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Wakeup Call: Lincoln, Thome and eyeballs

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Brief and to the Point …

>> Brad Lincoln vs. Jim Thome, followed by the staredown.

Seminal moment for the 2012 Pirates?

I’m not there yet, but maybe you are. Let’s hear from you.

(Oh, and thanks to blogging madman Rum Bunter for coming through with the shot.)

>> Here’s a video of the K, courtesy of MLB.com.

>> Part of the beauty of soccer is that it’s the world’s sport, that its grandest stages draw the attention of hundreds of millions across the globe.

Is it really asking too much that they finish the game?

Watching the Spain-Portugal semi yesterday, I saw terrific skill and two sides attacking, only to be thwarted by equally good defending and goalkeeping. But all through it, I couldn’t help but think how awful it would be if they went to penalties. Which they did. And, of course, the usual randomness and luck ensued.

There really isn’t anything else like it in the world. Yeah, hockey’s got the shootout, but not in the playoffs. Not when the games matter. The players skate till they drop.

I understand not wanting that in the regular season. No need to wear players down and risking injury. But add another substitution or two for elimination soccer, and let them play.

Penalty kicks are more guesswork than skill, on the part of the shooter and the keeper. Call me nuts, but I don’t want to see the fate of national teams decided on coin flips.

>> Serious question I posed on Twitter yesterday: Could our very own Riverhounds beat Spain in penalties?

>> If you want parameters for future contracts of Kris Letang or even Ryan Suterdon’t look at Dennis Wideman’s deal with the Flames yesterday. Doesn’t mean much at all, and I’m surprised to see so much reaction to it.

Wideman is 29, he’s mobile and, by far most important, Calgary HAS the money. The Flames entered this offseason with $20 million in cap space. And they’re hardly alone. There are more teams well under the salary cap than most think. Every once in a while, a team like that will target a player and get him. The Flames need to overpay, and they did. Big deal. No precedent

I’m not suggesting Letang and Suter won’t make more than Wideman. Both will. Just that Wideman’s deal doesn’t necessarily have to create some dramatic upward curve in the broader market.

>> The weekly chat is today at noon, though you can post Qs as early as 6 a.m.

94 Comments

  1. So, DK, I take it you disagree with Frank Deford, who said yesterday that soccer is tediously boring, apparently because it is the only sport which eschews opposable thumbs? He added his conviction that we are the only remaining superpower because we don’t fill stadiums to watch it. BTW, His interviewer went to college on a soccer scholarship, which obviously prepared him for Comedy Central.

    DK: Yeah, I saw that. Really didn’t take it seriously.

  2. Actually, he makes much the same point in his new book, A correction, the other guy is the soccer scholar on CC.

    Great sports writers seem to have this urge to skewer: I recall an ancient Jim Murray column about how much he hated trips to Pittsburgh, wherein he even lamented the native addiction to “Iron Stomach” beer.

    DK: There’s always low-hanging fruit in any business, I suppose. I’m sure I’ve been guilty of stuff like that in the past, too.

  3. Interesting question posed whether tonight’s game was a seminal moment or not for the Pirates.

    I will say this; I think the fact that Lincoln came in and stared down the opposition in a tight situation with all momentum taken, coupled with the immediate response of the offense to add three runs on scorching shots by Sutton and Cutch enables the team to still believe they can overcome and not become mentally fragile. It keeps the confidence going so to speak which this team has to play with.

    If the Phillies win that game the Pirates are staring at a four game losing streak instead of having an opportunity to split a road series. It would just have increased the pressure of the next game. Instead I feel the team exhales a bit going into tomorrow.

    Just my two cents.

  4. DK,

    Apparently, mlb.com decided against keeping the Brad Lincoln vs HOFer Jim Thome staredown in the video links. Its gone, lol.

    DK: Yeah, been looking for it myself. How odd they wouldn’t use that.

    Oh, well, guess I’ll take the link down. Thanks, RF.

  5. Great win for the Bucs on Wed night. J-Mac faltered early, but the bottom of the order picked him up with some offense. Defense and bullpen faltered later, but the offense picked it up again. And all this on the road. Won a game that the 2007 or 2008 team would have lost.

    A real character win. Especially Brad Lincoln, picking up his role where he left it, without whining or pouting. Just plain taking care of business. Glad we kept him with the team.

    I did call for a 4 run victory margin, I just didn’t think our Bucs would need to score 11 to get it! Let’s go AJ, and get that series split in the afternoon heat tomorrow. (PS – Pedro LOVES day games, especially vs RHP)

  6. Dennis Wideman’s contract reminds me of the contract Dustin Penner signed with Edmonton a couple years ago, way back before he turned into a Stanley Cup hero. 5 years/$21.25M. I’m pretty sure that Calgary’s in the same boat this year as Edmonton was 5 years ago.

    DK: Yeah, that Alberta boat hasn’t sailed very far for a while now.

  7. Dejan-
    Just as a head’s up, the link to the full video of “the moment” is a link to Casey McGehee’s homer. A nice moment, sure, but I’m not sure that’s what was intended.

    Meanwhile, I’m totally with you on penalty kicks. I didn’t watch the game, because I gave soccer a big chance last World Cup and actually came away disliking it more, but I heard that Christiano Ronaldo didn’t even get a chance to kick! Knowing those Europeans and their… passion… I think I’d be genuinely afraid for my safety if I were that coach.

    Penalty kicks would be much more exciting if they just moved the kickers back a few feet. Seems like a simple fix to me. Then again, so did a college football playoff, and how long did that take us?

  8. Sorry, the first comment about the incorrect link wasn’t up yet when I started writing…

  9. DK,

    Thanks for sharing the photo and talking about the moment – Lincoln vs HOFer Thome. Those who have to watch the cursed gameday app really miss alot of the video stuff.

    Great moment for Lincoln. Especially after Thome hit that 13th career walkoff over the weekend. Seminal moment for the team or not, that HAS to put Lincoln right back into the beast mode he was in as part of that shutdown pen. Talk about a confidence booster and adrenaline rush.

    Surprised Brad didn’t do a few tumbles (or summersaults, as some called them) after the inning was over, lol.

  10. By the way, DK,

    Have you been gearing up watching the Olympic Trials? I was actually surprised to see Phelps pull out the win tonight after being destroyed in the 400IM. I’ll be very interested to see if he can make up enough ground in the next month to make that one a real race with Lochte. And speaking of close races, have you seen that photo finish for 3rd spot in the women’s 100M sprint? Unbelievable. Good stuff already.

    DK: Yeah, watched up until the Pirates started. Lots of good stuff there. Phelps’ heart wasn’t in the 400IM. He’d actually tried to pull out of it, but was too late.

  11. Given a choice between Green Acres reruns and a soccer game, I’d choose “farm livin” every time. Soccer is mind-numbing, and the antics of the players faking injuries deny the sport any credibility in my mind.

    Didn’t get to listen to the Bucs tonight, but I am sure that Lincoln’s performance and the results were very exciting. Seminal? Doubt it. It’s been fun so far, and I’ll say again that there is a lot to like about the character this team shows, but I’m still not buying. Just can’t do it yet–expecting the wheels to come off in August. Hoping I’m wrong though.

  12. DK: Hey, that Lincoln video did get linked back up, guys. I put it up there.

  13. Europeans especially have always been enthralled with penalty kicks, Soccer matches that finished in ties through regulation and extended play used to be determined many times and in many leagues by the drawing of lots! Or an entire new match would be played! It was after World War II and in the 60′s that PK’s to determine the outcome in tournament elimination matches became the norm.

    There is something very philosophical and existential to the penalty kick that Europeans have latched onto. The great German filmmaker Wim Wenders even made a film called The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick ( Die Angst des Tormanns beim Elfmeter) (1971). A film ostensibly about a goalkeeper committing a murder, but heavy laden with French and German existential philosophical themes. Especially in a scene where the goalkeeper describes to a detective what it is like to face a penalty kick.

    I wouldn’t call you nuts for wanting a change. I certainly don’t get it. But there is a lot in soccer and soccer culture that doesn’t resonate with American sensibilities. This is, perhaps, one of them. I know from listening to the radio that Jim Rome feels the same as you.

  14. With all of the recent roster moves, can someone answer me why Daniel McCutchen is still on the 40 man roster?

  15. People who dislike real football are not true sports fans. It’s cool to be a fan of American invented sports, but to discount the true world game because our country is terrible at it is pretty ludicrous. Get over yourselves.

    Really wish I could have watched the Bucs tonite, was forced to follow the action from my phone which is nowhere near the same!!!

  16. We could resolve NFL ties by having the kickers alternate field goal attempts until one misses and the other converts :-)

  17. The Riverhounds would have a very low probability of beating Spain in penalties. Penalties are lucky and random, but you have to pass a certain threshold of skill to make it truly random. There is some deception combined with accuracy and power involved in taking a penalty as well as explosiveness and ability to read/anticipate on the part of the keeper.

    However, your point is well-taken. The game absolutely should not end in penalties. On the other hand, having people continue to play beyond 120 minutes is asking a great deal. The hockey analogy doesn’t totally stand up since hockey players get a break after a minute-long shift each time. I would begin extra time by removing two players from each side. Then, remove another player every ten minutes until there is a goal.

  18. Could not agree more about the absurdity of the soccer penalty kicks. I’ve always thought that if they’re going to keep the penalties – which makes sense because otherwise games could go on for hours – then just move back the ball another 15-20 yards, so the player actually has to demonstrate some skill to drive it past a goalkeeper who can use his reflexes, rather than guesswork, to try to stop it.

  19. A professional soccer player runs 14.5 miles on average every 90 minute game. After a 120 minute game – 18 miles. If the game is extended beyond that, then players would be running a full marathon. After the 120 minute mark, it would turn into zombieland – which would be less dramatic than penalty kicks. Not saying the current format is ideal, but people that have never played soccer (or only watch it twice a year), shouldn’t throw out ignorant suggestions about changing the way games have been decided for decades. Does the NFL allow inactive players to play if the game goes into OT? Does MLB allow you to bring up more relievers if you’re past the 13th inning? Does the NHL add more time to intermission once OT begins? Does the NBA go to 4 on 4 if its still tied after 3 OT’s? No. Soccer allows plenty of extra time for either team to win the game like all other sports do. It’s when the game gets beyond extra time and into “ok, players are now in danger of getting seriously hurt” stage that the game needs to be decided. Penalty kicks fit this scenario.

  20. A soccer discussion. Great…

    I couldn’t take the Pirates blowing that lead, to wake up and see they hung on and tacked on too, sweet feeling.

    I hope that’s it for the Lincoln shuffle. Keep him in the bullpen.

  21. For awhile thought last night”s game was going to be remembered in the same way as last years Atlanta Braves safe call. Thought Bob and Greg glossed over The Stare. Thome was probably right, Lincoln was showing him up BUT it’s OUR guy coming through in the clutch! what was Manual thinking when he didn’t walk Cutch!! Go Bucs

  22. JAL’s See Emily Play 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: Bucs Snap Losing Streak With 11 Runs

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/06/pirates-notebook-bucs-snap-losing-streak-with-11-runs.html

    Surveying the National League – Part 1 of 2

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/06/surveying-the-national-league-part-1-of-2.html

    Surveying the National League – Part 2 of 2

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/06/surveying-the-national-league-part-2-of-2.html

    Hurdle: The Mentality is Different This Year

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/06/hurdle-the-mentality-is-different-this-year.html

    Big Hits In The 5th Lead Indians Past Toledo

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/06/big-hits-in-the-5th-lead-indians-past-toledo.html

    Prospect Watch: Home Runs Hurt Taillon; Hanson Leaves Game

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/06/prospect-watch-home-runs-hurt-taillon-hanson-leaves-game.html

    First Pitch: Everything That is Wrong With the Closer Position

    http://blogs.piratesprospects.com/williams/first-pitch-everything-that-is-wrong-with-the-closer-position/

    State College Player Reports: Clay Holmes, Barrett Barnes, Chris Diaz

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/06/state-college-player-reports-clay-holmes-barret-barnes-chris-diaz.html

  23. 6 Bucs Dugout

    Phew: Brad Lincoln, Pirates Spoil Phillies’ Comeback Bid, Win 11-7

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2012/6/27/3122478/phew-brad-lincoln-pirates-spoil-phillies-comeback-bid-win-11-7

    Minor League Roundup: Jameson Taillon Struggles for Two Innings; Barrett Barnes Gets Four Hits

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2012/6/27/3122412/minor-league-roundup-jameson-taillon-struggles-for-two-innings

    7 Rumbunter

    The Pirates Brad Lincoln Stares Down Jim Thome After 7th Inning Showdown

    http://rumbunter.com/2012/06/27/the-pirates-brad-lincoln-stares-down-jim-thome-after-7th-inning-showdown/

    8 McEffect

    McPirates Bring the McWood

    http://www.mceffect.com/2012/06/mcpirates-bring-mcwood.html

    9 The Green Weenie

    Bucs Outlast Phils 11-7

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2012/06/bucs-outlast-phils-11-7.html

    10 Raise the Jolly Roger

    “Bullpen day” backfires for Phils, not for Brad

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2012/06/bullpen-day-backfires-for-phils-not-for-brad/

    11 WhyGavs

    Game 74: Pirates 11 Phillies 7

    http://whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/may-2012/game-74-pirates-11-phillies-7.html

  24. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 CBS Sports

    Pirates-Phillies Game Peview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20120628_PIT@PHI/piratesphillies-preview

    13 Altoona Mirror

    Cole OK after liner scare

    http://www.altoonamirror.com/page/content.detail/id/562032/Cole-OK-after-liner-scare.html?nav=751

    14 Chicago Tribune

    Pirates Report

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/sns-rt-bbo-pirates-teamreportmtze86r8yk0h9-20120627,0,4574831.story

    15 Philadelphia Inquirer

    Utley homers but Pirates beat Phillies, 11-7

    http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/20120627_Utley_homers_but_Pirates_beat_Phillies__11-7.html

    16 KDKA

    Nutting: Deeper, Stronger, More Maturity Put Bucs In Better Position Moving Forward

    http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2012/06/27/nutting-deeper-stronger-more-maturity-put-bucs-in-better-position-moving-forward/

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    17 PBC Site

    Pirates offense comes to life in big win

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2012_06_27_pitmlb_phimlb_1&mode=recap&c_id=pit

    Notebook: McKenry making the most of his time at catcher

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120627&content_id=34046000&notebook_id=34047880&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    18 Fangraphs

    Stat Nerd NL All-Star Roster

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/stat-nerd-nl-all-star-roster/

    19 Bleacher Report

    Pittsburgh Pirates: 9 Outside-the-Box Trade Ideas for the Pirates

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1236955-pittsburgh-pirates-nine-outside-the-box-trade-ideas-for-the-pirates

  25. Steelers Blogs

    20 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Pittsburgh Steelers Training Camp Competition: WR Toney Clemons vs. Field

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/6/27/3120309/pittsburgh-steelers-training-camp-competition-wr-toney-clemons-vs

    Training Camp Competition: Charlie Batch vs. Jerrod Johnson

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/6/27/3120299/training-camp-competition-charlie-batch-vs-jerrod-johnson

    Seattle Seahawks Top Pittsburgh Steelers for NFL’s Best Defense, According to PFW Readers

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/6/27/3120320/Best-NFL-defense-pittsburgh-steelers-seattle-seahawks-san-francisco-49ers-baltimore-ravens

    21 Steelers Depot

    - Hines Ward Thinks Bounties Went on Throughout the League

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2012/06/steelers-hines-ward-bounties-goodell-saints-suggs-ravens/

    22 Steelers Gab

    Ray Rice Thinks Joe Flacco Should Think He’s the NFL’s Best QB

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2012/06/26/ray-rice-thinks-joe-flacco-should-think-hes-the-nfls-best-qb/

    23 Nice Pick Cower

    Three UDFA’s From 2009 Have Big Chances To Succeed for Steelers in 2012

    http://nicepickcowher.com/2012/06/27/three-udfas-from-2009-have-big-chances-to-succeed-for-steelers-in-2012/

    Pitt Blogs

    24 Pitt Blather

    Let’s Talk Playoffs

    http://www.pittblather.com/2012/06/27/lets-talk-playoffs/

    25 Cardiac Hill

    Was Pitt The Right Fit For Tom Savage?

    http://www.cardiachill.com/2012/6/27/3121139/tom-savage-pitt-football-transfer-recruiting-pittsburgh-panthers-rutgers-arizona-paul-chryst

    WVU Blogs

    26 Metro News

    Humphrey Feels Like Part Of The Family

    http://www.wvmetronews.com/wvu.cfm?func=displayfullstory&storyid=53501

    27 WV Illustrated

    WVU Football Players Meet With The Media

    http://www.wvillustrated.com/story/18897902/wvu-football-players-meet-with-the-media

    Soccer(football)

    28 Sky Sports

    Fab sends Spain to final

    http://www.skysports.com/football/match_report/0,19764,11065_3523453,00.html

    29 Daily Telegraph

    Cristiano Ronaldo cops heat over shootout

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/soccer/cristiano-ronaldo-cops-heat-over-shootout/story-fndb5nmd-1226410738131

    30 World Soccer Daily

    10 Euro 2012 stories you need to read, 27th June, 2012

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-euro-2012-stories-you-need-to-read-27th-june-2012

    PENGUIN BLOGS

    31 Pensburgh

    Free Agent Defensemen not named Ryan Suter

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2012/6/27/3120499/free-agent-defensemen-not-named-ryan-suter

  26. See Emily Play, Pink Floyd Although you can hear a bit of the future in this song from Pink Floyd’s first album, the sound is more psychedelic pop than their better known progressive rock. That is primarily the influence of Syd Barrett, a victim the psychedelic era. Barrett left the group and David Gilmour joined, leading to change in the music.

  27. Great way to hang on and finish off the game last night. The Buccos truly showed some intestinal fortitude. Lincoln was a beast! How bout that Drew Sutton? How bout the Fort? I love it when role players come up big.
    Wideman should no way make near what his new contract is worth, but as DK says, the Flames have to spend to meet the floor.
    Time is running out…July 1 is coming fast! I can’t wait to see what Shero comes up with.

  28. DiLo:

    Source for those milage figures?

    The guys at Euro 2012 must be dogging it. Haven’t seen one yet do that many kilometers, let alone miles.

  29. So Thome thinks Lincoln was showing him up? Why is it when a pitcher and hitter lock eyes after a K that it’s always the pitcher accused of showing somebody up? The hitter can look away. I never understood that.

    Was it the critical moment of the season some want it to be? No, I don’t think so. It was incredibly fun to watch, but I don’t think that at bat is going to define who this club is. Lincoln showed the bravado that Dejan mentioned the other day. I like it.

    Went to a Real Madrid game in Spain several years ago. Incredible experience, but haven’t spent one minute watching another since. Just don’t get it.

    After the game (match..whatever), I had a talk with some Spanish friends about the sport. They kept saying, “You Americans know nothing about real “futbol”. I said, “Oh, you mean soccer? Yea, I know about that sport. Every 10 year old girl in America plays it”. They didn’t find my comment nearly as funny as I did.

  30. pattonbb LOL! Priceless!

  31. I was unable to leave an early question for the chat.

  32. Lincoln’s stare down just might be that seminal moment. At the very least it shows the Pirates are here and they realize the importance of the moment and winning the game.

    I will have to admit I was wrong about Lincoln. So at this point I want him in the pen. But I still want to see him start in the future (2013). He appears to have that Clemens attitude. Would love to see that as a starter…but next year.

    If soccer doesn’t go to penalty kicks that game could last for days. I think instead of even playing the game they should just start with penalty kicks. Right to the shootout. I would then watch. Of course when would I get my nap in if they don’t play the game?

  33. I swear I did more switching on and off of this game than I have of any game in the past 2 or 3 years. It seemed like every time I turned it on we were giving up runs, but I just couldn’t stop reading DK and Tim and Pat and all of the Bucco blogger guys on Twitter, which in turn made me keep going back.

    All in all, a nice little W for the Buccos…not sure if I can say it was the seminal moment just yet, but I wouldn’t doubt this starts a nice little stretch going into the All Star break. The real test is going to be the first month or so after the All Star break, to see if we can keep this going and to see if our “wonderful?” front office can make a deal for the bat we desperately need.

    I mean honestly, it must be desperate if I see names like Soriano being thrown around in some circles hahaha

  34. The Lincoln/Thome deal…Bucs win that round hands down. That indeed spoke volumes. The Pirates need to play with a chip on their shoulder. A much needed win last night.

  35. The nuance of the Riverhounds vs. Spain question was admittedly completely lost on me.

    Tough crowd, DK.

  36. last night was another reason that the bucs and phillies need to be playing…say…12 times per year. that moment was the 1970′s all over again!

  37. Couldn’t agree more TJA – we need to have Philly in any realignment scenario. I’d also like to see us play the Mets more often, and, selfishly, I’d like to see us play Washington more so we can see Harper and Strasburg play more often.

  38. Thanks, Rocco – What a division that would be! Hey Frank Coonelly, Bob Nutting…heck, MLB…are you hearing us?!

  39. Could the Riverhounds beat Spain in penalty kicks, theoretically yes. Penalty kicks are not as easy as they may look, that is why you see top players miss them sometimes. They boil the skills of soccer down to one, the ability to put the ball into the net from close range.

    As for how far a soccer player runs in game, different positions cover more ground. Midfielders run the most and the average distance is 6 to 7 miles according to one study.

    http://www.active.com/soccer/Articles/How_far_do_you_run_during_a_soccer_game_.htm

    Soccer is growing in popularity in the US. 10 years ago the only way to watch the World Cup was purchase pay for view. This year we saw various Fox channels carry every game of the Premier League final day and now Euro 2012 is on ESPN.

  40. For real TJA, that’d be an awesome division. When all the talk was surrounding realignment this offseason (or the beginning of the season, I can’t remember), I remember seeing a scenario like the one we mentioned above and how excited I was about it. Call me crazy, but St. Louis and Houston (for this year anyway) just don’t get me nearly as excited as the Mets, Phillies or Nats do.

  41. Guys… DK and his blog nation has been talking for several years about how Coonelly and the PBC definitely want to be in the East division. DK’s chronicled that fact and those sentiments several times in the past 5 years… just fyi.

  42. Nice topic, Rocco!

    I like the Central because of the pure baseball towns in the division. Cinci, Chicago, and St. Louis are good ol’ fashion american baseball hotbeds.

    That being said, the East would bring back some of the more natural rivalries and I absolutely agree that I’d love to see Strasburg and Harper play as much as I could.

    Also, despite larger pocketbooks in the East, I’m not so sure it would be all that much harder to win. I’d take the front office of Epstein/Hoyer, Jockety, or anyone in St. Louis(pound-for-pound best organization in baseball) over the Mets, Marlins, or Phillies.

  43. Alright, I was coaching last night so I couldnt watch, but checked the highlights after the game.

    Didn’t even notice that nice exchange of pleasantries by Lincoln and Thome. The young buck sending the old horse to pasture (after he thought he was hot stuff with his walkoff Saturday; you’re still 41 Jim Thome…remember that). Mr. Thome was none too pleased and I may have to go back and lipread what he says there. I’m sure it’s not FCC appropriate.

    Well, Mr. Lincoln, you may not be a superstar worthy of #1 pick (I think 3rd or 4th overall) status, but you got something special….out of the bullpen. What I was interested in was the velocity, which was 95 on the pitch that struck out Thome. Brad Lincoln brings something to the table as a relief pitcher. As a starter, he’s 1 of many. I say, Lincoln should go into the Juan Cruz, 7th inning role until Cruz shows he’s capable of the job again (and maybe he won’t, but he’s just scary in there right now).

    Ok, at the start of this series I wanted a split. They need to win this afternoon to get it. AJ is on the hill. KK (Kyle Kendrick; come to Philly, that’s how he’s referred to haha!) gets the start for Philly. I like our chances, although I could also see us striking out 12 times and losing 4-2….

    Whatever though, have fun!

    Beat ‘em Bucs! Let’s go Bucs!

  44. Couldn’t agree more NMR, and yea Naje, I’ve seen the posts/comments about it before, just something that was brought up earlier by TJA so I figured I’d throw in my two cents. But yea NMR, I totally agree on it not necessarily being harder in the East than the Central.

    I just think overall it’d be great for the fans, beneficial at the ticket booth, and smart for baseball in general.

  45. Also, while the Riverhounds could beat Spain in penalty kicks they would never reach that stage against Spain. Spain would run them out of the stadium.

  46. Why is Tabata not sent down to work on his stroke or at least given one of Hurdle’s mini-vacations that have helped others?

  47. BigDaddy, that was one of the topics of interest in the regular (not the game) blog yeserday. You might want to go back and look it over lol.

  48. @JAL-

    I don’t think anyone was suggesting that the Riverhounds could come close to getting to penalty kicks with Spain.

  49. DK, THANKS big time for putting up that link of Lincoln absolutely SMOKING Thome … that’s just one of the plays I missed that inning because I got so DEPRESSED they were blowing the lead and walked outside. Wife came for me … she goes, “You can come back in now, Lincoln struck out Thome.” LOVE IT when she says it like that! :-) I’ve been saying for three years now that what this team needs (besides talent) is a BRAWL! Just something that puts a little punch to “We Don’t Get Fooled Again!”

    This was no brawl but … I’m just wondering if Lincoln screamed something at Thome, as Thome looks to be mouthing something like, “Boy … “

  50. @Jandy,
    Taking Tabata out of the lineup was mentioned, but nothing mentioned what to do with him. I do believe the talent is there in him, but it needs to be brought out. Trotting him out there every day isn’t cutting it.

  51. And I thought my son and I were the only ones that turned off the TV in frustration when the Pirates are giving it up or the Steelers are giving up yardage by the barrel. We don’t get to see the Pirates unless they’re in Chicago, but we do get to turn it off or go outside frequently when the Steelers are on down here. I don’t think I saw more than a quarter of Ohio State football last season out of frustration.

  52. Dilo

    I agree with almost all of your argument about penalty kicks but your number of 14.5 miles in 90 minustes can not be correct. That is a mile every 6 minutes. I’ve watched enough soccer to know they are not running constantly and often are walking or jogging when the ball is not anywhere near them. Not to mention the clock is running during corner kicks and multiple other dead ball moments during soccer games.

    I also exercise enough to know what a 6 minute mile feels and looks like and what running 3 miles in 18 minutes feels like none less running that fast while changing directions and kicking a ball. It’s just impossible that they are running that much in a game. I’ve heard estimates of 6-8 miles for midfielders and 4-5 miles for others.

  53. So . . . . a middle-of-the-night discussion breaks out on “the sport that must not be named!”

    You guys have got to get a life!!

    And I want to confirm that there is no truth to the rumor that Jose Tabata runs 14.5 feet every ball game——JAL’s correction of 5 to 6 feet is more like it!!

  54. @Lucky:

    Can’t feel too bad for you about the Buckeyes. Sure they went 6-7 last year but not too many clunkers like that in their history. Will be much better this year, I’m sure.

  55. Big Daddy, I do believe suggestions were made as to what to do with Tabata. The problem is, it’s not up to us. If it were up to me, he’d be sent down and given instructions to work at it and make it better…fast. TBMTIB has the final say, however.
    I agree the talent is there. It’s the attitude and work ethic that is lacking.

  56. John,

    I know I won’t get any sympathy from anyone here. But they did get lucky against the Badgers, and that’s what it was. I may get a game or 2 in this season with Urban Meyer there stealing other school’s recruits.

  57. After last year’s soul crushing 10 game losing streak, I am very jitterish about Pirate losing streaks, even ones as short as two games. So glad they got the win last night. Won’t be able to see any of the game today, but a split with Philly would not be too shabby to start the road trip.

  58. @Jandy: Shero is going to trade Letang to the Crapitals for Semin and another defensive prospect with a buzz-cut and only 16 teeth.

  59. buggee…whatever you’re drinking, I’ll have some ;)

  60. >>> Can Lincoln stare down vampires and slay them with his slurve?

  61. Oshkosh b’gosh,

    “Existential” and “very philosophical”——words you used about penalty kicks.

    Were you left out in a Wisconsin snowdrift too long when you were a child?

  62. >>> If the Pens acquire Alexander Semin, would that be a Seminal moment in the Pens’ offseason? I’m just askin’

  63. Groat:

    Extremely funny. Sorry i was a bit loopy last night. Swam laps earlier in the evening and got water in my ear. I’ll blame it on an inner ear disorder. I have a minor in Religion/Philosophy and sometimes late at night I find myself reflecting on the big questions. :)

  64. Oh Lord, Groat, Osh Kosh and buggee are all cracking me up!

  65. >>> Regarding Jo ‘Ta: He’d surely hustle if he was makin’ his way to the All-You-Can-Eat seats.

    >>> Regarding college football’s playoff plan: http://www.Collegefootballsuxbreezesthatsmelllikemethane.com, and then visit http://www.shaveurazz.net

    >>> Regarding Jandy’s question as to my current libation: H2O sweetened with stevia (the real stuff that foams when agitated)

    >>> Regarding OshGosh: sorry about the ear problem. I can relate. Bought earplugs. They’re nice. “ear needs plugged”. http://www.swimoutlet.com

  66. Oshkosh b’gosh,

    Actually I enjoyed your depth and writing style very much last night. Must be the water.

    Maybe you can take your talents and use them for something helpful for mankind———analyze the existential meaning of the Pirates severing themselves completely from a left-handed reliever who had a 2.87 ERA in the Majors last season. Could it be that the continued memories of what could have been are too painful?

    Put that Religion/Philosophy degree to work!

  67. Groat,

    The nebulous “they” say Moskos’ velocity is down this season due to elbow problems. They could still get someone for him or keep him if he goes unclaimed. Still, not much patience with him considering. Wonder if they feel the same about Charlie.

  68. @Jandy,

    I understand we all make suggestions as to what to do and it is the front office’s call to make decisions. Not sure if you were trying to, but that was a little patronizing. But that is what a blog is for, to discuss. That is what I was doing.

    And really, I was asking DK cause he may have some inside information as to why Tabata is being handled the way he is. I know that you, me, and other bloggers probably don’t know the answer (although many of us think we know it all).

  69. >>> Does Jo ‘Ta foam when agitated?

  70. ::blink:: Me? patronizing? Oh wow…now I’ve heard it all! lol

  71. BigDaddy, I’m here taking it all in, trust me. I don’t know nuff bout this stuff to be patronizing. Sorry if I came across that way.

  72. BDH,

    DK did an interview with Tabata a couple weeks ago, which was somewhat enlightening. But he really doesn’t know much either. Good chat Q for today. He may have more dope on it now.

  73. Groat’s Tabata comment in #53 is the funniest thing I’ve read on here in a while!

    Take a bow.

  74. BDH,

    If I can speak for Jandy, I think what she was saying is that, if we on this blog had a say, JJ would be in A-ball right now. Of course, if we had a say, Hunter Pence would have struck out last night as a Pirate.

  75. Lucky, I couldn’t have said it better! =)

  76. Kentuck Knob,

    It sounds from Hurdle’s comments (in an article elsewhere here on Trib) that it’s “cut bait” time for the Bucs and Moskos.

    3 months of lower velocity doesn’t equate to release. We’ll have to wait for a religious and philosophical response from Oshkosh b’gosh to learn why.

    I predict Moskos will show up by next year in another team’s Major League bullpen.

    But then, what do I know? When I count money expended to obtain draft picks , I think all the costs to obtain a talent should be counted, not just the pink ones or the blue ones.

  77. Thanks Groat,that same article had this to say about Cole:
    • Gerrit Cole suffered a jaw contusion after being hit with a line drive in his Double-A start Tuesday, but a CT scan was negative for broken bones and there was no evidence of a concussion, according to the Pirates.

  78. and Barajas:
    Catcher Rod Barajas said he was feeling a little better yesterday and planned to move around more than he did Tuesday to see how his bruised knee responded. Hurdle was unsure before the game if Barajas would be available to pinch hit, if needed.

  79. Groat,

    Your prediction is probably spot on for Daniel. It will certainly be in the NL and he’ll strike out the side the first time he faces us. I agree with you on the money-changers figures. Seems the overall investment should be considered, not the bonus and salary separately. Like someone said yesterday, Cole’s interest on his bonus is higher than his minor-league salary in Altoona or anywhere.

  80. ==========================================
    Not as nice a group of ants as Jandy’s but we all get the picture.

  81. buggee:

    Thanks for the link in #66.

    Gotta say, man, your posts have been a fresh air-like a cool drink of lemonade on a day like today. No AC in my house so I spent last night staring at the ceiling fan like Martin Sheen in “Apocalypse Now.”

  82. Guys – Re: realignment thanks for your points. I am with you. I know DK and everyone else has talked of realignment and so on, but just was tossing this out again, only because last evening was such a reminder of why we need it. I just loved that game last night.

    Go Bucs today…get the split.

  83. It appears Tabata is slow at picking the ball up at times. I don’t know if that is lack of concentration, laziness or something as simple as needing an eye exam. but something is wrong with him. I suggestedyesterday there may be something personal going on with him. He has has drama in his past. JMO.

    Looking forward to a Buc win today!

  84. Tanks OshGosh, ‘preciate the comps mon ami. No A/C? Yikes! I got a fix for you sir:

    1. make a playlist of Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson and be sure to intersperse it with Greg Brown’s inane emotional explosions when any Pirate player’s flatulence approximates a waft of attar. This will make you want to hit things. Hard.

    2. Suspend a heavy bag of at least 100 ell-bees. Use much chainage. I also place a Sham-Wow directly beneath the bag to catch my river-o-sweat. Ensure that it is hung in plain view of multiple female passersby (who will ogle your stunning machismo breathlessly–chicks dig dangerous dudes, ask Jandy!)

    3. Don bag-gloves with good wrist-wraps, then add 5 ell-bee ankle-weights to each wrist.

    4. Activate music-playing device, crank decibel-level up nice and high.

    5. Proceed to strike the bag repeatedly and often until muscle-failure or you break something (or get a sudden date). Lo and behold my friend, the lack of A/C will not seem like much of an issue.

    When in doubt, hit stuff. This is what I do when I get frustrated at [insert fav sports team here] seemingly stupid foibles.

    Time for some Skid Row.

  85. buggee, I dig eye candy (like Kris Letang), but I also dig the great guys on here with a great sense of humor ;)

  86. I did a quick lookup of seminal moment and the site I found listed “having possibilities for future development” as one of the definitions.

    So. yeah — the staredown was about attitude and a statement that these guys have begun to think of themselves as a winning ballclub.

    What I liked though was winning a slugfest when our ace, and isn’t it fun to use that term correctly rather than using it to promote our 6 of hearts because it’s the best card we got, our ace was struggling and our vaunted bullpen almost collapsed. And we rallied and outhit ‘em.

    Nonetheless, this team is still a work in progress: Alvarez, Tabata, Presley, and Walker all should improve. Pitching is both here and on the way. The FO knows where the holes are and is starting to have the resources to fill them. I hope they make a run at this year, but this is still not (yet) the team we’ve been waiting for. I should say, waiting too long for. But the guys who are overachieving have carried the underachievers, and this team is a lot a better than most folks would have thought it was going to be — especially after that west coast trip at the beginning of the season.

    Oh yeah, and pardon me if I prefer baseball to soccer even though Europe doesn’t get it.

  87. Buggee:

    Will Nine Inch Nails or the Sex Pistols do? That’s about as close to headbanging stuff I gots in my collection-vinyl, CD or itunes.

  88. JHadar, love the last 2 lines…priceless!!!

  89. >>> Jandonizing Jandy. Me likes it!

    >>> Josey ‘Ta looks slow picking up the ball because… well… he IS slow. He’s also getting porky. It aint easy running that 14.5 yards with a jiggling flopping gut and then… OMG… he has to BEND DOWN TOO?!?!?! WTF? Why should he have to do that when he’s gonna get paid anyway? Dayummed fan expectations

    >>> “Kentuck Knob”. That’s just flat aht funneh Groatster

  90. OshKosh, you gotta get you some Godsmack, man!

  91. OshGosh, Jandy be right on, mon ami. But NIN should suffice. Save the Sex Pistols for the date (pun totally intended). Green Day isn’t too shabby; the Offspring is better.

    Regardless, hit stuff. The world will be a better place. Daisys will grow in exhaust pipes. Birds will sing in a vacuum.

    I chose Zombie and Manson because they’re a perfect audial foil to Greg Brown’s hysterical vapidity. (Can ya tell I’m not his numbah one fan?) It’s kinda like how ya gotta have some citrus tartness to offset heavy creaminess. Oh my, I really need to stop now.

    Skid Row and cornhole.

  92. buggee, you’re gettin kinky now, dude! :p

  93. As a fan of soccer from back in the mid-70s, I remember how the NASL used to decide ties. They played an overtime period and the like, but instead of penalty shots, they used the shootout. The ball would be paced at the 35-yard line (unique to the NASL) and the shooter could play the ball, as well as the goaltender. The goalie wasn’t frozen to the goal line the way it is now. He could come out and change the angle, or tackle the ball away. It added an element of skill back into the process and was always exciting.

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