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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: Shot heard round the world

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

LONDON — Brief and to the Point …

>> The Friday column rates Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps among the truly transcendent athletes in history. But can they — like Muhammad, Michael and Mario off that list — show a great sequel?

These Olympics will tell.

Would love to hear from you about other athletes you might place on that list. I have only eight there. It’s hardly complete, hardly intended to be.

>> In a separate news piece, I describe why London’s massive security makes it feel like you need to be 13 feet tall to see anything here.

>> I heard about this little hit in Houston. Boy, how I heard.

Watched the video a few times after waking up, I’ll admit. I’d mentioned to you guys yesterday that Marte’s promotion meant a lot to a lot of people and was heartened to see Clint Hurdle bring this up last night, as documented in Rob Biertempfel’s exceptional game story. You guys already know my feelings about Marte’s potential, but let this underscore some of what I’ve related in the past about Hurdle and the awareness he shows of his people and situations.

Also liked hearing John Wehner describe on that feed how Marte wasn’t “afraid” of the at-bat.

No, he wasn’t.

The kid can do a lot of special things. Born baseball specimen.

>> Leadoff again?

Well, if you can come up with a better answer, I’m all ears.

>> Love the Steelers’ power play with Mike Wallace. They know they’re holding all the cards, and now maybe Wallace and Bus Cook will get it.

Besides, when nearly everyone who knows Wallace has told reporters in Latrobe that he’s going to show up soon, why bend over in the slightest right now?

Clearly, Wallace has — not all that shrewdly — let teammates know they weren’t far apart.

Let’s hope he’s a quicker study with Todd Haley’s new playbook than he is with the art of hardball negotiations with the Steelers. I suspect we’ll find out both very soon.

>> We will have our weekly chat today at noon. Your time, of course. I’ll be at the Opening Ceremony throughout the night, probably catching up on the Zs earlier on. Some of us don’t sleep on planes, and we pay a dear price for it.


  1. manny _sanguine says:

    Swung at the first pitch? Clearly he still has plate discipline issues.

  2. I think Starling has reclaimed July 26th for the Pirates from the nightmare of Jerry Meals.

    Where were YOU when Marte debuted??

  3. Boise Bucco says:

    @DK, haha I kinda feel bad… the Trib paid what, $1.7M combined (estimation approximate) for your airfare/lodging/press creds/Olympics passes, and all we’re talking about is the Bucs.

    “Usain Bolt? He in Altoona? Can he hit better than Barmes? Whatever, we won’t see him ’til 2014.”

    DK: Ha! Don’t “feel bad.” One thing I never worry about is the popularity of the Olympics, including our coverage. Totally different audience, for the most part, but a very big one.

  4. dcpinpgh says:

    would you guys count nadia comaneci as a transcendent athlete?

    DK: Speaking only for myself, that will get its own column here.

  5. Mike C. says:

    Can you imagine Usain Bolt roaming CF??? Stealing 100-150 bases a year easy?
    Still only 25, not too late to a new career.
    Cutch – Bolt – Marte
    Wouldn’t that be fun to watch.

    Hearing Marte’s post-game interview, seems like a good enough kid, with just enough cockiness. I mean that in a good way.
    If he just continues to work hard, has Star written all over him.

    Can’t wait to hear Klaw talk of too small sample size for Marte.

  6. Drew71 says:

    Dejan – In honor of the Olymics, I would nominate a man who gold medaled in the pentathlon, decathlon, starred in college and pro football, even played pro baseball.

    Of course I’m talking about Jim Thorpe, PA.

    In an ABC Sports poll asking fans to name the greatest athlete of the 20th Century, he beat out most of the otherwise deserving figures listed in your column.

    DK: Tremendous, Drew. Thanks!

  7. twentytwo22 says:

    Looking at the schedules of the Pirates and Reds,

    I just noticed this.. Starting tonight, the Reds will play 34 games in the next 34 days. 17 home. 17 away. They have August 13 off but play a day-night DH August 18. It’s broken up too – road, home, road, home, road, home, road.

    The Pirates 20 in 20 goes 3 road, 11 home, 6 road. They already ripped off a 14-6 streak during a 20 in 20 stretch.

    It shows that if you play good baseball you don’t want a day off.

    Yeah, yeah with the ‘one game at a time’ cliche and that is absolutely right, but they should be optimistic and energized knowing they have the advantage through this part of the schedule and could emerge on the other side in first place.

    The way the Pirates are pitching and playing defense right now, when this offense heats back up through playing every day the sky is the limit.

  8. JAL says:

    JAL’s Crocodile Rock Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)


    4—Pirates Prospects

    Pirates Notebook: Marte Impressive in Debut; Jones Hitting Lefties

    2012 Second Round Pick Wyatt Mathisen Fractures Foot

    Why Has Josh Bell’s Rehab Taken So Long?

    Pirates Hoping Starling Marte Can Help Fill The Corner Outfield Void

    Starling Marte Has Been Ready And Waiting

    Prospect Watch: Big Night from Alex Dickerson

    Prospect Notebook: Casey Sadler Is a Sleeper Pitching Prospect

    Leroux Shines In Spot Start, Reyes Back On The Mound

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Starling Marte Shines As Pirates Roll 5-3; Curse of Jerry Meals Vanquished

    6 Rumbunter

    It’s Marte Time: Pittsburgh Pirates Promote Starling Marte

    7 McEffect

    7/26 Recap | Pirates 5 Astros 3

    8 The Green Weenie

    Bucs Hold Off Houston 5-3

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Memorable start for Marte

    10 WHY GAVS

    Game 98: Pirates 5 Astros 3

  9. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 CBS Sports

    Pirates-Cubs Game Preview

    Pirates out to end years of losing, just might pull it off this year

    12 NY Times

    The Man Powering the Pirates

    13 Chicago Tribune

    Pirates Report,0,4533513.story

    14 KDKA

    Pirates Bench Coach Jeff Banister Has Advice For Starling Marte

    15 Sports Illustrated

    Pirates rookie Starling Marte homers on first pitch he sees in major leagues

    16 Beaver County Times

    Nine years later, Ramirez trade still rankles Bucs fans

    17 Houston Chronicle

    Astros test fans’ loyalty, patience with dreadful run

    Rodriguez looks out of sorts in Pirates uniform


    18 PBC Site

    Correia tops Cubs to win sixth straight decision

    Starling in the making: Rookie homers on first pitch

    Notebook: A difficult decision: Hurdle moves Correia to bullpen

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    What You Need to Know

    20 Fangraphs

    Shane Victorino’s One-Dimensional Bat

  10. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Pittsburgh Steelers Training Camp: Who to Follow

    Some Thoughts at the Beginning of Steelers Camp

    22 Steelers Depot

    -Steelers to Use Veteran Cap Credits Again

    23 Steelers Gab

    Getting to Know the 2012 Steelers: Safety Will Allen

    24 Nice Pick Cower

    Negotiations Terminated Between Steelers And Wallace

    Pitt Blogs

    25 Pitt Blather

    So, About the ACC Media Days

    26 Cardiac Hill

    Pitt’s Backup Quarterback Spot Undecided Heading Into Fall Camp

    WVU Blogs

    27 Metro News

    Bracket Announced For 2012 Old Spice Classic

    28 WV Illustrated

    WVU, Big 12 Feel Each Other Out


    29 Sky Sports

    Transfer Clockwatch

    30 Daily Telegraph

    London 2012 Olympics: Ryan Giggs turns back the Old Trafford clock but night is ruined by Senegal

    31 World Soccer Daily

    10 Ten stories you need to read, July 26th, 2012

  11. JAL says:

    Crocodile Rock, Elton John 1973 Though Elton John was well known by 1973, Crocodile Rock was his first number 1 single. He just completed work on his 31st album which will be released in the fall.

  12. Drew71 says:

    VERY nice run this week, JAL. I nominate you for membership in The Animals.

    There you go. Some MORE musical references.

  13. Drew71 says:

    I remember listening to The New Sound Of 13Q for that song to come on.

    “Back when Mac and Marte were young
    We used to have so much fun”

    Or something like that.

  14. Milo Hamilton says:


    Bart Conner thinks so.

  15. bdubb says:

    Leadoff. And leadoff for the rest of the year. No need to put any more pressure on him and outside 5th where is he going to hit?

    I think I am interested in putting Walker back in the 5 hole though. Let McGhee hit 2nd if he is going to play. Actually, can we get a few days of rest for Casey? 5-42 calls for a day off. The Pirates face a couple righties this weekend. Start Pressley and hit him second and give Casey a few days off.

    Good to see Jones hit another homer off a lefty and then almost another. 2 in a week.

    Need to take 3 out of 4 this weekend at minimum. This Astros team reminds me of so many Pirates teams of recent past

  16. Drew71 says:

    Dejan – if you wanna sleep on a plane, just pretend my wife wants to talk to you.

    That’s what EYE do.

    Thunder does the same thing, ceptin’ it’s me talking.

  17. Jandy says:

    JAL, loved the song selections all week long. Good stuff.

    Drew, sing it again, Sam!

    Questions for DK: Do *YOU* feel safe with the security at the Olympics? London has been targeted in the not-too-distant past by terrorists. Are you comfortable enough?

    DK: Terrorists attack weak targets. Part of the MO. Coming here right now makes no sense.

    I think about this almost never, I swear.

  18. scapper says:

    Any list of transcendent athletes minus Dick Tarnstrom loses all legitimacy. Nice try though, DK.

  19. Jandy says:

    Drew, I’m thinkin’ DK can’t sleep on a plane cuz his mind goes too fast (thinking ahead) for him to relax enough to fall asleep.

  20. Jandy says:

    Thanks for the reply, DK, I was curious!

  21. JAL says:


    Glad you enjoyed the week in songs.

  22. Shouldn’t Pelé be on the list?

    DK: Funny that you ask, Alex. He actually was the only other one on it. Had to cut for space reasons.

    This was how I wrote it, for the record …

    Like Pele, the most artistic to play the beautiful game.

  23. Piano Legs Hickman says:

    DK: Interested as to whether the British are paying any attention to the controversy over a minute of silence to honor the Israeli athletes murdered by terrorists in Munich in 1972. Are you seeing or hearing anything about it?

    DK: Yes, quite a bit, though yesterday was dominated by the South Korean flag controversy. Jacques Rogge really stepped in it over this one, then backed himself into a corner, then tried to squirm out. Just blew it.

    I’ve always been REALLY uncomfortable with the power the IOC head wields. This is one example where there should have been a body in place to overrule him.

  24. Naje says:

    Watched the game last night, and you can hear it on the video link above… just a split second after the crack of the ball off Marte’s bat, you can hear the entire dugout erupt with noise, “OOHHHH!”… awesome.

  25. Shame on the space they gave you, Dejan! :)

    DK: No, blame that on me. Besides, look, that list could have gotten a lot longer. Of all the names I felt would have the most resonance with our specific readership, Pele’s was the one to go.

    Things like this happen in writing every day. Cutting-room floor and all.

  26. CWalton_67 says:

    I would add the 1980 Olympic Hockey team to the transcendent list. Even though from a completely different perspective–not the best or most skilled athletes, but in one single moment, they united and revived a country which had lost it’s way.

    DK–you’re right that terrorists will attack weak looking targets, and I’d agree that an attack is unlikely, however, it is prudent to remain vigilant. Those who oppose us are fanatical in a manner you cannot understand until you have experienced it, and the individual fanatic is the most unpredictable thing known to man. Safety is dependent on the awareness of all involved.

    Stay safe and enjoy–very much looking forward to your coverage.

    DK: Thanks, Chris. Yeah, I guess I don’t really fall into the vigilant category. To me, that’s like thinking about plane crashes, I guess.

  27. Naje says:


    First, great read…

    Second, these are the Olympic Games. Please tell your editors that… every hour, on the hour. Space constraints and word counts shouldn’t be so ridiculously adhered to for these events. It was pretty clear you had 250 more words (or more) to write in this column… not that it is diminished in any way, but my goodness, someone in the sports editors office has absolutely NO CLUE what this is about.

    Here’s hoping that word counts will NOT impede or infringe upon your work in the coming fortnight. Keep it coming…

    DK: I’ll say it again. That call is on me. When I say space, I’m not just talking about total inch count. I’m also talking about making it readable. In that case, that lede went on a little too long with Pele (and one other) in it. Needed to get to my point quicker, so I cut it. That’s all.

    The space I’m being allotted for these Olympics, as you’ll see, is beyond generous. If you’d see our print section (which you now can online through the eTrib edition), you’d see what I mean.

    Oh, and thanks.

  28. Milo Hamilton says:

    Teofilo Stevenson & Vasiliy Alekseyev.

    DK: All right, help me out there. Second one is weightlifting, if memory serves.

  29. Don Mossi's Ears says:

    DK – Bo Jackson. Now that the hype has passed, we should probably remember how special this guy was.

    DK: Also made the short list. But longevity does count for something in the two sports of his choosing.

  30. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Not lost in the Marte debut, when is the last time a Pirate pitcher had 12 wins by July 26th? Wasn’t it 2 or 3 years ago Maholm led the staff with 9? History will definitely be made.

  31. NMR says:

    Man, it’s not hard to see what Dejan was so excited about.

    How in the heck does that kid strike out so much?

    Quick hands, short stroke, stay inside the ball. There’s gotta be times when we’ll be thinking, “why in the heck would he swing at THAT”, because if not, the kid looks like he could hit every pitch on a line.

  32. Naje says:


    Worse governing body: IOC or FIFA?

    Similarly smarmy, eh?

    DK: FIFA stinks on ice. Up, down and sideways. Not close. At least not since Juan Antonio Samaranch has been gone from the IOC.

  33. Naje says:

    Vasily indeed was the great Russian weightlifter… Munich and Montreal I believe…

  34. It would be very hard for me to disagree with “Of all the names I felt would have the most resonance with our specific readership, Pele’s was the one to go.”

  35. NMR says:

    I’d enjoy reading a piece highlighting not just the events, but where the events were held.

    The infrastructure binge required to host an event as large as the Olympics is far more impressive than the games themselves and leaves a much greater legacy. Montreal, for instance, took over three decades to pay off construction costs from the ’76 games.

    Dejan seems like the kind of writer that would notice these things and weave them into parts of the event stories.

  36. Milo Hamilton says:


    Alekseyev was THE Russian weightlifter. Probably jacked up on whatever served as PED’s back in the early 70’s. Won gold in 72 & 76 and set 80 world records. He was the weightlifter on the open of Wide World of Sports for years.

    Stevenson was one of the great heavyweight boxers of all time. He was Cuban so he was never allowed to compete professionally. The only time you ever saw him was in the Olympics. Just died about a month ago.

    DK: Thanks. Yeah, can actually picture Alekseyev.

  37. Naje says:

    Really looking forward to it all, DK… and thanks for the tips about edits and about the online version. Have all the Olympic posters until this year… got to get my hands on one.

    I have some original work from Paul Zimmerman, Sports Illustrated’s “Dr. Z.”, from the Munich Games. Corresponded with him about his experience trying to get inside the compound during the hostage takeover… incredible, riveting work. His work for the NY Post during that crisis is sublime… got the old files on microfilm/fiche at the NY Public Library. Really great work.

  38. PetroSteel says:

    What a season so far!!! Unbelievable!


    Love the song selections Drew!

    Imagine being NH trying to figure out if he should make a big trade for a corner outfielder after seeing Marte last night.

    I hear that KC is upset being sent to the bullpen. I understand that…But, when you are trying to do something special as a team. You need to be a team player and not think of yourself. If indeed he is upset about his demotion, then he needs to go. Stop thinking about yourself.

  39. Is world changing, society changing, culture changing transcendent? I ask that question in all seriousness.

    If so, Jesse Owens at the Berlin Olympics and Jackie Robinson in April, 1947, both before my time but both indelibly imprinted on my mind, would qualify.

    DK: Societally, sure. But I really see that as a separate category. As the column laid out, I was focused almost entirely on athleticism and/or physical differences.

    By the way, the other one that got left off in the transcendent category was some combination of the Williams sisters.

  40. Naje says:

    I’d put Jesse Owens in there for certain… good call.

  41. Oily Iron,

    The reports I heard about Correia said he wasn’t happy (would you be——I wouldn’t) but that he said he would do what’s best for the team.

    Don’t leave off that 2nd half.

  42. PetroSteel says:

    Didn’t hear that second half. Thanks for the clarification!

  43. “Of all the names I felt would have the most resonance with our specific readership, Pele’s was the one to go.”

    Isn’t Pele the name of the guy who drives the Good Humor truck in our neighborhood?
    He was good at something else?

  44. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hope everybody made it through the storms OK. The sound of chainsaws in the neighborhood this morning really drive home how serious that was. Kinda reminded me of the sound of snowblowers the morning after a big snow.

  45. LuckyNKentucky says:

    It would be worse if Correia wasn’t upset about going to the pen. He’s been on somewhat of a roll as far as his style is concerned. Shows he is a competitor and a team player. I wish the best for the guy. If they do trade him, hope it’s to a contender. Like Milo said last night, Bedard can’t relieve so Correia draws the short straw.

  46. JAL says:

    Al Oerter

    Gold medal in discus 4 straight Olympics

  47. Milo Hamilton says:

    Has Bruce Jenner’s 2nd “career” diminished his 1st ?

  48. It’s the Olympics, so I feel I should give things a chance . . . .

    . . . . I watched about 25 minutes of that match between Mexico and Japan in the sport that must not be named. (Don’t tell JAL!)

    Not knowing a soul on the field, that action had as much entertainment value as going to a local high school field and watching the football team run gassers.

  49. JAL says:

    Paavo Nurmi was transcendent, 9 golds over 3 Olympics including 5 in 1924, winning the 1,500 m and the 5,000 m 26 minutes apart.

  50. wally says:

    Not sure he would rate as transcendant, but certainly fits the freak of nature list- Wilt Chamberlain: 7’1″, 310 lbs and could pinch an inch.

    Could do anything he wanted to, anytime he wanted- score, rebound, defend. Problem was he didn’t always want to. If he would have been more motivated he would hold every record in basketball.

  51. JAL says:


    The mens Olympics teams are 23 years old and under except for 3 players over 25, not many recognizable players even to dedicated fans of the sport.

  52. JohninOshkosh says:

    From the Winter Games I would suggest Vladislav Tretiak and Peggy Fleming, who almost single handedly ushered in the era of color television.

    On transcending sports on the lighter side and into the realm of pop culture, I would suggest Eddie the Eagle, the Jamaican bobsled team and the ski jumper who bit it weekly at the beginning of “Wide World of Sports.”

  53. JohninOshkosh says:


    Bruce Jenner has transcended two realms in his life: track and field and plastic surgery.
    Remember that SNL bit with Belushi as Jenner. Hilarious.

  54. JAL,

    I know you really enjoy it, which is why I in jest bring it up.

    The announcers kept saying Mexico was more highly ranked but it was obvious that Japan was playing more as a team and taking it to our “South of the Border” (not the one in Georgia!) friends.

    I just hate ties! 0 – 0 to boot!!!

  55. JoeBucco says:

    No respect for the Buccos in Vegas. Just saw that they are still at 10-1 odds to win the NL.

    Just behind St. Louis, at 8-1.

    What the… just another chip on the shoulder I guess.

  56. Bizrow says:

    Don’t forget while you are here, if you haven’t told us where you reside, please log into the Lunatic Nation. Didn’t check to see if any new signings last night, was busy watching some Marte fellow, but as of the beginning of last night, 219 locations represented on this blog.

    “The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat.”, I nominate that guy that went of the ski jump and went teacups over elbows off it.

  57. NMR says:

    Bedard is in line for roughly 12 more starts. That would put him well past any inning count he’s made since 2007.

    This also gives Hurdle an option instead of counting on a Burnett-take-one-for-the-team blowup outing.

    Correia will get his chance again.

  58. Oshkosh b’gosh,

    You’re on a roll!!

    The “agony of defeat” guy!
    The agony of plastic surgery guy! (the only thing worse than vanity is poorly done vanity!)
    Belushi smoking that cigarette between events in that Jenner skit!

    Good call all! You must have had an extra large glass of fresh Wisconsin-cow milk this morning.

  59. NMR says:

    Milo’s reality TV repertoire never ceases to amaze me.

  60. The Gunner says:

    @ Drew71 – 13

    13Q was OK but TL (Terry Lee) played the real good stuff for sure

  61. If Bruce Jenner’s 2nd career is defined as “being married to the idiot head of an idiot family,” then I would bet we have a number of other Olympian qualifiers here at this site!

  62. tmp444 says:

    @Naje #24 — I heard, and thought, the same exact thing about the dugout. Very very very cool. This kid is going to be special. Sure, the home run is one thing. But the second AB impressed me just as much. That said, he did have the baserunning error last night…..oh, wait, he’s a Pirate. That’s part of the job description.

    DK – great great article. I’m intrigued on your thoughts about baseball and softball not being part of the Olympics anymore. Is it as simple as the two sports being dominated by the Americas and Asia, and the heavily-European IOC got ticked off about it? And, for baseball to come back, does MLB and the MLBPA have to get involved a la the NHL and IIHF? If so, what does that do for softball, which seemed to be USA, China, then the rest.

    DK: I’ll have a piece that at least touches on that coming up Monday. I did mention it in last Sunday’s feature, too. It’s ridiculous that softball isn’t in.

  63. wally says:

    @ OshKosh

    Too funny…

    @ Bizrow

    Salisbury, PA

    DK: Thanks!

  64. Jandy says:

    OshKosh and Biz both like that poor ski jump guy…

  65. tmp444 says:

    @JoeBucco — I’ll actually agree w/ those odds. STL will NOT go away.

  66. JohninOshkosh says:

    For the kids:

    WWS clip includes Milo’s weightlifter, I believe.

    DK: Well done. Yep, that’s him.

  67. Bizrow says:

    Thanks, wally, added to the list

    @Jandy – the best part was the announcer, Jim McKay? He covered about a gazillion Olympics, if memory serves me.

    I’ve had days where I pretty much felt like that ski jump guy (emoticon omitted)

  68. diehard says:

    DK – I’m sure you’ll make up for leaving Pele on the cutting room floor in that soccer column you have saved up.
    They tested the man’s heart once – ran him on a treadmill for 30 minutes and his heart rate had not yet reached the average man’s resting rate.

  69. tmp444 says:

    DK – thanks! I had missed Sunday’s column (hangs head in shame).

    Enjoy the Opening Ceremonies!

  70. PhillyPoke says:

    Abebe Bikila was a two time Olympic Gold Medalist in the marathon and also won several other city’s marathons (including New York City). By the way, he ran barefoot.

    Maybe doesn’t qualify as a transcendent athlete because he’s not a household name like the others, but certainly noteworthy.

  71. Piano Legs Hickman says:

    Thanks for the update, DK. I agree, they made an unnecessary mess of this, and have done so continually over the years. Enjoy the games!

  72. JaxBuc says:

    I’d nominate Bob Beamon for his long jump in Mexico City on 1968. He broke the world record by nearly two feet and then held the record for over twenty years. It was a singular moment in track and field.

  73. Drew71 says:

    Wilma Rudolph makes my short list. Her three gold medals in 1960 changed the T&F world AND the culture. If her 1956 medal had been gold instead of bronze, I think she’d be on THE list rather than just a finalist.

  74. Drew71 says:

    And the difference between Jackie Robinson’s cultural dominance and Wilma’s is that Wilma’s cultural benefits were not even needed for her consideration.

    Taking NOTHING away from JR, he was a top 5 ball player for his time. Leaving out the HUGE cultural contribution, he was great but the argument can be made that he was not the greatEST from a sport-only perspective.

    I think Wilma was clearly the greatest woman’s athlete of her time.

  75. K. PenFan says:

    Sidney Crosby should definitely be on the list. Or atleast will be in about 2.5 yrs.

  76. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Didn’t Terry Lee have a TV show on Saturday, a dance show, TL’s Music for Young Lovers? These young kids wouldn’t remember that, though.

  77. Happy G says:

    The Williams sisters? My guess would have Barry Bonds.

    I hope everyone can detect my sarcasm.

  78. Happy G says:

    Speaking of Barry…

    I’m not sure if I saw this photo because someone posted it on this blog the other day. If so, I apologize for re-posting.

  79. DemonDachshund says:

    I don’t see how Correia fits in the pen. I wouldn’t trust him in a close game, since he tends to have a really bad inning now and then. His value is in that he typically gives you 5 or 6 good innings around that one really bad inning.

    He could serve as a long relief/mopup guy, but how often has that been needed this year?

    Definitely agree that you need Bedard insurance, but you can stretch Lincoln out or bring up Locke if(when) needed. I wouldn’t deal KC just to get rid of him, but if you can get a decent return, it could work out better for everyone.

  80. LuckyNKentucky says:


    That pix looks more like Starling Marte than Bonds. Hope he didn’t ruin his heart and brain with all that juice. I mean alleged juice.

  81. AJS says:

    I agree Demo to an extent. He will have to be used in those games where Lincoln typically has been used(ie need 3 or 4 innings out of him). Lincoln should take the ball in the 7th where they used to use Cruz.

    I think trading KC is a good plan. After his last 6 starts his value is at an all time high. Get as much as you can for him now.

    As for Bedard insurance, I said it earlier when we were all worried about Correia, you only need 4 starters in the playoffs. As long as you have a guy who is good enough to take the ball every 5th day until you hit October, you are fine. Bedard can serve that purpose. If this team makes the playoffs it will be carried by JMac, AJ, and now Wandy. Karstens and Bedard could be used as a 4th starter based on gut feel or they could bring back the top 3 on short rest. The bigger concern for the rotation for me right now is making sure that JMacs next start looks more like the pre-break version than the 2010/2011 version. These slow starts are killing him. And he is back to dance around the mound and stomping his feet looking lost when something goes wrong. he needs to get back to taking the ball, getting a sign and delivering. When he works fast he works efficiently. When he works at a Bedardesque like pace he gets shelled.

  82. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    What about Rulon Gardner?

  83. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’m a confirmed sentimentalist. Guilty as charged. When the Americans march into that stadium in the middle of a city where the two greatest democracies once endeavored to lead the saving of Western Civilization, I am going to choke up a bit. I know Dejan says there are no fans in the press box. That is why I could not be a reporter because at that moment I could never not stand and cheer in admiration.

    Let the Games begin.

  84. Arthur J. Schrooney,

    It’s July 27 . . . . Bucs haven’t yet played 100 games . . . . it’s a little early to be talking about setting up the rotation for the Playoffs!

    Seems that I recall another Pirate team that was actually in 1st Place after 100 games, and it fell off a cliff.

    Let’s look at how Pirates can be successful in the next 63 games and surpass Cincy before we argue about using 3 or 4 starters in the Playoffs.

    If Bucs don’t catch the Reds, they may be in that UTTERLY STUPID 1-game playoff where the whole pitching staff might be used.

  85. Hey You, the Wisconsinite with the frost-bit ears and the bib overalls . . . . . outta the Press Box!!

    There’s no crying in baseball or the confessional that is the press box.

  86. DemonDachshund says:

    @AJS –

    What I meant about Bedard insurance is, he has a history of arm trouble. He’s gone over 140 innings twice in his career, but not since 2007. He’s right at 100… Expecting him to remain healthy AND effective for the next two months is asking a lot.

  87. The Gunner says:

    LuckyNKentucky – #76


    You are correct, it was an American Bandstand type show called “Come Alive.” Pepsi was it’s sponsor & “Come Alive” was Pepsi’s slogan at the time. Also, you mention Music for Young Lovers; you can still listen to it in the nighttime on TL’s web site @ – he streams music (all types) during the day.

    Marte had a nice debut last night, he looks like a real athlete to say the least. He is definitely a better alternative than Presley or Scabata.

  88. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    So, where was I when Starling made his debut????


    Football practice, man I love that stuff.

  89. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Demon #79

    Exactly right on Correia, though I read last night that he will be used as long the relief guy. However, he’ll be traded. The insurance for Bedard is like you say, Locke or Wilson on the farm.

    I wouldn’t stretch Lincoln out again for a spot start though.

    Correia will be traded, but I don’t believe he will produce anything but a grade C prospect. Unless he’s included in a package deal.

  90. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Great memories. I’d forgotten the name of that show being “Come Alive”. Great he’s still around. Longevity in any profession says something about quality. Thanks.

  91. OK, Lyles is a righthander. Who starts tonight for Bucs, and what is the batting order?

    Casey McGeheeheehee is in a 5 for 42 slump. Good night to sit him? He’s not hitting righthanders (OR lefthanders!).

    Presley had a triple against Lyles (2/5 night) the last time they faced. (Same game Jones 4/5 with HR and 4 ribbies, Walker 3/4 with HR and 3 ribbies, McCutch 4/5).

    Seems like a good night to have Presley lead off, Marte bat 2nd before McCutch, and have Walker back at #5 with McGeheeheehee talking a day or two off. Give Casey a couple days off to chill: he can come in for defense at 1st for Jones in the 8th l la Gorkys.

    Watching how Hurdle handled it last night, I’m guessing Presley would be in right and Starling in left. Even though The Birdman would be the better rightfielder, with Garrett Jones playing 3/4 of his games in right, let Marte get comfortable playing left everyday.

    That’s my call———what think ye?

  92. NMR says:

    I like your style, Groat.

    I just can’t see Presley in RF. It would be too embarassing to see him need a cutoff man for throws to second base.

  93. NMR says:

    In fact, I like Marte batting second a lot…

    If there is ANY stock to be put into the theory of lineup protection, then whoever hits in front of Cutch should get a steady diet of fastballs.

    We know Marte has trouble recognizing off speed pitches out of the zone. What better place to bat him than 2nd?

  94. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Ok, he bats 2nd. Who leads off? Presley? That shows over, hopefully.

  95. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Tough call, I agree with NMR that I’d hate to see AP in RF over Jones, but McGehehehee might need a break.

    What about Sutton on 1st and JOnes still in RF?

    Just a thought.

  96. JMB says:

    I know the DLee ship has long since sailed, but a RH 5-hole hitter at 1B would be great. I just can’t think of anyone.

    Unless Marte has serious OBP issues, he should be the lead-off guy.

    Starling Marte, LF
    Neil Walker, 2B
    Andrew McCutchen, CF
    Garrett Jones, RF
    RHB TBD, 1B
    Pedro Alvarez, 3B
    Rod Barajas, C
    Clint Barmes, SS

  97. JMB says:

    Oh yeah, Kendry Morales!

    However, he hasn’t played much 1B this season.

    Positions: First Baseman
    Bats: Both, Throws: Right
    Height: 6′ 1″, Weight: 225 lb.

  98. Jandy says:

    McGayHee does indeed need a rest. The Hammer hammered him pretty good last night.

  99. Jandy says:

    OOPs my bad, confused Barajas for McGayHee…disregard that.

  100. JMB says:

    Clement & Correia for Morales…who says no first LAA or NH?

  101. Tom says:


    Question/answer from chat yesterday with Keith Law of ESPN below. You’ve written a lot about the Miguel Sano “fiasco”, but I don’t recall you portraying Gayo as being “dishonest” as Klaw does. What are your thoughts on how this might interfere with future Pirate signings in Latin America?
    Al (D.C.)

    I read your review of the film “Pelotero.” Do you think the portrayal of the Pirates’ Rene Gayo will have any deleterious effects on Pittsburgh’s scouting and signing of players in Latin America?

    Klaw (1:50 PM)

    I do. I think it hurt the Pirates that neither they nor MLB responded on camera. Gayo came off as extremely dishonest. I don’t know how they would counter that, but the fact that neither the team nor the league even tried only makes him look worse. If you’re the international director for another team and are competing against the Pirates, don’t you show any prospect in the D.R. that hidden-camera clip? And why hasn’t MLB fully responded to the claims that Gayo colluded with their investigator (which happened off camera)?

    DK: I don’t comment on the works of others in the media.

    As for the movie, I had an entire blog entry about how one-sided it was. The agent himself came right to this blog to confirm it. If someone can dig that up for Tom, I’d appreciate it. Busy night.

    And no, Gayo is a giant — big man, too — in what he does. Some one-sided movie that almost nobody sees isn’t going to change that.

  102. When Presley scores runs, Pirates are like 22-4.

    Put him at leadoff, Marte at #2. I agree with NMR about the fastballs he will see batting before McCutch.

    Our best defensive club, when McGeheeheehee is sitting, is Presley and Marte flanking McCutch, with Jones at 1st. We brought Marte up so we wouldn’t have to look at Harrison and Sutton playing defense unless necessary.

    I prefer Presley in left and The Birdman in right——we’ll see how Clint plays it tonight. I’m guessing he is going to plunk Marte down in left field and let him stay there.

    It’s fun to have Major League caliber options, not just fill-ins.

  103. JMB says:

    Presley has a .269 OBP in 2012.

    That’s ridiculously terrible for a leadoff guy.

  104. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Like the idea on Morales, but not thanks. He hasn’t played 1B in who knows how long. He is the typical AL DH guy.

    RH hitter huh?


  105. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Your numbers are in the ballpark on AP scoring, but I am not a fan. Wasn’t a big fan last year either. I don’t know why, but his numbers are backing my dislike of him thus far. I hope he proves me wrong, but I doubt it.

  106. “Clement & Correia for Morales…who says no first LAA or NH?”

    What——are you trying out for Comedy Central?!?

    Let’s see: a pitcher with no spot and a player not even on the 40-man for a power hitter. Why not just ask for Albert Pujois . . . it would make your joke better!

  107. LuckyNKentucky says:


    That’s a trade anyone (but the Angels) would make, even NH. Two guys he doesn’t want for one that he could use. I say LAA wouldn’t bite on that one, but what do I know.

  108. Jandy says:

    Chat’a odd…transportations problems. lol

  109. Jandy says:

    OMG my typos are horrendous. I’m trying to do paperwork. Chat’s OFF

  110. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    sounds kinda odd too……

  111. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    The Angels have been reported as wanting Correia, but don’t expect anybody that you might’ve heard of before……..and probably won’t be MLB ready…..unless they’re a bench guy.

  112. NMR says:


    Frankly, I can’t stand batting Presley leadoff. He’s the anti-leadoff.

    But I also don’t think Marte would be significantly better in that specific role. I do, however, think he is the better overall hitter, thus I would rather try to maximize his production in front of Cutch (if that theory actually exists).

    I still like McGehee in the lineup, and when he is, I’d just sub Marte for Presley(assuming Jones also plays).

    Another 1B is low on my wish list. I’d rather have a good OBP guy, something that the Pirates lack much more than power.

  113. JMB says:

    We really just need 2010 Casey McGehee for the second half of the season, but is “he” still around?

    While we’re at it, we need 2008/9 Barmes, but I’m pretty sure he’s gone.

  114. NMR says:

    I feel responsible for jinxing Dejan’s chat by asking him to report back on the infrastructure of the games.

  115. NMR says:


    We had that guy for about a month and a half. And if you remember, he was one of the few guys with good at-bats in the first couple weeks of the season. Looks like consistency is the name of the game.

  116. The Pirates best line-up without a doubt is the one that started last night. Then the only offensive hole is at shortstop.

    However, McGeheeheehee IS 5 for his last 42! He needs a couple days off to clear his head and then come back hitting extra base hits and driving in runs like he did in June.

    I want to field the best defensive club I can whenever possible. Presley/McCutch/Marte is certainly our best outfield. If Garrett Jones plays 1st, his normal spot earlier in the year against righthanders, it gives us our strongest team in the field without Casey.

    Now we have to make a batting order with that team. Presley certainly has a unsatisfactory OB% at leadoff——except, when he scores a run the Pirates almost always win! That seems to be his best spot. Where else would you bat Presley: 7th before Barmes——ugh! In doing that, are you going to move Fort to #5? Ugh! Move Pedro to #5 behind Jones and have two lefties batting back-to-back, so vulnerable to a lefty reliever move? Ugh!

    I’d like to see Marte bat 2nd behind Presley and before McCutch. If Presley gets on, we could see some rockin-n-rollin!

  117. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    “Frankly, I can’t stand batting Presley leadoff.”

    If I may change your sentence a little……..removed leadoff. Guy can’t hit, period.

    I’m not arguing batting him 2nd, that’s cool with me, if the Buccos had someone else to leadoff, but for now, leave him in the LO spot.

    1B is a pretty low priority with me as well. I’d still want Victorino, Span, someone like that. THEN move Marte to 2nd.

  118. RobertoForever says:

    Much as I agree that McGehee needs a rest, and would have AP in RF w/ Jones at 1b, I don’t think Clint sees it that way.

    Attempting to read Clint’s mind from 33k feet over South Carolina (I think I am feeling the zoltan stronger up here :D. )

    Marte LF
    Walker 2B
    Jones RF
    McGehee 1B
    Barajas (highest prob to be replaced)

    Just my guess on reading Clint’s mind.

  119. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    and that SS hole hit a 2-run HR…but I do know what you mean with that.

  120. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    You’re probably right. Though be careful being anywhere near SC…….Thinking doesn’t come from there.

  121. NMR says:

    I’m interested in Tom’s question above and pretty sure that I know DK’s answer, but will let him give it himself.

    Keith Law certainly knows more about Latin American recruiting than I do, but judging from the conditions these boys live in, I wouldn’t be greatly worried about them seeing and reading about Rene Gayo in some movie.

    The whole business seems to be crawling with lies and deceipt. If Gayo is any kind of salesman, he’d be able to deflect that pretty easily.

    That is unless Gayo actually is the kind of unsavory character that is depicted in the movie and that message is spread by other ballplayers and their familis by word of mouth.

  122. RobertoForever says:


    Luckily moving south at 500 MPH, I exited that airspace quickly. Just passed the black hole of the NFL. I think I can see all those covered seats from up here, lol.

    And I love to speculate about lineups. But since CH has the Bucs 14 games over with only 62 left. Tough to quibble. He has truly squeezed the most out of this bunch, huh?

    Oh, and Jones weakness is now even stronger. Up to. 749 OPS against lefties.2nd best set of numbers on team against the respective ‘weakness’.

  123. pants-n-at says:

    @ NMR. It looks like DK answered Tom. Go back to post.

  124. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    I spent 6 years in SC….so glad I’m gone, though Mrytle Beach/Charleston was always fun to visit.

  125. JohninOshkosh says:

    Interesting discussion on XM Radio about the Cubs and the trade deadline. Cubs are struggling to work out a deal for Dempster with the Dodgers. Might have to ship Soriano with him and pay all of his salary to get it done. Matt Garza is hurt and likely won’t be moved.

    Been critical of NH in the past, but with AJB and Wandy, his last two trades have been very aggressive and productive (at least with AJB, gotta wait on Wandy). Be interesting to see if he moves Correia and what he can for him in light of the market.

    NH is scoring a better Q Rating these days than the great Theo Epstein.

  126. pants-n-at says:

    @ Roberto

    Even Jones’ outs lately have been hit hard. He broke a couple bats last night or may have had another extra base hit or 2. He’s really putting together a nice season. Oh, and he made the MLB network highlifghts the other day for his catch in right against the Cubs. How often does that happen?

  127. Jandy says:

    Sano Story. DK made it pretty clear how he feels about it all.

  128. pants-n-at says:

    I think the interest for Correia will increase once the Dempsters and Greinkes are moved.

  129. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Great response….I think that was a question some asked during that blog posting.

    Turns out, this will not be a big deal on the Pirates. They just signed a kid recently to some big money.

  130. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    BTW, I know there was some discussion about Marte’s number on the game thread, but I was way behind so didn’t feel like commenting on it.

    My all time favorite, #6 or not…….is Tony Pena

  131. Jandy says:

    Ryan, nuttin’ wrong with that…

  132. NMR says:

    Am I the only one who thinks Law comes off sometimes sounding like he’s the smartest man on the planet?

    Opinions are one thing, but man, something about the way he shares them…

  133. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Sitting on my lunch break, I just read the rumblings as well. I’m not sending a Latos package for Headley. No way

  134. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    He’s not the only one that sounds that way at times……

  135. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    The #6 just doesn’t look right on the back of the uniform for some reason.

    Though, I will be ordering my jersey pronto!

  136. Jandy says:

    Ryan, what number would you like to see Marte wear? Just curious.

  137. Really glad Bucs gave Marte a “real” baseball number.

    Makes us think he is here to stay——not just to give him a “cup of coffee” or trade him for Victorino.

    Good call on the Tony Pena #6 reference, North Cali Ryan. He was a winner!

  138. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I dont know…I’m cool with 6. It just looks weird.

  139. pants-n-at says:

    @ Ryan. For me, Rennie Stennett, but for the #7. Went 7 for 7 in one game and twice in that game had 2 hits in one inning. He was never the same after he broke his leg.

  140. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    AGree, he’s not going anywhere, anytime soon.

    Mercer with his #69 (giggidy) won’t be around for too long……or at least play…

  141. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    That’s before my time.

  142. scapper says:

    Belgium’s Eddie Merckx. When discussing each sports all-time greatest, he comes as close as you’re gonna get to 100% agreement. No one has come close to doing what that man did.

  143. JMB says:


    I agree. I dont see how Headley really fits for us in 2012 and def not for that kind of prospect package.

  144. JMB says:

    I loved Tony Pena as well.

  145. Scrappy-do!

    I agree with you about Merckx!

    What’d he do? Who is he?

  146. pants-n-at says:

    @ Ryan. I understand. He eventually beat out Willie Randolph for the starting job at 2nd base so the Pirates traded Randolph to the Yankees. Talk about bad trades!

  147. JMB says:

    I kinda wonder if they kept Marte down until the Upton stuff was resolved.

    If they were gonna trade him, they needed to do it before the fan base become infatuated with him.

    I would have happily included Marte in an Upton deal last week, even w. DK’s glowing reviews, but now I would not.

    As a fanatic, reason v. emotions is a constant battle.

  148. AJS says:


    I got off on a tangent at the end there. My goal was not to assess potential playoff rotation handling but instead to point out that if the most we have to debate about with the pitching staff is who should be the 5th starter, then we are in pretty good shape pitching wise.

  149. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Smokey Burgess wore #6 well if I remember right. That’s before a lot of yunz times. So did Tony. Can’t say as much for Mike Benjamin and Jeff Clement, although Clement may still do something or be good trade material, but with another # if it’s in the ‘Burgh.

  150. Bizrow says:

    Didn’t Mr 7 for 7 vs the Cubs, Rennie Stennett wear No. 6?

    With him and Tony P, sounds like good blood lines with the No. 6 uni, IMHO anyways

  151. Bizrow says:

    OOPs, just read the prior posts, nevermind……..

  152. Jandy says:

    Well, if number 6 doesn’t work out, we can always give him #4, for Ralph Kiner.

  153. Bizrow says:

    @Lucky – Smoky, Mr Shake/Rattle and Roll, don’t remember why the Gunner called him that. I do remember the Gunner saying that he could get out of bed in the middle of winter and line a single to right.

    Probably someone mentioned this, but Chuck Tanner #7 was another guy that homered in his first major league at bat

  154. Bizrow says:

    @Jandy – I think No. 4 is retired

  155. JAL says:

    Keith Law is to baseball as Mel Kiper is to football as Nostradamus is to predicting the future, make enough predictions and you have to be right sometimes.

  156. pattonbb says:

    @ Roberto & Ryan – Whoa Boys! Ease up on the South Carolina hate. Greenville is a great area. Plus they have a very cool minor league stadium. I think you’re getting this great state confused with Mississippi.

  157. LuckyNKentucky says:

    We could always ask the Clemente family if Marte could wear #21 when Tabby is done with it. Oh wait, I think he’s done with it. I think the number 6 is good for Starling. That’s about the number of years control the Pirates have before the Yankees try to swoop in.

  158. Naje says:

    What’s the deal with typing McGehee’s name? We get it already. You could easily shorten to McG.

  159. LuckyNKentucky says:


    You’re right. The Gunner used to say you could get him up on Christmas morning (which is what you said, the middle or early part of winter) and get a hit. Smokey could catch a little bit, too, but he was a better PH. Stocky guy. Not going to steal many bases unless it was Lloyd Mac style, but a ballplayer nonetheless.

  160. Arthur J Schrooney,

    I agree with you——I have always admired Wandy from afar, and Neal Huntington has filled a huge spot in our pitching staff with his get. I like our pitching group right now! I’m with you!

    Of course, 2222 would complain that Hanny’s velocity is down to 97!

    I have to publicly give Huntington credit for getting Wandy. I have been critical and non-trusting of his scorched earth policy of trades . . . . but, even though we gave up some prospects I liked, regardless of whether Wandy turns into Cliff Lee of 2 years ago or Cliff Lee of this year, getting Wandy was a good move by BMTIB.

  161. CraigWilson'sRevenge says:


    scorched earth policy of trades?

  162. cmat0829 says:

    For those of you who missed the Pirates telecast last night, they showed footage of a young Marte trying out for Gayo and the Pirates and the number he wore on the shirt that had “New York” on the front was #6. So not sure where all the interesting comments are coming from about what number “the Pirates gave Marte to wear” but I’m thinking #6 is his choice and so be it.

  163. cmat0829 says:

    RE: Correia… he has served his purpose. He is a Bob Walk-style “keep his team in the game” pitcher that will definitely find a way onto someone’s rotation. The Pirates are gonna trade him (he doesn’t really serve much purpose in the pen) but let’s relax about what the return will be…. it will be a low level minor leaguer or a utility infield type for the bench at the most.

  164. LuckyNKentucky says:


    I’d say he chose it over 64 and the other lineman numbers seemingly available.

  165. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Yeah, Groat. Explain yourself, please for us non-Duke grads.

  166. The Gunner says:

    @ LuckyNKentucky – 158 & 160
    @ Bizrow – 154

    I remember #6, old Smoke Smoke very well. The man was a great clutch hitter. However, he was not the most in shape guy on the Bucs. The reason my namesake called him Shake, Rattle, & Roll was that when he ran, there was quite a bit of jiggle, if you know what I mean.

    Smoky would be making millions if he was playing today!!!!!!

  167. cmat0829 says:

    The more I think (and think ) about the Pirates best (realistic) move at the deadline for another bat…. I come around to Alfonso Soriano. The Cubs WILL eat most if not all of his salary and he can still swing the bat and has some speed. And he would be especially good against LHPs as the Bucs have a hole there.

    His outfield D is not any worse than GIJones and he is better than Sutton….The Bucs could then have a Marte/Cutch/Soriano outfield and let Jones / McGehee get the starts at 1B (with Jones perhaps getting a few starts vs. LHP to see if he can seize the job).

  168. Naje,

    Not doing it to irritate you. It’s just automatic I have been doing it so long. McG would irritate me, and you wouldn’t know it.

    I smile when I type it——I’m real easy to make smile. I like to smile. It’s just my taste. I’m not trying to force my taste on you. What I consider good taste might be terrible taste to you.

    Every time you see me write McGeheeheehee, just imagine it is McG, then both of us can smile.

    (insert JandyGirl smiley face here)

  169. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Not at all, though where I lived, was very similiar. I lived in Sumter.

  170. The Gunner says:

    @ cmat – 168

    Soriano looked OK in LF when he was here with the Cubs earlier in the week. I am all for getting him – of course, the Cubs will have to subsidize the majority of his contract.

  171. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    You just copied and pasted my comment about Correia as well.

  172. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Soriano has $30M left on his contract for the next 2 years. Reports say that the Cubs will pay all but $2M of it, unless they get prospects that they really like, probably pay all.

    I’ll take AS for free, but depends on what they want in return.

  173. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    I type McGheheheheheee as well……….

  174. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Had to Google the “scorched earth” policy. Now I understand what Groaty meant. Good choice of how to desribe his trade policy prior to competitive seasons.

  175. Stickyweb says:

    @ Groat

    I completely agree with the trade analysis. It’s exactly the kind of move NH needed to make. Get a solid (and possibly more) addition that team controls for a couple years, get Astros to pony up about 60% of his salary so we’re not hamstrung for those couple years, and don’t give up any top prospects in the process.

    I know some rank Grossman as #7 or #8 Pirate prospect, but he wasn’t going to play CF here for at least 6 years, probably longer, and he doesn’t hit well enough to play corner OF.

    I would have liked to see Owens pitch a few times, but we have enough other P prospects at Indy (and of course lower) that we could afford to lose him for 2.5 years of a good MLB starter.

    Yes NH has swing and missed several times, but credit when it due and it’s definitely due on this one. I wish he could have done it for a SS, OF or 1B, but I’ll take a starter as consolation.

  176. radio wave says:

    at johninoshkosh #125
    If you’re a sirius/xm listener, then you’ve heard the speculation that Shin-Soo Choo
    might be on the market.
    Leadoff for the Bucs?
    What would you give to get him?

  177. The Gunner says:

    @ Ryan – 174

    I really doubt if NH will go after Soriano with 2 years left on his contract.

  178. pants-n-at says:

    @ Ryan. Sumter? Visited a friend there once at Shaw. I was not a fan.

  179. JMB says:

    #Pirates not currently optimistic about their search for a hitter. Few available, prices high. Plenty of time for that to change.

  180. Bizrow says:

    Anyone know where TC is? Dana Eveland has been released

  181. Bizrow says:

    Where would Soriano play? I’d hate to see him in left field at PNC, that would be an adventure

  182. Sticky Wicket,

    Excellent analysis!

    I loved listening to Grossman talk in Spring Training around the batting cage: his enthusiasm, his excitement, his love of playing ball, his love of being a Pirate; but there really isn’t a spot for him on the Pirates in the next few years.

    Rudy Owens was my favorite of that AAA lefty contingent and I wanted to see him have a go in Pittsburgh; but you have to give up something to get something.

    All of that for 2 1/2 year of a genuine borderline All Star pitcher for whom the Astros are paying halvies!

    I agreed with every word you said. That’s scary! Mom, are you on the blog again!?!?

  183. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Gunner…I agree. I’d guess he’s not even on their radar.

    Though Marte, Cutch, and Soriano makes for a pretty potent OF.

  184. scapper says:

    Groat…who is Eddie Merckx? Oh, mon dieu, monsieur! Only the greatest cyclist of all time. Sure, Lance won 7 Tours in a row to Merckx’s 5, but Merckx won every other major race and classics, most of them multiple times. Guy was a freak of nature on a bike.

  185. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    That’s where I was stationed. It depends on what part of the area you go to, but overall, pretty lousey. (not the word I wanted to use)

  186. radio wave says:

    game thread is up.

  187. Stickyweb says:

    Would love to see Soriano here, but again wouldn’t give up any of the top 5 prospects (Cole, Taillon, Heredia, Hanson & Bell) for him. Love to see a couple years of control + cubs eating most of salary. Who wouldn’t be excited about:

    Starling Marte
    Neil Walker
    Andrew McCutchen
    Garrett Jones
    Alfonso Soriano
    Pedro Alvarez

    That could be set for 2+ years and have a bench of McG (to each his own Groat), AP, and the utility guys

  188. Scrappy-do,

    I’d rather watch cycling than the sport that must not be named: at least cycling goes up and down hills and around turns.

    Although I confess, I’ll never understand that team thing in cycling, where obviously some bikes cross the finish line before others, with the guy in the yellow jersey in the middle of the pack, but they all receive the same time.

  189. Boise Bucco says:

    The Braves have signed Miguel Batista aka the last link to 1992.


  190. Boisterous Boise Buc,

    Let me know if the Braves sign Francisco Cabrera . . . . . . or Sid Bream.

  191. Tom says:


    Thanks for the “gold medal” response about Rene Gayo. Enjoy the Games!

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