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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: Silly rule will hurt Steelers


Brief and to the Point …

>> The Steelers begin OTAs this morning on the South Side. I’ll be over there for work on the Wednesday column, actual subject still to be determined.

Most veterans are expected to be there, even Troy Polamalu, which is a rarity.

Ben Roethlisberger will be there, too, of course. He expects to ‘feel like a rookie again’ because of losing some weight, changing offensive coordinators and other factors.

Mike Wallace, as you’d have guessed, won’t be there. Not a big deal, really. Whenever he shows up, minicamp or not, his role won’t change much: Hey, Mike, straight line! Sixty yards!

But two players who won’t be there are those who undoubtedly would benefit most. That’s the top two draft picks, linemen David DeCastro and Mike Adams, neither of whom is permitted to participate in OTAs because the semesters at their schools still haven’t ended. This is one of those cases of the NFL agreeing to a rule that sounds like it’s protecting students, but really only hurts the people who have chosen to play football for a profession.

Now, DeCastro is still working to graduate. But there are a zillion ways for him to achieve that without having to hurt the first year of a highly lucrative — and not really all that long — career in the NFL.

It’s not a big deal, but it is silly.

>> That was a pretty nice W over there last night. In addition to Michael McKenry’s home run, Erik Bedard battled through not-his-best stuff, and the bullpen did what the bullpen does. Jared Hughes, in particular, continues to look like he belongs.

>> Let me add to one small slice of yesterday’s column: The concept that the Pirates can’t make trades in May is one of the most egregious examples of hooey from this management team since they took over.

Would anyone believe Neal Huntington if he also said that historical records show trades are rare on odd-numbered days when it rains and the moon is full?

They traded Nate McLouth in early June. It happens. Nothing prohibits it.

Stop making excuses, stop funneling minor-leagues from one team to another, open your eyes and look at the pitching staff you’ve commendably built — No. 5 in Major League Baseball — and bring in a bat.

>> Here’s another one I heard a lot yesterday: OK, wise guy, if you think the Pirates should make a trade, who should they get? Who’s out there?

Three responses:

1. I have no idea. You have no idea. Only 30 people on this planet know.

It’s the job of the GM to know those players, as well as those who could be pried away unexpectedly. You know, the way McLouth was three years ago, when the Pirates legimitately were not shopping him.

Anyone who pretends to know who the available players are is, for the most part, pretending.

2. Call me crazy, but I prefer not to use fiction to bolster my case. Hypothetical or fake trades are pure fiction. They mean nothing, certainly not in a journalistic sense.

3. If you really believe no hitters are available for quality pitchers … wow.

>> John Tortorella, in addition to making a fool of himself in these playoffs, really hurt his team last night. The Devils were up, 3-0, entering the third, and the Rangers opened that period with clearly organized thuggery. Thus, when Ruslan Fedotenko scored with five minutes left and cut the deficit to two, all that time New York wasted on PK could have been put to far better use.

>> Admit it, you looked.


  1. Jonathan says:

    Yep, I looked. I looked when they were down 4-0 and I was thinking they would have to on a tear to get back to .500. Really good win tonight.

  2. Matt says:

    I am starting to realize why NH was demoted in the Indians front office, good at judging pitch and just awful at finding hitters. It is time for a dramatic change. There is a person out in LA who has helped oversee a farm system stacked with young hitters. This person will put in more hours and have a drive not to fail. She is Kim Ng. It would be a bold move, i just dont see it happening sadly.

    DK: Wow, that’s a heck of an idea. She’s interviewed, too. Just a matter of time.

  3. Mr. Deez says:

    Agree with everything here. But the stat-nerd in me must point out that McLouth was actually dealt in June. Sorry, had to.

  4. Mr. Deez says:

    Bah, fixed after I refreshed. Well met, sir.

    DK: Got bailed out by a couple other eagle-eyed readers. Thanks. And welcome!

  5. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    You used the word “hooey,” I love that. I would have gone with “poppycock,’ but either word more than adequately suffices.

    You keep railing on Tortorella, but yet he has his team 2 wins away from the finals. Even if they don’t get that far, he put a system in place that the team has embraced. He has been able to get a lot out of this team. Like him or not, he’s done a fine job with Rangers this year, and he at the very least deserves credit for that. Even if he does act like a clown 95 percent of the time.

  6. Don G. says:

    I sense fear in management. If you rid of pitching, and one of these guys that’s ‘knocking down the door’ of the rotation isn’t as talented as hoped, then what does that leave you with? I am personally glad they haven’t jumped to a trade. Obviously this depends on what you give up, but the only way you give up a valuable piece is for a proven hitter. Doesn’t it look good now that they didn’t (at least successfully) pursue Gaby Sanchez or Ike Davis as so many fans and even media were pulling for? I understand that was probably hypothetical talk, but still. Yeah, the Nate McLouth deal was made in early June, but how did that work out for the Braves?

    I know this is the exact attitude that you may think is the problem. And I know you aren’t going to suggest any names of players to go after just as I won’t. I get that it is their job to find these hitters. I am absolutely on board with dealing a strong piece from this team. I am not on board with dealing for a guy with that potential that has burned the Pirates so many times before. I feel that most should agree with this, if for no other reason than the many failed evaluations of hitters with past free agent signings. It has got to be a substantial bat.

    DK: And that last point, Don, is a VERY substantial one. Asking Neal Huntington to go find a hitter is asking him to do something unprecedented.

  7. Dan1283 says:

    If Bob Nutting is so cheap, why does he continue to pay a general manager competent GM money for a guy who is so clearly horrible at the job.

    There’s gotta be someone out there TWICE as good.

    Meanwhile, when this team wins, every game is fun to watch. No 9-1 blowouts from this club. It’s always tight in the 9th which makes for great entertainment. And for as serious as we get about this club, that’s what it’s all about.

  8. Lou Varga says:

    The Angel’s have three good to excellent first basemen. Albert Pulos, who is not going anywhere,

    Kendrys Morales 2009- 34 HR’s, 108 RBI’s, .308, in 2010 had 11, 39, .290 in just 51 games, 190 AB’s when he broke his leg,looks to fully recovered. He is the DH this year.

    And Mark Trumbo, 2011- 29, 87, .254, in 34 games (he does not have a regular position) 116 AB’s, has 6, 18, .336.

    I would like to see the PIrates go after Trumbo, even if they had to give up… say Hanrahan. The angel’s can afford to give up Trumbo,

  9. Thundercrack says:

    “Asking Neal Huntington to go find a hitter is asking him to do something unprecedented.”

    Derreck Lee
    Ryan Ludwick

  10. Thundercrack says:

    “If you really believe no hitters are available for quality pitchers … wow.”

    I don’t believe that at this point a quality hitter is available for a quality pitcher.
    Call me crazy.

    “I have no idea. You have no idea. Only 30 people on this planet know.”

    So why do you think it is so crazy that some people believe one of the 30 people on the planet that we’ve heard from – NH ?

  11. JAL says:

    JAL’s Linger Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)


    4—Pirates Prospects

    Pirates Notebook: Bucs Continue to Battle Through Close Games

    Indians Take Advantage Of Errors For 9th Inning Win

    Why A Trade Isn’t Likely at This Point in the Season

  12. JAL says:

    8 WhyGavs

    Game 42: Pirates 5 Mets 4

    The Pirates’ offense is a problem without an immediate solution

    9 Green Weenie

    Bucs Rally From 4-0 Hole To Win 5-4

    Mix Pitching-Heavy Drafts With Poor Market Choices, And…

    10 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Bucs battle back, win on Met mistake


    11 CBS Sports

    New York vs Pittsburgh Game Preview

  13. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    20 Behind the Steel Curtain

    OTA’s (Organized Team Activities) Are Just a Reminder that We’re Still Two Months Away from Training Camp

    Best NFL Players List Vary Quite a Bit, But Still Name Multiple Steelers Players

    Steelers and Bengals Drafts Discussed on Yahoo Sports’ Shutdown Corner Podcast with Doug Farrar and Greg Cosell

    21 Steelers Depot

    - Curtis Brown Proved Worth on Special Teams as a Rookie

    22 Nice Pick Cowher

    Missing The Boat: Steelers Mike Wallace Screwing Himself

  14. JAL says:


    27 Sky Sports

    Gourlay coy on Di Matteo talk

    28 Daily Telegraph

    Struggling striker Fernando Torres is unhappy with Chelsea and weighing up Blues departure
    29 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: Stories you need to read, May 21 st 2012


    30 Pensburgh

    Pittsburgh Penguins, Assemble!

  15. JAL says:

    Linger Cranberries, 1993 With 4 top 20 albums the Cranberries were one of the most successful groups of the 1990s. Linger, off their first album, was released in 1993 but did not become a hit until a re-release in 1994 which got heavy play on MTV. The band went their separate ways in 2003 then reformed in 2009 and released a new album in February of 2012.

  16. Turner Ward says:

    @Thundercrack – well said.

    @DK – Let’s also remember this is a GM who said he was happy with what he had and felt no need to make trades less than a week before blowing up the entire team in 2009.

    It does Huntington no good to discuss hypotheticals or show his hand. We should absolutely demand the best of him – as is happening here – but having him give up information before making moves would be almost as bad as him standing pat.

    We’re asking him for bold moves and uncommon decision-making; don’t expect him to announce what that is to the media before doing it.

  17. JAL says:

    Traveling the rest of this week. Will do the morning links when i can get a connection.

  18. bdubb says:

    NH mathematics tells him trades don’t happen very often in May. It has to be his problem. Too numbers driven. I recall Bill Parcells years ago saying how little he cares if he a corner can run a 4.4 40 or have a 38 in vertical. All he cares is if he can play football. Is he he a football player. Sometimes NH, you need to toss out all the numbers and draft kids that can just play baseball. It drives me insane there isn’t one hitter in Indy or Altoona that can help. That is poor development. Sad this man still has a job.

    Thankfully Pittsburgh has the Steelers and Pens b/c otherwise this would be Cleveland.

  19. Jandy says:

    JAL, happy trails to you :)

  20. Turner Ward says:

    bdubb – you didn’t check DK’s last link…the Indians are in 1st place.

  21. Cocktailsfor2 says:

    Just because NH hasn’t made a move does not mean he has not attempted to make one.

    Boy I hope that remark doesn’t label me as an apologist.

  22. bob apjok says:

    Has anyone else noticed that if you click “sports” at the top of the blog, it never goes to sports. It goes back to the front page. you can click on “sports” there. Been bothering me for a month or so, but it seems it still does it.

  23. TJA says:

    This Pirates team is going to make me grow old very fast. The gray hairs have already begun. It’s been so up and down all season and in particular the last 4 days. They cannot continue this for the next 120 games.

    Yes to all that has been said on this blog and so on the past few days….”be bold”

  24. JMB says:

    We all agree that Jamo & Cole shouldn’t be dealt in any scenario, but the lack of other highly regarded prospects from the 08 & 09 drafts is the biggest indictment of NH and his scouting staff.

    For the money that Nutting gave NH to spend, we should have the deepest MiLB talent pool in all of MLB — aka “flooded,” but we do not.

    We should have been ready to contend in 2012 via siphoning off some of our currently non-existent excess talent for key acquisitions.


    As long as Mike Wallace is in shape and ready to play in the fall, I don’t really care about any posturing today.

  25. NMR says:

    Lost a lot of respect for Dejan last night.

    I’ve personally grown a bit tired of Tim Williams at times, but he didn’t deserve to be called out like he was, especially via Twitter.

    To tell him to “think for himself” when all DK has contributed for the last week is what every yinzer sitting at the bar has been screaming at the TV for the last year is petty.

    To call him out for using the “First Pitch” intro to an article is arrogant. One five second google search shows that “First Pitch” is not a Dejan Kovacevic original. Ever hear of this news organization called ESPN? Yeah, they use it too.

    I really thought DK was above the dumb Twitter stuff, but apparently not. He’s an award winning journalist. I hope he returns to acting like one.

    I’m out for the day. Enjoy, guys.

  26. Jandy says:

    Woah, I’m glad I’m not a Twit-terer!

  27. Bizrow says:

    This place can be crabby at times.

    All I want NH to do is just tell it like it is, best he can. Example, if memory serves me, he mentioned at the Winter Meetings that they had not decided on whether or not to offer Capps a contract, then when they let him go, he blamed the media for not being able to deal him.

    Neal, baby, just when you speak, say things that do not make people’s jaws hit the ground in amazement. Like I’ve said many times, a Dale Carnegie class might help you quite a bit.

    Good win last night, who’da thunk the PBC would be able to rally from 4 down against Santana?

  28. bucshort says:

    at least start with firing the hitting coach

  29. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Cute picture of DK’s daughter (I assume) on Twitter last night. Otherwise, don’t see what NMR is referring to. I’m with you, Jandy. Only for some spot info, otherwise, can’t stand Twitter.

  30. nate83 says:

    DK, I know what you are saying, but I’m still not with you on this one. Which is rare because I usually agree with you.

    Atlanta gave up a lot for McLouth. At the time Gorky was looked at as a much better player then he turned out, I think Locke was a top 10 prospect and I believe Morton had already pitched in the majors. Just because a trade can be made doesn’t make it the correct trade.

    I don’t recall baseball tonight leading off many times during this time of year announcing trades that involve the type of hitter we need to make this team instantly better so I just don’t buy that it happens very often at least not with out giving up way to much in return.

    Last off all what 1 player could they get that would instantly make them contenders this year. Realistically they need 3-4 major league hitters. I for one would rather wait and find a desperate team(s) and make one or two trades closer to the deadline and trade for not 1 proven hitter that will get us maybe 4 more wins this year but instead 2 or 3 high prospects that will reach the majors when Cole, Taillon and the rest of them reach the majors.

  31. Thundercrack says:

    I saw some of that on twitter last night too. And I agree with you.

    And when I said earlier that I don’t believe that at this point a quality hitter is available for a quality pitcher, I think it will take more than just a quality pitcher. I think to get a bat right now you might have to overpay. It may be worth it sometimes.

  32. John Lease says:

    Gorkys Hernandez has been a failed prospect before the Pirates got him.

    What he is STILL doing here, is beyond me. He’s not worth a 40 man roster slot.

  33. Milo Hamilton says:

    We’re in this position right now because while Neal sat around all winter waiting for Derrek Lee to change his mind, guys like Mike Cuddyer, Jason Kubel, and Josh Willingham were busy signing with other teams. While his inaction now is questionable, his inaction over the winter is inexcusable.

  34. PhillyJake says:

    I looked.

    And with these Mets, .500 by tomorrow night is not that outrageous.

    Now, if we could just get a hitter or two, one of them being Pedro, the Alex we saw last year and the first couple of weeks of this year, #FreeMattHague, (Dare I dream) Mercer or d’Arnaud being what we thought they could be….

    Hmm, I see a pattern here. Players not meeting their potential? Sigh.

  35. nate83 says:

    Gorky was ranked 62nd overall in all of minor league baseball when we traded for him. That is definately not a failed prospect. He is a failed prospect now but let’s not rewrite history.

  36. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Now Milo, you know top FA’s won’t come to Pittsburgh. What’s wrong with you? Did you have a senior moment?

  37. nate83 says:


    I agree completely. when Cuddyer and Kubel both signed and I saw what they signed for I really felt like those where players we should have went after. Both could have filled needs and in the case of Cuddyer he could have been used almost anywhere on the field if we needed to move hiim to another position to make a trade to fill other needs.

  38. Thundercrack says:

    Milo, Do you know for sure that NH , while waiting for D. Lee, also didn’t contact Kubel, Cuddyer, and Willingham? I don’t know if he did or didn’t. But we did hear of players that just weren’t interested in playing for the Pirates.

  39. Bizrow says:

    Where was Brandon Moss, Morris and Andy LaRoche ranked when we traded for them? Oh yeah, the reliever we got too?

    Lets not forget Alderson

    Imagine where we could be right now if we had gotten any quality from some of those trades. To me, the failure of those trades is the root cause for where the PBC is today. Missed opportunities, whiffed opportunities

    Just sayin

  40. Milo Hamilton says:

    And if he thought guys like that wouldn’t be an improvement, then that’s another in the long line of poor evaluation of his own players.

  41. Milo Hamilton says:


    I know he didn’t get them, and that’s all that matters. Results.

  42. nate83 says:

    Although I agree with you Milo, I just don’t know who to point the blame at. I have to assume since they offered 10 mil a year to Edwin Jackson that Nutting gave the green light for 10-12 mil a year for someone like Kubel or Cuddyer but maybe he didn’t. I just never know when NH is not going after a player because he didn’t want to or wasn’t allowed to.

  43. Milo Hamilton says:

    I know, no one wants to come here. Excuse # 26 on why the Pirates still stink.

  44. LuckyNKentucky says:


    I’m with you on that one. Results-oriented business. Right now, the results are alarmingly better than they should be due to the excellent pitching. You can’t tell me a pitching coach doesn’t make a difference (or a hitting coach). Look at the results of a Dave Kirby as opposed to Searage.

  45. Milo Hamilton says:

    And look at it this way. If he had signed one of those guys he may have eaten up his budget & been unable to do the Burnett trade. Would you trade Burnett for any one of those three guys today ? Another miscalculation.

  46. Bizrow says:

    Milo, they claim they still have money to spend, so I dunno if signing one of those guys would have messed up their ability to trade for Burnett

  47. JHadar says:

    Can’t resist it any longer, please forgive me but


    I really do believe a quality pitcher can toss a no hitter every once in awhile

  48. steelercrazy says:

    The big kickoff for my new blog, which was to be named “Wake-up ‘Burgh: Calling for the First Pitch”, has been permanently cancelled on advice from my lawyers at Payne & Suffre.

  49. JHadar says:

    OK — it looks like using greater than and less than signs send bad html tags rather than suffice as quotation delimiters.

    try —

    Can’t resist it any longer, please forgive me but

    “3. If you really believe no hitters are available for quality pitchers … wow.”

    I really do believe a quality pitcher can toss a no hitter every once in awhile

    New here, are there any other formatting gotchas to be aware of…

  50. Chuck Snow says:

    Way to call Bull$%#@ on Neal Huntington. That’s why I read you call it like you see it. By the way Don’t we have a batting coach and a manager that was a batting coach? What’s up with those guys?

  51. Bizrow says:


    You can’t teach pigs to sing, its not coaching, IMO, its the lack of hitting talent in the organization.

  52. Milo Hamilton says:


    Sorry, can’t help you. I can barely spell. Drew can help you with emoticons though.

  53. Jandy says:

    Milo ~ Oh Lord, don’t get Drew going ;X

    Steelercrazy, that was pretty darn good! lol

    JHadar, and so was that!

    This is why I come here…besides all the information I’m absorbing. Keep it up, guys!

  54. JMB says:

    If we use the Nate McL trade as an example, then we wont see a trade until Marte’s Super Two status has passed.

    IIRC, Cutch came up the night of the Nate trade, so if this team stays around .500 until the Super Two date has passed, we might see some trade action.

  55. JHadar says:

    I was relieved to read that Walker decided to bunt on his own, that it wasn’t something Hurdle called . . .

    For Walker it’s kind of like the guy who takes the 3-pointer with 25 seconds left on the shot clock and no teammates under the basket. You cheer if it goes in, but otherwise it’s not a real bright play.

  56. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Especially that Payne and Suffre. Classic.

  57. JohninOshkosh says:

    The Las Vegas Nevada Athletic Commission fined and suspended UFC fighter Nick Diaz for testing positive for marijuana use. Years ago I was at a concert and a girl working for NORML gave me a pamphlet that, among other things, argued that THC usage was safer than alcohol because marijuana users did not fight.

    Guess you were wrong, hippie.

  58. JHadar says:

    Of course the classic law firm name is Dewey, Cheatum & Howe ….

    And there is actually a lawyer in Council Bluffs who is in business with his two sons at Over & Over & Over

  59. Naterosboro says:

    @ Bizrow

    re: “Lets not forget Alderson”

    You may want to check out how Mr. Alderson is doing currently. Yes he is in AA. But he has a 1.93 ERA over 28.1IP so far this season (10G, 2 starts, 3-1W/L, 5 Saves). 20Ks in those 28.1IP, only 5 BBs.

    He’s only 23 years old.

    While he certainly is no longer the top prospect that he was when he was acquired, it seems he may have regained the form that got him to that status. It seems his velocity is back up into the low 90s (whereas it was down in the low 80s just 2 seasons ago).

    Not saying get the HOF plaque ready….

    Just saying…. ;)

  60. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Great 3 Stooges reference. I like the “I. Fleecum”, Attorney-at-Law one they use, too.

    Nate R.

    Alderson has even been switched to started and went 7 strong the other night. 2 hits, 3 K’s and no walks. Maybe some hope there.

  61. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Alderson is a “starter” not a “started”.

  62. Jandy says:

    Lucky, you hittin’ that Kentucky bourbon???? ;)

  63. AJ says:

    How about starting with Adam Lind from Toronto. He was placed on outright waivers by Toronto because he was slumping this year to .186 average and 3 home runs. Last year he hit 26 home runs with 87 RBIs and a .251 average and in 2010 he hit 23 home runs with 72 RBIs, the year before 30+ Home runs and 114 RBIs. Hes 28 years old.

    He is signed this year for 5 million and next year for 5 million and has club options all the way to the 2016 season.

    Why the hell not? How often can you find 25+ HR power on waivers, maybe a change of scenery could help him.

  64. LuckyNKentucky says:


    I ain’t drank since I was about 18. Over 40 years. Like Milo, just can’t spell or type.

  65. Jandy says:

    Well, I have me a glass or three of wine every now and then, and I can spell pretty darn good, but I can’t friggin type LOL!

  66. Bizrow says:


    I hope you are right with Alderson, it would be nice, seems like a nice kid as well,

    We’ll see

  67. Naterosboro says:

    @ Bizrow

    I’m not trying to be right or anything. Just simply wanted to point out that Tim Alderson may not fit into the failed prospect/organizational filler mold anymore.

    And let’s hope for the Pirates sake, I’m right ;)

  68. David says:

    Talked with DK on twitter last night. I disagree with his stance that something needs to be done now partially because of the oft repeated saying its too early but more because of the fact this lineup has 7, count them, 7 below average starters. How do you fix that?

    If this team had 4 players hitting well and 4 who weren’t I could see the fans trying to “pressure” the Pirates to make a move early but the fact is there are 7 holes. I think at best a team can get by with 2 holes. Lets say the Pirats fill one now and find a way to fill two at the deadline. Filling three holes externally within 2.5 months in the middle of the season would be quite an accomplishment but it still leaves this team with 4 holes. Thats not good enough.

    For those who are saying well some will trun it around. Yes you are probably correct but how do you know the guy you replace by the trade won’t be one of them. I mean as an example lets say we acquire a RF. Godd right but what if Presley is the one due to turn around. What fi we acquire a 2B and its Walker who turns it around?

    The task in front of the Pirates FO is impossible for them and it would be impossible for anyone else. You can’t fix 7 holes.

    DK: Good to have you here, David.

  69. JohninOshkosh says:


    Very silly rule. If I have this right: drafted players are prohibited from attending OTA’s, a sort of orientation session for their new careers, if they attend one of the few colleges where the semester has not yet ended; but any undrafted player is permitted to attend the scouting combine in Indianapolis in the middle of February, smack dab in the middle of all college semesters.

    Nah, agents don’t have a strong lobby.

  70. Milo Hamilton says:

    “The task in front of the Pirates FO is impossible for them and it would be impossible for anyone else.”

    Now that’s the kind of astute analysis we’ve come to expect from the ‘twitterverse”.

  71. RobertoForever says:

    Very good win by those Battlin Bucs. Outhit those overpriced Mets.

    Also Indy Indians still in first place with a two game winning streak and 12 runs since Dk pulled out a non-representative stretch to use them to ridicule the Bucs. Seemed silly then and sillier now.

    Bucs hitting is low for sure, but to rip them for no trade yet and then say but I cant back it up. Name 1 trade made this year that matches what is being demanded of the FO. And there alot of teams that could use a quality bat. When Cincy or St Louis makes a trade that we should have, let me know. Otherwise, go Bucs

  72. JohninOshkosh says:

    Happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone. Hope all have a safe and fun one. Don’t forget to take a moment to reflect on the lives of men and women in graves all across the globe who allow all of us to do consequential things like peacefully choosing our leaders to inconsequential things like freely debating the merits of one Neal Huntington.

    Safe travels to all of us traveling and see ya when I see ya.

  73. Jandy says:

    If it’s that bad, why not just not play and default every game? Why bother? Please!
    I may be blonde…but sheesh!

  74. Jandy says:

    OshKoshB’Gosh ~ same to you and yours, friend :)

  75. RobertoForever says:


    Great sentiments

  76. RobertoForever says:


    Safe travels. Will miss the links if your travels interfere. And your posts. Always great info.

  77. bob hasis says:

    I don’t doubt one word I have read in the above entries, with regard to player rankings, who was contacted who was not and who wanted to come here or not.

    The entire story – with the exception of signing bonuses given the new kids – is based on money, stubbornness and lack of brilliance.

    A little snippet of info from today’s PG said it all; Pirates declined to pay the $3 million player option for Cedeno so they let him go, and he then signed for $1.15 million with the Mets. So now we need a shortstop because d’Arnaud has been deemed by – you know who – not to be ready. So then we strategically and unbrilliantly sign Barmes for $11 million for two years, as I have discovered in this blog.

    Not wanting to spend $3million, but willing to spend $11 million for a player at least 3 years older, equally or far less talented depending on how much you had been brain-washed, than Cedeno, and here we are debating something very moot. We have Barmes!

    Cedeno for 3, or Barmes for 11. Perhaps the next two games will clarify the scenario a bit to see which was the better deal .

  78. aglebagel says:

    Wow, is it just me, or did Rex Ryan lend Coach Tomlin some of the pounds he recently lost? ;) Maybe it’s just the beard.

  79. Me says:

    Yes, McLouth was traded in early June. The impact of that trade for the Braves and Pirates for that season was next to nothing.

    DK: Yes. Hence, all trades made in May or early June will be total busts. Got it.

  80. it’s a shame to see, but McLouth looks like he’s done. cut him now, and bring up Hague, plant him at first for a month or so, move Jones/Harrison to Right, Tabata/Presley in left. cant be any worse. then scour the market as contending teams need closers and cut a deal for a bat or two.

  81. bob hasis says:

    Last Wednesday, I mentioned in this space, that on Monday (yesterday) an epic baseball game would be taking place. I probably under-stated the game.
    The PG has a pretty accurate accounting by Mike White. Final score Blackhawk 1, TJ 0.

    Greg Schneider the TJ pitcher had a no-hitter into the ninth and eventually yielded 1 hit and struck out 15. McKay the Blackhawk pitcher (a sophomore) gave up two hits and fanned 14.

    Great, great game even though my side lost. It appears that both teams will advance into the PIAA play-offs and could meet again.

    Schneider had 120 k’s for the year, gave up 1 earned run and 2 unearned runs for an ERA of 0.13 in 66 1/3 innings pitched. While he has a full ride already to Pitt, the Pirates DEFINITELY need to consider him in the June entry draft, ala Josh Bell. He is a stud, and can run REAL,REAL fast.

  82. bob hasis says:

    Cumberlandboy you are on to something. Now if I simply eliminated the tiny word “to”, the entire sentence would change – but I’m not. I like your thinking!

  83. Jandy says:

    bob hasis, wow! sounds like a thriller to the finish. Did you get to see any of it?

  84. 21sthebest says:

    “The concept that the Pirates can’t make trades in May is one of the most egregious examples of hooey from this management team since they took over.”

    Is that really what people are saying Dejan? I’ve seen you chastise people on the Showdown and here and I think you’re grossly mischaracterizing this. It’s not that they can’t make trades in May, but look at the history of impact trades being made in May. Sure, there are some there but the point is that it’s not likely to happen because it doesn’t happen often. I’d say it happens hardly at all and that’s because it’s tough to do for a couple of reasons, IMO.

    You didn’t like it when Filliponi said you drink the Kool Aid and it looks to me like your comments with respect to this issue and your comments on twitter last night to Tim Williams put you on the same footing as Filliponi.

    DK: I followed you right up until that last part. Didn’t connect the two.

    The stuff about May came directly from Neal Huntington.

  85. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I must not be reading the right tweets. I’m not seeing the wrath against Williams. What’s the difference, anyway? What makes Twitter the new final word on everything?

    I, personally have never attacked the FO, nor will I, but get some help for these hitters if we’re not going to go out and get one or four or bring one or two up. Do your job, that’s all anyone can ask.

    DK: You won’t find any, either. I challenged Williams’ position on the trade issue. When his view EXACTLY echoed the words of management, I further challenged him to think for himself a bit.

    To me, the “Kool-Aid” term as applied to paid journalists is a serious accusation, one suggesting you’re conspiring with the subject you cover. This was nothing close to that.

  86. bob hasis says:

    No Jandy, I was at the Church bazaar for a while, and more to the point, I live in Pleasant Hills and the venue for the game was No. Allegheny high school. Way too far for me. I exchanged emails with Mike White and he assured it was epic.

    Until the ninth when Blackhawk won it, only TJ had a runner as far as second base -once.

  87. Jandy says:

    bob, sounds like you missed a humdinger , then! =)

    Lucky, DK, seems there’s a lot of hatin’ goin’ on lately. If the Pirates (management included, or management MORE SO) wants to be contenders, and they seem to have the pitching, what’s so wrong with the long-suffering fans wanting a bat or two to help them along? Maybe that’s over-simplified, but I don’t think it is. The name of the game is winning. If you need something to win, you go and get it.

  88. AJS says:

    I can say this. I have been reading DK for a long time. And never once would I have ever accused him of peing pro front office, nor would I ever accuse him of being anti-front office. I’ve always felt he calls them as he sees them. Or as much as he could when he was a beat writer and felt restricted to the facts. Since he has become a columnist, i think he has done a pretty good job on opining based on fact.

    We see articles about how good the team has done with pitching, how bad they have done with hitting, and he calls out the FO when he feels it appropriate.

    All that said, I do think that pulling off an impact trade 40 games into the season is a hard task to accomplish. Not impossible by any means but it is rare. I tend to believe NH has gone shopping. I just don’t think he has liked the merchandise or the price tag. Maybe he should try to put together one of those package deals…

    DK: That’s much appreciated.

  89. Jandy says:

    Or, at least YOU TRY!

  90. AJS says:

    Last year at the deadline we talked a lot about getting a bat to help out the pitchers because they had earned it and deserved it. We also talked about how they shouldn’t mortgage the future to do so.

    I feel that right now we are going through the same thing. Here is what I suspect will happen. Huntington will get some kind of deal done in early to mid June. I don’t know who it will involve or what the return will be. But my guess is that no one here will like it for one reason or another. Either because the return on what they trade will be deemed as too low or because even though they get a mid to long term asset they will have had to given up one of the prospects everyone seems so attached to.

    You can’t have your cake and eat it too the way this team and system are currently built. You can’t trade for a long term asset of a bat AND keep all your pitching prospects. You can’t trade for a short term solution at the plate AND keep all of your current rotation and closer. And even if youget that short term solution, you will be back in the same hole again next year unless you actually sign an impact free agent.

    I wouldn’t want to be NH right now. I think he has put himself in a no win situation, at least with the fans.

    I think the play is to ride out another couple weeks and hope the pitching holds out. Then start trying to trade Bedard for a veteran bat. Then go into the offseason and actually sign somebody that can hit more than their weight. See where you are next season in terms of competitiveness, and at that point revisit the possibility of trading young pitching for hitting.

  91. Larry says:

    –> I like the idea of Kim Ng as Huntington’s successor. She’s got a tremendous track record in LA. Would be sweet to see FC and/or Bob Nutting pull the trigger there and rebuilding this mess-of-a-franchise would be a great feather in Ms. Ng’s resume. Nice call there.

    –> Huntington has a baseline “model” (paradigm) for free agent position players and his acquisitions over the years proves it out. Unfortunately he doesn’t stray from this paradigm. His focus is on pitching and he’s quite good at evaluation of pitching talent. Seems that one of the predicates of his PLAN(ned Approach to General Management of a Major League Baseball Team on a tight budget) is his interpretation of the axiom of “Pitching and Defense wins championships”. Only Neil’s interpretation omits the “Defense”.

    –> So the baseline model seems to be mid to lower-tier multi-positional players with a history of previous experience. Meaning that Neil believes that he can build a winner around pitching with interchangeable parts; none extraordinary.

    –> Is there any other way to explain to colossal busts Neil has tried to pass off as Major-League baseball players such as Iwamura, McLouth, Overbay?

    Toss the baseline model Neil. You can’t pigeonhole humans to a paper-paradigm and not allow for the chaos that is the human element. If Neil can/won’t learn to be flexible with regard to this rigid paradigm, then hire someone to take on position-player evaluation while he continues to function with a focus on pitching. This is an upper-management move that absolutely NEEDS to happen.

  92. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I always wondered what that “Kool-Aid” remark meant. Guess I need to get with the times. Never liked the real stuff, either.

    I saw that “think for yourself” line, too. That’s exceptional advise for all of us, no matter what walk of life we’re in.

  93. cmat0829 says:

    Glad to have misssed the “Twitter Wars” last night…. quick jump on that reality show idea before A&E slots it after Storage Wars and before Shipping Wars…… I’m not sure really what the fuss is about either way. As I see it:

    1) The FACT is the Pirates offense is atrocious. Not just in terms of results but in watching every at bat this season, the approach. Swinging when they shouldn’t, not swinging when they should..and just last night, when everyone on the planet knows that Santana’s out pitch is his changeup, not one hitter waited back on the pitch and if necessary took it the opposite way. Even Bob Walk who isn’t a hitting expert talked about that approach. Why is a major league hitter lunging after a changeup?

    2) No idea what a hitting coach does, but the results speak for themselves and no idea how anyone would defend Ritchie.

    3) No question that at this point in the season, changes are required. Patience has run out in terms of hoping the hitters get it together.

    4) No one has any idea what changes are being explored by the front office. If they are not saying, then not sure how anyone has the ability to know exactly what is going on. That said, it is completely accurate to point out the current LACK OF CHANGES of any impact to boost the offense…. not sure I follow that the lack of changes made mean the total lack of changes pursued, especially in terms of trades. It takes two to tango.

    5) As to minor league recalls, where it only takes one to tango, not sure I see a clear example of a player who has forced his way on the major league roster with his AAA performance.

    6) McLouth and McGehee face the Overbay situation…. no use keeping them on the bench or sending to AAA (Casey might be an option to option, not sure), so the move to replace them would be to cut them and eat the contracts. Not sure that’s a big deal but I’m sure the front office wants to take every last chance to have them get it together before they do that.

    7) Again, 5 and 6 above are related. Easier to cut the Mc’s loose if there is a good replacement that you are reasonably sure can provide a boost.

    I think the net is that nothing frustrates a fan or opinionated observer (see columnists and bloggers) more than lack of action when action is clearly called for. The only thing more frustrating would be not recognizing the need to act, but I think that bridge has been crossed.

  94. Jolly Rodger says:

    At the notion that it’s good they didn’t go after Gaby Sanchez or Ike Davis… Well isn’t horrible they didn’t go after Yonder Alonso or Mark Trumbo?

  95. Slick says:

    Is it me or is it that NH suffers from paralysis by analysis and/or is afraid to pay too much? DK on the John Steigerwald show pointed out that NH waited for a “good” deal last year getting Lee instead of getting him here on time. Might have made a huge difference, we’ll never know. And then there is the Miguel Sano debacle, thinking he was out bidding himself. Again, if he was the piece you needed to turn around the farm system, who cares if you overpay by $1m or whatever you thought it was. No risk, no reward,

    In addition, one bat or two bats isn’t going to “make history”. They need to get a new hitting coach or consultant to get the rest of the team taking good at bats. Way too many strikeouts across the entire line up.

  96. Jolly Rodger says:

    Someone mentioned that 7 players are hitting below average… maybe time to start looking at the coaching? Not like Gregg Ritchie had a track record as a hitting coach… maybe time to make a change…

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