TribLIVE
Blogs | Sports | News
Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

« Font size »
Decrease | Reset |Increase

Morning Java: Let’s talk 21, shall we?

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Monday column looks beyond a Kris Letang extension and wonders when, if ever, the Penguins will prioritize youth again.

Here’s Letang news coverage, by Rob Rossi at the NHL Draft in Newark.

Here’s the draft coverage, including — gasp — a goaltending top pick?

That’s right, meet Tristan Jarry

And here’s around-the-league coverage, including a riveting run through the top four. Would never have believed Seth Jones could fall to the Predators, but the good franchises make their own luck, right?

>> The Pirates are 51-30 at the halfway point. Or 21 games over .500.

The number 21 mean anything to anyone around here?

Yeah, thought so.

>> If you missed the Sunday column on Ray Searage, then we’re just not friends anymore.

>> We talked a lot of ball on WPXI-TV’s The Final Word last night. That link will take you to all four segments broken into individual clips.

>> Pitt joins the ACC with much gusto, Jerry DiPaola reports.

>> I’ll visit with TribLIVE Radio today at 11:30 a.m.

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. Eric Bowser says:

    - Penguins drafted two goalies last year, 3rd round pick Matt Murray (83) and 4th round pick Sean Maguire (113). This year, Shero trades Tyler Kennedy to San Jose for a second round pick, 50th overall, only to package the 50th and 89th picks to move up to the 44th pick to select goalie Tristan Jarry. That’s poor roster management when you have a franchise goaltender in Marc-Andre Fleury and college free agent Eric Hartzell as a restricted free agent.

    - I keep bringing this up and will continue to do but since selecting Jordan Staal with the second overall pick in 2006, Penguins have picked 20 forwards… did you know Dustin Jeffrey is the highest scoring forward with 15 goals? That’s terrible.

    - Those numbers should improve with Beau Bennett getting his richly deserved top two line spot on a line with Evgeni Malkin and James Neal.

    - Does anyone really want to see Jussi Jokinen on the first line with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz?

    - There’s no one in the organization behind Jokinen that can play in a top six role. That’s why drafting defensemen in the first round all the time won’t pay off.

    - Losing Dupuis will force the team to make a decision, do they go with Jokinen and mix-in Jeffrey or are they forced to sign someone to a 1-year or 2-year deal.

    - Not a fan of the Penguins draft, besides wasting a pick on Jarry at 44… they spent their 3rd round pick (77th) on a 5’9 center that probably would have been available in the 7th round and two 5’11 centers in the 6th and 7th rounds.

    - They’ve drafted two natural wingers in the last three drafts, Anton Zlobin (LW) and Josh Archibald (RW), both are under 6 feet tall.

    - Over 10 years ago, I wrote a pretty strong critique of former Pens GM Craig Patrick and Director of Scouting Greg Malone for their terrible drafts from 94-99 that essentially had provided the team very little behind their expensive top end talent and when time came to move those assets because of finances, they had no one to take over. That’s why the team had guys like Kelly Buchberger and Mike Eastwood on the team in the early 2000′s.

    - No one wants to see it but those same issues are happening again with signing Kunitz to an extension and basically needing to do the same with Dupuis.

    - At some point, there’s a debt to pay for those mistakes for not drafting and developing cheap talent, which will be a bigger disappointment than the last four years.

    DK: They had Landon Wilson, too, pal.

  2. Mizery says:

    I would agree with DK if the Penguins had showed any ability to draft, and develop talent. Since they can’t I am all for paying Letang. Trading him for picks or prospects makes me nervouse with the current regimes track record in this category.

    DK: Dangerous thinking, indeed.

    Surprises me, actually, that more people don’t discuss the Penguins’ poor drafting. Success at the top level can cover a lot of warts, I guess.

  3. Sdotts136 says:

    I’m not sure I completely follow the argument. Spending a lot of money on a few guys doesn’t mean the pens can’t get younger. Seems like a system that is based on trading young, puck moving d-men for wingers has yielded some fairly spectacular results so far. i don’t see any reason to panic about young forwards when the remaining top six wingers in the system, each boasting impressive résumés, were obtained via trade and the remaining d-men are either young or will be replaced in a short amount of time when the prospects are ready.

    DK: Exactly. And those young D-men will be needed to stick around, not to send to Dallas for a young forward.

  4. JohninOshkosh says:

    Is Tristan Jarry the Pens top draft pick or the kid who took my order at Dairy Queen tonight ?

    Holy cats, what an apple cheeked young ‘un he is!

    The thing I love about the NHL draft is how absolutely genuinely happy those kids are about getting drafted. I mean look at that kid’s face. He can hardly contain the glee.

  5. David says:

    I think if the Pens do sign Letang for the reported amount, does mean the team will get younger when that deal starts, at least along the blue line. The Pens can get away with paying Letang and Martin a combined $12+ million if guys like Dumoulin, Harrington, and Maatta are making less than $3 million combined.

    DK: Despres will be in that price range, too. As will Bortuzzo. And they’ll be younger.

  6. Ghost says:

    I am violently sticking pins in a Penguin voo doo doll because you guys keep talking hockey into July. There is actually a baseball team in Pittsburgh and it is kinda relevant this year, you know?

    DK: Honestly, I really hate this stuff. No one’s stopping anyone from talking about anything. I just wrote four columns in a row about baseball and, on the occasion of a $58 million extension and a draft, wrote about hockey.

    Why does it seem to me that baseball fans the only ones who get agitated about this?

    McCutchen’s extension was for $51 million. I wrote about that even though it happened during hockey season.

  7. Ryan76 says:

    +1

  8. Stuart says:

    You know Eric, you have so much to say about hockey,maybe it’s time you had your own blog.

    Stuart

  9. Stuart says:

    DK good column. Put this old guy in the camp that would have liked the Pens to go younger by trading Chris (even though I like his potential for improvment) for a high pick or two plus a young top 6 winger.

    On the Bucs, the old adage about those that “live by the sword” (surreal pitching) often … Well you know the rest. Still not convinced.

    Stuart

    DK: Thanks. Kunitz isn’t the only one who could be moved for youth.

  10. cmat0829 says:

    Halfway through the season, Bucs 51-30, pace is 102 wins… while that is ‘not gonna happen’, the other thing that looks unlikely to happen is 21 straight losing seasons….. per espn…..

    From Elias: The Pirates are now 21 games over .500, and as we all know, they’re looking for their first winning season since 1992. While they’re unlikely to continue at this pace and win 102 games, history says they’re a lock to get that winning season. Since MLB went to a 162-game schedule in 1962, 57 teams have been 21 or more games over .500 through 81 games. NONE of those 57 finished below .500.

    Now, we know this organization is cursed beyond the pale, but those would be some odds they’d be bucking ……

  11. Ghost says:

    Me: So, howsa ’bout them Pirates, huh? They just keep winning those close games. Think they can keep it up?

    Myself: Why not? From year to year there might not be any correlation or carry over, but within one season there always are teams that snag more than their fair share of these games.

    I: Agreed. If a game is on the line in extra innings, wouldn’t want any other group of guys charged with finding a way to win.

  12. Ghost says:

    (Test)
    Vin Mazzaro — unsung hero.

  13. Ghost says:

    DK: For starters, if I was “agitated,” it was very mild agitation — I was trying to be playful with my voo doo doll stuff. But more than that, the “you guys” was for the posters above me, not you. I know you don’t stop anyone from talking about anything. And I also know how it is to be a fan (though not of hockey) and not want it all to end. What I do find perplexing (but not agitating) is that for a while here, nobody interested or excited about the Bucs. Clearly, you included links and a photo about the Bucs. No voo doo pins for you. But no soup for you!

    DK: I shall consider myself soup-less. :)

  14. chethejet says:

    Pens got swept by the Bruins. Toronto went 7. If pens continue to depend on two to three world class players who have to stay healthy or it is trouble. Shero traded like they were in bad shape and gave away to many potential options and once again they have limited draft options and a high risk team. Fun to watch but any injuries to the top two and as shown last year, without a healthy Crosby and Malkin, Kunitz, Neal and Letang can;t generate anything on their own. I see the Pens not an elite team but a team that will be fortunate to stay ahead of the Isles, Leafs and Rangers and Ottawa next year.

  15. Ghost says:

    For the morning gang, this “test” remark surely looks like another smartalecky or whiney post of mine. But actually, I tried twice posting a response to Stuart’s “live by the sword” post on Pirate pitching, yet it wouldn’t show up. So above really was a test by way of complimenting Mazzaro. I think I’ll call it a night and just slip out the door.

  16. Reading says:

    The streak has to end since the number 21 is retired.

  17. Aaron says:

    Ok Dejan, lets try this question again :)
    I was wondering if you see any possible way at all that the Pens could resign Dupuis? It just seems foolish to let him go, due to his chemistry with Crosby, his work ethic and goal scoring ability.

    DK: It would be outstanding for the Penguins if they could keep him. But look at those numbers laid out in the column. Where’s the money? And bear in mind I left a few salaries off that list, like Tomas Vokoun’s $2 million.

  18. JoeyBats says:

    Hoka Hey everyone!
    .
    Pirates win…Pirates win!!! LI wins down, …and XXXI to go.
    .
    Yes, GM Neal and Mgr. Clint ….82 wins DOES make a difference.
    .
    Beat Em’ Bucs !
    .
    .
    PS:Sound like a broken record (that’s OK in this case!)….bullpen remains awesome. How many more times can you have 0 runs given up from a bullpen in > 10 innings pitched?
    .
    We owe the hated, HATED Brewers so much in terms of payback. A SWEEP at the end of June is a nice way to continue … :-)

  19. tdb1977 says:

    Definitely. 5 perfect innings yesterday. 15 up, 15 down. Plus, he pushed Barmes over to 3rd, where he was promptly left on base by the top of the order.

  20. tdb1977 says:

    How about a sweep in the house of horrors the next time we go into their place? How about putting up double digits on them in their house? How about a start go 9 no hit innings? Hell, lets have a starter go 9 perfect innings in front of their fan base!

  21. Adam Smith says:

    Couldn’t agree more with your assessment of the Pens drafting and developing habits, as well as, moving Letang for picks/prospects. Could bring an influx of fresh talent and allow the Pens to bring in an experienced blue liner or two via free agency (Scuderi!).

    My question is if the Penguins fail to resign Dupuis (and possibly Cooke) is there any chance they could try to resign Iginla? Obviously wasn’t utilized effeciently this season, but with Dupuis gone he could play with Crosby and would help ease the loss of Dupuis in the lockeroom. He was great on the point when given a chance to play there.

    DK: Never cited development. No cause to believe that’s the culprit here.

  22. John Lease says:

    All excellent suggestions.

    Seeing Aramis get one buried in his ribs by Cole was an excellent way to start the weekend.

    I hate the Brewers, and seeing them humiliated is a burning passion. 31 more though, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

  23. JAL says:

    JAL’s Sail Away to the Sea Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shlRX7zFP64

    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: This Year Actually is Different, For Real This Time, Seriously

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/first-pitch-this-year-actually-is-different-for-real-this-time-seriously.html

    Pirates’ Bullpen Pitches 12 Shutout Innings for Sweep of Brewers

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/06/pirates-bullpen-pitches-12-shutout-innings-for-sweep-of-brewers.html

    Prospect Watch: Dickerson and Garcia Finish Strong Months With Homers

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/06/prospect-watch-dickerson-and-garcia-finish-strong-months-with-homers.html

    7 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates finish off sweep of Brewers with walk-off win in 14 innings, 2-1

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/6/30/4481216/a-fitting-finish-to-the-half-of-the-season-pirates-win-in-14-innings

    8 WHYGAVS

    Game 81: Pirates 2 Brewers 1

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/june-2013/game-81-pirates-2-brewers-1.html

    9 The Green Weenie

    Break Out The Brooms – Bucs Win 2-1

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/06/break-out-brooms-bucs-win-2-1.html

    10 Rumbunter

    Pittsburgh Pirates Haven’t Won This Much, Well Ever

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/06/29/pittsburgh-pirates-havent-won-this-much-well-ever/

    11 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Pirates2, Brewers 1

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2013/07/pirates-2-brewers-1-2/

  24. Thundercrack says:

    If any other team in the NL was watching the game yesterday they had to be thinking one thing: We do not want to face the Pirates’ bullpen.

  25. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 Minor League Ball

    Prospect Retrospective: Jeff Locke, LHP, Pittsburgh Pirates

    http://www.minorleagueball.com/2013/6/30/4459524/prospect-retrospective-jeff-locke-lhp-pittsburgh-pirates

    13 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Brewers’ offense puts up confounding numbers in 14-inning loss

    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brewers/brewers-offense-puts-up-confounding-numbers-in-14-inning-loss-b9944934z1-213779861.html

    14 Arizona Sports

    FanBall Weekly – Another shining example of a well-built team

    http://arizonasports.com/42/1645675/FanBall-Weekly-Pirates-very-wellbuilt

    15 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Bernie: Mozeliak may have to search for a starter

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/bernie-miklasz/bernie-mozeliak-may-have-to-search-for-a-starter/article_d417338b-f87d-516d-b8aa-7054bea3bbd6.html

    16 CBS Sports

    MLB-best Pirates win ninth in row, outlast Brewers in 14

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/recap/MLB_20130630_MIL@PIT/pirates-win-9th-in-row-top-brewers-in-14th-inning

    17 Sweetspot

    Pirates first to 50, but they’re no fluke

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/37552/pirates-first-to-50-but-theyre-no-fluke

    18 PBC Site

    Martin walks off Pirates in 14, extends streak to nine

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_06_30_milmlb_pitmlb_1&mode=recap_home&c_id=pit

    Notebook: Defense excels behind great pitching for Pirates

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130630&content_id=52267822&notebook_id=52268150&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    The Week In Quotes

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=21089

    20 Fangraphs

    The Worst of the Best: The Week’s Wildest Swings

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-worst-of-the-best-the-weeks-wildest-swings-11/

  26. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers are more than just a football team to their fans

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/6/30/4479474/steelers-fans-Lambert-Greenwood

    Steelers training camp is almost upon us, time to leave this trying offseason in the dust

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/6/29/4476136/steelers-training-camp-2013

    22 Steelers Depot

    - A Look Back At The Steelers The Last Time The Pirates Were 20 Games Over

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/06/1992-steelers-pirates-20-games-over-500/

    Soccer(football)

    23 Daily Mail

    Brazil 3 Spain 0: Neymar and Fred put La Roja to the sword as 10-man world champions are crushed in Maracana fina

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2352118/Confederations-Cup-final-2013-Brazil-3-Spain-0–match-report–Neymar-Fred-score-goals.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 28th June, 2013

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-28th-june-2013

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Bleacher Report

    Pittsburgh Penguins 2013 NHL Draft Picks: Grades, Results, and Analysis

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1689576-pittsburgh-penguins-2013-nhl-draft-picks-grades-results-and-analysis

  27. JAL says:

    Sail Away to the Sea The Strawbs with Sandy Denny 1967 Written by Dave Cousins with Sandy on lead vocal. This was before Sandy joined Fairport Convention.

  28. Jim S. says:

    But, only for so long.

  29. Jim S. says:

    ESPN can keep hope alive, though. They really want that story.

  30. Jandy says:

    Stuart, no way Eric moves from here,. His stuff is good stuff. Eric, Man, I haven’t looked at things from this perspective. It’s downright scary!

  31. Jandy says:

    Mr. Ghostie, I am excited about baseball, but hey, it’s the draft for NHL and the free agency deadline is just around the corner. I AM EXCITED FOR HOCKEY TOO!
    If that means no soup, then so be it, I’ll fill up on Grilled Cheese :P :P :P

  32. Jandy says:

    Irene: +1

  33. Jandy says:

    Fabulous

  34. Jandy says:

    Amen!

  35. Dadtackular says:

    +1

  36. Thundercrack says:

    “Their pitching is outstanding,” Milwaukee skipper Ron Roenicke said, joining the chorus.” I see why their ERAs are where they are, because every guy out of the bullpen has good stuff. It’s located well. They have off-speed stuff, fastballs, their pitching staff is really good.”

  37. Jandy says:

    I only was able to see innings 6 thru 11 for the Buccos yesterday. Was babysitting then had to get to the grocery store for lunch stuff for the hubby. But he texted me and kept me posted on everything, and sure enough, the boys pulled another one outta there hind ends. :)

    The Penguins stuff is making me insane, tho. I haven’t had time to digest everything, need to read up on the draft stuff. Time…valuable commodity.

    Got tons of stuff to do at work. I’ll pop in later on.

    Enjoy your day, Lunatics :)

  38. Thundercrack says:

    It seems to me that any curse the Brewers have on the Bucs may be lifting…at least at PNC Park.

    It helps that the Brewers stink. But after Pedro grounded into the double play in the bottom of the 13th and then he made an error in the top of the 14th…..I got a very uneasy feeling.

    And do teams ever have their outfielders practice their throwing or hitting the cut off man?

    A good throw gets Gaby at the plate without a problem. I pay attention to this a lot, and terrible throwing from the outfield happens A LOT.

  39. Mizery says:

    I’m not knocking the Penguins because they have been a joy to watch for awhile now, but an improvement of their amateur scouting is needed. Plus the fact that the Pens do not like giving their young talent playing time at the top level, I do not see how anyone can move through their system even if they are decent. look at Depress and Bennett.

    DK: I don’t think too many would doubt Tom Fitzgerald’s work me the program at Wilkes-Barre. Just not enough talent, up front especially.

  40. hockeymonster says:

    Dont mean to be an apologist for shero and his scouts but when you’re drafting 28-30 its not easy to hit too many homeruns on picks. But I will say that Scott Wilson in Umass looks like a legit prospect at wing and McGuire looks like a very very good goalie prospect at BU.

    When I heard we traded up in the 2nd round I finally thought we identified a winger that they really liked only to be shaking my head at the concept of trading up for a goalie in a draft that is suppose to be very deep.

  41. Drew71 says:

    Maybe he had had enough

  42. Karen22 says:

    +21 :)

  43. tdb1977 says:

    Even if they do cut Gaby down at the plate, I believe it would have been only 2 outs and that would have left a runner on third and second if memory serves me correctly. The next one up could have easily ended it then. Or this game could still be being played now in we could be in the 30th inning :) (jk).

  44. hockeymonster says:

    Very good read dejan. But I gotta ask…you want more youth but you condone trading letang for prospects/picks instead of martin? I know we’d get more for letang but the cap space from moving martin would be just as good.

    Going back to last season I’ve been dreading the day where we’d essentially have to pick between letang and martin. That day has come and if the pens don’t rebuild their defense we’ll be reading a column from dejan next summer suggesting that we gut the roster for a total and utter rebuild.

    Too bad that will be after another wasted season in the prime of Crosby/malkin’s careers.

    Also thought we missed the boat on acquiring cal clutterbuck from MN. He would’ve been a good replacement for cooke. Speaking of MN aren’t PM and nisky from there

    DK: This has not a thing to do with Paul Martin.

  45. TJ says:

    Find it kind of interesting that the article points out the question of will the Pens ever prioritize youth when Malkin, Crosby, Fleury, and Letang are all in their mid 20′s. Yes I understand the financial commitment. And honestly I would have rather seen the Pens trade Letang myself for a bounty of prospects/picks. Its the best way to keep replenishing a team with the top 2 players in the world. I do find it interesting that the Pens have balked at the idea that they will not guarantee that they would not trade Letang prior to his new contract kicking in next summer.

    Love how the Pens are called out for not prioritizing youth; but at the same time the Pirates are called cheap and not committed to winning by doing so. Granted they don’t have Sid and Geno but could Cole and Taillon turn into the Pirates version of Sid and Geno?

    DK: This has not a thing to do with the Pirates.

  46. hockeymonster says:

    Problem is we need to keep Harrington, maatta and probably pouliout. I’d actually label Harrington and maatta as untouchable. Our depth on defense at the nhl level has been drastically overrated but rushing the prospects isn’t an option.

  47. hockeymonster says:

    And now that TK has moved on and cooke and dupuis look less likely to return I believe this affords Mr. Shero an opportunity to make the bold moves I’ve been calling for since middle of last season. I’m sure he realizes that replacing TK, cooke and dupuis wont be cheap BUT this could end up being a blessing in disguise IF we rebuild the roster by shedding cap hits of PM and nisky. Nothing personal against those 2 but the cap is what it is and we need more depth at forward and especially defense. Looking forward to Bennett, despres and even Jeffrey playing more but a physical top 4 dman like Roman Polak is a must. If dupuis isn’t signed trading for Chris Stewart as a long term solution at wing for Crosby is a must. Jokinnen as a replacement for cooke? No thank you…we’re gonna need someone to bring the sandpaper and vitale wont be enough. Stewart is not only fast and skilled but physical and will give Crosby the kind of protection and space he has never enjoyed.

    I really hope the coaches aren’t leading Mr. Shero into the land of status quo all over again…

  48. TJ says:

    The Islanders gave up what was a top 5 pick in the draft for Clutterbuck. We can’t miss on something we never had a shot at.

  49. TJ says:

    I hate to say it but I think that since the Pirates have stopped taking crap from teams and started to send some messages with some pitches that this team finally stood up and said enough. They used to get hit night after night; now we are the team that is doing the hitting night after night.

  50. hockeymonster says:

    Neiderritter or however you spell his name…was a high pick but was out of favor with the islanders.

  51. TJ says:

    I always thought part of the job of the cutoff man was to go to the ball as well as the outfielder throwing in a direction that made it easier for the cutoff man to make an accurate solid throw to the plate. But no I don’t think its probably practiced very often. Maybe they caught the Brewers by surprise sending Gabby Sanchez who had just stole a base!

  52. TJ says:

    Who cares if he is out of favor with the islanders. Still a top 5 pick; he wasn’t out of favor with the Wild.

  53. TJ says:

    Never said it did; but its ironic don’t ya think?

  54. TJ says:

    Lets clarify here to save DK some time; this article had nothing to do with anything but Letang and the Pens need to prioritize youth.

  55. TJ says:

    Hope the coaches aren’t leading Shero?? Did Bylsma trade for Iginla, Morrow and Murray? I don’t see how the coaches are leading the cart here. Shero puts the roster together; Bylsma coaches it. Thus the need for a GM and a coach.

  56. hockeymonster says:

    Agreed but replacing cooke wont be cheap no matter what…same thing with TK and dupuis. Not like we got younger versions of them coming up….

  57. Thundercrack says:

    I’m not disputing that sending Gabby was the right call.
    It was.
    And one of the main reasons I would send the runner is because throws from the outfield are usually terrible.

  58. DJ says:

    I believe Stuart may have been referring to Kris Letang, not Kunitz. Kunitz would not have netted one or two high picks and a top 6 winger.

  59. TJ says:

    Letang’s contract wouldn’t take effect until Vokoun is a FA. So listing him would have been pointless.

  60. hockeymonster says:

    Dejan, you wrote a whole column about the cap the situation, age and lack of prospects! How can a 33 year old PM and his 5M cap hit not be in the discussion?

  61. Thundercrack says:

    ‘No one’s stopping anyone from talking about anything.’

    Well…just watch those jokes about the Riverhounds.

    :-)

  62. TJ says:

    Totally agree. We are losing 2 playoff regulars in Cooke and Dupuis and replacing them with Joikenen and Bennett.

  63. DJ says:

    Was wondering if, before the Letang deal, Shero did his due diligence and inquired whether anyone in top 4-5 slots was willing to trade before yesterday’s draft, and found no takers.

    Your comment about it being “wonderful” Bylsma made post-season commitments to Depres and Bennett is right on the mark. As I stated during the playoff run, I believe next fall we will all be looking back and thinking that Bylsma made a huge mistake in not regularly playing both throughout the season and then every game in the playoffs. And had we used the regular season as their training ground, maybe we would not have been as quick to pull the trigger on the three slow-footed vets.

    In my opinion, the coaching staff — not Shero — was the real culprit this past year, costing us prospects and draft picks.

    DK: I respect that. To be clear, this column wasn’t about identifying culprits for anything.

  64. TJ says:

    I hope they have their priorities in order and focus on youth

  65. hockeymonster says:

    Pretty sure shero has bylsma’s number stored in his phone TJ…

  66. TJ says:

    Oh jeezus here we go. Are ya kidding me? You want to blame this on Shero now? Had this loaded roster done its job and fulfilled the expectations of almost everyone and won the cup there is no way your making these comments. Absolutely silly.

    I now remember why I stopped blogging for a few weeks.

  67. TJ says:

    And your point is…. Putting the roster together is the job of Ray Shero; not Dan Bylsma. Bylsma may have input but Bylsma is in no way the decision maker for this organization when it comes to player moves.

  68. hockeymonster says:

    This may sound crazy but I think the pens wanted Bennett and especially despres on the back burner so their next contracts aren’t as bloated…Detroit stashes their prospects regularly and I think the pens were hoping the aging vets could carry them thru…they were thinking business while hoping for the best on the ice. Not saying I agree with how they handled the roster but definitely think shero had the next contracts for those 2 on his mind.

  69. radio wave says:

    Great stat, great quote. Thanks

  70. hockeymonster says:

    Point is that if PM and nisky return to our top 4 and top 6 its lights out at consol….again. Consol should change its name to “Status Quo” arena

  71. kr70 says:

    Count down to 31 more! Do we have a pick a date contest or is that tempting fate?

  72. 21sthebest says:

    Well you really don’t see the guy taking the cutoff throw making the throw to the plate all that often. Usually when the outfielder is pretty deep like the play with Marte and Walker last week. But I always thought that all throws from the outfield are supposed to go through the cutoff man who lets it through or cuts it depending on what the catcher yells depending on the situation and largely to keep other runners from advancing, obviously.

    In that situation yesterday though the outfielder has to go right for the plate, IMO, as he was pretty shallow and it was the winning run. Just a terrible throw and I agree with TC’s points.

  73. Arriba Wilver says:

    BOOM!

  74. TJ says:

    So we trade PM and Nisky; who are your top 4 and 6 dmen next year?

  75. John Lease says:

    QUIT JINXING IT!

  76. DJ says:

    DK: I understand the article wasn’t about fingering who’s at fault, I was just venting.

    I very much agree with your point that we have done a poor job of actually using younger players to provide the needed “bridge” to the heavy contract players at the top of our roster. Why we don’t use the regular season and possibly sacrifice 2-3 wins for the sake of development of our younger players has been confounding. It is one of Bylsma’s biggest shortcomings as a coach.

  77. John Lease says:

    Was it Braun, or is steroid boy on the DL again?

  78. Milo Hamilton says:

    After this weekend I’m considering announcing my retirement from the Thunderbolt.

  79. Thundercrack says:

    It was Carlos Gomez, the centerfielder

  80. 21sthebest says:

    Alright DK. On The Final Word, you said the Pirates shouldn’t mess with what they have going right now but should maybe tinker here and there and add a little bullpen help. I think that sends a conflicting message but my question is, do you want to do anything at all about right field? Would it depend on who it is or do you not want to do anything at all there?

    DK: Probably my Wednesday column.

  81. DJ says:

    Who’s blaming Shero? I said exactly the opposite. My point was the coaching staff did a poor job of maximizing our talent, and that began with poor choices last fall.

  82. hockeymonster says:

    With 7.3M in cap space freed up for those 2 we’d have a ton of flexibility. Factor in TK’s 2M being moved and we can rebuild the roster to get younger and more physical on defense.

  83. Dom says:

    What’s going on with the thunderbolt?

  84. AJS says:

    Me: I can’t believe the pirates have the best record in baseball yet.

    My wife: Is it the all star break yet?

    Me: Shut up!

  85. Milo Hamilton says:

    Not a thing, it’s my increasingly aging body.

  86. Jim S. says:

    Yes, our bullpen is outstanding Mr. Roenicke. No arguments there. And I would just like to say “Thank you” on behalf of that bullpen for your guys putting the first pitch they saw weakly in play all weekend. Boy, does that team need some plate discipline.

  87. Jim S. says:

    More in-game texts from your husband, Jandy? Methinks he is becoming infected with Bucco fever!

  88. Jim S. says:

    Thank you, Thunder. I will use that as evidence to the other coaches on our 11 year old team that our boys are not alone in struggling with that skill. Even the pros stink at it.

  89. NMR says:

    Major League outfielders do not need the cutoff man on plays at the plate. Thats little league/high school coaching.

    The only time infielders cutoff balls from the outfielders are when they’re all the way to the wall or if they’re trying to stop the baserunner from advancing.

    Or if the outfielder is Johnny Damon.

  90. 21sthebest says:

    Oh good! Because I was figuring Wednesday’s column would be about either how many fans didn’t stick it out during the rain delay or that they cancelled letting the kids run the bases yesterday.

    :-) :-)

  91. NMR says:

    Reading is hard, maaaaaan.

  92. Thundercrack says:

    DK, If your column is about the Buccos on Wednesday and you are advocating adding to the bullpen, I hope you will also name who you would remove from the bullpen.

    I think the bullpen is fine and that they may have the quality arms in the minors to add as September call-ups to lighten the load.

    YES, I am talking about September! :-)

  93. Jim S. says:

    And a large % of Bucs fans will rip into TBMTIB once again when they don’t go “all in” this July and trade away a huge chunk of their future for one run at a World Series, while those same fans (who are nearly all Pens fans as well) are now experiencing the negative results that exact strategy can have. Changing a huge % of your roster in the middle of a season is a huge gamble, and there are long term ramifications as well.

    I’m not saying it is never a worthwhile gamble, but people need to remember that there will be a price for this strategy. The Pens went “all in” and now they are left with “not as much.”

  94. Dom says:

    Who are some options at right field?

    How about Raul Ibanez?

  95. 21sthebest says:

    That would be exactly what I said.

  96. NMR says:

    Thunder/AW,

    I finally “got” the impending genius of Clint Hurdle’s 2013 pitching staff usage this morning.

    In Moneyball terms, I think he’s exploiting a “market inefficiency”. He’s banking on the odds that one inning out of a fresh reliever coming into the game with nobody on base is better than the 6th, 7th or 8th inning from one of his starters.

    Roenicke’s comment made it “click”. Hurdle is doing this on purpose.

  97. The Gunner says:

    The Bucs need to bring in a Derrek Lee type player who can plays RF and still has some gas left in his tank. But, if the price is trading prospects like Taillon & Polanco, forget it!

  98. BRIAN says:

    I find it interesting that as a Pirates fan people would love to have the ability to pay top $$ to keep their best players. As long as the team wins you’ll draft the best you can doing so late in the 1st round.

    We see now that the Penguins are doing just that, and there are complaints that they are spending too much money to keep the team together.

    I guess you can’t have it both ways all the time.

  99. Dom says:

    If you’re referring to the Giancarlo Staton so called rumor, just forget it. The Marlins probably won’t deal him at all.

  100. The Gunner says:

    I like that possibility of Ibanez, I don’t care that he is 41 years old. If he can contribute, I don’t care if he is 141!

  101. The Gunner says:

    I am not interested in Stanton. Polanco will be the long term solution in RF. I like your idea of Ibanez a lot.

  102. tdb1977 says:

    31 means nothing right now. You need at least 41 to have a shot at winning the NL Central, by looking at what has been needed to win the Central the last 6 years. 92 wins on average those 6 years. None of this, lets settle for the wild card and hope we can win that one game to move on. It now needs to be, lets win the Central and have a full series of games. Have a legimate chance to host games 1 and 2 here for the NLDS.

  103. Dom says:

    One travel channel show ranked the thunderbolt as the best rollercoaster ride in the world.

  104. Kevin says:

    what are they doing with all these goalies? going to band them together to re-teach Fleury some fundamentals?

  105. Jim S. says:

    31 more is simply a milepost on the way to the playoffs.

  106. Jim S. says:

    I think we need a righty bat in RF and off the bench moreso than another lefty.

  107. Jpbucco says:

    Well, it finally happened yesterday. After months of resisting, I gave into these no quit Bucs.

    I’ve been in a 20 year abusive relationship with them, coming back to them every spring. I’d accept their promises that they’d change, that it would be different this time.

    I never really believed though, I mean, how can one give their heart to Derek Bell or Pat Mears or even the über charming Raul Mondesi?

    But then 2011 came along, THIS was a team that I could get behind!! Winning baseball halfway through the summer….I could trust my heart to them, right? But alas, Jerry Meals said it was not safe.

    Then 2012 dawned and they came out with same fire and intensity they showed earlier the year before. I held out until mid-July. I told myself “they learned how to win last year..no way they will collapse again”. But of course, collapse they did, like Shane Battier in a game of Red Rover or Walter Abercrombie when a defender got one hand on him.

    This year would be different, Barmes was still at SS, the pitching staff had more holes than Fluery in April and Clint Hurdle was still..well …Clint Hurdle.

    There is NO WAY they could do it to me again.

    And here I am…I held out until the last day of June, but the heart wants what the heart wants. I’m “all in” I mutter in my best raspy Hurdle voice as my face turns beet red..but there is one tiny part of me that resists.

    I hold on to a sliver of doubt that hopefully will protect me if another collapse occurs.

    ….thank you for that, Brandon Inge.

    DK: Awesome, JP. Welcome. All posts after your first, by the way, bypass moderation.

  108. hockeymonster says:

    Record with Despres was very good…not sure we would’ve sacrificed much of anything.

  109. Dom says:

    Maybe Marlon Byrd too.

    I’d like to have Alex Rios but he’s really in a slump right now. If he can pick it up this month maybe we can make a deal for him but he could cost a pretty penny as he’s signed through next season.

    What are some other options?

  110. 21sthebest says:

    Ba de ya,
    Say do you remember
    Ba de ya,
    Dancing in September
    Ba de ya, never was a cloudy day

    Sorry. Musician’s son.

  111. Jandy says:

    He sure is, Jim S., I’m doing a good job ;)

  112. Milo Hamilton says:

    One of my favorite things is awkward sports franchise names after relocation. Like when the New Orleans Jazz moved to Utah & became the Utah Jazz. The Tennessee Oilers (Houston). The Los Angeles Lakers (Minneapolis). The list is long & distinguished.

    I’m really starting to get psyched for the Seattle Coyotes.

    DK: Née Seattle Jets.

    Agreed on weird names. You forgot the ridiculous Memphis Grizzlies. Good for New Orleans, anyway, for just changing to Pelicans. At least it means something.

    We’re lucky here to have all three teams having direct local connections with their names.

  113. NMR says:

    My reply ended up in the wrong place, 21. Wasn’t trying to show you up.

  114. Jandy says:

    Ahhh Milo, I’m a roller coaster junkie.
    The Thunderbolt is mild.

    Start lifting weights (not beer pounders). It will help your aging body ;)

  115. Arriba Wilver says:

    The way the Cards have been playing this year, I suspect it will take more than the 92 wins this year.

  116. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Here are the up to date standings.

    CONGRATS to Dadtackular for having the most points in the month of June.
    CONGRATS to Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) for having the most points in the first half of this season.

    Please contact me at buccooverunder-at-gmail-dot-com in order to claim your prizes.

    TOP SCORES IN JUNE
    Dadtackular ~ 1600
    blazer ~ 900
    Frankie ~ 850
    JUCOFan ~ 825
    bman ~ 810

    CURRENT PARTICIPANT TOTALS
    Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) ~ 1900
    bman ~ 1805
    Frankie ~ 1575
    JRay3 ~ 1550
    Dadtackular ~ 1500
    JUCOFan ~ 1300
    Pucknutz ~ 1200
    theplanisworking ~ 1150
    blazer ~ 1100
    tdb1977 ~ 1085
    Nate83 ~ 1050
    stickyweb ~ 900
    KJX ~ 750
    fellocolonial ~ 700
    Bill Born ~ 630
    Ermine ~ 600
    Keith ~ 600
    radio wave ~ 500
    RobertoForever ~ 490
    cherokee23 ~ 450
    EricBowser ~ 325
    Karen22 ~ 300
    JohninOshkosh ~ 210
    Boise Bucco ~ 200
    Evan ~ 200
    JoeyBats ~ 175
    TCB ~ 175
    Jason81 ~ 150
    PetroSteel ~ 100
    steelercrazy ~ 100
    Chico ~ 50
    Hal Smith ~ 50
    mlrgenuine ~ 50
    TJ ~ 50
    Arriba Wilver ~ 25
    tmp444 ~ 25
    pants-n-at ~ 0
    TK ~ 0
    Vette60 (Randy in RVA) ~ 0
    Ruffian706 ~ -40
    buggee ~ -50
    absolute59 ~ -100
    Brian ~ -100
    Dcpinpgh ~ -100
    DemonDachshund ~ -100
    John in WM ~ -100
    Kevin S ~ -100
    kr70 ~ -100
    Matt hoffman ~ -100
    pattonbb ~ -100
    JaxBuc ~ -140
    OZ ~ -150
    Dom ~ -175
    Lad9 ~ -200
    Ryan76 ~ -200
    Ghost ~ -250
    cosmo ~ -300
    Joey Mellons ~ -300
    cmat0829 ~ -350
    stuart66 ~ -400
    Brandie ~ -450
    Steve J. Smith ~ -500
    JMB ~ -800
    JD ~ -875
    Kevin ~ -1030
    Jandy ~ -1075
    Bizrow ~ -3600

    ***The Most Points in JULY will win:***
    (1) PITTSBURGH PIRATES BUMPER STICKER
    https://twitter.com/TheBuccoWindow/status/323996932466962432

    First Place at the end of the season will win:
    (1) BRAND NEW PITTSBURGH PIRATES FITTED NEW ERA 59FIFTY HAT
    https://twitter.com/TheBuccoWindow/status/323994233155485698

    Second Place at the end of the season will win:
    (1) BRAND NEW PITTSBURGH PIRATES EARTH DAY GIVEAWAY HAT
    https://twitter.com/TheBuccoWindow/status/323994373731794947

    Third Place at the end of the season will win:
    (1) PITTSBURGH PIRATES LICENSE PLATE FRAME
    https://twitter.com/TheBuccoWindow/status/323994796970627072

    Fourth Place at the end of the season will win:
    (1) PITTSBURGH STEELERS BUMPER STICKER
    https://twitter.com/TheBuccoWindow/status/323996576253087745

    Fifth Place at the end of the season will win:
    (1) PITTSBURGH PENGUINS BUMPER STICKER
    https://twitter.com/TheBuccoWindow/status/323996735837982720

  117. DJ says:

    Agreed, but even if it would cost us 2-3 wins in the regular season by playing both him and Bennett all along, who would really care?

  118. DJ says:

    I see that . . .

  119. The Gunner says:

    Rios would be fine but, I think he makes $12 million a year – that eliminates him because he is F.U. (financially undesirable), ha ha.

    Byrd would be affordable, he makes $700K a year.

    The Rockies signed Xavier Nady to a minor league contract, looks the Bucs missed out on him. He’d probably be an inexpensive solution but, I think his arm is shot – we don’t need a defensive liability in RF.

  120. Jandy says:

    **** A T T E N T I O N ***
    Any new comers, we hope you like what you see here. We love “chatting” with you.
    Bizrow (a regular contributor) has complied a list of hometowns for everyone who participates here, and we’d like to add YOUR hometown to Dejan’s Lunatics’ Asylum list.
    Please chime in anywhere and Biz or I will see it and make sure you’re represented on the list.
    THANKS! :)

  121. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    SPECIAL SECOND HALF PICK ‘EM LINE

    ***This line will be closed at the time of the first pitch of Tuesday’s game against the Phillies***

    ***If you already placed a wager in yesterday’s thread, it has been counted.***

    Max “wager” is 250 units on this special line.
    All “wagers” must be in multiples of 5 units.
    As always, this is for fun and entertainment purposes.

    NEW PLAYERS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME & ENCOURAGED!!!

    Second Half Pick ‘Em Line
    Total WINS by the Pirates in the Second Half of this season
    0 – 30 (TRIPLE ODDS)
    31 – 37 (EVEN ODDS)
    38 – 44 (EVEN ODDS)
    45 or More (DOUBLE ODDS)

    GOOD LUCK!!!

  122. Karen22 says:

    So am I, Jandy! Millenium Force…Cedar Point…wheeeeeeeeee!!

  123. Jandy says:

    OMG! AWESOME RIDE! :)

    Wedding bells, I hear wedding bells ;)

  124. Karen22 says:

    Yeah…it would be nice to have him on OUR side! He kills us…

  125. Jandy says:

    **** A T T E N T I O N ***
    Any new comers, we hope you like what you see here. We love “chatting” with you.
    Bizrow (a regular contributor) has complied a list of hometowns for everyone who participates here, and we’d like to add YOUR hometown to Dejan’s Lunatics’ Asylum list.
    Please chime in anywhere and Biz or I will see it and make sure you’re represented on the list.
    THANKS! :)

  126. The Gunner says:

    you forgot the Brooklyn Dodgers, Milo

  127. Jim S. says:

    Another seemingly improbable win by the Bucs. Surely, they can’t keep winning those sorts of games. Right? Who knows, but it is fun while it lasts.

    * I have said recently that I thought the Vin Man was the odd bullpen man out. I wasn’t really saying that to rip him. I just thought that the other guys had been performing better, and that he was struggling of late. So, I want to publicly applaud the effort of the Vin Man yesterday. 5 hitless, scoreless, walkless, WHIP-less innings when it was needed the most is the definition of stepping up. He threw strikes and got people out quickly. Thanks, Vin!

    * Neil Walker may have gotten a few calls from the 1st base ump yesterday, but his defense has been so good. So many stellar defensive plays by Neil all weekend. He has struggled to find consistency at the plate this season, but he has been getting on base fairly well. His defense has been very good.

    * We survived another Barmes start. He made a bad error to set up the first run, and he hit a double. Very unBarmes-like, indeed. I still say he’s a decent option as a back-up, but thank goodness we have Jordy to start now to keep CB as a back-up.

    * We got our one good game out of Ingey last week. We need to find a guy who can take over his role. Go find him, NH!

    * We also need a righty option in RF. I don’t know how easy it would be to pry away Donorfia, but he’s perfect for that. He could even play against righty pitchers most nights, as his splits are decent. I think Tabata may have retired. No idea where he is or what is wrong with him. I did read a few days ago that “he is in a good place with his injury.” So, there’s that.

    * I don’t like what I’m reading about Wandy. I hope, as we all do, that this is just a minor setback. But, I have no confidence in that.

    * Charlie should be strong in his next start, after that disappointing rain storm ruined his day.

    * Marte whiffs too much, but he also does just about everything else very well. That kid hits the ball very hard. 32 XBH in half a season from your leadoff guy is pretty, pretty, pretty good.

    * I continue to say the unseen value in this team is their ability to turn balls in play into outs better than any team in the majors. The 2 most important guys are Marte and Cutch. They routinely turn singles and doubles into outs. They also turn doubles into singles with their range. They are so good that a lot of balls that would drop in against normal outfielders are turned into routine outs. Marte coming in and snagging the low liner is but one example of an ongoing pattern. The diving, rolling catch by Cutch in RC on Sat. (or was it Friday?) was crazy good.

    * How, exactly, is Mr. Shero not responsible for lack of depth, mounting cap issues, and roster mis-management at the end of the season/playoffs? I love the guy as much as anyone, and feel he is a very good GM. But, all of the roster changes at the end of the year were very risky not only for this season, but they also have future ramifications. He took large gambles. They did not pay off at all in the playoffs. I think he’d be the first to say he is responsible.

    * Sometimes the moves that are NOT made at the trade deadline are the ones that ensure success. The Bucs need to add a few minor pieces, but not do anything like the Pens just did IMO.

    Feel free to disagree with any or all of this. That’s what we do here. Good Monday to everyone!

  128. Dom says:

    I’m almost back at zero!

  129. Damon says:

    Arizona Cardinals

  130. 21sthebest says:

    Yeah, I think this format has its flaws.

  131. Kevin says:

    Add me for the 45 or more with the max wager, 250 balls of snow. Seriously would like to see pirates hit 100 wins this year. Seems like that is their goal. (Martin alluded to it in his post game whipped cream in the face speech)

  132. Sisyphus says:

    Anybody who needed a cutoff man for that throw has no business playing the outfield in the first place.

  133. Jim S. says:

    As a guy who sees too many Sox games, I would pass on Rios even if he didn’t have the big contract looming. He’s way too inconsistent. But, we won’t need him or his giant salary after this year.

  134. Jim S. says:

    As a guy who sees too many Sox games, I would pass on Rios even if he didn’t have the big contract looming. He’s way too inconsistent. But, we won’t need him or his giant salary after this year.

  135. Sisyphus says:

    Looked to me like our talent did a poor job of maximizing itself.

  136. Jim S. says:

    EWF, 21? Love that song, and that group.

    Never was a cloudy day is such a great line.

  137. Milo Hamilton says:

    Their name came from dodging trolley cars in Brooklyn.

  138. Jim S. says:

    Sorry, my Rios comment got mis-placed.

  139. Jim S. says:

    +1

  140. NMR says:

    False.

    Pirate fans don’t want to spend whatever it takes to make sure Jason Bay or Andrew McCutchen is on the team. They want to keep their best players and build around them.

    The Pirates have always had enough money to keep their best player. They just would’ve had to spend a third of the payroll on that one guy. You don’t win baseball games like that.

    The Pens are working themselves into a similar situation. From the start, Shero’s top heavy model of paying stars and filling in around them was an experiment. One thats getting more and more expensive and arguably less productive.

  141. 21sthebest says:

    One of my all time favorite groups.

  142. JohninOshkosh says:

    Serena Williams out at Wimbledon.

    …and there was much rejoicing.

  143. Dom says:

    How about the Pittsburgh Penguins after the team moved here from Antarctica.

    We should really get around to changing that to an animal that indigenous to this region.

  144. Naterosboro says:

    Sporting thoughts on a best-record-after-81-games Monday…

    * I said last week that I hoped the Penguins could find the money to extend Kris Letang. Looks like Ray Shero called up his leprechaun and had him deliver the emergency pot-o-gold to Consol. The Penguins now have an extremely good core of players under contract for the next 7-8 seasons.

    * Ray Shero can now focus on fitting pieces around his core. He thought he had the right ones this past season. He didn’t.

    * I didn’t understand this line from Dejan’s column: “When do the Penguins return to being a team on the rise as opposed to one in the NHL’s rear-view mirror?” I still see the Penguins as an elite franchise that should challenge for the cup for the better part of the next decade. They should also win 1 or 2 of those with the likes of Crosby, Malkin & Letang leading the way. Not sure how this puts the Penguins in the “rear-view mirror”…. I’d say it puts them firmly in the driver’s seat.

    * I also don’t understand this comment from Eric’s comment above: “That’s poor roster management when you have a franchise goaltender in Marc-Andre Fleury and college free agent Eric Hartzell as a restricted free agent.” How so? MAF could be traded or perhaps Hartzell. There’s definitely moves to be made, and this roster is certainly not set. It seems to be a bit premature to call it poor roster management when the roster is far from being set before training camp opens in September.

    * 51-30. Who’dathunkit?

    * Pedro Alvarez had an excellent month of June. In 97 ABs in June, he hit .309 with 10 HRs, 24 RBI & an OPS of 1.060. I’ve been of the mind to think maybe Petey is figuring it out, but now my mind has changed. This is what Pedro Alvarez is. A damn streaky hitter. What the Pirates have to do is try to limit his bad streaks and maximize the good ones. Basically, you’ve gotta keep the big bull rolling through July now.

    * Another masterful performance from the Pirates bullpen yesterday as the rain forced starter Charlie Morton from the game after only 2 innings. 12 innings, 2 Hits, 0 Runs, 0 Walks, and 7Ks. Lights out.

    * On the back of that, monster shout out to Vinny Maz (Vin Mazzaro) and Tony Watson. Of those 12 innings, they accounted for 8 of them, and they were perfect. 0 hits, 0 walks and 5 Ks in those 8 innings between them. Bulldogs.

    * At some point, the Pirates need to move Michael McKenry (and bring up Tony Sanchez) and Clint Barmes (and acquire a backup SS or bring up Chase D’Arnaud).

    * The decision to pinch hit Josh Harrison for Garrett Jones baffles me. I don’t care if Jones has never gotten a hit of a LHP. He’s still a better option at the plate than JayHay (no offense to JayHay, he’s just not very good offensively). Again, baffling.

    * A big key to the 2nd half will be getting McCutchen, Jones & Walker going again. Yes, Cutch is hitting .290ish, but he can do better (especially with RISP; hitting just .266 this season). Jones, after hitting .312 in April, has hit .221 and .238 in May & June respectively. He’s also only hitting .203 with RISP this season. Neil Walker has had ups & downs this season, hitting .256 in April, then rebounding to .284 in May, but tanking in June to the tune of a .209 avg. If the offense is to pick up some slack, these 3 need to be the catalyst.

    * Not good that Wandy had to be shut down. Pirates will need to look for a starting pitcher for the 2nd half (as I think this will lead to Wandy being done for the season), either in-house or on the market. Here’s a name I’ll float initially…Cliff Lee. Philadelphia is in a bad way and needs to move pieces to get younger. Obviously, the Pirates would have to pick up a ton of salary, but I think could be a move that could solidify the rotation for a late season, playoff berth push.

    * Someone needs to tell Greg Brown that a single up the middle with a man on 2nd does not = an automatic run. As soon as Russell Martin’s single got thru, he said the Pirates were going to win. Did he think Marte or McCutchen were on 2nd? That play was close and this is the 2nd time I can remember him prematurely saying the Pirates would score. He needs to stop this and call the game. Once Gaby slides in safe, then go nuts and “Raise It”.

    * The best part about this is that we have a group of guys that is enjoying themselves. Baseball hell? Feels more like heaven right now. Wait, that’s St. Louis….

    * 81 more to go…raise ‘em up to another 50!

    HAVE A GOOD DAY ALL! BEAT ‘EM BUCS!

    :-)

  145. NMR says:

    Byrd strikes out too much and doesn’t get on base enough. Much like half of the Pirates current starting 8.

    I think the Pirates should address their deficiencies, not go after the guy with the best stats.

  146. JohninOshkosh says:

    I can’t believe the Wild traded Cal Clutterbuck to the Islanders.

    Half the people here in the Upper Midwest will now be walking around with outdated jerseys. The other half will be wearing Toews jerseys.

  147. Milo Hamilton says:

    Everything’s fine except the back. I try to avoid being tossed around & the upside down stuff. Straight ahead, wooden & fast are OK usually.

  148. Dom says:

    Yeah, looking through his stats he’s really hit or miss from one season to the next. I’m not concerned about paying him the big bucks but I don’t want to lose a ton of prospects when we might get better results from Ibanez or Byrd.

  149. Dom says:

    Who do you recommend?

  150. John Lease says:

    Which is why I applauded Cole drilling Aramis in the ribs in game 1.

    I don’t think it was intentional, but that isn’t the point.

    I wish they WOULD drill Braun intentionally.

  151. Jandy says:

    :snicker:

  152. John Lease says:

    Lee Mazzili would disagree with you…

  153. Jandy says:

    Sorry bout that, Milo. Hope it feels better soon! :*

  154. John Lease says:

    31 means nothing to you, perhaps. Means a whole lot to a Pirate fan of ‘maturity’ age.

  155. Matt hoffman says:

    250 on 45 or more please.

  156. Jandy says:

    Playoffs, make sure you catch this one:
    Matt hoffman says:

    July 1, 2013 at 10:40 am

    250 on 45 or more please.

    Reply

  157. Jim S. says:

    Nater:

    Good point on the pen. I believe I heard on the game that Maldonado was 3-5 and everyone else on the Brewers combined to go 1-41 with 0 walks. Awesome!

    I agree on Harrison. I might pinch hit him for Barmes, but that is it. Guys like Harrison and Inge may be great in the clubhouse, but we need upgrades to them on the field. Either that, or they both need to pick it up very quickly.

    I think Philly wants big-time prospects for Lee. By that, I mean something from our BEST prospects. Philly seems to need that more than salary relief. That is an interesting observation on your part.

  158. NMR says:

    My guy is Norichika Aoki. Would fit perfectly at the top of the order.

    Backup would be Josh Willingham. Above average OBP with plenty of pop left in the tank.

    Lastly would be a Chris Denorfia/David DeJesus type player. Somebody who doesn’t profile as being much better than a healthy Tabata/Snider combo. I’d only do this if they came for low level prospects.

  159. Dom says:

    Thanks for the link.

  160. John Lease says:

    The constant replacing Jones with a defensive sub, or pinch hitting for him like yesterday, bugs me too. When the Pirates are up or down in a laugher, fine.

    But not a close game, Jones is a weapon, Harrison, Snider and Sanchez are ‘lesser’ weapons, to be kind.

  161. JohninOshkosh says:

    How about the Pittsburgh Bears ?

    I think bears are indigenous to Milo’s neighborhood.

    You know there is a big battle in Milwaukee brewing about building a new arena for the Bucks. If it doesn’t get done, some say Pittsburgh is a possible landing pad for the franchise. The Bucks nickname would fit in with Pennsylvania’s deer hunting history ( like Wisconsin), but I wonder if it would be too confusing with the Bucs.

  162. Jandy says:

    I really like Aoki.
    Watching him bat, he’s a little guy, but he puts literally EVERYTHING into his swing. It’s fascinating to watch him.

  163. Naterosboro says:

    Did this team not just go to the ECF (I know, I know, they were swept and embarrassed by Boston and are a disgrace to their sweaters….)?!

  164. Dom says:

    Nate Schierholtz was on the top of the list you provided and he looks good to me. He has just a one year contract so we wont have to worry about losing Polanco to obtain him.

  165. Thundercrack says:

    I wasn’t a fan with that either yesterday, but I believe there was a really tough lefty on the mound for the Brewers.

  166. NMR says:

    Blows my mind that people can watch the Pirates and not realize that Jones absolutely cannot hit lefties.

    This is not new.

    It has been going on for four years.

  167. Jandy says:

    “-Two Penn State players were selected. Goaltender Eamon McAdam was selected in the third round by the Islanders (No. 70 overall) and defenseman Mike Williamson was selected in the sixth round by the Canucks (No. 175 overall).”

    Penn State had 2 players selected in the NHL draft. This has to be great for this area (State College).
    With the Pegula Ice Arena being finished up now, it should be a HUGE draw for hockey players AND fans in Central Pennsylvania.

  168. NMR says:

    What does that have to do with my comment?

  169. NMR says:

    No problem, Dom.

  170. Bizrow says:

    250 nuclear nuggets on 38-44, Hurdle might have been right with his 95 win prediction

    Beat Em Bucs

    Go like 60

    Thanks, Playoffs

  171. Naterosboro says:

    I don’t mind Gaby as a defensive replacement in a close game for Jones @ 1B. But a tie game in the 9th inning, and you pinch-hit JayHay for our 4 hitter?! Never mind that JayHay is better served as a pinch runner, why burn a bench player. I’m pretty sure Jones’ splits vs. LHP aren’t all that much worse than JayHay’s.

    It just makes no sense.

    But some would say that about our Pirates 51-30 record……

  172. JohninOshkosh says:

    I know most here can’t stand Milwaukee but here are some views from the enemy;

    From Michael Hunt (Yes, his parents named him Michael Hunt), of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

    “Again, the baseball fates look more favorably on good teams, and with 50 victories before July 1 for the first time in the team’s 131-year history, the Pirates are most assuredly good.

    They are doing everything the Brewers did in 2011. Their pitching is outstanding and their hitting is timely enough to win these close games.”

    Tom Haudricourt had a lengthy piece about what the Brewers might do at the trade deadline. What I gathered is that the Brewers arn’t really interested in dealing Aoki. If they do it will require a fairly steep price. It sounds like the Brewers will be shopping relievers.

  173. DJ says:

    Players are not exonerated, but . . .

    When coaches are not demanding players get to the front of the net — and then stay there — I put that on the coaches.
    Example: Bryan Bickell. I don’t think he took a single shot from outside 5 feet. Chicago understood its importance enough to give him a new contract $4 mill+/yr (from $570k) and trade two of its lesser starters.

    And when the coaches are not choosing speed/stickhandling (Depres/Bennett) over perceived “toughness”, I put that on the coaches. We all saw what speed/stickhandling did against Chara & Co.

  174. theplanisworking says:

    Raises hand……..

  175. Naterosboro says:

    Still don’t care. If Jones can absolutely not hit lefties, JayHay can absolutely not hit anything, including LHPs haha!

    Wait. I just looked at his 2013 splits. Josh is hitting .250 against LHPs this season (1/4). He’s 1/9 against RHPs.

    Wait again. His career average against LHPs is .211 (32/152).

    They didn’t even play the splits there. It’s not like Harrison is going to walk so he can get on base and steal a bag. He’s a pinch runner and spot starter around the infield.

    Why he’s pinch hitting to lead off the 9th inning in a 1-1 game is inexplicable. No matter how many times you tell me Jones can’t hit LHPs.

    Harrison can’t either.

  176. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    So would the Penguins farm system be compared to the Pirates of Dave Littlefield??

    Seriously, I dont know anything about hockey’s prospects

    DK: This piece had nothing to do with the Pirates.

  177. NMR says:

    A lot of guys have been mentioning Schierholtz lately.

    I, personally, don’t trust him. He’s a straight platoon guy playing at his absolute peak right now.

    He’d most likely be an improvement over Snider, but also could be a big candidate for regression.

  178. 21sthebest says:

    Right now I feel the same confidence wise in Sanchez as I do Jones.

  179. JohninOshkosh says:

    Nate Schierholtz is this year’s Bryan LaHair. Theo likes to draw blood for players like this.

  180. Milo Hamilton says:

    Mr. Aoki !

  181. NMR says:

    Your last paragraph couldn’t be any better. Great news for the region.

    Man would I have loved to watch major college hockey while I was there.

  182. Naterosboro says:

    Philly definitely wants big prospects b/c their farm system looks like ours after Dave Littlefield was done with it.

    Not interested in that. If I’m Huntington, I splash and give them salary relief (by picking up a lot of the Lee deal) with lesser ceiling prospects.

    If they insist on picking up money for a better prospect package I say thanks but no thanks…there’re other arms around the MLB that can be had affordably.

  183. NMR says:

    You sold me, brother.

  184. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    -Great day to be a Pirates fan!!

    -Do I believe they will keep this, best in the MLB streak alive? No, probably not, but they have a good chance of being a contender.

    -Talk about the come-from-behind wins and unbelieveable BP, that’s what makes good teams great. They need this. Look at past champions and that’s something they had in common.

    -Its still early, but I believe that we have to give credit, where credit is due. NH has done a great job building this BP and rotation. The farm system is top 10 in MLB, most of that credit goes to him.

    -Now, if collapse III happens, which I think it won’t this time, then he deserves that credit as well.

    -The pitching depth is there; a trade is needed. I believe they need to find an upgrade to RF and possibly some bench depth as well.

    -Its a fun debate, but I’m not naming any names that this time for that depth or positional upgrade. Too early, no idea who’s available.

  185. theplanisworking says:

    On my “bucket list” is to see a RiverMutts game.

    And get a date with Kate Upton. ;)

  186. Jim S. says:

    John:

    My intent was not that 82 means nothing. I meant that this team is good enough that we should start setting our sights higher now. I have been a Pirates fan since I was a little squirt, so I am pushing 40 years of fandom now. I, too, feel the pain of 20 losing seaons.

  187. 21sthebest says:

    I thought Harrison fouled off two meatballs.

  188. theplanisworking says:

    I am thinking 95 wins will be needed to win the Central.
    Interesting point is………. the Bucs and Cards play each other 13 more times.
    Getting to 95 wont be easy.

  189. Jim S. says:

    I’m still in the Denorfia camp (right handed hitter), but I think we agree on where the need is Dom.

  190. Jim S. says:

    +1

  191. Bizrow says:

    Any lunatics have any thoughts on who will start for the PBC tomorrow?

    Just gotta keep grinding, one game at a time

  192. theplanisworking says:

    Aoki is young, cheap, and under the Brewers control for years. Why would Milwaukee trade him?? And to a division rival?? Not happening.

    But to dream………..

  193. Jim S. says:

    I was just in San Francisco, and didn’t see one giant.

  194. NMR says:

    Since when does Huntington write the checks?

    Any kind of “salary relief” offer will be Bob Nutting’s to make, not Neal Huntington.

  195. theplanisworking says:

    Their original name was the Superbas?
    Dodgers was a better fit.

  196. JohninOshkosh says:

    Well, I am embarking today on the longest vacation of my adult life. I’ve planned for it, and saved for it, for a long time. It figures that the Pirates are playing the best baseball since I was in my twenties and I’ll be basically off the internet tether I sure hope they continue with great success in my absence.

    Hope all have a safe and enjoyable Independence Day and continue to have a blast watching these amazing Bucs!

    See you down the line.

  197. NMR says:

    That man is a walking prank call.

  198. Jim S. says:

    That (NBA team) would be a disaster, Osh. Pittsburgh is a 3-pro team town, max. I don’t see it working.

    On a positive note, we’d get a lot of ESPN coverage, though.

  199. theplanisworking says:

    + many

  200. Dom says:

    Yeah that’s right. Come to think of it, the New York Mets nickname is short for metropolitan. I’d hardly call New York city a metropolitan.

  201. NMR says:

    Because he’s not young(31), they are rebuilding, and it takes giving up talent to get some in return.

    They aren’t going anywhere in the next 3-5 years by trading relievers. Already have stated Braun, Gomez, Segura, and Lucroy are untouchable.

    It’s gonna take more than Yovani to rebuild that farm system.

  202. Jim S. says:

    I guess you have to be thinking about the game ending there if you make the right move. But, what about a potential next at bat? Maybe a righty is on the mound 2 innings later, and Jones is gone?

    I know it is conventional wisdom to pull guys for a pinch runner or pinch hitter in a specific instance, but I think that disregards the rest of the game. I have never understood taking a really good hitter who happens to be a slow runner out of the lineup when he gets a leadoff single late in a tie game. I know why they do it, but I usually don’t see the wisdom.

    I never pinch hit a weaker hitter for a better hitter.

  203. Bizrow says:

    Enjoy, we’ll keep the lights on for you, John

  204. theplanisworking says:

    Be safe.

  205. Milo Hamilton says:

    Can’t even hit righties this year.

  206. Jim S. says:

    I agree. Aoki is not costing them much money, and he is about the only guy on the team that works pitchers. I wouldn’t give him away, either. I would want a very good prospect.

  207. theplanisworking says:

    What, are you Motel Biz6?? ;)

  208. 21sthebest says:

    I’m guessing Cumpton.

  209. Jim S. says:

    Enjoy, Osh!

  210. tdb1977 says:

    When I decide to play baseball on the PS3, I make sure I have a reliever starting the game because Braun usually takes a ball upside the head and is tossed. The starter that should have started the game then comes in as the next man up and takes care of business. Its just to send a message and because I cant stand him.

  211. Jim S. says:

    Aoki is much preferred to Schierholtz. Aoki hits righties and lefties – but not Pirates relievers.

  212. Milo Hamilton says:

    The fact that’s even a question is inane. Just flip flop Gomez & Locke. I don’t know, how many days rest does one need after warming up in the bullpen ? SMH.

  213. Bizrow says:

    And Harrison goes down?

    Thats what I’m thinking, then they can bring Presley back up

  214. tdb1977 says:

    Like I said, 92 was the average amount of wins needed to take the Central over the last 6 years. More wins will most likely be needed this year. Proably on the order of 95 to 98 wins to take the divison.

  215. Dom says:

    Sounds good to me. Maybe we could double dip and pick up Denorfia and someone like Ibanez? IS that out of the question?

  216. Kevin says:

    where’d you see Letang signed a deal?

  217. Bizrow says:

    Not sure how much rest, does get you out of the routine.

    I just thought if it was a simple flip, they would have announced it

  218. Naterosboro says:

    He makes the deals though to acquire players. And negotiates the terms of those deals. Obviously, any taking on of salary will have to come with the “OK” from the owner. Didn’t think that needed to be stated.

  219. Milo Hamilton says:

    On their website they’ve listed Tuesday & Wednesday as TBA. Jeanmar was originally slated for Wednesday & he hasn’t pitched since last Wednesday. They still have Cole scheduled for the 4th. We know that one won’t change because the next game is on the road.

  220. Jandy says:

    I’m about 50 minutes away. All I gotta do is talk hubby into going once in a while :)

  221. Kevin says:

    highly recommend grilled cheese sandwich with homemade tomato soup.. very good combo.

  222. Naterosboro says:

    My bad if it sounds that way, but it is just the framework for that extension in place. Nothing signed yet. I guess I am just a little ahead of the party.

  223. Milo Hamilton says:

    You’re going to Winnipeg aren’t you ?

  224. Jandy says:

    Cell phones do a lot these days ;)

  225. Jandy says:

    +many

  226. Thundercrack says:

    I wonder if they will use Morton in relief during one of these upcoming games. He threw less than 30 pitches yesterday.

  227. Thundercrack says:

    +1 :-)

  228. Thundercrack says:

    Hurry back!

    Be safe and have some fun.

  229. Sisyphus says:

    Maybe, but he also had no business playing in the outfield.

  230. Milo Hamilton says:

    Cumpton is scheduled tonight for Indy & Stormy Weather tomorrow. Keep an eye out to see if they get scratched.

  231. theplanisworking says:

    Is his cell phone going to Winnipeg without him? ;)

  232. Sisyphus says:

    You were at practice? How do you know what the coaches were telling the players to do?

    They went to the net all year. Against Boston, they didn’t. I seriously doubt that the coaches were telling them to avoid the slot area against Boston.

  233. Milo Hamilton says:

    Heck, he pitched 2 innings. He probably needs at least a week. :)

  234. JohnS says:

    Nothing wrong with a little Earth, Wind, and Fire reference.

  235. Thundercrack says:

    Regarding an upgrade for right field, at this point unless they trade for someone that is going to be the full time RF, then I am fine with Jones, Snider…and yes even Tabata for one last go around.

    I’m not sure I want another guy to platoon.

  236. Thundercrack says:

    I saw Harrison in a Carrabba’s during spring training.
    He was eating meatballs

  237. Jandy says:

    Hipposter!!!!

  238. blazer says:

    Going to go all out for the 45 or more wins for 250 please. No collapse this year!

  239. NMR says:

    I think I mentioned this before in one of our talks, but I really have no idea what it would take to get him. I wouldn’t lose any sleep trading a top 100 guy, though, similar to the Wandy trade.

    You guys are certainly correct that he’s a valuable player. But they’ve gotta start somewhere, don’t they? They’ve gone on record as saying they are officially playing for 2-3 years down the road. Rebuilding. They’ve also gone on record as saying Braun, Gomez, Segura, and Lucroy are untouchable.

    Can they really rebuild their farm system by trading Gallardo, Ramirez, and relievers?

  240. NMR says:

    Just another disappointing outing from Morton.

    Guy can’t even get past two innings.

  241. 21sthebest says:

    Aoki is only under control through 2014 but only if a team option is exercised. Buyout is $250K.

  242. Fish says:

    WOW….on a day when DK pens a column about the pitching coach being the most valuable member of the team, said pitching coach’s (entire) bullpen goes out and throws one of the most remarkable examples of bullpen excellence ever. I don’t know how you timed it DK, but well done sir. Great column(s). Better timing!

    Now perhaps you could write a column about my lottery number picking and it’s potential to hit, I would be more than happy to work out a deal with you!

  243. Dom says:

    I said this before but maybe we could double dip on the available outfielders and pick up Denorfia and someone like Ibanez? Is that out of the question?

  244. theplanisworking says:

    Jandyster!!!!

    Did you recuperate from babysitting?

  245. Karen22 says:

    HAHA! Yes, you do! They’re REALLY loud now!

  246. 21sthebest says:

    Nate Schierholtz has a much better track record than Bryan LaHair, IMO. In fact I would say that it’s not even close. I’d have no problem with Schierholtz and his .872 OPS this year but he’s not my first choice.

  247. DJ says:

    Some good points.

    On the subject of tweaking, agree that we need to swap McKenry for Tony Sanchez right now. The Fort’s a nice guy, but being a nice guy is no longer good enough. We need a better back-up, not someone who literally swings from his heels every time up and bounces throws to second (on attempted pick-offs and otherwise).

    On Walker and Jones in particular, maybe it is me but I’m seeing a lot of great first pitch strikes go by them. Understand one goal is working the count to get pitch counts up, but they could do well to improve their averages by not letting fat ones go by. If those two raised averages by even 15 points, they would go from Hurdle’s “good place” to a “better place.”

    On McCutchen, would love to see him revert to last year and use the whole field. He should set that as his goal for the second half. The left side overload Milwaukee put on should tell him teams are now viewing him as a half-a-field batter, and that should embarrass and only motivate him.

  248. Jandy says:

    I remember being too excited to sleep much, Karen, but man, all of it sure was fun (my daughter was married 3 years ago this past May).
    Seems like yesterday.

  249. NMR says:

    If you’ve paid attention to any trade deadline talk around here in years past, then yes, it absolutely does need to be said.

  250. NMR says:

    If they can put a decent team together, that atmosphere should be a blast.

  251. 21sthebest says:

    22 in fact.

  252. JD says:

    250 on 45+. Thanks. Go Bucs

  253. Jandy says:

    I remember being too excited to sleep much, Karen, but man, all of it sure was fun (my daughter was married 3 years ago this past May).
    Seems like yesterday.

    Reply

  254. 21sthebest says:

    Nothing is simple anymore. It’s the Oprah era of sports. Locke can’t start his usual turn because he warmed up. Charlie only threw 22 pitches but he can’t pitch 2 days later. Cole Hamels was pushed back two days to July 4th to give him a couple of days to, “clear his head,”, and trading Casey McGehee who couldn’t hit sand if he fell off of a camel disrupts chemistry.

  255. Jandy says:

    reach for the stars, Hipposter!

  256. NMR says:

    Aren’t we looking at a roster crunch at that point, Dom?

    You’d either have to carry five outfielders (by cutting infielder depth) or get rid of Tabby AND Snider.

    I think this roster needs to get more resilient. Not a good thing when half the lineup is rendered useless depending on what hand the pitcher is using to throw the baseball.

  257. Kevin says:

    once again pirates scratch out a win… I know thats great… and 9 in a row is fantastic… how many 2-1 games can you win in a row though? That’s a stat I want to see. The pirates left a guy on 3rd three times last night and one of those times was with 1 out (the inning where Marte lead with a double)… kept failing to get him home. It was the last man (Martin) to see the plate that got to drive in the winning run. And it only really happened because Gaby stole 2nd (he’s never done that as you all know).

    My point is… need the hitting to pick back up again. Or they need to find a bat or two at the deadline. Hopefully Hurdle can keep these guys hungry and focused.

  258. Jandy says:

    OK this ended up in the wrong place :sigh:

  259. Kevin says:

    bah stupid blog put my post in the wrong spot.

  260. Jandy says:

    Oh, can I say I thouroughly enjoyed that yesterday? I mean, a 21 month old kept me hopping for the better part of the day, but wow, was it worth it. SO many giggles and hugs and stuff that special memories are made of :) :)

  261. NMR says:

    Three months left in Garrett Jones’ career as a Pirate.

  262. Jandy says:

    Oh heck yeah. And the company I work for does a lot with/for Penn State. I might even be able to wrangle some tickets outta the boss ;)

  263. DJ says:

    Sis: Was at or watched all playoff games, and certainly know what I saw.

    On going to the net in the playoffs, demanding it, with playing time consequence in the balance, is what it is all about. That’s called accountability.

  264. Jandy says:

    One of “quick meals” already, kevin LOL!

  265. Jandy says:

    did it to me twice today, and I see it got Karen too.

  266. JD says:

    Have a good one!

  267. Jandy says:

    Accountability.
    Agreed 100%

  268. theplanisworking says:

    Sounds like the same thing after a Pirate win!!! ;)

    So confused at what to make of the Pens and their off-season stuff. I am afraid we are looking at mostly status quo……. meaning more early outs, while saying all the correct things about a Cup. I think the Letang signing will hurt the franchise……….. leaving little $$$ for flexibility………… unless more trades are coming to move salary.

    Also confused about all this trade talk for the Bucs. I dont want to see them give away top prospects for rentals. Yes they need upgrades, but at what cost???

    And I simply dont understand the talk for Aoki. Great ballplayer, but Milwaukee isnt going to trade him to a division rival, unless we severely overpay for him. I just dont get it.

    But, what do I know?? ;)

  269. theplanisworking says:

    I alwasy want to saor with the eagles, Jandy!
    Unfortunately, i hang around with the buzzards! ;)

  270. Jandy says:

    Me: Mischa, let’s go inside and get some lunch (it’s 2pm)

    Mischa: No!

    Me: Mischa, what did you just tell Grandma??

    Mischa: Hi Grammy! What are you doing?

    Me: Grandma is taking Mischa in for some lunch.

    Mischa: Ok, Grandma

    21 months!?!?? Just wow.

  271. cmat0829 says:

    Really hard to figure out Roenicke…on one hand he embraces new-age shifts and things like that, on the other hand, he fills out lineup cards and sits as passively as a slow-pitch softball ‘coach’…watching his team just hack away….. I know that crap works in that embarrassing ugly stadium in Beertown, but in a real park, it looks pretty weak.

  272. Naterosboro says:

    “The Pens are working themselves into a similar situation. From the start, Shero’s top heavy model of paying stars and filling in around them was an experiment. One thats getting more and more expensive and arguably less productive.”

    It’s the less productive part of the comment that I was aiming at there (looks like I missed). Again, was this team not 1 round away from the SCF? The way some are talking (not you specifically), you would think the Penguins finished last in the Atlantic division this past year.

    I guess I’m just of the mind that doesn’t think huge changes need to be made to a roster with a great core of players that are in their primes.

    What needs to be done is to find the right mix of guys to fill in around them. Since the cup run, Shero has had issues in this department, with early round exits before last season’s ECF run.

  273. Jandy says:

    Ehh…we only know what is plainly seen when it comes to trades and stuff.
    I am sick over the idea of losing Dupuis. I don’t want to lose Cooke either.
    Nothing we can do about it tho, so we have to trust in Rah Shero.
    Same with the Bucs. I don’t want to trade our top prospects anymore than you do. It’s a bit harder for me to trust Huntingdon, but I guess we have to, as we have no other choice.

    I’m enjoying the games, one at a time, and the wins, as they come, are each sweeter than the last :)

  274. theplanisworking says:

    Enjoy her while you can.
    They grow up too fast!

    Unlike Hippos, who stay young forever. ;)

  275. NMR says:

    I’ve read that Aoki’s contract is a bit confusing, 21.

    Technically, Aoki enters arbitration after ’14 which would give the team three additional years of control.

    But contracts to foreign players often have clauses that allow the player to elect free agency once they hit their arbitrated years, so that very well may be the case.

  276. Naterosboro says:

    Ahhhhh gotcha. ;-)

  277. Jandy says:

    OK, that’s RAY Shero. darn Jandy typos

  278. cmat0829 says:

    And after Gomez took like 3 steps and a hop to get in position to hurl an awful throw, he did not ‘tap his head two times’ on his way to the dugout after yet another tough loss for his 32-48, last place Brewers.

  279. Jandy says:

    Thanks, Hipposter, I plan to!

  280. cmat0829 says:

    Gomez was about 30 feet at most behind the infield, he did not need a cutoff man….

  281. theplanisworking says:

    And, I cant spell today!

  282. cmat0829 says:

    for either team.

  283. Jandy says:

    We are NOT Buzzards here in the blog, Hipposter….most of us aren’t, anyway ;)

  284. NMR says:

    Your last paragraph is exactly what I said, Nate. Slow down a bit.

    The problem is that “the right mix of guys” cost money.

    Stars getting more expensive gives you less room for error.

  285. Dom says:

    Yeah, you’re right. Plus, nobody on our lineup or bench really can be demoted, except for Harrison.

  286. Naterosboro says:

    Just saw this from the Pirates on Facebook: “Elias Says: Vin Mazzaro threw 5.0 perfect innings out of the ‘pen yesterday. The last Pirates reliever to throw five or more perfect innings of relief was Elmer Ponder on July 23, 1919. The last Major League reliever to do it was Jake Westbrook on 4/19/04 for Cleveland.”

    Again, monster shout out to the bullpen for their performance yesterday, especially Vinny Maz & Tony Watson.

  287. Jandy says:

    Ahhh! Priceless, I humbly nominate this for POTD :)

  288. cmat0829 says:

    No question in my mind the smart move for the Bucs is to poach someone else’s closer or former closer, like the Reds did with Broxton last year. I know the current pen has been lights out, but you are building now for the playoff run and experience counts more in Aug/Sept/Oct than it does in Apr/May/June.

    My bullpen would look like this, and of course a lot can happen, injuries, performance, etc. until then:

    Closer Grilli
    Setup Melancon
    New Veteran Pickup (maybe Kevin Gregg? or someone like that)
    Watson
    Wilson
    Morris
    Gomez or Mazarro

    I know it might be painful, but you can also option either Morris or Wilson if need be and keep both Gomez and Mazarro.

  289. theplanisworking says:

    ;)

  290. cmat0829 says:

    The pinch hit for Jones was in a LEADOFF capacity, it’s extra innings, you play for THAT INNING, not future possible innings…and no question in my mind you want Harrison leading off instead of Jones vs a LHP. The problem with it was that Josh should have bunted up the first base line…if he did that, he would’ve reached base and the move would have been hailed as shrewd.

  291. NMR says:

    Didn’t even think about the Brewers alignment vs. Cutch until you mentioned it, DJ.

    Excellent observation. And quite damning for Cutch.

  292. cmat0829 says:

    Perspective please…. trades within a division are rare… see the quote recently from the Card’s GM..probably the best in baseball… he says he does not really ever want to trade within the division…..

    Doug Melvin’s quotes have been consistent…. he wants to be ‘overwhelmed’ in offers for his players… and he has ZERO reason to move Aoki unless he feels like he WINS the trade…

    No way, zero way, I trade any of Taillon/Glasnow/Polanco/Sanchez/Hansen for Aoki. Now, I will remain soupless, but if they paired Aoki with Axford then perhaps I give up one prospect in the top 10 but not Polanco or Taillon.

  293. NMR says:

    Pet peeve of mine, but I do know you aren’t one of the ones that usually make that type of comment. My fault.

  294. cmat0829 says:

    Why wouldn’t Gomez start? He last pitched 5 innings in Seattle on Wednesday afternoon. Can easily go on Tuesday night.

  295. Sisyphus says:

    What you saw was what the players did. You did not hear what the coaches told the players to do. There is no way that the coaches were instructing the players to stay away from the Boston net.

  296. Sisyphus says:

    The Pirates didn’t give up anybody who was anywhere near a top 100 guy in the Wandy trade.

  297. JaxBuc says:

    Please sir, may I have 250 babushkas on the 38-44 line?

  298. bman says:

    @playoffs:

    I’ll go with 200 on the 38-44

    Thanks!

  299. Bizrow says:

    During the raid delay yesterday, they had the top 10 PBC pitching performances on ROOT. In 55 or 56, Vernon Law piched one game where he threw (can’t remember), a huge number of innings in a game.

    Like some have said, these guys are now “investments”, in the old days, you’d just chew them up, I guess. Arm blew out, it blew out.

  300. DJ says:

    Right. And that’s why I said demanding it, with playing time determined by whether the players did so, which they didn’t and their playing time wasn’t. That’s on the coaching staff.

  301. cmat0829 says:

    As to trade deadline ponderings, since it is now July 1 and that chatter will pick up exponentially (and we must remember that fewer than like 1 in 10 ‘rumors’ will have any possibility of happening, even those from so-called experts)…..

    1) I believe the Pirates should give Gaby Sanchez extended playing time the next few weeks (and start Jones in RF vs. righties) to see if perhaps Gaby can handle RHPs effectively enough….

    2) If he can, then the focus will be on acquiring a right-handed RF to platoon with Jones, can get one without giving up top prospects. You can keep both Snider and Tabby on the bench for options, in addition to Barmes and backup catcher.

    3) If he can’t, then the Bucs should go more aggressively for an everyday, preferably RH right fielder…Jones/Gaby platoon at 1B… you can still keep Snider/Tabby on the bench in addition to Barmes and backup C.

    4) I do think chemistry matters, so I really really don’t want to give up prospects to essentially get back slightly better versions of Snider, et al. People like DeJesus and Shierholtz, etc. They aren’t “surefire, significant’ upgrades and this team seems to have good chemistry… if I’m going to disrupt that, it should be for a clear upgrade.

    5) The same is true for replacing Fort for Sanchez… I really want that but I respect the decision if it is to keep Fort …. Sanchez seems to have a good approach at the plate but we haven’t seen him catch or throw in the bigs yet…..

  302. JaxBuc says:

    Be safe. We want a full report when you return (including photos).

  303. Jim S. says:

    Good point, cmat. He has a little Jim Tracey in him, I think. He seems like a very smart guy, but that team is constructed so poorly. And from what I hear, they are not situated very well, prospect-wise, for the future. I just don’t think he is getting much help from his front office at this point.

  304. cmat0829 says:

    WOW this is tough. they are playing so well you’d be mildly disappointed if they get between 38-44 wins, but math says they end up with 89-95 wins if they do that!!

    I have a feeling they can get to 45 wins….. but let’s go a little conservative and…

    250 units on 38-44 please… more like 44 than 38 though.

  305. Jim S. says:

    Ha ha!

  306. NMR says:

    False.

    Baseball Prospectus and Keith Law both had Grossman in their top 100 entering 2012.

  307. NMR says:

    The Cards are not rebuilding, cmat. The Brewers are. Huge difference.

    Go ahead and show me a GM who says he’s looking for just a “meh” return and I’ll put stock into what Melvin says about being overwhlemed. They all say it.

    My preference would be Luis Heredia in that trade, but I have no idea why anyone would want Axford right now. He’s expensive, and pretty awful for about a year.

  308. Jpbucco says:

    Thank you my good man.

    My name is Jpbucco…and I’m a Pirate fan.

  309. NMR says:

    Giving you a bump on this good post that got lost in the shuffle above:

    “No question in my mind the smart move for the Bucs is to poach someone else’s closer or former closer, like the Reds did with Broxton last year. I know the current pen has been lights out, but you are building now for the playoff run and experience counts more in Aug/Sept/Oct than it does in Apr/May/June.

    My bullpen would look like this, and of course a lot can happen, injuries, performance, etc. until then:

    Closer Grilli
    Setup Melancon
    New Veteran Pickup (maybe Kevin Gregg? or someone like that)
    Watson
    Wilson
    Morris
    Gomez or Mazarro

    I know it might be painful, but you can also option either Morris or Wilson if need be and keep both Gomez and Mazarro.”

  310. Jim S. says:

    Not necessarily. I would think Ibanez could be had fairly cheaply. He has 18 or 19 HR already. I wonder if he is going to fall off in the 2nd half, though. He’s never been a huge HR guy, and he is on pace for the all-time record for 40+ guys.

  311. Jim S. says:

    I like the DeJesus angle, NMR. That would assume LunchBox is being phased out, I guess.

    Aoki is a nice player. So is Denorfia. Willingham might be due for some positive regression.

  312. Jim S. says:

    Certainly the leader at the turn!

    Well written, Jpb.

  313. Jim S. says:

    Super Bras, Plan?

  314. Irish says:

    New player here, 259 on 45 or more. I can’t tell if I believe, or just want to believe, but it feels good…
    Thanks, Playoffs!

  315. The Gunner says:

    how many trolleys are in LA?

  316. Irish says:

    oops… meant 250

  317. The Gunner says:

    FYI – The New Orleans Pelicans was the Pirates AA farm team back in the 50s. The name definitely fits with New Orleans.

  318. Jim S. says:

    I know it is always done, cmat. I just wouldn’t do it.

    Josh Harrison has an attrocious on base %. If we actually took Jones out of the game for a guy that had a good OBP, I would not think it was such a bad move. But, we took a guy out who can’t get on base vs. lefties for a guy that can’t get on base vs. lefties but runs faster.

  319. NMR says:

    Not sure why it’s important to go for a guy with the “proven closer” title when thats the exact opposite of how the Pirates have aqcuired their top relievers the past several years.

    I’d much rather go with the better pitcher, like Jim Henderson over K-rod or John Axford.

  320. Jim S. says:

    Probably true. He’ll likely be replaced with an equally flawed player next year. We don’t have internal options at 1b, do we? And Gabby, even with his new found speed, cannot hit righties all that well. I think we need a platoon there, if we keep either of them there.

  321. Jim S. says:

    Remember our first trip to Milwaukee when, in a close game, Harrison went in to pinch hit and was picked off a minute later?

  322. Jim S. says:

    Sorry, meant pinch run. I hate my typos.

  323. NMR says:

    Not only that, Jim, but he isn’t doing much of anything else other than hitting homeruns.

    Doesn’t even have an OBP over .300.

    I’d stay far away from that profile.

  324. Jim S. says:

    Swedish or Italian, Thunder?

  325. cmat0829 says:

    My reference to the Cards is that he isn’t likely to deal with the Brewers, so why should the Bucs? Aoki is a reasonable decent upgrade, but how do we feel if Heredia develops into a stud starter and we get to face him 5 times a year starting in 2015 or 2016?

  326. The Gunner says:

    The Deacon had his share of arm troubles over the years, but he always seemed to bounce back. I think you are referring to a game where he pitched 18 innings against the Milwaukee Braves in 1955.

  327. Jim S. says:

    Very good observation about Cutch. I have wondered why he seems to be hitting much more to LF lately. I don’t actually know that to be the case, but I have that sense.

    (Cue the spray chart guy).

    Anyway, do you think he is trying to hit more HRs, knowing that he is on pace for < 20? He seems to be a little pull happy lately, and maybe not working the counts as well as in the past.

  328. Jim S. says:

    I’m definitely not in favor of giving up anyone in the Top 10 for Aoki, cmat.

  329. cmat0829 says:

    At this point, you are going for EXPERIENCE in ‘high leverage’ late game situations if you make a trade for bullpen help… you are not going to upgrade 2013 performance over ANY of the current bullpen…. so if you do make an acquisition, I think it is helpful to get someone who has closed games before… the Reds got Broxton… the Dbacks in offseason got Heath Bell… and, um, the Pirates got Melancon in the offseason also, who is a proven closer and a top reliever.

    I’m not suggesting overpaying for a top closer like Papelbon, etc…I don’t think Gregg of the Cubs would cost much, he’d slot in as 7th inning guy but could close if needed occasionally….. Broxton – Reds is the model, it can and should be done this year by NH.

  330. Jim S. says:

    But, we were not counting on him as a future starter necessarily. Knowing what Polanco’s timeframe is, plus how Marte has panned out so far, I’m ok with trading Randy Grossman’s son.

  331. NMR says:

    That all depends on how far a leadoff hitter with an OBP over .350 could take the Pirates over the next few years.

    My opinion is that Aoki is the leadoff hitter this team desperately needs, meaning his impact could be large.

    I’d much rather take my chances trading high risk pitching prospects for major leaguers.

  332. Jandy says:

    Remember, Cutch is also jumping on a LOT of first pitches if they are “in there”. Not sure if this has anything to do with WHERE he is hitting them. Guys?

  333. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I was using that as a comparison.

  334. Dave G says:

    Don’t have time to check 350 comments for this, but

    Your Pittsburgh Pirates sit atop the MLB Power Rankings!

    Numero Uno!

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/power_rankings/results.jsp

  335. NMR says:

    Boy do I disagree there. Grossman was the only position player outside of Marte even close to helping the big league club.

    Polanco was half a season into breaking out in low-A when Robby was traded.

    By that logic, a guy like Heredia should absolutely be expendable given all the starting pitchers in the system that will surely pan out.

  336. Jim S. says:

    Me, too.

    Can Charlie come back in shorter than 4 days of rest? Just wondering. Or, did he do enough yesterday that 2 innings and 20 pitchers, or whatever it was, is the same as going 6?

  337. Thundercrack says:

    Was Ponder a Littlefield draft pick?

    :-)

  338. Nate83 says:

    I’m not sure why so many feel as if the 1 run game record is not sustainable or at least shouldn’t remain close to what it’s been with just a little regression. The bullpen is very good and very deep. There is no reason to think we wouldn’t hold one run leads or hold the other team scoreless long enough to score and win a tie game.

    There is also no reason to be surpised that the bullpen can keep a one run deficit to produce a come from behind victory agains inferior bullpens which a lot of teams have.

    We also have a great defense that prevents a lot of extra base hits and relievers that get a lot of strike outs which can get them out of a lot of tough situations. I am much more concerned about regression of the starters and the offense not picking up enough to make up for that regression.

  339. Jim S. says:

    I asked that same question. Is he able to come back quicker?

  340. Jim S. says:

    Well, he did make it rain. It was sunny until he showed up.

  341. NMR says:

    Melancon closed 20 games two years ago for a crappy team before imploding last year. Quite the stretch to term him a “proven closer”.

    Heath Bell and Broxton are both just a shade better than bad, so I’m not sure why they are the model.

  342. Jim S. says:

    +1 for sand and camel reference, 21. Well played.

  343. Thundercrack says:

    I didn’t see him at IKEA

  344. JHadar says:

    An addition to the thread up there about how many innings it takes to tire out a modern pitcher:

    Walter Johnson, Sept 4, 5, 7, 1907 pitched three CONSECUTIVE shutouts against the New York Highlanders . It must have hurt his career, because he didn’t an MVP until 1913 (and another one in 1924).

    (The Highlanders on the other hand were so ashamed that they eventually changed the name of the team.)

  345. Jim S. says:

    He seems to be the porcelain doll, for some reason. Can’t throw over 75 pitches even when he’s mowing people down.

  346. Dave G says:

    AND

    ESPN Power Rankings as well!

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/powerrankings

  347. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Has anybody seen…..oh nevermind

  348. BillyBaduka says:

    Enjoy your vaca Oshkosh.

  349. NMR says:

    My 14 yo self would’ve loved to sit next to that kid in class, expecially with substitute teachers.

  350. Jim S. says:

    Before that. Bonifay, I think.

  351. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  352. 21sthebest says:

    Well he might be working there soon.

  353. Kevin says:

    I would say that this past year was the most productive for the penguins. I guess I don’t understand how you measure “production”. If its only measured in # of stanley cups, that’s a very high bar and 30 other teams are also well below it.

  354. Jim S. says:

    I know some guys just can’t handle the closing role, for whatever reason. But, I do think there are more guys that can handle it than conventional wisdom says. Yesterday was a pretty high leverage situation almost all day for all of the relievers for both teams. Most of them seemed to handle it just fine.

  355. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jandy’s a girl, but welcome and good post.

  356. 21sthebest says:

    Pirates and the Athletics next Wednesday going to be the ESPN game of the week.

  357. Jandy says:

    Where do you hail from, Jpbucco, Pirate fan?
    Inquiring minds want to know.
    Bizrow (also of this blog) would love to add your hometown to the list of Dejan’s Lunatics’ Asylum :)

    (PS ~ I don’t mind being called a guy, as long as you keep in mind Mother Theresa is certifiably insane) ;)

  358. DJ says:

    Well Jim, this was my own anecdotal “eyeball” test up until about 3-4 games ago. Then, quite coincidentally, Wehner put up the spray chart on one of the broadcasts. Sure enough, the evidence was compelling — very heavily weighted to the left side.

    And if they keep the stat (which I’m sure they do), I would love to see his swing-and-miss ratio this year. It seems to me there have been a ton of balls recently where he hasn’t even made contact, despite being known for having a great eye.

    On the cause, I think it’s just his mindset this year. I have often heard it said by the best hitters for average that they try to drive the ball up the middle so that, factoring in particular pitch location and pitch speed, if they are off slightly in judging either or both, they’re still hitting between the left field and right field gaps.

    Whatever he was doing last year, I would love to see him sit down with Jay Bell and recapture it. There is nothing more majestic — outside a Pedro bomb — than seeing McCutchen taking an outside pitch over the right center field wall with a couple guys on base.

    If he were driving the ball to the right side, I guarantee he would have 15 more points on his average and 15 more RBI right now (minimum).

  359. Jandy says:

    AW, keep ‘em in line, man ;)

  360. Jim S. says:

    Good point. I hadn’t looked at his OBP. We have enough of that already.

  361. Jim S. says:

    Thowing stuff against a wall and hoping something sticks.

  362. pattonbb says:

    Anyone but Tabata.

  363. Jandy says:

    Yes he did, and I was furious.

    nevermind the typos, i’m the Typo Queen and you’re forgive :)

  364. pattonbb says:

    Good for you John. Enjoy!!

  365. Jim S. says:

    I am seeing the same thing as you, DJ. I guess it was too much to expect for him to duplicate that 2-month span of last season. Will probably never happen again for him. I have been following the Bucs since I was a young kid in the mid-70′s and I have never seen anyone on this team hit like that for such a pro-longed period. I’ve seen some crazy HR streaks by Stargell, as well as Parker, Oliver, etc. Can’t really speak to much of Roberto. But, Cutch just flat out crushed every pitch in the strike zone for a couple of months.

    He’s still a very good hitter this year, and there is SABR evidence, apparently, that he is hitting into some tough luck on line drives. But, the K’s and swings and misses, as you say, seem to be climbing lately.

  366. Jim S. says:

    Grossman is far from achieving anything in the pros as of now. I think he could be a very good OBP guy, but he has not proven he can hit at the MLB level yet, and his power appears limited. He is nowhere near the class of defensive OF that Marte, Cutch, Polanco are.

    I didn’t really want to see him go, but knowing our stud pitchers in the minors were 1-2-3 years away (depending on the guy), I thought he was acceptable to give up for a fairly dependable starter. We obviously weren’t getting Wandy w/o him being in the deal. Polanco was already having a crazy breakout year. I believe they factored that in.

  367. theplanisworking says:

    How About those Pitt Panthers, huh?????? ;)

  368. cmat0829 says:

    Not sure we are on different sides of the debate, here, NMR…. Broxton worked out pretty well for the Reds… Melancon is working out fine for the Bucs…. and Heath Bell is working out ok for the DBacks…

    My whole point is that IF we are going after bullpen depth, and I think they should, the focus should be on experience, and having closed out games, being the best pitcher on a team’s bullpen, is a plus.

    I also have the expectation that Searage works wonders so if a guy has ‘closer stuff’ but hasn’t performed that may be a good ‘buy lower’ trade candidate.

  369. Bizrow says:

    No, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night….. ;-)

  370. Bizrow says:

    Yes, thats the game.

    Wasn’t the Deacon’s arm problem supposedly primarily due to club house high jinx after they won the NL? Or that was the rumor back then.

  371. Jandy says:

    :thwap:

    ;)

  372. theplanisworking says:

    HEY!!!!

    Its in DK’s links above……………

    Meanie!

  373. DJ says:

    Agreed. And I certainly don’t want any of this to sound as I’m thinking he’s having anything but a great year so far. But given his eye, his speed and age and natural maturation, I see no reason he can’t or shouldn’t be a .310 hitter with 25 HRs and 95-100 RBI each year, with years where one or more categories are even higher.

  374. Mike A. says:

    That never seemed to bother anybody when the guy who couldn’t get past 75 pitches was named Karstens…

  375. Sisyphus says:

    Gaby has 1351 career plate appearances against right handers. I think that’s more than enough chances to demonstrate his true abilities against them.

    I’ve said this all along, and I heard Steve Blass say it today as well. Chemistry is a result of winning, not vice versa.

    The Pirates are not going to win or lose the division based on the strength of their backup catching.

  376. NMR says:

    Really trying to follow your logic, Jim.

    It sounds like you’re close to trade-our-scrub-prospects-for-your-impact-player territory.

    Gotta be willing to give in order to receive.

  377. Sisyphus says:

    Broxton is carrying a 4.33 ERA for the Reds. The Pirates currently have seven relief pitchers who are better than him on the squad, and I’m guessing at least one or two in the minors.

  378. Sisyphus says:

    Walter Johnson was throwing a mushball, often in ballparks that could be used to herd cattle. Pitchers of that era never cranked up their best fastballs until runners were in scoring position. Not so today.

  379. Jandy says:

    ZING!

  380. NMR says:

    Speaking of, really surprised Karstens didn’t get any mention in Dejan’s mea culpa column conversation.

    Remember the sh*tstorm generated when he was non-tendered?

    How silly does that look now?

  381. Jandy says:

    LOL! Sorry,didn’t see it..I don’t follow basketball. Ugh!

  382. theplanisworking says:

    Football too, you goof! :)

  383. Jandy says:

    lol! Well, I do like football, so silly me!

  384. Naterosboro says:

    My thoughts on what to do with RF:

    I think the guy you go after is Alex Rios for RF. Yes, he’s up and down (he’s been about career avg. so far this season), but he’s only signed thru 2014 (club option for 2015), and you’re looking at Gregory Polonco possibly ready to take over RF as early as next season (that’s if he starts 2014 in AAA and is a mid-season callup). So there’s no long term commitment.

    I also don’t think it would require a top tier prospect, rather a few middle tier guys (unless the White Sox pickup most of the remaining money). Kind of in the mold of the “Wandy” trade from last season.

    I think you either go this route, or you stay with your Jones-Snider-Tabata-Presley-Inge-Whoever situation you have now. I don’t think you go out and get a guy long term if you think Gregory Polonco is your soon to be RF.

  385. Nate83 says:

    Well we still have Jose Contraras. I’m not sure if that is the type of player you are thinking about.

    I personally think Watson, Morris and Wilson have all earned the right to be the men that take the Pirates wherever they take them win or lose. You want to reward those who have earned it. Those men have earned it.

    Snider/Tabata have not. Inge/Harrison have not. So if they want to upgrade RF and utility infielder I’m all for it. I’m not in the school of thought that we need to sell the farm for Stanton but a player like Ludwich or Lee for some mid level prospects wouldn’t be bad. May need a starter if Wandy is shut down for the year.

  386. DJ says:

    Knowing what quality pitching means to so-called “small market” teams like ours, and how long we have been without it, I get very antsy with the thought of giving up any of our top pitching prospects.

    Personally, I would have Taillon and Heredia as my untouchables, and would only part with Glasnow or Kingham for fair value, not an overpay situation by us which some other team is likely to expect.

    A better alternative would be to find the majors’ current “The Early Years Neal Huntington” and fleece that team for a medium level upgrade or two.

    But hey, that’s just me.

  387. 21sthebest says:

    Brooks Brown starting tonight in Indy.

  388. Jandy says:

    :thwap:

  389. Jason81 says:

    Well, since I was near the top of the June leaderboard a week ago and sunk like a stone over the last 7 days of the month, I guess I’ll go big and hope for the best with 250 on 45+.

  390. Dom says:

    Does that mean Cumpton starting tomorrow?

  391. Jandy says:

    250 Jolly Rogers on the 38 – 44, please Mr.Playoffs :)

  392. Dom says:

    We talked on this a bit today. Rios is a hit or miss and is in quite the slump for the time being. He could be the best right fielder out there so it might be worth taking a chance on him.

  393. pattonbb says:

    That’s my guess.

  394. 21sthebest says:

    I would think so.

  395. NMR says:

    @cmat

    I thik we still are, but I can appreciate you wanting experience.

    As to your last paragraph, the guy I’d love to get isn’t even playing in the majors right now. Kelvin Herrera of the Royals would be an excellent under-the-radar, huge upside acquisition.

  396. pattonbb says:

    250 on 45 or more, please.

  397. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Not with the way the Bucks play…

  398. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Maybe I should just hold and let everyone else win it for me….

  399. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    250 on 45+ what the heck.

  400. Bizrow says:

    Thats a home game, right?

  401. JRay3 says:

    I will take 250 on 38-44…thanks.

  402. JohnS says:

    I am of the mind that the bullpen is set up good as is. Even if Wandy is shut down or the year I am good with the starting pitchers on hand. This is a little more tenuous as Morton, Gomez and Liriano could all easily implode, but I have faith in them and the “Great Searage.”

    I also think that Tabata is the key to RF. I know I am in the minority as far as Tabata goes but I really think he can be a reliable solution. He has already shown early in his career that he can hit MLB pitching.

  403. The Gunner says:

    The only way they would get Rios is if the Chisox pick up a good piece of his salary. I checked out his stats, looks like he hasn’t homered since June 9 and only 8 RBIs & BA of .243 for the month of June.

    Maybe coming to a contender would get him jump started! The SOX will need to pony up, though.

  404. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Oh man would it ever be fun…I’m sure there’s only a few that might get that joke and from what movie its from…not that its only from the movie.

  405. NMR says:

    Wandy also has been shut down for three weeks, meaning the team will not know before the trade deadline whether or not he’ll be available for the rest of the season.

    Makes things a bit more interesting, eh?

  406. The Gunner says:

    I wouldn’t depend much on Flabata, we all know what he is.

  407. Drew71 says:

    Ditto. Unless they trade for Verlander.

  408. The Gunner says:

    now that’s a real possibility

  409. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Can we trade Clint Barmes, Travis Snider, for a superstar??

    It works in my video games.

  410. Jandy says:

    I was wondering where the heck you were, Drew Dahling ;)

  411. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Alright, too much jumping around.

    -Pirates need an upgrade in RF; hard to say who to get.

    -What they need is a rental guy or possibly carry over into next year. I like Aoki idea, but where does Marte go in the lineup?

  412. Jim S. says:

    Thanks!!

  413. Damon says:

    Mark Madden just brought up a good point about Letang and the negotiations – if the Pens were OK with the salary and terms, and they really want Letang as a part of their team for the next 9 years, why are they balking to extending the partial no-trade clause to the last year of the current deal? There is a clause in the new CBA that the Pens can do it, but they won’t. Reason – they can only trade Letang to teams he would be willing to sign long term deals with. Therefore teams like Columbus would be out if Letang didn’t want to sign there beyond next year since that is when his current contract is up. No team would give up a ton for a player they can’t re-sign. If the Pens signed Letang to an 8-year extension, they could trade him to any team they wanted before the new contract starts with the partial no-trade clause, and that team would have his rights for 9 years (i.e. a team like Columbus). The Pens would get a whole lot more for Letang if he is already signed…..

    Hope I explained that right….also would hope the Pens wouldn’t be that sleazy, but the concept makes sense or Letang should be signed by now…

  414. Jim S. says:

    He does seem to swing at more first pitch strikes this year, Jandy. I think he is behind in the count more than in the past.

  415. Jim S. says:

    Yep. Fastest bat speed in the game, I think.

  416. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    All need to take a snap shot of this:

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/powerrankings

  417. NMR says:

    #2

    If there is any shred of truth to lineup protection, Marte would serve to benefit more than anyone else of the team from hitting in front of its best player.

  418. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Pirates with best defense in all of baseball?? I’ll take that.

    Defense wins championships, even in baseball.

  419. Nate83 says:

    I think it protects them just in case something happens that warrents a rebuild. As a GM you have to play the what if game all the time. What if Crosby has more issues with concussions and the goalie situation is a mess next year. You may want to cut ties with Letang because he is a very tradeable player and get 2,3,4 players/draft picks in return. Trading Letang might be your quickest way of rebuilding/reloading in that hypothetical.

  420. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Jeff Francour designated for assignment…..

  421. Jim S. says:

    Maybe I wasn’t clear enough, NMR.

    My logic is that while Grossman was a decent prospect (maybe you had him rated higher than that), he was somebody I thought could make the Bucs but would quickly be eclipsed by Polanco. So, I thought it was worthwhile to lose him in a trade to get back a fairly reliable starter like Wandy. I do believe you have to give up something to get something, and I thought I used those words. Polanco, as you say, had just broken out and was not nearly the sure thing he is now. But, I think the Bucs did not look at Grossman as a long term answer. His OBP can be really good, but he is lacking in other areas.

    I would not give away one of the treasured Top 3 minor league starters (Taillon, Kingham, Glasnow) for the likes of Aoki. I can’t recall exactly where Heredia falls, and I’d have to think long and hard about giving him up in the division, as was pointed out by cmat. I don’t even know if I would give up Heredia at all for Aoki, but I’d probably give it some thought outside of the NL Central.

  422. Thundercrack says:

    Maybe they want Inge back.

  423. Jim S. says:

    In fairness, how could DK have known Karstens was going to be lost for the season? He has become a pretty reliable pitcher when healthy the last couple of years.

  424. Bizrow says:

    I read somewhere that the signing has not been announced yet in case something “goofy” would happen between now and July 5, which is the first day he could actually sign the contracct.

    Don’t know if “goofy” was used, I think the word was “weird”

  425. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I’m cool with that and that completely changes that lineup.

    I personally think there is truth to the lineup protection.

  426. Bizrow says:

    Bottom line, it does seem goofy

  427. Bizrow says:

    Just checked, yes it is

  428. NMR says:

    And thus the folly in jumping all over management for chosing not to give a guy a raise who is such a huge injury risk.

  429. Damon says:

    I guess it’s a game of chicken now…who’s going to give in. I don’t think Letang will, so either the Pens cave or they trade him to Toronto or another place Letang would sign with. I’d rather have Letang sign if that is the case since they can’t get maximum return – unless Shero can still get a ton back from Toronto (or other) without having him signed already. Then again I wouldn’t want Letang in the same conference.

  430. Jim S. says:

    NMR:

    Herrera? I know he has a good arm, but he’s getting torched this year. So, I looked it up. 27 innings, 25 hits, 15 BB, 8 bombs given up. Yikes!

    I’m not understanding why everyone thinks we need all this bullpen help. We are closer to needing to release a quality bullpen guy than we are to needing to pick one up from outside the organization. We also have a few arms champing at the bit to get up from Indy.

    I know the innings are creeping up, and we have had some weird occurrences like yesterday that exacerbate that issue. But, I still think we have depth there.

  431. Jim S. says:

    Good points, Sis.

  432. NMR says:

    Who ever suggested giving up any of the top 3 for Aoki? No idea why that comment is relevant.

    And you say you understand that you have to give in order to get, but any time somebody mentions a decent prospect you balk. I don’t get it.

  433. Bizrow says:

    I think right now, my thoughts on the trade deadline is sometimes the best moves are one you do not make.

    If you can’t make a splash, I’d say just some pitching depth might be all that should be done.

    That is different than what I thought this time last season

  434. Jim S. says:

    I’m with Sis on this one. Pitchers today are taught to give max effort for as long as they can go because there is another flame thrower waiting in the wings to take over, and another after that. So, 6 innings has become good enough now. Not so in Walter Johnson’s day, where he was the only 90+ mph guy on his team in all likelihood. I believe they saved their arms to some degree because of the need to go 9 innings, and sometimes more.

    It’s just a different game now. Not necessarily better, just different.

  435. JHadar says:

    Wow.

    That’s probably why his strikeout record only stood until 1983 and why he holds the record for most 1-0 wins.

    I guess my question would be how many other players of his era (since it was so easy back then) ever pitched three shutouts in four days?

    I’m sure that if modern training methods were available to the players of that era they could stay with the guys we have today, and if the guys we have today only had the training methods and equipment available in those days their games would have been different, too.

    And Johnson, for that matter won an MVP in 1924 in the era of the rabbit ball.

  436. JHadar says:

    In baseball we call the defense that wins championships “pitching.”

  437. NMR says:

    Jim, you mentioned the stat which makes me want to get Herrera and didn’t even know it.

    8 HR in 27 IP. 2.60 HR/9

    That is after posting 0.43 HR/9 over 84 big league innings last year. And never posting more than 1 per 9 in the minor leagues.

    Did Herrera suddenly start doing something that makes him the most easily home run hittable pitcher in the majors? Or is he a victim of small sample size?

    Think about Jeff Locke’s 1.57 HR/9 last season before answering.

  438. Naterosboro says:

    Interview with Tony Sanchez (video) from Indianapolis Fox (Fox59):

    http://fox59.com/2013/07/01/tony-sanchez-interview-on-fox-59-sports-overtime/#axzz2XpJnzNZQ

  439. NMR says:

    Better yet, look at Mark Melancon’s HR rate last year vs. career.

    Same situation as Herrera.

  440. Sisyphus says:

    My mistake then, I didn’t remember that.

  441. Naterosboro says:

    I think this setback will end Wandy’s season. But, you also bring up a good point in that they won’t be sure on what will happen with Wandy before the deadline. This means you absolutely must go get a starting pitcher. While the Wandy setback may solve a problem (what to do with Gerrit Cole?) it also creates 1 in that you’re looking at 1 of your better starting arms being down for good.

    I think it’s imperative they get a good starting arm, or bring up Cumpton and let him get comfortable for an extended period (or see if he can start in the bigs for an extended period).

  442. JHadar says:

    Even so — three shutout games in four days.

  443. theplanisworking says:

    Agreed. Teams will be trying to “fleece” the Bucs by demanding tons of prospects.
    Make a small move, unless another team is in 100% “dump” mode. Then you can acquire a splashy player.

    Dont see too many of them yet.

    +1 Biz.

  444. DJ says:

    Jandy: As de facto gatekeeper of this post, only you (and I suppose DK) have the power to move your 11:54 a.m. last-in-line post to the proper morning sequence. Btw, I’m experimenting to see if this one actually ends up as a Reply to yours, to see if you really always do get the last word (or in DK’s case, the Final Word — shameless plug).

  445. JohnS says:

    I know most don’t like his game but I do.

    He has hit .299 over almost a full season and this year he was hitting .277 with an on base of .407.

    I would take that in the line-up.

  446. Sisyphus says:

    What, guys couldn’t strike out in the Dead Ball Era? Granted, it was a lot tougher to do back in those days. Johnson fame came from the fact that he threw harder than most pitchers. Most pitchers didn’t “bear down” until they were in trouble. That’s a fact, taken from interviews of pitchers from that time frame. Read Christy Mathewson’s book. He emphasizes how important it is to save your best stuff for the times when runners were in scoring position. Try doing that today and you’ll be gone before the third inning. There is ample evidence showing that old time pitchers just cruised until they got in trouble, right from those pitchers mouths. You could get away with that in a era when you could lead the league in home runs without reaching double figures.

  447. Sisyphus says:

    What he is is the guy with a higher OPS than Garrett Jones so far this season.

  448. Sisyphus says:

    The Pirates could use an upgrade in RF. They do not NEED an upgrade in RF. Do not confuse “wants” with “needs”.

  449. Sisyphus says:

    Funny how much better pitchers look with good defensive players behind them.

  450. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Not necessarily….who’s ever struck out 27?

  451. JHadar says:

    Also funny how much better the defense when you have a good pitchers out there.

  452. Kevin says:

    you should have made the line 49 or more… that would be 100 wins and somewhat less likely. I still think they get 49 more wins but it seems most people are picking either 38-44 or 45 and more. I will say that the 0-30 line makes sense for triple odds because thats betting on the ultimate epic collapse #3 in as many years and 21th losing season.

    45 wins is only 55.6%.. I guess my point is. At their current pace, definitely seems conceivable.

  453. NMR says:

    Just makes too much sense to me the more I think about it.

    Going into the season, the biggest need in the lineup was a leadoff hitter. That certainly hasn’t changed after three months.

    Not only does Aoki fill that need, he does it while playing a position that just so happens to be the Pirates biggest weakness.

  454. NMR says:

    Curious to hear your explanation.

  455. NMR says:

    Over just 90 attempts, due to that whole injury thing.

    No need to worry about that though, right?

  456. JHadar says:

    I didn’t say the game wasn’t different back then. I said he won three games by shutouts in four days — I read a little more and found out he won two more on Sept. 10 and 11th. That’s five wins in eight days.

    I think that’s a fairly impressive accomplishment no matter what era he’s from, whether he was “bearing down” all the time or not.

    The game has changed. Nobody would be allowed to even try something like that in this day and age. We’ll never know.

    And as I said before, Johnson’s career continued after the dead ball era was over. Ruth hit 46 out in 1924 when Johnson won the MVP.

  457. JHadar says:

    Still, I think I’d rather have Mercer’s offense than Barmes’ defense.

  458. NMR says:

    Still think the Bucs, with a Burnett-Liriano-Locke-Cole-Morton rotation, are in a better spot than a lot of other teams looking for starters. Meaning I wouldn’t want them to get into a bidding war simply for depth.

    But a guy like Bud Norris would fit pretty well right now. Use him out of the pen due to his ugly platoon splits, but also have in available to start in case any of the above five need replaced.

  459. John Lease says:

    He looked good though, fabulous hair. I was at a game in the mid 80′s with Mazzilli in Center. Steve Carlton, noted speedster, hit a single up the middle, except he kept on running and got a double on a Mazzili rainbow.

    It should have been a free drink for everyone at 3RS that day.

  460. Drew71 says:

    Out hunting Verlander all day

  461. John Lease says:

    I’ll never count a chicken before it’s hatched! 1972 AND 1992 took care of that for me. :)

  462. Arriba Wilver says:

    Yeah, reliable and Tabata don’t belong in the same sentence.

  463. Drew71 says:

    I have, Ryan. At a frat party in 1981.

  464. Drew71 says:

    Their current right-field-by-committee was built by several small moves. I don’t want another of those platoon guys.

    For RF, go big or go home. If they can’t get a clear upgrade, volume does not = volume.

    Option: upgrade first base and move Jones out there, if they can get a clear upgrade over G Sanchez. But same idea. Go big or don’t bother.

    PS: I have no problem if they also go small and pick up another decent BP arm.

  465. Arriba Wilver says:

    Interesting that you mention first base. SI picked Kendrys Morales as a good fit for the Pirates.

    http://m.si.com/3116953/trade-deadline-watch-top-targets-at-each-position/

  466. theplanisworking says:

    Drew, you bring up good points.

    RF/1B…….. Go Big. But at what price? Thats the problem shaping up.

    It may be better to get a SP and BP arm. Pitching wins championships………. see SF last year. Might be an option to look at.

    +1 for you.

  467. Drew71 says:

    He’s stunk in 2013 and 2012. I wouldn’t bet on him.

  468. Drew71 says:

    I don’t have a problem if they don’t go big in RF/1B because the price is outlandish. As long as they don’t go small and add yet another of what they already have.

    So yes, standing pat there and getting Verlander also works for me.

  469. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I agree. It does make sense, but doesn’t mean it makes the best sense to the powers-at-be.

    We’ll see

  470. DJ says:

    I thought Rossi was reporting that the new CBA doesn’t permit revisions to existing deals, which would include Letang’s current contract expiring after next season. If that’s the case, Letang’s additional demand for a “verbal” promise of not trading him before then would seem to violate the spirit — if not the letter — of the new CBA.

    And if adding a limited movement condition to this upcoming year’s contract would not be regarded as a “revision” (your statement: “There is a clause in the new CBA that the Pens can do it, but they won’t.”), then why would Letang be seeking only a verbal promise rather than a written contract term?

    Let’s hope they get this squared away. Sid and Geno’s contracts seemed to take all of 10 minutes total. The again, perhaps that’s my “If there is a fabulous offer for Letang I say trade him” perspective coming through.

  471. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Agree. I’m not wanting him…on a minor league deal, just in case? maybe

  472. theplanisworking says:

    AW, that link only shows Morneau going to the Yanks.

    Or I just had a case of the Hippos……….

  473. kr70 says:

    I was 8 when Maz hit the series winner. Been a pirate fan ever since. 31 means a lot to me! Get that monkey off not only the team’s back but the”maturity age” fan”s back (like that JL). We have lived with it from when Cole 45 was a baby.

  474. kr70 says:

    off days suck (said that before) add to the list that the blog gets waaay too long when we don’t break morning links with the game links

  475. theplanisworking says:

    Please dont say Go Big or Go Home.
    I dont want to jinx this team ;)

  476. Jim S. says:

    & if the selling team covers a big portion of the salary it means they get better prospects in return.

  477. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Agree. Typical Pirates needs, man.

    If no move, Gabby to 1B and Jones out to RF. Leaves us still with a platoon option.

  478. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Weren’t holding your mouth right Drew, its OK.

  479. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I haven’t seen too many plays that Mercer hasn’t made, that Barmes’ would have.

    I currently have no complaints on Jordy’s defense.

  480. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Bidding war? Pirates? On a trade? Doubt that would happen.

    And I agree with your rotation there. I like it. I like it more with Wandy though and of the pitchers I’ve seen available, Bud Norris is my pick also.

  481. cosmo says:

    250 on the 45 or more. going all in.

  482. Jim S. says:

    Fair enough.

  483. cherokee23 says:

    Agree with everything you wrote except the “great year” part. I would say “good & solid” but not great

  484. Jim S. says:

    NMR:

    Maybe there’s a health situation with Herrera. I just know I don’t want to be replacing anyone in our pen right now with a guy getting rocked like that. Could be a small sample size, but he is packing a large sample size worth of HR in those 27 innings. I’d be alarmed if he had 8 HR in 60 innings. Wouldn’t you?

    I’m going to pass because of the red flag. For a guy that was always on the other extreme in terms of HR, something is amiss that seems more than just a little bad stretch.

  485. Jim S. says:

    Definitely not arguing the greatness of The Big Train, JHa.

  486. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    here’s a new name. Michael Cuddyer.

    Realistically, the Rockies are 1 game under .500, though they are in 2nd place for their division.

    That won’t last.

  487. Jim S. says:

    I’m not saying it was easier back then, JHa. I’m saying the philosophy of pitching was different. Dominating is dominating in any era. Walter Johnson is one of the all-time best, regardless of the era. If he was that much better than the competition then, chances are he would have been awesome in any era. I believe he is estimated to have thrown 90-95 mph, which is still good today. With the balls he threw with, and with all that has been learned regarding how to ramp up the speed now, he must have been a remarkable pitcher in his era. Most guys were probably lucky to touch 80 then. He was a freak.

    I was just saying that pitchers paced themselves to go 9 then because they did not have nearly the depth of quality relievers to pitch later in the game that we have now. There was a necessity to go all 9 almost every time.

  488. Jim S. says:

    Pass. He’s struggling.

    Kidding.

  489. cherokee23 says:

    +1

  490. Jim S. says:

    A bunch of average teams in that division this year. So, I believe they all feel they can win it. In fact, one of them will wind up avoiding the Wild Card fate that probably awaits 2 very good teams from our division.

  491. DJ says:

    @cherokee23

    You know, right after I posted that, I was thinking I should have said “very good” instead of “great,” so I’m with you 100%.

    And incidentally, just to be clear, the spray chart Wehner put up on McCutchen was not just for this year, but this year in comparison to 2012. The comparison was stark if you saw it.

  492. Jim S. says:

    Merely a flesh wound.

  493. theplanisworking says:

    Ok, you get Verlander.
    I will take his ex. ;)

  494. Jim S. says:

    You got me on the Aoki train, NMR. I don’t like that he’s a lefty when we need a righty hitter more, but he seems to hit LHP as well as RHP. I still say Denorfia would be good. Bats righty and hits both LHP and RHP pretty well. But, either guy would work and should not cost both an arm and a leg. If it does, we can use one of the arms that falls off Vin Mazzaro or Tony Watson.

    We still need to replace Inge. I’m thrilled that he can dunk a basketball, but I would prefer a guy who you can’t slide the Sun P-G under during his vertical as long as he can rake a bit.

  495. Jim S. says:

    Well, considering Brandon Inge is currently the righty half of our RF platoon … I’d say we need someone for that. Then, again, if Tabby truly is “in a good place with his injury” that changes things.

  496. cherokee23 says:

    I believe Shero’s stance is that if Letang wants the full no trade immediately, he needs to take a little less money. I’m with shero on this one……Letang seems to want his cake and eat it, too. All the other core players have taken less than market value and, as someone said already, took about 10 minutes to do so. I would love to keep him, but think he will be traded shortly.

  497. Jim S. says:

    Good point. It all goes hand in hand, doesn’t it. Seems to be universal agreement now, though, that the Bucs are the best defensive team in MLB this year. Best at the dreaded BABIP, and according to the ESPN blurb also defensive efficiency. I assume they are two different things.

    But, I also think our pitchers are throwing quality strikes, and the contact, overall, is not as hard as what defenses like that of the Brewers, for example, are faced with.

  498. Jandy says:

    DD, my dear, I RARELY get the last word in. I’m a female and dont’t have the correct body parts!

  499. Jim S. says:

    Agree. The dude has stepped up and seized his opportunity.

  500. DJ says:

    I like that rotation too, so I wouldn’t want to give away the store to add to it.

    And it may be wishful thinking on my part but, from the little I have seen so far, I really believe Morton has the ability to come on strong in the second half.

  501. cherokee23 says:

    didn’t mean to nitpick. lol

  502. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think you had a case of the Hippos. I just clicked on it and the whole article is there. :-)

  503. Arriba Wilver says:

    Although I am on my computer, and I do know that certain things, like many of DK’s videos don’t show up on iPads, and I presume iPhones. Maybe other mobile devices too.

  504. DJ says:

    Hey, I was nitpicking myself before you did it.

  505. Jim S. says:

    Nope.

  506. theplanisworking says:

    Hippos are a dangerous medical condition. ;)

  507. Jim S. says:

    Agree with both of you. Just a little work around the edges is all this team needs, given what I think they would need to send in the other direction. But, I don’t think anybody has discussed any outlandish trades that would cost too much. Aoki or Denorfia are nice upgrades that should not kill us.

    I don’t know what we need in the pen, and I don’t like a Bud Norris or Matt Garza for what I expect the asking price to be.

  508. theplanisworking says:

    Jandy……………..

    Rule One……. a woman is always right.
    Rule Two……..if a woman is ever wrong, revert back to Rule One. ;)

  509. Dadtackular says:

    100 Pirate Looted Treasure Chest Nuggets on 38-44

  510. Jim S. says:

    Very good is accurate this year. And we still have 1/2 the season left.

  511. Jim S. says:

    Everyone mis-remembers now and again. Even happened to Andy Pettitte.

  512. Jim S. says:

    I said not Top 10. Let’s not put Aoki in the All Star game just yet. He has about 12 RBIs, doesn’t he? I want to give equal value for him. I don’t think a Top 10 is necessarily equal value for a guy like him but I am not a GM so I don’t know exactly.

  513. cherokee23 says:

    250 on 38-44

  514. Jim S. says:

    +1 Sis because my son is reading the Christy Mathewson book right now.

  515. DJ says:

    Yes, still plenty of time to make it great.

  516. Jim S. says:

    His slugging is .407. His OBP is .337, which is not bad. But, a .407 OBP from Tabby and no one would ever complain.

  517. Jim S. says:

    + scores.

  518. theplanisworking says:

    :D

  519. BillyBaduka says:

    Saw this on hockeywriters.com on why Letang looking for verbal agreement:

    “NHL rules do not allow for existing contracts to be renegotiated in any way, but the Carter Clause gives teams the option to bridge the gap between signing an extension and the NTC taking effect. Teams and players can agree to have NTC terms in a new deal become effectively immediately (as much as one year ahead of time). …

    But Kris Letang isn’t eligible for the same benefits.

    Players are only eligible for the Carter Clause if they would have been an unrestricted free agent in the year prior to signing the extension. Letang would not have met age and experience requirements for unrestricted free agency this summer and therefore has been pushing for a verbal agreement instead.”

  520. Patrick(ri) says:

    For all the Votto “haters,” I just heard the announcers on espn coverage of Reds game discussing Votto’s comments about the Pirates. Essentially he was happy for Pirate fans and pleased to see fans filling beatiful PNC park. He is apparently a fan and a pretty decent guy.

  521. cosmo says:

    What is Porky’s Alex.

  522. Jim S. says:

    If you ask me, it is not the 1-run record that is unsustainable so much, Nate. I believe our record there is about 19-15, give or take. But, our 2-run record is crazy good. I don’t know the exact numbers, but we are winning almost all of the 2-run games.

    I don’t know that people are saying we will start losing all the close games as much as they are saying we just probably cannot keep winning such a high % of them.

  523. Jim S. says:

    He sure would look good in black & gold. And, if it makes him happy … it makes me happy, Patrick.

  524. Arriba Wilver says:

    And I think it’s based on a long history of stats. And, there are exceptions, like Baltimore last year, but it’s not a crazy position to take.

  525. DJ says:

    Billy B: Thanks for that explanation.

    If this is true, and Letang does not qualify, then I don’t see how Shero could have a verbal understanding that would be at variance with the new CBA, since any verbal understanding would be skirting the very letter of the new CBA. “Can’t do it” should be the only explanation to Letang and agent Hughes.

    Seems to me this is either all about egos or wanting to squeeze a few more dollars from the Pens. Here’s hoping the Pens hold fast on this one.

  526. tdb1977 says:

    +10000

  527. DJ says:

    C23: hockeywriters.com (pointed out by BillyB above) states Letang was offered 2 deals by Shero, either 4 years with a full no trade or 8 yrs with limited no trade (15 teams).

    I say Shero should hold fast as well, but willingly admit I’m biased. I thought we would be better served by trading him and trying to get one of the top 4 or 5 picks plus another top player or prospect. Since Shero is a bright man, I’m just wondering if they made exploratory overtures behind the scenes and found no takers.

    I don’t think that Shero would ever sign and then immediately trade Letang though, unless there were some unsolicited and overwhelming offer. Seems too underhanded for this organization.

    On the other hand, Philly with its Carter deal . . . well, enough said.

  528. Eric Bowser says:

    If you are a NHL GM, it would be wise to take note….

    Isles are about to buy out the contract for goalie Rick DiPietro, which will cost them $1.5 million for the next 16 years…. that’s $24 million and Flyers did it last week for Ilya Bryzgalov for $37 million.

    Great as Mets made their $1.2 million payment to Bobby Bonilla today… and will do it again for the next 25 years. Ouch.

  529. DemonDachshund says:

    Remember how pumped everyone was when Presley and D’Arnaud were hitting 1-2 a few years ago, and how even though D’Arnaud was barely hitting his weight he was great in that spot because of how much pressure those two would put on opposing hitters?

    This would kind of be like that, but with 2 guys who could actually get on base.

    Sign me up.

  530. Rick says:

    How can you have grilled cheese without tomato soup???

 
Other blogs
Sports: Rob Rossi | Steel Mill | Chipped Ice | Bucco Blog | iPreps | Pitt Locker Room | Penn State Sports | Trailing Off
News: This Just In | Trib List | ICycle | Flow Back  


» Top TribLIVE.com Sports
» Top TribLIVE.com News
» Top TribLIVE.com Breaking News