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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.


>> 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

>> 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, 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. Mizery says:

    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. Ghost says:

    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.

  3. trey says:

    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.

  4. Trey says:

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

  5. Ghostc says:

    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.

  6. Reading says:

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

  7. Brandie says:

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

  8. 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.

  9. Drew71 says:

    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?

  10. Drew71 says:

    Pedro musta thought it was April

  11. Drew71 says:

    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.

  12. Drew71 says:

    The Hall of Fame called. They want all the balls thrown to Pedro.

    They have a staff softball game on Wednesday and they want some scuff-free balls.

  13. Drew71 says:

    And speaking of softballs, who was that Yinzer in the videos asking those cream puff questions of the Pirates representatives?

    How about some zippy questions, Zippy?

    Pedro. Is that a haircut or did you walk into a buzz saw? Twice? Ever think of pulling your hat way down low again? If you don’t make it out of the first round in the Derby tonight, do you think you should be sent home early?

    Grilli. What’s with YOUR hair? Don’t you think Pedro’s buzz saw might work for you?

    I gotta question for Ed Sprague. Where is he?

  14. JoeyBats says:

    Hoka Hey everyone!
    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.

  15. Drew71 says:

    Pounceys shoulda worn Free Pedro hats.

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

  16. Drew71 says:

    Ed Sprague just called.

    (Who knew?)

    He wants to know who that Yinzer was, too.

  17. Jandy says:

    Hey, lay off Grilled Cheese! I like his hair just the way it is! :P

  18. Jandy says:

    Drew, Dahling, did you forget your meds this morning? :*

  19. Jandy says:

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

  20. Drew71 says:

    But the others are ok, right?

    No worries. Mr. Softball asked Grilli: “If you were a tree, what kind would you be?”

  21. Jandy says:

    the others are fine.yes.
    What did Mr. Grilli answer to that question? Did Mr. Softball say???

  22. Jandy says:

    Well, of course he would be a CHEESE TREE:

  23. Drew71 says:

    He didn’t call me.

    He never calls anymore.

  24. Jandy says:

    well screw him!

  25. Drew71 says:

    That tree’s name kinda fits for a certain writer, too.

  26. Drew71 says:

    No. I doubled the dose.

  27. Jandy says:

    I’d have to agree with you, Drew

  28. Jandy says:

    Ahhhh, that splains it!

  29. JAL says:

    JAL’s Writings on the Wall 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: Which Prospects Should Be Available In Trades?

    VIDEO: Pirates Roundtable Live — Episode 3

    Prospect Watch: Heredia Hit Hard, Bradenton Goes 19 Innings

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

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

    7 Bucs Dugout

    How can the Pirates improve against lefties?


    At the break

    9 The Green Weenie

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

    10 Rumbunter

    Pirates (Unofficial) First Half Awards

    11 Here and Now

    Pittsburgh Pirates Get Creative With Money

  30. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 Through the Fence

    Are the Pittsburgh Pirates for real?

    13 Bradenton Herald

    Pirates prospects Reese McGuire and Austin Meadows busy in Bradenton

    14 Lock Haven Express

    Pirates 2013: Pittsburgh dares to hope — sort o–Pittsburgh-dares-to-hope—sort-o.html?isap=1&nav=5053

    15 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen Quietly Putting Together Career Season

    16 CBS Sports

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

    17 USA Today

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

    18 PBC Site

    Derby rookie Alvarez starts slow, hits six out

    Five for fighting perception: Bucs have star quality


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    The Secret History of Sabermetrics

    20 Fangraphs

    2013 Trade Value: Just Missed the Cut

  31. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    The Steelers could take a public relations lesson from the Pirates

    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


    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?

    24 World Soccer Daily

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

  32. JAL says:

    Writings on the Wall Plan B 2012 Plan B is Benjamin Paul Ballance-Drew, whose album was hip hop, second was soul and this song more R and B

  33. pattonbb says:


  34. Jandy says:

    The drama with Aaron Hernandez is upsetting, but this scares me way more:

  35. Jandy says:

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

  36. Drew71 says:

    That’s the first time the words Balance and Drew were used in the same sentence.

  37. Jandy says:

    musta been the double dose…

  38. Patrick says:

    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.

  39. Jandy says:

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

  40. BillyBaduka says:

    That is disturbing.

  41. Chuck Snow says:

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

  42. Jandy says:

    Six years old!!!! Boggles the mind.

  43. War Horse says:


  44. NMR says:

    You must have missed Harper’s dad.

    That guy makes my skin crawl.

  45. Patrick says:

    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?

  46. Arriba Wilver says:

    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.

  47. Chuck Snow says:

    Bryce and his brother…They didnt fall far from the apple tree.

  48. Arriba Wilver says:

    Bryce and his brother share the same hair gunk; it’s just his brother puts it on his mustache.

    Kid’s really good, though. So far living up to the hype.

    When I was at a game in DC a few weeks back they had T-Shirts that said,
    “That’s a Clown Question, Bro.”

  49. Lad9 says:

    + a lot

  50. Lad9 says:

    Absolutley. Go Hippo!

  51. Lad9 says:

    Always get a mental image of the clerk from the Andy Griffith Show, Howard Sprague, when Ed Sprague’s name comes up. They may have been the same person, as Opie claimed that Howard threw a baseball just like Aunt Bee…..

  52. NMR says:

    Great observation.

  53. 21sthebest says:


  54. Kevin says:

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

  55. Nate83 says:

    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.

  56. Dom says:

    His dad.

  57. Nate83 says:

    Tony Pena’s nephew.

  58. Dom says:

    I’m sorry. I misread an article. Please ignore that.

  59. Nate83 says:

    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.

  60. Arriba Wilver says:

    In link 18 there’s a story by Jen Langosch that includes the background. Pena goes back a long way with Pedro.

  61. Kevin says:

    Thanks Arriba. That’s one of the better stories to the homerun derby. Eventhough I didn’t watch it, definitely enjoy reading about it :)

  62. Karen22 says:


    Mornin’! Please explain the “Hippo” thing…I know I missed its inception. And what’s going on with him today? Missed that, too…still in a wedding fog.

    Petey looked nervous last night. But I think he did well, anyway.

  63. MarkV says:

    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.

  64. 21sthebest says:

    Thought this clip from Jimmy Fallon last night was priceless.

  65. Naterosboro says:

    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).

  66. Jandy says:

    I LOVE how Cutch will jump on that first pitch…and end up with a single or a double…BAM!

  67. Jandy says:

    Rad Lad!

  68. kr70 says:

    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!!

  69. Jandy says:

    Hey Karen, sorry so long to reply, busy at work this morning. ThePlanIsWorking gave himself that name, as he said he is a big guy, and he has a bum leg and walks like a hippo. We merrily go along with him on this, he’s our favorite Hippo. Brandie gave him the nickname Hipposter, which I love to call him. He has an interview for a job in Pittsburgh or thereabouts and we are all wishing him well.

    Petey did just fine, his first homerun derby and he got more than Prince Fielder ;)

  70. Jandy says:

    His brother has that weird curly mustache thing going on…reminds me of Dennis Gage and I can’t stand that, that…goofball! lol

  71. Jandy says:

    Drew is on double dose ;)

  72. Karen22 says:

    Aha! Merci! Seems like a jovial Hippo at that! And I wish him well on his interview, too.

  73. Jandy says:

    He’s a total sweetheart, Karen. Brandie and I adore him :)
    He’ll fill us in later today.

  74. Karen22 says:

    My hubby saw this article last night. Beyond disturbing!

  75. Karen22 says:

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

  76. Karen22 says:

    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?

  77. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1. That was funny.

  78. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    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.

  79. Lad9 says:

    Jandy! How are you today? Caught your shout out too late last night but thanks. Thinking of our Hippo friend and trying to send good vibes.

  80. Milo Hamilton says:

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

  81. NMR says:

    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.

  82. Jandy says:


  83. Jandy says:

    Hangin, Lad, hangin in here. Hot as he** and busy as he** too, but ya know, gotta keep on keepin on.
    I sure hope our vibes and prayers are helping Hipposter :)

  84. NMR says:

    Another problem. It would be incredibly difficult to take thirty seconds just to say “I am sorry and I was wrong”.

  85. Jandy says:

    If we hold our breath, we will turn blue!

  86. 21sthebest says:

    “* 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.

  87. NMR says:

    VERY well done.

  88. 21sthebest says:

    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.

  89. Lad9 says:

    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.

  90. Arriba Wilver says:


  91. Bizrow says:

    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

  92. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    You could re-word the same apology that seems to get re-used by most media types when they do something dumb.

    I believe hubris is the word I’m looking for.

    The whole spectacle of making such a big issue about having Cuddyer in there instead of Alvarez made them look even more foolish when Cuddyer out-shined Alvarez in the derby.

    I realize it has been 21 years since there was a winner in town, but I subscribe to the notion that you should act like you’ve been there before.

  93. pattonbb says:

    So are the Cards and Reds, according to other sites.

  94. Lad9 says:

    Agree. It could have been mentioned, they could have noted that they did not agree, and moved on. No need to cause a firestorm.

  95. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    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.

  96. NMR says:

    Exactly, 21.

  97. Arriba Wilver says:

    First thing I thought when Cano was booed last night was that no one would want to go play for the Mets. :-)

  98. kr70 says:

    Might be interesting to see who does what among Cardinals, Reds and Pirates. TBMTIB just might be in St Louis.

  99. Playoffs by 2012 says:

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

  100. Playoffs by 2012 says:


  101. NMR says:

    Who caused the firestorm?

    The guys on the broadcast or the writer who likened them to Twitter thugs and encouraging physical harm?

  102. SeanAY says:

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

  103. 21sthebest says:

    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!)

  104. NMR says:

    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.

  105. The Gunner says:

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

  106. NMR says:

    Once again, right on the money.

    You didn’t like what they said?

    Here’s a tissue. Get over it.

  107. NMR says:

    There’s no “might” about it.

  108. Bizrow says:

    And St Looie supposedly has more chips in the minors to play with.

  109. Milo Hamilton says:

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

  110. Arriba Wilver says:


  111. pattonbb says:

    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.

  112. Brandie says:

    My point exactly!

  113. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    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.


  114. Milo Hamilton says:

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

  115. NMR says:

    Now that we can certainly agree on.

  116. Arriba Wilver says:

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

  117. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    “Here’s a tissue. Get over it.”


  118. Playoffs by 2012 says:


  119. NMR says:

    Cards interest, if serious, seems a bit…I’m not going to call it odd, since they clearly know what they’re doing, but I don’t know.

    You figure that any move they make will be with the playoffs in mind, not regular season. You’re dealing with four-man rotations at that point. Which one of Wainwright-Westbrook-Miller-Lynn do you sit?

    Shortstop seems to be the much greater need.

  120. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    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.

  121. Brandie says:

    Positive vibes to Jandy, Rad Lad, Hipposter, Karen, and all!

  122. 21sthebest says:

    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.

  123. Naterosboro says:

    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.

  124. NMR says:

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

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

  125. 21sthebest says:

    Why exactly?

  126. Nate83 says:

    Pirates, Reds and Cardinals have 3 of the most solid starting staffs in all of baseball. I would be surprised if any of them are after Garza. Not to mention trading prospects within the division would be tough. Can you imagine playing against Hanson 18 times a year and him being an all-star.

  127. 21sthebest says:

    That question was for DK.

  128. Arriba Wilver says:

    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.

  129. Brandie says:

    His brother looked like the Wal-Mart Roll back version of Rollie Fingers!

  130. 21sthebest says:

    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.

  131. Bizrow says:

    Thats what hurt with the Ramirez trade to the Cubs

  132. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    “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.

  133. Naterosboro says:

    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! ;-)

  134. Jandy says:

    Brandie, how the heck are ya???

  135. Jandy says:


  136. NMR says:

    Yes, yes I could. Gladly in fact, if it meant I had a World Series to look back on.

  137. Arriba Wilver says:

    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).

  138. 21sthebest says:

    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.

  139. 21sthebest says:

    “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.

  140. 21sthebest says:

    I guess I see them as both broadcasters and journalists.

  141. Arriba Wilver says:

    I wonder if there’s some thought to keeping him away from the other two, by each. Reportedly the Giants only picked up Cody Ross to keep him away from a competitor, and he was key in the post-season.

  142. SeanAY says:

    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.

  143. Possibility some interest (not of the Pirates, believe me) could be some of keeping Garza away from other division contenders.

    Wouldn’t be the first time that happened and it usually backfires.

  144. You, my friend, owe me a Pepsi.

  145. Naterosboro says:

    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!

  146. NMR says:

    At least Brown and Walk aren’t bloggers.

  147. Brandie says:

    Attitude and perspective = the difference between hubris and chutzpah.

  148. NMR says:

    Two smart men!

    Forgot the Cody Ross lesson. Thanks, guys.

  149. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    HA! :)

  150. Forgot the Cody Ross thing, myself.

    That’s not the way it usually plays out, but that is a fine example.

  151. Naterosboro says:

    Cool experience for Ramon Foster.

    “@steelers 2h

    .@RamonFoster representing the @steelers at @wembleystadium to preview our @nfl_uk game in September.”

  152. Bizrow says:

    And look who he replaced.

    That move is really the one that makes me ill.

  153. 21sthebest says:

    ” 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.

  154. Jandy says:


  155. Arriba Wilver says:

    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.

  156. Jandy says:

    have a Coke and a smile ;)

  157. NMR says:

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

  158. Arriba Wilver says:

    Next time I see you, Lucky, the Pepsi’s on me. :-)

  159. 21sthebest says:

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

  160. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Break given.
    Now what?

  161. NMR says:

    Absolutely, but to peoples credit, he’s been sneaky good.

    Started slow, never hit the flashy homeruns, and before you know it he’s over .300.

    Cutch is good.

  162. Dom says:

    Why do we want him? We need hitting.

  163. Jandy says:

    take it outside, boys ;)

  164. Brandie says:

    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.

  165. Jandy says:

    understated class.

  166. Jandy says:

    Dang, Brandie, I humbly offer my size 9 wides to clean out their brain cavities ;)

  167. Jandy says:

    And remember, next time you’re around Altoona, just let me know, the drink is on me!

  168. Your post was actually 4 minutes before mine, so I’ll buy, AW.

    And Jandy, no Coke, Pessi, as Dan Akroyd used to say on SNL.

  169. Jandy says:

    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 :)

  170. Brandie says:

    You got it babe.

  171. Jandy says:

    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 :)

  172. Jandy says:

    But Spunky, don’t say the “P” word, COKE is the REAL Thing ;)

  173. 21sthebest says:

    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.

  174. SeanAY says:

    Heard on the Buster Olney podcast today that rival evaluators think the Pirates need another starter. Honestly, I can’t blame them.

    Rodriguez could be out for a while, Cole for all his talent hasn’t been consistent and is in his first MLB season, Locke has been stellar but is also untested, etc.

    If nothing else, I think a healthy Garza gives you a better chance to win than Jeanmar Gomez. Maybe he’s also able to eat a few more innings and get you into the 7th as opposed the 5th.

    That said, per the conversation we had yesterday, other than Garza and Bud Norris, there aren’t any other enticing starters. Which means the prices are probably fairly high.

  175. Jandy says:


  176. SeanAY says:

    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.

  177. Jandy says:

    Finally had a chance to watch this….lol
    Ditto what Brandie said!

  178. Bizrow says:

    + many

  179. Sounds like their thumbs were somewhere else other than their noses.

  180. Arriba Wilver says:

    Excellent, fair point. DK puts himself out there.

  181. Jandy says:

    precisely why I offered the services of my size 9 wides, Spunky ;)

  182. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    When will my break be given??

  183. Brandie says:

    Tried to keep it G Rated, Dr. Spunkenstien!

  184. Arriba Wilver says:

    Tiffani Amber?

  185. Lad9 says:

    Brandie! Hang in there girl. Your bosses are not the only ones with a problem on where to stick their thumbs. Trust me. Keep your chin up high Brandie. If you keep it high enough, you can be 64 inches of dynamite! :)

  186. Arriba Wilver says:

    Next time you post a line. :-D

  187. You’re showing your age, J-girl.

    Those Coke campaigns are relatively 70ish.


    It is the real thing, though. But Pepsi is better.

  188. Brandie says:

    This should have been in response to Lucky.

  189. Cliche’ of the day:

    “You can never have enough pitching”.

    Or enough hitting or enough bench, etc., etc.

  190. Perish the thought of anything else, B-girl.

  191. Brandie says:

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

  192. Brandie says:

    Again, in response to Rad Lad.

  193. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    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.

  194. Playoffs by 2012 says:



  195. Arriba Wilver says:


  196. Sisyphus says:

    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.

  197. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    very very true

  198. Naterosboro says:

    “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.

  199. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Or be lucky enough!

  200. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Does membership have it’s rewards?

  201. Sisyphus says:

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

  202. pattonbb says:

    There’s some people in San Fran that would argue that.

  203. Naterosboro says:

    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).

  204. Brandie says:

    I have worked with kids like this. One thing, or the lack thereof stands out….Where in the plaid world is DAD?!

  205. Arriba Wilver says:

    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.

  206. Bizrow says:

    What do you have in mind ;-)

  207. Brandie says:

    It’s also the difference between those who talk smack and those who smack talkers.

  208. Jandy says:

    +many lol

  209. Jandy says:

    I’m glad YOU asked that question, Biz ;)

  210. Jandy says:


  211. Joni says:

    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 :)

  212. Jandy says:


  213. Jandy says:

    I admit I’m an ol’ beyotch ;)
    But have to disagree, Coke, specifically diet coke, is waaayyy better :P

  214. Jandy says:

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

  215. Jandy says:

    Anytime ya want it :P

  216. Jandy says:

    one should never talk smack if one can’t back it up!

  217. Jandy says:

    My six year old wouldn’t be in this position in the first place, but if he did end up there, he’d have a very warm bottom!

  218. Jandy says:

    thanks for sharing, you gave me a chuckle :)

  219. 21sthebest says:

    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.

  220. The Gunner says:

    when I get back on line, I guess. Break granted. So, are the Buccos gonna bring in another bat or two soon or what?

  221. 21sthebest says:

    Coke Zero!

  222. Brandie says:

    Awesome post!

  223. Brandie says:

    For sure. Every tap up I got, I deserved!

  224. Jandy says:

    or what…

  225. Jandy says:

    That’s my second choice, 21 :)

  226. MrB says:

    I liked the “outs” that Pedro hit. Most were screaming line drives with plenty of top spin, which means he was hitting down on the ball. He’ll be more than fine in the second half.

  227. Brandie says:

    I do chin ups!

  228. The Gunner says:


    Surely you jest

  229. Jandy says:

    Gunner, check out my posts more often, I jest ALL the time :P

  230. radio wave says:

    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.

  231. SeanAY says:


    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.

  232. Naterosboro says:

    “@pgshelly 3s

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

  233. SeanAY says:

    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.

  234. Joni says:


  235. Lad9 says:

    Thank you and right back at ya! You do the same for me.

  236. You’ve been hangin’ out with Foo.

  237. 21sthebest says:

    “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.

  238. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    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.

  239. Playoffs by 2012 says:


    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.

  240. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Thank you Gunner!

  241. Jandy says:

    Wish Foo would come back…

  242. Jandy says:

    it’s childish

  243. 21sthebest says:

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

  244. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    No, not Kelly Kapowski!

  245. Jandy says:

    you guys are KILLING me! :D

  246. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    I do what I can.

    Playoffs Foo


  247. SeanAY says:

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

  248. Arriba Wilver says:

    Foo says he’s blocked.

  249. Jandy says:

    that’s old hat…should be unblocked by now…

  250. DK would let him back.

  251. Jandy says:

    That’s what I would think.

  252. Hi from Vlites, Crete

  253. NMR says:

    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.

  254. Jandy says:

    did you see this above, Biz?

    Rick in Crete says:

    July 16, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Hi from Vlites, Crete

  255. Jandy says:

    Thanks for the update, Nate. I saw that he went for arbitration. Will be interesting to see what is decided.

  256. Bizrow says:

    No, thanks, Jandy, I’ll add and post tonight on the AS Thread.

    Nice addition

  257. 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.

  258. Drew71 says:

    ” 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.

  259. Karen22 says:

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! ;) Just kidding!

    Awesome post!

  260. Karen22 says:

    Why thank you! Right back atcha, Brandie!

  261. Amen, brother Andrew.

  262. Karen22 says:

    Me, too!

  263. Karen22 says:

    Oh, absolutely GOOD! That’s why I love him. So why can’t he be PERFECT (I mean, that’s what I expect from him, silly!)? ;)

  264. Jandy says:

    sure is! D

  265. Bizrow says:

    Does not apply if you are voicing an opinion to your significant other

  266. Bizrow says:

    Interesting response on Biogenesis from MLBPA executive on MLBTrade Rumors

  267. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Imagine Chris Davis in a Pirate uniform?

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

  268. Jandy says:

    smart man ;)

  269. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    My favorite of the SBTB crew…

  270. 21sthebest says:

    I’m smarter. I don’t even voice my opinion to my signficant other.

  271. Lad9 says:

    You are allowed to have opinions?

  272. Bizrow says:

    wise indeed :-)

  273. 21sthebest says:

    I’ve nicknamed my wife Lorena (that actually is true) so all opinions would be at my own risk.

  274. Jandy says:

    ROFL! I let my ol’ man talk. ;)
    I don’t gag or blindfold him LOL

  275. NMR says:

    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.

  276. NMR says:

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

    THAT was a good deadline move.

  277. Sisyphus says:

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

  278. Sisyphus says:

    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.

  279. Arriba Wilver says:

    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)

  280. Rob says:

    Rob Pleasanton, Texas. I hardly ever post but I do enjoy stalking what get posted!

  281. John Lease says:

    Well, would have had it if he’d shown up on time and could get out of the way of a pitch.

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