Monday, January 26, 2009

#112: Audio from Pirates Caravan

---Three Audio Clips---

That wasn't so bad...

First, I do want to thank "The Chief" from The Chief's Forum for his question. It was a good one, but there was really no one there to whom I could have asked it.

Also, thanks to Pat Lackey at WHYGAVS for a little back-and-forth chat I had with him.

The interviews didn't go too badly except for the last one. For some reason I couldn't get much out of Nyjer Morgan and Jeff Karstens. Probably because I wasn't as well-prepared as I could have been.

For now, enjoy my conversations with, firstly, Pirate broadcasters Steve Blass and Greg Brown, and secondly, Pirate hitting coach Don Long, and prospect Neil Walker.

Blass & Brown: (15 min)

Long & Walker: (11 min, 40 sec)

(added 1/28/09)
Morgan & Karstens: (10 min, 47 sec)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

#111: SM to interview Pirate Caravan

---Caravan Comes to Uniontown---

Monday, January 26, 2008 beginning at 1PM EST.

Nyjer Morgan, Jeff Karstens, Neil Walker, Don Long, Steve Blass and Greg Brown are scheduled to drop by WMBS radio (590 AM, Uniontown) for at least a half hour, perhaps more, for a quick on-air Q & A session on the program "Let's Talk".

My boss has given me the green light to fill in as host for the segment, perhaps for the entirety of the 1PM-3PM talk block, regardless of whether the Pirates stay long or not.

There is a high likelihood that call-ins will not be taken during that time.

With as many as six representatives from the club dropping by to visit, I may be able to fill the time with a couple questions for each person.

I will try to throw at least one softball question to each (more of a "let's get to know you a little bit" gesture).

Then maybe, just maybe, a question that might not be all perfume and roses (more like [and I may not use this specific one], "Mr. Morgan, you'll be 29 this summer. Do you think your best playing days are still ahead?").

What I'd like is to get some questions Pirate fans might want to ask these individuals.

If you'd be so kind, please leave a comment indicating what question(s) you'd like to hear asked, and who you'd like them addressed to:

I.E. - Don Long: If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?

(Don't really ask that question.)

Just a couple of "ground rules" for questions to be considered -

1) Don't be a jerk ("Hey, Jeff Karstens, after that near no-hitter in Arizona, why did you completely fall apart?")

2) Try not to mention the absence of players (like Bay or Nady). I will likely ask a question or two on how they think that will affect the makeup of the team out of spring training, and I don't want to beat the proverbial dead horse.

Everything else should be ok. I can't promise that the questions will be asked, either, as time may be a constraint, but it's always good to go into one of these with more questions than not enough. And what questions would interest me may not be ones you would be interested in hearing.

And, you can listen to the station online if you're not in a place to pick it up over the airwaves.

Click here, then click the "listen" button toward the top of the page.

Again, Monday, January 26th, starting just after the 1PM newscast.

I will try to post the audio within this entry sometime this week.

Monday, January 19, 2009

#110: Return of the Know-Nothings

---Bringing out the Dumbest in Folks---

They're back.

Not that they ever went away. And I'm not referring to the Steelers returning to the Big Game.

I'm talking about how the phrase: "The Pittsburgh Steelers are back in the Superbowl" seems to draw the clueless out of their holes.

I journeyed over to Shutdown Corner, a blog on Yahoo! Sports, and was reading through the throngs of commenters/trolls/prognosticators.

A LOT of haters out there. A LOT of criers out there. Hopefully, they're just trolls, because if they're serious, I will officially retire my hope for mankind.

So, here are some of the choice cuts I found. Read 'em and laugh. Because there's not much else you can do about inanity. (My comments in parentheses)

1) Go Cardinals! Hopefully the Cards don't have to play against the Steelers AND the refs like the Seahawks did a few years back. That was some lame **** right there!

(S/he must put too much stock in NFC-favoritist comments like Steve Young: "That was a touchdown," the former 49er said at halftime, with reference to Darrell Jackson pushing off Chris Hope. I wonder if he - and former Dallas Cowboy Michael Irvin - were rooting against Pittsburgh tying their respective franchises for number of total Superbowl victories.)

2) Let's face it, Pittsburgh has yet again cheated their way to another Lombardi Trophy. The refs are paid off so that when it comes down to the Steelers could be.. they are. Terry Bradshaw handed out the trophy for the AFC title. It wasn't enough for them to cheat, they had to go put a man's life and his families livelihood on the line.. and then not get penalized for it. B U L L * * * * !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!..and yes I'm a Seattle fan, born and raised. Some things need to be looked into and some A S S needs to kicked. If the refs can't even do their job.. and call a game them. If the Steelers can't play fair.. remove them from the league. Yes. They are ruining professional sports as a whole. Other teams will if they haven't already followed suite. Seattle got screwed in the Super Bowl. Arizona will inevitably will get screwed, I hope they don't, but they will. It's all about the money. Too much of it flows if the Steelers win. The Steelers need to cough hard for the cheap shot they took on McGahee. They need to cough hard, take up a collection out of all that Super Bowl money their getting and give it to the guys family.. take care of their so called "Union Brother". If they were to do something of this fashion, I might gain a little respect for them if they did. Odds are he may never play again.. even if he can walk. If he is able to play again, that will probably mean lots of pain, multiple surgeries, and he'll never be the same again!

(If you read the above and have not lost IQ points, kudos. Terry Bradshaw gave out the NFC trophy to the Cardinals yesterday. Unless s/he was talking about the Lombardi trophy...but I'm pretty sure that was Paul Tagliabue...wasn't it?)

3) I heard some people CHEERING in that stadium when McGahee was carted off. You do not cheer when someone is injured. You should stop and think about it, McGahee is a human too. He has a family, loved ones, people who care about him. Imagine if someone, on the street, got into a car accident before your very eyes. Do you laugh? Do you cheer? Would you be happy about it?
The Steelers don't deserve this. They have no class, and neither do their fans. Cardinals are going to win.

(Another poster did come along and clarify that the cheering was because that's what you do when the player is leaving the field. The fans were pretty silent the entire time that McGahee was down. And then, upon reaching the edge of the playing area, the mic picked up comments like, "Good luck, Willis". And besides, when does class have anything to do with winning championships one way or the other?)

4) lets face it 4 of those Superbowls were won because of steroids and the other one was because the refs basically gave it to you.

(I don't think the Steelers were the only team that had guys 'roiding up. That's asinine. As for the second part of the "statement", visit one of my favorite sites about this subject ever. I do disagree with the low block Hasselbeck was flagged for. On the other side, I maintain that an illegal block in the back on Roethlisberger during a Kelly Herndon interception wasn't flagged.)

5) Steelers will when after they are through head hunting, while the referees look the other way, just like a few years ago.

(I don't recall one cheap shot in the whole AFC Title game. The closest one was Limas Sweed's hit on Corey Ivy. I won't even argue too hard that it wasn't a cheap shot. But the Clark/McGahee hit...Willis saw him coming. Clark lowered - and led with - his shoulder. The helmets just happened to collide first.)

6) can anyone beat the cheap-shot artists steelers, I sure hope so. They got to their last superbowl by taking out carson palmer's knees and they got to this one with an illegal helmet to helmet hit on mcgayhee. Lets hope they get smoked in the bowl, but they'll probably win on a few more cheap shots.

(Head...getting...numb....... Now we go back to Carson Palmer watching his pretty little touchdown pass while Kimo von Oelhoffen slid/rolled into him. By accident. Honestly, I think the hate begins with a flawed premise: "The Steelers Play Dirty". Why, then, did Tennessee win the Week 16 contest virtually undamaged? Surely, dirty ol' Ryan Clark could have put a helmet to Chris Johnson's knee, or dirty ol' James Harrison could have led with his helmet into Kerry Collins late, just to get him out of the game. I honestly don't think there are enough clues lying about to distribute to the people who so desperately need them.)

7) Sean Locklear holding when no holding occured negating first and goal at the one on Jerramy Stevens catch, etc.

(I think crying about Superbowl XL is the only reason Seattle continues to be a city at this point. That, and perhaps Microsoft and Starbucks. Be"hold"--

Is that...Locklear's left arm outside of Haggans' jersey, hand gripping it? Why, yes! Yes, it is! that...could that be the ball still in Hasselbeck's hands? OMFG! Why on EARTH would a flag have been thrown?)

8) the pitt vs.seattle superbowl was fixed! remember after the game the question on espn. did the refs determine the outcome of the game? all 5 people said yes, chris berman, steve young, warren moon, tom jackson and ditka. not all fans are dumb...just most of them..

(And you, sir/ma'am, are among them.)

-- And here's another one from the same genius --

9) Please dont fix another superbowl! pitt was handed the superbowl vs. seattle. that was the worst officiated game since the tuck rule. cant you see a offensive pass int on the 1st drive just like darrell jackson. watch the flags fly when fitzgerald goes down the sideline! holding on # 70 something!

(If you're still reading this post, please do a crossword or sudoku puzzle immediately afterward to help recouperate)

-- But not all Know-Nothings are Steeler Haters. Here are a couple of gems from Steeler Fanboys --

10) Just get ready for the Steel Curtain Baby!!!! This is going to be an awesome game. Only if Big Ben will get his head out of his @$$.

(He's only the reason - on offense, at least - they're going to Tampa, after all. Yeah, Ben! You hold the ball too long! ---- And, incidentally, move the chains as a result...)

MVP- Willie Parker- 20 carries, 121 yards, 2 TD

(Not a terribly illogical score prediction, but if Willie Parker can even get 4.0 yards-per-rush average - Arizona's season average - ... and this guy's predicting just a shade over 6.0 ... I'll add myself to my own list. And, I'll be glad to do so.)