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Monday vacation thread

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

On vacation all week. Next column is Sunday.

The floor, as ever, is yours …

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 more, including 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 top four columnists in the country -- highest circulation category -- by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the top three columnists in the country by the National Headliners Awards. For 2013, he was named top columnist in the state by the Keystone Awards and second-place by the Pennsylvania AP Managing Editors.

363 Comments

  1. I noticed the Pirate offense took a west coast vacation this weekend.

  2. 1 and 5, huh? maybe this year will be different. maybe they start slow this season maybe they have this tremendous comeback AFTER the All Star break. maybe they will have this fantastic august and september and overtake the reds and cardinals and win the division.
    maybe winter will finally come to an end someday, too. maybe I need to get my head examined….

  3. Hoka Hey everyone!
    .
    ” O fer LA ”
    .
    Let’s hope it is NOT ….. ” O fer West Coast Time Zone ”
    .
    :-(

  4. Lets go Pens!
    I wonder what / if any, injured players will
    return this week? Glad to see Beau Bennett
    has returned.

    • I’m with you on Bennett. Letang should be getting close. I still haven’t heard anything about infection for Sid so that’s definitely a good sign. Has anyone heard anything on Neal?

  5. Maybe the Pirates can get Andy LaRoche and Rod Barajas back.

  6. JAL’s A Change Is Gonna Come Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmuswTEGF-U

    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 Stats

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AsjN0zO-DxI0dHVOMzdPYm9wUEJtdVJ0WWUzVWhFc2c#gid=0

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: When Should the Pirates Consider Pedro Alvarez a Platoon Player?

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/04/first-pitch-when-should-the-pirates-consider-pedro-alvarez-a-platoon-player.html

    The Most Impressive Thing About Gregory Polanco

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/04/the-most-impressive-thing-about-gregory-polanco.html

    McCutchen Homer Only Respite as L.A. Completes Sweep 6-2

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/04/mccutchen-homer-only-respite-as-l-a-completes-sweep-6-2.html

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates explode for 2 runs and 4 hits, but still lose, 6-2

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/4/7/4194794/pirates-explode-for-2-runs-and-4-hits-but-still-lose-6-2
    Pimentel aces first test, Allie HR gives Power a walkoff win

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/4/7/4194432/pimentel-aces-first-test-allie-hr-gives-power-a-walkoff-win

    7 WHYGAVS

    Game 6: Dodgers 6 Pirates 2

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/april-2013/game-6-dodgers-6-pirates-2.html

    8 The Green Weenie

    Dodgers Broom Bucs

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/04/dodgers-broom-bucs.html

    9 Rumbunter

    The Pirates Search For Offense Continues

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/04/07/the-pirates-search-for-offense-continues/

    Pirates Swept By Dodgers, Raise Team Batting Average To .119

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/04/07/pirates-swept-by-dodgers-raise-team-batting-average-to-119/

    10 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Swept out of LA: Dodgers 6, Pirates 2

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2013/04/swept-out-of-la-dodgers-6-pirates-2/

    • A Change Is Gonna Come 1963 Sam Cooke

      • JAL,

        The music link takes me to the Zombies “This will be our year”

        Nice song but bittersweet lyrics considering where the Buccos are right now!!

        I be liking me some Sam Cooke!!

      • The incredibly talented and sweet voiced Sam Cooke died under mysterious circumstances in December 1964 when a South Central Los Angeles motel manager and prostitute may or may not have conspired to rob the singer.

        No one was ever convicted of his death. His life story would make an excellent biopic.

  7. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Rant Sports

    Of Course the Los Angeles Dodgers Sweep the Pittsburgh Pirates

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/04/07/of-course-the-los-angeles-dodgers-sweep-the-pittsburgh-pirates/

    12 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates finally hit homer but lose to Los Angeles Dodgers

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2013/04/07/pittsburgh-pirates-finally-hit-homer-but-lose-to-los-angeles-dodgers/

    13 LA Times

    Adrian Gonzalez-Carl Crawford combo, Hyun-Jin Ryu lead 6-2 win

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/dodgersnow/la-sp-dn-dodgers-adrian-gonzalez-carl-crawford-20130407,0,5221848.story?track=rss

    14 Indianapolis Star

    Inge’s HR sparks Tribe

    http://www.indystar.com/article/20130407/SPORTS/304070050/Inge-s-HR-sparks-Tribe

    15 WDBJ

    Pittsburgh Pirates – TeamReport

    http://www.wdbj7.com/sports/sns-rt-bbo-pirates-teamreportmtze948wqk067-20130408,0,5657864.story

    16 Star Exponent

    Preparing Maura for a lifetime of sports heartache

    http://www.dailyprogress.com/starexponent/entertainment_life/columnists/preparing-maura-for-a-lifetime-of-sports-heartache/article_f46335ec-a029-11e2-ab98-0019bb30f31a.html

    17 CBS Sports

    Arizona-Pittsburgh Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20130408_PIT@ARI

    18 PBC Site

    McCutchen’s blast not enough to flip script in LA

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_04_07_pitmlb_lanmlb_1&mode=recap_away&c_id=pit

    Bucs confident their bats on verge of busting out

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130407&content_id=44159634&notebook_id=44161846&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    The Week in Quotes

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=20131

    20 Fangraphs

    Got the whammy, NL teams

    http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/got-the-whamee-nl-teams/

  8. Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Woodley and the Steelers embody a medieval Renaissance concept

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/4/7/4191364/woodley-and-the-steelers-embody-a-medieval-renaissance-concept

    Teams at the top of the NFL Draft should think twice about drafting an offensive tackle

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/4/7/4193030/nfl-draft-strategy-first-pick-offensive-tackle-history

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Statistical Look at the 2013 Draft Class Top Wide Receivers

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/04/statistical-look-at-the-2013-draft-class-top-wide-receivers/

    Soccer(football)

    23 Daily Telegraph

    Sir Alex Ferguson claims Manchester City’s success last year motivated Manchester United to improve

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/manchester-united/9977438/Sir-Alex-Ferguson-claims-Manchester-Citys-success-last-year-motivated-Manchester-United-to-improve.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    100 Most Wanted – Youngsters on the move

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/features/100-most-wanted-youngsters-on-the-move

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Bleacher Report

    Pittsburgh Penguins: 3 Most Important Games Left on the Schedule

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1596438-pittsburgh-penguins-3-most-important-games-left-on-the-schedule

  9. Playoffs by Infinity,

    I think your next betting line should be:

    “=/— 10 1/2 . . . . . . Number of games Pedro Alvaraz starts before he does not strike out!

    (you could add +/— number of games before he even hits a loud foul

  10. Courtesy of David Manel (whoever the heck he is——Dejan’s new hero):

    PIrates slash line after 6 games:
    2012: .199/.241/.293 .535
    2013: .119/.187/.159 .346

    Soon one of AA’s 12 steps will come into play!!!

    Rock bottom.

    • I like how fans are using last season’s 2-6 start as some kinda proof that this team will turn it around too. Well, if that’s true, then those same people should also expect the season to finish with an epic thud as well. Can’t have it only one way people.

      Funny seeing half-full glasses of Kool-Aid and the Huntington loving, myopic and metric reasoning associated with it, being poured right down the drain.

      • You had me through your first paragraph.

        I agree with your baseball analysis.

        And in the same way that I don’t approve of Roberto referring to people such as us as bandwagon jumpers, I cannot approve of calling others myopic, Huntington Loving Kool-Aid(ers).

        Sort of the same logic that we can’t have it only one way.

        • Nothing a little Drano won’t clear up ;)

        • Yes, but some are. I can assure you that if this team won only 2 of their next 30 games, there would be people defending Huntington, “The Plan” and anything related to the management and ownership, while only focusing on the players, or maybe Hurdle because we all know, they held guns to ownership/management’s heads and forced them to be on the team.

          Sorry, but that’s my definition of a Huntington loving, myopic, Kool-Aid drinker. Don’t know how it could be interpreted as anything else.

          • Oh, and by “people”, I’m not just referring to Brown and Wehner. ;)

            • Vin Scully, even at the age of 85, makes those Root Sports bozos look foolish. Brown & company are clueless, classless and can’t come close to either Lanny or The Gunner:

              Meanwhile….Legendary Dodger announcer Vin Scully literally felt sorry for Pedro Alvarez (who struck out continually in confines of Chavez Ravine) in the 9th inning of Sunday’s sweep finale.
              With two strikes on Pedro in the 9th inning, Scully said the following in that famous voice…..”Even if you’re rooting for the Dodgers, you have to have some heart and hope this kid at least hits the ball”.
              Within seconds, Alvarez whiffed again.

              • A couple of my kids came into the room yesterday when Pedro was up in the ninth. Without any uncertainty in my voice, I told them how the next pitch would be out of the strike zone (outside and/or low) and he would swing and miss. They thought I must have recorded it and was showing them a replay. Some things are so predictable, it’s frightening.

          • Well SJB, there are hundreds of thousands if not millions of Pirates fans, so I don’t find it surprising to find every opinion imagineable out there.

            • Yes, but I would imagine after decades of bad baseball and losing a generation or two of fans, it’s probably more realistically more like tens of thousands and maybe one hundred thousand…certainly not millions…not anymore, if there ever was.

              • There are maybe only one hundred thousand Pirate fans?

                Regardless, you’re bound to see every opinion imagineable.

      • Well, if we can expect it to end with an epic thud, why even bother to follow the team this season?

        • for there to be an epic thud, there has to be some sort of magical impetus that propels us to the top. Don’t see how a team this bad at hitting the ball will ever score enough runs to win any games no matter how good their pitching is.

          Last year, I swear the problem was stringing together hits. This year its just hitting.

        • I gave up the baseball package on DirecTV last year.

          Surprisingly, life went on.

        • Because we have to. Because we are Pirates fans, doesn’t mean we aren’t going t commiserate. I can appreciate and envy the glass is half full crowd…I just can’t get there without pharmaceuticals.

  11. If the losing continues, how much time do guys like Coonelly and Huntington got left? I know we got some deal of time before this happens but if the first six games are indicative of how the rest of the season is, then they have to be on a short leash.

    Also, if the do get the boot like midseason or so, do you feel the new management team go through a huge fire sale while guys like AJ and Wandy are still under contract?

    • Please. No more fire sales. Some of us over-60 crowd want to see another winning season and playoffs for the Bucs before we go on.

      We need stand-up people who know how to build a club and deal for needs to put us over the top.

      • I agree with you but, I am concerned whether we will ever see another winning season in our lifetimes. And I have good longevity genes.

      • Teh problem is that unless you plan on opening up the pockets and building through legitimate free agency signings then the only way to acquire talent to uild a winner is to either:

        a) fire sale your productive major league players for legitimate talent that likely will take 2 to 3 years to pay off(Huntington didn’t get any such talent in his fire sale by the way)

        or

        b) be a legitimate buyer and trade away top tier minor league talent for major league talent. Those trades are hard to pull off though becuase often all you get in return is a rental guy or potentially a 2 year guy.

        A new GM would likely need to go through one of these two processes unless you think there is enough of a coure here that one or two signings will get it done. I have my doubts based on the column the other day that Nutting would be willing to take a risk on some high priced signings to fill in those gaps. This team needs just about everythign. Give me AJ and Wandy. I’ll take Walker, Cutch, Marte, and Jones. I’ll even keep Gabby as a bench bat. K-Dro is hard. So much potential, so many K’s. I think I pass for a power hitting third baseman who can at least make contact. I keep Grilli and move him back to the 8th inning. I’ll also take Hughes in the 7th.

        From there it’s barren. Even if you argue pitching help is on the way with Cole and Taillon are they really THAT good? Do we really expect them to be superstars from day 1? neither are Steven Strausburg.

        But this starting 8 is so bad. No short stop, nor right fielder. No catcher. A third baseman who could be used as a fan come the dog days of summer. fill in those spots with guys who don’t swing at every pitch. some plate presence. some discipline.

        I knew this team was going to have even worse hitting than last year when they went from Ritchie to Jay Bell. Jay Bell? Hitting coach? Does the team expect to sacrifice bunt on every play? That was Jay’s specialty!

      • Following this team the past 20 years has aged many of us. No medical problems…nothing else…just following the Pirates can make on very old.

    • Are the first six games indicative of the how the rest of the season is going to be?

    • They’ll be fired at the end of the season. That way BN gets more of his money’s worth out of their contracts and it’ll be just in time to get everyone excited about the new GM or President, as to promote hope for the coming season and not hurt tickets sales.

      And the shell game continues…I just wonder what Cleveland Indian ties the next GM will have.

  12. Start the countdown on Hurdle.

    Hoka Hey.

    • Start it? It started the day he was hired! :-)

    • Do you all feel he should get the boot? IMO, no matter who would be managing this team would have the same result.

      • Sure thing. I mean, history shows us how much they improve with a new manager.

      • No I don’t think he should. I think Dejan said Hurdle’s job wasn’t on the line.

      • What can Hurdle do? Have a pep talk? He can only make out the lineup card.

        I don’t know that everyone would have the same results, but else can he do? He’s had different lineups in almost every game, at least in batting order.

        Get Pedro glasses or counseling would be the only other things.

        All the teams are playing poorly right now. Bradenton hasn’t won yet. WV won for the first time yesterday. Altoona has 1 win and Indy 2, one of which had to be a shutout. Seems like it’s organization-wide slow starts.

      • Dom,

        IMHO Hurdle is a caricature of a baseball manager!

        It has not appeared that he has the pulse of the team nor the spirit of it. These guys need to be led and Hurdle is not a leader, just a gumchewing good ole boy.

        Before some of you jump down my throat, my views herein pertain only to baseball and notmlife in general.

        Yes, fire Hurdle and his tired, barreling the ball rhetori!.

    • A new GM will likely want his own manager. So if Nincompoop Neal gets the ax, the domino effect will likely occur.

      • I happen to be a Hurdle fan, but would sacrifice his employment (easy for me to say) if that is part of the price of admission of a new front office team.

        • Shoot, I’d sacrifice Drew’s employment for a new management team.

          Emoticon omitted out of respect for Drew, his employment and his wife’s poodle.

        • Clint is a good guy, that’s for sure. Definitely the best we’ve had here since James Leyland. CH makes mistakes etc. but who wouldn’t with this bunch.

          • Should have signed Leyland up for life.

            • Leyland couldn’t wait to get out of here. And then, 10 years later, when the Bucs managerial job was open again, he still didn’t want to come back because nothing changed in the 10 years since he left.

              Now it is 17 years after he left and it still hasn’t changed thanks to the BMTIB. I hope he wins it all in Detroit – he sure has some good talent up there.

              • I agree with the first point him wanting to leave. Never saw any evidence he rejected coming back. In fact I thought he made it known that he wanted to get back into managing at the time. I’m sure he’s thanking his lucky stars now that he didn’t come back here, however, regardless.

              • I’m with you guys on that. I know all that…just saying…he was the best we have seen in a long time around here. Only if….

              • Leyland is much better off in Detroit for obvious reasons. He’d flip his lid over the BMTIB’s way of doing things.

    • Hurdle needs to start bringing in the psychologist from The Natural… “losing is a disease…”

  13. Maybe I shouldn’t have said fire sale. Maybe guys like AJ and Wandy would go but guys like Cutch and Pedro would stay.

    • I heard somewhere (not sure where so I can’t validate the credibility) that AJ said he will not play anywhere else. I think that means that he would retire before he gets traded. Also, IIRC, the Yankees are still paying part of AJ’s salary. Seems like too good a deal to throw away.

  14. RIP Margaret Thatcher

  15. 413 comments for Saturdays game? wow….

    The only thing that surprises me about 1-5 is the manner in which it occurred. I know I imagined it being a pitching staff issue, but they have been outstanding really. Even Jonathan Sanchez wasn’t awful and gave his team a chance to win.

    • Sanchez’s performance definitely kept the Bucs in the game. The total lack of offense right now is the major issue.

  16. I am a PIRATE FAN.
    It has been 20 years since I last experienced a winning season.

    I have no confidence in any of the front office regarding baseball matters.

    There is a lack of talent, training and baseball knowledge on this team and even less in the front office.

    I am so frustrated that this management team repeatedly throws players under the bus whenit is apparent that the lack of fundamentals is a systemic issue, not a player specific issue.

    The only possibly good news coming out ofmthe debacle in LA is that Hurdle and his band of coaches had a chance to watch how Donnie Baseball’s crew executed most fundamentals so well – bunting, situational hitting, baserunning, etc.

    I have finished a blog entry without bashing a specific PBC employee.

    My name is Pat and I am a Pirate fan.

  17. I find the truly sad part to be that this management team will be around long enough to not only screw up another draft, but one with TWO first round picks. I love the Pirates, have been a fan for over 40 years, but just don’t know how much longer I can put up with this.

  18. I was at the game yesterday. What aweful display of offense. Everyone looked off, chasing pitches, and getting in front of the off speed pitches. Just terrible.

    Also, because I live out here, I got to hear Vin Scully’s reaction to Marte’s base running blunder in the first inning the other night. It was a cardinal rule of baseball he broke. I can’t but to think if they worked on baseball fundamentals instead of the hola hey BS that kind of stuff wouldn’t happen as frequently.

    At least I have something to look forward to, I’m going to the Angels home opener tomorrow to see a real major league team with a real major league payroll. I love the Pirates but I’m very disappointed by what I saw at the ballpark yesterday.

  19. I’m not as down on Hurdle as most people…and stay with me on this…

    He doesn’t have a great team. There is only so much you can do. We can (and will) dissect his lineup card every day but really..how much more effective could any variation of the players he has be? Would substituting Gaby, Jones, Snider Tabata in any variation really make that much of a difference? When the only ingredients you have are milk, eggs and flour there are only so many things you can make.

    Point is: You will rarely ever see a baseball game won from the dugout. But Hurdle may feel he has too, because what he puts out on the field sure isn’t getting it done. He might over-manage out of necessity. And if it fails, and he gets fired, well it probably would have happened anyways. And at least it was by his involvement and not a lack thereof.

    • I agree. Hurdle isn’t the problem. He’s given bad draft picks developed in a horrible farm system by terrible management. And, at the trade deadline he’s given “years of control” instead if a bat. The only reason why we were in first at all last year is because of hurdle. He’s not the problem.

    • Well said, Patrick.

  20. Heard a good ZING on the FAN this am.

    Who’s on first?? Nobody…. Ever!!!

  21. Also, what you don’t see on television that’s more disappointing is it’s like there isn’t any fight in them. They gave up 2 runs in the bottom of the first and they gave up. Their body language was terrible. When McDonald made that spectacular defensive play no one was at the top of the dugout steps to give him a high five as they came off of the field. That was a huge play that quieted the park the players didn’t even blink or get excited. Just terrible.

    • Thanks for that, Happy. That’s an intangible that those of us radio or Gameday-only people can’t see.

      That does fall on Hurdle and his crew.

      • No, that falls on the PLAYERS.

        • True, but someone needs to kick their butts and get them into the game.

          I like Hurdle and hope he stays, but he’s got to motivate to some extent.

        • I think if Hurdle made a bigger deal about it, so would the players. But the lack of passion by everyone has been something I had noticed too. Baseball isn’t a “RAH-RAH lets go get em boys!” like football or hockey, but c’mon. A little emotion maaybe?

          • I agree with you, Patrick, and that’s one reason I like baseball. It isn’t the Ray Lewis dance or New Zealand Rugby at the beginning of the game, but I also agree with you about showing even a little emotion.

            When you watch the good teams, they’re all over a good play or a big hit. And not with some cartoon hand sign either.

        • I wish for just once this could be hockey and have someone on the bench just drop the gloves for a good old fight to get the juices flowing.

          It has to be so exciting to see our 8mil catcher with his .000 batting average take a walk to potentially start a rally only to be picked off first. Just imagine how into the game you’d be.

          • Maybe we should send Engo, Cookie, and Murray over to PNC Park and show them hope to have some “energy” ;)

          • I was thinking the same thing about Martin. Finally does something at the plate (I was going to say, “Finally he does something offensive,” but most everything he has done at the plate this year has been offensive) only to screw that up with some awful base running. He’s not going to steal. Why is he leaning so far the wrong way?

            • they would have been better off to put the money the BMTIB gave to Martin into a good starting pitcher. The Fort and a Jason Jaramillo/Eric Kratz type could have split the duties behind the plate.

              Huntington becomes more of a nincompoop with each passing minute.

              • Roberto

                Any good players don’t want to come to Pittsburgh for obvious reasons. Edwin Jackson is an excellent example of this. They overpaid for Martin & could have gotten the same production out of the Fort and an Eric Kratz/Jason Jaramillo type.

          • Is it worng I partially agree with this?

            I’m serious? Is it bad I hope someone throws one at Pedro’s dome, maybe knocks him down and wakes all of them the #($( up?

    • You mean they are lacking in Hoka Hey fundamentals? Maybe they got the Hippie to Hell’s Angel mixture running a little rich on the Hippie…thought I smelled Patchouli coming through my speakers. ;)

  22. Yesterday RA Dickey, David Price, Cole Hamels, Stephen Strasburg and Matt Cain collectively gave up 38 earned runs!

    • It will be June before the Pirates see the 38 run total

      • Ha!

        I would never have given Dickey that contract. Exceptional human being but I look for him to be a bust this year.

        • I agree John. I think Dickey will still have a solid season but will be a bust in comparison to last year. I think with knuckleball pitchers their seasons are as unpredictable as their pitches.

          Take a look at Wakefield; he was a model of inconsistency. Sure he put up the wins but his losses/ERA would bounce around from year to year.

  23. Bud Selig is said to be exploring the idea of allowing the Pirates to use the hitting tee when they bat. He fears that the current Pirate hitters are not the type of hitters the MLB want future players in Pittsburgh to use as role models.

  24. Listening to Theo Epstein on Mike & Mike.

    Paraphrased: “We can’t miss on draft picks and trades.”

    The missing on draft picks & trades is why the Pirates still stink in NH’s sixth season.

    If a big market/$ team can’t miss on trades & drafts, then the Pirates need a GM who is a master evaluator of talent. NH is still using his 2007 prospect book.

    • I guess being Dyslexic could be the the reason Huntington wasn’t able to benefit from reading the book llabyenoM.

    • I heard Jonathan Mayo with David Todd on 970am last week. He mentioned the 2009 draft – when they took a bunch of high school pitchers. He said it is a risky move that could have high rewards (and they did use some of those pitchers in recent trades).

      But with a lot of what this FO does, it seems they have too much unconventional/high-risk.
      And it isn’t going their way.

      I have a much more extensive view on this but can’t type it all. Basically it is they employ a deadly combination: High risk move combined with the attitude that they know more than everyone else. (inside & outside of baseball)

  25. ‏”@Pirates 19s The wait is over! The application for our All You Can Tweet Seats is now open”

    Yep…That’s what most people in Pittsburgh are waiting for. Gotcha…

  26. I’m still trying to figure out how adding Russell Martin to one of the worst offenses in the National League hasn’t produced the second coming of The Lumber Company. :)

  27. Anyone catch the postgame show yesterday Where they said the people with mullets and jean jackets would be out with their pitchforks after that game? Is this the image they get of people who are critical of the Pirates? If so, should I get my mullet going and go to the local Goodwill store in search of some acid washed Denim? WTF?

    • Didn’t hear it, but it wouldn’t surprise me if that is the Federal Street view of real baseball fans, those of us wanting a winning team.

      There is such an utter lack of respect of the fanbase by this FO. The GM repeatedly tells is how little we know about baseball.

      Did anyone, other than me, hear Nutting ,s comments about messing with team chemistry at the trade deadline last year? Sounded sincere, but it was Nutting……

    • What post game show, and who said it? I was watching the post game on Root, and I didn’t hear it there,

  28. This just in from Evgeni Malkin:

    “They need to hit…hit more people!”

  29. 1-5 is not an ideal start.

    The offense flailing again (1 positive has been our pitching; they’ve kept us in just about all of these 1st 6).

    But, I’m not going to go all crazy yet. I’d like to see where they are after April. If the bats continue to hit at an anemic pace, and the losses continue to pile, then they have to look for change (by that I mean manager; I’m starting to tire of Clint Hurdle…).

    They were 10-12 at the end of April last season.

    Let’s see where they end up at the end of April this season.

    • Ah, I was waiting for you on an earlier post Nate.

    • Now that I know that 1-5 is not an ideal start, I can go on with the rest of my day.

      • Well, thanks for your contribution to my post. How about if you think evaluating after the 1st month is a good barometer, rather than going all Apocolypto after 1 bad week of baseball?

        • It’s not 1 week of bad baseball, Jeanmar. It’s 20 years and 1 week of bad baseball.

          • I view each season in a vacuum.

            It’s 1 bad week of baseball.

          • It really is just 1 week of bad baseball. Every team in this league will go through a stretch like this sometime during the year. No team can hit this bad for a sustained amount of time. Just by the law of averages they will hit well enough to score 3-4 runs a games.

            I’m not happy with the start but the one thing we felt would be at or slightly above league average (hitting) has been the worse in the league. It will get better as long as this group stays relatively healthy. They are not the 27′ yankees but they have too many legitimate major league players to continue at this pace. I will wait to without judgement much longer then 6 games.

            • by the law of averages for small market teams, we should been above .500 atleast twice in the past 20 years. (using my vague fuzzy statistics that I spent zero time working out on paper)

      • Yes. Until the end of April, when we can re-examine the record and decide to not go all crazy then either, even if they are 5-17.

        • Well, if they’re 5-17 after April, I would say that magical above .500 record aint going to happen.

          That would allow the GM to be fired (why not get someone in here before the next draft in June), and possibly the manager.

          You’d maybe like to change all 25 players, but that’s not realistic, so you change 1 or 2 and look towards tomorrow.

          • above .500 is magical?

            Outside of another losing season, nothing is realistic with this team and I’m convinced another GM won’t help either since we know who’ll be hiring him.

    • Let see where they end up at the end of September.

      • Well, then we wouldn’t have anything to talk about other than meaningless NIT wins and which RB the Steelers took in the 1st round of the draft….

        ;-)

  30. I didn’t get to see much of the Dodgers series, but I did see 1 AB that really stuck in my craw (is that an expression?)….

    Andrew McCutchen’s AB in the 9th inning of the 1-0 loss was pathetic. Starling Marte just had an AB where he went to a full count while fouling off some pitches. Neil Walker then works a BB on a full count.

    Andrew comes up with the tying run on first, swings at the 1st pitch, and weakly grounds to 2nd.

    It looked as if he literally didn’t want the game to continue (I know this isn’t the case, but…). As if he had accepted the loss, and wanted to just get to bed so they could start fresh in the morning.

    A lot of our players need to pick it up (namely every 1 of them (barring the pitching staff for the most part; they’ve been holding their end of the bag))…

    But ESPECIALLY our best player.

    Yea, that’s right, I’m calling out Andrew McCutchen after a bad week of baseball. He’s expected to perform at a level higher than others.

    After 1 week, I aint seent it.

    If the Pirates are to do anything this season, he’s gotta get back to his best.

    • Obviously you didn’t see much of it.

    • Really going to call out Cutch? Brilliant.

      Out of the 21 total hits that the Pirates have thus far Cutch and Marte account for 11 of them.

      Just what type of pitches do you think Cutch is seeing when you have .100 hitting Walker in front of you and .063 Sanchez hitting after you?

    • He could be batting .160 and still be at a higher level than everyone except Marte. Really, you’re going to go after the one player who’s managed to do anything?

      They all suck right now, but to blame McCutchen right now is like blaming Crosby for a loss when he scored their only goal.

      • Didn’t blame him for anything, just calling him out. That AB was horrible, especially in a 1-0 game.

        He’s struck out in almost a 1/3 of his ABs (6/21) so far this season. Now here come the “Pedro has struck out xxxxxxxxxx#’s of times” and “Neil Walker is hitting .100 and Kd in 25% of ABs” etc. But, I expect Pedro to strikeout a lot. I expect Neil Walker to hit around .270-.290 with 10-15 HRs. I expect Russell Martin to maybe hit .250 with some dingers.

        The fact that people call out the lesser performers to me says you’re expecting blood from a stone. Yes, they need to do better, but they aren’t as vital to this teams success as Andrew McCutchen at his best is. Maybe you blame that on the GM with the way the team is set up, but thats a different conversation.

        Again, if the Pirates are to do anything this season, Cutch has to be better than he’s showed so far in the 1st week.

        • That AB? You admit not even watching most of the series but you’ll focus on that AB?

          Lesser performers? Sorry, but batting .000 is worth calling out no matter what is expected. Blood? no. A pulse? That’d be nice. Billy Crystal could put up better numbers than half of this lineup right now.

          We know what the others are capable of (as pathetic as that expectation is) but the facts and numbers are: McCutchen and Marte at this point are are closer to their standard level of play, than they are to theirs.

          • Go ahead and call out Russell Martin. He doesn’t have a hit yet. He should.

            But he wasn’t up with the tying run on base, having watched 2 hitters before him work full counts, with Walker working the BB.

            It was a pathetic AB, and I expect more from our best hitter in that situation.

            I think people think I’m hating on Andrew McCutchen, or that I don’t think others need to do better. This is absolutely not the case. As I said above “A lot of our players need to pick it up (namely every 1 of them (barring the pitching staff for the most part; they’ve been holding their end of the bag))…”

            I said every 1 of our position players needs to pick it up. Just because I didn’t come on here killing Pedro for every swing and miss (or Garrett or Russell or Travis or Jose or …..) doesn’t mean its not frustrating to me as a fan.

            But, if you think that others are more important to the offensive success of this team than Andrew McCutchen, then I think you are mistaken.

            He was 2-11 (.181) in that LAD series. Think it’s a coincidence they lost all 3?

        • Nate;

          You said you were a pitcher at some point. Would you throw Cutch anything he could hit knowing that no one else in the lineup is hitting? Even in a 1-0 game? I think Cutch’s K’s are up because he’s feeling the pressure to have to carry this offense right now.

          I’m baffled by your baseball wisdom for someone that has played the game. You need to get at least a drop of blood from everyone in your lineup if you expect your top player to be able to be in a position to perform. No one is going to throw him pitches, he’s not going to have RBI’s and he’s not going to score if no one around him is even coming close to pulling their share. Its sad when the Mendoza line is 82 points higher than the team average right now.

        • I look at every at bat in a vacuum.

      • More like blaming Iginla for the loss of Crosby and the end of the winning streak because the hockey gods were angry and demanded fair balance.

    • Really lame view IMHO…. Cutch and Marte are the only ones hitting the balll.

      The rest of neal’s wannabes, neverweres and never willbes should be the ones getting called out.

      Oh, and let us not forget K-Dro. What a lousy, uncaring showing at the plate this weekend. My girlfriend, who is,only getting to know baseball because of me, keeps saying “why does he keep swinging at pitches he cannot reach?”. Low and away and hemis an automatic K…..

      But call out Cutch and while you are at it call out AJ, JMac and JSanchezmas theyneach gave up at least one run…..

      • I’ll never understand Pirate’s infatuation with and support of certain types of players like Starling Marte, Nyger Morgan before him and others.

        Starling Marte is “hitting the ball,” really?

        Marte is a lead off hitter on team that has scored a total of 8 runs runs in 6 games. His contribution so far has been 6 singles, 4 of which came in two games against LHP starters. His .292 OBP and .553 OPS are utterly miserable for a lead off hitter and he’s thus far failed in his duties while providing more evidence on top of the mounds that already exist he’s little more than the right half of a platoon player.

        The entire team is failing to do their jobs when it comes to offense and him sucking a bit less than the others should not be confused with being good, producing, “hitting the ball,” being a productive player and asset, or any of the other adjectives that seem to confuse bad hitters with good one around these parts.

        • Anyone who has followed Marte thru his development knows he is NOT a leadoff hitter. I cannot blame him because the worst mgmt team in baseball only bats him at leadoff!

          Relative to the rest of Huntington’s hounddogs, Marte is hitting the ball!

          Marte is a much better player than Morgan will never be. With proper development, impossible thanks to Kyle Starks and his minions, he could be a solid, longterm outfielder…..

    • I’ve seen worse at bats… seen multiple pirates swing at some really bad balls and the same pirates stare down a soft pitch right down the middle. Jay Bell was a good hitter right? My minds gone all foggy.

  31. If you win 100 games, you’re still going to lose 62.

  32. I know I’m old-fashioned but does anyone else but me think that baseball would be more watched on TV by going back to televising from behind home plate rather than a center field camera? I think looking down from homeplate gives you a much better perspective of the game.

  33. On another topic for a moment: Louisville or Michigan tonight in the title game? Big Ten or Big East? Who say you… I like Michigan.

  34. Take a look around Twitter and the internet this morning.
    Like the swallows to Capistrano, Nutting propaganda blogadiers have taken to cyberspace and beyond.
    Defending a Regime that has no mercy.
    It’s a strange and unusual phenomenon.

  35. I haven’t been especially positive and hopeful lately, but I’ll throw one piece of hope out there.

    While the hitting may never be great, no way is it this bad.

    If we saw 1-5 but the reverse, terrible pitching, good hitting, I would be even more concerned. Often teams that start off pitching horribly are doing so because their pitching is horrible.

    But NO one hits THIS badly for an extended period of time. And hitting is even more subject to slumps and swings than starting pitching.

    All that said, I’m only buying this line of thinking to a point.

    While I don’t think this team will lose five in six games over the course of the season, neither do I think they’ll win three of six, or 81 of 162.

    • So…That’s suppose to cover for 20 years of losing for the Pirates?

    • We kind of saw this last year Drew where the offense was terrible (like last in MLB) for April & May but then was 1 of the best in June and July.

    • I suppose I’m somewhere between you boys.

      This team will play to its own talents (or lack thereof) regardless of the prior two decades.

      This team does not have the firepower that the Nationals or Blue Jays have. Their major acquisition was a catcher who saw batting average decline each of the past FIVE SEASONS.

      Each one. Decline. Just as Overbay had for four seasons before he was signed.

      Putting all this together, what I am expecting is improved offensive play but not to the point to break .500 by season’s end. Not anywhere as bad as 2010 with 57 wins, but also not as good as 2012′s 79 wins.

      • I predicted 75-87.

        Before I put 75 out there, I came up with a wide range of wins (don’t recall), then narrowed it to 73-77 wins. From that range, I picked 75 because it is an easy # to remember.

        I Yep. That scientific. Because I could remember it.

        “It’s been six games” cuts both ways….

        1. Only six, so I am not changing yet
        2. But a loss in April counts as much as one in September. They are behind my predicted pace and the losses count.

        But I can’t change it. That’s the point of guessing.

        And while I might pick lower now if the game rules allowed it, after six games with mostly good pitching, I might slide down a bit but I wouldn’t destroy them.

        Yet.

      • I think he picked 75 or 76. Do you want to change yours since the Nats and Blue Jays are hitting 100 points higher than the Bucs?

        The old “we stink more efficiently” meme or is it the “other teams aren’t doing so well, either”, meme?

        • I agree they won’t finish the season hitting .119. Probably even break the Mendoza line.. But this FO has set new records in futility before (ex., see last season)

  36. Beyond Cole and maybe Taillon, do we have any other decent prospects that could make waves in the majors this season, even if it would be in the second half of the season? Beyond bullpen guys, I really don’t see anyone helping us out anytime soon.

    Tony Sanchez got off to a terrible start. He has yet to have a hit.

    Alex Presley is playing well but I won’t be sold on him till he plays well in the majors. Plus he’ll be 28 in couple months.

    Guys like Jordy Mercer and Matt Hague are meh at best.

    Maybe Alex Dickerson could do something but he was just in A ball last year.

    Am I missing anyone?

  37. I went back to the old avatar. Screw Jeanmar. I need BMTIS POWER!

  38. I think we have overlooked the obvious. The players read the papers and know that if they lose often enough the BMTIB’s heads are on the chopping block.

  39. Forgot to say THANK YOU to RobertoForever for re-posting the line for me yesterday.

    It was greatly appreciated.

    MULTI-LINE MONDAY is on tap for tonight.

  40. I hope Neil Walker noticed that Pirate fans didn’t take over Dodger Stadium.

    Since that’s why they are losing now, evidently.

  41. Just received an update saying that James Neal will miss the next three-game road trip with a concussion. Haven’t heard anything more than that.

    • Well at least we know now. That sucks, but I guess at least it’s something to talk about other than this never ending torture that is the Pirates.

      I hope they can get through tomorrow’s against Carolina with a win and without any more injuries. They need to get into playoff mode and it’s hard when at least 3 of your top players are out at any given time. Still, they need to play a good road game against a team that’s 1-8-1 recently, going no where and like Buffalo, the Penguins will probably take less seriously. Perfect recipe for a loss.

      Players like Malkin, Morrow and Iginla have to start setting the tone and be the leaders and better players they should be in most instances. If Geno doesn’t want to step up or the responsibility anymore, then they should strip that A off him and give it to Dupuis or even Iginla. Same goes for Orpik. At some point you have to lead by example on the ice and he isn’t getting it done enough to deserve that letter and I will be quite PO’d if he comes back next season and Murray is gone.

      Of all the trades made this year, so far Jokinen and Murray have really stepped up and improved the team the most. It’d be nice if we didn’t have to wait until the playoffs for others to show their true worth. Be nice to see Morrow get a goal and Iginla make his HOF presence felt more. Right now, aside from Malkin, and even at 35, he should be the best player on the ice for the Pens.

    • That sucks green, slimy pond scum :(

  42. Pens have announced that Neal has a concussion and will not travel on upcoming road trip. My goodness.

    • And the play is not going to draw a penalty or fine from the NHL.

      Go figure

      • Yup, Neal should have known better than to throw his face into another players elbow like that. What was he thinking? Maybe that’s what Boyle was referring to when he said “The Pens do things that shouldn’t be in hockey”.

        I think it’s time for a Penguins player to accidentally take out a possible playoff opponents better player with a “hockey play” too. Seems everything and everyone is fair game now, right?

        Got the Bruins left on the schedule. Be a shame if Jagr or Chara suffered a dreaded “hockey play” injury. But what are you gonna do? It happens, right?

      • That’s why it’s called the garage league!

      • That was both a penalty and a fineable play. He had no reason to throw his elbow back like that. He saw Neal coming and threw back his elbow. There was a couple other plays that were absolute crap in that game too. The hit on boyle by murray was perfectly legal though and beautiful.

        • oh ya, the other play was the slash from the bench. That should be fine-able if it is not. Players can get seriously injured from that crap.

        • It sure was and I loved the look on Boyle’s face LOL!

        • He felt Neal coming and braced for the hit. He was facing the boards and didnt want to get lit up…

          You know, kinda the way Boyle did when Murray wrecked him minutes before.

          Boyle…what a farmer…

  43. Amidst another voyage of the Titanic that is the Pirates, I glanced over and saw the Pirates forming a “Leadership Council”. I almost wet my pants when I read that. What other goofy cliche are these bozos gonna trot out next? Man, I want to be a fly on the wall for the first meeting of the leadership council.

    “Okay, lets call this meeting to order. First order of business is the lack of hits and of course runs”

    Leader one says “I propose we hit the ball with that wooden thing in our hand”

    Leader two says “meeting adjourned”

  44. Melancholy Happy Trails to Annette Funicello. Why ? Because we like you.

  45. Playoffs….
    Get some Louisville-Mich action in your multi-line…. something like:

    Will the national championship game feature more players scoring in double figures than PBC’s total number of hits + 3 (gotta help the PBC hitters a bit!)?

  46. Don’t know how one team could acquire so many automatic outs. Usually a team has,
    maybe, two or three weaker hitters, but the rest of the batting order picks them up. That is major league baseball, as a rule. We have guys who don’t even know the strike zone, or
    is it that they are guess hitters, ie. they are going to swing at the next pitch, no matter where it is. Another thing is why don’t the Pirates swing at the first pitch, since mostly, it is right down the middle and will be the best pitch they will get the entire at-bat. Neil Walker
    seems to never swing at the first pitch that sometimes is a ball, but most of the time, it’s
    strike one. Somehow, we need to get some people who can hit, or at least wait to get a base on balls. GO BUCS!!!

    • Until we, or someone else owns the team, “we” are beating our heads against a wall.

    • I watched John Macdonald get on base that way yesterday. Didn’t swing at a single pitch.

    • I think we also need to get more of these guys that can’t hit to stand on the plate more… the rule being… hit the ball or get hit, either way we need them on base so mccutchen can hit em in.

  47. Being out of town, I considered getting the NHL Center Ice package this year. With 28 of their games already on National TV, I figured I would pass. With the winning streak and trades, I kinda wish I had got it anyway.
    Looking at the Pirates, I’m not sure if they have any games on National TV this year, but there is no way I’d buy the MLB package. That’s almost 3 hours/day that I’d never get back. I’d rather watch Duck Dynasty repeats. As a matter of fact, I’d consider signing the whole Duck Dynasty cast and drop them in the starting lineup around Cutch and AJ. Couldn’t be any worse, at least from a hitting perspective. I continue to root for the Bucco’s, but I can’t support them financially until they make changes in the front office and minor league coaching staff.

  48. Pirates? National games on TV? lol!

    • well whenever they play the cubs or the braves… atleast thats national.

    • Actually this may come as a bit of a surprise to everybody but the Pirates are slated to appear on the FOX Saturday Game of the Week 6 times this year, granted they are all regional telecasts with other games in that window as well.

  49. Maybe “we” can set up an exibition on the Bucs next day of with the AA squad to gain some confidence………..ooooops!

  50. Let’s focus on the Positive. The Pirates lead the league in getting thrown out stealing. And some other team has whiffed more than they have. Still second is pretty good.

    Leroux ERA of 13.50 means he’ll probably be able to sneak thru waivers when the time comes.

    Anyone got anything else?

  51. Calling all lunatics – does anyone remember a graffito on the wall of the J&L mill along Carson Street that wished passers-by “Happy Ester?” Must have been in the late 70′s, early 80′s maybe? Just after turning left at the end of Beck’s Run Road. Now for the kicker – does anybody have picture they would be willing to scan and send me/upload?

    Dave Devine
    formerly Baldwin, now Cologne, Germany

  52. Amazing you folks can produce this many posts on a slow late start day.

    Does anyone care about tonight’s NCAA final?
    Oskosh?
    Lucky?

  53. It’s precious Pirates moments like these that I think of my favorite baseball movie and one of the best lines in it:

    “Well, we committed 24 errors and their pitcher threw a no-hitter, but there is some good news…Two of our runners almost managed to get to first base…and we did hit 17 foul balls.” – Alfred Ogilvie

    That said; I would rather have that team of misfit kids representing the city and the organization than what’s trotting out their currently game after game. At least they were lovable losers playing a kids game and they weren’t trying to fool anyone and collecting a paycheck while doing it for a Profit-Centric business model.

    As it stands now: Burnett = Amanda Whurlizer and McCutchen = Kelly Leak. And unless you can find a candy bar in Martin, or McKenry’s catcher’s mitt, that’s about it.

  54. I had to look twice at the pitching matchup for tonight’s game.

    Wandy is listed as 1-0.

    ONE-0.

    WON And Oh.

    WON.

  55. Need one o the Trib interns to put up the game thread so we can play the over/under.
    That wii be my only involvement with the PBC this season.
    Ya that’s what I say now, but I will probably break down at some point and at least watch a couple innings on TV.
    Hopefully we got the Pens through the better part of June.

  56. He gets traded or demoted. How dare he win a game!

    • Has the early lead on All Star representative.

      Sadly, I think he keeps the lead even if he gets bombed tonight.

  57. This was in response to theplanisworking says:

  58. Lucky… I know you may not like Pitino, but redemption stories can be pretty strong. And he’s shown a great respect for the game, for others and has been humbled by his transgressions. I have a graduate degree from UL and my brother played football there in the ’70′s, so I’ve been a fan since I was a young pup. Back when Junior Bridgeman and Allen Murphy and Wesley Cox and Darrell Griffith and the McCray brothers and Derek Smith were in the final four every other year.

    And if you needs another story that would tug at your heart about Louisville, read this great piece on Luke Hancock by Pat Forde: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/ncaab–louisville-s-luke-hancock-gives-his-ailing-dad-a-moment-to-treasure-at-final-four-002354691.html

    Which brings me to tonight’s game. That Michigan team is really talented. They remind me quite a bit of that ’86 Duke team and then-Player of the Year Johnny Dawkins. And thus my pick: UL 72 Mich 69. Go Cards!

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