Big Lead Sports Bar


Tuesday Bullet Points

It's a Tuesday, and I'm feeling like trying something new, so let's catch up on things with a Bob Smizik-style column filled with bullet points:
  • First, some exciting news: I was once again approached to write the Steelers season preview for, and I happily accepted their offer. I'm not sure exactly what day it will run, but it is in the works and should be complete soon. Last year's "50 Reasons Why I Love the Steelers" was very well received, as was this year's "79 Reasons Why It's Hard to be a Pirate Fan". Given that there are so many great Steeler blogs, I am honored to be asked once again. I can only hope that you enjoy what I have up my sleeve for this season.
  • Many thanks to the readers who've made the last seven days the most-read in site history. Mondesi's House has had over 40,000 views in the past week alone. The site was mentioned on,, and led off the Washington Post's Blog Show TV program. And Mondesi's House finally cracked the top-20 of Ballhype's sports blog rankings, which I think puts me on the cusp of a BCS appearance. Fun times, indeed.
  • Best of luck to my friend Dave Dameshek, who has decided to leave 93.7 The Zone and return to a career in Hollywood with Jimmy Kimmel. I always enjoyed my appearances on Dave's show and wish him the best of luck.
  • What an enjoyable Pirate game last night. It started off with John Van Benschoten drilling Willy Taveras with the first pitch and snowballed from there. JVB's line: 2 innings, 6 hits, 9 earned runs, 2 walks, and 1 HBP. Of course, he would've only given up seven runs, but Tony Armas immediately allowed his two inherited runners to score, so nine it is for Van Benschoten. You can bet that the Pirate Spin Doctors will immediately bring up the fact that Armas threw three scoreless innings and conveniently brush those other two runs under the table (which they already have, in the postgame show).
  • I enjoyed the anecdote during the game about how confident Armas is feeling about himself these days, blaming poor mechanics for his failures up to this point in the season. Nice story. But I don't see him giving back any money for said "poor mechanics".
  • Pirate announcers said that J-Bay is the worst batter in the majors since June 1. So that means we have the most-hit pitcher (Duke) in the league and the worst batter for the last month and a half. How about plastering that on a WE WILL banner?
  • Nice play by Willie Mays Wilson pretending in the 7th inning that it was the 1954 World Series and trying to recreate The Catch. Even better: the two outfielders (Bay and McLouth) who failed to open their mouths to call him off. A-Rod makes more noise when a ball's in the air. Even better than the botched pop up was Wilson's subsequent argument with Jim Colborn. You could almost feel a pulse in the Pirate dugout. Almost.
  • That scrub, Matt Herges, who sports an ERA of 7.36 and gave up 2 runs in an inning of work for the Rockies tonight? Yeah, he's the guy the Pirates traded Chris Young for. You know Chris "8-3, 1.97 ERA" Young, don't you?
  • The sign of a bad team: the Pirate announcers tried to hype the upcoming Josh Fogg start for the Rockies by building him up as "one of the best pitchers the Pirates had" for several years. With ERAs of 4.35, 5.26, 4.64, and 5.05 during his time as a We Willer, that paints a picture as bleak as you would imagine.
  • Anyone catch the Ronnie Florian commercial tonight about the "Pirates Generation" song? And here I thought the Florian campaign was losing steam!
  • On the topic of Pirates commercials: yes, I enjoy the retrospective, through-the-years style piece they have running now, even though there's a giant gap between 1992 and 2007 (the commercial goes from Doug Drabek to Ian Snell). But one thing I noticed: if it were up to the Pirates, people would never know that Barry Bonds was a part of the organization, and that goes beyond his exclusion in this commercial. I think this is a true injustice and a re-writing of history. Am I a Bonds fan? No. But I don't think the Pirates have anything to be embarrassed about when it comes to The Barry Era in Pittsburgh. The guy won 2 MVPs, led the team to three playoff appearances, and even the most cynical of baseball fans would say that it was probably done cleanly. I know many are disappointed with the Pirates' playoff finishes during Bonds' time as a Pirate, but the team wouldn't have advanced that far without him. What happened from 1993 on regarding Bonds is a different topic. It's time to recognize Barry's excellence as a Pirate.
  • OK, that's enough Pirates. I'm having an internal debate: am I more excited for the upcoming Steelers season or the Penguins season?
  • 15 two-a-days (or as Mark Madden suggested, "two 15-a-days") has the makings of great drama at Latrobe. Even if Mike Tomlin doesn't follow through with all 15, I love his "players have to adjust to me" attitude.
  • I must admit, when I heard Peter King had his preseason Power Rankings, I was fully prepared to be disappointed. Why I would be upset with what another man thinks about a football team might be a deeper issue of mine, but we'll save that for another time. Anyway, his ranking of 12th was more than fair for the Steelers. I was pleasantly surprised. Also in this article, Pete becomes the 356,789th person to write about how he dislikes ESPN's Who's Now? segment. Might be time to take that idea into the shop for a tune-up.
  • I was thrilled after reading AOL's excerpt from a recent Willie Parker interview where he compared the Steelers' 2007 offense to the San Diego Chargers'. As I constantly point out, Parker had 1,716 yards of offense and 16 TDs last year behind a below-average offensive line. If the Steelers open it up this year, his numbers could get even more interesting. I know one thing: I wouldn't hesitate taking him high in my fantasy league.
  • Big Ben isn't cool with Matt Leinart? Who knew?
  • Can Ray Shero win the NHL Executive of the Year before the season is played? Is there any precedent for that? Is there any chance he knows anything about running a baseball team too?
  • What's the over/under on the number of trophies the Penguins will be carrying out of next year's NHL Awards ceremony?
  • I'm kinda liking this bullet-point thing. I can see why Smizik goes to it so often.


SeanCollier said...

It should be begrudgingly noted that, when discussing Josh Fogg, it can't be ignored that he is somehow the winningest pitcher in the history of PNC Park, with 19. Since the park opened, no Pirates pitcher has won more than 19 home games.

Dirty Sanchez said...

Wow, Josh Fogg is the winningest pitcher in PNC Park's history. C'mon Gorzo and Snell!

And regarding all this "poor mechanics" crap that gets brought up whenever discussing Armas and Duke or whoever else is sucking at the moment. If you take your car in for a brake job and the mechanics f*ck it up, those are poor mechanics. When your ERA is 6+ and the opposition is hitting around .350 off of you, you suck.

Unknown said...

The Pirates appear to be a team on the verge of a mutiny. There are several people in the dugout who are fed up with underperformers and their stupid play.

What are the Pirates waiting for to send down VanBenSchoten? (?spelling) Send him down and give someone else a shot. It's obvious that his head is totally screwed up.

When you drill the first batter in the back on the first pitch, that should give you a good clue that this guy is not psychologically there and needs to get his act together.

Unknown said...

Before they announce the Pirates lineup at the games, they show on the scoreboard that Pirates' history video. There they do show Bonds, and even Brian Giles

Unknown said...

A mutiny would make things interesting, maybe even make me care once training camp starts to see who goes down with the Jolly Roger. [/lame Greg Brown catchphrases] May even make Jim Tracy display some testicular fortitude. I'm all for it.

Unknown said...

Tonight's greater tragedy: Wigglesdick puked up another 4 for 4, giving him 8 consecutive hits. But we don't need a three bagger, do we?

Free Pacman said...

The day Jim Tracy show's testicular fortitude is the day the apocalypse happens.

Anonymous said...

As Bill says above, the Buccos do show an extended 12" remix version of their historical retrospective at the park. I first saw it on TV when I was in town a few weeks ago and I noticed the same thing you did, Mondesi - WHERE THE F--- IS BONDS?

Then, when I saw that loop begin on the BuccoVision board at PNC, I instructed my brother to watch an note the omission of Bonds, much to my dismay, given the 12" remix version of the clip.

"during his time as a We Willer".....LOL!