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Morning Java: Meals’ blown call badly overblown

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

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>> The Pirates take the opener of the seismic series with the Cardinals. And they do so convincingly, to put it mildly. Rob Biertempfel reports.

It’s still only July, reminds Karen Price.

Jason Grilli renews his vows to return, by Travis Sawchik.

Here, too, is a neat tale of a charity raffle taking place in the stadium, by Chris Harlan.

Coverage of the Cardinals can be found in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch by my good friend Derrick Goold.

And here are official game highlights from MLB.com.

>> I was off yesterday — and am again today — but I did catch a glimpse of the crowd at PNC Park from across the Allegheny, and it was a healthy 32,084. Nice to see and, for the record, more than double what turned out in Cleveland to see the contending Indians on the same night.

Pittsburgh is showing well as a reviving baseball town, no question.

>> Don’t know if anyone else has brought this up — I watched with the TV sound off — but with the Pirates now just a half-game back, first place could change hands twice with the doubleheader today. Not often you see that, I’ll bet.

>> So Jerry Meals missed a call at the plate last night in Boston. I know this only because my Twitter timeline was being crushed by righteous indignation deep into the night, including by Pirates fans who curiously found it comparable to his blown call in Atlanta a couple years ago.

Really? Look for yourself.

Meals blew the call, no question. But to compare those calls is an insult to the legit indignation over the one against the Pirates, where no one needed any replay because the runner was stopped two feet short of the plate and still called safe.

And people want to compare that to this?

Seriously?

Let’s not lose our minds here just because it’s the Red Sox and the perpetually persecuted Boston fans.

>> First day of pads in Latrobe, but the biggest Steelers news of the day was reported off the field by our Mark Kaboly: LaMarr Woodley is officially in shape. So speaks Keith Butler, as bluntly honest as anyone in Pittsburgh sports.

Here’s what Alan Robinson, the WPXI guys and I had to say about Ben Roethlisberger and Todd Haley a couple nights ago on ‘The Final Word’

>> Found this interesting: Terrelle Pryor confesses to the Bay Area News Group, ‘I didn’t know how to throw a football before.’ Yikes. Heck of a starting point for an NFL quarterback.

>> Reminder: The TribLIVE Radio show will air Wednesdays at 2 p.m. from now on. My special guest this week will be the Steelers’ Willie Gay.

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.

413 Comments

  1. I was at the game. Awesome crowd and exciting time. Go Bucs

  2. First!

    Great win for Buccos – yelled when Pedro smacked first pitch HR in first!

    CLE won on Giambi walk off – wouldn’t it be something to have PIT-CLE in WS?

    • Would rather have the Pirates play the Rays.

      Tropicana field is a 15 minute walk from my house.
      No way i can walk around Cleveland, without being Tanner Sheppered.

      Long way to go until then, but if the Pirates don’t get at least 2 new players, i don’t see it happening.

      Need a full time RF/1st baseman, and a multi position bench guy, that is preferably a switch hitter.

      I still hope, somehow they land Aoki, and somehow dump Tabata , to some unsuspecting team.

      Still cannot figure out how the Ray’s got Crain for such a minimal return.
      And please NH, no deals with chicago White sox.
      If the latest rumor is true, that they insisted on 1 of Taillon/Polanco for Rios, they should be removed from NH’s rol o dex.
      There still will be a reliever or 2 that slips through waivers after August 1st, but a decent hitting, LEFT HANDED bat may not.

  3. “Coverage of the Cardinals can be found in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch by my good friend Derrick Goold.”

    Traitor.

  4. Can’t wait till tomorrow. I hate that the first game is on TV as I will be at work for all of that. Hope to sneak in a few peeks between working a little and lacking off. Glad to see 4 letters is going to show Wednesdays game!

  5. “First place could change hands twice with the doubleheader today. Not often you see that, I’ll bet.”

    Not since the Stargell grand slam.

    Or was it John Milner?

    In 78.

    Or was it 79?

  6. Love this headline from the St Louis paper:

    ‘Tipsheet: Pujols breaks down, dooms Angels’

    They’re doomed

    • Are doomed Angles fallen angels? In that case, they have ‘friends’ in low places. And not of the Garth Brooks kind.

    • The Angels were doomed the minute they signed those ridiculous looong-term contracts with Pujols and Hamilton… they still owe Pujols something like $180M after this season… up through when he is 41 years old… if Pujols even makes it to age 35 as a starter that will be an upset.

  7. ‘I watched with the TV sound off’

    You’re not a fan of Neverett, either.

    DK: I almost always watch sporting events with the sound off. That’s how I’ve gotten used to watching things in person, obviously, so it’s actually more natural.

  8. Glad that my first ever Bucs game was a blowout with such a great atmosphere, in an amazing ballpark. Very nice evening; even my wife, who doesn’t care about baseball, had a wonderful time. Tomorrow, off to PNC Park again, for both games.

  9. No sure if the TV was able to pick this up – but in the 9th inning just before the Cardinals at bats started – a chant of “This is our house” broke out from many sections of the park. It was truly amazing. The atmosphere at the park was amazing tonight. The WOO’s on the other hand are stupid as ever. Brought my parents to their second game at PNC Park as they are visiting from CT for the week. This is their second game and the first time they got the see a win. Hoping to get back to the PNC on Thursday night for the last game of the 5 game series against the Red Birds.

    • Record crowd for a Monday non-holiday game at PNC tonight, it looked electric and it sure helped Pedro put an early charge into the place.

    • Totally agree with you. Excellent atmosphere at the park.

      And the WOO’s were stupid. (my wife hates them and said that those and the wave should only be done when the team is losing)

      I sit in a section where there are usually a lot of fans from the opponent. Especially Cardinals’ fans.
      Not tonight. The section was packed with Bucco fans.

      • I disagree the Woos should never be done and the wave should only be done when the game is out of hand…winning or losing.

    • There were a bunch of Cardinal fans in our section today. All trying to wave their flags at any good moment the birds had tonight. They put the flags down pretty quickly after Pedro went yard. Then in the 8th when 5 more came across they began to disappear.

  10. This has dawned on out of towners that are really hoping to see some Pirates baseball. Game 1 of tomorrow’s double header is on MLB Network tomorrow. Wednesday’s game is on the four letter network. And Thursday’s finale is also on MLB Network. Just a head’s up if you arent aware of it.

  11. I see that our buddy Jerry Meals was at it again tonight… I cracked up when I saw the highlight and then heard who the ump was.

    • Wow…what the heck is it with this ump and plays at the plate? The Sox were beside themselves and rightfully so. Incredible.

    • Oh, way to update your blog entry after I made my comment, DK. :) I’m not attempting to compare the two in their awfulness; I just found it incredibly amusing.

      • To be clear, Dejan, with my last comment, I didn’t mean to suggest you updated your blog post because of my comment, just that it now makes me look weird in the way I brought the topic up in my original comment.

  12. Was at the game this evening with some buddies. What a night…wonderful…fun…good game…fans were really into it. One of guys in our group, though, reminded everyone that this is ONLY late July and also we are talking about St. Louis this week, but not to forget about the Reds, as they are only 4.5 back. Ok, always one “party pooper” in the group, if you will, but good points made. Still, a good time was had by all tonight! Go Bucs.

  13. So it looks like Gomez is a go for game 2 on tuesday?

    I am not clear on the double header rule which allows a 26th man on the roster.

    Does it have to be a pitcher, or can it be a bat?

    If a bat can be added, i would like Lambo to be called up, and start at least the night cap.

    If not, i would more than thrilled to see Presley start at least 1 , if not both games in RF.

    He brings so much more to the table than THE DOG does.

    • It doesn’t seem to bother the chemistry, so far, that Snider is not an active member of the club.
      I hope they give Alex some meaningful playing time in the next few days.
      He’s a spark plug, and i think Hurdle and the FO has overlooked what he can bring to the team, even if its in a short audition.

    • Brandon Cumpton starting game # 2 tonight…?

    • Yep, let’s give Presley a shot. I think the latest Tabata experiment produced the expected result.

  14. Don’t look now Gang, but Clint Barmes is batting .297 in July. I’ve been liking this guy more and more each day. He is a “role-player,” and that is to be a solid shortstop for us. But dang it if he hasn’t been giving us a pretty good bat to boot, these days. Championship teams have their role player guys too, and they do things just like Barmes has been doing. We need Cutch and Pedro to continue carrying the team. We need Liriano and the rest of the pitching staff to keep up their lights out work from the rubber. But Barmsie is doing his job and then some and count me as his new No. 1 fan.

    • I’ve been a Barmes fan. Not as rabid as some, but I’ve always liked his defense. With the added offense lately, I’m happy for him. The guy puts his heart and soul into everything he does.

      • The Bucs don’t need Alexei Ramirez from the White Sox SS. Between Barmes & Mercer, the Bucs have SS pretty much covered for 2013. CH needs to play whoever has the hot hand @ SS.

        However, RF is a totally different subject.

    • Ya where is Bob this morning. Maybe that “panic move” by Hurdle was actually a well thought out statistical play after all.

    • I think Clint has felt some good old presure from Jordy (in a good way), and it made him step up his game a notch or two. He’s a free agent after this season, and I’m sure he’d love to get another couple of years with the Bucs. But, it not, then he needs to play well the rest of the season as a showcase to get a shot at starting for another club next year.

      Plus, I think Clint is a true professional. All I ever read is that he is a big help to Jordy. Even though for most of Clint’s 2 years he has not hit a lick, it is hard not to like the guy. He never takes his hitting problems to the field, and he seems like a hard worker. And, when he is hitting like he is right now, he’s a big contributor.

    • bring back Matt Cooke and Tyler Kennedy as Bucco “role players”.

      Hockey players can do anything, even firing a shuttlecock 99 mph.

      raise it or something

  15. And speaking of Liriano, A.J. is perhaps still the top dog of the pitching staff, maybe of the whole club house. But it sure looks to me like Liriano has stepped forward to claim the job of “ace” for this team. When you really need a win, aces do what Liriano did tonight.

  16. My boss, a St. Louis native, is on a Baltic Sea cruise. Completely cut off for the week.

    Chicken.

  17. DK,

    Maybe last night Jerry Meals decided it was time for a make up call? Perfectly symbolic of this year in umpiring. Saying that, I thought our home plate ump last night, who will call the last game of the series as well, was pretty good.

  18. Hoka Hey everyone!
    .
    Pirates win…Pirates win!!! ….LXII wins down, …and XX to go.
    .
    Yes, GM Neal and Mgr. Clint ….82 wins DOES make a difference.
    .
    Beat Em’ Bucs !
    .
    PS: Great to have the NL league Home Run leader in OUR lineup…..got get ‘em, El Toro!!

  19. JAL’s With a Little Bit of Luck Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDj-oANM2MI

    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: Why Not Andrew Lambo?

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/first-pitch-why-not-andrew-lambo.html

    Pirates Open Five-Game Set with All-Around Dominance

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/61829.html

    Prospect Watch: Lambo Hits His 27th Homer; Glasnow Continues His Dominance

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/prospect-watch-lambo-hits-his-27th-homer-glasnow-continues-his-dominance.html

    7 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates dominate Cardinals in all kinds of ways

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/7/29/4569850/pirates-dominate-cardinals-in-all-kinds-of-ways

    Postgame notes: Liriano throws another ‘gem’

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/7/30/4570194/postgame-notes-liriano-throws-another-gem

    8 WHYGAVS

    Game 103: Pirates 9 Cardinals 2

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/july-2013/game-104-pirates-9-cardinals-2.html

    9 The Green Weenie

    Bucs Off To A Running Start With 9-2 Win Over Cards

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/07/bucs-off-to-running-start-with-9-2-win.html

    10 Rumbunter

    Pirates Prospect Spotlight: Alen Hanson

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/07/29/pirates-prospect-spotlight-alen-hanson/

    11 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Pirates 9 Cardinals 2

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2013/07/pirates-9-cardinals-2/

    • With a Little Bit of Luck Stanley Holloway 1959 From the My Fair Lady soundtrack Sold over 5 million worldwide and was the highest selling LP from 1957 to 1968

  20. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 Los Angeles Times

    Old baseball scout tells of when play, not money, was the thing

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/baseball/mlb/dodgers/la-sp-george-genovese-dodgers-20130729-dto,0,4702260.htmlstory#axzz2aWXNlSp2

    13 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Horrible start dooms Cardinals

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/horrible-start-dooms-cardinals/article_f32e19e9-110f-591e-846b-ed30e0fc6b26.html

    Bernie Bytes: Quick hits on Cards loss at Pittsburgh

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/bernie-miklasz/bernie-bytes-quick-hits-on-cards-loss-at-pittsburgh/article_f713f2c6-9a90-5a5d-86ed-fef3937583b0.html

    14 USA Today

    Nightengale: Blockbuster deadline deals all but dead

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2013/07/29/mlb-non-waiver-trade-deadline-no-blockbuster-deals/2598203/

    15 Sharon Herald

    SPORTVIEW: Pirates, Indians could use help as trade deadline nears

    http://sharonherald.com/sports/x541284638/SPORTVIEW-Pirates-Indians-could-use-help-as-trade-deadline-nears

    16 CBS Sports

    Pirates v Cardinals Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20130730_STL@PIT/cardinalspirates-preview

    17 KDKA

    Colin Dunlap: Pirates Must Cut Down On Strikeouts

    http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/07/29/colin-dunlap-pirates-must-cut-down-on-strikeouts/

    18 PBC Site

    Well-supported Liriano lights-out vs. Cards

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_07_29_slnmlb_pitmlb_1&mode=recap_home&c_id=pit

    Notebook: Grilli thrilled to be in uni, not in recovery from surgery

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130729&content_id=55166400&notebook_id=55165098&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    The Week In Quotes

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=21367

    20 Fangraphs

    Buyers and Sellers Based on Playoff Odds

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/buyers-and-sellers-based-on-playoff-odds/

  21. Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers Marshall McFadden drawing James Harrison comparisons

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/7/29/4569166/steelers-marshall-mcfadden-drawing-james-harrison-comparisons

    Don’t sleep on Hebron Fangupo during Steelers Training Camp

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/7/29/4569648/Steelers-training-camp-hebron-fangupo-joe-madsen

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Can New Receivers Coach Get Them to Mann Up?

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/07/steelers-training-camp-questions-wide-receivers-richard-mann/

    Soccer(football)

    23 Daily Mail

    Are you ready for the £750m Clasico? Bale and Ronaldo v Neymar and Messi – the four best players on the planet set to collide in the biggest club game of all

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2381208/Barcelona-Real-Madrid-El-Clasico-Lionel-Messi-Neymar-v-Gareth-Bale-Cristiano-Ronaldo.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 29th July, 2013

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-29th-july-2013

  22. 20 to go, and a half game out of first.

    Nice…

  23. Thanks, JAL.

    Miklasz noted the Cards are 14 and 20 against teams with a winning record? Wow. And, who have they been playing all season? Maybe they’re not all that, after all.

  24. 1312 posts on this here blog yesterday.
    Incredible.

    Of course to hear one poster last night, it isnt impressive at all.
    Just the same 10 people posting repeatedly.
    Always an ass to ruin it.

    I said it last night, and will say it again……………….
    no matter how you support the team, Pirate fans are very passionate about said team.

    Even the 10 fans that post here. ;)

    • 10? That uhhh…dorktard must not be too bright.

      Oh well. There’s always ignore :)

      • Yeah, same dorktard, as you say, said I have “inside info”.

        Maybe you can help me out.

        • Best thing is it ignore. but I’ll be around. You know me :)

          • Thats because you are a blog legend. Along with a select group of others.

            Thats why I keep coming back………….. to rub elbows with greatness. :)

            • eh…only one Legend and that’s GI Jones :)

              I’m just stubborn :)

              • And I’ve just found that post. Teddy Bear tends to be very blunt, sometimes abrasive. it’s just his way. Shrug it off, Hipposter, not worth carrying it around. Life is too short :)

              • You, Brandie, Lucky, Drew, Milo, Billy Groat, Biz……… need I go on?

                It makes me happy to know I am surrounded by greatness.

                Also helps to have you all around, to lift my fat ass up!!! ;)

              • Trust me Jandy, I wont carry it around………. forgot my suitcase. ;)

              • Awww now Hipposter, you’re a good Hippo. Lots of support and fun stuff from you. And always a Hippo shoulder to lean on if needed. You can hold your own. Just ignore that stuff that rubs you the wrong way. Sometimes it gets to ya, I know…me and NMR had our little ruckus, but best to get over it and remain friends. NMR is a wealth of information. It’s his Engineer head that gets in the way at times. Not everyone can keep up with him and I don’t intend to try. :) I like all my blog buddies. And when things get chippy, sometimes my “mother” instinct kicks in. Look out ;)

              • who needs a suitcase anyway? we got each other :P

              • You are certifiable !!!

                I am off……….. will check back later.
                I do believe the Bucs start at 4 today?

                They need some of those runs from last night to support AJ. He needs them.

                Hippo out ! :)

              • enjoy the day, Hipposter.
                I have a certificate on the wall ;)

                later, friend

              • no offense, I think the mmm “dorktard” has a point. the blog, especially the game threads, seem to turn into a chat room at times. Not that its all bad. The “search” function is definitely my friend.

              • No offense taken. What do you suppose a game thread is? it’s a chat room :)

    • It is a lot more than 10. And, there are a lot of people out there who are just waiting for the right time to jump in and join the party. I was one of them not too long ago. In fact, we seem to get a few new posters every week.

      I bet we’ll have at least one new person today who jumps in and says they have been reading and enjoying for some time. C’mon in, the water is fine!

    • As of this post, there were 297 posts here today, from 49 different people. Take that how you will. Of course, Jandy was responsible for 74 of them. :)

  25. “Always an ass to ruin it.”

    Amen!

  26. Great win by the Pirates yesterday. Hopefully it continues today.

    Meals immediately after seeing the replay of the play last night said he botched the call and took blame. He said his view was blocked and to him it looked like the leg hit the catchers leg and came up and over the plate. On the replay he said it clearly came under the catchers leg and touched the plate before coming up.

    He couldn’t have been in a worse position to make that call but it really is almost impossible for any ump to know which angle will allow for them to make the call the best. Replay for plays like this would help, also allowing for help from the first or third base ump would help as well. In this case the third base ump would have clearly been able to see that Nova was safe.

    • This is the same Meals that NEVER admitted he was wrong on the blown Pirate call.

      Sleepy Bud needs to get more replay, and fire horrible umps.

      Nevermind, its Bud.

      • I remember him admitting it was a bad call so I don’t know how you can say he never admitted it.

        I don’t know the guys entire history as an ump. He may grade out very well and these are just two calls he missed. They are both glaring misses but nobody is perfect and if he has done his job really well otherwise he should not lose his job. I could be wrong but I believe last year the MLB umpire union did let somebody go based on poor performance so there has been some movement towards accountability for the umps.

        • I have to admit, I never saw where he said he erred, but then, I didn’t go looking for it, either. However, I did move on. These guys ARE human. But you know Nate, some of them (I can’t remember names) suck. Just plain suck. I’m sure there are others here who can back me up and give you the names I can’t remember.

          All that said, I sure wouldn’t want the job.

      • Actually he did admit that he got it wrong.

      • He admitted he was wrong the very next day. He said he thought Fort gave him the old Ole tag and missed the thigh. Replay clearly showed he did tag the thigh.

    • Well, it is his job to make sure he does not have an obstructed view. I like how he acts as though he had no part in not getting a good look.

  27. “After coming into the locker room, I reviewed the incident through our videos that we have in here and after seeing a few of them, on one particular replay, I was able to see that Lugo’s pant leg moved ever so slightly when the swipe tag was attempted by McKenry,” Meals said.

    “That’s telling me that I was incorrect in my decision and that he should have been ruled out and not safe.”

  28. Good Morning Pirate Fans! Just a couple comments….

    How bad does an umpire have to be for the media to quantify his blown calls? Not talking about DK. Caught the MLB guys having a similar discussion, “Well, he missed the call, but it wasn’t as bad as his missed call in Atlanta”. MLB needs to get involved. Too many blown calls, “make up” calls, and quick ejections. Time to properly use instant replay. Get out of the Dark Ages, Bud. Embrace technology.

    Garrett Jones has been stinging the ball for a few days now. Unfortunately, it’s usually right at somebody.

    Andrew McCutchen looks like a player that’s getting ready to put his team on his back. Take a look at the great numbers he has this year, then remind yourself that he really hasn’t heated up yet. If (when) he does heat up, his name gets added to the NL MVP discussion.

    Trade deadline is going to get crazy. It always does. 12 deals were made last year on the final day.

    • Cutch was also getting quite the workout in the outfield last night. Made some great catches that weren’t even his to make. God love him.

  29. I agree with DK that the Meals call was overblown. At the time, I was thinking that there was a chance the baserunner was safe right before Meals made the call. He admitted he made a mistake so anyone who still dwells on that call really needs to move on.

    Also, if that game was a precursor for things to come, it would have been due to the fact that we played into the 18th inning or whatever it was. It has nothing to do with that one particular call.

    • I can see why the Red Sox and their fans are upset. Not sure why people are comparing the calls – to see which was worse.

      The Red Sox are in the pennant race and the game was against their closest division rival. Every game is important. I would be p*ssed too if I cared anything about the Red Sox.

      • Good call, TC. and I agree. We as Pirates’ fans like to compare the two calls. Red Sox fans don’t give a hoot about the call Meals made against us (some claim it was the catalyst for our collapse).
        This call hurt their chase.

  30. It is easy to become euphoric after a game as last night’s work of art by the Pirates.

    The stars – though everyone played exceptionally – were Cutch for driving in the first run, Pedro for that beautiful swing on a lame duck serving immediately following to let St. Louis know, IT’S ON, and Liriano for letting MLB know he is “the real deal”, and my fourth star (though unprecedented) of the game is Presley. His little RBI put us up by 5 and that of course meant the Cards could hit a grand slam and they’d still be trailing.

    • No mention of Barmes and his 2-4 night with 2 rbi’s?

      Shocking….

      :)

      • Barmes gets my nod ;)

      • I know you’re “sharpshooting” but here is my point; first of all, did you not notice I said “everyone played exceptionally”?

        Secondly, Barmes played well on both sides of the ball, but his first double was of no value as no one scored and neither did he. His second double produced two RBI which made the score 8-1, far less significant than Cutch’s or Pedro’s – wouldn’t you agree?

        I’m not demeaning him at all, but if you insist, he is the fifth star of the game. Now go eat your Wheaties or peanut butter Cheerios like a good boy.

    • yeah, you can ignore the two doubles by the worst player in the history of baseball…

    • That’s what I like about you, Uncle Bob. When you like someone, you make no bones about it.

      Presley could nosedive into the notch and give up an inside-the-parker and you’d call it hustle.

      Stick with it, brother!

      :D

    • You pretty much meaned, de-meaned and every other mean you could mean at Barmes yesterday. I mean, you were relentless and ignored all of the stats about how well he’s played in July.

      That’s ok. We’ll keep Barmes’ near .300 BA in July tucked in the corner for you.

      • lol! You guys crack me up!

      • Isn’t baseball season a six-month marathon?

        I heard a stat very recently that a certain player is leading the league in average from June 12. Just what does that mean? Does he get an award for that?

        Baseball has a lot of curious stats.

        One thing is for sure, we can never take away from or deny Barmes month of July 2013.

        • There is this thing called getting hot. And playing the hot bat.

          When barmes is swinging like he is in the last month he is the better play. It doesn’t mean that Mercer isn’t the beter player. It just means that right ow on this day wbased on recent performance, Barmes actually deserves some PT.

          • CH needs to play the hot hand @ SS (whether it is Barmes or Mercer)……………PERIOD!!

          • If I accept your explanation here as “legit”, can you then explain why Mercer several weeks ago got three hits, then next day was benched. Same for JHay last week.

            Just trying to understand the consistency – or the lack thereof in – of being hot.

            Seems like selective choosing to me.

            • One big day does not equate to being hot. One big day can be just that.

              In the case of JayHay, if he comes in in his next couple opportunities and comes through as a pinch hitter or spot start then he gains more traction as “being hot.”

              Mercer is at the same position as Barmes. He has been hitting well. When both guys at a positiona regoing well and one is a veteran with a smooth glove and the other is a rookie with a penchant for booting the ball at times then the tie breaker is teh defense.

              Don’t get me wrong. Mercer is the better player. Clint will cool off and Jordy will get his chances. But right now you have to take advantage of whatever production Clint is going to give you while he is actually , you know, being productive.

          • That’s right. IMO, the point of relaying segments of stats is to show possible trends. Barmes is batting .298 in July and I think Bob would have a point if Barmes had fallen off the second half of July or even the last week. But Barmes hasn’t. His numbers over the past 7 days and the past 14 days are still good. And a month of doing pretty well shows what he’s capable of, IMO, as opposed to just citing a week for example.

            Overall he hasn’t had a very good year but I really don’t care about that right now.

  31. The 4 letter word had a write up about last nights game that included some comments from Joey Votto about Liriano and the entire Pirates pitching staff. It was sort of a game recap slash column about the pirates. Anyway Votto has some really intesting things to say about the Pirates as a whole. Really nice to hear other teams say the Pirates are for real and shouldn’t have any regression. I remember earlier in the year when the Tigers, Brewers and Oakland players and managers all had respect for the Pirates and made comments similar to Votto’s.

  32. Terrelle Pryor -Didn’t know how to throw a football..But was an expert at trading memorabilia for Tattoos.

  33. Anybody heard who’s pitching game 2 for us?

  34. bizrow says:

    July 29, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    Evening Bay

    Do you live near Austin?

    Reply


    Baywatch says:

    July 30, 2013 at 8:51 am

    Don’t know if you’ll still get this, Biz: I live about 3 hours drive from Austin. My son lives there.

    Reply

    • Thanks Jandy, logged off last night to concentrate on the ballgame.

      My son and his family live near Austin, thats why I asked.

      In fact they are leaving tonight, driving up almost 1500 miles to come home for the weekend, ballgame Fri, KWood Sat, who knows what Sunday.

      As far as only 10 bloggers here, well we must move around a lot, latest list is 380 locations represented in Dejans Lunatic Nation ;-)

      Glad I missed that comment

  35. Been a while since I posted, but need to comment on two things this morning:

    1 — sat in Sec 302 last night, and have never been prouder of the lunatics that support the PBC. Playoff vibe to the game. Just awesome.

    2 — being an umpire for close to 15 years, let me offer this little explanation, FWIW. Meals read the play wrong — had he read the play as a collision/block type play, he would have been closer to the middle of the plate or the 3B side of the plate, allowing him to look down on the play — ironically, similar to where he is in the picture above from the Pirates/Braves game. He anticipated a swipe tag, and therefore positioned himself on the 1B side of the plate. The catcher moved in front of him to accept the throw, and blocked Meals out, thus resulting in his accurate quote that he didn’t see the foot slide under and get the plate. When you look at the replay, Meals had one other minor flaw — he never set himself. He’s still moving into position when the play is about a second from ending.

  36. Sad to see both George “Boomer” Scott and Frank Castillo passed away yesterday.

    I liked Boomer as a kid. He is credited with coining the term, “tater” for a home run. Castillo had some decent seasons with the Cubs.

  37. meeting…blah….but donuts are provided…later loonies :)

  38. I don’t get DK complaining about the Meals call last night. So what if people blew up twitter over the obvious blown call.

    The bottom line on this is 2 points.

    1. Its not the FIRST time Meals has blown an obvious call
    2. If Meals had done his job properly and MOVED HIS FEET he would have been in position to make the proper call.

    So to me its not just about the magnitude of the blown call or how obvious it was; its the mere fact that this is not his first extremely poor call and it showed a sign of incompetence by not doing his job properly and getting into position to make the call.

    Stop complaining about people caring about baseball.

    There have been complaints about people not filling the stadium etc and now complaints about people being passionate about the sport in general.

    Can’t have it both ways. There is always the alternative of just deleting the twitter account.

  39. I’m going on record now:

    1. Not only do the Pirates win the Central Division. They win by 6 games as the Cardinals regress well below the mean in the second half and the Reds, well lets just say they have the worst manager in baseball.

    2. I called for NH’s head early last season. I would prefer another GM. Still do. But I am a Pirates fan first. I will be a Pirates fan, God willing, long after Neal is collecting his pension. As such, I am resolved to support him this trade deadline-that includes supporting him if he goes out and gets Rios and Ramirez, or does nothing at all. Lot to be said about dancing with the one that brought you. This is a major concession in my belief system regarding Huntington.

    • I’m not in support of getting only Rios if you have to give up Taillon or Polanco which is what the Sox evidently asked for. If your getting Rios and Ramirez thats a different story.

      • Rios, Pence, Schierholtz – none of them are worse anything close to Taillon or Pence. This is a good team. Flawed, but good. They can find another left-handed hitting RF upgrade if it comes to that. In the meantime, Presley had an RBI hit yesterday, and also appeared to beat out an infield single if not for a questionable call at 1st. I am hoping he can get and stay hot for a month or so.

        • Meant “worth anything close”. Sorry for the typo.

        • Most useless stat espoused by Nevertt last night:

          “That RBI single is Presly’s first RBI this season that was not a solo home run.”

        • Jim, do you think Presley is going to get the opportunity to get hot? I don’t.

          • Probably not, 21. My guess is Neal pulls the trigger on a RF tomorrow. I don’t think Presley is the answer, because the left-handed half of that platoon is the guy who gets 3/4 of the ABs.

            I just don’t want him to overpay. I was listening to MLB Radio on the way home from work yesterday, and a Pirates fan from Ohio called in to say he has waited so long for this that we need to just be all in – whatever it takes. We need 3-4 players according to him, and the future be d*mned. I really, really don’t want that. I fully understand the frustration of that guy and all fans who have that opinion. It is a legit opinion. But, to me, if the asking price for a guy like Schierholtz never drops below Taillon, Polanco or Glasnow, then I try to grab someone in August through the wire – a Sweeney, DeJesus or the like. It might not be the splash people want, but that’s just my take. The Cubs are going to be a consistent threat going forward, IMO, and so are the Reds and Cards. We have to always have an eye on the future.

      • I don’t care if the Sox include Ramirez, I still wouldn’t mortgage the future to do that deal. The Bucs can handle SS between Barmes & Mercer.

        RF is an issue as the latest Tabata experiment has pretty much fizzled. At this point, I’d give Presley a shot to seize the opportunity in the interim.

        • What if Tabata only played against LHP, Gunner? That means 1/4 of the ABs. Would you like a Tabby/Presley platoon with Presley getting 3/4 of the ABs?

          I think that is the big question. If we don’t go after Pence or Rios, we are looking at a platoon that likely includes Tabby and either Presley or someone we pick up via trade that hits LH.

    • John – love your attitude. I’m starting to think, and a couple others said it recently, that maybe with this trade market the best move would be no moves at all. Maybe a couple of the Indy kids come up sooner instead of later, but that could be all.

  40. Well I did it. For the last two years I toyed with buying the 2nd half DTV baseball package, only to change my mind as the 2 collapses started just as I was about to hit the buy button.

    I hit that buy buttton last week. My first game at Forbes Field was in 1959. Been a loyal fan since, but highly disgruntled for the last 20 years, ending my alliance earlier and earlier every year and “foaming at the mouth” over bad play and bad senior management. I think that the light at the end of the tunnel is real now…not an approaching train.

    Anybody else notice, that at least in the first inning, Cutch and Pedro looked more like Clemente and Stargell than anybody since…..Clemente and Stargell? Both young men have a long way to go to reach that order of magnitude of stardom, but at least you can see the potential, especially if Pedro can raise his BA to the .260 neighborhood.

    If they could just add a legit RF….

  41. Baltimore a team with a narrow lead for the 2nd WC spot in the AL is being awful aggressive. After getting Feldman and Rodriguez they are now targeting Norris (who I think would be a nice addition for the Pirates), Sale of the White Sox, Michael Young, Marlon Byrd and Oliver Perez.

    Guess they want to have a completely different 25 man roster come Aug 1. Either that or they are just trying to drive up the price on the rest of the teams.

    • That article in the Baltimore Sun basically lists a bunch of rumors that don’t have any chance of happening and then finally concluding that the only move that makes sense is Oliver Perez.

      • A couple years ago, Perez was the 26th man on the Mets’ roster. They said he was throwing around 88 mph. Couldn’t give him away and couldn’t use him

        Things do take full circle, don’t they?

        Hope the Pirates stay away from him.

    • First call I’ve seen on the blog for acquiring Ollie Perez. Oh, how the times have changed. :)

      The White Sox are my “American League team.” (What can I say ? I grew up in Iowa, Chicago is my de facto Capital City). Anyhoo, Sale is an untouchable. The Pale Hose hope to rebuild around him and the other youngsters on the staff. I always liked Jake Peavy but, as has been noted everywhere, the price for starters is awfully steep.

      • Sale is very good, but the Bucs would not go for him IMO. He would cost way too much, and I doubt they view him as a guy who will have long term success just because of the way he is built. He’s a stick.

        Incidentally, I have a great Sale/Peavy story. The Sox are my “go to” AL team as well. Anyway, I was able to secure through work some tickets last summer for batting practice prior to the A’s/Sox game. It is a special deal they do with sponsors, where only a handful of people get in to see BP. So, you get to catch HR balls – great for the kids. I brought my son and 2 of his buddies.

        I gathered that the players are pretty much supposed to not interface with the fans during this time. But, my son and his buddies caught HR balls and Sale and Peavy were in the OF shagging balls. So, the boys asked Sale if he would sign for them. He was very funny. He looked over his shoulder and whispered, “Throw me the balls.” Then, he said, “Now, throw me the sharpie.” He signed all 3, then he said, “Do you want Peavy?” The boys all said yes, and so Peavy signed as well. It was a very nice moment, and the boys loved it. Then, he carefully tossed the balls and sharpie back up to us. He really made the kids feel special.

        Myers, the ex-Phils reliever, was a real jerk. Didn’t even acknowledge the kids from like 20 ft away as his own son of the same age range ran around shagging balls. But, then his son later threw a ball to the boys.

        • Great story, Jim. Thanks for sharing.

          I always liked Peavy. Hope he lands on a contender (as long as it isn’t the Cardinals, that is).

  42. Buccos got five prospects in Jonathan Mayo’s top 100.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/prospects/watch/y2013/

    But how many will be left by the end of tomorrow?

    • 5, I would say.

      • I’m nervous we wont make a deal but we got to bring in at least one guy.

        For some reason Tyler Glasnow wasn’t on that list but Austin Meadows and Luis Heredia were.

    • I’m guessing all of them. I’m hearing “insiders” saying that sellers are asking way to much and when talking about the Pirates specifically they say they are hearing that NH is not willing and shouldn’t give up those type of prospects for what is perceived to be a slight upgrade.

      Very few difference makers are out there. It seems like Garza was the only one with maybe Cliff Lee being available. His contract is not something the Pirates could take on at 25 million a year. A team like the Red Sox is probably more likely. If Stanton was available or someone like him I could see NH giving up 2 of those top 5 but those guys are not available.

      If Rios or Pence are on this team with us giving up 1 of our top 5 and one of our 5-10 to get them then I will be disappointed. Neither of those players are sure things or much of an upgrade to warrent such a move.

      • Who are these “insiders” you speak of?

      • I don’t understand why some teams want so much in return for rentals. He’s gone in a few months so why not pick up something now while you can?

        • Because “something” may not be better than the 1st round draft pick they’d receive as compensation for the rental player leaving via free agency.

          Now every rental certainly will not be worth a qualifying offer of around $14m, but guys like Garza and Pence almost certainly would.

          • I know that they would want a lot more but even if they just obtained someone like Nick Kingham, I would think that would be far better than something like the 35th pick in the draft.

            • Just for clarification, they’d get the first pick of whatever team signed their free agent receiving the qualifying offer (outside of the top ten, which are protected).

              I don’t necesarily disagree with you in theory, though.

        • In most cases, it is because they screwed up badly in managing their own MLB and ML rosters and they want someone else to help dig them out of their hole now that they have seen the error of their ways.

  43. Here’s what I think about last night:

    * It was just one night of 162. But, the Bucs took care of business in a big way. Good to see. Looked like a packed house to me, so I thought 32,084 was light. Maybe some exchanged tickets that were already credited?

    * Let’s not forget Liriano is still relatively young, and has missed a lot of time with injuries. It could be that he started to figure out how to harness his great stuff late last year, and this is just the new Francisco. He averaged approx. 10k/9 in the latter part of last year, and only 1 team actively pursued him for this year. That, my friends, is called good scouting. He is our ace at this point.

    * Tabby acted like a true leadoff hitter in not chasing crap and drawing 2 walks. If he does that, I think we only need a platoon in RF rather than an everyday guy. However, if you watched the Cards triple that led to their only run closely, you will see that, as usual, Cutch busted his rear end going after the ball while Tabby lazily jogged over in the general area. Now, I have no doubt that he is told to defer to Cutch on balls in the gap. But, he needs to get there quicker to retrieve the ball when Cutch leaves his feet and doesn’t come up with it. I thought there was a chance that could have been a double if Tabby had hustled more there. I admit I only saw the replay once, though. I could be wrong.

    * Neil Walker is healthy, and he is hitting RHP. That is what he does.

    * Barmes has been hitting and fielding well. Let’s not forget, though, that Jordy is also hitting well. I want to see Jordy continue to get the occasional start at SS, and definitely at 2b vs a LHP. I do not expect Clint to continue to hit .297 for the rest of the year, but I am thankful he is getting it done right now. I have a feeling the Cardinals may play him a bit deeper tonight. I like that we have 3 middle infield guys who are all contributing.

    * I watched an interview with Pedro on MLB Network after the game, and I can honestly say since I don’t live in Pittsburgh these days, I have not heard an extended interview with him until last night. What a humble, mature and bright young guy! I thought he came off so well in that interview – a real credit to the organization and city. He said he loves our fans and called them the best he has seen in MLB. Good for you, El Toro. I don’t know where I got the idea he was moody. He seems like a very positive young man.

    * A sweep would be nice tonight. I can live with a split to maintain the advantage in the series, though. It will be difficult to beat this team Cards team twice in one night, especially with a rook going again. But, I put nothing past this Bucs team. They believe!

    * 62-42 feels appropriate right now!

    • Good stuff Jim S.
      My take on Pedro is, his face shows his emotions, even tho he tries to look “blank”. it doesn’t work. He cares. And it shows. It’s great to see him hitting better. Hope he keeps it up.

    • I thought Tabata saw clearly that it was Cutch’s ball to have a play on and Tabata got in the right place in case the ball hit off the wall to come to him. But with that said an at this point, I don’t want him starting at all.

      • Ok, 21. I’ll accept your take. I thought he could have gotten closer to the wall, but as I said, I only saw it once. RC is a “no fly” zone for Tabata for obvious reasons. Cutch must be given the runway.

    • Pedro always comes across humble to me and that interview was priceless! Looks like they caught him on his way home.

    • I saw that Pedro interview as well and do not live in the Pittsburgh area so this is one of the few time I got to hear an extended interview with him. I also came away impressed by his maturity and how humble he was. Very soft spoken. I didn’t expect that.

      Cutch has came across very well in interviews on MLB Networks and so did Locke a couple weeks ago and Martin earlier in the year after a walk off. Very easy group of guys to root for. They seem to be rooting for each other and always deferring to the team instead of talking about themselves.

      • How about when Sean Casey, or was it Plesac, asked Pedro if he knows who leads the NL in HR since the start of last year? He said, “I have no idea.” It is Pedro, of course.

    • You said everything I wanted to say plus lots more. So I just won’t make my own separate post. I’ll just add a couple points below:
      - Numbers… Pirates are 6-5 since the allstar break, just 0.5 game out, and only need 20 more wins to reach the extremely ordinary # of 82.

      - My favorite hit last night was Barmes in the 8th… extended his arms and stroked it to the notch. For someone who seemingly is only there for his def, he’s had some pretty hits.

  44. Pirates have a very simple hole to identify, a right-handed power hitter for RF that can slide right into the five spot in the lineup between Pedro Alvarez and Garrett Jones. If Huntington is unable to get the Giants to move Hunter Pence or White Sox to come way way down on their demands for Alex Rios, maybe they should adjust their target to a leadoff hitter and move Starling Marte into the five spot.

    Milwaukee’s Norichika Aoki is sporting a .365 on-base percentage and if the Brewers are willing to move him, these two could be a match as the Brewers need some pitching help.

    • Fido, do you not like Kendrys Morales?

      • I know I do but the majority opinion is that the Mariners would be unwilling to move him.

        • 7.5 back of the wild card with 6 teams ahead of them, 12.5 back for the division lead, and he’s a two month rental. I don’t know why they wouldn’t move him other than Jack Z. being a few fries shy of a Happy Meal.

          • I would certainly think you’re correct but I sentiment is that the GM is worrisome of their job and will keep these guys just to project a better record.

            • Well I wouldn’t agree that keeping him to potentially help the record would help to save his job.

              • He’d be far from the first GM to try that approach, though.

                People do dumb things when their job is on the line.

              • ‘People do dumb things when their job is on the line.’

                Like sign Russel Martin and F. Liriano.

                :-)

              • Only if you buy into the narrative that those moves were out of desperation, not because they, you know, made sense.

              • And, as I said yesterday, only an owner not in his right mind would allow a desperate GM to do that. Of course, multiple owners have been known to be in that condition.

          • compare and contrast the Marlins and the Mariners for a second… the Marlins were honest with themselves… tore it down and acquired a ton of top prospects…now they are letting them play and the team is fun to watch, has a lot of talent, and you can see them building for another run….. the Mariners are “contending” (almost have to laugh at that) with veterans that have no future… with little to no exciting prospects to build around. If Jack Z did indeed save his job this year by going .500, it will set the real rebuilding process back another 3-5 years…good luck with that Seattle.

            • Eh, I wouldn’t go that far.

              Smoak, Franklin, Miller, Seager and Zunino are all pre-arb players and their trio of upper level pitching prospects is better than anything Miami has in the pipeline.

              But I do agree that it was fun watching guys like Hechevaria, Yelich, and Marsinick cut their teeth in the big leagues. Miami has a long way to go in that rotation, though.

              • 2 of the guys that pitched this weekend looked pretty darn good to me. Fernandez, in particular, looked as good as any pitcher in MLB right now. I know we helped him, and I’m sure that was an especially good outing for him. But, he has wipeout stuff.

              • Fenandez is a stud, Alvarez is a dud. Saw plenty of him in Toronto last year.

              • Seattle’s ‘success’ has been because of veteran players, like Ibanez, who are not the foundation of anything…. the young core has not contributed much of anything… you didn’t mention Ackley, who was counted on to be a major contributor but who is failing…. I think Seattle should be playing their youngsters, trading whatever veterans would fetch them more building blocks and not obsessing over whatever record close to .500 that aging veterans can provide them, because that won’t be the start of anything to build on….

              • I didn’t mention Ackley because he was replaced by Nick Franklin hitting .277/.340/.492.

                I don’t disagree that Seattle should be trading veterans, but its a stretch to say Ibanez and Morales are the only ones contributing.

  45. Just your typical National guys like Rosenthal, Bowden, Jon Heyman, Olney…..the guys that spend all day calling GM’s and assistant’s to the GM. They are not always correct but almost all them are saying the asking price on some of the guys do not match their talent.

    That could change as we get closer to the deadline and teams like the White Sox want to get anything they can for a contract like Rios but it only takes one desperate team to overpay for that not happen. I don’t think guys like Rios are good enough for teams to overpay. If the team taking him is willing to take on the contract it shouldn’t cost more then just one 5-10 prospect and 1 or 2 other lower prospects.

    • Ahhh Thanks, Nate. Well, count me in as one who doesn’t want our GM to overpay for anyone.

    • oops this was suppose to be a reply above to Jandy asking which “insiders”.

    • Yesterday I heard Jim Bowden say, once again, that the Pirates should ‘go for it’.

      He said that NH should call the Blue Jays and offer Taillon for Jose Bautista.
      OK. Bold move. One I can accept.

      He then said that NH should offer Taillon and Polanco to Toronto for Edwin Encarnacion.
      The Pirates would have him for a few years and put him between Cutch and Pedro.

      That to me is just so ridiculous. It was near the end of his 4 hour shift, but I have no idea if Bowden was tired, joking around, or just plain idiotic.

      Casey Stern, Bowden’s cohost, thought it was not a smart move for the Pirates.

      • My fault. I posted the same above but I thought it was Stern that mentioned Encarnacion. I should’ve known better!

        • Sorry, I didn’t see that above.

          It was Bowden. And he sounded so sure of himself. Which made me think that this may be one of the reasons he is not a GM anymore.

          If there would have been a camera on Stern I am sure it would have shown him shaking his head.

      • Bowden is a two-timed failed GM… his only value at this point would be if he still talked to today’s GMs and could offer ‘real reporting’ as to the thinking of the clubs and strategies…. or if he would be serious and talk us through the actual process of what goes on behind the scenes at times like this.

        Playing ‘fantasy baseball’ offers about as much value as reading Bleacher Report on the ipad in a public restroom.

        • This past weekend while in Maryland I watched part of “Nats Talk”.

          I mentioned that one of the first callers to the show mentioned the team chemistry of the Nationals.

          The host made a wise crack that Bowden’s idea of helping team chemistry was to bring anyone that played for the Reds for 2 weeks.

      • Bowden has slipped into not just “fan mode” but “unrealistic fan mode.” I guess he nevers wants a MLB front office gig again. He’s just silly.

  46. I don’t get the obsession with a righthanded hitter. Gaby Sanchez has started every game vs. lefty starters this year & has a grand total of 66 AB’s against them. There are no lefthanded starters in the NL. Considering the ballpark they play in & the under performing of the ones they already have, they should be looking for a lefthanded bat. All things being equal, of course.

    • And I can find you one that’s hitting .323 against lefties.

      • Unfortunately Gaby has 127 ABs against right handers (including 25 starts) and he’s batting .181/.294 with an OPS of .593. And he’s hitting .158 as a pinch hitter although his OBP is .370.

        • Which has what exactly to do with what I said ?

          • Don’t sell yourself short, Milo.

            The fact that Gaby has had to be used 127 times against righties directly relates to your stance that a left handed hitter is needed.

            And I’m giving Hurdle the benefit of the doubt that he’s using Gaby against righties due to no better options being available.

          • I think at this point if we were only to use him against left handed pitching exclusively, it might be a waste of a roster spot altogether.

            • So you don’t believe in platoons?

              • I hate platoons but I believe in them sometimes. There’s nothing like getting repetitions everyday, IMO. I think it’s potentially a tough situation we’re in with Gaby and I’d love to replace him altogether if possible but I can live with him if we can’t do better.

              • I can understand that.

                I’d also personally prefer platoon guys that were also defensively versatile, but any team that plays Garrett Jones simply has to have a platoon mate for him. Nature of the beast.

        • Thus Milo’s comment: “…they should be looking for a lefthanded bat.”

      • I agree Milo… Schierholtz is my top choice at this point to play RF, Jones can play 1B vs. RHPs…..Tabby and Gaby can play vs LHPs….

        If there were a true everyday RF impact player out there that was worth the asking price, then I’d be pushing harder for that….I just don’t think Pence/Rios are worth the asking price…..

        I’d also really like a utility guy who can end the JayHey era …. someone like Polanco or Jamey Carroll…..

    • Aoki is a lefty hitter that’s hitting .323 against lefties. He doesn’t need platooned which saves you a roster spot. A spot for a pinch hitter only type guy perhaps.

  47. Rob Biertempfel ‏@BiertempfelTrib 1h

    I asked #pirates Hurdle what he wants for his birthday today. Same reply as Sinatra once gave: “Another birthday.”

    Classic.

    24/7 is doing a great job at his beat.

  48. Is there anyone, outside of some Hooters waitresses and strippers in assorted American League cities, that can stand Alex Rodriguez ?

    I think he is more hated than Bonds. At least Giants fans, and Mike Krukow, naively, or not so naively, supported him.

    Even the Bronx, and it’s most famous resident, despise Rodriguez.

    • Can’t wait until Bud lowers the boom, word has it MLB will suspend him under ‘integrity of the game’ clause and not drug rules, so that Selig has ultimate power that cannot be overturned by arbitrators or courts…. I think at this point ARod either has to ‘pull a Braun’ and plea and accept a ban through 2014 season or be suspended under integrity of the game clause possibly for longer than that with no hope of appeal.

      Yanks are salivating over opportunity to rid themselves of this oversized rat and save a ton of $$ through suspension and possibly insurance.

      • And once again, MLB will have come to the aid of the franchise least likely to really need it. When they overpay, it should in fact, be their problem. The contracts are crazy, and teams like the Pirates can’t compete with those signings.

    • dont insult Hooters waitresses.

  49. Offense woes aren’t unique to the Bucs… the Reds have lost 4 in a row and have scored a total of THREE runs in those games. They lost last night 2-1 after Chapman blew a 1-0 lead by giving up a walk-off homer to Chris Denorfia (possible RF candidate??)…..

    • Denorfia a former Reds draft pick is hitting .266 with a .723 OPS, interesting name but as with all things would depend on the price.

      Sure hit the heck out of that Chapman 100 MPH fastball last night, straight to center to win it, thank you Padres.

  50. Last night I slightly questioned why Clint didn’t just let Watson pitch the ninth.

    And now I realize that it was the right move. Watson should be able to pitch today.
    I wonder if Vic Black is available today. He seemed to have thrown a lot of pitches in that one inning.

    My wife questioned why Melancon -our new closer- wasn’t brought in.
    (just when I think we’re making real progress…….:-)

    • I was questioning whether Watson should have even pitched the 8th…but he did warm up and I don’t think he’s pitched in a few days before that…. but no way should he have gone 2 innings, blow out or not…. he is needed the next few days in a key setup role….

      DHs are bullpen testers… you also will go with starters longer than usual to try to save the pen…. it starts with AJ… he needs to go 7… if he can do that, this will be fine… Gomez is ready to go multiple innings in relief of Cumpton or whomever starts game 2….. if bullpen gets taxed too much, they can always option Black and recall Welker or Reid or Hughes…they are in a good place.

    • hey at least she’s showing interest!

    • Whats wrong with that? You gota take wins when you can get them, right?

  51. Latest information out has White Sox interested in Alex Dickerson1B/OF currently in Altoona and Bucs #14 prospect.

    Wanted to get a general feel of the group – would you move Dickerson for Rios?

  52. From Elias Sports Bureau about Frankie Liriano :

    Liriano is the fourth pitcher in MLB history to win at least three games in each of his first three months of a season, have a 2.35 ERA in the first month and then improve his ERA in each of the next two months. According to Elias, the only other pitchers ever to accomplish that feat are Gaylord Perry in 1974 for the Indians, Sandy Koufax in 1966 for the Dodgers, and Hippo Vaughn in 1917 for the Cubs.

    That is an impressive stat.

    I never knew I had a relative that played MLB.

  53. As Biz would say…………………..

    game thread up.

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