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U mad, bro? Readers split on Penguins signing Matt Cullen |
Breakfast With Benz

U mad, bro? Readers split on Penguins signing Matt Cullen

Tim Benz
| Thursday, July 5, 2018 6:21 a.m
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Matt Cullen high-fives fans during the Penguins' victory parade on Wednesday, June 14, 2017.

In this week’s “U Mad, Bro?” readers seem split on the reasons for the Matt Cullen return, some don’t want me talking to David Carr and others think I’m on the right track as it relates to the Jack Johnson acquisition.

I think.

Dan seems to agree with my column on Matt Cullen fi and Jim Rutherford’s quizzical comments about leadership. No one seemed to mention a lack of leadership being a problem with the Penguins this year until after the Cullen signing was announced. So was it really a problem? Or just a way to justify the signing?

Those are all good points by Dan. And as a note to all future “U Mad, Bro?” contributors, any and all jokes become the intellectual property of TribSports and Tim Benz, Inc. Hence, I will now be using “Leader McLeaderson” as often as possible and will be claiming it as my own.

Jim: Must be a slow news day at the sports desk. Quit obsessing about why Cullen’s back. No one cares, except apparently you, whether the reason to bring him back was leadership, winning faceoffs, or anything else. This is minimum risk to the Pens, and he is a known quantity. And, besides, he’s here for one year and done. Move on.

Slow news day? The Penguins brought back a two-time Cup champion and a fan favorite. That deserves a column. One column isn’t “obsessing.”

No one cares? I bet Penguins fans differ on that opinion. Would you prefer I write about the Pirates awesome pitching staff, Jim?

I’ve come to learn that “no one cares” in sports fan speak really means, “I disagree with your view and it hurts my little brain when people express a different opinion than the one I have.” This is a classic case of that.

Oh, and one more point. Cullen is now on his fourth straight year of being “one year and done.”

Chase tweeted me. He would’ve preferred that I not talk to David Carr about leaving Ben Roethlisberger off of his top-10 quarterback list .

“He says dumb things pertaining to a caring market so shows like yours will pick him up for an interview…Why give this former bust the time of day?”

Well, I agree that his take was dumb. That’s why I wanted to challenge him on it. Would you prefer statements like that go unchecked? Also, would you be calling him a bust and blowing off his opinion if he had Big Ben in the top five? Or at that point are you referring to him as a savvy 10-year NFL veteran who has knowledge of the game and an appreciation of the position?

Yeah. That’s what I thought.

Jock is not on board with my thoughts on how hard it will be for the current Steelers inside linebackers to replace Ryan Shazier.

Jock: Mr. Benz, The Steelers don’t need to replace Ryan Shazier, they need to have a capable starter at right inside linebacker and a decent backup by Sept. 1. Shazier was a good player but not irreplaceable. Actually (Tyler) Matakevich and (L.J.) Fort looked pretty good when they get a chance to play, as our draft indifference to the position may indicate. Outside is where it’s hard to see what happens when somebody gets hurt.

First off, “Mr.” is always a good way to start. I like that. But I went downhill from there with Mr. Jock.

Draft indifference?! They tried to trade up for a Rashaan Evans and failed. That’s not indifference. Plus they signed Jon Bostic in free agency. And I beg to differ when it comes to Fort and Matakevich playing well once Shazier went out. There are no indicators to suggest that was the case. Look at how badly the defense struggled once Shazier left.

Here’s a tweet I got from a follower about my post on baseball suffering from too much of a walk-strikeout-or-homer mentality. Sorry, misplaced the follower’s name on this one. My bad. (U can be mad, bro!)

“Over exposure of home run highlights and the overblown commentary of dingers has taken the fundamentals of small ball out of the game. The fact that the infield switch (shift) is even a thing hurts the game.”

I don’t think this a “please the viewer” thing. I don’t think this trend is a trend because baseball is catering to the highlight-heavy society. I think it’s an analytics thing. Hence, like you said, the use of the shift.

And lastly, “Joe O” tweeted me this, regarding my retort to the stats crowd that hates the Jack Johnson signing in Pittsburgh.

“Statistical bias is a feature of a statistical technique or of its results whereby the expected value of the results differs from the true underlying quantitative parameter being estimated.”

I don’t know what that means. But it sounds smart, and it sounds like he’s on my side. So I’m gonna go ahead and give this a “like” on Twitter n’at.

As always, tweet your thoughts to my columns for next week’s “U Mad, Bro?” to @TimBenzPGH or email me

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review sports columnist. You can contact Tim via Twitter .

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