Saturday, January 27, 2007

Bobby Kielty will never be a Pirate

Otherwise the terrorists win.

Ken Arenson explains.

Saturday notes

Dejan Kovacevic has been spending too much time with the players.

Jack Wilson makes a fine no. 2 hitter when he's hitting well. I'm all for giving him the chance for a week or two in April. If he sucks, move him down to the 8 hole.

Freddy Sanchez should be slapped silly for suggesting he would bunt a baserunner from second to third. Or I should be slapped silly for misreading the article. Either way, that's what he appears to be saying. It's fine to bunt a guy from first to second if LaRoche is due up, but wasting an out to move a guy from scoring position to scoring position sounds like bad strategy to me.

Lineups are not something worth debating much. We should be more worked up about who is starting and who is not on the team.

Speaking of who is not on the team, the Pirates have all but struck out in the quest for the additional starter. I think they need that starter, and some kind of veteran would be good. He does not have to be much better than Josh Fogg; the Pirates need someone who can step in and be a regular if one of the starters goes down.

It's not an urgent need, this need for a fifth or sixth starter, but it is a need.

I'm also puzzled by the Pirates getting outbid on one-year deals for Ohka and Weaver. The one-year deal is where the team should be with these guys. I'd rather sign Weaver at one year for $9M than two years for $14M. The difference is $5M. You don't know that you'll need this starter beyond this year, so overpay for the flexibility next year. That would be my reasoning.

Now I wonder if some kind of trade might not be the way to go. The Dodgers have a glut of starting pitching, for example. Would they take a relief pitcher or two or three?

P.S. The new red uniform is not up to the standard established by my suggestion of this fabric.

Jack calls out Castillo

Jack throws Castillo under the bus:

"I want whoever's going to make this a winning team," Wilson said. "Right now, Freddy is my second baseman, in my mind. He's the guy I can trust to go 100 percent and get the job done. Castillo's got to show me something. You're going to see it in spring training. If he's slimmed down and ready to work, he's going to have a good year. But, if it's the other way around, we're going to have some problems."
Funny Jack feels qualified to rip an overly bulky infielder with poor offensive skills and 18 errors last year. Look at yourself, Jack, and bite your tongue next time. I guess it's nice to see Tracy's teachings finally sinking in.


Wow, the new red uniform is blindingly ugly.

I wonder what the thinking was here. I'd guess an attempt to distance the team from the past 14 years.

Or maybe a calculated plan based upon the 2005 study concluding that "red enhances human performance in contests." The idea is that wearing red confers a psychological advantage:

"... humans redden when we are angry and pale when we're scared. These are very important signals to other individuals."
However, and perhaps relevant here, the authors also note that:
"I'm afraid that wearing red won't do any good if you're hopeless anyway," Barton noted. "We've only noted an effect if the competitors are quite closely matched."

Friday, January 26, 2007

More links than news today

Dejan Kovacevic explains college night at PNC.

The same man suggests the Pirates could get Jon Lieber for a relief pitcher. If I ran the circus, I would trade a relief pitcher for Jon Lieber and his salary.

If you are near the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, you can get autographs and meet Dave Littlefield.

A dental hygienist still loves Richie Hebner, reports Mike Henry of the Bradenton Herald.

George Von Bonko of has audio with Zach Duke.

Local boy does good, Clemente-style, reports Janice Crompton at the PG.

Bob Smizik describes the switch from KDKA to 104.7.

In Steelers news, Dick LeBeau talks about his new boss, in that Gerry Dulac report.

Another Bengal went to jail.

Teresa F. Lindeman explains another method devised by the Colts to cheat. Tony Dungy is a good man, but the Colts are the cheatingest dome team out there. I've been wondering how they plan to cheat in the Super Bowl, and I'm stumped.

Bill Utterback predicts disaster for Mike Tomlin. Darren Perry has quit the team after an interview with Tomlin.

Enjoy the day.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Freddy and Weaver

Dejan reports that the Bucs are nearing a two-year deal with Freddy, and pursuing Jeff Weaver. Ken Rosenthal also suggests that Weaver could end up in Pittsburgh.

New Tomlin house?

Just when the Mike Tomlin transition seemed to be smoothly underway, the CSB breaks the story of Tomlin's new luxury house purchase.

Kordell vs. Deadspin

What's Kordell doing these days? Playing flag football in Grand Central Station with Andre Rison vs. two guys from Deadspin. Really.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Mike Tomlinks

The more I listen to and read about Mike Tomlin, the more I like the signing. Of the Tomlin stuff that I've read, this St. Paul Pioneer Press piece from October stands out.

Gerry Dulac reports: all of the defensive coaches will return, Arians is the new OC, and Ken Anderson is in the mix for new QB coach.

Clark Judge of Sportsline and Ed Bouchette report that Grimm might have misread the Rooneys on Saturday. Which brings us to Prisuta. Rowdy chided me for biting and linking to that pantload. Then the Trib went and prisutaed the whole story as if it never happened. See Ryan at HSS if that last sentence didn't make sense.

Best of luck to Grimm and Whiz, who we'll see again soon enough, as the Steelers play in Arizona next year. And all hail our new coach, who "leans on the side of being calm cause he likes to think clearly."

Monday, January 22, 2007

What Nutting needs to do

New Pirates Roundtable up, in which three expert outsiders (Jeff Sackmann, Dan Szymborski, and David Pinto) answer two questions about what Bob Nutting needs to do to bring competitive baseball back to Pittsburgh, and whether Bucs fans should expect to see a winning team anytime soon. Unimpressed with the LaRoche trade, the three unanimously answer that Nutting needs to fire DL, and forecast more losing.

Meet Tomlin

Ed Bouchette and Gerry Dulac summarize the hiring.

Two of the best players the Steelers have on defense, Hampton and Polamalu, have extraordinary skills which make the 3-4 work. I've long considered the 4-3 a defense that you run when you lack such players.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Tomlin it is

The Post-Gazette confirms the Tomlin story.

It will take me some time to have an opinion on this hiring. When I think Vikings, I think pleasure-boat cruise with strippers. I trust we'll have none of that.

I also trust the Rooneys know best how to choose a new coach. It is interesting that they went outside the organization, again, and that they went, again, with a relatively young man.

Anyway - all hail Tomlin! I will head downstairs for an appropriate porter to celebrate the call.

NFL Championship games

These games should be good. I am pulling for the Saints and I'm not sure who else.

... good brother that he is, Bones e-mails me to mock the mispelling of championship. Nevermind that he could have fixed it in half the time it took to email me ...

No coach hired

Ed Bouchette reports no decision has been made. Until Bouchette or the Steelers' front office reports otherwise, I'm not going to believe news that states otherwise.

Grimm hired

The Trib reports. Here we go, Russ. All hail the new coach!

New alternate uni with red--Rowdy's proposal

This is not as exciting as the previous post, but a little bird tells me the Pirates plan to have a new alternate uniform with some red in it. I suspect this little bird reads the Post-Gazette, but who ever heard of a bird that can read? I didn't like the last alternate uniform so much, so I'll take it upon myself to come up with something better.

(now daydreaming, hand on chin, eyes looking heavenward, softly mumbling) . . . red . . . in uniform . . . red solids, out . . . red pinstripes no, too Cincinnati . . . red outline on the letters? no did that . . . must sell well . . . yes . . . stylish . . . unique . . . manly . . . plain white tops, howabout . . . kinda penn state . . . steelers-on-the-road . . . will show dirt well . . . yes, will show dirt, make duffy and wilson look good . . . yes . . . now, how to get red into the pants . . . hmm . . . must sell well . . . pants must be slim-fitting . . . not baggy . . . dark color with red and yellow . . . oh . . . yes . . . perfect

(now sits up, typing again) I propose plain white tops with minimal black lettering and slim-fitting pants in the brecheen pattern. The players will look good, the chicks will dig it, and these pants would sell like crazy with a little Pirate logo on the pocket.

BREAKING: Steelers will have coach

Not sure who that's going to be, yet, but yes, my sources can confirm that YES, there is a 100% chance that the Steelers WILL have a new head coach for the 2007 season.

Very exciting stuff! Remember, you read it here first.