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Morning Java: It’s here … well, it’s close, anyway

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> No column today. It was pushed back to tomorrow to run on the day of Game 1. After that, unless I’ve misread the Eastern final schedule, there will be a column every day for the next little while.

>> The chat transcript from yesterday touched on the always uncomfortable topic of when it’s OK to wonder — or ask — if an athlete might be using steroids. Thanks to all who participated, as always.

>> We’re at least close now, right?

The seemingly eternal gap between the Penguins and Bruins finishing off their respective opponents in five and actually getting to play another game has only about 30 hours to go.

Today will nonetheless be a busy one up at Consol with media availabilities for the both teams, both coaches, even both GMs, which is part of the process when you get this far. Ray Shero will go at 10:45 a.m., and I’ll be up there and sharing right here as time allows.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage this morning, including a column by Kevin Gorman.

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>> The Pirates pulled out another one with what by now is a stunningly familiar formula:

1. Short start (Jeff Locke 5 1/3)

2. Beat the bullpen to death for the next 5 2/3 (Mark Melancon, too)

3. Not much offense, but a big hit at or near the end (Russell Martin walkoff single)

They’ll probably do it three more times this weekend against the Reds, too.

Here’s some of what was spoken afterward …

>> The Steelers’ young O-line is Alan Robinson’s focus from OTAs. Other than outside linebacker, this looks to me like the one facet at which this team could — that’s could — be most upgraded in 2013. And they weren’t exactly bad in 2012.

>> The few Penn State types still pounding the Joe Paterno case almost invariably focus on exposing flaws in the Louis Freeh report. Which to me reeks of convenience.

The Freeh report has holes. Every major investigation does.

The Freeh report also doesn’t matter. Certainly not anywhere near Paterno telling the grand jury that he was informed that something of a ‘sexual nature’ had occurred between an old man and a young child.

In my eyes, that’s case closed right there. Freeh could have written his report in pristine iron-clad fashion, and it wouldn’t have weighed an ounce next to that statement from Paterno’s own mouth.

In fact, every time some Penn State person writes to me and wants to nitpick Freeh, I respond with this and never hear back from them. Seriously, not once have they even responded.

(And, boy, am I sorry every time I bring this topic up. But there it is.)

>> The fun will begin soon enough.

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. Thundercrack says:

    Just made it home from that thrilling extra inning Pirate victory.

    Got stuck in Sq. Hill tunnel traffic —-but I am dry!

    :-)

  2. Ghost says:

    TC, I don’t get the “I am dry” part, unless you are pining for some cheap booze in a paper bag. In which case, bottoms up!

  3. Thundercrack says:

    Ha! No Ghost.
    DK hoped that I got rained on tonight.

    It was a great night at the ball yard.

  4. Ryan76 says:

    +1

  5. Ghost says:

    I won’t take a poke at the “sustainability” notion; it’s a bona fide concern. And just because I think about it, doesn’t mean I can’t also “enjoy the ride.” Echoing the gist of an exchange from the Chat, I’ll pose a favorable scenario I am hoping for: The Pirate offense heats up, as it did last June. This takes pressure off the pitching staff. So now in games with a run cushion, Jeff Locke might not have to be pulled just because he allows a hit and a walk to start the sixth inning. Then, just as a person who hasn’t been getting enough sleep for weeks doesn’t have to make up that sleep deficit just as long as they start getting normal amounts of sleep, Melancon and Grilli can dodge injury and/or fatigue should their workload transition to a more maintainable level. Who knows if some damage has already been done? But maybe it hasn’t yet. This has been a special season so far and just maybe the Pirates can tippy-toe back from the precipice and make a clean getaway from an amazing May.

  6. Ghost says:

    Oh! I missed that — but then congrats on a great, dry, night. And bottoms up!

  7. JRay3 says:

    Some interesting stats to chew on:

    Pirates were 28-26 after 54 games a year ago, 34-20 this season.

    The Pirates did not win their 34th game in 2012 until June 17th.

    Jeff Locke has now gone three consecutive starts without allowing a run, he has five starts this year where he has not allowed a run.

    The Pirates own the best record in baseball since April 8th at 33-15.

    The Bucs are 11-5 against teams in first place in their divisions.

  8. Ed says:

    It took a while but a win was indeed brought home from the ballpark. Another 1-0 thriller in extra innings!

    Yes, either the offense is going to have to heat up or some fresh arms are going to be called up or acquired if this continues. But the fact remains: This team knows how to win close ballgames.

  9. JRay3 says:

    You witnessed a great game, had an October feel to it with the pitching and defense.

    Can’t wait to see the Bucs in LA for the Angels series in June.

  10. Ed says:

    Oh yeah, by the way, Melancon threw a total of six pitches in his outing. He really got beat up!

    DK: See blog item from the other day about relievers warming up. Once they’re up, they’re up. Once they’re in, they’re in. Strain level about the same, unless they run up crazy-high pitch count, like Grilli did that one time.

  11. JRay3 says:

    Russell Martin said after the game this team is resilient, will fight you the whole game, go about their business and enjoy each other. The chemistry of this team is very evident. Has the makings of a team that will force management to make a run at it.

    DK: This team definitely has chemistry and desire, no question about that. What it doesn’t have is some vague “ability to win close games.” Advanced metrics mostly blew that thinking out of the water long ago, a topic I wrote about extensively during Jim Tracy’s first year. It was ALL he’d talk about, and it had little basis in fact. Teams will win and lose a similar amount of 1-run and 2-run games over the course of 162. It’s much more important what you do with the rest, how often you pile up healthy wins. That’s the separator.

    It’s more complicated, of course. Here’s a wonderful Hardball Times analysis of the topic.

  12. Ghost says:

    If this is still going on at the end of June, you would THINK so. But I thought the 2008 squad had good chemistry, too. We went into the All-Star break riding high. And then that team was blown to smithereens. Hopefully, this good run in early 2013 has not diminished any of urgency management should be feeling. (Not that I want them to force any acquisition, just for the sake of doing it. Only if somebody good is being waved in our face). But this brings me to something most of us haven’t considered lately: What’s Bob Nutting’s take on all this? He’s been eerily absent from the scene. Entirely.

  13. Ed says:

    Point taken Dejan. Just had to have a little fun with the six pitches item. Hurdle mentioned that a couple other guys need to be trusted in late inning situations. I think Tony Watson, Justin Wilson and Bryan Morris showed that in this game.

    I think Wilson, especially, is someone to strongly look forward to in late game situations. Not many lefties can flame it like he can, and it looks like he’s been cutting down on the walks.

    Watson is no slouch either. It looks as if his early season struggles may be over.

    DK: All three of those guys pitched well. That meant more than anything else that happened in this game.

  14. JRay3 says:

    Pirates are 11-8 by my count in one run games, I know the numbers become a bit more skewed when two run games are accounted for. Tough to sometimes explain the unexplainable.

    Appreciate the link.

    DK: Nine of their past 13 games have been decided by just one run, and they’re 7-2 in those games.

    They’ve won four games out of their past 10 by exactly a 1-0 score.

    But this is the one that stands out to me: They’re now 24-11 in games decided by two runs or less, a staggering figure.

  15. Brendan says:

    Dejan is indeed correct. Records in one-run games tend to even out over a full season. There are sometimes anomalies and a team with a really terrific bullpen might fair a little better in close games and/or one-run games. Last years Orioles come to mind has a team who had a terrific bullpen and probably got a little lucky, putting an unheard of 29-9 and record in one run games I believe?

    PS – I was curious just how unheard of it was and checked Baseball Reference. Turns out they had the best winning percentage in one run games since 1901. So it’s fair to say it was indeed unheard of. Here are the best records one-run games since 1901:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/games/situational.cgi?from=1901&to=2013&0=2&1=3&rsgtlt=gt&rs=5&ragtlt=gt&ra=5&2=6&trgtlt=gt&tr=10&3=9&mvgtlt=eq&mv=1&4=10&owlsgtlt=gt&owls=.500&sortby=WP&teams=team&years=each&submit=Run+Situation

  16. Brendan says:

    And that winning percentage in games decided by 2 runs or less very nearly puts them in the top ten all time:

    http://bit.ly/18BdRmb

    So fair to say they’re unlikely to win those games at the current pace but I think we probably knew that.

    DK: That’s an incredible link. Thanks.

    Worth noting that the team ranked at No. 2 also took care of the Tigers once, albeit in an infinitely more important setting.

  17. Arriba Wilver says:

    +2

  18. Ghost says:

    Gentlemen, I don’t claim to have any previous insight into the “ability to win 1-run games” topic. Tonight was the first I heard of specific articles and studies examining it. But it would appear to me that the “One Run Game Performance is Unsustainable” actuality is something that plays out over MORE than one season. Within one season, deviations are not such an uncommon occurrence. Last year’s Orioles were 29-9 in one-run games.
    Here’s another article I just skimmed, addressing the same matter.
    http://baseball.blogdig.net/archives/articles/March2013/19/Talking_sabermetrics___Astros_and_extra_innings_.html

  19. Arriba Wilver says:

    I have had the same experience, DK, regarding what JoePa told the Grand Jury. Even further, when I have personally heard the criticisms of the Freeh report, I ask (1) did you read the Freeh report, and (2) did you read the Grand Jury Report (either one). Invariably the answer to 1 and 2 is “no.” And aside from JoePa ‘s admission in the first one and the detail from the victims, the second one is way more damning for the Administration. Also, in the second one, its pretty clear JoePa knew about the 1998 investigation, which in my mind is a stake to the heart of that defense. And it’s based on reports from people who have no reason to dump on the administration, and documentation.

    DK: Which is exactly why the Paterno fringe focuses on Freeh. It’s the far easier target, and they think if they convince everyone that Freeh blew it, somehow that exonerates Paterno.

    It’s delusional beyond words. People talked a ton more about the grand jury than about Freeh. That drove people’s opinions before Freeh was even done. And justifiably so.

  20. Ghost says:

    And because I only “skimmed” that article, upon re-skimming, I see that that record by the Orioles last year was, indeed, a “record.” Best winning percentage in one-runners in MLB history. Oh well. For what is was worth…

    DK: The 2012 Orioles were the exception to nearly every ‘rule’ out there, a freak. But that happens. Jack Wilson had a 200-hit season.

  21. Ghost says:

    Yes, I only realized that key point after I hastily posted. I do see a little bit of evidence that teams can cheat the mean, as it were, over the course of a single season, though. Won’t re-fi the home to place a bet on the 2013 Pirates doing it. But as a fan I can hope. Brendan’s link above shows that there are outliers each year.

  22. Ghost says:

    Off to bed. Truly fascinating topic, though. Can’t wait to see what others add in the morning.

  23. Chris says:

    In honor of the pirates great start and my inability to sleep, I decided to make a Pirates / Penguins counterpart list!!!

    Mccutchen / Crosby: superstar, face of the franchise.

    Marte / Malkin: able to take over a game and embarrass opponents with absurd talent. English a little rough…

    Alvarez / Fleury: wins a game by himself one day, falls flat on his face the next and the fans immediately call for a trade!

    Grilli / Dupuis: best bargain in the sport!! Somehow playing the best they’ve ever played at an advanced age. He must be on roids.

    Burnett / Crankshaft : STFD

    Martin / Martin : big-time free agent signing. Every fan wanted him gone on December 1, now he is winning fans over with his defense.

    That’s all I could think of for now… Maybe others can add on or suggest changes.

    DK: Apples/oranges

    Regular season/playoffs

    Not to be a bummer. There’s no comparison between these franchises, not at any level, not unless you go well back into time.

    (Ducks incoming tomatoes)

  24. Chris says:

    I wasn’t trying to say the franchises are comparable. And you were a bummer!

    DK: Yeah, I know. :)

    (Skates to box, feels shame)

  25. steelercrazy says:

    That link also sorts to show that 4 teams this year have a .630 or greater W/L percentage in 2 run or less games. Baltimore never regressed last year, it does happen.

  26. Eric Bowser says:

    Woke up… can’t fall back to sleep so…

    * Pirates – enjoy the run, have fun with it but face reality, unless the offense gets better between innings 1-6, this team can’t sustain the luck they’ve had so far this year. Pirates are 2nd in the National League with 77 runs scored from the 7th inning and on, yet fall down to 11th in the National League with 130 runs before the 7th inning. Cardinals are 1st in the NL with 192 runs prior to 7th inning and 11th from 7+ inning with 56 runs. The offense gets better, you reduce these high leverage situations for the relievers, maybe allow the starter to go another inning because he has a bigger lead to support those 90-110 pitches in a start.

    * Penguins – Can we get there already… most absurd series delay…. ever. Someone asked me, what do you think of Rask for Boston. He’s nothing spectacular, average goalie in front of a solid team defense oriented system and let’s not kid ourselves, Zdeno Chara has a lot to do with how that team plays and how good their goalies look. The Penguins have success against Chara because they know how to attack him, wear him down, and expose him in tight by being quicker on the bounce off the check along the boards. Rask glove hand is average to say the least, his east-west movement is nothing to worry about, and after a very shaky round against the Rangers, is he ready mentally to face a more potent offense? I doubt it.

  27. Drew71 says:

    Paragraph

    Breaks

    Are

    Your

    Friend.

    Ours,

    Too.

  28. tdb1977 says:

    That was a very satisfying win tonight. I throughly enjoyed it from being at the park. So close Martin, so close. The wife wanted to stay and watch Martin get the pie in the face so we did. Bring on the Red’s. We are already 3-0 against them this season. Don’t take the foot off the pedal, keep grinding it out. I see the Cardinals game was suspended because of rain. Wonder when that game will be finished. It could have big impacts on the standings this year if these three teams (Cardinals, Reds, and Pirates) all remain so close for the entire season.

  29. Thundercrack says:

    Jack Wilson had a 200-hit season.

    Tremendous.

  30. Thundercrack says:

    ‘They’ll probably do it three more times this weekend against the Reds, too.’

    See, look who’s catching on.

  31. John Lease says:

    Steroids, more than likely.

  32. John Lease says:

    Does that mean the 1952 Pirates were unlucky?

    Or just really bad…. They are 11th from the bottom of that list.

  33. Ap says:

    Ok so let me get this straight….a man is denied due process and has his name forever tarnished ….he admits to making a mistake and not doing more but we still can never forgive him and those that point out the garbage in the freeh report are close minded. This is not the Soviet Union people have rights to their opinion and should not be discouraged from doing so and made to feel criminal by those who disagree just because those people like Pitt football and are jealous of Paternoster success on the football field

  34. Drew71 says:

    There has been a lot of sword rattling regarding the Pirates. Almost as if this is a black-white no-middle-ground issue.

    Napoleon or Wellington.

    Rome or Carthage.

    Total Victory or Annihilation.

    Thunder or Me.

    Or in this case…Playoffs or Collapse.

    Look. The world isn’t always Waterloo.

    Is it possible that the Pirates wear down their pen, and have fewer heroic game winning hits? Sure. In fact I expect it.

    Might they regress to their mean? I’ve said before, I expect that, too.

    Yet that does NOT mean I think they have another Historic Collapse in their immediate future.

    1. At some point, I think they will fade, not collapse, for the statistical reasons that Dejan writes. In other words, start playing .500 ball from a certain point of the season (not retroactively). BUT…

    2. I think this team has a better lineup and deeper bullpen than the last two collapse years.

    This is NOT an either-or, Collapse-Playoffs situation, even if we seem to talk that way.

    If that regression to the mean point comes right NOW and they play .500 from this point out, they end with 88 wins.

    If, heaven help us, they play .450 from this point, that’s 83 wins.

    And there is no “rule” saying that the point of fade is NOW.

    I think this will be an enjoyable and positive season, ending somewhere north of .500.

    I think they will not collapse.

    I think they will not make the playoffs.

    The world – and sports – is full of middle ground. Despite all the fire and brimstone on blogs, I expect this to be one of them.

  35. BillyBaduka says:

    Well said.

    Go Bucs!

  36. 21sthebest says:

    I have analyzed all of the teams in the division and determined that what each team is doing is not sustainable. Therefore, I predict that the Brewers will win the division.

  37. John Lease says:

    Martin was oh so close to a game winning grand slam. Single doesn’t really do it justice.

  38. JAL says:

    JAL’s The Waking Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcuUAxinEUs

    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: Thoughts on the Bullpen, Mercer, Taillon, Cole, and the Reds

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/05/first-pitch-thoughts-on-the-bullpen-mercer-taillon-cole-and-the-reds.html

    Pirates Win 1-0 On Martin’s Walkoff, Another Combined Shutout

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/05/pirates-win-1-0-on-martins-walkoff-another-combined-shutout.html

    Prospect Watch: Allie and Lambo Homer; Pimentel Has Another Rough Outing

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/05/prospect-watch-allie-and-lambo-homer-pimentel-has-another-rough-outing.html

    Pirates Notebook: Who Makes In-Game Hitting Adjustments?

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/05/pirates-notebook-who-makes-in-game-hitting-adjustments.html

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Russell Martin’s walk-off hit leads to 1-0, 11-inning win

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/5/30/4382016/russell-martins-walk-off-hit-leads-to-1-0-11-inning-win

    2 new MLB mock drafts have Pirates taking Reese McGuire at No. 9

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/5/30/4380134/2-new-mlb-mock-drafts-have-pirates-taking-reese-mcguire-at-no-9

    7 WHYGAVS

    Game 54: Pirates 1 Tigers 0

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/may-2013/game-54-pirates-1-tigers-0.html

    8 The Green Weenie

    Six Buc Pitchers Combine To Stop Tigers 1-0 In Eleven on Martin Walk-Off.

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/05/six-buc-pitchers-combine-to-stop-tigers.html

    9 Rumbunter

    The Tremendous Pittsburgh Pirates Bullpen

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/05/31/the-tremendous-pittsburgh-pirates-bullpen/

    Do The Pittsburgh Pirates Need Brandon Inge?

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/05/30/do-the-pittsburgh-pirates-need-brandon-inge/

    10 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Pirates 1, Tigers 0

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2013/05/pirates-1-tigers-0-2/

  39. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Yahoo Sports

    The Pittsburgh Pirates Are the Comeback Kids of Baseball

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/pittsburgh-pirates-comeback-kids-baseball-134200579.html

    12 Rant Sports

    Russell Martin Comes Up Big for Pittsburgh Pirates

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/05/30/russell-martin-comes-up-big-for-pittsburgh-pirates/

    13 KDKA

    Pirates GM Neal Huntington: Ingredients For Continued Success Are There

    http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/05/30/pirates-gm-neal-huntington-ingredients-for-continued-success-are-there/

    14 Detroit Free Press

    Pittsburgh 1, Detroit 0 (11 innings): Pirates outlast Tigers struggling offense again

    http://www.freep.com/article/20130530/SPORTS02/305300113/detroit-tigers-pittsburgh-pirates

    15 Exponent Telegram

    Leyland gives Pirates his stamp of approval

    http://www.exponent-telegram.com/sports/leyland-gives-pirates-his-stamp-of-approval/article_4c30232a-c9a6-11e2-97c0-0019bb2963f4.html

    16 CBS Sports

    Pirates Vs Reds Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20130531_CIN@PIT/redspirates-preview

    17 Sweetspot

    These Pirates might actually be for real

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/36542/these-pirates-may-actually-be-for-real

    18 PBC Site

    Martin rewards sterling pitching with walk-off in 11th

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_05_30_detmlb_pitmlb_1&mode=recap_home&c_id=pit

    Notebook: Riding wave, streaky Walker trusting his swing

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130530&content_id=49110122&notebook_id=49110158&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Every Manager’s Face, Part 1

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=20769

    20 Fangraphs

    It’s Time to Take the Pirates Seriously

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/its-time-to-take-the-pirates-seriously/

  40. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    The Steelers championship edge

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/5/30/4376204/steelers-super-bowl-mike-tomlin

    It’s hard not to root for Steelers LB Sean Spence

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/5/30/4379172/steelers-sean-spence-injury-comeback-2013

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Bill Cowher Thinks Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger Has Many Good Years Ahead Of Him

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/05/bill-cowher-ben-roethlisberger-nfl-total-access/

    Soccer(football) Will T

    23 Daily Telegraph

    Premier League 2012-13: from bites and brilliance to records and retirement, it has been a season to remember.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/competitions/premier-league/10084875/Premier-League-2012-13-from-bites-and-brilliance-to-records-and-retirement-it-has-been-a-season-to-remember.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 30th May, 2013

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-30th-may-2013

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Penguins-Bruins: Why the Faceoff Discussion Needs Refocusing

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/5/30/4378940/penguins-bruins-faceoffs

    What is the most crucial key matchup

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/5/30/4379602/what-is-the-most-crucial-key-matchup

    26 The Republican

    Keys to the Boston Bruins-Pittsburgh Penguins conference final series: special teams, goaltending

    http://www.masslive.com/bruins/index.ssf/2013/05/keys_to_the_boston_bruins-pittsburgh_penguins_conference_final_series_special_teams_goalies.html

  41. JAL says:

    The Waking Kurt Elling Elling is an American jazz vocalist Since 1995 he has released 10 albums, one of which won the Grammy for best jazz vocal album (2009) He is also a National Trustee for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Poem by Theodore Roethke

  42. Jandy says:

    sweet!

  43. Jandy says:

    Nice job, Chris, I think it’s a good comparison. Got a chuckle out of it, actually.
    Dejan, hang your head!

    Chris, does Bizrow have your hometown listed on Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum?

  44. Jandy says:

    No tomatoes Dejan, it’s eggs for you :P

  45. Jandy says:

    Plus if you rattle Rask, he loses composure…and temper lol
    Easily done.

  46. Jandy says:

    I’ll be happy with a winning season. That will be a victory

  47. Jandy says:

    :snicker:

  48. Chuck Snow says:

    Wow a lot of Baseball talk. Bucs are on a nice run. But I think a wise baseball writer wrote last year to just enjoy it. Just know they are likely to cool off and when they do the true character of the team will be seen. Get back up and fight to the end or fade away, it will be fun to see.

  49. Jandy says:

    Here’s a unique view of Bylsma’s match-up strategy. Never looked at it quite like this:
    http://www.faceoff-factor.com/1pittsburgh-penguins/4839/get-crosby-on-against-chara

  50. kr70 says:

    I wish I would have had you as my 8th grade english teacher.

  51. Al says:

    Not sure what made me think of this now but does anyone remember the reason the NHL did away with the 2 line offsides pass rule a few years ago? Was it possibly to discourage the New Jersey Devil of old neutral zone trap style of hockey?

  52. kr70 says:

    anyone else get the feeling, or is it just me, that the pirates are still being ignored by the national media? Listening to the radio pundits and sportscenter, etc. talking baseball a lot of teams get some love but ours, nary a whisper. And for a change, they deserve it.

  53. Rob says:

    Couple nice articles up there in the “NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media” post by Jal (thanks Jal :-) ). I’m always interested in hearing what former managers like Jim Leyland have to say about the Pirates (for one).

    I’m cursed or blessed by being a positive person, glass half full type, how else can I still be a Pirate fan through these last 20 years?

    Let’s go Bucs! Free Placebo’s to one and all (side effect: extreme Pride n Joy in your PBC) :-)

  54. likeabugonarug says:

    That would be a double minor for unsportsmanlike conduct.

    Kevin

  55. likeabugonarug says:

    To make it a more open game, with more offense. Don’t know if that was with NJ in mind, but definitely one of the better rules changes.

    Kevin

  56. likeabugonarug says:

    They do talk about them on the MLB Network. And they were there live in the bottom of the 11th last night.

    Kevin

  57. Jandy says:

    agreed

  58. Jandy says:

    like

  59. Jandy says:

    +1

  60. Jandy says:

    Trust me, you wouldn’t ;X

  61. Jandy says:

    dayum, TC, you had a awesome game to see :)

  62. Al says:

    Too bad Mario was hampered by that rule. I shudder to think how many more goals he could have scored on those long stretch passes!

  63. radio wave says:

    Ddrew’s post is correct. This season depends on the starters going deeper and protecting the bullpen.
    Spent last 4 days listening to Tigers radio. They were giving rave reviews of the Bucs pen. I liked their comments until they had good things to say about NH.
    Former Tigers catcher Jim Price is from western PA. What city?

  64. NMR says:

    Got to the podcast late, DK, but really good stuff on the relievers “invisible innings”.

    DK: Thanks. Might actually try to get a count on those.

  65. Thank you for that. With that lineup, they can’t sustain last place.

    And you didn’t even use xFIP, BABIP or BS.

    I’m really tired of the metric and one-run and sustainable mess. Drew’s post above hits it on the head.

    Shame the human factors like heart and determination and not quitting can’t be metrically analyzed.

  66. Amen to the Nth degree.

  67. JAL says:

    Most welcome–as I posted yesterday, morning links going on vacation Will return late next week

  68. Thundercrack says:

    We used to be friends

  69. gregenstein says:

    The Pirates were 44-50 at the All Star break in 2008. They had the best OF in baseball and possibly the worst pitching staff. At least this year, when the starter only goes 5 innings, the other team hasn’t scored 4 or 5 runs already. This team hasn’t had to use Yoslan Herrera.

  70. Jandy says:

    +1

  71. Thundercrack says:

    JAL
    We’re a superstitious bunch. This can be sustained….but you can’t go on vacation now, and the morning links cannot go on vacation either.

    We’re all in this together.

  72. gregenstein says:

    Yes, outstanding!

    It’s worth noting that the 2013 Pirates are closer to their Pythagorean W-L record than most of the others in the top 20, including those fun 2012 Orioles.

    Translation for non stat geeks: They’re probably playing over their heads, but they shouldn’t crash completely. At least that’s what the numbers suggest anyway.

  73. Patrick says:

    The Freeh report was used by the NCAA as the basis for its punishments against the football program, more or less. Other things were certainly involved, but the Freeh report was the most cited when the NCAA metered out its discipline.

    So in my mind, by discrediting the report supporters are showing where their real allegiances lie, and that’s with the football program, not Paterno.

    Its amazing to me some people really believe something like this can blow up and nobody should take shrapnel. That the entire thing should be contained in a 6×9 with Sandusky. That NOBODY else bears any responsibility. Amazing.

  74. Thundercrack says:

    My former friend, 21, predicted the Brewers winning the division.

    I just looked at the standings. The Brewers have 19 wins. The Cubs have 22.

    When did that happen?!

    ( I think they just swept the White Sox)

  75. Patrick says:

    Ahh..Slapshot…

    There really is NO bad time to quote that movie…

  76. Nate83 says:

    They also interviewed Martin after the game. They did the same with Cutch after his walk off. They do a pretty good job of equal coverage of all teams on MLB.

    They mentioned last night the need of the starters to go deeper into games. Two of the guys felt like the starters had the ability to do so. Later one of them mentioned that it would be nice if the starters went deeper but they thought the bullpen was more then just Grille and Melancon.

    I would agree but if Wilson starts walking more battters, Watson returns to his early year form and Lugerski and Morris realize they have spent more time in the minors then the majors and pitch like that it could go downhill quickly. I assume one or two of those guys regress but not all 4. You never know. Baseball is a crazy game.

    The best solution is for the starters to start giving us another inning per game. Hopefully that happens so we don’t need to see what happens to an overworked bullpen.

  77. Iceman says:

    It is apples and oranges, but this was still pretty clever. I like it.

  78. Nate83 says:

    Wow was I wrong about Locke. Looked really good last night. Looks confident and has good movement.

    Entire staff top to bottom seems to have a lot of movement on their pitches. More then I ever remember with past Pirate teams in recent history.

  79. Patrick says:

    That’s true with most goalies. Including Vokoun. Even the great Patrick Roy was a headcase.

    Rask gets rattled a little earlier and easier than most because he insn’t very good. Hes a very servicable playoff goalie. He got here on his own merits, not luck. And that can be enough sometimes. USUALLY the team that wins the cup has a goalie better than Rask/Vokoun, but not always. Neither would be the worst goalie to lift the cup.

  80. Drew71 says:

    You have friends?

  81. Dom says:

    The Paternos are doing more harm than good when it comes to their PR. I don’t know why they can’t keep their mouths shut. Are they really ignorant enough to think they’re doing themselves any favors?

  82. Jandy says:

    Shame on me, but Rask cracks me up when he loses it and starts whacking his stick against the goal or the glass. My bad.

  83. 21sthebest says:

    I’ve tried to get up to speed on the advanced stats as best as I can and there’s a group of them that I like and use when evaluating players when it comes to acquisitions, trades, contract extensions. But I generally have no interest in using them to predict how a team will do in the future. There are too many variables, IMO.

  84. Brotherhood of the Redus says:

    I think I came up with a solution to the potential for dropping 1-run games in the coming months: Score 2, 3, or even 4 more than the opposition.

    Unless something crazy happens, I don’t think you do anything drastic leading up to the month of July.

    Anyone interested in seeing Morton get stretched out from the bullpen? I still think he is unhittable for on shot through a lineup and could add nicely to the sharktank until the real Gomez either shows up or convinces everyone he is already here….

  85. Patrick says:

    Pretty much, yes. The trap was spreading all over and everyone was starting to use it. In 2003 the cup final was between two trap teams, the Ducks and Devils.Both played a trap. 4 of 7 games had three or fewer combined goals and there were 4 shutouts.

    It was the most painful, tedious and tiresome hockey I have ever seen.

    Ive seen 7 year old peweee games that were more free flowing and creative.

    If everyone on the ice had been wearing ROLLER skates, it would have made no difference.

    It was like watching 10 Canadians all fishing in the same ice hole.

    It positively sucked. Its all Jaque Lemaire’s fault. And the abolishment of the two line pass saved hockey from disappearing into anonymity.

  86. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Serious Bucs question since I haven’t seen many games…

    Are the short starts more a product of the SP themselves getting into trouble early, high pitch count, etc? Or is Hurdle yanking them early for tactical reasons? If so, what’s the most common reason?

    I’ve heard of the Jeanmar limit and I think that’s SABRe-diculous. Just no good reason for that IMO. Guys are paid to pitch. They’re pitching well, let ‘em throw the ball.

  87. Dom says:

    Why is he your former friend?

    I thought it was going to be the Reds but I also thought that the Nationals would be world champs and they’re .500!

  88. Jason says:

    Does anyone know why the ice at Consol is so bad? Sure, it’s worse when the temperatures are high, but the NHL has teams in California & Texas. I’ve never heard any comments about their ice.

  89. 21sthebest says:

    I do reserve the right to change my predictions at any time. By the way, our friendship wasn’t sustainable.

  90. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Dan Bylsma Strategy Outline:

    I. Get to our game.
    A. Get to our game.
    1. Get to our game.
    a. Get to our game.
    II. Get to our game.

  91. Brotherhood of the Redus says:

    You are dead on with that Nate – haven’t thought much about it, but it’s a long ways off from the days of soft-tossing junk ballers with flat fastballs….backdoor breaking balls and “sneaking” one by somebody on the hands.

  92. I thought that was a facetious prediction, anyway, right?

    I do believe they can sustain their losing ways, especially if they have to stay off PED’s.

  93. Patrick says:

    Ive been meaning to ask the resident baseball folks:

    How much of an effect does R Martin have on the pitching staff? Does the surprising performance of all of the Pirates pitchers have to do with more than just Searage? Not to take anything away from the coach, but I always remember how well pitchers did when they have a great catcher.

    I cant find the article, but i read once that many pitchers had their best years when throwing to Ivan Rodriguez.

    How much impact, if any does RM have on guys like Locke, Melancon and Liriano?

  94. Jandy says:

    wrong

  95. 21sthebest says:

    Extremely facetious. My most facetious prediction ever. But going with the not sustainable theme, I figured that if everyone in the division was currently playing at an unsustainable pace, everyone would trade positions.

    Oh give me a break. It’s Friday.

  96. Thundercrack says:

    I think Searage and Martin get a lot of praise regarding the positives of the pitching staff. And deservedly so.

    But what does that say about JMac?

    He can’t be fixed – not even by them?
    They can’t even figure him out?

  97. Jandy says:

    +1 lol

  98. Jandy says:

    Dom, you KNOW how these guys are…they’re nuts ;)

  99. You’ve earned it.

    8-)

  100. Thundercrack says:

    Paragraphs are my friend

  101. Jandy says:

    he’s a head case. Needs a good shrink and a looooonnngg vacation.

  102. Nate83 says:

    I think Martin, Searage and Burnett all have an effect.

    It seems as if Burnett has embraced the mentor role and has helped with guys like Locke and Gomez.

    Searage has his pitchers pitching confident and trusting their defense. I think he tells them to go after hitters and trust that their stuff is good enough. No more nipping at the corners.

    Martin gives the pitchers confidence to not be afraid to throw a pitch in the dirt because he more often then not will keep it in front of him. I also think he is pretty good at knowing each pitchers stregths and knowing when they are getting away from that and getting them back on track.

  103. Brotherhood of the Redus says:

    Tons – How do the Cardinals keep turning out pitching….when quite honestly, not one of those guys they currently have in the rotation would be considered unhittable…Molina.

  104. Ermine says:

    St Louis pitchers always seem to do quite well. Molina is a great catcher.

    It’s been mocked about framing pitches, but who knows.

  105. Brotherhood of the Redus says:

    Afraid to admit that something is physically not right with him? I imagine that a regular gig in the majors is a tough job to let go of, or get back for that matter. He should trust that if he is physically not right, he will earn his spot back once he is…hopefully that’s where they are with him now.

  106. Ermine says:

    As usual my slow typing makes me look foolish :/ lol

  107. Pucknutz says:

    Ya, Charra can’t be out there all the time. I believe he is correct also, Sid is a better matchup for him than Malkin.

    Vokouns rebounds. I particularly noticed the high number of rebounds he gives up in the first game he played against NY. Funny thing was though the guys were right there most of the time to clean them up.

    The Pens seem to me to play a bit different game when TV is in the net. It almost seems like he “directs traffic” back there much better than the Flower. Its sorta like he “demands” that the guys play at least some D in front of him. Just a thought.

    Tommorow cannot come quick enough for me. Need a “fix” bad!!! LOL

    GO PENS!!!

  108. Patrick says:

    well that is always amusing. Nobody lost their cool better than Hextall though.

    THAT dude was flat out BONKERS….

  109. Brotherhood of the Redus says:

    Nah – how about on the other side of things…the regression of the Giants staff? Could it in any way be attributed to a great young offensive backstop that may lack what the Molina’s and Pudges of the game bring in terms of defense and came calling?

  110. Jandy says:

    Oh Lord, I just love this blog ;X

  111. Dom says:

    Just realized that the Buccos have the second best record in MLB.

  112. Jandy says:

    Oh hell yeah lol. Hextall chasing Robbie Brown in the Patrick Division finals in 1989 was priceless! lol

  113. Kevin says:

    This would be even more fun if there was an equivalent Ray Shero/Mario Lemieux on the pirates side… but alas, no.

  114. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Didn’t read the article. Personal rendition of the Disco dynamic. :-)

  115. Jandy says:

    Me too, beer just doesn’t do it like hockey ;)

  116. Jandy says:

    Yes they are.

  117. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Excellent point.

  118. Jandy says:

    I fully figured that out, Brad lol.
    It’s actually a good take on how DB does things. Go read it.

  119. NMR says:

    Patrick, you just do not know the Paterno supporters if you think they’re looking out for the program.

    Think about Dejan’s response about Bill O’Brien in the chat. NOTHING would help the program more than if the Paterno/Freeh issue were put to bed.

    Paterno supporters didn’t put the football program before the man when he was alive, and they’re sure as heck not going to do it now that he has passed.

  120. Skip says:

    Good

    one.

  121. Pucknutz says:

    Beer & Hockey !!!! It don’t get no better !!!! :)

  122. Kevin says:

    rebounds can be killer though… especially against the bruins who seem to feast off those dirty areas around the net.

  123. Jason81 says:

    Rask went to the Tim Thomas School of Goalie Tantrums.

  124. Jason81 says:

    Whatever it was, it wasn’t sustainable.

  125. NMR says:

    Is that the best solution?

    Not calling you out, since this is a point just about everyone is harping on, but I think it is worth discussion.

    Buck Showalter recently said all he wants his starters to do is go 6 innings because he’s confident in his bullpen. The Bucs have a better pen than the O’s. The Bucs also are averaging one out shy of 6 IP from their starters.

    Middle relievers are not hard to find, and they are the ones getting overworked due to starting pitcher innings.

    I think the question should be whether or not we’d rather push the starter into another inning or come in with a fresh arm from the pen.

  126. Kevin says:

    according to DK in one chat or another, Consol does nothing to “condition” the ice. They just make it really cold in the morning. Whereas the canadian ice is watered and tended to like a well-tended garden.

  127. Jandy says:

    State of the art arena and the ice sucks. That’s just wrong.

  128. Kevin says:

    I’ve heard from multiple sources… Martin’s one of the best pitch framers in the league. I’m assuming that works both ways.. not only on the umpire but maybe the pitcher gains a little confidence when he sees his pitch look better?

  129. Bizrow says:

    Me too, but now I want more ;-)

  130. Big B says:

    Well put sir. I too believe that they will come back to earth somewhat. Grilli will blow saves. This team will lose several series and look bad doing it.

    BUT, as you have stated above,it seems this team is deeper than the teams of the past two years. I feel like there is more stability in the lineup and on the bench. The rotation seems to be a bit stronger, with options evetually returning from the DL or coming up from AAA. I’d be perfectly happy with the “middle ground” as you put it, for the second half of the season.

    And who knows, The offense may kick it into high gear and start winning games by more than 3 runs! This will allow starters to go deeper, leading to more rest for the bullpen and alleviating some concern there.

  131. Jim S. says:

    There’s precedent for everything – if we all want to look hard enough. 69 of 74 teams that have started 33-20 went on to .500 or better seasons. The Bucs are now 34-20. That bodes well. But, I was the one yesterday who pointed out that 23-11 (now 24-11 is most likely not going to continue. This is a team that pitches well and scores middle of the pack or slightly less. By definition that means low scoring games. And that means close games. So, through 1/3 of the season, they’ve played 35 of them. If they play 105 for the year, and go .500 in them the rest of the way, that makes them 59-46 in the close ones. That can be done. I continue to say, taking away good or bad fortune, this is a 85-77 team. They should break the streak, barring disastrous injuries.

  132. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  133. Bizrow says:

    + 1

  134. Kevin says:

    couple thoughts today…
    1. definitely need bats to get hot again… we made Fister look fantastic last night. Blass & Brown kept mentioning about Fister’s control. For someone who’s HIT more people than he’s WALKed, I find that kind of crazy but whatever.

    2. can hitting alone cure your “tired bullpen” beliefs? As others have said, maybe we get a comfortable 3-4 run lead, the starter can stick in there for another inning or inning and 2/3′s as it were.

    3. go penguins!

  135. Patrick(ri) says:

    If you like baseball, Grilli and Pathos, commit treason and take a look at R.Cooks column in, ahem, the alternative outlet. Grilli shows a complete understanding of why this game is so alluring.

  136. Bizrow says:

    When was the last time those words were utterred in May?? ;-)

  137. Big B says:

    Hurdle made a comment after last night’s game that he pulled Locke in the 6th after he allowed a baserunner because the heart of the order was due up and he felt like it would be best to go after them with a fresh arm.

    It has been a mix of reasons this season. Some starts it’s high pitch count, but I feel like most times it has been Hurdle going to the bullpen to try to get the best matchup.

  138. Nate83 says:

    Very fair point NMR. I actually lean towards agreeing with you on the overworked thing being blown out of proportion. I do not think Grille and Meloncon magically won’t be able to pitch after 60 or 70 innings of work. That is why I mostly talked about the middle relief and the chance of maybe 1 or 2 of them not continuing their current success.

    I read somewhere that league average was 6 1/3 innings for starters. So we are really only talking two more outs or roughly 108 innings of bullpen work. 54 innings if you go with the one out you mentioned. It would be nice if say Watson falls off and you just don’t have to use him in any high leverage situations because you saved 54 innings by getting that extra out.

    Your last 2 guys in the bullpen really should only be used in situations where you are trying to save your top 4-5 bullpen guys. Another solutions is to get 4 or 5 run leads so you don’t even use Grille, Melancon and Wilson in those games.

    I wonder if you take out Sanchez’s horrible starts what our starters have averaged. I bet it is a little closer to league average and would be sustainable. Sorry for the use of the word sustainable but it really wasn’t on purpose.

  139. Bizrow says:

    Stetson Allie went deep again last night, ho-hum……

  140. Nate83 says:

    I forgot to say. I would rather keep the starters fresh and not push them another inning just for the sake of doing it. I would only want their innings to increase because they are controlling their pitch cout better.

    I would always take healthy starters over middle relievers because I agree with you that you can bring up a number of guys to be middle relievers. Morton, Karstans, Black and McPhearson could all pitch middle relief.

  141. Nate83 says:

    Almost June. Hopefully they can win tonight. If they don’t they will have to share the second best record to start June.

  142. Big B says:

    Sure would be nice to get the Bucco bats going this weekend against the Reds. We are facing 3 tough ones in Cueto, Leake and Latos. Let’s hope that a bit more familiarity with these pitchers will lead to better at bats and more offense!

  143. JohninOshkosh says:

    I Hate the Reds.

    I hate the Reds. I hate the Big Red Machine. I hate Joe Morgan as an analyst. I hate Pete Rose. I hate smug Marty Brennaman. I hate Riverfront Stadium. I hate Rob Dibble. I hate the nasty boys. I hate their logo with that handlebar mustache. I hate Sparky Anderson. I hate Aroldis Chapman. I hate Mike Leake. I hate the shirts he lifted at Macy’s. I hate Macy’s bought out Marshall Fields. I hate Dusty Baker. I hate a grown man in his sixties constantly using the term, “dude.” I hate toothpicks. I hate how they felt entitled for years to play the first game of the season. I hate Kevin Mitchell. I hate the term, “cowboy.”

    I have always hated the Reds. Hate ‘em. Hate ‘em. Hate ‘em.

    Now let’s get a sweep.

  144. 21sthebest says:

    “I actually lean towards agreeing with you on the overworked thing being blown out of proportion.”

    Amen.

  145. Damon says:

    If your’re going to build a north-south speed based team, you’d think they’d make sure the ice is as best as it could possibly be. I have a feeling that might change next year though as visibly bad as it has looked. I can’t remember a time where so many players from both teams biting it just skating along.

  146. 21sthebest says:

    And where exactly does morning links like to vacation?

  147. Arriba Wilver says:

    You mean you don’t miss Zach Duke, Jimmy Anderson, Kip Wells . . . ?

    Me neither. :-)

  148. 21sthebest says:

    You like Brandon Phillips?

  149. JohninOshkosh says:

    Hate him.

  150. Damon says:

    Wow….quite the catharsis I must say.

  151. Jandy says:

    ahhhh that HAS TO feel better, Oshkosh!

  152. Arriba Wilver says:

    I wondered the same thing about the Sanchez starts. Plus, you have 75 pitch Jeanmar (who’s done well with those 75). It seems like lately we’ve had more 7 inning starts, but I didn’t research it.

    Good stuff today, all around.

  153. Jandy says:

    Whatever it is, it’s working!

  154. Jandy says:

    uH-OH NOW you did it!

  155. Patrick(ri) says:

    No soft spot for Bronson Arroyo?

  156. Matt hoffman says:

    How do you feel about Joey votto and Jay Bruce?

  157. Bizrow says:

    Don’t be so shy about hiding how you really feel John ;-)

    +1

  158. Bizrow says:

    I sure hope they can figure out a way to keep AJ another season or two..

  159. Naterosboro says:

    The Flyers got to (didn’t win) the Cup finals in 2010 with a Brian Boucher/Michael Leighton platoon (altho it was due to injury).

    You don’t need a goalie to stop everything to win a cup…

    It does help immensely tho.

  160. Sisyphus says:

    The 2008 team went 44-50 in the first half, with a 5.24 ERA. They weren’t riding high, they were striving to achieve mediocrity, and they were failing.

  161. Tom P. says:

    Good stat comparisons. Another way to look at it is, in order to win 90 games, a team has to go 10-8 during each 18 game portion of a season. (There are 9). The Pirates did that exactly for the first two segments this year because the were 10-8 and 20-16. They just went 14-4 in the third portion, putting them at 34-20. Revering back to 10-8 over the final six segments would give them 60 more wins and a total of 94 wins for the year.

    Consistency and avoiding losing streaks matters, but a team does not need to come close to perfection to be successful. 14-4 over 18 games isn’t sustainable, but 10-8 over 18 games might be.

    Understanding that even good teams lose 8 times every 18 games might help some folks sleep better after a tough loss, too.

  162. JohninOshkosh says:

    Hate him.

  163. JohninOshkosh says:

    Hate them.

  164. Sisyphus says:

    You missed the most important contrast, Dejan. No salary cap/salary cap.

  165. Arriba Wilver says:

    It worked for the Mudd family.

  166. Dom says:

    Why do you hate them?

  167. Sisyphus says:

    He wasn’t denied due process, he died. He isn’t being accused of any crime, he’s being called out for his behavior, which was reprehensible.

    Great coach, did a lot of fine things in his life, and totally screwed the pooch on the Sandusky thing.

    DK: Outstanding.

  168. Damon says:

    How about Sean Casey?

  169. JohninOshkosh says:

    Just having fun on a Friday, Dom, and feeling good about the Buccos.

    Of course, I don’t literally hate much of anything..except THE REDS! :)

  170. JohninOshkosh says:

    Aw, now there you got me. Love the guy.

  171. Dom says:

    Who is that in your avatar? Is it that CBS news anchor?

  172. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  173. JohninOshkosh says:

    It’s actress Diane Lane.

    I have to change it, though. It gives Groat the vapors.

  174. 21sthebest says:

    Marge Schott and Schotzie?

  175. Arriba Wilver says:

    Me too, but don’t change it to that CBS news anchor.
    :-)

  176. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    That was beautiful! (smiling teary-eyed yellow face man) Loved it!

  177. Nate83 says:

    It confuses me. Not that it would change how I reply to you (because Jandy being mother Teresa doesn’t change my replies to her) but I keep thinking you are a women.

  178. NMR says:

    Appreciate the input, guys.

  179. JohninOshkosh says:

    Not a fan of Nazi sympathizers. So Hate her. Hate her dog.

  180. Jim S. says:

    My thoughts almost exactly.

    Seems to me those are also the thoughts of most Bucs fans on this site. Loving the fact they are doing so well, but admitting they most likely won’t keep it up at this level. But, also not ashamed to say they are a better than average team who should finish above .500.

  181. Dom says:

    I thought it was Erica Hill

  182. Chris says:

    Thanks.

    I think I gave it awhile ago. I guess I look new cuz I only bothered getting an avatar this morning.

  183. Nate83 says:

    Also don’t forget Wandy got hurt in the first or second inning one game. The pitchers have been doing pretty good of late. It seems as if most make it through the 6th and a few have made it through the 7th.

  184. Patrick(ri) says:

    How about spinach?

  185. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, I’m pretty sure the Cards and Reds will not win 100+ games while the Pirates get caught in the Central Division wheel spokes and get spit out to the tune of 79-83 again.

  186. Bizrow says:

    Lotsa stuff gives Mr Groat the vapors ;-)

  187. Jim S. says:

    Yep. That was not your garden variety 1-0 walk-off. No one out, bases loaded blast that would have been a bases clearing 2b or 3b if it were earlier than the 9th. Could have been a huge inning.

  188. NMR says:

    I’ll echo Big B on a good chunk of it being Hurdle for tactical reasons.

    The first 2-3 weeks were a mess with the James McDonald looking like James McDonald, the Sanchez experiment and Jeff Locke settling in. But since then the starters almost always have been able to do at least 6 innings.

  189. Jim S. says:

    Great point. At least he benefited from less clutching & grabbing than we see now for much of his career.

  190. NMR says:

    Martin also seems to be very underrated at pitch sequencing.

    Guys like Locke and Gomez are thriving by throwing generally the same pitches, just with different frequency and in different counts.

    This cannot be understated for these two since they don’t have the pure “stuff” to thrive against big league hitters.

    Hitting is all about timing, pitching is about disrupting it.

  191. JohninOshkosh says:

    Actually love spinach. Especially in an omelet. I also love Cincinnati’s chili, loved the film Traffic (filmed in Cincinnati), and love Loni Anderson.

  192. Jim S. says:

    The Pirates story is gathering momentum quickly now. I think the hesitancy for awhile was misplaced. They kept saying “We’ve seen this hot start from them the last 2 years.” Well, that was incorrect, as the Bucs did not get hot either year until summer. I think they are getting their due now, and it may slide into full on “Buc love” all summer if we keep this crazy pace up.

  193. Damon says:

    +1 on the Cincy Chili and Loni Anderson…

  194. Patrick says:

    Nobody is denying the Freeh report had inconsistencies. Again….forget the Freeh report. threow it away. Who cares.

    The man admitted under oath he was made aware of something highly in appropriate, almost certainly illegal, and he barely did anything.

    “The Freeh report also doesn’t matter. Certainly not anywhere near Paterno telling the grand jury that he was informed that something of a ‘sexual nature’ had occurred between an old man and a young child.”

  195. pattonbb says:

    I agree with everything, especially toothpicks, Chapman, and Dibble.

    But you forgot Lou Piniella, Chris Sabo and those stupid glasses, Joey Votto, and Skyline Chili.

  196. Jim S. says:

    Can you imagine if the Pirates had a poor playing surface?

  197. Jim S. says:

    I love Molina, Brotherhood, and don’t doubt he is the best in the biz. But, these guys they send to the mound not only have great arms but they have been taught well. The Cardinals organization is the best in MLB right now at scouting & developing talent.

  198. Jim S. says:

    Lincecum’s delivery … not sustainable.

  199. Patrick says:

    Well yea. You are right about that. I really cant wrap my head around the Paterno zealots.

    I mean I knew he had a loyal and dedicated following. But its kinda weird how loyal they really are. I’m sure its been used before but its very Cult-ish

  200. pattonbb says:

    neither are his negative drug tests.

  201. Nate83 says:

    What no Johnny Fever or Les Nessman. The Turkeys being thrown out of a plain is still one of best things I have ever seen on TV.

  202. Jim S. says:

    I have also read, regarding Molina, that whatever he calls they throw. None of the young guys dares to question his pitch selection or location. I think that has at least as much to do with it as pitch framing, although both are key. Martin seems to be really good behind the plate, all the way around. Did you see the other night when AJ shook him off vs. Cabrera and threw a fastball when Martin wanted a curve? Cabrera deposited it in the RF seats. The look on Martin’s face on the close-up view was priceless. He is every bit the competitor AJ is. I love both of those guys, and I’ll bet they have some great discussions about pitches.

  203. Jim S. says:

    I think it may be a combo of a possible injury looming, which he may not even fully realize yet, as well as having completely lost his confidence. Sometimes the control goes before the pitcher even feels discomfort. But, JMac clearly is a head case right now, as Jandy said.

  204. Bizrow says:

    I don’t know if indoor football helps the ice any as well.

  205. JohninOshkosh says:

    “As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly”

  206. Jim S. says:

    Feels like 1-0, 1-0, 1-0 for the weekend. I just hope we are on the right side again. Haha!

  207. Arriba Wilver says:

    “Oh, the humanity.”

  208. Jim S. says:

    Thom Brennaman?

  209. Jim S. says:

    Was it really the Nazi stuff, Osh, or did you already hate her?

  210. Jim S. says:

    Johnny Bench and Cesar Geronimo — feeling left out.

  211. Bizrow says:

    You never know where the conversation is going to go here ;-)

    + 1

  212. Jim S. says:

    You both type faster than I do. I swear I was a nanosecond behind you on both of those lines. Great job, guys!!

  213. JRay3 says:

    Enjoy your break.

  214. JRay3 says:

    good stuff

  215. NMR says:

    I don’t blame you for being unable to understand. That in itself is part of the explanation.

    If you weren’t a part of the family atmosphere he fostered at the university and throughout the region, you’ll never be able to understand.

    Paterno wasn’t just a football coach to these people. He truly was family. Thats how he treated strangers on the street, and thats how a certain group of people continue to treat him in death.

    Trust me, I fully understand how that might sound to somebody on the “outside”, but it is the closest thing to a true explanation as anyone will get.

  216. Jason says:

    Enough beating around the bush… Tell us how you really feel.

  217. NMR says:

    Nolan Ryan Vogelsong…not sustainable

  218. Damon says:

    I wonder how the other venues deal with it – I haven’t seen other ice surfaces this bad (just viewing on TV anyway). The Pens should invest some time into seeing what they could be doing differently. I’d hate to see a player turn an ankle and lose time because of bad ice.

  219. Dom says:

    I’m not nearly as content with the Steelers OL as others.

    The middle three are solid and I won’t dispute that but the tackle positions really seem to be missing depth. Gilbert never seems to be able to finish every game and Adams didn’t have a consistent rookie season. A look at the Steelers depth chart shows that Beachum is the backup for just about all OL position but if he is needed to start due to injury then the next individual is Guy Whimper and I don’t even know who that is. If we would have brought Starks back then I would be 100% sold but for the time being I’m a little concerned about the tackles.

    DK: If you bring Max back, it’s as a backup. And you’re assuming Max would be OK with that role. Pretty clear now he wouldn’t have been.

  220. NMR says:

    Fister does have excellent control.

    Did you notice last night how well he set up hitters with fastballs off the plate inside? That wasn’t a fluke. When your target is 6″ off the inside corner you don’t have much room for error.

  221. Dom says:

    The problem I had with that episode is that turkeys can fly:

    http://www.livescience.com/7630-5-surprising-turkey-facts.html

  222. Jandy says:

    That would ‘splain it :)

  223. Jandy says:

    Good point, Jim S.

  224. 21sthebest says:

    How could anyone hate a dog!

  225. Sisyphus says:

    That proves that your hate is unsustainable.

  226. Jandy says:

    Amen!

  227. Sisyphus says:

    I preferred Jan Smithers.

  228. Jandy says:

    HELL YEAH!

  229. Sisyphus says:

    Wild turkeys can fly. Farm bred turkeys can’t, they’re too heavy.

  230. Jandy says:

    ZING!

  231. Jandy says:

    haha Nate…good one!

  232. Jandy says:

    BIZ, I was gonna say that! LOL

  233. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m not sure the hesitancy was “misplaced.” The last 2 years gave plenty of reason for the hesitancy, regardless of the timing. Still does, to an extent. But, yeah, this isn’t the same team as the last 2 years, and like some of us have said, it’s not being managed the same, either. Cautious optimism?

  234. Jandy says:

    Isnt’ that the truth? lol
    Gotta love the Lunatic Asylum L:)

  235. Ermine says:

    Exactly

  236. Jandy says:

    Pens are practicing….can’t wait for the game tomorrow!
    #puckdrop

  237. Dom says:

    I love dogs. Especially pugs.

  238. Arriba Wilver says:

    Yeah, I know, I’ve seen them fly in front of my car. Not sure they can from 10,000 feet, though? :-)

  239. Are they still in it?

    :P

  240. Arriba Wilver says:

    Me too, Sisyphus.

  241. Jandy says:

    Hey now, Spunkster, quit jerkin’ muh chain! :P

  242. MrB says:

    That’s right, he died…and way too many people wasted no time to line up and piss on his grave, including many so-called columnists.

    DK: The discussions related to Paterno’s actions have nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not he’s alive. That’s a cheap way to avoid the actual arguments.

  243. Jandy says:

    Aha! A drive by, by the infamous Mr. B! :)

  244. I figured that would earn a ::thwap::

    ;)

  245. Jandy says:

    I’m in a good mood today, it’s Friday :D

  246. buggee says:

    Conversation recorded in Clint Hurdle’s office, Wednesday, May29, 2:27 PM:
    Participants: Clint Hurdle (CH), Brandon Inge (BI), Mike Zagursky (MZ)

    BI: “Yo Bossman, whaddup?”
    CH: “Have a seat Ingy. Got some news for ya.”
    BI (sitting across from CH): “C’mon B-Man, you trippin’ me out. What’s the deal-eee-o?”
    CH: “Ingy, I’m not too sure about what you just said but…”
    BI: “Seem like you disrespectin’ me B-Man? Whaddup wit dat?”
    CH (scratches head, shifts weight to one side of chair, and a loud tearing sound is heard): “Now THAT’s disprespectin’ you!”
    BI: “Dayum!”
    CH: “Now that I got your attention, you’re starting at third tomorrow. Petey’s getting some teeth yanked.”
    BI: “No s*@t?”
    CH: “No Ingy, I wouldn’t s*@t you. So listen, I want to talk about your swing plane and barreling the ball…”
    BI: “No offense B-Man, but aintcha gettin’ personal?”
    CH (turns and switches on a fan behind him, turns back to BI): “What?”
    BI: “Dude, we can’t be talkin’ ’bout my sex life! Dat aint non-a-your bidness!”
    CH: “I didn’t…” (leans forward, face reddens, loud ripping sound is heard)
    BI: “Damn dude! you got some kinda medical problem or what? And that damned fan is blowin’ right in my face man!”
    CH: “Look man, I wasn’t talking about your sex life, I was talking about your hitting-”
    BI: “Oh yeah boo, I DID HIT dat–”
    CH: “Enough with all the sex already, please!”
    (office door opens with audible creak)
    CH: “Oh hey Parrot! C’mon in!”
    BI: “How YOU doin’ sweetcakes?”
    (silent pause for several moments)
    CH: “Ingy, did you… I mean seriously? The Parrot?”
    BI: “Thanks for the start B-Man, we’ll check ya later gator!”
    (door closes, followed by a thump against the desk)
    CH: “Oh no. Oh hell no. Please I pray the media never gets wind of this, especially that Ko-Vaul-Ko-Vitch guy. Total feeding frenzy, then that Trib writer will saunter in here with a cuppa Starbucks–I hate that crap– and ask all kinds of chummy questions.”
    (another pause)
    CH: “Hmmmm, can’t remember if that guy wrote anything about that sausage incident in Milwaulkee. Neal would know the answer to that…”

  247. Ermine says:

    I couldn’t have said it better. I HATE THE REDS !!!!

  248. Sisyphus says:

    Nothing more than what he earned from the Sandusky case.

  249. Dom says:

    I don’t know what you’re talking about Biz. When I went on this blog in the morning, I knew we would eventually be discussing TV shows from 35 years ago and debating whether or not turkeys can fly.

  250. Jandy says:

    You’ve got it, Dom :)

  251. Exceptional. But where is Zagurski in all this? Like Chumley on Pawn Stars?

  252. Bizrow says:

    + 1 Dom

    You are a smarter fellow than I ;-)

  253. Jack Laurence says:

    DK suggests in his most recent Chat that it’s fair to discuss Jason Grilli’s possible use of steroids based on the dramatic improvement of his pitching stats. By that logic, it’s OK to accuse any ballplayer of using juice if he suddenly improves his game. The wackos out there would have a field day. Grilli’s game has improved, I suspect, because he has been learning at the knee of one of the best pitching coaches in baseball. He has learned what pitch to throw, when and where to throw it, and to whom. Steroids make the body grow stronger, but Grilli is not an overpowering pitcher. His fastball needs a tailwind to hit 94mph. Though he has saved 22 out of 22, he gets into jams from time to time like everyone else. His strikeout pitch, like Joel Hanrahan’s a year ago, is a low, two-strike slider that breaks down and away. Suggesting on that basis that he’s cheating is a dog that won’t hunt.

    DK: (Groan) Here’s what I actually wrote …

    http://triblive.com/sports/-topstories/4110032-74/dejan-kovacevic-comment#axzz2USIgbMhX

    Why doesn’t it ever occur to some that when they say I wrote something that I didn’t there’s always a hard copy to back it up?

  254. Jandy says:

    Oh. My. God.
    buggee, my friend, you missed your calling.

    I’m DYING here.

    ::giggle::

  255. Jandy says:

    Who cares??? LMAO!

  256. True. Thought maybe I missed something or needed to read between the lines.

    I’m not too sharp on doing that.

  257. likeabugonarug says:

    I was about to write something else, but then realized: Any earlier in the game, would it have been more than a sac fly? The OF was in, and since it hit off the wall that means it was catchable. And not like it was out at the notch. Would normal depth OFers have made a difference? And with no outs, the runners would’ve held to make sure it wasn’t caught so quite probably only 2 runs would’ve scored.

    One of those things we’ll just never know for sure.

    Kevin

  258. Bizrow says:

    Where’s Dom??

    Hey Dom, did you expect to read THAT here today ;-)

  259. Jandy says:

    I don’t think ANYONA saw THAT coming LMAO!

  260. Dom says:

    I’ll admit that one caught me a tad off guard.

  261. JohninOshkosh says:

    “The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”

  262. Jim S. says:

    I don’t think the butchers the Tigers employ in their outfield make that catch. It was not total notch, as you say, but definitely a bomb to the gap. Those don’t get caught be people not named Marte. I think it would have cleared the bases. Fun to speculate, though – especially when it doesn’t matter.

  263. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m a sucker for flatulence jokes. It took me a long time to get through that. And Inge as a rapper or something? He does have the weird “do” and the arm tats. but he still looks like an accountant. (no offense). Very funny. :-)

  264. Drew71 says:

    I’m not your former friend.

  265. Jim S. says:

    You are right, Arriba. I’m probably splitting hairs.

  266. Dom says:

    Let me clarify. I’m ONLY surprised by the fact that Inge doesn’t have better diction. That and Hurdle calls him Ingy.

  267. Jim S. says:

    For sure, and he is out a long time with an injury now too.

  268. Nate83 says:

    So is it a surprise ending? Is Mike Zagurski in the parrot outfit?

  269. Jim S. says:

    Yep. Good observation.

  270. Sarcastic Sword says:

    Doesnt the Paterno family that you let sleeping dogs lie?

    Dont file a lawsuit. Dont appear on Bob Costas Show.

    We will forget about it if you let us.

  271. Sisyphus says:

    Takes a lot of imagination

    :-)

  272. Arriba Wilver says:

    {loud ripping sound heard}

  273. Jandy says:

    precisely, but these dorktards will cut off their noses to spite their faces.

  274. Jim S. says:

    I’m cautiously optimistic about that line, but Gilbert needs to stop injuring the rest of them. He always seems to be falling on their ankles.

  275. Jim S. says:

    Is it coming up that fast? I could use another week of waiting. These things move so quickly. They really need to start catering to the big networks rather than the fans.

  276. Jandy says:

    LOL!!!!!

  277. Bizrow says:

    + 1, as I am not downwind….

  278. Jandy says:

    You gotta ask buggee that one…

  279. Dom says:

    One a related topic, Firehouse Subs has the BEST turkey sub I have ever had. If you all get a chance, you should check it out.

  280. Jandy says:

    rofl

  281. Jandy says:

    :thwap:

  282. Jim S. says:

    The sad part for the Paterno family is that all of this stuff just plays into the notion non-PSU fans had all these years that JoePa really thought he was better than everyone else. Just sad.

  283. Bizrow says:

    All they are really doing although they don’t realize it, is just causing themselves more pain. IMHO, anyways.

    Its over, let it go, nothing of any substance or value can be obtained.

  284. Damon says:

    The next time I see Clint Hurdle’s face on TV, no way I can’t laugh….

  285. Jim S. says:

    A thought for those who think the Bucs can do better than Brandon Inge off their bench for pinch hitting and backing up Pedro, etc. (I am one of those people, btw).

    Seems to me if the skipper of the team likes you enough that he goes to an out-of-town NHL playoff game with you, he’s probably not going to ask the GM to get rid of you any time soon.

    I don’t like Inge at this point in his career, and don’t think he will help us much. But, I will gladly admit I am wrong if he suddenly starts contributing on a regular basis.

  286. Jim S. says:

    My first :thwap. I’m honored. Not washing this blog any time soon!

  287. Jandy says:

    dorktards don’t think ;)

  288. Jandy says:

    +1

  289. Jandy says:

    that’s just nuts.

  290. I have a Zach Duck bobblehead in my kitchen by the coffeemaker. He stares at me every morning!

  291. Jandy says:

    We’ve got plenty of THAT here ;)

  292. Kevin says:

    No, I missed that inning. I’m in hockey mode, baseballs at a way slower pace so I usually walk around the house doing things, sit down catch an inning, then walk off again when it commercializes again. I hate commercials. Absolutely love DVR. The best situation is recording the baseball game on DVR (if I remember), going out mowing the lawn, and coming back in the 5th inning to watch the whole game sans commercials.

  293. Nate83 says:

    I’m not a huge Inge fan but he does contribute on defense. We have had a lot worse bench players. I’m not opposed to him being on the team instead of McDonald. I would not want him on the team instead of Mercer but currently there is room for both.

    There is also the fact that injuries happen and we can’t send him down because he could opt out. If you lose him and then have 1 or 2 players get injured your in a lot of trouble. He seems a much safer bet to fill in adequately then some of the Pirates other options especially at third. As long as he only gets spot starts I’m OK with it.

  294. Jandy says:

    Groat in the house :)

  295. Bizrow says:

    He probably did it to ease the pain of the past 20 seasons…

  296. cmat0829 says:

    All relievers warm up, and have done so every year since 1887 I’m pretty sure… so I guess I’m confused why that is suddenly some sort of revelation. Has Grilli and Melancon got up and warmed up a lot this year and NOT gotten into the game? I can’t recall more than 1 or 2…and doubt it is any more or less than other teams and other relievers in years past. I guess my point is that innings pitch/games played is a statistic and it is an issue when compared to other rates in years past… and the ‘warm up pitches’ is likely constant year to year, so therefore not a factor.

  297. Asked and not answered.

  298. Kevin says:

    It’s a free country. You can cut your nose off and spite your face all you want. People do it everyday. My coworker had his nose about cut off… but that was because of skin cancer which is sadly alot less funny.

  299. Bizrow says:

    Not sports related but some good news about our Burgh

    http://money.msn.com/now/post.aspx?post=43ee3c73-9f97-4746-bc13-2158826d8a7e

  300. NMR says:

    Sorry, but counting on Brandon Inge to take on an increased role due to injuries happening is what would put the team in a lot of trouble.

    Still haven’t seen any reason to think he’s a better player at this stage of his career than Josh Harrison or Ivan de Jesus and he can’t hold John McDonalds jock defensively.

    He’s on the team because he’s a veteran, and thats it.

  301. Jandy says:

    he’s busy chasing shuttlecocks!

  302. Kevin says:

    He has some decent hops. Got up there on that play to the plate and with that throw past the shoulder… was impressive. Kinda surprised nobody mentioned the “range” issue today with Mercer. Had 2 passed balls and of course the one Fielder hit to shallow left center that he just couldn’t catch up to. Not that I expect him to be superman or anything.

  303. Jandy says:

    Sure…and you can walk in front of a big mack truck going downhill, but don’t complain when it hits you!

  304. NMR says:

    The author clearly has never been to Southpointe. The big players have already set up shop in the ‘burbs.

    Gas boom has done little for the actual City of Pittsburgh.

  305. Jandy says:

    Good stuff, Biz.

  306. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’ve been as big a critic as anyone. But, as an outsider, I think a lot of it has to do with black/white thinking. Paterno did a lot, from what I understand a very lot, of good things. He dropped the ball here, plain and simple. That doesn’t wipe out, or shouldn’t wipe out, the good things he did also. But in many people’s mind, on both sides, it does. It’s sad, but that’s the world we’re living in. I suspect down the road there will be a more rational parsing, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of the truth.

  307. Kevin says:

    I said this above but saying again… everybody clamors for Mercer but his defense ability was put on display last night. Isn’t the knock on him that he has a small range – side-to-side or whatever? Noticed atleast 2 passed balls and of course the Prince Fielder bloop single over his head.

  308. Bizrow says:

    Whats good for the area is good for the city. If nothing more than more jobs in the area

    Just sayin…

  309. Jandy says:

    All true, AW. But in keeping this mess in the spotlight, these same people are keeping the sordid memories alive, and not the good ones from all the good JoePa truly did do. Time to let it die, heal, and hopefully, most people will then remember mostly the good stuff.

  310. Jandy says:

    *I* don’t clamor for Mercer.

  311. tpbco says:

    Couid that be possibly due to the idiots on the City Council and the inane anti industry rhetoric and rules they’ve passed?

  312. JRay3 says:

    I like Mercer for the slight upgrade he brings with his bat, as for his defense he makes the routine plays, does not make any spectacular plays and I believe Barmes gives team a little edge defensively in that regard.

    I DO clamor for an overall upgrade at that position.

  313. cmat0829 says:

    A truly amazing occurrence at PNC last night… yet another 1-0 extra innings W, that makes FOUR 1-0 victories for the Bucs in the last 11 days. Good to see the Pirates exhibit the toughness (especially the unbelievable bullpen) needed to beat a very, very good team 3 out of 4. THAT should the headline and focus of any article or blog post, in my humble opinion. Instead we get yet another post of metrics and unsustainability.

    Some counterpoints:

    1) SHORT STARTS. Yes, the Bucs are averaging less than 6innings/per start and that isn’t good. Not sure it is right though not to discount the starts that are outliers….the ones that JSanchez subjected us to (including the one batter start or whatever it was in STL), Jeanmar’s emergency starts (I’d say on the last 2 Gomez starts should be considered in the law of averages since he conceivably was stretched out and COULD HAVE pitched more… for the month of May, it has been the “FORMULA” more often than not for the Bucs pitcher to go a full 6 and in many cases 7 innings.

    2) OVERUSE of bullpen. Yes, Melancon has 29 appearances and that is too much. So, next step…QUANTIFY THE PROBLEM. Is it 10 appearances too much? 5? A quick glance at the MLB.com pitching stats says that 28 (THAT IS TWENTY-EIGHT) relief pitchers have 26 appearances or more. FACT: The Bucs are off to an unreal start and have had more opportunities for setup guy to pitch than most teams. FACT: law of averages says they will fall back to earth, maybe to going 10-8 over 18 game stretches. It could be that natually Melancon will fall back in line with relievers on most of the other teams. I guess my point is.. it is pretty simple for Clint to solve this issue… it would only take giving another reliever 1 try per 10 days that otherwise would go to Melancon. It is probably more fun to keep trotting out the same commentary day after day, even though the Pirates are taking steps to solve the issue. But let’s not jump off the bridges just yet.

    Now, that being said, the PIrates offense statistically is not off to an ‘unsustainable start’. Their batting average with RISPs is very poor.. they figure to get better…wasn’t it June last year when the offense took off and carried the pitching when it came back to earth a bit?

    I guess I’m just getting tired of it… yes, the Bucs are playing above their heads. yes, the Bucs as currently constituted aren’t good enough to get to the playoffs. but also, YES, this team is in better position then they have been in 20 years…they are better then they were in 2011 and 2012…and that is progress. And it still falls on Neal to make the moves he needs to make to finish …yes, to use Clint’s word, FINISH, the job and get to the end of the season. I’ve seen countless evidence, mostly by Clint, that they aren’t satisfied and will be aggressively making moves to make this sustainable… that is enough for me, at the moment, to sit back and enjoy the drama, the outcomes, and not rush to update the unsustainable statistics so I can stare at them and sneer.

  314. Jandy says:

    Yes, an upgrade would be nice. Until we get one, Barmes has the edge, but that’s just my Humble Opinion

  315. Damon says:

    Question – what happens when John McDonald is available to come off the DL?

  316. cmat0829 says:

    Sorry but agree to disagree. havent seen de Jesus, but you seem awfully confident that he is better than Inge. Wow. And it is hardly subjective to say that Harrison’s defense is better than Inge. And athletically, John McDonald doesn’t hold Inge’s jock, no doubt about it.

    All I’ve seen from Inge is that his defense is very good..and his bat is poor. But there is room for a versatile defensive player and by all accounts a very good clubhouse presence.

  317. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    That was a “very” impressive series for the Pirates in taking three out of four from one of the AL’s best teams.
    One of my only concerns would be the well over 60 K’s that they accumulated in four games.
    They overcame it with excellent pitching, but I think most everyone knows that you will rarely get away with that.

  318. NMR says:

    No. No its not. Nobody would be drilling in Pittsburgh even if it wasn’t banned.

  319. Nate83 says:

    Inge played that exact role last year for a playoff team.

    You would rather have Harrison playing 3rd then Inge during a playoff race? That’s fine if you do.We just differ in opinion. Inge just did it last year for Oakland and has more power then Harrison. Not to mention his defense is much better then Harrisons. Now for second I would like De Jesus if Walker got hurt but I don’t think he’s on the 40 man right now. McDonalds should not be part of any conversation. We already have a light hitting SS that plays tremendous defense.

    It’s simple a case of who cares who are 25th man is. It means hardly nothing unless you have an injury. If the injury is at third who on this team or in the minors could step in.

  320. CeehowUR says:

    Consider this scenario. Paterno, in his 80′s, calls McQuery over to him during practice and mentions that he doesn’t remember exactly what he told him 10 years ago, could he refresh his memory so he relays the correct details. McQuery, who is now known to have changed details of the story at every juncture and has also been interviewed by the AG, mentions that the incident was sexual in nature this time. Paterno, who wasn’t fond of Sandusky relates this to the Grand Jury in hopes that it will corroborate McQuery’s story and put an end to this Sandusky issue.

    I think the bigger issue is why has Paterno been made the scapegoat for relaying what he was told to the administration, which included the person in charge fo the University Police. There’s plenty of others that had the opportunity to put an end to all of it but elected not to because either they didn’t have enough evidence or they were afarid of how it would effect their organization, department, or career. If those parties received the same media atentino that Paterno has received, there would be a lot less talk focused on Paterno. Ultimately I think everyone wants to see the truth come out from all of this and those responsible punished. Many alumni are looking forward to major apologies from the media if the proper parties are punished.

    DK: “Sexual nature.” Paterno’s words. Debate over.

  321. Jim says:

    Dejan, you are just like the masses–
    1.–Paterno’s grand jury testimony also included the words (im paraphrazing) “I don’t know what you would call it” when referring to what he was told happened in the shower
    2.–He didn’t witness anything and told his boss–Sandusky was no longer an employee of JP
    3.–McQueary met with schultz and curley after he talked to JP–what paterno was told becomes irrelevant–they talked to the witness
    3.–Why didn’t Mike’s father and Dr Dranov have mike call the police? — Dranov asked mike if he saw anything sexual and mike said no
    4.–when talking of JP saying he wished he did more, please include the full statement where he said “with the benefit of hindsight”
    5.–Why don’t you wait until we definitively know what the emails to curley etc in regards to “coach” really mean before the final judgement is made–that means after their trials when they can speak
    6–the ’98 incident was fully investigated–no charges–even if JP knew of the investigations (which is not proven) then why would 2001 change anything?.. a man with a respected charity with 6 adopted kids what wrongly accused– Sandusky tragically fooled everybody—-
    7. All of those agencies (CYS, DPW, 2nd mile) all trained–didn’t recognize the monster but the 70 year football coach should have?

    DK: Oh, please, please let me be “like the masses” on this particular issue, rather than being where you and your mercifully shrinking ilk are. Seems like a healthy place to be.

    Two words missing from your dissertation: “Sexual nature.”

    That’s what Paterno told the grand jury he was informed of seeing. Everything else is noise, and most of it is willful noise, I’m guessing, to keep people from focusing on the smoking gun.

  322. NMR says:

    “And it is hardly subjective to say that Harrison’s defense is better than Inge.”

    You’d be correct, if I ever said that Harrison’s defense is better than Inge. I didn’t, of course. I said he’s a better baseball player.

    And yes, I am awfully confident that Ivan de Jesus could top Brandon Inge’s sub-.500 – my God, Brandon Inge’s OPS is below .500? Yes, very confident.

    Finally, Brandon Inge is not versatile defensively. He’s a 3rd baseman.

    Saying Brandon Inge is versatile because he has also gotten starts at 2B and RF is like saying Garrett Jones is versatile because he can play RF and 1B.

    If you want to spend one of the 25 roster spots on a defensive replacement at 3B, Brandon Inge is your man.

  323. cmat0829 says:

    OK, who else is concerned about Starling Marte at the plate? He got off to an incredible start (dare I say unsustainable?), but lately he has been an anchor on the offense.. we are back to the leadoff hitter not getting on base, putting pressure on the pitchers, etc. It’s almost as if Alex Presley were back in the lineup.

    For the offense to get going, we need a leadoff hitter to get on base…. Walker is heating up, Cutch and GJones are a touch ‘below the mean’, Martin has been slumping lately, and Pedro is Pedro. I think Marte holds the key to revving up the offense in June and July.

    If he doesn’t rebound, then does Clint look to plug Snider into the leadoff spot? And if he doesn’t, I think we need to add leadoff hitter to the deadline wish list.

  324. Ermine says:

    +1

  325. cmat0829 says:

    Yep the offense stunk but give credit to the Detroit staff. They are very very good. The Bucs offense wasn’t good either but I complain much more about letting Marco Estrada get the best of the boys than I can about not getting to Fister/Sanchez/Verlander and even Porcello. That said? The NUMBER ONE focus of Clint needs to be on getting the offense going not so much on the bullpen usage. One takes care of the other.

  326. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jandy–I am in no way trying to justify the Franco Harris’s or the Paterno family’s approach to this. Or the guys below that have no idea what due process is. Not one bit. The man admitted he was told that something of a sexual nature had occurred between Sandusky and a 10 year old boy. And it’s clear he knew of the 1998 investigation, later denied by him and his son spokesman. End of story on that aspect in my book. I believe the guy who killed 30 some people at Virginia Tech was killed and never had his “due process.” Same with the nut in New England. Not trying to equate Joe with what they did in any way shape or form, but were they denied due process because they died?

  327. NMR says:

    Was Oakland a playoff team because of Brandon Inge or in spite of him? Completely irrelevant.

    If McDonald can play SS, he can also play 3B. Neither can hit a lick.

    Like I said to cmat, if you want to use one of your 25 roster spots on a defensive replacement at 3B, Brandon Inge is your man.

  328. cmat0829 says:

    Are you asking what WILL HAPPEN? or What SHOULD HAPPEN?

    If I were GM/Manager:
    Mercer gets most of the starts; Barmes plays 1 or 2 per week.
    JMac gets sent to AAA if he clears waivers as insurance.

    What will probably happen
    Barmes and Mercer split the starts
    JMac gets recalled, JayHey back to AAA.

    They could do this because Jones and Inge can play RF

  329. Nate83 says:

    What are Harrison’s career MLB stats? I don’t know where this thought process that he is somehow a player that contributes at the major league level came from. He had one good month almost two years ago (Drew Sutton like) and ever since then people think he is capable of hitting .280 in the majors. I think you went a little over the top comparing Inge with the 3 players that you did. None of them are that much of an upgrade if any over Inge that it would be worth throwing them at a wall and seeing if they stick and none of them play 3rd.

    If Walker gets hurt for an extended period of time then I’m fine with cutting Inge and bringing up De Jesus or Chase but until then there is no reason to lose Inge as an option when the other options are allowed to keep playing in the minors because they are not upgades.

  330. Jim S. says:

    I’m with you. I’m usually at a sporting event for one of our kids, then get home and watch it at warp speed. I happened to have a free night and caught that.

    I also put the Bucs on hold right now when they conflict with the Pens. Playoffs come first.

  331. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  332. Damon says:

    Thing is, they would need to send someone else down when Tabata comes back (soon). So it would be Harrison sent down and…not what I would do, but they may send Mercer back down. They should send McDonald down, but I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t report to AAA as a 38-year old.

  333. Jim S. says:

    Are they “flying out of the store”, Dom?

  334. Dom says:

    Loud ripping sound? What does that mean?

  335. NMR says:

    60+ k’s WITHOUT much power, and they missed facing Scherzer.

  336. JRay3 says:

    Have worried a bit about Marte and how he has cooled considerably as well. Really agree on your point about possibly addressing the lead off position, which in turn could move Marte down in the order.

    Consider on of the bigger moves the Reds made with Choo. His line reads: .295 AVG, .449 OBP, .972 OPS.

    Marte currently has a .290 AVG, .351 OBP and .789 OPS.

    A lot of talk about Pirates runs scored in innings 1-6 versus 7-9, need some more people on base to put pressure on opposing starters a little bit more.

  337. Dom says:

    No they’re well stocked…Hey! Are you insulting me?

  338. cmat0829 says:

    This WILL be the test of the theory “best 25 guys make the team”….Clint can say what he wants, his actions say otherwise… Mercer has started 2 games in a row, he has pinch hit straight up for Barmes… pretty clear Clint is favoring Mercer right now between the 2. How does he then get sent down in favor of Johnny Mac?

    As to your point about Tabata, I think one reason you recall Johnny Mac only to waive him when Tabata comes back is that it avoids the bad karma of releasing a guy after a minor league rehab that is a respected MLB vet. Whether JMac sucks or not, other vets watch that stuff and it could have boomerang effect.

  339. Jim S. says:

    But, does the choice have to be between Inge and John McD, Nate? Why couldn’t it be Inge vs. an available bench player from a non-contender?

    I just read they optioned Harrison and brought up Presley. I think Presley makes more sense than Harrison + Inge + John McD. There was a glut of not so good back-up infielders, IMO.

  340. Jim says:

    He said of a sexual nature but also with the statment saying i didn’t know what to call it–so that means he was told specifics?… plus—McQueary met with curley and schultz after his meeting with JP–so that means nothing? It doesn’t matter what john told JP because he met with the people in charge AFTER… I think it is you is not objective…You are a journalist? Read ALL of the reports, not the lazy summary put out by Freeh (in which,conveniently, the meeting between McQueary–Shultz/Curley is not in the summary)

    DK: You keep running to the Freeh report. This has nothing to do with that. These were Paterno’s own words to the grand jury. No filter. No interpretation. No bad Louis Freeh. Right from Paterno.

  341. Nate83 says:

    Irrelevant in your opinion.

    Really those positions are exactly the same? Any shortstop can play third? You are talking out of both sides of your mouth. It’s not OK for Inge to play second but it is OK for McDonald to play third.

    None of the guys you mentioned are options at 3rd. I would thing if Alverez got hurt for an extended period of time most Pirate fans would prefer Inge to the 3 options you mentioned but I could be wrong.

    Or would you move Walker to 3rd and put De Jesus at 2nd, because that wouldn’t be disruptive at all.

    Sorry NMR I usually agree with most things you say but in this case I’m just not seeing it. If in two week McDonald comes back and they send Mercer down then I could see this being an issue but until then I have no issue with Inge on the team as man number 25.

  342. Damon says:

    The Steelers are going to get $5.5 million in cap relief tomorrow from cutting Colon awhile back. I know they need some of that to sign the rest of their draft picks, but I wonder if they are still considering bringing in Steve Breaston to camp. They brought him in for a visit before the draft, he was impressive at KC, and at the very least it would push the other WRs in camp. Wouldn’t cost much either you would think.

    DK: Breaston’s got medical issues, just like Ahmad Bradshaw does. I can see where both would be worth a flyer, but …

  343. True. Zagurski has to be the Parrot.

    Takes an old guy a while, but I can usually figure it out.

  344. NMR says:

    I’ve said this before, but just don’t see how Marte is much different than the player we saw last year.

    His contact skills have seemed to improve, but amazingly pitchers have thrown him MORE fastballs and MORE strikes despite him swinging at more balls out of the zone than he did as a rookie. They’re going to catch on – might have already – and its going to catch up with him. His plate discipline hasn’t improved what-so-ever.

    Not saying he’s gonna be a bum…he’ll still get his share of hits and show flashes of power…but he’s a long way from a star.

    I think Carlos Gomez of the Brewers is a good comp for him. Took Gomez a looong time to figure it out.

  345. He tore his pants.

    (One way or the other).

  346. 21sthebest says:

    I’m counting 53 K’s.

  347. Nate83 says:

    I’m not commenting because I got drilled a couple of weeks back when I suggested that when the time was right which I said would possibly be middle of June and Marte cooled off it may make sense to move him out of the lead off spot. At the time he had already showed signs of cooling off.

    Oops I guess I just commented which I said I wouldn’t.

  348. Damon says:

    Agree with testing the 25 best player theory. It will mean the front office will have to swallow their pride and cut a player they traded for….although I’m not sure the future considerations they sent to Arizona was or will be. Tabata and Mercer should be on the 25.

  349. NMR says:

    It’s easy to win an argument when you completely fabricate what the other person is saying.

    Where did this .280 business come from?

    I don’t think Josh Harrison is a very good player at all. I’ve railed on him plenty in the past. I just believe he’s better than Brandon Inge.

    DK: Welcome to my world, my friend.

  350. 21sthebest says:

    Well his OBP is 50 points higher than last year at an acceptable .351 to me for a leadoff hitter. Otherwise, I agree with you.

  351. Thundercrack says:

    Went to the game last night and from where I was sitting I could pay attention to Mercer in the field. I think he makes the routine play just fine. He also has the arm for the routine play.

    And that bloop single by Fielder was a more difficult play than some might think. It certainly wasn’t routine.

    DK: Did it rain on you or not?

  352. NMR says:

    Both sides of my mouth?

    Moving FROM a middle infield position TO a corner spot is unquestionably easier than the opposite. That isn’t even a discussion. You won’t find a single coach tell you different.

  353. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  354. Nate83 says:

    I like Presley better then Harrison so I like that move.

    I was simply referring to the current roster as it stands. I think it is very possible a better back up infielder is traded for at the trade deadline. The problem is very few good offensive infielders (especially middle infielders) are traded. That being said look what the Giants did last year with a late season SS pick up.

  355. Ghost says:

    Plusonemillion!!!

  356. Nate83 says:

    I never said you said he could hit .280 but you seem to think he is a dramatice improvement over Inge. Please tell me where that improvement is if he isn’t hitting .280. Inge has been there and done that. Plays better defense and hits for more power. He is probably a .230-.250 at this point in his career and knows how to move runners up when needed with sacrifice fly or hitting behind the runner. If Harrison is batting .265 I don’t know how he is viewed as a better player and I don’t think he can bat .265 playing every day. Unless of course you consider getting picked of second as a contribution.

  357. NMR says:

    Fueled only by an increased batting average and 10 HBP.

    He will not continually to get hit at that rate. That would be a record.

    He’s going to have to be at least a .300 hitter to keep his OBP around .350 unless he finally learns to draw a walk or two.

  358. Jandy says:

    lol

  359. Bizrow says:

    Game thread is up

  360. Nate83 says:

    DK for someone that calls people out for not saying exactly what you said you sure didn’t look at my above statement before taking NMR statement as the gospel.

    I never said NMR said he can hit .280. I didn’t put those words in his mouth. I said ever since then people think he can hit .280 in the majors.

    He said Harrison is a better player then Inge at this points in their career. I haven’t seen any one thing presented by him that convinces me that is correct. Remember he commented on my original post.

    DK: That’s a fair criticism. I actually wasn’t referring to your specific debate, just the general concept.

  361. Nate83 says:

    Good comparison of Gomez. I could definately see that.

  362. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Thought I heard one of the Pirate announcers late in the game say it was over 60.
    Maybe I heard wrong.
    Still…53 is enough to make your head swim.

  363. Thundercrack says:

    Do you guys really think the best 25 guys are on every major league roster?

    Guaranteed contracts and minor league options are a very big factor in the make up the roster.

    Give Clint a break.

  364. 21sthebest says:

    It was probably Neverett.

    53 is obviously not good but I found it to be not as noticeable when all that winning games was going on.

  365. Thundercrack says:

    No rain.

    At one point later in the evening my wife turned to me and said “I think it is starting to drizzle”. ( I had not told her what you had written to me earlier).

    You should have seen the look I shot her.
    :-)

  366. Ermine says:

    Bryce Harper’s line last year was

    .270 .34 .477 .817

    Marte is regressing, but he still has time to adjust. The pitching already has and he hasn’t totally collapsed. It’s worth keeping an eye on, but not panic yet.

  367. Thundercrack says:

    And the Pirate Parrot did shoot the girl next to me with his squirt gun.

  368. NMR says:

    DK- makes me cringe thinking back on some of the stupid stuff I’ve thrown at you. You’re a saint for even bothering to respond to me.

    Nate: do you realize you just did it again?

    I never, ever came close to even insinuating the improvement would be “dramatic”.

    The next time Brandon Inge shows us he still has that power will be the first AND he hasn’t been a “.230-.250″ hitter in three years.

    Harrison strikes out half as much as Inge. That alone should gives him the edge in the most listless, inconsequential hitting battle ever to grace this blog.

  369. cmat0829 says:

    What makes NH and CH’s job tough now.. is that we are at the stage where they need to look at where the gaps are in our lineup/pitching staff vs. the benchmark…and it is convenient for us we have the Reds/Cards to benchmark against.

    What is tougher this year, except for SS, is that there are lots of little gaps vs. big gaping gaps…and the Bucs have “good guys” in those spots.. .upgrades will be more challenging and the chemistry will be challenged if/when they occur.

  370. Ermine says:

    Choo is in his sixth year, Marte in his first full year.

    Walker is the only one I see that might be able to replace him at the top, and that’s by no means ideal.

  371. cmat0829 says:

    did u say it… UNSUSTAINABLE? idea for one of the Bucs tshirt Fridays…. simple black with gold letters, “UNSUSTAINABLE…and proud of it.”

  372. Damon says:

    Guess things are going really well when you can debate who should be the 25th guy on the roster…

  373. Nate83 says:

    OK lets agree to disagree on who a better fit for the 25th man on the Pirates bench would be.

  374. NMR says:

    Beautiful.

  375. NMR says:

    I love baseball.

  376. Sisyphus says:

    Any infielder who can play shortstop can easily handle third. Or second. They usually can’t hit well enough to carryat those positions, but they can handle the defense with no trouble.

  377. Kevin says:

    It depends how you define “best”…

  378. Kevin says:

    and best for who (or whom).

  379. Sisyphus says:

    If Nutting wasn’t so cheap we’d have an announcer who could count strikeouts properly.

  380. NMR says:

    I hate using the “get it” phrase, but I think you’re dead on, AW.

  381. Nate83 says:

    The funny thing is I hated the fact they kept Inge at the beginning of the year and now he is what we thought he was and I’m defending him. Crazy!!!!

  382. Ghost says:

    I’ll see your Yoslan Herrera and match you with a Jonathan Sanchez. The pitching staff this year has been stupendous. But a lot of it has been hard to explain. Not that I am complaining. But we just as easily could have been seeing A.J. pitch well just to lose because of no run support, Wandy continue to be just a homer, and the rest of our rotation in a complete mess. There are many observers who still think Liriano is a disaster waiting to happen.
    Meanwhile, the starting eight on the ’08 team was pretty darn good and all of them were under age 30. Jack and Freddy up the middle were terrific, LaRoche at 1st was respectable if you gave him a full season to average things out (and he was a GG caliber fielder), Bautista should have been left alone to grow into a third baseman for us, Doumit was so-so, and the outfield was — as you put it — the best in the biz. Also, we had Dirty Doug who was a superb super sub and great elder statesman to be around the kids. Most of this was blown up for “prospects” and other teams’ castoffs. I won’t dwell on what we got in return, but the ’08 team should have been left to dwell.

  383. Ghost says:

    “Left to GEL.”

  384. Kevin says:

    ha I do that too (sometimes)… state what I know to be true (facts), then make opinions based on those. Usually only do that if its an important point I want to make that I need to hash it out like that.

    Also good point questioning the sustainability of the mediocre hitting. It’s my opinion that in the past, the pirates have had some great hitting, some great pitching, or neither.. it seemed like they rarely had them at the same time.. ie, the pitching would be great but no run support.. then finally lots of run support and the starting pitching would fail.

    hopefully the case this year is.. the hitting picks up and the pitching does not fade too hard or when it does, we can actually make the right moves to counteract it a bit. But, I have no faith in that last part even happening so not sure why I even mentioned it. So, I’ll just hope the pitching continues on its breakneck pace. :)

  385. Ghost says:

    Your post is a snide and erroneous dismissal of a team that had been 68-94 the previous year, and 67-95 the two years prior to that. After the blow up, they ended up with the same kind of record in ’08. But pre-blowup the team was playing improved baseball. A core for the starting eight was in place. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Deny it all you want.

  386. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1 Yeah, this gets old. I think it comes from the 25-30 if you catch my drift.

  387. Arriba Wilver says:

    I don’t think there’s a bigger Clint fan than me. He said it, he owns it. JMHO

  388. Arriba Wilver says:

    C’mon, Dom. I see through your facade. Good impression, though. You sound like an idiot a lot of the time, but you’re no idiot. Come clean, my friend. :-)

  389. Adam Clark says:

    Dejan, I understand how confounding it seems but I’ve seen 1st hand how most people react to rape being reported to them. Most people aren’t trained to know how to handle it & so they pass it to someone they think can. There were underlying factors in this case. At the time Joe was being pushed to retire by the BOT while Sandusky was still highly considered his replacement. Sandusky was hugely respected & had many fans on the Board. I think Joe wanted to see Sandusky exposed but he knew if it came directly from him it would be seen as Joe framing Jerry to protect his job. He hated Jerry. When Curley closes the case Joe goes to McQueary 3 times over the following months & asks him if he’s ok with Curley’s decision & Mike says yes. If Joe didn’t want Sandusky exposed why wouldn’t he have just echoed Curley’s statement to the Grand Jury? I have more but I’d like to hear your response Dejan.

    DK: I don’t find it confounding at all, Adam. Paterno told a grand jury he was informed of activity of a “sexual nature” between an old man who used to be his assistant and a young child, that taking place in the football building. That’s not Freeh Report. That’s not speculation. That’s not trying the dead. That’s right from Paterno’s mouth.

    Mix into that all the noise you wish, but that was spoken. And it’s not exactly the type of phrase that casually rolls off the tongue.

    If you can live with that coach doing nothing in that situation, even as he watched Sandusky continue to be around small children at practice and in other visible venues — taking them on bowl trips, for heaven’s sake! — and you think that coach was such an idiot to not connect “sexual nature” and that, that’s your choice.

    I’m not feeling nearly that stupid.

  390. Jim S. says:

    Thanks, Nate. That is what I am advocating. I think our bench is woefully inadequate right now. I hope that is something NH is targeting come trade deadline time. I know we are not going to find a superstar off someone else’s scrapheap, but I don’t trust Harrison, John McD or Inge at this point with very many of my ABs. I was just pointing out that when I see Inge with Hurdle at a Redwings-Blackhawks game that tells me he isn’t going anywhere. Seemed pretty chummy with the Mgr for a guy that absolutely cannot hit RHP right now, and has 0 HR. And McD looked just plain old before getting injured. JHay always has an 0-2 count on him after 2 pitches, it seems to me. And no one consistently hits for a decent avg. from that count. Huntington has to upgrade our bench. I think we would all agree on that. The guy has been amazing putitng together a bullpen, but not right now he needs to upgrade the reserve position players.

  391. Jim S. says:

    And the folks in the Burbs spend $$ in the city of Pgh, right? Our city is basically safe and clean compared to many other US cities, where no one from the Burbs wants to venture.

  392. Adam Clark says:

    Now remember Joe had no idea all this extra evidence was out there against Sandusky at the time. He thought all he had to go on was a muddled testimony from Mike McQueary. Had Joe had training in dealing with this or had the Policies hand book he referenced mentioned informing police 1st or Department of Welfare then Paterno may have gone to the police instead. When uncommon things happen people tend to react uncommonly.

  393. Jim S. says:

    Interesting point, Kevin. I guess we’ll need to see over time. That is the $64k question. Does Jordy’s better bat vs. Barmes make up for Barmes’ better glove? Or, is it possible to find someone that is obviously better than both of them?

    Jordy is a big guy, and he definitely is not nimble IMO. He’s probably better suited for 3b, defensively, but probably can’t hit quite enough – plus we have a 3b.

  394. buggee says:

    didja see the third character in there? The Parrot? who wears a mask…

  395. Ghost says:

    I think you’re right, AW.

  396. Adam Clark says:

    I’m trying to tell you from experience how most people react. I’m giving you the thought process that may have lead to Joe’s decision. I’m neither defending his actions or condoning them at this time. I don’t appreciate the implication that I’m stupid for simply trying to inform you of the common response people make to these situations. If you want to reduce this conversation to throwing insults at each other than I simply have given you too much credit as journalist.

  397. Jim S. says:

    Your points are good ones. This team, for better or worse (better right now), is a good pitch, decent hit, good field team. If you ask me, that obviously sets them up as a team that will play tons of close, low scoring games. That means plenty of relief work in tough, tight situations. And when they are on a roll, as they are now, the primary 8th & 9th inning guys will be pitching a lot. I think Clint is developing more and more trust of guys like Wilson, Morris, Mazzaro, and Watson. It is time he allowed them to pitch in the 8th and, yes, I’m suggesting it, even the 9th on occasion in save situations. That might ease the workload on Melancon and Grilli a bit. And I am optimistic Clint is actually going to head somewhat in that direction. I also think there are a few more guys at Indy that can help spell some guys in the Bucs bullpen for stretches. This is a problem, but since it is how our team is set up, isn’t it a problem we sort of want? If we weren’t winning, Grilli would be the old Maytag repairman in the bullpen.

    I have been saying the hitting is likely to improve. Is there anyone for certain that is hitting above expectations besides Starling? I see some PRO-gression happening there. If we don’t go 11-24 in 1/2 run games for the 2nd 54 games of the year, I think we are set up pretty well to end the 20 yr. misery.

  398. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, 50+ but still way too many.

  399. Arriba Wilver says:

    If he was aware of the 1998 investigation, and the documentary evidence is that he was, it changes how you look at his reaction In 2001 to a report that Sandusky was involved in activity of a sexual nature with a 10 year old, wouldn’t you think?

  400. Arriba Wilver says:

    In the showers on Penn State’s campus. ( the same place the 1998 allegations referenced)

  401. NMR says:

    Your first sentence is the opposite of true. The rise of the suburb coincided with the fall of the city.

    That trend has just recently started reversing.

  402. Arriba Wilver says:

    Most people don’t want to get involved. Is that an excuse? A pass?

  403. Jim S. says:

    Ermine, that is actually a good suggestion. Aren’t Walker’s BB’s up this year? But, you can’t lead Neil off every day because he doesn’t hit lefties. Snider doesn’t play against lefties. Maybe Marte leads off vs. lefties? I dunno.

    I agree with seeing if Marte just needs to adjust to the pitchers having now adjusted to him. He’s still raw. I think .275/.330 would be a great 1st full year from him.

    Choo is quite an offensive player. I don’t claim to know if this is fact or not, but I sure read a lot in the offseason about the risk of him playing CF. I don’t believe he is thought of as a good CF by any means, and I tend to think he is below avg. or avg. at best. I always say the unseen stats to a fan are the defensive ones. I believe the teams are getting better at evaluating OF defense, but if a guy puts up great offensive stats some teams just don’t even bother worrying about his questionable defense in a key “up the middle” defensive position. I want the Bucs to score more runs as well, but I feel very good that Cutch and Marte are covering a lot more ground than Hannigan and Choo. Just food for thought.

  404. Adam Clark says:

    One would assume Curley told Joe the same “It was just horseplay” story he told the Grand Jury and then Mike McQueary essentially tells Joe he’s cool with Curley’s take on the incident. This isn’t just some nobody the Joe can discretely lobby to have removed, this is a man that both the BOT & president viewed as Joe’s replacement, a pillar of the community. He did voice his disapproval of Sandusky being on campus and other events with kids but at that point he would’ve virtually been alone in a fight against Jerry. These cases almost always have negative effects on the whistle blower. Did Joe make a terrible decision and put it in the hands of the wrong people? Sure. Was he maybe a little to ready to believe Curley’s take? Probably. Did he believe Sandusky was a child molester for the next 10yrs? I doubt he did any more than Jim Bohiem believed Berney Fine was guilty. Even ESPN held off for 8yrs with the Fine tape.

  405. Jim S. says:

    That is a good comp.

  406. Jim S. says:

    No more old dudes, please. This team is finally trying to get away from that, I hope.

  407. Jim S. says:

    It can’t be said any more clearly, DK. If people don’t want to understand it, they are not trying nearly hard enough.

  408. Jim S. says:

    Horseplay? Naked 60+ year old man and young boy alone in the showers? Do you really believe that is what Joe thought it was? Please.

  409. Adam Clark says:

    If Joe knew about the investigation then he would know that the case was closed rather swiftly & Sandusky was only being accused of getting too inappropriately cuddly with the kid (bear hug) not having sex with the kid. Remember McQueary told Joe 3 times he was ok with Curley’s decision. If Joe demanded Jerry be banned from PSU or arrested he virtually had nobody else to back him up.

  410. tpbco says:

    I agree, it’s physically impossible to drill within the city limits, which makes that rhetoric even more inane. Just ignorance of the subject by the Council and pandering to the anti-industry zealots.

  411. Adam Clark says:

    You’re missing the point. Everyone including McQueary told him case was closed. He had nobody to back in his court. Also, go to a YMCA locker room or public swimming pool showers if you think naked old men showering next to naked young boys is criminal.

  412. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m not an insider, but I have talked to insiders I trust. If you don’t think Joe had the power to ban Sandusky from setting foot on the campus, you’re delusional. Sorry, hate to go there, but it’s a fact. Comparing this to Boeheim pretty much demonstrates you aren’t interested, as you say, in objective facts.

  413. Arriba Wilver says:

    Alone? After hours? Smh

  414. Adam Clark says:

    Remember McQueary told 2 doctors who were mandated reporters about the incident before he even spoke to Pareno and both testified Mike’s story wasn’t enough to warrant calling the police and they’re legally bound by law to report straight to the police any sexual assault.

  415. Arriba Wilver says:

    OMG (I borrowed that from my kids) this conversation isn’t going anywhere. Keep denying the obvious. Connect the two things together. You said he didn’t know anything.

  416. Adam Clark says:

    I’m a state employee as was Sandusky as was Paterno and state law prohibits Joe from the power to do that. You can’t bypass state regulations.

  417. Adam Clark says:

    I said he didn’t know of the extra evidence that only came out 10yrs later. He’s not a fortune teller.

  418. Arriba Wilver says:

    Like I said. You’re delusional. I know for a fact Joe shut down a construction site for a whole day because he didn’t want it to interfere with the buses with the players going to an away game leaving that day. That’s power, and so is kicking the President of the University off your property because he wanted a succession plan that didn’t include Jay Paterno. (Yeah, that happened, too)

  419. Arriba Wilver says:

    I don’t know what the state regulations are on that.

  420. Arriba Wilver says:

    1998 is ten years later? Seems to me it was 3 years prior.

  421. Adam Clark says:

    They had a tape of Fine’s wife admitting she saw him molesting boys. How much more objective do you need your facts to be?

  422. Arriba Wilver says:

    Naked bear hug. Lets stick with the facts. Naked bear hug.

  423. Adam Clark says:

    Neither of those things involve state regulations in regards to PSU employees and retirees.

  424. Adam Clark says:

    All of you please note that Dejan hasn’t denied any of my statements of fact aren’t indeed grounded in actual facts. I’m sure he at least knows a little bit more than most of you about the case.

  425. Arriba Wilver says:

    Who told Boheim that Fine was involved in
    something of a sexual nature with the kid?
    Did Boeheim testify under oath he was told that?
    Regardless, this is another dodge from the facts of the Sandusky case.
    Good try, though, but lame.

  426. Adam Clark says:

    If in 1998 they had any real evidence then Sandusky would’ve been locked up already. The evidence that convicted him wasn’t presented till 2011. Please do more research.

  427. Adam Clark says:

    Boheim was informed of the accusations against Fine back in 2003. Case was dropped due to statute of limitations not lack of evidence. ESPN had the tapes since 2003.

  428. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think that is an arrogant assumption. I can tell I know more than you about it, though. What a bunch of garbage with the end goal being to protect Joe no matter the facts, Ludicrous.

  429. Arriba Wilver says:

    Irrelevant when you’re faced with confirming evidence 3 years later. Nice slam, though. It’s kind of all you have left.

  430. Jim S. says:

    Agreed.

  431. Arriba Wilver says:

    Adam– have you read the entire Freeh report and the entire Presentments (both)? Just asking.

  432. Adam Clark says:

    Tori Spelling & her hubby shower with their kids. They probably even hug them in the shower. One kid is her stepson. The police deemed it not an illegal ie. sexual act.

  433. Arriba Wilver says:

    And I was trying to be nice today because it was a good day on the blog. :-).

    Sorry, my friends,

  434. Adam Clark says:

    Depends on your perspective. Both incidents are very similar. Only change is McQueary’s interpretation which changed several times based on recorded statements by Mike and testimony from others. BTW the man reported to be victim 2 has given a sworn testimony that Sandusky never molested him that night.

  435. Arriba Wilver says:

    Wow, you really are out to lunch. I think I’m done since the intelligent part of this conversation ended long ago, if it ever started. But thanks for showing your true colors beyond a reasonable doubt. I hope you don’t have any kids.

  436. Adam Clark says:

    Please by all means present actually facts and evidence to your argument. I’ve been waiting.

  437. Brendan says:

    Regarding the bullpen workload. I’m not sure that it’s time to raise the red flag just yet as observers–but of course it’s something Hurdle et al should be mindful of.

    Other factors may naturally allow Grill and Melancon to pitch less, so we’ll have so see how things develop. For instance scoring more runs in the early going would allow them more days off as they wouldn’t need to pitch quit as often if the Pirates entered the late innings with sizable leads more often.

    You might see Justin Wilson in a few more high leverage situations. How he performs will be a big factor. His control has been better in May than it was in March/April: 19:6 K/B vs 11:8. Walks have been the big issue with him in the past, if he continues to exhibit that improved control I’d be much more comfortable with him in the late innings.

    That said it’s certainly something to be mindful of. A good example of recent RP over usage is the back of Atlanta’s bullpen in 2011. Craig Kimbrel, Jonny Venters, and Eric O’Flaherty pitched 77, 88, and 73.2 innings respectively.

    Kimbrel was amazing in 2012 and continues to be excellent this year. Venter’s numbers declined in the second half of 2011 and much more so in 2012. O’Flaherty was actually better in the second half of 2011 than he was in the first but his numbers also declined in 2012. Obviously there’s a good deal of volatility when it comes to RP performance so that may be a factor too–rather than it simply being a product of overtaxing those two guys. Hard to say but I do remember Fredi Gonzalez receiving some criticism for leaning too heavily on them, so it’s something to think about.

    Of course since then both Venters and O’Flaherty have undergone Tommy John surgery.

  438. Dadtackular says:

    +1 NMR.

    Nate, I believe you mean well. You take interesting positions on this board.

    Maybe it is your wording that pushes us back. What would you think of taking a position without inferring what others think or without snide comments? Harness your passion without the drama?

    Re: “both sides of your mouth” Comments of this nature tend to loosen the credibility of your point. And also puts too much focus on your personality.

    Sometimes those who “shout the loudest” or come across as “having to win an argument” are hard to take seriously.

    Just my opinion. Don’t mean anything personal towards you or anyone else. Still enjoy reading your thoughts.

  439. Brendan says:

    PS – You can check out http://www.baseball-reference.com if you’re interested in seeing stats and splits for those guys.

  440. Adam Clark says:

    Then why are you constantly being corrected by me on your false statements bad assumptions?

  441. Arriba Wilver says:

    Keep living in your dream world, Adam. Like I said, Im done. It’s clear I could give you a video of Joe, Spanier, Sandusky and all the other guys having sex with underage boys and you would find a way to excuse Joe. I’m bored.

    You want a fact? Joe said, under oath, he was told by McC that he saw Sandusky engaged in conduct of a sexual nature with a young boy in the Penn State showers. If that isn’t enough for you, I really have nothing else to say.

  442. Arriba Wilver says:

    Like I said, you’re delusional? What false statement(s) or bad assumptions?

  443. Arriba Wilver says:

    Are you trying to defend Sandusky or Joe? ( yeah, I’m going there with your garbage responses).

    The recorded evidence is that JOE testified under oath that McQ told him that something happened of a sexual nature. No one else. Joe said that. What the hell does what McQ said to anyone else have to do with it?

  444. Adam Clark says:

    Once again you’ve judged someone with no facts or evidence to back up what you’re implying. If you weren’t being so irrational you would’ve noticed I’ve hardly let Paterno off scott free on this. I’ve only shown you how many people react and think when confronted with such shocking news that someone they’ve known for a long time may have done something unspeakable. I’ve been in the middle of such events & I can assure you it’s common. I’ve also corrected all the BS you’ve been spouting with the actual facts of the case.

    DK: ‘Sexual nature.’

  445. Adam Clark says:

    Never said it was but it’s the way people are. Have you ever had to report a rape? I have. It’s never all cut & dry like you think it is in your little Lifetime Movie reality that you think you live in. I would hope you’d do the perfect thing every time Arriba but statistics show that a child or woman is probably being abused right from under your nose as we speak.

  446. Dadtackular says:

    +1 for Arriba

  447. Dadtackular says:

    Agree with Arriba. Adam, you probably have good intentions??? But you just can not see the forest for all of the trees in front of you.

  448. Arriba Wilver says:

    Not under my nose. What a crock of s$&t. What does that have to do with anything anyway? I’m allegedly wrong so Joe is right? BullS$&t. Man, you are really out to lunch ( ok I may have said that before, you’re out to brunch). I feel sorry for you and anyone under your tutelage. I have been involved in similar situations, too. Not exactly, but difficult situations legally and otherwise. I think I’ve handled them pretty well. I sure didn’t leave innocents at risk.

    Uhh, how are you not letting Paterno off the hook? That’s kind of a curve ball based on all your excuses.

  449. Dadtackular says:

    +1

    Adam. Take the last paragraph posted by Arriba. Close your eyes. Focus on it.

    No arguments on anything. As a rule, JP did not do enough. (Same is true for others.)

    Let go.

  450. Arriba Wilver says:

    It was rhetorical.

  451. Mike says:

    So how do you take the “sexual in nature” phrase and interpret only that but ignore the other parts of the statement?

    The quote before he says “sexual nature” is “I don’t know what you would call it.” When the very next quote “sexual nature” is “I’m not sure exactly what it was.” He didn’t say Mike told him it was a sexual nature”.

    why did the prosecutor disagree with him that Joe testified that McQueary told him it was sexual? The next question was “Did Mike McQueary tell you where he had seen this inappropriate conduct?” The prosecutor felt she had just heard Joe Paterno tell the Grand Jury that McQueary told him whatever it was it was a sexual nature why did she follow up by phrasing it inappropriate conduct and why did the Prosecutor appear to not believe that Joe testified Sandusky’s behavior was of a sexual nature?

    You still have not addressed the earlier Point on the meeting mcqueary had with Curley and Schultz after paterno….

    How can you ignore the other words in paterno’s statement?

    Lastly, the fresh report was the foundation of the penalties, that is why people refer to it…. A report put together without talking to the major players involved in the scandal….

  452. Mike says:

    Joe never threw anybody off his porch!!! That story was debunked in the Posnanski book.

  453. Adam Clark says:

    I could show you an audio tape of Bernie Fine’s wife going into detail about his sexual assaults of young boys but you’ll still defend Jim Bohiem. BTW Paterno’s testimony was NOT under oath. Look it up. So once again you’ve lied. He also testified to police right be for GJ questioning and never mentioned sexual nature in that testimony. The Grand Jury has been accused of leading the witnesses in their questioning back then. Joe was informed Mike changed his story to “Horse play” and unfortunately believed Curley.

  454. Adam Clark says:

    I agree he did not do enough but he did act the way most people do in that situation based on my experience and this book by Kenneth V. Lanning
    Former Supervisory Special Agent
    Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
    http://missingkids.com/en_US/publications/NC70.pdf

  455. Arriba Wilver says:

    Man, you’re nuts. Scary nuts. How are you not defending Joe again? I don’t care about the Syracuse situation. I don’t live in New York. YOU brought it up. Still no evidence what Boeheim knew based on what you said. Has absolutely nothing to do with the facts of the Sandusky situation. NOTHING!

    You really want to go with Joe’s testimony before a freaking Pennsylvania grand jury wasn’t under oath? REALLY?

  456. Arriba Wilver says:

    BTW— they call lying to a law enforcement official Obstruction of Justice. Ask Martha Stewart. Wow, just Wow!

  457. Adam Clark says:

    http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-grand-jury-testimony.htm Please educate yourself. BTW Paterno’s GJ testimony was ruled inadmissible for the Curley/Schultz/Spanier trials for that very reason. Please stop acting like you know what you’re talking about Arriba.

  458. Adam Clark says:

    Totally not the same thing as lying under oath. Which is perjury.

  459. Adam Clark says:

    If you don’t follow the path of truth/facts/concrete evidence then you’re likely to get lost in the forest.

  460. Arriba Wilver says:

    How are you not defending Joe again? Seriously, want an answer.

    He said it. Pure and simple, he said it. I’m not defending or prosecuting the case. “Evidentiary” rules don’t matter to me. He said it, in the most likely honest situation he could. Why would he lie? You really buying the “horseplay” horses$&t Spanier and his cronies are selling? Seriously? I hope you aren’t in a situation that you are supposedly protecting me or anyone I know.

  461. Arriba Wilver says:

    Wow! Wow again!

  462. Adam Clark says:

    “. If you don’t think Joe had the power to ban Sandusky from setting foot on the campus, you’re delusional. Sorry, hate to go there, but it’s a fact.” That he testified under oath to GJ to name a few.

  463. Adam Clark says:

    I’m defending an accurate representation of the facts and a theory developed by FBI investigators who specialize in child sexual abuse cases. You’re getting emotional and losing your grasp on rationality.

  464. Adam Clark says:

    Listen it’s been great & maybe I’ll stop back & debunk more of Arriba’s false & misleading statements but for now I must get some sleep. Try not to let your anger cloud your judgment folks.

  465. Arriba Wilver says:

    Boring. Keep trying. Joe could have banned me. We discuss the under oath issue below. It’s the Man himself’s testimony. If Im talking to a grand jury Im telling the truth. Like I said, delusional. And why would he volunteer testimony that puts him in a bad light if it wasn’t true? Ah, he should have “lawyered up?” I don’t think you ‘re helping your argument with that. We aren’t talking about whether he should go to jail, and he wasn’t a target of the Grand Jury. I give him credit for being honest.

    How are you not defending him again? Still don’t have an answer.

  466. Arriba Wilver says:

    Balderdash! Postmanski was a toady. He went with Joes allegations afterwards towing the company line that it was horseplay.. That ain’t what he said before. Hardly a reputable source.

  467. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m fine. Just flummoxed by the ignorance.

  468. Mike says:

    Name your source that he did? I’ll take a reputable author over your rumors…

  469. Jack Laurence says:

    What DK said about PEDs, exactly, was:

    ” Grilli is doing things in his career right now he’s never done. I’ll refer again to the blog, this to a piece I wrote a couple days ago comparing his old numbers and current numbers.
    “I’m not going to make an accusation. I’m not even going to ask a question, as Cox did. I have absolutely no hard, substantive reason to think it’s anything but natural, and journalism requires you to do more than sling mudballs and see what sticks.
    “But in the most general sense, until the World Anti-Doping Agency has completely eradicated cheating in sports — that’ll happen, you know, never — it should always be a fair discussion point. ”

    So, are Grilli’s current numbers a ‘fair discussion point’ or not? That was my point. They’re not.

  470. Arriba Wilver says:

    Huh? There ate plenty of sources in State College that will support the basics of what happened. Because they didn’t put it in a book it’s less reputable?

  471. Mike says:

    Yes…. That story is pure fiction, according to spanier, as well. Read the book, his sources are listed… Again, list your sources? The “I heard…” Doesn’t quite cut it…

  472. Arriba Wilver says:

    Spanier is your “source?” Really? Well, I guess I have to believe it, then. Smh

  473. Mike says:

    Jp was overruled in the Sandusky retirement package. He said he was uncomfortable w jerry bringing kids on campus for a liability reason..

    So I guess his power wasn’t that great…

  474. Mike says:

    Again I ask, where is your documented source? You have nothing but folklore…

  475. Arriba Wilver says:

    Never heard that. Seriously, first time. What I have seen is that after the 2001 incident, three years after Sandusky retired, the solution arrived at, by Curly/Spanier etc. after talking to Joe, was to ban him from bringing kids on campus. And he continued to bring kids on campus, according to the Grand Jury presentment, and the jury’s verdict after hearing all the evidence.

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