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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Morning Java: Hey, Nutting … um, nice job

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The weekly chat will take place right here at noon, as always. Hope to have you at that time, but remember that entries can be submitted as soon as you see the post.

>> Bob Nutting is applauded by Joe Starkey in his column today.

I’ve held this stance since the man took control of the Pirates in 2007, as most of you will know, albeit with questioning individual decisions at appropriate times. Obviously, it hasn’t been a popular position to take.

Some of that comes on personal feel. I trust Nutting. Unlike more than a few folks with the Pirates — and it happens with other teams, too — he’s never lied to me that I’ve known. That carries a lot of weight on this end. Likewise, I’d like to think that trust has been mutual throughout.

That aside, to my mind, it’s surprising that more people haven’t recognized what Nutting has done, not least of which was the all-encompassing, intensive investigation he did on the way the franchise was being run last fall. Much, much change resulted from that, and a lot of eyes — and especially ears — were opened.

Which is kind of how it goes in any workplace when the boss gets ticked.

Suffice it to say I know a lot more about this situation than what’s been printed, because that’s part of how our business works. And it’s absolutely appropriate that Nutting gets his due.

>> The Penguins have another head-coach-in-waiting in John Hynes at Wilkes-Barre. Josh Yohe tells the tale from development camp.

Some of Josh’s interview with Hynes yesterday …

>> The NHL schedule should come out today. This is a nerve-wracking experience for me and, at the risk of conceding way too much about my priorities, I’ll leave it at that.


>> Tough scoreless tie for the Riverhounds last night. Matt Grubba reports from Highmark Stadium.

That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if the club wasn’t — at least a little — looking ahead to Friday’s friendly with Wigan Athletic FC, the current FA Cup champions in England, which has tickets remaining.

And if they weren’t already looking forward to it enough, let’s just say that receiving a formal request from Manchester United for tape of that game — the Reds face Wigan in a couple weeks — ought to do the trick.

Yes, that happened, I’m told.

The world’s most famous sports franchise wants to learn from the Hounds.

>> Candid stuff from Jeff Hartings about playing through concussions while with the Steelers. Included in that link is audio to the source XM Radio interview.

>> Hope to have you in the chat.

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. JD says:

    Very nice DK, glad to see you write this. It’s good to see you write positive things when they warrant it, as well as the negative when it is called for.

    DK: Honestly not sure what you’re saying there, JD.

    When has my stance on Nutting ever varied in the slightest?

  2. Crash says:

    We’ll see if Cutch is here after 2014. History says he won’t be.

    We’ll see if he pays Burnett in 2014, when HE has to pay him, rather than the Yankees paying $20 mil of the $33 mil left on his 2012 and 2013 contract to pitch in Pittsburgh.

    The Astros are also paying $5 mil of Wandy’s 2013 salary.

    DK: Whose history says that?

  3. KenKopp says:

    Nice articles from New York, DK. Just got off work and open in the am, so I’ll read the chat when I get home. If I could ask a question during the chat it would be: How does the team reassemble in Cincy? Do they meet in Pittsburgh and fly out together, or find their own way, or …? If anybody knows please educate me.

    Cannot wait for the second half to start. I’m from Pittsburgh, but live in Florida. You would not believe the number of Steeler fans down here. License plates, shirts, hats, dog collars, you name it. Plenty of Pens fans too. And, as I’m finding out this year, a bunch of Pirate fans.

    Go Bucs!

    DK: Thanks regarding the All-Star stuff, Ken. Was a lot of fun, in its own way.

    As for your question, they’ll all have travel arrangements made by the team to meet in Cincinnati by some point this afternoon. The All-Stars usually get an extra day and don’t have to arrive until Friday.

  4. Joe says:

    It’s funny how the Pirates shrewdness in acquiring Burnett and Rodriguez can be turned against them when for years the fan-base bemoaned not trading for players like them.

  5. JohninOshkosh says:

    Are you concerned that the Pens will play at Winnipeg the last day before the Olympic break when you will likely already be in Russia?

    DK: Yes, that and any Steelers overlap. You know me too well.

  6. KenKopp says:

    Thank you and good night. Sweet dreams to all.

  7. Mizery says:

    How is the Riverhounds game not sold out? I don’t follow soccer or pretend to like it, but the chance to see one of the best teams in its sport is a must see. I even went to USA versus Costa Rica in a blizzard out here in Denver just for it’s significance. As a sports fan I would love to go to that game.

    DK: The catch with the Wigan match is that it wasn’t part of the season-ticket plan, so you’re starting from a base of zero. They’ve got to legitimately sell 4,000 tickets. We’ll see.

  8. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Count me out when it comes to the current Bob Nutting back-slapping.
    It will take me numerous years of the proper effort and results before I would even begin to warm up to this Regime.
    As far as I’m concerned, the Nutting Regime started when G. Ogden walked through the doors of the Pirate offices in latter ’96.
    Since then….It has been a “little by little power grab” by the clandestine WV bunch.

    Let me address Joe Starkey’s major talking points in his column:

    * Indeed the Pirates out bid the Yankees for Russell Martin….After almost two decades of letting other FA’s fly past their radar. If the Pirates weren’t over .500 right now, we’d hear the same tired talk….”See!…It’s a waste of money to sign players like Russell Martin. What prospects can we get for him later this month?!”

    *As far as being buyers at the trading deadline in recent years….I would question to what extent. I still feel that the Nutting Regime left the team dead in the water late last July….Consequently the big collapse. Neal Walker goes down in August….And the best thing the Regime can do is put Triple A’er Brock Holt at 2B for the rest of the season?!
    A putrid excuse for trying.
    No one is asking for the Pirates to handicap themselves….But when is now?

    *The Andrew McCutchen signing remains inconsequential to me.
    McCutchen’s salary is still under $5 mil.
    Next year, it jumps up and over $7 mil.
    Why do I get the feeling I won’t see Starling Marte playing alongside Cutch for long?

    The Nutting Regime has “almost” botched the signing of Pedro Alvarez….Did botch the signing of Miguel Sano….Hired John Russell as manager, and allowed him to sit on his duff for three years….And conducted “Hoka Hey” exercises (with prized prospects) that have as much to do with baseball as a chemistry class.

    No….Count me out of the Bob Nutting back slapping.
    I’ve seen far too much bad to out weigh the good.
    I firmly believe that the best move they’ve made is hiring manager Clint Hurdle.
    Hurdle has “finally” installed some integrity back into the Pirates, and the results have been clear.
    But…I fear that the Nutting Regime will botch things up once again….Very soon.
    Finishing over .500 does nothing but allow the Regime to get off easily.
    They owe Pirate fans that and whole lot more for two decades of treachery.
    I’m waiting….

    DK: I respect your sentiments on Nutting, Daq. Always have. We’ve long disagreed.

  9. David Straub says:

    It takes quite a bit to make my jaw drop with anything regarding sports nowadays. But Manchester United, the English Premier League champions, requesting tape of a friendly between the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and Wigan Athletic (the current FA Cup champions, I might add) in preparation for their own match against Wigan did the trick.

    That match between Wigan and Man United, for the record, is the annual FA Community Shield game, contested annually at Wembley Stadium between the prior season’s Premier League and FA Cup tournament champions. It’s not just a random one-off friendly…that one has a trophy (albeit a minor one in the English hierarchy) to its name.

    DK: Great background, especially in that second paragraph, David. Thanks for that, and look forward to hearing your insights on here. Welcome to the blog.

    I’ll be covering Riverhounds-Wigan on Friday night, by the way.

  10. JohninOshkosh says:

    BTW, Go Latics !

    Wish I could go !

  11. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    DK – Not a problem!
    You tell it like is, and you allow people to voice their opinion.
    That’s all I ask for….

  12. Jerry says:

    Also, they’ve only had about a month to sell tickets and they are pricey (between $28-$50) so I’m not surprised it isn’t sold out.

  13. Ghost says:

    You bring up a lot of valid points (and a few shakier ones — Brock Holt swung a respectable bat for the Bucs in ’12, and has been called up by the BoSox who have been pleased with him as a blooming 3rd baseman).
    I too, respect your sentiments and am one of the ones around here who actually agrees with you often. But I’m so pleasantly surprised with the decision-making of Pirates’ management over the past 12 months that I’ve become cautiously optimistic about the future of this organization in their hands. How they navigate this trade deadline will be a big test. But I’m a believer in second chances (or in this FO’s/owner’s case, 6th chances?). The Steelers once had a long-time owner who got things wrong for years and years. Then he and his sons figured things out. Not saying Nutting can even carry The Chief’s jock, yet. But let’s see what happens.

  14. Mizery says:

    After the update from Jerry and DK on ticket sells my rant has a little less meaning. That is quite a bit of tickets to sell in a month. Great thing about being a poster is that I can jump to conclusions without having all the facts. Makes journalism a lot easier if you just make it up as you go.

  15. Ghost says:

    Agree with the gist of Starkey’s column, but not all the reasoning. To wit: Pirates “have become annual buyers at the trade deadline.” Technically true, I guess. But so far, only last year saw significant moves. Derrek Lee and Ryan Ludwick were marginal moves in 2011.

    Then there’s this: “It was Nutting, after all, who brought in Frank Coonelly.”

    A lot of what Coonelly does is out of view from us fans. But of that which we have seen there has been some very amateurish moves of consequence. Starkey blames the Alvarez draft follies on “Scott Boras’ last-minute shenanigans.” But that was actually the fault of COONELLY’S last-minute shenanigans. Also, now that the Pirates have an exciting team with lots of players Pittsburghers really like, you would think there would be a windfall, going forward. Except Coonelly locked the Pirates into a stupid television contract for many years to come. Wonder how Nutting likes that one?

  16. Ghost says:

    Can’t get enough of indulging in trade-deadline talk this year. Besides pondering who might be available from obvious sellers (Seattle, San Diego, both Chicago teams, etc.) can’t overlook buyers that happen to lack what the Pirates have. If the Angels still plan to be in it, they need starting pitching badly. Detroit needs relief pitching, and I’m not yet sold that they are confident about Benoit as their closer for a WS run. Some people say the Angels are willing to trade Mark Trumbo (great power potential, but otherwise not that different than Garrett Jones, number-wise.) Still would love nothing more than for the Pirates to snatch Bourjos away from them. As for the Tigers, what if they fancy Justin Wilson? Mark Melancon?? Or, perish the thought… no, I won’t say it. But some three-way trade that gets us a first-rate bat could come in this type of, eh hem, package.

  17. Ghost says:

    Guess the botching of the Alvarez signing didn’t end up having a significant consequence (did cost Nutting another $300K, though). But that was too close for comfort and Coonelly lied to the public about what was going on at the time.

  18. Pgh Soccer Mom says:

    I am loving all the attention the Riverhounds are getting! I will be out of town on business but my husband and son are going Friday. We don’t have season tickets but we have made it to five games already and they have been great! ! My sons have been training with them since they started. … what an amazing group of guys…… and now Man U calling? !?! What’s next?

  19. 21sthebest says:

    Can you go further into how Coonelly botched the Alvarez signing Ghost, and how he lied?

  20. Drew71 says:


  21. Drew71 says:

    And he’s a snappy dresser

  22. Drew71 says:

    I did it…I stole my own car.

    Ok. I repossessed it.

    And while it’s “mine”, it is really my son’s. And with my son’s blessing, I was repoing it from someone else who was driving it inappropriately. But not illegally. Thus the repo, rather than the cops.

    At 3:30 yesterday afternoon, I stepped out of MY car, which was being driven by a little blond cutie (allegedly my son’s “little friend”; my son is visiting his brother in NYC), walked around the corner of a parking lot of Section 8 apartments (meant as factual description, not derogatorily), unlocked the other car (I kept an extra key because I – sadly – ENVISIONED just such a need), fired her up and the two cars pulled away.

    As we were driving, I called my wife and started singing Bad Boys to her.

    I told her:

    “I haven’t felt this alive in YEARS!

    “I’m getting a tat and a Harley, and I’m coming home for you, Baby!”

    She LIKED it.

    – Repo Drew

    – cue music –

    There’s a New Drew in town. And he’s a Bad Piece of Thunder.

  23. Thundercrack says:

    “If the Pirates weren’t over .500 right now, we’d hear the same tired talk….”See!…It’s a waste of money to sign players like Russell Martin. What prospects can we get for him later this month?!”

    Why keep playing the ‘what if’ game and not enjoy what is happening in the present?

    “Treachery”. Really?

  24. kr70 says:

    Karen Price says Liriano is a “pleasant surprise”. I say he’s been an A-Bomb!

  25. kr70 says:

    Hope my mailman doesn’t wrinkle up my SI. Thinking about getting Grilled Cheese framed.

  26. Stuart says:

    Clandestine activities are indeed ennervating. Well done. Get a tat that will look good in twenty years.

    Yes, I know. Celebrate appropriately.


  27. tdb1977 says:

    LOL! +1 You go Drew! Now, all you need to do is starting putting up lots of :) :) :) and then we will all know a true transformation has been completed.

  28. JAL says:

    JAL’s Better 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: The Pirates Are Built For Short and Long Term Success

    Prospect Watch: Nick Kingham, Tyler Glasnow, and Jon Sandfort Have Strong Starts

    Pirates Land a Competitive Balance Pick in the 2014 Draft

    7 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates second half primer

    8 IS Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates: Would you trade Jameson Taillon? (Part 1)

    9 The Green Weenie

    All Star, Bucco News & Notes

    10 Rumbunter

    Pirates Second Half Preview: By The Numbers

    11 City of Champions

    Russell Martin will carry the Pittsburgh Pirates to the playoffs

  29. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 Columbus Dispatch

    MLB: Good half isn’t enough

    13 Charleston Daily Mail

    W.Va. Power: Herrera’s eyes opened in Futures Game

    14 USA Today

    NL: What to expect in the second-half

    15 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Bernie: Cards face pressure of being favorites

    16 CBS Sports

    Can the Pirates stay hot in the second half of the season?

    17 Oakland Press

    Buy or sell? National League trade outlook

    18 PBC Site

    Bucs’ renaissance can be completed with playoff berth

    Sanchez hopes he’s over the hump


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    What Scouts Are Saying

    20 Fangraphs

    The Worst of the Best: The Wildest Pitches of the First ~Half

  30. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers training camp talkers: Depth of offensive line to be determined

    Ben Roethlisberger ranks No. 7 on Ron Jaworski’s QB Countdown

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Giving Maurkice Pouncy Benefit of the Doubt


    23 Daily Mail

    It’s Rooney or bust! Mourinho prepares £30m bid to land striker… as Wenger says England striker’s wages are not a problem for Gunners

    24 World Soccer Daily

    England has always provided a home for long ball football


    25 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Penguins: Goaltending Will Continue To Be Their Downfall

  31. JAL says:

    Better Regina Spektor 2006 From her 4th album Begin to Hope. Born in Russia in 1980 her family came to the US in 1989. Her music is quirky with no specific style

  32. JAL says:

    Morning links off to other lands for the weekend so these are the last links until next Tuesday.

  33. Drew71 says:

    Ok, then. Forget it.

  34. JoeyBats says:

    Hoka Hey everyone !
    CONGRATS to catcher Tony Sanchez….
    Sanchez blasted a three-run home run into the right-field stands in the second inning to power the International League (IL) to a 4-3 victory over the Pacific Coast League (PCL) on Wednesday at Aces Ballpark.
    “I ended up getting just enough to get it over [the fence],” said Sanchez, who won Top Star honors. “You’re trying to do your best against these guys not knowing how they throw.”
    Maybe we’ll see him back up here….shortly………….OR maybe, trade bait ???

  35. Thundercrack says:

    You know what might help with the ticket sales?


  36. Ed says:

    As far as I’m concerned, Nutting has passed his tests to date. He’s invested heavily in minor league development and was able to sign McCutchen to a long term deal.

    Most importantly, he’s ensured that the franchise is on solid financial footing for years to come.

    I still feel that Coonelly should go, for all of the negative publicity he has generated over the years, hopefully, after this season. At least he hired Huntington, which has looked really good the past couple seasons. This is one area where Nutting can do better.

  37. Thundercrack says:


  38. Jandy says:

    $28 – $50 is pricey??

  39. Ed says:

    To be fair, the TV deal was made before the most recent explosion of television money around MLB, and also, the team was really terrible then. A successful franchise, that naturally will draw more viewers, will command more money.

    As I wrote in my post below though, Coonelly should go simply for all of the negative publicity he as caused over the years.

  40. Jandy says:

    New posters, and lurkers….we want to chat with you!
    If you post your hometown, we’ll add it to the list of Dejan’s L:unatics’ Asylum.
    Don’t be shy, we don’t bite :)

  41. Jandy says:

    Don’t be a wuss, Drew Dahling. Post one…go ahead, you KNOW you want to:

  42. Jandy says:

    Move over, Dog the Bounty Hunter, Drew Dawg is taking over!

  43. Jandy says:

    Safe, happy travels, JAL :)

  44. The Gunner says:

    Tanked Frank is an absolute disgrace who needs to be served his walking papers.

  45. tomp says:

    Did it ever occur to you, that the blonde hair cutey still has 1 key to the car?.

    If she knows where you live, she can get a ride, and do the same thing you just did.
    Just a word of precaution, if this may be a problem, get new door locks, at the least.

  46. Jandy says:

    I’m thinking in this case, it will be theft on the blonde hair cutey’s part.

  47. Al says:

    I just wanted to say that Josh’s column today on John Hynes was really good. It’s great to read about the goings-on in Wilkes-Barre.
    I’ve been wondering for awhile if the Pens have a plan in place to keep from losing John to another NHL club?

  48. BFD says:

    AMEN Daquido.
    Seems like too many are feeling that 1 (not even complete) season erases the embarrassing, miserly, cheap years from 1996-2012.

    Nuttings business practices have not changed, in my opinion. This is the blind squirrel finally finding it’s nut.
    There is a reason why no other professional sports team has been sub-.500 for 2 decades…… it is VERY difficult to do. The law of averages says some year the futility streak will be broken, and in my opinion another long streak will begin.

    Joe Starkey’s column is pure nonsense. The backslapping is an insult to the fans intelligence.

    This season does little more than let Nutting off the hook and allows him to justify building a team on the cheap…….. lap it up pgh……

  49. Dom says:

    I agree that Nutting does deserve a good deal of credit.

    When he took over he obviously wasn’t looking to be popular. He knew he had to listen to NH and the gang and deal away our top performers for anything we could get. Nutting knew he had to rebuild and thereby costing us any chance of avoiding setting the record for longest consecutive losing seasons. He was aware that this alone would alienate him away from the majority of the fans forever.

    Nutting had one thing in mind and that was building a competitive ball club.

  50. BillyBaduka says:

    Jandy’s thinking is correct. Key or no key, that’s theft.

  51. The best thing about Drew’s post is that he said he’s heading home to his wife.

    When have we ever heard that?

    Probably the last time he used and emoticon.


  52. BillyBaduka says:

    Nice. Thanks for the story.

  53. BillyBaduka says:

    Beautiful voice. Thanks for the wide range of musical acts. You’ve introduced me to quite a few. I’m consistently impressed by the breadth and depth of your musical knowledge.

  54. Jandy says:

    What emoticon??? lol
    But yeah, first time he was glad to see her! ;)

  55. Dom says:

    In reference to #8: No.

  56. Patrick(RI) says:

    Have you noticed who is playing 3rd base for the 1st place Red Sox? (playing very well, at that. and as a solution to injury/performance problem)

  57. Bizrow says:

    I think we are in the 370’s for confirmed lunatic locations

    + 1

  58. TJ says:

    Wait, wait, wait…. Nutting is no longer a punch line? Did he sell the team? Did he suddenly agree to add 20 mil to the payroll?

    Sorry until this team accomplishes something I don’t see how the reputation changes. NH may catch some flack for not giving up prospects at the deadline but what I will be curious to k ow is if he refused to give up the prospects asked because the other team wanted more in return because Nutting would not take on a full contract like the Wandy and AJ deals.

    To me at this point saying Nutting is not a punch line is like saying Michael Vick is a dog lover.

    Regardless of the facts; it’s all about perception and I don’t believe for one second that perception of Nutting has changed in this town.

  59. Patrick(RI) says:

    I should always read before I leap — Ghost is way ahead of me!

  60. Bizrow says:

    You must be from Mt Lebanon ;-)

  61. TJ says:

    They do… It’s called FIRE BYLSMA

    Sorry had not been said in a while

  62. Dom says:

    Ovechkin might have 2013 Hart Trophy but last night Sid won something far greater than any award or trophy from the NHL …an espy.

    I bet Ovechkin could have won a hart trophy, an Art Ross Trophy, the Stanley cup and still think, “It’s just not worth it without an espy.”

  63. Jandy says:


  64. Jandy says:

    That’s great, Biz! Keep up the good work :)

  65. Jandy says:


  66. JAL says:

    You are welcome. Thanks. Theme this week was performers whose careers started this century.

  67. 21sthebest says:

    9 for 30, all singles, .643 OPS.

  68. Drew71 says:

    Yep. VERY first time.

    Can somebody give me an emoticon with the ghostbusters sign over it?

    I’d use THAT.

  69. Thundercrack says:

    ‘To me at this point saying Nutting is not a punch line is like saying Michael Vick is a dog lover.’


  70. Drew71 says:

    In case you or anyone is wondering – and normally I give good reason to make you wonder – there is not one bit of exaggeration to that story.

    I haven’t gotten inked up YET…

  71. 21sthebest says:

    “Likewise, I’d like to think that trust has been mutual throughout.”

    DK, you helped to publish a private corporate email. Don’t be surprised if that trust isn’t mutual.

  72. Jandy says:

    That one isn’t made, sorry Drewster :P

  73. Jandy says:

    lol let us know, we’ll all bail you out!

  74. Patrick says:

    I’ve always been on the fence w/ BN. I don’t know why he seems sincere to me, he just does.

    So when he says that he wants to win, that they “exist to win”, I don’t automatically roll my eyes. I never mistook anything he said for a Steinbrenner/Al Davis fanatical obsession at winning at all costs, either.

    I questioned his ability plenty of times though. Owning a sports franchise is a lot different than any other business in the world. MLB franchises are even more difficult because each is so unique. At least in the NFL and NBA you can model your own franchise after other successful ones. Nfl Owners have a lot of variables eliminated with salary caps and shared TV deals. Every MLB team has a unique set of variables that are constantly evolving.

    I guess I really didn’t doubt BN honesty, only his ability to actually do it. I still don’t care for Frank Coonelly, his crap TV deal w/ rootsports should be his headstone. And I’m coming around on Huntington. Impossible to ignore the improvement in the minor league system.

    With that said, I’ll give credit to BN when there is something to give credit for. He said “The Pirates exist to win games.” and to that end they haven’t done much of it.

    When/if they have sustained success and achieve the goals HE has set out (not my goals or expectations, but the ones HE has publicly set) then I’ll give him credit for a job well done.

  75. 21sthebest says:

    “Regardless of the facts; it’s all about perception and I don’t believe for one second that perception of Nutting has changed in this town.”

    That’s fair. But I also don’t believe that the perception of Nutting in this town is as bad as it is on blogs and talk shows.

  76. Thundercrack says:

    Drew had guard dogs so he isn’t worried about the blonde coming back after him.

  77. NMR says:

    Vic Black also looked great closing out the 9th. Anybody watch?

    I have a hard time thinking most relievers the Pirates could get in a trade would top what Black showed last night.

  78. TJ says:

    I would say that’s a fair statement 21. Fans keep going to games and the Pirates are winning. The basic meaning behind my statement is simple… Perception does not change over night and until the Pirates win I do not believe it will fully change.

    He has a stigma attached to him like a Donald Sterling of the Clippers or Tony Romo of the Cowboys or Sergio Garcia.

  79. Naterosboro says:

    Also, Wigan are not “one of the best teams in its sport”. They were just relegated out of the top division of English league soccer last season (from the Premier League to the Championship). Yes, they did win the FA Cup (1 of, if not THE, oldest trophies in organized sports) this past season (and beat a good Manchester City team to do it), but that does not make them one of the best teams in Europe. They’re a scrappy bunch, and, under their old boss Roberto Martinez (who is now the manager at EvertonFC), were known to sometimes play a nice passing game. But no real “stars” or heavyweights in terms of on the world stage.

    If they were playing Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Barcelona, etc (basically the top teams from England & Spain) I have no doubt they’d sell those 4,000 tickets in a heart beat.

  80. John Lease says:

    Singles hitting 3rd baseman don’t hang onto starting jobs.

  81. Brandie says:

    Have a good time, JAL. I can’t wait food the next theme of your links. Thank you for all of the hard work.

  82. While you shake your head, I’ll wag my finger.

    His percentage is going down.

  83. NMR says:

    He’ll be benched as soon as Drew is off the DL and optioned when Middlebrooks is recalled from AAA.

    Solid utility guy, though.

  84. Jandy says:

    he doesn’t need dogs, he has his wife!

  85. NMR says:

    I’m not one of these guys who think Nutting is a miserly scrooge that should be banished to the hills of West Virginia forever, so don’t take my comment as bashing him.

    But can anyone actually explain WHY he deserves credit for the draft and international spending?

    Sorry Joe, it ain’t like that money was coming out of his own pockets.

  86. cosmo says:

    Hope your mailman is not Newman.

  87. theplanisworking says:

    Yes you do bite!!! Dont listen to her!!!

    But she is right. We would like to know where the lunatic nation extends to, so please let us know. We’ll leave the light on for you. :)

  88. 21sthebest says:

    “Perception does not change over night and until the Pirates win I do not believe it will fully change.”

    Agreed but do we really care about how people perceive him and why do we?

    I don’t really have any interest in praising him but I will if I think people are being unfair or have their facts wrong. I’m just glad to see that he’s staying out of baseball operations, at least he is in my view, and entrusting it with people that he trusts.

    A lot of things have happened over the past 6 years that some said never would. Build a state of the art Dominican facility and sign prospects from the Dominican, draft players that were rated the best and pay them, be buyers at the trade deadline, sign and trade for quality players, extend Cutch. It’s a process and unfortunately that process takes time and cannot happen overnight as you said.

  89. theplanisworking says:

    Imagine, Drew heading home to a sand crab, and singing about it.

    The world is a better place today. ;)

  90. theplanisworking says:

    Are all the dogs related to Drew incontinent???

  91. theplanisworking says:

    ZING !!!

  92. theplanisworking says:

    MUPPET !!!


  93. 21sthebest says:

    Yes and agreed. Loved what I saw from him in 1 inning during spring training. Throws hard and his stuff moves.

  94. TJ says:

    I don’t care; but obviously someone thinks we should or there would not be an article written about it.

    Lots have been done in the past 6 years to clean up the mess; just as lots have been done by government to clean up issues and just like there has been a lot done to clean up the BP spill since it happened. But for the average fan I would be willing to bet at the first sign of trouble or another collapse and its back to the drawing board.

    I don’t really care about nutting; I care about seeing this team win. I care about kids born in the past 20 years not knowing what it’s like to see a winning baseball team.

  95. 21sthebest says:


  96. Just the poodles.

    That’s one of the pitfalls of being a “pet parent”.

    (I despise that term).

  97. Stuart says:

    It’s always good to have an Inkish threat in your arsenal.


  98. theplanisworking says:

    Depends for everyone.

    Why would you depise that term, Lucky?
    Beats being called Senior Pooper Scooper!!

  99. Brotherhood of the Redus says:

    Take it easy crash – There has been 20 years of nothing comparable….and only 1 or 2 years in franchise HISTORY, that compare to whats happened sofar in the win column this year.

    People get paid when they produce. Whatever recent history you are alluding to would certainly only include individual production….and paying for that when the entire machine needs rebuilt makes very little sense.

  100. It’s just that some folk don’t know how to be “people parents”.

    We have relatives that treat their dogs like people and people like dogs.

    That’s the only reason. No offense to animal lovers.

  101. theplanisworking says:

    Oh, I know those types too.

    I was hoping you didnt object to “pet parents” because, well, I am a Hippo, and I wouldnt want that stigma. ;)

  102. Thundercrack says:

    How tall is he?

  103. kr70 says:

    Thanks, you should be on the payroll

  104. Jandy says:

    Well, I treat my children and my granddaughter well, and my fur babies get spoiled as well. I hope I’m a good “pet parent”.

    Hipposter, friend, how the heck are ya?

  105. Jandy says:

    well only occasionally do I bite. I’d rather use my size 9 wides ;)

  106. Thundercrack says:

    But it was coming out of the pockets of the company he owns.

    So he could have chosen not to spend that money….and maybe diverted to his own actual pockets.

    But I also see your point, these are things he is supposed to be doing.

  107. Jandy says:


  108. 21sthebest says:

    “I don’t really care about nutting; I care about seeing this team win.”


    “Lots have been done in the past 6 years to clean up the mess; just as lots have been done by government to clean up issues ”

    Well we might just have to agree to disagree there! :-)

  109. NMR says:


  110. TJ says:

    No no I agree with you; that government statement was sarcasm. They like to make you think they have cleaned things up.

  111. BFD says:

    To add to NRM, why the backslapping over draft spending and international facilities when every other team does this as well, in addition to fielding a team with a larger payroll.

    We’ll see when the tv money kicks in and the final attendance figures are in how many pats on the back Nutting deserves.

    a leopard can’t change it’s spots……..

  112. theplanisworking says:

    They bite too!!

  113. TJ says:

    Good thing Mayor Luke and Chief Harper are not running the team… They are pro’s at diverting funds

  114. NMR says:

    That wasn’t money his company earned, it was money given to him by Major League Baseball.

    There has to be a reason that the big league payroll was slashed during that same years yet nobody in baseball other than Boras raised a stink.

  115. Patrick says:

    I’ve never doubted BN sincerity, Don’t know why, I don’t have a good reason for it, but I think the man is sincere in wanting to win baseball games.

    I’ve long doubted his ability to be the owner of a team that actually does so.

    MLB teams are not like any other business in the world. Even the other leagues are easier since they have salary caps and shared network deals. Fewer variables makes it easier to look at what someone else is doing and model your franchise after them. In MLB each team and market is so unique. Being an MLB owner is, in my opinion, harder than being an owner in any other league. Especially a smaller market owner.

    It isn’t a ski resort, thats for sure.

    Never doubted he wanted too, doubted he knew how. Hiring and keeping FC is prosecution exhibit “A”. The crap TV deal with root should be FC’s tombstone. I’m coming around on NH. Impossible to ignore the work he has done in the minor league system.

    But he hasn’t done anything yet worth giving credit for. He said the Pirates “exist to win” but hasn’t done a whole lot of it. When he achieves his own goals (not my goals, not my expectations but the goals HE has publicly set) then maybe we can give him credit.

  116. Jason says:

    Dustin Jeffrey signed a 1 yr deal worth $625,000

  117. theplanisworking says:

    I am good, my Nun-nado friend!

    Insanely hot over here again today. Supposed to be 95 or above the next two days………. I hope Hippos dont melt.

    Slow sports day. You know we are in the summer slow season when the RiverPuppies are the main ffocus of a column. Although, it is cool that a good Team comes to Pittsburgh to play.

    Wonder if DK will ever do a column about Drew and Thunder?? ;)

  118. theplanisworking says:

    I am good, my Nun-nado friend!

    Insanely hot over here again today. Supposed to be 95 or above the next two days………. I hope Hippos dont melt.

    Slow sports day. You know we are in the summer slow season when the RiverPuppies are the main ffocus of a column. Although, it is cool that a good Team comes to Pittsburgh to play.

    Wonder if DK will ever do a column about Drew and Thunder?? ;)

  119. Jandy says:

    thanks for the info, Jason

  120. Jandy says:

    He should have Drew and TC on his radio show…together….would make sparks fly thru the radio waves LOL

  121. tpbco says:

    I still trying to figure out where that “much, much change” is.

    Sure the record is better, but is it “because of” or “inspite of” Mr Nutting or are the players just playing better (and I have to post – so far) and/or as someone above posted…the blind squirrel found a couple of acorns this year?

  122. tpbco says:

    Unfortunately, DJ, at least IMO, is a AAAA talented top 6. who really doesn’t have the skill set to fit in as a bottom 6. So I’m not sure where he fits and what his role will be.

  123. theplanisworking says:

    Jandy, the FCC would revoke their license for that. ;)

  124. Jandy says:

    You’re prolly right, I didn’t think of that, Hippo! LOL

  125. Jason says:

    I’m thinking like a 3rd line LW. He’s played LW before.

  126. Naterosboro says:

    Ok. I always see this. “They’re supposed to be doing those things”. Yes, they are. But, if you think they’re doing a good job at “what they’re supposed to be doing” then you’ll give credit where you think it’s due. Right?

  127. CWalton_67 says:

    Extremely well done post, Daq.

    I boil it down to this: any organization which would continue to employ an individual as seriously misguided as Kyle Stark remains a punch line.

  128. Dom says:

    I certainly wouldn’t give him too much credit for that. It’s not like it was a unique and foreign idea. I’ll give him credit for doing the right thing but that of course was expected of him.

  129. 21sthebest says:

    NMR, you’re talking about 2008 and 2009? Yeah, I think payroll was slashed to rebuild and because the financial situation was still pretty messy. At the end of the 2008 season, they had $600,000 in cash on the books and in 2009, they borrowed another $20 million on their bank agreement.

  130. JohninOshkosh says:

    The greatest sign ever taken to a ballgame was the one that said, “Hey Bob Thanks for Nutting”

    I wonder if that was our own TJ ?

  131. Patrick(ri) says:

    +1. That is the point intended.

  132. CWalton_67 says:

    Hey, I bet that 0-0 tie in a minor league soccer game was pretty exciting, wasn’t it, Pittsburgh? Sorry I missed that one.

  133. 21sthebest says:

    Gotcha TJ.

  134. Jandy says:

    Very astute observation!

  135. JohninOshkosh says:

    Anybody here on the blog want to fess up to being part of the couple kissing in that great shot of PNC in SI ?
    Perhaps, Thunder and his wife ? NMR and his gal ? Groat and one of the ladies from his church ?

    I’m too middle aged and happily complacent to show PDA with my wife.

  136. Since JAL is travelling and it won’t hurt his feelings, I couldn’t agree more.

    Can’t warm up to the sport.

  137. It was Drew and Pricilla.

  138. Sisyphus says:

    You can see the Pirates for less than half that, so I’d have to agree that it’s a bit pricey.

  139. Jandy says:

    Yeah but hockey and football are thru the ceiling, so I don’t think it is lol

  140. Thundercrack says:

    As many others have, I have thought the payroll should be higher. Much higher at times.

    But isn’t it really about wins & losses.
    And so far this season most of those teams that are fielding a team with a larger payroll have less wins than the Pirates.

  141. theplanisworking says:

    What? Two poodles were kissing???

  142. Thundercrack says:

    My wife said she won’t kiss me at the ballpark until we clinch a winning season.

    (now my girlfriend has no problem with kissing me at the ballpark. I may have to keep my wife away from SI…and my girlfriend.)


  143. Sisyphus says:

    Unlike DK, I have NO respect for your sentiments on Nutting, as they include blame for decisions made by McClatchy and the McClatchy controlled board. I believe that you are conducting a personal vendetta, nothing more.

    Nutting did not control the Pirates for the “almost two decades” you cite in your silly Martin reference. Not even half that time.

    Your point about buying at the trade deadline is ridiculous. There is no denying that the Pirates took on additional salary in 2011 and 2012. Faulting them for failing to go and get a replacement for Walker when he was injured AFTER the trade deadline is bogus.

    I get a kick at your attempted revival of the already disproven $5M internal cap for any one player.

    Since you continue to pump falshoods to support your arguments, I’m forced to conclude that you are on a personal crusade against Nutting, and that you will not reveal the real reason for it.

  144. Jandy says:


  145. Sisyphus says:

    Who is the white knight that you expect to come in and p*ss away his family’s fortune to entertain you? Where is this person?

  146. 21sthebest says:

    You could talk a walk. You could kiss her on the veranda.

  147. 21sthebest says:

    take a walk. Geez.

  148. Nate83 says:

    I give credit to Nutting for his handling of the international development and his increased spending on the draft and scouting. I just wonder how many trades or free agent signings were not made or even considered by the front office because money was an issue over the years. Money has to eventually be spent on the major league team.

    I’m not expecting them to sign Pujols or Greinke but do think their payroll should be in the 80-100 million range. A shortstop costing 5.5 million per year and and a catcher costing 8.5 million per year is not exactly the free agent splash I was hoping for over the last two off seasons when we could see that this team may only be a few pieces away.

  149. pattonbb says:

    I didn’t see any of the espys last night, but this morning I watched a clip of Robin Roberts accepting her Arthur Ashe award. Very classy speech. Give it a look if you have 3 or 4 minutes to kill. She has a nice connection to Jimmy V’s famous speech.

    The Pirates are a better team today then they’ve been in a long time. If people think Bob Nutting should get some credit for that, than good for Bob. I’ll wait a couple months before getting in that line. If the winning ways continue, then everyone in the front office will deserve credit, and extensions.

    Tony Sanchez goes opposite field off of one of the top young pitchers in the game, Vic Black hits 100 mph in the 9th, and not one mention of it, DK?

  150. SeanAY says:

    There is no reason – NONE – to trade anyone off the major league roster. I sincerely doubt the Tigers, in the midst of a pennant race, would trade someone off their major league roster either.

  151. Drew71 says:

    They’re married. Why would he WANT to kiss her?

  152. Drew71 says:

    And by the way. I was never very good at anatomy.

    Exactly where is her veranda?

  153. theplanisworking says:

    Well, based on your constant attacks of Daquido and BFD, it certainly isnt you.

  154. theplanisworking says:


    For a franchise to shed the “punchline” tag, you must remove the punchlines, so to speak.

    Why Coonelly and Stark are still employed is a mystery.

  155. 21sthebest says:

    Is that you Dusty?

  156. pattonbb says:

    Welcome back John. Hope you had a good trip.

  157. theplanisworking says:

    ” Since you continue to pump falshoods to support your arguments, I’m forced to conclude that you are on a personal crusade against Nutting, and that you will not reveal the real reason for it. ”

    What you claim is a falsehood, others dont.
    What forces you to conclude Daq is on a personal crusade against Nutting?
    Does someone have a gun to your head?
    Are you a psychic of some sort?
    Or are you just justifying your constant attacks against him?

    Since you always attack Daq, I think you wont reveal the real reason for that.

  158. Jim S. says:

    Great post, Pgh Soccer Mom! Good for your kids.

  159. Naterosboro says:

    Thoughts a punchline-less-Nutting Thursday…

    * I’ve never really understood the hatred towards Bob Nutting in Pittsburgh. As someone mentioned above, he tends to stay out of the operations side of the club (which I like in an owner). 1 criticism is that they haven’t spent a whole lot of money on the MLB club. But, they have spent in areas that they feel will make them a competitive ball club (draft, Latin America, etc.). Over the past 2.5 seasons, I think you’re starting to see benefits to their strategy.

    * Another argument I don’t readily understand is the “they’re just doing things they’re supposed to be doing”. Ok, but can’t you compliment them if you think they’re doing a good job at the things they’re “supposed to be doing”?

    * Cool that Manchester United has asked for game tape from the Riverhounds game. Seeing as it is just a friendly (or exhibition), I wouldn’t think Utd. would’ve called, but I guess they are doing their due-diligence in scouting an opponent they’ll play in a couple weeks time to kick off the start of the season over in England.

    * 1 thing I don’t think I’ll ever understand is the need to make fun of soccer (or futbol). I don’t get the need to make fun of any sport. They’re all essentially kids games. In fact, soccer requires a lot of endurance and skill to only be able to use your feet (unless you are the GK). It’s a very fun game to watch, even more fun (and sometimes heartbreaking) if you’re supporting a team.

    * Someone above quipped that they missed the 0-0 draw in a minor league soccer game. A 0-0 game can be extremely exciting. Just b/c teams don’t score doesn’t mean there weren’t chances created, or other individual displays of skill that would make your mouth water. I’m not saying everyone will or should like soccer, but there are people out there I feel who feed off American ignorance of the sport, that, I think if they actually took the time to watch, would enjoy.

    * That 3-0 Steelers win over the Dolphins in the monsoon a few years ago was sure a thrill fest! Every sport has their exciting games and snoozefests.

    * 1 last thing to maybe sell people on soccer: 2 45-minute halves with no commercial interruptions (only time commercials are played is during halftime, and after the final whistle). Also, watch the top leagues & teams in the world to see the sport played at its highest level. No offense to the Riverhounds, but they’re not exactly in that league yet. And don’t use the MLS as a gauge either.

    * Jeff Hartings is one of the most sensible people I’ve seen make a statement in regards to the concussion issue. He realizes that, due to new information, this is a matter of extreme importance. But, he also realizes, that it’s about recognizing the injury and properly treating it and making sure the athlete is ready to resume playing, rather than eliminating the concussion totally. In a game of violent collisions, I don’t think there’s any way you could totally eliminate them.

    * 2 weeks until the trade deadline. The Pirates need either (or both) a RF or 1B upgrade, a utility/bench upgrade, and another starting pitcher. Those are the needs. I don’t think you’ll see the Pirates make deals, however, until close to July 31. There are too many teams in limbo that need the next 10-14 days to see how things play out.

    That’s all I got today. I guess it’s a bit of a complain day for me.

    HAVE A GOOD DAY ALL! BEAT ‘EM BUCS (and Bob Nutting)!


  160. Jim S. says:

    Black looked great, NMR. And Tony crushed that ball.

    I hope we don’t trade Black for “help” at the deadline.

  161. Jim S. says:


  162. Naterosboro says:

    Besides, you saw what happened when they traded Brad Lincoln & Casey McGehee last season.

    Club house chemistry RUINED! Collapse II!

    No, I don’t want any part of that….


  163. theplanisworking says:

    Oh boy, and the backslapping starts…………………….

    I read Starkey’s piece. Nice to see someone think Nutting is a hero now. I fully expect Joe to do columns on firefighters putting out fires, police arresting criminals, and asthmatics breathing to ensure their survival. After all, they are doing what they are supposed to do also.

    For me, I still am reserving my hero-worship for Nutting. He hired unqualified people to run the Pirates. That will always stick with me. Sure, Huntington has gotten better after 6 (SIX!!!) years on the job………. but he realistically do any worse than 2007-2010, could he? I mean, blind, crippled squirrels get the occasional nut.

    But the biggest reason I refuse to warm up to Nutting/FO is the constant PR gaffes and lies that they have given. Hard to warm up to snake oil salesmen. If they would have been more professional in their dealings with the fan base, it might be different.

    I think I will e-mail Starkey asking when I can look forward to reading the other columns I suggested. Good times.

    Oh, and I know there are posters here who like the FO, and others will sya “just enjoy the ride”. I am enjoying the ride, but I would enjoy it a whole lot more with a different leadership.

  164. Naterosboro says:

    Btw, if anyone is interested, me & 2 other guys did an interview with Matthew Berry of ESPN yesterday for our sports show on, The Sports Bar.

    It will be airing at 2pm today on (click on the “Sports” player to listen). It comes about 8 minutes into the show and lasts for about 15-20 minutes. We talk about his book “The Fantasy Life” that just came out Tuesday (, as well as asking him some fantasy baseball and football questions.

    Anyways, just thought if anyone was interested or likes Matthew Berry they might want to check it out.



  165. theplanisworking says:

    DK, I know you are all about soccer (futbol), but my interest is passing at best. I watch the World Cup, and the occasional Premier League match, but not much more. However, I am glad you provide RiverPuppy coverage. Not many cities Pittsburgh’s size can lay claim to a soccer club.

    Man United’s request for match tape for Friday’s match against Wigan might be easier to explain than expected. Man U has a new manager with the retirement of Alex Ferguson, and expectations for their club are always high, so I think this has to do with Man U taking absolutely no chances for an upset. That would be catastrophic for them, losing to a team that was relegated just this year. It still is an honor for the Hounds to get that request though. Who knows, maybe someday, someone will sign with a Premier league team??

    Here’s to you finding a xanax for your NHL schedule angst.

  166. 21sthebest says:

    ” 2 45-minute halves with no commercial interruptions ”

    Now that is awesome, agreed there. But why is injury time such a mystery? Put up a clock!

    I don’t see starting pitcher as a need. Lower priority for me than the others that you mentioned. I’d also add backup catcher as a need as an insurance policy.

  167. SeanAY says:

    I’ve never understood the people that make their dislike of Bob Nutting so over-the-top and personal, like he was some cartoon supervillain / evil business tycoon that bulldozed over your house to make a few extra bucks.

  168. I enjoy your columns, Nate. It takes great skill to do brain surgery, too, as it does to play soccer.

    I’m not a fan of either.

    I’d rather see a 3-0 Steeler win, even if it was in OT, or a 1-0 Pirate win than any part of a soccer game.

    No offense to anyone.

  169. 21sthebest says:

    “I read Starkey’s piece. Nice to see someone think Nutting is a hero now.”

    And you recently accused me of hyperbole.

  170. Naterosboro says:

    I found this story entertaining. Puts PNC in a bad light tho………

  171. 21sthebest says:

    I’ve often wanted to tell people to stop watching The Natual or Major League!

  172. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Who on earth has spoken of pissing away someone’s fortune??
    This statement is “bologna royale” #1 in the Pro-Nutter book of excuses!!!!!!

  173. Jim S. says:

    I’m neither a Nutting fan or enemy. I expect him to field a competitive team and build an organization that has a foundation for lasting success.

    The team has been awful since he has been involved, until approaching .500 for the first time last year. Nutting obviously had a lot to do with the continued losing and ineptitude on full display. He made a million mis-steps and also hired people who made a million more. It took too long to get the ship turned around and headed in the right direction. I don’t know how anyone could dispute that.

    That said … I believe the losing season string will finally be broken this year. If so, that is a sure sign of progress. I also believe (just my opinion) the Pirates are building a strong foundation in their minor league and international systems to have a chance to sustain success – another sign of progress to me. To think the owner had Nuttin’ to do with that, or to ignore the progress going on, doesn’t seem very fair to me. If you say, 93 games doesn’t prove anything just yet – ok, I can live with that. They need to have a winning season and be well-positioned for the future, IMO. That’s a very fair point-of-view.

    But, if they accomplish the winning season and their minor league system continues to show progress … will everyone agree that maybe the guy and his staff have figured a few things out? I’m just wondering, because I get the feeling some people will continue to move the goal posts. That’s ok, if you want to go that route. But, then just admit that you will never forgive the Pirates and Nutting for their 20 years of utter failure from 1993-2012.

    I also believe one of the biggest problems a lot of people have had with Nutting is that he immediately figured out how to turn a profit with the team, and in many people’s eyes he had no right to that profit when he was knowingly putting such a poor product on the field. That is a tough perception for him to turn around, and he brought it upon himself. Rule #1 in business is to make a profit so that you can keep the business operating. But, when you have a public entity like a baseball team, with so much local emotional investment involved, it irks the people who provided that profit when the product stinks. That won’t go away until a string of winning, WS-contending seasons are produced.

  174. JohninOshkosh says:

    You mean a porn star can’t go to a ballgame and do a fully clothed sexy stripper dance wearing an oversized Unicorn head ?

    I don’t even recognize my country anymore.

  175. Naterosboro says:

    +1 for the brain surgery comment. touche!

    But let me use the 1-0 Pirates win to illustrate a point….

    A 1-0 baseball game can be extremely entertaining with high drama. A team threatening to score multiple times, but being stymied by good pitching at the right moment. Maybe throw a walkoff HR into that 1-0 win scenario.

    A 1-0 baseball game (or low scoring) can also be a snoozefest. I’ll use this seasons All Star game as a possible example of this.

    Same thing goes for soccer, the 0-0 draw as mentioned above. If teams are going back and forth, creating chances, making knife-edge passes, last ditch tackles, and GKs making ridiculous saves to keep it 0-0, it’s very entertaining (especially if you’re supporting a team and all you want is for them to stick 1 in).

    In the same sense as my baseball examples, there are 0-0 soccer games where there are few chances created, GKs aren’t really tested, no real creativeness from any of the players, etc. It’s just not very entertaining.

    As I said, it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea (I’m not a very big golf fan, and only really watch the big tennis matches), but if I can covnert 1 or 2 people, then I feel I’ve done my job. ;-)

  176. Drew71 says:

    Shoulda won the Oscar

  177. Brandie says:

    I am actually going to take a little time typo say something sports related.

    I know…Hades is going to freeze over now.

    Congratulations BN for making decisions, both good and bad, to get the Pirates to where they are now. Remember, he did not have much to work with thanks to Cam Bonifay, Dave Littlefield, and Kevin McClatchy (see Joe Starkey Trib article from June 3rd of last year for the Pirates near draft misses. They are quite legendary.). There was also the Latin America debacle that has finally been cleaned up and placing people who know what they are doing as far as scouting in positions of power.

    That said, no, I do not trust Nutting entirely. There has been too much losing in the 20+ years of my 39 on this Earth (shout out on my birthday, shameless self promotion) for me to buy in entirely. I am excited and hopeful for the future which is something I have not felt in a looooooooooooonnnnnngggggggg time!

    I will support this team because these players have not really had anything to do with this culture of losing. They are playing hard and supporting each other and that will keep me glued to the edge of my seat.

    Good day all. Good vibes all around.

  178. Jandy says:

    I don’t have a strong opinion for or against Nutting, but this is the best post I have read on the entire subject.

  179. Jandy says:

    Happy Birthday Branimal :)
    Many happy returns of the day.
    I’m hoping your hubby treats you like a queen today for taking such good care of him!

  180. Jandy says:

    that’s hilarious!

  181. Jandy says:

    Her veranda can be anywhere you want it to be, Drew.

  182. Jim S. says:

    Can’t disagree with anything you wrote, Plan.

    I just see something different emerging from NH & Co. the last 2 years. Some of the development and drafting must be working IMO. But, I recognize that nothing has been proven on that front yet. I’m not from Missouri, but I still say “Show Me.”

  183. Jim S. says:

    Well, thanks, Jandy!

  184. Naterosboro says:

    Injury time isn’t necessarily a mystery, but it’s kept by the referee on the field. B/c the clock doesn’t stop, they estimate the amount of time they think should be added for stoppages (injuries, goals, etc.) and then that’s kept by the main ref. Normally, they are usually right on point (as the broadcast will keep the time after 90:00), but sometimes they’ll allow more time if a team is close to goal, or if they get a corner (and it’s running over), they’ll let the team take the corner and try to score. Once the ball is cleared, then they’ll usually blow the whistle.

    I see starting pitcher as a need, as I think they should have a contingency plan. Wandy’s timetable is uncertain. Locke, while I don’t think will miss anymore time, had the back stiffness before the break and missed a start. Liriano has an injury history. McDonald and Karstens can’t provide any relief. I’d rather have a guy with an MLB track record to fall back on than rely on Brandon Cumpton or Andy Oliver (no offense to either of those 2).

    Also, I think our backup catcher upgrade is right there in Indianapolis, hence why I didn’t mention it as a need.

  185. JohninOshkosh says:

    Thanks, patton. Had a blast !

  186. SeanAY says:

    Where have you gone, Nutting Hostage, a commenting nation turns its lonely eyes to you…

  187. Naterosboro says:

    Need to let Frank Coonelly know we need to change our policy on Porn Stars doing sexy, fully-clothed, dances while wearing unicorn masks.

    If this gets out, the Pirates could become a laughing stock…

  188. Jim S. says:

    Well said. Happy Birthday!

  189. theplanisworking says:

    And I stand by saying that to you also.
    And I notice you have a need to respond to me for what I say. This goes past simply disagreeing on viewpoints. If you dont like my views, simply scroll past, or ignore. But you feel the need to start trouble, which I have a hard time figuring out.


    From the article……………

    “That’s right: Bob Nutting, arguably the most vilified figure in modern-day Pittsburgh sports, deserves the first Stargell star when doling out credit for the Pirates’ rise. It was Nutting, after all, who brought in Frank Coonelly, who hired Huntington, who hired Hurdle — although the latter two were group efforts.

    Anytime someone says Nutting deserves a Stargell Star for hiring Coonelly, credibility shot, hero-worship mode engaged.

  190. Jerry says:

    Jandy, I consider it pricey considering that the game is a scrimmage.

  191. theplanisworking says:

    That is the last line of defense ……………. saying No one else will buy the teram, so get over it. They dont know who will or wont buy the team if it was for sale.

  192. theplanisworking says:

    Lucky, I am going to get many blessings if you keep “better amening” me. ;)

  193. Brandie says:

    Thing about having to turning a profit….you have to turn a profit to put it back into the team to sign your talent long term. I agree wholeheartedly with your post, Jim. Thank you for your intelligent insight.

  194. 21sthebest says:

    “I also believe one of the biggest problems a lot of people have had with Nutting is that he immediately figured out how to turn a profit with the team, and in many people’s eyes he had no right to that profit when he was knowingly putting such a poor product on the field.”

    Well from the time the team was bought until October 31, 2006, they had $71 million in accumulated deficits and reported credit issues. They needed to become cash flow positive, IMO.

  195. Brandie says:

    Thank you, Darlin’.

  196. Jerry says:

    As someone who went to the game, it was actually a very exciting game. A lot of scoring chances, just a bunch of hit posts, great saves, and BS offside calls.

  197. theplanisworking says:

    Oh, agreed they have been getting better. My point is, they really couldnt get any worse. They have had 6!!!!!!!! years to get it right. But who is counting???

  198. Brandie says:

    Thanks, Jimster!

  199. Jim S. says:

    Great point, Lucky. One can appreciate the difficulty of a sport and not enjoy watching it. I think car racing is incredibly difficult and takes a whole lot of courage and skill. But, it does nothing for me. Different strokes for different folks.

  200. 21sthebest says:

    Why exactly?

  201. theplanisworking says:

    Yeah, it is. Reminds me of my 21st birthdya celebration at the Pond……….. ;)

  202. Brandie says:

    Thank you, B’Gosh!

  203. MadTurk says:


  204. Brandie says:

    Today is Nelson Mandela’s 95th Birthday. Happy Birthday, Nelson! :-)

  205. theplanisworking says:

    Happy Birthday, my Midget Muppet!!

    May Beaker not blow you up, and may Swedish Chef cook you a great meal !!!!! :)

  206. Sisyphus says:

    Nutting did not control the Pirates in 1996, or for many years after. That’s a fact, not a matter of opinion. Kevin McCatchy was in charge.

    The Pirates added salary at the last two trade deadlines. That is a fact, not a matter of opinion.

    The Pirates already have several players who they are paying over $5M. That is a fact, not a matter of opinion, yet Daq continues to spout his theory of some imaginary $5M limit on salaries to any single player.

    I’ve been reading this and similar false attacks from Daq, BFD and the rest of the anti-Nutting crowd for years. I’m tired of reading lies. There are many other examples, but I’ll just restrict myself to those that came up in this thread. If it is your opinion that Bob Nutting is a bad owner, fine. When you try to support your opinion with falsehoods, you are showing exactly what your opinion is worth. In this case, it’s worth nothing at all.

  207. Jim S. says:

    Stoppage time has always been perplexing to me too, 21. And the lack of a clock showing exactly how much time is left is annoying and calls into question the honesty of the officiating. At least, I have always felt that.

    In an NHL game, for instance, a team that is down a goal absolutely has to score before the final buzzer sounds, and they know exactly how much time they have left along the way. In soccer, the refs seem to often provide the losing team their full offensive possession to score before declaring the game over. Seems very arbitrary to me.

  208. 21sthebest says:

    Sorry, I meant that injury time is a mystery to the viewer. Right?

    I’m not opposed to getting a starting pitcher but I am in lieu of other needs. And that could change in the event a pitcher gets hurt between now and the deadline (I hated typing that).

    I have no problem with Tony Sanchez but, once again, if Martin goes down, I think we’re doomed.

  209. theplanisworking says:

    Well said Jim.

    I think our views are similar.

    Just be careful. Some posters will accuse you of “hating” Nutting. Wouldnt want that.

  210. Brandie says:

    Still finding g-strings and pasties after all this time, Plan?

  211. Sisyphus says:

    Every person who has suggested that Nutting run the Pirates that includes spending more money than they take in. It’s a business. I’ve seen enough Pittsburgh franchises go bankrupt in my lifetime.

  212. 21sthebest says:

    “And I notice you have a need to respond to me for what I say. This goes past simply disagreeing on viewpoints. If you dont like my views, simply scroll past, or ignore. But you feel the need to start trouble, which I have a hard time figuring out.”

    That’s a bunch of made up garbage. All of it.

  213. SeanAY says:

    I more or less agree, but I guess my response is, the team was in absolute shambles. It had to be torn down to the ground before rebuilding.

    If the Bay trade yields a better result, it may not have taken as long. Big “if,” but I don’t think there was alternative solution considering the foundation the team had in 2007.

  214. Jim S. says:

    Yep. I think you are a very fair-minded skeptic, if that is the apt description.

  215. Sisyphus says:

    Work on your reading skills. I never said that nobody else will buy the team. I said that nobody will buy it and decide to lose money every year.

  216. Brandie says:

    It’s a good day when I can talk to my blog buddies. Thank you, Planimal!

  217. MadTurk says:

    You talking about the hockey club or the Riverpups? ;-)

  218. Jim S. says:

    Sean, are you saying I am a Nutting Hostage? Far from it. Just last fall, after Collapse II, I wrote the guy a scathing letter about how disappointed I was in so many things, from the Tabata extension, to Coonelly embarrassing the city over and over, etc.

  219. SeanAY says:

    No, I’m not.

    Honestly, I meant to make that a general comment, but a few minutes before I was going to write you a different response but didn’t. I didn’t intend for that to pop up in this thread. My bad.

  220. pattonbb says:

    That damn Nutting….

  221. theplanisworking says:

    No it is not. Just going off how you have responded to me in the past.
    You just dont like being called out for it.
    So be it.

    Like I said, scroll past. It wont kill you.

  222. Jim S. says:

    I think I may strike an even balance between the pro and anti-Nutting camps.

  223. SeanAY says:

    And for those of us that remember him, he took/takes hatred towards Bob Nutting to a new level. Almost like a religious crusade. I actually liked a lot of the points he made, but his zeal was too much for me.

    Again, sorry that ended up in this response.

  224. Jim S. says:

    By that, I mean neither side will claim me. And that’s ok because I don’t see myself firmly in either camp. I just want to hold the guy accountable, but recognize progress when it happens.

    But, I’m totally supportive of anyone saying they are not as far along in seeing the progress as I am.

  225. theplanisworking says:

    Yeah, it had to be torn down. But the returns were awful. And, why didnt they just “go nuclear” and destroy it all the way?

    My biggest beef with the Bay trade, was the timing. Bay didnt have to be traded mid-season. He would have returned a much better yield at the Winter Meetings. Deadline deals have a history of being bad deals.

    I also think the team was in shambles for many years previous. And hamstrung by McClatchy and his lack of finances.

  226. SeanAY says:

    Well I’ll be damned. Seems like we agree! Haha.

  227. lad9 says:


    Happy birthday to my favorite 63 inches of dynamite. Hope that you have the best day ever! I had to travel to Cleveland for today and tomorrow, so I won’t be around much, but I can’t miss this event. HBD!!!! :)

  228. theplanisworking says:

    Work on your human skills.
    Your derisive tone to Daq certainly implied you didnt think anyone would buy the team.

    Like he said, who has ever said that anyone is going to piss away their fortune??? Quit making stuff up.

  229. 21sthebest says:

    That’s a bunch of made up garbage. All of it.

  230. Brandie says:

    Fabulous, Lad. Simply Fabulous!

  231. theplanisworking says:

    Look Out Loretta!
    Wait, wrong sport……..

  232. theplanisworking says:

    LOL !!!

    And other thiongs too, Brandie!

    How are you today?
    Hope old age is treating you well. ;)

  233. JHadar says:

    Taking a point from the radio show clip on yesterday’s blog and applying it to the here we ago again with the front office review topic of today — I think it’s difficult to evaluate ownership and organizations with the economic imbalance that exists in baseball today without a salary cap and floor. So often it seems like it comes down to where are we in the standings today. Obviously the Bucs have been getting better and at the same time need a little something extra to get to the next level on a permanent basis.

    Without getting into the long discussion about media market size vs. baseball market size, I thought Dejan made a great point that the success of small market teams works against leveling the playing field — appreciated the reference to it being so unexpected that they make movies about it.

    Build the bench, fill the holes at right and first, but do it without squandering the future for a name. That’s a practical approach that makes sense — and without putting too fine a point on it, it takes admitting that at last there’s a future to squander or not.

    As for Bob Nutting — well, he does deserve a pat on the back for what he’s done so far. Say what you will about when he took over, it was pretty obvious that McLatchy and Littlefield weren’t getting the job done — and if the Bucs do get to the World Series just one time, it will be the first time since 1979. It hasn’t happened yet, though. Even so, this team is a lot more fun to watch than it was three or four years ago.

    And you know, a pat on the back is not the Nobel Prize for Baseball or election to the Hall of Fame.

    In the meantime, this is good. Keep it up. Make it better.

  234. JohninOshkosh says:

    Happy Birthday, Ms. Brandi:

    Your knowledge of sports and classic children’s entertainment has enriched the blog.

    “Whose your friend when things get rough?”

  235. Jandy says:

    ok nuff knock it off ;)

  236. theplanisworking says:

    Planimal. !!


  237. pattonbb says:

    I agree Jim. I was going write something similar, but was afraid I’d get labeled as a front office sympathizer.

    Nothing says “fan” like a sharp pitchfork and a hot torch.

  238. Brandie says:

    I still get carded at the bar. Hubby is 1 month and 10 days older than me. Friends accuse him of robbing the cradle.

  239. JohninOshkosh says:

    Sorry, messed that up and didn’t mean to bogart the blog with that post. Won’t link to You Tube again!

  240. So this is the real 39?

  241. theplanisworking says:

    Reading is fundamental!!

    It is not made up.

    Use the scroll bar. Stop causing trouble. I get it you need to discredit my views at every turn, but be a good boy, and just stop it for the peace of the blog. I havent kicked your dog, I havent insultedf your family. Just grow up and stop it.

    I think it isnt going to kill us to stop this arguing.
    But the more you do it, the worse you look.
    I am the one saying we should stop, and all you can reply is……… thats a bunch of made up garbage.

    Stop. Use the scroll bar.

  242. Brandie says:

    Kick it with the HR Puff n Stuff shout out. Thank you Sid and Marty Croft. Can’t wait for Land of the Lost, Lidsville, and Pryor’s Place reruns!

  243. Jim S. says:

    I suggest you call Inge or AJ before you take that leap, Drew.

  244. JD says:

    + $5M. I too am sick of their repetitive, tired rants.

  245. Good points, all. I don’t like golf either, FWIW.

  246. theplanisworking says:

    Just dont take a pacifier to the bar, I guess………..

  247. Brandie says:

    Don’t make the nun take off her habit! :-)

  248. Jim S. says:

    Are you getting your boots warmed up, Jandy?

  249. +2 Well said.

    Missed you this week, Jim.

  250. Brandie says:

    Good day, Rob Barracco!

  251. Jim S. says:

    Me, too.

  252. Jim S. says:

    Ok, cool. Thanks for clarifying.

  253. Brandie says:

    Puts a new spin on Free Shirt Friday’s. If a Bucco shirt made me look like that, I would be there for every Friday home game.

  254. Jim S. says:

    Thanks, Brandie! Now go celebrate your birthday!

  255. Brandie says:

    Yes it is because I cannot see my self saying 29 plus whatever every time I have a birthday! :-)

  256. Jim S. says:

    There was an existing mess, 21. The financial house needed to be put in order, for sure. But, weren’t there also some shaky decisions regarding payouts to other owners, etc. while the team was in a tailspin on the field? What I’m saying is it just didn’t look good that the on the field turnaround came about much later than the fiscal turnaround.

  257. 21sthebest says:

    Well it still is a bunch of 100% manufactured garbage.

  258. Jim S. says:

    Now, that made me laugh, patton!

  259. Sisyphus says:

    I doubt that he’ll be getting traded. He stands to be the backup catcher no later than next June, and the starter in 2015. There are no other candidates for that in the system; McGuire is probably still at least 5 years away.

  260. Jim S. says:

    Land of the Lost … Slee Stacks (sp)? Isn’t that what they were called?

  261. theplanisworking says:

    You are insufferable.

    It isnt.
    You just dont agree with it, but it isnt made up.
    You can stomp your feet all you want , that isnt going to change anything.
    I have wasted way too much time on this.

    Choice is yours. Stop the crap, or dont.

  262. Jim S. says:

    “And you know, a pat on the back is not the Nobel Prize for Baseball or election to the Hall of Fame.”

    Very well said, JHa!

  263. Jandy says:

    Im sick of the bullying going on in here. I might have to start kickin’ a$$

  264. 21sthebest says:

    You’re still entirely inaccurate.

  265. Jandy says:


  266. Jandy says:

    It’s honest Jim, well said :)

  267. Jandy says:

    I missed him too…

  268. theplanisworking says:

    Yep !!!!

  269. Brandie says:

    FAN stands for Fire All Nuttings! :-)

  270. theplanisworking says:

    Its obvious you dont want to stop.

    That reflects on you.

    Good day to you.
    Good life to you.

  271. 21sthebest says:

    There were no shaky decisions regarding payouts. There was an agreed upon interest payment to Nutting based on a loan he made to the team at a rate of 7.8% when the team reportedly had no credit, and there were distributions to owners to pay taxes on profits the organization made because they are a partnership and the partners are taxed on those profits even though those profits weren’t distributed to the partners.

  272. theplanisworking says:

    Hey, dont come looking for me with those 9 wides.

    I am trying to get thru to someone, but he isnt cooperating. I dont want to feel the wrath of Jandy!

  273. Didn’t want you pullin’ a Jack Benny on us. Or Bob Hope or whoever was 100 and always said he was 39.

    Many Happy Returns of the Day!

    Two of my five were born in July. Must have been chilly Octobers the previous years.


  274. 21sthebest says:

    “Its obvious you dont want to stop.
    That reflects on you.”


  275. 21sthebest says:

    You’re not cooperating either. You seem to think it’s a one way street.

  276. Jandy says:

    I’m in July 2, too, but I sure ain’t no 39 ;)

  277. theplanisworking says:

    Stop replying to my posts.

    I’m not the one accusing people of “made up garbage”

    Just stop already!

  278. Jim S. says:

    Moss didn’t have the light bulb come on until after the Bucs jettisoned him.

  279. ::light thwap:: for that wooooooing

  280. Sisyphus says:

    “I’m not expecting them to sign Pujols or Greinke but do think their payroll should be in the 80-100 million range.”

    Based on what? Have you seen their books?

  281. Jandy says:

    Ok enough..shut up already!


  282. theplanisworking says:

    + many, Lucky!

  283. Jandy says:

    You too, shut up already!! >:/

  284. 21sthebest says:

    You stop talking about me to others or to me directly, and I’ll stop replying to you.

  285. Brandie says:

    Gotta do something when it’s chilly. Thanks Minister Lucky.

  286. Well, we missed yours. Happy belated b-day, J-girl!


  287. Jandy says:

    Ohhhh baby, do it again, Spunky! :P

  288. 21sthebest says:

    Don’t tell me to shut up. I don’t tell you what to do. I’ll talk to whoever I want to. If Dejan wants to ban me, he’s free to do so.

  289. Sisyphus says:

    Why not stop the clock for injuries? I’ve always wondered that.

  290. Jandy says:

    Hipposter…stop, now. Please.

  291. theplanisworking says:

    You’re right Jandy.

    I apologize.

    I will just leave, that is what he wants.

    I will go, just to stop this foolishness. He has done this to others on other blogs in the past, so I will just exit.

    Nice knowing you all.
    Enjoy the bullying.

  292. NMR says:

    Have you ever seen that guys Twitter account?


  293. Brandie says:

    Us Cancers gotta stick together! Happy belated, girlene.

  294. Jim S. says:

    Thanks. I couldn’t recall all of the back story.

  295. NMR says:

    You and 90% of the rest of the blog population.

    For all the talk that the two distinct sides get, they’re made up of about a dozen guys each.

  296. Brandie says:

    Nun’s habits and light thwapping…on a Family Blog!?

  297. Jim S. says:

    Make sure to take your license tonight, then! I’d hate to hear you couldn’t get into any local watering holes.

  298. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t want you or anyone to leave and I’m not bullying. Just responding.

  299. Jim S. says:

    I missed everyone here also, Lucky! Extremely busy work week is all. Awarded myself with a bit of a hall pass today, though!

  300. 21sthebest says:

    Sorry Jandy but I hope you were kidding in a way. I’m just not someone who likes to be told what to do.

  301. Jim S. says:

    I think you may be right on that, NMR.

    Almost everybody here is pretty fair in their criticism … and their praise.

  302. Brandie says:

    That would make me sad on my birthday to see anyone leave. Like I have said before…agree, disagree, or agree to disagree, just, please, be respectful!

  303. Jim S. says:

    My boss had his birthday this week, and said he just celebrated the 18th anniversary of his 39th birthday!

  304. NMR says:

    “That aside, to my mind, it’s surprising that more people haven’t recognized what Nutting has done, not least of which was the all-encompassing, intensive investigation he did on the way the franchise was being run last fall. Much, much change resulted from that, and a lot of eyes — and especially ears — were opened.”

    Still surprised nobody has touched this one. Everybody just accepting this and moving on?

    “Suffice it to say I know a lot more about this situation than what’s been printed, because that’s part of how our business works.”

    What has been printed? I pay attention to what is written about the Pirates every once in a while. Am I the only one that has no clue what ACTUALLY has changed?

  305. 21sthebest says:

    Well understanding that stuff is what I do for a living. Hopefully pretty well!

  306. NMR says:

    It’s like DK’s infatuation with the 25-30 Pirate bloggers.

    They get more attention than the 25-30 DK bloggers here everyday.

  307. Naterosboro says:

    Well, the 4th official does hold up a board at the end of 90:00 to show how much time is being added on. Normally it’s between 3-4 minutes (usually about 1-3 at the end of the 1st half or 1st 45:00). That’s when the ref will keep the “official” time. Usually, they’ll also keep track of added time on the broadcast clock, but it’s at the referee’s discretion when to blow the final whistle. Sometimes they’ll add on time to the added on time if there are stopages in the added time (or “injury” or “extra”; how ever you want to say it) period.

    But like in all sports, the official does have discretion here. Just like with penalties in the NFL, some refs let stuff go, some call the slightest touch.

    Usually though, the referee blows the extra time whistle right on point with how ever much time is decided to be added on.

  308. 21sthebest says:

    “May your side-view mirror attacker be forced to listen (by head phones) to Michael Bolton’s Greatest hits”

    From the chat and that was hilarious Daquido!

  309. Naterosboro says:

    Why does the NHL have fist fights? It’s how they do their game.

    They keep the clock running.

  310. 21sthebest says:

    No, you’re not the only one. DK said that in the chat and I don’t remember reading about any changes. That doesn’t mean they weren’t written about.

  311. I know what you’re referring to, but neither of you are a cancer.

    Polar opposites.

  312. Nate83 says:

    Nope, just tired off beating my head against the wall so I act like comments like that don’t even exist. What could he have possible changed that would have had immediate impact on this year?

    He gave them about 15 million to spend on the major league roster and they used it for Liriano and Martin but that had absolutely nothing to do with the top to bottom evaluation of the front office. Apperently the no more 24/7 NAVY Seals mandate immediately made the team better. It’s as if the major league players were stressed out about how the single A baseball players were being treated.

    Here is a novel concept. How about giving credit to everyone involved. Those same drafts that looked horrible just last year now look to be above average. When given legitimate money to get free agents they targeted and got the players they wanted and those players have been very good. Some of the past trades are starting to show signs of being good with players like Locke, Morris, Melancon, Gomez, Lambo and others playing well in the majors and the minors. None of these things have anything to do with the top to bottom all-encompassing review.

  313. SeanAY says:

    I think what was printed was basically that Nutting investigated the practices of the front office, and then stated that changes will be made.

    I get the impression is that the specific changes made were given to DK off the record, which is why they weren’t printed. For him to be so adamant about the situation, I would guess DK was supplied with some some substantial, observable example of change to the inner workings of the program. Those things may not be clear to those not on the inside.

  314. SeanAY says:

    Spooky stuff, that.

    Then again, I’m the guy that tweets from various D-I gyms on who has the best pep band. THAT is the work of a deviant.

    (And the answer, in my experience, is George Mason. That place was WILD.)

  315. Naterosboro says:

    I’d also argue though that the 8.5mil/yr. catcher is exactly 1 of those pieces (the 5.5mil/yr. SS not so much, although it did allow Jordy to play himself into a job). Russell Martin has made a huge difference behind the plate this season.

    I’d love for the Pirates to be major players in free agency, with a shot at big names, but I don’t see that as a reality (unless there is a change in ownership; an Oil Sheik would be nice).

    But, they can be buyers at the deadline, and in the offseason with the minor league foundation they have currently. And I’m of the opinion they have the prospects to buy anyone they want (if everyone were on the table; obviously we do see some of our prospects as “off limits”, for example Taillon).

    I think payroll will rise when you see current members going through arbitration, and possibly signed to long term contracts (McCutchen recently; they’re trying to extend Walker; Alvarez will need dealing with soon, etc.). I don’t think you’ll ever see a Pirate payroll over 100mil though, but that’s not asking that much in today’s MLB economics.

  316. SeanAY says:


    Rob B. is a genuinely awesome guy to hang out and bend the elbow with.

  317. Naterosboro says:

    Can we start the pro and anti designations again? Sometimes that made the Smiz blog fun and wild…although it usually then does end up in the same arguments being rehashed for the 1,000,789,457,603rd time.


  318. Naterosboro says:

    What I’ve taken from that line is that when all the SEAL stuff came to light, Bob Nutting did his investigation, and this basically resulted in a “Would you like to keep your job?” question. I’m guessing people said “Yes.”

    The answer in a nutshell that they received from the owner IMO is “Then stop the craziness, and win.”

    This (as we’re told) lead to the President and GM (and maybe many others; we don’t know how many people’s jobs were on the line due to his investigation. I’m just going off the top 2 as I think that’s pretty clear) making changes to their process. Whether those changes are actually what has led the Pirates to a good 1st half, well, I can’t say, as we’ll never know the exact changes that are made.

    DK seems to think so, so maybe that’s 1 vote you could trust.

    Has he lied to you lately though? ;-)

  319. JD says:

    Hey 21, I love reading this, it cracks me up. Don’t let them bully you.

  320. JD says:

    Hey OshKosh, welcome back. Baba Booey from the Howard Stetn show had one of the funniest first pitches I’ve ever seen. They still make fun of him for it. Look it up if you haven’t seen it yet.

  321. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    And its soccer

  322. Naterosboro says:

    Jerry with some validation!

  323. cmat0829 says:

    Wow, slow day in sports when we have so much posting on here about something pretty irrelevant to me as a passionate Pittsburgh Pirates fan…. owner Bob Nutting.

    I have never once thought about ownership when I watch sports…not once. Pirates games, but also any game I watch… it doesn’t matter to me. I only know a few owners by name anyway (Mark Cuban comes to mind, Nutting, Burkle/Lemieux, Tom Ricketts because of the Wrigley Field mess, and of course Steinbrenner family…the Rooneys… Jerry Jones and the Buss family in LA….that’s about it).

    Reading the blog today must be like reading one on politics or religion… lots of passion, some hatred, some insults, but we end up right where we started and that to me is a waste of time. There are passionate groups that will never rest until Nutting is tarred and feathered out of town…there are some that are very passionate about defending Nutting at any cost… my only input is “WHO CARES and PLAY BALL and LETS GO BUCS”.

    Is Nutting the best owner in sports? NO. Is the worst? FAR FROM THAT, to use Manti Tei’os favorite phrase. Move on.

  324. Nate83 says:

    I trust what my eyes see and that is a very good club on the field and in the minors. Kingham, Glasnow, Bell, Dickerson, Lambo, Black, Welker, Crumpton and others having good years in the minors has nothing to do with changes made. Being more succesful with free agent signings has nothing to do with a stop the craziness and win mandate. It may have a little to do with having a little more money to spend on the free agents.

    I see no proof to beleive Nutting deserves any more credit then anybody else involved. Credit is deserved. The front office wanted more money to spend on scouting, international players and draft picks and that has been given but that and the results of that have nothing to do with the review this off season.

  325. Jim S. says:

    I always thought Robin was pretty classy. I’m always hoping for the best for her.

  326. cmat0829 says:

    What I find somewhat fascinating is that some are setting the bar and then remeasuring the bar, which is some sleight of hand. It’s funny that we say “the drafts that looked awful last year look above average now”…who among us is qualified to definitively evaluate drafts when obviously players are developing and still working through the system? I think DK has said many many times you can’t evaluate trades or drafts at the moment they are done, it takes time.

  327. 21sthebest says:

    “Has he lied to you lately though?”

    Sounds like a country song.

  328. Jim S. says:

    I’m actually a soccer fan, Nater. My daughter plays at a high level, and I’ve grown in appreciation over the years. I can enjoy a 0-0 result if there is pretty continuous action. But, I just don’t like how they handle time.

  329. cmat0829 says:

    One more point, since you all asked for it :)

    Two things that have obviously and definitively changed this season:

    1) Use of data in lineup decisions and defensive positioning has been much more visible

    2) Greater sense of urgency on players to produce in terms of who is in and in what position they are in the lineup.

    I tend to think that the leader (Nutting) set the tone…win or go home… and it manifests itself in different ways…these are the 2 ways I have seen the most…not to say there hasn’t been others, but these are obvious.

  330. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    -Annual buyers they have become. Other than the injury to DLee, I wouldn’t call 2011 moves marginal. They went after a significant need. Then offered DLee $8Mil to come back.

  331. Jim S. says:

    I’m very pro business, 21. I just meant that some of that stuff, whether necessary or not, will never reflect well to the general public.

  332. 21sthebest says:

    Contreras released.

  333. Thundercrack says:

    Ha! I was thinking the same thing.

    What are the changes?

    And some people mentioned ‘off the record’. What could it possibly be?

  334. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I laugh everytime someone criticizes the clubhouse chemistry thing….find a sports team at ANY level, that doesn’t believe in team chemistry. Seriously, good luck.

  335. Naterosboro says:


    I was hanging out with some friends recently, having a few pops, and 1 of them said “Whiskey is my weakness” which inherently led to us trying to write a country song.

    Sometimes things just work.

    I thank you for pointing that out (although, it could be like a Miley Cyrus song too, sort of in the light of Janet Jackson’s “What have you done for me lately”)

  336. Naterosboro says:

    O, don’t get me wrong, there have been many an Arsenal game where I find myself screaming “3 minutes?! There were at least 5-6 mins of stoppages” or as it gets close “Better be at least 5 mins at the end of this” and then go ballistic when you see 2 or 3. It can be maddening, especially when you need that tying or winning goal.

  337. Jim S. says:

    The good things that are going on right now that I see started before any intensive investigation by the boss, IMO. I don’t think I recognized them at this time last year, but that doesn’t mean they were not already well under way. I am talking about drafting and development of talent. The guys bursting on the scene and rising through the ranks were pretty much all chosen before last year.

  338. Jim S. says:

    Michael Bolton has a “greatest hits” compilation? I learn something new everyday here.

  339. Jim S. says:

    Good point, cmat. I just posted a few minutes ago that I thought the most striking improvements I have seen in the organization occurred more than a year ago. I was referring to draft/development.

    But, you make a good point about the use of data/metrics and a sense of urgency. If they were part of Nutting’s internal investigation, then that was a good thing.

  340. 21sthebest says:

    I understand what you meant Jim and I completely agree.

  341. Naterosboro says:

    Whoops! Messed up the time. It’s from 3-4p EST.

  342. Nate83 says:


    I didn’t mean to imply that I was saying those drafts looked bad but instead that others were saying that. It takes players 4 or 5 years to work their way through the minors and many (especially high schoolers) don’t show their abilities until the 3rd or 4th year.

    I have said for the last two years that you can only judge the front office on their 2008 and 2009 drafts because the other drafts have not had enough time to develope to evaluate. I have also always said that the 2009 draft was not a good draft for many teams. Very few good major league players came out of the draft.

  343. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    And how many criticized this offseason move?

  344. cmat0829 says:

    Another difference this year vs. past years.. we are quicker in cutting loose the crap, Inge notwithstanding. But me thinks his days are numbered.

  345. 21sthebest says:

    Gosh I wish I could remember the line my wife rolled out the other day that got the same reaction from me.

  346. cmat0829 says:

    To change the subject (try to), as it relates to Fort vs. Tony Montana, I think one way the Bucs may try to maneuver this is to send Fort down to AAA to get more playing time to continue to put into play his practice work on throwing mechanics, etc. They can ‘let him down easy’ and flip/flop he and Tony… by end of August, Bucs will have to set their playoff roster and I think Tony has to be on it and not Fort.

  347. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Typical NH pitching profile.

  348. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, I think they are scouring for someone while also getting the guy acquired from Balt. last week (sorry, already forgot his name) quickly up to speed.

  349. Jim S. says:

    How will they get Fort down there? Does he have options?

  350. Sisyphus says:

    Work on your reading skills. The post you are referring to wasn’t even directed at Daq.

  351. Nate83 says:

    I do agree with this. Although I think last year was really the first time Hurdle even had anything close to other players to switch to if somebody wasn’t performing. Some may argue he may still not have that. Winning records going into the second half of the year alone should have made it mandatory to play the best 25 players.

    There are examples of them not sticking with bad players over the last 3 or 4 years. Hinske, McClouth, Bedard and a few others stopped getting playing time or were released. Maybe in some cases they waited to long but they did eventually make the right move.

  352. 21sthebest says:


  353. Sisyphus says:

    No kidding. What I’d like to hear is their reasoning on it. I know the NHL’s reasoning on fighting. I’m wondering if soccer’s reasoning is as silly as the NHL’s.

  354. JohninOshkosh says:

    Hey JD ! Thanks. Good to be home. How’s it going, man? I have seen that. Hilarious. I’ve heard Stern mocking him for it, too. Also, hilarious.

  355. Dom says:

    I think it’s time to bring up Sanchez. I know he is really awful at throwing out base runners but the fort is below the Mendoza line. Morneau is sounding better and better. He might even be my front runner depending how much Martin slides by the end of the month.

  356. Dom says:

    That means we can send him down and bring him back up as much as we want till the end of the year, correct?

  357. NMR says:

    Ha, everyone has their vices, I suppose.


  358. JohninOshkosh says:

    Just looking at some older entries made while I was gone.

    Milo is going to the Jimmy Buffet concert tonight. I am far from a Parrothead, but my brother is a big fan, and I did go with him to a Buffet show at Wrigley Field. He’s a big Cubs fan, you know. I wonder if he will talk about the Bucs tonight at the show.

    Hope you have a good time, Milo, wherever you are. I can almost picture you waiving a lighter while “Pencil Thin Mustache” is performed.

  359. NMR says:

    I had to laugh when he refered the one question about changes to the blog, then proceeded to write a “short version” that was longer than what he actually wrote in said blog.


    DK: There was a full, separate entry on the schedule changes that ran Saturday here on the blog.

    Hello yourself.

  360. JohninOshkosh says:

    Curse you, autocorrect two “t’s”

  361. JohninOshkosh says:

    For my Kate and Wills baby pool:

    July 20, 2013

    1:48 AM


    7 lbs. 12 oz

    Name: Diana

  362. Karen22 says:


  363. Jandy says:

    Shoulda said July 21, so coming up. We’re not Cancers, but I sure am a Crab ;)

  364. Dom says:

    I just heard that Penn State has to pay the victims a total of $60000, so far.

  365. TJ says:

    Cuddyer and Morneau could be this years version of Derek Lee and Ryan Ludwick.

  366. TJ says:

    I think you left off a few zeros from that total…

  367. TJ says:

    Well since tomorrow is my birthday I will submit the following…

    July 19



    8lb 8oz

    Name: Raymond Lewis

  368. Dom says:

    You’re right that’s supposed to be 60 million.

  369. JohninOshkosh says:

    Hahahaha. That’s hilarious. Did you see Lewis at the ESPY’s last night with his shades and $1500 suit. What a tool.

    Happy Birthday to you! Hope you don’t have to share it with the heir to the heir!

  370. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I’m kind of curious as to the “lies” that you speak of.

    -I do recall earlier that this was a process, one that they have stuck by.

    -It was a infuriating process, no doubt. But this is exactly what they they proposed would happen over the course of the hiring of NH.

    -I’m one that wanted him fired a few years ago as well. I believe its part of the “I need it now generation.”

    -Prior free agents and some trades didn’t pan out, that’s the business side of baseball, but in reality most of the FA signings were a low-risk/high-reward possibility. Just most didn’t work out (clint Barmes) but filled the holes at the MLB roster that the younger guys weren’t ready to do.

    -What they have done is built this organization from the ground up. It took a few years, but this organization has the chance of becoming what the Rays have become. A consistant contender in their division.

    -Lastly, I’m still not sold and will always have the “what if” feeling I believe, but at this point, this current team is different than the last 2.

  371. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    You stop, no you stop….lol….reminds me of 2 kids in the back of the car and Jandy acting like mom….

    Dad says “don’t make me come back there.”

  372. NMR says:

    Who said Sanchez is awful at throwing out baserunners?

  373. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:


    I understand your 6 reference, but these things, with what they had to work with takes time. Believe me, I’m with you and most that wanted ths thing turned over, over night, but that wasn’t realistic. Also something I mentioned way back when too.

    They simply can’t “afford” to spend money that they don’t have. That’s not good business on any front.

  374. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    But he gives credit to Jeff Bannister for finding his power stroke.

  375. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    There are no lies on this thread…. Just simply a HUGE difference of opinion.
    Just the fact that you would head a fan club of a MLB FO and ownership is strange enough….But the Nutting Regime?!….Please.

    You may fool some people, but you won’t fool the majority.
    As for repetition ….Speak with the Nutting Regime.
    They are the kings of repetition… And then some.

  376. NMR says:

    Cuddyer might cost more than Rios.

  377. JD says:

    Date: July 21
    Time: 2:38 PM
    Name: Albert Inacan

  378. Dom says:

    I heard Ron Cooke say that on his show today.

    21 also said that some time ago.

  379. NMR says:

    Haha, Ron Cook. That explains it.

  380. NMR says:

    The “changes” I’m talking about are the ones you reference in your answer.

    Not your personal schedule.

  381. NMR says:

    Cooke couldn’t find Indianapolis on a map.

    I’m surprised he knew what position Sanchez played.

  382. Dom says:

    21 said he had 13 errors in Indy and that was over a week ago but like I said, let’s bring him up anyways.

  383. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I was thinking the exact same thing Sean…………though I think he is out there in twitterland

  384. Dom says:

    Not a fan, eh?

  385. NMR says:

    He’s a persona on the radio, not a journalist.

    The Fan doesn’t attract listeners with well reasoned explanations, they do it with hyperbolic accusations.

  386. 21sthebest says:

    I didn’t say that exactly. There’s an issue though. Or at least there was one. Not sure of the status.

  387. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:



  388. Arriba Wilver says:

    Cook pays more attention than you might think. Unlike a lot of guys on the Fan, he has actually seen the Pirate clubhouse.

  389. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Yips as I understood it

  390. Arriba Wilver says:

    Yeah, the main concern was the yips. Heck, The Fort can’t throw anyone out, and Sanchez is looking like he can hit.

  391. NMR says:

    At the time of the “yips” blog – what, a month ago? – Sanchez had 12 errors.

    He now has 13.

    One would think he’s had plenty of time to be tested between then and now. I think we’d all be interested in that report.

    FWIW, Russell Martin had a 28% caught stealing rate as a minor leaguer.

    Tony’s is 24%.

  392. NMR says:

    My point exactly.

    The guy suddenly gets the reputation of an awful catcher even though nobody seems to know exactly why. Or cares to find out, which is even worse.

  393. Arriba Wilver says:

    Cuddyer is 10.5 mil this year (obviously pro-rated) and 10.5-12 mil next year with incentives.

    I actually heard the $10.5 mil figure from Cook on the Fan today, but did double check it with BR. :-)

  394. NMR says:

    And I don’t consider the “yips” blog to be the problem.

    DK made one comment that took on a life of its own.

  395. Thundercrack says:

    You don’t believe that Ron Cook is a journalist?

  396. NMR says:

    Sorry, I meant cost to acquire – as in prospects.

    I don’t think CO is as dead set on selling as CWS.

  397. Arriba Wilver says:

    You got a point on the yips. Seems like it is something that plenty of people would see in person. Not sure why it’s such a mystery.

  398. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I was hoping for Morneau last year. I think he’s still an improvement for this year, over Jones.

    I think if the Pirates look at an upgrade to 1B, they improve their bench without making any other deals, other than DFA’s. (Inge, possibly Snider)

  399. Dom says:

    I’m sorry if I misunderstood you but I thought you said he had 13 errors on the year in Indy.

  400. NMR says:

    Not his persona on the radio.

  401. NMR says:

    You’re right, AW. That wasn’t fair.

    I just can’t stand the whole radio schtick.

  402. Dom says:

    Maybe we were talking about his defense in general and not him throwing out baserunners per say.

  403. Dom says:

    *Per se and per say

  404. NMR says:

    No, you understood correctly.

    I’m certainly not saying he’s been flawless. But as far as I’ve read, the issue was the “yips”. Which apparently manifested in the form of wild throws. Not something that he typically deals with, but has had problems before.

    The only data anybody has produced was 21 when he correctly said that Sanchez racked up 12 errors at the time of DK’s yips comment. Since then Sanchez has had only one more.

    So how much longer do we say he has the yips?

    DK: Baseball people don’t like using the word “yips” for obvious reasons. Conjures images of Steve Blass or Chuck Knoblauch. Sanchez had some significant throwing problems for a short spell, even getting the ball back to the pitcher.

    If those are still going on, though, I’m not aware of it. Haven’t asked about it since being told initially.

  405. Arriba Wilver says:

    Oh, I actually had meant to mention that, I totally agree, especially with the year he is having.

  406. Arriba Wilver says:

    Had meant?

  407. Arriba Wilver says:

    That’s fair, too. :-)

  408. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I thought the same thing as you when that story came out. He deserves a promotion and the other deserves a demotion.

  409. NMR says:

    Ha, don’t ask me. I’m the one that comes to you for English advice.

  410. NMR says:

    So you don’t think Jones is going to come out of his slump?

  411. Arriba Wilver says:

    The Pirates could put the issue to rest today. Or Tony Montana for that matter.

    Dom–a couple weeks ago Neal was asked a direct question about the yips. He directly answered that Tony’s defense was MLB ready. Everything else he said and didn’t say seemed to indicate the yips was or had been an issue at that time. He did not say he didn’t have a problem with the yips, but acknowledged there had been some “throwing issues.” He didn’t specify it was throwing out runners.

  412. Dom says:

    Thanks for the info, AW. I’d feel a lot better now if they brought him up now. Since Fort has an option, I really don’t see why he’s still here.

  413. Arriba Wilver says:

    I agree, Dom. IF he doesn’t have a problem with the yips. Nothing good can come from him trying to deal with it at the MLB level. I mean, it’s obviously psychological.

  414. NMR says:

    Completely, 100% agree AW.

    I don’t want to come off like an apologist upset at everyone for treating my buddy Tony poorly.

    I’m genuinely wondering what exactly is going on.

    Last thing anyone needs is him winging balls into centerfield everytime a guy gets on first.

  415. Brandie says:

    Happy Birthday. Today is mine

  416. Brandie says:

    Thank you, K-Bear!

  417. Jim S. says:

    I don’t think CO has given up yet, considering the sorry division they are in and the fact that Tulo just got healthy again. Cuddy won’t come cheap at all.

    Morneau is not what he was. I would not give up much for him. He doesn’t get to hit in the Metrodome any more.

  418. Jim S. says:

    I don’t think Morneau is much of an improvement, regardless.

  419. Jim S. says:

    I listen on my phone once in awhile. Cook always seems angry & cranky to me. That’s not really a comment about his knowledge, of course. I just never find him to be very pleasant.

  420. NMR says:

    You got me interested…587 OPS on the road this year for Morneau. Ouch.

    At this point in his career, is he really any different of a hitter than Jose Tabata?

  421. Jim S. says:

    There must be an issue of some sort with Sanchez, right? If it is not the yips, then it is something else they are not satisfied with because they are in a pennant race and the back-up in Pgh is not hitting or throwing well. They may not feel it is in Sanchez’s interest to announce to the world that he is struggling throwing the ball right now. Then, again, maybe it is something else. But, it sure seems like a “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” situation to me.

  422. Jim S. says:

    I had Milo pegged as a “Son of a son of a sailor” guy.

  423. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I think he will, but if you add a 1B like Morneau, could solve the RF platoon situation, which Snider is not fulfilling.

  424. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Morneau’s slash line: .273/.331/.406/.737

    Jones: .253/.302/.419/.721

    Not a huge improvement, no, but Morneau is more consistent than Jones. Less of a platoon player.

  425. Arriba Wilver says:


  426. NMR says:

    We still talking about TBMTIB.

    For all we know they don’t want their catcher of the future playing one day a week.

  427. NMR says:

    You know, if Tabby wasn’t healthy and hitting I’d probably be fine with adding JM and moving Garrett to RF.

    Which is probably dumb, considering the average length of time Tabby stays healthy and hitting.

  428. Ghost says:

    Today?? HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!
    Your 29th, right? ;)

  429. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    You never know. Maybe Tabby has seen the writing on the wall.

    I’m using Morneau as an example of course, there may be other guys out there that fits the bill more.

  430. Thundercrack says:

    I think McKenry is regressed and is just plain awful.
    And I have no idea if or what the fielding problems are with Sanchez. But I will relay once again what I heard on the Bucs Dugout podcast.

    McKenry does have one option left. If you burn it this year then he would have to make the team out of spring training next year.

    So they keep on the major league roster this year. Next year they can send him down to the minors and he is your insurance catcher. (we saw what happened at catcher 2 years ago…and that’s how we got him in the first place). Tony Sanchez would be the backup catcher next year.

    I agreed with this theory at the time. But that was a few weeks ago and it seems that McKenry has gotten worse since then. But the guy does only play about once per week. (but he does stink as a pinch hitter too)

  431. Arriba Wilver says:

    I know you weren’t advocating keeping him on the MLB roster at this point. My position is, though, that if they think this year Fort is a liability, keeping him even though he’s been terrible, because of next year, is the wrong solution. There are other ways to get terrible backup catchers.

  432. Brandie says:

    29 + 10 = 39!

  433. Brandie says:

    Thanks, Ghostie!

  434. Matt hoffman says:

    Excellent post Jim. I feel the exact same way.

  435. BillyBaduka says:

    I caught on to the newer bands thing. Was hoping to see some Battles.

  436. TJ says:

    Ahh brandie I turn 38 tomorrow!

  437. Lad9 says:

    Happy birthday TJ! Enjoy tomorrow.

  438. WVStarship says:

    No, it hasn’t. He’s had you wrapped around his little finger as long as I can remember. Do you ever get tired shilling for him? Or do you get a tingling feeling up your leg whenever he enters the room?

  439. Sisyphus says:

    There is no difference of opinion over who controlled the Pirates board from 1996 until 2006. It was Kevin McClatchey. There is no more room for opinion on that fact that there is over the color of the sky. The same applies as to adding salary at the deadlines and your imaginary $5M cap for any player. There are no opinions involved in any of those matters. All can be answered with a yes or a no, and your assertions are false. So yes, there ARE lies on this thread.

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