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Wakeup Call: The neverending collapse

Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …

>> When does a collapse stop being a collapse and become something more?

When the post-Meals Pirates lost 10 in a row, that was the collapse. But since they were 51-44 on July 21, a season-high seven games over .500, they’ve gone 11-30, barely winning one of every four games over the past month and a half. That’s a collapse, a free fall, and every other derogatory term one can concoct for a failure over that long a period.

I wrote this in my Wednesday column, but I’ll repeat: This should reflect on Neal Huntington and Clint Hurdle. Just as all the accolades were deserved for those two contributing to the Pirates’ stunning ascent into first place, so, too, is criticism for the team’s poor play now.

Swept in Houston?

Not getting a man to second base last night?

Come on.

>> Jack Wilson was traded last night to the Braves. So, in addition to Wilson getting his wish to play in the National League again, he’ll also get to play in the playoffs for the first time. Per ESPN, his 1,313 games with no postseason is third-most among all active players, trailing only Adam Dunn and Vernon Wells.

It’s been a weird year all around.

>> We have a tendency as a society to try to link events that really shouldn’t be linked. When a shark bites someone on Myrtle Beach, then another bites someone else on Miami Beach, we produce actual news stories that suggest “shark attacks are on the rise.” As if the sharks just decided after a million years that they’re OK with eating other living creatures.

My instinct is to want to view the NHL’s three individual tragedies this summer as just that, individual tragedies. Wade Belak of the Predators just took his own life, and two other players died with similar storylines. But I just can’t look at this from an individual viewpoint anymore. One case is isolated, two is coincidence, and three’s a crowd.

As ESPN’s Erin Andrews aptly tweeted last night, the league and the union need to “get to the bottom of this.” Not to assume or assign blame, for none is to be had. But to do everything within their power to find if the NHL’s players have all the counseling, all the help that needs to be available to them.

Three players in one summer. It’s just crushing to think about.

>> We will have our weekly chat today at noon, after which I will be at PNC Park for the Dodgers game.

Comments

  1. Naje says:

    DK–
    While the collapse, free fall, downward plane should definitely reflect on the body of work performed by Huntington and Hurdle, let’s not overlook the collapse, free fall and downward plane of the following players since the all star break… none of whom are named Huntington or Hurdle:

    –let’s start with Mr. Cool. Got any down-words for him? Sure, he’s at 20/20 now, but he’s been pretty bad when his team has needed him to be pretty good. Check his stats since he was announced as an all star… after all that controversy and that sizzling two week spell, he’s been Mr. Freeze.

    I love his talent. I’m desperate for him to show this city more than 2 sizzling weeks of play out of every two months of the season. I dying for him to learn how to lay off the sliders out of the zone. I want to see him apply his incredible skills at more than 50% or so of his at bats.

    –Any number of pitchers, from Correia to Morton to Malholm (at times) to Beimel to McCutchen (God Bless him for those epic 92 pitches) to Resop to Hanrahan to others… last I checked, none of whom were named Huntington or Hurdle.

    –Jones’ July.

    –Alvarez… his name is fast becoming a new standard for bad performance. As in, “Jones pulled an Alvarez in the month of July.”

    It is so, so easy to point at Huntington and Hurdle when you run out of things to say about how poorly these paid professionals have performed on the field. Add to that the injuries that piled up weekly, if not daily, since the end of June and the descent into the maelstrom is easily explained.

    It stinks. It hurts. It rips out the guts after those first 95 games.

    So yes, if the team doesn’t get to 70 wins, fire or re-assign Huntington. No excuses. Get him out of the organization or re-assign him to scouting and signing amateur players and then bring in a competent, expensive, major league GM.

    As for Hurdle, these young players and all the injuries made it nearly impossible for him to have any consistency with the team. I pass less of the blame to him.

    As several unimaginable events had to occur for this team to plateau at 51-44, so too did several unimaginable/unforseeable events occur for them to spiral into that 11-30 tailspin.

  2. DavedigsDKsBlog says:

    The first half of the season was all a dream.

  3. TS says:

    The Pirates had one shortstop in the past few years who might just become a good player. His name is Brent Lillibridge. 13 HR and 29 RBI in 178 ABs for the White Sox. Not too shabby.

  4. TS says:

    Naje:

    I wish NH would get fired, but it’s not going to happen. The cycle of losing will continue.

  5. DavedigsDKsBlog says:

    Hurdle, of course, should remain manager but the organization really has to look at what they’re doing from a hitting standpoint.

    It’s not good.

    You’re seeing other teams like the Padres and Astros bringing up these guys who are AA/AAA caliber and they’re driving the ball, where as the Pirates hardly can muster anything more than a weak single. The Pirates players are constantly watching good pitches right down the middle of the plate and falling behind in counts.

    We have looked incredibly outclassed all season offensively and if anything we’ve regressed of late.

    I don’t know what it’s going to take but I would say the first step is acknowledging this is a major flaw in the organization. Review what other teams are doing. Maybe there is somebody who can replace Ritchie next year and work alongside Hurdle. Not somebody who is young and inexperienced. A wise old man preferably.

  6. Ryan76 says:

    The Pirates once had a girl, or should I say, she once had them…

  7. DavedigsDKsBlog says:

    Just off the top of my head I’m thinking Mike Easler as hitting coach for next year.

    Former Bucco.

    He’s with the Buffalo Bisons this year.

  8. pghboyinca says:

    Naje,

    Are you kidding me? Seriously don’t blame Huntington for the guys he drafted or signed??? Who is to blame the UPS guy who delivered the offer letter to the player?

    And criticize Cutch all you want but this kid has not had talent around him form day one. At various times this year he has had Chase D , Diaz, Paul, Tabata, etc..hitting in front of him and Diaz, Overbay, Cedeno, Wood etc… hiting behind him. If I am a pitching coach on another team I have this specific instruction before every game no matter who my pitcher is. “Don’t let McCutchen or Walker beat you , I don’t want you anywhere near the midddle of the plate on those two for a single pitch all evening”

    This mess is all Huntington and Coonelly and it isn’t stopping here. Next year is another 100 loss season and that is a certainty. You aren’t going to have the insane 60 day of CY Young like pitching stretch to fall back on. Oh wait Rudy Owens and Gorky’s are coming, the day is saved…HAHAHAHAHAHHA

    Soak it all in Thundercrack and all you supporters of this pathetic owner and his band of underpaid underwheling front office castoffs who unwanted anywhere but here.

    This team has no plan, has no talent, has no intention of spending money, and could care less if you are getting embarrassed by them being your team. If you support them then you deserve every bit of this humiliating excuse for a franchise.

  9. Mac says:

    The team is on the right track, but they are definitely a few pieces short. A new hitting coach would be ideal, as would another LH reliever to complement Watson and a good RH reliever to replace Veras. They also need another power bat, and at this point, the best we can hope for is another Giles trade.

    Evaluation of players has been the sore point of this organization since they started losing. Nobody really knows how prospects will pan out, and that’s what did them in during their first losing year in 1993. They had two rookies in the rotation (Wagner and Cooke) and two guys with almost no major league experience playing LF (Martin) and 1B (Young). Additionally, their 2B (Garcia), primary C (Slaught), and RF (Merced) were all role players the year before. Some of them worked out better than others. There were also a few veterans in decline (Van Slyke, Walk) and two guys playing well (Bell, King). Of course, there was also the bust (Wakefield), the gimp (Tomlin), and the veteran on his last legs brought back to his original team (Candelaria).

    Take a look at every season since then. Nothing has changed. You can fill in different names and change a few roles around, but each team has the unproven players, one or two guys who actually do well, a few decrepit veterans, and some “savior” prospect who fails miserably, whether it be Wakefield, Hermansen, Andy La Roche, or Pedro Alvarez. Someone always gets injured and derails their career–Van Slyke, Kendall, Benson, Meares, you name it. You also will find some guy who underperformed traded away for nothing at some point, only to go on to become a star (Wakefield, Schmidt, Bautista). Every now and then, of course, you also get a Polcovich, Mackowiak, or McKenry.

    Managers have to work with what they’ve got. Right now they have Walker, McCutchen, Hanrahan, Karstens, and Tabata who have proven something. It may sound like a lot, but remember we closed out Three Rivers with a similar amount of decent guys–Vander Wal, Kendall, Giles, Benson, and Williams. Everyone else on these teams are bench, pen, or AAA guys on other clubs. Speaking of Vander Wal, at least Hurdle doesn’t consistently bench someone to use an inferior option. Remember how long it took Sanchez to get an opportunity?

    It’s nice to see an emphasis on homegrown players, but they have to move on at some point from guys who just don’t work out. Sometimes, it’s a mistake (Wakefield, Bautista, Arroyo) but in some cases, you’re getting rid of a guy who never will be much of anything (Hermansen, J. Anderson, and eventually Alvarez). We have been able to get some good players from other clubs without giving up much (Giles and J. Wilson were both acquired for lefty relievers) but our drafts need to be better too. Interestingly, the four first rounders on the team now who were drafted by the club were all Littlefield guys (Maholm, Walker, McCutchen, Lincoln). Doumit was a Bonifay guy, signed in the second round. Where are all the NH players? Will the pitchers we got last year be a couple of Bensons? Will we have another round of Hermansens and Freddy Garcias with the hitters? Will Tony Sanchez be little more than another Mackey Sasser?

    The team does have intention of spending money, but they’re putting it in the wrong places. Distribute it evenly and get some proven talent, not a few guys who may never be more than a Mendoza-line hitter or another Brien Taylor. Go out and bid on an Albert Pujols–which could have been done if the money wasn’t thrown at these prospects. Remember, this is the team that once paid millions for a singles-hitting catcher. Why not pay more for a slugging 1B or top-tier pitcher?

    Don’t get too excited about the next round of guys, either. Gorkys will be another A. Brown/T. Redman/Duffy/insert other random awful CF here. Owens will probably be a Wakefield/Schmidt/Arroyo who struggles here then turns it around with someone else. As much hope as I have for Sterling Marte, you can’t help but worry he’ll be another Hermansen/Alvarez.

    Until this ownership group steps down, it’s not going to work here. We study history in school for a reason–to learn from it. Sadly, they can’t do this, even when looking at their own mistakes over a two decade span.

  10. PI Stingray says:

    NH has already admitted bad judgement in signing free-agents Diaz and Overbay (both now gone) and it doesn’t look too great that he got Lee and Ludwick at the trade deadline (both on the DL and have not been that impressive). The only thing that he might be decent at is getting talent through the draft (which won’t be known for years). Why not get a GM that has a proven track record in signing FAs and keep NH on as an “advisor” in signing talent? NH IMO is only a good #2 man, not a good overall GM. I say go out and get the best GM available and keep NH as an assistant…..

  11. Bertie says:

    Just to touch on another aspect of DK’s article, the apparent suicides of three former NFL players.
    Deeply saddened by it, but one has to ask if this is another manifestation of the long-term deleterious physical and mental effects of performance-enhancing drugs,

  12. Thundercrack says:

    If Erin Andrews tweets it, then it must be done

  13. Thundercrack says:

    I tend to agree with Naje. I’m not sure what NH or Clint Hurdle could be doing. Huntington made trades at the deadline to try and improve the team. Hurdle seems to trying a bunch of different lineups. Maybe some of his management of the pitching staff could be critiqued. But when I watch the games it looks like the players aren’t performing anywhere near as they were in the first half.
    And Mr. Cool is right at the top of the list. But I’m sure we’ll hear that the Pirates offered him a ‘lowball’ offer, he was insulted and that put him in a bad frame of mind that caused him to slump. It is NH’s fault.

    pghboyinca, thanks for the shout-out.

  14. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    The three NHL (not NFL) players who have died in the past three months are:

    Derek Boogard: Accidental death due to mix of oxycodone and alcohol
    Rick Rypien: Confirmed suicide
    Wade Belak: Cause under investigation.

    One cannot assume, at this time, that all three of these deaths are suicides.

  15. JAL says:

    JAL’s September Song Morning Links

    GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pittsburgh_pirates/

  16. JAL says:

    7 Three Rivers Burgh Blog

    Game 136 Recap – Astros 2, Pirates 0

    http://threeriversburghblog.blogspot.com/2011/08/game-136-recap-astros-2-pirates-0.html

    8 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Swept by the Astros

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2011/08/swept-by-the-astros/

    9 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates Being Swept By The Astros, Or The Intellectual Wasteland That Is Twitter: Which Is Less Depressing?

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2011/8/31/2397218/pirates-being-swept-by-the-astros-or-the-intellectual-wasteland-that

  17. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES

    11 Telegraph Journal

    Baseball: Little League World Series sensation coaches MLB sluggers

    http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/sports/article/1436224

    12 Houston Chronicle

    No, really, what did the Astros do with the real J.A. Happ?

    http://blog.chron.com/ultimateastros/2011/08/31/no-really-what-did-the-astros-do-with-the-real-j-a-happ/

    Astros 2, Pirates 0: The J.A. Happ redemption tour continues

    http://blog.chron.com/ultimateastros/2011/08/31/astros-2-pirates-0-the-j-a-happ-redemption-tour-continues/

    13 Baltimore Sun

    Gonzalez says his goodbyes after trade

    http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/sports/orioles/blog/2011/09/gonzalez_says_his_goodbyes_aft_1.html

    14 Seattle Times

    Jack Wilson traded to Atlanta

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/marinersblog/2016073199_jack_wilson_traded_to_atlanta.html

  18. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    1-Behind the Steel Curtain

    Common (Mis)Conceptions About the NFL and the Pittsburgh Steelers (Part 2)

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2011/9/1/2396253/steelers-nfl-news-fantasy-football

    2-Steeler Depot

    Preseason Play Direction Stats

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2011/09/steelers-2011-pre-season-play-direction-stats-report/

    3-Steelers Gab

    Roethlisberger Won’t Play vs Panthers in Preseason Finale; Nor Should He

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2011/08/31/roethlisberger-wont-play-vs-panthers-in-preseason-finale-nor-should-he/

    Pitt Blogs

    Pitt Blather

    Basketball Interlude

    http://www.pittblather.com/2011/08/31/basketball-interlude/

    Cardiac Hill

    Big 12 Expansion: Interest In Pitt Heating Up?

    http://www.cardiachill.com/2011/8/31/2397194/big-12-expansion-pitt-football-big-east-sec-big-ten-pac-12-texas-a-m-am-basketball

    PENGUIN BLOGS

    18—Pensburgh

    Blame for Savard’s Condition Shouldn’t Rest Solely on Cooke

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2011/8/31/2396531/blame-for-savards-condition-shouldnt-rest-solely-on-cooke

  19. leefoo says:

    TS………Lillibridge was moved off of SS years ago. He’s been mostly an OFer. He hasn’t played a game there this year and only 4 last year.

  20. leefoo says:

    TC…….Erin Andrews can ‘tweet’ me any day of the week. :)

    ==========

    Pghboy…….I agree with you about Cutch. He is the least of our problems. He is not the type of player who can carry us for weeks (a la, a Stargell or Parker), but he’s a keeper, like Tabata and Walker.

    ===========

    Nage…….I loved the “he pulled an Alvarez” comment. It’s a shame that every draft pundit’s “safe bet” has turned out to be a basket case. I hope he turns it around, but I have grave doubts about him. Must be the cap. :)

    ===========

  21. leefoo says:

    Personally, I think Hurdle is to blame for our collapse. He had one winning season in Colorado (thanks only to an insanely hot September). I’m sure he’s a great guy, and is very quotable, but he is a lousy baseball manager.

    ===========
    Btw, I see that Jackie Z got a multi year contract in Seattle. Wow! Now THERE’S a GM who should’ve been fired. Just about EVERY move he’s made has stunk. At least Neal hit the dartboard every once in awhile.

    ==========

  22. Jandy says:

    Bertie, I hear ya on the drugs, but I’m thinking it’s more hits to the head…

  23. Bizrow says:

    If there is one thing to say about Hurdle, its the mess we now have in pitching. Were they misused or overused or just ran out of gas all at the same time.

    I still think Huntington should attend two or three Dale Carnegie classes, he just does not come across crisp with his ramblings.

    As far as drafting, is it Neal or Greg Smith that is the mastermind?

    I still think the guy that has to go is, Slick Frank Coonelly.

    Not a Pittsburgh guy and he makes my skin crawl.

    A shyster, IMHO

  24. JMB says:

    I really thought 2m in attendance was a lock a few weeks back, but now I don’t think the number will be achieved.

    I still think NH will be extended, but the drafts are looking shoddy, the MLB team will end up near 400 losses in four years, and the 2011 FA signings were mediocre to terrible.

    Some of the rah-rah sis-boom-bah Pirate website posters are still saying this is all DLittlefield’s fault and that NH will need 10yrs to fix the carnage. I thought we had finally heard the last of it, but, ironically, as soon as the team went into Tom Petty Free Fallin’ mode, the chants of Littlefield resumed in full fury. If the team had continued doing well, we would hear how this was NH’s team and he is a genius, but, with the collapse, DL’s name gets thrown back in.

    Absurdity at its finest.

  25. CWalton_67 says:

    I can’t think of anything that has disgusted me as much as the Pirates collapse this season as, well…the last 18 years.

    I suppose it’s a positive that there’s no outright venom directed at Nutting on here. Now, will he do what’s necessary and find the right people to manage the PBC and pay them well enough to want to come to this miserable excuse for a baseball team?

    It’s been a tragic off season for hockey, but agree with DK that the deaths can’t necessarily be linked. That said–the NHL and NHLPA had better start considering making some changes. Head injuries, pain, and painkilling medication seem to be common links in not only the deaths, but other major NHL headlines, (Savard, Crosby). I am of the opinion that the size and speed of NHL players today necessitates and change in ice size. They’ve simply outgrown the current dimensions and I believe it is a factor in the number and severity of injuries.

    And while I am a believer in pain killing medication, it seems to me that the NHL may need a review of policy regarding prescription and issue of painkilling medication. They are called controlled substances for a reason.

  26. dcpinpgh says:

    Can this yearly collapse be blamed on how the Pirates treat their pitcher in the minors. If you baby people then they can’t handle the the real world and they fail. Jamison Tailion pitched what 80 some innings this year. He is not ready for a MLB season. Heck it will take him 2-3 years in the MLB before he can be counted on to be able to pitch a full year. Therefore, every year this is what we can expect because the Pirates don’t train their pitchers for MLB work load.

  27. radio wave says:

    The Pirates are sending out an e mail promotion saying ticket prices for the upcoming marlins series will be reduced based on the number of runs scored this weekend against the Cubs.

    Are they kidding?

    Considering recent events, that won’t be much of a discount.
    if they really want to offer a bargain, base the discount on the number of Bucs striking out this weekend.

  28. JMB says:

    @radio wave

    If we had like buttons, I would give you a click. Thanks for the laugh!

  29. JMB says:

    @CWalton_67

    I agree with you on BN. I think Nutting has done as much as an owner can do THIS YEAR, so I cant see how he can be criticized. He spent $17m on the draft, he approved the Lee & Ludwick expenditures, and he finally transitioned into a decent small market owner. I believe the first few years were all about ownership share consolidation and power, but I truly believe that he wants to win now and in the future.

    The question BN has to ask himself for 2012 (& beyond) is if he has the right men (FC & NH) in place to make the Pirates a winner.

    Trades/Drafts/FA signings/Ext’s…do we have confidence that NH & FC are the best dudes for those decisions, and, more importantly, does Mr. Nutting have faith that his underlings will finally lead the Pirates to respectability?

  30. G hayes says:

    Fixing Alvarez is easy. Move him to first base, give him free pizza and beer, and quit messing with him. His problem is between his ears.

  31. James Thompson says:

    Hopefully, the Bucs won’t keep collapsing into next season. Also, I just read your article about the Pirates’ 11 reasonable goals for the remainder of this season and I must say that before they can realize any of those, the Bucs will have to start winning again.

  32. pghboyinca says:

    To even try and cast Huntington as anything other than a failure is a incorrect. Hi smajor league team is a joke, the upper minors has no legitmate prospects, and his first 2 draft picks (second overall pick 2008, fourth overall 2009) look horrible). In addition all his over slot draft guys have fizzled and there are no power hitters of shortstps in the entire organization.

    Take the emotion out of it and please try and come tot he reliztion tat there is no other organization in baseball that would retain him under that performance criteria.

    And by next year “Littlefield ” should never be used to justify anything wrong with this club. For gods sake 5 years later and he is still the issue? If yu want to have any credibility then starting April 1st next year this regime stands on its own 100%. Look at the similar circumstances in Az, Cinci, San Diego, Milwaukee, Tx, and T.B. They have all risen up form where they were 5 years ago and either consistently conteneded or had one up year and then a down year. What we have seen form this group is nothing but comnsistently bad baseball in all respects for 4 straight years.

  33. Naterosboro says:

    @ pghboyinca

    Dood, you’ve got to relax.

    IT’S JUST PRO SPORTS!

    Some choose to put more onus on the players as they are the ones who are actually getting paid to play the game. It is their execution that will win and lose these ball games.

    Just as some like to put more blame on the architects (coaches, gm, owner) as it is their plan (roster selection, coaching, developing) that is not working to fruition.

    I choose to put blame on everyone’s shoulders equally; players and architects.

    It’s not 1 thing that goes wrong to have a record of 11-30, it’s a buncha things, and all involved are responsible.

    From the tippy top, to the last batboy.

    Everyone………….

  34. Fat Jimmy says:

    Naje and Nate, I was actually ready to agree with you guys that the players themselves need to step it up. But then I took another look at the team stats for the season…

    First a step back. Bucsdugout does Community Projections each year, in which all of the readers take their guesses at how each player will perform. Here’s what they projected (first number) followed by what the player is currently doing (second number). For simplicity sake, I’ll just list OPS:

    Snyder: .712 .772 (since Synder has been injured, I’ll note that Doumit/McKenry are .750 and .621; overall Catcher has been .675)
    Overbay .778 .649
    Walker .781 .743
    Cedeno .660 .656
    Alvarez .859 .548
    Tabata .793 .723
    McCutchen .852 .844
    Jones .797 .771

    Here are my observations on this:

    1) Every position has experienced a lower than expected performance, though individually most of the positions have experienced a fairly negligible dip.
    2) Where the Pirates are getting hurt is the lack of production we got from Alvarez and Overbay, plain and simple.

    There is only so much a GM can do if a guy that has been on the team or in the organization for a few years isn’t producing. But Alvarez and Overbay have killed this team and the involvement of those two guys is 100% the influence of Huntington. Overbay was his FA signing and answer to the 1B question and middle-of-the-order bat. Alvarez was his top draft pick and guy he moved quickly through the org.

    Huntington left Overbay on the roster for easily a month longer than he should have.

    I’m on board with the idea that the players bear some responsibility, but they can only play to the level of their ability, and I think the BD projections above speak well to “ability” … the guys aren’t that far off, for the most part. But two guys the GM counted on intricately have flamed out. Huntington deserves a good bit of blame for that, IMO.

  35. JAL says:

    pghboyinca

    Never use all unless certain. Robbie Grossman, and over slot signing, had great season. Doesn’t mean he will make the major but no way he fizzled. Signed for $1 million as a 6th round pick in 2008. Fell that low because teams thought he was certain to go to Texas.

  36. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think Jimmy’s hit it right on the button. Putting it on the players overall? C’mon, this old saw comes out every year, despite the fact the GM and FO have control who the players are. Hurdle and the GM got credit for when things were good. They have to take responsibility for the bad as well. (But it’s Clint’s first year–hint, hint) How many games did they win last year? 57 How many did they win in 2007? 68 And this putting the blame on Cutch would not happen if he had been a Neal acquistion–IMHO.

  37. Link Mendoza says:

    JAL and pghboyinca

    Don’t forget Colton Cain, Jarek Cunningham, Brock Holt and Zac Fuesser. All having good years. Far from “all of them” not working out.

  38. Bill says:

    The MVP goes to the Pirate fans. They showed that is a marginal winner will get 100%. The fans should be commended. I still think Hurdle is full of himself and that a bat would have done wonders. It’s funny that at the trading deadline they picked up two bats but the pitching staff fell apart.
    Would Meek have been the setup man needed?

  39. JAL says:

    Link Meddoza

    Good call, there are others.

  40. RI Bucco says:

    How many times exactly are we going to believe that this organization has made some sort of mystical improvement? Anybody out there feeling good about the pitching staff for 2012? This is a joke.

    I will be cheering for Jim Leyland and the Tigers for the rest of the year.

    What is the over/under on “turning the corner” soundbites issued by the TBMTIS this offseason?

  41. Ross says:

    Okay heres my opinion on all this “collapsing” of our beloved buccos. First off everyone needs to understand that, yeah the starting pitching staff did above and beyond in the first 95-100 games. and yeah they have tipped off in this 2nd half and guys are getting put on the DL (ie: Maholm and Correia recently) and guys are skipping starts because of being “tired” (ie: Morton is August and Karstens now). BUT, you need to understand that out of their starting rotation: Correia, Maholm, Karstens, Morton, McDonald, the only guys that are used the grind of a major league schedule and making 30+ starts in a season is Correia and Maholm. the other guys (Karstens, Morton, McDonald) will have their ups and downs establishing themselves as starters and being tired at times in the season. IT HAPPENS AND IT WAS BOUND TO HAPPEN. the staff as a whole exceeded the expectations of every writer, scout, and major league team out there. Hitting wise, yes the buccos are a team that plays small ball and has to do the “little things” right (be solid in the field, no mental errors, capitalize at the plate, etc) and teams that play that style will be frustrating at times to watch in terms of scoring runs. I would admit to being one of those people that got upset seeing bunches and bunches of RISP stranded on 2nd and 3rd. A young team like the buccos will go through its ups and downs, and yes we all got a taste of what they can do when things are clicking. If we do want to discuss next year, build off of the talent we have in the bigs now; Cutch, Walker, Tabata, Presley. theres your top of the order right there. contact, speed, some power, and youth all in the top 4 spots in the order. and for people who disagreed with the Lee and Ludwick deals, your crazy. you cant really control whether a guy gets hurt or not. both of them were producing offensively when they were in the lineup. I do potentially see Lee sticking around, but not Ludwick. for the catching situation, Doumit and Snyder go and get someone like Ianetta from the Rockies and have a tandem of him and McKenry behind the dish. call me crazy, but I would keep Wood and Paul as bench guys. d’Arnaud needs a bit more time in triple A to develop in a big league SS. now at short, if NH and BN are willing to make a move, the SS free agent market is relatively strong in 2012. go out and get maybe a Scutaro, Adam Kennedy, JJ Hardy. in the pen you have McCutchen, Resop, Grilli, Meek, Moskos, Hanrahan. give Ohlendorf the boot and keep Lincoln in triple A for a bit. eventually I see the rotation will end up having Correia, Morton, Karstens, JMac, Locke/Owens/Thomas/Wilson.

  42. samman says:

    yowZa but I think they need to bring up that Indian Pitcher
    Rupa Singh
    Agreed?

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