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Wakeup Call: Half the Sano story

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Brief and to the Point …

>> If I were ever going to write a book on any topic that I’ve ever covered in my life, it would be the Miguel Sano topic. And you know, I still might someday.

But I’ll promise you right here that when I do, you’ll get both sides of the story.

Not just this.

Longtime readers will recall I invested an awful lot of 2009 in coverage of the Sano pursuit. You’ll also recall, I hope, that I presented both sides to you evenly on a near-daily basis. I don’t remotely fault Yahoo’s Jeff Passan for getting only agent Rob Plummer’s side. It’s clear Passan pursued the Pirates and Rene Gayo and even managed to get a statement out of the team. Good for him. It was a well-written, intensely researched piece. (And no, I’m not just saying that because some of his source material is my work from the time.)

I can tell you unequivocally, though, that it ends up painting only half the picture.

I’ve got zero interest in revisiting this stuff. I really do. But a lot of you emailed, tweeted or brought it up in the comments here, so I’ll offer just a couple statements:

1. Gayo did absolutely nothing against any rules, as Passan correctly points out.

2. Gayo is one of the best human beings I’ve encountered in any walk of life. The world of international scouting is a free-for-all, and the things described in this piece are executed by all teams in all Latin American countries, but especially the Dominican. It’s the law of the jungle, and Gayo just happens to be a bigger lion than most. If you think that his success in an eat-or-be-eaten business makes him a bad guy, that’s definitively naive.

3. People who elect to spin this as blaming someone other than the Pirates’ front office for the failure to sign Sano will remain 100 percent wrong. And I could get, under oath, Plummer and Sano and everyone else associated with the process to back me on this simple fact: If the team had produced the $4 million Plummer was demanding, Sano would be with the Pirates. The front office preferred to get a bargain, believing the Pirates were the only team in play. When the Twins jumped in, the Pirates were shocked. The decision about money was never in Gayo’s hands.

4. As recently as last year, Plummer posted on my Facebook page that Sano “SHOULD HAVE BEEN A PIRATE,” repeating a regular refrain about how they failed to pay his asking price.

All the rest is drama and distortion. This signing was about money. Usually is.

I’ll stop there, but there’s so, so much more. Maybe I’ll save it for the book.

>> Spoke with high-ranking Pirates official yesterday, and I can tell you this: It will not be long before Starling Marte is in Pittsburgh.

“It’s time,” the official said without specifics.

In the same convo, it came about that Jose Tabata had better get his act together immediately or he’s headed for the minors. The team is — and should be — livid with his lackluster effort. Sounds to me like an easy one-for-one switch.

Look at Marte’s numbers for yourself.

And look for Marte in Pittsburgh very, very soon.

>> Bud Selig talked Pirates with our Rob Biertempfel.

>> If Zach Parise‘s goal is to win a Cup, he needs to break free of the iron grip of Lou Lamoriello.

There’s loyalty, and then there’s foolishness. The Devils just made the final, which is great. But their ownership is on the cusp of bankruptcy, they’ll never pack the Prudential Center regularly, they’ll never leave Newark, they invested a combined $10 million yesterday in two goaltenders who are a combined 83 years old — Martin Brodeur and Johan Hedberg – and there is precious little sign of some great new wave on the horizon.

If Parise wants to win, this shouldn’t be that tough a call.

236 Comments

  1. Another multi-hit game for Marte. Time to get him in the lineup. Let Presley and Tabata fight for the other spot.

  2. There was a famous proverb that said there are always 3 sides to every story. My side, your side and the truth.

    Long-term I hope this doesn’t hinder or effect the Pirates ability to sign talent in Latin America. But on the flip side, I really wish this whole process was much more transparent and better regulated. Dealing with teenagers like they are chattel sickens me, and I honestly hope some reform does eventually come about.

    DK, if you ever do write a book about this, count me in as a buyer.

  3. DK – I didn’t mean to offend you, the tone of my tweet, when reading it again was easy to misinterpret. I am impressed with all of your work on the story, I just thought the tapes he mentioned shed new light on the subject. Not trying to spin it to exonerate the FO from the blunder. On another note Marte better be here soon.

    DK: I appreciate that, Matt. And really glad you came over here!

  4. DK, What’s your gut? Do the Pens get ZP?

  5. I also wasn’t sure you saw the article, thought it was a new development.

  6. It came down to money and nothing else……So the Pirates tried to go on the cheap, who doesn’t?

    I will never believe anything an agent has to say. He’s out for one thing, and one thing only…….$$$$$

    Isn’t this story rather old though? What’s it been? 2 years now? He’s a Twin, you win some, you lose some.

  7. The other side of Parise and the Devils is that he is the 26 year old Captain of the team. Kids dream of wearing a ‘C’ on their sweater as they grow up, and he just led that team to the SCF. He’s emotionally invested, and we ought to be applauding that. I sincerely hope he chooses the Pens, but if he sticks with NJD, I’ll wish him well.

  8. I love how everyone is a prisoner of the moment with the whole Marte situation. His numbers for 85% of the season were below average at best. Get a grip. All I’ve heard is how they rushed Alvarez after a string of good at bats at each level. Then, when he had a strong few games, everyone wanted him to hit clean up. Then, when he tanked after they moved him to cleanup, everyone wanted Pedro back in AAA. They shouldve started Marte after spring training. Blah blah blah

    What will everyone say when Marte appears and hits .190 for two weeks. SEND HIM BACK TO AAA! BMTIB RUSHED ANOTHER FAILED HITTER!!

  9. #8 BOFWF

    Yeah, what’s your point? Patience isn’t to be expected. He needs to hit .350 the whole season.

  10. Wow, a little crack in the doorway of book authorship! Never thought I’d see the day! That award is really getting to your head, you know? Seriously though, I’ve always thought that if you ever wrote a book, it would be about the Pirates’ streak, once it’s over.

  11. Rumor has it that the Twins wish Sano’s agent would find a new young guy and disappear. Sano has attitude problems, is moody, and is striking out at an astounding rate, while unable to hit the offspeed pitches. And his agent steps in any time and interferes when corrections are attempted. Probably just rumors, though, right?

    DK: What do you think of the Jason Bay trade, RF?

    There just HAS to be SOMETHING this management team has done that you don’t like. Even one tiny thing. How about letting Matt Capps walk for nothing, only to see the next employer trade him for a real prospect?

    Anything?

  12. Matt Capps, DK? It’s a shame we couldn’t get more in return, but showing him the door was precisely the right thing to do. Sad to say, but I still expect another blown save whenever he enters a game.

  13. Was at the game last night. Sat above the Clemente Wall for the first time EVER! WOW what an experience to watch a game from there. Was one section over from the right foul pole (section 144). When Jones hit his blast off of the foul pole, I was looking down at my book (love to keep score at a game). All I heard was the crack off the bat and within seconds the clang off the pole. At that moment, I decided that I will look at the book between pitches. Sure glad it wasn’t 15 feet over or else I would have been a sportscenter for sure. Never took my eye off of Walker’s blast off the pole. McGehee shot hit right almost directly in front of me on the wall. As RF alluded to in the game thread, yes we cheered very loudy when Bogusevic caught the ball. It seemed like after the 4th, he was constantly up against the wall with deep shots by Pirate hitters. It was great to see McCutchen back in the game. I will definately have to get tickets there again. Had a great time last night.

  14. DK,
    I thought you said you weren’t interested in writing a book ….that it wasn’t your thing.

    “They believe Gayo has manufactured rumors that Sano is older than he claims to scare off other teams and drive his signing bonus demands down from the $6 million many expected him to receive.”

    Do you know if that is true?

  15. DK,
    Do you know if any of what RF posted in #11 regarding Sano, his agent, and the Twins is true?

    And I like to think that they did spin Capps for a real prospect. He started for the Pirates last night.

  16. I don’t see the need to rush Marte. If they send Tabata down though, don’t bring up Gorkys. The team seems to be doing well with what they have now, if Marte comes up he’ll have to play all the time. McGehee, Jones, Sutton, Presley AND Tabata sharing 3 spots seems to be working.

    I’m still amazed the Pirates are doing this well. Still fearing the other shoe.

  17. CWalton, Parise will be 28 this month. =)

    And yes, I’m still waiting!

  18. If Tabata goes to AAA will his career be over? If he has an attitude problem or just breaks down internally when things aren’t going well is a demotion going to destroy him? Not saying we shouldn’t send him down for that reason but curious if it could be the end?

    I am a bit confused why there are those on the blogs that aren’t in favor of bringing up Marte? If they kid is a baller than he needs to be up here. If he goes in LF then wow – that huge side of the field is covered now. When Pressley leads off you got Pressley, Marte, Cutch 1-2-3? That is some serious speed up front.

  19. I appreciate two things in all of this Parise saga. First is NJ GM Lou Lamoriello doing everything he possibly can to keep him. Ev-ry-thing. And that includes pulling the guilt card. Zach Parise means enough to the Devils franchise, and their fan base, that Lou has to pull out all the stops. I’m sure that was the case in Lou getting Marty Brodeur to return, and I’m sure that was designed partly to sway Parise. Rumors have it Marty has been very active in conversations with Parise…

    The second takeaway is Parise’s loyalty. He’s a good kid. NJ gave him a start and everything up until this point (I’ll resist using the word “family” here), and I don’t doubt there is part of him that wants to see it through and win a Cup as a Devil. Like Sid taking less to allow the Pens to try and build around him, Parise’s loyalty shows depth of character. Now, if Zach signs anywhere but NJ or Pittsburgh, I reserve the right to revoke this comment.

    What I’d love to see is Zach Parise sign a two-year deal in NJ to give Lou, Marty, the Devils, and their fans one more shot at hoisting the Cup together. And then Zach can come to Pittsburgh as a free agent and still finish his career out with Sid.

  20. @#8. Me…I never pushed for Marte. However, I was a critic of Alvarez and Tabata…no secret there. My issue with Tabata was and has always been effort….and it seems the organization feels the same way. My issue with Alvarez was not heeding to the advice of playing winter ball. Part of me thinks his early struggles may have been minimized with the additional work of winter ball. Bottom line…I am a die hard Pirate fan and wish them nothing but succes. So, I will cheer Pedro’s recent success and will cheer Tabata if he turns it around. If the FO thinks its time to bring Marte up and sit Tabata…so be it. But I do not consider myself a fair weather fan. And most people on here have endured more losing than most fans should. I definitely would not call them fair weather. They (we) may be passionate about our team and sometimes wish for things because the way things are going (i.e. wanting a Marte call up..or Hague or whomever). but fair weather? Not me. I’ve tolerated the jabs for too many years for being a Pirate fan.

    On a side note. The Pirates batted over .460 last night as a team. Love it and I hope it continues.

  21. I’ll buy a Sano book and the other you should make official, The 100 Places That Make Pittsburgh Great. I’m sure you have some updates.

  22. @Jandy–I stand corrected :) I wish the kid well, no matter which team he chooses, as long as it isn’t Philthadelphia.

  23. @ tdb1977 – #13

    Those right field seats at PNC Park you mention are great. There is no screen like the one they had in RF at Forbes Field so you better be paying attention or you might get hit in the coconut.

    And let’s briefly mention Mr. Tabata and his imminent demotion which, I might add, can’t come soon enough. Hopefully, a trip to Indy will help Joggin’ Joe mature; I think this is another piece of his many issues.

  24. haha CW, 28 is closer to 30, and that makes the time NOW to sign him. And I agree, I’ve always thought Zach a great player and a decent human being. Just stay away from Philly!

  25. @RELENTLESS_FORECHECK

    “Now, if Zach signs anywhere but NJ or Pittsburgh, I reserve the right to revoke this comment.”

    LOL

  26. JAL’s Time of the Season 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/

    PIRATE BLOGS

    4—Pirates Prospects

    Pirates Notebook: The New Lumber Company?

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/07/pirates-notebook-the-new-lumber-company.html

    Prospect Watch: Justin Wilson Out-Pitches Cole and Taillon With Latest Gem

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/07/prospect-watch-justin-wilson-out-pitches-cole-and-taillon-with-latest-gem.html

    First Pitch: Making a Big Splash With Hamels or Greinke?

    http://blogs.piratesprospects.com/williams/first-pitch-making-a-big-splash-with-hamels-or-greinke/

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates Offense Crushes Astros As Feel-Good Summer Continues

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2012/7/2/3133900/pirates-offense-crushes-astros-as-feel-good-summer-continues

    6 Rumbunter

    Luis Heredia Drops His Season ERA to 0.64

    http://rumbunter.com/2012/07/02/luis-heredia-drops-his-season-era-to-0-64/

    7 McEffect

    7/2 Recap | Pirates 11 Astros 2

    http://www.mceffect.com/2012/07/72-recap-pirates-11-astros-2.html

    8 The Green Weenie

    Bucs Barrage ‘Stros 11-2

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2012/07/bucs-barrage-stros-11-2.html

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    “Pole dancing” at PNC

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2012/07/pole-dancing-at-pnc/

    10 WHY GAVS

    Game 79: Pirates 11 Astros 2

    http://whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/july-2012/game-79-pirates-11-astros-2.html

  27. Steelers Blogs

    20 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Pittsburgh Steelers Training Camp Competition: ILBs Stevenson Sylvester vs. Sean Spence

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/7/2/3131530/pittsburgh-steelers-training-camp-competition-depth-chart-linebacker-sean-spence-stevenson-sylvester

    Pittsburgh Steelers Training Camp Competition: OLBs Jason Worilds vs. Chris Carter

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/7/2/3131490/pittsburgh-steelers-training-camp-depth-chart-outside-linebackers-jason-worilds-chris-carter

    The Pain, Anguish and “Sacrifices” that Some Athletes have to Endure with their Contract Situations

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/7/1/3129006/the-pain-anguish-and-sacrifices-that-some-athletes-have-to-endure

    21 Steelers Depot

    - 2012 Pittsburgh Steelers Training Camp Roster Battles: Kickers

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2012/07/2012-pittsburgh-steelers-training-camp-roster-battles-kickers/

    22 Steelers Gab

    Breaking Down the Six Steelers On The “NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2012″ List

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2012/06/29/breaking-down-the-six-steelers-on-the-nfl-networks-top-100-players-of-2012-list/

    23 Nice Pick Cower

    Next Few Months Key For the Steelers Chris Carter

    http://nicepickcowher.com/2012/06/30/next-few-months-key-for-the-steelers-chris-carter-draft/

    Pitt Blogs

    24 Pitt Blather

    One Year to Moving Day

    http://www.pittblather.com/2012/07/02/one-year-to-moving-day/

    25 Cardiac Hill

    New North Shore Development Likely To Further Limit Pitt Tailgating

    http://www.cardiachill.com/2012/7/2/3113354/pitt-panthers-pittsburgh-north-shore-development-tailgating-parking-football-tickets-heinz-field

    WVU Blogs

    26 Metro News

    Bowlsby: Big East Instability Big 12′s Gain

    http://www.wvmetronews.com/wvu.cfm?func=displayfullstory&storyid=53583

    27 WV Illustrated

    Blue Ribbon Magazine Tabs WVU Football No. 11

    http://www.wvillustrated.com/story/18932062/blue-ribbon-magazine-tabs-wvu-football-no-11

    Soccer(football)

    28 Sky Sports

    Pearce names squad

    http://www1.skysports.com/olympics/team-gb/story/15234/7859286

    29 Daily Telegraph

    Euro 2012: Andrés Iniesta named player of the tournament following Spain’s historic win over Italy

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/spain/9369876/Euro-2012-Andres-Iniesta-named-player-of-the-tournament-following-Spains-historic-win-over-Italy.html

    30 World Soccer Daily

    10 Euro 2012 stories you need to read, 2nd July, 2012

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-euro-2012-stories-you-need-to-read-2nd-july-2012

    PENGUIN BLOGS

    31 Pensburgh

    Zach Parise Sweepstakes in full throttle

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2012/7/2/3132054/zach-parise-sweepstakes-in-full-throttle

  28. YAY! JAL is back :)

  29. Dejan,
    After seeing the Passan article through other means, I came straight to the blog to get the real story. Knew you’d be all over this! Great work.

  30. @ DK or anyone….

    What did Atlanta offer for Bay. I have heard people say it was a good package, but never saw any details.

  31. DK,

    Would have rather had Jamey Carroll as free agent SS this offseason. Jones should be the everyday 1B. Let’s see what else.

    …..I guess that’s about the list, lol. Of course I could claim that this team will never compete without an impact trade for a bat in early May.

  32. Write the book.

  33. Writing a book would be a terrible idea…

    *reverse psychology*

  34. Gotta love PhillyJake, directly to the heart of the matter ;)

  35. @dcpinpgh

    I never heard Atlanta offered anything for JBay.

    The word was Cleveland offered Franklin Gutierrez (sp, an outfielder currently hurt) Kelly Shoppach (sp again, but a catcher) and Cliff Lee for JBay, Slick Frank supposedly shot it down, although I cannot confirm the latter

  36. I don’t necessarily agree with his/her methods but #8 is correct in reference to Starling Marte’s numbers for most of this AAA season. They’re also correct about the overreaction of fans, including on here, when it comes to slumps or hot streaks. If a hot streak dictated a player is ready then Stefan Welch should be in AAA after 16 games in AA (.444/.530/.741 avg/OBP/SLG, with 4 HR, 4 2B, 14 RBI, and 10/9 BB/K).

    A few hundred AB’s isn’t enough to tell what a player will be at the Major League level. More than a few of Hall of Fame players didn’t hit their weight to start their careers. To react so feverishly to a few great games in a baseball season is just nonsensical IMO.

  37. Kristy is tweeting that Gorkys is on his way to the ‘Burgh. She knows the corresponding move but can’t say yet.

  38. Example: Andrew McCutchen hit .216 after the All Star break last season. It didn’t mean that he was overmatched or a bust.

  39. *Gorkys
    I Misspelled it in two places!

  40. Sucks if the Pirates paid the $4 million for Sano the spin on Gayo would be completely different. Money affects opinions.

  41. DK………..sooooooooooooooooooooo….once Minn came thru with $3.2 mil, why didn’t Plummer call the Bucs? Surely we’d have upped our offer.

    THAT is what *I* don’t get.

    However, as RobertoF pointed out, Sano is struggling mightily at A ball. Wily Mo Pena anyone?

    DK: Because that was his arrangement with the Twins. And after all that time had elapsed, he took it.

  42. Biz………..I didn’t want that Cleveland deal. At that time, Lee had just been sent to the minors. It sounds good in retrospect.

    Another rumored deal had us getting Hellickson from TBay, but it was never confirmed.
    .

  43. @bdubb

    “When Presley leads off you got Pressley, Marte, Cutch 1-2-3?”

    -If Marte comes up, Presley is no longer a starter. He only sees the field against lefties. Garrett Jones (.300/.342/.557) and Casey McGehee (.291/.360/.532) are hitting better than anyone could expect Marte to hit once called up.

    Presley himself is hitting .259/.308/.482 for the month of June. Marte barely had better numbers than that in AAA before his recent two week hot streak.

    As hard as it is to digest, the Pirates just don’t need Marte right now.

    Anybody who thinks Marte has nothing left to prove in AAA must not have been paying attention until the last two weeks. While the big league club is scoring and the outfield is producing, what is the harm in making sure Marte’s success is sustainable?

    Do you really expect him to come up and outproduce Presleys June line?

    I’m sorry, but this kid is set up with some awwwfffully high expectations…

  44. Yeah, Lee, hindsight is a beautiful thing.

    The only thing that somewhat bothers me is that it sounded like non-baseball “talent guys” put the kabosh on the deal.

    You hire the GM, let the GM make the deal?

  45. I hold true to my prediction of 10 days ago:
    . . . . . Starling Marte will be here on the Bucs the first game after the All Star break.

    Much of what he went to AAA——after hitting .331 and winning the Batting Championship in AA last year——has begun to take root. Reports say he is diving less after the outside breaking pitch; and he continues to be stellar in the field. The walks are beginning to be more frequent; and the doubles and triples are winning the day.

    Last night he played right field instead of being in his normal spot in center. A week’s worth of games will help him in a corner outfield spot where he previously had trouble with adjustment.

    It would not surprise me if Gorkys comes up for the next week to play defense for 2 innings a game behind Drew Sutton’s 7 inning starts, and Jose Tabata is sent down immediately to work out his “case of the trots” in Indy.

    However, I expect Starling Marte——not because he is hot now but because he was told to work on certain things and he has done exactly as asked——to be starting in right field for the Bucs in the first game after the All Star break.

  46. “DK: Because that was his arrangement with the Twins. And after all that time had elapsed, he took it.”

    Thanks…then that truly sucks for us. Crap….

  47. The Pirates are going to call up an outfielder today – Gorkys Hernandez.

  48. Why in the world would Starling Marte play RF in Pitttsburgh?

    You’re certainly not going to sit Garrett Jones right now and you’re certainly not going to play him in Left.

  49. @NMR,

    Lest you forget the first 2 months of the season the Pirates were the least scoring team in all of professional baseball…not just MLB. So if you are going to discredit Marte’s last 2 weeks of hitting than you must discredit the last month for the Pirates. I am not asking Marte to come up and be a savior. I am asking for him to come up and do what he does which is a lot more than Tabata’s doing right now.If they are going to continue to run Jose out there than I want to see someone else play. And since he is right-handed, that would be Marte.

    Also, Pressley can still play vs Righties and sit Maghee. Casey/Jones can go back to the original plan of platooning at 1st. So yeah 1-2-3 vs Righties is a pretty fast 1-2-3

  50. As far as what move has to be made to make room for Gorkys, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Barajas go on the DL.

  51. Good thought Milo, him getting scratched last night kinda mighta said something about how he is physically

  52. @ Milo – #50

    You must be a man in the know, Milo. It makes perfect sense, my bet is Eric Fryer goes back down to Indy and not Tabata. Then after the All Star break, either Tabata or Gorkys will go to Indy and Marte will be up.

  53. @Gunner I don’t think Barajas is healthy enough to send Fryer down – per the scratch last night.

  54. Got a link to add to JAL’s awesome assortment. It’s ESPN’s MLB cover story this morning:
    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/26393/time-to-start-believing-in-the-pirates

    @tdb1977 and the Gunner-

    The only time I sat above the Clemente wall some kid a couple rows behind me got his nose all busted up by a line drive foul ball from Doumit. Ah, memories.

  55. “How about letting Matt Capps walk for nothing, only to see the next employer trade him for a real prospect?”

    Nope. We ended up getting McDonald.

  56. @bdubb

    Presley has already jumped Tabata. Jose is not the player Marte will be replacing.

    Why in the world would you sit McGehee in favor of Presley? Casey has been far superior for a month and a half.

    I’m well aware of how the Pirates hit for the first two months. I’m also of the opinnion thet they’ll eventually trend back towards that act. That’s precisely why I’m in no hurry to bring up Marte.

    Garrett Jones will come back to earth eventually. Drew Sutton will settle into his role as a spot starter and decent bat off the bench. Alex Presley is who he is.

    But if you think Marte will immediately produce any better than any of the players listed above are producing right now, you might need to check your optomism at the door.

  57. It really surprises me that the Pirates can be seven games over .500, one game out of the division lead, put up the 3rd best offense in the month of June, and fans are talking the most about ANOTHER prospect making his debut.

    That’s 2010 stuff, folks…

  58. @ Groat

    You may be right on the money with your prediction.

    @ NMR

    Is that a typo, or do you really believe Pressley only starts vs LH pitchers?

  59. @ Ryan (in last night’s game blog–post #206): We cannot use “The Lumber Company” again, what do we call them?

    hmmmm, me fertile(ized) mind doth runneth amok… but wait! I have landed on something for this blog’s entertainment: “The Turbo-Ball Paddlers”.

    Feel free to construe that as you wish. Batman or Spiderman? What a conundrum

  60. it’s only like 50 at bats, but gorkys has a .919 OPS vs LHP this season in AAA. i don’t want to spend too much time (at work) searching for his minor league career numbers vs lhp, but maybe he could be a nice little compliment to garrett jones??

    A lefty reliever comes in to face jones, bring in gorkys for his defense and (possible) ability vs lefties???

  61. @ aglebagel #58

    Ouch. Bet he wished there was a right field screen up that day. But the RF seats at PNC are far better than the ones at Forbes Field, that screen was a bitch to watch the game thru.

    @ PhillyJake #56

    Good point, Jake. I hope you are wrong – Barajas has been a vast improvement over our past catching personnel.

    The good news is we have AJ on the hill tonight – the percentages are definitely with the Bucs!!

  62. @Skip

    Where did I say Presley only starts against lefties? I’m missing something…

  63. @ buggee #63

    Sorry, the 2012 Pirates are nowhere in the class of “The Lumber Company” from the mid-1970s. Stargell, Oliver, Parker, Zisk, Stennett, Sanguillen, and Hebner – what a potent offense these guys gave us. Check out the link below:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lumber-Company-Pittsburgh-Pirates-photo-198-/200405781170

  64. @NMR

    I think Presley has a better approach against lefties.

  65. @ NMR

    #46 “If Marte comes up, Presley is no longer a starter. He only sees the field against lefties.”

  66. If Dejan ever writes a book I hope it is a “Lets Go” type travel guide to Pittsburgh. He loves the city, knows the haunts and eateries. Would be very worthwhile.

    BTW, with his columns, tweets, suria, comments and these blog threads, Dejan is already more prolific than James Joyce.

  67. I have seen them all from Les Biederman, Chet Smith, Al Abrams, Jack Hernon and I am sure I have missed some.

    DK is legendary & can hold his own against anyone, past or present.

  68. @Buggee

    Well, its a start, that’s for sure. But it could be fun to come up with something else.

  69. Gorkys isn’t here to stay, here’s here to fill a need and since he’s already been called up, continues to use an option.

    I do like him used late in the games for defensive substatution. Also, he provides good speed for late inning pinch run duties. When Marte is called up, I suspect that Gorkys will be the one sent back down.

  70. @ Milo

    Interesting observation on your part re Presley. He’s hitting .302 vs lefties (43 ABs) and .229 vs righties (170 ABs).

  71. Andy Griffith has died at 86. :(

  72. Sorry, Skip. I can see where I confused you.

    I meant that Presley will only have the opportunity to start against lefties, as Garrett Jones platoon, once Marte comes up and Jones stays hot.

    Didn’t mean to insinuate that Presley only currently starts against lefties.

  73. @Milo:

    Very sad to hear that. The “Man in a Hurry” episode is one of the greatest 30 minutes of television ever.

  74. What’s so complicated ? Jones/McGehee platoon at 1st. Marte in right. Presley in left.

  75. Crap! “Andy Griffith” maybe my favorite show of all time!!

    I stopped in his hometown right on the North Carolina/ Virginia border and spent a couple hours looking around Floyd’s Barbershop and the Blue Bird Cafe on my way home from Spring Training in late February.

    I’ve also got two of his CD’s, a comedy one—which is how he started out, along with singing—and one of him singing hymns. His take on describing a football game is tremendous, as well as his country description of Shakespeare.

    Hey Andy: just as according to the words on your CD——”When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be!!!!”

  76. Mystery team for Parise – Detroit ?

  77. John,

    You’re right about that episode.

    Groat,

    Amen, brother!

  78. For all of you “offense” freaks who have been clambering for Josh Harrison to start at short, with his .225 average and sub-standard defense, over Barmes . . . . . .

    . . . . . I saw Casey McGeheeheehee take ground balls at short during Spring Training and it seemed he actually turned the doubleplay at 2nd better than Josh Harrison.

    McGeheeheehee was outstanding at 3rd last night, to his right and his left. He’s been hitting the ball a ton in the last 6 weeks, with 5 HRs in June.

    Imagine . . . . . . . . Pedro at 3rd, Jones at 1st, McGeheeheehee at short, Marte in right, Presley in left.

    You’re getting sleepy . . . . . sleepy . . . . . sleepy . . . . .

  79. @Milo

    You don’t put a guy hitting .291/.360/.532 over close to 100 at-bats on the bench.

    Right now, today, your lineup is worse with Marte in it.

  80. @ The Gunner – #67. Wasn’t calling this team “The Lumber Company”, just referencing a post from Ryan in last night’s game blog. Meh.

    Regarding Parise’s Decision: He should come here only if he can help Barmes discover his optimal swing plane and Bedard’s perfect arm-slot and help Mike Wallace and Tomlin sign contracts and teach Fleury (aka, “Bulaklak) to square up on PP shots from anyone wearing a Filthidelphia uni and help Chryst recruit some football players already and christen Marte as the next RobertoForever and convince LEETanger to shave his pointy head and… ok, I’m done now.

    Brock Lesner from MMA is now a pro-wrestler?!?!? huh? Saw that fight where he got his face pounded over 40 times and still won! And now this…? ENOUGH I SAY. Time to move to Outer Slobovia where we wont hear about Gayo, Sano and Scummo and witness the travesty of Lesner versus Triple-H. Blech.

    Bobby Ryan for Winger!

  81. @ Groat2Maz2Strangeglove #82

    Why not give McGehee a shot at SS? Can’t be any worse than what we have been seeing thus far. As far as range goes, if you remember, Dick Groat didn’t have the greatest range either, but he was adequate if not more than adequate and he was smart.

    McGehee appears to be a pretty gutty player, it’s worth a try!!

  82. @NMR

    I’m not saying what I would do, I’m telling you what’s going to happen.

  83. Hey Oshkosh b’gosh!

    I went to Google to read about Andy Griffith’s demise and found the most knowledgeable article to be from the “Oshkosh Northwestern.”

    Here we always thought you were so intelligent with your comments———and it turns out all you can do is read a very good newspaper well!

  84. Hey Everyone – Have a happy, safe and fun 4th! We may all have our teams we like to root for, but we can all say tomorrow…”Go USA!!”.

  85. Milo (not the self-centered, loquacious baseball announcer)

    I think you’ve got it!

  86. @ TJA ~ have a hot and happy one yourself :)

  87. Hey Dejan!

    Despite Passan quoting your good P-G work on Sano/Gayo, I found the article quite distasteful!

    Either it was totally one-sided (and therefore an improper look at Gayo’s work in another culture) or Rene Gayo is a bad bad man.

    I take your frequent word that Rene Gayo is not a bad bad man, so the article that paints him so poorly is inappropriate at best, garbage at worst. Passan assassinates the man’s character!

  88. I just read where Jose Tabata was sent down, but it was Gorky who was called up not Starling Marte

  89. Tabata sent down; Hernandez called up. Marte Watch continues!

    I go back to my Jay Bell reference from yesterday. He was struggling mightily and they sent him down with specific direction. They brought him up later in the year and the rest was history. Let’s hope the same thing happens because we have this guy for the next five years. He needs to get his head and body right.

  90. sorry – just read the rest of the posts and did not realise that info was out there.

  91. I’ve discussed platooning in the past and considering the inexperience of some of our players, I’m all for it if it brings success.

    @ NMR #61. Totally agree. Isn’t it wonderful? I just don’t want a 2nd half like last year. That’s why some of us are holding our breath!

    @ buggee #63. Funny stuff. I’ll have to mull over that for awhile.

  92. pants-n-at ~ buggee entertains us daily with his musings. He REALLY likes Kris Letang of the Pens, can you tell???? ;)

  93. Wow Tabata send down to Indy, another message sent, this is about accountability glad to see the team is getting serious. A little surprised that Marte was not recalled…if everybody is saying it is imminent than why not now?

    So can we assume when Fryer is optioned back when Barajas returns to full health that it will be at that time we see Marte.

    Preslely, Marte, Cutch in the OF defensively looks solid and if Marte can hit as he has at AAA watch out. Jones and McGehee platoon at first seems right and an occasional start for Jones in RF with Marte or Presley in LF…..I like it.

  94. JRay3

    You can assume that, I will assume when Fryer goes Leroux will be added to the 40 and the 25

  95. zero fly balls fall down in a gorkys – cutch – marte outfield… holy crap that would be amazing to watch.

  96. Does anybody remember all those fly balls Marte dropped in Spring Training ? He should have been playing corner positions all season.

    DK: Agreed.

  97. @Groat:

    I’ll pass your regards on to the managing editor. Good guy. We had a freakish violent storm come through and an 80 year old Basswood fell and crushed my garage. Luckily, no one was injured but lots of guys that look like my farmer cousins are wandering through my yard with very big chainsaws along with insurance adjusters in suits. Feel like Drew with his ceiling. Fun day.

    Everyone have a good Fourth. I’ll be at my wife’s family farm shooting off fireworks.

    God Bless America and Lets Go Buccos

  98. So Dejan. What you’re saying is, it’s Gayo’s fault. Right?

    DK: 100 percent.

  99. So, since Tabby’s been sent down, does this mean that he’s the organization’s “whipping boy? “

  100. @ JAL – More so just trying to figure when and for whom Marte gets the recall for, especially given the comments DK made yesterday from sources within the team that stated move is imminent.

    With the Leroux suggestion is it your belief the team is moving towards carrying 13 pitchers or just a temporary fix to having to do something with Leroux?

    Anybody think Leroux should take spot of Cruz or Resop?

  101. Jose Tabata should have been sent out to Altoona- You want him to hustle,let him make a couple of those Double A bus trips.
    That would get his attention!

    16 0f 22 games after the All-Star Game are on the road-that stretch will tell the tale.

    “Not them all , just win tonight”.

  102. @ Bizrow
    I heard the Lee thing too, and it got vetoed becasue Lee was too old to trade for and there was a fear of him breaking down….that’s the rumor i either heard or started…not sure

    I guess this kind of answers my own question
    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/207598-lets-just-imagine-what-might-have-been-jason-bay-to-alanta

  103. @JRay

    I’d rather see an OF combo of Marte, Cutch, and Jones. AP becomes the 4th OFer and Sutton becomes everybody’s savior.

    McGehee stays at 1B, unless Pedro needs a spell, then Jones over to 1B.

    Does all that make sense, makes sense in my head anyhow.

  104. Regarding #96: JANDY, did someone stick a chocolate-covered soft-serve ice-cream-cone in my eye or did you just tell the world that I have a bromantic crush on that pointy-headed blueliner (upon whom my sweet, tiny wifelett lavishes her attention)?

    URK. Pay the woman already.

    Barajas with a bone-bruise. Told ya a bone-bruise aint nuttin to screw with; that particular ailment hurts. Figured it would be about a week for him to get right. Perhaps a calcium, potassium, magnesium supplement injection would assist in healing. Just a thought.

    May everyone’s 4th be terribly responsible and boring and mundane and sweaty (which means you actually have to DO something… especially you Mistah DK) [just kidding DK--I'll roll you up some salmon-skin-roll to make it up to you].

    To Jo ‘Ta; ‘Sayanara, y’all come back now, hear. C’mon Opie…’

  105. Hernandez won’t get a single start. He’s a bench filler.

    I truly don’t understand why people are ready to sit either Presley or McGehee in favor of a rookie that doesn’t have a single big league at-bat in the middle of a playoff race.

    If Marte beats Presleys June slash line of .259/.306/.458, it would be incredibly impressive.

  106. Johnnie Ray III,

    Now that Tabata is officially sent down, I hold onto my post at #48 just as strongly.

    Gorkys is here to play defense for Sutton after 7 innings. Sutton’s subscription will be expiring soon, especially with continued appearances.

    I agree with JAL that Fryer takes a flyer when Leroux has to come off Convenience List (or maybe goes on Convenience List himself, with blisters of the rear!). Marte will switch with Gorkys when the time comes.

    I’m not giving up on Jose Tabata, but he needs to be healed of his “case of the trots” in AAA to appreciate what he had and what he tentatively jogged away from. May he come back a better, hustling player.

    I’m looking forward to seeing Starling Marte in right field on Friday, July 13th!

  107. Saw on DK twitter account that the Pirates signed a Latin America 3B described by one scout as “Best pure hitter in this class”. All of a sudden the organization is starting to add some bats with this De La Cruz signing, Bell, Hanson, Dickerson, Mathieson, Barnes etc. Good to see.

    Anybody know the cutoff date as to when Appel has to sign? So frustrating to see players throw away a partial year of development over now what will be minimal dollars.

  108. Dejan’s column tomorrow:

    1/ generic July 4th
    2/ response defending Rene Gayo
    3/ good-bye Jose, we hardly knew ye
    4/ something to appease fringe groups on the less-read holiday edition, like gymnastics or swimmers or the sport that must not be named

    What say ye, all?

  109. @ Groat – Good take…I too will not give up on Tabata and the team did get a very fair long term deal with him that has minimal risk at those dollars if it does not work out. I agree it is a privilege to play at this level and he owes it not only to himself but the team to give it his all each day.

    I believe this move will further bring this team together as they seem to embrace and encompass this fighting spirit and bringing it each day approach.

    I hope you are right on Marte, I will be at all three games in Denver July16-18 and really would like the chance to see him play.

  110. Groat, nah…it will be the Parise decision!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  111. @JRay – Draft signing deadline is 4PM 7/13, I believe.

  112. @ JRay Trey

    I like their fighting spirit too. And I’ve been told the benching and now demotion of Tabata was much appreciated by several players. I think they showed their appreciation last night in a big way! I wish Tabata well too. Hopefully this turns him around. It’s his decision.

  113. Groat I hope it will be about how the Penguins got Parise.

  114. @ Arriba Wilver #103

    If Tabata is now the “whipping boy”, he has no one to blame but himself. He certainly earned that title on HIS OWN MERITS.

    Looks like another $15 million down the drain.

  115. @DemonDachshund

    you are correct, it’s July 13th….except the deadline is 5PM Eastern time. look for Boras to call @4:59.

  116. Re: this Gorkys/Marte/Tabata situation…I’d like to see Marte here, too. But, it sure seems the Pirates have pushed the right buttons in a lot of things this year, so far, so let’s see how this plays out.

  117. I think its July 13th, or somewhere in the neighborhood.

  118. @ DemonDachsund, @ pants-n-at – thanks for the info! Too funny on the Boras call time.

  119. Re: #118: it’s not $15 million down the drain, it’s over-slot money. Jo ‘Ta will be back, probably in September.

  120. @NMR

    I’m not positive, but I don’t believe McGehee started any of the games in St. Louis. They don’t seem to be losing any sleep over sitting him, and Marte’s not even here yet.

  121. Quietly, very quietly, the PIrates are really getting very nice combined production out of Jones/McGehee. Don’t have the stats in front of me….and they have played some games together so not a pure platoon, but something like 16 or 17 HRs and about 50 RBIs for half a season sure works for me as far as a 1B platoon.

    If I’m the GM of the Bucs, I do the following:

    1) Trade for a legitimate lead-off hitter and OF (Span, for one example..maybe Dexter Fowler of the Rockies).
    2) Trade for a legiitmate MLB starting pitcher (don’t think it has to be Hamels or Greinke but a solid #3 starter behind AJ and JMac ( I don’t trust Correia/Bedard/Karstens to pitch well into September/October).

    3) Fortify middle infield (either starter at SS or a veteran back-up)…someone like Marco Scutaro or Jed Lowrie (Scutaro is cheaper to obtain in terms of prospects).

    4) Maybe look at veteran bullpen help, especially tough lefty on lefty specialist

    The 25 for the Stretch Run:

    LF Span
    RF Presley/Marte/Tabata
    CF Cutch
    1B Jones/McG
    3B Pedro
    2B Walker
    C Barajas/Fort
    SS Barmes/Scutaro/Lowrie

    Rotation: AJ, JMac, Acquired Vet, Bedard, Karstens
    Bullpen: Hanny, Grilli, Lincoln, Cruz, Vet Lefty, Hughes, Watson/Resop

    Bench: Sutton, 4th OF (Presley/Marte/Tabby), 1B Platoon (Jones/McGehee), Back up Infielder (Scutaro/JayHey)// leaves one spot on bench, decision between Tabata, JayHey or another veteran acquisition (Jason Giambi anyone)?

  122. Also, DK, last year at deadline time, the PIrates (specifically Clint) were adament about ensuring the pick-ups “fit the mold” both on and off the field… given the obvious chemistry (and I know chemistry is overrated) building on this club, how is that factoring into targets for acquisition and also in terms of whether the Pirates move is to promote from AAA (Marte, Owens, Locke, etc.) vs. trading for proven ML talent like every other MLB does in this situation? Any insight into the actual strategy which is likely decided upon already between NH and Clint?

  123. Re post 125

    between Jay Hay and Sutton, the pirates should have the flexibility necessary to hold a guy like Giambi on the bench. I kind of like that idea. power’s down this year, but he’s getting on base almost 40% of the time. wow.

    interesting idea.

  124. NOOO on the Jason Giambi!!

  125. I’m not a fan of a one AB, Pinch hitter………Why he’s been on the Rockies the last couple of years makes no sense to me, but I guess if you have some of the guys the Rockies have, you can get away with it. The Pirates, can not.

  126. Denard Span is signed thru 2014, with an option in ’15, on the cheap. He will not be traded.

    Good idea though.

  127. Now, I’d try a trade for Shane Victorino. Numbers are down, but could be because Utley and Howard were out, other than Pence, wasn’t much more of a threat.

    Victo in LF, leading off…good experience and last time I checked, knew how to hustle.

  128. If Span goes anywhere, the rumors are to the Nats, supposedly they have been after him for some time.

    Gimme a good stick that won’t kill you in the field. So no thanks to Giambi.

  129. @Milo

    True, but thats when they were trying to fit both Presley and Tabata into the lineup.

    McGehee also started 16of18 games before that.

  130. @The Gunner

    Have you actually looked at Tabata’s contract?

    It’ll be 2014 before he even has a chance of making more than he would in arbitration and at $3m, isn’t much more than a backup outfielder, which he basically is right now.

    I hardly think its anywhere close to calling the contract a mistake when at worst, you’re on the hook for paying a 4th outfielder $4.5m for two years.

    This is a kid who’s hit .300 over a 400 AB big league season. If the Pirates can’t take a risk on that, then they shouldn’t be in business.

  131. Gunner—my Tabata “whipping boy” post was tongue-in-cheek.

    Waiting till after the all star break to bring up Marte makes all kinds of sense. Why bring him up during his hot streak to very shortly sit for 4 days. And when he comes up, he starts. Presley has shown he’s a part-timer.

  132. On sirius/xm mlb radio this morning they were speculating that the Pirates should go after a hitter, and an additional starter.
    Jim Duquetteformer Mets GM who is a host, said the Pirates are activly pursuing Carlos Quentin
    .

  133. NMR—I’m not worried about Tabby’s contract, either. Worst case, he doesn’t turn it around here, and someone from another organization, with his talent, will think they can turn him around, and the cost is something that’s worth that risk. Unless he goes all Ian Snell on us.

  134. I think if I’m Hurdle and Marte comes up, probably now when Barajas is totally certified and Fryer goes down, I start him two or three times a week and let him get used to the pace in the bigs… Gorkys will probably stay and work into a specialist role unless he just can’t hit at all.

    Repeating from yesterday, OK I’d like to see what Sutton can do at shortstop. Barmes is improving, but to me he’s still a very very very hard sell.

    Don’t listen to trade rumors until you hear a “reliable source” has said that there’s a done deal — and even then hold your breath. Feel free to speculate to your heart’s content, though.

    First place by All Star break!

    Burnett against the Astros tonight; we made not need to, but let’s bring the bats anyhow. What’s the games with homers streak at?

  135. @ NMR – 134

    In their write-up about the Tabata demotion, the PG says “a six-year contract worth a guaranteed $14.75 million”. That tells me Joggin’ Joe gets $14.75 million even if he decides to quit baseball and gets a job at the local Taco Bell.

    If I am missing something here, please let me know.

  136. Great point, Arriba.

    Even if Tabata never hits above .250 for the next two years, somebody out there will take a flyer on him.

    He won’t bring much in return, but there are ways to get his contract off the books, if $9m four years from now is what you’re so dreadfully worried about.

  137. @ Arriba #137. Going “Snell” is a possibilty. He has a history and that’s what concerns me about this demotion.

    @ JHadar. …..and 3 games up by Friday the 13th. Mark it down!

  138. JandyGirl,

    No column tomorrow by Dejan on Parise signing, because ol’ Zach needs the holiday and fireworks time to discuss with his fiance and her parents (is it true she is from Pittsburgh area?) whether to stay in the Garden State or move to the Garden of Eden in the ‘Burgh.

    Plus, no agent allows his charge to make such an important announcement over a holiday, when media coverage is at an ebb.

    Expect an announcement Thursday and Dejan’s scribblings concerning such on Friday.

  139. @Gunner

    If he quits, he gets nothing. But I get your point.

    This is just a funk, a phase if you will. Tabby will be back.

  140. Quentin is an interesting target… > Josh Wilingham, Jeff Francoeur types… the Bucs do have the flexibility to either get speedy leadoff type (Span, Victorino) or a power bat…. because they can flex Jones to RF if they get the leadoff type or keep him at 1B if they get the power type bat. As to Span “not being available”, that’s not true. Twins have Revere who can flat out fly and reeeeeeaaaaallllly need pitching so they match up well with the Bucs.

  141. Guys, not calling 1st place yet, need some help from the Foes of the Reds. They’re playing a VERY slumping Dodgers team right now. Hope they have a hiccup and the Bucs can take advantage.

    Sounds good though.

  142. Gunner

    I meant the contract breakdown.

    Tabata won’t make over a million bucks until 2014. His contract is at least 2 1/2 years away from even beginning to hurt the franchise.

    Unless you have a crystal ball, I’d say the time to judge Tabatas contract one way or another is not even close.

  143. @pants ‘n at

    And even Seattle took Ian Snell in a trade.

  144. I’m not saying that Span is “not available” but I don’t see the Twins trading him. IF they do, DC makes sense. They’ve been looking for a real CF for the last year or so. I still don’t like this trade, like the player, but doesn’t fit. The Pirates need a guy to fill in the rest of the year. Not the next 2/3 years.

    Pick up Span ( who I would take) and blocks Marte. Unless the OF consists of Span, Cutch, and Marte? hmmm, could be interesting now that I type that out, but I don’t see the FO leaving power out of a corner spot.

    Eh, either way, who knows. This is the fun part of the season, IMO.

  145. I’m not big on forced nicknames, and Joggin’ Joe seems forced to me. Joggin’ Ronny made sense. Joggin’ George (Hendrick) made sense. For one thing, Jose’s name isn’t “Joe,” and his issues seem a little more complicated than Hendrick’s, and Ronny’s. Just my two cents.

    Tabby can’t quit and still get his money. He probably can play so bad that nobody wants him, and still get his money (Matt Morris), but that seems far fetched given the talent and given the dollars in the contract.

  146. How much nicer is it to discuss trading FOR and not just trading?

  147. Groat, no Alisha Woods is from Minnesota as well.

    I keep WISHING this Parise thing would get settled like TODAY! :;sigh::

  148. Has anyone decided how old Tabby REALLY is? I’m thinking he just needs an attitude adjustment. Indianapolis should be a good place for that. The kid can play…when he wants to.

  149. Jason Giambi??

    Isn’t he playing shuffleboard somewhere where they still play shuffleboard, with other guys old enough to know what shuffleboard is? (But can’t remember)

    And anyway, what were we talking about?

  150. Pirates Prospects look at tonight’s Astros pitcher

    Exploring the Arsenal – Lucas Harrell

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/07/exploring-the-arsenal-lucas-harrell.html

  151. ‘ ol’ Zach needs the holiday and fireworks time ‘

    Groat, then he would LOVE Pittsburgh.

    Every weekend and holiday is fireworks time in this city.

  152. Wavin’ at the Radio,

    Duquette and his bunch make comments on what THEY would/should do.
    THEY don’t think like the BMTIB.
    Remember THEY all had Kevin Youkilis coming to the Bucs.

    The Pirates think they have something in Marte, so they won’t make a 3-year commitment to someone like Span. Plus, the good GM is back in charge in Minnesota——we lose in any dealings there!

    Giambi’s wheelchair won’t make it up the steps at PNC!

    Bucs will look at Starling Marte, to see what they have right away, until near the trading deadline July 31. July 13 to 31 Marte’s time to show he fits in the Majors.

  153. Hi Folks.

    Picked up tix to for the Saturday game against the Giants. Looking forward to taking my 6 year old son to his first game and first time to PNC in about quite some time for me. Last game was way back when Craig Wilson was around and the Bucs had that win streak and still were way below .500…

    Enjoyed listening last night as well…hope they can go into the break on a postive note…

    Regarding the Parise deal. Hope it is resolved soon one way or another so that all interested parties can move along and get on with it. Would love to see him sign with the Pens, but can appreciate what he is up against.

    Everyone have a great and safe 4th!

    Randy in Richmond, VA.

  154. JH—read my lips–when Marte comes up he starts, maybe not every game, but not 2 or 3 times a week. The precedents are Cutch and Pedro. They started. Even Neil the utility guy started once they found he could play second (although he had a previous Sept taste in the Bigs).

    And if I’m wrong, you don’t have to vote for me for President. :-)

  155. Hey JAL,

    I LOVED the song today. I played it twice.

    I don’t know what your theme is this week, but I hope an appearance of “The House of the Rising Sun” ensues.

    And, last week, your Moody Blues was exactly spot on. I saw them in concert at University of Iowa a few years back. They goo-oo-ood!!

  156. Drew–I thought Tampa was the shuffleboard capital of the world (at least on dry land).

  157. @NMR ref #150. I hear ya brother…..it’s been far too long
    @G2M2S: ref #156. I believe you are spot on.

  158. @Wilver

    Sorry, I won’t stop using Joggin’ Joe. My buddy blurted it out during a game about a month back. Not forced at all. And as always, no intellectual property rights on derogatory nicknames.

  159. Arriba and JH, are you guys brothers by chance? you sure “sound” like it ;)

  160. I wonder if DK will write a book about the signing/non-signing of Parise.

  161. Wilver Dornel,

    You are exactly right with Marte.

    He’s no Jordy Mercer. “I knew Jordy Mercer, and you, sir, (Marte) are no Jordy Mercer.”

  162. Vette60 (Randy) you have a good one too :)

  163. AW 164 LOLOL!

  164. @ Arriba Wilver – 149

    You have a point with that nickname. How about Hustlin’ Jose, tongue in cheek, of course. It has a much better ring to it. We’ll try that one for a while. Of course, where Jose is headed, not many people on this blog will really care how he is doing. That is unless things drastically fall apart with the Pirates.

    I sense that Hustlin’ Jose has pretty much burnt his bridges in Pittsburgh but, another organization will take a chance on him. Then, when he plays against the Pirates for his new team, he’ll play like Steve Pearce did when the Bucs got trounced in Baltimore last month.

  165. Milo–to each their own. I don’t like it. But what do I know?

  166. Groat,

    That Dan Quayle quote smacks of politics. Watch for a scolding from the Boss.

  167. Just my opinion:

    Tabata will be in the minors for at least 6 weeks.
    He’ll get the message and will return to the Pirates and be a much more productive player.

    There may be a few days or a week of sulking at the beginning of his time in Indy. But he’ll get the message and work to get back to the big leagues.

    And he will take up shuffle board as his new hobby. (guys his age usually do :-)

  168. @Wilver

    Just having some fun. Do you like “Lurch” for Jared Hughes ?

  169. LUCKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  170. Kentuck Knob,

    Dan Quayle should never be mistaken for a politician!

  171. Milo—my favorite for Hughes is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (although its a bit wordy). But at least when he’s coming in to pitch you can just call him “Hyde.”

  172. NMR

    It is nice and actually quite fun to figure out who the next chess piece will be. Of course, there are a lot of other factors out there behind the scenes that we have no idea about, but we can always guess and have fun with it.

    A month ago, we were looking for a 1B, now we’re looking for a corner outfielder and a starter.

    It has been rumored for a few weeks now that the FO is in search of another starter. I think its a good move. I’d like another veteran starter to back up JMac, AJ, and Bedard. I don’t trust Karstens, though I’m pulling for him.

  173. @Wilver

    How about last night ? McKenry had to go out to tell Hughes to STOP hitting people. Quite a departure from past years.

  174. TC–I’m with you. Much too early to look at this as the beginning of the end of Tabby’s career as a Bucco.

  175. @Milo

    Lurch works for Hughes…….Dudes, what? 6’8″?

  176. Thinking about how good the Pirates could be in a couple years if they had signed Sano and drafted Wieters makes my head hurt. Those guys plus, Cutch, Marte, Pedro (if he keeps hitting) and all that pitching… I don’t wanna talk about Sano or Wieters anymore. Too depressing.

  177. @Milo

    I thought that was rather funny…….”calm down big boy” “I’m ok”

  178. My nickname for Jeff Karstens is Tyler Kennedy…

    because they’ve both been equally beaten with the ugly stick.

  179. @Dave

    I’m going to wait until Sano gets his first major league hit before I get depressed.

  180. OMG NMR, that’s priceless!!!!

  181. @Ryan

    Back up Bedard? More like replace him…

  182. No need to get depressed, these Buccos are gonna go on a tear like we haven’t seen and we won’t care how many hits Sano gets..

  183. Cutch named NL player of the month…WOW

  184. No need to replace Bedard. He does well, needed some offensive help in the beginning. He will be replaced next year by one of the AAA guys.

  185. Ryan

    I actually trust Karstans more then I trust Bedard at this point. That being said they both are much better 3 and 4 starters then anything we threw out there last year. I also will go as far as saying that they are better 3 and 4 starters then what the Reds currently have. Adding another starter would only help by pushing them back to the 4 and 5. I wouldn’t mind seeing Dempster come play for the Pirates.

  186. It’s not like the Pirates can’t recover from not getting Sano by simply getting other people that are good. It just sucks to see them miss on a virtually signed, sealed, delivered signing after sucking for so long. @Thundercrack, point taken. Sano hasn’t proven a thing yet. But if he doesn’t pan out, I’ll be really suprised.

  187. @Nate

    I’m cool with that. I’m not knocking either out of the rotation. Obviously that’s Corriea and his 5innings of 5 run appearances.

    If they can upgrade and get someone to sandwich in between, then that’s even better. But let’s not get our hopes up thinking that the Buccos are gonna trade for Greinke or Hamels….I don’t know who else would be available that could fill that spot.

    Dempster? Haven’t paid much attention to him this year, afterall, he is a Cub.

  188. Just looked up Dempster stats.

    Here they are.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/d/dempsry01.shtml

  189. Bedard does well? He’s actually, after a tremendous start, been pretty mediocre for a while. Maybe since the back issue. I ‘m not saying take him out, but let’s be realistic. And speaking of being realistic, Karsty hasn’t pitched much so far this season, so I expect him to finish the year strong.

  190. Sano who? Who cares? You really wanna talk about the Pirates swing and misses, Bryan Bullington anyone? How about all the players drafted after him?

    Let Sano go!!

  191. Dave, re: Weiters and Sano

    I wanted the Homecoming Queen to go to Prom with me, too, but I’m long since past that. Weiters and Sano are ancient history.

    Let us pray that Starling Marte makes both of them look weak!

    And . . . . . let’s not forget that Jeff Karstens was the Pirates’ best starting pitcher last season. Did you see karstens’ last start? Picking up another starter is way down on my list!!

    However, if Erik Bedard has two good starts in a row, I could see him going to another team at deadline; and Bucs finally see if Rudy Owens can breathe Major League air!

  192. AW

    ” Karsty hasn’t pitched much so far this season, so I expect him to finish the year strong.”

    So much for realistic. I hope that is the case, don’t get me wrong, but the guys been out most of the year. Does he have the arm strength to last? Big question. Hope so.

    Bedard had a rough June. You’re right. Maybe it can be contributed to the back issue, but I doubt it.

    Since the back issue he’s had 9 starts. 5 of them could be considered “quality starts.” Including 2 games where he had 7 starts.

    His durability can come in to question down the stretch since he hasn’t had an injury free season since………eh, who cares?

  193. On Sano—Neal and Frank know they screwed the pooch on that, luckily. So they took a different approach with Heredia (and I would argue Bell). And Neal knows he messed up the Bay trade, so he has adjusted. I don’t see what’s so hard to acknowledge these, but certain posters don’t want to acknowledge mistakes were made. At least the guys who count aren’t so inclined.

  194. @Groat

    “However, if Erik Bedard has two good starts in a row, I could see him going to another team at deadline; and Bucs finally see if Rudy Owens can breathe Major League air!”

    There’s another option.

    Or Justin Wilson or Jeff Locke

  195. AW,
    I agree that mistakes were made.

    But I’m not ready to cry about a missed opportunity with Sano until he actually makes it to the major leagues

  196. Cool read by Tom Verducci

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/tom_verducci/07/03/midseason-awards-cano-votto/index.html?eref=sihp&sct=hp_t11_a0

    @JAL- I scanned your links to make sure I wasn’t stepping on your toes.

  197. TC—then, to be fair, you can’t get too excited about them landing a prized recruit, either, right?

  198. Bedard’s ERA

    Last 7 days. 9.64
    Last 14 days. 5.40
    Last 28 days. 6.33

  199. AW,
    That is right. I’m certainly not planning a parade because Heredia pitched 5 innings in State College.
    :-)

  200. Right on the money, Arriba.

    No GM’s are perfect, and I certainly didn’t expect Huntingdon to be in his first few years as GM.

    I want to see improvement. Lessons learned, and certainly not failures repeated.

  201. Twitter is abuzz today with the great job of “good old fashioned reporting” by Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. He waited at the airport for Zach Parise to get off the plane. I have one small problem with all this virtual back slapping. How can it be a great job of reporting when there was no news ?

  202. For instance, WHEN McCutchen is traded(if NH is still GM), we better not see a 4-5 pretty good prospect type trade.

    I want whatever teams top 2. No questions asked.

  203. Another concerning stat as it relates to Bedard is during the month of June (the Pirates best month) and his one start in July, the Bucs record is 1-5 in those starts.

    I know @ Ryan is not sold on Karstens but I actually feel good about him. Adding an arm may be prudent as right now when Correia and Bedard start not sure what you get.

  204. @T-Crack. I think it will be longer than 6 weeks although I do think he’ll be back. I hope he turns it around because the Bucs need him.

  205. @AW

    That’s what “Bedard had a rough June” means……

  206. Ryan—”quality start” to me is a relic of the bad old days of Maholm and Duke being our top pitchers, it helps make poop look like, well, less stinky poop. We’re not winning this year because of quality starts, we’re winning because guys like AJ an JMac are doing much better than the bare minimum. And others, like Bedard early on, were also contributing. In other words, I think it’s rather meaningless if you think we can actually win (which I do).

  207. I’ll admit, I’ve NEVER been sold on Karstens, but I am when he pitches. Does that make sense?

    He reminds me of Greg Maddox. Not that he’s going to win over 300 games or becomes one of the best players of his generation type, but, neither look like they should be on a diamond.

    Maddox didn’t have dominate stuff either, but what he did have, was outstanding control and great movement on his pitches.

    Helped that he got the strike call 6 inches off the plate as well, but I digress.

  208. I hate the term quality start. But its something people look at to determine the “quality” of the starters performance.

    If Bedard can keep the game at hand, then he’s valueable to the team. I’m still not busting him out of the rotation, but if they can pick up someone for the #3 spot and Karstens/Bedard becomes our #5, I’m cool with that.

  209. What I do like about Karstens is:

    a. his control
    b. the command of his curveball
    c. how he changes speeds

    Wait, I thought I didn’t like this guy.

    But, I do worry about his durability, probably not as much as Bedard’s though.

  210. I’m on board with Karstens too. Even Lincoln has been better than the cuurent Bedard. Shame too because he came out of the gates so strong.

  211. pants
    I agree with you — I do see Tabata as being a September call-up, at the very least

  212. @Ryan

    I think Karstens injury will be a blessing in disguise.

    The 162 IP he threw last year were 40 more than at any other time in his career. I think it definitely showed down the stretch and possibly is to blame for his trip to the DL this season.

    I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the latter part of his DL time was CL time due to the success the rotation was having. There was just no need for him.

    With him back at full health, he can be a horse the rest of the year and not even break the 100 IP mark.

  213. Barajas is back in the lineup, at least for now..

  214. Craigslist time? hmm, who knew?

  215. Ryan—”I’m not saying take him out” means I’m not saying take Bedard out of the rotation.

  216. @ Ryan: Dempster has been very good….but is he going to be available?

  217. NMR–I agree 100% about Karstens. (I hope Naje isnt following this).

  218. @pants

    He’s a Cub in a contract year…should be.

  219. Dempster is currenlty on the 15 day DL (shoulder). Dempster’s stats: 3 – 3, ERA: 2.11

  220. @AW

    Thanks for the explanation……..can’t keep up with my own outstanding rants, let alone someone else’s far inferior ones….(I’m kidding of course)

  221. Thanks for that look up Pants, was wondering why he only had 12 starts. Again, he’s a Cub, so I pay no attention.

  222. @ Ryan -#213 see you may like Karsty after all!

    @ NMR – # 216 very good point, I too, feel him having a “fresh” arm will be a big plus in second half of the season.

  223. As far as the fresh arm, its a possibility, but so is the lack of arm strength. He was on the DL for shoulder inflammation back in April. That cuts down on his throwing time, obviously. If he wasn’t able to throw, no build up of arm strength.

    @NMR

    If your theory is true, and they kept him on there because he wasn’t needed, then maybe he was getting his throwing in all along. Might be why they skipped his last rehab assignment, who knows.

  224. @ Ryan. No problem. Club site says he should be back with the Cubs shortly after the AS break. That will give people an idea if his shoulder is sound before trade deadline. I hadn’t thought about him but it does intrigue me. He has the 2nd lowest ERA in the NL. Still, I would love a proven big time bat.

  225. I don’t see every post but has anyone though about Cutch winning the triple crown? He’s 7 back in homers and that might the hardest to make up.

  226. @pants..all abandened you to new thread…..ask there?

  227. When Dejan writes the book maybe everyone will know what happened. It came down to not only money, but how the process played itself out. Miguel is happy to be a Twin. I speak to Rene quite frequently as does Miguel. What happened happened and cannot be taken back. The movie does not show everything that happened, but it’s still a very good movie and I would recommend that everyone on this board see it. Have a great 4th of July!

    DK: Good to hear from you again, Rob. Especially so that readers can see first-hand there’s no issue with any of what I wrote above.

    Happy Fourth to you, as well.

  228. Arriba,

    Regarding Tabata’s nickname:

    Joey Bats(hit crazy)

  229. One last thing I have to mention b/c a lot of readers don’t understand why I never went back to PIttsburgh to get a counter offer. There were a lot of teams that were just standing there waiting to make a counter offer yet nobody wanted to put the first big offer out there. Teams didn’t believe that I had more so nobody wanted to bid against themselves. The situation had been playing out for a very long time. The teams all had a chance to up their ante and sign Miguel including the Pirates. There was a 4 day period where I went to the Twins… gave them a number and said if they got there that I would sign with the Twins and not go to another team to get a counter offer. I gave this opportunity to a handful of teams and nobody wanted to get a deal closed all fearing that they were bidding against themselves. It was a very frustrating negotiation. The Twins stepped up and gave Miguel more than anyone else signed for that year… That was very important to Miguel that he be the highest paid player. I was not going to then go back on my word to the Twins front office and shop their offer after I had promised them that if they stepped up and made Miguel the highest paid player that he would sign with them. To all of you who speak of me like I have no morals… I gave my word to the Twins and that was that… Early on I did give my word to Neal that I would go back to him as things went along, but I did give him a chance to get a deal done on many occasions. I think both Neal and I learned a lot about the situation, but I think I did the best that I could have done in a really hard, long lasting and stressful situation not only for myself, but for Sano, his famliy and his coach.

    Dejan… Let’s catch up sometime.

    Rob

    DK: Will do, Rob. So again, to the readership, I point out to you that if the Pirates paid up, they’d have TE player. Wasn’t personal. It was financial. You’re getting it right here from the long-established and prominent agent who did the actual deal.

  230. And this is why DK is the best. That is really cool to read.

    I’d love to know if Rob went to Neal first and made the same “get here and the deal is done” offer. I assume from what he said that this was the case, but he didn’t specifically say that it was up to the Pirates to get there first and they declined, thus moving on to the Twinkies.

  231. @ Rob Plummer

    Thank you, Rob for taking the time to share those fascinating details with us. Very much appreciated!

  232. Wait, so Rob admitted he told Neal he would come back to him, but then Rob changed his mind and gave the Twins a exclusive opportunity?

    Sounds like because he was frustrated that the Pirates wouldn’t pay what ROB thought Miguel deserved ($4 million), that he abandoned previous commitments to get just the most.

    Interesting because its one side. Just because Mr. Plummer says now that Miguel would have been a Pirate, doesn’t make it true. If Rob was frustrated with the Pirates and the process, does anyone think he would say now ‘well, the Pirates wouldn’t pay what I wanted so I played the game to get the most for Miguel from anyone other than the Pirates’

    There are lots of folks signed who are the next ‘Michael Jordan’. Who knows maybe this years 3B that the Pirates signed yesterday will be even better than Sano, or maybe neither will make it to the bigs.

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