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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

On location: Reds 4, Pirates 3 … 82 … 20

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (77-81) vs. Cincinnati Reds (95-63)

Time: 1:35 p.m.

Site: PNC Park

TV, radio: Root Sports, 93.7 The Fan

Here is the live box score.

And here is the Pirates’ lineup vs. Cincinnati RHP Johnny Cueto

  1. Alex Presley, LF
  2. Josh Harrison, 2B
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Garrett Jones, 1B
  5. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  6. Travis Snider, RF
  7. Clint Barmes, SS
  8. Rod Barajas, C
  9. Wandy Rodriguez, LHP


  1. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    DK: This is really weird. I put this post up as soon as lineups came out, but it went WAY out of chronological order, so no one could see it.

    Anyway, I just made this new one up here.


  2. Beat 'em Bucs says:

    Anyone going to the final Pirates game against the Braves on Wednesday afternoon needs to find it in himself or herself to be upbeat and enthusiastic for two at bats. Here is when and why this should be done:

    When Andrew McCutchen comes up to bat in the first inning, he should get an enormous standing ovation. The way he carried this team throughout the first half of the season, despite not hitting a home run the entire month of April, was nothing short of remarkable. Some will argue that his performance dropped off during the second half, but come on. The guy was hitting .375. No player has had a season even close to this during these twenty years of losing. The closest was probably Brian Giles in 1999, but it wouldn’t be surprising to learn that Giles’ stellar season was chemically assisted. For a good portion of this season, chants of MVP dominated PNC Park when McCutchen came up to bat. When’s the last time Pirates fans could be so proud of one of their own?

    If I’m figuring this out correctly, A.J. Burnett should pitch on Wednesday as well. Whenever he comes up to bat in the second or third inning, the standing ovation he receives should be as loud, if not louder than the one McCutchen receives. Over the past two decades, there have been numerous players who have come to Pittsburgh from outside the organization, and not one of those players did as much for the Pirates as Burnett. Making 16.5 million dollars a year, it would’ve been very easy for Burnett to come here and just go through the motions for two years until his contract ran out. From day one he has not only said the right thing, but also followed it up with actions. He worked his tail off to get healthy after his eye injury. He took it upon himself to take James McDonald under his wing, setting a good example for not only McDonald, but the rest of the staff. He took it on the chin in St. Louis, giving up 12 runs in less than three innings so that Clint Hurdle could preserve his bullpen. There’ve been numerous clips of him standing outside the Pirates’ locker room greeting the team after a win. He was the only player on the team to come out of the dugout, ready to stand up for his teammate, a couple weeks ago when Jared Hughes beaned Brandon Phillips. Arguably the best vision of this season is when he came off the mound on a Sunday afternoon in July to the loudest ovation a starting pitcher has received here in years. Watching him show appreciation to the fans with his fist held high in the air was incredible. Arguably one of the best games this year was the one-hit masterpiece that he threw against the Cubs in early August. Some fans might argue that Burnett’s season was disappointing because his numbers were down in August and September. Those fans need to remember that mixed into those August starts was the final game of a four game series against the Dodgers in which Burnett didn’t have his best stuff, ended up with a pretty poor stat line, but won the game for the Bucs with his remarkable passion on the mound (STFD!). Also mixed in there in September was Burnett having to fight through five innings against the Cubs while his teammates would go on to make seven errors in the field that night.

    Bottom line, what McCutchen and Burnett did this year had most sports fans in Pittsburgh paying attention to the Pirates into September, and that’s a gift that deserves a thank you from the fans. A special moment when each player comes to bat on Wednesday might make the taste in everybody’s mouth just a little less bitter going into the offseason.

    DK: Will you be there?

  3. Drew71 says:




  4. JAL says:

    Weirdness on the web, say it ain’t so

  5. Drew71 says:

    Yes I am.

  6. Eric Bowser says:

    At PNC park sec 139 row d seats 6 and 7. There is a ton of red in crowd at the moment.

    Perry won a yellow t shirt on the spin the wheel.

  7. JMB says:

    We just weren’t smart enough to see the game-thread.

  8. DemonDachshund says:

    Foo –

    The fact is that the Pirates are the Pirates, complete with the extra challenges that brings in terms of money available. They HAVE to be more successful at drafting and Latin America signings than the rest of MLB or they will never compete.

    I realize it’s early to judge the ’08/’09 drafts in terms of major leaguers produced, but then again… But it concerns me greatly that the Indy position players this year were mostly either AAAA guys of the Clement type or prospects with low expectations, like Mercer/Hague/Sanchez… Guys who project to backups and bench players at best at the MLB level. Same goes with AA for most of the year.

    It seems to me that after 5 years, your minor league system should have more legitimate prospects above high A. I don’t see any real contributions from the minors other than Taillon and Cole in the next 2 years. And fair or not, for the Pirates, that won’t cut it.

  9. lawnbeaver says:

    Good thing Marte is getting some good MLB experience here at the end of this lost season.

  10. JMB says:

    I figure with attendance being up and the team winning more games, we are stuck w. NH.

    Next year if attendance and wins go down, out of town will go NH & crew. It’s a win/win for us. We either break the streak, or we finally get a bona fide GM/FO.

  11. What Happened? says:

    Pre-game horror…Bringing out a Clemente “look alike / impersonator” to “strike a pose” in front of Clemente’s widow and sons strikes me as just about as tacky as instructing players and coaches to strive to behave like the Hell’s Angels. END THIS SEASON already…and make some changes in leadership.

    DK: It was the Clemente family’s idea.

  12. zzzman says:

    With this ownership there would be a big question as to whether we would get “a bona fide GM/FO ” or more of the same.

  13. Reading says:

    The Clemente “actor” looked more like the Reds’ George Foster or the Pirates’ Gene Clines.

    DK: The Reds’ people here in the press box immediately made the Foster connection when he came out. In fairness, 21 did sport some serious burns at one point in his career. It’s just not the most common image that exists of him.

  14. BarryVanBonilla says:

    Did they really do this? Please tell me that was a joke.

  15. Hurdled says:

    I wonder who did the scouting for the Clemente actor?

    What type of training did this actor get?

    He looked about as well coached as any one of the minor leaguers we’ve seen this year.

    Did the Clemente actor pay $600 to be an adviser?

    Is the Clemente actor’s job safe after this season?

    DK, we need answers.



  16. What Happened? says:

    “Clemente family idea” – thx for the insight, DK…still…”creepy” to this focus group on one…

    DK: Seconded. They wanted it, and I’ll respect that.

  17. Beat 'em Bucs says:

    Unfortunately, I have to work so I won’t be there.

  18. Dan1283 says:

    Turned it off for some football, and if the football stinks well there’s always some bad movie like Breakdown on TNT or something.

    Anything but the Pirates right now. Was out last night and the game was on TV. When Cutch hit the homer everyone started yelling and pounding on the bar and clapping hands. I just couldn’t. That win meant nothing at all. It only served to depress me further.

    And when we don’t get a clean house this offseason, I won’t be back.

  19. Bizrow says:

    Kinda ironic that either the Reds or the Braves could/will send us to 20 years of agony

  20. Reading says:

    Still like the 1971 throwback caps the Clemente sons were wearing today. I wish those hats would become a regular alternate cap for the team.

  21. JMB says:


    Yeah, the NLWC will be tough. Cards/Braves — Bluck. I hope it goes 25 innings, and whoever wins is too exhausted to put up a fight in NLDS.

    I’m sticking w. the Giants in the NL.

    In the AL, I’m schizophrenic: Tigers, Orioles, A’s, heck I even like the Halos.

  22. Reading says:

    The weird irony of showing Snider’s great catch during his at bat and then cutting back to him striking out looking.

  23. Reading says:

    Barajas beats out an infield hit. Quick, somebody find the Mayan calendar.

  24. Reading says:

    Dear piratesfanadvisor, make the 1971 hats a regular alternate cap. Thanks.

    Hoka hey!

  25. Bizrow says:

    @JMB – Hoka Hey

    @Reading – Huntingtons stats predicted that would happen one time this season

    Thats why we overpaid for Barabbas

  26. Reading says:

    Fair ball, in play, hit right at me. Yeah, I’ll pick it up.

  27. DemonDachshund says:

    Regarding Karstens:

    I can only hope they’ve learned from the Capps fiasco. You CANNOT afford to give away assets, even if you don’t want them. Trade Karstens? Fine, I disagree, but I can live with that business decision. But you DEFINITELY tender him, and then you get what you can for him if you want to go that route. And as such, the answer should have been something along the lines of “He’s been a valued part of this team the past few years, and given that we have him under team control for another year, we’re not going to let him walk away.” Don’t sabotage your own efforts to trade him, like he just did.

  28. Derek Smith says:

    I am gonna be there on Wednesday. Driving down from Bradford, a little over 3 hours away, in the morning. I am definatley planning on giving A.J an ovation when he comes out of the game, and from there I guess we will have to see. LETS GO BUCS!

  29. #2, @Beat em Bucs, well said. Amidst the gloom, Cutch and Burnett are beacons of light. And I’m going to refrain from adding a negative sentence on the end because light is an unadulterated good thing, as were those two player performances this season.

  30. The Gunner says:

    @ What Happened – 11

    I missed what you are talking about as it relates to the Clemente actor. What exactly did they do?

  31. @23 Reading if I’d known anyone would post something here so funny that I’d risk asphyxiation by laughter….well, I’d have been here sooner.

  32. RobertoForever says:

    At the game again today. Tough to wait out that 4 min rain delay. :D. I assume that was on the umps.

    With the Clemente thing, i was confused at first, seeing that #21 running in from RF. But I realized then the symbolism, and got goosebumps thinking about what it must have been like to watch him run in at games. Gave me a glimpse of what it would have been like. Different, but cool at the same time.

    Wished it hadn’t been raining today.

    Great to see Jones crush another one. Another $100k in arbitration.

    DK: Yes, that’s the ump’s call. Always, always, always once the game starts.

  33. Two Ohio teams, the Reds and Indians, have adopted opposite pitching strategies. NH’s bloodlines are from the loser of that argument – Bedard being his crowning soft-tossing mistake (which I fully signed on to at the time).

    DK: How do you mean, OM?

  34. Patrick(RI) says:

    Late to the party(watching red sox losing to the orioles – McLouth 2nd lo HR in series, my favorite “dead horse”. Ciriaco just doubled asI switched channels).

    To the point, they should have put Marte in right field, in a 21 shirt and had him laser a throw to Alvarez.

  35. Clemente was quirky, not savvy with media, and not universally loved in Pittsburgh until the last years of his career. His fundamentals at the plate (where he stepped away from pitches like a little leager scared of the ball) and in the field (where his one handed basket catches scared coaches the world over) were unrepeatable. He
    constantly whined about his health. And he spoke at best broken English at a time when there was even more prejudice against that, than there is today.

    He put together a body of work that was, toward the end, undeniably classic.

    Bing Crosby was one of the Pirates owners when he was picked up from the Dodgers organization.

  36. Branch Rickey, who had broken MLB’s color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers, was the Pirates GM who brought Clemente to Pittsburgh from Brooklyn.

  37. DK, seems to me Cincy has pursued power pitchers, Cleveland, soft tossers.

    DK: Well, the Pirates obviously shifted that for this season. That’s why their strikeout totals have gone WAY up.

  38. Reading says:

    Cutch needs to come up with 5 more RBIs to reach 100.

  39. Bedard was a soft tosser with a K/9 rate that any pahr guy would have envied. He was unique in that respect, so far as I know, unless Greg Maddux had a k/9 like Bedard’s.

  40. Reading says:

    Officer #31

    Thanks! I hope that at least one of my in-game jokes registers with somebody.

  41. Hurdled says:

    Pirates 2013: Pedro Alvarez’s Arms Are Now 25% Shorter

  42. Thundercrack says:

    Soft tossers are cheaper :-)

    Off the top of my head thinking of the Reds starters Latos and Cueto throw very hard.
    Baily was around 90-92 wasn’t he? Can’t remember what Leake threw.

  43. Reading says:


  44. Reading says:

    And #STFD Bruce!!

  45. DK agreed. This was the year NH abandoned soft tossing. Which entails asking for $. I’d bet that NH’s original promise to win on the cheap, in hindsight, deserves firing.

  46. The Gunner says:

    Hanrahan does it again.

    DK: Really?

  47. Reading says:

    Of course, ex-Pirate has to go and ruin things

  48. TC, and then there’s Aroldis Chapman.

  49. The Gunner says:

    Hanrahan won’t be here next year———-too pricey. Rodriguez probably wants to shoot him at this point.

  50. Reading says:

    Any more ex-Pirates on their roster? Come on Man!

  51. JMB says:

    Will this be the season in a nutshell?

  52. Reading says:

    The Rubber Mallet is not getting it done.

  53. The Gunner says:

    Add a new closer to the 2013 wish list

  54. JMB says:

    Stetson Allie will be our 2013 closer, oh wait, what? Nevermind…

  55. Patrick(RI) says:

    Hanrahan is no doubt rusty from inadequate opportunity in recent weeks. Months?

  56. JMB says:

    Morris will single handedly save the Bay trade and be our shutdown closer in 2013. That’s the ticket!

  57. Reading says:

    Chapman will probably drill somebody to kick sand in our face, just because.

  58. Reading says:

    Can you say microcosm?

  59. The Gunner says:

    Is it Scabata or Tubata? His base running skills leave a lot to be desired.

  60. Reading says:

    Joggin’ Joe almost made it. Another 12 strides and he’s on third and we are in business.

  61. JMB says:

    Chapman wants to give us this one!

  62. Patrick(RI) says:

    In some perverse way, a HR by Barajas would have been a microcosm, too.

  63. The Gunner says:

    @ Reading – 60

    Knucklehead Scabata Tubata screwed up again. GET RID OF THIS LOSER!!!!!!!!!!

  64. Patrick(RI) says:

    How often does that 2B make that throw?

  65. Reading says:

    It’s time for a Marte Partay!

  66. Drew71 says:

    Ah. Strike out looking.

    That’s ok. Not an important AB. Nothing much on the line.

  67. Hurdled says:


    I knew we could do it!!

    HOKA HEY!!

  68. TJA says:

    The Reds won the very first game at PNC Park in 2001. And today, they offically give the Pirates, yet, another offical losing season. There is something ironic to me about this.

  69. The Gunner says:

    Thanks Hanrahan / thanks Scabata Tubata. You both choked big time.

  70. JMB says:

    Well, isn’t that what DK meant by “enjoy it”?

    I actually was into the game at the end, so even though we lost, I was into the finish.

  71. Reading says:

    And that will conclude “Fan Appreciation Day.” Thanks for attending/watching. Now, go home/switch to NFL game.

  72. Drew71 says:

    There it is.

  73. JMB says:

    Will the streak be able to buy alcohol next year?

  74. Hurdled says:

    Thank you 2 million fans.

    Buy some more merchandise on the way out.

    2013 Season Tickets are now available.

  75. Hurdled says:


    That is HILARIOUS!

    Will The Streak get far enough to be able to rent a car?

  76. Arriba Wilver says:

    We stink. But on the bright side, Neal said in his pregame that some pundits projected us to only win in the upper 60’s, lower 70’s. I am not making that up.

  77. Neal needs to be returned to Cleveland.

  78. Allow me to unburden myself. Any possibility we could rid this team of failures from Coonelly to Huntington?

  79. Reading says:

    Losing on “Fan Appreciatiin Day,” by a blown save, kind of reminds you of the touching scene in “Brian’s Song” when Sayers presents Picolo with the game ball from the Bears’ loss that day.

  80. Hurdled says:


    I like that way of thinking.

    Most pundits said we were crap.

    We showed them we were only crap-like, but not full blown crap.

    We proved the pundits wrong.

  81. Leefoo says:

    Since i want Hurdlr fired and NH hired him and Stark, let’s just do a clean sweep and send everyone on their way.

    Problems is, do you trust Bob N to hire a VERY good GM?

    And, even if they hire a genius underling, who is to say he won’t be a Jack Z or Dayton Moore?

    I know ANYBODY is better than NH according to some, but DL was highly thought of.

    Just sayin

    That’s it…I am done defending your favorite whipping boy. I STILL thonk he has done a pretty good job, but I am definitely in the minority.



  82. This team is setting a standard beneath which only criminals could reach.

  83. The Gunner says:

    @ Mancuso – 77 & 78

    Neal the SEAL is a blithering idiot. He will not be back – write it down. You heard it live from the Ol’ Gunner!

  84. Arriba Wilver says:

    Hurdled—I look at it as the FO’s version of PR.

  85. 21sthebest says:

    Lee, do you think Bob would be the one to hire the GM?

  86. JMB says:


    Even though you’re a paysite bombastically, barbarically, & NH boostin’ “bully,” I enjoy your thoughtfully researched posts.

  87. Drew71 says:

    And I see the American golfers are trying for Collapse III.

    Dejan probably doesn’t do golf.

    Sand traps remind him of beaches.

  88. Thundercrack says:

    For Tabata and Marte: nothing like a few days of extended spring training and a day of Navy SEAL training won’t fix.

    Hanrahan has had a few shaky outing the past month, but I’m not ready to replace him.
    But it should would have been nice to have gotten him 8-10 more save chances this month.

  89. The Gunner says:

    @ Lee – 81

    Hurdle deserves to stay. Yeah, he makes some bad moves but he sure doesn’t have much material to work with.

    Get a decent GM in here who can get a couple good FAs to come here, give McPherson, Cole & Taillon a legitimate shot to be in the 2013 starting rotation from the gitgo.

  90. Hurdled says:


    It’s just more of the same from THE BEST MANAGEMENT TEAM IN BASEBALL.

    The writers and pundits don’t know anything (all they do is disrupt our family lives).

    The bloggers don’t know anything (all they do is hurt the development of our prospects).

    The fans don’t know anything (unless they are from Boston).

    The other executives in baseball don’t know anything (except for the ones that “agree” with us).

    It takes a seriously delusional person to believe that EVERYONE else is wrong except for them.

    Bob, Frank, Neal, Kyle, Greg and Clint it may be time for an exciting afternoon of electroshock therapy.

  91. John Lease says:

    Poor Wandy, welcome to hell.

  92. Drew71 says:

    No wonder the Europeans have almost caught up.

    They had an unfair advantage.

    Most of the Americans this morning had something dry (*hack*) in the backs of their throats.

  93. Drew71 says:

    *Hack hack cough*

    Those tricky straight three footers.

  94. JoeyBats says:

    I despise what this storied franchise has become.

    Shame on you BMTIB….shame.

  95. patrick(RI) says:

    Any contrition re Tabata from those who berated “his” stretching for 3rd?

  96. JMB says:

    In other news, BJ Upton his his 27th and 28th homers today. He’s still on my 2013 FA wish list.

    And the Tigers are looking good for the AL Central. I’m pulling for ol’ Jim Leyland.

  97. PgherinLev says:

    Just 10 more years and the streak becomes a porn movie! Lord knows I was driven often enough to say the “F” word this year.

  98. Drew71 says:

    US golfers are about to have a Piraterian collapse.

  99. Leefoo says:

    For those who think NH should have more in the pipeline from his drafts, pls look at this site:

    65% of first rounders become part timers or worse! Wrap your heads around that!
    82% of 2nd rounders become part timers or worse!
    Each round, the percentage gets worse! To get a guy after the first, NO MATTER WHERE YOU PICK is the crapshoots of crapshoots. It is called LUCK!

    This info isn’t in the article, but since 1990, Top 5 picks have historically returned around 45% becoming part timers or worse! That is almost HALF!!

    What I keep hearing “Well, NH has been drafting so high, we SHOULD have more studs”. This is coming from, I am assuming, folks who don’t really know how volatile the baseball draft is. I have been following it since 1990, since the days of the Oakland A’s ballyhooed “Four Aces” (Van Poppel, Don Peters, Dave Zancanaro and Kirk Dressendorfer.). Four first round pitchers…all failed!

    And, I would lay odds that those GMs, for the most part, picked the best player available at that time (as according to my draft books, NH did, for the most part). Of course, you had your stinkers like DL who didn’t, but for the most part….Of course, then you hear the “A GOOD GM should’ve known who to pick”? Oh really? Find me a GM who hasn’t had close to 90% of his draft classes fail.

    Either all those GMs haven’t got a clue what they’re doing or the baseball draft is as big a crap shoot as they come.

    This is not defending NH, but DON’T say that his drafting should be returning more prospects by now. Sanchez falling off the prospect chart is NOT unusual. Using that 45% failure rate, that is about right. Alvarez – Hit! Sanchez (so far) – Miss!

    IF NH gets fired, so be it. Just don’t expect the next GM to come in and start bucking history and these odds. He may do it for awhile, but most fall to these percentages eventually. Jack Z was ‘on fire’ when he was with the Brewers and handling their drafts. He has sucked in Seattle. Ditto for Dayton Moore (he’s been on the job one more year than NH).

    Additonally, I love the job Gayo has done, but if you look at the sheer number of Latins that we have drafted and the number of ‘overslots’ who have failed, I expect his pipeline to come back to normal, also. Latin America is an even BIGGER crapshoot. But that is another article and another day.

    And like I said before, if Bell is not hurt, he is probably (you never know, of course) a top 100 pick. And somehow if we had signed Appel, he, too would be in the top 100. Seven teams passed on him because of his ‘commitment’, but EVERY team passed on Josh Bell and we signed him. We would have 4 each from America and Latin A.

    Pretty darn good in my book. Any other GM with 8 players in the top 100?

    Oh….one last thing….I can understand why we’re not getting excited about our BA Top 100 listing (the ‘until they become solid MLB players, they’re ‘dead’ to me’ argument). A whopping 85% of our prior Top 100 guys before NH failed!!! I’m somewhat pessimistic, too…lol.

    Drafty Foo


  100. The Gunner says:

    @ Patrick – 95

    No contrition from me

  101. Drew71 says:

    But it’s ok because the pundits thought they would lose.

  102. JMB says:

    It’s just too bad that life isn’t like a baseball video game.

    I’d like to somehow parlay Karstens, Tabby, Marte, Snider, Hanny, GSanchez, & TSanchez into this team:

    BJ Upton
    Justin Upton
    Chase Headley
    Edwin Jackson

    Greinke, Jackson, and BJ (LF) would all be FA signings. And some package of players above to get Headley for 3B (PA goes to 1B) and Justin for RF.

    That would be a team for 2013. I could even live w. the killer B’s batting 7th & 8th, if Hot Rod tears up that $3.5Mm option for a $1M incentive laden contract.

    I’m ready for the hot stove.

  103. Bizrow says:

    No, Drew, the saddening thing to me is the FO metrics said we would lose

    There are a few moments when in life, you say why not

    That NH speak plus the defense of Kyle Stark because we would be overwhelmed with the cash cows of MLB if we did not try something “unique” sickens me

    The BMTIB?

    A long off season of poop and spin

    Just sayin

  104. Reading says:


    Give the second baseman for the Reds credit because he did make a great play. But watching the play, it did not appear our guy was running at full speed throughout. It was not like Cutch running from first to third at a world record pace. So whether the third base coach sent him or not is kind of irrelevant.

  105. Eric Bowser says:

    Leefoo – Those numbers are exactly why this team screwed up. You don’t spend $50+ million for draft picks more on the suspect ledger than prospect. Which makes trades, free agency, and retaining your own more important than some newspaper article praising you for spending $5-6 million on the second round and on.

    As for the game, a 4-minute rain delay, a 2-run HR by Jones, a complete meltdown by Hanrahan and WTF by Tabata and Leyva.

    I can tell you the reaction in 139 around me was pretty negative once Tabata started going to third base. Everyone was yelling no, no.

    Well, hopefully when my son is older, he’ll be able to laugh about his attending number 82 in year 20. I really don’t know if I can stomach anything more than a few games in 2013 as I don’t want to support this ownership or management team.

    What a day.

  106. Drew71 says:

    That’s it. US Ryder Cup golfers = Pirates.

    I’m kinda expecting my car to come to a choking halt on the way home.

  107. Leefoo says:

    Eric…”You don’t spend $50+ million for draft picks more on the suspect ledger than prospect. Which makes trades, free agency, and retaining your own more important than some newspaper article praising you for spending $5-6 million on the second round and on. ”

    Two different budgets. They were willing to spend on Free Agents. None of the first tier wanted to come. We’re always left shopping at Big Lots or Ollies and you get what you pay for.

    As spending on those pitchers in 2009, they were hoping that one or two would pan out (which is about what you could hope for).

    I remember how excited we were when Quinton Miller and ZVR signed. We signed some highly thought of players.

    It ain’t the development either….draft picks fail (ESP pitchers) more often than not. Unfortunately, it IS the ‘throw dog crap against the wall and hope your pooch ate a diamond’ philosophy ESP after the first round. Look at those odds.

    Nope, Eric, money is NOT the issue. But, even now THAT is being taken away from us by the great Bud in the Skybox.

    However, I WILL say I wanted Machado!!!! JT better frikkin make it or NH will lose his last defender….lol



  108. Drew71 says:

    No Biz. Not the usual long off season.

    It’s going to be a very interesting one when so many of them lose their jobs.

    From my lips to Bob’s ears.

  109. Eric Bowser says:

    Leefoo – We can agree with Machado.

  110. JMB says:

    I was looking at some of the archives.

    August 5th, 2012 – 12:50 pm
    This feels like the start of an August swoon to me, but I hope that I’m wrong.

    I also remember when DK made fun of us for thinking this Pirates team might have been more smoke than substance.

    “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”

    Or better yet…”There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — [pauses] — shame on you. Fool me — [pauses] — You can’t get fooled again.”

    DK: It’s a daily paper, Jon. Circumstances change, and so do views. At the time that was written, it was WHOLLY reasonable.

  111. JUCOFan says:

    Oh no, we suck again

  112. Ed says:

    So I was one of the thirty-thousand plus that got to witness history today.

    That 9th inning was symbolic in many ways of the twenty years of losing for this franchise. They almost always seem to fold at the most crucial moment.

    Speaking of twenty, Mr Nutting, I hope you enjoy that $20 million you’re making this year.

  113. Thundercrack says:

    Just saw the replay again of Tabata getting thrown out at third.

    That was a hellava throw. It didn’t even bounce and right on target.
    If it bounces just once and is a foot or two towards home plate, Tabata would be safe.

  114. Drew71 says:

    Yes. If.

    If x 20.

  115. DocJeanO says:

    Foo at #99, I remember when those “Four Aces” were on the cover of Baseball America! I also remember the Mets having stud pitchers (Wilson, Pulsifer and Izzy) in the mid 90’s that were supposed to lead the Mets back to the World Series. It is a crapshoot with the draft and there are absolutely no guarantees.

  116. DemonDachshund says:

    So there’s no such thing as a good GM? It’s all blind luck?

    Then why object to replacing NH?

  117. Milo Hamilton says:

    This 82 thing.

    For addicts, they say you can never lick the problem until you admit to yourself that you have a problem.

    Until the Pirates actually admit to themselves that this streak means something, especially to their fans that have actually suffered through it, they will never overcome it.

    The players & Johnny come lately front office types say it’s not a goal because they haven’t worn all 20 years of it like we have. And frankly right now, we’re not wearing it very well. We’re embarrassed & ashamed, as everyone involved with that organization should be.

  118. DemonDachshund says:

    @JMB –

    64-52 through August 14th.

    13-30 since.

    It’s an ABSOLUTE LOCK that DK won’t underestimate this organization’s ability to fail in the future.

  119. Arriba Wilver says:

    Foo–in order to answer the question of whether any other GM had 8 players in the top 100, we’d have to know about all their imaginary ones, too.

  120. Chuck H says:

    O.K. Hanrahan, you’ve done that for the last time for Pittsburgh. Closer, my ass, that’s about too many times you have messed up games for us. Anyone who throws mostly fastballs down the middle and can’t throw sliders for strikes is a loser. Closers are supposed to save games, not lose them. How many times has Chapman blown saves?
    Although, he gets the Pirate batters to swing at his motion, and the ball is way out of the strike zone. Pirates need a new closer.

  121. Milo Hamilton says:

    Chuck H,

    Joel Hanrahan blew his 4th save today, Chapman has blown 5.

    Anything else ?

  122. DemonDachshund says:

    One more time for good measure…

    The Bucs were 60-44 on August 1st, with 58 games remaining.

    .500 would have been 29-29, which would have gotten them 89 wins. Which would have gotten them a 163rd game to play, either hosting the Cards (if they sweep their next 3) or at Atlanta.

    And before you say that this team was nowhere near .500… well, they also went 5-20 in games decided by less than 2 runs in that time, and that includes their 19 inning win (technically 3 runs, but it would be unfair to not include it). Swing that 7 games to 12-13, and they’re at 84 wins, still playing meaningful baseball.

    Guess it’s just as well… I wouldn’t have wanted to see how many times they would have shown that darn Bream slide in a an Atl/Pit WC game anyways.

  123. Arriba Wilver says:

    I agree with you Milo on #117. One of the things that has always bothered me is that while this FO always downgrades the importance of 82, they do it on the basis of winning championships, keeping some but not all of their key players, and having a steady stream of talent from the minors to replace the good players they can’t keep so they can compete for championships year in and year out. Regardless of whether one thinks they should be retained this year or not, does anyone who gives it a few minutes thought think these guys can pull that off? Heck, Neal’s most vociferous supporter Foo (if you buy what he’s selling) kind of proves that goal is unattainable with the draft being the cornerstone of that goal. It’s either self delusion or the buddy system to keep their jobs as long as possible. They would have to be much better than everyone else to do that, and I don’t think anyone is even arguing that they are.

  124. Eric Bowser says:

    Why all this hate for Hanrahan?

    I suspect if a team offered an everyday player that could start at C, 1B, SS or RF, a good GM takes the deal. The Pirates can piece together a bullpen in free agency and internally with Bryan Morris or someone else.

    But let’s not fool ourselves, Hanrahan did his job more often than not and much better than most of the players on the team over the last few years.

  125. DemonDachshund says:

    @Chuck –

    I disagree with you, but you’ll get your wish. The Bucs will deal Hanny this offseason, as they won’t want to pay his arbitration value. Hopefully, they’ll at least tender him and get something back, but with TBMTIB you never know.

  126. Bizrow says:

    There is talk, Foo and others, that Dejan has an axe to bury with the FO

    I have an axe to bury with the BMTIB

    I know, its all Dejan’s fault

    BS flag to Foo and BS flag to any others

  127. Arriba Wilver says:

    Eric–agreed, Hanny’s far from the problem. For example, DK asked Clint about Hanny after the game, and he gave him a glowing report and said that closers have this adrenaline thing going where they need to keep being out there, and that the team hadn’t been able to give him many of those over the last 2 months. Jones echoed the same thing when asked about it. Hanny’s hardly a problem, even remotely.

    DK: Thought that was a really good answer by Hurdle, by the way. Hanrahan was 3 for 3 in save situations for all of August.

  128. Leefoo says:

    Biz…and a happy BS to you, too




  129. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hanrahan’s last blown save was July 3rd. The Drew Sutton game. Remember him ?

  130. Leefoo says:

    AW..on #119…my imaginary friend agrees completely with me.
    So there.

    Like I said, if NH gets fired, the sun will come up, I’ll still be sitting on the back porch drinking my team and IPading the blogs.

    But, don’t think the next GM will be any better, even if we hire the ‘next best thing’. DL was highly rated. It is NO guarantee. They’re only gonna take the best projectable guys at the time, because almost every draftee is a project. There are exceptions, but..

    Reading those draft sites refreshed my memory on how big a crap shoot the draft is.


    DemonDachsund….number 116. So it would seem. Lots of sites out there on the draft. I googled them. Feel free to do the same.
    One year, a GM will look like a genius and the next year, muck it up good. It is the most inexact of inexacts.

    Like I said, not defending NH, just saying that it is unfair to say of him OR ANY GM, that they’re not getting ‘depth’ in their drafts. It happens, but it is almost a crap shoot.

    Jackie Z is a prime example. Genius when running the drafts for Doug Melvin. Now he’s a complete idiot whom the Seattle fans want run out of town like we do with NH.



  131. Drew71 says:

    What I love about Hanrahan: he pounds the ball inside.

    Every now and then a ball is gonba drift over the plate. I’ll take that.

    If we make a list of the Pirates Top Ten problems, he’s about #139.

  132. Leefoo says:

    Lots of folks think Mickey White was a good drafter and that DL was wrong in replacing him with Ed Creech. I used to think that, also.

    According to Baseball Ref, he DID have a good run from 99-01.

    He drafted Zach Duke, Ryan Doumit, Ian Snell, Nate McLouth, Chris Shelton, Sean Burnett, Jose Bautista and Chris Young within his three drafts.

    Of course, outside of Jose B (we know HIS story), only Mclouth became an All Star. Doumit and Young (because of injuries) had some okay years, Snell had ONE year and Duke was well Duke. Burnett is a Loogy.

    So…if we had had Mickey drafting for us, someone WE consider a good drafter, then would you rather have those aforementioned players or the promise of guys NH has drafted from 08-10? Ok…fooget ’09…lol

    Interesting debate.

    And Mickey was thought of as being good. One REALLY good stud (and look how long it took him to gel), on guy McLouth who arguably only had two good years, Snell, etc.

    And, actually, that is NOT that uncommon over a 3 year period. Sometimes teams get SUPER lucky and hit on two or 3 or more in a draft, but those are the exceptions.

    If you don’t believe me, buy the “History of the Draft” book from BA or just do some googling.



  133. Arriba Wilver says:

    Foo–the problem with all your “facts” about GM’s is that taking the theme to its logical conclusion, it doesn’t matter who the GM is, whether it’s Neal or Alfred E. Newman. I hope BN disagrees with you.

  134. Leefoo says:

    White also drafted Jeff Keppinger on the 2001 3rd rd and Duffy on the 8th. He drafted Guthrie on the 2nd round, but he went to school. As AW points out above, he is imaginary so I can’t add him to the list….lol

    However, his 1st rd picks sucked. Bradley, Burnett and JVB. Now I know why they fired him…lol



  135. Milo Hamilton says:

    Front Office Shill Foo,

    I don’t need to look up draft history. I just look at the standings. Amazing thing about this baseball, they keep track of wins & losses.

  136. Leefoo says:


    Hanny had a bad game. I’ll take him as my closer any day of the week. Tossup between him and Mesa :)



  137. Leefoo says:

    Milo…agree. But our wins and losses are improving.

    But if you want to fire NH, go for it.

    Just don’t expect miracles out of the next guy, either.



  138. Milo Hamilton says:


    So true. But forgive me if I think winning more games than you lose once in 20 years shouldn’t be miraculous. Once again, I’ve looked at the standings. Teams do it all the time.

  139. Leefoo says:

    #133…take it to its logical conclusion and fire NH. Just don’t expect miracles out of the next guy, either, like I told Milo

    NH is doing as well as can be expected, which is my point!

    Is he GREAT?? No…I joke about him being God, but, he isn’t GREAT! But, he is doing it the RIGHT way and taking the BAA rather than just some bum.

    Even Syd Thrift who turned us around in the 80s had some big whiffs.

    But, I repeat, if he is fired, then so be it. I just hope you guys don’t think there’s a next great GM. Very, very few of them and I bet they’ve had some bad drafts. They probably ‘hit it big’ on a couple of them, mostly after the 1st round.

    Just like managers….and even the Leylands suck at times.

    It’s a crapshoot. Nothing more and nothing less. Pick a GM and let’s go look at his draft record. I bet there’s LOTS of bad drafts under his belt!



  140. Arriba Wilver says:

    So 82 wins would be a miracle? Tell that to the FO. They don’t even think it’s “relevant.”. (Neal Huntington, September 30, 2012).

  141. Leefoo says:

    Milo…#138….I’m starting to think it will be a miracle at times.

    I used to believe what my buddy told me “We’ve had so much bad luck for so long, that when it turns….”

    Sorta reverse hidden viggerish

    I’m starting to seriously doubt my buddy. :)



  142. Leefoo says:

    AW..#140…82 is only relevant to us who have been here 20 years.

    These BTMIB newbies have NO empathy for our misery.




  143. Drew71 says:

    I can’t wait to read Monday column.

    About the Ryder Cup collapse, of course.

  144. Milo Hamilton says:


    Whole lotta chokin’ goin’ on.

  145. Leefoo says:

    Drew…we blew the Ryder cup??????????

    ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

    What’s a Ryder Cup? Horseracing???

    Tiger Foo


  146. JMB says:

    On the bright side, I usually pour out a lil beer when the team is ten games under .500, and we avoided that entirely this season.

  147. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    The fiasco known as the Nutting Regime rolls on for another year.

  148. Leefoo says:

    “Whole lotta chokin’ goin’ on.”

    Then there’s the KFC song “Whole lotta chickin’ goin’ on.

    Good songs….

  149. Leefoo says:

    JMB….never EVER is there a reason to pour out even a ‘lil’ beer.

    And I am NOT a beer fan.

    It is the principle

    Victoria Foo


  150. Leefoo says:

    off to snooze land.

    I’m gonna dream of the Four Aces.

    That’s a Mr Sandman/Draft joke for those still awake.



  151. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Orioles team plane had to make an emergency landing in Jacksonville tonight because of a fire on board. No injuries reported.

    I suspect The Steinbrothers.

  152. RobertoForever says:


    Hilarious. Or some upset Yankee fan in the airline charter company. Glad they are all safe though.

    That situation raises a scary thought. In corporate America, best practice is to ensure that upper mgmt is split up and travel in separate planes. In the sports world, entire teams and sometimes their management travel together in one airplane. What an unbelievable tragedy to a professional sport, or even a major college program suffered the unthinkable.

    I can’t even fathom it.

  153. Arriba Wilver says:

    One of my sisters and her husband would always travel on separate planes with their kids. I always thought it was because I was the fallback if they went down together.

  154. Gypsy Davy says:

    The Pirates’ collapse this season was the unkindest cut of all. On August 8, we were sixteen games over .500, as you know. Then our hopes, our enthusiasm, and our eager anticipation began to unravel. We couldn’t believe it. For a while, we thought began to accept that it was a slump. Then a serious slump. Finally a fall-off-the-cliff collapse. Our faith in the Buccos was tested. After all, our amazing season of 1992 was in the distant past, and our hopes, if we had any left, were dashed repeatedly. Yet here we are. This season showed us how we stampede back to the Bucs in joyful droves when they look good. It’s pent-up loyalty. They’ve whipped us like mules, teased us, played with our feelings, but we’re still hopeful. So blame Huntington. Nutting. Blame ourselves for acting like beaten dogs crawling back to a cruel master, supporting a team that seems determined to destroy our spirits. We get angry, we get hurt, we get disgusted. Yet when hope reared its deceptive head this season, we were right there for them, and we’ll be there next year. That’s what true fans are like

    DK: New post just went up, Davy. Feel free to double-publish there. Many more will see.

  155. Drew71 says:

    I can. I had family living in Huntington WV when the Marshall tragedy happened.

    This Orioles thing? Shivers.

    Can you imagine if?

    Luckily that’s all we have to do.

  156. sanny manguillen says:

    For anyone who remembers the 60s, what we have here is “The Best and the Brightest Management Team in Baseball.”

  157. Dock Ellis says:

    Chicken Pot Pie!

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