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Wakeup Call: The other side of things

Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …

>> My column this morning canvases the feeling of the Pirates’ players about adding a bat, and I offer my own feeling, too, of course.

The Cliff’s Notes version: Neal Huntington owes it to this team to get the job done.

>> Took a right turn, rather than a left, down in the PNC Park tunnel to check in on the Reds right after the game last night.

I asked manager Dusty Baker what he thought of the Pirates’ pitching: “Can’t say anything bad about it, obviously. We haven’t scored in 18 innings.”

I asked second baseman Brandon Phillips the same thing: “It’s us. It’s not their pitching. I’m just being honest. We’re not getting the job done, especially with guys on base. I mean, they’re a great story. But this is about us. We need to be better.”

This should be instructional: There are two teams out there, and one of them was swinging right through a lot of high fastballs last night. That almost always is the fault of the hitter. I portray it that way when the Pirates whiff like that, and it’s fair to do that when it’s the opponent, too. Fact is, Cincinnati had a ton of lousy at-bats.

That’s not a slight to the Pirates. I liked James McDonald’s command, and I loved Chris Resop’s aggressiveness against the lefties.

But it does take two.

>> Johnny Cueto will take a 2.01 ERA to the mound for the Reds this afternoon, and it will be only about a billion degrees. If I’m the Pirates, I make him throw so many pitches his head spins.

>> Resop told me his last two fastballs on the Joey Votto K pretty much “rose on their own. I don’t know how.” Pure baseball explanation.

123 Comments

  1. I was able to attend my first game of the season last night. Actually my first one at PNC in a few years, mostly because I lived in Florida for about four years. I went to some spring training games there but great to be back at PNC.

    Successful trip. Obviously not much of an offensive display but a fine pitching performance. That was one of McDonald’s smoothest starts in awhile I’d say until the seventh inning trouble.

    Very inspiring, chilling moment in the ballpark when Beimel struck out Bruce. Resop was also impressive.

    I was drained from the heat by the time the game was over. I can’t even imagine what it will be like Wednesday afternoon. An absolute cooker. That will be a tough game for the fans to enjoy even considering the Pirates are playing well and going for the sweep.

    I remember earlier in the year, I believe DK you remarked about the fans going up and down the aisles during play. That is a problem that I hope will change if the Pirates continue to win and bring in a lot of fans. It’s great to see the stadium packed but at this point the fans are seriously lacking in ballpark etiquette. I had good seats in section 105 along the first base side but I was looking around people walking on basically every pitch and this was in a game that was 1-0, up for grabs, some very key moments. I just don’t understand going to a game and missing the big at-bats and significant sequences by walking back and forth to the concession stand. But that’s just me.

    • @Dave: Sounds like you had a terrific time.

      That aisle thing is something the Pirates could stop if they wanted to. Other teams do it. But fans themselves also can stop it. You should see what happens to the poor soul who tries to get up during action at a Chicago Blackhawks game.

  2. Pirates PR has been greatly helped with the players winning. Not getting a extra bat for this offense could undo it all that quickly.

    • @buccos: Myself, I don’t care about the PR aspect in the slightest. It’s far more important to weigh the impact on the actual team.

  3. DK, any chance we see Pedro Friday?

    • @Mason: If he keeps batting .800, it probably will be tough to keep him down. He’s apparently made some adjustments in the swing, and I could see where he might benefit from keeping that going down there for a bit. But obviously not long if he keeps getting results anything close to the past three nights.

  4. It seems no matter how its cut the must do thing is obvious. It’s almost irresponsible to send the team into these next three series with out additional help.

  5. I have to say, I do not want a rental. This team is built to sustain something. I do not want to give up what could be 5 competitive years for this year’s run.

    That said, Pence…I would give almost anything if they would extend him.
    But where do we play him – the kids gotta play (or traded, and trading Presley for Pence seems like it is robbing Peter to pay Paul).

    I love the idea of pitching help. I don’t have faith in Lincoln or Owens.

    I love the idea of Dotel coming back, or another proven reliever just to calm nerves down the stretch.

    I lived in SF last season, and I didn’t think there was a way they could win a division with so little offense, but they won the series. I want to sure up the pitching – Karstens inning count scares me…McDonald and Morton are inconsistent…

    As far as a bat – I love the speed and style, and I think it is breeding the heads-up ball we are seeing.
    If they can bring in a player for the next three seasons, sell the farm, otherwise…the offense is doing fine. Don’t mess with the chemistry – and no K kings (Mark Reynolds, I am looking RIGHT at you).

    And why don’t we think that Doumit, Pearce, Pedro, and Tabata will provide as much as any of these guys we are talking about? They certainly provide line-up and bunch depth.

  6. bench depth…but I guess, a bunch of depth too.

  7. I understand weighting your options and making the right choice but they have to have a clear sense of what the market is and what its going to take whether tmrw or the 31 why wait when managements work is well cut out. Rental players are fine when your pay roll is 40mil. Take on money help this team win now

  8. We can only take on money if we find a place to play it.
    I don’t think we want to sit any of the 3 outfielders, Walker, Pedro, Ronny or d’Arnaud…
    Pearce comes back, what do we do with him?

    Will Pena take a platoon, or will he mope around? I have seen big money pout as many times as I have seen it play.

    This isn’t about the Front Office, this is about what Hurdle wants.

    Playing time will become an issue if we add more pieces AND have pieces heal.

  9. I just wanna touch on a sublect that is sticky for Dejan… the Bucs finally appearing on national telecasts.

    Dejan, I know this is a sore spot for you as you believe the Pirates don’t need the ‘validation.’ But you live in the ‘Burgh.

    To out of town fans (and to many Pittsburghers, apparently, judging that the article about the Pirates being on ESPN next Monday night is one of the most ‘sent’ articles of the day), it really isn’t about validation: it’s about celebration.

    It’s an opportunity to shine in front of a national viewing audience. To national fans, it’s about another chance to see our Pirates without subscribing to MLB Network.

    For many others, it’s kinda like showing off a picture of your brand new grandchild. We are proud, so it’s also about us PBC Nation fans no longer standing at the back of the room, waving our hands and shouting ‘HEY- WHAT ABOUT US!!!’

    The world is finally recognizing that the Bucs are pretty darn good. Well… we already know that. But this a chance to show the world exactly how darn good they are. The Pirates can no longer be ignored, nor dismissed as a non-contender.

    I agree that, perhaps, all of this isn’t necessary for ‘validation,’ yet it certainly adds some flavor to the excitement and the pride of the fan base.

    And, at least to this particular out-of-town PBC fan, it’s an extra chance to watch, which is celebration enough for me.

  10. Other than taillon and maybe sanchez who would it kill the Bucs to lose especially when the team is young as it is and under control for multiple years. We could replace the missing pieces YEARS down the line when it comes to it. Not all prospects pan out. #jbaytrade. none of the players you named sound like future all stars. There are Other options than Pena. DK named someone perfect n Chris Davis, young like you like em, and blocked in his system

  11. Been seeing that the Bucs may have some interest in Carlos Beltran. I honestly do not see him coming to Pittsburgh. I wouldn’t mind the Pirates getting Josh Willingham from the A’s, if the price is right. And Pence?…..What I see is the Astros having to be overwhelmed by getting too much talent for him (let’s be real, they aren’t going to give him away)…..

  12. @Buccos

    I like Davis for the same reason I like Pence, we are bringing in a stable piece.
    I think it is important that we bring in somebody we see as being part of this for a couple years.
    I don’t want to go near Beltran either.

  13. Grown men do have feelings but you gotta check that at the door. It’s what ever best help the TEAM win. My momma alway said theres No I in team

  14. Why beltran has a solid bat and we could get him for money. If he comes here he wants to.

  15. @Buccos

    You and I know that, but many of the free agents to be don’t check the egos.
    Remember the Mets playing cards in the clubhouse during the playoffs?
    Remember Rickey Henderson – at any of his stops?

    I don’t know, earlier this year Sabean said he wouldn’t trade for Reyes because he plays when he wants. I think we are riding such good chemistry, we really have to be careful about bringing in position players.

    Pitchers are a little different. Our pen has enough kids, an arm wouldn’t hurt. And a starter never hurts.

    I am not ANTI trade, I just don’t see an urgency unless it is a really good fit…especially with all the options coming back.

  16. Where would we even put Beltran?

    I am not sitting Presley or Tabata or Cutch. They all need the ab’s, and have been great.

    And Beltran has been timid-to-poor in the outfield for a while.

    Davis makes more sense than anybody who isn’t an absolute stud (like Pence).

  17. I wonder… do the metrics, which predict the pitchers to falter as the season progresses also predict that the offense can’t be this bad for much longer as well?

  18. lol…
    I am telling you, the Giants offense was worse last year, and they won the series.

    We can do this…

  19. I’m really not sure who the Pirates are going to trade.

    Hopefully not Tabata, Presley or Marte. They can’t trade Doumit right now. They’re not going to break up the starting pitching which has set the tone for their success this year.

    Garrett Jones they could get rid of but is he coveted by other teams. Why?

    They have some decent minor league options. That looks like what they have to offer. And it’s certainly not enough to acquire a game changer.

    There are a lot of names being thrown around. Pretty much everyone has been linked to the Pirates. But who are they legitimately capable of getting?

    I would say Conor Jackson from Oakland. Versatile. Right-handed bat. Can play some first base. He had decent power a few years ago but not much this year. I’m not saying that’s who I would want them to get but I think he is a player that the front office truly believes they could get and without giving up much.

    I also think they’re serious about acquiring another reliever because of the uncertainty with Meek. It won’t be Mike Adams but maybe Chad Qualls, Octavio Dotel, Rafael Betancourt, Matt Belisle, Koji Uehara.

    I was thinking if they just wanted a rent-a-bat guy they may want to consider Jason Giambi. He’s old, 40 years old, but he has 10 HRs in only 90 at-bats. Career wise he has drawn a lot of walks and hit home runs. Despite the steroid problems, he still seems to be a quality dude for a team in the race. If he batted right-handed it would be better. The Rockies would take whatever they could get for him.

    I still like Marcus Thames. He struggled for the Dodgers and got released but just last year he hit .288 with 12 HRs and an .841 OPS for the Yankees. Maybe they could sign him to a minor league deal for now and see if he can get rolling. He might be better than a guy they would trade for and they wouldn’t have to give up anything.

  20. I fully understand what your saying and agree on it all except one point I feel its an absolute emergency. The pitchers, though have come back strong, are only in the second half I feel goin do as good as the as the offense makes them feel. Sooner rather then later. They carry the team on there backs every time they touch the mound and that has to be mentally taxing.

    The staff is about to go against 3 of the top teams in the NL and they know that. The pitchers need insurance and if they don’t at least get the peace of mind that its possible how long can they keep this balls out pitching goin

  21. No where near the pitching the giants have or had. It’s our job to figure out line cards just play the best players your right I would to see tabata or especially presely go any where. Tough decisions that need to b made

  22. I’m all for going after Chris Davis. Elite power is rare. Maybe he doesn’t pan out but he could potentially be a basher.

    The Rangers have enough offense so they’re clearly looking for pitching, which the Pirates have, but the question is do you give up somebody in the current rotation or bullpen? I say no to that and that’s probably where the deal falls through.

  23. @Dave

    I like your thinking.

    I would be willing to give up a lot if I thought we were getting a game changer.
    I would even give up good stuff for those rp’s you listed.

    I just don’t see Conor Jackson, Marcus Thames, or Giambi making the difference. That said, I like the thinking on Thames – basically costs nothing and may not even see Pittsburgh.
    I fear Giambi’s glove will give away as much as gets done with the bat.

    I just wish I thought there was something to get that was out there…

    Somebody said Helton a couple days ago…I liked that better than anybody else who has come up.

  24. Power bat baby, power bat. Mark Reynolds doesn’t sound to bad and our strike outs will mask his

  25. No, no, no…just even the attitude that K’s don’t matter…
    I want nothing to do with him.

    Look at the Dbacks…better this year without him.
    I think he is DEFINITELY one of those addition by subtracting him.

    The power bat like that doesn’t even fit with what Clint is preaching – moving runners, pitching in, good at bats. The home run is seductive, but produces 6-3′s with runners on 2nd and none out. Need good outs too, not just the long balls.

  26. I don’t know…I am sorry.

    I don’t mean to be contrary…I just see lots of quality coming back – all role players to pick and choose from – that play 1st and 3rd and catcher.

    I am not saying the offense is perfect, but it is about to get help.
    We haven’t had the gang all there and playing together for a long time, let’s give them a shot.

    Now the pitching, I feel like they need some rest. They have overachieved as much as the hitting has underachieved and been hurt.

  27. Look man just add a bat. It’s bad enough we’ll most likely have to play the cardinals with this depleted team. Give the players a hand they more than deserve it. Also your absolutely right about Reynolds I’m no base ball expert i just see numbers man.

  28. Helton would be the perfect player for this team. The veteran presence. Great hitter. If you didn’t factor in other things and just looked at what he would bring to the table, he would be an ideal guy. His contract is complicated and I’m not sure how much the Pirates would have to pay. He also prides himself in playing for the one organization his entire career. I don’t see him leaving there.

    I think Thames is a sleeper. He only had 66 at-bats for the Dodgers. Players are capable of having slumps and poor stretches. If you look at the other years when he’s had over 200 at-bats, he’s been a guy capable of coming off the bench and delivering some extra-base hits (doubles and home runs). The good Thames would be a good fit with the Pirates situation. He did have tweak injury before he was released by the Dodgers so his health may be an issue.

  29. Get Yonder Alonso from the Reds. It’ll be tricky to get him from a division rival, but get a third team involved. Get creative and get him.

  30. Absolutely right on the pitching they need extra relief. Brad Lincoln still lurking in the minors too

  31. Okay, time to turn in, but I can’t believe that in mid-July I am talking about the Pirates being in contention – let alone leading the division.

    This is just so wonderful to be watching a team that plays sound baseball.
    Man, is it fun. I didn’t remember how different it is to care – this is like ’88 in so many ways. Didn’t see this season coming.

  32. Brad Lincoln
    Garrett Jones
    Josh Harrison
    Matt Curry

    for

    Todd Helton

    Would you do it? Would the Rockies do it?

    Lincoln is an above average pitching prospect.
    Jones is not as good as Helton but younger and still a decent bat for Coors Field.
    Harrison is another young bat for Coors Field. We don’t really need him long term with Alvarez and many other infield options like Wood, d’Arnaud, Mercer, etc.
    Curry is another good hitting prospect for first base.

    Then we keep Helton for a few years. He’s 37 but will probably still be a good hitter for another couple years.

  33. Good Morning Bucco Nation!

    Driving over from Hilliard, Ohio today for the game.

    Is it too early in the season for Pennant Fever?

    I don’t know but I am enjoying the ride.

  34. Some Down by the Water Morning Links

    Pirates Prospects

    Game 95 Recap: McDonald, Bullpen Shutout Reds

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2011/07/game-95-recap-mcdonald-bullpen-shutout-reds.html

    Neal Huntington on Three Pirates Needs

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2011/07/neal-huntington-on-three-pirates-needs.html

    Bullpen Rumors: Uehara, Grilli, Bell, Adams, Qualls

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2011/07/bullpen-rumors-uehara-grilli-bell-adams-qualls.html

  35. DK, in one paragraph you say:
    “General manager Neal Huntington deserves as much credit as anyone for the Pirates` amazing revival,…”

    In the next you say “Where’s the front office?”.
    That looks like something Smizik would write.

    “So far, what we’ve mostly heard from the front office is concerns about the future implications of any trade, complaints about the nature of the trade market, how hard it is to get this or that, how much it would cost — all apparently aimed at managing the public’s expectations.”
    But couldn’t that also be the truth — the trade market is going to be costly? Is it ALL aimed at managing the public?

    “Someone like Pence would be great, though there are reservations about disrupting the current outfield.”
    So the players want the FO to do something to make the team better for the stretch run, but they have reservations about adding the player that might be the very best player available (except for maybe Beltran)?

    I am not opposed to trading some mid-level prospects for someone that is really going to help this team. I don’t think we’ll get a player like Beltran and I doubt that Pence will get traded at all.

    Only KRod and Keppinger have been traded so far. It’s not like the trades are fast & furious and NH is being shut out….yet. And if he is, I’ll wait for your evaluation and critique.

  36. Rumbunter

    Videos: Pittsburgh Pirates GM Neal Huntington Interview

    http://rumbunter.com/2011/07/19/videos-pittsburgh-pirates-gm-neal-huntington-interview/

    Videos: Frank Coonelly Interview; Will Ticket Prices Finally Be Competitive?

    http://rumbunter.com/2011/07/19/videos-frank-coonelly-interview-will-ticket-prices-finally-be-competitive/

  37. I went to the game last night. Super hot, but great atmosphere…and great win.

    It is just a guess by me, but if they took a poll of all major league ball parks here is another award that PNC Park would win: Slowest Concession Stand Workers

  38. Steve Charlton used to say, I only throw strikes when the batter makes me. So if the batter is swinging at high fast balls? Throw it. Bring it down when he makes you.

    Cueto is a good pitcher. But so is the guy with the P on his cap. Should be an interesting game.

  39. Drew…..who is this Steve ‘Charlton’? Norm’s brother??
    :)

    ==============

    It would be nice to get a bat or a pitcher, but just because we get someone doesn’t mean they’ll perform at the level they had been performing. They are like stocks. Buyer beware!!

    Myself, I am just sitting back and enjoying the ride. After 18 years, I AM GONNA ENJOY THIS!!! I am NOT getting anxious. Whatever NH does, he does. You wanna sweat and worry, then do it. The only time I sweat and worry is when Beimel or Veras come into the game. :)

    ///////////

  40. Almost foogot………SWEEP THE REDS!!!!!!!!
    :) :) :)

  41. @ DK, when you said:

    3. Better do something. Some players are skeptical that anything more than minor moves will be made.

    could that skeptisism be the reason that “Some players” are not signing long tern deals?

    dave

  42. The Pirates are in first place!!!

    The buccos don’t need Hunter Pence at the trade deadline. Keeping Presley in left when Tabata returns gives us a tremendous defensive advantage in the outfield. Start Tabata in right. Isn’t defense and pitching what got us here in the first place?

    We need a starting pitcher, bullpen help, and a major correction at first base. Jones/Pierce? How about trading for Pena?

    Our buccos have been battling all year and they deserve a few players to help them as well as the clubhouse.

  43. @leefoo, I couldn’t agree more. I am enjoying this.

    My MIL is in town from western MD. She looked at me puzzled as I cheered for the Hammer last night. I explained to her that it’s been 19 years since I’ve seen the Pirates play ball like this. She looked at me even more puzzled afterwards.

    I guess some people don’t understand. We’ve been waiting for this for a long time. I’ve moved throughout the country over the years but have always stuck by the Pirates. Two years ago, a guy I work with challenged me on opening day to name the Pirates starters. Within seconds I was repeating their lineup. He gave me a puzzled look and told me I was crazy. Let’s enjoy this…and…sweep the Reds!!!

  44. DK, can you ask Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto why they continually look to the opposite field before the pitch comes? (That is more rhetorical). I noticed in the 8th inning both guys looked opposite more than once before the pitch was thrown. Not sure if they were checking alignment or looking for something but it was quite odd. i have watched a million at bats in my life and only seen that a few times. So maybe they should pay more attention to the pitcher instead of other stuff if they want to hit

  45. @ DK –

    Enjoyed the read, but alas, the difference between a columnist and a beat writer:

    –a columnist can go anywhere they want to create a story and support their angle(s)… and going to the players is a very good source. But I really didn’t see any quote from a player that held up the thesis of “get help now front office.” I read the general consensus you provided (again, no quotes and understandable that they want this to be off the record), but remember this: players play, coaches coach, managers manage, gm’s do the gm thing, presidents preside and owners own. While players are a great source, the rumors have been flying for a week or two about adding to the bullpen, adding a bat and maybe even a Kevin Slowey for the rotation.

    –you’ve been hammering this tune about getting help for a month, yet the people who actually do the bidding and buying have yet to be quoted or asked about “getting help now.”

    –last month you wrote a piece that sounded like a Ron Cook article pointing fingers at the front office for doing nothing (and you emphasized that pretty strongly), when in fact Hurdle and Huntington were quoted in May and June as “actively looking for help, but were being asked for a king’s ransom” in trades (or something to that effect).

    It’s very easy to sit in your spot and demand things. And your Beltran query, while rational, is missing some things… like the Mets not only wanting to rid themselves of his contract, but also wanting high-end prospects in return. Perhaps you haven’t seen this piece yet: http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/Philadelphia-Phillies-Boston-Red-Sox-most-aggressive-in-pursuit-of-new-York-Mets-Carlos-Beltran-071911

    You’ve gone to the players, I suspect you’ll go to the real players in the trade talks soon enough–the GM, President and Owner of the team–the guys that actually make the deals.

  46. Just out from MLB Trade Rumors:

    Pirates Reach Agreement With Jason Grilli?
    By Tim Dierkes [July 20 at 7:12am CST]
    The Pirates appear to have landed righty reliever Jason Grilli, based on the pitcher’s tweet: “Black & Yellow! Black & Yellow! Black & Yellow! Cannot wait to join the new squadron.”

    Grilli, 34, has a 1.93 ERA, 11.8 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, and 0.6 HR/9 in 32 2/3 innings for the Phillies’ Triple-A affiliate this year. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported yesterday that the Phillies were on the clock, as Grilli had an out clause that allowed him to take a Major League offer from another team if the Phils didn’t promote him within three days of that offer. Grilli adds depth for the Pirates, who Rosenthal believes are also seeking “an established eighth-inning reliever.”

    The Bucs will have to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Grilli. One solution could be transferring reliever Evan Meek to the 60-day DL, as Meek hit the 15-day on June 10th.

  47. I thought Chris Davis was a quad-A player like Jeff Clement. Davis is too good for AAA, but not good enough for MLB.

  48. Speaking of 8th inning help. What is the status of Meek? Haven’t heard anything about him. Is he even throwing?

  49. Naje, beyond being critical with DK, I can’t follow your point.

    You admit yourself that DK probably got some of the players to tell him their opinions without attribution, and he formed an opinion piece based on those collective opinions. What do you want him to do — go to Neal Huntington and have Huntington give him the same nondescript answers?

    I don’t blame Huntington — he’s not going to say we have to get someone, and then he’s over the barrel with other GMs; or he has to look the team in the eye after acknowledging they aren’t good enough.

    So do you disagree with DK’s premise? That the team needs to go get a bat?

    My only quibble with DK is that he has a bit of hypocracy in even writing this column. On one hand, he is very adament that he won’t hypothesize on trades, yet here he is writing a column about trades needing to be made. I think if DK is going to publicly call for a trade, I’d like to see him use his contacts more to at least put some hypothetical (but realistic) trades on the table to help us form our own opinion of whether a trade should be made.

  50. BTW, it just hit me that I used the prefix hypo- in three different words in that last paragraph. Yeah me?

  51. @DK

    You mentioned Chris Davis who is young and tearing up AAA so I was curious and looked him up. While his stats are very impressive, I’m wondering if you know why a guy who hit 38 HRs in his first 700+ ML at bats was sent down and why he hasn’t been able to get back into the bigs?

    He seems like he is tearing up the MiL pitchers and had a lot of success his first season and a half in the bigs and hasn’t been able to sniff putting the bat on the ball since. Also, he’s being “blocked” by a guy named Mitch Moreland who’s not exactly tearing it up either.

  52. @Karen

    Here’s his (Jason Grilli) twitter page:

    http://twitter.com/#!/grillcheese49

    His last twit (god I hate saying that) was an hour ago:

    Of course I can’t sleep. Fired Up!!! Most gratifying call up yet. Yo Adrian! WE DID IT!!! #flyinghigh #Pirates.

  53. Jason Grilli better not be the “big splash” everyone wanted at the trade deadline. Lol.
    I was hoping for Koji Uehera. I was getting ready to grow the sideburns out as support for Koji.
    I know I might take some slack, but for some reason I feel the Pirates are going to land a big bat. I don’t know who, but I can picture it. Anyone else have that same feeling?

  54. People who don’t think they need to go outside to get a bat…how long are you willing to wait for the injured guys to get healthy? Tabata still isn’t playing. Doumit is still a ways away. Snyder likely won’t play again this year. Pedro has looked good the past few nights and Pearce has been playing well. So we get Pedro and Pearce relatively soon. That gets Overpaid out of the line up and potentially adds some power if Pedro starts to look like he did about this time last year. That still leaves one relatively week outfield spot, and a catcher who is playing over his head right now.

    And CD you said trading Presley for Pence seems like robbing Peter to pay Paul. Maybe short term. But Pence has proven himself over a couple seasons. We are still evaluating Presley based on a relatively small sample size. That being said I would still try to keep Presley around. Houston wants young pitching. Aside from Taillon and Allie, what do the Bucs have to offer in an attempt to get him? I still think Pence is a long shot and likely would cost more than the team is willing to give up. The pirates best option to get help for this season and not hurt the future is a guy they can get mostly for taking on the salary, ie an aging vet. They are not going to be able to supply the prospects needed to get a young bat that is looking to enter free agency. If this team were solidly into the playoffs and looking for pieces to make a legitimate run at the World Series, then I might say go for it.

    As it is they need to add something. Something better than a combination of Overbay, Jones, and Diaz. Pearch might help take care of Overpaid, but that still leaves RF. And unless Tabata looks like he will be ready to return by the first week of August, they need to address RF. I also think they need a solid eith inning guy. Veras is shaky. When he is on, he’s lights out, but sometimes his control gets away from him. I like Resop with nobody on. He scares me with RISP. I think he’d be a better 6th or 7th inning guy than the co-eith inning role he has now. And I hate joe beimel, but I think we are stuck with him. For all the praise this bull pen gets, i think it has plenty of holes outside of the HAMMER.

  55. Very late to the thread, and someone may have mentioned this already – but for the “Helton wishers”… I’m certain he’s a 10 and 5 guy and would need to approve a trade to the Pirates. Not sure he would want to, being a Colorado guy his whole career.

  56. Someone please “tweet” Grilli and tell him its Black and Gold, not canary yellow.

  57. @AJS

    Complete agreement with you.

    To everyone who seems to think we can write Presley’s name in the lineup in permanent marker … well, I’m just uncomfortable with doing that at this time. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love what he’s brought to the table since being called up a few weeks ago. He’s been a legitimate spark at the top of the lineup, to the point where I’m more surprised when he doesn’t have a couple of hits.

    The thing is … we have seen these types of performances before. A couple weeks, or a month … or even half a season. Duffy batted .341 in about 40 games in 2005 and never batted above .255 again. Tike Redman batted .330 in 56 games in the second half of 2003 and never came close to that again. Heck, even Tabata batted .299 in 102 games and was following that up with a rather unimpressive .265 with no power.

    So as much as I like what Presley’s done, let’s keep in mind that he’s only played 17 games at the MLB level this season. That’s an alarmingly small sample size if you seriously expect him to continue his .352/.405/.521 line. So if I had my druthers, I’d take Pence over him in a second. Is he a 30-homer guy? No, probably not, especially at PNC. But he is a guy who can bat .280-plus with 20-25 homers and 80-plus RBIs pretty consistently while playing a pretty good right field. That’s something the Bucs could use.

  58. I must admit that I’m somewhat disappointed that in DK’s column the ‘Jolt’ he was referring to wasn’t the old Jolt Cola from Sheetz.

  59. Though I really like Chris Davis, I don’t think he is a good fit for the current Pirates team. Even though he is raking in AAA, he strikes out a ton and doesn’t walk. In the majors in 2009 he had 391 at bats and struck out 150 times. yikes!

  60. I agree with LuckyNKentucky – We get get very uncomfortable in the ‘Burgh when someone says “Black and Yellow”. Indeed, it’s Gold!

    Also, this really, really struck me last night after the game….this is a very good time to be a sports fan in Pittsburgh. Steelers, Pens, and Pitt basketball and their runs the past few years…and some of the other colleges and their successes. And now the Pirates. It indeed was time for the Bucs to join the others.

    I have family in L.A. and well…the Dodgers and all their issues…a good time indeed to be rooting for the Black and Gold. City of Champions…always!!

  61. I doubt they give up much of anything for Jason Grilli. This front office obviously has issues evaluating positional player talent, but they’ve proved they know what they’re doing when it comes to the bullpen. Has anyone seen this guy pitch? I don’t know anything about him, besides what the stat sheets say. 43 strikeouts in 32 2/3 innings with a 1.163 whip this year at Lehigh Valley. Who knows?

  62. Vandelay—

    I recall “IT” cola from Sheetz…My son has an old T-shirt with “It” on it. Pirates need an “IT” bat…one where we can all say, “YEAH, he’s IT!!”

  63. @SouthSideBucsFan

    I disagree. We have to give Presley a chance. In previous years, Pirates management would have paid $5mm for an overpaid 31 year old at the beginning of the season and we would have never had a chance to see what Presley could bring to the table. Even though he has a small sample size, remember there were fans begging for his arrival much sooner this year as he was .336/.389/.500 in Indianapolis. Even if his numbers drop at the major league level, which they will, he brings several positives with his speed and aggressiveness on the base paths. We also need a guy with his speed in left field at the spacious PNC park. I like his hunger and energy.

  64. It’s funny. For two decades, fans have done nothing but complain about the Pirates trading away players. They’ve even been on N. Huntington’s back because he destroyed a 95+ loss team for all the prospects he could swing. Now that “the plan” is starting to come to fruition, most of those same fans want to deal for some “power bat” that isn’t really there.

    There simply isn’t a bat out there that is a significant enough improvement that warrants trading away the limited (but growing) number of prospects. Hunter Pence is good but doesn’t have the power the team needs.

    Carlos Pena has had a power surge lately but strikes out a ton and is still only hitting .230 (.127 against LH pitching).

    Carlos Beltran is an average (at best) defensive player with a decent bat but what do you do with Presley/Tabata for 2.5 months? Beltran isn’t a long term fit any way you slice it.

    Josh Willingham is nothing more than a bench player and actually hits RH pitching better than LH pitching.

    Derek Lee is washed up in every way.

    Mark Reynolds (because he can play first) falls under the same umbrella as Carlos Pena. At least he can hit lefties a little better but strikes out more than just about anyone in MLB history.

    Connor Jackson is…well…please don’t make me laugh. At least he’s a .293 career hitter against LH pitching in about a full season worth of AB (597). But Steve Pearce has comparably better numbers albeit with a smaller sample size.

    As an actual Pirates fan, I want my team to have a chance every year; not take a shot at everything because it’s the first competitive team in a while. They’re building the organization from the ground up for a reason; sustainability. I’d rather not see that thrown away.

  65. @Karen

    Ya know, you’re right. It Cola was the Sheetz brand back in the day. I know I bought Jolt there too in my Junior High days, but as you say Jolt isn’t Sheetz specific.

  66. Robert said:

    It’s funny. For two decades, fans have done nothing but complain about the Pirates trading away players. They’ve even been on N. Huntington’s back because he destroyed a 95+ loss team for all the prospects he could swing. Now that “the plan” is starting to come to fruition, most of those same fans want to deal for some “power bat” that isn’t really there.

    ///////////////

    What exactly is “funny” about that? It seems to me that fans are quite consistent — they value major league performance more than minor league prospects. That may not be your values, but there is certainly no irony in the consensus, if that is what you are trying to imply.

  67. @happyG
    I’m not saying he shouldn’t be given a chance. That wasn’t my intention. I think the examples south side gave prove that your statement about replacing him with an aging bat are wrong. They gave Redman his chance, and Duffy more than his fair share of chances. You bring up his performance at Indy and fans clamouring for him to be in Pittsburgh. He’s 26. how well was he playing prior to tearing it up in Indy this year. He was pretty mediocre I think. his speed and agressivness atop the line up definitely add value. But if he regresses to average numbers and isn’t on base then the speed means nothing. It also means nothing in LF since i would be willing to bet that when(if) tabata comes back he roams left while Presley moves to right.

    I wouldn’t trade Presley at this point unless I was getting back the absolute perfect long term fit. If you can get and extend Pence, that may be the right fit. That being said, I still say there is no way Pence is ever going to happen. I can’t imagine the Astros dealing him period.

  68. “What exactly is “funny” about that?”

    The “funny” part is that Pirates “fans” always complained about the Pirates trading away over-valued players that couldn’t win. Now that we have a team that’s winning, those same people want to acquire a “power bat” and there isn’t a significant improvement to be had.

    “It seems to me that fans are quite consistent — they value major league performance more than minor league prospects.”

    The “fans” didn’t want NH to trade players that couldn’t win but now want him to trade away current players when they are winning. That’s backwards from what it should be. You rebuild a team when it’s bad and retain a team that’s good. It’s really not a difficult concept.

  69. @ Jimmy – you’re right, what’s my point? Distinguishing the difference between beat writer and column… not used to it from DK, obviously. It’s a different angle with a different desired result and a different method of communicating. Not sure we’d have seen this piece from DK the beat writer, and that’s ok.

    I’ve been reading this “add something, do something” stuff here since mid-June. Yet it has been widely documented and cited in May and in June from both Hurdle and Huntington that they’ve been knocking on doors about player availability and they’ve been told that they’d have to sell the farm to get a much-needed piece.

    It’s not like the front office is doing nothing, and that’s what some of this piece (and prior pieces) implies. We get it… it’s time for the front office to step up. Whether it’s some minor moves or a major one, the team has stated over and over that they will not sell the farm right now. DK’s quoted Nutting–even put up a video of him saying that–and Huntington as saying those things.

    As for Beltran, the piece I linked makes it pretty clear he’ll be a tough target to pry from the Mets without giving up a lot. Pena looks to be an easier, much more attainable target and that’s pretty clear. But to avoid the front office in a piece like this seems to be stirring the pot… which is certainly a columnist’s job.

    Again, just not used to reading the style from the guy whose name is in the byline… I’ll get there, I’ll make adjustments. Certainly won’t keep me from reading him… as I consider DK to be among the best baseball writers in the biz… and that’s a very short list.

  70. cont…

    It’s really not a difficult concept especially for a small market team with limited financial resources. Adding a piece is fine if it provides significant help but this team was built on young talent (prospects). Most teams rely heavily on prospects to build their team. It’s the most valuable commodity a team like the Pirates can have.

  71. OY!! This subject is now giving me as much of a headache as the debt-ceiling debate! NO idea what the eventual outcomes will be, but I’m now tired of reading and speculating about them. Think I’ll go work out and then park myself in front of the TV & watch the FIRST PLACE PITTSBURGH PIRATES SWEEP the Reds! LOL!!

  72. Robert–I haven’t seen anyone say trade away current major league players for prospects, which is what would be inconsistent and maybe “funny.” Only thing I have seen is on a team that is winning, but “maybe” short of playoff contention or above, maybe trade to UPGRADE the current team on the field to take advantage of a situation that may not come along too often. You can criticize that approach, if you want, on a number of levels, I suppose, like don’t mortgage the future for one year. But it’s pretzel logic to say it’s inconsistent from disagreeing with trades from the past.

  73. @Happy

    I’m not advocating getting rid of Presley. I certainly like what he’s brought to the table in the short time he’s been up here — who couldn’t like that?

    What I am saying is that I’m uncomfortable with the idea that he’s going to be “it” for us in right field or left field once Tabata returns, that we’re not going to look for anyone who could give our offense an extra dimension.

    In my opinion (which is just an opinion), Pence would provide an extra dimension that we don’t currently have. He’s young (28 years old), proven (a 5-year veteran) and consistent (the lowest his OPS has been in those five years is .783, which would put him second on our team behind Cutch). He also is underrated on defense and has a good arm in right. If you look at our outfield, that’s one thing we do lack, unless you count late-game defensive specialist Xavier Paul.

    Now, I’m not saying we should give up the farm for him, and 99.9% of the speculation on Pence is coming from our end, not Houston’s. But if he is available, and he can be had reasonably, I’m making that deal.

    And again on Presley … if we don’t get anyone else, I hope he’s the real deal. I really do. But I’m not about to write his name in permanent marker on the Pirates’ 2012 opening-day starting lineup. I’ve seen too many strong second halves to be 100 percent certain that Presley’s not another mirage.

  74. I don’t think it is that “funny”

    There is a difference between wanting to keep your star players and trying to build around them or at the very least get a decent return for those players, and wanting to send away prospects, or pieces that are expendable because you have an excess amount of that asset to make your team better.

    For the record I never had a problem with the dismantling of the team. Even with those “core” pieces like Bay and Sanchez, they were never going to be good enough fast enough for those guys to make a difference when it counted. The only reason to keep them would have been for PR purposes which is the problem Littlefield ran into when he extended Giles and Kendal.

    My issue withthe trades were the return. Andy frickin LaRoche? because one underperforming laRoche brother just wasn’t enough!

    No one is advocating doing anything that will decrease the strength of this team. long range stability is still the priority. There are ways to add to this team that will help it TODAY without drastically harming the future. Taking on a big salary, even for a bat like a carlos Pena who would be a one and done deal, even if he is only a moderate improvment over Overpaid would be a plus. Overbay is NOT contributing to the winning. getting a Pence for prospects would be a long term addition assuming the Pirates could sign him to a new deal.

    I have more concerns about relying on the guys that will be coming back and having them take starting spots from guys who have been the catalyst to the winning than I do about trying to add a piece through trades.

    Flash in the pan or not, Presley has been a big part of the winning. Tabata was underperforming when he went down. D’Arnaud while inconsistent, brings speed and aggressivness, and intelligence that Cedeno doesn’t possess. Wood and harrison, while not perfect have proven to be better hitters than pedro was at the start fo the year. And Wood has more range in the field. I’m not sold on any of the internal “additions” I’d rather get someone who has shown they can meet the need the Pirates have and not hope that someone internal can fill that need.

  75. AJS – Tabata was injured… not underperforming. He had a hamstring injury that kept him out of several games earlier in the season that bothered him.

    Take a look at his stats at the leadoff spot for this team… they are very good. When he was moved to the #2 spot in the lineup — for absolutely no good reason whatsoever other than to move a .220-hitting Cutch into the leadoff spot — that’s when his production dropped.

    The guy is good… very good. And he’ll prove that in the years to come.

  76. @ASJ

    I agree with you that I would trade Presley for Pence – and even more – IF we were going to sign Pence to stay a couple years.

    Your point that Pena is better than Overbay is well taken, but Pearce will be too – and he is free, and he is hungry. Pena is on a dead ass club. He is not hungry, and there is no reason to think he will be thrilled with platooning with a kid.

    Robert’s assessment of the names available was spot on in my eyes.

    I would trade a bunch for either Pence or Ethier (and put him at first).
    I like the idea of low risk guys – Davis or Thames – who understand they have to earn their place like Presley does.

    Helton is the only one – other than Pence – that I see as nearly perfect, and I don’t think he will accept the trade.

    Overbay has underperformed. So has Pence.
    Let’s see what Pearce and Pedro can do…and then Doumit and Tabata when they get back. I think each of those names is as good as Pena without risking the chemistry.

    Now…as for the bullpen, I agree with everybody that Grilli can’t be the only move (and I remember seeing him pitch the day after Matt Morris when I was at Villanova and we went to Seton Hall – Grilli had better stuff then, just was young and got rattled by errors behind him)..

    I am much more interested in bolstering the pitching.

  77. @ AJS – Wood’s defense is a liability, bordering on atrocious (at SS).

  78. @Naje and ASJ

    I think Wood has been an okay addition – I am no Wood hater – but he is not a SS.

    Ciriaco goes first
    Harrison goes second
    Then it gets sticky – does d’Arnaud go down for daily seasoning, does Overbay get dfa’d, does Wood get dfa’d?

    If Pearce comes back healthy, I would consider dropping Overbay – you got Pearce, Jones, Wood and maybe Doumit.

  79. Folks, we are still 12 days away from the deadline ;-)

    From the latest in the internet though, it seems as Beltran will be swallowed up by the Phillies or BoSox.

    BTW, any new sign-ups here for Bucco Nation at the Trib?

    I wish I could play hookey today, hot as all get out, but…..

    Beat Em Bucs

  80. @Naje
    At shortstop I agree. i was comparing to Alvarez at 3B. Wood certainly is no gold glover and makes his share of errors, but he gets to more balls than either Pedro or harrison would.

    To be clear i think Pedro is the long term answer. I just don’t know that he is the right guy for the end of this season.

  81. @SouthSideBucsFan

    Good Points. I agree only if we don’t give away too much talent to get him. We’ve spent the last few years restocking a decimated farm system and I’d hate to see us take too much of a step back.

    Personally, I feel first base is more of a gaping hole than the outfield at this point. Also, I’d like to see us add bullpen help and possibly a starting pitcher. Good teams become great teams by trading well at the deadline. No question NH has done well improving the depth of the Pirates’ minor league system. Now it’s time to see him make this good team a great team by July 31st.

  82. I predict a weekend recall of Alvarez, Cedeno and Pearce, with corresponding demotions of d’Arnaud, Ciracio and Harrison. Then the front office will re-assess just how dire their need is to add a power bat.

    #HeapItOn-Lite

    But they sure as sugar better try to get Adams or Bell from San Diego. With these starters only going 6-7 innings, having a legit, confidence-inspiring late-inning relievers should be the priority. Resop and Veras have been good, but I’d want to beef that up with someone like Adams, who is probably more attainable than Bell, or the magnificent slider himself. Pair them up with The Hammer, with the potential of Meek (though I won’t count on it) joining at the end of the season, and that’s a nice bullpen.

  83. I think we’ve officially begun to overvalue Jose Tabata.

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2011/7/14/2275126/hunter-pence-vs-jose-tabata-why-pence-is-not-worth-it

    Everything about this particular exercise speaks to the flaws in some aspects of Sabermetrics.

    If the new numbers somehow say that Jose Tabata is having a better year than Hunter Pence, then the numbers are really really wrong.

  84. The second national game has been announced…

    August 13th against the Brew Crew will be the Fox Game of the Week.

  85. @BenderHeel

    Love where you are going with Adams. Not only agree with your point entirely, love the name too.

    I think d’Arnaud is the demotion wildcard. He has played well at SS and Ronny needs the push of competition.
    He might force his way onto the roster a couple more recalls.

  86. Naje, I agree about Wood’s defense. Watching Brandon Wood at shortstop last night was like watching Chevy Chase’s Gerald Ford decorate a Christmas tree.

  87. Jimmy — Wood seems so lost at SS… not so bad at 3B. As for Tabata, I’m biased. Saw him play several times here in Louisville when he was with Indy. He’s very good. He’s very young.

    He was the right guy to leadoff the team and you saw what he did in the first three weeks of the season. His numbers were off the charts.

    And then, for unknown reasons, Cutch was injected into the leadoff spot with his .220 average. For about six weeks. Tabata injured his hamstring during that time, sat for a few games and then was re-inserted into the top spot.

    When healthy, you’ve got an on base, run scoring machine who can swipe bases and be very aggressive. Don’t give up on an injured talent….especially one with a bat like his at age 22/23.

  88. I’d be very, very surprised if d’Arnaud gets sent down. I think Hurdle is absolutely in love with the guy. I can’t see him going anywhere.

  89. Naje, just because you’re overrated doesn’t mean you’re not good.

    I think Tabata is a fine player. But the idea that so many people in Pittsburgh now think he’s actually better and more valuable than Pence is laughable.

    Tabata had a nice year last year, but unfortunately I think that is at the high end of his abilities. He was a .101 ISO and .334 wOBA player. Which is nice … especially if you have him in centerfield.

    I’ve been saying for some time that Tabata should have more value to other teams than he does for the Pirates. He is our best trade chip.

  90. @Jimmy

    I don’t disagree with your premise on Tabata, but I do think the years of control issue makes Tabata more attractive to a smaller revenue team (not the Yankees, Sox, Cubs – the endless payroll teams).

    We need the cheaper years, or we need to know we are going to commit to the return because you don’t churn out 2/3 players a year who can contribute like we have the last couple years.

  91. No way you trade Tabata. Future NL MVP that guys is, in my opinion. Very well could be a star.

    That being said, I’d love to add a bat. But I’m more excited about maybe getting a solid Pedro back up here, and seeing what Pearce can do.

    I just want rid of Overpaid in the worst, Aki-esque way. Goodness, addition by subtraction, just get rid of him and we’re better. I don’t care if we get a coupon for $1 off a walking taco at the concession stand, just get rid of him.

  92. Count me in as part of Bucco Nation. I think Forest Hills is already on the list.
    Most baseball fun in years. Too bad my dad isn’t around to see the
    resurgent Buccos. My inheritance is his 60 standing room ticket stubs
    from games 6 and 7.

  93. JoeBucco said:

    No way you trade Tabata. Future NL MVP that guys is, in my opinion.
    ///////////////

    JB, was that sarcastic?

  94. Nope, not at all. I said that before the year started. Dude’s 22. 22. And he’s been dinged up this year since spring training. Not the best year for him, but also not close to his prime either. Dude’s a stud.

    No way I want to see this guy at 25, 26, 27, 28 playing for the Astros or anyone else.

  95. @JB and FJ

    I don’t know if I buy into MVP or his age being 22, but he would be a lot to give up unless we were getting a piece with years of control.
    I do think the injury hindered him a bunch before he went down.

  96. Since July 3rd, Overbay is batting .341

  97. Since July 17, Overbay is hitting .182

  98. “Statistics should be used as a drunkard uses a lamp post, for support, not for illumination.”
    -Vin Scully

    Love the numbers JB.

  99. Hey now, just because Neal Huntington said “while we have reason to doubt his reported age, it is a non-issue to us”, that doesn’t mean he may not really be 22.

    So I’m going with 22. :)

  100. How you can say Tabata today is better than Pence today is beyond me. Pence is coming off 3 straight years of 25 homers. Tabata’s homer swing is, so far, in the eye of the dreamer. And Presley, while still early, is a better replacement for what Tabata brings, than Tabata is for what Pence would bring. JMO (and no, I don’t think we’re getting Pence)

    Naje–Wood has no range at SS, but has done pretty well the last 2 nights. He’s not been so hot at 3B, based on your own analysis.

  101. @JoeBucco

    Forgive my ignorance (I haven’t lived in Western PA since ’79) but what is a walking taco?

  102. Never said Tabata today is better than Pence today. That would be nonsense.

    But I’ll take Tabata in two years when he is in his first year of arbitration and Pence is an unrestricted free agent, and every year after that when we still have a 25, 26, 27, 28 year old Tabata under our control.

  103. Sorry Jax… basically a bag of Fritos with chili dumped down them. Not sure if that one is just a Burgh thing or not. Seems to be baseball fare at many ballparks these days.

  104. I would prefer Pence to Tabata, but only if he is here for a year or two. Tabata is going to be here for 3 or 4 more years most likely. We need at least 2 from Pence to get us to Marte.

    Nothing new here, but more national attention (kidding, kidding):
    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/6786450/frank-coonelly-says-pittsburgh-pirates-consider-adding-players

  105. JB,

    You hit it on the head – although having taught and coaching in NYC, I think you are two years off on his age :)

  106. joeBucco–I was responding to the Bucs Dugout link referenced by Jimmy.

    Figures the National Game we would get would be against the Brewers. ;-)

  107. Oh sorry, Arriba. That reminds me, when are we going to get threaded comments @DK?

    I could have it done for you in half an hour. Trib needs to ramp up their IT staff.

  108. I don’t mean this sarcastically — I would really love for someone to explain what I’m missing with Jose Tabata. His game reminds me of Gary Redus. I liked Gary Redus, and Redus was a fine player for a number of years, but I just can’t get myself excited about Tabata.

  109. Hi DK,

    Glad I found your blog. I live in LA and enjoyed keeping up with Pirates reading your coverage for the other Pittsburgh paper. Since you left that paper I stopped following the Pirates. I felt like the “other” paper never gave unbiased reporting…everything was good or bad…and the responses to posts were ALWAYS comabtive and negative. GREAT TO HAVE YOU BACK….I can look forward to my lunches again….AND find out who is on this First Place Pirate team.

    Best,

    Matt

    • @Mathew: Welcome. And sorry for the delay in your post going up. Only happens with your very first one.

  110. About fans going up and down isles while the game is going –
    I went to the most games of my life between 1976 thru 1979 and the same thing happened then as now. I can remember rolling my eyes as people would get up and wander away just as the meat of the order – Parker, Stargell & Bill Robinson – were coming up.

    I think the reason is that there will always be the folks who come to the games for the mere entertainment of going someplace, rather than for good baseball or to watch the Pirates. It doesnt matter if the team is in first place & playing great ball, they just can’t be satisfied by that. They need to go eat and wander around looking at stuff. You’re always going to have those types no matter what.
    I was at Candy’s no-hitter and also Kison’s near no-hitter and the folks did the same thing even in the final inning. It boggles the mind.

  111. I’d give up Tabata and Marte both to get Pence, and sign him to a long, long deal.

  112. In. a. heartbeat.

    Prospects do not guarantee a future. Established superstars guarantee a future.

    In fact, I’d throw one of the hotshot pitchers from recent drafts along WITH Tabata & Marte, if it meant ensuring the Pirates get him rather than have anybody else in the division get him. I am very surprised that Houston is even offering him up. A chance like this does not come along often.
    Trading ‘prospects’ for established players helped build the Lumber Company in the 1970′s. If Joe L. Brown or Pete Peterson were around today I’m sure they would do the same thing to get Hunter Pence.

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