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Morning Java: Grilli calls it ‘minor setback’ … but is it?

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> Jason Grilli’s injury overshadowed all else with the Pirates, and that might hold true for a while depending on the news that emerges on his apparent elbow injury.

And yes, that’s apparent and elbow.

Let’s dispense with semantics. When the Pirates — and most teams in baseball now, for that matter — say “forearm discomfort,” as Clint Hurdle did late last night in D.C., or anything related to the forearm, they’re almost always talking about the elbow. Some of you have seen me write this before, but it bears repeating.

Anyone remember this?

Screen Shot 2013-07-22 at 11.49.10 PM

That was Rob Biertempfel’s reporting from April — based on team information — regarding Kyle McPherson, who just last week had Tommy John surgery for his elbow.

Then came this …

On June 5, when all the world saw Wandy Rodriguez pointing directly to his elbow on the mound, it was announced he had forearm tightness. That diagnosis hasn’t officially changed, but it’s been six weeks, and he still isn’t pitching.

So anyway, the news appeared to brighten at 1:38 a.m. today when Grilli tweeted this …

Screen Shot 2013-07-23 at 2.00.39 AM

… and yet, it’s not all that clear as to what he meant. Did he mean minor setback as in minor within the scope of his life? Or merely a minor injury, which I’m sure everyone would prefer?

What does all of the above mean?

Really, it doesn’t mean much more than that the initial diagnosis. And if you saw Clint Hurdle abjectly refuse to answer anything beyond that “forearm tightness” diagnosis, you’d know not everything has come forward yet, willingly or otherwise.

Bottom line: Doesn’t look good, doesn’t sound good.

The period between now and the firm diagnosis will be packed with speculation, not least of which is how this might affect the Pirates’ goals at the trade deadline. All we know right now is that Mark Melancon will be Hurdle’s closer in Grilli’s absence.

But I’ll add these quick thoughts along with that …

1. Tony Watson is absolutely capable of stepping into a back-end role. Actually, he’s been doing a lot more of that lately, anyway, albeit without much fanfare. He’s diverse enough to get lefties and righties out, strong enough to get the ball up there at 95-96 mph on occasion.

2. Replace Watson’s name up there with that of Justin Wilson, and the entire paragraph really doesn’t change much. Except his heat comes in at 98-99 mph.

3. If the Pirates had been considering a trade of a reliever to add to the offense — and let’s just say at least one such rumbling came my way early last night involving the Giants — that’s just got to be off the table now. Even if Grilli’s injury actually is minor, can’t take the risk.

Anyway, here are official game highlights from MLB.com.

>> Ryan Braun is a lying worm. Trust me when I tell you that the number of tears being shed around baseball for him, including the Pittsburgh clubhouse, will be at or near zero.

>> Today’s TribLIVE Radio show — 1-2 p.m. — will feature special guest Jose Angulo, the Riverhounds’ dominant striker, in studio for a visit.

We’ll also get the latest on Grilli from Biertempfel on the scene.

To listen, just click on the link above. It’s free, easy, no signup. If you’ve got an iPhone, iPad or Android, we’ve got the upgraded TribLIVE Radio app. Also free and easy.

I want you involved, too, so email at sportstalk@tribweb.com or call 412-320-7925. And you can email the show at any time, not just when it’s airing.

>> Marc-Andre Fleury left out of Team Canada camp?

Yikes. You have to wonder if anyone anywhere believes in him anymore. Other than the Penguins’ management and coaching staff, of course.

Josh Yohe has that coverage, plus the makeup of what I think will be the best U.S. Olympic roster ever.

>> Countdown to Steelers camp focuses on Le’Veon Bell. By Alan Robinson.

>> Pitt’s picked to finish fifth in their new ACC division. Not the conference. The division. Fifth of seven teams. By Jerry DiPaola in Charlotte.

>> Hope you can tune in today. Think you’ll enjoy Jose. Great kid.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and more, including his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the top four columnists in the country -- highest circulation category -- by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the top three columnists in the country by the National Headliners Awards. For 2013, he was named top columnist in the state by the Keystone Awards and second-place by the Pennsylvania AP Managing Editors.

585 Comments

  1. I did not see the game at all last night and just saw Grilli’s injury on the highlights. Sick about it. And not just for the Pirates but for Grilli, too. I am real particular about who I put on my personal Mount Rushmore, and the faces do rotate. But Grilli is there. I consider him an awesome guy and I just hope he is OK. Go 39!

  2. A couple thoughts………..

    Disappointed about Grilli. I think the Pirates can recover but Grilli is a guy the city of Pittsburgh can get behind.

    I am excited about Team USA hockey in the Olympics. Maybe this is the year we can take gold. I know there is a lot of good talent on other teams but US hockey has really been making strides. With 2 local boys trying out non the less.

    Training camp is starting and now we will see how all this offseason slashing of the roster will pay off for the Steelers. Can’t wait.

  3. One more thing.

    I never cared for Braun that much and after this season I know that I never will. I always thought it was a mistake paying Braun and letting Fielder go. That argument has been proven today with the announcement of Brauns suspension. I would feel betrayed if I was a fan of the Brewers. Such a shame.

  4. I just hope that if Grilli is out a long period of time that Huntington doesn’t do something stupid and trade for a “proven closer”. The Bucs have Melancon who can step into the closer role, Justin Wilson is a guy who looks to be a closer of the future type of player, Bryan Morris has looked good so far this year, Mazzaro and Watson are both solid MLB players. In the minors they have guys like Welker, Vic Black, Reid, and Hughes. The pen even with Grilli out should still be a strength for the club.

    If they were to lose Cutch, Marte, or Alvarez for an extended period of time then it would be time to worry.

  5. I think Melancon will pick up the torch without any fall off. The problem now is the 8th inning. Can Wilson, or a Wilson/Morris tandem deliver in the eighth what Melancon has, heretofore? No, the Pirates had been untouchable in the 8th when Melancon was out there. But the answer is to not have as many close games that the bullpen must protect with zero room to err. As Rob Biertempfel documented, the Bus were 0-10 with RISP, tonight. Cutch carried the team. We need another big bat. Jones can help, IF he gets hot. But take the “ifs” out of the equations and put more punch in the lineup. It will take pressure off our bullpen, too.

    • Adding some quality depth for the bench is the biggest issue. Having to depend on McKenry, Inge, Gaby Sanchez for reliable spot starting, or for a big hit in a tight game is really killing them.

      • The bench, no doubt, is a glaring weakness. But I think adding a good hitter to the everyday lineup is even more important. That would give us four to five at-bats per game to affect the outcome. This said, adding a bat that can play 1st, corner outfield (not specifying which corner as I would think Marte could shift to right if new OF doesn’t have strong arm), or both, would bump Jones or Tabby to the bench, thus strengthening that, too. DK and Yours Truly have made this point. Hopefully, this 2-for-1 argument will win the day.

    • What is different between pitching in the eighth inning of a tight game and pitching in the seventh inning of a tight game?

      Nothing.

      Please don’t expand the myth of the closer by creating a myth of the eighth inning guy.

  6. Just wanted to say that I appreciate, thoroughly, how this Blog is “self-healing” (to borrow someone else’s apt description) at times. Like last night.

  7. Stinkin’ Sports Illustrated…

    • OH, THAT’S RIGHT!
      (I don’t believe in curses, I don’t believe in curses, I don’t believe in curses…)

      • I blame Mother Teresa.
        SHE got the magazine in question. ;)

        (No, Jandy, I dont work for CBS……….)

        • I am so upset for Grilli, words cannot describe it.
          Actually, DK called this one…weeks ago, he just didn’t know WHICH pitcher would be the one to get hurt. Turns out it’s the pitcher who you’d LEAST want it to happen to.

          I’m NOT giving up my SI, I’m NOT superstitious :P

  8. If Grilli is out, give Black his shot. No real purpose left for him down in Indy.

  9. My last post of the night.
    Will never happen, but would happily sign a petition if it ever meant belatedly bestowing an MVP trophy upon Matt Kemp. Always felt he was more deserving that Braun, anyway. The Olympics got it right in pair figure skating a few years back when they awarded another gold medal to the Canadian pair. Would love to see Kemp get the 2011 MVP most feel he deserved. Braun can keep the paper weight he has. It means nothing now.

  10. If Grilli is out for any length of time, I’d keep Melancon in his 8th inning role and come up with a new closer. That way, only one guy is out of position, so to speak. If you move Melancon to closer, you not only have a “new” closer in Melancon- at least with respect to how he has been used this year (I know he has closed in the past)- and a new 8th inning guy. I’d pick Morris for closer to start.

    • Melancon deserves the move to closer, if necessary. He CAN handle it.
      Morris can be set up man.
      But that’s just my humble opinion.

      • Stay humble, Jandy! I like that.

        Interesting point, Reading, on limiting the amount of change by leaving Melancon as is. For whatever reason, there is a pecking order in the pen. The closer is the top guy, even though Grilli himself admitted it is much tougher pitching in earlier innings very often and especially when you come in with guys on base. But, this is baseball and they stick to their ways. So, I think Melancon gets the nod. Fortunately, we have a lot of talent on the roster and waiting in the wings at Indy. So, we should be ok.

        Hopefully, for Jason’s sake, this is just a few weeks thing. I would hate for him to miss a shot at the playoffs after the season he has had.

  11. Extremely disappointed and not very optimistic about Jason Grilli’s injury.
    No question, it looked real bad.
    I’m not saying that it would’ve prevented this incident, but the Pirates had SO many chances to put that game away by 6th or 7th inning.
    Sunday brought us 16 K’s….Today brings us 10 RISP stranded in the desert.
    Though a win is a win…This team has got to find more offense.
    Unfortunately….They might be in the market for a closer too.

    • Look at the problem Boston is having with closers right now. They are on their 4th and are leading their division. I know you cant really compare apples to oranges in this situation. They at least have hitters that can plate guys in scoring position.

      The Pirates will find a closer – if its not Melancon, then it could be Wilson or Watson. Could also be Black. If they keep winning games and start getting some more offense – the back end of the pen should be find. They survived with major chunks of the rotation being out for long period of time so far this year.

    • I have been sounding the cowbell for more offense for over a month now.
      Lets see what neal can do.

      As for acquiring a closer, I wouldnt.
      Teams now know the Pirates “could” be desperate for bullpen help, and the asking price has just gone way up. I would move Melancon to the closers role, call up Vic Black, and re-shuffle the bullpen…………. they have been good all year, from middle relief, to setting up. Not worth the now prohibitive cost of acquiring an arm.

    • Gotta agree with you there, Daq. I was really upset when the Nats got back into the game. I was hoping for a small blowout to give the back end of the pen a night off.

  12. “I think it is just terrible and disgusting how everyone has treated Ryan Braun, especially after what he achieved, winning the MVP while on drugs. When I was on drugs, I couldn’t even find the ballpark.”

    - Willie Nelson

  13. Question for all if those in the Blogosphere…In the victories where anything offensively or defensively that Ryan Braun did that caused stress and dismay to our Buccos, those Milwaukee victories…should they now be vacated since the truth is out?

    • I think they should be vacated………. but that is a slippery slope.

      If we truly follow that logic through, then the Steelers of the 70′s should have victories vacated because of steroid use.

      I do think that Fraun’s MVP should be forfeited.
      And maybe sent to Siberia, to watch NBA traveling violations, and listen to Justin Beiber records….. then dissect this blog………. on “substances” …..

  14. Sending good vibes to Jason Grilli. Heart is bruised. He was one of the best stories of the season thus far.

    • I’m so upset, I can’t put it into words, Brandimal.
      My heart aches for the man.

    • This is so upsetting. I think I want to cry.

    • Ladies,

      May the Phoenix that is Jason Grill I rise from the ashes of injury. Time for our Buccos to man up!

      • Pouring the good vibes on!

      • I needed that this morning, Brandie (and others).

        Can’t ever remember lying in bed thinking about sports, but watching Grilli last night was truly painful.

        Not to undermine Dejan, but lets remember that Jeanmar Gomez spent time on the DL with forearm tightness this season and ended up just fine.

        It’s a stretch, I know, but I just can’t see Grilli going out this way.

        • A spark of hope! I hope it IS just tightness. After all Grilli has been thru over the years, he doesn’t deserve this kind of bad break. He’s already had his share.

        • Strasburg was on the DL this year with forearm tightness.

  15. Hoka Hey everyone!
    .
    :-( No joy in Pirates win with Jason Grilli going down last night ….LVIII wins down, …and XXIV to go.
    .
    Yes, GM Neal and Mgr. Clint ….82 wins DOES make a difference.
    .
    Beat Em’ Bucs !
    .
    .
    PS: All of the best to you Jason ; …wow a devastating blow to the team……you must have a “world class” closer to compete in the pennant race…..this far from the finish line. Hopefully “bullpen by committee” gets us the desired results….

  16. Question:

    does anybody know the next step in Grilli’s evaluation?
    Is it rest, MRI’s? Dr. Andrews? (that would send panic alarms throughout Pirate Nation)

    • Hey plan,

      I’m far from a doctor, but the usual procedure seems to be waiting a few days for inflamation to go down and then getting an MRI.

      If it’s a clean tear, I’m pretty sure they’ll be able to tell right then and there.

  17. I guess the Kovacevic Kurse has met it’s match.

    The Sports Illustrated Cover Curse is terrible to behold.

    I’m fearing the worst but hoping for the best.

    (Which is as good a definition as any of being a Pirates fan.)

    For once, PLEASE just be a forearm strain. And not that pointy thing whose name shall not be written.

  18. A win is a win is a win. If Grilli really is seriously injured(although a forearm cramp like Teke speculated about last night would be SWEET), at least they still won the game.

    24 more to 82.

    And Bob Carpenter is glad to have F.P. Santangelo as a broadcast partner, because it makes HIM look good.

    The stress of this season is making me insane. I’ll be at Wednesday and Thursday’s games, trying to keep my season undefeated at games I’ve been to in person.

    • Nice record, John. I expect your perfect record to continue.

      EXPECT it.

      We will be watching.

      So, you know, enjoy.

      • I do what I can. I was at the game against the Astros where the Pirates won on a dropped pop up earlier this year.

        I can’t do any better than that… :)

  19. Why do Braun and the Brewers just automatically get to “move forward” immediately after the hammer drops?? I hate that junk. There are tough questions to be answered by Braun, the Brewers front office, and a lot of other people. If the Milwaukee writers don’t hound Doug Melvin with the tough questions every day until he answers them then they should lose their jobs. The fans need to know they have trustworthy people running their teams, and people who are on the right side of this issue, just as much as they need to with their players. It’s absolute hogwash if the Brewers are allowed to just sweep this under the rug and “move forward” after a year and a half of lying and no commenting to their fans. I’m hoping that journalism steps up here.

    • I’ve just spent some enjoyable time on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel website.

      Give the fans some credit, many are in the plane of reality. But not all, by any stretch. Lots of parroting of ‘moving on’.

      I think one time guilty=lifetime ban is probably the ONLY way this gets cleaned up. Starting with Braun is a great first step.

      • I agree John, they’ve gotta get this cleaned up somehow. But I think the public should get it’s turn to take their shots and get a taste just like MLB did. They got to suspend him. Melvin got a closed-doors conversation with him. Is it enough that we get to boo him (already been done for a year and a half to no effect)? No. Someone needs to sit Braun down on camera and make him cry uncle. Come completely forward and either be contrite and sorrowful and apologetic, or even be a smug, entitled horse’s rear end for all I care. Just be honest. He needs to be himself and let us see him for who he really is. Only then should we let him “move on.”

        • I agree. Feeling sorry because you are caught red-handed really doesn’t equal remorse. Now, the people who believed his ‘denial’, are in denial. I still feel some sympathy to them though. But this has happened enough times where I’d hope most people would be skeptical. Baseball would rather this wasn’t happening at all, they aren’t out to ‘get’ anyone.

          • I know MLB is not out to “get” anyone, but isn’t it time they actualy put some teeth into this? Braun gets off with a bit of embarrassment, a small (for him) fine that amounts to a fraction of the $100M+ he is still owed by the Brewers, and maybe eternal dislike from a sizeable portion of fans. Not too bad for him, all in all.

            The players who stood up for him look like fools – including Green Bay’s QB, who went out of his way to condemn everyone who ever doubted old Ryan when he beat the first rap.

            Speaking of beating the first rap, who does the MLB guy that lost his job over the supposed mishandling of Braun’s sample see about his pain, anguish & lost wages?

            The Brewers, for their part, will tank the rest of the season and get a better draft pick out of this. They get to start over whole next season. They had the benefit of this cheater being the best hitter in the league for a few years that propelled them to a bunch of extra wins. I don’t like it.

            My guess is Ryan Braun still slept pretty well last night. Guys like him always do.

        • Interview on camera to get to the “why’s”. Why use? Why lie about it? Time to pay the piper Lyin’ Braun.

      • I’ve been saying for a year now for the MLB to stop the testing for one year, let all these Dbags get clean. Any positive test after that, you are gone forever. All these second, third and fourth chances are absurd. These are grown men, be responsible for what you put in your body, don’t rely on someone else.

      • MLB already has the harshest drug penalties BY FAR. If you sit down and spend a Sunday afternoon watching a couple of NFL games, you will see more PED users in that afternoon than there are in all of baseball, yet I rarely read anything about the PED problem in football. I’ll start worrying about PED’s in baseball when this double standard goes away.

    • Dan, maybe because the commissioner has a stake in the Brewers? Selig is as corrupted as it gets in professional sports and he follows the money. Blindly and almost criminally as such.

    • Braun is just “moving forward”? He’s been suspended for 65 games, which will cost him millions of dollars, and is a step closer to a lifetime ban if he doesn’t mend his ways. And why should the Brewers be punished beyond losing their best player for 65 games? Did they encourage him to use PED’s?

      • Isn’t it possible they knew?

        They also benefited a whole lot over the past few years from this fraud, Sis.

        • It’s possible that they new, but it’s a longshot from “possible” to “certain”, and I haven’t seen any evidence at all that they did know. Should we really be punishing anyone for possibilities?

          • You may be right on the Brewers. They probably did not knowingly propulgate this fraud, and were just sucked in like the rest of us.

            As for Braun, this did not cost him a dime. In fact, it made him a ton of money. He would not have done this unless he was convinced it improved his performance immensely. So, he did it for fame and fortune. He got both. He is owed well over $100 million after this season. Tell me again how this cost him millions of dollars? Are you referring to the ones he will receive from this charade?

            • You’d have a point there, but there is no way of knowing what Braun’s stats would have looked like if he had never used PED’s. There is only one study I’ve seen that tried to determine the effects of PED use on hitting, and the conclusion was that there was very little difference in hitters performances before and after getting busted for the group as a whole.

      • Braun loses 3 million , gets to keep something north of a hundred million.
        He gets to go on vacation while his team is in last place and come back next year and start with a “CLEAN SLATE.” Baseball is almost as messed up as the NHL.

      • An early winter vacation in a non pennant race year with millions in the bank for Ryan Braun.
        You call that Punishment?
        Please…..

  20. Worm is much too kind a word for the likes of Braun.

  21. JAL’s Music, Music, Music Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gUNZAmFfKA

    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: Jason Grilli Is a Luxury, and the Bullpen Will Be Fine

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/first-pitch-jason-grilli-is-a-luxury-and-the-bullpen-will-be-fine.html

    Pirates 3rd Round Pick JaCoby Jones Expected to Miss the Rest of the Year

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/pirates-third-round-pick-jacoby-jones-out-for-the-year.html

    Prospect Watch: Andrew Lambo, Alen Hanson, and Austin Meadows Homer

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/prospect-watch-andrew-lambo-alen-hanson-and-austin-meadows-homer.html

    Taking a Look at the Pirates’ Bullpen Depth

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/taking-a-look-at-the-pirates-bullpen-depth.html

    7 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates beat Nationals 6-5 but lose Jason Grilli

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/7/23/4548286/pirates-beat-nationals-6-5-but-lose-jason-grilli

    8 WHYGAVS

    Game 97: Pirates 6 Nationals 5

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/july-2013/game-97-pirates-6-nationals-5.html

    9 The Green Weenie

    Bucs Hang On 6-5; Grilli Hurt

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/07/bucs-hang-on-6-5-grilli-hurt.html

    10 Rumbunter

    Ryan Braun Scandal: Another Disappointing Chapter In Baseball’s PED Saga

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/07/22/ryan-braun-scandal-another-disappointing-chapter-in-baseballs-ped-saga/

    11 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Pirates 6 Nationals 5

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2013/07/pirates-6-nationals-5/

  22. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 Washington Post

    Nationals vs. Pirates: Jayson Werth homers twice in rally, but Pittsburgh hangs on, 6-5

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals/nationals-vs-pirates-jayson-werth-homers-twice-in-rally-but-pittsburgh-hangs-on-6-5/2013/07/22/c4f67846-f33a-11e2-bdae-0d1f78989e8a_story.html

    13 Yahoo Sports

    Should the Pittsburgh Pirates Trade Away Their Future for a Chance at the Postseason?

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/pittsburgh-pirates-trade-away-future-chance-postseason-201300491.html

    14 Minor League Report

    Pittsburgh Pirates Top 20 Pre-Season Prospects in Review

    http://www.minorleagueball.com/2013/7/22/4544944/pittsburgh-pirates-top-20-pre-season-prospects-in-review-2013

    15 City of Champions

    McCutchen homers twice, but Grilli hurt as Pirates top Nationals

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2013/07/22/mccutchen-homers-twice-but-grilli-hurt-as-pirates-top-nationals/

    16 CBS Sports

    Pirates v Nationals Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20130723_PIT@WAS

    17 Washington Times

    Rick Eckstein takes fall for hitting woes, but Nationals’ players know they must perform

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jul/22/rick-eckstein-takes-fall-hitting-woes-nationals-pl/

    18 PBC Site

    Cutch’s two jacks carry Pirates past Nationals

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_07_22_pitmlb_wasmlb_1&mode=recap_away&c_id=pit

    Notebook: Grilli departs in ninth inning with forearm discomfort

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130722&content_id=54375332&notebook_id=54418080&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Transaction Analysis Garza’s Trip

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=21288

    20 Fangraphs

    2013 Anti-Trade Value: The Five Worst Contracts

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2013-anti-trade-value-the-five-worst-contracts/

  23. Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Breaston to Steelers looking unlikely as WR schedules visit with Lions

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/7/22/4547718/Steelers-Lions-Steve-Breaston-free-agency

    Steelers training camp talkers: Dwyer vs. Redman, one may get cut

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/7/22/4546186/steelers-training-camp-jonathan-dwyer-isaac-redman-steelers-depth-chart

    22 Steelers Depot

    - 2013 Steelers Have Their Share Of Depth Issues Heading Into Training Camp

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/07/2013-steelers-depth-issues-training-camp/

    Soccer(football)

    23 Daily Mail

    Chelsea are ready to pay £30m for Rooney as Mourinho looks to force United’s hand

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2374258/Chelsea-ready-pay-Manchester-United-30m-Wayne-Rooney.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 22nd July, 2013

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-22nd-july-2013

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Hockey Buzz

    A Detailed Look At The Penguins 2012-2013 Travel Schedule

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Ryan-Wilson/A-Detailed-Look-At-The-Penguins-2012-2013-Travel-Schedule/177/52946#.Ue5g4kC8BRU

  24. I was actually worried about Grilli starting with the LaRoche at bat. His velocity was pretty close to normal, but every pitch he threw was up in the zone. When an All-star closer has his fastball turned around by Denard Span, you know there I trouble. Wishing Grilled Cheese all the best.

    • Right, Mike. Grilli’s fastball does rise at times, but Martin wanted the ball down on some and they were still up in the zone. The curves, too. Grilli is such a gamer, but I have to wonder if he was not having a problem right from his warm up. The day before was a tough save, and right after the layoff for the All Star break plus inactivity during the two losses after it. Maybe too much too quickly? All the same, hopes and prayers for minimal damage for Jason!

  25. another Miami export. Hurricane football is celebrated by it’s hood mentality. Young athletes learn to cheat at age 15 like A Rod. Braun if just another long line of Miami athletes who game the system for personal gain. Von Miller is looking at four games for testing positive with a banned substance and now here it comes. I didn’t do nutten claim, thems gots it wrong.Sure Von, despite testing for a banned substance and marajuana last year as a first offense. First offense should be four games, not some pity party, Second is a year on the outside looking in. After a second offense, all contracts are cancelled and you must play the next year at the rookie minimum. Believe me that will clean up the game.

  26. With all the properly negative vibe from Braun and other druggies, I’d like to shift a moment to give a shout out to Phil Mikkelson. I know golf isn’t spoken much on this blog, but what a great final round at the British by a thoroughly classy player and family man. Not all the news in sports is dreadful, thank heavens.

  27. For you, Thunder.

    http://m.espn.go.com/soccer/story?storyId=1504953

    And even if I am required to turn in my Smart_ _ _ Decoder Ring, I have to admit I care about this story on a couple of levels.

    So there.

  28. Braun, A-Rod, and any others busted in this case need to have their contracts voided. IF teams knew (by reactions of the Brewers organization and teammates, it seems genuine people didn’t) then they should face some kind of sanctions or fines as well. But first and foremost, they contracts need voided. Boo hoo, Cryin’ Ryan is losing $3 million dollars – because he’s already pulled in $5.5 MILLION this year!! I don’t feel sorry for him. Most people will never see $3M in the course of their lives, and this is just a drop of what’s he’s made/will make. If baseball doesn’t give him a longer suspension – and face it, Bud Selig never has and never will make a proactive move to protect the integrity of the game, so chances are they won’t – he (and the other players involved) need to face weekly drug screenings, deducted from their own paychecks.
    And why all the anger against Braun? Is it just because we know him so well because he’s a Brewer? No, HE’S A FREAKING LIAR! In his apology a few years ago he never even denied using, just that the results were wrong, they were mishandled, etc. His whole defense was to attack another person. (Public apology OWED to him Ryan.) A-Rod is a disingenuous doofus, Ryan Braun is a flat out LIAR.

  29. I knew that I would log on here and see DK pointing to the elbow. He could very well be right.

    But based on the way he was flexing his hand and wrist prior to finally shutting it down…and lets be clear he did not injure his arm on that last pitch to Lambardozzi, he injured it either in the penn or very early in the start of the inning. Everything was up. It wasn’t coming out of his hand right. You could see him shake and flex the hand when he gave up the homer. The camera men picked up on it imediately and showed him flexing and shaking that hand between every pitch while peering into the sign. Nothing he through was getting down in the zone. He thought he could get through it but finally did the smart thing and called out the trainer.

    But the flexing of the hand and wrist lends me to think it actually was some kind of cramp or tightening of the forearm…this very well could be caused by a deeper issue that is located in the elbow, but here is praying it is not that serious.

    That said,Melancon can get the job done. I am not as confident in the workings of Watson and Wilson as some of you but their stats seem to indicate they are ready for the either. i would take Watson over Wilson siomply due to experience. If I were going with “stuff” I’d take Wilson, but my other concern with him is he can get wild at times.

    • I watched his bullpen warm-up in Cincy on Sunday, AJS, and I thought his control was off then. He threw a few wild pitches, which is unusual in warm-ups. I think his stuff has been lacking for awhile, and maybe it just came to a head last night.

      I hope this is a fairly short term thing. Jason deserves a shot at the post-season with this team.

  30. Grilli might be SI, but I bought some tix for Petco in Aug. And every year I buy tix, the team then collapses.

    So maybe it’s me…

  31. Knowing how weak and pathetic of a commissioner Bud Selig is, he refused to learn from Bart Giamatti. If you’ve never read “A Great and Glorious Game – The Baseball Writings of A. Bartlett Giamatti,” I suggest you do. Some of it is beautiful and poetic, others writing are his decisions on the actions of people like Pete Rose and Kevin Gross. He was very clear on one simple things – there is no room for cheating or cheaters in baseball.

    “The banishment for life of Pete Rose from baseball is a sad end of a sorry episode. One of the game’s greatest players has engaged in a variety of acts which have stained the game, and he must now live with the consequences of those acts. There is absolutely no deal for reinstatement.”

    • so why should Braun be treated any differently?

      • Because baseball has a rule against gambling on baseball that has been posted in every clubhouse for about 100 years, with a lifetime ban listed as the punishment as violating that rule. With PEDs, baseball spent a couple of decades pretending not to know that players were using them, then bowed to political pressure to crack down, and negotiated the current system with the union.

        • It would not fly to suspend him for life. Those days are long gone. But, something more than 65 close to meaningless games would be appropriate, don’t you think Sis? I would start at 365 days w/o pay and w/o baseball. That would put him back on the field, at best, next year at this time.

          • Baseball already has the stiffest penalties for PED’s of any of the major North American sports. Guys who are going to cheat are going to cheat. Fear of getting caught and punished for it doesn’t even enter the question.

    • Bud Selig has had to deal with the Player’s Union with respect to PEDs. Bart Giamatti did not have to deal with the Player’s Union with respect to Pete Rose or Kevin Gross.

      • He didn’t leave any room for the union to have a say. He did his job without coddling anyone. That’s what the commissioner is SUPPOSED to do.

        • The Commissioner has complete authority with respect to gambling in baseball and cheating otherwise. Giamatti did not have to deal with the Union. The CBA governs penalties with respect to the use of PEDs.

          • Which is a place where Bud caved. He is supposed to have “complete authority with respect to gambling in baseball and cheating otherwise,” but somehow, somewhere, Bud agreed that PED’s were a problem, but not cheating. He has the authority – but not the guts – to address the problem years ago. And at this point, the union has said it is not going to back Braun or the other cheaters.

            • Well I guess I wish the Union was formed before the Commissioner was given complete authority with respect to gambling (Kenesaw Mountain Landis) instead of 1968.

  32. Ryan Braun stuff:

    Column by Christine Brennan in USA Today who has been been indefatigable in her pursuit against cheaters in all sports:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/columnist/brennan/2013/07/22/christine-brennan-ryan-braun-suspension/2576365/

    Column by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Michael Hunt:

    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brewers/ryan-braun-owes-fans-public-apology-b9959417z1-216524221.html

  33. DK,
    I know the aforementioned trade to San Fran is probably dead now. And really, it is trivial now for a host of reasons. But I out of curiosity, can you mention the names you heard involved, at least coming to the Pirates?
    Thanks.

  34. Braun is a fraud. Even now, he refuses to admit what he did. He only says that he’s not perfect and he made mistakes. Did he apologize to the MLB investigator that lost his job when Braun challenged the handling of his sample? That guy is out of a job.

    Don’t underestimate the link between Selig and the Brewers in this. That is the team he used to own, and he always, always takes care of the Brewers. On the face, a 65 game suspension sounds harsh. But, the Brewers are going nowhere. All this does is get them a higher 1st round draft pick as the team will struggle for the rest of the year. And, then next year, they get to have their LF back with a 0-0 record. At the very least, he should have been out for one full year. And, I do mean the very least. He has done so much damage by playing out this charade.

  35. Brooksie, Martin, and Bennett invited to USA hockey orientation:
    http://penguins.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=678659&navid=DL|PIT|home
    What an honor for Bennett!

  36. Rumors are flying that MLB may go for a lifetime ban against A-Roid.

    • Like Milo says, Brian Cashman is as happy as a little girl.

    • Lifetime ban for PEDs? This would be his second “official” offense. That would carry a 100 game suspension according to the collective bargaining agreement. Where is the precedent for A lifetime ban for a second offense?Unless he was the one distributing the PEDs, that punishment sounds pretty arbitrary. Don’t get me wrong, I would love the punishment, but this sounds ficticious.

      • TJ Quinn said mlb is trying to make a case that this is A-roid’s 3rd “non-analytic positive” test, which carries a lifetime ban.

        Who knows….

        • Boy, all the injuries and now this for the poor Yankees. How will they cope with these problems. Oh yea, the have the resources to withstand a nuclear meltdown. Whereas a couple of injuries would completely cripple teams like the Pirates. Yes Mr. Selig, that is definitely a level playing field.

    • All that would do is help the Yankees.

      So, yeah, it could easily go that way.

  37. Great win by the Pirates. Hopefully Grille’s injury is minor but I fear the worse. If he is done for the year I’m just thankful it happened after the all-star game. To accomplish that after such a long time playing must have been awesome for him. Couldn’t have happened to a better guy.

    There is no doubt in my mind he will stay positive and remain upbeat. He will continue to influance this team in a positive way even if it is only in a mentoring role and keeping a relaxed clubhouse.

  38. Maybe an injection of HGH into Grilli’s elbow will do the trick…

    • Deer antler compound.

    • Call Ray Lewis and see if he can give Grilli some of his deer antler spray.

    • Deer antler spray

    • More than he already takes?

      • I know you and I are being flippant, but that is exactly why I am not rushing to the tool shed to get my pitchfork regarding Braun or any other athlete currently embroiled in the Biogenesis mess. I absolutely think that the leagues should be vigilant and severe with punishment when it comes to PED’s. Or perhaps, as Bob Hasis insinuated, maybe some of the substances should be classified as remedial and therapeutic ( I simply do not know enough about HGH, for example).

        But it is simply naive to think players who put on the home jerseys at PNC, Heinz and Consul have never engaged in the activity Braun has now admitted to.

        I have thought a lot about Dejan’s question a few weeks ago about how I would feel if a Pirate was implicated.

        • I would hate it if a Bucco were implicated. But I ‘d have it even more that he cheated. He SHOULD be suspended.
          But the thing that is WORSE, at least in my eyes, is that Braun lied and cause another person to lose their job, their livelihood. That’s adding insult to injury.

          • And that man should be literally running to the nearest courthouse to sue the $$$$$$$ out of Braun.

            I do not normally espouse litigation, but if there were ever a case for it, this is it.

          • The guy didn’t lose his job because Braun lied. If he lost his job it was because he failed to follow standard procedures for handling the samples.

            • False.

              The steps he took did absolutely nothing scientifically to taint the sample, which was the primary goal of his job.

              If it weren’t for Ryan Braun, he would still have his job.

              Fact.

              • + many.

                The Fedex was closed, or he WOULD have shipped the sample.
                He did his job, plain and simple.

              • It doesn’t matter whether or not his failure to properly handle the sample tainted it. What his failure did was open the door to speculation concerning tampering with the evidence, accidental contamination, etc. That is why chain of custody rules exist. They can be a total pain in the butt, no doubt, but failing to follow them to the letter can produce exactly the sort of result that we had in the Braun case.

                If the guy had just taken the time to drive five miles to the next nearest shipper we would have been spared all of this drama, and he’d still have a job.

              • Or Braun could’ve just been a man and owned up to his mistake.

                But that would be way too hard for you to admit, right?

              • The point is, all shippers were closed.
                He could have driven all weekend, and not found an open one.

                Hence, he put it in a fridge, and shipped it out Monday Morning.

                The seals were never broken on the samples.

              • “Chain of custody” in this case is bologna made up by lawyers who are too stupid to understand science.

                Not a single shred of scientific evidence exists that even comes close to explaining how the sample takers actions could’ve altered the results.

              • theplanisworking:
                It wasn’t the only FedEx site in town, and others were still open. This was all reported last year. If he couldn’t get to one in the amount of time specified in the CBA, the sample was invalid. This is all part of the agreement, and it’s why the arbitrator had no choice but to toss the suspension.

                NMR:
                I detest Ryan Braun, always have, even before his positive test, and I’m enjoying his fall way too much.

                Chain of custody in all cases is to prevent anyone from being falsely convicted. Failure to follow chain of custody procedures can result in false convictions. Unfortunately, part of the price we pay to eliminate false convictions is that the occasional guilty person goes unpunished. This problem can be eliminated by following chain of custody rules to the letter.

                Once MLB found out that the procedures were NOT followed, they had no case against Braun at all, but they chose to continue to push for a suspension anyway. The sad part of the whole case isn’t that the guy who failed to follow procedure lost his job, it’s that MLB fired the arbitrator, because the arbitrator had no choice but to rule as he did.

              • Correct.

            • I think you’re probably right about the technical “why” he was fired, but Braun didn’t just leave it at he messed up the test. He said, or at least directly implied, the guy caused a false result (the positive result) because of the mishandling and that led to all Braun’s problems. That’s arguably defamation..

              And baseball fired the arbitrator whose vote broke the tie ruling in Braun’s favor.

              • The guy’s job was toast the minute the test turned up positive, but I agree that Braun should have kept his mouth shut.

                Firing the arbitrator was baseball’s way of putting on a self-righteous front to prevent any sort of interest in the case from Congress.

              • Exactly, Arriba. Braun caused the guy to be fired to save his own butt. And he didn’t give it a second thought. I doubt he has even now.

          • Amen, Jandy!

            • Hey Bill. I am not a Phil fan, but what he did Sunday was truly an amazing accomplishment. Especially when the rest of the field was going the other way. Classic performance.

              • I’m not a Phil fan, either but + to both Bill and AW.

              • Well said, Arriba.

                I am a Phil fan. Maybe that is because I am a fellow lefty. Or, maybe it is because he appears to be a great family man whose wife is going through some serious health issues, and they are dealing with it in a very classy way. Maybe it is because together he and his wife raise millions for their charitable ventures. Maybe it is all of these things. But, he seems like a class act to me. I always root for Phil. He collapsed at the US Open just recently, and got off the deck and won a major on the toughest type of course of all the majors for his game. Go Phil!

              • Wllver, in two weeks I’m heading to the PGA at Oak Hill in Rochester with some pals. I hope what we see there is something almost as cool as the British, no matter who wins it.

              • Have a great time, Bill. I agree with you. I may get ostracized for this, but I enjoy watching golf, especially the majors. I always felt threatened too much to admit it.

              • Everything but that last sentence is true. :-)

              • golf…meh…

                :D

              • See?

              • Now, AW, you know I don’t pick on you for liking golf. Heck, I didn’t even :thwap: you :P

              • Just joking. I am serious about what I’m saying about golf, though.

              • I’m with you on loving watching golf, Arriba. These guys are out there on their own, with everyone watching and waiting for any chink in their armour. It takes nerves of steel to win golf tournaments, and I love to watch the big tournaments. Ryder Cup is must watch TV for me.

              • I understand about the “meh” attitude. I couldn’t stand to watch golf until I began to play it. Now I’m as hooked as a caveman watching guys with flamethrowers.

        • barry bonds was a pirate… not that we found any of that out until well after he got out of dodge.

          • I like to forget he was ever a Bucco.

            • I’d like to forget his terrible octobers and throws three feet up the first base line on Octeber 14, 1992. But unfortunaltely it is burned deeply into my subconscious.

              • I cannot stand Bonds now, and not for as long as he ballooned up to linebacker size.

                But, he was the biggest reason the Bucs got to those Octobers 3 years in a row – even if he did hit horribly once we got there.

    • Well Wandy seemed to get that blood treatment – PRP Injection – that sounds very similar to what Lance Armstrong and cyclists have been busted for. Maybe we can order one up for Grilli

      I have submitted a question about it to the weekly chat the past two weeks to see if DK knew more about it.

      My question was not chosen. (and I asked nicely!!)

      • Your question probably wasn’t chosen because this one had to get in:

        “What’s worse at PNC park, the wave or the “woos”?”

      • I quit submitting. Some folk get 3 Q’s on there like the one 21 mentions and our Q’s are ignored.

        I know he has 90 million coming at him, so no reason to complain, but I know the feeling.

    • Why not? Curt Schilling had steroids injected into his ankle before and during the famous “Bloody Sock” game.

    • That could make it interesting if Grilli grows a third elbow.

    • Antler spr … oh, never mind.

  39. Several states are proposing marijuana for “medicinal” purposes, such as California where common sense is a sci-fi movie theme, and in Colorado where Denver is already a mile high.

    So why not some real medicinal concoction for real injuries.

    I once received a shot of a steroid to kill poison oak, and my weak knees never felt stronger. My superficial improvement lasted six glorious weeks.

    I’m just sayin

    • Hmmm, Maybe is we sent Grilli out into the woods to catch some poison oak… you might be on to something!

    • “Several states are proposing marijuana for medicinal purposes,…”

      18 states and Washington D.C. have passed medical marijuana legislation. 2 states (Colorado & Washington) have recently passed legislation to legalize recreation use.

      The Hemp plant is the most useful plant on Earth, yet is deemed illegal b/c of draconian legislation, and people with business interests that it will affect (if it were to become a fully legal substance).

      I don’t mean to get political, but this issue is 1 I am very passionate about. I don’t wish for anyone to respond to this or to start a pro-con drug debate, but I ask that you do more research on the subject (hemp, cannabis, marijuana) than just believing myths that are out there.

      As with my crusade for soccer, if I can change 1 or 2 minds along the way, I think I’ll have done my job.

    • Prednisone is prescribed for many things from poison ivy to RA.

      Just not prolonged use.

  40. Really feel bad for Jason Grilli, who seems like a very good egg and deserving of the success he was having.

    Lying worm? A powerful statement and I completely agree. Why not just kick the guy out of the game completely? Along with A-fraud.

    MAF is not in Canadian Olympic plans because its easy for everyone with the exception of GMRS and HCDB to see that he is incapable of playing under the pressure of great expectations. Which frankly, is astounding when you consider how intelligent they seem to be.

  41. I knew today’s blog would attract those Elbow Wackos. Anybody got there popcorn out? Sounds like people making judgements before all of the evidence is known.

    • The evidence hasn’t been made public, true, but in Braun’s case – if it weren’t solid he would be fighting it. The FACT is he LIED before. He tested positive before and never denied it. He got off be accusing someone else of mishandling samples (a technicality).

      • Someday a technicality might be all that stands between any one of us and a false conviction and jail time. Technicalities exist to keep innocent people from getting railroaded. Occasionally a guilty party may benefit, but that’s a small price to pay to protect the innocent.

        • Lawyer alert.

          • That reminds me. I was on a jury a few years ago, the guy was suing Mellon Arena because his car was stolen there and he claimed the Arena didn’t provide adequate security. (No, the Arena couldn’t talk then).

            Anyways, the guy defended himself but the case was tossed on a technicality because he didn’t provide any documents like a sales document or vehicle registration to prove that the car existed.

          • Nope, not a lawyer. Did work in the legal field, but never directly for a law firm.

      • Uh, I think the guy above was referring to everyone fretting over Grilli’s elbow, and comparing it to the “rush to judgment” in the Paterno issue.

        Because, you know, if there’s anything similar to injury speculation, it’s the systematic cover-up of child rape.

        • That’s kind of where I went with my response Sean. Thought he was referring to everyone fearing the worst for Grilli when we still have to wait for the diagnosis.

          • Yes, I was referring to speculation regarding Grilli’s injury vs yesterday’s Paterno Wacko’s comments and the speculation on the legal issues and sanctions.

      • No, he just had all his buddies deny it for him ad infinatum.

    • Problems with the elbow, usually start in the forearm, with some sort of discomfort. I agree though, let’s let the Dr.’s check him out and see what all the information shows. And let’s hope it’s just a minor injury, and he’ll be back closing in a week or 2.

  42. I know that this has probably been beat to death but the Ryan Braun suspension makes me sick. The Brewers were handed a gift by the MLB by suspending him for the rest of this season; now that the Brewers are out of contention any way.

    Why is it that Braun is suspended already but no one else is? Selig afraid to have it effect the playoff drive?

    Really kind of weak that the MLB is basically saying we are going to suspend you but not when it matters. That will really scare guys in the future.

    • As I understand it, it’s because Braun isn’t seeking an appeal. I think in MLB it’s typical for a player to not be outed until the result of their appeal is determined. That’s why Rafael Palmeiro was suspended long after being busted for steroids; they waited until he lost his appeal to announce it to the media.

      • Reports are that Braun negotiated the deal with MLB.

        • So, basically, an admission of guilt with a promise of no push-back.

        • He absolutely negotiated this, along with the Player’s Union, don’t you think? Slap on the wrist.

          • The players union has taken the stance that they will stay out of this. Basically Braun came in for his hearing. Wouldn’t answer any questions. Went home realizing he was toast and called the commish back and said, hey you know what, lets work something out.

            The league probably wanted to give him 100 games. Which he would then appeal. And not serve until sometime next season potentially lapsing into 2015.

            He agreed to take a lesser sentence of 65 games served immediately. Why? Oh maybe because his pay check is set to inflate next season and he’d rather serve 65 games at teh lower pay than 100 at the higher pay.

    • I agree. There is an obvious level of unequal justice being applied here.

      What is the delay with Bartolo?

      Let Braun be “the model”, but there is a weird delay in announcing punishment for the others.

      • Maybe it is that MLB had more evidence on Braun. Maybe texts, phone records, docs. He and his attorney may have simply decided that there was no way out, and he was tired of the charade. And, they negotiated a very lenient penalty.

        • I think it was that Braun is the easiest to deal with. They are interviewing these guys one by one at different times when they are available.

          bartolo will likely get his in due time. he will probabyl also appeal. As will A-fraud. That process may have started already.

  43. Thoughts on a mixed-emotion Tuesday…

    * Suck it, Ryan Braun.

    * Poor Grilli. Let’s hope the tweet he sent out is referring to the injury, and it is just minor. His presence is huge for our bullpen (and you know I’m not a “clubhouse chemistry” guy). He IS the shark tank. Heal quickly ‘Cheese.

    * As someone said above, a win is a win is a win. But, you’re not going to win too many going 0-10 with RISP. Also, counted about 3 situations where the Pirates failed to hit a sac fly. All 3 opportunities fell to Gaby. He hit an RBI groundout b/c Washington was playing the infield back down 4 runs. And then Storen bailed Gaby out with the wild pitch (in the 8th) that ended up being the winning run.

    * Andrew McCutchen starting to heat up?

    * If you don’t know my feelings on PEDs, well here they are: they SHOULD BE ALLOWED in professional sports.

    * I hope Le’Veon Bell is a standout at camp and wins the starting RB job. Nothing against Ike Redman and Jon Dwyer, but they are “spell” backs. We need someone who can carry the load and be the feature. Here’s looking at you Le’Veon.

    * International hockey? Well, at least they got rid of the fist fights and touch-up icing….

    * Looking forward to DKs interview with Jose Angulo and to hear how that goal against Wigan felt.

    * Only about 3-4 weeks away from the start of the Barclays Premier League. As someone said above…CAN’T WAIT!

    ENJOY YOUR DAY ALL! BEAT ‘EM BUCS! GET WELL GRILLI!

    :-)

  44. The Royals have acquired Gorkys Hernandez. That McLouth trade is the gift that keeps on giving.

    • +2

      1 for Nate & 1 for Gorkys

    • Saw a rumor that the Yanks are going to pick up Soriano from the Cubbies

      I’m guessing we might have been getting Pence from SF before Grilli went down, but thats just speculation on my part.

      • I don’t know why Grilli’s injury would stop them from getting an outfielder/

        • Rumor was the club was going to deal from bullpen depth, just lost a bit of that last night

        • rumor is they were sending 2 pitchers to San Fran for Pence

          • OK, I get it. But I think we still have 2 pitchers somewhere.

            • Furthermore, does it make all that much sense for SF to be demanding pitchers on the ML roster?

              If you deal a starting outfielder, you’re probably not ramping up for a pennant run.

              • Is it possible that one of the pieces asked for was a AAA pitcher the Pirates may be hanging on to in case Grilli is out? Black, perhaps?

              • Possible? Sure.

                But that assumes Clint Hurdle uses a rookie in a prominant late inning role.

                So, yeah.

              • You…raise a good point.

              • I think Clint is evolving in that regard, NMR. He uses Wilson in high leverage situations, same with Morris. Mazzaro and Jeanmar were not exactly seasoned vets before this season. I think Clint is open to giving (Jack) Black some key late innings after a brief trial with middle innings. Ironically, as we know, coming into a mess in the 5th inning may often be far more difficult of a pitching situation than entering the start of the 8th or 9th inning.

              • What are his other options, Jim?

                Young guy, other young guy, younger guy?

            • NMR:

              I was only responding because I thought you were inferring CH won’t use a rookie in a prominent, late inning role. I was just saying that he has been doing it quite a lot. So, I think he’d be open to it again.

          • I’ve been hollering for Pence since he was with Houston, but I’m not sure he’d be the answer this time.

            But it would solve some RF dilemmas.

            I don’t know if he’s worth 2 of our pitchers anymore. Zagurske, Sanchez and Contreras are gone.

            • Assuming he worked through his control issues, Contreras would actually be a pretty decent fit to replace one of the middle relievers who will now be manning the 8th.

              • He signed with the Red Sox after he was released from Indy, but you are correct.

                JRay and TC mentioned it on the game thread late last night, too.

              • Funny how baseball works.

                Seemed like Contreras was released so that he could find a chance to pitch for a big league club, now two weeks later that spot MIGHT just be Pittsburgh.

              • No way on Contreras. We have far better options than 40 year old re-treads.

              • A bit ironic considering we’re talking about 36 yo Jason Grilli, no?

                Betcha the Phillies would rethink that.

            • They were never going to trade Grilli, Melancon, Watson or Wilson. So what does that leave ? Morris, Mazzaro or Gomez ? They were probably only going to trade one of them. OK. Throw in another prospect instead. The Giants would probably like that better anyway.

              This should have no effect on trade discussions. Teams would rather have prospects anyway.

              • Excellent points, but do those guys or any prospect not named Taillon, Heredia, Glasnow, Kingham bring Pence?

                Or would the Giants consume some of his salary? They’re still laughing about Matt Morris out there.

              • Don’t care what their names are. They’re all minor leaguers to me.

              • And I’m just talking about Pence specifically here. Whatever they might have had going shouldn’t be dead. The only thing that changes really is that they might go shopping for an extra pen arm or two. And you can get those in August.

              • Ok, I was with you every step of the way until that last line.

                But to add to your overall point, does San Fran have any motivation to KEEP Pence?

                -10 games under .500, meaning they’re not going to be playing post season ball.
                -Pence is a free agent after game 162 and I haven’t heard the Giants are interested in an extension.
                -Giants have always relied on their farm system, which is supposedly weaker now than it has been in a while.

                Pence may not be an “impact bat” at this point, but is he any worse than Rios?

              • Giants are 6 games out of first.

              • So is Matt Morris, Lucky.

        • The idea is that they would have traded relief pitching away to the Giants. With Grilli down they won’t want to shorten the pen.

  45. From Ken Laird:

    “Greg Brown on @TribLive_Radio – Grilli pointed to a spot just below the elbow where it hurts, said he will “need a lot of rest” #Pirates”

    Argh! I just want clarity!

  46. COUNTDOWN: 24 wins to go till our nightmare comes to an end.

  47. I didn’t read every post above, which has justifiably focused on concern for Grilli, but let us not overlook a very good outing IMO by Morton.

    His “stuff” was moving and the velocity was excellent.

    He may help placate some worries about the bullpen

    • Had Morton shut the door against a bad hitting team with a 5-0 lead, Grilli doesn’t even have to pitch last night.

      • Stop it. No need to even quip like that.

        • Not a quip. I’m being completely serious. That coupled with the fact that when it was 5-0 it should have been 9-0. That’s the shame of the whole situation. that game should have been a breeze. Now obviously there’s no telling if Grilli would have gotten hurt whenever his next outing would have been. But that game should have been a breeze against a team looking for a soft place to land.

      • Morton’s stuff was electric but he is going to be watched very closely after 5th inning… but other than either Morton not executing or the scouting report being way off on Jayson Werth(less than his huge contract), Charlie was just fine.

        • I’ve probably watched it five times, and I still have no idea how Werth turned that sinker diving out of the zone into a 400′ blast.

          Incredible piece of hitting.

          • It was a splitter according to Wehner.

            • Is that new?

              Didn’t know Charlie ever threw one.

              • Maybe that was the yinzer accent?

                Does sinker sound like splitter in yinzer?

                Can anyone confirm?

                I do not have this accent, so I’d have to call a relative (as my parents have both lost theirs since moving to NJ in the 70s).

              • He said it was the 1st one he threw last night & he questioned the pitch selection because Werth likes the ball out where he can extend his arms. Says they need to crowd him with hard stuff.

                He is absolutely red hot right now, by the way.

              • Fine Nate, I made it up.

              • Thanks, Milo. I had the TV turned down to a murmur.

                Rough pitch to learn coming back from TJ.

              • I’m not saying you made anything up! Haha! I’m just simply questioning Whener, and perhaps the yinzer got in the way of him saying sinker.

                To the best of my knowledge, Charlie Morton does not throw a splitter. He’s fastball, sinker, curve, and the occasional change up.

              • Just watched the clip from the Nats broadcast and you can see the pitch gunned at 87 mph.

                That’s very, very soft if it was his sinker, I’ll say that.

              • He used to throw the splitter before his injury. He was said to have scrapped it after he came back.

                I don’t know if that pitch was a splitter or an exceptionally slow sinker, so I’ll have to trust Wehner’s judgment for now.

            • The Nats color guy says sinker. I’ve been trying to slow down the video to see if I can see the grip. Perhaps it was a change up.

              I’ve just never seen or read anything that’s said Morton was throwing or attempting to throw a splitter.

              Now, some guys do hold their change up like a splitter, but I’ve always thought Charlie was a circle change guy.

              Not saying anyone made anything up or anything, I just want to know if Charlie is attempting to throw a new pitch.

          • I didn’t see it live, but watched the highlights on my MLB app after the game and said the same thing about that first Werth HR.

            The only thing you could say was maybe wrong with that pitch was it was a little over the inner half of the plate, allowing Werth to get the barrell to it (should’ve been a little more inside).

            But that pitch is down near the knees. Great piece of hitting by Werth.

            I guess we forget sometimes that major league hitters can do some awesome things too.

            And in those instances, you tip your cap.

        • It was a solid effort by Charlie. But, it could have been an awesome effort. He was so close to just toying with the Nats. There were times he made their whole lineup look silly. Then, he grooved two gopher balls. All in all, though, 3 runs in 6.2 is not bad.

          I want to believe in Charlie, and every time I just about get there, something goes wrong. It has always been that way for me. His stuff can be so nasty that I don’t want to get rid of him. But, I’m always riding that roller coaster with him.

          • You think that pitch to Werth was grooved?

            Wow.

            • Maybe I had an Andy Pettitte moment and “mis-remembered.” No, the Werth homer off Charlie was not grooved. I had that wrong. The LaRoche one seemed juicy. Grilli’s pitch to Werth was more hittable.

      • Hahaha, thats awesome, Milo.

    • I noticed Charlie wasn’t bringing his hands above his head in the windup. I think this may have been a change to help with his control issues he’s had since returning.

      But, yes, good point Bob.

      Chuckles is a solid guy in the back end of our rotation, proving it with another solid outing last night (albeit against a team that has a worse team BA than the Pirates).

  48. have focused

  49. For anyone who thinks that Braun doesnt owe the Urine sample collector anything……..

    http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/sports_nut/2013/07/dino_laurenzi_jr_ryan_braun_yes_the_brewers_star_is_a_drug_cheat_but_there.html

    Eliminates any thought that Braun has any redeeming qualities.
    Enjoy.

    • Thanks, guys. Jammed up on a project. Have to pop in and out.

    • Plan:

      Excellent work on getting this link for us. I knew Braun had acted badly, but I guess I forgot just how badly. Maybe it was because at that time, we didn’t know as much as we do now. But, he really comes off as an even bigger jerk than we thought at the time. 65 pointless games is less than a slap on the wrist.

      I don’t know if Mrl Laurenzi will be able to sue him. I suspect not. But, he deserves an apology at the very least. He’ll never get it.

      My only hope is that we find out next year that Ryan Braun was maybe never that good of a ball player.

  50. Bill Belichick called and said Grilli has ‘soreness in the upper body” and is questionable for the game on Sunday.

  51. On Braun, he is such an egotistical d-bag (not DBack).. his ‘apology’ was pathetic and I’m glad the press is all over him for that ridiculous statement. And here’s hoping a legal eagle helps the sample collector ready a civil lawsuit to take some of Braun’s $$…..

    On Grilli, I am hoping and praying (more so for Grilli the man than for the Pirates even) that he can come back and pitch this year, but if he can’t, the Bucs will have to pick up a veteran bullpen arm for depth. The ‘young guns’ are very talented but they have never pitched in late innings in a pennant race and it will help to have a steadying influence in the pen. Reds picked up Broxton last year to that end and I’m hopeful NH can pick up someone similar. Not to close, or even to be 8th inning guy, but to be depth and to help guide the young guns along. Someone like Kevin Gregg perhaps… or Huston Street… not asking for Papelbon or KRod, but someone that would cost less

  52. Dan Bylsma just called, said Grilli has a “lower-body injury”, will be out indefinitely, and says he just needs to stick to his system.

  53. Isn’t it time for Sports Illustrated to run a story about Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Yadier Molina, Beltran, and Allen Craig? Maybe put all of them on the cover?

  54. An open question; did Grilli need to save every game where a save was available?

    Is there a clause he has which states so?

    So he is leading the league in saves, what now do we have. An injured over-used save specialist?

    No fingers are being pointed anywhere – I’m just asking

    • Bob, fact is that Grilli did not save every game for the Pirates this year… Hurdle made Grilli unavailable a few times based on usage (not going 3 games in a row, etc.)…Melancon saved a couple for sure, and I think Watson has one, maybe Morris.

      Grilli has thrown less pitches than Wilson and I think Melancon, so ‘just asking’ is off base here…thanks.

      • Pirates have 36 saves. Grilli has 30.

      • Did you notice when CH was about to relieve Morton last night, he did so BEFORE the impending pinch-hitter was announced.

        That is a no-no!!!

        Let the offensive team declare first, then you as the defensive manager can retaliate appropriately.

        As it occurred, Lombardozzi (a switch hitter) was in the on deck circle but wasn’t announced, then CH rushed in and pulled Morton, then Dave Johnson pulled Lombardozzi in favor of Tracy.

        Oh it all worked out, but. . . . .

        Just some common managerial knowledge was lacking again

        • That assumes that CH had multiple pitchers warming and was going to go with matchup…. I don’t know either way, but he may have only had 1 pitcher going to come in and it didn’t matter what Johnson did. I guess it could’ve forced him to burn a player but Chad Tracy is their version of Brandon Inge, so I’m glad Davey put him in there

          • Only 1 pitcher warming, and you say it doesn’t matter what Johnson did?
            That helps support my stance on CH!!!

        • Bob, who was warming up in the bullpen at the time?

          • A question, ironically, I have no answer for, but in the 7th inning one would imagine we had a lefty and a rightie warming.

            Wouldn’t you think so?

            • I watched the telecast and I am pretty sure only Morris was warming up. But c’est la vie….not a big deal either way in my book. It isn’t like there is much difference b/w Lombardozzi and the left-handed Brandon Inge, Chad Tracy… the Nats bench may be about as weak as ours.

              • I believe Tracy was 8/43 as a PH before that at bat.

              • Hurdle has never played the match up game. Not his style. You can argue if that is a poor style or not but it is teh truth. the announcer’s even commented last night about how surprised they were in teh 7th inning against the Reds on Sunday that he used three pitchers in the inning to get the match ups he wanted. Basically Clint believes his pen can get righties and lefties out so there is no difference to him in who pinch hits for the other team.

              • AJS:

                You are right about CH and the match-ups – although Sunday was an exception. And he burned a lot of pitchers quickly.

            • Not necessarily.

      • And none of those guys have 36 year old arms. that’s where the rub comes in. Grilli faded in the second half last year. He’s struggled in some of his more recent save attempts. it could be that age is finally catching up with him.

    • A lot of teams could ask that same question. Boston lost Hanrahan, Bailey and another reliever. The Dbacks lost Putz for quite a bit of time this year when he was closing every game. The Padres Huston Street hurt himself closing a game this year.

      Johnson, Rivera and Nathan all have more saves than Grilli in the AL and save every game for their teams. Grilli was not even in the Top 10 in appearances this year.

      Grilli was/is the closer, unless it is a day where he is made unavailable (which there were a few times this year based on CH policy of not pitching three consecutive games and monitoring pitch counts) he goes in to close, just like every other closer in baseball.

      He is 36 and the way he throws there is a lot of stress on the arm, this is an unfortunate by product of the game, He will not be the first of last unfortunately to suffer an arm injury, part of the game and not much can prevent that.

      • Some of this is the “way it is done in modern day baseball” stuff.. i.e. closers pitch 9th inning, 1 inning, usually only when leading or when at home and tied, etc….but I think one positive of this approach (which can be debated ad nauseum) is that it provides ‘role clarity’ which can lead to consistent performance and confidence. The pitchers in the pen know their roles and can prepare accordingly…

        I think bullpen by committee has been tried more than a few times and the teams always go back to this way. Detroit is an example this year… They cut loose Valverde and were going to go by committee and then panicked and resigned Jose in June… and this is Jim Leyland who knows of what he speaks and does around baseball.

        • I don’t think you’re addressing the point about saves, the stat, that Bob brought up.

          If save requirements were changed to the team being ahead by two runs, not three, do you think managers would still bring their closers in for a situation such as last night?

          Has nothing to do with “closers by committee”.

          • Interesting point, clear to me that if saves as a stat was 2 runs or less, then closers would not pitch in those situations. That said, they’d probably be used more in tie games or tight games where you are trailing to ‘keep it close’ … I don’t think closers are regularly on top of the bullpen ‘innings pitched’ charts, simply because they are limited by the ’1-inning’ rule.

            • Never thought of it that way, cmat.

              I like that way of thinking.

            • NMR and cmat, this is exactly my point. Thank you to NMR for his perception.

              Who made the rule and why, about a save using a 3-run guideline?

              A win can occur if your “closer” is brought into a tie game, or even one where you are behind by a run in the eighth or ninth.

              I hate to say it, but saves and holds are nebulous stats.
              Oh they have value, but is it as important as an RBI, or a win.

      • I think the bullpen warm-up process should be changed.

        Lob the ball for 8-10 throws so as to get loose.

        Throw 8-10 more throws with game velocity (as is usually done between innings) then go for it.

        Some modest variations could apply. The point is don’t throw your game in the pen

    • Who is to say he is injured because of being overused this year. He has pitched for 16 years in the majors and many years before that. It may have been one pitch that did it and not an accumlation of all pitches. It may be because he didn’t pitch enough with the all-star break. We really have no way of knowing.

    • Good question. The Book says relievers need to have defined roles, Bob. And MLB Managers rarely deviate from the section of the Book that pertains to relievers. Clint is evolving for the better this year, but I don’t think he was ready to have a closer by committee approach just yet. He may now have to think about it.

  55. One overlooked part of this Braun mess is the pathetic statement of Michael Wiener, head of the MLB union, who by all accounts is a good guy and dealing with brain cancer, but this quote is beyond nauseating:

    “I am deeply gratified to see Ryan taking this bold step. It vindicates the rights of all players under the Joint Drug Program. It is good for the game that Ryan will return soon to continue his great work both on and off the field.”

    I might be wrong, but this mess tarnishing all of baseball would be cleaned up a lot sooner if the union boss would say something like “On behalf of all of our players, the vast majority of which play by the rules, I’m glad to see those that don’t follow the rules be punished, fairly and swiftly, so that we can all begin to put this era behind us and to make America’s game (um, baseball) great again”. This flowery BS about Braun is disgusting and Wiener should be ashamed of himself. Disgraceful.

    • I prefer to focus on the fact that the Union supported the agreement. People have roles and obligations.

    • cmat

      I’m not disagreeing with you at all but in Wiener defense I think he also said thinks along the same lines as what you suggested above. He has openly said that the union will not defend players that have overwhelming evidence against them. Unfortunately at the end of the day he represents the players and after the punishment is handed down he has to put a spin on just about anything that happens to make the player look as good as possible. It is his job by definition.

      • You said what I meant a whole lot better, Nate. Except for the use of the term “unfortunately.” There’s a reason these roles exist beyond any particular individual situation.

      • “He has openly said that the union will not defend players that have overwhelming evidence against them.”

        Too bad that is a flat-out lie.

        The overwhelming evidence against Braun was presented last year when he failed a scientifically sound test agreed to by the Union without a shred of evidence supporting his claim that he was clean.

        Where was Wiener then?

        Actions, not words, Nate.

        • I don’t disagree. I’m sure he is regretting that now. I’m not sure he said anything like that prior to this year. Hopefully his actions match his words going forward.

          It seems as if enough players are tired of defending themselves that maybe the culture within the union has changed to the point that most players are perfectly fine with the union not going to bat to protect one of their own when it comes to steriod use.

          • He also said the Union will work to cut deals. Why does no one mention that part? They still very much go to bat for and with the players.

        • If the union hadn’t raised the “technicality” issue, which they WON, they would have been guilty of a breach of their duty to one of their members. Technicalities of the testing process are part of the process on drug violations. What you say may feel good, but it isn’t reality.

          • Please.

            You can’t pick and choose when to be morally altruistic.

            As you said, it was the Union’s duty to raise the technicality issue.

            But don’t give me this bullsh/t now about not fighting overwhelming evidence.

            • For what it is worth they didn’t fight this particular case because there was overwhelming evidence. However I am tapping out on this one because I honestly don’t disagree with anything your saying.

              I’m just dealing with reality and what the defined job of a union representative is. I’ve seen too many people keep their jobs that are not deserving in my lifetime because of their union to not beleive that this is how the world works.

              • Just to be clear, I’m objecting to this whole side of the spin that Wiener and the Union wouldn’t protect one of their own if they knew he was guilty, which is exactly what Wieners statement is saying.

                That is an absolute lie.

                I know full well that defending one another is just part of the whole corrupt system. Just don’t try and tell me you’re above it.

              • I almost replied but remembered that I tapped out.

              • Can I tag you back in?

              • No. My stamina is at an all time low. My wife made me run with her last night. I haven’t done that in 4 or 5 years. Some would argue that I didn’t do it last night as well.

      • I wonder if all of the players, many of which have openly hoped for Braun to be punished for the past year or so, agree that Wiener’s job is to make the cheaters ‘look as good as possible’… i don’t doubt that the union serves a role, I’m just saying we could move on a lot quicker if the union stopped rubber stamping these statements of support and instead took the opportunity to stick up the majority of players who don’t cheat and are tired of the cheaters getting away with it.

    • Michael Weiner (e-i) was in a difficult position. That said, not the best statement I’ve read. Braun’s far worse, and totally off key statement has pretty much overwhelmed Weiner’s.

      By the way, completely beside THAT point but much more important to MW than a statement…I missed this news about Weiner.

      http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-76739173/

      • now THAT takes Chutzpah! God bless him!

        • What is the link about? I can’t access it from work

          • He’s in bad shape with brain cancer, but still keeps doing his job.

          • Michael Weiner can return a smile. He cannot return a handshake, at least not with his right hand.

            So he extended his left hand, over and over again, to the biggest stars and most prominent executives in baseball. It was remarkable, in every sense of the word, to see him on the field at the All-Star game.

            He can no longer walk, so he sat in a wheelchair, moving when someone else could push him. He can no longer control his right side, so his right arm was strapped to a shelf attached to the wheelchair.

            Who among us would want our friends to see us like this, let alone 40,000 people in a baseball stadium?

            Weiner, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Assn., is fighting brain cancer. He kept up a full schedule at the All-Star game, including meetings with players and reporters to discuss the details of baseball’s latest investigation into performance-enhancing substances, and the suspensions that loom.

            DK: We can’t print full copyrighted articles here, Jandy. Just a small piece of it with a link. Better yet, just the link. Thanks.

          • Thanks to both, thats what I thought it was about

    • Believe it or not, the union put out a statement just a day or two ago that basically says exactly what you want them to say. Wish I’d kept the link.

  56. Isn’t it true that Braun is injured (nerve damage in hand I believe) and this may be why he has “decided” to come clean?

    • He’s been fighting injuries and the Brewers are pretty much out of the race.

      Still think the evidence was insurmountable, if anyone has ESPN Insider, I’d suggest they check out Busters column

      Braun will never regain any semblance of respect in the sport

    • If he’s injured he still gets paid.

    • First of all, he never “came clean”. Did you see his weak statement? Total garbage.

      He chose to accept his punishment now because of a couple reasons – 1. the union told him he would lose an appeal and 2. His salary jumps to $10m next year. If he pushed all of this off until next year, he loses a lot more cash.

    • Couldn’t be that.

      It was just the strain all of this has had on his entire family.

      Ryan Braun, selfless hero.

  57. So I guess only baseball players had this Tony Bosch’s address or phone number. No athlete from any other sport, professional or amateur, knew how to find this guy. OK, as you were.

  58. Let’s presume we have enough infielders at the moment to satisfy our overall needs – I’m saying Walker, Mercer, Barmes and JHay – so isn’t it time to release Inge and bring up Presley for some RF duty. He’s batting .289.

  59. Jayson Stark says he thinks this is the worst crop of players available at the deadline since he’s been covering baseball. Just our luck. I’m sure Neal will reference that at some point.

    • That’s probably why Garza and Soriano are being moved so early and they are not even that great. The Rangers and Yankees moved early because there just isn’t much out there. The NL west is so bad that most teams in that division are not selling when they should be. Other teams like the Angels and Blue Jays should be giving up but probably won’t.

      • A weak division and 2 wild cards keep more teams standing pat or even looking for help as opposed to getting something instead of nothing on expiring contracts. The trade pool will probably continue to be pretty weak year after year now.

  60. The Cubs GM is on his way to talk to Alfonso Soriano about possibly moving him.

    How would you all feel about obtaining him? I’m no expert but isn’t he someone who usually shines in the second half of the season?

    He is 38 and is owed 18 million this year and next so he does have a lot of baggage but I’m sure the Cubs would be interested in picking up part of the tab.

    • He’s going back to the Yankees.

    • I personally would not be interested. He is very inconsistant and I am perfectly fine with the Yankees getting him. I’m sure they will overpay prospects for him.

      • I don’t think they have much to give, Nate.

        But, I hope this depletes them. Wait, that sounds a little like a line from Jerry McGuire.

    • I’ve been advocating picking up Soriano for 2 years now. If I read correctly, Yanks will acquire him for 1 mid-level prospect AND the Cubs will pick up MOST of what is owed to Soriano this year and next…. that’s definitely a price worth paying IMHO.

      Yes he strikes out a lot and he doesn’t help that, but he is a formidable bat, has some speed and may be motivated to turn it up a notch down the stretch.

      • I would be surprised if the Cubs pick up more then half the contract if they only received one mid-level prospect. If that is the case then good for the Yankees.

        • per mlbtraderumors.com, the deal being discussed is midlevel prospect and Cubs eat most of salary. that said, it’s preliminary, so we’ll see what Theo can get.

          • If they’re willing to pick up more than ½ his salary then let’s get him in return for Stetson Allie. He’s better than a midlevel prospect, right?

        • Theo’s gonna take what he can get.

          Ain’t exactly a line of suitors behind the Yanks.

        • Yankees are looking to get off the hook on a big chunk of A-Quad’s salary soon. They can afford Sori.

      • There could be some “lightning in a bottle” possibility with Sori.

    • He hits HRs. He swings at everything. He does not field at all. He pouts. Let the Yankees have him.

  61. A Bob Nutting call on DKs podcast!

    Asking if he sees BN as evil!

    DK as always, playing the Pirate apologist ;-)

  62. The Cubs must have a fleet of charter jets revving up at the Phoenix and Des Moines airports.

  63. My guess is the Pirates will option JayHey and activate Neil, keep Inge until they make a deal to bolster the bench or the lineup. I’d rather they just cut Inge now, but JayHey and Inge both pretty much suck so no big difference there.

    I’d rather not see Hughes called up to replace Grilli, prefer to see either Reid or Black get a chance… Jared is shaky, and we need some calm now.

  64. Dustin Pedroia definitely gave Boston the home town discount. Always liked the guy.

  65. espn’s DJ Gallo (the lone reason I look at twitter), with his take on Braun. Great stuff…

    http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/story/_/id/9502674/what-does-former-mvp-stand-lose

  66. This hack takes “apologist” to knew levels:

    http://www.brewcrewball.com/2013/7/23/4549234/ryan-braun-suspended-my-reaction

    Warning, only read if you’re looking for a laugh. And a complete waste of time.

    Dude even goes on to post another blog arguing that if Braun’s positive test were never leaked in the first place, he would have never had to lie and the public would like him more.

    Ha!

    • TJ Quinn reports he was eating testosterone laced gummies.

    • total garbage. What i love most is that ‘defenders of braun’ keep saying that they want evidence of ‘what he did wrong’ to get suspended…even HOF Barry Larkin on espn yesterday kept saying he wanted to know specifics of what Braun did wrong… if I had any sharp objects at the time I would’ve broken the TV. It isn’t rocket science folks. Braun used PEDs, there was ample evidence he did so, he was about to be suspended and instead ‘plea bargained’ the 65 games in this wasted season anyway sentence…implicit in his suspension is he admitted guilt. Only the PR spin on this whole process allows for any statement Braun makes to not overtly say “I used banned substances and that is against the rules and I will serve my suspension as punishment’.

      • Larkin represents the cache of players that continue to bury their heads in the sand. Larkin was always an uber-supporter of the union at all, I do mean all costs. Guiess he just cant help himself……….

        • I’ll give him the ‘I’m a union defender and I’m against oppressive MLB and pro-player’..he could say that all he wants and I wouldn’t hit the TV…but to say “I want to know specifics… we don’t know what he did wrong” is in-credible. He should use his job on espn for that stupidity. Credit Schilling who was way better and on point and for Karl Ravech for saying, a few times, “He was suspended for using PEDs and he admitted guilt”… all Barry could offer was to repeat himself over and over….

          ESPN execs, if you are reading this blog, this is one of the reasons your empire is in jeopardy of decline… employing “analysts” like this…

    • Pretty much what you’d expect to hear from a fan. After all, I haven’t seen any Steeler fans calling for all those Lombardi Trophies from the 70′s to be turned in, or for any 70′s players to be tossed out of the HOF.

    • I read it. The whole thing. After awhile it became a quest, because I didn’t think it was ever truly going to end. I think the guy finally stopped writing only because he had to go pick up Ryan Braun’s dry cleaning.

    • Jeff Passan said Braun leaked his own positive test results to the media so he could try to get “out in front” of mlb. Braun’s people also leaked Dino Laurenzi Jr.’s name.

      Total scumbag.

  67. Guess Tonight’s Lineup:

    I think they go with:

    Marte LF
    Walker 2B
    Cutch CF
    Pedro 3B
    Martin C
    Jones 1B
    Tabata RF
    Mercer SS
    Cole P

    I’d prefer:

    Marte CF
    Tabata RF
    Jones 1B
    Cutch CF
    Pedro 3B
    Martin C
    Walker 2B
    Mercer SS
    Cole P

    • Barmes will be in the lineup.

    • CH may flip GIJ and Pedro. I’m ok with your decision to put Tabby in the 2 hole, but I can live with Walker there as well.

      Just, please CH, and I’m saying this as nicely as I can – no more Gaby vs. RHP. Those ABs last night were beyond painful. And in the field – that routine grounder he very nearly botched – brutal! Not a good night for Gaby. We must find a lefty bat to keep him from the starting lineup vs. RHP.

      • that lefty bat is supposed to be Jones. Tabata and Snider are supposed to be the right fielders.

          • I guess the only issue with putting both Sinder and jones in the line up vs righties is that then there is no left handed bench bat. If they feel Tabata can hit righties then he should play right every day with snider on the bench and Jones/Gabby should platoon at first.

            I’d even be more inclined to let Jone in the game against lefties than ever put Gabby up there against a righty. Especially if Jones is hot like he has been since the break. Two dingers and a double.

            • Tabby in RF with the Jones/Sanchez platoon should be the lineup until (if) another bat is brought in, IMO.

              Going into yesterday, Gaby’s OPS was only .004 lower than Jones, and that was with 2/3 of his PA’s against righties. Gaby is far better against righties than Jones is against lefties, but thats not saying much.

        • I realize that, but Snider is not getting it done now. So, Clint feels the need to move Jones out there, and that leaves us vulnerable with Gaby starting at 1b instead of waiting patiently on the bench until he gets to face a LHP as a PH in the 8th inning or something. Ugh!

          • Starting gabby yesterday was more an issue of wanting him to get some work in. Tabby was starting to slum a little so was gabby’s bat any worse than Tabby’s would have been? Who knows. When you are the guy that only plays vs lefties you don’t get many starts unless you break the rule every now and then. Unfortunately I think Clint breaks the rule way too often…but not as often as he pulls Gabby off the bench to pinch hit against a righty…THAT has to stop.

            And last night his hands were tied late in the game because he already used tabby to hit for Jones when the lefty came in so Gabby basically had to finish out the game no matter what. Unless they wanted to play someone like Fort or Martin at first. i remember barajas playing first late in an extra innings game last year. Cracked me up.

            • I agree that he started Gaby to get him some work. But, his role is to play against LHP, because that is apparently all he can hit. Tabby hit a rope to drive in a run as a PH on Sunday. I would start him over Gaby vs. RHP at this point.

              They need a competent LH batter to play RF. Snider is in a funk.

              • I guess what stinks about short side platoon guys like Gaby is that even they go through slumps. Its just that there slumps seem more pronounced because they don’t play as much.

                Marte has looked awful over the last three games, 15 PA’s, but nobody says anything because overall he’s been good.

                It could take Gaby three weeks to come up with 15 PA’s.

    • My guess:

      Marte
      Tabata
      Cutch
      Pedro
      Martin
      Jones
      Walker
      Barmes
      Cole

      Mine would be:

      Marte
      Tabata
      Cutch
      Jones
      Pedro
      Martin
      Walker
      Mercer
      Cole

  68. Milo, I can not let your terrific comment made after the All-Star game go unacknowledged, when you said in response to a post about Joe Nathan – “good old reliable Nathan”.

    I seized on it but way too late in the evening, with this, “as in Detroit.”

    I loved that movie!

  69. Hey guys,

    I actually watched the game last night. Wehner was commenting how JG looked hurt by his delivery.

    I’m sure a lot of this has been mentioned already, but I’ve been too busy this morning to read it all. He was leaving everything up, but his velocity was there as well. Struck out someone with a 95MPH at the hands, good strike out pitch.

    I would move Justin Wilson to the 8th inning. The only thing that worries me about him in that position is his control, though I believe (haven’t checked the stats) his control hasn’t been a factor.

    All-in-all, we’ll wait and see what the news on Grilli and in the meantime, I believe Melancon will be just fine there and the depth is there to back the others up.

    Next.Man.Up

    • You are right that Wilson historically has had control problems, Ryan. Otherwise, I think he’d be in the starting rotation by now.

      But, you are also correct that control has not been a big issue for Justin this year. Just over 3/9 innings, I believe.

      • I’m not too sure about in the rotation, this year. He’d need to get stretched out quite a bit, but if the control continues to improve, I could see him there next year.

        Just don’t expect 97-99 on all fastballs as a starter.

    • Wehner has a very sharp baseball mind.

      To have noticed immediately there was something peculiar about Grilli – that no one else saw – does not surprise me about Wehner.

      • I also think Wehner makes some sharp observations. Some people don’t like him, but I think he’s good.

      • I won’t say -that no one else saw- because I’m sure it was noticed by the coaching staff, but I don’t expect Tim Neverett or Greg Brown to notice something like that.

    • — good strike out pitch.

      Except martin was set up inside and near the knees and it ended up high out of the zone and more inside third than on the hands. It was effective but not the pitch he was trying to make.

  70. Walker, Vic Black in.
    Inge DFA.

  71. Inge DFA, Walker activated, Grilli DL, Black up

  72. Pirates lineup: Marte 7, Tabata 9, McCutchen 8, Alvarez 5,
    Martin 2, Jones 3, Walker 4, Mercer 6, Cole 1

  73. Happy trails, Brandon Inge.

    • Pirates making the correct moves. Inge DFA and Vic Black called up from Indy!

      • Now to put Fort, Snider, Harrison et al. somewhere……………

      • AWESOME! It makes sense, CH was very reluctant to use Inge the past 3 weeks or so (since Seattle)… so why not just release him and move on? KUDOS to NH for making the move now.

        Kudos also for Vic Black to be recalled and not Hughes…

        As to the bullpen, I think Melancon is clearly the closer, but I also can see more “flexibility” employed as needed…i.e. Watson, Wilson even Morris may get their chances to close based on lineups, etc. Also I don’t think the 8th inning ‘guy’ is going to be necessarily one guy, no reason to do that, you can do more mix and matching based on lineup….

  74. I hate Russel Martin at 5.

    But I don’t know what else to do with him. Martin at 2. Jones at 5, Walker 6 Tabby 7?

    The only reason for Tabby to hit second is that he used to lead off and now Marte does so the common sense thing was to keep him near the top of the line up. Not sure I buy that.

    • Tabby checks off all the old school 2-hole traits you want to see in a hitter. Puts the ball in play, takes walks, hits to the right side, bunts.

      Still like Marte there, but I digress.

  75. Sorting through the 500+ comments here… trying to read the 100 or so that are actually sports-related.

    Getting tougher and tougher to stomach some of the nonsense on here.

    My goodness, people!

  76. With all the Braun crap going on, a story to show there are some class people still left.

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/9500939/ohio-state-buckeyes-fan-named-cancer-michigan-invited-game-brady-hoke

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