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Final: Pirates 3, Astros 2, exhibition

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (8-11) vs. Houston Astros, exhibition

Starters: LHP Jonathan Sanchez vs. RHP Brad Peacock

Time: 1:05 p.m.

Site: Osceola County Stadium, Kissimmee, Fla.

Radio: MLB.com

Here is the official live box score.

Here is the TribLIVE’s Pirates page. Rob Biertempfel is on the beat.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.

Comments

  1. John Lease says:

    Hopefully Jones hasn’t lost much time taking off for his oblique, should start today.

  2. Thundercrack says:

    Wonder why the sent Tony Sanchez down at this time. 2 full weeks until they break camp.

    Any truth to those rumors that the Pirates are trading for Elvis Andrus or Profar?

  3. Drew71 says:

    Any truth to the rumor they’re trading for Verlander and Trout?

  4. Jandy says:

    Any truth to the rumor they’re making ANY trade at all?

  5. Thundercrack says:

    No truth. Just a bunch of bickering.

  6. Patrick says:

    Of Bucco talk..but did anyone else read Rick Reilly’s article yesterday? His idiotic solution to the Cubs problems is to tear down Wrigley field because THEY NEED MORE MONEY.

    Yea. Thats his excuse. He is actually trying to cry poverty. FOR THE CUBS.

    Unbelievable. How some people manage to get a job talking about sports is just beyond me.

  7. Patrick says:

    bickering…or Hooey?

  8. NMR says:

    Balogna.

  9. Jandy says:

    LOL +1

  10. Why are they throwing Sanchez in a regular game? He should be pitching in minor league camp.

  11. 21sthebest says:

    Maybe just filler. I’m sure everyone’s on some type of schedule/pitch count.

  12. NMR says:

    I think radio shared this sentiment yesterday.

    My only thought was that all the other starters are on a scheduled program. McP, Locke, McD just pitched. Liriano and Karstens are rehabbing.

    You gotta start someone, right?

    One guy I wouldn’t mind seeing “extended” would be Phil Irwin since he’s faced mostly backups in late inning work. Can’t remember last time he pitched, though.

  13. Thundercrack says:

    Sanchez is certainly a long shot to make the team because he’s pitched so terrible. But maybe they want to see what he does against a lineup of mostly major leaguers.

  14. NMR says:

    This article should resonate with everyone here.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324532004578358762117791922.html#articleTabs%3Darticle

    JIm Crane might be the the least apologetic owner in Major League baseball, and yes, that includes Jeff Loria. He makes Bob Nutting look like he actually cares about his fans.

    “If people want to complain about it, they have a right to complain about it. But we’re going to stick with the plan…it’s not their money. This is a private company, even though it’s got a public flair to it. If they want to write a check for 10 million bucks, they can give me a call.”

    Un-friggin-believable.

  15. Jandy says:

    Oh. My. Gosh.

    What a douchebag

  16. Jandy says:

    wait that comment goes up here:

    Oh. My. Gosh.

    What a douchbag

  17. I’m really sorry Chase d’Arnaud got hurt. That kid has so-o-o much ability and if it ever clicks he could be an above average Major League shortstop.

    He’s fast as the dickens, has a great arm, and has great range to his right. He turns the double play well and everyone knows he is the best base stealer on the 40-man. He also has extra base pop in his bat.

    His problem seems to be focus . . . . . he messes up routine plays in the field and he gives up at bats at the plate. Sometimes young players grow out of that, especially young players with oodles of talent for whom things have been easy——like d’Arnaud (and his brother Travis with the Mets)!

    d’Arnaud is so much more fluid at short than Jordy Mercer and has better range than Barmes {and he fields the ball with two hands instead of Barmes’ pansy side-saddle style}. I’m really sorry he got hurt; he needs to play to grow up on the field and in the box.

    What a Leadoff hitter he would be with his extra base shots and his baserunning skills!!

  18. Jandy says:

    how did he get hurt, Groat?

  19. It’s still 16 days until Opening Day.

    Pitch Sanchez!!! Give him a chance to get his stuff together!

  20. Bucs were running basesliding drills in Bradenton a couple days ago, and a player slid into his hand, tearing the ligament in his thumb. Now, surgery.

    Just dumb luck——but he missed almost 3 months last season at AAA with a concussion after he got hit in the head with a pitch. Broke the batting helmet right in half.

    The kid has the best shortstop arm in Pirates system, but he needs to play, play, play!

  21. NMR says:

    Same guy openly criticized his own fans last fall with a comment about “real” baseball people believing they are rebuilding the right way. What a jerk.

    The author of that article is a complete kiss a*ss, too.

    “If it weren’t for the annoying chore of appeasing fans in the interim, many teams could build a championship core within five years. But few have the gall to take the Astros’ approach.”

    That little bit of gold followed a direct quote by GM Jeff Luhnow saying “Are they going to be part of our core in four or five years?”. This is already year 3 of the rebuild. And the GM is talking about five MORE years down the road.

    Yet according to the author, the team should be able to build a CHAMPIONSHIP core in under five years, since they certainly aren’t worrying about those pesky little things called fans.

  22. Bizrow says:

    Just saw a report that the Patriots are trying to sign Emmanuel Sanders, he’s a restricted FA, but all it would cost the Patriots is the $$ and their third round pick.

    That would put the Steelers in a pickle…

  23. Steelers have right to match. Not to worry.

  24. Patrick says:

    “Also, an influx of television money offers teams more guaranteed revenue. The Astros’ new 20-year deal with Comcast CMCSA -0.57% SportsNet Houston (of which they own 46.5%) has an average annual value of close to $80 million. The Astros won’t receive that much in 2013, but they’ll double the $26 million they received in 2012 from Fox Sports Houston. “We won’t lose any money this year,” Crane said.”

    With a payroll of only 25 million I would think not. I wonder where that extra 28 million from the TV deal will go?

    And how does a team as bad as the Astros manage to negotiate a NEW TV deal in the midst of historic losing seasons that is not only TWICE as much as the previous, but 4x larger than the on Pittsburgh has?

    After every new TV deal the BMTIB looks even worse, if thats even possible.

  25. Talk about a writer who has “jumped the shark!”

    He and Skip Bayless and Stephen A Smith should be locked in a room together.

    Maybe they should be permanent positions on Around the Horn.

  26. I agree. In minor league camp.

  27. Jandy says:

    Darn, that is really bad luck. Poor kid.

  28. JohnS says:

    I really like d’Arnaud when he played for the Spikes up here in State College. He and Mercer flipped back and forth between 2B and SS. Chase always seemed a little smoother defensively.

  29. Jandy says:

    That’s just wrong. Totally wrong.

  30. Jandy says:

    Now I’m getting depressed!

  31. radio wave says:

    Thanks for the link to the wall street journal article. I was listening to Euston radio this morning, and they’re not happy about the owners quotes. Particularly because his office is inside the publicly funded ballpark. And they say he’s price couching for the opening day tickets.

  32. You’re right, John. Jordy Mercer I think would make a better 2nd baseman, but we already have one of those!

    d’Arnaud has that “extra” thing you look for . . . . . if he can ever harness it.

    So many “natural” athletes like Chase never learn to intensely work, honing their natural gifts.

    I’m pretty sure Dejan doesn’t like his head. But I sure like the rest of him, and hope his head catches up!

  33. Kentuck Knob,

    You’re not normally grumpy——is March 15th the day Kentucky passes out welfare checks and your office is overrun today?

  34. NMR says:

    Honest question, has a single prospect other than Robbie Grossman exhibited even average plate discipline during Gregg Ritchie’s reign with the Pirates?

    Anybody?

    If d’Arnaud/Pressley/Harrison could draw a walk to save their life, they could absolutely be an asset to the team on the base paths. If Marte could draw one, he could be a star.

    Worst of all, lack of walks are a symptom in this case. Every one of these guys flail at garbage outside the zone, swing at pitchers pitches while ahead in the count, and make poor contact.

  35. Bizrow says:

    The thoughts are the Patriots will front load it high enough that the Steelers will not be able to match it, due to being so close to the cap as is

  36. John Lease says:

    Well, at least he’s honest.

  37. Patrick says:

    And I hardly think that “every GM in the league” would do this if they could or “totally agrees” with what the Astros are doing.

    Last time I checked 10 of the last 15 World series champions had to spend more than $98 million on their payroll to do so. And I dont recall the Red Sox or Yankees going through a 5 year rebuild in which their payroll was 28% of the league average.

    If I were a big market team that had to pay a luxury tax to these clowns, who are already bankrolling 25+ mil from a TV deal, I would be furious. Only in baseball can you make money selling an inferior product every year…

  38. 21sthebest says:

    “And how does a team as bad as the Astros manage to negotiate a NEW TV deal in the midst of historic losing seasons that is not only TWICE as much as the previous….”

    What have their TV ratings been?

  39. casper in a-town says:

    ESPN in its entirety has jumped the shark. Reilly was pretty good at SI. He goes to ESPN and he has to tote the company line.

    Just look at ESPN banning Bill Simmons from Twitter for 3 days for his negative tweet about that First Take debacle with Skip Bayless and Richard Sherman.

    Take a look at Sports Center. It used to be sports, regardless of which network had broadcasting rights to. Now, it’s simply a one hour commercial for the sports that ESPN has contracts with. Case in point — Soccer scores and highlights are big lead ins. No offense to soccer fans (which I’m sure is a great sport), but it doesn’t have a viewing base in the U.S. I’d love to see the ratings on broadcasts. I have no stats, but I’d be amazed if they’re even close to the NHL ratings on the national broadcasts (NBC sports, NHL Network and the regionals). I can’t wait until some national sports station can take on the mothership and get back to what ESPN was 10 years ago.

  40. NMR says:

    Ha! Now that’s rich. They only game they have a chance of selling out and the owner raises prices.

  41. 21sthebest says:

    “has a single prospect other than Robbie Grossman exhibited even average plate discipline during Gregg Ritchie’s reign with the Pirates?”

    Cutch. Cutch credits Ritchie with his success going back to their time when Cutch was Altoona.

  42. 21sthebest says:

    in Altoona!

  43. NMR says:

    Absolutely agree, John! Seriously. It’s refreshing, just in a manner that makes your skin crawl.

  44. Patrick says:

    The cynic in me knows he will be an all-star for the A’s in 2-3 years.

    I’ve said it before..if i came to own the Pirates…I would pay Beane whatever it took. Wanna be part owner? So be it.

    Want me to get the mayor to rename Bellvue “Beanetown”? Done.

  45. Jandy says:

    Groat, grumpiness has been prevalent on this blog for about a week now.

  46. NMR says:

    Houston is America’s 5th largest metro and located in a baseball savvy state. In this case, the number of viewers who have watched in the past doesn’t matter as much as the number of TV sets the cable company can bill when they bundle the channel in a package. Thats why my cable bill is over a hundred bucks a month even though I only watch half a dozen channels.

  47. Patrick says:

    Ironically enough this same type of forced market inefficiency was allowed to exist about 10-15 years ago. Prices and rates were controlled rather than allow the market to correct itself. In real life business the practices in Pittsburgh, Houston and other cities wouldn’t work because your business would simply fail. But in baseball they are allowed to exist by a broken economic paradigm.

    Similar to the paradigm Enron and Mortgage brokers took advantage of. Anyone remember the first name of the Houston Astros Stadium?

  48. Jandy says:

    The fans should seriously stay away.

  49. NMR says:

    This is where I gave Jim Crane of the Astros a ton of respect.

    He went out and spent whatever it took to pry Jeff Luhnow away from the best organization in baseball, the St Louis Cardinals.

    If that isn’t the same strategy Nutting uses to find Huntington’s replacement next year(from the cards/rays/a’s), then I fear replacing him will be nothing more than academic.

  50. It’s not important to walk.

    It’s not important to hold runners on base.

    It’s not important to learn how to bunt.

    It’s not important to learn how to steal.

    It’s not important to learn how to throw to the right base.

    It’s not important to learn not to throw rainbows from the outfield.

    **********************
    See——you don’t know anything about baseball. You think those things are important! Kyle Stark is saving us from ourselves!!

  51. radio wave says:

    Jandy:
    It will be interesting to see what his season-ticket base is. The only interest this team can muster this year is the fact that they are in the American League for the first time.

  52. Patrick says:

    You know…maybe I’m just getting to old and cynical. But between this clown and Loria….the Red Sox Salary dump…what happens in Pittsburgh every year….

    Is anyone even trying TO WIN BALLGAMES anymore?

    Bleeech…

  53. NMR says:

    That’s the thing, Jandy. It wouldn’t matter one bit.

    Like Patrick said, the MLB isn’t a fair market. If fans stay away from teams like the Pirates and Astros, the MLB will just increase revenue sharing while the owners decrease payroll.

    Fans have absolutely no leverage on owners who are solely focused on the bottom line.

  54. Those fans are just like us . . . . . they love the game of baseball, and covet the few times when it is played right. They can’t give it up; I can’t give it up.

    However, pig-headed management teams prefer to create baseball in a new way and the fans are left staggering.

    Meanwhile, owners and management rake in the dollars.

  55. Patrick says:

    True. At least he went to the butchers and not the roadside.

  56. 21sthebest says:

    You’re saying ratings don’t matter NMR?

  57. NMR says:

    That’s a good call, 21. Thanks.

  58. Look at the Marlins! Fired manager Ozzie Guillen will be making more salary from the Marlins this season than every player but two. TWO!

  59. Good call, JandyGirl!!

    I noticed that!

    Maybe Lucky needs to start preaching to us!!
    Roll out those beatitudes, Kentuck Knob!

  60. Jandy says:

    Well, guys, now I’m REALLY depressed >:/

  61. Patrick says:

    In the grand scheme of sports, ALL SPORTS not just baseball, ticket buyers mean less and less every year.

    The largest chunk of revenue comes from TV deals, not tickets. Not merchandising. Not concesssions. Its all about TV deals.

    I have a feeling all of these landmark network contracts are going to have a severe backlash against a lot of teams soon. Since they are negotiated individually instead of collectively like all other sports there are going to be some local broadcasters that lose a ton of money. Houston makes sense now that NMR mentoned that it is such a huge market really.

    But $30 mil per year for Cleveland Indians rights? A quarter of a BILLION for Dodgers rights? In a market where they share the same TV sets with LA Angels?

    Anytime Ive ever seen such massive growth, such random inexplcable growth, its usually followed by a few dozen chapter 11′s a few years later?

    Remember the Dot.Com bubble?

  62. Not grumpy. Just can’t see them wasting time looking at him if he’s not going to make the team out of ST and other guys are that need to pitch against ML competition.

    I don’t pass out welfare checks. Not my department.

  63. Jandy says:

    That’s obscene!

  64. All you have to do is click on the blue on my name and you get as many messages as you can handle.

  65. Patrick says:



    wow

    just..wow

  66. Jandy says:

    Spunky! hey now…you’re depressing me even further :/

  67. How am I depressing you, J-girl?

  68. National Mart of Records,

    My fear is that Bucs will somehow win 3 more games and BMTIB will be reupped for 3 years!!

    Who is there for Mr. Brilliant Nutting to consult when hiring someone new? Coonnelly? Bud Selig?

    I think Nutting is a status quo kind of guy. If the money keeps flowing, don’t mess. Accept your statues for recycling and move along. Take 90 days to evaluate something that should have been in process anyway. Is anybody happy with the ingenuitive, creative upgrades at Seven Springs? At the Wheeling Intelligencier newspaper? Don’t mess the with cash flow. Why take chances?

  69. Jandy says:

    I can’t do audio, and can’t see how to download text. Must be me.

  70. Patrick says:

    Actually I heard that, too. It was floated around as to why the Indians got such a great deal. Not because of actual ratings but because of how many cable boxes were in every house. I’m sure ratings have *something to do with it. It probably(?) matters somewhat. but basically yea…it doesn’t matter as much as houses with a cable in them.

  71. NMR says:

    I could absolutely be wrong, but my understanding is that they don’t. At least not nearly as much as market size.

    The baseball TV contracts are similar to the forces that tell the Big 10 network to go out and get Rutgers and Maryland.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/ncaaf–big-ten-jim-delany-quality-for-cash-with-expansion-move-192826899.html?.tsrc=yahooHere’s's’s's’s's’s's’s's’s's’s's’s's’s's’s's’s's’s's’s's’s's’s's’s's

  72. NMR says:

    I agree, Groat.

    If this current team actually puts their potential together this year and takes off. If Tony Sanchez, Vic Black and Phil Irwin end up big leaguers and prove everyone wrong about the 2009 draft class. If the 2011 draft class continues to look as great as it does now. I’ll be the first to eat my words.

    But if this team plods along with a couple more wins without continuing on the minor league improvement and THAT ends up being Nutting’s reason for keeping these guys around? Shame on him.

  73. Jandy says:

    We’re talking patience at the plate and Pedro walks.

  74. 21sthebest says:

    Well fans could stop going and watching on TV and buying the products they sell during the games but that’s obviously not realisitc. But what leverage do fans have on owners not focused on the bottom line? Which owners aren’t focused on the bottom line?

  75. NMR says:

    I have the same thoughts, Patrick.

    I couldn’t fit my knowledge of TV market dynamics on the head of a pin, but just logically speaking, 20 years seems soooo far out there to be leveraging that kind of money.

    $30m might be chump change in 2030. Or the way we watch and pay for television could be completely different. You just don’t know.

  76. Jandy says:

    double play, so much for that.

  77. Jandy says:

    And the lightning waive Adam Hall.

  78. Kentuck Knob,

    Jonathan Sanchez———3 innings of 1-hit ball.

    He’s got ability. I still say, let’s give him a chance!

    Bucs ahead 1-0 in top of 5th.

  79. Patrick says:

    Thats the very thing that makes these contracts so ridiculous. Somw of it is the money exchanging hands, but mostly its the LENGTH of the deals.

    Its like buying a 20 year subscription to a magazine the year before the internet is invented.

    Or buying 30 Blockbuster filled with VHS tapes.

    Somewhere in China there is a very very smart kid who is working on the ‘next big thing’ that will make the way we watch and view TV obsolete.

    I dont car ehwat business you are in, 20 year contracts are a bad idea for everyone except the one getting paid. Like the Rick Dipietro deal.

    When has a 20 year lease with a team and the county EVER worked out? Al Davis was still suing LA for money 10 years after he moved back to Oakland.

    Like you said, its just such a llooonng ways off. And cable/satellite tv could be made obsolete overnight by this time next year thanks to some APP written by a North Korean hacker on his IPhone.

  80. Mercer excellent line drive single to center.

    Then thrown out clearly trying to advance on pitch in dirt.

    How can the Pirates CONSISTENTLY be so bad at running the bases?!?!

  81. Was it you or Milo that said the other day that he couldn’t find the plate once he got out of the bullpen? Somebody that was in Bradenton said that.

    Now, bring Gomez in to see what he can do, right?

    All I’m saying is, if these guys aren’t going north or they’re going to AAA, let them pitch in minor league camp and work out their issues.

    Too many pitchers still in camp to waste ML competition (even though it’s the Astros) on guys that won’t be there.

  82. Jandy says:

    Isn’t that partly on the base coaches?

  83. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  84. No time for coach to recommend . . . . . runner has to decide on his own.

    That has to be “coached” before the game begins.

    By the way, Houston announcers just called Starling Marte “a budding star” with obvious bat skills.

  85. Jandy says:

    well then, failure coming up thru the system ;)

  86. NMR says:

    I understand the logic, I just don’t see who is missing opportunities because of these guys. Are you thinking of anyone in particular?

    Leroux, Grilli, Tailon, and Wandy are/were away from the team due to the WBC.

    Watson, Karstens, are Liriano are nursing injuries.

    Hughes, Melancon, Morris, and Wilson are all within one appearance of each other out of the pen.

    Locke, McP, McD, and AJ would all have four starts if AJ wasn’t pushed back today.

    Again not arguing the logic, just don’t see who is actually missing opportunities.

  87. JohnS says:

    Groat,

    The lack of fundamentals is startling. Baserunning has to be one of my biggest pet peeves. I am truly puzzled by player development in this organization.

  88. Still 14 exhibition games to go——plenty of time for pitchers going North to get in their work and get on their pitching schedule/order.

    However, if someone pulls a muscle, then another has to be ready against major leaguers right away.

    I did say I loved how Sanchez threw in the bullpens, but for some reason he wasn’t being able to carry that out to the mound in games. You’re right. His stuff is nasty. If he gets it under control from the mound in a game like he can do in the bullpens, just WOW! That’s why I like him pitching today, March 15.

    From March 20 on, only the 12 pitchers going North should start or pitch, excepting mop up roles.

  89. Jandy says:

    See? That’s what I’m talkin about!

  90. Arriba Wilver says:

    Best in the MLB. :-P

  91. Another short hop off the glove of Pedro ruled a “hit.” Ugh!!

    Houston immediately bunts him up to second. So . . . that’s how you do that cleanly!!!

    And now, before I can press ‘send’ the runner steals 3rd. Double ugh!

    John, your call about lack of fundamentals is prescient!

  92. Jandy says:

    Love that smirky face, AW ;)

  93. NMR says:

    What I don’t think I’ll ever understand is how a bunch of old guys who probably haven’t played above Legion ball know basic baserunning but it is apparently up to the Pirates development staff to teach elite level players what to do when they get past first base.

    It just doesn’t make sense to me. These things are basic.

    I have to believe it’s all mental. I just simply can’t fathom that I somehow got better instruction in Little League than Jordy Mercer has had his entire life.

  94. Hits batsman, and then another steal of 2nd without a throw, even with 2 out.

    Don’t understand not even trying!

    Welcome to the Pirates, Russell Martin!!!

  95. Garrett Jones with 2nd hit of day. 2/3 in first game back.

  96. NMR says:

    Cue the Jason Kendall line, haha.

    Pretty sure Martin’s walked in every game I’ve followed. Guy has a heck of an eye.

    Did you see him hit while you were down there, Groat? Is it a bat speed thing with him? That batting average decline is crazy bad.

  97. JohnS says:

    This is what frustrates me so much. I wish I could say, “they just don’t have the horses, but the good thing is they never beat themselves.” Alas, I cannot.

    The other thing that really bugs me is that I continue to watch every game and hope it will be different.

    Why do I love baseball.

  98. Harrison pinch runs, steals 2nd on 2-1 pitch and throw goes into center field, so runner on 3rd with 0 outs and Snider swinging————drops a pop fly double a foot from left field chalk to drive in 2nd run of day.

    Now——no outs——let’s see if Pirates can bunt.

    DeJesus lines a hit to right. 1st and 3rd. Mercer up.

  99. NMR says:

    Remember this line from Jeff Luhnow?

    “Are they going to be part of our core in four or five years? We need to find out. If you take away their job and give it to a veteran, you delay finding it out. It doesn’t push the organization forward.”

    Hey Jeff, your opening day lineup just got 2-hit over six innings by Jonathan Sanchez and Jeanmar Gomez.

    Let that sink in.

    I think you can afford to give a couple spots to people who can, you know, play baseball.

  100. Mercer fouls off a squeeze attempt, then lines a deep fly to center to score run with sac fly. 3 – 0.

  101. radio wave says:

    Ball drops in among three fielders. A good indication of what kind of year it’s going to be for them. I never thought I would see you team that much worse than the 2010 pirates, but this years Houston team may be worse than that.

  102. I don’t mean to disagree with you, but they just ran stats on screen that listed Astros having highest On base % in the whole Grapefruit League up to today.

    But, in general, I agree with you.

    deJesus just got thrown out stealing 2nd. Boy, deJesus has short strides.

  103. Bizrow says:

    The Astros could challenge immortality this coming season.

    Didn’t know Grossman could play center (just a comment)

  104. NMR says:

    Did Nick Leyva give the squeeze sign via megaphone like last year or have they figured that one out?

  105. Patrick says:

    The ones winning a lot of games.

  106. It seemed Martin had two swings that I saw.

    When he just would swing for line drives, it was a pretty sweet, short swing. Not many popups.

    But you could tell when Martin was loading up his swing. It would get a lot longer and a lot, lot slower. That’s when he would get distance, but at the same time lots of high fly balls.

    I hated his homerun swing!! I saw him a couple of days and it was always the same. If it was that obvious to me, I would hope the coaches would notice and talk to him.

    Watch him in the games: his homerun swing is too long.

  107. NMR says:

    Ok, that is surprising. I’m just in the piling on mood. :)

    For what it’s worth, I very much believe Jeff Luhnow will be successful. John Mozeliak deserves all the credit he gets in St Louis, but all those home grown players wouldn’t be there if Luhnow wasn’t his scouting director.

    Look up the guys bio if you haven’t. Damn impressive.

    I just hate to see him acting like a schill for his cheep *ss owner.

  108. Patrick says:

    Sometimes I wonder if they confuse these kids to much. I Umpire Pny league games in northern Allegheny and Butler counties and its true, 13-17 year old kids know more about what to do on base than some MLB players. It doesnt make sense. Unless…

    They have SO MUCH instruction that it becomes hard to remeber and they overthink it

    “OK. 2 outs and 2-1 count. Pedro hates offspeed away but this guy cant throw that pitch for crap today…so he ownt throw that now but he will go to it if he has to..Unless they thiink I’m not a threat to run…so maybe I should lead off…and…OH crap…I got picked off”

    Seriously. like you said. Its fundamental.

    But then maybe some of them have been so talented they never had to worry about being on base because they could hit and run so much better than every one else they just were never in some situations often enough. I know one team I did two games for last year had a strict rule: No steals. Never ever. Mostly because every kid on their team could hit A TON and they didn’t want anybody taking the bat out of their hands with runners OB.

  109. Patrick says:

    Yea but wait five years and they will be a championship contender. A CONTENDER I TELL YOU!

    What you don’t believe me?!?! You have a check for $10 million,buddy?

  110. NMR says:

    That’s disappointing.

    Any opinion on de Jesus? Did he pass the eye test or are his numbers just another case of Spring Training stats being deceiving?

  111. Brother, Felix Pie just hit a line drive that shorthopped the 412 sign, dead over Grossman’s head.

    This guy has been more impressive than anyone Bucs have thrown out in rightfield.

    Although, I will say, in person Tabata looks like a different person!

  112. deJesus hits line drives——a lot. I wasn’t expecting such a consistent swing. It looks the same in batting practice as in games.

    But he looks like a detriment on defense. His range is not great and I don’t think he could play shortstop anymore. Think Holt. It must be the leg injury from a couple years ago; wasn’t it a broken ankle?

    His legs move fast when he runs, but he has really short strides, so it takes him longer.

    I really don’t see him helping the big club much, unless his leg still improves. There’s a reason he is not even on the 40-man, and anybody could have claimed him from the Red Sox.

    If Huntington swings that deal of Josh Harrison for Justin Verlander, then deJesus can replace Josh Harrison as back-up infielder.

  113. JohnS says:

    I am still waiting to see the power/authority in the bat of Snider.

  114. JohnS says:

    Totally agree Patrick. You see it in golf. Most of the young pros all have about the same golf swing. Constant instruction to have the perfect swing.

    Today their is an article about goaltending guru. I coach ice hockey and I can always tell a goalie trained using Shane’s approach. While it is important to always square to the shooter he takes it to the next step to the point where the kid won’t break form in order to make the save. Play the percentages and you will be successful most of the time, but those guys will rarely ever steal you a game when you need it.

  115. Bryan Morris, last hope for the Jason Bay trade, is throwing the ball all over the place in the bottom of the 9th. Walks Robbie Grossman, ground out to 1st, then another walk. Not a good quality for a reliever.

    Now he throws the ball in the dirt and runners move to 2nd and 3rd with 1 out. Goodness.

  116. Righthander Brooks Brown in for relief with 2 outs and men on 2nd and 3rd, Bucs ahead 3 – 0.

    Hurdle must want to see how he responds. Jumps ahead in count 1 and 2. Swinging bunt foul. Still 1-2. Base hit to center. Score now 3 – 2. Uh-oh!

  117. Brooks Brown has a good downward plane. But he falls behind in count 3-1 to lead run. Grounder up middle to short ends the game.

    BUCS WIN! BUCS WIN! 3 – 2.

    In Lucky’s honor, Jonathan Sanchez is the winning pitcher!

  118. If only we could play Houston every game.

  119. NMR says:

    Sounds like Neil swapped Holt for…Holt.

    At least he’s not taking up a precious spot on that vaunted 40-man.

    Thanks, Groat!

  120. NMR says:

    My eyes may be deceiving me, but it appears as though Snider dropped in a double today. An actual extra base hit!

    Best of luck to the guy. Everyone of us will be happy to be proven wrong, I’m sure.

    Oh, did you happen to read JAL’s link in the morning thread about Snider’s cooking – and eating – ability? He claims he’s down to 9% body fat. I’m not his doctor, but that dude must be strong as a mule if that body type only has 9% fat on it.

  121. Thundercrack says:

    Does Bryan Morris have a minor league option left? I really wanted him to make this team, but he hasn’t pitched well so far this spring.

  122. NMR says:

    Hey Lucky, on second thought, I think I might be on your side about Sanchez pitching today. I seem to remember reading that he has already said if he doesn’t make the rotation out of ST, he’ll activate the opt-out clause in his contract instead of taking the AAA assignment. I could be completely making this up, mind you.

    If that is the case though, then any warm body would be better off getting the Grapefruit League innings. Sanchez sure ain’t going North with the club.

  123. NMR says:

    Really? Huh, thats not good. I haven’t read any reports of him struggling, and he’s only given up one run before today.

    But to answer your question, no, I don’t believe he has an option left.

  124. JAL says:

    Questions questions

    Morris has no options left

    Sanchez has a contract that allows him to be released if not on the MLB roster by March 24

    Martin did not throw on the steal of 2nd because there was runner on 3rd and and he might have scored if the throw did not get an out

  125. I think he and/or Inge and/or Hawpe have those clauses. Maybe 2 of the 3. Not sure.

    I’d like to see the guy get back on track, with the Bucs or someone else, but DK and everyone else pretty much said he was having problems early.

  126. So really, it was a good idea to have him throw against a relatively major league club today.

  127. Bizrow says:

    Don’t know if I totally agree with not throwing to second, who was on third?

    Its not Little League?

    Morris, our last hope for something out of the Bay trade….

  128. Pat4PGH says:

    +500

  129. TJ says:

    Wasn’t that like 5 years ago?

  130. TJ says:

    I thought Bryan Morris joined the team before options were even introduced into baseball; seems like forever we’ve been waiting on this guy

  131. TJ says:

    Lets assume that the Patriots sign Sanders to a contract the Steelers cannot match. That would give them an extra pick but “Young Money” is gone. What do we have left Brown, and Plexico… Is crotch under contract for next season?

  132. Bizrow says:

    Yes, Cotch is in the last year of a two year deal

    If Sanders leaves, just always bet the under

  133. TJ says:

    At least Rooney said that they aren’t restrained by contracts. Wonder what salary cap he’s looking at.

  134. Thundercrack says:

    I thought he has been wild this spring.

    You may be right though…..and I can’t find his stats.
    His line today does is not impressive

  135. TJ says:

    Wow Cutch on the main page of ESPN.com right now. Jayson Stark does an article giving 5 reasons why this year will be the year the Pirates break the streak.

    1. They learn their lessons
    2. The catcher
    3. The rotation
    4. The lineup
    5. The mentalists

    Have to read it to see where he is coming from. But if those are the best 5 reasons I’m worried already!

  136. JAL says:

    That is classic baseball, fake a throw to second and hope runner on third starts home then you have easy out. Works about as often as the now banned fake throw to third but still see it all the time.

 
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