TribLIVE
Blogs | Sports | News
Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

« Font size »
Decrease | Reset |Increase

Wakeup Call: Playoffs? They’re talkin’ ’bout playoffs?

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Brief and to the Point …

>> The Wednesday column is highlighted by an exclusive interview with Scott Boras, whose cooperation and candor I’ve valued for many years.

>> There’s a college football playoff?

No, really, someone finally came to their senses.

It will be just four teams, and it won’t start until 2014, but let there be no doubt that this is more than just a breakthrough. It’s the start of something truly special, the day when, after nearly a century of polls, computers and other stupidity, there will actually be an NCAA Division I football champion.

Would you rather have eight teams?

Absolutely, if only because you’d give a more realistic chance to the occasional undefeated Boise State type of school. The last thing you want to see in a four-team format is a fifth that’s undefeated but somehow still gets omitted by the model in place. Eight would almost guarantee that not happening.

But that’s getting greedy.

>> The best five words in the AP coverage of this news: “Automatically qualified status is gone.”

So much for the overblown fears that the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10 and SEC would take over the world or that the Big 12 and SEC would achieve something conclusive with their new bowl game that now will be just another of the rotating semifinal venues. And I’ll repeat now with greater emphasis what I wrote in a May 25 column: Pitt will have no less a chance to make the national championship game out of the ACC — maybe even more — than a team in the Big Ten or SEC, by simple virtue of having an easier path toward going undefeated or even 11-1.

>> The NHL will finally begin collective bargaining Friday in New York. Today in Chicago, the NHLPA will put out a list of 30 players who will participate in the process. Expect Sidney Crosby to be involved in the process.

I can tell you from having just a couple playful debates with the captain that he’s really into this kind of stuff. Could see him taking a lead role.

>> Gerrit Cole, the Pirates’ No. 1 overall pick last year, had quite the scare last night in Harrisburg with a line drive to the neck. But word from the Patriot-News sounds encouraging.

>> Want to see an easy to way to poke a hornet’s nest online?

Watch this … but stand back … Starling Marte, anyone?

(Cackles madly as he flees for cover!)

Comments

  1. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Its a great idea for the playoffs, finally……8 better, yes of course.

    What I don’t like is how they are going to decide. A committee will decide what 4 teams……hey, how about the top 4 teams. Sounds like a Vegas deal to me. More info still to come though.

    And top 4 teams will come out of SEC

  2. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    1. LSU
    2. ALABAMA
    3. ARKANSAS
    4. SOUTH CAROLINA

    Write it down!!

  3. JRay3 says:

    If we could ensure Marte could duplicate his line of .267, .331 OBP and .792 SLG with the parent team I would be all for it, but something tells me he still may need just a little development.

    I do think the suggestion does highlight the main point to this, something will need to be done SOON about LF/RF. This team has overcome many deficiencies this year but this one is starting to become a glaring hole which needs to be patched.

    Small step in the right direction for NCAA football, hard to believe it took them this long to get it right even if still not a perfect system.

  4. Dejan,

    I dislike Boras.

    However, I am always interested in what he has to say, and you have been able to snag some interesting presentations from him in past years. This one is another, so appropriately timed.

    Thank you.

    Even as you present Boras evenhandedly, I still feel he is “selling his viewpoint” rather than talking candidly. He is either an amazingly focused individual or a pompous Bor-ass. Both?!

    DK: Scott is a fascinating individual. Much caffeine needed just to keep up with the conversation.

  5. Bill says:

    Dejan, the SEC’s bowl partner is the Big 12, not the Big 10.

    Incidentally, your argument about an easier path is precisely why a strength-of-schedule component is all but guaranteed to be included in the committee’s consideration.

    DK: Yeah, that whole sentence was a mess, actually. Been fixed.

    Regardless of strength of schedule, let me ask you this, plain and simple: Does 12-0 get an ACC team in the playoff? How about 11-1?

  6. Sammich says:

    Honestly, the Boras article was a little underwhelming. It didn’t really explain why he would love to beat the system or why “the man really, really hates Major League Baseball’s new spending limits on the draft”. If anything, it told me more about why the Pirates hate the new rules. Sorry.

    DK: I can respect that. No need to apologize. Hope you like the next column better.

  7. Juan Pizarro says:

    DK,

    Thanks for the Boras insight. I have always been on the opposite side of the fence from MLB agents, but lately I find myself fence-straddling at a minimum (and eventually maybe going to the other side). The more one reads about the draft and the agents/players side of things, the more they get my sympathy as there now seems to be something just wrong with the draft slotting dictated by a gov’t sponsored monopoly like MLB. And why do I get the feeling that Boras will pull off something before the final signing date that no one has yet considered (maybe not even him)?

    Juan

  8. Bill says:

    Barring the nightmare scenario of 5 12-0 teams (out of the 5 power conferences and ND), 12-0 shouldn’t be in a position to be jumped.

    11-1…well, that loss is going to be more analyzed than the Zapruder film. Was it in or out of conference? How strong was the team they lost to? Was it home or road? Did they miss the mandatory 2 pointer in triple overtime or were they blown out? I’d ask whether it came in October or in the conference championship game, but I hope that’s no longer a consideration.

    I rank the conferences at the moment SEC, Big 12, Big 10, Pac 12, ACC. All things considered, I would tend to use that in considering losing teams.

    We have a framework…lots of details still left to be filled in over the next year or so.

    DK: Great point on the loss, especially in that one of the few good things about the old format is that every game counts. Can’t slip up at all. (Unless Alabama/LSU scenario, of course.)

  9. Jandy says:

    I hope Boras finds a way to bet this new system, if only to stick it to Bud Selig. He is a cancer on major league baseball.

  10. JAL says:

    JAL’s Time Will Show the Wiser 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: Two-Out Hits Hurt Bedard

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/06/pirates-notebook-two-out-hits-hurt-bedard.html

    With Guidance From Veterans, McDonald Evolving into Ace

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/06/with-guidance-from-veterans-mcdonald-evolving-into-ace.html

    Daniel Moskos DFAd: What the Move Says

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/06/daniel-moskos-dfad-what-the-move-says.html

    Gregory Polanco and Alen Hanson Homer for West Virginia

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/06/gregory-polanco-and-alen-hanson-homer-for-west-virginia.html

    Mud Hens Slip Past Indians To Open The Series

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/06/mud-hens-slip-past-indians-to-open-the-series.html

    Heredia Convinces Manager to Leave Him In During Impressive Start

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/06/heredia-convinces-manager-to-leave-him-in-during-impressive-start.html

    Prospect Watch: Top Hitters Shine On Mega Pitching Prospect Day

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/06/prospect-watch-top-hitters-shine-on-mega-pitching-prospect-day.html

    First Pitch: Marte Needs Consistency Before A Promotion

    http://blogs.piratesprospects.com/williams/first-pitch-marte-needs-consistency-before-a-promotion/

  11. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    20 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers 2011 Big Money Guys: OLB LaMarr Woodley’s Absence Crushed Pass Rush

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/6/26/3115711/pittsburgh-steelers-2011-lamarr-woodley-contract-extension

    Steelers 2011 Big Money Guys: CB Ike Taylor Chooses To Stay Where He Started

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/6/26/3115697/pittsburgh-steelers-2011-ike-taylor-new-contract-signing-salary-cap

    Are We Already Assuming Too Much About the Steelers Offensive Line?

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/6/26/3115865/are-we-already-assuming-too-much-about-the-steelers-offensive-line

    21 Steelers Depot

    - Ike Taylor Says Tuesday: “Mike Wallace Is Going To Be There For Training Camp”

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2012/06/steelers-ike-taylor-mike-wallace-training-camp-contract/

    22 Steelers Gab

    The Steelers 2012 Running Game – Who Gets the Ball Opening Day?

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2012/06/25/the-steelers-2012-running-game-who-gets-the-ball-opening-day/

    Pitt Blogs

    23 Pitt Blather

    Summer League Rosters Filled

    http://www.pittblather.com/2012/06/26/summer-league-rosters-filled/

    24 Cardiac Hill

    Pitt’s Offense As Bad Individually In 2011 As It Was Collectively

    http://www.cardiachill.com/2012/6/26/3115391/pitt-football-big-east-predictions-acc-expansion-pittsburgh-panthers-ray-graham-tino-sunseri

    WVU Blogs

    25 Metro News

    Harris, Henderson Adjusting Smoothly To WVU

    http://www.wvmetronews.com/wvu.cfm?func=displayfullstory&storyid=53480

    26 WV Illustrated

    WVU Highlights From Summer League

    http://www.wvillustrated.com/story/18884011/wvu-highlights-from-summer-league

    Soccer(football)

    27 Sky Sports

    Giroud targets big impact

    http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11670/7843379/Giroud-targets-big-impact

    28 Daily Telegraph

    Portugal vowes to take fight to Spain

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/soccer/portugal-vowes-to-take-fight-to-spain/story-fndb5nmd-1226409731420

    29 World Soccer Daily

    10 Euro 2012 stories you need to read, 26th June, 2012

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-euro-2012-stories-you-need-to-read-26th-june-2012

    PENGUIN BLOGS

    30 Pensburgh

    Rick Nash in the Penguins plans?

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2012/6/26/3118641/rick-nash-in-the-penguins-plans

  12. JAL says:

    Time Will Show the Wiser, Fairport Convention 1968..Fairport Convention started as band covering mostly American folk music. The first album had Judy Dyble and Ian Mathews singing lead. Dyble was replaced by Sandy Denny after the first album and Mathews left after the second album. Fairport then launched what is known at the folk-rock movement. Every August Fairport holds a large music festival.

  13. Jandy says:

    JAL, your 10 link Heredia Convinces Manager to Leave Him In…nice videos of Heredia/Spikes. Good read. Thanks!

  14. pattonbb says:

    Glad the NCAA finally came to their senses. The 4 team playoff system isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a step in the right direction. Unless they end up with 4 SEC schools in the top 5 next year (don’t laugh, it just might happen).

    Need some more information about this “selection committee” that will be responsible for deciding which teams get in. Heard rumors that it might be made up of ex-coaches. Not sure I like the thought of Philip Fulmer, Howard Schnellenberger, and Tyrone Willingham making those decisions.

    It’s time for Marte to join the team. Whatever is ailing Tabata might get fixed with some real competition.

  15. JUCOFan says:

    Enjoyed the article DK. I tend to agree with Boras, in that, draft spending is small potatoes and not an area that the big boys were likely to expend their resources. The cynic in me thinks secretly owners of small market clubs like the draft cap because they can keep more money in their pockets. Regardless, this will be an interesting precedent to watch evolve.

  16. Thundercrack says:

    Nice insights from Boras, DK.
    Very interesting that he said the talent level wouldn’t let the spending get that out of whack.
    But of course he didn’t address the tactics he used with his players: almost always wait until the very last minute to have his player signed…thus wasting a year / half season of development. That was a big problem of the broken system.

    Disappointed in this morning’s coverage of yesterday’s roster moves. (not from you).
    The game was not over that late —why no quotes from anyone in the FO or Hurdle as to why they chose Moskos as the player to be dropped?

  17. JAL says:

    Jandy

    You are welcome, glad you enjoyed the piece

  18. steelercrazy says:

    Dejan, I believe there is a factual error in today’s Boras column. You state:

    “At the same time, they’ve already signed eight of the other 10 picks in the top 10 rounds at a cost of $2.58 million, leaving about $4 million to offer to Appel if no other top-10 pick signs. That’s far less than Appel was expecting to get if the Astros had taken him.”

    According to Baseball America’s website, the slotted bonus monies for any top-10 picks that are not signed are reduced from the overall bonus pool for that team. Therefore, “if no other top-10 pick signs”, the remaining $4 million or so left in the Pirates’ bonus pool would be reduced by the slotted amounts of those unsigned picks, leaving even less allocated bonus funds to sign Appel.

    Boras can rightfully whine about the horrible new MLB draft rules as much as he wants, but they leave less wiggle room for MLB teams attempting to sign their draftees than an Apollo capsule.

    Source: http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/draft/2012/06/new-draft-rules-create-confusion-run-on-college-seniors/

    DK: Funny, but the very same site — the definitive authority on the baseball draft — is the one where I culled the number in the column. All circumstances taken into account.

  19. Joe D says:

    I used to dislike Boras, but I have come to realize that he is only doing his job. He is hired to get the maximum money for his clients. I hope he blows up this stupid draft system, even if it means the Pirates lose Appel. The Pirates will be better off in the long run under the previous rules. The bottom line is, if my kids were good enough to get drafted (they won’t be), the Boras Corp. would be the first agent I would call.

  20. NMR says:

    Kudos for getting the Boras interview, DK.

    Above all he’s a businessman. He knows the market size and potential. Boras excellently explained the talent pool relationship to overall spending, which is something I think Dejan has been saying all along.

    No matter how much money the big market teams have, draft order will always be the equalizer. Teams at the low end of the draft will always have the first chance to put up or shut up.

    In terms of perspective, I don’t think the 2.5% number can be understated. Absolutely mind-numbing that anyone could pass an altruistic motive off as the reason for this new system. We’re not all lemmings, Bud.

    @Jandy – Funny, I actually came away thinking the same thing. Only Selig could get me to root for Boras.

  21. RobertoForever says:

    @Ryan

    Agree with you 100% on #1. The SEC is going to dominate the selection. That’s why I don’t like the 8 team playoff. We should have seen the high-flying offense from the Big 12 against the supposed great defense of the SEC in the title game.

    Case in point, when Ohio State and Michigan were #1 and #2, the national media argued that they shouldn’t rematch in the championship because we’ve already seen it. But THIS year when Alabama and LSU were #1 and #2, the argument from the national media was that this matchup was sooo good, we just had to see a second helping of it.

    Although I am sure it it is an 8 team playoff, the SEC will get 5 or 6 of the spots. Its humorous because people clamor for the college athletes to get paid. SEC football players already make more than the average doctor. :D

  22. Ryan says:

    Good article Dejan. Boras has always been a really fascinating personality to me. I’ve never understood the villain personality that some people have labeled him with. I’m certain he could not care less about that perception, but still it’s bizarre. He does his job and he does it fantastically. If you were a parent of a kid with first round talent, wouldn’t Boras be exactly the guy you would want to hire?

  23. Milo Hamilton says:

    @Roberto

    Your last line is priceless. Could you imagine what would be uncovered if someone would take a serious look into certain SEC programs ? Do people really think Cam Newton didn’t get paid ?

  24. bob hasis says:

    Scott Boras is very shrewd and intelligent. He is a great salesman. Some of the people who must deal with him, such as NH, are not in his league. They can’t cope with his assertiveness and intelligence.

    So to be better prepared, someone as inexperienced as NH should be sent back to Indy, or wherever it is that GM’s get more experience, for further seasoning, ala Starling Marte, who is being held back for more experience because NH says he is not ready for the big show.

    Mr. Huntington, you will only prove your readiness when you land an impact free agent. Signing college and high school draftees is meaningless, and then we must wait 4 years or more to see if you were really successful.

    If you are worthy of “on the job training”, I suggest Marte is too.

  25. NMR says:

    None of the numbers Marte is putting up should warrent any kind of promotion.

    The only reason he is even an option right now is because the Pirates did absolutely nothing in the offseason to add any competition to the outfield positions.

    Management could’ve easily said it was time for Brad Lincoln and Rudy Owens to show they were MLB starters. Instead, they went out and got two veterans who have paid obvious dividends.

    For some reason, this lesson was completely lost on the outfield situation. Both Tabata and Presley were handed jobs when they should’ve been competing for one. Cuddyer, Kubel, and Willingham were all free agents the Pirates could’ve afforded. Josh Reddick was traded for a package the Pirates could’ve matched. All would’ve completely changed the makeup of this team.

    Instead, fans are holding out hope that a soon-to-be 25 yo rookie who can’t hit .275 at the AAA level will somehow propel the Pirates into the playoffs.

  26. gregenstein says:

    RE: Playoffs
    ————————–
    The one thing that seemed to make most folks mad was that #2 and #3 in many years were not different enough to create a definitive separation between them. Last year’s Alabama/Okie State argument proved that true. My biggest problem with an 8 team playoff is that you invariably are allowing a 2-loss team into the championship many years. Oregon almost certainly gets in last year if there’s 8 teams. Still, I’d be OK with 8. It seems like any given year there between 3 and 6 truly worthy teams, so it’s going to be tough a lot of years to get it down to 4 as it seems like 5 is the sweetspot most years. Not sure if that is better than allowing 2-3 “unworthy” teams or not.

    RE: Boras
    —————————
    No big shock the guy doesn’t like the new system. His services are basically not needed. His advice should always be now, “just don’t settle for less than slot.” I’d almost like to see Appel not sign just to see what happens to him next year.

  27. NMR says:

    @bob

    It’s amazing how good someone elses checkbook make certain GM’s look.

    Don’t make this out to be a chess game. No GM’s are tricking Boras into taking lower offers.

    Last I checked, the Pirates best prospect and best power hitter were both aquired by Huntingdon and were both Boras clients.

  28. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Good column. Anyone that can spend an entire hour talking to Boras and not throw up all that caffeine has done his due diligence.

    I’ve not been one to call for the heads of Tabata and Presley, but these lines are getting more pathetic by the day. Tabata .222 and .286 and Presley .230 and .252. For leadoff hitters, that is a disgrace. I hope they both have long and illustrious careers, hopefully with the Pirates, but, given what Marte has done lately, how much worse could he be? Even if he needs more development, let it be in the bigs.

    Then, the question arises, who leads off? Marte is 5-tool, so he could, but we need better production from the one slot, bottom line.

  29. radio wave says:

    Until the D1 playoffs expands to include all the conference champs, it won’t be valid.

  30. LuckyNKentucky says:

    NMR,

    I’m not saying Marte can lead us, single-handedly into the playoffs, just that, if the sellers’ market continues due to the precious extra WC slots, we need to do something to get some spark in that one spot. Four runs last night with all those opportunities just didn’t get it done. Robbie Grossman is upping his game, but is still at AA hitting .232. Looking down the line, even at Indy, there’s nobody better than Presley and Tabata, except maybe Marte.

  31. steelercrazy says:

    The Pirates are currently $609,400 under their allocated signing bonus budget for their signed 1-10 picks. Besides Mark Appel, only Brandon Thomas (#4 pick, slot value $336,700) and Kevin Ross (#8, slot value $138,200) remain unsigned. If both are signed at their slot value, or if both are not signed at all, the remaining bonus pool money available to sign Mark Appel will be the same, his slot value ($2,900,000) plus the $609,400 the Pirates are under their bonus pool so far, totaling $3,509,400. Boras and Appel would be fools to not take that amount.

  32. Baywatch says:

    DK, you MAD cackler! LOL!

  33. NMR says:

    Not disagreeing with ya, Lucky. Marte very well might be the second best outfield in the Pirates system right now. I’m just not holding my breath that he comes up and immediately contributes.

    @radio

    “Until the D1 playoffs expands to include all the conference champs, it won’t be valid.”

    There’s another name for that: automatic qualifier.

    If the goal is to include the most deserving teams, i.e. Boise States of the world, then why the heck should a 9-3 Big East Champ get a spot before an 11-1 SEC runner-up?

  34. bob hasis says:

    @NMR

    I perceive that to Boras it is exactly that – a chess game.

    He knows the very minute that when a team drafts one of his clients, he pulls up all of the data on the team and the team’s FO negotiators. He also knows that team badly wants (needs) that player and thus he already has one leg up.

    Can you tell me who are the team’s best prospect and power hitter? Can you tell me the details of the final deal and if one faction or the other was more successful in the deals?

    Whether NH or his predecessor, we Moskos instead of Weiters.

  35. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I think Bob’s chess game analogy is spot on in this case. The Pirates don’t DESPERATELY need Appel, which makes their pick of him even smarter. They can afford to lose a rook since they have several bishops and knights waiting in the wings and developing. Let him go unsigned and they benefit in next year’s draft and with some funds this year. If he signs, it’s one year better. It’s win/win, which probably also steams Boras.

  36. bob hasis says:

    @NMR
    I should have said above, we have Moskos instead of Weiters.

    However that now is apparently not true since he was designated.

    NH says in today’s TRIB, “We’re in a position now where every game matters. . . . . . . . “.

    I’ll give him a pass on Sunday’s gift to the Tigers when Walker was held out due to a laughable “maintenance day” or “a scheduled off day”, in a game where he just may have made a difference. But these peripheral moves he made – while necessary – do not get to the core. We need more production at SS where Barmes needs alot of time off, Tabata needs a month off for heavy “maintenance” perhaps at Indy, and I for one would like to see if Presley is a major leaguer or not. Let him play for two weeks or more; he is not being given a reasonable chance ala Tabata, Barmes. Let us see if he is going to produce on a consistent basis.

    NH is watching what we are watching and must surely be seeing what we see. If we are to take seriously his quote then HE must do what has to be done. We cannot struggle any longer with Barmes or Tabata mediocrity.

    And yes Marte would be a welcome shot in the arm in my opinion.

  37. Mike says:

    I for one think that handling their star prospects with kid gloves is a good thing in a way but look at the very top and bottom of this order as it stands with a straight face…it needs to at least look formidable. Putting a potential spark plug at the top of the lineup is a neccesity at this point. Granted I’m not taking righty/lefty matchups into consideration but this would at least look like a contending team or closer to it:

    1. Marte – LF
    2. Walker – 2B
    3. Cutch – CF
    4. Jones – RF
    5. McGee -1B
    6. Alvarez – 3B
    7. Barajas – C
    8. Whoever is less cold between Harrison, Barmes, & Sutton – SS

    What can it really hurt to give it a shot at this point????? Jones can’t hit lefties I’m sure is what I’ll hear back from this. Guess what Tabata can’t hit period. At least send him down to get him right. A couple weeks at AAA and Marte here for a couple weeks isn’t going to damage Marte to the point of no return.

    By the way I think the Staal trade was more of necessity than people realize because he wasn’t a fan of Sid. Don’t be shocked if Orpik is next. However if we don’t get Parise (which I think he stays in NJ) and Suter goes to Detroit then Shero doesn’t look like quite so smart after all. The biggest problem with the FA market is the drop off in talent after those 2. Let’s see if Crosby can pull a D-Wade and convince the best to come join him. I bet not.

  38. NMR says:

    You’re missing the point, Bob.

    In chess, it’s one mind against the other. There is no outside influence.

    In baseball, it’s agent against check book and now, rule book.

    By your logic, Detroit GM Dave Dombrowskie is smarter than Nationals GM Mike Rizzo because he signed Prince Fielder.

    In reality, Detroit OWNER Mike Ilitch signed Prince Fielder.

    Huntingdon made the pick. The rules are set. steelercrazy just told you how much the Pirates have to give Appel. If Nutting allows it, they can go slightly higher than that and take the tax without losing a draft pick.

    Nobody is convincing Boras to take less than the $3.5m the Pirates have available right now.

    So, please explain to me. Where is the chess game?

  39. NMR says:

    Look, as fans, it’s fun to dramatize things we don’t know about.

    But break down the situation and it becomes a lot less sexy.

  40. NMR says:

    bob, no offense, but how are you qualified to say Marte would be a shot in the arm, whatever that means? Have you seen him play?

    In one sentence, you say that Presley deserves a shot at extended time. The kid has 200 at-bats this year! How much more do you need to see?

    Presley’s biggest downfall is plate discipline, which also happens to be Marte’s. Presley actually walked at a higher rate in the minors than Marte ever has.

    How can you be so sure that Marte will learn anything, let alone help?

  41. LuckyNKentucky says:

    NMR,

    You think it’s that cut and dry? No maneuvering at all? No ploys? Why wait until July 13th at 4:00 then? Just say now, Appel won’t sign or will sign and get on with your life. I think there’s still drama left. Maybe not like the nail-biting Pedro Alvarez-type stuff, but still some moves to be made.

  42. Milo Hamilton says:

    @NMR

    Post #27

    A standing ovation.

    That’s it in a nutshell. You should cut & paste that one at least once a day.

  43. The Gunner says:

    To all my fellow posters who are jumping on my “out with Tabata” bandwagon, thank you for seeing the light and calling for action.

    If the great Roberto Clemente (supposedly his hero) was still alive, at 77+ years old, he would want to beat the hell out of this disgruntled, belly aching overpaid bum. Since his contract extension from the Bucs last year, he has basically quit. Presley is a much better alternative even though their #s are similar. But, at least AP brings some passion and fire to the party. Tabata, once regarded as the “jewel” in the Xavier Nady trade, basically sucks at life.

    Folks, we are actually in a pennant race here – hard to believe after all the suffering since 1993. This is no time to experiment with Marte – the Bucs need a proven commodity who can provide offense NOW……….RIGHT NOW!!! I repeat, we are in a pennant race, not a rebuilding program. Marte’s day with the Bucs will come, but not now.

    NH (aka Opie) needs to go get Josh Willingham, Cody Ross or someone comparable IMMEDIATELY and hopefully include headcase Tabata in the deal as a throw in.

  44. NMR says:

    @Lucky

    There’s obviously back and forth. That’s why it’s called negotiating.

    But that’s far from the kind of inteligence put into chess. The stategy was made on draft day when Huntingdon picked Appel then surely adjusted the rest of his draft accordingly.

    The stuff with Boras, in this sytem, is overblown.

    Answer me this:

    He knows the cards the Pirates are holding, right?

    The Pirates know Appel’s options, right?

    So unless Boras finds a way around SELIG’S system, everyones cards are on the table. Where is the scenario that Boras “beats” Huntingdon?

  45. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Milo,

    Those guys dissin’ you last night effected your psyche. You, the author of the nickname Joggin’ Joe. Do you want to see Marte being further developed in AAA or JJ and Elvis leading off the rest of the season? NMR’s post is accurate, but what is the answer then? I’d love to see Willingham in right. Then, who leads off?

  46. LuckyNKentucky says:

    NMR,

    Well put. #46.

  47. NMR says:

    @LNK

    Boras would be stupid NOT to wait until each one of the other top 10 picks have singed. Thats what sets the Pirates budget.

    Why, when his goal is to squeeze every last penny out of the deal, would he sign before then?

  48. Milo Hamilton says:

    @Lucky

    I was staggered, but I survived the standing 8. :)

    I was talking about Neal’s inaction on the offensive side over the winter. I really am 50/50 on the Marte thing right now.

  49. JAL says:

    Last link in post 10 is about Marte and consistency

  50. The Gunner says:

    @ Milo – #50

    Well said, Milo. This is no time to experiment with Marte – see my post @ #45. If you snooze you lose. I am confident NH (aka Opie) will come up with some external solution.

    He has no choice / the future is now.

  51. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Milo,

    I think you’re right, as usual. We’re all 50/50 or less on Marte right now. DK said he “cackled madly as he ran for cover” after he stirred that pot.

  52. RobertoForever says:

    @Milo

    Right? I’ll bet Cam got paid TWICE! Once from Florida and once from Auburn. And to think the argument to paying athletes is that their name is sold on a jersey and they get nothing out of it. Cam got plenty.

  53. NMR says:

    “He has no choice / the future is now.”

    I mean this with absolutely no offense, but statements like this are why fans don’t make good GM’s.

    Obviously we fans want to win now! That’s great, and thats the mindset we should have.

    But look around. There are a lot of big boys out there.

    In all honesty, in the back of your mind, do you reeeaallly think the Pirates are for real? Is there reeeaaallly anything outside of video game type moves that can make these Pittsburgh Piates a complete pennant worthy team?

    Would the Brewers have been smart to trade Ryan Braun in 2006 and make a run for it instead of waiting until 2008?

  54. steelercrazy says:

    @The Gunner

    If Clemente were alive today, he would still be roaming right field while Tabata roamed the pine. 8)

  55. AJS says:

    3 odd decisions by Hurdle last night:

    1)I was shocked in the 5th with a runner on second and one out he puts Bedard up there to bunt while down 4-1. I’m not as critical as most are of the SAC in the right spots. But Bedard is struggling and you have some arms in the pen to go 5 so why not try take two cracks at getting on the board instead of relying on Tabata to have one chance at getting it done?

    2)I agreed with the notion of sending JaHay in against Bastardo. Jones and a lefty is a waste of time. But to then have him bunt? Has Hurdle not watched his prior two attempts at a bunt? Blew the squeeze and then popped up a SAC. The guy can’t bunt. Pops up to the catcher. Lame.

    3)Someone PLEASE explain to me why Grilli didn’t pitch the 8th? God forbid you use him while down in the game. You absolutely cannot give up a run in the 8th there. And they already were pushing their luck with Cruz who has not been the same Cruz we saw in April and May. Last year we praised Hurdle for doing anything he could to get a win. 4 out saves. Using his best pitchers in te most important situations. But last night Grilli and Hughes were both available and way more reliable than Cruz and he stuck with Cruz and Chooch hits the long ball.

    Even with all of that just too many blown chances. I was praying like crazy for Pedro to just single against Bastardo. But he want up there looking for the long ball and the lead and not the bloop and the tie.

    Oh and what in god’s name was Leyva thinking on that rinky dinky fly to left sending Fort? No way he scores there. Not even close. Also interesting to see Fort doesn’t run Chooch and instead opts for the slide. Almost got in under it anyway. Maybe Jerry Meals calls him safe?

  56. Milo Hamilton says:

    Question for everyone.

    Had Clemente not met his untimely end, would he have eventually managed the Pirates ? I’ve always thought that he would have.

  57. LuckyNKentucky says:

    JAL,

    Tim makes some good points, as always, but, if Marte stays in Indy and we are truly in a pennant race, what’s the answer? Ross/Willingham may not be as “easy” as some think to get and, if we do, who leads off? Thank God, they won’t be shuffling Cutch back to leadoff anytime soon. That revolving door should be permanently closed for him.

  58. The Gunner says:

    @ steelercrazy – #56

    We could only wish that Roberto would still be roaming right field at the age of 77 – that is pure fantasy. I guess we can always dream.

    However, the Great One definitely would not be buying into Tabata’s program – he’d intimidate Tabata and be right in his face. He never put up with any of that type of BS from his teammates.

  59. The Gunner says:

    @ Milo – #58

    I have often thought that Roberto would eventually manage the Bucs. The hardest thing would have been to fire him when things would eventually not go so good.

  60. AJS says:

    @NMR

    i completely understand what you are saying. And to an extent I agree. But let me ask you this. How many years can we continue to say that? Said the same last year. The team wasn’t there and was having an amazing first half, but it looks a little odd how they are doing it. Best to do something to try to keep it going but lets not get crazy.

    This year feels a little better. Maybe because it is two summers in a row now that the pitching has got them off to a hot start. Makes me feel like the ability to keep it goig and at least break that .500 barrier is there. Forget about the division or even a wild card. While that would be nice and should be something the team strives for, .500 would be a raging success. but we sit here and say, don’t mortgage the future, this team isn’t there.

    So lets say we get the equivalent of last year a couple aging bats for nothing but some cash. Then the off season comes. Neal does what he always does. Plugs holes in the line up with second to even third tier vets and next year the same things happen. No improvment in the offense. Pitching starts hot. But hey it doesn’t look like they are there yet. Let’s not mortgage the future.

    I’m not saying the time is now. But I am saying we are going to have to be prepared that some day huntingdon will either have to attract an actual legitimate bat through free agency or he is going to have to man up and trade a young pitcher for some offense. it is the bargaining chip he has stacked up on so it is going to have to be the one he uses to move this team forward and not keep it stuck in the mud.

  61. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Milo,

    I think Clemente could have managed. He did enough of it when he was playing. He would probably be a part owner, like Mario. They would have given him an interest in the team.

  62. RobertoForever says:

    I think the Tabata/Presley leadoff thing is overblown. Would I love a monster leading off? Of course. But how about these stats for production from the leadoff spot:

    OBP BA SLG R BB SO
    Pirates .270 .226 .359 38 14 50
    Reds .235 .195 .300 41 16 73
    Brewer .323 .238 .424 42 31 72
    Nats .304 .261 .428 44 17 58
    O’s .253 .211 .334 32 16 79

    The Pirates stats are not the worst, and their run production from the top of the order is certainly not out of line considering overall the lineup is at the league low for runs scored. and they have reasonable plate discipline (BB/SO). Seems like a lot of teams are looking for better options at the leadoff spot. But I don’t see Ricky Henderson walking through the door for any of the teams.

  63. RobertoForever says:

    Apologies for those stats that don’t lineup in columns. Makes it hard to easily compare.

    ———–OBP BA–SLG-R–BB SO
    Pirates-.270 .226 .359 38 14 50
    Reds—.235 .195 .300 41 16 73
    Brewer-.323 .238 .424 42 31 72
    Nats—-.304 .261 .428 44 17 58
    O’s——.253 .211 .334 32 16 79

  64. Milo Hamilton says:

    If we’re ever going to get to where we want to be, we’re eventually going to have to get over this “others suck worse than us at something” mentality.

  65. Naje says:

    @Milo-

    We’re also going to have to get over the ridiculously imbalanced expectations that every PBC player has to have all-star numbers… that every call the manager makes is wrong… that every move a player makes shows a lack of hustle/desire/know-how/whatever… that every move the GM makes is stupid…

    See, it works both ways… and the whining on this blog is a prime example. Every day. Non-stop. Comes from far too many who have to blurt out something on every topic. Not fun to read or interact with.

  66. JRay3 says:

    @ NMR – to your point in post #55, I do hear what you are saying but why can’t this team decide to make a run and compete this year. Through the first 73 games which included an April of playing the Giants, Dodgers, Braves, Cardinals a May that had series with the Reds (2), Nationals (2), Mets and surviving inter-league in June the team is 38-35.

    Consider that in the second half of the schedule the Pirates play the four worst teams in the NL – Cubs, Astros, Padres and Rockies a whopping 36 times.

    With the NL East about to beat up on each other the NL West as a three team race there is plenty of opportunity to stay in this race, even if it is quicker than the three, five, seven, ten year plan we are currently on. Isn’t that what makes sports great?

    To me there are no guarantees about tomorrow. Our top pitching arms could get injured, development could stall, a myriad of things can happen between now and 2013,14,15 etc. This team has done enough to warrant the FO do what it can so it can make a run this year. The fans are doing their part supporting this year’s team even though they have suffered 19 long years of being the door mat.

    Why Not Us?

  67. Milo Hamilton says:

    @Naje

    And your point is ? :)

  68. NMR says:

    @AJS

    To answer your question, as many years as it takes for the Pirates GM to build a worthy team.

    Trust me, if I thought the Pirates were a legit contender this year with the addition of one bat, I wouldn’t waste a keystroke typing that I missed Taillon or whatever prospect was traded to get it.

    I don’t claim to be a genius, I just look at the steps other teams take to success. Can you find a single team in the Pirates current situation that has even attempted to make a run at this stage?

    A’s, Rays, and Twins never did. The Brewers got Sabathia, but only after their young stars were established.

    Heck, look at the Blue Jays this year. They have have as much chance at the wild card as the Pirates and their pitching staff is in worse shape than the Pirates offense.

    Here’s a quote from MLB Trade Rumors today:
    “•Despite the recent rash of injuries among the Jays’ starters, GM Alex Anthopoulos won’t rush to acquire pitching help, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com. Anthopoulos said the soonest a big move might happen would be mid-July, if at all.”

    We were praising Anthopoulos as one of the best young GM’s in the game yesterday. Why do you think he’s waiting?

  69. RobertoForever says:

    @Naje

    Well said. If we compare the Pirates to the Yankees and Sox every day, it will rarely come out well, lol.

    Funny, Roberto Clemente struggled mightily in his 3rd season, going 0 for 4 on stolen bases and and OPS of .637. Wonder if the great Roberto would have been supported or flummoxed if this blog had existed in 1957

  70. NMR says:

    @JRay

    Why not us?

    Because right now, the Pirates are a combination of at least one starting pitcher, two starting outfielders, a starting shortstop, a starting catcher, and a single bat off the bench from being a playoff team. Not saying you absolutely need all of them, but you couldn’t even plug half of those holes. The Pirates have been playing lights out, by their standards, for the last month and they’re barely above .500.

    Look at last year as an example. All it took was two hot weeks from Milwaukie to put us in the dust. Didn’t matter who we got at or before the trade deadline.

    The Reds are a better team. The Cards are a better team. And thats just in our division.

    Why not us? Because we’re just not good enough.

  71. pattonbb says:

    @ Milo

    Post #25

    Absolutely agree with you. NCAA claims they could never prove any money made it to Cam’s hands, but Auburn banned his Father from ever setting foot on campus. That just doesn’t pass the “sniff test”.

    I wouldn’t just call out the SEC though. USC, Oregon, and Ohio State (just to name a few) have all been investigated for recruiting violations. There’s no telling what kind of violations Chip Kelly at Oregon has committed, by I don’t think the NCAA wants to upset those honchos at Nike. Just my opinion.

  72. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Glad everyone thinks we’re whining and the leadoff situation is “overblown” when neither leadoff hitter is over .230 BA and .286 OBP. Brainwashed mediocrity. Like Milo said, others suck worse than us, so it’s OK. Misery loves company. Two wrongs make a right. The Reds and Cards are better. We’re just not that good. It’s not like we traded the ’27 Yankees. In 1957, Clemente sucked. All good reasons for not improving this season. When does TC open at Latrobe?

  73. NMR says:

    Feel better, Lucky?

    Now that you got that nonsense out, care to explain how any of those thoughts go together?

    Let me try.

    The Pirates are for real! Who cares if we are one ANdrew McCutchen slump or injury away from having absolutely no offense. Look how bad the teams are that they play the rest of the way! Lets trade everyone to get a bat and break .500. Plan the parade!

  74. Thundercrack says:

    AJS, good point about using Grilli in the eighth. I didn’t think of that.

    But I don’t have a problem with Leyva sending McKenry. We need to score runs. The throw was great. If it was a few feet up the first base side or had bounced one more time, the runner would have been safe.

  75. LuckyNKentucky says:

    NMR,

    They don’t go together. That’s the point. Our thinking is skewed. I don’t care if he trades anybody, just work on the weakest points. I like to see problems addressed, not glossed over by others’ bad stats. (No, I don’t feel better)

  76. radio wave says:

    at nmr: #35
    I respectfuly disagree.
    I have a bias here, as a grad of a MAC school, I think all the “non bcs” Div 1 conferences should send their champ to a playoff system.
    it comes down to revenue. These are the schools that take it on the chin opening week every year on the field to support their budgets.

    I’m sure the playoff system, which everyone agrees will be expanded in the future, will create revenue in the same way the NCAA basketball tourney does now.
    Even if it means the Sun Belt, MAC, conference USA schools etc. will be smoked in the opening round of the playoffs, they have earned the right to participate in the revenue stream.

  77. Milo Hamilton says:

    @Naje

    Permission to go to lunch, please ?

  78. Mattygabe says:

    I keep going back and forth on the new draft rules in terms of whether it helps or hurts the Pirates – though I generally stay where I’m at on the “hurts” side. On one hand, the Pirates can no longer leverage this area of advantage over other teams (NYY, BOS), and can’t take leaps like Josh Bell anymore (closest they can is Appel – and we’ll see how that works). On the other, it gives the team leverage with agents such as Boras, where they can essentially say, “Look, we have $4MM allocated here, the most we can give is in that range. You can’t expect us to pay that PLUS pay all the MLB penalties.” It’s interesting to see if that’s an effective threat with Appel and Boras, but I think it cuts the crud in terms of negotiating tactics between both.

    But to think of Selig’s intents here in the context of his defense of no salary cap previously (“let the free market of baseball determine the price of players”), it’s laughable to think that anyone believes Bud when he says he’s doing this to help teams like Pittsburgh.

  79. JHadar says:

    Good Moanin’ All

    Some random thoughts on the topics of the day.

    The NCAA basketball tournament was 24 teams when I was a kid, and now it’s 68. Fan pressure and economic opportunism brought about the changes. A 4-team tournament is just the beginning. Look how many teams qualify in the division formerly known as 1a.

    And speaking of economic opportunism, I think that if the Bucs really want Appel bad enough, that it will be Coonelly the lawyer, not Huntington the GM or Boras the agent, that comes up with a way around the limits. AFAIK for example, the limit is to the signing bonus, but there is no salary cap in the major leagues OR THE MINOR LEAGUES. I may be stretching, but it would at least be a creative way to make the point, and it would be fun to see how those dominoes fall.

    And while we’re talking about minor leagues, yes I’d like to see what Marte can do. The story at spring training was that he could play every day as a singles hitter, but that he has the ability to become a power hitter and needed to work on that aspect of his game. Maybe that’s why the BA is a little lower than expectations — but with Tabata and Presley having underperformed and always on the verge of coming out of it, combined with the fact that we are *unexpectedly* in a race to see if we’re going to have our hearts broken in a single game at the end of the October or not (I vote not), yes it’s right to look for deadline trades — but I see the Cubs called up Rizzi and I wonder if that puts LaHair on the market and there are so many different ways to go with the speculation after that. (Maybe we could trade Jones for a shortstop???)

    Wasn’t I talking about Marte? From the little I’ve seen of him I’ve been impressed with his athleticism, reminds me in many ways of ways of McCutcheon. Sometimes even in the heat of the battle you have to think long-term.

    Finally, I don’t think the draft changes were aimed at the Pirates. I think they were aimed at Boras.

  80. Jandy says:

    I’m gathering in all this information, and I thank all you good experts on here for sharing your views. Regarding Tabata, Harrison, etc…if you’re underperforming, and you’re allowed to continue to do that, with no consequences or perhaps even motivation to do better, what does that say about your boss? That it’s allowed to continue is setting bad precedent. If the problem isn’t all attitude, then it’s form, and that needs addressed as well. So, why would you not take steps to correct the problem? If sitting out helps, let them get some splinters. If that isn’t enough, send them down a notch to work on being better motivated to perform better. Meantime, reward someone who IS doing better. I’d sure as heck give Marte a bonus and see how he can do, in say a two or three week span of PLAYING EVERY GAME. He can’t be any worse than what’s in the lne-up now. Monitor the situation. Meantime, keep looking for a bat to boost the offense. No rentals. Someone who will be here next season. Don’t throw away value for nothing. The bat doesn’t have to be “the best”, just someone who can add offensively period. No drama needed. Just sound choices.
    OK, I’m stepping of my student podium and going back to taking notes :)

  81. Jandy says:

    Psssst Milo, share some of your lunch???

  82. NMR says:

    @radio

    If the purpose of a playoff is revenue, then you have a point.

    @JHadar

    I beleive part of the new CBA ended Major League contracts for signees, thus, nixing your theory. I like your idea of Coonely being proactive, though.

    As for LaHair, apparently the Cubs are set to let him play RF unless they get the right offer. He’s fallen off as you would expect a 29 yo rookie to do, anyways. His stats are hugely bloated by his April numbers. Might be worth a shot if the Cubs were willing, but who knows for how much.

  83. Pants-n-at says:

    Since hitting futility is described as hitting “below the Mendoza line” (I think Chris Berman is credited with that) why not also call hitting supremacy (especially for a career) the “Clemente” line. Seeing as Roberto finished with exactly 3000 hits, it should be called “reaching the Clemente line”. Berman could say, “Derek Jeter is now 165 hits over the Clemente line.” Clemente has been and will always be my favorite player. And I could more see him as a lifetime hitting coach for the Pirates, not necessarily a manager….but that’s just me. On Tabata, he needs to watch some highlights of the way Clemente played….then hang his head. I have a feeling he may have some off the field issues again that we may not be privy to. DK, are you hearing anything? Concerning Boras, who cares. If this system stays in place, he’ll still get his $$…but he’s going to use this system to ask for even more once his client is eligible for FA. Just saying……..

  84. NMR says:

    Nothing wrong with any of that, Jandy. Your toughts are always welcome.

    The only thing that worries me about promoting Marte too soon is what he lacks: plate discipline.

    Take a look at Alex Presley, for example. He never walked much, even in the minors, but his walk rates were still higher than what Marte’s are now. The fat pitches that Presley used to jump on at AAA are now tailing, dipping, and painted on the corners. He’s swinging and missing more, and when he does make contact, it’s not off the good part of the bat. The results speak for themselves.

    MLB pitchers are faster, sharper, and more deceiving. If Marte is struggling to recognize pitches at the AAA level, it seems a stretch to assume he can improve on that with the big club.

    The logic that Marte couldn’t do worse sounds good until you look at what other talented hitters who share his same weaknesses have done once promoted.

  85. JHadar says:

    NMR — then are minor league contracts all standardized by rule?

    (They say that once when W.C. Fields was in the hospital he was found in his room paging through the Bible and mumbling “There’s got to be a loophole! There’s got to be a loophole!)

    I’ll take your word on LaHair, haven’t checked him of late — but if I were Huntington, I think it would be interesting to open up talks just to find out who in our minor league system Theo would be interested in and then spend a little time figuring out why.

  86. Jandy says:

    NMR, your logic is sound. But what I cannot fathom nor accept is that some players – Tabata I’m looking at you – are allowed to…how do I say this properly? – do their job in a very poor fashion – and be allowed to do it. I’m not saying it’s an easy fix, but I am saying something most definitely needs to be done about it. It’s ridiculous that it’s gone on as long as it has. Acquiring a bat, even a middle of the road bat, is preferable to allowing this to go on.

  87. radio wave says:

    Brewers take early 2-0 2nd inning lead over Reds.

  88. NMR says:

    @JHadar

    I believe so. Gerrit Cole is making no more than Altoona’s backup catcher.

    Someone please help out JH if I’m wrong.

    @Jandy

    Absolutely agreed. Thats the basis of my first post about handing both Tabata and Presley jobs. Sure, on paper, you had two young, talented oufielders who have shown significant stretches of ML success. But you leave absolutely no safety net, nor competition if one or both fail, as they have.

  89. Pants-n-at says:

    @ radio wave: Thanks for the score update! Go Brew Crew.

  90. Arriba Wilver says:

    Cole is making more off the interest on his bonus than his minor league salary. Any updates on his injury last night?

  91. bob hasis says:

    @NMR

    Sir in entry #29 you mentioned chess. I merely responded to that with my analogy.

    And frankly I do not care what Dombrowski or any other GM or FO type does. My only concern is right here. NH is our designated hitter, and so far he’s no better than Barmes.

  92. Jandy says:

    Gooo Brewers!

    AW, I see no update on Cole. As of last night, he was at a hospital in Harrisburg, and they were do to tests. a CT scan, etc. Anyone else hear/see anything?
    The article I read said he seemed fine, but was swelling near the ear where he was hit. Better safe than sorry, so he was sent to the hospital.

  93. Arriba Wilver says:

    Thanks, Jandy.

  94. radio wave says:

    Brewers extend lead to 3-0 in top of third, still batting.

  95. Jandy says:

    NMR, you argue so thoroughly and so politely, are you perhaps a lawyer in real life????

  96. Jandy says:

    radio, good stuff. Goooooo Brewers! lol

  97. Pants-n-at says:

    Concerning playoffs: I’ve never understood why Div 1 does not have playoffs in football. I say, form 10 super-conferences of 12 teams each (I think there’s about 120 Div 1 teams). Have all conference champs and 6 “at large” teams make the playoffs and let them go at it. Seed them and let the higher seeds host until the Chamionship game at a neutral site. Most of this would be played during winter break so as not to interfere with school (which was a lame, ingenuous excuse for not having playoffs anyway). Trust me, in time this would pull in more $$ than the current system would. The remaining teams with winning records could play in the bowl games like they do now. I would love it!!

  98. bob hasis says:

    @NMR

    Being honest with you, I say this; I have no knowledge of Marte at this level – no one does, not you or NH, because he hasn’t been here yet.

    But if spring training has any value at all – where he (Marte) just tore it up, only to be reassigned to Indy – then let’s see what he does when they fire real major league bullets, not spring training imitations.

    If we are correct in assuming Presley – or more to the point Tabata – can’t be a successful contributor at lead-off, some change is necessary. My vote here is Marte.

  99. bob hasis says:

    We hear it drummed into our heads ad nauseum and ad infinitum from our broadcasters to never make the first or second out of an inning at third or home (probably second too).

    Yet our unbrilliant coach Leyva sends us down the drain by sending The Fort in an almost certain situation to fail.
    Very poor judgment again on his part, who should be instructing these guys otherwise.

  100. radio wave says:

    Brewers 3-1 after three.

  101. Jandy says:

    In all fairness, my hubby dislikes baseball very much. When he say The Fort running for home, he said to me “What the hell did he do that for?”
    LOL I said, more than likely the third base coach sent him in. He did the best he could. Not his fault but the coach’s.
    Poor Fort.

  102. NMR says:

    @Jandy – My better half would disagree!

    @bob

    You’re absolutely right, friend. Nobdoy knows what Marte will do at the ML level. BUt how many players have eclipsed their MiL numbers upon promotion? Not many. Seems like a bit of a trend.

    Babe, I mean Matt Hague looked pretty darn goood in ST, too.

    As for change, I’m all for it. Sutton has a .320 lifetime OBP in the bigs. Trades can be made. I’m just not comfortable counting on a rookie with known weaknesses to be the key.

  103. Arriba Wilver says:

    Bob—did you see the play? It took a perfect throw to get him. I call that a reasonable gamble when we’re scrambling to score some runs. if he wouldn’t have sent him, and we still didn’t score there would be plenty of complaints on the other side. The 3rd base coach is always going to take the heat.

  104. Arriba Wilver says:

    Even John Russell got criticized as a 3B coach. :-)

  105. radio wave says:

    More good news from Cincy.
    Brewers lead 5-1 top of 4th. Homer Bailey is living up to his name today.

  106. radio wave says:

    It’s going to be a football score before it’s over..
    HR for Reds, 5-2 in bottom of fourth.

  107. Pants-n-at says:

    I find it funny that “radio wave” is providing us baseball updates. But I’m that way.

  108. bob hasis says:

    @AW

    I saw the play and was aware who was running, and how shallow the ball was hit. AW, he was out by 10 feet and with the block of granite Ruiz appears to be, there was unlikely to be a Pete Rose/Ray Fosse collision. The Fort is smart.

    Yes it was a perfect throw, but didn’t have to be. FORT HAD NO CHANCE.

    This was a play where you do not gamble.

  109. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’ll try to re-look at it bob, but I saw many replays last night, and to say he was out by 10 feet is more than a little exaggeration, as well as to say he had no chance. And I too saw how shallow it was and who was running. As TC said above, another bounce on the throw and the Fort was safe.

  110. piratemike says:

    College playoffs:
    I don’t no why people just can’t be happy with their team winning the conference championship and leaving it at that. The only people that are happy with playoffs and championship game are the winners, everybody else is bitch’n about being left out or the SEC paying their players too much. Let the sportswriters pick whose no.1 then everybody can get mad at them, they deserve it anyway they’re the ones who always stir the pot.:-)

  111. T.S. says:

    Pirates release Moskos? Seriously? I knew Hurdle didn’t like the guy (for whatever reason), but release him? Another joke without a funny punch line.

  112. bob hasis says:

    @NMR

    Let’s not talk about other GM’s, other teams or other players. They are irrelevent.

    We need a change and Marte needs to be vetted. You know the old adage of how to learn to swim; throw him in – he’ll swim. That may be applicable with Marte. I’d like to find out.

  113. Jandy says:

    AW, no I agree with bob hasis, FORT was out by a country mile.

  114. 21sthebest says:

    Well he definitely wasn’t out by 10 feet, I have it by around 6-8, and he wasn’t out. I thought it was a good idea to send him but I feel pretty confident that if he hadn’t there would be a lot of, “Levya was an idiot not to send him” posts.

  115. Arriba Wilver says:

    One thing we can be absolutely sure on is that if Hurdle didn’t like Moskos, it wasn’t because he was picked over Wieters. :-)

  116. bob hasis says:

    @AW

    Ten feet, two feet, it was no bang banger. Fort took two strides before the contact and Ruiz had the ball and was waiting. No contest. Horrible decision/gamble by a third base coach.

  117. Arriba Wilver says:

    I know from the earlier discussion that there was a hint that the announcers had to mute their criticism, but what they said (not the end all and be all) was sending Fort made sense. And it struck me last night that the Rock was acting more like a fan in his reactions to a lot of situations, like a couple times when Jones and Tabata failed with men in scoring position.

  118. piratemike says:

    I agree with Bob, I think they should also bring up Alen Hanson to play ss,Dickerson to play 1st, Josh Bell to play rf (soon as gets off dl) and Heredia, Cole and Taillon to pitch they all may as well learn at the big league level, they are just wasting time in the minors.

  119. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:

    “We’re seeing now a system that’s going to alter parity, that’s going to hurt the game,” Boras was saying by phone from California. “A team like Pittsburgh, the ownership there was doing exactly what it should have done in the old system with the revenue-sharing money. They were signing draft picks, they committed to Andrew McCutchen … and now it’s teams like Pittsburgh that get hurt.”

    This is exactly the same sentiment I shared weeks ago and many blog readers disagreed. Baseball is a plutocracy (getting worse now) and it’s a damn shame.

  120. Arriba Wilver says:

    Bob–10 feet and 2 feet make a big difference if your point is there was NO WAY he could have scored in that situation. And the real point for me was it took a perfect throw.

  121. The Gunner says:

    @ Bob Hasis – #118

    Leyva was hoping for a throw similar to the one Barry Bonds made in that 1992 playoff game against the Braves when lead bottom Sid Bream scored the winning run.

    Unfortunately for us, the throw was near perfect and would have nailed most runners, especially a slow runner like McKenry.

    Don’t fret – things will go our way tonight with AJ on the mound & hopefully Tabata on the bench.

  122. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:

    As far as the McKenry play at the plate. He was safe because no tag was made or even attempted. However, everyone with ounce of sense knows Mayberry can throw and McKenry isn’t exactly quick. I’m sorry but I can never justify giving up an out in that manner. Nick Leyva and Clint Hurdle were wrong.

  123. Jandy says:

    AW, bob, and all, it seems to me had it been someone FASTER coming from third they had a fighting chance. But Fort? No.

  124. 21sthebest says:

    What do you mean two strides before the contact? Maybe a half of one stride when the catcher caught the ball and then McKenry slid. I thought it was a good gamble and when I saw where the flyball was going, I said you had to send McKenry. Everyone knew Cutch would get walked. And he was safe. The ump blew it.

  125. Jandy says:

    GUNNER, if Tabby is on the bench I’ll eat my hat…

  126. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Lefty Justin Wilson, 7 K’s after 4. Indy up 5-1 over Toledo. Rudy Owens was working on a 1-hitter last night, but gave up a 3-spot in the 6th on 4 singles and a sac. fly. Pitching still shining in Indy. Marte is 1-2, BA sitting at .271. Mercer .304, Clement .297. Hope those last 2 guys get a shot somewhere since they’re so severely blocked in Pgh.

  127. Jandy says:

    Preach it, Lucky (had to!) lol

  128. Arriba Wilver says:

    Scott Boras is talking to a Pittsburgh reporter saying the Pirates are hurt by the system.
    Pardon me if I don’t find that very mind boggling. Nor is the sentiment. I doubt people were disagreeing about that.

  129. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Clement just hit his 9th with Marte, who is 2-3 on base. Maybe they’ll be Sept. call-ups.

  130. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jandy–the Fort may not be Cutch, but he isn’t Barajas, either. (BTW, this isn’t a big deal to me, but I do like Clint and Leyva).

  131. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Jandy,

    I think Black N Gold hit it on the head in 121 above. The wealthy rule. I know I’m preaching to the choir, but it’s all true anyway. Dagum shame, like the man said.

  132. bob hasis says:

    @AW

    Let’s not try to pick fly droppings out of the pepper shaker. Replay it if you can. It was not a close play. One thing not mentioned, Fort was our only catcher at that moment, Leyva should have had more sense than to risk Fort on that play.

    But that’s just another reason Leyva isn’t on top of things.

    Youk is 2-4, double, single, RBI and a run this afternoon. I’m just sayin’

  133. Pants-n-at says:

    Still 5 -2, Top of the 7th!

  134. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:

    The 4-team playoff model is a joke. The fact that conference champions are going to get overlooked is just another way of saying “we’re still going to pick the teams we want so get over it”. The first time a one loss SEC team gets in the playoff over an undefeated smaller conference school all hell with break loose again.

    The only fair way to have a 4-team playoff in a ranked system is to take the top 4 ranked conference champions or the top 3 ranked conference champions and top ranked independent (whichever composes those 4 spots). For example if the Big 12, SEC, ACC and PAC 12 (insert any conferences you like) champions have the highest ranked conference champions then they get the spots. If Notre Dame or some other independent is ranked higher than one of the 4 highest ranked conference champions then they would take the 4th spot.

    Each school chooses whether or not to be conference-affiliated. If you’re in a conference and can’t win your conference then you don’t deserve a chance at the national championship. And if we just take the top 4 ranked teams without concern for conference champions then there’s not point to even have conferences. But, that’s why the current system is a glorified, plutocratic plus-one. Unless my team is in it, i can guarantee you that I wont be watching.

  135. Arriba Wilver says:

    Bob–the fly dropping I see is your refusal to acknowledge it was a perfect throw. Funny you mention the Fort being the only catcher, because I thought that was the reason he did the slide rather than the collision. It was a perfect throw, baby! And if you think a throw 3 feet up the first base line would have still got him, I recommend an appointment with your optician.

  136. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:

    Wow, just realized I used plutocracy for both MLB and college football. Amazing. The same word came to mind for both MLB and college football. Completely unintentional, I promise.

  137. Jandy says:

    Lucky, Black n Gold (not Yellow) may well be right on that…and I say the solution is to get rid of Selig…one way or another. Cure the cancer!

    AW, I don’t have an opinion formed on the base coaches as yet. I’m just saying, to an eye of someone who hates baseball, hubby said sending Fort in when it wasn’t even close was bad. I was watching and it was ludicrous. But you know, there’s a reason they’re the coach and not me ;)

  138. Jandy says:

    pants n at, thanks for the update :)

  139. buggee says:

    Nothing deeply analytical today, just some ping-pong-thoughts bouncing around in my (dented) head…

    >>> Regarding college football playoffs: who cares. Just another scheme to pour caysh into some already deep, deep pockets, while maintaining this absurdly sanctimonious don’t-pay-the-players hypocracy. College football blows. Pay the man already and call it what it is; NFL’s Minor-League System.

    >>> Regarding the Bucco 3-game losing streak: is it time to panic? When is Steeler’s training camp? Is it June-Swoon time? They’d better hurry up cuz “July-Swoon” doesn’t rhyme.

    >>> Regarding crappy lead-off offensive production: Better production would be nice, actual walks would be too. Will the next Ricky Henderson stand up please? Maybe if we offered someone an 8-ball to bat leadoff? Maybe Jo ‘Ta would rise to expectations with PED that’s snorted?

    >>> Regarding Barmes: Yeah, he aint hitting too good, ya know (just like mah Ingleesh). TBMTIB should offer him another 2-years guaranteed as incentive for him to learn his swing-plane, inadvertant toe-taps and double-clutch of his left middle-finger.

    >>> Regarding Bunting-101: JHey, stay ON TOP of the ball dude. Think, “What would Jerry do?” (He’d stay on top of the ball)

    >>> Regarding the New Pittsburgh Penguins: I was all looking forward to 2012/13 until SOMEONE (our favorite Pittsburgh Sports Analyst comes to mind–DK, what IS your formal title, anyway?) burst my happy-bubble about another potential work-stoppage. And I was recruiting heavily for my hockey fantasy league (Ovechkin Haters). Now? Not so much. Shave Letang’s pointy head and call him “Barbie” and slap a fanny-bag on him so he can hip-check once in a while.

    >>> Regarding Fort’s play at the plate: not even close, and just like me… OUT!

  140. JAL says:

    Slaten DFA, Pirates pick up Oscar Tejeda off waivers from Red Sox and add him to the 40 and the Altoona roster

  141. 21sthebest says:

    Fort wasn’t the only catcher and what if it was 2 outs, bottom 9th, tie game? You don’t send him because you’re afraid he might get hurt? What are the odds on a runner getting hurt on a tag play at the plate?

  142. NMR says:

    @Lucky

    Don’t you find it odd how little respect Wilson, Owens, and Locke seem to get?

    Some people would lead you to believe the Pirates don’t have a single prospect above A ball.

  143. CraigWilson'sRevenge says:

    Pirates pick up 2b/OF Oscar Tejada from the red sox, send him to AA, and DFA Slaten.

    Not a good 24 hours to be a LH reliever on the pirates… unless your name is Tony Watson.

  144. Jandy says:

    hey buggee, remember what I told you about Tanger’s hair???

  145. NMR says:

    @Black n Gold

    What is the goal of a playoff?

  146. LuckyNKentucky says:

    For a guy with a bug in his gee, his posts are always excellent and timely.

  147. Jandy says:

    LMAO @ Lucky!

  148. LuckyNKentucky says:

    NMR,

    I spoke a tad soon on today’s game. Wilson took 105 pitches to get through the 5th-barely. He gave up a 3-spot in the inning, two hits being doubles, and walked the always-dangerous Argensis Diaz, who was once perceived to be better than Neil Walker. But, to answer your question, yes. Indy is loaded with them right now, old guys and up-and-comers.

  149. JAL says:

    CraigWilson’sRevenge

    that is so 3 minutes ago :)

    see post 142

  150. Wilver Dornel,

    I agree with you——gotta send him.

    I’d rather try and lose than not try and lose. Mayberry is a better 1st baseman than outfielder. Bucs have already failed to score twice with 2nd and 3rd; force the other team to make a play. They are going to walk Cutch anyway.

  151. CraigWilson'sRevenge says:

    wonder which one of the big AAA starters could fetch the most/ is most likely to be traded.

    I’d guess that Wilson has the highest ceiling and the lowest floor of the three.

    Owens has the lowest ceiling and highest floor.

    Maybe?

    Wilson and Locke are lefties with pretty good strikeout numbers. definitely not an extremely common commodity.

  152. radio wave says:

    score update:
    After 8, Brewers 5 Reds 3.

  153. Jandy says:

    thanks radio!

    Groat, where the heck have you been?

  154. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think Slaten could have walked anyway, so I wouldn’t read too much into today. When they took him off the 25 man, I think he was in control based on what we’ve heard about his deal.

    NMR–using “some people” is naturally very conveniently ambiguous (just takes 2 or more). I think the idea that people have been saying we dont have pitching prospects above A ball is disingenuous. At least from what I’ve seen posted. There’s been a lot of sentiment for promoting Owens at the very least. And isn’t Cole in AA? And McPherson Is also in Altoona. Not trying to be a D, but it was a weird comment out of left field to me.

  155. JAL says:

    Rudy Owens, Starling Marte, Jordy Mercer selected for int. league All Star Team

  156. buggee says:

    Thought I was finished but I guess not yet:

    >>> Pittsburghers have this odd linguistic trait of saying things like “it’s broke, NEEDS FIXED”, or “NEEDS CORRECTED”. Is there a problem with the words “TO BE”? I’m just askin’.

    >>> I’ve long believed that baseball contracts should be structured entirely on performance statistics, with perhaps a “base pay”, which works well for this stat-laden game. Position players would be paid on both offensive and defensive statistical performance and pitchers paid on statistical performance relative to their specific craft. This means laying out stats that work across a statistical mean for position players and pitchers, but y’all get the point.

    >>> Starling Marte? He ain’t ready. We have enough players without plate discipline.

    >>> Nice column DK, even if the subject matter stinx.

    >>> Trade Letang for prospects that can hit.

    DK: Thanks. I enjoyed this. Better watch it, or we’ll start expecting it every time!

  157. Arriba Wilver says:

    NMR—ah, I see, you were getting confused that you were on Smizik’s blog.

  158. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Taillon threw 5 and got the W today. 5 hits, 3 runs, 4 K’s 2 walks. ERA is still a little over 4.

  159. radio wave says:

    score update:
    Brewers 7 Reds 3 top of ninth.

  160. Jandy says:

    buggee, whatever you’re drinkin’ I’ll have one :p

  161. Hey Jandy, I’ve been studying!

    See, Milo and I learned last night that if a pitcher gives up only one run in 6 innings and leaves the game with the lead, then his team eventually loses the game, it is OK to say that the Pirates beat up on that pitcher. In fact, I think it was stated, that everyone says that except Milo and me.

    So, I’ve been out studying to learn more about this game of baseball that apparently I don’t know enough about.

  162. radio wave says:

    score update:
    Still top of 9th
    Brewers 8 Reds 3

  163. bob hasis says:

    Another homer for Josh Willingham, Twins still losing 12-4. Makeyour move NH

  164. buggee says:

    lol @ Jandy. Currently fixing a “Mai-Tie-Me-Up” (got the name from Tamari’s), as follows:
    – 3 oz Kraken dark spiced rum
    – 1.5 oz Pineapple rum
    – .5 oz Bacardi 151
    – splash of pineapple juice
    – finish with citrus fresca
    – umbrella optional
    ice and stir. (I like to ice after adding the booze because it melts the ice and fudges the recipe’s measurements.)

    As we like to say in the Caribe… “Yummeh!” So sayeth de Mon wit a Bug in heez Dobok

  165. Arriba Wilver says:

    Groat—not everyone. I’m with you and Milo on that. Glad you brought it up. But you know that the reason we think that is that we don’t like the “positive” outlook of certain posters. Has nothing to do with the game of baseball.

  166. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Bob,

    You might as well forget it. We all campaigned for Hunter Pence last season, who would have been a fixture for years, like Willingham could be and we ended up with Ludwick, a rental and Lee who is not interested in coming back. Don’t waste too much effort stumping on this one.

  167. NMR says:

    Haha, nailed it, Arriba. My bad.

  168. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I didn’t see the play, so I won’t comment. There is a lot of factors that go into sending a guy from 3rd, even with McKenry’s speed.

    About Marte; In the beginning of the season I said he would be called up in June/July timeframe, Nate would be gone (though figured traded) and AP would be the 4th OFer.

    That said, Marte is not ready yet. If he continues is current approach for a couple more weeks, then yes, he should be due a call up and be penciled in LF. Hopefully, for many, many years to come.

    What do we have lose right now? Confidence on Marte. Here’s the deal, although AP and JT are not doing that well right now, they still have far more experience at the big league level than SM. Experience goes a long way, no matter how high of a prospect Marte is.

    I do think that a move will be made, just not any time soon. There’s a reason why MOST trades don’t get done until the deadline. All teams want to the best return, regardless if they are buyers or sellers. That’s the point. To be honest, the sellers have to most to gain and direct the trade market.

  169. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @buggee

    I have always said that about athletes in any sports with their contracts…..but it just won’t happen….

    instead, they get paid for what they did, not what they are doing.

  170. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Lucky

    Willingham would be a rental as well. Without looking it up, the Phils gave up quite a bit for Pence, I believe 4 prospects?? All rather highly regarded. Not the best in their system, but all top 50 I think……..again, I’ll look it up now.

  171. Arriba Wilver says:

    NMR—I get confused, too. :-)

  172. bob hasis says:

    @Lucky

    As always I simply try to provide a little enlightenment where there is darkness, you like “the old lamplighter of long long ago”.

    Nothing more or less, just a little enlightenment!

  173. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    So I was slightly off….

    The Astros got:

    1. Jarred Cosart, RHP, Lancaster JetHawks #2 overall prospect
    2. Jonathan Singleton, 1B-L, Lancaster JetHawks #3 overall prospect
    3. Josh Zeid, RHP, Corpus Christi Hooks #20 overall
    4. APTBNL–NO IDEA WHO THAT WAS.

    So that’s the equilivant to sending;

    1. Jameson Taillon
    2. Josh Bell
    3. Jordy Mercer
    4. Clint Barmes ( ha)

    And Pence is a super 2 arbitration eligible player currently making 10m this season.

    That said, I would love to have Pence in our lineup, no doubt. That’s a lot for a team like the Pirates to give up for a guy that they would only have for probably 2.5 years.

 
Other blogs
Sports: Rob Rossi | Steel Mill | Chipped Ice | Bucco Blog | iPreps | Pitt Locker Room | Penn State Sports | Trailing Off
News: This Just In | Trib List | ICycle  


» Top TribLIVE.com Sports
» Top TribLIVE.com News
» Top TribLIVE.com Breaking News