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Morning Java: Special guest Mark Melancon

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> Today’s TribLIVE Radio show — 1-2 p.m. — will feature a call-in interview with the Pirates’ Mark Melancon, live from Seattle. Thanks to all concerned for making it happen.

Also, I’ll begin with a few thoughts on what the rest of this summer holds, as well as stuff on the Penguins’ big weekend to come and the Stanley Cup final. We’ll also talk some Steelers offseason with Trib football writer Mark Kaboly and, of course, engross ourselves in the wit and wisdom of @Suckmeterand Suckmeter Jr.?

To listen, just click on the link above. It’s free, easy, no signup. If you’ve got an iPhone, iPad or Android, we’ve got the upgraded TribLIVE Radio app. Also free and easy.

I want you involved, too …

Email: sportstalk@tribweb.com

Call: 412-320-7925

And you can email the show at any time, not just when it’s on.

>> Congratulations to the champions of the grandest trophy in team sports …

>> Here’s much more on the Blackhawks from the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times.

That finish was as fantastic as any in a Cup final, including those that went to Game 7. What a flourish, what drive by the Chicago forwards to pound the net, as if by force of will.

All in 17 seconds …

>> Just remember: This season almost didn’t happen.

>> The Penguins made a minor trade for a guy with a lot of majors. Josh Yohe reports.

>> The Pirates open up tonight at Safeco for another of those weird — and unfortunately inconvenient — two-game series forced upon the MLB schedule by the perpetual interleague play. Rob Biertempfel reports from the Great Northwest.

I’ll have much more on the club and where it stands in the Wednesday column.

For now, here was The Final Word’s segment on that subject …

>> Thanks but no thanks, Pitt tells Rushel Shell. Jerry DiPaola reports. Can’t take this away from Paul Chryst: The man doesn’t think in the short term when it comes to program-building. Always thinking of precedents being set.

>> Hope you can tune in today!

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.

Comments

  1. theplanisworking says:

    Just wanted to post this as a “first” to see if the blog is fixed. :)

    Excellent reading Chicago won the Cup.
    So happy Jeremy “Lockout” Jacobs didnt get his grubby hands on it.

    Paul Chryst just might have become the best coach in Pitt history by making the correct decision on Rushel Shell. As a Pitt alum, I support his decision 101%. This may cost him a couple games, but he is intent on doing things the correct way. If this prima donna Shell would have been welcomed back, Chryst would have looked foolish.

    Bucs in Seattle………. another sleepless one, eh? Wouldn’t it be nice to sweep this mini-series?

    Hippo Hey!!!!! ;)

    DK: Foolish? Really? Not sure about that. I’d be surprised if most Pitt fans didn’t immediately rationalize bringing back Shell if only because of what he could bring as a player.

  2. diehard says:

    Awesome ending to an amazing series. Reposting from earlier –

    Thoughts on the MVP? Kane was a distant #2 to Krejci in scoring. Crawford wins 16, #1 in GA (playing more than 2 games), only trailed Rask in SV%, one shut out.

    In Kane’s own words, “I think [Corey Crawford] might have gotten snubbed, to be honest with you.”

    Hurt by the last two being goalies as well? I didn’t see enough of Kane to know how his all around game was, but it just seems that Crawford was outstanding.

    DK: Yeah, heard Kane say that. He’s probably right, especially in light of the performance Crawford had just delivered in this particular game.

    That said, I’ll take four straight Americans with the Conn Smythe.

  3. theplanisworking says:

    Yes, DK, really.

    Chryst would have looked weak. The inmates would be allowed to roam free. Very happy Chryst took a principled stand.

    And most Pitt fans could rationalize all they want. Million dollar talent, 10 cent head. Brian Davis the second anyone??

    As the immortal Mike Singletary would say…………
    “Cannot play with them, cannot win with them, cannot coach with them. Can’t do it. I want winners. I want people that want to win.”

    Maybe he can play for a community college team close to home?

    DK: Good rebuttal. I can respect that.

  4. theplanisworking says:

    Oh, and officially welcome back, now. I missed the bold replies while you were gone. I like the interaction. Now just keep your blog fixed, ok? :)

  5. Ryan76 says:

    Just watched the Final Word…they say the TV camera adds 10 lbs. Just how many cameras were on you, DK? Maybe it was the suit…;)

    DK: Appreciate the concern, Ryan, but I’m 6-2, 235, and can still go top shelf from the top of the circle on you any day of the week. Bring a regulation mask. :)

  6. smoky burgess says:

    DK, I know this was one of yesterday’s topics but I am glad that you were as wrong about
    Russell Martin as I was about A.J. Burnett. I thought he was washed up after seeing him not being able to find the plate with the Yankees. Saw him on TV a few times and he looked terrible.

    DK: I’m sure that, even as I type, readers everywhere are rushing to post links to how completely right I was about both the Burnett and Wandy Rodriguez acquisitions at the moment they were made. Or about Lawrence Timmons blossoming into the Steelers’ top defender in 2012 or Tomas Vokoun proving to be Ray Shero’s top acquisition or even a simple tweet last night when I predicted the Blackhawks’ Dave Bolland — of all people — would score the Cup-winning goal.

    No?

    Oh, well. Part of the job, right? :)

  7. Ghost says:

    Just watched the Final Word segment. DK doesn’t look heavy. He looks ‘bigger’ because he was closer to the camera than the other two. (Or, maybe DK was mad at the other two and shrunk their heads…)

  8. Reading says:

    Justice Jackson of the U.S. Supreme Court once wrote that “a judge often must decide a case as if he were 100 per cent convinced one way or the other, although usually he is not more than 55 per cent convinced.” The Shell decision is a tough call for the Pitt coaches. Not knowing any of the facts about what actually occurred this spring, barring some egregious circumstance of which we are not aware, my inclination would be to give him a second chance.

  9. Ghost says:

    Sort of like how umpires at umpiring clinics are exhorted to make their calls with utmost confidence and finality.

  10. Reading says:

    DK: Yeah, but do you have more than one pitch that is effective?

  11. Brandie says:

    Not sure without knowing the full background/circumstances, but Mr. She’ll may have been pout of second chances.

  12. Brandie says:

    Pout should be out.

  13. JoeyBats says:

    In Mr. Shell’s case…..”pout” was probably the CORRECT term…… ;-)
    .
    Congrats to the Head Coach for making this call….and moving on.

  14. Thundercrack says:

    I just don’t get how there are still trades going on in the NHL while their playoffs are still happening. Don’t most leagues have a no-trade period while they try to find out who their champion is?

    The Pens made a minor trade but I also saw that the Kings & Leafs made a deal.

    Maybe I’ll call the internet radio show and ask the host. While I’m at it I’ll ask why harmless jokes about the Riverhounds get deleted from this blog. But I won’t make the mistake and ask what the host thinks about the new Fountain at the Point….it’s only an hour show.

  15. Drew71 says:

    I’ll take the four straight best players, Homer.

    Though I have no problem with Kane.

  16. Steve says:

    Count me as one more Pitt fan who thinks Chryst and Pitt did the right thing.

  17. BillyBaduka says:

    Great series ended last night. Congrats to the Blackhawks. Looked like it was going to OT, then looked like it was going to game 7 after Boston scores with 7:49 to go. Then in 17 seconds, the Hawks tie and take the lead. The second goal with 59 seconds left. What a game, what a series.

    Seems fitting that Boston’s run would end in opposite fashion of thier amazing comeback in game 7 against the Leafs in round 1. Ok, Chicago was only down 1 but to lose the Cup after being up with 1:17 to go until game 7. Shortest time between game tying and series clinching goals and latest regulation series winner in Stanley Cup history.

  18. Drew71 says:

    Sounds like SOMEbody needs a vacation

  19. JAL says:

    JAL’s Fire in the Sky Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-U-y5Wt0d0

    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: Keeping James McDonald Around Would Be the Right Move

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/06/first-pitch-keeping-james-mcdonald-around-would-be-the-right-move.html

    Prospect Watch: Willy Garcia Has a Monster Day in a Monster Month

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/06/prospect-watch-willy-garcia-has-a-monster-day-in-a-monster-month.html

    Top Performers: Danny Collins and Alen Hanson Lead the Pirates Hitters

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/06/top-performers-danny-collins-and-alen-hanson-lead-the-pirates-hitters.html

    Top Performers: Strong Debuts From Heredia, Pimentel, Dickson, and More

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/06/top-performers-strong-debuts-from-heredia-pimentel-dickson-and-more.html

    7 Bucs Dugout

    Six hits for Willy Garcia and six RBIs for Josh Harrison

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/6/24/4461552/six-hits-for-willy-garcia-and-six-rbis-for-josh-harrison

    8 WHYGAVS

    The upcoming pitching dilemma

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/june-2013/the-upcoming-pitching-dilemma.html

    9 The Green Weenie

    Pirate Pitching Post-All Star and Beyond

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/06/pirate-pitching-post-all-star-and-beyond.html

    10 Rumbunter

    The Pirates Surprising Brandon Cumpton Should Not Be Surprising

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/06/24/the-pirates-surprising-brandon-cumpton-should-not-be-surprising/

    The Pirates Need To Part Ways With James McDonald
    http://rumbunter.com/2013/06/24/the-pirates-need-to-part-ways-with-james-mcdonald/

    11 Raise the Jolly Roger

    News, notes, and the Cole fiasco

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2013/06/news-notes-and-the-cole-fiasco/

  20. Drew71 says:

    I do not believe that these are mutually exclusive thoughts.

    - I believe in second and third chances. I hope this young man gets one somewhere, learns from this experience, and nails his next chance.

    - I believe Pitt was right in not allowing the second or third chance to occur at Pitt.

    There can be consequences AND forgiveness, can’t there?

  21. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Bonus Bytes: The Pirates are armed and dangerous

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/bernie-miklasz/bonus-bytes-the-pirates-are-armed-and-dangerous/article_43eff671-8976-5fe4-b911-589e3ad4f5f5.html

    Tipsheet: Pirates close in on Cards

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/jeff-gordon/tipsheet-pirates-close-in-on-cards/article_c690613f-16fb-571d-a654-c602d7cd1628.html

    13 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates: Will Gerrit Cole go back to the minors?

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2013/06/25/pittsburgh-pirates-will-gerrit-cole-go-back-to-the-minors/

    14 Charleston Gazette

    Power wastes early lead, falls 12-5

    http://www.wvgazette.com/Sports/201306240211

    15 Yahoo Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates: Does Pedro Alvarez Belong on the All-Star Team?

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/pittsburgh-pirates-does-pedro-alvarez-belong-star-team-141000009.html

    16 CBS Sports

    Pirates- Mariners Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20130625_PIT@SEA

    17 Sweetspot

    Set-up guys who would be worthy All-Stars

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/37360/set-up-guys-who-would-be-worthy-all-stars

    18 PBC Site

    Pirates looking like championship contender

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130624&content_id=51656580&vkey=news_pit&c_id=pit

    Nearly two decades later, Grilli’s hard work pays off

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130624&content_id=51627270&vkey=news_pit&c_id=pit

    Alvarez’s tear earns slugger NL Player of Week honors

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130624&content_id=51639632&vkey=news_pit&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    The Defensive Brilliance of Brendan Ryan

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=21028

    20 Fangraphs

    A Trade Target Leaderboard

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/a-trade-target-leaderboard/

  22. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    DeMarcus Van Dyke and Isaiah Green set to compete in training camp

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/6/24/4458732/steelers-cornerbacks-punt-coverage-depth-chart-2013-training-camp

    Selling my Steelers soul for a Pirates World Series

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/6/24/4457386/selling-my-steelers-soul-for-a-pirates-world-series

    22 Steelers Depot

    - The Terrible Podcast – Talking Listeners Overrated/Underrated Steelers Players, Bye Week Fairness & More Episode

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/06/the-terrible-podcast-talking-listeners-overratedunderrated-steelers-players-bye-week-fairness-more-episode/

    Soccer(football)

    23 Daily Mail

    Changing of the Guard: Bayern unveil new boss Pep as Spaniard discusses pressure of following Heynckes (in fluent German)

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2347277/Pep-Guardiola-unveiled-Bayern-Munich-discusses-succeeding-Jupp-Heynckes.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    Face to face: Michael Laudrup

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/features/face-to-face-michael-laudrup

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Pens trade for Harry Zolnierczyk

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/6/24/4460008/pens-trade-for-harry-zolnierczyk

  23. JAL says:

    Fire in the Sky Nitty Grittty Dirt Band 1981 Long active group with hits on country and pop charts. Their best known song is probably “Mr. Bojangles”, a cover of a Jerry Jeff Walker song. Their best known albums are Will the Circle be Unbroken and Will the Circle be Unbroken II. Three original members and one who has been with the band since 1977 continue to tour regularly.

  24. JAL says:

    In the NHL teams no longer playing can make trades. Pens could trade with any team not playing but could not trade with Blackhawks or Bruins

  25. Thundercrack says:

    Well that is obviously the case – and rules – JAL.

    I just don’t understand why a league would want to allow it.

    These trades seem very minor, but why would you want a bigger trade -even a blockbuster- take the attention away from your league’s championship tournament? And shouldn’t all the teams in your league be able to participate in the designated trading periods?

    I’m starting to agree with the guy who said this is a garage league.

  26. Drew71 says:

    By the way. Dejan has three inches and SIXTY FIVE POUNDS on me.

    But that makes sense.

    The last three inches are the head, right?

  27. Jandy says:

    Sounds like SOMEBODY has a big head ;)

  28. Jandy says:

    Nope, you had it right the first time, Brandie ;)

  29. Jandy says:

    Yes

  30. pattonbb says:

    Wil Myers made his debut at the Trop last night and the Rays couldn’t draw 12,000 people to watch it. Is there a worse fan base in baseball (maybe all of sports) than the Tampa Bay Rays? Those fans should be ashamed.

    Time for baseball to leave the Tampa – St. Pete area.

  31. I’m watching the 3rd period of last night’s Stanley Cup Final, and literally said out loud to my cat, “That’s how you close out a game with a 1-goal lead! I wish the Pens would learn that.”

    Of course, how wrong I was! Chicago never quit. Somehow Boston gave it up. “Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!” as Gomer would say.

    Chicago: Stanley Cup Champions!

    {I still wished/pictured the Pens pulling their goalie and rushing back to win! Darn!!}

  32. Jandy says:

    What about the Tina Tugnuts that said it’s a Garage League? ;)

  33. Thundercrack says:

    Let me be the first to say:

    Obviously a groupon was not available for that game.

  34. Al says:

    Does the Zolnierczyk acquisition tell us that Ray Shero believes he can’t re-sign Matt Cooke and/or Brendan Morrow? Or maybe Tanner Glass is gone?

  35. General,

    I started to make a comment about their terrible stadium . . . . but, NO, YOU’RE RIGHT!

    Time for the Tampa Rays to become the Charlotte Mudcats!!!!

  36. theplanisworking says:

    ………….and I have 2 inches and sixty-five pounds on DK.

    But Hippos dont do dek hockey very well. ;)

  37. theplanisworking says:

    You call? ;)

  38. Minor leaguer for sometimes Minor leaguer.

    Just getting a tougher deck chair . . . .

  39. theplanisworking says:

    I dont know about that.

    I still havent been forgiven from the last riot at my Pond………… ;)

  40. Jandy says:

    The Hipposter is always forgiven. Period :P

  41. What you do in the privacy of your own home, JandyGirl, is not for us to judge here!!

  42. Jandy says:

    Hey Hipposter, friend! Gonna be another hot one. Stick in the shade by the pond and stay cool :)

  43. theplanisworking says:

    We need to keep in mind this picture………………..

    Imagine a huge dump of a stadium, built in Homewood, with no parking, a crime-ridden neighborhood, with mostly retirees as a fan base. Think the Bucs could draw well with those circumstances??

    The owners want to build in Tampa. Tampa wont fund the new stadium. Charlotte, or Mashville may get a team sooner than later.

  44. Jandy says:

    You can just sit on him ;)

  45. theplanisworking says:

    Hippo Skool reject again…………… should be Nashville.

  46. Drew71 says:

    Yes. I think we identified the source of the extra 65 pounds.

  47. Nate83 says:

    In DK’s defense although the Burnett and Martin situations where similar in that both had been above average all-star players that looked to be on the downside of their careers he did call the Burnett trade a good one. He calls them how he see’s them and when he get them correct he rarely toots his own horn (above post withstanding).

  48. Jandy says:

    hey now, waittaminnit! Who said anything about my home :P

    But..yeah…we have fun at my house ;)

  49. theplanisworking says:

    Will do, Mom T.

    Quiet sports day yesterday, but 2 ggod things happened for me.

    Jacobs didnt get Cup.
    Shell denied.

    How are things in your world?
    You gonna play against DK in hockey? ;)

  50. Jandy says:

    Then we are in agreement, Drew dahling !

  51. Isn’t the NItty Gritty Dirt Band in the R n R Hall of Fame?

    I haven’t yet picked up your theme this week, JAL. What is it?

  52. Jandy says:

    hey, SOMEbody has to stick up for him SOMEtimes, right?

  53. theplanisworking says:

    Thank You.

    Check is in the mail………

  54. JAL says:

    Actually, using the same theme for last week and this week, songs about the sky.

  55. theplanisworking says:

    Maybe put this Hippo on Weight Watchers? ;)

  56. Jandy says:

    I was actually very happy to see Chicago win, and yes I had it on. I had dozed off only to wake up and Chicago is down by1. I was muttering something about not letting Jagr and Marchand lift the cup and BAM, Chicago scores…then 17 seconds later…BAM, they score again :)
    I could try to play against DK, but hey, he has 9 inches and Lord knows how many pounds on me…so I’m sure he’d just mangle me. But I could try….
    Long day ahead of me here at work…tons to do, so I’m gonna git to it and git ‘er done…
    Maybe catch ya later on, my friend.

  57. Jandy says:

    Oh no, Hippo my friend, you are not the source of the extra 65 pounds, trust me ;)

  58. Jandy says:

    De nada :)

  59. theplanisworking says:

    Bye Mom T……….

  60. theplanisworking says:

    +1

  61. pattonbb says:

    Yea Groat, whoever designed and then bought off on building a dome in sunny Florida to play baseball in, should’ve been tarred and feathered a long time ago.

    Charlotte, Vegas, Indy, San Antonio, Nashville…. I bet every one of these areas could, and would, support a baseball team.

  62. ‘Scuse me while I kiss this guy!

    Thanks, JAL!

  63. Jandy says:

    followed ya Hippo no worries.

  64. Jandy says:

    Lucy in the Sky with diamonds…

  65. JAL says:

    BTW I wrote the Cumpton story in link 10

  66. Jandy says:

    Gotta go read…then tied to my desk…later and thanks JAL

  67. BillyBaduka says:

    Pens stocked with young D. Get a little needed forward depth. I don’t think this necessarily foreshadows any moves with the NHL roster.

  68. So-o-o-o many baseball players come from North Carolina!

    Baseball bigger than football there. I have a good friend who is the son of Digger O’Dell, who is from South Carolina.

    Charlotte fertile baseball ground. Young, growing state. Tampa Bay baseball burial ground.

  69. Jandy says:

    “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster, And treat those two impostors just the same”

    Love it!

  70. pattonbb says:

    No groupon or walk up info.

  71. Thanks for letting us know, JAL!!!

    Excellent article; excellent take; excellent judgment about talent versus confidence.

    However, Rudyard Kipling may be above the normal Rumbunter reader’s (and I count myself among Rumbunter subscribers) reading quotient!!

    Excellent, JAL!

  72. Bye Steve McIntyre. For two years we hardly knew ye.

  73. Al says:

    Not sure about that one. Z said he’s only an “agitator” not an “enforcer”.

  74. pattonbb says:

    I live in South Carolina, Groat. Went to a Greenville Drive game last night (Red Sox low A) and they had over 7,000 people there…on a Monday night!

    Baseball might be the most popular sport around here, outside of college football of course.

  75. JAL says:

    Groat and Jandy

    Thanks.

  76. pattonbb says:

    Absolutely agree Hippo. The Trop is in a bad location, it’s a pain in the rear to get to, and worst of all, it’s a stinking dome.

    But, the Rays are fun to watch. They’ve been successful. They have a great (entertaining) manager. Bring that team to Charlotte and they’d be the toast of the Queen City.

  77. Bob Hasis says:

    I had always thought that Keith Jones – as opposed to Mike Milbury – was a voice of reason on that hockey panel. However he couldn’t resist slamming Dan Bylsma & Co. last night, in retrospect, for not figuring out how to beat Chara, by dumping the puck behind him and making him chase it and taking on the impending check Chara was going to lay on us.

    Conversely he praised Joel Q. to the rafters for being so brilliant.

    This just proved to me that there is an unspoken animosity (last night it was spoken) against the Penguins. For whatever reason, I am at a loss to understand.

  78. And he only weighs a buck seventy five.

    Heck, our enforcer/writer/host/Serbian Hero could throw him around.

  79. I would welcome one in Nashville.

    I can get there in 1.5 hours. They would need a new stadium of course. Their AAA stadium is what drove the Pirates out of there. Deservedly, it’s the Brewers’ affiliate now.

    And it’s been “renovated”.

    Louisville would be another good place. I can get there in 2 hours. But it’s too close to Cincy for a ML franchise.

  80. Brandie says:

    Possibly the Florida Marlins? That may be because the ownership is bored with fielding a winning team.

  81. Hasty Bob,

    Guys who drive Chevys and Fords always don’t like the guys who drive Cadillacs and Porches.

    Pittsburgh may be a Chevy kind of town, but Crosby, Malkin, Letang, Fleury, Neal, Despres, Martin, Niskaten all are Cadillacs/Porches, led by the ultimate Lambourgini Mario Lemeiux.

    Milbury and Keith Jones are Ford Focuses . . . . With rust spots . . . . And a doughnut tire on the back . . . . With bumper stickers holding the bumper together . . . . Bumper stickers for Barry Goldwater or Michael Dukakis . . . . And, of course, South of the Border stickers.

    Welcome back, Vinnie’s Pizza Palace in Forest Hills!!!! Your old image fits right in!! (but the greasy pizza is worth it!)

  82. Iceman says:

    From what I watched, I think it was a toss up between Crawford and Kane. They both played great and certainly helped lead their teams to the Cup win.

    On another note, saw that Bergeron was playing with a separated shoulder, cracked rib, and torn cartilage and was still winning a ton of faceoffs. I’m glad Boston didn’t win, but Bergeron sure is a competitor and is walking proof that hockey players are some of the toughest dudes out there.

  83. Bob Hasis says:

    I heard it was closed and burned – then was rebuilt.

    I used to travel that area extensively and was well aware of Vinnie’s. A little grease on the pizza isn’t bad as long as there are ample pepperoni, mushrooms, black olives and anchovies, with a slightly darkened crust.

    There I go – speeding again.

  84. pattonbb says:

    Good stuff, JAL.

  85. Iceman says:

    Drew,

    I 100% agree with you. I believe that Pitt made the right decision in setting an example that there are consequences for your actions and choices. It is a great teaching opportunity and one that is so often missed out on with collegiate athletes. College is supposed to be a time for learning and hopefully Shell has learned something from all of this.

    That being said, I hope that Shell is able to find another place to play and be happy and that he can prove to the world that people can change and learn from their mistakes.

  86. NMR says:

    Does Shell have a criminal past? Bad student? Bad guy?

    I’m not a PITT fan, don’t follow the program, but obviously have heard of Shell. From an outsiders POV, seems like the kid clearly has maturity issues. Not sure I understand why PITT is too good to give him a second chance.

    I will admit that the issue with wanting to be close to his kids is a major factor for me.

  87. Brandie says:

    Great read, JAL. Instructional for many walks of life.

  88. Iceman says:

    Was it just me or were there a lot of people in Boston booing Bettman while he was giving his little speech? I’m going to assume it was Bettman they were booing and not Kane for receiving the Conn Smythe.

  89. Iceman says:

    Not so sure that song is about the sky…

  90. Dom says:

    I’ve never been to Vinnie’s. Is that the really thick pizza?

  91. Bob Hasis says:

    No, it was moderately thin, or simply thin. It was reputed, and I will stand with the pros, to be THE BEST pizza.

  92. SeanAY says:

    But I mean…isn’t it true? They obviously DID have a lousy offensive game plan against Chara.

    “Critical” doesn’t always mean “unfairly critical.”

  93. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  94. Iceman says:

    I actually don’t disagree with Jones. During the regular season, the Pens did a great job getting the puck behind Chara and plastering him on the forecheck. I’m pretty sure that’s how they won all those games against Boston in the regular season (I think Neal alone had 6 hits on Chara in one game). In the playoffs, it seems the Pens were hitting everyone but Chara, even though it is proven that it is the way to beat the big man.

    Also, Quinenville deserves the praise he receives. Did an awesome job with that team this year.

  95. Dom says:

    Thanks. Anyone know of any good pizza places in the south hills?

  96. Bob Hasis says:

    I agree that their strategy “sucked”. But are you another in this group who chooses to separate the fly excrement from the pepper.
    “Critical”, “unfairly critical” what’s the difference? When we eliminated Ottawa, you never heard a negative word (of this kind) spoken against them.

    Conversely, it was said we had too much trouble against an “injured” team. There is a trend of negative opinion against the Penguins, and if you are a hockey fan you surely realize we rarely receive high praise

  97. Jandy says:

    They were booing Bettman, make no mistake. He’s not a popular guy, moreso after the lock out.

  98. Excellent read, JAL.

  99. Jandy says:

    I’m sure it isn’t…but that song popped into my head…so I guess that dates me lol

  100. Arriba Wilver says:

    I know their Mr. Bojangles was the popular one, but Jerry Jeff’s was amazing.

  101. Arriba Wilver says:

    It could be about the sky, figuratively speaking. Didn’t people think they could fly sometimes? :-)

  102. Bob Hasis says:

    Boston beat us in every way imaginable. I hesitate to say we were outclassed, but we were no match for them – in that series. Two shutouts, and we scored a total of two goals – right?

  103. Jandy says:

    Everyone was saying BEFORE we started the Boston series, to dump the puck and make Chara chase it…and slam HIM before he could slam US.

    Nothing to see here, move right along…

  104. Jandy says:

    Yup, especially after imbibing a little something…

  105. SeanAY says:

    No, but that’s because there was very little bad about the Ottawa series.

    I’ve been accused my some – Jandy in particular – of responding with snark too often. So I’ll be frank.

    The Penguins scored two goals against the Bruins and were swept. I think the national media criticizing the Pens’ failure, in light of the Blackhawks’ success, is perfectly legitimate.

    Why do you care if Keith Jones praises your team or not? That doesn’t win the games. I don’t know why you would take that personally.

    Unfortunately, this is a problem with Pittsburgh sports fans in all avenues, always hoping that the national media will throw them a bone and say, “Good job, guys!” There’s no championship for that.

  106. Brandie says:

    Or inhaling…oh never mind!

  107. Iceman says:

    Just saw that the Pens offered qualifying offers to newly signed Zolnierczyk, Jeffrey, Bortuzzo, and, surely to make Brad ecstatic, TK.

    For those first three guys, the offers are all under $1 mil so they are not huge cap hits. All three have a place on the roster, even if it is just filling in for injured players. The qualifying offer for TK comes in at $2 mil. I actually think this makes sense. Pens can either keep TK around (he does have 6 years NHL experience, has a 20 goal season under his belt, and has proved that he can bring some much needed energy in the playoffs) or they can now use him as trade bait to see what someone else may offer for him. This is much better than just letting him walk for nothing as an UFA. We shall see how this all plays out.

  108. Arriba Wilver says:

    Not exactly the South Hills, but Beez in South Fayette. Red Onion in Bethel Park is also good.

  109. Drew71 says:

    I am with you, NMR, on second chances. Unfortunately I think that this would have been number three.

    Shell was suspended his first game for breaking team rules, then came back to play and eventually take more time from the RB committee. That may have been his second chance from Pitt’s perspective.

    We don’t know what we don’t know. Were there other issues? Even if not, this sounds to me like it would have been Chance Three. I can live with that.

    Not looking to pile on the kid, either. I wish him well. I hope maturity finds him. I am also very comfortable with Pitt’s decision.

  110. Bob Hasis says:

    So if EVERYONE knew how to beat Boston, and Chara, before the series began – including Bylsma – and we didn’t follow that strategy, is it common opinion that Bylsma deserves ridicule?

    Since he was resigned, apparently Mario and Shero disagree.

  111. Jandy says:

    Not everyone agrees with resigning him. Not saying I don’t – I’m torn – but I was livid with the way the team played against Boston.

  112. Jandy says:

    haha you said it best, girl ;)

  113. Jandy says:

    like

  114. Jandy says:

    Buggeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!

  115. Jandy says:

    Well said, SeanAY, I agree. :)

  116. Jandy says:

    OK, back to work…ugh…summer is always busiest here…

  117. 21sthebest says:

    I’m not very familiar with South Hills pizza joints but the Mineo’s in Mt. Lebanon is pretty good, IMO. But not as good as the Mineo’ in Squirrel Hill which is worth driving to from the South Hills. :-)

  118. Bob Hasis says:

    I am NOT taking it personally – merely pointing out a statement or two Jones made, and passing that on to you.

    Perhaps he was behind “a few Brownie points” in the Hate the Penguins Fraternity.

    It was a FYI entry!!

  119. Bob Hasis says:

    Jandy those games were difficult to watch in their entirety.

  120. Arriba Wilver says:

    I was just going to mention Mineo’s and agree with what you said, except about the drive. :-)

  121. Thundercrack says:

    I think if they built a stadium about the size of PNC Park and it had a dome, Tampa -St Pete would be just fine.

  122. theplanisworking says:

    Fiori’s………….. just off Liberty near the Lexus dealer.

    Supposedly the best in the lower South Hills area………

  123. Dom says:

    Thanks everyone.

  124. Al says:

    And as of right now we don’t have a 2013 draft pick until the 77th player overall in the third round. There might be a few good deck hockey players left by that time so I sure hope something is in the works for this year.

  125. Jim S. says:

    I think you’re both right. Chryst made the correct and principled decision. Shell has played too many games OFF the field to be playing any more games ON the field for Pitt. He has had more than enough chances to correct his immaturity issues, and has not done it yet. He’s very talented athletically, and he has 2 children to take care of. So, I hope he now grows up and accepts his responsibilites – but not at Pitt. In the long run, he’ll be better off elsewhere, and so will Pitt. Good luck to him!

  126. Brandie says:

    Good morning, Hipposter! Never knew u went to Pitt. I am a PSU grad, so I hope you won’t hold that against me. :-)

  127. Jim S. says:

    Oops! Forgot the “you’re both right” part. DK is absolutely correct that many fans will look at his talent and rationalize giving him one more chance.

  128. Jim S. says:

    My pick was Crawford. They might still have won with an average performance by Kane. I don’t think they come close without Crawford’s excellence when needed most.

  129. Jim S. says:

    What’s the point of childish cheap shots? Maybe we can all critique you on your next guest TV appearance. Please update us on when that is coming, Ryan.

  130. theplanisworking says:

    Nah. Muppets go to PSU, Hippos to Pitt.
    All good.

    You should have seen the looks on the faces of students in Trees Pool when I got in…….. priceless!

  131. theplanisworking says:

    FIRE BYLS………………… ;)

  132. 21sthebest says:

    My sister in law and brother in law live in Dormont and they love Beto’s on Banksville Road. I’ve never tried it but I was wondering if anyone here has an opinion on it.

  133. JAL says:

    Thanks

  134. Brandie says:

    You all make me want to come home and eat pizza.

  135. Arriba Wilver says:

    As a Pitt alum I would have been OK with either decision by Chryst. He knows all the facts and is charged with running the program. And seems like a stand up guy. I DID see my first two Pitt games at Heinz Field this year, though, and they were the two when Shell had his best games. He was electric and even had the opposing teams’ fans buzzing favorably. But, that’s why it’s too bad about the 10 cent head, not to say Chryst was wrong.

  136. Jim S. says:

    I hear you, Reading. But, I believe they gave him a lot of chances – including allowing him time off to think about whether he wanted to stay or go this spring. I am a big Pitt fan, and the last thing I want is for them to be weak on the field. But, I think Coach Chryst has been more than fair based on what I have read and heard. I wish Shell well, though. Maybe this is what he needs to grow and realize his potential, as a player and father.

  137. Jim S. says:

    Excellent! Loved it!

  138. Jim S. says:

    And the Rays do a nice job on a shoestring budget with staying competitive vs. monster spenders year after year. I have been there a few times, but don’t know enough about that area of FL to say for sure. Is it heavily retired/fixed income? Is it all of the things going on that distract from baseball? Just not enough long-time residents? Horrible venue? A combination of all of the above? Whatever the case, their attendance is awful year after year.

  139. Brandie says:

    I just remember the one Pitt game I attended…The chant, no matter who Pitt was playing was “PennSt sucks!” What is Pennst any way? Hilarious!

  140. Jim S. says:

    I think one team refused to be denied all throughout the playoffs, Groat. Every time their backs were against the wall (and there were several), they found a way. Well deserved Cup win.

  141. theplanisworking says:

    Well, with all the Pizza memories, and Pitt memories (thanks Brandie for the PennSt Sucks reminder!!) , I am off to do business, and try to stay cool.

    All have a great day!

    Hippo Hey!!!

  142. Brandie says:

    Bylsma deserves the praise for the regular season and the gong for the egg that was laid in the last series. Chicago hung tough and got the Cup. Congratulations!

  143. NMR says:

    Thanks, guys. Such a sad situation.

    Hate to see a father separated from his kids, regardless of how it effects a football program, but Chryst isn’t running a charity either. Understandable on all ends.

    Just sad.

  144. Jim S. says:

    My hope is that, while re-signing him, they also made it abundantly clear that what transpired in Round 3 was a disaster that should never be duplicated and that the blame lies with him.

    If they really believe he is the right guy maybe they decided it was best to have him adjust his coaching methods and preparation, and get it right next year. Otherwise, I am at a complete loss as to why he was retained. They still, obviously, believe in him.

  145. Frankie says:

    First person I thought of was Brian Davis….

  146. Jim S. says:

    Sometimes the trades you don’t make …

  147. Jandy says:

    Bob, I was so mad, I was yelling at the television, and my dog – a pitt bull, mind you – hid behind hubby’s chair! Yes, very difficult.

  148. Jandy says:

    they didn’t… lol

  149. Jandy says:

    I pretty much said the same thing, Jim S., that Bylsma needs to be told that the “game plan” must change for playoffs. I guess we’ll see.

  150. Posted at 9:38 am by a hard worker:

    OK, back to work…ugh…summer is always busiest here…

    Then, hockey rears its ugly head!

    ;) :D 8-)

  151. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m pretty sure DK made it clear in his column yesterday that despite his earlier comment about Bylsma being completely safe, after the 3rd Round there were serious concerns by those above Shero. I don’t see Bylsma’s retention as a rubber stamp or approval of everything he’s done, especially and particularly in the post season. I suspect we’ll see some changes, even though the management personnel are the same (absent Meloche).

  152. Jim S. says:

    Are 2-seam and 4-seam separate pitches?

  153. Jim S. says:

    ++

    Consequences is not only fair here, but it is best for him I think.

  154. Jim S. says:

    Can’t be said any better, Drew.

  155. Bizrow says:

    Looks like the ol blog is working today?

  156. John Lease says:

    Being able to work while sitting my shorten your life. However, the trade off is worth it. I’ve had jobs where you had to stand, and they sucked!

  157. Ryan76 says:

    Geez…I guess you guys have never seen the show “Friends”. And maybe don’t appreciate sarcasm. Won’t happen again.

    And DK, I don’t doubt it. Race me in the pool and the shoe would be on the other foot…

  158. Jim S. says:

    Yes, it is sad, NMR. Unfortunately, he chose to separate himself from his children by seeking a transfer specifically to west coast schools. Pitt wanted him to stay, so long as he followed the same rules as everyone else. In fact, they gave him time off in the spring to think long and hard about it. He decided he wanted to head west. I recall that his mother and the mother of his children then chastized him pretty seriously for running away from his responsibilities as a father.

    Maybe it has now dawned on him that he belongs close to his kids. Unfortunately, Pitt has to move on. I am sure Coach Chryst wishes him well personally, but he can’t bring him back to the team. That would set a bad tone to the other players about what some guys can get away with but no one else can.

    My hope is he will transfer to a smaller school close to home, play football, get a degree, mature and be a good father, and still get noticed by the pros in the next few years. If not, he can use his degree to start a good career. Good luck, Rushel. Please learn from this.

  159. Jim S. says:

    Maybe, but there is just something about pro baseball in Florida. The 2nd worst supported team is in Miami. They built a spanking new stadium, and one year later attendance is back at the bottom of the barrel. I know they traded everyone away, but I doubt they were going to sustain attendance, regardless.

  160. Jim S. says:

    It’s always the family pet that suffers the most in times like that. Ha ha!

  161. Jim S. says:

    Yep. Getting to the final 4 was not good enough with this talent. But, still, all in all it is not the end of the world. But, losing 4-0 to the Bruins in the manner they did was totally unacceptable.

  162. Jim S. says:

    Well said, Arriba.

  163. Jim S. says:

    Thanks for clarifying, Ryan.

  164. Kevin says:

    <3 Great Gig in the Sky.

  165. Drew71 says:

    Vincent’s, Ardmore Blvd, Forest Hills. It’s been written up in the WSJ. Worth a drive.

  166. Drew71 says:

    Don’t look too closely at the surroundings. The health code violations probably help the flavor.

  167. Arriba Wilver says:

    Drew–Vincent’s is what started this conversation.

  168. Drew71 says:

    See you in here in ten minutes, Jandy

  169. Kevin says:

    I agree… definitely sounds like we picked up an agitator replacement (for Cookie). If nothing else, its precautionary.

  170. Jandy says:

    Spunky, heck yeah…darn hockey anyway…and more and more baseball is taking it’s spot ;)

    Jim, agreed…totally ridiculous.

  171. NMR says:

    Decision on Jmac due today, right?

    What do you got Biz?

  172. Jandy says:

    Drew, I wish!

    John Lease, I may have a desk job, but trust me I don’t sit all day. I go from office to office working out things with others, and that doesn’t even touch upon the number of times I go out to the warehouse to check on stock, job materials, etc.
    I need a vacation!

  173. Reading says:

    J. Meals says he’s safe.

  174. Kevin says:

    I agree. Also, this may be new to pittsburgh fans but… when you are expected to be the best, and you fail badly, you should expect plenty of criticism. You don’t think Chicago would have heard it if Detroit had completed the upset on them?

    Conversely, don’t expect exuding praise when you beat a lesser opponent. It’s all a function of the bar and where its perceived to be set.

  175. Reading says:

    Since they are gripped differently and move differently, yes. But then again, what do I know.

  176. Jandy says:

    + many

  177. Drew71 says:

    See? You can’t leave us. You just can’t.

  178. Arriba Wilver says:

    I get the sentiment, but especially with a team like the Pirates, you hate to just give away assets without a return. Don’t know the solution, but you can’t put him in the rotation IMHO.

  179. Drew71 says:

    It’s all the weighty issues

  180. JAL says:

    slated for later in week

  181. Jim S. says:

    Personally, I don’t think he has been nearly good enough for going on a year now to pitch in our rotation. We probably have 8 guys I’d rather see take the bump in inning 1 any given night.

    And I like our bullpen, realizing it will undergo a few tweaks coming up (Gomez, maybe Charlie, Welker going back, etc.). I think all of those options are better ones than James now.

    James might need a new start somewhere else. He’s about 2 guys below the odd man out IMO right now.

  182. Vinny Giardina says:

    I checked Wikipedia and there are 32 cities in the US alone with the nickname of “The Queen City”. There’s no point to be made here, just sayin’.

  183. JohnS says:

    RIght now you probably activate and send Reid or Welker back down. JMac becomes the temporary long man. His future definitely gets murkier with AJ, Wandy, and Gomez about ready.

    For now I keep him.

  184. Drew71 says:

    We’re just talking about the size assets everywhere today.

  185. Jandy says:

    nope I admit I can’t. you guys rock!!!

  186. Brandie says:

    Spirit in the Sky

  187. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    But not to toot your own horn or anything….we all get lucky every once in awhile.

  188. Brandie says:

    It’s the pull if the blog! Gotta get my daily fix! It’s like bacon for sports nuts!

  189. Naterosboro says:

    Not sure if anyone saw this, but good story from the other guys on Jeff Locke. Didn’t see it on JAL’s links.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/pirates/the-mound-is-jeff-lockes-mountain-692995/

  190. Arriba Wilver says:

    JAL, much like DK, doesn’t do requests.

  191. Jandy says:

    Drew, is there something you need to tell us, dahling?

  192. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Does being a PITT alum make ones opinion more important than others?

    This is the second time I’ve seen that used. Do you guys get a vote on that?

    Being the son of a Pitt alum and a brother of another, who is also employed by PITT, I think this is a good move.

  193. Jandy says:

    or chocolate for chocoholics

  194. Figured I’d get a :twap: for that. Got off easy.

    :D

  195. Lad9 says:

    Beto’s is my favorite, but not eveyone likes it. Burgh’s in Bridgeville is also excellent, with Fiori’s and Mineo’s just behind. Agree that Mineo’s in Sq. Hill is better than Mt Lebo location, but Aiellos a couple of doors up Murray Ave is even better than Mineo’s. A step down from those but still good is Luciano’s Bethel Park, and a good bar pizza is the Trolley Stop in Bethel Park. I have done much research in this area – in the interests of science of course!

  196. buggee says:

    Hiya JANDY! Howz trix?
    One helluva Stanley Cup final last night. That comeback by the Hawks was unreal!
    That was one of the best I’ve seen in almost 50 years of watching hockey!
    oops! gave away my advanced age

  197. Jim S. says:

    Another big series starts for the Bucs tonight in Seattle. They already have a winning road trip in the bank. But, this is where they can make a statement and bring home a possible 7-2 trip and 48-30 overall record.

    Seattle sounds easy, but there are potential land mines, as always. I was looking at tonight’s tilt, and initially Joe Saunders looked like a gimme. But, then I looked a little deeper.

    He has an overall 4.48 ERA / 1.40 WHIP, with 100 hits allowed (10 HR) & 29 BB/48 K’s in 92 innings. Pretty pedestrian numbers, overall. But, Safeco is an extreme pitcher’s park, and this crafty left is pitching fairly well at home. He has a 2.53 ERA / 1.08 WHIP at home. And, for good measure, he has pitched his best of late with a 1.82 ERA and 2 complete games in his last 5 starts. He may be Seattle’s best deadline trade bait, so he is plenty motivated to pitch well. One final red flag – Saunders beat the Bucs 2x in Arizona with the DBacks last season. Gabby has hit him particularly well in the past.

    On the other hand, Jeff Locke in a pitcher’s park vs. the Seattle lineup looks better to me than Joe Saunders does vs. the Bucs. I expect a tough, tight ballgame. But, the Bucs should have just enough offense to take down the Mariners.

    Tomorrow afternoon we face King Felix Herandez, who already bested AJ in a pitcher’s duel in PNC a month or so ago. So, it is imperative the Bucs get this one tonght and then take down the King tomorrow on Getaway Day! The heavy lifting is not over on this trip. Just keep taking care of business, boys!

  198. buggee says:

    Hard to swim fast when wearing shoes in the pool

  199. Bizrow says:

    Cubs just DFA’s Carlos Marmol

  200. Lad9 says:

    John

    I agree with your plan. Reid goes down and see if we can salvage JMac

  201. Lad9 says:

    Wow. How the mighty have fallen Dude was unhittable a few years ago but couldn’t find the plate with a GPS the past two years…

  202. Bizrow says:

    I don’t have a clue as to what they will do, but whatever it is, has to be done by midnight

  203. Jim S. says:

    About as much as me, maybe more.

  204. buggee says:

    “But..yeah…we have fun at my house”

    Will we ever see that fun on YouTube? (“You-Chewb” as me mammy-in-law sez).

    “Put it up on de You-Chewb, Jandylicious!”

    C’mon. Say it with me…
    Raise that jolly Shuttlecock! hrrrrrrr

  205. Jim S. says:

    Any King cities?

  206. Brandie says:

    Good one. Nice to see you, Rad Lad!

  207. buggee says:

    was that Bettman or Buttman?

  208. Brandie says:

    Thank you for posting the link…good story!

  209. NMR says:

    I like this theory, I do.

    But how practical is it to make a judgement based on a few relief appearances?

  210. NMR says:

    I like honesty. Count me in, Biz. This one feels like it’ll be a head scratcher.

  211. Brandie says:

    Definitely Buttman, definitely the south end of a northbound jacka$$!

  212. Jim S. says:

    FWIW, Bob, my take on all of those NBC guys is that they are always looking for an opening to snipe at the Pens. I think Groat hit on something, maybe, in his luxury vs. non-luxury cars point. Also, there is always that east of Pittsburgh hatred for all things Crosby.

  213. Jandy says:

    what she said!

  214. pattonbb says:

    ….and released Ian Stewart. Is Theo Epstein still considered to be a “genius”?

  215. Jandy says:

    Lad I full of good stuff today…

  216. Jandy says:

    err that is “is full of good stuff”

  217. Brandie says:

    In some parts of Albania…

  218. Lad9 says:

    Hey Miss Brandie! Always good to see you! Hippie fest went well I read which is cool. This work gig is lousy for the blog time, but you are right about the bacon for sports nuts. I can’t stay away – nice crispy bacon like in the Lord of the Rings too. The level of sports fan in this space is way off the charts good.
    Will be spotty the rest of the day but hoping to be on the game thread tonight if I can stay awake. Long days and nights lately.

  219. Lad9 says:

    I am full of something! :)

  220. Brandie says:

    Keep at it, Lad.

  221. Jim S. says:

    I think Reid has pitched better, both at Indy and with the big team than JMac has. I don’t think we have the luxury of giving a guy another shot after 20 mostly disastrous starts spread over 2 years. Not now. That was the old Bucs, who weren’t fighting for a playoff spot. We have plenty of reinforcements coming that are better options IMO, plus a whole staff that has not skipped a beat w/o him.

    I’m not trying to be harsh to James, because he has contributed in the past for the Bucs and he has a good arm if healthy. Unfortunately, his arm may be suspect and his head definitely seems suspect to me now.

  222. Lad9 says:

    Jandy can’t we get blog breaks built into our work schedules? I know some of my folks consider it their God-given rite to have a smoke break every few hours. This blog is (mostly) not harmful to your health, and you always come away smarter than when you popped in. Well, almost always at least. I’m just saying…

  223. Vinny Giardina says:

    Strangely, no, there don’t seem to be any that have that nickname. There are a few whose actual name is King City.

    I guess the Queen is more popular.

  224. pattonbb says:

    Sorry. Here in the Carolinas, we refer to Charlotte as the “Queen City”.

  225. Jandy says:

    You are 100% correct, sir. I learn so much here. And yes, if the smokers can have their breaks, so can we :)

  226. Jandy says:

    something good…

  227. Jandy says:

    haha Spunkster, I’m too busy to thwap today!

  228. Jim S. says:

    I suppose they couldn’t even trade him. Wow!

  229. Jandy says:

    +many

  230. Arriba Wilver says:

    Theo inherited Marmol. Not sure how this reflects on him too much. The Fort will miss him.

  231. Jim S. says:

    Ian Stewart is an upgrae to Inge, right? We should look into that if it is an outright release.

    I think the deal there was Stewart expected to be with the big club and was languishing in AAA. He stupidly tweeted something to the effect that the Cubs were screwing him (paraphrasing). Maybe he finally got his wish.

  232. NMR says:

    Speaking from an asset retention point of view, I don’t see any reason all 25 spots shouldn’t be utilized.

    IMO, Jmac will almost certainly be DFA’d this winter. That means he’s only valuable to this team for the next three months.

    If he provides more value as the 8th reliever in the pen than, say, Brandon Inge provides as the last man off the bench, then sure – Keep him.

  233. NMR says:

    I started writing something about the Bucs being a poor match with homerun suppressing SAFECO until realizing that PNC has been even worse this year.

    So yeah, doesn’t look good.

  234. NMR says:

    Thats debateable, Jim. And Inge is really, really bad.

  235. Bizrow says:

    All you need to know about Stewart – in AAA .168/.286/.372 line since returning from a quad injury.

  236. Bizrow says:

    Thinking about JMac, I’m betting either he gets activated and goes in the long relief role or they trade him.

    Its that asset thingie that NH often talks about.

    But, based on my record of betting with Playoffs, I would not take this to the bank (they wouldn’t cash it anyways ;-) )

  237. Jim S. says:

    I just looked closer at Stewart’s stats at Iowa. Maybe they should take a pass. I know he was sulking, but hitting .168 and striking out 40% of the time is no way to get a shot with another team. I don’t know if there is still anything there.

  238. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, Biz. I saw that as well. Wow, just horrible! And with a bad attitude to boot.

  239. Maybe they’ll pick up JMac to add to their reportoire.

  240. Jandy says:

    buggee, my friend, no “fun” videos on Chewb Tube! You’ll just have to figger it out :P

    RAISE THAT JOLLY SHUTTLECOCK YA JAGOFFS!!!!!

  241. Jandy says:

    Ryan, it’s ok, we gotcha…not meaning to be “chippy”.
    Stick around, friend :)

  242. pattonbb says:

    You’re right Arriba. I was referring more to the Ian Stewart fiasco. Not long ago, most publications had Stewart ranked as a top 25 prospect.

  243. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  244. tpbco says:

    Marquis Dupree

    Maurice Clarret (sp)

  245. pattonbb says:

    fingers are crossed….and maybe Theo will trade for Tabata too.

  246. Arriba Wilver says:

    Being a former Colorado guy, though, he’s on the radar.

  247. Bizrow says:

    I want both….

  248. Naterosboro says:

    What kind of conspiracy is this? A 2-game set and we still see F. Hernandez? I hope he looks more like poop than royalty tomorrow.

  249. Naterosboro says:

    Right now in Flyer-land…..

    http://deadspin.com/lets-watch-a-flyers-beat-writer-throw-ilya-bryzgalov-u-574043008

    Only 1 word…………

    FANTASTIC

  250. cmat0829 says:

    No thanks. Stewart sucks and the only thing worse than his playing performance is his attitude… he moaned about being in AAA and he probably belonged in AA. NO thanks.

  251. cmat0829 says:

    As to JMac, why can’t he suffer another ‘injury’ and return to the DL? Is that not doable with the rules?

  252. Milo Hamilton says:

    I have great respect for media members that tell us this kind of stuff about guys while they were still on the team, not after they don’t have to deal with them anymore. I’ll let you know when I find one.

  253. Bizrow says:

    + 1

    Much like earlier in the regime when being an ex-Indian increased the chances of being picked up by the PBC, or so it seemed

  254. Bizrow says:

    That is the old CL and the other paper noted that possibility Sunday (I think it was Sunday, well had to be, the only day I get that rag)

  255. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Tampa can’t sell out a WS game, not too concerned about prospect watch.

    They have a lot of those games.

  256. Arriba Wilver says:

    Where’d that come from, Ryan. It was only a point of reference. Sheesh.

    DK mentioned what he thought Pitt alums would think. Simple as that.

  257. Jandy says:

    Randy Miller is a POS. But…yeah, it’s funny, because I can’t stand Philly.

  258. cmat0829 says:

    I think it is the logical option. Trade is doubtful, because acquiring team can likely just wait until he is DFA’d, also he’d have to be on their ML roster; I also do not know what value it would be to ‘hide’ JMAC in the bullpen for a month or so because you aren’t gonna use him except in blowouts (and we don’t have many of those either Win or Lose) and you have enough depth for pitching without him. I’d say either DL or DFA.

  259. Jandy says:

    Fine by me, Biz, just tell your boss I said so :D

  260. Jandy says:

    seconded!

  261. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I dont like any people that drive Porches, but I hear dudes that drive Porsche’s are real DB’s. (not the Pens’ coach)

  262. Jim S. says:

    Long live the Queen.

  263. Jandy says:

    same thing!

  264. Jandy says:

    woah!

  265. Milo Hamilton says:

    Do you know how many people I’ve read, heard & talked to in the last 2 days think sending Cole back for (pick an arbitrary number of) days will delay his free agency for another year ? And they’ll argue with you about it.

    A wise man once told me that a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.

  266. cmat0829 says:

    Tampa is not a place you go to, it’s a place you end up in. — Happy Endings TV Show, 2013.

    I do think the dome effect is a lot of it, but I also don’t doubt for a second that other markets would do a better job of supporting the team than Tampa does. I know the owner is very frustrated…they have built a winner, do the right things the right way, and fans still don’t bother.

  267. Jandy says:

    Silly buggee, Trix are for ….I dunno…but I’ll think of sumpin!

    I watched it…and the final 2 minutes was awesome!

    50 something? That’s young, buggee ;)

  268. Jandy says:

    Ohhhh! So coming here to this blog is a dangerous thing????

  269. Milo Hamilton says:

    I prove it just about everyday ! :)

  270. Arriba Wilver says:

    E-mail Clint.

  271. Bizrow says:

    You would pick up his salary if DFA’d, so you would lose that if you did that or if you threw the cash to the acquiring team, might get a better bag of batting practice balls for JMac in a trade if you did that.

    There has to be some sort of controls on sending him back to the DL, last time I looked stinky pitching wasn’t one of the options for the DL

    We’ll see though

  272. Arriba Wilver says:

    Smh

  273. cmat0829 says:

    Its mind boggling. The decision on sending Cole down has nothing to do with free agency or IMHO Super 2. It has to do with keeping Morton as a starter and not using Cole in the bullpen. If folks want Cole to stay in the rotation, that is fine and supportable, but it’s a package deal (sorry, DK)… what do you do with Morton? No evidence he’d be good in a bullpen role and you compound it by sending Morris back to AAA.

  274. Bizrow says:

    If I can ever find him, I just might do that ;-)

  275. Milo Hamilton says:

    He goes to the pen & gets righthanded hitters out. Aren’t you supposed to watch the innings of a guy coming off Tommy John. What a perfect way. Works for everyone.

  276. Milo Hamilton says:

    And where do you get that Morris would go back ? How about Reid or Welker ?

  277. NMR says:

    “How to Suck at Player Relations” by Randy Miller

  278. Jim S. says:

    I think we need the Brandon Inge spot for a position player – not named Brandon Inge.

    Are you advocating going with an extra reliever for the rest of the year, NMR?

    I know the owners are not in the mood to add salaried players, but at some point teams need to increase rosters to about 27 to accommodate the extra pitchers and still maintain some flexibility on the bench.

  279. NMR says:

    I don’t think anybody is suggesting he be “hidden” in the bullpen.

    He’s getting DFA’d this winter regardless, so you do it now or you see if he’s valuable in a relief role for the next three months.

  280. NMR says:

    Exactly.

    No evidence?

    More like a perfect fit.

  281. Bizrow says:

    And don’t forget that Gomar is getting activated for tomorrow, thats another 25 man move coming

  282. Nate83 says:

    Reid and or Welker now but when all three Gomez, AJ, and Wandy are back either Morris has to go back or you chance losing Gomez or Mazzaro to another team because they are out of options I think. Not to mention JMac but I think he will be DFA’d or traded. You really can’t justify him taking up a spot.

    The also have to watch Coles innings because he only pitched like 138 last year. Someone always gets injured so it probably works itself out eventually.

  283. Vinny Giardina says:

    Let’s not start a controversy. :)

    Actually, I checked because Plainfield, NJ (down the road a ways) also calls itself the Queen City, which got me to wondering.

  284. NMR says:

    Not to mention that there is absolutely no need to have Morton, Mazarro, and Gomez on the same roster.

  285. Jim S. says:

    I was thinking that also, Nater. 40% chance of seeing King Felix in each series, and we drew him both times. Does that make it a 16% chance of seeing him in both series’? If so, that 16% just came through.

    We played the Dodgers 2x, and we drew Kershaw and Greinke in each series also. They are 40% of the Dodgers staff, and we faced them in 67% of the games.

    We have not missed Smardzija yet for the Cubs in 3 consecutive series’. I know these things even out eventually, and actually we have held our own vs. all these aces.

    Harvey pitched against us. Lee and Hamels. Shelby, at least once, maybe twice. Faced Cueto 2x in 3 series. I guess there was no avoiding the Tigers’ studs with 4 straight games.

    Who cares? We’re 46-30, and it feels good. Bring ‘em on!!

  286. Arriba Wilver says:

    It amazes me how people go out of their way to argue that Super 2 has “NOTHING” to do with how Cole is treated or will be treated. Maybe there are a myriad of reasons to treat Cole they way they do and will, but to attempt to exclude before the fact the elephant in the room is laughable. Maybe they don’t get there, but that’s different than excluding it as a possibility now.

    (Note to Milo–I know what it means)

  287. cmat0829 says:

    I agree with Nate83 on this… I personally dont want to just lose Gomez, Morton or Mazarro to other teams at this moment. NMR you seem to think that there is no need for the 3 of them, so that must mean you are ok with losing one to another team. I disagree.

    Again, if I were GM, I’d put Cole in the bullpen, not Morton, and use him in the Cingrani role (seems like their stuff is very similar, Cingrani was reaching 95-96 last week for the Reds).

    I think the focus needs to be on, who do you keep on the staff…and the choice is Cole or Morris. Welker is likely gone tomorrow to make room for Gomez; Reid is gone when Wandy gets back. When AJ is ready, someone else has to go. Morris or Cole is the choice. You can’t keep Morton / Cole in Pittsburgh and not send Morris back to AAA. Of course this assumes we don’t just cut Gomez or Mazarro completely, which would be idiotic.

  288. Bizrow says:

    Super 2 would literally cost them millions over the length of his stay here.

    With this club, its got to be in their minds

  289. Jim S. says:

    It is funny, though, that we have actually landed on a guy that may not be as good as Brandon Inge.

    Surely there are other options.

  290. The Gunner says:

    JMac does not deserve to be put back on the 25 man roster based on his extreme lack of productivity over the last year. The Bucs are trying to play in the post season – this year’s Bucs clearly aren’t the Bucs of the past 20 years.

  291. cmat0829 says:

    I could be wrong, but I think the point is that Super 2, which affects when someone is eligible for ARBITRATION and therefore MORE MONEY is different than when someone is eligiuble for FREE AGENCY. I think Milo’s comment is on FREE AGENCY and therefore has nothing to do with Super 2.

  292. Jim S. says:

    Word has it, he is going to start a rehab stint any week now.

  293. cmat0829 says:

    If you are suggesting we actually use JMAC in meaningful, or as Clint would say ‘leverage’ situations in the pen over the next few months…then WOW, no thanks to that idea. I’d prefer he be used only when the Bucs are up or down 5 runs or more, in extra innings after all others have been used, and if a starter leaves in the 1 or 2nd inning due to injury or ejection. That is being ‘hidden’ by my definition.

  294. Milo Hamilton says:

    And now here comes the crap about monitoring the starters innings. If they ever make it to the playoffs, they’ll have to forfeit October because no one’s ever pitched that far before. How about this novel concept. Pick your 5 best starters and pitch them. Are they going to get tired ? Sure they are, but you know what ? That’s baseball.

    So lets dispense with 6 man rotations cause we’re playing 20 days in a row, sending guys down to sit them out, passing guys over so AJ gets his precious every 5th day and any other outside of the box look how smart we are garbage. 5 best guys, in rotation and keep a close eye on them. Maybe some old fashioned inside the box thinking might be the way to go for a change.

    Hoka Hey.

  295. Naterosboro says:

    Here’s my thing…..

    After this, what new player will “talk” to this guy? Anybody they bring in via free agency will now know this guy will air everything if you don’t leave “according to plan”.

    The Courier is my paper. I really only look at it to see how my former HS is doing in baseball (brought home the 1st Group IV State Championship in school history this season!).

    How this guy remains on the job, only they will know. But it’s probably the “Broadstreet Bully” mentality playing out here.

    Like “Hey we didn’t like you when you were playing here so good on Randy for trashing the player!”

    Sometimes I’m not sure if it’s ficition or reality when dealing with Philadelphia sports. I’ll tell you one thing tho…

    it’s good for fun entertainment.

    Can’t wait to see how Chip Kelly handles these clowns…

  296. Naterosboro says:

    sorry, this was supposed to be posted above!

  297. Jim S. says:

    Well played, Milo.

  298. Naterosboro says:

    Here’s my thing…..

    After this, what new player will “talk” to this guy? Anybody they bring in via free agency will now know this guy will air everything if you don’t leave “according to plan”.

    The Courier is my paper. I really only look at it to see how my former HS is doing in baseball (brought home the 1st Group IV State Championship in school history this season!).

    How this guy remains on the job, only they will know. But it’s probably the “Broadstreet Bully” mentality playing out here.

    Like “Hey we didn’t like you when you were playing here so good on Randy for trashing the player!”

    Sometimes I’m not sure if it’s ficition or reality when dealing with Philadelphia sports. I’ll tell you one thing tho…

    it’s good for fun entertainment.

    Can’t wait to see how Chip Kelly handles these clowns…

  299. Milo Hamilton says:

    You’re so right Wilver. Super 2 has EVERYTHING to do with this.

  300. Arriba Wilver says:

    Milo was ridiculing people who think it has to do with Free Agency.

    It clearly has to do with arbitration eligibility, and we all know that. But it also clearly has to do with how much a player makes. If Cole is what we think he is, being eligible for arbitration a year early will mean multi millions in terms of his earning potential while he is under Pirates control. If you think that might not enter in the calculation of how he is treated . . .

  301. Jandy says:

    I know where mine is…he’s on the golf course!

  302. Naterosboro says:

    Chaaaaaalie would be perfect in late inning ground ball inducing situations. Against righties.

    I don’t see why Morton couldn’t help in the ‘pen.

    And I believe Cole should stay in the rotation….incase anyone was wondering.

  303. cmat0829 says:

    that’s a forceful opinion, but against the norm, not just for the Pirates but for all of baseball. the article gives good examples of Strasberg but also Chris Sale on the White Sox. The Pirates have also done nothing or said nothing to this point that indicates they (1) will shut down any pitcher as the Nats did (2) will go with 6 man rotation…

    Neal’s comments seem to indicate to me that they will not do what the Nats did.

    But just to be argumentative, Milo, what are your thoughts on the usage – past, present and future, of Melancon and Grilli? They clearly are the “best relievers” so do you believe the Bucs should monitor and adjust their usage for later in the season now, or do like you’d prescribe for starters and let the best pitch now and October takes care of itself?

  304. Bizrow says:

    And regardless, the club still owns his rights for six more years starting in 2014.

    That stuff can be confusing though

  305. The Gunner says:

    Nate

    AGREED – the Bucs really can’t justify JMac taking up a spot. It sends a really bad message.

  306. Jandy says:

    Milo is PASSIONATE about this topic!

  307. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, its just about everybody. I heard Jim Duquette saying on MLB Network that they should not worry about years of control with Cole, and just leave him on the major league roster. He said they were putting his free agency down the road ahead of winning this year if they sent him down. He used to be a GM, right?

  308. cmat0829 says:

    right, milo said free agency not super 2, and they are different. I could be wrong but I believe the super 2 cutoff estimate is such that cole could stay up all year and not fall into that category… if there is a gap, it can’t be more than a few days… so not sure this is a ‘big’ deal… if they sent cole down for say, 10 days, around the allstar break and avoid him even missing one start (by reshuffling the rotation), would we villify that move at this point?

    If I were owner and it were that easy to do something to save money and not affect the games played, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

  309. Nate83 says:

    It may be crap but it is reality. I imagine a large majority of teams follow the concept of ramping innings for young pitchers and monitoring innings for all pitchers. I agree with you because at the end of the day if you add up the side sessions, the warm up pitches, spring training, etc……. what is another 30 innings.

  310. JAL says:

    I don’t post links from PG just i don’t post links from Trib on PG

  311. Sisyphus says:

    More proof of the fungibility of “closers”.

    Is fungibility a word?

  312. cmat0829 says:

    Morton’s control, if you have been watching, has been poor. Not a good candidate to high-leverage bullpen situations, certainly not better than Morris, Mazarro, Wilson, Watson, Melancon, Grilli, Gomez and it is one of those spots he will be taking. Why no one wants to talk about WHO MORTON WOULD REPLACE IN THE BULLPEN is a bit frustrating to me. We seem to make him a top reliever and I doubt he is better than anyone of the top 7 ( I even doubt he’d be better than Reid or Welker but I digress).

  313. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  314. Milo Hamilton says:

    I think we can all find times where we disagree with Hurdle’s use of his pen. And I’m a Hurdle fan. I for one think that if 2 strong lefties are coming up in the 8th that Justin Wilson should be the preferred option. Things like that. But where we get into trouble is saying that so and so “is on pace” to pitch so many games. There is no pace, no such thing. Appearances are absolutely 100% controllable. Melancon has only thrown 8 innings this month.

  315. Arriba Wilver says:

    Crazy.

  316. cmat0829 says:

    good balanced perspective, if only more fans had that elusive thing…perspective. The first time Clint used Wilson in the 8th and he gave up a run, he’d be tarred and feathered. Geez, some in this here asylum were ready to tar and feather Grilli, the amazing Grilled Cheese, for ‘almost blowing the game on Sunday’.

  317. Jim S. says:

    He certainly is. I have said several times that Milo can get more said in about 10 words than anyone else can in 100.

    I like the old school approach you are recommending, Milo. I said yesterday that Cole is a horse who can handle more innings than your typical 22 year old. This guy was full grown about 5 years ago. He said himself that he was throwing 100 at 17. Cole = Clydesdale.

    I was actually a little heartened to read that NH seemed to suggest they would not use the “kid gloves” method with Cole because they feel they have properly prepared him for more innings than conventional wisdom would suggest. But, as usual, there was some double speakage going on and my brain started hurting from all of the self-translation I was forced to do.

  318. cmat0829 says:

    Jim Duquette is a failed , big-market GM, so I don’t give him much credibility on this topic. Again, if he said anything about “FREE AGENCY” and not “SUPER 2″ then he is a misinformed moron who should be on ESPN and not MLB network, which I respect.

  319. Sisyphus says:

    The real elephant in the room that is being ignored is that, of the six rotation candidates they’ll have when everybody is back, Cole has the fifth best ERA ahead of Wandy. I don’t hear anybody suggesting that Wandy be sent to the pen.

  320. Jandy says:

    Not this looney fan!

  321. Arriba Wilver says:

    That’s very different than saying Super 2 has NOTHING to do with how he is treated.

    Tell me it makes business sense.
    Tell me there are also other reasons, like innings pitched over last year.

    Just DON’T tell me it has NOTHING to do with how he’s treated.

  322. Jim S. says:

    I was just happy for the regression on Sunday. If I did “emojis” I’d have a smiley face after that last sentence in lieu of this sentence.

  323. cmat0829 says:

    Stewart is a lefthanded hitter, not a comparison whatsoever to Brandon Inge and the role he is supposed to play. Inge sucks, but let’s not compare.

  324. NMR says:

    I’m not suggesting anything.

    My suggestion, going back to his “injury” was to pass him through waivers.

    I’m simply contending that anybody who WAS suggesting they put him in the pen due to him being an asset wasn’t doing it with the thought of hiding him in mind.

    That doesn’t make any sense at all.

  325. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  326. NMR says:

    Wow. Thats all kinds of extreme.

    Morton, yes even Morton, has had far more success than Mazarro or Gomez.

    And I have no idea where you get the idea that guys with poor control make bad relievers. Thats the exact opposite of reality.

  327. Jim S. says:

    Conducting business on said golf course, I’m sure.

  328. Jim S. says:

    Albania, capitol of New York. Right, Brandie?

  329. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’ll be 1st in line to say that if Cole is the 6th best pitcher when the time comes then he should go back.

  330. 21sthebest says:

    +1

  331. Jim S. says:

    ++++

  332. Nate83 says:

    Not as much for starters but relievers should not be measured my innings pitched or appearences but instead pitch count. Obviously Grille’s appearence on Sunday were I think he through over 30 pitches takes a lot more out of him then a 6 or 7 pitch save. Melancon and Grille for the most part have been no nonsense get quick ground ball outs and/or 4 pitch strike outs. They don’t go deep in many counts.

  333. Arriba Wilver says:

    Just to be perfectly clear, I’m not advocating getting him, just pointing out that based on his pedigree you know they will look at him. For all we know, Clint doesn’t like him.

  334. Jim S. says:

    Thanks, cmat. I thought he was a righty. Maybe he should be, come to think of it.

  335. NMR says:

    Idiotic? For losing one of Vin Mazarro or Jeanmar Gomez?

    Wow.

  336. 21sthebest says:

    I can see how Cole’s Super 2 status could have nothing to do with how he’s treated. Of course, I have no idea what the front office is thinking but I think it’s a real possibility.

  337. Milo Hamilton says:

    Jim Leyland says that these things usually take care of themselves. Somebody’s getting traded.

  338. Jim S. says:

    Chip Kelly will fit in just fine.

  339. NMR says:

    We’re using three starts worth of ERA to make rotation decisions?

    Yikes.

  340. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  341. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    just a joke…

  342. cmat0829 says:

    I agree with you. I think one of Neal’s major weaknesses is his communication approach and strategy. If I were advising him, I’d ask him to either:

    1) Say nothing. The George W Bush approach… say that “it is not our policy to comment on player decisions” and leave it at that.

    2) Be completely forthcoming, short of revealing future strategy prematurely, and never say publicly what you haven’t already communicated privately to those involved. “With Gerrit, we have talked to him about all of what goes into the decision of when he pitches in the rotation in Pittsburgh. Some of that is Super 2 qualification, some of that is his own development, some of it is how the other rotation candidates are performing and the needs of the club. Ideally, he will be completely ready for the majors and that won’t hold him back… ideally, we would clear the Super 2 deadline as that will be a big help down the road as we balance our payroll in this market…and ideally, we would be performing so well in the major league rotation that would give us a good problem in who to demote when Cole is ready”.

    If Neal were to communicate using either strategy 1 or 2, would that make you happy? Seems to me you are complaining more about what the FO is ‘telling’ fans vs. the actual treatment of the player…

  343. NMR says:

    Haha, whoever this cmat is might want to revisit the post at 2:54 with his newfound perspective.

  344. NMR says:

    Love it, Milo. Love it.

  345. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I’m moving to SC this winter…

  346. NMR says:

    Do you have any research to back that up?

    Honest question. Never read any studies on reliever pitch count.

  347. Arriba Wilver says:

    It could, 21, if there are other independent reasons. My point, at least, is you can’t now exclude the possibility that it will impact his status, which is what cmat did say, as well as others. Can you say today it has nothing to do with how he will be treated? No need to answer.

  348. Arriba Wilver says:

    How about common sense? :-)

  349. 21sthebest says:

    Okay, I think I finally understand where you are coming from here.

  350. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    That dome was built many years prior to Tampa getting a team. The city wanted baseball so bad, that’s what they built to try and lure a team in.

    Its a shame. The last few years they really produce a quality, winning team.

    They play the game right.

  351. pattonbb says:

    These are problems most teams wish they had.

    Somebody is definitely getting traded.

  352. NMR says:

    Isn’t it amazing how far the same running jokes are taken sometimes?

  353. NMR says:

    BOOM.

  354. cmat0829 says:

    yes i think so. they have performed really well, and they don’t deserve to be jettisoned so we can force charlie morton into a bullpen role.

  355. Jim S. says:

    Charlie is dominating righty batters.

    He would still be there to jump back into the rotation later if they find a way to keep him stretched out – of course, that is tough to do if they are also trying to do that with Jeanmar.

    In reality, I think if you move Charlie to the pen for short stints vs. righties, he won’t be a starter option pretty quickly.

  356. NMR says:

    For what?

  357. Arriba Wilver says:

    Uh, I was talking about you saying “Its mind boggling. The decision on sending Cole down has nothing to do with free agency or IMHO Super 2.”

    Didn’t even get to the FO.

  358. Jim S. says:

    Count me as one who feels Mazzaro has been pretty fortunate this year. He has gotten the job done, overall. But, I think he has tended to flirt with WHIP disaster a bit too often. There’s a key inning or two with his name written on it, if you ask me. I’d rather have Charlie than him.

  359. Arriba Wilver says:

    Apparently you aren’t alone, which is on me. :-)

  360. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Cry baby Stewart? The one that cant even hit in the minors anymore?

    Dont blame Theo for that.

  361. The Gunner says:

    Hopefully, someone who can hit with some pop and play right field

  362. cmat0829 says:

    ok, so you prefer to cut loose mazarro or gomez, who both have performed well in bullpen roles THIS SEASON, for Morton who I don’t think has ever performed in that role.. fair enough. I agree to disagree. I don’t think we can have it both ways.. if Cole stays in rotation because “now matters and every game counts” and Morton is kept in bullpen because we need starter insurance, then my opinion is we are weakening the bullpen and that impacts the ‘now matters and every game counts”.

    All of these thoughts are perspective because again, what I would do as GM would be to keep Cole in rotation and I’d likely put Morton in the pen just as all are suggesting…I’m just exploring the consequences of doing that as a means to give the other ideas a ‘trying on’ rather than emotionally dismissing them as having any merit…that is perspective by my definition.

  363. Jandy says:

    Good thing YOU said that :D

  364. NMR says:

    So now its idiotic to want the best pitchers pitching in Pittsburgh and not Indianapolis?

    WOW.

  365. Jim S. says:

    Thanks, Nate and Gunner. I was wondering why so many people seemed to advocate pushing someone out for JMac. There’s just no room.

    I don’t send Morris back. I’d rather lose Mazzaro.

  366. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  367. cmat0829 says:

    JMac has zero trade value, b/c teams know they have to DFA him anyway. Morton would have some high value, but then we’d be back to being very thin in terms of starters if injuries pop back up again.

  368. NMR says:

    Sounds like you’re doing a fine job of having a conversation with yourself.

    Enjoy that pat on the back.

  369. NMR says:

    Why not?

  370. Jim S. says:

    Morris over the Vin Man any day of the week.

  371. The Gunner says:

    You gotta be absolutely nuts to have a guy with JMac’s diminished skills on this ball club. This isn’t the 1971 Pirates, it’s the 2013 Pirates!!

  372. Drew71 says:

    You are correct. I missed that Vinnies = Vincent’s

  373. 21sthebest says:

    Tom Seaver pitched 251 innings his rookie year and averaged 271 innings per year his first 11 in the majors. I miss those days.

  374. Nate83 says:

    No research. Just my opinion. Some managers are (in)famous for having pitchers get up and pitch in the bullpen but never bringing them in. Hurdle seems to be pretty good at not doing this. I actually like how Hurdle manages his pitchers much better then his in game hitting situation decisions. I don’t agree with everything he does but for the most part think he does a good job with the pitchers.

  375. NMR says:

    Exactly my point.

    The only two guys you “want” to trade right now if you have to are Mazzaro and Gomez.

    Good luck getting anything in return.

  376. Jim S. says:

    You’re not wrong. That is exactly my take.

  377. The Gunner says:

    Morton has some pretty high credibility in the clubhouse these days based on the way he threw at those couple of Cincinnati players. Based on that, you have to keep him around and hope his productivity improves.

    JMac is done in Pittsburgh / he’ll be DFA’d.

  378. +1 million

    Wonder if they had him on a pitch count?

    I seriously doubt it.

  379. Drew71 says:

    Weight. Sixty Five Pounds.

    For Heaven’s Sake.

  380. Jandy says:

    Yeah, well, the last time EYE made mention that some of these guys were p*ss*es and should grow a set, I was immediately maligned!

    So….you know…

  381. The Gunner says:

    They might trade Liriano for a bat

  382. Jandy says:

    Agreed!

  383. Arriba Wilver says:

    On second thought, if you go back to my comment at 2:37 I think I was pretty clear in what I was saying. ;-)

  384. Jandy says:

    let’s just stick with your first thoughts ;)

  385. Jim S. says:

    I actually think they “should” be concerned about fiscal issues such as this for the future. And I bet we all do, to some degree, because it could affect the overall quality of the other players they might be able to sign in the future if they can ink Cole reasonably at that time.

    It’s just that they have such a bad history of not spending competitively, and trying to pull the wool over our eyes. No reservoir of credibility on fiscal issues, unfortunately.

  386. NMR says:

    Next time anybody pitches with their testicles wil be the first, Jandy.

  387. Jim S. says:

    I second that.

  388. Jandy says:

    haha! I’d love to see that tried ;)

  389. NMR says:

    Hope his productivity improves?

    On that 2.81 ERA?

    Who are we talking about again?

  390. Those days there were 4 starters, not 5, pitching on 3 days rest every week.

    I don’t think they’re p*ss*es, but they are definitely handled like they make millions of dollars instead of thousands.

    Bob Friend would have almost as many losses as wins every year since he finished games whether they won or lost.

  391. Nate83 says:

    I don’t see them getting much more then organizational filler for anyone they would trade to take care of this problem. The right fielder with pop seems to be something they would get closer to the deadline by giving up a prospect or two.

    Unfortunately the entire AL East will be buyers at the deadline and most of those teams don’t care about holding onto prospects because they just buy what they need. The yankees have a guy making more then 1/3 of the pirates payroll that isn’t even playing this year. The sad thing is you may not know which player I am talking about because A-Rod, Teixeira and Jeter all have not played this year.

  392. Jandy says:

    That’s what I’m talking about, Lucky. Not literally p*ss*es, but things sure are different now. heck, if a guy was hurting, he wouldn’t even let anyone know. Things are very different now.

  393. NMR says:

    Ballsy, but interesting.

    Along those lines, if Morton (and low level prospects, if needed) could bring back somebody like Mike Morse or Josh Wilingham, I could certainly be tempted.

  394. Jim S. says:

    That’s true about him, cmat. But, this is basic GM stuff. He has to know that. On the afternoon show, Bowden didn’t exactly handle the discussion well, either. All he said was that if Cole is thought to be one of your top 5 starters, you allow him to start and not worry about money. But, he never bothered to explain what he meant about “money.” No attempt to explain Super 2, arbitration, free agency, etc. It leaves people with the wrong impression.

  395. The Gunner says:

    Chuck needs to go deeper into the game, he can’t get past the 5th inning. Of course, that’s a problem for most of them.

  396. They sure are, J-girl.

    A sign of the times I’m a-feared.

    Same as any kind of job. You’d have to be half dead to miss work back in the day. Now, somebody has hangnail and they’re off 3 days.

  397. Arriba Wilver says:

    Too easy Ms. MT. :-)

  398. NMR says:

    So do you guys think that its purely coincidence that pitchers, overall, are of much higher quality today than back in those times?

  399. pattonbb says:

    Almost every team in contention are looking to add bullpen arms. I bet you could get something. Maybe a bag of balls and some sunscreen. :)

    Keep your bags packed Vin Mazarro.

  400. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, I think after 9 innings the manager said, “Anyone keeping track of how many pitches Seaver has thrown in this here 1-1 game?” The pitching coach said, “No, but he just told me he’s good for a couple more innings.”

  401. Nate83 says:

    Agree. When it is all said and done the pitcher on the Pirate staff with the least dominating stuff may be Wandy. That sounds crazy but maybe he gets traded to a desperate team in the AL East as we get closer to the deadline. He has value if for no other reason big market team fans have heard of him and sadly those teams have to make their fans happy even if it is fools gold. That is why Soriano will go to a big market and hopefully teams like the Pirates, A’s, Diamondbacks, Rockies are smart enough to stay away.

  402. cmat0829 says:

    THREE starts. for both Morton and Cole. Just sayin’

  403. cmat0829 says:

    If we want to be ballsy, then offer Melancon to the Tigers for some offense.

  404. 21sthebest says:

    How do you define higher quality NMR?

  405. Bizrow says:

    Wandy is also in his walk year if he doesn’t agree to his option with the PBC

  406. Arriba Wilver says:

    It would be interesting to see a study done on the phenomena of how pitching has progressed since they lowered the mound in 1967 or 1968 because of the pitching dominance of the times. How did the lowering of the mound affect the way pitchers were? Seaver, of course, was after that time, but it would be interesting.

  407. cmat0829 says:

    before we go a-trading away STARTING pitching depth, what if:

    Cole hits a wall the next 3-4 starts, teams get to him earlier than 3rd time around the order, and he proves unreliable in the rotation… OR

    Morton struggles in his return from TJ surgery, can’t get his ‘control’ back and struggles to get lefties out… teams just ‘go the other way’ to death and touch him up for 4-5 runs each start…..

    Wandy comes back but ‘forearm soreness’ returns and he shuts it down

    AJ can’t shake the torn calf muscle or whatever he has…..

  408. cmat0829 says:

    OR even, Jeff Locke can’t keep up the amazing 1st half pace, shoots to a 4.5 ERA in July/August and struggles a la JMac of 2012…..

  409. Sisyphus says:

    We don’t have to do that. We can look at the fact that Cole can only manage to get through the lineup twice. Starting with his third trip through the lineup he gets raked. He has yet to show that he can rely on more than his fastball. Like it or not, he’s on an innings limit, no matter what Huntington says.

    We all know that it comes down to Morton vs. Cole. Morton gives up less hits and strikes out more batters. Cole walks less batters. You’ve got to remember that, whatever YOU may think of Charlie Morton, Neal Huntington thought enough of him to pay him $2M for half a season’s work. He clearly sees something there. So do I. I see a ground ball machine with a decent K rate. A 100 mph fast ball may be sexier, but it isn’t more effective, at least without another pitch or two in the mix. And the Pirates don’t have the luxury of worrying only about who gets the next start. They need to be prepared when another injury strikes, and another injury WILL strike. Wandy has been down twice this year already. I think we’ll be lucky indeed if he makes the rest of his starts.

    Neither Morton nor Cole has any history of pitching out of the bullpen. I have to wonder how Morton’s new elbow would react to pitching every other day, or two days in a row. I have to wonder if he can just step right back into the rotation in August if Wandy goes down. He’d need to be stretched out all over again. You want to be stretching him out in the middle of a pennant race? I don’t.

    This may all be moot. By the time Burnett is ready, there may may be another injury. These things have a way of working themselves out. But as it stands today, I would keep Morton in the rotation and send Cole down to start once a week at Indy. I might change my mind depending on what happens between now and Burnett’s return. Either guy might make it into an easy decision. But that’s what I’d do if I had to decide today.

  410. That’s what they say about workers, NMR. Higher quality these days.

    I don’t see it. We used to work all day and go to another job at night. Walked 10 miles to get there, up hill both ways, sun, rain or snow, ate dirt and drank out of hoof, then tire prints and were glad to get it.

  411. NMR says:

    Wandy is also, by far, the most consistant starter they have.

    Not even close.

    His value lies in the fact that he’s a damn good pitcher, not in his name.

  412. Arriba Wilver says:

    FYI -different issue altogether from what Cmat and I are discussing.

  413. cmat0829 says:

    My lineup predictions for tonight……

    If I were manager:

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

    What I think Clint will do:

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

  414. 21sthebest says:

    Women are higher quality. Not sure about pitchers and workers.

  415. Just funnin’

    The Good Ole’ Days always look better to those of us that lived in em.

    Like Carly Simon sang, “These are the good old days”.

    :D

  416. theplanisworking says:

    Well, I am not good at counting, but will do………… ;)

  417. Sisyphus says:

    Mark Fidrych pitched 250 innings in his rookie year and 162 more innings for the rest of his career. He was washed up at 24 and out of the majors at 26 and spent the rest of his twenties getting smacked around at AAA.

    The problem with anecdotal evidence is that the other guy can use it as well. The problem with your Seaver citation is that for every guy you can name who had long, successful careers despite heavy workloads, I can probably name five who blew out their arms.

  418. NMR says:

    @21 – Better velocity and breaking pitches.

    @AW

    The higher mound gave EVERY pitcher the “downward plane” that some people choose to mock these days. I’d say the change had a profound effect.

  419. Jim S. says:

    This is a very good discussion we are embarking upon now. Who were better pitchers? The guys in the 60′s and 70′s? Or, the guys today?

    There are lots of ways to go with this. First off, I would say that Lucky and Jandy are correct that guys threw more pitches, more often and for more innings then. That part is obvious. As Lucky points out, part of the “kid gloves” stuff today is money. Some would say money is the entire reason for the “wussification” if you will of today’s pitchers – and I am not saying that is a truthful term, but it is a common perception today by people who have watched baseball for 50 years. If this does exist, it is the teams that have caused it more than the players. I think teams also did it because, at some point, they determined that a starter could afford to throw a little harder and better if he was able to use all of his energy over 6 or 7 innings, rather than needing to conserve some for the 8th and 9th as he did then.

    Nowadays, we have specialists coming in for the 7th, 8th and 9th innings who throw as hard or harder than the starter does. And starters already throw harder now than they did 40 years ago. So, we have now evolved to nearly entire pitching staffs of guys throwing well over 90 MPH. Seaver, Ryan, and several others threw that hard back in the day, but they were the exception then. Not any more. So, I think these bigger, stronger, harder throwing kids today are making for better pitching staffs, overall, because you always have someone throwing at their best – as opposed to Bob Friend needing to pace himself a bit. And the guys who weren’t as good as Bob Friend were still expected to go 7 or 8 innings.

    I don’t know what the answer is as to which method was better. It’s just a different game in many ways today. More pitching specialization.

  420. Arriba Wilver says:

    Women are of the same high quality. It’s just being recognized more because its legally required.

  421. NMR says:

    Exactly.

    Using Seaver or Nolan Ryan as an example would be equivalent to creating educational curriculum based on Stephen Hawking’s level of intelligence.

  422. NMR says:

    If any of that happens and we’re left with Jeanmar Gomez or Vin Mazzaro starting in the stretch run, we’re still screwed.

  423. 21sthebest says:

    There is no problem with my Seaver citation. My only point was to say that there was a time when pitchers threw a lot more innings than they do today and that I liked those days better for a myriad of reasons. One of which was that the games were faster in those days which I also preferred, but I can hang in there with the slower game of today.

  424. Sisyphus says:

    I’m with you, CMAT, no way do I trade any one of the top six starters. I don’t trade Gomez, either.

  425. 21sthebest says:

    +1

  426. Arriba Wilver says:

    No question, NMR. I just hadn’t thought before about how that also affected the use of pitchers. I know what happened with expanded bullpens and specialty pitchers, but haven’t seen a study of empirical evidence connecting the two.

  427. NMR says:

    That is a great idea, AW.

  428. Jim S. says:

    Lucky,

    I love the Bill Cosby line about how grandparents are so nice to the grandkids now because they are trying to get to heaven.

    He said, “My dad, who used to tell me about how he had to strangle a grizzly bear with his loose leaf noteboook on the way to school if I asked him for a dime, now comes over to my house and reaches in his pocket to see how much money he can find for his grandchildren.”

  429. cmat0829 says:

    I do talk to myself, but usually not about the Pirates :)

    In all seriousness, we are getting somewhere on this… most feel that Mazzaro is dispensable, Cole should stay in rotation and Morton in the pen if it comes to that. Fair enough…

  430. 21sthebest says:

    “Not even close.”

    Cool! I’ve been looking for something to replace, “case closed.”

  431. NMR says:

    Not calling you a liar, 21, but I would love to see the reactions if a manager kept a guy in longer than what is now considered the point of being “finished” just for the sake of throwing more innings.

    Lowes would sell out of pitch forks.

  432. cmat0829 says:

    I apologize for the ‘idiotic’ comment. I could make my point and defend it without lashing out at others that have different views.

  433. Arriba Wilver says:

    The flip side of that, though, is that you don’t see a Tom Seaver or Nolan Ryan because they all get treated the same. Law of averages. That’s not a criticism. The number of Tommy John surgeries is mind boggling.

  434. NMR says:

    No, please keep that one around!

  435. JHadar says:

    I wonder how much sense worrying about Super 2 status for a 100+ mph pitcher really makes during a contending season. I think (1) that he can probably put the few million dollars of revenue you’ll save into the seats if he keeps throwing like that. And (2) that kind of strain is always an injury risk for any arm — and he’s not going to be resting, he’s going to be pitching in Indianapolis.

    Right now the Bucs have seven legitimate starters. In my mind AJ, Locke, and Cole are not tradeable. MacDonald is not a legitimate starter for this club. We no longer have holes in the starting eight — but we do have positions that could be improved.

    I know what I would be trying to do if I were Neal.

  436. kr70 says:

    just another reason you should be on the payroll.

  437. Bob Hasis says:

    There appears to be a lot of sentiment about Cole’s arbitration eligibility in six years.

    Management does need to consider that, but do we not want to win NOW, while we seem to have an excellent opportunity in front of us – NOW?

    The future will take care of itself, I am quite sure.

    I’m looking forward to the future (six hours of it) and not finding Barmes name in the lineup. From this humble example, you’ll see that the future will be OK.

  438. Careers seem longer, too, AW.

    I still think pitchers who pitched every third day got in groove. Now, they have bullpens and what not, but then, you stayed on the mound.

    I’d like to see the number of complete games nowadays vs. the 60′s and 70′s.

  439. Jim S. says:

    Well said, 21. I remember as a very young kid the amazing season or two that Randy Jones of the Padres had. Do you remember him? He could carve a team up in about 1:40 on a good day. Probably couldn’t break a pain of glass with his fastball – 2 or 4 seam.

  440. theplanisworking says:

    I saw references to “elephant in the room” again today.

    As 21st said so well yesterday, we have Hippos in the room, there is no room for any elephant.

    And, as the blog’s resident Hippo, I approve that remark. :)

  441. cmat0829 says:

    Arriba, mindboggling to me is that folks lazily confuse ‘free agency’ and ‘Super 2′ including ‘experts’ on the TV and Internet. Free agency has nothing to do with Cole’s usage year…Super 2 does.

    The reason why I believe Super 2 is not the #1 reason if Cole is sent down is that:

    A. he likely is already clear of the proposed Super 2 cutoff
    B. If he isn’t then it is only a few days worth of time needed, easy enough to send him down and call him up in 10 days over allstar break
    C. If it is only Super 2, then he would be recalled within 2 weeks at absolute latest and they’d be right back in same boat with what to do with Morton.

    But let’s see what happens. If Cole is sent down and stays there the rest of the year, it will most certainly NOT be completely because of Super 2 and not because of Free Agency…..he needn’t spend more than a few days down in Indy to clear Super 2 and make that a nonissue.

  442. I meant they throw bullpen sessions every whatever days.

    I know they had bullpens back in the day. Just didn’t use them the same.

  443. cmat0829 says:

    Right, I guess my post was in response to those suggesting trading wandy or liriano.

  444. cmat0829 says:

    I prefer ’nuff said.

  445. cmat0829 says:

    or as AJ would say , STFD

  446. kr70 says:

    hoping he’s not the next Zack Duke.

  447. Jim S. says:

    I think you summarized my thoughts well, cmat. And I am not saying keeping Charlie and losing Mazzaro doesn’t come with risk. I recognize it.

  448. Jim S. says:

    Because if you don’t pitch long outings (3 innings, for example) you can’t stay starter ready for long. Justin Wilson cannot start this year.

  449. NMR says:

    Hey buddy, no need. Appreciated, but not necessary.

  450. Arriba Wilver says:

    No response?

  451. 21sthebest says:

    “Not calling you a liar, 21″

    I can’t even fathom what would cause you to type that. I agree with the rest of your post and I agree with AW. I realize what MLB world we live in now and how pitchers are handled.

  452. Jim S. says:

    Self-policing! Well done.

  453. JAL says:

    JMac situation solved

    Pirates RHP James McDonald will remain on the DL as he
    experiences shoulder discomfort. He will see Dr. James Andrews next week.

  454. 21sthebest says:

    JMac staying on the DL due to shoulder discomfort. Will see Dr. Andrews next week.

  455. cmat0829 says:

    my response to this is below. Net is Free Agency non issue, Super 2 is an issue, easy enough to send Cole down for 10 days and that would be cleared…

  456. Jim S. says:

    Actually, I think it does but I don’t mind bowing out because my explanation would be very lengthy and I think you two are doing nicely on your own.

  457. theplanisworking says:

    Does this mean he has to be transferred to the 60-day DL?

  458. theplanisworking says:

    This is getting interesting…….

  459. Bob Hasis says:

    To borrow a Jim Mora voice inflection, “Six years, six years. . . . . ”

    Some day the remainder of all of our lives will be measured in minutes and seconds, but I pray that is not today or any time soon, however “six years, six years . . . .”

  460. Arriba Wilver says:

    I can certainly accept that is what you are saying now, and that you meant to say #1 reason. My earlier comments were based on what you said at the time, which was that Super 2 had NOTHING to do with how Cole would be treated. I guess we can agree that statement would be inaccurate.

  461. NMR says:

    I don’t agree with that at all, Jim.

    That may be the Pirate Way, but it doesn’t actually explain how a starting pitcher like Morton can magically lose the ability to throw 75 pitches just because he was sent to the pen.

    Guys on other teams come back from injury – not pitching at all – in three rehab starts.

    It can be done. Easily.

  462. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hope you’re never sitting next to me on a plane. :)

  463. Jim S. says:

    Good points, Sys. This is not an easy thing to navigate. Good that they have options.

  464. Milo Hamilton says:

    These things usually take care of themselves.

  465. theplanisworking says:

    This Hippo wont be around in six years.
    So carpe diem !!!!

  466. NMR says:

    Just didn’t want to insinuate that I was telling you what you would really be saying.

    Trying to nip an argument in the bud.

  467. Arriba Wilver says:

    My apologies.

  468. Milo Hamilton says:

    McDonald will now NOT see Dr. Andrews due to a scheduling conflict. RG3 must have the sniffles.

  469. NMR says:

    Oops. Sorry man. Thought we were still talking about Mazzaro/Gomez.

  470. theplanisworking says:

    +1

  471. Nate83 says:

    In my opinion I think you would be surprised by what a name means to big market teams and their fans. I like Wandy a lot and he is a damn good pitcher but his ERA the last 3 years of his career is higher then the current starters ERA’s. I do not think his stuff is better then AJ’s, or Cole’s. I also think the current versions of Locke and Liriano we are seeing are better then Wandy. I believe his strikeouts have gone down every year for the last 4 years.

  472. theplanisworking says:

    Maybe we can trade JMac to the Redskins??

  473. Milo Hamilton says:

    They’d probably give us Chris Cooley for him. Broken down tight end for a broken down pitcher. Fair deal.

  474. Bob Hasis says:

    So winning NOW is important to you, as it is with me.

  475. 21sthebest says:

    I still don’t understand what you mean NMR. AFAIC, you could have left out the first 5 words of your liar post and the post would have read just fine to me.

  476. cmat0829 says:

    easy, peasy, convenient list is not cheesy.

    honestly, though, I do think ‘mental issues’ should count for DL reason and is the real reason JMac is not pitching for the Pirates.

  477. cmat0829 says:

    :) or a carnival cruise ship

  478. NMR says:

    As have his walks. He’s adjusted.

    The current versions of Liriano and Locke are great. Not even a question. But you better be damn sure those guys are going to show up in September.

    Wandy is gonna be Wandy. Always has.

  479. Jim S. says:

    Lucky,

    You are on the money about complete games. I believe the best pitchers in the 70′s routinely had 20+ per season. I don’t know about earlier than that, but I’m guessing they got into the 30′s per season in earlier decades.

  480. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, I think Nate’s point stands to reason.

  481. theplanisworking says:

    Always has been.
    Winning in 2019 doesnt interest me.

  482. cmat0829 says:

    DK will have an article tomorrow on ‘where the Pirates stand’ and I fully expect him to indicate that there are still many question marks in the rotation for the Pirates. MLB Rumors still links the Pirates to Astros starter Bud Norris… adding, yes, adding starting pitching at the deadline….

    I don’t expect the Pirates to be in a position to be losing any possible starting pitching depth, which at this point, in my mind, includes AJ/Wandy/Liriano/Locke/Cole/Morton/Gomez, in that order.

    If they picked up Norris, wow, he’d have to go into the rotation and then both would happen, Cole to AAA AND Morton to the pen. Wouldn’t that be interesting!!

    OR, and I hate to even bring it up, what if the Bucs went for a more established starter, perhaps Nolasco or Garza, and had to include Locke in the package going back in the deal…. it would take away a question mark and would be ‘selling high’…

    These are not my ideas or things I think they should do, but sometimes the moves that are most obvious aren’t the ones that are made….

  483. theplanisworking says:

    Cooley is so much more interesting, though. ;)

  484. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’ve never made free agency an issue, and have made that clear ad nauseum. Don’t know why you keep bringing it up, it’s a non-issue. Are you going to respond to my question below?

  485. Arriba Wilver says:

    There is NO CL. (Just wanted to get that out of the way).

  486. cmat0829 says:

    It’s odd but sometimes I find myself typing in a tone that is not anything at all how I feel or what I would SAY about the same topic… so I do think a little self-policing is a good thing all around.

    If i were debating these topics over a beverage, I wouldn’t call anyone who has opined anything today on the blog an ‘idiot’ for thinking what they do.

  487. Jim S. says:

    Our excess for someone else’s excess.

  488. theplanisworking says:

    Neither one of you come near my Pond………. ;)

  489. cmat0829 says:

    AW: I think we’re end of job on this discussion, but today, I was addressing “free agency” simply because Milo’s post was about people making free agency the issue.

  490. theplanisworking says:

    Is there an ICL? ;)

  491. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  492. 21sthebest says:

    If there is, I wish they’d put Inge on it already.

  493. cmat0829 says:

    CL= “Crazy List” , population 1, JMAC

  494. Jim S. says:

    I think you have to admit, NMR, that he has had one very good outing, one pretty good outing, and one not so good outing. I don’t believe he has pitched 6 full yet, right? I realize Clint pulled him when he was pitching very well in Cincy. I know he may not have given up a bunch of earned runs on Sunday, but anyone that watched all those walks will tell you he did not pitch well. I don’t personally think a 2.81 is a fair assessment right now.

    He is tantalizing, as always. There are those at bats where the curve is just nasty.

    But, it always seems we are having this “Charlie just can’t catch a break” discussion with him – when he is healthy.

  495. Bob Hasis says:

    To be a valuable reliever, IMO there four essentials required; thick skin (i.e.toughness), great control, an excellent fastball, and confidence.

    Which of those best represents JMac?

  496. Jim S. says:

    JMac to the rescue! Ugh!

  497. theplanisworking says:

    +1.

    This is what I fear going into the second half of the season with this FO……
    What on earth is Inge doing on the roster? How can any team be taken seriously when they say “we want to win”, when they keep Inge and Barmes around.

    Just wondering here……………….

  498. theplanisworking says:

    WOO HOO !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Pittsburgh Riverhounds striker Jose Angulo was named USL PRO Player of the Week for Week 14 after scoring three goals in two games as the Hounds swept the Harrisburg City Islanders and the Antigua Barracudas.

    PLAN THE PARADE !!!!!!!!!!!!

  499. theplanisworking says:

    HL = “Hippo List” , population 1, ME! ;)

  500. NMR says:

    Jim, you seem to be calling for a reality check while peppering your own biased opinion throughout.

    Thanks for looking out for me, but I’ll be just fine.

  501. cmat0829 says:

    Not a big fan of Inge myself… but not sure what the options are in AAA.. at least until Tabby (right handed bat) is ready for recall. If I were GM, I’d get a deadline utility guy and banish Inge and recall Tony Sanchez for C spot and DFA Fort.

  502. Jim S. says:

    Thanks for the last disclaimer, because Locke is doing better than those guys and it is extremely doubtful he would be traded given that, plus his “years of organizational control.”

    I know you are not advocating giving away Locke or obtaining Norris. Both of those things scare me. I’m sure someone will do the quick fact check. But, aren’t Bud’s numbers slipping this year? Kind of makes sense, given that he is now an AL pitcher, and rarely gets the typical #8 & #9 hitters in the AL that he saw in the NL. I believe his whiff rate is falling precipitously.

  503. Jim S. says:

    A downward plane?

  504. 21sthebest says:

    As to Inge, I think he should be replaced. Otherwise, that’s all I have to say about that. I have very little interest in discussions on the last position player on the roster. I’m not putting down anyone who wants to talk about it a length. That’s absolutely fine but I have no interest.

    As to Barmes, right now I have no problem with him staying on the roster the rest of the year.

  505. Jim S. says:

    I guess we won’t know for awhile, kr. But, Jeff is giving up far less hits than innings, and starting to strike out more batters. Zach Duke always seemed to give up far more hits than innings, and couldn’t even strike out pitchers.

    Of course, there was that initial dozen or so games he pitched. I guess that is what you are referring to. I believe Jeff has better stuff.

  506. Jim S. says:

    I do as well. I have a fondness for that phrase. I will endeavor to remember to say “hippo in the room” going forward.

  507. cmat0829 says:

    Barmes is a decent to good utility infielder option. Until we get someone who can play defense like he can at SS and 2B, and please don’t say “JayHey” and please don’t say “Chase”…then he needs to stay.

    Inge can be gone.

  508. theplanisworking says:

    As long as we dont beat a dead Hippo…………… :(

  509. MadTurk says:

    The BEST pizza in and around town.

  510. Jim S. says:

    Tim Williams of Pirates Prospects had speculated a couple of months ago that unexplained wildness accompanied by a drop in velocity, even without discomfort, was a warning sign of a serious arm problem on the horizon. He was not saying this would be the case, only that the warning signs were similar to what JMac has been experiencing. I have been waiting for this shoe to drop all along.

    On the bright side, at least he will know what exactly is going on now.

  511. Arriba Wilver says:

    So, I guess if we’re done you aren’t going to respond to my comment below,

    “I can certainly accept that is what you are saying now, and that you meant to say #1 reason. My earlier comments were based on what you said at the time, which was that Super 2 had NOTHING to do with how Cole would be treated. I guess we can agree that statement would be inaccurate.”

    You pleading nolo contendere?

  512. Jim S. says:

    There’s an ACL and MCL, hippo.

  513. Jim S. says:

    Inge has pretty well proven himself to be a liability. I am not a Barmes fan. He is absolutely brutal with a bat in his hand. I can live with him in the 8th/9th innings when we have a lead to protect.

  514. Jim S. says:

    Has Tabby actually started that long anticipated rehab stint?

  515. JAL says:

    Initially, the Pirates planned to send McDonalds to visit Dr. James Andrews, but after announcing McDonald’s condition, the team was contacted by Dr. Andrews’ staff to inform them of a scheduling conflict. The next step in his evaluation is still to be determined.

  516. Jim S. says:

    Never.

  517. Bizrow says:

    But he stays on the DL, correct?

    Thanks for the update

  518. Jim S. says:

    But, can we still say, “You can only eat an elephant one bite at a time?”

    Never mind. I’ll just insert hippo should I find that phrase pertinent.

  519. cmat0829 says:

    I didnt see that as a question, lol, probably because there is no question mark in there anywhere….

    The wording “nothing to do with Super 2″ is too strong there… I actually do think that is not ‘top of mind’ AT THIS POINT in terms of what to do with Cole after AJ and Wandy are back. In SPRING TRAINING, it most certainly was the #1 factor and in my opinion it should have an impact and be factored in.

    But now, Super 2 is not the top consideration mostly because I think he can be in Pittsburgh every day and still escape triggering Super 2 status…if not, then a few days is all that is needed.

    Now we done? :) must be something about Barmes we can discuss :)

  520. Gentlemen/Jandy/ Brandie/Other Cute Sports Chicks,

    We now see the Convenience List put perfectly into action!!!!!

  521. cmat0829 says:

    He will be seeing Dr. Ezra Andrews, a foremost psychiatrist at Forest Lawn, a very nice and calm place among the Pines with padded walls.

  522. CONVENIENCE LIST!! CONVENIENCE LIST!! CONVENIENCE LIST!!

    Even Dr. Andrews knows it!

  523. I don’t know what the big deal is . . . . . . I scored 4 foosball goals against my cat last night!! In one game!!

    And I shut my cat out to boot!!

    Seriously: what is more exciting? Foosball or the sport that must not be named?!

  524. Arriba Wilver says:

    We’re done, and I will endeavor to use ??? In the future. :-)

  525. Brandie says:

    Awesome. I am a Cute Sports Chick. Seriously, I wonder what will be discovered about JMac’s shoulder?

    Another question…If someone makes a questionable blog comment, do they get sent to a Convenience Blog?

  526. You’re A Fine Girl!

    The Convenience Blog . . . . I LIKE it!

    Sort of like the penalty box! For 3 days!

    You get to watch but you cannot comment. Or, we all get to choose who you have to listen to!

    Good one, Brandie!!

  527. cmat0829 says:

    lineup posted… exactly as I thought Clint would do

  528. Arriba Wilver says:

    As long as I’m in my corrective mode, I wanted to mention that the Bucs were not only 16 games over .500 on August 8 of last year, but also, for the first time, on July 28. Don’t know what that means, if anything, but it’s the fact, Jack.

  529. Who is Jack?

    Are you bringing up Jack Wilson AGAIN?!?!

  530. Bob Hasis says:

    John McDonald was brought here to be a defensive replacement for Barmes in the late innings, while Mercer was at Indy, at the start of the year.
    So how does that qualify Barmes to be a late inning replacement for anyone now? He certainly isn’t an improvement over Mercer – or Walker!

  531. JAL says:

    yes stays on DL

  532. pattonbb says:

    foosball……by a landslide.

  533. BillyBaduka says:

    I agree its a precaution.

  534. BillyBaduka says:

    Campiti’s in Dormont was my dads favorite. I have not been there in over 15 years though. Still open, I googled it.

  535. BillyBaduka says:

    +1

  536. Arriba Wilver says:

    Uh-huh . . .

  537. theplanisworking says:

    +1 for the Stripes reference.

  538. theplanisworking says:

    Wait, my cousins are NOT named ACL, and MCL!!!!! ;)

  539. theplanisworking says:

    +1

  540. theplanisworking says:

    Nope.
    They get sent to the dek hockey rink with DK, where he will regale you with tales! :)

  541. Jandy says:

    BL = B*chlist, population, 1 ME :P

  542. Jandy says:

    hey now, are you referring to me? :P

  543. Jandy says:

    You called?

  544. Brandie says:

    Tales of the Serbian Surfer!

  545. theplanisworking says:

    Evening, dear.

    I will be back for the Buc game.
    Good to see you.

    :)

  546. Jandy says:

    Hello, friend. I don’t know if i will be on that late. Stopped in to say Hippo Hey, and to post a wager…which is on the other thread :)

  547. Dom says:

    JMac is to remain in the DL for the time being with continued issues with his shoulder:
    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/6/25/4464328/james-mcdonald-update

 
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