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Thursday Wakeup Call: Fallout, fiasco, fall-off, far-out pitch

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

>> The weekly chat will rise up right here on this blog at noon. The post should go up around 8 a.m., which is when entries can be submitted.

Please bear in mind, entries go in the chat field, not in the comments section.

>> As our overly alliterative headline up there illustrates, we have fallout from Pitt’s mass exodus, including video below of Jamie Dixon’s media session …

>> We’ve got local reaction to the Mike Rice fiasco at Rutgers.

>> We also have the precipitous fall-off of the Penguins from that 15-game winning streak, the latest in the form of a total egg laid at the Garden last night.

My thoroughly superficial analysis: Anyone, including the athletes themselves, who are questioning anything about this team after two totally blah efforts needs to get a grip. Happens. Move on.

Oh, and if you seek precedent, here’s what happened to the Blackhawks in their first game after that big season-opening streak. Somehow, they survived it.

dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls

>> Finally, in the lone bright spot of the day emanating from the least likely place, we have Wandy Rodriguez’s magnificent final pitch before getting the hook last night.

Here’s a one-minute highlight clip that finishes with it.

And here’s Karen Price’s game story that describes it.

>> I’ll be at PNC Park all morning and afternoon, working toward a Friday column.

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. theplanisworking says:

    I was out last night when the Pirate game was on.
    Maybe I need to miss more games? They seem to win when i do.
    Hmmmmmmmmmm….

    Pitt is heading into the ACC on a downward slide. Not good at all.

    Any doubts Crosby was the MVP? Anyone heard when he may return?

  2. JohnnyLoose says:

    Wandy did great last night. Grilli owes Neil Walker a cheeseburger for his diving save. After that, Grilli took care of business. Barmes hit a NICE ground rule double. McCutchen ended up with another steal. Marte was thrown out at second on his attempt. Good first win for the Bucs.

    Anyone see Tanner Glass vs. Arron Asham? Glass did a good job of bruising Asham’s knuckles with his helmet. Also landed a body shot for good measure … here’s the link if you missed it:

    http://www.hockeyfights.com/fights/117227

  3. Ghost says:

    To Arriba: Yesterday, you were right. I’m left scratching my head wondering why I thought Matt Morris had bowed out without collecting all of his money.

    To Drew: I’m hip to that.

    To Milo and 21: Still working on who the mystery would-be-Pirate was…

    I think I fell through a wormhole yesterday — everything going on in the world outside of my own head was rather discombobulating.

  4. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/4/3/4177486/former-pirates-minority-owner-calls-out-bob-nutting-for-not-having

    In regards to the Trib article on Pirate minority ex-owner Jay Lustig…..Here lies one of the most absurd pieces I have ever read in regards to defending the Nutting Regime.
    People wonder why myself (and others) have deemed this blog the propaganda headquarters for the Regime?
    It’s because of scrolls such as this that makes it crystal clear…..With a Wheeling connection at the top of it.
    Pure and utter hogwash.

  5. Drew71 says:

    Hipster – I’ve been discombobulated since January 23, 1988.

  6. Drew71 says:

    For those who may be misreading Daq, I believe he is taking a swipe at Bucs Dugout’s Charlie Wilmoth, who he linked, rather than yesterday’s Trib column that extensively quoted Lustig.

    I think Charlie is wrong.

    But then I also think Daq is wrong.

    To me, it is not about the money; it is about competence. Or the LACK THEREOF.

    If the management team is as broken and ineffective as I think it is, that falls on the boss. Nutting.

    Nutting hired them.

    Nutting agreed to extend them.

    Nutting still keeps them.

    Teams have succeeded with low-ish payrolls.

    But rarely with stooges running the team.

    And compared to players, it wouldn’t take a ton of money to dramatically upgrade your management team. So maybe $2M spread among 3-5 guys? That gets you a 30+ backup infielder in today’s market. Think how much more effectively it could be spent on an, um, effective management team.

    Think they won’t come to Pittsburgh?

    1. Money talks.
    2. There are only 30 of each of these jobs in the world, at the top of the baseball world of MLB. The more exclusive and more important number is: only about 2-5 are open each year.
    3. Money talks.

    This is not a defense of Nutting.

    This is an attempt to move beyond the red herring of payroll or cheapness to discuss Nutting’s TRUE FAILING as an owner.

  7. John Lease says:

    You made me click on that link. Somewhere, the hit counter went up by one. BOOOOOOOO.

  8. John Lease says:

    I like wins, and last night was a win. A well pitched win, no less.

  9. 21sthebest says:

    Ghost, you could be working on that for a very long time.

  10. radio wave says:

    Nice win for my Rangers last night. But their trade deadline activity unbelievable. DK I would love your assessment of the NHL as a whole after the trading deadline.

  11. 21sthebest says:

    +1

  12. Thundercrack says:

    ‘Finally, in the lone bright spot of the day emanating from the least likely place, ‘

    Is that a reference to how cold it was last night, or was that a shot at ….you know… ?

  13. Thundercrack says:

    I think competence is a big part of the equation. But I also think money is too.

  14. Thundercrack says:

    If I was pitching to Pedro Alvarez I would throw a good number of tailing fastballs. He can’t reach them. But I would make sure they tailed away…because if they drift back over the plate he will crush them.

  15. Jandy says:

    Glass was lucky Ash Heap didn’t knock him out. But I give Glass credit for tryin’.

  16. Jandy says:

    Your anniversary?

  17. Jandy says:

    +10000000

  18. Jandy says:

    congrats on a great win, Radio, your boys were good. They showed up, which is way more than the Pens did.

  19. Jandy says:

    Nice win by Wandy. Beautiful :)

  20. Drew71 says:

    Some more baseball thoughts.

    – Another stinking early April day game. If you go, look to the two seats to your left. Then look to the two seats to your right. If you are there, the other four are empty. And we’re working, or whatever it is Thunder does all day, mostly missing it.

    – Sanchez, Snider and Tabata are a combined 0-for-2013. Yeah. I know. Two games. McCutchen and Walker are each hitting .333. I’m sure by season’s end S-S-T will be hitting like All Stars and M-W will be at the Mendoza line. My REAL point: while we were arguing during spring training between Snider, Sanchez and Tabata (me included), were we fighting over Titanic deck chairs while we should have been dressing like women and heading to the lifeboats? (Maybe THAT’S what Thunder does all day).

    – After all that whining, the Pirates have – so far – not hurt themselves with pitching this year. Now we get to the gulp and double-gulp parts of the rotation. But still. If I’m going to pounce on hitting after two games, that sword has to cut both ways. Pitching has been solid.

    – I didn’t understand some of Hurdles moves last night. Three or four in particular. They ALL worked. Every one of the decisions I questioned. Worked.

  21. John Lease says:

    Shhh. I saw enough years of Craig Wilson flailing at sliders off the plate, don’t give the enemy any help.

  22. JAL says:

    JAL’s This Could Be the Start of Something Big Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICZG9-eatr8

    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/

    4 Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Spring Training Tracker

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/st2013

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Why Can’t the Pirates Have a Free Spending Billionaire Owner?

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/04/first-pitch-why-cant-the-pirates-have-a-free-spending-billionaire-owner.html

    Rodriguez, Bullpen lead Pirates past Cubs

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/04/rodriguez-bullpen-lead-pirates-past-cubs.html

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Wandy Rodriguez leads Pirates over Hurdle in 3-0 win

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/4/3/4181186/wandy-rodriguez-leads-pirates-over-hurdle-in-3-0-win

    Former Pirates minority owner calls out Bob Nutting for not having trillion dollars, cure for cancer, or time-traveling unicorn
    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/4/3/4177486/former-pirates-minority-owner-calls-out-bob-nutting-for-not-having

    Pirates Minor League Preview, Part 3: West Virginia

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/4/2/4176618/pirates-minor-league-preview-part-3-west-virginia

    Pirates minor league preview, part 4: Indianapolis

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/4/3/4178594/pirates-minor-league-preview-part-4-indianapolis

    7 WHYGAVS

    Game 2: Pirates 3 Cubs 0

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/april-2013/game-2-pirates-3-cubs-0.html

    8 Pittsburgh Sporting News

    Wandy paces Pirates over Cubs

    http://www.pittsburghsportingnews.com/wandy-paces-pirates-over-cubs/

    9 Rumbunter

    Wanderful Wandy Rodriguez: Thank You Houston Astros

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/04/04/wanderful-wandy-rodriguez-thank-you-houston-astros/

    Pirates Opening Day Photo Hunt Winners

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/04/02/pirates-opening-day-photo-hunt-winners/

    10 Green Weenie

    Bucs Win 3-0 Behind Wandy, Watson, Grilli

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/04/bucs-win-3-0-behind-wandy-watson-grilli.html

  23. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates’ Lineup is Already Out of Whack

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/04/04/pittsburgh-pirates-lineup-is-already-out-of-whack/

    12 Chicago Tribune

    Listless offense spoils Jackson’s debut

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-spt-0404-cubs-pirates-chicago-20130404,0,3288.story

    13 Charleston Daily Mail

    Chuck McGill: For once-touted prospect Allie, a fresh slate

    http://www.dailymail.com/Sports/201304030235

    14 KDKA

    Walk on Wednesday: Sanchez Earning His Keep Early On

    http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/04/03/walk-on-wednesday-sanchez-earning-his-keep-early-on/

    15 Centre Daily Times

    Pirates buck convention in lineup with Jones batting second

    http://www.centredaily.com/2013/04/03/3564405/pirates-buck-convention-in-lineup.html

    16 Slate

    Three Reichs, You’re Out

    http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/sports_nut/2013/04/baseball_in_world_war_ii_the_amazing_story_of_the_u_s_military_s_integrated.2.html

    17 CBS Sports

    Chicago-Pittsburgh Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20130404_CHC@PIT

    18 PBC Site

    Wandy, bullpen combine to blank Cubs on two hits

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_04_03_chnmlb_pitmlb_1&mode=recap_home&c_id=pit

    Hurdle striving for stability with Pirates’ lineup

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130403&content_id=43795348&notebook_id=43795378&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Dissecting Darvish’s Opening Day

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/author/harry_pavlidis/

    20 Fangraphs

    2013′s First Pitches in Review

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/2013s-first-pitches-in-review/

  24. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    LaRod Stephens-Howling in for visit with Steelers

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/4/3/4179190/steelers-free-agent-visit-cardinals-running-back

    Steelers sign Stevenson Sylvester

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/4/3/4178926/steelers-sign-stevenson-sylvester

    22 Steelers Depot

    - 2013 Draft: Southern Mississippi OLB Jamie Collins

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/04/steelers-2013-draft-southern-mississippi-olb-jamie-collins-scouting-report-profile/

    Soccer(football)

    23 Daily Telegraph

    Vincent Kompany on Barcelona’s radar after row with Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/manchester-city/9970351/Vincent-Kompany-on-Barcelonas-radar-after-row-with-Manchester-City-manager-Roberto-Mancini.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 3rd April, 2013

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-3rd-april-2013

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Sports illustrated

    Newcomers lift Rangers to 6-1 rout of Penguins

    http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/gametracker/recap/NHL_20130402_BUF@PIT/penguins-winning-streak-ends-at-15-against-sabres

  25. JAL says:

    This Could Be the Start of Something big, Tony Bennett, Andy Williams, Count Basie

  26. Drew71 says:

    Minnesota Twins. Six division titles over the past 11 seasons.

    Oakland Athletics. Five division titles and a wild card birth over the past 13 seasons.

    Money helps. Money especially helps paper over mistakes.

    So if you don’t have a lot of “paper” to spend, you had BETTER be competent.

  27. JAL says:

    Now Daq wants to do the morning links

  28. Thundercrack says:

    I agree. But if you look at the payrolls of the Twins, Pirates and A’s over that period of time, the other 2 teams spent more than the Pirates. In a good number of those years – a lot more.

  29. Drew71 says:

    Somebody hit the big gong. I did.

  30. Drew71 says:

    Mostly AFTER they had already become winning teams, which presumably raised attendance and revenue. Mostly not before they were good.

    I don’t think it was a chicken-egg thing. I think one thing followed another.

    Good management
    Good management execution
    Team wins
    Fans and revenue increase
    Spend more

    Yes, there is overlap and it is not perfectly clean.

    But look the years BEFORE they were any good.

    Didn’t spend much.

    Look in the very first year or two of winning.

    STILL didn’t spend much.

    It is not an even comparison to look at their increased spending in their ongoing years of competence because the Pirates don’t have similar years to compare

  31. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m with Drew. Well, I mean I agree with Drew. The money gets to be an excuse, not the cause. Sure, it’s a factor, but it doesn’t explain 5 losing seasons in a row, 10 losing seasons in a row and certainly not 20 losing seasons in a row. Bad management, on the other hand, explains it.

  32. RobertoForever says:

    I know, right?

    Pirates home record in 2012
    45-36 win% .556
    Runs Scored 297 Runs Allowed 277

    Hmm, seems like a very likely place to expect some brightness and hope.

    Oh, and Vegas had the Pirates as favorites yesterday, and bigger favorites to win today.

  33. RobertoForever says:

    Not even in the same ballpark as you JAL.

    Always look forward to your morning links. Even when the blog eats them.

  34. RobertoForever says:

    Don’t look now but the Twins had a terrible 5 year run, when their architect of the success “retired”.

    Terry Ryan. He left his post. Bill Smith, Asst GM, took over. Should have been easy to just continue doing the successful thing from before, right?

    He. Was. Terrible.

    Twins are now a last place team because of the GM replacement (keeping almost all of the previous staff intact).

    Terry Ryan “came out of retirement” to fix the Twins. First thing he did. Trade their two best up and coming players, Span and Revere.

    Not so easy to replicate what 1 or 2 guys can do with this economic environment.

  35. doc says:

    I think this is a dangerous place to be, but I am w/ Drew on this one

  36. doc says:

    I think he should see a steady diet in practice.

  37. RobertoForever says:

    Actually, the Pirates sold 27,000 seats to last nights game.

    More than most teams yesterday, including those in warmer climes like Tampa Bay, Florida and Atlanta, GA. And another team with a dome, the Toronto Blue Jays.

  38. TJA says:

    Terrific win by the Pirates last evening. I’d take this every night. Ok, how about say, 3 out of every 5 days?

  39. Thundercrack says:

    I totally agree on the competent part.

    But we are on the extreme ends for both payroll and competency. The payroll has been so low that they almost have to be in the top 95% in regards to being competent.

    There is very little wiggle room.

  40. Jandy says:

    lol

  41. NMR says:

    Terry Ryan took seven years to produce one winning team.

    Just sayin’.

  42. Drew71 says:

    Ah, Roberto, but they GOT there. Six of nine seasons from 2002 to 2010, they WON THE DIVISION.

    And when their new leader failed? They REPLACED him.

    How does that HELP the Pirates in my comparison? does that relieve the Pirates’ leadership from the judgment of failure?

    – The Twins got there. The Pirates’ leadership haven’t.
    – When the Twins showed signs of failure, they repkaced leadership. The Pirates haven’t.

  43. Drew71 says:

    That is exactly true. Less money = MUCH less wiggle room. Competence, or lack thereof, is highlighted in that environment.

  44. Drew71 says:

    Then pass the coffee, please.

  45. Drew71 says:

    I said coffee. Coulda been worse.

  46. The Gunner says:

    Clint needs to keep both Gaby @ 1B and along came Jones in RF every day for now. Get your best sticks in there who have the potential to provide some pop. Let Snider or Scabata (with his new chiseled look) start once or twice a week max.

    Let’s hope JMac can keep us in the game today.

  47. NMR says:

    Snider and Tabata have two ABs between them. Relax.

  48. The Gunner says:

    You sound like a greedy individual, TJA. Playing .600 ball sounds like we’ll be a lock for the post season.

  49. NMR says:

    Seven years, Drew.

    Took the Twins seven years to “get there”.

    Seven years for this crew means 2014.

    If we’re going to use the Twinnies as our example, then we’re by default giving this crew another year to work.

  50. Jandy says:

    Would you like cream and sugar with that?

  51. Drew71 says:

    This is season six. If the Pirates go 75-82, would you keep them for season seven?

    (No magic to those numbers; I simply used my season prediction. Point is: six years of losing by this management team.)

  52. MadTurk says:

    Set the goal higher like 5 out of 5 then we can settle for 3 out of 5 and still be very happy.

  53. MadTurk says:

    Funny in my job we have to be 5 out of 5 or we will not have a job. But my job is not a game. It is my livelihood.

  54. Drew71 says:

    Is that what the kids call it now?

  55. NMR says:

    I wouldn’t have kept this crew for this season, let alone next.

    But that isn’t the point.

    If we’re going to compare teams, then we have to do it with some kind of time constraint in mind.

  56. Drew71 says:

    Night, Roberto. Night.

    Today’s game is a day game. Day.

    That’s my point.

    I think it will be one of those 12,000-sold-but-2,000-attending.

    And I hate weekday day games because it is much harder to follow.

    But at least it will be a balmy 46 at first pitch rather than, you know, 31.

  57. Drew71 says:

    Then we’re back to my original point. Which had nothing to do with the comparison. That was a response.

    my original point: Nutting is an ineffective owner because he 1) hired and 2) keeps incompetent management.

    And before people put words in my mouth, 1 alone is not enough to earn an F from me. (I’ll let everyone decide what the F stands for.) It’s 1 AND 2 that earns the F.

  58. Drew71 says:

    Only two? Maybe that’s a good thing.

    And I’m sure Tabata looked more muscular grounding out this year than last.

  59. I like the “stooge” descriptor.

  60. kr70 says:

    Drew, you best piece since your 1st report at spring training. A+ or +1

  61. NMR says:

    Not debating or arguing with you, Drew. Just providing context.

    Take a look at the return Ryan got for the veteran team he was tasked with dismantling. And his first few drafts. Looks awfully familiar.

    Point being that none of these grades or opinions are final. They’re incomplete.

  62. How many were in the house?

  63. +1

    At least he’s not pitching against Altoona. They were tough on him and he was wild that day.

  64. “Absolute” lock to quote our fearless leader.

  65. kr70 says:

    at this point there is still hope

  66. Brotherhood of the Redus says:

    At least Pedro should go yard…day game and all. Greg Brown should be all over that one. Love me some Greg Brown – He and walk in midseason form last night fighting about hats and clothing.

  67. Brotherhood of the Redus says:

    That’s where it’s at drew. Is Tabata still pounding balls into the dirt? He will be leading off when Marte needs a break or hitting ninth and giving the infield grass jailhouse tats.

    I wanted Tabata to come around as much as anyone…still like him and Snider off the bench better than Moss and X-man

  68. Drew71 says:

    I had another.

    I censored myself.

    For once.

  69. NMR says:

    I drove past around the third inning and was suprised to see so many people there. I told my hunny I’d be surprised if 5,000 people made it out. There might have been 10k.

  70. NMR says:

    Good point, Redus.

    Tabby gets a little pricey in ’15 and ’16 but Snider won’t ever fetch more than a few million through arbitration unless he starts full time.

    Those aren’t terrible options off the bench and costs as much or less than any veteran retread that would put up similar numbers.

  71. Jandy says:

    I don’t know about the kids,
    I’m not in that category lol

  72. Not bad in football weather.

  73. No need to do that. You’re among friends.

  74. TJA says:

    I am greedy. :) Or, I must be drinking the Kool Aid too much…20 losing years will do that. But, as Mad Turk says below…let’s set the goal high and then drop off some. Seriously, we saw what the 1 and 2 starters did on Monday and Wednesday. We expected that, but the real test begins today and then Friday and Saturday in L.A. against the powerful Dodgers.

  75. tpbco says:

    That’s why I suggested that they HAD to play Engelland. Glass will fight, but is no deterent. And now that we see Depres playing important minutes, it is obvious he still has some “growing up” to do.

    Incredibile that not only down 2 best Dmen and 3 of 6…it’s one from EVERY pairing, so the whole D is FUBAR. ADD that to Sid out, Geno NOT playing well and all the other forward line changes…..gonna take getting a couple of these guys back to reboot the system.

  76. The Gunner says:

    good point about JMac, Lucky.

    Maybe Pedro can help him out today. You know how Pedro likes to go deep during the day. Hopefully, he hits 2 or 3 today with runners on base and minimizes any damage JMac might cause..

  77. NMR says:

    Speaking of those Dodgers, did you happen to see last night? Timmy Lincecum issued seven walks in five innings yet somehow managed to not yield a single earned run.

    Jonathan Sanchez has a chance!

    Looks like we’re getting Grienke, Kershaw, and Ryu by the way. Yikes.

  78. wally says:

    Don’t necessarily agree with Starkey but Pitt is getting a perfect storm of trouble. However, could the Trib buy the guy some writing lessons? He reads like some 8th grader’s essay for history class. See Spot run. Write Joe, write.

  79. The Gunner says:

    Let’s see what the Bucs record is after the trip to Brooklyn (aka LA) & Arizona. We’ll also have a chance to see how the back end of the rotation performs. The west coast has always been a challenge even when the Bucs had great teams way back when.

  80. TJA says:

    Yikes is right!

  81. I just hope JMac gets his head together and gets his motion repeated, as they say. 4 walks to AA hitters in 2 innings isn’t promising.

    He was decent at times during ST. Milo saw him pitch when he was down there and said he was throwing well that day.

  82. TJA says:

    Wonder what Sanchez’s record was vs. LA when he was with SF?

  83. Patrick says:

    Last night’s Pirates win was a great example of what they will HAVE to do every night to stay relatively competitive. Great starting pitching, clutch hitting and solid bullpen work. Have to get all 3. They got 2 out of 3 first game and lost. They simply aren’t good enough in any one area to make up for an off night. Not consistently anyways. They will get the occasional shutout gem from AJ or Wandy, or the occasional two-homer game from Cutch.

    The Penguins on the other hand are so talented they can afford to have the offense, defense or goal-tending take the night off and still win games consistently. Now if all three decide to practice their Jedi powers, spend most of the game staring at the puck in the hopes that it will jump from the opponents stick to their own..well…they will lose. And look stupid doing so.

  84. They still read Tag books in 8th Grade? Must have gone to school here in KY.

  85. TJA says:

    As Lucky said – Amen. Tough for lots of teams to go through California, etc.

  86. Patrick says:

    It probably sounds silly after last nights outburst from the 3 guys they just traded for, but I still think the Gaborik trade is idiotic. Ryan Clowe isnt a guy who is going to score two a night all the time. Heck i would be surprised if he scored twice a week consistently.

    I just dont get the thought process of prioritizing coaching over talent when its obvious that the coaching isn’t optimizing the talent they have. The Rangers are still going into each game bringing a knife to a gunfight. Now they have 3 more knives. Makes no sense to me.

  87. Jandy says:

    bahahaha wuss :P

  88. Jandy says:

    Agreed. And to add to your point, Clowe had zero goals for the season up unti last night.

  89. RobertoForever says:

    Drew, it shows that success by GM’s in that situation is not as easy as you think.

    The Twins couldn’t pick a successor who could replicate the success, even after he was there as an asst for all of it.

    And the Twins replaced him because he rode the Twins to last place. Continuing failure.

    This FO, like it or not, has shown progress. And if they get this team over the streak this year, they will be lauded in most national circles as an example of doing it the right way. But probably not lauded much here in Pittsburgh.

    I am rooting for them to break the streak and compete for the division. Because that will make for delicious drama and irony, on top of the sweetness of winning.

  90. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Fire Bylsma!!

    (Yes! I think that’s 2 days in a row now… baseball season makes it easier to be the first FHCDD poster. But in all honesty I hope he turns these couple eggs around by Friday. It’d be nice to be a 1 seed. Maybe.)

    Didn’t get to watch either game unfortunately. Glad to hear Wandy did well. I’m sure Tyler Kennedy sucked.

  91. The Gunner says:

    I am sure both Snider & Joggin Joe will get their opportunities this year – right now they are decent backups. But, in the meantime, let’s try something different – maybe Clint will get lucky with Sanchez @ 1B and Jones in RF.

  92. RobertoForever says:

    Ahh, Day game indeed. Warmer with more elbow room.

    Not sure why more don’t go.

    Oh yeah. That little thing called work :)

  93. NMR says:

    3-6 4.66 ERA

    Hard to imagine it mattering against Grienke. Tough draw.

  94. Milo Hamilton says:

    A simply outstanding post. Yes Drew, I called you simple. :)

  95. Milo Hamilton says:

    Record low of 19 in Pittsburgh last night. Guess that’s why the people that make money off such things, I mean look out for our well being, stopped calling it Global Warming.

  96. Patrick says:

    NO team, regardless of payroll, can survive incompetence in the front office. The Mets and Cubs are obvious examples. What happened in Minnesota and Boston after Ryan and Epstein left make it even more clear the effect a GM can have. In some ways, in this age of video equipment and advance scouting, the GM is more important to the success of the team than the manager in the dugout. I know that will strike a lot of you as absurd (or hogwash, perhaps even balderdash) but if you look past your knee jerk reaction to the idea, it isn’t that difficult to justify.

    I hate sounding like I’m trying to drive people from here to somewhere else, but I spent the last month writing my season preview about the economics of baseball. Mostly because I don’t know the minutia and intricacies of it the way a lot of bloggers do, and do know math and finance. But in my finding the two best run teams in all of baseball, financially speaking, were SF and ST Louis. Their spending and approach are impeccable and consistent. I know Nutting wants to run the Pirates as a business, and in theory there is nothing wrong with that. What he has to learn is the Business of BASEBALL.

    The basic problem is that he needs “good baseball men” to help him do that. But when you run newspapers and resorts, how do you know what a “good baseball guy” looks and sounds like? It stands to reason that since he (Bob Nutting) doesn’t know how to run a ball club, he doesn’t know how to hire someone to do that for him either.

  97. Jandy says:

    Tk didn’t suck any more or less than the rest of the team. No passion. No battle level at all. Sad effort.

  98. Jandy says:

    If that’s Global Warming, I’d hate to see a heat wave. YIKES!

  99. Patrick says:

    Wow. Well…everyone will get used to seeing a hard cutter on their hands.

  100. tpbco says:

    Mentioned it earlier, but not only 2 best Dmen out, but 3 of top 6, with EVERY pairing affected. The confusion was obvious. Add that to the forward line changes and Geno not playing well…no surprise.

    Need to get some boys back and we’ll be good.

  101. Jandy says:

    Amen!

  102. Dom says:

    It seems that based on JALs links most people support Nutting over the comments Lustig made in Oliver’s article.

  103. Dom says:

    I wish they would cut down the amount of games MLB plays a year. It doesn’t feel like baseball season if there is snow on the ground.

  104. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t think Lustig really said anything that damning.

  105. Naterosboro says:

    I wouldn’t throw him a fastball at all. Changeups and breaking stuff. He’s always out on his front foot. That’s okay tho. As with a lot of power hitters in the middle of the order, Pedro is going to have to jump on mistakes. He did it nicely on his single (and RBI) in Game 1.

    We’ll see if that can continue.

  106. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t think Gaby should play much against right handers, let alone bat 5th.

  107. Milo Hamilton says:

    Booth Lusteg ?

  108. A bad kicker from the past.

  109. Milo Hamilton says:

    Replaced by Gene Mingo.

  110. piratemike says:

    What makes everybody believe that if Nutting fires Coonelly, Huntington and the rest that he will replace them with somebody better?

    I’m not advocating for this FO, but everybody assumes it will be an upgrade.

    Do you really trust Nutting to make better choices?

  111. Arriba Wilver says:

    You take the hand you’re dealt. I don’t think he can do worse at this point. If he goes out and hires inexperienced people again, who then hire more inexperienced people like the last time, then it could be bad, but I really don’t think he will try a do over of what didn’t work.

  112. TJA says:

    Ouch…

  113. +1

    Maybe this time he’ll higher somebody that’s up and coming rather than someone who was demoted at his current job.

  114. Sisyphus says:

    You have deemed it the propaganda headquarters for the regime because it is one of the many sites where readers refuse to tolerate your spamming.

  115. doc says:

    I think he can do worse, I just hope he doesn’t

  116. NMR says:

    ignorance is bliss

  117. Patrick says:

    What’s the definition of insanity?

  118. TJA says:

    I think that when Nutting did his “investigation” after the Hoka Hey fiasco, he had to talk to several people around the sport…MLB folks etc. I still believe that he put feelers out there if he was going to do any replacement of his management team. He wanted to get an idea of some up and coming people in the sport. Maybe, maybe not…

    DK: Seems unimaginable that he wouldn’t do that.

  119. TJA says:

    I know in my industry is sure does…

  120. JHadar says:

    We’re in a 3-way tie for first and a win this afternoon will reduce it to at least a two-way tie. Still, I think the cellar dwellers St. Louis and Milwaukee are a long way from out of it.

  121. The Gunner says:

    So much for my Gaby-Jones theory. Joggin Joe is starting in RF today and Jones sits against a lefty.

    Can’t wait to see how young Tabata performs today.

  122. JHadar says:

    Nice win last night — sort of perked up the optimist in me. Two good outings by the starters, McCutchen heroics at bat and in the field, a ground rule double by Barmes, and any my son-in-law is a Cubs fan. I forgive him on account of growing up there, but beating those guys makes conversations easier.

    I’ll be out of town tonight and miss the NIT finals, but will have Gameday on the second screen today. Nice thing about having two monitors (and being your own boss.)

    From the long discussion above. Something I remember from Usenet days (rec.sport.baseball):

    High Payroll + High Competence = Usually win
    High Payroll + Low Competence = Sometimes win
    Low Payroll + High Competence = Sometimes win
    Low Payroll + Low Competence = Rarely win

    Assuming that Cole will be with the Bucs sometime mid-season and that Liriano, Morton, and Karstens all recover, what will the pitching staff look like in August?

  123. Iceman says:

    Saw this in the write-up about the Pirates game last night, “McCutchen doubled to left, and Jones raced home to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead.”

    I didn’t watch the game, but never in my life would I expect to hear the words “Jones” and “raced” in the same sentence.

    Good for the Pirates getting the win. Should’ve been watching that game instead of the Pens. The next month is going to be really interesting for the Penguins. I sure am glad I’m not the one having to make lineup decisions every day with this roster. Somebody is going to be unhappy (and boy do I hope it is TK).

  124. Jandy says:

    Iceman, agree with everything you say here…especially the part about should have watched the Pirates instead of the Pens. I’m a diehard tho, what can I say?

  125. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Oh…So now it’s seven years to gain competence?
    I think anyone and everyone would like that kind of a window to a achieve success in any field.
    Utterly ridiculous….

  126. MadTurk says:

    I happened to watch both, saw all the scoring for both as well. But for the pens that was not much.

  127. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Well, what your saying is ridiculous.
    No one is given seven years to try to succeed in major sports period.

  128. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    If putting one link up to get across an opinion is stepping on your ground, I apologize.
    Let me know if this is against the rules,
    If so, I won’t let it happen again.

  129. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I think what bothers me the most is the continued power that folks from Bucs Dugout continue to gather.
    It would be great if they had varied opinions, but this is a hard line Nutting propaganda ship that they are sailing.

  130. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    If giving an opinion is spamming, we all have a problem on our hands.
    I wouldn’t be the only one that isn’t allowed to post on Bucs Dugout.
    So be it.
    However, there are alot of Pirate fans that share similar opinions that are also left out or just don’t bother anymore.
    Their opinions are spam?
    Let’s face it, you don’t like their opinions, so you don’t want their opinions out there.
    Anytime anyone wants to talk to me about this subject by email/twitter/phone…I’ve made myself available.
    I spam nothing.
    I state a very popular opinion with Pittsburgh Pirate fans.

  131. NMR says:

    Certainly.

    But from my experience, its usually not a good sign when those “feelers” don’t result in action. Either means the position isn’t attractive to those who are qualified or there’s nobody qualified for the position.

    You end up with egg on your face, just like Nutting.

  132. NMR says:

    Judging by nothing more than the past, Locke will be the first to go because he has options.

    Sanchez will be next because he’s in the (only)last year of his contract.

    Liriano and Morton take their spots with Karstens as the swing man out of the pen.

    Cole replaces whatever guy is struggling the most out of that bunch.

  133. theplanisworking says:

    The only other owner/GM combo that was given 7 years to succeed was Sterling/Baylor at the Clippers.

    Other franchises that try to win dont wait with ineptitude that long.

    But being that the Pirates/Nutting do, to me, speaks volumes !

    DK: Do you have numbers to support this statement? Would welcome seeing it. Sounds interesting.

  134. theplanisworking says:

    +1………and more

  135. theplanisworking says:

    JAL, how could you say such a thing?

    Daq posted one link to a direct article.
    Please explain what is wrong with that?

    And , althought I cant speak for him, I really dont think he wants to do the morning links.
    Please lighten up.

  136. theplanisworking says:

    Last night was Buc Night.
    That ALWAYS draws well……

  137. theplanisworking says:

    DK……….. no I dont.
    However, look at sports franchises.

    Most successful ones have little need to change GM?management……… i.e. Steelers, Patriots, Cardinals, Lakers, etc.

    Then look at unsuccessful teams. They change management frequently to try to get on a winning track……. see Mets, football Cardinals, etc.

    Sterling/Baylor stick out to me as a huge exception.

 
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