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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: Sage advice from A.J.

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Brief and to the Point …

>> We open with a word — or four — from A.J. Burnett

If Brad Lincoln’s glare at Jim Thome is as old news as Lincoln himself, then I’ll take Burnett’s whiff of Hanley Ramirez — followed by a vocal “Sit the —- down!” — as a nice replacement.

Burnett didn’t pitch great. Six runs is six runs. But he was still standing out there in the seventh, still showing he was competing. You can sense the effect that has on the team, on the crowd. Intangibles do count.

And the Pirates have no choice but to keep using him every fifth day, no matter the rotation.

Here’s our full coverage from PNC Park.

>> The Friday column is about Melky Cabrera, the confessed cheater who is in an excellent position to be National League batting champion … unless Bud Selig does something about it.

>> If you haven’t been reading our daily Inside The Ropes feature from Latrobe, you’re missing out on some neat stuff from the Steelers’ camp. Here’s today’s edition.

You could fill the thing daily on Mike Tomlin-isms alone.

>> Here’s the chat transcript from yesterday, but I want to pull one answer out of there for any Penguins fans who missed it. The question was about the NHL labor mess …

My Cliff’s Notes view: Gary Bettman’s got a couple of miserable franchises in Phoenix and Florida, and he lacks the fortitude to ask the rest of the owners to chip in with additional revenue sharing. Maybe that’s because those owners see the Predators match the Flyers’ offer for Shea Weber and think everything’s fine. Maybe it’s just that they’re greedy. But they’re Bettman’s bosses, not the other way around.

So, rather than tackle a logical, rational plan from the union — setting aside the massively hard-to-digest image of Donald Fehr accepting a salary cap — for more revenue sharing, Bettman wants the players to forfeit more and more money to keep the Coyotes and Panthers afloat.

You know what would be my next proposal if I’m Fehr?

1. Move the Coyotes to Quebec. Tomorrow.

2. Pay the city of Sunrise enough cash to free the Panthers from their really long-term lease in Florida, and move to Seattle.

I know of at least one NHL team captain — don’t overthink it — who is very much in favor of seeing the NHL add another team in the northwest. Would be great for the Canucks, the California teams and the sport.

>> I’ll cover Steelers-Colts on Sunday night, but after that, I’m going to take some of that time off due from the Olympics.

Think of it as taking A.J.’s advice literally.


  1. scapper says:

    Perhaps A.J. could repeat that message to Wandy the Windborne the next time he goes all Ronnie Paulino on his way to first base.

  2. Arriba Wilver says:

    Couple things I think from the game today after seeing the rerun (in addition to Garrett’s masterful performance):

    Hanley probably wasn’t showing up AJ or the Pirates with his gesture after his homerun

    Who cares, it was great theater with AJ after the homerun and with his reaction above after striking Hanley out, and sure showed these guys how to play with an attitude

    The woman in the pink flowered blouse sitting behind home plate was VERY attractive

  3. Jay Jax Fl via New Castle says:

    Wilver, was the woman a young Sally Field lookin’ chick????

  4. Arriba Wilver says:

    Wasn’t something that stuck in my mind (Sally Field), but could be, but more attractive. She was in the 3rd row aisle seat, visible when right handed batters were up.

  5. Jay Geyer says:

    Arriba, I agree that he probably wasn’t trying to show up AJ and it’s been established that the Ramirez gesture is the Dodger version of the Zoltan Z … but you do not flash it while in your homerun trot. I could be wrong, but no Bucco has flashed the Z while rounding the bases. They do it from the base, after the play ends, or in the dugout celebration.

    I am happy that instead of automatically plunking him next time up, AJ decided it was more important to make him sit down (though technically, being the third out, he couldn’t actually go sit down, but I digress). Not a great game by AJ, and yet a great example of why we’ve quickly come to love the guy.

  6. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jay–agree with everything you said.

  7. Thundercrack says:

    I agree with Jay too.

    AJ wasn’t great but he was good….and may have been better with better defense

  8. The Gunner says:

    We picked up a game on Stinkcinnati as the Mets finally beat them – only 6 games back now. We gotta make “hay” this weekend and trounce those damn Cardinals!!

  9. Drew71 says:

    Ah, the pink flowered blouse, Arriba.

    Celebrate it. Savor it. Enjoy it.

  10. JAL says:

    JAL’s Illinois Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)


    4—Pirates Prospects

    <b Pirates Notebook: Jones Breaks Out Big Bat; Burnett Gets Gritty

    Walker Receives Good News From Hand Specialist

    Indians Can’t Support A Strong Effort By VandenHurk

    Prospect Watch: Cole Strikes Out Nine; Moroff and Ross Hit First Homers

    First Pitch: Garrett Jones Has Earned a 2013 Roster Spot and a Raise

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates 10, Dodgers 6
    An Inexcusable Decision By Clint Hurdle

    6 Rumbunter

    VIDEO: A.J. Burnett Has Words for Hanley Ramirez, Pittsburgh Pirates Win Big

    Is Vic Black The Next Joel Hanrahan for the Pittsburgh Pirates?

    7 McEffect

    Does Extra Rest Really Help Pirates Pitchers?

    8 The Green Weenie

    Jones, Barmes Come Up Huge In 10-6 Bucco Victory

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Bucs back up Burnett in big win

    10 WHY GAVS

    Game 118: Pirates 10 Dodgers 6

  11. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 CBS Sports

    Pirates-Cardinals Game Preview

    12 LA Times

    Dodgers lose to Pirates, 10-6, in a game filled with ejections,0,3401973.story

    13 Chicago Tribune

    Pirates Report,0,526632.story

    14 Dothan Eagle

    Former Slocomb star Clay Holmes pitching well in Pirates organization

    15 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Wild card race is not Cards’ main focus

    16 Grantland

    Cursed: Yinz and Losses in Pittsburgh

    17 Bradenton Herald

    Pittsburgh Pirates to give as much as $3 million more for McKechnie Field renovations


    18 PBC Site

    Wandy remains winless with Pirates after rout

    Pirates’ lineup breathing Cy of relief

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    What You Need to Know

    20 Fangraphs

    Is 50 Games Too Weak a PED Punishment?

  12. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers Super Bowl Bound? Brett Keisel’s New Baby and What He Means for the 2012 Steelers

    Battle of the AFC North: Inside Linebackers

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Mike Adams & Jonathan Dwyer Back In Pads Thursday

    23 Steelers Gab

    Count Sanders as One Who Thinks Wallace Will Be In Camp Soon

    24 Nice Pick Cower

    Waiting Room Getting Full: Injuries Keep Piling Up In Steelers Camp

    Pitt Blogs

    25 Pitt Blather

    New LB In the 2013 Class

    26 Cardiac Hill

    Havertown (PA) LB Matt Galambos Commits to Pitt

    WVU Blogs

    27 Metro News

    Photos: Lucky Number 13 For Fall Camp

    28 WV Illustrated

    Woods Emerging As Playmaker For WVU


    29 Sky Sports

    New season preview

    30 Daily Telegraph

    Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger admits he wanted to sell Robin van Persie to a foreign club

    31 World Soccer Daily

    10 Stories You Need to Read


    32 Pensburgh

    Buy or Sell: Sidney Crosby on the hotseat

  13. JAL says:

    Illinois, Dan Fogelberg, 1974. Fogelberg was one of many singer/songwriters of the era. This song is early in his career. His most successful period was the late 70s and early 80s. His two biggest singles were Longer in 1980 and leader of the band in 1981. One reviewer referred to him as “made for FM Lite”

  14. Turner Ward says:

    The ESPN censors are coming for you, DK. They felt the need to blur AJ’s mouth when they showed that clip. I’m glad you put it at the top of your blog!

  15. TJA says:

    Outstanding from A.J….Just outstanding. One thing about this team, is that they have been able to bounce back and not see long losing streaks like years past. I’m talking about 8, 10 game losing streaks. This 3 game set with the Cardinals is the “series of the year”. Beat ‘em Bucs!

    Enjoy your well deserved time off, Dejan.

  16. bdubb says:

    Interesting rule MLB uses there for a batting champ. Was that created because Gwynn was such a good guy? And I think it should be a no brainer for Bud to come out and indicate that Melky can’t win the batting title. Needs to do it sooner-than-later.

    Interesting that between the blog and your piece today DK, you indicate that both Bettman and Bud lack the stones to do certain things. As much as I believe Roger Goodell excercises too much power he definitely has no fear of doing what he wants (outside of the concussions). And that’s why the NFL is #1 in this country by a mile

    And Quebec vs either one of those cities makes too much sense for the NHL to act. Why did the Nords lose their team in the first place? No new building?

  17. egscoach says:

    DK…You are covering a Steelers practice game? I vote you hop a plane to St Louis. I’m sure there is a Starbucks close by.

  18. JMB says:

    Victor Conte said on SC that he thinks 50% of MLB players are using testosterone, and the ratio allowances encourage a certain amount of risk taking by athletes.

    We have players who are having career years, so I always wonder about the “living in glass houses” deal.

    We just don’t know, whether it’s the Olympics or American Pro sports. When a 32 year old woman is running her best ever, it just raises flags in my mind.

    I’ve seen a lot of talk in national stuff about Braun being vindicated due to the season he is having, but maybe he is just being smarter about his ratio.

  19. Drew71 says:

    I don’t have the same football sense about baseball that I sometimes read. I don’t want ALL players to get as fiery as AJ. I want players to be themselves, but to do it all the way.

    I know. What does THAT mean??

    This. That I want fiery guys to be into the games enough to be fiery. To care enough to let it out and put it out there. As AJ did.

    And guys for whom that is unnatural, for instance nicest-guys or cerebral-guys or quiet-intensity-guys or clown-guys…I want them to put all of their NATURAL selves into their Pirate careers because I assume they are wired that way and PLAY BETTER that way.

    So it would be unnatural for nice-guy PRNW to pick a fight or tell someone to, well, look at the AJ video. All In doesn’t mean All The Same.

    If I played MLB (that’s the only truly funny thing I’ve ever posted), I wouldn’t be constitutionally able to tell anyone to Sit The (___) Down. (Well. Except Thunder.)

    But if I had a teammate like AJ, wired as he is, I would want HIM to. Not because it makes ME feel better. Not because it makes the FANS feel better.

    Because it makes HIM feel better. And presumably play better too.

  20. Jandy says:

    Drew, that was an extremely cerebral post for you. Well done!

  21. There are 44 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 6 games out with 44 to go! This season is not over!!!! Can’t give up!!!

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

  22. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Ditto Jandy. YOU make a lot of sense. Can’t see Pedro or Michael McHenry bombing someone like that, but they have their own way of getting it done.

  23. LuckyNKentucky says:


    No, we didn’t since it was the Japanese. Did we give up when Moses put the animals on the ark?

  24. Jandy says:

    Lucky, Mother Teresa put the animals on the ark ;)

  25. LuckyNKentucky says:


    I knew that. Just wanted to make sure you and Groat were awake this AM.

  26. Jandy says:

    Well, I guess I am then. Keep us on our toes lol

  27. Last line: Animal House/John Belushi

  28. David says:


    Agree with your overall point but even if they forego the Tony Gwynn rule here that still doesn’t mean that Melky Cabrera can’t win the batting title. The official rule is 3.1 AB per team game so if for some reason the Giants were to only play 161 games he would still qualify even without the Gwynn rule.

  29. Jandy says:

    Groat, I figgered there had to be some hidden meaning in that lol. Good one.

  30. LuckyNKentucky says:


    I didn’t remember that. I was on double-secret probation when that movie came out.

  31. Joe D says:

    Pedro in day games BA = .328, at night .191

    Pirates record in day games = 26-14, at night 39-39

    Coincidence? I doubt it.

    Vision problems are more likely to be worse at night. Maybe Pedro should get his eyes checked.

  32. Drew71 says:


    Well. pffffftt to that.

    But thanks. I’ll return to my natural state.

    (I think I just did)

  33. Drew71 says:

    And where’s Thunder?

    I need to tell him, well, you know.

  34. Jandy says:


  35. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Joe D.,

    Wonder what the day/night splits are on Pedro’s 20 errors. You may have something there, although he had two yesterday.

  36. Wilver Dornel,

    “The woman in the pink flowered blouse sitting behind home plate was VERY attractive”

    I listened to the game while working and didn’t get to watch any of it. I feel like I missed not only AJ going “Robert Conrad——Knock this battery off my shoulder” with Ramirez . . . . . .

    . . . . . . but I missed something mystical and sacred by not seeing “the woman in the pink flowered blouse.”

    Can any of you electronic wizzes pull up a still shot from the ROOT sports telecast yesterday and give us a peek?

    Only for entertainment purposes, mind you!

  37. Jandy says:

    Wouldn’t you rather see Katy Perry????

  38. JAL says:

    Pirates and Cards only teams in league that have 4 players with more than 60 RBI. Pirates have Jones, McCutchen, Walker, and Alvarez, Cards have Beltran, Freese, Craig, and Holliday

  39. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Someone mentioned yesterday that Pedro’s days as our 1B are right around the corner. Some of you “cerebral” baseball minds like Drew, Blue Devil Groat, AW, Roberto, Jandy and the rest please help us simpler-minded folk. Where do we put Gaby if Pedro is at first? Do they platoon? And does Jones and his bat become our everyday RF? And, if he does, what about Snider? And who plays 3rd out of all this? I just can’t see Pedro anywhere but 3rd, unless the NL gets the DH and hopefully, it doesn’t.

  40. Milo Hamilton says:

    When Rennie Stennett broke his ankle in 1977 he was 12 plate appearances away from qualifying for the batting title. He was hitting .336, when they added the phantom 12 at bats it brought him down to .327 which officially placed him 2nd behind Dave Parker (.338). The official league leaders place Stennett 2nd at .336.

  41. JAL says:


    I see no signs that Pedro is headed to first anytime soon. He may end up there later in his career but not in the immediate future.

  42. Jandy says:

    Lucky, I’m not part of that “cerebral” group, dahling, I’m still learning…but my two cents:

    I’m not of a mind that Pedro should be moved to 1B. He’s fine at third. Why mess with that? Let Gaby/GI Jones do first. GI Jones and Snider Right field. Good platoons.

  43. Arriba Wilver says:

    That’s interesting about day and night games, because during the rain delay a couple games ago Root had a very interesting segment on eyesight of MLB players. I don’t remember all the exact numbers, but they said most of the players who made it as MLB hitters had better than 20-20 vision, with many at 20-15 or below. And Cutch’s is even below that, something like 20-10. I had heard about Ted Williams’ vision and Chipper Jones’ vision being special, but didn’t know it was so prevalent. They said it didn’t matter much for pitchers, and the tests backed that up. It was a real interesting segment, and very well done.

  44. NMR says:

    Great stat, JAL. More importantly, those four players have approximately 16 years of control!!! :)


    Generally speaking, I think it’s good for the Pirates to have the questions you’re asking. Building redundancy into a lineup creates depth, something the Pirates don’t have a lot of.

    But regarding Pedro, I think the 1st base talk is primarily related to frustration with his consistency. I’m not as worried as some seem to be. He has all the tools, and thensome, to be a solid 3rd baseman. Seems as though he’s a good candidate to improve with experience.

    The only way I’d move him is if Chase Headley was aquired. Moving Pedro to 1st not only creates the positional conflicts you listed, but obviously begs the question of who is going to play 3rd?

  45. Jandy says:

    AW, my hubby has better than 20/20 vision. I never knew there was such a thing until I was there when he had his vision screening. I envy him and people like that. I’ve worn glasses/contacts since th grade….long time….sigh

  46. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Thanks JAL and Jandy. My thoughts, also. Kind of like Willie Stargell, moving to first later in his career. He bumped some guys when he did, but it was for the best.

  47. Milo Hamilton says:

    I think Pedro’s issues at 3rd base aren’t anything that can’t be solved by some good old fashioned hard work & better concentration.

  48. JMB says:


    Exactly, the only way El Toro moves to 1B is with the acq of Chase Headley.

    Pedro does have 20 errors – the most in MLB per yesterday’s broadcast, so Headley would be an improvement. Until we have a stable of strikeout SP, the fielders have to limit the number of outs per inning.

    Why trade for Snider, if NH still believes in Tabby as he says he does.

    I think NH will have a busy off-season.

    No matter what happens over these next 45 games, the expectations will be playoffs next season at a minimum. If the team goes from 57 to 72 to say 87 wins, then 2013 will be expected to be a 95+ win season.

  49. LuckyNKentucky says:


    You’re right. It’s a good problem to have. One the Bucs haven’t been presented with in the past few years.

  50. LuckyNKentucky says:

    NBC sports has already rebutted DK’s column. Seems he made a few friends over in London. He links it on Twitwell.

  51. cmat0829 says:

    My two cents….

    1) Any move of Pedro to first base is not to be tied to current roster players…i.e. “what do we do with Gaby” is irrelevant. Pedro is a player the Bucs MUST build around, Gaby is a lottery ticket that we hope is worth something.

    2) Young players with talent get better in their first few full years…both at the plate (reduced strikeouts mostly) and in the field. I think we can count on Pedro improving his errors (especially the throwing ones) and cutting down his Ks. See how Cutch has progressed and even Walker.

    3) The really good news for these Pirates is we are starting to really see a legitimate major league CORE….Pedro, Neil, Cutch, Marte are locks you can build around. Looks like Mercer is being groomed as the SS. Sanchez/Fort platoon at C seems like a good bet. For now, GI Jones is just fine at 1B (where are all the folks who desparately wanted Carlos Pena?)…. and in RF you can have an open audition of Presley, Tabby, Snider, et al.

    As for the staff, AJ/Wandy/JMac to me are penciled in for next year. My gut tells me Cole is on the staff in mid June. That leaves Karstens/Morton/AAA folks to battle for the last spot.

  52. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Good couple of cents, cmat. My only semi-disagreement is Neal gave up a good bit to get Gaby, in a down year and they are thinking he is part of the future, also, if he returns to prior form. Probably more than a lottery ticket. Excellent thoughts though, on your part.

  53. Good answers about Pedro @ 3rd already above from JAL, NMR, and Milo.

    I think Pedro’s range has visibly improved this year. It’s just his concentration that now needs to improve. That’s true at the plate and in the field. There is no way that he should go from July 22 to August 16 with only one extra base hit, not even a HR! He allowed himself to fall into that taking pitches until it’s 0-2 again.

    Hey, Derek Jeter made 57 errors at short in his first year in the Minors. Guys improve. This is Pedro’s first full year as a Major League 3rd baseman and hitter. Maybe Ronnie Cedeno left a little of his non-concentration pixie dust on the left side of the infield!

    I do not think he will ever be Mike Schmidt at 3rd, but, barring BIG trade, which is against the BMTIB’s DNA, Pedro will be the Bucs’ 3rd baseman for at least the next 3 years.

  54. NMR says:


    My hope is that NH understands he made a mistake in not preparing for the possibility that Tabby busts and the result was the trade for Snider. If both prove to be MLB outfielders, there will be plenty of teams in need.

    Good stuff earlier with Conte and PED’s, btw.


    Very, very interesting info on player eyesight. I think there is a greater correlation to eyesight and pitch recognition than bat-on-ball contact. Pedro certainly seems to struggle picking up the ball out of the pitchers hand.

  55. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Good answer, Groaty. I think the Cedeno pixie dust should have blown to Duncansville by now or maybe Altoona.

  56. Creamitorium,

    Good answer, that came later for me, also above about Pedro.

    I agree that Gaby is a shot in the dark, like Casey McGeheeheehee was, only Bucs paid a LOT more for Gaby. I wish Casey was still on the bench as a pinch hitter/3B backup rather than Josh Harrison.

    My only disagreement is your elevation of Tony Sanchez. The guy has to lose weight for his batting average to be above his weight!!

    I think the catcher they drafted this year, Wyatt Mathisen, who is right now in Rookie Ball, has a better chance of being a regular in Pittsburgh over Tony Sanchez.

  57. Arriba Wilver says:

    NMR—I think that’s probably right. Ted Williams was famously quoted as saying he could see the stitches on the ball, and could pick up the rotation out of the pitcher’s hand.

  58. Jandy says:

    Hey we don’t want any pixie dust here in Diuncansville!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  59. Wilver Dornel,

    Didn’t you DVR the game last night?

    I’m still waiting to see “the woman in the pink flowered blouse.” I feel a sacred and magical moment about to apparite!

  60. NMR says:

    The way the value in the Gabby deal is explained seems to rely more on the $1.5m value of the pick more than the position.

    Basically, IF an unsignable player like Mark Appel fell to the Pirates, they could draft him, then use the Gabby pick to draft some college senior who they can sign for $10k, thus having the rest of the money to sign the Mark Appel-type player.

    On top of making the new draft rules sound like a board game, there are way, way too many if/but/ands going on there for me to put a ton of stock in it.

  61. Milo Hamilton says:

    I read this morning that Brian Urlacher has had 3 surgical procedures in the off season. I guess they’re not counting having his Jenny McCarthy removed.

  62. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Wondered if you were asleep, working or what. Did I mispell your hometown or did you?

  63. Arriba Wilver says:

    G2M–I watched it and erased it. And, I said she was very attractive, not the Goddess Aphrodite. :-) She did smile a lot, though, which added to the effect. Feel free to tell me to sit the ____ down.

  64. Jandy says:

    LOL Lucky, I had the typo, typical Mother Theresa :)

  65. Damon says:


    Can it be collectively bargined to move two franchises? I’m all for it, but I would think all those Coyote and Panther fans…….hmmm, maybe it would work. If that is the reason Bettman wants money back – to keep the Coyotes and Panthers afloat – then your idea seems like a perfect solution. Plus the NHL gets more revenue from Quebec and Seattle fans buying up all the new gear. I would think Quebec would have gone nuts last year with their team in the finals. Seattle fans would have definietly been more excited and supportive of a playoff/division winning team than Miami was….

  66. NMR says:

    Astros owner Jim Crane was recently quoted saying that he believes “sophisticated baseball fans” understand the teams strategy to tear down its major league squad and rebuild through the farm system.

    Also is quoted as saying “industry experts” say they have the right “plan” and are executing it correctly.

    I love the smell of condescension in the morning.

    DK: Beautifully put.

  67. Jandy says:

    NMR, kinda makes you hope he chokes on his coffee, eh?

  68. Jandy says:

    Nancy, that’s a dubious honor :(

  69. JaxBuc says:

    @Joe D

    As someone with seriously bad vision (and having experienced two surgeries on my right eye), I have been wondering the same thing about Pedro’s eyesight. If the day/night split is that pronounced, you’ve got to figure it’s not random. As you said, many eye issues are exacerbated by lower-light conditions. Someone needs to tell Pedro, “Get thee to an optomotrist!”

  70. Jandy says:

    Wait a minute. Don’t baseball players, like other sports players, get physicals every year? Like in the spring? I can’t fathom that they would not be checked..including eyes. That makes no sense to me at all…but what do I know?

  71. JaxBuc says:


    They might have them read the chart from 20 feet away, but not conduct a full evaluation. If that is the case, a more thorough examination, where astigmatism or other conditions could be identied and corrected might be in order.

  72. JaxBuc says:

    More Eyesight comments

    Plus there was this from Nate McLouth in March of 2010:

    “McLouth said his vision could have been corrected years ago, but he never bothered to visit an optometrist. The Pirates checked his vision each year during spring training, but never detected any problems.

    “A blind man could pass that test they do,” McLouth said, noting it basically consisted of reading an eye chart.”

    Here is the whole (short) article:

  73. Boise Bucco says:


    Don’t you yinzers go gettin’ all cranky and slippy and junk…if you do, go read the Browns, Ravens and Bengals entries from earlier this week. IT’S SATIRE AND IT’S FUNNY

  74. Arriba Wilver says:

    This piece I was talking about was partly interviewing a couple of eye doctors (apparently a husband/wife team). i assumed they checked out the Pirates, but I can’t say they said that. They did say that with athletes they didn’t just do the “eye chart,” but also did some contrast tests, which they said were very important. That also fits into the day/night thing one would think.

  75. DemonDachshund says:

    Any time I see someone talking about getting eyes checked, I remember this:

    And this:

    And remember that getting those new contacts has been followed by two thoroughly awful seasons.

    Eyesight may certainly be a factor and should be looked into, but the problem seems to be focus and consistency with Pedro.

  76. Arriba Wilver says:

    It just occurred to me that maybe the new medical team updated and upgraded the kind of eye tests.

  77. Jandy says:

    AW, I hope that’s the case. Shame on the Pirates for taking short cuts if that’s what they did. I have astigmatism and I’m BLIND without my glasses. Well, let’s just say I can’t see sugar. Does Anyone know if GI Jones wears contacts, it seems to me he does, from the way he blinks.

  78. Boise Bucco says:

    Who’s turn is it to pitch tonight, JMac’s?

  79. Jandy says:

    Boise, that’s sick funny stuff LOL

  80. I don’t know how I feel about Dejan’s column today.

    Of course, I am against cheating medically to get an advantage, and I believe Melky’s suspension is appropriate. Hit him again, hit him again, harder, harder!!!

    There’s so-o-o-o much money involved! Melky’s a free agent at the end of the season. If he gets through this season without being caught, he gets the biggest contract of all this Fall. He hits the jackpot. He gambled to get an extra $60 million——heck, I might take that risk and then give 50 % to my Church. I still come out ahead!

    However, I’m not yet comfortable with making retroactive punishments. Once you start, where do you stop? Melky, Sosa, Bonds, McGuire, Clemons, ARod, all the little guys we don’t know about? Willie Stargell for taking illegal speed——greenies——when he was playing? Are you willing to erase all of Willie’s records from the Hall of Fame, and take away Dave Parker’s Batting Championships?

    The Tony Gwynn Rule has been in effect for at least 32 seasons. It’s been discussed for George Brett and Willie McGee and many others for years. It’s established.

    Make a new rule. Make it for now and for henceforth. I’m just uncomfortable for making it retroactive . . . . . because then we should be required to make it retroactive for all!

    McCutch could relieve us all and make this discussion moot by winning the Batting Championship outright!!!

  81. Boise Bucco says:

    @Jandy–if you haven’t read the Saints one yet, drop what you’re doing and read it now…it’s by far the best one yet. I’m not a Saints hater, honestly I kinda like Drew Brees, but he absolutely rips them apart. I can’t wait until it’s the Patriots turn.

  82. Boise Bucco says:

    Why don’t they just make the AB’s count, but take away all the hits for the affected season? So basically, he would have been 0/501 for the season? That’s a pretty big hit to his career statistics, and when you look back on it at the end of his career, it’s gonna factor in.

    With computers and excel spreadsheets now, it would be easy too. Literally just press the “delete” button. Pitchers stats would go up for every time they faced Melky, and that would be that. You don’t want to have 500 empty at-bats? Don’t cheat.

  83. Arriba Wilver says:

    G2M—I don’t see how it’s “retroactive.”. He was caught taking a PED, and admitted he took a PED. That stands for ” performance enhancing.”. Doesn’t that mean something? To me it means he presumptively achieved his numbers by cheating. Maybe it’s the number of at bats issue. I personally think even if he had the required number of at bats, he shouldn’t get the batting title since he was caught. It either means something or it doesn’t. This is not the same situation as any that were mentioned in DK’s column.

  84. bobhasis says:

    It is my opinion that you can’t take a gun like Pedro has and waste it at 1B. I believe there are two certainties on this team – when a grounder goes to 2B it will be an out, and when a grounder goes to 3B (after being fielded cleanly) it will be an out. Any pitcher would love to know that ahead of time, and take confidence in it.

    For all of his other “noted problems or shortcomings”, one cannot deny Pedro’s arm. My vote would be to leave him alone to improve those shortcomings, and all of the others – Jones, Gaby, Snider, Presley, Tabata. et al – fight it out for 1B and RF

  85. Boise Bucco says:

    Before his 50 game suspension, Melky was a career .284 hitter.

    After “my” Melky rule, and we delete all his hits this year, he is now a .239 hitter. Boom roasted. NO PAYDAY FOR YOU

  86. LuckyNKentucky says:

    uncle bob,

    Good to have a gun, but if the sights are bad, you can’t hit the target. His errors yesterday were throws, right?

  87. Boise Bucco says:

    Don’t know if this already got brought up, but Jamo got promoted to Altoona, and Gerrit Cole made #1 spot in the Baseball America Hot Sheet this week. Good week for the farm!

  88. Jandy says:

    Lucky, yes they were throws…one he had to hurry because he bobbled the ball tho. Jordy Mercer had a horible overthrow. It happens. Pedro is good at third with his gun…Mother Theresa’s humble opinion. Give the kid his chance…it’s his first full season. =)

  89. Arriba Wilver says:

    One other thing– if Melky was going to arbitration, because of the quirks in that system, whether he officially gets the batting title might, might, make some difference. But his average is what his average is, and somebody’s going to give him the same contract regardless of whether he officially gets the batting title or not. So I don’t see it as penalizing him “retroactively” financially. He’s hurt his own value regardless of the batting title issue. OK, I’m going to sit the ___down.

  90. Chuck H says:

    I didn’t know that the Dodgers were such crybabies. Such a pitiful display of childish behavior doesn’t belong in MLB. There were some bad pitch calls against the Bucs, but nobody went ballistic like spoiled brat Kemp, Mattingly, and the Dodger pitcher did.
    Andre’ Ethier, who was batting, never even protested any pitch call, and I applaud him for that.
    To crybaby Matt Kemp: You have a big mouth-try to keep it under control.
    GO, BUCS!!

  91. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Couldn’t agree with you more–after he sees the optometrist. 8) Let’s see, we’ve had him to a shrink and optometrist and what else this season?

  92. Arriba Wilver says:

    Chuck H– I know we’ve had our own issues with that particular ump, but based on the times they showed the computer strike zone thingy, I didn’t see one he got wrong on the Dodgers. Trying to read the body language and all, Mattingly seemed to be saying some pitches were getting called strikes that were 6″ out of the strike zone. Don’t know if he was referring to Ethiers’ at bat, but it wasn’t true on that at bat for sure based on the “box.”

  93. Thundercrack says:

    NMR (#67)
    Sometimes it smells that way around here

  94. Jandy says:

    Chuck H ~ I agree whole-heartedly with your description of the Dodgers. Disgraceful. I posted as such on the game thread…I believe I called them sore losers.

    Lucky…agreed on the optometrist for sure! 8)
    He doesn’t improve he’ll meet the butt end of my size 9 wides!!!! lol

  95. PetroSteel says:

    Please stop talking about my wife “The woman in the pink flowered blouse sitting behind home plate”

    Go Bucs! Need two in St. Louis.

    Have a good weekend everyone!!!

  96. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Great news. Wonder what Foomeister thinks of that?


    That’s the size my wife wears, too.

  97. Arriba Wilver says:

    Lucky–Not me, but I think it’s also been suggested Pedro see a hatter.

  98. Thundercrack says:

    I saw Jesse Chavez pitch last night. He pitched 6, but wasn’t around for the decision.
    His fastball was 93-95.

    Dollar Beer Night hurts at this age

  99. Arriba Wilver says:

    Petro—you lucky ‘tard. :-)

  100. Wilver Dornel,

    Melky is not eligible for arbitration, so we’re safe there. He will be a straight free agent. He cost himself all that money (unless one of these stupid owners doesn’t care!). We know he will not be signed for big bucks by BMTIB.

    Melky admitted to PEDs. The penalty on the books is suspension. He has accepted that penalty. To retroactively add more onto the penalty, when his hits and ABs are already in the book . . . . . well, that then begs us to go back and sniff out the others who have put up tainted stats and dispose of them——the names I mentioned earlier, including Willie Stargell and Dave Parker!

    If I am driving 60 in a 35 zone, you can fine me, you can give me points, but you cannot just arbitrarily decide to take my car. I used the car to break the established law, but until you change the law, the car is still mine!

    Those established hits and batting average are still Melky’s. This isn’t Penn State and the NCAA, where the NCAA just made up its own rules as it went along.

    Make new rules starting today!!!!! I hate what Melky did, but there’s no punishment on the books to discount it!

  101. buggee says:

    >>> Saw Jessica Chavez last night, even tipped her well.

    >>> That woman behind home plate, YOWZA! (was she hot or what?) Where’s that shuttlecock when ya need it?

    >>> I saw that exchange after AJ struck out that dodger-jay-brone and i howled laughing. Spewed sake (momokawa) all over Jessica Chavez. Good thing laundry wasn’t an issue.

    >>> Nice read, DK. Melky’s stats for July should be tossed and he should be banned from post-season play too, presuming they make the playoffs

    >>> hrrrr. hoist up that jolly shuttlecock!

  102. Oily Iron,

    Send us a picture of your wife! (For entertainment purposes only)

  103. Hasty Bob sure does have a thing for arms, doesn’t he?

    Pedro’s, Barmes’, Harrison’s, Mercer’s——those are just the ones I remember him mentioning.

    Is that similar to having a thing for toes/feet?

  104. Arriba Wilver says:

    G2M—I guess we have a different definition of “penalty.”. I know he’s going to be a free agent, which was why I mentioned that he wouldn’t be hurt financially (over the batting title issue) like he might be in arbitration. What’s the reason they outlawed PEDS? Just to protect the athletes? Or to protect (at least arguably) the integrity of the game? How is that protected if I guy who is legitimately caught (unlike Bonds, Clemons, McGuire, Sosa, etc.) breaks the rule, which led to him achieving the “honor”? And it’s a totally, absolutely different situation than what was going on in the 70’s or any other era, as far as what you do once it’s established that this rule(which didn’t exist) is broken. I just see it as a new situation that Bud unquestionably has the power to prevent and should prevent. We’re not going back years, but just this one when it happened.

  105. NMR says:

    Thanks for the word, JAL.

    Taillon’s ERA was only 3.8 something for the season? With all the talk, I honestly thought it would’ve had to be higher.

  106. radio wave says:

    is everyone ready for the best series of the weekend?
    It was announced today that MLB will initiate an experiment using new electronics to judge balls going fair or foul.
    The new equipment will be installed at the two NYC ballparks. Results will not affect play this season. The system was described as being similar to what is used during tennis matches to judge if balls are in or out.
    If the system/results are considered successful, then it may be put into future use by MLB.

  107. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    AJ Burnett is the definition of a competitor. I’m actually surprised that Hanley didn’t get ear-holed, but I don’t remember the situation.

    He has become my favorite Pirates pitcher……..I think of all time. To be honest, I’m 35 and really haven’t dealt with the older great ones.

    What we have all seen from him in a Pirates uniform, is a complete 360 from what was told out of NY.

    Love seeing it the competitor fire coming from the true team leader.

  108. RobertoForever says:

    Good thing the Pirates actually own the Bradenton Marauders, or else there might be some hurt feelings like in State College.

    Taillon was promoted with just 2 weeks left in the season, while Bradenton is in a tight playoff race in the FSL. Altoona is out of the playoff hunt. Gonna be some upset fans in Bradenton.

  109. Jandy says:

    Ryan, my oldest daughter is 30 ;X

  110. LuckyNKentucky says:


    That hatter thing is for sure. He must wear a size 12 to get it over his ears.


    Someone mentioned minor league playoffs yesterday. I don’t think anyone in the FO (except you maybe) would give a case of Lyle Overbay autographed balls for the minor league playoffs.

  111. Jandy says:

    Lucky, Pedros EARS must be burning by now ;X

  112. LuckyNKentucky says:


    No more than any other day, probably. :)

  113. Jandy says:

    true that…Let’s hope the magic continues tonight and we pull out another W.

  114. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    If I may chime in on the Pedro discussion……….if not, I will anyways.

    1. Pedro does have a cannon, no doubt or arguement there, probably the strongest of any 3B in MLB.

    2. His range has gotten better this year and he has shown his athleticism as well.

    3. If he does have eye issues, it would affect his hitting more than his fielding, depending on the Severity of the issues.

    4. His strong arm doesn’t need to be shown on every throw. To me, he rushes his throws at times and that is when he gets wild. He doesn’t need to throw a guy out by 20 feet, just 1 foot.

  115. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    His ears can’t be burning, they are covered.

  116. Jandy says:

    LOL! yes they are!

  117. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I do have a question though.

    Did anybody watch this part live? What did the announcers say about it?

  118. North Cali Ryan,

    You can watch it on video and hear the announcers on JAL’s #6 above.

  119. diehard says:

    Concerning Selig doing anything about Melky – or any other confessed cheater in the past 25 years – don’t count on it. Bud’s a worm and does NOT have the best interests of the game in mind, and definitely not at heart. Want to know how these things should be handled? Go find “A Great and Glorious Game” – the baseball writings of A. Bart Giamatti. Includes his decision on Kevin Gross, which gives you an idea that the steroid era would never have been tolerated and that cheaters like Melky would not have the opportunity to come back after 50 games. A year, maybe.

  120. RobertoForever says:


    The attendance at minor league basebal, dwarfs the major league attendance.

    Minor league affiliates (except in the case of Bradenton where the Pirates bought the franchise) are wholly separate from the Major league team. They are agreements made between local groups and the Major League team. State College has indicated they have planned to not renew at the end of this year’s agreement. It would be just a little sad if they did, since the park there is a replica of PNC Park.

    One does have to wonder what is gained by promoting Jamo for 2 weeks. What was it about the last week that was magical about promoting him?

    DK: The Pirates like to have a guy get a sneak peek at the next level if they’re fairly sure he’s going to start there next year, anyway. Takes some of the awe factor out of it. I’m wholly behind this, based on conversations I’ve had with prospects who have benefited from it.

  121. NMR says:

    “What was it about the last week that was magical about promoting him?”

    For someone who pays so much attention to the minor leagues, this question is quite unusual. How often does a seminal moment for ANY prospect trigger a promotion?

    Maybe the better question is why NOT promote Taillon?

    The promotion rewards him for his work during the season, gets him extra starts, introduces him to new coaches and competition.

    Continue to challenge the kid. Push him and his arm.

  122. Bizrow says:

    Taillon’s move is very similar to a Sept callup to the big leagues.

    Now a question is, is Cole going to get promoted to AAA in a similar manner?

  123. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Thanks, I’ve seen the video, its awesome, but can’t pull that stuff up at work.

  124. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    We know Cole won’t be promoted to Pittsburgh in September…..

  125. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Saw that about State College. The amount of stock they put in those playoffs is shown by the best of 3 series for most leagues. I, myself, think it helps build a winning attitude to win at any level, but I guess they shorten them for various reasons.

  126. JAL says:

    Cole is not on the 40 and be brought up to the Pirates unless they put him on the 40, which they have no need to do. Would waste a sot on the 40 unless they plan to have play all next season in the majors.

  127. JAL says:

    Didn’t type post 128 very well :)

  128. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Its ok, we all have our moments…….but it was understood.

    I know he has to be on the 40 man. I still like the David Price comparison.

  129. Bizrow says:

    Yeah, I said Cole to AAA, he does not need to be on the 40 man roster to go there?

  130. Arriba Wilver says:

    That’s interesting about the 40 man. So Clement isn’t a lock to be brought up in Sept.

  131. Bizrow says:

    One opening on 40 man right now, AW, Leroux and Clement would need to be added to come up

  132. JAL says:


    There is an open spot on the 40. No one a lock but they could add someone like Clement. He is on a one year contract so would not be the same problem putting Cole on the 40 is.

  133. RobertoForever says:


    Thanks for the perspective on using the last two weeks for a sneak peek. It does take the heart of the below team, especially because they are in a playoff hunt. That might be valuable as well, being in the playoff hunt with a professional team. Although I am sure that the top players have been in lots of high-pressure playoff situations.

    DK: Yeah, they even did it with Rinku Singh last year.

  134. RobertoForever says:

    Lineup thread is up.

    Ant marching ======================>

  135. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    No he doesn’t need to be on the 40 man to go to AAA..

    I was actually making a joke about him not going to Pittsburgh. Aparently opening up a can of worms.

  136. Bizrow says:


    No problem ;-)

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