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Today's Headlines

The PITTSBURGH PIRATES notched yet another victory over the Chicago Cubs yesterday at Wrigley, this one by a 2-0 count. Brad Lincoln allowed just four hits in earning his first MLB victory, and Octavio Dotel finished off Lou Piniella's team for his 16th save.

Garrett Jones drove in the winning run in the eight inning, and Lastings Milledge drew a bases-loaded walk for the Bucs' second run. The Pirates managed the usual seven hits, with two singles from Andrew McCutchen leading the way.

Daniel McCutchen (0-3, 11.00 ERA) duels with Cole Hamels (6-6, 4.08) as the Phillies come to PNC Park for a 7:05 game tonight.

My take: If only this team could play the Cubs 162 times in a season, all our worries would go away. While the Bucs did win two games, they scored a grand total of five runs in the three-game series, winning 2-1 and 2-0 and losing 3-1. It's fantastic that the Pirates pitched so well, but they can't expect to win many more series when putting up such little offense.

SERGEI GONCHAR will go to unrestricted free agency today, and it's looking less and less likely that he will return to the Penguins. Ray Shero has been quiet on the talks with Dan Hamhuis, but apparently nothing has happened on that front, either.

Rob Rossi listed some of the Pens' alternatives in a column for the Trib today, including Kurtis Foster of Tampa Bay and Zbynek Michalek of Phoenix. Mark Eaton and Jordan Leopold would also move up the priority list in the event that Gonchar and/or Hamhuis decides to move on. Meanwhile, Joe Starkey is looking at another year of Winger Roulette, and adds a few names to the mix of players who could fill the always-present void at that position.

My take: It's funny how quickly things can change in sports. A few days ago, we heard about the plan to keep Gonchar and Hamhuis and build one of the league's deepest defenses. Now it's looking like neither one will sign with the team and the Pens will be scrambling to fill holes with lower-tier players. On the heels of the failed Alexei Ponikarovsky experiment, Ray Shero is in need of a truly solid deal; not necessarily a home-run, but definitely an extra-base hit.

THE PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS found enough room on their future schedules to ink a three-game deal with Syracuse, to be renewed in 2013 at New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Syracuse would play at Beaver Stadium on September 19, 2020, and the Nittany Lions would visit Syracuse on September 18, 2021.

Meanwhile, a certain local college football team with a bit of history sits idly by, still not worth of the Nittany Lions' time. Coincidence? Obviously.

My take: You really don't know my take on this by now? 


the nigerian nightmare said...


Unknown said...

Penn State won't play Pitt because:
a) Syracuse will take a lower payout;
b) While Pitt will help PSU's BCS strength of schedule, the probability of a potential loss is too strong to accept;
c) What do they have to gain by playing in Pittsburgh? The region is already swarmed with Penn State fans - they can play in DC or NYC at neutral sites with a higher cut for an away game - and have quality visits with recruits.

Adam said...

Yeah, Penn State's so terrified of losing in the non-conference that it scheduled that patsy Alabama for a home-and-home.

And per Don's usual, the headline is "Penn State not playing Pitt" instead of "Penn State playing in nation's biggest media market in front of large alumni base."

Don said...

Penn State has absolutely NOTHING TO GAIN by playing Pitt. The Nitts will never play Pitt again as long as JoePa is alive, and I'm totally cool with that. Frankly the risk of a loss to Pitt isn't that high and I don't exactly see them adding a material boost to our strength of schedule, no more than say MSU or Illinois on an average year.

BurressWithButterflywings said...


I had no idea PSU had Alabama on their schedule this season! You have never mentioned it on here before, like 100 times, so I was completely unaware.


You constantly turn every post about PSU not playing Pitt into " We're playing Alabama this year".

Honestly, give it up. You and the rest of your Kool-Aid swigging PSU brethern come on here slamming Don because he doesn't kiss JoePa's @$$ or tout Penn State as the greatest institution known to mankind. Get over it. HE IS A PITT FAN, NOT A PENN STATE FAN!!!

Your little crusade to spread the good word about infallable Penn State has gotten old. Just maybe thinking a little bit outside your blue and white bubble could shed a little light that for once, your precious PSU is actually to blame.

Pitt fans WANT to play PSU every year. We hate your stinking guts and we loved the rivalry for the many, many years it existed. We respect your program, the talent, and the tradition. The reason Pitt and Penn State don't play every year is 1000000% JoePa/ Penn State's fault. When Pitt fans gripe over not being added to PSU's schedule, it's not a knock at SOS, it's just because we want to be on there instead of Coastal Carolina, Syracuse, or Temple.

Don said...

Pitt won't be on our schedule though because they want a home and home agreement and that does not benefit PSU at all. You may find it hard to believe, but if you were to go to a PSU game and walk around the parking lots asking people if they want Pitt back on the schedule a significant portion of they would say "eh, whatever". If PSU and Pitt play all of a sudden PSU is the biggest game on Pitts schedule; meanwhile, Pitt falls below OSU, Mich, Iowa, Wisky, and Neb (starting next year). PSU fans just don't care to renew the rivalry.

Anonymous said...

@Donald - No way that PSU will be playing OSU, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin and Nebraska all on a yearly basis. I could see 2-3 of those teams in PSU's division, but no way those 6 teams will all be grouped together.

Don said...

True...really depends on how the Big Ten gets configured. Probably 2-3 of them will be in PSUs division and maybe play another annually in a cross division rivalry game, who knows. Either way Pitt is still no higher than
3rd or 4th biggest game on PSUs schedule.

Adam said...

@ Burress

Commenter Scott specifically called Penn State out for being afraid of a potential loss to Pitt, which as the Alabama series proves, is straight BS. Way to read my comment in context.

And what Don doesn't realize is that to Penn State, Pitt=Syracuse. At points, it was as hotly contested, if not more so than the Pitt-Penn State series, so give this "Penn State is intentionally avoiding Pitt" thing a rest.

Syracuse spurned Joe just like Pitt did, and by 2021 we'll have played them 5 times in 13 years. If Pitt wasn't trying to screw Penn State fans by forcing them into by season tickets just to get a seat at the Pitt-PSU game at Heinz and being non-negotiable on playing an extra game in State College or a neutral location like the Meadowlands, it might have gotten the same deal.

Unknown said...

The Alabama series was booked years before they were good again. Schedules are made 5-10 years in advance.

Penn State won't play Pitt as long as they can schedule a MEDIOCRE I-AA team like Eastern Michigan or Youngstown State. They only guarantee them $500k for the game instead of the typical $1M+ for an FBS team, and they know they will win, which still helps for BCS points. Nobody has the guts to play a good FCS team.

BurressWithButterflywings said...


I see your point about the season tickets, if that's true it's not cool at all.

But I don't see how a neutral site would even be an option? Where would that be? UPJ? Westmont Hilltop HS?

I don't think it is fair to expect Pitt to go for a 2 for 1 deal.

Adam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Interrupting this PSU talk for a moment. Gonchar signs in Ottawa - 3 years/16.5 million.

Adam said...

@ Burress

We're playing Indiana in Maryland. So long as there's a Penn State alumni base in the area, any location in the Northeast is in play. Pitt loves to talk about how big it is in New York. Play it there. I don't care.

All I'm saying is, Syracuse has made it happen where Pitt hasn't, so while saying a 2 for 1 isn't fair might be true, it's also not fair of you to lay 100000% of the blame on Paterno. There's plenty of blame to go around on both sides.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

Adam, come on. Indiana is giving up a HOME GAME to play that game for $3 million and exactly who is that a neutral site for? I am not going to google this but I would guess that is like a 750 mile trip for Indiana and 200 for PSU?

That's like saying Michigan plays USC in Phoenix and it's neutral simply because it is neither team's home stadium.

Adam said...

Not neutral in the "who will fill the stadium" sense, neutral on the revenue end of things.

If Pitt doesn't want to do a 2 for 1, negotiate and split the money from an alternate site.

If Pitt wanted Penn State that bad, they'd get it done like Syracuse, but I think the suits in Oakland are more than satisfied to trumpet "12-0!" and avoid the likely PR hit of getting crushed by Penn State in a home and home and having that hang over their heads for a decade.

Scott Zigarovich said...

I went to PSU so take my thoughts with a grain of salt

1. Penn State does not want to play Pitt. This is because paterno is still pissed about the conference dealings that took place 30 years ago and because the university will almost never play more than 1 ooc game on the road every two years.

2. The aforementioned reasons are insane. Paterno, who in my opinion is holding the program back at this point, is holding a ridiculous grudge. The actual university acting out of pure greed by not playing more ooc road games is equally as ridiculous. The school makes enough money, it can aford to send the football on the road once a year. psu needs to be more like usc and step up to the plate when it comes to ooc games. in 1999 psu played #4 arizona at home, Akron at home, Pitt at home, and at #8 miami. If you think you are an elite program that is the schedule you need to play.

3. Playing pitt would help psu more than most psu fans care to admit. Western pa is typically loaded with good recruits. psu has drastically lost ground in this area. look at the studs who have gone elsewhere; pryor, baldwin, bell, ect. psu needs to go into pittsburgh and try to open these pipelines again. and now that pitt is pulling guys out of new jersey, maybe this game can help psu in areas outside of western pa as well.

4. if psu played pitt this season, pitt would win. they have a better team.

5. psu is not an elite program. they can be but they are not. in my opinion they have all the tools to be elite, huge fan base, games on tv all the time, facilities including the biggest stadium, the campus, ect., but they are holding themselves back. and as a psu fan, 1 bcs win in 12 years is totally unacceptable. get rid of paterno, play a better schedule (home and home with pitt included), and stop settling for mediocrity.

Unknown said...

@Scott #2

I totally agree with you.

Adam said...

Dear Scott,
1. Read my posts. Syracuse spurned Paterno, too. We're going to play them 5 times in a 13 year span.

2. No athletic department can have "enough" money. You must have been ignorant to the other 28 varsity sports that need funding while you were up there. Without 7 home games, there's no Medlar Field, no Sarni Tennis, no Rec Hall upgrades, none of it. Penn State's overall athletic department is the beast it is because of this "greed" you speak of, and I'm not apologizing for giving as many athletes in as many sports as possible the chance to get a scholarship to go to school.

3. I don't know what recruiting classes you're looking at, but PSU blew the doors off Pitt in the WPIAL in the last recruiting class. O, and two of the recruits you named went to Ohio State, not Pitt, but nice try.

4. Pitt won 10 games in the big East last year. That's a mirage of real success.

5. If you've been so dissatisfied with the program the last five years that you want to fire Paterno, please, go root for Pitt.

Scott Zigarovich said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott Zigarovich said...


Just the response I was hoping for.

1. At this point we all know that cuse didn't cast the vote keeping psu out the big east, but we don't know who did. i have a feeling that paterno thiks that pitt cast the vote. either way there is no grudge with syracuse. hit the nail right on the head. in my 4 years at psu i only focused on three sports, football, basketball, and baseball. many will agree that these are the only sports that matter. i don't care how good we are in volleyball, tenis, and wrestling, the only team sports that matter are the big three. nothing would make me happier than for psu to cut every sport except for the the big three. psu needs to stop citing things like president's cup standings to overshadow the short comings we have in the sports the public actually cares about.

3. This just shows you don't get how this recruiting thing works. its more than just keeping wpial kids from pitt, its about keeping them away from teams like osu and michigan as well. if you think playing games in new york will have a similar effect then you have to concede that playing games in pittsburgh will do the same.

4. and outside of lsu in the rain and mudd what good teams did psu beat last year? did we get better by losing all the linebackers and the qb? Our d-line is over rated and our secondary is plain weak. our recievers are good, but how good will they be with matt mcgloin tossing them the ball? so in the end we have evan royster....who at best is even with lewis for pitt. pitt on the other hand would have the three best players ont he field with baldwin lewis and romeous. Explain to me how we win this game?

5. i didn't say fire paterno, i implied that he needs to be smart enough to step down. and don't make the window smaller, we have only won 1 bcs game ever, and haven't won a national title since 1986, aka two years before i was born. maybe being mediocre is good enough for you, but its not for me. at least you can point to our performance in the presidents cup though.

NickDawg said...

WOW....the first PSU fan/alum (Scott) with a non-elitist and realist view on this site... I agree with everything Scott says... and Adam you can now take the shoe out of yuor mouth....

If they play its a win win for all of college football

Adam said...

1. Penn State Football never tried to join the Big East.

2. Never tried the argument that you should care about the sports. There's no chance in hell I'm going to head over to a run-of-the-mill mid season gymnastics match. But it's incredibly ignorant to argue that because the average sports fan doesn't care about non-rev sports that they're not important. If everyone thought as you did and eliminated all but three sports, you'd be cutting scholarships for a half a million student-athletes nationwide just so ignorant people like you can watch a higher level of competition in football. That's just so ignorant. If you were a true Penn Stater, you'd want the best for EVERYONE at Penn State, not just the football team. Like I said. Go root for Pitt.

3. I get that Penn State turned Josh Hull from a walk-on to an NFL Linebacker. Recruits and stars mean almost nothing to me, except when people like you argue that they aren't recruiting well. They had, by all accounts, a great class a year ago, and have a roster that will make legitimate runs in 2011 and 2012, and probably turn in a decent year this year. That's all I care about.

4. Penn State's players would look "better" too if they were running against Kiski Prep every week.

5. So you're either national championship good or mediocre in your mind? What are you Ricky Bobby? If you ain't first you're last? Penn State isn't on the level of a Florida, Alabama, Texas, etc. at the moment, no, but if that's what it takes for you to be satisfied, then just go root for one of those teams. Joe Paterno leaving isn't going to turn Penn State into that tomorrow or even 5 years. I'm more than happy to watch the man who's not only made the program, but the university what it is today go out on his own terms by coaching a very good football team. If you aren't, root for someone else.

And it's the Director's Cup dipstick.

Anonymous said...

Adam - Of course Penn State football didn't try to join the Big East. The Big East did not have a football conference until 1993, which was 3 years after PSU was granted membership to the Big Tenleven. Not a very convincing argument on your part.

Scott Zigarovich said...


These are layups for me.

1. penn state applied for admission to the big east in 1985.

per the wikipedia page on the big east

"In 1985, Penn State applied for membership, but was rejected, with only five schools in favor (Penn State needed six out of eight). It was long rumored that Syracuse cast the deciding vote against Penn State, but Mike Tranghese confirmed that this was not the case and that Syracuse had, in fact, voted for Penn State's inclusion.[6]"

2. if psu had three sports it would be better for the actual students of the university, not just the athletes you are refering to. PSU would save money by cutting 20 some sports that all lose money. Assuming that this would decrease the athletic budget and also allow the three money making sports to perform at a higher level, money would be freed up for the rest of students at the university. That way maybe val venis the computer science major can also get some scholarship money instead of just saving it for the athletes. so in the end we would have not only better football, which i'm all in for, but we would also have better academic institutions. that is if you can stand losing our multi-time national championship fencing squad. you care about the athletes, i care about the actual students working hard the get an education, yet i'm not a true penn stater. thats kind of funny. far we have done a great job this year beating out deleware and bucknell for our only recruit. and ty howle looks like a winner too.

4. Easy there on kiski prep adam, don't you know they gave us curtis enis? but please continue to cut off the legs of the big east to make yourself feel taller.

5. i agree paterno built one hell of a program and i love him for that. but at this point he needs to be saved from himself. he needs to be remembered as a master craftsman, not the old senile guy who stayed around too long carrying a 30 year grudge with pitt while ruining the rivalry for fans of both schools. And like you said, we are not as good as florida, alabama, and texas. it looks as if you have accepted being less than our best, something i will not do. but whats it matter, i'm not a true penn stater.

6. I'm well aware that its the director's cup. you missed the sarcasim and made yourself the butt of that joke in the process. Thanks!!


to set the record straight, i'm the be all and end all when it comes to psu football. i'm michael jordan, i'm ken griffey jr, i'm mario lemieux. i have followed this program all my life; i know what they've done, where they've been, and what they need to do. maybe you need to comment on that ridiculous gonchar deal for while.

Scott Zigarovich said...


penn state attempted to jion the big east in 1985 under the asumption that big east would also form a football league. they were denied.

Unknown said...


1. At the time, Pitt was a football power and syracuse was following pitt's lead. It was JoePa’s all east conference he wanted to create and Pitt was the deciding school.

2. Very true, need money to fund other sports. Just sucks for a reason that’s all.

3.I think PSU would like western pa kids to stop going to OSU and Notre Dame, lots have been going there lately. PSU needs to beat out OSU, not just Pitt. Don't get your argument on Hull? You can’t honestly say they didn’t want Pryor.

4. Pitt was pretty good last year, very similar to PSU talent wise and Syracuse/Minn games shows the conferences aren't much different after OSU.

5. He is just trying to make PSU a power, have to take a good look at the program that hasn't won a national title since '87. Take a look at PSU’s wrestling team, it was much like the football team. Constantly a top 10-15 team but not an elite program. PSU went out and spent big money to hire the best coach and now they are going to be top 5 program from here on out.

It’s really ok to think PSU can be better, status quo doesn’t make you any better. Look at what you are writing.

BURGH08 said...

Thank you Scott. You remind me of the many PSU fans I know that can be both loyal and rational about the topic.

Nice to see that view on this blog for a change.

Anonymous said...

JoePa suggested Pitt as one of the teams to join the Big 10(11/12). Not that his opinion influenced much but he's not the guy stopping it.

As a PSU guy, I wish we did play Pitt but for whatever reason the two sides haven't agreed so they don't play. I just hate that people act like PSU is the only team that has a weak out of conference. We schedule 1 legit game a year and 3 easy ones, most other BCS teams do the same thing.

Adam said...

@ Scott

1. Penn State football never applied to the Big East. They were to remain independent.

2. You're misguided, and have no comprehension of the true purpose of college athletics at Penn State. The mission isn't to make you happy. Sorry.

3. It's July.

4. If the Sugar Bowl, Gator Bowl, and Pitt's struggles against UNC (mid-level ACC) in the Tire Bowl didn't convince you the league is at a JV level, you're nuts.

5. Joe Paterno is our best.

6. Whatever.

I'm done with the pissing match. Good day. Hope I never see you up there, wishing to the disbandment of all varsity sports you're too ignorant to care about.

Unknown said...

Boo hoo, bet you don't even go to games.

Scott Zigarovich said...


You need to step down off your high horse and join the rest of us in reality.

College athletics are about building character in our young men and women. What a joke. Universities see college athletics as an arm to make money, fans see them as a form of entertainment, and the truly misinformed see them as a way to shape the lives of remarkable young men and women.

I have no clue as to why you think Penn State looks better by pointing out the flaws of the Big East. Its no like we pushed our way through a tough schedule in the big ten hammering good teams every week. Our SoS last season was 47, thats well below Pitt at 28, Cincy at 24, West Virginia at 25, UCONN at 23, and Syracuse at 21. I think the big ten is a better football conference than the big east, but you certainly can't call the big east a jv league. As a commenter already said, take ohio state out of the mix and the conferences stack up pretty evenly. Iowa, PSU, and Wisconsin, all seem pretty similar to Cincy, Pitt, and WVU.

And for what its worth UNC could have 5 defensive players go in the first round of the 2011 NFL draft. If that makes them mid level what are we?

Yeah its july and we are being a out recruited by most of the teams in what you refer to as the JV league. We alreay have printing articles titled "Whats up with State?". On the bright side we do have a leg up on bucknell and deleware.

And if Penn State ever beats standford for the ryder cup, the stanley cup, the nextel cup, the world cup, or even the athletic cup, you can come back and tell me i'm wrong.

Adam said...

NFL draft talent means nothing to me. Wins are what mean things to me. When UNC wins the ACC come talk to me.

And the whole conference argument comes back to your assertion that Pitt has a better team than Penn State. A 10-2 Pitt team and an 8-4 Penn State team this year would be about equal. If Pitt exceeds that, or Penn State falls below that, that's about the only way I'd concede Pitt is legitimately better. They play no one. Penn State is playing 3 legitimate top 10 teams.