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Morning Java: When July influences October

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

NEW YORK — Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Wednesday column from Major League Baseball’s 84th All-Star Game touches on the one term that still doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue: World Series.

Feels weird even typing it.

Anyway, the game itself was a dud, including for the Pirates’ participants, but here are what a couple of the locals had to say afterward, anyway …

These five will have the next couple days off, and the group as a whole will get back together Friday in Cincinnati for the first of 23 games the rest of the way vs. either the Reds or Cardinals. Should be a blast down the stretch.

As for the trade deadline, here were my rather bluntly stated views on TribLIVE Radio yesterday.

>> Sounds like the Penguins found a funny one in top draft pick Tristan Jarry. Josh Yohe is covering the development camp all week.

>> The Riverhounds are taking on Wigan AC of the English Champions League Friday night, as beat man Matt Grubba details. It’s a friendly, but to tell you the Hounds’ people are excited about this match would be massive understatement.

>> RIP to any case anywhere attempting to defend Joe Paterno. Done in by his own words.

And no, I will not add a Penn State football blog tag under this item because this just isn’t about Penn State football anymore. Bill O’Brien, his program and the greater part of the university deserve better.

Hopefully, the few hangers-on will let go now, too.

>> I’m flying back home this morning and otherwise taking the day off. There will be a Friday column, and I’m almost certain it will be about baseball. But I’ve also got plans to see Riverhounds-Wigan, followed by the Penguins’ annual camp scrimmage Saturday afternoon.

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.

Comments

  1. Ghost says:

    This sure beats back-to-back 100-loss seasons, only to be topped by last year’s enraging meltdown. Those awful teams were further rubbed into our wounds over these years with empty boasts of the Pirates being on the brink of a “dynasty,” and macho talk of not shooting for .500+ seasons because ‘only championships would do.’

    Well, except for Joel Hanrahan, the FO finally stopped sending away our stars and actually started accruing them. Lo and behold! The Pirates have become legit. Funny how that works.

    As constructed, we’re still not a championship caliber team. But the FO now has the right to boast. And they have the right to talk about championships. Firm up the offense over the next few weeks, and come mid-October, just maybe, people will be calling them “the single best management team in all of baseball, maybe in all of sports.” Win a World Series and there will be no irony attached to that moniker.

  2. Ghost says:

    Listened to the bluntly stated views regarding the trade deadline. Firmly agree that we should not (nor should we have to) trade any blue-chip prospects for somebody else’s rental. In upgrading RF and / or 1B, the bench would be improved at the same time. A 2-for-1. Jones replacing Snider as first lefty off the bench a/o Tabby as first righty off the bench > the automatic crunch-time outs we get right now.
    Just trading for better bats directly for the bench would be okay though, as long as we really are only trading away a few lesser prospects. The Blue Jays once were able to pick up Jose Bautista for a guy named Robinzon Diaz. Maybe the Pirates could be part of a trade like that! Oh yeah…

  3. theplanisworking says:

    Dejan, you would be so proud of this Hippo…………..

    Yesterday, in the process of going to Pittsburgh, and putting 650 miles on the junker, I had to kill some time between meetings (thank God for McD’s Sweet Tea). For the first time in over 5 years, I actually read the paper (both of them). I know you always champion reading the actual hard copy as opposed to the online version…………. so I done ya proud. (Ok, ok, I really just looked at the pictures………)

    Go Riverhounds !!!

    DK: Always appreciate hearing from anyone who gets our print copy. We appreciate the online, too, but the print still steers the truck.

    Thank you.

  4. Brandie says:

    Mornin’.

    Hope things went well for you, Hipposter!

    Will respond with something more sports related later.

  5. Drew71 says:

    I once dated a RiverHound-Wiccan.

  6. Drew71 says:

    Are we talking about the same thing?

  7. Jandy says:

    Hipposter! Glad to see you back home safe and sound <3

  8. Jandy says:

    was there any offspring????

  9. War Horse says:

    Fine column today, DK. Watching the game overseas, the highlights for me were: the on-air interview with Grilli during the game, his excellent 9th inning stint on the mound (symbolic in the sense that he took it over just after Mariano Rivera left it), and Cutch’s steal of second base.
    You can warn the Riverhounds that they will be taking on a very tough team in Wigan A.C. which is on a nine day tour of the midwest and trounced a team in Dayton, 6-1, this week. Wigan played last season in the English Premier League against top clubs like Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal, but was relegated to the lower Championship League by virtue of its losing season. (I wonder what would happen if such a rule existed in MLB?)
    Anyway, watch for Wigan’s forward, Grant Holt, who is number 9, and also the team’s goalkeeper, Scott Carson, a former player for the English national team. I dare you to ask him during the warm-ups if you could try a few penalty kicks against him.

  10. Drew71 says:

    Thunder

  11. JAL says:

    JAL’s Think You Can Wait Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rx3PW1mqadA

    GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

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

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

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

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)

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

    4 Pittsburgh Pirates Stats

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

    5 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Pick Signing Tracker

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

    BLOGS and such

    6—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Giving Some Perspective to Trade Rumors

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/first-pitch-giving-some-perspective-to-trade-rumors.html

    Prospect Watch: Dickerson and McGuire Keep Putting Up Multi-Hit Games

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/prospect-watch-dickerson-and-mcguire-keep-putting-up-multi-hit-games.html

    Prospect Watch: Heredia Hit Hard, Bradenton Goes 19 Innings

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

    Pirates Have Four Fangraphs Mid-Season Top 50 Prospects

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/pirates-have-four-fangraphs-mid-season-top-50-prospects.html

    DSL Prospect Watch: Regalado Has Been Dominating With Impressive Control

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/dsl-prospect-watch-regalado-has-been-dominating-with-impressive-control.html

    7 Bucs Dugout

    DSL Pirates1 win two on slow day

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/7/16/4530336/dsl-pirates1-win-two-on-slow-day

    8 FanSided

    Pittsburgh Pirates: Can They Remain Dominant?

    http://fansided.com/2013/07/16/pittsburgh-pirates-can-they-remain-dominant/

    9 The Green Weenie

    Bucco All Stars

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/07/bucco-all-stars.html

    10 Rumbunter

    Pittsburgh Pirates Are Giving Fans Reason To Believe

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/07/16/pittsburgh-pirates-are-giving-fans-reason-to-believe/

    Is Jose Tabata The Pirates Answer In Right Field?

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/07/16/is-jose-tabata-the-pirates-answer-in-right-field/

    11 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates Rumors: Matt Garza A Possibility?

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/07/16/pittsburgh-pirates-rumors-matt-garza-a-possibility/

  12. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 Beaver County Times

    McCutchen isn’t just an All-Star; he’s a superstar

    http://www.timesonline.com/sports/pirates/mccutchen-isn-t-just-an-all-star-he-s-a/article_00264ee4-28b4-58bd-a459-78fd32459bdd.html

    13 Sports on Earth

    NL Second-Half Preview

    http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/53939874/

    14 Bleacher Report

    Selecting a “Snubbed” MLB All-Star Lineup for Each League

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1704188-selecting-a-snubbed-mlb-all-star-lineup-for-each-league

    15 Yahoo Sports

    Mark Melancon’s sweet All-Star ride: A mini-van

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/mark-melancon-sweet-star-ride-mini-van-143202551.html

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Daugherty: All-Star game brings back memories

    http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20130716/COL03/307160118

    17 Time

    After the All-Star Game, Baseball’s In For A Rough Second Half

    http://keepingscore.blogs.time.com/2013/07/16/after-the-all-star-game-baseballs-in-for-a-rough-second-half/

    18 PBC Site

    Cutch, Grilli team up in ninth to cap ASG experience

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130717&content_id=53947620&vkey=news_pit&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Sweetspot

    Best deadline deal ever: Cubs

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/38243/best-deadline-deal-ever-cubs

    20 Fangraphs

    MLBPA Chief Michael Weiner With Potential Game Changer On Biogenesis

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/mlbpa-chief-michael-weiner-with-potential-game-changer-on-biogenesis/

  13. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Drawing the line between topics of discussion and points to avoid on a news site

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/7/16/4525256/steelers-news-maurkice-pouncey-hat

    Steelers Madden 13 Review Part I: Roster breakdown

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/7/16/4527594/steelers-madden-13-review-breakdown-roster-tips

    Steelers Madden 13 Review Part II: Game strategy

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/7/16/4527708/steelers-madden-13-review-game-strategy

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Training Camp Battles: Drew Butler vs Brain Moorman

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/07/steelers-2013-training-camp-battles-drew-butler-versus-brian-moorman/

    Soccer(football)

    23 Daily Mail

    Rooney wants out! Striker ‘confused and angry’ with United over his future… so will Chelsea and Arsenal up the chase for star?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2366052/Wayne-Rooney-angry-confused-Manchester-United-future.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    10 stories you need to read, 16th July, 2013

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-16th-july-2013

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Bleacher Report

    5 Pieces of Pittsburgh Penguins Trivia Every Fan Should Know

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1706496-5-pieces-of-pittsburgh-penguins-trivia-every-fan-should-know

  14. JAL says:

    Think You Can Wait The National 2011 Written for the movie Win Win

  15. Jandy says:

    Why did I NOT see that coming?? lol

  16. Jandy says:

    JAL, thanks for the last link, I never heard of Wren Blair…until just now…

  17. Thundercrack says:

    I listened to DK’s rant and agree with him.

    It seems to me that there are two season: the season when the actual games are played, and the trade season.

  18. Interesting that Pedro called Pittsburgh home and he said he was ready to get back home, instead of saying he was playing at home.

    Good man.

  19. Drew71 says:

    Later today, heading up the coast to steal my car.

    No kidding.

    Someone cue the Bad Boys music.

    We let our youngest son, who’s in college drive an old, extra car. It is older, banged up and hardly worth selling so it’s more valuable this way than for the few hundred it might bring.

    Except my 20 year old son currently isn’t driving it. A 37 year old woman is. LOOOOONG story. Short version: she didn’t steal it. But she has it inappropriately.

    The car is registered to my wife and me. So the car insurance and liability flow to us, not her.

    And I have an extra set of keys.

    What Ya Gonna Do When They Come For You?

  20. Patrick(ri) says:

    In some ways the All Star game was a perfect representation of this Pirate season: A nice pitching job, two strike outs and a pop-up from the offense, and a young player on the bench with no chance to get in the game.

  21. Drew71 says:

    Three seasons. Beginning in November, there’s the Hot Stove League.

    You know. When Dejan will only write something about the Pirates when they “do something”.

  22. Drew71 says:

    Other than sign a .211 hitting catcher and a pitcher with a broken arm.

  23. Drew71 says:

    And apart from the perspective of a Pirate fan, and aside from the moving reaction when Mariano Rivera came on in the eighth…

    That game was a bore.

  24. kr70 says:

    medicine must be time released

  25. kr70 says:

    repo man

  26. The Gunner says:

    the All Star game usually is

  27. Bizrow says:

    + 1

  28. BillyBaduka says:

    Sounds intriguing.

    Good luck. Hope it’s a safe and uneventful repo.

  29. Bizrow says:

    + 1

  30. JAL says:

    most welcome

  31. MrB says:

    Keep fueling your personal bonfire. The sooner someone realizes your failings as a columnist and moves you back to human interest stories (what you do remarkably well) the better.

  32. Dom says:

    I might be jumping the gun by a bit but I’ll be awfully infuriated if the Buccos are in the world series and we do not have home field advantage b/c the NL lost the all star game. Is there a worse commissioner than Bud the dud?

  33. NMR says:

    Nice.

    Lost on the few people who seem to believe Pittsburgh lacked class in their unjust treatment of David Wright is the fact that just eight weeks ago the boos were directed AT Pedro Alvarez, not in defense of him.

    These guys are human. You can’t tell me that wasn’t a welcome change.

  34. Dom says:

    So was the HR Derby.

  35. Jandy says:

    That’s robbing the cradle!
    (Your son must take after you)
    :)

  36. Thundercrack says:

    I can only imagine what your percentage is.

  37. Thundercrack says:

    I had to listen to it on the radio and I thought ESPN did a nice job with the radio broadcast. They worked in the ‘dugout’ reporters very nicely.

  38. Jandy says:

    I fell asleep.

  39. Let me do it, Jandy.

    ::yawn::

  40. Jandy says:

    Whatever you’re smoking, man, have some more…and I hope you love Uranus, since you reside there :)

  41. Jandy says:

    Good job, Spunky! :

  42. Jandy says:

    +2 ZING!

  43. Dom says:

    #19 on JAL’s links brings back an awful lot of bad memories.

    I was so angry when we dealt Ramirez for essentially nothing back in 2003. As much as I blamed Littlefield or McClatchy for the situation of our team over the past decade, I never once blamed them for this deal. As bad as those two were, nobody would be stupid enough to make that deal unless it was due to financial reasons. That deal was a prime example of what is wrong with the economics of baseball.

  44. Sarcastic Sword says:

    Bucs and World Series do not go hand-in-hand as the roster is presently constructed. To be 56-37 with the way they have stunk offensively is a true testament to the entire pitching staff. If they stand pat with the stiffs in RF and 1B, they will be one and done in the WC playoff. As a long-time sufferer, I will take it. The need to banish the 20 yr losing streak is necessary beyond belief.

    The next few weeks will once again prove me right when I keep saying the owner has two priorities:

    1. Being fiscally sound and profitable
    2. Winning, but only if the first priority is followed.

    If they could make a deal for a bat without involving Polanco or Taillon but dont do it for fear of giving up a Kingham, then shame on them. If they could get a Stanton but dont because they deem Polanco or Taillon untouchable, shame on them. Stanton is a proven slugger – there are no guarantees for players in AA to become all-stars.

    Live for today!

  45. NMR says:

    1. SOMEBODY was at fault for putting the team into that financial mess in the first place. Owner and GM would be two pretty decent places to start looking.

    2. Even if one accepts Aramis Ramirez being traded as inevitable, why Kenny Lofton as well?

    3. Even in salary dumps, the guy with the best player ALWAYS has leverage. Nobody will ever convince me that Bobby Hill and a prospect was the best Littlefield could’ve done for Ramirez and Lofton.

  46. NMR says:

    (P.S. I appreciate the conversation starter on a slow news day!)

  47. Naterosboro says:

    You mean like Charlie Morton & Jeff Locke (and Gorkys; so essentially Gaby) for Nate McLouth? I kid, I kid.

    But I was of your opinion last week, saying the Pirates should pursue Kendrys Morales from Seattle to play 1B. That would still allow Gaby to get spot starts against LHPs, plus be a RH bat off the bench. That also slides Garrett Jones to RF to platoon with Tabata.

  48. Dom says:

    #1 is a valid point but I thought that they were going to attempt to make a run at the playoffs that year so I can understand why they had such an inflated payroll. In fact, I think we only exceeded our 2003 opening day payroll once since then. On paper we didn’t have a bad team and I believe we were underplaying our ability at the time we made that trade.

    The fact remains, that if the Buccos had an extra $10 million to work with we’d still have a low payroll and they wouldn’t have made that deal.

    In regards to #2 and 3, I also feel it is hard to imagine that we couldn’t have done better but at the same time teams are going to lowball us offers knowing we’re trying to dump salary. Personally, I’d give DL the benefit of the doubt that he did his due diligence and made the necessary calls to obtain the best deal. Even DL wasn’t THIS incompetent.

  49. Arriba Wilver says:

    I had heard about the controversy of a San Francisco News Station reporting fake names of the Korean Airlines crew of that Ariana plane that crashed, but I hadn’t seen the names reported until last night.

    The first one was Captain Sum Ting Wong. Really? Nobody caught that was not a real name?

    DK: How about “We Tu Lo?”

  50. Dom says:

    No problem! Tuesday will be the 10 year anniversary of this deal.

  51. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    I believe…we have a critic here….

  52. SeanAY says:

    Then there was Ho Lee…you know what, I’m going to abide by keeping this a family friendly blog and not mentioning the surname.

  53. Dom says:

    I heard that too and I feel REALLY guilty about laughing as hard as I did.

  54. SeanAY says:

    According to stuff I’ve read, it doesn’t sound like Stanton is available any longer. Of course, he may still go, but the Marlins are trying to make him the centerpiece of a young core with a few other guys.

  55. That’s the funniest one, Sean.

    We had a client here with that name. You can imagine the ensuing lunacy that accompanied that.

    Too bad people died in that accident. Otherwise, it would be one of the funniest news blunders ever.

  56. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’m making a pact with myself that if the Buccos make the World Series I won’t be infuriated about anything.

  57. NMR says:

    I bashfully admit to thinking those names would’ve been pretty funny if they were in the context of a prank call.

    Never thought of it as a race issue until the news told me what to think.

  58. Just the last part. Not the “Ho Lee” part. That would have been catastrophic.

    That seems to be a common, Asian last name.

  59. Lad9 says:

    Wrong paper dude. Ron Cook writes for the other guys…..

  60. 21sthebest says:

    If we have a better record than the team we’re playing in the World Series, I’d agree with you.

  61. SeanAY says:

    The legendary 2003 team! Just checked into Baseball Reference to see what other memories I could drudge up:

    - Kip Wells, the centerpiece of the similarly legendary Todd Ritchie trade, was 10-9 with a 3.28 ERA and threw 197 innings! As I recall, the bullpen blew leads in something like eight of his games. Jeff Suppan was 10-8 with a 3.57 ERA before being traded to Boston, where he promptly fell apart.

    - Brian Giles had a .951 OPS before being traded to San Diego, where he had a ~.900 OPS. I still say good riddance, but I forgot he was one of the best hitting outfielders in the NL in that era.

    - It’s very possible that the bench – which included Craig Wilson, Matt Stairs, Rob Mackowiak, Abe Nunez, and Tike Redman (who hit .330 in 250 AB that year!) – is better than the one the Pirates have now. Wilson, in particular, could MASH.

  62. Milo Hamilton says:

    Yeah, but it’s never worked that way. It should of course but …

  63. 21sthebest says:

    Funny thing about 2003, we finished that year 50-48 and traded Ramirez, Lofton, Suppan, Giles, and Benson went down with the shoulder injury.

  64. SeanAY says:

    Then again, it could have been someone that was confused about the Chinese restaurant mentioned in “Werewolves of London.”

    Which, as we all know, was Lee Ho Fuk’s. Where apparently you can get a big dish of beef chow mein and everyone’s hair is perfect.

  65. twentytwo22 says:

    More creative than the trick played on fellow hardcore teleprompter reader Ron Burgundy in Anchorman.

  66. Bizrow says:

    Thats the second planet listed on the lunatic nation roster ;-)

  67. Or Charles Barkley in real life.

  68. Milo Hamilton says:

    :)

  69. NMR says:

    Ha, what a lesson for last years team.

    You mean you can actually suck it up and play good baseball if your GM doesn’t go all in???

  70. Naterosboro says:

    Homeruns will do that to people.

  71. Naterosboro says:

    +10000000000

  72. Naterosboro says:

    Stanton was never available. That was a hypothetical written by someone at ESPN (David Schoenfield?)

    Of course if you make the right deal, he could be had.

    If I’m trying to acquire Stanton though, I’d definitely include Polonco. But not Taillon.

    Young power arms are too valuable to a club like the Pirates that really cannot acquire them on the free agent market.

  73. Dom says:

    Wow. I forgot about that. If we could have kept Lofton, Aram, Jeff Suppan, and whomever else then the streak would have ended and we could have very well made a playoff run.

  74. SeanAY says:

    It was either Schoenfield or Bowden. It doesn’t really matter which, because they’re both in fantasyland.

    Bowden, as we recall, thought the Pirates should trade Polanco and Mercer for Alex Rios and Alexei Ramirez of the White Sox. With that deal, the White Sox get to save money, add a high-end prospect, and a young shortstop. The Pirates…get mediocre-to-good hitting from those positions and absorb a metric ton of money?

    Yeah, that’s OK.

  75. SeanAY says:

    At the time of the trade deadline, the Pirates were 49-57.

  76. Jandy says:

    Well said, Rad Lad!

  77. Jandy says:

    what Naterosboro said!

  78. Milo Hamilton says:

    Trrrble.

  79. Bizrow says:

    + many

  80. 21sthebest says:

    Oh I know.

  81. 21sthebest says:

    Now don’t get me started. So many factors go into a team’s performance as you know. Deadline deals are just one.

  82. Milo Hamilton says:

    OK, here goes. Did you know …

    That from game #101 on, in 2011 & 2012. A total of 124 games. The Pirates longest winning streak was 2 games. 3 times in 2011 & 5 times in 2012.

    For me, Opening Day is July 26th, game #101. And I’m looking for a freaking 3 game winning streak !

  83. 21sthebest says:

    Obviously those guys hurt the team chemistry.

  84. Milo Hamilton says:

    Total combined record in those 124 games -

    40-84 .323

  85. NMR says:

    I’ve been waiting since you teased this last week!

    Pretty incredible.

  86. theplanisworking says:

    Do Negative numbers count??

  87. PhillyPirate says:

    When he writes the following regarding the FO handling of the Liriano and Hanrahan deals:

    “These guys wear me down.”

  88. Arriba Wilver says:

    Speaking of prank calls, the station tried to defend itself by saying the NTSB had confirmed the names. The NTSB said the station ended up getting a Summer Intern at the NTSB. I have to think that Summer Intern thought it WAS a prank call, so he said “sure.” :-)

  89. theplanisworking says:

    Obviously, Here’s to you Mrs. Robinson!! ;)

  90. NMR says:

    I have a feeling that whatever moves the Pirates make won’t be ones that anybody sees coming.

    They can claim to be hot on Rios, but I don’t know how anyone can trust that guy to be the consistant bat we need. Never has been, and this season is no different. Unfortunately, he’s the belle of the ball.

    Sometimes its the deals you don’t make (coughHEADLEYcough).

  91. theplanisworking says:

    And one where some wont ever leave………………………. ;)

  92. theplanisworking says:

    Thanks for the Morning funny! :)

  93. Dom says:

    I think we were only six games under when we dealt Ramirez.

  94. NMR says:

    Give DK a break. Life is difficult when you think you’re smarter than everybody else.

  95. SeanAY says:

    You know, Kevin Frandsen wouldn’t be a bad add to the bench. My only fear is that the Phillies are rumored to want to insert him into the starting line-up to replace Utley after a trade.

    It stinks that most of the great pinch-hitting bats are on teams that the Pirates will be competing with for a spot.

    A bench bat, another back-end of the bullpen guy, and someone that could be inserted into RF/1B would do wonders. And really, only one of those could/should be expensive.

  96. SeanAY says:

    It’s possible. And the team actually went 15-13 for the month of July.

  97. Naterosboro says:

    Thoughts on a post-all-star-break-slow-newsday-Wednesday…

    * They 2 position players I’d target if I’m the Pirates are Kendrys Morales of the Mariners and Greg Dobbs of the Marlins. Morales would start 1B, and Dobbs would fill the utility role that Inge is now (with Inge being waived, cut, or traded) & Jones would go to RF to platoon with Tabata.

    * For the post All Star break roster, they need to waive, cut or trade McKenry and bring up Tony Sanchez to be the backup catcher.

    * If done, this would leave them with a bench of Sanchez, T., Sanchez, G., Dobbs, Barmes & Tabata. I think that’s better than what is currently there. It would make the starting 8 Martin, Morales, Walker (if healthy), Mercer, Alvarez, Marte, McCutchen, Jones.

    * Just a little change is needed above: The Riverhounds will be playing Wigan Athletic FC (Football Club), who play in the Championship (English 2nd division) after being relegated from the Barclays Premier League after last season. They did have a magical FA Cup run, culminating in a 1-0 win over Manchester City in the final.

    * I enjoyed the fact that Melancon used the term when. Confidence is very important in sports, especially pro sports where talent level can be almost equal. If you don’t believe you can do something, well, you may as well not even try because it ain’t gonna happen. The 1st step is belief, the next is execution. They apparently (or at least Melancon does) have belief, and their execution (as evidenced by a 56-37 record at the break) has been good so far. Need to keep it going now.

    * Here’s a starting pitcher I don’t think has been mentioned as 1 the Pirates can pursue: Phil Hughes, NYY. The Yankees are shopping him as they need help at C and infield. He’s sporting a mid 4 ERA right now, but that’s down to him being trashed in Yankee Stadium. I think his ERA on the road is in the Mid 2s. PNC park could be the perfect destination.

    That’s all I really have today. Slow news day. Maybe someone will pick it up with some snark.

    HAVE A GOOD DAY ALL! BEAT ‘EM IN THE 2ND HALF BUCS!

    :-)

  98. Naterosboro says:

    Greg Dobbs in Miami should be the bench upgrade we are pursuing.

    Key words: should be.

    ;-)

  99. Naterosboro says:

    Ask Neal Huntington.

  100. Naterosboro says:

    I think they went 7-21 last September. How is that even possible with expanded rosters?

    Maybe we shouldn’t have expanded?

  101. NMR says:

    Absolutely.

    The problem right now is that there just aren’t a ton of teams selling, and two that are happen to be in the division.

  102. SeanAY says:

    I just checked on Baseball Reference. He’s hitting .211 as a pinch hitter. Am I missing something?

    Comparatively, Frandsen is hitting .375 as a pinch hitter in nine more at-bats.

    And I apologize: Frandsen would replace Michael Young, not Utley.

  103. NMR says:

    Is that because of something you’ve seen from him?

    I admittedly couldn’t pick Dobbs out of a lineup, but I don’t want any player that can’t find playing time on a team like Miami.

  104. Milo Hamilton says:

    Because choking dogs choke even in the face of reason and statistics that say they shouldn’t.

  105. 21sthebest says:

    McKenry still has an option but I’m not convinced they’re willing to toss his knowledge of our pitching staff out the window in favor of Sanchez. But as I said, you can always go back to McKenry if Sanchez doesn’t work out.

    Wouldn’t shock me if they go after a backup catcher like Dioner Navarro.

  106. SeanAY says:

    Phil Hughes would be intriguing. You’re right…EXCELLENT road ERA.

  107. Milo Hamilton says:

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

  108. But has his xFIP fopped yet?

    The Yanks owe us some fleecings. Wouldn’t want to give up too much for him.

  109. SeanAY says:

    I mean, the career numbers aren’t there, but this year he’s been good on the road.

  110. Milo Hamilton says:

    Trust me on this one. James McDonald ring a bell ?

  111. Naterosboro says:

    He should be cheap (cheaper than Frandsen) to acquire and has a career pinch hitting avg. of .257.

    SeanAY is correct that he’s hitting .211 as a pinch hitter this year.

    I think that could increase for 2 reasons if traded to the Pirates:

    1) Looking at career avg., you’d expect him to get a few more pinch hits to get closer to that career avg.

    2) A change of scenery (and situations) from Miami to Pittsburgh.

  112. Sisyphus says:

    There’s no guarantee that Stanton won’t step in a hole and wreck his knee, either.

  113. Sisyphus says:

    I don’t deal Taillon or Polanco for anybody in baseball that I can think of off the top of my head. There aren’t a lot of guys who I would deal any of our top 11 prospects for.

  114. Naterosboro says:

    Didn’t know McKenry still had an option. Obviously then, I think they should exercise said option. As you said, if T. Sanchez does a worse job (or if there’s an injury), they can always bring McKenry back up.

  115. Brandie says:

    Good Mornin’ Romper Room.

    Sorry to see the All Star Game was a Real Snooze Fest. Good to see our Pirates went as deserving picks. Good that our Pirates and contenders cash be mentioned without the customary, obligatory “spit take”.

  116. tdb1977 says:

    What I find nice about this is if we are in the world series – than we can win the world series in Game 4 for the sweep in front of the home crowd or game 5 in front of the home crowd and we can celebrate in our home ball park with the team. Don’t have to do it front of the tube.

  117. Milo Hamilton says:

    And that guy is a great pinch hitter.

  118. Brandie says:

    “Snark-nato”.

  119. Dom says:

    Let’s bring up Sanchez, then. He’s the lesser of the two evils.

  120. Jandy says:

    hey girl, you staying cool?

  121. Jandy says:

    ditto!

  122. Jandy says:

    Hipposter!!!!!

  123. Jandy says:

    Double Zing!

  124. Brandie says:

    Trying. It’s hard being a person of color in all this sun. I feel like I need to be basted as I try to maintain my deep dark all over brown.

  125. Jandy says:

    butter or lotion?
    LOL! :P

  126. Naterosboro says:

    Here’s the Grilli SI cover from Rob B’s twitter acct.

    “@BiertempfelTrib 1m

    #pirates fans rejoice … unless you believe in the #CoverJinx pic.twitter.com/4g9eP21M95″

    If the link doesn’t work, just copy and paste “pic.twitter.com/4g9eP21M95″ into the URL.

  127. Brandie says:

    Pan drippings or gravy at this rate! Hope all is well for you. Been up since 230. Got up to help Hubby get ready for work. Went to work myself at 500.

  128. theplanisworking says:

    Hi Jandy!!
    How is ya?

  129. Jandy says:

    Dang girl, you nee a break. Get him off and take a siesta!

  130. theplanisworking says:

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm….. gravy! ;)

  131. Brandie says:

    Interesting way to put that!

  132. Jandy says:

    Tired! Brain dead! So busy at work. I have to squeeze comments in here lol
    Was thinking about you and pulling for you and praying for you. Waiting to hear your thioughts, but when you’re ready is fine.
    Just know we were rooting for you in here yesterday :)

  133. Brandie says:

    Look! No lumps!

  134. Jandy says:

    we help them off to work, but no one helps us! lol

  135. theplanisworking says:

    Hahahahahahaha!

    I more than make up for the lumps !!! :)

  136. Jandy says:

    hey waittaminit! I just got what you said about getting him off….TO WORK :P
    LMAO!

  137. Jandy says:

    Hipposter, we missed you yesterday, you make up for more than lumps!

  138. Jandy says:

    Well, Jared Staal is signed to a two-way contract with the Hurricanes. I wonder how long before they pry Marc away from the Rangers????
    http://msn.foxsports.com/nhl/story/carolina-hurricanes-sign-youngest-jared-Staal-brother-to-1year-2way-deal-071613

  139. theplanisworking says:

    Thank You.

    I DID honk at your general direction yesterday……… first time, a little old lady in a tiny matchbox car gave me the stink eye……… so I passed her and gave a long honk for you and Brandie!

    Very nice trip over…….. little traffic, cool weather (I went in the early morning so it wasnt bad)……… return trip was brutal due to construction and truck traffic.

  140. theplanisworking says:

    Thank You.

    I DID honk at your general direction yesterday……… first time, a little old lady in a tiny matchbox car gave me the stink eye……… so I passed her and gave a long honk for you and Brandie!

    Very nice trip over…….. little traffic, cool weather (I went in the early morning so it wasnt bad)……… return trip was brutal due to construction and truck traffic.

  141. theplanisworking says:

    Jandy, form the sounds of things, the only lumpy thing yesterday was the all-star game……..

  142. Jandy says:

    darn those little ol’ ladies lol.

    the Parkway can be brutal, and usually is

    Glad you made it home safe :)

  143. Jandy says:

    I loved seeing Cutch get in to pinch run and promptly steal second…but I was falling asleep, serioiusly. I missed seeing Cheese pitch :(

  144. Brandie says:

    James McDonald had an arm,
    E-i-e-i-o.

    And with this arm he pitched a a ball,
    E-i-e-i-o.

    With a wild pitch here and a hit batsmen there,
    Hit batsmen, wild pitch,
    Everywhere it’s catastrophic.

    James McDonald, DL or CL.
    E-i-e-i-o!

    Thank you very much.

  145. Jandy says:

    ::applause::

  146. Lad9 says:

    Ahh, now that is the way to get up for work! :) You two are naughty today – I love it!

  147. Brandie says:

    Mind is in the butter gutter!

  148. Brandie says:

    Aaaahhhhhh!!!!! Hipposter!!!!!!

  149. Brandie says:

    Hilarity before Clarity, Rad Lad!

  150. Lad9 says:

    Brandie! Good to see you. Try not to step on my mind while you are down in that gutter please. Mine usually has to climb up get to it!

  151. Thank you, Drew Brandiemore.

    Very nice. :)

  152. theplanisworking says:

    Obviously, the heat has affected you more than you realize.

    But thank you for today’s nursery rhyme!!!!!

  153. theplanisworking says:

    Brand-nado. :)

  154. Brandie says:

    It’s even better when dung to the tune of “Another Brick in the Wall” by Pink Floyd. The nursery rhyme theme tires into the Romper Room question / greeting.

  155. Brandie says:

    I will watch my step!

  156. Brandie says:

    Jand-nado. Imagine that. A nun-spewing tornado.

  157. Jandy says:

    Wild n crazy stuff!

  158. Brandie says:

    CBS and Dejan are missing comic gold by not turning this into a TV show.

  159. Brandie says:

    Someone had to take over due to Drew needing to set his son and the “old lady” to rights!

  160. Jandy says:

    darn right!

  161. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Used to be a restaurant in my old town called FU (pronounced FOO) Garden………it was featured on Leno.

    They changed the writing to FOO

  162. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    That intern has been released……..

  163. Brandie says:

    We write our own material.

  164. theplanisworking says:

    Or CBS is not having to buy Tums not turning this into t TV show……… ;)

  165. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    The true test begins on the 26th. Very cool stats Milo

  166. Brandie says:

    Plan,

    Somehow “Two and a Half Men” is better? More high brow?

  167. Jandy says:

    yeah NMR hired him :D

  168. Lad9 says:

    Need a name for the pilot. Hmmm…Loony Tunes is taken…. The Big Blog Theory? Or whenever the Pirates are trailing by more than a run for a nanosecond, it could be Fool Time….

  169. Jandy says:

    I vote for The Big Blog Theory

  170. Lad9 says:

    There is a place on Route 88 in Castle Shannon called Pho Kim 88…. I pointed it out to my wife and chuckled and she stared at me with a puzzled look.

  171. Jandy says:

    Laddie, did ya marry the wrong lady???

  172. Lad9 says:

    Got 4 awesome, sweet intelligent kids out of it. Well, one isn’t sweet, but he got in line twice for the brains. Unfortunately, he stood in the same line as Sheldon Cooper for the social skills.

  173. Damon says:

    They may not have to – Marc may just wait until his contract is up and sign with Carolina. It will be like the old Nordiques with the Stastny’s all on one team….

  174. Damon says:

    Based on this map, the Pens have it mighty easy travel-wise compared to all the other divisions:

    http://www.tomfulery.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/NHL-Realignment-Map-2013-14.png

    Also Jim Bowden from ESPN has on his trade buzz the Pirates, Rays and Yankees are all interested in Justin Morneau. That’d be a nice bat to have in the line up.

  175. Good for you.

    I thought we were the only ones that didn’t adhere to zero population growth.

    Nice to see someone talk good about their children.

  176. theplanisworking says:

    I vote for that also as long as we bring Penny” along!!!

    :D

  177. Jandy says:

    was razzin, Lad. I’m sure she’s a wonderful lady, she married you, right?
    Kudos on the kids :)

  178. Jandy says:

    Bet that happens! LOL

  179. Dadtackular says:

    +1 on the rhyme

  180. Lad9 says:

    Thank you both. I am very proud and humbled that things have turned out so well. And Jandy, she is wonderful but definitely not cursed with self awareness at times (and obviously not good with word games) :)

  181. Lad9 says:

    + all ya got

  182. tomp says:

    I would guess that 1 or 2 of the players NH acquires will be a total shock to most members on this board.

    In order, i would like the team to acquire a RF- Aoki, a lefty/righty hitting 1st baseman-Morales, a backup infielder- anyone from AAA or Willie Bloomquist/Ryan Roberts/Jeff Keppinger.

    And another decent arm for the pen, prefer it to be from the right side.

    Shouldn’t have to rape the farm system to get this done, and if so, the Pirates have a real shot to do some post season damage.
    I still believe, Wandy shall return!!!.

  183. Arriba Wilver says:

    How’d they get a summer intern for that question? Like I say, bet he thought it was so stupid it was a prank. Either way, good for him. :-)

  184. Ghost says:

    Naterosbooro,
    Seattle seems sure to be sellers this year, so if Morales can be had for a price that’s reasonable, that’s a good trade that helps both our lineup and our bench at once.

    As for Morton, Locke, etc… yeah, some of these lower-level prospects end up becoming stars (well, Morton remains an enigma). But sure, Even Nate McLouth, for that matter, was entirely off the radar until we looked around one day and realized the kid was hitting bombs at the MLB level. It’s a crap shoot with the kids which is why I value the proven MLB’ers over the unproven names down on the farm.

  185. Arriba Wilver says:

    Great article. Thanks, Biz.

  186. Jandy says:

    what AW said :)

  187. Kevin says:

    cougar alert! D:

  188. Brandie says:

    I personally like Fool Time, though The Big Blog Theory grows on me. It could also be named Are Yinz Bloggin’ ?

  189. Brandie says:

    I’m hungry too. I was thinking about this on the drive from dropping off rugrats today. When the Pirates are down or have lost, you don’t see them hanging their heads. They speak of being determined to play harder, 1 game at a time, 1 series at a time, 1 opponent at a time.

    They don’t seem to be too ahead of themselves. It’s refreshing to see. Thank you for posting the link.

  190. Lad9 says:

    Thanks Biz. Great stuff. Andrew McCutchen is a class act and I just love to watch him play baseball.

  191. Brandie says:

    Ladster! Hope your evening is swell. Stat dry.

  192. Brandie says:

    That’s stay dry. Sheesh!

  193. Brandie says:

    Thanks, Dadtackular.

  194. JohninOshkosh says:

    The ESPY’s have proven that it was not his charm that allowed Christ Ponder to win the hand of the lovely former Samantha Steele.

    #wooden

  195. Brandie says:

    Sometimes,you have to dig deep to find something special. Bet she got a lot of splinters along the way.

  196. Ghost says:

    I had heard references to Mark Melancon having to drive to the All-Star Game, but only now saw that it was in a mini-van. That’s great! We have to somehow incorporate this into a nickname for him or even as appropriately unpretentious symbolism for the 2013 Pirates. The Steelers used to “hop on The Bus” to put games away. Now, come the eighth inning, we can roll out “The Mini-van.”

    Mini-vans for the whole team if we have a parade in October!

  197. Brandie says:

    What Lad said. Melancon has a lunch bucket mentality. Now, let’s also name a sandwich after Grilli. We can have Grilli Chili Cheese Hot Dogs while waiting for the aMini-van.

  198. Lad9 says:

    So glad I am watching a rerun of the Big Blog Theory instead of the NBASYS er I mean ESPYS.

  199. tomp says:

    So is that competitive balance pick the Pirate’s received today, eligible to be shopped/traded/ in an upcoming trade?

    Maybe its time to call the Marlins again, and give them another shot at one?.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Morrison in a Pirate uniform, if the bigger ticket items can’t be had.

    The ultimate idea would be to pick up 2 switch hitters for the bench or RF/1b.
    A guy to replace Inge, which possibly be at AAA currently, but won’t get a chance , if they are under 34 years of age.
    Maybe a guy like Jeff Keppinger would be a good pick up, or even Willie Bloomquist, who seems to have fallen out of favor in Phoenix.
    I am always skeptical, and not much seems to be brought up on this subject, but i think it matters.
    Even though inter league play is rampant, i think a player going from one league to another, usually goes through an adjustment period, which is often ugly.
    Can the Pirates afford to wait? I would like to see some minor bench tinkering before the team hits the field friday.

    Do something NH!!! Show the fans and the team you care!!!.

  200. John, welcome back.

    How was your trip?

  201. Lad9 says:

    Don’t know about you Branimal, but I feel that way about most if not all of the Pirates. A bunch of blue collar, genuine good guys. I am not sure that I have ever liked a team this much, which makes this year even more fun.

  202. theplanisworking says:

    Count me in !!!

    Of course, if I ride in the parade, it would have to be in a Maxi-van !!! ;)

  203. tomp says:

    Tony Sanchez with an opposite field 3 run homer, in the AAA all start game.

    He hit it off Cosart, who last week had a no hitter vs Tampa for 7.

    It got out quick!!

  204. tomp says:

    STAR

  205. JohninOshkosh says:

    Great. Thanks, John, good to be back.

  206. Ghost says:

    + many (as can be fit into a parade of mini-vans {and one maxi-van for the Hippo})!

  207. Ghost says:

    I think my first response to this got lost in cyberspace…
    Anyway, great to hear about the Sanchez HR. He’ll be a September call-up for sure, if he does make it up here sooner. Hope he’s ready to go when that call comes.

  208. Ghost says:

    “…if he doesN’T make it up here sooner.”

 
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