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Wakeup Call: Donald Fehr hearts salary caps

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Brief and to the Point …

>> The Wednesday column wonders what’s happened to the Pirates’ fans of late.

As one genius on Twitter shot at me late last night, “ohhhhhhhhhhh dejan went to the olympics and now he’s too good for pirates.”

Or something.

>> That photo above is the great work of our photographer Chris Horner, this after I emailed him during the game what the column would be about. Extra effort appreciated.

>> Hockey’s labor situation appeared to make progress yesterday in Toronto when the players’ union, now led by Donald Fehr, offered what sounded like a much more reasonable plan than the owners’ original proposal.

And it didn’t include any mention of abolishing the salary cap.

Sorry, but after following baseball labor for a lot of years, it’s going to take me a couple days to process Fehr being OK with the cap. We’re talking about the guy who refused to agree to a salary floor for teams like the Pirates because he feared that, philosophically, if he agreed to a floor, he’d agree to a cap.

This man said yes to a cap.

>> Out in Latrobe, Mike Tomlin admonished a couple of the Steelers’ players for fighting during a two-minute drill. His primary complaint: They fought rather than being concerned about clock management.

There have been eight fights in camp now, including some that have risked injury to important players.

Allowing that isn’t exactly shrewd.

Comments

  1. JMB says:

    We are at the 18 mile mark of this marathon, in a pack of eight teams.

    In the final 54, the Pirates are 2-6.

    18-28 breaks the streak

    26-20 =90-72

    Comparing 2011 & 2012 in the final 54: Games 109-116.

    2011 2-6 RS 30 RA 51

    2012 2-6 RS 37 RA 57

  2. Matt says:

    I guess the real question is 500 enough this year? If the finish 8 or 9 games over but miss the playoffs will it be cknsidered a good season. As a fan all of my life i would like to see the streak end, but management has to step up this off season.

  3. JMB says:

    DK,

    So you’ve changed your opinion in the last two weeks?

    http://triblive.com/sports/2315403-74/pirates-huntington-season-tuesday-games-million-sanchez-snider-team-corner

    “But the object at this stage isn’t to go 4-0 in trades.

    It’s to make the playoffs.

    These playoffs, not in 2013.”

    “This year counts more than most. Teams that spend at the Pirates’ level don’t get many. Nor is the Central Division going to see many more seasons where the Cardinals and the free-spending Cubs are down.”

    DK: Huh?

    Where do I say that making the playoffs is no longer the object?

    Did you read only the headline?

  4. Reading says:

    Just hoping this is not our last night “in” the Playoffs. A series split would return to the status quo before Monday’s game, then we can take that one game lead over the Cards to St. Louis.

  5. JMB says:

    Huh?

    No, I read the whole article.

    Look at the quotes from my post #3 and compare them to these:

    “Are fans of this team, this of all franchises, really going to be crushed by falling short of first place?

    Or the playoffs?

    Or the World Series?”

    “And speaking of streaks, at 12 games over .500, they’re an absolute lock to break The Streak and pass the 19-year barrier of 82 wins.

    How about enjoying it a little?”

    **********************************************

    Ok, so two weeks ago you wrote about how playoff chances don’t come around often, and the Pirates should have been “all in.”

    And now, we should find joy in breaking the streak.

    I agree that people should find joy in breaking the streak, but you also implied that this might be a special year — one not easily repeated; hence the playoffs had to be the goal.

    DK: Every single point you raise, John, is addressed in this column. And nothing in the piece a couple weeks ago suggests anyone should be “crushed” if the Pirates don’t make it. The goal absolutely shouldn’t change. That’s why I brought up all the stuff in the middle of the column about the team being ONE GAME AHEAD of the Dodgers.

    You’re really reaching here. But you can have the last word. Really don’t like to make a habit of explaining columns because most of the time — like this — I just end up repeating what’s already there.

  6. pghboyinca says:

    Let’s be realistic, the Pirates had everythng break right this year. Pujols and Fielder leave, Cards decimated with injuries and we get a ton of games withe Brewers, Cubs, and Astros 3 of the worst teams in baseball. The Pirates are remarkably healthy and Cutch and Walker are playing out of their minds. (both prior draft choices before clown G.M. is running team). So Astros exit next year and those games go away. Does anyone think the Cubs and Brewers will be as bad? Does anyone have any indciation that Hiuntingon can add a position player? What is coming up form the minors next year, Tony Sanchez? Outside of Burnett who is a really sure thing as a startrer? This was the year to make a move and this regime puked on itself.This team regresses next year due to better division competition and an incompetent G.M. Kershaw versus Wandy……..LOL How much of a lock is a winning season? Probable, but lock?

  7. Boise Bucco says:

    DK, infinity kudos to Mr. Horner, because that picture really spoke to me. I wish I could tell those kids how I felt to watch playoff baseball when i was their age, it was amazing. I remember taking my glove to Three Rivers and sitting in the outfield, hoping to catch a home-run ball. I wish I could tell them to keep rooting and keep their hopes up, and keep going to games, and the Bucs will win. Because they will, eventually. (Even if they look at me like I just told them a story about crossing the Delaware with George Washington…)

    Think for a second about how far some people travel to go to a Pirate game; even if a family drives in from Altoona–that’s still a 3 hour drive–they might only get to one game a year. This might have been their only game of the season. It makes me think about my boy. A couple summers ago we only went to one game, although we saw a win. If this was the game we saw, I’d want to take him back the very next day–show him NOOOO that’s not how it’s supposed to work!

  8. Boise Bucco says:

    And for the record, if the Bucs want to entice me with 17 games over .500, 1st place in July, however many homers they hit, basically having their way with the National League the way they were before the All-Star Break–I will be a spoiled rotten fan thank-you-very-much. :) They can’t go a-slumping and take it all back in August and expect me to be ok with it. Nope, the bar was set.

    Hurdle said it himself, something along the lines of (and I’m paraphrasing here) “we don’t think we’re overachieving, this is the major leagues” or something like that…I don’t have the exact quote and I’m about to go to bed. But the point of his quote was that, while the team was doing, for the Pirates, extremely well, he didn’t think they were over-achievers. He felt that they were achieving what they should have been achieving. So, that said, if they were achieving that in July, they should be achieving the same things in August.

  9. Thundercrack says:

    I am currently in Las Vegas. The odd for the Pirates being the champions of the NL is 18-1. They were not giving odds on if they just made the playoffs.

  10. Ed says:

    When you’re talking about a franchise that has had 19 straight losing seasons, 82+ wins this year is absolutely not a lock. Nothing is sports is ever a lock for that matter. Tell that to the Braves and Red Sox from last season.

    I was at the game last night. Even though I got the tickets for half price, I still feel like I got ripped off.

    Absolutely pathetic. Really starting to feel like last year all over again with the way the pitching is going south.

  11. Drew71 says:

    I’m not very good at self-editing. Obviously. But I’ll give it a try.

    It’s NOT a C-word.

    It’s NOT a C-word.

    It’s NOT a C-word.

    But if it is, we should just ENJOY it.

  12. Curt says:

    The one thing I notice with the players is little to zero emotion. The excitement and scrappy play has been missing as of late. To me that is a concern. Can’t be going through the emotions when teams like the St. Louis Cardinals are quietly lurking.

  13. TJA says:

    Thank you, Dejan, for saying what a lot of us **loyal fans** are thinking and saying. I know people I talk with, who have stuck through these past 19 years, love what we are seeing this season. I was there last Wednesday and will be tonight again. This indeed has been a very special season. The Pirates have turned the corner and good, very good, days are ahead. Thanks again, DK.

  14. Milo Hamilton says:

    Anyone that’s enjoying what’s going on right now can’t possibly have a competitive bone in their body.

  15. JAL says:

    JAL’s Hawaii Five 0 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: No Quitting in the Bucs During Rough Stretch

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/08/pirates-notebook-no-quitting-in-the-bucs-during-rough-stretch.html

    rospect Watch: McPherson Has Another Good Start in AAA; Garcia Hits 16th Homer

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/08/prospect-watch-mcpherson-has-another-good-start-in-aaa-garcia-hits-16th-homer.html

    Hanson Returns, Kingham Leaves Early for West Virginia

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/08/hanson-returns-kingham-leaves-early-for-west-virginia.html

    First Pitch: Correia Isn’t to Blame, But His Pitching Style is Responsible

    http://blogs.piratesprospects.com/williams/first-pitch-correia-isnt-to-blame-but-his-pitching-style-is-responsible/

    Taillon and Middle of the Road Starters at High A

    http://blogs.piratesprospects.com/linville/taillon-and-middle-of-the-road-starters-at-high-a/

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Dodgers 11, Pirates 0

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2012/8/15/3243790/dodgers-11-pirates-0

    <b Return To Average: The Pirates In Weeks 17 and 18

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2012/8/14/3242903/return-to-average-the-pirates-in-weeks-17-and-18

    6 Rumbunter

    Don’t Get Used to the Pittsburgh Pirates Six-Man Rotation

    http://rumbunter.com/2012/08/14/dont-get-used-to-the-pittsburgh-pirates-six-man-rotation/

    7 McEffect

    8/14 Recap | Dodgers 11 Pirates 0

    http://www.mceffect.com/2012/08/814-recap-dodgers-11-pirates-0.html

    8 The Green Weenie

    Bucs Misfire On All Cylinders, Go Down Quietly 11-0

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2012/08/bucs-misfire-on-all-cylinders-go-down.html

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Dodgers gain ground

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

    Dodgers destroy Bucs

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2012/08/dodgers-destroy-bucs/

    10 WHY GAVS

    Game 116: Dodgers 11 Pirates 0

    http://whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/august-2012/game-116-dodgers-11-pirates-0.html

  16. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 CBS Sports

    Pirates-Dodgers Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20120815_LAD@PIT

    12 LA Times

    Chad Billingsley and Dodgers dominate Pittsburgh in 11-0 victory

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/baseball/mlb/dodgers/la-sp-0815-dodgers-pirates-20120815,0,7863018.story

    13 Chicago Tribune

    Pirates Report

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/sns-rt-bbo-pirates-teamreportmtze88epuk0ic-20120814,0,863488.story

    14 Atlanta Journal Constitution

    With more teams in race, MLB attendance up again

    http://www.ajc.com/sports/with-more-teams-in-1499543.html

    15 Sweetspot

    Trade deadline acquisitions have been flops

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/28007/trade-deadline-acquisitions-have-been-flops

    16 KDKA

    National Perspective On Pirates From Ken Rosenthal

    http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2012/08/14/national-perspective-on-pirates-from-ken-rosenthal/

    17 Fox Sports

    Dodgers crush Pirates behind Ramirez, Billingsley

    http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2012/08/14/dodgers-crush-pirates-behind-ramirez-billingsley/

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    18 PBC Site

    After lopsided loss, Bucs prepared to test resolve

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2012_08_14_lanmlb_pitmlb_1&mode=recap&c_id=pit

    Notebook: Extra rest allows McDonald to mentally regroup

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120814&content_id=36673022&notebook_id=36676568&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    What You Need to Know

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=18019

    20 Fangraphs

    Top Prospects of the Northwoods Lg. by the Numbers

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/top-prospects-of-the-northwoods-lg-by-the-numbers/

  17. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers Roster Update: Starks Activated, Clay Waived/Injured

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/8/14/3242579/steelers-roster-update-starks-activated-clay-waived-injured-max-starks-john-clay-jason-ford

    Putting Perspective Above Panic in Steeler Nation

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/8/14/3240231/steelers-2012-preseason-training-camp-philadelphia-eagles

    22 Steelers Depot

    - The Terrible Podcast – Talking Max Starks News, Defense, Wide Receivers & More Episode

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2012/08/the-terrible-podcast-talking-max-starks-news-defense-wide-receivers-more-episode/

    23 Steelers Gab

    FB David Johnson Reportedly Suffers Torn ACL

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2012/08/10/fb-david-johnson-reportedly-suffers-torn-acl/

    24 Nice Pick Cower

    Steve McLendon Making His Chances Count So Far For Steelers

    http://nicepickcowher.com/2012/08/11/steve-mclendon-making-his-chances-count-so-far-for-steelers/

    Pitt Blogs

    25 Pitt Blather

    Finding Enough for the Two-Deep

    http://www.pittblather.com/2012/08/14/finding-enough-for-the-two-deep/

    26 Cardiac Hill

    Bulls, Bears & Panthers: The Value of Depth

    http://www.cardiachill.com/2012/8/14/3240438/bulls-bears-panthers-the-value-of-depth-paul-chryst-training-camp-offensive-line-2012-pitt

    WVU Blogs

    27 Metro News

    Newcomers Try to Find Their Way

    http://www.wvmetronews.com/wvu.cfm?func=displayfullstory&storyid=54353

    28 WV Illustrated

    Christian Brown Embracing Opportunity with WVU

    http://www.wvillustrated.com/story/19274609/christian-brown-embracing-opportunity-with-wvu

    Soccer(football)

    29 Sky Sports

    Hodgson hands Lamps armband

    http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/12016/7989431/Hodgson-hands-Lamps-armband

    30 Daily Telegraph

    Brendan Rodgers promises prudence at Liverpool

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/liverpool/9475994/Brendan-Rodgers-promises-prudence-at-Liverpool.html

    31 World Soccer Daily

    10 Stories You Need to Read

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-14th-august-2012

    PENGUIN BLOGS

    32 Pensburgh

    3 Pens Rated 90+ in NHL13

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2012/8/14/3242162/3-pens-rated-90-in-nhl13

  18. JAL says:

    Hawaii Five O Theme, The Ventures, 1968. Long running TV show that has been reborn.

  19. Turner Ward says:

    DK, well said all around. It’s amazing how people have lost perspective in 2 or so months.

    I think all reasonable people realized they weren’t as bad as they were in April/May, neither were they as good as they were in June/July. I think right now we’re seeing them settle somewhere in between. As you said, it will be good enough to get to 82. Whether it’s enough to get into the playoffs, there’s still 46 games to sort that out.

    By the way, I’ve seen you refernce a top 5 prospect in that Headley trade a few times now. By other reports, the team was said not to be moving Marte or any of Cole, Taillon or Heredia, so that only leaves 1 guy. Who was it? Josh Bell? He’s hurt; hard to imagine he’d be the centerpiece of a trade. Alen Hanson? Someone else?

  20. TJA says:

    Milo – I agree, it’s tough to enjoy what’s going on this week and, but overall, to go to the ball-yard and see huge crowds in June and July to see a baseball game (not for the promotions only)…that speaks volumes to me where this ream has come from and where they are going.

  21. Jandy says:

    You know, I was watching last night and I was REALLY angry. Go ahead, look at my posts on the game thread last night. But what that means to me is that I CARE ENOUGH TO BE ANGRY. If I was bailing out on this team, I wouldn’t care and I wouldn’t be angry. I’d just shrug my shoulders and walk away.
    That said, I immensely enjoyed the winning in June and July. I’d like to enjoy some more winning. What we were subjected to last night wasn’t Major League Baseball. Come on, guys, let’s play ball the way you know you can.
    OK, stepping off my soapbox.

  22. Milo Hamilton says:

    Uh oh. Run for cover, the “true fan” stuff is back. Is their a written test for that, an oral exam, or do you just keep telling everyone that you are ?

  23. Leefoo says:

    The collapse is coming? The collapse is coming?

    Foo Revere

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

    Seriously, like Jandy, I have been angry this week. Like my buddy, however, I show it by walking away and turning off the TV.

    I had little hope for last night.

    Right now, we have ONE dependable starter and FIVE ‘number 5′ starters (including the over ballyhooed Wandy)!

    I’ve always said that I’ll know the Pirates will be turning it around when I EXPECT to win every single night. Now that JMac has gone horribly south, I only expect to win when AJ pitches.

    All the rest of our rotation, I just hope….and hope….and hope.

    ========

    Has anyone noticed that the Bucs started to slip about the time DK went to London? All *I* gotta say is he better fix it now that he’s back!!!!

    Tony Foorano

    .

  24. Leefoo says:

    TC….enjoy Vegas! I used to fly out to Barstow, Ca for the Navy so I have been there a time or two.

    I walked around the UNLV campus, too and went to Hoover Dam, too and….
    :)

    Just remember….”Ya gotta know when to Foo them”

    .
    .

  25. TJA says:

    @ Milo – Seems to me that you are a fan. Seems that your posts are telling me that you have some emotional ties to this team? Am I wrong? We all want to see this team do well. Milo, don’t get off your soapbox (and for you, too, Jandy!!!)…that’s what makes these debates so fun on this blog and beyond.

    Have to get to a meeting…talk later on.

  26. Jandy says:

    Angry Foo, I honestly was so angry last night, hubby laughed at me. I told him he was taking his life in his hands ;)

    The overall play was sooo horrible…it…well…you know. It stunk. I’ve seen little league games that were better played. OH well. Tonight is another night. I’m a dummy and I’ll be watching. After hubby’s appointment with a prospective customer that I have to attend with him.

  27. bdubb says:

    The thing with baseball is every bit of it on the team is contagious. When the hitting is rolling along it seems everyone rolls along. When it falters they all falter. Baseball is also funny to where you might lose 5 straight only to win 5 straight. And when was the last time this team actually had a bad stretch?? Late April|?

    And maybe Clint will pull a rabbit out of his hat like he did in his only winning season in Colorado and win just about every game down the stretch (of course pulling a rabbit out playing a catcher who can’t hit .200??)

    Speaking of Barjas, Clint Hurdle, his avg per month this year:
    April – .143
    May – .302
    June – .190
    July – .149
    August – .120

    He also has only 4 RBI since June 22nd.

    The Fort is hitting about .330 in the last 3 months.

    You won’t win and you will struggle with 6-9 in the lineup are easy outs.

  28. Drew71 says:

    Nice I, Foo. Nice.

    Milo. About that test. Rubber glove. I’m gonna stop right there.

    Or in the words of today’s links song…

    Waittaminnit. That didn’t work.

  29. Jandy says:

    Drew said: “Milo. About that test. Rubber glove. I’m gonna stop right there”

    YIKES! Guys, run for cover!!!!!

  30. JohninOshkosh says:

    My attitude was down a bit because of last night and the reality of Kershaw tonight.

    Then I listened to that Ventures gem and things seemed much better.

  31. Drew71 says:

    Somebody rewrite the song Roxanne to True Fan.

  32. NMR says:

    Excellent perspective, Dejan, and well said.

    But I have a feeling the blog would get further discussing race walking as an Olympic sport than we will with any conversation about this baseball team right now.

    See yinz jags tomorrow.

  33. Drew71 says:

    “Guys”? That glove can go both ways, Jandy.

  34. Drew71 says:

    (and I PROMISED not to go there)

  35. Jandy says:

    Drew, we women have babies. We don’t fear gloves.

  36. Jandy says:

    Haha Drew, I’ll forgive the broken promise :p

  37. JohninOshkosh says:

    I know that Annie girl is supposed to be cute but, quite frankly, she has always freaked me out just a bit.

  38. Milo Hamilton says:

    So you’re saying I’ll be walking a little funny on the golf course today ?

  39. Jandy says:

    Milo, don’t you walk funny everyday?

  40. Jandy says:

    bdubb, you’ll get no argument from me when it comes to playing the Fort over Barajas. I’ve been preaching that, too.

  41. JohninOshkosh says:

    Milo:

    In the spirit of JAL’s musical selection today, just walk don’t run on the course today.

  42. Leefoo says:

    Kershaw going tonite? I sure hope AJ can salvage game 4 then.

    Right now I want 18 wins. Right now our pitching sucks, our HR bats have gone and Barajas is still starting. At least Clint is finally hitting!

    I see the BAD Chad Qualls showed up last night. He’s a ticking time bomb of bad pitches. I sure hope he doesn’t see too many high leverage situations.

    ==========
    AW…I’ll award bonus points to Hurdle if he can get this ship straightened. He couldn’t do it last year. Has HE learned from last year?

    Pessimistically Doom and Gloom and Woe is Me Foo

    .

  43. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’m going to the game tonight. The Pirates have won 9 of the last 10 games I’ve seen. The only loss coming to Justin Verlander, last year’s AL Cy Young winner. Tonight’s pitcher is Clayton Kershaw, last year’s NL Cy Young winner. Hmmm.

  44. pattonbb says:

    Unrealistic expectations. I’m as guilty as the next person, probably even more so. Buccos get on a roll in June and July leading up to the break and all of a sudden people are wondering how much playoff tickets are going to cost this year. Lets shoot for a winning season, and see where it goes from there. If Pedro and Cutch remember how to hit fastballs, things could change.

  45. Joe D says:

    DK,

    Completely agree that we Pirates fans need to enjoy this season. If someone would have told me on Opening Day after Halladay shut them out that this team would be 12 games over .500 on Aug. 14th I would have taken it.

    An 82 win season was an outlandish goal on April 5th. Now anything less than 82 will be disappointing and their Nutting haters will not be satisfied if they don’t make it to the NLCS.

    The funny thing about life is that our goals change once we reach them. It is very hard to be content with our current situation. Sometimes we need to reflect on what we have accomplished and enjoy it, instead of worrying about what we need to do next.

  46. JAL says:

    The line between winning and losing is thin for the Pirates. They lack the depth some teams have so the burden falls to a few players. There are three things missing from the the June/July wins. They might return or they might not.

    1–Pirates had two above average starters in Burnett and McDonald. McDonald was 9-3 before the All Star break, he is 1-2 since the break with a much higher ERA.

    2-Andrew McCutchen–he had a marvelous first half, probably unreasonable to expect him to keep that pace up. In August he is hitting .265 with 1 home run. Had had fallen to something like .310 the offense would be much better. Right now he isn’t even making many hard out.

    3-Pedro Alvarez–his batting average has stayed pretty consistent but his power has disappeared. Has not hit a home run since July 22.

    Get any two of those 3 back near what they did through July and things will be much better.

  47. JohninOshkosh says:

    I used to work for this guy who had a Latin inscription written on a plaque hanging in his office. Most customers thought it meant something religious or uplifting. What it translated to was “The purpose of this business is to make money.”

    The purpose of professional sports teams is to win championships. Always has been. Always will be.

  48. Drew71 says:

    “Jandy”

    I remember all this year
    Hoping winning ball was here
    Shadows of a team
    True Fans through season cryin’ in the night
    The night goes into

    Morning just another day
    Happy people pass my way
    Looking in their eyes
    I see a memory I never realized
    How happy wins made me

    Oh Jandy, well you’re angry
    Your husband is laughing
    But you caused him to fear
    Oh Jandy, well you missed wins but
    True Fans are happy
    And I need you to cheer oh, Jandy

    - Barry Manidrew, a True Fan

  49. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I never panic over anything, especially sports that I can’t control, but I agree with Milo above when he said anyone enjoying this doesn’t have a competitive bone in their body. Also, I hope to not add this to DK’s miss list:

    1. This team will hit (didn’t say when)
    2. The Steelers will beat the Ravens (didn’t say when)
    3. Boras’s people always sign

    Hope to add this to his right list:

    1. Walker will be fine
    2. Don’t worry about Karstens
    3. The Bucs are an absolute LOCK to break the streak and pass the barrier of 82 wins (pending)

  50. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Jandy,

    I left off the one about “The Pens will win the Cup” out of respect for the fact that they should have and, since Drew wrote such a nice Ode to Jandy, couldn’t bear to bring that up.

  51. The Gunner says:

    @ bdubb – 27

    Your post about Rod Barajas and his batting average summary shows just what a weak link this guy is offensively. Rod’s got a great personality, is a good interview, and handles the pitching staff well. But, he can’t throw out runners and his batting performance speaks for itself. Maybe it is time for him to get on with his life’s work as the Emperor would say – after all, he is 37 which is pretty old for a catcher.

    Phort McKenry has got to get 80% of the starts from this point forward. We’ll worry about 2013 after this season is over but Tony Sanchez may get his opportunity next year.

  52. Drew71 says:

    Yes. Thanks for that. For not bringing it up.

    Thanks.

    Thanks.

  53. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Gunner,

    I love your analysis of Rod. Didn’t he handle the staff last night? How’d that work out? Sanchez has that rep. now. He could probably hit the Mendoza line in the bigs. Rod will make a good coach some day.

    Drew,

    YOU are welcome.

  54. JB says:

    I think this 4 second clip fits nicely with the column and the mindset of some of our fans.

  55. Jandy says:

    Drew, I am tryly touched by that song. Thank you! Now I am inspired to be happy once again =)

    Lucky, ahhh go ahead and add it. The Pens SHOULD have won the cup. Things just don’t always turn out the way we think they should.

  56. Jandy says:

    *truly

    I am so overwhelmed by Drew’s song I can’t type correctly.

  57. CWalton_67 says:

    Have to say that I completely agree with the column premise today. We should be enjoying what has been a great season so far. The idea that this team is being booed, even is a blowout, is kind of mind boggling. This isn’t lack of effort by entitled athletes. It’s an overachieving team finally playing to it’s actual talent level. These guys have hustled and scratched and clawed to improbable wins all year. We have some very good Pirates players who will hopefully evolve into a very good team in the future, given a little help from the front office.

    That said–I think Jandy makes a very good point above. These guys have raised expectations to the point that I actually care, something I haven’t done for at least 10 years. But that doesn’t excuse booing these guys.

    Stop the booing, PIttsburgh. This isn’t Philthadelphia, and we want to ensure that Cutch, the Pittsburgh Kid, Fort, A.J. and the like continue to want to play here.

  58. Drew71 says:

    Ok C.

    But can I boo Barranbas?

    Or at least the lineup card when he’s on it?

  59. Drew71 says:

    When Harry Met Sally overwhelmed?

  60. Drew71 says:

    Lucky, I need absolution.

    Badly.

  61. Leefoo says:

    LNK…yes, that # 3, “And speaking of streaks, at 12 games over .500, they’re an absolute lock to break The Streak and pass the 19-year barrier of 82 wins.” scared the heck out of me.

    When you only have ONE dependable starter, long losing streaks are a complete possibility. IF AJ is not on tomorrow (I’m already counting tonight as a loss) we get swept and are 10 games over, having lost 6 of 7! With St Louis coming up!

    Not that I am panicking or anything like that.

    As far as signs go, we had some hellacious storms here last night! Lightning struck the Wegman’s clock at MIDNIGHT!!! A sign of the ABucolypse????

    Frightened Foo

    .

  62. redus says:

    I am with everyone on the Barajas boat finally – there were situations in which a contribution offensively from him may have swung the momentum just enough to hold back the flood….Pedro too – sorry bro, you have got to get some better swings in…there can be no more waiting for you to wake up.

  63. Leefoo says:

    Barajas should ONLY start when catching AJ or when Fort needs a break!

    .

  64. Jandy says:

    Drew #60, hell yeah!

    Hyperventilating Foo, breathe, friend, breathe!

  65. CWalton_67 says:

    Drew–
    I’m just not for booing athletes who are competing hard, and I doubt that Barajas is giving anything less than maximum effort.

    No idea why Hurdle keeps running him out there daily, or Barmes for that matter, but I think Hurdle deserves some benefit of the doubt–he has this team of castoffs, misfits, and ne’er-do-wells 12 over .500 (with a little help from Cutch).

    Love that we debate these issues here, i.e. who should be playing? But I just think we should be showing this team a level of support that is equal to to the effort and performance they’ve given all year long. Who could have imagined this season in February?

  66. redus says:

    JAL, you nailed it up there with the 3 things…

    Snider is showing signs of finding a stroke right now. I don’t think that he takes a seat until after he has either cooled from a hot streak or simply never warms up – that rope he put off the wall last night was Giles-esque.

  67. JMB says:

    Since people started talking heavily about the “C” word (The Reds series), the Pirates are 4-8 — a .333 winning percentage.

    If the Pirates finish the final 46 games at a .333 WP (15.4 wins), they will go 79-83 (or rounded up to 16 wins: 80-82).

    It’s definitely a floundering/downward trend regarding playoff hopes, but it can be corrected. This team CAN go 26-20 but will they?

    Like a History Channel show, if this poor play continues, the fan base will look back at the trade deadline and the Reds’ series as the beginning of the end.

  68. LuckyNKentucky says:

    The only booing should be focused toward umpires. They expect it and they get paid for it. Not players giving 100%. Somebody loafing like those we don’t speak of (The Village-M. Night Shamalon) should also be robustly booed. Even football refs are doctors and lawyers, etc. not even full time. But baseball umps deserve what they get, especially with the quality this season and last. Just IMHO.

    Drew,

    I’m not Catholic. I can’t absolve you. Only Jandy can, or a higher power, which we do speak of. Insert smiling emoticon here.

  69. Jandy says:

    redus, thank you for bringing up Snider! The kid is doing well.

  70. Jandy says:

    Drew, say 10 Ave Marias and absolution shall find you!

  71. pants-n-at says:

    Someone mentioned earlier about things being contagious. I reckon that to winning and losing and attitude. That’s why I mentioned before that the timing of the AS break couldn’t have been worse. The Reds were reeling and we were the hottest team (except maybe the Yanks) in baseball. That break took away our Mojo. Reds regroup and we falter. Maybe some of us would be frustrated but not to this level if this was ll happening on the road. but this is at home where the Buccos were almost unbeatable. It appeared to be the best opportunity to gain ground on the reds/braves and/or distance ourselves from the rest of the pack. And it just ain’t happening. Time for an attitude adjustment. Get a win against a good pitcher like Kershaw and build on it. But its gotta start somewhere. Cuz right now, it deja vu all over again. And I ain’t liking it.

  72. Corey says:

    I’m kind of glad they’re struggling, simply for the fact that they’re doing it now. Every team is going to go through a tough patch like this. Get this out their system in August, let them work through it, and then start playing good ball again in September… as we head right into the postseason.

    As St Louis proved last year, the teams playing good ball in August don’t necessarily win, and those playing bad ball in August don’t necessarily lose. They just need to stay in the thick of the race during this tough patch and then turn it on in September.

  73. Arriba Wilver says:

    So now we’re quoting Barry Manilow songs? I think I’d prefer the glove.

  74. Jandy says:

    AW, I had it typed, then backspaced…don’t be tempting me! :p

  75. Bizrow says:

    Its not over yet, but the fat lady is starting to stretch out and gargle.

  76. Jandy says:

    Uh oh!

  77. Roy G Biv says:

    On this date in 1988, the Bucs also began the day 12 games over .500. The ’88 team also had their worst month of the season in August going 13-17.

  78. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Biz,

    Like Will Smith said in Independence Day “I ain’t heard no fat lady!”

  79. Arriba Wilver says:

    I was pretty confident we were going to break the streak and at least get to my pre-season prediction of 82-80 this year, until DK just HAD to say it was an “absolute lock.” Like mentioning a no-hitter too soon. Doesn’t mean it won’t happen, but . . .

  80. stuart66 says:

    With apologies for reposting from last night… I think Cutch’s “slump” coincides with his near beaning which was never answered by the Bucs. Has to cast a little doubt as to whether Clint really has your back. But having voiced that insight, I can’t say I have a clue as to how to remedy the situation. Wish we had a flame-thrower like Ryne Duren who frequently warmed up by throwing fastballs so wild they would almost hit the on deck batter. Any chance that Stetson Allie could be called up as the 14th pitcher? He might be a better bench option for hitting also.

    With tongue in cheek,
    Stuart66

  81. Jandy says:

    Stuart…Jason Hughes could handle the wild pitch easily ;)

  82. Jandy says:

    errrr Jared

  83. JohninOshkosh says:

    If this team drops to close to .500, then they will be playing for a .500 season like no team in the history of the game. Will be just like a tight pennant race, so they had better get used to pressure. Beating Kershaw tonight would be a good beginning.

    Just a little envious that Milo will get to see both reigning Cy Young winners pitch in person in one season.

  84. Dejan,

    Welcome back from your vacation!

    The reason “Collapse” seems to be mentioned frequently is that for this group of fans, collapse is part of our experience, whereas “winning season” is not!

    McCutch hitting .218 while trying to pull everything during the 2nd Half of the season is part of our experience, while McCutch having a complete season is not.

    Pedro’s disappearing/strike that disappeared extra base and Homerun and RBI bat is part of our experience, while a complete season is not.

    The contagious defensive lapses is part of our experience.
    The failing starting pitching is part of our experience.

    We are not satisfied just to go back to “The Drive For FIVE!!!!!!!!!!!! (hundred)!”

    It’s easier to be “the voice of reason” when you just come back from vacation.

    DK: The sentiment expressed in the column isn’t to enjoy .500. It’s to enjoy everything that’s there, including the pennant race and current playoff position. Have another look.

  85. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Say it with me Jandy

    #FREETHEFORT

    Barmes isn’t killing us right now, he’s doing OK in August but,

    #FREEJORDYMERCER

  86. Jandy says:

    #FREETHEFORT

    #FREEJORDYMERCER

  87. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I think the “true fans” bring up the collapse because we know its on the back of everyone’s mind.

    This is our fear for this team and for our well being.

    I’m sticking with them. I do believe that .500 will be broken. June/July is what they are capable of, but right now, they look like April/May.

    Pitching is falling off with the only trustworthy starter is AJ. Karstens did OK his last outing, but still got the loss.

    Offense needs to step it up and protect the pitching.

    Tough, tough match up today. I hope Wandy can hold his head above water.

    I’ll be back later this afternoon……..got a busy day and will be away actually working.

    Enjoy the debates.

  88. Jandy says:

    Practice makes perfect :)

  89. Arriba Wilver says:

    As one of the last holdouts on Barajas, I’m getting convinced. Fort should get at least 60% of the starts right now. Not sure about 80%, but yeah, 60%.

  90. Jandy says:

    AW, come on over to the dark side, we’re waiting for you (insert maniacal laughter here).

  91. stuart66 says:

    @Jandy,

    I’ll bet you’re too young to remember Bob “Battleship” Kelley or Steve Durbano. It was a risky situation to endanger a Penguin while they were around! I agree that Hughes would do with his “heat”. I so think we are being a little disrespected, and as others have pointed out, Cutch seems to be trying to pull everything. Sure hoping he doesn’t have a second half like last year.

    Stuart

  92. Jandy says:

    Stuart, while I’m not a youngun, I don’t remember Battleship or Durbano. I feel the Buccos are being put upon myself, but I won’t whine about it. Let the boys take care of it on the field :)

  93. albatross says:

    @Groat
    “for this group of fans, collapse is part of our experience, whereas “winning season” is not!”

    Us old farts remember winning seasons. Some of us remember winning post-seasons!

    I always keep things in perspective by thinking “at least I’m not a Cubs fan.”

  94. The Gunner says:

    @ Lucky – 54

    I guess I forgot to include last night’s game in my analysis. Rod’s a great guy but it is looking like he is, indeed, coaching material at this point. Sanchez will get his chance next year but I don’t care about 2013 – I want us in the playoffs………..NOW!!

    Gotta make the Phort the #1 catcher for the balance of 2012.

    ===========

    @ Stuart66 – 82

    Hey Big Stu……….love your reference to Ryne Duren. Even our own Bob Veale did that once in awhile especially when his glasses were all fogged up. Our Bucs really need to do an about face…………………….quickly!! The swagger needs to come back.

  95. stuart66 says:

    @Jandy I guess that’s the point. It hasn’t been taken care of on the field. I guess what you call “whining” is what I call being frustrated that you can’t do something about it yourself.
    FYI – Battle ship Kelley and Steve Durbano played during the Syl Apps Jean Pronovost era. Kelley could play left wing. Durbano was a so-called defenseman who had a screw loose. that made him somewhat dangerous and not someone you wanted to cross like Ryne Duren was in baseball. maybe you’ld agree that we have become a bit predictable as a team. The whole team needs a jolt. Know what ECT is?

    Stuart

  96. stuart66 says:

    @Gunner, I forgot about Veale! He did get his glasses steamed, and he could really bring it. Do you remember that he could “throw a strawberry through a locomotive?
    Stuart

  97. pants-n-at says:

    @ groat (86) Exactly. I do remember a winning season, but I was much thinnner and had more hair on my head. My kids were kids the last time it happened and now I have grandkids, but you get the point.

    Oh, and there’s that word contagious again. Not liking what these boys have caught lately and would love for them to pass it on to the Dodgers….starting tonight. Dad-gum it!

  98. JHadar says:

    I see it this way.

    1) If there is something to criticize, the critics will find it.

    2) I didn’t raise my expectations on my own, the team did that.

    3) If we went 161-1 the one loss would upset me.

    4) I will be happy at the end of the season

    5) Every out we make hurts. Ditto errors. Worse with a man on third.

    6) Every hit they git hurts. Runs are worse.

    7) Win or lose, when the game’s over that’s that and it’s time to get back to real life.

    8) It takes extreme frustration to boo the home team. 11-0 counts.

    9) Season still has hope. Long term even looks better.

    10) Pirate fan since 1957, not changing today.

  99. The Gunner says:

    @ stuart66 – 98

    I do remember the Gunner saying “Veale can throw a strawberry through a locomotive” for sure. Veale sure did sweat just like Jim Bibby, except Bibby didn’t have glasses.

    I sure wish we had 2 pitchers the caliber of Veale to go along with AJ right now. This slide would have sure ended by now.

  100. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Gunner,

    Great Bob Veale reference. Loved the guy. I won’t say what his nickname was on the blog, but your namesake shortened it so it could be used and be politically correct for the times. I love intimidating pitchers like him when they’re on our side. Gibson was another. No crowding the plate or reaching out over it against guys like that.

  101. JHadar says:

    And I hate auto-smileys. Must learn not to put a ) after an 8.

  102. AJS says:

    Here is the problem I see. I’m not convinced that this team won’t fall out of the second wild card tonight, lose again tomorrow and then drop 2 of 3 in St Louis. That would make them 65-56, 9 games over .500, 3-8 on an 11 game home stand where they typically make hay, and headed to that place that has been so troublesome for the Bucs over the years. It could be confidence shattering to them as well as the fans. That could lead to even more poor play. Which could lead to them NOT winning 82 games.

    It’s paranoia I know. But when all of the sudden things start to tumble out of control it is hard not to think here we go again.

    It’s not rage or anger, it’s fear. Hopes were so high. And fear of even the least ambitious of those hopes…82 wins…feels like it could be crushed at any moment.

    And enjoy the ride? It is hard to enjoy any ride that invloves multiple 6 run innings allowed on the past week. Or a home stand that result in 3 wins. Kershaw goes tonight. Reigning Cy Young winners don’t exactly raise my confidence in snapping the losing streak tonight.

  103. pants-n-at says:

    @ AW. I believe Barajas has handled the pitchers well and been good for the Fort. However, I’ve been saying for the past month that he needs to be sitting more because at his age playing that position in the dead of summer is not easy. Plus since the AS break, the Buccos had a better record with Fort starting…I haven’t re-checked that in a couple weeks…but why with our recent record. As Jandy says….come over to the dark side!

  104. Arriba Wilver says:

    JH–I agree with your list! With the exception of 8. I don’t get the booing, but your overall point is, I think, that what we feel now and during each game isnt how we will feel at the end of the season. I’m not sure how you say today, “Hey, we lost 11-0, but no big deal since we’re guaranteed to end 82-80.” Seems like feeling the same today as we may feel at the end of the season (at least in terms of criticizing the feeling today) almost makes the rest of the season almost irrelevant. Doesn’t sound like much fun.

  105. Bizrow says:

    “Gentlemen (and Gentle Ladies), this is our finest moment”

    Apollo 11. – Can’t remember the name of the actor, except he’s from the Burgh. Of course I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday.

    One can still hope, even if one expects….

  106. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Charlie Donovan would be an upgrade at GM for us.

  107. Jandy says:

    Stuart, I don’t know what ECT is and I’m afraid to ask!!! Lucky hinted that it’s not printable in this family blog. Evil ? ? wow, my mind is running wild LOL

  108. Jandy says:

    JHadar, I like any kind of smileys, auto or not! 8) :) ;) =)

  109. densum2 says:

    DK,

    Perfect pic for the column. One of the kids is my little cousin. His look says it all.

  110. Jandy says:

    Stuart…taking care of it on the field last night would have entailed: The tag Walker put on Kemp was knocked loose. I think I’d have tagged him so hard Kemp would have been half way to center field.

    But hey, what do I know?

  111. JHadar says:

    AW — Extreme frustration is the only rational thing I could come up with for why they got booed. Maybe mob mentality had a part.

    Personally I just turned off the computer and put a “Man From U.N.C.L.E” DVD on and sat down with Mrs. H. The episode turned out to be set in a sixties stereotype of Iowa. They had winding dirt roads through forested country, the major crop was wheat, Slim Pickens was the bad guy, and the heroine was a dewy-eyed farm girl who fell head over heels for Napoleon Solo. Laughed so hard I forgot all about the game.

  112. Drew71 says:

    Ok girl. It’s me or the smileys.

  113. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    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 a big-impact player. Maybe someone should tell Huntingdon THAT would be “interesting”. Sorry, after 200 years of losing, I as a fan am tired of the “let’s shoot for .500” mentality that seems to appease so many. 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. I’m still enjoying the ride, but it’s going to be a short one if things don’t turn around soon.

  114. Drew71 says:

    JH – Use AW’s new name.

    The Glove.

    He said he wants it.

  115. JHadar says:

    Jandy —

    I started using smileys when the internet consisted of things like Gopher, WAIS, telnet, and ftp. It was all text then. There was no worldwide web. Now we have a blind robot that turns legitimate text into cute icons.

    I wonder if typing them backwards would work? {^8

  116. Jandy says:

    Drew, awwww, you know I adore ya, friend ;)

  117. Jandy says:

    Jhadar, hubby complains about auto correct and tries to send me emoticons, but they never come thru right lol.

  118. Arriba Wilver says:

    JH—pay no attention to that man behind the Barry Manilow curtain.

  119. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Jandy,

    Veale’s nickname was a racial slur inclusive one, which I wouldn’t repeat if I was in a cave by myself, as I don’t use that word. Bob Prince shortened it for use on the air and in public, but he laughed every time he used it. The name was given to Veale by his teammates, I believe. The first word was Super and he changed it to Supe. The rest is left for non-publishment, but he was a heckuva pitcher.

  120. Chuck H says:

    O.K., it’s official now–everybody knew it was coming. What? The total collapse of our beloved Pirates. Just like last season, when we were in first place in July, the wheels have come off. Of course, our inability to acquire a proven major league hitter to bolster the offense and maybe, the collapse of the once great pitching staff, which was not bolstered by the likes of Wandy Rodriguez. Gaby Sanchez, who can’t hit, didn’t help at all. It was meant to be, for if we can’t even beat the Dodgers at home, then we don’t deserve to be where we are. We may break the .500 jinx, but even that is questionable, at this point. We need to get rid of a few non-productive players, including Pedro, who makes too many errors at third and strikes out way too much.

  121. Jandy says:

    Chuck, sorry, but if you think for one moment TBMTIB will get rid of Pedro, you don’t have to worry about a collapse, because you’re delusional =)

  122. Arriba Wilver says:

    To change the subject a bit, to the title of this Wakeup Call, When I saw yesterday someone reporting that Fehr was going to go back to the owners with a proposal to go to a luxury tax, I thought the report had to be insane. They just got the Cap by basically cancelling the season the last time. You don’t just give that up ’cause Fehr’s involved. Luckily, he didn’t, regardless of what he thought as the rep for the baseball players, who had/have no Cap.

  123. Jandy says:

    Lucky, ahhh those were the days, eh???

  124. JHadar says:

    AW — Drew has his points, but I think I can successfully ignore that one.

  125. JHadar says:

    Chuck — My sarcasm detector just went on overload.

  126. Jandy says:

    AW, if there is a lockout, it will be a looooong time before (and if) the sport of hockey recovers. I’ll be so jacked, I’ll boycott everything hockey. Period. It’s ridiculous both sides waited so long to even BEGIN negotiations. Both sides have a lot to lose, but the fans are the ones who really lose out. I honestly don’t know if I can forgive that a second time. The cap is what makes the system work with parity in the NHL. They lose that, it’s going to be a mess.

  127. DemonDachshund says:

    If I take my kids to Disney World, I enjoy it.

    If someone punches me in the stomach and takes my wallet in the middle of the afternoon, I stop enjoying it.

    The Buccos and their Little League level play for the past week have been a punch to the gut. It’s not the losses, it’s the mediocre pitching and the TERRIBLE defense.

    Yes, they have a half game lead for the second wild card. Yes, they have time to turn it around. But it’s looking much more likely that they’ll be 3 or 4 games back by the end of the weekend.

  128. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jandy–I think the message from the players proposal is there’s going to be a settlement. Probably without missing any games.

  129. The Gunner says:

    @ Lucky – 121

    For the life of me, I can’t remember the nickname Veale got from the real Gunner. Can you give me a clue as to what the 2nd word is or what it begins with?

  130. Jandy says:

    AW, I hope you’re right. As much as I love baseball and chatting with you guys in here, hockey is my passion. AND hubby likes it too :)

  131. buggee says:

    >>> Fehr isn’t fretting about a cap because there’s already a cap in place. So they don’t have to start from scratch, just fine-tune it a bit. Not cool on the luxury-tax idea though.

    >>> Good column this morning DK. So many have been following the Pirates for so long that most feel a meltdown is inevitable.

    >>> I wonder though, was it really wise to get Wandy? Their starters have really gone into the tank, and Wandy is oh-fer since he strapped on the jolly-roger. Oh well, hindsight is always 20-20. I’m still gonna enjoy the Bucs this season because a winning season is far better than a losing season (and me lil wifelett thinks Cutch is “cute”). Whatever. See it, hit it, and…

    Raise it yinz jagoffs.

  132. JAL says:

    As for players teams got at the trade deadline, see morning link 15–not working out too well yet. (In post 16)

  133. Jandy says:

    Holy shuttlecocks, it’s buggee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  134. Thundercrack says:

    So because I am extemely happy with the team’s record, not freaking out over a recent rough patch of games, and not so worried about the playoffs (since I never expected it anyway) I have been diagnosed with not having a competitive bone in my body. Interesting.

    Someone’s earlier point about the fact that goals change after you have met the goal is spot on. For many of us the goal in the beginning of the season was a winning record.

  135. Dave says:

    Hard for the Pirates to keep winning when they keep running the dead bodies of Barajas and Barmes out almost everyday especially when facing quality pitching.

    Barajas has a Barmes like .449OPS since June 10th and a .265OPS in his last 15 games!

    Barmes has been the worst hitter in the majors this season. Hard to win games when the likely ‘Manager of the Year’ gives away between 22.2-29.6% of the game (note that doesn’t count the pitcher).

  136. The Gunner says:

    @ JAL – 134

    This was on the ESPN blog:

    “The biggest acquisition may prove to be Paul Maholm. He was regarded as the third-best of the Cubs pitchers on the trade block (behind Dempster and Matt Garza, who wasn’t dealt), but has been superb for the Braves, allowing three runs through his first two starts. Over his last eight starts, he’s allowed eight runs. It’s possible that Maholm could be this year’s Doug Fister, the under-the-radar pickup that proves to be a better deal than the more glamorous names.”

    Hindsight is always 20-20 but, NH could have re-acquired Maholm at the deadline for a reasonable return to bolster his sagging front line pitching.

  137. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Gunner,

    It was Super _________. The dreaded word. His teammates (I think) gave it to him because of his super-human prowess. Think of the worst racial slur you can imagine and that was it. Prince called him Supe for short and only later did anyone find out, when some columnist wrote a story on sports nicknames, that it had a second word. I’m glad I didn’t find out until later. Veale was a fine person and used few spoken words. He spoke more with his fastball. I don’t think John Kruk would have stood in against a lefty like him.

  138. CJL says:

    Thanks (i guess?) for the pic of us and sorry that’s how we looked. We had a great time at the game so close to the players and are true Pirate fans. Last night just didn’t give us much to smile about. :(

  139. Cmat0829 says:

    Great article DK. Guess what folks, this is what being in a pennant race is all about. Every loss hurts more and everyone feels the pressure more. Can the Bucs step up? That is what excites me the most about the next few weeks. Clint has often talked about the steps the team needs to make to compete for a championship….this team has taken a huge stride over last year and now has a chance to make another step. To stare down the pressure and respond. I hope the will. As a fan I will root for them with everything I’ve got. Don’t really understand what people get out of being negative and pointing out all the weaknesses and shortcomings vs enjoying the ride. But to each his or her own. Let’s go BUCS!

  140. Thundercrack says:

    I thought Wandy was picked up to bolster the sagging front line pitching. Maholm is pitching well, but I didn’t want to revisit the past with him.

    Now if NH wanted to acquire Joey Bats to hit cleanup…I’m all in

  141. Boise Bucco says:

    I just don’t understand why we should be ok with the Bucs being the baseball version of the Bengals or the Lions every year, where if they go 5-11 it’s like “oh well, at least they whupped up on the Scrubs.” And if they get to the point they were in July where they were playing first-place ball, it’s outside everyone’s mind that it could actually be sustainable.

    It’s been too dang long. I don’t want to just be content with what they are. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy watching them this year, I enjoy the Bucs for what they are every year, but there’s nothing wrong with wanting a little more. Like I said before, they set the bar in July, they can’t take it all back now. Now that they’ve shown what they’re capable of, I expect it.

    haha I’m still really ticked off about that game yesterday…

  142. The Gunner says:

    @ Lucky – 139

    Must be like when George Jefferson would call Archie Bunker a “honky”, right??

  143. The Gunner says:

    @ Thundercrack – 141

    I understand about revisiting the past with Maholm. But the bottom line is Maholm is better than most of the starting rotation. Hey, if he could help us to win the pennant, I’ll forget the past in a hurry, wouldn’t you?

  144. Thundercrack says:

    Gunner, my fear was that as soon as Maholm put his Pirate uniform back on he would turn back into the Maholm of the past

  145. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Gunner,

    Right you are. That’s one story I wish I hadn’t read. But it explained why Prince always giggled when he referred to Veale as Supe. Prince laughed all the time, anyway, but that one seemed to stand out, to me anyway. Didn’t Veale break his glasses once and someone refused to get in the box when he didn’t have them on? Like Jandy said, those were the days.

  146. Jandy says:

    so, Dejan is awfully quiet today. I thought he was on vacation NEXT week???

  147. Thundercrack says:

    I just read DK’s article. Nice.

    I get why everyone doesn’t feel the way I do (#136). And I now get that for some celebrating and savoring a winning season might have to wait until the end of the season. I get that the focus for some right now is making the playoffs. [who doesn't want to make the playoffs] And for all of us who weren’t in London since the end of July and were actually watching these Pirate games, we have all seen that playoff chance begin to possible slip away. We’ve seem the bad play and leads slip away. It is hard to watch them blow a big lead to the Padres but at the same time “savor & celebrate” the winning record. At the trade deadline some were happy with the winning -but yet we were reading & hearing about how these chances don’t happen all the time and the FO had to be all in. So many conflicting emotions about our great season.

    So know my official stance is: Feel the way you want to feel. You don’t need anyone to tell you that.

  148. buggee says:

    hrrrrrr, well shiver me shuttlecock, if it isn’t the Jandylicious. How is yer fine self, young lady? And how are the rest of this fine, feckless crew? I’ve been a lil out of sorts lately, recovering from brick-breaking demo. Nope. Did NOT use my head…

    twould be sweeter ‘n’ honey in me whiskey if today’s Buc-on-the-Bump (Wandy? Who calls themselves “WANDY”?) would give us cause to celebrate a victory and…

    Raise it yinz jagoffs

  149. buggee says:

    Everybody… pile on some fiber bars and do the Dance of the Shuttlecock!

  150. Arriba Wilver says:

    TC—I’m all in with your official stance.

    Signed,
    A Pirate Fan

  151. The Gunner says:

    @ Thundercrack – 145

    Ha ha – that’s a point well taken that he would turn back into the Maholm of the past. Well, we’ll never know but, I think he would have been good pickup to bolster the starting pitching. With AJ, Wandy, Karstens, & Maholm, our staff would have been much stronger.

    Hey – Locke looked pretty good last night. He was starting in Indy. Why not start him up here? Then we’ll have AJ, Wandy, Karstens, & Locke. DFA Qualls, bring up a position player (hopefully Presley and not my nemisis Scabata) and let’s go strap it on ‘em!

  152. The Gunner says:

    The Gunner
    @ Lucky – 146

    Now it is coming back to me about Supe. Prince did laugh and carry on all the time about many things; he was one of the best.

    And I think Lou Brock was the guy who refused to get in the box when Veale broke his glasses. I remember that game because Prince was making a big deal out of it and laughing so hard, I thought he was going to have an “accident” during his broadcast.

  153. Jandy says:

    Uncle Cracker….good advice for all Priate Family members.

    buggee, you out-backed shuttlecock banging lunatic, you! Meself is just fine as frog hairs, and I’m fixin to watch the Buccos turn this ship around, matey, just as soon as the Hubs and I get back from a customer’s place for an estimate…and no, it’s not brick layin’! ;)

  154. Jandy says:

    I wonder if Drewster is still in the confessional saying Ave Marias?? I said 10 of them, not 10,000!

    And where is RF today???

  155. pants-n-at says:

    Did Wandy get Maholm’s old uni?

  156. buggee says:

    >>> I think its ironic that Karstens outlasted Maholm with the Battlin’ Bucs.

    >>> Jandylicious, “Brick-layin’” is one way of puttin’ it, lass! And there ye have it

    >>> I’m swearing off punching bricks for the rest of 2012, whether they’re aflame or not!

    hrrrrr! Hoist up the Jolly Shuttlecock mateys!

  157. twentytwo22 says:

    “In baseball, batting average (AVG) is a measure of a batter’s success rate in achieving a hit during an at bat. In Major League Baseball (MLB), it is calculated by dividing a player’s hits by his at bats (AB). In MLB, a player in each league[L] wins the “batting title” each season for having the highest batting average that year.[1][2] Under current rules, a player must have 3.1 plate appearances (PA) per team game (for a total of 502 over the current 162-game season) to qualify for the batting title.”

    “[3] However, if a player’s lead in AVG is sufficiently large that enough hitless at bats can be added to reach this requirement and the player still would have the highest batting average, he wins the title.[3] Tony Gwynn, for example, had 159 hits in 451 ABs in 1996 (.353 average) but only 498 PAs.[4] Gwynn’s batting average would have dropped to .349 (159 hits in 455 ABs) with four hitless ABs added to reach the 502 PA requirement, but this would still have been higher than the next-highest eligible player, so he was awarded the 1996 National League (NL) batting title.[5]”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Major_League_Baseball_batting_champions

    If McCutchen ends the season at .345. Will they add the 1 plate appearance to get Cabrera the batting title?

    Seems like it’s now 6 teams battling for 5 spots. If I’m a Pirates’ player this news fires me up.

  158. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Gunner,

    Lou Brock is a smart man. Wish they had a tape of that game. My boys don’t believe me that things like that happened. They did laugh until they cried at John Kruk bailing on Randy Johnson in the ASG. Even stone-face Johnson cracked a smile on that one.

  159. JAL says:

    Cabrera done

    MLB ‏@MLB
    BREAKING: Giants OF Melky Cabrera suspended 50 games without pay after testing positive for Testosterone, a performance-enhancing substance.

  160. JAL says:

    Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal
    Cabrera takes responsibility in statement. “My positive test was the result of my use of a substance that I should not have used.”

  161. Jandy says:

    JAL, oh man. HOw dumb can Cabrera be??? Sheesh!

    buggee, it’s not brick-layin’ I’m tellin’ ya! We do it on the floor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  162. JAL says:

    Jandy

    pretty dumb

    Game thread up

  163. Jandy says:

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

  164. Dan Finnegan says:

    DK,

    I hear ya talkin’ in the column today, yeah it could be worse, but it’s games like last night’s that remind us that the Pirates haven’t built up enough capital with the fans to tolerate too many performances like last nights. Welcome back from the Olympics by the way.

  165. JoeBucco says:

    I’m with you DK, this team is different.

    August is a brutally tough month. June and July were relatively soft. Last I checked, it is harder to beat good teams than it is to beat bad teams.

    The good news, after a tough August, it actually gets pretty good again in September. If we’re within a couple of games of a wild card on Sept. 1, we’re in pretty good shape for a playoff spot. Which in itself would be friggin awesome.

    Enjoy the ride….

 
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