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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: The myth of the ‘token Pirate’

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Brief and to the Point …

>> The Monday column looks at a whole mess of stuff. It even steals this blog’s daily intro line.

>> The Pirates have one of the top 10 rotations in the majors, but neither of two deserving candidates — James McDonald and A.J. Burnett – made the National League All-Star team. McDonald, in particular, stood out for me. His 2.44 ERA ranks ninth in the majors, and his 0.98 WHIP is tied for fifth. He’s given up more than three runs just once all season (that was four), making for the best first half in that category in the franchise’s 126-year history.

Don’t misunderstand. This isn’t to take away from Joel Hanrahan. He’s 20 for 22 in saves, 2.30 ERA and all that. He’s deserving but … wow, two Cubs got in, and two Pirates.

>> Can we please bury once and for all the myth of the “token” Pirates All-Stars?

You hear that term all the time, usually in the sense of hey, isn’t it swell that the Pirates are past that stage where they would send one player only because rules mandate it.

In past 20 years, there have been four such picks: Evan Meek, Ed Sprague, Mike Williams and Carlos Garcia. Even then, I’d say Meek shouldn’t have been picked over a legitimately deserving Andrew McCutchen in 2010. And Brian Giles would have been a much better choice than Sprague in 1999.

Otherwise, that’s it. Not exactly some annual occurrence.

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

>> And I’ll make my weekly visit with the online-only TribLIVE Radio today at noon.


  1. RobertoForever says:

    Any truth to what Tom Singer tweeted? That J-Mac and AJ were not picked because of their unavailability to pitch with theis projected Sat and Sun starts? Could it have been a factor.

    I agree anyway. J-Mac should ALSO have been picked over Lance Lynn. Who knew overrated was spelled with two L’s and a Y?

  2. aglebagel says:

    -That would be odd if pitchers were not named All-Stars because of when they pitch this week. As we see multiple times a year, it’s easy enough to name replacements if need be. I can’t see that being the reason. What I can see being a reason is taking votes too early and/or letting early performance and periodic “rankings” affect the decision too much.

    -It will be interesting to see what LaRussa does with Cutch. We all know that he SHOULD start him in CF in place of the injured Kemp, but I have a feeling that Beltran will move to center and Braun will get the start because he’s the MVP. That still leaves LaRussa with the option to use Cutch for DH, but at that position he’s still going up against three guys on the team with a higher OPS (currently)- Wright, Ruiz, and CarGo. Oi. Way to go, voters. I actually think the National League has a stronger bench than starting lineup.

    -I hope, Dejan, with your references to “token” Pirates that you didn’t take my comments on last night’s thread to mean that I thought it was a common occurrence in the past. In fact, that’s the reason that the “token” rule has been frustrating to me. I feel like even when we’ve had legitimate All-Stars, most people in America just assumed they were “token” All-Stars because they were from the Pirates. I’d prefer to go without a Pirate representative in years when no one deserves it to give credibility to those who do wear the Black n’ Gold at the break.

    -In addition to Lance Lynn, I cannot for the life of me figure out why Papelbon should be going to this All-Star game.

  3. diehard says:

    Any chance the Pirates are letting the Tabata saga play out for another week just so Marte isn’t called up just to play a week, then have 4 days off. Could they just be waiting to call him up after the break so he doesn’t have the down time?

  4. aglebagel says:

    After reading the column…

    Thank you, Dejan, for answering my last question in your column. I made a mistake in saying I couldn’t figure out why Papelbon was on the team, because I did think about his value in a game where pitchers are only expected to last one inning. What I should have done was word it like you, saying that I cannot for the life of me figure out why Papelbon should be RECOGNIZED as an All-Star. Subtle, but important difference.

    That is amazing that Consol is that high on the revenues list, with all the two-team venues out there. Off the top of my head, I can think of 13 arenas shared by NBA and NHL teams. I’d be interested to see that list and how it was calculated.

    DK: It’s about keeping the place booked, doesn’t matter what. Winnipeg’s MTS Centre ranks 15th in the world in the same category. The reason: Concert acts have to stop there because no other city is even remotely close to Manitoba.

  5. Ed says:

    The link for the Sports Showdown is for last week’s episode. Apparently, the one for last night isn’t up yet.

  6. Ed says:

    I’d like to think that the reason AJ and J-Mac were skipped over was because of them being scheduled to pitch the last two games before the all star break. Then again, it is Tony LaRussa managing the game and he’s never exactly thought the world of the Pirates.

    Parise would be a nice addition but it’s much more important to make sure they have some solid D next season.

    Tabata needs to be demoted. The Pirates need players that give 100%, 100% of the time, not whenever they feel like it. Give Marte a chance. Sure, he has warts but we all had seen how exciting he can be in Spring Training and his offensive production at Indy is looking really good.

  7. Turner Ward says:

    DK, here’s another way to look at this All-Star business: instead of looking around and wondering who our one All-Star is going to be, we’re now legitimately complaining that only two guys are going and not four. That is as remarkable as anything in this fairly remarkable first half of the 2012 season.

  8. radio wave says:

    As a fan, i have lost all interest in the All star game.
    What the Giants fans did at third base cannot happen when deciding WS home field.

  9. The Gunner says:

    @ diehard

    I think you may be on to something given the Joggin’ Joe Tabata comments you made. In JJ’s defense, he did make some improvement since Clint laid down the law with in the media. I still think he is headed to Indy before long and Marte will be up here.

    Now the Bucs have to go for a sweep against those Houston Colt .45s – their original home unis back in ’62 were great, by the way!

  10. pattonbb says:

    So Dusty Baker thinks there’s a LaRussa conspiracy keeping a couple more Reds off the All-Star roster…….*yawn*……

    You might want to pull back a little Dusty. Do you really want your owner realizing there’s 5 or 6 all-stars on your team, yet you can’t seem to hold on to one of those wild card slots? Be careful what you wish for…and spit that stupid toothpick out of your mouth before you hit the unemployment line.

    Can’t we get Dusty Baker to just go away? Few managers irritate me more.


  11. NMR says:

    -I’ll second aglebagle in recognizing DK’s ASG closer explanation. As good of an explanation as I’ve seen so far.

    Isn’t it ironic though that these are the same closers that supposedly can’t pitch anywhere but the 9th innning because its a “mentality”? Bologna.

    -DK asked a few weeks back why he only hears from “blind” Paterno supporters and not the rest of the PSU population. Over the weekend, I think I finally understood why. Embarassment. Sadness.

    Seeing the tweets pour into DK criticizing him and asking for more time, once again, for something to come out absolving Paterno was just sad. I disagree with Dejan in that these people are looney. I see it as the same reaction that they would have towards family. It has nothing to do with wins and losses; anybody with half a brain could tell you that Paterno was far from the best coach Penn State could’ve had. It’s all about reciprocating the unwavering loyalty Paterno showed to the school and the good he did for it and the Commonwealth. Again, it’s just sad.

    I could give my reaction, one that obviously differs from those, the same one that I share with three college friends I spoke with over the weekend, but it will do no good. All people will remember are the ones with their heads in the sand. Again, it’s just embarassing.

    DK: Those were some of the more civil ones.

  12. Jandy says:

    NMR, thanks for the link. It’s a good read, and I suggest everyone read it.
    I posted on here a couple weeks ago how sick this whole fiasco made me. It still makes me sick to my stomach. How all these grown men could IGNORE what was happening, and not take action. I hope they all sleep well at night.

  13. Leefoo says:

    Interesting article on the Sano debacle. Paints Gayo a little sleazy. Maybe more his fault than Neal. Hard to tell.–sleazy-side-of-baseball-s-dominican-talent-pipeline.html

    However, Sano and him still talk. It does sound like Sano just wanted the most money. Still wonder if the Bucs woulda countered with more money had they given the chance.

    Btw, Sano is hitting .237 with 95 Ks in 278 ABs. Can you spell H-O-L-E-S in that swing? Wily Mo Pena anyone?

  14. Sam Strohm says:


    Any thoughts or comments on the Sano story making its way around the net this morning? Seems to be indicating that Gayo and the Pirates may not have been totally above board.

    DK: Some other time, Sam. Just about vomited as I read that a little bit ago.

  15. NMR says:

    No problem, Jandy.

    Trust me, it literally makes my stomache ache every time I see the PSU name associated with these people. I want nothing more than to have the Univeristy back to being represented by the overwhelming good that it’s people do.

    I’m just not naive enough to think that will happen until every single person involved is held accountable.

  16. Milo Hamilton says:

    This is an illogical knee jerk reaction, but I’ve decided I don’t like Jordan Staal anymore.

  17. Jandy says:

    lol Milo. I have torn emotions too. But hey, you only go thru life once, and I am sure he was tired of being in Sid and Gino’s (spelling per Evgeni’s request) shadows. I hate the fact that he’s no longer a Pen. :(

  18. bob hasis says:

    @radio wave

    Some years ago, I think in the 80’s or 90’s, there was a “civic push” in Cincinnati to get out and vote for the Reds. They did, and the entire Cincinnati Reds team – save for one – were voted in as starters. It was an aberration of the process. David Wright is far more an All-Star than Pablo Sandival.

    It also changed the voting (away from the fans) for awhile, but has since returned.

  19. Drew71 says:

    Penn State perspective from a loyal Penn Stater:

    I understand the public interest in Joe, but at the risk of being labeled an apologist, those who are focusing on that are burying the lead. If it turns out that a president of the university participated in a cover-up, whether or not Joe participated, you can’t get any more lack-of-institutional-control than the PRESIDENT.

    Actually, strike the lack-of. It would be total institutional control. Sadly. Institutional control at the highest level to allow evil and protect image.

    I wonder how that image protecting thing is working for them now.

    And for those who claim that Joe, not the president, was the real power at that institution…THAT would be an example of LACK-of-institutional-control, wouldn’t it?

    Ok. As Dejan pointed out, all this comes with a big IF. Alleged. And all that.

    I’m just saying. From THIS apologist, those options look like a lot of lose-lose

    PS – Maybe now we know the reason Spanier’s initial comment of “unconditional” support for Schultz and Curley. We all thought it was tone deaf at the time. If these allegations are true, then we were wrong. There would have been nothing tone deaf about it. It just would have been (the continuation of) evil.

  20. Arriba Wilver says:

    Not all, Drew. The “unconditional support” said to me that Spanier had his own wagon attached to these guys. In other words, he knew exactly what was going on with their involvement, and he had to protect them at all costs to protect himself.

  21. Leefoo says:

    Drew71….as a fellow PSUer, I agree with what you said.

    And we don’t know if JoePa changed their minds. It is all just insinuation and Joe isn’t alive to defend himself.

    My thinking is that they wanted the perv to get help, because at that time:

    a) he was still thought of as a nice guy who was just being, uh, a little wierd…
    b) the trial proved that what McQ ‘saw’ couldn’t be confirmed as actual sex (he wasn’t convicted on that charge) and
    c) they mistakenly thought they could keep it in house and correct the problem.

    Unfortunately, these institutional folks screwed up bigtime with their decisons AND they stupidly did it via email! They were horribly wrong!

    I don’t blame Joe. He did what he had to do.

  22. Thundercrack says:

    I read ‘The Pittsburgh Cocaine Seven’, the book about the drug trials in the 80’s.

    Sounds like there were plenty of ‘token Pirates’ back then.

    DK: BOOM!

  23. Arriba Wilver says:

    Foo–you’re kidding yourself. True, Sandusky was not convicted of “rape ” in the 2001 incident. He was convicted of unlawful sexual contact and other charges in that incident. It’s a distinction without a difference for judging Penn State and JoePa’s actions.

  24. NMR says:


    As DK said in his column, there is sure to be more context to come out from the emails, but I don’t buy for a minute that Paterno’s influence is to blame for changing their minds. I think they knew exactly what they were doing by keeping it in house.

    I will say that without further details, I do agree with Foo’s point a). Only in hindsight do we know the awful details of the extent of Sandusky’s perversion. This isn’t said to lessen the transgressions of Paterno, Spanier, et al, it’s said to further heighten the importance of reporting ANY signs of abuse. You know Sandusky isn’t the only one out there right now with these perversions. This case has to continue to be a lesson. It’s not always about seeing and reporting the terrible acts described in court that are bringing out these visceral reactions.

  25. NMR says:


    I won’t speak for Foo, but I think I know what he was trying to say. What happened in the shower, what McQ saw, and what McQ reported are all different things.

    McQ’s own father wasn’t able to coerce him into describing the scene he saw. The administration planted their heads firmly in the sand and convinced themselves that Sandusky’s actions weren’t severe. They were not alone in that feeling, though. McQ’s father and family doctor could’ve picked up the phone just as easily.

    It’s unfathomable to me, but it’s the lesson that needs to be learned.

    We need to strip down this notion of shame and work towards complete, open communication in sexual abuse cases.

  26. Arriba Wilver says:

    I also agree that more will come out, and I don’t know whether Joe “changed their minds” or not. Hard to exclude it as a possibility. One of the important, at least implications, from the reported e-mails is that JoePa was not totally out of the loop after reporting to Curly or Schultz about the incident, what was to be done about the incident.

  27. Leefoo says:

    NMR……..thank you….precisely what I meant…..

    AW….I am NOT saying JoePa was a saint. Or that the perv wasn’t screwing that kid. What I am trying to say is that you had 3 adult men who were horrified at what they heard and were trying to do their best (or so they thought) for Jerry so that he would stop.

    Unfortunately, they were horrible failures, in hindsight.

  28. Jandy says:

    Who changed whose mind, who said what, or who decided what is irrelevant because ANY ONE OF THEM COULD HAVE PUT A STOP TO SANDUSKY HAD THEY BUT BLOWN THE WHISTLE. Fact is, none of them wanted to lose their plush job.

  29. Arriba Wilver says:

    NMR—I think one of the big potential things that comes out of the emails, assuming they are true, is that they knew the allegations were severe, and knew they had an obligation to report it to Child Welfare. So these distinctions about what Sandusky was convicted on are meaningless as it goes to the 2001 incident.

    And I disagree what McQ said and reported were all different. As I said back when this came out, JoePa’s testimony before the grand jury was that McQ told him he saw Sandusky and a young boy doing something of a sexual nature in the shower.

  30. Thundercrack says:

    When there were calls to hire Tom Bradley as the head coach of PSU, I said that every team that was recruiting against them would search the internet for a picture of Bradley with Sandusky at some golf outing or football banquet / camp. And they would show every recruit and his parents that photo.

    I now believe that Paterno may have felt ” We can’t have stories of Sandusky showering with boys in the football building getting out and used against us when it comes to recruiting’. He made a very big mistake. But he was protecting the football program.

    As much good things Joe Paterno did – even a lot of great things – we have to come to realization that he made some very bad decisions when it comes to this matter. It is beginning to look like he put the football program ahead of the welfare of those boys and getting Sandusky locked up a lot sooner.

    And I now don’t believe any of this crap that ‘we couldn’t speak with Joe regarding the details of what was going on because he was an old man”. Joe may have not used email, but I’m sure Joe read plenty of newspapers and watched plenty of news programs to know that those kinds of things happened. It was 2001.

    DK: Well put, TC.

  31. Arriba Wilver says:

    “Trying to do their best for Jerry.”. Hard to argue with that statement . . .

  32. NMR says:


    It’s a great thing that you don’t see any difference between what McQ told the Grand Jury and what McQ told every one else. It really is. But you cannot discount the role that clarity and precise detail adds to a case like this. The prosecution and the detectives all made the allegations become painfully precise for a reason. There’s just as much of a chance that the men didn’t take the charges seriously because of the lack of detail as there is that they knew everything and are just plain evil.

    For the sake of good in the world, I chose to believe the former until shown evidence otherwise.


    I will disagree with your last point, friend. What happened is exactly opposite of the reasoning you described. If the men report Sandusky, none of them lose their jobs.

    They chose not to, and now will each be spending time in jail. Spanier’s email shows that they were well aware of it at the time, as well.

  33. Jandy says:

    I think I’m going to throw up…

  34. Jandy says:

    So they tried to do their best for Jerry and now we have dozens of young men who were molested as children. Yeah, that makes sense…

  35. NMR says:


    PSU has managed to put together a very respectable recruiting class just half a year after this case exploded.

    Recruits, and they’re parents, understood the good that the school brings now that the administration has been banished.

    I understand you’re logic in protecting the program, but it is just plain wrong.

  36. NMR says:


    Truly sickening.

  37. JAL says:

    Bob H

    A few decades off, the reds ballot stuffing took place in 1957 when every member of the Reds except 1b was voted onto the team.The commissioner took voting from fans the next season. Fans got the vote back in 1970

  38. JAL says:

    Sorry about links, just can’t keep up on the road.

  39. RobertoForever says:


    Very good points. Sandusky sickens me, and if I found out anyone sexually assaulted my two boys, i would be the one on trial. Not an idle threat.

    Its interesting, but this story already lacks historical context. It is constantly written about with the context of what we know now. Curley, Schultz and Spanier were the ones who were responsible for addressing this issue. They made the wrong decisions.

    But back then, their knowledge was different. They ‘knew’ about the 98 incident. But what did they know? The state police, Children and Youth Services, and the DA knew everything, but that doesnt mean Penn state knew all the details. No investigating body shares all the details of an investigation where no charges are filed (except in GA).

    So what the Penn state admin knew was there was an incident 3 years earlier, but nothing the cops or DA thought could be proven, or considered criminal. And that they had an ex-employee with a stellar reputation (save for a few people) involved in another questionable incident. Their choice was wrong, but anyone who says that the lack of action in the previous case didn’t weigh in the equation has never been in a position to fire or call the authorities on behalf of an institution.

    In 1998, Jerry wished that he was dead. So do we, you monster, so do we.

  40. Jandy says:

    NMR ~ I am THRILLED PSU has a good recruiting class. The football team did NOT take part in this fiasco. These guys deserve to play for the team of their choice and the chance to go on to the pros.

    Let me ask ALL of you guys, Victim #4 is YOUR child, YOUR son. is it STILL ok to do what is best for Jerry??? I better stop, this is really getting to me again. Sorry for being so emotional, guys.

  41. Jandy says:

    JAL, not to worry friend, we’ll survive a day or two with no links…I hope! ;)

  42. Jandy says:

    RF ~ you have a prior incident. Regardless of how much was known, what was able to be proven or not proven, you have ANOTHER incident, that’s not only smoke, that’s fire, friend. And you put fires out…

  43. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jandy–I hope you didn’t think I was quoting with approval that statement about protecting Jerry. I thought the implication was pretty obvious.

  44. NMR says:


    “Is it STILL ok to do what is best for Jerry?”

    Not a single person in this conversation has even hinted at that. There isn’t a shred of support for such a notion.

    I feel it’s more important to uncover the “WHY” more than the “WHAT”. To me, its too easy to just say they’re all evil monsters, lock em up and throw away the key. That notion lends itself to putting down your guard because monsters aren’t supposed to exist, and once they’re gone, the town is safe.

    Thats just not the case. I feel there were reasons for each and every persons actions in this mess and I want people to know exactly what they were. Knowledge is the only way we, as a people, grow from a tradgedy of this magnitude.

  45. Jandy says:

    AW, I;’m very sorry, I got too caught up in the emotional aspect. I realize what you guys meant.

    NMR, as usual, you are the voice of reason.

    I am going to leave this topic alone for a bit. Got some work calling my name anyway. Catch you guys in a bit.

  46. JayH says:

    Pirates Monthly Review

    Month Predicted Actual
    April 9-13 10-12
    May 15-13 15-13
    June 11-16 17-10

    The Pirates exorcised some demons in June. I had thought that the volume of road and inter-league games would spell trouble for the team. However, they were a respectable 10-8 on the road in June and went 9-6 against the AL teams. The resurgent offense certainly was the key.

    July Prediction
    Back in March, I predicted a 15-11 record in July primarily due to the fact that 50% of their games are against the Cubs and Astros. If the Pirates want to be in the playoff hunt, they will have to achieve this record, or exceed it. They will need to handle some of the worst teams in baseball. If they make the grade, you will be looking at your Bucs on August 1st with a record of 57-46, ready to truly compete for a playoff spot.

    One last thing – it’s time to send down Tabata and bring up Marte. Does anyone remember when Jay Bell was acquired from Cleveland and was struggling? Leyland sent him down for a short stint in the minors. When he came back, he was a different player – and he went on to be a valuable member of those playoff teams. I am surprised no one has made a comparison or even reached out to Jay Bell to see what that was like for him.

  47. radio wave says:

    Because I am in no way connected to PSU, and I was not living in PA as far back as 2001, I realize I may be out of place with my comments.
    But my impression is, that Paterno was in reality the most powerful person in the state. More actual power/influence than the University President, Governor, etc.
    I wondered during the week of the trial, if he had kicked Sandusky, and his non profit off campus years ago, if it would have been somewhat more difficult for Sandusky to have interacted with those kids?
    That’s the sticking point for me in all of this.

  48. Naje says:


    A little dramatic on the Tabata comments, no? Friday and Saturday he was 3-9, reached base 5 times, scored 4 runs… Sunday he had an 0-fer in a game that he probably would have been given off if not for Cutch’s wrist sprain. Regardless, I understand your point, just trying to add some perspective.

    And count me firmly, staunchly against Marte being called up right now or anytime before September (unless injuries deem it necessary). The Bucs brought up Tabata after only 200+ at bats in AAA because they needed bodies to play. They don’t need to rush Marte…the potential for an Alvarez type situation is too fresh in their minds (rushed him to the majors).

    DK: Effort. The comment was about effort. His effort Saturday was reprehensible.

  49. JMB says:

    Rosenthal on Pirates.

    I dont want Hamels for the price the Phils are asking, but I’d still love to get Pence for 1.5 seasons, even if he is due an arb of $13m-ish in 2013. It all depends on the give-up though.

  50. radio wave says:

    And a second comment on the All Star game voting.
    If the game was an exhibition as it used to be, and in no way connected to the World Series as it is now, then I wouldn’t care about stuffing the ballot box.
    And as for the arguments made by Reds fans about their players not being picked because they are pitching Sunday, that rule is somewhat misunderstood.
    Most of us are under the misimpression that if a pitcher is used on Sunday, he cannot go to the game.
    In fact, the actual rule is that a pitcher who does work on Sunday is allowed to pitch one inning orless in the game.
    Mr. LaRussa, your response please?

  51. wally says:

    Throw the living in jail. The dead will rot where they lay. Death Penalty for the program. Melt the statue for chair railings. Pigeons still crap on both…

  52. radio wave says:

    at JMB #50
    As I was reading your post, and listening to Sirius mlb radio, they started talking ficticious trades for Hammels.
    They said the Phillies would ask alot, for instance, if they were dealing with the Pirates they might want as many as four or five players, starting with Cole and…

  53. RobertoForever says:


    This is a set of serious questions and not meant to be snide or confrontational in any way.

    Where is the outrage for the folks involved in the first incident? Thew DA? The state police? The Children and Youth Services people? Jerry Sandusky was continually given foster kids by the system. To a man who was investigated and who the agency believed molested a kid in 1998. Yet they sent him foster kids.

    Do people realize that only 3 of these incidents happened on the campus of Penn State? Where is the outrage at his wife? His abused son for keeping quiet while others were molested? Didn’t he know and could have saved others? His adopted son Matt, when he turned 18 could have reported Jerry and stopped the 2001 incident and all the ones after it. Yet his adopted son brought his own children there to the home of Sandusky.

    How about the outrage for the charity that provided the opportunities? Where was their oversight? Didn’t anyone there, with many trained to look for kids being abused, see the signs of abuse with those kids hanging with Jerry?

    How about the Principal and Wrestling coach of the local High School who were aware of abuse, yet reported it to no one. It took a parent weeks or months later reporting to state police to get any response. Any outrage there? Why are they not include in comments?

    How about the PA Atty General’s Office. The Atty Genl (now Gov) knew as early as 2008, but kept it quiet for 3 years? In the meantime, the State of PA gave hundreds of thousands in grants to the charity? How about the Gov of PA, who was a trustee in 2011 and KNEW all about the situation since he was the Atty Genl who oversaw the investigation, yet kept quiet on all those conference calls and meetings about investigating any coverup, or taking any action?

    What my post here is meant to show, is that there is only one reason why JoePa’s name is at the top of the list. Its because people want to tear him down, as well as get hits, publish newspapers and get ratings. Seriously, JoePa and his responsibility seems to be way down the list of those most responsible. Yet somehow, he is the focus of all this attention. Seems to be missing the point to me. Focus should be on all of these people who missed it first hand and had the chance to stop it. Focusing on 2nd hand witnesses will never help stop this blight, when there are maybe hundreds who should have been 1st hand reporters of abuse, yet missed it or were silent.

  54. RobertoForever says:


    Good point on Tabata. He is hitting around .300 in the last 6 starts. Yesterday, he actually was 1 for 5 and not 0fer. How can you not be starting a guy hitting .300 recently?

    And I am with you on Marte. Hard to say this team needs to rush a prospect when the offense was among the NL leaders in the month.

  55. Arriba Wilver says:

    If anyone thinks there is even a possibility that the 2001 incident wasn’t reported because nobody did anything about the 1998 incident, they are (to borrow a pboyinca term) delusional. The 1998 incident was that Sandusky was showering with a young boy (so far as we know). THAT is what now takes some “historical context.” I’m sure many people look at that now somewhat differently than they did before this all came out (weird vs. criminal pedophile behavior). It SHOULD have been looked at differently in 2001 when you add “performing an act of a sexual nature.” To argue otherwise is unfathomable to me.

    The other thing that gets me is this apparent view that they had to be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt he did something to report it. That’s not their call or obligation. They had an obligation to report the allegation once known. One of the key things to me about the SI reported e-mails is that, if the report is accurate, it’s proof they knew they had the legal obligation to report it. They all, including Spanier, said as much. And, just like doctors and hospitals reporting suspected incidents of abuse, they had an obligation to report it to the proper authorities to investigate it. I doubt it would be a defense for a doctor to say, “well, I knew this guy to be a good guy,” if his son came in multiple times with bruises from falling down the steps. And it sure wouldn’t be a defense to lying about it.

    Roberto–while I disagree wholeheartedly with your approach on this as looking at others, it is consistent, in a much more mundane way, with your approach of looking at other teams who do some things as badly as the Pirates in X, Y and Z. Doesn’t change the facts, and it appears to be a way to deflect blame.

  56. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:

    Tabata’s bat is coming back to form. People are acting like the last month didn’t happen (.263 avg and .365 OBP). That latter number is important to this lineup and they should give him the opportunity to continue that success because it is similar to his success during 2010-11 (.284 avg and .347 OBP).

    Marte has 4 of his 9 HR, 25% of his walks, and 15 of his 49 RBI in his last 10 games. He’s in AAA and was hitting .264 up to that point (.255 in April and May with a .310 OBP) with a 24% K rate. A hot streak should not a call up dictate. Everyone likes to be a prisoner of the moment. In baseball, it shouldn’t be that way. Baseball is the ultimate game of averages and truly accurate numbers occur over a more significant period of time than just 10 games.

    RELAX….Give it time. The Pirates are winning. Now, let’s hope the injury bug doesn’t take up residence in Pittsburgh like it did last year.

  57. Naje says:

    Roberto… Don’t get me wrong, I do see the issues that critics of Tabata see… and lack of consistency (or hustle)… apparently the coaches and trainers and even Tabata deem him fit to play… he’s just not (able to???) giving 100% all the time…

    But to take his Sunday performance and point the finger at that when his Friday and Saturday efforts contributed to those wins is a bit picky… at least for this weekend.

    Yes, he’s having a terrible year compared to what he did in 2010 and early last season… and neither he nor Presley are or have been contributing enough at the top of the lineup, but it seems that Tabata’s the target all the time… and honestly, the issue is worth raising and Tabata needs to be held accountable or hit the DL

  58. NMR says:


    The problem I have with comparing the 2012 Pirates with the 2008 Brewers is a complete lack of context.

    The Brewers were not a breakout team in 2008. The finished at .500 in ’05, barely missed the playoffs in ’07, and already had their big home grown studs like Fielder, Braun, Weeks, and Sheets establish themselves as stars.

    This Pirates team has, by almost any metric, played above expectations and have done it with only McCutchen leading the way. Trading Cole, Taillon, or Marte for Hamels or Greinke would be similar to the Brewers trading Feilder or Braun to make a run in ’05.

  59. Milo Hamilton says:

    Interesting that in the midst of Tabata’s offensive “upswing”, the manager still found it necessary to publicly spank him with another threat of demotion to AAA.

  60. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:


    The furor over JoePa is related to the indication that he may have led a coverup at Penn State to protect Sandusky. All the other parties involved share the blame. No one with an ounce of sense would say otherwise. However, it is delusional (borrowing from Arriba) to publicly defend Joe Pa when all of the facts are not known and it is becoming more likely that he was protecting Sandusky rather than doing what was best for the victims.

  61. Naje says:

    Drew, AW, Foo, et al…. re JS and PSU:

    i only wish that the thought and integrity that all of you have brought to this discussion today was put forth in 1998 or at any point along the way in this case.

    Not sure how to say this about such a delicate issue, but the comments today have been really impressive… from everyone. Thanks for sharing them.

  62. NMR says:

    @Black n Gold

    GREAT post.

    Amazing how pedestrian those stats look when taking out the last 10 games.

    We’re also talking about minor leagues, where the pitching is far less consistent than in the majors. What was the oposing pitching like in those games? Just looking at the box scores, I see a lot of crooked numbers put up by the Indians. Seems as though a lot of players were having hot streaks.

  63. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:

    The Indians have been extremely hot lately. Following the Pirates recent offensive example it seems.

  64. Naje says:


    Part of the maturation process is exactly what you mention about Hurdle… that public spanking sent Tabata a message… too many of those messages eventually result in a demotion.

    But he’s been talking about Tabata for nearly two weeks… the loping routes to fly balls, the lack of hustle, etc… he knows what he has and he’s trying to find the right buttons to press. For Presley, more regular work at AAA was the answer.

    Not certain they’ve handled Tabata correctly all year, and I’ll point to them moving Cutch to the leadoff spot early in 2011 as the beginnings of all Tabata’s issues (no reason to move Cutch to leadoff then) as well as that pulled hammy from the early May trip to San Diego, but they need to get this sorted out in the next week and get him right for the second half of the season.

  65. chris50_50 says:

    There are a lot of comments here that seem to infer that Paterno liability in the Sandusky case first occurred in the early 2000s due to the email chain. It shouldn’t go overlooked that Paterno very likely knew about Sandusky’s behavior much earlier (e.g. 1998’s incident and sudden resignation in 1999). If you don’t think a man that exhibited his power in so many other ways didn’t have a significant role in how Sandusky’s despicable acts were swept under the rug, you are outright delusional in my opinion.

    @RobertoForever, you bring up some valid points but including others that were molested as people we should be outraged over not speaking sooner is very hard for me to digest. I can’t imagine what those victims felt and to single them out for not putting a stop to the abuse is very misguided.

    Having said all that, I simply disagree with the point you are trying to convey. Paterno is the highlight of this because he has built a legacy around morals and he has a statue built to commemorate that legacy. What we are finding out now is that he is hardly an exemplary role model or someone worthy of being remembered in a positive light. This was the most powerful man on campus regardless of title. He worked with Sandusky for over 30 years and had multiple opportunities to stop what ended up hurting multiple boys. Put simply, he didn’t and that’s why he is the focal point. Good riddance.

  66. Arriba Wilver says:

    Naje–why do you point to the moving of Cutch to the leadoff spot as the beginning of Tabata’s issues? And are you suggesting cause and effect or just timing? Since that happened, Tabata has signed his longterm contract and Cutch has signed his longterm contract. I have no idea what the real problem is with the effort and consistency, but it would seem those latter two are more significant. I know Clint has said, maybe diplomatically, that Tabata is playing “not to be injured,” but with his longterm contract, it doesn’t seem like it should be a concern. Not like he’s in his walk year. More questions than answers.

  67. Naje says:

    Good points, all. Tabata was scorching hot at the beginning of 2011… something like a .465 OBP and 11 or 12 runs scored in the first 13 games or so. Cutch was having a pretty bad start last season and seemed like the team was clutching at straws to get him jump-started… they moved him to the leadoff spot for the next five or six weeks (till the end of May, I believe). And for the first month or so in the leadoff spot, Cutch was average or below average. In that last week or two (of those 6 weeks at leadoff), Cutch got hot…really hot… and then they moved him back to #3 spot in the order and he had that torrid two/three week stretch in June leading to the all star break.

    During that time, Tabata produced ok numbers, but he injured that hammy in San Diego and the wheels started tumbling. Personally, I thought they were appeasing Cutch a little too much by moving him to leadoff and keeping him there when they had Tabata on fire to start the season. If I’m Tabata–and I think we all see how emotional he is–I’m thinking, “why are they moving me when I’m producing like this?” I understand it was for the greater good of Cutch’s progress, but it seemed like that move affected Tabata quite a bit.

    Almost like moving or shuffling around a bunch of offensive linemen when plugging in one backup to an injured guy would suffice… know what I mean? They made three moves: Cutch to leadoff, Tabata to #2 and Walker/Jones/??? to the #3 spot. I may be stretching this thought a bit, but the real issue to me was: why move a guy that is producing out-of-this-world numbers in the leadoff spot?

  68. Jandy says:

    Roberto ~ I see others have responded, so I will only say this: Joe Paterno had a ton of influence and yes, power. He of all people could have stopped this long ago. He did not. What others did or did not do doesn’t change what Joe did or did not do. Please don’t change the issue.

  69. Arriba Wilver says:

    Naje–also good points, and I can’t disagree with what you said occurred. My recollection also factually. Like I said, more questions than answers. If this was out of the blue, it wouldn’t be as much a concern, but Tabby’s attitude was at least one reason we got him from the Yanks, so there is some precedent. In the end the reason doesn’t matter; he needs to get to the point that he is smiling like last year and 2010.

  70. Jandy says:

    Naje and Arriba, good discussion on Tabata, I’m taking it all in. I’ve been with the camp that is calling for him to be demoted, simply because hes heart isn’t into his “job”. Let’s hope he gets Hurdle’s message and steps it up, which he does seem to be.

  71. Leefoo says:

    “DK: Some other time, Sam. Just about vomited as I read that a little bit ago”

    :) :) :) :)

  72. Naje says:

    Yep… when he and Presley are getting on base, Cutch is easily .25+ points better (if that’s possible) and Walker’s production trends upward too… not to mention Jones and McGehee’s. Unlocking those mysteries and answering those questions will be Hurdle’s biggest task in the second half of the season.

  73. Leefoo says:

    Naje and Roberto…your defending Tabata continue to astound me. Hitting .300? He is 8 for his last 38 and he has walked THREE whole times with 2 2bs and 9 K’s!!

    That doesn’t sound like someone coming around! Four hits in 13 ABs this weekend? I saw those hits. Two infield hits! Only the 2b was stuck sorta hard (didn’t even make it to the warning track!). One caught stealing and one DP wipes out two of those singles.

    And….if you combine it with his horrid basestealing (7 of 15) and his lazy OF play, I see NO reason to keep trotting him out there (pun intended).

    I’d rather see a light hitting Gorkys out there. At least he can play defense!!

  74. NMR says:


    Care to give us your thoughts on the Pens possible signings?

    Gotta cheer you up a bit after this morning!

  75. Leefoo says:

    Jandy, et al….In no way am I condoning what they did. Just trying to be in their heads at that time. Horrible decision to pick Jerry over the kids.

    And, for all we know, JoePa wanted them to escalate it. He and Jerry didn’t get along. We’ll never know, because JoePa is dead. We can only assume.

    Radio Wave….Joe Pa was asked to resign in 2004 after back to back seasons. Despite the urban myths, he did NOT throw Spanier, et al out of his house. He asked for one more season, they gave it to him and he went 11-1.

    Had he gone 3-9 again, he would’ve been ousted. Doesn’t sound too powerful to me.


  76. Arriba Wilver says:

    One of the things that gets missed in the “evaluation” of Tabata is that one of the criticisms (not just from the blogosphere, but also his manager) is his inconsistency.

  77. Jandy says:

    NMR, see? This is why this blog rocks :)
    It’s said Parise is down to two teams, and he will choose shortly.
    Minnesota (his hometown) and the Pens.
    I’m biting my fingernails!!!!
    I don’t think we need Suter, tho the Pens did give him an offer. I feel our defensive pool is just fine. Bring up one or two of those guys (Simon Depres & Robert Bortuzzo) and see how they do. I feel they’re ready.
    PSU Foo, I know you don’t condone how things were handled, but man, what were ALL of them thinking????

  78. Jandy says:

    Arriba, might Tabata’s inconsistency not be tied in with his lackadaisical attitude?

  79. Bizrow says:

    Where did you hear that, Jandy? A good source? (About Parise)

  80. Jandy says:

    Biz,, my son in law’s blog.

  81. Jandy says:

    And yes, they report reputable sources.

  82. Arriba Wilver says:

    Foo–where do you get the “urban myth” resolution. i have never seen, read or heard of your version of the “he asked for a one year extension.” I thought it was pretty well confirmed that he threw them off, and they didn’t just ask for his resignation, but at least a succession plan when he did retire. And I don’t know if it’s true, but there was always the suspicion that he wanted his son to succeed him, which influenced how he treated them.

    You want to know how powerful he was? I was working with a contractor in the late 80’s who did construction at Penn State. He forced them to shut down construction FOR AN ENTIRE DAY so that the construction would not interfere with the Football buses leaving the training complex in their busses. The ENTIRE day. That’s power.

  83. NMR says:


    So the Pens could lose Staal to family and Parise to his hometown? Tough draw!

    I’ll have a hard time being disapointed if Parise picks Minnesota. That’s truly a fanbase that deserves a winner. Hard to find many places in the US that match Minnesotans love of pucks.

  84. Milo Hamilton says:

    Has the “Mystery Team” yet surfaced in the Parise sweepstakes ? Guess not ’cause then they wouldn’t so mysterious. Always beware of the “Mystery Team”.

  85. CraigWilson'sRevenge says:

    A fun little article from a national outlet…

    says that the buccos should make a run at Greinke or Hamels. Probably won’t happen, but fun to think about!

  86. Jandy says:

    NMR, I actually try to follow Minnesota (after the Pens, of course) as I would love to see Mike Yeo succeed there. And yes, it WOULD suck to lose to them lol.

    AW, where are you from, friend???

  87. Jandy says:

    Milo, what you have? C’mon, spill it!

  88. Leefoo says:

    Arriba…our local paper and David Jones, a columnist, have reported the ‘give me one more year’ story.

    As for shutting down the construction, FB itself is king in State College. I wouldn’t doubt if the same things happen with Bill O’Brien.

    JoePa had connections, but it still came down to ONE thing………WIN!!

  89. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jandy–of course it could. My point was that to focus on a short period of time doesn’t resolve the issue of whether he should be sent down. And it certainly could be argued that his inconsistency has to do with his effort, and I think it’s pretty clear from Clint’s comments that his consistent effort is the issue.

  90. Leefoo says:

    Craig Wilson……”probably”? Howabout ‘undoubtedly’???


  91. Leefoo says:

    “Arriba…our local paper and David Jones, a columnist, have reported the ‘give me one more year’ story.” I meant to add ‘on more than one occasion’.



  92. Milo Hamilton says:


    I have nothing, as usual.

    All I know is this, if Parise signs with Minnesota he may as well have followed Radulov to the KHL. He’ll never be heard from again.

  93. Leefoo says:

    Jandy…this site would ‘rock’ much better if they had blog software that let you reply to a post directly.


  94. Jandy says:

    Milo, I don’t know about that…you seriously think Minnesota would kill Parise’s career? Wow.

    AW, in which case, Tabata SHOULD be sent down, to work on his batting, and his attitude!

  95. Jandy says:

    Frustrated Foo, I agree on the software. DK said last week, that it’s held up because the entire site changes software or something of the sort…go figure!
    (excuses, right?) ;)

  96. Arriba Wilver says:

    Foo–the same David Jones that authored the article NMR linked at # 12? I think that is more consistent with my view of Paterno’s power than yours. I’d be interested in seeing the article you are referencing.

  97. Jandy says:

    If I remember correctly, when all the allegations came out against Sandusky (it gets harder to type that name!), and that Joe Paterno might be implicated, there were immediate calls for Joe to be forced to retire, if not fired. I remember reading that he was up in the air, and said that he would announce his retirement when he was good and ready. (Not verbatim, but the general gist if it). That time it didn’t work. His power had gone out the door with his credibility.

  98. Milo Hamilton says:

    Parise & Suter reportedly counting each offer dollar by dollar. They hope to make a decision by next July 1st.

  99. Jandy says:

    Milo ~ lol

  100. Jandy says:

    All I can say is, Parise and Sutter are worse than women…can’t make up their own minds! ;) :) ;) :) ;) :)

  101. Bizrow says:

    Just so at least one of them comes to the Burgh……

    Otherwise the Pens will have tons of moolah but no place to spend it…

  102. JHadar says:

    Monday Moanin’ Everyone —

    Hopin’ to see McCutcheon in the line-up tonight, and can’t help but think with him in there yesterday some of those LOB’s would have been runs. I just hope it isn’t another one of those injuries where they announce he’s ok and taking a game off, and then a day or two later it gets downgraded to day-to-day, and so on. There have been too many of those.

    I’m too disgusted by it all to join the discussion on Penn State.

    A stat I would research if I had time. Bucs record where the opponents get more hits than we do, record where hits are even, and record where we outhit the opponents. It just seemed odd to (what seemed like ‘Finally’ outhit the other guys and still lose. Who was it used to say “We didn’t bunch our hits.”

    At least Cincinnati obliged us by losing yesterday, too.

    MacDonald and Burnett definitely deserved to be all-stars. If LaRussa’s strategy is to use closers (and I also think Hanrahan is deserving) I can’t fault him for playing to win, but I don’t understand the strategy. An all-star starter who only has to pitch one inning is probably as effective or more effective than a closer. As evidence I give you Brad Lincoln.

    Barajas is back. Send Fryer down. I’d say bring up Marte, but that would give the Bucs seven outfielders and still no shortstop. OK, I know it’s a small sample, but Sutton is hitting .353 as a Pirate and .292 on the season. I’ll take a flyer on the gain for offense over whatever the inexperience costs on defense.

    Pardon me if this has been commented on above. Ken Rosenthal takes a contrarian view, says ‘add pitching.’

    I agree with the view that the Pirates weren’t expected to be where they are, but now that they are we should improve them as much as possible without giving away the store and selling out the future. We’ve showed that we can play with St. Louis and Cincinnati with the guys we have, but we can see holes that still need filling.

  103. Jandy says:

    Biz, I’m still hoping! C’mon Parise!

  104. NMR says:

    Paterno had Jim Tressel power.

    All major college coaches call the shots…until they get caught.

    It’s a little scary if people think Paterno had any more power than the head coach at OSU, Oregon, LSU, Texas, etc…

    Heck, ‘bama put up a statue of Saban after two years on the job.

    History is bound to repeat itself if people think this is a Joe Paterno or PSU problem.

  105. Arriba Wilver says:

    JH—I have seen too many starters over the years that don’t deliver in short stints in the All Star game to agree with your analysis. And Brad Lincoln seems as an example to argue against your premise. He does much better coming in for a short stint, but hasn’t proven himself as a starter. I dont see the connection logically.

    I’m just assuming that the closer issue was LaRussa’s strategy, BTW. I know it’s a formula, but I thought Hanny and Cutch got in on player votes.

  106. Arriba Wilver says:

    NMR—there may also be problems at other institutions, but Paterno, with his longevity and accomplishments, had more power than most. And the issue isn’t whether that power, at least to me, is a problem, but what did he do with it? Again, it seems to be an exercise in deflecting blame. (and no, I don’t know what he did in this particular instance). I’ve thought from the beginning that the power issue has more to do with the credibility of JoePa’s claims about his influence on the situation.

  107. Milo Hamilton says:


    “Mystery Team” may be Chicago.

  108. JHadar says:

    AW — Very rarely does any pitcher face the sort of hitting line-up they do in an all star game, yet all star games are relatively low scoring affairs. You notice the ones who get hit, of course, but most innings in All Star games they put a zero on the scoreboard despite the all-star hitting.

    Lincoln is a pitcher who has been used both as a starter and a reliever and it is not arguable that he is better as a starter than as a reliever, the standard reasoning being that as a reliever he can go all-out for a short stint.

    In the Monday column linked above DK wrote:

    The real problem with the Pirates’ James McDonald being left off the All-Star roster?

    It’s that Tony La Russa must tailor his roster to win the game, given Bud Selig’s silly decree that a meaningless exhibition should decide home-field advantage for the World Series.

    That’s why La Russa picked five closers, including Joel Hanrahan, even though it’s universally accepted that starters are more valuable and, thus, more worthy of recognition.

    What’s next, taking a speedy .200 hitter as a pinch-runner?
    (end quote)

    He said that “La Russa picked five closers”

  109. Jandy says:

    Milo, I saw that…but remember the writers iin Chicago aren’t very bright ;)

  110. Arriba Wilver says:

    JH– I know what he said. I’m asking if that is entirely accurate. I saw both Hanny and Cutch interviewed about their All Star selections, and they both said they were honored to be chosen by the players. Now, I mentioned that I knew/thought there was a “formula” . I didnt add that I thought the “formula” involved manager and MLB involvement. So, I don’t understand your focus on what “he said.”

  111. pants-n-at says:

    I post sporadically on here but am an avid reader. I just want to say that I am truly impressed by the show of respect to different opinons…especially concerning the sensitive topic of Sandusky, Paterno and PSU. Some have showed quite a bit of emotion and rightfully so but I don’t believe (I admit some posts I only skimmed) anyone attacked another for their opinion. And if you read other blogs, you know there are people like that out there. So I just want to say hats off to you. Oh, and my 2 cents…I don’t have an issue with Tabata’s consistency…he’s still young. But his lack of effort really bugs me. If you’re struggling at the plate you can still help our your team with your glove, legs and arm. And I winessed several games that could have been W’s instead of L’s just becasue he lolligagged it on the basepaths and in the field. I’ve got no patience for that. There… Even with some of the issues this team has….I’m still just tickled pink that at this point of the season I’m not looking for Steeler Training camp info. Go Bucs!!

  112. Jandy says:

    AW ~ ” I’ve thought from the beginning that the power issue has more to do with the credibility of JoePa’s claims about his influence on the situation.”
    Well said! Can’t have it both ways, eh?

  113. Jandy says:

    pants-n-at….” I just want to say that I am truly impressed by the show of respect to different opinons…”
    That’s why this blog and DK’s Lunatics are the best around :)

  114. Arriba Wilver says:

    I shouldn’t say “accurate,” but rather whether the process is more complicated than “Tony picks them.”. He may very well get to pick from a smaller field that the players pick, and he may have, and must have, focused on closers.

  115. NMR says:


    I think I’ve clearly stated where the blame falls on Paterno. No deflecting involved. He himself is the only one to date thats admitted he wishes he had done more.

    My point is that this isn’t the monster under the bed scenario. Don’t think this is the only place it happens.

  116. Arriba Wilver says:

    Pants-n-at—at least for me I don’t see Tabby’s lack of effort and consistency as 2 separate issues. There were comments about Tabby doing OK in the first two games offensively in the St. Louis series, so “what’s the problem?”. And all players are inconsistent in results. The issue with Tabby is the inconsistency of effort, and luckily his manager sees that. Some focus on a couple good offensive performances to attack people who are critical of Tabby, which was the reason for my post/clarification.

  117. pants-n-at says:

    @ Arriba: Actually, I totally agree with you. Effort should be the one area where consistency isn’t an issue.

  118. JHadar says:

    AW — They’re always changing the rules and it’s not something I follow closely. It could well be the player vote for pitchers is just a popularity contest and La Russa does get to choose whoever he wants. If it was all that important one of us could look it up.

  119. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Thought today’s chatting would’ve been about the Pens signings or Pirates dealings (not trading type)

    Turns out, its about the latest PSU information.

    Question: Is this a PSU thing, or a PSU Football thing? Should the program suffer for the wrongs that have been commited?

  120. Milo Hamilton says:


  121. Arriba Wilver says:

    NMR–I’m not trying to attack Penn State or Paterno. Deciding up front that if so and so did _____, they were evil or bad kind of colors how one looks at the evidence. So pointing to other institutions just seems a bit premature, and deflecting. I’m all into looking at the facts about who did what when. At this point what other institutions did isn’t relevant.

    And in your response you defended Joe, at least a little, by saying he was the only one who admitted he had done more—makes him look better, right? And as far as I know, he was honest with the grand jury based on the questions he was asked. Does not answer all the questions, though, just like with Spanier.

  122. Jandy says:

    Milo, lol, quit it!

  123. Jandy says:

    Ryan, hey, yeah the PSU thing is turning my stomach again.
    It’s a both PSU and PSU football, but I feel the program shouldn’t suffer for the misakes of some.

  124. Jandy says:

    For the puckheads here, the NHL decided to decrease Raffi Torres’ suspension from 25 games to 21 games for the hit on Hossa (which gave him a concussion – he was carried off the ice on a stretcher). He’s already served 13 games, so instead of 12 more, Torres only has to sit out the first 8 games.
    I wonder how Brendan Shanahan feels about that? Hmmmmm…

  125. RobertoForever says:

    On Tabata, I dont really get to see video of most games, and the radio announcers are not objective so I discount their comments. But i did see live and up close one play that happened down the RF line recently. Tabata seemed to make an excellent effort. Yet when i read the blog comments later, Jose got killed for a lack of effort. So it makes me skeptical of feedback.

    I do trust Clint’s handling of the team. He seems to have pulled the right strings in 6 or 8 situations and the team is now among the leaders in the NL.

    So I’ll let Clint decide when, or even if, Jose needs action. I guess I dont get all the calls for action twice a day. I guess Barmes should just be happy its not him, lol.

  126. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    I agree. This wasn’t recruiting violations. It wasn’t students selling their uniforms for money. This was a humane violation. The worse of any kind fathomable. The current coachs, players, etc. shouldn’t feel any reprocussions from this. I’m sure the program already has taken its hits on things that they (players) knew nothing about. This was an ex-football coach doing horable things. Yes, some happened on campus and appears that it was hidden by the powers-at-be. As far as I’m concerned, PSU is behind me. Time to move on. Hard for me to say since I have been a fan since I was 6-7 years old. I’m not alum, so what does it matter anyhow?

    I am still in shock over the whole matter, to be honest. Sandusky/Paterno are the guys that I wanted to play for growing up. No other school. Even after I moved to Florida, that’s where I wanted to go and who I wanted to play for.

    Truely football Gods at one point, now……….Sandusky spends the rest of his life in jail and JoePa is dead and his legacy is on the line. Sad….

  127. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Anyways………..I’d like to talk about baseball…………..if that’s ok

  128. Arriba Wilver says:

    Barmes and Tabata are very different issues. JMO

  129. Milo Hamilton says:

    Please check DK’s twitter for great info on the Marte/Tabata subject. DK says on Tabata – “The team is – and should be – livid with his lackluster effort.” That from a high ranking Pirates official.

    We’re not all imagining things here.

  130. Jandy says:

    Ryan, I feel your pain…and you see above how sick this makes me, so yes, talk baseball…
    What time is the game tonight? lol

    Milo, I’m leaning on that side…being upset with Tabata. He has shown a bit of effort, make it one last chance…bing bang, boom! Put up or down you go.

  131. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    So? Will Cutch play tonight?

    Tabata, Tabata, Tabata……..what do we think about Tabata?

    I really can’t read him. Reminds me a lot of Jose Castillo. So much talent, so little consistenancy.

    One AB, looks great, next…….confused as all hell.

    One play in the field, all out, next……..where’d the ball go?

    Same with the base paths.

  132. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    The teammates should be furious about it. They are the ones that sees him everyday and knows what he’s capable of, alot moreso than us.

    We don’t know if this has happened or not and nor should we, but someone in that locker room’s gotta call him out. Doesn’t have to embarrass him in front of the whole team, could be an one-on-one thing, either way, someone needs to take charge in the clubhouse.

    Again, no clue, maybe someone has.

  133. NMR says:


    Defending by pointing out that he admitted he should’ve done more? No sir.

    An admitted murderer is no less of one. Showing remorse doesn’t change the crime.

    I think we got off track because nothing I’ve written was meant as a deflection. Hope you don’t see it as such.

  134. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    So we get the Astros tonight in Pittsburgh with JMac on the bump? Love it.

    This series will seperate them from the pack, if they can win the series. The Cardinal series win should be use for their confidence, but teams like the Stros gotta be beat.

  135. JHadar says:

    I think that Hurdle as a manager is one who gets to know his players well enough to know what motivates them as individuals and he must have concluded that what worked for Presley — time in the minors — might not work as well with Tabata.

    At the very least none of us knows what’s said on the bench, at practice, behind closed doors. We only know what we read in the papers. My personal view is that Hurdle must be convinced that Tabata is teachable in some way that doesn’t require sending him down, at least just yet.

    I would be disappointed if there wasn’t a whole lot more going on here than what leaks out to the fans.

  136. The Gunner says:

    @ Milo @ #130

    Milo…….(aka my successor in 1976)

    This is great news about Joggin’ Joe’s eventual demotion. Get that negative element out of that clubhouse!! I imagine it won’t happen until after the All Star game but I am hoping it is sooner.

    Let’s annihilate the Houstonians tonight……..pitch a gem tonight, J-Mac!!!

  137. RobertoForever says:


    Just saw that retweeted as well. But you buried the lead.

    Marte WILL be here soon.

    Someone proposed that he will be up right after all-star break. Sounds right on.

  138. Milo Hamilton says:


    Buried it on purpose. Trying to help a brother out. :)

  139. RobertoForever says:


    #136 – Well stated!

    IMO, i am thrilled Marte is coming up to contribute, but i will be disappointed to see any Pirate demoted for performance or effort, especially one of our young talents. Want them all to work out. Best for the team if they do as well.

  140. Mike Shigley says:

    Good news. Gerrit Cole starts tonight if he passes a concussion test.

  141. RobertoForever says:


    LOL, i see what you did there, :D

  142. Arriba Wilver says:

    That Marte may be up right after the break has to be the worst kept secret in Pgh sports right now.

  143. RobertoForever says:

    @Mike Shigley

    Great news! Thanks for sharing it. Good find.

  144. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I dont remember who said he would be up after the all-star break, but it makes the most sense.

    Tabata probably down if he contiues this mess. I like Jones in RF, McGehehe at 1B and Marte in LF.

  145. Arriba Wilver says:

    NMR–fair enough. My bad.

  146. Naje says:


    Thanks for that tip from DK’s twitter.. have been away for a few hours. Livid seems to be what Hurdle was when talking about the “playing to not get injured” comments in the past week or two. So the Bucs mgmt, to their credit, seem to be filtering that message through to the coaches/manager AND the player.

    How did he respond Friday and Saturday? 6 times on base, 4 runs scored. Sunday was not good… But very much agree that he’s got to get going.

    As for a high ranking official and Marte’s arrival being soon-ish… well, I hope that high ranking official has more faith in Marte’s development than he did in Alvarez’.

  147. The Gunner says:

    @ Ryan #145

    I mentioned after the All Star break for Marte’s arrival but sooner would be better. We don’t need any cancers like JJ appears to have become in the clubhouse etc.

  148. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I’m glad to see the Fort coming around. The emotion he shows on the field is great to see, we all love seeing guys play like that.

    I was hard on him earlier in the week, also calling for his demotion. If this is the way he actually plays though, I’m all for keeping him up.

    I asked in the beginning of the year if he could be an everyday starting catcher. Still not sure if he’s an everyday guy, but, I like what he brings, always have.

  149. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    You weren’t the only one to say that, I think the blog agreed to that assesment.

  150. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    We’re too close to the break to worry about bringing him up now. Tabby isn’t hurting the team that much right now and there’s no sense in bringing him up, to give him 3 days off.

  151. JRay3 says:

    How pumped are we for this Pirates seven game home stand? J-Mac and AJ to begin the 4 game set with the Astros and a great chance to go into All-Star break with momentum and possibly Central lead.

    It is time for Marte! The guy hit .325 with a .385 OBP and .558 SLG in June, recently he is on a 15-31 tear and .967 SLG %. His plate discipline has improved and now is the time to see if he upgrades the OF at this time in his development. I have not been this excited about a players upcoming arrival since Andrew McCutchen!

    Hopefully the lineup has Barajas, Cutch and Alvarez so we can all breathe a little sigh of relief with all the nagging injury issues that have popped up past few games.

    Let’s Go Bucs!

  152. The Gunner says:

    @ Ryan – #151

    That is their thought process apparently with the Tabata/Marte situation.

    Hey, did you hear that the Bucs might be interested in bringing in Cole Hamels or Zack Greinke to add depth to the starting rotation?

    I like it………….Can’t ever have enough pitching!

  153. JHadar says:

    Naje —

    I would speculate that it’s Hurdle and the team that are livid and the message is being delivered to upper management, not filtered through upper management to the coaches and the players.

    I still believe that Hurdle thinks Tabata is reachable though. For Presley the wake up call was a trip to Indianapolis. For Tabata it’s the cold shoulder on the bench and his attitude being discussed publicly.

    It will be interesting to see who goes down when Marte comes up. My guess is that it won’t be Sutton.

  154. Naje says:

    Agree with that sentiment on bringing up Marte after the ASB, but… if they deem Cutch needs a few more days rest for his wrist, then bringing up Marte or Hernandez could make sense. if they bring up Marte to give Cutch a spell (just keep Cutch on the bench for pinch-hitting duties, etc), I’d plug him in the the 2 or 7 spot and let him get his reps.

  155. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    The starting pitcher for the Astros tonight is Jordan Lyles, RH pitcher with little experience.

    His record is 2-4 with a 4.59 ERA.

    His career numbers are 4-12 with a ERA of 5.09.

    Last 3 starts he has done well.

    He has 30 K’s in 51 innings, so not a strike out pitcher.

    So, will the Bucs take advantage of this young guy, or make him look like a staff ace?

    I think he will be punished by the lineup. Pedro or Jones, if not both goes yard tonight!

  156. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Didn’t see that, but I’ll take it!!! I will also believe it when I see it. The price for those 2 will be utterly ridiculous, I’d think, especially from the Brewers, no way they trade Greinke to the Pirates.

  157. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Yea, if Cutch still can’t go, why not, what’s a couple games of extra rest for him. But I doubt that will be an issue, I suspect he’ll be in the lineup today.

  158. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    I’m gonna catch ya!

  159. Kevin says:

    Jandy is right – Chicago is the “mystery team”…hearing a lot of chatter from that part of the country. (Detroit Free Press)

  160. JRay3 says:

    @ Ryan – not letting it happen….especially after seeing the prize for first place!

  161. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Here’s the quote from MLBTraderumors, from Ken Rosenthal:

    “In today’s column, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes that the Pirates should go all in and trade for either Brewers right-hander Zack Greinke or Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels. Rosenthal notes that the Bucs have the 11th-ranked farm system in the majors and enough young talent to pull off a trade without including Jameson Taillon or Gerrit Cole. Pittsburgh’s pitching has been strong this year and the team is currently focusing on boosting their offense, but finding a hitter who could make an impact on the level of Greinke or Hamels would be a challenge.”

    I don’t see this happening to be honest…but whoa if it does.

  162. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    you never know!! 2 weeks off killed me!

  163. Arriba Wilver says:

    Naje— in my oft stated opinion, Alvarez was brought up when he was based on the butts in the seats suits. Neal said before the 2011 season, at Piratefest and without naming names, that they would not bring players up before they were ready anymore. I believed him, so I’m not worried about Marte being brought up too soon for any reason other than a lack of readiness evaluation. Point?—can’t hang Alvarez on the talent evaluators, so it isn’t very relevant, if at all.

  164. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    The Pirates have been rumored to be interested in Vernon Wells also. Signed thru 2014 with a big chunk of money left.

    Not sure about this move, even if the Angels take on most of the money.

  165. Naje says:

    AW… good catch… and you’ve pointed that out before. That’s the one angle that I’ve often overlooked about Alvarez’ call-up… just remembering the “Alvarez Watch” and all they hype that surrounded it with the extra reporter and the calls for bringing him up to face Strasberg and the Nationals, etc.

    thanks for that reminder… hope it will stick this time.

  166. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    You guys talk about the Alvarez hype on his call-up, as I recall, there wasn’t much hype at all. The GM didn’t make a big deal about, didn’t announce it early enough to put butts in the seat. Almost as if they were calling up Alex Presley.

  167. NMR says:

    Better call up Marte now before he cools off and returns to hitting like he had for the rest of the season.

  168. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    a recap of Pedro’s debut game.

    Notice the attendance was just over 15k.

  169. Milo Hamilton says:

    No Pedro tonight.

  170. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Nevermind with him going yard then……

  171. RobertoForever says:

    No Alvarez tonight. Barajas in, Cutch still deciding.

  172. Naje says:

    I meant the hype from the newspapers… the extra long story about him in June from mr. Dunlap and his “watch” when Indy was in Scranton (I believe), the call for him to be called up to face Strasberg… just a lot of media attention… not a big deal, as you pointed out, from management…

  173. RobertoForever says:

    Cutch in, McGehee at 3rd Sutton RF, no Tabata

  174. Milo Hamilton says:

    Cutch is IN.

  175. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I really should check twitter before I make predictions.

    No lineups yet, but Cutch has been out on the field, hitting/throwing. No word as to whether or not he’s in the lineup.

    Alvarez out do to the cramping he felt yesterday and Barajas will be back in.

    We’ll see!

  176. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    And I’m slow………

  177. JRay3 says:

    Cutch is back – thank you. Barajas back in the lineup as well, here’s hoping he can get back after it and afford the opportunity to return Fryer back to the minors.

    Presley, Sutton, Cutch, Jones, Walker, McGehee, Barajas, Barmes, J-Mac

    Probably wise to play it safe and give Pedro a rest day. No Tabata, hope he is getting this message loud and clear.

  178. Naje says:

    Tabata not in the lineup could be more than a message and could be his demotion… but giving him a day off after three starts could help that hammy AND send a message… either way, demoted or not, good decision….

  179. JRay3 says:

    @ Roberto – I think you mentioned yesterday you are at the game, enjoy! I also think I remember the team is 7-0 with you in attendance, so let’s keep that streak alive.

    I will see the team in Denver for their three game set after the AS break and can’t wait, hope to be able to see Marte play!

    Enjoy the game and bring us home the W!

  180. RobertoForever says:


    Yes and here’s to the streak going to 8-0.

    Dont forget to get a cowbell for that series in Denver, lol.

  181. Arriba Wilver says:

    Ryan–boy, cool your duels. You’re going to make me work. Not sure you’re interpreting Naje’s “hype” comment correctly,and I know you’re misinterpreting my comment. The Pirates were in the midst of the 7th loss of a 12 game losing streak, 23-41 at the time Pedro was brought up. They were playing at home. The same day it was announced that Pedro was coming up (after the game) Neal was interviewed and denied they were bringing him up, and they would only bring players up when they were ready. Voila, after that game it was announced Pedro was coming up. Like I said, at Piratefest before the next season, which I attended, Neal said they brought people up too soon, and it wouldn’t happen again. And I was looking at him when he said it, and while he did not mention Pedro, I was convinced he was pissed still, and that was who he was talking about. (Who else?) This was the one introducing Clint.

    Now, if you want to talk about the media, including DK, they were clamoring for Pedro to be brought up (they were 23-41 in mid-June) so I think the “hype” Naje was referring to was the media. In fact, the media also was criticizing the Pirates for not announcing when people would be coming up for attendance reasons.

    So, at least from me, I’m not saying they handled it correctly, just that you interpret those facts and tell me he wasn’t brought up for fanbase reasons?

  182. JohninOshkosh says:

    I was very busy at work today and just got around to watching the “Showdown.” And, OMG, Dejan wore an Oxford dress shirt under a dark blazer. And he took a swipe at a Minnesota team which endears him to everyone in Badgerland.

    Well done, Mr. Kovacevic.

  183. JHadar says:

    The unknown variable is that some players no matter how ready they are take a while to adjust to the next level and their performance is off while others get a triple helping of adrenaline and over-perform for a while. “Ready” can mean different things.

  184. pants-n-at says:

    I too would like Tabata to succeed. I may have taken several swipes at him on these blogs but overall I want the Bucs to win and with the current team if possible. And concerning Hurdle, although I don’t always agree with his decisions I am very pleased with the job he’s doing and I believe he’s got these kids on the right track. My experience with young teams is they have the most potential for improvement as the year goes on. Maybe more so in other sports than baseball. However, last year’s taste of success than summer swoon will both help this year’s team. I say again….I love that we’re discussing the Bucs in this light this late in the year and I really have a good feeling about the rest of the season. Especially if they continue to swing the bats like they have been lately or add a couple bats.

  185. JB says:

    Hey Dejan,

    Thoughts on this Sano article? paints the Pirates and especially Gayo in a pretty negative light.–sleazy-side-of-baseball-s-dominican-talent-pipeline.html

    DK: Yeah, it’s just total garbage. Not really eager to dive into that cesspool again.

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