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Wakeup Call: Leave Lincoln alone!

.

CLEVELAND — Brief and to the Point …

>> The Monday column focuses  on the Pirates’ biggest disappointment: Jose Tabata.

If you disagree with that assessment — and bear in mind the operating term here is disappointment, which isn’t necessarily the worst player — let’s hear it.

>> Sorry, I just can’t get on Brad Lincoln for his latest mess yesterday.

Call me nuts, but when you’ve got a reliever with a 0.45 ERA over 13 appearances — and 23 strikeouts over 20 innings — you don’t mess with that. Lincoln’s had a long, hard climb since being the first-round pick. The kid finally found something he could do, and maybe do it really well, and he was thrust into a starting role. This despite at least two capable starters available in Indianapolis in Rudy Owens and Jeff Locke.

>> Want the secret to Pedro Alvarez’s second monster day in a row?

Four at-bats, six pitches. Boom, boom, boom.

It’s not always complicated.

>> Big hockey week ahead, beginning with the NHL Awards Show — including Evgeni Malkin’s bid for his first MVP — Wednesday night in Las Vegas, followed immediately by the NHL Draft at Consol.

If you missed it in the Sunday paper, this was our Malkin feature by Rob Rossi.

>> This was my appearance on KDKA-TV’s ‘Showdown’ last night.

>> My weekly appearance on TribLIVE Radio is today at noon. It’s online-only. Check it out.

Comments

  1. Jandy says:

    Wow! I missed the wild show Pedro put on. I was barely near a television all weekend. Oh well, I’m just thrilled he connected. Can we have some more of that, please, Pedro?

    I hope all you fathers had a good day yesterday.

    Bring on the NHL awards! I’m already in hockey withdrawal!

  2. Thundercrack says:

    DK,
    Thanks for today’s article. Great info and finally some answers to what has been up with Tabata.

    I agree with you that Lincoln can be a very good reliever -and that should be his role going forward. But I disagree with you on how he has been handled this year. I see no problem with him making these starts. It isn’t like he has been a reliever for years and is now being forced to back to starting.
    I think yesterday may have finally proved one thing: he just isn’t really good as a starter.

  3. JAL says:

    JAL’s Big Time Operator Morning Links

    GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pittsburgh_pirates/

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)

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

    4 Pirates Prospects Draft Pick Signing Tracker

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012draft

    PIRATE BLOGS

    5—Pirates Prospects

    Pirates Notebook: Alvarez Looking Locked in at the Plate

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/06/pirates-notebook-alvarez-looking-locked-in-at-the-plate.html

    Prospect Watch: Grossman Homers; Good Starts From Kingham, Wilson

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/06/prospect-watch-grossman-homers-good-starts-from-kingham-wilson.html

    Clement’s Homer Boosts Pitchers’ Combined One-Hit Game

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/06/clements-homer-boosts-pitchers-combined-one-hit-game.html

    Karstens and Leroux On Pace to Return at the End of the Month

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/06/karstens-and-leroux-on-pace-to-return-at-the-end-of-the-month.html

    Prospect Notebook: Heredia Will Face a Huge Test in State College

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/06/prospect-notebook-heredia-will-face-a-huge-test-in-state-college.html

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Pedro Alvarez Has Second Straight Multi-Homer Game As Pirates Cruise, 9-5

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2012/6/17/3093645/pedro-alvarez-has-second-straight-multi-homer-game-as-pirates-cruise

    7 Rumbunter

    Will the Real Casey McGehee Stand Up?

    http://rumbunter.com/2012/06/17/will-the-real-casey-mcgehee-stand-up/

    8 McEffect

    6/17 Recap | Pirates 9 Indians 5

    http://www.mceffect.com/2012/06/617-recap-pirates-9-indians-5.html

    Legitimate Beef – Why Not Rudy Owens?

    http://www.mceffect.com/2012/06/legitimate-beef-why-not-rudy-owens.html

    9 The Green Weenie

    Cabrera Boots, Alvarez Bombs Lift Bucs To 9-5 Win

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2012/06/cabrera-boots-alvearez-bombs-lift-bucs.html

    10 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Toro time

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2012/06/toro-time/

    11 WhyGavs

    Game 65: Pirates 9 Indians 5

    http://whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/may-2012/game-65-pirates-9-indians-5.html

  4. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 CBS Sports

    Pirates-Indians Game Review

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/recap/MLB_20120617_PIT@CLE/pirates-9-indians-5

    13 Cleveland Plain Dealer

    Cleveland Indians lose to Pittsburgh Pirates as Asdrubal Cabrera commits 3 errors

    http://www.cleveland.com/tribe/index.ssf/2012/06/ss_asdrubal_cabreras_3_errors.html

    14 Chicago Tribune

    Pirates Report

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/sns-rt-bbo-pirates-playerwatchmtze86hqfw14f-20120617,0,5155470.story

    15 Minneapolis Star Tribune

    Twins go to great lengths to defeat Milwaukee and end skid

    http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/159361225.html

    Slide takes out Mauer; Capps sidelined

    http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/159378445.html

    16 Centre Daily Times

    State College Spikes: Minor questions to open the season

    http://www.centredaily.com/2012/06/18/3232913/minor-questions-to-open-the-season.html

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    17 PBC Site

    Alvarez hits two homers as Bucs take series

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2012_06_17_pitmlb_clemlb_1&mode=recap&c_id=pit

    Notebook: Pirates start planning for Trade Deadline

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120617&content_id=33446138&notebook_id=33446160&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    18 Baseball Prospectus

    How Every Club in MLB is Getting Rich, Thanks to Television

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17391

    19 Bleacher Report

    A.J. Burnett’s Statistics Aren’t Sexy, but They Get the Job Done

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1225234-aj-burnetts-stat-arent-sexy-but-they-get-the-job-done

  5. JAL says:

    WVU Blogs

    25 Metro News

    Giardina: Barrett Was A Walking History Book

    http://www.wvmetronews.com/wvu.cfm?func=displayfullstory&storyid=53318

    26 WV Illustrated

    Previewing 2012 WVU Football Opponents: Iowa State

    http://www.wvillustrated.com/story/18808304/previewing-2012-wvu-football-opponents-iowa-state

    Soccer(football)

    27 Sky Sports

    Germany set up Greece date

    http://www.skysports.com/football/match_report/0,19764,11065_3472065,00.html

    28 Daily Telegraph

    Cristiano Ronaldo scores twice to give Portugal a 2-1 win over the Netherlands and a quarter-final berth at Euro 2012

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/soccer/cristiano-ronaldo-scores-twice-to-give-portugal-a-2-1-win-over-the-netherlands-and-a-quarter-final-berth-at-euro-2012/story-e6frey4r-1226398275907

    29 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 Euro 2012 stories you need to read, 17th June, 2012

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-euro-2012-stories-you-need-to-read-17th-june-2012

    PENGUIN BLOGS

    30 Pensburgh

    Matt Niskanen Given a Qualifying Offer, Declines It, Negotiations to Continue

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2012/6/15/3089937/matt-niskanen-given-a-qualifying-offer-declines-it-negotiations-to

  6. JAL says:

    Big Time Operator, Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band Zoot Money had a long music and acting career. He played with a number of top acts and continues to perform today. In 2006 he formed the British Blues Quintet and in 2009 he was part of the Maximum Rhythm and Blues Tour.

  7. JHadar says:

    DK –

    Excellent article on Tabata. There’s a passion to what you write, you get us caring about the person or subject instead of the look-at-his-numbers-and-compare-them-to-someone-elses-numbers-and-if-I-was-GM-I-would-trade-him-for-this-that-or-the-other-guy approach that seems to be such a staple in sports analysis.

    You prove time and again that you don’t get to the majors without some fire in your belly, and when things go wrong it’s not because of the size of the player’s contract. I can be patient with a guy who’s giving his all and things aren’t working.

    And thanks for the extra insight on Hurdle — it was a nice follow-up to last week’s article.

  8. Jandy says:

    It’s getting rather clear that Brad Lincoln is a reliever, not a starter. Good thing Karstens is progressing nicely.

  9. John Lease says:

    Loved the article on Tabata. No way though, that Barmes isn’t the biggest disappointment. Has he managed to get to his 3rd walk of the season yet? He was at 2 with over 40 K’s last I checked. That kind of ratio isn’t explainable for someone with his long track record.

  10. Naje says:

    Bring Lincoln into the game in the bottom of the 2nd with the team down, say 4-0 and two guys on base and he’d give you a solid 3+ innings.

    Start Lincoln and you’re pulling him after those 4+ runs in barely 3 innings.

    He’s a reliever this year…and probably moving forward. And a really good one.

  11. nate83 says:

    Great article DK. Really like that Hurdle seems to know how to deal with each player differently. It’s not unlike my two kids and how I have to treat each one of them differantly. One needs the truth and the other just needs to be tricked into doing what we want of him. Thanks for sharing the human side of these guys. We forget sometimes these guys are not machines that play a silly game for our enjoyment. Especially Tabata who is only 23(?) years old.

  12. NMR says:

    Great work, Dejan.

    JHadar’s words sum up my thoughts better than I could myself.

    It seemed clear that you, and Jose, stuck pretty closely to baseball, but I couldn’t help but feel there was an off-the-field side to those comfortability issues. I have no trouble beleiving that despite million dollar contracts, athletes are human as well.

    Hopefully Jose can get to a good place in life. It’ll be icing on the cake to see it translate to the field.

  13. CWalton_67 says:

    As always, your player profiles are your best work, Dejan. Always appreciate your insight and willingness to look at the person, not just the stats. Agree with JHadar on the extra Hurdle insight as well. It becomes more clear each day that whatever success this team is having is directly related to his leadership.

    As far as Tabata’s troubles, maybe the Bucs could get him hooked up with MAF and they could chat about their inner feelings…another headcase athlete is just what this city needs.

    Pedro needs to fix his ballcap. Even if he hits 60 HR’s this year, he will still look ridiculous. Looking professional is part of being professional and he looks like an over-sized little leaguer.

  14. RobertoForever says:

    DK,

    Was there a desire by Lincoln to be a starter? Could he have pressed for it? I know a lot of high profile draft picks want to be starters, despite evidence to the contrary. If he was lobbying in the last few months to be a starter, couldn’t it be that Hurdle, et al were just giving him a shot. Or was he really “thrust” into the starter’s role against his desire?

    Plus, after an excellent spot start against the Marlins earlier this year, didn’t all signs point to giving him a shot at starter? It would seem that we are looking at a past decision through the lens of what we see now. When the decision was made, it looked more like the right thing. Excellent ERA this year, already had one excellent spot starter, success this year in Triple-A as a starter, high profile draft pick.

  15. JAL says:

    Very good insight into Tabata. I think many of us saw him playing tentatively, as the article put it–playing not get injured. One of the most common calls this season has been “here’s the pitch, Tabata with a bouncer to ————”

    He looked better this weekend and his throw yesterday was great.

  16. nate83 says:

    There are some interesting facts about our schedule going forward with 97 games remaining.

    51 games (more then half) are against Chicago,Houston,Colorado,San Diego, Milwakee and Minnasota. These are the worse 5 teams winning percentage wise in the NL and the worse team in AL.

    Only 28 games against teams with current winning records remaining.

    66 games against teams with current losing records and 3 against the Marlins which are at .500.

  17. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’m going to say up front that I’ve given up trying to figure out Pedro a long time ago. I heard this referenced on The Fan this morning, so I looked it up. Here you go:

    Pedro – Day Games 18-61 .295 10 HR 21 RBI
    Pedro – Night Games 22-132 .167 2 HR 13 RBI

  18. Skip says:

    When watching Jose Tabata play baseball, I see a guy with no bat-speed who dogs it most of the time. The laziness can be fixed, the lack of bat-speed can’t.

  19. Jandy says:

    Milo, so are you saying Pedro isn’ta vampire? ;)

  20. Leefoo says:

    TC…..on #2…….I agree with both of your points!

    Foo

    .

  21. Naje says:

    @skip-
    You haven’t seen Tabata enough… the guy was born to swing a bat… when he’s unsteady, the toppers and squibblers are abundant… when he’s on, the ball goes flying all over the park…

  22. Leefoo says:

    Isn’t that nice of Pedro to finally show up. While I certainly enjoyed Sat and Sun, he is STILL only hitting .207.

    Foogive me, but for a #2 draft pick, I want MORE than .207!

    .

  23. nate83 says:

    Skip

    I’m not sure about bat speed but the guy came into this year with a career batting average of like .290 with a pretty good sample size and I think a fair number of doubles. All that at an age that isn’t much removed from graduating from college. Those are numbers that most teams would love to plug into their line up for the next 10 years (especially at the contract we signed him to)

  24. Jandy says:

    Foogiven Foo, certainly a little consistency would be great.

  25. nate83 says:

    Leefoo

    I agree, but I’m not one that thinks he needs to bat .280. If he can just bat .250 and have the type of impact he did in early May and this weekend 4 or 5 times a year I would take it.

    If he could be a player like Dunn I would be happy. The Reds and now the White Sox would ride one of that guys hot streaks to win 6 out of 7. Dunn strikes out a ton but he also is able to walk a considerable amount and maintain a good enough average.

  26. Bizrow says:

    It was just good to see Pedro have a good weekend.

  27. JMB says:

    I agree that Barmes is our biggest disappointment as others have said.

    The elephant in the room regarding Tabata is the contract that wasn’t mentioned in the article – surprisingly. It’s a fact that some guys stop working as hard after they get a lil $.

    He would never say it obviously, but it does become a show don’t tell scenario. Don’t tell me you have a fire in your belly or a passion. Go out there and do it.

    How many players get some financial security and pull back on the throttle?

  28. NMR says:

    @nate/Naje

    It is a futile effort to discuss hitting technicalities with the All Star Little League coaches of the world. We can all throw around talk of this and that, but its ridiculous to think one can judge bat speed from the Lazy Boy.

    Remember earlier this year when Pedro had a slow bat?

    I’m sure the Yankees would’ve loved to have Skip on the payroll to tell them that Tabata has slow bat speed on TV when they signed him.

    @Milo

    Can you call and tell Theo? The Pirates will take LaHair and their top SS prospect.

  29. buggee says:

    i’ll take 100 on the pirates being shut out today. blech. Happy belated pappy day

  30. JMB says:

    I saw over the weekend that the BoSox wanted Gerardo Parra from AZ for Youk. Parra is having a solid season at 25 with yrs of control. The Sawx GM is smoking crack if he thinks a half season of a rapidly deteriorating Youk is worth Parra.

    An admittingly poor comparable for us is Presley. I don’t think I would even trade Elvis for Youk. In my mind, Youk is just a salary dump, but time will tell.

  31. diehard says:

    Great read on Tabata. I really hope we’re hitting a turning point with him and Pedro. Having those two hit could change the whole outlook for the summer.

    How’s this for maddening – IF (big bold IF) there, you can ignore the .188 and .211 OBP (like I said BIG IF), does anyone realize that if Barmes plays this whole season and keeps producing exactly as he is he would end up with 25 2Bs, 7 HRs, and 35 RBI (pretty remarkable for a guy who’s not even getting on base 25% of the time). By comparison, Ronny Cedeno’s two full seasons with the Pirates produced an average line of 27 2Bs, 5 HR, and 35 RBI. I was never fond of Ronny, in large part due to his maddening inconsistency; Barmes has been plain awful at the plate all year. And yet, average aside, we’re ending up with the exact same production from SS as we’ve had! Does this make him less maddening? Or more so, as Jordy Mercer sits.

  32. RobertoForever says:

    Rumors that the Pirates are also in on the Joe Saunders trade talks, he of the LHP starter ilk.

  33. Corey says:

    I’m not sure how Barmes can be considered the *biggest* disappointment. His batting average for the last 6 seasons before joining the Bucs:

    2006 .220
    2007 .216
    2008 .290
    2009 .245
    2010 .235
    2011 .244

    These are hardly all star caliber numbers. Nobody should have been counting on Barmes to be key part of the offense. He was brought in to play SS and offer a little bit of punch from a spot in the line up that doesn’t always offer any. Has he been disappointing? Yes. The biggest disappointment? I didn’t really have high expectations, so I don’t think so.

    Tabata was supposed to be one of the guys at the top of the line up that was going to get on base a ton and steal bases left and right. This line up was pumped up to be all about getting the top three guys on and letting them manufacture runs with all of their amazing speed. The fact that Tabata is performing around the same level as Barmes makes him a far greater disappointment in my eyes.

    DK: Nicely done.

  34. JMB says:

    Barmes was injured in 2007 and only played 27 games.

    His OBP’s:

    2008 – .322
    2009 – .294
    2010 – .305
    2011 – .312

    2012 – .211 in only 57 games to date.

    He currently around 100 points below his avg OBP for the last four years.

    But it does all come down to expectations. I’ve always felt that Tabata is overrated in the eyes of many fans.

  35. nate83 says:

    Justin Wilson just had another great outing yesterday. It could easily be argued that we have 3 perfectly fine options to come up for 2 or 3 spot starts from Indy while we wait for Karstens to come back. It really is unacceptable at this point to be running Lincoln out there. Locke,Owens and Wilson have done everything you could possible ask of a starting pitcher and at least one of them deserves their chance.

    It also allows a chance to be comfortable with one of these guys to replace Correia if he continues to struggles which his career numbers suggest he will.

  36. Keith says:

    Dejan missed the opportunity to write “The Moose is Loose.” Que sera sera.

  37. JAL says:

    buggee

    Pirates will get shutout today but they also give up no runs :)

  38. nate83 says:

    Wow those OBP’s are considerable higher then his batting averages. How is it possible for him to be so horrible this year at drawing walks with that large of a sample size.

    I have no access to stats while at work but where would an OBP of .305 (which looks like his average) put him among this years group of Pirate hitters. I would think it would be no worse then 3rd behind Cutch and maybe Walker.

  39. Naterosboro says:

    DK

    Not sure why you can’t get on Brad Lincoln. Yes, as a reliever he was dominant. But the plan all along has been to have Lincoln in the starting rotation. I believe his role in the bullpen was due to necessity. He pitched well. Injury gave him the opportunity to have another crack at the rotation. You can’t fault the Pirates for putting a guy into the rotation that was giving them solid innings out of the bullpen, especially when they want for him to be successful in the rotation.

    I think the questions should be answered at this point (someone in the org. needs to remind Neal Huntington of John Van Benschoten) though. Lincoln isn’t a starter. His stuff plays out of the bullpen where he can cut it loose. Similar to what Jared Hughes said about the transition from starter to reliever in that you can just go out and cut it loose for 3 for batters, as opposed to having to save stuff and worry about going deep into ball games.

    Still though, if we’re going to get on Alvarez, Tabata, etc. for their lack of performance, then Brad Lincoln is no different. He’s been terrible as a starter. Management needs to bite the bullet and send him back to the pen or Indianapolis and call up 1 or more of Owens, Locke, & Wilson. How Karstens performs on his return will also help to make that decision for them.

  40. Corey says:

    nate83 — Barmes has a career .297 OBP. If his OBP were at that level right now, he’d be third highest on the team (behind McCutchen, McGehee and Walker) and one point ahead of Tabata.

  41. Corey says:

    * 4th highest, behind the three I mentioned…

  42. NMR says:

    re: Lincoln

    Did I dream that someone, I thought Dejan, did an interview with Clint Hurdle before Sunday where he stated that he instructed Lincoln to pitch with the same approach as he had in the pen, regardless of how long into the game he’ll be able to make it?

    Google can’t find it for me anywhere.

    F

  43. Corey says:

    @NMR – no, I read it as well. I think it was just one of the bullet items under one of DK’s “brief and to the point” blog entries. I don’t think it was a full column.

  44. I have been unwavering in my support of Brad Lincoln to be a starter. I still believe that he needed to make that start yesterday. I believed his best position to be as “starter” and the Pirates were in need of a starter at present. I will defend that start yesterday to the end!

    That being said, I was wrong!!

    [Dejan was right: that's even harder to say!]

    Lincoln got his chance. The Pirates got their chance to see Lincoln start. Yesterday’s start was the best long-term decision.

    Now? Put him on a slow boat to China.

  45. nate83 says:

    The story about Lincoln and Hurdle was in Rob’s blog entry.

  46. nate83 says:

    Groat

    I was with you on Lincoln as well a couple of weeks ago but I jumped ship after his start in Baltimore. Send him back to relief. In fact with Meek, Watson, McCutcheon down in Indy and Correia probably set to go to long relief include him in a deal for a bat if someone thinks he his a good fit for their team and wants him as part of the deal.

  47. PetroSteel says:

    Don’t give up on Lincoln as a starter. Give him a couple more starts to figure it out.
    Pedro stinks…Pedro is great…Pedro stinks…Pedro is great…Pedro is great!
    Some guys just need more time than others.
    The sample is just too small for us to know about Lincoln and Pedro. They need more time to figure it out. Some guys never figure it out. These two will figure it out.

  48. JohninOshkosh says:

    The NHL suits running the league are often criticized but they got their marketing act together for this week. Awards in Vegas. Draft in Pittsburgh. That’s a marketing strategy that pleases a diverse group of hockey fans. Brilliant, I say.

  49. Diehard,

    Really good post at #32.

    I also believe that Barmes’ defense is tighter . . . . . I think his double play turn is better and his feeds to Walker are more consistent. I think Walker leads the league (Majors?) in double plays by 2nd basemen.

    Cedeno was so inconsistent with those 2nd base feeds, and they are never counted as errors as long as one out is obtained. However, they are “extra outs” that a good Major League team can’t give up.

    Barmes is a disappointment, and I look forward to him rising to his career average in offensive production. Yet Bucs are better off defensively this year.

  50. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Anybody know what Lincoln has to say about all this? Was he more comfortable in the pen or is he leary about saying that? Haven’t seen any interviews from him. Could be another Sean Burnett. He’s certainly, far and away better than JVB.

  51. NMR says:

    Thanks, guys.

    Hopefully Lincoln just doesn’t have the mind to pitch like a reliever when starting games. I don’t want to be a Debby Downer, but looking at his body of work, the miniscule ERA comes from the smaller sample size than the inflated one.

    @Petro

    The difference between Lincoln and Pedro’s situation is that the Pirates do not have any viable candidates in the high minors to take El Toro’s job.

    The Pirates need to be finished giving guys scholarships. Lincoln has done no more than Owens, Locke, or even Wilson to merrit more time in the rotation and certainly no more than Karstens and Correia.

    This is what “pitching depth” means. It shouldn’t be looked at as a negative when you have two starters on the DL, one ready to be sent to the pen, and still have a couple more ready to fill one hole.

    This is what the “flood” of talent is there for. Use it!

  52. Jandy says:

    OshKosh ~ Ahhhh a hockey post! Seriously tho, you’re right. I just wish I could take time off to go to the draft, too much work and too much going on. I’ll have to settle for watching it on tv. (I live 2 hours from Pittsburgh).

  53. dk4wuglmbie dleogjd,epio dlfjgueofm dlgjeiglbmds

    Like speaking a foreign language——saying that the NHL administration does something right public relations wise.

  54. JohninOshkosh says:

    @Jandy

    Work sucks sometimes. Too bad. I like the NHL draft. I think of all the four major sports, the kids drafted by the NHL teams seem the most genuinely appreciative of the privilege of becoming professionals. When a team drafts some kid out of some rural frozen point in Canada, you can just sense their awe, excitement and gratitude. Always very cool to see.

  55. JohninOshkosh says:

    @Groat:
    :)

  56. Jandy says:

    Groat, lol..too much coffee today? ;)

  57. I agree with you guys. The NHL draft is my favorite to see (and like you, Oshkosh b’gosh, I won’t be able to see it this year) because of the honest, innocent response of the draftees. They love playing their sport and are honored to be drafted.

    Dejan, you hit the gong with your article today. Really good! Much needed.

  58. Drew71 says:

    You KNOW what I think of emoticons.

    But I wonder which one Lincoln is using this morning.

    And Pedro.

  59. JAL says:

    Drew

    You should hear what emoticons think of you :)

  60. Jandy says:

    JAL ~ LOL! ;)

  61. Bill Born says:

    Stetson Allie Played 3rd base and went 2 for 3 with a triple and a walk in a Gulf Coast League opener against Toronto’s team-
    Had an error also.

  62. JohninOshkosh says:

    I know what emoticon I would use for describing Dejan’s wardrobe choices for last night’s “Showdown.” Kind of an army green pocket t (those of the $3.99 ilk from Target) underneath a faded striped (not a sport coat) suit coat. that probably hid stains on said pocket t.

    Just like Bill Murray’s fans that take such delight in pointing out his Twitter misspellings, so, too, is it enjoyable to critique our leader’s fashion. After all, it is the prerogative of the Great Unwashed to rip on such high profile celebrities.

    DK: Jacket’s brand new, man. And the T-shirt is NOT CHEAP! Take it back!

  63. Jandy says:

    ::snicker::

  64. Jandy says:

    yeah, but OshKosh, Dejan’s hair is much better than Starkey’s ;)

  65. NMR says:

    People that drink coffee at downtown Starbucks DO NOT shop at Target, Oshkosh.

    Thats only for those suburbanites. :)

  66. JohninOshkosh says:

    Actually, I wear my hair in the same fashion as Dejan so, unlike a certain emoticon loathing Floridian blogger, I shall never speak ill of his ‘do.

    But if The Man says I’m appearing on television then, darn it, I throw on a collared shirt. But, hey, that’s just me.

    I will take it back, though.

    Such good sports on this blog-head blogger included.

  67. Jandy says:

    I’d rather shop at Wal-mart than Target…yuck.

    And I HATE collared shirts. They bother my neck,so I don’t know how you men stand them.

  68. Baywatch says:

    Bill Born, thanks for your report on Allie in his first GCL game. EVERYBODY got in on the action! Only 2 of the starters had less than 2 hits as these young guys racked up 17 hits on their way to a 13-3 win! 2nd rounder Wyatt Mathisen, the catcher, DHed and went 3-5 with 2 RBIs. The starting pitcher, Colten Brewer, who finished high school 20 miles down the road from me here in East Texas, was our 4th round draft pick in ’11. He pitched 4 innings of 4-hit ball, giving up 2 runs, and had 3 Ks. No walks in this his first professional game.

  69. Bay-bee,

    What are the chances listed down there that Astros will re-take the name Colt 45′s?

  70. Milo Hamilton says:

    Great news about Allie. This system is just loaded with 3rd basemen. :)

    By the way, you guys should see what I wear on TV.

  71. Jandy says:

    it’s about time this blog got with it today, and OshKoshB’Gosh started the whole thing :)

  72. Baywatch says:

    Groatee (To The Maz, Not The Max!) Honestly, I don’t keep up with the Astros. Nobody does here in East Texas. It’s Rangers country – but I have no real interest in them, either. I rather like Colt 45′s, though!

  73. JohninOshkosh says:

    Someday you will slip, Milo, and your true identity will be revealed. You’ve been careful so far. Hiding behind a Honus Wagner statue when pictures are taken. Leaving small, intriguing clues to your true identity in random posts.

    Are you a wealthy philanthropist, a mild mannered reporter, thrill seeking billionaire. Or are you, in fact, the actual Milo Hamilton?

    Someday, Milo, someday….

  74. buggee says:

    Brad Lincoln needs about a week’s worth of a steady diet of prunes (to forget about these last 2 starts), and then get back into the bullpen. Nothing like a good flush…

  75. Jandy says:

    OMG Buggee, LOL!

  76. Jandy says:

    OshKosh, who do YOU think our esteemed Milo is???

  77. Milo Hamilton says:

    @John

    Enough about me, how was your weekend in Chicago ?

  78. Milo,

    I’ve seen what the original Milo wore——plaid jackets and hairpieces. Even Dejan’s attire tops that. Nice recommendation on the collared shirt, Oskosh b’gosh!!! Of course, that would defeat Dejan’s “continental” look.

    Somehow Starkey and Dejan managed to make Rob Rossi look dressed up last night!

  79. JohninOshkosh says:

    @Jandy:

    Perhaps, he is Dejan’s alter-ego. Have the two ever been seen in the same location at the same time.

    Oh, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh.

  80. Jandy says:

    Groat, Rossi looked like something out of the Grease musical…just sayin…

    OshKosh, ha! Alter Ego? Good spin on it for sure. Such fun tho!

  81. AJS says:

    Been gone for about a week.

    Anyone else starting to get a little concered about all of this “pitching depth” starting to deteriorate? bedard hasn’t quite been what he was to start the year in his past couple starts, Correia has always been on the bottom of the rotation, Morton is still a head case(though he deserves a chance to show he’s shaken that once he comes off the DL), Lincoln has continued to show he is not a rotation guy, and Karstens will be a question mark until he comes back and shows both the arm and groin are healthy. He was getting hit around a little in his rehab starts. Locke and Owens are still unproven commodities which is why I think you have to give them a couple of spot starts until Karstens is ready.

    Right now the only time I don’t turn on the game wondering how bad it could get tonight is when JMac pitches. Even Burnette has been keeping it interesting as of late working out of a bunch of jams and struggling with walks. The staff got exposed pitching against the O’s who have a legitimate ML line up.

    Pedro isn’t going to have days like yesterday too often. Errors lead to about 5 of the Bucs 9 runs. Need to get an effective karstens back and still need to find that bat.

    As for the biggest disappointment it has to be Tabata. I didn’;t expect much out of Barmes so he couldn’t disappoint. Tabata was supposed to be a spark at the top of the line up. Hasn’t even come close save for 1 week in May.

  82. Looked like Rob Rossi got his bi-annual haircut just before the show.

    Dejan, you know your stylin’ is bogus if you were wearing socks. No socks makes the “continental” look legit.

    Socks or no? Fess up!

    DK: No socks.

  83. AJS,

    While you were away, Morton had Tommy John.

    Next time he appears in a Pirate uniform might be in 2020 as the Pitching Coach.

  84. JohninOshkosh says:

    @Milo:

    Thanks for asking. I come from a big extended family and we try to get together each summer at some conveniently located Midwestern city (usually Chicago). My cousins come from all over. We all went to Arlington Park on Saturday. Since I am the reprobate in the family, I had to teach most of them the ins and outs of parimutual betting. By the sixth race, they were telling me which horses to pick for the exactas. Its nice to teach the kids new hobbies. It was all great fun.

  85. buggee says:

    @Jandy. I have offended your delicate sensibilities, melady. I apologize (bows).
    @Groat: Methinks Morton could return to the Pirates in 2020 as the resident sports-performance-psychiatric-counselor. He seems to have some stability issue(s). Also, “…Morton had Tommy John.” sounds a little perverse

    Socks with Crocs.

    DK and Paul Alexandar pushing the HRI. Good times on the ‘waves.

  86. Oshkosh b’gosh, the Oscar Madison of the Kovacevic Krazies’ Blog

  87. NMR says:

    Hahaha, Groat…

    Seriously though, no way in my mind do the Pirates pay Chuck $2m next year to rehabd his elbow. So long, Charles.

  88. buggee says:

    BTW, what a laser of a throw from ‘Ta. That dude rocks. Now let’s see how snarky Starkey is on the radio today…

  89. Milo Hamilton says:

    Socks with Crocs. Gracias.

  90. Buggeheeheehee,

    Made me laugh out loud with the HRI reference. “I’m not just the President . . . . . “

  91. nate83 says:

    AJS

    I have never felt better about our pitching depth. When Karstens comes back we will have 5 proven major league pitchers all with ERA’s lower then our team ERA two years ago. We also have a starting staff in AAA that is putting up remarkable stats. Although unproven at this level if just 2 of the 4 can make the jump to the majors and succeed they could hold down the back end of the starting rotation until Morton,Cole, Taillon, Appel arrive and there are always free agent options.

    I do agree Owens and or Locke need to be up now to see what they can offer while Karstens is out.

    I think there are 4 or 5 disappointments, but that being said we sit 2 games out of a playoff spot so if some of those disappointments improve over the rest of the year maybe we can sustain a little drop off in the pitching. We did score 6 runs in each of two of the loses to Baltimore.

  92. AJS says:

    Well then. that’s no good. So we are stuck with Crreia in the rotation. Really gonna need an efficient Karstens when he comes back then.

    I did see that Cole was promoted to Altoona and is slated to pitch tomorrow night.

  93. nate83 says:

    Didn’t they pay Ohlandorf that much to rehab?

  94. I’m with you, NMR.

    Charlie will be out strumming his guitar, singing on his boat sans salary

  95. AJS says:

    Nate, i like the optimism and I see your point. I guess the depth is still there but you just can’t count on 2 to 3 run outings every time. Hoping those bloated run totals from the bottom three of the rotation were an abberation.

  96. JohninOshkosh says:

    @Groat

    That, Sir, is the greatest compliment ever given me!

  97. Milo Hamilton says:

    As for Charlie, I think what they’ve done in the past is release him from the 40 man then sign him back to a minor league contract while he rehabilitates.

  98. Skip says:

    Naje & Nate83

    I respect Clint Hurdle’s baseball judgment enough to accept that he must see enough in Tabata to justify running him out there every day. But he’s running out of patience too, as evidenced by his little “talk” with Tabata the other day.

    And there’s no denying that Tabata isn’t driving the ball at all. Combine that with his near-50% base-stealing percentage and you’re talking about a guy you can’t afford to have occupying a corner outfield position.

    NMR

    Maybe someone watching Tabata on TV DID tell the Yankees he has no bat speed. After all, they did trade him, didn’t they? ;-)

    Also, Alvarez’s problem has never been a slow bat – it’s a poor hitting approach and mechanics. Come down to Arkansas sometime and I’ll explain it to you (after I’m done coaching my little-leaguers).

  99. Milo Hamilton says:

    Roger Clemens NOT GUILTY on all counts.

  100. NMR says:

    If the Pirates didn’t baby their prospects so much, Allie would be playing in Altoona right now…
    :)

  101. NMR says:

    @Milo

    Would Charlie have to pass through waivers first?

  102. Milo Hamilton says:

    @NMR

    I’m guessing yes. But anyone that picks him up would be in the same position the Pirates are, having to go through arbitration with an injured player. They’ll put him on the 60 day DL to finish out the year, clear a spot on the 40 man & go from there. All of this depends on whether he wants to stay. I think they’ll work something out with him.

  103. NMR says:

    In the spirit of Milo’s last post, one that just makes you shake your head, the ‘stros have signed their supplementary round draft pick for $2.5m, highest of all “over-slot” players.

    Houston received the pick for losing none other than Clint Barmes to free agency.

    So to recap, Jeff Luhnow trades for Jed Lowrie (.272/.351/.507) and signs a mid-first round talent thanks to Neal Huntingdons $10.5m SS upgrade.

  104. NMR says:

    Thanks for that info, Milo…my post #105 was in reference to yours on Clemens, but you could probably figure that out.

  105. T.S. says:

    Youkilis talks rumored to be heating. Pirates and Dodgers in the running. It would be a dumb move to sign the guy. Way past prime; major injury risk.

  106. Milo Hamilton says:

    Think Suzyn Waldman cried when the Clemens verdict broke ?

  107. Bizrow says:

    Re Charlie, and I hope Bailey is still part of his life

    Yeah, I think they can dump him after the season is over, he can sign a minor league contract, if he chooses to come back in 13, which I think I read he will

    I like the guy

    A similar move I think was made with Asciano and the guy Hart, the Grabow/Gorzy trade

  108. NMR says:

    @Biz

    I’m with you. I think Chuck is a good guy and a legit pitcher.

    I’ll always maintain that he was more honest than a headcase. It cracks me up when a pitcher will look a group of reporters dead in the eye after getting shelled and tell them that they aren’t affected by it. Charlie told it like it is, which I respect.

  109. LuckyNKentucky says:

    What’s this Joe Saunders stuff? That makes no sense other than a veteran lefty with a decent ERA. Can he hit?

  110. Milo Hamilton says:

    @Lucky

    I like the Saunders idea. Getting a guy like him now may allow them to deal for a hitter. That rotation is suddenly looking awful thin. And Bedard hasn’t been hurt yet.

  111. Eric Bowser says:

    If Pirates are looking at a pitcher, rather have a look at Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, Zack Greinke, or Cole Hamels than Saunders or someone of his talent level.

    Hart Trophy should be awarded to Evgeni Malkin for his performance during the regular season, much of it without Sidney Crosby in the lineup and a power play that was subpar.

  112. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Good points, Milo and Eric.

  113. NMR says:

    @Lucky

    I understand the sentiment, but look how much good Derrek Lee did for the Pirates last year.

    In hindsight, they would’ve been better off solidifying the rotation.

    Morton, Lincoln, and Correia cannot be counted on. I’d be more comfortable with Saunders than I would with Owens or Locke.

    At some point, they’re going to have to decide whether trading for a bat passes the point of diminishing returns.

  114. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Maybe they DID learn something from last season.

  115. NMR says:

    Speaking of bats, just read this on FanGraphs:

    “LaHair is starting in right field Monday night against the White Sox, a move that is helping him prepare for the arrival of Anthony Rizzo, the Cubs’ official site reports.”

    Granted, LaHair hasn’t posted an OPS over .800 since April, but he’s much less valuable as ONLY a 1st baseman. Bad news for the Pirates.

  116. Milo Hamilton says:

    Also pitching related, I don’t expect Jeff Karstens to come back and suddenly be the Jeff Karstens of last June and July. First of all, that’s the only time in his career he’s pitched like that. And second, with all the starts and stops the guy’s had you can’t expect him to be in a groove right off the bat. I’m just hoping he’ll be better than Lincoln & Correia have been.

    And there it is, Suzyn Waldman on her high horse about Clemens. “A man could have gone to jail !” At least she didn’t cry.

  117. twentytwo22 says:

    Aaron Boone just ripped McDonough on air. “Sean wasn’t at our production meeting earlier and his sub-par performance is continuing.”

    Not sure if serious or deadpan humor but I’m glad I heard it live.

  118. twentytwo22 says:

    Not exact quote… he may have said “Sean missed our production meeting…”

  119. Milo Hamilton says:

    @ 22

    Probably an excused absence. He did the US Open on radio yesterday. Long flight from coast to coast. He actually kept me filled in quite nicely for about 45 minutes last evening.

  120. Milo Hamilton says:

    Brian Bixler hit a home run. The Mayans were right.

  121. twentytwo22 says:

    Ok Milo.

    Did he sound engaged? He sounded terrible and uninterested at the beginning of the broadcast. Boone sounded serious and I agreed with his assessment, but given McDonough’s schedule I wonder why Boone would jump on him like that. Awkward.

    It happened during Heyward’s at-bat in the top of the 5th.

    I wonder if anyone else heard this.

  122. JohninOshkosh says:

    22:

    McDonough was recently diagnosed with a rare ear condition that will require surgery. Maybe it is affecting him.

  123. Eric Bowser says:

    TSN’s Bob McKenzie player rankings
    http://www.tsn.ca/draftcentre/feature/?id=9825

    NHL Draft Order
    http://www.tsn.ca/draftcentre/feature/?id=11700

    Penguins have an important 8 picks, maybe more if they do in fact trade Staal, Martin and Michalek
    1st Rd – 8th
    2nd Rd – 52nd
    3rd Rd – 77th
    3rd Rd – 83rd
    4th Rd – 92nd
    4th Rd – 113th
    5th Rd – 143rd
    6th Rd – 173rd

    Top 5 players that interest me in the draft, notice anything?
    1. Nail Yakupov – RW
    2. Filip Forsberg – LW
    3. Thomas Wilson – RW
    4. Henrik Samuelsson – RW
    5. Tanner Pearson – LW

    Last night, Rob Rossi said he heard the Hurricanes could offer up a package of defenseman Justin Faulk, center Brandon Sutter, 8th overall pick, and another player for Jordan Staal and Paul Martin. If Carolina offered Jeff Skinner instead of Faulk and another player, I’d be all about that deal. Sutter is a third line center, Faulk doesn’t really offer much more than what Niskanen has shown for the Penguins last season, and the 8th overall pick is heavily lower in value if the players available in this spot are defensemen. If the Penguins are going to move Staal with the central asset being the first round pick, they have to get a deal with Edmonton-1st, Columbus-2nd or Montreal-3rd.

    There’s been rumors on blogs and twitter about the Islanders, Wild, and Blues showing an interest in Martin and Michalek. I think moving Martin makes sense from a roster management perspective as Despres, Morrow and Harrington all should battle for a job this year. Not real big on moving Michalek, I think him paired with a physical defenseman could be a good checking tandem against top lines. The problem is finding that type of defenseman as I don’t think the three prospects above are those types and there isn’t much on the free agent market, unless of course you think Ryan Suter is someone to go after, which he is but his cap number won’t fit here.

  124. Milo Hamilton says:

    Two games in New York tonight & both NY pitchers threw complete games. RA Dickey’s 2nd straight 1 hitter & CC Sabathia. Somebody get Elias on that one.

  125. pattonbb says:

    RA Dickey – Starting NL pitcher at the All Star game.

    …just my opinion.

  126. DJ says:

    DK: On Lincoln, I think what is intentionally left unstated by management is that they wanted to test him as a starter – where his value would be considered higher – in order to dangle him as trade bait near the deadline. Unfortunately he has failed miserably because his stuff hasn’t played well in that role. DJ

  127. buggee says:

    That’s a nice, comprehensive assessment Eric (#125). Thanks for the data

  128. Hans Perez says:

    in Columbus. It’s above Vino Vino and Figlios Italian food! This is the most credible place to take lessons in Columbus Ohio. Highly recommended!

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