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Wakeup Call: Just hold it in a garage next year

.

LAS VEGAS — Brief and to the Point …

>> This is my news coverage of Evgeni Malkin winning the Hart Trophy.

We can take events like this for granted in Pittsburgh, but we shouldn’t. The Penguins are blessed to have had six Hart winners in the past 25 years, and there easily could have been two more except for one really close call each for Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr. It’s an amazing run of fortune, and it’s not like it has to end anytime soon. Malkin is 25, Crosby 24.

Enjoy it. You never know when it won’t be there.

>> Malkin conducted himself wonderfully over these two days, both in the way he handled questions to the various off-camera endeavors. Engaged people directly, smiling forthright. He’s come such a long way.

>> No one likes to be No. 2. Never believe otherwise.

>> Let’s not lose sight of James Neal being a first-team all-star at right wing. That’s great recognition for his 40-goal breakout.

>> The NHL commits a lot of self-inflicted wounds, but none more painful than this mockery of an awards show. And that’s been true for years, including when it was this horrific stage for Canadian comics. (I still have Ron MacLean nightmares.)

But when that starts infringing on the awards, it’s gone too far.

Just before the final commercial break last night, the director found it important to get Nickelback a second song over this two-hour show. Never mind that it’s never important for Nickelback to play a single note. This just had to happen. So the Vezina Trophy for best goaltender got rushed, Malkin had his potentially moving speech dedicating the Hart to Sergei Gonchar cut off — they started playing that Oscars type music to send the message that he should shut up, for crying out loud! — then the league completely omitted any mention of its post-season all-stars.

Say it with me, with gusto: GARAGE LEAGUE.

>> Remember the challenge put forth at the end of yesterday’s Malkin column, the one about finding trades in any sports in which the best player in the league was dealt and the seller still won?

A couple readers, as well as really important Trib guy Jim Cuddy, raised the name of Herschel Walker.

It’s legit.

>> The chat will be delayed a day, to noon Friday, because of the travel back from Vegas.

93 Comments

  1. I didn’t watch the show, I mean awards ceremony, but it seems as though the NHL is trying to contend with the ESPY’s, which really is about the show similiar to the Grammys or Oscars.

    NHL has always been a weaker league as far as popularity, sure it has its die-hards, but they’ve always have tried to do something to bring in more viewers. Remember the red tracker of the puck? Terrible.

    However, if ESPN was to take on some of the hockey games, it may gain some popularity.

    My view of watching hockey, it is extremely exciting, edge of our seat exciting. The commentators are terrible and ruin the game that being played. At least the main stream guys are. I haven’t heard a Pens game in a very long time. I try to watch Sharks games, but the announcers seem to take over the game. In baseball, you may need somemore commentary because it is a slower game. Hockey does not.

    One announcer who I feel does a very good job nationally was Gary Thorne. The Orioles/ESPN baseball guy. Great job, IMO with hockey as well.

    The NHL sells itself. It doesn’t need to a sideshow Vegas act.

  2. DK

    Safe travels home. I just went through Las Vegas airport a couple of weeks ago. Watch out for the slot machines!

  3. I missed the first half of the show but judging by the reactions I saw on twitter, it was a joke. To see the level of disrespect shown to Malkin at the end, really just cements my opinion that Gary Bettman is a clueless businessman who has only beaten the NHLPA in the last CBA talks because the players association has been a disorganized group rife with controversy for years.

    If folks think Don Fehr is going to get steamrolled in these CBA talks, they obviously don’t follow major league baseball.

    Great night for Malkin, deserved recognition for Neal.

  4. Never understood why the league bothers with an awards show, even if it could manage to do it right. The season is over, people are not thinking about pucks now. Just announce the award winners at the end of the regular season, then get on with the playoffs — the best part of the Garage League.

  5. I so enjoyed watching Geno duck his head and smile last night. I hope he keeps this simplicity and humbleness about him. Way to go Geno!!!!

  6. JAL’s I Put A Spell on You 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: Lincoln Gets Another Opportunity to Start on Saturday

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/06/pirates-notebook-lincoln-gets-another-opportunity-to-start-on-saturday.html

    Gerrit Cole Shows Why He’s the Top Prospect in Double-A Debut

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/06/gerrit-cole-shows-why-hes-the-top-prospect-in-double-a-debut.html

    Indians Stomp Braves, Four Hits for Morales

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/06/indians-stomp-braves-four-hits-for-morales.html

    Prospect Watch: Cole Shines in Debut; GCL Offense Explodes Again

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/06/prospect-watch-cole-shines-in-debut-gcl-offense-explodes-again.html

    First Pitch: Pirates Could Make a Lot of Noise in the Next Month

    http://blogs.piratesprospects.com/williams/first-pitch-pirates-could-make-a-lot-of-noise-in-the-next-month/

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Twins Beat Pirates 2-1 In Pitchers’ Duel

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2012/6/20/3104848/twins-beat-pirates-2-1-in-pitchers-duel

    7 Rumbunter

    Should Gerrit Cole Be In Pittsburgh This Summer?

    http://rumbunter.com/2012/06/20/should-gerritt-cole-be-in-pittsburgh-this-summer/

    Pirates of June Actually Know How to Hit

    http://rumbunter.com/2012/06/20/pirates-of-june-actually-know-how-to-hit/

    8 McEffect

    Non-Contention is the Opposite of Desperation

    http://www.mceffect.com/2012/06/non-contention-is-opposite-of.html

    9 The Green Weenie

    Willingham, Span, Sliders Drop Bucs 2-1

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2012/06/willingham-span-sliders-drop-bucs-2-1.html

    10 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Twins cool off Bucs, pull off late win

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2012/06/twins-cool-off-bucs-pull-off-late-win/

    11 WhyGavs

    Game 67: Twins 2 Pirates 1

    http://whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/may-2012/game-67-twins-2-pirates-1.html

  7. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 CBS Sports

    Pirates-Twins Game Peview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20120621_MIN@PIT/twinspirates-preview

    13 Indianapolis Star

    Meet the Indianapolis Indians: Evan Meek

    http://www.indystar.com/article/20120621/SPORTS18/206210346/Meet-Indianapolis-Indians-Evan-Meek

    14 Chicago Tribune

    Pirates Report

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/sns-rt-bbo-pirates-teamreportmtze86kvzw0tj-20120620,0,5629252.story

    15 Minneapolis Star Tribune

    Liriano shows his good stuff in victory

    http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/159792665.html

    16 Centre Daily Times

    Youth movement: Pirates, Spikes send teen to mound in State College

    http://www.centredaily.com/2012/06/21/3236733/youth-movement-pirates-spikes.html

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    17 PBC Site

    Offense falls short after Bedard’s great start

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2012_06_20_minmlb_pitmlb_1&mode=recap&c_id=pit

    Notebook: Barmes happy to get over Mendoza Line

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120620&content_id=33646742&notebook_id=33648522&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    18 Sweetspot

    Is there any limiting Stephen Strasburg?

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/25901/is-there-any-limiting-stephen-strasburg

    19 Fangraphs

    The Rockies Interesting Rotation Experiment

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/the-rockies-interesting-rotation-experiment/

  8. Steelers Blogs

    20 Behind the Steel Curtain

    BountyGate: Saints QB Drew Brees Backs Off ‘WMD’ Comments

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/6/20/3098772/bountygate-saints-qb-drew-brees-backs-off-wmd-comments

    Steelers OLB LaMarr Woodley 11th Highest Paid NFL Player in 2011

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/6/20/3098753/pittsburgh-steelers-lamarr-woodley-highest-paid-athletes

    NFL Films’ Greg Cosell Breaks down Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/6/20/3098741/pittsburgh-steelers-ben-roethlisberger-analysis-winning-quarterbacks-tom-brady

    21 Steelers Depot

    - Steelers Six From Around The Web – June 20th – The Beard & Deebo Going To Mexico Edition

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2012/06/steelers-six-from-around-the-web-june-20th-the-beard-deebo-going-to-mexico-edition/

    22 Nice Pick Cowher

    The Steelers, Rashard Mendenhall, The PUP List, and Some Positives

    http://nicepickcowher.com/2012/06/20/the-steelers-rashard-mendenhall-the-pup-list-and-some-positives/

    Pitt Blogs

    23 Pitt Blather

    The Ohio Run Continues

    http://www.pittblather.com/2012/06/20/the-ohio-run-continues/

    24 Cardiac Hill

    Pitt Has the 9th Toughest Non-Conference Football Schedule

    http://www.cardiachill.com/2012/6/20/3096880/pitt-football-schedule-2012-big-east-acc-expansion-vs-virginia-tech-west-virginia-notre-dame

    WVU Blogs

    25 Metro News

    Rumph Overcomes Long Odds

    http://www.wvmetronews.com/wvu.cfm?func=displayfullstory&storyid=53372

    26 WV Illustrated

    NCAA Releases APR Data

    http://www.wvillustrated.com/story/18837786/ncaa-releases-apr-data

    Soccer(football)

    27 Sky Sports

    Hodgson happy to avoid Spain

    http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/12016/7830521/Hodgson-happy-to-avoid-Spain

    28 Daily Telegraph

    European nail-biter

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/soccer/european-nail-biter/story-e6frey4r-1226403572106

    29 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 Euro 2012 stories you need to read, 19th June, 2012

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-euro-2012-stories-you-need-to-read-19th-june-2012

    PENGUIN BLOGS

    30 Pensburgh

    Evgeni Malkin, MVP. Top moments of Geno’s 2011-12 season

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2012/6/20/3098911/evgeni-malkin-mvp-top-moments-of-genos-2011-12-season

  9. I Put a Spell on You, 1965, The Alan Price Set, Alan Price was the keyboard player for The Animals and by 1965 had left them to form this group. Song was a big hit in the UK. Price went on the write music for films and the stage.

  10. “Never mind that it’s never important for Nickelback to play a single note.”

    So, will it be Creed or Limp Bizkit for next years show?

  11. So you’re saying Chaka Kahn wasn’t available ?

  12. As long as it isn’t KISS.

  13. Didn’t the Quebec Nordiques trade Eric Lindros to the Flyers for about half of the Flyers team, and then they moved to Colorado and won the Cup?

    Lindros may not arguably have been the BEST player in the league, but he was pretty darn close…

  14. Barenaked Ladies up next. What do you want, some pansy Euro prog rock band diving all over the stage?

    Nice little write-up by 24/7 on Luis Heredia yesterday…

    http://triblive.com/sports/2049334-74/heredia-state-college-pirates-league-prospect-fastball-grow-huntington-luis
    At least he’s eating well. Seriously, though, kid looks like a beast.

    Look at Bill O’brien going with the knuckleball throwing out the first pitch!

  15. It’s the closest thing I could think of that would be similar…

  16. Why do you pinch hit Presley for Harrison? Hasn’t Josh been hot lately? Plus, it leaves you with only TWO bullets on the bench, the rarely used Mercer (RHB) and the ‘hitless’ this year vs LHP GI Jones.

    But, I can live with it, IF Presley had gotten a hit. It was a gamble, albeit a stupid one.

    In the 9th, they pitch around Pedro. LEADOFF man on. The normal rule of thumb would be to bunt. BUT, even IF Barmes bunts him to 2b, you have the “OHfer June” Fort coming up and the aforementioned “Ohfer 2012 vs LHP” Jones OR the rarely used Mercer. Plus, Barmes is just coming off of a 3 hit game. Nope, I am swinging away.

    So, what does the canny Clint do? He pinchruns for Pedro with his LAST RH bat!!! Pedro ain’t fast, but he ain’t slow.

    Of course, Barmes fails to bunt, and the Fort and GI go meekly down. Big surprise on the latter two.

    Mercer=Ciriaco. Pedro C, I could see, because he had no bat. But Jordy was hitting .300 with some pop. His continual lack of use is baffling. But, I guess you have to consider who is managing.

    Clint H = Great guy, great in clubhouse, lousy baseball manager.

    Foo

    /

  17. As hard as it is to believe, the Bucs actually have a good chance to win the Central Division this year. But, what really baffles me is Jose Tabata; what is wrong with this guy? How can Clint constantly start this guy day in and day out – he stinks!! The Front Office must be dictating to Clint that Tabata has to start.

    Tabata is an awful lead off man (he should either be batting 8th or 9th – preferably in Indy) and his defense is only adequate. His attitude is questionable and I speculate that he is a “sulker” – maybe he is upset that Cutch got a better contract. Any way you slice it, Tabata has become a real liability and doesn’t deserve to be sitting in a major league dugout.

    I propose that Clint does either of the following: (1) platoon Harrison & Jones in right or (2) promote Marte or Gorkys Hernandez and give them the chance they deserve.

    And, this needs to happen sooner rather than later!!!!!!!!!!

  18. T.G.,

    Don’t mince any words. Say what you think.

    On the brighter side. Even after a tough loss, there is good news. Our 12th round pick, Dalton Friend, a LHP, which we could use in a couple years, had a great debut at State College. Zero innings pitched, 5 hits, 6 ER. But he didn’t walk anyone. Hope it was just a case of nerves. Some of the other DP’s have done OK.

  19. Was there a baseball game on last night? [yawn] It might be more fun/less exasperating to watch my toenails grow, although that catch on the Barajas drive was outstanding, and the play on Pressley’s grounder in the 9th was sweet. Please note that I am referring to Twin’s plays, not Buc’s plays. [yawn].

    I guessed the game would be 2 – 0, Twins with 10 Bucs k’s. Close. Shame too, they could have used the win to gain some ground. “First-Place Pirates” has a nice ring to it.

    Sandusky doesn’t testify yesterday and the defense rests. There’s a surprise. Wonder if he’ll be playing cornhole in the prison yard… Sorry, couldn’t resist

  20. Buggee,

    I like your style.

  21. Btw, would somebody on the Trib staff notify Mr Biertempel of this:

    “Heredia’s fastball runs in the low-90s. He also throws a curveball and changeup. Establishing the fastball and changeup are summer goals.”

    He does NOT, as yet, throw a 99 MPH FB.

    .

  22. @Leefoo-

    When you say Heredia’s fastball “runs in the low 90′s,” is that referring to what he keeps it at during starts, or is that all the faster he is capable of throwing right now? Those could be two different things.

  23. I’ll second that, Lucky. Buggee is Foo-like in his unique style.

    @Foo

    That was the first I’ve heard of 99, but I’ve read where he’s been clocked in the high-90s before. Who knows.

    The “runs” adjective could mean thats where he usually sits in game action.

  24. How long before the president takes credit for the college football playoff ?

  25. For those who care:

    Luis Heredia makes his debut in State College tonight.

    Foo

    .

  26. For Heredia….I defer to Tim W at P2. “Gets it up to 95″ is what I think he wrote (can’t find the article).

    Remember that he just turned 17.

    Foo

    .

  27. Foo,

    You left the “f” out of 24/7′s name. It comes right before the last “e”. If you had gotten it right, you would have won a Clint Barmes bobblehead, presented by Bob Hasis, his biggest fan.

  28. Found it:

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/06/2012-state-college-spikes-season-preview.html

    “The top prospect in the rotation, and in State College, is Luis Heredia. The 17 year old will face an aggressive assignment, going up against college hitters that are 4-5 years older than him. Heredia can be one of the hardest throwers in the system. He’s touched 98 MPH in the past, although he works mostly in the lower 90s to focus on maintaining his delivery and his control. He’s got the feel for his breaking stuff, and needs to improve the consistency of those pitches as well. He’ll mostly be focused on fastball command, but will also be focusing on improving the breaking stuff.”

    So maybe Rob wasn’t toooooooooooooo far off. My apologies to Mr B.

    .

  29. @Ryan-

    Didn’t ESPN make a bid this last contract go-around to reacquire the NHL, only to have the league take the money instead? That was very disappointing to me, as well, because we all know that having the rights would have increased hockey coverage all over the 4-letter network. I enjoy hockey, but I’m not die-hard enough to go watch nightly recap shows on another channel and sacrifice coverage of the other sports.

    In terms of the MVP award, I like how the NBA MVP is given the trophy during a pregame ceremony at a home game. That would be awesome for the Hart winner as well.

  30. LNK……….”ou left the “f” out of 24/7’s name. It comes right before the last “e”.”

    Huhn? Who is 24/7????

    /

  31. Garage league? Why, because the two presenters of the sport’s biggest awards could not correctly pronounce the first name of the winner? Absolutely unbelievable.

    Do you think MLB would have a presenter announce the winner as “Albert Pyoo-jewls” or that the NFL would have someone call for “Troy Poe-law-may-loo” to come up and accept his award?

    That was embarrassing and inexcusable and quite disrespectful to Malkin. If anyone had the forttitude to actually watch the show, did they screw up any other names?

  32. Foo,

    You should have paid attention in Spring Training. Now, since you don’t know who 24/7 is, you’re not eligible for any more prizes, no matter who the bobblehead is.

    (It’s Rob’s nickname, from a statement he made in ST similar to “what do you think, I work 24/7? I have a life” type thing. All in fun. No malice intended).

  33. Good first start for Gerrit Cole at Altoona last night. Looks like he tired some in the 5th but that’s probably because he’s not used to pitching that long. Maybe sometime next year they could stretch him out to 6 innings.

  34. Tabata is having a rought couple of months but who do you put out there instead. Presley isn’t batting any better and despite perception either is Harrison. We forget that Tabata is still just 23 and he was more then capable the last year and half of batting at or near the top of the line up. There is this perception that Harrison’s numbers are great and they just are not.

    He keeps getting run out there because he currently is one of the best 3 options on the current roster to play the outfield and he has proven in the past he is capable of much better then what he has shown so far this year. Imagine if the Tigers would have given up on Austin Jackson halfway through last year. He is an all star this year.

  35. @LuckyinKY(jelly?) Thank you sir! “Pokin’” a lil fun at the name, hope y’all don’t mind nun.

    Would have been cool to see Geno get his trophies before the home opener next season.

    Actually, I’m kinda glad the NHL (which I affectionately call “The Zappa League”–a select few of you will get the obscure reference) is NOT on the 4-letter-ho-mongering-network-from-Bristol. Bad enough the most exciting game on earth is in the same season of the year as the nba; that 4-letter-ho-bag would be smushing the Zappa League in favor of constant highlight reels of people that jump. [yawn]. Toenails anyone?

    Was scoping the Fan this morning and heard a hilarious “tribute” to Groat called “Groat the Vampire Hunter” (after the Seth Grahm-Smith novel “Lincoln – Vampire Hunter”). Good stuff that. Groat’s outtakes from Pitt hoops games are effin’ hilarious!

    So the Bucs go up against another high-era guy this eve and JMAC will be bumping. hmmm. 4 – 3 Bucs. No reason why, just feels like that’s what it’ll be. And 6 k’s for the Bucs.

    Play Mercer already. Barmes’ bunt attempts last night were nothing short of absurd. NOT the pitcher to try a bunt against. Mr Hurdle, meet Jandy’s Ants.

    JAL, thanks for those links sir. Great lunch reading. This is by far the best blog in da ‘Burgh and I’m honored and humbled to be a part of it. Thanks DK!

  36. ” Looks like he tired some in the 5th but that’s probably because he’s not used to pitching that long. Maybe sometime next year they could stretch him out to 6 innings.”

    Scouts clocked him increasing velocity as the game wore on. I think he’s stretched out just fine.

  37. Good one, Milo. He actually pitched 7 in a game earlier this season. But the pitch counter was off, so they didn’t really know how many pitches he’d thrown.

  38. @Lucky

    Trust me. They not only knew how many pitches he’d thrown, they knew how many he’d thrown in the bullpen before the game and how many warmups between innings. I think they even count pitches thrown on video games.

  39. T. Gunner,

    Do you find it a little contradictory that you think Hurdle has NH dictating to him whom he has in the lineup yet has the authority to call up whomever he chooses?

  40. Buggee,

    Name changing is part of this blog. Never offensive. You are especially entitled, since your name has been changed to Bugg and Bugeye already. KY jelly is a great variance. Your earlier mention of cornhole playing makes it even more Kentucky-like. They play a lot of that down here. They even sell the wooden boxes you throw the bean bags in as a cash product. (That’s what I meant, really, about playing a lot of it here).

  41. Lucky, I spent 8 years running around KY, from the Natti down to Madisonville through Louisville and lots of time on the WK (great place for KY’s #2 cash crop sightings on the Western KY highway).

    Always thought KY had some of the most beautiful, hillbilly-type femmes in the entire US-of-A. Lot’s of them thar gals can shoot a tick off dog’s ear from 100 yards. (Does anyone else think that’s hot? Hang on, time to get the cornhole “box” out. “Hey Jerry…”)

    Cole=Beast! That young man flat out BRINGS IT! Fun to watch a pitcher like that.

    That pic of Heredia looks much different from the pic I saw of him about a year ago. Why? The young man is clearly enjoying the culinary benefit of being in the Pirates’ system. Either that or someone stuck a balloon in his face.

    Run Pedro RUN!

  42. buggee–

    Gotta be a “Joe’s Garage” reference, right?

    =================================================================

    Given the choice of watching the NHL Awards show or enjoying the 90-degree evening in Kalamazoo in the pool with a beverage…well, it wasn’t much of a choice last night. Especially when Malkin had the thing wrapped up heading into it. Sounds like the show was even worse than I could have imagined, too.

    It really is almost crazy to have been spoiled with this embarassment of riches in terms of forward talent. That the Penguins can lay claim to 14 Art Ross trophies – nearly a quarter of the all-time winners – is absurd. Revel in it while you can.

  43. Does anyone know the MLB rule that is keeping Maz and Virdon out of the dugout during the game? The Trib story doesn’t elaborate. Has to be one of the stupidest rules in the game!

  44. Buggee,

    The Bluegrass Parkway and the Cumberland. Two more great places to spot KY’s #2 cash crop. Helicopters to prove it. Thank God, I only have 2 acres. No buzzing of my house. BTW, I have many of those femmes in my office every day. I don’t think your wifelet has anything to worry about.

    Heredia’s daily meal allowance will go even higher in A-ball won’t it? Hope he doesn’t get the freshman 50.

  45. MarkV,

    I think it’s actually referred to as the Ueberroth Rule and was at least in part a result of the “Pittsburgh” drug scandel of the mid-80′s. Basically limits the dugout and clubhouse to essential personnel i.e. rostered players and staff.

  46. http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/8074116/battle-ballparks-elite-8-vote-mlb-best

    Miller Park is currently beating PNC 53% to 47%.

    This is outrageous. They have a freaking kids slide in CF. No way should this be allowed to happen. Tell your friends & relatives to vote for PNC!!

    If it does happen and Miller Park wins, it just shows the ignorance of sportsnation voters.

    Or that more have been to Miller Park in Milwuakee than PNC.

    Or that people will still just pick against the Pirates :P

  47. Nate 83,

    We are trying to win a division right now, not lay the groundwork for another 5 year plan. Look at the numbers: In 222 at bats, Tabata has 2 HR / 9 RBI / BA .225. In 97 at bats, Harrison has 2 HR / 9 RBI / BA .247. In 155 at bats, Jones has 7 HR / 22 RBI / BA .252.

    Based on my proposed platoon of Harrison & Jones, you’d have 9 HR/ 31 RBI / BA .250 (approx). Hey, I’d rather have either Clemente, Zisk, Parker, or Bonilla in RF but, at this point, the Jones/Harrison combo is the best short term solution. The offense improves and the defense doesn’t suffer; this is such a real no brainer.

    The Bucs need offense real bad – they’d be getting almost 4 times the offensive production from the Jones/Harrison combo vs. Tabata’s 2012 putrid numbers.

    Send Jose to Indy, let him work his problems out down there and maybe he’ll return as an Austin Jackson or something reasonably close. In the meantime, he is killing us and ultimately costing us the Central Division title.

  48. @buggee

    I’d say he certainly filled out his frame.

    Still funny to see how young his face looks. He’s one pitcher that probably does medically need to limit the amount of breaking balls he throws. He might not even be done growing.

    Should be a really interesting story to follow in the coming years. I’m sure the more Engrish he learns, the more his personality will come out.

  49. @Milo

    I believe I heard a report there was rain in the sixth and the game was delayed some 15 minutes. Perhaps that was a reason he lost his effectiveness in the sixth?

    Probably should not have resumed pitching after the delay

  50. @Nate83 #35

    You could have ended your entry by saying, “Tabata is having a rough couple of months”, and you message would have been clear.

    All of the rest is very debatable – with all due respect to your opinion.

  51. @Bob Hasis – #51

    Yes, you are correct. Jose Tabata is having a rough couple of months. The Bucs just can’t wait on him anymore & they have to take action, that is my point.

    The Jones/Harrison combo is the best short term solution for the Bucs to get some offense out of RF right now!!

  52. @SeanAY and BDC: Spot on gents. The Zappa League should have gone with Crue instead of that nickel-mess. Rock on.

    There were actually instances of “deals” that went down right there in the dugout. Things were out of control–Dale Berra was one of the funniest too. I’ve always wondered about one’s ability to smoke a butt, chew gum and talk at the same time. Mebbe that there white powder had something to do with it. hmmm. Ponderences (is that a real word?) for idle-gray-matter, which mine aint cuz these bastich-slave-drivers want me to actually work. Crap.

    Pandora’s slamming RATT’s “Lay it Down”. Big Hair Rulez. Mine fell backwards from my head to my back, but the jams are still smokin’ (KY’s #2 cash crop? Where the h*ll izzat Cap’n Crunch?!?!). Run Pedro RUN!

  53. @T. Gunner

    Harrison is the proverbial backup quarterback on this team. The guy who shows enough flashes to make the fans clamor for starting time until he actually gets an extended string of at-bats and shows exactly why he’s a backup.

    I agree that Tabata isn’t helping this team, but its not like anyone else is knocking down the door.

    .225/.286/.333 or .223/.244/.360

    Pick one.

  54. This may be the 1st time in all the years I’ve watched sports that a coach or manager has called a player out in public for faking an injury.

  55. buggee,

    I’d respond but I only know English and beginner Spanish. I have no idea what you just said to me in your post.

    Thanks anyway. ;-)

  56. @NMR

    I’ve said this before. If you only played the guys that deserved to play, you couldn’t find 8 players.

  57. @ NMR #54

    I know what you are saying about the proverbial backup QB analogy. However, Harrison (97 AB) has the same HR & RBI production as Tabata (222 AB) in a lot fewer ABs.

    The Harrison/Jones combo is not utopia but, it makes the most sense at this point.

  58. Something to chew on:
    Just finished this mornings Boston Globe sports section.
    As a Sox fan it’s second everyday after stopping here.
    Lots of talk in Boston of trading Kevin Youkilis.
    Pirates are one ofsix teams mentioned.
    Sox would pick up $12m of his contract.
    Want him? What would you give up to get him?
    How would you use him?
    Is he a good enough bat to help?

  59. @TG

    REally, they can’t wait anymore and action must be taken on Jose?

    Jose is; 1. Not the reason the team is 2.5 games out of first offensively, 2. best defensive option.

    I do agree, that the Bucs need to do something for RF. I would like a trade for a power guy for RF and move Tabby to LF, to use his speed more and lack of power.

    Let him to continue to get his swings in, he’ll hopefully get hot and this will be all behind us.

    But to suggest to bring Gorkys up for a replacement, is absolutely absurd. You complain about Jose’s bat and you want Gorkys? Does he even have a bat?

    Marte isn’t coming up just yet and when he does, it isn’t to replace Tabata.

    Yes he’s struggling, no doubt, but to send him to AAA isn’t the answer.

  60. At this stage of their respective careers, we may already have Kevin Youkilis. Casey McGehee.

  61. Rather than Youkilis, I would rather they make a call to the other dugout this afternoon and offer something for Willingham. The Cleveland series showed us what a 3 run bomb can do for a club. But, as Milo observed, stick him right field. Then Jogging Joe doesn’t seem like such an issue anymore.

  62. Milo,

    What are you referring to in #55 above? I missed that one. Did Hurdle call out Tabata?

  63. To Milo (#55): spot on sir and it was long overdue and not often enough.

    To BDC (#56): you are accurate that the rule for non-essential personnel in the dugout is dubbed the “Uebberoth Rule”.

    Sometimes I get too caught up in my own mind to make sense to anyone else. Apologies (and ants)

  64. Last week in Baltimore Hurdle told Tabata that he could play to not get hurt in Indianapolis just as easliy as in Pittsburgh. In other words, you’re not hurt like you say & start giving some effort.

    DK was right on top of this when he came limping off the field a few weeks back, seemingly in serious discomfort, and not one trainer came to check on him.

  65. Believe I did see that. Thanks.

  66. I have to strongly disagree with the Hershel Walker trade…..I do believe it was one of the most lopsided trades ever, but Hershel was not even close to being the best player in the league. He wasn’t even the best running back in the league. Granted he was one of the best college players ever his NFL career was largely disappointing.

    1988 was by far his best year with over 1500 yards rushing, which he finished 2nd to Dickerson, not in the top ten in rush yrds per attempt or in the top 10 in td’s. He only made the pro bowl twice.

  67. The reason why the Walker trade was so lopsided was simple…Minnesota overvalued him as one of the top players in the league and e obviouly wasn’t.

  68. @Milo

    #61-Spot on, but CM cheaper and younger……both bald though.

  69. Just say no to Youk……………2-3 years ago Youk, all over it, but no.

    If they make a trade for him, they will not give up much, similiar deal for A.J.

    There will be no top rated prospects for Youk, by anyone.

    Same goes with any other old dude out there on the market, anyone given up, will just fill minor league depth. Who knows, might get lucky on one.

    The guys that get top rated prospects are the Hunter Pence’s of the world

  70. @ Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) #60

    With all due respect to you, I disagree that Tabata is the Bucs best option right now. The only way he is their best option right now is if he is playing the way he did when he first arrived here in 2010 and even last year – and he is a far cry from that. Note the comment from the great Milo Hamilton at #65 about what DK reported about Jose a few days ago. It appears Jose might also have hypochondriac tendencies (a la the great Roberto Clemente). However, the difference is Clemente was able to produce at an extremely high level whether he felt good or not.

    Unfortunately, we don’t have a Clemente to replace Tabata with and Josh Willingham (as mentioned by JohninOshkosh @ #62) would indeed be a great addition. But if Willingham does come to Pgh., it won’t be until the end of July. Clint just can’t keep running Tabata out there; it’s like having 3 pitchers in the lineup between Jose, $10 million man Barmes, and the pitcher. It is obvious that the Harrison/Jones platoon makes the most sense for right now.

  71. Gerrit Cole has been selected as a pitcher on the U.S. squad in the all star futures game, 5:00 p.m. Sunday July 8 in Kansas City. I believe it will be on ESPN2.

  72. Willingham is not going to be traded unless he asks to be traded.

  73. Tabata is afraid of hurting himself. See ya in AAA bub.
    Mercer rides pine for no apparent reason that we can discern? huh? That dude needs to PLAY.
    Lincoln with another start on Saturday? Blech. Bullpen baybee!
    Owens is ready NOW.
    C’mon Clint, are ya puffing on some of KY’s #2 cash crop or what?!?!?
    [I think I'll train this evening by pushing tractor-tires up a hill instead of watching another run of managerial-exasperation.]

    Run Pedro RUN!

  74. @T. Gunner

    I don’t disagree with your general premise, but why Tabata?

    Those two slash lines I asked you to pick from earlier? Alex Presley and Jose Tabata.

  75. TG

    Responding as I go so if someone else posed this and it has been answered just ignore me.

    You keep comparing Tabata to the platoon. That’s fine. But what about Tabata to Presley? The platoon started last night and the night before. It has been Presley who has been on the bench. What do the King’s stats look like compared to tabata. how bout vs lefties?

    Just saying you are leaving out an important piece of the puzzle. And if Pressley is no better(and Pressley is streaky at best) then you play the guy who you feel has the higher upside. Tabata is in the plans for this teams future, Pressley right now seems like he is not.

  76. Gunner

    Who is your third outfielder in the Harrison/Jones platoon scenerio. Your not replacing Tabata with those two you are replaceing Tabata with Presley. Harrisons stats are marginally better but will never be as good as what Tabata has done in the past. You don’t send a guy back to the minors that has already had over 1200 at bats in the majors.

    I think a better approach is sitting him for a few games and then bring him back because a 2010-2011 Tabata is better then any outfielder not named McCutcheon on our team right now.

  77. Agree with posts #76,77,78.

    I am running Tabata out there over Presley.

    You’re platoon is fine, but I’m moving tabby to LF for his speed and move the other to two RF.

    If Tabby is pulling that fake hurt deal, then yea, there’s an issue there that needs to be dealt with, no doubt.

  78. I’m glad we all arrived at the same obvious question at the same time!

  79. Tonight’s Lineup:

    1. Presley LF
    2. Walker 2B
    3. McCutchen CF
    4. Jones RF
    5. McGehee 1B
    6. Alvarez 3B
    7. Barajas C
    8. Harrison SS
    9. McDonald P

  80. AJS #76

    I kinda assumed everyone would know Presley is the 3rd outfielder in my scenario – you know what happens when you assume, ha ha.

    Presley has 5 HR / 12 RBI / BA .223 & Tabata has 2 HR / 9 RBI / BA .225. Presley provides more pop and more speed despite the fact their BAs are identical. And Presley has had about 50 less ABs and clearly shows more offense/production than Tabby. Granted, Presley is streaky, but he has had more good streaks in 2012 than Tabby (has he had any streaks in 2012?) There is really something amiss with Tabata this year and it sure has had a negative impact on his performance. I am thinking he might turn into Clint’s 2012 version of Ronny Cedeno.

    Folks, this is the best alternative we have at this moment in time. Now, if Opie Huntington can pull off a trade for a Willingham or someone similar, everything changes for the better.

  81. Is anyone else having difficulties with Twitter today?

  82. Rudy Owens pitched six innings today, 2 runs 1 hr, 1 bb, 4 ko, stands to be winner if Indians can protect a 4-2 lead in bottom of ninth.
    Update Hernandez just caught a fly a step from the wall which would have made it 4-3.

  83. Milo Hamilton #80

    Good line up tonight – Clint must be reading this blog in his spare time

  84. Nice lineup tonight, glad to see Clint giving Harrison another game as he has definitely added some energy to the lineup the past few nights and I think we all know how awful the Barmes AB in the 9th last night was.

    Would really like to see the Bucs jump on this Hendriks kid early…in 23 IP he has given up 38 hits and 23 Runs/ 20 ER. Do not give him any reason to believe he can be successful tonight.

    Time to take another series this evening!

  85. @ radio wave – another nice line from Rudy Owens, really would like to know why the club seems so hesitant in giving him an opportunity…to the point there was talk of him not even being the pitcher to replace Lincoln if the team decided to make a change.

  86. John,

    Twitter was fouled up earlier. Seems OK now. Shame.

  87. Presley has more pop? Oh yes, cannot wait to get that .360 slugging percentage into the lineup!

    Your leadoff hitter has an OBP 20 points higher than his batting average. You have to try to get on base that little.

  88. This is like choosing between Sinead O’Connor & Barbara Mikulski for Miss America.

  89. It is what we have at this moment in time. Tabby has much more upside than Presley, so I’m running him out there still.

    That said, I do like the lineup for today’s game.

    McGehehehehe has been swinging the bat decent and Jones has done well this month as well.

    J-Hay at SS scares me a little, but we’ll see what happens.

  90. Presley has more pop? in what universe?

    Presley vs. Tabby is a tossup as I stated above and if I am choosing between 2 players with similar current performance I am going with history. History tells me Tabby has produced at the top of the line up for 2 seasons. Enough so the team extended him for a significant home town discount. Presley played very well for half a season. Tabby at peak performance is better than Presley at his peak. Until another option presents itself in the way of a marte call up or a trade for someone with a pulse, I keep trotting Tabby out there hoping he snaps out of his funk.

  91. @Lucky:

    Thanks. Don’t check on it everyday. Thought it might have gone out of business!

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