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Autumn Thunder: Child's Play 16 - The Revenge of Chucky Batch

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12-02-2012, 10:03 PM
  #826
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Pitt in the BBVA Compass Bowl for the 3rd straight year against another nondescript opponent (6-6 Ole Miss), probably the least interesting bowl game of the bunch. Can't imagine many Pitt fans giving a **** let alone traveling to the game.



Don't know why Pinstripe Bowl couldn't of been them vs WVU instead of Syracuse.

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12-02-2012, 11:19 PM
  #827
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Ike being out doesn't bother me. There is nothing Allen did today that Ike wasn't doing in the past. Some good plays, some bad plays... meh nothing crazy. If we can keep that up, I'm fine with it.

One thing I want to keep seeing is our CBs challenging WRs at the line. It seemed to work well today. Really threw of the rhythm of Flacco because we weren't actually getting TONS of pressure.

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Mendenhall was inactive for the game today.
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Yep yep. Tomlin is holding guys accountable for a change. It's nice. Mendy was inactive and Wallace was challenged to show up. I love it.

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12-02-2012, 11:33 PM
  #828
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What Ed Reed said was true. It may not have been classy but even Steelers fans didn't expect Batch to play that way. I watched him miss Heath Miller on a pass at the start of the game and watched him miss Wallace 10-15 yards wide open in the end zone and was complaining he couldn't make the throws anymore. He proved he could as the game went along but almost everybody had to be surprised by that.

Forget traveling to the bowl game, Pitt fans don't even seem willing to travel to Heinz field to see their team play most of the time. Although the product in recent years has sucked so I don't blame them too much.

I do think the Steelers will miss Ike. I hope Cortez proves me wrong but being a #1 CB is tough. I'd imagine Lewis will be used more as the #1 but Cortez will still draw certain #1 WR's since he has more speed to keep up with guys like AJ Green that the Steelers will see down the stretch.

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12-02-2012, 11:56 PM
  #829
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I expected Batch to play better than last game, but he stepped up more than I thought. Yeah, he had a couple horrid attempts, but he did an amazing job. The first quarter wasn't his fault really, can't get many passing yards when your coaches don't trust you to pass it. Once they got him in a rhythm, he was fine.

I still go back to the post I made a week ago (even after Cleveland) about rather having Batch as our 3rd than Leftwich next year (if he doesn't retire). I want a younger/less injury prone backup, but would love to have Batch around as the 3rd. With some reps, and trust from the coaches to let him pass, he can still go at it for a couple games a year.

I'm not a huge Ike fan, but at first I thought it was going to be so horrible to lose him. Allen played horrible on a couple plays, but once he got going he looked much better, as Batch did.

Our D finally came to play, causing a couple turnovers. We NEED that to keep moving forward. No matter who the QB is, you need a couple defenders getting the ball to win the big games.

We need to be on top of our game the next few weeks. We could maybe lose one more, but the Cincy game is HUGE.

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12-03-2012, 12:04 AM
  #830
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Some rumors surfacing about a possible deal with Seattle involving Jones and Hanrahan. I'd say it's certainly ok to think about selling Jones at high value, but they better get something actually useful in return. For that reason, packaging Hanrahan with him might not make as much sense. The proposed deal had Jaso as an attractive piece, but now with Martin signed, it wouldn't make sense (speculation is that the rumor is from earlier last week).

I'm a believer in Jones at this point, even though he may not reach last year's heights again. If the Pirates are going to actually improve, they have to know when the right time to move established players is, and then be able to replace their MLB production quickly.

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12-03-2012, 12:08 AM
  #831
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Northern Illinois-Florida State in the Orange Bowl? Yuck.

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12-03-2012, 12:31 AM
  #832
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Originally Posted by DJ Spinoza View Post
Some rumors surfacing about a possible deal with Seattle involving Jones and Hanrahan. I'd say it's certainly ok to think about selling Jones at high value, but they better get something actually useful in return. For that reason, packaging Hanrahan with him might not make as much sense. The proposed deal had Jaso as an attractive piece, but now with Martin signed, it wouldn't make sense (speculation is that the rumor is from earlier last week).

I'm a believer in Jones at this point, even though he may not reach last year's heights again. If the Pirates are going to actually improve, they have to know when the right time to move established players is, and then be able to replace their MLB production quickly.
Seattle would be a very interesting trade partner, as they have plenty of pitching but almost no offense.

Jaso? I highly doubt the Pirates are going after a 29 year-old catcher after signing Martin. The Smoak/Jaso/Noesi for Jones/Hanrahan seems more like wishful thinking on the behalf of a Seattle writer than an actual trade proposal (Smoak is very interesting...but the clock is starting to tick on him. As Tim Williams said, he was basically at the point where Pedro Alvarez was last year...but unlike Alvarez he took a step sideways instead of forward last year. He's not in the Jeff Clement-Mariners 1st Baseman Power Prospect Bust mold because he can actually hit for power in the Majors (and he's not entirely worthless with the glove...he commited 4 errors in 131 games at first base last year; Jones committed 5 in 65 starts)...he just hasn't figured out how to hit anything but fly balls. Jaso isn't better than Martin so there's absolutely no point in pursuing him...especially with a very capable back-up in McKenry and Sanchez in AAA. Noesi got the **** beaten out of him last year and isn't any better than the (younger) prospects we have competing for a rotation spot...to say nothing of the fringe reclamation projects added recently (Mazzaro & Stewart).

Basically it seems like a Seattle writer trying to fill real weaknesses in the Mariners' roster for busting prospects that don't fit the Pirates' needs at all. This belongs on the Trade Rumors and Free Agent Talk section it's so bad...

Smoak does interest me, and I wouldn't be surprised if he winds up in Pittsburgh by the end of this week...but Jaso and Noesi are nothing that we don't already have plenty of.

Trading Jones may well happen this week, and it would be a strike while the iron is hot situation. The problem with trading him is that we'd need to replace him...but his value isn't going to get any higher than it is right now. He's cheap, he's controllable (Jones is an anomaly in that he won't be eligible for free agency until 2016...when he's 35), he's proven that he can put up consistent numbers (over a season year-to-year at least, if not day-to-day or month-to-month)...he won't garner greatness via trade because he's likely reached his ceiling, which is basically an average first baseman, but he does have decent value, and if the right trade comes along then we should pull the trigger.


For the record, Smoak was B-A's #13 ranked prospect heading into the 2010 season (his last eligible for ranking). For comparison's sake, Jeff Clement was the #42 ranked prospect in his last year eligible for that. And to be fair, Smoak kept his starting position (deservedly so or not) all through last year. Before being traded to Pittsburgh Clement had spent the entire season in AAA. Clement was a reclamation project with 243 Major League at bats when he was acquired, Smoak is still a good prospect/project with 1,258 MLB at bats under his belt. The best the Pirates are going to do via trade is a buy low situation, and Smoak may well just be that option. A change of scenery may do him well, and getting away from the batter's hell that is Safeco may do wonders for him (though technically he'd be doing that by staying in Seattle too...they're bringing the walls in considerably; though mostly in left field). Something to chew on - in 66 games in both situations (19 more at bats on the road) Smoak hit only 4 home runs at Safeco...but 15 on the road (Jones went 13/14 with 27 more at bats on the road). His OPS was almost .200 points higher on the road than at home.

The more research I do the more I like Smoak as a buy low/reclamation project. It's just hard to go into a season with two reclamation projects at first, especially two guys that are better against lefties than righties. At least with Jones/Sanchez there's the clear righty/lefty platoon. Regardless of Smoak's upside, it's going to have to be a different group of players coming back with him. Jaso has value, especially in this catcher market, he just represents no value to the Pirates right now. Noesi seems like the kind of guy that's going to amass 10 teams before people figure out he's just not any good. He's the standard Yankees foreign import prospect who gets ungodly overrated over the simple fact that he's a Yankees foreign import. I doubt he's even on the Pirates radar outside of a toss-in situation just because of the competition there already is internally for the final rotation spot. If the Pirates trade for a pitcher, it'll be for a veteran known commodity. We've got enough wildcards as it is.

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12-03-2012, 03:38 AM
  #833
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Pitt in the BBVA Compass Bowl for the 3rd straight year against another nondescript opponent (6-6 Ole Miss), probably the least interesting bowl game of the bunch. Can't imagine many Pitt fans giving a **** let alone traveling to the game.



Don't know why Pinstripe Bowl couldn't of been them vs WVU instead of Syracuse.
Man, that's depressing. Can't help but feel bad for those upperclassmen who are on their sixth head coach (Wanny, Haywood, Jackass, Chryst plus two interims) ... and now have to go to the same dumpy bowl in Birmingham for a *third* straight year. That ain't right.

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12-03-2012, 03:59 AM
  #834
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Man, that's depressing. Can't help but feel bad for those upperclassmen who are on their sixth head coach (Wanny, Haywood, Jackass, Chryst plus two interims) ... and now have to go to the same dumpy bowl in Birmingham for a *third* straight year. That ain't right.
Better than going to nothing, I guess.

To be fair, how many fans travel to non-BCS Bowls? Actually, how many fans travel to non-Championship games? We've seen numerous instances of ticket sales, even in BCS bowls, being way below expectations.

Why the NCAA is so insistent on keeping the 'sure money' that attracts nothing but businessmen instead of actual fans and viewers I don't know. How hard is it to look to the FCS and see almost every game (as long as Villanova isn't in the playoffs) selling out before it becomes obvious that that route is better?

And I'm sorry, a 4 team playoff out of a 120+ team system isn't a real playoff. Schools like Montana and Appalachian State stuck around the FCS for as long as they have because the playoff system is more financially rewarding than the low-level bowls are...and that's with the NCAA collecting 75% of the gate receipts for each home playoff game.

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12-03-2012, 04:43 AM
  #835
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Yeah, I wondered what was going on with Tomlin and the Ravens coach. Neither guy looked particularly happy when they met at mid-field. It looked like Tomlin said good job or something but I guess some other words were said too.

That's as much heart as this team has shown in a long time. Huge win.

I love the way our secondary has played most of this season especially the CB's. Only concern is that right as Keenan Lewis has started to figure it out he will become UFA this off-season.

Cortez has looked good too but I hate putting so much time into developing a player like Lewis only to lose them right as they start to figure things out. Hopefully the Steelers can get something done with him.

They should save cap room by not re-signing Wallace and Mendy. I think both of those guys have proven they aren't worth the money this season.

I also sincerely apologize to Charlie Batch. I guess he does still have it. Maybe he just needed some reps. I think we lose track of how little work he gets in practice as the 3rd string QB and then the two guys ahead of him go down in consecutive games and he gets thrown into the fire having to shake off a ton of rust as he goes. Very happy for him tonight.
It's true that Batch doesn't get a lot of reps earlier when we still have Ben at QB. Give a ton of credit to Batch. He could have given up easily. I have a feeling that Batch will get 1 more start before Ben gets ready for Dallas game. I don't think Ben will be ready this weekend. He had very limited practices last week.

I think Keenan Lewis will be a top priority to sign with us after this season. I would put tag on Wallace and see if any team interested in him for late round pick. It's better than nothing.

Beachum did play well in his first ever start. He didn't have a penalty. Pouncey was pretty good at guard, looked natural at this position. Batch only have 2 sacks (one of them is coverage sack). Not a bad job for offensive line against very aggressive Ravens front.

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12-03-2012, 04:52 AM
  #836
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Better than going to nothing, I guess.

To be fair, how many fans travel to non-BCS Bowls? Actually, how many fans travel to non-Championship games? We've seen numerous instances of ticket sales, even in BCS bowls, being way below expectations.

Why the NCAA is so insistent on keeping the 'sure money' that attracts nothing but businessmen instead of actual fans and viewers I don't know. How hard is it to look to the FCS and see almost every game (as long as Villanova isn't in the playoffs) selling out before it becomes obvious that that route is better?

And I'm sorry, a 4 team playoff out of a 120+ team system isn't a real playoff. Schools like Montana and Appalachian State stuck around the FCS for as long as they have because the playoff system is more financially rewarding than the low-level bowls are...and that's with the NCAA collecting 75% of the gate receipts for each home playoff game.
Too many mediocre (6-6) teams and way too many bowls game. Last year I only watched 3 bowl games.

This year is even worse, terrible matchups in BCS bowl games. I probably will watch KSU-Oregon game and championship game, that's it.

FCS playoffs is way better, much more exciting.

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12-03-2012, 05:04 AM
  #837
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It's true that Batch doesn't get a lot of reps earlier when we still have Ben at QB. Give a ton of credit to Batch. He could have given up easily. I have a feeling that Batch will get 1 more start before Ben gets ready for Dallas game. I don't think Ben will be ready this weekend. He had very limited practices last week.

I think Keenan Lewis will be a top priority to sign with us after this season. I would put tag on Wallace and see if any team interested in him for late round pick. It's better than nothing.

Beachum did play well in his first ever start. He didn't have a penalty. Pouncey was pretty good at guard, looked natural at this position. Batch only have 2 sacks (one of them is coverage sack). Not a bad job for offensive line against very aggressive Ravens front.
Yeah, I was really pleasantly surprised by how well the line played against the Ravens.

I wasn't too worried about Pouncey and Legursky. I figured they would do their jobs solid enough since Legursky is better at center and Pouncey can probably play just about anywhere on the O-Line with his athletic ability.

Beachum being a 7th rounder that really doesn't have ideal size for tackle at the NFL level was a big concern and I never noticed him in this game which was surprising in a good way.

Agree with you about Lewis.

Not sure whether Ben will play yet. I think he'll try to but Batch showing he's still capable of playing solid may have eased the urge to rush him back.

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12-03-2012, 09:45 AM
  #838
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Pitt in the BBVA Compass Bowl for the 3rd straight year against another nondescript opponent (6-6 Ole Miss), probably the least interesting bowl game of the bunch. Can't imagine many Pitt fans giving a **** let alone traveling to the game.
i thought u needed a winning record to make a bowl game?

Pitt fans don't even travel to the North Shore

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12-03-2012, 10:12 AM
  #839
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Probably already mentioned, but amazingly good thread title.

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12-03-2012, 01:20 PM
  #840
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i thought u needed a winning record to make a bowl game?

Pitt fans don't even travel to the North Shore
6-6 is bowl eligible.

Had the Pinstripe bowl picked Pitt to play WVU, I would've strongly considered going. As an alum and fan, I have no interest in traveling to Birmingham for a game unless it was an attractive matchup, which you're not likely to get with a 6-6 record.

From what I've seen and heard, it's not really an attractive destination at all. My fiancée's cousin is on the team, and I'm pretty sure her aunt and uncle flew in and out for the game there last year.

I know it hinges on sponsors and all, but if you're going to have this many minor bowls, wouldn't it be better to try and have some more northern locations that might actually be an attractive location to fans?

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12-03-2012, 04:04 PM
  #841
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...
I'm pretty certain that the Seattle trade rumor was based on discussions prior to signing Martin.

I'm in favor of selling-high on Jones, but only if they get back something that's actually going to help them out next year. I think they should definitely sell-high on Hanrahan, simply because he's a closer. The reason I'm less excited about moving Jones is because he's a pretty known-commodity and has value even if it's just in a platoon role. I'm intrigued by Smoak, but I'd rather try to make something like that work with a more known-commodity like Jones on the team to fall back on. But that won't exactly work due to Sanchez being on the team. It's not like Jones is a world beater, but I just want to avoid having too many reclamation projects or middling players on the team. They've already sort of plateaued with respect to that, so now the problem is how to go to the next level (and I suspect it's this fact that NH's job depends on).

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12-03-2012, 04:16 PM
  #842
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I think gabby will bounce back and our outfield is pretty set with snider, cutch, marte, tabata. I'd move Jones for a SS or some starting pitching....not another platoon guy. I just dunno what he is worth. I'd def do a swap of him and hammer for a proven starter though.

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12-03-2012, 11:33 PM
  #843
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I hate where football is going when this is now a penalized hit.


One of the top 5 blocks I've ever seen.

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12-03-2012, 11:35 PM
  #844
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I absolutely lost it when they spliced the Destroyer song into it

Absolutely awful to see a beautiful block like that flagged.

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12-03-2012, 11:54 PM
  #845
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I hate where football is going when this is now a penalized hit.


One of the top 5 blocks I've ever seen.
Isn't that Gus on the call? If so, he does a great job screaming it's terrible.

Great ****ing block. Head on a swivel, man. Head on a swivel.

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12-04-2012, 12:04 AM
  #846
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Yeah, that's Gus on the call.

Weirdest part about that abortion of a game is that Nebraska basically put forth no effort, yet came away with 2 plays that will be on highlight reels for the next decade. The block above and this run.


Nebraska needs to replace about 4 coaches on their current staff (obviously won't fire a 10 win head coach, but S&C guy is a weak link, OL coach, LB/ST coach, and probably the DL coach as well all need to go) if they want to make strides at getting back to where they want to be.


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12-04-2012, 12:17 AM
  #847
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I know nobody likes OSU here but a select few, but I'm dying to know what you guys think about the AP ratings? Any other year, OSU would be #1 or #2. Any other year. This really bothers me, and not just because I'm a fan, but because this game is rigged out of it's mind and they get away with it. I was pissed off for years that Boise State didn't get a chance and now this is just to make sure the game doesn't have any question marks.

It's almost as if all these people who make huge money off CFB deliberately go out and steal money out of the pockets of fans and get away with it. They even advertise it and yet nobody will say a thing.

What are your thoughts on this?


And... any news on if Ben will be back?

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12-04-2012, 12:53 AM
  #848
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I don't know. I used to love Hines Ward destroying guys with those blocks but I understand the leagues (NFL and NCAA) trying to crack down on them for player safety because they are dangerous blocks that have caused many injuries in the past. Keith Rivers career was never the same after Ward destroyed him with one of those.

For me those blocks are pretty viscous plays and aren't really the ticky-tac penalties that drive me nuts in football today. Plays where a guy barley gets touched, the hit is not at all dangerous and a flag comes flying in anyway drives me mad.

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12-04-2012, 01:32 AM
  #849
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I know nobody likes OSU here but a select few, but I'm dying to know what you guys think about the AP ratings? Any other year, OSU would be #1 or #2. Any other year. This really bothers me, and not just because I'm a fan, but because this game is rigged out of it's mind and they get away with it. I was pissed off for years that Boise State didn't get a chance and now this is just to make sure the game doesn't have any question marks.

It's almost as if all these people who make huge money off CFB deliberately go out and steal money out of the pockets of fans and get away with it. They even advertise it and yet nobody will say a thing.

What are your thoughts on this?


And... any news on if Ben will be back?
I don't have any strong feelings towards Ohio State, but I definitely agree with what you're saying. If they were eligible to play in a bowl they would be ranked #1 or #2.

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12-04-2012, 03:22 AM
  #850
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Big time OSU fan here, feel they should easily be number 2 this year. Pisses me off with the sanctions..Notre Dame might be the worst number 1 team in the history of college football.

About the block, I didn't see it and for some reason on here its not letting me, but I bet its a fantastic one that should be celebrated, not one that is gonna make coach chew you out for. The NFL and college football are just this way nowadays. You hit somebody too hard and they stay down, theres a 99 percent chance of a flag and its just ridicilous. Football is a tough game to play. If your Wes Welker and you go over the middle of the field, be prepared to be lit up by Ryan Clark. But no, the NFL protects him and all the midget receivers they have so anybody can do it now.

You want to watch football, go to a high school game here in Western PA. FANTASTIC. It's my favorite sport. They let stuff go. They can hit the qb, they can make big blocks, big hits.. its football at it's truest form.

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