Thursday, January 25, 2007


Well Sidney as done something as inhuman as I've seen so far in his career. That goal on Sunday (check it out on the Pens web site if you haven't seen it) was incredible, just absolutely jaw dropping. Talks concerning the arena are suppose to continue this week, hopefully all the assholes involved (in my eyes no one is is exempt at this point) will iron something out so I don't have to think about this bull shit anymore. I'm still very confident that they will stay, but just the thought of the Pens leaving the city makes me sick. I honestly don't know what my reaction would be if they moved. I'd probably sit in my bed and cry like a little bitch, but who really knows.

Mike Tomlin has decided to keep Dick LeBeau and therefore keep the 4-3 defense we all love so much. Frankly I'm pretty surprised, I thought he'd go with what he's been running since being in the NFL, but I guess he knows a good thing when he sees it. After watching the news conference and the coaching decisions he's made so far, I think this was a good move. Young, fresh blood, but he isn't going to rock the boat too much. Also The biography on the Post-Gazette web site was sterling to say the least. Hope everyone had a good weekend.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Honestly, I didn't see this coming at all. First I thought the Whiz was a lock when this thing first got started, then I naturally thought Grimm was going to get it. Well I have some grim news for him (bad pun I know), after first reported mid afternoon yesterday that Mike Tomlin is going to be hired by our Pittsburgh Steelers, denied any of this was going on, then by about 10 at night espn was reporting it was only a matter of time before an announcement from the Steelers making Tomlin their 3rd head coach in 38 years.

Well let's get right to it, I really didn't think that the Steelers would hire a black coach. I don't have any problem with it at all of course but I just didn't think they would do it. Even though the rule that forces all NFL teams to interview at least one minority candidate is called the Rooney rule, I just didn't think they would take this young guy, that has a defensive philosophy that is completely different than our current one. This would completely disrupt everything that has been building up over the past several years. I don't know really what they are thinking especially when we still had a decent defense this year. I thought it was a good move however hiring young again (he's the same age as Cowher when we hired him). I guess we'll just ahve to put our faith in the Rooney's on this one. Let's hope they've made the right decision.

On a hockey note, I really hope everyone was watching what the Pens did to the Leafs last night. Not only did we win 8-2, but we absolutely dominated the power play (and we are in a 3 way tie for the 8th playoff spot). Our PP last night consisted of Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Rec, and Gonchar. If that isn't one of the better power play line-ups in the league I don't what would be. We were 5-10 on PP which is incredible considering how we've struggled with the power play at times this season. We dominated the entire game: Sid had 1 goal and 2 assists, Rec had 3 goals and 1 assist and Malkin has 5 assists. I haven't seen us dominate a team that isn't from Philthadelphia for a while and it sure put a good taste in my mouth know at the all-star break we do in fact have a playoff spot (and I don't think anyone would want to play us in the playoffs, the only team that I think is truely better than we are is Buffalo).

Anyway enjoy the Championship games today my picks are the Aints and the Colts.

UPDATE -- It's official, Tomlin is the next Steelers coach. Does this mean a house cleaning? This should effect our drafting though considering we will probably switch to a 4-3. Probably means we will draft a defensive tackle.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Saturday Morning Inspection

As I sit here on a cold (44 degrees, which is cold for South Carolina, yes I know they are babies) Saturday morning waiting to have my room inspected, I can't help but thank god I grew up in a sports town like Pittsburgh. Down here in Charleston, South Carolina where I am (thank god) spending my last semester at The Citadel, people from around here follow two sports mainly: college football and baseball. Now, I don't have anything against college football, but when a true "champion" isn't crowned, doesn't it really take away from the whole league? Both my parents went to the University of Oklahoma so I root for them and I take a casual observation in Pitt and root for them, but I could really give a damn about college football to be honest with you. It's such a corrupt, money making business at this point that it really just takes away from the games. That's why there hasn't been a playoff system installed yet. It's just insane to think that college football is literally the ONLY sport I know of that doesn't have some sort of playoff system.

This brings me to an idea and I don't really know if this is legal or viable or anything like that. Would it be possible to make some sort of semi-pro league for kids out of high school. They play for three years then can go pro. No illusion of class. No more bull shit talk about the so called student athlete, it's all bull shit. All these kids get handed whatever they want as soon as they step on campus. This would allow the college game to return to the purity we once saw and also allow these big time college athletes to get some money together thus increasing their shelf life. It's not like players have a big window to make their dollars in, they should take advantage of it. I could really see this league taking off too. you could have the first game of the season immediately after the Super Bowl. Put teams in cities where the NFL is wildly popular (Pittsburgh, Green Bay, ect.), give these kids money management classes and advisers before they receive their first play check. Most these kids have no formal classes with financing or things of that nature which sets them up to be screwed later on. I think that is the biggest injustice colleges are doing to their big time going-pro athletes, not getting them ready for what they are actually going to be doing, throwing/catching/running the ball on Sundays.

Anyway... like I said, Pittsburgh, great sports town. These people down here honestly have no clue what they are missing not being in a reasonably big sports market. All they hang on to is the Clemson Tigers (one national championship in 1981, 0 Heisman Trophy winners), South Carolina Game Cocks (what the fuck is a game cock anyway, and I hate all the jackasses down here that wear the bar hats with just COCKS on it and think its hilarious. Complete total jerk-offs. 0 National Championships 1 Heisman Trophy winner) and the Atlanta Braves (well they've clearly been better than the Pirates lately but they are honestly over 300 miles away how can you really claim them. The best story I have about that is I was talking to my buddy Kevin from home on the phone about the start of the baseball season and my friend Joe from down here was ripping on the Pirates and naturally I told Kev about it and he simply said, "Why don't you remind Joe the entire state of South Carolina is too poor to support a professional sports team." and you know what he's right). People down here also love to claim the Panthers because they are the Carolina Panthers. Well bad fucking news, they play in Charlotte which last time I checked was in North Carolina. They played their first season in Clemson's stadium, the town that Clemson is in could never support a pro team. i would like to see the attendance from that first year, I promise it's awful.

Anyway, this Marine is here now and he's screaming at me to stop typing, so have a good weekend. I'll attempt to get to the only hockey bar in town tonight to watch the Penguins battle the Leafs to move up another spot. God I hate this state.

Friday, January 19, 2007

LaRoche deal finalized.

The deal that brought Adam LaRoche to Pittsburgh in return for Mike Gonzalez was finalized today. The Pirates send Gonzalez and minor league SS prospect Brent Lillibridge to the Braves for Adam LaRoche and 21 year old OF prospect Jamie Romak. Calling Romak, or Lillibridge for that matter, a prospect may be a stretch. Lillibridge had quite a fine season last year in A-ball, however he was playing against fellows 2-4 years his junior. Lillibridge, some say, has the talent to be a decent major league SS, however his age(23) and position at AA put him at a slight disadvantage. He went to college yet hasn't made it out of A ball yet. Romak is the same story, but plays in the OF.

Since this deal was announced a few days ago, the main talk surrounding the deal has been the Pirates lineup to start the '07 season. A few days ago I posted our projected lineup without any outside influence. After that I read that Jim Tracy asked Jason Bay if he would mind leaving the cleanup spot to make way for LaRoche. Bay, being the gentleman he is, replied that he is just happy to have a spot and will hit anywhere in the lineup. Today I will give you my revised lineup against what Tracy believes it should be.

My Lineup
1.(L) Duffy CF
2.(R) Sanchez 2B
3.(R) Bay LF
4.(L) LaRoche 1B
5.(R) Nady RF
6.(R) Paulino C
7.(R) Bautista 3B
8.(R) Wilson SS

Tracy's Lineup
1.(L) Duffy CF
2.(R) Wilson SS
3.(R) Sanchez 3B
4.(L) LaRoche 1B
5.(R) Bay LF
6.(R) Nady RF
7.(R) Paulino C
8.(R) Castillo 2B

I don't know if anyone else catches the problem I see with Tracy's lineup - that by moving Bay, The Pirates best hitter, to the 5th spot he will lose many precious at-bats season to Jack Wilson and Chris Duffy over the course of a season, which is no good. Bay, Sanchez and LaRoche need to get more at bats than Duffy and Wilson, however Duffy, with his speed, will hit lead-off no matter what.

Traditional baseball tells you that your best hitter should hit in the 3 spot, behind two hitters who have high OBP's. With Wilson and Duffy hitting 1 and 2 respectively the Pirates will have two of their lowest OBP's batting in front of Sanchez, who has a fairly respectable OBP. By sending Jack down to the 8 hole, it creates the opportunity for more men to be on base in front of LaRoche and Bay. Duffy will have to lead off no matter with our lineup, so by placing Freddy, who had a .378 OBP last season, and then Bay(.396 OBP) the Pirates will have two batters with over .375 OBP in front of LaRoche who can then hit a homerun(I wish it was that easy). In any case I believe Tracy would be making a huge mistake by dropping Bay to 5th. Moreover, in the past few years we have heard nothing but talk from the management about finding a bat to protect Bay, and now that we have it we're gonna use Bay to protect him. I think that the lineup I offered will produce more runs than Tracy's, but hey- I'm not the manager....he is.
Jim "Ron Howard" Tracy as a young man.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Best Thing Since...

Well it seems we've done almost everything except gift wrap our city's most promising sports team to those rat bastards in KC (where hockey has already failed). The whole slots license thing went exactly how everyone thought it would (with the exception of Harrah's reach around proving ineffective and the casino being on the North Shore and not Station Square). But it seems as though talks between Pittsburgh's Most Wanted (the Penguin Rendell and the Joker Onorato) and the Lemieux Group are moving along and are said to be "promising". For the record, I was never really worried about the Pens leaving, our attendance the last two years has been phenomenal, although I'd be out for blood if the Pens move.

I am about to graduate college at the age of 22 which is scary , but I couldn't imagine playing in the NHL or any other professional league. Yet I can confidently say that 4of our best players are all younger than I am. Sidney Crosby, Geno Malkin, Jordan Stall, and Marc-Andre Fleury are all very special players to the point that I have to remind my self of their ages every time I see them play, but especially Sidney . I mean no one has come close to being this good this young in any sport. He is hands down the best player on the ice every night and he hasn't even peaked yet, not even close. The game is just different when he is out there. Some of the plays he makes are just mind boggling to even watch. When trying to explain who Sidney Crosby is to people in this neck of the woods (the South) where they know absolutely nothing about the sport (yet still have more teams than Canada, but thats for a different post) I really just can't explain it. I try to say he's Michael Jordan, but he's far too unselfish to be MJ. I guess you could compare him to someone like Barry Sanders or maybe LaDainian Tomlinson, but that isn't close to right either. Sidney Crosby is the most talented athlete I've seen play any sport hands down, the only thing I can confidently compare him to is someone like Motzart (only he was 5 when he wrote his first piece of music). The only players from his sport you can possibly compare him to are Lemieux and Gretzky. I've seen both them play, granted I couldn't appreciate their primes, and Sid is going to be better. In my opinion he is more complete than both were right now. No one has done what Sidney does on the ice. It honestly makes me giddy just to see him skate around in the offensive zone with the puck because it could go anywhere. It honestly wouldn't surprise me if he did a jumping 360 to get by a defenseman, oh wait.... If you haven't seen him play in person yet you have to go see him. I can't think of another athlete I've seen that I can say with absolute certainty that I will tell my unborn (thank god) children about, oh wait he'll still be playing when my kids are 10. It's just insane to think this 19 year old kid is dominating a sport where players peak in their late 20's / early 30's, and he is 20.

Thing about it is he just doesn't impress me when he has the puck, he plays all 200 feet of the ice equally as hard. He's gritty as fuck too. When he got speared in the last game against the Islanders by Jason Blake (who's also an all-star, so that should make for an interesting locker room...), he got up and started to scream, "Your fucking dead.... DEAD." I felt chill rush over me when that happened. I was terrified, yet was smirking like an idiot. Some how he got a penalty on the play and not Blake, go figure. Also in the Saturday game again Philthadelphia, Zhitnik (fucking communist btw, check out his home country) cross checked Sidney in the neck, Sid just got up and screamed at him and he, once again, got a penalty. My frist concern is that the refs aren't doing enough to protect the only thing the NHL has going for it at this point and my second more alarming concern is that no one from the Pens decked this Cossack piece of shit when it happened. I was foaming at the mouth when it happened (in fact my buddy Wes from DC I was watching the game with stated, "I'm betting you'll have your first Pittsburgh sports related heart attack at 33 and the sad part is he's probably right...). I was listening to the game online on Tuesday and I guess someone got Blake for the assault but still. If I were Brooksy or Max Talbot I would KILL that mother fucker. Seeing us get so chippy with Philthadelphia was great though. I'm all for hiring one of the Hanson brothers to shadow Sid around the ice and drop anyone who goes near him. Now that would be entertaining.

LaRoche for Gonzalez

Pending physicals by both men, Adam LaRoche, LH firstbaseman, has been traded to the Pirates for LHRP Mike Gonzalez. This trade solidifies one position that Littlefield and his team have been trying to attain for nearly 3 seasons. The addition of a lefthanded "power" hitter to the Pirates lineup adds some much needed protection for our other hitters as well as a deep threat considering PNC Park's short right field porch.

The lineup projects to be as follows:

1. (L) Duffy CF
2. (R) Wilson SS
3. (R) Sanchez 3B
4. (R) Bay LF
5. (L) LaRoche 1B
6. (R) Nady RF
7. (R) Paulino C
8. (R) Castillo 2B
9. P

The Pirates have added one lefty to our previous total of one. This is still a problem for us. Our lack of left handed hitting will continue to be a problem this year, but LaRoche gives us a valuable piece we've been looking for for quite some time.

I also couldn't help but notice we have one of the whitest teams in baseball, I'm sure thats just coincidence though.

In other news Craig and I will be posting again as Spring Training is almost underway and the Buccos have FINALLY made a move thats worth talking about.

Rising From the Ashes...

Well, Bob and I both know it has been a while since our last posts. In Bob's case it is due to the end of the baseball season and the lack of activity on the part of the Pirates. In my case it was due to being away from the city, the Steelers awful season, and not being able to watch every Pens game. But now that Bob is excited for the upcoming baseball season (why wouldn't he be) and that I feel the need to comment on the ending of one era, the start of a golden one, and the possible seeds for another. From here on out Bob and I both promise to post with the frequency and vigor of this summer. We also pledge to entertain the 14 bored people at work who enjoy our ramblings.