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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: Baseball’s own Selection Sunday

WASHINGTON – Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …

>> I’m in our nation’s capital this morning to spend a little time with the club for my Monday column, and it’s a good day to be around. All-Star picks are announced on live TV today at noon.

I’d love to hear your choices for the Pirates or even beyond that for the National League. My own, for the Pirates: Joel Hanrahan and Andrew McCutchen. Not one or the other. Both.

>> Don’t mean to beat this drum to death, but I can’t, for the life of me, understand how competitive men can oversee these Pirates and not lift a finger to address the offense.

When you’re a couple games out of first place in July in a weak division, and you’re trotting out lineups in which five of the nine players were in the minors just a month ago … that’s not even trying.

And to that small but vocal group that files the Freddy Sanchez trade under “Good,” let me add this: The onus of identifying and acquiring outside talent is not on any of us. It’s on the general manager. He’s the one who knows what’s out there, the names and the offers. He’s the one who has to find a way to get it done. Quit making excuses for the Pirates, for once. Try an objective view.

I’m not suggesting my view is perfectly objective. I don’t think anyone can say that in any situation. But I know I at least give it an effort.

These Pirates have done some terrific things this year, and that’s to the credit of everyone, including the front office. But sitting by idly right now threatens to derail all of that. Look at the run differential. Look at other metrics. This isn’t sustainable. Offense is needed.

>> Honestly, I could go on some more about Jaromir Jagr’s meager, meandering explanations for signing with the Flyers, especially the nonsense about not telling the Penguins he wanted to return to Pittsburgh. But I won’t. Fact is, he was a free agent, and he could sign anywhere he wanted. He did that.

Seems like a good time to move on.


  1. Brendan says:

    While none of us are general managers, it strikes me as simply lazy writing to generically call for more offense but to not cite anything in the way of specifics, or at least a general sense of what you’d like to see them acquire. If nothing else it focuses the conversation a bit and leads to a more productive exchange on blogs like this.

    I say that as someone who has and continues to appreciate your thoughtfulness and tireless effort as sports writer in Pittsburgh.

  2. JAL says:

    A few Morning Links

    Raise the Jolly Roger

    Unsatisfying split

  3. Naje says:

    @DK — is there any proof that the PBC front office is “not even trying” and “haven’t lifted a finger”….?

    Really, what evidence is there? We’ve heard Hurdle discuss it in May and again in June that there’s no one willing to “dance with them” regarding trades or that what is asked for in a trade is over-the-top or too much. We’ve heard Huntington mention it too.

    You’re sounding like a fan, (or Ron Cook) and a bitter one at that.

    Let me keep banging this drum: 43 players, 7 catchers, 6 RF, 5 3B… 42-41. How do you trade with any amount of leverage with that much carnage to your roster due to injury?

    “It’s not our job, it’s the GM’s…” wah wah wah… we know it’s his job, but I’d bet he’s turning over a lot of other team’s ugly stones looking for hitters… add to the mix that several starting players will be returning to the lineup in the next two weeks and you quite the conundrum: add a lot of salary for a player or two for essentially two to three weeks or maybe a month, and then what to do when the injured guys return?

    I know… insert “that’s not my prblem” reply here. The team’s chemistry is a delicate mix with the starting pitching and the back end of the bullpen leading the way. It’s a pretty solid foundation for a team as limited in talent and experience as the PBC. Whether they get a bat or not, I’m sure they’ve tried.

    As a columnist, the “not even trying” and “haven’t lifted a finger” sounds like blustering radio show banter rather than responsible writing, but this is a blog and opinion can enter. Just never read that type of hard and fast opinion from you.

  4. Curt says:

    While watching last night’s game, I thought if only we had some more offense we would win this one. That same thing crossed my mind on Friday night as well. I’d like to know how many one or two run losses we have this year? I know someone in the asylum will get me that stat. Lol. Its time for them to make a move, the team and fan base deserve to see it.

  5. meglasdad says:

    Wow! Never thought I would see the day the fans would rise up and DEFEND Neal Huntington and the front office. And go against DK doing it. Wow! Anyway, I would love to see them make a move too, but who is out there? I haven’t seen one guy mentioned who is worth mortgaging the future for. And the national writers like Olney and Rosenthal all say that no one of consequence is available yet either. And as for the Dodger players Kemp and Either, I doubt MLB would let them trade them right now anyway, although I would love to see them get one of them.

  6. Naje says:

    @MEGA — Hard to avoid the facts of this year’s team. As I’ve noted in several posts (and the one above), they’ve done a remarkable job with the talent at hand. At least we’re all talking about a successful team… built primarily on guys brought in by and/or developed by the current front office. As much as some might not like them, the front office has done a very, very good job this season.

    The attrition of the roster has seriously effected the team, but they continue to win at a pace that “advanced metrics” and “run differential” say they should win. Run differential is close to even, and so is the team’s record.

    The cavalry is on the horizon… get through this week at +.500 and enjoy the All Star game. Then, see what the guys who are returning from the DL can give the team and go from there.

  7. JAL says:


    I agree with your choices–both Hanrahan and McCutchen should be on the All Star team

  8. Curt says:

    Once we get passed the All Star break more guys will become available and then we’ll have a great debate on here who to chase after. I know many think Pedro won’t make an impact, but I’d rather have him in the lineup over Harrison, Wood or d’Arnaud.

  9. Bdubb says:

    Do we know of any offers made for a bat that weren’t accepted? Do we know Neal isn’t on the phone? I ask this as a staunch opposer to this front office.

    Anyway, I am sure NH and the boys are waiting on Pedro and Doumit to add some offense to see where we are at. I don’t blame them. The “potential” trades out there like a Ryan Ludwick…provide nothing. They provide what we already have. Just like free agency had nothing out there this past year and to make a move just for the sake of making a move can be deadly. See Jason Kendall.

    So I am ok with waiting a few weeks to see if a team panics and is interested in getting “something” for one of their players (like a Carlos Pena). It seems right now a lot of teams believe they are still in contention and aren’t ready to waive the white flag just yet

    All that said though about a trade…I am still flummoxed the Pirates didn’t call up Presley earlier. That is an example of having potential offense in your own system and not adding it for whatever reason they have

  10. SterlingCooperDraperPrice says:

    I went over some guys that might be had in a previous post, that said we don’t know what other teams are asking for in return. If they’re asking for Starling Marte, forget it.

    My bigger issue is the only reason these AAA players are getting a shot, and in Presley’s and D’Arnuad’s shots they were overdue, is because of injuries. Would those players be here had injuries not happened? I doubt it. My reasoning is based on Lyle Overbay still starting while Matt Hague and his 1.100 June OPS still sits in AAA.

  11. Naje says:

    @SCDP – maybe it’s his 12 errors about which they’re concerned. 12 errors at first base in 82 games is a whole lot of bad plays staring at you. Especially when this team’s pitching is so good… got to have the gloves on the field too…

  12. JMB says:

    Where the FO failed the team is in not knowing what they had this off-season. Signing Overbay was widely panned at the time, and the deal looks dumber than ever today.

    It sounds like prices are exorbitant right now, so we have to simply hope this ragtag collection of dudes can tread water until the trade deadline.

    If they don’t make a MEANINGFUL move at that point, I will be pissed. I am sure we will read that they made $20m in profit this year in the off-season, like they did in 2008, and we will all be left to debate if the FO really cares about winning.

  13. Baywatch says:

    DK, just want to say it’s been great – since your move over here – to get involved somewhat with a blog again. And I appreciate your plea for urgency on the Pirates and getting a piece or two in here to get the offense going. Perhaps it’s been TOO LONG, but I wonder really what’s out there that could make that big a difference. But I guess any difference at all, in this division, is what could make the difference.

    Is it just me or did that last sentence sound a lot like a Yogi Berra-ism?

  14. Drew71 says:

    I am SORTA ok with PBC not picking up a bat. YET.

    Because this early in the bidding. This is Overpay time.

    (No. That’s not a swipe at a certain fading first baseman.)

    But as the deadline approaches, those untraded-for veterans with bloated contracts on going-nowhere and maybe also debt ridden teams will have their prices drop.

    So SORTA ok. Yes, I’d PREFER a bat. Now. But if the ONLY reason is that right now it is a sellers’ market, and in three weeks it will become a buyers’ market, I can live with that.

    (Why do I feel I just wrote a giant justification?)

  15. JAL says:

    Pirates are 13-10 in 1 run games

  16. Curt says:

    Thanks JAL. You’re the man! Enjoy your links you post each day as well.

  17. Baywatch says:

    JAL, our SUNDAY record is VERY DEPRESSING … 4-9 and we haven’t won a Sunday game since beating the Astros MAY 8!

  18. Arriba Wilver says:

    Last time I looked they were 13-7. Not disputing your numbers, JAL, but not a good trend.

  19. Drew71 says:

    JALCurt – I think that speaks to the quality of the bullpen.

  20. Curt says:

    Yeah it def. points to the bullpen, but I think it also points to lack of offense as well. Its like a positive and a negative of our ballclub.

  21. Arriba Wilver says:

    Are just the players voted in announced today or the entire rosters?

  22. Arriba Wilver says:

    I would like to point out I am not, I repeat, NOT, in the small but vocal group that files the Freddy Sanchez trade under “good.” (Whew, I’m glad I got that off my chest).

  23. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    @Naje: It’s not bluster. I don’t do that. I’m just waiting to see results. Sports is a very simple results-oriented business.

  24. Baywatch says:

    Arreeb, just wait … ALDERSON is going to make us all resemble that remark someday! It’s my understanding that Alderson’s doing quite well at Altoona this year. Now sing it with me: “Happy Days Are Here Again!”

  25. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    @Brendan: Everyone wants me to throw out names, and I’m not going to do that. I’ve never done that unless there have been reliable reports or first-hand information that such names are in the mix.

    And again, only the GM has access to such information directly, anyway.

  26. Drew71 says:

    No Dejan. It’s not bluster. But it’s also about the fourth inning of the trade deadline “game.” If that far along. I’m not ready to call the game yet when, throughout baseball, it’s a flatfooted, scoreless tie.

    So i’ve beaten that analogy and cliche to a pulp (and this one too).

    Point is, If they do nothing and it’s August 1, I’ll perceive it as you are now. But not now. Game’s not over. No fat ladies here. At least not yet. They are all heading for August.

  27. Thundercrack says:

    It’s your blog and you can write whatever you want. But for you to continue to harp on this and say that you can’t understand how the FO is not lifting a finger to address the offense is RIDICULOUS. (to borrow caps from my friend drew). As someone else pointed out, we have heard Clint, NH and FC all say that they are trying to make trades but the cost is unbelievable. Highway robbery. Do you have any facts that you would like to share that the FO is just sitting on their hands? Have they unplugged their phones and taken the batteries out of their cell phones? Please share.

    I agree with you that offense is needed and they won’t continue their current pace of wins without more offense.

    It seems to me that there a lot of teams that would want to improve their clubs now. Can you list the trades that have happened in MLB over the past 2-3 weeks?

    “you’re trotting out lineups in which five of the nine players were in the minors just a month ago … that’s not even trying.” Have you seen this team’s injury list?

    If I was cynical I would guess that you already have your season-ending column already written. It contains something along these lines: “This exciting season could have been even more magical if the FO didn’t sit on their hands and failed to address the offense in late June – early July/ It seemed like they weren’t even trying”.

  28. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    @TC: Let’s see what they do. Again, it’s a results-oriented business.

  29. Arriba Wilver says:

    TC—I guess you LIKED the Freddy Sanchez trade.

    All kidding aside, I do think it’s a little early to be making judgments on what the FO may or may not do by the deadline. That being said, there is no history to point to here, and it’s not like we haven’t been unhappily surprised by things this FO has done before (insert your own example).

  30. SlackBoss says:


    Yes, sports is a results business and the Pirates being over .500 and a few games back of 1st place IS competitive. RESULTS, not the quality of the team is YOUR metric. By that metric, the FO is having success. I would love to see more power and better run production because the RESULTs would perhaps be even better. But that is not the metric you present as the basis of your complaint.

  31. Better Days Coming says:

    Okay, Smizik, you’ve had your fun. Now what have you done with Dejan?! :-)

  32. JoeBucco says:

    I think if you’re sitting there at 2.5 games out on July 30 instead of July 3, we’ll see us go all in to win. Because .500 isn’t the stated goal, being 2.5 games out I assume would have to be. If we can stay close this month, and we get some guys healthy, I’d have to think we’d be in it to win.

  33. Thundercrack says:

    AW, I didn’t mind the Sanchez trade at the time. Do not like it now.

    The FO has not been a game over .500 and 2.5 games out of first place on the morning of July 3 before either. So I am eager to see what they do at the deadline too.
    All their other moves were done under very different circumstances.

    (and I’ve just broken my own unwritten rule of only one post here per day :-)

  34. Stuart says:

    DK, like Baywatch I’m glad to be able to participate in a meaningful blog again. Thanks.
    I’m wondering of anyone is as concerned as I am that “El Toro” is hitting .200 in “A” ball. I hope that NH is beating the bushes looking for some power, but I’m not sure there will be any indication of this even if true. The proof will be in the roster after the trade deadline.
    I think the Flyers (Like the Pens) lost more than they gained during the FA period. Much as I liked Max, I don’t think his recent contributions were as great as in the past. “Dyin Alive” wont help them much either, and may have a negative impact in the dressing room. I look for some of the Pens young guys like Jeffrey and Johnson to step it up.
    Boy I would not like to even venture a guess as to the Bucs record in the second half. Too many questions.

  35. Drew71 says:

    Entertaining morning. First, I’m reading The Clash Of The Titans, Dejan and Thunder, and their far out there positions.

    ‘The FO’s not trying…sitting idly…inserting needles into their Hurdle voodoo dolls’ when everyone ELSE in baseball is sitting just as idly because there are still, what, 28 DAYS LEFT BEFORE THE DEADLINE. (Those caps for you, Thunder.)

    and conversely…

    ‘I’m not saying you’ve written your season ending column but you’ve written your season ending column.’

    But that’s not what floored me.



    “I do think it’s a little early to be making judgments on what the FO may or may not do by the deadline.”

    Ladeeez and Gentlemen. Please welcome Arriba Wilver. The Voice of Reason.

    Somebody run the Liza Minnelli clip because That’s Entertainment

  36. Drew71 says:

    (did i just, like, abuse EVERYBODY?)

  37. Thundercrack says:

    Hey, why is my position ‘far out’? I am saying that it is early in the trading season and I don’t think the FO is sitting idly by.

    Thanks Drew, just broke my unwritten rule again. But as the great Bobby Valentine once said: the reason it is an unwritten rule is because its not a rule!

  38. Brad says:

    Uhh I think Neal is trying to improve the offense anyway he can. But He’s not going to overpay. For you to sit here and say “you’re trotting out lineups in which five of the nine players were in the minors just a month ago … that’s not even trying.” Is completely incompetent. Lets start of with that of Alvarez, Tabata, Cedeno, Snyder and Doumit are all on the DL. Neal Huntington’s and the rest of the Pirates F.O fault right???

    What do you expect them to do? Go give up the future to get a player that will be here for 2 months?? No. Not smart baseball. And you would be the first one to write or complain how bad of decision that was if Player A who we acquired for Prospects A, and
    Prospect B didn’t pan out. And the both Prospects went on to be solid major league players. You would be calling for Neal Huntington to be fired and the F.O is all to blame. So how about you just sit back and relax for the time being. If the right trade comes along then it will probably happen. These “minor league kids” Presley, d’Arnaud, Harrison, Fryer. All deserve a look and have done a good job. How do you think players become Major League players Dejan? They have to get a shot somewhere.

  39. CDBrewer says:

    Moved in to all AL Seattle the first, and just got on the blog. Boy, did I pick the right day!

    Drew, you are too funny.

    I am leaning with the crowd that thinks no trade could mean that no bad trade was made. I want to wait too, this was not supposed to be our year, and I see this as like ’88 (I think it was ’88, then we took a step back before ’90-92). The team is here for the most part, just don’t screw it up.

    DK, you even said in your introduction to this debate you wanted the Pirates to be cautious in this approach – you even laid that out in a response to a comment I made the night before your original column wrote. I have never read you get this aggressive over the lack of movement, and I have been interpreting the inaction as cautious.
    Do you know something that tells you that the FO is being borderline negligent, not cautious?

  40. JAL says:


    Thanks, when they get this blog redone I can put the links together and there will a lot more.

  41. JAL says:

    BTW–Miserable day here in DC for game–hot and humid.

  42. JMB says:

    Welcome back @CDB.

    The All-Star selection show is on TBS in 30mins.

    Cutch & Hanny have to be locks, any wildcards?

  43. JAL says:

    Arriba–they were 13-7–but lost last 3–2-1 to Toronto on the 29th, 2-1 to Washington Friday, and 4-3 to Washington last night.

  44. JMB says:

    Greinke is a bum, per Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel.

  45. SterlingCooperDraperPrice says:


    You do realize that Overbay already has 7 errors (one more than he had all of last year), his ZR is 10th in the NL, and his Fielding Pct is DEAD LAST in the NL for starting first baseman…

    So tell me what you would rather have, a poor fielding first baseman with no bat or a possibly poor fielding baseman with a possible good bat?

    I already know what we have in Overbay, I want to see what we have in Matt Hague.

    Hague played college ball and he’s never hit less than .293/.356/.768 in any year.

  46. ExileInDC says:

    If all sports are about results, Baseball is about overanalyzing those results. Last night, if Clint leaves Resop in for more than one out, there was a good chance the Bucs go on to sweep the doubleheader. But, the two words Yogi Berra taught us are You Neverknow.

    Meanwhile, I couldn’t help but sit there last night in Sec. 126 watching Eric Fryer chuck the ball around like a little leaguer, and think: Wait, what if the Bucs had signed Matt Capps two years ago and traded him a couple of months later to the Twins, as the Nats did? Then Wilson Ramos would have been behind the plate last night for the Pirates. Nice catcher, another one we coulda had.

    No Ryan Ludwick trades in July for me; I say, get it right in the first place on decisions like Capps. If not, then live with what you got, or else you might make a worse trade trying to fix the shortcoming you created in the first place.

    Ergo, reap what you sow, make your bed and lie in it, etc.

  47. ExileInDC says:

    JMB, nice links!

  48. CDBrewer says:

    Thanks…new place is actually great. Not SF, but actually where we are is 2 blocks from a lake and a nice bunch of shops/restaurants.

    Thanks for the links…

    I like Kotchman! That is a move I can get behind.
    Let me repeat – NO BELTRAN! I will go a step further, I am not in support of Carlos Pena anymore after hearing Brenley call them a “dead a– team” ON THE RADIO!
    Then I watched him let a foul ball fall in front of him on the first baseline…

    If they get somebody, it has to be the right kind of player.

  49. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    @Brad: “Incompetent?” Because we disagree on opinions about baseball? Really?

  50. SterlingCooperDraperPrice says:

    Oh and Lyle’s 7 errors have come in 72 games, so roughly one per 10 games…or exaclty the same ratio as Hague’s.

  51. SterlingCooperDraperPrice says:


    You and I are on the same page about maybe moving some prospects that will be hard to fit on the 40-man this off season.

    Since you have a better understanding of the org’s depth, who do you think will need to be protected and who do you think will be dropped/not protected that might have some value? Or in other words, if we didn’t protect them, they stand a good chance to be claimed in the rule V draft.

  52. Baywatch says:

    I can’t help it: It seems UNHOLY for The Pirates to have a 4-9 record on Sundays and ZERO Sunday wins since May 8.

    “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses … and SHAWON DUNSTON!”

  53. JMB says:

    3 Brewers starters –I’m gonna have to root for the AL the first 5 innings!

  54. SeanE says:

    DK. I understand and agree with the belief that we need a bat. Have posted here that it is time for the FO to “put up or shut up”. That said, I would not part with any of the prime prospects to do so. I would part with some of the B level prospects (Gorkys, Hague etc.) to get a bat. I understand that would require the FO to take on some serious salary ala Carlos Pena.

    Here is the question though: Is a guy like Pena available in such a scenario? With the vast majorty of teams in contention it is clearly a sellers market. I don’t know the answer to this question. Thoughts?

  55. hsages211 says:

    Just read this about Nick Swisher and I’m wondering if maybe the Bucs could swing a trade with a starting pitcher to try and bring him to Pittsburgh.

    “Swisher is out of a contract after this season and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Yankees try and flip him for some starting pitching. Swisher is a fun loving guy who just may have worn out his welcome in New York. A move to a smaller media market would do Nick well.” –

  56. JMB says:

    Matt Wieters is an All-Star?


  57. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Let me pour some more salt in the wound so to speake.

    Matt Wieters is now an ALL STAR……

  58. CDBrewer says:


    BEAUTIFUL POST! You hit it on the head – if we have too many to protect, we do have to make this trade, and there inlies the rub. Who do we move? Who do we want?

    And DK, I would LOVE your input on the math of the 40 man roster musical chairs.

    I am going to blaspheme for one second and suggest a different idea…
    I know we need a bat, but maybe we need an arm to sure up the inconsistencies and fatigue that will set in in August for Mac, Karstens…and maybe Morton.

    Just saying…the pitching has been great, but baseball is a game of reverting to norm – at least a little. And maybe we flip a pitcher at the waiver deadline if we are still around.

    Let’s just look at ALL the available players. Arms are easier to trade late.

  59. Bizrow says:

    Just my two cents, but I think the FO is pretty shocked/surprised with the way this club is playing. If this continues, I think it will be pretty close to the best turnaround from one season to another.

    Huntington has never been in this position, I hope he does not “learn” as poorly as he did a few years ago.

    We’ll see what happens

  60. Bizrow says:


    So can I add DC to the list of inmates homes?

  61. JMB says:

    Kotchman wuz robbed!

  62. JMB says:


  63. hsages211 says:

    Glad to see Joel Hanrahan get in. Well deserved. Now let’s see if we can get Cutch in as well.

  64. Baywatch says:

    OK, let me qualify a few things here, just to make us feel better about Wieters’ selection the All-Star team: :-)

    He’s a catcher. Let’s face it. At the catching position, there’s just not that much competition all-star wise … hasn’t Mauer for the Twins been out most of the season? If Moskos had been LIGHTS OUT in the relief pitching category, WAY too many pitchers to compete with for a spot on the All-Star team.

    Alright, OK, Wieters brings a lot more to the table than Moskos … but I didn’t think he looked too tough when we played them. To me, he resembled a big stiff. To big of a stiff to be on somebody’s all-star team. Plus, he swears every time he hits a fly ball!

  65. JMB says:


    Cutch better make it!

  66. JMB says:

    Not looking good for Cutch…I know Upton is ‘Zona’s only rep, but this is some BS!

  67. JMB says:


  68. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    WOW!! Beltran gets in over McCutchen….fricken amazing

  69. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Imagine if McCutchen played in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York or Chicago. He’d be an All-Star every season. Makes you wonder why he’d ever want to stay around here after his 6 years are up.

  70. SeanE says:

    Wonder if Cutch gets on the ballot for the 34th player that the fans vote for.

  71. CDBrewer says:

    I am not trying to make the argument against Cutch (and Beltran is a bad choice), but Upton has been on fire. He hits everything hard, and he drives in runs…he has been a great offensive player.
    Cutch might be better all around, but Upton might be better too. Very close.

  72. JMB says:

    Andrew McCutchen 2nd in NL in Wins Above Replacement. Somehow not on this roster. Criminal


  73. hsages211 says:

    Cutch didn’t make the 34th player vote either. Andre Ethier, Todd Helton, Adam Kennedy, Michael Morse, Shane Victorino

  74. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    81 295 43 83 12 54 42 49 3 0.2814

    81 304 48 88 12 43 46 59 15 0.2895

    You be the judge

  75. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that Brad LIKED the Freddy Sanchez trade.

  76. Arriba Wilver says:

    And probably was vocal about it.

  77. JMB says:

    One thing MLB made clear to me this week: Players who don’t make it should blame their fellow players. Player vote determines most reserves

  78. CDBrewer says:

    Well, Cutch should ve plenty of motivation for the rest of the year then.
    He has to show some of his opponents what he can do.

  79. JMB says:

    The Pirates are also still relegated to one rep status in the eyes of most of baseball, so it is up to the team to show that they belong.

  80. Arriba Wilver says:

    There’s always a bit of a bias towards the guys who have done it for a long time. I don’t view those stats of Beltran vs. Cutch as indicating a travesty, much as I would love to see Cutch in the game. Maybe he’ll get picked once people start falling off due to injury.

  81. aglebagel says:

    Right before those stats were posted I went to look at them myself and couldn’t find one freaking thing that Beltran does better. Ok, he has a few more RBI. That’s it.

  82. dschomburg says:

    Checking in from Spokane.

    As some others have pointed out, this is new territory for the FO. Usually, around now, they are preparing their annual salary dump. Some of the trades (Nady) worked out great, others (Bay) not so much. It’s a whole different ballgame to add major league pieces and give up prospects.

    Offense absolutely needs to be added, and first base is the most glaring need, whether it be Hague or an external option. With a little offense, the Bucs would be going for a sweep today instead of hoping for a split.

    The party line has always been that Nutting would step up when the time is right. Well, the time is right.

  83. Sec.143RowMSeat24 says:

    That’s the list of guys who as of now will be free agents after this season. DK had mentioned they should be looking at guys that would cost money more than prospects. Right Field and First Base seem to be the main area of concern right now. Not really seeing many guys on that list that would be huge upgrades.

  84. pghboyonca says:

    For those who want to wait until July 31st did it ever occur to you that he 3-4 games that might be the differential in a pickup now versus then might make the potential acquisition irrelevant? With the offense currently in place we are headed to streak of losing 6 out of 7 or 9 out of 11. There is no way the pitching can continue in this fashion.

    And for all of those who want to say look at where this front office has us this year you may want to consider where we might be if we had 2 decent position players out of the return of Moss, LaRoche, Clement, Hansen, Bowker, Alderson etc…..Seriously look at the position players we received without laughing.

    And I love the comment above about how this team is succeeding strictly with players brought on from this front office. Did not realize that Cutch, Walker, and Maholm were Huntington acquisitions.

    I think D.K. makes some very good points about a commitment to winning. Also in any situation you look at success you have and analyze it and determine is it random or is it part of a process that is sustainable. If you consider .500 baseball a success (only in Nuttig land would that even be considered) then analyze this. If you built this team going into this year thinking that Karstens would be an ace with an ERA in the top 5, Morton would have a string of 10 stars looking like Halladay, Maholm would be Glavine reincarnated, Correia would lead the league in wins for a good portion of the year then you are a liar or need to start picking stocks as well.

    Everything possible on this pitching staff that could have happened in a positive way has happened, some of the things were beyond positive they were miraculous. And we are still at .500 And before you say that we have been crushed by injuries realize that Cutch and Walker are right on track. Cedeno was above expectations and Tabata was hot and cold which was not shocking. Overbay was widely panned by those with any knowledge of baseball and has been as expected (as have most of Huntingtons position player pickups) Diaz is as expected as is Jones. Alvarez has been a huge disappointment but there was no reason to count on him as anything but a guy who would hit 25 home runs , strike out a lot, hit in the .250 range, and play below average defense. Our catching was great for the first 50 games and that has hurt more than any other injury.

    Next year we will most likely be without Maholm, Doumit, Snyder, and where will the offensive improvement come from? Maybe Huntngton can go out and acquire another 33 year old broken down corner infielder whose better days are behind him. I don’t see a blueprint for long term success yet. I see a manager who has squeezed the most he possibly could out of an over achieving group that seems to have great resolve. That is a one shot deal unless the talent flow increases significantly.

  85. JMB says:

    Wait, McCutchen didn’t make it? Did they pick the team with darts?

  86. MrB says:

    This thread makes me chuckle…especially the reference to Smizik.

    Where’s the line-up thread?

  87. pattonbb says:

    @DK – I hate to say I told you so… but…. just kidding.

    Yes, Cutch got robbed, but I’ve been saying for a couple weeks now that he would. Cryin Ryan, Kemp, Holiday, and Berkman all deserve being selected. Pence and Upton are lone representatives. Which leaves Bruce. Bruce had a nice season last year, but certainly not an “all-star” season. The only reason he gets selected is because he was on fire for the month of May. For the life of me, I can’t see how the players would vote him in over Cutch. I mean, why no love for Andrew from his fellow players?

    For the record, I’d take Cutch over every one of these outfielders.

  88. Sec.143RowMSeat24 says:

    Cutch isn’t even on the 34th man vote.

  89. pattonbb says:

    Again, Cutch is getting no respect from his fellow players. Can’t believe Victorino and Morse got more votes from the players than Cutch.

  90. Brendan says:


    I’m just suggesting you should traffic in rumors and innuendos about possible deals, but rather if are continually calling for a bat you should offer your opinion as to who they should acquire. To not do so is like calling for lower taxes but never bothering to suggest what programs you think should be cut.

  91. Naje says:

    @CABOY– Nice… you name 3 guys out of 25… and there have been 43 play for the team this year.

    You say Cutch, Walker, Malholm…

    I say Correia, McDonald, Karstens, Morton, Cedeno, Jones, (Snyder), XPaul, Wood, d’Arnaud, Overbay, McKenry, Resop, Daniel McCutchen, Crotta, Hanrahan and others…

    They’ll win together… there will be a lot more guys picked up since 2008 on the squad than prior to 2008.

    Look, the front office has had some tough times… and the guys they got in return for some of the early drafts were awful.

    But to discout that 34 of the 43 players who’ve played this year for the Pirates were brought in by Huntington is a little short-sighted.

  92. Eric Bowser says:

    I have to imagine many GMs across MLB with losing teams and players to deal are licking their chops knowing Huntington could have tremendous pressure to make a deal to add to the lineup.

    I’m a Pirates fan so I have zero expectations of Huntington successfully acquiring guys like Carlos Beltran, Carlos Pena, and Ramon Hernandez.

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