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Wakeup Call: Disgraceful

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Brief and to the Point …

>> We’ll have our weekly chat today at noon, so I’ll save most of my baseball-related invective for that.

I’ll say this much now: The Pirates’ plunge, for a second consecutive year, with barely a peep uttered either time, is disgraceful.

It’s premature to jump ahead and start talking about jobs. The hard mathematical fact is that the team is still, somehow, astoundingly just 2 1/2 games out of a playoff spot. I don’t believe they’ll get it, and I don’t believe they’ve earned being in that position being how the pack has fallen back. But it’s still there.

>> Let me say this bluntly: Anyone who thinks Neil Walker isn’t doing his very best to return is dead wrong. It’s killing him to be out.

Man, people can be stupid.

>> Looking for a happy baseball scene?

Here, check out Winnipeg’s own version of Greg Brown, calling this walkoff blast for the independent Goldeyes two nights ago …

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2Pi0-seOMw

>> The dumbest lockout ever moved a step closer to reality.

The NHL’s only real problem financially is a handful of teams struggling to spend up to payroll minimum. The Coyotes and Panthers, stand out. Well, if the owners aren’t willing to share revenues — and it’s clear they’ve spurned the players on that front — then move one of those teams to Seattle.

Here’s why.

The other can go to Quebec. The Panthers have a hard lease in Sunrise, but all leases can be broken.

No point sustaining failures. Ask Atlanta and Winnipeg.

>> LaMarr Woodley predicts the Steelers ‘won’t be 0-2.’

Believe him?

I’d feel almost as strongly as he does if our Mark Kaboly hadn’t computed that the defense blitzed Woodley only 10 times on Peyton Manning the other night.

Much more in the chat.

Comments

  1. Drew71 says:

    Honestly, Dejan, I don’t get the fixation on peep uttering.

    Believe me. I’m not giving the management team a pass. In fact, I would use the term Disgraceful as well. But my List of Disgrace goes at least a dozen deep before I get anywhere near the lack of peeping.

    Words mean little to me when the roof is falling.

    I guess I come from the Yoda school.

    “Peep not. Do. Or do not. There is no peep.”

    DK: That was Yoda? Or Jabba the Hut?

  2. WVStarship says:

    This is my first post here; I can’t let this go.

    Who are the people that says that Walker isn’t trying to come back? The only thing I’ve heard are people like me who questions the true nature of the injury. Muscle problems? Spasms I can understand but a stiff lower back shouldn’t be keeping a young, in shape pro athlete sidelined for so long. Sounds like the whole story isn’t being told & not swallowing the company line doesn’t make one ‘stupid’.

    And where do you get off calling others stupid? Aren’t you Dejan “absolute lock” Kovacevic, the guy who trashed the knowledgeable fans of Pittsburgh who could see the early signs of ‘collapse II’ and dared to say something about it?

    And all of this from a former Pirates beat writer who should know better than anyone that the only thing this organization does well is FAIL.

    DK: You’re absolutely right. There never should be a positive word written about a team that’s 16 games over .500 and leading the majors in batting average and home runs for June and July.

    What was I thinking?

    Is it too late to take it all back?

    No, seriously, welcome to the forum. All views welcome, from all around the world, all around the clock.

  3. JohninOshkosh says:

    Dejan:

    I’m not being flippant here at all because I would honestly like to know: Why the love for Winnipeg? I know we all have our favorite cities not from the list of usual suspects. I have never been so was just wondering.

    DK: It has immense character.

  4. Naje says:

    What are words from a GM, President or Owner going to do when players—most notably McCutchen and Mr. “He lives for these moments” Alvarez—fail miserably and make barely a peep on the playing field during this 12-25 stretch?

    You want a peep? How about you start peeping about Alvarez and his 0-6 with a golden sombrero in a 14 inning loss? How about a clear message to the superstar of this team, who, for the second year in a row, has failed to even come close to looking average in the second half of the season?

    When in doubt, blame the owners and management and coaches. It’s the Pittsburgh thing to do. No, those aren’t players on the field, those are “our guys.” Yeah, well, those guys stink, stank, stunk for the past 6 weeks and it’s everyone’s fault but their own.

    Talk about entitlement.

    DK: Selective memory, Paul. This was just a week ago …

    http://triblive.com/sports/dejankovacevic/2530116-74/mccutchen-mvp-pirates-player-team-batting-runs-month-posey-rbi#axzz25Z38tTin

    And this was just a couple days ago …

    http://blog.triblive.com/dejan-kovacevic/2012/09/03/wakeup-call-pathetic/

    You want it daily?

  5. JohninOshkosh says:

    Thanks. I understand.

    BTW small market, no star, low payroll, weakly attended, Oakland A’s on the verge of shutting out the Angels. No collapse there.

  6. Naje says:

    All right… that’s fine on Cutch, DK… but a close, thorough dissection of the absolute misery that is Alvarez’ at bats has to be done. And honestly, you’re the only writer in Pittsburgh who can do it.

    I mean, how you could you not even mention his disgusting line from the 14 inning game? He’s an energy sink and sucks the life out of this team way more than he breathes any life into it.

    Remember the Morton piece about finding his cutter? Same thing needs to be done for Alvarez. He’s fighting something serious at the plate. Seems to be in a battle with himself, the hitting coach, his manager… and I know that that’s just me reading between Hurdle’s quotes and Alvarez’ quotes all season long. But this Alvarez situation needs a lot more attention because for the past 6 weeks, save for a handful or two of games, there has been a gaping hole where his name is in the lineup.

    And of all the bats the team needs–and you’ve said this back in spring training–his is the most important on the team. His failure needs a bright light shined on it. Because when we see a month like he had in June and then again for most of August, we need to know why he can’t come near tapping into that talent for the rest of the season.

  7. Naje says:

    Two links shown, DK, on Cutch… all good and thoroughly understand your calls for him to step up. But not one mention of Alvarez.

    DK: It’s not remotely part of the job to list every single person who is great or terrible at a given time. This isn’t a phone book with all the names in it.

    Alvarez has been lousy, but he looks no better or worse than most everyone else in that lineup right now.

    You clearly have a laser-focus on one guy here. I don’t.

  8. MGR says:

    Is it too late to get a veteran bench player from a non-contender who can hit a little bit. I know the post-season rosters are set but I’d think there are numerous professional hitters that would be upgrades for these last 3 weeks that could clear waivers easily and not cost anything, like a Jason Giambi type. Maybe wouldn’t make any difference but there’s been a lot of games lately where one pinch-hit could have swung things and our top option was Jeff Clement. Not bashing Clement but he’s done nothing in the majors to warrant playing the Matt Stairs role of feared pinch hitter.

    All year, I thought it was weird that the streak would end anticlimactically in mid-Sept – always had thought that the year it’d happen that it’d take some crazy struggle to end up at 82. The way this year is playing out is starting to fit that script – I know simply breaking the streak and no playoffs would be a disappointment to most based on what could/should have been but it would still mean something to me. Hopefully playing in Wrigley with no Samardjia can kickstart things again.

  9. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    In case you’re wondering what that toxic smell is that’s permeating the North Shore of Pittsburgh … wonder no more.

    It’s a combination of putrid baseball, and stack after stack of green backs piling up in Bob Nutting’s private money vault.

    Nutting has never had it so good.

    After four months of competitive baseball, he gave the order to pull the plug on a pennant contending team that had over achieved for more than half the season.

    Though this team wasn’t as good as it appeared, these kind of seasons happen once every 30 years or so to a franchise.

    Some are in it till close to the end, some win it all … but few toss it away around the beginning of August.

    Bob Nutting is just the kind of guy to order it stopped.

    Via GM Neal Huntington, the Nutting Regime chopped this team up in late July.

    Sure … they threw the fans a supposed bone in acquiring Wandy Rodriguez (As usual … with financial help from another team) for prospects.

    They then proceeded to give away other players that were involved in the first half success for a few pickups that equalled nothing more than future waiver-wire fodder.

    In return we’ve seen this once magical team go 13-26, in a collapse that would equal the implosion of Three Rivers Stadium in early 2001.

    I now turn on the TV to see a Pirate lineup sprinkled with the likes of Triple A’ers Brock Holt, Chase d’Arnaud, Jeff Locke and Kyle McPherson.

    I see the return of Jose Tabata who was banished to Indy months ago for loafing openly on the field with a big gut.

    But … Tabata signed a long-term deal last year. A deal that guarantees him playing time, in exchange for chump change in the majors.

    A pennant race “was” no place for the likes of the before mentioned, and the results clearly dictate that statement.

    On top of it, the once-great chemistry this team had is now a thing of the past.

    But … we’ve all been told that chemistry isn’t worth a hill of beans in this day and age.

    It’s a good thing nobody told that to the ’69 Mets or the ’79 Pirates.

    Before Pro-Nutters dismantle my words with their usual “spinarama”, consider the facts at hand.

    This collapse directly coincided with what GM Huntington did … and didn’t do at the end of July, and early August.

    It’s not by accident.

    I’m one that is thoroughly convinced that the Nutting Regime had no intentions of finding themselves in the playoffs in 2012.

    It wouldn’t fit their agenda … it would put too much pressure on expectations … now.

    The whole game of the Nutting Regime is to keep pushing expectations down the road.

    Keep the fans hungry, and paying … keep the payroll low … and fans paying … and roll in the dough.

    The Regime will worry about 2015 in a year or two.

    I hope all of you “Pros” are happy.

    You now have yet another year to talk about prospects, sabremetrics, and prospects.

    You can sit around and point fingers at Clint Hurdle (who by no means is innocent), but continue to give the rest of the Nutting Regime a free ride.

    I know who you are … and you know who you are.

    Each and every one of you Nutting Regime backers are all guilty of permitting this ruse to fester.

    DK: “Pro-Nutters?” “Pros?” “I know who you are?”

    Is kindergarten out early?

    Or is this just a continuation of Drew’s ‘Star Wars’ theme for the day, where you’re either with the Force or opposed?

  10. TJA says:

    People thinking Walker is screwing around and not trying get better to play? Now, THAT is disgraceful. Please. The “Pittsburgh Kid”, like the rest of us, has suffered for 19 years. HE, among any of us, born and raised here, CAN do something about it. The rest of us are fans. He’s a guy that is on the field trying to end this streak. He’d kill to be out there. Geez…some people.

  11. Reading says:

    If the Pirates are going for win 82 on the last day of the season, but are eliminated from the wild card, the game will be like when F. Sanchez was going for the batting championship. An accomplishment to break the streak, but only people in Pittsburgh will care.

  12. twentytwo22 says:

    My opinion is if Huntington would consider firing Hurdle in the offseason following a second straight freefall then it is a move that should be considered now when it has a chance to matter.

    If Hurdle is fired now it re-establishes that winning matters. Start by dropping the tryout camp nature of things. They seem to be pitching better. Strategic losses seem to be piling up. The hitters are messed up in the head. I’ve heard conflicting messages of take pitches then it’s swing early. Maybe they would benefit from one voice. The best they’ve been this year was when they took on the persona of Casey McGehee and the beer league softball team of the Brewers.

    We’ve seen them go 5-25 in September before. We saw last year. We see this year. They have to do whatever to avoid this. If Hurdle is fired after the season it should be by a new GM, otherwise I would always wonder what might have happened if Huntington pulled the trigger sooner.

  13. Reading says:

    Watching the replay of “The Squeeze,” the hilarious thing is that the Reds catcher actually dropped the ball before picking it up and tagging Presley. It almost worked. D-Day could have taken care of the wreck, and our insurance company would have bought us a new car.

  14. pghboyinca says:

    This isn’t about Pro or anti Pirates it is about accountability and performance. This ownership group has neither. When Coonelly and Nutjob were hired we were told that the goal was to be competitive form day 1but that there was a plan in place and the methodolgy would be followed out and the reesults would follow. 5 years in and we are the worst team in baseball the last 6 weeks?? 5 years of trades for pieces of value (Bay, Nady, McClouth (he had value when traded), Grabow,etc,,,,yield nothing? 5 years of signing major league free agents and ZERO pan out? Included are 4-5 free agent signings that rank in the bottom 5 of the last decade. (Aki and Barajas to name just 2) 5 years of drafting in the top 3-4 and 1 guy in the majors and he is struggling. 5 yerars of signing guys over slot and trumpeting this as a linchpin of the plan and where are they? What did we get ? We go0t Brandon Moss, Andy LaRoche, Jeff Clemet, Kevin Hart, Tim Alderson, Aki, matt Diaz, Barajas, Vasquez (pick one) , Tony Sanchez, Lastings Milledge……Do I need to go on?

    We got Jim Tracy who blamed everyone else and could not win with a130 million payroll in L.A. and was a flop. We got John Russell who it was later learned was deceased when hired and in a wired “Weekend at Bernies ” parody had his corpse positioned on the bench for 2 years. We then got the “savior ” Clint Hurdle who was hailed as a breath of fresh air. A quick examination of his major league managerial career brings you to 1 fact. 1 winning record in 10 years…Yes 1 winning erecord in 10 years!! Breath of fresh air??? More like 4 month old rotten cheese wrapped in rotten eggs after being pulled from a septic tank. This organization is pathetic and a complete disgrace.

  15. Boise Bucco says:

    Man, the 2-3 a.m. crowd is pretty big tonight…

    Glad to see A.J. came out firing, I didn’t get to watch the game, but from looking at the box score, 2 runs on 5 hits/2 BBs over 6 innings with 8 Ks is right about what you’d expect from your #1 guy. Better than the error-fest the last time he pitched.

    I got to read through the comments a little from the game posts–there was a really good post about league OBP / RBIs vs. what the Bucs have put up–I forget who posted it, it might have been Groat, but it was a really good post, very informative. Said a lot about Clint Barmes that I really didn’t think about–namely, that he’s driving in what, 14% of the batters he inherits in scoring position, the league average? Not too shabby for a 7/8 hole hitter. Even Pedro at 15%, not bad. Anyway, really good post, glad I got to read it.

    Maybe I’ve just drank WAY too much of the BMTIB Kool-Aid, but I really don’t think now’s the time to go firing NH or Hurdle. Last year, the BRAVES had a similar collapse, dropped out of playoff contention, and all it did was make them hungrier. Now, I don’t read the Atlanta Journal-Constitution unless I happen to be driving through there, which isn’t often, but I’m pretty sure there were probably more than a few articles written calling for Wren and Gonzalez’ heads…looks like they got it turned around.

    No, this isn’t reversion to the mean, let’s call a pig a pig and say that it’s definitely a collapse. Also, it’s the second year in a row that they’ve taken a decent record into the All-Star break, only to watch it go down in flames. NH and Hurdle get a short leash next year, but I believe you gotta let them continue with their plan. TWENTY years now, and Huntington’s accomplished what no one else has done–I’d say that gives him a little wiggle room, collapse and all.

  16. TJA says:

    Boise – Re: your “2-3am crowd…”…the Pirates are giving many of us sleepness nights! If it’s keeping us fans awake, it darn well better be keeping the team awake, too. Or, maybe I should say…it better “wake” them up.

  17. Drew71 says:

    Thanks a LOT. As if I don’t have enough troubles.

    Now my wife will be calling me Jabba for weeks.

    Waittaminnit. Don’t I get a chained chick in a gold bikini?

    Where’s Jandy?

    I sure hope this isn’t the Mel Brooks version. Cause if it’s something like Princess Deja, I’m gonna start rooting for Darth Thunder.

  18. Thundercrack says:

    Wasn’t last year’s collapse mainly due to injuries…mainly to pitchers and catchers?

    “You clearly have a laser-focus on one guy here. I don’t.”
    Ha,ha,ha,ha, ha…….
    DK, Your can also have laser focus that locks in on one guy…and also change daily:
    NH (no peep), Kyle Stark (socks, promotion), Barajas (stinks), Pirate Charities Sign (not a guy)

  19. Thundercrack says:

    Regarding the squeeze last night. I think it was a case that Hurdle didn’t have enough faith in Barmes to be able to get a fly ball deep enough to the outfield to score the run from third. I didn’t either.

  20. Drew71 says:

    As Darth Thunder releases his mental hold on him, Admiral Dejan crumbles to the floor. Darth turns to Rob B and says “You are the new admiral. DON’T disappoint me.”

    Dejan, seriously:
    1. Why is it so important that they make public pronouncements about it rather than quietly DO something about it? Not that I have any faith that they will do anything…so remove that…why is it important that they say anything?
    2. You spelled stoopid wrong.

  21. Cracker,

    ANYBODY who had confidence that Barmes would hit a fly ball deep enough to the outfield to score the run from 3rd, raise your hand! I see no hands raised.

    I agree with you, Cracker——with the infield in, I give Clint Hurdle credit for not just sitting on his hands. The Pirates have not been getting clutch hits. He chose to be proactive and try the squeeze. It failed . . . . Bucs were still tied.

    Doesn’t look like the Pirates did much with any of their other 26 outs. The game was NOT lost by the squeeze attempt——but it could have been won by it!

  22. Jandy says:

    Sorry, Drew, I’m livid about this:
    “Man, people can be stupid.”

    Yup, some people sure can be. smh

    Ok, so who is ChewBacca???

  23. Drew,

    Progressing from Star Wars to Spaceballs . . . . . may be too high brow for this crowd.

  24. Drew71 says:

    And there’s Groat2D2. Where’s Arriba-wan Kenobi?

  25. JAL says:

    JAL’s Hickory Wind 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: Streak Gets to Six; Karstens Moved to Bullpen

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/pirates-notebook-streak-gets-to-six-karstens-moved-to-bullpen.html
    First Pitch: A Few Cases of Increased Velocity, and the More Important Skill

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/first-pitch-a-few-cases-of-increased-velocity-and-the-more-important-skill.html

    West Virginia Power 2012 Season Recap: Top Prospects

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/west-virginia-power-2012-season-recap-top-prospects.html

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Clint Hurdle Manages His Way To Another Loss

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2012/9/12/3324500/clint-hurdle-manages-his-way-to-another-loss

    6 Rumbunter

    Pittsburgh Pirates Swept Away Again

    http://rumbunter.com/2012/09/13/pittsburgh-pirates-swept-away-again/

    7 Hyzdu Headquarters

    Why?

    http://hyzduhq.blogspot.com/2012/09/why.html

    8 The Green Weenie

    Buc Beat Themselves; Slide Continues 5-3

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2012/09/buc-beat-themselves-slide-continues-5-3.html

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Bucs Drop Sixth Straight 2-1

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2012/09/bucs-drop-sixth-straight-2-1.html

    10 WHY GAVS

    I don’t have anything to say right now

    http://whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/august-2012/i-dont-have-anything-to-say-right-now.html

  26. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 CBS Sports

    Bailey helps Reds sweep sagging Pirates

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/recap/MLB_20120912_PIT@CIN/bailey-helps-reds-sweep-sagging-pirates

    12 Fox Sports

    Rounding Third: NL could be in store for a ‘wild’ finish

    http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2012/09/12/rounding-third-nl-could-be-in-store-for-wild-finish/

    13 Chicago Tribune

    Pirates Report

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/sns-rt-bbo-pirates-playerwatchmtze89c7jw78k-20120912,0,1049664.story

    14 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Reds sweep; magic number 8

    http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20120912/SPT04/309120082&Ref=AR

    15 Sporting News

    Pirates no longer a lock for .500 finish, let alone a postseason berth

    http://aol.sportingnews.com/mlb/story/2012-09-12/pirates-500-wild-card-19-seasons-streak-futility-losing-andrew-mccutchen

    16 Parkersburg News

    Streaks in need of ending

    http://newsandsentinel.com/page/content.detail/id/565161/Streaks-in-need-of-ending.html?nav=5064

    17 Pittsburgh Business News

    Pirates to start ’13 at home against Cubsloss

    http://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/news/2012/09/12/pirates-to-start-13-at-home-cubs.html

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    18 PBC Site

    Pirates find no fortune in Cincy, extend skid

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2012_09_12_pitmlb_cinmlb_1&mode=recap&c_id=pit

    Alvarez dealing with injured right wrist

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120912&content_id=38310960&notebook_id=38349430&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    What You Need to Know

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=18318

    20 Fangraphs

    2012 Free Agent Custom Leaderboard

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/2012-free-agent-custom-leaderboard/

  27. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Jets Coach Rex Ryan Talking About ‘Pittsburgh Flu’ Again

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/9/12/3322656/steelers-jets-week-2-nfl-pittsburgh-flu-rex-ryan-david-kerley

    Behind The Steel GIFs: Play Breakdowns From Week 1 Vs. Broncos

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/9/12/3321356/steelers-game-analysis-play-breakdown-video-gifs

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Breaking Down The Heath Miller Touchdown Pass Play Against The Broncos

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2012/09/breaking-down-the-heath-miller-touchdown-pass-play-against-the-broncos/

    23 Steelers Gab

    Jets at Steelers Week Two Capsule

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2012/09/11/jets-at-steelers-week-two-capsule/

    24 Nice Pick Cower

    Like it or not Steeler Nation, Defense and Defensive Strategy Will Make 2012 a 6-7 Win Season

    http://nicepickcowher.com/2012/09/12/like-it-or-not-steeler-nation-defense-and-defensive-strategy-will-make-2012-a-6-7-win-season/

    Pitt Blogs

    25 Pitt Blather

    Notre Dame Goes Halfsies

    http://www.pittblather.com/2012/09/12/notre-dame-goes-halfsies/

    26 Cardiac Hill

    Todd Graham’s Revenge

    http://www.cardiachill.com/2012/9/12/3306624/todd-graham-arizona-state-pitt-football-illinois-sun-devils-pittsburgh-panthers-recruiting-revenge

    WVU Blogs

    27 Metro News

    WVU Corners: “It’s Up to Us to Fix It”

    http://www.wvmetronews.com/wvu.cfm?func=displayfullstory&storyid=54936

    28 WV Illustrated

    McCartney’s Struggles an Example for Teammates

    http://www.wvillustrated.com/story/19523372/mccartneys-struggles-an-example-for-teammates

    Soccer(football)

    29 Sky Sports

    Extent of official cover-up revealed by Hillsborough Independent Panel report

    http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11669/8073994/Extent-of-official-cover-up-revealed-by-Hillsborough-Independent-Panel-report

    30 Daily Telegraph

    Hillsborough Independent Panel report: how the disaster unfolded as 96 Liverpool died at 1989 FA Cup semi-final

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/9537663/Hillsborough-Independent-Panel-report-how-the-disaster-unfolded-as-96-Liverpool-died-at-1989-FA-Cup-semi-final.html

    31 World Soccer Daily

    10 stories you need to read, 12th September, 2012

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-12th-september-2012

    PENGUIN BLOGS

    32 Pensburgh

    Pens sign 2012 first round picks Derrick Pouliot and Olli Maatta

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2012/9/12/3323312/pens-sign-2012-first-round-picks-derrick-pouliot-and-olli-maatta

  28. JAL says:

    We are up to South Carolina. Song Hickory Wind by the Byrds 1968

  29. Jandy says:

    JAL is pushing thru the states. Good job, JAL :)

    Groat2D2, and Arriba-wan Kenobi priceless LOL!

  30. Drew71 says:

    And there’s JALbacca. His roar is worse than his bite.

  31. ChrisH says:

    DK,
    I think your chat is stuck Stanby Mode. It won’t allow for question to be submitted.

  32. JAL says:

    Jandy

    Pushing through I am–only 10 to go–South Dakota to Wyoming

  33. Milo Hamilton says:

    DK,

    When I saw the headline “Disgraceful”, I thought you were going to critique the performance of the traveling Pittsburgh media last night. Clint Hurdle’s post game media scrum lasted a grand total of 54 seconds. I have at least 54 seconds of questions on the squeeze alone.

    He was asked one question about AJ Burnett’s start, one about Gaby Sanchez’s long foul, and one about the squeeze. “Just trying to scratch out a run.” These guys call themselves professionals & they just let it go at that ?

    And by the way, having personally gotten the stink eye & the chin from Bill Cowher, I do know what it’s like being in that kind of a situation. It ain’t fun, but it’s your job. Ask the questions. I don’t care how surly the manager is.

    DK: Agreed. Did it with James Harrison just last week. But see note below to Matt about what gets aired.

  34. JAL,

    Looking forward to when you get to the U. S. “colonies”: Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Great Britain, Israel.

  35. Milo,

    I saw Hurdle’s presser. He didn’t look surly——he looked and sounded defeated.

  36. Arriba Wilver says:

    My only problem with the squeeze was that they made it so obvious they were going to do it, with the long stares from Leyva to the bench and then Barmes to Leyva.

    But I didn’t think it was stupid.

  37. Jandy says:

    Aarrrggghhhh! There’s that word again ::bangin my head on the desk::

  38. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jandy—get used to it. We’re just being blunt here.

  39. Jandy says:

    Just a pet peeve of mine, AW, I’ll be fine…the desk might not be, tho ;)

  40. Milo Hamilton says:

    Wilver,

    I think you summed it up perfectly. I wonder what the manager would have to say about that ?

  41. Jandy says:

    So, I wonder why Phillips didn’t get a bean ball last night?

  42. NMR says:

    Stupid?

    Coming from the writer who’s been railing on and on for more than a month about how this organization doesn’t have the sense of urgency required for a pennant race?

    It didn’t cross your mind once that this is EXACTLY what “people” may be talking about regarding Walker’s slow return?

    You’re right, stupid seems awfully fitting.

  43. Drew71 says:

    “pushing through I am”

    Very cool.

    Forget the bacca thing. I think we found our Yoda.

  44. NMR says:

    @Groat – Your high brow comment in #23 made my morning.

  45. JAL says:

    Drew

    AS Popeye would say, I yam what I yam and that’s all all that I yam

  46. Jandy says:

    JALYoda…!!! lol

  47. Jandy says:

    NMR, I’m telling you, that S word comment pushed the wrong button this morning. Good thing I drink decaf coffee here at work…

  48. Rob says:

    There are 20 games, if any other franchise in Pro Sports had gone through what the Pirates did last year and now this year, the Manager/Coach would be replaced. If Nutting really wants people to believe, a Managerial move needs made today, as well as the GM. The inadequacies of the GM in making simple upgrades in regards to a floundering bench alone (2 yrs in a row) are inexcusable. The decision of the Manager to pull a pitcher in the 7th inning (who has given up 3 hits!) with 2 outs to go to a rookie to turn a weak switch-hitter around is astounding. The post game news conferences are ridiculous. The franchise has repeatedly said they can’t get free agents here because the team hasn’t won in 20 years might have been valid, after the last 2 season the reason a free agent won’t come here has changed…it is because they see that when faced with the prospect of actually winning, the BMTIB (LOL!) is a TOTAL FAIL.
    If this team was serious about winning Clint Hurdle would be fired today, and a serious consideration would be given to naming Bob Walk as the interim manager for the remainder of the season, sounds ludicrous I know, but it would be the smart baseball decision. If not Walk, then I would name Jeff Banister the interim manager.

  49. Arriba Wilver says:

    Me too, Jandy, just following our leader’s bar setting. It is an easy shorthand. Kind of like “pro-Nutter.”. I mean, you could say anyone who thinks that doesn’t know what they’re talking about or doesn’t know Neil Walker or is ” dead wrong.”. Wait, he did say that. But why pass up an unnecessary insult.

  50. NMR says:

    @Jandy – I hear you there.

    Sometimes I think Dejan gets too caught up in the fray. Guy is an incredibly gifted writer. I mean truly a special talent. He also has a unique perspective on matters of sport that separates him from him peers.

    Yet reduces himself to moments like that. Sometimes I truly think he loses focus on his greater audience because of all the BS that comes through social media these days. Sometimes you just need to step away from the Twitter machine once in a while.

  51. nate83 says:

    Much needed day off for the Pirates. If I was Hurdle I would take this day off to pick 8 guys and tell those guys you are my 8 going forward. We have 20 games you are my best 8 players and we are going to win or lose with you 8 starting every game from this point on. There is just to much tinkering with the lineup. Write the batting order in pen and leave it alone.

    I understand the last game of a series playing a few other guys but every game it’s like musical chairs.

    Suicide bunt on a 0-1 count???? I just don’t get it. Thankfully the Reds showed us how to get a run in from 3rd with 1 out during the game. Hopefully somebody was taking notes.

  52. Jandy says:

    AW & NMR, thanks, I’m glad it wasn’t just me being “female” :)

  53. Dejan,

    I’m off to an extra long day of work, to which I am already going to be late as my grandfather clock strikes 8, so I won’t be present to hear you express your “baseball-related invective” here or in the chat.

    I just hope your Masthead Title does not reflect last night’s game. “Disgraceful” refers to “personal and intentional disregard.” I saw none of that in last nights game. I saw no one quit. I saw no one trotting or not hustling or not trying. There may be some serious tight collars because the pressure not to fail has overtaken the pressure to succeed . . . . . but I saw no giving up or such abhorrent behavior.

    I hope your “disgrace” does not refer to the squeeze. It was a risk, a creative even if faulty attempt to get in the run from 3rd with the infield in and Barmes in the box, with Barajas on deck and Burnett in the hole. A creative risk taken in attempt to succeed is never a disgrace.

    Did you have confidence that Barmes could either drive a grounder through the drawn in infield or hit a fly ball deep enough to score the runner from 3rd? Would you have sent up a pinch hitter for Barmes in the top of the 6th of a 1-1 game, knowing that Reds would probably walk the pinch hitter to set up a double play and force the Bucs to use also a 2nd pinch hitter in the top of the 6th of a tie game?

    I’m not trying to defend a baseball decision that failed. I just hope your “personal invective word” above does not refer to that baseball decision made to try creatively to plate a run, when the Pirates for the last 10 days have stranded a too large number of runners at 3rd.

    “Disgraceful” is Brandon Phillips’ lie about Jared Hughes. “Disgraceful” is hiding behind and lying about racial taunts. That certainly is “personal and intentional disregard.” The Pirates not scoring runs, by any means, is not disgraceful. The lack of foresight in putting this team together might be disgraceful, but I’m not sure I would even go there.

    If “disgraceful” has anything to do with the squeeze decision last night, I would suggest a more appropriate word for you would be the one you use so frequently, one that I also abhor and that my children are not permitted to say: “stupid.” While I do not agree that the squeeze decision was stupid, at least stupidity does not refer to “personal and intentional disregard.”

    You’re the wordsmith . . . . . you figure it out.

  54. Arriba Wilver says:

    NMR—I’ve had the same exact thoughts.

  55. Milo Hamilton says:

    Jandy,

    You made me go back and look at my rant this morning & make sure I didn’t use the “s” word.

  56. nate83 says:

    Silent front office. Not exactly sure I care if they are silent. I feel like the moves they made at the deadline possible brought us 3 players that have been playing almost better then anyone on the team. What can they say to us the fans? Sorry!!! They need to talk to the players but if they are why would we hear about it. The company I work for doesn’t put their dirty landry out there for everyone to see.

    Seriously what should they say we stink and it is my fault? Should Huntington say I have a lousy cheap boss that only gives me enough money to buy stuff from the value menu?

  57. Patrick(RI) says:

    There is a brewery in Baltimore which makes a really good beer called “Loose Cannon.” If you are lucky enough to find a bar with LC on tap, it will likely be served in a glass with a logo on one side and a philosophy (Find your inner Pyrate”) on the other.

    I asked the bartender if he could get me 26 glasses to send to the people who know how to spell “pirate,” but seem to have lost the skills to play ball. That would be enough for the roster and CH. Alas, too many, but he promised me a couple.

    Then, Speaking of Baltimore, the gods of pain arranged for a TV replay of Nate McClouth driving in the winning run for the first place Orioles. Arrgh!

  58. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Jandy,

    Didn’t somebody named Gump say “s….. is as s….. does? :)

    May the Farce be with ya’ all. Why hasn’t anyone said that yet with all this Star Warts talk?

  59. CWalton_67 says:

    Given that the BMTIB must be fired after a second straight stunning collapse by the PBC, the question is, does Hurdle stay or go? If he goes, and I now believe he’s lost this team and needs to go–who would those on the blog choose for a replacement?

  60. dcpfjr says:

    Regarding the article about Barajas willing to take less money to stay with the Pirates. What he’s really saying is that he’s willing to take less money to stay in the majors. Really, what MLB team, other than the Pirates, would be willing to put up with his bat and his arm.

  61. redus says:

    This is great…everyone will get so fed up that when these guys bounce back it will be like the season started over and some new crazy pierogi was invented.

    Yeah yeah yeah, I know…there are no signs of this happening. It’s baseball. What do you want? A logical explanation? And for anyone wanting to complain about the brief post game interview…all I have to say is, would you want to be in the room when Hurdle blows up? Because it looked like his head was going to pop. I would not be surprised if he had to be sedated for the flight back. Not enough gum in the world to hold that one back.

    Certain that you will see a different team on Friday. This is not blind optimism. It is fact.

  62. LuckyNKentucky says:

    CW,

    How about Dale Sveum or Buck Showalter or even Charlie Manuel? Oh wait, those guys are managing potential playoff teams that were written off. (Except for Baltimore)..

    Shame Danny Murtaugh and Harry Walker are dead. Joe Brown could bring them back like he did Murtaugh in every stretch run. Maybe Bill Virdon would consider it. Jack McKewon managed in his 70′s didn’t he?

  63. Matt Gajtka says:

    Yeah, I had a problem with the media members essentially asking nothing at the press conference. What bothers me too is the non-questions they “asked” like: so, that Sanchez fly ball was pretty close…

    That’s not journalism in the least. How about some natural curiosity?

    “Why do you think the Reds sniffed out the squeeze?”
    “What prompted you to try the squeeze there?”
    “What did Bailey do to shut your hitters down?”

    DK: You’re right, Matt. Let me add two things:

    1. Root almost NEVER shows the entire session. They prefer to air audio portions that include their own reporters’ questions.

    2. I’m not in Cincinnati. Had I been, I would have focused all my questioning on the squeeze. Not some. All. Not much else really mattered in that game.

  64. Jandy says:

    Milo, you’re good to go! Sorry I skeered ya ;)

    Lucky, yup, I’ve heard S is as S does…but sometimes…I mean, my kids weren’t even allowed to use that word.

    CWalton, I nominate Groat for club manager. His post at 54 is friggin awesome.
    I’m betting he could motivate ANYONE to do better…even Barajas ;)

    redus, will you be here Friday evening on the game blog to back that up, friend? :)

  65. Matt Gajtka says:

    I also had an issue with Neverett and Wehner on the radio side insinuating that it was Barmes’ fault the squeeze didn’t work. That’s outright lying because it obviously was a pitchout. Yes, he could’ve gotten a piece of it but it wasn’t any failure in fundamentals like they were hyping it up to be.

    It’s not like we couldn’t go watch the video and see the Reds detected the squeeze coming. Now that’s disgraceful…I hope Brown and Walk didn’t try to do the same thing.

  66. nate83 says:

    I know at this point it seems unlikely but let’s say the Pirates go 10-10 the rest of this year and finish with the 82 wins. Can you fire the GM after the first winning season in 20 years a AAA team that finished 30 games above .500 and 6 prospects that are in the top 100 in all of baseball?

    Not to mention a promising Marte and Alvarez already playing in the majors. Before anyone jumps on me about Alvarez please show me where anyone said they wouldn’t take .250 with 30 HR’s from him before the season began.

    As much as I like Hurdle as a person. I do believe it has come to the point where replacing him should be considered. Some of the moves being made are just confusing and very inconsistant.

  67. Leefoo says:

    I see Daq Bazzini has made his way to this blog with his tiresome anti-Nutting rant.
    I guess the boys over at Bob’s got tired of you Daq? Did you bring BFD with you?

    .

  68. Leefoo says:

    Poll question:
    How many wins?

    a) 73-75
    b) 76-78
    c) 79-80
    d) 81 or 82
    e) GT 82

    I’m going with b

    Foo

  69. Leefoo says:

    Drew, Nage, et al.

    I am with you. I am not sure of DK’s fixation about what the FO could say?

    Dejan…I asked this yesterday…WHAT would you have them say?

    Foo

    .

  70. Leefoo says:

    Groat2D2

    Raise you hand…how many knew that with Clint the Pathetic AB, that Clint the Pathetic WOULD call a squeeze.

    I bet Dusty never saw THAT coming.

    FooBacca

    .

  71. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Like CW asked, who replaces Hurdle? Is there anyone better out there that’s alive or not doing good enough with their own team?

  72. redus says:

    Jandy – I will be conducting very specific, and barely ancient, ceremonies involving shapes, sounds and colors not yet invented in order to bring about what many would consider to be an insanely “hot” streak….that is to say that I will try to stop by if I get the dishes done in time. Lately, it’s been so hard to watch that I clean up dinner one dish at a time every two outs, regardless of who is batting. Am I overthinking it?

  73. Leefoo says:

    Matt….the Pgh media sure does ask some hard hitting questions, don’t they?

    I think Clint has them scared.

    Foo

    .

  74. Leefoo says:

    dcp # 61……..re: Rod….if he comes back, I’m becoming a Yankee fan. And I HATE the Yankers.

    Foo Helmet

    .

  75. Sisyphus says:

    What is it that you want them to say? I don’t understand your position at all.

  76. Leefoo says:

    Drew….may the Fooce be with you.

    .

  77. Leefoo says:

    Or is that ‘Farce’?

    .

  78. Leefoo says:

    Redus…I found that NOT watching at all and finding out who won in the morning lets me sleep better at night.

    I get all my rage out in the morn and then go ‘play outside’

    Gotta go wash my car now. :)

    Retired Foo

    .

  79. Arriba Wilver says:

    Nate–I think the reason for the ” confusing and very inconsistent” moves is that nothing seems to be working, so Hurdles trying doing something different. I think that, for example, the move the other day taking Wandy out was because of that. Doesn’t necessarily justify them or absolve Hurdle, but I do believe that is the explanation.

    I do have a question, though, for the people wanting Hurdle to be fired, but that also think Neal should be safe—- who hired Hurdle?

    One other thing–Marte was a DL era recruit.

  80. nate83 says:

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Terry Francona come here, but the question is would he come here? In reality I think it would have to be someone we don’t know that would be taking their first job. Like a Mike Tomlin. I don’t think an established manager would take a job on a team that has a salary ceiling of $70-80 million.

  81. 21sthebest says:

    “with the long stares from Leyva to the bench and then Barmes to Leyva.”

    Exactly. But don’t forget after Leyva stared into the dugout and then pointed to his own eyes, he walked over to Presley and said something. Then I said to Princess 21, “Shoot. We’re going to try the squeeze play.”

    So if I knew it, the Reds knew it.

    DK: Beautiful.

  82. JaxBuc says:

    The schedule says the Pirates are off today. How is that different than any of the days the last few weeks?

  83. JaxBuc says:

    off-kilter
    off their feed
    off-ul
    off-en frustrating
    off the deep end

    I got a million of ‘em.

  84. Jandy says:

    Jax, LOL!

    redus, a man who does dishes??? I think I’m in <3 !!!

  85. Jandy says:

    Let it be on record that I DO NOT call for the firing of Hurdle.

  86. nate83 says:

    AW

    I do believe the Neal has made mistakes including possible hiring Hurdle. Although Hurdle may not have been the right guy to take us to a playoff team it doesn’t mean he didn’t add value. He may have been the right guy personality wise to be with this young core group of players.

    I knew Marte wasn’t Huntington’s recruit. I was just pointing out the positive things going forward for this team. Next year will be the first year since maybe 2003 that we will go into the season with expectations of 80-85 wins. I believe that is a good thing.

    Who knows maybe Nutting (the biggest problem IMHO) will step up since the team shows promise and spend 10-12 million a year on a pitcher/first base/shortstop/catcher free agent. He always has said when the time is right he will spend. Well the time seems right to me.

  87. Thundercrack says:

    ” Guy is an incredibly gifted writer. I mean truly a special talent.”

    NMR, I’m not sure I would go quite that far, but the guy is good.

    So good, that he wrote “Anyone who thinks Neil Walker isn’t doing his very best to return is dead wrong.” He never said it was anyone on the blog. ‘Anyone’ could be a lot of different people…or just one person…anywhere out there. It could be someone on twitter, sulia, or someone who works at a Starbucks.

    He leaves plenty of CYA room. Isn’t THAT special.

  88. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think Bob Nutting, Frank Coonelly and Neal Huntington should be forced to go on a non-charity clay pigeon shoot today at Nemacolin.

  89. redus says:

    Pitchout or no…when a squeeze is on, you are responsible for doing anything you can to either put wood to ball, or protect the runner breaking for home. I am not sure there was anything Barmes really could have done beyond reaching, other than actually making contact. A better jump from Presley isn’t realistic because it gives away the squeeze, and isn’t necessary if Barmes gets it down. A pitchout is somewhat questionable in that situation too because 8 out of 10 times a professional hitter finds a way to get wood on it considering the fact that to have a shot at the runner breaking for the plate, you can’t fire something too far up the first baseline. The Reds got lucky on that play as well and Reds fans could reasonably be complaining this morning that Bailey left that ball too far outside or should have just thrown “inside” on Barmes.

  90. JaxBuc says:

    And following the Star Wars theme:

    I liked the way our hitters performed in June/July. Now they seem to be going through the motions (and not very well). It seems that they are “not the droids you’re looking for.”

  91. LuckyNKentucky says:

    nate,

    $70-80 milllion ceiling? Where in a galaxy far, far away did you get that figure? Cut it in half.

  92. Milo Hamilton says:

    Wilver,

    It would be interesting to see where the guns would be pointed.

  93. 21sthebest says:

    “forced to go on a non-charity clay pigeon shoot today at Nemacolin.”

    And spend some time with Joe Hardy.

  94. Bucs1979 says:

    Welcome to hell………….

  95. pattonbb says:

    Stupid? Really DK? I guess I missed something.

    I don’t think I ever insinuated Walker wasn’t doing his best to come back. I guess that means I’m not stupid. Shame on all of you stupid people out there voicing your crazy concerns and opinions.

    The squeeze attempt was stupid. As several people here already mentioned, it might have been the most obvious attempt in recent memory. The Reds radio guys even mentioned before the pitch out, “Hurdle likes to try interesting things in these situations, squeeze play would be one of them. Dusty knows that”. Or something to that effect.

    DK: First, I’m 100 percent sure I was targeting no one specifically with that assessment. Was getting that all over yesterday.

    Second, there won’t be any apology here for defending Neil Walker, a great kid, from anyone assailing his willingness to compete. People ARE stupid at times, myself included. Assailing Walker, based on what we know of him even just through watching him play, IS stupid.

  96. JAL says:

    JaxBuc

    It is different because it means they can’t lose, other than that it is the same :)

  97. Thundercrack says:

    Walk made a good point when Marte came to bat last night.

    Too bad that he got injured and didn’t have a couple hundred at bats by the end of the year.

    To me, Marte does not look good since his return from the injury.

    DK: Agreed on both counts. Loss in both ways.

  98. redus says:

    Everyone is turning on everyone…I love it. Listen up – this is September baseball. Irrational. Knee-jerk. Complete devastation – Forgot what it felt like. I love it.

    If you said to me in February that we would be looking at 2.5 games out of a playoff spot and in the middle of a 5 horse race on September 13th…I would have kissed you. Freefall or no, we were all watching, or at the very least wondering, what “them buccos are doin” last night. September is the playoffs. Always has been. Always will be, no matter how many wildcards they add. Sure, it looks like the Pirates are pulling an early career Bonds post-season choke right now, but hey, at least some girl asked us to dance in the first place. Nevermind that we got nervous and threw-up all over her during the first slow song…it’s a long night….a few more slow songs to go…get her cleaned up or ask her friend to dance if she ran home screaming.

  99. nate83 says:

    Lucky

    I think that is the number that has been thrown out there a number of times as the amount this team would spend when it became competitive. Which I believe is now. Hopefully it happens but I am not holding my breath. If it doesn’t the questioning of Nuttings commitment to winning should be ramped up to the point that it is unbearable for him to own the team anymore.

  100. LuckyNKentucky says:

    nate,

    I hear ya. IMHO, if that was the ceiling this year, we would be in the playoffs. But what do I know?

  101. JUCOFan says:

    The only thing the Pirates have in their favor is their final two series are against teams that will have locked in their playoff position (Reds, Braves). If they play .500 ball over the next four series (Cubs, Brewers, Astros, Mets) they will be 79-77 going into those series.

    Big assumption I know, but if it holds, I wonder if the Reds and Braves will rest their starters and open the window for the Pirates to limp across the finish line with a better than .500 record?

  102. redus says:

    Foo – Go easy on the paint job then as you decompress. I imagine another fun way to blow off steam after a loss is to run the weedwhacker through the neighbors “wildflowers”. “Cut your grass” I tell them.

  103. Leefoo says:

    AW…#63….funny stuff….you’re absolved of your Hurdle fixation….:) :) :)

    Surprised nobody replied to my poll question. Does that mean nobody cares, or you finally got smart and are ignoring me>

    Dark Foomet

    .

  104. Leefoo says:

    JUCO…the Pirates couldn’t beat Manatee CC if they were on their schedule.

    Foo

    .

  105. Sarcastic Sword says:

    Any reason why Brandon Phillips wasnt asked what specifically was said to him by Hughes that was racist?

    He clarifies next day saying it was a misundertanding yet no Cincy or Pgh reporter grills him about it?

    If yiu talk out of your arse and cry racism and then someone gets in your ear to clarify and label it a misunderstanding and you get a free pass on it?

  106. Drew71 says:

    Wow. Look at the number of posts.

    You’d think people cared or something.

    Or maybe they didn’t like being called The S Word.

    My thoughts? A little of both.

    No. A lot of both.

  107. Leefoo says:

    redus….I have a neighbor like that….he’s from Philly….never had to cut grass before.

    “Then why did you buy a house in the ‘burbs?” I ask.

    Foo

    .

  108. Leefoo says:

    “Wow. Look at the number of posts. ”

    Drew….it was the Star Wars/Space Balls mentions.

    Who cares about the Bucs.

    Foo Barf

    .

  109. Jandy says:

    Foo, to answer your question, I dunno today, ask me tomorrow :)

  110. Leefoo says:

    Arriba….your required reading this morn is Link # 5.
    :) :)

  111. Jandy says:

    SS, that’s what *I* wanna know. Not only the press/media, but also MLB powers that be!

  112. Jandy says:

    Drew #107, well I know what did it for me…

  113. Arriba Wilver says:

    Foo– you forgot to add after “the Pirates couldn’t beat Manatee CC if they were on their schedule”—–”even if the Manatees’ top three players had back issues.”

  114. LuckyNKentucky says:

    The dreaded Manatees beat us a couple years ago. Then we bounced them from our schedule. Too bad we can’t do that with the Brewers, Dodgers, Padres, on and on.

  115. Milo Hamilton says:

    So Jim Calhoun is retiring. Maybe now all of the basketball players that graduate from UConn won’t be women.

  116. NMR says:

    Firing employees is an awful lot like quitting your job…you don’t do it unless you’re sure it’ll improve your situation.

    Last time I checked, there are two GM’s in the world that have approached anything close to consistantly winning baseball teams with a sub-$80m payroll. The Red Sox couldn’t buy Billy Beane and I don’t think Andrew Friedman is jumping at the chance to move north.

    Doesn’t mean Neal Huntington should be given a lifetime contract. I took criticism for saying I’d still let him go back in July when everything was roses, but only IF there was a better option. The same logic applies now.

  117. Milo Hamilton says:

    NMR,

    Kinda like when Pitt fired Wannstedt.

  118. Thundercrack says:

    DK breaks his silence on “stupid” (post #96)

    Now we wait for someone in the FO to break the silence about the collapse.

    DK: Silence, in this case, equals sleep. I slept for about five hours compared to the Pirates’ front office being asleep for five weeks now.

  119. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Nutting has no commitment to winning. He’s committed to “improvement”, because that keeps his moneybags growing. And let’s be real, PBC had nowhere to go but up when he took over. You climb a 20ft ladder and you take 5 steps up, you still have a long way to go. If he’s committed to winning, let him bring investors in to deepen the funds for this club. Again, Mario seems to be doing OK with Burkle involved. NH needs to go because he is a glorified minor league scout (see 14).

  120. JUCOFan says:

    Once you open your mind and realize that winning, for the owner, is making money, then you realize this team is successful.

  121. casper in a-town says:

    Good morning, all. The lunatics are in rare form today. Seems like someone touched a nerve.

    As I watched the game last night, it was hard for me to get upset at any particular play or at-bat. Why? Because I’ve come to the harsh realization that NO ONE in this organization knows how to win. No one knows what it takes to get to the next level. It’s that simple. And CH’s attempt at the squeeze? It was a desperate attempt to score a run and/or win a game. I emphasize desperate. How many squeeze plays do you think happen during the entire course of the MLB season? I don’t have statistics to quote for you, but I do watch a lot of baseball and I rarely see the squeeze and certainly not in that situation on the road. Desperate call by a desperate manager.

    As for the “stupid” comment regarding those questioning Neal Walker’s toughness, I will simply say that I never question any professional athlete’s integrity with respect to injuries. Until I lace them up and go through what they go through, it isn’t my place. I’ve had back issues, as I’m sure many others on this blog have had, and I know how debilitating they can be (and I sit behind a desk for the most part). I can only imagine having a back problem and having to play 2nd base for an MLB team. However, I will say this: has NW’s back issues played a part in his failure to get a long-term extension? His back has been a recurring issue for the past few years and I can tell you from personal experience that back problems don’t get better over time — they tend to get worse. Just a thought.

    And for what it’s worth, we’re still in the thick of things despite being “disgraceful.” Funny, but if we feel so dejected with our small market payroll lineup, just imagine how the fans in St. Louis and L.A. feel given their recent slides.

    Have a great day!

  122. 21sthebest says:

    Dejan, what more do you want said than what NH says every Sunday? He has talked about how rough things have been the last two Sundays at least. Are you going the Gregg Giannotti route of needing something to make you feel better?

  123. JAL says:

    If anyone gets worn out on the squeeze fiasco, suggest links 29 and 30. Interesting story about the death of 96 fans with over 700 being injured at a soccer game in England in 1989 and the just released Independent Panel report on the tragedy

  124. 21sthebest says:

    And I’ve heard FC on the radio.

  125. NMR says:

    So it’s stupid to question the speed of Walker’s return because he’s a great kid, but not stupid to completely devalue Brock Holt’s contribution in his absence by saying the Front Office has “been asleep” for five weeks.

    Yep. Makes sense.

  126. NMR says:

    @Milo – Wanny is a great example. Still think he’d be a great fit for the school.

  127. Arriba Wilver says:

    “Stupid” is in play, ladies and gentlemen. See #96.

    No offense, DK, but if anyone (no one in particular) thinks that calling people stupid is OK so long as they are being stupid, then that person is stupid.

    And yes, this is a stupid post, but I take solace in the realization that It isnt the only one, including the bolded ones.

    BTW, I like Neil Walker. People are sometimes idiots, including me. So I guess that calling them that would be OK, too? Morons? Delusional? Pro-Nuters?

    But pulling out the “I won’t apologize for defending Walker?”. Wow, the political season is in full force. YOU know that isn’t the issue about “stupid.”

  128. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I still say, Momma says stupid is as stupid does. BTW, life in NOT a box of chocolates and you know those WERE the droids they were seeking. Obvious is obvious.

  129. pattonbb says:

    DK – Again, I must have missed something. I haven’t heard anyone question Walker’s desire or willingness to play. I think people (myself included) are worried this back injury is a lot more serious than initially thought. We were told he’d be out a few games. A few games seem to be turning in to a few weeks.

    I certainly don’t expect an apology, come on man. I just thought “stupid” was a little harsh. Maybe feathers are easier ruffled today. 6 game losing streaks in September tend to do that.

  130. Leefoo says:

    Dk….again….WHAT THE HECK DO YOU WANT THEM TO SAY OR DO?

    FOO

  131. Thundercrack says:

    Maybe the Front Office did learn something about the ‘collapse’ of last year.
    Keep your mouth shut no matter what.

    Last year when they were above .500 you heard FC and even Bob Nutting on local talk radio saying how great it was. Then the collapse.

    When they were way above .500 I didn’t hear FC as much and I haven’t heard anything from Bob Nutting.

    Plus DK, you say that we shouldn’t criticize Neil Walker based upon what we know about him. Well don’t we also know that coming out in public to make a statement about a losing streak / collapse really isn’t Bob Nutting’s style. He usually waits until after the season or spring training.

  132. Jandy says:

    NMR #126, you said what I was thinking, thank you!

    Foo #131, save your fingers (like save your breath), man! =) :) =) :)

  133. The Gunner says:

    if they fire CH, what’s wrong with a Pittsburgh guy taking the helm? My vote is for John Wehner.

    Virdon is too old and all the rest of the good ones are managing in the world beyond.

  134. Jandy says:

    AW 3129 and Lucky #129 ~ well said, friends!

  135. Drew71 says:

    Rust Never Sleeps, Dejan.

    Waittaminnit. That wasn’t nice.

  136. Jandy says:

    OK I need a break. The insensitivity (best word I can come up with just now) on this blog is p*ssing me off. Stupid. *&%^$#%^!

  137. Drew71 says:

    Arriba. Pro-Nuter?

    I have four dogs so count me as one.

  138. The Gunner says:

    Outside of AJ, there is no leader on this team. And usually the leader is a position player who plays (and performs well) every day. We had guys like Stargell, Clemente, Groat, Jay Bell, Van Slyke who took this role in the past. Tell me who on the 2012 team has stepped up to be the leader.

    It certainly isn’t Cutch! Outside of the ownership, the BMTIB/BMTIS, this is a huge hole on this pathetic team.

  139. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Good pick, Gunner. I like Hurdle as a person. Always have, but he sure has thrown up and air ball down the stretch these last two seasons. How about Bob Walk as a manager and Barajas as his bench coach?

  140. Leefoo says:

    Jandy # 133….yeah, you’re right. I asked the question in the chat. Undoubtedly it will get ignored.

    Altho, I DO agree with DK about PRNW…..bad backs are NOTHING mess with.

  141. Arriba Wilver says:

    Drew–do you think the dog act should win America’s Got Talent? The dogs are mostly poodles, and it is an amazing act.

  142. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Most frustrating thing for me is my 3 year old daughter who loves Cutch. She used to cheer and cheer when he hit, now she looks at me when he steps out of the box and says, “Daddy, why did he do that?!” My answer, “I really have no idea.” And my 7 year old son doesn’t want to watch the games with me anymore.

  143. Milo Hamilton says:

    I don’t mind the silence if something of substance is going on behind the scenes. Insert your own joke here.

  144. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I really like Wehner for manager. I also would like Bob Errey to get a head coach shot with the Pens in all seriousness (if it comes to that).

  145. Jandy says:

    Milo, remember, this is a G-rated blog.

  146. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Gunner,

    I think Cutch does assume some leadership role. Maybe not like A.J., but he’s not that type of person necessarily. He did help Hughes and Phillips kiss and make up. That kept a lot of stuff under control that last 2 games. If A.J. gets tossed early for plunking someone, we probably aren’t in that game at all last night, end result accepted.

  147. Jandy says:

    Drew #136, Nice is as Nice does…

  148. The Gunner says:

    I’ll throw out another name for manager if replacing CH is the decision………………Kent Tekulve! This guy was one hell of a competitor who was not blessed with God given talent as a player. Yep, he is older (mid 60s) but he wouldn’t hesitate to kick these players in the butt and get them going.

  149. KramJr says:

    well the brewers are about to pass us

    looks like going all in (they are still winning 4 years after CC) vs. years of control has worked out quite well

    this is a culture of losing, from top to bottom

    remember, clint hurdle has won over 76 games only once in 9 years of managing
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/managers/hurdlcl01.shtml
    and that September run in Colorado was the definition of a FLUKE

  150. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Good one, Gunner. Keep ‘em coming.

  151. 21sthebest says:

    What about Greg Brown for manager? I think his enthusiasm would rub off on the players. Or Paul Alexander? I think he watched a baseball game once.

  152. Milo Hamilton says:

    By the way, I too am willing to play catcher next year for less than what Rod Barajas makes now.

    These are the types of things that I suspect are being discussed behind the scenes. Along with reminiscing about Travis Snider’s homerun.

  153. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Milo,

    I disagree. I think they’re talking about what 7 players they can send to San Diego to get Chase Headley.

  154. Milo Hamilton says:

    Something to remember when discussing the possibility of firing Hurdle. How many years are left on his contract ? Can we be sure he hasn’t been signed to a secret contract extension ? I’m not even trying to be funny here. He has one year left (2013) on his original deal.

  155. Jandy says:

    Milo, now that you brought up Snider…I suppose since we mock Snider for having a bad hamstring, that’s stupid too? Now remember, I’m not directing vitriol at you, I’m just sayin…

    Lucky, LOL only 7???? Throw in the bat boy too.

  156. KramJr says:

    Snider was a poor acquisition

    Acquiring an injury prone player that has an organization losing faith in him and then throwing your hands up in the air when he gets in injured and is both ineffective and unreliable is unacceptable – unless your the Pirates GM

  157. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jandy—now, c’mon, it’s only OK to call unspecified individuals stupid if they are being stupid. We do have standards here.

  158. 21sthebest says:

    Blog Standard No. 1

    Bad baseball with no peeping is disgraceful but saying people are stupid is not.

    DK: Here’s the exact quote …

    Man, people can be stupid.

    That’s can be, not are. And as I further stated in a response to a comment, I’m one of those. In fact, I don’t accuse anyone of being stupid more often than myself.

  159. Jandy says:

    KramKr, I respectfully disagree on Snider. He hits the ball and plays decent right field. He has bad ham. Walker has a bad back. Before that he sprained (?) his pinky. Does that mean Walker is a bad acquistion too? If the organization is wise, they get on Snider this summer to train – perhaps consult with the likes of Sidney Crosby – and shape up so his ham isn’t such an issue.

    AW ~ ::smacks head on desk:: what was I thinking?????

  160. JohninOshkosh says:

    Milo:

    Your Calhoun comment above. Gold. You are the best, sir.

  161. Milo Hamilton says:

    I like Snider. I kid because I care. But I’d like to see where the Pirates nutritionists recommend a 40 oz. prime rib as a healthy meal. Can’t imagine why he keeps pulling leg muscles.

  162. Jandy says:

    My poor desk will never be the same.

  163. Jandy says:

    Milo, I know that darlin’. That’s why I said I wasn’t directing vitriol at you. I truly wasn’t.
    I seriously think he should consult with Sid or Sid’s trainer. I bet you he has less, a lot less, trouble with those ham muscles.

  164. Jandy says:

    OK, so I am going to lunch, and I am skipping the chat. Enough. Later, guys.

  165. LuckyNKentucky says:

    AW,

    You’re right about standards. To kick a dead horse, we did save a prospect when we didn’t send one to the Padres to get Headley. Kept to our standards. The city also lost a few million or so in potential revenue from playoff games, etc. and the club lost money on Headley shirts, bobbleheads, etc., but we kept to our standards. I love hindsight, too. I can take my glasses off for that. :(

  166. radio wave says:

    at nate no.53
    Good advice for an off day. But do we know if the players have lost this last off day to another charity event?
    I’m listening to sirius mlb radio. The host made a good comment in reviewing all the teams in the NL wild card race.
    he said you can look at the Dodgers and Pirates and see that they are playing tight. The other teams are loose and act like they have nothing to lose.

  167. Milo Hamilton says:

    Jandy,

    I was thinking Nick Swisher as a consult for Snider. He had very similar issues early on in his career and since has taken “ownership” (sorry) of his physical conditioning. And his on field results show it.

    I’ve said very similar things about Tabata’s conditioning, or lack thereof.

  168. NMR says:

    @Jandy

    GREAT point about Snider.

  169. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Paul Alexander and Hurdle go to the same barber. We need to mix it up more than that.

  170. Thundercrack says:

    Radio,
    Maybe the Brewers and Phillies are playing loose. But I can’t think that the Cardinals are playing that way.

  171. buggee says:

    >>>DK, I thought your headline of “Disgraceful” was in regard to the NHL labor sitch. Or Pitt football. Stupid me…

    >>>Bazzini’s rant in post #9 actually brought chuckles to moi. It’s just a game, dude. All this “pro” and “anti” stuff is inane at its best, but generally droll.

    We have a “pro” (couldn’t resist the pun there) team, they play ball, more often than not they suck, but going to a game is still better than going to a minor-league game in most cases.

    So kvetch about the laze, no-talent players, the dopey plays, the slumps, the lollipop throws, the boneheaded steal attempts and baserunning blunders, lineups, management decisions and all the other stuff that goes along with this great game to your heart’s content (which makes for a fun read)…

    But Front-office conspiracy theories? That’s for Clevelanders and north-side Chicagoans. Us Pixburghers are better than that.

    Hoist it on up there baybee

  172. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Well, seems to be a lot of chit-chat on here already.

    Ya know what? People are stupid. In the general sense. Individuals are not. Though many still are.

    It is stupid to think that NW is just sitting it out and I don’t really think DK called anybody in particular out about it. If you took offense, then you probably said something stupid about it.

    I do not think its stupid to consider a change in management. Don’t get me wrong, I am a HUGE CH fan, but if this is what his team does after a 2 successful 1st halfs, something’s got to give. However, a change does not happen just to make something happen. It needs to be an improvement. Look at the Boston Red Sox last year/this year.

    I don’t put the blame solely on CH’s head. But he is the manager and needs to be held accountable for his teams performance.

    Again, I’m not necessarily FOR firing him. But something needs to happen.

  173. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @buggee

    Bazzini’s been ranting and raving all that crap for awhile now over on Smizik’s blog for years. Such a waste of time to even read his posts………IMHO

  174. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    KramJR

    I don’t really understand your post about Snider. Apparently, you’ve never pulled a hamstring. Its cool, much easier to ridicule though. I get that.

  175. Jandy says:

    Milo, Nick Swisher would be fun, but Sid is in DaBurgh. Seriously tho, any decent trainer can help. He needs to just do it.

    NMR, why, thank you, sir :)

    Hey buggeeeeeee!!!!

    Ryan, watch it, dude. I don’t believe *I* said anything stupid about NW (just questioned where the heck he is) but I took offense. Using that work like that is plain, well, stupid. Oh and thanks for the heads up (You too Foo) about Ba-ziiinnggggyy Bazzini. I will skip over those comments in the future. :)

  176. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Jandy

    Then you shouldn’t have taken offense. Just because you question where he’s at isn’t stupid. I believe the “stupid” part is questioning the guys heart.

    It is a good question? There’s more to the back issue than just stiff. I got a damn stiff back every freakin day.

    I didn’t see your ??, but I’m assuming it was more wanting an update of him. Legit question IMO.

  177. bobhasis says:

    My “Hurdle is a bad manager and Leyva is an inept coach” boat began leaving the dock at the end of April/first of May, with very few passengers.

    It appears now that my boat isn’t big enough for you all. I’ll make a U-turn and come back

    Firing these two alone – TODAY – would be some small consolation, but it should be done.
    Leyva should have called time out and walked over to Dusty to say we are squeezing. He was as subtle as an earthquake.

  178. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Bob

    OK, fire them now. Who do you replace them with?

    I’m usually on the mindset of holding the players accountable and the manager/coachs are the scapegoats. We see it all the time in sports, but if its a change for the better, with a better manager, then I could see it happening.

    But, it won’t happen. NH will not fire CH.

  179. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    OH, please don’t tell me John Wehner…

    Thank you.

  180. Milo Hamilton says:

    Ryan,

    Steve Blass ?

  181. bobhasis says:

    How about you Ryan – then YOU could show Barmes how to play shortstop

  182. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Ryan,

    What about Francona? New Brighton is Pittsburgh and we need that flavor, right?

  183. cmat0829 says:

    Seems to me that ANY reason/excuse/explanation/rant about anything other than why the Pirates players are not PERFORMING at a level necessary to compete in September is at best a distraction from what it is really gonna take for this team to take the next step.

    Bla, bla, bla about Clint calling the squeeze last night. Hard to fault the man who has sat through countless futile atbats with RISP the past weeks. It was a bit telegraphed and probably best done on the first pitch than the second, but I’m not gonna rake the guy over the coals for that. Beyond that, the PIrates managed ONE RUN in a hitters bandbox….at best the run gets in there and its a tie game, and without another run across the Bucs can’t win the game. And there was not a lot of thunder in the bats yet again last night.

    Scott Rolen swings like a cricket player at this point and can really only hit pitches on the inner part of the plate. WHY WHY WHY are the Pirates pitchers throwing him fastballs he can 3/4 swing for flyballs to left? EIther stupid or piss-poor execution.

    Watch the pitch tracker for the way the Reds pitchers execute. They are keeping every pitch down and away from Jones and Cutch (and Pedro). Cutch swung at a 72mph junkball from the bearded pitcher that was 8-10inches off the plate outside. What the hell did he think he was gonna do with that pitch? Don’t get me stared on Pedro. After taking to 0-2 the first part of the year he pretty much swings at EVERY FIRST PITCH now. I’m not a pitcher, but I can pretty much pitch to the Pirates batters right now…. through Cutch junk way outside and he will chase… Jones will foul pitches off to get into 0-2 hole …and Pedro can’t recognize pitch speed /location to save his life.

    Is this coaches and managers fault? Pretty sure (though I’m not there) that the Bucs coaches and Clint have talked to the players about approach and hitting the other way and other such fundamentals. Let’s not Smizik-out hear and lazily claim the Bucs are the only team in baseball that has clueless instructors and incompetent coaches. The players should be watching what good, winning teams and players do and are doing and learning and applying what they see.

    Cutch, Jones and Pedro have made strides this year but we can see how far they still have to go to really be able to carry this team to playoffs. Is that disgraceful? Maybe, but seems to me its a bit harsh for young players. Is it managers and GM’s fault? Laughable.

    I really think the only thing I can fault NH for (not gonna chase that red herring “why aren’t they talking BS”) is not recognizing the players were not ready for prime time and really acquiring gritty veterans that “know how”…like Cody Ross and people like that. Vets that could push the young players as only other players can….. I think AJ and Wandy have done that on the pitching staff (Grilli, etc. in the bullpen), but definitely missing that presence offensively.

  184. Milo Hamilton says:

    Lucky,

    The name has crossed my mind.

  185. cmat0829 says:

    Should the dodgers fire Don Mattingly? Or is the fire the manager reserved only for Hurdle and the Bucs?

  186. bobhasis says:

    As the optimists in this group constantly believe, we are only 2.5 games out of a WC, so try something. Losing those two losers would IMHO be a giant step forward at any time.

    Change the mood, the philosophy, the psyche, and the pre-penciled in name of Barmes from the line-up card

  187. LuckyNKentucky says:

    DK should be a politician. When asked on the chat if we’ll reach 82, he didn’t say it’s an “absolute lock”, he said “the trend is pointing in the wrong direction for sure”. Tremendous power to think on his feet or tail or whatever. My hat is off to him. It’s either an astute mind or the caffeine.

    DK: No caffeine yet! Heading out now.

    But yeah, obviously, that ‘absolute lock’ thing is looking pretty shaky.

  188. Milo Hamilton says:

    cmat,

    Can I get that on an audio book ?

  189. cmat0829 says:

    bobhasis… boy, Barmes has a lot on his shoulders if it is HIM and not say, Cutch/Alvarez/Jones/Barajas/JMac/Bedard/poor fielding/poor baserunning/bullpen fatigue that is the object of our ire. Really? Barmes is really the main thing that pisses us off????

  190. cmat0829 says:

    milo, don’t worry I used the “English to Asylum” dictionary so safe to wade through the post. cliffs notes version: Blame the Players, Stop the Excuses.

  191. buggee says:

    >>>Jandy, a hamstring is not a muscle. Just helpin ya out there

  192. Milo Hamilton says:

    cmat,

    Bingo. :)

  193. NMR says:

    @cmat

    Great rant, but your conclusion begs one question:

    How else can you possibly hold a manager accountable for his performance?

  194. buggee says:

    >>> you know DK’s headliner is good when it evokes this much commentary. Look at all the flippin posts today!

  195. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I think NH should hire Tito as bench coach, then replace Clint next season when things go south like they did in Colorado with Jim Tracy. That may work, except Francona probably has more brains than that.

  196. Jandy says:

    The Phillips/Hughes slur fiasco was brought up in the chat, as I read after it was over. DK responded that as far as he knew…no sport ever punished anyone for that type of thing. Well, check this out:
    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/krys-barch-suspended-1-game-bad-joke-racial-183649497.html
    This is from January of this year.

  197. Jandy says:

    buggee, thanks, you old shuttlecock, for the lesson. Regardless, it needs conditioning…whether it is ham, steak, or string :)

  198. buggee says:

    >>> Maybe PRNW can consult with Mario (#66) on the back issues?

    >>> Maybe Snider can consult with Secretariat over that hammy problem?

    >>> Maybe K-Dro needs corrective lenses

    >>> Maybe Blob Barajas should play while on LSD. Imagine the game he’d call…

    >>> John Wehner as manager? Nah. I don’t think the Rock would be digging that job at all. Bob Walk, maybe. Teke? more maybe.

  199. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Only saving grace I can offer on Pedro is that it’s his first full season. That said, get it together, Pedro. Cutch looks like he’s trying to swing out of his pants. One thing I notice alarmingly often is guys not giving 100% running. I’m no pro player, obviously. But when I played as a kid, my coach sat kids left and right if they didn’t sprint to first no matter what kind of contact was made. Though he did assault a guy at one of my games with his cane, I like the demand for hustle.

  200. cmat0829 says:

    IMHO, manager gets 3 years especially with a team that is building from a 57-win pace UNLESS there is either (1) obvious evidence that he has lost the team (see Valentine, Bobby) or is incompetent or (2) there is obviously a better candidate that will come in and replace him and you can’t pass up the chance.

    I think Clint needs to come back in 2013 because neither 1 or 2 is true. Let’s stop the Francona blather right now. This is not the team he is coming back to manage. We’ve tried the “give a respected new guy a chance” route with Russell and the “veteran manager who has had success” route with Tracy (and Clint)… so neither path is a panacea.

  201. buggee says:

    >>> I have been called a “shuttlecock” by a very lovely, vivacious and classy lady. Ya made me day, Jandylicious. Thank-eee

    >>> There needs to be a better system of player incentives in place, as well as “decentives” (is that a word?). For instance…
    ——> If Barmes hits 250-275 over 10 games and,
    ———> commits zero errors and,
    ———> drives in 5-10 runs
    ————> increase his weekly pay by 10%
    ——> Else if Barmes hits 200-220 over 10 games and
    ———> commits minimum 1 error
    ———> RBI count reduce his weekly pay by 10%

    Seems like using statistics as a basis for performance-based contracts is a perfect fit for this game. This is the game that spawned the rise of all these odd esoteric stats (ie., POOP and fPOOP and xPOOP and zCRAP) and Sabremetrics, right? Might be an accounting and legal nightmare tho, so neva mind.

    Get it on up there meatwhistles

  202. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Milo

    Steve Blass for bench coach so he can tell the guys how used to be. Go drinking with them.

    Tito. Good thought. I’m still on the mindset that a manager is only as good as his players, however, the manager does need to make changes when needed, a lot more in NL than in AL of course.

  203. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Bob

    Thanks for the consideration. I’m not about to claim that I know more about the game than the ones that have played it for a career.

    I do know a thing or two about the game above a little league level. I have played the game at a fairly high level, with great players and against even greater players.

    You can only do some much with my speed!

  204. Jandy says:

    buggee, decentive isn’t a word, but it jolly well should be! Oh and glad I made your day :)
    Ahhhh, Lucky, you devil, you got a response from THE MAN :)

  205. Jandy says:

    What I don’t see is what is wrong with the way Barmes plays shortstop????
    :;scratcin’ my head::

  206. Jandy says:

    21s, there ya go…that’s two examples. So, maybe MLB should be embarrassed they did nothing? Nahhh…that won’t happen. Losers.

  207. radio wave says:

    UConn basketball coach Jim Calhoun retired today.

  208. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Jandy

    Bob doesn’t like the way he fields the ball. We’ve had this discussion the whole season. But, he’s set in his ways.

  209. Milo Hamilton says:

    No columns in either paper today on how a local Pittsburgh athlete was wronged by a disgusting race baiter. Maybe tomorrow.

    DK: Milo, that’s a difficult column to write without being on the scene. The credibility of the view is cast into doubt before you get to word one.

    If I were in Cincinnati, to me, a topic like that is a no-brainer.

    I’ve put my views up here, in the chat and a bit on social media, but even that’s done from a distance and not anywhere near as strongly as if I were there, I could talk to people on both sides and get a much, much better feel for it than a YouTube clip.

  210. 21sthebest says:

    Well Milo, it didn’t happen at a clay pigeon shoot on an off day during a pennant race.

    DK: Dude, what is with you? Seriously, I have no idea what to make of this new, darker you. Is it the Penn State thing?

  211. Jandy says:

    Barmes fields the ball EXCELLENTLY! Last night he was awesome. My hubby even said how well he played. But yeah, Ryan, now I remember that long winded debate. I like bob, and he brings much to this blog, but in this case, he is way in right field, to use a cliche.

    Milo, don’t hold your breath, you might turn blue.

  212. cmat0829 says:

    The problem with “making changes” for 2013 is that the players that have fallen so short in September are the players you cannot and should not change out. Cutch/ Pedro / to some extent Jones / AJ / Grilli …even Marte.

    No doubt the Bucs will re-shuffle the deck chairs on the rest of the lineup but until such time that the LEADERS step up and produce, then this team will remain short of the goal.

  213. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Jandy

    Don’t let Bob hear how you say he fields excellently….very, very long winded debates.

  214. Jandy says:

    Sorry, Ryan, lol. Barmes may not be the BEST short stop in MLB (a jab at the sabre metrics or whatever they are that project him to be) but he is dayum good. End of dispute. I won’t debate it ;)

  215. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I think the word leader gets thrown around way too much. Yes, the players should hold themselves accountable, no doubt.

    I don’t think it matters if its a position player or a starting pitcher that leads the team.

    I do know that we aren’t in the locker room and really don’t have a clue what goes on there and with the players.

    Leaders, do not need to be as vocal on the field as AJ Burnett is, but can be vocal in the clubhouse. As fans, we love that because we can actually see that he cares. As if the other players don’t because they don’t show their emotions.

    Funny, I don’t ever hear anyone questioning Derek Jeter’s leadership ability and you don’t see him running around yelling and screaming.

  216. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Jandy

    I’m all for a good debate, just not the same freakin thing over and over. Which is pretty much what we all do in the blog. LOL

    He is the best SS on the roster. Period.

  217. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    BTW. 24/7, as some of you like to call him, tweeted yesterday that Rod Barajas would like to return to the Pirates next year and is willing to take a pay cut.

    I actually laughed out loud at that one. Yea, he’ll be taking a pay cut alright. Nobody will give him a raise after his season, if he’s signed at all.

  218. Jandy says:

    Ryan, agreed.

  219. cmat0829 says:

    Just not sure why some seem to fixate on Barmes when he is way, way, way down the list of issues the Pirates need to address / reasons for the September Swoon. It’s not even that entertaining, guess I’m just not smart enough to understand.

  220. Jandy says:

    I said it before and I’ll say it again, make Barajas a coach/advisor. He’s perfect for it.

  221. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    cmat

    There only seems to be one on the blog that is fixated with Barmes. Far from being the problem.

  222. cmat0829 says:

    RE: Barajas, yeah, he wins the “Mitt Romney” timing award for that assertion. Yeah, Rod, try any of the following and “we’ll call your people”:

    1) CATCH THE BALL ( how many pitches has he dropped lately?)
    2) THROW A RUNNER OUT (any runner, even slow ones)
    3) HIT a baseball hard (it doesn’t even have to fall in fair)

    Sorry, Rod, but we all have our day and yours have passed by, like many a baseballl to the backstop. No doubt you are a great guy, you try hard, you care, you have had a good cup of coffee… but no, we won’t be needing you in 2013. We’d rather run a fan contest ” be the Backstop for the Day” and take our chances.

    DK: CMat, love your stuff, especially today. No politics here. Ever. Please. Last thing we need. Thanks.

  223. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Jandy

    Alot of your former catchers become managers. It is the toughest position on the field to play. They call the pitchers game and usually position the other players on the field. Also, on certain plays they let the fielders know where to throw, things like that.

    In other words, a catcher needs to be a thinker.

  224. NMR says:

    @cmat/Jandy

    You can put Clint Barmes in the “first impressions” life lesson column.

    To some people, thats all they remember, and nothing is gonna change it.

    C’est la vie.

  225. Jandy says:

    Ryan, yes the catcher is like the boss on a job site. He has to direct the operations. Rod may be quick-witted, but the body isn’t keeping up with the brain. Sadly, my mind thinks I am still 21. ugh. lol

    NMR, gotcha, friend. Closed minds miss out on a lot of changing information eh?

  226. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @NMR

    Which is funny. Its usually a “what have you done for me lately” type of thing.

    Barmes has been actually pretty solid as of late, both offensively and defensively.

  227. cmat0829 says:

    Read on MLBTradeRumors.com the other day that RONNY CEDENO is the top FA shortstop for 2013… didn’t know whether to laugh, cry, or spit when I read that.

  228. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @cmat

    That’s pathetic.

    Obviously a very weak SS season.

  229. Jandy says:

    cmat, try to last option lol

  230. Milo Hamilton says:

    I want to respond to the 1st line of cmat’s post #224. But I thought politics were off limits here.

  231. Arriba Wilver says:

    Milo–I thought the same thing, and I’m so stupid I don’t even know what he means. But I’m not so stupid I don’t know who he’s voting for.

  232. nate83 says:

    Brad @ 143

    My 9 year old son finally stopped asking me if the Pirates won last night when he wakes up in the morning about a week ago. Him jumping with joy when Alverez hit a game winning home run earlier this year is a distant memory. He just can’t believe this has been going on for 19 years.

    Let your 3 year old know to keep the faith in Cutch because he still has a shot at the batting title and seems to be doing a little better of late. Hopefully we will see a winning team before she starts school.

  233. Jandy says:

    AW, if you’re stupid, then I’m a Nun ;)

  234. Milo Hamilton says:

    DK,

    Thanks for the response.

    Until I hear from each of them specifically, I will assume Messers Starkey, Norman, Collier & Cook are using the same brand 10 foot pole you are.

    DK: It doesn’t have anything to do with a 10-foot pole. If I didn’t want to touch it, I wouldn’t write about it all, much less including Phillips himself in Twitter mentions. It’s that, for a full newspaper column, I feel it would be important to BE THERE to have the clearest possible picture.

    Hope that makes sense this time.

  235. Jandy says:

    Milo, good stuff. So, what is stopping MLB from disciplining Phillips? One has to wonder. But then again…

  236. buggee says:

    >>> As Judas Priest says, “Some heads are gonna roll” if this MLB team doesn’t break the .500 plateau.

    >>> @Milo (#189): absolutely priceless mon ami

  237. Arriba Wilver says:

    Milo–I think you’re misreading DK’s chat response. I believe he said he wasn’t aware of anyone being disciplined for accusing someone of a racist comment that didn’t occur. And I think Phillips was a total a-hole in this, but I do believe HE believes the comment was made. That’s based on his reaction for innings after it, talking to Cutch, talking to Dusty and the tweet. While I don’t believe it occurred, I do think Phillips believes it, and he’s just wrong. And his actions afterwards, other than the apparently fake rapprochement with Hughes, have been pretty bad. It does bother me a bit that the other Pirates haven’t stuck up for Hughes, but I also havent seen any Reds player (or Dusty) stick up for Phillips. So I kind of figure it’s because no one wants to touch the controversy.

  238. Milo Hamilton says:

    Wilver,

    I understand. No one had ever been disciplined for making racial or gay slurs either. So there had to be a 1st time. This is every bit as reckless. This needs to be THE precedent. I can only imagine the outrage if video had caught Hughes saying something racist. And rightfully so. The media are asleep here. Period.

  239. cmat0829 says:

    Let’s tie two blog-threads together in a bow….

    Maybe the Pirates FO should “break their silence” and issue a statement about the Hughes/Phillips affair…something to the effect of:

    The Pittsburgh Pirates organization takes pride in competing in a completely professional manner, both on and off the field and so we take the recent allegations of Brandon Phillips toward Jared Hughes very seriously. We’ve investigated what happened and are confident that Jared did nothing wrong and he has reached out to Philips and discussed the matter to the player’s satisfaction. If there is any evidence contrary to this I invite anyone to bring that forward and the Pirates organization will address it succinctly. There is no place in baseball or anywhere else for racial or any other type of intolerence. That is not the character of Jared Hughes and any other member of the Pirates organization.

  240. Arriba Wilver says:

    Milo–but if Phillips truly, and wrongly, believes it happened, what do you discipline him on? Being wrong?

  241. nate83 says:

    By sticking up for Hughes it stays in the media and then becomes a distraction. This whole thing will die down in a day or two if it hasn’t already. Why ignite the fire and have Hughes continue to deal with it. The more people that get involved the more likely this is the lead story on sportscenter. I don’t think Hughes wants that. Even if he didn’t say it and only 1 out of 100 people think he did that’s not a label I would want anyone putting on me. It’s not a big national story currently and I hope it stays that way.

  242. Jandy says:

    AW, no way you can get a racial slur out of “throw the f****** ball in the M*****f****** dugout.
    No way possible.
    If so, the dude has issues and shouldn’t be playing major league baseball. Period.
    But we are agreed Phillips is an a-hole.

  243. cmat0829 says:

    again it comes down to timing. a forceful show of support for hughes right away by the FO not only helps buffer the young player but also puts a statement out there that the pirates organization has integrity and is committed to tolerance of all kinds, and those statements cant be made enough. not to perpetuate the “tit for tat” detail stuff but rather to say ” put up or shut up” and case closed.

  244. Jandy says:

    nate, you’re right. So that means they should have done it immediately. In not doing so , they blew it.

  245. Jandy says:

    cmat…I see we agree lol.

  246. nate83 says:

    AW

    Agree completely. What if he does truly believe something was said and what if Hughes truly didn’t say anything.

    There is no crime for mishearing something just misremembering. Just like there is no crime in Roger Clemans saying he has no interest in playing for the Astros. He may have just forgot to remember he wanted to play for the Astros.

  247. buggee says:

    re post #236: some storylines absolutely require in-person coverage to ensure all angles are represented fairly, and primary and fringe parties get due voice. DK is spot on for not discoursing on that racial stuff without being there.

    Something that volatile cannot be opined lightly/injudiciously, even if the author of such stupidity has no problem inserting a size-12 in his vapid face. (sorry Jandydoll, I tried to be sensitive)

  248. Jandy says:

    buggee, and you did a fine job of it.

  249. cmat0829 says:

    I guess I’d say one way to cover the racial story would be to contact the Pirates Front Office and ask them about the accusations, whether they investigated it, what they have to say in support of their player, etc.

  250. nate83 says:

    Jandy I agree if indeed anyone even knew when it happened that Phillips was accusing Hughes of doing that. I don’t think at the time anyone knew that they had to defend Hughes for being accused of being a racist.

    I still think that if Phillips takes even one step towards Hughes that the Pirates bench empties.

  251. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jandy–so you think Phillips’ unprecedented actions afterward in not letting it go, including jawing at Cutch about it, was because he got hit in the leg by a pitch and made up the tweet to cover his tracks?

  252. Milo Hamilton says:

    nate,

    At least AJ would have come out.

  253. NMR says:

    @Arriba

    I’m in your corner on this one. You cannot punish someone for speaking his mind when he feels he has been discriminated.

    There are way, way more details in this instance which prove, IMO, Phillips is a flat-out liar, but those won’t be remembered. What will is the precedent that if you claim to be discriminated and can’t prove it, not only will you not be believed, but you’ll be punished.

  254. nate83 says:

    In a situation where nobody in the game has been hit by a pitch I’ve just never seen a bench empty before there is some sort of initial action made by one of the two players involved. The only time that seems to happen is when everyone on both teams know that somebody is getting hit because of something that previously happened in the game.

  255. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I believe that Hughes and Phillips should do a commercial on racial discrimination and how its bad for baseball and for life in general.

    Then they can shake hands and smile in the camera at the end.

  256. nate83 says:

    Remember when DK started the Blog thread for It’s about……. back a few months ago. There was well over 300 entries. Now we have close to 300 entries on this blog entry names disgraceful. How did we get to here from there?

  257. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    The months long play brought us here.

  258. The Gunner says:

    Terry Francona as the Bucco manager??? He is way out of Robert Nutsack’s league.

    The problem is the primadonna players. A bunch of overpaid complainers and babies is what they all are. They need to start to PERFORM!!!!!!

  259. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    DK: Guys, it’s your place and all, but I put up that chat transcript thread primarily so you’d have somewhere else to go before this one gets to 300.

  260. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    What happens if this hits 300?

  261. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    @Nate

    I tell her to keep cheering. She still chants Let’s go Bucs and sings some of the organ playing Charge! My son’s favorite is Jones, so not too too bad on that front recently. It’s just sad to see them be decent for the first time since I was a kid and when you try to share that experience with your kids and the implosion is going on; well, I’m sure you and many other parents understand. The Pirate Parrot never disappoints, though. I’d could do the funniest thing in the world to my kids during a game, but I can’t hope to compete with that guy when he’s on TV.

  262. nate83 says:

    But we are trying to make this the unhappiest thread ever. Plus it is fun to see how many people think you are talking directly to them when saying people can be stupid sometimes. It is easier to keep track of that number if it is all on one thread.

    Being a person that has had 2 herniated disks I say Walker can sit out as long as he needs to. I’m sure there are days he can barely move never mind play baseball.

  263. Arriba Wilver says:

    Ryan–if it hits 300 we all become stupid.

  264. nate83 says:

    300!!!!

  265. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    still

  266. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    didn’t

  267. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    make

  268. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    it

  269. CWalton_67 says:

    Not that anyone cares, but you’ve lost me with all the word games. Used to be fun and interesting here; no longer.

    DK: A lot of folks are upset here today. Expected that and totally understand it.

  270. PGH2WPB says:

    I came…I saw (the childishness)…I left (for good). I expected better. Silly me.

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