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Vacation Call: Tuesday discussion thread

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

I’m not working. But if I were, I’d have written this little screed about the silliness in how the Pirates are now handling — or toying with — Starling Marte. Good job by our Rob Biertempfel in Denver to get Kyle Stark on record about this. Served it up for me like slo-pitch softball.

This front office needs to start acting like it it’s in first place. This stuff was fine during the rebuilding days. It looks petty now.

In case you missed what Marte did last night while the Pirates tested his resolve, here it is. It’s pretty clear that Marte needs to work on his singles.

Here’s all of Rob’s coverage from Denver.


  1. twentytwo22 says:

    One phone call by Hurdle or Coonelly and Marte’s in the lineup. They obviously don’t want him in there. They want to revolutionise the game with their 5 and 6 infielder alignments. I was listening to the radio and I saw people commenting and it sounded like Josh Harrison played a flyball in the 5th inning as if he had just stepped off a Tilt-A-Whirl.

    I don’t mind losing as much I hate playing like clowns. It’s been 4 games of mostly clown baseball. If this isn’t enough to make corrections then I’m not sure they really want to win and are fine with a circus.

    I’m mad.

  2. Nate says:

    2222 – it wasn’t the greatest play by Harrison, but he didn’t have a chance at catching it. It was over his head, even if it wouldn’t have spun him around.

    DK: Ever find those other errors, Nate?

  3. Reading says:

    Get the man a plane ticket to Denver.

  4. Drew71 says:

    I think that comes across as a little harsh, Dejan.

    You made your point to Nate at the time, in his earlier post, on a previous day. Perfectly fair to make the point. And for what it is worth, I thought you made the point pretty darn well. On that previous day.

    So here we are; different day, different post, different topic. Are you going to rub Nate’s nose in it every time he posts on unrelated topics?

    To what end?

  5. dcpfjr says:

    The fact that Marte hasn’t been called up leads me to one conclusion: he’s in the discussion for a major trade (probably Upton). Why bring him up and have him (possibly) look bad, when he can tear up the minors and add to his trade value.

  6. Juan Pizarro says:

    I’m guessing Marte will be called up for the 1st game back home after this road trip (ie Friday). At least I’m hoping that’s the latest day. Watching the outfield being manned by utility-infielders these last few games is getting awfully annoying.

    If Marte is not coming up, and Tabata is still in the doghouse, certainly there are some outfielders on other clubs to assist (I’m looking at Daniel Nava types; although if you go onto a Sox blog they would probably demand Karstens for him!).


  7. Curt says:

    I’m thinking the same thing post #5. He must be in trade discussions probably with Arizona. If that is the case, get something done this week or bring him up!

    Perhaps the clean shaven face of Karstens caused the rough outing, maybe he works better with the patchy beard. Lol.

  8. Thundercrack says:

    DK, you know Stark and have dealt with him for a while now.
    And you may be 100% correct on this.

    But maybe there is something about Marte that they don’t feel right about, right now.

    And I can’t help but think if Clint Hurdle told NH that he wanted Marte on the major league roster, it would happen. No matter what Stark felt.

  9. JAL says:

    JAL’s Home I’ll Never Be 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: Bucs Can’t Pull Off Comeback Win; McCutchen Wins Two Awards

    Prospect Watch: Starling Marte Just Misses Cycle, Tony Sanchez Hits Fifth Homer

    Homers From Sanchez and Marte Give Indians The Win

    Prospect Notebook: Trading From the Rule 5 Candidates

    First Pitch: Close To Marte Time; Reds Dealt a Blow

    6 Bucs Dugout

    PiRockies 5, Pirates 4

    7 Rumbunter

    Pirates OF Prospect Starling Marte Misses Cycle by a Single

    8 McEffect

    7/16 Recap | Rockies 5 Pirates 4

    9 The Green Weenie

    Lineup, Notes

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

    10 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Thoughts on Justin Upton and Starling Marte

    11 WHY GAVS

    Game 89: Rockies 5 Pirates 4

    The Pirates at the deadline: what happens next?

  10. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 CBSSports

    Pirates-Rockies Game Preview

    13 Denver Post

    Clint Hurdle has the Pirates playing their best baseball in 20 years

    14 Chicago Tribune

    Pirates Watch,0,2659278.story

    15 ESPN

    Neil Walker actually living his dream

    16 The Kittanning Paper

    BUFFONE: Appel Decision will Likely Backfire

    17 Altoona Mirror

    Fowler’s sacrifice fly lifts Rockies


    18 PBC Site

    Alvarez’s heroics go for naught in Denver

    Notebook: Hurdle proud of accomplishments with Rox

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Breaking Up with Baseball

    20 Fangraphs

    Trading Willingham: For and Against

  11. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Ravens Ray Rice Signs Five Year Deal to Remain in Baltimore

    Which NFL Player Would You Want on the Steelers?

    22 Steelers Depot

    -Steelers Can’t Fine Mike Wallace Should He Decide Not To Report On Time

    23 Steelers Gab

    Video: LaMarr Woodley Gives an Interesting Interview to Young Hollywood

    24 Nice Pick Cower

    Welker or Williams – Who Could Be Viable Option Over Steelers’ Wallace?

    Pitt Blogs

    25 Pitt Blather

    Two Down One to Go In Big East Exits

    26 Cardiac Hill

    What Does Syracuse’s Early Departure Mean for Pitt?

    WVU Blogs

    27 Metro News

    Advice From A Mountaineer Great

    28 WV Illustrated

    NCAA Football Officials Prepare To Enforce New Rules


    29 Sky Sports

    Transfer Clockwatch

    30 Daily Telegraph

    Liverpool to demand £20m from Newcastle for re-signing of Andy Carroll

    31 World Soccer Daily
    10 Ten stories you need to read, July 16th, 2012

  12. JAL says:

    Title song is Home I’ll Never Be, Low Anthem 2009. Modern folk

  13. Drew71 says:

    Ah. A song for Marte.

    Well played.

  14. The Gunner says:

    Tonight is a “MUST WIN” the struggling Pirates. Bedard better damn well bring his “A+” game or he seriously needs replaced (or released)!!

    As far as the Marte talk, something needs to be done NOW!! Either trade him for Upton or scrap the Upton plan and get young Starling up here. This corner OF situation is becoming downright embarassing thanks to lack of performance from Presley and the headcase Tabata (who, if anyone cares is hitting .222 in Indy.)

    NH Hey Bucco FO…….if you snooze, you lose – you guys waited way too long to bring in Lee and Ludwick last year. !! Get it moving NH & company and earn your fat salaries, we are in the thick of a pennant race!!

  15. Michael says:

    @ Gunner

    I completely or die time for Bedard. They can’t continue to run this guy out there with no shot of winning games. This really drives home the point that the focus in trade acquisitions has to be another quality starter. I can only hope Huntington is lurking in the shadows trying to obtain Dempster, but the Pirates haven’t been mentioned as the front runner.

    Bad time for a hiccup by Grilli last night.

  16. Arriba Wilver says:

    Drew on #4. Good point, Legs.

  17. Drew71 says:

    The Land of Blog, with its narrow, abbreviated yellow brick post windows, limited time, focused arguments and flying monkeys, we are often forced into either-or reasoning.

    Maybe ALL the reasons are PART of the story as to why Marte is still in Triple A.

    I’m not saying I LIKE the reasons. Just saying that with real life decisions, often there are multiple and varying rationale. And sometimes conflicting rationale and differing organizational opinions.

    I’m not saying who the flying monkeys are.

    But they know who they are.

    They know.

  18. CWalton_67 says:

    I’ll be at the game tonight, and looking forward to it, but I am fairly certain that the whooshing sound I am hearing in the Rocky Mountains is the air being let out of the Pirates balloon.

  19. CWalton_67 says:

    @Drew71. Well said. Curiouser and curiouser, though.

  20. Milo Hamilton says:


    I believe Ross Perot called it “that giant sucking sound”.

  21. Arriba Wilver says:

    Quoting Ross Perot on it? Whew, I was starting to get concerned. (That is NOT a political comment, that is a crazy man comment).

  22. Jandy says:

    Darn monkeys, anyone got any bananas?????

  23. BigE says:

    Last week all the buzz was how this team is different from the one that collapsed last year. So now everyone’s ready to throw in the towel after a couple of games?

  24. Milo Hamilton says:


    I was fighting the Viet Cong in my bathroom with my bare hands. :)

  25. NMR says:

    Well said on #4, Drew.
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    “I may not be on the All-Star team, but I’m proud of what I’ve done,” Grilli said… I’m facing the 3-4-5s of the lineups… The Cabreras, the Fielders, the Beltrans, the Hollidays. You know the names. Those are the guys I’m punching out. Those are the guys I’m making look silly.”

    Too bad Jason didn’t have those bums up last night. Instead, he was subjected to the murderers row of Rosario, Giambi, and Fowler. Poor guy.

    The game of baseball is a beautifully humbling dance, isn’t it?

  26. Arriba Wilver says:

    BigE—define “everyone.”

  27. Rocco says:

    I honestly don’t see why they haven’t brought Marte up yet. It just drives me crazy to see the glaring need we have for another outfield bat and another starting pitcher, and to once again see our FO just sit on their hands and do nothing. We get it, it’s tough to make a trade, you need a willing partner, etc… but if we go from 11 games over .500 at the All Star break to ANYTHING under .500 because our team wears down and the FO does nothing to help, well then I think it’s time they find someone who’s not scared to do what needs to be done.

    All this being said, the FO does deserve some credit for where they are right now, and I am glad people are past calling for their heads after every loss, but the needs for this team have been evident for a while, and a complete lack of activity (other than getting the immeasurably talents #DREWSUTTON) should not be tolerated by a fan base that has waited so long for this,

    Do I think we should sell the farm for a shot at the playoffs this year? Not necessarily, but what good is the farm if you’re not willing to sell a few carrots and potatoes for the good of the business?

  28. JohninOshkosh says:

    It is impossible for me to think of Ross Perot without thinking of Dana Carvey.

  29. Thundercrack says:

    I want Marte up here too.

    But maybe they don’t at this time he’ll hit the same against major league pitching as he is against AAA. (but some of us probably could get a hit off the Rockies staff…or the Brewers’ bullpen).

    They are around the kid all the time. Maybe they don’t think he can handle the “major league life”.

    I don’t know….maybe they don’t like the way he wears his hat.

  30. CWalton_67 says:

    For the record, I am not throwing in the towel. This team is definitely different and better than last year. Losing 3 of 4 out of the break, and in the manner in which they have, feels quite a bit like 2011 though. It’s the exact opposite of what the team needed to really start creating some belief. And with Bedard starting tonight, we have a better than even chance of losing 80% of the first five games of the second half. Bucs need to take this series. Rockies are not only bad, they don’t even care. I was at the game Sunday and they were lifeless. Cole Hamels made them look silly.

  31. JRay3 says:

    I have played parts of that game last night over in my head and a couple things are still glaring. That ball in the 5th that was hit over Harrison’s head would have been a tough play but a plus defender makes that catch.

    In the 8th we have Gorkys Hernandez up to PH and he is hitting .091 we might have been better served putting a pitcher like James McDonald up there.

    It is time to put the 25 best guys on this team we are only one game out of first for pete’s sake. I am tired of these games. This is on NH, make a move call up your best players and let’s compete.

    And please Erik Bedard look like the pitcher from April and not the one from June/July tonight, thank you.

  32. Marty says:

    The time is now to make a move! The Reds lose their star for a month. Step it up and go for a kill shot!! Get the friggin’ AAA help or make a trade.

    If we hold pat I would say we begin to slide in the next few weeks unless Cutch bats .500. SMH.

  33. Leefoo says:

    TC….On #8…I completely agree.

    Drew……..with you 100% on your response in #4


    Drew, AW and TC…had another tiff with Jersey (go figger…the guy’s mental). Got four emails supporting me, but one exhorted me to ‘quit poking the bear’. I replied that SOMEONE has to pick up the torch now that AW isn’t around to do so. :)

    Ignoring ‘the dog’ again….at least for awhile until I get ornery again. I LOVE messin’ with him.


  34. Milo Hamilton says:


    Couldn’t agree more. At the risk of sounding like a sheep, because God knows I couldn’t have come up with this myself, I agree with what Dejan would have said if he wasn’t on vacation. Management needs to start acting like they’re contending. That one game you lose this week because you’re playing head games with other GM’s might be the one that costs you in the end.

    Baa. Baa.

  35. JMB says:

    Keep fighting the good fight Foo Man!

  36. Jandy says:

    Three cheers for Foo Fighter!

  37. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t think there’s anything petty about the way they’re handling Marte. I’m not saying I would do it that way but that seems like a decent way to test his mental toughness. But it doesn’t really matter. If Marte comes up and does great, the front office will be accused of being to patient. If he comes up and struggles, they’ll be accused of not giving him enough at bats in Indy.

  38. JohninOshkosh says:

    Foo, Foo, bo-boo
    Banana-fana fo-foo

  39. Reading says:

    So we need to “test” the Pride of our Dominican Academy by playing head games when a division title is in the balance. Maybe Nutting should play around when it comes to NH’s next secret extension. No wonder our first round pick would rather play for free in college for one more year.

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

    Kudos BigE…Kudos to you.

    Saw this point on DK’s twitter about Marte and checked it out.

    Starling Marte has a 3.86:1 SO:BB rate & a SO% of 21.4 for his minor league career. Those are Brandon Wood-like numbers.

  41. Drew71 says:

    I can’t top that, John.

    – Droo

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

    Perhaps, management has valid reasons.

  43. Milo Hamilton says:

    Has anybody ever seen Bunch of fair weather fans and Roberto in the same place at the same time ? Just wondered.

  44. Leefoo says:

    Thanks to all and for that song John. It was so good you ‘shut up’ Drew! :)

    Gotta go do ‘retiree’ stuff now.

    Keep the faith and let’s win one tonite.

    Fightin’ Foo


  45. Dave G says:

    For Marte, there may very well be more lessons to be learned before being promoted to the big leagues.

    As for Mr. Huntington: Neal, himself, has valuable lessons to be learned as well…

  46. Jandy says:

    Milo, not I

  47. dcpinpgh says:

    @ Reading….how do you know that Appel is playing for free at college?

    With all the talk of #FreeSterlingMarte.

    Back in the dizday,how many people wanted #FreePedroAlvarez. Then the next year wanted #PedroPullYourIndianapolisIndiansHatOverYourEars Saying that he needed more time in the minnors.

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

    If only there were previous threads and discussions you could reference, Milo. Oh wait! THERE ARE!

    Besides, I sure as hell wouldn’t choose a more kind alter ego. And Roberto is certainly nicer than I.

    Ok, I have to come clean.

    I’m Milo Hamilton too. Sorry…

  49. Jandy says:

    Will the REAL Milo Hamilton please stand up?

  50. Mike Shigley says:

    Some people seem to emphasize Marte’s SO/BB ratio. However, look at this: 101 hits, 17 doubles, 13 triples, and 11 home runs, to go with 58 RBIs. In other words, four out of every ten hits are for extra bases. Also, average, OPS, OBS, SLG are all above his season average in the last ten games.

  51. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Very well said (#25). He shot his mouth off halfway through the season. Nice he has attitude, but better to wait until the story is complete. Baseball IS a humbling game.

  52. DemonDachshund says:

    @Milo –

    There are posters that fully support whatever company is involved on pretty much every blog on the internet. It’s all a part of public relations these days.

  53. Thundercrack says:

    ‘head games with other GMs’.

    Well, they all must be playing head games with each other. There haven’t been any significant trades yet – anywhere.

    Youklis was the only big name player traded and he was practically given away by the Red Sox.

    Maybe we should go back to “Fire the hitting coach!”

  54. DemonDachshund says:

    “The Pirates have a reputation for overrating their own prospects — an earnest trait, but one that has resulted in trade proposals other GMs find baffling. Huntington is proud of the farm system he has built, and rightfully so. But now is the time to deal away the likes of Marte and/or Taillon, so the Pirates have a better chance to win at the major league level.

    That’s why they’re in business, right?”

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

    The emphasis on Marte’s SO:BB ratio is the fact that guys with huge numbers in the minors have failed because of a lack of patience/discipline/insert another synonym. If he can’t show some semblance of self-control then he is going to bust. Major-league pitching eats those guys alive. Does Brad Eldred ring a bell? How about Branden Wood? Chad Hermanson?

  56. Milo Hamilton says:


    Hey. I am standing. :)

  57. NMR says:


    Spent the weekend in Louisville. Truly a gem of a city. It manages to maintain a sense of place that felt quaint and inviting despite the urban setting. Didn’t meet a single person I wouldn’t call a friend, either. Fantastic people down your way.

  58. JohninOshkosh says:

    Looking at today’s probables:

    Four pitchers drafted since 2009 and all signed less than 3 years ago are taking the bump for teams in postseason races:

    Garrett Richards (LAA-09), Jacob Turner (DET-09), Joe Kelly (STL-09) and Trevor Bauer (ARI-11)

    All four clubs have highly regarded GM’s and FO’s.

    Where have you gone, Victor Black?

  59. Milo Hamilton says:

    If walks were so important, Roberto Clemente would still be in Montreal.

  60. Reading says:

    Given all of Marte’s obvious faults and weaknesses, maybe the BMTIB should just give him his outright release.

  61. Reading says:

    No need for a guy like that taking up a valuable 40-man spot.

  62. DemonDachshund says:

    Yep, can’t possibly have a successful career if you don’t have a good SO/BB rate when you start out. Not something you can learn at the MLB level.

  63. Bizrow says:

    Opie has a plan and he NEVER strays from the plan.

    That is both good and bad, IMHO

  64. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Good morning all fellow fair weather fans!

    I posted last night that I think the FO is keeping Marte down for selling purposes, if he doesnt get the call sometime this week, I’d be shocked and my guess would be, out of the organization.

    Gorkys to pinch hit? Pinch run maybe, but come on.

  65. Arriba Wilver says:

    I don’t have all the angst some do about calling up Marte on a specific date, even sooner rather than later. But at the same time it is hard to argue that an outfield with Drew Sutton and/or Harrison in it is a championship caliber club.

  66. JohninOshkosh says:


    You need to drop a hockey post on us. Get us all out of this Pirates funk. :)

  67. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Add Presley and Gorkys to the mix, makes look even worse.

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

    Clemente’s SO:BB ratio was 1.98:1. His SO% was 13%.

    There’s a giant difference between Clemente and Marte. He had plate discipline. Its not about walks alone, obviously. Way to be ignorant about it Milo.

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

    But, hey, let’s not let facts get in the way of an opinion. LMAO

  70. cmat0829 says:

    Whoa… anyone want a side of eggs with that big serving of NEGATIVITY we all seem to be having on this here blog today? Yes, Bucs have lost 3 of 4 since the break and have not looked that good. But seriously with all the “here comes the collapse” opinions… on what basis?

    Fact is for this Pirates team to win they need GOOD STARTING pitching. That is tough to accomplish in the bandbox that is Miller Park and Coors Field… not sure anyone should really be surprised by these 4 games so far…. that said, and I’m going to be in Coors Field tonight, hopefully a little less wet than last night, this one would be a big one to win for the Bucs.

    Re: Marte…. I didn’t see Stark comments but I’d love to see him in Pittsburgh to see if he can spark the Bucs for a bit like d’Arnaud, JayHey, et al did last year briefly….. I do NOT think he is the everyday, pennant race, go for the playoffs answer and the Bucs NEED to swing a trade for a legitimate MLB OFer pronto…. if/when they do that, then Marte is either a platoon with the King or back to Indy.

    But it is time for him to provide the spark and who knows ,maybe he will grab the reigns and not let go.

  71. JohninOshkosh says:

    Sabermetricland is a dark and scary place where some venture to and never return.

  72. Andy in Rescue VA says:

    89 .291 17 13 11 58 863 Marte YTD
    135 .283 26 3 9 50 770 Cutch 1st yr AAA
    As you can see Marte is putting up much better numbers than Cutch did. Cutch had a small performance dip in 49 games the following year before being promoted. Huntington’s patience with Cutch had no discernible impact on his future performance.

  73. Milo Hamilton says:

    @Bunch of hot air

    Clemente walked a total of 31 times in his 1st 2 years combined. I said nothing about ratios. I never compared the two players. Just musing. Wasn’t even talking to you.

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

    It’s fun to make fun of yourself. Haha

    I am……Milo Hamilton.

  75. DemonDachshund says:

    Look at Clemente’s early career:

    17:6 in the minors, 60:18 as a rookie, 58:13 in year 2.

    Yet he got better while playing at the MLB level.

    Don’t let the fact that plate discipline can be developed in the majors get in the way of your opinion, though.

  76. bdubb says:

    The Pirates front office should hit the road and all the comedy clubs. Every day they due something funnier than the day before. If Stark does indeed do what has been said why Marte isn’t up yet then the entire front office needs to be fired. It is fine to do that (maybe) if you are not in a pennant race. To do that while in a pennant race is beyond funny. But this is the PBC and it makes total sense. My guess is Mate doesn’t come up until June 2013 so to hold onto yet another year under control.

    How is the Steelers have the best GM in the game and the Pens have a top 10 guy but the Pirates hire the worst in all of MLB?

  77. Reading says:

    Clemente put the bat on the ball. He didn’t stand up there and wait for a walk. Example: Game Seven of 1971 WS, Cuellar was perfect through first eleven batters. Clemente drives first pitch over left center field wall. Perfect game no more. Maybe he should have been more patient. We’d have only four flags instead of five.

  78. Arriba Wilver says:

    “Perhaps, management has valid reasons.”

    “There’s a giant difference between Clemente and Marte. ”

    One has to marvel at the insight of “true” fans. I sit back in awe.

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

    Got to go to work now, but I’ll still be here as Milo. ;-)

  80. Reading says:

    Pirates in mid-fifties obviously took a chance on Clemente by picking him in Rule 5 draft when Dodgers were hiding him.

  81. NMR says:

    “Don’t let the fact that plate discipline can be developed in the majors get in the way of your opinion, though.”

    Why is it again that we’re counting on a rookie to learn plate discipline at the big league level during a pennant race?

  82. NMR says:

    Oh right, because that is apparently what “real” big league clubs do.

  83. LuckyNKentucky says:


    You’re right about Louisville and KY in general. Louisville is a city that I would classify as easy to drive in and around, also, unlike some. (Exs. The Burgh, Nashville, Cleveland and on and on).

  84. AJS says:

    I agree NMR. The reason we haven’t seen Marte yet might be the exact reason people are claiming he should be here. Teams always bring up unseasoned rookies from teh minor leagues in the middle of july as the pennant race is heating up! (Sarcasm)

    i don’t know that I buy the argument that he can’t be any worse than what they have. When Presley and Jones man the corners I feel pretty good about the line up. There could be an obvious upgrade over Presley. But he’s servicable and has shown the ability to provide a spark at times. Just very inconsistent. Marte could easilly come up, show that impatience, and go 0 fer his first several games.

    All that being said, he should at least be on the bench providing an option better than Gorkys. That was by far the most befuddling move of the night. Sutton was available. Mercer. AND JONES! I get you are affraid they will counter with a lefty, but seriously Jones was a much better option there.

  85. DemonDachshund says:

    @NMR –

    As I mentioned yesterday… Because the starting RF was lazy and ineffective, and the primary backup was so awful that he’s now in AAA for Baltimore.

    I’d be more than happy to see them make a deal to get a corner OF and keep Marte in AAA. But as it stands, you have Presley in LF (who also has poor plate discipline) and DREWSUTTON or JHay in RF against LHP.

  86. Bizrow says:

    Re post 81

    Why is it again that we’re counting on a rookie to learn plate discipline at the big league level during a pennant race?

    Because, um, we didn’t get sufficient outfield depth during the offseason via FAs?

    And now, with a sellers market, we are betwixt a rock and a hard place

    Just sayin

  87. Arriba Wilver says:

    Rob King is a real pro. Not flashy, but intelligent, knowledgeable, down to earth, rational. I really like Rob King. He was on the Fan this morning. When asked about Marte he pointed out that both Clint and Neal had pointed to the different experiences with the development of Walker and Cutch, who once they got to the big leagues haven’t had any huge hiccups, and Tabata and Pedro, who have. And the difference they pointed to was the former had lots more at bats in AAA. I think that’s what’s going on here with Marte. They want to err on the side of caution because of Alvarez’s and Tabata’s struggles.. I’m not a Stark fan, but I don’t think he’s controlling this, I think it’s an organizational thing, and that the “fact” Frank and BN have told DK Marte is ready isn’t all that relevant. (Yep, I’m guessing as to those sources, but I’m very confident I’m right about at least one of them). Doesn’t mean there isn’t some disagreement in the top ranks other than that, but . . .

  88. NMR says:

    “And now, with a sellers market, we are betwixt a rock and a hard place”

    That excuse sounds like its straight outta Huntingtons mouth. There are plenty of veteran bats on the market that wouldn’t require Cole, Taillon, Marte, Heredia, or Hanson.

    “But as it stands, you have Presley in LF (who also has poor plate discipline) and DREWSUTTON or JHay in RF against LHP”

    Wasn’t last night the first time this situation has actually happened that resulted in a loss? Hardly calls for the over the top WORST GM EVER talk thats going on this morning, IMO.

    I have no problem with promoting Marte. I think he is what he is. At this point, another couple weeks of AAA isn’t going to improve his plate discipline and it’s very possible that he’s better than what the Pirates have on their 25-man right now.

    I DO have a problem with making a run at the pennant with your big upgrade being a rookie who baseball people outside of Pittsburgh blogs have been questioning since last off season.

    There are shades between black and white, by the way.

  89. Jandy says:

    OshKoshB’Gosh, you think Pirates fans have it bad? The hockey nuts like me might be hard put come October, because we may have a lockout! Heck, at least baseball fans can watch and argue the games. Us hockey puckheads may net even games to watch :(

  90. Jandy says:

    Regarding the impersonator who supposedly had to go to work…I suggest using the ignore button.
    (The Real Milo can sit down now, thanks )

  91. Thundercrack says:

    McClouth was our offseason FA outfield depth.

    That ‘risk’ didn’t pay off. Not by a long shot.

    And having Tabata regress didn’t help anything.

  92. The Gunner says:

    @ Reading – #s 77 & 80

    I appreciate your comments about The Great Roberto. He was one of a kind. Let’s not put too much pressure on Marte by comparing him to #21. If Marte ends up being half the player Clemente was, the Bucs (or D-backs if he gets traded) will still have one helluva player.

    However, I am starting to see some similarities between Cutch & Roberto and I don’t think I’m getting senile either.

    Now Opie Taylor (aka NH) better get busy, start doing his best impersonation of Joe L. Brown and Syd Thrift and get us a good lefty like Wandy Rodriguez and a decent corner OFer with pop to play alongside Cutch and Marte/Upton from this point forward.

    Get it moving, Mr. Huntington!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  93. Milo Hamilton says:


    Thanks. My legs were tired.

  94. Thundercrack says:

    I thought Harrison’s play in the outfield last night was awful. But I would bet big money that if JHay would have come back to drive in the winning run last night, so many of us wouldn’t be so up in arms about the outfielders and depth.

  95. Milo Hamilton says:


    The only thin we have to fear, is Fehr himself.

  96. Jandy says:

    TC, hubby doesn’t like baseball, put once in a while I do get to watch some. He asked me who the heck was messing up in the outfield last night. LOL. Even to him, Harrison looked really bad.

    Milo ~ I fear Fehr is gonna mess with our season!

  97. Jandy says:

    Oh Lord, my typos, I’m glad they’re not so bad they can’t be comprehended lol
    Work is rushing my posts…

  98. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, CHILDREN of all ages….its time once again tooo…….

    Calm down.

    I too, want to see Marte up on the roster, I think he will be soon.

    I’m not a fan of putting the pressures of a pennant race on the shoulders, hopes, and dreams of a rookie.

    If he is called up, he needs to play everyday, not sit the bench, waste of time. (Mercer??)SM needs to be manning the LF for the Pirates, AP to the bench, Gorkys back to AAA.

    UNLESS, the Buccos make a trade for a veteran than contribute immediately, then Marte needs to make his presents felt.

  99. Arriba Wilver says:

    TC–our 25 man right now has Cutch, Jones, Presley, Gorkys, Sutton and Harrison as a fill in in the OF. Doesn’t that make you nervous if the goal is to win a playoff spot, even if Harrison would have hit in the winning run last night?

  100. tmp444 says:

    The way I look at it w/ Marte — and I think this is probably summing up the Pro-Marte sentiments — is that he can’t be any worse than what is out there, or has been put out there, this season. He certainly can’t be worse than Mercer or Gorkys. I don’t think that anyone is expecting a rookie to put the Bucs over the hump. I think what people are expecting, however, is for NH to put the best 25 on the roster out of the possibilities that are currently in Bucco or affiliates’ uniforms; and, that hasn’t happened to this point, if you consider Marte w/ the likes of Mercer, Gorkys, etc.

  101. Curt says:

    Read on mlbtraderumors today that Neal is more apt to keeping Marte.
    Doesn’t say who the source is, but you can’t get a Justin Upton type without wanting to part with arms or Marte. I would also add it will be tough to get an impact player for minimal minor league talent that could help our playoff push!

  102. tmp444 says:

    @Arriba #99 – my thoughts, exactly.

  103. pghfaninstl says:

    Aha! So this is where some of you hang out now.

  104. Curt says:

    Seems like we all sense the OF needs some assistance ASAP.

    I just don’t see trying someone on the market say an Alfonso Soriano type of available OF when you could give up someone like Marte possibly get someone like Justin Upton. He seems to like NL Central ballparks already. (last night’s stats).

  105. JMB says:

    lots of interest in quentin but nothing seems close yet. #pads would have to beat draft pick. #reds #tribe #bucs #others

    That’s the problem w the new CBA. The Pirates have to give up the equivalent of a late 2nd rounder (if I understand correctly) to get CQ, but they will not get that back after they trade for him.

  106. pghfaninstl says:

    Current Bucs’ Pitching Home ERA: 2.39 (43 games)

    Current Bucs’ Pitching Away ERA: 4.71 (46 games)

    A real concern…

  107. The Gunner says:

    @ Curt #101

    Frankly, I can’t see the Bucs picking up what is left to Upton’s contract. There may be concern that Upton might disrupt what appears to be a great clubhouse. And then, how can we forget about Bob Nutting’s reluctance to spend money.

    Get Marte up here NOW & play him in LF, leave Jones in RF (until NH can pick up someone better), and of course, Cutch in CF. That leaves Presley as the 4th outfielder which is good fit for him since he can play all 3 positions as needed.

    PS – Hey NH, don’t forget to bolster the starting pitching while your at it via either an internal or external solution.

  108. CraigWilson'sRevenge says:

    If the front office really believes Marte isn’t ready, why not throw Hernandez out there for an extended look until Marte is? Or at least have him take those Sutton/Harrison starting days like last night.

    Hernandez could probably match the .222 BA and .652 OPS of Josh Harrison while providing stellar defense.

  109. Jandy says:

    hello pghfaninstl =)

  110. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    “how can we forget about Bob Nutting’s reluctance to spend money.”

    Are we really going back to these types of attacks? C’mon, I think we’re past that.

    He’ll add what is available, if able. Unlike most Americans, successful business people don’t spend what they do not have.

  111. Naje says:

    One writer’s “…silliness in how the Pirates are now handling — or toying with — Starling Marte…” is another coach’s, manager’s, general manager’s or organization’s caution.

    Nice post AW at 87 and at 99.

  112. JohninOshkosh says:

    This may eventually get placed in the famous last quote bin along gems like “Scott Boras clients sign” but there will be a labor agreement reached in hockey prior to the season. You might miss some exhibition games but:

    1. Fehr is no idiot. In fact, he is brilliant. He knows what the 94-95 baseball work stoppage did to that league. The hockey owners know that the lockout of 04-05 harmed the game’s image immensely. No one wants a protracted work stoppage. Especially, in light of growing television ratings and a long term media contract with NBC.
    2. Hockey starts its season with the NFL in full bloom and baseball entering the postseason. An extended work stoppage at the beginning of the season would keep pucks out of the media. That is bad for building fan interest in the season. Remember that fan interest not only benefits the owners, it also benefits the player’s association.
    3. The recent CBA was an unqualified victory for the owners but players haven’t fared as awfully as initially feared upon its ratification. Seven different organizations have won the Cup since the work stoppage. That is a lot of different happy management teams and fans. A lot of different players have had the opportunity to have their names chiseled on the Cup. That supposedly means a lot to the players. Donald Fehr is not a dictator. His clients are the player’s association. If they want to play, then there will be internal pressure on him to reach an agreement through modifications of the past agreement-which, noted earlier, has not been cataclysmic to the players.

  113. twentytwo22 says:

    Starling Marte situation is identical to Alex Presley last year. He wasn’t called up until Toronto series when he should of been here in Cleveland where they were swept.

    Presley made them look silly for keeping him down so long by hitting .300 but then got injured. Marte is twice the player Presley is.

  114. pghfaninstl says:

    “Naje” very clever…

  115. radio wave says:

    Is it time for the panic button yet?
    The Bucs schedule was rated the easiest in the Nl for the second half of the season.
    I think they have all losing teams until July 30.
    Now Votto is out for a month.
    The Brewers were making a big deal that this 9 game homestand against the 3 teams in front of them, Us, Cards, Reds was their chance to make a move.
    Blowing that game last night really hurts them, GOOD.
    My understanding is going into the break, the Bucs record in games not pitched by either McDonald or A.J. was 23-30.

    I’ve been saying since the winter meetings Bedard was a worthless pickup.

    I’d like to see marte up here too, but I’d also like to see trades for a hitter and a starter.
    I know there is 2 more weeks until the deadline, and some teams that thought they were buyers a week ago will find out that they are becomming sellers (Mets,Orioles)
    Who and what are you willing to give up in trades?
    How many more losses until the red flag goes up?

  116. Jandy says:

    OshKosh, well, that certainly makes me feel better =)

  117. The Gunner says:

    @ Ryan – #110

    Sorry to upset you about my “how can we forget about Bob Nutting’s reluctance to spend money” comment.

    Here is hoping Nutting makes me eat those words.

  118. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    NOBODY is untouchable, however, I’m not in favor of trading either Cole or Taillon. If Appel would’ve signed, I would’ve parted with Taillon.

    However, to get talent, you gotta give up talent.

  119. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Not upset, sorry to come off a little strong on that one, but really, he’s proving it.

    Believe me, I wish the Pirates had Yankees money, but they don’t.

    I actually enjoy these conversations about the minors, player development, possible trade candidates. Its fun. None of us actually know what’s going on or what players are rated, other than what google allows us to find out.

    I want to see home grown players make it to the highest level and succeed.

    I am more happy to be a Pirates fan over the last couple of years, than I could be if I were a Yankees fan, just throwing money at the top talent.

    Or, at least that’s what I like to think.

  120. These Bucs as presently constituted have to learn to win on the road before they can truly be called contenders.

    Pirates are now 10 over .500 at PNC Park, but 6 games under .500 on the road.

    Somehow I believe that Harrison’s Rain Dance in right field last night and Pedro’s 2-step in messing up that grounder at 3rd do NOT happen at PNC.

    Defensively, Pirates MUST put an outfielder in the outfield. My nomination is Starling Marte, but even Gorkys with his wiffle bat would keep the game closer. Can’t give the other team 4 & 5 outs!!!!

  121. The Gunner says:

    @ Ryan – #119

    No problem. I am sure you’ll agree that the Bucs have just got to win this game tonight. Bedard has just been plain awful and I’m afraid the odds are against us with him on the mound.

    Let’s hope we have our “hitting shoes” on tonight. We are going to need a lot of offense.

  122. AJS says:

    –Hernandez could probably match the .222 BA and .652 OPS of Josh Harrison while providing stellar defense.

    I have my doubts about matching the .222. Gorkys might as well bring a toothpick to the plate and swing that. It would have teh same effect and would match his frail frame better.

  123. pghfaninstl says:

    @Groat per #120, try 15 games over .500 at PNC.

  124. Milo,

    “@Bunch of hot air”———I could not have renamed him better myself!!

  125. twentytwo22 says:

    I had deja vu listening to Paul Alexander and Gregg Giannotti talk about Marte. It was the Presley discussion of last year.

    The tweet last night by Dejan he has to work on hitting singles now?, I think he tweeted something very similar last year about Presley.

    If you remember, Presley was white hot and we wanted him and he wasn’t ready. Then he cooled off a little and it was said that he can’t be called up now he’s slumping. The time was never right. Always an excuse. Always a reason.

  126. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    And they should have a lot of offense in Coors Field, with former Rockies manager at the helm, yes, they should win these games.

    Also, with former Buccos skipper at the helm of the Rockies and doing stupid stuff like limiting his starting pitching to a 75 pitch pitch count.

    The Buccos should be beating these guys up. But its not a MUST win game, but it sure as hell would be nice.

  127. 15 games over .500 in PNC Park vs. 6 games under .500 on the road

    Thanks, Archman, for paying attention. I misremembered my own statistics!!

  128. Who was the flakey guy who came up with the term “misremember”?

    I forget.

  129. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Because AP isn’t/wasn’t all that good. OVERRATED

  130. Jandy says:

    Groat, let’s not go there ;X

  131. Dave says:

    Does the signing of Max Starks mean the Steelers aren’t happy with what they’ve seen from Gilbert/Adams at LT or is it just a depth move?

  132. DemonDachshund says:

    That’s the thing… I’m not saying bring Marte up as your big upgrade. I’m saying he’s almost certainly better than Gorkys and more valuable than the cardboard cutout of Mercer they have on the bench right now. I don’t see him struggling for the next few years and saying afterwards, “Man, if only I’d had a few more weeks of AAA, I could’ve been a superstar!”

    But don’t GIVE him the LF job. Split time between him and Presley for a few weeks. Challenge Presley and make Marte win the job. No scholarships when you’re trying to get to October.

    Frankly, I’m still skeptical that this is the year. Nothing wrong with getting Marte some MLB pennant chase experience in a lower stress role as a 4th OF type.

  133. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    And a thud just hits the floor……….

    Dave….this is clearly a Pirates conversation.

    Steelers? You wanna talk Steelers?

    just kidding of course.

    Purely Depth.

  134. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    I’m with you, up to the part of splitting time with Presley, hell with that.

    If he comes up, he starts EVERYDAY…unless he needs a day off, which he shouldn’t need for awhile.

    I don’t care about challenging a guy that is no better than a 4th OFer. No, I’m not a fan of AP. Never really have been.

  135. Jandy says:

    LOL Ryan~!

  136. Milo Hamilton says:

    Starks will begin camp as the starter & Adams will have to beat him out.

  137. Milo Hamilton says:

    Since we’re on the subject, is Scott Boras “advising” David DeCastro too ?

  138. JohninOshkosh says:

    The other night I ran into this older guy at the grocery story wearing a “Steelers Fantasy Camp” shirt. I talked to him about it, and it sounded like a blast. Who wouldn’t want to eat dinner with Cliff Stoudt?

    Anyhoo, I told him about this blog and Dejan. He replied, “I hate the (expletive deleted) internet!”

    One of the moments that truly makes you happy to be alive.

  139. Arriba Wilver says:

    Milo: Wha? :-)

  140. The Gunner says:

    @ Ryan #126

    You must feel about Presley how I feel about Tabata (who is hitting .222 at Indy, by the way.) Presley is a lot better than Tabata, you have to admit that.

    Jim Tracy is not one of my favorite people – he stunk out the joint when he was here and it is looking like he will be canned shortly. I still have a tough time deciding who was the worst Pirate manager I have ever seen in my lifetime: Tracy, John Russell, or Larry Shepard (1968 & 1969).

  141. Boise Bucco says:

    Bahahaha suuuuuuure you’re on vacation…..

  142. Jandy says:

    OshKoshB’Gosh, just a bleeping ray of sunshine he was, eh?

  143. JohninOshkosh says:

    Talking about NL Central on MLB Network right now.

  144. Milo Hamilton says:

    I so happy a Pittsburgh team made a move today. Too bad it wasn’t one of the two that really needs one.

  145. JohninOshkosh says:

    Ken Rosenthal on MLB Network:

    “Big question with the Pirates, Will they bold enough?”

    On NH: (other GM’s) say he “is careful to a fault.” “Different arena for (NH)”

  146. DemonDachshund says:

    @Ryan –

    I think Marte will have enough pressure on him as a touted prospect. It’s not about Presley here, it’s about not putting Marte in a situation where he gets overwhelmed, and the team doesn’t get stuck in a situation where they feel he HAS to start every night.

    If he succeeds, then he’d be taking the job in a few weeks anyways.

  147. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    To answer your question, they both suck. However, Tabby has a lot more talent there and much more upside than AP. Though he’s not showing it.

    Wow, you’re old!! I kid.

    The problem with judging the managers is the talent that they have on the field. I’m sure Tracy, Mac, Lamont, JR, would all do well with a competitive team.

    For Tracy-maybe not….IMO, he’s the worse, even moreso than JR.

  148. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    I don’t want him up if they are only going to play him sparingly. The occasion rest is fine.

    Did they use Cutch sparingly? Don’t think they did. No baby steps, that’s why he’s still in AAA.

    He’s touted as a big prospect, let him act like it.

    Trout, Trumbo, Harper, etc. weren’t just playing every now and then. Earned their stripes….so to speak.

  149. twentytwo22 says:

    I’m going to make a prediction, if the NCAA tries to kill Penn State football, Penn State will leave the NCAA and try to kill it.

    That’s like me having a hobby of flying a remote controlled air plane and I decide to join an organization of remote controlled air plane enthusiasts. They turn around and don’t like me and they say that I can’t fly a remote controlled air plane anymore. I’m not going to stop flying the plane. I will leave the organization and find other people to fly them with or I will go back to flying on my own. They have no authority to stop me from flying.

    The only authority that someone has over you is the authority that you grant. You can’t destroy something that you didn’t create. There are only two ways that that entity can be destroyed. 1) if that entity destroys itself 2) if that entity doesn’t fight back.

    The NCAA is a creation of the colleges. The NCAA did not create those colleges. Something tells me that the NCAA is a bloated bureaucracy with endless rules and redtape and I’m sure that there are schools who harbor a yearning for liberation.

    100,000 people every Saturday and a near record donation year tells me that Penn State has a lot of fight left in it. And I will say this about the American people. If a war develops between Penn State and a bureaucracy like the NCAA the people will side with Penn State.

    If Penn State leaves the NCAA and other schools follow to form a looser and freer organization for the purpose of playing sports, Joe Paterno in death could end up with something he wanted during his life.

    The NCAA had better be careful of what they wish for. They might be the creator of their own destruction.

  150. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Nailed it with the quotes. NH, this is new ground for him. Want to see his next move, research back to the Indians under Jon Hart. NH’s mentor.

  151. Milo Hamilton says:

    Jayson Stark is reporting that Ryan Dempster could be moved by the end of the week. The Pirates aren’t mentioned as a potential landing spot but since they play the Cubbies next week, the sooner the better.

  152. The Gunner says:

    @ Ryan #147

    I can remember hearing my Dad cuss at Larry Shepard while I was a toddler – that’s how I remember him.

    I hope the Bucs beat the be-jesus out of that lowlife Tracy tonight. As a famous pro wrestler once said, “couldn’t happen to a nicer guy!!”

  153. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    FOR FREEDOM!!!!!!!!

    22, did you just watch Braveheart?

  154. Thundercrack says:

    #99…nervous, maybe. But I wish I was more comfortable with it

  155. JohninOshkosh says:


    Interesting quote about NH’s rep with other GM’s. Except us Dejan aficionados know that he said the same thing weeks ago in his weekly chat!

    DK: Thanks. Was wondering of anyone would notice that.

  156. Naje says:


    Lucky isn’t close to Louisville, but I do live here… next time you’re in town, it’d be great to meet up, take in the sights and the real deals that you can find here… buck goes a long way in these parts.

  157. DemonDachshund says:

    @Ryan –

    None of those players were called up in July of a playoff race.

  158. Milo Hamilton says:

    “Joe Paterno in death could end up with something he wanted during his life.”

    Everyone to just leave Jerry Sandusky alone ?

  159. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Just because they aren’t mentioned, doesn’t mean they aren’t a player.

    But I doubt they are.

  160. T.S. says:

    What Kyle Stark said to Rob B made absolutely zero sense. He might as well have said nothing and had it be more meaningful. Marte should be up. For all of the good things NH has done this year, this is a stupid one. Sutton and Harrison are butchers in the field. Presley isn’t the right fit — too fragile. Let Marte play and let’s forget about the Upton talk. I wouldn’t want that dude on my team. Bad stats this year. Horrible attitude.

  161. JMB says:

    Neal Huntington just told us they don’t have any UNTOUCHABLES in their minor leagues…..(that includes Cole, Taillon, Marte)…..

  162. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Nats, 1st place, 2.5 games ahead of Atlanta=playoff race

    Angels, 5.5 games out of 1st against a tough Texas team = playoff race..

    Might not have been July, but called up with high expectations and thrown out there to help their team.

  163. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    LOVE that news…none shouldn’t be untouchable.

    Sounds like big talk for a…..nevermind, I won’t go there with NH. I actually do like him.

  164. AJS says:

    At this point I’m not worried about who gets called up when or who gets traded for who. Right now i want the team that will be on the field tonight to put an end to this slide before it gets out of control. If they don’t get back on teh winning track none of this debate even matters.

    Step 1. Win the next two to get to even on the road trip.
    Step 2. Get back to PNC and take 2 of three from the fish and sweep the cubs out of town.
    Step 3. Take some momentum into the long 10 game stretch where you have 4 against the Astros, 3 more in Chicago, and 3 crucial games in Cincy.
    Step 4. Take 3 of 4 from the soon to be AL bottom feeder, make that big trade, crush the cubs and head into cincy for the first series of August ready to prove who this division belongs to this year.

    That is the road map for July. Get it done. Go Bucs.

  165. NMR says:


    Much appreciated. I came down for the music festival and had a blast. Definitely a priority for next year.

  166. Arriba Wilver says:

    Ryan–#153—very very funny.

    22—not sure Penn State is in the right position right now to make the charge, no matter what the NCAA does. Of course, they could still make Joe proud if they cancel, on their own, the games against Pitt.

  167. Thundercrack says:

    Can you provide a link to DK’s chat from two weeks ago. You know, like he always does…to us Dejan non-aficionados

  168. JohninOshkosh says:

    Hey Thundercrack:

    Sorry, got busy doing real work. Relevant material is asked by a “Guest” near the end of the June 22 Chat. Shortly after that handsome devil from Oshkosh asked Dejan about us ribbing him!

    Hope this link works.

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