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Morning Java: The soccer show

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The TribLIVE Radio show today — 2-3 p.m. — will open with your calls, and the topics, as always, are up to you. Call me at 412-320-7925. Feel free to email sportstalk@tribweb.com if you can’t call. But I’d rather hear from you.

At 2:30, I’ll be joined by Matt Grubba, the Trib’s Riverhounds beat writer, to talk World Cup, Hounds and other soccer. The man knows his stuff.

And at 2:45, we’ll have more wit and wisdom from our @SuckMeter.

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

>> Sidney Crosby wins his second Hart Trophy, by W.G. Ramirez in Las Vegas.

Here’s the complete list of award winners and all-star and all-rookie teams.

A junior coach? The Penguins are talking to a junior coach? Beat man Rob Rossi has that, and I shared my views on the junior coach in the the Tuesday chat.

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

>> Jeff Locke steps up again for the Pirates to set down the Rays. Rob Biertempfel reports from St. Petersburg.

Jose Tabata gets the boot, by Biertempfel.

Gerrit Cole is almost back, by Biertempfel.

Time for the Pirates to hit the gas, by columnist Joe Starkey.

Ken Griffey Jr. loves Cutch, by Biertempfel. And here’s some of that on video:

Here’s Rays news from the Tampa Tribune.

Here are official game highlights on MLB.com.

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

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

>> Would love if you could check out the radio show this afternoon. And 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.

Comments

  1. DJ says:

    DK:

    I know you’d be the last looking for any recognition but I want to thank you for affording those who post here that opportunity, and also listening and being responsive to feedback from those who do (“our little world” I think you once termed it).

    By my count, there are 5 topic threads today so you’ve had your hands full today.

    If there were a Hart Trophy for MVC (Most Valuable Columnist), you’d have my vote.

    Job well done!

  2. Mizery says:

    I understand tabata getting sent down. I really do, but I would have parted with Snider. Him being on the team doesn’t make sense to me. Even with the pinch hits.

    Rutherford needs to stop talking about hiring a coach and just do it. He talks too much for my liking.

  3. Smitty55 says:

    DK..I am a new poster, but have read you since you were the bucs’ beat reporter, and I too am grateful that you have returned to the forum we old heads are accustomed to. That said, you are without a doubt the finest, most informative, as well as accessable columnist in Pittsburgh/USA. Thanks for all you do.

  4. Patrick(ri) says:

    For NMR: Brock “the legendary mirage” Holt, has just struck again with a game tying 2 run homer.

  5. Patrick(ri) says:

    My bad, still trail 2-3.

  6. DJ says:

    What’s up with Suarez? Can FIFA suspend him for this? Bites an opponent’s shoulder and flops to the ground holding his teeth like he was the victim? Pathetic.

    Didn’t Hannibal Lecter resurface in Brazil?

  7. Lad 9 says:

    DJ that is very well said. I have been traveling all day, and the first place I came to when I got to the hotel here in Louisville was this blog. I found out all I needed to know about sorts between posts, links, and the thread lead ins. Thank you DK. You have outdone even yourself lately!

  8. Maz In Iowa says:

    **Hurdle said that Tabata was willing to accept the assignment to Indianapolis:

    “He knows he needs to play. He wants to play. As I encouraged him, this is a challenge.”

    Tabata had more than three years of service time, so he could have declined and become a free agent. However, he would have forfeited his remaining salary, which is over $10 M. That would have been a bad move on his part.

  9. Andrew says:

    Fairly despicable and unbalanced person, but you know, if you can play they’ll find a spot for you and overlook any transgressions, which Suarez has many. Longest ban ever in World Cup was 8 games when an Italian defender broke an opponent’s nose in 1994 with an elbow, but with FIFA who knows, they plan to play the World Cup 2022 in a desert in summer.

  10. Arriba Wilver says:

    Fava beans.

  11. Arriba Wilver says:

    Been meaning to thank you, DJ, for posting Soul Sacrifice from Woodstock. Had forgotten all about it. Also, had not noticed the cow bell before. :-)

  12. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Are you thinking that Brock Holt is the real deal here or what?

    I’ve missed this topic, just trying to catch up.

  13. Thundercrack says:

    DK
    A note about the mobile version of the blog. When you click on one of the ‘recent comments’ it doesn’t take you to that comment.

  14. Patrick(ri) says:

    Last blog, got into a bit of an argument over whether Holt is a “mirage” or the real deal, as you suggest. It grew out my horsing around suggesting we could trade Ike, Tabby and Snider for Holt and come out ahead, as he is Left handed and can play all of their positions. Stuff like that. He does appear to me to be the Red Sox version of Jay Hay. He might well fade, but it sure doesn’t look like it.

  15. DJ says:

    Sure thing, AW. But thank JAL for the Santana song reference, which triggered my Soul Sacrifice recollection.

    Woodstock was both amazing musically and visually, right? Incredible that they had the foresight to record every inch of the crowd and the music. Unusual camera angles. Fantastic images. First-rate sound quality.

    Arguably the best collection of musical talent ever assembled in one place.

  16. DJ says:

    In my all-time top 10. Love that film.

    But you already know The Godfather is #1.

  17. Arriba Wilver says:

    Agreed, on all counts. Amazing.

  18. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Fair enough.

    I’m rooting for him, hope he does well.

    You’re comparison to JayHay is on point.

    Though I’m thinking both will fade.

  19. Poole says:

    I clicked anyway. Your Tweet intrigued me.

  20. Matt says:

    And not every act made the movie & soundtrack. Leslie West and Mountain’s management didn’t think anyone would watch or want to hear it so they didn’t sign the releases. That’s the only band I’m aware of, but there probably more.

  21. radio wave says:

    Considering a Juniors coach, I told you so.

  22. radio wave says:

    What is Marte’s status?

  23. BillyBaduka says:

    +

  24. Jandy says:

    +++++

  25. Nate83 says:

    Above .500 and it feels so good. Hopefully it is the last time they see .500 this year.

  26. Roger says:

    Thanks for the heads up on today’s topic. Won’t be tuning in this week.

  27. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    It’s unfair to criticize Bradshaw for his absence at Noll’s funeral

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/pittsburgh-steelers-nfl-features-news-blog/2014/6/24/5837594/terry-bradshaw-chuck-noll-funeral-reasons-history

    Steelers are hoping a rejuvenated running game can lead to more success using play-action in 2014

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/nfl-pittsburgh-steelers-news/2014/6/24/5837320/steelers-are-hoping-a-rejuvenated-running-game-can-lead-to-more

    2014 Steelers season scenarios: LeGarrette Blount scores 10 touchdowns

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/nfl-pittsburgh-steelers-news/2014/6/24/5837604/2014-steelers-season-scenarios-legarrette-blount-touchdowns-fantasy-football

    Steelers Film Room: Attacking coverages with route combinations in no huddle offense

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/steelers-film-room/2014/6/24/5836404/steelers-film-room-highlights-analysis-play-breakdown-no-huddle-offense

    Soccer(football)

    22 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    Greece 2 Cote d’Ivoire 1 – Post-Match Stats & Projections

    https://www.bsports.com/statsinsights/football/croatia-1-mexico-3-post-match-stats-projections#.U6izV21EPv8

    Japan 1 Colombia 4 – Post-Match Stats & Projections

    https://www.bsports.com/statsinsights/football/japan-1-colombia-4-post-match-stats-projections#.U6oQ1W1EPv8

    Italy 0 Uruguay 1 – Post-Match Stats & Projections

    https://www.bsports.com/statsinsights/football/italy-0-uruguay-1-post-match-stats-projections#.U6oRGm1EPv8

    Costa Rica 0 England 0 – Post-Match Stats & Projections

    https://www.bsports.com/statsinsights/football/costa-rica-0-england-0-post-match-stats-projections#.U6oRhm1EPv8

    23 BBC Football

    Luis Suarez ‘bite’: Uruguay striker in World Cup controversy

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/28008605

    Luis Suarez ‘bite’: Uruguay striker ‘should be banned’

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/28010967

    World Cup 2014: What Hodgson must do for England to prosper

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/27988736

    24 World Soccer

    World Cup Day 13

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/world-cup-3/world-cup-day-13

    25 Pensburgh

    2013-14 Season in Review: Matt Niskanen

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2014/6/24/5838914/2013-14-season-in-review-matt-niskanen

    2013-14 Season in Review: Taylor Pyatt

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2014/6/24/5831240/2013-14-season-in-review-taylor-pyatt

    2013-14 Season in Review: Rob Scuderi

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2014/6/24/5830910/2013-14-season-in-review-rob-scuderi

  28. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 Tampa Bay Times

    Archer, Rays lose 6-5 to Pirates

    http://tbo.com/sports/rays/archer-rays-lose-6-5-to-pirates-20140624/

    Trade speculation weighing on Price

    http://tbo.com/sports/rays/trade-speculation-weighing-on-rays-price-20140624/

    13 CBS Sports

    Pirates beat Rays, move back above .500

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/recap/MLB_20140624_PIT@TB/mccutchen-has-2-rbis-pirates-beat-rays-6-5?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+cbssportsline%2Fmlb_news+(MLB+Baseball+News%3A+CBSSports.com)

    14 Chicago Sun Times

    Jake Arrieta flirts with perfection in 7-3 Cubs win

    http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/28289728-573/jake-arrieta-flirts-with-perfection-in-7-3-cubs-win.html#.U6qpfm1EPv8

    15 Pirates Site

    Locke solid as Bucs hold on to clinch series

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2014_06_24_pitmlb_tbamlb_1&mode=recap_away&c_id=pit

    Marte removed with concussion-like symptoms

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20140624&content_id=81396752&notebook_id=81429214&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Mesoraco ties franchise HR record, but Reds fall to Cubs

    http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/mlb/reds/2014/06/25/reds-escape-no-hitter-fall-cubs/11342775/

    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Brewers had really bad at-bats in 16-inning loss

    http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/264521021.html

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Miller leaves game as Cards stumble

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/miller-leaves-game-as-cards-stumble/article_f0017bc5-aa13-505e-b7b0-d3849c6b6069.html

    Bird Bytes: Injuries increase likelihood of Cards’ trade

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/bernie-miklasz/bird-bytes-injuries-increase-likelihood-of-cards-trade/article_a05fa2d9-c772-571b-8c0b-1ecdc2529013.html

    19 Fangraphs

    The Unique Path to Success in Oakland

    http://www.fangraphs.com/community/the-unique-path-to-success-in-oakland/

    20 ESPN

    Sessions: Andrew McCutchen

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/11129144/qa-andrew-mccutchen-pittsburgh-pirates

  29. JAL says:

    JAL’s Sometimes Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzlvSZbrSc8

    Sometimes 1971 Off the Future Games album, 1971. Jeremy Spencer leaves the band and Bob Welch and Christine McVie join. This is another Kirwan song.

    GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pittsburgh_pirates/

    3 BFFL’s 2014 Pirates Stats Spreadsheet

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AsjN0zO-DxI0dDNkaWxFNWIwNDVUQzEwYXp5SlpGNkE&usp=drive_web#gid=0

    4 Pirates Prospects

    2014 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Pick Signing Tracker

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014draft

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: The 2014 Version of Jeff Locke Looks Like the Real Deal

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/06/first-pitch-the-2014-version-of-jeff-locke-looks-like-the-real-deal.html

    Prospect Watch: Glasnow and Kingham Dominate Again

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/06/prospect-watch-glasnow-and-kingham-dominate-again.html

    Pirates Are Going to Find Playing Time For Josh Harrison as a Super Utility Player

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/06/pirates-are-going-to-find-playing-time-for-josh-harrison-as-a-super-utility-player.html

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates beat Rays 6-5, but lose Starling Marte

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2014/6/24/5840284/pirates-beat-rays-6-5-but-lose-starling-marte

    Altoona’s manager discusses Elias Diaz, Alen Hanson, Adrian Sampson, Willy Garcia, Joely Rodriguez

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2014/6/24/5836836/carlos-garcia-talks

    7 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Pirates 6 Rays 5

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2014/06/pirates-6-rays-5/

    8 Green Weenie

    It Wasn’t Easy, But Bucs Get Locke A Win 6-5

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2014/06/it-wasnt-easy-but-bucs-get-locke-win-6-5.html

    9 WHYGAVS

    GAME 77: PIRATES 6 RAYS 5

    http://whygavs.com/june-2014/game-77-pirates-6-rays-5.html

    10 Call to the Pen

    MLB amends Official Playing Rule 7.13 regarding home plate collisions

    http://calltothepen.com/2014/06/24/mlb-amends-home-plate-collision-rule-7-13/

    11 Rumbunter

    Neil Walker Puts Dangerous Pirates Offense Over the Top

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/06/24/neil-walker-puts-pirates-offense-top/

  30. JAL says:

    Blog switched back to new posts at bottom. Oh well

  31. Jandy says:

    yeah, so?

  32. Jandy says:

    This from the Bucco’s website:
    ST. PETERSBURG — Pirates left fielder Starling Marte left the Bucs’ 6-5 win over the Rays on Tuesday with concussion-like symptoms after he slid headfirst into Tampa Bay second baseman Sean Rodriguez’s knee.

    “He had concussion-like symptoms, so we sent him to the hospital to get a CT scan. We haven’t had any report back,” manager Clint Hurdle said after the game.

  33. Arriba Wilver says:

    He’s just messing with you, JAL. ;-)

  34. Jandy says:

    He’s mean and hateful ;)

  35. The Gunner says:

    TC

    Good point as it relates to the mobile version. It is quite annoying.

  36. NMR says:

    You can literally guarantee any guy sporting a .390 BABIP will most certainly fade.

  37. NMR says:

    The Pirates are playing prettay, prettay good.

  38. The Gunner says:

    Tabby may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer however, he was smart enough to do what it takes to get his money. No other team wanted that contract and if the BMTIB eventually moves him, they’ll surely have to pick up a good portion of that money.

  39. The Gunner says:

    The Buccos even picked up a game on the Brewers last night. If we can get 7 out of Charles today, that would be great. We gotta keep dominating these weak teams.

  40. SeanAY says:

    Did I see yesterday they have the best record in the National League since May 6?

  41. Jandy says:

    I saw something to that effect too.

  42. Jandy says:

    +++

  43. Strohdave says:

    Add CCR and Greatful Dead to that list.

  44. Jim S. says:

    Well said, DJ and Lad.

  45. Jandy says:

    From Fox sports website:
    FIFA has charged Luis Suarez for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini in the World Cup’s Group D match on Tuesday.

    FIFA said early Wednesday that its disciplinary committee has opened proceedings against the Uruguay forward. If the panel finds Suarez guilty of assaulting an opponent, FIFA rules call for a ban of at least two matches up to a maximum of 24 months.

    FIFA asked the team to present evidence by 5 p.m. Wednesday. A decision must be published before Saturday, when Uruguay plays Colombia in a round-of-16 match.

  46. Jim S. says:

    And a nice chianti.

  47. Poole says:

    So Mike Johnston is the new head coach. Before anyone gets too bent out of shape, know this —

    Johnston’s offensive philosophy will turn the Penguins into a puck possession monster. This guy does not value guys who treat the puck like a grenade (talking to you Adams, Scuderi, Glass).

    We will see a very entertaining style of hockey. That’s very important, IMO.

  48. Jim S. says:

    I read 27-18. They were -8 a couple of times.

  49. Jim S. says:

    I cannot stand head first slides. Way too risky.

  50. GAWTS2009 says:

    Mike Johnston reported to agree to coach pens. 3 yr deal -Bob Mckenzi and Darren Dreger reporting

  51. Jandy says:

    he is? where did you get that info and can you share a link please?

  52. Jim S. says:

    Picked one up on all 3 Central Division foes, Gunner. Nice night.

  53. Jim S. says:

    Keeping you on your toes, JAL. But, you’re always up to the task.

  54. Jim S. says:

    I hope the Cine-bobbles are working on making it so that you don’t get sent back to the top each time you post a comment.

  55. Jim S. says:

    What evidence? A chunk of ear?

    I heard he’s a BFF of Mike Tyson.

  56. wally says:

    Mike Johnston.

    Maybe the Hanson brothers are available for Asst positions…if not the McKenzie brothers….

    Geez.

  57. Milo Hamilton says:

    I have no idea if Mike Johnston will be a good coach or not. When the Steelers hired Bill Cowher & Mike Tomlin I had never heard of either. But the difference here is those guys were hired by the same guy that hired Chuck Noll.

  58. Thundercrack says:

    I watched some of the extra innings of the Nationals vs Brewers game last night.

    In one of the later innings the Braun was on second with 2 outs. The Nationals decided to walk Lucroy….but then Matt Williams decides to pitch to Carlos Gomez – instead of Maldanado who was on deck. Gomez flew out on the first pitch. But I thought it was an odd strategy.

  59. Jandy says:

    Thanks, Puckers!

  60. Jandy says:

    snicker:

  61. Milo Hamilton says:

    I do like the fact that he cheated. I don’t like that he got caught.

  62. SeanAY says:

    The Grateful Dead set from that day, by all accounts, was terrible. The sound guy was way off, the equipment wasn’t working, and the band wasn’t particularly inspired.

    Of course, one of the most famous moments NOT captured by cameras was when Pete Townshend almost knocked the crap out of Abbie Hoffman during The Who’s set.

  63. Arriba Wilver says:

    JAL’S Link #10 is interesting. I didn’t realize baseball already amended the home plate collision rule to not apply when there are force outs at the plate.

  64. DJ says:

    Ambivalent on Johnston but willing to give him a shot.

    Just glad coach quest is over and we can focus on shaping this team.

  65. Arriba Wilver says:

    What happened?

  66. Jandy says:

    same here…but disappointed nonetheless.

  67. Patrick(ri) says:

    To what? The league average? I have seen this kid hit and for a guy that looks bit like a little leaguer, smacks lots of line drives, not so many lucky drop shots. He has 12 doubles and a couple of triples. While he seems fast, I don’t expect he legs out many hits. As his manager said a couple of weeks ago, “he is a ballplayer”. — I took that to mean major leaguer.

  68. Thundercrack says:

    How loud are those line drive sounding?

    .
    :-)

  69. Milo Hamilton says:

    Mario thinks they’ve hired Eddie Johnston. Wait till he finds out.

  70. Thundercrack says:

    Eddie Johnston might think he was just hired.

  71. JohninOshkosh says:

    “Woodstock,” the 1970 documentary, was co-edited by a young Martin Scorsese. It was directed by Michael Wadleigh, who later directed the somewhat underrated horror film, “Wolfen.”

    Generally regarded by critics as one of the best documentaries ever made.

  72. SeanAY says:

    Long story short, Townshend went over to adjust an amp between songs. Hoffman saw that as the perfect time to jump on stage and talk about the injustice of John Sinclair (a member of the White Panther Party) being recently jailed. When Townshend saw that someone had invaded the stage during the set – remember, Townshend saw himself more as capital-A “Artist” than “rock musician” – he accosted Hoffman until he left the stage.

    Reports vary as to the severity of Townshend’s attack, but at least one account says he actually struck him with his guitar while screaming “(Expletive) off! (Expletive) off my stage!”

  73. JohninOshkosh says:

    Much appreciated Larry David reference! Made me smile.

    The man is a genius. I love the episode where he picks up a prostitute just so he can use the carpool lane to get to Dodger Stadium faster.

  74. Jim S. says:

    One of the best shows on TV. I just wish I could count on it year after year. I need my Larry David fix.

  75. Arriba Wilver says:

    Thanks, Sean. Good for Pete, by the way.

  76. NMR says:

    If Holt regresses to a league average BABIP, heck if he only regresses halfway there, he’s a below average hitter.

    Hey I was one of the few around here pushing to give him the respect he deserved in 2012 when he filled in for Neil Walker for a month and hit around .300, but the guy just isn’t that good. And he most definitely isn’t THIS good.

    Doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it while it lasts, though. That’s the fun part of baseball.

  77. Milo Hamilton says:

    At least now that this is over Steve Pederson can go back to screwing up Pitt football.

  78. Jim S. says:

    I love when Gomez swings so hard and misses that he practically screws himself into the ground. On one of his several bad at bats last night, I told my son I could feel it coming. Sure enough, on the next pitch, he ended up on the ground. We enjoyed that almost as much as we enjoyed the Brewers bullpen being taxed last night. But, I do admire how hard Gomez plays.

    BTW, Wang is like a boat anchor in their pen. 2.56 WHIP and 12.51 ERA in 13 innings.

  79. Mike A. says:

    Agree, to a point. The Rays are playing prettay, prettay bad.

  80. hockeymonster says:

    So we ended up giving 3 years anyway? You guys are kidding right?

  81. Jandy says:

    TC, you pot stirrer, you :P

  82. Jim S. says:

    Desperate times call for desperate measures.

  83. JohninOshkosh says:

    Rutherford and Johnston.

    Those are two names nobody expected when Shero and Bylsma were sacked.

    Never boring in the world of sports. And, much more entertaining than politics.

  84. hockeymonster says:

    Do i need to point out the obvious here? Needless to say i’m shakin my head…

  85. hockeymonster says:

    Especially when you pass on the best candidates cuz they want 3 years…

  86. NMR says:

    Given the glacial pace at which Major League Baseball typically moves, I think they do deserve credit for revising two rules already this season.

  87. Milo Hamilton says:

    My complete & total lack of enthusiasm over this hire is far outweighed by the fact that Big Brother starts tonight. ;)

  88. hockeymonster says:

    Tocchet in the mix?

  89. Jandy says:

    watch you don’t get dizzy!

    The very obvious is, we can’t do a darn thing about it…

  90. Milo Hamilton says:

    Guaranteed.

  91. NMR says:

    Very, very much agree with that…but the Pirates have played a few other teams since May 6th.

  92. Jandy says:

    I hear he’s the main assistant

  93. hockeymonster says:

    Well to me the obvious is that we were stubborn fools for forcing assistants on top candidates while only offering 2 years. Now we’re stuck offering 3 years to someone who isn’t nearly as worthy. Hope Mr. Burkle is happy with millhouse on this one…cuz i’m not.

  94. DJ says:

    Associate HC. Or Assistant HC. One or the other.

    We’re going to have 8 guys behind the bench and another 8 in the front office.

  95. Jandy says:

    It’s the two with the money and ownership thing that scare me…

  96. hockeymonster says:

    Trib story says the following:

    “Johnston is either 56 or 57″

    Says it all, does it not?

  97. DJ says:

    Can’t trust those Canadian visas.

  98. Poole says:

    The “cheating” thing is a complete non-issue for me. If you read what actually happened, the Winterhawks provided free flights for families in need and gave a cell phone to their captain. Really not a big deal and I don’t even think you can pin it on the HC (could have been anyone in ownership) but he’s the one that got the publicity.

  99. Milo Hamilton says:

    Bingo. Do you get the sense that the only thing that was keeping this organization from being completely dysfunctional might have been Ray Shero ?

  100. Jandy says:

    RIP Eli Wallach, he was 98

  101. Patrick(ri) says:

    I was going to say it falls between a Stargell HR and a Jandy thwack!

  102. Jandy says:

    Well, now that you come right out and put it that way…

  103. AJS says:

    Hey NMR, Starkey refers to seeing Pedro Alvarez regress in his column today. Do you have those career best stats available? Amazing how this guy is hitting for more avarage than ever before, walking more, and has similar home run numbers to last year(though I think that gap is gettign bigger since this is about the time he went on a tear last year) but has regressed.

    Now if he was referring to his work in the field then we can talk.

  104. hockeymonster says:

    Who could’ve guessed that having a Pro run your team is a good idea.

  105. RELENTLESS_FORECHECK says:

    I don’t think that Rutherford passed on anyone, I think he just got outmaneuvered. From everything I’ve read, Vancouver had Desjardins targeted from the moment Linden was introduced as President. As we all know, Desjardins was making a stop in Pittsburgh before he headed out to Vancouver. And, as we all know, shortly thereafter Jim Rutherford made the unwise decision to announce to the media that he had found his man. Well, that blunder appears to have cost Pittsburgh it’s next head coach…

    26. The Canucks were supposed to interview Scott Arniel on Monday and Desjardins on Tuesday. They changed the schedule. Pittsburgh brought Desjardins into town last Thursday, met with him and, word is, were ready to offer him the job Friday morning. I’d like to see Linden’s phone records from Thursday night. Whatever the case, someone from Vancouver made a pre-emptive strike, making sure it was all but done before Pittsburgh could close.

    (the full article can be read here: http://www.cbc.ca/sports-content/hockey/opinion/2014/06/30-thoughts-nhl-free-agents-reluctant-to-commit-early.html)

    There’s a few other interesting bits in that article, as well. One relating to Desjardins’ assistant, Doug Lidster, but the most important thing is that Vancouver made sure Pittsburgh didn’t get the man Linden wanted.

  106. DJ says:

    Saw that Johnston holds a Master’s degree in Coaching Science.

    Also co-authored a book “Simply The Best — Insights and Strategies From Great Hockey Coaches.” Here’s hoping Chapter 1 is “Go to the front of the net.”

  107. JohninOshkosh says:

    Chenbot!

    The incredibly wealthy ageless one!

  108. cmat0829 says:

    Matt Williams makes Hurdle look like Jim Leyland. Odd hiring choice for that job. But the Nats have talent and hope they sweep those smug Brewers today.

  109. pattonbb says:

    A great actor but an even better person.

  110. cmat0829 says:

    FIFA is a joke.

  111. Jandy says:

    +++++

  112. hockeymonster says:

    Well he didn’t pass on desjardins but he said he was his guy cuz they were discussing contract. He didn’t expect him to stick to his demand of 3 years and Pens stuck to 2 years. Desjardins walked and pens were left scrambling. Scott Arniel is more worthy of 3 years than johnston. If he was interested in interviewing we should’ve talked to him too.

  113. cmat0829 says:

    YES, maybe Joe Torre is to thank for that. But the whole rule is over the top. Simply ban the runner from making contact with the catcher trying to knock the ball loose… that was the only problem. Catchers using skill to block the base…and runners eluding that with hand swipes, etc. are not an issue. Makes it easier on the umpires. If a runner bowls over the catcher he is automatically out.

  114. hockeymonster says:

    Maybe he can write the preamble in disco’s next book.

  115. cmat0829 says:

    “We can focus on shaping the team”…I guess the Pens GM job is by committee and the esteemed blog participates in the process?

    Pretty sure most human beings can do a few things at once.

  116. Jandy says:

    You should know by now, cmat, that this esteemed blog participates (even directs) many, many things.

    get with it!

  117. cmat0829 says:

    Shocking, another example of a lazy journalist writing an almost worthless article. NO news at all, could’ve been fashioned from multiple blog posts with a few transitions and a headline. Yawn.

  118. Naterosboro says:

    Two words.

    Pete Rose.

    Some have harder heads than others.

    Starling will be back in a few games (maybe less). Looks like he got his bell rung pretty good.

  119. Naterosboro says:

    Can I please ask that everyone who is slagging Luis Suarez this morning…

    read this piece from ESPN the Mag: http://espn.go.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/10984370/portrait-serial-winner-luis-suarez-soccer-most-beautiful-player

    It gives some insight into maybe why Luis does this.

    And can I ask a question….

    is it really that big of a deal? A cheap, late hit in a football game, a 94mph intentional fastball in the ribs, a blindside hit to the head in hockey…….

    In all sports, players cross the line at times. Yes, the act itself we condemn, but to go so far as to call him a ” fairly despicable and unbalanced person” I think is too much. What is/was Matt Cooke then? James Harrison?

    I’m an Arsenal supporter (OOH TO BE A…GOONA!) and I love watching Luis Suarez (even when he’s ripping my team a new 1). I want players like Luis Suarez on my team. You don’t think the US Men’s National Team wouldn’t want a player like Luis?

    He’ll do whatever it takes to win, even if it means occasionally crossing the “line”. I’d rather have a player like this than 1 who won’t risk it all.

    While it may hurt the team at times, you have to believe in the strength of your squad to overcome a moment of madness.

    Again, I ask that you read that article, and hopefully that might allow you to rethink your opinion of Luis.

  120. Arriba Wilver says:

    Are we sure they only offered two years, or is that just rumor that has become “fact?”

    From what RF is saying, that wasn’t the issue.

  121. Naterosboro says:

    Get rid of the rule. Plain and simple.

    It’s pro sports. Guys are going to get injured sometimes. You’ve seen it in the NFL & NHL over the past few seasons, where they’re trying to curb injuries by changing the rules (and I realize it’s not the only reason for the rule changes, but it is a reason). It’s now spilling over to baseball.

    Economics, politics & litigation are really putting their stamp on pro sports. Not sure I like it either. Definitely not in the case of the NFL.

    Sorry for the minirant, but I absolutely hate this rule change, and went nuts on the Russell Martin force-play reversal last week. Needed to vent about it.

    Thanks for listening lunays

  122. hockeymonster says:

    Yes. We offered 2 years and a club option for 3rd. Multiple sources confirmed that after desjardins camp said so.

  123. NMR says:

    Yeah, that’s just simply not the definition of the word in relation to common baseball terminology.

    You could say Pedro has performed at a lower level than the past two years – 100 wRC+ vs 110 wRC+ – but there is no part of his game where he has “regressed”.

    Last I checked, he’s something like 3 HR off his average pace over the past two seasons. Sample sizes are still small enough where one series could make a huge difference.

  124. Pete in Dayton says:

    I saw it somewhere yesterday that WD was offered 3 years, but he just wanted to bring “his guy” and that was a sticking point. Also sounds like Linden called WD thursday night, and tried to talk him into the Canucks. It sounds like WD really wanted to go to Vancouver all along. He’s a western Canadian guy, Vancouver is a great city, and the pressure is pretty much the same as in Pittsburgh. Can’t blame him for wanting to go for a “dream job”.

    Not very happy about the guy from juniors being hired…. I mean, he’s going from teaching 16 year olds to keep their sticks on the ice to coaching Crosby, Malkin, etc?
    Then again, maybe he’s a genius and we’re giving him a shot at the big time.

  125. NMR says:

    Also laughed at the Snider justification.

    He certainly got it correct in saying Snider provides a “minimum power threat” – 1 HR per 52 AB since joining the Pirates – but didn’t seem necessary to mention he strikes out in a quarter of his attempts.

    Yeah, that’s the guy you want coming up in the pitchers spot with 2 outs and a man in scoring position.

  126. RELENTLESS_FORECHECK says:

    Whatever the case, Rutherford tried to lure Desjardins away from Vancouver… and failed.

  127. Jim S. says:

    That article was just bad.

  128. Jim S. says:

    So, you are saying catchers should be allowed to block the base but runners have to avoid them, cmat?

  129. toochca says:

    Who’s up after Snider?!

    The other team!!!

  130. RELENTLESS_FORECHECK says:

    I’m still trying to digest Mike Johnston as head coach but I can’t shake my gut reaction which, oddly enough, is the same gut reaction I had to Jim Rutherford’s hiring: an underwhelming sigh.

    I’ve got major concerns over his lack of head coaching experience at the NHL, how his only experience in the NHL came from his relationship with Marc Crawford (whom he followed to both Vancouver and LA), his lack of any coaching experience past the NHL conference semi-finals, and how his proclivities are so heavily in favor of developing younger players that I wonder if he’s better served staying in the minor leagues.

    Still, the fact that weighs heaviest on my mind is that Mike Johnston was realistically Jim Rutherford’s third choice behind Desjardins and Peters. Rutherford got outmaneuvered by both Vancouver and his proteges in Carolina in his first significant decision as GM, and that’s a tough pill to swallow. Whether Rutherford wasn’t being aggressive enough, whether he telegraphed his actions too much, whether he was too stubborn, or whether it was a combination of all three, there are other huge decisions looming over the Penguins like the leading edge of a dangerous squall line. If Rutherford shows more of the same at the entry draft and in the free agent market, the Penguins are in for a rude awakening to life after Ray Shero…

  131. DJ says:

    Very silly.

  132. AJS says:

    I tend to agree with you on this topic. But I will see that when you speak of regressing it is compared to where you last were not career averages, especially when it seemed he took a big step forward last year. So if he is far off of last years pace you could argue last year was an aboration and thus he has just been his average self or you could argue he has somewhat regressed from last season. But I think it is only in terms of power and defense not in terms of overall hittin performance.

 
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