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Vacation thread: 6-21

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

On break all week. The full column/blog/etc. schedule resumes 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 more, including his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the top four columnists in the country -- highest circulation category -- by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the top three columnists in the country by the National Headliners Awards. For 2013, he was named top columnist in the state by the Keystone Awards and second-place by the Pennsylvania AP Managing Editors.


  1. Great win for our Buccos. Nice to see peace reigning in Blog Valley. Sending out good vibes to all of my fellow Lunatics. Off to work then to seek adventure at another Hippie Fest.

    Pedro, I hope you have a series like what was seen in yesterday’s game. Cutch, find your stroke.

    Take care.

  2. I finally grad-jee-ated Hippo Skool, so I started reading about yesterday’s Pirate (and other) stuff………………

    Great game by Pedro yesterday. I really like THAT Pedro. But I am resigned to the fact the Pedro we will normally get is a whiff machine, that will hit HR’s, drive in runs, but always struggle to hit for any type of average, or consistency. Yearly totals of 30-35 HR’s, 80-90 RBI’s are very, very good……………… but a .212 average, and over 100 K’s year are not. But, guess you cant have it all.

    Read that Gerritt Cole probably will be sent back down to Indy soon, to make sure he avoids Super 2 status………. probably being recalled later this year (September)? or soon if injury bug strikes again. From a business standpoint, this makes sense, and I agree with it. From a “play to win the game standpoint”, this makes no sense, and I dont agree with it. Glad I am not TBMTIB. ;)

    Havent watched a single minute of the Stanley Cup Finals, and I am proud of that. My team is out, hence the playoffs for me stopped. I get very ill thinking of Jeremy Jacobs receiving the CFup from Bettman, his henchman.

    NBA Finals over. Think the NHL refs are bad?? The Heat won last night. I hope there is a ceremony for the refs to receive their rings also. Hiddeous officiating cost San Antonio Game 6, or Miami would be on the outside looking in again. Quite sad.

    The Silly Season will now be upon us until mid-July…………….. trade deadline stuff. Yesterday’s hypothetical trade for the Pirates to acquire Stanton from the Marlins was like a bad acid trip. Give up many top prospects for someone whose #’s would probably fall in PNC Parks vast left field. I would like to see a LH bat acquired, but…………………….

    Late game tonight. They are expecting big ratings. Must be the under 25 crowd then.

    Ray Shero is saying all the right things in his negotiations with Letang and Doo=pwee. I cant imagine a scenario where the $$$$ will be available. But In Shero we trust!

    Everyone have a great day. Gonna be sunny and hot today here…………. might have to throw some ice in the Pond. :)

  3. “It would also sell some tickets.”

    That’s the last line in Travis Sawchik’s latest blog entry.

    I can’t wait for when a certain someone to get back from vacation and bumps into Travis in the Trib’s break room.

  4. JAL’s Timeless Skies Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)

    4 Pittsburgh Pirates Stats

    5 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Pick Signing Tracker

    BLOGS and such

    6—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: The Pirates Don’t Need Giancarlo Stanton

    Pedro Alvarez’s Five-RBI Day Completes Series Split in Cincinnati

    Prospect Watch: Cunningham Hits 14th Homer; Strong Pro Debut For Dickson

    7 Bucs Dugout

    Pedro Alvarez dominates Reds in 5-3 Pirates win

    Game 73: Pirates 5 Reds 3

    The Pirates, Giancarlo Stanton, and trading prospects

    9 The Green Weenie

    Pedro Powers Pirates To 5-3 Win

    10 Rumbunter

    Pittsburgh Pirates Trade Rumors: Acquiring Giancarlo Stanton Isn’t Easy, But No Thanks

    11 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Pirates 5 Reds 3

    • Timeless Skies Al Stewart 1978 Off his 8th album, Time Passages. Stewart was part of the British folk revival of the 1960s but was unique for mixing folk with historical events in his songs. Stewart continues to tour regularly. Stewart is also an award-winning wine connoisseur.

  5. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 IS Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates: Can Pirates hang with Reds all season long?

    13 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates: Jeff Locke’s A Lock

    14 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates Jordy Mercer given golden opportunity

    15 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Reds fall to Pirates in series finale

    16 CBS Sports

    Pirates vs Angels Game Preview

    17 Sweetspot

    Do strikeouts matter in postseason play?

    18 PBC Site

    Bucs ride Alvarez’s monster day to win over Reds

    Notebook: Gomez’s next start likely to be with Pirates


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    To Sleep, Perchance to Swing

    20 Fangraphs

    Shopping For A Starting Pitcher? Good Luck.

  6. Travis will figure out the TBMTIB soon enough.

  7. Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steeler World: A Photo Essay

    Rooney: Pittsburgh could host the NFL Draft

    22 Steelers Depot

    - The Terrible podcast: Talking Steelers 2016 Power rankings, Art Rooney II Comments, and More


    23 The Independent

    Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov makes clear Arsenal are ready to make move for Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney

    24 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 20th June, 2013

  8. Really disappointed Spurs lost last night. However, not surprised, as Game #6 was theirs and they gave it away at the end. Tony Parker needs some Geritol.

    ESPN has become the ESLJN. I’m liking Lebron less and less. Or, maybe I’m liking ESPN less and less. Toss up.

    At least we can put NBA to bed now, except for draft in one week.

    Go Bucs!!!!!

  9. How could the NFL justify it, if they do not at least suspend Aaron Hernandez when they gave Big Ben 4 games without being charged with anything?

    We now know that he destroyed the surveillance system at his home.

    Destroyed his cell phone.

    Seen with the victim the night before at the bar.

    The police had to search his house twice.

    Something certainly seems to be afoot.

    He has also been accused of shooting another guy in the face and will most likely have legal action in regards to that too.

  10. Travis’ entry was similar to some you see here occasionally in the comments. “We have this need. Let’s trade X and Y for Z.”

    Look I would love to have Stanton, and I understand you would have to give up some of those prospects. I would be fine with that. I almost always favor proven ML talent over prospects. There are only 2 problem:

    1. The Pirates never make trades like that.
    2. They would never financially commit to a guy like that for a plethora of reasons.

    Thus, the entire entry was nothing more than mental masturbation.

    • When was the last time the Pirates were in a position to make a trade like this – meaning they had the prospects to potentially pull it off?

      Zane Smith?
      Phil Garner?

      • My point was that never make trades like this because they haven’t had the prospects.

        If the arbitration process wasn’t so goofy, I would really say the Pirates should consider making this deal. They would have ‘control’ of Stanton for a good number of years –but who knows how much he would be awarded every year in arbitration.

        But they could always trade him again.

        • I understand your point TC. And without opening up a whole can of worms about Dejan and last year’s trade deadline, I do think last year was instructive of how the FO views things.

          Have not thought about Zane Smith in awhile!

          • Who was available last year that was on the same level as Stanton?

            Upton is the only one I can think of.

            • We cannot say, with any certainty who was available. Only 30 men know that.

              MLB Trade Rumors is far from gospel.

            • Upton is nowhere near the level of Stanton.

            • I might be in the minority here (as I often am), but I think Upton is not nearly the player a lot of people think he is. He hasn’t hit many HR in the last 6-8 weeks since the hot start, right. And is there anyone that thinks he is a good influence in the clubhouse? When I watch the Braves, he seems to question every call he doesn’t like. He goes nuts in the dugout on bat racks, etc. I just don’t like the total pkg, as tantalizing as the talent may be. There is a reason AZ badly wanted him out, and there is also a reason Atl felt they needed to also bring his brother. In short, I don’t think he’s as good as Stanton.

              I also don’t want Stanton for the haul that was suggested. I realize he’s legit and young, but he will want 9 digits on his next contract in a few years. I don’t think he puts us over the top this year. We still don’t have the pitching to win it all. However, when Taillon, Cole, Glasnow, etc are in our starting rotation in 3 years, with Polanco in RF, we may very well be legit WS contenders.

        • Someone compared how many games Stanton misses every year to Clemente missing many games each season. Unfair comparison in many ways.

          Paying big money for a guy on the DL 40 games of the season is not sound even for the BMTIB. We have guys now that aren’t his quality that are frequently hurt.

          A guy like Cutch has to be pried out of the lineup. Give me a few more like him if we’d even consider giving up Taillon, Polanco and Sanchez. Otherwise, Stanton will be a Yankee in a few years, anyway.

          • Whoever said that was also forgot to check his facts. Clemente complained of his ailments a lot, and he had been injured in a car accident when he was a teenager, but if you check out baseball reference Clemente didnt miss that many games until the last couple of years of his career. Certainly not 40+.

            • Yeah, somehow he managed to play enough to get 3,000. It takes a .300+ hitter close to 10,000 AB’s to get 3,000 hits. That’s a lot of NOT missing games.

        • I don’t think the FO has the kahunas to make a deal like that. Plus, they seem to always be looking at “tomorrow” rather than “today”

          Short of another disasterous collapse, the FO, IMO, has no chance of not being here next year

      • Steve Beuchel? Danny Jackson?

    • You said a bad word, Oshkosh. You said plethora

    • Well said, John.

      Trading for Stanton is a pipe dream.

  11. For those of you who missed it last evening,
    Here are the updated standings through yesterday’s game.

    For those of you who haven’t played yet, please feel free to step on up to The Window beginning this evening.

  12. I’m gonna say it now, and let the chips fall where they may.

    JUSTIN MORNEAU is the target the Pirates should go after.
    Sure, his power numbers aren’t what they used to be, but he still hits for average, and still puts up really good RBI numbers.

    Wouldn’t cost a king’s ransom to get him.
    He is an upgrade defensively at first.
    He would allow Garret Jones to go to RF.
    You could easily bat him anywhere in the line-up between #2 and #7.

    That’s my pick!

    • And he’s actually won something.

      • I prefer guys who have never won anything but can actually hit. I’d take Morneau as part of a package deal including a time machine, though.

    • Who do you have platoon with Garrett in RF?

      • Exactly.

        I can appreciate Playoff thinking outside the box a bit, but Morneau has the offensive profile of a decent 2nd baseman at this point in his career.

      • Which reminds me, where’s Joggin Joe disappeared to ?

        • Haha, I was halfway through replying to AW that Tabby could be the answer before coming to my senses hitting the “Click here to cancel reply” button.

    • Interesting name, but TBMTIB wont go after him.
      Too much injury history, not enough production due to it.

      I would love to get Morneau, btw, the 2006 Morneau.
      He would be a LH bat, and with that short porch………….

      But interesting choice.

    • Is he on the table?

    • He looks like he could be a 10/5 guy.

    • Assuming he’s on the market, the question becomes, how much of Morneau’s remaining salary will the Twins and/or the Pirates be willing to pick up?

      His contract is $14M for the season, so let’s just assume for the sake of conversation he’d be due $6-7M from the deadline on.

      Now, the Twins divest themselves from Morneau at the end of the season regardless, so they may not be willing to eat a large chunk of that. I guess it depends on what value they feel is worth it. Would they rather eat $4M but get some good prospects back, or pure salary dump him for a song?

      Likewise, if you’re the Pirates, you have to consider if he’s the guy that gets you over the top. He hasn’t had an OPS better than .800 since 2010, when he put up a monster 1.055 in 81 games. He’s hitting .289 but only has three home runs. I’m not a big RBI guy (I think it’s a team stat more than anything), but his numbers are decent, and he’s hitting .333 with RISP (again, though, I tend to think that’s luck more than anything…his career number is .288, which is essentially his career batting average).

      But you’re right, he would be an upgrade in several ways. Move him to 1B and platoon him with Sanchez. Jones goes to the outfield full time and is platooned with Tabata when he returns. I still think the Pirates need a right-handed outfielder, preferably one that could lead off.

      In short, I agree with you.

    • I think he just hit his 3rd homer yesterday or a couple of days ago.

      But he would be a rental

    • Playoffs,
      If the Pirates made that deal your next betting line should be “how many games in a Pirate uniform before Morneau gets hurt again”


    • Interesting and good points by all.
      I see Morneau being a lot like Derek Lee or Ryan Ludwick.

      I know, I know, how did those work out?

      He’s not the most glamorous pick out there, but I see him being more attainable than a guy like Stanton.

      But then again it’s still June.
      Lot’s of time between now and the deadline.

      • You know what, that is a great point.

        Lee is an excellent comp. He was arguably struggling more than Morneau is now before tearing it up with the Bucs.

        They’re both veteran professional hitters. I could definitely see Justin contributing and even sneaking a few over the short porch in right.

    • I wanted him last year. He’s a high dollar low-production guy right now, but if the Twins pay for most of his contract, I’m in favor.

  13. #VoteBarmes

    C’mon guys, we can do this !!

  14. Last post until I return from vacation…

    * I really don’t want to deal Jameson Taillon but the Pirates offense is so anemic, they have to do something about RF and who hits behind McCutchen. Look at “Don’t call me Mike” Stanton’s splits this year, he’s killing the baseball with someone on base. If he’s got Marte, Walker, and McCutchen batting in front of him with Jones, Alvarez, and Martin behind him, he’ll be a big force. If deal happens, I don’t offer anything more than Taillon and Tabata. I think Taillon is going to be a bonafide number one pitcher, that’s not something I’m willing to deal with other top prospects to get back someone for 3 years plus this season. So it has to be something quite limited like Taillon and Tabata or I go looking for another bat.

    * If Ray Shero thinks he move forward without Pascal Dupuis, he’s obviously putting way more value into Jussi Jokinen than I would. If Dupuis isn’t signed, next man up would be Jokinen to join the other top two line forwards of Crosby, Kunitz, Malkin, Bennett, and Neal. I’d much rather see Jokinen on the third line with Sutter. The lone free agent that would entice me to spend the money is Bruins Nathan Horton. He’s 28, cannon for a shot, big power forward. He’s going to get 5-7 years from $6-8 million per season… can the team afford that with all the other deals coming… I doubt it.

    * Last time I was in Outer Banks on vacation, Jaromir Jagr shocked me by picking the Flyers. The big move this time will be whether Letang signs long-term or is traded for the forward depth this team desperately needs. Problem with dealing Letang, they don’t have anyone ready for top four duty as we’ve seen what an increased role does to Niskanen and the young prospects like Scott Harrington, Olli Maatta, Derrik Pouliot, Brian Dumoulin, and Phil Samuelsson are not ready. Free agents are not cheap, so another thing to be aware.

    * North West…. I mean really… North?!?

    * Be good…. until next time, keep your head up and stick on the ice!!

  15. How about Mr. Aoki from Milwaukee ? He’s a real pain in the butt. Put him at the top of the order, he gets on base & runs the bases well. It allows you to move Marte down & out of the leadoff spot. Makes $1.25 million this year & a $1.5 million option for next year.

    • Interesting.

      I think he is worth looking into.
      But who would we give up?

      Barmes?? ;)

    • We could also pay him an extra $250,000 to teach the guys we have to properly run the bases. maybe he’ll settle for $50,000 and a pass to Kennywood?

    • Yeah, but can he handle the green speed at Baltusrol?

      • You know, that was about as happy as I ever saw Jack. He had reached that point in his career where I don’t think he was sure he could win again.

        Great catch on your part.

        • Crowd was so happy that day, Jack had to push them off the green so Aoki could putt. Fans went bonkers over that win.

        • Crowd was so happy that day, Jack had to push them off the green so Aoki could putt. Fans went bonkers over that win.

    • Salivating.

      Aoki is my poor mans Shin Soo Choo, and not just because they’re both Asian.

      The team would control him for four years, including arbitration. Pencil him at the leadoff spot and you don’t have to worry about needing to fill that void for a long time.

      I like him so much I’ll do you one better. I’d trade Marte FOR Aoki and Corey Hart.

      • What a deal. Starling Marte for a guy who wishes he was Starling Marte and a guy who might be a little better, but we really can’t say for sure that he is because he is currently being paid $10M to ride the DL. That deal could end up in the running for the Worst Trade in Pirates History Award.

        • Marte has been exposed in front of our faces and one good month is still blinding us.

          • Marte had one bad month. April was great. His OPS in June is .768, and his OBP is .354. He’s 24 years old and in his first full season in the major leagues, and you’ve decided that he’s no good because he had a bad month of May. I don’t judge players based on one month. And I’m still trying to figure out how $10M man Corey Hart helps the club from the trainer’s room. Any GM who made such a deal would deserve to be tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail.

            • If you feel it is smart to count on him maintaining that .375 BABIP while striking out 26% of the time, then go for it.

              Also, please link the article where you read that Corey Hart will be out for the rest of the season. Or did you forget we are talking about THE TRADE DEADLINE, over a month away.

              • Where did I say that Hart will be out for the season? All I know is what the Brewers have said. There is no timetable for his return, and there won’t be until he starts his rehab assignment.

                Marte is 24 and improving. Aoki is 31 and will be declining. Hart is 30 and unable to play at all, has no timetable for his return, and his $10M contract expires at the end of the year. I’ll take Marte over Aoki and less than three months of Hart, especially since less than three months is the best case scenario.

      • Need a bib, NMR? ;)

    • Like the idea, but are the Brewers going to trade a cheap leadoff hitter with years of control to a division rival?

      • Very true, but the Crew have already faced reality and publicly stated that they are in rebuild mode.

        Aoki would mean more to the Pirates than the Brewers in the near future. Would be hard to pass up a Braun-Gomez-Marte outfield three years down the line.

        • Cocktail time start early? Did I really read MARTE traded for Aoki???

          • Hey, it’s noon somewhere.

            I think that’s how that phrase goes.

          • Starling Marte has had one good month of major league baseball.

            • Fair enough…projection is important too, no? fair enough if you think he will NOT perform in a 5-tools way, as many around baseball feel he will. I think it is fair that IF you think Marte is the ‘real deal’, then a trade of him for Aoki and a fading Cory Hart would be a bit lopsided, no?

              • Many around baseball think he’ll be a 5-tool player? I’d love to see those articles.

                Regardless, projection is certainly important. My problem is players like Marte are incredibly risky to project.

                His value, as a hitter, will always revolve around contact. Until he shows the ability to adjust to the league, I’m not sure why anyone feels he’ll improve his ability to make said contact.

                Aoki, right now, is the hitter we need Marte to be.

              • I guess I want the Pirates front office, before making any trades or deals, to ask themselves, what would the Tampa Bay Rays do? I have never seen the Rays trade a young prospect away before they are established…their model is they turn their players that are about to make big $$ for more prospects from other teams… David Price is next up….

              • Maybe DK can add a “insta-poll” option in the blog, so we can put things up for a vote… question for bloggers…Do you think Marte will be a solid to good major league outfielder? Yes/No. My guess is it would be about 93/7 in the Yes category.

                But again, if you are in the category that THINKS he will not amount to something more than say, Alex Presley, then for sure, let’s swwap him for Aoki. Nothing wrong with that action following that opinion…I just happen to have the exact opposite one.

              • “My guess is it would be about 93/7 in the Yes category.”

                And I would be one of those 93.

                “But again, if you are in the category that THINKS he will not amount to something more than say, Alex Presley, then for sure, let’s swwap him for Aoki.”

                He clearly already is more than Alex Presley. But then again, Alex Presley is not a very good baseball player. Its silly to think that a player like Alex Presley would bring anything in return.

                Any team, every team, is going to HAVE to give up SOMETHING in order to bring a good return. High risk players, IMO, are exactly the kind you give up in order to get known value.

              • good debate, but i’m still not moving Marte for that return. The focus needs to be on “stuff the Pirates can’t get easily” if we are going to deal top prospects…someone like Aoki, and especially Cory Hart, are things I think the Bucs can find reasonable facsimiles of without trading someone like Marte.

                And it’s especially why I think, like Teke does, that Taillon is untouchable.

                But for Stanton? That’s something the Bucs can’t easily get… and that is worth a prospect or 2 or 3.

                Again, the model to emulate is Tampa and to some extent Oakland..would either of those teams trade Marte for Aoki/Hart?

              • “…someone like Aoki, and especially Cory Hart, are things I think the Bucs can find reasonable facsimiles of without trading someone like Marte.”

                If that is the case, then I’ll absolutely agree with you, 100%. I just personally do not believe it is easy to find .290/.350/.400 players. Consider Michael Bourn’s career year was .294/.349/.386.

                And I’ll also absolutely agree on the Tampa /Oakland model comparison. The only problem is that those two organizations have excellent personell who can identify and develope players instead of acquiring known commodities.

                Until the Pirates prove they have personell of that quality, they’ll never be able to succeed with that model.

              • Great conversation, btw.

      • Aoki is 31. He may be cheap, but how much longer will he be good?

      • No way. Milo was right that Aoki would be ideal to us. But, I think the Brewers really like their offense going forward, and Aoki would be tough to pry away.

    • I still say Alex Rios of CWS.

      • Sign me up.

        But I still have a hard time getting excited about that kind of player coming to Pittsburgh for the reason Milo mentioned yesterday. The team has already told us their budget is tapped.

        • I agree. The White Sox are not, depending on the amount they will carry, then it could be worth their wild.

          Did Milo post a link?

  16. I don’t think we need to go all out and give away top prospects just to get someone who will have a .265 BA and 15 homers when the season’s over.

    Personally, I’d be comfortable if the Buccos obtained a rent a player with the caliber of Derrek Lee. We really gave up nothing to obtain him a couple years ago. I’d assume we have to pay more since more teams are looking to be making a playoff run with the addition of the 2nd wild card spot. But, I think it will be more beneficial to part with someone like Jin-De Jhang or Barrett Barnes for a three month version of Giancarlo Stanton as oppose to giving up the farm for the real Stanton.

  17. I’d almost rather see them deal Cole than Taillon, from the reports we are getting.

    • In a heartbeat.

    • Yeah, I’d expect a lot more than just Stanton in exchange for him.

    • swap Cole for Taillon and still send the other 2.

      I’ve always been in favor of Taillon over Cole, but Cole obviously had the faster track to the majors.

      • I prefer Taillon to Cole also, but I still value Cole pretty highly. He’s 22, and he’s 2-0 in his pro career. We would all like him to show the ability to strike out more batters right now, but there is not anyone in MLB that thinks he does not have the ability to do that as he matures. Some of the comments I hear about Cole here make me shake my head. Does anyone really think he doesn’t have a bright future? When did he become such a disappointment?

  18. Hey, Mother Teresa……………

    I need your miracle-working so that I wont double-post anymore.

    Off for the day…………….. will be back here, probably by myself tonight. :(

    Carpe Diem!

  19. Does anyone know where in the order Polanco usually bats?

  20. I think I’ll try to stay up tonight and post the list of lunatic locatins

    We may get folks that don’t normally post during the day

  21. I gotta say I’m pretty geeked about the possibility that years from now when Kim & Kanye’s daughter finally gets around to her autobiography it will be entitled – North by North West.

  22. NMR,

    Have you seen that Dayton Moore has blamed Kaufmann Stadium for the Royals inability to take a base on balls ? It’s the largest ballpark in terms of square footage in baseball, you know.

    • He’s going to get the boot at the end of the season if not sooner. Last offseason he dealt their best prospects for mediocre major league talent and they’re still below .500. He was blasted by the media for making such a horrible move. In the draft, they took someone who was around the 40th best prospect with the eighth overall select.

    • My goodness, that one missed my radar. And as you know, I take any chance I get to knock Neal Huntington Sr.

      Reminds me of Ruben Amaro Jr. blaming his veteran players for the lack of walks. The same veteran players, whom he aquired, who never were able to draw walks.


  23. Interesting reading the posts today. I am really looking forward to the Pirates actually being movers and shakers at the trade deadline and not just mortgaging the farm for cash, future considerations, and the all important player to be named later.

    • I’m hoping this season IS bit different at the deadline, too. Doesn’t have to be earth-shaking, just….different.

      How was the Hippie fest? ;)

      • Have not gone yet. Going later.

        • oh well, enjoy :)

        • Where ya heading?

          • Millmont, PA for a small gathering at Sensational. Saw Mark Karan and Melvin Seals of JGB as Terrapin Flyer there last weekend. Week after next, it’s off to Ohio for Grateful Fest, then in August to Lycoming Fairgrounds for A Bear’s Picnic with Dark Star Orchestra.

            • GRATEFULFEST AT THE LEDGES!!!!!!! My lord I wish I was going to be there this year. I miss it when DSO was the headliner – in fact, I think I was at the last one with them ever – but that’s such a beautiful venue. Take the big leap off the ledge for me, and maybe grab some Disc-O Pizza!

              OK, productivity for the rest of the day is done, as I’m going to fantasize about being at NLQP.

              • Niow THAT brings up a lot of images!!!! ;)

              • We went to Dark star Jubilee at Legend Valley. Great time. Hard to believe we were at NLQP at the same time and would meet some time later on the blog.

              • May have met then, even. I remember having an hour-long discussion with some folks from Pittsburgh around the time that Jagr chose the Flyers back in 2011. You didn’t happen to remember a schlub Pens fan wandering into the camp site on Friday afternoon and going off about the situation, do you?

              • Vaguely. That was also the year I got my picture taken with Melvin Seals.

              • I got drum sticks from Rob from a show cwe went to in New Jersey for NewYears as well.

    • Im really looking forward to the Pirates making prudent deadline moves to augment a team that WILL win or lose, both pre and post deadline, based on their pitching and defense, with ‘just enough’ offense… I light candles that Neal will channel Brian Sabean and make good platoon-pickups and keep Taillon and Polanco where they are and not on their way to stardom in other uniforms.

      • Amen. Time to be a little choosy and select players based not only on cash considerations but on what they can bring to the team offense and defense wise. Also, the FO needs to be wary of what they are giving up in order to get said players to make sure it is worth it.

      • I’m with you, cmat.

  24. Trade talk is interesting. It all has to do with how you view the baseball world. I have always been fond of aggressive general managers and I view all prospects as tradeable. However, I appreciate that others want to keep the prospects and move forward cautiously.

    For some reason I think this team, this year, is a World Series contender. They just seem to have a kismet about them. They are defying some statistical analysis. Additionally, they are beating up on some good teams and avoiding losing streaks of significant duration. They have played in a fashion that suggests they would be difficult to deal with in a best of seven series.

    Instead of thinking about World Series contention 3-5 years from now. It would behoove them to think about it this year.

    Now what to do at the trade deadline? I know I don’t have the answer to it and no one can read the future. Then again, I am not paid handsomely to make such decisions. If I was, I would have an office on Federal Street instead of being some yutz commenting on a blog.

    • Just to be clear, I am referring to myself only as a “yutz.”

    • You’re a lot of things, Oshkosh, but yutz is NOT one of them.

      You’re right in that this team defies the odds a lot, and pulls wins out of the collective behinds. The don’t give up…so far.

      I hope that’s sustainable :)

    • Johnny,

      I like your post.

      You are the Y-I-C (yutz in charge) for the next hour.
      What moves do you make?

      Your audience awaits…..

    • I am a huge fan, and love the optimism, but I can’t get there yet to call this team a true World Series contender. I think objectively, adding up both talent/track record, you can’t put this team above the Tigers/Rangers/Cardinals/Braves… good news is that I think they DO have what it takes to compete with the Reds/Giants/Dbacks/Red Sox/Orioles/As/Yankees/Rays et al. So Playoff contender yes, World Series contender no. And I really don’t think even if you put Stanton in RF, you can say that they are odds-on favorites to win the division, much less the WS. Can the starting pitching hold up? AJ has been through this, Wandy is a veteran but beyond that you’d be asking a lot of Locke/Liriano/Cole/Morton.

      I see this season more like 1988/89 than 90/91/92. You are starting to see the signs of a team that can compete for a WS… they are taking steps forward… they will be able to add pieces that will make them stronger in the next few years (Taillon\Polanco, in my opinion)…

      I do like the ‘put all the chips in’ attitude, but again, let’s say we trade away Taillon/Polanco for say Stanton… and we make the playoffs but lose to the Cards or Braves….would it be worth it?

      Seems to me the best way for the Bucs to truly compete for WS is to build a starting rotation that is really really good… Cole/Taillon/Locke are a good start to that… you can usually augment the other slots pretty well with veterans like Wandy/Liriano, etc.

  25. Mike Trout is batting .542 in the last seven games.

    Those are Yasiel Puig-esque type numbers.

  26. I saw someone else say it above, but I will say it again. Travis was commenting on a speculative trade that Dave Schoenfield from ESPN had suggested. Majority of comments from above that I read seemed to really jump on Travis, especially with the jokes Dejan needs sent over to give him a talking to. Really? That isn’t belittling at all…

    Anyway, about the trade. Stanton won’t come cheap. Stanton won’t be cheap once acquired. Stanton is worth both for the impact he provides on the field both bat and glove. Does that mean the Pirates will make the move? No.

    Small market clubs live off of their prospect pipelines, but only if their scouting/internal prognosticators are good at what they do. Not every prospect pans out, which is why if you want a PROVEN MLB player(Stanton), you have to recognize giving several prospects is a requirement. And to remember, even though as fans we want them all to pan out, not all of them will. There is no guarantee Taillon/Polanco/Hanson/Sanchez/Cole/McGuire/Meadows will pan out. That’s why they’re prospects.

    I think everyone needs to take a step back, recognize the hypothetical nature of DAVE SCHOENFIELD’s article that Travis so kindly brought to our attention. And be appreciative that the Pirates are even in such a position to have speculative trades like this to be floated out there in media!

    • AMEN!

      • I thought some of the comments above towards Travis were pretty condescending. We’re allowed to like other writers in addition to Dejan, no?

      • Double…and right now…look at the league…What wins now (just as it always has except for that pesky decade * of * questionable * training * methods)????

        Pitching. Pitching. More Pitching.

        I trade no high end pitching right now, unless I know for a fact that I have hyped a yet unproven prospect to the moon and back and can successfully use him to swindle a pitching deprived club of a bat. That’s it…I know what I have. I know he’s not what you think he is. This is business.

    • As far as I meant with any comments, it wasn’t the trade speculation, it was the 9 guys in the top 100

      • one got the point, Biz…dayum!

      • What real difference does it make…if the Bucs have 9 guys in the top 100 or say, 9 guys in the top 125 or 130? I think we are really nitpicking to make some sort of broader point, and I think that is unfair to Travis. I for one think he does a fine job covering the Bucs…he has added a Bucco Blog which is something 24/7 never really did… and blogs to me are for fun topics that people can have civil internet discourse on….

        we all offer up a ton of opinions, which is EXACTLY WHAT A BLOG IS FOR… seems to me we can do that without making any personal observations or trying to leap from one opinion to make an overall comment on someone…

        It would really be one boring blog if all we did was comment on the box score and facts that are indisputable…

        • It would also be really boring if we never disagreed with each others opinions.

          Cue Biz: “Just sayin’.”

        • cmat:

          Very well said.

          Travis does a great job, IMO. And it’s fine if someone disagrees with everything he writes because being in total lockstep with him is not the point. I find his work very thought-provoking.

          And I like when we agree and disagree here. Defending your position, and sometimes changing your position because of a point someone else made is a very good thing to me. That is what blogs are for IMO.

          Doing it a respectful way is key.

    • 2 things: the Espn article was discussed on this here blog yesterday. Maybe I missed it, but I didn’t see anyone questioning Travis bringing it up. And I like Travis, and I think most do. But that doesn’t immunize him from disagreements with what his opinion is.

      • right disagree with his opinions, but some posts I saw went farther than that,things like ” he’s naive, he’ll learn, he needs a talking to, etc.”

        Travis is as qualified as any of us to put whatever opinion he wants to out on the blogosphere.

        • I stand by my naive comment.

          Multiple times, he’s discussed moves without even mentioning cost. I’m not sure what other word describe a journalist, covering the Pirates, who feels a complete discussion can be had without discussing cost.

          • I believe the cost was covered in the ESPN article he was referencing. Perhaps he didn’t want to be overly redundant?

            • If he didn’t want to be overly redundant, he could’ve come up with his own material in the first place.

              • Bam….

              • I’m pretty sure he gave his input on an article already written while bringing it to the attention of those who may not read ESPN, but do read local papers such as the Trib.

                That’s different than repeating the same information as what was already in the original article. But hey, what do I know?

      • Go start reading the comments from the top. People suggested Dejan will “bump” into Travis in the trib lunchroom, amongst other things.

        People are free to have a differing opinion, but I think some were unnecessarily attacking Travis when all he did was bring up an article from ESPN that involved the Pirates.

        • Already read them before I posted. If you want to refer back on this thread there was a defense of Travis that said he was only evaluating whether it was possible. The title of Travis’ post was “The trade offer the Pirates should make: it involves a guy named Giancarlo.”

          Call me crazy, but I think Travis can handle the feedback.

          Now I’m going to go and try to be “appreciative that the Pirates are even in such a position to have speculative trades like this to be floated out there in media!”

          • I never once doubted Travis can’t handle the feedback.

            You were the one that said you didn’t see anyone questioning Travis for bringing it up. So I suggested you go back and read. Simple no?

            As I said, people can have differing opinions, but belittling/condescending comments aren’t necessary. Travis definitely doesn’t need anyone, myself included, to defend him. However, I merely made note of the types of comments people were making just because he brought up a topic that they did not agree with. I thought it was unnecessary, and thought maybe clarification of the origination of Travis’ article would be appreciative.

      • Right, AW. And he had some opinions on it, which are open for someone to disagree with.

        I’m on record as saying he seems to be a good person. I still think he needs to look at history before becoming enamored with the BMTIB.

        I doubt if he needs these folk to be so quick to defend him. I’m sure he understands the position he’s in. Some agree. Some disagree. Some more arrogantly. Some less. I’m sure he knows the nature of the position he’s in if he came from another paper in SC.

        • Personally, I really enjoy most of his posts and look forward to them.

          This is kinda surprising, the grief that Dejan takes here is quite a bit more unkind than anything I’ve seen said about Travis here today.

          • Well Dejan is just an angel who doesn’t dish it out to anybody.

            • Ha!


              We need a sarcasm emoticon in the worst way.

              • hate to go there, but it is reasonable to me, and my opinion, that Travis is as ‘optimistic’ about the Pirates as DK is ‘pessimistic’. Maybe that’s a good balance… again, to each his own…they have their opinions and it doesn’t matter what drives them.. DK and Travis may disagree, that they aren’t pessimistic and optimistic, respectively, but I don’t care, because it is MY opinion and i own it.

          • I think Travis has two ‘jobs’…one is beat writer for the team, seems to me he asks good questions, and does a good job at that.

            He also is writing regular blogs, in many cases providing his opinion on things… opinions are just that.. to be agreed with, disagreed with, even parsed and distorted (lol). I think where the blog gets “not fun” is when any of us ‘attack’ others, and that includes DK or Travis or any one of us. Is Travis naive? Don’t know and neither do any of you. It is much better, in my opinion, to state that “Travis, I think your opinion the Bucs should pick up Stanton does not take into account financial considerations”.. but again, does HIS opinion really need to take into account the Pirates front office, payroll, etc.? Seems to me it is quite valid for him to say “the Bucs SHOULD pick up Stanton” as it is his opinion…. if others say “NO, they shouldn’t because they can’t afford him”, then great…. and if others say ” My opinion is that it’ll NEVER HAPPEN because Nutting is cheap, etc.” then that is great, that is their opinion also. No one’s opinion negates the other opinions, de facto, and it certainly makes NO statement of the ability of the person to make their opinion known.

        • I just thought some of the comments were unnecessarily personal.

          • Which ones? Naive is hardly a belittling comment. He is a little green. Everybody is at one time or another. How is that condescending?

            • I think those are condescending. I think saying, “he’ll be ok” is condescending. I think saying that, “he writes like he is a fantasy player” is condescending.

              Those imply to me that he’s not as smart as we are.

              Sure. Everyone is green. I just don’t think he needs to be belittled or embarrased which is my take.

              • Naivety has nothing to do with intelligence. By definition.

                Naivety is lack of experience, which a beat writer/blogger with 2 1/2 months on the job obviously has. Also by definition.

              • Truly not being a smart aleck here, I don’t think either of those are condescending. (again, my opinion) I still don’t know what belittling means. One who has departed the blog accused me of it when I was joking with him, but I never meant to be.

                I think if someone said “he’s so stupid, he sounds like he’s a fantasy player” or “he’s just a punk, but he’ll be OK” that would be rough.

                I think he’s just new to the area. It would be like saying the Cardinals invented the pullover jerseys of the 70′s when the Bucs did. That makes me mad every time I hear it.

                Some of it rubs people the wrong way and they react to it. I think condescending is a strong word. People on here don’t look down on people, but they do disagree.

                By the way, 21, I am disagreeing with you, but I still like you. ;)

              • Couldn’t agree more, Lucky.

              • NMR, someone can lack experience but that doesn’t mean they’re not doing a good or thorough job. Personally, I like reading Travis’ entries so far. Nothing he has done ever made me think that he’s experienced, inexperienced, naive, etc. I just read what he writes and I think about it. I don’t really care what his experience level is. That’s irrelevant to me.

                Lucky, I know you’re not being a smart aleck. But again, I just thought some of those comments didn’t need to be said. Agree or disagree with him but I don’t understand why we need to characterize him. It’s like some disagreed with his opinions so they needed to exercise a little superiority by stating that he’s not experienced or knowledgeable of the history yet to justify why his opinion is different from theirs.

              • Boy 21, that couldn’t be any more opposite of how I intended.

                If you read his blog, you’ll find many occasions of me complimenting him. Hell, I’ve done it several time in this one.

                If I wanted to be dismissive, I would’ve just said he’s clueless for not taking cost into account in any Pirate transaction. That was just not the case. I was excusing him, not criticizing.

              • NMR, I don’t recall seeing you say anything about Travis that I thought was condescending or dismissive. And I guess I don’t know what the point of your post at 3:27 was. But don’t worry about it. No biggie.

              • Gotcha.

                Just wanted to be clear that I meant no slight to Travis. I appreciate you bringing it up since I wouldn’t have wanted him to think that either.

              • Lucky:

                There is nothing condescending in any way, IMO, about calling a young writer naive. There is nothing personal about that in any way.

            • More importantly, what happened to RB?

              • He’s getting more columny type work in print, I believe (don’t get the Trib), and still the official beat writer.

                I’d like to see him take over baseball columns with Travis working the beat and Dejan focussing on the major sport topic of the moment (including baseball).

            • Suggesting a young writer may be naive is certainly not condescending. Nothing personal about that, Lucky.

    • As that ESPN article came out, Pirates Prospects writer wrote the same thing also

  27. I see the Yankees have signed Big Z. Guess they have decided to fill the void that David Wells left years ago when he retired.

    • Hideki Irabu was shocked to hear the news….

      • Exhibit A, or maybe Z, in the “Teams Need Pitching, Don’t be Surprised Who Picks up our Castoffs” debate. I, for one, think that even JMAC would be picked up, though I know others think not, but hard to believe someone, somewhere wouldn’t take the chance.

        • Maybe the Marlins…for Stanton…straight up?


          • sounds like a yankees fan calling into the Michael Kay show… um, Bernie from da Bronx here… why don’t da Yankz offer like our bullpen catcher and dat 33-year old kid in AAA for Miggy Cabrera… I’ll hang up and listen.

            • Funny you mention that.
              For along time I worked nights, and was able to pickup WFAN on my drive home.

              The trades the callers would come up with, were in a word…FANTASY.

              Made for an entertaining drive home.

              • noting more entertaining than NY sports callin shows… Mike Francesa goes 5 hours SOLO and I don’t know how he puts up with the ‘unwashed masses of NY sports fans’ and their bloviated opinions.

      • Never gets old. :-)

  28. We love to talk about the pirate warts and how to fix them.(see above) Put their record in any other division in major league baseball and they are in first place. Evidently the only team with no major holes are the cardinals. Last year they made some changes to get better and we know how that worked out. Maybe we should just chill and enjoy the ride. Go bucs.

  29. Once again, this is Nuttings worst nightmare. A city with playoff hopes at the half way point, yet a team missing some pieces and in need of making up some ground with the deadline not too far off. Will he authorize trading a suspect or two and spending some cash or stand pat and hoard the suspects like a rat hoards cheese?

    • rats don’t hoard cheese, they devour it ’til they are fat because they are confident they can find cheese when the time comes. I think perhaps the analogy you are going for is squirrels-nuts, but that might open another debate thread on ‘cajones’.

    • Like the trade for Wandy last season? Or Ludwick and Lee the year prior? Things are changing a bit with Owner Bob Nutting, although probably not as fast as some would like.

      I think Nutting will authorize whatever his GM needs.

      Unless it is a trade for Pujols or ARod (or any other ridiculous contract)

    • BFD! Long time no see!

      Daq has been playing nice lately. theplanisworking is hilarious and a treat.

      Are you still on Smiz Blog?

    • You seem not to be aware of this, but teams cannot sign free agents during the season.

      • I wasn’t saying you were crazy, Ryan. The system is. But, I agree with 21. Any system is going to make “mistakes, ” and the system now allows the manager to reward their own players, and they do. I get angrier about that than that the fans pick some guy they want to see that used to be good.

  30. Jones and Cutch are overdue to go on torrid stroke parties – there is no need to panic about bats yet – If you can get to 13 games over .500 with anemic offense, “the return to mean” guys out there should be able to support the “inevitable decline in pitching”.

    Just ask anyone poking holes a month ago and they will tell you.

  31. Some more thoughts from 107 degree Phoenix, just because you asked for it :)

    1) I have a different view from those that opine “Why doesn’t the management/coaching staff TEACH THESE PLAYERS TO BUNT AND RUN BASES”… I put the blame 90% on the players with 10% on the staff teaching complex situations and techniques. How can a talented athlete not bunt a baseball? I think it comes down in a lot of cases to the players don’t WANT TO BUNT and they put up half-ass efforts… now, if you want management to hold the players who fail to do what it takes more accountable, I’ll second that opinion. But can’t get there on the blame being on not TEACHING these athletes how to do something that should be inate.

    2. Starting rotation… it is pretty clear the collapses of the past (2011 really shouldn’t count as a collapse but that is a topic for a different day) are due primarily to the team not holding up in terms of starting pitching… normally I’d call for a deadline acquisition of a veteran 4 or 5 starter but I think that wouldn’t be wise given what could be a glut of good options on this roster….

    IF AJ and Wandy come back and don’t face injury concerns, then we are looking at 6 viable starters (at this moment, Cole/Morton need to keep performing……): AJ/ WANDY / LOCKE/ LIRIANO/ MORTON / COLE. We’d also have Gomez in the wings.

    Questions: Do we have ‘innings concerns’ for the top 6? AJ/WANDY I’d say not, same for Liriano and Morton, but Locke and Cole will be pushing it in terms of innings.

    Would a 6-man rotation make some sense here? AJ will hate it and will want to go every 5th day, but you could accommodate that and still keep everyone in play and lessen the innings as well. You’d also have flexibility for that extra inning game and doubleheader …. and you’d also keep all options in play should one or two of the 6 falter….

    • Only going to write this because it surprised me so much when JAL corrected me previously, but starting pitching ERA, by month, was as follows:

      2.69, 4.16, 4.59, 4.41, 4.76, 4.30

      Bullpen ERA, on the other hand:

      2.94, 2.55, 2.86, 2.73, 3.76, 4.82

      • was bullpen overused due to starters not going longer in the games? any nonstatistical evidence that the starters faltered also? I know JMAC did, for one…though I know Wandy pitched well.

        • I’m many many factors went into the bullpen colapsing.

          JAL’s point was simply that the rotation – as a whole – gave generally the same performance throughout the year, thus can be reasonably argued was not the cause of the collapse.

          • Regardless, I don’t want to sidetrack your post, which was a good one.

            I, personally, do not believe in 6-man rotations except for extenuating circumsances. Whichever rotation the Pirates decide to keep, I feel the odd man out should go to the pen and act as the “relief valve” when sh*t inevitably goes wrong.

            • I agree, but you probably need to keep Morton and Cole starting so they can (1) keep recovering from TJ surgery/layoff and (2) develop the offspeed pitches.. that is why I proffered the 6-man rotation because I don’t think being a long man does much to tell us what we have in Charlie and Gerrit. If we end up in that situation, and a 5-man rotation, then Cole back to AAA to keep developing.

          • I blame the stock market.

  32. I am late to this trade talk, and too lazy to read all of what I missed, but an article in the paper up here focussed on the fact the Red Sox have an embarrassment of riches at shortstop. With the wunderkind plying his wares for the Cubs now, perhaps
    Neal can pull off a trade w/o getting snookered?

    The sox have a great looking guy at 3A, part-timer, Iglesius, who is a fielding genius and is currently tearing things up at the plate in the majors, Steven Drew is the starter (not hitting, but leading the league on defense, and last year’s phenom playing some short, too.

    My choice would be to go for the guy at 3A, Boegearts(sp?). Take any of these guys, except Drew, and you have a major upgrade and a long term player. And, it would not cost nearly as much as Stanton. Check these guys out!

    • My opinion is that I don’t want any more “AAAA” player acquisitions…they have their place, but not this year, this team. Mercer is likely as talented as these other guys, and he gets the chance to take the job…. if we make a deal, we should do it for a sure thing, MAJOR LEAGUE track record, upgrade….in your scenario, we should target Stephen Drew of the 3.

      Neal’s biggest flaw of all was the “major league ready” acquisitions… either aim for ONE high risk/high reward prospect or trade same for major league proven talent… the middle ground is the road to nowhere.

    • Iglesias was the guy Neal wanted for Hanny, fwiw.

      • I should soften my cynical view of Pirate/Red Sox trades. This last one has worked out well, even if we could not get Iglesias. I did mean Bogearts.

        • A lot of Pirates trades seem to be working out well to me lately … although I don’t think that opinion carries a lot of weight around here.

  33. Do NOT want to open a front office debate, but here’s two things that NH was criticized for that may not be so wrong afterall:

    1) Neil Walker was projected as a ‘utility’ type of player in the bigs… his 2011 performance made that embarrassing analysis, but his 2013 trend says that may not be so wrong after all…..

    2) Brandon Moss can be a good major league outfielder and hit 25 HRs. 2009/2010 (whenever we were sentenced to watch Moss in the burgh) says that was embarrassingly wrong, 2013 Oakland As say that may not be so wrong after all.

    I am neither fan nor foe of Mr. Huntington, I happen to think he is a decent, average major league GM (and problem is the Bucs in their market need a VERY GOOD, above average GM)…my point is sometimes in baseball being right or wrong isn’t really apparent right away…. where I think Neal is weakest is he takes a ‘long term’ projection approach vs. short term, which is good in terms of making trades but bad in terms of who should be on the roster at the moment… Neil for example, should have been at 2B at the time for the short term, but long term, he may indeed not be more than a utility guy.

    • +1 on both points, but you better run for cover on the frst one. I still agree with the strong opinions up here that we were taken in the Bay trade(recall some articles saying Theo showcased Moss and utterly fooled the Prate GM.

      • I never heard the Moss was showcased an the fooled NH.

        I thought Moss always projected as a power hitter. And he hit the game winning home run when the Red Sox opened the season in Japan.

        And Theo has the reputation of always over-selling his farm system.

        • That game was a focal point of the article.

          • If you could find some links to that story and post them that would be awesome.

            • I can try, but it was undoubtedly in one of the local papers with probably vague “insiders say” documentation. I recall it, because it came soon after the trade, and I was pretty exercised about it — I believe I even whined to DK about it. I will look around.

      • I like Walker, I really do. I like the Fort also. But you can’t have really cogent conversations about upgrading this team to a WS-contender and skip over either of them. I know that any moves would also kill team morale, so you do have to be careful… but why does Pedro and even Cutch get more criticism than Walker does? Is it the hometown kid thing?

        • Fort should be replaced with Kelly Shoppach yesterday.

          As far as Neil goes, criticism is rightfully deserved. Simply has not been the player he was in 2010/2011. But he is still getting on base at roughly a .350 clip, meaning he’s a useful player on this team.

          The bigger problem, IMO, has been the manner in which Hurdle has used him. He just does not belong in the 5th spot of the batting order under he proves he can return to being the player he once was.

          • Neil is a 2nd baseman, guys. People say he gets a pass because he’s from Pittsburgh. There’s an equal # of people IMO who refuse to give him a fair shot simply because he is from Pittsburgh. Since everything the Pirates do is automatically stupid, having a 2b from this city must also be stupid or just another cheap trick to bring yinzers into the park.

            I, too, have concerns about Walker as an everyday starter. He struggles with average to good LHP. But, he has become a pretty good 2b defensively, and he has improved his BB total. They seem to be giving some of his starts vs LHP to Jordy, which I think makes sense. He has decent pop for a 2b. This has not been a great season for Neil, but I do not think he is a problem at 2b with 110-120 starts. Most 2b are flawed, offensively.

        • I’be said it before and I’ll say it again. Neil gets the knee-jerk hometown kid thrown at him as protection from criticism all the time, but I think the overuse of that offsets the benefit for the most part. When was the last time you heard a complaint that they haven’t signed him long term? Bottom line, I don’t think that’s valid. No offense.

    • Neil Walker was never projected by Huntington to be a utility player. I know that folks love to say that, but it isn’t true. Here is what he said.

      “”Neil will be used as a corner utility player that can help us with his versatility and bat,” Huntington said. “As with any player in his situation, he will see playing time off the bench and in spot starts.

      “Obviously, he has swung the bat well in Triple-A. We look forward to seeing if he can carry that maturation and production to the major-league level to earn playing time.”

      TO EARN PLAYING TIME. He couldn’t catch, because he was a lousy catcher in the minors. He couldn’t stay at third because Alvarez was coming. Those were his only two positions prior to his last season in the minors.

      • I think the criticism at the time was that Neil deserved to play every day, I think we had Aki making a mess of 2B, and Neil seemed to downplay Neil’s abilities to protect his investment in Aki. But that was so many mediocore Pirates paly ago that I can’t recall it 100% clearly…..

  34. Some of the posts today make me think about that old argument that 115 Federal Street sends bloggers here to put a positive spin on the PBC FO.

    I had a problem with a plumbing organization, got ticked and wrote both the BBB and another website, PiXXedoff Consumers.

    Bottom line is we finally settled, but one thing they wanted was me to retract my comment on the POConsumers. Now, how did they know I posted there? BBB, of course I understand.

    Bottom line is, companies monitor what is said on blogs.

    So the lunatic nation includes 115 Federal St as a location ;-)

    • Well if you had a disagreement with another company and filed some sort of claim or whatever it was, it seems reasonable to me that they might do some research on you.

      Before I hire someone for example, I do.

    • They either do or they don’t…who cares? Opinions can be had by anyone.. I work for a big company and I have my opinions — some good and some bad about my company… I don’t share them and don’t defend my company in the public purview, but plenty of my colleagues do get into debates and defend my company and I don’t deny them that right.

      I have read all of the posts and likely made a few that have you thinking I’m an employee of the PBC, and don’t see any evidence of blatent ‘homerism’ in anything i’ve read here. I also just watched a cable running of the Mel Gibson movie “Conspiracy Theory” last night, so maybe I just have that view of thoughts like this.

  35. NH has proven time and again that he is willing to pull the plug on one of his own mistakes. Walker’s stock was not exactly rising the previous two years before his switch to second. I think at the time it was perfectly fair to refer to him as a utility infielder until he proved otherwise. I don’t believe he ever implied that he would be a career utility infielder. He also said Karstans wasn’t reliable enough to count on as a starter and he looks to be correct.

  36. Since DK had been on vacation I haven’t noticed any of those posts that DK would normally “jump on” and reply with the bold type

  37. Has there been any word on how the Meadows negotiations are going?

    • Sure hope they move along. I’d like to see him in Florida before next spring.

      • Me, too. I get a little antsy when I see overslot deals for other guys. If this kid wants an extra $300k, I say find it. Hopefully, he’s not being unrealistic.

        That said, some of the kids from this year that they have signed are already doing well. Dickson, the pitcher, for one. There are others.

    • I believe Travis reported that negotiations were ongoing, but I also heard that Meadows thought he’d be ‘among the last to sign’…which this year seems to be moving at a pace much faster than previous years

  38. Yanks DFA Brignac, Tigers DFA Valverde

    • Seems like we’re always linked to Brignac.

      Do you think he’s better than Jordy at this point? (an honest question, not meant to be sarcastic)

    • wow, who’s gonna close for Leyland? Benoit? Valverde had a bigger gut than Hurdle when I saw him pitch (though not as big as the Yanks new leftie)….

      And as to Brignac, he must’ve lost some of his Tampa mojo, so pass I say… he could be the Inge role but that is really Barmes job now.

      • I think I read a committee.

        I know all the talk about closers being dicey, but man, if you don’t have one, you are in trouble.

        Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till its gone

        • Tigers will likely go all out to try to pry Papelbon from the Phils… it would be very very aggressive for the Bucs to try to move Melancon to the Tigers for offensive help… I don’t condone that, but would be aggressive.

          • I hear ya, but not even sure the Tigers would take him.

            Leyland is a died-in-the-wool “proven closer” guy. Maybe he’d consider MM’s time as an Astro.

          • Papelbon makes the most sense to the Tigers.

            Can we trade Grilli? His arm is about to fall off and he has now blown a save.

            The guy sucks.

        • Leyland hates the idea of a committee I think. I could also see them act quickly and get someone like Kevin Gregg from the Cubs.

  39. Looks like Tony Sanchez is joining the club in Anaheim. They’ll probably send Cumpton back. They don’t need a 5th starter for 2 more weeks.

    • YES! I predicted/hoped for this :)

    • Bit of a shocker…He might be the best bat down there right now.

      • Makes sense. Best RH hitter down there… we need RH hitters mostly… and will need a DH for next 5 games. Great time to get Martin some downtime as DH and give Tony a cup of coffee…who knows, if he shows he belongs, it might be the window to send Fort to Indy.

    • Well, they couldn’t move Presley back up, he has to stay down 10 days from when he was sent there.

      Other 40 man options were Chase, JHay and Jerry Sands

    • Great scoop, just landed at John Wayne and in route to hotel/ballpark and was wondering what move would be made. Glad I will have chance to see Sanchez up close in BP. I thought it would be Harrison joining team.

      Can’t wait for game time and chance to see Cole deal while hopefully mixing in a few off speed pitches.

    • Don’t they need a starter June 29th?

      • they have TWO offdays between now and next Friday, so they can keep the other starts on normal rest and skip the 5 spot.

        my take is that the plan would likely be Sanchez up for now and then replaced by Presley when the 10-days are up (which I THINK would be Sat. June 30). They can keep the extra bullpen arm for a while, though I can see them activating Gomez and sending Welker or Reid down.

        I doubt they are ready to make the Fort move, but they could always keep Sanchez up and send Fort down and also recall Presley and send down the extra pitcher.

  40. This would be a NH move.

    Just read the Cubs are for sale (not the team, just the players).

    A guy that I have liked for a couple of years now, under the radar, good OFer with a VERY strong arm, used to play for the Giants is Nate Schierholtz.

    Very solid numbers this year and at a low cost. He would be a low cost (I believe) acquisition.

    LH hitter, full time RFer. Definite upgrade. I’ve wanted him for a couple of years now.

    • I also like Ryan Sweeney, nice LH bat. Bench type guy.

      • Agree. But, in order for him to be the 4th OFer they have to gett rid of Travis Snider, which could be easier said than done.

    • “…full time RF’r…”?

      Schierholtz is an extreme platoon player. But at this point, I’d probably rather match him with Tabby than Snider.

      • He struggles against LHP like most and I would platoon him with Tabby as well. Nate would get the majority of starts.

        But he is a big improvement over Snider.

      • Tabby STARTED his rehab today. Or is it, WILL start his rehab soon? The guy is always injured and slow to recover.

        Reminds me of Mickey Rivers of the Yankees many years ago. He was asked in preseason what his goals for the year were. He said, “Hit .300, steal 30 bases, stay injury prone.” Or something very close to that.

  41. Whatever the case with Sanchez I assume he’s here for his bat. From the reports I’ve heard from Indy & what I saw myself in Florida he’s not even an upgrade over McKenry defensively.

    • Really? Other than the yip issue, he’s supposed to be an outstanding defensive catcher.

      I think time spent with Martin could really help him.

      I read a good article about Tony recently, forget where from, about his new found approach to the game offensively.

      He spent the offseason in Miami with Miguel Cabrera and he shared some information with Tony.

      Who better to learn from?

      • Other than that Mrs. Lincoln …

        I found him very sluggish behind the plate. Really slow to get out to block balls. Now I know it was only spring training, but there is no “it was only spring training” for a guy who has never been in the big leagues. Maybe it’s all the muscle he put on in the off season.

        I was really curious to see him and was very disappointed.

        • If that wasn’t just an off day, he’s going to stick out like a sore thumb filling in for Martin.

          Russell is the most athletic catcher I’ve seen on the field this year.

          • That isn’t the question, really, how much of a gap is there between Martin and Sanchez…the question is how much of a gap bw Fort and Sanchez…

        • I did read that he is basically up to DH on this trip, and that his throwing is still very much an issue.

      • And Miguel Cabrera is about the last guy I want a young player hanging around with in the off season.

  42. The Pirates have called up catcher Tony Sanchez from Triple-A Indianapolis, and he is expected to be in uniform in time for Friday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels, two sources confirmed to the Tribune-Review.

    Read more:
    Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

    Not sure if this was posted by anyone

  43. My guess is that Tony is not in the lineup tonight, though I’d love for him to catch Cole and let Martin DH. I DO think Sanchez is in the lineup tomorrow, though, and most likely at Catcher.

    If I were manager, tonight’s lineup would be:

    Marte LF
    Walker 2B
    Cutch CF
    Jones RF
    Martin DH
    Pedro 3B
    Gaby 1B
    Sanchez C
    Mercer SS
    Pedro 3B
    Martin DH

  44. Looking forward to tonight’s game:
    1. For many reasons, LA is one of my favorite cities.
    2. Angels are at a “put up or shut up” moment in the season. This is a test for the Bucs.
    3. Weaver vs Cole tonight is a great inter-league matchup.
    4. Game starts late enough that I wont be interrupted by Dad duty during the game. My Dewars and television await!

  45. I guess everybody moved over to the Riverhounds thread.

    ALWAYS happens.

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