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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: Spirit of the (online) radio

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Brief and to the Point …

>> The Wednesday column gives its all to quash the most seriously misguided description of the Steelers’ defense. It won’t work, but there it is.

>> Fun announcement to make this morning, right here on the blog: Next week, I’ll begin — for the first time — hosting a radio show.

(Waits for thunderous ovation and pit moshing to die down.)

It will be on TribLIVE Radio, our online-only station, and will run 1-2 p.m. each Tuesday. I’ll have guests, take calls but probably mostly just blather about whatever the hot topic is for the day or week.

Online radio, for those who haven’t tried it, is pretty simple. Point, click and listen on your laptop. We also have an iPhone app that you can find in Apple’s app store. Just search “TribLIVE Radio.” The app’s just as simple to operate, one click away from live audio.

Some folks listen to us on their phones through earbuds or a headset. Others listen in the car by attaching their phone to the car stereo. (This one’s actually getting a lot more popular.) Some wait for the podcast, which we’ll have ready for download with every episode. Others just choose to steal the boss’ time and listen live at work on the laptop. In the very near future, all cars will equipped with online radio, so we’re a bit ahead of the curve, but it’s also working well as is.

Looking forward to your input, and I mean that literally. I’ll solicit questions — as well as emails and even phone calls — right here in this space every Tuesday morning.

Oh, and for those on mobile, here’s the TribLIVE Radio app.

>> Through yet another hideous collapse from the Pirates — and that’s exactly what this is, including another flat-liner last night — what we’ve heard from the front office to show their displeasure with any facet of it is nothing.


The thought process remains coming up with explanations or excuses for failure. It’s always, well, this team wasn’t good enough, anyway. What did you expect us to do? What were our options?

If you can cite another team in town — let alone pro sports — that would react to two collapses with dead silence, I’m all ears.

>> Rob Rossi, our Penguins beat writer, begins a weekly chat today at 11 a.m.


  1. Don says:

    Awesome! Congrats, DK.

  2. diehard says:

    Seeing our inability to hit in pretty much any situation, I’ll ask again – will Greg Ritchie be employed beyond October 4? Will Neil Huntington?

  3. Justin Werth says:

    Well i just downloaded a new app ;). Looking forward to listening DK.

  4. Naje says:

    DK… you’ve been doing this radio show for years… your thoughts before sunrise, etc. It will be great and I’m really looking forward to it.

    Now, as for your piece on the Steelers… good stuff. And the somewhat predictable “where’s Timmons” edge to it. I get that… but you’ve done that several times in the past year. Is Timmons that easy to call-out? I mean, you have a point…BUT….

    Why doesn’t Pedro Alvarez get the same heaping of “where’s Alvarez?” In the aftermath of the 14 inning game, you cite Hurdle as the main, and nearly only, culprit in the loss.

    Yet an 0-6 with a golden sombrero gets no mention.

    At least Timmons registered 5 tackles…uneventful as they were.

  5. RobertoForever says:

    Good luck on your new endeavor.

    Also, love the Rush reference. Maybe a visit from Rush would perk up the clubhouse.

  6. Casey says:

    Can’t wait to listen to the show… Now i will sit back and patiently wait for the book you need to write on all those untold stories you think no one wants to read about. We know you’ve got them DK. Put them on paper please.

  7. Reading says:

    Congrats DK! Just downloaded the Droid app for Trib Live Radio. Also installed the sportsyapper app and checked out the sportsyapper thread for the game last night. So, I’m good to go now on all forms of media.

    Padres now up 6-4 in 8th. Another free loss, maybe. If 80-82 gets final WC spot, would anybody care about the streak? I say no. Playoffs are the only game that counts.

  8. pghboyinca says:

    I think Troy is not anywhere near the player he was 3 years ago. He is ALWAYS hurt now and his ability to make spectacular plays is non existant. I don’t think the D is old but the lack of a pass rush killed them last year and opening day was more of the same. Keisel was MIA as was Woodley.

    The Pirates have sunk to a new low, they have quite simply quit. As I have repeated ALL YEAR this is not the beginning of a sustained run of contending. Who starts the next 2 years? Who plays short? Who catches? Who is in the outfield beside Marte and Cutch? Who is on the bench? And most alarming do you trust Huntington to sign or draft position players?

    I am hoping this collapse forces his and Coonelly’s ouster, but I don’t think there is a chance of that. I think this regime is thriiled that they started fast and created a huge spike in ticket sales and they are silent now as Rome burns…..5 years in the making and this team and organization SUCKS. I believe this teams regresses next year.

  9. Reading says:

    Cards lose 6-4.

    FWIW, the Votto cut-off and flip to first to get Holt was ESPN’s Red Hot Web Gem- whatever that is.

  10. Even as I type I’m headed to the local pawn shop to trade my Bucco playoff tickets for a set of earbuds. DK is a great leading indicator of where the action will be when it comes to sports media technology.

  11. Reading says:

    The Pirates 2-8 record over the last 10 games is the worst such record in the NL, and tied with Boston for worst in MLB.

    Schedule the Parade!

  12. T.S. says:

    Diggin’ the awesome Rush reference, DK! Rock on!

  13. Boise Bucco says:

    Neal Huntington and Frank Coonelly aren’t out there losing 16 out of their last 21. We sure as heck weren’t complaining about them when the Bucs were 18 games above .500, seems awfully shortsighted to start now.

    “They keep running Rod Barajas out there” yeah, cause what are the other options? McKenry, sure, but who’s after him? Eric Fryer? Lol. Tony Sanchez finished the AAA season on the DL, so he’s not available. Who’s left, Ramon Cabrera? And when they DFA Hot Rod, they still gotta pay him. They’re not starting him anyway, that’s all Hurdle.

    “They keep running Clint Barmes out there” yeah, cause what are the other options? (man this sounds familiar) Mercer sure, but who’s after him? Boots Harrison? Chase D’Arnuh’oh? For a #8 hitter with a pretty good glove, Clint Barmes is just about what you need him to be, exactly that. Good glove, hits around .220-ish. Except, with the Bucs in free-fall mode, everybody wants him to be 23 year old ARod, and it’s just not gonna happen.

    I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that no one, not even the front office, predicted such a slump after the trading deadline. We knew they needed a bat, they knew they needed a bat. So they didn’t get Headley–water under the bridge at this point. They DID get Snider, and he’s been pretty decent. They DID get Wandy, and he’s been the ace during this slump, as hard as it is to believe. Heck, even Gaby hit a homer last night, maybe he might come around. Pence wasn’t worth it, Victorino wasn’t worth it, in retrospect Headley would’ve been, but that’s about it.

    You know why Huntington isn’t going anywhere? Even with this collapse, when is the last time the Bucs were over .500 this late in the season?

    Maybe his leash gets a little shorter next year. The Bucs got to 18 games over .500 this year, so now that everybody knows it can be done with Cutch, GFJ, Pedro, PRNW,, they’re gonna be expecting it next year, and probably the year after that, especially with Cole and Taillon on the way. If Nutting opens up the budget, and Huntington can work some FA magic, Bucs might be looking at a Nationals-type season next year, with Cole as the nu-Strasburg.

    Haha now THAT’s some Kool-Aid…

  14. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    DK: Thanks, guys, for all the kind words above.

  15. Boise Bucco says:

    Haha hey it works over here! Don’t know if anyone cares, but you can’t listen to 93.7 overseas anymore, it has something to do with overseas broadcasting rights or something, idk I read about it like 2 months ago. There used to be a workaround on iTunes, but they “fixed” the bug…Anywho, TribLive Radio works over here, so I’ll be downloading the podcast! Thanks for my yinzer fix!

  16. radio wave says:

    Thanks for the app.
    Amazing bucs are still only 2 1/2 back. Some team will back into it.

  17. Drew71 says:

    Can’t WAIT to hear Thunder call. I’ll PAY REAL MONEY if you refer to him as Mr Crack. But even if he uses his REAL name when he calls (Frank Burns), to use a Thunderism, that call will be “awesome”.

    Thunderous ovation, indeed.

    I hope you get Bob Nutting on. Seriously. Everyone’s favorite cartoon villain? Imagine the calls.

    But whoever you get, and even if it’s just you blathering…

    Very, very cool, Dejan. Best wishes.

  18. Thundercrack says:

    Can any sports fan explain to me why they think it is important to hear from someone in the Front Office NOW about this “collapse” by the Pirates?

    Does anyone think they are happy with what is going on? Would it make YOU feel better if you heard from them NOW? Are the players sitting in the clubhouse thinking “I wonder if the FO or owner is displeased with what is going on right now”. If they are doing that then they are dumber than a door nail and should have their priorities reevaluated. No one is happy with what is going on.

    If FC, BN, or NH came out today -or even next Tuesday on this new fancy internet radio show- and said “We’re not happy with the results of the team. This is unacceptable. There is much displeasure with what is happening” Would anyone care? And I would bet some money that members of the media in this town would say “Nice job of supporting your players”. I mean, we were already told that the FO doesn’t know how to act in a pennant race because they schedule a charity pigeon shoot on an off day after a road trip.

    By the way, if you listen to the old fashion radio on Sunday afternoons before the Pirate game you can hear Neal Huntington talk about the team. I have heard him voice his displeasure on the results of the team.

  19. Drew71 says:


  20. John Lease says:

    It’s 1999 all over again.

  21. Jandy says:

    I move that Thunder (aka Mr. Crack) be FIRST guest on your new Radio Show, DK.

  22. Drew71 says:

    Let’s name the show’s segment.

    Here are my suggestions…

    Thunder and Lightning
    Point / ThunderPoint
    Pardon the Thunderruption

  23. Jandy says:

    Heeeeeerrrreeee’s Cracker!

  24. Jandy says:

    Thunder On DaBurgh

  25. popsfan says:

    It would be fun to be a fly on the wall in the Pirate offices, to see which fingers are pointing at whom, but we’ll never hear what is really said. We won’t hear anyone take responsibility, we won’t hear anyone admit a mistake. If they know what went wrong, they will either fix it or not, depending on the cost, financial or otherwise.

    What we will probably see is a few minions fired in the off season and two or three low priced free agent gambles taken. Hurdle will be back, hopefully with the guts to admit how badly he needs strategic help and a new bench coach will be hired and maybe even heard. I will probably check in less and less and less…

  26. Thundercrack says:

    Maybe I can move my lunch hour to 1pm on Tuesdays and co-host the show. ( I hope it isn’t going to be John Steigerwald)

    Certainly there is room for both of our egos to share a show.

    If there is a studio cam available, I’ll be the one that looks like he attempted to comb his hair)
    By the way DK, congrats on the show. I have told you this before that I ‘get’ your points much more when you are on radio or tv. [and it is all about me] Just different than in print sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean I agree with them more on radio. You’re very good on radio.

  27. JAL says:

    JAL’s Rhode Island Is Famous For You Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)


    4—Pirates Prospects

    Pirates Notebook: Losing Streak Reaches Five; Karstens, Walker Feel Good After Sim Game
    First Pitch: Fire Neal Huntington? Let’s Keep Perspective

    Neal Huntington Should Be Fired

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates Lose Yet Again. What Else Is New?

    What’s Wrong With Being Organization of the Year?

    6 Rumbunter

    It Looks Like Pirates Reliever Jason Grilli Is Not a Fan of the Poni Express

    7 Hyzdu Headquarters


    8 The Green Weenie

    Buc Beat Themselves; Slide Continues 5-3

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Free fall reaches five

    10 Bleacher Report

    Brandon Phillips Accuses Pittsburgh Pirates Player of Racism

  28. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 CBS Sports

    Game Preview

    12 St Louis Post Dispatch

    Bernie Bytes: Cards’ disturbing late-season trend

    13 Chicago Tribune

    Pirates Report,0,4068910.story

    14 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Leake leads Reds past Pirates, 5-3

    15 CBC Sports

    Playoff-starved Pirates have pieces to succeed: Leroux

    16 The Kittanning Paper

    BUFFONE: Have the Pirates Done Their Job?

    17 Washington Post

    Sliding Pittsburgh Pirates fall 5-3 to Cincinnati Reds for 5th straight loss


    18 PBC Site

    Pirates can’t catch Reds, lose fifth straight

    Karstens, Walker optimistic after simulated game

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    What You Need to Know

    20 Fangraphs

    2012 Payrolls and Wins

  29. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Reasons Why The Steelers Should Use Jonathan Dwyer Over Isaac Redman This Week

    Heath Miller Announces His Return To Prominence In Steelers Offense

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Tomlin Won’t Commit To Dressing 8 Linemen, Says Harrison Not A Long Snapping Option

    23 Steelers Gab

    Steelers Loss to Broncos Draw Record Numbers for NBC

    24 Nice Pick Cower

    Call For Writers For FanSided’s Steelers Blog, Nice Pick Cowher

    Pitt Blogs

    25 Pitt Blather

    Various Things

    26 Cardiac Hill

    Coachspeak: Paul Chryst Addresses Media Before Pitt Vs. Virginia Tech

    WVU Blogs

    27 Metro News

    JMU Eyes Upset of ‘King Kong’

    28 WV Illustrated

    WVU Prepares for Home Away from Home


    29 Sky Sports

    England snatch late draw

    30 Daily Telegraph

    Kenny Dalglish calls for answers for families when Hillsborough files are disclosed

    31 World Soccer Daily

    10 stories you need to read, 11th September, 2012


    32 Pensburgh

    Afternoon skate: Farewell Nick Petersen, Sidney Crosby lockout plans, Rozy, lockout latest

  30. JAL says:

    Rhode Island Is Famous For You Erin McKeown 2008 From 1948 musical Inside USA

  31. Drew71 says:

    See? Even with an attempted compliment.


    This will be AWESOME

  32. Drew71 says:

    If I’m the Pirates owner, at this point, I’m quiet too.

    I’m evaluating.

    I’m seeing for the second consecutive year a near playoffs team turning into, for six weeks, the worst team in baseball for 4-6 weeks.

    Not bad. Worst. Playoffs to worst. Two years running.

    That just doesn’t happen in real life.

    As owner, there’s nothing I can say now that doesn’t sound trite. Contrived. Self serving.

    But I evaluate. I try to determine:

    – Were these playoff teams, or at least decent teams? Then did the manager lose them?
    – Were these mediocre teams, not well put together by the GM, that the manager had playing out of their minds until the dog days wore them down?

    I don’t ask that Q after just ONE season. But after two Playoffs to Worst seasons, I quietly make a decision, and AFTER the season invite one of the two gentlemen to join the Pirates Alumni Club, and go All In with the other.

  33. Milo Hamilton says:


    Would it stand to reason that the smallest state would have the smallest song selection ?

  34. NMR says:

    Wow, don’t think it gets any better than Drew in #32.

    You had me shaking my head in agreement at every point.

    “As owner, there’s nothing I can say now that doesn’t sound trite. Contrived. Self serving.”

    Insert GM/President in there as well.

    Honestly, what CAN be said that isn’t met with immediate cynicism?

  35. Milo Hamilton says:


    You forgot one thing. Which one costs me the least amount of money when I fire them ?

  36. ken robertson says:

    Song should be “Slip Sliding Away” Paul Simon

  37. The Gunner says:

    Hard to believe that the Bucs are still only 2.5 games in the Wild Card race after playing so lousy for the past 7 weeks or so.

    Someone, whether it be CH, the FO, or the ownership needs to put up a blow torch up the players backsides to get them motivated.

    When is Walker coming back or is he out for the season?

  38. pattonbb says:

    Video killed the radio star. Good luck DK.

    I think the Steeler defense is entering a transitional period. I know some will consider this blasphemous to say, but maybe it’s time to re-think whether or not the 3-4 defense makes sense. This defense is without Aaron Smith, a healthy Harrison, and Hampton is splitting playing time with Ozark, Alabama’s very own Steve McLendon (sorry, I grew up close to there). I’m just not sure if the Steelers have the correct personnel to keep the 3-4 going.

    6 weeks ago, Hurdle was one of the leading candidates for Manager of the Year. Today, a large part of the fan base would probably not have an issue with him being fired. Personally, I’m on the fence. To my knowledge, Clint hasn’t taken one single swing at a breaking ball in the dirt, hasn’t fielded one single ball in the outfield, and hasn’t hit into one inning-ending double play this year. That being said, he’s made horrible decisions the last couple weeks. Regardless to how things play out the rest of the season, I say Hurdle deserves another year. There’s been improvement. But if a similar season collapse occurs next year, he and Huntington are both gone.

  39. Bizrow says:

    Personally, I don’t want to see Hurdle fired.

    Hurdle is not the problem, his bosses are

  40. Derek Smith says:

    I understand what you are saying, Dejan, but this isn’t a hideous collapse just yet! The Cardinals are playing just as poorly of late! They are still only 2 1/2 games back! I am getting increasingly frustrated as well, but try to remain faithful Bucco fans, still a lot of time and they are not far back! LETS GO BUCS! LETS GO ZOLTAN!

    PS: Congrats on the “online” radio gig Dejan, I’ll look forward to listening to you. Well deserved.

  41. patrick(RI) says:

    Since it has been pointed out that Pirates & Boston share a 2-8 record, and since a Rhode Island song is up for consideration, and since a lunatic has pimped Ciriaco’s recent 7 for 47 run, I feel compelled to participate. Local rag notes “None other than Pedro Ciriaco, on base 3 more times against the Yankees, started the rally with a single . . . Ciriaco, now 17 for 35 against the Yankees this season, hustled around 3rd to score the winning run ahead of Ichiro Suzuki’s throwfrom right.”

    Pedro is now batting 306(186ab), playing mostly his 3rd best position.

    Surely, we could have secured something for this guy!!!

  42. Jandy says:

    I’d like to echo Gunner, where is Walker? What is going on with him?

  43. Thundercrack says:

    Link #6 is interesting and humorous.

    Looks like the Grilled Cheese may be melting.

  44. NMR says:


    JAL has an update in #18, but if your question was more rhetorical, then I certainly echo the statement.

  45. Jandy says:

    NMR, it’s more rhetorical…you’ve read my mind.

  46. radio wave says:

    Drew No.17
    Your Mr. Crack post reminds me of a NY Times concert review back in the day when they referred to Meatloaf as Mr.Loaf.

  47. JAL says:


    Actually, i thought Oregon was more limited than Rhode island. South Carolina, South Dakota, and Tennessee round out this week and pickings are better for them.

  48. JAL says:

    ken robertson

    Slip Sliding Away has no connection to Rhode Island–Theme has bee going through the 50 states.

  49. Matt Gajtka says:

    If you need a distraction from the Pirates, I talked to former Penguins D Jim Paek yesterday and he had some great things to say about Pittsburgh:

  50. The Gunner says:

    @ Bizrow – 39

    Amen, brother. Clint is a good fit for the Pirates. Yeah, he makes mistakes and so did Larussa, Lasorda, and all the rest of the great managers. Also, these so called great managers had ownership who weren’t afraid to spend some money for proven quality players..

    The players need a huge kick in the butt at this point & it doesn’t matter whether it comes from Clint, the FO, or the Nutsack ownership.

    Just get it done. How many more opportunities can they squander away?

  51. patrick(RI) says:

    Ask Curt Shillling if RI has no link to “slip sliding away.” (he talked the state out of $ for a gaming company which went bankrupt).

  52. Leefoo says:

    Sooooooooo……..what would you have the FO say? Give Clint the dreaded vote of confidence? Give NH the dreaded vote of confidence?

    What would be the point?

    Not getting it, DK.

    Flummoxed Foo


  53. 21sthebest says:

    “Hurdle is not the problem, his bosses are”

    I can literally think of at least a dozen problems right now including Hurdle. I think he has made a number of really questionable moves lately, although there’s no proof that if he had made the move we wanted that the outcome would be different. However, it’s about putting the team in the best position to win, IMO.

  54. Bill Born says:

    Milwaukee will pass us before weekend.

    2nd division team again.

    I’m sad.

  55. Thundercrack says:

    After seeing Brock Holt at second base the past few days, do you still want his bat in the lineup and have him play shortstop when Walker returns?

  56. NMR says:

    Do we really have to make up childish nicknames?

    Nobody outside of 8th grade is amused.

  57. NMR says:

    Did it come out that Neal Huntington phoned down to the dugout and pulled Wandy himself?

  58. Leefoo says:

    TC # 55….been saying that all along after having seen him at Altoona. Personally, I think 21s, at his advanced age could play better SS than Holt. :) :)

    21s….#53….Hurdle is in the top 5 of those dozen problems.


  59. AJS says:

    I just can’t figure it all out. I want to point the finger at poor conditioning. An over used bull pen falling apart down the stretch.

    I want to point the finger at Hurdle for not keeping his team focused in a potential playoff run.

    i want to poin the finger at the players, PROFESSIONAL players who can’t find it in themselves to stay motivated when only one or two games out of the playoffs.

    I want to point the finger at NH for not adding anything of any significance at the deadline. But if they were to have traded Cole or Taillon or Marte and then this collapse happened(face it one Big bat would not fix what ails the Buccos right now, unless what ails the Buccos is that they felt betrayed by the GM for not doing anything to make them much better) then they are that much weaker down the stretch.

    I want to point the finger at myself for not realizing that in no way was the team that scored the most runs in all of baseball in the month of June and in early July was anything close to a reasonable expectation for this group.

    Maybe, just maybe, TBMTIB knew better than me, and you, and all of us. That this team, as it is currently composed was overachieving. that if they kept winning at the clip they were just prior to the all star break it would be quite the accomplishment. That they saw some regression to the mean coming. That a playoff appearance while quite meaningful just didn’t feel like it could happen.

    Maybe all those balls flying over fences in June were an aboration. Maybe, just maybe, this team isn’t any good. Afterall, none of us thought this team would approach anything NEAR .500 this year.

    If this team had an abysmal first half and bounced back to finish with a record 2 to 3 games under .500 we’d all by talking about wait til next year. Instead it is reversed and we are all moping around. I know it doesn’t help and that this season will always be looked upon as the one that got away, but big picture wise, if this team finishes with even 79 or 80 wins, it outperformed all expectations from the beginning of the season.

    All that said, I’ll be plent ticked if they can’tfind a way to win 10 more.

  60. 21sthebest says:

    “21s….#53….Hurdle is in the top 5 of those dozen problems.”

    I would say that in the list of problems, he’s in the bottom third.

  61. JohninOshkosh says:

    I really can not envision ownership firing Hurdle and allowing NH to pick a third manager under his tenure. That is rarely done. Doing so is an acknowledgement by ownership that their top baseball executive has failed twice on one of the major decisions required by a GM. Conversely, bringing in a new GM, means that Hurdles’ job is certainly in peril because new GMs want to hire their own people.

    My prediction is that the Pirates eek out close to 80 wins and ownership takes the position that progress is being made, despite stumbles, and everyone keeps their job for another year. Now if they fail to win more than 3-4 games the rest of the season…

    Dejan, love the radio show launch. Newspapers in hand and radio still remain my favorite forms of media, I have an old soul.

  62. AJS says:

    One other thought.

    The last home stand looked like it had pittiful attendance. All summer that place was rocking. A downturn in performance at the start op April and the fans all disappeared. A somewhat fickel fan base took the opportunity to jump ship and focus on the start of football season. I have heard baseball is still more talked about than the start of football season around town right now, but thats all it is is talk.

    Perhaps the players fed off of that atmosphere. And when the fans stopped showing up, so did the team.

  63. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m just kinda speechless. You can tell from the tone of his press conferences Clint’s frustrated. I know he’s not a Jim Leyland turn over the table kind of guy, and that AJ’s player only meeting fell flat, but a team meeting at this point can’t make things worse.

    And I get that back problems can be difficult to play with, but listening to Walker and seeing him on the bench, he seems perfectly content with not playing. What’s up with that?

  64. Milo Hamilton says:

    I, for one, love childish nicknames. Always clean, of course. “Training Table Travis” anyone ?

  65. Thundercrack says:

    You should go an listen to the podcast of DK’s appearance on John Steigerwald’s Trib radio show.

    Steigerwald wanted Clint to overturn the food table and Nutting to come down like Steinbrenner and start firing people.

    I am not making that up.

  66. Thundercrack says:

    I’m surprised that Walker can’t even pinch hit at this point.

  67. nate83 says:

    I look at the talent on this team and truly beleive it is a .500 team that just played well above their talent level early in the year. I don’t care how they get there but if they finish with 82 wins it doesn’t matter in what order they won those games.

    If they consistantly hung around .500 all year and ended up with 82 wins we would be saying good year, heading in the right direction. But 82 wins this way has people saying abandon ship start over with all management before any of the 6 out of the top 100 prospects in all of baseball play 1 game in the majors or Alverez and Marte have a chance to turn into the players most think they can be.

  68. 21sthebest says:

    I’m all for overturning the buffet table but please first take the food to a homeless shelter.

  69. Milo Hamilton says:

    Everyone, please spare me with “they were never that good”. You don’t get to 60-44 by accident. Or luck.

    DK: Exactly.

  70. apk says:

    I quickly search the Trib archives, but I couldn’t find anywhere where Mario Lemieux or Ray Shero said anything after the Pens’ THIRD consecutive early playoff exit. I’m not saying it’s not there, I’m saying I can’t find it with my limited experience with the archives here.

    I would love to see what they said, so that, you know, we could have something to compare the Bucs’ “silence” to.

  71. dcpfjr says:

    The way this team is playing, they couldn’t spell “Z” if you spot them the “/”.

  72. NMR says:


    I appreciated the rant, and heartily agree with almost all of it.

    I just don’t know how you can say NH didn’t add anything of significance when the teams best pitcher since the deadline was one of his aquisitions. Wandy has given the team quality starts in 6 of his 8 appearances and has posted an ERA of 3.57. Go ahead and replace that with Erik Bedard if you don’t think it is significant.


    I don’t find that childish at all. Topical and funny, yes. I was refering to the practice of inserting male naughty parts into peoples names. I assume you can see the difference.

  73. nate83 says:

    Not to go against everything I just said but if anyone should go it should be Hurdle. The number of failed bunts, situational hitting, odd pitching changes, base running mistakes, etc…. the past 2 months is just astonishing. I know players have to execute but coaches have to coach and make players accountible. There has never been a player not drafted because he was unable to lay down a sacrifice bunt. If a team is lousy at bunting practice it and I don’t mean have Jay Bell come in for one day and spend two hours explaining the art of bunting. I mean actually do it do in and day out until it is acceptable.

  74. Naje says:

    Drew… great post at #32…. well said.

    AW… concur with #63.

  75. Arriba Wilver says:

    Except for a couple midweek games when school started, attendance has held up pretty well.

    And all this talk that “nobody” thought they’d sniff .500 just isn’t true.

  76. I DON’T want to hear from Frank “I just discovered a baseball has seams” Coonnelly or Neal “My metrics absolutely prove that Clint Barmes is the best defensive shortstop in baseball” Huntington. They will both have just one note in their song . . . . . . .

    . . . . . . . “reverting to mean . . reverting to mean . . reverting to mean . . reverting to mean . . reverting to mean . . reverting to mean . . reverting to mean . . reverting to mean . . reverting to mean . . reverting to mean . . reverting to mean . . reverting to mean . . reverting to mean . . reverting to mean . . reverting to mean . . reverting to mean”

    Going 12 — 25 in the last 37 games is not reverting to mean. Losing 8 of last 10 against inferior teams is not reverting to mean. That’s falling off a cliff when you are 16 games over .500.

    Mark my words——when Neal Huntington does speak, you will hear “reverting to mean” in the first paragraph.

    Hogwash!!!!! Hide behind statistics. Why don’t you hide behind your mama’s skirts, little sissy boy!!!!! Play Ball!!!

  77. NMR says:

    I almost said the exact same thing regarding Walker, Arriba.

    You’re right, back problems can be flat-out debilitating and you don’t have a cast or crutches to prove it. But there just doesn’t seem to be any sense of urgency what-so-ever regarding Walker.

    Kind’ve fits the mold, I suppose.

  78. nate83 says:


    Look at the current roster and tell me that it has the same amount of talent as the Reds, Nationals and Braves. It doesn’t even have the same amount of talent as the Dodgers and Phillies which are teams they are ahead of or even with in the standings.

    Lay out the rosters of all 16 NL teams in front of GM’s and they will pick 7-9 teams before they get to the Pirates. That is a definition of a .500 team.

    At the all-star break they were 4th in pitching and 12th in hitting. That is an average team.

  79. Jandy says:

    @Matt #49, nice read, thanks for sharing :)

  80. Wilver Dornel,

    Reds are almost 30 games over .500 and they had 16,000 Monday against Pirates, and 19,000 last night.

    Guess their attendance is “lame” also!

  81. Milo Hamilton says:


    I stand by my statement. No elaboration necessary.

  82. NMR says:

    Does anyone else laugh when they picture Groat typing up one of his rants? Well done, sir. :)

    Speaking of reverting to the mean, Gabby Sanchez has quietly done just that.

    Kid is on pace to match his production the last two years in Florida that made him a ROY candidate and All Star. Was always a great use of the supplemental draft pick, IMO, and the numbers are starting to justify it as well.

  83. Florida Pirate says:

    Maybe unlike any other sport I can think of offhand, baseball is such a “momentum” sport. You have a cadre of 20 or so guys that play regularly and 90% of the time sit around spitting sunflower seeds out of their mouth. The other 10% are occassional burts of total individual effort that results in some cool thing hopefully happening.

    It is honestly very mysterious how this collection of guys produces either outstanding or tepid results. The Bucs are a perfect case study…one minute can’t lose, and the next they can’t do squat. I never used to think this but now it really makes me think that coaching and leadership have a big part to do with the good part of momentum and sadly I think you can say the same for the losing part of momentum. You just lose and no one seems to know why, ha. Its the same rag tag bunch you were winning with.

    Most of us couldn’t believe the bucs were winning so dominantly before the break and it looks like the laws of averages finally caught up with us again. The pitching and timely hitting was so prevalent, you had to wonder when it would stop…and ta da, it has
    Oh well, still love em

  84. Thundercrack says:

    I think the beauty of baseball is that after 162 games you’ll know what kind of club you have or had.
    You’ll know if they were good enough to be .500, or over.

    Of course, with any season, you can point to a handful of games that you should have won or felt lucky to win

  85. Milo Hamilton says:

    Look at the bright side, they have a chance to play spoiler against Milwaukee next week.

  86. radio wave says:

    at TC 55
    Been thinking the same thing , is his bat worth his glove?

  87. nate83 says:


    That’s fine, why enter an actual conversation when you can just say what you think and move on with your day. But that attitude will not get me to ever “spare” you from hearing my opinion.

  88. RobertoForever says:

    Yankees are way off their pre-trade-deadline pace of 17 games over .500 – I wonder if the Yankees players are bummed that their FO was not “all-in” at the trade deadline.

  89. nate83 says:


    They did go all in. The picked up Casey which apperently is the reason we are losing right now.

  90. Milo Hamilton says:


    It’s kinda what I do when I’m right.

  91. Thundercrack says:

    I guess Casey McGehee isn’t adding the same to the team chemistry as he did here.


  92. 21sthebest says:

    And the Phillies were 45-57 with Pence and Victorino and 26-14 without them. That’s baseball!

  93. nate83 says:


    I wouldn’t know if you are ever right, because you just make comments like that instead of debating anything. It is a blog not a I’m right and I’m taking my ball and going home competition. Which by they way you win that competition hands down.

  94. Into mid-July Buccos had the leading candidate for National League MVP (2 straight months NL Player of Month) . . . . . and two candidates at least in discussion for Cy Young (Burnett was tied for league lead in Wins.) Bucs had the Major League leader in saves.

    Since August 1, McCutch has not even hit .300 and he has quit driving in runs. (pull, pull, pull)
    Since August 1, Burnett and McDonald have ERA’s around or over 5.00.
    Since August 1, Hanrahan has littered the bases every time he comes into a game.
    Since August 18, Bucs best RISP hitter, the driver in of those crucial runs in crucial times, has been out with a back injury.

    Leadership in the middle of the order, leadership on the mound, leadership in the bullpen——that’s why Pirates are losing, not Hurdle or Searage or Ritchie or Barajas.

  95. RobertoForever says:


    So right. Mr. Nutting should just fire NH for trading McGehee. Didn’t Neal know that Casey and his .230/.674 with his clubhouse persona was worth 10 wins more than Gaby and his .270/.803 line?

  96. radio wave says:

    Notore Dame has announced it is leaving the Big East as soon as possible. All of it’s sports teams except football will join the
    ACC. Football will schedule up to five ACC teams a year.
    I wonder what Pitt thinks?

  97. RobertoForever says:


    Then its a good thing Neal didn’t acquire Victorino or Pence or else the Bucs would have even fewer wins since the trading deadline.

  98. Milo Hamilton says:

    And besides, I’m under a self-imposed gag order and I don’t want to get myself in trouble, with myself. :)

  99. nate83 says:


    There you go letting stats get in the way.


    Good post, I agree with everything you say. Team was led by 4 good players having great years that have not sustained that. The team just isn’t deep enought yet talent wise to continue winning when some of it’s better players struggle. Playoff teams are full of Neal Walker type players and if one of them is struggling the team continues to win because it is a team effort.

    The Pirates are not there and I am thankful that they at least gave us a glimpse at how much fun this could be going forward. The Nationals did this for a couple years and this year it finally came all together.

  100. JRay3 says:

    Highly doubt the Yankees are all that upset as their FO has produced a playoff baseball team in 16 of the past 18 seasons and that was before the extra spot was given out. Add to that 4 World Series Titles in the last 15 seasons and I really doubt any player in that franchise is bummed.

  101. 21sthebest says:

    Yeah Roberto, I didn’t want Pence or Victorino. I wanted Pierre who is still playing better than both of them. And McLouth is too after the deadline.

  102. Drew71 says:

    So. If childish nicknames are back on…

    Well then, Radio. I think your Mr Loaf works even better for Thunder than my Mr Crack.

    (Childish posts are ok too, right? Guess I shoulda asked before putting this one up.)

  103. NMR says:

    Somebody tell Milo to quiet dow…oh, well there. Nevremind.

    @radio – Paul Ziese said it best: “Hypocrisy, an NCAA reality.”

    @Groat – THAT is accountability( or lack-there-of, I suppose). Very well said, friend.

  104. JRay3 says:

    Hard to believe the Pirates are about to be lapped by the Brewers, Phillies and Dbacks. A first place team at the AS Break is on the brink of being a fourth place finisher in the division. 12-25 will do that to you.

    Fly out tomorrow night for Chicago but these games will be a lot easier to take when you expect the worse. When I was in San Diego I came back very disappointed as I expected the team to play well and thought we were truly in a playoff race and would compete.

    This trip I just hope I can say we are still an above .500 team, and that is looking like a stretch.

  105. NMR says:


    You really haven’t been to New York if you think any of them…players, FO, and especially fans…rest on their laurels.

    I garuntee you that if they don’t make the playoffs, they most certainly will be “bummed”.

  106. Thundercrack says:

    The Yankess, their owners, their FO, and their fans are upset every year they don’t win the World Series.

    I am praying that hey don’t even make it into the playoffs.

  107. Drew71 says:

    And by the way. I can’t be the only one who thinks when Stewie grows up, he’s me, can I?

  108. Milo Hamilton says:


    Too loud ?

  109. JRay3 says:

    @ NMR – I know the Yankees whom it is World Series or a failed season will be bummed.

    I was saying I don’t think the players are bummed or feel their Front Office is not “all-in” as was stated above. Those players know that their Ownership and FO play to win at all costs and I used their track record to seal that point Those players accept responsibility if they don’t win for their organization who puts the best product on the field.

  110. NMR says:


  111. Milo Hamilton says:

    I love a good running gag.

  112. Notre Dame to ACC.

    Darn! The Irish will probably leap in and take my Duke Blue Devils’ spot in a football bowl game!!

  113. The Gunner says:

    Despite all the banter on this board, one thing is for sure:

    The Bucs better damn well start a winning streak tonight!!!!

  114. redus says:

    The only thing the office can say is that we have all soiled the bed…the players, the managers and management has all contributed in some way.

    NOW, are they going to say that…or should they for that matter? NO Way…because whether you want the fork to be placed in this team or not, there’s still a few games left to get some laundry done and put clean sheets on this thing.

    The folks in that dugout every night are men. They have to want it. They have to play with the intelligence that it takes to win ball games in September. Poor at-bats and a total loss of focus.

    Someone will step up. Why? Because it won’t take all that much to be the most popular person in Pittsburgh over the next couple weeks…which one of you wants it?

  115. 19 Years and Counting says:

    Assuming (big if, I know) that we resign Wallace I think next year’s draft is going to have to be extremely heavy on defense, much like the Packers did this past year. Three of our 4 DBs are approaching the end of their careers and there’s no one on the roster that can replace Troy or Clark at the moment. Harrison will probably walk-I believe he’ll price himself out of Pittsburgh and at his age and injury history I’d have no complaints if they do let him go. That leaves Woodley and Timmons, and Timmons has been underwhelming the last couple of years. And on the D Line you’ve got 0 proven commodities once Hamp and Kiesel are removed from the equation. It would be nice if some of the young guys pan out, but I don’t see a Pro Bowl player out of any of the under 25 group that we currently have. As I see it we’re approaching critical mass with this group within the next year or two and drastic measures will be needed to ensure that we don’t drop off significantly in the near future.

  116. LuckyNKentucky says:


    In regards to #113 above, like the guy said to Mel Gibson’s character in Braveheart, “Fine speech. Now what do you intend to do?” His response is “Go pick a fight”.

    I think you’re spot on and all the talk on blogs, broadcasts, podcasts, websites, scandal sheets and bars everywhere don’t mean a thing until those men in the dugout decide what they are going to do. If they want to give 100% and go down fighting, that’s up to them. If they want to play with the same intensity of the last month or so, that’s up to them, too. Sounds corny, but it’s true anyway.

  117. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    DK CONGRATS!!!!!

    Don’t forget us little guys when you go national!

    Funny, you get a 1-2 slot right out of the gate, but some are stuck at the wee hours of the night when nobody listens.

    Congrats, shows the respect level the boss’s have for you.

  118. I BELIEVE . . . . AJ Burnett will shut down the Reds tonight!
    I BELIEVE . . . . McCutch will start hitting again to right field!
    I BELIEVE . . . . McCutch will start hitting!
    I BELIEVE . . . . Neil Walker’s back problems will soon be behind him!
    I BELIEVE . . . . Neil Walker will come back hitting immediately as well as before!
    I BELIEVE . . . . Pedro will quit striking out!
    I BELIEVE . . . . Grilli will gain back that 5 MPH on his fast ball!
    I BELIEVE . . . . Hanrahan will quit putting men on base!
    I BELIEVE . . . . Legend will keep hitting like a Clean-up Hitter!
    I BELIEVE . . . . Tabata will keep hustling!
    I BELIEVE . . . . Barmes is the best fielding shortstop in baseball!
    I BELIEVE . . . . Barajas will discover the Fountain of Youth, delaying his entry into the County Home!
    I BELIEVE . . . . the Pirates will get back into this Wild Card thing!
    I BELIEVE . . . . this .500 worry will come to nothing!
    I BELIEVE . . . . the Pirates will win 15 of their remaining 21 games!

    Just don’t mess with my belief by starting Harrison at short.

  119. Arriba Wilver says:

    radio–when I read that about ND, my first thought was Pitt will be thrilled.

  120. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I think they should have sent Barmes on the Holt single. Yeah he might have been thrown out. But when you need runs to win and you’re in a play where you probably have at least a 40% chance to score (I honestly know absolutely nothing about metrics, by the way- don’t care much for them) why not take a chance? I guarantee holding Barmes was part of the reason Holt was nailed. Either way, that play struck as a major lack of desperation when desperation is exactly what’s needed.

  121. PhillyJake says:

    Hockey gets another dis

  122. Arriba Wilver says:

    Actually, Brad, I think even Uncle Bob, Leyva’s harshest critic here, even agreed on holding Barmes in that situation. Apparently Bruce has a cannon.

  123. Boise Bucco says:

    @Groat–if I had to give up the Steelers this year in order for the Bucs to win 15 of their next 21, I’d do it in a heartbeat. I wouldn’t watch another Steelers game until the 2013 season. Haha, honestly probably longer if you pressed me on it.

    Didn’t Cutch put something out there as to what his slump was about last year–about trying to swing for the fences too much? Maybe that’s what they’re all trying to do this year. They see the team losing and they try to turn it around with one swing. Heck, pretty much everybody’s got a game-altering HR at this point, so it’s at least kinda feasible. I’m no hitting coach, but where we used to see those 9-10 hit games during the good times where they would clog up the basepaths, now it’s not so much. Now, if there’s a HR, it’s probably a solo jack, aside from Sanchez’ last night with Tabata aboard. We just can’t get anybody on base!

  124. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Bruce does have a cannon. Think Paul O’Neil.

  125. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Arriba, totally agree he does- saw it on the play. I think it was the smart call. But I think considering the current plummet we are in they should have taken a chance. At least Molina wasn’t out there to hold the throw. Even if Barmes was nailed then there was a fast guy in scoring position with 2 outs and a single probably would have scored him. But then again, RBI’s are about as rare now as wins.

  126. PhillyPoke says:

    Can’t wait to begin the day with a friendly voice, a companion unobstrusive.

  127. 21sthebest says:

    Bruce was just about to release the ball as Barmes rounded third. Holt was the reason Holt was out at first. You don’t get that far off the base until there’s no chance that the throw is cutoff.

    And I’m not sure Holt was out.

  128. Arriba Wilver says:

    I understand your reasoning, Brad. I’ve thought that about lots of things lately.

  129. JaxBuc says:

    @dcpfjr at #70

    You had me laughing out loud. Maybe we need to spot them a _ also.

  130. JAL says:

    From Jared Hughes

    “In response to Brandon Phillips’ TV interview yesterday prior to the game, I feel compelled to once again make it perfectly clear that I did not make any comment with a racial undertone or connotation during our exchange on Monday night, period. While I cannot repeat everything that I said because I did swear, it is obvious when reviewing the tape that I in no way, shape or form made any remark that was in any way connected to race. It is not how I was raised and not who I am as a person.”

  131. Jandy says:

    Ahhhh…meeting’s over. I come back to Milo and NMR bringin’ down the house. And Drew keeping up too. Thanks for the laughs, guys (emoticon omitted for Drew).

    Groat, whatever you’re drinking, I’ll have one…or three….

    AJ on the mound tonight? Any wagers he plunks someone?

  132. Jandy says:

    JAL, somehow, I believe Lurch (Hughes). So, what is MLB gonna do about punishing Phillips?

  133. Arriba Wilver says:

    They talked to Walk this morning early on the Fan (none of those guys in the booth can stand Phillips), and his view was that Holt wasn’t that far off, and he gave the credit mainly to Votto, especially since he did the kind of shovel pass throw. I’m not totally absolving Holt, but I tend to agree with Walk on that. It was bang-bang and it was a smart, excellent throw. Clint didn’t absolve Holt at all, but gave a lot of credit to both Votto and Phillips, and said Holt would learn from it.

  134. redus says:

    Exactly right Lucky…talking myself into keeping the nachos coming and the tv tuned to the ballgame every night. The Cardinals are the only thing making that happen right now, because it sure isn’t happening with the bucs.

    Is it strange to watch the games expecting to lose but looking for that out of town score with more nervous anticipation than the extra inning bases loaded at bats?

    I just hope that these guys have regressed enough to breach the foor of the median with enough time left to return or with any luck, poke a hole in the ceiling.

    Suddenly next week with the Brewers means something again maybe? Tony Plush should be at his finest.

  135. 21sthebest says:

    ““In response to Brandon Phillips’ TV interview yesterday prior to the game……..”

    Attribution to Bill Brink.

  136. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    @Boise #13

    Agree NH and FC and BN aren’t losing the games, but they aren’t doing anything to fix it either. Sure we weren’t complaining about 18 over.500, but if they were good enough to get that far they should be good enough to stay at least remotely close to it. With regards to the lack of options at SS and C, that’s on NH. That’s his job and he failed miserably, no matter what his metric measuring tape says. No other options falls on him, too. And the sad thing is you’re right, he’ll be here next year and probably the year after because we got near .500. I have no faith in NH’s FA magic, with good reason- his magic plays C and SS right now and went the way of Diaz, McGehee, McClouth, Bedard and numerous others. No one really expects Barmes to be any version of ARod, with or without roids, he just should not be such an automatic out so often. Taillon and Cole may pan out and I certainly hope they do. But right now, that’s as much guarantee as HotRod getting an inside-the-park HR. Yeah we have some pitching prospects, but so do other teams. Like him or hate him, John Steigerwald had a good point about this team right now. They have no standards. And right now it’s from the top down. Nothing personal Boise. Just frustrated beyond belief.

  137. JAL,

    Thanks for the Hughes quote.

    I am very glad Brandon Phillips in not my 2nd baseman. He has talent but chicken salad for brains. It would be like him to insert “race” to win a losing argument.

    I still see him hot-dogging down the 1st base line 3 weeks ago, holding the ball after the 2ND out, while Pirate runner scored.

  138. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    See Brandon Phillips act like a moron- $25 admission. Read reckless, irresponsible Brandon Phillips tweet- free. Watch MLB do nothing about it- priceless.

  139. Indian Brad,

    You frequently have good things to say, but it’s so hard to read when you put it in one continuous block.

    Paragraphs between subjects would keep us all from going buggy eyed.

  140. redus says:

    Jandy – neither guy really did anything. Phillips better get control of his emotions before he begins putting his team in danger of “baseball plays” though. It would be a shame if they lost Bruce or Votto because he applied his background and rather subjective context clues to fuel an otherwise professional moment.

  141. Spud from Boise,

    I hope you have to give up the Steelers!!!!!!!

  142. Jandy says:

    redus, there were some on here calling for Hughes to be reprimanded, at the very least. And you say no one did anything? I’d say Phillips talking s**t is unprofessional at the very minimum, and tossing allegations the way he did is grounds for punishment. But hey, that’s just MHO =)

  143. Milo Hamilton says:

    Certainly not a “non-denial denial” from Jared Hughes. Quite emphatic in fact. I’ll try to ask this as quietly as I can. HOW CAN BRANDON PHILLIPS BE ALLOWED TO GET AWAY WITH THIS ?

    If Bud Selig won’t do something about this then the Pirates should.

  144. Jandy says:

    Friend Lucky @ #114, great post. I’m still back-tracking to take this all in.
    Time for the team to act like men and act like they want to win. Then do it.

  145. NMR says:


    I can apreciate your plea, but what exactly can NH, FC, and BN do right now?

    Huntington aquired the teams current best pitcher at the All Star break and upgraded the bench/1st base with Sanchez.

    He also aggressively promoted Holt, who has been the teams best hitter since his promotion, when he could’ve easily left Hurdle to chose between Harrison, d’Arnaud, and Mercer.

    Clint Barmes is NOT the reason this team is losing games. Far from it.

    It’s also Clint Hurdles decision to pay Barajas over McKenry, not Neal’s.

    How do you respond? Still not enough?

  146. Jandy says:

    Milo, h*ll yeah. Selig likely won’t do anything. I can’t stand that loser.

  147. Milo (Hurrah!! — soon to be retired!),

    Bud Selig do something about Brandon Phillips’ bogus racial play??

    He’s still trying to figure out what to do about the cheating Melky Cabrara batting championship!!

  148. nate83 says:

    Brad please put the following statement before each new thought you have. It will be so much easier to follow.

    I BELIEVE…….

  149. NMR says:

    Brandon Phillips hurt his own race more than any punishment from Selig could hurt him.

    I said from the start that IF Hughes said something racial, it should be punished swiftly and severely.

    I gave Phillips the benefit of the doubt because I couldn’t imagine myself taking a matter so serious so lightly. I couldn’t fathom pulling the race card unless I was absolutely sure.

    For Phillips to accuse another of racism for, at worst, calling him “boy” is inexusable to me. It totally cheapens the claim for all players.

  150. Jandy says:

    Ooohh nate is on a roll today. hanging out with NH’s office people?

  151. LuckyNKentucky says:


    I like that Willam Wallace character and some of his lines. Not crazy about Mel, but that character and the one in The Patriot are very well done and fine pieces of acting, to go with good scripts.

    As far as the lads are concerned, they’ve fooled around long enough. Time to man up and fast or set up tee times for mid-October.

  152. radio wave says:

    For the music lovers on this blog who are old enough to care, the surviving members of Led Zeppelinwill receive a Kennedy Center award in December. the actual ceremony is Dec. 2, the show is broadcast on CBS Dec. 26.

  153. nate83 says:



    I was making light of Groat’s wonderful post above that started every sentence with I believe and him asking Brad to use paragraphs. Nothing pro front office in that statement at all.

  154. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Before we blame NH for this debacle and start calling for his firing, please read this link.

    JAL, I stole it from your links already attached but I’m sure many did not read it or might’ve missed it.

    I read it last night. Tim Williams puts things in pretty good perspective about the Pirates and the season they are having. I’m not saying I agree 100% with his perspective on it, but it makes a good case.

    Its a good read.

    I still agree with DK that we should hear something, ANYTHING, from these guys….

  155. Jandy says:

    radio, cool stuff. Thanks!

  156. Jandy says:

    nate, my bad. I read it wrong…carry on! :)

  157. AJS says:


    I just don’t know how you can say NH didn’t add anything of significance when the teams best pitcher since the deadline was one of his aquisitions. Wandy has given the team quality starts in 6 of his 8 appearances and has posted an ERA of 3.57. Go ahead and replace that with Erik Bedard if you don’t think it is significant.

    I kinda forgot about Wandy. And since that win in the 19 inning game he has been really good. Definitely a significant pick up.

  158. Jandy says:

    I have to admit, I’ve become a Wandy fan.

  159. DominicDeNucci says:

    Funny how calling someone a “boy” in certain situations constitutes a racial slur, yet the term “white-boy” gets thrown around all the time with nobody saying boo about it.

  160. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Are they still Satanists or have they gotten over that or, I guess it doesn’t matter, as this and England are free countries. Loved their music, just not the lifestyle, which could be said about many in that field.

  161. nate83 says:


    That’s OK, but I do love the front office and think they should all be signed to lifetime contracts:)

  162. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Bruno’s nephew,

    Good point.

  163. JHadar says:

    Good Moanin’ All —

    There’s a chilly wind and grey skies over the prairie — just enough to make you a little gloomy, but no rain. We need the rain.

    I’ve read through all the analysis, agree with more than I disagree with, but it’s not much help. I just feel disappointed.

    I’ve been following this team since 1957 which is long enough to produce many broken hearts and a few triumphs. But there’s never been anything like these last two seasons.

    Up ’til now I thought Sid Bream and Bob Moose were the biggest heartbreaks we’ve suffered through — but after 20 years of futility to see that spark and have those old memories wake up from when we were always in it and then have that hope crushed out of you one game, one losing streak, at a time. That’s hard.

    Bream and Moose were sudden and it was over with. This is like a lingering disease — a few good days and you think your cured — and then it comes back and goes away and comes back. But it always seems to come back.

    Sometimes I wonder what I’m rooting for. All the players have changed many times since I started. There’s been twenty or thirty different uniforms, maybe more. Multiple owners, multiple GMs. In the end is it just brand loyalty in a changing market?

    But it’s baseball. I can’t imagine rooting for anyone else.

    I don’t care whose fault it is.

    I just want them to solve it.

  164. Iowa Hadar,

    You mentioned Bob Moose, and I immediately got that little pang in my chest!
    Don’t forget Dave Guisti coming in to start the 9th and immediately throwing a homerun to Johnny Bench.

    A couple days ago you said harvest had started in Iowa. Can’t have rain with corn and soybeans ready in the fields!!

  165. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Groat, I will try to break it up better. I’m a historian and genealogist so most of my writing tends to be long-winded, sorry about that. BTW, “Indian Brad” cracked me up first time I read it. Noticed your point on Cincy attendance and don’t feel as bad about ours. Their park was pretty empty, too.

    NMR, I honestly don’t have an answer. Wish I did. I just want to see something, ANYTHING significant to try and turn the tide. I know Barmes isn’t the sole reason we’re losing. Neither is HotRod. It’s just that our lack of depth at every position but P comes down to NH and I think he’s mostly an incompetent GM. He’s done some good things- I just think he’s done a lot more bad than good. The whole organization right now has just lost its mojo.

    Nate, good stuff.

  166. radio wave says:

    Mr. Hadar:
    My thoughts are the same now after two weeks as they were in August.
    I think UNI beats Iowa saturday.

  167. Kentuck Knob,

    Wasn’t that just a circulating rumor/gossip about Led Zepplin?

    I remember a woman running around in the church I was in then insisting that KISS was really an acronym for “Kids IN Support of Satan.” Probably Dejan’s mother!

    I’m rooting for II Cor. 5:17 for Led Zepplin!

  168. JHadar says:

    Groat —

    Harvest is early because of the drought. We are in what is called extreme drought. That’s a step above “severe.” There’s only one step higher: Exceptional. That’s west of here but coming our way.

    Corn before beans this year because the stalks are dry and weak. They’re picking it at 15% moisture, some more and paying to have it dried. Nonethess yields are about 3/4 and prices are double. The farmers will come out ok.

  169. JHadar says:

    Radio —

    I root for Iowa, but I love UNI the rest of the season. They’re not only good, but they’re fun to watch (or listen to). I think they make the playoffs again this year, and wouldn’t be surprised if they’re better than both Iowa and Iowa State.

  170. Iowa Hadar,

    I was living in Eastern Iowa the year the big flood hit the Mississippi.

    I know the farmers measured the moisture every 4-6 hours, and once they started harvesting those soybeans, they went at it 24 hours. Corn was more leisurely.

    Harvest time is exciting time in Iowa!

  171. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    This is why Mario is a better owner than Bob Nutting…

    Sure wouldn’t want to play bad for that guy.

  172. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    You’re old…..just kidding…actually you are, but that’s ok. You’re not alone in that department.

  173. JRay3 says:

    Don’t know if anyone has taken a look at the Pirates 2013 schedule released but a couple of things stick out to me.

    19 games against every NL Central opponent: 76 games against the division

    9 four game series this season: seems a lot higher with this new scheduling format

    Play the Tigers at Detroit for a two game series and than come home and play the Tigers at home for a two game series.

    West Coast trips in April – LAD/ARZ, June – Angels/Mariners August – SD/SF

    Time for AJ Burnett to stop this massive slide the team is on, time is running out for this team to somehow turn this season into one that will not be remembered for what could have been or seen as a giant step forward.

  174. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    I always heard “Kids in Satan’s Service.” People make up some funny stuff. I bet it just means KISS. Cause they can’t use the word that they really wanted to use.

  175. JHadar says:


    Down where you were the goal is to get the harvest in by Thanksgiving. Up here we’re usually done by the middle of October. But it’s exceptional to see folks picking corn before we’ve even had a frost, let alone a freeze. I don’t think I can remember that happening.

  176. JHadar says:

    Ryan —

    I didn’t get a choice about when to be born. And getting old is much better than the alternative.

  177. NMR says:


    It’s easy to forget about individual performances like Wandy and Gabby when the rest of the team has stunk, and frankly, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. The focus should be on the whole team. It didn’t sooth me at all after the loss the other night to add another quality start to Wandy’s total.

    I just feel that when blame starts getting thrown around without considering those merrits, it is a bit misplaced. We’re on the same page, though. Well said.

  178. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Just messing with ya

  179. JHadar says:


    No apologies needed. I’m not that thin skinned. Someday I hope to be as old as my jokes.

  180. radio wave says:

    J Hadar
    I like both teams equally.
    So i’ll be happy and sad either way.
    But this feels like the weakest Iowa team since hayden left.
    Too many arrests and transfers last couple years.

  181. Jandy says:

    Older is better! Just ask AJ! ;)

  182. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Older is not better…….Just ask Rod Barajas

  183. Johnny Ray III,

    Have a great time at Wrigley starting Friday.

    Take some time to drink in the neighborhood. Not as nice a ballpark as PNC, but it’s like being in some old cathedral. You feel like ghosts will come out of the ivy like they came out of the corn field in Field of Dreams. {Another GREAT experience!}

    Because of the obstructed seats and overhangs, unless you have field boxes, the left field bleachers are the best place to sit. And it’s cool to be in the place where throwing back an opponent’s homerun started.

  184. Arriba Wilver says:

    Anybody know what Pillips said in the interview that caused the response from Hughes?

  185. JHadar says:

    Radio —

    Weakest team since Fry left: that would be the first couple of years for Ferentz. But, yes I see what you mean.

  186. Arriba Wilver says:

    That’s Phillips with an “f”

  187. LuckyNKentucky says:


    I agree with you on 2 Cor. 5:17. Jimmy Page did buy Alister Crowley’s castle and they had a party there with fake nuns stationed all along the hallway entrance. (Don’t tell Jandy. She may not listen to Stairway to Heaven again). Don’t know about the rest of the them, but that’s good scripture for them.

    Saw them once at the Civic Arena. Had to sit behind the stage, but the sound, believe it or not, was excellent there, even while we watched their backs.

  188. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Now Gary Bettman’s breaking the law!

  189. buggee says:

    >>> Can Timmons hit? What’s his swing-plane like? Can he barrel-the-ball?

    In light of all the wonderful pro sports performances happening over the past few weeks, the possibility of a work-stoppage looms like a huge, dark cloud pregnant with frozen moisture.

    Pirate game this evening… zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    >>> Raze the jolly shuttlecock already

  190. LuckyNKentucky says:

    BTW, KISS is an acronym for Keep It Simple, Stupid, designed to make everthing easier for Gene Simmons. It didn’t work.

  191. Jandy says:

    Ryan, but Barajas is old and fat…there’s a difference ;)

    Lucky you’re killing me LOL

  192. Brad, Indiana PA says:


    Very sketchy interview. For being so “pissed off”, Phillips sure had no problem laughing about the whole situation. If Hughes did say what he’s accused of, he needs to be punished. Severely. No place for that in sports. Guys want to call names, there about 500 other possibilities nowhere near as offensive. For a topic that’s so volatile, I think Phillips was way out of line making jokes about the KKK. Hey Brandon, do some research on Medgar Evers, tell his family about this incident and laugh about it. Professionalism and Phillips not showing up in same sentence any time soon.

  193. 21sthebest says:

    “Barajas is old and fat”

    As soon as he’s bald, give him a plaid sport jacket and he’s a sportswriter!

  194. Milo is right——someone is still lying!

    I doubt that McCutch would have Hughes back now if he was the one lying.

    I was right——Brandon Phillips has chicken salad for brains.

  195. cmat0829 says:


    Do we have an idea of what the Dodgers FO is saying right now or the Cardinals FO is saying? Both of those teams are tanking also…though not to the extent of the Bucs.

  196. cmat0829 says:

    Another angle… what do former GMs have to say about the FO ‘not talking’? Pretty sure Jim Bowden loves to talk about any subject… would love to know what his thoughts are… or Jon Hart….

  197. Arriba Wilver says:

    I can get to the site, Milo, but still can’t get the interview. My interpretation from the article (which accepted it as gospel) is that Phillips just basically reiterated that it was a racist comment, still without specifying what the comment was? I’d kind of like to know that for sure before I bloviate. (So if you want to tell me keep that in mind) . :-)

  198. Listen to the Dejan Kovacevic Show every Tuesday 1pm to 2pm on TribLIVE Radio- and

    In his first show, Dejan will tell us why he does not like Chase d’Arnaud.
    DK, your ill-feelings for him bubble over like Grandma’s gravy

  199. Wilver Dornel,

    Phillips claims that Jared Hughes called him “boy.”

  200. Arriba Wilver says:

    G2M–he said that in the interview?

  201. Wilver Dornel,

    The audio tape of the incident is covered by crowd noise. Lipreaders who look at the tape say there was a lot of swearing by Hughes but no utterance of the word ‘boy’.

  202. cmat0829 says:

    Ok, I didn’t want to really comment on “racistgate”, but if what Hughes said was “boy” then Phillips is overreacting. I do understand how that is and can be taken, but you also need to give Hughes there the benefit of the doubt. End of discussion.

    I think Phillips is immature …in some ways that is good in that he plays the game with enthusiasm and energy and has fun…and in some ways it is bad in that he hot dogs plays and pulls stunts like this.

  203. 21sthebest says:

    Phillips didn’t make that specific claim on NBC Sports Groat. He said Hughes called him something racist and if you want to know what it was, ask Hughes.

  204. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Hughes said he wouldn’t repeat what he said because he swore. I don’t sware, but someone needs to tell Jared that it’s not looked down on as in the “olden days” of morality, so go ahead and tell us what you said in defense of your side of the story. If it’s that bad, use initials like everyone else does.

  205. cmat0829 says:

    Time for a blog “insta-poll”……

    If you had to give one reason for the Pirates “September Swoon”, and only one:

    1) The Pirates front office isn’t saying anything.
    2) Clint Hurdle is a great motivational speaker but a lousy manager.
    3) The minor league instructors suck.
    4) The players are, sorry to say, just “not ready for prime time”.
    5) The Pirates did not trade for Victorino or Pence.
    6) Injuries.


  206. Wilver Dornel,

    No, Phillips won’t say in the interview what he still insisted throughout the interview that Hughes said. He just kept saying what was in the past was in the past, that he and Hughes had talked and that Hughes was a great guy and they should move on. He said McCutch had hooked up the phone call.

    But he kept insisting that it had been said to him. 9 minutes of a wasted interview.

  207. Milo Hamilton says:


    Kusilias asks Phillips point blank if Hughes said something racist to him. Phillips said ‘yes he did & if you want to know what it was you should go ask him’. He said it wasn’t his place to say & everything’s OK now.

  208. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Did DK say he didn’t like CD? I guess I missed that one.

  209. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Up to this point, #4, but subject to change, but it better change in a hurry.

  210. 21sthebest says:

    Love this tweet Dejan:

    “And remember: The number is 82. Not 81. You don’t get to 82, you’re not a winner. The Streak will live on at 81.”

    We always speak in terms of consecutive losing seasons, not consecutive winless seasons.

  211. Milo Hamilton says:


    I go with #4. I’m a blame the players type of guy.

  212. Arriba Wilver says:

    I know that the supposition was (and probably from Phillips) that he claims Hughes called him “boy,” it was in the Tribe article yesterday. The reason I’m focusing on the interview is that it came after the Kumbaya where Phillips claimed they got everything worked out. I mean, anyone with any class who says we’re cool, and then says “but I’m right” to everyone else, while still not providing, on the record, any details, is either not cool . . . or married. (I think I just raised at least a couple other issues).

  213. @JonHeymanCBS

    phillips had told folks he heard hughes call him “boy.” the tape they have doesn’t show that (tho it shows the swearing)

  214. buggee says:

    cmat… poll response.

    Gotta go with #4. Ya can lead a horse to water but ya can’t make him barrel up the ball, throw out a runner, bat defensively when a teammate is trying to steal a base, or any one of the other absurd gaffes these guys display.

    Although–especially lately–Hurdle’s in-game management moves have contributed to this mess. Blech.

    Raze it already

  215. NMR says:

    @cmat – #4, but only because of that pesky “pick one” qualifier.

    2,4, and 6 all factor as well.

  216. cmat0829 says:

    thanks for the insta-poll responses… will try to have one each day at least :)

    So far the results say Reason 4- the players aren’t good enough is the primary reason for the slide….. seems right to me, but you hear a lot of other gripes and opinions offered.

  217. Steve Nicosia forever says:

    I don’t think that the Pirates should (or will) fire anybody… I think that the deal is that this is a five-year plan… It started in 2008… We’ve gotta give it until at least 2013 (if not 2014) to really work…

    What I like is that the Pirates were competitive all season (until about a month ago) for the first time in a long, long time… All they’ve really got to do now is to somehow either internally, via trading an OF and/or a pitcher, or via free agency acquire a catcher who’ll hit at least .280, and 20 HR’s next season and a Shortstop who’s capable of hitting at .270. If anything, this team has 5 big league outfielders, a slew of big league arms, a rapidly improving/vastly improved third baseman, (who, by 2014, will be a .280, 50+ Home run hitter,) a pretty good first baseman and pretty good second baseman… And, with what is in the pipeline, this should be a solid team for years to come.

    Anybody calling for Hurdle’s head or Huntington’s head are over-reacting, and prematurely, to say the very least!!

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