Big Lead Sports Bar



Ever have a question about the site that you were dying to know the answer to? Probably not, but I'm going to answer them anyway. It's the Mondesi's House frequently asked questions!

Who writes Mondesi's House?

My name is Don Spagnolo, and I write virtually everything you see on the site. I started Mondesi's House in June of 2006 at the age of 28. My parents were both journalism majors in college and I fully blame/thank them for my addiction to writing. And no, I don't live in their basement. But thanks for asking.

Where did you come up with the name for the site?

I was inspired by Raul Mondesi, an outfielder who the Pirates signed for the 2004 season. He would play just 26 games in a Pirate uniform, due to one of the most incredible/ridiculous stories one will ever hear from an athlete.

Just a month into the 2004 campaign, Mondesi told the Pirates that he was the victim of an extortion plot by former hitting instructor Mario Guerrero and that his family in the Dominican Republic was in danger, claiming that he would have to leave and may never play baseball again.

The Pirates allowed Mondesi to return home during the season but quickly grew tired/skeptical of his story and ultimately released him a week later. With his life fully in order, Mondesi signed a contract a mere 10 days later with Anaheim, a deal that was quickly investigated by Major League Baseball due to the questionable circumstances.

Shortly after he signed with the Angels, he tore his quad (karma?) and was placed on the DL. He was released by the Angels in July of '04 for not showing up for his rehab therapy.

Atlanta arrogantly signed Mondesi as a reclamation project in 2005 and proved once and for all that he was at the end of the line, appearing in just 41 games and producing 4 HR that season.

From a comedic point of view, I considered it the most ingenious maneuver ever as far as getting out from under a McClatchy/Nutting-Era Pirate contract. And considering I started the site in the midst of some of the worst Pirate baseball ever seen, I thought it would serve as the backdrop for the site's style, meshing serious Pittsburgh sports talk with a heavy dose of comedy and sarcasm. And FYI, Raul Mondesi is in no way affiliated with the site.

What's the logo supposed to be?

The extortionist bullets being shot at his house in the Dominican, of course.

Why do you blog?

First of all, I've always loved writing. In fact, I wish I could write at greater length, but there's only so many hours in a day. Needless to say, the posts where I can spend several hours, do some serious research and add some pictures are my favorites.

In 2006, after much internal debate, I started the blog. I wanted an outlet to vent my frustrations and voice my opinions among like-minded Pittsburghers. Luckily, the blog caught on and has grown steadily since its inception. With its increased readership comes more exposure, more opportunities, more access, and more scrutiny. It's been an interesting ride.

Although my style is often sarcastic, I take the rules of journalism very seriously. On this site, you will always find sources, and you will quickly realize that I always do my research, especially in reference to statistics.

Why should I read your site?

Ample original material and plenty of links to other interesting finds on the web, including a live-feed blogroll of nearly 200 other Pittsburgh-based blogs on the right sidebar.

What do you cover?

Anything related to Pittsburgh (even beyond sports), including the Steelers, Pirates, Penguins, and Panthers, and some national stuff on a minor level.

I'm new. Where do I start?

The right sidebar, my friend. That's where you'll find all of the "greatest hits", my personal collection of favorite articles, as well as an archive of everything ever posted here.

--How do I leave a comment?

Comments are highly encouraged. I think they're really interesting and add a lot to the site. I certainly respect a difference of opinion and welcome interaction among the readers. That said, you can sign up at for your free account and log in whenever you feel like adding your two cents.

I have a pretty long rope with comments, but try to keep it in good taste. Vulgar attacks, especially those of a personal nature, will not be tolerated and are subject to removal at my discretion. We're here to talk sports and have a good time, not make enemies. Try your best to keep it civil.

How do I contact you? I welcome feedback, opinions, and links/tips to interesting stuff.

Do you have advertising available?

Yes, we have several text-link advertising options available. Please email for further information.

How can my business/website sponsor a contest?

Whenever possible, we offer a contest to our readers to reward them for the links they send in. This is available as a sponsorship with the only investment being a prize valued at $50 or more. Please email for more details - availability is limited.

What's an RSS feed?

Basically, it's a tool that lets you know when your favorite websites are updated. Those are the little "feed" logos you see sprinkled throughout the right sidebar. I highly recommend downloading Klipfolio to utilize this feature.

Do you have any other projects or write for any other publications?

Outside of Mondesi's House, I've written about Pittsburgh-centric topics on several occasions for, including three Steeler season previews, two Pirate season previews, and their memorial of Myron Cope.

In 2010, I officially joined 93.7 The Fan CBS-FM in Pittsburgh as a contributor. My work will consist of authoring exclusive content for their website as well as appearing on their various talk shows throughout the week.

How can I get my blog linked to yours?

If any bloggers out there would like their site linked in the sidebar, just send an email to with the site name and URL.

A few very minor requirements from your site:
--It must cover either Pittsburgh, sports, or entertainment
--Updated at least once a month
--Must link to Mondesi's House
And that's it. Not too painless. The offer is open to blogs only, so if you are interested in a link for your business, please email for advertising rates.