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Burnett speaks, McLouth returns



BRADENTON, Fla. – A.J. Burnett started driving to Florida on Saturday not really knowing where he would end up — back in Tampa with the Yankees, in Bradenton at Pirates spring training camp or perhaps on a plane to Arizona to join the Indians. He got the answer via a phone call from Pirates manager Clint Hurdle.

Monday morning, Burnett met with reporters at Pirate City, ready for his first day with his new team. “It got done and I’m looking forward to this,” Burnett said. “It’s going to be a fresh start. It’s going to be fun. I’m going back to the National League, where I can hit and bunt and get the joy back into the game.”

»»» Burnett will wear uniform No. 34. Daniel McCutchen switched to No. 25. How much is the number going to cost Burnett? “I don’t know yet,” Burnett said, grinning. “I’ve got to tease him, play with him a little bit.”

»»» To clear a roster spot for Burnett, infielder Gustavo Nunez was placed on the 60-day disabled list due to a right ankle injury. Two months ago, the Pirates claimed Nunez from the Tigers in the Rule 5 draft.

»»» I bumped into Nate McLouth in the clubhouse early this morning. He hasn’t changed from three years ago, when he last played for the Pirates. “It feels great to be back,” McLouth said.



  1. PhillyJake says:

    Is there anyone left on the team from when McClouth was last here?

  2. radio wave says:

    Hope springs eternal:
    Let’s hope both these guys can contribute this year.

  3. Lady Di says:

    $13 million for this piece of manure? Is this a great country or what?!

  4. TheSaltyRogue says:

    Stay classy.

    GO BUCS.

  5. Kevin says:

    I like the move. Curious to see how it all pans out. AJ is a national league pitcher, now with his catcher from the Toronto years as well. I think it could work.

  6. Van Man says:

    This is an 85-loss team at best, and then only because the Central Division is so lame.

    Wait ’til next decade!

  7. I Hate MLB says:

    I can’t wait to boo our turdbaseman. That was the most fun I had at the ballpark last summer.

  8. Jim says:

    Fat Pedro, Burnett, Bedard, McLouth — gee, what a lovely clubhouse …

  9. Buc Fan says:

    Looks like the classless people were able to find access to the internet today. What a joke most of you are, but most of you are probably sending this while sitting in your parents basement.

  10. Skip says:

    @ Hate – And booing players makes you feel good because…?

  11. Mayor McRibi says:

    To: I hate MLB – Then go watch soccer & stay away from PNC Park you giant Jack Wagon. I hate “pretend fan’s” that boo our Pirates even before the 1st pitch is thrown…better yet, move to another city, I think that you’d fit right in with the losers in Atlanta, Clev, NY, Boston, etc…

  12. PetroSteel says:

    Rob, Some of us like your work and like the Bucs. Keep up the great work!!! Bucs win 90 games this year. No doubt. Lets Go Bucs!!!

  13. Kevin says:

    Second that, Petro….

  14. TheSaltyRogue says:


    My “stay classy” comment was aimed at “Lady Di”.

    Thank You for the coverage.

    GO BUCS.

  15. Jim EastTn says:

    I’ll take 83. And IF Pedro has his head screwed on…

  16. Paul says:

    @Kevin, the moves should work out well for Burnett personally but there’s little hope it will change the outcome for the team. As we saw in the first half of last season when the Pirate pitching was performing and an unbelievable level (top five in the team ERA in the majors through June) the offense still couldn’t support the effort and the team struggled to stay near .500

    Even if Pedro Alvarez improves as one would expect the offense over all is just to weak to keep the team competitive as a result of the small ball approach Clint Hurdle and the front office refuse to abandon despite it’s utter failure to produce sufficient offense for two straight decades now.

    My prediction; Burnett finishes the season with an ERA around 3.6, fewer than 10 wins while the Pirates’ offense is in the bottom three in the majors and the team loses 95 games.

  17. Paul says:

    @Jim EastTn

    No matter Pedro does it won’t make up for the failure of the small ball approach the team is married to and the offense over all will fail to support the pitching.

    Any team that believes Neil Walker, a light hitting middle infielder with little power, is “the best hitter” on the team and should be hitting anywhere in the top half of the lineup or believes that Jose Tabata is a legitimate lead off hitter, let alone a better option than Andrew McCutchen in that spot, is doomed from the outset and nothing any one player can do will change the outcome.

    Pedro Alvarez could hit 40 home runs and draw 100 walks and the offense will still fail to muster enough runs to keep from finishing in the bottom three of the majors with Clint Hurdle making out the line up and using steals and bunts to erase every scoring opportunity that presents itself.

    When Clint Hurdle had Andrew McCutchen bunting with a man on, nobody out in the bottom of the eight inning in a game they lost 3-2 because of that idiotic strategy we learned everything we’ll ever need to know about why the team won’t be successful in the near future… there’s probably not been a more ridiculous and illustrative move by a major league manager in the last 50 years of the game.

  18. John Lease says:

    Nate will be starting full time by May.

  19. Jim says:

    we will win 102 games and another world classic. I am a pirates fan and attend two games every year. I know a lot about baseball.

  20. Paul says:

    “Nate will be starting full time by May.”

    If that happens, and given this organizations inability to grasp concepts like park effects and its obsession with secondary skills like speed, it’s entirely possible, then the team will likely be looking at another 100 loss season

    McLouth’s “power,” such that it is, when he was with the Pirates was almost entirely the by product of playing at PNC Park. Prior to his time with Pirates he showed little power in the minors and as soon as he left it disappeared as quickly as it appeared. His “emergence,” which wasn’t really as great as the local media made it out to be to begin with, was the definition of a park created fluke.

    While that may make for nice counting stats that fool sports writers and casual fans it doesn’t help the team over all and will be a drag on the offense.

    While the team should be obtaining lefty hitters to exploit the short, low right field wall when ever they can, they should be of the variety with REAL power to begin with so they can really rack up the totals when at home as well as remain productive on the road, not the weakling types who only have the illusion of power when they’re at PNC… like McLouth.

    Carlos Pena could have swatted 50+ home runs and drawn 120 walks playing full time with the Pirates and the money wasted on Barmes and McLouth would have been much better spent filling the hole at first and allowing Jones to platoon in RF.

  21. Chuck H. says:

    The Pirate’s season success depends on whether they can cut way down on strikeouts,
    missed bunt opportunities, errors, botched save situations and failing to hit with men on base. Also, the pitching has to stay better than average. We did good getting McLouth back. Don’t know why he was let go in the first place. I thought he was an excellent centerfielder, and good hitter too. Let’s hope that number 19 seasons in a row with a losing record is not forthcoming. GO, BUCCOS!!!

  22. Isaiah Wilkes says:

    for bucs fans

    If Mclouth can perform as well as when he was last here and not like in his Brave years he will be a good addition

  23. Van Man says:

    Think the Phillies aren’t worried right now?!

  24. Ryan(Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Paul-“Any team that believes Neil Walker, a light hitting middle infielder with little power, is “the best hitter” on the team and should be hitting anywhere in the top half of the lineup or believes that Jose Tabata is a legitimate lead off hitter, let alone a better option than Andrew McCutchen in that spot, is doomed from the outset and nothing any one player can do will change the outcome.”

    Did I miss somewhere that someone said NW was the best hitter on the team?? That distinction goes to AMac, without a doubt.

    The offense will be made or broke by Pedro this year, if even makes the big club out of ST. Meghee is a decent substatute.

    We’ll see, overall there should be a improvement, not enough to win the division, might get close to 83 though.

  25. Ryan(Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Van Man- I don’t think the Pirates are concerned with the Phillies either……wrong division. Though I’m sure your point is about the NL Championship road may go though Philly, unfortunetly. They’ll blow it like they have before and every other Philly team for that matter.

  26. All: The rules for posting comments on this forum are pretty much the same as the rules for my Twitter feed: be respectful of other readers/posters, of me and my colleagues at the Trib and other outlets, and of the people about whom I write. Criticism is welcome, if valid and properly presented. Profanity gets ya blocked.
    @ Van Man: The Trib’s partnership with the Pirates is no secret, just as the company does not hide its associations with the Pens, the Marathon, or any number of local events. I can tell you my coverage is never affected by that partnership. I have never, ever been told what to write or how to write it.
    @ Piglegs: There’s probably a reason your earlier attempts to post were denied (a decision which, I must say, is not made by me). I tend to disregard juvenile posts.
    @ PhillyJake: Off the top of my head, no, Nate’s the only one left.

    Thanks for reading, everyone, and for taking the time to post!

  27. Patrick says:

    Nice one, Lady Di….let’s give AJ a chance before we start ripping him. I think he is a great veteran addition for us and can help out the younger guys on the pitching staff. I am looking forward to seeing what he can do for us.

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