TribLIVE
Blogs | Sports | News
Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

« Font size »
Decrease | Reset |Increase

Wakeup Call: Justin Upton? No, thanks

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Brief and to the Point …

>> The Monday column looks both at the remarkable scene yesterday and ahead to the second half. Hope you enjoy this one half as much as the one on women’s sports.

>> Once again, Trib photographer Chris Horner nails the moment, the image of A.J. Burnett coming off the field that I try to describe in the column opening …

>> Dear Brian Cashman

Nah, I’m not going there. The letter to Derrek Lee will have to suffice for the summer as far as that writing device goes. But I will share with you video of this Yankees-related question I asked A.J. Burnett yesterday in the PNC Park clubhouse …

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YGlmFJLjcw

For those who don’t know or have forgotten, Cashman’s Yankees are paying $20 million of the $33 million Burnett is due this season and next.

Correspondence to the Yankees should be mailed to: ESPN Plaza, Bristol, CT 06010

>> Justin Upton?

No, thanks. The only times a player like that comes available is when:

A. The team trying to trade him knows something you don’t.

B. The team trying to trade him is looking for two of your three best prospects. At minimum.

C. Both.

Sorry, but I’m not giving up two out of Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon and Starling Marte. Not for what’s clearly someone else’s midseason migraine.

>> Speaking of those guys, check our Pirates page this morning for much more on trade possibilities, the game yesterday, the Futures, the new rotation, bunch of stuff.

>> Congrats to new papa Josh Yohe, our Penguins beat man. He’s already indoctrinating the lad.

>> My weekly appearance on TribLIVE Radio will be at noon today.

Comments

  1. Skip says:

    Maybe I’m jumping the gun a little bit, but your Monday column link is taking me to your Friday column instead, and we don’t want to open that can of worms again (sorry for the cliches).

    DK: Fixed! THANKS, Skip.

  2. Dan1283 says:

    Awesome pic of Burnett. That thing is gonna end up on a t-shirt or a rally flag somewhere on Strip District shelves by the end of the week.

  3. Boise Bucco says:

    DK, on the GM topic, I have a question that I’ve wondered about for some time:

    When a GM clearly gets the better end of a deal, not so much like the Burnett deal–Cashman knew what he was doing and had the money to do it–but more like the Dotel/JMac trade, is there any hesitance on the burned GM to make another deal with the other party in the future, based off of how badly he got burned? For example: Say the Dodgers were really in need of some bullpen help again; if NH made a “fair” offer, would Ned Colletti be less inclined to deal with NH again, just based off of that trade? And although I doubt it, would NH feel like he needed to “sweeten the pot” a little, just to keep Colletti dealing prospects?

    Kinda like gambling, sometimes you gotta let ‘em win so they keep coming back…

    DK: Nah. The only way GMs hold anything against the other is if they feel the counterpart was holding back something significant, like say an injury-in-waiting or a major character issue. They hate that.

    But getting beaten?

    Nah, Kevin Towers, formerly of Padres and now with D-Backs, would never, ever get a call from anyone if that were the case.

  4. Boise Bucco says:

    Thanks for the reply! Honestly, that’s what I was thinking, that there’s really no way to know if a prospect is going to pan out, but sometimes I wonder, with how lopsided some of these trades can be–I’m reminded of the big Expos/Indians trade years ago that got the Indians half their starting lineup for like 10 years, or the Rangers/Braves trade for Texiera.

    On an unrelated note, I’m really hoping to get back to the states by the end of September and make a drive out east…my family back home was at the game today, and they said that it was incredible, even with the heat. Talking to my uncle, he said the whole family was hoarse from yelling for AJ and Walker. HOPEFULLY I’ll have some October baseball to come home to! Go Bucs!

  5. Dan1283 says:

    @Boise

    If that were the case, then the Pirates were too dumb to learn from all the miserable deals they used to make with the recently-departed Giants. My god did we either get hosed or at least end up with nothing in some of those deals!

  6. DMFH says:

    DK,

    Aside from Marte, Taillon, and Cole, would you also include Josh Bell or Luis Heredia as prospects you couldn’t bear to part with (if you were the GM) in exchange for someone like Justin Upton?

  7. Jandy says:

    This weekend was sensational. Worked my butt off, but still followed what was going on with the games. Goosebumps galore!
    Then you write that Monday column and goosebumps again!

    Pinch me!

  8. Juan Pizarro says:

    as far as I am aware re: MLB trade rules, neither Cole nor Bell is available to be traded until 1 year after last year’s signing date (and last years signing period ended August 31, I believe). So neither may be available to include in a trade before this years trade deadline.

  9. JAL says:

    JAL’s On the Radio Morning Links

    GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pittsburgh_pirates/

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)

    http://gobuccos.com/pittsburgh-pirate-news/

    4 Pirates Prospects Draft Pick Signing Tracker

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012draft

    PIRATE BLOGS

    5—Pirates Prospects

    Pirates Notebook: McCutchen, Walker Power Bucs to Strong First Half Finish

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/07/pirates-notebook-mccutchen-walker-power-bucs-to-strong-first-half-finish.html

    Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon Futures Game Results

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/07/gerrit-cole-and-jameson-taillon-futures-game-results.html

    Prospect Watch: Matt Curry Continues Hitting, Jeff Clement Hits 13th Homer

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/07/prospect-watch-matt-curry-continues-hitting-jeff-clement-hits-13th-homer.html

    Prospect Notebook: Marte Could be Promoted During Midst of Pennant Race

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/07/prospect-notebook-marte-could-be-promoted-during-midst-of-pennant-race.html

    Still No Wins for West Virginia’s Hafner

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/07/still-no-wins-for-west-virginias-hafner.html

    First Pitch: Why I Wouldn’t Trade For Justin Upton

    http://blogs.piratesprospects.com/williams/first-pitch-why-i-wouldnt-trade-for-justin-upton/

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker Help Pirates Crush Giants, Go 11 Games Over .500

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2012/7/8/3145467/andrew-mccutchen-neil-walker-help-pirates-crush-giants-go-11-games

    7 Rumbunter

    The First Place Pittsburgh Pirates

    http://rumbunter.com/2012/07/08/the-first-place-pittsburgh-pirates/

    8 McEffect

    7/8 Recap | Pirates 13 Giants 2

    http://www.mceffect.com/2012/07/78-recap-pirates-13-giants-2.html

    9 The Green Weenie

    Bucs Roll Into All-Star Break With 13-2 Beatdown Of Giants

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2012/07/bucs-roll-into-all-star-break-with-13-2.html

    10 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Blasting into the break

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2012/07/blasting-into-the-break/

    11 WHY GAVS

    Game 85: Pirates 13 Giants 2

    http://whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/july-2012/game-85-pirates-13-giants-2.html

  10. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 CBS Sports

    Pirates rip Lincecum, in first place alone

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/recap/MLB_20120708_SF@PIT/pirates-rip-lincecum-in-first-place-alone

    13 San Francisco Chronicle

    Lincecum struggles again as Pirates rip Giants

    http://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Lincecum-struggles-again-as-Pirates-rout-Giants-3691775.php

    14 Minneapolis Star Tribune

    First at the break, revived Pittsburgh Pirates have more top prospects making their way up

    http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/mlb/161738145.html

    15 The News Herald

    Jim Ingraham’s iChart: Party likes it’s 1992, Pittsburgh Pirates fans

    http://news-herald.com/articles/2012/07/08/sports/nh5702396.txt

    16 York Daily Record

    Frank Bodani: Memories of baseball come flooding back with the Pirates resurgence

    http://www.ydr.com/sports/ci_21032550/frank-bodani-memories-baseball-come-flooding-back-pirates

    17 Sweetspot

    Andrew McCutchen: Face of the first half

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/26552/andrew-mccutchen-face-of-the-first-half

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    18 PBC Site

    McCutchen homers twice as Pirates cruise

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2012_07_08_sfnmlb_pitmlb_1&mode=recap_home&c_id=pit

    Notebook: Pirates split McDonald, Burnett in second half

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120708&content_id=34704134&notebook_id=34708400&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Hire Joe Morgan

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17603

    20 Bleacher Report

    Are the Pittsburgh Pirates Going to Go Big at the MLB Trade Deadline?

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1250907-mlb-trade-speculation-are-the-pirates-going-to-go-big-the-deadline

  11. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    2005-Present: A New “Golden Age” of Steelers Football

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/7/8/3144936/Pittsburgh-steelers-history-steel-curtain-era-mike-tomlin

    SB Nation Ranks Steelers Third in Best NFL Linebacking Groups

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/7/8/3144659/sb-nation-ranks-steelers-third-in-best-nfl-linebacking-groups

    Happy 79th Birthday, Pittsburgh Steelers, Here’s To Many More

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/7/8/3144769/happy-79th-birthday-pittsburgh-steelers-heres-to-many-more

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Steelers Six From Around The Web – July 8th – Happy Birthday Steeler Nation & Jack Lambert Edition

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2012/07/steelers-six-from-around-the-web-july-8th-happy-birthday-steeler-nation-jack-lambert-edition/

    23 Steelers Gab

    Atwaan Randle El Set to Retire from the NFL

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2012/07/08/atwaan-randle-el-set-to-retire-from-the-nfl/

    24 Nice Pick Cower

    Fast Learner: Steelers Rookie Adams With 1st Team

    http://nicepickcowher.com/2012/07/06/fast-learner-steelers-rookie-adams-with-1st-team/

    Pitt Blogs

    25 Pitt Blather

    How the Hell is PSU Doing It?

    http://www.pittblather.com/2012/07/08/how-the-hell-is-psu-doing-it/

    26 Cardiac Hill

    BBVA Compass Bowl For Pitt … Again? #Crap

    http://www.cardiachill.com/2012/7/8/3142626/pitt-football-bbva-compass-bowl-kentucky-big-east-2012-bowl-projections-pittsburgh-panthers

    WVU Blogs

    27 Metro News

    No. 1 Geno Smith

    http://www.wvmetronews.com/wvu.cfm?func=displayfullstory&storyid=53674

    28 WV Illustrated

    Henderson Growing Physically and Mentally for Mountaineers

    http://www.wvillustrated.com/story/18966101/henderson-growing-physically-and-mentally-for-mountaineers

    Soccer(football)

    29 Sky Sports

    Giggs to lead gold rush

    http://www1.skysports.com/olympics/football/story/21743/7881560

    30 Daily Telegraph

    Van Persie won’t stay at Arsenal

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/van-persie-wont-stay-at-arsenal/story-fnecsqy7-1226417423789

    31 World Soccer Daily

    10 Ten stories you need to read, July 6th, 2012

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-6th-july-2012

    PENGUIN BLOGS

    32 Pensburgh

    Pens Announce 34 player Prospect Development Camp roster for next week

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2012/7/5/3139497/pens-announce-34-player-prospect-development-camp-roster-for-next-week

  12. Drew71 says:

    What a wonderful day!

    Pirates in first place at the All Star Break.

    McCutchen about to win the Home Run Derby.

    No more Derrek Lee emails.

    It WILL suffice

  13. JAL says:

    This week’s theme is “And now for something completely different”. On the Radio Regina Spektor 2006—Regina was born in Moscow and her family moved to the US when she was 9. Trained in classical music, her songs mix many genres. She has some quirky lyrics and vocal range. This song from her 4th album.

  14. Kevin says:

    DK –

    Thanks for using that photo of Burnett leaving the field. I wish I could get that framed! Is there anything cooler than having AJ saying he is ‘happy to be a Pirate;’?

  15. Ace McTasty says:

    Among the dumbest arguments I’ve seen/heard against the Pirates being buyers at the deadline is “So what if they make the playoffs? They’d be overmatched once they got there”. This is an argument I’ve heard from multiple national analysts.

    First of all, who cares? To just have a winning season & even sniff the postseason is an accomplishment we’ve all been waiting 20 years for. Now, I will concede that it would be short-sighted to give up a blue chip prospect for a rental player. But aside from that, they should remain open-minded.

    Besides, we’ve all acknowledged that the Central is worse than usual this year. But look at the NL as a whole. Who exactly is this powerhouse team the Bucs wouldn’t stand a chance against? I’m obviously getting ahead of myself here, but the notion that inevitable postseason failure should be a reason why NH stands pat (or even sells) is absurd.

  16. Thought it was a classy move when the PG left a link on Smizak’s blog to an article by Starkey yesterday

  17. CraigWilson'sRevenge says:

    Players can be traded as players to be named later if they were recently drafted. Bell and Cole could be traded as such.

    At least that’s how i understand it.

  18. Jandy says:

    Ace says: Among the dumbest arguments I’ve seen/heard against the Pirates being buyers at the deadline is “So what if they make the playoffs? They’d be overmatched once they got there”. This is an argument I’ve heard from multiple national analysts.

    You know, these idiot analysts make my blood boil. The should give some credit where credit is due. I hope the Bucs go on a tear the likes of which has never been seen. I hope they go all the way to the world series, kicking major butt all the way, just to shut these morons up!
    This should serve as even more motivation for our boys.

  19. Drew71 says:

    I’ve occasionally seen decent, moderately talented teams win World Series.

    Usually because they have a pitcher or two who can dominate in a short series.

    I’m not predicting. I’m just saying.

    Get to the playoffs. Anything can happen.

    In the playoffs, in a short series, hope and reality can blend.

    Just get to the playoffs. That will suffice.

  20. Jandy says:

    Drew, I realize I’m stretching it a bit. I agree with what you’re saying. These so-called analysts just p*ss me off. To be as dismissive as they are is insulting.

  21. TJA says:

    Over the weekend my wife (who is a big Pirates fan, too) said to me…”Let’s watch a baseball movie…how about Field of Dreams?” It’s been a while since I have seen this film and you know what (?)….with this amazing season that the Pirates are having this movie took on a whole new meaning…”Build it and…” Hmmm….

  22. Thank you, David Littlefield, for drafting Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker, for drafting Alex Presley and Brad Lincoln and Rudy Owen and signing Starling Marte.

    Thank you, Neal Huntington, for trading for A.J. Burnett and James McDonald and Joel Hanrahan, for obtaining Garrett Jones and Fort McKenry and Jason Grilli.

    And . . . . . thank YOU, Brian Cashman.

  23. Milo Hamilton says:

    And thank you to the Yankees for covering 20% of our payroll this year.

  24. Milo Hamilton says:

    There is nothing the Yankees & their fans hate more than the guy who can’t make it in New York, but is great everywhere else. Carl Pavano won a total of 9 games in 4 years with the Yankees. He won 14 the next year split between Cleveland & Minnesota and 17 the following year with the Twins. They just hate that. And they’re really hating AJ Burnett right now. And to think, they had to pay the Pirates $20 to take him.

  25. CWalton_67 says:

    Reality is bound to catch up with these Pirates. Can’t imagine there is any way they keep up this level of play. Enjoying the ride, though.

    Hard to believe at this point how much angst there was when NH picked up A.J.

    Seemed to me that it could have gone either way with him–that he might be a malcontent who caused friction in the clubhouse, or he’d be a real leader for our younger players. Very happy that the latter has been the case.

    I haven’t been a big fan of this front offiice, but Neal should get some credit for doing the homework and getting this right.

  26. TJA says:

    I agree that this pace cannot be kept up the next 3 months. Crazier things have happened though. That said…I think we can all agree that there are a whole lot more positives the past two years and they are moving in the right direction.

  27. dcpfjr says:

    Jandy, I agree. A couple of weeks ago there was a discussion about “seminal moments” and, if I remember correctly, DK stated that there hadn’t been one yet. I’ll reopen that discussion by saying that, in my opinion, their seminal moment came in Cincinnati on 6/7/12. That was the day a couple of batters hitting below the Mendoza line took down Superman. That was when Barmes and McHenry showed the world that Chapman was human. That was when the Pirates discovered that they could beat anybody, anytime. This is a team playing with confidence. Anyone that underestimates them does so at their peril. GO BUCS!!

  28. dcpfjr says:

    Read a great line in one of JAL’s links. Cracked me up:

    “The last time the Pirates even had a winning record, Barry Bonds’ hat size was only 7 1/8.”

  29. Bunch of fair weather fans... says:

    Even if the Pirates have a sub .500 second half, finishing 83-79 would be better long term than gambling and regressing next year or the year after. This is a good team but I’d give the young guys (Marte, Owens, Wilson, Sanchez in September if his hitting continues to improve this season) a chance to grow with this club.

    And when you consider the July schedule, if they begin to fall off in the middle of 19 games against sub-.500 teams then maybe the priorities change. But it’s reasonable to project they will be 10-6 (perhaps they lose the MIA series) or better going into the July 30 game against the Cubs. That’s a 58-43 record and a whole lot of cushion for August and September. At that point, I’m all for standing pat and going with what you’ve got.

  30. TJA says:

    Re: post 28…Outstanding line re: Barry Bonds. Love it! My all time favorite sign re: Bonds was a game one evening in Philadelphia when he was racking up homers. Those wonderful Philly fans greeted Barry with the following: “Hey, Barry – The Babe did it on beer and hotdogs!!”. Best banner/sign ever.

  31. tmp444 says:

    As much as we all blast ESPN (and rightfully so), you have to love that Cutch is the cover story on the .com right now….

  32. Milo Hamilton says:

    I think splitting up Burnett & McDonald in the rotation may be more for Barajas’ benefit than anything else.

  33. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:

    Splitting Burnett & McDonald makes pefect sense. Splitting them means that one of the two will be involved in each and every series (minus a two gamer that falls appropriately). They’ve been the two best starters. They provide protection from prolonged losing streaks. Why wouldn’t the Pirates want them involved in every series?

  34. dcpfjr says:

    TJA, I agree. GREAT sign. Says it all.

    Milo, while it may be a benefit to RB, the main reason is to have at least one of them pitch in every 3 or 4 game series.

  35. RobertoForever says:

    I believe NH will make a move at the deadline to improve the team whether hitter or pitcher. He knows the Reds and Cards will not be standing pat. Plus it sends the signal, to the players and fans, that the goal is not .500, but to win the division.

  36. Patrick(RI) says:

    DK: “hope out of the equation”? whatsamatterwidyu? Didn’t you watch “Angels in the outfield” in your formative years? If you have no hope in the equation, you are a Yankee fan, and who wants that?

  37. Drew71 says:

    So. A pasty white guy gives the Huey Newton salute to a buncha cheering Yinzers.

    Only in Pittsburgh. Suffice it to say.

  38. BenderHeel says:

    I cannot fathom why the PBC re-promoted either Gorkys or Mercer instead of Marte unless they didn’t want Marte to sit during the All-Star break. If Marte isn’t called up by Thursday to replace either Gorkys or Mercer, then I have to think that he slept with Mrs. Coonelly or Mrs. Huntington in Bradenton.

    As for the trade front, color me a Carlos Quentin man. He won’t cost nearly as many prospects, yet he’d look great in RF with a power bat that this team needs. Then you put Presley and Sutton where they belong: in complementary roles.

  39. BenderHeel says:

    And hopefully the Derby doesn’t damage Cutch’s swing like it’s been known to do to others.

  40. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:

    @ Roberto

    Sending a “signal” or message doesn’t win games. Sending a message doesn’t keeping aging veteran acquisitions off the DL (see last season). Sending a message isn’t always what is best for the team either short term or long term. Sending a message is overrated and is pulic relations-speak for “we’re trying to satisfy the rants of other people rather than always making the best decision”. In terms of that message, showing enough confidence in the current team that they’re comfortable with a lineup that is 48-37 up to this point means a lot more to the players. Making trades for the sake of making trades sends a message that management is weak-minded and overly sensitive.

    I’m not interested in messages. I’m interested in a competitive Pirates team. That’s what they are now.

  41. Drew71 says:

    Lest you regard me to be ungrateful…

    THANK you, Dejan, for the cool new word.

    I’m taking it for a test drive today.

    Suffice it to say, just wait until I get it warmed up.

  42. RobertoForever says:

    @Black and Gold

    Doing nothing while the Cards or Reds pull a blockbuster trade sends its own message. Interpret them how you wish but messages are sent and/or received, real or imagined, all the time.

  43. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:

    Carlos Quentin would be a joke. Write it down if you want. He’s a below average outfielder and hasn’t even played half of the season because he can’t stay healthy. They need a leadoff hitter, not another RH pull hitter. PNC park’s left and left center are bigger than Petco for crying out loud. Can anyone else say Ryan Ludwig?

  44. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:

    @Roberto

    Ryan Ludwig was a message too. He came in and took playing time and produced nothing. Let’s worry more about messages than production.

  45. dcpfjr says:

    As long as McGehee, Jones & Alvarez keep hitting those opposite field shots, all this team needs is a reliable lead-off hitter. Call up Marte after the break and give him a chance. He can’t do much worse then anything the Bucs have tried there so far. If he succeeds, great. If not, go for Victorino. DO NOT TRADE TOP PROSPECTS!!!!!!!

  46. Arriba Wilver says:

    B n G—well said.

  47. aglebagel says:

    @Black n’ gold-

    In general, I’m with you in terms of “sending a message,” especially when that message is to other teams or fans. I have no use for those. Just win. However, the one instance I might make an exception is when that “message” is to the players on the team.

    Also to you, I’m not sure I agree with your reasoning for splitting McDonald and Burnett in the rotation. To me, winning and losing series is overrated. They don’t keep track of series in the standings. It’s nice that it helps protect against losing streaks, but why are we still more worried about losing streaks than winning streaks??? Having A.J. start a day later out of the break just means that down the road, that might be one less game he gets to pitch, which will turn out to be far more valuable than having them split in the rotation.

  48. Jandy says:

    Just found this in the Altoona Mirror. Looks like the Curve’s pitching coach pulled a Tommy Lasorda lol:
    http://www.altoonamirror.com/page/content.detail/id/562289/Curve-coach-kicks-dirt-on-plate-after-getting-ejected-during-loss.html?nav=751

  49. patrick(RI) says:

    A moment to match AJ’s from the Providence Journal(part of Red Sox nation):
    “the crowd was on its feet, that familiar name echoing throught Fenway Park, “PE-ro, Pe-dro . . .no, it wasn’t Pedro Marinez, , It was something more unlikely . . . it was PEDRO CIRIACO . . . Called up Friday from Pawtucket, Ciriaco showed everything he could do in Saturday’s nightcap(against the Yankees). He bunted for a hit — as good a bunt as Boston has seen all season — in the third. He singled up the middle in the fifth, scored later. In the sixth, he provided the keynote hit of the game: a three run double down the left field line that turned a deficit into a lead And he capped his offensive night with another RBI double in the seventh, after which, he stole third and came home on the catcher’s throwing error. This doesn’t even mention the smooth defense he played at shortstop — his secondary position, this season,”

    The story goes on to quote Valentine about how he saw all this n Spring Training and was not surprised. The article has a painful analysis to go with it: . . .”from the Pirates, a team so in need of a shortstop that it handed over 10.5 million to Clint Barmes a career 245 hitter, to take over the position in 2012.” It quotes Ciriaco saying he tried to carry over his ST approaches to AAA, and now, the Red Sox. Valentine expresses a bit of “wait & see” attitude about his future, but loves the “breath of fresh air.”

    How’s that for a story?

  50. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:

    2-6 in the current Pirates lineup are on pace for a collective (approximately) 100 HR, 400 RBI, 350 R. Throw in Barajas/McKenry’s 25+HR 60+ RBI pace and another meatball in the middle isn’t that necessary. A leadoff is where they lack the most. Look at the production from that spot. As a lineup, they only have two regular players with OBP above .330.

  51. Milo Hamilton says:

    @RF

    Post #42 – 100% in agreement.

  52. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:

    @aglebagel

    Winning series is what a season is all about. I’ll gladly have a team that wins 2 of 3 regularly. Winning streaks are nice but consistency is more important. Winning 2 of 3 consistently results in 108 wins. Would any Pirates fan not want that?

  53. RobertoForever says:

    @Black

    I assume you mean Ryan Ludwick. He of the 12 HR variety this year?

  54. BenderHeel says:

    Black-n-Gold: If they call up Marte, then that may take care of the leadoff position. Then Quentin can man RF and split time there with Garrett (who can also get ABs at 1B). Presley would be a very good 4th OF and late-inning defensive replacement.

    And it’s not like they don’t play road games.

    The question is whether Quentin can improve the ballclub, and I think that he can.

  55. buggee says:

    Gift Ngoepe and Rinku Singh for Justin Upton?

  56. Drew71 says:

    Yes. That’s him.

    The guy who couldn’t swat a fly in PNC Park last season.

  57. Arriba Wilver says:

    10:18 and the first snide remark of the day.

    Milo and Roberto—”messages” to the players are one thing, but making moves as “messages” to the fans or other teams are recipes for disaster IMO. The fans have shown they understand one message loud and clear—win, baby.

  58. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:

    @Roberto

    Yes, that Ryan Ludwick. The same one who hit 2 HR with 11 RBI in 38 games with the Pirates. And thanks for pointing out my phone autocorrecting Ludwick*. Appreciate it…

    And what exactly does his numbers this season have to do with the “message” he was supposed to send last season? He had 1 HR and 6 RBI in 25 games @PNC. I’m pretty sure the Pirates’ players and fans would have been happy with less message and more production.

  59. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:

    @Arriba

    “Milo and Roberto—”messages” to the players are one thing, but making moves as “messages” to the fans or other teams are recipes for disaster IMO.”

    Exactly…

  60. Milo Hamilton says:

    @not yellow

    Absolutely. I’m talking about inside the clubhouse. Who cares what we think ? :)

  61. Thundercrack says:

    I LOVE the message that Clint Hurdle sent earlier this year regarding Ludwick.

    During one of his pregame interviews he was going down the Reds lineup and saying how good the hitters were and there were a lot of guys have good power, too.

    He got to the left fielder and said, “Even Ludwick has hit some home runs. Wish we would have seen that last year”.

    I got the message loud & clear.

  62. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:

    @Benderheel

    Starling Marte has walked in less than 5% of his Plate Appearance throughout his minor league career. His SO:BB walk ratio is 3.92:1 throughout his minor league career. That doesn’t magically get better at the ML level. Even Pedro Alvarez, who strikes out a lot, had a 1.9:1 strikeout to walk ratio in the minors which has stretched to almost 3:1. Marte’s a good player, just not a leadoff hitter.

  63. Arriba Wilver says:

    TC—2 thumbs up on # 61.

  64. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:

    @Thundercrack

    LOL…I remember that and it is certainly appropriate for this conversation.

  65. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:

    Typo Correction…Alvarez’s SO:BB ratio in the majors is over 3:1. Wanted to catch it before RobertoForever. ;-) haha

  66. aglebagel says:

    @ Black n Gold

    I would love 108 wins. You know another way to get that? Lose the first 54 and win the next 108.

    I kid, but we’re just gonna have to agree to disagree on this one. I disagree that winning series is what a season is all about. Winning games is. Just because you’ve won the first two games of a three-game series doesn’t make that third game any less important. I suppose you could make the argument that a series-winning mentality could get you ready for the playoffs, where series wins DO matter, but I don’t think any tiny edge gained there is worth a potential A.J. Burnett start.

  67. Drew71 says:

    The FIRST??

    You haven’t been paying attention.

  68. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:

    @aglebagel

    That’s cool. I can agree to disagree. I place more emphasis on the totality of the season rather on one pitcher’s single start.

  69. Bizrow says:

    I read the White Sox were scouting the PBC minor league system, anyone know who we might be interested in getting from them?

  70. Ralph S says:

    Dejan, your analysis in Monday’s column ends well but predicts a fall from first place and no appearance in the 2012 playoffs, as I read it. There’s too much regression to the mean in the Pirates’ future: The relief pitching won’t sustain its level, nor will all the bit players suddenly turned hot hitters. (Although I believe McCutchen and Alvarez can keep doing what they’ve been doing.)

    The Pirates have been on a statistical roller coaster all season, and they entered the All Star break on a peak. I see them finishing the season looking like a team somewhere in between April/May and June/early July. I’ll be rooting for a winning season.

  71. Arriba Wilver says:

    Biz—Moskos? Too soon? Too easy? :-)

  72. Arriba Wilver says:

    Drew—DK, with his reference to Bristol for the Yankees’ address, doesn’t count.

  73. CraigWilson'sRevenge says:

    Quentin and Ludwick are both right handed hitting outfielders. the comparison stops there.

    Ludwick was picked up as some minor insurance for Tabata and Presley. They only gave up cash or a PTBNL. forget which. Ludwick is not good anymore, and everybody, including huntington, knew that last year. He was no message-sending piece. At least i didn’t interpret it as such.

    Quentin is a bona fide power hitter. He slugs in the upper .400s (or higher) almost every single year.

    They are not the same pickup, in my opinion.

  74. Curt says:

    I must admit I did not like the idea of AJ Burnett coming here. Thought he’d carry a huge ego and collect his paychecks. Looks like I was wrong! How could you not root for this guy, seems like a quality player and clubhouse presence.

    Trading…. I would look to upgrade in the OF with someone that costs less, perhaps Victorino would come cheap since he is headed to free agency. I’d take an OF with Marte, Cutch and Victorino down the stretch.
    Pitching wise, why not go for someone who is a proven winner and will cost very little, Joe Saunders. He’d be worth the risk!

    Let’s Go Cutch tonight!

  75. RobertoForever says:

    @black

    You are leaving out that he got injured right away. Many a player have their seasons derailed/reduced due to injury. If he was healthy, might have been different. We,may get to see firsthand with McGehee.

    @AW

    Either you dont understand the definition of the word or you misinterpreted the black and white words.

  76. Bunch of fair weather fans... says:

    What good is Carlos Quentin? He won’t play in half the team’s games. Where’s the benefit?

  77. RobertoForever says:

    @Craig

    Agreed. I thought buying, period, was the message last year.

  78. Arriba Wilver says:

    Roberto—”assume you mean Ryan Ludwick”"— definition-I could just tell you you misspelled “Ludwig,” but I choose to “slyly disparage” you instead. (just so there’s no mistake, “I” is you.) you picked the word. Source—Merriam-Webster dictionary on “snide remarks.”

  79. Bunch of fair weather fans... says:

    Ludwick would have been different? He’s hitting .234 and has 7 of his 12 HR in one of the most batter-friendly parks in MLB. Need to do a lot more convincing than “he was injured”.

  80. NMR says:

    re: “Doing nothing while the Cards or Reds pull a blockbuster trade sends its own message.”

    Except that neither of those teams are going to make that blockbuster trade, either. Cinci doesn’t have enough left after the Latos trade and the Cards just don’t do those kind of moves. There’s only an outside chance of them doing a deal for Greinke IF he agrees to sign long term.

    The last thing Huntington should be doing is feeling phony pressure from outside the organization.

    re: “messages to players”

    Can someone tell me which players are stoked about having to constantly think about getting replaced?

    Alex Presley, who is vastly improved after taking his demotion to AAA like a professional? Casey Mcgehee, who battled through a horrible slump and is now terring the cover off the ball? Garrett Jones, who is hitting for better average and power than he has for most of his career?

    This Pirates team has done more than anyone could’ve possibly asked over the last two months.

    Don’t tell me any of them are excited about having one of their teammates benched for a new guy.

  81. Milo Hamilton says:

    It’s Ryan Ludwick. Always has been.

  82. Milo Hamilton says:

    @NMR

    Unless it’s a better new guy, of course.

  83. RobertoForever says:

    @AW

    If that is your interpretation and definition then you are way ahead in that column.

    Do me a favor, pick a fight with someone else. You’re declaring and judging don’t define me. Have a nice ASbreak

  84. NMR says:

    @Milo

    Thing is, until somebody cools off, you’re not finding a better new guy.

    You think it’s going to be good for clubhouse moral if somebody gets benched for Quentin only to see him continue hitting .195 like he has over the last month?

    Not a lot of Z’s being thrown around there…

    I’m all for improving this team, but its a huge pet pieve of mine to discuss clubhouse moral between a bunch of keyboard jockeys who’ve never sniffed a big league dugout.

  85. RobertoForever says:

    @NMR

    Thanks for the reply. But how about injury. Morton gone, Barajas and McGehee banged up. Alvarez and Cutch with scares.

    And players have had new guys show up all through their minor and major league career. Part of the culture of baseball. Somehow if a Victorino or Upton shows up, or a Dempster or Garza shows up, I don’t think the players are broken up over Bedard or Sutton finding the bench, do you?

  86. RobertoForever says:

    @NMR

    Are you calling DK and 24/7 keyboard jockeys? That’s harsh :D

  87. Bunch of fair weather fans... says:

    Sorry RobertoForever,

    You don’t have a leg to stand on here. Your comment was “snide” which means slyly disparaging. And disparaginh means 1: to lower in rank or reputation 2: to depreciate by indirect means, speak slightingly about.

    That was clearly your intention and it was obvious. Personally, I don’t care. People insult each other all the time on here. Just man up and own it…

  88. RobertoForever says:

    Just heard that LaRussa is using Matt Cain as his starter and not R.A. Dickey. Personally, I don’t see that big of a deal, but seemingly an issue.

  89. Milo Hamilton says:

    John Cullen was hugely popular in the Penguins locker room. So much so that he is still invited to Stanley Cup reunions even though he never touched the cup. He pretty much carried them through the early part of the 1990-91 season while Mario was recovering from back surgery. Kevin Stevens recalls how upset everyone was when he was traded. They got over it real fast when Ron Francis & Ulf Sameulsson walked through the door.

  90. JAL,

    Good read by Murray Chass today on the Pirates. You might want to include it in tomorrow’s links.

    Anytime Sally O’Leary is quoted. it is a good read on the Pirates.

  91. NMR says:

    @Roberto

    Haha, of course not. I was just about to mention 24/7′s article, which I thought was great.

    I’m talking about the SPECIFIC nature of this clubhouse, though. Sure, when a team has a glaring need, players are going to love getting that help. And as you stated, by the trade deadline, one of those needs will probably present itself.

    The whole Zoltan thing in itself is about the us vs. the world mentality. I don’t think you can understate the importance of that on this team, at this moment.

    I agree with you in that Huntington will make at least one trade by the deadline. I just don’t happen to believe it has to be a blockbuster in order to “send a message”.

  92. Dejan,

    Before I slip and possibly engage the troll (I’m trying my darnedest to abstain), I’d like to compliment you on your columns from last Wednesday and today.

    Very good writing draws out an emotional response, and you got it both times!

    You might want to consider taking up this writing thing as a career.

    Have you graduated from college yet?

  93. RobertoForever says:

    @NMR

    A lot of agreement with what you said. The Zoltan thing does seem to be a big deal. Love it.

    If I were making decisions at this point (and I am glad I am not ) I would probably not do a big deal either. I would be looking to add an arm and a good obp guy. I love Jones and think he should be playing everyday. McGehee and Alvarez seem to be a good 5 & 6 combo. There are always waiver deals in Aug to find fill-in veterans if someone has a big drop off.

    When I said send a message, I didnt mean wow look at us world. More of a yes we are trying to win and we will improve the team where we can. Not sure the Cards or reds need a big slash either, but I do think they will be trying to shore up any of their weaknesses they have. I believe cincy has lead off problems as well.

  94. Jandy says:

    “You’re declaring and judging don’t define me.”

    Where’s the proofreader?

    (But I shouldn’t talk, me of the many typos).
    But if you’re going to correct someone’s spelling, please be sure you check your own first.

  95. Jandy says:

    I really didn’t mean that snidely, either. Just pointing out the obvious.

  96. BenderHeel says:

    Maybe this is something we can all agree on: acquiring a legit LHP for the bullpen.

  97. NMR says:

    Speaking of 24/7′s article, very interesting comment made by former GM Dan Duquette when discussing the Brewers trade for CC Sabathia in ’08.

    “It’ll still take a big package to acquire a Hamels or a Greinke,” Duquette said. “But a LaPorta type of package won’t likely be required this year.”

    Laporta was a top 25 prospect in all of baseball. Greinke and Hamels are the two biggest rental players, a la Sabathia, on the market. This implies that Taillon and Cole won’t be needed to get any player that doesn’t have years of control under his belt.

    Also, is anyone else getting the feeling that Marte is about to be used as the centerpiece of a trade? I’ve agreed that he shouldn’t be brought up to this point, but if he comes out of the All Star break with the Indians and not the Pirates, you have to believe its so teams can get a good look at him mashing AAA pitching instead of trying to cut his teeth at the big league level.

  98. Jandy says:

    NMR, Lord, if Marte is traded, the fanbase will feel betrayed!

  99. Drew71 says:

    Snide inside a compliment?

    No fooling Groat. You are my hero.

    Just don’t make me, um, define it.

    (See? Not as good as yours.)

  100. Jandy says:

    Drew, you forgot your … ;)

  101. cmat0829 says:

    My two cents from hot and sunny Phoenix (isn’t that redundant?):

    1) AGREE with DK on the “say NO to J-UP (that’s Justin Upton for you yinzers)”…. again, you must ask WHY the Dbacks who have signed him to a reasonable contract for the next few years would give up on him…isn’t that the type of player they should be building around? Chase Field is a bandbox so his offensive numbers truly are offensive this year……

    2) Repeat that the biggest trade priority for the Bucs MUST BE a leadoff hitting outfielder. Exhibit A is Drew Sutton filling that role right now…and as we can all see, he is basically a John Wehner type…which is awesome, but it ain’t every day outfielder and leadoff material. A Shane Victorino rental would fit the bill nicely.

    3) Ludwick was atrocious last year for the Pirates and his success with the Reds htis year is a bit sickening. When you are a so-called “proven veteran” and you are traded for at the deadline you need to produce. His lack of production to me means he really wasn’t going all out and giving his best effort. Let’s not repeat that debacle this year. Target players who play with energy, drive, passion…. Victorino a good example of that. Back to Ludwick…everyone was surprised when he was send packing from the Cards …maybe Skeletor LaRussa also sensed his lack of drive and passion and professionalism way back when.

    4) Neal also needs to go get a starter…. Ryan Dempster would fit the bill nicely. Or Wandy Rodriguez. Or even Jeremy Guthrie. Need Bedard/Correia insurance, please.

    5) And yes, they should go get an old geezer situational lefty for the pen… tough to break up the pen as it stands now but for the playoffs they will need that. Resop would be odd man out which sucks for him…. or Watson since he has options.

  102. NMR says:

    @Jandy

    SOMEBODY has to go, right?

    I don’t disagree with you, though. I can’t explain it, but it feels like you’re right.

    Marte has an absolutely enormous amount of hype right now among Pirate fans. If you skim through the comments on MLB Trade Rumors site you’ll find several references to Marte eventually being just as good as Upton. That just ain’t gonna happen.

    The way he’s discussed around here, I don’t see any way he lives up to the expectations that have built in the last 2-3 weeks.

  103. cmat0829 says:

    And memo to ESPN: you truly are a dominant presence in sports, your history is remarkable and you have not only changed the sports world but changed our entire culture. That said… please get off the “it isn’t happening until we validate it on ESPN” bullsh*t. I for one was not “fulfilled” with seeing the Pirates coverage increase on the 4-letter network but rather was sick of hearing the so-called analysts either take credit for “calling this before the season” or “rooting for the Pirates because it’s a nice story”. FACT IS ESPN, sports do get played outside of the NY/New England megaplex and you’d have more credibility if you did cover the whole gamut, which the MLB network does a FAR SUPERIOR JOB of doing.

    I thought for years the biggest threat to ESPN would come from Fox ..but if you are paying attention it is really coming from MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, Golf, Tennis dedicated networks… they do a much better job of really covering the whole league without either snide surprise or sarcasm when something good happens outside of NY, Boston and Philly.

  104. Jandy says:

    NMR, you have valid points, but the average fan doesn’t see thru all the hype, they ADD to it. And then, what if…he DOES exceed everyone’s expectations? It could happen. I honestly don’t want to see him traded myself.

    I don’t envy NH his job in making these decisions.

  105. Jandy says:

    You tell ‘em, cmat! =)

  106. NMR says:

    @cmat

    Nailed my wish list with #2/4.

    I think Ryan Dempster would fit GREAT on this staff right now. Thats a move I’d like to see happen as soon as possible.

    I’d also lean towards Victorino. As much as is made about “protection” for McCutchen, wouldn’t you think having someone on base for him to actually hit in would be just as nice?

    Pressley/Sutton are not a playoff caliber leadoff option.

  107. Drew71 says:

    Now Jandy.

    #99?

    Very snide, young lady.

  108. Jandy says:

    0=)
    Me, snide? NEVER! :p

  109. aglebagel says:

    “Next wave of aces on display at Futures Game”

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/joe_lemire/07/08/futures-game-us-pitching/index.html?eref=sihp&sct=hp_t11_a2

    I love Taillon’s last quote in this article.

  110. Jandy says:

    NMR, the more I see and hear about Victorino, the more I’d like to see him a Pirate. If I remember correctly, the last time we played the Phils he pretty much burned us.

  111. Jandy says:

    aglebagel, I love it too!

  112. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @NMR

    #101, you’re right about the expectations.

    I think he’ll be up after the break, Gorkys down.

    He’ll get 2-3 weeks of a showing before another OFer is added.

    There will be someone added, I am still in favor of Victorino. Can play PNC’s LF and lead off for us. He brings playoff/WS experience that is much needed to this team. Good addition. I’m not mortgaging the farm for him though, but I don’t think he’d cost all that much.

    Upton is a tough call. I DO NOT do the deal if it takes Marte and Cole. I would give up Taillon and a couple other prospects for a guy that can hit the ball 500ft and would be our #4 hitter for the next couple of years.

    Added bonus if Appel gets signed.

  113. Milo Hamilton says:

    @NMR

    I get the feeling that Marte is being dangled. No better way to hype a prospect than to leak his name to the most respected baseball writer in town (cheap, shameless attempt to kiss up). I think they’d need him for Upton, but not for Dempster or Victorino.

  114. NMR says:

    @Jandy

    Victorino’s a long track record of success, for sure. I also think he’d benefit from getting OUT of Philly, as crazy as that sounds. Seems like the situation there is getting ugly. Losses piling up, free agents talking about leaving…

  115. NMR says:

    @Milo

    Great point.

    I keep thinking of DK’s “he’s ready, he’ll be here” source. Never made any sense to me because all the FO talked about was having more patience and striking out less.

    And doing it consistently. Two weeks does not make that.

    Who knows with these guys, though.

  116. NMR says:

    Oh, and yeah, Marte for one of those two seems like a stretch. Kid is a top 50 prospect in all of baseball.

  117. Milo Hamilton says:

    @NMR

    Yeah, he’s so ready they brought up Gorkys Hernandez & Matt Hague since that was leaked …err reported.

  118. Bagelman,

    Great get on the Futures Game article.

    I too am now in love with Taillon!
    [but only in a manly way, of course]

  119. RobertoForever says:

    @NMR

    Just read 24/7′s article. That is an interesting quote about not needing a LaPorta. Funny thing about LaPorta. He has been a total washout for the Indians. Great Triple-A player though.

  120. Jandy says:

    NMR #113, Seems like Victorino could use a change of scenery, much like AJ Burnett, no?

  121. BenderHeel says:

    Victorino has a .259 OBP as a leadoff hitter this year, although that’s only for 26 ABs.

    For the previous 3 years (2009-11), it’s .328, which is better but lowest among his regular lineup spots (.361 at #2, .391 at #5).

    Still, compared to the crap performances by the leadoff hitters for the PBC this year, Victorino’s career OBP/OPS from the leadoff spot would be welcome indeed. Plus he has a lot of post-season experience and success.

    Bear in mind, however, that Charlie Manuel pulled Victorino from the lineup right before yesterday’s game so that he could “clear his head” due to recent struggles (2 for his last 20).

  122. BenderHeel says:

    RobertoFever: Funny that Laporta’s post-trade play isn’t mentioned as much. Sure, he was a top prospect, but the Brew Crew really didn’t lose much in the long-term for that short-term trade.

  123. Drew71 says:

    Perfect, Bender. Maybe he’s about to turn into Pedro.

    No wait. That takes a year and a half.

    Forget it. Trade’s off.

  124. NMR says:

    @Bender

    See Jandy’s post #119 regarding the need to clear Victorino’s head.

    Youkilis couldn’t hit a beach ball with a tree limb this year in Boston. Now look at him in Chicago.

    @Roberto – LaPorta is the stuff that keeps GM’s awake at night, haha.

  125. Thundercrack says:

    “Back to Ludwick…everyone was surprised when he was sent packing from the Cards …maybe Skeletor La Russa also sensed his lack of drive and passion and professionalism way back when.”

    Maybe La Russa sensed that he would have to put the needle away.

    Was that snide … or just plain mean?

  126. Jandy says:

    TC ~ Both! ;)

  127. aglebagel says:

    @Dejan,

    Mostly because of your column last week, I tuned in to the Wimbledon finals of both the men AND the women, and I’ve got to say that while I still enjoyed Federer-Murray more, I was surprised how much I enjoyed Serena vs. What’s-her-name. It also reminded me that women’s tennis seems to be much more fluid in its popularity, depending on the success of its biggest stars, namely the Williams sisters and Sharapova, whereas the men’s side seems to be more consistent in having someone worth watching.

    That said, it does make the early rounds more interesting on the women’s side, because you really never know what’s going to happen. On the men’s side, you can basically count on the quarterfinals being comprised of Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray.

    DK: In fairness, men’s tennis has begun to work out of its endless cycle of aces, which has brought back the entertainment value. It’s still not Borg-McEnroe, but it’s getting there.

    I still prefer the women’s brand.

  128. JHadar says:

    Wow, life is getting more complex; just reading through the blog and trying to catch up is becoming a time-consuming task, and if we keep winning I’ll probably change “task” to “ordeal.”

    I see some words got defined today. That’s always interesting. My word for the day is “reality”. Reality does not mean what you think is going to happen, or is even suppose is likely to happen. It sort of means “what exists now.” What exists now is 48-37 at the All Star break, no more, no less. It’s a 1-game lead in a 3-way race. It’s not a world series victory and conversely it’s not a guaranteed collapse. Enjoy it for what it is.

    We blew the series with the Dodgers. We’ve played a tough schedule and hung with the Nats, the Reds, the Cardinals, and the Braves — those are the contenders in our league.

    Baseball history is full of winners and losers that should and shouldn’t have been. That’s why we play the games.

    And with thanks to JAL: And now for something completely different. I don’t try to evaluate trades that haven’t happened, but I will say this — NH does have some extra talent, so he can gamble if he wants to without “mortgaging the future” to fill the holes.

    This is so much more fun than what I was hoping for at the beginning of the season would have been. 82-80 would be a consolation prize. Giametti was right, baseball is designed to break your heart. But it’s so much fun when the hits fall in…

  129. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:

    I’d trade Starling Marte, Clint Barmes and half of his contract, and Brad Lincoln to the Cubs for Starlin Castro right now (.366 OBP as a leadoff hitter for his career). Since we are dealing in hypotheticals, that’s my solution for this team.

  130. RobertoForever says:

    @Benderheel,

    It is funny that aspect of the trade gets little play. He sure is a painful reminder to Indians fans. But they have continued to win. So it didn’t really set the franchise back. Guess he helps to put people in the seats in Columbus, though. And Columbus has won back-to-back IL and Triple-A titles.

    LaPorta has 17 HR’s this year already, in Columbus, lol

  131. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:

    Or if they want starting pitching, Jeff Locke, Justin Wilson, Clint Barmes (and 1/2 contract), and Brad Lincoln for Castro and a PTBNL.

  132. Thundercrack says:

    I think it is Andy LaRoche that keeps our GM up at night

  133. RobertoForever says:

    @TC

    Apparently Ludwick has found the needle again in Cincy. Or maybe across the river in Covington, Kentucky :o

  134. aglebagel says:

    @ Dejan-

    Ha! Pete Sampras was always appointment viewing for me. I’m guessing that wasn’t the case for you.

  135. Ryan S. Pugh says:

    I read on one of the Pirates blog sites where the D’Backs might be interested in Brad Lincoln and Marte for Upton. I make that deal because A.) It looks as if Lincoln is never going to be the projected stud starter that management thought he would be. B.) Upton is a proven Major League commodity where Marte could be the next Chad Hermansen.

  136. It may be that I am suffering from the “I think my kids are smarter and prettier than the neighbor kids” syndrome, but I would rather see what Starling Marte can do at the Major League level from July 13 — 30 before I start giving guys away to rent Victorino.

    I’d rather see what Rudy Owens can do for a start or 2 before I rent Ryan Dempster.

    If the Phillies or the Cubs are willing to take Clint Barmes or Erik Bedard or Doug Slaten or Jo-Jo Reyes or Yamaico Navarro, I’m all for the pick-ups. However it’s going to take something more substantial than those throw away players to receive those players.

    It would probably take a Rudy Owens AND a Justin Wilson to pick up Dempster for 2 months.

    My mind might change in 3 weeks, but I don’t want to give away assets yet for old guys with big salaries not playing well. If teams want to give someone to us at the “deadline” for just picking up salary, I’m all in. I do not see that happening with those two.

    Pirates could probably pick up Alphonso Soriano any time they want for next to nothing. Don’t want him either.

  137. Jandy says:

    DK would be happy if Katy Perry played tennis ;)

  138. Jandy says:

    Groat, how many kids DO you have?

  139. Arriba Wilver says:

    I liked Billie Jean and Bobby Riggs. Then you didn’t have to choose between the sexes on which brand of tennis to watch.

  140. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Jandy

    So would I!!!

  141. Jandy says:

    LOL @ Ryan!

  142. JandyGirl,

    4 kids——3 girls and a boy; and every one of them is smarter and prettier than the neighbor kids!!!

    And if Katy Perry played tennis, I’d be right there watching the fireworks! (Jandy, insert your smiley-face here)

  143. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Groat

    I agree 100%!

    Except if they get Soriano for nothing, I’ll take it.

    His line is: .265 .323 .469 .792

    with 15HRs and 48 RBI’s.

    LF and Leadoff with post season experience.

  144. Jandy says:

    4 Kids, Holy Toledo, Groat, how do you keep up????

    I’ll bet they’re definitely smarter, and I’ll take your word on the prettier.

    I’d like Katy Perry more if she HADN’T sung that “I Kissed a Girl” song.
    Blech! :p

  145. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I am still a fan of experience.

    I would love to make this run happen without any trades, but through promotion, except maybe added bench depth, that’s always a beautiful thing (not katy perry type) to have.

    I’d hate to put the added pressure on a Starling Marte, Rudy Owens to get things done for a playoff run.

    But maybe the current leadership in the clubhouse is enough to handle their own.

  146. Drew71 says:

    I’d be happy if she just did a few sets of jumping jacks.

    Maybe that’s not such a good idea.

    It would probably kill Arriba.

  147. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Jandy

    I too have 4, all boys.

    And I like Katy Perry MORE because of that song……just sayin’

  148. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Thanks for the video of AJ.

    Guy just seems like nothing but class, professional. COMPLETE opposite what we’ve always heard about him.

  149. Jandy says:

    AW, are you still breathing, man? Give us a sign!

    Ryan, Oh Lord, 4 boys?? Give my condolences to your wife ;X

    I dunno, that song just made me wanna puke. What can I say???? I guess it’s a woman thang.

  150. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    LOL. I actually don’t listen to her…..but I will watch her.

  151. Bizrow says:

    What was she THINKING when she married that guy?

  152. Jandy says:

    Ahhh Ryan, you just ….nevermind lol! Hubby had her on … I was trying to watch the Pirates, and he kept flipping over to Katy Perry on Palladia (Dish Network). Her music is catchy, I admit, but man, that image of her kissing another female….UGH! Just turns me off her music as well. Maybe one day I’ll get over it.
    Of course, you guys like your eye candy, as much as I like mine ;)

  153. Jandy says:

    Biz, I KNOW! Hubby was like..WTH did she do that for????

  154. Jandy says:

    With that entertainment for you, I must get MORE work done. Catch you all later, guys. Here’s to Cutch showing ‘em what the Pirates are made of!

  155. JRay3 says:

    Well its a break from actual games and the talk has turned to the upcoming July 31 trade deadline.

    I have been reading some things on-line and I found a few interesting tidbits. The Diamondbacks have been scouting the Indianapolis Indians games and the San Diego Padres have been scouting the West Virginia Power games, hmmm. Also any thoughts to Brad Lincoln having his name thrown around as a guy both the Padres and Dbacks would have interest in?

    I for one do not want to see Lincoln go in any package. Tough part about any of these potential trades is we may see a prospect we really like or have hopes for or a current player that has been a part of this first half run go.

  156. pattonbb says:

    I’d watch soccer if Katy Perry played.

  157. JohninOshkosh says:

    Funny thing about that 1998 LaPorta trade. Wasn’t that controversial with Brewers fans around here. They were excited to get Sabathia and make a run at the playoffs-a place they hadn’t been to since 1982.

    Doug Melvin had the cajones to define his legacy and reputation that year in Milwaukee. Not only did he trade much hyped minor league talent for a rental. He also later in the year fired his manager in the defining weeks of the season. Interesting note about the Sabathia trade- the throw in PTBNL, named in October of that year, was Michael Brantley, who has gone on to have a solid ML career.

    Melvin knew the deal would earn him immortality in Milwaukee or possibly doom him to the trash bin of baseball history. He made it anyway.

    Not saying that Huntington should do the same, but legacies, both great and infamous, in all fields of human endeavor are established with bold, rather than timid, ideas and moves. Few among us can be so bold.

  158. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @JRay

    I wouldn’t either. But BP help has been NH’s specialty. I’m not worried about any of the BP arms going in a trade.

  159. North Cali Ryan,

    Sometimes players are more than statistics——Soriano has never helped a team he played on win, even with his good statistics. And teams don’t keep him!! They sign him for his stats and then are always looking to move him.

    I don’t think he is a team player. He CANNOT bat in a dependable RBI spot, because he does not produce when the pressure is on. He begged out of batting Cleanup earlier in his career. I think he is “an island unto himself” and the statistics he might produce aren’t worth the disruption to “The Force” that is present in the Pirate clubhouse right now.

    Plus, he would make Garrett Jones and Drew Sutton look like Gold Glovers!!

    I do not want Soriano on the Bucs.

  160. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @John

    That’s actually pretty good insight.

    So, if NH makes a rental trade and trades a chip or two out there, but the Pirates make the playoffs, how would everyone feel?

    I believe the Pirates are here to stay, maybe not this year, but the foreseeable future. This is the beginning of the championship run that FC was talking about.

    I say…….TRADE EM!! (not Cole or Marte though)

  161. JRay3 says:

    @ Ryan – Can I recommend if it is any of the BP arms going we put Cruz to the top of the list?

    Speaking of the bullpen, the Pirates have the top Bullpen ERA of 2.63 are 3rd in saves with 29, 4th in BAA at .219 but are 9th in IP with 13 more innings than the Cardinals pen and 39 more innings than the Reds pen.

    Hopefully the SP on the back end of the rotation will start getting a little deeper in games and allow the pen a little bit of a breather so we don’t see a tail off late in the season.

  162. JB says:

    What kind of leash will Erik “the streak killer” Bedard have in the 2nd half of the season? He is pitching poorly and is the only true weak spot in the rotation right now.

    Pirates since June 26:

    L, Bedard
    W
    W
    W
    W
    L, Bedard
    W
    W
    W
    W
    L, Bedard
    W
    W

    DK: I think it’ll be longer than most expect. He’s got a history. That’s big in baseball.

  163. NMR says:

    @John

    I always appreciate insight from around the country, so thank you.

    There is a huge difference, IMO, between the Brewers LaPorta trade and one involving the Pirates and Cole/Taillon.

    Brewers fans had already seen their true homegrown superstars arrive.

    Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun were both already established as stars when the Sabathia trade happened. The Brewers had also already experienced a few years of success, and as an outsiders opinion, were at put up or shut up time.

    The Pirates, and their fans, are still waiting on their own Fielders and Brauns to arrive before trading the next ones away for a two month rental.

  164. General Patton,

    Made me smile!!

  165. JohninOshkosh says:

    Lets say they make a big splash and trade some of the hyped minor leaguers for a rental like Cole Hamels. And further Hamels pulls a 1998 Sabathia and is unhittable in the second half of his free agency walk year. They go into the playoffs with the 3 starters of AJB, Hamels and J-Mac as the playoff rotation. They stick with the current offense and still have the core positional players for the future. If Alvarez has a killer 2d half, that is the compliment for the great Cutch.

    I believe there is a championship banner flying over AT&T Park for a team that had a similar strong pitching/mediocre offense makeup.

  166. JHadar says:

    Well, Barmes is back over the Mendoza line, but I like our options with the lead off outfielders we have, Presley coming back or Marte or even a chastened and hustling Tabata. It’s a much smaller problem than what shortstop has been this year.

    Of course there **appears** to be no shortstop on the market. Options in the system are limited.

    But that’s the problem, or at least one of them, that I’d be working on if I were Neal.

  167. Oshkosh b’gosh,

    I saw that your boy Westbrook made the USA team as 3rd point guard over Rajon Rondo. You called it.

    I still don’t think he is a normal Krzyzewski kind of player, and I think Chris Paul and Derrick Williams will get most of the point play . . . . . . but without Dwyane Wade on the team I could see him getting some minutes as a slasher guard when needed.

  168. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @JRay

    Please feel free.

  169. Oshkosh b’gosh,

    No one would turn down Cole Hamels. Everyone would love to have him.

    That’s why his obtaining price will be sky high and the Bucs will be out of the running.

    I take an injured Roy Halliday today——I’d drive to the airport to pick him up——but they’re not giving and we ain’t paying!!

  170. JHadar says:

    John

    A possible reason the LaPorta trade wasn’t controversial was that although the web was gaining popularity by leaps and bounds in 1998, blogging hadn’t begun yet.

    I wonder what would have happened if it had been around when Ruth got sold to the Yankees, or … well pick your moment.

  171. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @John

    That AT&T one you speak of did add offense as well. But they called themselves the castoffs, or something stupid like that.

    Cody Ross, DFA’d
    Pat Burrell, DFA’d
    Freddy Sanchez, handed by Bucs

  172. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Their pitchers, for the most part are homegrown.

  173. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    this trade happened in 2008, not 1998.

  174. Milo Hamilton says:

    Now that Taillon’s name is coming up in trade discussions, it’s tempting to wonder how Chris Sale would look in this rotation. In 2014 that is because he’d still be in AA.

    Sorry, too easy.

  175. JMB says:

    @Ryan #160

    Talking about the PLAYOFFS/CHAMPIONSHIPS is always exciting. I’ve often thought that the 08 Rays (our model) should have gotten more flack for not making a deal for Bay. If they get Bay, do they win the WS? Would that have been worth Brignac and a SP? I think so. But Brignac hasn’t really panned out as he was projected, so his value is less now than it was in July 2008.

    Looking at the AS break standings, I like the Pirates’ chances against all of the NL contenders. But I am still high from the offense from Giants’ series.

    If we break the streak, I’ll be happy, but if we miss the playoffs by a game or two or lose the WS game 7, it will be impossible not to think about how Upton might have made the difference.

    I hope we see Marte in MLB on Friday, so we can see what he can do for 15 games-ish before the deadline. Of course, if he flails like a drunken Russell Brand @ Katy Perry’s tennis balls, we will wish that he had stayed valuable in the minors as a prospect.

  176. JohninOshkosh says:

    @Groat:

    Maybe I live in this blog bubble too much but by the way the big three (ugh) is hyped, there might be something in there to tempt the Phils. BTW, not saying it should be done-just throwing it out there into the marketplace of ideas. Personally, I wouldn’t criticize the FO if they made such a move.

    Oh, we wouldn’t have even won the Worlds in 2010 if not for Durant playing like a beast. Glad my guy will be there to feed him dunks in London. Terrified that we are going there to play the Euros with only one true center. I’ll be glued to my red white and blue chair for the duration! Go Team USA!

    @NMR Solid points, as usual. But AMac and Walker have already arrived and perhaps Alvarez is making his way. It will be up to the fan base, I guess, to determine the put up or shut up time. NH has had close to 5 years. For me that time is here.

  177. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @JMB

    Hard to answer those questions, but the Rays have been outstanding since then.

    I agree, they are our model, but that was even before they were successful. They built up their system, just as the Pirates have been doing.

  178. JohninOshkosh says:

    @Ryan

    Thanks, I lost a decade there! Didn’t mean to confuse you, JHadar!

  179. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @all

    ESPN is talking about Pirates on OTL

  180. Bizrow says:

    @pattonbb
    I’d PLAY soccer if Katy Perry played.

  181. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    The report for Cole Hamels is saying that they want MLB ready guys. 4 teams are targets, but they aren’t ready to trade him just yet.

    Gotta figure the Buccos are on that list.

  182. DemonDachshund says:

    Whether or not you’re in favor of dealing the prospects for major leaguers now… Isn’t it a heck of a lot better than discussing who we should be trying to get for Burnett and Jones at the deadline?

    Is it crazy that I’m kinda willing to trust the FO when it comes to deciding whether or not Upton is worth the cost?

  183. Boise Bucco says:

    Personally, I think it’s crazy that the Phillies are even thinking about trading Hamels and Victorino. One year removed from the playoffs and they think they’re the ’09 Pirates. If I was a Phillie fan, I’d be disgusted that they would be so quick to sell off their team like this.

  184. aglebagel says:

    Cutch rockin’ the pink! Nice.

  185. Reading says:

    Count me as one who would be disappointed if Marte is part of some trade. I hope that he is untouchable.

  186. JRay3 says:

    Just read that Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweeted out that Mark Appel is leaning against signing with the Pirates for 3.8 million.

  187. BenderHeel says:

    @Boise: “Personally, I think it’s crazy that the Phillies are even thinking about trading Hamels and Victorino. One year removed from the playoffs and they think they’re the ‘09 Pirates. If I was a Phillie fan, I’d be disgusted that they would be so quick to sell off their team like this.”

    Most Phillies fans think that Hamels is going to sign elsewhere anyways, so I don’t think they’d go crazy if they at least got some stud prospects to reload their system (that they traded away to get Halladay and Lee).

  188. NMR says:

    @John

    You know what, you’re absolutely right about Cutch, Walker, and Alvarez. I was thinking too myopically regarding this current plan without taking into account the fruits of Littlefield. Maybe you’re right, then. Maybe trading one of the big two prospects wouldn’t get as much flak from the fanbase as I would’ve expected.

    @Boise

    The Phillies have dug themselves into a hole with huge contracts to aging players. In a way, they’re in exactly the same position as the ’09 Pirates.

    They aren’t going to win this year, and they aren’t going to be able to afford Hamels and Victorino as free agents. Even their GM, $175m payroll and all, knows that its better to get SOMETHING for those guys than to just let them walk.

  189. NMR says:

    @JRay

    I wonder which “anonymous source” in Appels camp “leaked” that info. Starts with a B and ends with an ORAS.

  190. JHadar says:

    John — No harm, no foul. It just shows I don’t follow the Brewers all that much…

    And you saved me from replying to Ryan with something beginning “But John in Oshkosh said … ”

    I’m knee deep in computer code today and just trying to pop in when I’m compiling something in the background or (more than likely) needing to back off and clear the head when something doesn’t compile.

    Still I wonder what the internet reaction would have been when Connie Mack broke up the $100,000 infield.

  191. JMB says:

    I saw a re-tweet by Charlie Wilmoth that Heyman’s just pushing SB’s negotiating position. I hope that’s true!

  192. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    DK, will there be a HR Derby Thread for tonight?

    DK: It’s your place. If people want one, I’ll put it up. Wasn’t planning on it.

  193. Bizrow says:

    Its crazy, unless Appel rises in next years draft, he’s not going to get what he would get if he signed now, plus would be closer to a major league paycheck if he signed this season.

  194. JHadar says:

    If Appel doesn’t sign where does the comp pick come next year?

  195. JMB says:

    9th, I think.

  196. NMR says:

    @Biz

    It makes too much sense not to happen.

    He’s clearly not an Andrew Luck type who wants to finish school no matter what. He entered the draft for a reason.

    He’s probably not going any higher in the draft next year, and even if he does, no team would pay him more because he has absolutely no leverage. Can’t go back to school. Can’t become free agent.

    What you’re hearing is the last grasp of breathe before Boras *gasp* gets beaten.

  197. AJS says:

    –Personally, I think it’s crazy that the Phillies are even thinking about trading Hamels and Victorino. One year removed from the playoffs and they think they’re the ‘09 Pirates. If I was a Phillie fan, I’d be disgusted that they would be so quick to sell off their team like this.–

    i know a ton of Phillies fans and their response to this…one I agree with…is that these guys are going to be free agents. Hamels is absolutely not coming back. Victorino is questionable. So the Phils are in a unique position to sell and restock their pharm system a little bit while at the same time able to spend money in the offseason to potentially replace these guys. Most teams don’t have that luxury.

  198. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    No need for a special one. Let’s see if we can break 400 on this one!!

  199. JHadar says:

    200th ???

  200. JHadar says:

    Would Boras throw a client under the bus to make a point?

    I look for something a little more creative from him.

  201. JohninOshkosh says:

    Dejan:

    I vote for a HR Derby thread! I’d like to get some Milo commentary on it!

  202. aglebagel says:

    Yes on the Derby thread!

  203. JohninOshkosh says:

    I wonder if Berman is doing the HR Derby tonight. If so, he is probably busy memorizing towns in Missouri. When the ASG was in Milwaukee, he referenced Oshkosh in one of his cutesy home run calls. The rubes here loved it.

    Go Cutch!

  204. BenderHeel says:

    How about trading with the Phil’s for someone else: Juan Pierre? He’s having a good season and could be leadoff, while also providing some speed on the base paths. Plus he’d come cheap.

  205. NMR says:

    @JHadar

    That thought crossed my mind, if only because Boras has a rather egomaniacal reputation.

    But thinking back to the column DK did on him, the man is not stupid. His job is to get his client money, the most money, and the only way he can do that is by signing.

    Loss of leverage coupled with a stronger draft class almost ensures that he will lose money in next years draft.

    The egg on Boras’ face can only get bigger.

  206. cmat0829 says:

    RE: Appel: It’s a free country and if the kid wants to go back to Stanford and pitch lights out and hope he inches from 8 slot to 4 or 5 next year then so be it…. if he does, he won’t be using his Stanford education. That risk/reward equation is way too skewed to the risk side (injury, poor performance, loses a year of development / year shorter career, less earning potential)…. only way he doesn’t sign is if he buys into Boras opinion that he can beat the system and Appel somehow has the ego that wants future draft rights/status named after him.

  207. Better Days Coming says:

    It’s funny how Appel had this “Stanford” epiphany the day after Taillon’s name surfaced in trade rumors.

    More smoke and mirrors by the man behind the curtain. (Scott Boras)

  208. cmat0829 says:

    RE: Berman doing HR derby… I admit I have been a fan in the past of his enthusiasm “fan as broadcaster style” but good God I can’t take him anymore. Barely tolerable on the NFL, but he absoultely ruins golf and MLB.

    Does anyone really get a kick out of his incessant “back back back…he hit that one to Overland Park” for 2 hours straight?

  209. Milo Hamilton says:

    @cmat

    Perfect opportunity to challenge the legality of the draft in court ?

  210. Milo Hamilton says:

    If I don’t get a Cape Girardeau, I’ll be sorely disappointed.

  211. cmat0829 says:

    MILO:

    I guess but what does Appel get out of a lengthy court challenge? Seems to me the draft rules were collectively bargained for so not clear to me what the legal maneuver would be for Mr. Boras to prevail. At this point Appel either wants to be a major league pitcher or an asterisk of history.

    My money is on the former… he signs at the deadline for $3.8M

  212. cmat0829 says:

    Time to get ready to play the Chris Berman “back back back — ehhhh — Wichita”….”he boomed that one to “Garden City”… drinking game…. grab your favorite beverage… mine will be gasoline to make Berman more tolerable as the night wears on……

  213. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    If Appeal doesn’t sign, his loss. We get 2 more #1 picks next year.

    Boras is 100% behind this, no secret there.

  214. JohninOshkosh says:

    There better be an Olathe reference (site of my first big boy job; inner rube speaking)

  215. Milo Hamilton says:

    @John

    You made me consult the Google machine there.

  216. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    hey, what time is the derby?

  217. Milo Hamilton says:

    @Ryan

    5:00 your time.

  218. JohninOshkosh says:

    @Milo:

    Back then both the Royals and Pirates had great teams and organizations! That’s how long ago that was!

  219. JHadar says:

    Well, I think $3+ million would take care of Appel’s tuition if he decided to wait until he was done playing baseball.

    It was just a few weeks ago that Don Nelson (Celtics & NBA coach) picked up his degree from Iowa.

    Where this could hurt the Bucs is that this year we picked 8th (is that right?) and got the consensus number one pick because of the uncertainty about how Boras would negotiate. (And doesn’t he have a higher pick with the Cubs). If the reports are true, next year’s 8th and 9th picks will be better than this year’s offerings, but I don’t think they’ll be as good as the consensus #1 this year.

    With the rule changes, justice may be hard to define, but no matter which way you cut it, greed is an ugly thing.

  220. aglebagel says:

    MLB Network is showing that Cutch is the first Pirate since Bonds in the HR Derby. Am I going crazy or did Jason Bay participate???

  221. DemonDachshund says:

    Maybe they forgot Bay because he was just that bad?

  222. JRay3 says:

    @ aglebagel – I think the argument could be made that Jason Bay did not participate with his showing.

  223. JRay3 says:

    @ JHadar – the only thing that will truly upset me if the Pirates are unable to sign Appel will be teams like the Yankees and Red Sox will be smirking because the new system they insisted upon works for them and no longer gives the small market teams an advantage that they needed to utilize as in the past. Thanks Bud!

    Getting the 9th pick in next year’s draft as compensation to go along with another 1st round pick in the 20′s in a deeper draft class I will be fine with, because if the kid truly wanted to play baseball $3.8 M is not a slap in the face.

  224. MadTurk says:

    @Arriba Wilver

    Post 139, Great!!!

  225. JHadar says:

    JRay –

    Not that it doesn’t hurt us, but I think the Pirates as victims of the draft rules are in the role of innocent bystanders, the changes were aimed at Boras, the Bucs just happened to be the ones to negotiate with him for high picks since they were picking so high.

  226. Arriba Wilver says:

    There’s only one reason to leak that he’s “leaning against” signing, and it isn’t because he’s leaning against signing.

    DK: Beautifully put.

  227. Arriba Wilver says:

    Thanks, Mad. Good to “see” you.

  228. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Milo

    Thanks

  229. JRay3 says:

    Not that power rankings mean anything and are purely used for entertainment, it is nice to see the Pirates finally get some respect and ranked # 5 in latest ESPN poll. Second highest NL team only behind Washington.

    Also according to their standings page, the Pirates have a 72.4% chance of making the playoffs for what that is worth.

  230. JHadar says:

    I think there’s a 59% chance that ESPN 64% correct give or take 12 percentage points.

  231. Bizrow says:

    Not counting chickens before they are hatched ;-)

  232. twentytwo22 says:

    N.Y. Yankees 52-33 –
    Texas 52-34 0.5
    Washington 49-34 2
    Pittsburgh 48-37 4

  233. Officer Mancuso says:

    The Burnett photo, and the column’s use of it, are spot on. An image capturing the intersection of analysis and emotion at what sure looks to me like a long awaited turnaround – powerful.

    DK: Thanks, OM!

  234. michaelbro8 says:

    No Thanks on Upton; the Bucs already have that player and his name is Starling Marte (with more upside). And Quenton ? God No, please. Willingham might pay dividends, if the Bucs didn’t have to give up any top prospects. I’d rather see Marte improve his plate discipline, call him up, and see where the Buccos go from there.

  235. RobertoForever says:

    Hoping there’s a ‘Clutch raps that one all the way to Rolla’

    Really enjoyed Matt’s Steakhouse there.

  236. Officer Mancuso says:

    Cutch said in interviews yesterday he doesn’t have the pure distance pahr of the other participants. Whatever he’s got, I say keep it!

  237. Drew71 says:

    Man, Arriba. You sure do collect nicknames.

    First it was Snidely. Then it was Nameless.

    And now Beautiful?

    I think that’s, um, Beautiful.

    (But I want to see you sign your posts that way.)

  238. Bizrow says:

    @Drew

    Don’t take this wrong

    You add relevance to this place

    Beautiful (emoticon not added due to reverence)

  239. Drew71 says:

    How could I possibly take that wrong?

    Thank you, Biz.

    Though Thunder would like rebuttal.

  240. Eric Bowser says:

    Rooting for McCutchen to hit at least one HR to beat out the putrid disaster that was Jason Bay a few years ago.

  241. TDB1977 says:

    Cutch looks really nervous.

  242. Drew71 says:

    and short.

  243. Milo Hamilton says:

    Pedro Gomez pulls off Home Run Derby’s first ever bilingual interview. I’m sure Barry Bonds was impressed.

  244. bob hasis says:

    Every time I see Joey Bats I immediately think aloud, “how can anyone who calls himself an astute evaluator of professional baseball talent, have found justifiable cause to dispatch this guy.”

    His fielding, his K’s (Pedro outdoes him in this category), what position would he play, how much would I have to pay him for his services – none of these feeble reasons are convincing. And we had him in our lap, and he wanted to play here!!!

  245. DemonDachshund says:

    So should we just start building the statue of Marte outside of PNC Park now? Or can we wait until he takes at least one MLB at bat first?

    I get that there’s excitement. I understand that he has potential. But to say that he’s an equal player to Upton RIGHT NOW… Not sure how anyone can make that argument.

    I am starting to see why the lottery is so popular though.

  246. bob hasis says:

    .. . .and now we have the greatest pretender to listen to announcing the HR Derby.

    Where is my freakin’ remote? Ahhh here it is.

  247. Milo Hamilton says:

    @bob

    At least Keyshawn Johnson’s not sitting next to him.

  248. Drew71 says:

    “From The Pittsburgh Pirates, Jose Baut…”

    Bob, it kills me too.

  249. Drew71 says:

    And just look at his Dave Kingman uppercut swing.

  250. JohninOshkosh says:

    @Milo:

    …or Kevin Millar

  251. Milo Hamilton says:

    He needs to work on going the other way. He’ll never make it as a pull hitter.

  252. Milo Hamilton says:

    He just told the world not to try to crowd him.

  253. JRay3 says:

    Come on guys you don’t thing we received our money’s worth with Robinson Diaz’ 39 hits, 1 HR and 20 RBI’s in his 43 games??

  254. Milo Hamilton says:

    Derek Jeter shows up at Habitat For Humanity wearing a $3,000 suit. That’s what I call a veteran move.

  255. bob hasis says:

    If we had Joey Bats playing third, or first, or left field for the last five years, who among us would believe we’d be working on a streak of 19/20 losing seasons?

  256. Reading says:

    ESPN totally blowing off Cargo. They better not ignore Cutch and interview somebody else when he is batting.

  257. Officer Mancuso says:

    I fear that Cutch may have hit his last base hit. Curse of the Derby.

  258. Drew71 says:

    I’m waiting for one of these BP pitchers to plunk a hitter.

    It could happen.

  259. JohninOshkosh says:

    @Bob

    No one except possibly Victor Conte could’ve predicted what Bautista has done the last few years.

  260. RobertoForever says:

    @OM

    That, or he gets IBB every time :D

  261. Officer Mancuso says:

    Can we, as the lawyers say, stipulate that the PBC talent evaluation unit missed Jose Bautista, and move on? He was tantalyzing, but mediocre, during his time on our bench.

  262. TDB1977 says:

    Its Cutch Time. It would be great that he would flash a “Z” after every homer!

  263. bob hasis says:

    JohninOshkosh

    I don’t know who Victor Conte is, but does that mean everyone else is exonerated for lack of insight, intuition, or intellect (baseball-wise)

  264. pattonbb says:

    I’m “leaning towards” not watching the rest of the derby.

  265. Drew71 says:

    Announcer: “The Steel City”

    Really?

  266. RobertoForever says:

    @John

    Especially true since Bautista was traded after July 31st which means he passed thru waivers. So every National League team passed on Jose as did every American league team with a record worse than the Jays at that time. At least the Pirates didn’t let him go for nothing, haha.

  267. bob hasis says:

    . . . . .and really no one had to be precisely right either. Just a pure give-away.

  268. Milo Hamilton says:

    @OM

    In about 1967, some Cubs fan asked for everyone stop talking about that Lou Brock thing too.

  269. Reading says:

    Thanks ESPN. Interviewing Hamilton while Cutch is hitting.

  270. Reading says:

    So much for the Pirates publicity. Bogus move by ESPN.

  271. Milo Hamilton says:

    Nice productive round of BP for Cutch.

  272. RobertoForever says:

    So much for ESPN paying lip service to the Pirates. These producers need to be fired. I won’t be watching the rest of this nonsense after Cutch is done.

    At least he hit 2 gold balls for donations to Boys and Girls Clubs.

  273. JohninOshkosh says:

    @Bob

    Victor was in the paper for awile. Ask Bonds about him-he would like that.

  274. Arriba Wilver says:

    He made us proud. ESPN should be embarrassed for how they treated him, but they’re ESPN, so I guess no real surprise. At least Berman slipped in, and I do mean slipped in, that he was leading the majors in hitting, and he hit 2 homers yesterday.

  275. Milo Hamilton says:

    The only time I made it through one of these from start to finish was the one I saw in person. Way better in person. And no Berman !

  276. bob hasis says:

    Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas wasn’t as shrewd as the Brinks Robbery, but close.

    Certainly are a lot of highly – paid baseball minds (executives) that fail under pressure.

  277. bob hasis says:

    So John are you “inferring” external substance and not heart and talent is/was the root cause of his success?

  278. pattonbb says:

    Hey, you never know when Hamilton might decide to fall off the wagon and start doing body shots on live television. Definitely more important to watch his lame interview than pay attention to the NL MVP. Now we get to see every jock scratch by Fielder. Yea, quality entertainment.

  279. aglebagel says:

    Wow, I even heard the Baseball Tonight guys say that they were happy that Cutch could get this national stage to introduce himself and their own network decides that we want to watch an interview instead. If I were Andrew I would’ve walked over to the desk and said, “You know, I have a higher OPS than this guy.”

  280. JohninOshkosh says:

    @Bob:

    No player is immune from suspicion. They have no one to blame but MLB, MLBPA and themselves.

  281. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:

    Seeing that Denard Span may be available… Excellent career OBP, steals bases, leads off, fast enough to play left field, and he’s younger than Victorino. That’s the guy that makes this team better.

  282. bob hasis says:

    That is a wide swath of doubt you cast – I suppose you have reason; you left out agents, and trainers and the clubhouse boys.

    How is this for an idea; every onein baseball has heard of Tommy John surgery, and many have receiverd such an operation, but very few have ever met him.

    I propose that he Tommy John The Man be honored at next All-Star game.
    Maybe even this one – fly him in tomorrow. He truly is an All-Star hero

  283. Arriba Wilver says:

    Pattonbb—spot on.

  284. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    I’m not upset about how ESPN handled the McCutchen at-bats. Cutch doesn’t need them. He doesn’t need FOX either.

    His stats will do the talking.
    His leading us to the playoffs for the first time in 20 years will do the talking.
    His NL MVP trophy will do the talking.

    Soon the whole world will know what we have known for 3 years. We have the best Center-fielder in baseball.

    We’re ready!!
    He’s ready!!
    Bring on the 2nd half!!

  285. aglebagel says:

    Now THIS is an interesting at-bat. I love it!

  286. twentytwo22 says:

    An interview over a Pirate at-bat on ESPN? You sure it wasn’t a ROOT broadcast?

  287. JRay3 says:

    Well Berman and ESPN make sure to show all 10 Cano outs and sound disappointed he didn’t put on a show.

    Now ESPN getting on the KC fans for booing a Yankee who failed to pick their guy I guess the Yanks should be immune to critisicsm.

  288. aglebagel says:

    “Don’t say you’re giving it to Billy and not give it to him.”

    Best Derby ever!

    (Well, other than the one I got to see live.)

  289. JohninOshkosh says:

    @Playoffs:

    Out of curiosity, what was the line gonna be had Dejan opened a thread for this farce?

  290. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    @John,

    The Window had the clicker at the ready. The line was going to be number of times Chris Berman said the word “BACK.”

    Line was going to be 80.5

  291. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’m a huge fan of George Brett.

  292. bob hasis says:

    Milo, I agree with you. Brett is proof one man can carry a team along way for a long time. Yes he had some parimeter players, but he was the man – the face of the franchise.

    BTW, I firmly agree with the title premise of this thread – NO UPTON THANK YOU!

  293. RobertoForever says:

    @Playoffs

    With an over/under line like that, would NOT want to be the guy who had to count all those ‘back’s, LOL

  294. JohninOshkosh says:

    @Milo:

    I saw an interview with Brett and he was talking about that fight he had with Nettles in the playoffs. He said the umps didn’t throw anyone out because it was the decisive game. Can you imagine what would happen today? Selig would order a congressional hearing!

    Bob Nightengale had a good piece about Frank White in USA today and his acrimonious split with the Royals. Sad stuff. Interesting that he was being paid $50k per year for color work on the Royals network. I wonder what Walk makes. My first glove as a boy was a Frank White. A lot of history for the Royals, some of it as sad as it gets.

  295. Thundercrack says:

    I nominate post # 287 as POST OF THE DAY

  296. bob hasis says:

    I’m really having a hard time deciding between this and slam dunk contests, in terms of interest and entertainment value. They’re probably tied for second place, with everything else imaginable tied for first.

  297. JohninOshkosh says:

    Well, I know that I will get more sleep tonight than one Josh Yohe. Cherish these nights and their demands, Josh. They go by lighting quick. Congrats and we know the kid already has good sense-he was courteous enough to be born in the off season. I like to think the kid was named Yadier. Yadier Yohe.

  298. millec311 says:

    Great points about players like Upton being available… I am very skeptical why the Diamondbacks would be willing to trade him, since he is still so young and has had such great success.

    I also would think the price would be tremendous. Hunter Pence took a huge crop of prospects from Philly, and that was before the extra wild-card slots which up the number of potential buyers.

  299. aglebagel says:

    300

  300. BigDaddyHoss says:

    DK,

    This is where the Pirates have to do their homework extensively about Upton. If they find anything wrong, they should avoid him like the plague. It does seem strange Upton is available.

    If the Bucs turn over every stone and find nothing wrong, Upton is exactly what they should bring in. He is under control, great upside, and a relatively friendly contract.

    Even if it means parting with one of the blue chips prospects, that is exactly why you accumulate talent in the minors. Especially since the farm system is barren of a power hitter.

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


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