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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Pirates 4, Cardinals 3

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (51-47) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (53-47)

Time: 1:35 p.m.

Site: PNC Park

Tickets: Nope.

TV, radio: Root Sports, News Talk 104.7 FM

Weather: 88 degrees, mostly clear

Here is the official live box score, and here are the lineups …


  1. Chase d’Arnaud, 3B
  2. Matt Diaz, LF
  3. Neil Walker, 2B
  4. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  5. Lyle Overbay, 1B
  6. Garrett Jones, RF
  7. Ronny Cedeno, SS
  8. Eric Fryer, C
  9. Charlie Morton, RHP


  1. Ryan Theriot, SS
  2. Jon Jay, LF
  3. Albert Pujols, 1B
  4. Lance Berkman, RF
  5. Colby Rasmus, CF
  6. Skip  Schumaker, 2B
  7. Gerald Laird, C
  8. David Descalso, 3B
  9. Kyle Lohse, RHP

Rob Biertempfel has news updates on the Bucco Blog.


  1. Baywatch says:

    Here’s to an abundance of Ground Chuck to counter those Cardinal bombs the past two days.

  2. Karen22 says:

    Lineup: OY!!

  3. Karen22 says:

    Lineup: But I have no solution. NEAL??

  4. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    d’Arnaud, Diaz and Overbay all in the lineup, and all batting in the top 5. What a joke. It was nice being in first place for a few days, and I really enjoyed being contenders for a month or so. But if this is the best that we can do for a lineup then I’m prepared to now to accept losing season 19. I feel bad for all of you who spend your money going to PNC.

  5. kwas says:

    If NH could only trade for three more players that can play shortstop, we could field an entire lineup of them against lefties. How about Benji Gill in left, Mario Mendoza in center and Omar Visquel in right? At least we wouldn’t need to worry about it costing a top prospect…..

  6. Eric Bowser says:

    I wonder if Clint Hurdle remembers that little slogan of his and cares to tell ownership and front office about it again – “Are you all in?”

  7. Playoffs by 2012 says:


    They are too busy counting profits and advance sales receipts to listen right now.

  8. LikeaBugonaRug says:

    I don’t know if this lineup will get us anything, but you know folks that it’s these guys that got us into first place to begin with. Maybe the magic is finally wearing off, who knows.

    And as I pointed out last night, this is the first 3 game losing streak this team has had in over a month. Much of it because of these same players. It’s a shame this has happened in front of some fantastic baseball crowds. But they are still just 1 game out of first place. Instead of tearing them down, try to push them along and give them some encouragement.


  9. CDBrewer says:

    That line-up is also because Tabata and Presley are hurt. You wanna pay premium because we are short TWO outfielders for a couple days. Diaz has been fine of late – just does not fill the bill of those two.

    And do we really want to complain about our back-up catcher? Doumit back in a week and then McKenry will be a fine back up.

    Let’s relax and remember NONE of us thought we would be a game out on July 24.

    Help would be nice, but not when the opposition holds you over the barrell to make a trade. We all thought next year would be the competitive one.

    Counting profits? Really?
    Let’s see what the draft signings are…they are not mortaging the future on the not-yet-ready for-prime-time-Pirates.

  10. CDBrewer says:

    All that said, THAT is a terrible lineup, even by Sunday standards.

  11. LikeaBugonaRug says:

    I agree with CDB. This wasn’t supposed to be a year to be competitive. A better record, yes, but who knew that Cincy and St. Louis or even Milwaukee would be struggling this much. If they’d been playing better, we’d be above .500 still, but 8 or 9 out.

    Yes, I want them to win as much as anyone. But I don’t want them to give up any high prospects for a rental. For money, that’s fine. Do you really want them to have a winning record this year to only have them lose for the next 10?


  12. CDBrewer says:


    I know we agree…but I will admit, if we could get a guy who would be part of the core for a couple years (like a Davis from Texas, and that isn’t happening with Beltre on the DL), I would take a shot, but I hate all the names – Beltran, Pena, Reynolds – that are being discussed for one reason or another.
    Nobody seems to be a GREAT fit.

  13. LikeaBugonaRug says:

    @CDB: What you suggest would definitely not be mortgaging the future, in my opinion. That would be helping the present and the future. And the only way to get someone like that would require giving up someone equal. Davis would fit that profile, of potentially filling a need and giving us someone for the future, too, and I agree would be worth going after. And as far as a great fit, I don’t think those other players you named would even qualify as being a good fit.


  14. CDBrewer says:


  15. CDBrewer says:

    This season feels SO much like ’88…

    I was talking to my wife about it and finally got so worked up I went on and looked up when the two “showdown” series with the Mets were…Late July…I will never forget going into Shea and losing those first 3 and barely making contact with the ball.

    We were on the come, but not ready yet.
    We stayed patient in ’88, let’s do the same now.

  16. buccos since '04 says:

    Watz his purpose

  17. CDBrewer says:

    That was a great inning

  18. buccos since '04 says:


  19. buccos since '04 says:

    How could FO not b fed up

  20. CDBrewer says:

    I think Pearce should be at first everyday.
    Overbay’s benching is overdue, and I was one of the last to come around on that.

  21. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    I love the whole “don’t mortgage the future” argument. As if we have a future All-Star team just waiting in the minors to come up and win 4 or 5 consecutive championships.

    Did the Brewers mortgage their future when they traded for Sabathia a few years back? Did the Phillies mortgage their future when they traded for Oswalt?
    Did the Red Sox mortgage their future when they traded for Adrian Gonzalez?
    Did the Rangers mortgage their future by trading for Cliff Lee?

    Good teams find a way to get deals done that enable them to win. Can any of you honestly say that this team ever has an opportunity like they have right now again in the next few years? Look at how weak the Central is this year. Why not try to catch lightning in a bottle? Why wait for tomorrow when you’re already here now?

  22. JMB says:

    Seven days until I fire up the kerosene doused pitchfork, and this should be a wild week.

  23. CDBrewer says:

    Yes. We should have an opportunity like this year in the next few.

    Alvarez has to be better – and if he isn’t, then NH has to go – you get fired for blowing it on the draft.
    The Cards are going to break the piggy bank to sign THEIR OWN player.
    The Brewers are about to lose the heart of their order.

    So yes, there will be better opportunities if the plan in place has been executed.

    Your examples are weak too…
    The Brewers DID mortgage their future for THIS YEAR. Bye-bye Prince, bye-bye Brewers. AND THEY ARE BLOWING IT! They should be running away with the division – or at least from us.
    Did you really compare us to the Pirates? even if the revenue and payroll goes up, you want to compare us to the Red Sox/
    The Rangers signed Beltre with the money that had gone to Lee to fill the gap now that their prospects are in the ready mode.

    Walker, Tabata, Alvarez, maybe Presley, Pearce, d’Arnaud – but the first 3 are who to build around, and they are not ready. Hell, it is their first full year.

  24. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Take a look at the pitchers they will face this week……

    MON — Tim Hudson
    TUES — Tommy Hanson
    WED — Jair Jurrgens
    THURS — Derek Lowe
    FRI — Roy Halladay
    SAT — Cliff Lee
    SUN — Vance Worley

    Now imagine THIS same lineup against those 7 pitchers. BRUTAL!!

  25. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    You know what? Take a long, hard look.

    One good bat would still not be enough right now.

  26. CDBrewer says:


    You know your goal was 73-75 wins.
    Don’t get lost in some over-achieving and some rah-rah from Hurdle.

    We don’t have the horses even with a big bat.
    Look at the pitching this series. Maholm blew up in the first. Correia continued his home disasters, and Morton continues with the split personality.
    And I didn’t even bring up Karstens inning count. Seriously, Lincoln just can’t be the answer for 2+ months.

    We need pitching reinforcements as much as a bat, and at that point…you are remaking the whole team.
    We just aren’t as good as the Cards or Brewers. We knew that in April, but we forgot somewhere along the line.

    We are a lot better than we thought we would be though.

  27. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    I’ll say it again…..

    Lyle Overbay — $5 million
    Matt Diaz — $2.12 million
    TOTAL — $7.12 million

    Lance Berkman — $8 million

    Who made the better deal? Do you really have any faith that this front office has any clue of what they are doing?

  28. Justin says:

    the red sox, rangers, and phillies all had minor leagues full of talent, so that the loss of long term talent was negligible, or close to it. The brewers have sold off their minor leagues the past few years if im not mistaken. maybe that’ll be a recipe for success for them long term. maybe not. all i know is that that they need to keep throwing some big contract extensions out or they’re, well, screwed.

    basically, teams the trade prospects for stars do so because they have the minor league systems to do so. the buccos are close, but not quite there. for NH to throw out 3 or 4 of the team’s top 10 prospects at this point would be silly IMHO.

    now, taking on salary to acquire talent… that’s something i fully support.

    not saying anyone’s wrong. just that i disagree.

    but the main answer, like so many other things, is ‘it depends’. Pujols for Lincoln, heck yeah make the deal.

  29. CDBrewer says:

    @ Dave G.


    We got all hyped up in the overachieving. We are still a .500 team.
    But imagine that! We ARE a .500 team.

    Does anybody else remember ’88?

  30. CDBrewer says:

    @ Playoffs

    You are 100% right on the Overbay and Diaz or Berkman.
    But did you see that coming?
    Were you calling for that in February?
    Lots of people were talking about Berkman’s bat looking slow last year.

    And even then, if the Cards offer $8mill and the Bucs offer $10, does he sign with the Bucs, or does he take a run at a ring late in his career in a lineup that will offer protection…

    Clearly the FO blew it on Berkman (although Adcock bothers me more because we released Ledezma the next week), but not sure if it was as easy as you suggest.

  31. LikeaBugonaRug says:

    Morton just hasn’t been the same since his outing against the Phillies, and all the comparisons to Doc Halladay. I can’t tell on Gameday whether he’s throwing his sinker or not(meaning, are they calling it something else?), and if not why has he gotten away from it? I know that’s one thing DK keeps asking.

  32. JMB says:


    You’re right. I am surprisingly less antsy than many other fans.

    Last season was over by May 30th, so being a game out of 1st and 4 over .500 on July 24, 2011 is amazing.

    That being said….#HeapItOn


  33. pattonbb says:

    @Playoffs – As I’ve said several times, I’m not a FO apologist, but that Berkman comparison isn’t really fair. I believe DK said that the FO talked to Berkman, but he didn’t want anything to do with Pittsburgh.

    But, that doesn’t give them a pass with Overbay. That’s just brutal to watch now.

    At least Diaz has shown some bat, albeit a pretty weak one.

    I still think this team makes a few moves next week. There’s some players about to become available and scenarios that we just can’t see yet.

  34. Playoffs by 2012 says:


    It’s always easier to second guess, I know that. But look at the free agents Huntington has brought in (Ryan Church, Ramon Vasquez, Bobby Crosby, Matt Diaz, Eric Hinske, Lyle Overbay, etc.). You can’t tell me that if you pooled all that money together and went after a proven marquee player either in free agency or a trade, you couldn’t land a decent talent who could be helping the team right now?

  35. Playoffs by 2012 says:


    I honestly hope you are right. I just see this year as a golden opportunity to make a legitimate run at the division, and I don’t see our upper level (AAA and AA) prospects as being anything to get all that excited about. If you’ve got a chance to landed proven MLB talent, go for it. Spending millions on the draft doesn’t do it for me. The Major League team has far exceed what we all thought they could do this year. Why not give them the boost they need now?

  36. CDBrewer says:


    Any piece we could include for the coming years…I would love that.
    I don’t want a rental player because I think we are going to grind to a more-like-what-we-expected end as the pitching hits a wall.

    REALLY worried about Resop, Veras, McCutchen in pen too. I just don’t see their first month in a BIG spot being consistent.

    And now we are talking about another area that has been pretty good…

    I remember Grilli as a frosh at Seton Hall (I am a Nova grad), and he had nasty stuff…but he is not a difference maker at this level.

  37. CDBrewer says:


    Boy, I agree with your premise. I do believe 1 great name would be a lot better than 3 journeymen position players.
    COMPLETELY agreed.
    That said, I am not sure those players wanted to come to a place where they would not be protected.
    I think that is a consideration for them, even more than contention for playoffs.
    We finally have pieces – Cutch, Walker, Tabata, even Cedeno as an 8 hole guy – who can either table set or provide minimal protection for a stud.

    We haven’t had that before THIS year.
    You can point to the Nady, Bay, Nate year, but we had nothing worth dealing – other than them – that year.

    Remember, Littlefield turned us into a Littleleague team.

    We at least are an average organization now.

  38. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Take a look at today’s line-up. And then realize that getting a bat might actually cost one or two of those players.

    Just messing around, say you trade Diaz and/or Jones for Willingham. He’d simply take their place in the lineup and you still have the d’Arnaulds and the Fryers and the Overbays.

    It is gonna take some time for these guys to improve.

    But one bat simply will not make the Pirates more competitive without everyone else improving as well.

  39. CDBrewer says:

    @ Dave

    Can we trade give half of today’s lineup for that 1 bat? Please? lol

    Great stuff.

    Also, agreed on the Willingham point…we would have called that rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic last year…now it is more like on the Andrea Dorea…

  40. JMB says:

    new ballgame!

  41. LikeaBugonaRug says:

    Rally killer, but at least we’re tied.

  42. CDBrewer says:

    Does anybody else worry that a large part of Morton’s success was Snyder or Doumit’s doing?
    Not even the blocking…the calling of pitches.

  43. JMB says:

    I think Synder def helped CM, but the SP’s around baseball always seem to dominate in April & May and then the hitters take over in the dog days.

  44. CDBrewer says:

    Holy crap, what was Laird doing?

    That is awful baserunning…we haven’t even had a catcher do THAT.

  45. LikeaBugonaRug says:

    But if CM isn’t throwing the sinker as much as he was earlier in the season, then why not? Is the catcher not calling it? Or is he afraid to throw it?

  46. CDBrewer says:

    I guess I am just asking so you guys can make me feel better.

    I like JMB’s answer…
    I worry about the questions Bugonarug poses.

    I would rather figure that out in the next 2 months to get DOMINANT Charlie back for next year, when we should be healthy and Pedro won’t suck anymore.

  47. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Here is what it really comes down to….

    The TEAM has exceeded expectations.
    The MANAGER and his staff has exceeded expectations.
    The FAN BASE has exceeded expectations.

    The FRONT OFFICE now NEEDS to also exceed expectations.

  48. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    @Playoffs: Maybe that’s why they’re trying so hard to lower those expectations.

  49. buccos since '04 says:

    The beard waz the greatest thing about that at bat

  50. Playoffs by 2012 says:


    Very well could be.

  51. CDBrewer says:


    I agree there too.
    I would love them to be a bidder in the offseason for a MAJOR piece – Fielder, Albert, stud starter – and I think they could sell the current lineup to that guy now.
    I would love them to not overpay for any rental, but to pay for a Pence type IF they are going to extend them. Even Bourne, trade Presley+, and then extend him.
    I would love them to really dig in and sign another couple picks (that Bell kid) or a couple Latin studs.

    I just don’t see this year ending well, even with the pieces that are available.
    You’re right, the FO needs to perform, but that might be in showing discretion too.

  52. JMB says:

    I def like moves that would benefit ’12 as much as ’11.

    Iannetta, Bourn, trade for a 1B that I cant think of at this moment.

  53. CDBrewer says:

    @ Playoffs and DK

    First of all, DK, you are on vacation…GO SEE YOUR FAMILY!

    Seriously, maybe it is because I am in Seattle, and still settling in, but what has the FO said to manage expectations?

    I am lost on that…

    My take is that I expected nothing from a team that added Correia, Overbay, and Diaz to a terrible team that lost 105 games last year. I expected SOME improvement because Cutch, Walker, Pedro and Tabata were a year older – but again, 70 wins was my ceiling.

    My expectations are managed by the overachieving that a group has done in a game that almost always reverts to the norm.

  54. CDBrewer says:


    Seriously asking…why Ianetta?
    28 and hitting .233 for his career…do you see him catching?

    Wow…that was funny now that we are out of the inning.

  55. JMB says:

    Iannetta’s 2.2 WAR this year is strong, and his OPS+ is comparable to Doumit over the last few years.

    I havent seen him with my own eyes, but I wonder if he would be a defensive catcher with some of Doumit’s power. A Fryer, Fort, Doumit hybrid?

  56. Playoffs by 2012 says:


    I think we are all surprised with how this season has gone so far. But just because they have done better than expected, it’s not time to say, “job well done, we met our expectations.” It’s the final week of July and we are in the race. We have a chance. Let’s go get it now.

    If I could quote Van Halen……..

    Right Now!
    Catch that magic moment
    Do it right here and now
    It means everything

  57. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    One of the things that perplexes me is that Hurdle was a damn good hitting coach. He should be able to help these guys.

  58. Playoffs by 2012 says:


    I’ve been saying that for weeks now.

    Michael Morse and Tyler Clippard

  59. JMB says:


    I knew someone had, but I couldnt remember where I read it.

  60. JMB says:

    way to hustle Paulie!

  61. CDBrewer says:


    You have been ringing the Morse bell for more than a week. Credit where it is due.
    I am good with him, IF they are going to sign him.

    And great job with Van Halen…I am beaten…even if I still disagree on making a major move!

    Why can’t Ianetta keep his job in Colorado? They are again trying to give it to the kid who played last night.
    The WAR number this year is on more time than he got last year or the year before…61 games last year, 93 the year before.

  62. CDBrewer says:

    He saw the ball go by and he didn’t even LOOK to see where the CF was.

  63. JMB says:

    WoW —BIG WIN!

  64. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    DO IT NOW!

  65. CDBrewer says:

    And we will be no more than a game back going into tomorrow…

    Let’s go split in ATL

  66. Dave G in Mason, OH says:


  67. LikeaBugonaRug says:

    Nice win. Got the pitching we needed, maybe not as clean as we want it to be, but they held the Cards to 3 run. And a clutch fly ball by Chase.

    Not the 2 outta 3 we were hoping for, but a win leading into a killer road trip. The pitching we’re going up against this week will be nasty.

    Go Bucs!


  68. JMB says:


    I hadnt even thought of Iannetta until I saw this a couple of days back.

    His OBP is solid even though his AVG is not.

  69. Keith says:


    Split, nothing. Winning the series is what gets the Pirates off the schneid. Let’s hope Alvarez is up for the series and Presley leads off. They need this. The pitchers got them through this series without a sweep. Help, Neal!

  70. LikeaBugonaRug says:

    Right here, right now,
    There is no other place that I’d want to be.
    Right here, right now,
    Watching the (league) wake up from history!

  71. Playoffs by 2012 says:


    We are all fans here and we all just want a winner. In the end thats all that matters.

  72. CDBrewer says:

    @ Keith
    They mentioned on the tv broadcast that Presley might be a DL candidate…
    That is a killer given Tabata isn’t even rehabbing anymore.
    We might see Gorkys.

    Amen, Playoffs…
    Just can’t believe we will have some interest going into August.

  73. CDBrewer says:


    Ianetta just caught me as a guy who has not lived up to what the Rockies expected offensively – and that is in THAT park.
    Maybe he just needs a change of scenery…

    I like Morse better than Ianetta. I think he could be something we keep with the core. He hustles like a crazy person too…I watch WAY to much on the MLBEI if I can comment on the Nats…

  74. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    We all owe a big lunatic asylum thank you to the Giants. They did their part for us this weekend. One a side note, I’ll bee at all four in Atlanta. Praying we don’t get swept…..

  75. Eric Bowser says:

    Question of the night:

    Should the Pirates trade Paul Maholm?

  76. JMB says:

    I am of the opinion that anyone is trade-able as of today except the following: Cutch (star), NW (solid 2B), Pedro (cant sell low), & Hanny (reliever market is saturated), and from the minor leagues Jamo, Heredia, & Marte (bubble) are my untouchables.

    If the LH SP market is ridiculously thin, the Pirates may be able to get great value for Maholm. If so, they should make a move.

    My somewhat realistic post deadline line-up of:

    Bourn – LF
    Presley – RF
    Cutch – CF
    Morse – 1B
    Pedro – 3B
    Iannetta – C
    Walker – 2B
    Cedeno – SS

    Each one of those guys would be on the 2012 team.

  77. Keith says:

    I love how the Pirates tied and then won the game by making three outs. You need guys who know when to ground into a double play! And how many times have we seen someone make the smallest possible play, a sacrifice fly, with less than two out to go ahead? Other teams may like the long ball or double, but we’ll take the outs, thank you very much.

  78. Playoffs by 2012 says:


    If they don’t plan on making a run for 2011, then yes.

  79. JAL says:

    Stat courtesy of Tim Williams–last July there were 28 trades, 23 of them on July 28 or later. Nothing unusual in no moves yet. No idea if any will happen but still too early to say they won’t.

  80. LikeaBugonaRug says:

    As if our schedule this week isn’t bad enough. Milwaukee and St. Louis tradeoff in playing the Cubs and Astros for 7 games.

  81. DannyMoe says:

    @Eric – a month ago I would have said yes, but I don’t think they can do it now (nor would I want them to).

    It seems like I’ve seen a lot of Michael Bourn talk. I didn’t like him when we had him and he was named Nyjer. We need a power bat in the OF to complement the others.

  82. TJ Belv says:

    The Pirates will probably do nothing, sit back, and see what happens. They will not take control and make bold moves. They will not take risks.
    But not making the tough decisions and not picking a side now is actually more of an action. Doing “nothing” is actually how poor decision makers operate. If you sit back and do not make a decision, you will still be held accountable for the non-action.

  83. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    I know this may not be the popular view, but…..

    To those of you who believe in the “don’t mortgage the future” line the front office is using. Ask yourself, what has the front office done to reassure you about that future?

    Has McCutchen been signed long term?
    Has Hanrahan been signed long term?
    Has Walker been signed long term?

    If they are in fact the core of this team, then why haven’t they been locked up for the future yet? I know they all are under “team control” for the next few years, but even when we had other players (Jason Bay, Nate McClouth, Matt Capps) under team control they offloaded them as well.

    Maybe I’m just jaded, but until this front office shows a willingness to spend on quality players, I’m not going to believe that they actually care about making this team a contender.

  84. LikeaBugonaRug says:

    @Playoffs: And those players you mentioned will be the beginning of the ones to judge the FO’s true plan of action by. We will know probably by the end of next year.

  85. Happy G says:

    Here is a perspective my point of view. I’ve started a new blog. Enjoy.

    Pierogi Points

  86. pattonbb says:

    Pedro is hitting .365 now.

    Not sure I agree keeping the most dangerous bat in the organization down when we’re about to start the toughest road trip in recent memory. Yea, I know he could come up and struggle….but maybe he comes up and looks like he did in the last two weeks of September 2010.

  87. Happy G says:

    @pattonbb: we have to be very careful with how we handle Pedro. I too hope he looks like he did in Sept. 08 but there aren’t any guarantees. But, I agree with your point that he is the most dangerous bat in the entire organization at this point. I’m looking for NH to make a move soon…

  88. Tom says:

    Somebody already said it – one bat ain’t gonna do it. Still, this team is probably not going to be in this neighborhood again for a while, so…

  89. Naje says:

    @ ALL –

    1. Have any of you actually seen Alvarez play?
    2. Do any of you know how to evaluate talent?

    All you are seeing are the stat lines… you completely ignore Alvarez’ strikeout rate of 1 in 3 at bats AT THE AAA LEVEL. You ignore the high rate of swings-and-misses AT THE AAA LEVEL. You ignore the high number of squibs and dink hits he’s put in play (those are fine if you’re a d’Arnaud or a Presley, but not something you want to bank on from your thumper-of-the-future). You ignore his consistently bad approach at the plate and his tendency to pull the ball on every nearly every swing.

    It is a fundamental change they are trying to make. It takes time. They’re trying to break the bucking bronco…let those with their EYES ON ALVAREZ EVERY DAY make the much better, much more informed decision than our limited, box score perspective.

  90. Naje says:

    @ Playoffsby2012 –

    You’re on a roll with the rants. Presto. Magico. Appear! New McCutchen contract. Presto. Magico. Appear! New Hanrahan contract. Presto. Magico. Appear! New Walker contract.

    These things take time. You think McCutchen’s agent wants to deal right now when everything with the team is in flux? You think you’re going to get a great deal when Cutch is prone to some incredibly hot two week runs, and then some incredibly cold two week periods? Take a look at his numbers the 2 weeks before the all star break, then compare then with his numbers since the all star break.

    Pretty streaky, isn’t he?

    These things will happen when the team and the player and the player’s agent are ready for them to happen. These things will not happen because some fan is screaming and shouting for them to do something.

    This offseason will tell you how committed the team is to winning… the subtraction of Overbay, Jones and others will help… the addition of firm options in RF, 1B will help. Guys being 100% healthy will help.

    It’s a building process. I’m sure if he could take back his “flood the system with talent” line, it would read like this: “flood the system with players, and let the competition sort itself out…” because, really, that’s what he’s done…at least for pitchers. He’s brought in a ton of pitchers, some who have stunk, some who have been very productive. That’s what happens when you address a certain area of your team.

    Has it been done with position players as effectively. No. Not even close. The team needs more infielders; more power bats… that is very clear. That’s just another phase of making this organization strong from top to bottom. So that in a year or two, there won’t be gaping holes in the minor leagues if prospects are traded for a big bat or a top of the rotation pitcher.

  91. JMB says:

    #astros are telling folks now they are not intending to trade @HunterPence9. He’s face of franchise, fine example for young players

  92. bdubb says:


    Do you watch Pedro play AAA? not sure where you get your stats but Pedro has 5 K’s in his last 35 atbats including walks. Please don’t take everything that NH has to say as gospel. I hear he had a couple ofer games where he squared everything up. Dude is hitting .365 and if he comes up here and dinks and dunks hits for a .365 clip than i am all for it.

  93. CDBrewer says:

    I don’t hate the Morse idea…especially if Pence is off the table.

    I also don’t hate going in and saying, “you guys are so far ahead of where we thought you could be, we want to keep you together. We believe in you.” Making minor moves and waiting.
    I just don’t see all of this ship holding together for two months, when it really starts to grind, and LaRussa does his magic. I hate him, but man, the guy is good at what he does.

    I agree with Nage that this offseason is when we really will get the sign from the FO.

    While the ESPN coverage doesn’t mean a bunch to me, the more positive pub, the more likely we can draw decent FA’s. The industry seems to be changing its mind about the Bucs.

  94. Naje says:

    @bdubb…. this on the heels of 9 K’s in 12 at bats the prior week… they want consistency, they want a smart, repeatable, consistent approach that includes hitting the outside pitch to the opposite field or through the middle…

    Have you seen him play? Hurdle and Huntington are getting daily reports from the Indy staff and from their own scouts… your points are blinded by angst over this management team. The coaches watch the guy every day. The coaches have a list of things they want improved and changed in order for Alvarez to hit consistently and well ON THE MAJOR LEAGUE LEVEL… not at AAA.

    Wow, this one week of good fortune will really have those incredible pitchers from Atlanta and Philly shaking in their boots…. they’ll serve him a steady diet of offspeed pitches low and away, and fastballs on the outer half and watch him flail at those pitches repeatedly.

    The hatred for Huntington here is totally ridiculous and misguided. The coaches of the INDY team report directly to Huntington and Hurdle and it’s their call to make.

  95. Bizrow says:

    Why is it that folks are told they hate NH simply because they want him to do his job?


  96. pghboyinca says:

    Naje, Don’t you ever get tired of being a shill or the front office? Huntington and his staff are getting reports and evaluating him daily? let’s look at Huntingtons staffand their evalautions of position players (I won’t use the term hitters because none of them hit) Overbay, Diaz, Aki, LaRoche, Moss, Clement, Milledge, Church, Crosby, R. Sanchez, T. Sanchez,……I could go on for days. Now to be fair let’s balance it out with hitters they developed. Let’s start with ……….Hmm, give me a second. Wait there AREN’T ANY!!!

    Are these the people that you are inisnuating are monitoring Pedro and deteremining whne he is ready? Yeah, we should definately trust their judgement based on hte afore mentioned track record.

  97. pattonbb says:

    Naje, I can’t speak for anyone else, but I have absolutely no hate for Huntington. Quite the opposite actually. The only problem I have with him is with his sometimes arrogant persona. But that has nothing to do with his ability to do his job.

    You seem to be more knowledgeable about what they want out of Pedro than most, so I’ll ask you this question; At what point did they decide to make fundamental changes to Pedro? There were concerns about him being a dead-pull hitter when he was drafted. That certainly didn’t seem to stop them from rushing him through the system.

    Look, I’m not trying to start an argument. I enjoy your posts and really respect your knowledge of this team, and baseball in general. But just because somebody says, “Pedro’s on fire, bring him up” doesn’t mean they’re saying “Huntington’s an ass”. He’s cut down significantly on the K’s. He only has 18 strikeouts in 63 abs, and as you mentioned earlier, half of those came in a 4 game span. The guy is putting the ball in play.

    I understand there are issues they want him to work on. I get that. I really do. But if the guy is batting .380 by next week, he needs to come up.

  98. Naje says:

    @pattonbb – thanks…nice of you to say that, but I guess all of this is mute now. I enjoy baseball talk as much as the next person. I don’t enjoy shouting and screaming at front office when a team is playing like the PBC right now.

    To address the part about the dead pull hitter, you’re correct, and I think that it had to be Hurdle who mandated fundamental changes in his approach to hitting. Hurdle’s the guy who spent all that time with him in spring training and all the extra time with him in the batting cage. He also spent extra time with him during the early part of the season.

    If he didn’t please Hurdle, well, I think we’ve seen that Hurdle’s the boss and he’s got a pretty good handle on things. Especially for a guy who had 10rbi in 125 major league at bats… and a .208 batting average… and a ton of Ks.

    That said, he’s up. We’re all happy… believe me, I was so freakin down over the lineup yesterday… I mean a complete meltdown. If Alvarez keeps his eyes on the ball and making contact, we’ll have a nice lineup when/if Presley, Tabata and Doumit return and we jettison Overbay and Jones.

  99. Naje says:

    @ Boy – Wow, that’s a little nasty… you’re wrong here. It’s Hurdle telling everyone that they’re getting daily reports on this guy. And, quite frankly, he wasn’t around for the rest of the garbage you mentioned. But Boy, since you really aren’t interested in debating, those reports definitely do come to the team and the coaching staff every day. Without fail. And when those guys get to the big league team, the coaching staff there has a very thorough file on every player… strengths, weaknesses, warts and all.

    And none of those players are in Alvarez caliber of potential. I’m not a shill for the front office, Boy, just trust that Hurdle knows what he’s doing. How else would you explain 52-47?

  100. Naje says:

    @ Biz – You may have misunderstood what I meant at the end of that post… and thanks for posting what you did, because I can see now that it wasn’t clear.

    What I was referring to was the anger and hatred of the front office with regard to the Alvarez situation. In that regard, the front office and Hurdle were doing their job in making sure Alvarez was doing what had been required.

    But good catch… hope that makes it clear. Didn’t mean there’s venom all over this blog, there isn’t… just talking about the Alvarez situation.

  101. Bizrow says:

    One thing about the Pedro call up, it was either him, Gorkys, Ciriaco or JHarrison, or someone else not currently on the 40 man

  102. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    The rumors are starting to heat up… looks like something may happen after all:

  103. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    B.J. Upton is also drawing Pirates’ interest…

  104. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Braves activated 3B Chipper Jones from the 15-day disabled list.

    Jones will return to the Braves’ starting lineup on Monday against the Pirates.

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