Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Day/Night: Day Win

The Pirates won the first game of their day/night doubleheader today as they defeated the Cubs 4-0.

Charlie Morton went the complete game for the victory without getting pulled by JR. Big victory for the Pirates.

The Pirates scored four in the first and held on for the rest of the game.

Lastings Milledge led the way for the Pirates with two of the teams six hits. Milledge also had a good, hard, slide in the first to break up a double play and lead to the Pirates scoring the four runs.

Good win. Hate the Cubs.

Lets Go Bucs



Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sano Signs With Twins

The 16 y/o Dominican shortstop, Miguel Sano, is going to be headed to Minnesota as he signed a deal worth $3.15 million. As a Pirate fan as soon as I heard this I pounded my fist on my desk at work and dropped the f-bomb. I would have liked to have Sano as he could be a buy low guy. I mean we are paying some below average players more than that to be a stop gap in the system. At 16 Sano could improve to be a very nice prospect. If he was a bust, it happens. Whatever, does not matter anymore.

At first a lot of people were mad at the Pirate management as it was viewed as "oh here we go again, same story, different day," but that is not it. Sano's agent was going to make sure that his client was not going to sign with the Pirates and he never gave them a chance.

If you have read any Pirate blog such as WHYGAVS, Raise the Jolly Rodger, North Side Notch, or any others you will get the same thing: the Pirates were hosed. Bottom Line.

Here is how it shook out:

The Pirates were the only team to show interest and offer July 2 when he became elligible to sign. They offered $2 million which was promptly rejected by his agent Rob Plummer. The Orioles then offered $2.5 million a few weeks ago and the Pirates went over the top with a $2.6 million offer. That was also turned down. Then it gets interesting.

Out of nowhere today Sano signed with Minnesota. ESPN's Jorge Arangure was on twitter all day giving updates and every update that kept coming during the day spelled out how things really went down. It is to be noted that Arangure was following this from pretty much the second Sano was born.

Tweet 1: Sano Orioles offer never went past $2.5m. Pirates offer was $2.6
Tweet 2: Basically, the Pirates didn't sign Sano because of the fractured relationship between the Pirates and Sano's agent
Tweet 3: My read of the situation is that the agent did not like the close relationship thet Pirates had with Sano's family
Tweet 4: The Pirates were absolutely stunned by Sano's signing today. They had no clue it was coming.
Tweet 5: From my understanding, the Orioles were given a chance to match. The Pirates were not given that chance.
Tweet 6: Twins were only team that met agent's demands. They were told their offer wouldn't be shopped around as a result
Tweet 7: Twins official offer on Tuesday was accepted in 10 minutes by agent. So the deal wasn't shopped around

Then this gem that we got today from the PG

"Hunnington and Plummer had agreed last month that the Pirates would get a call once he reached an agreement with any team, but both sides acknowledged today that Plummer never called them back"

and this also

"Plummer said earlier today that, even if the Pirates had come back with more money, he would not have signed with them because he apprecited how the Twins dealt with him."

So basically Plummer didn't like that the Pirates had a good relationship with Sano's family and he didn't like the Pirates so he went out just to toy with the fans and them. The Pirates got hosed. Who knows if they would have offered more money to sign Sano but I bet they would have.

Plummer said that the fans would see they could have signed his agent when the numbers come out, but they were never given the chance. Up until the Orioles offer a week or so ago the Pirates were the only ones bidding. So why would the Pirates bid against themselves? Would you pay more for something on ebay if you were the only one bidding? Would you inentionally say, "well I am winning this for $5 but I am just going to give the guy $10 for the hell of it." No that is bad.

Plummer did not like the Pirates and would not let his client sign with them for any reason. Sano actually wanted to be a Pirate but I guess this is more about Plummer than the client. What a joke and what a tool bag. Maybe more on this later but this is not the Pirates fault. They had no chance and were kept in the pitch black.

News and Notes 9-29-09


Well, I am feeling pretty lazy today, that and I am pretty busy in the office today so this will be a short links page with a couple of things, but not too much. If you don't like it then I am sorry. Actually I am not sorry but I just thought that might make you feel better.

First off, here is a free transcript of the Mike Tomlin Press Conference courtesy of Steel City Insider. Real good stuff. Great find.

Rashard Mendenhall and Limas Sweed are not making big impressions with Mike Tomlin. Sweed will probably not dress this week as Shawn McDonald will probably be the fourth wide receiver for the game against the Chargers. Mendenhall did not play in the backfield against the Bengals because "he did not do the details" in the week leading up to the game said HCMT. This draft class looks like a bust so far. Hopefully these two can get their heads on right and be productive this year.

At the Mike Tomlin presser he said that the team would most likely sign a fullback because Frank Summers has a back issue and David Johnson has a high ankle sprain. The Steelers then went out and signed Carey Davis. Not crazy about the move. Davis is not a fullback, he is not a running back, he is a tweener. I wish they would have went out and signed a real fullback.

It appears as if Willie Parker has turf toe. That is a tough injury to have and it will be interesting to see how this plays out for the Steelers. Hopefully he can play through this as he gashed the Chargers the last time they played in the playoffs.

The Penguins will have the big screen up for the regular season opener on Friday. Great to see that the screen will be up and I bet that it will be jammed packed.

The Penguins signed defenseman Martin Skoula to the team. Not real sure about him. Played with the Wild last year. He has won a cup. In Shero We Trust. via Pensburgh. Here is what Seth over at Empty Netters thought. He would know much more about Skoula than I.

Dave Molinari takes an inside look at the Penguins roster by position.


Some people are upset that John Russell took out Zach Duke last night in the ball game against the Dodgers, which they won 11-1. I honestly can't believe this is the highlight of the game that made the paper today. How about LaRoche going 5-for-5 with four extra base hits (two doubles, two home runs) and six RBI. Quit bitching about Russell and give props to Andy and Zach for the jobs they did.


Monday, September 28, 2009

BUCS WIN, BUCS WIN


Yes ladies and gentlemen, I said it twice. That is because we are covering no one, but two Pirate wins. The Pirates took three out of four from the Dodgers today and only need to go 4-3 the last seven games in order to avoid losing 100 games.

Now lets get to it.

On Sunday the Pirates used a Lastings Milledge bases clearing single to beat the Dodgers. The score was tied in the ninth inning and in came Matt Capps who has been downright terrible this season. How does that go? He gives up three runs and you probably think that it is game over and the Pirates have no chance. Well not these Bucs.

Delwyn Young, who was pinch hitting for Brain Bixler, singled to lead off the inning and then was followed by a Brandon Moss single and Andrew McCutchen reached on a fielder choice where Brandon Moss was out at second base. Andy LaRoche singled in the infield to plate Young and both he and McCutchen moved up on a Raffy Furcal error. Garrett Jones was then walked and Lastings Milledge ended it with a single that was muffed by Andre Ethier and all the runs scored for the Pirates walk-off win.

It has to be a side note that something happened in the game that you might never, ever, see again. Brian Bixler got a hit. Let me repeat that again. Brian Bixler got a hit. Here is the link to the box score incase you do not believe me. Hell, I didn't believe it until I had talked to a person that physically saw the hit happen. Don't worry, it was only one hit, and yes he did strike out again. Shocker.

Today the Pirates just went nuts on the Dodgers. 11-1 win where Zach Duke went 8.2 innings of mostly shut out baseball, giving up a run in the ninth. He moves to 11-15 on the season and really did a nice job.

The Pirates pounded out 15 hits, and the one through three batters went 10-14 on the day with eight runs scored and eight RBI. Most of that was done by Andy LaRoche. He just went off today. 5-for-5 with two home runs, two doubles, six RBI, four runs scored. How much better could he have done today?

Garrett Jones went deep again for the 21st time this season. He has just been on a tear and he was not even up here for the entire season. He is hitting .305 after a 2-for-5 day today. McCutchens numbers have gone down a little bit recently (only hitting .286 now, not bad though) so I feel that GFJ is a true ROY candidate. Imagine if he would have played the whole season. 30 home runs? Probably. I would like to see it again to give us something.

A five run second inning was all the Pirates needed to win this ball game. They finally put a complete game together and this was great to see.

I like it

Lets Go Bucs



Another Black Monday

Is there anything worse than the Monday after a Steelers loss? All the people talking smack because they are jealous that you have a great team and they cheer for the Broncos or Browns? It is terrible. I usually think about it until Wednesday or so and by Thursday I am ready for game time.

Something was different about yesterday. I was so pissed after the game I literally didn't talk for two hours after the game. It was hard. Especially because at the bar I was at there were people cheering for the Bengals because they were playing the Steelers. Needless to say I was pretty down. Only a brand new Family Guy could get me to somewhat forget for a second and put a smile on my face (btw Family Guy was amazingly funny last night).

The wierd thing about all of this I am telling you is that I slept really well last night. I woke up and actually feel good about the Steelers. I turn on ESPN Radio and the first thing I hear is Colin Cowherd come on the radio and say "There are 1-2 teams that will be alright and there are 2-1 teams that are just above average. The Pittsburgh Steelers are 1-2, and they will be alright." Colin is 100% right. To back that up Trent Dilfer comes on the show and says "If there is a 1-2 team you don't panic about, it's the Pittsburgh Steelers."

I feel a lot better because I know they are right. I didn't want to have to justify myself that I was right when I was telling people last night that it was only WEEK THREE. I am not crazy. I am realistic. You know who won the Super Bowl in 2007? The New York Giants. You know they started out 0-2? No, I bet you didn't. That worked out didn't it?

Remember this game last year? Most of you guys wanted to sell your Steeler pride because Ben got sacked eight times and the Steelers were 2-1. Who would have thought at that point that you were watching the eventual Super Bowl champions? I know none of you did. It would have been hard to do that.

There are plenty of reasons to believe in the Steelers. For one, we have Ben Roethlisberger. He is a gammer and he is a winner and you know it. There are very few top notch quarterbacks in the NFL and we have one of them. If he had a minute to work with last night and the Steelers would have won that football game.

The offensive line is giving Ben time. One sack yesterday and two the week before. Seven sacks in three games. Not too bad when the Steelers gave up nine total in just that Philly game last year. Willie Parker found some holes. He looked good as he bounced it to the outside. Our offense can play. Our defense will get there. Troy will come back and he knows how to play some football. I can't wait to see him.

Also, the schedule will get there. The Chargers will be a very tough game then we get the Lions and Browns. The Ravens beat up some bad teams already. Great they beat the Browns and the Chiefs. Wow. They go to New England next week. We could be one game back after next week without even playing the Ravens, and we play them twice. I feel good and so should you.

Maybe this is me being way too optimistic but this team is going to make the playoffs. They could be 3-0 or they could be 0-3. The NFL has some good teams. The Bears were no slouch and the Bengals are defiantly a better team than last year.

Here We Go

Sunday, September 27, 2009

It All Falls Down, Steelers Lose

The Steelers did something they have not done in the last eight times in Cincinnati, they lost. I am not going to sit here and beat around the bush, this one hurts. It hurts really bad. Cincinnati did not play a very good game but they got it done when they needed it done. 3-3 on fourth down conversions, late touchdown adds up to a win. The Steelers got away from what worked, they played very conservative down the stretch, and they lost. Not much more to say than that. The Steelers are now in third place in the AFC North and two games behind the Ravens. The good news? It is week three. Lets put things in perspective. Get your mind right.

Once again the Steelers came out and were just on fire to start. After a Cincinnati three and out the Steelers then went down and got a Jeff Reed field goal to build a 3-0 lead. Another three and out and a touchdown later the Steelers went up 10-0 and it was golden. Another red zone failure led to a Jeff Reed field goal and a 13-0 first quarter lead. The Steelers held the Bengals to -10 yards in the first quarter. I thought the route was on. I was wrong. Bengals battle back and win.

Ben played pretty well. He went 22/31 for 276 yards a TD and a pick. A pick six none the less. Barf. Ben and Santonio were on the wrong page and Jon Joseph took it back which was a killer for the Steelers. Not sure who's fault it was but it was just a killer for the Steelers and it gave the Bengals a lot of confidence that they could come back.

Limas Sweed had the game wrapped up for the Steelers. Ben throws a great strike down the middle of the field on third down and Limas had the ball in his hands and when he it the ground it came out. There is no excuse for dropping that ball. That was the ball game and Sweed let it go through his hands. Not completely his fault, but that was a huge part of the game.

Mike Wallace really stepped up for the Steelers. Seven catches for 102 yards. He is the number three receiver on this team. Limas Sweed is not ready for the big time but Mike Wallace made a huge step to gettin more balls. It looks as if Big Ben is starting to believe in him and trusts him with the ball in big situations.

The defense gave up a good bit of big plays today. Cedric Benson went for a 23 yard touchdown, basically untouched to make the score 20-15. You rarely see that kind of defense out of the Steelers. They make their trademark off of stopping the run and it really wasn't there for the Steelers at points in the game. The defensive line really never got to Carson Palmer and if you are going to give Palmer time, he is going to beat you. The Steelers sacked him twice but on that last drive he got time to throw and he burned the Steelers.

I am not real sure what was going on, but the play calling got very conservative near the end of the game. Listen, Willie Parker was running the ball well, the line did a pretty decent job but Ben is your horse. Ben is what makes this team goes and Ben is who you ride during these games. The short passes were working and it was pretty much an extension of the running game and the Steelers just went away from it. I have no idea what was going on, but that was kind of troublesome. I know the Steelers are known for smash mouth football but this is a different time for the Steelers whether you like it or not.

There is so much more to talk about and I have no idea where to even go from here. I will go over more stuff over the next couple of days so stay tuned for more incite. This one is tough

Here We Go

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Game Day 3 - Cincinnati Bengals

Picture: Chad Ochocinco celebrating a touchdown, something he hasn't done against Pittsburgh very much.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are going to look to improve to 2-1 when they travel to Paul Brown Stadium to take on the Cincinnati Bengals at 4:15 on Sunday afternoon. This will be the Steelers last 4:15 game of the season as they will play 10 1 o'clock games and four prime time games left in the seasons.

Last year the Steelers took down the Bengals twice. The first was in week seven of the '08 season with a 38-10 win and a home win in the 12th week with a 27-10 win.

Here is a look at last weeks games:
Passing: Ben Roethlisberger, 23-35, 221 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 1 rush TD
Rushing: Willie Parker, 14 carries, 47 yards
Receiving: Santonio Holmes, 5 rec, 83 yards

Passing: Carson Palmer, 15-23, 185 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT, 1 rush TD
Rushing: Cedric Benson, 29 carries, 141 yards
Receiving: Chad Ochocinco, 4 rec, 91 yards, 1 TD

Offense (rank in NFL)
Total Offense

Pittsburgh: 332.5 yards/game (16th)
Cincinnati: 313 yards/game (21st)
Passing

Pittsburgh: 262 yards/game (t-7th)
Cincinnati: 194.5 yards/game (23rd)

Rushing

Pittsburgh: 70.5 yards/game (28th)
Cincinnati: 118.5 yards/game (12th)

Points

Pittsburgh: 13.5 points/game (29th)
Chicago: 19 points/game (t-20th)

Defense

Total Defense

Pittsburgh: 297.5 yards/game (9th)
Cincinnati: 306.5 yards/game (11th)

Rush

Pittsburgh: 65 yards/game (t-8th)
Cincinnati: 82 yards/game (11th)

Pass

Pittsburgh: 232.5 yards/game (19th)
Cincinnati: 224.5 yards/game (16th)

Points

Pittsburgh: 13.5 points/game (t-5th)
Cincinnati: 18 points/game (18th)

This is a very important game for the Steelers. They lost a game in Chicago that they should not have lost, and the Ravens won. If the Steelers lose this they will most likely fall another game back of the Ravens. The Ravens play the Browns. If they lose to the Browns then I will throw out everything that I know. I think the Browns are that bad.

Cincinnati has been talked about all preseason and in the short part of the regular season that they are a different team than we have seen. They have been said to have some fire power now that Carson Palmer is back and Chad Ochocinco is playing his game. They have some running game going after a 141 yard effort from Cedric Benson and they look to move up the AFC North charts. To be honest, they are one fluke play away from being 2-0.

The Bengals have an improved defesne and they also have a player with seven sacks named Antwan Odom. Five sacks against the Packers last night and two more against Denver in the first week. I mean five sacks in a game? Not too bad. Hopefully we can keep Ben clean. The offensive line did a pretty nice job last week for the Steelers giving up two sacks, but to be honest both of those were not on the offensive line.

Chad Ochocinco scored a TD last week and did a Lambeau Leap into a few Bengals fans that were at the game and has already said he was going to do a spanish themed touchdown dance if he scores this week. If he scores. Ocho has only three touchdowns in the last 10 games against the Steelers so this is far from a sure thing that Chad is going to get into the end zone. Chad has already busted out his list of DB's and said he was going to make Ike and Will Gay "kiss the baby" this week. Basically that means that he is going to have his way and have a great game against the both, which he rarely does. Actually Chad hasn't gone over 100 yards on the Steelers since 2003 when he had six grabs for 117 so it does not look real promising for Chad to torch the Steelers.

Like I said above the offensive line is going to be huge. Lets keep Ben pretty clean and get a few holes here and there and I really think the Steelers will be ok. I know the Bengals are a better team this year but I think the Steelers are still a much better team. The line opened up a few holes last week and there were more than a few 10+ yard runs by all the backs so there is a glimmer of hope.

The defense is going to have to step up also. Last week they only let up 17 point, but had some breakdowns and let the Bears go on long drives a few times. That is not Pittsburgh defense, and I am not worried. Sure they only have two sacks this year, but that will change. This defense is too good to let the Bears beat them. Troy is still going to be out so that will defiantly make the defense go down a little bit but they are still loaded with stars that will beat teams. Ty Carter isn't the answer but I think he will step up a little better. When you have Dick Lebeau you always have a chance. He will have something.

Some might want to call Paul Brown Stadium Heinz Field West, and with good cause. Since 2002 the Steelers have not lost in Cincinnati. Big Big has not lost in the state of Ohio since he has been in the league. Since 2002 the Steelers have been 8-0 at Cincinnati and the Steelers have averaged 27 points per game while at "Heinz Field West". The Bengals have only averaged 14 points per game and have never scored more than 17 points against the Steelers.

With that last paragraph being said, the Steelers win 27-14. Book it.

Here We Go

Friday, September 25, 2009

Our Igloo, Our Home

This is amazing. Found this on Empty Netters, guess it has been around for a while. You will be missed Igloo. No further introduction needed.



News and Notes 9-25-09

Here are a little bit of news and notes from around our favorite spots teams here in the Burgh on a pretty slow day of sports.

The Bucs lost to the Reds last night. It was the same old story for the Pirates as they could not get anything going. They even had to close the upper deck of the stadium because they were not going to have a bunch of people in the park due to the G-20 (maybe).

Charlie Morton got hit up for four runs in the third and blanked the Reds the rest of the contest. Lastings Milledge continues to be strong for the Pirates as he went deep for his third of the season. After the bomb they set off the fireworks. I bet the people at the G-20 had to check their pants.

The Penguins dropped their contest to the Jackets 5-2. Like I have been saying, its preseason. Sid actually left the game with a groin issue. Not sure what is up with that, but he will be shut down the rest of preseason.

Geno had a goal and Nate Guenin had the goals for the Penguins. Guenin is fighting for a spot on the team so that was pretty huge for him.

Tyrone Carter is going to be appealing his $5,000 fine that he got for hitting Greg Olson "helmet to helmet" last Sunday. I mean if you don't want helmets to hit then tell the players not to wear helmets. This is getting out of hand. Things happen, sure their helmets might have hit but come on. What a terrible fine.

Hines Ward said that he would do it again when asked about the new rule which will prohibit hits such as the one he put on Bengals linebacker Keith Rivers. Good for him. This is why its ok:

"No, I'll still hit him, I'll just get fined," Ward said. "It's either that or try to hurt somebody. So you either fine me or you want me to end someone's career (by hitting them low). I'd rather take a fine than end someone's career, so I'm not going to change."

I agree 100% Hines.

The Steelers have a few more minority owners.

Steelers pre-game coming tomorrow...

Igloo post to follow...must see


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pittsburgh and the G-20

So I am sitting here at work and doing this and that, checking Twitter about every twenty minutes and I am literally laughing out loud as I am looking at pictures of the G-20.

A line that I especially like is when I saw this gem which was retweeted by The Pensblog: "They're answering the Free Tibet march participants with "Here we go, Steelers!"

Haha. Only in Pittsburgh.

Here are a few of the pictures. Most deal with Pittsburgh sports fans just outright mocking the protesters that are in Pittsburgh...







What an amazing display from the Pittsburgh people. A guy, holding a home made Stanley Cup in the middle of protesters. Awesome. Here We Go!

Preseason Game 5 - Columbus Blue Jackets

The Pens take a short travel to Columbus for another preseason game against the Blue Jackets. Not too much to report about the game except they are going to run out a more "regular season" roster tonight with Sid and Geno both being in the game today. Gonch is not going to play in tonight's game nor is Brooks Orpik.

It is preseason. You don't need to see much from Sarge or Brooks.

Here is the Pens line-up:

FORWARDS
Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby-Bill Guerin
Ruslan Fedotenko-Evgeni Malkin-Tyler Kennedy
Matt Cooke-Jordan Staal-Chris Conner
Paull Bissonnette-Mike Rupp-Eric Godard
(Ryan Bayda)

DEFENSEMEN
Mark Eaton-Nate Guenin
Alex Goligoski-Deryk Engelland
Jay McKee-Kris Letang

GOALTENDERS
Marc-Andre Fleury, John Curry

Guenin and Engelland will be battling for some PT as the Pens seventh D-man so this is a pretty important game for both of them.

Here is what Columbus has coming against the Pens (with no lines announced):

FORWARDS
Michael Blunden, Jared Boll, Matt Calvert, Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett, Nikita Filatov, Derek MacKenzie, Andrew Murray, Rick Nash, Samuel Pahlsson, Alexandre Picard, R.J. Umberger, Jakub Voracek.

DEFENSMEN

Grant Clitsome, Jan Hejda, David Liffiton, John Moore, Mathieu Roy, Kris Russell


GOALTENDERS

Mathieu Garon, Steve Mason


The game will be on the Penguins radio HD network so you will be able to listen to the game but from what I can understand there will be no video of the game.

Lets Go Pens

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Strugglin Bucs

The Pirates dropped their 22nd game in their last 25 games with a 12-2 loss to the Reds. The Pirates are also 12-36 since August 1. Not. Very. Good.

Cutch and Doumit each had two hits, but that was about it. Five different Reds had two RBI as they outhit the Bucs 14-5.

This was the 82nd time the Pirates were held to three runs or less in a game. They are 13-69 in those games. They have been shut out 15 times this year. In games where they score zero or one run they are 0-39. Awesome.

Could be worse, could be a Cubs fan. 100+ years is a long time.

Lets Go Bucs

Defy Ordinary

Here is the Penguins new campaign for this year. It is called Defy Ordinary. Not a bad vid, little cheesy but you will have that. Kind of sad they are replacing "It's a Great Day for Hockey" because it was brought on in honor of Badger Bob but none the less here is the vid.




The best part of the vid is watching the people jump up in unison on the lawn after a goal. It is around the 1:50 mark. Goose-bumps.

Lets Go Pens

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Worst. Pirate. Ever. Bucs Lose

It is official, Brian Bixler is the worse Pirate to every put on a jersey. He is worse than JVB, Chad Hermenson, and Pirate Derek Bell put together. If he is on the team next year I might not go to a single game that he is up on the big league roster. I just don't get what they see in him. What is he good at, besides striking out.

I mean Andrew McCutchen walks after a previous walk to make the score 10-4. Bases loaded. Bixler up. What does he do? Strike out to a scrub ass pitcher. I just don't get what the Pirates see in Brian Bixler. He has struck out 24 times in 39 plate appearances. Wow, you have got to be kidding me. Really?

I will do a post after the season about what I had mentioned before but I just couldn't take it tonight. A single there would score two, a double would score three and it would be a 10-7 game. That would at least give the Pirates a chance.

Other than God awful Bixler being in the game it was the same old story for the Pirates. Grab an early lead, then give up a whole bunch and only have one side of the coin work. Pitching struggled a little, offense was pretty good but couldn't push accross many runs.

14 hits for the Pirates and only four runs. Lastings Milledge pulled up his season average to .297 with a three hit performance and Garrett Jones had three hits in the loss. McCutchen and Cedeno each had two hits as the Pirates showed life offensively since the Nixon administration.

Zach Duke gave up five runs in six innings of work while also giving up nine hits. Donny Veal gave up three and Eric Hacker gave up two runs in his first major league. The pitching has been pretty up and down with the up being the starting pitching and the down being the pen. Too bad we can't have 95% of our games be complete games. We would win more games.

What is another loss for these Pirates though? They are one closer to 100 and they are still 5.5 back of the worst record in baseball. I don't even know what to think anymore. I can't wait until next year already. See how this young group of players progress and see what transpires.

Lets Go Bucs

Pens Lose

If this were the regular season the Penguins would probably not be playoff bound. Since it is not, who cares.

The Penguins lost today's preseason battle with the Leafs 3-2 in a shoot out. Blah.

Ryan Bayda and Chris Connor scored both goals in the first and that was really it for the Penguins offense for the game.

The Leafs scored with the extra attacker with a little over a minute left in the game and then the won with two gaols in the shoot out.

Sid, Geno, MAF, Gonch, Tanger all didn't play so whatev

Once again I couldn't watch much of the game, but from what I did watch it was a pretty nice job by the youngsters working hard and taking some advantages.

Lets Go Pens

Preseason Game 4 - Toronto Maple Leafs

Today is the second game in as many days for the Penguins as they will travel the short distance from Montreal to Toronto to play the Leafs.

If you ever wanted to know what it would look like if half of the Penguins teams all caught the Black Plague at the same time then this is your hockey game to watch. Check out this line-up that the Pens will put on the ice tonight:

FORWARDS
Matt Cooke-Jordan Staal-Tyler Kennedy
Chris Conner-Dustin Jeffrey-Ruslan Fedotenko
Nick Johnson-Mike Rupp-Konstantin Pushkarev/Ryan Bayda
Paul Bissonnette-Wyatt Smith-Wade Brookbank

DEFENSE
Jay McKee-Alex Goligoski
Mark Eaton-Robert Bortuzzo
Ben Lovejoy-Nate Guenin

GOALTENDERS
Brent Johnson, John Curry

How many times this year, preseason included, did you think you would say "Matt Cooke" and "playing on the first line" in the same sentence? For me it was never. This may be a once in a lifetime thing you are going to watch here tonight.

No word yet on what the Leafs will send out there. If there is anything and I have some time to throw it up I will update this post.

The game will be played on the NHL Network and we will get the TSN feed here in the states. I wish we could get more TSN games during the regular season, what a staff.

In all seriousness this is a pretty important game for the guys wearing the Pens uniforms. These guys are playing for a spot on a roster, or if they are not, they are playing to stay in the system and for the chance to get called up later in the year if an injury happens (which it will). Some people might think this is just a joke of a game that will be boring. Make no mistake about it that this game will be very competitive and it can show you a lot about the depth of the Penguins system.

The Penguins pretty much said that the next two games, and the last two preseason games, (Thursday @ Columbus, Sunday @ Detroit) will be dress rehearsals for the regular season which will start in about 10 days. That is when we will see some resemblance of what the real roster will look like and who will probably make this team. Should be great thing the rest of the week.

Lets Go Pens

Riots in the Steet, Pens Lose

The Penguins went into the Bell Center and dropped a conest to the Canadians 4-3. Bing and Geno both played for the Penguins and Geno chipped in with a goal. If this was for a playoff spot it would be a big deal. Carey Price has plenty more games to blow before that.

The Penguins gave up a shorty in the third period for the beginning of three unanswered goals by the Canadians.

I was only able to watch the second period of the game today, but from what I got to watch the Penguins looked really good. They had good puck possesion and they knocked in a few goals and came very close to punching in a few more.

If the Canadians are going to do anything this year they are going to have to cut down the puck at the point. Sergei Gonchar had three days to set up at the point and he made the Canadians pay.

On a little bit of a down note the Englland/Lovejoy combination was a combined -5 and I belive they were on the ice for three of the Canadians goals. Not good for either of them as they look to sneak into the number six or seven spot.

Like I said, it is preseason and it does not mean shit. I mean to be honest it is a win that nobody got hurt and the Penguins are healthy.

They play in like five minutes. The season is near.

Lets Go Pens

Monday, September 21, 2009

Follow-up Reaction to Steelers Loss

After getting up today and realizing that it was not a dream and the Steelers did suffer the 17-14 loss to the Bears yesterday. There are still a ton of things that are running through my head and I have no idea where to start. Well here goes nothing:

I really hope people do not bash Jeff Reed. Should he have made one of those kicks? Yea, I would have like (and would have put all my money) that he could make one of two. But he didn't, it happens. How many games has Jeff Reed won for this team? How many times has the offense been terrible, or the defense had a bad day and Jeff Reed bail us out with a game winning FG to end the game?

This team was not going to go 16-0. This loss hurts, don't get me wrong, but there are certain reasons why that very few team go through a season without a loss. Hell it's tough to go 13-3. I guess to look at the silver lining is that we lost to an NFC team that is supposed to be a lot better with Jay Cutler. It could be a lot worse for the Steelers.

Like I talked about in the post game wrap-up I thought the line played very well. The Steelers rushed for over 100 yards on the day, a ton better than the 30 yards they had in week one. I guess it could only get better from week one but you never know. I thought Ben got ample time to find receivers and he did a pretty good job of finding them and getting some completions.

What I really noticed yesterday during the game was how much the Steelers used screen passes in lou of running plays. I know that people do not want to think this team is a passing team, but they are. They cannot run the ball like they used to and they are now using screens and quick hitters to our receivers in order to supplement the 80-100 yards we will get every week on the ground (hopefully). Is this ideal? No. Does it work? Who knows for how long. Whatever it takes to win I am cool with. Yesterday though was really telling that they were going to do that a little more.

Mewelde Moore played a really nice game yesterday. He is not going to rush for 100 yards or catch 11 passes, but he will get the job done. He is a very versatile back that can do a little bit of everything really well. He is much better this year picking up the blitz and really saved Ben last night on a few occasions with great pick ups on blitz's. I know Minnesota has a good back up there but I had a good feeling when we got Mewelde and he is really doing nice things for this team. He can catch the screen, he can go into the slot, perfect third down back, can block. I like it.

There is plenty of more to talk about, so as things come up I will be updating with new post, although most will be short, they are better than nothing. This will help me keep my mind occupied until Thursday when I really get geeked up for the Bengals.

Here We Go

Preseason Game 3 - Montreal Canadians

The Penguins gear up for their third preseason game tonight as they will travel to Montreal to take on the Canadians.

Here is the line-up the Penguins will use:

FORWARDS
Luca Caputi-Sidney Crosby-Bill Guerin

Chris Kunitz-Evgeni Malkin-Eric Tangradi

Pascal Dupuis-Craig Adams-Tim Wallace

Ryan Bayda-Dustin Jeffrey-Eric Godard

DEFENSEMEN
Ben Lovejoy-Deryk Engelland

Simon Despres-Kris Letang

Brooks Orpik-Sergei Gonchar

GOALTENDERS

Marc-Andre Fleury, John Curry

The Habs will use

FORWARDS
Mike Cammalleri, Brian Gionta, Matt D'Agostini, Scott Gomez, Andrei Kostitsyn, Ian Lapierre, Guillame Latendresse, Ben Maxwell, Eric Neilson, Max Pacioretty, Tom Pyatt, Gregory Stewart

DEFENSEMEN
Shawn Belle, Mathieu Carle, Josh Gorges, Andrei Markov, Jaroslav Spacek, Yannick Weber

GOALTENDERS
Carey Price, Curtis Sanford


There will be some TV for the game. From what I have been able to find the NHL Network will be covering the game as well. I guess the game will be on the radio on the new HD channel but you are going to need to go to the Pens website to check it out.

Lets Go Pens

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bears Strike Gould...Steelers Lose

The Steelers got dropped by the Chicago Bears Sunday afternoon by the score of 17-14. Jeff Reed missed two late field goals and Robby Gould knocked one through the uprights with 21 seconds to go to win it for the Bears.

What started out as a great game from the Steelers went sour pretty quickly.

The Steelers started the game off strong with a 92 yard drive after the defense forced a three and out. The drive lasted 8:02 and was wrapped up by a Ben Roethlisberger TD pass to Matt Spaeth. 7-0 Steelers and you would have thought the Steelers were going to roll, hell I thought they were going to make this a route. They did not. The defense did their part by getting another three and out but then Ben throws a pick early in the second quarter and thats where it started going bad.

How good was the first quarter? The Steelers had eight first downs and held the Bears to none and led in total yards 119-11. Pretty good quarter, I mean how do you do any better than that? You don't.

Just when things started going bad, the rain comes. When it rained in Chicago, it poured, in more than just precipitation. Ben could not get a grip on the ball and Tone couldn't catch a cold. What a terrible mess the second quarter was and then the Steelers just kind of slept walked through the rest of the game.

I talked before the game about how Danny S was going to have to have a big day in order for the Steelers to win. He did. Pinned the Bears at their own three before the defense gave up a 97 yard drive in 13 plays. That drive was kept alive by a horrific holding call on Lawrence Timmons to give the Bears a first down and let the drive continue. What a terrible call.

The Steelers actually got things going a little bit in the second half. Fast Willie had a couple long runs and Rashard Mendenhall broke off a 39 yard run to set up a Big Ben score for a 14-7 Steeler lead. The Steelers got the ball back and that is when Reed missed his first FG. After another Bears score the Steelers had a chance to win it with about a minute and a half to go and Reed missed another one. The Bears come back down, Harrison forces the Forte fumble and it bounces right though Ty Carter's legs right to a Bears player. It just was not meant to be I guess.

Lets take a look at a few things. The offensive line was very good today. Two sacks today but the first was on Ben. He got about five or six seconds to throw and just ate the ball and took a sack. The second one was a little bit out manned but overall there was great time in the pocket for Ben all day. Willie had creases and there will nice seams for all the backs. I was really happy with how they handled the blitz and it was a vast improvement from week one. Hopefully this keeps up.

Everyone wants to talk about how Jeff Reed missed two FG and that is why the Steelers lost. It was much more than that. I put this game on the recievers. The Steelers recievers are usually shore handed but today was bad all around. Holmes dropped a good share of passes including one he should have had in the endzone to probably win the game. What the worst play of the game was by far was Mike Wallace. Gets a ball on a second and long and gets within a yard of the first down marker then goes out of bounce. WTF were you thinking Mike? You get the first down we run the clock and probably either have it where we go for the win or have overtime. Instead you run out of bounce, don't pick up the first down and we have to try a 40 something yard field goal. Rookie mistake. He is going to hear about that one tomorrow.

It is clear that the Steelers need Troy back. On Denver's second touchdown Ty Carter was a little late on a third down play when Cutler threw it quickly as to know get sacked and it was a TD instead of a FG. Troy makes that play. It is just some of the little things that Troy does that we need to have back. He is only out another three weeks probably but this team needs him.

Can anyone ever hold James Harrison? I hate talking about officiating because it does not decide games but I would love to know what referee's think when they SEE James Harrison get tackled and decide not to throw a flag. I mean not just being held, being tackled. What has to happen for them to call holding? I just don't get it. It baffles me.

Well when I set out and looked at the schedule I figured this one was going to be a loss. I figured five losses for the Steelers and this was one. Sure I figured this as a loss but it still hurts really bad when they lose. It is going to be a long week.

More to come tomorrow about the game and how the rest of the AFC North did.

Here We Go

Game Day 2 - Pittsburgh @ Chicago

Well here we are. After 10 days off the Steelers will be back on the field to face off against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL. I don't know about you but I am geeked up for this game and this should be a good one. Which Jay Cutler will show up? The one that always killed the Steelers in Denver, or the one that will throw 10 picks and put his team behind the eight ball all game?


Here is the results from last weeks games:


Passing: Roethlisberger, 33-43, 363 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Parker, 13 carries, 19 yards
Rec: Holmes, 9 rec, 131 yards, 1 TD
Green Bay 21, Chicago 15
Passing: Cutler, 17-36, 277 yards, 1 TD, 4 INT
Rushing: Forte, 25 carries, 55 yards
Rec: Hester, 4 rec, 90 yads, 1 TD
Lets take a look at the numbers for the teams:
Offense (rank in NFL)
Total Offense

Pittsburgh: 357 yards/game (10th)
Chicago: 352 yards/game (11th)
Passing

Pittsburgh: 321 yards/game (4th)
Chicago: 266 yards/game (10th)

Rushing

Pittsburgh: 36 yards/game (29th)
Chicago: 86 yards/game

Points

Pittsburgh: 13 points/game (24th)
Chicago: 15 points/game (22nd)

Defense

Total Defense

Pittsburgh: 320 yards/game (20th)
Chicago: 226 yards/game (5th)

Rush

Pittsburgh: 86 yards/game (15th)
Chicago: 76 yards/game (11th)

Pass

Pittsburgh: 234 yards/game (19th)
Chicago: 150 yards/game (6th)

Points

Pittsburgh: 10 points/game (5th)
Chicago: 21 points/game (18th)

Now taking a look at last week we see the one main point. The Steelers won and the Bears lost. We also see that Jay Cutler threw four picks. Joke.

The big news is that the big guns on both teams defense is out for this week, and longer. Troy Polomalu is out for 3-6 weeks with a knee injury and Bears inside linebacker Brian Urlacher is out for the season with a busted up wrist that he had to have surgery on. I have a feeling that will have a significant effect on how these teams go forward. Urlacher is the heart and sole of that defensive unit and is a really solid players. On the flip side Polomalu is out, but not for the season, for a few weeks. It will simplify the Steelers defense but they are still nasty so I imagine the Steelers being better off.

On other injury news Limas Sweed will be out of the ball game with an injury and Lawrence Timmons will be back after letting us know on Friday afternoon via his blog. Interesting.

Can the Steelers running game get going? The line is taking a huge hit on this from everyone and Willie Parker has stepped up and took some of the blame for it. The reality is that it is a little bit of everyone. They need to get it going and a 100 yard rusher would calm a lot of peoples nerves.
The Bears are going to have to get the ball to Matt Forte to have a decent chance to win the ball game. Forte is a horse when it comes to the Bears offense. He was on the field for something like 70% of their plays last year on offense. He is a very capable back catching the football out of hte backfield so that will be a key. Can LT get on Forte in the flat and eliminate that. That will be a huge key.

What has not been talked about as much as it probably should have is the special teams battle that will take place Sunday. Devin Hester is a dynamic returner both on kick returns and punt returns. It will be up to Jeff Reed and Danny S to get the ball into a place where Hester only has a few choices. The Steelers need to force Hester to run where the Steelers want him to run and give him no creases to run through.

Big Ben threw 43 times last week. I doubt he really has to do that this much against the Bears but I would not be surprised if he did. A few seasons ago, hell even last year, I would have been nervous if you told be Ben was going to have to throw 40+ times in a game. Now I am ok with that. I understand he is going to take some sacks but I am ok with that because the good outweighs the bad.

Do I think the Steelers will go 2-0? Yea. I think the Steelers will get to Cutler dispite Troy not being in the game. I don't care what Trent Dilfer says. There are way more play makers on this team than just Troy. I give the edge to the Steelers and the win 24-14.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Padres Drop Pirates

The San Diego Padres got five hits and two runs as they score a come from behind victory of the Pirates in a rare day game Saturday afternoon at PNC Park. And when I say come from behind I mean the Pirates muster a first inning run and then manage no runs the rest of the day as the pen blows another lead.

The Pirates only managed five hits as their offensive woes continue. Cutch, Cedeno, Milledge, Moss, and (gasp) Bixler had a hit. Any time you waste a game when Bixler both has a hit and no strikeouts you are wasting a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Ross Ohlendorf continues to just get the job done and continues to go out and throw great games. He went five innings and gave up only the one run and struck out five. Ohlendorf only threw 94 pitches in the loss. I am not really going to say anything about him not continuing as I would rather see them cut his innings back then blow out his arm trying to win a meaningless game getting another 20 pitches out of him against the Padres.

As Roco Demaro brought up on Twitter during the game that in his last ten starts Ohlendorf has supported a 2.77 ERA and only a 1.09 WHIP. Ohlendorf is 3-3 during that stretch. The Pirates have scored three or less runs in six of his last ten starts. No woner he only has three wins in his last ten dispite the solid numbers.

The quest to 100 continues as the Pirates are now 56-90.

Go Bucs

Backwards Day

The Penguins lose, and the Pirates win.

If I told you that at the beginning of the day you might not believe me. Espcially when you take into account that the Penguins played the Leafs tonight that might have caught you off guard. Or it might not have seeing that the Penguins always have trouble with the Leafs. Whatev, its preseason.

The Pirates won though. They beat the Padres 5-1 tonight at PNC Park. Imagine that, the Pirates won at PNC Park. I bet if they were in San Diego they would have lost by 15.

The Pirates jumped out to a 3-1 lead with three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Who would have thought it was going to hold up. I mean the Pirates getting three runs in an inning was sort of a big deal.

Charlie Morton went seven innings and gave up only one run and from all accounts did just enough to get out of innings.

Lastings Milledge had two hits and an RBI as Cutch also had two hits for the Pirates. The Pirates had seven his as a team.

The Penguins jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first period despite getting four power plays and not converting on any of them. Geno Malkin put one in the back of the net and Matt Cooke also got his first of the preseason in the first for the Penguins.

A five minute elbowing major to Craig Adams yielding two second period Leaf goals and then they converted another power play goal right after the Adams penalty finally experied. If you are adding it up that would be 3 for 2 on the power play. F'in A.

Although he had a major penalty Craig Adams was laying the lumber tonight. I like it. I also like Craig Adams response to this trib article in the paper today about the Wings still bitching about Sid not shaking hands.

First Sid goes on and says this:

"I think if you look at Serena Williams, she'll take full responsibility
for what she did. She probably did something she regrets. Kanye West ... did
something he regrets," Crosby said. "When you're talking about the handshake, I
did absolutely nothing wrong there."


Then Craig Adams adds this gem:

"I think Kris Draper needs to get a life, honestly"


What a line.

Lets Go Pens

Friday, September 18, 2009

Preseason Game 2 - Toronto Maple Leafs

The Penguins will gear up for their second preseason game when the Leafs come to the Mellon for the final preseason game every at the old lady. It will not be as dramatic as the final regular season game but same thing.

From Seth over at Empty Netters here are the line-ups

Forwards

Luca Caputi - Evgeni Malkin - Tyler Kennedy
Matt Cooke - Wyatt Smith - Bill Guerin
Konstantin Pushkarev - Craig Adams - Nick Johnson
Paul Bissonnette - Mike Rupp - Tim Wallace

Defensemen

Alex Goligoski - Nate Guenin
Chriss Lee - Kris Letang
Brooks Orpik - Ben Lovejoy

Goaltenders

Marc-Andre Fleury
Brent Johnson

And the Maple Leafs:

Forwards

Viktor Stalberg - Matt Stajan - Robert Slaney
Jason Blake - Jason Allison - Jiri Tlusty
Alex Foster - Tim Brent - Bill Thomas
Jamal Mayers - John Mitchell - Darryl Boyce
*Kyle Rogers may play

Defence

Garnet Exelby - Ian White
Jeff Finger - Juraj Mikus
Carl Gunnarson - Andy Rogers

Goaltenders

Joey MacDonald
James Reimer


The X will be doing the radio and I am sure there will be a few TV feeds lurking on the internet because the Leafs are a huge thing even though their goaltender's got beat by a shooter-tutor in a contest but whatev.

The Leafs will broadcast on their website here.

The X link is here.

Lets Go Pens



News and Notes 9-18-09

The Bucs are on the plate today as they host the San Diego Padres. If there is ever a game that might want you make your gauge your eyes out this may be the one. Two of the worst teams in baseball are going to go at it. Imagine that.

This is where we find out if the Pirates are that bad. I mean losing to the Dodgers is one thing but losing to another team that is just as bad as you is something else. If we are not going to lose 100 games then we need to win these to stay alive.

Tim Stauffer (4-6, 3.31 ERA) will take the mound against the Pirates for the first time.

The right-hander has gone 3-0 with a 2.22 ERA in his last four starts after losing his previous four with a 5.40 ERA. Stauffer yielded one run and three hits with four walks in six innings of a 3-2, 10-inning victory over Colorado on Saturday.

Skipper John Russell will give the ball to Charlie Morton (3-8, 5.35), who is looking to avoid a third consecutive loss. However, the right-hander is coming off a quality start, allowing three runs in six innings of a 9-1 defeat at Houston on Friday.

Morton won his only outing against the Padres, giving up one run in 5 1/3 innings of a 4-1 victory July 12, 2008.

We can only hope for the best.

Go Bucs

Thursday, September 17, 2009

How Good is Big Ben?

This has been a hot topic among a lot of people of where Ben Roethlisberger ranks among the best of the best in terms of the QB's in the national football league. In my opinion I feel he is in the top three. I really think that it breaks down like this:

1) Tom Brady
2) Peyton Manning
3) Ben Roethlisberger
4) Drew Brees
5) Donovan McNabb

That is how I see them, in that order. Those are the best in the league.

How do you really quantify who is the best QB? Some people might say "look at how many wins a QB has." While that can be true the NFL is more of a team game so you can not really look at win/loss record as a measure of who the best QB is. I guess when looking at stats you really can not just take one stat and say "that is it." QB rating could be used but I think that is a little flawed in a way and really can't be judged in who the best is. Sure it is pretty accurate, but does not tell the whole story. I still feel you can put stock into it, just not all of it. You will see in the numbers below.

I am a big fan of YPA (yards per attempt). This can show off not only their average number of yards per reception but also takes into account completion percentage. It does not directly involve completion percentage, but the better your completion percentage the higher your YPA will be in most instances.

Another nice stat from YPA and QB rating is:

Just a quick study on team offense YPA...

In 2008 - 5 of the top 10 in YPA made playoffs
In 2007 - 7 of the top 10 in YPA made playoffs In
2006 - 6 of the top 10 in YPA made playoffs
In 2005 - 7 of the top 10 in YPA made playoffs
In 2004 - 7 of the top 10 in YPA made playoffs


And team passer rating...

In 2008 - 6 of the top 10 in passer rating made playoffs
In 2007 - 8 of the top 10 in passer rating made playoffs
In 2006 - 8 of the top 10 in passer rating made playoffs
In 2005 - 8 of the top 10 in passer rating made playoffs
In 2004 - 8 of the top 10 in passer rating made playoffs

I think a nice measurement is the combination of completion percentage, QB rating, YPA would be a nice way to see who the best QB is in the league. Let is take a look at the top 10 from each category since 2004. (Note * indicates participated in Super Bowl, ** indicates won Super Bowl


QB Rating

2004

1) Peyton Manning - 121.1
2) Daunte Culpepper - 110.9
3) Drew Brees - 104.8
*4) Donovan McNabb - 104.7
5) Ben Roethlisberger - 98.1
6) Brian Griese - 97.5
7) Trent Green - 95.2
8) Marc Bulger - 93.7
**9) Tom Brady - 92.6
10) Brett Farve - 92.4


2005

1) Peyton Manning - 104.1
2) Carson Palmer - 101.1
**3) Ben Roethlisberger - 98.6
*4) Matt Hasselbeck - 98.2
5) Marc Bulger - 94.4
6) Tom Brady - 92.3
7) Jake Plummer - 90.2
8) Trent Green - 90.1
9) Byron Leftwich - 89.3
10) Drew Brees - 89.2


2006

**1) Peyton Manning - 101.0
2) Damon Huard - 98.0
3) Drew Brees - 96.2
4) Deonovan McNabb - 95.5
5) Tony Romo - 95.1
6) Carson Palmer - 93.9
7) Marc Bulger - 92.9
8) Philip Rivers - 92.0
9) Tom Brady - 87.9
10) Mark Brunell - 86.5
21) Ben Roethlisberger


2007

*1) Tom Brady - 117.2
2) Ben Roethlisberger - 104.1
3) David Garrard - 102.2
4) Peyton Manning - 98.0
5) Tony Romo - 97.4
6) Brett Favre - 95.7
7) Jeff Garcia - 94.6
8) Matt Hasselbeck - 91.4
9) Donovan McNabb - 89.9
10) Kurt Warner - 89.8


2008

1) Philip Rivers - 105.5
2) Chad Pennington - 97.4
*3) Kurt Warner - 96.9
4) Drew Brees - 96.2
5) Peyton Manning - 95.0
6) Aaron Rodgers - 93.8
7) Matt Schaub - 92.7
8) Tony Romo - 91.4
9) Jeff Garcia - 90.2
10) Matt Cassel - 89.4
**24) Ben Roethlisberger


Now you look at these statistics you see that Peyton Manning led all QB's by being in the top 10 all five times followed by Drew Brees (4), Tony Romo (3), Donovan McNabb (3), Ben Roethlisberger (3), Tom Brady (3). Convenient that my all of my top five QB's are on this list numerous times.

Lets not take a look at YPA

2004

1) Peyton Manning
2) Ben Roethlisberger
3) Daunte Culpepper
*4) Donovan McNabb
5) Trent Green
6) Marc Bulger
7) Drew Brees
8) Jake Plummer
9) Brian Griese
**10) Tom Brady


2005

**1) Ben Roethlisberger
2) Peyton Manning
3) Marc Bulger
4) Trent Green
5) Jake Delhomme
6) Tom Brady
*7) Matt Hasselbeck
8) Carson Palmer
9) Jake Plummer
10) Drew Brees


2006

1) Tony Romo
2) Donovan McNabb
3) Drew Brees
**4) Peyton Manning
5) Carson Palmer
6) Damon Huard
7) Ben Roethlisberger
8) Philip Rivers
9) Marc Bulger
10) David Garrard


2007

*1) Tom Brady
2) Tony Romo
3) Peyton Manning
4) Ben Roethlisberger
5) Brett Farve
6) Matt Schaub
7) David Garrard
8) Kurt Warner
9) Jay Cutler
10) Jeff Garcia


2008

1) Philip Rivers
2) Matt Schaub
3) Drew Brees
4) Jake Delhomme
5) Matt Ryan
6) Chad Pennington
*7) Kurt Warner
8) Tony Romo
9) Aaron Rodgers
10) Jay Cutler

Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, and Drew Brees lead the way with four appearances on the list and behind them are Donovan McNabb (3), Tom Brady (3), and Tony Romo (3). Once again look at the top players.

Look at the completion percentage and I bet you that it shows the same players year after year. Now I know you see McNabb and Brees behind Ben on my list and the only difference is one thing. Super Bowl rings. That is what it comes down to. Brady has three, Ben has two, Peyton has one and McNabb and Brees has none. Big deal there. That is what stats do not tell you.

You might ask why I don't have Tony Romo sprinkled in there somewhere. Win a playoff game then you can maybe talk. For real.

What do you guys think. Is there a different stat that would mean a lot for QB's? I thought this would be a good start and from what you see those are the top QB's. And for the record I made my QB ranking way before I wrote this post. You can ask anyone. That is how I rank them. Could I put Ben ahead of Peyton? Maybe. I think in the next few years he will pass him but I think it is good enough for now.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pirates Swept

The Pirates lost their third consecutive game to the LA Dodgers in an early game today by the score of 3-1. Kevin Hart actually had a pretty good start for the Pirates (about time) but the Pirates could not muster up enough offense to bring home the win.

I guess it does not help when you only get one run (off a Jaramillo single) and then pretty much expect your starting pitching to throw a shut out every night. It is just not going to happen.

The Bucs only got six hits from their offense, Cutch has two of those to hopefully start to get him out of his funk. The Pirates currently do not have an everyday player with above a .300 average. Good lord this is getting bad. I really didn't think that they were going to get to 100 losses but it is getting pretty evident that they will hit the 100 loss mark.

The Pirates are 2-16 in their last 18 and it just looks bad. Right now they are five games back of the Nationals for the worst record in the league. The Pirates have 144 games in this season and with 18 games left there is no hope for a good finish.

Ride out the worst.

Go Bucs

News and Notes

Here are some news and notes from around the Pittsburgh sports scene that might be of some interest to you people who are Pittsburgh fans.

Willie Parker is putting the blame on himself for the sluggish start for the Steelers run game. While I admire what Willie is doing it is not really all his fault. Mind you, I did not think Willie looked very confident when he was running. He looked very timid going into the holes and just did not look comfortable. While some of it was Willie's fault I think I put more on the O-line. They need to make some creases. Willie is fast and all he needs is a little crease and he could be gone. The Titans have a great D, but I need more than 1.6 YPC.

Jerome Bettis also threw a ton of people under the bus a few days ago. It is his opinion. Hopefully this stuff turns around.

Ryan Clark has a decision to make later in the season. I can't really say I wouldn't blame him if he didn't play for that game. Dude almost died when he was there last (two years ago). If he thinks he puts himself at risk for injury or futher damage from playing in that high altitude then he should sit. I would rather him miss one game than miss the rest of the season.

Geno has ten fingers, so why not ten rings? I like it a lot. He has a point.

Sid's new stick is a big deal.

The Pirates dropped their game in extra's last night to the Dodgers 5-4. The most frustrating part? (Besides Capps blowing the game again) The Pirates actually took the lead in the top of the 13th but gave up a walk off shot to Either. F it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sir Sidney, Pens win

No TV, no problem. Mike Lange was in top form today as was Sidney Crosby. If this new stick he is using is going to have this results then I hope he gets 100 of these sticks to use. Pretty nice performance from him.

Sid the Kid has three points (2+1) and Chris Kunitz had two goals including the game winner in OT.

The Pens fell behind 3-0 to start the game and goign into the third it did not look real well for the home opener. Mathieu Garon, an ex-Penguin played really well going two periods for Blue Jackets and shutting down the Penguins for the most part. Not bad but why couldn't he do this with the Penguins, real nice Mathieu, real nice.

Eric Tangradi played what seemed to be a really nice game for the Pens with two assists on both of Sir Sid's goals and what sounded like a bunch of good hits. Chris Connor also had a nice game with a goal and three shots.

The Penguins really put it to the Blue Jackets outshooting them 42-28 and had 20 shots in the third period and scored on their only shot of the overtime.

Lets Go Pens

Preseason Game 1 - Columbus Blue Jackets

Well here we have it. A few days of practice and seeing some of the young guys playing and we have our first preseason of Pittsburgh Penguins hockey.

For those of you that do not know this game was moved up considerably early because of the G-20 Conference in Pittsburgh. This game was originally scheduled for Friday, September 25 but was moved up to today. I am ok with that.

A few things moving on. First off you must go see Seth at the PG with his coverage. Very good stuff there. Usually has a ton of YouTube's and many pictures of camp as well as his always spot on commentary about the Penguins and camp. Solid job by him. He is cash money.

Now about tonight's game. Sid will be playing. No Geno. A lot of regulars are playing. At least more than I thought would play this early.

The game will not be found on any TV station but you can listen to the game on the radio over at the X. Here is the link.

Here is the Columbus line-up

Now, the Pens line-up:

Forwards
Kunitz-Crosby-Tangradi
Dupuis-Staal-Fedotenko
Conner-Jeffrey-Bayda
Sill-Vitale-Godard

Defensemen
Despres-Gonchar
Eaton-Engelland
McKee-Bortuzzo

Goaltenders
Fleury
Thiessen



Lets Go Pens

Pirates 2010 Schedule

Pirates 2010 schedule was released today. Blah.

Thought you guys might like to check this out.

Here is the article from the Pirates web site:

LOS ANGELES -- After beginning each of the past four seasons on the road, the Pirates will open the 2010 season at PNC Park. Major League Baseball released next year's full season schedule on Tuesday.

The Pirates kick off the 2010 season with a three-game set against the Dodgers, with Opening Day falling on Monday, April 5. The two teams will enjoy an off-day on April 6, before wrapping up the series with games on each of the next two days.

Pittsburgh's schedule is also highlighted by five Interleague matchups, two against teams from the American League Central and three series against AL West clubs. The Pirates begin a stretch of 15 straight games against AL teams with a trip to Detroit (June 11-13). The team then returns home to face the White Sox (June 15-17) and Indians (June 18-20) before heading back out onto the road to take on the Rangers (June 22-24) and A's (June 25-27).

The latter two series are part of a nine-game road trip that wraps up with three games at Wrigley Field. The Pirates have one other three-city road trip scheduled, with that covering Houston, Milwaukee and Los Angeles to end April.

This will be the second consecutive year that the Pirates will host the Indians at PNC Park. It's an Interleague series that Pirates president Frank Coonelly has openly pushed for because of the close proximity of Pittsburgh and Cleveland. The Pirates' series against the White Sox will mark the fourth straight year that the teams have faced each other.

After the Pirates' home-opening series against the Dodgers, the team will open the 81-game road portion of its schedule with three games in Arizona (April 9-11) and San Francisco (12-14).

The Pirates will enjoy three lengthy homestands during the course of next year. With off-days on both ends of the homestand, the Pirates will host the Cubs, Cardinals and Reds at PNC Park from May 4-12.

Pittsburgh has a 10-game homestand from July 16-25 when the Astros, Brewers and Padres come to town. The team's other 10-game home stay falls from Aug. 16-25, when the Pirates play the Marlins four times before taking on the Mets and Cardinals.

As they will this year, the Pirates will close the 2010 season on the road. A Sept. 27-29 trip to St. Louis is followed by a season-ending, three-game series against the Marlins from Oct. 1-3.




Here is the link to the actual schedule.

Go Bucs

Monday, September 14, 2009

I Hate the Patriots

I hate the New England Patriots. I was at a bar today and had about 10 Pats fans there. You would have thought the Patriots won the Super Bowl. Joke.

Congrats, you beat a terrible Bills team. Suck it New England. Pray you don't play the Steelers in the playoffs.

I would watch the Oakland/San Diego game but I realized that I wanted to stay up a little tonight. Terrible game.

I hate how people make Philip Rivers out to be a top tier QB. What has he done besides not win anything? Oh yea, beat the Raiders a few times and almost blow a lead when you have half the season to clinch.

F it.

Here We Go

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Pirates Win

Yes, you read the title correctly. The Pirates win. Paul Maholm was just straight dealing today as the Pirates went down to Houston and won only their 19th road game of the season. Who woulda thought?

Every Pirate position player had a hit with Ryan Doumit having two hits.

Garrett Jones had one of the RBI's today. He has just been a machine. I really don't know if I am ready to jump on his band wagon. I want to see what he is like next year when he gets back. I hope he is good, it would be nice to get a good product from another team. Would give some hope to the player development guys in our system.

Maholm went eight innings and gave up six his while striking out two. That is the Maholm that I love to see. Throw strikes, get the job done. Matt Capps came in the ninth and gave up a home run to break up the shutout (lord knows we can't have that) but was able to piece together a save. Thank God the Pirates scored a second run or they probably would have lost.

It has been a tough time going for the Pirates this season but the games are winding down and we will likely have a top three pick in the draft next year. I believe we are like five or six games behind Washington so I don't think that is possible, but with this team you never know.

Go Bucs

AFC North Games

Today it was the first weekend of they year for the NFL. All the teams in the AFC North played in the early game so it will be fun (and funny) to follow up with those teams and see how they stacked up this week.

Baltimore 38, Kansas City 24

First up we have the hated Baltimore Ravens who beat the KC Chiefs 38-24. Now you may look at that and thinkt that this might have been a game that the Ravens had in the pocket for most of the game, it was nothing like that. I got to see a little bit of this game and really the Chiefs had their way with the Ravens defense that was the big key today. Looking at the stats you see that the Chiefs only had 188 total yards, but they were making the big plays. A blocked punt got them 7 and then a couple of good, long drives that gave them points. Not the same Baltimore D we saw last year.

We also saw Joe Flacco throw an amazing 43 times for 307 yards. No idea what that was about but I cannot imagine that this will be Ravens football this year. If it is then they are going to be in some trouble. On he flip side Brode Croyle went 16/24 for 177 yards and two touchdowns and a 116.1 QB rating. Pretty intersting there. Who knows. Ravens D did not look good.

Minnesota 34, Cleveland 20

This was was not really close, unlike the Ravens game. The Browns are what they are, the Browns. They are not going to be good this year and when you go up against AP you are going to have a tough day. He, himself, had 180 yards and three touchdowns and pretty much had his way breaking ackles and what not.

Bright spot for Cleveland was their do everything WR Josh Cribbs. This dude can really do everything. He took a punt back 67 yards for a Cleveland touchdown. He also leads the team in ST tackles and is their second WR. I am not so sure he is worthy of a #2 WR but when you are the Browns I think I could go in and be their #3.

Brady Quinn went 21/35 for 205 yards and a TD. I guess that is ok for him. Minnesota is a pretty good D but I have a feeling he is going to be a little bit below average. Just looked uncomfortable on the field and I have a feeling he is going to have his fair share of ups and downs. I can't wait till DL gets ahold of him when they play the Steelers. He loves game planning for young QB's.

Denver 12, Cincinnati 7

The Bengals are a joke. If you did not see this game then you really have to check out the highlights and watch how this one ended. The Bungals might have thought that because they had Carson back they were going to be going to the playoffs and the Super Bowl but I think they have another thing coming. Their offense did nothing all day. They were shut down by a less than steller Broncos team and got a TD with 38 seconds left to take a 7-6 lead.

Watch the YouTube I have put in here and make sure you see the end.





wait for it...


wait for it...


wait for it...


hahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahah what a joke.

I literally laughed for a good ten mintues to myself while I was on the couch watching this game. I mean sure that sucks, but I don't care. It's the Bungals.

Here We Go

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Random Stuff

Like always, Ben just kind of likes to finish up fast.

We will not hear about how bad Troy's leg is until Monday. Any chance he is ok and the trainers were wrong?

If you like quotes you might like this. Post game quotes from after the Tennessee game.

PSAMP has a great piece about how Snoop told people that the Steelers were his real team and if he was wearing another jersey it was just a front. I kinda figured that (as wierd as that sounds) but if you have paid any attention to Snoop he loves USC and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

No more run game?

Some Pens pre season game will be on the NHL Network. This might make you feel a little better about the NHL network since they can not come to terms with VS. That will hurt come playoff time.

Is it kind of hard to believe that Dan Bylsma has a cup and has yet to run an NHL training camp? Pretty sweet.

The Pens will open up training camp tomorrow. Oh. Yea.

I don't know if many of you have heard this or not but ex Pirate pitcher Steve Blass knocked in two holes in one in his life. Oh yea, both were on the same round of golf. Are you kidding me. People would kill just to get within a few inches to say they were only inches away from a hole in one and Blass gets two of them. Wow.

Lazy Saturday

Well today is a great day to just hang out, watch some college football, and really just do a whole lot of nothing.

If you are not into the whole football thing you are in luck (I guess), the Pirates are at Houston for their second game of the series. If you are a betting person, or a person that is broke and needs quick gurenteed money then you bet the Astros today. The Pirates are on the road, they will most liekly lose. Only 18 road victories this year so if they do win today they will not win tomorrow.

Ross Ohlendorf is going for the Bucs today. He should really give us a nice chance to win today. This might not surprise anyone considering that we are on the raod but check out these stats on Ohlendorf: Ohlendorf is 0-4 with an 8.53 ERA in four lifetime starts against Houston -- Miguel Tejada is 9 for 13 against him. Great.

Ohlendorf is coming off a gem in his last outting when gave up one unearned run and four hits over a career-high eight innings Saturday against St. Louis -- striking out 11 -- in a 2-1, 10-inning loss. He also became the second pitcher in team history to strike out the side on nine pitches, doing so in the seventh inning.

Who knows what will happen. Lets hope we buck the trend.

Go Bucs

What a picture

I have no idea what could or was said yesterday to make Geno look like this. If you are wondering why Brooks Orpik looks like that its beacuse he is Brooks Orpik. He might also be pissed because they gave the prez his number.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Home Stretch

Well contrary to popluar belief the Pirates are still in action as they travel to Houston for an 8:05 start tonight. Charlie Morton will be on the bump for the Buccos and he has not been very good lately.

The Pirates are last in the NL Central and have lost 12 of their past 13 and are just plain awful on the road this season. Awful.

So far this year the Bucs are 4-8 against Houston and are 2-4 away from PNC Park against the Astros. 2-4 is actually pretty good considering they are 18-50 on the road as a whole this year. The last Pirate win on the road was a 7-3 win over the Rockies on August 11. August 11. That is one calander month from the last time the Pirates won away from PNC Park. I just don't get it.

During the 11 game road losing streak the Pirates are only batting .218 and the pitcher are supporting an 8.02 ERA.

This should be good.

Go Bucs

Big Ben Strikes One...Steelers Win




The Steelers moved to a perfect 1-0 on the first night of action in the NFL with a 13-10 nerve wracking victory on Thursday night in front of a sold out Heinz Field. What a game and what a gutty performance by Big Ben. Although some of you might not think there is much to take from this game there were a whole ton of good things that happened last night.

The Steelers won their seventh straight opener and their sixth straight opener at Heinz Field. Couple that with them being pretty much unbeatable in prime time games and how could you really think they were going to lose last night?

First off, is there one person you would rather have under center than Ben when you are down by a score or less in the fourth quarter/OT? Not me, you can have Tom Brady, you can have Peyton Manning, I will take Ben. Ben brought this team back with an amazing end to a game. Roethlisberger threw for 363 yards last night on 33-43 passing. Remember when Ben only threw like six times a game? Not anymore. He is good, real good.

In the fourth quarter/overtime Ben went a gaudy 16-18 with 171 passing yards and two plays of 20+ yards. He led the Steelers on his 18th game winning drive. Thoese 18 games have come since 2001 and that is the most in the league since then. Two more than Peyton Manning. Ben also set a franchise record with his 363 passing yards as that is the most in an opener for a Pittsburgh QB. Ben is just so cool in the pocket. When it was third and 12 with like three minutes left you just knew that he was going to find Hines or Tone. That is just how he does it. What a gammer.

Troy Polamalu is just a beast. I don't know how he does it, or what he does but holy shit what a player. What a great job he does in covering ground and getting to a ball carrier before they even know he is there. How about that pick? He is probably better with one hand than the rest of the NFL is with two. Bets line of the night comes from some dude on twitter after the pick:

@sethmeyers21: if your baby fell out a window you'd want Polamalu on the street below
@sethmeyers21: The fear would be Polamalu returning your baby for a touchdown.

How true is that? The big problem? He might be on the shelf for 3-6 weeks after possibly spraining his MCL. The Steelers blocked a Bironas kick and when Troy went to cover it he was rolled on a little. Didn't look too terrible on the field and he was able to walk under his own power so who knows what it is going to be like. I guess it would be better to have it happen now rather than week 13, but I never want Troy off the field. He was the best defensive player on the field by far yesterday.

Santonio Holmes might have an amazing breakout year. Nine catches for 131 yards and a big touchdown. If that stat line sounds familiar it is the exact line that he used to capture the MVP honor in the Super Bowl. Not too bad. He had a really solid game. Found the soft spots, got the ball, scored a touchdown.

If there are three people I trust on this team it is Troy, Ben and Hines. Hines caught that ball over the middle and I jumped up off the couch and said "Game". Man was I wrong. I do not fault Hines for not just falling down. He was trying to score and end the game. How can you fault that. It was a great play by the DB. Would I like for him to put another hand over it? Sure, but like I said I trust him and I know that is probably not going to happen again this season. He also went over 100 yards for the day. Eight catches for 103 yards. Heath also had eight catches for 64 yards. Heath is a beast and if he is this involved in the passing game this season then Ben is going to put up even bigger numbers than I thought.

Fast Willie did not look good, nor did our entire run game. Third and short was again a problem last night as we were stopped twice on third and one or two. I don't know what it is, Willie just looked so tentative last night. There were small holes here and there and he was dancing a lot and just didn't look like he trusted his own instincts when he was running. I hope this is only a one time things but this could be a season long problem.

The line was not good at the beginning. They were getting blown up and not doing their job. However, I felt the line did a pretty decent job as the game went on. Although Tennessee was only rushing four most times the line was giving Ben a ton of time later in the game, and if you give Ben time he will smoke you. There was not much put into the run game so I am sure the line was a part of that, but it was not as terrible as some might think. One sack was for sure on Ben. He was running around and got sacked. So three sacks from the line. I can live with that.

How unbelievably bad was the officiating last night? I mean Troy got called for three penalties and two of them were so bad I can not even understand what they were looking at on the field. Chris Johnson was still in bounce when he was hit and it was offensive pass interference and Troy got called for it. You have got to be kidding me. What a joke. Why does James Harrison even try and rush? It must be a new rule in the NFL that you can't call an offensive player for holding James Harrison. What a complete joke.

Overall a really good game. Lets not get it twisted, the Titans are good. That is a top five defense the Steelers just beat. The Steelers played probably a B- or C game and they still came out on top. I like that. This was one of the games I look at and thought they might drop. I had them winning 11 games this season so the sky is the limit. The road to seven has started off really well.