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Morning Java: No name games here

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

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>> The Wednesday column advises strong caution toward the Pirates making any major moves at the trading deadline. Far more important than that, the athletes concur.

I predict it won’t take longer than noon, though, before I’m utterly despondent over the number of people reading the column in the context of, as Rob Biertempfel reports, the first loss in 10 games.

Don’t laugh. More than a few will do that.

You’ll also have more than a few who see that it’s about trades, then scan the thing looking for possible names that might be coming, then click away or turn the page.

Don’t laugh. Very much part of the sporting culture. We’re obsessed with trade information, no matter how vapid, no matter the history of a given author or outlet being inaccurate. One sad fact of our business is that, if you want a zillion hits on your file, throw out a name or two or 10. Guaranteed hyper-boost.

Anyway, here’s some of what the manager had to say after the game last night …

>> This was yesterday’s TribLIVE Radio show podcast featuring special guest Jordy Mercer, and below was the video of my midseason awards for the Pirates …

>> Huge day for the Penguins, as it turned out.

First, the Kris Letang deal was done, as expected. Then, at 11:46 p.m., perhaps to avoid ever having someone accuse them of breaking good news at a decent hour of the day, a Pascal Dupuis deal was done, as no one could have reasonably expected, for four years and $15 million. Rob Rossi reports.

If you’re scoring at rinkside, that’s $44 million committed to just nine players for next season, with a cap of $64 million. Per the completely awesome site capgeek.com the team has $4,126,667 left to spend. (That’s accounting for all the guys signed, not just those nine making the $44 million.)

There are serious concerns about this team’s lack of emphasis on youth, as the Monday column laid out, specifically the lack of forwards coming up through the system. That must change.

But in the interim, having the top two lines under wraps is better than not.

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>> Oh, the headline opportunities with Big Ben visiting Big Ben, as actually happened yesterday in London. At any rate, sure looks like quite the photo op.

Should be a blast when the real thing happens.

>> Speaking of quarterbacks going abroad, Tino Sunseri has taken the noon balloon to Saskatoon. (Well, actually, the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders are based in Regina, but go with it.) Jerry DiPaola reports.

>> Taking the day off. Back at the ballpark on the Fourth, column on Friday.

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. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Great column DK, but this team needs more offense. Not a major change or addition…But a well thought out boost to show this Regime actually wants to win. I remain unconvinced of that …

    DK: Can’t imagine that sentiment would dwarf that you’d want the Pirates to actually win, though, right?

    If the best move turns out to be no move — and we’ll see — wouldn’t that supersede wanting to have some warm and fuzzy vibes about ownership or the front office?

  2. theplanisworking says:

    The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed forward Pascal Dupuis to a four-year contract. The deal runs through the 2016-17 campaign, and has an average annual value of $3.75 million.

    Woo-Hoo!!!

  3. Karen22 says:

    I do believe I have to agree! RF is making me a little nuts, but I still see something in Snider. He’s better than that average. And he’s not the only starter not playing up to his potential.

    Let’s DO IT!! New streak begins tomorrow.

  4. Karen22 says:

    REALLY?! WOW…where’d that come from?

  5. theplanisworking says:

    Pens website.

  6. DJ says:

    I agree with the premise of your article . . . to a point.

    Not surprised Inge would claim he’s always been against changes when things are going well. He’d be one of the first places I would look for an upgrade. I think he’s been a dud to this point, and it would help to have a better multi-position bench guy down the stretch, particularly if that guy were a solid pinch hitter.

    On Travis, I remember the big slam, and maybe one other game-winner, and that’s it. He seems like a nice guy, and the other guys apparently have his back (with the big meat-fest and all), but I think Neal needs to explore all options there. Not necessarily landing the big fish for a king’s ransom of our prospects, but an upgrade for fair value.

    Sending The Fort down (if he has any options) for Tony Sanchez would be my last tinker. Russell will need to be spelled down the stretch. The Fort is not cutting it. We can’t be bouncing throws to second or swinging for the fences and popping out every time up, instead of looking to have a controlled, even swing for the gap single.

  7. tomp says:

    I have to chuckle at the Brandon Inge comments.

    What kind of leadership has he shown with his last 2 plate appearances?.

    Swinging and missing , badly i may add, at ball 4 when the game could have been won right then and there.

    Then Tuesday, that putrid Ab he put together when the only thing worse he could have done was hit a 1 hopper to Rollins.

    If this team has any aspirations of playoff baseball, they need to re visit this problem called “the bench”.

    Not going anywhere with a guy like Brandon Inge, as 1 of the main hitters off the bench.

    Veteran Leadership means very little, when the Veteran can not justify his roster spot, besides being buddy/buddy with the manger. This team can do much better than having a guy like Inge occupying a very important spot on it.

    Did anyone really think he would have done anything else but K or hit into a inning ending DP on Tuesday?.

    I didn’t.!!!
    Drop him off the 40, let him clear waivers(which he certainly would), and let him spend the summer at AAA.
    His next Pirate Ab should be in september.

    DK: As I was saying above …

  8. Bo Lanham says:

    Dejan, I agree fully, I don’t think the Pirates need to trade anything at all. This team is not a fluke, the pitching is unreal. Maybe RF could be better, but I don’t have a problem with Snider.

    With the free-agent frenzy coming, I feel a lot better with Dupuis signed, but that leaves very little room for the Pens to sign anyone else. I was wondering if you thought the Pens might sign any big net presence guys like we needed in the Boston series, like Horton, Clarkson, or possibly Clowe? I think they may be a bit too expensive though, please let me know what you think!

    DK: See above for their spending money. They’d be lucky to find a net-front presence for Wilkes-Barre with that cash!

    Welcome, Bo!

  9. Brendan says:

    “For now, out of respect for what this team has done, I’d rather see more Snider, whose .300 on-base percentage, keen eye and decent pop suggest there’s more there than his .229 average.”

    Interesting, it would seem you’re more bullish on Snider than you were earlier in the season, am I reading you correctly?

    I was a fan of the trade and felt like there were legitimate reasons to think, that while he was unlikely to reach the ceiling some forecasted for him at age 20, he could be a valuable contributor, provide something in the range of 13-15 HR with a 270/330/430 line and solid but not spectacular defense if he got the majority of the AB’s in RF.

    It’s a mistake to too quickly dismiss young players with pedigree (see Brown, Dominic). However while it sounds like you’re feeling relatively more bullish about his prospects I’m conversely feeling less confident in his ability to contribute than at any point since the trade.

    DK: I saw very little in Snider through the second part of last season, as well as into spring training. Which gives me something in common with, well, everyone.

    Once the season started, I barely mentioned him. Cited a long swing in a video interview I did with him. That’s because he has, at times, a long swing.

    I’ve seen things in him since then that I like, and this column reflects that.

    So, no, not “interesting” in the slightest.

  10. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Ha!…Warm and fuzzy.
    You’d be surprised how little I’m asking of them this time.
    I just think it’s going to take a little more.
    It’s gonna get hot and humid in later July & August!

  11. Reading says:

    Hey, a free loss, at least with respect to St. Louis, as Cards lose 5-1.

  12. DJ says:

    On finding cap space, would not be surprised to see the Pens move Nisky this summer.

  13. Ghost says:

    I’ve believed for some time that Pirates should be reactive, not proactive, at the deadline. If somebody appears to be falling into the Bucs’ laps, be willing to jaw-jaw. This is how we got A.J. This is how the Cubs woke up one day with Aramis Ramirez and Kenny Lofton left in a basket at their doorstep. But don’t try to force anything; be willing to walk away from talks of anything less than a no-brainer steal.

  14. Ghost says:

    I too, happen to be a big believer in chemistry. But I would take another A.J.-like deal. Wandy’s down and out for a while. The team’s chemistry can survive having Mazzaro or Morton bumped down to Indy until rosters expand in September. Right field is more tricky. But RF, I get the impression the Yankees are already thinking past Ichiro. Say THEY go out and get a premier power corner outfielder. Now they’re ready to part with Suzuki for a song. Imagine what that guy could bring to the table for us in the fall.

  15. DJ says:

    I’ve seen a little bit of both this year. I believe Travis’ issues stem from his mental approach. Since I’ve watched him, he’s always had that look in the batter’s box as if he is hoping for a hit, not expecting to get a hit. When he is attacking the ball, he’s a better hitter, but he doesn’t bring that approach consistently.

  16. Ghost says:

    Snider has shown a nose for being around the action in close games. He’s a good role player, a fourth outfielder. If a real, pencil-him-in-lineup-everyday right fielder comes our way though, we should grab him.

  17. Bo Lanham says:

    I could definitely see Shero moving Engelland too. With Despres logging top 4 minutes and with many more defensive prospects stockpiled, I think that it would be a good move. I’m also interested in seeing what happens with Jokinen and his 2.1M hit.

  18. Brendan says:

    I think you’re either misinterpreting the spirit and intent of my comment–and attributing a disingenuous quality to it–or else I didn’t articulate said comment with the proper precision, perhaps it’s some of both? So let me try that again.

    I was and am legitimately interested in your observation as we’d discussed Snider via the Twitter earlier in the season and your reference in the column suggested you were feeling more positive about him his prospects at present. This interested me and I was curious about your thoughts and interested in discussing in more detail.

    When we’d discussed Snider previously (via Twitter) I’d mentioned that I thought he’d shown some improved plate discipline–relative to recent years in Toronto–and that he’d previously exhibited some extra base power that hadn’t yet to translated in game with Pirates. I was hopeful that the extra-base power would emerge and that along with improved plate discipline would make him a useful player. You pointed out the length of his swing and that a portion of his track record–his minor league numbers–had come in the PCL. Both legitimate observations I thought.

    As I mentioned in my previous comment I’ve been feeling relative less positive about Snider’s prospects as of late and was surprised that conversely you were feeling somewhat more positively, so as I mentioned I was simply interested in your thoughts. That’s all.

    DK: I appreciate that. It’s Exhibit 9 Billion for why I let the columns — and not social media — do my talking as it relates to baseball.

    The tweets, in particular, I limit to little more than basics. Zero opinion. Just news, pics, links.

  19. Ghost says:

    You can hate the Reds, but you gotta love Joey Votto as a player. Just saw this on how he saved Bailey’s no-hitter with a heads up play that deprived Buster Posey of an impending basehit.

  20. DJ says:

    . . . speaking of “interesting,” I thought it was interesting that Inge mentioned talent and character as the two important player qualities teams seek, but left out production.

    If there has been one major change in Hurdle’s talks this year it has been his consistent emphasis on expecting production — not just talking about doing it or having the talent to do it, but now actually doing it.

    It has also helped him instill this message by having actual competition for playing time for the first time. It’s as if he’s telling each of his players: “We’re not going to be the ‘bobblehead and fireworks’ team anymore so you better make sure you bring it every game.” And it’s that approach — the emphasis on production — that I love.

  21. DJ says:

    Nisky is $2.1 million. And while I would love to hear this fall that HCDB decided upon another defenseman to replace Engelland, I think his cap hit in only $600k (or less) so I don’t see the team letting him go.

  22. Boise Bucco says:

    This isn’t really Bucs news, but A-Rod debuted for the Yankees’ A-ball team Charleston team tonight, and played crappy or whatever, but the big thing is that if he comes back this season he’s gonna make something like $26 million dollars…

    With the 6.3 million media members/journalists/bloggers/Pedro Gomez’s (Gomezes? I’m an aircraft mechanic, not an english major) in the NY metropolitan area, how has no one gotten a decent answer to the question, “hey Derek Jeter, just how does it feel that A-Rod did a bunch of ‘roids and gets paid a crap-ton more money than you do?”

    I hope A-Rod pays someone to tell Derek Jeter every single day that A-Rod makes more money than he does, then that dude punches him in the chest or something, just to be a butthole. And for road games, I hope A-Rod bills this dude’s hotel rooms to Bud Selig, and Selig just sighs, and pays the bill, and wishes it was still 1998, because screw Bud Selig.

    Just thought I’d ask.

    GO BUCS WOOOOOOO LOCKE-DOWN DAY 2-0 CALLIN’ IT NOW

  23. Drew71 says:

    I can’t believe they lost.

    I blame Thunder for that.

    Trade him.

  24. 21sthebest says:

    I think we should try to improve right field, backup catcher, and the bench. But it appears that the inmates run the asylum more than ever so just let the leadership council vote on any proposes deals and make their vote public. :-)

  25. Drew71 says:

    You mean there’s another group of inmates?

    Can we have a council, too?

  26. John Lease says:

    There isn’t any evidence Snider is even average.

    Time to move on from that one.

  27. John Lease says:

    I protest, again, at Garrett Jones being pulled from the game.

    For INGE, for cripes sakes.

    I’d rather have Harrison, at least he can pinch run while rotting on the bench, or Presley.

    Anyone but Inge.

  28. theplanisworking says:

    We sure can.

    You nominate all the officers.

    Just dont cut any funding for my Pond, and all is well.

    Oh, and we dont vote on anything. Dont want to actually earn our pay.

  29. JUCOFan says:

    0-1 in the second half. Collapse 3.0

  30. JUCOFan says:

    My smiley face was truncated.

  31. Thundercrack says:

    I love how two of the opposing players bunted down the third base line to ARod.
    Both reached for hits.

    I guess they don’t read the unwritten rules in Single A. :-)

  32. Thundercrack says:

    If they get rid of Inge and the players complain, that would be unbelievable.

    Basically because everyone, including the major league players in the clubhouse, can see that Inge cannot play anymore. He can’t hit and they can’t afford to carry another ‘glove only’ player. (That goes to Barmes)

  33. Thundercrack says:

    ‘The tweets, in particular, I limit to little more than basics. Zero opinion. Just news, pics, links.’

    Then I must be reading the wrong twitter feed, or reading your tweets wrong. Because I think plenty of them have opinion in them.

    DK: Not on baseball.

  34. Thundercrack says:

    Just read DK’s column. Good insight into the clubhouse.

    At this rate I fully expect an end of season column by DK saying that he believes that the Navy Seal training is a wonderful idea and should be expanded.

  35. JAL says:

    JAL’s A Sailor’s Life Morning Links

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

    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: What Does a Starter Do Between Starts?

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/first-pitch-what-does-a-starter-do-between-starts.html

    Phillies Chip Away at Cumpton to Snap Pirates’ Win Streak

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/phillies-chip-away-at-cumpton-to-snap-pirates-win-streak.html

    Prospect Watch: Pimentel With Another Good Start; Taillon Doesn’t Have Best Stuff

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/prospect-watch-pimentel-with-another-good-start-taillon-doesnt-have-best-stuff.html

    Pirates Notebook: Rotation In Flux, Phillies GM Talks Deadline

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/pirates-notebook-rotation-in-flux-phillies-gm-talks-deadline.html

    7 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates strand nine on base in 3-1 loss.

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/7/2/4488724/bucs-go-down-quietly-to-phils

    The six most-indispensable Pirates for the second half

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/7/2/4487194/the-six-most-indispensable-pirates-for-the-second-half

    8 WHYGAVS

    Game 82: Phillies 3 Pirates 1

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/july-2013/game-82-phillies-3-pirates-1.html

    9 The Green Weenie

    Buc Streak Ends 3-1

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/07/buc-streak-ends-3-1.html

    10 Rumbunter

    Cannonball Coming! The Homerun Call That’s Freaking Out Pittsburgh Pirates Fans

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/07/02/cannonball-coming-the-homerun-call-thats-freaking-out-pittsburgh-pirates-fans/

    11 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Phillies 3 Pirates 1

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2013/07/phillies-3-pirates-1/

  36. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 Philadelphia Inquirer

    Phillies’ bullpen seals victory over Pirates

    http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/20130703_Phillies__bullpen_seals_victory_over_Pirates.html

    13 ESPN

    The Pirates have hope. Again. Maybe.

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/9441988/pittsburgh-pirates-hopes-realistic

    14 KDKA

    Pirates Announcer Talks Career With Bucs

    http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/07/02/pirates-announcer-talks-career-with-bucs/

    15 Bloomburg Sports

    Breaking Down the Star Pitchers of the 2011 MLB Draft

    http://www.bsports.com/statsinsights/mlb/breaking-down-the-star-pitchers-of-the-2011-mlb-draft?utm_source=iContact&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Bloomberg%20Sports%20&utm_content=

    16 CBS Sports

    Phillies-Pirates Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20130703_PHI@PIT

    17 KMOV

    Vaughn: Cards should worry, Pirates aren’t going away

    http://www.kmov.com/sports/Vaughn-Cards-should-worry-Pirates-arent-going-away-213987731.html

    18 PBC Site

    Bucs’ streak ends at nine as bats fall silent vs. Phillies

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_07_02_phimlb_pitmlb_1&mode=recap_home&c_id=pit

    Notebook: Locke scratched from start against Phillies

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130702&content_id=52477640&notebook_id=52458358&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    This Week in Catcher Framing, 6/29

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=21080

    20 Fangraphs

    Russell Martin Paying Dividends For Pirates

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/russell-martin-paying-dividends-for-pirates/

  37. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers offense under Joe Walton in the early 90s was a true model of inconsistency

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/7/2/4485128/steelers-offense-joe-walton-history

    The Mike Tomlin era enters its seventh year

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/7/2/4478260/tomlin-vs-cowher-steelers-coaches-records-comparison

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger Thinks More Super Bowl Rings Is Better Than Less

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/07/steelers-ben-roethlisberger-terry-bradshaw-super-bowl-ring/

    Soccer(football)

    23 Daily Mail

    Chelsea’s biggest threats will come from Manchester but don’t write Arsenal off, says Cech as keeper eyes four-way title tussle

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2354094/Petr-Cech-expects-way-title-battle-Chelsea-Manchester-United-Manchester-City-Arsenal.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 2 July, 2013

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-2nd-july-2013

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 CBS Sports

    Kris Letang, Penguins agree to eight-year, $58 million extension

    http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/blog/eye-on-hockey/22612440/kris-letang-penguins-agree-to-eightyear-58-million-extension

  38. JAL says:

    A Sailor’s Life Fairport Convention 1969 The birth of folk/rock. An 11 minute song that starts soft, rises to a crescendo, then comes back down

  39. theplanisworking says:

    Being that this management team has put Pirate fans thru hell their first 4 years, lied repeatedly, are a walking PR nightmare, it is going to take a lot for them to get “warm and fuzzies” from me. As in, multiple championships to make up for the multiple years of futility.

    Until then, I will reserve my right to wait and see with this bunch.
    They are improving, yes. But the proof still remains to be seen.

  40. Drew71 says:

    Don’t be mean.

    That’s my job.

  41. theplanisworking says:

    So, if I understand this correctly, Snider will turn it around, and Inge’s leadership is crucial. Well, for me, until they produce, I am not buying what they are selling.

    I am not saying the Pirates have to make a huge trade, but to not try to upgrade the roster, either in RF or with more pitching seems a bit silly to me.

    As a Pirate fan, ask yourself this question……….
    if the Pirates make no moves, are they the World Series favorites?
    Are they good enough to win a playoff series as constituted?
    Really think about that.
    I understand they have the best record in baseball right now, but as the Pens showed us, that doesn’t mean much.

    I think an upgrade is needed, but not at a ridiculous cost.
    To stand pat, in my opinion, would be a mistake. Not an end of the world mistake, but a mistake nonetheless.

  42. John Lease says:

    I’d rather seem Barmes pinch hit before Inge.

    And I REALLY don’t like Barmes. At least he has some value though.

  43. John Lease says:

    A good move, great.

    Picking up the trash off other teams rosters? No.

    I’d get more pitching if available, and again, not trash like Chad Qualls or Rik van den Hurk.

  44. Brandon says:

    Enjoyed the piece, DK. It brings back memories of Neal and co. shipping off Casey McGehee before the deadline last year, in exchange for essentially nothing. That’s when I became a believer in the value of clubhouse morale, as there was a noticeable drop in excitement and leadership. Thus, if this team is adamant that they’re fine with the current makeup, I can’t really disagree. The record speaks for itself.

    However, the record is skewed with 1-run wins, particularly 1-0 shutouts. That’s more than a bit concerning, whether it’s a of luck, or whatever. Because of this, I ultimately feel that Huntington will make a move in an attempt at a moderate upgrade.

    Hopefully the McGehee effect doesn’t reemerge.

  45. Jandy says:

    This is the best news EVER! Even better than the Letang deal being worked out.
    Duper is super!

  46. Jandy says:

    The kid has the tools, he needs to figure it out.

  47. theplanisworking says:

    I thought you would like it.

    Morning, Jandy. :)

  48. Jandy says:

    That was simply a great play. Thanks for sharing, Ghostie!

  49. Derek Smith says:

    Great Column, DK. I have to agree with the whole not making any moves thing for the most part. What I wonder is if this goes on much longer, do you consider calling up someone like Andrew Lambo? I would love to see him get a shot.

  50. jefft says:

    So Dejan…now that the topic of trades has been brought up, I was wondering…what do you think the Pirates could get if they packaged Brandon Inge, Jose Tabata & James McDonald…do you think it could get them the starting shortstop they need? ;)

    Keep up the good work.

  51. Jandy says:

    :thwap:

    :)

  52. RobS says:

    DK, very good article and analysis. I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago or more these guys “believe”, you could see it then and you could hear it in the quotes you chose for this column. At this point of the season and based on what the guys in this clubhouse have achieved to date, they have earned the chance to continue doing just what they have been doing down the stretch, win…

  53. Jandy says:

    Better step it up, Drew Dahling, or TC will push you into second place ;)

  54. Jandy says:

    Your last paragraph says it all, Hipposter. An upgrade would be nice, but not at a ridiculous cost.

  55. Thundercrack says:

    If it were my decision to make, a guy like Lambo gets a shot when the team is 20 games under .500

  56. Jandy says:

    it might get them A-Rod ;)

  57. Jandy says:

    If you get me a new turbo broom, I’ll vote for you for Lunatic Council Prez ;)

  58. theplanisworking says:

    Thanks, Mom T.

    Drew get you your new Turbo broom yet? ;)

  59. theplanisworking says:

    Later Jandy.

    Cheer on our Bucs, ok?

  60. Jandy says:

    Have a grand day, my Hippo friend.
    I didn’t get on the blog last night, but I was watching and cheering them on. Hubby was too!
    Later :*

  61. NMR says:

    Hahaha, yeah, I just ignored that comment. Somebody must be hacking Dejan’s Twitter account. Constantly.

  62. theplanisworking says:

    Thanks Lucky.
    I will repent 50 years for swearing in your presence.

  63. NMR says:

    Very good comment, Brendan.

  64. JD says:

    Good one.

  65. NMR says:

    Best hitter in the National League.

  66. JohnS says:

    I agree. Jones doesn’t hit lefties well but for a regular to only have 15 AB’s at this point of the season against LHP seems crazy.

    They don’t PH for Walker and his 9 for 49 against LHP or Sanchez and his 22 for 110 agaisnt RHP or Pedro and his 11 for 60 against LHP.

    The protection from lefties the past few years is crazy. In 2009 and 2010 he hit 6 HR’s each year off of LHP. In 2011 and 2012 he hit 2 each in 68 and 74 AB’s.

    Crazy to use a guy with 19 total hits this year in favor of Jones.

  67. pattonbb says:

    I hate Joey Votto.

  68. Jandy says:

    nah…just say 3 Hail Jandy’s :)

  69. Jandy says:

    make me smile at 4am :)

  70. Jandy says:

    agreed

  71. NMR says:

    Move would’ve been fine if Hurdle hadn’t burned his platoonmate, Gaby Sanchez, the previous inning.

    No clue how you can put three lefty platoon guys in order and not save one good pinch hitter for later innings.

  72. NMR says:

    Jones is not a regular.

    He’s a platoon.

  73. Dadtackular says:

    maybe a box of chiclets

  74. What swearing? Hell is a place. Everything you said is true.

  75. NMR says:

    I’ll believe in the chemistry of this team when they pull themselves out of a losing streak, not after peaking with the best record in baseball.

    Everybody is always happy when they’re winning.

    Show me these guys can overcome adversity and I’ll believe.

    DK: Fair point. Both 1-5 stretches came early.

  76. Jandy says:

    That will be coming right up! (starting today)

  77. 21sthebest says:

    +Thousands

  78. Patrick(ri) says:

    I wrote the other day about the kind words he had to say about the Pirates & how good it was to see fans in PNC seats. I think the guy is a bit strange, but his talent and his class are beyond dispute.

  79. DJ says:

    Although I don’t read his tweets except through the Trib feed (on occasion), I think DK was limiting his statement to his offering opinions on baseball in particular. He has plenty of real time opinions during Pens’ games, for sure. Can’t offer anything as to baseball, so I’ll take his word for it.

  80. Poz says:

    A rare non work day for me, so I have an opportunity to post. I want to say that although I rarely comment, I follow DK closely. Now in my 60′s I have two sports columnists that I follow because of their honesty and integrity. DK is one. He is at the top of his business. And by all appearances, he’s a good guy. I can’t recall the last time I’ve asked for information and he has not responded. Repeatedly if necessary, and typing slow until I got “it.”

    Agree about the Pirates. They will always have a chance if the pitching holds. It’s a risk because some of these guys are pitching like they haven’t before. But sometimes this stuff cannot be explained. It could be a magical season. I’m going to ride (and enjoy it) for as long as it lasts…..

    Pens appear to be going all in with primarily the team that has disappointed in the last few playoffs. Clearly Pens management is putting it on the shoulders of their stars to push them to the next level. It has me somewhat concerned. But the good news is that the Pens management knows their players much better than I do.

    For all, a safe and Happy 4th. My thanks to our troops in harm’s way protecting our liberty and freedom. They stand on that wall and tell my family “sleep well tonight, I’m watching over you.” We all have challenges, but we also have much for which to be thankful. I’ll remember this tomorrow. Take care.

  81. BrotherhoodoftheRedus says:

    Liked the column DK

    Something tells me no one is offering Huntington anything without trying to clean him out at this point….that’s the part of going good that get’s overlooked (big target). I don’t think the front office will blink at this point, they’ve been criticized far too much (and rightly so at times) to fall apart now.

    Has anyone mentioned Lambo as an option in the near future? Between Jones and Gaby at 1B and Snider (Lambo/Tabata/Presley….Inge) there are options.

  82. Tom P. says:

    Good observation re: chemistry. So far, the Pirates have had two streaks of 1-5. The first was vs. the Cubs and Dodgers to open the season, then vs. the Reds and Braves in late May-early June. Both times they bounced back nicely. They will hit a few more bumps in the road, and the good teams always respond.

  83. DJ says:

    Agreed. I’m still looking for the one hole in his swing. . . and so are a lot of pitchers.

  84. Dom says:

    I didn’t know that Big Ben’s wardrobe consisted of his own Jersey.

  85. Big B says:

    Inge, McKenry and Barmes as pinch hit options is not good enough. The only thing i’d really touch on this team is the bench. I’m all for keeping Barmes around due to his work with Mercer but you’d think we could make an upgrade from Inge.

  86. Thundercrack says:

    Lambo as an option for what?

    He has 33 major league at-bats.

    5th outfielder? OK, maybe. But wouldn’t you feel more comfortable at this stage of the season with Tabata or Presley in that role?

    We’re not talking about giving this guy starting time are we?

    [ And I like Lambo ]

  87. Jandy says:

    lol

  88. Dom says:

    He only has 77 ABs in AAA. I’d really prefer he have more ABs before we can even consider him as the answer to RF.

  89. DJ says:

    . . . consider it now confirmed above.

  90. Milo Hamilton says:

    So as far as Ray Shero is concerned, getting older must be the new getting younger.

  91. TJ says:

    Yeah that picture of himself with his own jersey on in london is kind of silly.

  92. Jandy says:

    I can’t fault the Dupuis signing, Milo. He improves with age.

  93. Milo Hamilton says:

    Bring back the same team, one year older that wasn’t good enough. Hope no one is surprised when they don’t win next year.

  94. chethejet says:

    I thought Brandon Moss had a really good swing and could never quite make a connection. Now he is hitting for power and looks like it is coming along. Snyder just isn’t close to even that swing and his defense is average at best. He may have some upside, but he has no awareness pitch to pitch and his “eye” is at best a guess. Pirates have to improve RF and who that is at this point I don’t know. But no question make a move now since Polanco is the RF in 2015. NH took a shot with Snyder and I don’t see him as a everyday RFder.

  95. Dom says:

    Yeah, at least one of those guys has to be replaced.

    I’d keep Barmes b/c I’d assume the other backup SS do not have a better bat and he still has a solid glove. Plus with his salary, they’re not going to want to cut him anyways.

    The bench is going to really need to be upgraded and there’s no excuse for them to not going to cost them much as those guys don’t usually warrant decent prospects.

  96. TJ says:

    Has anyone bothered to look at the roster from the stanley cup year and compare to the current roster?

    For the Cup year the Pens had the following players over 30
    Sykora – 31
    Satan – 33
    Gonchar – 34
    Guerin – 37
    Gill – 33
    Eaton – 31
    Adams – 31
    Boucher – 35

    Current roster of guys 31 and older
    Kunitz – 33
    Dupuis – 34
    Engelland – 31
    Martin – 32
    Orpik – 32

    Pending FA’s:
    Cooke – 34
    Macintyre – 32
    Morrow – 34
    Iginla – 36
    Eaton – 36
    Murray – 33

    Not sure what all the complaining about age is recently but its not like its a new theme with this team. Then take at some of the youth on this roster:

    Crosby – 25
    Neal – 25
    Malkin – 26
    Letang – 26
    Sutter – 24
    Bennett – 21
    Bortuzzo – 24
    Despres – 21
    Niskanen – 26

    Sorry I don’t see the need to complain about the age at this point.

  97. DJ says:

    . . . like a fine wine.

    I thought it was a great signing as well, and Rossi’s column points out not only Dupuis’ production — which is paramount, of course — but also the intangibles we don’t get to see.

    I also wanted to see Sid’s line kept intact and I got my wish. We will have enough changes throughout the line-up next year (some by design and others via cap consequences) that having stability on our top line will help ease the transition.

  98. DJ says:

    Nice point, TJ.

  99. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think it was a photo op. probably hoping to sell it. I doubt if he’s carrying a football with him around London. :-)

  100. Milo Hamilton says:

    How about making no significant changes to a team that isn’t good enough ?

  101. TJ says:

    Sorry anyone that thinks the Pirates should remain status quo must work for Nutting directly and have been paid for this article to try to swell up ground support from the fan base when nothing is done to this roster by the end of the day on July 31st.

    Anyone happen to know where the Giants were last year when they went out and acquired Pence from the Phillies? They were actually up a game in their division and decided to address a weakness on their team. Who knew they would go on and win the World Series?

    We make it sound like this is 5th grade kickball and have to keep best buddies on the same team or they will run and cry to the teacher and no one will get to play kickball.

    This is a business; and for anyone saying you can’t mess with the chemistry of the roster and clubhouse I hate to tell you but its being messed with every day with the non-stop trips to indy with players coming and going. Why does the 25th man have to be someone that is the swing player that gets shipped back and forth every week? Why does the 25th man always end up being the guy who is on the hot streak at indy? Why can’t we find one solid hitter to eliminate the revolving door?

    I just find the idea of you can’t mess with chemistry laughable. The pens did it and were praised for it; of course bad example but hey the Bruins added Jagr.

    Its just amusing how we praise the Pens for going all in and then sit and say don’t rock the boat or don’t fix what isn’t broken with the Pirates. If anyone looks at their offensive numbers you’d see they are broken. Now if you want to tell me their mindframe isn’t broken fine; but again this is a professional sport and perhaps if the trade was for someone other than Gabby Sanchez or Travis Snider and an actual investment in a professional hitter it would have a POSITIVE reaction on the clubhouse. Perhaps the acquisition would send the message that the front office believes we can do it; not the message of well we can get some role players and guys we can control for the next 5 years and hope they add a boost.

    Chemistry can be played with if done in the right way; mixing in guys like Snider and Sanchez is not the right way.

  102. Jandy says:

    That would have been the coach, IMHO

  103. TJ says:

    Milo your flat comment was “As far as shero is concerned, getting older must be the new getting younger”.

    If you want to discuss improvements to the roster that should have been made in a completely different statement. Your comment was made on age and I would argue the guys that we have in their 30′s now are better than the ones we had in 2009.

  104. 36 – 12 in regular season.

    Won two rounds in Playoffs, making it to Final 4.

    Final 4 without their best goalie being their best goalie!!

    If Fleury learns, grows, and is as competitive as reported, I WILL BE SURPRISED IF THEY DON’T WIN IT ALL NEXT YEAR.

    Either you believe in Sidney Crosby or not! If Sid plays like he did against Boston, they are no better.

    I believe in Sidney; I believe in Fleury!

  105. DJ says:

    Agreed. As mentioned earlier, he doesn’t consistently attack the ball each at bat. There are just too many lazy swings and misses.

    On Polanco, I would not rule him out for the second half of 2014 just yet. Let’s see what he does the second half at Altoona.

  106. TJ says:

    Could he be any further away from it though? Its like he’s in an alley down the street

  107. Jandy says:

    I believe in the Pens.

  108. Dom says:

    I guess they feel nobody would be able to recognize him without the #7 on his chest.

    In their defense, I was once walking outside Heinz Field and saw #25 and assumed it was Ryan Clark. I went over and started making conversation with him.

    It took me an hour before I realized I was actually talking to a speed limit sign.

  109. Excellent age presentation, Thomas Jefferson!!

  110. Jim S. says:

    I’m with you on Clint, DJ. And I would take it a step further. I thought Clint gave a whole lot of “baseball manager babble” in his first 2 years. I thought it was a lot of happy horse “stuff”, only I don’t mean stuff. To me, he was talking a lot but not saying anything.

    I don’t know where this 2nd half is headed, but I do know that we have seen a huge change in this coach this season. He seems to be holding guys accountable more and more. Barmes continued with the awful hitting and he replaced him. Young guys like Locke, Jordy and several of the bullpen guys performed when they got the chance and he stuck with them and learned to trust them. I thought that was in stark contrast to the last 2 years where he seemed to trust only older players like Barmes and Barajas.

    I have seen a willingness to embrace some of the new concepts that are going on in MLB without abandoning some of the tried and true concepts that have alwasys worked. For example, I think Clint probably resisted at first some of the defensive shifts that are becoming more commonplace in MLB. Now, the Pirates employ these shifts more than any other team, and the results have been great as shown in their defensive efficiencies.

    I’ve said many times that this is not a perfect team. But, as DK pointed out, something special has been going on for 3 months now. I would be careful about making huge changes to the roster if I were the GM. They can certainly add to the bench (Inge – out; someone else – in), and upgrade RF as many have discussed. If the starting pitching situation continues to pose injury problems, they might need to go get someone to bolster things. But, overall, the formula is working.

    Most teams, even the good ones, also have issues of imperfection. The Cardinals don’t have a lot of holes in their lineup, and they have a very talented pitching staff. But, that staff is quite young and quite untested in many ways. Who knows what problems they might yet encounter? The Reds can no longer count on Cueto. They have a few issues with their lineup and bench. The Braves have a team full of guys who hit HRs, but often not much else.

    I think it will stay fun for Pirates fans this year, and I certainly hope so. We deserve it!!

  111. TJ says:

    Milo I will go one furher with you…

    What significant changes did Shero make last off season to improve a team that was thumped in the playoffs by Philly?

    Traded away Staal for Sutter
    Traded for Vokoun
    Signed Tanner Glass
    Traded Michalek for prospects/picks

    Would you say those were significant changes to a team that hadn’t won a playoff series in 3 years?

    I was one of the ones complaining the most about the lack of moves. I felt he put all his eggs in th Parise/Suter basket and got nothing.

  112. Josh Bell now up to .290 in A Ball.

    23 doubles, 30 walks. Power AND batting eye. Switch hitter. Adjusting well to pitchers.

    Bring him up and put him in right for Snyder!

  113. Jim S. says:

    Kunitz being re-signed was a huge mistake. He’s a good player, but he’s getting up in years and they didn’t have the cap space for all of these guys. That said, I’m glad they signed Duper.

  114. Arriba Wilver says:

    Cornflakes.

  115. Big B says:

    Exactly. Does not need to be a big, flashy deal. Just a sold contact hitter that will at least get a ball put in play when he is called upon to pinch hit. With Inge, it is a strikout 80-90% of the time.

    Hate to say it, but i’m also ready to replace McKenry. He was a boost at the position a few years ago, but seems to be dead weight now. Not hitting and not able to contain the running game. If T. Sanchez can get the throwing issues solved it is time to make the change.

  116. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hope they get Iginla back. They clearly need more seasoning.

  117. Sisyphus says:

    Heard lots of folks say the same thing about Bautista.

  118. Quit talking about Polanco coming up early.

    Leave him in the oven to cook until he’s ready. Half cooked turkey is not only not good to eat . . . . it could make you sick. Polanco still has TWO levels to conquer before he FORCES HIS WAY onto the Pirates!

  119. Dom says:

    Snyder might be the most disappointing individual on our team this year. At one point in time he was a top prospect in baseball. He was ranked #6 overall in baseball America’s top 100 list in 2009. Although, I didn’t expect him to be a solid starter when we obtained him, I thought he was going to be a solid bench player. Now, it looks like he’ll be released after the trade deadline.

  120. Jandy says:

    Yeah but Sid wants Kunitz

  121. Damon says:

    I’m thinking Shero meant the bottom half of the roster as getting younger. I think several young Dmen will get a chance to make the roster (Bortuzzo, Despres, Doumolin), and players like Jeffrey, Zolnierczyk, Vitale and maybe a surprise player from Wilkes-Barre or a new signing will fill out the bottom two lines. They still may sign Cooke and Adams, but then again there is only about $4 million of cap space left. Plus Duper plays like a younger player.

    At this point I am guessing Bennett will play LW on Malkin’s line which is his off wing, but we know Bylsma likes to do that to players. Worked for Neal I guess, and Bennett is talented enough of a puck handler to play the boards on his off wing. A full 82 game season would help him develop there as well. What I wouldn’t mind seeing is Kunitz on Malkin’s LW, and have Bennett on Sid’s RW….

    I also agree with several posts that they need to trade Niskanen for a draft pick, prospect or a 4th line player. He’s shown his max potential (average at best), so best to play Doumolin through an 82 game season. Always have Engelland as a 7th if it doesn’t work out.

  122. Nate83 says:

    I’m still trying to wrap my head around Wandy, Gaby and Snyder not being enough of a move last year but this year we should stay as is except for some minor changes.

    As far as I’m concerned I thought last years moves where appropriate and they collapsed not because of the additions (or lack of addititons) to the team but instead because the players that where getting it done in the first 108 stopped getting it done the last 54. I also think that if they do what is suggested in the column for this year that it would be appropriate as well. Picking up pieces like last year are doing nothing is perfectly acceptable. Giving up 3 top 10 prospects to get a player like Stanton would be the only type of move that I would be disappointed in.

    My opinion changes if both AJ and Wandy have extended stays on the DL before the deadline that look to last past the deadline. If that happens I think they should go get another starter like Garza.

  123. It looks like Big Ben’s jersey shrunk a little in the wash!

    Ya know how the camera is supposed to add 10 pounds . . . . . . this particular camera must have been the 20 pound variety!

  124. Jim S. says:

    +1

  125. Milo Hamilton says:

    Exactly my point. And he was forced into the Staal move.

  126. Nate83 says:

    He has been disappointing for the most part but he has continued to play good defense, draw enough walks to have a decent OBP and he has come up with some clutch hits. I think he has showed well enough to be serviceable as a 4th outfielder but not a straight up platoon player.

  127. Jim S. says:

    Good point, Reading. We lost a game to the Reds, but not a bad night to lose overall.

  128. Jandy says:

    +2

  129. Sisyphus says:

    Neither Mazzaro nor Morton can be bumped down to Indy without passing through waivers first. The chance for either to make it through waivers is zero. And, since Morton is pitching better than Cole, why send Morton down?

  130. TJ says:

    But my point is that he made zero off season moves and still had a team that was at the top of the eastern conference even before the moves for Joikenen, Iginla, Morrow, and Murray.

    I believe Shero will as always have roster put together that will have us at the top or near the top of the eastern conference and make a move or two to help us for a playoff run.

  131. TJ says:

    Tast even better when you mix in some sugar!

  132. Dom says:

    I didn’t realize Lambo had 7 homers in 77 ABs in AAA.

    How many at bats does someone in AAA usually obtain before getting promoted.

  133. TJ says:

    Trouble admitting your wrong?

  134. Only 12 position players and 13 pitchers on roster——who is there to save?

    If Gabby get the hit in his previous at bat, no need for another pinch hitter here.

  135. Milo Hamilton says:

    Zero off season moves resulted in zero Stanley Cup. That is the goal. If the Sidney Crosby era ends with one Stanley Cup it will be considered a failure. As will Shero’s tenure as GM.

  136. Arriba Wilver says:

    First thing I thought, too. He looks a little blimpish.

  137. Damon says:

    I’m with you there. The biggest change the Pens need is to bury their chances instead of hitting posts or getting spooked and trying to pick corners. They also need to get in front of the net and create traffic. Also need to not take playoff games off like game 2. All things that are fixable with the talented team they have.

  138. TJ says:

    I think we could rattle off a pretty long list of players that the Pirates have had on their roster that were considered top prospects and did absolutely nothing. Jeff Clement and Lastings Milledge come to mind.

  139. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  140. TJ says:

    So all the moves need to be made during the off season? Milo its July 3rd. The off season has just begun.

  141. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    How good would a RF named Jose Bautista look with the Pirates right now?…..Oooooooops!

  142. Jim S. says:

    Most complete hitter, probably in baseball.

    Also seems like a high character guy. He even praised the Bucs this week. I don’t think that went over well with Baker, but Votto tells it like it is. Any team would love to have a guy like that.

    I’ll concede the play last night, but I don’t think he’s very good defensively. He butchered at least 3 balls in the series vs. the Bucs.

  143. I disagree!! 36 – 12.

    It wasn’t Bylsma who made Sidney and Geno play like punks in game #2 of the Boston series. It wasn’t Bylsma who made Sidney disappear in Games #3 and #4——and it wasn’t Bylsma who made Geno and Company keep hitting the pipes.

    It IS Bylsma who will pick up the pieces of Sid, Geno, Letang, and Fleury and make them better.

  144. Nate83 says:

    I think typically they like to to get at a minimum of 250-300 but more often then not they wait an entire season’s worth of at bats. In his case I don’t think you will see him this year if ever.

    That being said there are many examples of players that skip AAA all together. Someone posted the list below just yesterday on a blog. There are some really good players in there. Most if not all were better prospects then Lambo.

    Altuve, Jose
    Andrus, Elvis
    Beltran, Carlos
    Beltre, Adrian
    Cabrera, Miguel
    Castillo, Jose
    Castro, Starlin
    Francoeur, Jeff (I was starting to think Hispanic was a requirement)
    Goldschmidt, Paul
    Guzman, Cristian
    Machado, Manny
    Markakis, Nick
    Mauer, Joe
    McCann, Brian
    Pierre, Juan
    Ramirez, Hanley
    Reynolds, Mark
    Rosario, Wilin
    Segura, Jean
    Simmons, Andrelton
    Stanton, Michael Giancarlo
    Teixeira, Mark
    Uggla, Dan
    Zimmerman, Ryan

  145. Milo Hamilton says:

    Only when I’m not. Your list of 30 somethings from the Cup team – some of those guys even played regularly.

  146. Milo Hamilton says:

    Granted. But signing all the old dudes is sucking up all of his cap space. And he hasn’t even got to Adams & Cooke yet.

  147. Arriba Wilver says:

    I tend to agree with you, Nate. The one fly in the ointment I see is that his history didn’t start with the Pirates. He looked earlier this year like he had figured it out, at least for getting hits. But he struggled with Toronto, too, and it seems like it’s always something different. Hey, I like the kid, but if upgrading him destroys the confidence of this team, then they really didn’t have it to begin with IMHO. And I mean a true upgrade. And, no, I have no one in mind.

  148. DJ says:

    We are on the same page on Hurdle, Jim, and it deserves more attention. No more babying the JMacs (a guy with serious immaturity issues) or living with Barmes when he was not getting it done. Finally we have some accountability — speeded by increased competition. I love the emphasis on production, the subtle kicks in the rear (both verbal and by his actions) that he is implementing beautifully this year.

    Hurdle has also come further along on the stats side of things as well, undoubtedly influenced by Neal (Mr. Metrics) and it’s been a good thing for him. That said, I have to say the shifts always bother me a bit more than other percentages they play. It’s always amazing to me to see major league hitters not being able to use the whole field, to see an entire side of an infield vacated and yet the hitter has no ability to control the bat for an easy hit. I guess I’m too old school in that regard.

  149. MarkV says:

    Some of us may have applauded the Pens for going all in.

    But in the end,was getting Iginla worth it? Rossi made the case a while back that he
    wouldn’t fit in and that sure seems to be the case. Was there someone else we might
    have gone after that would have been a better fit, especially going forward to the 13-14 year?

  150. Milo Hamilton says:

    And besides, Shero is the one who said he wanted to get younger. I guess Beau Bennett going to have to take care of that all by himself. Probably on the 3rd or 4th line by the time it’s all over.

  151. Milo Hamilton says:

    And in 2009, they were younger than the team they beat in the finals.

  152. Jandy says:

    Adams and Cooke are old too ;)

  153. Arriba Wilver says:

    Nobody is complaining about Wandy. And at least one of the differences is that this year they are a better team. And, at least for me, Nate, last year Gaby and Snider would have been good offseason gets. They were certainly not immediate upgrades to last year’s team.

  154. Dom says:

    Thanks for the information. Do you feel we should promote in the near future? I wanted to wait but he’s really producing at the moment.

  155. Nate83 says:

    Agree copletely. I said it last year when they talked about players not playing well because their friends where traded or they where disappointed we didn’t trade for an all-star. I said if that is the case we had no chance to win anyway because teams that win would never have that mentality.

    I also agree about Snyder as well. I want so bad for him to realize the potential he seems to show but he now has close to 1,200 major league at bats spanning all the way back to 2008. If he hasn’t figured it out by now he more then likely will never be an everyday player.

  156. Milo Hamilton says:

    Jandy,

    We need to get a ruling from Thunder on if they’re tall enough. :)

  157. 21sthebest says:

    Arriba, you may think that Cornflakes won’t mess with the chemistry of this team, but I think Dejan is advocating Nut ‘n Honey unless he finds an exceptional cereal..

  158. TJ says:

    Hate to tell ya Milo but your not always right and riding the bandwagon of some of the writers around here complaining about age doesn’t make you right.

    Sykora – 76 GP/7 GP in playoffs
    Satan – 65 GP/17 GP in playoffs
    Gonchar – 25 GP due to injury/22 in playoffs
    Guerin – 78 GP/24 GP in playoffs
    Gill – 62 GP/24 GP in playoffs
    Eaton – 79 GP/24 GP in playoffs
    Adams – 9 GP/24 GP in playoffs
    Boucher – 25 GP/9 GP in playoffs

    How much more regularly do they need to play Milo?

  159. Jandy says:

    Cooke is too short, but I like his attitude :)

    Adams, he’s not tall or short…so I guess that rules him out as well…lol

  160. Jim S. says:

    The Yankees:

    a) Are not very good
    b) Are very old
    c) Do not have much in the minors to replenish/replace
    d) Are leery of the backlash by fans if they trade Cano (uh, don’t ya know!)
    e) Don’t seem willing or able to buy their way out of this mess

    They deserve what they got with A-Rod, because they knew he was a ‘roider, and yet they negotiatied against only themselves in re-signing that idiot.

    I have never suscribed to the “Jeter is the greatest leader and greatest person of all-time” narrative coming from MLB offices and NYC. I’m not denying his HOF credentials at all – great player! But, he benefits from an adoring, drooling fan base in NYC and out of the MLB offices, ESPN, FOX, etc.

    Did anyone notice when the guy caught Jeter’s 3,000 hit ball and did not want to immediately surrender it to Derek and bow in his presence? Pretty telling, to me. That ball was worth a ton of dough, and the guy who caught it was not well off. Jeter offered nada – just like McGuire years earlier. And everyone attacked the guy who caught Jeter’s ball and did not immediately cough it up, as though it was Derek Jeter’s property and not his. It would have been nice if the guy worth $200 million had helped out the guy who had very little in that situation. I think character is often revealed in small moments, if you pay attention.

  161. Jandy says:

    whatever happened to Wheaties???

  162. Arriba Wilver says:

    Third string quarterback- itis. Also sometimes known as Cliff Stoudt-itis.

  163. Damon says:

    They would have been fine adding Morrow, Jokinen and Murray without adding Iginla because Bennett would have played the whole playoff series in his place. In Shero’s mind he was trying to throw everything and the kitchen sink to insure his team couldn’t fail, but in that case it was like hunting deer with a rocket launcher, and he missed.

  164. Nate83 says:

    Wasn’t directed at you AW. It was only directed at the author of the column.

    16 games above is 16 games above. They may find themselves the same 16 games above at 108 games this year. Yes the pitching looks awesome and more sustainable then last year but at the all star break last year the offense looked better then this year. The overall offensive stat are probably similar but the last 40 games before the all star break the offense looked to be upper half of the NL going forward.

  165. Milo Hamilton says:

    5 regulars over 30. This year’s team had 10. How does that make me wrong ?

  166. TJ says:

    Were they younger than every team they beat going through the playoffs that year? We keep bouncing from one excuse to another here.

  167. Milo Hamilton says:

    Keep digging the hole TJ, it’s very entertaining.

  168. Nate83 says:

    It’s just my opinion but I do not believe Lambo is the answer and wouldn’t throw him into the fire in this situation. I still think Tabata has something to offer. He did bat .290 for entire season and although he lacks home run poser he has some great gap power.

  169. TJ says:

    Milo will you give it a rest. You started this whole thing by saying “So as far as Ray Shero is concerned, getting older must be the new getting younger”

    I broke it up for you so that you can see that the players this team has going FORWARD will have LESS players in their 30′s than the team that won the cup.

    Now your back pedaling and comparing to LAST YEARS roster.

    So is Shero supposed to go back in his time machine and undo the trades for Iginla, Murray, and Morrow so they are younger?

    Your talking in circles to try to make yourself sound right

  170. TJ says:

    I’m not digging Milo; you forget what started all of this and you can’t admit your wrong. Dead wrong. Whats entertaining is you bouncing from one issue to another. First its they are too old, then the players listed did not play enough, then they were younger than the team they beat for the cup, then it was the roster for last year was too old.

    Sorry Milo you can’t go back to the trade deadline and make last years roster younger to support your claim.

  171. Milo Hamilton says:

    I love how one throw away line can get someone so exercised. What say we try it again sometime ? :)

  172. TJ says:

    Wheaties are reserved for teams that actually like to invest in their team.

    Generic teams get corn flakes

  173. DJ says:

    Who said anything about Polanco coming up early? I said I would not rule him out for the second half of 2014. The business about every single player needs a specific number of years for seasoning(or “cooking”) is amusing. His play at each level will dictate and I think we will all have a good sense when he’s ready. But I don’t think anyone should have a preconceived idea of it taking “X” number of years in the minors before that happens. Let’s let him tell us.

  174. Arriba Wilver says:

    I knew I should have gone with Cheerios altogether.

  175. Milo Hamilton says:

    The point was supposed to be this and then I’m done. The general manager said at his after the drubbing press conference that he wanted to get younger, when in fact he’s gone about the business of getting older. You brought 2009 into the discussion which has absolutely nothing to do with what I said. That is all.

  176. TJ says:

    Lecavalier signs with the Flyers

  177. Arriba Wilver says:

    Should have been placed under Lambo coming up comment.

  178. Sisyphus says:

    Not as silly as seeing the hordes of fully grown adult males wearing Ben’s jersey as they enter Heinz Field.

  179. Jandy says:

    Ahhhh I stand corrected ;)

  180. TJ says:

    The frosted ones are even better!

  181. CWalton_67 says:

    I like Pascal Dupuis. Glad he signed. Not sure about four year though. Very much dislike the Letang signing. For all the world class talent, I do not see this player as one who will help win Stanley Cups. Can’t really articulate why, other than my perception that he lacks maturity and is unlikely to develop it. But, I’ve been wrong before.

    All that said, Pens have now committed to a Head Coach, Goalie, and players who have been unable to win the Cup despite having arguably the two best hockey players on the planet on the roster.

    Teams win Cups. Groups of talented individuals get blown out by inferior talent in the playoffs.

    Whatever happened to Jose Tabata?

  182. Jandy says:

    they can have him!

  183. 21sthebest says:

    He thought he has looked chubby for the past couple of years.

  184. Sisyphus says:

    Amazing how many people here on the Nutting payroll. And who knew that Dejan was as well?

  185. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Marlins are fielding offers for Chad Qualls. Oh my.

  186. Jandy says:

    Oh sh!t, not THATagain!

  187. 21sthebest says:

    Always have Wheaties on hand. And I have box front framed in my office at home.

    http://cdn100.iofferphoto.com/img/1161500400/_i/14883661/1.jpg

  188. TJ says:

    For 5 years at 4.5 a year I agree but man I was hoping he would head west. Makes me sick to see the Flyers buy their way out of huge mistakes and then be able to sign FA’s.

  189. Milo Hamilton says:

    Tabata has been rehabbing in Indy. Should be in Pittsburgh as soon as tonight.

  190. Sisyphus says:

    I know, I’ve been laughing uncontrollably all morning.

    They’re over the cap and have no goalie. Good luck with that.

  191. Jandy says:

    Niiicceeee 21!

  192. TJ says:

    If we are concerned about clubhouse chemistry Casey McGehee and Rod Barajas are both FA’s.

  193. MarkV says:

    Someone should develop a stat like the moving average on the stock market. Do a 20 day moving average for the offensive numbers and that should give you a good idea how the club is trending either up or down.

  194. Nate83 says:

    I would offer Casey McGahee for him…… what’s that he was traded last year for Chad Qualls and it ruined team chemistry. Then definately do not do that.

  195. Sisyphus says:

    Whenever I read that, I know that the writer has nothing to say that is worth saying. I’m tempted to ask which Nutting newspaper they were fired from, but I usually manage to restrain myself.

  196. DJ says:

    If you’re pushing for Lambo (this year’s Gorkys), then have at it. My comment related solely to Polanco as the player on the rise.

  197. Milo Hamilton says:

    McGehee is with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. Best clubhouse in Japan.

  198. 21sthebest says:

    Never tried them. Love the Honey Nut. I think they have chocolate cheerios now. Oy.

  199. TJ says:

    I wonder if Shero goes after Iginla if Calgary had agreed to trade him to a western conference team and not the Bruins.

  200. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hitting .304 with 15 homers.

  201. TJ says:

    Zoltan has gone to the far east

  202. theplanisworking says:

    I prefer the Nippon Ham Fighters.
    Because we all know, those hams need fighting.

  203. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hector Luna is hitting .365. Tells you something about Japanese baseball.

  204. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Wow…that’s all I got

  205. Iceman says:

    I saw this too. I have no idea how they are going to free up enough cap space to be able to afford anything other than an AHL caliber goalie.

    That being said, I guess they were having conversations with Ray Emery and he said he would rather stay in Chicago as a back up than start in the city where goalies go to die, Philly.

  206. DJ says:

    Not concerned he’s in our division. From what I’ve seen of Lecavalier lately, he has maybe 1-2 more years at a significantly reduced performance level, and that’s it, so time will tell. The full no trade will saddle them as well.

  207. MarkV says:

    Any chance that Tampa buys out Malone?

  208. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Boom-Ribcage shot please!!

    Just kidding, he is the best hitter in the NL, top 2 in baseball.

  209. Bizrow says:

    I don’t know about trading at the deadline, that being said, I haven’t read Dejans column yet, but if you are just going to get the same type of players as you currently have, why do it?

    Either make a splash or stand pat

    Just my two cents from this seat in the peanut gallery

  210. Milo Hamilton says:

    Saw them in spring training 1987. Larry McWilliams shut them down. They had a guy that used to play for Texas – Pat Putnam.

  211. 21sthebest says:

    I think we should just trade for Alex Rios and a good backup catcher (haven’t researched that yet) and put up a big poster of the periodic chart in the clubhouse.

  212. DJ says:

    On Kunitz, I was okay with it but thought an additional 3 years on top of next year might be pushing it, instead of just 2. That said, I was wondering if the Kunitz contract dollars helped set a parameter for the Dupuis signing, and if Shero had that in mind.

  213. TJ says:

    There is a good article in ESPN the magazine in which a stat geek still in college came up with a mathematical program that takes Nippon league players and their stats and translates them into MLB success. Pretty interesting stuff.

  214. Damon says:

    The way he was glowing so much after getting him, I kinda think he was just in love with the idea of having him on his team. I just remember him telling the story about he and his kid being so excited when the deal went through…

  215. TJ says:

    Aaron Hernandez making one more effort to show his guilt; first he destroys his security system, breaks his cell phone in pieces and now he’s trying to marry his fiance while in prison so she does not have to testify against him!!

  216. Damon says:

    Peanut butter Cheerios…mmmmmmm…..

  217. Milo Hamilton says:

    I don’t know if you’ve seen the Kawasaki kid from Toronto. Backup middle infielder. He may be the best kept secret in baseball. They love him so much up there they gave him a standing ovation for laying down a sacrifice bunt. He got a game winning hit & in the post game interview he had a prepared statement. What a piece of work. In a good way.

  218. The Gunner says:

    We’re gonna have a Jose in RF maybe as soon as tonight, but not the Jose you mention

  219. kr70 says:

    Inge does look good in a penguin uniform….in a pirate one, not so much.

  220. Mike A. says:

    Read: “Fully (Over) grown adult males”….and I’ll throw in quite a number of overgrown adult females, too.

  221. Jandy says:

    you want beer with those peanuts? ;)

  222. The Gunner says:

    Hernandez is just plain NUTS!!

  223. Jandy says:

    They should not allow her to see him!

  224. DJ says:

    All you need to know is that the Myth of Sisyphus is a man pushing a boulder up a hill only to have it roll back down again and again and again. Enough said.

  225. Mike A. says:

    I agree with half of your last sentence…

  226. TJ says:

    Sorry this is just too good to pass up. For those of you worried about the future of Paula Deen you should worry no more. She has been offered a 6 figure pay day by a porn company! Can just see it now “Eating Pie with Paula Deen”

  227. The Gunner says:

    Looking forward to some contributions from Tabby

  228. TJ says:

    The request has been denied. She had be cooperating with authorities until Hernandez told her to stop.

  229. The Gunner says:

    real nice, TJ

  230. TJ says:

    They evidently have looked at Tim Thomas as well. If we really want to sink Philly we’d throw them a bone and ship them MAF.

  231. Jandy says:

    You can bet he did!

  232. TJ says:

    LOL. Like I said the real story was just too good to pass up. It was a headline on AOL.

  233. Jandy says:

    wow. What a mess

  234. Jandy says:

    OhLord!

  235. theplanisworking says:

    Grrrreeeeaatttttt!!!!

    She can cook us lunch, just so we can immediately lose it!
    What a country!!!!!!!!!

  236. Jandy says:

    Bring the barf bags!

  237. theplanisworking says:

    If I watch the Food Network, I watch Giada De Laurentiis. :)

  238. Thundercrack says:

    My guess is that he eventually will be getting married in prison…if you know what I mean

  239. Bizrow says:

    Dodgers DFA Marmol, all they wanted was the international bonus money from the deal.

    Goofy?

  240. Milo Hamilton says:

    I call her show – Everyday Cleavage. Great television.

  241. theplanisworking says:

    Milo, + about 10000.

    She is a treat, no bun intended, to watch. ;)

  242. theplanisworking says:

    No, just a typical sports league………………… $$$$$$$$$$

  243. Mike A. says:

    It just enables them to make more huge mistakes, TJ.

  244. Thundercrack says:

    Not if you’ve seen Marmol pitch lately :-)

    And they seemed to do pretty good with signing Puig with some international bonus money.

    I can’t remember which team did this, it may have been the Dodgers, but somebody signed a 15 year kid – - and gave him $1.5 million. Now THAT seems goofy to me.

  245. Vinny Giardina says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. I’ve given up trying to convince the Yankee fans in my office that Jeter is not the greatest shortstop who has ever lived. It’s like trying to convert the religious to atheism.

  246. pattonbb says:

    Didn’t say he wasn’t a great hitter. Reminds me too much of Braun with the pouting when he doesn’t get a call. He’s the best hitter in the NL, but the gap is closing between him and the other great hitters (Molina, CarGo, etc.)

    Plus I hear he takes candy from babies, doesn’t help old ladies cross the street, and kicked a puppy one time.

  247. DJ says:

    I have always been a Jeter fan (while conceding his coverage has always been over the top) and did not know about that ball episode. I’m hoping the guy kept it or sold it for big dollars.

  248. Jandy says:

    Just maybe not to the….errrr…person…of his choice!

  249. 21sthebest says:

    I wonder if Giada is exceptional in right field.

  250. Milo Hamilton says:

    Andy Murray at Wimbledon is like that bad car accident in the other lane. You just can’t take your eyes off of it.

  251. Jandy says:

    Ahhh so THAT’S who refused to help me across the street!

  252. Jim S. says:

    I heard Jay Bruce talking about the shifts, and he said that each player needs to decide for himself whether to alter his approach. He said that most players go with what got them to the big leagues – meaning, if you have succeeded by being a pull hitter you are likely to keep doing it. In his case, he doesn’t want to sacrifice power at this point even though he might lose some singles due to over-shifting. As long as his average stays at an acceptable level, he doesn’t want to alter his approach. But, he said he can see where some hitters might decide to just start taking extra singles to see if the opponent goes back to a normal defensive alignment.

  253. Jandy says:

    maybe he can hit all the bases?

  254. Vinny Giardina says:

    … or “Noon Balloon To Rangoon”, perhaps?

  255. Jandy says:

    Pens’ Crosby and Kunitz named 1st team All Stars, Letang named 2nd team All Star:
    http://penguins.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=676357

  256. DJ says:

    Why couldn’t it have been Jerry Meals?

    Was it just me, or did it seem last night that his strike zone varied from batter to batter and from pitcher to pitcher? And for both teams.

  257. Jandy says:

    I was wishing the same thing! lol
    Hubby remarked last night that the Buccos were starting to swing at anything because the umpire was calling everything strikes on them.

  258. Jandy says:

    I thought the Yankees gave that guy SOMETHING.

    And yeah, I’ve always been a Jeter fan, just not a huge Yankee fan.

  259. theplanisworking says:

    Maybe they need to swing at the ump? ;)

  260. Bizrow says:

    Yes please, whatever Drew is having ;-)

  261. Jandy says:

    I’d be tempted to! lol

  262. Jandy says:

    Drew? What’ll it be???

  263. pattonbb says:

    He might not be the best ever, but he’s in the conversation.

  264. Dom says:

    Let’s give Meals a break. He did admit he made a mistake.

  265. Bizrow says:

    The article said international pool money is more valuable than regular money.

    Just sayin ;-0

  266. Vinny Giardina says:

    Agreed, from an offensive standpoint. Defensively, not so much, Gold Gloves notwithstanding. He’s always been a slightly-above average fielder.

  267. DJ says:

    It seems to me that Root has cut back lately on showing the pitch location grid after highly questionable calls. Maybe that’s a result of an MLB edict to the networks after receiving complaints from the umpires union, since bad umpiring is instantaneously exposed for what it is.
    Walker’s called strike-out on a very questionable outside pitch would be an example of a possible cut-back on the grid use.

    That said, one excellent umpire who called a game for us a few games back was Hunter Wendelstedt, whose father, Harry, was a long-time ump.

  268. DJ says:

    I do for that episode, and of course he would admit it. But I was reminded last night he’s nowhere near the top tier of his chosen profession.

  269. DJ says:

    Interesting thoughts from Bruce. If you’re a good hitter and have the bat control, I’d say make the other team pay first, otherwise you are just lessening your chances of a hit if the other team’s metrics on you are accurate to that point in time.

  270. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Lambo has been crushing all season……good to see, but I’d hate to stack him up against that list

  271. DJ says:

    Yes, he certainly gets a lot of deference from umps on the close pitches. That’s what happens over time when you have shown you have a great eye. Same was true with Bonds, Gwynn and Boggs, three of the very best.

  272. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    This might be the dumbest statement I have heard on this blog…….seriously, we are all that much dumber for reading it…my eyes burn.

  273. BrotherhoodoftheRedus says:

    NO NO not at all…not a starting gig at all….I just meant in terms of getting him a few at-bats in the show. I would rather have Tabata or Presley in that role, however I haven’t heard anything on Tabata for quite some time.

  274. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    -I love arm-chair GM’n

  275. BrotherhoodoftheRedus says:

    Also was simply thinking in ters of his age (he’s almost 25?) – He’s an internal option for a bat…Not calling him an answer by any stretch, but he could have one of those G. Jones things going…He looks like him.

  276. pattonbb says:

    Anyone but Tabata,

  277. DJ says:

    Yes, all of the pleasure from the strategies (except the money) and none of the burdens when things turn out wrong.

  278. Kevin says:

    I guess picking up Morrow to be Malkin’s net-front guy is futile at this point.

    hometown discounts – add Dupuis to the list. am absolutely sure Montreal would have offered atleast 4mil per. For a 34? yr old, he got what he wanted though… to stay with Pittsburgh and for more than 3 yrs.

    Letang deal is the only one I’m unhappy with… Shero basically compromised on everything. The 7mil line and the no trade clause.

    I guess story short is.. yes we have the highest paid trio in the league right now, but I wouldn’t take anyone elses highest paid trio in exchange.

  279. BrotherhoodoftheRedus says:

    I brought up Lambo up above for 2 reasons….he’s crushing and he’s going to be 25….For whatever reason I was able to find that he actually has more at-bats than you guys are stating above…he has more than 77 at-bats as he is in fact on his second stint in Indy.

  280. The Gunner says:

    Giada is hot, man

  281. cmat0829 says:

    Stats don’t lie… halfway through the season, the Bucs are #1 in defensive efficiency… and the shifts and how they position the outfield, in addition to Marte/Cutch unbelievable speed is the reason why. Old school, new school or whatever, the shifts are working.

  282. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Not my money or career….though I would love for it to be.

  283. cmat0829 says:

    Dont even wanna know where she is gonna put that stick of butter.

  284. cmat0829 says:

    The problem I had with Meals is that he seemed to ‘flinch’ and ‘think about calls’ a half dozen times… seems to me, as an ump, you should call what you see… he seemed to be thinking too much about other factors…

  285. War Horse says:

    It may have been said before, but from watching some of last night’s atrocious calls behnd the plate, I would say that, as an umpire, Mr. Meals is from hunger.

  286. cmat0829 says:

    DK, great article, most especially the insights, on and off the record, of the leaders of the team. That is a SIGNIFICANT difference this year vs. past years…. now it sounds like the players would be disappointed in certain deadline moves…

    What is lost in all of the collapse analysis paralysis is the performance of the PLAYERS themselves down the stretch each year… yes, we can point to lack of GM making necessary deals, we can point to manager lineup decisions, but it was the decline of performance of the key players, including Cutch, that was a big factor as well.

    If the leaders/ players want to roll with status quo, then I see no reason to get too hyperactive in my reaction to this…. the best news on all of this is that we have a full month to see where this current squad stands….

    Get Tabata back to Pittsburgh (likely tonight) and roll with a Snider/Tabby platoon and see what production we get in RF.

    My gut tells me they should and will:

    1) add a bullpen arm, veteran (but again, it will be TOUGH to jettison Mazarro or Morris and that will need to happen)
    2) add a RH platoon player for RF
    3) look for a utility player to replace Inge

    If the situation calls, they certainly can:

    1) If Tabby/Snider continue to struggle, trade for an impact RF
    2) If starter’s health issues remain, and/or Morton/Cole regress, trade for a rotation piece

    This team has earned at the very least the full month of July to put themselves in position…. if this pace continues, stand pat will be my call… if it slows down a bit, some pieces should be added… if it goes cold, major move required.

    Until that time, not sure I get the passioned opinions to the contrary being put forth.
    This team has most certian

  287. cmat0829 says:

    Not sure if folks saw this, but Jim Duquette, GM of the Orioles, commented yesterday after trading Arrieta for Feldman… that he doesn’t want to trade top prospects that he doesn’t know how they will turn out… and preferred to trade Arrieta because at 27 the Orioles “knew what the arm was, etc.”.

    I say this only as a counter to many opinions that prospects don’t all pan out so you should be more free to trade them for help this year… seems to me Duquette is one who would beg to differ.

  288. Kevin says:

    Not enough people whining about the Pirates loss last night so here (or hear) comes one. The only offense coming on a Garret solo homer to right center.

    Do the pirates lead the league in team solo HR?

    Just seems like we are stranding alot of runners at 3rd base lately. And, its not that we arent getting the guy we want at the plate…

  289. cmat0829 says:

    their hitting with RISP has been an issue all year, and it should be noted the Pirates have a 51-31 record, best in baseball by two full games.

    So, my point is definitely good to be concerned about RISP and need to improve, and Clint and coaches have consistently said that needs to improve…. but not good to overreact to their FIRST LOSS IN TEN GAMES, and it wasn’t exactly a blowout loss was it.

  290. Kevin says:

    I guess my point is… the last two games were close. If we had just a couple hits here or there then they both are blowout wins instead. In my opinion, the only reason we’ve won games is because our pitching has kept us in games and we’ve gotten just enough offense to win.

    So yeah, I guess there’s no reason to be surprised if our pitching regresses a bit in the 2nd half and our hitting continues to flounder.

  291. Naje says:

    Tabata up.

    Cumpton down.

  292. cmat0829 says:

    I know Gomez is being held out of his start today to bolster the pen while Mazarro recovers, but I assume if he doesn’t pitch that Gomez can make a start when the Bucs will need one on Sunday in Wrigley?

    I know Locke today, Cole tomorrow, Liriano Friday and Morton Saturday but Sunday’s game would be Cumpton’s unless Gomez can step in there.

  293. cmat0829 says:

    Agree, this team scored a total of FIVE runs in 3 games, and remarkably, won two and were close in the third game. It is all about pitching.

    I guess my ‘beef’ with your original post was “complaining about the loss last night”… no beef at all with complaining about lack of timely hitting…. all of that said, we remain 51-31 and 91/2 , that’s NINE AND A HALF, games ahead of the wild card chasers for a playoff spot.

    There is room to let this offense grow and not panic.

  294. Naje says:

    Burnett.

  295. Bizrow says:

    Cumpton can’t come back up for 10 days, unless we would lose a starter to the DL

  296. JAL says:

    Might be AJ Sunday

  297. cmat0829 says:

    answering my own post lol… one option would be for AJ to come back from the DL and start the Sunday game at Wrigley

  298. cmat0829 says:

    thanks guys… AJ is likely, Gomez can do if AJ can’t go

  299. The Gunner says:

    Let’s hope Flabata doesn’t injure himself walking from the dugout to the locker room

  300. JAL says:

    More pitching news

    Pirates announce RHP Phil Irwin underwent ulnar nerve
    transposition surgery today in Pittsburgh. Will miss two months.

    Pirates announce RHP Kyle McPherson will visit Dr. James
    Andrews next week.

  301. Bizrow says:

    McPherson would open up a spot on the 40 man if transferred to the 60 day DL, which I don’t think he’s on right now.

  302. The Gunner says:

    What do you make of all these guys having major arm troubles??

  303. Bob Hasis says:

    Two observations I would like to share; IMO, Marte gets very careless, maybe indifferent, on low outside curves or sliders which he has already guessed wrong on (thinking fast ball I presume) and has committed to the swing. Of course he missed! I do not believe he is watching the ball all of the way to the plate, thus he swings and looks real bad. I think you can check this out

    Secondly, Neil Walker needs to focus on right field when batting right handed, because that’s where they are pitching him. Then after he is properly set-up, they bust a fast ball in on him which he cannot hit. They seem to throw a lot of back door sliders at first – which are hittable and he can drive – then get him out by pitching inside.

    I have more thoughts, but this will be enough to stimulate the pot.

  304. JAL says:

    McPherson, JMac, and Wandy all could end up on the 60 depending on how things go with their tests.

  305. Bizrow says:

    I sure wish AJ would do a rehab start before returning.

    We’re in a pennant race

  306. cmat0829 says:

    Let’s play “GUESS TONIGHT’S LINEUP”….my guess….

    Marte LF
    Tabata RF
    Cutch CF
    Gaby 1B
    Pedro 3B
    Martin C
    Mercer SS
    Walker 2B
    Locke P

  307. Bizrow says:

    Yup, but I have my fingers crossed about Wandy

    Forgot about JMac….

  308. cmat0829 says:

    pretty common around MLB

  309. cmat0829 says:

    Nah, he’s a veteran and has earned the right to go right back into rotation. Plus going against the Cubs can be compared to a AAA team anyway. Finally, you’d have Gomez ready to come in if AJ has any issues….so let er rip.

  310. Bizrow says:

    Ok on the earning it stuff, but as far as who the start is against, if memory serves me, Cubs were worse last year and kicked our keisters during the Epic Collapse II

    Just sayin, hope we don’t fall into that again

  311. pattonbb says:

    He’s terrible behind the plate. No other way to put it.

  312. DJ says:

    One more year than I would have preferred giving Dupuis even considering his unbelievable conditioning regimen. Also one more year given to Kunitz than I would have preferred (3 additional rather than just 2) given he was already signed through next year. But hey, it seems to be the price you pay when free agency is here or just around the corner.

    I’m with you on Letang but it looks like Shero got the limited no-trade we needed. If it becomes necessary, I’m sure Ray will be able to find several bidders among the 17 teams Letang could be traded to each year.

  313. pattonbb says:

    Lets hope he does.

  314. pattonbb says:

    Anyone but Tabata!

  315. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    How do you know he doesn’t have the RCF approach? Got some insight?

  316. Ghost says:

    “Morton is pitching better than Cole…”
    What a ridiculous post. Thanks Sisyphus.

    Let’s see… Morton has given us mediocrity — or worse — in the five seasons we’ve had him, only 18 IP in this latest one. Meanwhile, Cole has given us four straight quality starts right out of the gate. Mostly dominating performances. Yet you think Morton pitches better than Cole.
    And the even more stupid premise of your post is that we should value Morton over another A.J. pickup. Try again, Sister.

  317. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Not bad…but I’ll go.

    Marte
    Mercer
    Cutch
    Gabby
    Martin
    Pedro
    Walker
    Tabby
    Locke

  318. Ghost says:

    +1

  319. Bob Hasis says:

    If you mean RCF (right center field) he isn’t using that approach, because he is passing up several (many) good pitches – that were called strikes.
    He has a great stroke and more than adequate power to go strong to that part of the field. This too can be checked out even more easily than watching Marte.

  320. Bob Hasis says:

    I’d switch Walker with Mercer, my reason is we need as much speed as this team has between I and 3

  321. Sisyphus says:

    Morton is pitching better than Cole right now. Today. By your logic they should release Grilli because he sucked for eight season before we got him.

    Gerrit Cole has allowed ten runs in 24 innings. He’s allowed 26 hits. He’s striking out batters at a rate that Zach Duke puts to shame. I don’t think that you understand the meaning of the word “dominating”, because what Cole is doing doesn’t even come close to it. Morton is currently superior to Cole in every relevent statistical measure except his walk rate. More importantly, they can demote Cole and keep the better pitcher without losing anything.

    As to your Morton over another AJ comment, I haven’t a clue what you are talking about. Certainly nothing that I have written. The only comparison I have made is between Morton and Cole.

  322. The Gunner says:

    ha ha Patton. Like you, I am not a fan of Flim Flam Flabata. He’s likely to get a hangnail or something.

  323. Sisyphus says:

    Makes about as much sense as assuming a poster takes a paycheck from the Pirates just because they don’t hate every single move they make.

  324. BrotherhoodoftheRedus says:

    Lambo to the 40 man is my guess – haha

    But seriously, I read he needs protected and his play of late would warrant that move

  325. DJ says:

    And here I thought your career was an arm-chair GM.

  326. JAL says:

    Actual lineup

    James Santelli ‏@JamesSantelli 1m
    Jose Tabata in Pirates lineup:
    LF Marte
    SS Mercer
    CF McCutchen
    1B Sanchez
    C Martin
    3B Alvarez
    RF Tabata
    2B Walker
    LHP Locke

  327. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Approach and execution are 2 totally different things. A hitter cannot adjust to every pitch in a pitchers’ arsenal. They go up there looking for a pitch, in a section (spot). If its not there, they seldom swing and if they do, they read the pitch wrong.

    I’ll give you Marte as a free swinger, no doubt and I dont think anybody on here will argue that. But to compare his approach to Walker’s is the wrong comparison. Walker isn’t have the athlete and doesn’t have half the bat speed that Marte does. Marte is still young enough to think that he can hit anything thrown towards the plate. That may come, if not, we may have the 2nd coming of Vlad Guerrero…I think I’d take that.

  328. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Who’s the faster runner between the too…if you want speed, switch Tabby and Mercer

  329. Jim S. says:

    Agree 100%, cmat.

  330. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I was so close……..

  331. cmat0829 says:

    Yes, I thought Tabby might be good in 2 hole since he loves to go to RF and if Marte is on base, they can make it happen….

    There is a trend… Clint batted Snider 8th and now Walker has his 2nd game in the 8 spot as a RH batter…. that is one step away from the pine, if the Pirates had options….

  332. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Ha, not even close..that’s just a hobby.

  333. Jim S. says:

    Not a puppy? Say it ain’t so.

  334. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    But they don’t need options…..

  335. Jim S. says:

    Definitely not defensively.

    And I wasn’t even discounting what a great offensive player he is. I recognize that, and stated it. But, when they stop calling him Derek and just refer to him as “The Captain” I think it gets nauseating. I don’t see any evidence that he’s a better person than most of the guys on the team. The hero worship of guys like him and Brady makes me sick. They’re just people.

  336. Bob Hasis says:

    Son, you didn’t read my entry; there was no intent to compare anything. I was citing two separate things – totally divorced from the other.

    To your first sentence; you are unwittingly agreeing. In Walker’s case if his approach is RCF, he will be able to execute because that is the way he is being pitched.

  337. NMR says:

    The easy counter to this logic is that Arrieta was formerly one of four top pitching prospects supposed to carry the Orioles back to prominence.

    They’ve gotten one decent starter and one decent reliever out of the group.

    Those players almost certainly could’ve brought more value as prospects in trades than the Major League players they’ve become.

  338. Bob Hasis says:

    Tabby couldn’t outrun Neil ever. Tabby and Mercer are a dead heat

  339. Jim S. says:

    No, he was badgered into taking an autographed jersey and I think a nice ticket package for a year.

    The ball was worth 6 figures, easily, and the guy was supposedly $20 or $30k in debt. Dig into your pocket and do the right thing, Derek! Or, don’t expect the ball back. If it wasn’t worth paying market value for it, then it could not have been worth much to you. I thought it showed a great deal of arrogance on his part, just as McGwire did many years ago on one of his HR balls.

  340. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    The eye does play tricks……

  341. NMR says:

    Absolutely a mistake from the start to wait around on McPherson in hopes his elbow recovers. Just ask Dylan Bundy.

    They’ll now both miss two years of baseball instead of one.

  342. Brendan says:

    I generally don’t think Twitter is a good forum for any discussion that requires nuance or complexity, both from experience and observation. But this hardly seems an example of that to me.

    Teams and athletes performances are obviously fluid and as such observations and analysis evolves as they do. Particularly when you have additional information to draw from. You mention above that you’ve seen things from Snider of late that you like, so it makes sense that your projection for him would evolve with that additional information and insight. That hardly seems like an indictment of Twitter to me. Rather it seems like an interesting basis for discussion and I’d be curious as to what you’ve seen from him of late that you like. An improved performance from Snider pared with a healthy Jose Tabata would give the Pirates a huge lift in the second half and it certainly wouldn’t hurt their long term outlook if they could retain the prospects they’d have to give up to ‘upgrade’ the position.

  343. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Grandpa, do you know what type of pitch NW was looking for? He cannot hit everything thrown in that zone, even if that’s his approach.

    I for one, don’t know what NW is thinking or what he’s working on. Only assumption. It could very well be that he’s an inside guy. That’s fine. Gotta work to his strength, which isn’t much right now.

  344. Jim S. says:

    Ryan, they gave him some tickets and memorabilia and said it was worth $70,000. Don’t you think he could have bought all that stuff and pocketed the extra money? He could also have made a lot more than $250,000 for the ball from some Yankees collector, IMO. They took advantage of his euphoria right at the time. He agreed to it, so that part is on him. But, it was him against Yankees Nation at the time. I recall that pretty clearly. It was a huge discussion point on ESPN Radio for a couple of days. It became “an offer he couldn’t refuse.” Ok, I’m kidding about that part, but he was pressured from all over.

    I wonder what he would say now.

    Bottom line is Jeter never offered a dime! My issue is the “Derek Jeter for sainthood” campaign that has gone for 20 years now non-stop. Reach into your pocket and pay the guy market value, Derek. You wouldn’t even notice the money is gone from your account, and it could’ve changed this guy’s life forever.

  345. Jim S. says:

    As we discuss this, a story is already in the can from a local writer that explains how Big Ben has trained harder than ever this off-season and is in the “best shape of his life.”

  346. Jim S. says:

    May have turned in an Aaron Hernandez jersey for it.

  347. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I’m not on the DJ bandwagon. I’ve thought he was a below awesome SS for awhile. He makes the sparkingly play because he can’t make the routine.

    I’m not sure DJ ever had a chance to give the guy an offer.

    It is what it is, I think the Yankees kinda went above and beyond for this guy.

    Could he get more from a collector, maybe, I have no idea what a ball like that his worth, but I thought the guy that caught it was rather classy about it.

  348. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Whoa, I wouldn’t go there…he can’t hit with his glove..

    that’s a scary thought.

  349. Jim S. says:

    Breakfast of Champions.

  350. Jim S. says:

    Guys come and go. They all know the business. As long as the changes are ones that upgrade the team, the players will get it immediately. Nothing heals wounds on a baseball team like a team getting better.

  351. Jim S. says:

    Unfortunately, Tabata cannot be counted upon. He just disappears for weeks at a time.

  352. Jim S. says:

    They are comical. But, I hope our goal is to be better than Chicago not Philly, at this point.

  353. Jim S. says:

    She has probably already taken all of the money out of the giant can of birdseed back by his pool. That’s where Tony Soprano (RIP!) hid it.

  354. Jim S. says:

    We definitely need to stop sending Brandon (Cr)inge to the plate in key situations.

  355. Jim S. says:

    Did Tabata even rehab anywhere? He’s been gone forever. Just throw him back in the lineup?

  356. Jim S. says:

    Cmat,

    Did I miss Tabby’s rehab assignment? Hasn’t he been out pretty long to just jump right back in?

  357. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    9 games at Indy…batted .179 there during that time….ug

  358. Kevin says:

    I didn’t understand that move either. So what if Jones doesn’t hit lefties… he couldn’t have done any worse than Inge.

  359. DJ says:

    He did a couple jumping jacks in the locker room. He’ll probably pull his hammy running (or walking) to the outfield.

  360. Rick says:

    Lambo was the #1 prospect in the LAD system in 2009 (or 10?). He may have just needed little time to put it all together…
    IMO I’d rather see the Pirates give Lambo a shot in RF/1B than bringing Harrison or Presley on board over and over again.

  361. Ghost says:

    The hypothetical of sending down Morton to make room for another A.J.-like pickup was the essence of my post which you were picking. Yeah, sure you don’t have a clue to what I’m talking about…

    Equally preposterous of you is trying to make a comparison in statistical categories between Cole and Morton. Except for one hiccup in the first inning of his most recent start which skews the stats of Cole’s extremely young career, Cole has indeed been dominating. Everyone has been watching him pitch. I don’t know who you think you’re snowing. Morton, meanwhile, is near the end of the long rope he has been giving over his five seasons on the team. Maybe this season he will click — who knows? But ANY argument that places Morton even in the vicinity of Cole — let alone as “better than Cole” — which you make, is pure stupidity.

  362. You did!

    “Early” is 2nd Half of 2014, ONE year from now, even though he still has TWO levels to conquer.

  363. Sisyphus says:

    Not in statistical categories. In EVERY RELEVANT STATISTICAL CATEGORY but one. Cole is not one of the best five starting pitchers on the staff when all are healthy. He’s not one of best SIX, and today we once again saw why. You cannot consistently get out major league hitters with nothing but fastballs down the middle, now matter how hard you throw them.

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