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Morning Java: Count ‘em … five!

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

NEW YORK — Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Tuesday column from All-Star week counts up four more Pirates than what had been standard fare for so many years of Carlos Garcia, Ed Sprague, Evan Meek and the like.

Videos from the five representatives’ media sessions went up on the previous post, but here’s a new one of my asking the Reds’ Brandon Phillips about the Pirates …

Actually thought about splitting some of this stuff out into a separate column later this week, but seemed to work better together.

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>> Not exactly a blast for Pedro Alvarez in the Derby. This is my news coverage.

Oh, and if you missed his 461-foot bullet, here’s a clip from MLB.com.

>> Fun update piece on Vern Law, by Batavia TV reporter Sloane Martin, longtime friend to the blog

>> Maurkice Pouncey issued one of those corporate apologies. That ought to settle it, right? Mark Kaboly follows up on the Steelers’ latest mess.

>> The Penguins’ development camp opens today at Consol. Josh Yohe is a total rink rat, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s been sitting there for a week already. The annual scrimmage is Saturday at 3 p.m. and open to the public.

>> I’ll visit with TribLIVE Radio at 1 p.m. in lieu of a full show. Really hard to do remotely, but not at all to take a phone call. In that hour, you’ll still hear the latest from @Suckmeter.

Related reminder: Best way to tune in to our station regularly is through the upgraded TribLIVE Radio app. It’s free, easy and includes access to all our podcasts, as well.

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 more, including 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 top four columnists in the country -- highest circulation category -- by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the top three columnists in the country by the National Headliners Awards. For 2013, he was named top columnist in the state by the Keystone Awards and second-place by the Pennsylvania AP Managing Editors.

300 Comments

  1. First!!! Although Alvarez only had six dings, it still was a lot more than what us Pirates fans are used to after our last few tries at this event. Bay’s 1, and McCutchen’s….. what? 3? Not that it matters, it is only a filler between the season and the all star game. Truthfully I did not even watch it. Will tune in tomorrow though.

  2. As the excitement builds towards the second half, I swear, it even feels like I’m hearing the swells of cheering fans in my head as I read these columns on the team. And I haven’t even taken my Ambien yet.

    • Is there something to be said for how sensitive Wright and defenders of Wright are? I get that maybe the booing was unnecessary but….if it affected him as bad as some are saying….if it was so hard for him to “go through”….maybe there should be more booing. Sack up, David Wright. Enhancing the target is all that he and his cohorts have done in my book.

      • My bad…..did not mean for that to be a reply.

      • No problemo.
        But as for the booing, I sure wouldn’t want a stadium full of people doing it to me. I think it’s only human to feel it. Well-paid and living the dream or not, baseball players aren’t constructed any differently than you or me.

        • Agreed, would not want to have it happen to me, but…if the home fans can help the ball club by distracting the opposition’s best player and taking him off his game, then why wouldn’t they do it? Home field advantage anyone…
          But more likely, the Pirate pitching staff had more effect on Wright than the fans.
          It’s been a few years since I saw him (on tv), but remember the fan in Tampa that would verbally spar with one opposing player for the whole series. It made me chuckle. I don’t know if it worked or not.

      • I think its bull-puckey if you ask me.

        Wright plays in New York. New York If he can’t handle some boos by now..well..he wouldn’t be playing in New York.

        I can almost guarantee the booing made no impact on him. If it did he deserves being booed for letting some silly booing to bother him.

        • Matr Cooke’s reaction to being booed? He upped his game. Silenced the booers. Just sayin’.

        • I posted this several days ago, after everyone else had moved on to a different thread.

          Ah, booing…

          Professional athletes should be able to play through booing. Those who boo should know what it feels like to be booed. Case in point:

          I (a teenager at the time) was preparing for a public speaking event and asked my mother to help me. Mom explained that audience reactions will vary, but she would be there to cheer me on. That’s all well and good, but my main concern was what would I do if people vocally heckled me. As we all know, kids can be cruel. Mom agreed to flip the emotional switch the next time I performed my speech.

          There I was saying my lines (once more, with feeling!) while my mom quietly booed me. That was disconcerting, to say the least. She actually went above and beyond the call of duty by throwing a balled up piece of paper onto the pretend stage!

          I got through my practice run and afterwards, in the nicest way possible I asked her, WTF? Mom explained that folks used to boo and throw things at stage actors hundreds of years ago. I nodded my head and thanked her vocally, while I booed her mentally.

          Fast forward to the day of my speech. I plowed through what I had prepared and ended up winning the contest. I think it was because I knew the worst that could happen while I was speaking, and nicely enough, no one booed or threw things at me during my speech. Lesson learned.

          As for pro athletes and people who are in the limelight, they should have been trained by this stage of their career how to block out/deal with spectators vocalizing their displeasure during games/events. If not, my mom can totally come down there and give them the business. For a nominal fee, I’m sure!

          P.S. My mom, my sister and I all speak for a living, so her unorthodox method seemed to work out in the long run.

          As for booing nowadays, my family prefers taking in the game/event in person, then going home and then talking sh*% about players/performers in the comfort of our own home. Or on blogs with random gravatars :)

    • ***ATTENTION***
      new posters, and lurkers, please chat with us! We want you to join us!
      Also, let us know your hometown, so we can add it to the list of Dejan’s Hometown Lunatics’ Asylum. No dues to join :)

  3. Interesting photo of Pedro because in games he never follows through his swing one-handed. Always has both hands on the bat.

  4. Ed Sprague?!?!?!?!? Buccos have come a looooooooonnnnnnnngggggg way baby!

  5. Six bombs. Out in the first round.

    Well. Now I suppose we have to boo Pedro.

    There is a silver lining, though.

    There’s NO WAY that coulda ruined his swing, right?

    I mean, it was like three minutes of BP, right?

  6. And by the way, there is no Ed Sprague.

    At least not in baseball.

    Just a name they created to make us THINK we got our team representative.

    Never existed.

  7. Hoka Hey everyone!
    PROSPECT UPDATE:
    Before the All Star game pitches are thrown, games were played yesterday…at the minors. Since the newest guys just started playing….wanted to provide an update of the top picks in the Pirate drafts:
    .
    2013: (1st round, 9th pick) Austin Meadows….OF…GCL Pirates …. .182/ .190 / .372 … 0 HR, 0 RBI, 8 K, 0 BB, 0 SB, in 5 games and 21 AB’s. Austin bats from the LEFT side.
    .
    2013: (1st round, 14th pick) Reese McGuire…. C …GCL Pirates …. .467/.529/ .633 … 0 HR, 4 RBI, 3 K, 4 BB, 1 SB, in 8 games and 30 AB’s. Reese bats from the LEFT side.
    .
    2012: (1st round 45th pick) Barrett Barnes…OF…West Virginia…. .256/.330/.400 ….5 HR, 24 RBI, 41 K, 16 BB, 9 SB in 39 Games and 160 AB’s (Mark Appel was selected #1 and went unsigned)
    .
    2011: Gerritt Cole…RHP…pitching with the Pirates
    .
    2010: Jameson Taillon …RHP … Altoona…3 W, 7 L, 3.75 ERA …..98.1 IP, 103 H, 93 K, 34 BB, 8 HR….1.39 WHIP
    .
    2009: Tony Sanchez…. C ….Indy…. .282/.364/.502 … 9 HR, 40 RBI , 57 K, 26 BB, 0 SB, in 70 games and 241 AB’s
    .
    PS: Stetson Allie (2010 draft…2nd round) was moved up to Bradenton about 4-5 weeks ago. His line there is .241/.350/.402 … 2 HR, 7 RBI, 34 K, 14 BB, 0 SB in 24 games and 87 AB’s.

  8. Pounceys shoulda worn Free Pedro hats.

    Woulda been confusing at the time but totally understandable this morning.

  9. Ed Sprague just called.

    (Who knew?)

    He wants to know who that Yinzer was, too.

  10. A shout out too Hipposter. Good luck my friend, our prayers go with you!

  11. JAL’s Writings on the Wall Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQ1baVKmrQo

    GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pittsburgh_pirates/

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)

    http://gobuccos.com/pittsburgh-pirate-news/

    4 Pittsburgh Pirates Stats

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AsjN0zO-DxI0dHVOMzdPYm9wUEJtdVJ0WWUzVWhFc2c#gid=0

    5 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Pick Signing Tracker

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013draft

    BLOGS and such

    6—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Which Prospects Should Be Available In Trades?

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/first-pitch-which-prospects-should-be-available-in-trades.html

    VIDEO: Pirates Roundtable Live — Episode 3

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/coles-rough-1st-inning-missed-hitting-opportunities-sink-sweep-chance.html

    Prospect Watch: Heredia Hit Hard, Bradenton Goes 19 Innings

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/prospect-watch-heredia-hit-hard-bradenton-goes-19-innings.html

    Top Performers: Stolmy Pimentel and Jameson Taillon Have Record Setting Starts

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/top-performers-stolmy-pimentel-and-jameson-taillon-have-record-setting-starts.html

    Top Performers: Dickerson and Rojas Hitting Their Way Back to Top Prospect Status

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/top-performers-dickerson-and-rojas-hitting-their-way-back-to-top-prospect-status.html

    7 Bucs Dugout

    How can the Pirates improve against lefties?

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/7/16/4527314/how-can-the-pirates-improve-against-lefties

    8 WHYGAVS

    At the break

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/july-2013/at-the-break.html

    9 The Green Weenie

    Bucs Cruise Into the All-Star Break…What’s Ahead?

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/07/bucs-cruise-into-all-star-breakwhats.html

    10 Rumbunter

    Pirates (Unofficial) First Half Awards

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/07/15/pirates-unofficial-first-half-awards/

    11 Here and Now

    Pittsburgh Pirates Get Creative With Money

    http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2013/07/15/pittsburgh-pirates-money

  12. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 Through the Fence

    Are the Pittsburgh Pirates for real?

    http://throughthefencebaseball.com/are-pirates-pulling-fast-one/35296

    13 Bradenton Herald

    Pirates prospects Reese McGuire and Austin Meadows busy in Bradenton

    http://www.bradenton.com/2013/07/16/4609768/pirates-prospects-reese-mcguire.html

    14 Lock Haven Express

    Pirates 2013: Pittsburgh dares to hope — sort o

    http://www.lockhaven.com/page/content.detail/id/343867/Pirates-2013–Pittsburgh-dares-to-hope—sort-o.html?isap=1&nav=5053

    15 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen Quietly Putting Together Career Season

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/07/15/pittsburgh-pirates-andrew-mccutchen-quietly-putting-together-career-season/

    16 CBS Sports

    Andrew McCutchen doesn’t want to think about playoffs just yet

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/eye-on-baseball/22773384/andrew-mccutchen-doesnt-want-to-think-about-playoffs-just-yet

    17 USA Today

    After many uniforms, Grilli finally dons an All-Star one

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/pirates/2013/07/15/jason-grilli-all-star-pirates/2519545/

    18 PBC Site

    Derby rookie Alvarez starts slow, hits six out

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130715&content_id=53861424&vkey=news_pit&c_id=pit

    Five for fighting perception: Bucs have star quality

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130715&content_id=53859708&vkey=news_pit&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    The Secret History of Sabermetrics

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=21234

    20 Fangraphs

    2013 Trade Value: Just Missed the Cut

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2013-trade-value-just-missed-the-cut/

  13. Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    The Steelers could take a public relations lesson from the Pirates

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/7/15/4522962/steelers-maurkice-pouncey-hat-pirates-all-star-break

    Will new faces lead to an improved defense for the 2013 Steelers?

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/7/15/4519444/will-new-faces-lead-to-an-improved-defense-for-the-2013-steelers

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Athletes Should Take Heed of this Weekend’s Lessons on Public Behavior

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/07/athletes-twitter-george-zimmerman-roddy-white-victor-cruz/

    Soccer(football)

    23 Daily Mail

    MARTIN KEOWN: Rooney should stay at United and Ronaldo should join him, but Suarez is right to want to leave Liverpool… and what do I think would be the best move for Fabregas and Bale?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2364725/Wayne-Rooney-stay-Manchester-United-Luis-Suarez-leave-Liverpool-says-Martin-Keown.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    10 stories you need to read, 15th July, 2013

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-15th-july-2013

  14. The drama with Aaron Hernandez is upsetting, but this scares me way more:
    http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/4365842-74/abel-police-brackney#axzz2ZCd7rXgH

  15. JAL’s link #17, about Jason Grilli finally in an All Stat uniform is a good read. I highly recommend it.

  16. Homerun Derby kind of boring…Spice it up with real MLB pitchers throwing real fastballs…Now that would be fun to watch.

    • You must have missed Harper’s dad.

      That guy makes my skin crawl.

      • Who throws cutters in on the hands during BP, much less a HR derby?

        Is he hoping for a tryout? I know the Dodgers need some help on the backend, and all, but…

        And what was up with his brother? Is it just me or does that whole family suffer from a “LOOK AT ME” disorder?

    • Agree…boring! And Chris Berman…yawwwwnnn! Unless a Pirate is in it, I will forego any more of these snoozefests.

  17. Link #15 is entitled “Pittsburgh Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen Quietly Putting Together Career Season.” You sure wouldn’t think that from the posts about him here. :-)

    Some of the rationale is saber-based, but it’s basically that the only number that’s really down is HR’s, he had an off April, but improved SB’s and defense. More complete player.

    • I would agree with this. He seems to be making more consistant solid contact. The numbers don’t reflect this but batting .302 is hardly bad. It just feels like he is really close to having another month like he did last June. They are this many games above .500 without Walker or Jones contributing much of anything and without Cutch just carrying the team for 2 or 3 weeks.

    • Just some peripheral stats that I’d like to see get better over the 2nd half for Cutch…

      * He’s hitting .167 (1 for 6) with a 3-1 count. Granted he’s got 10 walks, making for an OBP of .688, but only a Slugging % of .333. In such a hitter’s count, I’d like to see Cutch square some more balls up.

      * He’s only hitting .200 after a 3-1 count. Again, he’s got 15 BBs for a .543 OBP, but a Sluggin % of only .350. I’m not sure what the issue is, but he’s got to get better in this count. It wouldn’t seem that he’s anxious (as evidenced by the BBs), but he’s apparently not getting a pitch he can square up, and that’s a little odd for such a good hitter.

      * He’s only hitting .250 away from PNC park, with an OPS of .696 (as compared to .346/.973 @ home).

      * He’s 0-4 with the bases loaded with 1 BB and 1 RBI. Granted he’s only had 5 PAs with the bases chucked, but you’d like to see him grab a hit or 2 in those situations.

      * He’s 1-6 (.167) with 1 out, and a man on 3rd, with 1 sac fly in 12 PAs.

      * He’s hitting .231 in 10 games against the Reds (9-39).

      * He’s hitting .188 in 4 games against the Cardinals (3-16).

      Cutch is having a great season, but my contention all along has been he has to be our best hitter, basically at all times, for this team to win consistently. While the Pirates have certainly held their own away from home and against the Reds & Cards so far this season, it could be a huge lift if Cutch gets going in those areas (and improves in 3-1 counts).

      • I LOVE Cutch, but I don’t see this “career” season. Your stats, Nate, are kind of glaring. Cutch as Clutch is MIA a lot…and isn’t he striking out and hitting into DP’s more than usual this season? Seems pull-happy – lots of grounders to 3rd with runners in scoring position. But did I mention I LOVE Cutch?

        • Nate’s samples are too small to really tell us much of anything.

          And Cutch is striking out 5% LESS than he did last year.

          • Was about to say the same thing. I agree that he is a much different and better hitter when he does not try to pull the outside pitch and rolls over it and grounds out to third. He is very dangerous when he goes to all fields.

            Also, his line drive % is way up. It is at 25.4% compared to his career rate of 20.7% and 21.9% last year. That kind of confirms what I have seen with the good old Mark I eyeball, and also tells me that he has been hitting in at least a little bit of bad luck since his average is down some. I honestly expect him to go wild in the second half, just maybe not with the HR’s. And I love Cutch too! He plays the game the right way.

          • I wasn’t trying to tell anyone anything, other than these are areas that Cutch can improve in over the 2nd half that would help the Pirates win more games.

            As 21 points out below, in 2 of those instances, he’s 1 hit away from making that avg. .333.

            So get the hit! Haha! ;-)

      • “* He’s hitting .167 (1 for 6) with a 3-1 count. Granted he’s got 10 walks”

        That’s a .688 OBP. That’s fantastic. On a 3-1 count, I wouldn’t be surprised if the pitcher doesn’t care if he walks Cutch so he tries to throw a really tough strike to hit. And he’s one hit away from being .333. Small sample size. Same for after a 3-1 count, IMO. Small sample size. 20 AB’s but his OBP here .543.

        Overall, his RISP is .283/.387. I really don’t have any complaints other than he has no homeruns with RISP. 1 homerun with a runner on.

        ” He’s 1-6 (.167) with 1 out, and a man on 3rd”

        .500 OBP. Getting pitched around. Again, 1 hit from being .333.

        • VERY well done.

        • Absolutely they are small sample sizes. And I did think some of the numbers in the 3-1 count and after were due to the pitcher just going around Cutch. I didn’t post the .283 w/ RISP b/c that’s pretty good. I didn’t think he had to improve there (other than what you point out, the HRs with men on).

          The concern on the 1-6 w/ 1 out man on 3rd was the 1 sac fly in 12 PAs. The Pirates need to be better at this, and thus Cutch’s stats speak to this. The pitcher is trying to not allow you to hit a sac fly. You need to find a way to get it done.

          The other stats (his peripherals away from home and against the Reds & Cards) I guess no one has an issue with. I guess we all feel he needs to improve in this area over the 2nd half.

          Good rebuttal though.

          • On the stats vs. Reds and Cards, I’ve never really been interested in a player’s numbers versus a specific team. I can see working on an approach to improve your ability to get runners in from third and less than two outs for example, but I don’t know how anyone would improve an approach against a specific team.

            Only 17 PA’s against the Cards.

            • I don’t know either, 21 (on how to approach a certain team), but since the Pirates play 33.33 (repeating)% of their remaining games against those 2 clubs, I felt that if Cutch improved, it would go a long way to beating them more than not.

              You’re absolutely right about the 17 PAs against the Cardinals. More ABs to come against the Red Birds, so more chances to get those hits!

              • ” I felt that if Cutch improved, it would go a long way to beating them more than not.”

                Absolutely. Just not sure what he should do.

              • “Just not sure what he should do.”

                In my head, I wasn’t exactly thinking there’s a specific thing he needs to do to be better this season against the Reds & Cards, he just needs to be better. And that would come with getting some more hits (and hopefully RBI) against these guys.

            • I’ve been amazed by the Pirates’ inability (not just Cutch’s) to get a runner home from 3rd with less than 2 out…
              One of those things that I assume (hope) will even out over the rest of the season.

          • I don’t think him having a good or career year is necessarily inconsistent with thinking he could do better and we need him to do better in certain areas. I just think his performance so far is a bit overlooked and minimized and, frankly, criticized because of our expectations in certain areas. We all want to win.

      • Dude, it’s six at bats. You can’t conclude anything from six at bats. The Hall of Fame if full of people who went 1-6 on 3-1 counts many, many times.

        • I didn’t conclude anything other than Cutch is good, and that he needs to be our best hitter consistently, and these are some areas he can improve in over the 2nd half.

          I’d like to see our best hitter doing better in a hitter’s count, 3-1, than the so far 1-6. Now, as 21s pointed out by the amount of walks, it seems like when the pitchers are falling that far behind Cutch, they’re just going around him.

          Again, I’m not trying to slight Andrew. Just simply pointing out some splits that can get better over the 2nd half. Yes, some are small sample sizes, but they still can improve (and I think they will with more ABs in those situations).

          • He could go 0 for his next 6, and it still would mean nothing. These aren’t small sample sizes, they’re microscopic.

  18. read the story and the above blog entries, anyone know who pitched to Pedro?

  19. MSN currently has the Pouncey picture posted on their front page under the sports section with a Whitlock column link below the picture. This will more than likely not go away very soon. I don’t understand why anybody in the public eye would do something that would be so polorizing and bring this on themselves. It’s more then a bad decision it’s absolute ignorance.

  20. DK – Thanks for the Vern Law link. He was one of my favortite Pirates while I was growing up. He was always described in terms that made you want to look up to him. Also remember my brother playing against Vance one summer in Little League. Too bad he didn’t follow his father’s example. He might of had a better career.

  21. Thought this clip from Jimmy Fallon last night was priceless.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0D8V0dCbf8

  22. Brandon Phillips, talk about politically correct, must have the same writers as Pouncey.
    I bet the real deal is a lot of smack.
    Might wish I didn’t say this but bring it on Reds and Cardinals, second half can’t get here soon enough.
    The legend says we don’t need a trade, OK, back it up!!
    Brandon Inge put those hockey duds back on, you look much more imposing in them!
    Drew, what ever your on…Have some more!
    GO BUCS!!

  23. I posted this last night in the HR Derby thread, but wanted to post it here as well….

    It would be nice if the talking heads on ROOT Sports Pitt that did nothing but lambaste David Wright and Michael Cuddyer, would NOW publicly apologize to them both.

    All that whining, crying, complaining, bitching and booing for a guy (Alvarez) who didn’t even make it out of the first round.

    If (as a broadcaster) you can spend 10-15 minutes on the air bashing a guy for picking his friend. Then basically encourage fans to boo that same player over a three game weekend. At the very least you can spend 30 seconds to say, “I am sorry and I was wrong.”

    Time to man up ROOT Sports Pitt.

    • Small problem. They don’t think they were wrong.

    • I don’t see how performance in the derby is relevant to the issue of who a lot of people thought was deserving to be in there in the first place.

      • And I completely understand that feeling.

        But was it really necessary for the ROOT Sports team to act like it was the biggest injustice that has ever befallen the franchise?

        That is the part of it that bothered me.

        • I understand your point. I think they went overboard but I thought it was funny. I also don’t see why they should admit they were wrong when it was opinion.

          DK: (Clips and saves last sentence for future handy reference!)

          • Once again, right on the money.

            You didn’t like what they said?

            Here’s a tissue. Get over it.

          • Why exactly?

            • That question was for DK.

              • “I also don’t see why they should admit they were wrong when it was opinion.”

                Basically means don’t get mad at the columnist for sharing an opinion.

              • I don’t see the broadcasters as being journalists. Not to say they both aren’t entitled to their opinion, but I’m guessing DK would be insulted if we put him on the same level as Brown and Walk. ( that’s my opinion).

              • “Basically means don’t get mad at the columnist for sharing an opinion.”

                I’ve never gotten mad at a columnist for sharing an opinion. I’ve only ever agreed, disagreed, or a combination.

              • I guess I see them as both broadcasters and journalists.

              • At least Brown and Walk aren’t bloggers.

              • Excellent, fair point. DK puts himself out there.

            • HA! :)

              • I guess I’m missing out on something here. I’ve never thought anyone who was offering an opinion was wrong.

              • Depends on the opinion.

                I had a debate professor in college that said that hiding behind “It’s my opinion, so deal with it!” is basically saying, “I can’t defend why I think this way” and renders the opinion unworthy of respect.

                Now, we’re talking color commentators and not nuclear proliferation, so I’m not ready to throw that much weight on whose opinion is “respectable” or not.

              • Agree Sean. But I’d say whether or not an opinion is right or wrong versus an opinion being unworthy of respect are two different things.

              • 21,

                Agreed, but the counter would be is there an inherent harm to taking one side of the debate over another? Does the carry-out of my opinion help or harm more people than the inverse?

                Then again, we’re talking baseball commentators. Clearly in this instance neither side need worry about that.

              • Thanks Sean but I don’t still don’t see why DK found the need to hang on to that comment of mine.

              • I hadn’t noticed that, nor was I addressing that. I was making a general comment.

        • I agree they went way overboard on the whole “Pedro-gate” fiasco. But I don’t see any apologies needed. There’s a large group of fans that like having hot coals fanned. They were just playing up to those people.

          • While I, personally, think the booing was probably overdone, I got the impression it was kind of all in fun.

            • I thought it was all in fun. It might have been during every bat but Friday night I thought each one was brief. Few seconds. Seemed like no big deal to me.

        • Now does that mean you were OK with the ROOT Sports broadcasters reaction?

          • Personally, I didn’t care then, and I don’t care now.

          • Yes. It was harmless. No profanity. No discrimination. No violence. No big deal.

            And I am one who would’ve had no interest in booing David Wright myself.

            The whole issue is terribly overplayed.

            • Overplayed, yes.
              In the grand scheme of things, it is really no big deal.

              My whole beef with it, was that all I wanted to do was watch a couple games early last week.

              It became increasingly more and more annoying to me to have to listen to the ROOT Sports team basically whine for minutes on end, game after game, instead of just calling the game action.

              I really hate having to mute the TV simply because the broadcasters have to run their mouths instead of just calling the game.

              Just.Call.the.Game.

              • Now that we can certainly agree on.

              • If I’m going to listen to the broadcasters, I don’t mind be entertained. And they entertain me when they’re trainwrecks or at least make goofy or even wrong comments.

                I started to enjoy John Madden when he started to get really bad and I miss him now that’s he gone.

              • At the same time…TV is a visual medium. Calling the game is less important when you can see what’s going on.

                Some of the silliness isn’t necessary, but it’s certainly not a requirement to narrate what I can clearly see.

                That said, I get your point.

    • Give me a break, Playoffs. No apologies are necessary on the Pirates end.

    • Well one thing is for sure, this is certainly putting a complete non issue to bed. :)

    • If there’s anything that bunch should apologize for it’s for continuing to subject us to Paul Steigerwald.

    • Trust me, if I lived in the Pittsburgh metro area, I’d have season tickets, and never have to watch or listen to any of them.

      For me, it’s simple…
      Just call the game and let me form my own opinions.

      I’ll drop the subject now.

      • Playoffs, it would be your preference if color analysts were eliminated? I don’t think that would be terrible except that you do get insight from a former players occasionally.

        • Oh not at all.
          There are a number of really good color analysts out there.
          Unfortunately there are a number of bad ones, too.

          What bugs me, if you will, are the play-by-play announcers and color guys that go over the top to artificially create drama.
          The clowns in DC do it all the time, as does the Reds broadcast team and the White Sox.

          Maybe I just expect more from the Pirates broadcasters.
          Be better than the homer, towel-waving, WWE broadcaster wanna-be’s.

          Call the game.
          Give me some insight.

          But let me form my own opinions.
          Let me think for myself.

          • DK spoils us here….other places would run us off!

          • Clearly, you ARE thinking for yourself, despite the “attempts” of these commentators. Ad I don’t understand why you think you can hold them to an arbitrary higher standard.

            I think you’re being a little harsh.

            • I don’t think it’s arbitrary.

              If you ever get the chance to watch a game broadcast by the SF Giants announcers (Kuipper & Krukow), please do so.

              Those guys are what an announcing team should be.
              Informative, Interesting, Objective.

              That is not that difficult to achieve. But it takes skill.
              Let the action speak for itself.

          • “But let me form my own opinions.”

            That was the comment that made me want to ask you if you wanted to get rid of the color commentators.

            That’s always your option regardless of how the color commentators call a game.

            • Amen!

              My whole point in all of this is….
              I shouldn’t have to envy the deaf when watching a baseball game.

              Giving insight as to what is taking place on the field is great.
              Openly campaigning for fans to boo another player isn’t insight.

  24. MLBTradeRumors is reporting today that the PBC is one of the clubs actively looking at Garza.

    I don’t see that happening, too high of a price for a rental player

  25. Neat little article detailing the origins of each AL All Star:

    http://www.minorleagueball.com/2013/7/16/4515642/origins-of-the-2013-mlb-american-league-all-stars

    50% drafted in 1st or 2nd round
    30% International free agents
    20% drafted on round 3 or later

  26. Memories of Ed Sprague– he actually had a decent first half that year (not saying he would have been picked on merit). 16 HR’s, .300 BA, 53 RBI’s. Giles and Kendall were pi**ed they didn’t keep him. He only played 2 more years. 1999 was actually one of the better losing seasons.

    • More evidence that Giles and Kendall should have spent more time worrying about their own games.

      • I certainly didn’t mean that as a compliment. Just fact as I remember it. I think one of the worst decisions of the McClatchy/Littlefield era at the MLB management level was letting those two participate in picking McClendon to replace LaMont. And that’s true even if he was the right choice.

        • The biggest problem I had with Littlefield was that he never blew the team up and started a rebuild. He got lucky and hit the jackpot with a few cheap veteran free agents in his first year, then spent the rest of his time here chasing that same jackpot. A best case scenario might have meant that the streak would end, but there was no chance of contending with that approach.

          • I agree for the most part, but I do think it likely that McClatchy wouldn’t let him, even if he did want to. Kevin was bleeding cash, hence the 30 mil deficit in 2003 leading to the dumping of Ramirez et al. DL didn’t cause that in 2 years. (But he did stink)

  27. Cool experience for Ramon Foster.

    “@steelers 2h

    .@RamonFoster representing the @steelers at @wembleystadium to preview our @nfl_uk game in September. pic.twitter.com/DA5rxuIS4N”

  28. Very cool piece found by JAL in link 19 for you baseball history buffs.

  29. To Jandy,

    I am wrecked. I drove from Philipsburg to Huntingdon to Frenchvile to Clear field back to Philipsburg because the brain trust running the job I can’t quit yet is a bunch of morons who have nothing better to do than stand around with their thumbs in their noses. Had the nerve to ask why I was not back by 8.

    Giving all the positivity I can muster to Hipposter and all the Loonies.

  30. ***ATTENTION***
    new posters, and lurkers, please chat with us! We want you to join us!
    Also, let us know your hometown, so we can add it to the list of Dejan’s Hometown Lunatics’ Asylum. No dues to join :)

  31. Tried to keep it G Rated, Dr. Spunkenstien!

  32. Lad, you are my happy umbrella, keeping all of the negative too away! Thanks to all for the good vibes!

  33. Listening to an ESPN podcast with Buster Olney. They are saying Pirates are aggressive in the trade market, looking for a RF or 1B. Some evaluators from other teams say Bucs still need another starter.

    • Could’ve solved that 1B problem if they hadn’t foolishly gone for it in 2011.

      Koji Uhera for Chris Davis and Tommy Hunter could’ve easily been Joel Hanrahan for the pair.

      • Imagine Chris Davis in a Pirate uniform?

        I just saw the recap of that trade. Some GM’s have it, some do not.

        • Gives me a chuckle to hear guys say those types of moves are ones done in the offseason, not the trade deadline.

          As if anyone would be giving two craps right now about what month of 2011 Davis was acquired.

        • So glad we got a month and a half of Derek Lee instead.

          THAT was a good deadline move.

  34. “@pgshelly 3s

    Arbitration hearing set for Aug. 1 for defenseman Robert Bortuzzo — if he doesn’t reach agreement beforehand. #Penguins”

  35. ” I also don’t see why they should admit they were wrong when it was opinion.* “

    * Notes:
    ———-

    1. Does not apply to Columnists
    2. Does not apply to Personalities and Contributors
    3. Does not apply to Predictions
    4. Does not apply to Dejan

    DK: Damn. Really thought I was on to something there. Thanks for nothing.

  36. Interesting response on Biogenesis from MLBPA executive on MLBTrade Rumors

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/

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