Perfect

The Edmonton Oilers could catch ‘lightning in a bottle’ if Sam Gagner could replace Shawn Horcoff on the top line. We’ve talked about this before (and Craig MacTavish talked about Horcoff in a checking role) but everything waited on Gagner’s arrival.

Today in practice the Oilers ran their lines as Gagner-Penner-Hemsky, Horcoff-Comrie-O’Sullivan, Cogliano-Moreau-Stortini and then a 4th line of Jacques-Nilsson with Bucky in the middle because Ryan Stone is injured and Gilbert Brule is sick (MacIntyre was playing defense, Smid was ill, Daddy sang bass, Mama sang tenor, me and little brother would join right in there).

Should Gagner be able to establish himself on a top line with Penner and Hemsky, this might leave Horcoff as a strong option for a de facto #1 opposition line. The Horcoff-Comrie-O’Sullivan line has a lot of talent on it, but clearly isn’t a checking line. However, could Horcoff’s being taken off the Hemsky line be the beginning of what will become a Quinn hard-match line?

Maybe. The two main issues are:

  1. Gagner establishing any kind of chemistry with Hemsky
  2. The Oilers finding two wingers to face the vaunt with Horcoff every night.

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67 Responses to "Perfect"

  1. HBomb says:

    Well, considering Penner-Gagner-Hemsky have had success as a troika before on the PP, maybe there's hope for this.

    That being said, I would prefer an extended reunion of the travelling band known as Horpensky.

  2. kris says:

    It's funny. If Penner-Gagner-Hemsky doesn't produce offense, you have to ask why.

    Penner is obviously not the problem, at least not this year, and maybe not any year. He's "plug and play," IMO.

    Well, maybe we say that the real problem is that both Gagner and Hemsky are playmakers. But that just means that they're both good at passing, and that can't be a problem, can it? Datsyuk and Zetterberg can both make plays, but that hardly keeps them from scoring goals.

    If they don't do well, isn't the real problem that neither Hemsky nor Gagner is capable of scoring goals at a good clip, i.e. more than a 18-22 goal per 82 game pace? Even when they play with a playmaker?

    What does that say about the value of Gagner and Hemsky? Can make plays but can't convert? How much are players like that worth compared to goal scorers who don't get as many assists?

  3. jon k says:

    I think with this Oilers team we've seen the vaunted return of the Vaunt.

  4. Lowetide says:

    Thanks for the corrections, guys. I've deleted the posts but appreciate the help. It's a bit of a peeve of mine (although I use comma's wherever the hell I want and brackets are my bitch) to have a bunch of silly mistakes my grade 4 English teacher (Ms. Stack, no kidding) would roll her eyes over.

  5. Bruce says:

    Just made a comment at the bottom of the last thread which more appropriately belongs here. With your kind indulgence, LT, I will repeat myself:

    Horc can just concentrate on doing his thing.

    Horc's thing, like any complete player, is whatever is needed to make his line effective. On Hemsky's line he understands little details like there's no point trying to precede Ales over the line cuz he's not apt to give you the puck at that point, but to trail him, keep your feet moving, and be prepared for the hard reverse for the inevitable (hopefully occasional) turnovers as Hemsky hits the blueline. Once Ales gains the zone head keep trailing the play while identifying and occupying the soft spot and the possible passing lane.

    Ten years Horcoff's junior, Gagner is only partially developed in that skillset at this point. In my view his instincts are reasonably good in the offensive zone but Sam lags well behind Horc in defensive awareness and puck retrieval skills. The latter includes faceoffs obviously, but much more. Previous (even-strength) incarnations of 83-89 have led to frustration cuz they don't seem to have the puck enough.

    Am interested to know what others have spotted with that duo. Obviously some serious chemistry between the Oilers' young hotshot and top offensive gun would be huge, but other than the very effective powerplay unit they made with Penner during the Horcoff-less stretch drive of 2007-08, Sam and Ales haven't really appeared to click in limited opportunities together.

  6. Bling says:

    Comrie-Horcoff-O'Sullivan might not be a defacto checking line, but substituting Pisani or Stone — once they are healthy — could be the genesis of a solid PvP line.

    You're right though, LT. It all hinges on Gagner at this point. As Quinn has previously pointed out, Gagner needs to do a better job of distributing the puck. Especially through the neutral zone.

    He's done it thus far this season IMO, but not against the opp that Hemsky sees. Can he up his game?

    If he can, you'll have to write another "Arrival" post before long.

  7. hunter1909 says:

    Went to Cardiff once they all look as good as her in that crazy town.

    What about Brule? How's Brule been playing the past two or three games?

  8. spOILer says:

    I think he's just trying to get at least one of the two going. He opened up the 3rd period against VAN with these combos but only stuck with them for 2 shifts each.

    We know PaddyO might be up for the vaunt, based on history, but Comrie?

    Quinn has refused to throw him out there in the last 5 minutes of any of the games, so how can he be expected to cope against vaunt in the other 55 minutes?

    Things must really be looking up in Oiler land if LT's pulling the word "vaunt" off the top shelf of the closet and serving it up to us guests in his parlor.

    I do note however that the term was applied to the opposition. But, baby steps…

  9. Bruce says:

    Hunter: Book me a ticket to Cardiff.

    Brulé was sick and missed the most recent game, but before that he was cooking along. Hard to argue with 7 GP, 4-3-7, +3. He's behind only Penner for points, tied with Grebs and POS. That makes him the highest-scoring centre on the club at this point, which however early can only be rated as a total surprise.

    Defensive issues to be sure, but on balance he's getting the job done. The underlying numbers suggest it's a mirage, but that said he's using the same mirrors the whole team has been employing, outscoring while getting badly outshot. Brule's Corsi per 60 is -10.1 but his Relative Corsi is +0.5, meaning the team has been even more badly outshot while he's on the bench than when he's on the ice. So far in this very young season, it's been a formula for success, but I can hear the dice rattling all the way from the closet.

    For sure he's an interesting player to watch, and has shown much more upside than I for one had been expecting.

  10. hunter1909 says:

    Bruce: Thanks.

    I'm happy to see Brule at least appearing to play like he's supposed to.

    Sullivan is the Oiler surprising me.

  11. Matt says:

    I think you have a 3rd (equally important) issue, and that's whether opposing coaches will cooperate whatsoever with the line matching. Just about any coach in the WC will choose to send out their top line against 27-(C)-83 as possible, but it's just about guaranteed if C=89. Notwithstanding Bruce's comments, Horcoff's 2-way game is a lot more useful when he's playing with Hemsky, because he's playing against better players.

    The 4th issue, I suppose, would be that your coach seems disinclined to hard match. Relative to Carlyle, Vigneault, Hitchock, Tippett, and a few others, certainly.

  12. Lowetide says:

    Matt: In road games there's going to be exposure problems but every team has those issues. Still, I think it's better to have a line designated to play against Thornton and then risk 15 seconds of pure panic getting the right people out there.

    It's certainly going to happen (Thornton vs. the weaker links) but Hitchcock does a nice job of getting the right people out there in road games so it can be done.

  13. Forain says:

    So, Horc in a checking role. I could get onboard with this, though I think he deserves more than he is given by certain fans in terms of his offensive ability. Who would he roll over the boards with on a versus-the-Vaunt line? Is this a job for Moreau? Can Stortini do it?

  14. Forain says:

    HBomb,

    I liked those good old Horpensky tunes, too. Some of my favorites were "Cycle Until the Other Guys Cry" and "How Did That Building Get In Front of That Goaltender."

  15. Lowetide says:

    Forain: Pisani if healthy and I think O'Sullivan might be able to help out. Jacques might be a longshot candidate despite youth and inexperience.

  16. DangerMan says:

    If Hemsky was a baseball player would he be Rob Deer or Pete Incavglia?

    His homeruns are spectacular but he also does strikeout a lot.

  17. FlamingPavelBure says:

    Danger Man: I will go more Modern.

    Adam Dunn.

    (He misses the playoffs too!)

  18. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Bucky at center….I'm surprised MacT never tried that.

    He tried everyone else at center.

  19. Lowetide says:

    Adam Dunn? Rob Deer? Get real. Those guys are cleanup hitters, one trick ponies.

    In baseball, setup men are the leadoff and #2 men are the table setters. They're usually fast and stylish, so I'd say Tim Raines is a nice comp.

  20. Dennis says:

    19 May be able to help 10 flesh out a checking line but I don't know where the LW is gonna come from; and I'm also unconvinced that the 27-89-83 can roll along at Evens.

    Though, I'm certainly not against Quinn trying something like this.

    It's just that I don't really remember us having any real kind of success with a match line unless it featured the 10-83 combo.

    But, why not give it a whirl.

  21. raventalon40 says:

    I'm not too worried about O'Sullivan's defensive ability, I'm curious about Comrie's ability to match the effort of the other two on that line.

  22. Lowetide says:

    Boy, if you don't have pitching you don't have much.

  23. Alice says:

    Ok, I'm a day late here, but what's the matter with Comrie being this 'experienced center who can take draws guy'? Let's see: he's an Experienced Center, and he can Take Draws. But somehow we need to trade for same. Point was made 'after Horcoff the rest of the group averages less than 50%'. Well, even with Horcoff they don't look to average 50% – what the heck does 'average have to do with it? As to today's topic, I think you put Comrie up with Hemsky, so they win some draws and get posession. Gagner there is a mistake, I think.

  24. Jenga says:

    I like it. Unless it does not work in which case: I told you it was a stupid idea.

  25. raventalon40 says:

    Comrie with Hemsky would be giveaway central and a defensive nightmare. Unless they had Pisani playing LW.

  26. DangerMan says:

    Lowetide: Thats kind of my point. Hemsky is a one trick pony, but that one trick is really good.

    He'll hit epic homeruns but he will also strikeout with the bases loaded.

    Hemsky's skill doesn't shine game in and game out because his hockey sense without the puck is low.

    I believe until someone can take the offensive mantle from Hemsky, this team won't be able to make the next step.

    To put it in simple baseball terms, Hemsky is a clean-up hitter, hitting third for the Oilers.

  27. Bar Qu says:

    Finally LT is in my neck of the musical woods! An honest-to-goodness Johnny Cash reference.

    Horcoff on the checking line makes sense in the short term, but he is still the best option on the top line for now. Gagner is still not up to this kind of heavy-lifing yet. And, the team still needs some heavy-lifing help.

  28. Lowetide says:

    DangerMan: We're never going to agree on Hemsky. We shouldn't try. I don't think he's a one-trick pony by any stretch.

  29. Woodguy says:

    No sir I don't like it.

    At least not today.

    The Oilers have been winning games because their soft killers have been better than the opposition soft killers.

    22,10,83 have by far the toughest QualComp 5v5. 22 & 83 have ~+0.60 +/- /60, while 10 is struggling a little at -1.12/60 (only other – 5v5 on team is Stone with -1.46/60)

    So the first line has pretty much held the toughs in check and the rest of the team feasts.

    Moving 10 away from 83 changes that dynamic. I don't think it will be for the better, but I guess we get to see. Like LT, I really fear 27,89,83 gets beat like Reddox step child on the road facing toughs.

    I think to key to 83 & 89 working well together is for 89 to ask 83 where to be in the OZone, and just do that, with his stick on the ice, ready to shoot. If 89 can get into a shooting mentality, this might work.

    Alice, OTC was quoted as saying about 91 "He was signed here to play wing so I guess I'm going to play him at wing"

    The message came down from up high that 91 was to play wing and 13 was to play center. Up until then Quinn was playing 91 at center and 13 on the wing.

    5v5 scoring isn't the weakness of this team, and OTC doesn't need to be screwing with it.

    Some interesting Oiler team numbers:

    5v5 GF/60 3.9 – 1st in NHL
    5v5 GA/60 2.3 – Tied 9th in NHL.

    5v5 is where this team is feasting, mostly due to our softies being not so softie and 10/83/22 doing the job PvP.

    Some other numbers

    5v4 GF/60 5.3 23rd in NHL
    4v5 GA/60 7.3 15th in NHL.

    The PK has increased dramatically to become average. (I really like the neutral zone pressure, I think its key to the kill so far this year, as is personnel deployment)

    The PP is gross.

    With Souray down Vis should be leading that parade, and for God's sake why isn't Penner standing in front of the net on the 1st team?

    Penner's 5v4 GFON/60 lead the team last year, get his giant ass in front of the freaking goalie please!!. He can win draws too, so you can play him at center on the PP if the personnel work better this way.

    The Oilers 5v5 number last year where that of a playoff team. Thier 5v4 and 4v5 numbers were that of a lottery team. Result is what it was.

    This year their 5v5 numbers are looking elite (gasp!), but dammit, the 5v4 is still a freaking dog.

    Leave 10 & 83 alone, you're killing the 5v5 no reason to change.

    Just fix the goddam PP.

    And tell Horcoff to score on break aways.

  30. Lowetide says:

    Love Johnny Cash. My Dad and I used to watch him on tv all the time. His music is still fabulous.

  31. Bar Qu says:

    Live at Folsom Prison is gold. Makes me laugh to hear him throwing inside jokes to the inmates.

    I think this microphones got a screw loose. Can anyone come up here and screw this microphone?

    Woodguy, couldn't agree more. If this is a tack taken because of illness and an attempt to limit defensive leaks, ok. But the team doesn't need more offense right now. Not by a long chalk.

  32. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Bad news: Luongo looks like Luongo again.

    According to various media reports these players are available:

    Frolov – LW – 2.9M then UFA
    Horton – C/RW – 4.0M for 4 years
    S. Kostistyn – LW – 800k then RFA

    Do any of them fill a hole and are their salaries a problem?

  33. Rube Foster says:

    LT,

    I’ll take your side in the Dangerman baseball debate however I can’t jump onboard the Hemsky / Raines comp. Hemsky is tracking the Dave Cash profile. No shame in that, Cash was an important player for a stretch, but he wasn’t the cornerstone that you could build a team around. We all desperately hope and are anxiously waiting for Hemsky to turn into Tim Raines. Our problem is right now Hemmer’s playing more like Rodney Scott.

    I’d love for the Gagner, Hemsky pairing to be effective but didn’t the 83/89 experiment in the preseason show us what Bruce is pointing out – one puck isn’t enough for both of them to be effective.

    The one on the right was on the left, and the guy in the rear was a Methodist…

  34. Lowetide says:

    Tons of songs I love by Johnny Cash. Folsom Prison Blues, Highwayman, I Walk the Line, Sunday Morning Coming Down, Tennessee Flat Top Box, Long Black Veil, These Hands, I Still Miss Somoene.

    If I had to choose a favorite it would be Sunday Morning Coming Down because it's a perfect song (Kris Kristofferson).

  35. hunter1909 says:

    Lowetide: I heard that song playing in my head last Sunday.

  36. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Agreed Woodguy.
    This little shakeup appears to be an attempt at getting Hemsky and Horc going offensively and a bit of rewarding Gags with some prime linemates.

    If Hemsky/Horc don't get a point the rest of the season and the rest of the balanced lines continue to excel thats fine by me.

    An exaduration of course, but you get the point.

    The PP has been drowning for a few games now.

  37. Rube Foster says:

    LT,

    The best part of the “Sunday Morning Coming Down” Cash / Kristofferson triumph is the legend that Kristofferson “borrowed” a helicopter and landed on Cash’s estate to introduce himself and give Cash a tape of the song, which Mr. Cash then later recorded. The rest they say is history.

    The Oil could use some of Cash’s cool and Kristofferson balls…who couldn’t.

  38. Racki says:

    I'm very much looking forward to both lines. I've always been a fan of Horcoff and defended him endlessly. However I can admit that since he hurt his shoulder, the play has frequently died on his stick. The same thing is happening often with Hemsky this year, however he's on the upswing now and we're slowly seeing the phoenix rise out of the ashes with him.

    Penner Gagner Hemsky is this team's future, and tomorrow will be a glimpse into that future. Will it stick? Doubtful. Patience doesn't often come to coaches here. If they don't immediately hit it off, I would expect things to change.

    O'Sullivan Horcoff Comrie is a great blue collar line that is reminiscent of our better lines in the 90s/early 00's. All three of these guys like to shoot, but also have a bit of playmaker in them as well. All three of these guys aren't afraid to get their hands dirty either. It does have the makings of a good line. I've been wanting to see Comrie and Horcoff together for a bit, so I'm anxious to see how this one works out.

  39. raventalon40 says:

    @SK Oiler Fan:

    Frolov's cap hit is actually 4.0 M because the Oilers would only be absorbing the remaining hit of his contract – the final year.

  40. Ed says:

    Could be Quinn just wants to get 83 out for more o-zone faceoffs.

  41. Falcon says:

    Who's that pretty lady in the pic?

  42. spOILer says:

    Sunday Morning Coming Down is probably my favorite Johnny Cash song and certainly favorite hangover song but to me his two best lines were "I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die", and "kickin and a gouging in the mud and the blood and the beer."

    Folsom Prison blows me away.

  43. spOILer says:

    Falcon,

    Catherine Zeta Jones… who'd be cute if she had blue eyes.

    ;o)

  44. raventalon40 says:

    @Spoiler

    She doesn't need to be any cuter when she's that hot. If she were any cuter, I think my brain would explode.

  45. Black Gold says:

    Off Topic Updates:
    MPS 10-3-4-7
    Eberle 9-11-8-19
    Rajala 7-4-5-9
    Omark 17-6-3-9
    Cornet 14-10-10-20
    Hartikainen 15-2-8-10
    Lander 10-1-1-2

    (Riley Nash's season starts fri 23rd)

    Some of the future is looking good.

  46. Woodguy says:

    Frolov's cap hit is actually 4.0 M because the Oilers would only be absorbing the remaining hit of his contract – the final year.

    That's incorrect. You get the contract with the player and the cap hit is determined when the contract is signed. Its 2.9M.

    Penner Gagner Hemsky is this team's future

    I know what you are getting at but I'm feeling very contrarian right now, so:

    Horcoff is signed through the end of 14/15 season
    Penner and Hemsky are both signed through the end of the 11/12 season.

    Looks lihe Horcoff is part of the future too.

  47. Black Gold says:

    @ spOiler and raventalon40

    "Blue eyes?"

  48. Cloned says:

    Does Quinn even like to play PvP or match his lines? So far, and this may only be due to the fact that the coaching staff wants to find out who can play and who can't, he's rolled lines fairly evenly?

  49. hunter1909 says:

    The Welsh don't usually go for blue eyes.

  50. PDO says:

    Gagner and Hemsky have negative chemistry at 5v5.

    They just plain play too similarly.

    Colour me surprised if it works this time.

    Lets pretend it does work though, and that we're not going to see a "checking line" per say.

    Know what the problem remains?

    There's too many damn players you have to hide, and not nearly enough players to hide them with.

  51. Gord says:

    Yesterday you posted a thread why the Oilers had to trade for anyone who was large that could win face offs.

    Today I see the worst face off Oiler as the savior of the top line…

    Meanwhile Cogliano loses one more face off than he wins – once every four games…

    The recent logic is escaping me 100%…

  52. Perry K says:

    I have been a big proponent of playing Horcoff in a checking role away from Hemsky. Putting Horcoff as a checking center with say a Pisani, and (?), could be a double whammy for the opposition's top forward line in that they would have to worry about not just being shut down, but also that they may be outscored on this kind of a line match. Also, it allows us to get Hemsky in to some softer minutes and better scoring opportunities.

    Alas, it won't work! I have watched Gagner and Hemsky together very carefully, each time that we have experimented with this set up. Some how, they both tend to end up where the puck will be as all the best, instinctive forwards do. Playing on the same line and playing both as right handed shots, they end up tripping on each other all the time. I know that they may be able to fix that given more time, but it is almost comical how a developing scoring chance ends up becoming a 3 on 2 going the other way in a big hurry!

    I am all for trying Horcoff in his naturally advantageous position, but please consider some one else to center Hemsky other than Gagner.

  53. Perry K says:

    Woodguy said…
    No sir I don't like it.

    At least not today………

    Woodguy, you make an excellent point! We are very good 5v5. We definitely need to be better on the PP, and we need to concentrate on this.

    Personally, I think that Horcoff in the checking role is a winner idea, but may be we need to try it when it makes more sense. No point fixing what ain't broke!

  54. NBOilerFan says:

    I'm late to this party… but regarding the Man in Black, I too am a big fan, and although many are indicating Sunday Morning Coming Down is one of his best, I have to step up and give props to Kristofferson, because as good as Cash does it, it doesn't touch Kris's version.

    The best of which i recently witnessed on an episode of Elvis Costello's "Spectacle" program. It is as raw and pure as can be.

    Amazing.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsc5Yz0DRTQ

    (Course, I'm also a songwriter fan, so often lean toward there version, but this is one of thsoe cases were it is truly valid)

  55. LMHF#1 says:

    If Penner-Gagner-Hemsky works, then you're in the money. You're right.

    Checking line? Easy.

    O'Sullivan-Horcoff-Pisani

    That line can score and defend, almost equally well if Horcoff ever gets his shooting half together.

    That leaves you with Jacques-Brule-Comrie and Moreau-Cogliano-Stortini.

    Not shabby. Add a better big winger to the mix to play with Comrie-Brule and we're looking good. We could also go for balance and play Comrie-Horcoff together, as they played well too.

  56. Lowetide says:

    NBOilerFan: Agreed on Kristofferson's version. It's as lonely as the words. I too am a fan of the songwriters, the main reason I'd love to go to Nashville is to see where these men and women lived and played and wrote those wonderful songs.

    Lacy J Dalton's 16th Avenue is all about those artists, and if you listen to a song like "Crazy" or "When You Say Nothing at All" it's amazing how much quality comes from that town every generation.

  57. Hugh Jass says:

    RE: Sunday Morning Coming Down

    For a very different version, check out Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies on the album 'Love Their Country'

  58. Clarkenstein says:

    Gagner, Hemsky and Anybody will be a "firedrill" in the Oilers end. It will last until the 2nd "firedrill" when the fans start booing at their inability to get out of their own end.

  59. Dennis says:

    Dave Cash was before my time but I believe he was the Expos first big FA signing. Anyway, I looked at his numbers and I simply can't abide by a Cash/83 comparison;)

  60. Rube Foster says:

    Dennis,

    I know we’ve moved on and that we’re debating the absurd but I’ll take the bait…

    I’m following LT’s dictum that hockey danglers = baseball leadoff hitters and table setters.
    Dave Cash was a real beauty, a very slick second baseman. He was at the top of the league in hits and doubles for a three year stretch. He didn’t have gaudy stolen base numbers but he’d swipe a bag when you needed it and was an excellent base runner. At his peak, you’d want him on your team, you could do a lot worse at 2b and hitting out of the two hole.

    Dave Cash was a very good baseball player. The Expos paid good money hoping he could become a great baseball player and it never happened. Tim Raines was a great baseball player; even handicapped with a vial of coke in his back pocket – can you imagine?

    My point is that right now we’re in wait mode for Hemsky to turn the corner from very good to great. I agree that Hemmer’s a dandy but to use LT’s parlance, we don’t know if he’s going to be Dave Cash or Tim Raines. Hopefully this is the year we find out.

    Speaking of absurd, I wonder if Johnny Cash and Dave Cash ever had beer together?

  61. Lowetide says:

    Dave Cash always reminds me of the Pirates of the early 70's and that reminds me of Dock Ellis.

    No one talks about it anymore, but he was a crazy man. Threw a no-no while gunned on LSD, once plunked Cincinnati Reds to start a game until Danny Murtaugh had to come and get him, on and on it went.

    Also, Cash was replaced by a guy named Rennie Stennett in Pittsburgh and he was known for going 7-for-7 and that is impossible.

  62. NBOilerFan says:

    Lowetide… that is a trip I'd like to take as well.

    Songwriting is such an art, the great ones seem to be touched by god. As much as I have always loved Nelson and Haggard doing Pancho and Lefty, I still enjoy hearing Townes Van Zandt do this gem of a song. Or even something like George Jones's Cold Hard Truth, then listen to Jamie O'Hara put such feeling into his song.

    Just two examples of many but often hard to fake the heart and soul of a song sung by the writer himself. Which is why I have always trended to artist who write their own songs, instead of performing others songs.

  63. Rube Foster says:

    LT,
    I remember Doc Ellis and hearing about the no-no on LSD. He was nuts, absolutely bananas. But the man could pitch.

    It’s mind blowing thinking how much those Pirates transformed from what looked like a fairly conservative bunch in the Mazeroski and Clemente era in the late sixties, early seventies. To the wacky bicentennial hat wearing, star stickered, Disco Dudes of the “We are Family” World Champs of 1979. I remember seeing a picture of Stargell and Parker smoking cigarettes in the dugout…at least I hope they were cigarettes.

    Hey LT, I have a lot of fun with the comps that you do and that others come up with. It’s something from the Bill James days that I always got a kick of. How about this, since we’re on the subject of the 70’s Pirates why don’t we cross our fingers and hope that Hemsky develops into Bill Madlock?

  64. Lowetide says:

    Rube Foster: Hemsky' ass isn't big enough. :-)

  65. Rube Foster says:

    LT,
    HA! Well done! Touché on the tokhes observation!

  66. Lowetide says:

    Rube: lol. Madlock was a beauty. I remember his butt because years ago a good friend of mine was asking me if I could remember the name of the player. It was one of those things that drove him crazy.

    So, he said "won a batting championship" and "played for the Cubs" and "can play third base" and "former Pirate" and nothing registered.

    Then he said "big butt" and I said "Bill Madlock." Much laughter ensued.

    He was a beauty player, though.

  67. Bruce says:

    Dave Cash was a real beauty, a very slick second baseman. He was at the top of the league in hits and doubles for a three year stretch. He didn’t have gaudy stolen base numbers but he’d swipe a bag when you needed it and was an excellent base runner. At his peak, you’d want him on your team, you could do a lot worse at 2b and hitting out of the two hole.

    Dave Cash was Paul Molitor lite. Which is to say, a helluva ballplayer.

    Cash was replaced by a guy named Rennie Stennett in Pittsburgh and he was known for going 7-for-7 and that is impossible.

    7-for-7 in a nine-inning game which certainly does seem impossible. Pirates 22, Cubs 0. At Wrigley Field, natch, allowing Stennett the full nine innings to complete the feat. Only the Cubbies …

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