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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Pirates 5, Athletics 0

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (53-36) vs. Oakland Athletics (54-37)

Starters: LHP Francisco Liriano vs. LHP Tommy Milone

Time: 7:05 p.m.

Site: PNC Park

TV, radio: Root Sports, 93.7 The Fan

Here’s the official live box score.

Here’s the Pirates’ lineup …

  1. Starling Marte, LF
  2. Jose Tabata, RF
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Russell Martin, C
  5. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  6. Gaby Sanchez, 1B
  7. Jordy Mercer, 2B
  8. Clint Barmes, SS
  9. Liriano, P

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page. Rob Biertempfel is on the scene.

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:

    Ok. No more it’s-a-good-thing losses.

  2. Sarcastic Sword says:

    So Pedro back out of the cleanup role already…..

  3. Arriba Wilver says:

    This is a game we should win based on the pitching matchup. But I hope Liriano doesn’t have to throw a no-no to win it.

  4. Gobo says:

    Only because A’s are throwing a lefty. The fact that Clint didn’t drop him to 6th is a ringing endorsement, actually.

  5. Playoffs by 2012 says:


    Max “wager” is 100 units on any single line.
    All “wagers” must be in multiples of 5 units.
    Play as few or as many lines as you’d like.
    As always, this is for fun and entertainment purposes.


    Tonight’s Pick ‘Em Line
    What Will the Pirates Get in tonight’s game?
    Win (EVEN ODDS)
    Loss (EVEN ODDS)

    Please Note – All games must be considered official games in order for line(s) to be valid. Any postponement, cancellation, or suspension of game(s) will void line(s).

    GOOD LUCK!!!

    P.S. – The Window has secured tickets to the Pirates / Mets games on this Friday and Saturday.
    Anyone of you fine lunatics looking to meet up for a brew or two, send me an email at buccooverunder at gmail-dot-com

    DK, if you are going to be at either one of those games, The Window formally requests an audience with your Eminence.

  6. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Tommy Milone is a good LHP as well. Key piece in the Gio Gonzalez deal from last off season for the A’s.

  7. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    100 on a W please.

  8. Jandy says:

    100 Radical Units on the WIN please, Mr. Playoffs. And thank you!

  9. Arriba Wilver says:

    Not suggesting otherwise. Just based on the stats, we have the better starting pitcher tonight.

  10. Arriba Wilver says:

    Gotta go with 100 on the WIN.

  11. Ghost says:

    It’s been a while since I dug myself deeper in debt, so…

    100 allergy tablets on a WIN, please!

  12. cosmo says:

    100 on win please. time to break to streak.

  13. cosmo says:

    break the streak

  14. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Totally agree.

  15. Bizrow says:

    100 nukes on a Win

    We have never beaten Oakland

    Streak stops tonight

    But I said the same thing yesterday

    Also, starting to rain in Beaver County again

    Might be a long night at the ballyard

    Thanks as always Playoffs

  16. Bizrow says:

    Plus, how could one bet on a Loss ;-)

  17. TCB says:

    100 on the W.

  18. OZ says:

    100 on the Winner winner chicken dinner. Thx

  19. Arriba Wilver says:


  20. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Did anyone see the Giants signed a resident of the blog; Jeff Francour?

    This is sounding like their 2010 run. Cody Ross and Pat Burrell off the scrap heap.

  21. Dom says:

    100 on the WIN!!!

  22. tdb1977 says:

    Biz – this is how…

    100 on a lose please playoffs

    Maybe this will reverse the current trend

  23. Bizrow says:

    Good thinking, what with my record, I should have done that ;-)

  24. Ghost says:

    To reply to your question (rhetorical?) this morning, I’ll just quote myself from yesterday morning: “…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.”

    Above numbers don’t reflect last night’s game, but they are telling enough. Sanchez essentially has TWO roles: as a rightie platoon mate for Jones, but just as importantly, as a late–inning bat off the bench. As for the discussion you and AJS had where you two appear to concur about “keep(ing) Gabby in his role as a guy who bats only against lefties,” I would have to beg to differ. The reality is that we don’t have that luxury. Late in games it is ‘all hands on deck.’ In the past two Oakland games we’ve called on Gabby in his other roll as a pinch-hitter and he’s been just another one of the guys failing to get it done.

  25. Tom P. says:

    Thought of the day: does anybody have an opinion about whether Tabata should bat leadoff and Marte second?

  26. stickyweb says:

    And will be anytime a LHP starts against us. He’ll be right back in clean up against the next RH starter. I think it makes sense. Though Jordy hits lefties better than Tabby so I’d rather see him hitting 2nd.

  27. Bob Hasis says:

    Speaking of the “scrap heap”, are we beginning to see the inexorable march of time work its undoing on the likes of Verlander, Lincecum, Halladay, Sabathia, Hamels, Hudson, Zito, etc.

    They appear to be but a shadow of their former selves (self).

  28. radio wave says:

    At Quail assuming weather permits, and the forecast is very bad, I will take 50 for the win. Thank you

  29. NMR says:

    Oh, so all we need is guys who can hit both righties AND lefties?



  30. NMR says:

    Yes and yes.

  31. BostonsCommon says:

    1. Matt Carpenter .331 .404 .500 .904
    2. Shin-Soo Choo .285 .429 .474 .902
    3. Gerardo Parra .287 .335 .461 .796
    4. Starling Marte .286 .330 .457 .786

    He’s got the 4th highest OPS in all of baseball out of the leadoff spot… “If it ain’t broke”…. And thankfully it finally aint broke.

  32. Bill Born says:

    50 on a win Please.

  33. NMR says:

    If they can turn whatever is left of the guy who used to be ok at baseball named Jeff Francouer into something close to Cody Ross of 2010, then Sabean has a deal with the devil.

  34. diehard says:

    I wouldn’t go so far as to put Verlander in that group yet. Still having a good year – but only by other pitchers’ standards. His shadow is still better than most guys’ solid bodies. What he’s done the past two years has been unreal.

  35. Lad9 says:

    100 on the win please sir. Thank you Playoffs. Go Buccos!

  36. Ghost says:

    Ha ha!
    I actually had been thinking of a couple of your previous posts (‘What do you call bench players who can hit? Starters!’ Or, from early in the year when we entered the season with A.J., Wandy, and three big question marks in our starting rotation. You posted something to the effect that this is the reality with most MLB clubs — the back end of a rotation ain’t going to be on par with it’s front end.

    Well, we caught lightning in a bottle with Jeff Locke & Co. letting us have our cake and eat it too. Can’t a guy get greedy and want the ’79 Bucs bats coming off the bench too? ;)

  37. Ghost says:

    I have an opinion that Marte needs to be taken out to the wood shed. He previously had been observed learning to have, well, at least a “little” more patience and discipline at the plate. But some of his outlandish swings in these past two games would make a Little Leaguer blush.

  38. JD says:

    100 on the win please.

    Lets Go Bucs!

  39. Bob Hasis says:

    Agreed. I was thinking about some announcers saying he seems to have lost some zip from his fastball, as have the others.

  40. Brandie says:

    I would like to have 50 love beads on a win. Thanks Mr. Playoffs.

  41. tomp says:

    On the home run derby, who gives the mandate that Wright and Cano should be the captains in the 1st place?

    It certainly should not be based solely on the fact that those 2 are members of teams playing in New York.

    If i recall last season, the game was in K C, and again , Cano was the “captian” of the team.

    I just remember the S-storm of boos and heckling he received for not choosing Billy Butler for the gang of 4.

    Next season, after the Nl gets totally thumped, maybe the fans should pick the 4 contestants via an internet ballot, just like the extra player is chosen.

    As for captains, the leading HR hitter in each league should be captain, whether he wants to participate or not.

    Bob Walk and his hand maiden Greg Brown went a little too far in the “why isn’t Alvarez on the squad”?.
    Of course , the rest of time was mostly spent as they played auctioneers, and throwing in a little baseball play by play.
    I realize the auction is for a good cause, but they have to attempt to cut back on the constant pining for $$$$.

  42. diehard says:

    His loss of zip is still 95! He’s definitely walking a few more this year than he has of late. I’ll sure he’ll figure it out eventually and adjust.
    I’d bet Ray Searage could help him. Verlander for Gabby Sanchez and Brandon Inge! :-)

  43. Ghost says:

    One good Muppet sighting deserves another!

  44. Ghost says:

    Diehard for mayor!

  45. Nate83 says:

    100 on the win. Thanks.

  46. tomp says:

    Does Jay Bell have a problem with Marte?.

    I notice after the tying HR on Sunday, as every one was congratulating him, Bell barely moved, did not get up, and slightly raised his hand , as he passed by.

    You would think the hitting coach would be 1 of the 1st to welcome him back to the dugout.

    Maybe an afternoon of getting bitched at by Hurdle for the mostly incompetent Ab’s, made him sulk in his own little “happy place”.

  47. tomp says:

    The team would be losing alot of veteran leadership.

    How about Sanchez for Phil Hughes?

  48. NMR says:

    Haha, I’m glad you found the intended humor in my response.

    I’ve been intermittently b*tching and moaning about the way this roster was constructed from the beginning of the year, and this is one example.

    I have no problem with teams, especially low payroll teams, utilizing platoons. What I don’t like is when the same team has several, only one of which actually works, and it just so happens to be with two defensively limited players.

    I’ve accepted both Gaby and Jones limitations at this point, and I think the Pirates should too. Instead of putting Gaby in a position where he HAS to come through against righties in a difficult PH role, Hurdle should be given someone who can actually hit righties. Plenty of roster spots available.

  49. stickyweb says:

    I’ll take double odds on a rain out please. :-)

    But if I have to pick one of yours, I’ll take 100 on the WIN please. Thanks.

  50. tomp says:

    Martin batting 4th is a sign that Hurdle has really lost his mind.

    Seriously, 2nd, or 6th is the only spot in the order he should ever vacate.

  51. pattonbb says:

    Matt Cain just got pulled after only going 2/3 of an inning. I think Sabean has bigger problems than figuring out how to use Frenchy.

    But, I have to admit that I always liked Francoeur. At one time (a few years ago) he might of had the best arm of any outfielders in baseball. The guy was fun to watch play.

  52. NMR says:

    My response has more to do with Marte hitting behind Tabby and in front of Cutch than with “fixing” anything.

  53. Jason81 says:

    Time for the ol’ hidden vigorish to kick in…

    100 on the WIN, please!

  54. BostonsCommon says:

    I see your angle, but I don’t know if it makes a difference. If Marte is leading off and getting on base, Tabata is still going to see fastballs. Especially with Marte a threat to steal. Plus the pitcher is not going to want to put two guys on base ahead of Cutch. I think by moving Marte, all you do is risk turning a strength (finally having a lead-off hitter) into something less than what it is now.

  55. NMR says:

    Marte being Marte. At this point, I don’t think anybody can reasonably expect him to change.

    A while back I tried to put a little perspective on his plate discipline. I simply looked to see which outfielders were successful while striking out more than 20% of the time and walking less than 5% of the time.

    I had to go back to 2008 before I found a single qualified player to even fit those parameters. Yikes.

    Good news is that the two players I found were Adam Jones and Carlos Gomez. So, it can be done successfully…just very, very, VERY rarely.

  56. Brandie says:

    You made my day. I even said on the other thread that I would miss cookie monster ( as in Matt Cooke).

  57. NMR says:

    I can accept that.

    But wouldn’t you at least say that if Tabby continues far outpacing Marte’s OBP, that “risk” would be awfully small?

  58. Brandie says:

    Notice how no one ever says…”I’ll take Brandon Inge for the win.”

  59. NMR says:

    Dude was an absolute stud coming onto the scene with the Braves.

  60. Brandie says:

    I can see you’re not too good with a scissors. ;)

  61. Ghost says:

    “Plenty of roster spots available.”

    This is true. When it comes to looking for roster spots to replace, you could say we have an embarrassment of riches, a cornucopia… a plethora…

  62. BostonsCommon says:

    That’s a massive “IF”….

    If Tabata can not only produce, but stay healthy and produce it does more than allow Hurdle to bat him lead-off and move Marte down. That fills the gaping hole in RF. But his health is another massive if.

    I’m rooting for the guy, and I hope he comes through. The Bucs have millions tied up in him, and it would be great if he becomes a productive, EVERYDAY, bat. But until that happens, I’m not messing with Marte.

  63. NMR says:

    Very fair request.

  64. Ghost says:

    Hurdle himself, said during the Spring that they weren’t going to tinker too much with Marte, for exactly that “Marte being Marte” reasoning. By and large I buy this. However, he has perceptibly regressed these past few games — that one swing AFTER the ball had clearly bounced before reaching the plate was unacceptable. Marte can be Marte, but he can’t completely turn his brain off.

  65. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I agree. Cody Ross wasn’t fairing to well either whenever they picked him up. But who knows.

    Giants pitching is what won them 2 WS’s, but now they all seem hurt. Not a good thing.

  66. Ghost says:

    If you mean “cutting and pasting,” no, I’m not. Have tried to figure out why the whole embedded video shows up when I’m only pasting the link, and others, like Jandy, have given advice. But to no avail. Sometimes, like below, I use for help. But there must be something with the Firefox browser I use. I dunno. Happens to Hippo too, I think.

  67. bman says:


    they’re overdue- 100 on the WIN please

  68. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Circle gets the square!

  69. NMR says:

    Oh trust me, I don’t buy this whole “let him be” thing in the least.

    People compare him to Vlad Guerrero because of their shared aggressiveness, but they leave out the part about Vlad actually being good at hitting baseballs outside of the strike zone.

    Marte is not. He’s not even average. Does Marte absolutely no good.

    It is a testemant to how great he can hit balls inside the strike zone that his season is going as well as it is.

  70. Brandie says:

    Awesome. I like it when someone gets my moist sense of humor.

  71. JRay3 says:

    100 on the WIN

    Thanks and Go Bucs!

  72. Brandie says:

    I meant the holes in Charlie Brown’s ghost costume. He explains the holes be explaining that he is not good with a scissors, but I like your explanation too. It’s grown up, which is what I should be more often. :-)

  73. War Horse says:

    100 Liriano pesos on el victoria.

  74. Playoffs by 2012 says:


  75. Ghost says:

    OH! Forgot about my Halloween costume, there. As for my “grown up” explanation — sorry! It was a relapse. Won’t happen again. ;)

  76. bizrow says:

    All part of the budmeister master carnival plan

  77. Brandie says:


    “I am the clubhouse chemist. I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And, doggone it, people like me. I hit the occasional home run. I am on the leadership council.”


    Things Brandon Inge would say.

  78. AJS says:

    He has vacated both spots tonight and has landed hin self in a new spot. i know what you meant though.

  79. AJS says:

    that said the only other option is Gabby or Pedro vs a left. Typically it is gabby.

  80. AJS says:

    So you don’t feel that another lefty bat off the ench would be a good thing to have? I sure do. It means you can use your PH more situationally and less out of necessity.

  81. Reading says:

    Except, of course, when the aforementioned pitch against the Pirates. Then it’s Perfect Game Alert time.

  82. Ghost says:

    Yes. Since we didn’t win, that home run in Chicago Tomp mentions probably set him back more than it helped him. I think there’s a direct correlation between that (amazing!) shot, and his ensuing dunderhead at-bats against Oakland. But Hurdle and the team will get the kid to figuring it out. Not that I’m telling you anything you don’t already know, but the art of batting really is a journey. I’m close to age 50 and still learning (nowadays, through my kids).

  83. BostonsCommon says:

    Seems like he’s guessing too much. I’m all for looking for a certain pitch, in a certain zone, and being ready if you get it. Most guys will look for it, and only swing if it’s that certain pitch. Consequently they end up looking at some pretty good strikes, just because it wasn’t exactly what they wanted.

    Marte, on the other hand, looks for a pitch and just unloads regardless of what is actually thrown.

  84. AJS says:

    The homer on Sunday was outside the zone. But one example does not discount your correct assertion.

  85. War Horse says:

    Pedro’s omission from the HR contest could turn out to be a blessing. First, does he benefit from being left out of a meaningless contest and put his time to better use? Second, does it inspire him to work harder at drawing walks instead of striking out? Third, does he try harder to hit more homers to in the regular season to “show up” Wright and the others? Finally, does it save him from the risk of messing up his timing, eye-arm-hand coordination and swing?

    Revenge is a meal best served with a cold beer.

  86. Ghost says:

    Very true, but also very true.

    Most batters chasing a pitch outside better compromise and poke it the other way, or they roll over on it and weakly ground out. Marte still *pulled* it with a liner into the seats. The raw ability of this kid is off the charts. If he manages to put it all together — wow.

  87. Keith says:

    100 on the WIN! Gotta win. Liriano is money.

  88. Frankie says:

    100 on a win Mr Playoff

    As always Thanks

  89. Keith says:

    With tonight’s personnel, I think I would go:
    Maybe just while Walker’s out, and vs. RHP, but there it is.

  90. Brandie says:

    And I, for one, want to have a front row seat to see the beginning.

  91. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    A’s did last year.

  92. JaxBuc says:

    Please sir, may I have 100 shuttlecocks on the WIN?

  93. Brandie says:

    Maybe that’s the trouble. He saved all his best stuff for them.

  94. theplanisworking says:

    Mr. Playoffs……..

    May I have 100 flooded Hippos on a WIN, please?

    And another 100 on a GM that will get us the proper pieces?


  95. Arriba Wilver says:

    The last harrah? He’s gotta go. Reading between the lines even he admits he doesn’t fit the role they are using him.

  96. bizrow says:

    It getting real dark out here in Beaver County

    Lets hope they get this one in

  97. Chico says:

    @ playoffs

    100 for the win please!

  98. Joey Mellons says:

    100 on the win.

  99. Matt hoffman says:

    100 on the win please.

  100. Jordan White says:

    I don’t post much because I won’t let myself break down and post at work, and I debated posting this for about a week because the length of this post will most likely be greater than its value…but what the heck, I’m sure a few will appreciate it anyways, I’m looking at you NMR…

    I live in Hagerstown, MD (I’m checked in with Biz :)) and WV Power came to town last week and I went to all 3 games. Here were my observations (warning: amateur baseball analysis ahead):

    Josh Bell

    My expectations: I expected to see a stud in the mold of Mike Trout/Jason Heyward type. All around good athlete.

    What I saw: Definitely a big body with some athleticism there. But not the most athletic guy on the field. I don’t want to say he was cumbersome looking as he ran, but something looked awkward to me…couldn’t put my finger on it. It’s not like he was slow, but maybe the strides were so long that it looked slower? Vlad Guerrero kept coming to mind.. idk… They had him playing right field and he had the opportunity to come up throwing to the plate…very strong, impressive arm on him. Hitting, he only squared up 1 or 2 balls at the plate over the 3 games, but even his “excuse me” swings jumped off the bat and went for doubles, of which he had 2-4 in the series. Fun player to watch. I could see him as a legit major leaguer.

    Dilson Herrera

    My expectations: After reading that he would be in the Futures Game, I expected to see something special

    What I saw: Poor guy had a rough series haha. Didn’t have bad range, but couldn’t get to any balls. About 3 poor throws from 2nd base. Only squared up 2 balls at the plate, 1 was an “at em” ball and the other he got robbed. He was visibly frustrated by game 3. Overall, not sure what the hype is about

    Tyler Glasnow

    My expectations: This guy’s going to be a stud. High 90s heat. Probably about to be promoted.

    What I saw: Dude is tall and lanky. I’m sure in slow motion his wind up looks smooth and repeatable, but live, it looks like a sideways helicopter haha. If you’re looking at him from the batter’s perspective, I bet his front knee, glove (lead arm), and ball/throwing arm all travel on the same plane…if you can picture that. A scout said he sat at 95 and touched 97…but the kid got hit hard early and often. Didn’t see a lot of movement on the pitches. Curveball seemed to break early rather than late. Not very good pitch sequencing. Not sure if it was an off game or that’s what he is right now. Definitely needs a lot of seasoning before becoming a major league player… from the 1 game I saw :)

    Luis Heredia:

    My Expectations: After reading about how he showed up to ST overweight, I jumped to the conclusion that he’s lazy, not a hard worker. I’m thinking, what’s this kid doing, is he complacent with the $, maybe he’ll never get that fastball up to the projected 95mph heat that we hoped…

    What I saw: Wow. Rene Gayo found another gem. Heredia blew me away. Fastball sat between 91-93. Slider was real nice. He kept the hitters off balance with superb pitch sequencing for that level and worked the outside corner all night, I dare say even working over the ump. At one point I thought; “this kid could be a #5 starter in MLB RIGHT NOW”

    Clearly much more advanced than any other player on the field, despite not yet having “elite stuff.” Amazing for an 18 year old. Throws with a lot of arm/shoulder right now. I can see why they say that he can add a couple more mph to the fastball (if he learns how to use his legs/core to generate torque in my opinion).

    Coolest story of the series: On 1 of the 2/3 hits that were squared up on Heredia, the center fielder (not Barret Barnes that day) ran a looong way into the right center gap and caught the elevated line drive on the track for the 3rd out. I naturally snap my head to Heredia. Luis jogs 2 steps towards the visiting dugout along the 3rd base line, stops in his tracks, and turns to wait for the center fielder. The center fielder slowly trots off the field behind the rest of the team and Luis greets him behind the mound with a hand shake and a smile. The 2 trotted in the dugout together. Another example of superior maturity from Heredia. Again just blew me away for an 18 year old.

    Surprise that I saw: I’m going to be keeping an eye on Max Moroff. Spunky little switch hitting SS that appears to have gap power potential. Built like Adam Kennedy and reminds me of Jordy Mercer skill level when I saw him play for High A Hickory

    Sorry for the length here.

    Go Bucs. #everyoneremaincalm

  101. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Or, he could actually have some fun with it if he was actually selected.

    I’m not one that believes that one HR derby ruins a swing.

  102. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    but he wears really cool contacts.


  103. cherokee23 says:

    100 loss

  104. pattonbb says:

    Hell, we’re all amateur baseball analysts. Good stuff, Jordan.

  105. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Can I put 100 on a rain out?

  106. Irish says:

    50 on the Win, Thanks!

  107. Stuart says:

    I’ll take 100 Rials on a win!


  108. Lad9 says:

    Hey Brandie! Slogged my way home after my only post today to get ready for the next round of storms. Ugly here in the South Hills.

  109. cherokee23 says:

    nice post!

  110. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    “couldn’t put my finger on it. It’s not like he was slow, but maybe the strides were so long that it looked slower?”

    Jose Tabata?

  111. bizrow says:

    Thanks for posting and sharing, Hagerstown added to the list of lunatics

    Do it more often Jordan ;-)

    Nice post

  112. bizrow says:

    Its raining cats and dogs outside, gonna be a long night

  113. Brandie says:

    Stay dry, Rad Lad. Sending good vibes. My parents are in Penn Hills.

  114. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Here’s a new one:

    “Jim Bowden of (Insider sub. req’d) suggets five blockbuster trades for teams, including a swap between the White Sox and Pirates. Bowden’s hypothetical has Alex Rios and Alexei Ramirez heading to Pittsburgh for outfielder Gregory Polanco, pitcher Nick Kingham, and shortstop Jordy Mercer. Bowden reasons that the deal will give the White Sox an excellent prospect in Polanco while allowing them to get younger and free up dollars. ”

    Heck of a hypothetical. No way this happens, IMO

  115. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    If its not what they wanted or “their pitch” then its not really a good strike. Its just a strike. A good strike would be looking at one in their zone and taking it.

  116. Lad9 says:

    Jordan that is really good stuff. Thank you. I am going to taken a Bradenton game while on vaca in early August and will try to give an update. Hope I can do half as good as you did.

  117. Arriba Wilver says:

    Great post. (Except for the shout out to NMR). :-)

  118. Brandie says:

    Way to go, Jordan. I am looking forward to reading more of your posts.

  119. Lad9 says:

    Agree. No way. That is why Bowden is a two time ex GM.

  120. theplanisworking says:


    neal would never take on that much $$$$$, and give up Polanco.

  121. Arriba Wilver says:

    Giving up Mercer and Polanco? Back to Barmes?

  122. Brandie says:

    To me, this would be like selling the cow for magic beans.

  123. Great report. Wish the Bowling Green team down here was still in the Sally League. Then I’d get some Power games to go to.

    Saw some good baseball the last time they were here several years ago.

  124. Lad9 says:

    Looks like we got through this one. Sending good vibes out to Penn Hills.

  125. theplanisworking says:

    Do NOT sell the cow!!!
    How do you think Hippos get milk? ;)

  126. He can take that deal and do what Johnny Paycheck said about jobs.

  127. Excellent analogy and spot on B-girl.

  128. theplanisworking says:

    Rios for Snider and Kingham might work.

  129. Brandie says:

    Thanks. I hope you don’t mind that I call you Rad Lad. It just seems to work well in my brain as a good name for you.

  130. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Best case for the White Sox, but I dont think the Pirates…..UNLESS the Sox pick up a bunch of salary on these guys.

  131. cherokee23 says:

    Jordan’s post earlier leads me to this question for all—i am very close to Jamestown, NY where pirates have short season A team…..anyone on that team I should watch for?

  132. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Won’t work….Snider’s not a prospect or very good. Can’t sell when low.

  133. Brandie says:

    If it happens, there better be a golden goose, platinum eggs, and one heck of a castle at the top of that beanstalk.

  134. theplanisworking says:

    No Hippo up there? Hmmmmm.
    Platinum eggs?

    Muppet, you scare me…….

  135. theplanisworking says:

    I was just thinking a RF for RF for the short term for the Sox.

  136. Lot’s of this season’s draft picks on there. Doing well, most of them.

  137. Dadtackular says:

    +100 ON THE WIN

  138. Eric Bowser says:

    Bowden has lost it.

    – Pirates don’t have the money to take on those salaries.
    – Rios .781 OPS (.333 OBP + .448 SLG) w/ 40 RBI – blah
    – Ramirez .656 OPS (.309 OBP + ..348 SLG) w/ 18 RBI – blah

    If the Pirates are going to trade Polanco and Kingham, it needs to be for hitter that is going to provide instant offense.

  139. theplanisworking says:

    Eric, there is no one available for a trade that fits that description.

  140. Brandie says:

    All I’m saying is that the payoff better be there when the Bucs pull the trigger. The Hippos just sweeten the pot, Darlin’.

  141. Lad9 says:

    Check out Jacoby Jones for sure…..

  142. cmat0829 says:

    100 win

  143. Jordan White says:

    No. Not Tabata. Hard to describe. I keep typing analogies and deleting them. Sorry I can’t be more descriptive haha.

  144. theplanisworking says:

    Hippos sweeten the pot.
    First time I ever heard it put that way.

  145. Brandie says:

    He is one I will watch for sure.

  146. Jordan White says:

    I’ll be looking forward to it, Lad.

    The reason I decided to post was because I know how much I enjoy reading other people’s eye witness accounts. We always hear reports on prospects, but it’s almost always boiled down to the same 6 adjectives of baseballspeak. Doesn’t always pick up the little things that are so interesting.

  147. Brandie says:

    Animal is way too cute to be scary.

  148. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Alexei Ramirez is a SS

  149. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    a “big gun” like that, gets top prospects, depending on how much $$$ they pay for the contract. Pirates take on the whole amount, lesser prospect.

  150. bizrow says:

    Have you signed into the lunatic nation regarding where you live, cherokee

  151. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    -Snider 225 /295/.333/.628 22 RBIs
    -Tabata .302/.368/.453/.820 9 RBIs, the numbers look great, but not many AB’s
    – Jones .255 /306/.424/.729 35 RBIs
    -Mercer .261/.318/.401/.719 with 11 RBIs.

    so it is a bit of an improvement, especially Rios, but you’re right. The Pirates won’t take on that sort of salary.

  152. cherokee23 says:

    I believe so….Warren, PA………just checked their roster, Jones appears to have the size…..6-3 200 at SS……power hitter?

  153. Thundercrack says:

    They are actually talking about this rumor on the Pirate (rain delay) pre-game show.

  154. JoeyBats says:

    Jordan …thank you…enjoyed your observations !!!
    RE: Josh Bell……I’ve heard some folks say …..he might be a future first baseman. Your thoughts above point that direction (instead of OF)

  155. cmat0829 says:

    Any guesstimates on a game start? Currently on usair flight from charlotte to phx and was hoping to catch the game on the ipad

  156. Dadtackular says:

    Thanks Jordan!

  157. Arriba Wilver says:

    MLB ready?

  158. 21sthebest says:

    Tarp still on the field.

  159. War Horse says:

    From MLB today on Pedro’s participation in the HR Derby:

    Hurdle said he was fine with Alvarez’s potential participation but that there was a certain way to approach the Derby.

    “I’ve seen some guys come out of that thing gassed,” Hurdle said. “Whether it was a coincidence or not, the follow-up for a few weeks was a whole different thing than what you saw going in.”

  160. theplanisworking says:

    Radar doesnt show rain ending until after 10:00.

    If they do get it in, it will be after 11.

  161. Lad9 says:

    Hit .294 with 6 HR’s at LSU this season. My understanding is that he is extremely athletic with a hole in his swing. The Pirates are going to try him at middle infield and center field. He was called the best college athlete in the draft by Jim Callis of Baseball America. Has power potential if he can fix the swing.

  162. pattonbb says:

    Lyle Overbay hit a grand slam tonight. That’s his 11th this season.

    Just thought I’d share.

  163. theplanisworking says:

    9:50PM start.

  164. Lad9 says:

    Start time 9:50

  165. pattonbb says:

    Obviously his 11th HR, not GS.

  166. Thundercrack says:

    We have tickets for tonight’s game.
    We haven’t left the house.

    We’re not going to make it to the game tonight.
    I’m bummed because I really wanted to see tha A’s…and see another Bucco victory

  167. Arriba Wilver says:

    Is this delay because of Cole?

  168. theplanisworking says:

    No, Inge.

  169. That’s only 8:50 Central time. Just be like a game on the left coast.

    JRay will stay up. And Daq and few others in Pacific time.

  170. Thundercrack says:

    The rainbow was for Cole

  171. theplanisworking says:

    Was there a unicorn too?

  172. DJ says:

    He has “a hole in his swing.”

    I immediately thought of Inge, except his “hole” is the strike zone.

  173. Lad9 says:

    Not quite. Saw something though . No horn. Gray. Large, amphibious and very pleasant. Hmmmm. Sounds familiar. :)

  174. theplanisworking says:

    hahahahahahaha!!! You saw Travis Snider! ;)

  175. DJ says:

    Nice job, Jordan. I had Heredia on my untouchable list so your comments were of interest.

  176. theplanisworking says:

    Nice play by Liriano !!!

  177. Lad9 says:

    Had to be him. He was dripping with…… BBQ sauce!!

  178. JRay3 says:

    Needed that, Liriano has a lot of movement on ball tonight will need to find command. Heads up play to get Crisp to far off third.

    Time for the bats to awaken from slumber.

  179. Lad9 says:

    Marte hit that one with a wedge I think.

  180. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Exhibition of stellar baserunning so far by these two teams.

  181. Thundercrack says:

    I am surprised that so many people are in the ballpark

  182. theplanisworking says:

    I was going to comment on that also.
    Surprising to see.

  183. JRay3 says:

    Still time for you to get out.

  184. theplanisworking says:

    + gallons

  185. theplanisworking says:

    I really dont think TC has an ark to get to the game.

  186. JRay3 says:

    Way it has been going bottom of order strings together consecutive hits but pitcher is up with two outs

  187. Thundercrack says:

    No ark. But I do have a wife. I ain’t making it to the game tonight

  188. theplanisworking says:

    +2 (animals). :)

  189. JD says:

    Tabby looking good.

  190. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Cutch looked like he was shocked he got a hit with someone on base.

  191. JRay3 says:

    Finally the big inning the team needed. Top of order coming through with Tabata continuing to be spark since return and Alvarez quickly becoming most feared hitter on team.

  192. Wonder if Oakland’s bullpen is overworked.

  193. Pedro hitting lefties like an all-star. That 5-0 looks nice, even this early.

  194. theplanisworking says:


    I am going to say something that will border on blasphemy, being everyone is in love with AJ, Cole, Locke, etc………………………………………….. Frankie Liriano may just be the Pirates most consistently good starter this year. Who would have thought that when he was signed, then that goofy injury?

    5-0 good guys looks mighty nice. :)

  195. JRay3 says:

    Agreed, even has his average at .254 so can’t even find fault with that. He is developing into complete hitter.

  196. Bob Hasis says:

    Any opposing pitcher would be a fool to ever throw Marte a pitch above the knees.

    He seems to be an addict for low balls OUT of the zone, and he looks hapless on those

  197. JRay3 says:

    Behind seven dominant innings from Francisco Liriano and a 12 hit night that included multi-hit games for Marte, Tabata, Cutch and Alvarez the Bucs blank the A’s for the first time ever 5-0 and there was noooooooooo doubt about it.

    With the win the Pirates are 18 above .500 at 54-36 and salvage a game in the series with Oakland. The Pirates snap a four game losing streak and are 3-6 in July. The Bucs are 3.5 games up for the top wild card position and 1.5 back in the Central.

    After the off day the Pirates will open their last series before the All-Star break against the Mets with Charlie Morton taking the ball in the opener.

    Let’s Go Bucs!

  198. theplanisworking says:

    Raise The Jolly Hippo!

    First time ever beating the A’s.

    Good Night from Hippo’s Pond. :)

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