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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Vacation Call: Back this weekend

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

I’ll be back at the usual baseball/football/whatever gig this weekend, and the column and blogs and all that resume in full Monday.


  1. RobertoForever says:

    Hopefully the Pirates will have resumed their winning ways before the columns begin back on Monday.

  2. JRay3 says:

    12 of the next 15 games are at home and feature the Brewers for six, Cardinals for three, Cubs for three and Astros for three.

    This will be I believe the defining and critical stretch.

  3. Boise Bucco says:



  4. JAL says:

    JAL’s Streets of Baltimore Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)


    4—Pirates Prospects

    Indians Clinch IL West Pennant; Irwin Strikes Out 9

    Defining Large, Mid, and Small Markets

    Zack Von Rosenberg Still Dealing With Fastball Inconsistency

    GCL Pirates Take Two From Phillies

    Prospect Watch: Nine Strikeouts From Irwin, Avila Homers Again

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Bucs Dugout Podcast: On The Bullpen And The Padres Series

    6 Rumbunter

    It’s No Longer Sunshine, Lollipops, & Rainbows for the Pittsburgh Pirates

    Infographic: 130 Years of Pittsburgh Pirates Pride

    Welcome Back to PNC Park, Ryan Braun: Hey, Pirates Fans – Braun Had Something to Say About You

    7 McEffect

    Thursday 8/24 Minor League Roundup

    8 Inside Pittsburgh Sports

    Pirates GM Says, ‘We’ve Probably Made Our Big Trade’

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    News and notes: Indy, McCutchen, Mercer, Cruz

    10 WHY GAVS


  5. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 CBS Sports

    Pirates-Brewers Game Preview

    12 Texas Tech Athletics

    Q&A with Former Texas Tech CF Barrett Barnes (Pittsburgh Pirates)

    13 Chicago Tribune

    Pirates Report

    14 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Preview: Brewers at Pirates

    Lucroy is getting that old feeling

    15 KDKA

    Former Pirate Phil Garner On How To Shake Things Up: “I’ve Tried Drawing The Lineup Out Of A Hat”

    16 St Louis Post Dispatch

    Cards enjoy feeding frenzy

    17 Holland Sentinel

    Elroy Face, last Tiger Fridays guest with West Michigan Whitecaps, talks about record career


    18 PBC Site

    Voice Brown happy to see Buc Fever spreading

    Up-the-middle defense could be difference

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    What You Need to Know

    20 Fangraphs

    Should Anyone Trade For Josh Beckett?

  6. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Maybe Regular NFL Officials are Better At Their Craft than Fans Realize

    Steelers FS Ryan Clark Says ‘There Won’t Be Gatorade Baths Because We Beat the Ravens’

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Assistant Amos Jones New Special Teams Coach

    23 Steelers Gab

    Redmen Says His Hip May Bother Him the Whole Season

    24 Nice Pick Cower

    Harsh Words For Steelers Polamalu From DeadSpin

    Pitt Blogs

    25 Pitt Blather

    The End of Camp

    26 Cardiac Hill

    The Cardiac Hill Roadshow: Traveling To South Florida

    WVU Blogs

    27 Metro News

    Mazey ‘surprised’ by quick-turn class

    28 WV Illustrated

    Luck Wants Backyard Brawl To Resume


    29 Sky Sports

    Jol wants to keep Dempsey

    30 Daily Telegraph

    Nervous times as the clock ticks for four of football’s unwanted

    31 World Soccer Daily

    England: preview of the 2012-13 season


    32 Pensburgh

    Fleury at NHL/NHLPA Negotiations today

  7. JAL says:

    Streets of Baltimore, Gram Parsons 1973. Parsons was another of the 1960s burnouts who died at age 26. He was a member of the Byrds and founding member of the Flying Burrito Brothers. Emmylou Harris accompanies him on vocals on his two solo albums.

  8. Drew71 says:

    Boise. How Bout Those Brewers. Huh?

  9. Drew71 says:

    Biz – Just found and read your wonderful account of growing-up-sports from yesterday’s thread.

    Now kids don’t ride bikes to the ball field. In fact kids no longer ride bikes. Just adults do: the healthy set and those without cars.

    Doesn’t matter because the ball fields are now empty anyway.

    And the wild field where we played when bumped off ball fields by older kids? It’s now houses.

    They caught the last train for the coast
    The day the music died


    For each of the last two seasons, while the Pirates soared, they came back. They began to pack PNC Park.

    And there were kids there.

  10. Arriba Wilver says:

    That was the thing that struck me at the last Dodgers’ game I attended–a lot of kids/young people, and they were into the baseball, not just the “ballpark experience.” At least they were into the winning baseball. Very good to see, very good.

  11. Drew71 says:

    That’s what I read from several who attended during this year’s stretch of better play. And reading between the lines, remembering from last year, it seemed that some were saying last season that it was a bit more about the new experience, and this year seems or seemed to be about the baseball. Probably a huge oversimplification on my part.

  12. Bizrow says:

    Yes, you see a lot of familys at the games now. And younger folks and yes, they are into the ball game. Its good to see. Work is funny too. Everybody knows I’m a diehard PBC fan, based on always wearing a PBC hat, jacket and my office is full of bobbleheads and the like. Before these past two years, folks would just say hi when I ran into them, now most stop me and talk about the Bucs.

    Amazing. There’s been a lot of talk that Pirate fans have left, nah, they’ve just been dormant.

    Now we need to win this dam thing….

  13. JaxBuc says:

    Thirty-one inmates checked in yesterday with the off-day diversion of high school and year of graduation.

    Name School Year
    JaxBuc Montour 1979
    Milo Burrell 1982
    Jandy Penn Cambria 1978 Cresson, PA
    TJA North Hills 1979
    Rich Portage Area 1996
    Bizrow Mt. Lebanon 1968
    buggee North Hills 1976
    bobhasis Carrick 1952 @16
    MarkV Mt. Lebanon 1972
    GlassHalfFull Chartiers Valley 1982
    AshevilleJeff Sto-Rox 1980
    Nancy52 Churchill 1970
    pghboyinca Canon-McMillan 1975
    Drew71 Mt. Lebanon 1824 or later
    Tom P. McDowell 1983 Erie
    albatross nearly North Hills 1979
    Boise Bucco Connellsville 1999
    Karen22 Cleveland Heights 1968 Cleveland, OH
    JHadar Humboldt 1966 Hunboldt, IA
    Chico Greensburg Central Catholic 1995
    JohninOshkosh East Waterloo 1985 Waterloo, IA
    Bill Born nearly McKeesport 1959
    RobertoForever Clearfield 1985
    casper in a-town New Castle 1986
    radio wave Norwalk 1970 Norwalk, CT
    Jag7 Canevin 1990
    Ryan (NorCal Stlrfan) Venice 1995 Venice, FL: nearly TJ
    cosmo Derry Area 1978
    Joseph Bauman Greensburg Central Catholic 1981
    Jay Jax FL via New Castle New Castle 1986
    tdb1977 Putnam 1995 Putnam, CT

  14. JaxBuc says:

    If anyone else wants to identify yourself to your fellow inmates, I’ll keep the list around and add you to it. Maybe I’ll break it back out next Thursday, after the buccos have taken 5 of 6 from their two nemesiseses.

  15. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Buccos need an inspirational speech from Lou Brown and Jake Taylor…


    Has anyone followed the Lance Armstrong story? Interesting stuff. Seven years after he last won a TDF, he’s decided he no longer wants to fight the charges that keep coming up against him. So, he’s deemed guilty and stripped of his TDF victories and banned from competition for life. So much for innocent until proven guilty…

  17. Bizrow says:

    So who do we root for tonight, Reds or Cards?

  18. Drew71 says:

    We root for:
    – Series split
    – Each game 36 innings
    – Pitchers’ arms = overcooked spaghetti

  19. Bizrow says:

    Good idea Drew, also rain delays?

  20. Drew71 says:

    Ten people shot outside the Empire State Building. Police quickly converged and shot the perpetrator. who died.

    Unconfirmed: A number of the victims are dead, and the Empire State Building is or was on lock down.

    The unconfirmed report comes from my oldest son who works on the 27th floor of the Empire State Building.

    It is terrible when you read about this stuff in theaters, in malls, wherever, when it involves strangers. Whole different level of shock when you know someone nearby, even when you know he is safe. From my perspective, not fear or anger so much as shock.

    And confusion. What do you do? What do you say?

  21. Bizrow says:

    Drew, I’ve been meaning to send you an e-mail asking how things are going for your son, if you get a chance, would you mind sending me a note on that?

    There is evil out there, and unfortunately it is showing its face lately.

    Random violence, just horrible

  22. Drew71 says:


  23. NMR says:


    The worst part, IMO, of the Lance Armstrong situation is that he has done more for cancer research than any athlete in history, yet will go down as a villain because he cheated at a game.

    Overemphasis on sport showing itself once again.

  24. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Near East Liverpool, Ohio 1971. Looks like we need to show more respect to bob hasis, as he is in his mid-70’s and definitely the elder statesman of this blog.

  25. Thundercrack says:

    I’m not a fan of Lance Armstrong -the athlete. But it seems like I heard that they at least 10 people lined up to testify that they saw Armstrong using PED’s.
    So I have to believe that he saw that it was a losing battle.

  26. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Part of the problem with the baseball fields being empty are, at least where I live, the league locks them up and there is no access.

    Welcome to Northern California.

  27. JaxBuc says:


    Near East Liverpool, Ohio isn’t really a school, now is it? Do I remember some earlier comments about Midland, PA, from you? I had an uncle that lived in East Liverpool and worked in the payroll department at the mill in Midland. How should I identify your school?

    @Drew, glad to see that your son is safe. Sad to see that we have to worry about people being safe. No emoticon is appropriate, here.

  28. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    What is this world coming to? Is it worse now than what it has been in the past or just shown a lot more by media outlets and the internet?

    Either way, its ridiculous. Surely these people show signs of craziness and nobody puts a stop too it.

  29. JohninOshkosh says:


    Glad that your son is OK. He recently started that job, right?

    I, for one, have grown weary of the violence. No where seems to be safe. Malls, movies, places of worship. I went to the Mall of America a few weeks ago and it actually crossed my mind as to what evasive action I would take with my family if someone started shooting. Such thoughts should not cross one’s mind.

    Tired of it. Angry about it. Mad as hell, really.

  30. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Couldn’t imagine having a child near that situation.

    My brother was near the Pitt shootings that just took place a couple of months ago. Hell, I walked through that area whenever I went home for vacation this summer.

    Eary, eary feeling.

  31. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Unfortunetly that’s the world we live in. I seem to do that everywhere I go. Its important to at least think about it, and have a plan.

    Is it right? No, we shouldn’t have to live that way, but its something we have to consider at the very least, to protect our families.

  32. LuckyNKentucky says:


    It is actually called Beaver Local High School, not to be confused with Beaver, PA, as it is in the rural area between East Liverpool and Lisbon, OH. Didn’t say the name to avoid confusion. Midland, Foo’s hometown, is right down the river from East Liverpool. The mill in Midland was Crucible, then Colt bought it, then J & L and I don’t know what it is now. Used to employ 8,000 people at one time. Everyone in Ohio, PA and WVa in that area, myself included, either worked there or had family members that worked there or retired from there.

  33. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Also, I had a boss that just recently retired to hickville Iowa. He’s not from there, didn’t know much about it but knew that he didnt want to live in any major town/city.

    Of course, he was a huge conspiracy theorist, but, to an extent, he had a point.

  34. Arriba Wilver says:

    Relentless–no one would be in prison if they could just refuse to defend themselves and say,” hey, you didn’t prove me guilty.”. I’m not saying Armstrong’s a crook, but the innocent till proven guilty principle doesn’t apply to this situation. He basically did the same thing Rose did when they were going after him, and then claimed for another 20 years they hadn’t proven anything because he decided to quit defending himself when faced with the damning evidence.

  35. Bizrow says:

    @Lucky, I am looking over the Ohio River towards Midland as I type. Midland is coming back, new construction going up, the mill area is still a dump, but the main street is looking much better. The Performing Arts High School and a cyber school are helping the growth out. Don’t know the last time you were there, but its turning the corner

  36. Arriba Wilver says:

    Drew–very sorry to hear about that, but thrilled your son is safe. My daughter was at Virginia Tech at the time of the shootings there. And I understand your question, but don’t have an answer, other than to say what I did was go see her right away.

    Agree with Ryan about the eeriness of the situation, I felt it as soon as I got close to Blacksburg.

  37. JohninOshkosh says:


    I wish your boss well but it can happen anywhere. Large city or small town (remember Nickel Mines). Will never understand why those people just don’t take their own life. Always have to take the innocents with them.

  38. LuckyNKentucky says:


    I heard that about Midland. We lived in Ohioville, right up the hill from there, for nine years when we were in Youth and Children’s ministry. Glad to hear that about Midland. Heard they had excellent HS basketball there again. Great news. Myself, I haven’t been there for over 14 years, since we moved here. Been back home for funerals, reunions, etc., but not up the river.

  39. JRay3 says:

    Pirates have activated Jordy Mercer and option Daniel McCutchen back to Indy.

  40. bobhasis says:

    @Lucky #25

    Respect is a nice word around which to structure your daily affairs and handle your relationships. I thank you for being so thoughtful, but I wouldn’t have expected anything other from a Man of the Cloth.

    I’ll be 77 on September 23, if God permits me, so everything from here is Bonus time. I’m just grateful to Him to have that remaining neurons – the others were neutralized or killed from a relaxing habit of enjoying a Ketel One on the rocks with a wedge of lemon, or a fantastic new revelation of a Craft beer, say Guinness or anything from Great Lakes Brewery in Cleveland – to exchange witticisms and barbs with all of you bloggers.

    Kudos to JaxBuc for the idea of allowing us to reveal a little of ourselves, which for the most part would have remained unknown, without his idea.

  41. LuckyNKentucky says:


    He’ll “satisfy” you with long life. Ps. 91:16.

  42. Leefoo says:

    Biz/LnK…….my HS buddy, ex-Asst Police Chief, took me on a tour of Midland last time I was home. It has rebounded wonderfully!


  43. JaxBuc says:

    You know, 99+% of the time this blog is quite civil. Its friendliness is what makes it special. Today’s entries provide an example of how a community of friends can exist with people who don’t even know each other. Thanks to all of you, for being part of my days.

  44. Bizrow says:

    @JacBuc, totally agree, thanks for saying that

  45. Drew71 says:

    Been busy passing news to relatives and making arrangements for the past hour, but wanted to extend my thanks to everyone for the warm wishes.

    I like what Arriba did in a similar situation. We’re doing the reverse but hopefully to the same result. Flying him home for the upcoming holiday weekend. Bringing in other son too so I will be a nice homecoming.

    Gotta go, but thanks again.

  46. buggee says:

    —–> This blog is the best!

    —–> Prayers go out for those victims and everyone impacted by this horrific deed. We also need to prayer for the perp. Hate the sin, not the sinner…

    Hoist up the Jolly Shuttlecock, Bash the Brewers, Slam the ‘Stros, Rip the Redbirds, Club the Cubs (not literally of course).

  47. Drew71 says:

    And…beautifully said, Jaxie.

  48. Boise Bucco says:


  49. JAL says:

    I have been on that sidewalk out the Empire State Building many times. Always eerie to have horrific things happen somewhere you have been.

  50. bobhasis says:

    @Lucky, you are right, He will satisfy with long life, and He already has. It is now given to me to satisfy Him for the time which remains.

    If I may, here is a profound little story, if one places himself into the hands and service of The Lord, the benefits which are possible.

    I closed my business in January and retired, but with way more energy to spend. I ran into a friend at Church one day, told him I’d retired and he suggested I join him in driving a school bus. The training is over I have passed the tests and have been approved by the school board. My new career is starting soon.

    Two weeks ago there was an ad in the Church bulletin, that a local auto dealer needed drivers to do dealer exchanges – a very simple job. I interviewed and was accepted. We are now awaiting results of a background check of my driving record and to haggle a bit on rate.

    Two jobs in the space of a month for a 77 year old reprobate, simply by going to Church.

    Do not debate me about Divine Intervention.

    Thanks for listening (reading).

  51. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Was your business in the South Hills?

    Man how I love that place. It is and will always be home for me, regardless of where my parents or Uncle Sam takes me.

    I just can’t get over the snow stuff.

  52. LuckyNKentucky says:


    You’re no reprobate. I’ve seen them and you ain’t one. I drove a school bus for a school year in Oklahoma while we were in Bible school. Great experience. Kids will love you. They put the windows up for me every day and cleaned the bus for me. Even offered their advice on how to drive on ice, which there is a lot of in OK winters. (I told them I was from Ohio and knew how and they were double impressed). Have a great time at it.

  53. cmat0829 says:

    First of all, I’m glad the damage of the pyschopath shooter was minimized as much as possible in NYC. Fact is there are psychos out there that have guns… fact is also that our first responders are first rate and show that over and over again.

    As to the Pirates, I found a quote from Clint following Wednesday’s loss interesting: paraphrasing, he said that “the approach was to hit balls up the middle and to opposite field” and so “many balls hit on ground to pull side was disheartening”.

    I take two things from this…. yes, the manager and coaches are preparing the players with what to do and sadly, the players are not executing. Not sure if it is becuase they are bullheaded and want to pull the ball despite the advice (and yes Cutch resembles that remark) or just can’t execute despite trying.

    The answer to this recent slide and the hope for the “playoff push” resides within the players. Managers do make moves and some work and some don’t (and we will dissect the ones that don’t with infinite armchair wisdom) but the wins or losses will be based on how the players execute.

    Rise up, I say, young Pirates. Do what needs to be done and let’s RAISE THE JOLLY ROGER much over the next few weeks.

  54. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    I know you and I have gone back and forth about the Pirates and baseball fundimentals. I appreciate your story and appreciate the back and forth, even when we don’t get agree on the subject, but so what, that’s what makes us human.

    That’s one of the reasons I come back to the blog. Is to debate and discuss such things with you all.

    I enjoy, actually, I love it, right or wrong. Some of you have opened my eyes up to some things. I hope that I have done the same for some of you….

  55. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    You are exactly right. The managers and coaches set the stage for the players, but it is the players themselves that have to execute.

    BTW, hitting an outside pitch, regardless of speed is the hardest thing to do as a hitter.

    I know Ted Williams always use to say that the high, inside fastball is the hardest pitch to hit. I don’t disagree with that at all (who can disagree with Ted Williams when it comes to hitting) but the outside stuff is just as difficult and the Pirates are proving that. Its hard to believe what a split second can do to an AB.

    The hitters have to let the ball travel a little bit more and those rolled over 2 hoppers to short or 3B become line drive hits to the center or RF. Always sounds simple, but very hard to execute.

  56. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Anyone think Ritchie should be on the hot seat if Bucs don’t turn woeful hitting around? Reason I ask is because it seems like we are back at our early season batting struggles which, of course, combined with some bad pitching is taking a toll. I don’t think it’s all his fault by any stretch, but have to wonder if something is gonna give soon in one department or another.

  57. Arriba Wilver says:

    Drew–whatever works, my friend. Main thing is to see him— in person, I think.

  58. The Gunner says:

    @ Brad – 56

    As one of Scabata’s biggest detractors, I must give credit where credit is due – he did make an excellent effort when he caught that one fly ball in foul territory during the Padre series. But, like you, I am very much on the fence about Scabata. My God! He has only played in less than 10 games since his recall.

  59. bobhasis says:

    @ Lucky

    So you already have first hand knowledge of what I should expect. I don’t yet know what age group I’ll be driving – which as one can imagine will vary disparately as to their on-bus deportment. I told my instructor and the dispatcher, here I am a 77year old trainee. Isn’t that an ironic paradox?


    It is easy for me to realize you miss this place and by your own admission. My roots are planted so deeply here, it would take a million terrorists with explosive belts to uproot me. Nah that wouldn’t work, but I like the idea.
    My daughters who live in Charlotte and Chesapeake respectively have urged me to sell and relocate. Pittsburgh sports, particularly baseball, captivate my daily being.

    TJ football is so compelling to me – as I have stated before – I’d rather see a TJ football game on Friday night than have a filet mignon covered with mushrooms and a bottle of Cabernet at the LeMont.

    Well I was thinking that – did I actually say it? You get my drift.

  60. JohninOshkosh says:

    I think Mr. JRay is correct. The postseason hangs in the balance in the next 15 games. Gotta make hay against these Central bottom feeders. Can’t help but hear a lot about the Brewers here. Just a tip for our blood pressures: even if the Bucs fall behind early in any of these next three games, don’t fret too much, as the Crew have a knack this year of giving up leads and losing in the late innings.

    Lets Go Bucs!!

    And for anyone going to the game: don’t forget to get on Braun for me!

  61. LuckyNKentucky says:


    I had 99% middle school kids. No elementary or HS. That group was easy for me for obvious reasons. That is one place in eduction where you CAN be their friend and still be in charge of the bus. Hard to discipline them, but don’t back off if they need it and you’ll have their respect.

    Drew and AW,

    I’ve probably told you this already, so I apologize if I did. My son left Haiti from a mission trip 3 days before that huge earthquake hit. Talk about relief after the fact. He looked at all the pix and talked about how he’d seen almost all of it and some of the people he had ministered to were possibly dead. Like JAL said, an eery feeling.

  62. Bizrow says:

    I consider myself one of the most fortunate people in that my life has worked out such as I will always live in the Burgh. (Ok I live in Hopewell, but this whole area I think of as the Burgh)

    This mushy stuff is all Drew’s fault ;-)

  63. cmat0829 says:

    Of all the Pirates hitters, JayHey and yes, Tabata, seem to have the most patient approach in terms of letting balls “get deep” and being content to hitting to opposite field.

    Not sure about y’all, but I’m much more confident when the Pirates are facing a hard-throwing right hander than when they face a junk-tosser (like Marquis)… the Bucs batters are just not patient enough and seem to always expect a fastball to hit. As John Wehner always puts it, if you look for the breaking ball but get a fastball, you can still react and hit to opposite field. If you are looking fastball you have no chance to hit the breaking ball with authority.

    It seems simple and so I HAVE TO BELIEVE that Hurdle and Ritchie have communicated and coached that….so my frustration is directed at the players. They just seem to “refuse to believe” that approach is appropriate and choose to just “let it fly”…

    That needs to stop. I think both Clint and Albert Pujols opined that Cutch will “hit the next level” as an offensive threat when he “learns to trust himselt to hit to all fields” following the 2011 collapse. He was doing that so well through mid July and the results speak for themselves. Last few weeks his swings are big and broad and to pull and that isn’t getting it done.

    Not sure what further proof Cutch needs but he needs to trust it and get back to it. The sooner the better. With Jones stepping up and Walker being the best Pirates hiitter in terms of discipline and approach, this team is light years ahead of 2011 and are NOT gonna collapse. The winning ways return when the “hit to right field” Cutch returns (along with the ‘attack the bat’ Pirates starters, but that is another topic for another post)….. happy Friday and LETS GO BUCS

  64. albatross says:

    My company does a lot of work at the Empire State Building. Luckily, none of my guys was there today, but this incident took place outside, so it really didn’t have anything to do with the Empire State Building, except by proximity.

    Crazy people are everywhere, unfortunately.

  65. bobhasis says:

    The way this team is structured and the way they are performing is not very encouraging. We had to get the most from every player, and now we are not

    When Cutch was doing it all he carried the team. While the entire pitching staff was virtually perfect, they carried the team. When Barajas was hot he contributed big time. When NW went from .225 to .290 he and his solid defense helped immensely. We had moments from Pedro all too infrequently. Jonesy is still popping though many doubt his defense. Fort showed some spark as did Barmes.

    As of now, not much of that is in evidence, and we are being pitched to – way differently and way better, and have not adjusted to it. The advance scouts are watching as we are and have a very enlightening report to take back to home base. Our foibles have been discovered.

    We are what we are – an incomplete team with way too many soft spots.

  66. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Totally agree with cmat (still anti-Scab, but agree). Even Pedro was pounding the ball opposite field before the break. Sooner they get back to just making solid contact the better. Some of those dribblers the other night against the Padres’ bat boy that was pitching made me want to cry. Would be nice if our pitchers would just start pounding the strike zone- I’m no sabermetric and don’t really pay attention to that stuff but when good hitters fail 7 out of 10 times, just put the ball in there and make them do something with it! That’s why guys like Karstens are successful. My 5-year-old could probably hit his changeup, but when you know the ball’s probably gonna be in the zone and you have no idea how fast it’s coming it sure becomes harder to hit well. Not comparing the two, but I recall this Maddux guy who was supposedly pretty good who had that kind of approach…


    @NMR, Thundercrack: I’ve read a few more reports about Lance, and it appears that there are new eyewitness reports coming forward that claim he did, in fact, dope up and was part of a conspiracy by members of his TdF team to do so. If I understand correctly, the arbitration process would have been open to the public. So, by declining arbitration, he’s avoiding a public witch hunt.

    @ Arriba Wilver: Your metaphor of a criminal getting off free if he chooses to not defend himself is not right. The difference in a criminal court is that the trial proceeds whether or not the defendant chooses to defend himself. If enough evidence is presented to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant is convicted. In this case, Lance was already found guilty by the WADC (primarily on the basis of circumstantial evidence). He’s just declining his right to appeal the decision.

    My thoughts are this: Lance Armstrong never took a single short-cut to success. His training program was notoriously difficult, even compared to his peers. I honestly believe that what he has achieved was overwhelmingly the result of hard work, discipline, and dedication. Of the substances he is charged with using, I haven’t heard any quantitative evidence that proves these substances gave him a significant advantage over his competition that he did not already have. It’s not like Lance sat around on the couch eating bon-bons and watching soap operas, doped up, and went out and won 7 TdF titles…

  68. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Hitters have the information and have to make the adjustments. If they do not, then what we are currently seeing, is what they can do.

    I at first wanted to chalk it up to inexperience, but I don’t think that excuse works anymore for this group, except Mercer and Marte, I’d even throw Fort in that excuse as well, but that’s not enough guys to cover what’s going on.

    Also, its baseball. Things shift. The Tampa Bay Rays were 10 games back at one point behind the Yankees, they’re now 2.5 behind.

    Anything can happen. I’m hoping this team can put a good string of games together and have a mini winning streak or two in there. I don’t see a 10 game winning streak, but winning series’s is what’s most important.

  69. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    How long have you been watching TJ?

    I had friends that were on the team in the 90’s. My brother didn’t play, but he was there during their “dark days” of not winning much of anything.

    I remember going to the games with my friends when we were in elementary school and middle school. Didn’t watch much of the game of course, but always had a good time. I lived, eh, 5 minutes from there.

  70. bobhasis says:

    @Ryan you are absolutely correct. We have to make the adjustments as batters – or be coached as to what needs to be changed – and neither of which is visibly happening.

    As to Tampa Bay, I don’t know what their situation was team-wise or individually, but I do know they were missing Longoria, whose return had to help.

    But if you watch enough of our beloved Buccos, you see the same batter making the same mistake time after time. Knowledge of the strike zone and recognition of the pitch are absent

    Too many of our hitters – the biggest violators are Pedro and Barmes – take too many first pitch strikes that should be launched, then they swing at breaking stuff out of the strike zone. How can that continue? Now they are 0-2 and ripe for plucking.

  71. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Oh I agree Bob. Pedro seems to do that the most. I understand why Barmes does it, he’s usually hitting in the 8th spot ahead of the pitcher. He needs to take a few pitches, try to get on base however he can and have the pitcher move him over. Also, nobody likes a pitcher leading off the next inning. So that makes some sense.

    Pedro, however, is a power guy. No sense in taking pitches UNLESS its not his pitch. They are taught/coached to find a zone and if the pitch is there, put in in the river. Taking pitches doesn’t make it a bad AB, just when they throw a cookie for strike 1.

    I really don’t put this approach on the shoulders of the coaches. The hitters have to perform and go with the approach, if that truely is what they were trying to do. (I don’t doubt what CH said about the approach).

    I’m sure its been hashed out many times. Little League hitters are taught to hit outside pitches to opposite fields. This is not new information to the hitters.

    I dont think I’ve ever seen it this bad, to be honest. I watch a lot of baseball, not just the Pirates and you see all hitters pull an outside pitch, but I also see better adjustments. All go into slumps from time to time, but what seperates the Albert Pujols’s from the Pedro Alvarez’s is the adjustments made.

    And yes, Longoria’s comeback has helped them. No doubt. That’s a real talent there….

  72. bobhasis says:

    @Ryan #73

    Since 1961 when I moved into the community. My son graduated in 1982 and played on the team that beat Aliquippa 28-8 at Pitt Stadium. Sadly at that time I was working in the USSR.
    My grandson play on two of the three state championships in 2007 and 2008 (2004was the other), and from which he got a full ride at West Virginia Wesleyan as a free safety. Not to mention the fact that he never got a B in high school or college so far. He will be starting for WVW as their free safety this fall. He is a junior. I can’t wait. Pull up West Virginia Wesleyan football on Google. He is pictured #33. Looks just like his Pap.

    I know you live far away but they have been fun to watch over the years. It wouldn’t make sense to come here just to see them, but it could be worth the while. As I mentioned to Milo yesterday, this year again they are “loaded” and I expect them to play for the states again in Hershey.

  73. Milo Hamilton says:

    Mississippi St. is being investigated for recruiting violations in their football program. Wonder what ever tipped them off to that ? Might as well have just paid Cam what he wanted.

  74. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    That’s not a first for them…..MSU that is.


    I won’t be back during the fall season. My kids are in school and my 8th grader is in his first year of football. Loving it. Starting RB and FS and he’s returning kicks too.

    This should be fun. My whole family would move to Pittsburgh in a heartbeat. My brother has moved from Jefferson Hills to Plum after he graduated from IUP.

    The funny thing is, I think us Pittsburghers are the only ones that calls their grandfathers Pap. I did for both of mine and my kids and nephews do the same with theirs. Pretty cool thing.

  75. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Googling now. Did you see Willie Parker joined their coaching staff?? That’s gotta be cool for your grandson.

  76. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Looks like they have 2 TJ kids on the roster. Very cool.

    Thanks for the share. Hope he does well.

    Physics major? What is he thinking!!!! I’m kidding of course.

  77. LuckyNKentucky says:


    I saw where everyone in Oakland is “shocked’ over Bartolo Colon’s 50-game testosterone suspension from Billy Beane to Melvin and all the players and bat boys. I’ll bet Ryota Iragashi is shocked, also.

  78. JAL says:

    Jeff Clement added to 40 and brought up, Navarro sent down

  79. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Thanks JAL

    Good move. There was an empty spot right?

    Glad to have 3 1B on the roster….lol

  80. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Give him a chance, why not.

    RHP pitcher, start him at 1B and Jones in RF. I’m cool with that. See if he’s fixed things. Might be a quick shot in the arm.

  81. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Great news. DK should like that move. His tweet about Indy winning the their division without anyone on the roster better than Navarro was priceless sarcasm.

  82. JAL says:


    There were two empty spots, now have 1–that will likely be Chris Leroux in week.

  83. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Thanks for the heads up, I thought only 1, but of course, you’re on it.

  84. bobhasis says:

    You ask, physics major what is he thinking. Hell I haven’t been able to decipher what that is thinking since he was 10. A physics major comes from another planet right?

    He and I are from a slightly different mold. He will pursue a medical career for sure.

    Yes I saw that Parker joined the staff, and it is cool.

    Go back to your entry #73, in my opinion batting first or eighth, priority No. 1 is to get on base, all of the other ancillary stuff will be addressed after he gets on. You cannot afford to automatically take a strike – especially as you call it a cookie. Drive it!!

  85. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I wish NH was on twitter………but he’s obviously not as dumb as people think he is.

  86. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Agree on both your 1st and 8 hole hitters….different situations call for different approaches of course, but for the most part…cookies should get crushed.

    Hangers also. You hang em, we bang em.

  87. JaxBuc says:

    If I may be so bold: The ants are marching. Game thread is up. Good thing Barajas speaks spanish. It’s got to be the only reason he’s still in there.


  88. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I hear ya on the difference. My oldest, who is in a way exactly like me, has a goal right now to be an engineer. He’s very good at math and science (which I never was).

    I’m trying to steer him to the Air Force Academy, maybe play some ball there as well.

  89. bobhasis says:

    Ryan physics to me is an abstract word; oh I can spell it all right, but as for handling it, when the need becomes overwhelming, I take Milk of Magnesia

    The end of my knowledge of physics

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