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Wakeup Call: Manning bracing for bad?

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

DENVER — Brief and to the Point …

photo

>> The Thursday feature from the Broncos’ camp is … well, whatever it is that Peyton Manning seems to want out here about his health.

Tough read on him. Really was.

>> You might have heard that James Harrison greeted a polite, professional question from a reporter yesterday about his playing status with, “Out of my face!”

I tell you guys this a lot, but this sort of thing happens all … the … time.

Not a big deal.

And you know what else isn’t a big deal?

When guys like Harrison retire and miss all the attention they once were afforded by their standing in the community.

>> If you’re going to complain about the Pirates’ low attendance in the past week-plus, do it for the right reasons.

>> After the club easily took the final two from the Astros, I’d have to guess there was even more gnashing of teeth over the loss Monday.

Save it.

If the Pirates end up running through this weekend as they just did the past two games, you can thank that loss for having refocused them. No doubt in my mind now, in hindsight, that whatever all that intensity was before the game Tuesday was of the positive varietly.

The Cubs have lost five in a row, but they’re not as bad as the Astros. Not with Starlin Castro, a handful of other hitters, better starting pitching and a dynamic closer in Carlos Marmol. And the Jeff Samardzija-James McDonald matchup Saturday night doesn’t exactly favor the home side. It’s not like Houston at all.

Long, long way to go. But maybe some were woken up just now.

>> One and a half. Feel free to mourn the demise of the 2012 Pirates.

>> We’ll have our weekly chat today at noon. Wear black.

Comments

  1. twentytwo22 says:

    It’s a race to 10 now. That is the rabbit that sets the pace. Win #82 at home against Milwaukee should be the goal. Winning the next 3 series makes it possible.

  2. aglebagel says:

    In response to the attendance discussion on Twitter, I’ve been seeing stories all week about other playoff contenders having tiny crowds. Chipper said Turner Field felt like a “morgue.” It’s not just the Pirates, it’s just a tough week.

  3. Boise Bucco says:

    We’re good for Samardzija/McDonald for Saturday night–it’s good JMac’s turn to pitch. Haha I’ll call a win right now WHERE’S PLAYOFFS AT

  4. Drew71 says:

    Ah. There’s that link to the standings. i LOVE seeing that link. Every day.

    Now I can get down from this ledge.

  5. Jandy says:

    Drew, Lucky was right…4am does come early. But you’re posting on here early, so you’re no slouch. (emoticon omitted for Drew)

  6. Thundercrack says:

    Where people on the blog or people on twitter complaining about the attendance?

    I am not going to thank that loss on Monday for anything. Not gnashing my teeth, but even you DK called it pathetic. I don’t see how at this time of the season the team needs to be ‘refocused’. Wins are what matters. Play hard every game.

    I may go out on that ledge. I hear there is some extra room out there.

  7. Drew71 says:

    You coming out? Yes. Plenty of room. Cause then I’m gonna jump.

    Jandy – how YOU doin?

  8. Jandy says:

    Drew, no jumpin from ledges here. I’m wide awake…had my first cup of coffee at 4:10 this morning.
    Now, you and TC just come on back from there. It’s all gonna be ok …

  9. Drew71 says:

    Ok. But he’s gotta go in through a different window.

  10. JAL says:

    JAL’s Carolina on My Mind 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: Pirates Match 2011 Win Total; Walker Getting Close to Return

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/pirates-notebook-pirates-match-2011-win-total-walker-getting-close-to-return.html
    Heredia Finishes Season on a High Note; Features a New Curveball

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/heredia-finishes-season-on-a-high-note-features-a-new-curveball.html

    Prospect Watch: Heredia Finishes Strong; Indy and DSL Lose Playoff Games

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/prospect-watch-heredia-finishes-strong-indy-and-dsl-lose-playoff-games.html

    First Pitch: The Expectations Have Changed

    http://blogs.piratesprospects.com/williams/first-pitch-the-expectations-have-changed/

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Pheeeewww! Pirates Take Series Finale, 6-3

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2012/9/5/3295696/pheeeewww-pirates-take-series-finale-6-3

    6 Rumbunter

    Pittsburgh Pirates Kevin Correia Keeps Winning as Bucs Move Closer in Wild-Card Standings

    http://rumbunter.com/2012/09/05/pittsburgh-pirates-kevin-correia-keeps-winning-as-bucs-move-closer-in-wild-card-standings/

    7 McEffect

    Prospect Breakdown: Luis Heredia 9/5 start vs Mahoning Valley Scrappers

    http://www.mceffect.com/2012/09/prospect-breakdown-luis-heredia-95.html

    8 The Green Weenie

    Bucs Take Series 6-3

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2012/09/bucs-take-series-6-3.html

    9 Hyzdu Headquarters

    Outfield Woes

    http://hyzduhq.blogspot.com/2012/09/outfield-woes.html

    10 WHY GAVS

    What do the Pirates have in Brock Holt?

    http://whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/august-2012/what-do-the-pirates-have-in-brock-holt.html

  11. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 CBS Sports

    Pirates 6 Astros 3

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/recap/MLB_20120905_HOU@PIT/pirates-6-astros-3

    12 St Louis Post Dispatch

    Tired arm? Nope, says Wainwright

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/tired-arm-nope-says-wainwright/article_0db7531c-ffbe-5f05-8370-4a7d94638952.html

    13 Chicago Tribune

    Pirates Report

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/sns-rt-bbo-pirates-teamreportmtze895ul8023-20120905,0,1877409.story

    14 Houston Chronicle

    Pirates make quick work of Abad, Astros

    http://blog.chron.com/ultimateastros/2012/09/05/astros-cant-muster-rally-in-rubber-match-with-pirates/

    15 USA Today

    Can McCutchen keep Cabrera from batting title?

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/nl/pirates/story/2012-09-05/Andrew-McCutchen-Melky-Cabrera-batting-title/57621390/1

    16 Sports Illustrated

    Pirates’ resurgence has been like rediscovering a long lost love

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/paul_daugherty/09/05/pirates/index.html

    17 Minor League Ball

    Rookie Review: Brock Holt, 2B, Pittsburgh Pirates

    http://www.minorleagueball.com/2012/9/5/3294276/rookie-review-brock-holt-2b-pittsburgh-pirates

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    18 PBC Site

    Correia steps up to lead Bucs past Astros

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2012_09_05_houmlb_pitmlb_1&mode=recap&c_id=pit

    Walker improving, but not ready to return

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120905&content_id=37946990&notebook_id=37946992&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    What You Need to Know

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=18253

    20 Fangraphs

    The Division Race That Was Over That Isn’t

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/the-division-race-that-was-over-that-isnt/

  12. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    The Case for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2012 – Part I

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/9/5/3290014/pittsburgh-steelers-season-preview-predictions-nfl-week-1

    5 Burning Questions to Open the Steelers 2012 Season

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/9/5/3293100/Pittsburgh-Steelers-Denver-broncos-todd-Haley-mike-Wallace-ben-Roethlisberger-week-1-analysis

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Steelers Injury Report

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2012/09/steelers-injury-report-wednesday-week-1-denver-broncos/

    23 Steelers Gab

    Mendenhall Still Not Ruled Out for Sunday’s Opener in Denver

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2012/09/05/mendenhall-still-not-ruled-out-for-sundays-opener-in-denver/

    24 Nice Pick Cower

    For Success on Sunday, Steelers Offense Must Attack Broncos Defense Between the Numbers

    http://nicepickcowher.com/2012/09/05/for-success-on-sunday-steelers-must-attack-broncos-between-the-hashes/

    Pitt Blogs

    25 Pitt Blather

    Looking at Cincy

    http://www.pittblather.com/2012/09/05/looking-at-cincy/

    26 Cardiac Hill

    Pitt Releases 2012-13 Basketball Schedule

    http://www.cardiachill.com/2012/9/5/3293703/pitt-pittsburgh-panthers-kansas-state-wildcats-michigan-wolverines-big-east-basketball-schedule

    WVU Blogs

    27 Metro News

    Got the Bye-Week Blues?

    http://www.wvmetronews.com/wvu.cfm?func=displayfullstory&storyid=54774

    28 WV Illustrated

    Butler Begins New Challenge at WVU

    http://www.wvillustrated.com/story/19462008/butler-embarks-on-new-challenge-at-wvu

    Soccer(football)

    29 Sky Sports

    Johnson ruled out

    http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11695/8054888/Johnson-ruled-out

    30 Daily Telegraph

    Hillsborough families preparing to hear the truth from Independent Panel after an agonising 23-year wait

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/liverpool/9521200/Hillsborough-families-preparing-to-hear-the-truth-from-Independent-Panel-after-an-agonising-23-year-wait.html

    31 World Soccer Daily

    10 stories you need to read, 5th September, 2012

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-5th-september-2012

  13. JAL says:

    North Carolina–Carolina on My Mind James Taylor 1968

  14. Jandy says:

    Any window you want…it’s all good!

  15. JAL says:

    Traveling to Morgantown today, where my internet connection is spotty. Will do morning links if possible. Will be at the Pirates game Sunday.

  16. Jandy says:

    Safe travels, JAL…thanks for the links.

  17. Drew71 says:

    Safe trip and enjoy the game.

  18. Milo Hamilton says:

    Art Modell has died. I wonder what the reaction is in Cleveland.

  19. I went to the game last night. I witnessed:

    —Clint Barmes walk 2 consecutive times, including the 2nd coming back from a 0-2 count.
    —Barmes, batting 2nd (which I was critical of here) also have a single and suicide bunt (A BUNT) from the 2-hole.
    —Alex Presley bat 8th (which I was critical of here) and score 3 runs.
    —Barmes go into the hole for a nice grab, then “plant and throw” a strike to nip the runner. Hasty Bob will be so proud!
    —Kevin Correia throw 6 thrifty innings, using only 67 pitches to give up one run.
    —A nifty 1st to home to 1st (3-2-3) double play with the bases loaded when Correia had his only problems.
    —Gaby “Matt Diaz” Sanchez not only pull off that stellar defensive play but have 3 hits and (gasp) drive in a run.
    —The Astros pitched McCutch close up-and-in, knocking him back, in the bottom of the 4th. Correia, in the top of the 5th, pitched Altuve, the Astros best player, tight up-and-in, knocking him back, in response.
    —Rod Barajas got the controversial start on his 37th birthday (kudos to Hurdle). He not only got a hit on his birthday, he also scored all the way from 1st on a triple from Presley. Barajas scoring from 1st is the birthday present he will talk about for the next two decades.
    —Brock Holt deliver a hit, a sacrifice fly, and a sacrifice bunt.
    —The Pirates win a game without significant contributions from McCutch, Legend, Pedro.
    —Correia throw only 13 pitches total in innings 5 & 6.
    —The Pirates win a must game with Jerry Meals behind home plate (Jerry Meals said it was safe for me to tell you that).
    —Barajas get his average above the Mendoza Line. Barmes and Gaby both get their averages higher in the .220s. It’s a hot streak!
    —Garrett Jones get another ribbie.
    —Starting pitching proven again as the measuring stick to making the Playoffs.

    It was a baseball crowd (almost 16,000) last night and a great night at the ballpark!

  20. JB says:

    That Pitt basketball schedule is an absolute embarrassment. The preseason NIT is nice but they were chosen to play, they didn’t proactively seek those teams. Also, not one true road game. Who would want to go watch this garbage.

    Mt. St. Mary’s
    Oakland
    Howard
    Detroit
    Duquesne
    North Florida
    Bethune-Cookman
    Delaware St.
    Kennesaw St

  21. Jandy says:

    G2M2S, a nice run down of the events last night. I had to laugh for a while because it took Barajas the rest of the inning to catch his breath!

  22. Thundercrack says:

    Jandy,
    I thought the announcers made more about Barajas being out of breath than was actually the case. When they showed him sitting on the bench it didn’t look like he was breathing that heavy….not huffing & puffing as you might expect.

    Rod is slow. Slower than slow. But his first problem is that he doesn’t know how to round third base properly.

  23. Danch70 says:

    Peyton Manning putting on the “aww…shucks” routine … “I just hope I can play with these big boys.” He’s fine. If he was worried, he wouldn’t tell the press.

  24. patrick(RI) says:

    I think CH is onto something batting Barmes 2nd. He is very experienced and will more often get to see something other than those down & out pitches he so often seemed to flail away at batting 8th. I also think Presley is much more likely to sneak onto base out of the 8th spot.

  25. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I saw the replay of Barajas. He looked like Harrison in the Super Bowl with that 100+ yard TD. He’s still getting O2 for that. Rod has a better personality, though.

  26. Jandy says:

    TC, sorry to say, Rod was huffing for quite a bit after the run home. LOL. I got a kick out of it. His biggest problem is his gut!

    Danch, I totally detest Peyton Manning. I hope Harrison knocks him into next month! Not permanently, mind you. Just put him in his place. Retired.

  27. Jandy says:

    Lucky, seriously, I like Rod, but he holds this team back. Make him a coach/advisor and get it over with. He’s great with the guys.

  28. With 26 games left, there will be no DFAs or cutting players.

    Starling Marte, Chase d’Arnaud, and possibly Bryan Morris will be adds within the next 7 days.

    It will be a Jamboree in the Pirate clubhouse.

  29. redus says:

    Reds ride over the falls to begin shortly…what’s that you say? They got Votto back? Precisely why they will be booking 40 plus seats in the barrel that is September 2012.

    Think about what a relief it must be to have Joey big Bats back…if everyone in that lineup relaxes…even just for one pitch out of one at bat per night, we are talking about as many 8 chances for an opposing pitcher to get a weak grounder or a lazy pop fly. I’m not saying it is fact, or that it will happen every night, but baseball is a funny game. Ask the Dodgers what that additional pop has done for them lately.

    I’m boarding the Maid of the Mist or whatever that broad is named and am going to sit back and watch as things get REALLY interesting.

    The boys will take care of the rest and September will once again be restored to it’s natural state as THE most decadent month for sports fans accross the tri-state (and as this blog has shown…well beyond)

    go bucs

  30. JAL,

    Since you are probably now on your way to Wild and Wonderful, I hope you get this.

    Your song today is a GREAT choice for No’ Carolina! And I say this as a Duke grad even complimenting (well, accepting) a Carolina grad.

  31. TJA says:

    Re: Post 18. Milo – An old job I had took me to Cleveland for a few years. I recall, when I lived there, how many Browns’s fans I got to know were just ticked off beyond belief with what took place. I can assure you there is no love lost there on Modell’s passing this morning.

  32. Gary Redus’ Ghost,

    I’m with you! Bucs are 9 games back in the loss column to the Reds, with 6 left against them.

    Pirates MUST sweep all 6——then that would put big time pressure on Dusty Baker, and I have faith in him to fail.

    I’m not giving up!! Bucs must win 22 of 26! Can they do it? Still have to learn to win on the road.

  33. Arriba Wilver says:

    Gaby is actually batting .288 for the Pirates, behind only Holt, Cutch and Jones. Walker’s 5th at .280.

  34. Art Modell actually makes the real Milo Hamilton, loquacious baseball announcer soon to hang up his toupee, almost palatable.

    Enjoy the fires, Art!

  35. Thundercrack says:

    Gaby looks pretty good with the glove at first too.

  36. JuniataKid says:

    “Out of my face!”

    Nice. Another reason why the NFL is rarely on my TV anymore. Too many guys think they’re Clubber Lang.

  37. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Groat,

    Shame on you, putting Art in hell. Didn’t the renaming of the Art Modell pavillion at the Cleveland Clinic hurt him enough? :)

  38. Art Modell’s words from the beyond: “W. C. Fields was wrong about both Philadelphia AND Cleveland!”

  39. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Art Modell should “take a piggy-back ride on a buzz saw”. He, like W.C. Fields, loved children, if they were properly cooked.

  40. NMR says:

    “One and a half. Feel free to mourn the demise of the 2012 Pirates.”

    At this point, I truly don’t think the fans that this line is directed at even care about the standings. They care about the streak. Their (over)reaction is simply the fear that that 19 is slipping into 20.

    I highly doubt Cards fans and Dodgers fans are worried about breaking .500. They’re worried about making the playoffs. Thats a refreshing concept.

  41. Jandy says:

    TC, I don’t know HOW Gaby made that stretch to catch Rod’s sad throw for the second out on the double play with bases loaded. I hope he didn’t pull something! ;X

  42. Thundercrack says:

    Wow Jandy, you really don’t like Barajas!
    :-)

  43. Jandy says:

    I like him, TC, he’s cool. I don’t think he brings enough to the plate. He throws wild. I can prolly run faster than he does and I’m OLD ;)

  44. Drew71 says:

    Old but hot.

  45. Milo Hamilton says:

    @NMR

    I’m still trying to find a way to get this team into the playoffs. The only significance the number 19 has to me is that’s how long it’s been since the Pirates have been in the post season. That’s why you’ve NEVER seen me address the losing streak until here. I’ll let you know how I feel about the consolation prize when it’s all we have left.

  46. Jandy says:

    Awwww Drew likes me! (emoticon omitted)

  47. Drew71 says:

    Which is close to how I refer to my hot wife.

    Mean but hot.

    Hey. Whatever works.

  48. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Drew,

    Everyone is hot in Florida, right? What is the temp there today?

  49. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jandy—sad throw? That’s really harsh. He had to avoid hitting the runner, and he’s right handed. That was a nice play by both.

  50. Arriba Wilver says:

    Link #10 is an interesting look at Brock Holt, especially in light of our discussion yesterday.

  51. Jandy says:

    Sorry TC, 2 more inches to the second base side and Gaby misses it. It was a good play tho, gotta give them credit :)

    Drew, I’m mean today. So I guess I qualify for old, mean, and hot.

  52. Jandy says:

    AW, I read that. I’m not seeing that Brock Holt, so I guess he’ll be coming back to reality really soon, right?

  53. Matt says:

    I’m tired of the attendance criticism continuously being heaved upon the fans. I’ve been to two games in the last 4 home games. I sat through the 1.5 hour rain delay tuesday and didn’t get home to 1am. Well worth it in the middle of the first important september since ’97. I’d go to more if I had the time/money. The constant criticism from reporters of Twitter, especially in light of DK’s constant reminder of the season ticket base, seems misplaced. I thoroughly enjoyed the crowds I’ve seen the last couple of nights. I had great baseball conversations with people who are there for the baseball (of all things) who are scoreboard watching with me. Great people are putting out their hard earned money to go and enjoying the game. Perhaps the Trib should do a feature on those fans who actually are going and are not the bandwagoneers.

  54. John Lease says:

    Pirates better not be out shooting clay pigeons today.

  55. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jandy–were seeing the .400+ Brock Holt. The silver lining in Walker not being ready until after the weekend is we’ll see more of him while he’s hot. (no, I don’t want him over Neil)

  56. Jandy says:

    AW I don’t want Brock over Walker either. But I might want him over Barmes and JHay.

  57. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Everyone needs to let Holt play his way out of the lineup. No, he’s not better than Barmes at short. Not yet, anyway. Not for the stretch drive. But for the future, his play can speak for itself. To label him another JHay or some other comparison is unfair. The kid needs to be assessed on his own merit. I know these guys with websites do a lot of work studying these prospects, etc., but nothing compares to what happens on the field. We have way too many great examples of misses on the other end, such as Hermansen, Millidge, Duffy, Andy LaRoche and many more.

  58. RobertoForever says:

    Did I see someone say that Garrett didn’t t contribute much last night?

    1 for 3 with a walk and an RBI. That equates to a .500 OBP and 162 rbi season. Seems good to me.

    Oh, and the kicker…it was versus a LHP

    Legend indeed.

  59. Jandy says:

    Let me also say that I like Barmes’ defensive play. And he’s been much better at the plate lately. So I guess Lucky said it best. Let Holt play his way in or out…

  60. Arriba Wilver says:

    Boy, Roberto, you’re really digging deep to come up with that one. I didn’t see any criticism of Garrett.

  61. Jandy says:

    Roberto, good morning, sunshine :)
    Where did you see someone say Garrett didn’t contribute much last night? Show me the way (Peter Frampton)

  62. Jandy says:

    AW, and I thought I was being mean today! ;)

  63. Arriba Wilver says:

    Lucky–I just said it was interesting, not the Gospel. :-)

    I agree with you about letting him play, but I wouldn’t mind seeing him fill in at short sometimes, if he’s still hot after Neil gets back.

  64. Milo Hamilton says:

    Originally, today was to be clay pigeons day. If anyone out there in blog land got a Pirates calendar at Piratefest, check out today, September 6th. The pigeon shoot is on there just like a game at Cincinnati would be. I know Dejan mentioned in his now famous column that today was offered up to the players as an option. Seems like it was actually “the day” originally. A day off between home series with no travel involved. I wonder who brought up moving it in the 1st place ?

    They just should have left well enough alone.

  65. Jandy says:

    Milo, amen brother!

  66. Arriba Wilver says:

    Milo–I think it was Roberto.

  67. Jandy says:

    Hubby is swooping in to take me out to lunch. That should improve my “mean” temperament :)

  68. RobertoForever says:

    I see the knee-jerkers are out in force today.

    Do a little reread. Its there.

    Of course, no one would expect overreactions here, right? Lol

    #FreePolanco

  69. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I think RF is referring to Groaty’s game synopsis, having been there. Then he qualifies it by saying Jones was 1-3 with an RBI. Not defending the skewing captain of the world, but I think that’s it, right RF?

  70. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Hubby only takes her out to lunch when someone on the blog (Drewster) says she is hot. He must read this blog, too. No denying it J-girl! 8)

  71. AJS says:

    Haven’t posted in a while, vacation, work, blah blah blah.

    Liked the fact the bucs bounced back after the pathetic(DK nailed it) performance on Monday. All I can think is that if the Bucs end up missing the playoffs by a game, how much do those sweeps at the hands of the Padres and Brewers in the past few weeks hurt? Or the blown six run lead to the Padres in the earlier series? Or the loss on labor Day when they just didn’t show up?

    This team just needs to go back to winning series. take 2 of 3 in 3 game sets. Take at least 2 preferably 3 of 4 in 4 game sets. That WILL get this team into the playoffs if they can get back to that.

    Unfortunately pitching has been so spotty lately I don’t know if that is a realistic expectation.

    The path to 82 is taking 7 of the 10 games remaining against the Cubs and Astros. Finding 3 more amongst the likes of the Brew Crew (At home thank god), Mets, Cincy, and Atlanta shouldn’t be a problem.

    Winning the series against the Brewers, @Cincy, Cincy, and Atlanta could get the team to 16 more wins this season. That’s 88 wins. I THINK that would be enough. But they have to win every series from here to the end of the season.

    DK: Wherever you went, did you see Playoffs?

    If so, tell him to come home.

  72. radio wave says:

    Harrison didn’t care what anyone thought about his comments yesterday. He knew no one would notice because the whole sports world is upset about the latest episode with Bobby Valentine.
    Orioles turnout has been poor the past week or so, but not for this weekend.
    Interssting that the dodgers tied with us, and 4 1/2 behind the Giants are still thinking Division going into this weekend. After the Giants, they play the Cards. They feel if they do well in these next six games they can take care of the teams in front of them. I wonder if they take a pounding at the hands of the Giants, if they’ll have anything left against the Cards?
    Does anyone care that Pitt has a game tonight? Should the country care?
    Problem with the Bucs is they’re treading water. Just spent three games getting back to 1 1/2. If I’m the team they’re trying to catch, I’m loving watching them waste three games at a time this late in the season. Got to win two of three the rest of the way.
    And when will the NHL talks get going again?

  73. Arriba Wilver says:

    “Overreaction” is an interesting choice of words if Groat’s synopsis is the basis for your post at #57, Roberto. Like I said, digging deep.

  74. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Gotta throw out a Bob Uecker quote on HotRod’s dash around the bases… “At least he didn’t spike himself.” Way to book it HotRod! Loved every second of it!

  75. Arriba Wilver says:

    “knee-jerkers” is equally telling.

  76. RobertoForever says:

    AW,

    Barmes is batting. .266 in the last 28 days. How’s that for digging deep.

    You would be the best ‘judge’ of digging deep.

    #FreeAlenHanson

  77. LuckyNKentucky says:

    We’ve missed you the last couple days, RF. I miss driving on ice down here in KY, also.

  78. Arriba Wilver says:

    I knew that, Roberto. He’s also batting .188 in the last 7 days and .212 in the last 14. What’s your point?

  79. radio wave says:

    Now that Barmes has been here almost a full season, who would you rather have?
    Barmes, Cedeno?

  80. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Groat

    Ha Ha…and you question my thoughts on batting Barmes and Presley in those spots! HA! Yup, got lucky on that one.

    Barmes “plant and throw” is a method Angry Bob and I have had discussions about MANY Times. In the hole like that (which I didn’t see) is exactly when that is used, otherwise, typically, no.

    Unless your SS is Derek Jeter….then he just jumps/flies and throws.

  81. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @RW

    Barmes.

  82. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @RF

    A little early for Alen Hanson.

  83. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Jandy #67

    Got some jokes for that.

  84. Arriba Wilver says:

    Radio–I don’t question trying to upgrade from Cedeno. I’m not sure that that is real relevant to who should be playing SS for the Bucs this September in a playoff race. JMHO

  85. Wilver Dornel,

    I enjoyed your patter immensely yesterday. You were quick with the quip and made me smile.

    Don’t be distracted by Sibyl.

  86. Arriba Wilver says:

    G2M–gotcha.

  87. Sybil = Joann Woodward. Great in her day.

  88. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Sybil-Great one, Groat.

    DK just said on the chat that Barmes’s defense is outstanding. He must mean out standing in his field, right?

  89. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Lucky

    His defense, as a whole, has been outstanding. He’s had some bad games, but all in all, I’ll take it.

  90. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Sybil= Cybill Sheppard?

  91. cmat0829 says:

    Glad to see at least of a few of you “eat crow” this AM and indicate that Clint’s lineup worked well last night (I’d say about 0% of you thought highly of it before the game)….

    A manager (or anyone who makes decisions) is never gonna be right all the time or wrong all the time…. the players really have the onus to perform and they make managers either look good or look bad…..

    Barmes in the two spot is great… his problem (and it’s a big one) is that he swings way too much at pitches out of the zone… perhaps he does so at #8 in the lineup because the pitcher is up next and he feels like he needs to make something happen… being in the 2 spot ahead of Cutch increases odds of Barmes NOT being pitched out of the zone and therefore decreases the odds of him flailing weakly at the pitch.

    Now, what took so long Clint to move Clint to the 2 spot?????

    Not much chatter about Correia’s excellent performance… I for one have come to better appreciate KC after watching JMac and Erik get torched in the 2nd half… KC can certainly give up the bombs but he battles…….

    Brock Holt is a breath of fresh air and a MUCH better leadoff hitter than the Bucs have had all year…. wouldn’t it be great if Presley approached atbats like Holt does??? why he doesn’t is an absolute mystery…. he has the same skill set, and may even have a better skill set (more power in the bat, quicker swing)…..

    that said, the Bucs NEED WALKER BACK to have any chance of playoffs… I’d be cool with Holt getting starts at SS (can’t be any worse than JayHey)……

    Not sure why everyone bags on Gaby so much…. he is nowhere near “Matt Diaz2″ as some opine… he was an allstar last year and has hit very well with the Bucs… he may indeed end up a bust but he isn’t right now….

  92. Drew71 says:

    Thanks for the so-narrow-it’s-meaningless-stat-except-if-the-intent-is-to-overstate-hitting-abilities information, Roberto? What does he bat on weekday games, batting after 8:45 PM Eastern, when the threat of rain exceeds 20% but is no more than 50%?

    I missed Roberto too, Lucky.

    On a totally unrelated matter. I like hoppy beers.

    You know. Bitter.

    Just sharing.

  93. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Cmat

    read back to yesterday. I was in favor of it. For what he had to work with.

  94. MrB says:

    G2M2S – Nice rundown in post 19. I listened to most of the game last night, but missed out on Cutch being pitched inside and Correia responding in-kind.

    Finally, a pitcher on this ballclub looks after the best offensive player on the team! To think it has to be the guy, who lost his spot in the rotation.

  95. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Drew #92

    O-mazing!

  96. Jandy says:

    RF, as usual, you blow smoke in the mirrors to distract everyone.
    Sybil indeed.
    Go play outside, honey.

    Ryan (#83) bring ‘em!

    Lucky, no hubby didn’t read the blog, he got done early with the job he was doing, and of course, he thinks of his better half ;)

  97. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    KC did an amazing job, from what I could tell by phone. He really stepped up and actually has been doing well in his spot starts, relief appearances.

    #ShowStopper

  98. Jandy says:

    Drew #92, I’m in looooovvveeeee!!!!

  99. Arriba Wilver says:

    In Pat Lackey’s article at JAL ‘s link #10, he mentions that Barmes’ “DRS” and “UZR” put him as one of the best defensive SS’s in either league. (I don’t know what that means, either)

  100. Jandy says:

    cmat, you’re absolutely right about Correia. I was impressed. That was definitely a good game by him.

  101. Jandy says:

    AW I don’t know what the letters mean, but I already know Barmes fields very, very well. He bats not so well (even tho he has been much better of late), I don’t need those fancy letters to tell me that ;)

  102. Jandy says:

    Bitter brew…Yeungling’s anyone?

  103. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Jandy

    Maybe inappropriate……in fact, I’m certain they are.

  104. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Jandy

    #102

    Can’t get em out here, please send!!

  105. NMR says:

    I think its rather patronizing to be impressed with a pitcher who couldn’t get past the 6th inning against a AAA lineup.

    I friend of mine called me last night during the game. First thing he said was “so this is what it was like for other teams fans to watch a Pirate game in September for the last 19 years…”

  106. cosmo says:

    Jandy #102

    I’ll have 6 please.

  107. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Corriea has 10 wins.

    #resigncorriea

    I say, if he can get through 6 innings on 67 pitches, even against the Astros who are in an admitted tryout mode and he’s third on the club in wins as a starter…….even if he pouted when he was demoted to the pen, resign him. Especially if we have no confidence in our young arms that were in AAA this past season.

    Disclaimer: The above is not necessarily the opinion of anyone with any brains and has not been approved by Major League Baseball.

  108. RobertoForever says:

    @Drew,

    Good. My money in the pool today was on your knee-jerk reaction. Glad I didn’t get shut out, lol.

    Also, a 28 day BA state is narrow? Funny I didn’t see you judging/overreacting to Arriba’s 7/14 day stats yesterday, lol.

  109. Arriba Wilver says:

    NMR–I’m not sure thatis a fair assessment of Correia’s performance last night, that “he couldn’t get past the 6th inning.”. He had thrown 67 pitches, 40 some for strikes. Clint was actually criticized by a few for taking him out at the time. I’m not questioning the decision to take him out (what do I know) but it wasn’t because he was in trouble, so it isn’t a valid yardstick of his performance. And he can only pitch against the team he is faced with.

  110. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Impressive..for Correia. The line I saw was 6 innings on 67 pitches. I wondered about that, but, that smaller number of pitches showed that he was efficient. Again, I didn’t see the game, but it could be he got pulled because his arm isn’t stretched out for 100. I dont know, who cares, I’m more impressed with the 6 innings than the pitch count.

    Never been a fan of the pitch count.

  111. RobertoForever says:

    Cmat,

    Love the thoughts today. Especially the kudos to Kevin Correia. Solid citizen these last few weeks. Between he and Wandy, they have been the best part of the rotation.

  112. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Lucky

    I don’t see him getting resigned. He’s going to go after a starting spot, IMO and would rather go elsewhere.

  113. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that “knee-jerk” is the new “snide. ”

    BTW, Roberto, you must have a short memory. In the last couple of weeks, you used Barajas’ 2 week stats to justify him playing over McKenry based on his 2 week stats. You wouldn’t be picking and choosing, would you?

  114. Jandy says:

    Ryan #103, I kinda figured that…and I’m sitting here laughing ;X

    Ryan #104 and Cosmo #106 come visit Duncansville, Pennsylvania… hubby and I will treat :)

    Lucky #107, well said, friend!
    Seriously tho, KC has a lot of wins. He’s fine by me.

    Roberto #108, who peed in the pool???

  115. Z says:

    I’m a big fan of 90% of your work, however you blocked me on Twitter for calling your Clay Pigeon-gate article “dumb”. Did I really cross the line THAT much with my comment or do you just have zero tolerance for detractors?

    DK: There’s no chance I would have blocked for that. What was the full context of what you tweeted?

  116. Jandy says:

    AW, Bet Merriam Webster has “snide” and “knee jerk” in the synonym section ;)

  117. MrB says:

    Funny, from reading other professional Pittsburgh news sources in recent days, Harrison seemed pretty accomodating with regards to discussing his knee and playing status.

    Hmmmm….

  118. Jandy says:

    and it’s Mr. B with his drive by! Hello, Mr. B!

  119. NMR says:

    @AW

    Kevin pitched fine last night, no doubt. I have absolutely no idea why Clint pulled him. But nothing about 6 innings, 5 baserunners, and 1 K against that Astros lineup impresses me, personally.

    Like I said, seems patronizing to go out of the way to praise him for that kind of performance.

  120. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @NMR

    Not like Correia is a strikeout guy, but yea, 1 is pretty weak against those clowns.

    Wonder how Jeff Locke feels?

  121. cosmo says:

    with all this knee jerking, maybe it Mr. Harrison’s fault.

    bad knee, “get outta my Face” jerk.

  122. Drew71 says:

    And I see that “lol” has become the new “…and the horse you rode in on”.

  123. cosmo says:

    In response/reaction to Correia’s outing, What would bedard have done?

  124. Jandy says:

    Dejan at end of chat: “Oh, and I’ll have a new thing added to the plate next Tuesday, as well. ”

    hmmmm…..

  125. Drew71 says:

    Heigh Ho, Thunder, Away!

  126. Jandy says:

    lol is the answer when the accuser of knee jerks really has no ammunition. And no horse, either. Lots of manure, tho.

  127. Correia threw 7 pitches in the 5th inning [including one under Altuve's chin in retaliation] and 6 pitches in the 6th.

    Nothing in his performance last night should be criticized, unless you expect him to be Sudden Sam McDowell, striking everyone out. Hurdle took him out because his place came up in the bottom of the 6th and he pinch hit Clement. That’s all on Hurdle.

    His performance last night was exactly what was expected and needed——to me that’s the ultimate compliment to a starting pitcher. Starting pitching usually wins games.

    I do not expect Correia to be resigned for next season. Lucky is right:: Correia will want guarantees to be a starter that Bucs will not/cannot give.

    North Cali Ryan, Google the movie “Sybil”

  128. Thundercrack says:

    AW,
    I give Corriea credit for his performance last night.
    He had a quality start…and the Astros never were in the game.

    He put a foot down on them.

  129. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Ryan,

    Just kidding about signing Correia. I know he wants to come back out to your area. Just goofin’ with the situation. I was the most upset when he pouted before. I like what he’s done since then for sure, but I know he won’t be back. Too much youth to be served here.

  130. Drew,

    Good pick-up on the disconnect of the “lol”

    “I killed your dog and I wrecked your car and I burned your house down and your kids are ugly——but, don’t forget: lol.” What’s to laugh about?

  131. Dejan,

    We await your teased announcement of additional participation/responsibilities. We enjoy your abilities.

    Just PLEASE don’t make it anything “Pay For” like across the river. That would not set well!

    DK: No, it’s totally free. I trust, Groat, that you’re subscribing to the Trib newspaper, so I have no problem giving you other stuff for free!

  132. Naje says:

    Hey Drew… would you please STFD with all of this snide, kneejerk, lol-ing?

  133. NMR says:

    So now we’re praising Correia because he did better than Jeff Locke and Erik Bedard.

    I couldn’t think of a BETTER term for that than patronizing.

    Having higher standards should not be confused with criticism. Quite the opposite.

  134. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Naje,

    Drew can’t sit. He has an incontinent poodle to take care of.

  135. Jandy says:

    Oh dear. LOL!

  136. pants-n-at says:

    I know it may seem no one protected Cutch in Cincy, but the umpires and the importance of the games may have dictated that somewhat. Trust me, they will get them back in one (or both) of the upcoming series. They haven’t forgotten.

  137. Milo Hamilton says:

    Kevin Correia did what should have been done against Houston. Just like what Wandy did, and what Jeff Locke should have done (but didn’t).

    Some in the media, especially Rob King, couldn’t stop saying how “professional” Correia had been recently. How sad. I guess the only thing you have to do around here to be called a professional is to stop acting unprofessional.

    DK: Another Milo gem.

  138. Drew71 says:

    Naje – i WAS gonna respond “lol” but your post sounded hauntingly familiar to something my wife said to me on Friday Date Night. In fact EVERYthing she said

    Lucky – I’m 150 miles from my wife and said poodle all week. So SHE has to take care of it. And unlike the poodle, that is NOT an accident.

  139. Drew71 says:

    …tho I do drip a little.

    TMI?

  140. Thundercrack says:

    Milo,
    I agree. What I meant, but didn’t write, was that Correia did what he had to do. Never let them in the game, and didn’t turn in a performance like Locke did.

  141. Jandy says:

    Drew LOL! A hearty LOL! But remember, SHE is HOT!

  142. pants-n-at says:

    Oh and I believe many Clevelanders are anxiously searching for the burial site of Modell so they can pi$$ on it.

  143. JohninOshkosh says:

    Rob King looks like a funeral director. Bring back Lacee!

  144. Ross Insana says:

    For anyone that is curious, I got the pleasure to watch Luis Heredia’s final start last night FOR FREE (since I am a student), which happened to be the last State College Spikes home game of the 2012 season. I did a full in-depth breakdown of Heredia’s start last night here for anyone interested (http://www.mceffect.com/2012/09/prospect-breakdown-luis-heredia-95.html). Here is a small preview:

    “Now from a non-baseball standpoint, Heredia might be the nicest person I have ever met. He took the time to sign EVERY SINGLE ITEM given to him by fans. During the post-game fireworks he was tossed everything from programs, bats, gloves, baseballs, among many others. He smiles all of the time and puts out his hand to shake yours even if you do not acknowledge his kind gesture towards you. He is a very soft spoken and down to earth kid. The one thing that did surprise me was his clarity speaking English. I personally expected his English to still be a little spotty since he has only been in the United States for two years now.”

    DK: Appreciate it, Ross. And welcome!

  145. NMR says:

    Milo droppin’ the truth.

  146. Jandy says:

    Hi Ross, welcome to Dejan’s Lunatic Asylum. Give Biz your hometown so he can add it to the list of lunatics :)

  147. AJS says:

    My take on the early exit of Correia last night was that he doesn’t throw 80-100 pitches every 5th day anymore. They may have been affraid to sretch him out in case he is needed out of the pen on less than a full 5 days turnaround.

  148. Crazy Ross,

    I tried to go and read your article about Heredia, but clicking on your thing above took me to “this page does not exist.” I’d like to read your article.

    Neal Huntington about to appear on “Inexcusable David” Todd’s new radio show on 970. Maybe he’ll announce the signing of Derrek Lee for the rest of the season.

  149. Jandy says:

    Groat, just click on Home, it will take you right to the article.

  150. NMR says:

    Thanks for the article, Ross.

    Also nailed down the only point of criticism I could think of in the first paragraph. I’ve been surprised by Heredia’s low K rates all year, even compared to the other pitchers who’ve been through the same system. But it sounds like they REALLY constrained Heredia to fastballs. Tough to K a ton of professional hitters with only one pitch, at any level.

    I can’t get over how polished this kid must be for his age to be able to command a fastball well enough to hold teams to a sub-3 ERA. Sounds like an absolute gem.

  151. Thanks, JandyGirl! I tried it and it worked.

    I enjoyed the Heredia article, Crazy Ross.

    David Todd did a good, pointed interview with Huntington.

    Huntington said that “according to the metrics he’s viewed, Barmes is the top fielding shortstop in baseball in 2012. Those same metrics show that Barmes is also the top fielding shortstop in baseball for 2011.” “And, if you add in a third year, 2010-2011-2012, Barmes is in the top 3 fielding shortstops in baseball for those 3 seasons.” {approximate quote}

    WOW! I have defended Barmes here, but my eyes don’t tell me he is the best fielding shortstop IN BASEBALL for the last 2 seasons!

  152. Drew71 says:

    Groat: You defended Barmes?

    lol

  153. radio wave says:

    Braves just beat Rockies. 1-0.
    Run scored in bottom of second.
    Braves had runners on second and third.
    Catcher flips ball back to the pitcher. He misses it, ball lands at second, run scores.
    Don Sutton said he never saw that happen in 47 years.

  154. Arriba Wilver says:

    My eyes are seeing what your eyes are seeing, Groat. Last year he played 121 games at short, and the year before, 46. But I don’t doubt that the metrics Neal is seeing support his decision to get Barmes. Yesterday he said that after the first two months Barmes has been exactly what they expected him to be.

  155. LuckyNKentucky says:

    That’s it. Barmes, the “outstanding” SS and best in baseball 3 years running will permanently hit #2, Presley to the important #8 slot, Tabby to the bench permanently and Correira to pitch every game until we clinch the WC. What a formula. We must be the dumbest or blindest baseball fans in the world according to the metrics Neal views. Like Groat said, our eyes must be seeing something else.

  156. Ross Insana says:

    Whoops, sorry I didn’t notice the link not working. My mistake. If the link does not work here it is again: http://www.mceffect.com/2012/09/prospect-breakdown-luis-heredia-95.html?m=1
    If that does not work, go to http://www.mceffect.com and it’s the featured article on the front page there. And if you want to follow me on twitter (Dejan does, so I must not be that bad, eh?) I’m @rinsana11. Hope you guys enjoy it, emphasis on the last paragraph of my article! And get the word out of it

  157. NMR says:

    @Groatsky

    I’ll be honest, I thought the same thing. Barmes as the best defensive SS in baseball doesn’t seem to pass the eye test.

    But then I asked myself, well then, NMR, who is better?

    And I couldn’t definintely name a SS I’ve seen this year who was clearly better than Clint. Can you?

    I even cheated and looked up all NL shortstops to try and job my memory. Nobody stood out. Tulo hurt, Rollins lost a step. It may be an indictment on the position as a whole, but those defensive may be close to correct.

  158. Thundercrack says:

    OK, so I do not like when DK mixes comments from twitter, sulia and the blog. But this is something I just don’t get.

    He tweets on Sept 1: ‘Bring up the kid batting .432 to sit him, please ..’

    And then he offers up this as part of one of his answers today on the chat:

    ‘First thing I’ll say is that we all need to take a deep breath here. Kid’s been in the majors for a seek.’

    So should we want the kid to play or not.

  159. NMR says:

    Lucky, Arriba…we all seem to be in agreement…so who’s your pick for best “eye test” defensive SS?

  160. NMR says:

    @TC

    I’m no mind reader, but it would seem that Dejans advice is not to exclusively pick one or the other.

    Seems to be a novel concept for you.

  161. pattonbb says:

    @radio wave – I saw it happen. The pitcher had his glove up and just missed the ball altogether. It was crazy to watch. They beat the Rockies yesterday 1-0 on a wild pitch.

    Saw an incredible stat on Braves closer Craig Kimbrel. He gave up his 20th hit today. 52 IP, 7 ER all year, 95 K, 34 saves, 1.24 ERA, .656 whip, and only 20 hits given up all year. That’s more impressive than Chapman to me.

  162. LuckyNKentucky says:

    DK said on the chat that Barmes has been outstanding. What do I know? Castro is no defensive star. Furcal has a great arm, but is also hurt now. Tulo hurt, like NMR said. Rollins, who knows? Hanley is a 3rd baseman now, right? If he has a few games like last night, sign him to a 3 or 4-year extension. Uncle bob, please don’t have a fit over that. I was being sarcastic, as usual.

  163. Thundercrack says:

    You may be right NMR

    And there are not a lot of outstanding defensive shortstops. That and catcher are probably the 2 most difficult positions to fill.

  164. Arriba Wilver says:

    NMR — I don’t know, I only pay attention to ours. And my ” eye test” includes the recent game when he didn’t look to second to see he could have easily gotten an out at second (if not a double play) and threw late to first and didn’t get anybody, or an error charged. And we all know Neal’s a bit sensitive to criticism. Disclaimer: I’m not saying he’s not a decent defensive shortstop.

  165. LuckyNKentucky says:

    AW, NMR, TC,

    I’ll give him decent. But the best in baseball for the last 3 years? That shows metrics can twist anything to make it look the way you want it.

    For example, Cutch is a great guy and wonderful player at a young age. His ave. is still .345 or whatever and he’s carried the team almost single-handedly to several victories this season. But his base-stealing has led to numberous untimely outs and his defense has been hampered by incorrect routes, etc. What metric measures his value to the team? Without him, we’re at maybe 60 wins, probably less. That’s the only standard to use. Wins and losses. You can’t value his community service, clubhouse demeanor, prayer life or time spent on Twitter. No metric can do that IMHO.

  166. NMR says:

    @AW

    I don’t mean to be obtuse, but how can you judge Barmes not to be the best SS in the league when you admittedly don’t look at the others.

    Isn’t that the definition of ranking?

    @TC

    I agree with you on the SS’s. In an era where offense has declined at the position, for my money, defense hasn’t gotten any better. Fundamentals’d.

  167. LuckyNKentucky says:

    numberous=numerous. My spelling metric is right there with Jandy’s typo metric.

  168. NMR says:

    @Lucky

    Does having the highest batting average automatically make that player the best hitter in baseball every year?

    I’d say no.

    Why can’t we apply that same logic to using the defensive metrics?

  169. LuckyNKentucky says:

    NMR,

    Do you mean the defensive metrics are right or wrong on Clint?

  170. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Barmes doesn’t seem to be the cocky, arrogant type. I doubt if he even thinks he’s the best defensive shortstop in baseball for the last 3 years, unless his agent told him that. I’m sure he’s confident, but doesn’t seem haughty.

  171. Arriba Wilver says:

    NMR– there’s a difference between ” judging” Barmes not to be the best SS defensively, which I didn’t do, and saying your eyes tell you you question that conclusion. Could obviously be wrong. But that doesn’t mean your eyes and the source dont cause you to question the statement. I don’t know who the worst defensive SS is, either. You might want to re-read 152 and 155.

  172. Thundercrack says:

    I no one thing for sure: I feel a lot better with Barmes in the field than I do R. Cedeno.

  173. Thundercrack says:

    I KNOW one thing……………………………………..

    my fingers aren’t typing so good today.

  174. NMR says:

    I’m saying the defensive metrics are a stat. A number. Just like the offensive ones.

    Pedro Alvarez has almost an 11% walk rate, which would seem to indicate he has above average plate discipline. Yet any of us who’ve watched him all year knows that poor plate discipline is the precise reason for his high K% and low BA.

    Apparently, whatever those defensive metrics measure says Clint Barmes is the best at it. I’d fault Neal Huntington for claiming that number makes him the best defensive shortstop in baseball before I fault the metric for being what it is.

    Especially when not a single one of us can definitely name another shortstop who is better than him using the “eye test”.

  175. Arriba Wilver says:

    Based on what I heard yesterday on the Fan interviewing Neal and what Groat reported, Neal seems to be a might defensive about Barmes.

  176. Arriba Wilver says:

    TC—I agree with you about Ronny.

  177. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    For all his shortcomings, I’d take Barmes passion and commitment over Scabata’s any day. At least when he K’s or duffs a play he looks upset with himself. Didn’t see pinch hit for KC or results of it (only got to watch about first 3 innings) but why yank your starter who has given up 0 runs on about 27 pitches in 5 or 6 innings when you’re leading by more than 2 runs? Bad decision that luckily didn’t come back to haunt us IMO.

  178. NMR says:

    @AW

    My eyes told me to question that ranking as well, as I said in my post. So I did.

    I looked for another shortstop in the league who is definitively better defensively than Clint Barmes. I couldn’t name one. Neither could anyone else.

    Maybe you should read post 158…I’ll help: “I’ll be honest, I thought the same thing. Barmes as the best defensive SS in baseball doesn’t seem to pass the eye test.”

  179. Thundercrack says:

    AW,
    Yes he did seem defensive about Barmes.
    But I also got the impression, but the tone of his voice, that he is sick & tired about hearing about him. And I would expect him to defend the player…as much as he can.

    Clint has even mentioned a few times that he gets stopped in the supermarket and questioned about Barmes & Barajas.

  180. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I bet if Barmes was making $2 mil a year almost none of these conversations come up. Of course I think NH is one of the sketchiest GM’s in the league, too. So which GM is scarier in a face-to-face, good ol’ tongue lashing: Shero or NH? I’m more afraid of Shero. Heard he can have quite a temper. If NH yelled at me I think I’d laugh at him.

  181. Thundercrack says:

    Brad, the only thing about Barmes’ money that bothers me is that it is guaranteed for next year.

  182. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I agree with Brad. Passion and commitment mean something and there’s no metric for them. Wonder what Tabata’s defensive metrics are based on hamstring, etc.

  183. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    TC, I agree. I think it’s that financial commitment made to him that really puts his offense under a microscope.

  184. GlassHalfFull says:

    I am not a FO apologist but..

    Many times my eyes have told me at closing time “Wow, is she cute” only to wake up the next morning to find out my eyes have deceived me once again. Maybe that’s why NH uses metrics and stats.

    Jus sayin.

    Lol,and the horse you rode in on, snide, “This team will hit”, EYE, DARRYL!, snowmen lying on their backs with flashlights coming out of their feet, The Window (rip), et al.

    @Drew71 #140
    Yes

  185. National Mart of Records,

    Great challenge!!! What shortstops are better than Clint Barmes, “eye test” wise?

    I like Josh Rutledge of Colorado very much. I called for Bucs to pick him up when Pirates played them.
    I think Zack Cozart really has great range and a great arm for the Reds.
    Jose Reyes is of course better offensively and good enough defensively to move Hanley away from short. He’s good.
    I have always liked Paul Janish when he was with Reds. He now starts at short for Atlanta. He hits Barmes-like but, boy, can he go get the ball!
    The young shortstop Atlanta has, Tyler Pastornicky (I think) also is going to be very good.
    Ian Desmond of the Nats is too inconsistent in the field, although he hits over .290. Same with Hanley Ramireiz, although I could live with his inconsistency for 24 HRs. Same with Starlin Castro.
    I also like defensively that Crawford kid in San Fran. Then of course there’s Jimmy Rollins.

    Clint Barmes has been consistent all year, but I may take any of those I just named in a straight up trade for Barmes, especially Rutledge, Cozart, Crawford, Reyes, and maybe Janish.

    In the Junior Circuit, Texas, Angels Kansas City, Cleveland, White Sox, Jeter, and JJ Hardy all have/are better shortstops than Barmes.

    Way to make me rack my brain!!!!

  186. Milo Hamilton says:

    Brandon Crawford from San Francisco is my ” eye test” SS. I like to throw him out there every once in awhile because the Pirates drafted Chase D’Arnaud & Jordy Mercer ahead of him in the same draft.

  187. Milo,

    I really do like Brandon Crawford. He, Cozart, Rutledge, and Pastornicky are 10-year shortstops.

    I still have faint hopes d’Arnaud will develop into such. He is one guy BMTIB has rushed!

  188. Milo Hamilton says:

    Kinda throws some cold water on all that Brock Holt hysteria, doesn’t it. At least as far as shortstop goes. Like I said before, as long as he keeps hitting throw him out in rightfield. It’s not like we’ve got an all star out there. He can at least keep the spot warm until Training Table Travis & Joggin’ Joe are through playing canasta in the whirlpool.

  189. NMR says:

    @Groat – Now thats what I’m talkin about. Good discussion is always appreciated. When you factor in offense, I agree that there are plenty of guys superior to Barmes.

    @Milo – #Meh. But for real, that Crawford kid does look slick. Then again, I’ve only seen the Giants a handful of times this year.

    His bat isn’t anything Jordy couldn’t put up if he was handed 600 AB’s in the majors, though, IMO.

    FWIW, the same stat that says Barmes is the best defender in the NL says that Crawford is 3rd, right behind Cozart. Which clearly means Milo and Groats eyes are almost as correct as the numbers…:)

  190. NMR says:

    Didn’t Pastornicky lose his starting job and get sent down at the beginning of the year?

    Kid is young, though.

  191. pattonbb says:

    @Groat – That’s a great SS list. I agree with 90% of it. You had me until I saw Paul Janish. I agree with you on Crawford and especially Cozart. But there is no way Paul Janish is better than Barmes. Janish looks terrible at times. At least Barmes is pretty consistent. I like Pastornicky too, but they’re moving him to 2nd.

  192. nate83 says:

    What financial commitment? 4 million does not buy you a very good shortstop. Since the middle of June Barmes has given us every bit of what can be expected of a 4 million dollar shortstop and maybe more. He is not currently the reason we are losing. There is a long list of reasons that come before you get to lack of production from our 8th hitter who has batted .250 since his bad start which is near our team average.

    On another note when we lose lately we have lost badly. Walker and Marte coming back and/or Holt playing everyday is not going to change a 9-2 lose into a 10-9 win. It has to start with the pitching. Not to mention I think we have probably gotten about as much production out of Marte’s and Walker’s replacements as we would have out of them. Those two guys where not exactly lighting it up before they got hurt.

    With this schedule if the pitching returns to an ERA around 3.5 over the rest of the year I don’t see any reason this team couldn’t finish with 18 or 19 more wins and finish with 89 or 90 wins.

  193. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @NMR

    I would have to agree with you on the analogy of the defensive metrics to offensive stats.

    If Barmes’s stats indicated that he is the best, then why wouldn’t that be the same as far as Cutch’s BA currently showing him the best hitter, at least for average?

    Barmes doesn’t pass the eye test. I agree, but honestly, I’ve never felt that Derek Jeter was an especially great defensive SS either. His eye test is flashy, which leads me to believe that he can’t make the routine plays routinely.

  194. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Groat

    I get to see Brandon Crawford on a nightly basis starting last year when he came up.

    He has struggled offensively in the past, but has come around, here and there.

    His glove though, is amazing.

  195. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    BTW

    The Brewers lost……..I hate those guys.

  196. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Another BTW

    The Dodgers will be pressed into action starting tomorrow against the 1st place Giants. Giants kicked their butt last time around and swept them in LA.

    SF vs LA is an awesome series to watch. I know most of you east coasters wont get to see it, but if you do, don’t miss it.

    Great games.

  197. North Cali Ryan,

    MY shortstop is first of all, second of all, third of all, a defensive stalwart. If he provides offense like JJ Hardy, so much the better——but unless he hits like Hanley with 30 HRs or Castro, I want stability and defense at position #6.

    That’s why I agree with you about Crawford . . . . the boy can pick it! I think Rutledge might turn into that, and Rockies don’t need him after Tulowitski comes back.

    It’s cool you get to see Brandon Crawford. I want one of those!

    “I’ve seen Brandon Crawford, and Mr. Barmes, you are no Brandon Crawford!”

  198. NMR says:

    @Ryan

    You’re making me jealous. There’s some darn good ball being played on the left coast. I’d make it a point to watch the A’s if they were actually on TV. Ever.

  199. Arriba Wilver says:

    What defensive metrics did Neal look at? I knew what you said in 158, NMR, but I didn’t challenge you to support what you didn’t say. And like I said, He may be right, based on whatever defensive metrics he’s using. People used to argue over Jack Wilson’s value as a SS. My eyes told me he was pretty good. But Nate McLouth looked pretty good to me in his Gold Glove year, and people were screaming he had bad “defensive metrics.”
    One last note–I have heard over and over that defensive statistics are the least precise statistical indicator as to a player’s value. That’s my world.

  200. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @NMR

    Its ok, nobody watches the A’s out here either. I’ve tried, but I have a hard time getting into AL games.

    @Groat

    He’s a pretty cool kid too…Very fun to watch.

  201. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Groat

    Then you’ll love this.

  202. Arriba Wilver says:

    I gotta admit, today is the first time I have heard Clint Barmes described as THE best defensive shortstop in baseball.

  203. I was a little floored today to find in my mail an order for Pirates P-P-P-Pla-Playoff tickets for this year! I only had a 10 game plan since we’re out of state, but close enough to go, but man what a cool thing. I was in Hawai’i the last time this may have happened back in 1997.

  204. Ross Insana says:

    Arriba Walker (and anyone else that is curious),

    When talking about defensive metrics, people are MOSTLY referring to UZR (also known as Ultimate Zone Rating), RngR (range runs) and DRS (Defensive Runs Saved). This is because websites like Fangraphs take EVERYTHING into perspective when determining these figures. UZR especially, where its a whole bunch of fielding data and it spits out one number. Here are the explanations via FanGraphs:

    RngR= The number of runs above or below average a fielder is, determined by how the fielder is able to get to balls hit in his vicinity.
    DRS= he numbers determines (using film study and computer comparisons) how many more or fewer successful plays a defensive player will make than league average.
    UZR= The most widely used, publicly available defensive statistics. puts a run value to defense, attempting to quantify how many runs a player saved or gave up through their fielding prowess (or lack thereof)

    Just as a heads up, nowadays a players defensive abilities is not determined by their fielding percentage and numbers of errors committed like most people think it is. Gold Glove winners are not determined by them either. Now in Barmes’ case, to confirm why he is in fact probably the best defensive shortstop in baseball, you can look at those defensive metrics for this season:

    UZR= 13.1 (best in all of baseball), next highest is Seattle’s Brendan Ryan with 11.7 and in NL its Cozart with 6.3
    DRS= 14 (5th in baseball behind Ryan, Hardy, Escobar, Aviles)
    RngR= 12.7 (best in baseball), next highest is 7.0 by Aviles, NL is Cozart with 4.7

  205. Hey North Cali Ryan, thanks for the video hook-up.

    The dude can play some short . . . . . I want one of those!!

  206. Crazy Ross,

    A hit is a hit, a walk is a walk, a double is a double, an RBI is an RBI.

    All that defensive stuff you have presented is most assuredly subjective, like ice skating judges. Someone looks and “judges” whether someone else could have gotten to that ball, etc. Which one is the Russian judge?

    Defensive statistics, while tending toward helpful, are not objective.

    As I have quoted Mark Twain here before: “There are lies, darned lies, and statistics!” Defensive statistics tend toward lies as much as they tell truth.

  207. Arriba Wilver says:

    Ross– thanks for that explanation. As I mentioned in #100, pat Lackey mentioned UZR and DRS and said that Barnes was among the best based on those metrics. As I also mentioned (only half joking) I didn’t know what they meant. And I was unaware of RngR. Assuming that one has to do with range, and the difference between the next best guy, that might be the most surprising compared to the eye test. I love more information, but when I hear Neal or Frank or Bob Nutting say “based on the things I’ve seen,” without specifying what those are, The first thing I do is check my wallet. :-)

  208. Reading says:

    The mere fact that we have to be “convinced” by statistics that Barmes really is the best shortstop in the NL or MLB speaks volumes.

  209. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @groat

    No problem buddy. Glad it worked for ya though.

  210. pattonbb says:

    If anyone is bored or hasn’t already seen this, Jonathan Mayo has updated his top 100 minor league prospect list. I’m sure most have already read it. It makes for interesting browsing on a no game night.

    http://www.mlb.com/mlb/prospects/watch/y2012/

  211. cmat0829 says:

    Wow, Pennant Fever abounds when an off-day in September Pirate blog generates 211 posts!

    Um, I guess this wasn’t just a Pirate blog article, and so even more remarkable almost all of the posts are Bucs-based!

    Geeze, on Barmes, we are really splitting hairs which is ironic since he has none. As I see it, Barmes is a major league shortstop, solid fielder, has some pop in the bat but like most SS struggles to make consistent contact. Is he “the best” or even a top tier ML SS? No. Regardless of eyetests, metrics,etc. Is he much better than Ronny Cedeno? No Doubt. Is he the right player to be playing SS right now in the penant race (vs Mercer/JayHey). No doubt. Should Brock the wunderkind play SS when walker returns? Worth a shot at least until his fielding shortcomings (assume he has them) outpace his hitting contributions.

    Is Holt the long-term answer at SS? Who knows…. Neil Walker wasn’t supposed to be a fixture at 2B either.

    The Pirates Playoff Possibilities rely on two things and two things only…. 1) quality starting pitching, each and every night (yes, that means YOU JMAC) and 2) Cutch and Walker carrying the offense. Jones and Petey need to contribute but Cutch and Walker need to lead the way.

    Is it POSSIBLE for PIRATE PLAYOFF PLAY? No doubt. DK is absolutely right based on the schedule. LETS GO BUCS. Whither Barmes or Holt or Barajas or Fort? Matters not.

  212. Milo Hamilton says:

    @Ross

    Thanks for the info. Can you translate any of that into English ?

  213. Mike Shigley says:

    Wow!! Six Pirate prospects on the top 100!!!!!!!!!

  214. RobertoForever says:

    Just watched Sano crush a HR to LF in the Midwest League playoffs.

    29 HRs and 104 RBI. Wonder why the Twins are taking their good sweet time with him. Making him spend a full season at every level. Don’t they know they have a huge hole at 3B? Maybe they are worried about super 2.

 
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