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The Mondesi Show: Where You Are the Story

I think we'd all agree that the first installment of The Mondesi Show had some degree of success. While it is still a work in progress, I plan on making it a regular feature, popping up sometime during each week.
The concept is simple: I've always thought of Mondesi's House as somewhat of a talk-show format in blog form. So I turn the keys over to you. I introduce a few hot topics to chew on, and the floor is all yours. Chime in with your thoughts on as many or as few as you wish. Or introduce another topic that's on your mind. It's all in your hands!
Welcome to The Mondesi Show!
Today's topics to stir the pot:
1. Baseball Free Agent Lunacy - The Boston Red Sox, fresh off of their $51 million negotiating fee on Daisuke Matsuzaka and $26 million on reliver Hideki Okajima, just dropped a combined $106 million on J.D. Drew and Julio Lugo. Is this the same team that called the Yankees the Evil Empire? What do you make of the ridiculous contracts so far?
2. Jim Tressel's Vote- Ohio State coach Jim Tressel abstained from voting in the final USA Today coaches poll, citing a conflict of interest. Tressel has come under fire from critics, most notably Michigan coach Lloyd Carr, who called his Tressel's decision "slick". Do you blame Tressel for skipping this vote, or is it an obligation that he signed on for?
3. The Fate of Michel Therrien- Speculation about his firing has begun to pick up steam. The Pens have lost 12 of 16 and have struggled mightily in the process. If Therrien goes, who would you choose as a replacement?
4. Mark McGwire- Big Mac is on the ballot for the MLB Hall of Fame. If you had a vote, would you go for or against the slugger? His resume: 1626 hits, 583 HR, 1414 RBI, .263 average, .394 On-base pct, 12-time All Star, 1987 Rookie of the Year, and 1 World Series ring with the '89 A's. Oh, and there's that little steroid/HGH cloud hovering over his head. In or out?
5. Pete Rose- Were his crimes more damaging to the game than McGwire's? This is the all-time hit leader we're talking about. Regardless of what he did as a manager, he was a special player. But his unsavory actions have turned off a legion of one-time supporters. What do you say, in or out?
6. Steelers Draft- You're the Pittsburgh Steelers, and you have, let's say, the #10 pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. What direction do you go? Offensive Line? Linebacker? Running back? Receiver? Corner? Who are you leaning towards?
7. The NFL Network- We get our first glimpse of NFL Network Steeler coverage on Thursday when the Browns come to town. Do you think the NFL Network is bad for football? To this point, the NFL has been a very accessible product. By all accounts, the NFLN is a bargaining chip with other networks and cable outlets, but it seems the real losers are the fans, who are getting shut out of games in some areas. Your thoughts?
8. The Pens' future in Pittsburgh. Honestly, in your gut, do you believe the Pens will be here in 2007 and beyond? It certainly seems like the cards are stacking up against them. Who do you think will get the slots license, and what will happen to the Pens?
9. Sports Announcers and TV Personalities- I have a pretty good idea that most of them annoy you, especially the talking heads on ESPN. But are there any that you actually enjoy to listen to or watch?
10. Your Topic- Go off on a rant, call out an overrated team, start a new topic...this is the "wild card" topic. And just to clarify, I tried to set this up last week, but when I mentioned "wild card", readers thought I meant "NFL Wild Card". So I was told I was crazy several times by readers who suggested I quit talking about it. So let's make it clear: I am not talking about the NFL Wild Card. Now go nuts.


Anonymous said...

1. If I didn't actually love the game of baseball itself, I'd see no reason to continue watching. When mediocre and/or totally unproven players can make nearly $10 million a year, what chance do the Pirates really have?

2. I don't see what the big deal is. It looked like a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation to me. I see nothing wrong with what Tressel did, it kind of seems like it was the right thing to do. I guess the question is, did he do the right thing for the wrong reason? Either way, not a big enough deal for me to really get mad at the guy over it.

3. Keep him. It's a young team, struggles are expected. I mean, sure no one has the young talent we do, ut they're still inexperienced. I don't think any of us thought these young kids were a lock to make the playoffs or anything. What I am seeing is improvement over last year, and I think they'll get back on track. But remember, inconsistency comes with inexperience.

4. I don't get all "holier than thou" like some people when it comes to the steroids issue. It was the 90s, it was Major League Baseball, all the other power hitters were on the stuff, probably a lot of the pitchers he was hitting off of were on the stuff, so that makes it a level playing field in a perverted sort of way.

Plus, there are probably SCORES of football players in the football HOF that were juiced up. Put Big Mac in the hall. And if we're going to crucify baseball players over this, why do football players get a pass?

5. Pete Rose should be in the hall too. So he gambled on his own team and lied about it after his playing days were over. Oh well, no one's perfect. I mean, it's ridiculous not to have the all time hits leader in the hall of fame. Ty Cobb was a total asshole and he's in there.

Something tells me that when Pete kicks the bucket 20 or so years down the road, a sentimental outpouring will get him in posthumously through the veterans committee. It'll be too late then though.

6. I go offensive line first, then linebacker, then power back. The order can be mixed a little if there's a can't miss prospect available at one of these positions when we pick. Like, say in the first round Michael Bush is hanging around when it's our turn. Take him. But otherwise, beef up the line. Either way, I think those three positions need addressed on the first day one way or the other.

7. I'm sure the NFL Network would be completely awesome if my cable company carried it!!! The power play the NFL is pulling by putting these live games on their station is good and bad. Bad because I can't watch the damn games. Good because we all know in the end it will lead to more cable companies carrying the network. Remember, not many cable companies carried Comedy Central until the phones started ringing off the hook with people who wanted to watch South Park. Now Comedy Central is on every cable provider in America that I know of.

8. This is a clusterfuck if there ever was one.

First the politicians drag their feet for two long on the arena, so Mario gets in bed with the IOC people. Politicians see this, offer Mario a plan for a new arena... but too late!! Mario's contract with IOC prevents the Penguins from even talking with anyone about that option.

Then, Mario sells to the Blackberry guy, instead of the Mark Cuban group. The Cuban group (guys who wouldn't move the team) stated afterwards that they were only a couple million dollars behind Blackberry boy in the bidding and were willing to adjust their bid, but Mario didn't listen to them and sold the team to Blackberry guy anyways.

Was Mario using the sale to the God of the Blackberry as a political move of his own to put the heat on the gaming commission to give the IOC the license? Who knows?

But I do know that for about 6 years the politicians screwed Mario over after he saved the team. Then in the last 6 months, Mario made moves himself that greatly decreased the team's likelihood of staying in Pittsburgh. And we all know that Blackberry guy really could give a rat's ass about Pittsburgh.

In the end, Mario will still be filthy rich, Blackberry guy will be even richer and have his own hockey team, the politicians will keep getting reelected and retain all their power..... and we the fans will get fucked out of our hockey team. See who really loses in situations like this? We do.

And make no mistake about it, if the Pens leave Pittsburgh, they and the NHL are dead to me. (sorry about that rant, this subject pisses me off to no end).

9. I think Aikman's a good color guy, but Joe Buck sucks. Collinsworth hates the Steelers, so fuck him. The Simms-Nance team isn't too bad. I enjoy Steve Young, Tom Jackson, and Ditka on ESPN... pretty much can't stand anyone else on there. Even though they have good ol' TB himself, Fox's pregame show just seems too "fluffy" for me and I never watch it. And Joe Theismann sucks.

10. What?! No Pitt vs. Penn State pissing match this time?!

tbart213 said...

Rose should get in the hall. The year after he dies. That way his contribution is remembered but he doesn't get to experience it. Luckily for McGwire, his steroid use may make him eligible by my criteria, sooner rather than later.

The Red Sox lost all rights to whine by signing Jose Offerman to $6 million per years ago.

The Steelers have needs almost everywhere, so they can go with the proverbial best athlete available in round 1. THeir problems (Troy Edwards, Alonzo, etc) usually stem from fixating on a single position.

I enjoyed the Monday night game where BRad Nessler (terrific) Vermeil and Jaworski were the creew patched together. They were light years better than what we get forcefed regularly.

In fact, I can't understand how NFL films can pick up everything that makes the game interesting, but the networks can't decipher what is cool and what is garbage. OH wait, look at their TV Lineup and no wonder they don't have a clue what people like. If they would just focus on THE GAME, on the COMPETITION IN FRONT OF THEM, they would be fine. I apologize for shouting.

I think th eBucs need to stick to a developmental plan and not put the foot on the gas then the brake then the gas. Most of their unforgivable mistakes have also been made when they get away from a goal of building a champion. For example, "we need to take advantage of the All Star Game" so we sign Jeremy Beernuts. Wha????

Just build through the farm system, develop prospects and the fans can deal with it. If they just stayed smart and slow, we'd all be cool with it. Then when (ok, if) they =got close they might have money to keep/sign players. Give at-bats to the Doumits/Eldreds/Bautistas and live with the fact that one or all of them may fallout as incapable. But at least they'd know. It's better than false hope delayed by playing players past their usefulness.

Hawpe, LaRoche, and most players mentioned inn rumors are all decent targets though. BUt if the cost if too high, don't be stupid just for show. Again. Just move on in an intelligent focused manner.

tbart213 said...

by the way Louis Lipps...

Terrific rant on the Penguin situation. Rant on, brother, rant on.

Anonymous said...


I love evrything that you write here on the "House". However, you need to boil down these discussion points to maybe three. My head is ready to explode.

One comment: The last thing the Penguins need to do is get rid of Therrien. They need to get some wingers who can score, that's what they really need.

mondesishouse said...

Point taken. As I said, this is a work in progress. In the future, I'll probably limit it to 5 topics.

Anonymous said...

1. The Red Sox could spend $500 million and they'll still stink. They won their World Series for the century.

2. Jim Tressel is a jerk. I'm sure he would have voted if he was Michigan's coach and needed help. Lloyd Carr is a bully too.

3. Therrien is a dead man walking. He's not Shero's guy.

4. Out. His stats are awful beyond the homers.

5. In. Can't leave out the hits leaders

6. O-Line 1st round, best available 2nd round

7. Another cash grab by the NFL. hate it.

8. I'd say the chances of them staying are about 20%

9. There's no one I enjoy listening to anymore.

10. Rich Rodriguez is leaving for Alabama

Hooks Orpik said...

Thierren’s days are pretty numbered, traditionally GMs don’t stick with existing coaches but I mean come on. This team still is, at best a .500 team. And right now, they’re .500. Thierren had to come in after Edzo’s mess and put in the best defensive system since the days of Kevin Constantine. And this is all on top of having the team’s best penalty killer and defensive defenseman out with injury since the beginning of November.

For the record, I don’t think T should be fired during the season unless he makes some terrible mistake. I don’t agree with some things he does (playing Orpik with Malkin on the 4 on 4 for example, or leaning on Scuderi too much on the PK) but it’s not like Thierren has THAT much to work with. The Penguins desperately need an established scoring winger.

Andy Murray is the name floated around as a replacement, and I think he’d be a good choice. There’s also a couple of Nashville guys (like Brent Pederson) that Shero is very familiar with. I don’t really think it’d make a difference until the young core of guys like Orpik, Whitney, Armstrong, Malone, etc. start playing consistently up to their potential.

Anonymous said...

1. Baseball executives have lost their mind. Julio Lugo? J.D. Drew? Gary freakin Matthews? What is Jason Bay going to be worth if he keeps up his current pace? $20 mil/year? $25?

2. Don't care either way. This what happens when you have a ridiculous way of determining a championship game. I do think the crying coming from Michigan is hilarious though. They already had their chance, and they didn't come through. Tough luck. Now go get your ass kicked by USC, and shut up.

3. I like Therrien, but I do think he might be in trouble, since Sherro didn't hire him.

4. I think McGwire should be in. Half or more of baseball might have been on something during this period, who knows? Fact is McGwire was one of the most dominating players of the steroid error. You can't pick and choose who you let in based on steroid, because we will never know who was or wasn't? What about Clemens? There have been plenty of rumors that he was on something as well.

5. Don't care about Pete Rose, unless he is fighting Kane.

6. Steelers need help at OL. If there in no lineman worthy at being taken that high, then go with the best available, or trade down for extra picks.

7. I think the NFL network carrying games is a horrible and greedy idea. Although it is not as bad as the monopoly of Direct TV for the NFL ticket. That is much worse.

8. I think there gone. I don't see Isle of Capri getting the license. The sad thing, they will end up getting a new arena in five years, but the Pens will probably already be gone. Sometime I hate this backwards ass state. For once it would be nice if some has some foresight. (see also table games in casinos)

9. I think the best announcing team is currently doing college bb: Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas, and my man Billy Rafftery. They are constantly entertaining, and Bilas really knows his stuff.

10. Once again, suck it Michigan. You didn't get screwed. You might be better than Florida, but then again, you might not be. Stop whining.

Anonymous said...

#9 - Vin Scully and Charlie Steinner for the Dodgers (XM radio).
I wish Vin Scully could read me bedtime stories every night. I am in my 30's.


Hooks Orpik said...

And I guess for my #10 topic...

Basically, whether one admits it or not, Michigan/Ohio St. WAS a playoff game. A good one too. Ohio St. won, they move on. Michigan didn't, they'd be out in a playoff scenario. Deal with it. USC/Notre Dame was a playoff, USC/UCLA was a playoff (for USC) and so were several other games like Florida/Arkansas, Texas/Ohio St., WVU/Louisville, Rutgers/Louisville, that sealed one teams fate or kept dreams alive.

No one from Boise St.'s crying foul, even though they haven't lost, because they realize the truth that they haven't really played any good teams to create an argument.

If a team wants to be in the hunt for a national championship a team should, IMO:
1)Win their conference
2)Schedule competitive out-of-conference games
Winning all 12/13 games obviously helps too.

Can a team that didn't win their conference (Michigan) still be the 2nd best team in the country? Sure. But, with circumstances like college football, if you can't even win the REGIONAL championship, how can you expect a shot at the NATIONAL championship? Ohio St. proved they belong there. Michigan didn't. Florida, atleast took care of their business. IMO a team like Louisville even has a better argument to be in the dance.

Even if there was a playoff (say 8 teams) it would still have bitching from teams like Wisconsin, LSU, Auburn, Texas, WVU or some other bubble teams with an argument that got left out.

If you want in the national title game, earn it. Michigan didn't really earn it. One could argue Florida doesn't deserve it, but they won the SEC. You don't have to believe the SEC hype machine but still, the fact remains they won it.

Anonymous said...

1) I'm neither surprised nor angry. Such is the way of things now, and we must simply deal with it and pray for 82 wins.

2) I feel like I'm the only person in the world that feels like Tressel's move was classy. I'll save an explanation for later, though..

3) Obviously, the best way to help cultivate a group of talented youngsters is to make them play under a new boss, in a new system, every year. Obviously, i am being sarcastic.

4) He should be in, for all of the reasons already stated.

5) Ty Cobb pistol whipped a fan. Pete Rose bet on his own team, and lied about it. One is in the hall, the other should be.

6) This year might be the best year to move out of the first round and stockpile some picks to fill holes. Every unused first-round dollar is one more to resign Troy. If they stay in the 1st, I'd love to see Poz in black and gold, but I know we need a big time OL more.

7) I could care less. It's available on Adelphia, i think, but costs extra. And when the Stillers play on it, the game's shown locally, anyway.

8) Sadly, i think this goose is cooked. I'll just echo everything that louis lipps said, because it was brilliant. I'll probably root for them in Hamilton/Hartford/KC, though.

9) I can't say that I even pay attention to announcers all that much, except to make fun of them. I'll just say that Saturday isn't Saturday without Keith Jackson, I always enjoy Bob Griese (even when he's talking about his son), I can't explain why I generally enjoy Mike Patrick and Paul McGuire, and I think that PGH is very lucky to have Lanny Frattare, Mike Lange, and sure, even Bill Hillgrove on the air. Also- when Bob Walk is pissy, he's fantastic.

10) i'm 5-7 and not making the wild card. you're going to have to head to Bill Romonowski's House to see if i post anything there.

Marcus T said...

2.) Who cares? Would his vote have mattered? No! Let it go people. He felt awkward about it so he backed out. The man can do what he wants to, as long as it doesn't harm anybody.

4.) I say yes for McGwire. I can not believe the flack he caught for that testimony. He is a baseball player, not a slick PR obsessed lawyer. He just cracked and fell apart. How many of us while public speaking have had a meltdown? The numbers speak for themselves.

7.) I am more upset about the NFL Sunday Ticket is EXCLUSIVELY on DirecTv. Bring it to digital cable dammit!

9.) I loved Bill Simmons review of sportscasters in his last article. Agreed with him on every single point. Jesse Palmer talked a bit too much during the Steeler game, but other than that; he was decent.

Anonymous said...

4. No one ever proved/convicted McGwire of anything, so he should be in.

5. Never. Betting on games goes to the heart of the integrity of the game, and unlike McGwire he got caught. Plus by modern metrics (OPS, etc.) that measure value much better than traditional stats (hits, BA), he wasn't nearly as good on pure merit as people think.

6. Anything but best available leads to picking someone like Troy Edwards. Other than QB, they should take the #1 guy on their board, irrespective of position. Also, it's worth noting that the Steelers have had great LBs throughout most of the Cowher era without ever spending a #1 draft pick on one.

Anonymous said...

So everyone who's pro-McGwire, with very realistic arguments also realizes those exact same ones can be applied to Mr. Barry, yes?

Anonymous said...

yes, Barry Bonds is even more of a hall-of-famer than McGwire. He is the best player I've ever seen play.

Adam said...

1. Totally insane. Words cant describe.

2. Tressel did the rite thing. what if the team he voted for didnt get in? just more bulletin boar material for the team he had to play.

3. Therrien wanst the one who stood there with the puck in the crease last nite. his name was melichar. keep him, but make him feel the heat, and in turn, ligt a fire under the ass of the players

4. Nope, steriods destroyed everything. period.

5. In.

6. who knows? I'd personally love to see them get Poz but it prolly wont happen. the O-line won a super bowl, they just need to get their asses in gear. Actually, hartings needs to go. i love him as a Nittany Lion and a steeler, but the time has come buddy.

7. Its stupid, especially since no one got to see KC/Denver on thanksgiving, but hey, wat u gonna do?

8. I hate most all of them. All i know is that when i turn on steeler games, there are usually clowns in the booth like gus johnson who makes me wish hilary duff was calling the game. Then theres the dreaded team that does Penn State games on the rare occasion they arent playing on ABC. Pam Ward, Mike Gottfried, and sideline reportr Jimmy Dykes. Ward, a woman, has no place in a football booth. Gottfried sounds like he has been out tailgating and sound like a druken bum. his speech is slurred, his comments add nothing to the broadcast, and he makes me turn on good old steve jones and jack ham on Leerfield sports. then theres Jimmy dykes. jesus, he may be the worst sideline reporter ive ever seen. the Illinois game, Penn State was down at the half, and Jimmy got an interview with JoePA at the end of the half. Jimmy asked joe what he thought and Joe says "We're playing lousy" an akward silence follows with joe looking at jimmy expecting another question, but jimmy looked back at him for about 5 seconds before Joe gave up and left. the camara turns back to dykes and he smiles like the dope he is into the camara before ESPN. cuts away.

Anonymous said...

Thankyou to those that said you liked what I wrote about the Pens. This situation really bothers me, and I appreciate that someone sees where I'm coming from.

A lot of Pens fans want to get all up in arms about the politicians and act like Mario's a saint. And to some extent, at least until about a year ago, they're right and a year ago I agreed with them all.

But Mario was the one who got in bed with IOC, and Mario's the one who sold to a guy who has intentions of moving the team.

Both parties have had oppurtunities now to ensure the team stays, and both have looked after themselves.

And isn't the fact that Pittsburgh was basically bankrupt in the late-90s/early 2000s a big reason why it took so long to get a plan in place?? (THANKS TOM MURPHY!!!)

I still love Mario and the memories he gave us and I don't think he's even 50% responsible for this, but he is still somewhat responsible in the end.

I would honestly trade the Steelers XL win for knowing the Penguins would stay in Pittsburgh.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and let me clarify something about my criticism of the Lemieux/IOC allegiance (which I suppose has turned into the Blackberry guy/IOC allegiance)...

I think it's awesome that IOC has offered to pay for a new arena, and if they get the license I will be happy.

My problem is that Mario alligning with them are ensured that:

A. He couldn't even negotiate for any other plan, and although the other plan isn't as good as IOC's (you can't beat free!), it would still keep the Pens in Pittsburgh where they belong.

B. He would turn away any bidders not willing to move the team. Because, if the threat of relocation was gone there is no real heat on the gaming board to award IOC the license.

I'm also fairly sure that Mario has to have some sort of financial stake in IOC getting that slots license.

So to summarize, IOC's arena plan is great. I love it! I want it to happen. But some of the circumstances surrounding it seem a bit sketchy to me.

It would just suck to see the city start to pull out of it's recent tailspin and really make strides in improving, and then have it lose it's hockey team/major source of revenue 41 nights per year.

Pie said...

1.The red sox has been absolutely stupid of late: trading Ramirez, not paying Damon, etc etc. and now they spend 100 million on 2 players who might not even hold up?

What a waste of money.

10. Steelers will be 6-7 if they win the game tommorow. And that, of course will not be enough for a wild card. As for contending teams, Bengals are leading the charge but they have a touch schedule ahead, so the odds are against them.

Anonymous said...

1. I am so sick of the Red Sox and the baseball world's infactuation with them. Who gives a rats' ass? Screw them and their psycho fans.

2. Tressel did the right thing. He was in a no-win situation.

3. They need to have someone other than guys named Malken and Crosby score goals. It's not the coaches' fault.


5. He screwed with the game's integrity. He doesn't deserve to get in. Screw him too.

6.Offensive lineman. No one, not Jim Brown or Walter Payton, would have success behind the 2006 offensive line.

7. It's not bad but a lot of the programming isn't worth watching. Their game night production values are terrible. The cameras appear off-colored like they need white-balanced. The focus is soft too. The annoucers suck. Collingsworth is a geak and Gumble a prick.

8. Can you say Kansas City Penguins?

9. ESPN is loaded with a bunch of blowhards who think they are more important than what they are reporting. Berman, Patrick, Scott,
Evertt, Anderson, Walker, there's too many to name. But they all suck. All of them. Shannon Sharpe drives me crazy. He sounds like he has marbles in his mouth. When he talks I turn down the TV. Joe Buck's condescending, Mike "Holy Cow" Patrick dives me crazy with his signature call. Theisman talks too much. I don't mind Mike Tirico and Brad Nessler. Verne Lundquist is good. Brent Musberger turns every play and every player in the greatest ever in the history of mankind. God he sucks. John Madden's gotten old. He's the master of the obvious. Please quit.
Pam Ward, I can't stand. I don't mind Chris Spielman. He's intelligent and sounds like he's having fun. Boomer Esiason is solid. Gus Johnson could make a chess match exciting. He's good.
So many of the big name games just flat out suck. God I hate those clown.

Justin Robert Young said...

Keep MT. He is working with very young, very rough players. Criticize him for the constant line shuffling but it's not like anyone aside from Evengi, Sid and Jordan have shown real promise. If anything, I thought they should have gotten all they could out of LeClair until closer to the trade deadline when teams are hungry for veteran leadership in a rent-a-player situation (a la Recchi last season) and tried to get some young defensive help.

The coach of this team should only be fired if he is irreperably harming the development of Staal, Malkin, Sid or Marc-Andre. Other than that, at least give the man a full season.