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Wakeup Call: Neil Walker today’s radio guest

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Brief and to the Point …

>> The new radio show today will feature special guest Neil Walker, one of the few people inside the Pirates’ organization who grasps 82.

Again, here are details of the show and how to listen:

Station: TribLIVE Radio, online only

Time: 1-2 p.m., each Tuesday

Where to find it: Click right here off your PC or laptop. It’s free, easy, no registration. Just click and listen.

Mobile: The TribLIVE Radio app is for the iPhone, iPad and Android. Just search “TribLIVE Radio” in the app store. It’s also free, easy and all that.

Also, Penn State beat writer Scott Brown will be in studio to talk about the tremendous early job done by Bill O’Brien with the Nittany Lions.

I want you to be involved, too. One segment of the show will be set aside for listener feedback, and that can be in the form of calls, emails or questions right here in the blog comments below. Best chance to get yours on air is our email: sportstalk@tribweb.com The call-in number is 412-320-7925.

Looking forward to it again.

>> I’m not a big fan of the Chipper Jones farewell tour, though I’ll recognize I’m probably in the minority here. There are athletes who transcend their sports, but they are very rare. Jones, with all due respect to what surely will be a Hall of Fame career, isn’t that.

It’s probably more a case of Jones announcing his retirement in advance. Still, I find it kind of uncomfortable.

Extrapolating a bit here, imagine the Steelers or any AFC North team passing out gifts to Ray Lewis before the game. Or, in an example that removes such emotion, imagine the Penguins passing out gifts to Teemu Selanne when the Ducks come through.

Sorry, but you do that for Mario Lemieux, Michael Jordan and those types.

Not Chipper.

>> Gathered a whole lot of string over at the Steelers’ HQ yesterday, some of which will be spun into the Wednesday column.

Here’s a bit of what Ben Roethlisberger had to say …

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmeH-yNICJ4

>> The NHL is run by morons.

If anyone doubted even for a second who’s culpable in this nonsensical lockout, the owners are going to show all the cards this week. Should Gary Bettman and the little clique of owners pulling all the strings have the gall to cancel games without even engaging the players about finances, they’ll be as exposed as the Penguins’ penalty-killers were in the playoffs.

>> Hope you can join us for the show today. If not, we’ll have a podcast up for you to download shortly after it’s done.

Comments

  1. RobertoForever says:

    DK

    That is a guest that will having me downloading the podcast.

    Would love to hear you ask about whether the players felt letdown at the trade deadline.

    Also, finally a paying Trib customer. Signed up for the electronic version on Sunday. I asked if there was any way I could designate my subscription fee to the sports section, since that’s why I signed up. They said they would check on it :D

    DK: I don’t script interviews.

    I do thank you for your (conditional) subscription!

  2. Arriba Wilver says:

    DK–I respectfully disagree about Chipper. Not too many first ballot hall of famers around today. You could argue he isn’t the best at anything, but I always think of the respect shown Willie on his farewell tour. Not saying Chipper is Willie, but I think it shows some class on the Pirates side. And Chipper didn’t slide across home in 1992.

    DK: If you think Chipper is a great player, we’re not disagreeing at all. My point here is that you should reserve treatment like this for someone who truly transcends the game. That’s just my view.

  3. Thundercrack says:

    What is the electronic version of the Trib (that requires payment)?

    DK: http://e.triblive.com/

  4. Reading says:

    Apparently, Chipper Jones was not available to be a guest.

  5. Thundercrack says:

    I never cared for Stripper Jones.

  6. Jordan White says:

    Does anybody know, are the Pirates the only team to bring up minor leaguers at the end of the year in order to break the ice at the big league level? I’m not talking September call ups, I’m talking about like what they did with Bryan Morris last year and others this year, where it’s supposed to take the shock out of it for them when they are finally called up.

    Does anybody else think this is weird for a potential playoff team to do? Wouldn’t it totally throw off the team dynamics? For example, wouldn’t the young guys be totally out of place, clueless, and helpless in an AJ Burnett jawing match with the Reds type moment? Not to mention annoying situations like Cutch or Jones saying, “yeah that’s usually where I sit.” Seems like it would take the intensity or the edge out of a team. I think I would be annoyed to see a bunch of newbies show up for no good reason after grinding out 140 games. Any other opinions or data on this, or am I grasping at straws.

    I usually never post but hadn’t seen anyone bring this up. Sorry if it already has been addressed. Love all the comments from the regulars and crack up (and cry with sadness) reading them at work.

    Hagerstown, MD for the record.

  7. RobertoForever says:

    @TC

    What EYE understand (but have not SEEN the pass code yet to be able to login) is that you can actually access the newspaper as it would look to someone who bought a hard copy. Prob thru PDF or something. But was told you can print your own copy of pages, like today’s sports section cover.

    But you wouldn’t care because there is no comments section where you and Drew could debate.

  8. RobertoForever says:

    Jordan

    It seems typical to me. The Nationals have 3 position players who fit into the scenario you describe, Brown, Leon and Perez.

    It may give the young’uns exposure, but also rest veterans or fill-in for nicks and bruises. Most are not eligible for the post season roster, if they were not on the 25-man roster by Sept 1.

    That’s my understanding.

  9. Arriba Wilver says:

    I understand, DK. Just different viewpoints, no right or wrong. As I mentioned, Willie did a farewell tour. Did he fit within the category you mentioned? To people outside of Pittsburgh?

    DK: Willie Stargell had a larger-than-life presence within baseball, something you saw years after he was gone by the stadium markings in Montreal, Philadelphia and Los Angeles for where his more majestic home runs landed. That might be because of our national passion for the home run, but it’s still fair.

  10. RobertoForever says:

    Clint Barmes with the #2 web gem tonight (was that 2222 who tweeted it to the mother ship?)

    Travis Snider’s catch continues to be the reigning web gem

  11. Thundercrack says:

    DK, today on the radio you mentioned that with 2 straight years with collapses it could be possible that the players have already tuned out Clint Hurdle.

    Can you somehow ask Neil Walker…in a round about way… what they think of Hurdle.

    I hear a lot of players say “you know when Clint is in the room”. But I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a player say ” I love the guy / Best manager I’ve ever had”

    DK: I’m not taking questions for my portion of the interview, TC, any more than I would column ideas. I’d never pass that buck to my readers or anyone else.

    And, as mentioned above, I don’t script.

  12. Arriba Wilver says:

    DK-agreed about Stargell. And he was very popular with players on other teams it seemed, and I assume with the fans. The We Are Family and Stargell Stars probably were the icing on the cake.

  13. Hurdled says:

    DK, can you ask Neil Walker when is the best time to put in a tomato plant?

    I believe Earl Weaver was asked that same question years ago and had a very clever response.

    Thanks.

    DK: OK, I’ll bite: What was it?

  14. Hurdled says:

    I can post the link to the audio, but it is Not Safe For Work to say the least.

    Weaver had a very colorful vocabulary.

  15. Hurdled says:

    Best bet is to go to YOUTUBE and type in “Earl Weaver Manager’s Corner”

    It is the first video you will see there.

    The tomato plant question shows up at 1:50

  16. Hurdled says:

    Just a warning to anyone who looks it up.

    Earl Weaver makes Lee Elia”s rant look like a speech to children.

    You have been warned.

  17. Hurdled says:

    I highly doubt Neil Walker will have the same response to that question.

    But you never know unless you ask…..

  18. Arriba Wilver says:

    Hurdled–thanks for that, I also loved the Lasorda response to Kurt Bevacqua on the same page.

  19. Reading says:

    Nothing says playoff-clinching celebration like OSHA-approved safety goggles.

  20. JD says:

    DK – what’s the harm in taking a reader’s idea for a question in a interview or an idea for a column? It wouldn’t make you any less of a journalist. I’m not saying that I’ve seen any ideas that you should leap on, just wondering why you issue the blanket statement that you don’t consider them.

    DK: Because I’d never pass the buck or the responsibility for a question or a position to anyone else, plain and simple.

  21. Hurdled says:

    I wonder how Neil Walker feels about team speed?

  22. Chris says:

    DK,

    I meant to comment on the Monday column:

    You said that Littlefield’s production of MLB talent was “not exactly barren” because of Starling Marte, Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker, Nyjer Morgan, Brad Lincoln, Sean Burnett, Steve Pearce, Ronald Belisario, Alex Presley, Tony Watson, Jared Hughes and Kyle McPherson…

    But aside from McCutchen and Walker, I would say that list is pretty terrible for 6 years on the job by Littlefield. Nyjer Morgan has a career .705 OPS. Brad Lincoln was a #4 overall pick who is now an OK reliever even though he was abysmal in Toronto and has a career ERA of 4.81. Burnett is pretty good, but once again he’s a first-round pick that is now a reliever. Belisario was signed at age 16 by the Marlins and made his MLB debut TEN years later so it is a little odd to say that after five years, Huntington’s drafts and international signings will not produce any players up to the lofty standards or Pearce, Presley and a bunch of RELIEF pitchers. Granted, I do like McPherson.

    I don’t think Huntington’s goal was ever to draft “serviceable players.” You don’t get to the playoffs with a bunch of serviceable players. You probably don’t even get to .500 by trying to draft “serviceable players.” He saw the draft as the only place the Pirates could get STAR players, and so he went for the high-risk/high-reward types.

    Even without signing their first-round pick this year, the Pirates have Cole/Taillon (who I think could convert into relief pitchers tomorrow and be just as good as Lincoln/Burnett), they have Hanson, Heredia, Polanco, Josh Bell, and then lower guys like Clay Holmes, Kingham, Tony Sanchez, Wyatt Mathisen, and Barrett Barnes who have the potential to at least as good as half the players you’ve mentioned. Even a guy like Victor Black could still become a good relief pitcher.

    Now, you are definitely right that Huntington should have done better so far outside of the obvious picks like Alvarez, Cole, Taillon… But it’s a little early to give up on the thought of some of the high school players he drafted ever becoming as good as Presley.

    DK: I appreciate that, Chris, but you’re measuring by intentions rather than by results. That train’s left the station. Littlefield had five drafts, not six. Same number as the current management team, same amount of time to evaluate both.

    Let me restate this clearly: The concept that Littlefield’s system was barren in 2007 and that this one in 2012 is dramatically upgraded is easily blown to bits.

    The only marked difference between the two, really, is that this management team spent A TON more money to get either the same or inferior results.

    Oh, and this management team worked WITHOUT a meddling owner telling them who to pick, as happened when Kevin McClatchy insisted on a college player and pushed for the drafting of Bryan Bullington against the wishes of Littlefield, Ed Creech and his people.

    (Remember the infamous “No. 3 starter” press conference?)

    Really, guys, this is one of those narratives that’s been repeated again and again and again, to the point that a lot of us — myself included at times — have accepted it as true that the minor league system is just exponentially better now.

    It isn’t.

  23. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Totally agree on a ceremony for Chipper Jones. I’m not for celebrating any opposing player … period.

    DK: And another thing: Bob Nutting is evil incarnate.

    Wait, what … is this really you?

  24. Reading says:

    Wondering if the Pirates “celebrated” Babe Ruth’s farewell game at Forbes Field before he launched three blasts.

  25. pattonbb says:

    I feel really strange defending anything Atlanta Braves-related, but Chipper Jones absolutely deserves a proper farewell tour. Name a thirdbaseman that “transcends” the game of baseball (not mentioned in the Mitchell Report). Brett? Schmidt maybe? Now compare Larry’s stats to their’s…..I’ll wait…..pretty amazing, huh?

    Chipper Jones was the best 3b of his era. He was a switch hitting rbi machine in an era full of steriods and hgh accusations. He’ll be a first ballot HOF’er. What’s so uncomfortable about giving him 5 minutes of respect?

    Wonder if he had played his entire career anywhere other than Atl if people might have a different opinion.

  26. Drew71 says:

    Chipper hater.

  27. chuck snow says:

    I can’t believe anyone would think that BMTIB could get fired..I mean we have some of the best first halves in baseball. Tony Sanchez is the next Matt Wieters. We got years of control at the trade deadline…20 losing seasons in a row…truly a remarkable accomplishment. HOKA HEY

  28. scapper says:

    100% agreement on this Chipper Farewell Tour. Hall of Famer? For sure. But for this kind of “tour” to be deserved, the player has to have evoked years of awe along with a touch of warmth or even affection. There has to be that feeling that in some sense the player belongs to more than just the home city. Those elements just aren’t there for Chipper.

    Jeter? Big year-long sendoff some year. Chipper? An unscripted standing O by each city’s fans at some point during his last game in each city would have been about right.

  29. Drew71 says:

    So Dejan. You gonna set up an electronic mail bag where we can send questions to you for the interviews?

  30. JAL says:

    JAL’s Venus 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/

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    Pirates Notebook: Locke Gets First Big League Win in Final Start

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/10/pirates-notebook-locke-gets-first-big-league-win-in-final-start.html

    First Pitch: What the Losing Streak Means to Me

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/10/first-pitch-what-the-losing-streak-means-to-me.html

    Pirates Have Three in NYPL Top 20 Prospects List

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/10/pirates-have-three-in-nypl-top-20-prospects-list.html

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Starling Marte leads Pirates to 2-1 victory

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2012/10/1/3441512/starling-marte-leads-pirates-to-2-1-victory

    6 Rumbunter

    Heh, Check Out RumBunter on Fansided’s New iOS App

    http://rumbunter.com/2012/09/26/heh-check-out-rumbunter-on-fansideds-new-ios-app/

    7 Sports Grid

    Watch 20 Years Of Woeful Pittsburgh Pirates Misery In 10 Minutes

    http://www.sportsgrid.com/mlb/watch-20-years-of-woeful-pittsburgh-pirates-misery-in-10-minutes/

    8 The Green Weenie

    Locke, Marte Lead Bucs To 2-1 Win

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2012/10/locke-marte-lead-bucs-to-2-1-win.html

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Young Bucs take down Braves

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2012/10/young-bucs-take-down-braves/

    10 Minor League Ball

    Rookie Review: Starling Marte, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates

    http://www.minorleagueball.com/2012/10/1/3439520/rookie-review-starling-marte-of-pittsburgh-pirates

  31. Dom says:

    Wasn’t Littlefield the GM for the 2002-2007 drafts? That would indeed be six. I do feel that the farm system has improved but you’re right, it isn’t dramatically better from what Littlefield left us with.

  32. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 CBS Sports

    Pirates-Braves Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20121002_ATL@PIT/bravespirates-preview

    12 Sporting News

    Risers and fallers: Detroit Tigers reverse fortunes, Baltimore Orioles keep bombing. Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs stumble on

    http://aol.sportingnews.com/mlb/story/2012-10-01/mlb-power-rankings-risers-fallers-detroit-tigers-bryce-harper-baltimore-orioles

    13 Chicago Tribune

    Pirates Report

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/sns-rt-bbo-pirates-teamreportmtze8a16qk0yk-20121001,0,2468499.story

    14 Atlanta Journal Constitution

    Braves’ NL East title hopes end in 2-1 loss to Pirates

    http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-braves-blog/2012/10/01/braves-nl-east-title-hopes-end-in-2-1-loss-to-pirates/

    15 The Kittanning Paper

    BUFFONE: Top 5 Losing Streaks in History

    http://www.kittanningpaper.com/2012/10/02/buffone-top-5-losing-streaks-in-history/30544

    16 Bleacher Report

    Pittsburgh Pirates: How Would the Bucs Have Fared in the Wild-Card Playoff?

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1353840-pittsburgh-pirates-how-would-the-bucs-have-fared-in-the-wild-card-playoff

    17 New York Times

    A Lost, and Possibly Last, Season for Valentine

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/02/sports/baseball/a-lost-and-possibly-last-season-for-bobby-valentine.html?ref=sports

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    18 PBC Site

    Bucs top Braves as Locke earns his first win

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2012_10_01_atlmlb_pitmlb_1&mode=recap&c_id=pit

    Chipper has left favorable impression on Pirates

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20121001&content_id=39315168&notebook_id=39315170&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    What You Need to Know

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=18516

    20 Fangraphs

    Revisiting Last Year’s Free-Agent Signings

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/revisiting-last-years-free-agent-signings/

  33. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers Practice Report: James Harrison, Troy Polamalu Practice Monday, No Assurances For Sunday

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/10/1/3439100/steelers-practice-report-james-harrison-troy-polamalu-practice-monday

    Ryan Clark Says Steelers Defense Isn’t “Whipping The Guy Across From Us”

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/10/1/3436608/Steelers-defense-week-5-philadelphia-preview-analysis

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Steelers To Face Eagles Team That Is Struggling To Score Points

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2012/10/steelers-to-face-eagles-team-that-is-struggling-to-score-points/

    23 Steelers Gab

    PFT: DeCastro Walking Around Without a Limp

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2012/09/30/pft-decastro-walking-around-without-a-limp/

    24 Nice Pick Cower

    Steelers MMQB: NFL Week 4 Wrap Up

    http://nicepickcowher.com/2012/10/01/steelers-mmqb-nfl-week-4-wrap-up-2/

    Pitt Blogs

    25 Pitt Blather

    Early, Early Homecoming

    http://www.pittblather.com/2012/10/01/early-early-homecoming/

    26 Cardiac Hill

    Pitt vs. Syracuse: the Bye Week blues

    http://www.cardiachill.com/pitt-vs-syracuse-game-week-page/2012/10/1/3435502/pitt-vs-syracuse-pittsburgh-panthers-football-line-spread-preview-orange-acc-recruiting

    WVU Blogs

    27 Metro News

    Holgo Eyes Fixes for ‘Atrocious’ Pass Defense

    http://www.wvmetronews.com/wvu.cfm?func=displayfullstory&storyid=55353

    28 WV Illustrated

    Holgorsen Not As Upset With WVU Defense As He Was Saturday

    http://www.wvillustrated.com/story/19685148/holgorsen-not-as-upset-with-wvu-defense-as-he-was-saturday

    Soccer(football)

    29 Sky Sports

    Hammers pile more woe on Hoops

    http://www1.skysports.com/football/live/match/267527/report

    30 Daily Telegraph

    Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney set to line-up in Manchester United attack for first time against Cluj

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/manchester-united/9578729/Robin-van-Persie-and-Wayne-Rooney-set-to-line-up-in-Manchester-United-attack-for-first-time-against-Cluj.html

    31 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 1st October, 2012

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-1st-october-2012

    PENGUIN BLOGS

    32 Pensburgh

    The New Yorker profiles Pens owner Ron Burkle

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2012/10/1/3437692/the-new-yorker-profiles-pens-owner-ron-burkle

  34. JAL says:

    “Venus” — Shocking Blue (1970) and Bananarama (1986) Version by Shocking Blue, a Dutch band that didn’t have much US success except for this song.

  35. Thundercrack says:

    Post #29 – Early leader for POST OF THE DAY

  36. Dom says:

    A lot of people blame Nutting for profitting on the Buccos but according to the leaked financials, the owners didn’t keep anything beyond the amount they needed to pay the taxes on the team and the interest payments that Nutting received after he gave the team a $20 million loan in 2003. For all the things we can blame on Nutting, him keeping the profits isn’t one.

    http://triblive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_696021.html#axzz288k07p5s

  37. Jandy says:

    Jordan White (post #6) welcome to the Asylum!

  38. Drew71 says:

    Jordan. Welcome. Wanna fit in? Offer Dejan a question for his interview.

    He LOVES that.

  39. Jandy says:

    Drew, you must settle down. Before you get in Trouble with a capital “T”

  40. Jandy says:

    I see Leefoo was admonished but the Boss yesterday. I guess that means he is going scrapbooking with his wife.

  41. nate83 says:

    Chris @ 22

    great post.

    DK

    You just dismiss Chris’s final 2 paragraphs in your response. You are not measuring apples to apples. You have not had the same amount of time to evaluate. You have had 5 extra years to determine Littlefield’s drafts did not leave the minor league system barren which I still believe they did.

    Walker was a bust 5 years ago and nobody projected Hughes and McPhearson as major league players. Heck we still don’t know if they are. Chris offered great support to his argument by listing a number of guys that could develope into players that are much better then 80% of the list you gave on Monday. How can you possible evaluate the 2011 and 2012 drafts?

  42. Leefoo says:

    Chris….#22…I made similar points yesterday. Bravo, dude!

    =================

    Dejan

    “Really, guys, this is one of those narratives that’s been repeated again and again and again, to the point that a lot of us — myself included at times — have accepted it as true that the minor league system is just exponentially better now.

    It isn’t.”

    As always, I will agree to disagree. No frikkin way you can judge NH’s drafts. NO WAY.

    Last night Locke pitched well. He may or may not pan out. Lots of split opinions on that. When was he drafted? Oh yeah….2006. When was Kyle McFearsome drafted? Oh yeah….2007…….Btw, how did we get Locke? NH trade.

    Don’t fooget that a lot of our players were DRAFTED in one year and, because of late signings didn’t start until the year AFTER. Take this into account, also!!!!

    WAY TOO EARLY!!!

    Drafty Foo

    .

  43. NMR says:

    “Same number as the current management team, same amount of time to evaluate both.”

    The second part of this sentence is just plain false.

    The evaluation of Littlefield’s five drafts is now coming five years after the fact.

    The evaluation of Huntington’s five drafts is occuring just months after his last.

    Look at the list of players Dejan listed and tell me what you’d say about them in 2007, then compare THAT to Huntington’s work.

    Talk about crafting a narrative. Sheesh.

    DK: That’s a fair point. Funny thing is, if you go back to 2007, you’d actually have to elevate Steve Pearce — Topps’ minor league player of the year across all of baseball — into elite prospect status.

  44. Leefoo says:

    Dejan…# 23 comment….priceless!

    Btw, I HATE the frikkin Braves…but I love Chipper. He is like Jeter. Hate the Yankers, too.

    Foo

    .

  45. NMR says:

    It was GREAT to see Jeff Locke get his first MLB win last night, especially coming against his former team.

  46. Jandy says:

    NMR, agreed!

  47. nate83 says:

    NMR

    I was worried Lyle Overbay was going to beat us in the 9th. Man that would have been salt in the wound.

  48. Arriba Wilver says:

    This “Walker was a bust” when they got here keeps getting repeated. I’m not sure it matters in any event (who cares?), but when they got here Walker was Rated the #61 prospect in Baseball by BA. If I’m not mistaken, that’s In the top 100 list lots of people are using to say the minors are vastly upgraded. Maybe DK could ask Walker what he thinks.

  49. jackdeloplane says:

    I accept the fact that Chipper has the numbers of a Hall of Famer. I’ve seen WAAAY too many Braves games living down here in Charleston SC, but the guy is streaky at best, always injured and was pretty much of a major jerk in the first 5 years of his career. Hardly worth the Farewell Tour he’s getting. Time to get off the stage….

  50. Leefoo says:

    P2′s First Pitch article is somewhat depressing….lol.

    Foo

    .

  51. Leefoo says:

    A Former Brave beats a Former Pirate.

    There’s some irony there somewhere.
    :)

    Foomer

    .

  52. Leefoo says:

    NMR….# 43

    I’m with you buddy…not buying for a second what DK is trying to sell here.

    Foo

    .

  53. nate83 says:

    Arriba

    Bust may have been a little strong of a word but he did drop out of the top 100 the next year and was batting .240 in the minors. He was heading the wrong direction and had started to be written off by many. He definateley did not project to a top 10 second baseman in all of the majors at that time.

    Now that I think about it. I guess he couldn’t have because he didn’t even play second base at the time.

  54. Leefoo says:

    Last night, someone pointed to A Simmons (drafted in 2010) as proof that the Braves know what they’re doing and NH doesn’t. My response:

    “In fact, Simmons beat the Braves 2008 #1 pick to ‘the show’ (he’s still in A ball).

    IF he was so good, why didn’t anyone (incl Atl) draft him higher in 2010? Their #1 and 1A are still in the minors. I think they screwed up those picks!!

    Sure hope we get lucky with someone like that. The Braves screw up a first round pick and ‘hit’ on a 2nd. What are the odds…oh yeah…. (20% chance).”

    Foo

    .
    .

  55. LuckyNKentucky says:

    DK,

    Could you ask Neil the following questions, please?

    1. Does he know what an “absolute lock” is?
    2. Will the Steelers beat the Ravens?
    3. Will all of Boras’s clients eventually sign?
    4. Will the Penguins win the cup?
    5. Should we worry about Karstens?
    6. Will he (Neil) ever hit?
    7. What is the true meaning of Hoka Hey?

    Thanks. 8)

  56. Leefoo says:

    Nate….#83….agree, but I have a book here from a highly respected draft expert who states, “Walker is looking more and more like a bust. His value has dropped significantly with his move from behind the plate.”

    Foo

    .

  57. Leefoo says:

    LnK………# 55….LOVE IT!!!

    Dejan….I repeat……….PLEASE predict that NH will be fired. PLEASE!!!!!

    Foo

    .

  58. Jandy says:

    ahhhhh DK is gonna need an extra Starbucks with the way the Lunatics are piling it on ;)

  59. Leefoo says:

    Jandy……the ‘boss’ is gonna let me go to Altoona (out of sight, out of mind).

    Do you want to do a meet and greet? This way, if you think I’m too ugly, too skinny or too stupid looking, you can say “I gotta go wash my husband’s hair” or something like that.

    IF we go to a game next year, you’re stuck with me and if you change seats, well, it’s a small park. I WILL find you.

    Your call.

    Pleasantlee yours,

    Foo

    .

  60. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Jandy,

    How do you make that winking emoticon? It’s pretty neat. I’m asking for Drew, not for me of course.

  61. redus says:

    Sweet-polo-shirt-Huntington has already had a #1 hit 30 HR’s at the Major League level…there is no luck involved with hitting 30 in the show. Boom +1 for sweet-polo-shirt. Dave Heavy-tan listened to anything McClatchy had to say that didn’t pertain strictly to finances. Smash -1 for Heavy-tan (only one because hindsight is a B and McClatchy was the boss…sort of by proxy er some kind of gentlemans agreement…ahhh beat it nerd leave the player evaluation to the guys who smoke at the railings and hold jugs guns in one hand and the divorce papers from their lonely spouses in the other).

    Littlefield was great because he tanned well and Huntington can talk down to absolutely ANYONE even though he is ussually the shortest man in the room. I love it. Can’t wait for February already.

  62. Jandy says:

    Lucky, use the semi colon ; followed by the )

  63. Jandy says:

    Try it Spunky ;)

  64. nate83 says:

    Lucky

    Funny but unfair. We have all said things that turn out wrong….but still funny.

  65. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Thanks. There you go, Drew. ;)

  66. Dejan, I’ve always appreciated both your passion and your candor… primarily because both are genuine, not forced. Please, don’t ever submit to a media outlet that requires you to meter either. It just wouldn’t be the same…

    The NHL is not (necessarily) run by morons. What little appreciation I had for Gary Bettman has not been helped by his actions over the course of these negotiations (he hisses and shows his claws like a wounded alley cat when he thinks he’s being put on the defensive), but there is culpability on both sides of the fence. The NHLPA chose not to engage in negotiations during the course of last season. The NHLPA has taken generous amounts of time to respond to NHL proposals, and still has yet to submit a counter-proposal to the last NHL offer submitted in the hours before the lockout was enacted (a fact which still irritates the NHL). And, while the league has issued a gag-order on all owners prohibiting them from discussing the lockout or the CBA, players are constantly in the news voicing their opinions (including calling Bettman out by name). Don’t get me wrong, I still side with the players in this, but the NHLPA is engaging in just as much gamesmanship as the league.

    Now, if the NHL cancels anything more than October’s slate of regular season games by week’s end, I’ll reserve the right to change my judgement.

  67. Drew71 says:

    I have a semi colon. But I’m probably going to schedule an exam with my doctor soon.

  68. LuckyNKentucky says:

    nate,

    You’re right, believe me in my 59.75 years, I’ve said many. DK knows I’m yanking his chain. Same one that’s been yanked before. I added a couple right things in there with the Karstens thing and the Neil thing. He’s generally a good sport unless someone cusses him like last night on Twitter. Can’t blame him for being upset about that.

  69. Jandy says:

    Relentless, be prepared to change your judgement, as this WILL last beyond October.

  70. Jandy says:

    Fooman, you are overwhelming me, man. If you’d like to meet and greet for lunch, I’m all ears. Eyes too.
    Lunch. I’ll even buy if you’re broke.

  71. Leefoo says:

    Drew…#67…you and others are in fine form this morn.

    Amazing what a Bucco win does for one’s spirit, eh?

    Have a spunky icon ;)

    Foo

    .

  72. Thundercrack says:

    @nate #47

    I was at the game last night and I thought the same thing about Overbay.

    Glad I got to see him get out….of course my eyes were still filled with tears because they showed Jack Wilson on the big screen.

  73. Leefoo says:

    Jandy….can’t make it to Altoona until around 4:00ish. I was looking for something to do in Altoona and meeting you would’ve killed, oh, at LEAST 10 minutes!

    Wasn’t trying to overwhelm you, tho. Ok, maybe I was…;) (I LOVE that icon now)

    Oh well…it was a thought. I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it anyway.

    phlpptttt!!!!!!!!!!

    Foo

    .

  74. Thundercrack says:

    Arriba,
    I did some checking and I can confirm that #61 is within the top 100.

  75. Jandy says:

    Drew, here have another semi-colon ; ..there, now ya gotta full colon!

    Wait,that didn’t come out right…

    Wait, neither did that!

    :;sigh::

  76. Jandy says:

    Foo, let me give you something to mull over…
    hubby is 8 years younger than I am.

    It’s something I work at, but I keep up with him ;)

    Glad you love the icon.

    The lunch offer stands for anytime you can make it.

    HUGZ!

  77. Leefoo says:

    TC……… “I was at the game last night”

    About time you brought home a win!!!!!!!!!!!

    .

  78. Arriba Wilver says:

    TC–did you give Jack a standing O? Forget this Chipper stuff, this is JACK’S farewell tour.

  79. Leefoo says:

    Dejan….since NH is not getting credit for our Four Latino stars, should DL get credit for Marte?

    Just askin………

    Senor Foo

    .

  80. Arriba Wilver says:

    TC@74–thanks for checking. You never know in here sometimes.

  81. Jandy says:

    Senor Foo, you don’t want me coughing all over your lunch anyway…just sayin…

  82. Leefoo says:

    Jandy….I married younger, too.

    MUCH younger (being rich has its perks)

    Btw, I am just trying this out…just to see if it works.

    http://s8.postimage.org/y16c7ldbp/HPIM0914.jpg

    Foo

    .

  83. Drew71 says:

    Potty mouth, Jandy. Potty mouth.

  84. Jandy says:

    Drew ~ you’re killin’ me! :p ;P ;)

    Foo, Cindy is beautiful!

  85. Jandy says:

    Oops Wendy :;smacks head::

  86. AJS says:

    Roberto @1
    Would love to hear you ask about whether the players felt letdown at the trade deadline.

    I’ve thought about this some. A lot actually. And I have to say if the players felt “let down” then I’m not sure I want those players. Heck, if your GM barely adds anything in the margins during a playoff push doesn’t that mean he has faith in what you as a team are currently doing to continue doing it? If someone came out and said “You know we really should have gone out and landed Hunter Pence” doesn’t that then alienate the guy who currently holds down that spot and make you a “bad lockerroom guy”

    What happened to having faith in your teammates. Some guys would say they hope they don’t make trades at the deadline because this is the group they go to war with everyday.

    I dunno. I just think there is too much made about the players FEELING let down, even if in all reality for the betterment of the team they WERE let down.

  87. 21sthebest says:

    “As I mentioned, Willie did a farewell tour. Did he fit within the category you mentioned? To people outside of Pittsburgh?”

    Versus Chipper I do wonder about that since Chipper played in the ESPN era.

  88. RobertoForever says:

    @NMR

    #45 – It WAS great to see Locke get his first career W. Awesome 2 hitter by the staff against the playoff-bound Braves, who were eliminated from the division crown by a young struggling pitcher. Wonder if the Braves fans were lamenting how they got shut down by a nobody pitcher.

  89. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Roberto,

    They were probably about as interested as the Pirates the last few weeks.

  90. RobertoForever says:

    @AJS

    Fair points. For me it goes back to 24/7 reporting then that several holdover (IIRC) players felt let down by the trades. I dismissed it at the time as players blowing off steam, but considering the decline in performance of Cutch and Walker after that, maybe there was something to it. Maybe it was those two guys.

  91. Thundercrack says:

    AW,
    I did not stand for Jack.
    But I was hoping that they would show a video montage of his greatest “plays where he dives or jumps for the ball…but doesn’t really have to”

  92. Leefoo says:

    Boy…Bob Smizik has joined DK in hammering Neal.

    I guess you CAN evaluate a farm system this early.

    What was I thinking???!!!

    Foo

  93. Leefoo says:

    Jandy….been together 19 years. She is my equivalent of hitting big on a #45 rd pick. I had NO business getting her. But, I am NOT gonna complain.

    Of course, I HAVE noticed we seem to change pool boys once a week!

    Don Knotts Foo

    .

  94. Thundercrack says:

    Roberto,
    I wonder if those players that felt let down at the trading deadline would stop and think for minute what the rotation would be like without Wandy.

    For some reason, people tend to forget he was a deadline pick up

  95. AJS says:

    @Roberto,

    if that’s the case and it effected their play then that is just Bush League. Not saying it isn’t the case, just saying that if i heard Walker answer that question with a yes, it would be very hard to swallow for the rest of the guys in the club house. Even if he did feel let down he should never express it. At least not as long as he has to suit up with these guys. And that doesn’t end at the end of the season.

  96. Thundercrack says:

    I thought we were friends 21

  97. RobertoForever says:

    @Lucky (or is it Spunky now :D)

    The Braves fans better hope that it was not disinterest on the Braves part. With the new playoff setup for wildcard, a team gets only one game to show they belong. Nine short innings. And that game will happen 48 hours after Wednesday’s game. No time to get yourself ramped back up if you have been coasting. The Braves will have the benefit of being at home, but in 1 game, anything can happen. I am sure the Cardinals (or Dodgers) who have been battling and focused the last two weeks will not cut them slack.

  98. 21sthebest says:

    I’m just trying to let Dejan know that I really haven’t turned dark.

  99. RobertoForever says:

    @TC

    Agree with you on that. Wandy may not be Greinke or Cliff Lee, but he sure has been a professional starter worth having since he came here, and someone who has led by example in the clubhouse in the second half.

  100. RobertoForever says:

    @Foo

    Wanted to say I appreciated your work on putting the facts about the draft out there. You found some good stuff that shows that even if you pick high in the first round that its not a slam dunk that you get an impact player.

    There is this false narrative out there, that in order for a GM to be rated as having done an acceptable job in the draft, that he can’t miss on any first rounders, or that he has to put impact major leaguers into the majors within 3 years of a draft. Its just not accurate. I had posted something last week or the week before. In the 5 years before NH was hired (2003-2007), if you look at who was picked overall #1-4, the success rate of getting even a “contributor” (not even an impact player) from those “guaranteed spots” is 40%. That means that 5-10 years later, only 8 of the 20 top drafted players in that time made any real impact. Not as easy as some are making it out to. And I hesitate to respond to comments about people’s children being able to do it. Sometimes jokes about kid’s are allowed. Sometimes they are not ;)

    Anyway, really appreciate the good work on putting out the draft info.

  101. Jandy says:

    Lee, this is my second time around. I wanted to make sure it’s the last time as well. He’s a keeper :)
    Better get rid of the pool ;X

  102. Fat Jimmy says:

    Dejan, I think I see your point on the Chipper farewell tour, and I agree with you. Though I don’t agree with your defense of the Willie farewell tour. I’m not sure I see a significant difference between Stargell and Jones — both HOFers, both long time players on consistently great teams. The idea that Stargell was somehow much more beloved around the league than Chipper seems a bit homer-ish to me. I’m not old enough to recall Stargell’s playing days, but you don’t hear him talked about TODAY in the same terms that other great players of that era are, so I have hard time believing that he was much more beloved back then.

    Again, not trying to smear Willie, but just saying that his stature and Chipper’s stature are probably close to equal.

    Who are the modern players who WILL deserve retirement tours? Jeter, Mariano, Pujols?

    DK: Again, I think you’d have to absorb what it meant for those three road stadiums to have permanent designations — at the time! — to appreciate Willie going beyond Pittsburgh. Every dad would explain to his son why that star was up in the outfield at the Vet or the O. Hard to compare that to anything. Has something like that been done for anyone since? Any sport?

  103. NMR says:

    I’m apparently in the minority, but I don’t feel like I have to belittle EVERYTHING Neal Huntington has done in the draft in order to demonstrate that he COULD have done better.

    Don’t tell me anyone could’ve made his top picks with nothing more than a Baseball America subscription. I’m a Pirates fan. I know darn well that is not the case. I’ve seen it first hand for over a decade.

    Don’t tell me none of Huntington’s late round picks have been worth anything when Robbie Grossman was the key to landing Wandy Rodriguez.

    Don’t tell me the Pirates system is too top heavy when I just saw them get 2 1/2 years of a veteran, sub 3 ERA lefty for their 7th, 9th, and 11th ranked prospects.

    I’m all for listening to the opinion that Huntington could have done better in his first two drafts. Heck, I even agree with it. Just don’t force this narrative down my throat like it’s a political campaign.

  104. Dr. Buster says:

    I recall Pedro saying he wasn’t exactly opposed to trades, but that he was fine with the group that got to 16 games over .500.

  105. NMR says:

    @Lucky

    Blog birthday celebration in .25 years when you hit the big 6-0? Let us know!

    @Foo

    I’d like to thank you as well for the draft work the last couple days. I may not be on Team NH with you, but I appreciate the perspective.

  106. Thundercrack says:

    Oh how I wish there had been a Tony LaRussa Farewell Tour.

  107. Arriba Wilver says:

    Foo–for an encore, you should post the studies and facts that show managers make mistakes all the time, even the best ones.

  108. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Roberto,

    I see you’re an advocate, with FooManDice-K, of the “crap-shoot” draft mentality. I have to humbly agree with NMR above. If we’re going to be a “build by the draft” team, let’s be that and not belittle the 2-50 rounds, if they were done properly. Seems like excuses to me. We’ll see, in a few more years, how Huntington fared in those rounds. I’d hate to stake my career on shooting dice. ;)

  109. Jandy says:

    NMR, you and Foo both :throw it out there: and it’s something I always appreciate as well.
    You both take a lot of flack, but still manage to keep your poise.
    This place can be pretty rough at times.

    Keep it comin’ guys!

  110. Jandy says:

    Ahhh…Spunky perfected it! ;)

    When is this .25 years? Right around Christmas???

  111. The Gunner says:

    @ TC – 107

    Maybe the Tony LaRussa Farewell Tour could have included a WWE type wrestling cage match featuring the honoree and former Buc player and manager, Lloyd McClendon.

    Lloyd would have ended this Farewell Tour in about 30 seconds.

  112. Milo Hamilton says:

    Jandy,

    A good friend of mine has been married 3 times. His divorce lawyer died last week. Upon hearing the news he told his current wife, “Honey, it looks like you’re the winner.”

    True story.

  113. Arriba Wilver says:

    Lucky@109—-well said. There’s a definite disconnect between this “Neal’s OK because the draft is a crapshoot” and we are a build from the draft organization.

  114. LuckyNKentucky says:

    NMR,

    Ground Hog Day. Since I don’t drink, I’ll send Jandy a case of KY Bourbon and yinz can party on it, or at least she can. That would knock that cough loose, and a few other things. (That would be the equivalent of me growing tobacco, though, wouldn’t it?)

    TC,

    Excellent #107.

  115. Jandy says:

    Milo, that’s funny, but at the same time, it’s kinda sad.

    Life’s just too short!

  116. Arriba Wilver says:

    NMR@104. I don’t think you’re in the minority.

  117. Jandy says:

    Spunky, SEND IT!!!!
    lol

  118. nate83 says:

    Dr. Buster

    That is what they all should have said. They worked their butts off to get to 16 games above. They should have been proud of that and there is no reason it shouldn’t have continued at a winning rate close to that. All they needed to do is go .500 the rest of the way and they are in the playoffs. The collapse has to fall on the players shoulders more then anybody. If they are pointing fingers which I don’t think they are then that is a shame.

  119. Jandy says:

    Arriba said it at #114. And Lucky may be close to the big 6-0 but he’s no dummy.
    Obvioiusly things aren’t all black or white.
    There’s lots of shades of gray.
    That’s where I get lost!
    Spunky, some of that KY Bourbon, please!

  120. Dr. Buster says:

    Fat Jimmy

    I am old enough to have seen Willie Stargell play (including a freezing day at Wrigley Field when 4,000 other huddled fans and myself saw him get a pinch-hit single for his next-to-last hit). He was beloved. His good nature was widely known.

    There was a summer when MLB had a between-innings promo where Willie had a pitch behind him hit his bat for a foul-ball strike. As anyone who saw it can tell you, he didn’t say a word, but his expression, a smile like a kid caught with a hand in the cookie jar, when he looked at the ump, the catcher, and pitcher had everyone laughing out loud the first time they saw it and still chuckling the 15th time they saw it. And there was no one else in baseball who could have pulled it off.

    Stargell’s on-field performances speak for themselves, but examples like this speak for his character. Unfortunately, your generation doesn’t know of most of them.

  121. RobertoForever says:

    @NMR

    Well said. Don’t forget to mention Brock Holt. Drafted 3 years ago, contributed already this year. (I think he was developed in this system as well, with Marte and Presley).

    Not saying that NH gets an A or even a B. But don’t try to spin it into an F, or even a D.

    By the way, anyone seen how BARREN the Cleveland 1st round draft picks have been since NH left Cleveland?

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/draft/?query_type=franch_round&team_ID=CLE&draft_round=1&draft_type=junreg&

    In their last 5 1st round picks, including 2 in the top 10 and 4 in the top 15, right now they have 2 guys traded to Colorado (who both have ERA’s of over 5 and a 2-9 record), and a minor leaguer rated in the top 100 pre-2012 but who took a step back in high-A. Now THAT’s an F. And the Indians are headed to their THIRD 93+ lose season since 2008. Indians onto their 5th straight losing season, and the trend is not good. Wonder if Shapiro will be fired.

  122. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Jandy,

    I wouldn’t know where to buy it down here, although it probably would help that cough. I can see the headlines on this local podunk TV:

    “Country minister seen buying and sending bourbon across state lines, also a known Pittsburgh Pirate fan. Story on FOX News at 9.”

    That would help put people in the pews! :)

  123. RobertoForever says:

    @LuckyNKentucky
    Roberto,

    I see you’re an advocate, with FooManDice-K, of the “crap-shoot” draft mentality. I have to humbly agree with NMR above. If we’re going to be a “build by the draft” team, let’s be that and not belittle the 2-50 rounds, if they were done properly. Seems like excuses to me. We’ll see, in a few more years, how Huntington fared in those rounds. I’d hate to stake my career on shooting dice.

    ==============================

    Lucky, you confused me there. You’re summarization of NMR’s post, doesn’t read like his comment in #104. Can you help me out.

    Also, I do not believe it is a crapshoot. That’s truly luck. There is skill in the draft. But there are so many other factors that the skill is only a small piece of impacting draft picks and whether they become impact pieces in the majors.

    If I were to put grades on NH’s drafts, I would be a B+ on 2008 and a D- in 2009. He clearly picked the wrong year to focus on overslot. Maybe that had more to do with the Owner. Maybe the discussions internally were that NH wanted to do it immediately in 2008, but BN wanted to wait and see how NH did in charge of his first draft. Then once he liked what he saw, he authorized alot of high-risk/high-reward picks.

  124. Arriba Wilver says:

    Roberto–based on how the Indians have done in the draft since he left, I think the Pirates should extend Neal 5 years. Better yet, the Indians should take him back.

  125. JHadar says:

    Not that Im a great Huntington fan …

    But look at the guys Branch Rickey had in the minors, and look at his major league record (with the Pirates, of course)

    I still like Hurdle …

    Compare Casey Stengle’s record with the Dodgers, Braves, and Mets with what he did with the Yankees.

    If drafts were the only thing to be upset with Huntington about I would agree that the jury’s out. Even there all you can say is that the evidence isn’t in yet — it might be better than it seems. I mean, why can’t we bunt, or throw runners out, or bring a man home from third with less than two out?

  126. RobertoForever says:

    @The Gunner

    #112 – Not THAT is something I would pay top dollar for on stubhub. Can Lloyd be allowed to bring a base into the ring to use as a prop?

  127. Fat Jimmy says:

    Buster, I know that Willie was beloved … and I probably shouldn’t have used that term. The term Dejan actually used last night on Twitter about Chipper was TRANCENDENT. Here’s comparable players to Willie from BBref: (and I agree completely with this list)

    1.Carlos Delgado (892)
    2.Willie McCovey (884) *
    3.Fred McGriff (875)
    4.Andres Galarraga (862)
    5.Jason Giambi (858)
    6.Jose Canseco (858)
    7.Jim Rice (843) *
    8.Jeff Bagwell (843)
    9.Duke Snider (842) *
    10.Vladimir Guerrero (840)

    If you plus Willie up because of his personality, this still isn’t a transcendent list. I know Willie is a sensitive subject to Pittsburgh fans born before 1968. But, objectively, Willie is a very similar player to Chipper and your opinions on whether Chipper “deserves” a farewell tour should be the same as those of whether Willie deserved one. That’s all I’m saying.

  128. Jandy says:

    Spunky, I do have some Cap’n Morgan’s Private stock. Maybe some of that in a little diet coke would help. That will be for AFTER dinner, of course.

    Can’t have ministers in KY getting arrested for buying illegal Bourbon ;)

  129. Jandy says:

    “If drafts were the only thing to be upset with Huntington about I would agree that the jury’s out. Even there all you can say is that the evidence isn’t in yet — it might be better than it seems. I mean, why can’t we bunt, or throw runners out, or bring a man home from third with less than two out?”
    JHadar, that, my man, is what I’ve been crying about!

  130. RobertoForever says:

    @Arriba

    Serious question? How many good GM’s are there who would be able to build a team from the draft, in the situation the Pirates are in? Name a couple. (I could think of only two)

    Then, tell me which of those BN could convince to come to Pittburgh?

    Assuming your answer is the same as mine, then who is your replacement for NH if he is fired.

    NMR has stated this before, but in looking around at MLB on who could be the “next” GM, I don’t see any obvious replacements. And I certainly see a lot of examples where a team has been made worse (Sea, KC, Min, Cle)

  131. LuckyNKentucky says:

    RF,

    NMR was showing that some rounds after number one produced quality, also, which I agree. I guess I took it wrong when you thanked Foo for his presentation on draft picks. From what you said in #124, I agree with you. I still see development, not drafting in whatever round, as our main problem and it should be addressed, however that can be done, but very soon.

    Gunner,

    That would be great!

  132. Leefoo says:

    NMR/RF…thx…we need to keep the faith. We ARE the minority, but that doesn’t mean we’re wrong!

    AW…….I’ll let YOU do that managerial study….lol

    To those who DON’T think it is a crapshoot, as I said before, when you look at just this decade NOBODY is consistent in their pickings.

    And, those odds DO show that it is a crapshoot….it really and truly is. This ain’t a FB draft.

    As for NH picking a ‘bad’ year to go overslot, with it being such a weak, weak draft, I applaud his strategy. It was a risk and it ain’t over yet. All we need is the light to go on for ONE pitcher and it is a success. Seriously.

    Locke was an ’06 draftee. McFearsome ’07. Good thing we didn’t judge THEM after 2 or 3 years!!! Look what my draft book said about Walker after 3 years!!

    Too early dudes and dudettes! Too early!! Read some P2 and look at historical data. Too early!!!

    Foo

    .

  133. RobertoForever says:

    JHadar

    Garrett Jones was developed in the Twins organization. 10 years in an organization known for developing fundamentals.

  134. NMR says:

    @Lucky

    Whoa, whoa. Its YOUR birthday and you’re sending US the booze?! I have a feeling if we asked for your only shirt, you’d gladly send it along.

    As for #109, I too, sometimes don’t like the “crapshoot” language associated with the later draft rounds. There is definintely a method to the madness and the Pirates HAVE to do better.

    What I will agree with is that over a short window, as in two drafts (’08-’09), late round successess and failures are absolutely a crap shoot. The percentage of those players that do become impact MLB players is so small that I don’t believe every team can expect their GM to succeed year to year.

    As you said, the Pirates have clearly stated they need to build thier team through the draft. And that is the problem. No MLB team could field a winning squad from players drafted over the last five years. Until the organization finds more balance with contributions from free agents, then its going to take longer to build a club with talent and depth.

    @Roberto

    Who is Brock Holt? All I’ve read is that the Pirates had nobody ready to contribute when players got hurt.

  135. LuckyNKentucky says:

    NMR,

    I’ve got 3 shirts and you’re welcome to any of them!

  136. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jimmy–as one of those born before 1968 Pirate fans and whose second favorite player ever is Stargell, I agree with you to a point. But You can’t get Transcendent from Baseball Reference stats, you just can’t. A computer doesn’t decide transcendent. I do think Willie is closer to Chipper than he is to Lemieux and Michael Jordan, but they aren’t equivalent, at least in my view. And I’d have been all for a Willie McCovey farewell tour, but the first one I remember is Stargell’s.

  137. RobertoForever says:

    @Lucky,

    No problem, lot’s of good convo’s going on today. Having trouble focusing on my work this morning.

    Quick question – what causes more lost productivity on a single work day. March Madness brackets or a good DK commenting section?

  138. Leefoo says:

    As I said before, HISTORICALLY, a good draft is a solid regular and 2 or 3 part time players. So that B+ is probably accurate.

    TWO regulars is very very good. What the Nats did in ’07 hitting on Detwiler and Zimmerman is NOT seen that often. It is the exception!

    Anything more than that is incredible!!! (See that ‘Garvey Dodgers’ draft, where they STILL missed on 81% of their picks! .

    IF you don’t believe me, look at those draft links!!

    Slam NH if you will for ANYTHING else, trades, Stark, etc. But, you can’t slam him YET for his drafting prowess.

    I think we got our expectations up a mite high when we were throwing all that money around. Btw, all those HS pitchers we drafted would be College Seniors this year. Think, they wouldn’t spend another 2-4 years (avg College to MLB path) in the minors if we drafted them this June?

    Foo

    .

  139. NMR says:

    Oh, and Jandy, I LOVE hearing your input. It’s a great thing when somebody can share their opinions while acknowledging they’re still learning.

  140. JHadar says:

    Roberto —

    Was that why Jones didn’t play for the Twins?

    I don’t recall singling him out?

    What are you trying to say?

  141. Jandy says:

    NMR, I have a long way to go, but I gotta admit, this place is the best school ever :)

  142. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I hope to be able to hear the show today. Of course, I have that thing called work….tisk tisk…

    I like off the cuff interviewing. I’m guessing you go for the feel of the interviewee as to the questions you ask.

  143. Dr. Buster says:

    FJ,

    Thanks for the list of comparables. Willie Stargell is in good company.

    I’m not sensitive about Willie Stargell. However, his personality made hime stand out. I saw everybody on your list except Duke Snider play, and I read about them. Not one comes close to Willie in personality. Whether he was transcendent, I can’t say because that’s such a subjective idea. But among those comparable players, his personality stands out. Compared with Chipper Jones, he wins easily on that count. That doesn’t make him a better player than Chipper.

    Who was the better player is beside the point when it comes to who would have a good farewell tour. Willie was the kind of guy who you wanted to have talk to you, who if you gave him a gift would give you feel chills if he said “Thank you, this is so thoughtful of you.”

    My sense of Chipper is he doesn’t have that in him, that after being a jerk as a young man, he became more private. So he’s not someone you seek out to honor and say good-bye to, whereas all teams and most fans felt Willie was part of their world and someone who would be missed when he retired.

  144. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Jandy

    You do a good job. Its actually helpful to hear from an “outside” view. Meaning someone that doesn’t think they know everything about the game, like most of us. (myself included)

    At least thats the view I’m going to take come haw-key season

  145. aglebagel says:

    @DK-
    I’m a bit conflicted when it comes to the Chipper tour. As per my post in the game thread yesterday, I have a personal affinity for the Braves and Chipper, but I agree with you about the lack of transcendence in his career. There are two factors which I believe have led Chipper to achieve a level of admiration around the league that perhaps rises beyond the level of his playing career:

    1- Chipper is one of a very select group of Hall of Fame-caliber players in this era to have never been suspected of steroid use, fair or not. If you throw out the careers of all the supposed cheaters, as many fans do, who is left above Chipper among position players, besides Griffey?

    2- He has spent his entire career with one team. Whether or not you like that team, most fans appreciate the loyalty.

  146. Jandy says:

    Ryan, lol thanks, dude.
    I just hope haw-key season comes around before 2013!

  147. JHadar says:

    I understand that all the major league teams have several hundred players under minor league contracts competing for three or four roster spots in the spring and maybe a couple more that open up during the season.

  148. Arriba Wilver says:

    Roberto–I don’t know the answer to your questions in #131. “not my job.”

    But, are you saying that you don’t think there is any possibility of getting a better GM than Neal for this situation, so we might as well keep him?

  149. RobertoForever says:

    JHadar,

    Just being a little playful. Sorry if my comments seemed off-putting. I should have used an emoticon. I know that Jones takes a beating on here for being terrible fundamentally.

    Truth is, I am really torn on this whole fundamentals/development thing. I have friends in development in two different organizations. When I talked to them about this “laughing stock” meme, neither group of friends knew anything about the Pirates minor leagues, including the Hell’s Angels/Hoka Hey thing. Only about the Seal training. And all of them latched onto the “a top prospect was hurt” thing, which DK posted was actually NOT true, but yahoo printed it, so it must be true, right?

    It creates this swirling discussion where equal logic does not seem to be applied. All teams have instances where guys are not bunted over. Guys are not driven in. But its this inference of “we are the worst at it”. I just don’t see the objective comparisons to other organizations. It seems like because the win/loss record fell short, we assume it must be true. Or we take the word of 2 or 3 anonymous sources in articles, and folks who may or may not have an ax to grind.

    While stuck in Providence last Friday night, I saw a “reporter talk show” on NESN where Dan Shaunnesy (?sp) blew up at his fellow reporters for their support for an article that quoted “an executive/scout in an AL team”. He said that executives/scouts in other organizations are very jealous groups and that it is so easy to get someone, anyone, to make negative quotes anonymously about any organization.

    sorry, rambling here. I guess I am saying, I have nothing to really sink my teeth into this “we are bad at developing fundamentals” discussion. Everyone would like to see them better, but are the Pirates in the bottom 20% now? Were they in the Top 20% before? I have nothing but anecdotal evidence. Leaves me lacking.

  150. Leefoo says:

    RF…with you 100% on # 150.

    I get local O’s/Nats/Phils coverage here. Prior to this year, their GMs were horsebleep (even Amaro)!

    I also agree with those ‘sources’. I can find ‘sources’ just about anywhere I want.

    Give me one disgruntled supervisor (high placed exec, we’ll call him) and I can start one helluva swirling controversy!

    Foo

    .

  151. RobertoForever says:

    @Arriba,

    Sorry, it seems strange that you would say “not my job” when I ask you your thoughts on questions, but then you parse my questions, in an effort, to what seems to me, to be nit-picking.

    Maybe its the written word thing, that your comments appear dismissive to me. A three word answer to a serious set of questions I posted? Doesn’t seem like you are interested in a a give-and-take discussion. No offense.

  152. Milo Hamilton says:

    Better players will take care of that fundamentals thing.

  153. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jandy–everybody’s still learning, even those that won’t admit it. :-)

  154. RobertoForever says:

    @NMR

    Have you gone to any games this year? I am really itching to go to one more game this year, and thinking about traveling into the great town of Pittsburgh for the season-ender. Any interest in going to the game?

  155. RobertoForever says:

    @Milo,

    Isn’t that the truth. I always laughed when people criticized CC Sabathia/Prince Fielder for being overweight. But once the wins and HR’s piled up, no one seemed to care.

  156. Leefoo says:

    Has anyone looked at the top 5 picks in the ’09 draft?

    1st Pick – Strasburg
    2nd Pick – Ackley, Looks like a bust
    3rd Pick – D Tate Bust (in “A” ball)
    4th Pick – Sanchez Bust
    5th Pick – Hobgood Bust totally out of baseball

    Only Strasburg and Ackley were ‘surefire’ picks.

    After that, it was depending on which scout you talked to. From one of my draft books “You can throw a hat over the next 10-15 picks after Ackley and your choice would be a good as any other”.

    Foo

    .

  157. RobertoForever says:

    Actually to all –

    Anyone who is interested in coming out to the game on Wednesday, would love to meet up and put faces to the posters.

    Had a great time with Steve J Smith before Saturday’s game. And we ended up sitting in the same section, just a few rows apart. Really cool to be able to chat/comment with folks from all over and have online relationships, then meet up in person at some later point. Guess that’s one of the good things about the internet age.

  158. Jandy says:

    Milo #153, yup and that’s where Cutch fits in.

  159. Fat Jimmy says:

    Arriba/Buster,

    I completely agree that a computer can’t define transcendent. But a computer also can’t over estimate a player’s value. If we were to rank HALL OF FAMERS on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being “Babe Ruth” and 1 being “Tommy McCarthy” (link below). I’d put Willie as a 7 and Chipper just below him as a 6.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/mccarto01.shtml

  160. @Jandy (#69):

    No argument there. What I meant was the NHL should not cancel games much more than about a month out. So, I fully expect them to cancel October’s games this week… but that’s about it… for now.

  161. Jandy says:

    let me throw this out there:
    What if the Yankees had Barmes at SS, JHay at Second base, Presley in LF, and Snider in RF. What do ou think the local papers/fans would say? How would they react?
    What is Jones hit, was running the bases, and made a usual gaffe and was out? DO you think that would go over very well? I’d say all hell would break loose.

  162. Jandy says:

    Forecheck, true that, but the whole thing is becoming such a sideshow, it’s sickening. After the last lockout, you’d think they’d ALL know better!

  163. Jandy says:

    AW, there’s those who won’t admit ANYTHING! ;)

  164. JHadar says:

    Roberto —

    Anecdotal evidence: well they do keep statistics and one that we all got too familiar this year was how few runners our guys threw out. Blame the pitchers if you want, but we didn’t do it as well as we should.

    But anecdotal evidence really means what we saw, what stood out to us. And a lot of what we saw led to the conclusion: “what were they thinking?”

    I don’t see why other people’s mistakes don’t mean that ours shouldn’t be corrected. Its not what people are saying outright, of course. It comes across as “what did you expect, everybody does it?” Well if we didn’t and everybody else did, we would be winners instead of losers.

  165. NMR says:

    @Roberto

    I’ve made it to around 10 games this summer, mostly just walking over after work to catch a good pitcher in town. Strasburg and Verlander in one year is getting lucky, in my book.

    I had tickets to Wednesday’s game, but I’ll be out of town and had to give them up.

    I appreciate the offer, though. It’s a good thing to “humanize” the persona’s on here by putting faces with names. I think thats one of the reasons I feel Dejan connects so well.

  166. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jimmy–as I said last night, I disagree with DK on the Chipper tour. I have no problem with it. But he ain’t Willie! :-)

  167. NMR says:

    @Jandy, re: #162

    If the Yankees had that lineup, they’re fans would rightfully be pretty p*ssed because the Steinbrenners would essentially be milking profit out of them.

    The Yankees and Pirates spend roughly the same percentage of revenue on payroll. Some think its a travesty that they have $200m worth of players on the field. I think thats only fair to their fans.

    And I can tell you that the Yankees play some seriously sloppy baseball. Refer to Milo’s post about talent to answer how much they care.

  168. albatross says:

    I agree with DK about Chipper. Cal Ripken, yes… Chipper Jones, no.

  169. Arriba Wilver says:

    Roberto-I didn’t mean to be dismissive. I apologize if it came off that way. I honestly don’t know specific answers, they would all be guesses, and with limited info. Drew can tell you I’ve maintained for years that I don’t have to have the answer on the better player or have a better solution than the GM to be able to question things as a fan. I assume the people who are getting paid for these decisions have way more info than me. In the case of Neal’s status, that would be FC and BN. I have absolutely no confidence in FC, plus My impression is he and NH are bound at the hip, so there would be no objective review. That leaves BN.

    But here’s one thing I know—it’s been 5 years, and I honestly don’t understand how we could not have had a winning season by now. And with this other weird stuff coming up, you have to at least wonder if the (or at least one of the major) problem isn’t in the GM. And that’s without having a replacement in mind.

  170. Jandy says:

    NMR, ok, point taken, but I think you follow my overall “picture” that is Pirate baseball were played in a lot of other places, the stadiums would fall in.

  171. Jandy says:

    Since Foo stood me up, I’m going to go out and find me some lunch. Not in the mood for can soup again today. :)
    Be back later.

  172. Thundercrack says:

    “But here’s one thing I know—it’s been 5 years, and I honestly don’t understand how we could not have had a winning season by now.”

    Arriba, I have been asking myself that question for 20 years

  173. Thundercrack says:

    Regarding the ’09 draft, FC said that if the Pirates would have the #1 overall pick the Pirates would have drafted Strasburg.
    I think the FO deserves credit for that!!!

    (all this debating about drafts is making my head spin)

  174. Milo Hamilton says:

    NMR,

    240 homeruns make up for a lot of baserunning mistakes. Derek Jeter is one of the most fundamentally sound baseball players I’ve ever seen. But he’s also one of the most talented.

    The coaches that developed Jeter through the Yankees minor league system are the same guys that developed players like Ramiro Pena & Eduardo Nunez. Talent is a big factor here.

  175. RobertoForever says:

    @NMR

    Safe travels. There’s always next year to catch a game. Hope you don’t get stranded by a monsoon like I did in RI last Friday, :D

    I am hoping tha AJ can get to 17 wins that night, and be the first pitcher since John Smiley in 1991 to win more than 16 games.

  176. Milo Hamilton says:

    Take it one step further. Gregg Ritchie is Andrew McCutchen’s hitting coach just as much as he’s Rod Barajas’.

  177. Arriba Wilver says:

    “I think the FO deserves credit for that!!!”

    Nah, they could have lost a few more games the year before and insured the pick.

  178. Thundercrack says:

    Ah yes, AW. The John Seibel school of thinking. The should have lost games on purpose to get the #1 pick…just like the Penguins.

  179. RobertoForever says:

    @Arriba,

    No problem. And agree with your last paragraph. I wonder whether the problem is in all the levels. Especially getting so close to .500 this year, there are so many places that could receive focus.

    And with respect to thinking how we could not have been at .500, I agree completely. I bought season tickets this year, thinking this was the year. Especially after the Wandy trade, I thought we had addressed the cause of last year’s drop-off.

    And I will second what TC said – a number of times in the last 20, I thought it was THE year. Or THE group of guys who would get it done. I thought we were hiring the respected GM who would take the next step when we hired Littlefield. And considering the talent that I saw win the SAL championship in low-A Hickory in 2002, I was sure that around 2005 or 2006, that we would have a division winner. Take a look at that roster sometime and see the major league contributors on that team.

  180. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I’d be happy to go…….collection plate for my airfare? LOL

  181. Drew71 says:

    “Has something like that been done for anyone since? Any sport?”

    What about Wilt Chamberlain and his reported OFF court record?

    It could be something else that every dad explains to every son.

  182. Arriba Wilver says:

    Roberto–we all get caught up in the argument at times, but like I said yesterday to Naterosboro during a pitched battle, at bottom there’s a lot of agreement on here. For example, I agree with everything you said in #180. Could have been describing my thoughts. (wait for the Drew cuing the Kumbaya). But I’m serious. :-)

  183. Arriba Wilver says:

    Oh, I forgot to mention, my #183 post doesn’t apply to Foo.

  184. 21sthebest says:

    “The John Seibel school of thinking”

    That would be an oxymoron.

  185. Leefoo says:

    AW…#184…nor should it.
    :)

    .

  186. NMR says:

    @Jandy

    You’re dangerously close to sending me on a rant about the decline in fundamentals at all levels of the sport, but I digress.

    Your last line is right on, though. When other teams are this bad, their owners convince the city to blow up their stadium and build a new one! :)

    @Milo

    Very good point, and I have a ton of respect for Jeter because of that. Part of the reason I’ve never jumped on him for the supposedly unwarranted Gold Gloves. The Starlin Castro’s of the world should take note.

  187. RobertoForever says:

    @Jandy,

    Good question. But you don’t have to imagine. You can look it up for this season. The Yankees took McGehee and played him in a bunch of games. How did they react to his .151? Probably the same as we did. He was terrible. But the Yankees still acquired him and put him out there. And he was still 1/9 of the teams that made up a significant portion of the games the $200 million Yankees were forcing Yankee fans to follow and pay hundreds to watch.

    Oh, and they wanted Jones desperately in their trade for AJ Burnett to begin the season. I guess his fundamentals didn’t matter to the Yenkees. :D Seriously though, Jones is an awkward 6’5″ kid who has played a stiff first base his entire career. He only started playing RF a few years ago, when the Twins tried to get his power into the majors by moving him from behind Justin Morneau. And he has ALWAYS had a tendency to swing and miss and that offspeed stuff. That has never changed. (Oh, and the ladies always thought he was the best looking guy on the team. That has changed either :D)

  188. Jandy says:

    Derek Jeter = class.
    Something Chipper Jones doesn’t/will never have.

    Now, Willie had CLASS =)

  189. RobertoForever says:

    JHadar,

    Agree on the Caught stealing vs the Stolen Bases allowed. But neither Hot Rod or the Fort were developed in the Pirates system. So that means that the Rockies/Red Sox and the whoever trained Hot Rod 15 years ago development teams were the ones who failed, right?

  190. Jandy says:

    NMR and RF, I’m glad you both see my point, tho. Not many cities would stand for it…and especially not for 5 years, let alone 20.

    P.S. GI Jones is easy on the eyes. So is Snider. Heck, AJ isn’t bad for an “old fart” either :p

  191. Jandy says:

    “But the Yankees still acquired him and put him out there. And he was still 1/9 of the teams that made up a significant portion of the games the $200 million Yankees were forcing Yankee fans to follow and pay hundreds to watch. ”

    And those fans didn’t make a peep about it???

  192. Arriba Wilver says:

    Barajas was never great on caught stealing stats, but for his career he is 28%. Last year with the Dodgers he was at 25%. This year he is, no lie, 6%. That doesn’t appear to be based on his development, but rather his age, coupled with the Pirates lack of emphasis on it.

  193. RobertoForever says:

    @Jandy

    Not sure. I don’t read too much of the over-reaction from the Yankee fans (they over-react to anything), so don’t know their reaction to McGehee.

    But I would venture a guess that the next $10 million per year FA that the FO brings in, the Pirates fans will over-react and crush him if he does not put up MVP numbers. And if you think the Pirates FA acquisition list is bad, you should see the list of FA acquisition failures that the Yankees have completed wasted half a billion dollars on. It. Is. Ugly.

    As Milo said. The Yankees look good because they just throw money at it and throw money at it, until they have 3 or 4 top players of the top 20 in MLB. That covers up for a lot of bad development, bad drafting and bad fundamentals.

  194. Jandy says:

    Money. All the more reason to have a FO that is GOOD at what it does. Since the Pirates don’t spend a lot of money, they NEED to pay attention to what they do have. Get the most bang for their buck.

    As for the next $10M FA (I wonder if that will ever happen), he can put up decent numbers and look like a superstar on this team. As long as he doesn’t forget he knows how to play baseball in September, any decent set of numbers will do.

  195. Jandy says:

    AW, 6%????? Are you serious?????
    See? SEE! That just supports what I said about Hot Rod. Make him a coach or advisor already!!!!!

  196. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    @Arriba

    I think you hit HotRod’s issue- age. I think this might have been his last year unless he’s willing to play for peanuts. Even then, not sure I see him in the league as a player next year. For as bad a year as he had, I’ll never forget his face after the walkoff when he started the Z. Looked like a 37-year-old kid. One of the best images of the season, IMO. Saw him flash the Z a week or so ago and he looked every bit his age. Very sad.

  197. Arriba Wilver says:

    I like Barajas. But the numbers don’t lie. Don’t blame Neal, though, he didnt know his age. Oh, and the Pirates own internal metric system showed Barajas to be better than The Fort.

  198. JHadar says:

    Roberto —

    My original point was that it wasn’t about Neal’s drafts per se, it’s his whole body of work — so instead of being brought through another system as a valid excuse for the poor fundamentals, it becomes why didn’t they catch it or do something about it.

    I said in a post yesterday that we have seen gradual improvement under Huntington, but what the run up to first place did for me was wake up something of the old Pirate fan in me. I used an old line from beat literature: “been down so long it looks like up to me”

    I realized that all this losing had changed my mindset to be satisfied with these incremental improvements. It’s like having a kid, you are so proud when they can say Mama and dada and toddle around, but the kid is twenty years old now and still toddling around and babbling mama and dada.

    It was the team that was playing well that changed my expectations. When it all came apart for the second year in a row, my level of skepticism rose. I don’t think that we can attribute it to bad luck or chance. There has to be something systemically wrong with the organization, and we see the symptoms of it everywhere. That falls squarely on the GM.

    Time to put the radio on.

  199. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Pirates internal metrics showed Rod Barajas to be only 29 years old.

  200. Jandy says:

    JHadar, you articulated that so well, you brought a tear to my eye.

  201. Jandy says:

    AW, I like Barajas too. I just can’t stand to see him look so putrid in a Pirates’ uniform.

  202. NMR says:

    The drop in Rod’s CS numbers have a lot to do with who is throwing him the ball.

    Yadi Molina wouldn’t throw out more than 15% of runners with this staff.

  203. Milo Hamilton says:

    NMR,

    I guess you’re trying to tell me that Pudge Rodriguez played his entire career with pitchers that were outstanding at holding runners. Every one of them. This stuff about the catcher bearing little or no responsibility for this is ridiculous.

  204. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I wonder what Neal’s metrics have Tabata’s age at… I’m going with his actual age being 30.

  205. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Heard on the radio that NHL will lose $100 million if October is cancelled. What more do you need to light a fire under your butt?!

  206. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Milo

    NMR does bring up a good point. Hurdle has mentioned numerous times that he doesn’t want his pitchers to focus on the runners and be concerned with the player at the plate.

    Yes, that does affect a catcher’s ability to throw runners out. At that level, its little things here and there, matter of seconds, to get guys thrown out.

    There’s a reason for his plummet to 6%. Its not all on him.

  207. NMR says:

    @Milo

    Whoa, whoa, whoa…little or no bearing was never said.

    But look at the difference between time to plate for pitchers and pop times for catchers and I garuntee the Pirates worse in the former.

    I’m not the first one to come up with this.

  208. RobertoForever says:

    DK said that if you are blaming Hot Rod for the high steal rate, you are missing the point entirely.

    http://sulia.com/source/S-797781/f/f704bf47-f37d-473f-9347-9b400903be0a/

  209. Derek Smith says:

    Just commenting on the Chipper thing, I understand, DK, what you are saying. But I don’t care if he “transcented” the sport of baseball. I think he is a class act, and a guy who is in at least the top 5 of all time 3rd baseman. And for a sport that has been around since the late 19th century, I consider that something to be recognized.

  210. Arriba Wilver says:

    I would like to hear how the caught stealing numbers don’t reflect on the organization. Still hearing lots of excuses for x,y and z, but how are these things not relevant? Like I said, I like Rod, so it isn’t personal. 6% is 6%, no matter where the fault lies. It’s not Chipper Jones’ fault.

  211. Milo Hamilton says:

    You guys are 100% right about the pitchers responsibility in this. All I’m saying is that they have to find someone that can do a better job throwing out runners than the decaying carcass of Rod Barajas.

  212. NMR says:

    Did a little searching over lunch for what good systems produce after the 1st two rounds of the draft. Nothing scientific, of course.

    According to Fangraphs, the Pites Minor League system was ranked 9th coming into the season and had four players in the top 10 that were selected after the second round.

    Only one out of the eight teams ahead of them had more, the Oakland Athletics.

  213. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Crap, have I missed the NW segment.

  214. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Milo

    No disagreement there.

  215. NMR says:

    @AW

    Who is saying they aren’t relevant or don’t reflect on the organization?

    I’m saying the exact opposite.

    Do we have to explicitly state the impact of the Front Office on every single baseball topic now?

    I’m not campaigning, I’m talking baseball.

  216. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    And BTW, not AT ALL how I figured DK pronounced his name….Just when I thought I figured it out.

  217. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Go A’s!!!! Battle of the Bay World Series would be awesome!

    Ya know, since the Pirates won’t make it n’at

  218. Arriba Wilver says:

    Yep, Ryan, you missed it. And let me be the first to say he did say that the team felt more could have been done at the deadline. That’s going to be the headline. He said it with all the class you would expect from him, but he was asked, and that’s what he said.

  219. Jandy says:

    Ryan, lol. It’s simple Kuh-vach-ee-vich

  220. Jandy says:

    AW, by he you mean Walker said that, right?
    Bless his heart.

  221. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Anyone else listening to the show?

  222. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    LOL..yea, WAAAYY off

  223. NMR says:

    @Milo

    Honest question, no implication what-so-ever to management…What would you do about the catcher position next year?

    Go with Clint and sign Ianetta? :)

  224. Milo Hamilton says:

    Ryan,

    I’m listening. I need to be listening to something all day. This fits in quite nicely.

  225. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    DK, talking about the outfield for next year……..so far, I agree….LOL.

    You’re welcome DK, great minds

  226. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    It does Milo. Will burn my phone battery though…..apps are amazing

  227. Arriba Wilver says:

    NMR–just reacting to the excuses that come with anything that reflects badly in the FO. Anything. All I did was state a fact about the caught stealing numbers for Barajas. Not sure how you put lipstick on 6%, even from a baseball standpoint.

  228. Milo Hamilton says:

    NMR,

    I think a trade is the 1st option. JP Arencibia maybe ? That list of free agents is pretty paltry. I’m good with McKenry as a backup.

  229. Thundercrack says:

    Here are two headlines from DK’s sulia account:

    Blaming Barajas for steals? Missing point entirely

    The Pirates wish their fans were smarter

  230. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @NMR

    If I may add my 2 cents to your question.

    1. Only FA I consider is Napoli, but he’s gonna cost quite a bit and he’s 31. Old age for a catcher. Love his power offense, .259 career BA however.

    2. And my main choice, is trade Hanrahan (or more if needed) and get a younger dude. Not a AAAA type catcher, but someone that is going to be the next Yadir Molina. I personally haven’t watched around the league to know if there’s a name out there like that, but that’s the direction that I would take.

  231. Thundercrack says:

    I thought I saw a list of catchers that could possible be non-tendered after this season. And there were some very decent names on the list. Certainly upgrades from what the Bucs have.

    I probably saw it on mlbtraderumors.com. ( I dare not mention P2 )

  232. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jandy–yes, Walker said it (with all the respectfulness stuff) but he said it. He didn’t talk about its effect in the clubhouse or anything, but he answered the question.

  233. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @TC

    I wish the Pirates were smarter….

  234. Arriba Wilver says:

    Ryan–I’ll take that as a “I dont trust you. “. Fair enough.

  235. Jandy says:

    AW, gotta give Walker credit for having cajones.

  236. Jandy says:

    “The Pirates wish their fans were smarter”

    The Pirates need to look in the mirror. Stick that sentiment where the sun doesn’t shine.

    smh

  237. Milo Hamilton says:

    Thunder,

    You’re right, I wish I was smarter too. Maybe then I wouldn’t expect a major league catcher to be able to actually throw the ball to the 2nd base bag on a fly occasionally. But that’s just me I guess.

  238. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I don’t understand how a team can actually have a tactical approach that encourages disregard of stolen bases because metrics indicate they aren’t important. I’m not a pro player or coach and don’t claim to be one. I played for 10 years as a kid and have followed the Pirates as long as I can remember. That’s the extent of my resume. I don’t even follow stats or other teams nearly as much as many posters here.

    But how can a professional team claim that a fundamental part of the game isn’t important? Holding/throwing out runners may not make or break a whole season in and of itself, but the number of games it can potentially help win certainly can. Hoka Hey.

  239. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @AW

    No idea what that means

  240. Jandy says:

    This from baseball Prospectus:
    Catchers
    Rod Barajas *
    Henry Blanco *
    Koyie Hill
    Chris Iannetta *
    Gerald Laird
    Russell Martin
    Brian McCann *
    Jose Molina *
    Mike Napoli
    Wil Nieves
    Miguel Olivo *
    Ronny Paulino
    A.J. Pierzynski
    Humberto Quintero
    David Ross
    Carlos Ruiz *
    Brian Schneider
    Kelly Shoppach
    Chris Snyder *
    Yorvit Torrealba
    Matt Treanor *
    * – player whose current contract includes 2013 option
    Link: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/compensation/cots/?page_id=177

  241. Thundercrack says:

    What I got out of those two headlines: not only the Pirates wish their fans were smarter :-)

  242. cosmo says:

    I’m going to the game tomorrow, but I wish I were smarter.

  243. Jandy says:

    Milo #239, hey now, don’t think you’re special. I think that way too.

  244. Arriba Wilver says:

    Milo–yep, he went from 25% to 6% just based on the pitchers.

    Look, I agree the caught steeling numbers are largely based on the pitchers, but 25% to 6% is more than just the pitchers. McKenry’s 18%, and I agree AJ probably is one of the worst at holding runners on, which impacts Rod’s numbers. Not to 6%, though, in my estimation.

  245. RobertoForever says:

    @TC

    You are stirrin’ the pot today.

    Btw, count me as a fan who is completely disappoined in what Hot Rod ended up showing with the Pirates. Not at all what I thought was possible after the Pirates ponied up serious dough for a Catcher listed as one of the top catching FA’s in the offseason. I was fine with Doumit leaving to DH/part-time catch in the AL, but with the experts evaluation, I thought we would have a guy that added to the club, not held it back.

  246. cosmo says:

    Jandy

    Thanks for the list, noone jumps off the page, but I’m just an unitelligent Pirates fan.

  247. RobertoForever says:

    @Jandy

    If the Bucs sign Matt Treanor, do you think his wife will move to Pittsburgh? Now that might be worth a flier! :D

  248. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I hope Bad Deal Neal’s dentist is a Pirates fan.

  249. Arriba Wilver says:

    Ryan–you ask if you missed Walker, I said yes, and then said what he said, you asked then “Anyone else listening to the show?”.

  250. RobertoForever says:

    @Thunder

    Woah! And then you go and smash your implication with a follow-up in #243. Wonder if you get an official reprimand?

  251. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    OK, who knew this;

    Andrew McCutchen’s jersey is #6 on the MLB top-selling jersey’s.

    pretty cool I guess

  252. Jandy says:

    LOL cosmo and RF, I don’t know anyone on that list. I was trying to be helpful and put names out there. I take it, Roberto, that Mrs. Treanor is “hot” then? Maybe worth several fliers in that case ;)

  253. Jandy says:

    Ryan, AW is jerking your chain royally and you really let him do it LOL

  254. RobertoForever says:

    @Ryan

    If you missed the Walker interview part of the show, DK will post the link to the podcast, or whatever technology, that allows you to hear it later. It’s not gone forever.

  255. cosmo says:

    @ Roberto 249

    That would create some new marketing options for the FO.
    Beach Volleyball match in place of bobblehead night.

  256. RobertoForever says:

    Jandy,

    Perhaps you have heard of Misty-May Treanor, the Olympic Beach Volleyball champion? She and her teammate just won another Gold medal in London.

  257. RobertoForever says:

    Oops, Misty May-Treanor. Wrong spot for the hyphen

  258. cosmo says:

    Jandy

    Mrs. Treanor is Misty May Treanor, Olympic Beach Volleyball Gold Medalist (3 times)

  259. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jandy—shhhhhhh. :-)

  260. Thundercrack says:

    Yes, RF, that was stirrin’ the pot.

    And I was just joking!!!

  261. 21sthebest says:

    “Ryan, lol. It’s simple Kuh-vach-ee-vich”

    Most people don’t know this but it comes from the Yiddish words “Kvetch,” “Kvetcher” or “Kvetching” meaning complain, complainer, or complaining.

    So there you go.

  262. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    AW

    Ha…lol. No, I asked prior to seeing your response. Wasn’t looking for another answer.

  263. Reading says:

    Interestingly, doing some research in Pittsburgh newspapers from May 1935, it appears that when Babe Ruth made his final appearance at Forbes Field with the Boston Braves, there was a testimonial dinner held for Rabbit Maranville at the Hotel Schenley where people like Honus Wagner, Bill McKechnie, Johnny Evers, and Babe Ruth spoke in Rabbit’s honor. At the banquet, Maranville was presented with what was described as a “handsome gift” and a cash present. Also, before the first of the three game series at Forbes Field, Maranville was presented with a golf bag and clubs. It is unclear whether there was a similar celebration for the Babe.

  264. NMR says:

    @Milo – JP is my un-smart Pirate fan choice as well.

    @Ryan – your two cents are always welcome. Napoli never struck me as a full time catcher, a la Ryan Doumit. I think he’ll end up being a luxury for a large payroll team.

    Your Hanny trade option is intriguing, for sure. Similar to the Jesus Montero-Michael Pineda trade last year. It would be interesting to see the value difference between a starter and closer.

    @Thunder – I didn’t think about the non-tender candidates. Any chance you could throw a link this way if you remember?

    I, personally, would rather make it sink or swim time with Tony Sanchez. Nothing on the free agent market strikes me as anything more than Rod Barajas II.

  265. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m thinking, after the interview, that Kyle Stark is thinking up how to discipline Walker.

  266. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Jandy

    Did I really let him if I had no clue what he was talking about?

  267. Jandy says:

    AW,lol, you had waaaayyyyy too much fun with that one, friend.

    Roberto & cosmo, well, yeah I have heard of her, can’t tell you what she looks like tho ;)

    And now 21 says Dejan’s name means complainer LOL! that is priceless!

  268. Jandy says:

    Ryan, shhhhh! Don’t be making it worse ;)

  269. Jandy says:

    AW, if Kyle Stark has ANY clue whatsoever, he lets Walker be. Period.
    But then, I doubt he has a clue. Not. One. Clue.

  270. Jandy says:

    And finally, Brad #240, you said a LOT there…and I agree!

  271. cosmo says:

    AW

    20 sand dives.
    15 large tire flips
    10 telephone pole sprints with 5 of his buddies
    and 25 fire hose squirts for good measure.

  272. 21sthebest says:

    “I’m thinking, after the interview, that Kyle Stark is thinking up how to discipline Walker.”

    Walker probably doesn’t run out his HBP’s. Might be a good place to start.

  273. Milo Hamilton says:

    Obviously, I’m also not smart enough to know that winning the triple crown is meaningless and therefore Mike Trout is the MVP.

  274. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I agree with you on that one Milo..Trout’s not the MVP. ROY, doubt.

  275. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    *no doubt

  276. PI Pete says:

    Completely unmentioned in all of this is the other part of Huntington’s strategy to bolster the talent level within the Pirate organization-The multiple trades of more established players in exchange for prospects. I would guess that Huntington had major input to these trades.

    For those with memories like mine that would have forgotten all the details if I had not written it all down, the following players were traded-Bay, Nady/Marte(the pitcher), Morgan/S. Burnett, Hinske, Snell/Wilson, Grabow/Gorzelanny, F Sanchez, and Adam LaRoche. The Pirates received 25 different players. Of those, after all these years, only 8 are contributing at the ML level (and some of those very little, very recently): Morris, Tabata, Karstens, Locke, Hanrahan, Fryer, Clement, and Harrison. You could argue that only 4 of these have actually made REAL contributions: Tabata, Karstens, Hanrahan, and Harrison. Morton is out with Tommy John surgery, so he is a question mark.

    For me, the failure of all these prospects is just as big a failure as the laughable results that Huntington has achieved in the farm system. In support of those criticizing TBMTIB in their farm efforts, living in Erie, I have made a point of seeing Altoona play at least once in every series every time they come here. Frankly, although I have not taken the time to look up all their stats, I have not been impressed with ANY of the prospects I have seen, except for Alvarez back in the day and Taillon at the end of this past season.

    It is a sorry mess all around in Bucco-land, and only good fortune (sudden improvement of players who have not previously shown the potential for such improvement or some low budget free agent acquisitions that have miraculous seasons)will enable the Bucs to turn into contenders anytime soon. Huntington’s Five Year plan has failed miserably, IMO.

    One last thing-those downplaying the effect of the trade deadline moves on the Pirate season by saying that losing Hernandez and McGehee had no impact are missing the point, and the comments Walker made recently seem to support that. It seemed like the players either wanted things to stay as they were (after all, the team WAS 16 games over .500 at that point) or make a major acquisition or two. Instead, Huntington’s moves seemed to serve no real purpose except to push back the “window of contention” and apparently alienated the players. It wasn’t an on-field impact, it was an off-field issue.

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