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Wakeup Call: Another lefty, anyone?

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

HOME — Brief and to the Point …

>> The Tuesday column … wait, there isn’t one. The streak is snapped at 19 days. And I’m betting it won’t be the only streak snapped at 19 this summer.

Nice to be back in the good place. Planning to do some catching up locally with a couple columns this week, then taking next week off.

>> Jared Hughes was just sent down, and you have to wonder if Tony Watson won’t be next. This is not the time of year to let relievers linger in misery, and the Pirates do have other options in Indy in Evan Meek, Chris Leroux, Bryan Morris and lefty Justin Wilson.

Meek is still walking too many guys, but opponents are batting .204. He isn’t doing great, but it’s not as if being in the majors will get to him.

As for Wilson, even if hopes remain for him to start, again, this isn’t the time to worry about that. Wilson is erratic, but he throws flames out of the pen, and he’s no kid.

In September, they’re all here. But now counts.

>> You know, one of the many positives of being at the Olympics was being away from the Penn State scandal for a little while. I know nothing firm has emerged about Jerry Sandusky possibly having others involved in his vile crimes, but there certainly is a lot coming from a lot of different directions.

It’s just astounding to think the story could get any worse, isn’t it?

>> Mike Adams couldn’t participate in OTAs and now will miss at least two more weeks of preseason to a knee injury. And his position, left tackle, is the one entrusted to protect the franchise quarterback.

Why is anyone still discussing whether or not he could start the opener in Denver?

>> I’ll do a couple more columns, then take some time off next week.

But I want to take a moment here to thank everyone who wrote — here or emails or Twitter or Facebook or Sulia — with kind words about the Olympics coverage. My favorite aspect of it is hearing from women, particularly those who open their emails by prefacing that they normally don’t read the sports section.

That’s one big reason the Trib as a whole went all-out to cover the Games.

Comments

  1. RobertoForever says:

    Welcome home, DK. Great work covering the Olympics for the U.S. of A. A dream come true.

    Have you seen the Fox network commercial promoting the MLB playoffs? It starts with a quick clip of Cutch sliding into home. Hope there is not a Fox commerical jinx.

    DK: Thanks, RF. Haven’t seen any American TV in a long while. Just a tiny bit of the game tonight. That’s it. No ads.

  2. MBS says:

    Congrats on a job well done with your Olympics coverage DK. In the words of a now American league first baseman, “Cool baby!”.

    DK: Thanks!

  3. Drew71 says:

    No column??

    Forget the Pirates. EYE’m gonna collapse.

  4. JAL says:

    JAL’s Rainy Night in Georgia Morning Links

    GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

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

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

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

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)

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

    PIRATE BLOGS

    4—Pirates Prospects

    Pirates Notebook: Karstens Tinkering with Curve; McDonald Gets Bumped in Rotation

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/08/pirates-notebook-karstens-tinkering-with-curve-mcdonald-gets-bumped-in-rotation.html

    Prospect Watch: Von Rosenberg Has Another Bad Start

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/08/prospect-watch-von-rosenberg-has-another-bad-start.html

    Pirates Have Several Prospects on Baseball America’s Best Tools List

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/08/pirates-have-several-prospects-on-baseball-americas-best-tools-list.html

    Matt Curry and Dan Gamache Were the Top Hitters in the System Last Week

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/08/matt-curry-and-dan-gamache-were-the-top-hitters-in-the-system-last-week.html

    Justin Wilson’s No Hitter is the Top Pirates Pitching Performance of the Last Week

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/08/justin-wilsons-no-hitter-is-the-top-pirates-pitching-performance-of-the-last-week.html

    First Pitch: Three Guys in Triple-A Who Can Help in the Majors Today

    http://blogs.piratesprospects.com/williams/first-pitch-three-guys-in-triple-a-who-can-help-in-the-majors-today/

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Dodgers 5, Pirates 4

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2012/8/14/3241300/dodgers-5-pirates-4

    <b Wacky Idea Of The Day: Should Pirates Consider Using A.J. Burnett As A Reliever In Between Starts?

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2012/8/14/3241373/wacky-idea-of-the-day-should-pirates-consider-using-a-j-burnett-as-a

    6 Rumbunter

    Pittsburgh Pirates: The Latest Pedro Alvarez Homerless Streak Has Me Jonesin’

    http://rumbunter.com/2012/08/13/pittsburgh-pirates-the-latest-pedro-alvarez-homerless-streak-has-me-jonesin/

    7 McEffect

    The Next Six Games

    http://www.mceffect.com/2012/08/the-next-six-games.html

    8 The Green Weenie

    Bucs Drop 5-4 Opener To The Blue

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2012/08/bucs-drop-5-4-opener-to-blue.html

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Dodgers gain ground

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2012/08/dodgers-gain-ground/

    The best of #FakePiratesAuction

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2012/08/the-best-of-fakepiratesauction/

    10 WHY GAVS

    Game 115: Dodgers 5 Pirates 4 (and some bullpen rants)

    http://whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/august-2012/game-115-dodgers-5-pirates-4-and-some-bullpen-rants.html

  5. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 CBS Sports

    Pirates-Dodgers Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20120814_LAD@PIT

    12 LA Times

    Shane Victorino a powerful pest in Dodgers’ 5-4 win over Pirates

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/dodgersnow/la-sp-dn-dodgers-victorino-pest-20120813,0,1204998.story

    13 Chicago Tribune

    Pirates Report

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/sns-rt-bbo-pirates-teamreportmtze88dnzw0t5-20120813,0,6377692.story

    14 Inside St. Louis

    Deja Vu All Over Again

    http://www.insidestl.com/insideSTLcom/STLSports/STLCardinals/tabid/91/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/9277/Deja-Vu-All-Over-Again.aspx

    15 SB Nation

    Does Cardinals’ Run Differential Matter In August?

    http://mlb.sbnation.com/2012/8/13/3239866/st-louis-cardinals-playoff-chances-run-differential

    16 KDKA

    Pirates Shortstop Clint Barmes Talks Grand Slam

    http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2012/08/13/pirates-shortstop-clint-barmes-talks-grand-slam/

    17 Fox Sports

    Pirates trail early again in 5-4 loss to Dodgers

    http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2012/08/13/pirates-trail-early-again-in-5-4-loss-to-dodgers932722/

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    18 PBC Site

    Pirates lose ground despite Jones’ four-hit day

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2012_08_13_lanmlb_pitmlb_1&mode=recap&c_id=pit

    Notebook: Bucs shuffle rotation, bump Burnett up to Thursday

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120813&content_id=36619942&notebook_id=36620116&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Pick the Collie, or Maybe the Weimaraner

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17997

    20 Fangraphs

    Top Prospects of the Cape Cod League by the Numbers

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/top-prospects-of-the-cape-cod-league-by-the-numbers/

  6. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Pittsburgh Steelers Training Camp Open Thread: Campus Closed Edition

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/8/13/3239156/pittsburgh-steelers-training-camp-open-thread-campus-closed-edition

    CB Ike Taylor, WR Antonio Brown Have Three-Round Brawl After Sunday Practice

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/8/13/3239119/cb-ike-taylor-wr-antonio-brown-have-three-round-brawl-after-sunday

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Expanding On The Hurry Up Offense And Position Flexibility

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2012/08/expanding-on-the-hurry-up-offense-and-position-flexibility/

    23 Steelers Gab

    Wallace’s Trainer Says WR Coming to Steelers Camp Soon

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2012/08/10/wallaces-trainer-says-wr-coming-to-steelers-camp-soon/

    24 Nice Pick Cower

    Let The Offensive Line Shuffle Begin Again For The Steelers

    http://nicepickcowher.com/2012/08/13/let-the-offensive-line-shuffle-begin-again-for-the-steelers/

    Pitt Blogs

    25 Pitt Blather

    Scrimmage 2 – Defense & Special Teams

    http://www.pittblather.com/2012/08/12/scrimmage-2-defense-special-teams/

    26 Cardiac Hill

    Hubie Graham And Rushel Shell Projected As Breakout Players

    http://www.cardiachill.com/2012/8/13/3236881/big-east-football-expansion-pitt-pittsburgh-panthers-training-camp-hubie-graham-rushel-shell

    WVU Blogs

    27 Metro News

    G&BN: Deep Depth Defensive Backs

    http://www.wvmetronews.com/wvu.cfm?func=displayfullstory&storyid=54327

    28 WV Illustrated

    WVU Receivers Helping Defensive Backs Prepare for Big 12

    http://www.wvillustrated.com/story/19261806/wvu-receivers-helping-defensive-backs-prepare-for-big-12

    Soccer(football)

    29 Sky Sports

    Premier predictions

    http://www.skysports.com/tv_show/story/0,,12383_7979752,00.html

    30 Daily Telegraph

    Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas steps up interest in Yann M’Vila with reported £12m bid

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/tottenham-hotspur/9473785/Tottenham-manager-Andre-Villas-Boas-steps-up-interest-in-Yann-MVila-with-reported-12m-bid.html

    31 World Soccer Daily

    Eduard Geyer: miracle man of FC Energie Cottbus

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/blogs/336702

  7. JAL says:

    Rainy Night in Georgia, Brook Benton, 1970. This was the last of Benton’s 7 top ten hits from 1959 to 1970.

  8. Drew71 says:

    I thought you were gonna go with Eminem’s
    Till I Collapse

  9. Jandy says:

    DK wrote: “But I want to take a moment here to thank everyone who wrote — here or emails or Twitter or Facebook or Sulia — with kind words about the Olympics coverage. My favorite aspect of it is hearing from women, particularly those who open their emails by prefacing that they normally don’t read the sports section.”

    But, but, I read the sports section FIRST! (I told you guys, I’m NOT typical).

    But seriously, DK, great job. The Trib is truly blessed to have you on board, and we, your lunatics, are blessed to be able to come here every day. A heartfelt thank you.

  10. Jandy says:

    LOL Drew is on it already this morning, keep up the good work, Drew!

  11. MrB says:

    Believe me, one of the positives about you being away at the olympics was your being away from the Penn State scandal.

    Nice link you posted…looks like a real credible gossip rag. Guess Brit media really rubbed off on you.

    Get right back up on your horse’s arse….

    DK: Always nice to hear from you, Mr. B.

  12. Jandy says:

    Aha! DK is back and we have a drive by from MrB!

  13. JAL says:

    Poor Drew just doesn’t understand themes :)

  14. pants-n-at says:

    @ JAL. Love that song!

    @ DK. Thank you for your olympic coverage. Did you get a chance to take in any women’s boxing? Claressa Shields from Flint, MI was a compelling story (as were other women boxers) and she absolutely crushed her Russian opponent for the Gold. I believe the success of our female atheletes was one of the biggest stories of this olympics.

  15. The Gunner says:

    Kevin Correia, one of our beleaguered pitchers, has got to be the stopper tonight and his teammates better step up and score a ton of runs. We all know it won’t be pretty with KC going but, Cutch and Pedro both have to get out of their funks and spark the Bucs tonight. KC will last 6 innings, hopefully and then, CH needs to use the best pitchers he has in the bullpen to close it out. We don’t want to see imposters like Watson and that old guy AJS hates, Juan Crud, whoops, Cruz. I wonder how old Crud/Cruz really is, gotta be over 40.

    I have been saying all along that the Bucs needed to add more pitching (in addition to Wandy) at the deadline since it is pretty evident most of our staff is running out of gas. That train has pretty much left the station so I suspect the Indianapolis to Pittsburgh shuttle will be quite busy over the next few days.

  16. Arriba Wilver says:

    2 points about being at last night’s game:

    I did NOT do the wave (maybe I should have).

    I jaywalked 10 times, even though I parked 2 blocks from the Park, just because . . .

    Oh, and a very, very cool baseball atmosphere at the Park. People were into the game. I was sitting around a lot of baseball fans, and the PNC Park people do a nice job of pushing the right buttons at the right time. (although I could be influenced by the fact I won $3 on the pierogie race.)

  17. Jandy says:

    AW, glad you had a good time. 10 jaywalks? I wonder how much that is in tickets???

  18. Milo Hamilton says:

    I forgot to mention this yesterday. Jack Nicklaus had a great year.

  19. TJA says:

    Great to see you got back safe and sound, Dejan. Thanks again for all of your work. I mentioned somewhere along the way that my wife, who is not a big Olympics fan, enjoyed your articles and insights. Thanks again.

  20. Nancy52 says:

    Jandy, you’re not the only woman who reads the sports section first.
    Goes back to my days as a 2nd grader reading the box scores. No,
    not typical.

    DK, great coverage!!! Enjoyed it all.

    DK: Thank you, Nancy!

  21. Jandy says:

    Nancy~sistah, you rock! I hate being labeled “typical”.

  22. JMB says:

    In the final 54, the Pirates are 2-5.

    18-29 breaks the streak

    26-21 =90-72

  23. I know last night was only one game . . . . . .

    But I was reminded yet again that the Bucs chose to obtain Gabby Sanchez over Shane Victorino. Does Gabby have even a double yet——he sure specializes in DOUBLEplays!

    No matter the outlandish rumors circulated about what the Phillies wanted from Bucs, Dodgers got Victorino for Tony Sanchez [Tony Sanchez is a former Top 75 Prospect and the catcher Phils got has never been in TOP 100 and still isn’t Phils top catcher prospect] and Zach Dodson! That’s what NEGOTIATING is about in the trading process. Apparently there was no need to give up a Marte or Cole or Taillon as threatened/rumored.

    Gee, wouldn’t Victorino’s performance have looked good in a Pirate uni last night. He won the game! Let me know when Gabby Sanchez or Travis Snider win the Pirates their first game.

    Luckily, even with Victorino’s virtuoso performance, our bullpen kept us in the game last night. We surely had no need for Brad Lincoln! Oh-h-h! Juan Cruz gave up the winning run?!? Oh yeah, I guess we could have used Lincoln.

    But, hey . . . . . . . BMTIB sure set Pirates up to be a POSSIBLE contender in 2013 and 2014 with those Deadline deals!

  24. CWalton_67 says:

    Anyone here still think the Pirates are going to make the playoffs? Or is the revision of the definition of successful season needed again?

    Wonder how much Maalox NH was drinking last night after Victorino torched the Bucs?

    I am of the opinion that breaking the streak is still a successful season, but it will be very disappointing if they don’t make the the playoffs.

    Is anyone tracking the teams who acquired possible impact (Victorino, Pence) players at the deadline? Or the stats of those players in their new colors? I generally don’t pay much attention to statistics, but a comparison (which I don’t have time to do), might be interesting, and telling.

    Dodgers, Giants, Reds, and Cards records vs Pirates since the deadline?

  25. Karen22 says:

    Jolly good show, Dejan! Glad to have you back! Maybe you can induce some of that first half life into the Buccos? I did NOT hyperventilate during last night’s game. I DID, however, go to bed depressed. So many cracks in the armor halfway through August. We need more than one guy a game to step up (Walker the other night, Jones last night, etc.) if we’re going to stay in this thing. Consistency is nowhere to be found (pretty bad when Cutch can’t find his mojo…and Petey is now a singles hitter at best…UGH!…a .190 starter at this point in the season with a .280 hitter still on the bench three games out of five? Can’t even talk about the pitching…UGH squared)! We have to turn this fog around in a hurry (just look at this week’s schedule) or things could get very ugly very quickly. I woke up depressed, too. Waaaaaaaaaa!

    Oh, I’m glad I’m not one of THOSE women! Can’t dump the DISH because of sports ONLY!

  26. Bizrow says:

    I think we might be looking at a 4-7 homestand

    It is not over yet though. Still miles to go.

  27. Jandy says:

    That’s right, Biz. It isn’t over already. I’m still optimistic the boys will find their groove again.

  28. NMR says:

    Gabby Sanchez plays outfield?

  29. RELENTLESS_FORECHECK says:

    I was at the game last night. Great night for baseball.

    I can’t help but echo the prevailing sentiment here: the Pirates would be an entirely different club with one more difference-maker at the plate. Victorino would have fit the bill nicely. The Pirates front office needs to lose this “Annie” syndrome of always looking for the sun to come out tomorrow. Sometimes, you have to make the move that helps your team today.

    Jones had an exceptional game. From his timely productivity at the plate, to a few gems made in right field (not often you see a double play made from RF… especially from the wall), he was clearly a stand-out.

  30. Kevin says:

    Dejan,

    Welcome back to where the food is good. Reading this sickening RadarOnline report and the constant bitching and complaining from PSU trustees and boosters leaves me with one conclusion: the NCAA MUST rescind its punishment. And replace it with an absolute death penalty. For a four years, maybe more. If this report is true, then this definitely rises to the level of loss of institutional control.

    As an alumnus of another Big Ten school, that sucks at football but doesn’t suck at morals, I want Penn State out now.

    Give the Trustees and blind PSU fanboys what they want, rescind the current sanctions and replace them with penalties that are appropriate for the crimes — an indefinite death penalty.

    DK: Thanks for the welcome, Kevin.

    With all respect to the seriousness of the Penn State situation, I’d need a TON more information about what’s suggested in that Radar report before having any reaction to it besides cringing.

  31. The Gunner says:

    @ NMR – 28

    Don’t understand where you are coming from with the question about Gabby in the OF – looks like the answer is no. I checked out Baseball Reference.com and Gabby has played only 1B in the majors however, in the minors, he has played 310 games @ 1B, 148 @ 3B, and 24 @ C.

    Gabby sure had a bad night last night. Still a decent acquisition considering what NH gave up for him.

  32. National Mart of Records,

    No. Gabby Sanchez plays 1st Base, sliding Garrett Jones to outfield, last night even benching Travis Snider against a right-handed starter.

    Victorino would play left field in cavernous PNC, sliding Starling Marte to his more natural position with that wondrous arm right field. Victorino would be that Leadoff hitter Bucs still lack, allowing Marte to bat #5 or #2.

    I prefer to be “All In” in 2012 versus praying that Cole and Taillon don’t have Tommy John, ruining the future we’re all hoping for. “All In” in 2012, especially when the Dodgers proved that Marte or Cole or Taillon or Bell did not have to be given up!

    Acting blonde doesn’t become you, NMR!

  33. Jandy says:

    “Acting blonde doesn’t become you, NMR!”

    YIKES!

  34. Bizrow says:

    I read Snider didn’t start due to a slight hamstring pull, he was supposedly available for a late inning replacement or pinch hitter.

    I think we did give up a lot for Gaby, that compensatory pick, no 33-34 in the draft plus 1.5 million in spending money.

    We’ll see if Gaby can revert to his former self, if he does, good trade, if he doesn’t, not very good

  35. NMR says:

    @Gunner

    My comment was in response to Groat claiming that the Pirates chose Gabby over Victorino. Not sure how that even comes close to being a comparison.

    Just to refresh everyone who forgot everything from the last three weeks after one night…

    Shane Victorino .277/.333/.426
    Travis Snider .324/.366/.432

    Victorino had his best game since the deadline, perhaps all season. How typically Pirate, right?

    @CWalton

    Hunter Pence has the lowest BA in the majors since the trade deadline, for what its worth.

  36. Scott says:

    Gaby Sanchez is proving to be much worse than Casey McGehee. I’ll take Casey’s .230 bat and occasional pop any day over what Sanchez brings to the table right now. Maybe Sanchez can get his All-Star form back next year, but in terms of 2012, those two trades clearly did not make the Pirates a better team.

  37. NMR says:

    @Groat

    And if humans didn’t polute the air and global warming didn’t cause there to be no snow at Seven Springs last year, maybe Bob Nutting would have had enough money to go out and sign Jimmy Rollins instead of Clint Barmes whose money could’ve been used to sign Josh Willingham thus not needing to trade for Shane Victorino in the first place!!

    I can play that game too!

  38. Leefoo says:

    G2M2S….I wanted no part of Sanchez…..220 hitter since the All Star break last year and his power fell off drastically!

    Yes, I wanted Shane, but…..water under the Arriba bridge now.
    ==========

    Kinda ironic that, 2 guys who we were talking about trading for, Headley and Shane are beating us.
    ===========
    Btw, guys, got a note via email from that ‘other’ blog, that our pitching problem is the longball. Everything else has stayed the same.

    For August, we are 5-7 with a 4.58 ERA as a pitching staff.

    However, in 106.0 inning we have a 27: 92 BB:K ratio, a .238 Batting Average Against and a 1.18 WHIP. What’s up? Try 18 HR given up, tied for 2nd in the MLB.

    =======

    Jandy….didn’t buy jewels, but I did buy some filet mignons and grilled them last night. I managed to avoid the couch……We’re going to get our rings ‘cleaned’ today at the mall. For a half an hour, I’ll be a bachelor again. I won’t know how to act, but I SHOULD be allowed to look at the girls there, doncha think? Too soon?

    =========
    Dejan….IMHO…….the Steelers BEST off-season signing was Starks. I just hope he is back in time to start at LT!

    Multi-faceted Foo

    ..

  39. Arriba Wilver says:

    Biz–yeah, Snider tweaked it a couple games ago. He did pinch hit late in the game for Gaby and Jones shifted to 1st, with Snider going to right.

  40. pghboyinca says:

    Sorry to beat a dead horse but his grand slam Sunday does not erase what an absolute bust Barmes has been. Between he and Barajas the Pirates would be in front by 3 games if they had adequate players in those two positions this year.Deadline deals were more like dead end deals, a complete joke if you are seriously thinking of making a run.Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that the 3 guys with any chance of being part of the long term solution as position players all preceeded Huntington? At what point does this bozo have to demonstratehe can recognize a major league hitter? Jones is a decnet piece but after 4 years of drafting and , free agnet pick ups, and and a flurry of trades that is hard to fathom.I see this team finishing 3-5 games over and being out of the wild card chase by Sept 10th.

  41. Jandy says:

    WanderingEyeFoo, nuttin wrong with lookin at eye candy. I always tell hubby that. Heck, I even point out pretty girls to him.

    I totally agree with the Max Starks comment of yours, Foo. Gotta love Max.

  42. 21sthebest says:

    We gave up $1.5M in cash in the Sanchez deal?

  43. Just so it doesn’t look like I’m taking easy potshots at BMTIB——I really like the Wandy Rodriquiez trade. And Wandy has yet to justify the confidence Pirates are placing in him.

    Wins are the only statistic that matters . . . . . Victorino won the game last night.

    Doesn’t Pence have more RBIs than Snider and Gabby combined?

    Let me know when Gabby or Snider {TWO guys——double the chances} win their first game for the Pirates. Buccos sure could have used Brad Lincoln last night!

  44. Leefoo says:

    From Bob Smizik and I agree wholeheartedly!

    “The Pirates and Dodgers played a critical pennant-race game at PNC Park last night. The eyes of the fan base were riveted to the TV coverage and Pirates management and Root Sports shamelessly turned the game into a telethon for Pirates Charities. Pirates Charities does great work but raising money for it should not supersede the baseball game. Try to imagine the Penguins or the Steelers doing something like that.”

    Charitable Foo

    .

  45. 21sthebest says:

    I’m not optimistic that Gaby can get back to where he was in 2010 and 2011 but I don’t know how you can turn down that deal.

  46. Jandy says:

    G2M2S, I have to protest you lumping Snider in a double nit pick comment. Snider has been very good defensively and offensively as well. Anyone complaining about what he has done since becoming a Pirate should be taken to task!

  47. Sorry! And, one more thing . . . .

    I said on August 1 that I loved the pick-ups of Travis Snider and Gabby Sanchez . . . . . . as off-season deals. They were NOT Deadline deals to make 2012 Pirates better.

    I would still prefer Shane Victorino in Left and Leading Off (his “cost” was something we easily could have afforded: Tony Sanchez and Dodson), with Starling Marte in Right batting #5 and Casey McGeheeheehee as a bench piece. And, Brad Lincoln adding strength to our weakening bullpen.

  48. NMR says:

    BUT HE HAZENT ONE A GAIM!

  49. 21sthebest says:

    Foo,

    The Pirates have 155 games or so on TV and the Steelers have 16 and the Penguins 80. I don’t see anything shameless about what they did for charity during just 1 of those 155 games. Although it was a little annoying to me, I dealt with it.

    And by the way, the Penguins do the same thing.

    http://penguins.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=612330

  50. Leefoo says:

    Ike Taylor and Mike Wallace are best buddies according to John Harris’ story today. Ya think that might be the reason for Ike and Tonio’s dustups??

    I do.

    …..

  51. Bizrow says:

    Thanks AW, I missed Snider going in, the lady was over and well, I wimpily check into the game during commercials….

    Agree with Foo, that charity thing was awfully annoying, it basically was the show, or it seemed every commercial they were on the bid boards…. (now I admit I am a wimp with the TV, but I did spend sometime in the bedroom checking the game out, just didn’t get to watch the game wire to wire)

    Tonight I am batching it, so……

  52. Arriba Wilver says:

    Interesting, Foo.

  53. Bizrow says:

    Well to clarify, I agree with Foo, if he said what I think he said ;-)

  54. Jandy says:

    Foo, I think you’re onto something…

  55. JandyGirl,

    I know Travis Snider is pretty, but that 3-run homer in the 7-1 lead lost game has been his only hit of significance. His outfield play, both chasing and throwing, has thus far made Garrett Jones look like a good defensive outfielder.

    He’s is a VERY good project (I hate to use the word “prospect”) for the future. Will he be good? I hope. However, for 2012, are Pirates better with Jones or Snider in Right?

  56. Leefoo says:

    G2M2S…Had JMac pitched decently on Friday, I suspect that we’d be talking about Snider’s 3 run blast winning that game!

    JMHO

    =================

    21s…I don’t watch hockey. It’s like soccer on skates to me. But I muted the sound button last night. Altho, I must admit that Pedro has a pretty wife! He knows how to hit HRs OFF the field as well.

    Besides, I’m not poor, but there’s NO way I was spending that kind of stupid money for that stuff. IF I’m spending $1,000, it’s gonna be for a new water heater (plus installation…I ‘m as handy with tools as Barmes is with the bat!)

    ==========
    21s…..”I’m not optimistic that Gaby can get back to where he was in 2010 and 2011 ”
    Neither am I and that’s why I thought that giving up that compensation pick was WAY too much. Gorkys………ehh…never was a fan.

    ======
    Jandy…it’s NO fun if YOU point out the pretty girls. Plus, when I stare, I just say that I was trying to figure out what that tattoo on her leg says or what her shirt says. Do you think she’s buying that?

    Compensated Foo

    .

  57. Damon says:

    Dejan,
    It seems the Pens are out of the running for Doan, and the chances of them getting Ryan seem slim (the Ducks want a center). Should they just see if Beau Bennett and Eric Tangradi can play on Sid’s line when camp starts? If one can’t hack it, plug Dupuis back in. If both can’t, then Shero needs to make a move because there are no other realistic options in the system. If this is the case, I would give Edmonton a call – they have a glut of young top-6 type forwards (Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins, Gagner, Hall, Smyth (not young but…), Hemsky and Yakupov). Should they make a push for Taylor Hall or Sam Gagner? Gagner would be cheaper, but maybe give up a Morrow, and NHL ready player or two (Kennedy, Martin, Lovejoy, Strait, Vitale, Tangradi), and a draft pick to get Hall? Large price to pay, but Hall is only 20.

    Damon

  58. Jandy says:

    Foo, you’re killing me, man! lol (And no, I don’t think she’s buying that!)

    G2M2S, no where did I say Travis is pretty in my comment. I did say, however, that his play has been very good, and it has. He’s hitting the ball. Now I agree Gabby isn’t. You have no argument from me on that one.

    Had Victorino not had a good game last night, the Pirates might well have had the W. Hnidsight is always better than foresight.

  59. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I dangerously agree with Groat about Gaby. He would be a good off-season pickup. But now, in the middle of a playoff chase, he needs to find the pine. Next season they can work on him if they want to, but it’s not the right time for a “Brandon Wood” type reclamation project. Just as it isn’t a good time to build JMac’s confidence. We need hits. We need pitchers that can hold a lead and get outs. We need wins this season. Next season will be what it is.

  60. Jandy says:

    Woah, Lucky is living dangerously ;)

  61. NMR says:

    Reading JAL’s link #14 above, would anyone really be surprised to see the Cardinals make the playoffs?

    Lot of good teams to squeeze into those two wild cards.

  62. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Always, Jandy, Always. (You drive in KY, you live dangerously).

  63. RELENTLESS_FORECHECK says:

    @Damon

    Doan was always a long-shot. Ryan even more so. From what I’ve seen from Bennett out of prospect camp and what I know of Tangradi, neither are a legitimate option for Sid’s wing. If one thing is a lock, it’s almost certain that Dupuis will be taking flank alongside Crosby. Anyone else in the system is going to be a stop-gap.

    The best option for the Pens right now is to hope a healthy Tyler Kennedy can regain his form from two seasons ago and find some production alongside Crosby and Dupuis.

    As for trade, I think Shero would be wise to hold his assets and see how much the defense struggles without Michalek in the lineup. Shero was not happy with the way the Flyers were able to exploit the Pens defensive shortcomings, and losing a 20+ minute defensive-defenseman doesn’t make that core group better. Someone is going to have to step up pretty big to pair with Letang (Martin? Niskanen? Despres?). If not, Shero may need to use some of his assets to make a trade for a top-four defenseman and not a top-line winger. (Side note: Rumor has it that Jay Bouwmeester is on the market. He’d be a great option at the right price.)

    Bottom line, it would be nice to have a top-tier winger for Sid, but the Pens have not had a problem producing offense last season. Defense is the much bigger concern at this stage.

  64. JMB says:

    Comparing 2011 & 2012 in the final 54. Games 109-115.

    2011 1-6 RS 21 RA 49

    2012 2-5 RS 37 RA 46

    The offense is definitely doing better than last year by a massive margin, but the pitching is letting the team down — big time!

  65. JMB says:

    The Pirates won game 116 last yr versus SF 9-2.

    If the team loses tonight, they will be on the same W-L pace as 2011 in the final 54, albeit with a considerably better offense.

  66. The Gunner says:

    @ Lucky – 59

    I agree 100% especially on the pitching part. Good pitching dominates and you can never have enough. It is a huge area of concern with the Bucs as we move forward.

    And, with the way JMac is pitching, as awful as it is to say, you might as well chock up a loss on Friday. We need pitching help………………REAL BAD!!!

  67. pants-n-at says:

    @ JMB…interesting. IMO our SPs haven’t been overworked compared to some teams yet they are wilting as of late. I’m hoping AJs last start was just a fluke. JMac needs to get that killer instinct back and start pounding the strike zone.

    Frustrating!

  68. Baywatch says:

    Jandy … Love the “drive by from Mr. B.” Classic.

  69. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Gunner,

    Two words I never thought I’d hear myself say in regards to pitching. Chris Leroux. He’s thrown 2 straight games of 7-innings of shutout ball with low BB’s and a few K’s. They may be waiting until Sept., as he’s not on the 40-man currently. Nobody to throw off there right now, either.

  70. Damon says:

    @RELENTLESS_FORECHECK

    I hear what you are saying, but they did lose a lot of offense when Staal left. Staal leaving will impact Cooke and Kennedy’s stats as well. I don’t think Kennedy is a good fit with Sid or Geno as he was with Staal when he got his 20 goals. He isn’t a playmaker, doesn’t really one-time any shots off the pass – he mostly gets the puck off the boards, curls and shoots. He can do that on any line, and you want Sid to possess the puck and not Kennedy. Cooke had some chemistry with Sid for the short time he played with him, but I don’t think that is a legitimate option either. Sid could do for a new winger what Geno did for Neal. As for the D, I think Niskanen can eat up minutes as a top-4 D, and it seems Despres looks ready to get regular season experience so when playoff time comes around he will be solid. If what the Pens are saying about Martin turning things around and being the d-man he was supposed to, having Letang, Niskanen, Orpik, Martin, Engalland and Despres is a pretty solid group. I wouldn’t mind getting Jay Bouwmeester at the right price, but I would make that move along with getting a top-6 wing.

    DK: It’s funny, guys, how even considering major moves in this labor atmosphere seems crazy. Can’t get over the NHL owners’ blatant stupidity in the initial offer. Probably going to write about it for Friday column.

    I mean, what were they thinking?

  71. Jag7 says:

    When you have to pinch hit Barajas in the 9th b/c you’re carrying 22 pitchers on the roster, and 19 of them aren’t pitching well right now, that’s a problem. Why don’t we hear about other team’s pitchers ‘getting tired’? The PIrates seem to have a self-fulfulling prophecy regarding their pitching staff: they’re all going to ‘get tired’ around August so we better do something to help them out. I doubt AJ, Wandy, KC and Bedard are tired, they’re all veterans. Just let them pitch on their normal rotation and stop overthinking it, just b/c Huntington’s little brain is tired by Aug. doesn’t mean his pitchers are too.
    Also, yet another example of Jones’ horrible baserunning: no reason for him not to tag up and go to 3rd on Walker’s deep fly to LF after Jones’ double to the gap. If the Fort doesn’t get a 2 out single, Jones idiodic baserunning would’ve cost them yet another run. Just stunning how bad and stupid his baserunning is.

  72. NMR says:

    I’ll have your back on comment in #58, Ms. Jandy. Groat’s on a roll today. No stopping him.

  73. Jandy says:

    Jag7, I’m glad you brought up GI’s baserunning. G2M2S overlooked that also, right Groat? lol (had to)

    Relentless & Damon ~ Nice to see some hockey talk in here, guys! I think either Niskanen or Depres should be fine with Tanger. Give Nisky the chance first. I like TK, but not on Sid’s line. I’d much rather put Cookie there. But yeah, Sid definitely needs some help.

    Baywatch ~ glad the drive by made you smile :)

  74. Jandy says:

    NMR ~ why, thank you friend. I love Groat, but man, he’s gotta let Snider alone ;)

  75. NMR says:

    @Jandy

    I took more offense to him insinuating that you liked Snider because he was “pretty”, but you can and did stick up for yourself admirably.

    This hockey talk has me thinking of snow. Who needs football season when the Pirates and Pens are good? :)

    *ducksforcover*

  76. 21sthebest says:

    If I’m remembering that play correctly, wouldn’t it have been a pretty close play at third had Jones tagged up? I’m really thinking he would have easily been out.

  77. lawnbeaver says:

    I also enjoy receiving complimentary emails from anonymous women.

  78. Milo Hamilton says:

    @Jag7

    Atlanta’s going to a 6 man rotation.

  79. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    1. I can’t remember what year it was, not too long ago, but the Bucs had one of the best offenses in baseball in the first half of the year. I think we had Nady, Bay, Sanchez and a few other guys… but we were consistently losing games where we scored four or more runs. Obvious culprit was the pitching, but then we traded entire starting roster for a AA squad so it didn’t really matter. This stretch is starting to get a little scary…
    2. I don’t know that this year’s MLB trade batch really had the certain pick-me-up player that could single-handedly make a huge difference like a Sabathia, but our acquisitions are certainly not helping much. Pence and Victorino would have been nice (if not entirely appropriate, and NH certainly missed the mark AGAIN), but they probably wouldn’t be winning games for us right now, as our pitching is more what’s losing, at least in my eyes. That said, if we miss the playoffs, NH needs to be held accountable and axed. Just not convinced the guy is an MLB GM. Comp pick for Sanchez? Come on.
    3. @Forecheck- TK had a fluke year 2 years ago and was way overvalued in that season’s FA market. Plus he’s smaller than a collie. NHL is starting to require some size again on top 6. He’s useful, don’t get me wrong, but not regular top 6. Rather take my chances with Bennett or Tanger2. As last couple seasons have shown, Pens need to start taking some chances on younger guys. Agree with you on defense being more of a concern, but not in terms of losing Michalek. Just because a guys plays 20+ min doesn’t mean he’s good. I think that stat get’s overvalued as much as +-. If Shero dropped Martin and Michalek for a Snickers bar, which he should have, our defense would actually be better right now. Both guys are almost always a liability when on the ice.

  80. JaxBuc says:

    @foofoo at #fourfour

    I was watching on MLB.com last night and switched to the Dodgers telecast after enduring a little of the fundraising event that was occaisionally interrupted with a ballgame.

  81. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Tough loss last night boys and girl(s)

    Its been a rough homestand. Not happy with the record thus far.

    True test of playoff type games, without the atmosphere against the Dodgers.

    Let’s rebound, hope for a split, welcome a series win.

    Nice to see Jones come alive last night……..funny, some wanted him on the bench. Can’t do that with the way he’s been hitting, he’s found……..shall I say…….consistancy.

    At least at the plate.

  82. Jag7 says:

    @21, it wouldve been a close play if Barajas was the runner. Jones is in easy with Victorino’s arm.
    @ Milo, thanks for that info, I didn’t know. I think my issue is that ‘back in the day ‘pitchers could actually pitch thru 8 innings and did it all year (that’s when a pitcher’s win/loss record was an accurate reflection of how good that pitcher was, unlike today where it’s the most useless stat in sports). How are these guys tired when CH took them out after 6 innings (except for AJ) all year? It’s the whole culture of baseball where it seems all pitchers are treated like fragile china dolls.

  83. Jandy says:

    Ryan, I don’t think GI should ever be on the bench. I would like for him to learn to run bases, tho…and thanks for including us ladies in your salutation. =)

    NMR, I have stated that I think Snider is eye candy. Nuttin wrong with that. But even my friend Groat has to admit, Snider is playing just fine. But hey, thanks for the support! And I am sooooo dying for the drop of the puck!

    lawnbeaver, well, if you post your e-mail address, who knows what might happen??

  84. Jandy says:

    Speaking of pitchers…and being tired…anyone remember Nellie Briles (ol’ belly flopper). These guys should learn to pitch till they drop….literally!

  85. 21sthebest says:

    Are you talking about Snyder’s flyball to Victorino with Jones on 2nd for the second out of the 8th inning? Walker batted second yesterday.

  86. Arriba Wilver says:

    21—the guys I was with all agreed with the view that Jones blew that play, and was bailed out by getting hit in anyway. The ball was very deep, whether caught or not, and he stood between second and third. If the ball wouldn’t have been caught, he most likely could have scored from second if he had been standing on second. Instead, he was between second and third when the ball was caught, so had to run back to second to tag up, and still took a couple of steps toward third. I don’t think even a perfect throw would have gotten him if he was waiting at second. I was 10 or 15 rows up from the Dodgers’ dugout, and we were looking directly across the field at Jones, but it also made that ball look Very deep.

  87. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t know if I’m thinking of a different situation but as I recall, there was no chance that the ball that Snider could have fallen in for a hit. Seemed like a pretty routine flyball although well hit. But even so, down by 2 runs and now with 2 outs, doesn’t really bother me if Jones didn’t take the extra base there. I didn’t think the ball was very deep.

  88. Damon says:

    @DK

    I whole-heartedly agree about the NHL Owners (see 70). If that wasn’t a total slap in the face to start off negotiations I don’t know what would be. Maybe they thought “that’s what the NFL Owners did to start things off”, but I don’t think this is the same situation. The NHL is barely starting to gain footing again (although the clutching and grabbing is starting again killing some of the excitment of the sport) so it is in their best interests to get something done ASAP. Then again the upper levels of the NHL haven’t always been the brightest as far as advancing the game.

  89. Arriba Wilver says:

    Same play, 21, just different views. Obviously, he ended up scoring. If he had been on third he probably would have scored on Pedro’s weak grounder to first. If it was a routine fly ball that there was no chance would fall in, what would Jones’ purpose be to standing between 2nd and 3rd? Where’s the upside?

  90. Damon says:

    @Jandy

    I know….that kind of thinking would put the NHL right back to where it started before losing a season. Teams like the Rangers, Toronto and Philly would go right back to trying to buy championships with their larger revenue streams, and teams like Winnipeg, Phoenix, Calgary would go back to where the Pens were – trading their best players for Kris Beech, Michal Sivek, Ross Lupaschuk and hoping something pans out. You think $98 million over 13 years for Ryan Suter was crazy…..

  91. Jandy says:

    Damon, I know! I’m sayin…if this crap goes thru and there isn’t parity anymore, I’m going to stop watching hockey. And I won’t buy anything hockey related. Greed…sheesh!

  92. DemonDachshund says:

    Look, I’m as hard on NH as anyone, and I’m not at all convinced he can ultimately take the Bucs to October baseball, but..

    Even with a collapse, you’re likely looking at a 8-10 game improvement over last year. You can’t fire a guy over that, especially given where the team has been in recent years. This ain’t the Yankees we’re discussing. Missing the playoffs does not equal failure.

    Neal has earned at least one more year, and I’d honestly be shocked if he doesn’t get into at least the middle of year 3… And that would require regression next year and a very bad first half in 2014.

  93. Macchamp74 says:

    I see a long Hockey lock out coming. Donald Fehr will fight for every penny and owners will fight to keep said penny.

  94. Boise Bucco says:

    It’s almost as if the Bucs said, “Ok, what can we do…let’s get Juan Cruz back up here and send Jared Hughes down! Everybody will hate that! DK’s on a 12 hour flight so we can totally get away with it! Bahahahahaha” That was Jared Hughes’ inning, if he wasn’t in Triple-A.

    And now they have Juan Cruz, who should only be pitching with a 7 run lead, to go with LOOGY Watson, who did his best to get out of a terrible spot last night but let’s face it, he’s not an 8th inning guy.

    That said, I am 100% positive that if the Bucs were winning, none of us would be complaining about how the pitching staff is built. But seriously, 13 pitchers, 7 of which are starters? The Colorado Rockies think that’s too many pitchers.

  95. Damon says:

    I guess the only thing to hope for is that if the owners agree to a luxury tax, the tax would be so harsh that teams would avoid going over too far. Maybe instead of just severe cash penalties, have them forefit picks varying to how far over the cap they go. Then the lower teams would get the cash and picks. Or something. I just remember before losing that 04-05 season when the Rangers signed Holik to $45 million over 5 years thinking this can’t be right…Bobby freakin Holik @ 9 mil a year. I don’t want to go back to that.

  96. Jandy says:

    Boise, I’ll take Hughes over Cruz anyday. Heck, even over Watson. Even with that said, Watson looked much better his previous outing or two. Last night things just didn’t go our way.

  97. RELENTLESS_FORECHECK says:

    @Damon

    You’re right, of course, about TK’s style of play and his shortcomings. It’s far from an ideal fit, but if TK can work on his play without the puck and off the rush he might show some modest success with Crosby and Dupuis. Right now, I think he’s the best in-house option.

    I don’t think Staal’s loss is going to have as much impact offensively as you think. With Malkin’s line returning along with a healthy Crosby, I think the Pens offense is going to be just fine over the course of a single game. Adding a winger with some finish is more important in the playoffs, but I have no doubts Shero will find one to add at that time (still like Iginla).

    Defense still is a big concern, and not just from a personnel perspective. None of the options to pair with Letang have proven they can be a top-pairing defenseman at the NHL level. In Bylsma’s system, pairing with Letang is not an easy task. Of all the defensemen the Pens have, I think Despres might be the best fit for that role.

    @DK

    Regarding the CBA, the NHLPA had more than ample time to review the league’s proposal and generate a counter-proposal. Instead, Fehr and the NHLPA chose to effectively “ignore” the initial proposal and offer their own viewpoint. With scarcely one month until the CBA expires, acknowledging that there is nothing in the initial proposal that can be used as a basis for agreement signals just how far apart both sides still are.

    Fehr may be trying to take a hard-line approach, but the NHLPA is not the MLBPA: the NHL has no reservations about a work-stoppage. It appears that is certainly where this is headed…

  98. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Jandy

    #97

    Perspective, you got it!

    Best hitters fail 7/10 times, good teams win 6/10.

    Can’t win em all, but it sure would be fun

  99. Jandy says:

    Ryan, thanks, friend. I don’t like to be doom and gloom. I don’t believe A Collapse is imminent. lol
    It would be nice tho, if some our hitters could get hot at the same time. Right???!!!!

  100. Jandy says:

    Lucky, my friend, you warned me a looooong time ago to RUN! Too late, tho, I’m sucked into this baseball thing :)

  101. Damon says:

    @RELENTLESS_FORECHECK

    As you mentioned before adding Jay Bouwmeester could be the answer to the Letang-partner problem. Wouldn’t be able know until after you made that deal though. Despres could be the answer, but maybe give Martin another chance. If they define his role to playing a sound defensive game and let Letang go, he may wind up playing like he did in NJ. I just think having those line mates for Sid is a waste of possible production. I also still think Sam Gagner could be gotten for peanuts, and he would be much better than TK/Tangradi/Bennett.

  102. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    A lot of this is about the pitching, IMO.

    Walker goes 5-5 Sunday, Jones 4-4. These guys are hot.

    Course, NH goes 0-5 last night.

    People want to criticize Cutch for what he’s done lately, but they obviously don’t realize that the opponents pitching aren’t giving him anything to hit.

    We screamed and yelled (thankfully) in the beginning about why the other pitchers are pitching to him, now they aren’t, this is the result.

    The pitching needs to step it up.

  103. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    NH=NW

  104. NMR says:

    @Ryan

    Have you honestly seen a change in the way pitchers are throwing to Cutch?

    I haven’t.

    What I have seen is a hitter who is pulling the ball a lot more than he was in the first half of the season. That’ll turn any pitcher into Greg Maddux.

  105. Jandy says:

    @Damon & Relentless ~ I wouldn’t mind Sam Gagner myself. I’m betting tho, that IF there is a season, Shero/Bylsma/company see what happens in training camp. They’ll give Bennett/TK/Tangradi auditions to see if anyone clicks.

    NMR, honestly, I do see a difference in what Cutch is getting. But my eye isn’t the best trained eye. Maybe he just hit a cool patch. Let’s see what the next few games bring.

  106. Chuck H says:

    Up to now, Wandy Rodriguiz has not helped the Pirates at all. Gaby Sanchez has been a complete bust. He is not only an automatic out, but is very good at making two outs with one swing. Pressley was one who should still be with the team. He is more valuable to the team than Gaby or Wandy.

  107. JAL says:

    NMR

    Actually they are pitching him different, many more balls away and he tries to pull them too much which leads to easy grounders. Less inside pitches.

  108. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @NMR

    Honestly, yes I have…..

    Very rarely gets a strike……has made them pay when they do leave something over the plate.

  109. RobertoForever says:

    Hughes got sent down because he has options AND he has been terrible the last two weeks.

    Last 14 days – 5 G, 6.1 IP, 8.53 ERA, 6 ER, 2 HR, 2 BB, 4 K’s.

  110. NMR says:

    Ah, that I will agree with, JAL.

    Maybe percentage-wise, more pitches are targetting the outer half, but its not like pitchers were not focussed there in the first half to begin with.

    I see Cutch pulling off those pitches now instead of driving them. When he was driving them, pitchers had to come back inside to keep him off balance. At which point he usually hit those, too.

    If pitchers weren’t having success pitching him outside, they wouldn’t be pitching there. McCutchen was hitting those pitches in the first half more than he is now. No reason for pitchers NOT to go there.

  111. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @NMR

    Pitchers best weapon is down and away…….

    He could be pressing a bit, trying to do too much and rolling over on those outside pitches, but yes, they have changed their approach to him…….who the hell wouldn’t!!

  112. Jandy says:

    RF, yes, but Hughes was the only one to give CIncy attitude when they were taking advantage of Cutch and JHay…I gotta give him credit for that. ;)

  113. NMR says:

    @Ryan

    If he’s very rarely getting strikes, then he’s doing a lot of chasing. HIs walk rates are almost uniform with the rest of the season.

  114. Jandy says:

    game post is up….line-up is interesting, as RF notes in the comments.

  115. Jandy says:

    OO0< OO0< OO0< OO0< OO0< OO0< OO0< OO0< OO0<

  116. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    @Demondachsund- I agree we aren’t the Yankees. But we are still a professional team. And when you have a chance to make the playoffs and your acquisitions are an underachieving 1B, a washed up reliever, an unproven OF and a middle of the road SP, winning isn’t your FO’s primary objective. I know we don’t have the budget of most teams, but the Bucs haven’t been losing money, either. We’ve got 3 really good pitching prospects, we could have parted with one for big-impact player. Maybe someone should tell NH THAT would be “interesting”. Sorry, after 200 years of losing, I as a fan am tired of the “Well, it was better than last year” mentality. If all we are striving for is .500, what’s the point? 2 years in a row with a legit shot at the playoffs at the all-star break is a better chance than most teams get. If history shows us anything, it’s that this club can’t get by on the next year will be better approach.

  117. redus says:

    @NMR

    I have certainly seen Cutch getting pitched differently. Ryan is right, last night especially…though, I have also seen Cutch missing pitches that he was not missing a month ago. He will be fine and heat up again for sure.

    The one that MUST heat up soon is Pedro. This guy has to carry the team for a week or so right now while the pitching is in shambles. Who will emerge to stabalize the bullpen? My answer is Grilli is back so that makes for 8 and 9 being covered…If we are wondering how to pitch a 7 inning game (as evidenced by the glut of pitching right now), then Hurdle and Searage are telling anyone with a rubber arm, it’s time to show it off.

  118. Jandy says:

    redus, Grilli did well last night holding things down. He seems to be in good shape.

  119. Damon says:

    Another idea for the luxury tax idea would be to dock teams points in the standings based on how far over the cap they go (along with cash and maybe picks too). For example, if a team goes over the cap by $10 million, say they lose one point per $2 million over for a total of 5 points docked. Or something….. Then again if all the good teams go over it would be wash in the standings…

  120. The Gunner says:

    @ Ryan – 103 / last sentence “The pitching needs to step it up.”

    Thank you for getting on my bandwagon about the pitching – this is the root of the problem with the Buccos right now. Despite the fact that some of their key players are not contributing offensively as of late, they are still scoring runs. But the difference now is the pitchers are blowing too many leads.

    In plain terms, the pitchers appear to be running out of gas. And, the truth is if Victorino was here instead of LA, the results wouldn’t be much different.

    Let’s hope for the best tonight – I think Correia will have a good game.

  121. redus says:

    Was nice to see Gilli use his slider to get a good hitter out. If they see eachother again this series, he won’t be able to load up and sit fastball which has been the problem with the bullpen lately…that and walks

  122. Damon says:

    Good news from ESPN rumor page:

    In contrast with earlier suspicions, the NHL Players’ Association appears willing to work with some form of salary cap after all.

    Following Tuesday’s round of labor negotiations in Toronto, RDS’ Renaud Lavoie revealed the union is willing to compromise with the league on that contentious issue:

    “NHLPA won’t ask the NHL to get rid of the salary cap system. Important step to make sure they’ll be hockey at one point this season …”

    That’s huge.

    As far as the NHL’s overall impression of the NHLPA’s latest CBA-related proposal, there’s the scent of cautious optimism on Bay Street. Via twitter, TSN’s Aaron Ward suggested Commissioner Gary Bettman didn’t seem all that turned off by what the union offered up Tuesday:

    “… Sense is the NHL believes today’s proposal from the NHLPA was better than what was expected … First impression of NHLPA proposal was that it was not a ‘counter attack’ in response to the League’s July 13th proposal … Second impression was that it possessed economic elements that were ‘interesting’ to the League …”

    The league plans to go over the proposal thoroughly before offering a more comprehensive response Wednesday.

  123. RELENTLESS_FORECHECK says:

    @ Damon

    Jay Bouwmeester has proven he can play top-pairing minutes at the NHL level as a shut-down defenseman. As such, he’s an instant upgrade over anyone else in the Penguins lineup or in their system.

    Martin has struggled with Bylsma’s defensive system and I am willing to give him another chance, but I don’t think he’s a good fit alongside Letang. Martin needs a stay-at-home partner rather than another puck-rusher, and he needs some time in a reduced role to gain some confidence and stability back. I think he’d do exceptionally well paired with Orpik on the second unit.

    A healthy Crosby, Dupuis, and a cardboard cutout of Gary Roberts are going to net at least 110 points between them. Again, the Pens led the league in scoring last season… without a healthy Crosby. Shero will add a scoring winger for the stretch drive, but until then the Pens will manage just fine.

    And I don’t consider Sam Gagner an upgrade over TK. A few standout games last season aside, EDM was growing frustrated at Gagner’s inconsistency and lack of production.

    Regarding the proposed “Luxury Tax” for the NHL CBA, I don’t think you can penalize teams financially. The teams that can afford to exceed the cap are the same ones that can afford to pay the fines when they do, so there is no deterrent.

    Now, if you want to deter teams from exceeding the cap, make the penalty draft picks. A graded scale depending on how much you exceed the cap by would force teams to make a difficult decision: are you willing to spend money for a shot at the cup in the near term if it means sacrificing long-term development?

  124. Damon says:

    @RELENTLESS_FORECHECK
    Yes – that was the idea I mentioned above. Teams lose draft picks on a scale for how much the team exceeds the cap. They need to get creative that way because I agree just docking money isn’t enough. I also added possibly docking a team points.

    I have to agree to disagree about Gagner. I see him as a slightly lesser version of James Neal at Dallas – put him in the right situation, he will flourish. He is still young…

    I also agree Martin should get his shot with Letang, but could also be used with Orpik. All in all I think if the team plays Bylsma’s system instead of the run and gun they got into late last year, the D will be fine.

 
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