree. Reverse-order comments are the worst.

  86. Scott says:

    I don’t think it’s accurate to say Bylsma was passed up for anything. For all we know, he took himself out of the running because teams wouldn’t meet his salary demands. He’s still one of the hottest commodities out there, and given that’s he set to make $4 million from the Pens over the next two years, it doesn’t make sense for him to take a job elsewhere unless they totally overpay him. So he can afford to be selective and wait for the right opportunity.

  87. Ellie says:

    FWIW, new LIFO post order — hate it. Logical floe if conversation progresses from first post onward. Please revert!

  88. Tom P. says:

    Here is a nice article on the College World Series Finals between Vanderbilt and Virginia that starts tonight (best of 3).

    I went to Vanderbilt in the early 90’s; thus my rooting interest. The baseball team was terrible then. I only went to one game (in order to kill time in the week before graduation). From the article, it seems that two programs are being rewarded for doing things the right way, on and off the field.

  89. Ellie says:

    “[F]low of …”


  90. JohninOshkosh says:


  91. Jandy says:

    I’m thanking God it isn’t Justin Beiber!

  92. BillyBaduka says:

    Take care and get well soon Lucky.

  93. Jefe25 says:

    I’ve been reading DK’s blog since he was with the paper that shall not be named. Until now, I’ve never felt the need to post. I prefer to read and enjoy (or not, on occasion). I’m prompted to write today as I REALLY don’t like the last post first format that Dejan proposed and began yesterday (I thought/hope on a trial basis). The thread was so easy for me to follow in the first post first format. Now, I find continuity very difficult. Just two cents worth from a cranky old guy who hates change. As to the posting of the baseball thread, I’m happy to see it whenever it arrives. Regarding the use of bold type by our host, I think occasional use carries more weight. It loses effectiveness when commonly used. Biz, for your list, I’m in San Antonio.

  94. hockeymonster says:

    Or maybe FLA and other teams thought he wasn’t worth the 2M+ per? And with all the UFA’s we have and the need to bring in more than a few UFA’s i would say hiring a coach is a priority.

  95. War_Horse says:

    Me too, Jandy!

  96. Andrew says:

    Reverse order is fine for game threads, but it is a bit obtuse for the threads that are more discussion focused.

  97. GAWTS2009 says:

    Are you watching the same Labron channel I am? I mean ESPN… Yes, it has been nice to only hear about Lebron 1/3 of the time for a change.

  98. hockeymonster says:

    Agreed! Good call there.

  99. Arriba Wilver says:

    Your evidence that he’s “one of the hottest commodities out there?” He may be (or not), but is it just based on your opinion?

  100. George Labecki says:

    Alexandre, let me throw another piece into the narrative, and I hope it’s illustrative of a changing dynamic. I once coached football at the high school where my son now plays. Back in the 80’s there was a definite hatred that existed between the two sports and the kids who played them. Soccer kids made comments about the football kids being Neanderthals. Football kids made comments about soccer kids that were meant to challenge their masculinity. When we were watching the games yesterday, my wife asked our son about how his teammates felt about the World Cup. He answered that they all loved watching. From my perspective, that’s a huge change. And we’re not talking about kids who grew up playing soccer but switched later. My son’s a center and the small kid on the line at 220. We’re talking big boys who grew up playing with one hand on the ground, and they’re enjoying the moment.

  101. hockeymonster says:

    You may want to inform them that Ekblad is RH not LH. Minor detail :)

  102. hockeymonster says:

    Thanks for the vote of confidence :)

  103. Baywatch says:

    DJ made the point earlier about how great it’s been having Locke, Worley & Cumpton doing so well here. I figure there’s gonna be a REAL HARD decision to make this week in sending one of those back to Indy when Cole comes back. With Walker coming back, wonder if they’ll surprise us by sending someone other than Snider away? I don’t think it will be Tabata. Tim Williams mentioned the possibility of Barmey, but his on-base is only a few points lower than Snider’s – and his glove is so valuable off the bench.

  104. George, the first time I talked sports with an American was about 25 years ago. Even though it was a family moving into Brazil, they didn’t know anything about soccer, just that they hated it. Nowadays, whenever I stumble into Americans here (I don’t work with expatriates anymore) they are the first ones to bring soccer into conversations. Most of them are not specialists, but they sure do seem to enjoy the game. And right now, during the World Cup, it’s bringing the best from everybody. Your kids are one perfect example of that, but I do think the way you’ve raised them probably has more to do to it. :) Say hi to them for me.

    It’s been a real pleasure to be in a World Cup country, even though I haven’t been able to get tockets (yet). Today, while walking to work, I crossed with some Chilean fans going to their game against the Netherlands. In fact, I saw more Chile jerseys than Brazil ones, and Brazil also plays today, albeit in Brasília.

  105. GAWTS2009 says:

    In soccer the rule for offsides would not be called on Yedlin because he was not involved in the play. This is confusing becuase most times they blow the whistle before the player who is offsides touches the ball. For example, what Dempsy was not offside but say Dempsey had it hit him and it rolled to Yedlin. It would have been called.

  106. GAWTS2009 says:

    not to mention why I struggled understanding Hockey offsides for years.

  107. 21sthebest says:

    Lots of things you could do Bay. I don’t expect to see Snider get DFA’d today since they’re in the AL. Maybe Cumpton goes to the minors or I could even see Gomez getting DFA’d with Cumpton or Worley going to the bullpen depending on when Cole comes back.

    I could see Volquez being on the bubble depending on how he does in the next couple of starts.

  108. Scott says:

    It’s my opinion, based on the sad group of retreads who are still being interviewed for positions (Ron Wilson, Marc Crawford, etc).

  109. The Gunner says:

    If Grilli starts to become a problem due to his recent demotion, he could be a DFA candidate.


    Bylsma did not take himself out of the running and he was not being selective: he interviewed for and was a finalist for the position in Florida. We’ll never know exactly what the deciding factors were in Florida’s decision to go with Gallant (surely, cost could have been a factor), but the Panthers made that decision… not Dan Bylsma.

  111. Jim S says:

    These pitchers for Tampa the next 2 nights – Cobb and Archer – are pretty good pitchers. I know the Ray’s are in last place, but they are no pushover.

  112. Jim S says:

    Good post, George.

  113. Thundercrack says:

    Locke, Worley and Cumpton < Smoltz, Glavine, Maddux


  114. Thundercrack says:

    What do you mean by ‘a problem’?

    Problem in regards to his performance being poor, or as in a problem in the clubhouse?

  115. Thundercrack says:

    Here’s a problem with cutting Gomez and sending Cumpton or Worley to the bullpen.

    We know Gomez can pitch out of the pen. Do we know that about Cumpton or Worley?

    Cumpton had a very good start yesterday. But he has the option so I think he should be the one sent down.
    Give Worley a few more starts – at least to see if he is really this good or can be on a consistent basis.

  116. cmat0829 says:

    Shows how self-absorbed ESPN is that opening up new studios, funded by the obscene subscriber rates it rings out of TV providers, is listed as an event alongside the others.

  117. Thundercrack says:

    I heard their first baseman is really good.



    Fair point, but I don’t think the kind of free agent acquisitions the Penguins will be in the market for (3rd/4th line checking forwards and role players) are too much affected by the coach. If the Penguins were looking for top-line players I’d be inclined to agree, but the reality is that Rutherford needs to be more concerned with who he has in the locker room now and finding a coach who can get the best out of those players than to market a coach to players he hopes to sign.

    And, with the lack of attention placed on the Pens upcoming free agents, I’m not sure which of their own free agents the Pens expect to sign…

  119. cmat0829 says:

    Spot on Jim. If anyone wants a more in-depth description of scenarios, Nate Silver’s 538 via ESPN is all-compassing. Portugal has only a very slim chance. Needs to beat Ghana and have US lose to Germany and make up 5 goal differential (i.e. US lose and Portugal win by combined total of 5 points).

    Ghana a much better chance. They only need to make up 1 goal differential and outscore the US and they advance (assuming US loss and Ghana win). Anything less than Ghana WIN and US loss and it’s US and Germany advancing.

  120. The Gunner says:


    I meant an attitude problem. It is a possibility but probably low probability.

  121. Vinny Giardina says:


  122. 21sthebest says:

    I’m still guessing Cumpton goes down.

  123. Jim S. says:

    I agree, TC.

  124. hockeymonster says:

    Now rumor has it that JR wants to bring manny malholtra in? Please tell me this is speculation. Enough with carolina north.

  125. Jim S. says:

    I believe we have Vandy to thank for Pedro. They have been cranking out a lot of top notch players lately. I believe Anthony Rendon of Wash. is also a Vandy guy.

  126. Jim S. says:

    Good points, Scott. A lot if those things frustrate me as well.

  127. hockeymonster says:

    Right now they can expect to sign zero UFA’s.

  128. Jim S. says:

    Straight outta Pittsburgh.

  129. cmat0829 says:

    Agree, TC. If Worley had options, he would go back down, but he doesn’t, and we will surely lose him if we DFA him now. So Cumpton, while he is pitching very well, figures to go to Indy to again wait his turn as we can do so without losing him. He needs to keep his chin up because there will most likely be a spot for him in 2015 (and maybe this year depending).

    That said, we do need to be thinking through the overall rotation and who can fit where. When Liriano comes back, and hopefully he does so closer to his 2013 form, we will have another starter need to sit down. Seems we have a few weeks to let the pitchers audition for the spot… Locke/Volquez/Worley can battle it out, one has to go when Liriano returns.

    What is complicating this further is the state of the bullpen. With Grilli jettisoned to mop-up duty, we have a shortage of guys to go 1 inning in ‘leverage’ situations. Melancon/Watson/Hughes/Wilson are being used in that way but if Gomez stays he will probably now need to fill the role Hughes used to when Grilli was closing. Assuming Pimentel continues his long-man role, and Grilli, at least for a while, gets to mop up when Bucs are behind. So you are right… Worley/Cumpton/Volquez aren’t a good fit right now to replace Gomez because it would be less of a long man role and more of a 1inning multiple days role. I think they all could do it but need some prep time to do so.

  130. Zico says:


    Luiz was referring to the pass from Jermaine Jones sent to Yedlin in the corner, which then allowed the madness inside the box. Yedlin was questionably onsides to receive that original pass.

  131. Wild Bill says:

    Yeah, it used to be that Carolina was “Pittsburgh South”.

  132. Jandy says:

    They may be good…but the bigger question is….are they better than the Tiger’s Bullpen???????????

  133. cmat0829 says:

    Grilli said he’s “walked through fire before” (and presumably on water too, but that wasn’t specifically mentioned) and he is going to battle this ….so doesn’t sound like he is going to make it easy for Pirates to cut him at this point, at least based on his public comments.

    that said, and I’m probably in the minority, but I’d put more money on Grilli in a 1 inning relief spot than Gomez. More experience in that role and if he can work out command issues his arm is plenty good. But I’ll await your tomatoes and other vegetables now.

  134. Vinny Giardina says:

    Do you feel the same way about the Olympics? It’s kind of the same thing. International sporting competition held every 4 years for a bunch of sports that you might not care about, but it’s all over the place.

    I couldn’t care less about the Olympics, but I still enjoy reading DK’s articles about them.

  135. Jandy says:

    what about eggs?

  136. Jandy says:

    Dahlin, you know your stuff!

  137. AJS says:

    Ths format is putrid. Last post first…unless it is a comment on a post in which case it is teh last comment under the post. So if I want to follow along I have to read a post scroll down for the copmments then scroll back up until I find the next post and then scroll down through those comments. Repeat as necessary.

    Much harder to read everyones view points and play along this way.

  138. cmat0829 says:

    Rendon went to Rice. But yes Vandy is a good baseball school. As is Rice.

  139. Thanks to all for the well-wishes. Very appreciated. Feeling good and now if I can get this metal out of me and be able to walk 10 feet without sitting down, I’ll have it whipped. Miss being irascible, as DJ put it, and I’ll be back to that soon. God is good. The docs said I should be dead, but now a second chance and I don’t intend to botch it up.

    Keep up the good work on those wins. Rays are terrible.

  140. Jandy says:


  141. Jim S. says:

    A 3-run wild pitch one night.

    Yesterday, a guy literally falls down on his way to home plate on an easy run. This was after he barely missed a HR. He ends up getting tagged out, and the Rockies then fail to tie the game when the next guy hits a HR.

    Did I mention that the Brewers had 2 guys caught between bases (1st & 3rd), and the Rockies threw home in time to get Braun, but, inexplicably Rosario (the catcher) decided not to tag him and threw to 2nd instead.

    You can’t make this stuff up. The Brewers have everything working.

  142. Thundercrack says:

    This is just me but I don’t think I would call what Grilli did on Friday as a ‘mop up role’

  143. Jandy says:

    SPUNKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Be good, listen to the doc, and take care of yourself!
    Oh, and hurry the h*ll back here!

  144. Thundercrack says:

    Did you see who was catching for the Rockies?

  145. AJS says:

    World Cup tie breakers a re putrid. The US beat Ghana but if the US loses to Germany the head to head victory over Ghana means nothing. It will come down to goal differential and then total goals. So say the US loses 1-0 to Germany and Ghana beats Portugal 2-1. That puts both teams at a goal differential of 0 and Ghana with 5 goals to the US at 4. Bye bye US. Or if the use loses by a goal and Ghana wins by 2. No more US.

    If the US and germany play to a draw both advance. Anyone up for a game of the soccer version of “catch?”

  146. Thundercrack says:

    +++++++ LUCKY!

    Hey, you got a second chance…and probable some good material for a couple of sermons :-)

  147. Jandy says:

    :smacks forehead:

    Good Grief!

  148. Jandy says:


  149. 21sthebest says:

    David Price went to Vandy.

  150. Thundercrack says:

    I’m not following how his public comments are going to make it hard for the Pirates to cut Grilli?
    If they want to cut him, they’ll cut him. What is he going to do , file a grievance? On what basis?

    And I don’t understand why so many people want to cut Grilli at this point. Why not try to have Uncle Ray fix whatever his problem is?! He’s a pretty good relieve pitcher…no matter what you think of him as an author.

  151. 21sthebest says:


  152. The Gunner says:


    Glad to see you back, my man – hang in there!!

  153. hockeymonster says:

    Hey luckster, good to have you back. My dad and uncle both had 5 bypasses so I know you’re as good as new. Just take it easy next few weeks.

  154. Mike A. says:

    I’ve noticed this, too, and couldn’t help but chuckle at the imagery.

  155. hockeymonster says:

    We’re a step or 2 away from being a Category 5 clusterf#$#.

  156. The Gunner says:

    I am all for giving Grilli an opportunity to work out his issues and stay with the Bucs. If his attitude suddenly turns negative, I would think he could be a DFA candidate.

  157. cmat0829 says:

    mop up innings. i will change mop up to “innings eating”, though I think Jonathan Broxton is best at eating.

  158. Jandy says:

    Don’t look now, but I think we’re already there…

  159. cmat0829 says:

    As I said about a month ago, when some were extolling the virtues of the Rockies, THEY SUCK. They have NO CHANCE of competing with the current GM in place. Why they don’t try to sell high on Tulo or Cargo is beyond me, as is why they outbid everyone to sign Cuddyer to take up space in RF. But carry on. Two teams in the NL West are in contention, the other 3 are toast. As is Philly, NY and the Cubs. 9 teams playing for 5 spots. As of right now, weakest of those 9 are the Marlins, the Bucs and the Reds. Brewers (YUCK), Giants, Nats seem to be in good position now, Cards/Dodgers have to be a step above the others…. Braves should be better but sure aren’t playing like it. That team really biffed it in picking up the Upton brothers who S-U-C-K. As does Uggla.

    Still time for any of the 9 to better themselves and vault into playoff spot… plenty of season left, and time for acquisitions to change the fortunes…who will improve, who will recede?

  160. Wild Bill says:

    Great to see ya posting Lucky! Now just stay away from all that Ohio State stuff, and you will have many great years ahead.

  161. cmat0829 says:

    I said “BASED” on his public comments, TC. To explain: ATTITUDE is the only reason the Bucs would logically DFA Grilli now… if his public comments, which show a good attitude to this demotion, mirror how he actually is approaching this, then he isn’t going to be cut.

    I did not say nor would say that Public Comments are the driver of whether he’d be cut or not… but his attitude sure might.

  162. maz in iowa says:

    Saw a mention of Peter Green by JAL.Loved Fleetwood Mac back when they were all about the blues and had 3 lead guitars.BTW way too early to trade Pedro……gotta stir de pot. :)

  163. jeffinplano says:

    Received a funny text from a soccer-hating fool:

    I don’t watch soccer. If I want to watch someone struggle to score for 90 minutes, I’ll go to the bar with my buddies.

    Great match yesterday. Soccer has come a long way in the USA, but a LOT of that momentum will be lost if the USMNT fails to advance on Thursday…

  164. cmat0829 says:

    DK: Good article on soccer. I never understood the focus – either pro or con – on FANDOM of a sport. If you enjoy soccer, great. If you don’t, great. No need to debate either side, really. I do think the NEGATIVE comments on the sport probably fuel the ardent pushback from fans on the POSITIVE side, but the back and forth is really useless debate in my opinion.

    I do not follow soccer normally, but the World Cup is a ‘must-watch’ and I’m following it closely. Same for me with the Olympics… I’d never watch a swim meet or figure skating or track and field non-Olympics, but watch pretty closely every 2 years when the Olympics are on.

    I chalk it up, at least in my case, to ‘rooting interest’. I watch ONLY NBA games for the team I follow. If I didn’t love the Pirates, I’d watch maybe 10% of the baseball I follow now…. only the NFL really do I follow outside of my rooting interest. I have no rooting interest in soccer outside of the US team in the World Cup. If I were to run past an MLS game on TV, I’d pass right on by because I wouldn’t care if the Rapids or Quake (If those are actaully team names) wins or loses or draws… but I would also pass by a Yankees-Red Sox game most likely as well.

    Regardless, no one does or should care about my sports viewing habits…or whether I love soccer or not. Which is as it should be. But like my general philosophy in life, I couldn’t care less if my buddies watched billiards or Wipeout or women’s golf or reality shows or paint dry or whatever.

  165. Jandy says:

    Just wow. Columbus traded RJ Umberger and a fourth round pick to Philly for Hartnell….wow.

  166. cmat0829 says:

    one last point.. i feel the same way when insipid media talking heads debate the ‘tv ratings quality’ of various playoff matchups… the “no one wants to see the Spurs-Pacers in the NBA Finals” crap is so annoying… just as annoying to me as ‘soccer pro or soccer con’ debate. If a specific matchup means you don’t watch, then DONT WATCH. no need to talk about it.

  167. hockeymonster says:

    Unless columbus paying part of R.J.’s salary you gotta wonder, why? Oh wait, philly.

  168. Jandy says:


  169. Tom P. says:

    Good to hear from you, Lucky. Second chances are a good thing, physically and spiritually. How long until the doctor says that your heart is strong enough to withstand the 8th and 9th inning of a Pirates game?

  170. hockeymonster says:

    True story:

    1st things i asked Brownie when i saw him on the ice after introducing myself was “if he said anything to Hextall?”.

    His response: “I didn’t say anything, he’s just fu**in crazy”

  171. Karen22 says:

    Welcome back and GOD BLESS, Lucky (& I guess you ARE)!

  172. Bizrow says:

    Good to see you here, sir ;-)

  173. Andrew says:

    Maybe there is another move coming, I saw Blue Jackets were going to potentially buyout Umberger. The Penguins seem to have trouble making decisions, at least they haven’t made any dumb player personal decision, yet…

  174. Andrew says:

    Image Pirates’ blogs if that play occurred with Tony Sanchez behind the plate.

  175. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Jackets just got a lot better.

  176. JRay3 says:


    Great to hear from you Lucky!

    Take care of yourself, sending positive thoughts your way.

  177. Karen22 says:

    YES…I prefer it the way it was, and how about an “EDIT” button so we can change “floe” to “flow” within the original post?

  178. Karen22 says:

    Moi aussi!! :)

  179. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Tiebreakers are tough in a short tournament. For what it’s worth, Olympics use the same.

  180. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Welcome home, my friend!

  181. Bizrow says:

    Yet ;-)

  182. Karen22 says:


  183. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Understood and appreciated.

  184. 1313MckingbirdLn says:

    Philly trades Hartnell to CBJ for RJ Umberger and a 2015 draft pick.
    If they would trade him to anyone, why someone within the division?

  185. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    This is great. Is this older?

  186. hockeymonster says:

    Yup and philly got no cap relief. Great move by Jarmo and Zito.

  187. NMR says:

    Can anyone name a starting pitcher that HASN’T been able to throw out of the pen?

    Making an issue out of nothing.

  188. NMR says:

    Yep, ya got me on this one, and they didn’t even put up a fight!

    Let these Rockies be a lesson to those who believe the Pirates shouldn’t still be targetting pitching early in the draft.

  189. 21sthebest says:

    I’m not concerned about Worley or Cumpton being worse than Gomez.

  190. NMR says:

    Is Cumpton really pitching “very well”?

    This decision seems easy.

  191. Jandy says:


  192. Florida Steeler says:

    They sure did and the Pens can’t even find a coach. Can’t wait to see the coach Rutherford hires!!!

  193. NMR says:

    Probably a lot like Pirate blogs when McKenry was butchering the position in a Buccos unifrom instead of a Rockies jersey.

    Imagine that.

  194. Andrew says:

    I’ll attempt to answer some of these points:

    Association Football originally developed as 11 aside game, in which substitutes are more recent invention, were you played two 45 minutes halves because this was the length of English grammar school period.

    Stoppage time is not exactly arbitrary, the referee has a second watch on which he times the stoppages during a half then adds them up and informs the 4th official.

    Diving is a referee problem that raises consternation across the world. It is a big issue at the World Cup because FIFA is democratic in awarding spots to officials from all federations meaning officials from Asia and Africa who don’t officiate big matches are just as represented as European referees.

    The World Cup teams are drawn from four pools, 1) Top 8 seeds based on FIFA ranking, 2) African & South America, 3) Asia & North America, and 4)Europe. At times base on rankings a team must be moved from one pool to another. This Cup, Italy was drawn to move to the Pool 2 because they only had 7 spots after removing the Top 8 overall.

    Guidelines are fouls and infractions are actually much less complex than the decision tree for intentional grounding or pass interference vs defensive holding vs illegal contact. The arbitrary nature is in the eyes of the beholder, I for one cannot figure out what constitutes a sideline catch in the NFL anymore and what is the purpose of extra points.

  195. Andrew says:

    Yes, but Sanchez’s mistakes open tangents to evaluate the Pirates drafting decisions, a lot more content potential there.


    Unless you count waiting until about two weeks prior to free agency to start discussions with only a subset of their UFAs…

  197. Jandy says:



    You have to wonder if there’s not anything else coming between these two, because there’s no way this move makes sense to Philly. Perhaps Columbus is willing to take on Lecavalier at reduced salary?

  199. buggee says:

    Welcome back Spunkster. Someone once tole me, “Another day above ground is another gift from God.” I wish we could all realize that sooner rather than later.

    Good to see you back Mano.

    Raise it! (that was NOT addressed to those taking meds for ED either)


    Well, this is escalating quickly… to nowhere.

    Mario and Burkle must have been hoping for Yoda when they got Jim Rutherford, but instead they got the former Pope Benedict XVI.


    All the best for a quick recovery!

  202. Wild Bill says:

    You all like the current Hartnell a lot more than I do.

  203. theplanisworking says:

    Good to see you back.
    Hopefully you are progressing nicely.

    Please take it easy, Reverend.

  204. theplanisworking says:

    Bay mentioned that DJ had a good post earlier.
    I searched and searched, and searched, and finally found it.

    With this new format, there is no incentive to go to the first posts.
    There is much difficulty following along, unless one just wants to skim the latest comments.

    I am sure this seems better on mobile devices, but ………

    Oh, and I happen to like the fruit bowls. ;)

  205. Jandy says:

    Fartsmell has never been a fav of mine!

  206. maz in iowa says:

    Dislike fruit bowl.Trade it for a “center piece to be named later’.

  207. Jandy says:


  208. BillyBaduka says:

    Great to see you back!

  209. JD says:

    Good to hear from you Lucky. I’ll say a prayer for you as I drive pass Cave City on I-65 later today.

  210. JohninOshkosh says:

    Yeah, Plan, it is cumbersome to scroll down to look for reply comments. I know this is how Twitter does it, but I rarely feel the compulsion to scroll down to look at earlier tweets. Not so here because so many here make good, challenging points.

    But, Slacker is as Slacker does, and I fear I won’t scroll down in this format.

    I think Andrew had a good point that it isn’t such an issue with game threads.

  211. JohninOshkosh says:

    Shouldn’t the Pens have their entire leadership and administration in place now that the trade season is here ?

    I imagine a lot of talking goes on in Vegas these next few days.

    Just a thought. Then again, I’m not a self-made billionaire.

  212. AJS says:

    I agree if their is ties between multiple teams but when it is just two teams in the case of a Ghana win and a US loss it seems like head to head should always rule the day. Do all Olympic sports use that or is it a Soccer/FIFA thing?

  213. Jandy says:

    I’m not rich either, but I agree, they should be a lot more settled. This reeks.

  214. hockeymonster says:

    I’ve re-calibrated my expectations. I had hopes we could make moves to clear cap space and bring in depth but that’s all out the window now…:shakin jandy’s head:

  215. Thundercrack says:

    I can’t name one but that doesn’t mean a starter isn’t more comfortable and effective as a starting pitcher than he is as a reliever. They may not adjust -or take a while- to pitching once every 5 days to a couple times per week.

    And if you send Cumpton or Worley to the pen, how long can they get stretched back out to be a starter if you need them to switch back.

  216. Jandy says:

    careful Monster Mash, I’ve got a headache already!


  217. 21sthebest says:

    My suggestion is to use Ctrl-F. Then search for “DJ” or whatever you’re looking for.

  218. Arriba Wilver says:


  219. Lad 9 says:

    Glad to have you back Lucky! The Big Guy took care of you, and that is quite appropriate….

  220. Milo Hamilton says:

    Good to see you back Lucky. Listen to the doctors. Please. Now back to my self imposed exile until this thing is fixed.

  221. 21sthebest says:

    Gotta be a least 3-4 in the Tigers bullpen that were better as starters.

  222. Poole says:

    Yes. That’s the trouble with blowing things up in a season you almost made it to the ECF. Everything is rushed. You gotta get the coach right. But seeing UFA rights being traded, guys being resigned, Hartnell now being traded….come on! We need to start making some very important decisions.

  223. JohninOshkosh says:

    Gotta say, I’m kinda cheering for Mexico to win this WC thingee. I love the country.

    One thing I do like about soccer is its egalitarian spirit. Pretty amazing that an impoverished nation like Mexico is in the mix to win it with the G8 nations, and the like.

  224. TJA says:

    Raising the Jolly Roger for Lucky! God is indeed good…all the time!!

  225. Arriba Wilver says:

    What do you want us to talk about, NMR? Whether people like soccer or not?


  226. cmat0829 says:

    I root for them (actually ROOT because like Seattle, Colorado games share the Pirates ROOT Network connection) so it pains me to honestly evaluate them, but just too many years with the same exact results. They get enamored with what Coors Field can do with someone like Morneau for example and lose sight of any type of sustainable pitching or ‘win on the road’ small ball and roster chemistry.

    But sure is a nice park to watch 13-10 games in. The best of the bandboxes.

  227. cmat0829 says:

    DITTO, great you are “up and blogging” so soon Lucky. And please don’t stay away too long Milo.

  228. pattonbb says:

    Welcome back, Lucky.

  229. I’m working on a few things, Milo. I hope you’re patient. Ideally, the system would afford the reader to choose the order. Unfortunately, that would come at the cost of using a Facebook system. It isn’t simple, but I’m doing my best.

  230. Luiz Mello says:

    Exactly. I was referring to the pass to Yedlin on the wing, the one that initiated play. There he was offside, IMO. The action in the box was perfectly legal.

  231. cmat0829 says:

    dont disagree, cumpton to AAA writes its own press release at this point. But more broadly they need to determine the bullpen roles and how best fits them. They need another ‘leverage’ guy or 2, and right now Gomez, Pimentel and Grilli aren’t fitting that profile. Adding a Worley to that mix just exacerbates that. Doesn’t mean none of these guys can’t be asked to do that and perhaps even succeed, but they sure haven’t been doing that this year.


    It’s been a farce since Shero was dismissed and Bylsma retained… and it’s not getting any better. In fact, I’m prepared for it to get significantly worse…

    – The Penguins are now the only NHL team without a head coach. Rutherford bumbled this one by tipping his hand: no matter who he ultimately selects, everyone knows the next head coach of the Penguins will not be his first choice. The already questionable list of candidates is getting even more questionable: I’ve heard one source say that Mike Keenan is now among the names being considered for the position.

    – The Penguins still have 11 UFAs and there is no indication that they’re close to re-signing any of them. Jim Rutherford has tasked his team to begin discussions last week, and with only certain targeted players. Even though the Penguins are prioritizing their efforts, that leaves only two weeks before free agency begins to come to terms. Ideally, at this stage, the Pens should be finalizing deals and working to trade the rights of players they don’t believe they can sign.

    – The entry draft is Friday, and the Penguins have just one pick (1st round, 22nd overall) in the first three rounds. With almost no prospect-level depth at forward and limited depth in goaltending, the Pens should be looking to move up or to acquire more assets in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. All those UFAs? Now’s the perfect time to trade the rights to players like Niskanen and Orpik before they walk…

    – The Penguins have just shy of $16M in cap space… and 9 roster spots to fill. In addition to the 11 UFAs, both Brandon Sutter and Simon Despres are due new deals as RFAs (though both have been tendered qualifying offers). With a thin free agent pool and limited cap room, there’s little hope the Penguins can make a splash in the open market… unless you consider Manny Malhotra an upgrade.

    Unless things change in a hurry, the Penguins could be in for a rough year…

  233. Matt hoffman says:

    Praying for you Luckmeister!! God bless you!

  234. 21sthebest says:

    Marte is back and Snider is DHing

  235. On the European Champions League, head to head results is the first tie-breaker.

  236. 21sthebest says:

    Walker is at the Trop taking swings in Cole’s sim game according to RB.

  237. NMR says:

    Consider my lesson learned!

  238. Please, no Facebook comments!

  239. Thundercrack says:

    Snider at DH = showcasing!

  240. NMR says:

    Ha, I’m not touching that whole issue, AW. Yinz guys don’t like me as is. ;)

  241. NMR says:

    Very much agree with that, cmat.

    It has been somewhat of a lost year for Pimentel so far, but I think he’s the guy they really need to emerge.

  242. Arriba Wilver says:

    Where is that on my iPad?

  243. NMR says:

    He’s got an Oakland A’s feel to him.

  244. cmat0829 says:

    The Marlins are next in the ‘contender to pretender’ sweepstakes. No way that is sustainable with McG and GIJ in the middle and the unfortunate loss of Fernandez. And the owner is just posturing on the ‘we’ll spend money’ thing… Loria makes Nutting look like an NFL player at a strip club.

  245. cmat0829 says:


  246. BillyBaduka says:

    Type it where it says “blog.triblive…”

    First section on page will be google results

    Second section is Favorites & Bookmarks

    If you scroll down there is a third section ‘Results on this page”

    You can select that and it shows total number of matches at bottom and you can select Previous an Next.

  247. DJ says:

    RF: Some good points but, once again, there are no “rights” capable of being traded with Nisky and Orpik. They are UFAs.

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