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Wakeup Call: Hijacking of Steelers’ offense?

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Brief and to the Point …

>> The Monday column looks at why in the world anyone would think the Pirates are done.

>> The Pirates haven’t yet approached Jason Grilli, one of the National League’s top relievers, about an extension. He can be a free agent this winter.

There’s plenty of time, obviously, but it should be a priority. His 72 Ks are among baseball’s best, opponents are batting .182 off him. Oh, and the Pirates are 58-1 when leading after seven innings.

Even if Grilli’s 35, you don’t let that walk. He’s willing to stay, but the team’s got to step up. Once he hits the open market, forget it.

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>> This might sound over-the-top, so don’t take it terribly seriously, but didn’t you get the feel Saturday night when Ben Roethlisberger was engineering — and apparently ad-libbing — that 98-yard drive in Buffalo that he was sticking out his tongue at Todd Haley and all the Trent Dilfer-esque plays they’d been running to that point?

Come on. It had to cross your mind.

First, early in that big drive, he gestures angrily toward the Steelers’ sideline after an illegal-substitution penalty, then he suddenly breaks out the downfield throws.

And when the halftime quotes were gathered by the Bills and disseminated to reporters in the Buffalo press box — that’s how it works in preseason — came this from Ben: “I just started calling my own plays. We went no-huddle and up-tempo, and we were throwing the ball.”

Mike Tomlin tried to downplay it afterward, but really … how else could you read this other the quarterback just hijacking the offense?

Don’t misunderstand, though. Not saying that’s a bad thing, given the dramatic differences before and after.

>> I’ll make my weekly appearance on TribLIVE Radio today at noon.

Read more here: http://www.macon.com/2012/08/25/2150011/brown-big-ben-lead-steelers-38.html#storylink=cpy

Comments

  1. RobertoForever says:

    Don’t think they are done.

    But it hasn’t been worth posting about and swimming upstream. Got plenty of folks to have reasonable discussions with.

    Btw, having contract discussions in the middle of the first pennant race in 20 years? Now that doesn’t sound smart.

    DK: Hence, the line, “There’s plenty of time.”

  2. JRay3 says:

    i mentioned the other day I felt the current 12 of 15 stretch of home games against the Central bottom feeders mixed in with important Cards series would most likely determine season. Have some work to do after 1-2 start.

    We have wasted some good pitching performances ie Wandy the other night, we have failed to take advantage of games where we get to face a AAA call up ie San Diego and yesterday against Rodgers.

    In June and July you could tell the team’s energy and genuine fun they were having, now they appear a little tight and things are not clicking. But as we saw earlier this year it can change in a hurry.

    I’m not quite sure the team can get back into the mix of a playoff spot but I do know this team will fight the entire balance, I witnessed it in SD when down 2 Jones belted the tying HR and in the bottom of the 9th Cutch made an all out catch no other OF would have made. I believed it in the brief conversations I was able to have with Burnett, Grilli, and Hughes.

    35 games left to write the final chapter of this 2012 season. The fact that many are still reading and wondering how this story ends this late in the book is encouraging in and of itself.

  3. Boise Bucco says:

    I think our pitching staff needs only to take a good look at what happened to Texas–if Roy Oswalt can get sent to the bullpen, then it’s not too much to think that it could happen to anybody, even the Erik Bedard’s and Kevin Correia’s and, yup, Wandy Rodriguez’s of the world. I’m all about making sure the starters get their certain share of comfortability in their roles, I don’t believe that they should have to work with someone looking over their shoulders the whole time, ready to ship them off to the ‘pen after one bad start, but you take AJ–no one wrote him off after what was arguably the worst start of the year–he turned it around and followed it up with a string of very good starts. If you want to stay out of the ‘pen, that’s what you do. You can’t go each and every inning, giving up baserunners, expecting your defense to bail you out. Zach Duke baseball went the way of, well, Zach Duke.

  4. Juan Pizarro says:

    DK,

    Curious on your take on the RedSox dumping of $260M salary to the Dodgers, essentially handing LA a playoff spot (and potentially at the expense of the Pirates), with no sign of concern from the Commissioner. While just about 1 year ago, the Pirates sign a 2nd round draft choice for about 2% of what the Sox dumped (ie $5M), and lo and behold the entire draft is changed to right the wrongs of the big-market teams that were affected.

    Do you see anything wrong here? And do you think the Commissioners office will do anything about what took place between LA and the Sox to protect the smaller market teams who may have a playoff spot taken away by such manipulation? Just seems ompletely wrong to me.

    thanks,
    Juan

  5. Drew71 says:

    Whence did hence come?

  6. Thundercrack says:

    Juan, great observation regarding the reaction from the Commissioner regarding our 2nd round pick. But I doubt the Sox and Dodgers did any of this manipulation to take a playoff spot from smaller market teams. Those contracts were already in place, and as usual, those teams were only looking out for themselves.

    Roberto, even though I’ve seen some teams sign extensions with players over the past few weeks, I agree with you that now isn’t the time with Grilli.

    And I agree with Drew too.

  7. Drew71 says:

    Wow. Twice in a week. And here I thought, “There’s plenty of time.”

  8. JAL says:

    JAL’s Minneapolis 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: Two Outs Hurt Bucs; Pirates Continue to Make Waiver Claims

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/08/pirates-notebook-two-outs-hurt-bucs-pirates-continue-to-make-waiver-claims.html

    Hurdle Doesn’t Believe McCutchen is Repeating 2011 Second-Half Slump

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/08/hurdle-doesnt-believe-mccutchen-is-repeating-2011-second-half-slump.html

    Prospect Watch: Taillon Goes Six Shutout in Altoona; Curry and d’Arnaud Homer

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/08/prospect-watch-taillon-goes-six-shutout-in-altoona-curry-and-darnaud-homer.html

    Indians Can’t Keep Above the Surface Against Clippers

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/08/indians-cant-keep-above-the-surface-against-clippers.html

    Taillon Overpowers Richmond Flying Squirrels in 7-0 Victory

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/08/taillon-overpowers-richmond-flying-squirrels-in-7-0-victory.html

    First Pitch: Upset Watch

    http://blogs.piratesprospects.com/williams/first-pitch-upset-watch/

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Brewers 7, Pirates 0

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2012/8/26/3270043/brewers-7-pirates-0

    6 Rumbunter

    The Neal Huntington Show: Pittsburgh Pirates GM Talks Roster Moves

    http://rumbunter.com/2012/08/26/the-neal-huntington-show-pittsburgh-pirates-gm-talks-roster-moves/

    7 McEffect

    Pirates Starters in August

    http://www.mceffect.com/2012/08/pirates-starters-in-august.html

    8 The Green Weenie

    Brew Crew Cruises 7-0

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2012/08/brew-crew-cruises-7-0.html

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Brewers Bash Bucs

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2012/08/brewers-bash-bucs/

    10 Call To the Pen

    Has Pirates Playoff Boat Run Aground?

    http://calltothepen.com/2012/08/25/has-pirates-playoff-boat-run-aground/

  9. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 CBS Sports

    Pirates-Cardinals Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20120827_STL@PIT/cardinalspirates-preview

    12 St Louis Post Dispatch

    Bernie: NL races look fun down the stretch

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/bernie-miklasz/bernie-nl-races-look-fun-down-the-stretch/article_74664b56-80f3-5412-b668-72e1b28ce10c.html

    13 Chicago Tribune

    Pirates Report

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/sns-rt-bbo-pirates-teamreportmtze88pa7w09d-20120825,0,5239376.story

    14 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Rogers has just enough in victory

    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brewers/167449055.html

    Big-money Dodgers-Red Sox trade leaves Brewers in awe

    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brewers/bigmoney-dodgersred-sox-trade-leaves-brewers-in-awe-jj6khd6-167497185.html

    15 The Tartan

    Pirates raise expectations of fans this season

    http://thetartan.org/2012/8/27/sports/the-pirates

    16 Beaver County Times

    Stat corner: Long game produced many oddities

    http://www.timesonline.com/sports/pirates/stat-corner-long-game-produced-many-oddities/article_fd54966b-4674-5a6a-8d32-eca035d01221.html

    17 Altoona Mirror

    Taillon dominates in Curve home debut, allowing one hit in six shutout innings

    http://altoonamirror.com/page/content.detail/id/563695/Taillon-dominates-in-Curve-home-debut–allowing-one-hit-in-six-shutout-innings.html?nav=751

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    18 PBC Site

    Bedard struggles as Bucs blanked by Brewers

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2012_08_26_milmlb_pitmlb_1&mode=recap&c_id=pit

    If necessary, Clement willing to catch for Bucs

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120826&content_id=37370608&notebook_id=37370610&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    The Week In Quotes

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=18121

    20 Fangraphs

    Hitter BABIP Laggards

    http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/index.php/hitter-babip-laggards-2/

  10. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    David DeCastro Injury: Per Report, No ACL Tear

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/8/26/3269575/steelers-injury-report-david-decastro-acl-mcl-tear-season-ending

    Steelers Roster Review: Winners Include Trai Essex, Mike Adams, Danny Hrapmann and Drew Butler

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/8/26/3269190/steelers-roster-preseason-buffalo-winners-losers-depth-chart

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Report: DeCastro Has Dislocated Knee Cap, Torn MCL & Patellar Tendon Damage

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2012/08/report-decastro-has-dislocated-knee-cap-torn-mcl-patellar-tendon-damage/

    23 Steelers Gab

    Steelers Lose DeCastro; Beat Up the Bills 38-7

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2012/08/26/steelers-lose-decastro-beat-up-the-bills-38-7/

    24 Nice Pick Cower

    The O-Line Shuffle Continues, Steelers Now Spread Extremely Thin, and Musings on Week 3

    http://nicepickcowher.com/2012/08/26/the-o-line-shuffle-continues-steelers-now-spread-extremely-thin-and-musings-on-week-3/

    Pitt Blogs

    25 Pitt Blather

    Thank You, Please Show Up

    http://www.pittblather.com/2012/08/25/thank-you-please-show-up/

    26 Cardiac Hill

    Weekly Pitt Athletics Roundup: August 26th, 2012

    http://www.cardiachill.com/2012/8/26/3268214/pitt-athletics-baseball-soccer-womens-volleyball-tennis-pittsburgh-panthers-football-wrestling

    WVU Blogs

    27 Metro News

    WVU women take down No. 1 Stanford

    http://www.wvmetronews.com/wvu.cfm?func=displayfullstory&storyid=54571

    28 WV Illustrated

    Game Week Arrives For WVU

    http://www.wvillustrated.com/story/19379697/game-week-arrives-for-wvu

    Soccer(football)

    29 Sky Sports

    Skrtel gifts Tevez ton

    http://www1.skysports.com/football/live/match/267517/report

    30 Daily Telegraph

    Manchester United’ striker Wayne Rooney ruled out for a month with severely gashed thigh in defeat of Fulham

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/manchester-united/9499732/Manchester-United-striker-Wayne-Rooney-ruled-out-for-a-month-with-severely-gashed-thigh-in-defeat-of-Fulham.html

    31 World Soccer Daily

    Goals we would like to see again – August 2012

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/features/goals-we-would-like-to-see-again-august-2012

  11. JAL says:

    Minnesota, Minneapolis, Lucinda Williams, 2003 Currently active singer/songwriter with an avid following. Some state have many popular songs about them, others not much beyond the official state song. Sometimes a city song is the better choice to represent a state.

  12. Jandy says:

    Wow. I have a busy weekend with a step son moving BACK in, this time WITH his girlfriend, and all hell breaks loose on this blog. The Pirates drop another stinker to the Brewers. Makes me cringe. I’m so tired I had to come back to work to get a break. Really.

    My thoughts: The Pirates Charity drama is all about ownership having no clue. I’m not worried about the players who were upset. After all, they are only human. But this just proves to me that ownership has no idea what they’re doing, and I’m beginning to wonder if they care. They’re more concerned with running their own “toy” project than running the business of MLB. All in? My azz all in. OK, nuff said on that.

    Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers…it will be interesting to see how often Ben hijacks the offense. I can’t wait .

  13. Thundercrack says:

    Jandy, if you think all hell broke loose on the blog I can only imagine what is going to happen at your house. :-)

  14. Jandy says:

    TC, trust me we’re dealing with 2 very immature young people. 22 and 21. We laid down the law. I can be mean when I wanna be ;)
    What I failed to mention was that they brought their pitt bull mix with them, and I have a pit bull. Fortunately both are neutered. After a scary start, they are actually getting along. Now, if I can get the two young people to listen as well as the dogs!

  15. The Gunner says:

    Bedard’s ERA since the All Star break is approx. 5.50 – gee, maybe that’s why he has that “I don’t care” type of attitude. Certainly Locke, Wilson, McPherson, or Morris can do better than that.

    The BMTIB is hesitant about thrusting these guys into a pennant race; they are such freaking idiots (the BMTIB, that is.) In 1992, the Bucs promoted Tim Wakefield from the minors and he did extremely well. In 1971, the Bucs promoted Bruce Kison from the minors and he did well. And, there have been other situations with other teams.

    Hey BMTIB – take some freaking “risk” for God’s sake, yank Bedard from the rotation and give these prospects an opportunity to pitch in Pittsburgh…………NOW!!!

  16. Milo Hamilton says:

    @Jandy

    And the dog ?

  17. Jandy says:

    Milo, which one? and what about the dog?

  18. Milo Hamilton says:

    @Jandy

    I just meant that not only are you dealing with emptynestus interruptus, but they brought the dog too.

  19. Jandy says:

    Milo, it’s funny you bring up the empty nest thing. Because we didn’t get that symdrome. LOL. We totally enjoyed having the house to ourselves. But yeah, you have a huge point in that that peace has been shattered. Honestly, his dog is so sweet. It was my dog I was worried about. She can be a total b****, so we had to be very careful. Our son’s dog is a male, but he’s older, 11 years old. Our female is 2 1/2. Now she wants him to play (go figure!) but he’s too tired. It’s hilarious.
    The fact that they work second shift means hubby and I actually take MORE care of his dog than THEY do. I can’t wait till they find their own place. Working on that now.
    THEN I find out the Buccos lost, and got skunked besides, and that adds insult to injury!

    I wonder when someone will vandalize the Pirates’ Charity sign????

  20. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Gunner,

    I’m not overly thrilled with Wilson and Morris yet, but McPherson threw 7 innings of 2-hit, shutout ball the other night and Locke has been Abosolute Locke all season. ERA is still around 2.50. Anything is better than Erik the dead and some of the others. They need to take some risk now, like you said, even just to break the streak. Still in reach for that WC.

  21. Chuck Snow says:

    Not giving up on the Pirates…..But can anyone explain why Bedard is still a starter.

  22. JaxBuc says:

    1. Bedard is a MLB starter.
    2. Barajas is the #1 catcher.
    3. Jordy Mercer gets to play a few innings every couple of weeks.

    Exasperated Pirate fans, these are souces of much frustration. The folks running the ballclub seem to consider these three points as inate truths. The rest of us are perplexed by these points. There are 35 games left. Let’s hope that there is a change of opinion before it’s too late.

  23. Jandy says:

    JHaxBuc…makes one thing that management has tunnel vision, no?

  24. JaxBuc says:

    Squirrely Hill Tunnel vision.

  25. Jandy says:

    Good way to put it.

  26. JMB says:

    I would have to go back to read quotes from last year since no team will ever say they are “done” to a reporter.

    When this season is history, we will look at August 3-5 as the team’s watershed moment.

    I think of the 7-5 Steelers in 2005, but that team had gone 15-1 in 2004 and lost in the AFC title game.

    If the Pirates are approximately the equivalent of 7-5 with four games to go, a record of 9-7 will be a natural progression, but it probably take 11-5 to go to the playoffs.

    The problem is that the team whetted our appetite for the playoffs with their June/July play. If they had just lingered around .500 all season and finished 82-80, this season would be universally regarded as a great success, but we all developed playoff expectations in July.

  27. The Gunner says:

    Lucky @ 20
    Chuck @ 21
    Jax @ 22

    Glad to see all of you agree with me about Bedard. In addition to his stinking lousy performance, he is an absolute PR nightmare. I know the BMTIB read this thread daily to get a pulse for what the common folk like us are saying.

    I guess we have to keep nagging the BMTIB with this “DFA Bedard Now Initiative” and hope they pull the trigger sooner rather than later.

  28. Arriba Wilver says:

    Excellent point, JMB.

  29. Thundercrack says:

    JMB,
    Should we start hating July or August?
    :-)

  30. JMB says:

    @TC

    LOL

    At this point, I’m just going to hate the trade deadline.

  31. 21sthebest says:

    I’m thinking that NH is going to keep either Hanrahan or Grilli but not both. Based on how I view NH thinks about bullpen arms, I think it’s a tough situation to be in. You can easily keep Hanrahan because of his contractual situation but how high are you willing to go for Grilli? Can you get Grilli to sign for two years at a reasonable cost making it easier to keep Hanrahan? Do you just sign Grilli and trade Hanrahan? I actually don’t have a problem with that last approach because I highly doubt they’ll extend Hanrahan and I think Grilli can close.

  32. Rich says:

    Does anyone else see some benefit in moving Cutch back to the lead-off spot for several games?

    Clearly he needs to be in the #3 hole in the long run. But for now, it seems like he is trying to do too much…..chasing really bad pitches….taking the HR cut. He has always stated that he just looks to hit the ball hard and the power will come….but that’s not what I see on his AB’s right now. If I were Hurdle, I would move him to lead-off for about 3-5 games and have him concentrate on getting on base. Of course, Clint would have to meet with Cutch 1st and lay out that rationale and explain it’s a short term move.

  33. JohninOshkosh says:

    I know it takes the combined engineering departments of both MIT and Johns Hopkins to figure out the formula for the Ryder Cup standings, but how is Tiger Woods ranked #1? I watched quite a bit of The Barclays and, while it was commendable that Woods made the cut, it was, nevertheless, difficult watching him writhe and limp around the course.

    Perhaps no other athlete in human history has possessed the ego Woods has, but he ought to tell Davis Love that he is unable to play in the Ryder Cup at Medinah. Also, Love should pick Steve Stricker as a captain’s choice. The Wisconsin native is fierce in those international competitions.

  34. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Gunner,

    It probably wouldn’t make sense to DFA Bedard now with the rosters expanding Saturday. The best thing they could do is leave Eric Fryer in Indy for their playoffs and bring up Tony Sanchez. I saw this kid in Low-A and he has the defensive tools. Plus, pitchers speak highly of his work. We put too much stock on batting averages. Obviously, the FO doesn’t with Barajas. Rod could mentor Tony and the Fort for the rest of this season and next, too. Then maybe we’d have somebody in place that can throw out a runner and handle a staff. He’s no automatic out, either. All the off-the-field stuff aside, their best catching prospect other than him is still in Rookie ball.

  35. Jandy says:

    OshKosh, Ryder Cup, eh? What are they riding that Woods is ranked #1????? ;X

  36. LuckyNKentucky says:

    John,

    Don’t answer that.

  37. Jandy says:

    LOL!

  38. tdb1977 says:

    @OshKosh

    The number one that he was ranked #1 for was the FedEx standings going into this weekends first year end tournament. He will no longer be ranked number 1 in the FedEx standings after his performance this weekend. Its some goofy formulate that they use to come up with those standings. I know he won 3 or 4 events this year and had several other strong placings, but he also has numerous tournaments where he literally stunk the joint up.

  39. JohninOshkosh says:

    @Lucky and Jandy:

    Jandy set it up for me on a tee but, it’s Monday morning, too early in the week to go blue.

  40. JohninOshkosh says:

    @tdb: Thanks.

  41. Arriba Wilver says:

    OshKosh–wasn’t Stricker a captains choice last Ryder Cup? And he did pretty well, as I recall. Gonna be tough, though, with Rory for the bad guys.

  42. RobertoForever says:

    Maybe it does make sense to demote these starting pitchers to the bullpen. Or just DFA them

    I mean how long can we as fans sit by while pitchers allow 4, 5 or even 6 runs in a start and yet they are still considered starting material.

    So let’s take a stand. Let’s sit AJ Burnett tonight! Before he can give up 7 runs today, since he has given up 15 runs in his last 3 outings.

    DFA AJ and let’s get a Triple-A guy up. They must be able to do better than AJ.

  43. Jandy says:

    Roberto, sounds like a plan, so go and tell your boss now ;)

  44. Milo Hamilton says:

    He’ll be here all week folks. Try the veal.

  45. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Milo and Jandy,

    He forgot his Riddlin again today. Yesterday was classic bad Roberto. Seems he’s on a roll again. I liked the new, improved Roberto, but this is the old snarly one again.

  46. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think he’s just trying to have a “reasonable” discussion.

  47. Jandy says:

    There’s something on the market for people with that kind of problem. It’s called Preparation H.

  48. RobertoForever says:

    @Lucky

    Interested in your take on the “a Pirates player does more charity work in 6 months than you in a lifetime”

    How’s that match up against the people in your circle?

  49. RobertoForever says:

    Jandy,

    Great humor, haha. Going right for the azz. What’s next some scatalogical humor. Can’t wait.

  50. JohninOshkosh says:

    Arriba:

    Yes. In 2010 Corey Pavin picked Stricker. He also teamed him with Woods in some of the best ball/shot matches. They played well together. Stricker finished as one of the top Americans in that competition.

    Always have had a soft heart for the northern players. I’ve played since I was 8. When I was young, and passion prevailed over reason, I could play some falls up and through Thanksgiving. But it is a definite disadvantage trying to get to the top levels while playing in the north. But Latrobe produced a pretty good one so it can be done.

  51. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jandy—LOL

  52. Jandy says:

    Roberto, awwww…take it easy honey….breathe… :)

  53. Jandy says:

    AW, I’m on a roll today, blame it on the kids moving back in ;)

  54. Jandy says:

    Roberto…actually scatological humor could be next…it’s what you’re full of some days.

  55. The Gunner says:

    @ Lucky – 44

    DFA AJ?? Geesh……….Roberto must have flipped his lid. Sounds like he better schedule some extra time with his shrink.

    Speaking of AJ, he better bring his A game tonight or it will be a loooooooooong evening for us.

  56. RobertoForever says:

    Oh, Jandy, you could be opening for Bobcat Goldthwait with that material.

    It must work great with the kid and his missus.

  57. Jandy says:

    Gunner, yes, AJ needs to bring his A game, but if the offense is sloppy, it doesn’t much matter. He needs support. Some posters on here just don’t get that.

  58. Jandy says:

    Roberto, dahling, I have no idea who Goldfinger or whatever his name is. But trust me, the kids have more sense than you do at this point. :)

  59. LuckyNKentucky says:

    RF,

    Not sure I understand the question, #47, but I do think DK hit a nerve for you in that Saturday column. I don’t care what charity work anyone does or if they do. I can understand a day off once in a while. I thought his point, that they’re in a pennant race and the timing was bad, was well made.

  60. Jandy says:

    Lucky, well said. I also think the bigger issue is management’s decisions.

  61. RobertoForever says:

    Bedard’s ERA in 4 August starts, including yesterday’s disaster – 5.91, 9 BB’s, 18 K’s

    Burnett’s ERA in 4 August starts – 5.27, 11 BB’s, 31 K’s

    Seems like a fine line.

  62. RobertoForever says:

    Jandy,

    Why, because the kids just agree with you on Bedard?

  63. pattonbb says:

    The comments here, although always interesting and most of the time informative, are much more enjoyable after a win.

  64. Jandy says:

    Nice try Roberto, the kids don’t watch baseball, they have no interest. Keep on trying tho, I’ll give your brownie points for that. :)

  65. RobertoForever says:

    Lucky,

    Actually it wasn’t about the column. DK said on twitter that Pirates players do more charity work in a season than us in a lifetime.

    How does that jive with your perspective?

  66. Jandy says:

    Eh…I should practice what I tell Playoffs to do. Roberto, dahling, it’s been nice, but I’m done. Pick on someone else for a while. :)

  67. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Roberto,

    I think that probably is a statement like “that’s the millioneth time he did that” or something all-inclusive. Exaggeration at best. I wouldn’t be bothered by that. I know what I do. You know what you do. Ballplayers rarely toot their own horns about that type of thing. DK was probably throwing that out there as comparison, although I can’t speak for him. If I was in the limelight like a ballplayer, I’d take advantage of it too. What kid at Children’s Hospital would be excited over a white-haired minister visiting him over PRNW or Cutch?

  68. NMR says:

    I’ll put my faith in the column, which I enjoyed. Dejan always strikes me as having the even-keeled demeanor of a big league manager(not Bobby Cox). I trust his assesment of the clubhouse attitude more than quotes on paper.

    Unfortunately, the Pirates have validated Neal Huntingtons trade deadline strategy. I’m not sure how anyone could be complaining at this point after seeing the teams true colors. Its clear that this team is far more than one or two peices away from a pennant.

    And really, is that such a disappointment at this stage?

    I agree that the Pirates performance of June and July raised fans expectations. But as Dejan wrote in his column, you had to reeaallyy be stretching the limits of imagination to believe THAT team would continue showing up to the yard every night for the rest of the season.

  69. Arriba Wilver says:

    What DK said was that players do tons of charity work, more in a year than “most of us” do in a lifetime. And he was saying it as a defense against the view that they just didn’t want to do the charity work in reference to clay pigeongate. But don’t let facts get in the way of your attempted ad hominem argument, Roberto. No need to change the approach now.

  70. NMR says:

    ad hominem alert

    #meh

    DK: Dibs on “straw man!”

  71. Jandy says:

    OshKosh, SW did it! He used your dead language =)

  72. Jandy says:

    Errr AW…darn typos

  73. Jandy says:

    But…AW, well said.

  74. JohninOshkosh says:

    I saw that, Jandy. But then NMR dissed my Latin. NMR is so ” inprobus.” :)

    #latinrules

  75. Jandy says:

    OshKosh, the devil made him do it…;)

  76. Arriba Wilver says:

    NMR—if that team would have continued showing up we’d win the division and go deep in the playoffs, so I think there is still lots of room for increased expectations, reasonale if maybe optomistic expectations, from the beginning of the year, based on where we were at the end of July.

  77. tdb1977 says:

    I’m blaming this poor performance squarely on me…espically at home. And here is why. I was at the game when Barmes hit the GS against the Padres. Ever since that game – every game I have been to, the Bucs are 0-3. One game against the Dodgers and 2 against the Brewers. The one game they won this weekend, I wasn’t present for. And guess what, I have tickets to tonight’s game! So, if they lose again tonight…it is all my fault and I won’t go to another game this year, even though I have tickets for 4 more games. :)

  78. CDBrewer says:

    #26 Agreed – we got our expectations up.

    Roberto, you gotta admit Bedard has been a D+ this SEASON, AJ a D+ in like 2 starts. You’re better than that.

    As for DK’s point today, out here in Seattle they were all jazzed about being “only” 7 out of the WC after winning 8 in a row at home. They actually started talking playoffs (despite not a good road record). While I am sure the White Sox killed that talk, it just shows, perspective is a big deal.
    Our 2 back feels lousy, while their 7 felt good.

  79. JohninOshkosh says:

    NMR:

    The similarly situated Baltimore Orioles just traded for Joe Saunders and gave up little. Not saying Saunders is a savior, but the infusion may reinvigorate the O’s rotation. Their front office is not satisfied with breaking a losing season streak. They made a move to get to the postseason this year. Personally, my expectations are always this: the purpose of professional sports teams is to win championships.

  80. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’ll say this for Erik Bedard. It ain’t easy being 7-14 on a team that’s 9 games over .500.

  81. JRay3 says:

    @ RobertoForever:

    Erik Bedard: 7-14 5.01 ERA, 1.47 WHIP

    AJ Burnett: 15-4 3.63 ERA 1.25 WHIP

    One can forgive AJ for a rough few starts in August when he has been pretty superb all year. As for Erik Bedard he has been pretty horrible all year so at this point you would think the management team would have seen enough and try something else to give the team a shot at winning on a day he starts, we are trying to win this year right?

    But wait this was one of our big free agent signings in the off-season so it has to pan out at some point.

  82. DemonDachshund says:

    @NMR -

    In August, the Pirates are 3-8 in games decided by 1 or 2 runs, or in extra innings. If they go 6-5 in those games instead, they’re 5 games back instead of 8 and still clinging to a wild card spot.

    I agree that 1 or 2 players wouldn’t get the team a pennant, but they might have squeaked them into the wild card game.

  83. The Gunner says:

    @ JRay3 – 80
    @ Milo – 81

    Bedard stinks more than stench, if that makes sense. BMTIB – Cut your losses & DFA him…………NOW!!

  84. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I like JRay’s big picture, as opposed to 1 month. That’s why he’s ahead at the Window.

  85. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    It is too early to give up on the team, but the way they’re playing lately, the rest of the season looks bleak.

    I’ll be honest, I’m not as concerned about the offense as I am the pitching. If the pitching doesn’t come around, the offense will be a moot point.

    We need that shutdown pitching performances back. I don’t know what the AAA guys are at as far as IP, but if they are low, then they need to come up to make a few starts and put Bedard somewhere else. Whether DFA’d, which I don’t see happening, or at least rested. He can watch a few games.

    AJ needs to bring it tonight. Its still hard to believe that the shutdown SP right now is Jeff Karstens. I know, I know, I’m on board with JK, but with the other guys in the rotation, I’d figure he wouldn’t be as important as he has been.

  86. 19 Years and Counting says:

    Why does everyone keep bringing up the schedule? We just finished 6 games against two previously crappy teams and finished 1-5. So we’re supposed to believe that we’re going to steamroll the next crappy team on the schedule? Here’s a fact: If you’re not playing good baseball you’re going to lose, regardless of the record of the other team.

    The short of it is the starting pitching has been abysmal. Right now we have 1 starter that has been slightly above average for the past month and 4 that have been a disaster. Management is still afraid to remove any of those starters and try any of one of a number of minor leagers that have had outstanding seasons. The manager is still trying to get his starters moral victories instead of taking them out of the game when they are very clearly done.

    But wait, the players “believe”? I feel much better now.

    This team is done with a capital D. The only suspense will be whether or not they break the streak.

    DK: The Padres have won seven in a row and are 40-30 since the All-Star break. Been playing non-crappy ball for a good while now.

  87. Arriba Wilver says:

    One of the elephants in the room is JMac’s 7.29 ERA and 1.857 WHIP since the break or 5.91 ERA and 1.453 WHIP in August.

  88. Boise Bucco says:

    @tdb–you’re covered. Bucs are gonna win tonight, and here’s why:

    1. AJ’s pitching, and AJ says #STFD. Done.
    2. All other reasons pretty much defer to reason #1.

    Well that’s my instant analysis. I think I’m ready for the booth. Also, I got forced into a bet with a Cardinals fan, so the Pirates pretty much have to take this series or life’s gonna suck for a week or so.

  89. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @AW

    I think we all know that JMac is garbage right now. His problem is control. You can’t walk 5 guys and not expect to give up runs.

    It doesn’t work.

    If we can get that one good outing he had 2 starts ago back, then I’d be happy with throwing him out there.

    And with that, I don’t expect him to not give up any runs, but his control was much better and he was attacking hitters.

  90. NMR says:

    @AW

    The problem comes when you expect that team from June to continue putting up numbers above career norms through the rest of the season, like you say. Dejan mentions that in his column with the dreaded “regression to the mean” lingo.

    @John

    The Pirates traded more talent and took on more salary for a better pitcher in the form of Wandy Rodriguez than the O’s did with Joe Saunders. The Pirates also made the trade a month earlier than the O’s.

    What part of that makes you impressed with the Baltimore Orioles?

    And if its as easy as your last sentence, why doesn’t every major league team with a punchers chance at the playoffs trade all their prospects every year?

    @Demon

    If the Pirates end up only 2-3 games out of the wild card, you’re argument would absolutely have merit in the “what if all the pieces fell together just right” category. You may be more optimistic than I, but I don’t think theres any way this team gets close to 90 wins, which is what it’ll probably take to get that second wild card.

  91. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    If the season were to end right now, who would think that the Bucs had a bad season?

    I’ve actually enjoyed this season, they’ve done very well and have a lot of winning seasons ahead of them as this group matures.

  92. bobhasis says:

    I’m able to interpret most of these acronyms, but I’m stuck on BMTIB. Please help!

  93. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Some need to realize that the Pirates aren’t the Steelers and Penguins and can’t win the World Series every year.

    If the Steelers/Penguins don’t win the SB/Cup every year, fans assume they had a terrible season which in fact, is not true.

    Its disappointing to not win the championship of the sport, the Buccos are on their way…….

  94. Jandy says:

    bob, that’s snidism for best management team in baseball.

  95. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Bob

    Best Management Team in Baseball….

    Nutting called his FO that a few years ago, heaven forbid he shows support for his guys.

    Its an overplayed acronym.

  96. Jandy says:

    I’m going to see the Curve tonight. I hope they do well. Last time I went it was a double header and they won both. BUT…the feature tonight is James Neal, who will be there. YES!!!!

  97. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    DK,

    I like the idea of signing Grilli before he hits the open market.

    I’m not sure what it would take to sign him though. Give him another 1 year deal with a nice raise? I’d be hesitant to sign him for multiple years.

    That’s Cubs dumb

  98. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Jandy

    What does James Neal have to do with the Curve??

  99. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I always like 1 year with an option.

  100. bobhasis says:

    Thanks Jandy and Ryan, I think I thought it was snidism, as seemingly all of the others lean that way.
    Ryan your comment just proves what was said above – that Nutting has no clue

  101. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @bob

    If I remember right, he said shortly after hiring those guys.

  102. 19 Years and Counting says:

    I’m pretty sure the Padres haven’t played 70 games since the All Star break DK.

    DK: You’re right. The 40-30 figure starts at June 9, so it goes back even further.

  103. LuckyNKentucky says:

    bob,

    Nutting said it himself about Frank and Neal a few years ago, when they signed Pedro or someone or did something they should have done, anyway. It’s only as snide as “24/7″ is. He said it himself. Like King David, he named his own punishment.

  104. Boise Bucco says:

    Former Florida State safety, and Rhodes Scholar, Myron Rolle was one of the cuts made by the Steelers. I’m not one to really root for a cut player to catch on somewhere, but I’ve been following him since college, and I really hope he catches on somewhere. Like DuPont. Seriously, Mr. Rolle, there are better things out there than football. He’s got an Masters of Science in Medical Anthropology from Oxford–I’m hoping that he puts it to good use NOT spearing RB’s in the head. Maybe he could finally design the perfect anti-concussion helmet or something.

  105. bobhasis says:

    Lucky

    Touche on King David, though I’m at a loss to recall the punishment he wished upon himself.

    Nutting is most likely more concerned about 7 Springs than the Pirates, but he’d never wish for a winter without snow or that all of his chair lifts would break down – would he?

  106. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @BB

    You’re not an FSU fan are you?

  107. Jandy says:

    Ryan, the last two years, the Curve had a Penguins player come to a game and meet people and sign autographs. They also “shoot the first puck.” It’s a Burgh thing.

    Last year was Pascal Dupuis, and the year before that was Matt Cooke, I believe. I missed both of those. I told hubby we ARE going to this game!

  108. Boise Bucco says:

    @Ryan–haha NOOOOO, but hearing that a safety with a shot at the NFL was passing up the draft to go be a Rhodes Scholar caught my attention, so I followed him.

  109. LuckyNKentucky says:

    bob,

    KD said the sheep thief (Nathan the prophet to David in 2 Samuel 12) should be killed and he lost the child he had to Bathsheba. Bad analogy, I know, but Nutting called them that when they did their job on something and they’ve worn that moniker since, as has Rob for the “24/7″ comment in Spring Training, as we all have at times for ill-advised statements.

  110. Arriba Wilver says:

    BMTIB (or all of sports) Yeah, Nutting called Neal and Frank that after they signed Pedro after the near debacle of the midnight deadline thing. It was an example of an inexperienced CEO making an uniformed judgment on an inexperienced FO. Not overused, just maligned.

  111. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @BB

    Just making sure…The Gators had one in the 90′s as well. Dont remember his name though.

  112. LuckyNKentucky says:

    AW,

    Well put.

  113. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @AW

    No, its well overused. We all got a chuckle out of it when he said it, big deal. Again, heaven forbid he back his guys.

    I think we all know its total BS, but that was early in their tenure and that was probably the biggest draft signing since…..eh, Barry Bonds maybe?

  114. Arriba Wilver says:

    Ryan–you’re entitled to your opinion. It was a supremely dumb thing to say— my opinion. I’d don’t use it much, but I’m sure not going to criticize people who do.

  115. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    AW-No doubt it was a dumb thing to say….no argument there.

    It’s just gotten old….IMO.

    Surely he’s said other things that they (the ones that use it) could jump on. There’s usually plenty to feed from.

  116. Arriba Wilver says:

    And the only reason Pedro’s signing was a huge deal was because they almost muffed it.

  117. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Scott Hairston of the Mets was put on waivers yesterday.

    Now this is the type of guy that gets picked up. Good bench guy with some pop.

    He can play multiple positions. IMO, takes JHay’s spot. Similiar player.

  118. NMR says:

    So did we actually make it through the whole Pittsburgh baby-snatching saga without one person questioning the whereabouts of Jose Tabata’s wife?

    You guys are too nice.

  119. Jandy says:

    NMR ~ LOL!

  120. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @NMR

    I’ll admit, I completely forgot about that whole thing…

  121. Jandy says:

    Cole is the starting pitcher for the Curve tonight. Looking forward to seeing him pitch live.

  122. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Jandy

    You do realize we are expecting a full report.

    You should be in for a show.

  123. Jandy says:

    LOL I have to keep an eye on my hubby, Ryan, PLUS go see James Neal in person ::beam::
    I’m going to be pumped for sure. But I seriously do want to see Cole pitch.

  124. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Jandy,

    Too bad you missed Taillon. He hasn’t given up a run since he was promoted. POW in AA. But Cole will do.

  125. Bill Born says:

    Steven Pearce – OF – Astros

    According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Yankees are close to acquiring Steve Pearce.
    Pearce will serve as a right-handed bench bat down the stretch for the Bombers if the wavier trade goes through. He is hitting .254/.333/.396 with three home runs and 22 RBI in 49 games played this season for Houston. The Giants had also expressed some interest in him.
    From rotoworld.com

  126. Jandy says:

    Lucky, I’ll settle for Cole. I’m just thrilled I got hubby to go. He usually does give in (even for baseball) because I do things he wants to do…like the Cars at Carlisle at the fairground in Carlisle, PA. But the fact is, I totally enjoy that too. I’m just lucky I suppose :)

  127. Thundercrack says:

    That Steve Pearce sure does get around.

  128. Bill Born says:

    Pearce will probably move Casey McGhee out – ARod is about to come back.

  129. pattonbb says:

    Good for Pearce. Hope he gets a taste of playoff baseball.

  130. Thundercrack says:

    It is kind of funny. People, including local columnists and media types, have been clamoring for the Pirates to improve the bench.

    I wonder what the response would be if the acquired a “Steve Pearce” type bench player. Isn’t there anything better than that out there?

  131. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @patton

    I agree. Always liked the guy. Hope for the best for him.

  132. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @TC

    That would make 4 1B type players. I don’t see that one happening.

    Pearce was with the Yankees earlier this year as well.

  133. DemonDachshund says:

    @NMR -

    On July 30th, the Bucs were 58-44 with 60 games to play. Had they gone .500 from that point, they would have finished 88-74. While I agree that continuing at the June/July pace was too much to expect, I don’t think that .500 would have required “what if all the pieces fell together just right”. I think it would NOW, almost month later, after losing quite a few close games in recent weeks. But at the time… Well, we’ll never know.

  134. JAL says:

    Isn’t Clement a Steve Pearce type bench player?

  135. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @JAL

    Exactly what I mean…….except he’s from the left side…LOL

  136. Thundercrack says:

    Yes, JAL. And people wanted to see him up here for a while.

    And so far he’s performed like Steve Pearce.

    I was at the game yesterday and I thought Clement was awful….on both sides of the ball.

  137. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    So after 1 game its time to get rid of him………again.

  138. Arriba Wilver says:

    Don’t even mention Clement. I’m still mad at Hurdle for taking him out, making me lose the Window’s bet of 3.5 strikeouts between Clement and Pedro, which ended up at 3 since he was taken out after 2 AB’s. :-)

  139. Thundercrack says:

    No, I am not saying get rid of him yet.

    But I have learned that when people start clamoring for guys to come up from the minors (hitters & pitchers) because they think that since they are doing good in AAA that it will translate to the majors, it is a good time to remind myself:
    1) there is a big difference between the minors & majors
    2) there may be a very good reason why that player is still in the minors. (and check their age)

    Of course that doesn’t apply to all players.

  140. Thundercrack says:

    AW,
    Not only doesn’t the FO care about winning and the playoffs (see Pigeon-Gate), but Hurdle is also on to the window betting on the blog….and he is managing accordingly.

    :-)

  141. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @TC #139

    You’re exactly right………

  142. Bizrow says:

    A couple of quick thoughts.

    No one here first uttered the phrase “BMTIB” or “BMTIS”, to me its fair game.

    Just a long litany of foobars by the BMTIB

    I heard that maybe guys won’t be called up come Sept 1 since Indy is in the playoffs?

    Finally, as a Pirates fan since 1954-55, I think my first game was in 56 at the age of 6, I think its ok to be disappointed with the way this season seems to be headed and its also ok to be optimistic.

    We’ve all earned the right to think what we think and feel how we feel?

  143. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Biz,

    I go back almost that far and I certainly agree with everything you said except one thing. I don’t think they give a rat’s rear end about Indy’s playoff games. Besides, they could yank some from Altoona if need be. They did that a few years back when Lynchburg won in High A.

  144. Bizrow says:

    Still openings on Yahoo

    Dejan’s Lunatics (ID# 362238)

    Password 1203

  145. Bizrow says:

    @Lucky

    The Indy thing is just speculation, I guess

    Was just bringing that up to see if anyone has heard anything definitive

  146. Thundercrack says:

    I believe that NH addressed the issue of Indy being in the playoffs and call-ups on September 1, yesterday on his pregame show.

    He is mindful that Indy is in the playoffs and has the chance of winning a championship.
    But if there are players on that team that can help the Pirates they will be called up.

    He won’t call up players who will just sit on the bench up here. That is the part where he is looking out for Indianapolis.

    Whole lotta nothing, blown out of proportion.

  147. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I could see if the Pirates were the Pirates of old and Indy was the Indy of today. But we’re still 9 over and barely out of the WC. To sit on the bench would be ridiculous for guys like Presley, Hague, d’Arnaud, etc. Even some of those pitchers that have done so well, if they’re going to continue running Bedard and Correia, etc. out there if would be foolish to have them up here. Sounds like they have actually thought this one out.

  148. Bizrow says:

    Thanks TC, I do not normally listen to the NH show.

    That being said, I don’t think there is much that the FO can do that would surprise me anymore

    Lucky, I think its the pitching that we have to take from Indy

  149. Thundercrack says:

    ‘I don’t think there is much that the FO can do that would surprise me anymore’

    I know Biz, I know. :-)

  150. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Agreed on that one, Biz. I’m sure Bedard and Correia would be thrilled to see someone like McPherson, who spent a good part of the season in AA, start ahead of them. That would either light a fire under them or put them into Operation Shutdown mode. Hopefully the former.

  151. I think the turning point in the Pirates’ season this year is when Erik Bedard did NOT go onto the Disabled List, as he has seemed to do every season of his career.

    He leads the National League in losses by merit.

    I spent a month yesterday at the ballpark watching him dawdle between pitches in 91 degree heat. How do his fielders ever catch anything except what is right to them?!

    Come on, Neal—— if you can put Qualls on the Convenience List for cutting his big toenail too close, certainly you can come up with something for Molasses Bedard!

  152. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Biz

    Dang it, I keep forgetting to sign up!! I will try to do so tonight

  153. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Groat, you rock, you Blue Devil, you!

    Game thread is up.

  154. Thundercrack says:

    Lucky,
    You know what I would like to find out: what the veteran players on the team prefer:
    Bedard or Correia starting for them as they chase a wild card spot
    -or- an unproven rookie coming up and starting in their place…who very well might not pitch worse than the other two.

    I think truth serum is the only way we would really find out.
    But I still think veteran players prefer veteran players at this time of the year.

  155. LuckyNKentucky says:

    T.C.,

    You’re probably right, but that “glacial” effect Bedard has must be awful on a fielder. Keeps you back on your heels.

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