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Wakeup Call: When do Olympics start for you?

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DALLAS — Brief and to the Point …

>> My Monday column is about Michael Phelps, who struck me yesterday — more than ever — as someone who was born extraordinarily gifted and sometimes wishes he was not.

Very interested in your feedback.

>> Also interested in your response to this: When do you care about the Olympics?

In being here surrounded by 300-plus reporters in the grand ballroom interviewing Phelps, I couldn’t help but wonder how many of the dispatches being sent out of that room — mine included — would be read so much more intently once the torch gets lit in London July 27. I’ve always thought of the Olympics, kind of like most people, when there are actual Olympics.

Phelps is different. He’s on pace to become the most decorated Olympian of all time.

I’m just talking about plain, old Olympics. Fastest man or woman, all that stuff.

>> Here is what I believe to be a complete list of all personnel moves the Pirates have made during the season to address the worst offense in the majors:

April 14 – INF Matt Hague optioned to Class AAA Indianapolis

Anyone think of another?

No? So it’s just that?

I’m not talking lineup shuffles here. I mean the actual moving of players on or off the roster. With the pitching worn down and a bit uncertain because of Erik Bedard’s status, Neal Huntington and Clint Hurdle are expected to meet to hash out a plan that probably will include help from Indianapolis. It might be temporary, just for a handful of games.

Such moves can happen with hitters, as well. Yes, it takes two to trade. Yes, options and waivers come into play, but who in this lineup – aside from a handful – could possibly be a concern to be lost?

Seriously, I didn’t see the Nate McLouth and Alex Presley at-bats yesterday. But if they’re half as grisly as has been described, and if the rumor is true that McLouth was summoned to bat for Casey McGehee … what are these guys watching?

>> Don’t mean to be a wet blanket after what, from the highlights, looked like quite the fun ending for Josh Harrison, A.J. Burnett and the Pirates as a whole. There’s nothing like a walkoff.

But this offense problem isn’t going to just go away.

>> Next time you hear or read anyone trying to examine the NHL’s national TV ratings, consider that I’m in Dallas, a Western Conference city, and I’m unable to watch the Western Conference final in my hotel room that offers 60 channels but no NBC Sports.

People might not like hockey once they see it. But we’ll never know if they don’t see it at all.

>> My sources inform me that Anze Kopitar is just slightly adept at rifling backhanders over gloves from the low slot. But I’m checking with Mike Smith for confirmation.

The Kings are legit.

>> I’ll make my weekly appearance on TribLIVE Radio today at noon, talking Olympics, Pirates and whatever else the gentlemen back home care to discuss.

Comments

  1. Deb says:

    An answer, a comment and a question DK…

    First, I begin to ‘care’ about the Olympics as the buzz/buildup begins to be more visible in the media. The story lines start to emerge, and I begin to care about different athletes who have overcome great odds, or are simply great.

    The Caps, despite playing a different style, didn’t get any farther in the playoffs than 2009. And again, most of their best players failed to show up for game 7. So, no ‘star reborn’ as you suggested. In fact, it was almost 2009 revisited. Remember that storyline: Caps have callup AHL goalie (Varley) who snatches victory in round 1,(from Rangers) and Caps move on to play Pens in round 2, with each game hard fought, mostly 1 goal victories, several went to overtime, only the Caps fail to show in game 7. Pen’s win, and win Cup. Interesting to see if Rangers continue the storyline.

    Q about Concussions: With all the focus on concussions, and articles you have written, why has the severe concussions Malkin experienced in his career never been mentioned? There were a number of stories posted when Malkin first came to play for the Pens about Malkin being hospitalized and requiring many months to recover from a severe concussion suffered when he played in Russia, I think he had a second severe one that required he missed Jr. Worlds one year? Don’t recall this ever being mentioned in the past year. Why?

    DK: I haven’t done that much on concussions, Deb, though our paper has. I’m not even remotely familiar with these Malkin concussions you’re describing. I can ask.

  2. Leah Backus says:

    **waves** Feels like forever since I commented here. Generally speaking, I don’t really care about the summer Olympics. My husband does, though, so once it starts I usually get sucked in. It’s fun watching him watch the most obscure events imaginable because there’s a Canadian competing! Now my daughter is right there beside him, both in their Roots Canada gear. (It gets lonely around here during Olympic time.) I get excited about the next Winter Olympics approximately 4.2 seconds after the current ones are over. All of which is quite odd since I loathe winter and love summer.

    DK: Canadians can be that way.

  3. twentytwo22 says:

    #HeapItOn

    DK: #FreeJeffLarish

  4. grandpagreg says:

    I have enough trouble keeping up with the sports I already follow. Unless a fantastic story line catches my interest, I seldom follow the Olympics. I prefer the team stuff like hockey in the Winter Olympics.

    I wish the Bucs would keep Presley in the lineup instead of sitting him during this slump. At least he’s been a spark at times before the recent dive. I don’t see him coming out of it as a pinch hitter. If they want to play McLouth, then let him play every day for a good while until it’s obvious he’s either gotten his game back or needs to be moved.

    The Kings looked sharp last night and the ‘Yotes made too many mistakes. Look for Tippet to tighten the “D” a little to cut down on all those shots but L.A. will be hard to stop if they keep playing like that. Watching Shane Doan play his heart out is a real treat for a hockey fan. He’d be a leader on any team he played for.

  5. Dave G says:

    Dejan-

    You know, I took a little flak on Saturday for posting some statistics to your game blog about just how miserable these Pirates are hitting over the past week or so. I was accused of ‘cherry picking’ my numbers, although they were completely representative of the offensive struggles that, in fact, a majority of the Pirates continue to wallow through.

    The Bucs have put together a few nice wins during this time with some timely hitting—just enough to squeak by every now and then— but, as you reinforced above, the alarming offensive problems are not going to go away.

    Huntington essentially said yesterday that he can’t make anything happen trade-wise to improve the offense in April, May or June and that any help has to come from within.

    Therefore, all roads to offensive improvement lead back to the hitting instruction at the major league level, and it’s just not happening.

    As far as answers? It’s obvious that neither Huntington nor Ritchie have any.

  6. JAL says:

    JAL’s Don’t Stop Believing 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/

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)

    http://gobuccos.com/pittsburgh-pirate-news/

    PIRATE BLOGS

    4—Pirates Prospects

    Harrison’s Walk off Hit Ends Extra Inning Affair

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/05/harrisons-walk-off-hit-ends-extra-inning-affair.html

    Prospect Watch: Alen Hanson and Jose Osuna Homer

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/05/prospect-watch-alen-hanson-and-jose-osuna-homer.html

    The 1909 World Series: Game Six

    http://blogs.piratesprospects.com/history/the-1909-world-series-game-six/

    Recent History Suggests the Slow Offensive Start has Doomed this Club

    http://blogs.piratesprospects.com/bandi/recent-history-suggests-the-slow-offensive-start-has-doomed-this-club/

    Prospect Notebook: When Will Cole and Taillon Move Up?

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/05/prospect-notebook-when-will-cole-and-taillon-move-up.html

  7. JAL says:

    7 McEffect

    5/13 Recap | Pirates 3 Astros 2

    http://www.mceffect.com/2012/05/513-recap-pirates-3-astros-2.html

    8 Green Weenie

    Bucs Grind Out 12 Inning Walk Off Win

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2012/05/bucs-grind-out-12-inning-walk-off-win.html

    9 WHY GAVS

    Game 34: Pirates 3 Astros 2

    http://whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/may-2012/game-34-pirates-3-astros-2.html

    10 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Bucs win the Mother’s Day marathon

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2012/05/bucs-win-the-mothers-day-marathon/

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES

    11 CBS Sports

    Miami vs Pittsburgh Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20120514_PIT@MIA/piratesmarlins-preview

  8. JAL says:

    12 Houston Chronicle

    On the Astros: Wandy’s outing wasted in 12-inning loss to Pirates

    http://blog.chron.com/ultimateastros/2012/05/13/on-the-astros-wandys-outing-wasted-in-12-inning-loss-to-pirates/

    Chicago Tribune

    Pittsburgh Pirates – TeamReport

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/sns-rt-bbo-pirates-teamreportmtze85cvrw068-20120512,0,7126127.story

    14 Beaver County Times

    Burnett has been the pitcher the Pirates hoped he’d be

    http://www.timesonline.com/sports/local_sports/burnett-has-been-the-pitcher-the-pirates-hoped-he-d/article_14b0a5fd-6fe9-5ed0-bfc5-18e9493a1a09.html

    15 New York Daily News

    Tony Pena, Joe Girardi’s bench coach with Yankees, remembers role his mother played in his baseball upbringing

    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/tony-pena-joe-girardi-bench-coach-yankees-remembers-role-mother-played-baseball-upbringing-article-1.1077343

    16 Charleston Daily Mail

    Dodson finds groove in strong outing for Power

    http://www.dailymail.com/Sports/201205130112

  9. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    20 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Weekend Check Down: The Top Stories of the Week

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/5/12/3015004/weekend-check-down-the-top-stories-of-the-week

    Talkin’ Outside Linebackers: How Steelers Defense Remained Dominant With Instability On the Edge

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/5/11/3013728/talkin-outside-linebackers-lamarr-woodley-james-harrison-matt-roth

    Off-Season Injury List Growing, Claims Browns NT Phil Taylor

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/5/13/3016039/injury-list-cleveland-browns-baltimore-ravens-pittsburgh-steelers-phil-taylor-terrell-suggs

    21 Steelers Depot

    - Prime 9: Best Year for Ben Roethlisberger in 2012?

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2012/05/prime-nine-best-year-for-ben-roethlisberger-in-2012/

    22 Nice Pick Cowher

    Free Agency and the Steelers: Best & Worst Signings

    http://nicepickcowher.com/2012/05/10/free-agency-and-the-steelers-best-worst-signings/

  10. JAL says:

    Pitt Blogs

    23 Pitt Blather

    Pitt Gets Impatient With Big East

    http://www.pittblather.com/2012/05/12/pitt-gets-impatient-with-big-east/

    24 Cardiac Hill

    Sporting News Ranks Paul Chryst Near Bottom Of Division I Coaches

    http://www.cardiachill.com/2012/5/13/3015614/paul-chryst–ncaa-college-football-coaching-rankings-preseason-top-25-pitt-panthers-recruiting

    WVU Blogs

    25 Metro News

    WVU Connections Key For Christian

    http://www.wvmetronews.com/wvu.cfm?func=displayfullstory&storyid=52667

    26 WV Illustrated

    Just How Different Is WVU Football Schedule?

    http://www.wvillustrated.com/story/18368492/just-how-different-is-wvu-football-schedule

  11. JAL says:

    PENGUIN BLOGS

    27 Highland Park Hockey

    Penguins Fall Short in Game Seven

    http://highlandparkhockey.blogspot.com/2012/05/penguins-fall-short-in-game-seven.html

    Soccer(football)

    28 Sky Sports

    Drama as City clinch title

    http://www.skysports.com/football/match_report/0,19764,11065_3409874,00.html

    29 Daily Telegraph

    The moments that decided the English Premier League title for winners Manchester City

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/soccer/the-moments-that-decided-the-english-premier-league-title-for-winners-manchester-city/story-e6frey4r-1226354477486

    30 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: Stories you need to read, May 11 th 2012

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-11th-may-2012

  12. JAL says:

    We enter the 1980s with Don’t Stop Believing, 1981 Journey. This song, a perfect example of the power ballad, is the largest selling track in i-tunes history. Journey was formed in 1973 but their greatest success came in the 1980s. Journey, Foreigner , and Boston were the three big power ballad bands of the era, the children of Styx.

  13. Jandy says:

    JAL ~ Ahhhhhh Journey :)
    Love Don’t Stop Believin’…thanks for sharing.

  14. Drew71 says:

    I do NOT mean this sarcastically, but many times I find myself caring most about the Olympics just after they close. Meaning: “Wow. They just ended. I wish I had followed more closely.”

  15. Drew71 says:

    Journey?

    Please no.

    And notice. The chick liked it.

    They’re the pop rock version of a chick flick.

    Cause their songs are all hook and no ladder.

  16. Drew71 says:

    (now THAT, by the way, was sarcasm.)

  17. Jandy says:

    Watch it, Drew! :p

  18. bdubb says:

    Olymics? I get excited about day 5 of the Olympics. I don’t care to watch 100 countries walk through the hall. I don’t care about early competition. I like it when it means a medal.

    I wonder if there is a bigger lover of “lefty-righty” matchups than Hurdle? it drives me insane sometimes with his love of that or the double switches. He basically depleted his bench right off the bat by pinch hitting for 2 guys who should never be pinch hit for (unless Josh Hamilton is on your team and has the day off) and to top it off the 2 guys pinch hitting look worse at the plate than the 2 substituted for. I love Hurdles enthusiasm and I think that is a big factor in managing MLB but boy I hate the way he actually manages games.

  19. JMB says:

    I dont care much about the Olympics at any time. I might catch the 100m final, but with the TV delays, I usually know who won long before the race airs.

    The Olympics haven’t really been relevant for me since 1984.

  20. Drew71 says:

    Me too, JiMBo. That book changed my life. Can’t watch Olympics or any world event in the same way ever since.

  21. Stuart says:

    On the Olympics, I usually get sucked in by the openings and closings with my wife, but the seemingly endless parade gets old pretty quick. No interest “pre” the Os, and “during” interest has to do with timezones most of all. Never enjoy tape delay anything. The swimming competitions have the most viewing interest for me, maybe because their duration matches my attention span more readily. I can enjoy the competition but really tire easily of the hype and the personal interest stories. Just like with NFL football BTW. When there is a game on I want to see I try to not turn the TV on until just before the kickoff. Too much meaningless analysis by the network “entertainers”, and WAY too much animated robots.

    Wonder why no one has told Clint Barmes that he cant hit an outside breaking ball even when he should know it’s coming with two strikes?
    Stuart

  22. NMR says:

    A day late and dollar short, but just wanted to say I appreciated the Pujols/Hamilton column. I thought it was good reading and a welcome break from the immediate analysis and commentary of whatever happened yesterday in our Pittsburgh sports bubble. I’d love to see it continue.

    As for the Olympics, I pay much more attention to the social product than the sport, so I’m probably not the audience you’re looking for. It’s much more interesting to see the indivudual cities build up for a singular event and the pagentry involved in all the nations of the world joining together than a bunch of guys running super fast and throwing stuff. For what it’s worth, I’m certain DK will manage to produce more than a play-by-play of the days events. I’m looking forward to the reading.

  23. scapper says:

    Summer Olympics…they still have those?

    Now the winter Olympics, those are the best. Might not be a more depressing moment in sports than when they turn off the flame at the closing ceremonies. Well, I guess seeing Ovechkin or some Flyer raise the Stanley Cup is pretty depressing…oh wait, no worries there. Still.

    But the Tour de France trumps all other international sports competitions.

  24. RobertoForever says:

    Wow, the Pirates win two in a row, including the last in a walk-off, and there is less enthusiasm here for the Bucs than on the mother ship. Seriously, the angst here is approaching the Sox Nation I experienced over 3 different decades.

    This just in – there is a power outage in baseball now. We are looking at another year of the pitcher. Take out just a few HR hitters and the entire league looks like Pedro Alvarez.

    Also funny, how folks were SURe that Matt Hague is the answer. How’s that looking. If there were power-hitting or even excellent hitters ‘available’, teams like the Sox would be buying.

    While y’all Angst, I am going to watch highlights online of the Pirates FOUR wins in the last 6 days against ‘hot’ teams. #LifesHardSmellTheRoses

  25. CWalton_67 says:

    I start caring about the Olympics during the buildup–like now. And I really enjoy it, both summer and winter. There is something about the fact that the athletes feel like they are competing, not only for themselves, but for the country–for all of us. In my humble opinion, the greatest moment in sporting history was the U.S. hockey victory over Russia in 1980 Olympics. A victory so inspiring, it brought the entire country out of the darkness of the 70′s. Yes, I care about the Olympic games.

    As for Phelps, I’m very interested to see him compete. The athletes mentioned in the column all had at least one thing in common–a level of competitiveness unmatched by their peers. The desire to win at all costs. Does Phelps have it at this point in his life? We’ll see.

    Pirates. I really want to like this team, but…they are so maddeningly incompetent. I think I read that one of them actually hit a sacrifice fly this weekend? Did it really happen? I didn’t pay too much attention this weekend, but I did see that McClouth popped up with runners in scoring position twice in the same game, and I saw Cutch drop a ball at the wall that I could still catch at my advanced age. These guys just don’t play fundamentally sound baseball. Been this way for going on 20 years now.

    Agree on the L.A. Kings. The are absolutely legit. And they are nasty.

  26. Jandy says:

    Still looking for the “like” button, and really wishing there was an ignore button as well…

  27. CWalton_67 says:

    Journey. Man. The two best albums were prior to Escape. Evolution and Departure were actually rock-n-roll albums. After that, all downhill. Thankfully, my musical tastes had evolved to punk by then anyway. And for anyone who cares–there is a new Joey Ramone CD being released this week.

  28. NMR says:

    Dude, the “ImTheBestPiratesFanEver” bit is getting really old.

    I have no idea what you’re reading but the overwhelming majority of posters on this blog, boss included, are extremely fair on Pirates matters.

    If you’re looking for more excitement from two wins against one of the worst teams in the league in May, then you’re probably in the wrong place. There’s gotta be a cheerleading blog somewhere. Find it.

  29. JAL says:

    Olympics, I get interested when the US Track and Field tryouts are held. Always enjoy the track events, probably because I ran track in high school.

  30. NMR says:

    Oh, and #thisdoesnothingonablog. #gobacktotwitter.

  31. jackdeloplane says:

    I trained for a year with Alanzo Babers a 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist the year before he went to the LA Games. I used to get excited about them, but now, the way NBC packages the games with their pre-packaged “spotlight” athletes, its just another reality show these days.

    Its a shame to see the Pirates waste these great pitching performances. One look at the Ranger team on TV last night was enough to make me lament the Pirate offensive offense.

  32. Jandy says:

    NMR ~ Thank you for saying what I’ve been thinking Thus, I would love an “ignore” button ;)

  33. LuckyNKentucky says:

    NMR,

    Pressing imaginary like button on 30 and 32 above.

  34. JohninOshkosh says:

    @NMR

    Word!

  35. RobertoForever says:

    Thanks, but I’ll keep trying to bring some realistic balance.

  36. radio wave says:

    Up until this morning, I hadn’t thought about the olympics. So my interest starts with your article.
    My Rangers are still alive.
    I was on vacation when Hague was sent down, what reason was given at the time?
    I know the Pirates need pitching help from Indy, but the scary thing is two of the worst spring performers, Slayton and Reyes, have been lights out down there. Don’t want either of them called up however.
    Enjoy the chicken fried steak and blue bell ice cream.

  37. RobertoForever says:

    Dejan,

    NMR wants you to go back to twitter, lol. He is tired of your has tag jokes.

  38. RobertoForever says:

    *hashtag – stupid auto correct

  39. Jandy says:

    Some twit-ters think life is a reality show. Go figure…

  40. Bizrow says:

    The Bucs aren’t moving sticks from the minors because the cupboard is bare down there.

    Still bare, after all the “flooding”

    Just sayin

  41. LuckyNKentucky says:

    RW,

    Hague was sent down to get more AB’s on a regular basis and play more at 3rd to be more versatile. He’s hitting in the .280′s right now and playing a lot of 3rd in addition to some 1st.

  42. JohninOshkosh says:

    @CWalton_67

    (#29) Thanks for The Ramones tip. Did not know that. My wife and I saw a pretty good Ramones cover group a few weeks ago. It was a middle age bacchanalia.

    “G C D Now Start a Band”

  43. NMR says:

    If you haven’t noticed, #FreeInsertNameHere is an ongoing inside joke.

    Completely different context than your insistence on trying to be cute and funny, which isn’t working.

  44. NMR says:

    @Biz

    I take exception to that logic.

    The minors absolutely have players that could be traded for hitting help. The Pirates just aren’t willing to give them up.

    Name one organization that could trade their unwanteds for quality, proven MLB hitting.

  45. RobertoForever says:

    @NMR

    You mean like #HeapItOn, lol.

    Bullying people who have different opinions than you, may work for you sometimes, but it won’t work here.

  46. NMR says:

    So you can come in here and criticize the blog but as soon as I stick up for it I’m bullying you?

    #thinskin’d

    We’re done with this conversation. Enjoy your day.

  47. Bizrow says:

    @NMR

    Not talking about trades, I was talking about hitters currently in the system that would make a difference in the show.

    Marte is not ready, Matt Hague, well, we got what he brings already at the spots he can play.

    I don’t think you understood what I was saying, or I didn’t clearly say what I was thinking.

    Cupboard bare, no sticks ready to help out.

  48. Nate83 says:

    Something has to change the hitting is absolutely horrible. To many guys batting below .220 and nothing on the bench that shows any consistancy to be better. I still don’t understand Nate playing over Presley. He is 4 years removed from anything that resembles a major league hitter and Presley at least showed some promise last year.

    I was all for sending Marte down if he wasn’t going to get his at bats up here but I am now thinking he should be up because when healthy because he would be starting every game and getting his at bats. Hague should be up as well because he has enough minor league at bats to know what he is and he has to be better then any current bench option.

    While they are at it Grossman and D’Arnaud should be up as well. What is the worse that can happen, they bat .220 because that would still better then are current shortshop, 3rd outfielder, 1st base platoon and utility players.

  49. RobertoForever says:

    @NMR -

    Me – “Wow, its gloomy in here, shouldn’t we be talking about 4 out of 6 wins?”

    You – “I don’t like your opinion -why don’t you leave!”

    You don’t see the difference – hmmm

    Its funny, because usually you have pretty good takes on things. Must be a rough Monday for you.

  50. jackdeloplane says:

    Hey Roberto,

    I’d hardly call it bullying. its nice in here. Don’t muck it up for the rest of us. We like disagreements and intelligent conversation. For other exercises, there are plenty of other blogs.

    Perhaps this isn’t the place for you, or perhaps its just a bad day. either way, starting a fight is foolish.

    just a thought….

  51. aglebagel says:

    DK, make sure to thank your bosses for us for sending you on a trip that doesn’t necessarily have any Pittsburgh connections. I’ve greatly enjoyed both pieces that have come out of it thus far. Here’s to hoping that Pujols finds himself again.

    I love the Olympics, and I get excited whenever NBC shows a commercial for them. I think it started when I was 12 and stayed up through the primetime and late-night coverage every night of the Atlanta Games. With as much time as I spend watching the Big Four sports, I think it’s refreshing and fun to watch some other sports and get to know some other athletes for a change, even if I forget about most of them soon after. I love the music (John Williams!), I love the human interest stories, and I love the cultural aspect. Basically, for all the flack NBC takes, I admit that I totally eat up all their “packaging” of the Games.

    This year, the intriguing storyline for me will be whether or not Phelps, Bolt, and the U. S. Basketball team can carry their dominance from Beijing. Ryan Lochte is coming hard for Phelps, Usain hasn’t really repeated his brilliance since ’08, and I’m worried that after reclaiming gold last time, the hoopsters will go on cruise-control again.

  52. Jandy says:

    Ignore!

  53. NMR says:

    My bad, Biz. I smell what’cher cookin’.

  54. NMR says:

    In the world of what-ifs, ’08 4th rounder Chase d’Arnaud and ’09 1st rounder Tony “don’t call me tiny” Sanchez would fit awfully nice into this current team.

    Can anyone think of a quick way to see if ANY catchers or shortstops have been developed out of those drafts?

  55. radio wave says:

    I’m listening to the Indianapolis vs. Norfolk game. This guy pitching for the Indians, Vanden Hurk?
    Is he the former Florida marlin?
    If yes, when and how did the Pirates get him?
    If he has some past MLB experience, could he be some temporary help for the Bucs?

  56. RobertoForever says:

    @jack,

    Appreciate the input, but again I ask the question. Why so gloomy today? Is it the rain?

    The Pirates have won 4 of 6, beating the heralded “the front office is so much better than the BMTIB” Nationals and the ‘hot’ Astros.

    Shouldn’t there be some more enthusiasm. Are there warts – Yes. Are they easy to correct – No – not for the Pirates, or the Angels, or the Padres, or the Giants, or the Phillies, or the Red Sox.

    But why not celebrate a great walk-off win on Mother’s Day and a finish to a great homestand?

    PS – I am having a great Monday. Just trying not to have my light ‘hid under a bushel’ ,lol. So, no, I am not leaving, just because the cool kids won’t let me play their reindeer games. And when I logged in I saw two shots at me, and then asked some questions. Took a shot at no one. But I got a lot shot at me. All for wondering why so negative after a 2-game winning streak.

  57. RobertoForever says:

    Here is a great quote I saw on another website.

    “Remember when everyone was predicting doom after Burnett got hurt and would miss the tough early season schedule? Didn’t happen.

    The depth is already showing a difference between this year and last.”

    We sure could use some of that optimism here today.

  58. RobertoForever says:

    @radio wave

    Henricus – what a cool first name – was with the Indians in ST, but declined assignment at the end of Spring Training.

    The Pirates signed him to a minor league contract on 4/11 – He also pitched this year for Bradenton. Myself, I’d rather see Wilson, first.

  59. jackdeloplane says:

    Sorry Jandy, I couldn’t resist! Sunny and 75 here today, although we might get a shower later. My grass could use it.

  60. JAL says:

    Top pick in 2008 was a SS, Tim Beckham, who has been a major bust so far. 5th pick Posey looks like a good catcher, 10th pick Jason Castro, catcher, in majors but doing nothing special, pirates drafted Jordy Mercer in 3rd round, So other than Posey no C or SS picked through round 4 has done much in the majors unless i missed someone.

    2009, nothing in 1st 4 in C or SS

  61. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Jandy,

    Cloudy and 64 here.

  62. Jandy says:

    Jack – it’s raining and 60ish here, so go ahead and rub it in :p

    Lucky, Not sure if you sent the rain here or if we’re sending it there, but it’s depressing. Makes me want to sleep :/ But always nice to see you here, friend :)

  63. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Clement, .280; Hague, .280; Mercer .289. Could any of that translate to MLB help? Chase is at .194 in limited plate appearances and Hague got off to a slow start at Indy, but Mercer has been steady. May not be the power bat of McGeheehee, but maybe some more hits anyway. Clement needs another shot, too, at some point.

  64. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Jandy,

    We thankfully sent it to you. Didn’t stop here for 2 days. Last time that happened was 2 years ago, 3 days in a row and major flooding. Made for an inside Mom’s Day, which is OK. And, a walk-off win, too. Great day.

  65. radio wave says:

    Robertoforever:
    Indians are leading 1-0 in sixth, Wilson left game for unknown reasons.

  66. Jandy says:

    Lucky, it started here yesterday so, hopefully it’s almost over. I’m feeling damp and yucky. lol

  67. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Wilson only threw 3 innings today (30 pitches). Could there be any underlying meaning to that?

  68. JAL says:

    Reports that Ron Everhart has joined Huggins staff at WVU

  69. NMR says:

    Thanks, JAL.

    Turns out MLB.com has a pretty easily sortable draft board.

    Ryan Flaherty(41st) and Tyler Pastornicky(159th) are the only shortstops from ’08 to play in the big leagues.

    No shortstops from the 2009 draft have played in the MLB.

    Just a little food for thought.

  70. JAL says:

    Lucky

    Wilson came out to warmup for the 4th then left–appears to be some type of injury.

  71. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Thanks, JAL. Hope that’s not serious. He’s been throwing well as a starter.

  72. RobertoForever says:

    @radio wave – maybe injury, maybe promotion later in the week, since bullpen taxed and Lincoln starting tomorrow?

    Let’s us know if the radio says anything – are you listening to IndyIndians radio coverage or other coverage?

  73. RobertoForever says:

    @JAL – thanks for the update.

    Bummer for Justin. Really pitching well lately.

  74. NMR says:

    Three of the top 16 picks from ’08 were catchers who are now in the majors. Impressive.

    Nothing after that.

  75. RobertoForever says:

    Just saw an interesting stat -

    Pirates are 6-0 in extras in their last 6 home games.

    More reasons to go see the Buccos at home – besides the 10-8 home record this year

  76. AJS says:

    Not having the time to see what others have said, i will say this about the McLouth and Presley at bats. Both were brutal to watch. Presley’s better than McLouth’s only if because I believe he saw more than 3 pitches and was punched out looking on a ball 6 inches off the plate.

    McLouth was called on to go lefty/righty and as much as he has been terrible this season his career numbers against Myers were 5/8 with a dinger. However, he swung the bat once and was sat down looking at a pitch that was right down the heart of the plate.

    The lefty/righty crap is insane to me. Especially hitting for McGehee. Not to mention he had every rigth handed bat in the game to start so when he needed to pinch hit for Burnette his options were Barmes, McHenry, or a lefty…he went with Jones.

    Typing all of that just solidifies this team needs a bat. Or two. or Three. it is not like this came out of nowhere either. It was a problem all last season as well.

  77. JohninOshkosh says:

    One of the things I really like about the Olympics in the cable television era is that entire Olympic sport events can be covered by one channel. For instance, I really enjoy boxing and, during the last few Olympics, NBC has devoted one of its cable properties to covering the Olympic boxing tournament. You get to see almost every fight. Sugar Ray Leonard’s run in Montreal ranks as one of my favorite childhood sporting memories.

    I think USA basketball is in serious trouble. A lot of key players are injured and some teams, like the Bulls, are whispering about not allowing their million dollar properties (Deng) to risk injury. The condensed, accelerated NBA season and lengthy playoffs are going to leave some completely spent. The world doesn’t cower in front of NBA ballers anymore. It always sucks to see an anthem other than our national anthem being played at the basketball medal ceremony.

    I support the idea of the world coming together in sport. It’s a sad recognition of reality, though, that the Brits have to place surface to air missile installations on homes and businesses to protect everyone. I/m sure there will be one on Dejan’s hotel.

    DK: You’re right. Not about the missiles, I hope, but about the rest of the world vs. the NBA. They stopped seeking autographs after the very first Dream Team.

  78. radio wave says:

    RobertoForever:
    Indians just won 1-0. slayton gets save, snagged a liner to the mound with a runner on second.
    I was listening on Indians radio.

  79. RobertoForever says:

    @radio

    Thx for the update – nice finish to the homestand for the Indians. Must have made a bunch of school kids really happy

  80. radio wave says:

    RobertoForever:
    Another “school education day” at the ballpark.
    Every team does it. I wonder what the “education” component is?
    It’s a field trip.
    Sounded like a couple of thousand kids in the stands.

  81. 21sthebest says:

    I never stop caring about the Olympics. I love the Olympics, especially track.

    DK: Thanks to you and everyone else who read and commented on the column. I know when I write those things they won’t be heavily read. But that can never be the sole basis for what you write. If it was, I’d do Steelers three times a week.

  82. RobertoForever says:

    @radio wave

    great question.

    I do know there is an excellent “math in baseball” program out there for educators but I think it is geared for middle school and high school kids.

    Hopefully the teachers worked a lesson plan around it so it wasn’t just a field trip, but…. I hear ya.

  83. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I haven never been one that was intested in the Olympics. I do like the idea of athletes playing for their countries. And make no mistake, these competitors are athletes. I disagreed with the Olympics adding snowboarding to the Winter Olympics because to me it seems more like a hobby than a sport.

    Why is golf not an Olympic sport? Or did I miss it?

    DK: They were working on it. This would have been a great one for the introduction, obviously, with St. Andrews and other legendary courses in the sport’s birthplace.

  84. Dave G says:

    That didn’t last long:

    ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — Dale Hunter quit as coach of the Washington Capitals on Monday after less than one full season in the job, telling the team he wants to return to his family in Canada.

  85. Vav800 says:

    DK,

    I love the Olympics, but my thoughts are that this country just doesn’t have the attention span required to follow these sports outside of the actual games themselves. America is obsessed with winning, specifically in dominating fashion, which is why outside of Phelps, Michael Johnson, and Anton Apolo Ohno, very few Olympians who aren’t high-profile professional athletes (i.e. The Dream Teams) have relevance outside of the Olympics themselves. We have guys like Tom Brady, LeBron James, and Sidney Crosby showcasing their outrageous ability on an endless repeat on SportsCenter everyday…the so-called “Olympic sports” just don’t get the coverage necessary to register with the mainstream American sports fan.

    Your point about Phelps seemingly wishing he wasn’t “Michael Phelps,” is dead on. Many of the Olympic sports, most notably swimming and gymnastics, require an athlete to devote almost the entirety of their young lives to their craft. Considering that, coupled with all his issues outside of the pool, and it’s easy to see why he would want to move on with his life.

    DK: Good stuff. Welcome! Hope you’re around while I’m in London. I’ll be lonely if all you people desert me for 18 days.

  86. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I’m glad the Pirates were able to take the series against the Astros. I didn’t get to see any of the games this weekend, but the offense obviously needs to do something. Whether that be a change in philosphy or personnel, something needs to be done.

    The problem with changing players is that there really isn’t anybody to trade the current players spots. The minor leagues are weak with offense as well. The pitching should be fairly easy to replace or rebuld.

    I am looking forward to Brad Lincoln’s start tonight. He’s deserved it and has done very well coming out of the bullpen. Funny, I don’t worry about the pitching anymore, but the offense has me worried every night.

  87. JAL,

    You mentioned that you used to run track.

    Didn’t you used to run with Barney Fife in Morgantown?

  88. RobertoForever says:

    @Ryan

    I believe the IOC has a limit on the number of ‘sports’ allowed in the Olympics. Golf was there for 2 recent Olympics, was then booted, but I believe it will be back in 2016.

  89. JAL says:

    I just shook my head when Nate hit for Casey. I don’t know what happened to Nate but since the trade to Atlanta he seems to totally lost his hitting skills. The move also led to Barajas and Barmes playing 1st base.

  90. JAL says:

    Groat

    Not that old. My mother went to school with him though.

  91. Naje says:

    DK–
    Always been an Olympics fan… since the ’72 games and following ice skating (Janet Lynn) and a huge crush on Dorothy Hamill in ’76. Have a series of Olympic recap videos (Bud Greenspan) and posters of nearly every modern Olympics dating to 1912.

    I’ll be watching…

    On another note, NOT ONE WORD on the Champions League drama? Shocked. (I know, you were busy with the Olympic pressers, etc, but I sure do hope you got some semblance of just how incredible that finish was… and that the PBC, when they finally make the playoffs, will have fans rejoicing just like Man City fans did yesterday).

    DK: I swear, I don’t even know what you’re referring to.

  92. Dejan, in answer to your question:

    My initial visceral response when I saw your column title was, “Darn! I was really looking forward to reading something good from Dejan today!”

    I will enjoy the Olympics when it’s time for the Olympics——but writing about them now seems similar to having a column on the 2013 Super Bowl.

    I read the column: the writing was good; the topic was not engaging.

    However, afterward I discovered the piece you did on Pujols and Hamilton, and I was delighted.

    I especially liked your Yin & Yang description within baseball. I hadn’t thought of that. And . . . . I will always believe that Kemp was the MVP last season!

  93. JAL says:

    Naje

    Champions League drama not over–Man City, Man U and Arsenal are in but Tottenham only makes it if Bayern Munich beats Chelsea in this years final on Saturday. If Bayern wins Tottenham goes next year but if Chelsea wins they get the spot as defending champs.

  94. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I think Drew dated a girl named Chelsea Tottenham before he went to Man U. Or was that PSU?

    My hat’s off to ‘ya JAL. You know your soccer.

  95. Dave says:

    I have a question for you regarding the drafts that Neal Huntington and the Pirates have had since Huntington took over.

    The first two drafts that they had are looking more and more like possible failures for the Pittsburgh Pirates in terms of results. Pedro Alvarez looks like he could be a feared hitter, but he also looks lost at times and he appears to be the only player from that draft who could have a long term impact on the roster (D’Arnaud, Wilson, Grossman, and a few others could make it, but more in a utility/bullpen sense). The 2009 draft looks even worse than the 2008 draft because as of right now Brock Holt looks to be the only player taken in that draft that might become a major league player. 2010 and 2011 drafts it’s too early to tell. My question is when does Huntington start getting pressure put on him for the lack of success that each of his first two years of drafting have recieved. Especially when the Pirates point toward their draft spending as a reason for optimism.

    The Pirates can’t afford to be going out and shopping for higher end players and we know Huntington can’t find low end offensive players (Barajas, Barmes, Iwamaura, rent a vet name added here). Are the Pirates lack of success in the recent drafts a failure on taking the correct players, a failure on the organization’s developmental process, or a combination of the two? It just seems that for an organization that has had so many higher round picks the last few years that it’s odd the only way a prospect seems to dominate a level for them is if they are repeating. It’s also disappointing that two teams who were right there with the Pirates on the bottom just a few seasons ago (Baltimore and Washington) already appear to have their team going in the right direction while we’re still spinning our wheels in Pittsburgh.

    DK: I was right there with you, Dave, until the oversimplification of the Baltimore/Washington comparisons. Different paths for different teams in baseball because of the imbalanced system.

    As for the drafts, I noted here rather emphatically last week that the system is almost completely bereft of legitimate hitting prospects, as well as the low number at or near the majors. The pitching obviously has been a lot better, but those, too, remain to be proven.

  96. JAL says:

    Dejan

    Naje is talking about yesterday, the final day of the Premier League season in England. All games kicked off at the same time and all were carried by ESPN and a bunch of Fox stations in the US.

    Manchester City and Manchester United entered their games tied on points but Man City had a big lead on goals scored so Man U would only win the title if they won and Man City lost or tied. Man U won their game. Man City was playing QPR (Queens Park Rangers) , one of the bottom teams and in danger of being relegated to a lower division. QPR led 2-1 at the game hit 90 minutes but Man City scored 2 goals in injury time (5 minutes) and won the title. Think the Immaculate Reception for similar drama–a lost game won for a championship.

  97. Jandy says:

    “JAL, You mentioned that you used to run track.

    Didn’t you used to run with Barney Fife in Morgantown?”

    Groat, you’re a character! :p

  98. JAL,

    I watched the end of the amazing comeback by Manchester City. What an ending!!

    Do NOT tell anyone I watched part of a soccer match——I will never live it down!!!

  99. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I think JAL should write the soccer column. DK can run everything else.

  100. Jandy says:

    Lucky ~ I second that emotion! JAL for soccer columnist!

  101. JAL says:

    My, my If Groat watched part of a soccer match the sport really is moving up in the US :)

  102. RobertoForever says:

    I found the answer to the Pirates hitting problems.

    There is this outfielder in the Nats triple-A who is obviously blocked. He is hitting .300 with some power, including .350 in the month of May. I hear he has a monster arm as well.

    Maybe DK or 24/7 can ask NH if he can acquire him?

    Oh, his name? Its some kid named Paul. Xavier Paul.

  103. I wasn’t excited about Dejan’s column choice of the Olympics . . . . . . but at least it wasn’t soccer!!

    There——it felt good saying that!

  104. Jandy says:

    @Dave G (#86) Dale Hunter is a lot of things, some of them we don’t type here in this blog….but I never thought he was a quitter!

  105. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Xavier Paul was OK, as long as you didn’t ask him to pinch hit. Wasn’t he on the restricted list?

  106. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Thanks for the response DK…

    ” If it was, I’d do Steelers three times a week.”

    Or Pirates lack of offensive power.

  107. Roberto For Now,

    Your #104 comment was very good. I enjoyed it.

    There used to be a commenter “I Wish I Had Gotten to See Roberto”——he had the attitude that everyone in the band was out of step but him. The world would soon die without his comments and anyone who disagreed with him was “stupid”!

    Some of your inconsistent posts the last couple of days have presented that attitude, while others have been right on.

    Keep trying to inform us while not accusing, and we will welcome you——even my friends NMR and Jandy.

    Just don’t day anything nice about soccer!

  108. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Five people just tweeted that Groat (not the former batting champ) watched soccer.

  109. Jandy says:

    G2M2S ~ I support anyone here who plays fair. Being tiresome isn’t being a proper blog-trolling sock puppet. So, yes, RobertoforNow, I’ll turn off the “ignore” button, too.
    Milo is an ace wit here.
    Myself, I don’t have the sneakiest slider in the repertoire, but every now and then I come up with a nice curveball of my own ;)
    You have had some really good posts here today. Keep them coming.
    P.S. Soccer is here to stay! ;)

  110. Jandy says:

    Lucky ~ LOL!

  111. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Jandy

    Soccer will never be here to stay……….

  112. Jandy says:

    Ryan, You might be right, DK keeps promising that column…

  113. Jandy says:

    But never say “never”, it might come around to bite you in the butt!

  114. RobertoForever says:

    Groat –

    Lol – in a former life, I ref’ed alot of high school sports, including soccer. I HATED the diving that started showing up in high school back then. (That doesn’t count as nice, does it ;) )

    Btw – although there wasn’t a ton to ring the cowbell about Sat and Sunday, I had plenty of kids around that rang it – some louder than others. The biggest rings were saved for the winning plays, right before the fireworks. Two more great wins in games I have attended. I think it raises the Buccos W-L when I attend to like 10-5.

    I also stopped by Guest Relations and requested a cowbell giveaway for 2013. Its under consideration.

  115. JohninOshkosh says:

    Where’s Milo?

    The door has been opened for him several times today.

  116. Dave from #97,

    It seems foolish for me to disagree with you, especially when Dejan has already declared his agreement with you . . . . . .
    . . . . . and I find myself quite, quite uncomfortable defending the BMTIB!

    Yet D’Arnaud and Grossman were high school picks, so they should NOT be as advanced as someone like Pedro, who came from a high college program. They need a year or two more of growth/seasoning.

    Brock Holt, whom you mention from ’09 also was a college draftee. I was surprised you dissed Justin Wilson. He too was a college guy, and until today’s injury, I saw him as the next call-up from Indy.

    Folks are claiming Cole will be in the ‘Burgh before Taillon, who was drafted a year before . . . . again because Cole came from college, whereas Taillon (and Allie) were high school signees.

    I think we have to give the BMTIB a couple more years on these high school picks before we declare them all total failures. There are not many 22 year olds in the Majors. (JAL can probably give you a #).

    My biggest concern is that NONE, high school or college are DOMINATING whatever level they are in: AA, high A, low A, rookie, whiffle ball. (Grossman DID dominate A last year in his 2nd go-around.)

    And I do join your lament: “How long, BMTIB?! How long?!”

  117. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Well “it” might be here, but I won’t pay any attention to it.

  118. JohninOshkosh says:

    @Roberto:

    I always read your posts (heck, I read everyone’s). If everyone agreed in the world, little would be learned, created or accomplished.

    But, just to disagree, golf has not been in the Olympics, even as a demonstration sport, since 1904. Even the late Barney Fife was not around for that.

  119. Jandy says:

    Ryan LOL!

    OshKosh, I was wondering that myself…

  120. LuckyNKentucky says:

    John,

    He’s still recovering from his two W’s he attended over the weekend.

  121. NMR says:

    I’m going to preface this by saying that I feel Huntingdon has reached the limit of his ability to help the Pirates and should be let go.

    But…the reason that keeps getting brought up that I absolutely disagree with is that he should be fired because of the lack of elite hitting depth in the minors.

    Pitching has been the priority, which I beleive is the correct move. One only needs to look at Kansas City, owner of the best minor league system in the history of minor league systems, to see how well offensive talent devoid of pitching support plays on the major league level.

    My question is what exactly do you consider “proven” impact hitting prospects and how much “should” the Pirates have?

  122. RobertoForever says:

    @John,

    Hmmm. I thought I recalled watching golf around 2000 and lamenting the lack of Team Handbell coverage while being forced to watch golf.

    Eeks – maybe my memory is fading faster than I thought. I will have to look it up now, lol.

  123. JAL says:

    No team can be successful relying on one part to do all the work. Offense will slow at times and pitchers will bad games–when that happens need to another part of team. No pitching staff can win consistently without an offense and no offense can do it with poor pitching. Then you need good defense to be there every game.

  124. RobertoForever says:

    Dejan

    Speaking of team handball, what is your take on that sport? Watch it? Interested in covering it for at least 1 article??

    I am hoping with the NBC approach this year, that I will get to see a significant amount of team handball as well as water polo.

  125. I think I would like to erase all my participation today——

    —I admitted, even if briefly, that I watched part of a soccer match

    —I defended the BMTIB

    My bio-rhythms must be off. I blame it on Dejan’s Olympic column.

    Neal Huntington wouldn’t recognize a Major League shortstop if Robin Yount, Cal Ripkin, Dick Groat, and Derek Jeter came up and introduced themselves!

    I only watched part of that soccer match because the paint I was watching dry finally dried!

    There . . . . I feel better!

  126. Jandy says:

    G2M2S ~ Take two Midol and check in with us in the morning ;)

  127. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Eight more people on Facebook posted that Groat (not the Gold Glove shortstop) watched soccer. 24/7 just wrote a column on it.

  128. Jandy says:

    Lucky, Lord, now I MUST check my FB and see those posts!!!!!!!!

  129. radio wave says:

    Naje:
    You mentioned Bud Greenspan.
    In 74, when I was in college, our hoops team went to the West Coast over Christmas break. A group of us went out there too, and we were lucky enough to get tickets to the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Greenspan was one of the guests on the show that night.

  130. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Just kidding about the Facebook. Twitter is going wild with the info, though.

  131. Jandy says:

    dang, radio, you’re a FOSSIL! ;)

  132. Kentuck Knob,

    I was shudderingly believing you about the twitter and Facebook——until you mentioned that 24/7 wrote a column on it.

    He’s not at work yet!

    Jandy, that’s what I was afraid of! I actually took 4!

  133. Jandy says:

    Oh Lord, I gotta get some work done now…thanks guys :)

  134. Ants marching

    = = = = = = = = = =

  135. Tom says:

    When do I care about the Olympics? Never.

 
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