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Wakeup Call: Cheers, London

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

LONDON — Brief and to the Point …

>> The Monday column is my farewell to this world-class city, country and Olympics. And I have a piece for the news section wrapping up the Games.

Oh, and in that column, the truth about ‘Lisa’ is finally revealed.

>> If you missed the Sunday column, it covered an issue I’ve been thinking about for a long time, that being the need for women athletes to be criticized.

>> If there’s a singular trademark to these Pirates, it’s not consistent offense, it’s no longer consistent pitching or even defense.

It’s resiliency.

Back when they were squeezing out those one-run victories in April, they showed it. Again yesterday, they showed it. That’s why all this collapse talk is so ill-founded (and paranoid). Some facets will dip, but this team is made of much tougher stuff than the Jerry Meals collapse.

If this team has proven anything to this point, it’s that it doesn’t deserve to constantly get linked to the past.

>> I don’t spend a lot of time parsing lineups, but seeing Pedro Alvarez constantly at sixth or seventh strikes me as wrong.

Let’s be real: If this team’s making the playoffs, its best players have to be its best players. That’s the only route. Not hoping for Gaby Sanchez to recover. Certainly not by protecting Pedro. When he’s on, he’s a big-time run producer. He must be that for these Pirates.

Put him back in the heart of the order, and get on with it.

>> I’ll be flying home all day Monday. I formally dub JAL as arbitrator of all debates down in the comments. He can be really mean, so be good.

151 Comments

  1. Uh-oh. DK called some of the lunatics ‘paranoid’

  2. Dejan,

    I just want to congratulate you on an excellent job of covering these Olympics. The bar was set high, and you reached it. I honestly decided to partake in watching some different sports that I would previously have not given a single entertaining thought. London did an absolutely magnificent job in hosting these games, and you captured that well. I hope you enjoyed the closing ceremonies as much as I and many others did, and that you enjoyed the experience as much as you appeared to. Welcome back to Pittsburgh, dude. Now get over to the O and get yourself some hometown comfort food.

    DK: Thanks, Dan.

  3. Murtaugh batted Stargell sixth (behind Sanguillen and in front of J. Pagan) in Game 7 of the 1971 World Series when Stargell slumped in the Series. Agree that Pedro should bat clean-up when he starts his next 10 home runs in 5 games streak. But dude has been stuck on 21 home runs for awhile now.

  4. Dejan:

    Loved reading your Olympic columns everyday. Your thoughts and experiences enriched my viewing of the Olympics. Now rest up . . .

    You’ve earned it!

    DK: Thanks, Pam. No rest just yet. Some stuff on plate back home the next few days!

  5. Dejan. Wonderful string of columns. Seriously. Amazing picture, too. Almost looks like a staged background with the iconic bridge, rings and, um, coffee.

    It was a special 17 days. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    All that said. I see you forgot to pack a comb. (Do you own one?)

    DK: I don’t. Not one.

    And thanks, Drew. Glad you liked the coverage.

  6. Yes he did, Roberto. But let’s look at what he said, Roberto.

    He referred to collapse concerns as being paranoid. Collapse. Collapse.

    Not any comment which disagrees with any point by any knee-jerk positive poster.
    (Do you know any of those?)

  7. JAL mean???? I’m not buying that!

  8. And it ticked me off, Jandy.

    EYE’m mean. Me. Mean. Period.

  9. Dayum, Dejan, read your farewell column, gave me goosebumps and my eyes are rather glassy. Jolly good show, mate!

    DK: Thanks!

  10. You know, Drew, I was actually gonna say to Dejan, “You should have put DREW in charge, cuz he’s REALLY mean!”

    DK, you messed up, buddy…jsut sayin’

  11. Thank you, Jandy. Thank you.

    You are the Evil Queen of Blogland.

    And from me, of course that’s a compliment.

  12. They bat Pedro 6th so they don’t have 2 left handed batters batting back-to-back in case in the 6th or 7th inning the opposing team can’t bring in a LOOGY to face both of them. Apparently to Hurdle it is much more important to build a lineup based on what may happen in one inning instead of what may happen in the other 9.

  13. JAL’s Florida Time 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: Barmes Has Biggest Swing of His Season

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/08/pirates-notebook-barmes-has-biggest-swing-of-his-season.html

    Fresh Starts for Snider, Sanchez, Qualls Can Help Boost Pirates

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/08/fresh-starts-for-snider-sanchez-qualls-can-help-boost-pirates.html

    Indians Slip Past Columbus, Holt And Tabata With 3 Hits Each

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/08/indians-slip-past-columbus-holt-and-tabata-with-3-hits-each.html

    Prospect Watch: Tabata With Three Hits; Holmes Has a Rare Bad Start

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/08/prospect-watch-tabata-with-three-hits-holmes-has-a-rare-bad-start.html

    First Pitch: The Bar Has Been Raised; Is a Winning Season Assumed?

    http://blogs.piratesprospects.com/williams/first-pitch-the-bar-has-been-raised-is-a-winning-season-assumed/

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates 11, Padres 5

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2012/8/12/3238329/pirates-11-padres-5

    Pirates’ Minor League Roundup: Eliecer Navarro Throws a Seven-Inning Shutout; Clay Holmes Is Wild

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2012/8/12/3238615/pirates-minor-league-roundup-eliecer-navarro-throws-a-seven-inning

    6 Rumbunter

    Talking Pittsburgh Pirates: The Neal Huntington Show

    http://rumbunter.com/2012/08/12/talking-pittsburgh-pirates-the-neal-huntington-show/

    7 McEffect

    8/12 Recap | Pirates 11 Padres 5

    http://www.mceffect.com/2012/08/812-recap-pirates-11-padres-5.html

    8 The Green Weenie

    Bucs Roast Friars 11-5

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2012/08/bucs-roast-friars-11-5.html

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Big blast stops the bleeding

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2012/08/big-blast-stops-the-bleeding/

    10 WHY GAVS

    Game 114: Pirates 11 Padres 5

    http://whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/august-2012/game-114-pirates-11-padres-5.html

  14. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 CBS Sports

    Pirates-Dodgers Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20120813_LAD@PIT/dodgerspirates-preview

    12 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Bernie: Men of mystery keep us guessing

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/bernie-miklasz/bernie-men-of-mystery-keep-us-guessing/article_b13e46f8-2fdb-5efb-a060-d5d91ce60bc3.html

    13 Chicago Tribune

    Pirates Report

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/sns-rt-bbo-pirates-teamreportmtze88aifw0f6-20120810,0,2332820.story

    14 Beaver County Times

    Stats Corner: Walker second to none

    http://www.timesonline.com/sports/pirates/stats-corner-walker-second-to-none/article_083772bd-e368-59a2-9fb3-289101a6e862.html

    15 Altoona Mirror

    Curve sweep Trenton

    http://www.altoonamirror.com/page/content.detail/id/563362/Curve-sweep-Trenton.html?nav=751

    16 San Diego Union Tribune

    Pirates pummel Padres

    http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/aug/12/pirates-pummel-padres/

    17 Fox Sports

    Pirates 11, Padres 5

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/Pirates-11-Padres-5-07456978

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    18 PBC Site

    Barmes’ slam keys nine-run fourth, big Bucs win

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2012_08_12_sdnmlb_pitmlb_1&mode=recap&c_id=pit

    Notebook: Constructing bullpen always challenge for Hurdle

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120812&content_id=36556212&notebook_id=36558212&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    What You Need to Know

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17989

    20 Sweetspot

    Ten important things to know on Aug. 13

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/27919/ten-important-things-to-know-on-august-13

  15. Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers vs Eagles: An Eyewitness Account to the Steelers’ Opening Preseason Game

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/8/12/3233471/steelers-vs-eagles-an-eyewitness-account

    Steelers—Eagles: Three Players Of Note in the First Preseason Game

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/8/11/3235278/steelerseagles-three-players-of-note-in-the-first-preseason-game

    22 Steelers Depot

    -Offensive Line Grades Versus Eagles

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2012/08/steelers-offensive-line-grades-breakdown-report-versus-eagles/

    23 Steelers Gab

    Getting to Know the 2012 Steelers: OT Marcus Gilbert

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2012/08/12/getting-to-know-the-2012-steelers-ot-marcus-gilbert/

    24 Nice Pick Cower

    A New Hope: Steelers Fullback Will Johnson The Answer?

    http://nicepickcowher.com/2012/08/11/a-new-hope-steelers-fullback-will-johnson-the-answer/

    Pitt Blogs

    25 Pitt Blather

    Scrimmage #1 – Offense

    http://www.pittblather.com/2012/08/12/scrimmage-1-offense/

    26 Cardiac Hill

    Pitt’s Kevin Harper Ranks Third In Big East; Kicking Game Key For Pitt

    http://www.cardiachill.com/2012/8/12/3236900/pitt-football-pittsburgh-panthers-kevin-harper-training-camp-2012-predictions-big-east-acc

    WVU Blogs

    27 Metro News

    Fresh Out Of High School

    http://www.wvmetronews.com/wvu.cfm?func=displayfullstory&storyid=54297

    28 WV Illustrated

    PHOTOS: WVU Football 2012 Fan Day

    http://www.wvillustrated.com/story/19258614/photos-wvu-football-2012-fan-day

    Soccer(football)

    29 Sky Sports

    Transfer Clockwatch

    http://www1.skysports.com/transfer-centre/clockwatch

    30 Daily Telegraph

    Chelsea 2 Manchester City 3: match report

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/competitions/premier-league/9470676/Chelsea-2-Manchester-City-3-match-report.html

    31 World Soccer Daily

    Summer 2012 transfers

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/features/summer-2012-transfers-3

    PENGUIN BLOGS

    32 Pensburgh

    Season in Review: Evgeni Malkin

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2012/8/10/3231641/season-in-review-evgeni-malkin

  16. Florida Time Bob Segar and Last Heard, 1966 Closer to the sound of the Beach Boys than the sound of Segar’s biggest hits.

  17. And Dejan. The only reason it was safe to jaywalk in London?

    Thunder wasn’t driving.

  18. DK did those blog posts about thinks we love about Pittsburgh.

    One of the few things I absolutely hate about Pittsburgh is the jaywalkers.

    DK: Seconded! (But I do it, too.)

  19. I agree with DK regarding Pedro and the batting order. He has got to eventually move up. But I am not sure this is the time. The current batting order isn’t perfect, but Pedro seems to still strike out way too many times.

  20. Drew #10 ~ I’m basking in the glow.

  21. Post #17.

    Dejan – see what I mean?

  22. I understand the sentiment about Pedro, DK, but really, is this the time to just give a guy a certain spot in the lineup just because he profiles that way and not because of his numbers?

    I’m so tired of the word “potential” or phrase “he can get really hot” being attached to everything Alvarez. The guy has earned his No. 6 spot… genetics aside, he hasn’t come close to earning the No. 4 spot. Certainly not based on the numbers he’s put up when in that spot in the order.

  23. wrong song link

  24. JAL, again! Wow, friend,you’re slipping. Don’t let DK saying you’re mean get you all frazzled ;)

  25. I’ve stumbled into at least a couple people from Pittsburgh. When they said where they were from, I never mentioned the Steelers, only the Pens and Bucs. But, I know, I’m the exception. (And by “exception”, I mean that here people would only know it’s in the US, and probably not much more.)

    As for Neymar… hum, not so much. at least in the Olympics. He still has a lot to prove with the yellow jersey on.

    DK: Neymar had some amazing rushes. Fantastic talent

    But your women’s volleyball team blows him away. Tremendous talent, togetherness, everything. U.S. had no answer.

  26. Jandy

    Everyone has a slump, hope it is over now :)

  27. DK,

    I disagree with moving Pedro this year. I think we puts too much pressure on himself when he is batting 4th or 5th. Leave him alone for the rest of the year, just like you wanted Lincoln left in the pen. Start next year with him batting 4th or 5th. Like Naje said, let him earn the 4th spot in Spring Training next year.

  28. JAL. I know we are in the midst of a state song roll. Which is very cool, by the way.

    But after this morning’s thread, I think tomorrow’s song should be Paranoid.

  29. LOL @ Drew

    JAL, ok now your slump is over ;)

  30. I’m with you, Joe D. I’m content with Cutch-Jones-Walker-Alvarez. And it’s not like Alvarez is significantly outplaying any of them and they deserve to be moved down in the order. I’m all for Pedro batting 4th someday soon, but I don’t like the timing on the move.

  31. Drew

    That is the permanent song for Pirate fans :)

    Having fun with states, Bob Segar for Florida?

  32. ++++ Dodgers-Pirates is MLB.com’s free game of the day!

  33. Were you talking to me, Drew? I couldn’t understand you through your gritting teeth, Drew.

    ‘Methinks thou dost protest too much’. Perhaps his comment hits too close to home, Drew. Too close. Too close.

    And I am a cherry-picker. Get it right, Drew.

  34. I think the next week will determine if paranoia is an appropriate feeling for the PBC.

    These pennant race things….. forgot how nervous they make you…

  35. Did anyone see the Outside the Lines piece on Neil Walker’s connection to Roberto Clemente?

    It was also replayed on the overnight ‘highlight show’. Unfortunately neither the Reds or Pirates game highlights made the show.

    I wonder, if Clint Barmes hits his first career grand slam, but the mother ship doesn’t show the highlights, will paranoid lunatics start seeing criticism of other posters in cherry-picked comments?

  36. Here is the way I am handling this pennant race and the whole being nervous thingy,

    I am enjoying the fact that we are winning much more then we are losing and that we are actually in race for a playoff spot. I am not concentrating on how we are going to blow it. Not looking back on what we should have done at the trade deadline. Our team is our team now.
    ( those guys on the radio this morning kept harping on things that we’re going to look back on and regret )

  37. That connection was in a story in story in the morning links a couple of months ago.

  38. Yeah JAL had that connection thing a while ago. He’s on top of things!!!!

  39. You know hindsight is the easy way to say shoulda woulda coulda. One never knows how things will play out. So, I’m with Uncle Cracker. I’m going with THIS team and enjoying it and taking it ONE GAME AT A TIME. =)

  40. Greatly enjoyed the column today, and all of your coverage of the Olympics, Dejan. And your characterization of the Brits was spot on. I’ve served with them, and it’s good to know when they are at your back. Their sense of national pride rivals our own. Our neighbors to the north on the other hand…

    DK: Thanks, CW.

  41. Yeah, this is much more fun than the way its been. Guess everyone has to handle the nervousness in their own way.

    All I remember from the FAN this am was talk about JMac

  42. @Biz

    Agreed.

    I think there are two kinds of nervousness/distrust — paranoia is too extreme of a word. Maybe I’m not a real fanatic, but I don’t wake up in the night and scream “The Horror” or anything. It’s freakin’ baseball.

    One is that the team isn’t really a contender. Many people have said, “Let’s see where they are on Sept. 1,” and I think that makes sense.

    The other is that even after all of the fun of this season, the team will fall just short of breaking the streak of non-winning seasons. 80-82 will stink, and 81-81 will be unfulfilling.

  43. Biz,
    When I was listening they seemed to be panicked about JMac.

    I guess I am not one that thinks sending him to pen is the right idea now. I think he can straighten himself out as a starter. (Maybe not be as good as the first half).
    But I don’t see how people think he is going to be a good reliever.

  44. Jandy,

    Uncle Cracker = Mr. Positive.

    Can’t you tell?

  45. Cracker, sure can ;)

  46. What’s with the Padres’ Curse of PNC anyway? Yeesh!

  47. The thing about resiliency is… I would have called the 2011 team resilient too, up until the point they weren’t.

    If I see a team play like utter garbage for the equivalent of 2 games against a mediocre at best team right after blowing a huge lead, and said team is part of an organization has a history of self destruction, the thought “ah crap, I hope this isn’t IT again” is going to cross my mind. I don’t call that paranoia. That’s practically Pavlovian at this point. Is that fair to this team? Not remotely. They haven’t stunk for 20 years. But that’s part of wearing the Pirates uniform.

    Enjoying the ride, yes. Convinced that the ride will continue into September, no. That’s part of the fun though… I always have more fun rooting for the Pitt teams that aren’t supposed to do anything than I am rooting for the ones that are supposed to be top 10. I think part of the issue here is that the season’s so long, I’ve pushed the Pirates too far into the “I expect them to win” territory that’s normally reserved for the Steelers and Pens.

  48. Negative criticism of team yesterday probably disqualifies me from attaining status as a Piratefanadvisor. Drat!

  49. Re – paranoia

    I agree with most all thoughts on that. One thing we need to remember is we are all here for one reason. We love the Burgh and the Bucs are a big part of that.

  50. I think the “paranoia” among certain Pirates fans this season has much to do with changed expectations, as well.

    From reading the blog, there seems to be a group of fans that think this Pirates squad should maintain their ridiculous 100+ win pace from June and July through the rest of the season, and that anything less is underacheiving.

    Their record since the All Star break, 16-13, is still an 89-win pace. That should be considered overacheiving by anyones standards.

    To each there own, I suppose. I just cannot force myself to get upset about this Pirates team.

  51. Dachsie – I think I get that. I am worried about their ability to maintain a playoff pace, but I hope to be proved wrong. I’m rooting to be proved wrong.

    I don’t know if that’s paranoia or being negative, but I am ENJOYING the season.

    And I don’t have to grit my teeth to acknowledge that.

  52. Drew, you’re so mean, you prolly grit your teeth when you’re smiling (emoticon omitted)

  53. JAL, missed that link, but the Walker-Clemente piece was well done. Great interviews with Neil and his Dad. With Roberto’s birthday coming up Saturday, it is a great spotlight piece. Worth checking out. Wouldn’t be surprised if it was on OTL this afternoon.

  54. I think DemonDog’s second paragraph is excellently stated. I won’t speak for everyone, but I’d find it hard for even the biggest Pirate optomist to argue with that logic.

    I believe you start to get some friction between the two sides when the “paranoid” crowd (not specifically you, Demon) seems to feel the need to proclaim the collapse is upon us every time one of those “here we go again” feelings happen.

    Yes, we know the Pirates just played bad against an inferior team. Yes, we’ve seen the last 19 years of baseball. We get it.

    Everyone is certainly entitled to their own opinion, but you can’t be surprised that people get tired of hearing the “collapse” speech over and over again.

  55. What an awesome photo! A guy from Pittsburgh standing with his iced coffee in front of the same river William the Conqueror crossed Christmas Day 1066 to be crowned at Westminster Abby.

    Ahh.. Vive le Civilization!

  56. Drew grits his teeth when he has them in.

  57. THIS IS NOT A POLITICAL STATEMENT

    John,

    Congrats on having a VP candidate from Wisconsin. I knew there was more there than the Badgers, Brewers and Packers. Vive le Civilization indeed!

  58. I feel Dejan would be disappointed if we did not discuss the man who peppered baseballs off buildings on the south shore of the Allegheny all weekend.

    How good was Chase Headley?

    DK has made it well known that he would’ve considered the Padres demands of a top 5 prospect, Brad Lincoln/Supplemental Draft Pick, and a “mid-tier” prospect.

    Is that too much to ask? Where would you play him? Would you revisit the trade this off season?

  59. tc: #35
    well said.

  60. Yes. Both of them.

  61. My question on Headley goes to Grossman. Some lists had RG as a top 5.

    If Lincoln, Grossman, and the comp pick get Chase H., and we then don’t get Gaby, Wandy, or Snider, would that have been the deal to make?

    It opens up the can of worms for armchair GM’ing.

    I would have paid Maholm the $9mm or tried to re-neg it into a 2yrs/$14mm deal. If we have Maholm, no Wandy. So Snider vs. Chase –who gets the team into the 2012 post-season.

    I have to guess that the Padres did NOT consider Grossman a top; otherwise that deal might have happened pre-Wandy trade.

  62. That is a great pic of London, but why did Dejan have include that ugly guy in the pic?

    Completely ruined it, imho.

    London Foo (is falling down.)

    .

  63. NMR,
    I thought the third part of the Padres demands was “a third piece”…not a ‘mid tier prospect’.

    I couldn’t help think this weekend that as soon as Headly would have put on a Bucco uniform he would have regressed to “warning track power”.

    Is that too negative? :-)

  64. Btw, my wife is off this week and she just told me to get OFF the computer……NOW!!!

    Maybe I will, Maybe I won’t. She ain’t my bos…………………………………………………

    .

  65. DK,

    I’m on the fence about putting Pedro in the 4 hole. When he’s hot, he’s hotter than anybody, but when he’s cold, he’s colder than anybody. Essentially takes the bat out of Cutch’s hand, even more than what its been lately. I love the idea, but not sure if he’s ready……..

    But you know what? Some also said that Pedro should have started in AAA this year too. So they kept him on the roster and he’s produced, put him in the 4 hole and he’ll eventually produce.

    To avoid the lefty/lefty combo Hurdle could put Jones 6th and The Fort/Sanchez/Walker (if Jones is in RF) 5th.

  66. DK:

    Great column. Maybe in your top five.

    DK: Thanks, Radio Man!

  67. Hi Lucky:

    Yeah, I think everyone here was relieved to get some national attention not involving the horrific shooting.

    Of course, the big news around here is that the Packers signed Cedric Benson. You know Lambeau is not too far from a state prison so, who knows, Cedric might be able to walk to work.

    Going to the Badgers opener on September 1 as they play my wife’s alma mater. First time I will be at a sporting event with my wife and no kids in 17 years. Looking forward to trying to explain offsides to her! At least she will enjoy the band and “Jump Around.”

  68. Put PA back at cleanup.
    Compare his batting average when he hit there vs. what he has done since batting lower in the order.

  69. I guess we’ll be seeing Foo later…much later…

  70. Not negative, TC. Just supporting the old FO. Just supporting the FO. Excuse me now, I have to go jaywalk while gritting my teeth.

  71. No Thunder. It’s paranoid delusional.

    - True Grit Drew

    (I call that bold talk for a two-toothed fat man)

  72. johninoshkosh: #69
    Your wife went to UNI??
    When I lived in Iowa, I used to go to their games. That’s when I became interested in Division 1AA(fcs) level football.
    How much are the Wisconsin tickets?

    I ask because i would assume fans probably don’t like paying to see what should be a rout.
    I respect and understand that UNI feels the need to play Big Ten and Big Twelve teams to prepare their players. And yes, of course, they do it for a financial payday.
    But wouldn’t the locals rather see a win over a weak Division 1A team?

  73. Foo, that is funny. Could be a long week.

    On Friday night I was upstairs listening to the game. Came downstairs and told my wife that the Pirates are winning 7-1, let’s put the game on. Her response was that she wanted to watch the end of this episode of MONK…that there was only 15 minutes left.

    Show is over, switch on the game: tie ballgame 7-7.

    I missed the JMac meltdown

  74. Drew,

    Fill yer hands you son-of-a-gun! (You know a minister can’t say the real line).

  75. DK,

    sorry, Pedro’s just not showing himself to be that guy yet. I don’t know what it’s going to take to get him there either. He’s too inconsistent for me both as a hitter and a defender. I’m thinking maybe it’s just a matter of experience/seasoning that he didn’t get enough of in the minors before coming to the bigs.

  76. This next week, the Pirates have the opportunity in head-to-head games against the nearest Wild Card competitors to take matters into their own hands, and solidify their post-season status. Let’s hope they rise to the challenge.

  77. @ dan (77). The PBC wanted PA to play winterball and he refused. There will always be a “what if” attached to him this year when he struggles. JMO

  78. @NMR -

    Agreed that people proclaiming the game/series/season/world as we know it is over because the team’s down 1-0 in the top of the first gets very old very fast.

  79. Pedro

    batting 4th BA .140, OPS .449, 97 PA
    batting 6th BA .265, OPS .891, 211 PA

    By all means, let’s move Pedro to 4th, because having the appearance of the proper batting order is more important than winning with a BA and OPS that is twice as high.

    Garrett Jones

    batting 4th BA .301, OPS .905, 194 PA
    batting 5/6th BA .223, OPS .688, 96 PA

  80. robertoforever: #81
    thanks, you found exactly what I thought you would.
    I knew I had heard somewhere that his numbers batting fourth were lower.

  81. Since the Pirates won yesterday, maybe I need to declare every game lost after the first two pitches. Those are in-game heat of the moment rants, for lack of a better word, from somebody who watches every inning of every Pirates game. A lot of the time I post those types of comments to get a desired result- e.g, rag Barmes so that he will hit a grand slam and show me up. I live and die with eveey game. I wonder how many others do also.

  82. @ Reading, re #83

    ME (as I raise my hand…)

  83. Hey Radio Wave:

    I did respond to your post (#74). I accidentally typed “Paul” in the name box when typing “Paul Chryst” and I sent it without noticing that. So when “Paul” clears moderation, that will be me. Stupid technology.

  84. One pitch at a time, whether you are batting, fielding, or pitching……..never know what’s going to happen.

    After all, Barmes, the world’s worst SS, hit a GS yesterday……..now the world can come to an end.

  85. @ Reading (#83). that’s funny. My wife has difficulty sitting in the same room as me when I’m watching Pittsburgh sports teams.

  86. @JMB

    Great point on the armchair GM’ing. Hard to keep everything straight with the amount of moves made and on the table for us guys behind the keyboard.

    I do agree with you in that theres no way the Pads considered Grossman Top 5. That list has to be something like Cole, Taillon, Marte, Heredia/Bell/Hanson. I’d also be surprised if they took any of the A ball guys since they just sunk money into a bunch of “win now” players.

    @TC

    24/7 identified the 3rd piece as a “mid-tier” prospect, whatever that means. I’m guessing something in the 10-15 range?

  87. Yeah, I was out yesterday and checked the score early and it was 5-0 against us in the second inning, and the thought crept (exploded) into my head — Oh, no — here we go again! When are we going to snap out of this funk?

    Got home and avoided checking the score for as long as I could stand it, but you can only play so many games of solitaire on the computer, so I decided to man up and take my lumps and check the score, when to my happy surprise I saw the 9 in the line score — and the rest of the day was ok.

    Was I thinking total collapse? Not if you mean non-winning season. It was more like here’s Cincinnati cooling off and we can’t take advantage of it. Same as when your basketball team goes cold with a lead and the bad guys go on a ten point run. I guess I’ve been an Iowa fan too long. (At least all those years between Evasheski and Fry prepared me for the streak — but now it’s time to wake up.)

  88. @Reading

    Honest question, how old are you?

  89. NMR,
    This is what DK said 11 days ago (on Sulia)

    The Padres’ ask for Chase Headley was three-fold: 1. A top-5 prospect. 2. Lincoln or the lottery pick. 3. Additional piece.

  90. @Reading

    I don’t live and die with every game. I hold the “living and dying” part for my family. I am a HUGE Pirates fan, most of us have to be to hang on this long.

    I pay money for the extra innings package to watch as many games as I can.

    When it was 5-0, yea, I thought crap, here we go again, but not that this was the end, but more for the fact that we couldn’t take advantage of a weaker opponent. Those things happen, it is baseball, sometimes the other guys win, even if they have a weaker record.

    I don’t know what you went off on, I could only imagine and don’t want to go back to the game thread.

    I know I was yelling whenever Barmes hit the Grand Slam though, off the foul pole……….it was awesome

  91. My wife was rooting for a Barmes strikeout yesterday, while I was merely asking for something other than a double play.

    Since I certainly pile on Barmes at every opportunity, I have to give him credit for making one of the biggest positive plays of the year yesterday.

  92. @Reading

    My brother is the same way, but he doesn’t comment on blogs. Probably a good thing, because he would probably be banned quickly for his rants.

    Just kidding here a little, but if “I post those types of comments to get a desired result”, shouldn’t Pedro be the MVP candidate and Barmes have about 80 grand slams this year? :D

  93. Watching every inning of every game: (1) I don’t have that kind of time (2) We don’t get coverage out here, and (3) even if we did there are times (and this applies ot whatever team I’m rooting for in whatever sport) where I just can’t take it any more and have to turn it off for a while.

    It’s a different way of being into it.

    Sooner or later I calm down and turn it back on and hope that momentum will change.

  94. I’m aware of what DK posted, TC.

    It is possible that the ultra-specific “additional piece” could’ve been a mid-tier prospect, right?

    Not a lot of scrap heap players involved in major deals. We can be pretty certain it would’ve been a player we’ve heard of before.

    DK: Third piece means third priority of the three. Not as good as first two. Nothing huge.

  95. @Ryan,

    I was having a discussion with a Yankee fan/friend the other day, and surprisingly he was saying how angry and surly Yankee fans get when they are losing 5-0, lose a 6 run lead, etc. Maybe increased expectations make folks more on edge if the expectations are not met.

    I tried to point out to him, that even the most successful players like Jeter fail 7 out of 10 times, and even the Yankees lose 4 out of every 10 games. He seemed somewhat surprised by those numbers (especially the losing 4 out of every 10 games).

  96. Since the trade, Owens and Cain have been underwhelming, but check out Robbie.
    I get BA’s prospect report every morning!

    HOU AA Grossman, Robbie CF
    4 3 3 2 .358 2 2B (5), BB (13)

    His OPS is 1.019!!
    Also this from BA:
    Robbie Grossman was listed as having the Best Strike-Zone Judgement in AA.

    Wandy BETTER start pitching his little butt off!!!!!

    .

  97. Foo,
    For me, I don’t start caring what the 3 players we traded to Houston are doing, until they are playing in the major leagues.

    And I’m not sure Grossman will be much more than a 4th OF. I may be proven wrong.

  98. Repeat after me, myself, and I, over & over in my weary head: “I will not hyperventilate on every Pirate pitch/play through the remainder of the regular season.” OK, that ought to do it! Uh huh.

    @ pants-n-at who stated: “My wife has difficulty sitting in the same room as me when I’m watching Pittsburgh sports teams.” Well, substitute “husband” for “wife,” and we have our household! Thus, the necessity of my new mantra above. But I’ll still probably be sleeping on the couch tonight…

  99. Not a collapse – Just was time to slide a little. Reds had been losers of 4 straight…I’m not sure that this Pirates team is ready to go on a 15-2 tear, but something is in the air. the Reds are ready to fall off a cliff. They have squeezed (squoze? HA) every drop out of Ludwick…he may level off finally and just be a regular contributor, but not the horse he had been. Looking at that reds lineup, all you see is consistent production, but now is the time that they begin to really miss Votto. Good on them for absorbing that loss this long.

    Cardinals pitching will let them down, but man is this just becoming their trademark…lay in the weeds and wait for it.

    Bucs need to do something about the pressure of the race. If this team comes up short, it won’t be for an other reason than the race. It would be so nice to see Pedro and Cutch to heat up at the same time. Walker had his down time…he loves August and September so count him in. Biggest question mark right now…what does Tabata do when he get’s called up?

  100. I’m headed to the game tonight. Can anyone provide a how-to on how I should react to things? (I’ve been going since 1962).

  101. Could someone tell me what PRNW means. I try to read the blog everyday, but that reference to Walker got by me.

  102. Pine Richland’s Neil Walker

  103. AW:

    I think JAL was knighted as arbitrator by King Dejan. Maybe he should make that determination. This blog has a history of posts telling us how real Pirates fans should act/behave, maybe it’s time for JAL to set us all straight.

  104. Osh Kosh,that’s “Pine Richland” for Pittsburgh area native…the hometown boy :)

  105. AW,
    DO NOT do the wave.

  106. Thanks Arriba! I always miss the obvious, I’m funny that way.

  107. AW….you’ve been going to games SINCE 1962??? How old were you then?????

    hey look! Foo is back and it’s not later afternoon/evening ;)

  108. At least prior to Neil becoming an established player, the media always referred to him that way (with the Pine Richland).

  109. Ditto to you, Jandy :)

  110. AW,
    The other thing you should do at the game is salute the Pirates Charities sign.

    It is a thing of beauty.

  111. Jandy–95

  112. Boo on a fake throw to third and then to first move, cheer the Pierogies, and you’ll fit in just fine.

  113. redus

    Reds had lost 5 straight–1 to the Pirates, 3 to the brewers, 1 to the Cubs–now they have won 3 straight

  114. “DO NOT do the wave.”

    Amen.

  115. @AW, you age well, you don’t look a day over 83

  116. Honest answer: 49. Glad to see I’m not the only one. I still remember when the Pirates were good year in and year out, and that fuels the frustration when they miss opportunities to solidify their spot in the Standings.

  117. The moves so far:

    Bringing up Marte: The kid looks like the real deal and all we had to do was send Presley to Indianapolis. Best spin: If Presley and Tabata figure it out at AAA we have some tough decisions to make in spring training or powerful trade bait.

    Rodriguez: Winless so far. Hasn’t had Correia’s support or luck. Conventional wisdom was that we needed a pitcher. This one’s on my wait and see list.

    Six man rotation with 13 pitchers on the roster: I’d have rather had a shortstop.

    Snider: .333/.375/.444/.819 — as a Pirate so far, but his BA is bouncing around by twenty points or so a game. You have to say promising. Giving up Lincoln hurt a bit though. That’s probably been magnified by the recent bullpen implosions. Hopefully it’s a win/win and if we get the Tabata/Presley uptick in Indy those trade possibilities kick in.

    Sanchez: I like his .292 batting average as a Pirate, unfortunately he has a .292 slugging average. I guess I liked the trade, but I’m not thinking of him as a #4 hitter or a starting first baseman. Another wait and see.

    Qualls: Better than I expected. Didn’t know much about him. (I’m proud to say that I do not follow the Yankees). But there was a lot moaning when that one was announced and he looks to be serviceable.

    Bringing up Locke: Somewhere between OK and It’s about time. I’ve wanted to see what this kid can do. I thought we’d be waiting for September to see him.

    Hughes to Indy: OK with that, Cruz should bring back a little bullpen stability.

  118. AW pfffttt! :p

  119. Arriba

    Agree with No Wave, be kind to Dodger fans but cheer cheer cheer for the Pirates, and when they win act like that is the expectation :)

  120. So let it be written, so it shall be done.

  121. @Roberto

    That’s called perspective my friend……….exactly what people forget about.

    Good info, even if it was wasted on a Yankees fan

  122. I’ll take it one step further…

    I don’t care if Grossman, Owens, and Cain turn into Jose Bautista, Greg Maddux, and John Smoltz. Ever. You cannot hold on to every prospect in your system simply because they might, someday, unexpectedly blossom into superstars. That’s not saying you should trade off Cole, Taillon, etc. for whatever you can get for them. That’s saying you have to be willing to trade SOMETHING if you want to get anything in return, and all of those guys seemed pretty well under the “future star” line at the time of the deal.

    I DO care whether Wandy Rodriguez can be the #3 starter the Bucs needed. If he pitches well down the stretch, then in my book NH made a good move.

    I can’t sit here yelling at the FO to “DO SOMETHING” and then be upset when one of the pieces I wanted them to trade in order to “DO SOMETHING” ends up being much better than anyone expected.

  123. AW,
    Park at the Casino for free if you can.

  124. @TC, re #126, you had to go there, didn’t you ?

    And from my experience, there is nothing “free” about the parking at the casino (you can get a free pop there, but thats it…..)

  125. Biz, sometimes I can’t stop myself.

  126. No need to worry about offending Dodger fans after a Pirate win… They will have all left after the 7th inning.

  127. Would have used an emoticon with #127, but you know who is in the building….

  128. @AW. Here is how you will act tonight. You will remain calm as the Pirates will have the game in hand. However, around the 6th or 7th inning, you will let out a loud “Aw shuttlecock! (in honor of buggee) because you just spilled your beer trying to catch a Walker homer. Of course, if you’re not seated in the outfield stands, then a change Walker homer for a Barmes foul ball. Enjoy the game!

  129. Big series starting tonight.

    2 2nd place teams battling it out. The Dodgers will be tough. I’d like a minimum of a split with hopes at the series.

    Dodgers are 1 game behind the Giants and of course YOUR Pittsburgh Pirates are 4 1/2 games behind the Reds.

    Should be a good series, tough pitching coming our way. I expect low scoring games….so that probably means they won’t be.

    The matches are:

    Harang vs Karstens

    Billingsley vs. Correia

    Battle of the Lefties Kershaw vs Wandy

    Blanton vs JMac

    Kershaw’s obviously the toughest one of them all, but the others aren’t sloutches either.

    Possible playoff matchup, hope there are good crowds for this series.

  130. AW….here’s what you do tonight

    1) After EVERY ball a Pirate pitcher throws, drink beer
    2) After EVERY strike a Pirate batter takes, drink beer.

    That should sufficiently get you through the game. Oh, almost foogot #3. Don’t drive.

    ==========

    Jandy……….sshh! She had to run to the mall…..temp reprieve!

    .

  131. @ Foo. Aren’t you supposed to be cutting the grass or doing something before the wifey gets back?

  132. Free Foo ~ lol…lock the door ;)

  133. White Sox just recalled Donnie Veal-
    Always liked him

  134. pants-n-at………I’m a rich former govt worker….I paid the kid next door. Think I wanna sweat or something?

    ======

    Jandy…..would locking the doors work with you? :)

    ….

  135. Bill Born……….I recall Donny Veal, too….wild thing….gets hurt…

    Seriously good luck to the guy.

    .

  136. TORONTO–The White Sox recalled left-handed reliever Donnie Veal to replace outfielder Jordan Danks on the roster, a concession that they need pitching help more than hitting.

    Veal, 27, joins the team in Toronto for the beginning of a four-game series.

    He was 7-3 with a 2.08 ERA in 35 appearances at AAA Charlotte, walking 23 and striking out 61 in 52 innings.

    He also appeared briefly with the Sox in late July, throwing 1 2/3 scoreless innings in two games.

    DK: Wow. Awesome for Donnie. Good kid.

  137. Foo on Free time, no locking the doors wouldn’t work. And when I got in, you’d be in big trouble to boot :p

  138. OO0< OO0< OO0< OO0< OO0< OO0< OO0< OO0< OO0<

  139. Wonder if Veal and Moskos have been hangin out?

    too soon?

  140. Locking the door, would that be Foo-Lee-Sheesh???

  141. Jhadar, it would be Foo-tile ;)

  142. I know DK is our favorite award-winning, hyper-caffeinated, kick-a** sports columnist, so if you liked his work today, you’ll also like this piece by the Washington Post’s Mike Wise. The last few paragraphs are incredibly moving. It may at first seem like he injects himself into the column too much, but it’s works. I’d read a lot about this athlete already, so it got to me pretty good.

    He doesn’t give a lot of the details of what she has entailed throughout the past few years, but there’s enough here that it should move you.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/olympics/london-2012-taught-us-about-legacy-humor-and-courage/2012/08/12/54f065f0-e4a1-11e1-8f62-58260e3940a0_story.html

  143. scapper, Muslim women all should leave their homelands. Thanks for sharing the story.

  144. I knew you, Jandy, would read it and like it.

    I just wish the article had more of her story. He mentions her courage but that’s really only evident when you hear the details of what she has endured there. It’s one of those stories that seems to go beyond just the typicalA-B-C narrative that gets created around the old “inspirational” sports story.

    Had to laugh when, a little while after reading this, I saw a headline about Hope Solo’s “struggles” being recounted in her forthcoming book.

  145. But your women’s volleyball team blows him away.

    That has been the predominant commentary around here for the past couple days.

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