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Wakeup Call: Hurdle blows it … big-time

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Brief and to the Point …

I like Clint Hurdle. A lot. He’s as good a man as I’ve encountered in sports.

But he just blew whatever last gasp the Pirates might have had.

For those of you who didn’t stay up into the wee hours of this morning or who simply — and understandably — gave up after the Cubs sweep, here are three thoughts I had after the Pirates’ excruciating, stupefying 4-3 loss to the Reds in 14 innings …

1. Going back to the pregame, why was Rod Barajas’ name in the lineup for a fifth time in seven games?

There is nothing remotely logical about this.

And assuming there was, it was blown to bits when Hurdle really need a run late and pinch-hit Michael McKenry for Barajas.

Wow.

2. And this is second only for the chronology.

Wandy Rodriguez was throwing a one-hitter through six innings. He was in complete control, looking confident to boot.

With two outs in the seventh inning, with his pitch count at just 89 and with the Reds reaching on two terribly soft hits, Hurdle astonishingly emerged from the dugout to lift Rodriguez.

Rodriguez appeared contained and respectful but, at the same time, visibly furious. You could see it in his eyes. And you should have seen it in his eyes.

Jared Hughes entered and immediately gave up a two-run double that tied the score for the Reds.

This was Hurdle’s explanation to the reporters in Cincinnati for lifting Rodriguez: “He was probably only going to get one more hitter, anyway, so I decided to make the move now. It’s the second-worst feeling for a manager when you make that move and it doesn’t work. The worst one is when you leave the pitcher in and the guy hits a home run.”

Say what?

You don’t think everyone, Rodriguez included, could have lived with a home run by Dioner Navarro there?

Hurdle also turned that answer into something about Navarro being hot (So you lift your hottest pitcher?), about how Rodriguez couldn’t have gone 100 pitches (He wasn’t close), then turned it toward all the offensive chances the Pirates blew.

I’ve heard Hurdle take ownership of mistakes. Not this time.

That’s not good. Most of you will recall John Russell yanking Zach Duke an out shy of a shutout. Almost all of you will recall Hurdle leaving Daniel McCutchen out to roast in the Jerry Meals game. In both cases, the clubhouses were furious with the manager.

I’m not in Cincinnati, and I don’t care to project what the sentiment is. But speaking specifically to the past, this sort of thing doesn’t play well.

You can find Rodriguez’s comments in our coverage by Rob Biertempfel in that link I have up above.

3. This might go ignored because of all the other stuff, including the nastiness involving Brandon Phillips, but it shouldn’t: Where was Garrett Jones?

Answer: Chase d’Arnaud pinch-ran for him in the 10th.

Why?

This one you won’t believe. Hope you’re sitting down.

Andrew McCutchen and Jones led off the 10th with walks. The score was tied, so McCutchen represented the go-ahead run and Jones insurance. So Hurdle sent d’Arnaud out to run for Jones who … um, is a pretty good runner for a big man.

Long story short, the Pirates fail to score, d’Arnaud goes 0 for 2 in stranding three runners after that, then boots the grounder that results in the Reds’ winning run.

All while the Pirates’ only consistent hitter in the second half watches the final four innings from the dugout.

The managing was so abysmal in this game that Eric Fryer, the organization’s ninth-string catcher, was out in right field on the winning play.

That’s all I have on this, except to add robust applause for Greg Brown and John Wehner for calling out this madness after the game on the broadcast. They’re paid by the Pirates, but they told it like it is. Good for them.

>> Oh, and unrelated to the above, at around 2 a.m., Phillips tweeted out something accusing ‘another player’ of racism.

>> I’ll be back tomorrow with a column on the Steelers’ defense.

>> Before that, I’ll be a guest on TribLIVE Radio today at 12:30 p.m.

Comments

  1. I can only guess that Hurdle is panicked and rattled, a state that makes for toxic leadership when it’s sensed by the troops. Maybe for the second year in a row.

  2. chad says:

    Spot on, Dejan. Hurdle has been costing this team daily with these decisions, and tonight was the worst managed game of his Pirate career. The fact Barajas is still on the roster should be enough reason to make people furious, but tonight took the cake for me….pulling Wandy after two soft hits and he was at 89 pitches? Are you serious?! This is the same guy that let McDonald blow a 6-run lead to the Padres w/o even emerging from the dugout. Hurdle needs to be under the gun and on the hot seat. This is is unreal. I commend you and all the media members that call him out. He is killing this team with stupidity.

  3. James Deemer says:

    FIRE HURDLE WHILE WE STILL HAVE A CHANCE!!

  4. Cajun Thunder says:

    Another sign this team has quit. The HBP of Phillips. AJ goes out on the field…no one follows. So much for having each other’s backs. I’d be willing to bet when AJ noticed this…he was probably rather aggravated.

  5. Maddamma says:

    Dejan,

    Why can’t Rodriguez throw a 100 pitches? Did I miss something somewhere at the trade deadline that stated that Wandy can’t pitch beyond 100? I’ve never heard NH address any limits on Wandy, so what gives?

    This was the first time all season that I actually YELLED at the TV when Hurdle came out to yank Wandy. For him to gloss over this indicates how out of touch he is with this group at the moment. Wandy was pitching a gem. Period. No excuses.

  6. Pete D. says:

    “…It’s the second-worst feeling for a manager when you make that move and it doesn’t work. The worst one is when you leave the pitcher in and the guy hits a home run.”

    It makes me wonder: Where does the feeling of derailing any hope of a playoff push for a team absent from the postseason for 19 years rank amongst those feelings?

    I really respect everything Hurdle has done for this team, but tonight was a step way back. I can’t see the Pirates recovering after this one.

  7. tanschmidli says:

    I’m over the Hurdle rhetoric. I’m usually a very positive person and it took me a long time to get to this point but I’m over Hurdle and his cute little cliche sayings. How about saying, “Guys I screwed up and this ones on me”? Instead of the ridiculous rhetoric quoting Kelly Clarkson songs.

    Hurdle is a terrible in-game manager and now his cute little sayings just make me angry. I can’t believe I invested another summer of my life to get punched in the gut again. Just awful.

  8. A person who’s afraid to make a mistake lacks the confidence to succeed.

  9. Thundercrack says:

    Wandy and the players can be mad at Hurdle. But they should also be upset that the hitters were 2-14 RISP and had 15 LOB.

    Hurdle didn’t manage well tonight. But he has always said that he manages for 9 innings and then after that it is pretty much a tossup.

  10. Dave says:

    All that pitching depth I hear the Pirates talk about and the best we have to come up with when 40-man rosters expand is Chris Leroux and Rick VandenHurk. Five years of failure on Neal Huntington’s part.

    Let’s get a change in here because it’s his fault that the team is imploding with the lack of talent that is relevent in the organization as it is Hurdle’s fault for playing terrible players. Huntington has been on the job for as long as he has and the best players on the roster are still players that were brought in during Dave Littlefield’s reign of terror.

    Another one who deserves a huge blame for this is Bob Nutting for being a cheap owner. Huntington/Littlefield/Bonifay all were given a shoestring budget by their owner to make due with what they had to work with. The only difference in ownership is that Bonifay and Littlefield had McClatchy to blame while Nutting has been the constant over the last 3 GM’s and it’s sad that every year we spend 10-15 million dollars on 4-5 terrible players that any casual fan can tell you will be terrible, yet if we spend 10-15 million dollars on a good player we wouldn’t have to worry about McCutchen being our entire team’s offense.

    What am I saying? “Hey Bob, Nutting wrong with selling.” Get a new owner in there who is actually willing to spend some money. Even when the Pirates were spending 10 million in the draft they still were in the bottom 5-7 teams in terms of yearly spending for the entire Major League Organization.

  11. Maddamma says:

    Dejan,

    To make matters worse regarding Barajas was Hurdle NOT pinch-hitting for him until the 10TH INNING. He let Barajas and his .196 LEAD OFF against Broxton in the 9th inning of a tie game, while carrying three catchers. Inexcusable.

  12. Thundercrack says:

    Wow, it didn’t take long at all for Bob Nutting to be blamed for this one.

    DK: RF will not like that.

  13. Abe says:

    I’ve gone from being a big Hurdle fan to a fan who believes he should be fired. In his press conferences he talks like he means business, but on the field I have rarely seen a manager as absolutely passive as Hurdle.

    He started to lose me when, after a ton of tinkering, he seemed to find a batting order that was having success and then for no apparent reason would just shake it up and the team would lose a few games because the order no longer clicked (like flopping Walker between number two and five).

    Then there is his penchant for just keeping going to a dry well for water….Rod Barajas, relievers that constantly blow games getting repeat chqnces to blow games, Rod Barajas, starters that might be better served going to the pen, Rod Barajas….Hurdle is pretty firm in letting a starter like Mcdonald stay in the game until he give up 7 runs over 5 innings and walks 2 out of 3 batters he faces, but then pulls a pitcher throwing a great game…I mean, a bad team does not get to 17 games over .500 and the fall hasn’t so much been due to lack of talent, but lack of leadership.

  14. Thundercrack says:

    DK, I don’t see quoted from Wandy in the story linked above.

    Will that be in a later version of the story?

    DK: Yes, it will.

  15. Boise Bucco says:

    I’ve been pretty busy lately, I swear I’m not abandoning the team or anything, but man, looks like I’ve picked a really good time to miss some Pirate games…

    @DK…any chance of a hint as to who the racist Bucco is? Like I said, I didn’t watch the game, I didn’t even get a chance to check the Gamecast, I have no clue what happened during the game, but Brandon Phillips doesn’t regularly go on Twitter accusing other players of racism…if it’s true, it’s pretty dirty, don’t care who it was.

    On a brighter side, we’ll be seeing Tony Sanchez a lot sooner than anybody thought, .233 AAA average notwithstanding (and you guys thought I was crazy…) See ya in Spring Training Tony!

  16. Dave says:

    @ Thundercrack

    You show me improvement and dedication by the ownership in this team and I won’t blame Nutting.

    Since he took over as the main owner the team has stayed right in the 50 million dollar window that they had when McClatchy was the owner. The only difference is he gave the OK to spend an extra 6-8 million dollars in the draft and to get their international training grounds into good shape. Other than that we’ve stayed the line in terms of signing aging and declining rent a vets that we’ve tried every season since 1992. In Huntington’s time alone we’ve had the likes of Vazquez, Overbay, Barmes, Barajas, Hinske, Monroe, etc. Last season we were told by management that if the attendance increases the payroll will increase. If I’m not mistaken last season the attendance was quite a bit higher than in previous seasons and because of that we were rewarded with Barmes, Barajas, and Juan Cruz and the same 50 million dollar payroll they’ve played with. Give Huntington or any GM an extra 20-30 million and see what we might be able to get. I’m quite sure it won’t be Rod Barajas or Clint Barmes.

  17. Maddamma says:

    @Thundercrack

    You’re right. The offense failed to come through. That’s been a problem for weeks now. Hurdle should know that. That’s why he should know what to do when his team has a two run lead with seven outs left. Also, Hurdle not only managed poorly in the first nine innings, he actively managed and managed poorly in the extra frames.

  18. Thundercrack says:

    For this ONE game, the manager makes some bad calls and the offense leaves 15 men on base. And the owner deserves “huge blame”?

  19. Boise Bucco says:

    And as far as blaming Nutting for this 14-1000 losing streak since the All-Star break, lemme take a crack at defending him…here goes:

    Let’s say that NH found himself in the Dodgers’ shoes, and Ben Cherington calls him up and says, “hey, we want to trade you Beckett, Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, but we want Garrett Jones and some Low-A prospects.” Also, let’s say for some crrrraaaazzzyyyy idea that Nutting says, “hey I just won the Powerball, go for it,” and NH pulls the trigger–it’s STILL a terrible trade, and everybody on this blog knows exactly why. Beckett and Crawford will be making WAY more than they deserve for WAY longer than they deserve, and not even Gonzalez’ power would be enough to make up for it. LOL Cherington couldn’t even give those two away–he literally had to include his best player in the deal just to make it work.

    So I’m not saying that Nutting would pony up for the best FA’s, but I’m not saying he’s cheap either. I wrote a couple weeks ago that business and baseball have been forced to go hand in hand for a long time now, and it’s not just like the Pirates can just go out and sign whoever they want for $4M/year, and these guys are just gonna be like, “ooh pretty bridges, alright I’ll sign.”

    If the Bucs don’t make it to 82 this year, don’t even think the word “streak”–they can FORGET about Free Agents this off-season. I’d rather sign with “losers of 19 of their last 20″ than “losers 20 years running.”

  20. Maddamma says:

    @Thundercrack

    This whole “Blame Nutting” nonsense will never end. But to your other point, I think you can agree that Hurdle has made a number of bad decisions in recent games (say, anytime he pencils Barajas in the order) and the Bucs are frequently leaving double-digit men on base.

  21. Dave says:

    @Thundercrack

    The owner doesn’t deserve the blame for last nights game. The owner deserves the blame for however long he’s had a nice chunk of his money invested into the organization.

    He’s paying for the garbage that gets put on the field, he’s paying for the minor league players who come up and aren’t prepared or are under talented. The owner is responsible for the team losing period. Sure you can point to the Mets, Cubs, and whomever else spends over 100 million on a losing roster, but you know what? Those teams have actually made the playoffs and finished over .500 within the last 2 decades.

  22. Thundercrack says:

    Maddamma, I agree with the points about Hurdle’s mistakes tonight and LOB

  23. Thundercrack says:

    I’m not sure I have a major problem with Hurdle pinch running for G. Jones. He is probably playing for more than one run there…which he thinks he will need against that team in that park.

    Jones runs OK. But at times he isn’t the smartest base runner.

  24. Dave says:

    @ Boise Bucco

    You know I remember a team a few seasons ago that like the Pirates were called and considered cheap. They were similar to the Pirates in that they were terrible for 10 years, but then they built a ball park and actually opened up their wallets and over spent for a couple players and guess what? They’re winners now.

    You might be wondering who I’m speaking of. It’s the Detroit Tigers.

    Then again I guess we can’t be a true fan and I’d rather rather see the organization break 82 and not have a prayer for the future while turning into the 2003 Royals because when I compare the two roster that’s what this Pirates team reminds me of. A couple solid players surrounded by guys having career years and some older players playing a lot better than they have in years.

  25. pghwelshgirl says:

    I suffered through the whole bloody game, and completely agree with your assessment of this debacle. Especially pulling Garrett Jones. HUH?!

    I know this discussion is really about baseball management (or the lack thereof), but Hurdle pulling out that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” line was SO offensive. Primarily, because, as you pointed out, he was not taking ownership of any part of this mess – he was actually defending or deflecting it. And secondly, I loathe this imbued-in-the-cultural-psyche cliche because there is plenty of psychological evidence that just the opposite is true. For anyone who wants to go down that tangent, read this – http://preview.tinyurl.com/24rxfg3 And Christopher Hitchens repudiated this belief shortly before he died of cancer last year.

    Anyway. For me, this game, and many of the past several games, haven’t made me stronger. Just sadder, frustrated, and just about out of the joy that the Pirates have brought me most of the summer. Only about a month ago, it looked like we’d capture that first winning season in 20 years AND a good shot at postseason play. And now all that hope and achievement are disintegrating, game by game. Like you, Dejan, I say the responsibility lay with Hurdle. Damned shame.

  26. Boise Bucco says:

    @Dave–Those are just about the two most apt comparisons that could be drawn to the Pirates, given their economic conditions. I hope they become the “Detroit” comparison, and not the Royals comparison, but that fork in the road back in 2003 was definitely there. Detroit spent, KC didn’t. If I remember correctly, wasn’t it right at that time that Detroit gave Juan Gonzalez some ungodly insane contract? If it wasn’t him, it was someone else, but there was a large contract involved. Maybe you’re right, maybe that’s what the Bucs need to do–go sign someone to a rediculous contract, just to get the ball rolling, show other players that they’re serious. My only concern is the hole it leaves them in if it doesn’t work…that money has to come from somewhere; if they raise ticket prices too high, no one will come, no matter how many bobbleheads and fireworks nights and Styx concerts they throw.

  27. Reading says:

    94-68 is still in play. A 22 game win streak is all that would be required. No biggie.

  28. Reading says:

    Just once, before the season ends, I’d like to see somebody deliver a key basehit late in the game with a guy on third. Hurdle needs to instruct his players that such a hit is well within the rules.

  29. Drew71 says:

    Too much blaming.

    Hurdle managed them to 2/3rds of a win.

  30. pattonbb says:

    So, Phillips wants to hint around that Hughes is the one he aimed his “#racist” comment to? Hey Brandon, if you’re going to throw that word around, at least have the stones to back it up .

  31. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Everyone knows that the Nutting Regime has never been in any form of a pennant race.

    However….At least act like you’ve been there before.
    Clint Hurdle (Whom I consider to be one of the only legit baseball people in a management position with the Pirates) has had a tough month when it comes to game deciding moves.

    However, he is highly responsible for being on the winning side of the ledger on many a game between April-July.

    Pennant race related games are no place for the likes of Chase d’Arnaud, Brock Holt and Rick VandenHurk.

    Hurdle has been left with a minor league deck of cards, in important MLB games.

    The blame for this collapse lies squarely in the hands of GM Neal Huntington, who is acting on orders from above.

    The Nutting Regime wanted no real part of a pennant race this year, and it shows in their actions every single day.

  32. JAL says:

    JAL’s Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 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: Missed Opportunities Hurt Bucs in Extras

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/pirates-notebook-missed-opportunities-hurt-bucs-in-extras.html
    Win a Free Pair of Pittsburgh Pirates Headphones From BiGR AUDIO

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/win-a-free-pair-of-pittsburgh-pirates-headphones-from-bigr-audio.html

    First Pitch: Is ‘Collapse’ the Correct Term?

    http://blogs.piratesprospects.com/williams/first-pitch-is-collapse-the-correct-term/

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates Promote Rick VandenHurk, Chase d’Arnaud, Bryan Morris; DFA Evan Meek

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2012/9/10/3308243/pirates-promote-rick-vandenhurk-chase-darnaud-bryan-morris-dfa-evan

    6 Rumbunter

    Clint Hurdles Pittsburgh Pirates Dont Put Foot Down, Find Way to Lose to Reds

    http://rumbunter.com/2012/09/11/clint-hurdles-pittsburgh-pirates-dont-put-foot-down-find-way-to-lose-to-reds/

    7 McEffect

    It’s Time to Start Fooling Ourselves

    http://www.mceffect.com/2012/09/its-time-to-start-fooling-ourselves.html

    8 The Green Weenie

    Bucs Blow 3-0 Lead, Strand 15 & Lose 4-3 On Infield Single

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2012/09/bucs-blow-3-0-lead-strand-15-lose-4-3.html

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Extra excruciating

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2012/09/extra-excruciating/

    10 WHY GAVS

    Game 139: Reds 4 Pirates 3

    http://whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/august-2012/game-139-reds-4-pirates-3.html

  33. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 CBS Sports

    Game Previews

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/probable-pitchers

    12 St Louis Post Dispatch

    Road problems follow Garcia

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/garcia-struggles-on-road-again-as-cards-lose/article_366dfe12-6711-5e46-ba20-b0b771a16890.html

    13 Chicago Tribune

    Pirates Report

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/sns-rt-bbo-pirates-teamreportmtze89a3uk02f-20120910,0,4068910.story

    14 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Reds down Pirates in 14 innings

    http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20120910/SPT04/309100054/Reds-down-Pirates-14-innings

    15 Baseball Nation

    Defining Success For The 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates

    http://mlb.sbnation.com/2012/9/10/3308228/pittsburgh-pirates-wild-card-chase

    16 The Kittanning Paper

    BUFFONE: Potential for an Even Worse Weekend in Pittsburgh Sports

    http://www.kittanningpaper.com/2012/09/11/buffone-potential-for-an-even-worse-weekend-in-pittsburgh-sports/30099

    17 USA Today

    NL Roundup: Reds top Pirates in 14 innings

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/mlb/story/2012/09/11/nl-roundup-reds-top-pirates-in-14-innings/57740692/1

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    18 PBC Site

    Wandy terrific, but Pirates fall to Reds in 14th

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2012_09_10_pitmlb_cinmlb_1&mode=recap_away&c_id=pit

    Correia making a pitch to stay in Bucs’ rotation

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2012_09_11_pitmlb_cinmlb_1&mode=preview&vkey=preview_web_away&c_id=pit

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    What You Need to Know

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=18298

    20 Fangraphs

    The Strasburg Shutdown and What We Don’t Know

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/the-strasburg-shutdown-and-what-we-dont-know/

  34. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers Vs. Broncos: Another Season-Opening Loss For Overwhelmed Steelers

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/9/10/3307040/steelers-week-1-game-analysis-post-game-stats

    Steelers Roster Review: Winners and Losers From Week 1

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/9/10/3307453/steelers-post-game-week-1-roster-review-statistics-analysis-who-played-well

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Larry Foote Lone Bright Spot on Defense in Game 1

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2012/09/larry-foote-the-lone-bright-spot-on-defense-in-loss-to-broncos/

    23 Steelers Gab

    Fourth Quarter Flop; Steelers Stumble to Opening Night 31-19 Loss to Broncos

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2012/09/10/fourth-quarter-flop-steelers-stumble-to-opening-night-31-19-loss-to-broncos/

    24 Nice Pick Cower

    Steelers MMQB: NFL Week 1 Wrap Up

    http://nicepickcowher.com/2012/09/10/steelers-mmqb-nfl-week-1-wrap-up-2/

    Pitt Blogs

    25 Pitt Blather

    Now What?

    http://www.pittblather.com/2012/09/10/now-what-4/

    26 Cardiac Hill

    At First Glance: Pitt Vs. Virginia Tech

    http://www.cardiachill.com/2012/9/10/3304524/pitt-vs-virginia-tech-football-preview-score-final-update-tino-sunseri-picks-predictions-line-spread

    WVU Blogs

    27 Metro News

    Big 12 Power Rankings

    http://www.wvmetronews.com/wvu.cfm?func=displayfullstory&storyid=54864

    28 WV Illustrated

    Holgorsen: JMU a “Bigger Challenge” Than Marshall

    http://www.wvillustrated.com/story/19502469/jmu-a-bigger-challenge-than-marshall

    Soccer(football)

    29 Sky Sports

    Shock England call for trio

    http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/12098/8069628/Shock-England-call-for-trio

    30 Daily Telegraph

    Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling’s earns an England call at just 17-years-old: here’s why

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/liverpool/9533706/Liverpool-winger-Raheem-Sterlings-earns-an-England-call-at-just-17-years-old-heres-why.html

    31 World Soccer Daily

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

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

    PENGUIN BLOGS

    32 Pensburgh

    Season in Review: James Neal

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2012/9/10/3308028/season-in-review-james-neal

  35. JAL says:

    Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Guy Mitchell 1952—went to number 4 on the charts

  36. JoeyBats says:

    “stay positive” ….Cutch had a HR last night …. ;-)

  37. Matt says:

    If they fail to reach 82, Hurdle should be fired. I like him. A lot. But two straight collapses,and you potentially fail to hit 82 after being above .500 all year? That cannot be accepted.

  38. Frankie says:

    Again the Bucs lose because of AAA players being used in key situations. Hurdle needs to go.

  39. Jandy says:

    I can understand all the calls for Hurdle’s head. Really I can. But what I find more unacceptable is the fact that this team consistently leaves runners on base. Not just 2 or 4…but 15!!! Accountability is the name of the game. These guys failed.

    On another note, today is 9-11. Never forget!!!!

  40. Turner Ward says:

    Is it possible Clint Hurdle is the Adam LaRoche of managers? 2 years in a row now, he’s had his team in 1st place in July. 2 years in a row they got better on paper by August 1. And 2 years in a row they have gotten significantly worse on the field.

    Maybe he has another 2007 Colorado run in him, where they win 14 of the last 15 to storm into the playoffs, but short of that, it’s not looking good for him.

  41. Chief Ironside says:

    Could someone convince Terry Francona to leave E-S-P-N to come here?? I can dream, can’t I??

  42. @suckmeter says:

    It sucks Barmes isn’t used as a defensive replacement in games. Why does he start games when his bat sucks, but then gets pinch hit for when his glove could come in handy late in a game? (LIKE LAST NIGHT) Makes absolutley ZERO sense.

    But they’ll sit Holt when Walker returns, even though they NEVER pinch hit for him because his bat should stay in the game. When Walker is healthy, Holt should be starting SS and then bring Barmes in late for defense if the game is close.

    I’m not sure why Barajas plays. McKenry has a better bat and defense.

  43. Milo Hamilton says:

    Quoting the great philosopher Kelly Clarkson is interesting. But on the other hand, unlike this bunch, at least she won something once.

  44. steve d says:

    I too notice nobody else came out with AJ…Phillips ball toss was bush-league, i would have hit him the next at bat!

    This team is sadly loosing their fire, that was obvious after being pushed around by them last serious and nobody else comes out with AJ?

    LETS FREAKIN GO BUCS!

  45. Turner Ward says:

    DK, if you have any more insight on the racist thing, I’d love to hear it. I’m not sure how you coexist with McCutchen, Harrison, McDonald, Alvarez, Marte and Tabata (sorry if I’m missing any others), but you say racist comments to black guys on other teams.

  46. D says:

    How bad was Hurdle last night? DK listed several items, and through all the discussions below that, still nobody has brought up the Jeff Clement pinch hit and subsequent 3-0 green light.

  47. Thundercrack says:

    I actually thought AJ should have stayed in the dugout….until something really happened.

  48. NMR says:

    Clearly all Huntingtons fault. But we already established that before the game, so I’m not sure why this Hurdle guy is getting thrown around. :)

    @Oficer Macuso – wise words in #8, my friend.

    @pghwelshgirl – very, very well said in #25. I appreciate the perspective.

  49. Mark says:

    Sorry guys, I agree Hurdle made a couple bad calls – but he didn’t choke with the bases loaded in the top of the 14th and no outs.

    D’Arnaud actually hit a decent fly ball that was CLOSE to scoring the run – he was the only one with the right approach at the plate.

    Pedro choked HUGE with his at bat and showed his immaturity by swinging at the first pitch – a low pitch that he had ZERO chance of driving for a fly ball. Pedro should have been waiting for a higher pitch he could hit in the air – period.

    I completely agree pinch running for Garrett Jones in the 9th since he wasn’t even the winning run made ZERO sense – but that wasn’t why we lost.

    And DeJan – that wasn’t a booted grounder by D’arnaud to end the game he dove all out to grab it and saved it from going through – even if he got up cleanly no way he makes the out at first. Only reason the game ended there was the wild pitch – not because of the error.

    Stinks that we lost – but don’t pin it all on the manager – this was a collective suckage.

  50. Rob says:

    Both Hurdle and NH need to go. The Roster and Game Mgmt in the 2nd half of each of the last 2 seasons is inexplicable. Something needs to happen with this team to save this season, they are 2.5 games out of the final WC spot with 23(?) games left. We have seen teams make moves like this before to end the spiraling and it needs to happen here now. If he didn’t last year, nor prior to last night’s game, Clint Hurdle lost the respect of his team last night when he pulled Wandy. How can any player have faith in this Mgr right now, between the constant playing of Barajas over McKenry (the Reds Broadcasters were mocking it last night!) and the pulling of Wandy and then pinch-running of Jones for no reason, there is no reason to believe this Manager has a clue. If NH wants to keep his job, he better sack Hurdle, before today’s game…

  51. radio wave says:

    If Phillips is tweeting that Hughes is the player making racist remarks, this is a problem. Phillips has a reputation of being a class act. I would be disapointed if he is making such claims.
    But folks here would be interested/upset to know that Reds radio said when words were being exchanged on the field that “Hughes has a well known reputation around the league of having a chip on his shoulder.”
    Really
    Until this morning, I was reluctant to take the “fork” out of the silverware drawer. But bases loaded, none out, and you don’t score.
    Toast
    Isn’t it interesting that the national media is now including the suddenly hot Brewers and Phillies in the daily reports on the wild cardd race? Both are still 2 1/2 behind the Bucs, but obviously going in the right direction at the right time, which we are not.
    I have not been to a game all year, and we have tickets for the 30th. Feels like it will be a meaningless game.

  52. Patrick(RI) says:

    It is likely Hughes made a comment which, like so many put in this venue, caused an over-reaction. I hope the intent was to demean Phillip’s actions, not his race. If so, a few words or tweets between them will quickly end this.

    To the main point, it is pretty clear that CH administered the “Forque de Grace” last night, though it is pretty hard to blame him for utilizing AAA players, given his roster. My wife nearly sent me to bed after my retain to seeing CH come out to pull
    Wandy–I assured her it was no over-reaction. ARRGH, the pain of being a Pirate fan.

  53. radio wave says:

    at Milo 42
    Great post.

  54. Patrick(RI) says:

    “reaction”. I’ve got to dump this IPad, with it’s habit of substituting words. Or, I could learn to type.

  55. redus says:

    Fireworks tonight for sure…Phillips is bush league and that’s exactly how you want him playing. He will cost them the series beginning this evening.

  56. Jandy says:

    radio at #47 says Phillps is a class act. redus at #51 says Phillips is bush league.
    Which one is it?

  57. Confluence says:

    Dejan- You pointed out a couple of Hurdle’s blunders, but there were others! I am glad I’m not the only one that realized Jones came out not only for a pinch-runner, but as the BACK RUNNER in that instance. D’Arnaud’s speed was not going to give them the lead in that inning, McCutchen’s speed would have done it, as the lead runer. Why waste a position player as the BACK RUNNER on the bases? Didn’t understand it.

    Second- With McCutchen at second and Jones at first, why no bunt from Alvarez? I understand he’s a power hitter, but a matchup of a hitter prone to the strikeout and a LEFTY averaging almost two punchouts an inning begs for the bunt there. You have a righty on deck in Tabata who was swinging well at that point. I don’t care who you are, you have to be able to get a bunt down. The game dictates that strategy at certain times.

    Third- Did anyone ask Hurdle about not one, but back-to-back FIRST PITCH SWINGS from D’Arnaud and Alvarez with the bases loaded and nobody out? Not only were they first pitch swings, they were BREAKING BALLS against a guy who was struggling to command anything. When does Gregg Ritchie take some/any heat for this? Those two either looked lost or disinterested, I can’t decide.

    In all these years of losing, I have never been “mad” or angry about the Pirates. I am officially there now. I LOVE the PIrates and always will, but this is the nadir for me. Maybe I’m in the minority of those who won’t be heartbroken if they miss the playoffs, but 82 wins needs to happen, especially when you’re 16 over .500 with two months to go. Maybe I’m making too much of the losing streak, who knows. This is just a lazy, fat and happy approach from too many of them right now.

  58. mike says:

    Granted Hurdle doesn’t have a lot to work with,however his stubbornness or loyalty to Barajas and Barmes? My question is in the previous off season he brought in 36 I believe ye old catcher that supposedly had some pop? Was this an upgrade over Doumit? Also how bad is Tony Sanchez? Must totally suck because look what’s playing here a head of him? HUNTINGTON MUST GO, AS WELL AS HURDLE. This was a 16 game above. 500 and a why is Headley or Quinton not on this team if you are not bringing up Cole and or Tallion?

  59. sidelinespensfan says:

    I’m not going to pretend I know what’s going on in that clubhouse, but this team had to be let down by the actions of their GM at the trading deadline. As I see it, NH had 3 options that he could have pursued:

    1. Overpay for a “name” player (even Shane Victorino would have worked) to show that the front office is “All In” and has the players’ backs after an exciting first half.

    2. Stand pat. Declare that “my team is on the field,” showing that players that you appreciate what they had accomplished during the first half of the season.

    3. Tinker with the lineup. These moves will make your team slightly better in the long run, but also have the possibility of losing your clubhouse.

    Unfortunately, we all know that NH decided to go with option 3. We also know that the team has tanked…..TANKED…. since the All-Star break. I do not believe that those 2 facts are a coincidence. Fire NH now, he is in over his head.

  60. TJA says:

    For one day, I’m putting all my frustrations and comments to the side and remembering what today is. God Bless the USA!

  61. pattonbb says:

    Whether or not AJ was right coming out of the dugout isn’t the issue. The issue here is why NOBODY followed. You have to show some solidarity. You think Cueto walks out of his dugout without a handful of Reds behind him?

    I’ve been a Hurdle supporter all year. But he’s lost this clubhouse. Pulling Wandy was the dumbest move I’ve seen. His players are going to have issues with that one.

    Brandon Phillips might be a good guy, but even the Red’s tv guys called him “The guy if he’s not on your team, that people love to hate”. If he wants to make insinuations of racism, he better be willing to repeat what was said.

  62. redus says:

    Ok maybe Phillips is normally a classy dude…but the fact remains that something has to give here. Hughes is uncomfortable to watch at times and he clearly loses the ability to control his emotions. He clearly lost the ability to control his fastball last night too…thigh high and out over the middle as wehner would put it. Hughes – less mouth breathing – more concentrating on location….please.

  63. Stuart says:

    @Turner #40
    I believe you are on to something here. A kind of reverse Adam Laroche syndrome. Sometimes I allow something as trivial as Pirate Baseball to ruin my whole day, but you have to admit that last night was a real heart ripper. I also place the blame squarely on Hurdle. I think he may be a hitting coach at best.

    What does it do for Wandy”s confidence to be yanked so unceremoniously? And the D’Arnaud for Jones fiasco clearly wasn’t well conceived. Chase looked like a real hot dog doing the unnecessary slide on a ball he should have caught.

    Blame Neal for a roster full of potential DFAs, blame Nutting for cheaping out on filling the roster with playable parts, but last night was entirely on Hurdle.

    Forget playoffs. Let’s hope for .500, and reassess the BMTIB after the season.

    Stuart

  64. redus says:

    Phillips – less chest thumping – more watching out for one in your ear. You have one coming tonight.

  65. redus says:

    D’Arnaud can stay on the bench – not a very good ballplayer. Sorry buddy…you ain’t got it…you think you do…but you don’t

  66. Naje says:

    @DK….

    How convenient that you forget to mention Pedro Alvarez in anything you wrote above. More than anyone, that player had several opportunities to help his team and failed.

    Miserably.

    To the tune of 0-6 with 4 Ks and 7 men left on base. And Jones’ 0-4… and Holt’s 1-7 with 4 men left on base.

    Yet you want me to buy it was Hurdle’s fault…?

    Nope.

    Try blaming the players sometime… you know, those guys who really can make a difference on the scoreboard and fail to do so repeatedly when opportunities arise.

    Or will that disrupt the clubhouse too much?

  67. NMR says:

    Wait, people are actually (not sarcastically) blaming Neal Huntington? Unreal.

    Borrowed from the guys across the river:

    “Earned run averages of some of the big-name pitchers traded at the deadline with their new teams: Anibal Sanchez, Miami to Detroit, 4.40; Ryan Dempster, Cubs to Texas, 4.36; Zach Greinke, Milwaukee to Angels, 4.18; Josh Beckett, Boston to Dodgers, 3.86; Wandy Rodriguez, Houston to Pittsburgh, 3.56; Paul Maholm, Cubs to Atlanta, 3.48.”

    ” The batting average and approximate OPS of three outfielders traded at the deadline (stats thru Sunday): Shane Victorino, Philadelphia to Los Angeles, .245, .640; Hunter Pence, Philadelphia to Los Angeles, .225, .650; Travis Snider, Toronto to Pittsburgh, .272, .770″

    Don’t let facts get in the way of a good argument.

  68. Jandy says:

    @naje #60 ~ that’s what I’m talkin about!!!!

  69. Chuck Snow says:

    Where is all the sunny talk of enjoying these Pirates? This is begining to feel like a root canal. I need more laughing gas doctor!

  70. Leefoo says:

    So Clint feels badly about his move?

    Just think how badly WE feel Clint.

    I honestly thought Wandy was hurt. I thought “Clint isn’t THAT dumb”!

    I was wrong. Blame all the hitters you want for not coming through, but we should’ve won that game 3-1.

    CLINT MUST GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Foo

    .

  71. Slick says:

    News Flash, a new owner won’t cure the source of the Bucs problem. Tiny overall market is the issue. Our metro is bigger than CIN and STL, but they draw from a much, much larger radius than do our Bucs. Look at the payroll difference, CIN is ~$20m more this year and STL is $50m more. Those owners are not losing money, it would be nice to know what profit they are making with those payrolls. Evaluating, drafting and DEVELOPING talent is where the Bucs have fallen short. This falls on Neal and his staff. He’s drafted high for 5 years now and has little to show so far, I’d say his future is tied to the arms in AAA now. Cutch and Walker were from the previous staff. Maybe Pedro needs a personal coach, because his streakiness is killing the team.

    Someone commented about Hurdle using AAA players in key situations. Have you looked at his bench? Pinch running for Jones, yeah, I can actually see that. I’ve watched him on the base paths, he has challenges for sure, and as stated above, CH manages for 9 innings.

    So really, it comes down to pulling Wandy last night, hindsight being 20/20, definitely questionable. Hughes scares me. He thinks he’s better than he is and acts like a dominant relief P. I don’t recall who was available in the Pen, but Wandy had one more batter, maybe 2. When’s the last time he went over 100 pitch count?

  72. Milo Hamilton says:

    Why all the vitriol ? I thought this was all supposed to be OK because our expectations were so low.

  73. twentytwo22 says:

    Name-calling is rude, crude and meant to offend.

    Brandon Phillips is a wuss. He acted like a tough guy flipping the ball back to the mound. He had an opportunity to confront Hughes and didn’t. He had an opportunity to confront whoever said whatever on the field and didn’t. Instead, he goes to twitter like a woman and whines. I commend the Pirate who got under his skin (100% no pun intended). He won that battle. Phillips should fight his own fight… or just walk to first base and avoid exposing his weakness. The Pirates should laugh at him now and tease him endlessly about twitter or whatever. It’s too bad he’s not a 3B or they’d kill him verbally every game.

    As for the Pirates, it’s the status quo. I love them and I hope they pull out of it and find a spark for the joy of playing and the desire to crush their opponent like a bug on the sidewalk. I don’t see it happening though. I do have one prediction… the day after they lose their 82nd game they will score 15 runs on 20 hits.

  74. Jandy says:

    hey twentytwo22, leave women out of your lame comments, dude. Women speak what’s on their mind. They don’t hide behind crude actions. smh

  75. twentytwo22 says:

    You’re the best Phillips. Gold Glover. MVP candidate. You’re amazing.

  76. twentytwo22 says:

    Phillips you’re the best second baseman I’ve ever seen. Books are going to be written about you. Will you sign a bat for me? I want to hang it in my game room.

  77. Jandy says:

    moving on to more intelligent conversation…

    What time is tonght’s game?

  78. JAL says:

    Jandy

    Scheduled for 7:10

  79. NMR says:

    Thank you for that, Jandy.

    I had my response to him started, saw your post, and deleted it.

    You’re right, not even worth the time.

  80. jackdeloplane says:

    I woke up and saw the Pirates lost again and felt sick to my stomach. I read DK’s blog and felt even worse.

    Then I remembered that 11 years ago, I lost a really good friend Leroy Homer, who was the co-pilot of Flight 93 and a fellow US Air Force Academy Grad in 1987. This is our 25th reunion of our graduating class and he will be honored at our reunion in October and missed by all.

    So there are worse things than the sports teams losing….but I still feel sick. Right about now is when the hijackers attacked Flight 93, so take a minute and remember all who fell today.

    Thanks.

  81. Milo Hamilton says:

    I suddenly feel the need to play Helen Reddy records. :)

  82. 21sthebest says:

    “Whether or not AJ was right coming out of the dugout isn’t the issue. The issue here is why NOBODY followed. You have to show some solidarity. ”

    A.J. put his teammates in a bad position, IMO. If they follow him then I bet there’s a good chance for a brawl. A.J. had no business being out of the dugout at that point. That was between Hughes and Phillips and until one goes after the other, mind your own business but keep an eye on what’s happening.

  83. Jandy says:

    JAL, thanks friend.

    NMR, anytime. Losers bore me ;) And trust me, the Pirates don’t bore me!

    Milo~ *I AM WOMAN* lol

  84. Jandy says:

    jackdeloplane, I am about 45 minutes from the Flight 93 Memorial. One of these days I need to get there.

  85. pattonbb says:

    @21 – You might be right, but I don’t think there was going to be a fight unless Phillips charged the mound. And he’s to soft to do something like that. Benches empty all of the time without any punches being thrown. I think AJ was just trying to show Hughes that he had his back. Unfortunately, he was the only one.

    How many times do you remember seeing one person step out of a dugout in a situation like that and not be followed by teammates?

  86. 21sthebest says:

    You may be right as well patton about the timing of a fight, but again, I don’t think it was A.J.’s place at that point to be out of the dugout. I also think you’re making an assumption that just because other players weren’t physically out of the dugout that they didn’t have Hughes’ back.

    “How many times do you remember seeing one person step out of a dugout in a situation like that and not be followed by teammates?”

    I don’t remember seeing one person step out of a dugout in a situation like that.

  87. JAL says:

    Speaking of women, 19 of the 20 most dangerous people on the internet are women. Jimmy Kimmel is the only man on it. What that means is searches for those people can take you to “malicious fake Web site. These sites use a variety of tricks to steal personal information or infect your system with viruses, spyware, adware, phishing or other forms of malware.”

    Emma Watson is number 1. Others in the top 10 are Heidi Klum, Jessica Biel, Eva Mendes, Selena Gomez, Halle Berry, Megan Fox, Shakira, Cameron Diaz, Salma Hayek, and Sofia Vergara.

    The info is from McAfee

  88. Sarcastic Sword says:

    Hurdle has struggled with when to take out starters in his entire tenure as Bucs mgr…Most times, he leaves a starter when he needs to pull’em….then last night, he finally gets a strong start which he hasnt been getting lately and he has poor logic to defend it.

    I think its time that Hurdle starts getting attention for yet another late-season collapse. Not sure this guy has the baseball acumen to lead a major league club. Look at his career won/loss record – is he going to all of a sudden become Buck Showalter? Going to have to open up the checkbook to attract a top-notch bench boss..Hurdle isnt the guy.

  89. The Gunner says:

    Folks, CH may have made some bad moves last night and over the course of the year but so have most of us whether it be at our jobs, with our spouses, with our kids etc. Nobody bats 1.000 and that applies to CH and well as all of us on the blog.

    1) CH has a roster that wreaks of AAAA players
    2) The players have been choking since the ASB
    3) Rod Barajas should have been DFA’d a long time ago
    4) There clearly is dissension on this team
    5) The pitching sucks, especially the starting pitching
    6) Neal Huntington needs to get his walking papers…………….soon
    7) The Nurring regime will never change so we better get used to things

    I wonder what broken down FAs NH will sign this off season???

    It was fun while it lasted

  90. KramJr says:

    @Dk – what will it take for him to be fired? have you ever seen a manager lose games this consistently? his negative WAR has far exceeded Dusty Baker’s this season

  91. Jandy says:

    JAL I saw that yesterday, and I got a chuckle out of it.

  92. 21sthebest says:

    “Emma Watson is number 1. Others in the top 10 are Heidi Klum, Jessica Biel, Eva Mendes, Selena Gomez, Halle Berry, Megan Fox, Shakira, Cameron Diaz, Salma Hayek, and Sofia Vergara.”

    Thanks JAL. Now I have to wait and see if my condition persists for the next 4 hours. At which time I’ll call my doctor. Or my wife.

  93. NMR says:

    Shakira? Cameron Diaz?

    Did I wake up in 2005?

  94. pattonbb says:

    @21 – good point.

  95. Jandy says:

    NMR, Cameron Diaz, younger guys seem to like cougars ;)

  96. Baywatch says:

    DK, you make very good points about last night’s games, but let’s be fair about the last play of the game: d’Arnaud didn’t “boot the grounder.” If we were just being objective here, it was ruled a hit, not an error. But, I saw the play, he COULD have gotten the slow-footed Ludwick, but it WOULD have taken a tremendous throw from d’Arnaud. Thus, not real fair to say he “booted the grounder.”

    But even “from d’Arnaud” brings us to the shortstop problem: the better-defensively Barmes would be a MUCH-BETTER choice for late innings. :-)

  97. casper in a-town says:

    Good morning to all. Having watched the 14 inning debacle last night (which, aside from the end result, was a pretty entertaining game with a bunch of highs and lows), I finally came to the harsh realization that no one on the Pirates knows how to win games. Aside from A.J., our “leaders” are guys who are only a few years, and in many cases much less, removed from the minor leagues. We have a skipper who has a losing record as a manager and caught fire once in Colorado. For the most part, the only common thread our players and coach have in their MLB career is losing.

    We have seen what bringing in a guy who has “been there and done that” can do to a pitching staff and, on a lesser scale, a team. A.J., who has had success and is a true professional that has played on the biggest stage, revitalized the pitching staff and provided guidance to pitchers who have shown flashes of above average potential but couldn’t put it all together. Look in the dugout and watch how the other starters are always around him. Sure, there have been bumps along the way with our starters, but I think we can all agree that for the most part we’ve seen a significant improvement in our starters from what we saw last year. We need an “A.J.” for our position players. Until then, the players will rally around the guys that have success game to game (e.g., Cutch, GIJ) but, when all is said and done, all they know how to do is lose as well.

    On another note, it’s amazing that we actually get all fired up when CH starts Barajas over McKenry. I’ve watched both. Truthfully, McKenry isn’t much of an upgrade. He has as many holes in his offensive as Barajas. And prior to Friday, a bunch of us wanted to DFA Barmes. Now, not so much. He does look like a top 3 shortstop compared to our options, doesn’t he now? And all those minor leaguers we wanted up to replace guys on the field? The cries (mine included) to “free” Clement, d’Arnaud, Marte, Holt, etc., felt great and justified at the time, but did we really think that any of the AAA studs were going to come up and instantly make us a better team? For the most part, no. But lost in the shuffle was the reason we wanted them “freed” in the first place — our current options taking the field every day weren’t all that good.

    Until the Pirates’ front office makes the commitment to bring in legitimately successful player(s) rather than trying to find the diamond in the rough on the cheap, we’ll be seeing a lot of this in years to come.

    I apologize for the morning rant. I’m not one to post, but I woke up this morning needing to vent a bit after watching the game last night. Funny, but despite ourselves, we’re still only 2.5 games back from the wild card. So, I’ll be tuning in to Roots tonight at 7:00 for more pain and anguish. Every time I think I’m going to quit this addiction, I keep on coming back for more. In fact, yesterday I re-upped my season tickets for next year and actually paid for the first 3 rounds of this year’s playoffs. I have a phone conference at 11:00 this morning about this bridge up in NYC they have for sale, too. I think it might be a good deal. Have a great day

  98. Slick says:

    Hurdle made some questionable calls, but when you get a leadoff double, followed by a walk and your best player gets a little league infield dribbler/hit, and your big bopper pulls the ground ball into force out, what else is there to say? And then there was Tabata being Tabata. Bottom line, Cutch or Pedro need a hit that leaves the infield and Bucs get at least ONE run.

    Top 14

    1.Brock Holt doubles (2) on a line drive to left fielder Ryan Ludwick.
    Offensive Substitution: Pinch-hitter Eric Fryer replaces Chris Leroux.
    2.Eric Fryer walks.
    3.Andrew McCutchen singles on a soft ground ball to third baseman Todd Frazier. Brock Holt to 3rd. Eric Fryer to 2nd.
    4.Chase d’Arnaud flies out to center fielder Chris Heisey.
    5.Pedro Alvarez grounds into a force out, first baseman Joey Votto to catcher Devin Mesoraco. Brock Holt out at home. Eric Fryer to 3rd. Andrew McCutchen to 2nd. Pedro Alvarez to 1st.
    6.Jose Tabata grounds out to first baseman Joey Votto.

  99. Scott says:

    “Earned run averages of some of the big-name pitchers traded at the deadline with their new teams: Anibal Sanchez, Miami to Detroit, 4.40; Ryan Dempster, Cubs to Texas, 4.36; Zach Greinke, Milwaukee to Angels, 4.18; Josh Beckett, Boston to Dodgers, 3.86; Wandy Rodriguez, Houston to Pittsburgh, 3.56; Paul Maholm, Cubs to Atlanta, 3.48.”

    ” The batting average and approximate OPS of three outfielders traded at the deadline (stats thru Sunday): Shane Victorino, Philadelphia to Los Angeles, .245, .640; Hunter Pence, Philadelphia to Los Angeles, .225, .650; Travis Snider, Toronto to Pittsburgh, .272, .770″

    Great numbers, but they’re entirely irrelevant. Unless you’re going to argue that Neal Huntington had a crystal ball and KNEW these big name players would suck for the rest of the season.

    The fact is, he had to upgrade the team more than he did. I don’t believe he should be fired (I would fire Hurdle first), but you cannot absolve Huntington for this team’s collapse. He played a major role in it by not upgrading the team at the deadline.

    If you bring in Victorino or Dempster or Pence or Maholm and they fail, at least you can say you tried. Huntington didn’t even try.

  100. The Gunner says:

    BTW – Ryan Ludwick put the Bucs down for the count last night. Last night is not the 1st time Ludwick put it to the Bucs. NH, the excellent judge of talent that he is, decided Nate McLouth was a better alternative for 2012 & didn’t even pursue Ludwick.

    Need I say more, NH is the one who needs to go. Clearly, he is in over his head. 2/3 of the BMTIB/BMTIS need to go (including Frank “the Tanked” – most of us know what a piece of trash he is and Frank has been pretty low profile as of late).

    It would be nice if they made me eat these words, but they won’t.

  101. NMR says:

    @Scott

    What you said truly blows my mind.

    You would rather say “we tried” than get better actual production on the baseball field. I don’t have words to describe that.

    Please, humor me. How is it that San Diego, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia have somehow managed to play better in the second half, despite their GM’s not “trying”?

    Miracle?

  102. Thundercrack says:

    I kept screaming at the TV : What out for a slow roller to shortstop from Ludwick!!

  103. Thundercrack says:

    Scott,
    Do you know who the Pirates starting pitcher was last night?

    I think he was part of NH ‘trying’ at the deadline.

  104. Derek Smith says:

    I’ll tell yah what, this “collapse” is worse than last year, at least to this point. This time, it just seems like they are finding a way to lose, which they shouldn’t be considering what they went through last year, and the veteran leadership they have. It is just painful!

    Now, the main positive is that it isn’t just the Pirates that are losing. The Dodgers, even after that trade, are not winning consistently. The Cardinals, as ESPN has dubbed them as “the team who always finds ways to win,” have struggled just as bad! So they are still in it, and with 22 games left, they still have plenty of time, but they do need to start winning soon!

    I am 16 years old (I am schooled at home for all who are wondering why I am not there), never witnessed a winning season. Last year was awesome, and I was NOT shocked by the collapse, thought that it could even be better for them by giving them that experiance.

    I didn’t expect them to reach 16 games over .500, but I thought they would at least get to that 82 win hump. And then with A.J. Burnett, Rod Barajas, Clint Barmes, they have all been there before! That postseason experiance our Bucs needed!

    My family lives about 3 1/2 hours away in Bradford PA, and it is hard to get my dad to go on trips, so we finally, along with a couple friends bought tickets, hotel room for a couple nights in Robinson, and thought we would see an excited environment, something I have never witnessed before, SEPTEMBER BASEBALL! And they got swept by a team who was out of it by June, and on a 6 game losing streak coming to PNC PARK. 7 E’s and a 12-2 loss Friday. Wow! Not what I expected, but come back, just like they did agaist the Astors, and they would be fine. Grilli blows it Saturday, so I just wanted to see them salvage a game. Grilli blows it Sunday, stunned. And it wasn’t all Grilli, what was with Pedro hacking at seemingly everything over the weekend, including last night? Stayed up and watched all 14 innings, and I don’t know what to think.

    I am still gonna be supportive just like I have my entire childhood. I have watched games and followed everything with them since I was 5, and I am not going to stop considering they are 4 games over .500 on September 11th, but I don’t know what to think. LETS GO BUCS! LETS GO ZOLTAN!

  105. Thundercrack says:

    Maybe the Phillies got better by getting rid of Victorino and Pence?

    Is that ‘reverse trying’?

  106. nate83 says:

    NMR

    Great post at 66.

    But shame on you. Facts should never be part of any arguement, and our GM should definatley have the ability to see into the future and know that a player will perform well below their career averages when he picks them up with what little money he is afforded to spend by the owner.

  107. The Gunner says:

    too bad Bob Nutting can’t be fired. So, fire Frank (the Tanked) and NH (aka Opie).

  108. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Pedro is in one of his mini-slumps. Hurdle should rest him and let Headley play a couple games at 3rd. Oh, wait…………

  109. Jandy says:

    casper, the only problem I have with your rant is staying The Fort isn’t much of an upgrade over Barajas. Baloney. Other than that, rant on! :)

  110. Naje says:

    Lucky… a “mini slump’…? That’s an 0-6 chalupa he threw out there with 4Ks… that ALONE is a mini slump…

  111. Jandy says:

    LOL Lucky, are you standing in for Drew? or Milo?

  112. Naje says:

    I wonder if this column was DK’s “Tuesday surprise….”

    Thinking that the Tuesday surprise may be put on the back burner for a day or two….

  113. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Just read RB’s take on the game.

    I found this statement a little disturbing “It seemed for a moment that the situation would escalate, as Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett stormed out of the dugout halfway onto the field — but none of his teammates followed.”

    I don’t know if anybody else is bothered by that or not, but if AJ was leading the way out there, what was everybody else doing? Taking notes?

  114. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Re: Brandon Phillips

    If anyone is on twitter and saw BP’s “racist” comment, did anybody happen to check out what he had to say 2 or 3 tweets prior to that one?

  115. Thundercrack says:

    Ryan,
    Maybe all of AJ’s teammates and the rest of the Reds knew that the right thing to do was to let it play out first before going on the field.

    I think AJ jumped the gun.

  116. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Jandy and Naje,

    Just being a smart mouth. It’s easy to look back and say the league leader in RBI’s could have been had for a prospect, but where would we have played him? This mess is a total team effort, not to be dumped on 1 or 2 players or even Clint or the FO. Total team effort, equalling sadness for Pirate fans everywhere.

    Just to feed Roberto fodder, we still have not exceeded last season’s win total yet, so the word “improvement” doesn’t qualify until we win #73. Hurdle said before the Cub series that this team had the stuff to go on one of those long streaks like the 2007 Rockies. But not 20 losses in a row, right? Or is that what he meant?

  117. Jandy says:

    Lucky, I like it when you’re a smart mouth. And I agree with you on the total team effort/blame/loss.

    I don’t know if Clint himself knows what to do/say/think anymore.

  118. albatross says:

    @Jandy

    “hey twentytwo22, leave women out of your lame comments, dude.”

    I’m in the Jandy camp. That was a stupid thing to say about women.

  119. Richard Roberts says:

    I like Hurdle and think he’s done a fine job. But he needs to pay for his baffling moves last night and the second consecutive colossal collapse. Hurdle should be fired and Nick Leyva be named the interim manager for the rest of 2012. Thanks for playing and we’ll see you later.

  120. casper in a-town says:

    Hey Jandy! When I typed that “Barajas -vs- McKenry” comment, I knew that you’d respond to that. Having read your posts about Hot Rod Barajas over the past few weeks, I figured you couldn’t resist. It’s sort of funny how us “creepers” get a sense for those of you who post regularly. Anyway, I do stand by that comment, but certainly understand your beef with Barajas. However, query this: If Barajas was out of the picture, do you really think you’d be happy with McKenry as our every day catcher? What makes McKenry so attractive is how ugly Barajas looks, which I grant you is pretty ugly. Heckuva great guy by all accounts but personality don’t win beauty contests.

  121. Dave says:

    @ Boise

    The Tigers made Gonzalez a huge contract offer in 1999 for 140 million over 8 years and he rejected it. The Tigers went out and sign Ivan Rodrigez and Magglio Ordonez to long term deals. I’d say it worked.

    On the other hand following the 2003 season the Royals signed an aging Juan Gonzalez to a 4.5 million dollar contract and Doug Linton to a contract.

    Which one sounds Piratey to you? I’m leaning toward Kansas City with this management groups track record.

  122. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Thunder

    Not between these 2 teams. AJ’s the leader on the team, no doubt and for him to go out there and bark at BP shows that he’s behind his teammates.

    This has been brewing for awhile now.

  123. NMR says:

    @casper

    I enjoyed your rant, as well. And the manner in which you responded to Jandy.

    @Ryan

    Care to share Phillips other tweets? I can’t imagine a worse display of sportsmanship than a racial comment. That looks bad on not only the player and the team, but the city.

  124. Gerry Dawes says:

    The more moves Hurdle tries to make to influence the outcome of a game, the worse things get. Last night was a game that should go squarely in his column with a blown save for Huntington. Taking Rodriguez out when he had pitched so well and did not have a high pitch count. Pinchrunning for Jones in that situation.

    Why so many times this year has Hurdle called for a bunt with a man on second and no one out? Why give up an out? These are supposed to be major league hitters. Even a ground ball will often move the runner to third, but there is also the chance of a hit, when a bunt is almost a sure out and the Pirates need all the outs they can get!

    Hurdle tries to play “little” ball without a little ball team.

    And need we get back on the Killer Bees at the bottom of the lineup night after night even as the Pirates slide to the point where a given .500 season and finally breaking the streak was a given a month ago? This collapse, even more than last year’s debacle is unforgivable and more than one someone should loose their jobs.

  125. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @NMR

    Let’s just say it was similiar to Pouncey’s last year.

    OK, OK, OK….DK, don’t kick me out “motivated my N***** and we’ll never divide”

    Classy statement

  126. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Probably parts of a song, but I don’t really know….

  127. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I’m sorry, but NH, FC, BN has zero to blame on this latest skid. The players and CH’s managing calls have put this team in the situation that its in.

    The fact that they are even brought up during a losing streak, is mind boggling.

  128. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Since playoffs has been MIA, here’s a line for todays lineup.

    IN/OUT Rod Barajas in the lineup?

    I got 100 on the IN.

    Its really getting ridiculous. The guy should’ve been DFA’d before Bedard.

    DK: Thanks for doing this, Ryan.

  129. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    DK,
    No problem, I have some catching up to do and wanted Top 3 status for a free gift, ya know, beside high blood pressure. I reserve that for football season.

  130. casper in a-town says:

    Thanks, NMR! And Ryan — I agree 100%. When all is said and done, doesn’t it always come down to the guys in the dugout? And how many excuses do we want to make for our shortcomings in that dugout? Bottom line is, no matter how discouraged a player(s) gets because of CH’s decision to yank a guy or make a switch, isn’t it true that the player is paid to play through the discouragement? If I let a co-worker affect my performance, dare I say I may be out of a job pretty soon. Professionals, and gamers who are true gamers, rise to the occasion despite the chaos around them. We don’t have too many of those. It’s great to come to the plate when we’re up a few runs with runners on and rake (no pressure), but who on our team has the intestinal fortitude to step into the box with ego and confidence when the score is tied or we’re down a few runs and make things happen? Quite frankly, I’m not sure I can point to one guy on our squad who I’d want up in that critical situation. Can you? And when it is crunch time, I can truthfully say I don’t think about NH, FC, BN or anyone but the guy in the box or the on-deck circle.

    Slow day at work, so I post.

  131. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Ladies and Gentlemen, on a side not, that really shouldn’t be but understandably so being a sports blog, I’d like to remind everybody that today is a day of rememberance.

    Everytime this date comes around brings a lot of emotions to this guy. I remember exactly where I was, like I’m sure many of all of us do.

    I just finished up my 4th year in the Air Force and was on leave, got called back from leave and showed back up at my base that looked completely different than when I left.

    I know we like to bash the Pirates and sometimes each other. Most of it is in good fun and I’m one that does the bashing from time to time, but remember, we wouldn’t be able to do this if it werent for the sacrifices some make and those that paid the ultimate sacrifice on this date, hard to believe 11 years ago.

    I’m not a heavily religious guy, but God Bless you all and God Bless the United States of America

  132. Jandy says:

    @albatross #118 ~ why, thanks, friend :)

    casper, I make no secret of the fact I like the Fort, do I? lol Honstly, I DO like Barajas….I’d love him if he were a coach/advisor. Given that TBMTIB gives us few options, including catcher, Fort is the most attractive one we have right now…and any manager should run with his best players. Period.
    But hey, it’s great to disagree amicably, that’s what’s one of the fun things on this blog.

  133. RobertoForever says:

    Playing the blame game today is so far down my list.

    On 9/11, I like to reread the story my friend wrote about the day he was in the North tower on 9/11 and the coincidences and decisions that resulted in his life being spared.

    Puts these discussions in context.

    #NeverForget

  134. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Oral Roberts’ Son #119,

    Good thing Uncle bob hasis is still asleep or on his bus run. He is not the president of the the Nick Leyva fan club. He called for his head back in the early part of the season. He might like him even less than he likes CH.

    Ryan,

    Well said on #131. Also echoed by others today.

  135. Jandy says:

    I’ve been mulling over AJ coming out on the field and no one following him out. Both sides make a good point, but I have to side with the guys SHOULD have followed him out, and stood together. This goes back to jackwagon beaning Cutch, it was due to come. Too bad no one else had the cajones to follow AJ out. Just my humble opinion ;)

  136. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Jandy

    Looks have nothing to do with a starting position……..LOL. I kid

  137. Jandy says:

    Ryan, what Lucky said ^^ there. God Bless YOU too.

  138. JoeBucco says:

    Hard to rip Barajas for being in the lineup one sentence before taking about how good was. Rod calls good games and is fluent in Spanish. so no concern here that he was in the game when he was, and then pulled after Wandy left.

    Plenty of things to blame in a game like this. but you have bases loaded and nobody out, you need to score. I don’t care who is up, these are major league baseball players.

  139. Jandy says:

    Ryan, lol, I was playing along with Casper, he started the looks thing, I played along lol.

  140. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Lucky

    I’m sure Bob would’ve wanted Leyva to send the runner on that tag up play. I thought Wehner broke down the decision perfectly. It was the right call.

  141. Milo Hamilton says:

    @Jandy

    If I weren’t under a self-imposed Pirates gag order, I would agree with you 100%. Where exactly was everybody ?

  142. JoeBucco says:

    How good Wandy was, is what that should have said. sorry

  143. JRay3 says:

    @ Ryan – #131, @ RobertoForever – # 133

    Just would like to piggyback and echo those sentiments on this day of remembrance.

  144. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Thanks Jandy….

  145. JoeBucco says:

    @Jandy – I’m with you. AJ is proving to be one of the only guys on this team with any fight in them at all. You saw right then and there how much fight was in everyone else.

  146. Jandy says:

    Milo, thanks friend. It’s nice to know I’m not out in left field alone ;)

    JoeBucco, I followed your train of thought, even if it was a bit wavy !

  147. JoeBucco says:

    @Roberto… is it a publicly viewable story, on a blog or anything? would like to read myself if you can share.

  148. cmat0829 says:

    DK: Completely agree on the critique of the move removing Wandy from the game and for starting Barajas at C and for pinchrunning for Jones. But the Pirates lost this game because the players did not execute. I agree Wandy should have stayed in the game but going to a sinkerballer in that bandbox to avoid the fluke game-leading HR is not the most horrible move…Hughes has to locate the pitch much better than he did. Period and end of story.

    What about the offense and the once again atrocious approaches at the plate? Wehner covered that very well (he is the best Pirates analyst by a long mile)…. bases loaded and no one out…. pitcher a bit wild….and sanchez and pedro swing at first pitch “pitchers” pitches?

    So I agree with the anger toward Clint, but I prefer to direct my anger more productively… I’m sick of the players just not getting it done…and not getting any smarter or better as they get the same situation (opportunity) to improve… and that includes Cutch…. is a manager change (which I absolutely do NOT condone) really gonna make the players suck it up and just do it???????

  149. JoeBucco says:

    @Jandy – yep, sorry. reading and posting from my phone at Dulles airport while waiting on a flight. auto correct wreaks havoc on my posts.

  150. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    JRay

    I have to agree with your last statement on last nights game thread.

    “Well I want to thank the Pittsburgh Pirates as they have once again played to the point where the losses no longer even bother me in a season. I have become numb to it, go into each day expecting it. Back to just catching the score at nights end or in the morning news.”

    Its a shame what this team has become. I feel as if disappointing isn’t a strong enough term.

  151. cmat0829 says:

    OH and as to the Brandon Phillips stuff…..

    1) If Hughes hit him on purpose, it was STUPID STUPID STUPID. To put the winning run on base (I know it was 8th inning but with Chapman, same thing……) is absoultely the worst time to pull that move. Would have liked a bit of commentary on that not being remotely a good time to do it.

    2) Phillips is talented but let’s just say he is not the most “heady” player on the field. he often makes routine plays difficult by attempting flash and his reaction there was way beyond the pale.

    3) If Phillips is ranting about racism then he needs to check himself, big time.

  152. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Milo/Jandy

    That was the point of my comment…I didn’t see it, but did it seems as though AJ was Bluto from Animal House. When he was trying to fire up the guys and ran out of the Delta House by himself…..hilarious

    “did we give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?”

  153. JoeBucco says:

    @cmat – agreed. Hughes does his job there and it is a great move, probably a much needed win and this blog is full of happy playoff thoughts.

  154. RobertoForever says:

    @JoeBucco

    I wish I could. He sent it to only a few friends as part of his catharsis on the first anniversary. I was honored to have him share it with me. But as far as I know he has never shared it.

    Still have it to read it in chunks. Too much to absorb in one reading.

  155. cmat0829 says:

    Oh…and one more thing… Starling Marte needs to find some pine and ride it for the rest of the season. He is LOST out there right now… no shot at a productive at bat and shaky in the field.

    Let’s not hear from the *FREE STARLING MARTE* crowd right now. I love the player and want him in the lineup April 1 and beyond in 2013, but right now, geesh.

  156. JoeBucco says:

    Which is better, to be in the race all year and enjoy the ride, even with a collapse? or have a late season surge, missing out on a summer of caring only to wake up in September with your team 2.5 games back of the Pirates and in the thick of the wild card race?

    yes, I know. Brewers win that one. ugh.

  157. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Cmat

    I have to disagree with you on Marte. yea, he’s looked bad on some AB’s but has looked good on others as well. He’s still a young guy. The option is Alex Presley. I don’t like that option at all. Totally against AP getting anything but a late inning PR appearance. But that’s just me.

  158. JoeBucco says:

    @Roberto… Yep, understandable.

    I always make a point to listen to the Howard Stern broadcast from that day (easy to find out there in google). I had that on while working that morning, and it was my main source of news that day. Regardless of what anyone thinks of him, it was quite a broadcast that day, combined with news accounts.

  159. Jandy says:

    Ryan, if Lurch did say N*****, I have this to offer:
    There are many of the black race who call each other that term. But don’t dare let a white man say it. Baloney!

  160. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Jandy

    Oh I know…..I know.

  161. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Lurch?

  162. Jandy says:

    Seems to me Phillips was being a punk and asking for an azz whoopin’. lol

  163. Jandy says:

    Oh, sorry, I call Hughes Lurch. Just one of my nicknames lol.

  164. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Oh made sense. I read that wrong….its fitting

  165. cmat0829 says:

    @Ryan:

    I’m really referencing Marte post-injury… if he had a good at bat since then, other than the double to right off of Broxton last night, I’m missing it… he has missed bunt attempts, struck out looking a few times and swung hopelessly others. RIght now Tabby looks the best at the plate, followed by Presley and then Marte. At least in the Cmat confidence-while-watching index which we know is all that matters.

  166. cmat0829 says:

    If leyland were running the team, me thinks we’d have seen a ‘let the scrubs play’ Sunday lineup by now and those seemed to work more often than not especially against an elite pitcher. Maybe that is the move here…. d’Arnaud at 3B, Mercer at SS, Holt at 2B, Sanchez at 1B, Fryer at C, Presley/Tabata/JayHey in the outfield?

  167. Jandy says:

    I wonder if we could get Leyland to come back here? He’s prolly run screaming saying “No! NO!” lol

  168. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    The key to hitting is timing. Marte’s is off. But I’m still putting him out there over AP every day of the week.

    If Leyland was managing this team the payroll would be over $100Mil.

    That’s the only teams he “manages” these days. So tired of Leyland

  169. cmat0829 says:

    @Ryan… we seem to agree on most things which is good/scary… I too tired of Leyland and he long ago morphed into a “want to manage veteran-laden teams” manager vs. the scrappy young manager who fit a young up and coming team so well….. but with the leaders scuffling supposedly due to “trying too hard” maybe a yard sale lineup would have been the move, say..on Sunday afternoon.

  170. nate83 says:

    In defense of the players on the bench that didn’t follow AJ out. Most are AAA players just called up that have no history with the whole Cutch getting hit. Most of the everyday players are in the field at the time and they are not going to charge in for a fight unless they see both benches emptying.

    I respect and love AJ’s emotion but he probably jumped the gun a little running out. Benches don’t empty until the original two guys involved in the argument are making some sort of rapid movement towards each other not just yelling back and forth.

    If AJ wants to show some sort of support for his teammate he should and probably will throw at Phillips or Votto when he pitches and I am sure when the they take one step towards AJ every single one of his teammates will have his back and empty the bench.

  171. NMR says:

    I’m sorry, Jandy, but I don’t care how big of a punk Phillips is.

    There is ABSOLUTELY no room in society for that kind of treatment.

  172. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Nate

    I believe Phillips has earned that plunking….Isn’t he the leadoff hitter? There ya go. Bottom 1, earhole

  173. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Cmat

    Agreeing with me is the way to go…..at least that’s how I see it.

  174. nate83 says:

    Jandy

    Living near Detroit I can tell you for sure that Tiger fans would be jumping with joy if Leyland left. They do not like the guy one bit. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t hear about what bad move Leyland made in the game the night before even if they won. I guess all fans hate their managers.

  175. Jandy says:

    NMR I have to agree with you, but I’m just sayin, it’s the context of what was said…of which we don’t know for sure…that makes all the difference.
    And I’m so tired of that card being played. It’s just getting worn out. But again, that’s just my humble opinion.

  176. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    NMR

    Relax, she didnt say he deserved it….though he is a punk and we have no clue right now who actually said what?

    Just some loudmouth desided to blast it on twitter.

  177. Jandy says:

    nate83, that’s just it. I cannot see him being a bad manager. But then, we have Clint Hurdle, so what do I know? lol

  178. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Nate

    You mean other fans second guess the managers moves? NO way!!

    Funny, they do that with Bochy all the time too…what does he know?

  179. Michael says:

    The 30 minutes of Dejan and Steigerwald that I just listened to was spectacular. Just terrific perspective on a season on the brink of being lost, and a front office and owner that have very little concept of what it means and takes to be a winner.

    DK: Thanks, Mike. They’re making a podcast of it. Should have it soon.

  180. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Jandy

    You’re living in the past….Leyland hasn’t had to manage a team since 96′ and if he did, he left…(see Rockies stint)

  181. Jandy says:

    Michael, rubbing salt in our wounds, are ya? Gee thanks! :p

    Ryan, NMR and I can disagree, he isn’t gonna pop me one…yet lol

  182. nate83 says:

    Ryan

    I wouldn’t be surprised. It is what a confident baseball team does. If they would have done it after Cutch got hit maybe that would have lit a fire under these guys. Baseball is so much about confidence and momentum. It feels like they go up to plate right now feeling like things are going to go wrong. I’m not sure this team is as good as the 15 above .500 team earlier in year but I know they are better then the 11 below .500 they have been since that point.

  183. Jandy says:

    Ryan, you have a solid point there, I haven’t kept up with leyland at all, so I will bow out of that one…shows my ignorance on that subject. But hey, give me points for learning :)

  184. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Michael

    Wish he’d broadcast that on here….course, I probably wouldn’t be able to get to it.

  185. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Jandy

    I know you’re a big girl and can handle your own. I didnt see your post before mine……that’s all, thought you might’ve disappeared for awhile.

  186. NMR says:

    @Jandy – You just better not step into the box against me. I can toss a mean slow-pitch softball!

  187. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Nate

    The only problem with doing after Cutch got hit was the situation. Sometimes I think pitchers try to bait other pitchers/teams into those sort of things. In due time is what everyone said….we’ll see.

  188. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @NMR

    LOL, a little chin music with the softball..I like it, might’ve done before as well…though rarely on purpose.

  189. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Jandy

    points earned……..none deducted……yet.

    Its not that I follow Leyland. I follow baseball. Not just the Pirates.

  190. Jandy says:

    Ryan, hey, feel free to be my hero anytime, I like it =) (as for disappearing, I AM working, believe it or not, I’m auditing a project. So I may take a while to comment)

    NMR, c’mon, dude, bring it! I’ll fly in on my broom (in turbo mode, no less) and steal your softball :p

  191. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Jandy

    I’m working as well….just actually having a down day..kinda nice, but I’ll be bored here in a minute.

  192. buggee says:

    Raise the jolly shuttlecock… or something

  193. Milo Hamilton says:

    While everyone has been left to speculate due to a vague accusation, isn’t it up to Brandon Phillips to produce the goods here ? What was said & who said it. Specifically, all the gruesome details. Don’t hide behind vague tweet. If there is a racist among us, call him out. And let him be punished by major league baseball. But if Phillips is found to have made this up, the punishment for him should be every bit as severe. Not to mention whatever happens to him on the field.

  194. GlassHalfFull says:

    @Ryan #128

    Thanks for picking up the Window. As best as I can tell, these are the latest standings. They’re from the 8/26 game post #121. I didn’t include the prizes because I don’t know if they’re still being offered. Good luck and thanks again.

    CURRENT PARTICIPANT TOTALS
    JRay3 ** 1925
    pattonbb ** 1900
    Nate83 ** 1715
    Mlrgenuine ** 1680
    Chico ** 1530
    Curt ** 1200
    radio wave ** 1080
    Slack Boss ** 1035
    RobertoForever ** 1025
    Mike C. ** 1000
    cosmo ** 975
    Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) ** 850
    Bizrow ** 845
    Jay G -Jacksonville FL via New Castle ** 835
    manny_sanguine ** 750
    crkkid ** 725
    dcpinpgh ** 650
    JohninOshkosh ** 550
    stuart66 ** 530
    Arriba Wilver ** 470
    DemonDachshund ** 400
    Karen22 ** 400
    Steve J Smith ** 400
    dcpfjr ** 350
    JMB ** 350
    Naje ** 350
    Evan ** 303
    JaxBuc ** 300
    Absolute59 ** 300
    Hal Smith ** 300
    JD ** 275
    MarkV ** 275
    likeabugonarug ** 207
    Stennettorian ** 150
    Kevin ** 100
    jeffsbar ** 100
    milo66 ** 100
    lckythump ** 100
    buggee ** 100
    DK ** 100
    McG ** 100
    Sir Lochsby ** 50
    tmp444 ** 5
    Milo Hamilton ** 0
    swissvaletoarizonapat ** 0
    NMR ** 0
    Dan1283 ** 0
    Drew 71 ** 0
    Bucco_Jax ** -1
    Officer Mancuso ** -20
    cmat0829 ** -50
    JUCOfan ** -75
    TK ** -100
    Petro Steel ** -100
    Joe Bucco ** -100
    K. PenFan ** -100
    Rocco ** -100
    albatros ** -100
    OZ ** -150
    bman ** -160
    lawnbeaver ** -350
    Pants-n-at ** -400
    Stickyweb ** -425
    Kevin S ** -500
    bob hasis ** -550
    GlassHalfFull ** -805
    Boise Bucco ** -900
    TDB1977 ** -1240

  195. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I talked about my perception of FO last night on first pitch thread (35), and some may not agree with me, which is fine, but it all comes down to the top. The fact is that this organization’s real leaders don’t really care about winning a championship and, quite frankly, they are inept if that is their goal. They certainly don’t care like your everyday fan which, last time I checked, are the ones who pay for their product. Yeah it’s a business for them, but they suck at what they are doing. My all-you-can-eat-seat experience shows how they take a great marketing concept and even managed to screw that up. I wasn’t the only one complaining about waiting for almost 45 min for a hot dog the size of my finger because they are too cheap to build another concession stand. But as long as they got their couple hundred bucks from me, their mission’s accomplished.

  196. NMR says:

    Somebody tell Milo to quiet down over there… :)

  197. Milo Hamilton says:

    @NMR

    Sorry, too loud ?

  198. NMR says:

    *putsinearplugs*

  199. albatross says:

    To start, I feel that the bench-clearing brawls in baseball are stupid and useless. Also, why do the bullpens always run all the way in to the infield and then start fighting? That shows me it’s all silly posturing.

    Having said that, I agree that AJ shouldn’t have come out of the dugout. I also think that the players should have backed him up, even if they just came out and stood with him to show solidarity. Even worse, if it was a calculated step by him to motivate the team, he failed miserably.

  200. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Don’t know if anyone else agrees, but Pedro’s butt should be on the bench tonight. Not even so much because he hit poorly, but the first inning K was in the dirt and he pretty much jogged to first base. Yeah he’s not a speedster. But even he could have at least made that play close if he actually RAN. If he makes contact and the ball doesn’t make it out of the infield, he automatically becomes a pedestrian power walker. Not how to play the game. Yeah this far into the season things become routine. But nothing is ever automatic when humans are involved- at least the last time I checked anyway.

  201. Boise Bucco says:

    If we find out that Hughes really said what is being implied that he said, and you guys are defending him…that really smacks of Paternoism if you ask me. Just sayin’. I’m not saying that he said it, but I’m not saying that he didn’t either. I didn’t watch the game, but I know that Brandon Phillips doesn’t randomly tweet that someone called him a racial slur after every other game this year. C’mon now, nobody deserves that. If you don’t like the guy, plunk him and move on.

  202. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Milo

    Agreed, but you know it won’t go down that way. It will be one of those “we’re gonna keep it on the field” type of things.

  203. redus says:

    @albatross

    It is silly posturing…but it is tradition. When fights were fights, it was understood that the team at bat was outnumbered from the get-go…therefore, in baseball, emptying the benches is not thought of as uncouth. It’s all about equality.

  204. Jandy says:

    Milo, you’re hurting NMR’s ears! :X

    If you’re gonna cry about “RACISM” then put it out there or STFD and STFU!

  205. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Looks like Sid’s hard work and desire to play aren’t on Buttman and Fear’s to-do list. What a shame. And is anyone else worried that when James Harrison comes back he’s not going to be the impact player we’re used to and hoping for?

    DK: Emphatically agreed on both counts.

  206. Jandy says:

    Brad, don’t worry about Sid, he’ll just play in Europe to keep sharp.
    Don’t worry about Harrison either. He’ll come back and be in trouble before you can say “Oh snap!”

  207. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Agree Jandy. Harrison’s upcoming schedule… 1. Return. 2. Tackle quarterback. 3. Pay fine. 4. Serve suspension.

  208. pattonbb says:

    @Brad, I agree. Afraid Harrison’s best days are behind him.

  209. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    That’s if he hasn’t lost a step. After 2,000 unfortunate injuries and not getting any younger, have to wonder.

  210. djinwestpa says:

    @Jandy

    I’ve never heard you type like that!

  211. Jandy says:

    djinwestpa ~ LOL…hope it at least made you laugh ;X
    Seriously tho. This is MEN playing a sport. It’s not grammar school.
    If Lurch (Hughes) said something inappropriate, then spell it out. If not, then move on. And shut up! lol

  212. Jandy says:

    There’s a lot of quibbling going on here at the office today too. I guess it’s making me a bit edgy. Must be something in the air.

  213. djinwestpa says:

    @Jandy

    Maybe it’s the 20th-consecutive-losing-season that’s in the air.

  214. Jandy says:

    dj, that could be a HUGE part of it.
    Whereabouts in Western PA are you?

  215. LuckyNKentucky says:

    J-girl,

    That’s why you, as Mother Teresa, Nobel Peace Prize winner, must be “endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace”. (Eph.4:3)

    That’s why I enjoy this blog. Never too edgy.

  216. albatross says:

    @redus

    I guess I just prefer it the old way, when most of these issues were taken care of by the pitchers. If you had a brawl back then, you knew it was a really serious matter.

    The only recourse these days is the brawl, since the pitchers can’t retaliate.

  217. nate83 says:

    Brad,

    The Harrison thing actually had me worried last year. The guy is not that young and the way he plays has to take a toll on his body. I know he can play through a lot of pain but at some point that pain has to effect how fast you go.

    This is why I respect Ray Lewis so much. Even though I can’t stand the guy to play at his speed and intensity for this length of time is amazing.

  218. Reading says:

    Well, after this less than stellar weekend and Monday, at least the Ravens got smoked by the Bungles, and their defense looked terrible. Wait. What?

  219. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @B-Rad

    Harrison’s about done..if not done. His impact is gone, but his reputation might still help out for this season

  220. Jandy says:

    Lucky, believe it or not, I was acutally trying to keep the peace in here (my office). That’s what Mother Theresa would do. ;)

  221. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Hated to bring up another likely frustrating topic in Harrison, but Buccos are just killing me. Seeing stuff like Pedro rowing his boat down to 1st when he doesn’t have a guaranteed hit, team not scoring with bases loaded with no, none, zero, nada, zilch outs-went to bed directly after that- and hearing about (didn’t see it, thank God) CH pulling Wandy in that situation has me ready to pull what’s left of my hair out. Was nice to see Cutch hit a homer, but his swing is messed up. Slow-mo his swings and I bet you see his eyes arent on the ball and he looks like he’s going to give himself a hernia every time he swings the bat now. Had a pure hitter swing in first half-that’s gone. Final analysis: no one in that organization top to bottom has a clue what they are doing right now, except maybe GI Mayor Indiana Jones, and I’m sure he gets traded soon because his baserunning IQ isn’t all that..

  222. NMR says:

    para

    graphs

  223. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    are

    awesome

  224. Thundercrack says:

    Does anyone else think that Commissioner Bud should (quietly) tell the Astros to can the talk of Roger Clemens coming back to pitch for them?

  225. Jandy says:

    TC, Commissioner Bud is just as hypocritical as Clemens, so that would be like the pot calling the kettle black.

  226. pattonbb says:

    What are the chances that DK’s Tuesday Surprise might be that he found Doc’s Delorean from the “Back to the Future” movies. Maybe he plans on letting each member of the asylum take it and spend one glorious week in June, when the Buccos were a competitive, take no prisoners ballclub.

  227. Reading says:

    Clemens can pitch against the Pirates. Everybody else pitches their new phenom against the Pirates, e.g., Strasburg, why not the Lastros? Maybe that will be win 82 and ot will have an asterik saying “against 50 year old pitcher.” Losing streak being broken would be tainted.

  228. Jandy says:

    pattonbb, can we go back to the 60′s instead????

  229. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Isn’t DK’s surprise his new show he just announce on Twitter?

  230. Jandy says:

    well, twitter isn’t here! that’s no surprise!

  231. NMR says:

    Seriously disappointed he isn’t writing a book.

    Radio is a decidely #meh move for him, IMO.

  232. LuckyNKentucky says:

    “Hey, I’m starting up a weekly show on @TribLIVE_Radio beginning Tuesday at 1 p.m. That’s a first for me. Really looking forward to it.”

    There’s your Tweet, Jandy.

    DK: Was expecting to announce it here on the blog, but they kind of surprised me by bringing it up on the air today.

    Much more on the Wakeup Call.

  233. Jandy says:

    Lucky, I gotta tell ya, I feel robbed! :(

  234. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I thought maybe he’d set us all up with avatars and then we could see Drew’s wife’s poodle and Biz and Jandy’s dogs. (Or maybe not). Just a pix of Frank C. using Roberto Forever as a moniker would be enough for me.

  235. Jandy says:

    Lucky, I was kinda hoping for that too…esp. the FC using RF lol.
    But I DO wish Dejan success in his new endeavor :)

  236. Milo Hamilton says:

    DK,

    Just listened to your appearance with John Steigerwald. I feel so much better now. By the way, Nutting should start his firings with Joe Klimchak. Just because.

    Awesome stuff.

  237. Naje says:

    Always thought DK’s blog, even 5+ (7, 8?) years ago, was the most interesting chat forum…and when he started touching all the different topics at the old place, it WAS indeed, the best sports radio show that wasn’t on radio.

    He’ll bring Pittsburgh sports radio to another level.

    When you have a guy like Madden as your “go-to” radio personality–and however entertaining his show might purport to be–the level of talk is just, well, awful.

  238. Jandy says:

    OO0< OO0< OO0< OO0< OO0< OO0< OO0< OO0<

  239. cmat0829 says:

    DK: On your sulia post about the FO silence…. I did dig out the attached article on Frank Wren’s thoughts on the Braves collapse last September (boy some of the stats seem eerliy similar to the Bucs)….. http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-braves-blog/2011/10/06/wren-fredi-g-reflect-on-collapse-look-ahead/

    This came AFTER the season so I don’t know what comments he made during the collapse or if he let his manager manage the club and communications as after all, the FO pickups and trades are done at this point….

  240. Jandy says:

    Speaking of, where is Groat????

  241. cmat0829 says:

    Here are two scripts I would prefer for Clint and Neal to use right about now…..

    1) Hurdle: “I’m frustrated right now because this team has fought so hard to put itself in position for a playoff spot and we are not taking advantage of all that hard work. I’m frustrated because I’m not making all the right moves….and I’m frustrated that the players are not stepping up to September baseball and delivering. All of us…and that starts with me… need to step up, take the challenge and get it done. Nothing less than our best will do and we aren’t doing our best right now. It’s not about effort…and if it is, then we need to have our heads examined…it’s about results. And these results are not good enough, but more than that, there not worthy of what this team has built…each and every one of us, has built from the first day of Spring Training… I said then “It’s all about FINISHING” and by God, WE ARE GONNA FINISH this the right way. All of us…players, trainers, coaches, management, ownership… we are all in…. And “coming close” and “we were right there until September” is NOT GOOD ENOUGH”.

    2. Huntington: ” I agree with Clint in every way. I know how hard we’ve ALL worked to get to this point… we are growing in many ways and with growth comes challenges, but that last step is the most difficult. We need to dig deep and find a way and that battle starts within….. we can certainly revisit moves we made and moves we wanted to make and didn’t and moves we probably should have tried for but didn’t think of, but this is the TEAM we have now…the TEAM that has 22 games in front of us and an OPPORTUNITY to play hard, play well, and give it our all to make the playoffs. Anything less than our BEST EFFORT, every at bat, every play, every inning, every game is NOT GOOD ENOUGH. I stand with every man in that locker room and every man and woman in the entire organization… we’re in this together. What we’ve seen the past few weeks is not what we have built for, prepared for, worked so hard for. Let’s step it up, gentlemen, and do it for our fans, our city, our organization and our teammates!”

  242. cmat0829 says:

    DK, more opine about the FO “talking” or not talking at this point in the season….

    seems to me Huntington has two models of GM to follow…. the first is a “behind the scenes” type that beyond a few cliched answers really prefers not to litigate in the court of public opinion… and gives the manager full domain to represent the ML team and day to day musings….. the second is a “loves to talk inside baseball” GM (think of someone like Kevin Towers) that loves to talk specific deals, players, strategies, etc.

    The worst place to be (IMHO) is in the middle…sometimes you talk details when it supports your “spin” and sometimes you go into a shell and leave it to the manager. Neal has done that (Barmes stats/analysis to shut up fans that hate that signing) but other times is too quiet (doesn’t go into specific deadline deals or offers, like Soriano trade, that don’t happen despite Pirates best efforts)……

    Beyond the unforgiveable hyperbole of Nutting (the infamous and forever tagged BMTIB), let’s level set with Neal. He was a new hire as GM and unproven. Not clear that he is a “5-tool” prospect as GM but I do see growth there and he is definitely worth a few WAR as compared to Littlefield and Bonifay…. Maybe he will develop the tool that is communication and maybe he just doesn’t have it. With experience he will be able to avoid the trap of sharing info when it serves him and avoiding it when it doesn’t. That is ugly (and I’ll avoid the political comparisons unless you are going to announce a new weekly political podcast as another of your growth opportunities that eventually lead to you taking over the world)……

  243. Arriba Wilver says:

    Ryan–the twitter from Phillips you posted that has “N* * ” part in it was posted BEFORE the game last night.

  244. jason says:

    Where the heck is Daniel McCutchen. They really screwed him this year. Leaves him out there to roast in Atlanta and preforms masterfully and just screw him over this year. The Pirates Suck

  245. Frank says:

    Where is the ownership of sucking? How about we are going to practice batting everyday for 5 hours till we get better at it? If I performed at my job like this-I would be expected to put in however much time it takes to perform acceptably or be fired. Fire some people. Minor leaguers can lose like this, we dont need to pay major leaguers to lose.

 
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