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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Morning Java: At least complain about the right thing

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> Today’s TribLIVE Radio show — 1-2 p.m. — will feature special guest Aaron Donald, Pitt’s outstanding defensive tackle who this week was named to the watch list for the Bednarik Award. He’s coming off a season of 18.5 tackles for losses, 5 1/2 sacks — despite teams being able to routinely double him — and should be one of the top players in the country at his position.

Here’s a small slice of our conversation on video …

We’ll also hear from Trib baseball writer Rob Biertempfel and, of course, @Suckmeter.

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

I want you involved, too …


Call: 412-320-7925

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

>> The Pirates lost their third in a row, to the A’s.

Here are official game highlights from

>> Just for fun, this was the basic summary of reader feedback I got in this and other social media over the past couple days:

1. The Pirates are struggling to score.

2. Hence, they need to upgrade in right field.

Now, in the broader sense, I get that. Even addressed that position specifically in the column last week advising caution about making any major — emphasis on major — trades.

But turns out that right now, there’s absolutely zero direct linkage between Nos. 1 and 2 up there. If you haven’t noticed, since Jose Tabata was told to go win the right field job Thursday, all he’s done is go 9 for 21 with three walks to raise his team-best season average to .304, his on-base percentage to .371. He’s also chipped in three doubles, a triple and a steal.

If you’re going to complain, at least get the complaint right.

The problem is the bench.

To repeat: The column last week was about MAJOR trades. It’s in there twice, for those who stopped at the headline. And no bench trade is a MAJOR trade.

(Sorry for the obnoxious font. Seems to be what it takes at times.)

The Pirates aren’t exactly killing it with their everyday eight, but it still stands out that they’re getting .195 production from their pinch-hitters, as well as a .561 OPS that ranks 21st in the majors. Even some of that is misleading, once you see that Russell Martin is 2 for 2 as a pinch-hitter. It’s not like he’s part of the bench.

Between them, Brandon Inge, Travis Snider, Gaby Sanchez, Garrett Jones and Michael McKenry are a combined 11 for 73 as pinch-hitters, with one home run and 11 RBIs.

That’s the problem.

And that’s not something that can be solved by calling up Alex Presley or Josh Harrison.

I’m going back to the ballpark today for the purpose of a Wednesday column.

>> Pedro Alvarez was left out of the Derby. I could expand on this or simply say it’s stupid.

>> The Penguins’ rookie development camp begins a week from today. Rob Rossi reports. The lone scrimmage will be July 20 at 3 p.m. at Consol.

>> Still feeling indebted to the Riverhounds for their courtesy this weekend, I’ll toss in here that they’re pushing hard to sell out Highmark Stadium for the July 19 international friendly vs. Wigan Athletic, England’s FA Cup champs this season.

>> Hope you can tune in today!

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

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


  1. Drew71 says:

    Can you plunk your own batters?

  2. Drew71 says:

    If Pedro is left off the Derby…
    – We were SHAFTED

    If Pedro hits in the Derby…
    – His swing was RUINED

    To translate that to hockey parlance…
    – HIT somebody…SHOOT it

  3. Patrick says:

    I’ll all for Pedro missing the Derby if it means avoiding three weeks of “Won’t this ruin his swing” arguments.

    That said, I’m pumped to see what Aaron Donald can do this season. Bring on fall.

  4. Eric Bowser says:

    I’d recommend someone on that staff to do it…

  5. Zack says:

    They need more than bench, only 3 players hitting over .250 with RISP. Barmes and Inge both sub .200, this must change. The timely hits we had first half seem to be gone.

  6. Arriba Wilver says:

    Umm, Barmes and Inge ARE bench players.

  7. Drew71 says:

    Don’t confuse my mind with facts.

  8. Milo Hamilton says:

    How does upgrading the bench remedy the fact that Garrett Jones is killing them ?

  9. Milo Hamilton says:

    And Travis Snider.

  10. Milo Hamilton says:

    And Neil Walker. When he plays.

  11. Mike A. says:

    Tonight, they were back to the 2012 problem… A black hole in the lower third of the order. And can Jay Bell PLEASE work with Andrew McCutchen so he doesn’t try to pull hook every inside pitch, especially with RISP?

  12. meglasdad says:

    Exactly. The players people complained about in RF also play first base. While the bench does need improvement, so doesn’t first base.

  13. Eric Bowser says:

    Looking at the PH stats, there aren’t that many good players.. Hinske was just cut, Hairston just traded from CHC to WSH, and teams like Cards, Braves and Reds won’t be moving their guys.

    They have a better chance of acquiring a more productive 1B and RF as starters than getting one or two better bench players.

    Who on this bench is getting replaced and for whom?

    Snider, McKenry, Sanchez, Inge, Barmes…

  14. Arriba Wilver says:


  15. pattonbb says:

    I hope Tabata continues to impress. I really do. He looks like a totally different player. It’s not the hits that are impressive, it’s the at bats. It’s fighting off 2 or 3 nasty pitches until he gets something to put in play.

    But I cringe every single time a ball is hit to RF. He makes Ryan Doumit look like a gold glove RF. He looks blind out there, like he can’t see the ball.

    Having said that, I realize he’s just now getting his legs back. Give him another 100 ab’s and lets see where he’s at then. Just hold off on the coronation ceremony. He’s had 8 multi hit games this year. 4 of them came in the last 7 days.

    He might be the answer. Then again….he might not.

  16. Eric Bowser says:

    So you dump Gaby Sanchez, who is out there that will produce as a pinch-hitter and be able to play solid defense at 1B and can start versus LHP?

  17. pattonbb says:

    Maybe none of them. I think Snider is the 4th outfielder, regardless to who’s playing RF. Gaby isn’t going anywhere. Fort’s days are winding down, but they’re not going to dfa him. He’s here until Sanchez figures out whatever they say is ailing his arm. Barmes certainly is not a starter anymore, but showed tonight that he can help the club.

    Inge….is a nice guy.

  18. DJ says:

    Sanchez should be a target to go as well. However, cannot see management taking a meat clever to the roster in next few weeks, only a scalpel. Sanchez’s tenure will more likely end in the off season.

    Know that there are a million ways to hit and everyone has their own idiosyncrasies at the plate. That said, I Iook at some of the hitting stances — particularly those of marginal hitters — and wonder what they are thinking with their chosen approaches, with Sanchez being a prime example.

    Gaby has the mock “baby-Pujols” look going on, but without Pujols’ balance and plate coverage. Unlike Pujols, Gaby opts for the ridiculously straight, exaggerated and lowered front leg to the point where he actually appears teetering. He thinks he is coiling and ready to unload but when he reaches for anything on the outer half he is instantly off balance and an instant out, assuming he actually contacts the ball.

    Pet peeve of mine with a fair number of players and certainly notice it much more with swings into easy outs.

    Don’t get me started on Snider or McKenry.

  19. Patrick(RI) says:

    So, now it is nobody but Tabata for 100 at bats. I would hold out for 150-200, but 100 is progress. This guy can hit and he seems to rising to the challenge Hurdle put to him. I still recall him being more than adequate in Left field, but his play in the field is certainly not the equal of his bat now. The cause of his fielding problems are unknown to me, so I will not speculate. I do agree he needs to step up this part of his game. On balance, I side with DK (tough to go wrong with that as a strategy) in believing in Tabata.

  20. Arriba Wilver says:

    Just hadn’t seen him mentioned. While not great, his OPS is .780 as a 1B. Hardly a source of the problem.

  21. Reading says:

    Call up Polanco and Hanson. Skip the Minors. Problem solved.

  22. Patrick(RI) says:

    If we are looking at an applicant pool of pinch hitters dominated by Eric Hinske, why not get really retro and see what Freddy Sanchez is up to? He could roll off the couch come to the park and filet singles and doubles all over PNC. With that implausible suggestion, I will retire.

  23. DJ says:

    It’s an odd thing with Tabata. With most players, you love to see them go the other way at the plate (example, McCutchen). With Tabata, I feel that if he were a more well-rounded hitter, he would be hitting to the left side more often.

    That said, a hit is a hit and so you ride with it, especially right now. I just wouldn’t count on many doubles or homers from him.

  24. diehard says:

    Bring back John Vander Wal! Or Craig Wilson!

  25. DJ says:

    Yes, Mike, welcome to the Right Field Gap Club.

  26. Arriba Wilver says:

    Actually, DJ, that’s my recollection, too. Hitting to the opposite field is his history. His ” problem,” unlike like most, is he doesn’t pull.

  27. Thundercrack says:

    The problem is the bench.

    And the fact that Garrett Jones is not very good this year.
    And they all still strike out too much. And they don’t get enough key hits with men on base (see tonight).

    That’s my complaint. I hope I got it right.

  28. DJ says:

    He did have a left field gap double yesterday (I think) so maybe this is his coming out party.

  29. Arriba Wilver says:

    Nope. Problem is Pedro tried a swipe tag when he should have just put his glove in front of 3rd base. :-)

  30. Arriba Wilver says:

    And quit cormplaining.

  31. DJ says:

    . . . make that meat “cleaver.”

  32. theplanisworking says:

    Your % is slipping…………… ;)

  33. theplanisworking says:

    Well, this is interesting.

    DK, I disagreed with your column last week, and I still do.
    RF is a position of need. I am not advocating giving away 7 prospects, but what we have currently in Tabata/Snider is not working at all. If the Bucs dont make a move will hurt them down the stretch.

    Pitching is not a position of need, but added depth would hurt at all……… in case of injury, regression, etc. Also, bring up some kids to see what they can do now, not late August. Bring up Lambo, DeJesus, Sanchez, etc. We have seen MORE than enough of Barmes, Inge, Fort, Snider

    I am not panicking, or losing faith in the team. I merely see a team with weaknesses that need addressed……… soon. If this team is kept going forward status quo……….. good luck.

  34. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    DK – I think the misconception that you mention in regards to RF versus a bench trade is the fact that they are tied in.
    A now slumping Garrett Jones, a very slumping Travis Snider, and an inconsistent Jose Tabata all relate to Pirate woes in RF AND on the bench.
    Tabata may have fared well in recent days.
    But can the Pirates really count on him to continue hitting and/or stay off of the DL?
    I’m all for the Pirates starting with changes to the bench.
    However….Let’s keep in mind who is in charge of shuffling the deck.
    That (to me)….Is the scariest part of the whole proposition.

  35. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Beautiful man, just beautiful.

  36. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    What the Pirates need to do is trade their entire team to the Cardinals for their entire team.
    The everything would be perfect right?

  37. tomp says:

    It is pretty sad, when Inge is getting 2 1/2 starts in a row, and doesn’t have 1 single hit to show for that trust.

    It is also pretty sad, when your last batter of the evening is Mike McKenry, who i had no hope he would do anything (besides K’ing, or popping up) to get Cutch 1 last shot.

    It’s a shame they are going to through all this good work away, and that is what exactly they will be doing, by having a bench stocked with names like Snider, McKenry and worst of all Brandon Inge.

    Veteran leadership is fine and dandy, but that veteran guy has to produce once in a while.

    Inge has only 1 big hit as a pirate, and that was a 3 run homer , which meant very little in the overall outcome of the final score.

    The longer Inge stays on this roster, i cannot believe Hurdle has the brains to get this team to the next level.

  38. tomp says:

    No, just get Craig, Matt Carpenter and maybe Beltran, to play right field.

    I would offer Jones, Walker, and their choice of Tabata/Snider.

    Walker will never go anywhere though, as he is annointed as the local hero, no matter how putrid his stats , and overall health become.

    Walker has really regressed over the last 2 years, which is not a good sign.

  39. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Sorry can’t do it.
    Only a 25 for 25 trade will suffice.

  40. Ed says:

    Probably the most frustrating loss of the year. Nine hits and all then can muster is one run. Yes, some nice defensive plays by the A’s, especially Coco Crisp, to save the game. But still, just could not come through when the really needed it.

    I think it’s clear that Inge has to go. McKenry too. I don’t want to hear this crap about intangibles. You have to do better out there than strike out a couple times and hit little league popups when contact is made. I don’t want to hear about how Sanchez won’t play everyday if he is called up. He can spot start and his bat is needed on the bench.


    Does anyone else here think it will be a total disgrace if Puig gets voted in for the final roster spot?

    I hate the Braves and I really feel Ian Desmond of Washington is more deserving. But since Freeman is in the lead, I went with him. Just voted for him 100 times or so. I just feel that it will be an absolute disgrace if Puig gets in. Someone who has been on a major league roster for only a month has no business getting in over a vet who has been playing all year and has more establishment in the league.

  41. Ed says:

    I meant to make this as a separate post. Somehow ended up here.

    I will say that I agree with Daq about Tabata. I know that he done fairly well for a few games. But this guy has a history of being injured, not hustling and making boneheaded plays. I just don’t feel comfortable counting on him if someone of better quality can be had.

  42. Ed says:

    Agree. Hurdle needs to separate his friendship, or whatever, with Inge and do what’s right for the team.

  43. Ghost says:

    Can the very first post of the day claim Post of the Day?

  44. Ghost says:

    Forget about Barmes two hits today. He had a spike in errors during May but hopefully he is back to playing sound defense — he sure looked sharp tonight. A team needs a solid middle-infielder on its bench for games like tonight when Mercer has a day off and pitch-to-contact guys like Locke or Cole are toeing the rubber.

  45. Ghost says:

    “Zero direct linkage between Nos. 1 and 2.” This is true. However, Tabata has barely been back on the scene long enough to get his bags unpacked. I’ve mentioned myself that Tabby has hit well since returning, but it’s still too early. I like the plan to run him out there plenty over the next three weeks.

    But if solid corner outfielder is shopped to us, maybe Tabby becomes our fourth outfielder instead of Travis Snider. My “what if” for tonight is that the woeful San Diego Padres come a calling with Carlos Quentin as a trade chip. We give them a few of our prospects but insist they eat part of Quentin’s salary (just like we got the Astros to do with Wandy). Now we have a .277 /.372 /.488 /.860 hitter in our lineup AND Tabby becomes an upgrade over Snider from the bench.

  46. kr70 says:

    Sorry to see such a nice pitching performance from Jeff wasted. on another note did anyone see on page 5 of the trib news section, “riverhounds reserve goalie hospitalized after being traumatized by Trib sports writer.”….

  47. Drew71 says:

    No. That counts.

  48. David Tito Ortiz says:

    If Wandy is not due back does starting pitcher not become number one concern?

    Liriano’s history says he is far from a sure thing injury or production-wise in Aug-Sept.
    Locke’s advanced pitching stats suggest a regression.
    Cole is a rookie and might be on an innings count.
    The bullpen has been taxed hard.
    Burnett is the closest to a consistently sure thing but holds a 7.88 ERA in August the last 3 years combined.

    Not all of these concerns will come back to haunt them. But chances are one of them will. And even if its just one of them that does, the staff all of a sudden without Wandy doesn’t look nearly as good. If more than one concern is realized and the hitting stays status quo, collapse III is possible…

    I like this team, def a .500 team but it is a long season and fresh pitching has been on their side. Need to improve both offense and pitching to have a playoff squad.

  49. Drew71 says:

    You know what’s great about a Pirates losing streak?

    We get to take it out on each other. I mean really rip into each other.

    Let’s start with Thunder.

  50. Thundercrack says:

    Sure. I’ll take one for the team.

  51. DJ says:

    I keep reading where Inge is convinced he is an “everyday ballplayer” and how much he needs at bats in order to contribute. Sort of like telling Hurdle, “I’ll come through, Skip, you just need to play me l0-12 games in a row before I get my feet under me . . . trust me, you’ll see.”

    It would be nice if he had strung together say two or three hits before he started offering up excuses about his lack of playing time. No one wants to hear how tough it is for him and certainly no one is remotely convinced that he is — or can be — an everyday player.

    We need guys who are accepting of their roles and produce. Inge has not made the mental commitment to his role and, from what we have seen, no longer has the skills to deliver anyway.

    We simply cannot afford to have guys on our roster who don’t produce regardless of any “veteran leadership” factor.

  52. MadTurk says:

    Just make sure to complain about the right thing :-)

  53. JAL says:

    JAL’s The Candy Man Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)

    4 Pittsburgh Pirates Stats

    5 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Pick Signing Tracker

    BLOGS and such

    6—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Brandon Inge is a Leader, But the Pirates Have Different Needs

    Pirates Strand 10 Runners in Third Straight Loss, End Locke’s Unbeaten Streak

    Prospect Watch: Rodriguez and Sanchez Pitch Well, Indianapolis Wins In Extras

    Top Performers: Is Stolmy Pimentel Starting Pitching Depth For the Pirates?

    7 Bucs Dugout

    Bucs fail to get a timely hit, lose 2-1


    Game 88: A’s 2 Pirates 1

    A morning pick-me-up

    9 The Green Weenie

    A’s Take Opener 2-1

    10 Rumbunter

    No Pedro Alvarez In the Home Run Derby? Seriously David Wright?

    Andrew McCutchen Is Not Having A Down Year

    11 Raise the Jolly Roger

    A’s 2 Pirates 1

  54. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 San Francisco Chronicle

    Defense, pitching carry A’s past Pirates, 2-1

    13 IS Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates: Addressing roster dead spots

    14 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates Need Good Homestand Before All-Star Break

    15 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates will regress in second half, but still hang in there

    16 CBS Sports

    Athletics-Pirates Game Preview

    Improving the Pirates: Trade targets to strengthen a first-place team

    17 Beaver County Times

    Pirates Insider: The A’s have the Bucs’ number

    18 PBC Site

    Locke strong but gets little help against Colon

    Notebook: Walker remains out of lineup but avoids MRI exam


    19 Sweetspot

    Time to respect Colon and the A’s

    20 Fangraphs

    10th anniversary: Randall Simon versus Milwaukee’s sausage race

  55. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers stingy against deep passes in 2012

    That’s ‘All The Way’ Redman to you

    22 Steelers Depot

    - A Look At Steelers Rookie LB Jarvis Jones 14 Sacks At Georgia In 2012


    23 Daily Mail

    Jose ready to offer £60m bait to tempt Rooney to join him at Chelsea

    24 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 8 July, 2013

  56. JAL says:

    The Candy Man Sammy Davis Jr 1972 A number 1 hit for Davis the song is from the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

  57. pattonbb says:

    Another 100 at bats gives him 200 for the season. I think you’ll know exactly what you have with Tabata by then. His bat plays, for now.

    Again, it’s not like I’m pulling against him, or any such nonsense. I just feel it’s only a matter of time before he reverts back to the ballplayer we’ve seen for the last 2 seasons. Hope I’m wrong.

  58. pattonbb says:

    “disgrace” might be a little strong. I think Puig will be an all star, but Freeman deserves the spot. And that’s coming from an admitted hater of all things Atlanta professional sports related. Freddie Freeman’s a hell of a ballplayer.

  59. Dom says:

    DK is right we need to worry about the bench over RF and the pen.

    Why can’t we simply cut Inge, add Dejesus to the 40 and 25 man roster, and give Tony Sanchez another shot?

    I can’t help but to feel that this is a better option than keeping everything as is.

    Also, since the bench is the issue why can’t we obtain someone in a deal at the moment as oppose to waiting for the deadline? If we were looking for a starter, I could understand why we would need to wait to the end of the month but I would think we can make another team a good offer, better than one they’d obtain at the deadline, for a solid bench player and still not give up someone of the caliber of Polanco, Hanson, Glasnow, or Heredia.

  60. Dom says:

    In reference to #5, Good job by the Buccos getting their first 20 picks signed.

    Did anyone hear that our 15th rounder, Max Rossiter, played for one game and then retired? Anyone know why he did that? Do we still have to pay him that salary bonus? It seems to be dishonest to sign the contract just to then walk away with no intention of playing.

  61. Jandy says:

    Sure can! I second that!

  62. Jandy says:

    :sniff, sniff:

  63. 21sthebest says:

    A very underrated singer, IMO, and my all time favorite pitcher to watch pitch.

  64. 21sthebest says:

    When Tony Sanchez came up, he already had 9 errors in Indy. He now has 13. Something isn’t right, obviously.

  65. Dadtackular says:


  66. Thundercrack says:

    I think teams receive more early than at the trade deadline.

  67. Drew71 says:

    Text conversation with my wife last night. (Yes. While sitting next to her.)
    Her: Just heard that your niece is engaged.

    (She’s 38, never engaged before, barely dated.)

    Me: To a man?

    Her: His name is XXX.

    Me: Have they met?

    Her: He’s from Canada.

    Me: Ah. Mail order bride.

    Her: You’re not taking this very seriously.

    Me: Have YOU met her?


    Me: Have you met ME?
    (I’m not making this up. How COULD i?)

  68. Dadtackular says:

    Which is higher?

    % posts Thunder rips on DK vs. % posts Drew rips on Thunder

    (just kidding)

  69. Patrick(RI) says:


  70. Drew71 says:

    Holy Crap.

    I wonder if my wife’s uncle and aunt had the same conversation when WE, well, you know.

  71. Dadtackular says:

    Willy Wonka was a pitcher?

  72. NMR says:

    Gaby is doing exactly what he was acquired to do. Mash lefties.

    He is not the problem.

    His platoon mate is.

  73. Jandy says:


  74. Jandy says:


  75. NMR says:

    Carlos Quentin might be the only man in Major League baseball hurt MORE than Jose Tabata.

  76. NMR says:

    Look how tall he is.

  77. NMR says:

    We’re still talking about bench players.

    Did you see what the Nats did yesterday?

  78. Keith says:

    Here is what Neal will be looking at, and it’s exactly the right idea: acquire more hitters! Once a hitter or two are acquired, they can slide into the best positions. If he’s the best RF, Tabby will strengthen our bench. If he’s the second-best 1B, Jones will have a platoon buddy or move to RF. Let it sort itself out, but get some bats. This bench is awful.

  79. NMR says:


  80. NMR says:

    That swing made me do a double take.

    Don’t know where that batspeed came from, but it sure was nice to see him turn on one.

  81. Nate83 says:

    Tony Gwynn had a hall of fame career by hitting to the opposite field. There is nothing wrong with it and he should not change it. He actually hits a considerable amount of doubles in my opinion and works counts deep and takes walks. His biggest problem is staying healthy.I’m on the side of giving him the 20 games before the deadline to sink or swim and I personally think he will swim.

  82. John Lease says:

    Inge is an abomination, and has to go.

    McKenry should never pinch hit.

    Snider stinks, but can hang around until the off season. He has hit SOME.

    I’d give Tabata until the 31st. If he is still hitting, great.

    If not…

  83. Bdubb says:

    Saw an interview with David Wright yesterday and he said that MLB was pushing him to select Harper (b/c the fans want to see him). And he selected Cuddyer b/c it was his buddy back in Virginia. Not sure why David Wright gets to be a participating captain. He hasn’t hit 30 home runs since 2008. For what its worth the MLB tv guys said they would take the AL 3 selected vs the NL 4.

  84. The Gunner says:


    Unfortunately, you have just scratched the surface. Right now, the BMTIB needs to do something to spark some life into this team – they just seem so lethargic.

  85. Nate83 says:

    Well we would be 1/2 game better at this point in the season. So yes that is an improvement. Good trade suggestion.

    How many strikes did Locke throw last night????

  86. NMR says:

    Jones’ platoon buddy is not the problem.

    HE IS.

    You will not find a batter on the market to hit lefties better than Gaby Sanchez.

  87. The Gunner says:


    Nice to see Tabata tie up the game last night. He has been contributing as of late. Hope it keeps up.

  88. NMR says:


    Did you miss that nine game winning streak?

    The front office can’t go out and trade for somebody every time the team loses a couple games.


  89. chethejet says:

    Hitting is contagious, so are slumps. Buccos need someone to get hot and fix Walker. Cutch is not as solid as last year. Tey looked bad last night catching up with the fastball and that is an indication of being behind in the count just to many times. I disagree with DK and others about a bench and trimming around the edges. The A’s have a lineup that can hit the ball with power. The Pirates do not. To many dinks to win last night. Go get a real HR threat and give up prospects excpet Tallion and Polanco. Tabata is not the answer or the solution as he can’t offer any real long ball threat..

  90. The Gunner says:

    Yep, Jones is slumping pretty badly & Gaby is clearly not the answer. We need to get a first baseman (possibly a Derrek Lee type) in here. That’s probably wishful thinking on my part – who might be available?

  91. The Gunner says:

    As one of Tabata’s biggest detractors, I am for giving him the majority of the playing time in RF for now. I really think 1B has become an immediate issue to address.

  92. NMR says:

    I just read what I replied to you above. Please disregard it. Came off way, way worse than I intended.

    My apologies, Gunner.

  93. Ghost says:

    That may have seemed so in the recent past, but he’s healthy. The only games he missed this year were the eight from his suspension when Grienke hit him with his collarbone. ;)

    Later today, I revisit Ichiro, another “what if” I think could help us if his team comes a knockin’. There are candidates are out, everywhere. All it takes is for us to steal away one of them.

  94. Two words.

    Andrew Lambo. Guy needs a shot.

  95. Ghost says:

    “Drew rips” waste words. Just say “Drips.”

  96. NMR says:

    Thats tough.

    Chances of getting a guy who could outperform a LHB/Gaby Sanchez platoon on his own are slim, at least for the cost most would be willing to give up.

    Guys on the market Like Morneau, Mike Morse, Kendrys Morales would not be an improvement over what the Pirates are getting right now.

  97. NMR says:

    I think we’re all aware, Nate.

    But watch how guys go after Tabby.

    Good luck consistantly taking a fastball on the hands to right field.

  98. The Gunner says:

    I don’t take anything personally, NMR. Sometimes people just overreact & I have had plenty of dealings with those types in my 50+ years. I guess based on what’s happened the last 2 years, I feel like another collapse might be starting to happen again. This team isn’t loaded like the ’71, ’72 & ’79 Buc teams – these guys were a cocky bunch and could back it up.

  99. NMR says:

    Great post.

    I have no problem with Puig playing in the game. It’s an exhibition. He’s well worth being exhibited.

    But I love me some Freddie Freeman.

  100. AJS says:

    Pedro is one guy that I would not worry about his swing being ruined. He is a power hitter by trade. That’s his normal swing. Not like Cutch last year who ran into a few in June and July and got added to the Derby or Abreu who had to change his swing to hit that many home runs in the Derby.

  101. NMR says:

    The A’s only have 8 more home runs that the Pirates and their team ISO is only .007 higher.

  102. AJS says:

    i think Walker will rebound. He is well below his career numbers in just about every category. he’s due for a big second half.

  103. NMR says:

    I’m intrigued, if only to spell Garrett Jones for a moment.

    Does Lambo playany first base?

  104. theplanisworking says:

    + many.

    I suggested in my post above that Sanchez, DeJesus, and Lambo need a shot now, not in the middle of a pennant race later. Lets see what they have now, before the deadline, so we can make an appropriate move.

  105. theplanisworking says:


    Nuns see bad things all the time.

  106. Thundercrack says:

    They got Hairston.


  107. AJS says:

    Jones is maddening to me. To me he is one of the best hitters in their line up but for some reason he just is not coming through right now. his history says that he is “due” but I am not as confident in himturning it around as I am Walker.

  108. NMR says:

    I appreciate that, Gunner.

    While I may not agree that this team will full-on collapse as they’ve done in the past, I do agree with you in that I’m far from convinced that they have the mental toughness to be a playoff team.

    I said it last week, everybody is confident when they’re winning. This group needs to show that it can pull itself out of a second half slum before I’ll believe.

  109. Dom says:

    Wow. Has it already been ten years since Randall Simon knocked out that sausage?

    I couldn’t believe he had to be arrested for that. He was just kidding around.

  110. Yes, he has. I don’t know how proficient he is at it. Mostly RF I thing.

  111. 21sthebest says:


  112. NMR says:

    Jones hasn’t had back-to-back sub 700 OPS months as he did in May-June since late 2010.

    History suggests that its only a matter of time before he goes on a tear.

    BUT…you can’t ignore that his contact rate and power are both down while strikeouts are up. 32 year olds are usually on the backside of prime.

    One of these times his “slump” is going to become what he is. Lets hope thats not now.

  113. theplanisworking says:

    You thing you! ;)

  114. 21sthebest says:

    Correction. Sanchez has 1 error since being sent back to Indy but 13 on the year.

  115. Dom says:

    If Walker is going to be out for awhile, why not give DeJesus a shot? How much worse could he be than Inge?

  116. Drew71 says:

    What’s their cholesterol?

  117. Arriba Wilver says:

    One too few. ( I had the Over)

  118. Thundercrack says:

    My guess is that Colon’s is off the charts

  119. Nate83 says:

    He has been really good at waiting pitchers out. If they pitch him inside they have shrunk their strike zone and they will get behind in counts more often then not if he lays off those pitches.

  120. Thundercrack says:

    I wouldn’t mind seeing DeJesus up here if Walker goes on the DL. But Clint had already mentioned JHay.

  121. 21sthebest says:

    Lambo isn’t a player I want to go into August and September with as my starting or platoon right fielder no matter how well he might do this month. He’s a 7 year career minor leaguer with 100 good at bats in Triple A this year.

  122. Milo Hamilton says:

    Garrett Jones had 6 RBI in June. And he’s your cleanup hitter. With the exception of Alvarez, their left handed hitters have let them down big time.

  123. Thundercrack says:

    I think they know what they have in Sanchez and Lambo. That is why they are not up here.

  124. radio wave says:

    Agree with tabby getting the ab’s. any concerns on defense?

    Crazy thought from last night. We get beat by a pitcher who has been caught for ped’s once, and is suspected again. Besides suspensions, make teams forfit wins too?

  125. tomp says:

    One way to immediately improve the bench would be to make a deal with Tampa , and pick up Ryan Roberts, who is languishing in AAA.

    He is not a future hall of famer, by any means, but substituting him for Inge, makes this team better right now.
    Inge needs to be DFA’d, and when he clears waivers(which he surely would), ship him to AAA, and use him in case of DIRE emergency.
    The longer this guy takes up a roster spot, is a day the Pirates are wasting.

  126. Sisyphus says:

    Right, lets dump Sanchez so that we can see more of Garrett Jones against left handers.

  127. NMR says:

    Thanks, Lucky.

  128. NMR says:

    Just like they knew what they had in Jordy?

  129. Patrick(ri) says:

    You just keep killing all the fun by resorting to the facts. Isn’t that against the rules?

  130. Milo Hamilton says:

    And I include Walker there. Part of being a productive player is actually being in the lineup.

  131. Sisyphus says:

    1B is not an issue that needs to be addressed. Garrett Jones is the issue. Gaby Sanchez is killing left handers.

  132. NMR says:

    Um, what if they are strikes?

  133. Sisyphus says:

    You hit the nail on the head. When he starts to inside-out everything, he’s terrible. When he just tries to hit the ball hard up the middle, he can hit.

  134. Patrick(ri) says:

    Often hear how he is like another coach. Ok, make him a coach and get a bench player.

  135. Arriba Wilver says:

    I was right. Cuddyer does have photos.

  136. NMR says:

    When this team is doing so much right that making up problems is nevessary, I’ll have no issue with letting it slide. :)

    As of now, there’s plenty of real things to talk about.

  137. Drew71 says:

    This shouldn’t BE fun.

    It’s Baseball.

  138. 21sthebest says:

    Clint also mentioned Mercer and Barmes in the middle.

  139. Sisyphus says:

    There’s nothing wrong with a hitter going the other way, if that’s what he’s best at. Tabata is at his best when he hits it where it’s pitched. When he tries to force things to right, he’s terrible.

  140. 21sthebest says:

    What do they have in Jordy, NMR?

  141. Drew71 says:

    Or make him a bench and sit on him.

    Wait. That’s weird. Even for me.

  142. NMR says:

    I had to laugh at our color guys gushing over the 40 yr old pitching wonder still somehow managing to hit 95 mph.

    How is that even possible? Oh, yeah, thats how.

  143. Ghost says:

    But the need for a right-handed left-hitting specialist to platoon at first base is not the greatest one we have. Jones has faced righties 259 times to the 69 times Sanchez has faced lefties.
    Meanwhile, since Sanchez is on the bench more often he is a candidate to pinch hit more often. His BA as a PH is .133. Jones’ is .231. We’re not getting what we like from either, but I’d argue that we’re getting even less from Sanchez than from Jones.

  144. Sisyphus says:

    The problem is that when he rolls off the couch, he’ll need to go on the DL for two months with the ankle injury he suffers while trying to stop his roll.

  145. NMR says:

    A baseball player who is clearly better than the one he replaced.

  146. Sisyphus says:

    Jose Tabata currently has the second best OPS on the team. Right now, Tabata is not a problem, he’s a solution.

  147. Drew71 says:

    I wonder if Colon has a Club Serbia jersey.

  148. 21sthebest says:

    My thoughts exactly. I heard Clint talking after the game about how hard Colon has thrown his entire career. I realize Clint can’t go certain places and has to be professional, but I still shook my head.

  149. Sisyphus says:

    No, they should be able to get the whole Cardinals team for a package led by Barmes and Inge, with a few minor leaguers thrown in.

  150. NMR says:

    That absolutely is a need.

    Have we forgotten what the last two years were like with Garrett Jones having nothing more than a warm body to platoon with?

  151. Ghost says:

    Borat did that with Paula Abdul to some illegal aliens.

  152. Dom says:

    I’m aware of that. I’d rather pay more now and improve our bench now than to wait till the end of the month.

  153. John Lease says:

    Yeah, I guess Colon has a different ‘supplement’.

  154. 21sthebest says:

    Jordy was pretty good for a little while but then he had 4 errors in 8 games and now he’s 3 for 20 in July. I’m not sure anyone really knows what we have in Jordy at this point.

  155. JohnS says:

    FACTS??? Stop it.

    There are plenty of holes to plug. Unfortunately I don’t think it will happen. If Jones and Walker can trend towards their normal production it will help. Tabata can and will hit. He won’t hit HR’s but that is ok. I am pretty satified with the P staff and would be ok with addtitions being internal only.

    The bench. What can be said that hasn’t already been said. Hurdle jsut can’t put together last nights lineup. You can’t have Inge, Barmes and Pitcher hit together. That just gives up too many outs in a row.

  156. Patrick(ri) says:

    No, it shows real Inge inuity.

  157. Milo Hamilton says:

    He & AJ can compare tattoos. Is Kaepernick available ?

  158. Naterosboro says:

    Dennis Quaid did it.

    As a rookie.

    THE Rookie.

  159. Dom says:

    Would Tampa be willing to part with him? They’re in a playoff race too.

  160. NMR says:

    So six July games makes you question what he did over 40 in May and June?

    He’s better than Barmes. He improved this team.

    That is what we have.

  161. 21sthebest says:

    I thought these comments from Brian Sabean at the end of June were worth posting:

    “The best way to put it is, the price of business right now is prohibitive. Thus, we’re not going to do business, to spend all our money now or clean out our farm system.

    You’re not going to do anything without getting your clock cleaned as of this date. If somebody’s going to trade somebody this early, they’re going to have to win the deal and you’re going to have to let them win the deal.”

  162. Naterosboro says:

    Just saw this on twitter from someone, thought it was a good day for some reminiscing:

    “@Buccomarc 11m

    Oh haha 10 years ago today was the Randall Simon sausage episode #Pirates”

  163. He played left and right last night and was 3-6 with 2 doubles and 2 RBI.

  164. Ghost says:

    There are lots of things one could label “need.” Neil Huntington once famously poo-poo’d the need of left-handed relievers.
    But what I’m saying is that Jones batting against righties is the preponderance of the at-bats he takes. Finding him a good platoon mate would be nice, but we have even more pressing matters. Such as: who besides Sanchez could we get to come off the bench to PH as a righty, because his .133 at that (presumably against mostly lefties) stinks.

  165. Arriba Wilver says:

    He’s thinking back to the Nady trade. ;-)

  166. Dom says:

    I don’t want him. He’s too much of a distraction. If we pick him up, he’ll just go walking around in a Miami Marlins cap and everyone will question his commitment.

  167. Dadtackular says:

    Is anyone old enough to remember when the Pirates would pinch hit with Ken Brett?

  168. Arriba Wilver says:

    He was great in All in the Family.

  169. Thundercrack says:

    +1 21

  170. Dom says:

    Yep, that was in JAL’s links. As I said above, I couldn’t believe he had to be arrested for that. He was just kidding around.

  171. Thundercrack says:

    Me too.

    And I hope Wandy comes back like that after his blood cleaning.

  172. Ghost says:

    And I need to get some more sleep. There’s still ambien in my blood stream and I can see that its sneaking out of my pores and sabotaging my posts.
    Till I sleep it off…

  173. 21sthebest says:

    “So six July games makes you question what he did over 40 in May and June?”

    No. His entire year so far makes me wonder what we have in him. And I mentioned the 4 errors in 8 games which go back to before July started. He’s struggling at the plate. Is the book on him now being written? Have some weaknesses been found? Is he maybe not mentally tough enough? Maybe none of the above. Maybe it’s just a slump. I don’t think we know exactly what we have in Jordy yet.

    “He’s better than Barmes. He improved this team.

    That is what we have.”

    Maybe we should all just sit back and let you tell us exactly what we have in each player and what they’ll do the rest of the year.

  174. Dadtackular says:

    I’d settle for the Pirates trading their front office for the Cardinals front office.

  175. You guys are relying on their judgment of what they have in Lambo and Sanchez?

    Why, all of a sudden, are they better at this than Neil Walker-Argenis Diaz type judgments?

    Let these guys on the field. Then we can all know what they have.

  176. Arriba Wilver says:

    I went and read the article that came from (I think). I’m going to save it and point to it every time someone says all GM’s talk like Neal. :-)

  177. NMR says:

    Complete excuse.

    The Nats upgraded their bench in exchange for their 27th best prospect.

    The Dodgers upgraded their starting rotation for a package of three pitching prospects HIGHLIGHTED by a 23 yo in Low-A.

    Complete myth that moves cannot be made without “getting your clock cleaned”.

  178. Arriba Wilver says:


  179. 21sthebest says:

    With respect to Lambo Lucky, I’m just saying what I’d do. As I said, if he does great in the Majors in July, I still wouldn’t plan to go into August and September with him. Give me Nate Schierholtz, for example, over Lambo any day.

    With respect to Mercer/Barmes, I’d play Barmes today at short and Mercer at second. When Walker is healthy again, my shortstop is likely whichever one of them is hitting better.

  180. Naterosboro says:

    Maybe a little excessive, but you know how they like to make examples of athletes.

  181. Thundercrack says:

    I believe these guys also play on a field in AAA.

    Tony Sanchez may be a better at pinch hitting the McKenry, but he isn’t going to catch more than once a week –which is what McKenry is doing. And it doesn’t seem like his defense is better than The Fort.

    Lambo is a guy who got demoted from AAA to AA – and is just now back to AAA. What do you expect from this guy if he is brought up? Starting RF? This rookie is going to be your pinch hitter off the bench?

  182. tomp says:

    He does have a few more errors, but up here he would have supposed “major league” coaches to work with.
    His bat would be a HUGE upgrade, off the bench then M. M’s .
    That was a shame , when the Pirates are down to their last out, their best hitter on deck, and a guy hitting 180 or so, is your only hope.
    The ship is sinking, and the longer Inge and Fort are clogging up the roster, then Huntington and Hurdle should be ashamed of themselves.
    I am not confident Huntington will make the correct moves, and that Hurdle can get this team over the hump.

  183. Dom says:

    I usually think the opposite is true. For example, the Ta’amu situation.

  184. Thundercrack says:

    Look at Hairston’s stats. The DC bench must be really week.

  185. tomp says:

    At least that De Jesus guy should get a shot.
    Harrison, is Harrison.
    De Jesus is a wild card, and cannot do much worse than a veteran presence who cannot hit 180.
    That veteran presence is useless, if the guy cannot help the team win games.

  186. Arriba Wilver says:

    Read the article. And remember, this guy has 2 more World Series on his résumé in the last 3 years than you do. As you like to say, Case Closed. :-)

  187. Thundercrack says:


    When I hear Sabean, Colletti or Terry Ryan on MLB XM I always think : They don’t talk like our GM.

    But there are alot that do. :-)

  188. 21sthebest says:

    That is my favorite television show of all time for several reasons and that’s probably my favorite episode.

  189. tomp says:

    He is on the Durham Bulls, so i don’t think tampa considers him a key piece of their playoff run.

  190. NMR says:

    Amen, Lucky.

  191. tomp says:

    I am sure it’s not as week as the one the Pirates have currently.

  192. NMR says:

    Haha, you’re far more coherant than you should be after taking that stuff!

  193. NMR says:

    There you go again, AW. Always offering advice, never taking your own.

    “It’s all a function of being in a negative leverage situation.

    You can’t remake the whole lineup; you can’t remake the whole team.”

    That’s called context.

    Are the Pirates in a position where they need to remake the whole lineup, or add complementary pieces?

  194. NMR says:

    .129 BABIP over just 112 AB’s while maintaining near identical peripherals.

    And he STILL would be an improvement over the Pirates bench.

  195. 21sthebest says:

    When I saw that trade I figured the Nats would try him out for a month nd see if it sticks. I could see him getting traded/DFA’d.

  196. The Gunner says:

    I agree with you. Let’s just hope they get out of this funk quickly. I remember as a kid, when the 1960 Pirates went thru a short streak like this, the Deacon, #32 Vern Law broke the streak with a masterful pitching performance. Maybe Gerrit Cole can do something similar to give them a lift tonight.

  197. Dom says:

    That doesn’t mean they couldn’t use him in the future. If we do obtain him, it will probably have to be for someone on the major league level. I’m assume it will have to be a pitcher.

  198. Nate83 says:

    Well you get three strikes. They would have to throw 3 of them all on the inside corner and not have one run back over the center of the plate. Pitchers are good but if they can consistantly do that then you have to tip your hat to them. Not to mention if he see’s three in the same area I would hope he would be able to turn on one and hit it hard to left field.

    It’s not like scouting on him is new. The guy has been playing in the league for 4-5 years now. Pitchers are already pitching him how they want to. He hit it well late last year and is hitting well in 100 at bats this year.

  199. 21sthebest says:

    But NMR, you said you already know what we have in Mercer.

  200. Jandy says:

    hahaha Hipposter. Just saw this…busy busy busy at the office today. UGH!

  201. Naterosboro says:


    * I was wrong. Thought our boys would get back on their feet last night. That makes the next 2 games pretty big in my eyes. Not necessarily for the short term (as there are a few games left on the skedge), but for the overall psyche of the team.

    * They started April 1-5, and finished the month 14-7 to go 15-12. In May, they started 3-3, and finished 16-6, for a monthly record of 19-9. In June, they started 2-4, and finished 15-5, for a monthly record of 17-9. They’ve started July 2-5 (or 2-4 before last night). Let’s see what their record is at the end of July.

    * Look in Kansas City, Houston, Chicago’s East & West side, wherever for an upgrade over Brandon Inge. Inge I see as this year’s Drew Sutton. He served his purpose for a little while, but clearly isn’t going to be able to make meaningful contributions over an entire season.

    * I’d hesitate to promote Tony Sanchez and Ivan DeJesus to upgrade our bench. Yes, it looks this way, but they are getting regular ABs in Indianapolis. I’d rather have more experienced players, who have shown they can handle a bench role and be somewhat productive. Or at least moreso than Brandon Inge’s .180. Go get me Greg Dobbs down in Miami. Shouldn’t take much to pry him away from the Marlins.

    * I really think our pitching will keep us going this season. But, it is imperative that they pursue another starter. With Wandy’s status up in the air, this club could need another arm for the rest of the season.

    * I think it’s a bit ridiculous that Pedro Alvarez is not in the Home Run Derby. David Wright has 2 of the best HR hitters (Domonic Brown is the other) this season ON THE ALL STAR TEAM, and he picks neither. I know not much stock is put into the HR Derby, but c’mon.

    * Certainly there are going to be all star snubs. But I don’t think it wouldn’t be deserved if Puig won the Final Vote. The kid has hit .409 since being called up (and arguably should’ve been up since Game 1) and has 17 multi-hit games in his 1st 33. He had his 1st 4 K game EVER as a professional (in the US; not sure about Cuba) I believe on Sunday night. He’s electric. He’s sparked that listless LADodgers team back in to life. He may not be “established”, but what does that matter? It’s a 1 game exhibition with home field advantage on the line. He’d certainly help the NL win (as would Freddie Freeman).



  202. Naterosboro says:

    Plaxico Burress

  203. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Hey hey, its the beginning of the collapse…

  204. NMR says:

    What is hard to understand about what I said?

    I believe he is better than Barmes.

    TC’s original implication was that Sanchez and Lambo are not worthy of being on the major league roster because “they” didn’t deem them to be.

    Lucky and I pointed out that “they” don’t exactly have a pristine track record making those judgements.

    What else do you want me to say?

  205. Big B says:

    I’m not sure who out there would be the best for the team to target as a bench upgrade, but this is what I would like to see happen:

    1. Trade for bench help. Release Inge.
    2. Replace McKenry with T. Sanchez (The time has come)

    I can live with Barmes, Snider and Gaby Sanchez as bench pieces for now, as I think they all provide some value to the team.

  206. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Didn’t Barmes have 2 hits? That’s usually not a problem. Though I understand very rare for him

  207. Arriba Wilver says:

    You’re not seriously suggesting he was only talking about remaking the entire lineup, are you? Context isn’t pulling out one or two sentences, my friend.

  208. NMR says:

    Look at their other right handed bench bats.

    Hairston’s not going anywhere.

  209. tomp says:

    I think he can be acquired for someone at the minor league level.

    But if its a major leaguer they want, a major leaguer they can have.

    3-Inge(never mind)

    In all reality, a fringe AA prospect could get the job done.

  210. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Nate, most pitchers at this level have pinpoint accuracy, hitting 3 strikes in a row on the inside corner typically isn’t a problem.

  211. Milo Hamilton says:

    Bench help ? Greg Dobbs from Miami.

  212. 21sthebest says:

    You said you knew what we had in Mercer, that he’s better than Barmes.

    Lucky said to let them play it out to see what we have.

    Then you said you agreed with Lucky. At least that’s my take with, “Amen, Lucky.”

    That’s what’s hard to understand. Hard for me to tell if you want to play out the rest of the year with Mercer or not. I’m not convinced Barmes is finished yet and Mercer is the better choice for the time being. Mercer’s last couple of weeks wasn’t very good, IMO.

    I haven’t addressed in any of my posts anything about the front office’s ability to make these judgments so I’m not exactly sure why Lucky brought that point up but that’s fine. I was just talking about what I’d do.

    “What else do you want me to say?”

    I’m not sure what the point of typing that was.

  213. NMR says:

    “If we don’t start playing better–the team at hand especially the lineup itself–there’s not enough help in the world that’s going to turn us around from this.”

    “You can’t remake the whole lineup; you can’t remake the whole team.”

    “So there’s no possible way you can get as much help as you actually need from the outside world.”

    “Do you go out and trade for a whole other team that goes on the road and keep the other one at home? That’s said tongue-in-cheek, but it’s a reality.”

    Honestly, how much more do you need before you quit reading what you WANT to hear.

  214. tomp says:

    Now that hockey season is over, Hurdle can’t use the “he gets good tickets” for a reason to keep Inge 1 day longer.

    I am going to be really pissed if he gets the start at 2nd tonight.

  215. tomp says:

    BTW- what is the Pirates record in games Inge starts this year?. I would guess it is probably close or under 500.?

  216. Double Deuce says:

    Man, I do.

    I remember a double header against SD in 1974 (?June) where he pitched a great game for what was at that time a rare win, and pinch hit a triple driving in the winning run in the nightcap.

    He was my favorite player on that 1974 team.

  217. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    As we sit currently, there’s no need for RF. I don’t believe this will sustain, but at this moment Tabby has done just fine.

    As I mentioned yesterday, Tabby seems to be a different person. Maybe he’s actually healthy and this is how he performs.

    He’s been hustling, driving the ball, I have no complaints with RF at this time.

    Its always been a bench issue. We give NH all sorts of credit for building a BP, but he sure can’t build a bench.

  218. 21sthebest says:


  219. 21sthebest says:

    Oops. That was a typo.

  220. Dom says:

    Why would they want anyone of those three? I presume they want someone at the ML level as they’re in the playoff race at the moment. Perhaps, we can obtain him for prospects. They’re certainly the team always looking for more.

  221. NMR says:

    I love hearing your insight on great Bucco teams of the past. Your memory is excllent!

  222. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    NO problem with it whatsoever. I do have a problem with Troy Tulowitski being voted in as the starting SS though.

    Puig is going to take this league by storm, if he hasn’t already.

    Like NMR said, show him off He is an extraordinary talent.

  223. Naterosboro says:

    Same page.

  224. Double Deuce says:

    Violates Dejan’s unofficial rules about proposed “package deals”.

  225. Dom says:

    I forgot about him. I don’t think he really should have gotten any jail time. Maybe ½ a year at the most.

  226. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Oh no way?? So did I.

  227. Thundercrack says:

    TC’s original implication was that Sanchez and Lambo are not worthy of being on the major league roster because “they” didn’t deem them to be.
    What I meant was that the FO, including scouts, know if Lambo or Sanchez would really be a help or upgrade at the major league level.

  228. Thundercrack says:

    Lucky and I pointed out that “they” don’t exactly have a pristine track record making those judgements.

    When exactly does the statute of limitations run out on the Neil Walker decision?

    When he is posing with his bust at Cooperstown?

  229. Arriba Wilver says:

    He’s using that as the context for not giving up the farm or committing a lot of future cash for one or two pieces. In other words, getting your clock cleaned.

    BTW, what do you think I “WANT to hear” from that?

  230. Arriba Wilver says:

    2 year minimum on a gun charge in NYC, whether you’re an athlete or not. I think he had an opportunity to plea, but decided to roll the dice, and lost. No sympathy.

  231. Arriba Wilver says:

    ABI—Anybody But Inge.

  232. Nate83 says:

    Stongly disagree. They are accurate but not pinpoint. Very rarely do you see three perfect pitches in one at bat. Yes they can pick a side of the plate to pitch and get it within 6 inches but there is a big difference between hitting the corner and it running 4 -6 inches back to the center or inside for a ball.

    I’ve heard many former players say that you are patient you will get at least one pitch to hit every at bat. Meaning a ball you can barrel up and drive.

  233. NMR says:

    He’s using that as the context for getting however many pieces it takes to turn around the whole lineup.

    Which has absolutely nothing to do with what the Pirates need.

    Thus, using Sabeans comment as proof that it would be cost prohibitive to make the minor moves the Bucs are looking at right now doesn’t make any sense.

  234. Brandie says:

    That is more than two words, but I am intrigued by your statement and would like to subscribe to your news letter.

  235. NMR says:

    Moreso than Raul Ibanez in Seattle?

  236. Thundercrack says:

    A few more timely hits over the past 4 or 5 days and I think we’re not as concerned about our bench or if Inge is on the team.

  237. Milo Hamilton says:

    He’s not bench help. He starts.

  238. Mike A. says:

    Afraid I have to agree. Of course, as soon as I say that, they’ll reel off 8 out of 10.

  239. Bob Hasis says:

    Did anyone notice that Pedro and Jones each drove a single to left field in the same inning last night, and before his oblique strain, Walker was finding there is a right field while batting right – handed. It is a proven formula for success. Hit the ball where it is pitched!

    My two cents worth on Pedro missing the tag – just simply put the glove in front of the bag and the runner will tag himself out by sliding into it. No sweeping swipes req’d.

    This is Rule 101 also.

    Marte is terrific but he must keep his head (and eyes) on the ball and stop guessing fast ball, while the ball is breaking into the dirt low and outside as he swings and misses.

    He looked bad on that swing in the ninth.

  240. Dom says:

    I agree with everything Big B!!!

  241. Arriba Wilver says:

    I wasn’t using it “as proof that it would be cost prohibitive to make the minor moves the Bucs are looking at right now.” Just that you had to be careful right now to balance things. And if a team knows you need a piece they have they are going to be looking for an overpayment. What Sabean referred to as leverage.

    Going back to the quote 21 started with, ” If somebody’s going to trade somebody this early, they’re going to have to win the deal and you’re going to have to let them win the deal.”

  242. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’ve been concerned and remain concerned Inge is on this team. I also thought Locke was a bust after last year.

  243. NMR says:

    Pesky facts, Ryan.

    Who needs ‘em!!!

  244. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think that’s a fair evaluation of the Pedro play. In hindsight. My point last night was that it was happening so fast, and the throw was so perfect (remember Martin had the ball get away from him and had to go get it) I thought Pedro thought his only chance was a swipe tag.

  245. Jandy says:

    Hey you! How are ya??

  246. SeanAY says:

    If I’m reading baseball-reference correctly, they are 11-11 in games he has started.

  247. NMR says:

    Not for a National League team. At least not full time.

    He also strikes out too much and doesn’t walk enough. Pirates have plenty of those guys.

  248. Brandie says:


    I am missing the sunshine. Getting tired of all the wet. Wanting our boys to win one tonight. I detect a note of concern bordering on frustration for some. I guess that is what 20 years of losing does to you. This team is apologetically unapologetic with regard to its flaws.

    I hope all is copacetic there in Jandy-land.

  249. NMR says:

    You’re still correct. Dealing with fractions of a second between safe and out.

    It simply takes too long to receive the ball, find the base, and put the glove directly in front of it to be effective in a bang-bang play.

  250. Brandie says:

    It’s like beat poetry. I give it multiple snaps and bongo drum beats.

  251. Jandy says:

    I’m sick of the wet too. Raining as I type. My dog doesn’t like to potty when it’s raining lol.
    Otherwise Jandyland is peachy :)

    I am hoping for a win tonight as well. Our boys need to turn things around before we get too many bridge jumpers!

  252. Milo Hamilton says:

    Trust me, he’s no worse than Jones in right field defensively.

  253. NMR says:

    You’ve proven my point.

  254. Bob Hasis says:

    If Pedro is straddling the base – which he should be – it can’t be too difficult to find; it would be directly between his feet.

    If he has quick enough hands to swipe, they should equally fast to drop the glove on the bag

  255. Bob Hasis says:

    . . . .which might eliminate the umpire making a bad judgment call

  256. Arriba Wilver says:

    They did a wonderful job overall, and Sammy hit it out of the park in that episode.

  257. Brandie says:

    Blog sure is busy today. If Arriba and crew can solve the problems in right field, will the economy be next?

    Seriously, I am not sure if the current losing streak is indicative of deeper problems or if it is just another indicator of baseball’s ludicrously long season that we go through streaks of wins and losses. I can only hope the Bucs get a bat to strengthen the bench and address any other pitching, hitting, or physical and mental conditioning concerns. It would break my heart to see all of this hard work go down the drain again.

    And, no, I am not a “Bridge Jumper”.

  258. Big B says:

    It does seem to be one of those stretches where nothing is falling in for us. Lot of hard hit balls right at guys.

  259. Brandie says:

    As my dad is fond of saying…”Sometimes it be’s that way!”

  260. Arriba Wilver says:

    Honestly, I can’t find any reasonable criticism of Pedro on that play. None.

  261. Brandie says:


    I like your head shot on this page. It’s very Oscar Madison / Jack Klugman / Odd Couple to me.

    DK: Um, which of the two?

  262. Milo Hamilton says:

    Fine. He’d slide right behind McCutchen as the 2nd most productive offensive player on this team. Just look at the numbers. And he plays in the 3rd worst HR park in baseball.

  263. Milo Hamilton says:

    51 RBI in 67 games.

  264. Milo Hamilton says:

    Oops, I forgot Pedro. Sorry Pedro.

  265. NMR says:

    Which numbers?

    He strikes out 25% of the time. He barely has a .300 OBP. He barely meets league-average BA for an outfielder.

    He does one thing at this point, and that is hit home runs.

  266. Brandie says:

    The one directly under Dejan Kovacevic’sBlog.

  267. Milo Hamilton says:

    51 RBI’s in 67 games.

  268. NMR says:

    Oh, that number. That explains it.

  269. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    After he helps SF win a World Series….

  270. Bob Hasis says:

    Other than the fact he missed the tag, IMO, and the ball was there.

    I maybe more than most people in this blog think Pedro is an excellent fielder. His arm is without too many equals.
    His quickness to the left is perceptibly better, although he needs to play the line more carefully.

    So my comment is NOT derogatory at all; I just think he missed the tag and shouldn’t have

  271. Milo Hamilton says:

    Back in the day we called it production.

    I realize I’m talking way beneath your incredibly high level of comprehension here so I’ll stop now.

  272. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    If Puig is added to the All Star team….Starling Marte should’ve been a starter.
    The whole Puig thing is brought to you by the Dodgers, who are trying to find something to latch onto….And it’s Puig.
    Unfortunately, it’s working.
    Let Puig get around the league a couple times before he’s anointed a good player….Let alone an All Star.

  273. Milo Hamilton says:

    And besides, I thought you were talking about Pedro.

  274. NMR says:

    And there it is.

    Can’t have a conversation about “numbers” (plural, by the way, not singular. Your words, not mine.) without getting all defensive and whining.

  275. mmd says:

    I don’t think 91 AB’s is enough to just toss McKenry on the scrap heap. He’s a backup catcher who has shown the ability to get hot and have clutch hits. I don’t think calling up Sanchez to rot on the bench 6 days a week is the answer right now.

  276. Mike A. says:

    The first time Barmes got a hit, and the Bucs got the benefit of a “no call” on the “neighborhood play” on Locke’s horrible bunt, it was the top 3 in the order that let them down. That strikeout was the root of my other comment about Cutch going “pull happy”. Too many “whiffs” with RISP.

  277. Jandy says:

    That’s my Animal Muppet ;)

  278. Arriba Wilver says:

    Perfection is a wonderful thing, in theory. :-)

    Him missing the tag and the ball being there isn’t an opinion, it’s fact. No disagreement there.

  279. Jandy says:

    ehhh..all the fun went out of it…

  280. That’s hardly the only one, TC.

    That’s the best one I could think of at the time.


  281. John Lease says:

    Me too. Or Don Robinson, or Rick Rhoden. They could all hit.

  282. John Lease says:

    Frank Coonelly?

    At least I could get in some real heart felt booing every time he entered the game.

  283. Bizrow says:

    I don’t think you throw a wet behind the ears catcher into a pennant race unless you have to.

  284. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Many around here praise Sabean for his deadline deals and rightfully so, but they also criticize him for his love of his FA’s that he does pick up.

  285. Arriba Wilver says:

    I remember. And no one questioned it.

    I’m also old enough to remember Jerry Lynch.

  286. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I have to agree with NMR on Ibanez. At this point in his career, he’s a full time DH in the AL or a good bench guy in the NL.

  287. Milo Hamilton says:

    In 67 games he’s DH’d 15 times.

  288. JHadar says:

    I’m back after a brief blog hiatus and find the beloved Buccos embroiled in a three-game losing streak that includes an 11-inning loss and a 9-hit one run debacle where our pitchers held the AL West Division leaders to three hits.

    OK, so we can blame one on Morton — but nobody’s mentioned that as far as I’ve read this morning.

    We should have won the other two. Plain and simple.

    That the bats have gone dead for three straight games is a team problem — even though I read somewhere above that “advanced statistics” show Locke is regressing. If a three-hit small sample size game is a regression, then let our pitchers all regress and I’ll take my chances on the hitting coming around.

    The eight starting positions are still reasonably solid — not stellar, but no real big holes either. The knock on the bench is softened a little when you remember that a couple of these solid starters began the season riding the pine and a couple of the weak bench players were starters at the beginning.

    But here’s the thing. We don’t have a position out there that can’t be improved either. What we have is some players that we don’t think it would be wise to trade: McCutchen, Marte, Alvarez, Martin and for sentimental reason the local boy Walker. We do have an abundance of pitching and some prospects available.

    What do you think? Is this the “now or never” year? I think it’s next year, but that’s just me. So with that filter, if I were Neal, I would be looking for the best hitters available and be willing to shed a little minor league depth — but I wouldn’t be trading say Tabata, Jones, or Gaby (or Mercer or Walker) but if I could bring in a better guy at any of those positions I’d be moving them to the bench to see if they could win, or hold, their position.

    Also having seen Pedro’s arm and his surprising agility, I’d wonder if it was possible to make a right fielder out of him, or at least the more standard big guy first baseman if a good third baseman were to become available.

    It’s all speculation anyway.

  289. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Too many rule 101’s around. I didn’t see the play, so hard to comment. I do know the sweepy swipes (love that phrase) are used when the fielder is expecting the runner to be there as the ball gets there also so that the ball doesn’t get kicked out of the glove.

    However, if the runner was nowhere near then yes, holding down to the bag is the best course of action.

  290. Bizrow says:

    If Coco Crisp doesn’t make that pretty nice catch on Cutch’s ball, we wouldn’t be talking about some of this stuff.

    Thats baseball though

  291. theplanisworking says:

    That is your opinion only.
    I do not feel Tabata/Snider is a solution.
    Lowest OPS in baseball isnt a solution.

  292. NMR says:

    Check the rest of that lineup, Milo.

    Ibanez is the best of an awful group of defenders that should be DH’d.

    Not saying he isn’t good enough in a limitted role, but a team that depends on pitching and defense does not run him out there every day.

  293. theplanisworking says:

    “As we sit currently”.

    That can, and probably will change.

    See my post directly above.

  294. Sisyphus says:

    He really helped them in that first stretch run, riding the DL and watching the Giants finish third.

    He was a big help in 2011, missing 100 games and collecting $6M for rooting the Giants home to a second place finish.

    And the Giants really showed just how vital Sanchez was to their success by winning the World Series in 2012 with Sanchez collecting $6M for sitting out the entire season.

    Freddie was a fine player in his day, but the Pirates were lucky he turned down his last contract offer, forcing a trade.

  295. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    As a fan of the Fort, I wish that was true, however, he has shown nothing but the inability to play the position of his chosen profession.

    Might be time for Clint Hurdle to ask McKenry if he has any “hidden skills.”

  296. Nate83 says:

    This statement is painfully correct. We probably outplayed the other team in 3 or 4 of the 5 loses. Collecting many more hits and base runners but just not getting a hit at the right time. Some bad luck as well. We have had some hard hit balls find leather and other teams have had soft hit balls find holes.

    Maybe this is part of the regression but the sum of their parts still seem like an above average team. At least in my eyes they do.

  297. buggee says:

    That’s because his swing plane is elevating dramatically! It begins down around his heels and ends up twisting around his head.

    He needs shuttlecock training

  298. Sisyphus says:

    No, it isn’t my opinion, it is a fact. Right now Jose Tabata is hitting well. He has earned the chance to show if he can continue to it well. If he fails this month, then make a deal. Making a deal now would be a rather stupid thing to do.

    I wonder how many of the people who want to get rid of Tabata are the same ones who screamed when Bautista finally started to hit. Probably quite a few. Many of them were also screaming to get rid of Bautista as well.

  299. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    How many of those games were in RF?

  300. Jandy says:

    You tell ‘em, buggeeeee!~~~~

  301. theplanisworking says:

    Do you have a certificate of authenticity?? ;)

  302. Jandy says:

    Yup, this here blog is as authentic as they come ;)

  303. buggee says:

    Inge has a reverse swing-plane,and his Dianetics appear to be waaaayyyyy off.

    He needs shuttlecock training

  304. NMR says:

    The biggest factor that necessitated the swipe was Pedro already playing up in front of the bag for the bunt.

    He had to backpeddle (never turn your back on the play) in order to get to the bag, similar to what a 1B would do on a pickoff attempt from the catcher. You’ll always see a 1B swipe that tag. Just simply not enough time to set up perfectly.

  305. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    You know what, his production is better than anyone else in the lineup and he’s cheap. At 41, tale end of the dog days he might wear down though. I do like the experience he brings.

    Why not?

  306. buggee says:

    “Baby-Pujols” That’s great.

    Went o Costco, bought a 17-ellbee bag of miscellaneous chocolates and was stunned to see an empty wrapper entitled “Jandylicious”

    I stun easily. Perhaps I need shuttlecock training

  307. buggee says:

    Jose Clemente

  308. The Gunner says:

    Pedro in RF??? That sure is a new one. I would doubt it as it would probably affect his hitting and God knows the troubles he has had with his hitting while playing a familiar 3B.

  309. How about a wet-behind-the-ears outfielder/first baseman?


  310. Bob Hasis says:

    Correct – NEVER turn your back to the ball

  311. buggee says:

    clearly the problem with this ntire team is that they lack intensive shuttlecock training.

    Pitching would have far better command of their breaking pitches.

    Hitters would be able to adjust swing-planes and barreling if they took BP using shuttlecocks. Or wiffleballs. Wiffleballs with a golf-ball inside…

    Nah… Shuttlecocks. They can load the base varying weights. (I think I’m really onto something here)

    Raise it ya scurvy doggies

  312. theplanisworking says:

    So you want to keep a RF who is frequently injured, and just now has been doing well? When his career stats state otherwise? No thanks. We all have seen what Tabata can do, and it is lacking.

    Oh, and nice strawman regarding Bautista.

  313. NMR says:

    Oh don’t get me wrong, Ryan, I absolutely think he’d be a decent get – in the right circumstance.

    I just don’t know how you can trust a 41 yo to continue to hit homeruns at a career best pace, especially when that is the only thing he does well.

  314. theplanisworking says:

    How are you? Things are dull without you and Brandie around .

    Bucs need to start scoring runs. This LOB problem is too much.

  315. Jandy says:

    Aye matey, aaarrrgghhH!!

  316. That’s 2 years old, Brandie. Look at the Serbian soccer pix for a recent update.

  317. Jandy says:

    I’m so swamped at work….I had to take a break. Still have 5 contracts to review and get signatures to. The work is coming in so that is good!
    Otherwise, I just with the rain would go away for a while, I want some sun!
    How is that situation working out…you had some kind of lead over the weekend I believe? I’m still praying for you :)

  318. Jandy says:

    Only 2????? ;)

  319. theplanisworking says:

    Thanks for the prayers!
    I am now playing the dreaded “waiting game”
    So no new news to report.

    Just like cheering for the Pirates, I am reduced to “keeping the faith’!!

    Good to see you and the Muppet today.
    I am out til later for the game.
    Always planning…………
    Busy, busy Hippo.

    (Which is better than a hungry, hungry Hippo). ;)

  320. buggee says:

    Pirates’ pitching stinks!

    Follow my logic if you will…

    They throw to everyone on the bench in practice (so they can see more “live” pitches), and the guys on the bench are probably killing the ball. So if guys on the bench–pinch-hitting a collective .191 are killing the ball during practice, just how good are Pirate pitchers?

    (please note tongue is firmly in cheek there). Next…

    Letang stinks! Only way he lives up to that absurd contract is if he has a mentor like Sarge or Scuds. Clearly he influenced Malkin to dole out blase’ no-look behind-the-back passes to the entire Boston team, and that’s why the Pens were skunked.

    Hurdle looks like he has gas all the time.

    Go on. Hoist that shuttlcock up there already. Who are the Bucs playing tonight again?

  321. :D

    No gray hair in that one. Maybe 3?

  322. Bob Hasis says:

    Someone mentioned just above “being wet behind the ears”.

    We have two such players and two such pitchers who are just that, as it relates to a pennant chase in the majors. Marte and Mercer are very inexperienced to these pressures and at times prove it by their play,

    Locke and Cole surely fall into that category in terms of number of games exposed to the pressure. I think Locke was outstanding in defeat yesterday, and I expect the same from Cole tonight. (CH needs to let him go).

    But these skilled players due represent a liability, just because they are very inexperienced and “wet. . . . . . . . .” We cannot place a full burden on them – as much as we would like to – and maybe have to.

  323. JHadar says:

    Yeah, you read it here first!

    But to clarify. “I would wonder” with his arm and agility. I wouldn’t just go and switch him without a lot of teaching and practice.

  324. NMR says:

    Thought it was funny that the A’s had Cutch shaded to right center on that play. Talk about using an old scouting report.

    Marte really disappointed last night. Colon dominated him twice (and Cutch once) with two runners aboard on straight heat. Very, very impressive baseball right there.

  325. Bizrow says:

    That is a bit different, we’ve all seen what a difference a guy like Martin makes, come pressure time, I’d rather see Fort in there if for nothing more than the experience level

  326. Jray3 says:

    Great point. All teams go through stretches…just take a look at two other NL playoff teams as of today:

    Cardinals were 2-5 in seven game stretch before sweeping the Marlins
    Braves 2-4 in last six games
    Reds 6-11 in last 17 games

    Key is not letting this stretches become too prolonged. Five more games at PNC before break, just need to find a way to scratch out a few wins here.

  327. Bizrow says:

    But they have seen some major league time this season, Sanchez has not played in the field. Thats a bit different than IMO, anyways, playing a key role like catcher with no real MLB experience.

    Marte and Mercer and Locke were all up last season as well. With Cole, right now, I don’t see as where we have another option.

  328. Jray3 says:

    Have to remember Colon is 12-3 this year and is an All-Star for a reason. He has done this too many teams this year.

    Thought Marte had a really good AB in 9th just a few more feet and he would have played the part of hero on consecutive games.

  329. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    NMR, totally agree.

  330. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I’m with AW. I didnt think he was a bust, but a typical Pirate pitcher of old…who knows, JMac was amazing the first half last year too.

    Jeff Locke is starting to remind me more and more of Tom Glavine.

  331. Jray3 says:

    Totally agree with Locke and how he looked last night. Certainly have to like the way this rotation appears to be setup the next few years with Locke, Cole, Taillon at the top.

    Your point above all the more reasons why NH has to get this deadline right for this team to stay in playoff race deep into September.

  332. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    sounds Bang Bang to me…..there’s no way he could be straddling the bag to make that tag.

  333. NMR says:

    Not taking anything away from Colon, Jray.

    I say disappointing because if I had to pick the two best fastball hitters on the team, they’d be Marte and McCutchen. Colon dominated them with fastballs when it mattered most.

    In Marte’s case, with his speed and the A’s poor middle infield defense, all he had to due was put the ball on the ground to the right side for a productive out (twice). He had to know fastballs were coming, and he couldn’t even make contact. That’s why I was disappointed.

    Dominating performance by Colon.

  334. Kevin says:

    the A’s… the team they’ve lost to every time they’ve played them so far. 10 wins in a row.

  335. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Beat me to it. I don’t consider them “wet” anymore. Tony Sanchez would be diving into the deep end.

  336. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Huge difference…….Catching is the most important position player on the field.

  337. JHadar says:

    I don’t think that the question is “wet behind the ears” as much as would we rather have McKenry or Sanchez backing up Martin, or starting if there is an injury.

    I think we’ll see more of Sanchez as a September call-up however the rest of it goes.

  338. Jray3 says:

    Dominating it was, and he threw fastballs 80% + the whole night. Batters knew what was coming and still had problems with it.

    There was a great piece on ESPN about his start last night and where he placed his pitches, he is able to move the ball around to all quadrants and go upstairs whenever he likes.

    Tip your hat to the guy move on and just hope we can get to Strailey tonight.

  339. AJS says:

    They made this comparison on teh telecast last night and I laughed. Blass then went on to explain he obviously couldn’t compare careers but his style is similar. Not the best stuff in the world but they were both lefty and crafty with real good change ups. Now if Locke starts getting the ump to slowly expand the outside corner of the plate into say the inner third of the batters box then we can really start drawing comparisons.

  340. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    The law tends to dictate those sentences.

  341. AJS says:

    i feel like this is how it all starts though. A little bit of bad luck leads to decreased confidence ad a “Here we go again” mentality. They really need a leader to step up and keep the team focused before a spiral starts and gets out of control.

    That said it is 3 games. It happens to most everyone during a season of 162 games. The key is to stay focused and battle back. Hopefully Cole rights the ship tonight and they take game 3 tomorrow and we’ll be talking about a possible sweep of the mets. 4 of the next 5 should be their aim.

  342. 21sthebest says:

    Players are never taught to straddle the bag when taking a throw. If it’s a bad throw, straddling would make it harder to move.

  343. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    No, Kap is getting ready in the BP for the Giants. He threw out the 1st pitch the other night, hit 87

  344. AJS says:

    Like the play Crisp made on McCutchen in left center in the 7th or 8th last night. Thought the bucs were about to take the lead on a Cutch double. Turn out the inning ended on a fine play by Crisp.

  345. 21sthebest says:

    “Thats baseball though”

    Uh oh.

  346. NMR says:

    Assuming foot speed would be what was holding him back (and not completely sucking at judging fly balls), then yeah, I can’t see him being any worse than somebody like Willingham or Cudyer. Not even sure if our own Garrett Jones could beat him in a race.

  347. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Cheeseburgers? The dude needs to lay off the cold cuts….seriously.

  348. BrotherhoodoftheRedus says:

    David Wright selects Bryce Harper…so now David Wright is clearly a member of the Toolbox. Seriously though Harper is a decent selection but the one that stings is Cuddyer. When I think of all-time power guys, I think of Michael Cuddyer. He is going to hurt his old a$$ and spend the rest of the season on the DL with soreness on his WHOLE LEFT SIDE. David Wright’s farewell Home Run Derby Tour – Nice job buddy….now go thin out those pork chop eyebrows!

  349. cmat0829 says:

    A 3 game losing streak…yes, it happens…. they lost last night to allstar Bartolo Colon.. yes, the Bucs offense has issues but let’s tip our cap to the good pitching of Colon and the A’s bullpen.

    They lost on Sunday in Wrigley in extra innings, and had a ton of chances to break through offensively. The worst loss was Saturday, they were Soriano’d, 2HRs to 1HR.

    Not time to panic, my friends, the pitching is key and the pitching still looks good.

    Let’s not play “fantasy baseball” and have a ton of “Can Lambo play first base” crap-ola… this is just not realistic and I think beneath the collective baseball IQ of this here asylum… there is no offensive help in AAA, except for possibly, possibly Tony Sanchez..who I do prefer to the Fort, but I can’t really fault the Bucs for keeping McHenry.

    As to the Bench, the bench will have 5 players on it at any time…backup Catcher is one spot, backup SS/2B is another… seems to me McKenry/Barmes are league average as backups… again I prefer Tony Sanchez, but not gonna lose a lot of sleep over it.

    I think Gaby is just fine vs. LHPs and has power off the bench, so I’m ok with him taking that spot.

    That leaves 2 spots…. outfielder and IF/OFer…right now occupied by Snider and Inge. I think the Bucs have definitely decided Snider is not a starter, even platoon… then he needs to be a good bench player …jury out if he can be that, so far, not so good….
    Inge just needs to go.

    I would’ve loved if the Bucs had traded for Hairston and not the Nats… he can take the Inge spot and be a big improvement…

  350. Bizrow says:

    Agree with the September callup JH

  351. cmat0829 says:

    The NL derby team is a joke.. I see why Wright is the captain as Mets are hosting the whole thing… but he is weak to start with…Harper is so many things more than he is a power hitter… if you are gonna have Wright and Harper, then the other 2 slots need to be true power hitters and it should be Brown and Pedro, IMHO

  352. buggee says:

    Conversation overheard after last night’s loss to Oakland between Clint Hurdle (CH), Neal Huntington (NH), Brandon Inge (BI) and Neil Walker (NW)
    CH “have a seat gentlemen.”
    –chairs scrape, a fan is turned on–
    CH “Tough one tonight boys.”
    NH “Anybody hear from Locke?”
    BI “Yo, I’m thinkin’ he not be very stoked…”
    NW “Seriously Ingy? how the hell would you know that? You never talk to the guy.”
    BI “Well dat’s why I’m here Walker-ooo. I the “Clubhouse Guy.”
    CH “Okay you two…”
    –hurdle’s face turns redder than usual
    NH “Clint, you ok?”
    –a sound reminiscent of ripping cardboard is hear by all
    CH “You betcha Neal. Feelin’ great now!”
    –coughing heard throughout
    BI –singing softly to the tune of Van Halen’s “The Ice Cream Man”: “I’m the Club House Man, I’ll spit a lugee in your eye…”
    NW “Cripes! This is like a friggin circus! No wonder Cutch never comes in here.”
    –a loud, long gurgling rumble is heard
    CH “So whaddya think Walker; what’s the trainer say about your sore belly muscle?”
    NW “Unbelievable Clint. Do you have IBS? you gotta get that checked or something.”
    CH “It does suck when I have to wear white pants.”
    NW “I dunno Clint, he says it might be a couple more days. It’s just really stiff, ya know.”
    NH “Now now Neil, you know I don’t go for any of that sex talk in the office.”
    NW “Huh?”
    BI “Sex talk sex talk sex talk.”
    CH “Well Ingy, you’re gonna have to step up and–you know–hit the ball once in a while. you’re covering second while Walker’s got the bum rib.”
    BI “How long do you think Adam complained to God about his MISSING rib, huh?”
    CH & NH “Huh?”
    –hurdle leans forward in his chair as a thunderous noise erupts from behind and beneath him–
    NH “Wow Clint. You should have been a pitcher with that kind of jet-fuel.”
    CH –chuckling– “That WAS a good one, wasn’t it.”
    NW “I’m outta here. This place is smelling worse than a bathroom. By the way, did you know that I’m from Pine-Richland?””
    BI “I miss Zagurski”
    CH “Think you can step it up there, Clubhouse Man?”
    BI “Can we bring Zagurski back? Dat dude was smokin’ in that parrot suit!”
    NH “WHAT? What the hell were you doing with the Parrot?”
    BI “You know how that Brown dude always sez, ‘Clear the deck! Cannonball comin’!’ Yeah…”
    NH “that’s enough. Clint, keep this, this freak away from Cole, ill you please?”
    CH –a wistful look on his face– “Ooohhh, that was a quiet one but I think it’s time for me to hit the showers. This meeting’s over!”

  353. cmat0829 says:

    I know everyone keeps waiting for Locke to regress and for Liriano to start sucking, but count me as one who is ‘counting’ on both of these guys to keep on keeping on…. Locke’s success is due to approach, command, confidence, not velocity or things that may deteriorate with innings count… Liriano is a veteran and if healthy, and he appears to be, should be able to keep it up.

    I know it is easy to say the Bucs should deal for a veteran starter… (1) ones you can ‘count on’ will cost a lot, like a Taillon (2) ones that are a notch below (say Bud Norris) , can you really “count on” any more than Locke/Liriano anyway? And they will cost prospects….
    (3) you have to ‘make room’ for them,meaning someone is DFA’d or optioned….

    I don’t really see starter as a target right now, I do see reliable veteran late innings bullpen guy, RF or 1B upgrade and utility bench guy.

  354. Couldn’t disagree with you more, cmat.

    There is help at AAA. There are better players there than we have on our bench here (Pgh.), even beyond Sanchez.

    And wouldn’t Hairston’s .172 average be even lower than Inge’s sub-Mendoza average?

  355. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m a sucker for jet fuel jokes. :-). 2 thumbs up.

    ” No wonder Cutch never comes in here.”

  356. The Gunner says:

    I don’t think Pedro will end up in RF, ever!

  357. NMR says:


    Blame lack of depth last year all you want, but that doesn’t explain the extent of their failure. The Astros were fielding a AAA team and won more games during the collapse.

    Every team goes through losing stretches. This team has to show they can overcome those mentally, unlike the last two years.

  358. cmat0829 says:

    Maybe, but he can sure hit HRs, and I think he is a good pinchhitter historically… re: Hairston vs. Inge.

    As to ‘help at AAA”, to whom are you referring? JayHey? Lambo?

  359. Arriba Wilver says:

    Who is this “everyone” you speak of Kemosabe?

  360. cmat0829 says:

    Pedro has played good 3B this year, and RULE NUMBER ONE is you don’t mess up something that is not a weakness to try to plug an area that is a weakness, lest you end up weaker all around.

  361. cmat0829 says:

    touche, AW… let’s rewrite that….

    Everyone, I mean a LOT of people….

  362. Jandy says:


    Dayum, buggee, you have a gift!

  363. Jandy says:

    I fully expect Locke to win every game he pitches. The kid is good.
    Too bad he has the same luck AJ has lately….no back up from the offense.

  364. NMR says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more, Lucky.

    I, personally, feel like cmat is using different standards if he thinks there is nothing at the AAA level that could improve the bench as much or more than Hairston. I wouldn’t disagree that having the veteran is nicer than a rookie, but that does not automatically mean the rookie can’t hit.

    We saw just last season what a guy on a hot streak can do in limited at-bats. Nobody remembers Brock Holt?

  365. cmat0829 says:

    I guess I’m taking the view that (1) no need to panic after losing 3 games in a row by total of 5 runs (2) focus should be on trades for players who have filled a bench role in pennant race and not on the kneejerk AAA band-aid.

    If the Bucs were to call up JayHey and cut Inge, I’d celebrate… so I’m not against it… but I’m against that being seen as really solving the problem. It isn’t and won’t. wanna call Lambo up (I don’t)? That’s ok, but not to play 1B to bench Jones, as some have suggested.

  366. NMR says:

    Apparently I was the only one who understood Hadar’s hypothetical.

  367. cmat0829 says:

    I guess my other question is “who is the AAA help”? I mentioned Jay Hey and Lambo… and TSanchez.. did I miss anyone?

  368. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jones is actually pretty fast for a big guy. I’d take that bet in a heartbeat. Playoffs?

  369. Arriba Wilver says:


  370. Naterosboro says:


    The opening of the podcast on the Pirates I thought was spot on. A losing streak being good? Pirates like no other in professional sports?

    Things really are different for this team.

  371. Naterosboro says:

    From PP:

    Depends on the price tag (in terms of prospects), but if the Pirates could get Garza, I’d be all for it.

    Again, depends on the price tag. ;-)

  372. Dejesus. Presley. Lambo. Hague.

  373. Jandy says:

    Good things come to those who wait…

  374. I don’t want to see Jones benched, rr even Tabata, but we might need a better bench than Inge, Snider, Fort and Barmes.

    I know some of those guys are unproven, but they’ve won like 58 games at Indy already. Of course it’s AAA, but they didn’t do it with mirrors.

  375. cmat0829 says:

    In place of whom?

    Dejesus would need to replace Barmes, not sure he has the defensive skills to do so… maybe you are sure….

    Presley would need to replace Tabata or Snider.
    Lambo same.
    Hague? I guess he’d have to replace Gaby.

    I think this list proves the point… moves at this point for any of these AAA players would be made out of desparation to ‘try something, anything’ and not based on these guys being the answer for the bench…. best focus on trades, folks.

  376. cmat0829 says:

    yes, he is a solid veteran starter. picking him up would cost prospects WITHIN the division, as well as Morton to middle inning relief… and Mazarro DFA’d. Or Cole to Indy

  377. NMR says:

    1) Panicking over three losses (which neither Lucky or I have done) and talking trades/promotions are not directly related. We’ve been talking about adding bench players all season.

    2) Last (and only) time Scott Hairston sniffed a playoff race was in 2010, btw, and performed so well that the Padres gave him all of 55 at-bats after July.

    And maybe I missed it, but nobody has suggested benching Jones in favor of Lambo. Wondering if 1B is a place Lambo can fill in while Jones slumps, sure. But not completely replace.

  378. Ghost says:

    “Harper is so many things…” but he also IS a power hitter. He’ll take a bunt down the 3rd base line if it’s offered, he’ll hit behind a runner when required, but he has always known how to unleash the most beautiful and explosive power stroke when he wants to. I believe that to this day, the longest shot ever hit at Tropicana field was the one he hit as a 16 year-old. Wouldn’t surprised me a bit if the kid won the whole dang competition.

  379. Naterosboro says:

    JayHay is not help.

    He is cannon fodder.

  380. AJS says:

    At this point i wouldn’t consider 2 guys that have been here and shown to be not that much better than the current options and 2 guyswho have never even seen a major league pitch as help in AAA. The bench upgrade has got to be someone who is a proven commodity.

    It would also be nice if it were an infielder toreplace Inge.

  381. AJS says:

    And just yesterday I said it is great to not have to be seeing statements like “Free Matt Hague!” And today we are seeing statements akin to Free DeJesus!

  382. NMR says:

    Haha, what point did you even make, let alone prove?

    DeJesus would replace Inge, not Barmes.

    Lambo/Presley would replace Snider.

    No clue how giving a player a shot to prove himself over ones that clearly cannot get much worse BEFORE GOING OUTSIDE THE ORGANIZATION FOR HELP reeks of desperation more than trading for an old guy who can’t hit .200.

  383. Arriba Wilver says:

    The reality is he has 13 homers in 1/3 less at bats than Pedro. I don’t have a problem with Harper being there. Cuddyer is the crazy pick.

  384. AJS says:

    While I am not the biggest fan of prospects withi the division they did it last year sending prospects for Wandy…of course the Astros were leaving the division so this doesn’t really apply.

  385. Naterosboro says:

    Pirates Charities auction on the broadcast tonight on ROOT. I have to ask others opinion on this.

    Yes, it’s absolutely for a great cause. But is it necessary to intermix with the broadcast? I feel like it takes away from the broadcast. Couldn’t they have a separate event on an off day or the such? They could even broadcast it on ROOT. I feel like it might have been a way to get people to tune in, in the past, but the team and their play is the story this year (and has been mainly for the past 3 seasons so far).

    What are others opinions on this?

    Is this done in other cities? I live in South Jersey and don’t remember seeing Comcast Sportsnet Philly doing this, but then again, I don’t catch every one of their games.

  386. Dom says:

    Why him and not a hitter?

  387. NMR says:

    You know another name for a bench player that has “proven” he can hit?

    A starter.

  388. NMR says:

    Yeah, I’m personally looking forward to watching Harper more than any of the other players.

    Dude generates insane batspeed.

    He belongs.

  389. Ghost says:

    Personally, I’d like both (SP and a hitter) as long is the price is right in each case. This will sound like self back-patting (and it is!) but I’ve thrown out Garza as a desirable target before. Include Mazarro and/or Morton in the trade for him and we don’t have to demote Cole to make room.

  390. Arriba Wilver says:

    Just answered a question, AJS. Just answered a question. But, you don’t think it’s possible DeJesus is a better choice than Inge? Because that’s who people are talking about him replacing.

  391. Bizrow says:

    Agree with you Nate, it just doesn’t take away from the broadcast, it controls the broadcast.

    And its a big game tonight

  392. Matt Hague deserved a shot when he got it. He didn’t perform.

    DeJesus has played well all season and all during winter ball and ST. And nobody said to free him. Give him a shot.

    Not panic moves. Upgrades. If they don’t work, they don’t, but all the Inges in the world aren’t helping right now.

    Snider looked like a lost sheep in that game the other day vs. the Cubs. Inge has been lost all season. Barmes for 2 seasons.

  393. Naterosboro says:


    They’re going to have to get both. They’re going to need a starting arm (prefereably one with a decent track record), and, as DK notes, to upgrade the bench.

  394. Ghost says:

    Correction: as this is Garza’s walk year, we don’t trade both Mazarro and Morton; one or the other. Or Brandon Inge!

  395. Bizrow says:

    I don’t think the PBC will pay for that level of a rental player

    Just sayin

  396. NMR says:

    Gonna take a hell of a lot more than that.

  397. NMR says:

    I just saw Snider a couple hours ago at the PNC in 5h Avenue Place.

    He looked exactly the same.

    I had to laugh.

  398. Did he swing and miss at strike 3 a foot and a half outside?


  399. 21sthebest says:

    Let the Nuttings buy all of the items up for bid. I want to watch baseball.

  400. 21sthebest says:

    Evan Gattis has a better AB/HR ratio than Harper. I don’t think Harper is a crazy pick overall but I think it’s crazy to pick him over Alvarez. Harper has a lot of years ahead of him. Pedro should too but Pedro is far more deserving this year, IMO.

  401. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I have no problem with it. It’s a way for the fans to get the information. I would rather see it the way they do it now instead of the rolling numbers on the bottom of the screen.

  402. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Its July 9th. Not that big of a game….one of many, many more left to play.

  403. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:


  404. Ghost says:

    If it takes “a hell of a lot more” then we walk. Garza is a mere rental. We got a lot more from the Astros last year for two minor league prospects.

  405. NMR says:

    I saw him try to sign an autograph and completely miss the paper. :)

  406. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Ha Ha…Little League level they are 21……see where I’m going with that?

  407. Arriba Wilver says:

    Have fun watching the auction, Ryan. ;-)

  408. Ghost says:

    AW and 21,
    Just to be clear, my point isn’t that Harper brings a ton of first half HR’s into the contest — he doesn’t. He’s not a hit-or-miss free swinger. He only goes yard when the opportunity presents himself. But he CAN go yard with the best of them, especially in a contest like this where that’s all you’re supposed to do.

    True story: When Harper was a sophomore at Las Vegas High School, in a play-off game he came up to bat with the bases loaded and his team trailing. Everybody in the packed stands — and I mean EVERY BODY — was roaring for him to go yard. The defense had everybody play DEEP. So what did Harper do? He dropped a bases clearing bunt that got him all the way to second base in the confusion. The kid is smart beyond his years and aspires to be a complete player.

  409. Ghost says:

    “Dude generates insane batspeed.”
    This is really true.

  410. Arriba Wilver says:

    Personally, I think it’s crazy to be focusing on the Harper pick when Cuddyer is on the squad. Harper is a reasonable choice. Cuddyer isn’t.

  411. Ghost says:

    Good one! (Poor kid though, that Snider.)

  412. Sisyphus says:

    No, a strawman is inferring that I want Tabata to finish the season in right field. I want him to finish the month in right field, then decide what to do. The Bautista comment was an aside, not a strawman.

    Tabata’s career numbers say he is exactly an average major league hitter. He is 24 years old. Most players hit their peaks somewhere around age 27 or 28. It’s not much of a stretch to think that Tabata has a lot of potential for improvement over the next three or four seasons and become considerably better than an average major league hitter. It isn’t much of a stretch to think that his he’ll finish this season with something around his current level of performance, or slightly less. What is a stretch is thinking that we’ve already seen his best at age 24. It’s not impossible that we have, but it is unlikely.

  413. Sisyphus says:

    He’s considerably worse than Jones in the outfield. His range is equal to his wingspan.

  414. Sisyphus says:

    No, he’s shown that he isn’t throwing very well. Throwing out base stealers is a small part of a catcher’s defensive responsibilities. He does a fair job receiving the ball, and he’s pretty good at blocking pitches in the dirt. All in all I’d call him an average defensive catcher.

  415. Sisyphus says:

    Garrett Jones would beat Alvarez by at least 3 yards in a 60 yard dash.

  416. Arriba Wilver says:

    Gotta ask, Sissy, is there anyone on the Pirates 25 man roster that isn’t league average in your opinion? Seems like the Bucs should win the World Series based on your evaluation. No problems. (Mentioning Inge doesn’t count– no one thinks he’s any good)

  417. Sisyphus says:

    I detest ROOTs baseball broadcasts, with or without auctions.

  418. theplanisworking says:

    Can they please auction off a win tonight???

  419. NMR says:

    He was actually a pretty nice kid.

    Walked over to shake his hand after doing my business and even got him to crack a smile.

  420. JD says:

    ROOT broadcasts might not be the best, but they are a heck of a lot better than the Fox Cincy ones. Those guys are terrible!!

  421. DJ says:

    Agree he is “okay” against lefties. I wouldn’t call him a masher though. To me, mashing would be .330 and above.

  422. DJ says:

    Still pushing that boulder up that hill?

  423. DJ says:

    You didn’t understand the point, which is that polished hitters use the whole field. He doesn’t, and that is why I would like to see more balance on the left side.

  424. DJ says:

    Gwynn was one of my top three favorite hitters of all time, Nate. First time I saw him was at Wrigley and I believe he went 5 for 5 that day, with hits to both the right and left field lines and 3 in between.

    But going the other way is not my point with Tabby. It’s that he does not go often enough to the left side to be a polished hitter (and I won’t add here “…like Gwynn” because to use their names in the same sentence would be sacrilegious.)

    Pulling for Tabby over the next 2 weeks but with considerable doubts.

  425. DJ says:

    That point I do agree with. I would also add that he’s principally a singles hitter and that’s not exactly the template you want from your right fielder.

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