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Vacation thread: 6-19

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

On break all week. The full column/blog/etc. schedule resumes next Monday.

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. Brandie says:

    Quite a game last night. Hopefully we have seen the last of the beanball wars. Only time will tell.

  2. JoeyBats says:

    Hoka Hey everyone!
    .
    Pirates win…Pirates win!!! XLII wins down, …and XL to go.
    .
    Yes, GM Neal and Mgr. Clint ….82 wins DOES make a difference.
    .
    Beat Em’ Bucs !
    .
    .
    PS:Nice return to form by Cholly Morton….and the bullpen punches out 8K’s in 3 and 2/3 …WOW !

  3. JAL says:

    JAL’s Wild Montana Skies Morning Links

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

    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

    5 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Pick Signing Tracker

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013draft

    BLOGS and such

    6—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: The Year the Pirates Finally Add a Rival

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/06/first-pitch-the-year-the-pirates-finally-add-a-rival.html

    Pirates Retaliate Against the Reds in the Best Way Possible With a 4-0 Win

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/06/pirates-retaliate-against-the-reds-in-the-best-way-possible-with-a-4-0-win.html

    Prospect Watch: Santos Walks Off in Altoona; Jamestown With Another Shutout

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/06/prospect-watch-santos-walks-off-in-altoona-jamestown-with-another-shutout.html

    Jin-De Jhang Homers to Continue Hot Start; Brewer Throws Five Shutout Innings

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/06/jin-de-jhang-homers-to-continue-hot-start-brewer-throws-five-shutout-innings.html

    7 Bucs Dugout

    Morton, Pirates shut out Reds, 4-0

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/6/18/4443746/morton-pirates-shut-out-reds-4-0

    Brewer has strong outing, Jhang goes deep

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/6/18/4443674/brewer-has-strong-outing-jhang-goes-deep

    8 WHYGAVS

    Game 71: Pirates 4 Reds 0

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/june-2013/game-71-pirates-4-reds-0.html

    9 The Green Weenie

    Bucs Even Series 4-0

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/06/bucs-even-series-4-0.html

    10 Rumbunter

    Pirates Charlie Morton Takes Care of Business

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/06/18/pirates-charlie-morton-takes-care-of-business/

    Deja-Hurdle All Over Again With Andrew McCutchen

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/06/18/deja-hurdle-all-over-again-with-andrew-mccutchen/

    11 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Pirates 4 Reds 0

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2013/06/pirates-4-reds-0/

  4. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates: Should Neil Walker bag switch hitting?

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2013/06/19/pittsburgh-pirates-should-neil-walker-bag-switch-hitting/

    13 Altoona Mirror

    Mehno: Pirates, Reds need to follow NHL’s example

    http://www.altoonamirror.com/page/content.detail/id/572610/Mehno–Pirates–Reds-need-to-follow-NHL-s-example.html?nav=751

    14 Beaver County Times

    Mueller: It took two years, but Bucs finally stand up for themselves

    http://www.timesonline.com/sports/pirates/mueller-it-took-two-years-but-bucs-finally-stand-up/article_49401175-351a-544c-bc1b-9f4b7101b3a5.html

    15 Reds Report

    Well, That Happened. Pirates 4, Reds 0.

    http://www.redreporter.com/2013/6/18/4443684/well-that-happened-pirates-4-reds-0-pittsburgh-cincinnati

    16 CBS Sports

    Pirates vs Reds Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20130619_PIT@CIN
    Cole the Pirates’ great, big hope

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/jon-heyman/22455796/cole-the-pirates-great-big-hope

    17 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Reds shut out by Pirates at GABP

    http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20130618/SPT04/306180039/Reds-shut-out-by-Pirates-GABP

    18 PBC Site

    Early runs help Morton, Bucs finally top Latos

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_06_18_pitmlb_cinmlb_1&mode=recap_away&c_id=pit

    Notebook: Walker questions intent of Chapman’s chin music

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130618&content_id=51028634&notebook_id=51029072&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    8 Potential Buyers at the Trade Deadline

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=20935

    20 Fangraphs

    San Jose Sues MLB To Get A’s, Charges Teams Conspire To Maintain Monopoly Power In Their Markets

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/san-jose-sues-mlb-to-get-as-charges-teams-conspire-to-maintain-monopoly-power-in-their-markets/

  5. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Beat’em Steelers! Who would you pick for an all-time Steelers baseball team?

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/6/18/4440564/beatem-steelers

    Magic Number of sum of passes completed and rushing attempts fits Steelers 2012 season

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/6/18/4441084/steelers-2012-season-stats

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Five Undrafted Free Agents Who Have a Chance of Making the Roster

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/06/five-undrafted-free-agents-steelers-2013-roster/

    Soccer(football) Will T

    23 The Independent

    Newcastle confirm appointment of Joe Kinnear who will be ‘in charge of all football-related matters’

    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/newcastle-confirm-appointment-of-joe-kinnear-who-will-be-in-charge-of-all-footballrelated-matters-8663352.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 18th June, 2013

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-18th-june-2013

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Free Agent Profile: Matt Cooke

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/6/18/4441456/matt-cooke-free-agent-pittsburgh-penguins

    The 2013 Penguins: On Leadership and Needing “It”

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/6/18/4436762/the-penguins-need-to-find-it-again

  6. JAL says:

    Wild Montana Skies John Denver and Emmylou Harris 1983

  7. Drew71 says:

    To use the sports cliche (since i hear we occasionally talk about sports here)…

    I see we left everything on the game thread

  8. Thundercrack says:

    Yeah! Mike Zagurski cleared waivers.

    ‘Back in late May, the Yankees called the Bucs to inquire on Zagurski’s availability but were turned down.’

    Hey, call us back. We were just playing hard-to-get. Just kidding. Don’t lose our number

  9. Stuart says:

    The thread was more like a cable, though it it did become frayed at times.

    Stuart

  10. Stuart says:

    Can it be? The time is correct!

    Stuart

  11. Drew71 says:

    His number is 18 Stone.

    (That’s 256 pounds)

  12. Thundercrack says:

    So after the game on Monday ‘the media’ failed to ask the players about the bean-balls.

    It seems last night they seemed to have failed to ask what Neil Walker was thinking about on the basepaths in the first inning. Why wasn’t he on third base after Pedro’s ‘single’?

  13. Brandie says:

    Good job, the both of you.

  14. Jandy says:

    Brandie, are you transporting kids again today? Nice day for it.

  15. NMR says:

    Chapman was sitting along the third base line with a snow cone cocked in his left hand.

  16. Iceman says:

    He was visibly frustrated with himself. Thankfully it didn’t end up costing them anything in the end.

  17. Brandie says:

    Transporting later.

  18. Great game last night by Pirates! Very satisfying win.

    Clint Hurdle handled his pitching staff with velvet touch, getting Charlie Morton out at just the right time and using Watson, Melancon, and Grilli in just the right way (even though it was not a SAVE opportunity).

    We all need to remember these days of fine tune usage when the Pirates eventually blow a lead and everyone jumps on Hurdle———because we all KNOW it is the players’ success when Bucs win and the manager’s fault when they lose!! [For reference: see Penguins recent demise.]

    By the way, in my opinion, the first pitch——while making me smile——had 0 % to do with the Pirates win last night!!

  19. JAL says:

    Watching the game last night the thought hit me that as currently structures, with Locke and Morton in the rotation, 2/5ths of the rotation came in one trade. Both came from Atlanta in the McLouth trade.

  20. Brandie says:

    First pitch made a statement. To me, it was time to cut the noise and play some ball. There was no further retaliation last night, but, again, time will tell if in the coming days there will be any more beanballs.

  21. Jandy says:

    Yeah I saw him talking to himself while on 2nd base…mentally kicking himself in the rear.

  22. Jandy says:

    Well said, Brandie. That beaner by Morton certainly set the tone.

  23. stuart66 says:

    JAL I was remembering how popular that trade was at the time. Not!

    Stuart

  24. Who else was in that trade other than those 3?

  25. NMR says:

    Groat, I didn’t watch the game so I won’t jump on Clint, but what were the extenuating circumstances around the bullpen usage?

    Pulling Charlie after only 61 pitches and a three run lead AND using Melancon/Grilli with a four run lead is certainly odd on paper.

  26. NMR says:

    Gorkys?

  27. JohninOshkosh says:

    Yes.

  28. Bizrow says:

    Yup

  29. NMR says:

    For some reason I remember him being the big “get” in that trade. Only guy to make any top 100 lists or something like that.

  30. I believe you’re right. So basically, we got Gaby, too in that trade, while losing that comp pick.

    I know it’s ridiculous to look at it that way, because every deal would be an endless trail, but I thought there were others in the trade.

  31. JohninOshkosh says:

    I remember even without resorting to the interwebs because I was so opposed to that trade at the time!

    Shows what I know.

  32. Arriba Wilver says:

    They scored 3 of their 4 runs before the beaner. Just sayin’. Also, as Groat said, it was satisfying, for us and probably for the team. And Charlie, despite the baby face, is a BIG dude.

  33. Brandie says:

    As said previously, that is all the first pitch needed to do asset the tone, not maim and cause permanent damage. Now the Reds know the Pirates are here and capable of giving them actual, not theoretical competition. Let the men, not the boys, step up to the plate and deliver! :-)

  34. Arriba Wilver says:

    I thought the reason Neal gave for the trade was the pitching, which was desperately needed at the time. But there were inconsistent reasons given, some clearly ridiculous, like they had to move Nate to make room for Cutch.

  35. Jandy says:

    +many

  36. Bizrow says:

    From listening to the FAN this am, I guess Latos had some interesting things to say about the beanball war, it may not be over yet. From the sound of things, Dusty must have told him to let it go and not retailate against Charile in the top of the 2nd.

  37. Arriba Wilver says:

    You chicks are so macho. :-D

  38. Brandie says:

    I will taken that as a compliment. Means I cans take out my scary teeth when necessary.

  39. pattonbb says:

    For anyone interested in the Biogenesis/MLB fiasco, check this article out. I’m sweating bullets if I’m one of those players named.

    I’m not sure who sounds like the bigger criminal, Porter Fischer, Tony Bosch, or MLB?

    http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2013-06-20/news/mlb-steroids-alex-rodriguez/

  40. Arriba Wilver says:

    :-)

  41. I’m guessing that folks on the thread last night probably did not like it when Hurdle pulled Charlie after 61 pitches. It especially appeared unfair, because Charlie had just struck out the batter and Martin seemed to freeze, failing to block the pitch in the dirt, allowing the runner to go to first.

    While Charlie was not laboring, his pitches seemed a little different in the 6th. Choo got a hit to start the inning and was thrown out stealing. I’m sure Morton could have pitched through it, and I was a little surprised Hurdle didn’t let him . . . . . but sometimes we have to trust the experts who see things that we don’t see. Searage was out to the mound early in that inning, after Choo; leading one to believe that both Searage and Hurdle saw something that all of us well trained TV-eyed fans were not privy to.

    Hurdle obviously saw something, because he had Tony Watson up near the beginning of the inning, ready to pitch after a caught-stealing and a wild-pitch 3rd strike.

  42. Brandie says:

    Time to either let this go or take it outside after the game. The whole thing is getting tired. As my mother used to say to my sister and me…we have all that grass out there, now settle it! (For all of those waiting to get their knickers in a twist, I am not advocating violence. I am being dramatic.)

  43. Jim S. says:

    I was listening to the Reds broadcast on XM, Thunder. They were all over it. Jeff Brantley & some other guy not named Brennaman. They said Walker made some sort of a gesture, like tapping his chest to say “my fault.” They also said Walker was thrown off by the fact that the LF was positioned far over into LC which made it impossible to catch the ball, but that the ball was hit high and in a spot where the LF would usually catch it. They attributed that to throwing Walker off. Either way, it is Neil’s fault. You have to read the fielder as well as the ball. I watched the replay late last night, and that was just awful baserunning by Neil.

  44. Jim S. says:

    You are so right, Brandie. The first pitch had the intended message. You could tell that by the fact that Latos was up screaming on the dugout steps. Charlie’s heartbeat probably never changed. He was a cool customer through that little scenario.

  45. Gorkys was the supposed big get, although Neal cited the “gathering more prospects” routine.

    Charlie Morton was the #3 Starter in Atlanta’s AAA rotation, a bust in a previous month-long appearance———and would have been a bust here without reinventing himself and changing his motion.

    Remember that day in Chicago!!

  46. Thundercrack says:

    Maybe Dusty was smart enough to remind Latos that he had just given up 3 runs in the top half of the first inning….and the goal was to try and win the game.

  47. Arriba Wilver says:

    Hurdle also said something after the game that he liked the matchup of Watson with Bruce and Votto, I think, in that situation.

  48. Jim S. says:

    Charlie was the big fish in that deal as I recall.

  49. Iceman says:

    I totally agree that the first pitch had nothing to do with the Pirates winning, but what it did do was avoid a situation like what happened earlier in the year where a Reds pitcher hit a player and then both benches were given a warning, taking away some of the Pirates ability to pitch inside when they hadn’t even hit a player. In this situation, if the same thing happens, they are at least responsible for the position they were in.

  50. Brandie says:

    Need to run gassers every time there is a base running miscue. Either that or the offending parties pay a if e to be put into a kitty that is then donated to charity.

  51. Jim S. says:

    As it has played out, it was one of the best trades in recent memory.

  52. I’d selectively forgotten that, but you are correct, sir.

  53. Brandie says:

    Being able to participate in the blog discussions and reading JAL’s links has made me a smarter sports consumer/fan.

  54. Jandy says:

    Check out JAL’s #13 Altoona Mirror Link, it says basically what you just said, Brandie. And I agree. Enough is enough.

  55. 21sthebest says:

    Hurdle said what he saw was Joey Votto and Jay Bruce.

  56. Thundercrack says:

    Groat,
    I would have to go back and check the game recap, but I did think that Charlie was laboring a bit in the 5th.

    Coming off the injury and in that ballpark, I have no problem with ‘better safe than sorry’

  57. Dom says:

    The Buccos got six guys in the South Atlantic League All-Star Game. Half of those guys (Stetson Allie, Josh Bell, and Tyler Glasnow) were draft choices we went well over the recommended slot for.

    Every one of those guys could very well be in Baseball America’s top 100 prospects.

    It’s a good thing Bud tweaked that rule so we no longer have the ability to go over slot as it’s signings like this that are ruining the competitive balance of the game and certainly not the $147 million the Dodgers gave Greinke last year or the $125 million they gave Josh Hamilton.

  58. JHadar says:

    I was in Pittsburgh and at the game the next day, and the fans were restless.

    I liked it because it made room for McCutchen who had a tremendous first day in the big leagues, and because Morton’s minor league numbers were better than anybody we had at Indianapolis (Lincoln) at the time.

    Locke is purely bonus.

    In retrospect the trade has to be a win for the Bucs.

    Nice when we do something right, eh?

  59. Lad9 says:

    Regardless of the effect on the Reds that Charlie’s plunking of Choo had, it may have had a more important effect on the Pirates themselves. When pitchers start to get treated differently than position players (and these days that starts in high school), there can be a separation between the positions players and the pitchers. In football it is probably like the divide between the QB’s and the rest (not to the extent of the kickers however!).
    The QB’s are the “pretty boys”, while the pitchers are the guys who work every fifth day or one inning 3-4 times a week, and have the time in the dugout to stick a cup on top of their teammate’s cap while the rest of the staff and viewers giggle. Hopefully what Charlie did, KNOWING that he was leading off the next inning, helps bridge that gap (which was probably not a big deal on this club anyhow), but it does make the hitters feel like he was standing up for them. Kinda like the rest of the offense feels when they see Ben throw a block on a reverse. Makes you want to play even harder. Just my take on it…

  60. As of today it sure is.

  61. 21sthebest says:

    Latos’ outrage in the dugout after Choo was hit was hilarious. What did he expect?

  62. Arriba Wilver says:

    You certainly don’t trade your fan favorite, gold glove center fielder, who you had just given an extension to and anointed part of the core going forward, for Gorkys Hernandez.

  63. Thundercrack says:

    You know what was hilarious (and sad).
    I was really looking forward to watching the first inning.

    Fell asleep on the couch right after Marte scored in the bottom of the first. Woke up around the top of the third.

  64. Brandie says:

    Amen. Time to end it. Detracts from the quality product on the field. Very WWE, meaning manufactured drama.

  65. Jandy says:

    Good point, Lad. Chapman never has to face a pitcher and wonder if he’s going to get a retaliatory beaning. Charlie knew he had to bat, but did what he needed to do anyway. Give the guy his due.

  66. Karen22 says:

    Loved it, despite our SEVENTEEN K’s! Charlie did GOOD (especially with his first pitch of the game)! :)

  67. Oshkosh b’Gosh,

    I think Greg Popovich is the best coach in the NBA, without peer.
    However, I believe he out-smarted himself last night and cost the Spurs the game.

    Twice in the last minute, with the Heat having their smaller, 3-point shooting team on the floor, Pop substituted Tim Duncan out for quicker defenders. However, the Heat secured rebounds both times———rebounds that Duncan would have not allowed to skim off his hands——to give the Heat back the ball and hit 3-pointers, including that last great shot by Ray Allen with 5 seconds to tie the game.

    Tony Parker picked a bad night to have a bad game. Not sure Spurs can recover. That game was theirs last night.

  68. Karen22 says:

    Good question! Our baserunning is atrocious! So was it Neil or Leyva??

  69. Brandie says:

    I give it a 10! It’s got a good beat and I can dance to it.

  70. Thundercrack says:

    Careful people, we’re going to get a finger wagging that we’re rehashing too much.

    Plus, remember the rumors that Nate didn’t want to move out of centerfield for Cutch.

    Personally I think it was an early case of the FO not knowing what to say to the fans & public. I think they would have been way better off saying what they have since said about the trade: Pitching is important. We need it. Can never have enough of it. Really liked the potential of Locke and Morton…and even Gorkys at the time.

  71. NMR says:

    Thanks Groat, et al. Didn’t read the game thread, but that would’ve probably been a good place to start.

    What about the 8th and 9th? Again, I’ll certainly take the win, but a four run lead and the bottom of the order seems like just about the perfect spot to give your back end guys a night off.

  72. Jim S. says:

    Groat and NMR touched on this a bit above, and I think it is a good point of discussion. I was at my son’s game last night, so I didn’t get to watch the Bucs game until the replay after the game had ended. But, of course, I was sneaking peaks at my phone for updates during the game. I happened to be checking things out when Charlie struck the guy out with one out in the 6th who then reached on the missed 3rd strike. I looked at the pitch count, and I was amazed that Charlie was yanked based on his stellar stat line.

    So, it got me thinking that Clint has really done a good job of pulling the strings correctly this year with the pitchers even though I don’t always agree. A very high % of the time, when he pulls a guy the reliever has done the job instantly. I think Clint has really done well with that this year, and I agree that the guy in the dugout talking to the pitching coach and the pitcher between innings has a much better idea of what to do there than I do in front of my TV or on my cell phone just looking at pitch counts.

    There is also the fact that Charlie is still building his strength back up. But, I personally would have liked to see if could have gone 7 innings and I am confident Clint will give him more rope in succeeding starts just as he has with Locke. I trust the job Clint is doing this year, though. I think he has changed so many of his old ways, and has been open to a lot of new thinking this year. I think he is undergoing a great evolution as a manager. Now, if we could just convince him that we shouldn’t bunt so much since no one on our entire roster seems capable of doing it…

    Last night was an example of what I like to call “What could be Charlie.” When he pitches like that, he is just nasty. If he can give us that production in 60% of his starts, I am back on the Charlie Bandwagon, and as I said yesterday I will deny that I ever waivered.

  73. Karen22 says:

    AGREE!! Both halves of the first were awesome and set the tone. We put down a three-spot; Charlie plunks the first batter. WE WIN! That said, I hope the nonsense is over. We’ll see.

  74. Karen22 says:

    +2

  75. Jim S. says:

    Thanks for the link, Patton. Good stuff.

  76. 21sthebest says:

    I thought you were scaling back to just a six pack after work?

  77. Karen22 says:

    Yep. Knock off the silliness now. Geeez…boys will be boys, but it’s time for men to be men. That means you, too, Chapman!

  78. NMR says:

    Perfect example of why these ridiculous bean wars are never won or solved, simply detract from the game.

    From Cinci’s perspective, their players have been hit far more than Pirates. You’re always gonna have guys like Latos who believe they’re on the short end and thus require retribution.

    This whole topic is mind numbing.

  79. Arriba Wilver says:

    Nah, he’s still at the Point.

  80. Brandie says:

    Great post! One can hope to continue to see breast things from Charlie as he continues to evolve.

  81. JohninOshkosh says:

    Exactly. It’s never going to end. Endless loop. I can’t stand baseball’s “unwritten rules.” Did not like or understand them as a kid. No different now that I am old.

  82. Brandie says:

    Breast should be great…thanks auto correct.

  83. Domske,

    Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. Not to rain on your “over-slot Stetson Allie” Parade, but Neal himself said on his Sunday show a couple weeks ago that Bucs went for Allie on his 100 MPH high school fastball.

    Neal said himself that Allie projected as a 3rd or 4th rounder as a hitter. Couldn’t believe I heard him say that.

    Maybe we should cite Pirates’ superior Minor League Development program for Allie’s hitting success.

  84. NMR says:

    Absolutely.

    You can criticize Hurdle by projecting these small instances over the course of the season, sure. But for all we know, he plans on throwing the overworked relievers out with the bath water once they’re toast.

    Certainly harder to replace Melancon/Grilli, but middle inning guys can be found anywhere.

    He’s winning, and I like that.

  85. Jim S. says:

    It is going to be a very tough pill to swallow if the Spurs don’t find a way to rally and win this thing now. 5 point lead blown in the last half minute, right? Could not secure a rebound.

  86. Brandie says:

    Well said Ms. 22.

  87. NMR says:

    The only other professional sports team currently playing in Pittsburgh couldn’t fill the stands at Cupples Stadium.

    If he’s worried about baseball conversation dominating the blog right now, he can stay at the point as long as he wants.

  88. Thundercrack says:

    I don’t think Leyva has any control over the runner on first.

    I think Neil should have ran to second base. When the ball drops he runs to third.
    If by chance the OF catches the fly, Neil can still get back to first. Get the thought of tagging from first out of your head.

  89. Arriba Wilver says:

    On the bunting, the guys in the booth were talking about that some because Watson, I think, laid down a perfect bunt. They were kind of joking how can a reliever, who may get a handful of at-bats all year, make it look so easy, and regulars, and starting pitchers, make it look so difficult?

  90. NMR says:

    I, personally, would be interested in seeing Charlie’s breasts evolve, fwiw.

  91. Brandie says:

    Well put, Iceman.

  92. :D

    Freudian slip by our Brandie girl?

  93. Brandie says:

    Just one word…Ew!

  94. Naterosboro says:

    We did sweep them in the first series we played them this season.

  95. National Mart of Records,

    Melancon and Grilli have to pitch sometimes just to get the work.

    Bucs did not get a hit, striking out 17 times, after the 1st inning outburst, until Starling Marte drove in a run in top of 8th.

    It seemed Reds were dominating the game if you did not look at score. Hurdle did not allow Reds one glimmer of hope by using his best to tie things down tight!

    Good win!

  96. Jandy says:

    X 2

  97. Arriba Wilver says:

    That was my take, too.

  98. Brandie says:

    Almost like they forgot how to play. Team wide mental lapse.

  99. Jandy says:

    No way! It can’t be the players, it HAS to be the coach ;)

  100. Milo Hamilton says:

    Just an FYI. After Brandon Cumpton’s start tomorrow, the Pirates won’t need a 5th starter again until July 6th. And then not again until July 23rd. I would expect Cumpton to be sent down after tomorrow’s game.

  101. blazer says:

    Hope Charlie keeps progressing in his pitching as I will be seing him at his next start. Funny how my vacation destination was only an hour drive from where the Pirates were playing………..

  102. Dom says:

    I agree but I’d also like to add that Cumpton’s the man.

  103. Jim S. says:

    Random thoughts from last night:

    * Jandy & Hippo – Glad to see you were back on here.

    * Brandon (aka Wilson) Phillips looked a bit lost at the plate last night. That always works for me. I think he gets a lot of big hits, and is a very good player. But, I will always struggle to get past the episode with J. Hughes last year. He had numerous opportunities to set the record straight, but refused to do it. Showed a serious lack of character, and I haven’t forgotten it.

    * Matt (Gary Busey’s estranged son) Latos struggled mightily in the 1st. Nice to see the Bucs actually allow a pitcher who is intent on self-destruction do just that.

    * Charlie showed big brass ones in nailing Shoo w/ the 93 MPH and not backing down a bit. Pitched his butt off.

    * Neil Walker – That was seriously bad base running. Cost us a run.

    * Pedro – Left field is the friend of the lefty hitter with big-time thump. Please keep working on that difficult but rewarding skill. It is paying off.

    * Starling Marte might be the fastest human alive not named Usain Bolt. That was a textbook double, and he took 3. Set the tone for the evening. Clutch single as well.

    * Russell Martin being Russell Martin – I want my catchers to be gamers. Great hustle on the infield single, and a seed to nail a runner stealing 2b. Obviously, called a great game as well.

    * Jordy drew a walk for the 2nd night in a row. I think he is officially starting to feel comfortable in the big leagues. & that play in the hole on the bouncer over Pedro – that was a big-time throw.

    * Cutch – Is anyone noticing that he gets to struggle some nights and we still can win 4-0? That is a new development this year, folks. I think he’ll have a nice 2nd half.

    * Travis – Dude, the idea of stealing a base is to get from Point A to Point B in as short a time as possible. What’s with the sliding beside the base & then catching it later with your hand? Maybe to avoid a tag, but no need there. I’m nitpicking, because he was safe. But, that was odd.

    * Watson – He is so good when he isn’t catching so much of the plate with his pitches. He pitched well.

    * Melancon – Ho hum, another shutdown 8th.

    * Grilli – I was actually disappointed he didn’t have a 4 srikeout inning. That’s how good he is now.

    * Overall team hitting – 17 whiffs was bad, but at least we bunched our hits together and we added 6 walks.

    * Overall team pitching – 4 hits, 10 K’s, 0 walks. Pretty, pretty, pretty good!

    One day a time. Ensure, at minimum, we get the split tonight. Then, go after our more customary 3 of 4 tomorrow.

  104. Brandie says:

    Let’s just throw a puck at Lebron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade for not knowing when to quit.

  105. Dom says:

    That was suppose to be a reply to Milo.l

  106. Jim S. says:

    I think I saw Bylsma offering advice to Popovich during a late timeout.

  107. Jandy says:

    James, my friend, I won’t stay away and miss the opportunity to “chat” with my friends. I enjoyed it all last night ~ plunking, game, and chatting :)

    I particularly got a kick out of Latos throwing a temper tantrum. Hilarious.

  108. Jim S. says:

    Excellent point. They have played these DL stints by Wandy & AJ well so far. As long as those 2 get back and in form fairly quickly, we’re in good shape there. Plus, we will have gotten Cumpton a taste.

  109. Jack Laurence says:

    Watching the replays, it looked like Walker was confident the ball would be caught, so he went back to first base to tag up and take second after the catch. He took off only when the ball was about to drop in. Furthermore, when he was standing safely on second, he looked at Pedro and tapped his chest, as if to say, “My bad.”

  110. Brandie says:

    Stick handle the basketball through the defense.

  111. SeanAY says:

    A hearty Hoka Hey to all of you this morning!

    Just got done reading the Rossi piece on Letang. For those who haven’t seen it yet, the summary is this: expect Letang to be traded sooner rather than later.

    Can’t say I necessarily blame him. Rossi suggests that neither Shero nor the coaching staff even consider Letang to be the best defenseman on the team. Of course, what is kind of curious is the fact that apparently they’re willing to give him up to $6M/year, but $7M/year is way too much.

    I think there could be a decent haul for him.

  112. Thundercrack says:

    I was just kidding with that NMR. Should have posted the ‘sarcasm alert’

  113. Jim S. says:

    Good point, Brandie. Actually, I’m pretty sure the Bucs (like all teams) have a Kangaroo Court to take care of these matters. When somebody makes a mental error, the judge (one of the players) metes out a fine and it probably goes to Pirates Charities.

  114. I chose not to participate in yesterday’s “throw at ‘em” discussion, and I’ve already stated above that I think Charlie’s 1st pitch had 0 % to do with Pirates winning . . . . . .

    . . . . . but I thought Charlie’s more important pitch came in the 3rd inning (I think) when he threw an 0-2 fastball right under Joey Votto’s chin. Votto wasn’t happy.

    That pitch said more to Mr. Chapman than hitting Choo in the knee.

  115. Jim S. says:

    Absolutely, Thunder. Neil needs to be standing one step from 2nd base until he knows the ball will drop if he thinks it has a chance of getting caught. That way, he still gets back to 1b safely if it does get caught and he easily makes it to 3rd if it drops.

    But, it certainly appeared that everyone else read the ball’s flight and the LF’s path to it and knew much sooner than Neil that it was going to be a hit.

  116. 21sthebest says:

    I think some players just simply have softer hands/better touch than others.

  117. Milo Hamilton says:

    Maybe a good time to shop for a young goaltender ?

  118. Arriba Wilver says:

    Isn’t that the Steeler way? “Here’s what we think you’re worth to this team?”

  119. Jim S. says:

    I think the Reds radio guys got the explanation right. Neil just watched the ball and figured it is usually an out on a lofted flyball to the LF warning track. But, they said the LF was shading to LC, and the ball was slicing toward the line. Neil obviously didn’t pick up any of that. He has to do better.

    I will say, though, that baserunning is tough. There really is no good way to practice it except for games. If the cameras isolated on guys more often, you would see more miscues. There is so much to think about, and it literally changes on every pitch. Not an excuse, though. Do your job there better, NW!

  120. NMR says:

    I think kids are going to suffer more in the long run than teams.

    Bud created a system where not only he took life changing money out of kids pockets, but put them in the hands of college coaches who are paid to win, not develope future professional ballpllayers.

  121. Jack Laurence says:

    Pirates pitchers have hit more batters than any other team in the Major Leagues, and the other teams, especially Cincy, are aware of it. (See today’s Cincy newspapers, quoting the players.) This, I dare say, is a form of baseball terrorism. As a batter, no matter how tough and courageous he may be, a high and tight pitch triggers a reaction in the cerebral cortex that lingers for a while and cannot easily be overcome. Fright. It causes the batter to react defensively–with fear. When you see a batter like Marte just stand there and take the hit, you have an unusual (fearless) ballplayer. Hurdle has said openly that the strategy of pitching more and more inside this season was made Pirate policy in spring training. That may have something to do with the fact that opposing teams have the lowest batting average in the ML when facing the Bucs. It is not the only reason, or the most important one, but it may be a small factor in the pitching success.

  122. Dom says:

    We’re about ½ way through the season and the Buccos are moving along nicely. 13 games above .500, in position for the second wild card spot, and our farm system is solid.

    How does all this make you feel about Huntington? Has your opinion improved?

    I certainly would have fired him before this year but if we do end up in the playoffs, I’d have to keep him around. If he does end up getting the boot, he still would have left the Buccos and their farm system far better than when he took over in 2007.

  123. NMR says:

    That’s why I trust you guys. Thanks!

  124. Brandie says:

    You have put a very fine point on the happenings…sir!

  125. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  126. SeanAY says:

    I would personally prefer a more physical, stay-at-home defender than a goalie, though it’s not a bad thought at all.

    I guess I find it interesting that the coaching staff has lost faith in Letang as a No. 1 defenseman despite sending him out there all through the playoffs…yet haven’t lost faith in Fleury despite clearly having lost faith in him in the playoffs.

    Strange and unusual, indeed.

  127. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t think Charlie hitting Choo had anything to do with winning yesterday or long-term really, but I do feel that it helped the entire team to have a little bit of swagger and feel better about themselves (I hate it when I go touchy feely) and maybe they feel like they’ll be viewed a little better around the league too. I was wondering if they hadn’t been feeling like the guy at the beach that has sand kicked in his face by the bully, even though we’ve hit them more. But I do feel that both pitches had equal importantce.

    And by the way, Votto came dangerously close to hitting that ball out and that would’ve been a disaster, IMO.

  128. Jim S. says:

    Mine, too. I believe there was a graphic on Melancon that he has thrown 42 pitches in over a week.

    I said this last week. If we start hitting and thus winning by 4, 5, 6 runs on occasion, it won’t be long before we start saying, “Darn it, Hurdle. Get Melancon and Grilli some work.”

    It is so hard to manage bullpen work throughout 162 games. So far, so good. I keep hearing on places like ESPN and MLB Network that our bullpen is throwing too many innings. I don’t think they are accounting for the fact that we are using more guys than the average bullpen. We shuttle guys up and down from Indy on occasion, and we’ll have Jeanmar coming back soon. Plus, there are other quality arms at Indy who can still contribute.

  129. NMR says:

    Players that fear getting hit don’t make it out of Little League.

  130. Vinny Giardina says:

    I don’t mind her fat but…

  131. Jim S. says:

    +++

  132. NMR says:

    I, personally, like to believe that quality of pitch play a significant part in whether or not a player gets a bunt down.

    Squaring up a little round ball with a little round bat is tough when the ball is thrown in the right place.

    Then again, I always sucked at bunting. Apologist.

  133. Brandie says:

    What’s going on Lad9? I like your name…It sounds like a superhero. What would your super power be?

  134. JohninOshkosh says:

    Excellent observation, Groat. No way do you have one of the greatest players ever to play the game on the bench in that situation. I was talking to my brother on the phone at the time and we were both yelling at the TV.

    Incidentally, I think the Heat win game 7. After what he has done in recent years, James should never be underestimated in these big games. I think he goes all Magic Johnson on the Spurs.

  135. NMR says:

    Smart man, blazer. Smart man.

  136. SeanAY says:

    Coaches get too much money, too much credit, and too much blame.

  137. JohnS says:

    I find it hard to believe they don’t consider him their best D-man. All you have to do is look at ice time. If he isn’t their best guy they shoud really play him a little less. The Pens want Letang back but like anything it can’t be done at any price. Those type of guys are rare.

    I think we will no soon if Letang wants to be a Penguin.

  138. Made me smile, JandyGirl!!

  139. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’m withholding judgment until October, Dom.

  140. NMR says:

    Always appreciate these updates, Milo.

  141. Jim S. says:

    True. If you are afraid of getting hit, your career ends quickly no matter how much talent you have.

    I think apprehension might be a better word. The reason you pitch inside is to protect the middle and outside corner of the plate. A batter needs to know he can’t just dive in aggressively after every pitch and swing from the heels freely. The Pirates are stressing that with their pitchers more than in recent years. Is that a part of why they are pitching better? They seem to think so, and I’ll take their word on it.

    This is a whole different discussion from the headhunting that Chapman employs. What he does has nothing to do with pitching inside effectively, which is a totally legit technique that everyone should try to employ. Mattingly and Hurdle have both said in the last week, “If you can’t pitch inside w/o throwing pitches near a guy’s head you should not be pitching inside.”

    I won’t say anything further on this today, folks. I promise.

  142. Dom says:

    That was pretty impressive how you got 9 out of the 10 questions right on that quiz yesterday.

    I took it and did far worse. I really could have gone either way on most of them.

  143. Jack Laurence says:

    Pirates pitchers have hit more batters than any other team in the Major Leagues, and the other teams, especially Cincy, are aware of it. (See today’s Cincy newspapers, quoting the players.) This, I dare say, is a form of baseball terrorism. As a batter, no matter how tough and courageous he may be, a high and tight pitch triggers a reaction in the cerebral cortex that lingers for a while and cannot easily be overcome. Fright. It causes the batter to react defensively–with fear. When you see a batter like Marte just stand there and take the hit, you have an unusual (fearless) ballplayer. Hurdle has said openly that the strategy of pitching more and more inside this season was made Pirate policy in spring training. That may have something to do with the fact that opposing teams have the lowest batting average in the ML when facing the Bucs. It is not the only reason, or the most important one, but it may be a small factor in the pitching success.

  144. JohninOshkosh says:

    I agree but what personnel are on the field, pitch, court or rink at any given time falls squarely on the coach.

    Then it’s up to the players.

  145. Jim S. says:

    Good comments by everyone. The Pirates thought they had more in Gorkys when they got him than ended up being the case. But, NH is always trolling for pitching gems that need repolishing.

  146. Yeah, I think you’re right, Oshkosh b’Gosh. Darn it!!

    Spurs won 47 of 48 minutes last night. Didn’t secure the win. That was their sought after “4th win.” Not sure another one is there for them.

  147. Brandie says:

    Praise for what is being done well…healthy criticism for the things that need to improve.

  148. Milo Hamilton says:

    I don’t believe them for one second that they haven’t lost faith in Fleury.

  149. Jandy says:

    Sure it helped the team’s confidence. I agree 21. I was holding my breath on that Votto hit…that would have sucked the air out of everything at that point.

    (You can go touchy feely anytime you want lol)

  150. 21sthebest says:

    Thanks Dom! I’m kind of a rules junky. And I’m also OCD. When I see something out of the ordinary, I have to go look it up. Probably been doing that since my son was in Little League which was about 12 years ago.

  151. Jim S. says:

    Were you able to rewind, Thunder?

  152. Jandy says:

    well said again girl, you’re on a roll.

  153. Please don’t include pitch. Next you’ll be including “tee box.”

  154. Jim S. says:

    Funny!

  155. radio wave says:

    Reds radio got it right? Without bias, or baiting, or anything? Unheard of.

  156. Jandy says:

    I tend to agree with you, Milo. The public backing is what it is…salesmanship.

  157. Thundercrack says:

    No. I just kept drinking

  158. Who do we project replaces Cumpton . . . . . Jenmar or Victor Black?

  159. Arriba Wilver says:

    A million here, a million there, pretty soon you’re talking about real money. (Senator Everett Dirkson)

  160. Milo Hamilton says:

    No problem. It’s the curse of having that schedule calendar above my desk.

  161. Thundercrack says:

    I think they are extremely lucky that Allie is doing so well as a hitter. (and it is the low minors).

    I give them a sliver of credit for not forcing the kid to be a pitcher.

    (Of course he probably had to carry two telephone poles during THOSE drills)

  162. JohninOshkosh says:

    Truth be known, Groat, I have no earthly idea what either a hockey or soccer coach actually does!

    BTW, I’m playing golf today, and as Milo says, “business will be conducted.”

  163. radio wave says:

    Is anyone besides me still following the Cup playoffs? Any surprise at what the Bruins are doing so far?

    And if anyone besides me cares about the NBa, what about last night?
    I spent years as a Rockets season ticket holder hating the Spurs, but I hope they take it tomorrow.

  164. SeanAY says:

    I tend to give NHL GM’s a little more credit than that. I don’t think anyone is fooled by public statements that say “Fleury is our guy.”

    In other words, I really don’t see any reason for them to be dishonest about it. There are 29 other teams that saw the way they treated him in the playoffs. I don’t think Dan Bylsma and Ray Shero saying “Fleury is our guy” is going to trick them.

  165. Brandie says:

    It’s all about balance. Thanks, Ms. J.

  166. Jim S. says:

    They did say that about Watson, Arriba. I think bunting is a difficult skill, and I see it with our 11 year olds. All of the coaches say, “Pretend that you are catching the ball with the bat.” That is what has been said for about a million years. I don’t how that confusing advice is supposed to help a kid.

    Bunting is hard, but some guys (like everyone on all the other teams, it seems) appear to have it mastered vs. the Bucs. Maybe our pitchers just groove it and take the out. Whatever it is, I hate watching failed bunts by pitchers. I also hate just about any non-pitcher attempting to bunt except for in very specific circumstances – unless, of course, his name begins with a B and ends with a ARMES!

  167. Arriba Wilver says:

    No olives? :-P

  168. Brandie says:

    Yes! Yes it is! Brilliant, but schmutzy.

  169. Jim S. says:

    As strong as he is, I’d make him carry 3.

  170. Milo Hamilton says:

    Remember, they’ll be going into 5 straight games where they need a DH. However that factors in. Last time they added an extra reliever. I guess with Gomez it depends on how they plan on using him. I think he’s going to the bullpen since they don’t need a #5 for awhile.

  171. JohnS says:

    When you don’t have unlimited resources you really do need to get a little bit lucky to be successful.

    Right now the Pirates are getting good contributions from Burnett, Liriano, Locke, Melancon, and Grilli. These guys turn out different and the opinion of Huntington is also different.

    I do like that they have taken chances on players like Milledge, Clement, Alderson, etc. For a team like the Pirates you have internal development and the lightning in a bottle find to build your team. Josh Hamilton or Albert Pujols aren’t ever getting signed as FA’s.

    I do think for the first time I really feel that the Pirates have MLB players at 1-8 in the line-up. They are probably still short one outfielder but Snider/Tabata/Pressley can be servicable.

  172. NMR says:

    Jim, never back away from good discussion, my friend.

    That was good baseball talk, plain and simple.

  173. Jim S. says:

    +2. A lot of college coaches (not all, of course) abuse the arms of pitchers. They often throw an ungodly # of pitches in starts, and then throw again a couple of days later if the team really needs a win.

  174. My mother-in-law driving off a cliff in my brand new Cadillac!!!!!

  175. NMR says:

    Stetson Allie is going to make Orlando Merced a looooot of money if he mashes in the bigs.

  176. Jim S. says:

    Have fun, Osh.

    Worst day / Best day. Right?

    Worst day on the golfcourse beats the best day in the office.

  177. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, as though he was surprised at the developments.

  178. Jandy says:

    Glad I can do that for someone ;)

  179. JohninOshkosh says:

    Groat and I talked a bit about the NBA above, RW. What do you think about Pop’s coaching ?

    I still hope the Hawks take the Cup.

    A few of us here follow the NBA. But I think Dejan believes the Serbian National team could beat both the Spurs and Heat!

  180. Jim S. says:

    For sure. And I think we should get more.

    I do recall Paul Coffey landing in Pittsburgh once-upon-a-time. He was an offensive defenseman. I thought it worked ok. I know Letang has his faults, and he was awful at times in the playoffs. But, I hate seeing that much unique talent going away. If the haul is big, I can live with it.

  181. Al says:

    I only channel surf past the Cup playoffs but I heard the term “smothering defense” mentioned more than once. I hope the Pens are watching. They need to learn that it’s OK to play a 2-1 or 1-0 playoff game without thinking it’s an offensive failure. This is normal! 7-3 games are for the regular season.
    Just like in baseball where good pitching always stops good hitting, smothering defense will win you the Cup.

  182. Jim S. says:

    Nice, Arriba. Was it a billion here, a billion there? In Congress now, it would be “A trillion here, a trillion there, pretty soon you are talking about real money.”

  183. Jim S. says:

    Exactly. Chapman is the issue.

  184. Arriba Wilver says:

    Assuming that’s correct, Sean, do you think they’re better off saying ” he stinks, and no way we’re bringing him back?”

    Me neither.

  185. Lay a 10 spot down for me!

  186. 21sthebest says:

    Men’s Wearhouse fired founder and CEO George Zimmer. Maybe they’ll make some new commercials.

  187. Jim S. says:

    Finally growing into the job, Dom. I don’t forget the years of constant mis-steps and some of the strange decisions. But, if I’m making the call on him going forward, I have to look at what I have right now.

    I liken it to crazy free agent signings of guys like Pujols and Hamilton. The Cards and Rangers chose not to pay them based on past performance, but what they were projected to do in the future. Smart organizations look to the future.

    Getting back to Neal, I have said I was not a fan at all. But, in my mind, being totally fair, we now have a team that is very competitive (though still a bit flawed) in Pgh, and the promise of a more talented team going forward. I don’t know how he does not get extended. He gets scooped up immediately if he is allowed to leave, IMO.

    Never expected to be saying that 9 months ago.

  188. Jandy says:

    I have to confess I am surprised by the Broons, but maybe I shouldn’t be. They are a well-coached machine. The aren’t afraid to do what it takes to win.

  189. Arriba Wilver says:

    They’ll like how they look.

  190. Jim S. says:

    Bruins should be up 3-0. Chicago is still dangerous.

  191. Jim S. says:

    + a billion.

    He’s the new Cy Sperling.

  192. Arriba Wilver says:

    Never real sure, Jim. It was the 60′s. but million fit in better with the discussion on Letang. A little literary license, please. ;-)

  193. Tuukka Rask is a run-of-the-mill, pedestrian goaltender.

    I was told that by a Serbian National curling champion.

  194. Jim S. says:

    Only because it wasn’t HOF broadcaster (and instigator) Marty Brennaman, and his son Thommmmm.

  195. JD says:

    I’m all in for great breasts!

  196. Jandy says:

    It’s a beaten horse, but the point is of HOW to pitch inside is a good one, Jim. Great post.

  197. Jim S. says:

    Why, thank you.

  198. SeanAY says:

    No, I suppose not. He has to be your guy until he’s no longer your guy, in that sense.

    I’m just saying, they didn’t offer that same endorsement to Letang.

  199. NMR says:

    The Cards offered Pujols $225m over 10 years. They got lucky that he’s a greedy b*astard, not smart.

    I only point this out to illustrate perception and reality in this business.

    Huntington has made major league moves that are certainly paying off this year. He’s built a farm system that has a high ceiling and yes, finally depth.

    But I’m far from ready to believe there are not better candidates out there moving forward. Unfortunately, I also have seen absolutely no sign that Bob Nutting and Frank Coonely are smart enough to identify that person.

    Leaves me frankly not caring about the GM anymore. Helps when there is decent baseball to watch in the meantime.

  200. Brandie says:

    Good for the rest of us who may not know the why or the how of pitching inside. Thanks.

  201. 21sthebest says:

    Abuse is too strong, IMO. And there’s still no empirical evidence on what causes arm injuries. Of course overuse (whatever exactly that is) can lead to injuries but every athlete is built differently and has different thresholds for when injuries occur.

    College baseball players have the ability to research the programs they’re deciding between. And it’s also up to the athlete, IMO, to take care of themselves. Not saying college coaches shouldn’t accept any responsibility, I just think this is a complicated issue and I’ve hardly even touched on it.

  202. Al says:

    did you make him an offer that he can’t refuse?

  203. Jim S. says:

    I didn’t say “rewind the DVR” because I wanted to see how you would respond, Thunder. You didn’t disappoint.

  204. Jim S. says:

    I also think CH sensed that last night was a “must have” game once we jumped out on top early. He knows we cannot get swept in Cincy this week, and he didn’t want to blow this game by over-extending Ground Chuck (love that nickname, btw!).

  205. Dom says:

    What does that mean?

  206. 21sthebest says:

    Now if we can only get the Mattress Factory to get rid of Ron Trczinski.

  207. Jim S. says:

    It is complicated, 21. I’ll grant you that. But, we also know that the MLB teams spend a whole lot more money and time trying to figure out the formula on pitching workloads. I know they haven’t got it mastered yet, and I also know each body is different … still, there have been instances of guys throwing complete games of 130+ pitches on a Friday, and then coming back and giving the teams 2 more innings of relief on a Sunday in the CWS. I don’t think any MLB team would do that with a 20 year old arm even in the World Series. GMs cringe at that. Maybe abuse was too strong, but misuse, I think, is accurate. And I know it is not all of them.

  208. Jim S. says:

    I hope they are going to need to pitch all 9 innings of those 5 games as well, Milo.

  209. Milo Hamilton says:

    I guarantee it.

  210. Jim S. says:

    Absolutely. Great reach back in the time capsule to pull that one out.

  211. Arriba Wilver says:

    Maybe abuse is, but even in little league, we all know if there weren’t limits on how many innings, etc a kid could be used, some psycho morons would overuse the really good ones to win more games. Sad, but true.

  212. BrotherhoodoftheRedus says:

    Dusty Baker will have something cooked up for this evening…count on it. These Reds are not as deep as they have been in the past. Look at their lineup outside of the regulars….they have no real viable platoons at their disposal besides behind the plate (combined .218 with 10 doubles 5 HR’s and 29 RBI’s for Hanigan and Mesoraco).

    Essentially they have six very productive regulars and a short bench. There is no doubt that Baker gets it done in other areas.

  213. Jim S. says:

    A sweet roll.

  214. radio wave says:

    Sorry missed your previous comments. Pops is the best in the business most of the time. His decision making down the stretch last night was not his best. I want Hawks to win too, tonight is important, must win for them.

  215. 21sthebest says:

    Agree Arriba but a Little League body is obviously very different from a college athlete body. I think there should be pitch limits through high school.

  216. radio wave says:

    Love the Z man. I used to go to his original store in Houston.

  217. Jim S. says:

    NMR:

    The Cards never offered Albert anything close to what he wanted or ultmately signed for. I know a guy from St. Louis who says the Cards never offered close to 10 years, and that was all just a ploy from the Pujols camp to jack up his price. They figured out how much they could offer & still be rejected, which is what they wanted to happen. Albert was a local hero, and had just brought home another title. But, the Cards wanted no part of that huge contract, and they knew they had a ton of talent coming. Pretty much the same thing with Hamilton and the Rangers.

    You don’t care about who the GM is? Of all posters, I find that hard to believe from you. You have the pulse of the development system. I think it absolutely matters who the GM is, because if he goes most of the guys under him go. Rene Gayo could follow him. How could anyone want that right now? Some of these scouts that have now figured out how to draft projectable fireballing pitchers would go. GM might be the most important guy in the organization.

  218. Drew71 says:

    It’s not only that but…

  219. Jim S. says:

    That line was sitting there, patiently waiting, for 21 long minutes until you put it out of its misery, Milo.

  220. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    You’re exactly right about tonight.
    Baker would’ve jumped on it last night if it wasn’t for the Pirates scoring three immediate runs.

  221. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Agree Groat….meant nothing towards the game, but I think it was an attempt to get the warnings out, which never came.

  222. Brandie says:

    It’s all about the butts.

  223. Arriba Wilver says:

    Just talking human nature. And even agreeing to pitch limits through high school is a little arbitrary, accepting that we don’t really know what causes arm injuries. These kids, whether high school or college, are still growing and developing. Probably isn’t too much of a stretch to think that the MLB teams, with more resources and different long term goals, might be a better place for them to develop overall as pitchers.. Of course, there are always exceptions.

  224. Dom says:

    What’s wrong with him?

  225. Karen22 says:

    + myriads!

  226. Brandie says:

    Mmmm. Sweet rolls!

  227. NMR says:

    John Mozeliak, the General Manager in St. Louis, disagrees with your guy from St. Louis (although I was wrong, they offered only $220m).

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/cardinals-boost-offer-to-pujols/article_968bf333-74e8-5b87-b245-ae4ae5b33301.html

    And I completely agree with you, the GM is absolutely the most important person regarding team operations. I should have said that the entire situation and drama involved leaves me not caring WHAT HAPPENS to the GM. I don’t have faith in Huntington taking a good foundation and turning it into a World Series winner and I don’t have faith in the Owner and President finding a replacement that can.

  228. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  229. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    This ain’t over…..maybe for this series, but it will come back.

    Old school part of the game.

  230. Arriba Wilver says:

    Zagurski? :-)

  231. Karen22 says:

    LOL! That was the breast post ever!

  232. Karen22 says:

    So maybe we don’t need an “edit” button!

  233. Brandie says:

    This will follow me forever. Epic Fail!

  234. Brandie says:

    I breast my case.

  235. Thundercrack says:

    Brother,
    Do you work for ROOT Sports and are just trying to manufacture some excitement for tonight’s game?

    We gonna watch anyway.

  236. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I never bunted…..except in practice.

    You’re exactly right about the location and type of pitch thrown, but that goes the same with regular hitting.

  237. Jim S. says:

    Damage control on Fleury, for trade purposes. I don’t know how you say he is your #1 next year.

  238. Karen22 says:

    Nice synopsis of a truly fun game to watch despite some Bucco boo-boos.

  239. Arriba Wilver says:

    Breast closed.

  240. Bizrow says:

    About 240 comments and its not even lunch time

    Wait till Letang gets traded

    Or Dusty starts another ruckus

    Kinda impressive, numbers wise lately

  241. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Agree 100%

  242. Karen22 says:

    Yep…but I liked BOTH “errant” pitches.

  243. Brandie says:

    We are a chatty bunch.

  244. Karen22 says:

    Righty-O, John. Enjoying the games ONE at a time and not looking beyond today’s.

  245. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Wonder what Strasburg’s arm would’ve been like had he skipped college. Of course, there’s no way of actually knowing that, but I do know he had extremely high (MLB standards) pitch counts at San Diego State.

  246. Sisyphus says:

    Truth.

  247. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Maybe they should chuck the basketball at Lebron, that’ll show him.

    Time for a little intimidation factor

  248. Arriba Wilver says:

    And had Tommy John surgery his first year in the Bigs.

  249. NMR says:

    “Essentially they have six very productive regulars…”

    Not to be overlooked.

    No team has a lineup 8-men deep. Very few have the kind of depth that can replacing struggling or injured players with Major League regulars.

    But what good offensive teams DO almost always have are stars that can make up for those gaps. That is what the Pirates are missing. The 2013 Pirates do not have a Joey Votto or a Ryan Braun, let alone Shin-soo Choo’s, Jay Bruce’s, Freddie Freeman’s, or Carlos Beltran’s to support them.

  250. Sisyphus says:

    Locke was the main guy, but he was still a long way from the majors, which made him a real gamble. The Braves had seen enough of Morton. Gorkys was a lottery ticket. If he managed to figure out how to hit he would have been a great center fielder, better defensively than Cutch or Marte.

  251. Jim S. says:

    You and your pesky fact-checking, NMR! Kidding. I guess they did offer 10/$220. But, I will stand by the fact that he got more than that from the Angels, and I am not so sure the Cards really wanted to pay that much money or get into a bidding war over him. They were taking a lot of heat from their fans and felt compelled to offer something competitive. I think they are extremely happy with how it turned out and that Albert held out for more dough.

  252. 21sthebest says:

    Strasburg wasn’t drafted out of high school so skipping college wasn’t really an option if he wanted to pitch professionally. But maybe you were just talking hypothetically.

  253. Jandy says:

    But, butt, buttt

  254. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    You’re probably right, but do they go BP or an extra bench player? I believe they said whenever he came up that he probably won’t last.

    I was pretty impressed with him though.

  255. Dom says:

    What is your avatar?

  256. Naterosboro says:

    1 thought I had about the Bruins.

    I’m not sure who said it *wink* but there was an awful lot of talk about the Penguins failure to get traffic in front of Rask. And praise for the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 for doing just that and getting a win in the 3rd OT.

    But…

    Since then? 1 goal in 6 periods of hockey (and 3 of those were on home ice). So, are the Hawks now not creating traffic? Or could it be that Boston is doing a great job of clearing people from in front of Rask?

    I’m not saying the Penguins couldn’t have done more to disrupt the goaltender, but I think Boston had more to do with it than we want to give them credit. They also block a TON of shots. That’s got to be frustrating to the opponent.

    A recipe for success right now.

  257. Jim S. says:

    I heard he got a new shipment of toothpicks in time for tonight’s game. Went with the cinnamon flavor this time to spice things up a bit and freshen his breath.

  258. Jandy says:

    He’s not very photogenic :)

  259. Dom says:

    I assumed that’s why he did all those radio commercials.

  260. NMR says:

    Alright Sean, more importantly…it was chilling hearing the unmistakable tone of Wolf last night, and Warren didn’t even have her tuned high to match that piercing Jerry style.

    What a cool experience. The orchestral arrangements were fairly simple and approachable, surely anticipating the crowd on hand. Warren brought a rhythm section as well, which made the PSO more of a backing band than the centerpiece. I would’ve preferred the opposite, but it was intriguing regardless.

    Terrapin was as stellar as you’d expect for a song that almost feels symphonic in the first place. Shakedown was surprisingly funky and produced what was surely the first crowd dancing in the aisles to ever grace Heinz Hall for a PSO perforemance. And China Doll was absolutely gorgeous as the closer.

  261. Jandy says:

    ZING!

  262. Jandy says:

    Zimmer down, AW :P

  263. Brandie says:

    Animal from the Muppets. He is in the middle of that little picture. That is why Am called the blog’s resident Muppet by Hippo. Need to find a better picture of him.

  264. Brandie says:

    Hope he gets a splinter in his tongue.

  265. Sisyphus says:

    I suppose it must be a coincidence that professional teams, who have a great deal of money invested in pitchers, are careful to limit starters to around 110 pitches every fifth day, while college coaches, who have nothing invested in pitchers, often permit them to go over 140 pitches, start them with two days rest, or send them out to relieve the day after throwing 135 pitches.

  266. Jandy says:

    Like the one Niklas Backstrom has in his commercial!

  267. NMR says:

    Certainly not denying that they made the correct ultimate decision, Jim. They found themselves in a position where someone else was willing to do more and they held tight.

    Even though their own offer would’ve been crippling, they come out on the other end smelling of roses.

    And that was my whole point in relation to Huntington going forward. I truly can’t argue with much from the last year and a half, but I’m still not sold that he’s the answer in the long run.

  268. You’ve never heard that old joke?!?

    a/ I desperately want the Pirates to succeed
    b/ If the Pirates succeed, Huntington is seen as a success.
    c/ If Huntington is seen as a success, Huntington stays

    Ergo, my dilemma!

  269. Lad9 says:

    Hey Brandie! Heavy work day so I am jumping in and out (mostly out) of the blog. Name is actually a nickname passed down from my dad (he called everyone lad even if they were 90) and the number of my favorite player, Maz. Super power…hmmm. How about endurance – and I will leave it at that. LOL

  270. NMR says:

    @21

    Google the history behind Rice University and drafted pitchers. They are infamous for wearing out arms that habitually flop as pros.

    I’ll agree with you in the most general terms, that nobody knows exactly what causes arm injuries. But there absolutely is plenty of empirical evidence that INCREASED usage correlates to INCREASED risk of injury.

  271. SeanAY says:

    Did you happen to see any tapers there? Because I’d love to give it a listen!

    Terrapin is my favorite song in the Dead canon. “Inspiration, move me brightly!” gives me chills every time I hear it, especially in the later iterations where Jerry really seems to give it some emotion. And as much as I love the full Terrapin Suite, those jams into Drums > Space are absolutely some of the best late-era Dead you’re ever going to hear.

    China Doll closer? Shiver. Such a haunting song. Love it.

  272. Sisyphus says:

    Alderson currently has a 3.00 ERA with 25 K’s and 8 BB’s in 27 innings at Indy. He’s still only 24. He may turn out to be a decent bullpen guy, which is a lot more than the Giants got from Sanchez before his contract ran out at the end of that season.

  273. Vinny Giardina says:

    she’s cock-eyed and musclebound…

  274. Jack Laurence says:

    Thanks for your thoughts NMR and Jim S., but we may be mincing words: “apprehension,” “fear,” “fright.” It’s all the same. Maybe caution would be a good word. I was not talking about going up to the plate as a hitter and being afraid of getting hit. I am talking about the automatic mental reaction that follows a close pitch or being hit by a pitch. It is part of the fright-fight-flight reaction we all have immediately after a close call, be it on the highway, in wartime or in the batter’s box. The player may not even be aware of it. It’s the automatic reaction that causes a batter to duck or try to get out of the way. In most cases, his heart beats faster. Adrenaline pumps harder. All kinds of chemicals are produced by the body. And whether he knows it or not, there is a lingering after effect. It takes soldiers weeks or months and in some cases years to get over being heavily shelled or shot at. I suggest that baseball players are not immune to the effects of being thrown at.

  275. Hey Milo!

    Check your calendar hanging right there . . . . . . when does James McDonald have to come off the Convenience List? 7 days? I can’t remember when he started rehab——30 days from then.

    If there was EVER the perfect example of the Convenience List, it’s JMac!

  276. Arriba Wilver says:

    A lot more than they got from Sanchez? You mean the season they won the WS and he was a contributor? We must be employing different definitions involving maybes and selective memory.

  277. Jandy says:

    Hey Vinny, does Bizrow know your hometown so he can list it in Dejan’s Lunatics’ Asylum?

  278. Brandie says:

    Blog has covered a multitude of topics, from bean balls, to bunts, to basketball breakdowns, to butts, to breasts…we have it all.

  279. Jandy says:

    Agree 100%

  280. Re-writing history. Don’t tell me about “may turn out!”

    Giants got a pennant and a World Series appearance with Freddie Sanchez.

  281. Brandie says:

    Endurance could mean so many things…you triathlete you! :-)

  282. Your a Fine Girl!

    Nice new pic!

    B-B-B-B-B-B-B-B-B-B-B-B

  283. The Gunner says:

    Lucky

    I never cared much for Morton but, after last night’s 1st pitch, I have a lot of respect for him. I am really pulling for him now to have a successful return.

    Let’s hope Locke pitches a gem tonight and as the real Gunner would say, “Let’s strap it on ‘em tonight!”

  284. “You’re”

    ———to use Dejan’s favorite word: “STUPID!”

  285. Brandie says:

    Thanks to Ms. Jandy. She found the picture of the Muppet I most resemble.

  286. Brandie says:

    No worries…I knew what you meant.

  287. Iceman says:

    I think he still has the potential to be the number 1 still because we see the skill he has. I think the team is absolutely doing the right thing by bringing in a new goalie coach and I think that Fleury should see a sports psychologist. When his head is right, he is incredible. Let’s just get his head right.

  288. Vinny Giardina says:

    Sure does.

  289. Iceman says:

    Letang is not their best defenseman. Letang is their best player that plays a defensive position, but he doesn’t really play defense all that well. Much of his defensive miscues are made up for by his superb athletic ability, but sound defense is something that he lacks. He is exciting to watch when he isn’t playing stupid, but he plays stupid far to often for someone who is no longer new in this league. I think a change of scenery and change of coach will be the best thing for him.

  290. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Saw yesterday that they offered that amount, but STL wanted to defer about $30 mil of that, whereas LA did not.

    STL is still, IMO, the best run baseball organization in MLB.

    Their scouting is amazing and that is the core to any successful franchise.

  291. 21sthebest says:

    “But there absolutely is plenty of empirical evidence that INCREASED usage correlates to INCREASED risk of injury.”

    I did previously say that overuse leads to injuries. What exactly does “increased usage” mean?

    I’m not sure what your point with Rice is. I also said that I would think college players would want to research the programs they’re deciding between.

  292. Jandy says:

    The only thing I am concerned about after all that, Iceman, is…what about his relationship with Bylsma? Can there be any mutual respect left there?

  293. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I was impressed as well…I got the ones right, that I thought I got wrong and vice versa.

  294. Brandie says:

    Wish my husband, the true Dead fan, could have been there.

  295. Jandy says:

    Thanks :)

  296. Damon says:

    I don’ think they’ve lost faith in Letang, he just is going to cost too much. It doesn’t make sense to sign Letang to a huge contract covering the next 8 years when his heir-apparent(s) are coming up through the system. Not to mention they could get some very nice players back in a trade – someone will over-trade for him. Just look at what Shero got for Staal when Carolina knew they were the only team the Pens could deal with.

  297. 21sthebest says:

    Well college pitchers also don’t have agents.

  298. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    completely

  299. radio wave says:

    Allie promoted to bradentom.

  300. Sisyphus says:

    He can’t always resist putting politics into mattress commercials.

  301. Sisyphus says:

    If Nutting wasn’t so cheap, Chapman wouldn’t dare to pitch high and tight.

  302. 21sthebest says:

    Set your alarm clock for 7:05 p.m.

  303. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Not only pitched inside to keep the batters from diving out, but to jam them up as well. Keep in on their hands and break the bat in half.

    The pitcher needs to own the inside. By doing so batters will get hit, not always intenional.

    Pitching dominates this game. Hitters are successful on pitchers mistakes.

    Pitching inside and out, keeps the hitters off balanced and keeps them from getting the barrel on the ball.

  304. 21sthebest says:

    “Kinda impressive, numbers wise lately”

    Yeah this week has been really awesome!

  305. NMR says:

    No tapers, Sean, and it would a be a shame if they don’t record some type of compilation to benefit the Rex Foundation.

    So funny you say that about Terrapin. “…move me brightly” are words I live by. Unfortunately, they chopped that part out for the sake of brevity, I assume. Somewhat of a theme to the performance, actually. Chose short compositions in favor of lengthy ones.

    And you’re so right, Haynes’ vocals on China Cat were almost haunting.

  306. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    spell check app please………

  307. Arriba Wilver says:

    + a bazillion

  308. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    17 K’s sucks, but I’ll take the numbers 4-0 over that….

  309. Jim S. says:

    I can’t argue that point, Nor Cal.

  310. Jim S. says:

    Are you saying he has a face for radio, Jandy?

  311. Brandie says:

    See post below about expecting great things from Charlie Morton. Compared to that, your mistakes were minor.

  312. Jim S. says:

    I love that commercial.

  313. Jandy says:

    Nah…was just being facetious since Dom asks the cutest questions ;)

  314. Damon says:

    You could look at it this way – Fleury has shown he can get 40 wins in a regular season. If he falters in the post season next year, you know what you have in Vokoun post-season-wise now.

    Also, who’s to say Fleury won’t get his act back together this off season and comes back next postseason with a vengeance? Everyone wrote off Paul Martin last year….

  315. Jandy says:

    me too. I hate the Cap, but that cracks me up every time.

  316. 21sthebest says:

    How about this topic Brandie. FBI ends the search for Jimmy Hoffa. So without a body it’s too difficult to tie his alleged murder to Nutting.

  317. NMR says:

    Absolutely, Ryan.

    Which is why I’d be happy as an Astros fan for having an owner that was smart enough to hire their former Director of Scouting and Player Developement as his new GM.

  318. Jandy says:

    that’s just it Damon, you never know. But another flop post season won’t be good :(

  319. Jandy says:

    Wa-hoo! ::doin a happy dance::

    speaking of, where the heck is Hipposter???

  320. Jim S. says:

    Well deserved. He just needs to keep chopping wood. His future is bright again as a ballplayer. Really nice to see a struggling kid find success. I’m really rooting for him.

  321. Jandy says:

    Me too!

  322. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Oh you missed out on the game thread brother…….great discussions..

    Ha ha…I think we’ve been hit on the “ignore” button for ruffling feathers yesterday.

  323. Jason81 says:

    Quite the walk up around here lately. Or is it a groupon deal?

  324. Thundercrack says:

    Good idea.

  325. Damon says:

    I’m sure his post-season leash would be very, very short.

  326. Lad9 says:

    Yes it could – and it does. ;) Unfortunately my triathlete days have deteriorated to running to get the paper when it is raining, cutting the grass, and showering while thinking about swimming. And your superpowers? I read earlier that you were transporting. Like in Star Trek? :)

  327. Jandy says:

    yup, that’s what I’ve been reading everywhere. Never thought I’d type this (being I’ve been Tanger’s biggest supporter around here) but I have to agree!

  328. Jandy says:

    I like it!!! =)

  329. Drew71 says:

    He looks like I act

  330. Drew71 says:

    But they KNOW Nutting killed him.

    Evidence is circumstantial but Nutting nickel and dimed him to death.

  331. Bizrow says:

    Humbly nominate for post du jour

  332. Jandy says:

    seconded lol

  333. JohninOshkosh says:

    Didn’t Rapid Robert keep Hoffa in the Pirates minor leagues. Everyone seems to get lost there.

  334. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Why hit an easy out when Marte and the crew are right up after him.

    I get your point and agree with it, every once in awhile you see a pitcher get hit, but usually by the pitcher he hit previously.

  335. JohninOshkosh says:

    Dejan’s Vacation List:

    1. Clean out garage.
    2. Change light bulb in basement.
    3. TP Neal Huntington’s house.
    4. Go to comic book store and argue with the Comic Book Guy about DC being superior to Marvel.
    5. Change oil in sensible reasonably priced sedan.
    5. Call Frank Coonelly from anonymous pay phone and ask him, “Is your refrigerator running ?”
    6. Have Rossi and Yohe over to watch VCR tape that has both his wedding and 1988 game between Hartford Whalers and Winnipeg Jets on it.
    7. Take a job for a few days as Starbucks barista.
    8. Go to local little league field and tell the kids that soccer is more popular worldwide and baseball is the third most important sport in Pittsburgh.
    9. Frolic in the fountain with the sleeves of his pocket t t-shirt rolled up.
    10. Iron Serbian National Flag and hang it proudly from his porch.

  336. Jim S. says:

    Nor Cal:

    Are you going to start that U10 team for your son and coach them?

  337. Bizrow says:

    You never know around here

  338. theplanisworking says:

    11. Hoard Groupons.

  339. Jim S. says:

    Each one better than the last, Osh. I think Dejan would be hard pressed not to at least snicker at those (as long as no one else was watching, of course).

  340. Jim S. says:

    #12 Call Anaheim and remind Angels staff to get accurate count of walk-up ticket purchasers for the G. Cole start on Friday.

  341. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Ha ha….thanks

  342. Jim S. says:

    Lou Gehrig was born 110 years ago today.

    For CIA-type thriller readers, Vince Flynn passed away. Very sad. Young guy, and I thought a great writer. RIP, Vince.

  343. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Similiar to a GM backing his manager right before they fire him.

    I agree with you

  344. theplanisworking says:

    13. Tell his family “Win or be Fired”.

  345. Bizrow says:

    For what its worth Appel is signing with the Astros this afternoon.

    Thank goodness the Cubs didn’t get him….

  346. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Absolutely a good call by the Astros. They have a lot of building to do, I’d even say more than what the Pirates have had.

    They really don’t have any high priced guys or “stars” that can bring in the young talent.

    I do like the 2b though, good young player.

  347. Lad9 says:

    Flynn was a tremendous writer. I knew he was battling the big C, and it is very sad. I read everything he did with just one more to go. Thanks Vince for many hours of pleasure. Rest easy…

    Thanks Jim

  348. Jim S. says:

    I like it.

  349. Jim S. says:

    47 is way too soon.

  350. Arriba Wilver says:

    +10

  351. SeanAY says:

    Check out Jambase. They’ve got some audio of the show…the “China Doll” and the “Crazy Fingers.”

  352. Lad9 says:

    +1 Really good stuff Osh

  353. Bizrow says:

    Not touching this thread with a 10 ft pole ;-)

  354. Jim S. says:

    Biz:

    I definitely would prefer to see the Cubs stumble around in the dark, bumping into lamps and laundry baskets (as I did at 4:30 this morning. Thanks, honey!) for a few more years.

    You can never have enough good pitching … but, you also always need a good defensive catcher. We ended up with Reese McGuire with that pick. It will be interesting to see which player has more impact. My fearless prediction is that Appel will be a decent MLB pitcher, but Reese McGuire someday will be the best defensive catcher in MLB as a Buc AND also carry a plus bat.

  355. Sisyphus says:

    Sanchez was traded while under a contract that expired at the end of that season. The Pirates had already offered him an extension, which he turned down. For the purposes of evaluating the trade, the Giants got two months of Freddy Sanchez, in which he put up an OPS of .619 in 25 games. The World Series came after the Giants signed him to a new contract for $18M over three years, most of which he spent on the disabled list. And they win that championship with or without Sanchez.

  356. Sisyphus says:

    They win that World Series with him or without him.

  357. Jim S. says:

    No more Mitch Rapp.

  358. Bizrow says:

    Personally I’m pulling for the Cubbies curse to last another 100 years

  359. Jim S. says:

    Anyone can have a bad century.

    They are well into a 2nd bad century now.

  360. Jim S. says:

    I hear you. I think most people on here are big DK fans. I think he realizes that. At least, I hope so.

  361. Arriba Wilver says:

    Soooooooo, you’re comparing the end of the first season of his existing contract with the speculative maybe future of Alderson as he may turn out to be “decent bullpen guy?” And in the process making the determination that the Giants win the WS with or without Freddy. I see. Are you Neal’s agent? If so, he needs a new one. There are actually facts to make him look better without making stuff up.

  362. Dom says:

    We took Austin Meadows with the selection that we got in lieu of obtaining of signing Appel.

    It should be looked at as us obtaining Meadows in lieu of David Dahl who many thought would be our selection if Appel was off the board. I am more than comfortable with that.

    Here’s Dahl’s stats:
    http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=621311

  363. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    We’ll see. We’re moving in 6 months. Hate to start one here and then again at our next place.

    But if he twists my arm hard enough, I might still have, just have to get through All-Stars and see what else we have.

  364. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    All this and more from the guy that said the Giants got nothing out of Freddy Sanchez.
    You out did yourself today…..,

  365. JHadar says:

    Haven’t been around much lately — and may continue to only be able to pop in now and again for a bit; working on fixing a massive server crash at work — basically turning a win2008 server network into a peer-to-peer workgroup and the attendant hassles of recovering and resetting everything — but even a semi-retired workaholic needs a break now and again.

    So my now and again observation is that I’ve noticed some “Don’t they teach these guys fundamentals?” posts/threads of late. Personally, I remember just about everything my little league coach taught me. He was a scout for the Phillies and later coached baseball and basketball at the University of Iowa.

    I’ve also noticed that in most sports where I have a rudimentary knowledge of the game, that professional players make fundamental mistakes. Nothing like watching a couple of guys in a broadcast booth with a telestrator showing how the running back missed a hole here that was open for maybe a half a second he would have made 40 yards instead of being thrown for a two yard loss. My Dad was a football coach and one of the lessons I learned from him was that he who controls the chalk controls the discussion.

    I seem to recall that fundamentals are things that you practice over and over. And the reason that you practice them over and over is that while they are basic to the game they are the easiest things to goof up. And you do look silly when you goof them up and so on.

    The other thing that I remember is that when I was a kid, the guys who played ball in the 20′s and 30′s and 40′s were always harping about how the players in the ’50′s and ’60′s weren’t being taught/excecuting the fundamentals. And there’s a joke that goes back at least to ’30′s about the guy standing outside Ebbets field yells up to a guy in the top deck. “How’s ‘dem Bums doin?’ and the guy inside shouts back ‘It’s all tied up in the seventh, there’s 2 out, and ‘dem Bums got three men on base.” And the guy on the streets shouts back “Which base?”

    Likewise I remember everything my little league coach taught me, and although I’m sure I’ve forgotten if I ever made a fundamental mistake, I’ve seen them made at every level of every sport I care to watch.

    I wonder why?

  366. Arriba Wilver says:

    From Wiki:

    “In Greek mythology Sisyphus (/ˈsɪsɪfəs/;[1] Greek: Σίσυφος, Sísyphos) was a king of Ephyra (now known as Corinth) punished for chronic deceitfulness by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this action forever.”

  367. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    The kid almost doubled his money from last year, not a bad ROI.

  368. Arriba Wilver says:

    He could be buried in the concrete at PNC Park.

  369. Excellent, John. Somewhere in Manitoba, DK is smiling like a butcher’s dog.

    :D

  370. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    That was funny.

    No real reason that those things happen. You see it in EVERY sport by the best athletes in the world, or at least of their sport.

  371. Jim S. says:

    I think it has to be said that the Bruins have really stepped up the last 2 series’ over where they were at the end of the year and Rd. 1/2 of the playoffs. This happens all the time in the NHL playoffs. The top rated teams don’t always win. That said, Boston was the better team for the majority of game 1 in this series yet allowed Chicago to win. So, it is still 2-1.

  372. Bizrow says:

    Good to see you here

    Thats a tough question.

    I coached baseball for 13 years, starting with 8-10 year olds and then moving up to Pony towards the end.

    With the little ones, I would coach first and constantly remind them as they were running to go thru the bag and not just stop on first.

    Some never seemed to be able to remember to do that, even while I was 10 feet away yelling thru the bag, thru the bag.

  373. Jim S. says:

    So, if you start a team, do you just do tournaments against travel teams?

  374. Seconded, Gunner.

  375. Jim S. says:

    I guess you’re right, Dom. Good catch! I just remembered that everyone was projecting we would take Reese first, and I forgot. I think Meadows also has a high ceiling – although I realize these are kids and it is all a crapshoot.

    Let me put it another way. With Appel being much more ready for MLB, he is more likely to make it to the show. But, I think the Pirates nailed both of those picks, and I think they have more upside with either of their picks.

  376. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Or how about rounding the bag?? Saw that last night at a TOC game..almost had to call the kid out, but luckily there wasn’t an actual attempt to advance on the play.

  377. Jim S. says:

    Immediate money, yes. Years to arbitration and free agency increased by one.

  378. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Yes. A lot of fun and GREAT competition.

  379. NMR says:

    They’ve already traded away Oswalt, Berkman, Melancon, Lowrie, Pence, Bourn, Lee, and Rodriguez.

    If they don’t have a Major League roster out of that bunch, then they’re almost certainly looking at 5-7 years before contending.

  380. Arriba Wilver says:

    A bird in the hand . . .

  381. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Unfortunetly, Little League is starting to lose the good players to the travel ball era.

    It’s a shame, but it seems today, as I’m sure it was for all of us, that LL has become a baby sitter.

    I’ve seen 10 year olds blow off LL for travel ball. It does give those players a competitive edge.

  382. Jim S. says:

    Great post JHa. That was my thought exactly about Neil’s baserunning blunder. It was obviously his mistake, and I think he owned up to it right away. As it turns out, there is a lot of thinking on the fly required in this game, as well as a lot of stressful situations. Put those things together, plus the fact that the other team is actually trying to win AND mix in that in almost every baseball game something you have never seen before is likely to happen … and you have a hard game to play. Nobody ever really masters it. Those who come closest get paid millions per season to make mistakes in front of us that we chastize kids for doing. I love baseball for all of this.

  383. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hey Groat,

    Sorry so late. Busy day. Sez here McDonald’s 1st rehab start was May 26th. 30 days is June 24th so it looks like June 25th is D-Day.

  384. Arriba Wilver says:

    One of the 25-30.

  385. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Yea, I’ll take the upfront money.

    He’s a Standford grad, he knows what to do with it.

  386. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I didn’t see it, but is it possible that he couldn’t pick up the ball in the air? The OFer hoaxed him with a catch?

  387. hockeymonster says:

    :yawn:

  388. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Or Stanford

  389. Bizrow says:

    + 1 , forgot about that

  390. hockeymonster says:

    And how does the rest of the team make up for their miscues? Oh wait they don’t… :)

  391. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    By struggling you mean, non financially? Ha Ha..wish I had that struggle.

    Seriously though, the promotion is well deserved. I hope he continues. I expect a small drop off in the beginning and hopeful that he adjusts.

    Still don’t expect to see him with the big club for another 2-3 years, depending on performance.

  392. Jim S. says:

    I guess we’d have to hear from Neil. The best explanation I got was from the Cincy radio team. They thought it was because Neil did not pick up that the Reds LF was shaded toward LC. So, Neil was thinking it was a very catchable ball by the LF, because it was in a spot where we would normally make the play if not playing Night-Dro to pull. Had he noticed the LF playing into LC, he would have known it was a hit all the way.

  393. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    hmm, yea so many factors go into something like that, especially from this side of the play.

  394. Jim S. says:

    Guys, this actually happened with our 11 year old team the other day. We were not hitting well on Sunday.

    Anyway, one of our coaches, who is a really great guy and a good coach (normally) actually said, “Guys, we are hitting too many flyballs and pop-ups today. We need to hit the ball on the ground – hard. Or, line drives through the infield.” That is exactly what he said.

    I just started laughing because it sounded so silly. He wondered why I was laughing, since we were getting killed by 6 runs. I told him that he should have just taken all of the thinking out of it for our kids and just told them all to hit it over the fence.

    About a minute later he said, “Yeah, I guess that was a pretty dumb thing to say.”

  395. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    so many examples of bone headed plays.

    I hate making an easy out at 3rd. Regardless of how it happened.

  396. Jim S. says:

    We have to remind some of them to run through the bag, and swing through contact.

  397. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    When they get older he’ll be telling them to hit the top half of the ball to keep it down.

    I understand what he meant, but yea, his verbage was a little off.

  398. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Or….swing!!!

  399. Bizrow says:

    Step and swing, I remember saying that all the time

  400. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    As someone used to say……….

    Ants marching

  401. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    how about, “the games over here!!!” to your outfielder

  402. Jim S. says:

    True, Arriba, and I am a bird in the hand guy. If it were my son, I would have actually taken the bird in the hand LAST year from the Bucs. Appel gambled, and it paid off. He is set for life if he is smart with his money.

  403. Jim S. says:

    For sure. Part of teaching is having them understand why you tell them to do everything you tell them to do.

    We have a few who understand how to allow the ball to travel deeper as a RH hitter to hit it to the right side and move the runner over. But, that is pretty advanced stuff for most of them at this point.

  404. Jim S. says:

    My dad used to call those outfielders “daisy pickers”, as in “That kid would rather be picking daisies in RF.”

  405. Sarah says:

    They consider him the best option in their very forced offensive scheme….
    Not the same as as Best Dman. In many ways he is amongst their worst (positioning, turnovers, bad pinches…..)

  406. Sarah says:

    I saw a shot chart for bruins v hawks game 3….hawks had THREE shots from anywhere within about 20 feet of Rask (the House for us goalie coaches).
    No goals.
    Bruins had 17 House attempts, including about 7-8 so closely bunched in and around Crawfords crease it was hard to count them.

    That is the only chart you need, to know what’s going on.

    Just like the Pens, the Hawks won’t get dirty in front and take the punishment.

    I sincerely doubt that will change.

    Bruins in 6. At most.

  407. NMR says:

    Only depending on how you look at it, Ryan.

    He had a pre-draft offer of $6m from the ‘Stros according to most everyone, yet turned it down for more money.

    He ended up with less than half a million bucks more than he would’ve last year, from my perspective.

  408. Brandie says:

    Transporting children is one of my super powers. I also can break up fights in a single bound.

  409. Vette60 says:

    Man, that’s really sad to hear about Vince Flynn. Prostate Cancer @ age 47…really rough.

    I always enjoyed reading the Mitch Rapp novels…

    R.

 
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