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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: J-Mac = MVP


Brief and to the Point …

>> We’ll be a little briefer than usual, as I spent Memorial Day with the family.

>> They don’t give out team MVP awards — or any awards — at the one-third point, but my choice for MVP and National League All-Star representative for the Pirates is James McDonald.

This isn’t because of yesterday. The opening sentence of Monday’s column supports that.

It’s because he’s got the 2.20 ERA, he’s fifth in the league in strikeouts, and he’s managed to put it all together into a dynamite pitcher who whiffs people and gets deep into games. It’s been a wonderful overall staff, the best we’ve seen in Pittsburgh in quite some time, but he’s been No. 1 in the group.

He showed why again yesterday.

>> Wrote this in the comments yesterday, but thought I’d repeat for those who avoid the deep water:

For those who think a massive offensive upgrade is needed for the Pirates, I submit these amazing numbers: They are now 16-2 when scoring four or more runs, 20-6 when scoring three or more runs and — this one blows me away — 23-10 when scoring at least TWO MEASLY RUNS.

I understand it isn’t easy to add a bat now, maybe impossible. But I write this to debunk notion that mega-all-stars are needed. The lineup just needs to be average or even below-average.

>> By the way, Drew Sutton is 0 for his past 11 and whiffed in all three at-bats for the Rays out of the cleanup spot yesterday. He might actually be the PTBNL if he keeps it up.

>> I’ll be over at Steelers OTAs for the start of the second round today, and I think I’ve got a column in mind to write off that.


  1. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    “He might actually be the PTBNL if he keeps it up.”

    Priceless line. Love it.

  2. Ryan says:

    Can we please let the Drew Sutton thing go? Pretty please. He’ll be back in AAA within a month.

  3. Jandy says:

    DK, just read your Monday column, and it’s fantastic. The Bucco’s bats need some help. You’d think SOMEONE could get a clue…or maybe buy one…even at a discount…

    As much as I detest Mike Richards, I have to root for the Kings to win the Stanley Cup, because I detest Kovalchuk even more…here’s hoping Anze Kopitar shines in this series. Anything to make DK smile.

  4. RobertoForever says:

    Wow, I just read the stats for pitchers in the NL.

    J-Mac is BETTER than Strasburg in almost every category – ERA, WHIP, BAA, fewer HR’s allowed, more IP. Plus wiith J-Mac’s frame vs Strasburg, I would bet on J-Mac to have the healthier career.

    I feel fortunate to have seen J-Mac pitch his first outing, a great quality start, which helped clinch the season seriesa against the Phils.

    Hope #GroundChuck has his #electricstuff going today.

  5. JAL says:

    JAL’s It Hurts To Want It So Bad Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)


    4—Pirates Prospects

    Pirates Notebook: McDonald Continues to be Pirates Ace

    Four Home Runs Lead Indians To A Win

    Prospect Trends — Week Ending 5/27

  6. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    20 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Pittsburgh Steelers 2012 Schedule Preview: vs. New York Jets

    Steelers NT Steve McLendon Poised to Start in 2012

    Pittsburgh Steelers Rank Third in Most Popular NFL Teams

    21 Steelers Depot

    - Steelers Six From Around The Web – May 28th – Mike Tomlin Wins At All Cost Edition

    22 Nice Pick Cowher

    Steelers Dispatch Upstart Browns in 1994 A.F.C. Divisional Playoff

  7. JAL says:


    27 Sky Sports

    Barry ruled out of Euros

    28 Daily Telegraph

    Wigan manager Roberto Martinez to make call on accepting Liverpool job

    29 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: Stories you need to read, May 28 th 2012

  8. JAL says:

    It Hurts To Want It So Bad Sea Level 1978 Members of Allman Brothers Band formed Sea Level. The name is a pun on band leader Chuck Levell (C. Leavell). Group had some moderate success but disbanded in 1981. Leavell went on to become a regular session player with the Rolling Stones.

  9. TJA says:

    I admit it…I was hollering for the dismissal of Ritchie and for them to make a big trade. Your points above are well said, Dejan. And, another item we need to remember is that baseball is a loooong season and at some point, things balance out.

  10. Drew71 says:

    TJA – Good point re balancing out.

    That could also apply to the pitching, which stands at 3rd in NL with a 3.20 ERA (big drop to fourth, Giants, 3.44). While I don’t expect the pitching to fall off the shelf like it did during the last two months of the 2011 season, it may move back to the middle.

    All the more reason for management to take steps to move the hitting UP to the middle to compensate.

  11. NMR says:

    Just wanted to say I enjoyed the column yesterday, DK.

    Personally, I think so much of the hysterics in the last week or so stemmed from people drawing uber simplistic lines in the sand. I think it would be hard to find many who would have any problem with what DK wrote yesterday. It is also a far cry from the “you stupid idiot, why cant trades happen in May?!?” demeanor that was going around last week. I sure hope thats cleared the air and we can get back to normal in here.

    Continuing along the lines of what DK started with his stats yesterday, I submit that the Sutton move by TB is a good one, even if he turns out to be a career minor leaguer. As DK said, the Pirates don’t need a blockbuster trade. Simply being flexible enough to find the right guy on a hot streak would do wonders for this team.

    I’m certainly not saying its an easy call. We all would’ve had Barajas on the first flight to Kalamazoo a month ago. But with two months of the season gone, I think the Pirates can spare a few starts from certain players…namely, a veteran shortstop who has shown zero signs of finding his “groove”.

    Hope everyone, Blog Captain included, enjoyed the holidays.

  12. Leefoo says:

    AW/DK………ok…… last try……..because essentially we may be saying the same thing.

    For DK to make a column up about anything Neal “GMspeak” Huntington says is ridiculous. Perhaps in hindsight, my ‘not showing his cards’ was NOT the right expression, but Neal DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING AT ALL in that interview. NADA. Nothing. Just like Ben DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING AT ALL in HIS interview.

    To make a fuss over what they said, is just filling space.

    That was my point. I just said it wrongly.


  13. Leefoo says:

    AW……had a great time with you, TC and 21sthebest on Friday night. Plus, that salmon salad was great. Between that and the tour of the New Midland from my High School best friend, it was a whirlwind 3 days. Gonna try to get to the video and pix today.

    I’m ready to hop back in the car and do it again. Just a wonderful time .

    It is great being retired.

    Btw, it turns out Plenty of Hope lives all of 45 min from me in Chambersburg. We’re gonna try to hook up one day. I also have JAL ‘on the docket’.

    Did I mention how wonderful it is to be retired? :)

    Old Man Foo


  14. Leefoo says:


    This was my favorite Sea Level song:

    DVE played this a lot.

    Sea Foo


  15. Leefoo says:

    With Jose Morales hitting well in Indy and about to become a Free Agent (opt out in his clause….see P2), do we switch out him and the Fort?


  16. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Switch them out. The Fort can get some PT and then get back later or next year. He’s a good guy and is gonna be a good catcher and better hitter than he is now in the future.

  17. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Forget that. Morales is not on the 40-man.

  18. Drew71 says:

    Foo’s an old man. He forgets nothing.

    What were we talking about?

  19. John Lease says:

    McKenry can get some at bats in AAA. Bring up Morales.

  20. TJA says:

    I agree Drew…the pitching may fall back a touch, to the middle only, as you indicated. But, as J-Mac said yesterday (and this was well put)…he is **mentally** stronger this year, as some of the others guys are, too. A big part of the game…mental toughness.

  21. Leefoo says:

    Drew…we need some “Like” buttons on here.

    Love this new software they got here.

    Likably Old Foo


  22. NMR says:

    Charlie Morton and Jeff Locke for Justin Morneau and 25% of his salary?

    Too little from the Pirates?

  23. Leefoo says:

    LNK…….we have some openings on the 40 man, esp now that Nate is gone (Thank God)

    40 Man Foo


  24. LuckyNKentucky says:


    They filt that with Slaten. (KY speak)

  25. Drew71 says:

    If I’m the GM for a team with a Thousand Dollar Bat Five Cent Head player like Milton Bradley once was, I’d be on the phone to Neal right now.

    If I’m a GM with a decent hitter approaching free agency, I would probably think it is too early in the season to give up on a playoff run during his last season before trading him.

    My fear: Neal picks up an old guy (or injured guy or out of shape guy) who was good three-four years ago. With the exception of DLee, at least for the month or so he wasn’t injured, that hasn’t worked for this team. I hope they learn from past mistakes and try other means. Being sincere…nothing meant sarcastically there. (You gotta say that or someone on auto-pilot defense goes haywire.)
    – I’m not a big fan of head cases, but I’d prefer to go THAT route than another ‘former former.’ No. I don’t want Bradley. I purposely picked an extreme example. And just for the record, I don’t want Charles Manson or Joseph Stalin.

    Perfectly OK with: Dumpster Diving, whether by signing or trade. What’s the harm? If it works, as it did for Jones in that magic Legend season, GREAT. If it doesn’t, nothing of real value lost.

  26. tk says:

    Sheesh! Ryan at post #2 is right. Why is Drew Sutton still being mentioned?

  27. SeanAY says:


    Neil wouldn’t send Barajas on the first flight to Kalamazoo. Flights in are too expensive :-)

    *rimshot* I got a million of ‘em!


    Got the chance to catch Sunday’s game, probably the first game I was able to make it to since 2010. Maybe it was just me, but after Pedro hit that three-run bomb in the first, I was convinced the Cubs would pack it in in the heat.

    I thought Neil Walker was OK at the plate, with at least one terrible AB and two pretty good ones. I was glad to see Harrison in there as well; he’s no offensive dynamo, but he’s certainly not the black hole that Clint Barmes has been.

    Couldn’t tell if he was laboring much in the heat, but Bedard works at a pretty glacial pace. I’ll take six innings of shutout ball any day.

  28. Baywatch says:

    DK: LOL at the prospect of Sutton being named our PTBNL!

  29. Drew71 says:

    Referring back to Pirates’ pitching, I had listed their league-third-best ERA. Knowing that ERA can at times misdirect over a relatively small number of games, I checked other stats. The pitchers have the league’s fourth best WHIP, OPS Against, OBP Against, Batting Average Against, and the third best Total Bases Against. And the BEST Save %.

    Across the board consistency with some excellence sprinkled in.

    At least so far, it’s real.

  30. RobertoForever says:

    More interesting info deep in the stats stacks.

    Pirates are actually hitting worse in May than in April, according to the BA. But in May are scoring runs at almost double the pace of April, with more HR power. Also walking less and striking out more in May. Maybe the addition of Hague (subtraction of McLouth) will improve all the stats and bring them back into balance.

  31. Leefoo says:

    NMR….if Morneau has anything left, that’d be a great deal if we can get him without giving up our top tier guys.

    He’s not hitting for avg, but his OPS is over .800.


  32. JB says:

    I was happy when we signed Cutch to his long term deal, but in light of the deal Adam Jones got this weekend I am now thrilled. Compare their numbers below. Jones is a great player and has more power but these 2 players aren’t that different.

    32 57 9 1 14 29 10 34 6 4 .311 .357 .601 .958
    28 56 8 1 8 25 16 34 10 3 .339 .398 .545 .943

    Jones – 6 yrs $85 million = 14 yr
    McCutchen – 6 yrs $51 million = 8.5 yr

  33. Thundercrack says:

    A guy who can’t stay off the disabled list….and some of his ailments are caused because of concussions.


  34. Thundercrack says:

    I agree with DK on his point that a mega all-star is needed.

    But I have also been saying that if some of our hitters just start to get their batting averages 30-50 points higher, we would be OK. Barajabas, Tabata, Walker, Jones, McGehee. I have not hope for Barmes.

    But I also said, Matt Hague hitting .275 would help a lot too.

    (unfortunately I cannot provide links to prove I said all this)

  35. Drew71 says:

    Morneau is just the kind of Big Acquisition Big Risk that they may NOT want to take. What Dejan is implying, maybe saying, seems to be they don’t need the, um, home run acquisition. They need to get a little bit better. So why take that kind of EXPENSIVE risk?

    I would CERTAINLY welcome him if the Pirates SOMEhow acquired him. I would see it as a forceful step up. And I would worry.

  36. JAL says:

    1962–Harry Chiti traded for PTBNL and later that PTBNL was Harry Chiti. He was traded for himself.

  37. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Trib’s web reconstruction has now officially eclipsed the length of the William Henry Harrison administration.

  38. Jandy says:

    TC I do believe DK said a mega all star is NOT needed…but yeah…if the bats we have would hit to their potential, that would go a long way towards producing more W’s

  39. Jandy says:

    JAL, lol seriously?? Too funny.

  40. Leefoo says:

    TC…no links needed………I believe you….. :)
    .I also agree with what you said in #39.

    However, I still think, if we could get Morneau cheap, it’d be a nice addition. 9 HRs in only 32 games would make him our HR leader.


  41. Drew71 says:

    Where’s Arriba? I thought he’d make bail by now.

  42. Milo Hamilton says:

    1987 – Pitcher Dickie Noles was traded from the Cubs to Detroit for a PTBNL. When the teams couldn’t agree on a player, the Tigers sent him back to Chicago to complete the deal.

  43. Thundercrack says:

    Not needed. I agree with that. Mega all star not needed.

    Sorry about that. I’m sure that when my brain sent the message down to my typing fingers that I agreed with DK, the fingers didn’t believe it. :-)

  44. aglebagel says:

    In regards to the Drew Sutton mention today:

    C’mom, this is what we do! One of the great “sports” of Pirates fans these last twenty years is following players that we either had or could’ve/should’ve had and wistfully wondering what could have been. It’s just another unique aspect of being a Buccos fan. Fans of other teams just follow what the major league team is doing. How boring. We get to follow the big league team, the prospects, AND the players we let get away!

  45. Jandy says:

    TC you need a Starbucks? I’m sure DK would buy ;)

  46. JAL says:


    Yes, it actually happened April 26 Mets got him Indians and returned him to Indians on June 15

  47. Jandy says:

    JAL, gotta love baseball lol

  48. LuckyNKentucky says:

    TC and Drew,

    Your humor is what we need here, believe me. It’s been a rough couple of weeks. Keep up the good work.

  49. Jandy says:

    Drew, you’re killing me lol

  50. Leefoo says:

    Drew Sutton is now batting .273 with an OPS of .697. And he’s terrible at SS. NEXT!


  51. Leefoo says:

    LNK……..only TC and Drew are humorous??

    Go sniff some sanitaries……..

    Stirrup Foo


  52. Thundercrack says:

    Actually I do need a Starbucks. ( haven’t had one since Friday!!)

    Wouldn’t that be a great podcast. Me and DK at a Starbucks having a ‘friendly’ discussion about the Pirates. It would evolve into me critiquing his views, columns and blog postings. Him asking me what is that Drew guy really like. As the caffeine intake increased it could get quite interesting.

  53. Jandy says:

    TC, I’d love to be a fly on the wall, and witness it for sure! ;)

    Foo, you already KNOW you’re amusing, you don’t need Lucky to tell you…

  54. LuckyNKentucky says:


    If you’d been around instead of on your Midland trek, you’d understand. Just kidding. You’re a funny guy, too, but theirs is a hidden humor that brow-beaten bloggers can understand. BTW, what does “sniff……” refer to?

  55. Jandy says:

    Gotta get out the muckin boots, it’s gettin deep in here ;)

  56. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Not too deep for Mother T.!

  57. Drew71 says:

    “when my brain sent the message down to my typing fingers that I agreed with DK, the fingers didn’t believe it.”

    Not only did EYE laugh out loud, but I think Dejan just spit his foo foo chai tea latte all over his Neal Huntington Bobblehead.

  58. Drew71 says:

    “Him asking me what is that Drew guy really like.”

    Never happen.

    Have you noticed that you never ever ever see us together?


  59. Drew71 says:

    Just think about it.

    If Dejan ever combed his hair, he’d look just like…

  60. Jandy says:

    Lucky lol!

    But I gotta say, this room “feels” so much better today, like it’s been said, the last couple weeks have been ruff!

  61. Jandy says:

    Lucky, I’m still waiting for Foo Foo’s reply to the “sniff” question…;X

  62. Drew71 says:

    Yeah. My humor is so hidden it’s nonexistent. (~sniff~)

  63. Drew71 says:

    We need sound effects.

  64. Milo Hamilton says:


    Is it safe to assume that the Neal Huntington bobblehead isn’t holding a bat ?

  65. Drew71 says:

    and prozac

  66. cosmo says:

    do we have an ace in the making with JMAC.

  67. Drew71 says:

    Why Milo. Yes he is.

    No wait. That’s not his bat…

  68. LuckyNKentucky says:


    He may be referring to the outside use of sanitary conditions here in KY. Have to say, I haven’t really seen any outhouses here. I HAVE seen some houses that look like they’ve been used as such on the inside. But this is a sports blog and I still like the Morneau deal if we can make it. That writer in Minneapolis in JAL’s links had us 4th on the list of possible trade partners. He’d be a great pickup if he could stay on the field.

  69. Nate83 says:

    Barry bonds wants to be a hitting coach. I say he couldn’t be worse then what wehave now. Look what MaGwire did for the cardinals.

  70. cosmo says:

    @ Milo

    I think the bobblehead is haunted by the ghosts of Derek Bell and Pat Meares.

  71. Jandy says:

    Bonds comes here for hitting coach, I quit following the Bucs. ijs…

    Lucky, LOL, but I’d still like to “see” it from Foo man what he is referring to ;)

  72. Jandy says:

    Drew and Milo are in rare form this morning…life is good!

  73. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Keep saying stuff like that and Jandy will lose her job for laughing too loud. Or, the white coats will get her.

  74. Milo Hamilton says:


    I think that’s the Dave Littlefield bobblehead. It comes with Matt Morris’ contract in one hand & John Van Benschoten’s draft card in the other.

  75. JHadar says:

    Seems a little crazy in here this morning.

    Well, take out the “little”.

    I still have trouble with the concept that being as rich in pitching talent as we are and our hitting problems are so patently obvious that aren’t some other GMs out there are beating a path to Neal’s door.

    Also, I’m of mixed feelings on do you trade to win now (good) or to dominate later. My fear, as stated previously, is our record of acquiring hitters does not bode well for any deals Neal might make.

  76. Milo Hamilton says:

    Come on, I left the door open…

  77. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Your points are very good. But what’s wrong with winning now, in a “weak” division? Or have Neal, Frank, Clint and the others just conceded that we are too far below the Reds and Cards and to improve to third this year would be enough progress without messing with the infamous “Plan”?

  78. cosmo says:

    @ Milo

    aren’t they still paying on that Matt Morris contract?

  79. Drew71 says:

    Yes you did. And thanks for that.

  80. bob hasis says:

    So it’s a little intellectual, sophisticated and adult humor you want; two girls are sitting together at their 20th high school reunion talking about their respective love life. One says,
    isn’t that Bob Hasis over there. The second one says, ‘why yes it is”

    The first one says, “after we got out of school, I dated him for a while. He was nice to be with, but a bit peculiar. On his manhood was tattooed the word “puny”.

    The second one began laughing uncontrollably and said,” I too dated him for quite a while. We loved being together, but when we were together that word was Punxsatawny”.

  81. Milo Hamilton says:


    I don’t think so, but the Mets are still paying Bobby Bo.

  82. JHadar says:


    Out of bounds. There are kids that read this blog.

  83. Reading says:

    The NH Bobblehead probably blurts out random catch phrases such as “Plus-Plus Stuff,” “Downward Plane,” and “Quality Bat.”

  84. JHadar says:


    I have mixed feelings.

  85. bob hasis says:


  86. Jandy says:

    bob hasis ~ Talk about bragging rights ;X LOL! (I may get fired yet)

    Ahhhh…gotta love this place!

  87. Jandy says:

    bob DK will take care of it if it needs taken care of…not to worry.

  88. NMR says:

    How many times do NL Central teams have to make deep playoff runs for the division to lose the “weak” label? It happens every single year. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the media outlets on either coast.

    The reason I brought up a Morneau trade(other than being prompted by JAL’s great find in the links) was because I feel the logic behind the “minor move for a hitter” is somewhat circular. We’ve already established that Huntington, et al are pretty terrible at identifying hitting talent. Why then, should we be in favor, much less expect, these same men to find a JMac-like diamond in the rough? Moreover, it’s taken JMAC parts of three years to reach his potential. The Pirates need hitting help now.

    I’m also not sure the risk is really that high. Is there a better first baseman on the market for next season that would be cheaper? The Pirates are going to need someone to play the position.

    As for the the player cost of the trade, well, thats how this pitching depth is supposed to work, right?

    I’m not saying I’d be thrilled with the trade by any means, but I find it very difficult to beleive it would not improve the team. I’m all for moves that do that.

  89. NMR says:

    I’m far less uncomfortable with Bob’s joke than his striped-ape reference…A+!

  90. LuckyNKentucky says:


    I think we all have mixed feelings. Probably won’t shake out completely until October.


    Good stuff.

  91. JHadar says:

    Back to baseball.

    Two obvious moves of the win now variety: Mercer is hitting .303 at Indy and Presley has been over .300 for the past week. I know they want to give Gorkys a look in the outfield, but Navarro and Barmes — sorry if it seems like piling on — haven’t been helping much this season.

  92. Drew71 says:

    I would suggest, NoMinatorR, that it has to do with one specific outlet in Connecticut which is flying flags at half staff for the Yankees and Red Sox.

  93. NMR says:

    Thanks, Lucky.

    -Does anyone have access to the ESPN Insider stuff? I noticed there was some kind of update on the Angels situation. I’ve never heard anyone other than rumor mills mention that Mark Trumbo was a trade candidate, but would certainly love if he developed into one. I personally won’t get interested in a trade candidate until the teams GM addresses it.

  94. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I too asked for a bat. I wasn’t looking for an All-Star but a Vet that can actually add some consistency to this lineup.

    Believe it or not, but I’m confident that a deal will get done in July IF the Buccos continue to perform at this level.

    I do think the Bucs have 3 legit All-Stars again this year. JMac, Cutch, and Hanrahan.

    Cutch for sure if Kemp continues to be on the DL, but I believe he’s coming off soon.

  95. NMR says:

    Sing it, Drewseph.

  96. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    I can’t see Trumbo being a trade bait anymore. With the stats his putting up right now, that would be a HUGE deal.

  97. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I do think the Pirates need to upgrade at 1B. I think internal options can cover the OF and leave Jones on the bench to platoon, he’s not an everyday guy, but can add some power in RF or a day off to whomever is picked up for 1B.

  98. JMB says:

    If the Pirates have decided to non-tender Jones after this season, he should be included in any deal.

    Trumbo/Trout/Bourjos are now the Angels outfield of now per Jon Heyman, so I think we are mostly left with Willingham, Morneau,Butler group.

    Weaver going down (length tbd) might make the Angels need some SP help though.

    As someone else posted, you dont give Pujols that kind of money and not make a run for the title this year, so maybe Kendry Morales becomes the lesser acquisition for us.

  99. LuckyNKentucky says:


    I agree with you on Trumbo. If he keeps hitting walk-offs and such, they’d be foolish to trade him, unless they trade him at peak or some other team pulls a godfather on them. We know Neal won’t do that.

  100. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Bonds won’t leave the Bay Area. He wants to coach for the Giants. Pretty much it. Actually, the hitting coach for the Giants is very good…his players just can’t hit.

    I remind one and all again to the year, 2010. The Giants couldn’t hit to save their life, had similiar stats pitching wise to the Pirates of this year. At the deadline, they picked up pieces that they needed to continue. The biggest name, Freddy Sanchez.

    Hang in there, pitching and defense wins in the long run…

  101. Naterosboro says:

    “How many times do NL Central teams have to make deep playoff runs for the division to lose the “weak” label?”

    Re: NL Central

    Maybe balanced is the right word. This year, I’d say it’s a bit more balanced, with all the teams seeming mediocre to bad.

    In the past though, to me, it’s seemed top heavy with 1 or 2 good (I remember Houston and St. Louis going at it for some years while the Cubs were OK, and the Pirates, Brewers, & Reds were bad) teams.

    At least the Bucs have a shot now at competing for a division. I don’t mind that (even if it is weak haha) :P

  102. Drew71 says:

    Did SOMEbody ask me to sing?


    To the tune of Love Stinks…

    Don’t love them
    They love only themselves
    You just can’t win

    And so it goes
    Till the day you die
    This self promoting
    It’s gonna make you cry

    I’ve had the blues
    About those finks
    One thing for sure

    (They stink)
    They stink yeah yeah
    (They stink)
    They stink yeah yeah

    (They stink)
    They stink yeah yeah
    (They stink)
    They stink yeah yeah

    Ok. Not my best stuff. Maybe I’ll have Chris Berman put it to rhyme.

    Or not.

  103. Milo Hamilton says:

    About the Angels, Jared Weaver left the game in the 1st inning last night when his back locked up on him. I haven’t heard an update.

    I’m starting to think Kendrys Morales may be the guy to look at.

  104. LuckyNKentucky says:


    That would be nice.

  105. radio wave says:

    Is this the way it’s going to be after every 3 day holiday weekend?
    And a serius question for the native Pittsburghers.
    On the radio the other day, someone from atlanta called in asking about “the slide.”
    Unfortunately, you all know what that refers to.
    The host said that just before the hit, Van Slyke told Bonds to move in a couple of steps, and that Bonds gave him the finger.

    Is that a well known true story all these years?

  106. Drew71 says:

    Yes. This is the way it’s going to be.

    This is the business we’ve chosen.

    I didn’t ask who gave the order, because it had nothing to do with baseball!

  107. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Drew Hyman Roth 71

  108. NMR says:

    I never thought Trumbo was available all along. Teams don’t just trade that type of player. They find a way to make him fit.

    It also helps that he doesn’t have Matt Hagueitis, the condition in which a man can play first base and first base only. Seriously, though, how ridiculous is that? Hague must not have a shred of athletic ability or a wet noodle for an arm.

    I like the mention of Kendrys Morales, though. Versatile in the large, slow man positions.


    Plausible theory on the NL Central perception. The extra team might’ve hurt the division in that case. I just never saw the other two divisions as being any different than the central in terms of top and bottom. The West had awful San Diego and Arizona teams at times and the East had terrible Washington and Florida squads. Oh well, just a pet pieve…

  109. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’m going to take a nap. When I awake, if the money’s on the table. I’ll know I have a partner.

  110. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Milo Hyman Roth Hamilton. That’s better than a number for a last name.

  111. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    That is a story that Van Slyke has told since that day. I would like to see video evidence, but I doubt that’s out there.

    I think its a little known fact that those guys didn’t get along.

  112. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Hague played a lot of 3rd at Indy, but I believe we have a third baseman now–at least one in the making. Nice to be able to say that.

  113. Jandy says:

    did anyone get along with Bonds?

  114. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Probably not, but I think Bonds/Van Slyke was most talked about. I could be wrong, rather young at that time.

  115. Jandy says:

    Ryan, I’m not very sure either, but I remember how much *I* disliked Bonds and his attitude. Still can’t abide him lol.

  116. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    No, me either.

    The local Giants radio station is asking folks if they would want BB to be a coach for the Giants. He was on the broadcast yesterday and said he would like to return to the Giants in a coaching capacity.

    BB was not himself, he was actually happy go lucky and talkative. Perhaps (John Wehner) the guy was just so focused that he tuned everything else out. OK, I tried. He’s a douche

  117. Bizrow says:

    Holy crap, 121 posts so far

    Anyone want to sign the ledger?

    Just post where you are currently residing, will post the whole list on the game thread

  118. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I really think Drew’s last name is Sutton, not 71. They both live in Tampa, right?

  119. Leefoo says:

    LNK….ya never heard of sanitary socks?,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=7e31dd1cd0ae5982&biw=1600&bih=721

    You must’ve never played. (I didn’t either…I sat on the bench). But I LOOKED good in my sanitaries.

    Sniffin Foo


  120. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Didn’t know they were called that.

  121. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Thanks, Foo. You’re right. I played football only. The socks weren’t sanitary before or after the game. We played the Leopards in some JV games and they wailed on us. You may have been involved in that, but I think you’re too young (although retired).

  122. Drew71 says:

    Biz, the only thing that generates more posting traffic than a four game winning streak is a four game losing streak.

    This is more fun.

    Ok everyone. You can relax. I’m off the blog and traveling the rest of the day.

    (I know. ~whew~)

  123. Milo Hamilton says:

    RJ Reynolds once decked Bonds on the team plane after Barry shoved a slice of pizza in his face after a long argument.

  124. Jandy says:

    Ryan, nice try ;)

    Foo, darn, now I gotta admit my mind was in the gutter!

    Lucky LOL!

  125. Jandy says:

    Milo, obviously he didn’t deck him hard enough!

  126. Leefoo says:

    LNK…I was fast, so I went out for WR. I was fine on the bombs, but he sent me over the middle once…ONCE! After I sniffed the smelling salts, I decided to stick with basketball and baseball.

    Plaxico Foo

  127. Milo Hamilton says:

    Kendrys Morales is making just shy of $3 Mil this year, arbitration eligible in 2013 and will be a FA in 2014. A cautionary note – that was a horrific ankle injury that cost him a year and a half. The way I read the stats, he hasn’t played a game in the field since the injury. Just thinking the Angels would be more willing to part with him than Trumbo. And, he’s a switch hitter.

  128. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    I’m sure the Angels would rather part with him, but if he hasn’t played in the field since the ankle injury, he may not be suited for the NL.

  129. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I’m leary of that AL/NL switches. I do think there is a change that the hitters have to make when switching leagues. The pitching is different from league to league.

    That might’ve had something to do with Pujols’ struggles early on.

  130. Big Dave says:

    Just so everybody realizes it, 23 & 10 when scoring 2 or more runs translates into 113 wins
    over 162 games – unfathomable!

  131. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Milo and Ryan,

    Excellent points. We have some fielding-deprived first basemen at times, but he may not make the grade in the NL. That dog-piling after a walk-off can be a killer.

  132. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I’m still a fan of Morneau. I don’t see it happening, but that would be my preference.

  133. Thundercrack says:

    We could trade for a hitter from the American League.

    But with our luck this is what we would hear from that player at the end of the season
    “It really took me longer than I expected to adjust to the NL and facing new pitchers”

    20 years of losing will make you think of these things

  134. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    It doesn’t just happen to the Pirates. DLee was different last year because he spent most of his time in the NL. I do think there is an adjustment period. The AL just has more hitters available.

  135. 21sthebest says:

    “I understand it isn’t easy to add a bat now, maybe impossible.”

    Obviously you didn’t listen to this guy who was a guest on The Fan last Friday from 2-3 because he disagrees with you!

    DK: Go back to the column link from the original piece, Brian. My position from the very beginning is that it would be difficult. Hasn’t changed in the slightest.

    Good line, though.

  136. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    What are you saying? DK disagrees with himself……maybe he “misremembers!”

    I love that line…….

  137. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    You mention that they don’t need to add an All-Star. I agree. It would be nice, but not required. I would like to see a .300 hitter added with some power, doesn’t have to be Prince Fielder power, but 20-25 would be ok with me.

    My question; who would you go after if you played GM for the day?

  138. Thundercrack says:

    My guess between columns in the Trib, appearances on The Fan and 970 with Joe Bendel, the Nightly Sports Call, and the Sunday Showdown………he probably agreed with all sides of the argument.

  139. NMR says:

    “…they don’t need to add an All-Star. I agree. It would be nice, but not required. I would like to see a .300 hitter added with some power, doesn’t have to be Prince Fielder power, but 20-25 would be ok with me.”

    .300 with 25 hrs IS an all star, Ryan.

    It would be a blockbuster deal if ANYONE with stats like that is traded this year. Remember Hunter Pence?

  140. Thundercrack says:

    you’ve been away too long. You should see this place after a 1 game losing streak.

  141. NMR says:

    Stupid question, Ryan.


  142. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    25 HR’s and a .300 BA is not necessarily an All-Star, especially for a 1B. Hunter Pence was an All-Star for an Astros team, big whoop. If he’s an All-Star this year, its because he’s now in Philly and the Philly faithful come out in droves to vote, unlike the Pirates.

    I also don’t care what your opinion is of my questions….Nor do I care about your responses. I am well aware of what DK’s job is, but it would be interesting to see what his thoughts were. I also understand that he may not want to answer because some people may take his opinion the wrong way and assume that it was a rumor.

    Anything else you’d like to add?

  143. JMB says:

    I think that was supposed to be a joke dude.

  144. NMR says:

    You missed a big ole cup of sarcasm in that last one, Ryan.

    I, too, would love to hear something of substance in regards to trade partners, players, and ideas from DK.

    He informed his readers last week that it wasn’t his job to do that. Thus, the JUST DO IT NOW column.

  145. NMR says:

    And as for your trade wish list, whether you want to call him an all star or not, any player with those stats would fetch a huge return.

    They don’t grow on trees these days.

  146. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I can take a joke with the best of them, the problem is you don’t know how to deliver it

  147. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Those stats meaning Pence? No doubt. He’s not doing much in terms of BA this year, but I’ll take him. Phils gave up quit a bit last year.

  148. Thundercrack says:

    You do realize that the 10 words in the column in which you said a trade would be difficult may have gotten heavily overshadowed by all the other comments / critiques you included in that article? And the stuff you said leading up to that article. Including mocking the front office with “They’re Trying”

    But you did dedicate 10 words to it, so you did cover your you-know-what.

  149. Jandy says:

    OK boys, take it outside ;)

    See…this is where emoticons come in handy… ;) :) :p

  150. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Since you brought up the 25/.300 as an All-Star I started doing a little research on it, at least for 1B. I didn’t get very far, to be honest.

    I got the Paul Konerko of the White Sox. Someone please explain to me how this guy doesn’t get the credit he deserves and how he’s still producing at this stage of his career?

  151. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I don’t think those things ever come in handy………..and I don’t know how to use them.

  152. Manny Ramairez possibly is available in 5 games!!

  153. Jandy says:

    They sure would put a wink where sarcasm is intended ;)

    they’re easy to use. If Mother Teresa can figure them out, so can you :p

  154. NMR says:

    Seriously, Ryan. Relax.

    FWIW, a quick fangrpahs check turns up these kinds of names in the .300 20-25 class: Ethier, Cano, McCutchen, Beltre, Sandoval, Longoria…Just sayin’.

  155. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I was looking at 1B.

    OK, OK, OK…i’m working on homework here as well so maybe I’m taking that frustration out on you…… wouldn’t happen to work in finance would you? ug

  156. Jandy says:

    I’m workin on work..and trying to keep up with you guys is tough ;)

  157. NMR says:

    You’re a good guy, Ryan. No worries…

  158. NMR says:

    I thought we could joke about that stuff from last week, but its probably better to let a sleeping dog lie.

    Sorry, guys…

  159. Milo Hamilton says:

    A Duke Welker tweet just congratulated Jordy Mercer on his promotion to the big leagues.

    Just as quickly, it’s was taken down. I’m guessing he’ll be here tonight, weather permitting.

  160. Thundercrack says:

    Mercer and Welker probably have been suspended by the front office.

  161. 21sthebest says:

    “Good line, though.”

    Thanks Dejan. But I just thought that during your appearance on The Fan, you made it sound like they should go get a bat and I felt that you didn’t make it sound like it was difficult.

    DK: That concept has never even crossed my mind. My point was that I didn’t care how difficult it will be. It’s important to support this pitching staff.

  162. Milo Hamilton says:

    That Welker tweet was at 1:19 PM, then all of the sudden – poof. Gone.

  163. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    I missed that comment from him last week, or whoever it was. No worries.

  164. Thundercrack says:

    Radio DK and TV DK are a bit different than Print DK.

  165. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Let’s keep our fingers crossed. I’m sure Welker is now getting a talking to about how to use twitter…..He can probably ask Tony Sanchez about it.

  166. JMB says:

    Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal
    If #Rangers sign Oswalt, #Angels can’t.

    I guess we should root for the Rangers to get RO, so we can get Morales for Bedard.

  167. Thundercrack says:

    “Radio DK and TV DK are a bit different than Print DK.”

    Let me just clarify that statement. It is just my opinion.
    But I think I have told DK that I “get” his line of thinking and opinions much better on radio & tv. And I have noticed that he tends to be more hard core with his opinions and criticisms (especially of the FO) in Print.

    Maybe I don’t read so good.

  168. Milo Hamilton says:


    Huntington kills me. He says on his show Sunday that Mercer will be here “sooner rather than later”. What’s the big secret ? Probably whoever’s outta here hasn’t been told yet. Maybe ?

  169. JMB says:


    I’m starting to think Dejan might wanna consider a restraining order…

    DK: Already placed the call.

  170. Jandy says:

    Milo, hey, it’s the big leagues now, right? If you can’t run with the big dogs, keep your puppy azz on the porch. Like you said, what’s the big secret?

  171. 21sthebest says:

    “Let me just clarify that statement. It is just my opinion”

    Glad you clarified that because I was going to sic Paul Alexander on you!

  172. Milo Hamilton says:

    I really don’t think I’d want to upset Duke Welker.

  173. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    That’s exactly it, have they made any moves yet? Its good to keep that business in house first. My guess, Navarro.

  174. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Welker can bring it!! I haven’t seen him pitch, but from the reports that I see, no joke.

  175. LuckyNKentucky says:

    This just in. Duke Welker to start the Spikes opening game 6-30-12 and Jordy Mercer to coach 1st for State College.

  176. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I still say, Twitter is for the birds. Pun intended.

  177. Jandy says:

    LOL Lucky, best line yet!

  178. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Twitter-master Kovacevic states it will be Ja-miko that will go, not Barmes. and Clint will ride the pines, not Jordy. We also have a kid, Brock Holt, who is an infielder in Altoona who has always hit at or around .300 in his minor-league career and is over .300 this season. Maybe some help on the nearer horizon.

  179. LuckyNKentucky says:

    DK also said “if” BTW. Don’t want to get him misquoted or in trouble.

  180. Bizrow says:

    Dejan is Dejan, BDSWIB/S

    Best damn sportswriter in baseball/sports.

    I don’t know why folks have a rough time with that.

    DK: Thanks, Biz.

  181. Jandy says:

    Hell yeah Biz!

  182. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


  183. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Must agree.

  184. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Yamaico Navarro. Pronounced that way isn’t it? Sounded like that on the replays. Only way I’d know.

  185. NMR says:


    Huntington will always be that guy who has to sound like he’s smarter than everyone else in the room. None of this current front office has any idea how to speak to an audience.

    With that being said, I think you gotta be looking for trouble for anyone to get worked up over the literal meaning of his words at this point. How many times does it have to happen before it doesn’t get a rise out of people?

    His act has grown old on me fast.

  186. NMR says:

    And I’m fairly positive naming my first born “Duke Welker” ensures at least a low 90s fastball.

    You can’t possibly be a soft tossing junk baller with a name like that.

  187. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    It has to be the best name in baseball.

  188. 21sthebest says:

    “It’s important to support this pitching staff.”

    Well it’s fun to win so however we can improve our chances is fine with me. If there aren’t any good deals out there, then you have to hope the pitching can carry us and/or the hitting comes around.

  189. JAL says:

    Officially announced–Mercer up, Navarro down

  190. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Good, throw him out there and see what happens. I believe that this sample size of Barmes is enough to warrant this call up. Let’s see what happens.

  191. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    How is rated as a defensively?

  192. Leefoo says:

    “You can’t possibly be a soft tossing junk baller with a name like that.”

    I always thought Zachariah Duke was a heckuva pitching name.


  193. Leefoo says:

    Biz…..”Dejan is Dejan, BDSWIB/S”



    Ryan Foo


  194. Evan says:

    Here is a pic from Root Sports twitter of Cutch holding the boom mic while Mercer is interviewed.

  195. Leefoo says:

    Mercer is rated as an adequate SS. He ‘makes all the plays’. His calling card has always been his hitting.


  196. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Thanks, I think I’ll take that type of SS. Strange to see someone like that in a Pirates uniform though.

  197. JRay3 says:

    Have to say I am pumped on the news of Jordy Mercer…at least the team is making some moves to attempt to find a spark to the offense. I certainly hope they provide to him the same opportunity they have given to Hague to see what he can string together over multiple games. Now if they will recall Alex back to the club we can focus on what is out there in terms of a bat to add to the team.

    Still two very big games with the Reds, and as of this moment just 3 back of first and 2.5 GB of WC position. Really hope to see a bounce back from Charlie this evening.

    Let’s Go Bucs!

  198. Jordy Mercer is tall for a shortstop. He shows good range and a strong arm. He is very smooth in turning the doubleplay.

    As I watched him in drills at Pirate City, he seemed “younger” and a little less confident than Chase D’Arnaud at short, but he was very smooth. I liken it to Chase being a senior and Jordy a sophomore on a high school baseball team.

    However, Mercer is smooth, and has a good line-drive bat with some pop. He has good hands, again just a tad behind D’Arnaud.

    His performance at Indy, especially with D’Arnaud out a month with a concussion, would seem to indicate that his confidence is growing.

    I’m glad he’s coming. I hope it does not overwhelm him as it did D’Arnaud late last summer. We need something, if only just to push Barmes.

  199. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    I agree on giving Jordy time to establish himself. I still don’t think Hague has gotten enough time yet, but it seems as though CH is determined to give it to him. Before yesterday’s game, he was 4/9 since his call up and I think he went 1-4 yesterday. If my math is right, that’s 5/13 at about .384. Rather ridiculous numbers of course, but at least he’s getting time.

  200. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Great analysis! Thanks!

  201. JHadar says:

    Obvious move.

    BTW — take McLouth, Navarro, Barmes and McGehee out of the stats and the batting average jumps 14 points. It depends on placement of the hits of course, but it’s reasonable to imagine that if those 14 points had been there all along we could be leading the division now.

  202. Johnnie Ray III,

    Please don’t mention that stupid wild card one-game playoff!!! I do NOT want to be on the road for a one-game thing that never lets me as a fan root at home for my team!

    Go for the division title!!! I want to see and feel PNC rock!!!

  203. Iowa Hadar,

    Take 5 losses out of season and make them wins and Bucs are in First Place!

    You can’t do that! The season is the season!

    If my aunt was anatomically closer to Michelangelo’s David, she would be my uncle.

  204. Leefoo says:

    @ Groat….good stuff.



  205. Leefoo says:

    From KR at P2

    Mercer, 25, hit .358 avg with six doubles, a homer and nine RBI in the month of May and ranks eighth in the International League with a .303 average over 47 games with Triple-A.

  206. Evan says:


    “If my aunt was anatomically closer to Michelangelo’s David, she would be my uncle.”

    I’ve really enjoyed reading along with the blog all day, but this has to be the best line yet.

  207. JHadar says:

    Basically there is less variation between defensive abilities at the major league level than there is between hitters. You cant put numbers on it because defensive stats are really inadequate — but experience tells us that the pitcher is going to get a few strike outs, and most of the balls that go into play will be hits or outs no matter who is playing at a particular position. Only a very few will be hits for one player and outs for most or vice versa.

    On the other hand a .300 hitter will collect 50% more hits than a .200 hitter, and most line-ups have more variation than that. Usually a player or two around .320 and one struggling to maintain .200.

    While you want the best of both worlds, if you have to choose between a hitter and a fielder, unless there was an extreme fielding deficiency, you would always pick the hitter.

    If Mercer can hit .220 he’ll be a better option that what we’ve seen of Barmes.

  208. JHadar says:

    Groat, I don’t know your aunt, but since when is imagination limited by reality. It is what it is, but we can speculate. It we can’t speculate, why blog? How many imaginary trades, including package deals, have been discussed to death here?

  209. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Wanna help me out with my finance homework?

  210. I don’t wish to limit your imagination, so I defer.

    I’m just saying you can’t change what already took place.

    Our team batting average and performance already included those performances.

    I argued with Dejan a couple seasons ago when he kept quoting Charlie Morton’s ERA without one blow-up game in Wrigley. It is what it is. That’s why they call it an ‘average.’

  211. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Root Sports just tweeted that CH said ” Mercer was not brought up to replace Barmes”

    For whatever that’s worth.

  212. JHadar says:

    Groat —

    Actually the point was to demonstrate how much the lack of hitting from key players has hurt the club, not wishful thinking. I agree that the damage is done.

    A(u)nts Marching

  213. CWalton_67 says:

    My question was going to be, “Is Mercer going to play?” Based on Ryan’s post above, guess not. Post #220, wow.

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