U mad, bro?: Steelers fans are fretting; Penguins fans are pushing back; Pirates fans are just fed up

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Jun. 17—This edition of "U mad, bro?" touches all the bases.

Oops. Sorry. Too soon?

This week we've got Steelers fans fretting about the future. Penguins fans are pushing back on trade rumors and criticism. And Pirates fans are somewhere between confused, bemused and befuddled.

And I don't blame 'em.


Jack is batting leadoff today. He tries to express his feelings about what it is like to be a Pirates fan during a 10-game losing streak.

Not for me, Jack. When I see a NASCAR crash, I always know that the car can be rebuilt.


Timothy commented on my column about how the Steelers are going to need to bridge the philosophical gap between Matt Canada and Ben Roethlisberger.

"I have been a Steeler fan for over half a decade. I honestly can not wait until Ben retires just to see who the nitwits are going to blame (for) the lack of Super Bowl(s) and post season wins."

That's easy. Whoever the new quarterback is. And Mike Tomlin. And whoever the offensive coordinator is at the time.

Oh, and the network announcers on television. Usually Cris Collinsworth.


"Papabear" doesn't like the idea of the Penguins trading Jake Guentzel.

"Truthfully, what is the upside to trading Guentzel if it's a trade like the Pirates make?

The team chemistry was different this year — I think most of us saw that.

Jake is talented — very talented. He struggled this year as did others. Particularly in the playoffs.

I just don't see making a trade unless it makes sense (to) get something in return of equal value."

Who said it has to be a trade like the Pirates make? Just because the Pens may trade Guentzel, that doesn't mean they have to get back the skating version of Chris Archer.

Also, it feels like you made just as many arguments for trading Guentzel as you did for keeping him.

What they may get back for Guentzel may not be equal at the time. But if they can find a player who is bigger with offensive potential that gets unearthed while playing with Sidney Crosby, maybe you won't feel that way by the end of next year.


This guy on Twitter doesn't like recent criticism of Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry.

Well, let's see. Once he wins a Vezina Trophy, a Stanley Cup or even gets to a Cup Final like Jordan Binnington, Tuukka Rask or Sergei Bobrovsky, then we can make comparisons to those goaltenders.

As far as those other guys go, no, Mikko Koskinen wasn't any good either. But Cam Talbot had two shutouts, one of them with 42 saves in a 1-0 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. He also stopped 38 of 40 shots in a 4-2 win against Vegas. And Jack Campbell's numbers (.934 save percentage, 1.81 goals against) were much better than Jarry's (.888/3.16).

Also, were any of them credited with a primary assist on an overtime game-losing goal in as blatant of a screw up as what Jarry did at the end of Game 5?

I'm not saying that we need to tar and feather Jarry in Market Square. But trying to minimize his poor performance by way of comparisons to other goalies is a fool's errand.


OK, back to the Bucs. John sent me an email after I posted my recent column praising Adam Frazier. He is adamant that the Pirates shouldn't trade him.

"I don't know the details of this kid's contract, but Pirate management better think twice about trading him. Frazier, (Bryan) Reynolds and (Ke'Bryan) Hayes will form the nucleus of this team going forward. Don't mess with what little good karma the Pirates have. Frazier is a keeper, period!

You are probably too young to remember Dave Cash, Rennie Stennett and Phil Garner. All three were quality, productive 2nd basemen for the Bucs. Frazier will surpass all three in production if left to his own designs. Frazier will approach the legendary Bill Mazeroski in production and popularity if he remains a Pirate throughout his career."

Well, I am old enough to remember Garner. Not quite old enough to remember watching Cash and Stennett as Pirates.

I am also old enough to use my computer to look up baseball stats.

So I can see that Frazier has never hit above .280 in a full season, whereas Cash and Stennett both did so multiple times. And Garner once had 17 homers and 77 RBIs in a season, numbers Frazier hasn't come close to reaching yet.

Frazier is really good. He is having one heckuva season. He might hit some of those stats this year, but I'm not ready to reach your level of comparisons. Let alone your crazy suggestion of meeting Bill Mazeroski's popularity.

I mean, are you suggesting there is going to be an Adam Frazier statue on the North Side somewhere, too? Where is it going to go? Between Maz's and Honus Wagner's?

And as far as your Frazier-Reynolds-Hayes "nucleus" reference, c'mon. Haven't we heard this song and dance before?

Weren't Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco going to be "The Dream Outfield" for a decade? Josh Bell was going to be the next Willie Stargell at first base. J.R. House and Chad Hermansen were going to be All-Stars at shortstop and catcher. We were going to see a starting rotation of Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, Tyler Glasnow and Stetson Allie pitching the team into October every year.

Your loyalty, optimism and diehard fandom is commendable, John. But I'd suggest using some of those years of experience to understand that what is past is prologue with this franchise.

Far, far too often.


Lastly, Raymond chimes in on the Buccos as well.

"I think it's not Bob Nutting's ownership as much as it's the system. The Major League Baseball system is broken because it allows owners like Nutting to use the Pirates as a cash cow and not field a competitive team.

MLB is a farce in Pittsburgh and Nutting gets the use of a beautiful field for which the taxpayers foot the bill."

Raymond, may I be so bold as to suggest that both complaints are true? I mean, after all, haven't you heard?!

The Pirates are about to trade the next Bill Mazeroski, for God's sake!

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at tbenz@triblive.com or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.