Blogs | Sports | News
Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Vacation Call: Monday discussion thread

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

I’m not working. But if I were, I’d share with you that, contrary to an ESPN report yesterday, the Pirates and Scott Boras did not discuss having Mark Appel in the majors this year, based on a discussion I had with one of the principles late Sunday night. Subject didn’t come up. And I wasn’t working.

I’m taking Twiter off all week, as well.

I might have fun on my other three social media — Facebook, Instagram and Sulia. But even that won’t be work. I swear.

The column returns July 23, then another on the 25th, and I’ll take off that night for London. You’ll have all your usual game threads here.


  1. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Enjoy the time off. You have earned it.

  2. John Lease says:

    If the Pirates tank, we’ll know who to blame! :)

  3. Curt says:

    Thanks Dejan! Enjoy your vacation.

    I want to add in about the Justin Upton rumors. I say if it takes giving up Marte and others and we still keep Cole and Jamo. Then by all means do it.

    Upton is a proven MLB and an All Star. I think sometimes we get too wrapped up in prospects, which after all they are just prospects. Upton needs a change of scenery and we need a lift in the lineup, something that creates a buzz.

  4. JAL says:

    JAL’s I’m Going Home Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)

    4 Pirates Prospects Draft Pick Signing Tracker


    5—Pirates Prospects

    Pirates Notebook: Sloppy Play Leads to Loss; Tabata Struggling in Triple-A

    Prospect Watch: Altoona is No Hit, Barnes Homers, Good Pitching From Irwin, Sadler

    Presley Looking Ready to Return in Indians Win

    First Pitch: The Question Marks Surrounding Justin Upton

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates 6, Brewers 4

    Scott Boras: Pirates Should Have Risked Entire Draft On Mark Appel

    7 Rumbunter

    Pittsburgh Pirates Lead Major League Baseball in UBR

    8 McEffect

    7/15 Recap | Brewers 4 Pirates 1

    9 The Green Weenie

    Gallardo, Big Inning Drop Bucs 4-1

    Pirate Draft 2012; We Fought The Law And The Law Won

    10 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Weekend of whiffs

    11 WHY GAVS

    A few final words on the Mark Appel situation

  5. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 CBSSports

    Pirates-Rockies Game Preview

    13 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    KKKKKKKKKKKKKKthxbye… Gallardo fans 14 Pirates

    14 NPR

    Unusual Outliers In Baseball

    15 Crawfordsville Journal Review

    Are Pirates for real this year?

    16 Jackson Sun

    PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL: Catching up with area stars

    17 Altoona Mirror

    Burnett’s streak snapped


    18 PBC Site

    One bad inning fells Pirates in Milwaukee

    Notebook: McGehee has been key defender for Pirates

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    The Week In Quotes

    20 Sweetspot

    Why Justin Upton is down, not up

  6. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Indianapolis Colts Coach Chuck Pagano: ‘We Hit a Home Run’ with Bruce Arians

    Steelers Won’t Fully Implement iPad Technology for Playbook

    NFL Has Top 12 Highest Rated Programs, Steelers at Broncos No. 5

    22 Steelers Depot

    -Could The Broncos Be Without DE Elvis Dumervil Week 1 After Aggravated Assault Accusation?

    23 Steelers Gab

    One Way of Looking at the AFC in 2012

    24 Nice Pick Cower

    Rainey Could Be Contributing X-Factor for Steelers as Rookie

    Pitt Blogs

    25 Pitt Blather

    What About Pitt-Penn State?

    26 Cardiac Hill

    Kenpom Predicts Seasons For Pitt’s Steven Adams And James Robinson

    WVU Blogs

    27 Metro News

    Scouting Report: Maryland

    28 WV Illustrated

    Isaac McDonald Commit No. 9 for WVU


    29 Sky Sports

    Transfer Clockwatch

    30 Daily Telegraph

    FA to investigate whether Rio Ferdinand’s ‘choc-ice’ tweet has inflamed controversy over John Terry case

    31 World Soccer Daily

    10 Ten stories you need to read, July 13th, 2012


    32 Pensburgh

    Pens sign forward Benn Ferriero to one-year, two-way contract

  7. JAL says:

    Theme this week is traveling. I’m Going Home, Kingston Trio 1964

  8. The Standard says:

    I don’t think the Pirates are a good match for the D’Backs, who are stacked with outfield talent at AAA. I don’t think this deal gets done without either Cole or Taillon and Marte.

    I would actually think the Pirates could do a great deal more to strengthen this year’s team and playoff chances by adding Ryan Dempster to the staff. Offensive help can be obtained in the form of salary acquisition rather than selling the farm to get Upton. Dempster would provide the Pirates to have a potentially dominant rotation, not just a strong one. Pitching trumps all. Then go get some offensive help in the form of a Cody Ross or the like.

  9. bdubb says:

    So it appears that MLB Got another thing wrong. When I read after the draft that college seniors were drafted in the top 10 just because they would come cheap – how does that help the system? Because of that you are essentially left to put all your eggs in 2 baskets. I just don’t see how this helps any team. And to be able to maybe pick them up later in their professional careers for cheap, well, that might be true but now you waste time and money and energy trying to develop players that don’t even belong on a professional team.

    There definitely needs to be a slotting system so why could they not do it similar to NFL and NBA and essentially say you get drafted in this spot this is what you get? What college player playing football or basketball go back to school when you get drafted 8th overall? So who comes up with these rules in MLB?

  10. Karen22 says:

    I look forward to your Olympic coverage, Dejan. Enjoy your well-deserved “vacation.” Lord knows you deserve it! As for the Pirates—they surely need SOMETHING, but at what cost, I just do not know. Their regression toward looking like the bad, old Pirates in Milwaukee was hugely disappointing. Andrew McCutchen just can’t do this all by himself.

    DK: Thanks, Karen.

  11. CWalton_67 says:

    In agreement with The Standard in #8 above. Would a change of scenery get Upton back to elite player status? Could Hurdle motivate a guy with a known bad attitude? Right now, he’s just an above average player. Is he worth elite level prospects?

    All tough questions, and as bad as we need a bat, pitching wins games.

    Lost 2-3 in Milwaukee to start the 2nd half and it felt like May again.

    Got tickets for the game in Denver on Tuesday; hoping to see this team rebound from this mess of the past couple of days.

  12. Leefoo says:

    A little late to the party on the Boras/Appel discussion, but I am very happy with how NH Handled negotiations. what is being ignored tho, is how little leverage Appel will have NEXT year. College Senior? I’m giving you 3mil. Don’t like it? Go play Indy ball. On 2nd thought, here’s $2 mil.


  13. TC says:

    @#8 and #11… Agree, but who are the “offensive help can be obtained in the form of salary acquisition…? The obvious Upton benefit(s) are he’s a proven commodity, somewhat reasonable financially, and contract control for a couple years. Unfortunately, it’s unsure now how Presley and Tabata pan out over the years.

    I think arms are easier to obtain through salary acq (Dempster, Garza, Vargas, Hamels, Greinke) than decent bats. Quentin may be the only pure salary bat worthwhile.

    It will be interesting and hopefully something gets triggered soon!

  14. Bizrow says:

    Thanks for all you do Dejan, enjoy your time off.

    We’ll be good while you are gone, well, “good” is a relative thing…

    Personally if we have to trade one of our 3 top pitching talents, I’d vote to stick with what we have, maybe dipping into the 3 AAA hurlers and lets see what Marte can do before the deadline.

    Just sayin

  15. JohninOshkosh says:

    Geez, that Kovacevic is a slacker. Doesn’t he know that the Pirates play the Rockies and Marlins this week? And the Olympics? Big deal. Not like it’s the biggest sporting event in the world-who needs time to rest and prepare for that? Some people.

  16. JohninOshkosh says:

    I don’t quite get this “Don’t trade Marte for Upton sentiment. Marte is going to be a special player.”

    1. He may be a special player but he has not proven himself at all at the ML level.
    2. Upton is already a special player. One of the best in the NL.
    3. I would expect the Pirates to do their due diligence and vet the guy fully, including as to his health.
    4. If a bat and glove can be obtained without giving up the big pitching prospects, then by all means make that trade. I trade a prospect bat for a proven ML talent any day of the week. I would be much more careful when dealing the arms.
    5. Throw in the change of scenery argument, CH’s leadership and the reality that Cutch will have some cooling off periods and I say Upton is a no brainer.

  17. Arriba Wilver says:

    John—not sure about “no-brainer,” but I agree with the sentiment overall. And the “give up a bunch of lesser talents instead” is the old no-soup argument.

  18. CWalton_67 says:

    @JohninOshKosh–great points, all. I am not necessarily against Upton, he’s in fact a proven player. But–there is a lot to be said for chemistry on a team, and I’d hate to see one bad attitude disrupt this group. I’d just like to see another stopper type pitcher added before I would take a chance on Upton. Pitching is ultimately what wins games.

  19. Arriba Wilver says:

    CW—no worries, the Zoltan will neutralize any “chemistry” problems.

  20. albatross says:

    The problem with chemistry is that you don’t know what you’ll get when you add an unknown to the mix. That’s what everyone was worried about with A.J. and look how that turned out.

  21. JohninOshkosh says:

    I forgot to add that Upton is the quality of player that Pittsburgh either won’t of can’t obtain via free agency.

    AW: I agree. “No brainer” is too much. No such thing as a no brainer trade. I retract that portion of the post!

    CWalton: Chemistry is an odd thing. Some say it is an overblown value. Witness, for example, the 86 Mets, who were as crazy as can be (albeit, they had superior talent). I think, overall, chemistry is an important factor but very hard to analyze and determine what will affect it.

  22. Curt says:

    I was watching the MLB Network this past Friday during their Rundown day segment.
    All those that were discussing Justin Upton trade rumors said he has a perceived attitude problem, however none of the panel said they personally thought he had one. Basically, all agreed its a “no-brainer” to trade for him and the Diamondbacks will regret moving him!
    And I agree with #23 post, not a chance the Pirates would ever get this guy on the market. He’d be a member of the Yankees, Red Sox or Angels, etc.

  23. Matt says:

    In response to post #18. I respectfully disagree. I have watched marte in indy quite a bit this year and I believe you will be pleasantly surprised at just how talented this kid is, not too mention his positive attitude and hustle in the field. I look for him to do great things when called up. He will make rookie mistakes i’m sure, but he will still do well i believe.

  24. Arriba Wilver says:

    Matt-I think you are missing the point. If Marte turns out to be a “special” player, it’s not like it will be a big surprise. It’s the idea he isn’t “proven” at the major league level. There’s a difference.

  25. mayhay22 says:

    Looking at the Rockies roster since we’re playing them tonight. They’re 19 games under .500 and bound to make some guys available. Tyler Colvin and Marco Scutaro are two names that look attractive to me.

  26. JohninOshkosh says:


    Great post! I’m not saying he won’t turn into the next….Justin Upton! But all trades involve sacrifice and risk. Quality is given for quality. Some you regret and some get you to the postseason. It’s why Maalox is a big seller to GM’s.

  27. CraigWilson'sRevenge says:

    I think the fanbase has started to vastly overrate starling marte. his ceiling is nowhere near upton’s.

    That’s not to say he won’t be a productive major leaguer. i just think the fanbase got waaaayyy too fixated on him.

    That’s also not me saying “TRADE HIM AWAY FOR UPTON!!!” I’d probably rather have Marte for 6 years on the cheap and his probably decent production than Upton at what he’ll be making at his god-knows-which-of-his-performances-are-real production, and spend the difference elsewhere.

    Upton would be an extremely non-Huntington type move…

    then again, maybe it is a Huntington move… buying low and selling high.

  28. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    On the bright side for the Pirates, they get to go beat up the Rockies, who are fighting for the #2 overall pick in next’s year’s draft.

    This should be a sweep and get the buccos back on track.

    I’m not worried about the Pirates losing 2/3 from the Brewers, is anyone really that surprised?

    I’m starting to hate all things Wisconsin.

  29. JohninOshkosh says:



  30. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Except for you, of course.

  31. JRay3 says:

    @ John – Very good post in #18. I agree with that assessment. Upton may just need a change of scenery, look at Kevin Youkilis and what he is doing with the White Sox, Bobby Valentine could not get that out of him in Boston. I will say again living out here in Arizona, the owner is unhappy with Upton and has questioned him in papers as well as Stephen Drew. In addition, Upton was quoted as saying he did not care what the fans think of him last week in response to criticism to fans. That has alienated him quite a bit out here. There is no question to his desire or work-ethic from management. Upton is a five tool MVP type player, he immediately improves the team if added.

    Looking forward to seeing Jeff Karstens take the hill tonight at Coors Field, believe he is a big key to the type of second half the club has.

    @ Ryan -I would love to witness a sweep hope you are right! And ditto on Milwaukee just reading link 13 up in @ JAL links infuriates me.

  32. Matt says:

    I wonder why there is no interest in VandenHurk? He has pitched very well in Indy and has mlb experience.

  33. Matt says:

    Arriba, it is my opinion that trading marte for upton is big risk given that Arizona is anxious to trade him. I have been a big pirates fan since i was a kid in thr 70’s. We got in this mess by paying for big names that haven’t panned out (meares, bell, etc). I am just saying that if we are patient with the young talent we have been drafting lately, we can be a dominant team in a couple of years instead of a .500 team or a little better this year.

  34. Leefoo says:

    Matt….VandenHurk is AAAA stuff. He has MLB experience, but so does John Van B.


  35. Milo Hamilton says:


    Couldn’t agree more. That trade is a huge risk for Arizona.

  36. Curt says:

    I remember the Pirates traded for an “unhappy” player around July before in their history.

    That would be Bill Madlock. How did that work out for the Pirates?!? Lol.

    We need Justin Upton.

  37. The Standard says:

    The Pirates can’t afford to unload one of the top pitchers for Upton….yes, they are only prospects, and neither Taillon or Cole may pan out. However, nobody is talking about the fact that the Pirates will not have the “luxury” of picking higher than 9th next year, so such a highly touted pitching prospect is not as great.

    Additionally, Upton on this team would make them better, no doubt. Would it make them an instant challenger for the pennant? I don’t believe it would. Adding strength to weakness would make the offense better, but adding strength to strength in the rotation makes more sense to me. Having a dominant rotation is something that will be necessary if the Pirates are to have a true chance. Right now they have a good rotation…could be great with Dempster…but sadly I’m not hearing the Pirates as being the top suitors for him. I think it would be a terrific addition, and I think he could be had for less than Taillon/Cole, since he is truly a rental.

  38. buggee says:

    Hey Dejan, , cheers good sir. Enjoy your downtime and I look forward to your Olympic coverage. Be well sir

  39. buggee says:

    BTW, I think I saw you at the Con Saturday watching the prospects. At least I THINK it was you. You do kind of resemble Starkey. (just kidding Dejan). The Starbucks cup was a dead giveaway

  40. Matt says:

    Leefo, good one on john vb! I have been impressed with vandenhurk’s mental toughness in tight spots. I am not saying these AAA guys are instant all-stars or that they will even lead us to the proverbial hardball promised land, but they are 22 games over .500 for a reason and they just might be the small boost we need.

  41. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Actually all, think about it. If Upton costs us Marte and NOT Cole or Taillon, why do we NOT do this deal?

    We’ll have Upton until 2015 and right after him, will give way to Josh Bell.

    Send Marte to Dbacks for him, cool, but I’d hate to lose those top pitching guys.

    Obviously, it will cost more than just Marte, probably one of the 3 lefties in Indy plus additionals.

  42. Jandy says:

    buggee, did you see any pointy-headed defenseman while you were there???? ;)

  43. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    I don’t disagree with your post, but I don’t believe that Dempster will make the rotation great, but I agree he would be an added bonus and shouldn’t cost much. Pirates will probably have to take on more salary, than give up vital prospects.

    I have been a Corriea basher in the past, maybe a little, but with the way he’s been pitching as of late, makes the rotation just as good as if it were to add Dempster.

    Bedard, needs to show improvement soon, like quick, if he wants to keep his job in the rotation, I think there’s a couple (3) AAA guys that might want to take him from him.

    The depth at the AAA level for pitching is great, might not need to add a ratation guy with that depth, but I always like veteran additions. I would hate to put the pressure of the pennant race on rookies.

  44. Curt,

    The big difference about the “attitude” Bill Madlock trade in 1979 and picking up “attitude” Justin Upton is . . . . . . Willie Stargell, Dave Parker, Phil Garner, Tim Foli, and Bill Robinson.

    Nobody was going to pull that team down with that kind of elder leadership.

    Everyone has made a big deal of A.J. Burnett’s leading these young Pirates to get more out of them. There’s really no other older leadership to keep “attitudes” in line.

    I’m not saying Bucs should avoid Upton, but his age being similar to McCutch, Walker, Pedro, Hanrahan means he may not cotton to receiving their leadership——if his attitude is as sour as rumored.

    Neil Huntington talked A LOT yesterday on his show about clubhouse attitude and presence, more than I would expect. Was he already making excuses for not making that trade?

  45. JohninOshkosh says:

    Hi Jandy:

    The important question is whether buggee saw Milo. After all, Milo did say he was going to wear a Dio shirt as a marker. Wonder if Milo has a mullet?

  46. The Gunner says:

    @ Curt – #41 / @ Ryan – #46

    I remember when the Bucs acquired Madlock in 1979 – I couldn’t believe the ownership at that time (the Galbreaths) would go for him. He fit in quickly with Stargell, Parker, Garner & company. He made our outstanding team even more outstanding – and we ended up being world champs!!

    I am starting to like the idea of Marte & prospects for Upton. Hopefully, Upton won’t have a problem playing second fiddle to Cutch and be a good fit for the clubhouse.

  47. Jandy says:

    OshKosh, I had forgotten about that SO, buggee, did you see a Dio shirt?????

  48. JMB says:

    I read a theory post on bucsdugout a few days back about a 3 teamer w. AZ, SD, and us.

    That idea makes the most sense if AZ wants a 3B (Headley).

  49. Milo Hamilton says:


    You had that backwards. I said I’d be looking for a Dio shirt thinking the bugster would have one on. I wore a boring black Penguin golf shirt. It was an enjoyable couple of hours.

  50. JAL says:

    Pirates getting more attention than usual from ESPN

    Neil Walker actually living his dream

  51. Jandy says:

    Milo, who impressed you the most at camp? Just curious. Did you see Dejan?

  52. pants-n-at says:

    Burnett and dempster were teamates in Florida. Maybe he can help sway him to become a Bucco. Just a thought!

  53. pants-n-at says:

    Also, maybe we could use our 2nd 1st rounder in next years draft as trade bait.

  54. Milo Hamilton says:


    Unlike last year when Harrington & Morrow really stood out to me, no one really caught my eye. I did like what I saw of Olli Matta after he had a really bad giveaway early on. Didn’t notice much of Pouliot at all. You will be happy to know that when they went to a 3 on 3 for overtime, Joe Morrow was all over the place. That kid can skate. I thought I saw improvement in Beau Bennett even though he was still fighting that wrist.

    I didn’t see Dejan. I got there later than I wanted & ended up pretty far away from the press area.

  55. Milo Hamilton says:


    You can’t trade draft picks. You can’t even trade a draftee until he’s been in your organization for a year.

  56. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Thanks for the link, I hope everybody got a chance to read it.

  57. pants-n-at says:

    Thanks Milo…..I didn;t realize that.

  58. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Hey Pants, this aint football!!

    Just kidding of course, but Milo is correct.

  59. JAL says:

    Yes, baseball different than other sports. Some people talk about trading Cole in an Upton deal–can’t do it, Cole signed on August 15 last year so they can’t trade him until mid-August.

  60. JAL says:

    P2 on tonights opposing pitcher

    Exploring the Arsenal – Jeff Francis

  61. Milo Hamilton says:


    A way to get around that would be to make him a player to be named later, then not complete the deal until after August 15th. Unless Larry Doughty is your GM & he lets the cat out of the bag early.

  62. Jandy says:

    Thanks for the input, Milo.

  63. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Could be used in PTBNL though, correct?

    I still wouldn’t do it, he’ll be in the rotation June/July of next year!

  64. Jandy says:

    #62 Ryan, and #56 JAL,
    Everyone, seriously, go read that link about Neil Walker.
    It’s … amazing.
    Thanks for sharing, Jal and thanks for the nudge, Ryan.

  65. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    You’re welcome Jandy….

    The end, is the first time I heard that story…

  66. Jandy says:

    Ryan, that’s what truly struck me….amazing!!!

  67. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:

    Dempster or any legit starter that can go 6 innings or more and replace either Correia or preferably Bedard would be the most beneficial to the team going forward.

    Burnett, Karstens, and McDonald all average approximately 6 1/3 per start. Those are solid. However, Bedard is right at 5 innings and Correia is right about 5 2/3 innings.

    We’ll see what Bedard has done to “correct” the issues the coaching staff apparently had him work on over the extended break, but Bedard would have to be the odd man out as it stands currently. He taxes the bullpen WAY TOO MUCH.

    As far as Marte’s availability goes, I’ve been saying for a long time that the guy is going to have to show some semblance of discipline and improve his SO/BB rate or he is going to BUST big time.

    Free swingers, guys who don’t walk a ton, have been successful but they were also better contact hitters. Vladimir Guererro was a free swinger but his SO:BB rate was just over 1:1. And he only stuck-out about once every 8.27 AB. Starling Marte, in the minor leagues, has a career SO:BB rate of almost 4:1. That is a REALLY BAD indicator when combined with the fact that he strikes-out every 4.55 AB.

    If the Pirates can get Justin Upton for Marte and a pitcher not in the top 4 (Cole, Taillon, Heredia, & Clay Holmes) in terms of potential then I think it’s a more-than-worthwhile deal. And believe me when I tell you that Clay Holmes will be in that great. Awesome talent.

  68. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:

    typo correction…^^Clay Holmes will be in that group^^

  69. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Good assesment, we’ll see what happens though.

    I really don’t think that Upton will be a Pirate. That could be one helluva trade though.

    Other formats are coming out and saying that Marte may not be the superstar that the Pirates have believed him to be as well. Maybe that’s why 1. he’s not here yet, 2. he’s been mentioned in trades.

    I think NH and co. know what they have with him.

  70. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:

    And, despite the fact that he’s been a hassle for a couple of coaches, I trust Clint Hurdle and the team’s ability to make a guy wecome to say that IF the Cubs are willing to give up Alfonso Soriano for next-to-nothing and pay most of his salary then that is the guy for right field. He is a LEGIT hitter with power to handle the canyon that is PNC Park’s left and left center.

  71. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Oh to dream, but how about this lineup?

    1. AP
    2. Walker
    3. Cutch
    4. Upton
    5. Jones/McGhee
    6. Pedro
    7. Fort/Barajas
    8. Barmes
    9. Pitcher

    Upton just adds that much more to this lineup.

  72. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    I’ve said Soriano as well. Definetly in RF and in the #4 slot. If they can get him for next to nothing, I’m in, but not taking over most of his contract.

  73. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Jandy #72

    Sorry, missed this comment, me too……Could you imagine being Neil and seeing the wall, statue, etc. and not realize what the man did for his family?

  74. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:


    Supposedly, the Cubs are willing to pay 90%. If that’s true. I’d offer a package for he and Dempster today.

  75. Jandy says:

    Ryan, it would have to be quite a feeling, indeed.

  76. JohninOshkosh says:

    Both Dempster and Soriano have 10 and 5 rights. They would have to want to come to Pittsburgh even if a trade could be fashioned.

  77. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Well, those packages would actually wind up being 2 different deals.

    I’d take AS over Dempster though. The Pirates have pitching depth that could help us, but the need is more in the offensive side, IMO.

    But I’m in for both guys.

  78. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    True, but I don’t think either would turn down a deal for a contender. Dempster has more to gain than AS, since he’s in his FA year.

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

    Hearing James Shields wants out of Tampa and they may be willing to oblige. That’s a 200+ inning guy with great stuff. I’d consider Taillon and Marte for him.

  80. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Just read that myself.

  81. Arriba Wilver says:

    We actually got two alleged malcontents in 1979—Madlock AND Foli. And wasn’t Hoak supposed to be a malcontent before the ’60 team. If anybody can come up with a malcontent they added to the 1971 team, I think we HAVE to get Upton, but only if he is a malcontent.

  82. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    I think Upton has been known to be “malcontent.”

    Or was that his brother?

  83. buggee says:

    I saw a pointy-headed blueliner with long blond hair. Morrow I think? Regardless, he was playing like his rump was on fire during the 3-on-3.

    Wonder how bad Bennett’s wrist is. Noticably weak wrister. Probably not a good idea to have tried it, but I like that he did. Shows moxie (did I just say “moxie”?).

    I did not wear a Dio shirt. I took a FooTang shirt, cut it down the middle and wore it like a vest over a wife-beater, ensuring to have disgusting stains all over said wife-beater, and then I put on a wig of greasy dark hair and spoke with a sloppy french-canadian accent. a ghetto tanger.

    I think Starkey asked me for my autograph. Or maybe that was Dejan…

  84. Don’t want Soriano!
    Don’t want his losing attitude.
    Don’t want his inability to catch even a cold.
    Don’t want his isolationist attitude.
    Don’t want his own suggested inability to bat 3-4-5. He asked out of batting on those spots.
    Don’t want him on the roster for 2013 and 2014 included in his contract.
    Don’t want his candy arm that makes Brian Giles’ arm look like Roberto’s.
    Don’t want a player that his 20 game under .500 team is willing to pay $45 million of his $47 million contract to make him go away.
    Don’t want a true one dimensional player at all.
    Don’t want Soriano.

  85. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    So you’re saying no to Soriano?

  86. I’m sorry——I have a habit of sugar coating it and not getting to the point.

    “No” to Soriano.

  87. Bizrow says:

    Ok Groat, other than those ten things, what is wrong with him???

  88. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I’m not a huge fan of Soriano, but I’ll take him for the remander of this year.

    I’m not a fan of having him for the extended time frame. I also don’t think he’d cost that much in terms of prospects.

  89. buggee says:

    Soriano should be a Pirate! He could platoon in center with Cutch! that would be so awesome

  90. buggee says:

    Is it too late to teach Thome how to pitch? That would be like Babe Ruth in reverse

  91. buggee says:

    @Ryan; effin’ hilarious man. Too funneh

  92. Jandy says:

    buggee, you’re killin’ me friend! lol
    It is said Bennett’s wrist is at 80% healed. So maybe he will be ok, eh?
    I wish you had taken a pic of said FooTang shirt over wife beater. That would be a sight to behold!
    Morrow is eye candy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  93. Jandy says:

    Groat, I’m glad you’re not being to hard on Soriano, just sayin’ ;)

  94. Milo Hamilton says:

    I was just listening to a discussion on the radio about who is untouchable in the minor leagues. I’d like to be as clear as Groat was in his earlier post on Soriano. NOBODY in this current minor league system should be untouchable. Sure there are guys you don’t want to part with, but the words minor leaguer and untouchable should only be used in the same sentence in the rarest of cases. And it certainly shouldn’t be the case with a AA pitcher with a 4.50 ERA.

  95. buggee says:

    Agree with you Milo-nian. (By the way, did you know that the Philippine version of Ovaltine is called… wait for it… “MILO”!!! I kid you not, I have some right in me pantry courtesy of me mom-in-law.

    Anywho, recall, Chad Hermanson was “untouchable”? And yet I wonder if Sandusky subscribed to the “untouchable” philosophy. hmmmm. Inquiring minds… really don’t wanna know.

    For you Jandylicious, Tangeroutletpass is “untouchable”. And no Morrow for you, young lady!

    It’s nice to see front-office executives regarding players at all levels as “assets”. Not even relegated to “piece of meat” status. Just “asset”. Like a gold ingot or swampland. Woe is me; tis the state of our world now.

  96. I agree with the not-soon-enough retiring baseball announcer.

    However, IF you are going to trade those “lepers” . . . . don’t bring me back a Clint Barmes or a Jeff Clement! Get an Upton or some such player who will be here multiple years.

  97. buggee says:

    Still a little unclear Groat if you’re a fan of Soriano or not?

  98. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Agreed on the NOBODY being untouchable. EVERYONE is available for the right price….but not for a rental.

  99. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Exactly. Most of these rental guys will not cost your top prospect talent. Realistically, teams are just trying to dump some payroll and tryout a AAA guy that they have in their system or who they acquire.

  100. North Cali Ryan,

    I’ve seen folks on these pages call for trading Marte, Cole, or Taillon for Cole Hamels.

    Why give up years of help to the Pirates for a guy who might not even appear in a Wild Card Playoff game?!

  101. JRay3 says:

    Got to listen to Clint Hurdle on 102.3 here in Denver when I arrived and got the rental. He talked about the memories he had here in Colorado and about he and his family holding a special spot for this city. Mentioned he understands the difficulties of managing in a stadium that plays unlike most others. When talking about the Pirates he said he accepted the job because he spoke face to face with Nutting, Huntington, FC, and the scouting director. He was told they would add when the time was right and he liked how the organization had a great approach and were doing things the right way. He said when they gave him assurances he needed he told them he was all in.

    Mentioned the goal is not .500 but certainly understands what it means to the fans of Pittsburgh as they have lived each day for 19 years so he recognizes it, but there are no t-shirts for hitting that mark. Went on to talk about being in the race and how it would be far more advantageous to win the division over a wild card spot. That is the team’s goal. The radio hosts said lots of great things about him after his interview and said he is a guy you want to root for with all the great qualities he possesses.

    Was great to catch a bit of that.

  102. JRay3 says:

    I read elsewhere that Tom Verducci of SI predicted the Pirates will finish the year 86-76 but miss the playoffs. I was thinking about that and whether that would be a successful year at this point and would I be happy with that.

    So I ask each of you, the Bucs finish 86-76 and miss the playoffs, what is your reaction to that?

  103. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    I know, there’s no way I trade those guys for a rental. Ridiculous thought. Though, I think a talent like Hamels would garner such a transaction, but the teams making that deal can probably afford to extend him.

  104. Milo Hamilton says:

    Alex Presley leading off in left field tonight. The Hague returned to Indy.

  105. JRay3 says:

    From 24/7 tweet. Alex Presley activated from DL, Matt Hague optioned to Indy….yes! Alex was 4-8 in two rehab starts for Indy, hope he keeps up that pace!

  106. JRay3 says:

    @ Milo – you don’t miss a thing.

  107. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:



    I’d be disappointed that they didn’t make the playoffs, but could not bash them at all for that record. Even if the Pirates didn’t have the history, you have to look back on the season and say that it was a successful one.

  108. cosmo says:

    @ JRay3

    I’d take 86-76. first it breaks the streak. Missing the playoffs? Though it would be
    great to make it this year, don’t you think it will raise the expectation level way too high
    for next year.

  109. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Funny, even losing the series against the Brewers, the Pirates are still 10 games above .500 and are just 1 game out of 1st.

    This wasn’t the beginning of the end for the Pirates, but just a bump in the road.

  110. JRay3 says:

    Tonight’s lineup:

    Presley, Harrison, Cutch, McGehee, Walker, Alvarez, Barajas, Barmes, Karsty

  111. cosmo says:

    @ Ryan

    agree just a bump in the road.
    Things turn for the better starting tonight.

  112. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


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

    It’s baseball, not a Love Fest. I don’t give a crap if a player doesn’t like anyone. I don’t care if anyone likes him. Soriano has been to two World Series, hit 20+ HR for each of the last 10 years, and has 17 HR and 53 RBI this year for a horrible team. When the Pirates field an outfield where each position player has those production-related credentials then they can be picky.

    “The guy (Alfonso Soriano) works his butt off all the time. There’s no doubt the fans lost a little faith in him sometimes with the things he does, but I think the fans have to understand he’s probably the hardest-working guy in the clubhouse. That’s always refreshing, and players love him to death. He’s the most prolific guy in our lineup and he’s done it before.” – Chicago Cubs Manager Dale Sveum on (Carrie Muskat, 02/28/2012, ‘Cubs confident that Soriano can produce’, Source)

    I can live with a guy that “works his butt off” and produces runs during a potential playoff run.

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

» Top Sports
» Top News
» Top Breaking News