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Wakeup Call: Haley’s first impression

Brief and to the Point …

>> My Friday column looks at why no one wants the Pirates’ money this winter.

>> Todd Haley smiled and smiled and spoke gently about his excitement at joining the Steelers and “coming home” in the process. Good for him. He came across quite well, from my perspective in that room over on the South Side. I was a little weirded out by Mike Tomlin’s huge smile through the whole thing, but Haley did fine. He made a good first impression.

That doesn’t alter my skepticism about the hire, as well as what went into it. But longtime readers can attest I’m always open-minded. It could be that Haley’s harsh lessons in Kansas City, accompanied by that chance to come home, will change some of what we’ve heard and read by now. It also could be evident, if he achieves this, that Kansas City was more responsible for Haley’s oddities than Haley himself.

We’ll see.

>> If 2011 was the year of the concussion in Pittsburgh sports, then 2012 is shaping up as the year of the high ankle sprain. Add Tyler Kennedy to the list. And add yet another frustrating injury for the Penguins. I know Kennedy wasn’t getting much done, but Kennedy at his best looked to me to be just around the corner. That would have been a welcome development.

>> The Winnipeg Jets will play here tomorrow, for the first time since March 5, 1996. As the Trib’s Manitoba bureau chief, of course, I’ll be on the scene to cover the historic occasion. Celebrate responsibly.

>> If you don’t yet love the Jets, you might after seeing what they did in Washington last night.

>> Thick detail here on Sidney Crosby’s injury. Or what might be his injury.

>> Here is the chat transcript from yesterday. The session had a record 753 live participants. And by that, I mean a record for any chat on any topic I’ve conducted anywhere. That’s really cool, and I’m deeply indebted to those who pop in there.

Comments

  1. JAL says:

    7 Pittsburgh Pirates 2012 Spring Training Tracker

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/st2012

    PIRATE BLOGS

    8—Pirates Prospects

    Keith Law’s Top 10 Pirates Prospects

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/02/keith-laws-top-10-pirates-prospects.html

    Trade Values: A.J. Burnett and Garrett Jones

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/02/trade-values-a-j-burnett-and-garrett-jones.html

    9 Bucs dugout

    Pirates Rumors: Yankees Want Garrett Jones In A.J. Burnett Trade, But Bucs Say No

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2012/2/9/2788068/pirates-rumors-yankees-garrett-jones-in-a-j-burnett-trade

    10 Rumbunter

    What To Expect From Alex Presley

    http://rumbunter.com/2012/02/09/what-to-expect-from-alex-presley/

  2. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES

    11 Bradenton Herald

    Spring baseball brings economic boon to Manatee County

    http://www.bradenton.com/2012/02/10/3862780/spring-baseball-brings-economic.html

    12 Sporting News

    Mound forecast: Each team’s projected opening day starter

    http://aol.sportingnews.com/mlb/story/2012-02-09/mound-forecast-each-teams-projected-opening-day-starter

    13 Baltimore Sun

    Korean baseball’s governing body bans Orioles scouts in wake of Kim signing

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/orioles/blog/bal-the-korean-baseball-association-the-governing-body-of-korean-baseball-has-banned-orioles-scouts-from-all-kbasanctioned-events-according-to-a-report-by-yonhap-news-agency-this-inclu-20120209,0,2820150.story

    14 Fort Worth Star Telegram

    Josh Hamilton may have lost one fight, but the battle continues

    http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/02/09/3724446/josh-hamilton-may-have-lost-one.html

    15 New York Post

    Source: Yanks gauge teams’ interest in A.J.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/yankees/burn_ing_up_phone_lines_lQarnjXV0KQAwXuuitWbnJ

  3. JAL says:

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    16 MLB

    Fielder signing has tremendous ramifications

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120209&content_id=26637648&vkey=perspectives&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

    17 Red Machine

    Ranking the NLC Center Fielders: McCutchen Leads the Way

    http://blogredmachine.com/2012/02/09/ranking-the-nlc-center-fielders-mccutchen-leads-the-way/

  4. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    18 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Is the NFC Now Officially the Superior Conference?

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/2/8/2786096/is-the-nfc-now-officially-the-superior-conference

    Salary Cap Issues: What Decisions Are The Steelers Faced With in 2012, Part I

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/2/9/2786740/steelers-2012-salary-cap-restricted-free-agency-mike-wallace-aaron-smith-ben-roethlisberger

    19 Steelers Depot

    -Rothlisberger Worried New Offense Will Be Difficult for Young Players to Learn

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2012/02/ben-roethlisberger-worried-new-offense-of-todd-haley-will-be-difficult-for-young-players-to-learn/

    20 Steelers Gab

    Timmons the Latest Steelers LB to Restructure Deal

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2012/02/09/timmons-the-latest-steelers-lb-to-restructure-deal/

  5. JAL says:

    The Happy Song by Alex Chilton- 1970. Was lead singer of the Box Tops on their smash hit The Letter. This was recorded post Box tops and pre-Big Star. A Big Star song was used as the theme song of That 70’s Show but not their version.

  6. John Lease says:

    I read your Pirate article Dejan hoping to see what it was about Neil that you found such optimism in. Didn’t really see anything there. Looks like the same old Pirates to me. They made legitimate offers. We don’t want guys just dieing to leave. Ok. What changed? What exciting new direction are the Pirates taking? Seems like the same old story.

  7. February 10

    8 days from today Pitchers & Catchers report to Pirate Spring Training . . . . 8 DAYS!

    No one will go to the dance with you?

    Maybe you are asking the wrong girls.
    Maybe you ought to clean up your rep for being loser before you ask.
    Maybe you ought to ask in a different way (e.g., Sano)
    Maybe you ought to learn how to dance!

    Whatever you do, do it!!!!!! Don’t just wait for the 9 year old girl down the block to grow into a woman!

    You see, I can’t go to the dance if you don’t go to the dance.

  8. bdubb says:

    The Pirates’ front office has gotten exactly what they want. The plan, for them, is working to perfection. Offer good contracts to big name free agents. Have those offers make it to the press to show they are trying. And have the free agents say no. Now they can continue to bank more and more money and tell us “we are trying” line. I am sure they wipe the brow when they are rejected. We, as Pirate fans, have hit rock bottom. At this rate we have 3-5 more years of losing and that’s if the prospects pan out. Super. What a joke (on us)

  9. IC Heavy says:

    On your column: I think Nutting is correct , they have to keep winning in order to attract big time talent, but to keep winning they need the personnel to do it, enter viscious cycle! Your column made me disappointed on two fronts (and residing in DC and workin a few feet from Nationals Park I have come to appreciate a ball game or two there, especially when the Pirates are in town. Plenty of available seats for that series), first it says something about the organization and I am not talking about the coaches that a player with some life left would rather retire than play for the Pirates. Second, it also says something that a player would take an offer from the Nationals over an offer from the Pirates,and a close offer, because Pittsburgh as a city is a lot more friendly than DC will ever be.

  10. NMR says:

    That’s it? Seriously?

    Where is this big article inspired by long talks with Neil?

  11. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Column was good. Neal didn’t say anything, as usual. He said he “feels very good about the 2012 team”. They’re all going to have to step it up a notch with the sticks or he won’t be feelin’ very good around June. Even worse in August. I liked the “3 Barmeses” line. Now we can measure everyone’s salary by “Barmeses” thanks to DK. Is that similar to a kilowat?

  12. NMR says:

    I had to laugh when I read the “little wierd” line…that picture gave me the same uncomfortable feeling.

  13. Dave J says:

    @Groat

    8 days until pitchers and catchers.

    108 days until insignificance.

  14. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    Dejan-

    This is one of your comments from yesterday’s chat regarding today’s article:

    “Dejan Kovacevic: It will be about the Pirates, based on a very long talk Neal Huntington and I had late last night. I know I’ve been critical of him in the past — and believe me, he knows it, too — but I supported his extension at a time when it wasn’t popular, and some of what I heard reinforced why. The team has a very good process in place. Really does.”

    I don’t see anything anywhere in today’s article about the ‘very good process’ you mention, and frankly, I expected much more insight from your ‘very long talk.’

    Then today, in your wake-up call, you mentioned above:

    >> My Friday column looks at why no one wants the Pirates’ money this winter.”

    I don’t see any answers regarding that statement other than that Huntington was willing to pony up… but ultimately nobody wants to play for a loser, which we’ve all known for the last… oh… 19 years or so.

    Dejan: ARE YOU OK?

    DK: Uh, yeah, the column today really wasn’t a Neal Huntington piece. The conversation we had was very wide-ranging, and the stuff in this column was only a small part of it.

  15. Dave in Cincinnati burbs,
    Good insight!
    Your whole comment expressed my own feelings.

    Last couple columns: “Dejan: ARE YOU OK?”

  16. Milo Hamilton says:

    We tried. We really, really tried. Really, we’re serious this time.

    Yeah, I feel a whole lot better about things after reading that. Thank goodness for the “process”.

  17. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    One day we get “:The Wacky World of Todd Haley,” the next day we get “Wait and See.”

    This isn’t our real Dejan. Must be a shadow writer!

    Let’s round up a search party. We’ve GOT to find him before it’s too late…

  18. Drew71 says:

    “I was a little weirded out by Mike Tomlin’s huge smile through the whole thing”

    Jack Nicholson. The Shining.

  19. Milo Hamilton says:

    I think the point that keeps getting glossed over here is that the General Manager is simply incapable of getting the job done. Another example of the Peter Principle at work. He was perfectly capable of getting John Hart his coffee, but he’s clearly risen to a level of incompetence. And we get to enjoy his incompetence for another 3 or 4 years. But, we tried.

  20. Drew71 says:

    “But longtime readers can attest I’m always open-minded.”

    Pirates Charities Sign…meet Dejan Kovacevic.

    (Keep em coming, Dejan. I’m having fun this morning.)

  21. Drew71 says:

    “As the Trib’s Manitoba bureau chief…”

    What, Muncie fired you already?

  22. NMR says:

    FWIW, I enjoyed reading the article, like always.

    I think DK’s style would translate well into books. I’d be surprised if this wasn’t his next career move.

    DK: Never. Not a book writer. See above, NMR, for Huntington/column stuff.

  23. JoeBucco says:

    A better ‘late than never’ morning link that some of you may be interested in. My interview with Pirates catcher Michael McKenry… I can’t wait for pitchers and catchers to report. Baseball is almost here.

    http://gobuccos.com/gobuccos/ceremonial-first-pitch-w-michael-mckenry

  24. chollister says:

    - Is it me or does the good news on Crosby (seeing as that is one of the more in depth and seemingly competent, well researched articles I have read on the subject) just keep raising more questions?

    Every doctor or chiropractor has said the same thing – after the concussion tests the neck is the next obvious place to look. Not that I want to revisit this but I am glad (if this is the real reason) but still perplexed at how long it took and the still varying doctor opinions. Still belief someone isnt tell us something throughout this entire ordeal. It still make zero sense to me and I doubt ever will.

    - I am 50/50 on the Haley hiring. I think he did some good things with the KC offense when healthy and its good he can adapt from a passing team (AZ) to a running team (KC). Also better to hear from KC papers that the Chiefs are a horrid place to work. Still his rep proceeds him so I not overly excited but sure willing to give him a chance as he has had some success.

  25. Corey says:

    I wasn’t aware Tomlin was capable of smiling. I’m glad someone got a picture to prove it really happened.

  26. chris says:

    What I find curious is why jackson would choose the nationals over the pirates as a place to showcase his talents. I’m sure the nationals will be better than the Pirates, but if they have a lot of success this year he will be overshadowed by strasburg, gio gonzalez, etc. He’s not going to stand out in that rotation.
    He could have come here and been our #1 starter without a doubt. If we have a good 3 months like last years start, he would be given all the credit. Headlines would be about jackson carrying this sorry bunch of losers on his back to end a 20 yr losing streak

  27. NMR says:

    @Drew

    I was thinking more along the lines of Mathew Mcconaughey from Dazed and Confused.

    Google it.

  28. DannyMoe says:

    @bdubb- Perhaps I’m just naive, but I refuse to believe they’re just window dressing and secretly would prefer to just stash money away. The fact of the matter is that this organization is a for-profit enterprise, and for-profit enterprises work with constraints like budgets. In my corporate world, I can make job offers to prospective employees only within the scope of the resources I have available to me. I can’t always get the top talent so I have to hire folks with potential and devote training and education resources to promote their growth with the hope that they’ll turn into a superstar down the road.

    This is the real failing of the organization to-date. Their scouting and development hasn’t drafted and/or produced major league quality talent, with a few exceptions. Look at the Rays and you’ll see the results of skilled scouting and development. Until such time as they can put together a core group of young talent on the field in Pgh that has a realistic chance of winning, they’ll continue to struggle in obtaining top talent in the free market under their budget constraints.

  29. NMR says:

    @Chris

    Because GM’s aren’t fans like you and I.

    Jackson can showcase his talents anywhere in the MLB. GM’s don’t care who is around him or how many W’s are on his baseball card.

    He chose the place that gave him the most money now and left him with the potential for the most money later.

    It is just that simple.

  30. Drew71 says:

    Ok. Read the column. Fair points. Free agents notice and appreciate winning and winning atmospheres.

    I don’t disagree. At all.

    I do, however, suggest there might be one way to jump start things with free agents and have them consider Pittsburgh before they actually, you know, win.

    Had the Pirates, coming off a tantalizing playoff chase for 100 games, signed McCutchen to a $60MM or so deal that bought out arbitration years plus SOME free agency, I think that is the kind of move of which of MLB would take serious notice. McCutchen is just the kind of star that other stars want to play with. Sort of like signing one “A” free agent makes it easier to sign the second.

    This Is Not An Impassioned Plea To Advocate Signing McCutchen At ANY Cost. While I would LIKE to see him signed, my point is not at-any-cost. Nor is it blaming that it has not occurred. CERTAINLY my point is not he-doesn’t-wanna-be-here-so-trade-him-for-Single-A-prospects.

    I am simply suggesting that there are TWO possible paths to attracting free agents without foolishly overpaying them.

  31. Folks, I’m into the car to wend my way to Spring Training. I have to be back to work on Ash Wednesday so I will only get appetizers while in Bradenton.

    Someone else (Jandy??) will have to complete the countdown to the glorious day when the smack of balls in gloves and the electricity of bat meeting ball begins.

    CAN THIS BE THE YEAR?!?!

    If McCutch goes back to hitting line drives . . . . if Walker keeps developing as a RBI guy (whether the stats idiots who put Bert Crylevin in the Hall give credit to that important factor or not) . . . . if Pedro turns into a Major Leaguer . . . . if Charlie Morton really becomes a pitcher and not just a chucker . . . . if James McDonald learns that Little League games go 6 innings and Major League games go 9 innings . . . . if Bedard makes it to May 15 without an injury . . . . if Jeff Karstans is the accomplished pitcher of 2/3 of last season and not the guy the Pirates released 1 1/2 years ago (and no one else picked up) . . . . if Mike Lincoln finally steps up and becomes “The Man” . . . . if average to below average pickups Barmes and Barajas (remember: their own teams didn’t want them—see Karstans above) hold up their positions to add glue to the starting 8 . . . . [who will catch the other 60 games] . . . . if Presley and Tabata give us enough go-go at the top of the lineup to justify their starting positions (this is especially an important year for Tabata to take the next step!) . . . . if Pedro takes 10 next steps! . . . . if Neal uses any of our resources to pick up a young 1st baseman like Smoak or Chris Davis, instead of plugging Goodwill Store players into such an important power and fielding position . . . . if Joel Hanrahan is still Joel Hanrahan . . . . if Clint Hurdle parts the Red Sea———then this will be a satisfying, winning (what’s that word?!) season.

    The genesis starts NOW!

  32. Drew71 says:

    NMR, if Dejan ever does write a book (i know; he’s said he won’t), I suggest he use a pen name, a nom de plume, a pseudonym.

    My Suggestion:

    Muncie Manitoba

  33. Drew71 says:

    Hey Muncie,

    I’d like a signed copy.

  34. JohninOshkosh says:

    Drew:

    I think “Muncie Manitoba” is his stripper stage name.

  35. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Younz are hard on the man. Who hasn’t gotten a speeding ticket they didn’t deserve and cried about it for a few days after?

    Also, if you’ve every done any writing or been in a locker room, you know you can’t write everything that was said. Surely Neal said more and gave more opinions, but they can’t be printed for he’d never talk to DK again.

    Agree with Drew. A nice fat contract for Cutch would impress MLB and us. But Groat, we don’t want Mike Lincoln, we have Brad for the Genesis!

  36. NMR says:

    Didn’t the Pens just claim a guy named Muncie Manitoba off waivers?

    I can’t keep ‘em straight anymore.

  37. CWalton_67 says:

    The Pirates. Seriously. Perhaps the nicest ballpark in America, some very good young talent-McCutchen, Walker, Tabata, even Presley and Fort, who, I am sure are enthusiastic, motivated, GOOD teammates. And they can’t get people to accept millions of dollars to come here and play? Derek Lee would rather RETIRE than play at PNC with those kids? He’d be a cult hero in Pittsburgh. Another Gary Roberts or Bill Guerin. We are left to ask why. And the answer is not 19 consecutive losing seasons. The answer is incompetent leadership–the perception by ballplayers and agents dealing with the Pirates that the losing will never change with Nutting, Coonelly, Huntingdon, and possibly Hurdle, in charge.

    Strangely, I am again excited about the opening of spring training, if for no other reason than to participate in the exchanges that will surely take place here on the blog.

    Highly recommend the link DK posted related to Sidney Crosby’s injury. It sheds a great deal of light on some of the things that may be going on with Sid. Certainly much more detail than “soft tissue injury”.

  38. AJS says:

    The thing about Jackson is that he wasn’t taking a 3 year deal to play anywhere. Jackson wanted 6 years. No one is biting. And in a long standing practice by Boras he has convinced his client to take a one year deal at the highest offer possible, play lights out and get his big pay day next off season. Definitely a gamble for any pitcher as Dejan points out, but the snub had nothing to do with it being the Pirates who made the offer.

    At the saem time i thought the 3 year deal was about where Pittsburgh wants to be with Jackson. The last thing they want is to pay a guy 10mil a year for 6 years where the last 4 he is a bust and untradable to boot. They need to spend more and it appears they are trying but at the same time they have to find the right fit. Jackso wasn’t it.

    And with Lee, why woudl he want to play in pittsburgh this season for any amount of money. He is at the age where it is play for a contender or hang em up, and Pittsburgh is certainly not a contender this season.

  39. Drew71 says:

    OshKoshJohn: ewwwww. Please, seriously? EWWWWW

    How do i EVER get that AWFUL image out of my mind???

    (Was that mean? I don’t want to be mean.)

  40. JohnS says:

    I know everyone sees the potential of McCutchen but what in the world would warrant extending him with a $60M deal? Looking at him to date in his career he is an ok player. I hope he is trending up and not plateaued. Looking at his 162 game average he is a guy that will hit 20HR’s drive in 77 Runs and have an OPS of .822.

    Good not great. At least not yet.

  41. AJS says:

    Cutch isn’t going to get a nice fat contract. The best you can hope for him at this point is a buyout through arbitration years and possibly one more guaranteed year on top of that. Somethign like Longoria got. And if you look at that contract Longoria woudl have been better off going to arbitration every year. Cutch would be stupid to sign a deal like that. The Bucs would be stupid to offer any contract better than that. Let’s remember here that while Cutch is the best player on this team he is a very streaky hitter that goes through month long stretches where he barely cracks the Mendoza line only to rebound the following month to hit .375. He shows flashes of power but doesn’t show consistent power. before I am willing to offer Cutch anything other than arbitration pay, i want to see just one complete season start to finish where when he comes to the plate I am confident he will get the job done. Right now I ask myself which Cutch has shown up tonight? The speedy player with a legitimate bat or the guy in a fog who is struggling to get going.

    Again the Pirates need to spend. They need to keep internal talent long term. But with 3 years of arbitration still ahead, keep the options open and when he has one year of arb left evaluate his progress. Evaluate his worth. And if he’s proven to be worth the big money pay the man then.

    People argue that they signed Tabata but not Cutch. Tabata took what was essentially one of those arbitration buy out deals with some additional seasons with club options. Cutch would never sign that, and the Bucs aren’t in a postition to offer anything more than that.

  42. AJS says:

    John S stated my thoughts on Cutch much more to the point than I did.

  43. Statz61 says:

    I think FA’s not willing to sign with the Pirates is the complete bottom of the barrel.

    So now to sign FA’s they are going to grossly overpay FA’s. For one it’s not a guarantee that any player plays up to their past. I think in the long run, this will be another excuse as to why they haven’t spent money, because they would have to overpay the FA’s. The FO is brilliant, they have found a bullet proof plan not to spend money. Be the most putrid organization in baseball that we can be and nobody will even want to take our money.

    Kudos to the Pirates!

    DK: Welcome to our world. Sorry for delay on first posting. Only happens with the very first one.

    I do believe Drew is in charge of issuing straitjackets today.

  44. Drew71 says:

    By the way, my point about McCutchen wasn’t that he SHOULD be extended for that amount. It was simply that the effect of it – the perception throughout MLB – would be essentially the same as if they DID sign another serious FA. That it would make the next signing that much easier.

  45. Arriba Wilver says:

    Drew–don’t worry, I think John was including wearing a Speedo.

  46. CWalton_67 says:

    @Drew71 Agree on your point with Cutch. That effect is exactly what the Pirates need, and no one in TBMTIB is capable of understanding that.

  47. JohninOshkosh says:

    Drew: Sorry, dude. Bad week for mental images with rats in salads and all.

    Groat:

    As you get into your car to head to sunny FLA, I get into my boots to go shovel my driveway. It has been a weird winter but not as weird as the fact that Barmes is the highest paid free agent in franchise history. I will take the baton from you, Groat, and continue your countdown next week. Although, I could never do you adequate justice. I stand on your shoulders and will be but a humble servant in the vineyard of Groat.

  48. Drew71 says:

    So what you guys are saying is Muncie could play the Red M&M in the “Wiggle” commercial?

  49. LuckyNKentucky says:

    JohnS,
    How many “Barmeses” should Cutch get to buy out his arbitration years?

  50. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    LOL @ ‘vineyard of Groat…”

    Obviously somewhere in Groatia, where hope springs eternal…

  51. radio wave says:

    I think this blog is spinning out of control, lol.
    Officer M where are you?
    A difference between a small market media and big market is the fact that 10 days before pitchers/catchers report, the Boston Globe has a reporter in Florida, already reporting onplayers who have shown up early and working out. And many of them are starting lineup players.
    I wonder if a similar situation is going on in Bradenton but there is no burgh media there to report it?

  52. AJS says:

    You ask the wrong question. It is not how many Barmeses should Cutch get. It is why did Clint barmes get so much money. I’d give cutch a deal that paid him 2mil his first arbitration year, 4 mil his second and 6 his third. Maybe give him one more year at 6. But based on his performance so far that is probably more than generous until he proves he can perform day in and day our and not be so streaky. Paying a guy more than 6 mil a year to hit .260-.270 hit 20 HR and only drive in 75 seems unwaranted. He’s not a 10 mil per guy…yet.

  53. JoeBucco says:

    Why do I think we’ll like that Barmes contract by the end of the year? He just seems like a tough dude who will mesh well with this team and this city.

    And I think I know why Cutch doesn’t have that extension yet, and it’s two words. Starling. Marte.

    If Marte improves again this year and becomes a top prospect, we might be able to plug him into CF AND get a ton for Cutch. I don’t want to see it happen, but I don’t think the front office wants to pull a Nate McLouth on Cutch, signing him to an extension and then trading him away. I seem to recall that not going over so well… the type of move that makes players not want to sign with us.

    Heck, I think the real reason why guys like D-Lee, E-Jax, R-Oz (ok, that one’s a stretch) don’t sign with us is because they want to control where they will be playing in AUGUST. Why would you want to sign with a team who has proven that their goal isn’t to have you, but to showcase you and then trade you in July? It’s not about winning, and it’s not even s much about money. It’s about that history, and who would want to go through that? And I know the E-Jax offer was a three year deal, but you can’t tell me that the trade rumors wouldn’t begin by next year at this time.

  54. chris says:

    @NMR

    I’m not sure what being a fan has to do with my previous statement. If the Pirates offered 30 million/3 yrs I really doubt they backed off of a one year deal because washington was offering 11 mill. That means there was more to jacksons decision than just money. In which case, I think he would have been better served joining a team where he would be the star. I’m not questioning the GMs, I’m questioning the agent

  55. Milo Hamilton says:

    There wasn’t more to Jackson’s decision than money. His agent is Scott Boras. The Pirates offered $10 million. The Nats offered $11 million. Simple as that.

  56. NMR says:

    I just think it’s fairly selfish logic to think that Derek Lee choosing to retire is a referendum on the Pirates Front Office.

    He’s a guy at the end of his career who is already a very wealthy man. From his time in Pittsburgh, its recognized that he’s a family man and has a child with disability.

    The Pirates were willing to extend him fair, arbitrated value. They did not put on some all out blitz to sign him. He’s chosen not to take it.

    Who are we to decide why?

  57. Leefoo says:

    Dejan………you will have to renegotiate your contract to get a percentage for each of those ‘chatters’.

    Maybe $1 a ‘chatteerr’? Heck, that’d be an extra $39k.

    Hey, that’d buy a lotta iced coffees!! :)

  58. chris says:

    A few of you have mentioned that you don’t think cutch deserves a huge contract (10m/yr) because his offensive numbers arent incredible. But he is putting up those numbers at a premium defensive position and has great speed. He was just ranked the 3rd best CF in all of baseball, when he becomes a free agent he will get a huge contract. For the pirates to buy out any FA years, they will have to do a lot better than 6m/yr

  59. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Foo,
    How many actual “Barmeses” is DK worth? (As a writer/columnist/blogger/etc., not to Mrs. DK).

  60. NMR says:

    1. Oswalt wants to play for a World Series contender and recognizes the Pirates(shocking) are not one. Pirates do not even negotiate.

    2. Derek Lee, so far, has chosen not to accept arbitration and instead retire.

    3. Edwin Jackson took the most money now and the opportunity for the most money later.

    Where is the story here?

  61. CWalton_67 says:

    NMR

    Lee hasn’t chosen to retire, he’s on record as desiring to play for other teams, just not the Pirates. I am sure there are a fair number of reasons he decided he didn’t want to play here, including the personal ones you mentioned. But if he felt good about the environment surrounding the Pirates, I think he’d have stayed on. As it is, he didn’t, and that says something about the organization.

  62. LuckyNKentucky says:

    CW and NMR,
    You can bet that as soon as a first baseman for a contender goes down, Lee’s phone will be buzzing. Jim Thome and Ty Wigginton in Philly for an ailing Ryan Howard is evidence of that forthcoming. Retirement is a relative thing.

  63. pattonbb says:

    Great comments today. Very entertaining to say the least.

    As far as Cutch goes, I agree with some of the sentiments here that he doesn’t deserve a huge payday, yet. But it’s coming. If anyone wants to see that BA rise, Cutch needs to bat 2nd in this lineup, and stay there. Quit tryin to turn him into a 3 or 4.

    And as excited I am to see what Marte turns into, he’s not going to replace McCutchen. Marte might be the real deal, but then again, he might be Chad Hermansen. Cutch is widely viewed as one of the best talents in baseball. If that outfield doesn’t end up with both Cutch and Marte on the field at the same time, then the Pirates will have made a terrible mistake. Or maybe they put together that dreaded “package deal” for Miguel Cabrera… one can only hope.

  64. Milo Hamilton says:

    Why is it we have to follow national baseball writers to find out what’s going on with the Pirates ? The local beat reporters should be embarrassed.

  65. Arriba Wilver says:

    The problem with the sentiment that Cutch doesn’t deserve the “huge payday” (whatever that is) is that if and when he “proves” it his price will go up. Wouldn’t yours?

    The other thing is regardless of what we think, nationally he’s looked at as the best, hottest, most talented player we’ve had in 20 years. If they don’t sign him (and I’m not saying sign him at any price, but at least adjust your f’ing “internal value”), then, as Drew said, don’t come back and say when FA’s don’t want to come here, “We tried.”

    My favorite Clint quote is (something like) “it’s not a try hard league, it’s a can do league.”

  66. Naje says:

    Because, Milo, local baseball writers deal primarily with one team… the local team.

    And national baseball writers cull sources from all over the nation. The national writers have, over many, many years, cultivated sources throughout the league.

    Local baseball writers generally cultivate the local team source and, quite often, don’t get information from outside sources–AT FIRST–like the national writers do.

  67. NMR says:

    Fair enough, CW.

    But does wanting to play for a contender really say something about the Pirates organization on an emotional level?

    Look, I’m not naive enough to think that Pittsburgh is an easy draw. It’s not. I also don’t believe the Pirates Front Office is doing a good job. They’re not.

    But I seriously doubt FA’s put a fraction of the same relevance in a given teams Front Office that fans do.

    They want to get paid and the old ones want to win. Simple.

  68. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Milo, I think DK ought to go back to the beat with the Trib. He’d be sunning himself already on the Gulf Coast or the Dominican Republic or somewhere. But he’s having far too much fun with this diverse role he’s in. Besides, who would buy those round trip flights to Winnepeg if he was covering baseball? Or Denver? Or how would Muncie pay their police officers?

  69. pattonbb says:

    Arriba, when I said “huge payday” I was referring to a contract in the >55 million dollar range (Justin Uptonish). In my book, that’s a huge number. Poor choice of words on my part about whether or not he “deserves” it. Count me as one who believes he probably does, just don’t think there should be some mad rush to get him signed.

    I agree with the comment about “internal value”. This FO might not feel comfortable committing 70 million dollars (or whatever the number might be) to McCutchen, but if they were to trade him, they’d be asking for the entire farm in return.

  70. Piglegs Robinson says:

    I’d rather have Burnett than Jackson anyday. Won’t give up Jones, their most legit power man for him though. I give the Pirates an A+ for saying ‘No’ to Yanks for Jones.

    I like the rotation of Burnett, Karstens, Bedard, Morton & McDonald.

  71. Bizrow says:

    I like the upgrade here, when did this come about?

  72. Bizrow says:

    Never mind the bolder print and brighter surroundings just disappeared.

    DK: What did you see, Biz?

  73. Piglegs Robinson says:

    So Piglegs Robinson isn’t good enough for your blog anymore?
    I may not have posted in a year since I only like baseball, but I don’t see why that is any reason to reject my posts.
    I was posting on your blog as far back as when the Post Gazette blog just began, before they tried to gouge money out of us. So what makes me ineligible now?

    DK: Good to have you back, PLR. There’s only a delay on your first post. After that, they’re automatic.

  74. Piglegs Robinson says:

    Oh, sorry. Thanks DK.
    When Baseball is newsworthy, I’ll always be around.

    I know it’s not a done deal yet, but we are close.
    So have folks noticed how similar Burnett’s 2011 numbers are to Jackson’s? Not much of difference and Burnett has accomplished far nore than Jackson ever will. Comes at a much cheaper price and I see more potential because there is a whole new generation of NL players who have never faced him. I think pitching in Pittsburgh will help him. He’s had some very bad luck the past two years.

    Jackson moves from team to team every year too, I bet there is a personality reason there somewhere. Burnett is much more stable, though he has always been a character. Just not a bad character.

    He could really help bring some maturity to our younger guys. Show them how eat innings, which they need to learn, especially McDonald.

    I hope they get this deal done. I wonder who the semi-prospect is we are giving them?

  75. radio wave says:

    Peglegs good to read your thoughts again.
    I can’t believe the Bucs turned this trade down over a player like Jones.
    But I think this is a further indication that the brass is not convinced that Alverez will ever pan out, so they have to keep Jones at first not to have to start PA at third.

  76. pattonbb says:

    So the Steelers plan on cutting Hines. Hmm….probably a good business decision. Terrible for the fans though. This “Young Money” WR corp better grow up fast.

  77. Piglegs Robinson says:

    Thanks radio wave.
    I don’t think the Pirates have turned anything down.
    They just are wisely not letting go of their most legit lefty power hitter.
    The Yankees were only testing the waters, and Neal held firm.
    It doesn’t mean the deal won’t get done. The Yankees are mainly trying to get the 10 million in salary relief and the Pirates are accomodating that. It’s just a matter of time now.

 
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