U mad, bro? Opinions fly about Mike Tomlin, Pirates, and Steelers of the past | TribLIVE.com
Breakfast With Benz

U mad, bro? Opinions fly about Mike Tomlin, Pirates, and Steelers of the past

Tim Benz
Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Corey Dickerson is unable to catch a fly ball by St. Louis Cardinals’ Tyler O’Neill during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, July 15, 2019, in St. Louis. The Cardinals’ Paul Goldschmidt scored and Dickerson was charged with an error on the play.

It’s a strange—but highly entertaining—collection of entries for this week’s “U mad, bro?”

Some attack the Pirates. Others defend them. And I get attacked for being negative toward Mike Tomlin … in a column that I authored intending to defend him.

Oh, also, some guy thinks Deshea Townsend was a better cornerback than Mel Blount or Rod Woodson.

Go ahead. You figure it out.

“Jock” didn’t like my column about the Pirates “living in the past.”

Your sneering negativity might appeal to few morons but it shortchanges you and those you write about. Honest criticism is one thing, sneering is another.

Hope you’re having a great summer, and enjoying the fact that the Bucs are mostly competitive with the other pretty good teams in their division.”

First off, Jock, my summer is great. Thanks for asking. How’s yours?

Mine could be better, though, if the Pirates were actually as good as you are pretending. You seem easily satisfied. In this case, that’s not a good thing.

Did you really say “mostly competitive with the other pretty good teams in their division?” The Pirates are five games under .500 in a division that is led by a team (the Cubs) with 52 wins. That’s the lowest total for any division leader.

Although you did nail it with the “sneering negativity” characterization. I did sneer at least twice writing that column.

Hopefully the “few morons” who feel that a team should qualify for a playoff series more often than four times in 39 years were sneering right along with me.

“Bucco Backer” didn’t like my criticism of Mike Tomlin in this post. That is odd, seeing as how most of the piece was largely a defense of the Steelers’ coach. But he seized on a point Tomlin apologists always try to debate.

With a name like “Bucco Backer,” it’s no wonder your standards for acceptance are so low.

Sorry, was that sneering again?

The Steelers missed the playoffs by half a game last year. They tied Cleveland and lost to Denver and Oakland. None of those clubs made the playoffs or were above .500.

Go back and look at their results against lesser competition in 2009, 2012 and 2013. Similar results directly caused them to miss the playoffs after those seasons, too.

The only people who try to argue against Tomlin’s track record of repeated costly losses (or ties) versus lesser competition are those who are actively trying to ignore it.

Matt isn’t mad. He just might be a little nuts.

He’s responding to my podcast post about who would be the one Steeler — from any era — that you would bring back to insert on this year’s team.

Matt, you spelled “Mean” Joe Greene and Mel Blount wrong.

Look, I loved those two players you named as well. They were crucial components of Super Bowl clubs in the Bill Cowher and early Mike Tomlin years. Plus, they were good guys, too.

But Townsend doesn’t belong in the same breath as Blount or Rod Woodson. And despite Smith’s contributions, there’s no way I’d take him over “Mean” Joe or L.C. Greenwood.

“BeKernal” chimed in on the topic as well.

I’ll meet you halfway, BeKernal. “Mean” Joe is never the wrong answer.

But given the lack of depth at the corner opposite Joe Haden and the relative strength of the Steelers defensive front, I’m sticking with my selection of Blount.

Michael is mad at a lineup decision the Pirates have been making. He wants to see Corey Dickerson move to right field and Bryan Reynolds stay in left field, especially in the wake of Dickerson’s misplays in St. Louis this week.

“Why is Dickerson playing in left field when they have a player of the caliber of Bryan Reynolds playing in right field? Dickerson should have caught that ball that hit the top of the wall. He was slow getting to the ball and didn’t play it right. His slowness appears in just about all his games — especially his slow starts when the ball is hit. He belongs in right field.

Am I wrong? Should I keep my opinions to myself?

Michael, Dickerson won a Gold Glove in left field last year. Also, I don’t think the club has a high opinion of his arm in right field.

Clint Hurdle has long said that he likes Reynolds’ ability to play all three outfield spots. And I don’t think that they view Dickerson as a right fielder. Dickerson came to Pittsburgh with knocks against his defense, and he went a long way toward fixing them a year ago. My bet is the organization views his issues in St. Louis as a blip more than a chronic problem.

Also, it’s unhealthy to keep your opinions to yourself. You may physically explode! Don’t do that.

Unless, of course, they are different than mine.

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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