U mad, bro? Fans defend Steelers, Steve Blass, attack Pirates pitching | TribLIVE.com
Breakfast With Benz

U mad, bro? Fans defend Steelers, Steve Blass, attack Pirates pitching

Tim Benz
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle removes reliever Kyle Crick from the game during the seventh inning against the Braves Tuesday, June 4, 2019, at PNC Park.

In “U mad, bro?” this week, defenders of the Pittsburgh Steelers come out of the woodwork. People are still angry at those who lashed out at Steve Blass. And what would this weekly post be without a few agitated Pirates fans honked off at the pitching staff?

Jamie didn’t like my column on the statistical study that suggested this decade’s Steelers are enjoying one of the top 15 stretches in the history of the NFL.

Perhaps you are forgetting how unfortunate the Steelers have been this past decade with injuries come playoff time. Of the 6 playoff losses, how many did the Steelers 1st string RB get significant snaps in? Only two. For the 2nd loss, Mendenhall and Moore couldn’t play. For the 3rd loss, Josh Harris played for Bell. For the 4th loss, Bell and DeAngelo Williams missed the game. And for the 5th loss, Bell tried playing injured, but quit early, and an about to be retired Williams was terrible off the bench. Half the team was injured for the first loss to Denver and Brown was injured for the second loss to Denver.

I’m sure it sounds like lame excuse making, but missing players of that caliber is significant. I wonder how many AFC teams have won more playoff games during these 9 seasons and how many more playoff games the Steelers would have to have won to have won the 2nd most in the AFC. Who knows how many more playoff games they would have won if they had a 1st string RB for the majority of those games. I just think they deserve more credit than you’re giving them.

Postseason injuries? I’m not forgetting, Jamie. I’m well aware. It isn’t lame excuse making. It’s a reason.

But are you sure you want to go down this path?

In 2011, the Steelers played without Rashard Mendenhall in Denver that day. So what? The Broncos had to play with Tim Tebow.

And the Broncos still won.

Plus Isaac Redman had 121 yards at running back for the Steelers that evening anyway.

The AFC title game without Le’Veon Bell at the end of 2016? Yes. Huge loss. But the Patriots played that game without Rob Gronkowski.

And as far as AFC teams with more playoff wins since 2010? Well, the Steelers have five. The Ravens have six. The Broncos have six. And the Patriots have about 5 million.

So if that really feels to you like the 14th-best decade in NFL history, you are more easily pleased than me.

Will didn’t like that story either.

That’s not the answer at all, Will.

The story focuses on 2010 up until present day. Not 2000 on.

How many of those seasons since 2010 ended with a loss to the Patriots? Just one, 2016-17.

Those postseason failures don’t coincide with New England’s playoff success. Denver and Baltimore have gotten in their way more often over the last 10 years than New England.

On Twitter, Robert was as mad as I was at those who erroneously attacked Steve Blass for his alleged racist remarks toward Ronald Acuna Jr. last week.

No doubt, Robert. This was pure virtue-signaling at its worst.

It was the art form of: “Let me make you look bad, so I can make me look good.”

And nothing makes me happier than when those who try to shame on social media end up getting shamed into silence themselves.

And that was the case with NBC Sports’ Craig Calcatera and others who tried to embarrass Blass.

Thomas says I got it wrong by blaming Josh Donaldson for that dust up between the Braves and Pirates on Monday night.

It was ridiculous and I will no doubt be in the minority by saying Joe (Musgrove) was the instigator. He should have stayed on the mound with hat on his head and glove on his hand.

Yeah, Thomas. He probably should have.

But if you don’t think Donaldson instigated that whole incident by throwing his arm guard and staring out at the mound after getting his blouse ruffled, I don’t know what you were watching.

Also, look at the video again. Musgrove doesn’t throw his hat and glove until Donaldson makes a move to get around Elias Diaz. At that point, it was on already.

You seem to want to sound like a tough guy in your email. So, you tell me. If someone tried to make a run around somebody else to get to you, do you think you might be ready to drop your hat and glove at that point?

Yeah. I thought so, too.

Robert is mad at the Pirates’ pitching staff.

There is SOMETHING going on with Pirates pitching philosophy to allow so MANY home runs?!

How YOU sports Writers can’t see/understand it is a mystery/disqualifying factor (as Sports Writers) to me!

Well, I’d hate to be disqualified as a sportswriter, Robert.

So, let me be clear. I do see a flaw in the Pirates’ pitching philosophy.

It’s simple. You ready?

(clears throat) They don’t employ enough good pitchers.

Am I qualified enough now?

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

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