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Wakeup Call: Well, did you enjoy THAT?

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Brief and to the Point …

>> Nothing like writing a column asking a fan base to enjoy a pennant race the morning before they get blown out and lose one of their best players.

Yeah, enjoy!

Look, as I wrote in that column, it’s tough. I get that. It might get even tougher in the days and weeks ahead, and almost surely will if the pitching doesn’t rediscover some traction soon. But the point of the piece — which apparently eluded a few — was that what’s happening, the situation that’s currently at hand, is still a major upgrade not only over last year but also above all reasonable expectations.

As I also wrote, I see it as cause for disappointment, not devastation. That’s not imposing my view on anyone else. Feel how you want. Just sharing mine.

>> There was no immediate  word from the Pirates about Neil Walker and his dislocated finger yet, and you shouldn’t expect it until today. Standard practice for the team with hand injuries is that the player is seen by Dr. Mark Baratz, their hand specialist at AGH, before any firm timetable emerges.

One recent precedent suggests Walker shouldn’t miss much. Jack Wilson, now with the Braves, dislocated a pinky finger July 14 and began a rehab assignment July 23. In theory, he could have been back with Atlanta in two weeks. But he had a setback in aggravating the injury.

An MRI will show if Walker’s injury is different or if it involves ligaments. The latter would complicate things.

>> Moneyballers — the genuine articles that approach topics with real objectivity as opposed to groupthink — will appreciate Joe Starkey’s column today. It’s on … football.

>> It would appear, with all the attention the Steelers are giving Chris Rainey and Jonathan Dwyer, we might all have wasted a lot of energy in weighing the merits of Isaac Redman as the “feature back” in Rashard Mendenhall’s absence. Have to wonder how many touches he’ll get a game.

Especially now that Redman is a little banged up.

>> It’s now Day 2 since Donald Fehr was OK with a salary cap. Still processing.

>> Here’s the thing: Fehr was never the problem in baseball. This proves it. It was always, always, always the owners’ lack of will and resolve, a trait that remains in place today. The NHL owners would never give up the cap. Fehr knows it. So you move on to the next item on the agenda.

>> We will resume — finally — our weekly chat today at noon.

109 Comments

  1. Wow, was that a terrible game for the Bucs. Two more big innings from Resop and Wandy.

    Pedro as a substitute with the golden sombrero. Marte with 3 K’s of his own.

    Its a bad day for offense when your best hitter was Clint Barmes 2 for 2 with an RBI as a ph-sub.

    Even more disappointing after a players-only meeting called by AJ. Hope he is more effective on the mound tomorrow, than he was as a motivational speaker.

  2. I just got back from the game. I had free tickets. Who do I see for a refund ?

  3. They are now at .500 since the All Star break. Team is slowly sinking into vintage Pirate land.

  4. Feel how you want. I think I wrote that yesterday.

    DK is finally coming around to my way of thinking.

  5. Everyone back away from their ledges. This just in, the Dodgers are a good – no, very, very good – baseball team. Not sure any of us expected a W against Kershaw tonight, so 9-3, 2-1, 15-0, whatever… they all count as 1 in the L column.

    I do expect one in the W column tomorrow though, with AJ against Blanton. Then it’s off to St. Louis for the biggest series we’ve played since… well, this one. And the Reds one last week.

  6. @Dave – I’m still trying to process how .500 is ‘vintage Pirate land’. Just sayin…

  7. I tried to process how EYE feel.

    You know. One of those in-a-word oversimplification thingees.

    So I started with the good times. Winning at a .600 clip. Or last season, the First One Hundred Days. When it was all new. The Days Of Wine And Roses.

    I feel…Young.

    And now that it’s all slipping away. Again.

    I feel old.

    That’s the best that I could do.

  8. Who is dallas mcpherson and where did he come from? I see he started 3b at indy last night.

  9. @Matt – McPherson was at one time a highly regarded power hitting prospect, but never really hit for much average and fizzled out in at the ML level. A good low-risk move for the Bucs, but nothing to really care about.

  10. JAL’s Danny Says 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: Rodriguez Struggling Since Trade; Do Pirates Need to Look For Help?

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/08/pirates-notebook-rodriguez-struggling-since-trade-do-pirates-need-to-look-for-help.html

    Walker Exits Game with Dislocated Right Pinky

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/08/walker-exits-game-with-dislocated-right-pinky.html

    Wilson Throws Six Good Innings, Hague Homers in Indians Loss

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/08/wilson-throws-six-good-innings-hague-homers-in-indians-loss.html

    Prospect Watch: Justin Wilson Continues to Have Success in Rotation

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/08/prospect-watch-justin-wilson-continues-to-have-success-in-rotation.html

    First Pitch: Is The Trade Deadline Overrated?

    http://blogs.piratesprospects.com/williams/first-pitch-is-the-trade-deadline-overrated/

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates Lose Neil Walker In 9-3 Loss

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2012/8/15/3246165/pirates-lose-neil-walker-in-9-3-loss
    6 Rumbunter

    Pittsburgh Pirates Trade Rumors: Is It Time To Make a Call on Alfonso Soriano?

    http://rumbunter.com/2012/08/15/pittsburgh-pirates-trade-rumors-is-it-time-to-make-a-call-on-alfonso-soriano/

    7 McEffect

    Wednesday 8/15 Minor League Roundup

    http://www.mceffect.com/2012/08/wednesday-815-minor-league-roundup.html

    8 The Green Weenie

    Pirates Pummeled 9-3, Walker Hurt

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2012/08/pirates-pummeled-9-3-walker-hurt.html

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Wednesday was a bad day

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2012/08/wednesday-was-a-bad-day/

    10 WHY GAVS

    Game 117: Dodgers 9 Pirates 3

    http://whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/august-2012/game-117-dodgers-9-pirates-3.html

  11. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 CBS Sports

    Pirates-Dodgers Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20120816_LAD@PIT/dodgerspirates-preview

    12 LA Times

    Clayton Kershaw and Dodgers bats sink Pirates, 9-3

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/baseball/mlb/dodgers/la-sp-0816-dodgers-pirates-20120816,0,1632499.story

    13 Chicago Tribune

    Pirates Report

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/sns-rt-bbo-pirates-teamreportmtze88frp80er-20120815,0,2852532.story

    14 The Norman Transcript

    Pirates of earlier era received stamp of approval

    http://normantranscript.com/opinion/x994535700/Pirates-of-earlier-era-received-stamp-of-approval

    15 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Bernie Bytes: Kelly made Cardinals’ decision tougher

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/bernie-miklasz/bernie-bytes-kelly-made-cardinals-decision-tougher/article_9470ca82-e6de-11e1-88b6-001a4bcf6878.html

    16 KDKA

    ‘Walk On Wednesday’: Pinpointing The Pirates’ Problem

    http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2012/08/15/walk-on-wednesday-pinpointing-the-pirates-problem/

    17 Beaver County Times

    Dodgers take third straight from reeling Bucs

    http://www.timesonline.com/sports/pirates/dodgers-take-third-straight-from-reeling-bucs/article_2b3baf94-26a6-5fb4-acd2-d977887404a0.html

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    18 PBC Site

    Wandy remains winless with Pirates after rout

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2012_08_15_lanmlb_pitmlb_1&mode=recap&c_id=pit

    Walker exits game due to dislocated finger

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120815&content_id=36757266&vkey=news_pit&c_id=pit

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    What You Need to Know

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=18037

    20 Fangraphs

    Reviewing the NL Sleeper Prospects of 2012

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/reviewing-the-nl-sleeper-prospects-of-2012/

  12. Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    James Harrison and the Apocalypse: Should We All Panic Now?

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/8/15/3244407/james-harrison-and-the-apocalypse-should-we-all-panic-now

    Steelers Position Battle Preview: Charlie Batch vs. Jerrod Johnson

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/8/15/3244021/steelers-training-camp-preseason-charlie-batch-jerrod-johnson-quarterbacks-indianapolis-colts

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Training Camp-Day 22 Recap

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2012/08/2012-pittsburgh-steelers-training-camp-wednesday-day-twenty-two-recap/

    23 Steelers Gab

    Report: LB Harrison Could Require Knee Surgery

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2012/08/15/report-lb-harrison-could-require-knee-surgery/

    24 Nice Pick Cower

    Drew Butler, Preseason, and the Steelers Punter Position

    http://nicepickcowher.com/2012/08/15/drew-butler-preseason-and-the-steelers-punter-position/

    Pitt Blogs

    25 Pitt Blather

    Adding Defense for 2013, Well More Like 2014

    http://www.pittblather.com/2012/08/15/adding-defense-for-2013-well-more-like-2014/

    26 Cardiac Hill

    The Cardiac Hill Roadshow: Traveling To Connecticut

    http://www.cardiachill.com/2012/8/15/3149179/pitt-pittsburgh-panthers-uconn-connecticut-huskies-boston-college-eagles-cardiac-hill-roadshow

    WVU Blogs

    27 Metro News

    Secondary To Feature First Year Talent

    http://www.wvmetronews.com/wvu.cfm?func=displayfullstory&storyid=54382

    28 WV Illustrated

    WVU Lineman Curtis Feigt Catching the Eyes of his Coaches

    http://www.wvillustrated.com/story/19267951/wvu-lineman-curtis-feigt-catching-the-eyes-of-his-coaches

    Soccer(football)

    29 Sky Sports

    United agree RVP deal

    http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11670/7992947/United-agree-RVP-deal

    30 Daily Telegraph

    Bolton Wanderers to offer Fabrice Muamba chance to work at the club folllowing retirement announcement

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/bolton-wanderers/9477161/Bolton-Wanderers-to-offer-Fabrice-Muamba-chance-to-work-at-the-club-folllowing-retirement-announcement.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-15th-august-2012

    PENGUIN BLOGS

    32 Pensburgh

    Season in Review: Paul Martin

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2012/8/15/3244195/season-in-review-paul-martin

  13. Danny Says, Ramones, 1980—Really, this is the song for Idaho

  14. Matt

    McPherson is minor league filler. He is 32 and Pirates are his 6th organization. Was released by White Sox on August 2. Was a second round pick back in 2001

  15. Talk about a stretch.

    Idaho is barely a state.

  16. Maholm last night 7 strong innings, 5 hits, 1 earned, 7 Ks

  17. I’ll say this about Dallas McPherson.

    He has a cool name.

    Probably why he was drafted so high.

  18. He’s now 11-7 with a 3.39 ERA and getting stronger as the season grinds on

  19. JAL

    Thanks for the info

  20. The Pirates are playing some pretty bad baseball right now. No matter what you thought of this team before the season they weren’t going to be as bad as they are right now. Hopefully they are just in a rut and will bounce out of it soon. Hurdle can’t pitch but I know he is a good motivator. Time for him to invoke some magic in that clubhouse (which I am sure he has been doing all along).

    As far as Walker, I dislocated many fingers in my time and would be back in action in a couple days. I expect him back sooner than later.

  21. Appreciate DK trying to keep the NHL/Fehr talks on the table during the Pirate meltdowns.

    Really interesting stuff when you think about it, moreso for what it says about the MLB than NHL.

  22. Yep, I was there last night, too. Indeed painful to view this in person. Give credit to the opponent though. Dodgers are hitting there early season stride. That is a pretty good team.

  23. @ JUCOFan – 17

    Your quote about Maholm: “He’s now 11-7 with a 3.39 ERA and getting stronger as the season grinds on.”

    Per Baseball Reference:

    (1) Maholm’s 2012 salary is $4,750,000 with a team option of $6.5 for 2013. The BMTIB chose to sign Erik Bedard (who is 3 years older with a history full of injuries) for $4,500,000.

    (2) Then, why don’t we talk about Ryan Doumit (current salary @ $3,000,000), who was often injured during his Pirate years. His 2012 #s with the Twins, 14 HR, 59 RBIs, Avg @ .294, OPS @ .834. The BMTIB chose to sign Rod Barajas (who is 6 years older than Doumit) for $4,000,000. Barajas is hitting .194 but he has a great personality for sure.

    (3) Then, there’s the Nate McLouth signing instead of trying to keep Ryan Ludwick and I am sure there is more.

    No one is perfect but, it looks like NH missed out on some great opportunities that were right under his nose. Eventually, mistakes like this will bite you in the behind; it just took a little longer to occur in 2012. The trip to St. Louis will let us know what the Bucs are ready made of.

  24. Don’t expect Dallas McPherson to be lightning in a bottle. He K’d four times for Indy last night. One golden sombrero-wearing 3B is enough.

  25. Not sure if anyone should be surprised at how badly Wandy is pitching for us. What about his record since it was a cool 1.99 back in May surprised you?

    I hated the deal when it was done and still do. Btw, don’t look now, but Grossman’s OPS is over 1.000 for his new team. But that’s okay….who needs a viable leadoff man who is scoring a run a game in the minors?? WE GOT WANDY THE MAGNIFICENT!!!

    Neal…I love ya man, but your scouts sold you on a guy’s career and not on what he is currently doing.

    Btw, Maholm went 7 inn and only gave up 1 run last night. Perhaps a homecoming would’ve been better? I do.

    I am NOT a happy Foo this morn.

    .

  26. And *I* am NOT a Dandy Jandy >:(

  27. I’ve been on the Maholm bandwagon since before NH didn’t pick up the $9mm option this season, but it is what it is now. I was one of the few who dismissed the Wandy trade at the time, and I hate it more now. I had no problem traded the prospects, but I wanted a splashier return.

    However, NH might have hit a HR w. Snider, so we’ll have to take the good w. the bad.

    Where I am worried is NH’s much ballyhooed drafts.

    At this point, his drafts look awful in the context of all of the high picks.

    I’m still in the El Toro fan club, but how about some other guys?

    Sanchez is going to have to repeat AAA in 2013 at this point.

    Jamo is in A+ and supposedly still 3-4 years away per KLaw, while MM is playing in MLB.

    Cole was a #1 overall, and he better end up being the real deal. He is looking good so far, but guys like Verlander & Price are his comparables. So he’d better be up and performing well by June 2013.

    This year’s 1st round draft pick was a roll of the dice that crapped out.

    The 2013 draft needs to be two college players in the 1st round who will be ready for the beginning of our 2014 dynasty run.

  28. DK….would you be so kind as to print a retraction of your comment “We are a lock to finish over .500″?

    I would REALLY appreciate it. I would sleep better.

    Thank you.

    Five Hundred Foo

    .

  29. JMB….I posted on the Plus Blog that I wanted to keep Maholm, too.

    Did you read the article on Pirates Prospects (8/14) about JT’s comparable numbers to other ‘top guns’. It wasn’t positive.

    Btw, I, too, wanted Machado, altho he may end up at 3b instead of SS.

    Thank goodness our Latin players seem to be coming through.

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

    Is it too much to ask for us to put Locke into the rotation? I can think of 3 or 4 guys I could pull out off the top of my head

    ————

    Jandy….you’re not Jandylicious and I’m not Foostatic this morn. And, if AJ doesn’t win today, we could be looking at 7 in a row with the Cards coming in.

  30. And what’s with all of our Steeler RBs getting injured? Are we gonna have to pass on every down?

    What a rotten morning! I think I’m gonna go edge my lawn!

    .

  31. Foo, take your ol’ lady to the mall

  32. The Pirates are 3-7 in their last ten. The .300 pace equals 14-31 and a final record of 78-84.

    The Pirates need to finish 18-27 to break the streak — .400 ball, which is eminently doable.

    26-19 is .578 ball. If they can get it going, we will have an awesome Sept.

  33. Foo —what Latin players are you referring to (that have been picked up by Neal) As “coming through?”

  34. @Foo

    Yes, that PP comparison makes me hope that we trade Jamo this offseason for someone very good/great.

  35. Arriba

    Foo probably referring to this

    Alen Hanson, Gregory Polanco Taken in First Round of Dominican League Draft

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/08/alen-hanson-gregory-polanco-taken-in-first-round-of-dominican-league-draft.html

  36. Jandy….working in the yard is cheaper!

  37. >>> Can Pedro pitch, even with his hat pulled down over his ears? At least that excuse his dismal plate performance lately…

    >>> Jandy will always be Jandylicious, no matter how badly the Bucs are sucking…

    >>> dismal performance last night. No tee-shirts, fireworks, concerts or bobbleheads to ease the dismay over that slopfest…

    >>> hope Walker doesn’t have ligament damage. At least it was his pinkie and not his ring finger. That may irk his better half if he can’t get that bling on…

    >>> can Barajas pitch?…

    >>> Is it hockey season yet? Jonesing for some fun at the Con.

    >>> BTW, why don’t the Pens have that high-pitched tone going off anymore along with their goal-horn? I miss that. Filthadelphia still does it, so do the Crapitals and the Crapicanes and the Crapadians and the Craphawks and the CrapWings. WE NEED TO KNOW???

  38. AW….Polanco, Heredia and Hanson are arguably in our top 6 or 7 minor league prospects.

    .

  39. Hurdle to Pedro – “Whatever you’ve been doing, do it different. I’m gonna go find a popsicle so I can put Walker back together when I’m done”.

    Snyder and Sanchez will be to the rescue….everyone calm down. Better to skid now than later. Would hurt much worse in late September.

  40. JMB….agree about JT. Heck, I’m still not completely sold on Cole. Btw, there was talk in the local paper that Rendon may get a call up to the Nationals in Sept. Rizzo was quoted “he has some of the fastest wrists I’ve ever seen”!

    I know why we didn’t draft him #1, but………..

    sigh……………

  41. JMB….I’d like to agree with your .500 numbers, but outside of AJ, how many of our current list of #5 starters do you have confidence in to pitch a good game in the last 6 weeks?

  42. Thanks, Foo (and JAL).

  43. Foo,

    Taillon pitched well last night. His ERA is down to below 4. He’s coming along at a decent pace. We’ll need him down the road. Look at the staff now.

  44. We definitely need AJ to pitch well — nothing less than a QS (6 innings/3 runs) — tonight.

    When will AJ pitch next, Tuesday or Wed, at least I’ll get to see one game where he pitches in SD.

    I hope AJ pitches Tues & JMac on Wed next week, but the 6 man rotation tells me someone else will pitch on Wed.

  45. We’re (the PBC) still 11 over, but we gotta stop the bleeding right now. If AJ doesn’t put his foot down today, I got a bad feeling.

  46. Let’s see, they are 4 and 9 since 8/1. That works out to a .308 winning percentage and 9 of those 13 games were at home. Same old Pirates. So what if they get to 82. When they have shown that they can play “so much better”, “much better” becomes the standard. .500 ball in August would be acceptable because that is “much better” than last August. .308 is unacceptable. The starters are faltering big time. Their relievers are adding fuel to the fire. Their offense looks like the offense of April and May. I’ll be surprised if they play .400 ball the rest of the season. I’d love to see them prove me wrong, but I highly doubt it.

  47. September has lots of Astros and Cubs on the schedule. Let’s just get through Monday in ok shape, and we’ll be fine.

  48. The world is coming to an end.

  49. I understand the need to blame everything when the team isn’t winning games, but I don’t get the people claiming the offense has reverted back to April. The Pirates are 8th in the league in runs scored in August. They’ve already scored more runs this month than all of March and April combined.

    The offense is not the problem.

    Dejan said way back when that this team will only go as far as the pitching takes it. That was just as true when they were scoring three runs a game as it is now that they are scoring five.

  50. Remember when Dejan went away to London and folks said what a shame because the Pirates were finally exciting and fighting for 1st Place?

    His response was roughly, “Why would I not want to go and see the world’s greatest sporting event? When I get back I will still get to see 6 weeks of the pennant race.”

    Well, he was half right. The vast majority of comments here and last night have to do with trying to keep above .500, not staying in the pennant or playoff race! What a change!!

    If the pitching doesn’t magically return, Jerry Meals will have to stand in line when considering Pirate failures.

  51. LnK….regarding JT….read the article on P2, before you say he’s doing well. Besides, a #1 pick who just got his ERA under 4:00 in A ball is NOT doing well, imho.

    Compare him to Clay Holmes who is under the same pitching ‘restrictions’!

  52. If this keeps up, we’ll be focusing on Steelers training camp….something I was actually pleased to not have focus on at this time of the year.

  53. I’d also love to see some of these young arms sooner. How can they do any worse? If losing isn’t enough motivation, maybe a little competition from within will light a fire under some of these guys.

  54. The Pirates starting pitching and front part of the bullpen has been getting exposed by the Padres and Dodgers. I honestly thought Kershaw, after seeing him pitch the first inning, was gonna throw a no-hitter last night, he looked that good(or the Pirates hitters made him look that good). Pirates hitters need to step up and show us they have some idea of what the strike zone looks like and the plate discipline to look for their pitch and hit it.

  55. I want to WIN . . . . . and I want to WIN now!!

    At the Deadline the Dodgers added two significant bats to assist their MVP candidate in center and their Cy Young hopeful. They also added a rental starter who was leading the league in ERA.

    At the Deadline the Pirates added two prospect bats who spent the majority of their seasons in AAA to assist their MVP candidate in center and their Cy Young hopeful. They also added a downsliding starter who had 2 1/2 years of control left on his contract.

    Which team, by their actions, wants——really WANTS——to WIN? Not just hope to WIN but endeavor to WIN?

    I HATE the word prospects!!!!!

  56. Foo,

    I don’t read P2, although it’s excellent. Barely have time to look in here some days. I didn’t say he was doing well. I said he’s coming along at a decent pace. (Now I sound like DK “I said this, not that”) He’s in High A at age 20, not 21 until November. Believe me, I like Holmes, too. He’s in the equivalent of Low-A and still only 19. Doing an excellent job.

  57. I’m putting on the Lady Clairol this morning because I’m growing grayer by the minute. Sooo disappointed that things appear to be coming apart of late. And NO, I am NOT enjoying this! Please, AJ, put the brakes on the slide.

  58. @G2M2S. I hear ya man….prospects should not have been in the equation this year.

  59. Rendon has fast wrists.
    There shouldcd have been a homecoming for Maholm.
    The Pirates stink

  60. TC, are you still in Vegas? If so, where are you staying?

    If I was there, I’d be at the slot machines, much less frustrating than seeing the games….

  61. Biz…video poker…slot machines are borrrrrrrrrrrrrrrinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng!

    .”Rendon has fast wrists.
    There shouldcd have been a homecoming for Maholm.
    The Pirates stink”

    TC….you’re speaking my language….:)

  62. Go to Las Vegas and play “video poker?”. At least I hope you’re getting free parking, TC.

  63. >>> What IS Walker holding there in that picture anyway?

    >>> Succint and to the point TC (#59), and dayummed funneh

    >>> Agree with you on the slots/video poker FOO. While in Vegas I always look for off-strip MMA/K-1/boxing events. Almost a card a night somewhere and so easy to find. I find a cab and slip the cabbie a $20 and ask him/her to take me to the closest one. Never fails and it’s a great night of entertainment. Beats watching this recent Pirate slopfest.

  64. The slot machines I play are just like video games, I don’t play the ones where the wheel just spins.

    I just gotta learn when to walk away…..

  65. Remember when the Reds lost 5 in a row on the heels of winning 22 out of 24 and then ran off 7 of their next 8 for wins after losing those 5. Really good teams have bad streaks like the one the Pirates are going through right now. The sky is not falling.

    It is way to early to consider this the beginning of the end. It may be the beginning of the end but I don’t think it’s fair to this group of players or managment to just assume this is the same old Pirates doing the same old thing. 100 games of 16 games above .500 doesn’t happen by mistake or luck. I for one am keeping the faith that they will have another stretch like they did in June and July remain in the race for the wild card into late September.

  66. @NMR

    Touching on what you said earlier this morning – the Pirates have allowed 5 or more runs in 9 straight games. Don’t need to go any deeper than that.

  67. @Nate83

    “Really good team have streaks like the one the Pirates are going through right now.”

    Very true. But what does that have to do with the Pirates ?

  68. I was just repeating what I had read so far this morning.

    I am at NYNY. No slots for me. Just some blackjack.
    Today at 1pm I’ll be at the sports book watching the Pirate game.

  69. @Biz

    Very funny. Next time anybody feels guilty for being on DK’s blog, just walk into the break room and see the people BS’ng. No different than what we do, IMO.

    @mILO

    Remember that streak to start the year of games WITHOUT giving up 5 runs? Those were the good ole days.

  70. Until such time as the Reds give their fans the enjoyment of a 3-8 homestand, at the same time that the Pirates are providing their fans with the enjoyment of an 11-game win streak, the Reds are essentially a non-entity. The Wild Card is the only game in town right now.

  71. The Paul Maholm/Wandy Rodriguez comparison is one of the reasons I love baseball. It is such a maddeningly humbling game…

    Trading for Paul could’ve been a great feel good story. A GM who is notorious for aquiring players that aren’t high on other teams list was a perfect match for Maholm.

    Instead, as the baseball gods would have it, the GM goes above his normal procedure to aquire a better pitcher at a higher cost, both in terms of money and prospects, only to see him struggle with his new team as Paul performs better than any pitchers traded at the deadline.

  72. I do think its a bit short-sighted to point out the recent record of both Wandy and Paul leading up to the deadline over their entire body of work.

    How was Hanley Ramirez, Kevin Youkilis, and Shane Victorino doing before they got traded? Not so hot, huh?

  73. And we can go ahead and stop with the Paul Maholm stuff…Bucs could’ve traded for him at the deadline, you see what ATL gave up for him, it wasn’t much. Plus, the Bucs saw enough of him over the past what, 9 years, to accurately scout him, they knew what they would be getting. That’s why they didn’t pay the option in the option in the off-season and that’s why they didn’t trade for him at the deadline. He might have helped out this season, who knows, but the Bucs wouldn’t re-sign him in the off-season. Kudos to Paul for this season and I hope he parlays it into a big fat Mike Hampton contract with the Rockies.

  74. “NMR
    August 16th, 2012 – 11:56 am @Biz

    Very funny. Next time anybody feels guilty for being on DK’s blog, just walk into the break room and see the people BS’ng. No different than what we do, IMO.”

    I stop at the coffee pot for some decaf and the boss is expounding to the office manager about his recent hunting trip or fishing trip. A half hour later I walk past the coffee pots to get a FAX off the machine, and they’re STILL discussing the size of the buck or the fish they got.

    PLEASE don’t whine to me about spending a few minutes here or there posting on THIS important blog!

    I know NMR agrees with me :)

  75. Has anyone heard any updates on the extent of Neil Walker’s hand injury and any related roster moves?

  76. Early game today guys? That means we’ll have an early game thread. cool. More frustration to add to my work hysteria lol

  77. Gunner,

    He had a Tweet thanking everyone for their support that DK retweeted and saying he was glad it was not more. Nothing else to my knowledge.

  78. @ Lucky – 79

    Thanks for the update, Lucky. Neil has really blossomed into a bonafide major leaguer and he seems like a fine young man, too. Dopey Opie (aka NH) better get serious about locking him up for the long term.

  79. YES YES YES

    http://deadspin.com/5934929/why-your-team-sucks-2012-cleveland-browns

    my favorite calendar day of the year has arrived!

    I can’t wait to read it…Yesterday was the Ravens, and it was just ok…

    The downside is…tomorrow is the Steelers turn.

  80. hahahahaha it would have been funnier, except that for a few parts, you could replace Cleveland Browns with Pittsburgh Pirates…then it’s like aww man

    Last week they did the Saints and it was amazing.

  81. Generally my thoughts on sports labor relations can be summed up by this: Zzzzzzzz. Get an agreement done and spare us the PR bickering, But Dejan has brought it up two days in a row.

    The MLB owners played major hardball in the 94-95 work stoppage. Their major mistake was not bringing in replacement workers in August 94 to ensure that the continuity of the postseason was preserved. But once the postseason was lost by the players’ strike, they made the move to unilaterally eliminate free agency and salary arbitration. An incredibly aggressive move that would have brought the union to its knees. However, Judge (now Justice) Sotomayor issued an injunction prohibiting the owners from instituting their plan. Had the owners not lost that on appeal, the players would have been scurrying to get free agency and arbitration back. They would have been forced to make major concessions, including, no doubt, a salary cap. It would have meant no baseball in 95 and possibly 96. I find public sentiment to be generally against the players as work stoppages drag on. After the owners lost that, they had played their best hand. Labor peace and the attempted revival of interest in baseball became paramount, and the reality of a salary cap was lost, apparently forever.

    Can’t say it was a lack of owner resolve or anything attributable to Fehr’s brilliance. Fehr had a much more powerful PA, powerful for historical reasons, to work with in baseball. Much harder to be the genius with a union broken by the lockout and for a sport that does not command the same high level of national interest and importance. Fehr is sort of the Phil Jackson of labor attorneys.

  82. Everyone here today (and last night) seems to be saying that the Dodgers are so tough and so much better than the Pirates:

    1B——Loney vs. Garrett Jones
    2B——Mark Ellis vs. Neil Walker
    SS——Hanley vs. Barmes
    3B——Uribe/Kennedy vs. Pedro
    LF——Victorino vs. Marte
    CF——Kemp vs. McCutch
    RF——Andre Ethier vs. Travis Snider
    C ——AJ Ellis vs. The Fort McKenry

    SP——Muleface Kershaw vs. AJ Burnett
    RP——Janson vs. Joel Hanrahan

    I see the Pirates clearly better than the Dodgers in 5 of those 10 positions (Jones, Walker, Pedro, Fort, Hanrahan)
    Breaking even in 2 positions (McCutch vs. Kemp, Burnett vs. Muleface)
    Worse only in 3 positions (Victorino vs. Marte [experience], shortstop, and Ethier vs. Snider)

    The Buccos are not losing to a superior team!!! They are losing because they are not playing well as a team and because of secondary starting pitching.

    It is NOT the end of the world as we know it. However, I do not feel fine!

  83. I was kidding, NMR, just kidding

  84. “Fehr is sort of the Phil Jackson of labor attorneys.”

    Very apt, Oshkosh b’gosh!! I get it!

    That quality Badger education in nearby Madison must be rubbing off on you!

  85. Groat, I would agree with you on all positions except Catcher. AJ Ellis is hands down he better player behind the plate….my humble opinion.

  86. Groat, you are right. We are not inferior. We are just playing like dog crap. You would have thought Walkers’ finger got cut off by the way he was looking out there last night. What’s up with that? Especially being that he’s an ex-football player.

  87. Biz, I think NMR is laughing WITH you friend

  88. JayJax, I’m with you don the dog crap sentiment. I’ve seen little league teams that look far better than what we’ve been subjected to. And I thought for SURE Walker broke his wrist or hand, with the way he was writhing on the ground in agony. (sounds poetic).

    But you know what? I’ll be watching this afternoon ;)

  89. Jandy knows me like an old friend.

    No sarcasm intended, Biz. I’m with ya, brother.

  90. I wish I was going to watch the game at a sports book. Specifically the Caesars Palace LV sports book.

    When psychologists talk about “going to your happy place” as a coping mechanism, that is the place I go to!

  91. New Castle’s Jaxy Jay,

    I try to never speak to another’s pain, especially with that whole woman/labor-for-3-days thing.

    I do know that I dislocated my little finger on my right hand (same one) playing basketball, and it felt like it got cut off. I tried to prove “I am a man!” by playing for 10 more minutes until I just couldn’t run.

    I didn’t go to the doctor’s for 7 days, because “I’m tough! I’m a man!”

    15 years later I still can’t straighten that finger——I wish I had “been a wimp,” stopped playing, and gone to the doctor right away.

    I agree . . . . . . the heart has gone out of the Bucco play recently. They look like zombies out there.

  92. @ Groat – 85

    You mention the key to the Bucs slide: SECONDARY STARTING PITCHING!!!! AJ is truly a professional; the rest of the starting rotation is and has been a constant work in progress.

    NH – spend some money & bring in some higher level starting pitchers for next year; maybe even break camp with Cole in the rotation. With Cutch, Walker, Marte, Jones and even K-dro, we have a great foundation. Don’t blow it, Opie – the Central division is only going to be tougher next year.

    In the meantime, let’s start taking care of 2012 business on the field NOW and quit playing like the John Russell’s Pirates!!!

  93. @Gunner

    Since when does Neal write the checks?

  94. General,

    I may have been a little exuberant on ranking The Fort above AJ Ellis . . . .

    . . . . but McKenry has more HRs and a high batting average while being almost equal in RBIs in much less ABs.

    I would be willing to rank that as “a wash”. Bucs still outrank Dodgers overall though.

    Certainly not worse!

  95. Jandy, if the Bucs lose every game the rest of the way we will still be here next spring…..We love Pittsburgh baseball…..Groat, I have a pinky that is fused at the first knuckle, also…playing hoops, thought I stowed it..(is that what it is called????). Didn’t go get it looked at for the same reasons…..We all love PRNW, a pass is granted….He’s having an excellent year….proud of him……

  96. Groat, my friend, you don’t have to sell me on the Fort. It’s definitely a wash or better!

  97. @ NMR – 96

    You are quite a detail oriented individual, NMR. I’ll take a stab at correcting that one sentence (and hope you give it your blessing):

    “NH – Use your exceptional communication skills to persuade Mr. Nutting to spend some money & bring in some higher level starting pitchers for next year.”

  98. OK if we’re talking about finger injuries, I have to say my right middle finger is indelibly marked…because of my pitt bull, Shelby. When she was 6months old, I had her outside ON A LEASH to potty on a Saturday morning. She spied a rabbit that I did not, and bolted after it. We live by a secondary highway, and I was terrified she would chase it across said highway. While I felt some discomfort, I didn’t notice my finger bending at an obscene angle at the top joint until she returned to me and I bent down to pick up her leash. I straightened it out as best I could because hubby and I were installing some flooring that morning. So since that day, when someone p*sses me off, I just give them the twisted finger! (True story)

  99. @ Gunner: “In the meantime, let’s start taking care of 2012 business on the field NOW and quit playing like the John Russell’s Pirates!!!”

    Dude, that’s harsh!! But appropriate.

  100. Jandy, instead of sharing war stories about labor pains, chooses to tell us about her puppy dog hurting her finger. This will have to go to the judges to see if it qualifies!

    What say ye, Dejan? JAL?

  101. @Gunner

    You consider the HOW part of paying a free agent a detail???

    Yes, by all means, it’s up to Neal Huntington to sweet talk his notoriously tight boss into spending more money. JUST GIT IT DUN NEIL!!

  102. It’s “Jess’”, not “Just”, NMR!

  103. Groat, do you have any idea how muscular a 6 month old pitt bull is? lol Shelby is incredibly strong. But, oh well.
    Labor pains? eh…. no problem ;)

  104. There are 45 games left.

    Last year with 45 games left the Atlanta Braves had more than an 8 game lead on the Cardinals.
    The Cardinals came back to win the Wild Card, without even a Playoff, on the last day of the season.
    The Cardinals went on to win the National League pennant.
    The Cardinals went on to win the World Series.

    The Bucs are 7 games out with 45 to go! This season is not over!!!! Can’t give up!!!

    Did we give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?!?

  105. @groatskie

    Ha, I’ll adjust my dialect next time I scream unrealistic requests!

  106. JAL–Danny Says! My goodness, can’t believe there are more than a half dozen of us on this planet who know that song. From End of The Century and produced by none other than Phil Spector. One of my all time fav Ramones songs.

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