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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: Pirates’ gift to Rays could haunt


Brief and to the Point …

>> Remember Drew Sutton?

He’s the infielder the Pirates acquired in a trade Sunday for cash considerations from the Braves, then immediately assigned to Class AAA Indianapolis. Later that evening, around 11, he was told he was going right to the big leagues, that the Pirates had just traded him to the Rays for a player to be named later.

And then, of course, Sutton has gone 4 for 8 for Tampa Bay with two doubles (one pictured above), a walk and three RBIs. Out of the cleanup spot, no less. The guy was more productive all by his lonesome than the Pirates were as a team in bowing meekly to the Mets at the same time.

That is just so Pirates.

There has been no quote on the reasoning for this from Neal Huntington, but a team official told reporters Monday at PNC Park — shortly after the trade to the Rays was announced — that it was done to give Sutton a chance in the majors.

Sounds unnecessarily generous, but hold on.

It’s actually more common in baseball than most know. GMs are aware of doing right by minor-league veterans and not blocking them, so long as they feel that player won’t have an impact for their own major-league team. They’ll simply arrange deals that let the player go somewhere else. They feel it sends a good message through the industry when trying to sign those types in the future — Garrett Jones fell into that category — if those players know they won’t get stuck behind a logjam.

Now, I understand even as I type this that there will be a strong reaction among some. And maybe I’ll see that as warranted down the road. But speaking only for myself and only for now, I’d criticize the Pirates primarily if they again failed to identify someone who could have helped their offense.

Especially now.

Check this article in the Tampa Bay Times right after Sutton’s arrival. Look at manager Joe Maddon’s quote down below about how he and the Rays’ scouts liked Sutton “for a while.”

I’d trust the Rays’ evaluators more than the Pirates, to put it kindly.

But again, let’s see how it plays out. Sutton is 28, hasn’t had great numbers in the minors, and it’s been three or four years since anyone  saw him as having impact potential. And there is the matter of the player to be named.

>> Columnist Joe Starkey gives the Pirates’ offense his own perspective.

>> Mike LaValliere had to negotiate with the enemy regarding that Sid Bream slide bobblehead, as he told The X Morning Show.

>> Having little use for watching the Pirates’ offense myself, I left PNC Park yesterday morning after some interviews with players and Clint Hurdle and headed over to the South Side to spend time with the Steelers.

Glad I did, if only to catch James Harrison sweating oceans coming off the field …


>> Really liked hearing from Isaac Redman that the Steelers will pass more to their running backs. Goes along nicely with what Emmanuel Sanders revealed two days ago about more play-action.

After two days over there, it doesn’t sound as if Todd Haley is going to revolutionize the offense. And no, for all those who keep falling for the mythology, he’s not going 2 yards and a cloud of dust. What he’s going for, from what I can gather, is less predictability. Not just in formations (that was Bruce Arians’ thing), but in terms of what happens right at the line of scrimmage.

>> Snapped this yesterday morning at PNC …


As I did, Joel Hanrahan walked by and said, “You’re taking a picture of Karstens running?”

You had to be there.

>> We’ll have our weekly chat today at noon, where we’ll undoubtedly discuss … oh, you know.


  1. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    I almost feel like criticizing the Pirates Front Office is akin to beating a dead horse. But most of the time they make it so darn easy.

  2. Mario of NC says:

    Neal H & Frank C jobs have to be on the line by season’s end & every single scout / talent evaluator too. How can any fan have any sort of trust when it comes to big decisions this organization makes when it evaluates talent, who to draft etc, maybe Colbert should lend a hand in next months draft, cause right now NH is batting worse then his team in drafting / signing of offensive talent. Why hasn’t Nutting given any interviews lately? Worst owner & front office in MLB

  3. Mario of NC says:

    I don’t live in pittsburgh anymore but regardless I refuse to donate to the #BOBdoNutting bank account anymore. The few 100 fans who pay to see this “HIGH octane” offense #Sarcasm might as well just throw their $$$ into the river Its a shame PNC park is beautiful park derserving of equal talented players/team which is now 11 yrs old

  4. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    The funny thing is that the FO found that Sutton couldn’t help this offense. I think I’d give him a try and send down Navarro, Gorkys, or cut Nate loose.

    Right now, I believe every rock needs to be turned over. This could be the start of last July. The pitching can only do so much. Every club runs into issues with pitching sooner or later.


  5. sidelinespensfan says:

    I think, at this point, that the news story will be when this FO actually makes a good decision. If the Sutton deal comes back to haunt them, just add it to the pile of poor decisions. I wonder how long I would keep my job if my performance was as poor as this FO.

  6. pghboyinca says:

    It is just so laughable to watch the front office vomit on themselves once a week. In no way shape or form should he have been traded after being acquired with Nate, Gorkys etc… on the roster. It is beyond belief how bad the lineup is.

  7. Jandy says:

    Arriba, to respond to you from yesterday, I clearly wasn’t tossing stones at you , friend. I enjoy your posts.

  8. Don says:

    The Front Office is responsible to the owner for making the Pirates profitable and fooling the fan base into believing that they will soon be competitive. Based on what I read they are successful on both counts.

  9. Turner Ward says:

    This Sutton thing smells a lot like Chris Shelton, the former Pirate minor leaguer who was taken in the Rule 5 draft by the Tigers, crushed AL pitching for a month and was never heard from again.

    Littlefield was always bashed for losing such an impact player, when all Shelton really did was provide 1 month of offense. Let’s please go more than 8 at-bats before we devote an entire blog post to the success or failure of this transaction…oops, too late for that.

  10. Arriba Wilver says:

    Thanks, Jandy, and I wasn’t upset. Just part of the discussion that seemed to be causing the concern for the blog ambiance. Today’s a new day.

    Time to turn the concern to whether Maholm will no hit us. :-)

  11. Karen22 says:

    “That is just so Pirates.”

    Can’t add a word to THAT!

  12. Jandy says:

    AW ~ then it’s all good. Let’s hope Maholm delivers!

  13. John Lease says:

    Of course, Sutton is replacing Jeff Keppinger, who the Pirates gave away in the Benson deal to get Bautista BACK after the Rule V fiasco. And, this is the second time Sutton and Keppinger are tied together, the Reds trading for him for Keppinger back in 2006.

    That IS so Pirates…

  14. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hmm. Off day in the midst of a long homestand. Sounds like a perfect day for the Pirates to do nothing.

  15. Jandy says:

    Milo ~ lol! What else would you expect???

  16. Arriba Wilver says:

    You really know its an off day when there’s a post defending Dave Littlefield. :-)

  17. Milo Hamilton says:


    Dave’s having a good year so far.

  18. Stuart says:

    “Do something – even if it’s wrong!” Start with McLouth. Cut him loose, along with the failed-experiment McGeeHee, keep the light hitting Gorkys, and bring up Jeff Clement and Jake Fox. They might fit the Sutton mode for a month or two of good performance That would be infinitely better than watching Nate McLouth and Casey. I almost said watch Nate struggle, but he doesn’t even appear to be struggling just completely lost and overmatched.

    I remember fondly when the BUCS hired Harry “the hat” Walker to tutor Matty Alou on how to hit. It worked! Surely there is a good baseball-hitting mind out there who could have some impact. In fact, let’s fill up the dugout with a personal hitting coach for each player. The job is way too overwhelming for one hitting coach. Oh but wait, I forgot that would cost money.


  19. RobertoForever says:

    Wait, so because Joe Maddon was gushing over a new player, whose minuscle contribution has been good, that means the FO has failed on this evaluation?

    How about the Red Sox, who let him go in the offseason for nothing, or the Braves, who just sold him off for spare change? Btw, the Braves have a guy batting .190 at Triple-A at Sutton’s primary position, 3B. And a retiring Chipper Jones at 3B in the majors? And they didn’t see this Babe Ruth in their evaluation of him, up close and personal, over the last 4 months?

    Yeah, this FO is alone in its level of incompetence.

    DK: I go out of my way up there to state I haven’t passed judgment on this move. You can easily see that.

  20. Milo Hamilton says:

    Yes they are.

  21. diehard says:

    That is just so Pirates.
    They’re trying.
    Are you trying to find the next Pirates slogan? How about, “Hey, we woke up and realized that we need a new GM and hitting coach and did something about it…” That would be a nice one.

  22. Milo Hamilton says:


    Thanks for the Steeler stuff the last few days. What a refreshing departure from, well, you know.

  23. diehard says:

    Of course, Starkey had a pretty good slogan too:
    “When does somebody DO SOMETHING?”

  24. LuckyNKentucky says:

    You boys at it again so early.

  25. Jandy says:

    Lucky, boys? lol This is getting sadder and sadder in here. I’m going to shut this down for a while and clean my office. I’d rather watch the Bucs lose then read some of the hooey in here. Later on.

  26. LuckyNKentucky says:


    I meant Milo and Roberto. I know you ain’t no boy! You wouldn’t be cleaning your office if you were!

  27. David says:

    All Hail the offensive savior … Drew Sutton? What?! Come on DK anything written about this is too much. Where are the Larish posts?

  28. JRay3 says:

    This FO incompetence can be seen though:

    McOut hitting .140 in 57 AB’s, Barmes hitting .179 in 129 AB’s, Navarro hitting .182 in 44 AB’s, McGehee .186 with zero power in 97 AB’s, sending Alex down who is hitting nearly 100 points higher than Nate with an OPS of .551 versus .385. Having next to nothing to recall, Hernandez being the latest and greatest and he is defined as no stick and is off to a 0-4 start.

    It does not take a possible evaluation misjudgement on a player that has bounced around a few teams to make this FO incompetent, 20 years of poor baseball has more than accomplished that.

    However I have to believe that Sutton is more valuable than any of the awful bench pieces we carry, not necessarily an answer to all the team’s offensive ills, but definitely a piece that might have given some potential better options. But hey who needs those when you are on pace to smash the record for fewest runs scored.

  29. Milo Hamilton says:

    This from Ken Rosenthal – Lefty reliever Doug Slaten can become a free agent if he’s not promoted to the big leagues by June 1st.

    Currently at Indy – 19 Games / 0.806 WHIP / 0.40 ERA / 2-0 record / 8 saves.

  30. JRay3 says:

    What should DK write about? How about our 29th ranked hitting offense, or our 30th in runs scored offense, or what about that the Pirates are dead last in walks a mere 21 behind the 29th ranked Royals. Could discuss that we are THIRD in the league in….oh caught stealing, so let’s discuss the base running and how many times that has hurt the team. Do we want to discuss the team’s power, wait we are 28th in slugging ahead of only the A’s and Padres woohoo!

    Come on, what should we discuss about the bats and offense??

  31. AJ says:

    As we said a few weeks ago, some of these guy ain’t gonna hit .100 all year. Barajas had an 8 game hitting streak, Josh Harrison is becoming a bit of a spark plug.

    Were not gonna trade Hanrahan and a prospect for a 40 Home run hitter like Ive been hearing around town lately, but how about for a good OBP guy for the top of the order and a .300 hitter with some patience?

    Its not gonna be a great offense, but a just OK offense would get us to the .500 mark with this ridiculous pitching.

  32. Thundercrack says:

    You may not have passed judgement on this move ( you have seemed to cover all sides of the move), but you once again have stuck the needle to the FO —which it seems to me, you take some enjoyment out of. Just the way I read it…on most days.

    I read that if the Pirates do get a player back, the reason they made the deal was because they like that player better than Sutton.

  33. Bizrow says:

    @Stuart – not a big deal at all but Harry the Hat was the PBC manager when he worked his magic on Matty Alou, I believe.

    I am at the point where I am ready to give up the ghost with this club. Today at least.

    Its just not worth it anymore.

    Thanks, BMTIB…..

    You have done what I thought was virtually impossible.

  34. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Let’s get him then. Better now than later. Let’s make it a player to be named now. DK says it’s definitely a player and not cash. Two days is later, right or is there some time period we have to wait? Even if he goes to low A, let’s put him in our system and move him along. Of course if they like him better than Sutton, he’s probably gonna be a pitcher.

  35. Milo Hamilton says:

    Did I mention that Slaten is a left handed reliever ? Can’t imagine where one of those might have come in handy on Tuesday night.

  36. JHadar says:

    Its not Sutton, or any single deal — as a fan, it’s the utter frustration of waiting so long for the pitching to come around and then having this utter lack of hitting. Once again you didn’t expect greatness out of this line-up, but you have six guys underperforming even when you allow a bit for being young, or being old, or coming off an injury. At the risk of being accused of oversimplification, its like these guys put on a Pirate uniform and forget everything they ever knew about baseball. In the words of Casey Stengle “Can anyone here play this game?”

    Its a failure from top to bottom. The guys on the field should be playing better than they are, but the front office should have better guys out there. They’re overstocked with pitchers and they can’t, contrary to 150 years or so of baseball tradition, find someone who will trade a major league hitter for one or even two. The cupboard in the minors is mostly bare, free agents don’t want to play here, and now even the draft is rigged against us. Where have we failed? Playing, coaching, scouting, strategy, finances; pretty much everything except fan support.

    We root for this team because it’s the one we grew up with, because our grandfathers rooted for Honus Wagner (well maybe great grandfathers for some of us) and we put up with it because there’s no crying in baseball. But we know, we all know, that something has to give. Patience is patience and I have plenty of it, but where does the buck stop? Hurdle? Huntington? Coonelly? Not if you have to clean house. Again.

  37. JohninOshkosh says:


    Dave Littlefield is the best GM the Pirate organization has had since July 13, 2001, excepting the period between September 7 and September 25, 2007. :)

  38. Arriba Wilver says:

    Since it’s obviously too early to see what Sutton may turn out to be, how about a hypothetical?

    IF Sutton turns out to be a regular for the Rays AND the PTBNL turns out a bust for the Pirates, will that be because:

    A. The FO sucks at talent evaluation for hitters
    B. Everyone makes mistakes
    C. The Rays got lucky
    D. The Pirates weren’t the only ones that passed on him
    E. No one could have predicted this outcome

  39. Bizrow says:

    Well said, JHadar

  40. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Here, here!


    All of the above plus plenty more.

  41. Milo Hamilton says:


    Matty Alou came to Pittsburgh in 1966 as a career .260 hitter in 6 big league seasons in San Francisco. The next 5 years in Pittsburgh he hit .327 & won a batting title. I don’t think I ever heard Harry Walker say his batting average on balls in play was unsustainable, for 5 years.

  42. bob hasis says:

    The Pirates have been in a slump for 20 years.
    This FO has been in a slump for 5 years.
    Alex Presley was in a slump for about 3 weeks, and he gets jettisoned. (The scapegoat)

    I would like to know when NH and CH are going to address the mediocrity named Pedro Tabata. One will lead the league in K’s and never hit a curve that’s on “the outer half”, (as John Wehner always says) to left field, and WILL NEVER be a bona fide clean-up hitter.
    The other one, the lachrymose outfielder and base-runner, WILL NEVER be a bona fide lead-off man because of no plate discipline.

    It almost seems they do not enjoy playing baseball, if you read their standard expression
    which to me says “so what”.

    I think they have talent – yet unrefined – like a trainload full of iron ore from Minnesota. They, more than anyone on this team desperately need a Pete Rose-type coach, to show them how to HIT, and to instill a little (make that a lot) of fire in them.

    BTW, what is Pete doing these days? Dying a slow death under some passe ban, I guess

  43. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Where’s Don Long now? He’s the last successful hitting coach we’ve had. No DNA around for Harry the Hat is there? That’s terrible coming from a minister, thinking about something as horrible as cloning, but that’s what it’s come down to for us die-hards.

  44. tmp444 says:

    @JHadar: Well done.

    @David #27: DK was far from calling Drew Sutton the “offensive savior.” He makes an extremely valid point though that in an offense where 4 of the starters yesterday are hitting below the Mendoza line (not including Gorkys, of course), we gave up a guy to “give him a chance in the Majors,” yet he couldn’t make it into this group of 25?

    Again, it is SO Pirates.

  45. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Do you mean Jose Tabata or Pedro Alvarez? Or just pick one? (kidding)

  46. Milo Hamilton says:

    Quick Jeopardy answer:

    The answer is – McCutchen, Harrison, Walker & Tabata.

    Who are the only players on the 25 man roster with more hits than strikeouts ?


  47. bob hasis says:

    Lucky, let them exchange nos. and they will still be as I describe them. They are a composite of mediocrity, lack of hustle or desire.
    It wasn’t a faux pas or typo, which I know you knew.

  48. RobertoForever says:


    “The guy was more productive all by his lonesome than the Pirates were as a team in bowing meekly to the Mets at the same time.

    That is just so Pirates.”

    What is “so Pirates”, that a minor leaguer that they flip immediately has a 2 game positive period?

    Sorry, but your point was clear. You are saying this looks like a big mistake? If that is not true, then please explain what about the Sutton situation is “so Pirates”? I find it hard to believe that you wrote that 5 word paragraph to say “I haven’t passed judgment”. Your comment to my post does not juve with what you wrote you dedicated an entire column to the subject. But I love how you threw in 20 words at the end of the 300 word column as insurance. Either this is a mistake, or let’s see how it plays out. If its the latter, it didn’t deserve the headline or the majority of your column today.

  49. gregenstein says:

    @Turner Ward – Do you still play? I’m thinking you could be a better pinch hitter than Nate McLouth…

    @JHadar – Great summary.

    I gave Huntington 5 years to right the ship when he started. All he’s managed to do is flip the good hitting/lousy pitching of 2008 and turn it into a lousy hitting/good pitching team of 2012. It’s never going to be enough to only be good at assembling half the team. When he said they’d focus on pitching, I didn’t realize it would be at the complete expense of the hitters. It’s almost like they’re not even scouting the hitters; they’re just reading for their stats and projecting them based on a probably career arc.

  50. aglebagel says:

    @ bob hasis-

    Here’s the answer to your question about what Pete Rose is up to:

  51. RobertoForever says:

    Did someone really bring up Jeff Keppinger as an example of the failure of the Pirates FO to evaluate talent?


    First, that was under Littlefield. Second, two OTHER teams also traded Keppinger after giving him a chance in the majors. The Mets traded him to the Royals, and the Royals traded him to the Reds.

    So I guess the Mets and Royals are even MORE incompetent than the Pirates FO, because their scouts AND their entire major league coaches and staff looked at Keppinger and saw him as a throwaway.

    Talk about setting up false standards by which to measure ANY baseball FO. Some folks here are of the opinion that the average FO in MLB is successful on 100% of trades. The truth is more like 20% of trades are a success for 1 team. Most of the rest have little to no difference. Do I have facts to back that up right now? No. But neither are there are facts backing up this ripping of the FO.

    I would challenge anyone to do a side by side comparison of this FO to KC and Min, over the same period. I believe the GM’s of those two teams up through last year were both hired around the same time as Neal. I think many people here would be shocked to see the results.

  52. Milo Hamilton says:

    Why is it that we’re never asked to compare the Pirates front office to organizations that are actually successful ?

    Hey, I have an idea. Let’s do a side by side comparison of the Browns front office with the Rams of Jags.

  53. RobertoForever says:


    Can we pose the opposite of what you posed?

    IF Sutton turns out to be a mediocre bench player for the Rays within 3 months AND the PTBNL turns out to have a better than average year at his level for the Pirates, will that be because:

    A. The FO is smarter than TB’s FO
    B. The FO is doing the right thing, but gets no credit
    C. The Pirates snookered both the Braves and the Rays FO
    D. The Pirates used cash to collect another opportunity
    E. Most objective folks would have figured its no big deal either way.

    One last question, how long will you wait, till you declare the PTBNL a ‘bust’? 2 days or 2 weeks?

  54. RobertoForever says:


    Do you seriously not know the answer to your own question? OR are you just being snide for effect?

  55. Milo Hamilton says:

    OK. He’s officially out of control.

  56. bob hasis says:

    @aglebagel, Thanks for the video which I hadn’t seen. I believe I was aware he was selling his autograph to make a living, and any memorabilia which was marketable and pertinent.

    My question was more sarcastic and rhetorical than serious. I am aware he blew his career in baseball by making REAL bad decisions, and wouldn’t relish him being associated with us

    He was once a hero of mine but I can’t say that anymore. I invoked his name into my post only as an analogy to give an example to the two subjects who currently are in our starting line-up. His name was Charlie Hustle on merit. Pedro Tabata never heard of him I suspect

    Thanks for your hustle in getting that video posted to me (us).

  57. Jandy says:

    Forgive me for putting a hockey post in here, but I can’t sit by and see Claude Giroux beat Geno Malkin out for the cover of NHL13.

    Please go here and vote for Geno!

  58. Jandy says:

    Lucky, NOW you see why I decided to clean my office????

    Milo, please tell DK we need an “ignore” button for this blog. :)

  59. aglebagel says:


    Yeah, I figured you were just making your point, but I had just seen that video a few days ago, so I thought, “Hey, I can actually answer that rhetorical question!”

  60. LuckyNKentucky says:


    I like Jose Alvarez over Pedro Tabata.


    I have an ex-church member that has flipped out and keeps calling me from Phoenix any time of the day or night telling me they are spiking the water and milk out there with drugs and trying to get to him. He’s so important, there would be a conspiracy to do that, you know. I think some of that got into the water (or milk or Vernors) at Chapel Hill.

  61. Milo Hamilton says:


    I think we all have our own “ignore” button if we choose to use it. You just demonstrated that very well. I am guilty of not using it often enough, and I apologize for that.

  62. Dan1283 says:

    Not sports-related, but what is the craze with this instagram app? What’s so progressive about an app that makes all your pictures look like a 1979 Polaroid?
    with worse colors?

    Go back to digital, DK!

    Today’s an off-day. Please, either fire the GM or make him add a bat today. I seriously cannot believe this is being allowed to drag on. Yea, the crazys have always been there calling for his firing from the first day on the job, and they were rightly ignored, but now that regular fans have run out of patience it is time for a change. I can’t take the record numbers of strikeouts anymore. They’re messing up my hair all the way out here in Canonsburg.

  63. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Too busy here to clean. Barely time to read all this wealth of valuable stuff on this blog. I don’t know how some read and comment on 15 of them a day AND read and do the Tweety Bird thing. We’ll have to stay in the dirt here. Do you hire out? Forget that, it didn’t sound right.

  64. pattonbb says:

    @Roberto – Good point about the Braves, but they viewed Sutton as a middle infielder, not corner. 3B will probably be filled from free agency when Larry retires. There’s also rumors they may try to move their top prospect Andrelton Simmons to third. Although I doubt that happens since he viewed as a “can’t miss” SS prospect. Either way, they’ll address 3B.

    The point about Sutton that bothers me isn’t whether or not he turns into some savior. I think we all know he’s a career back-up, at best. But he is someone that one of the top franchises in the game viewed as being able to offer some immediate help. Granted, it’s only short term help. But I’m pretty sure we could use a little of that as well.

  65. Mike A. says:

    What really got me is how Rob Biertempfel described Cutch as “nonchalant” about his 8th inning SO. Sounds like he’s accepted his lot in life (a lot easier to do with $51M. in your pocket). Hope he doesn’t turn out to be a clubhouse lawyer like the last guy who was signed to a 6-year, big money contract (Kendall).

  66. Bizrow says:

    @Milo Hamilton

    Not sure what you were saying with post #41

    All I was saying was Harry was the manager when he turned Matty into a batting title winner? Had him use a big heavy bat and hit the ball on the ground

  67. Jandy says:

    Lucky, hire out?? LOL Ok I’ll let that one pass, but seriously…I didn’t clean my office, but i got out 3 billings, wrote up truckloads for 2 deliveries…one of which was for “one of the guys” here, and am proofreading a contract so we don’t get snookered before we sign it and send it back. Not bad…so, the office cleaning will have to wait. ;)

    Milo, we’re all only human, unless you’re that certain someone…who seems to think he/she/it is above and beyond reproach.

  68. bob hasis says:

    @Bizrow#66, and with that big heavy bat all he did was slash (ok pop) the ball to left field for a single or a double.
    BTW that is how Lloyd Waner and to a lesser extent Paul Waner became Hall of Famers, by simply HITTING THE BALL and usually to left. They too were left-handed batters, as was matty

  69. Naterosboro says:

    Just so I can be clear about this….

    some are taking issue that Drew Sutton, the 28 year old owner of 169 career MLB ABs with now his 4th (if you count his brief stop in Pittsburgh/Indy then 5th) organization, wasn’t immediately plugged into the Pirates starting lineup?

    On this one, I don’t buy any sort of talent evaluation failure. His longest stint in the majors was with Cincy in 2009 when he played 42g, hitting for a .212/.297/.348 (over 66 ABs). The next season he played 2g for Cincy and 11g for Cleveland. In 2011, he played 31g for Boston, actually hitting a respectable .315/.362/.444 (over 54 ABs). His career minor league line is actually respectable .280/.378/.434 (over Parts of 9 seasons & 2919 ABs; 4 seasons at AAA & 834 ABs). Is it a case of player blooming late? Perhaps, but I also don’t buy it. We need to see him do it over 500-600 ABs or a full season (not 8 as he’s had so far with the Rays) and then that’s just to see if he can cut it or not. Then we have to see if he can do it year in and year out. I get that the Pirates hitters right now are historically bad, but I’m not going to criticize a GM for failing to insert a career minor-leaguer into the lineup.

    And that’s all assuming that Sutton will continue to hit as he has over the 1st two games. That’s a BIG assumption. Just ask our position players….

    If Huntington failed to see what Drew Sutton would become/is becoming/will become, so did 3 previous other clubs (that he spent parts of 9 years in their organizations).

    All info used was found here:



  70. Bizrow says:

    I think the thing with Sutton is for whatever reason, he’s sparking the Rays right now. Something we need, even if for only a short time.

    Can’t make trades in May, that statement bothers the begeebers out of me as well.

    Another in the long line of BMTIB statements that make you say “What the hello are they thinking???”

  71. JHadar says:

    This is what gets to me — one (1) average, not star but average, major league hitter could have made two or three of our losses, maybe more, into wins (and we would want one more to get us into the lead, at least I would) and we would be in contention, it would seem like things were finally coming around, and I wouldn’t be half as grumpy as I am this morning even though it’s clouding up and fixin’ to rain out here on the prairie.

    Or if our four worst hitters were hitting something like a combined .225.

  72. Jandy says:

    JHadar, that’s the point DK, Milo, Lucky and others are trying to make…but some don’t see it that way. OH well, we’re all entitled to our opinions, right?

    and love how you say “fixin to rain”…priceless ;)

  73. RobertoForever says:


    No question the Pirates need help. But SS is Sutton’s worst fielding position. And the Rays are using him as a 3B first and then 2B.

    So the question I asked yesterday remains. Would anyone really elect to sit Pedro or Walker so we could have Sutton in the lineup?

    If we are saying promote Fox or Clement to the majors and try them out in RF, maybe that is reasonable. But who do you take off the 40-man? Its a legitimate question that has to be considered, since the MLB has rules in place.

    I think around June 1st if McGehee is still hitting as badly as he is now, Hague deserves his AB’s.

  74. LuckyNKentucky says:


    That .253 that Tony Sanchez is hitting at Altoona doesn’t sound so bad anymore. Not suggesting that he’s ready or better than Barajas or McKenry or anyone else, but the point is, if they won’t go get someone (June is just around the corner), call up someone from Indy– Clement, Mercer, Hague, someone with a BA over .270 there and get some spark in that lineup. Could mean a win or two or four that makes a difference in the fall.

  75. RobertoForever says:


    It is very frustrating and disappointing, to say the least. Who would have guessed that McGehee would fall apart, and Barmes would struggle so badly to start the season. Barmes seems like he is coming around, but very slowly.

    And the Presley/Tabata struggles have hurt as well. 1 struggling might have been something to overcome, but having both of them way down has really exposed McLouth as not servicable. Maybe Gorkys will catch a spark this weekend.

  76. bob hasis says:

    After reading every post here today, I am convinced “we all agree” that something must be done. The route we take or the people who will be involved is what creates this magnificent controversy among us.

    The fact that the FO remains oblivious and silent, is the trigger mechanism for my disgust of them.

  77. RobertoForever says:


    Agree with your first point.

    But do we know that the FO is oblivious? Perhaps they are trying to be coy, so as to not raise the price of any piece they would try to land?

    Do we really want the FO to be saying – our hitting is atrocious, much less than we expected, and we are desperate to get a hitter?

    And the first team that acquires an impact hitter ahead of us for a reasonable (or maybe even a little overpaying), then anyone would be justifited in saying “Where is ours?”

    Hasn’t everyone who has done the research concluded that there really ARE very few impact trades (if any) that are done in May? I heard that was what the “twitter controversy” was with Dejan and someone. That someone else did the work and concluded that May trades are rare, and June trades, in contrast, are common.

  78. RobertoForever says:


    Excellent post on Sutton. Very well said. Kudos for doing the research,

  79. bob hasis says:

    Roberto, I can only judge them by their actions, or lack thereof.

  80. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I got a $10 spot that says when McGehee goes elsewhere he’ll start hitting again.

    Anyone see Lyle Overbay’s blast the other night in AZ? Ridiculous.

  81. bob hasis says:

    Roberto, I don’t want the FO to be saying anything; it would only be diplomatic dog food anyway. I want them TO BE DOING, and so do you.

  82. pghboyinca says:

    @Roberto, Wheny ou say stuff like “who would have thought Barmes would struggle and MCGhee would fall apart” you expose yourself as nothing but afront office shill. Barmes hashad seadily declining numbers and it was apparent has was in decline. McGhee fell off the clif last year and to expect him to be a ofrce this year was delusional. Given that this has been a consistent pattern (every N.H. acquistion has been a complete bust) there is no bad luck or “unforseen circumstances” at work here.

    You have an owner who doesn’t care about winning and is only concerned with turning a profit. He hired a President who was a bean counter and worked in the MLB offices making sure teams didn’t over spend on the draft. He then hired a clown who had been demoted from an assistant G,M. role with Clevelandto be our G.M. Think about that, Cleveland felt he was unqualified to be a G.M. assistant and we rush in to make him our G.M. This chain of events leads you to the Pirates of 2012 being the complete joke that they are. This team will finish 20 games under .500 and that is a lock. The hitting is not going to get appreciably better and the pitching wil level off.

  83. JohninOshkosh says:


    Thanks for posting that video! I was walking through the Forum Shops in Vegas in January and looked over and there was Pete Rose sitting at his table eating a sub sandwich with no one in line. I couldn’t resist so I paid for his autograph and talked to him for quite awhile because no one was coming in. We talked about Ray Fosse for quite awhile. Then as I was leaving I nearly bumped into a guy smoking a cigar. He said “how you doin” and it was Dick Butkus getting ready to go to another store to sign autographs. Only in Vegas-20 very surreal minutes!

  84. Jandy says:

    Ryan, I’m not betting against you on that one…you’re probably dead on!

  85. Jandy says:

    pghboyinca, uh oh, now you’ve done it!

  86. tmp444 says:

    Pghboyinca: +1

  87. twentytwo22 says:

    We’ll see what the Pirates are made of this weekend. The Cubs were swept in Houston, have a 9 game losing streak and the worst record in MLB. Over/Under Pirates wins in the series is 1.5. Under all day. The last two games have soured me. I’m sour. I don’t think they have it within themselves to show up against anybody and play good baseball. If I snuck up behind a Pirates hitter in the batter’s box and said ‘Boo!’ they’d jump 10 feet into the air… and still swing at the pitch 10 feet under them.

  88. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Is/was Drew Sutton the answer? Probably not. But I can’t help to think of Garrett Jones when he was signed.

    I believe the intent of bringing up the Sutton today was the fact that he was inserted into a playoff caliber team and has been successful, even for the 2 game stretch when the Pirates offense is offensive. He had more RBI’s in 2 games than the entire Pirate offense combined.

    This FO needs to turn every rock and needs to do something to help this pitching staff.

    I don’t expect any drastic trade happening. As pointed out, not many significant trades happen in May. It is possible that frameworks of trades can be happening at this point, but no team wants to consider themselves out of it in May. Especially for how streaky the game of baseball is.

    As far as the removal of a name off of the 40 man roster is concerned, I’m starting with Nate McLouth. Others in the mix could be but my internet is slower than this FO at making decisions/moves. Get back to ya on that list.

  89. Arriba Wilver says:

    Ryan—no way I take that bet about McGehee.

    Does anybody really believe there are any GM’s out there who don’t KNOW we are desperate for hitting? If there are, I’ll lay Ryan’s 10 spot that FC hires him as Neal’s replacement. :-)

  90. bob hasis says:

    In Wall Street there are market-makers; people who create activity, interest in a stock by buying or selling it.
    In Vegas there odds-makers; people who set a line to generate action on a game.

    This having been said, throw that May June thing in the rubbish. If you seriously want to generate some action – freakin’ DO IT.

    As in THE GODFATHER, make an offer that can’t be refused. I guarantee you’ll accomplish something – and most likely to your advantage.

  91. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, ( and I know some will) but didn’t DK mention yesterday that former Pirate hitters have a tendency to reestablish themselves AFTER they leave the Pirates organization. There has got to be something in the water or a curse on the Pirates uniform.

  92. bob hasis says:

    No Ryan the water is fine; it’s the GM and the guy who writes the line-up card. Maybe the pressure relief of playing anywhere but here – maybe?

  93. AJS says:

    We can over analyze this sutton thing until we are blue in teh face.

    DK’s point about this being so “very Pirates” was not to say that this guy will turn into a big time thumper. Just that there have been so many guys lost through rule 5 or strait up release or trade that go on to do well once gone. Even if only for a short spurt of time. It certainly has that “here we go again” feeling to it. I don’t think he’ll continue to hit .500 with power numbers. Probably tails off sooner rather than later to something closer to .260 or .270. Would that make the Pirates better? Maybe. But as has been pointed out, they weren’t sitting Walker or Alvarez so unless you want him to play short, where the Bucs will continue to trot out Barmes since they are paying him so much, he never stood a chance to play in the Burgh. Someone suggested moving Alvarez to first. That obviously is something he is not prepared to do at this point since when they used all of their normal 1B the other night, they went to barajas and then barmes when i was shure Harrison would move to third, barmes would go to short, and Pedro would move to first.

  94. AJS says:


    One of DKs five reasons the Pirates streak will not end at the start of every season is the name on the uni.

  95. Joe Starkey has a good article on the Bucs today.

    I think he has unintentionally created Neal Huntington’s new marketing line. Remember Neal’s famous: “Hey, it’s not the ’27 Yankees we’re breaking up!”

    Neal’s new marketing line, via Joe Starkey: “Hey, at least we’re better than the ’08 Brooklyn Superbas!”

  96. Jandy says:


  97. JRay3 says:

    @ Ryan – No way I take that bet…just look at Ronny Cedeno who went 5-11 against us in the three game set with 2 R’s, RBI, BB and looked like the next coming of Honus Wagner against the strength of our team which is our pitching. That only took his average to .286 with a .756 OPS but hey we have 11 Million invested in Clint I will break out of this two month slump Barmes and his robust .178 avg and .493 OPS.

    But I will listen to all the apologists tell me he was the second rated FA SS this off-season bularky…which proves how our GM makes moves and why we are constantly in the predicament we are in.

  98. Arriba Wilver says:

    My favorite line in Joe’s column was when he said after the “Year of the Pitcher” in 1968 MLB lowered the pitcher’s mound 5 inches, so

    “What will it do for the Pirates, bring out tees?”

  99. Hey Jandy!! It’s been a rough few days in our bloghouse here and on that accursed twitter.

    When reading, I have been exercising my own “ignore” button.

  100. Jandy says:

    Good job, Groat. It’s a necessity lately. Nice to see you post =)

    AW ~ lol loved the tees comment myself.

  101. bob hasis says:

    When you have a manager who stubbornly believes Barmes (his old bud) is doing just fine, and that same manager “could” be under a mandate from on high to play him, because of the foolish investment that was made in him, you’ve got a problem.

    This is what I fear; that Presley will be packaged in a deal, and become a Matty Alou elsewhere. Get his 5’9″ hustling little butt back here in Pittsburgh NOW and let him play as we know he can – and did. HE IS a lead-off man and relishes that role.

    We don’t know that of Navarro, Gorkys and now McLouth.

    I truly want CH to succeed.

  102. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Not blaming the manager on this one………yet. I do see the GM being the cause/reason for this. He has done very well in regards to pitching. Can’t really complain about that. I also like his acquisitions at last years deadline, however he has failed in scouting/analyzing hitters.

  103. Ronny Cedeno may have been 5 for 11 the last three days:

    ——but he also messed up an almost sure doubleplay, getting only one out so no error charged
    ——he tripped and rolled over on a grounder, giving a “hit” to a Bucco that should have been an out
    ——he idiotically slid into 1st Base again. It was so appropriate to see “the-best-sliding-into-first-base-player-in-baseball” exhibit his wares again.

    I will take woeful Clint Barmes 10 days out of 10 over Cedeno. Barmes could actually return to form and get better——and he’s already better on the turn for doubleplays . . . . . . . there is no upside for Cedeno. He populates his own universe.

  104. JHadar says:

    I felt a limerick coming on and then I remembered the proper pronunciation is suPOIbas

  105. Larry says:

    Chicks dig the longball, which means the Pirates are celebate monks

  106. JRay3 says:

    Ok STAT OF THE DAY: Did you know that since the end of the 1992 season there are only two NL Teams without a playoff appearance the Pirates and Nationals (they are new and look good this year). In that time here are the number of playoff appearances by club:

    NL EAST – Braves 13, Phillies 6, Mets 3, Marlins 2
    NL CENTRAL – Cardinals 9, Astros 6, Cubs 4, Brewers 2, Reds 2, PIRATES 0 and not even a .500 season YIKES!!!!!
    NL WEST – Dodgers 6, Giants 5, Dbacks 5, Padres 4, Rockies 3

    And let ‘s compare low budget AL TEAMS
    Twins 6, A’s 5, Rays 2,

    How anyone can defend against that is out of their mind, folks everybody has a good couple of seasons mixed in over the last two decades EVERYONE EXCEPT BMTIB!

  107. JRay3 says:

    @ Groat – I can name a lot of the Barmes miscues this season and PA’s but the list would be too long and I have work to do.

  108. Hasty Bob,

    I did not get your Hurdle/old bud Barmes comments. I’ve never heard Hurdle in any interview even imply that Barmes is playing well.

    However, who would you play there instead? The BMTIB left no alternatives.

    Navarro painfully cannot play short adequately. I actually thought he could, and I was wrong. And his batting average is in the same ghetto as Barmes’.

    D’Arnaud spent a month on the DL with a concussion after the 2nd game. He obviously is not yet ready to play in the Majors.

    You certainly cannot be a proponent of Josh Harrison playing short. His lack of range at short is only superseded by his inability to turn any but the most rudimentary of double plays. Endeavoring to play Harrison at short would be similar to believing a position player who comes in to pitch an inning in a blowout should immediately move into the rotation.

    Shortstop may be the most important defensive position on a baseball team. I am not willing to give up 9 innings of defensive play by Barmes for one extra hit a game by Harrison.

    The way the Pirates are pitching and hitting——I want the strongest defense I can muster on the field to have a chance to win!

  109. Bizrow says:

    I’lll take Harrisons spark and energy over Barmes anytime.

  110. bob hasis says:

    @Groat you must be campaigning to be NH’s asst.
    Your three whiny complaints about Cedeno are unfounded. You say “almost” sure DP but did get one out. So!
    You say “he tripped and rolled over on a grounder” that was in the hole and first was attempted to be fielded by Wright, which you fail to mention. Right!! And a hit was given very justifiably.
    You call “sliding into first idiotic”, others call it hustle. Whether it helps or not is not the question, but your attempt to trivialize effort is wrong here.

    You condemn your own post by saying you’d take a “woeful Barmes 10 days out of 10″ speaks to your bias not your sense of logic.

    And why didn’t you mention the difference in batting averages and K’s in your post?

    The upside is Cedeno is 29 maybe now 30, whereas Barfmes is 32 or 33. Cedeno gets 1.5 million and Barf gets 5 million.

    Did you ever notice that Barf always throws on the run? Why? Because he doesn’t have the arm to throw while stationary.

    I’m just sayin’.

  111. Johnnie Ray III,

    I did NO cartwheels when the Bucs signed Barmes.

    1/ He is better than Ronny Cedeno
    2/ He is better than anyone else the Pirates have right now.

    Therefore, Barmes HAS to play through his slump until he gets better, or . . .
    until the Pirates acquire another better than average shortstop. (I do not look for the latter option to occur.)

  112. bob hasis says:

    @Groat, If you need to hear Clint defend/support Clint, listen to a post-game interview. You’ll hear the praise, and as so often wonder – what game is big Clint watching?

  113. Larry says:

    Brad Lincoln = pinch-hitter-du-jour!
    Better than the Superbas. That’s almost as funny as McLouth’s average plate appearance.
    Starkey is a hoot. Dude cracks me up all the time. I’d rather see him doing color on the Pirate’s broadcasts than those other stiffs. How about Starkey doing play-by-play? Starkey for Pirate’s GM? Even O-Bummer could do a better job than NH. Fire Ray Shero.
    How about DK for Pirates Prez, Starkey for GM, Smizak for bench coach with Hurdle as manager? OJ Simpson as a hitting coach. (Sorry, I lost control there for a moment)

  114. JHadar says:

    Since nineteen hundred and eight
    Nobody’s been worse at the plate
    Than the Brooklyn Superbas
    But this may disturb us
    That our Buccos are sharing their fate

  115. bob hasis says:

    BTW Groat I’ve been called worse/better; so you get no prize.
    It’s important that we stick to subject matter – objectively or in your case otherwise – names are not the issue, so I’ll give you a pass here

  116. Hasty Bob,

    “@Groat you must be campaigning to be NH’s asst.” No one has ever said anything meaner to me. I’d rather you talk about my Mother! She wears combat boots!

    Bob, you are letting your prejudice cloud your own logic. A player slides into a base to slow down and not overrun it. Ronny consistently slides not to avoid a tag (hustle) but to get to the base quicker (stupid!) Don’t confuse stupidity with hustle!

    I was dissatisfied yesterday with one of my favorite players (Neil Walker) for inadequately turning two doubleplays, costing 2 important outs. Whether errors are charged or not, a good player consistently makes those plays! Yesterday Neil Walker was not a good player.

    Ronny Cedeno consistently is not a good player.

    While I was not and still am not excited about Clint Barmes, he is STILL not only the best the Pirates have but the ONLY option the Pirates have. He is the only adequate shortstop the BMTIB has provided.

  117. bob hasis says:

    Larry I got tied up with Groat for a moment and missed your post #113. You brought up Starkey for color. I WOULD LOVE IT!
    I intended to throw out an observation on that topic some time ago, but I will now so we can try to escape the Barmes Crusade by Groat.

    I prefer when the Pirates are on the road – just my opinion – so Blass stays home. People have rightly criticized Tim McCarver and Dick Vitale for their verbosity. Steve hangs in there with them. When we are at home, my mute button gets over-used.

  118. JRay3 says:

    @ Groat – And you just said it…he is the ONLY option the Pirates have which in of itself speaks of the colossal failure of this organization. They throw something up and hopes it sticks and when it does not, timber!

  119. Arriba Wilver says:

    I listen to almost all of Hurdle’s post game conferences, and while in the couple of games Barmes hit or made an excellent play, he does go out of his way to pat him on the back (fancy that), I think suggesting his comments suggest Barmes is “doing just fine” is delusional.

  120. Johnnie Ray III,

    Thank you for hearing what I have been saying, multiple times!

  121. bob hasis says:

    @Groat for all of these years, I thought a person slid into a base or home to be safe – not to slow down. Imagine my red face. Please don’t make statements like that!
    You say Barmes is all we have. Well that wasn’t the case until we brought him here and discovered we are stuck with him.

    And that is the crux of about 75% of these posts – get him out of here and bring in someone else to serve their apprenticeship. His was served some 10 – 12 years ago, and he has proven he is not even worthy of being a journeyman.

  122. Wilver Dornel,

    I listen to most of them as well, and I agree with you 100%.

    It’s interesting that others are hearing something different . . . . .

  123. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Whew. Rough crowd today. Groat and Bob, would either of you like a Jordy Mercer campaign button? I can send one up. By mail standards here, you could both have it by the trading deadline. (for hockey).

  124. Milo Hamilton says:

    I made my kids run laps when they slid into 1st base.Only to avoid a tag is it accepable. It should be a finable offense on the major league level. Sorry Bob, Groat’s right on this one. It’s not even debatable.

  125. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Maybe Ronnie’s sliding is faster than his running? (Don’t think in a million years that I meant that).

  126. bob hasis says:

    Groat how many times have you seen, now be real honest here, a high throw to first base and IF the runner would have slid, or knew how to slide into first, he would have avoided a tag and would have been safe?

    Would that be sliding to slow down or to be safe?

  127. Bizrow says:

    Its a proven fact its quicker to the bag running than sliding

    You can look it up…..

  128. bob hasis says:

    I don’t know if it is scientifically proven, but I am willing to accept the premise it slows you down to slide into first. On a close play does a cloud of dust bring into possiblity that an umpire could miss a call? You know so that itis not clearly bang bang? Just a thought.

  129. Jandy says:

    Lucky, you’re on a roll today, but the “do you hire out” one was the best! ;)

  130. bob hasis says:

    Bizrow I accepted before I read your post. But remember there are times when sliding could be a plus

  131. Bizrow says:

    Ok, bob, no problem from this end, yes to avoid a tag as folks have mentioned.

    That being said, to slide at first, you most likely must put the ball in play, something Mr Barmes struggles at.

    So I’d call that, IMO, a tie betwixt the two ;-)

  132. bob hasis says:

    So in conclusion Barmes is a way better SS (10 out of 10 times) than Cedeno, because Cedeno slides into first and Barmes doesn’t. No other factors are to be considered?

    Is that the consensus here?

  133. Jandy says:

    On a brighter note, DK has to be thrilled that the Kings (and Anze Kopitar) knocked off the Coyotes and advance to the Stanley Cup Finals. Darn if the Devils didn’t win last night and now have a 3-2 edge. Rangers lost the next game, the Devils advance. If that happens, I’m a Kings fan for the finals.

  134. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Can you hit? Guess nobody likes Jordy Mercer, including the infamous FO. We could campaign for you.

  135. bob hasis says:

    Groat has become silent in the last half hour or so but, I was just wondering why he only responded to one item in my critique@110 of his comments@103.
    There are some topics there that should be reviewed.

    Maybe some other time.

  136. Jandy says:

    Lucky, only if I grip REALLY hard and blink ;)

  137. Jandy says:

    Groat and bob hasis at least debate civilly. I’ll say that for both of them :)

  138. Kentuck Knob,

    I won’t leave you dangling on your Jordy Mercer comment.

    I like him very much——I spent 3 straight days watching his group hit and field at Spring Training because I wanted to zero in on him. I also talked to him about which position he wanted to play and he seemed very grounded. (“wherever I get to play most!”)

    He is tall for an infielder, has good lateral quickness, and a good arm. He also hit multiple homeruns in batting practice and has a very live bat.

    It also seemed obvious that he needs at least a year’s seasoning before he advances to the Majors. He’s not ready. My “eyes” would tell me that he is behind D’Arnaud.

    I thought if Chase played 3 straight months at Indy to gain experience, he might be able to come to Pittsburgh and compete for the SS job. That was pre-concussion.

    That concussion did not help our Pirate shortstop problem AT ALL! Ergo, Barmes (& PITT) is it!!

  139. LuckyNKentucky says:


    You can blink all you want to. Several of the Bucs haven’t seen a pitch this season. Close your eyes and swing. You don’t have to watch the ball hit the bat anymore. That’s a thing of the past. JHay even said the other night, he didn’t even see the first 2 pitches Verlander threw to him in the 9th before he got his hit. Of course they were a might fast.

  140. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Thanks for that. First time I’ve gotten a straight answer on him. Like JAL said, he’s on the 40-man, so they think something of him anyway.

  141. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    OK, yes, Barmes is better at SS than RC. Not because RC just slides into 1st base. I think its unanimous that the only real reason is to miss a tag, otherwise it is a stupid play.

    Obviously right now, he’s struggling at the plate. Why does he always throw on the run? Because that’s how SS are taught to throw the ball to 1st. Unless its a seed, they charge, round, and deliver with body movement towards 1st base.

    RC, though improved his defensive ability last year and finished 2nd in the Gold Glove voting, had moments that made you think “what the hell was he thinking!” His baseball smarts were not always there. Another example that comes to mind is his stupid bunt attempts in stupid situations. Really? Bases loaded Ronny?

    Overall, in baseball sense and terms, Clint Barmes is a better overall ballplayer. Comparing their salaries is a bit off as well. RC had a option on his contract between $3-4 Million, not the 1.5 he’s getting from the Mets.

    With all that said. I am starting to jump on the Jordy Mercer bandwagon. Clint has put together a few hits lately and some timely, good AB’s. I haven’t given up on him and I do not think he is the sole reason for the lack of offense. It doesn’t help of course.

  142. Bizrow says:

    To me the worst thing about the Barmes signing is the length of the contract. We had a one year option on Ronny for 3 mill.

    Now we are most probably stuck with Mr Barmes through at least July 31 of 2013.

    At the quarter pole of 2012, that is not an encouraging thought.

  143. bob hasis says:

    Ryan there are times when throwing on the run is necessary. They are not taught that as a first option. The words I remember are, “plant and throw.”
    There are times – perhaps it will catch your attention – that he throws on the run needlessly. And there have been times when his throws need to be dug out of the dirt.

    Watch for this in the next several games and see if I’m not correct, when he has plenty of time but throws on the run. I would be curious to know why

  144. Hasty Bob,

    I have no desire to argue with you just to hear myself type, and you somehow had come up with the idea that I was a Front Office apologist, which is Milky Way out there. The conversation had gravitated to “sliding into 1st” and it seemed it had run its course.

    If you read my posts above, I stand by everything I said:
    1/ My 3 responses to Ronny Cedeno at #103 I still hold as valid. He manages to mess up too frequently and he is inadequate as a Major League shortstop.
    2/ I gave an example of Neil Walker messing up plays that a good Major Leaguer consistently makes. I think he was having a bad day, as those are plays Neil usually makes.
    3/ I said Cedeno too frequently messes up those kind of plays. His inconsistency at turning the double play, giving the other team extra outs, makes him untenable.
    4/ Clint Barmes is very good on the feed AND the turn on the double play and he is a better fit for the Pirates since the Bucs do not score. Defense wins if you can’t score. Barmes infrequently gives the other team extra outs.
    5/ I also said above that Barmes was not my first choice to come here.
    6/ I believe he is the ONLY choice the Pirates have presently——as the BMTIB did NOT provide an adequate backup. I evaluated said possible backups in #108. There is no other legitimate shortstop presently on Pirate roster.
    7/ I said the only viable options were to play Barmes until he got back to his norm from past years or to pick up somebody from outside the organization (and I said I did not think FO would pick someone else up.)
    8/ I personally do NOT care what age Cedeno and Barmes are in comparison——I only care about how they are performing right now!! If both are equal, surely I want the younger, but I would expect neither to be starting for Pirates NEXT year.
    9/ If you are worried about how much of Bob Nutting’s money is being spent on Barmes, it sounds as if YOU are Huntington’s asst, not me!
    10/ I am dissatisfied with Clint Barmes thus far, but he is not only the best the Bucs have, he is the ONLY one the Bucs have. I am not for cutting him until/unless the Pirates get another defensive-minded shortstop. Shortstop is too important a position to screw around with, especially when Bucs are not hitting the ball.

  145. JHadar says:

    Let’s see, it’s an off day before we play the weakest team in the majors and we’re so upset with our bad hitting that here we have a serious discussion about whether Barmes or Cedeno is better. I guess I’m of the opinion that neither one of them is in danger of inducing cheers that will rock the bleachers. On the other hand, I’m a sucker for the fine points of baseball and read these things with interest. We don’t get much Pittsburgh TV out here, so I haven’t seen enough of Barmes in the field to participate honestly, but Cedeno didn’t overwhelm me when he was here.

  146. NMR says:

    “Now we are most probably stuck with Mr Barmes through at least July 31 of 2013.”


    Just kidding, guys.

    Go Kings.

  147. JHadar says:

    And let me hasten to add that I’m rooting for Barmes because on our team. Sometimes that’s what it has to come down to.

  148. JHadar——spoken well, as a true blue Iowa guy. Hard work and little things persevere!

    National Mart of Records——made me laugh!

  149. Bizrow says:

    NMR –

    Made me scratch my head ;-)

  150. Milo Hamilton says:

    I think the worst thing about the Barmes signing – is the Barmes signing.

  151. JRay3 says:

    Woohoo just saw the coverage Map for FOX Saturday Night Baseball and by some miracle Phoenix is the only market outside of the Chicago and Pittsburgh metros to get the Cubs-Pirates over games like Rays-Red Sox and Cardinals-Phillies…NICE! Look forward to hearing what Kenny Albert and Bob Brenly have to say from a national perspective.

  152. JRay3 says:

    @ Milo – for a guy who is as big a Rams fan as a Pirates fan post 52 really hurt.

  153. bob hasis says:

    The discussion of Barmes has exploded. We were originally – I mean several weeks ago – only talking about his hitting which is still absent except for this brief jolt he has provided.

    I too want him to succeed because he’s a Pirate, but he isn’t doing it. A .178 avg isn’t success and way too many K’s. Now we are trying to justify his existance because of his defense and the he’s all we have logic. Pathetic!

    Last year I was not in love with Cedeno, because he was taking time away from d’Arnaud, but in the end he outperformed d’Arnaud. With the advent of spring training I was rooting hard for d’Arnaud, because we got rid of Cedeno, and Barmes took his place, and then d’Arnaud was sent down. Before this season began, I was dead set against Barmes for all that I thought I knew about him from his days in Colo with Hurdle, and I believe the last two at Houston. If DK could magically refer back to one of my very first posts here sometime in March or April – I am in my rookie year here in the blog –
    I made note of my opinion of Barmes, but it’s far worse than I imagined.

    I am pleased that all or most of us want him gone but as Lucky always points out, the 10.5 million is Barmes security net thru 2013.

    So those of you who say, “he’s all we’ve got”, are correct. Harrison remains an option, but arguably defense is a question mark. d’Arnaud is a question mark.

    Just because we are stuck with Barmes, do we have to like it???

    This is all I think I will have to say on Barmes, which will please me and “yunz”.

  154. AJS says:

    Can’t we agree that neither of them is a good shortstop? Cedeno has always been a somewhat streaky hitter. His current pace will not last. Barmes does have a somewhat week arm but I believe fields the position better than Ronny(Barmes ahs looked infinitly better since teh start of May compared to his April, much like Ronny last year.)

    Where I disagree a little is that he is the only option on the team. Harrison has less range and doesn’t make the turn as well. But he is much much better at the plate. This is where the Bucs need help right now. While not a stellar short stop, he fields it well enough and would likely improve with the PT.

  155. Hasty Bob,

    I agree with you. I strongly hope Chase D’Arnaud gets a lot of experience this year at Indy (delayed because of concussion), comes up in August or September, and is the starting shortstop for the Pirates in 2013.

    Barmes can be a $5 1/2 mill backup at SS and 2nd, or even shine the Bucs shoes next year.

    D’Arnaud needs a full season of honing his abilities and concentration at the plate and in the field. He could be really good and the answer——next year!

  156. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Plant and throw is not a SS taught method, unless its in the hole except for the Derek Jeter’s of the world. The real reason he does that jump throw is because he doesn’t have the arm strength to plant and throw.

  157. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Groat and Bob,

    I’d rather Barmes’s guaranteed salary was a security net rather than an eaten bunch of greenery to the Bucs. Too many of those in the last few years. He can be a good, albeit high-priced backup and mentor, but we need to see some young blood there with some stick potential. As far as shining shoes, I think there are some other candidates for that one.

  158. Bizrow says:

    It depends on if Barmes would be happy picking splinters out of his keister and mentoring

    The signing so far is a mistake

  159. bob hasis says:

    Ryan, even when a SS has to move to his left, the method of throwing to first is “pivot, plant and throw’. A stronger and more accurate throw will result if the right leg is firmly on the ground.

    There are times when that isn’t possible, but Barmes is typically throwing off of his left foot – on the run, which I see as awkward and I know is wrong.

    Typically when a SS must charge the ball, then throw the best way you can.

  160. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Moving to the left is also considered a hole.

  161. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    When that’s the case, most typical forms go out the window….I’m talking about hits towards them.

  162. bob hasis says:

    Ryan please forgive me, but I have no idea what you were trying to explain @156.

    Technically what I am saying to you is, this is no different an approach than that which a quarterback must do – THROW OFF OF THE BACK FOOT.

  163. Bizrow says:

    Now I’ve seen it all

    Someone dissed Steve Blass

    Wow, that fellow gets no Christmas Card from me

  164. LuckyNKentucky says:


    That’s like dissing Robert E. Lee! We can’t have it!

  165. RobertoForever says:


    You do not speak the truth on barmes. Please cite stats to back up your conclusion. He had 12 HRs last year, 27 doubles and. 700 OPS. That was his best year in the last 3.

    When you say things like you do, you expose yourself as too lazy to look up the facts, or too blinded by hate to acknowledge. Barmes was a B level free agent. There werent many A or B type SS free agents this year.

    DK: Very last warning, RF, regarding personal stuff. I like your input here, but the personal stuff’s got to go.

    Same goes all around, myself included.

  166. Milo Hamilton says:

    Ken Rosenthal reports the Marlins are looking at “possible outside fits” to replace the injured Emilio Bonifacio.

    They don’t know, do they ?

  167. pattonbb says:

    Hey, sounds like they’re trying Milo.

  168. Arriba Wilver says:

    How’d Sutton do tonight? (Just kidding).

    DK: Rays were off. Yes, I checked.

  169. Eric Bowser says:

    Simple question to Bob Nutting, do you think this team has the players and prospects to win in 2013?

    Nutting continues to escape criticism because he spent a few million in Dominican Republic on a baseball academy and the team was the top spender in the draft for three years.

    If the Pirates can’t afford a payroll higher than $60 million, how exactly is 2013 going to be any different than 1992-2012?

    2013 is going to be just like 1992-2012

    They probably won’t pick up the $3.5 million option on Barajas, probably won’t retain Jones or McGehee… so who is playing catcher and first base?

    Who is hitting behind McCutchen?

    Who is pushing Alvarez at third base?

    Who is leading off?

    Who is hitting with power from left field or right field?

    Where is any of this coming from if the team can’t afford to have a respectable payroll and there’s nothing in the farm system to help?

    Are we really looking at a 2013 lineup of..
    1. Jose Tabata, RF
    2. Starling Marte, LF
    3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
    4. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
    5. Neil Walker, 2B
    6. Matt Hague, 1B
    7. Tony Sanchez, C
    8. Clint Barmes, SS

    This franchise deserves new ownership, new management, and new players – all of them are an embarrassment to this city.

  170. RobertoForever says:


    No warning for pghboyinca for post #82?

    I never initiate, only respond in kind.Is it OK to ridicule if I leave a specific name out, like everyone’s favorite announcer?

  171. STREAKBUSTER says:

    Hurdle bares the greater responsibility here, before with Pedro batting 7,6 and occasionally 5th the offense actually looked like it had some traction until the move to cleanup. Even who never criticizes the organization said ” The Alvarez move should not have been made till after the All-Star break

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