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Morning Java: The LOUDEST sound

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Thursday column offers my feelings on Neal Huntington’s inactivity at the trade deadline. Look forward to hearing yours, as always, in the comments.

Here’s our news coverage of same, by Rob Biertempfel.

Here’s what Clint Barmes shared with me about the deadline …

And yeah, as long as we’re at it, here’s this …


On the field, this amazing story continued as Neil Walker’s inspired performance helped the Pirates take a fourth in this five-game set with the Cardinals, and they did so with a mindboggling 25th comeback out of their 65 total victories. Karen Price has it.

All I have to add is this: The sound that this crowd with Mark Melancon’s last swinging strike made — it’s announced at 31,697 tickets sold, but a small bird told me late last night it actually 33,300 in the place — was as loud as anything I’ve heard for baseball at PNC Park.

I might not have been alone.

Melancon described himself as having “goosebumps” when it happened. And more important considering he’s the Pirates’ most tenured player now, Jeff Karstens tweeted afterward: “WOW! DEFINITELY THE MOST ENERGY AND LOUDEST I’VE EVER HEARD PNC PARK! The team loves it!!”

Don’t tell me that sort of thing isn’t a factor in professional sports. Even the stats will prove that wrong.

Here’s the rest of our baseball coverage.

Here’s Cardinals coverage from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Here are official game highlights from

And one last thing on baseball, from the show yesterday, here was my monologue on everyone being wrong about the Pirates …

>> The Steelers were back at it in Latrobe, and the coverage today is heavy on outside linebackers, as you’ll see. Alan Robinson and Mark Kaboly weigh in. (Sorry.)

Also, here’s yesterday’s TribLIVE Radio show podcast featuring 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, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.


  1. Eric Bowser says:

    For twenty seasons, the sport of baseball in Pittsburgh wasn’t even third on the list of things to do. In fact, the team was marketing itself as a great night out at PNC Park. It wasn’t about the baseball.

    On Wednesday night, it was about baseball.

    It was about Pirates starter Jeff Locke battling through four innings just to keep the St. Louis Cardinals to four runs on ten hits.

    The Pirates didn’t have one big inning, rather they bounced back after each time the Cardinals scored starting in the bottom half of the first inning as St. Louis jumped out to an early 2-0 lead only by singling four times against Locke.

    Starling Marte would work a seven pitch walk against normally efficient pitcher Adam Wainwright and moved to second base on Neil Walker’s groundout.

    After Andrew McCutchen popped out to first base, Pedro Alvarez picked him up just as the team has done for each other all season long and lined a single to center scoring Marte.

    Again after the Cardinals scored in the top half of the third inning for the 3-1 lead, Walker would homer to cut it to a 3-2 deficit.

    St. Louis would bounce back themselves scoring their fourth and final run of the night against Locke in the fourth inning.

    And just like the first and third innings, Pirates would get a Garrett Jones single to right, an Alex Presley groundout to move Jones to second and a hot hitting Clint Barmes double to right to knock in Presley to bring the game back to a one run deficit.

    Vin Mazzaro would come out in the fifth inning and give the Pirates a scoreless frame for their never say quit lineup to tie the game as Starling Marte reached on a bunt single. He would steal second base, move to third on a Walker groundout and score on a hard hit sacrifice fly by McCutchen.

    With the game tied, Pirates would get scoreless innings from Mazzaro in the sixth and Tony Watson in the next two innings to setup the bottom of the 8th inning just as Clint Hurdle has asked of his team since taking over in 2011.

    Walker would leadoff the inning for a single to right and after McCutchen flied out to right, the play of the game and epitome of their season would happen next as Pedro Alvarez just missed sending a Trevor Rosenthal fastball over the wall in left field.

    Matt Holliday would track the ball down deep to left field giving Walker all the time he needed to tag up and move to second base. A play not normally made in that situation but one that Hurdle has asked of his team, time and time again.

    The aggressive running would pay off as Russell Martin single to left and Walker scored easily from second base to score the winning run.

    Mark Melancon entered the 9th and easily shutdown the Cardinals for his fifth save and most importantly nailing down the team’s 65th win on the season and extending their division lead to 2.5 games.

  2. Matt Gajtka says:

    I think I know your favorite Alice in Chains song, Eric. :-)

  3. Eric Bowser says:

    I’m ashamed to even ask this, what song is that……

  4. Dom says:

    I am still disgusted that a deal wasn’t done.

    Huntington said he was willing to do something stupid but not insane. That’s all well and good but he should have foreseen that this market like it is and at least made an offer for Alfonso Soriano. We could have easily outbid the Yankees in terms of prospects and our friend Neal could have escaped the white jacket and padded room. Soriano wasn’t ideal but sure was a better option than nothing.

    To make matters worse, the bench wasn’t even upgraded. I really don’t understand how we could have this blatant glaring need and not do anything to improve it. I can comprehend that Miami wouldn’t listen to offers for Stanton or the White Sox asking too much for Alexis Rios but how come we couldn’t come to terms with any team to make an improve upon Josh Harrison? Are you comfortable with JHay or Tony Sanchez getting a key pinch hit at bat in a key point in the season?

    I am not one happy camper.

    DK: Soriano refused to drop his no-trade clause to come to the Pirates last summer. Still want him on your team?

  5. Nate83 says:

    Well done Eric. Nice summary of the game and all the players that contributed. They certainly are a sum of all their parts. I’m not sure any one part is tremendous but all together it’s been amazing.

  6. Well, it’s been always second on my list, behind hockey. :) I loved the atmosphere and think I was pretty lucky to have witnessed it. But I would have enjoyed watching them as a 42-65 team anyway — just prefer it the way if really was. hehehehehe I hope to be back in Pittsburgh soon. Very nice city, which is something I thought even before getting here, but could confirm over the past three days. My second-favorite place in the world, after home, which probably means it’s my home away from home (even though I need a visa to get here! hahahahaha). Thanks, Pittsburgh. Thanks, Bucs. Thanks, guys.

  7. I consider myself a big AIC fan (who still buys CDs nowadays? I bought AIC’s latest on this trip), and I also don’t have a clue as to what song it is. :)

  8. Dom says:

    Oh, I forgot about that. I guess the Cubs were only willing to deal with the Yankees for that reason.

  9. Eric Bowser says:

    Can’t believe I’m about to do this but Huntington did the right thing by not trading Jameson Taillon or Gregory Polanco. They weren’t going to get Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton or Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez, so why deal franchise stars for as early as June 2014 for two years of Alex Rios or one season of Hunter Pence.

    And DK’s right, Soriano had his chance and said no. If there’s one thing Ray Shero made sure was part of his plan, it was acquiring players that wanted to be in Pittsburgh. I would hope Neal Huntington feels the same way.

    Tony Sanchez is going to better than Michael McKenry, so the bench will be better from that perspective. Alex Presley in a few games is already showing more at the plate than what we’ve seen from Travis Snider but yes, if the team can find a way to get Andrew Lambo up here, they have to do it.

    To have a power bat in RF or off the bench would be invaluable for Clint Hurdle.

  10. Eric Bowser says:

    Yeah, we’ve ‘known’ each other a long time because of hockey, what late 90’s when we had the sports sites. Baseball was my first love as a kid and hockey has passed it but when the team is on, I can’t tune away so I never really lost my passion for the sport or team.

    So happy you enjoyed your time here, hope your time here spreads the word about this great city.

    Safe travels my friend!

  11. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    As promised, here are the updated standings.

    CONGRATS to War Horse!!!
    The winner for the month of July!!

    Contact me via e-mail so I can get your bumper sticker mailed out to you.

    War Horse ~ 765
    Nate83 ~ 750
    OZ ~ 650
    blazer ~ 600
    Joey Mellons ~ 600
    cmat0829 ~ 600

    Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) ~ 2425
    JRay3 ~ 1975
    bman ~ 1905
    Nate83 ~ 1800
    blazer ~ 1700
    Dadtackular ~ 1400
    stickyweb ~ 1400
    JUCOFan ~ 1300
    theplanisworking ~ 1225
    Frankie ~ 1200
    Pucknutz ~ 900
    War Horse ~ 765
    KJX ~ 750
    Bill Born ~ 730
    fellocolonial ~ 700
    Jason81 ~ 650
    Chico ~ 600
    Ermine ~ 600
    Irish ~ 500
    OZ ~ 500
    RobertoForever ~ 490
    tdb1977 ~ 485
    Karen22 ~ 450
    BDHumbert ~ 375
    Keith ~ 350
    Vette60 (Randy in RVA) ~ 350
    JohninOshkosh ~ 335
    EricBowser ~ 325
    Joey Mellons ~ 300
    TCB ~ 275
    cmat0829 ~ 250
    radio wave ~ 250
    Boise Bucco ~ 200
    Evan ~ 200
    JoeyBats ~ 175
    cherokee23 ~ 150
    A1C McG ~ 100
    Arriba Wilver ~ 100
    cosmo ~ 100
    Hal Smith ~ 100
    Matt hoffman ~ 100
    PetroSteel ~ 100
    steelercrazy ~ 100
    stuart66 ~ 100
    mlrgenuine ~ 50
    TJ ~ 50
    tmp444 ~ 25
    pants-n-at ~ 0
    TK ~ 0
    Ruffian706 ~ -40
    buggee ~ -50
    Dom ~ -50
    Ben ~ -80
    absolute59 ~ -100
    Brian ~ -100
    Dcpinpgh ~ -100
    DemonDachshund ~ -100
    John in WM ~ -100
    Kevin S ~ -100
    Ghost ~ -150
    kr70 ~ -200
    Lad9 ~ -200
    Ryan76 ~ -200
    Brandie ~ -250
    Steve J. Smith ~ -500
    JaxBuc ~ -600
    JD ~ -775
    JMB ~ -800
    pattonbb ~ -800
    Jandy ~ -875
    Kevin ~ -1535
    Bizrow ~ -4100

    ***The Most Points for the end of JULY will win:***

    First Place at the end of the season will win:

    Second Place at the end of the season will win:

    Third Place at the end of the season will win:

    Fourth Place at the end of the season will win:

    Fifth Place at the end of the season will win:

  12. JohninOshkosh says:

    I was thinking today that if the Pirates sweep the Cardinals, does that series of victories represent the most significant and important mid season (roughly) wins in the history of all Pittsburgh professional sports organizations.

    Do the Steelers have any mid season wins that were this significant, or stand out in memory? How about the Pens?

    We all, of course, remember wins at the end of seasons and playoffs. But rarely do mid season victories hold places in our collective sports consciousnesses. Sometimes they do, but not often. If the sweep happens, many of us will remember it for all our days.

    DK: I sense this mounting need to compare to the Steelers and Penguins. Not sure why. Any ideas?

  13. JohninOshkosh says:

    Great posts this week ! Well wishes to you and yours.

  14. Nate83 says:


    Thanks for the honest and heartfelt column. I really enjoyed it.

    I know that things are constantly changing and you have to adjust on the fly all the time based on information you receive but in this particular instance on a crazy day like this when there are so many moving pieces did this column change dramatically? More specifically was the column goigt to be something completely different at 4:30 then it was at 5:30 because of Huntingtons words and demeanor.

    Also does his demeanor speak to the fact that as you mentioned some of the moves he made in the past such as Locke, Liriano, Martin, Gomez and draft picks are finally paying off and he has a little more confidence and may not question himself as much therefore being a little less defensive. Sort of a learning on the job and trusting his instincts.

    DK: Thanks, Nate. Thoughts no different at 3:30 or 4:30 or 5:30 or, really, the past month going back to the first trade column. A right fielder was and is a need, don’t touch the top two prospects, and no wholesale change that disrupts the team.

    I was, however, struck by GM’s demeanor afterward enough to include it. Really expected him to be a train wreck again. He was anything but.

  15. Eric Bowser says:

    In recent memory, I’d say the Steelers back in the first Super Bowl against Seattle started it at home beating the Chicago Bears (I was in attendance by the way) on a snowy afternoon.

    Same for Penguins, after having miserable no-show season under Therien, Shero fired him and Penguins would start to make a few moves to the roster with Guerin and Adams plus a healthy Gonchar to win the Cup against Detroit later on.

  16. Nate83 says:

    Well no other team suffered not only 20 years of losing but 2 consecutive collapses with the second one being epic. So I would have to say yes as far as mid season accomplishments go this has to be at the top or near the top of accomplishments in my opinion. There is no way the atmosphere reaches the frenzy if the Pirates have had 5 or 6 winning seasons over the past 20 years.

    I’ve been lucky enough to see 3 of the 4 games on TV being out of market during this series and my 10 year old son has watched a majority of the innings with me. He is hanging on every last pitch and jumping up and down and giving me high fives when the Pirates score or win the game. I don’t think my excitement would be so high if not for all the losing preceeding this and therefore his excitement wouldn’t be as high. Something really special going on and it is so much fun to watch.

  17. Nate83 says:

    So close. I almost backed my way into a win by betting on just about nothing over the last 5 or 6 games. The lines have been tough so I’ve been trying to choose wisely. Thanks so much for running this. It’s an added bonus to what is already a great year of baseball.

  18. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    You are quite welcome!
    I’m glad everyone enjoys it as much as they do.

  19. JMB says:

    In years past, it was easier to criticize after seeing what other teams acq’d, but this year nothing happened.

    Without a reference point to what Stanton, Pence, or Trumbo would have cost, I have to give NH the benefit of the doubt.

  20. MGR says:

    I think that’s an excellent well-balanced article. You often see GMs that are under a “win now” mandate give up a significant part of their future for short-term gains (see Wil Myers trade) and I thought the Pirates may do something ridiculous in that respect this month to try to grab headlines. Especially after last year’s fallout from doing little. It’s good to read NH’s approach didn’t give into this if he felt the price was absurd.

    The Barmes quote also struck me in that I was just thinking the same thing yesterday – there is nobody on the current roster from 1 to 25 who looks completely overmatched the way so many have in the past.

  21. diehard says:

    Did you ever actually watch Soriano try to play the outfield in PNC? It seemed like at least once a series he was guaranteed to misplay a flyball, which often led to runs. Not sure what it is/was about the PIttsburgh sky, but he was an awful outfielder when the Cubs would visit here. Yes, he could hit, but we don’t use a DH.

  22. JMB says:

    “I can’t help but wonder if Huntington’s push to do something huge was borne more out of ridiculous demands for lesser players than it was an actual desire to pull of a mammoth trade.”

    From WHYGAVS, it def makes sense.

  23. JRay3 says:

    The thing I take away from the column is that it appears not only is NH become more comfortable in his skin, but his communication with the media about baseball dealings seems to have evolved. A trust in himself, a trust in his performance and a trust with those he needs to work with in his role.

    Interesting insight DK, on a situation and day that brings out opinions and emotions on both sides of the spectrum. A lot of moving parts and variables not as black and white as some think it to be.

  24. Reading says:

    The final batter was rung up.

  25. Mizery says:

    Never would have imagined a 5 game sweep. Let’s get it done. Amazing.

  26. War Horse says:

    Thanks ever so much, Playoffs. Having started to play this game late in July, it’s been something to look forward to each day. I have watched every Pittsburgh game of the season from my vantage point in England. A Pirates’ bumper sticker on my car will definitely get attention. Please tell me your email address.

  27. zivkov34 says:

    Want you all to be aware of this – Today on ESPN’s Around The Horn, “The Boston Globe’s” Jackie MacMullan described Neil Huntington as something close to ‘one of the best young minds in baseball’ Winning changes EVERYTHING…. Hashtag

  28. Ghost says:

    Oh gosh yes, Eric. Don’t take this as an insult, but you are young. When the Steelers started out 1-4 in ’76, Bradshaw out indefinitely and only an untested rookie named Mike Kruczek to run the offense, not even the players own mothers would have given them a chance. You can pick any one of the remaining regular season games after that. They were ALL statement games. Though this team didn’t win the SB, I agree with the Chief that it was probably the greatest Steeler team ever.

  29. Ghost says:

    Sorry Eric. Meant “John.” (Now you two can fight over who is younger. ;) )

  30. Ghost says:

    Good column. Pretty much summarizes what most of us are realizing: Huntington staked out ground on the correct side of ‘caution.’ After all good work he’s done of late, a reckless move now would have been awful.

    Would possibly raise one question mark with regards to “Alex Presley (has) whiffed whiffed.” Presley may well be a whiffing in progress, but I wouldn’t put him in that category, at least not yet. (Though he didn’t do himself any favors tonight by whiffing on what sure looked to me like a hit-and-run with Martin running. Might explain why Tabby took RF immediately after…)

  31. Ghost says:

    At risk of being a party pooper, instead of another right-hand hitting first baseman, Neal’s homework for next year is to find another third baseman. I’ve seen enough of Alvarez’ glove work. He’s gotta go. To first. His fielding error last night could have cost us the game. And he didn’t get an error for another goof, but as Krukie pointed out after the game (on ESPN), where the heck was Pedro on that bunt that got past Locke? Looked like he was breaking towards third on the bunt when there was no runner on second. Should have been Pedro all the way on that play. Two straight years in leading the majors in errors at his position is enough. Move him to first and quietly start the search now for his replacement.

  32. Ghost says:

    By the Mini-Van! And what a cool cucumber after he got it! Love Grilled Cheese’s fist-pumps and catcher throttlings, but love Mini-Van’s blasé non-reactions too. Fires shiver and die in the face of his coolness.

  33. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Per DK’s column….
    It’s alot easier to accept “zero” being added to the Pirates, as both the Reds and Cards came up with the same figure.
    However….This was the time for Huntington to stand up and get something done….Even if it was just bench help.

    Though things were slow, I couldn’t help but to notice that the big three (Yankees – Soriano, Red Sox – Peavey and Dodgers – Nolasco/Brian Wilson) were all able to get at least one deal accomplished.
    Further proof to me that Huntington still remains out of the GM loop and/or he was not given the proper finances to finalize tough deals.

  34. JoeyBats says:

    Hoka Hey everyone!
    Pirates win…Pirates win!!! ….LXV wins down, …and XVII to go.
    Yes, GM Neal and Mgr. Clint ….82 wins DOES make a difference.
    Beat Em’ Bucs !
    PS: Like many others…disappointed in no trade to upgrade the team. At the least…this team has a very, VERY weak bench. Going into August….hope that the GM is able to find a way to upgrade it.

  35. Ed says:

    That may very well happen next season. I can’t see the Pirates tendering Jones, making 4.4M this season and surely, would get at least some sort of increase through arbitration.

  36. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t see Pedro moving off of third base and I think he can still improve there.

  37. MadTurk says:

    Figures you are in my country when I am so close to yours. Please post some pics of the little guy an of course you and the wife as well. Sorry to have missed you all, would have been fun to get together !

  38. kr70 says:

    Cardinals kryptonite = PIRATE PITCHING!

  39. kr70 says:

    one way that I like the Steelers, Penguin thing is Pirate crowd brings Hockey-football fan mentally to the games! It’s rowdy out there and It sounds like the players dig it.

  40. DJ says:

    Well it looks like Nutting was prescient. We really do have the BMTIB (tongue only partly in cheek).

  41. likeabugonarug says:

    I think what makes it so special is from what we have suffered over the past 20 years. And after the past 2 years of second half collapses we all feared this was a series that could begin the 3rd. Instead, this team has come out and made a statement against the SECOND best team in MLB. Hasn’t been intimidated, hasn’t played with fear. Has just had the quiet confidence that they have a chance to win every game. And then they’ve gone out and done just that. While they can’t win a division or anything with this series, they could have been left very down should it have gone the other way.

    Before this series began, especially after the results in Miami, I was hoping to take 3 of the 5 and would’ve thought that was a great series against a very good team. I’m greedy now. I want the sweep. Kick them while they are down and put some doubt in the Cards’ minds. And, to quote/paraphrase “Remember the Titans”: “LEAVE NO DOUBT. Make them always remember the day they played the…” BUCCOS!

    And once this series is over, the most important series becomes the next. It was easy to be ready to play the Cards. Next it will be important to see how they play once the Cards leave town. Will they have a letdown after such an important series? Still lots of games left in the season, but this one has to let them know that they can play with and defeat anyone.


  42. Thundercrack says:

    I haven’t read the column yet, but I would guess that the fact your team is in first place with the best record in baseball has to help your demeanor

  43. likeabugonarug says:

    Tabata coming in was a 2 for 1. Needed to get 2 innings out of Watson. I don’t think the at bat had anything to do with who was replaced for the switch.


  44. likeabugonarug says:


  45. likeabugonarug says:

    Right, 21. Plus, there’s no guarantee he can learn how to play first. From the picks to the stretches. Sometimes you just have to live with an error making machine somewhere, especially if he’s going to hit 30-40 HR’s a year.


  46. Dom says:

    Hopefully, the rules are similar to the price is right and by that I mean getting them closest to zero w/o going over.

  47. JAL says:

    JAL’s I Feel the Earth Move Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)

    4 Pittsburgh Pirates Stats

    5 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Pick Signing Tracker

    BLOGS and such

    6—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Did the Pirates Dodge a Bullet at the Deadline?

    Pirates Come Back Again, Beat Cardinals 5-4

    Prospect Watch: Taillon Strong In Return, Lambo Homers Again

    7 Bucs Dugout

    Bullpen pitches 5 scoreless innings as Pirates beat Cardinals again

    Pirates do nothing at trade deadline, following trend throughout MLB


    Game 107: Pirates 5 Cardinals 4

    9 The Green Weenie

    The Best Team In Baseball Wins Again 5-4

    10 Rumbunter

    Pirates Trade Deadline
    11 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Pirates 5, Cardinals 4

  48. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 Yahoo Sports

    Pirates slip by Cardinals 5-4 for 4th straight win–mlb.html

    13 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Cards can’t hold lead

    Miklasz: Well, at least Molina can rest now

    14 City of Champions

    Pirates mount rousing rally for fourth straight win over Cardinals

    15 New York Times

    A Rare Sight in Pittsburgh as the Pirates Enter August in First Place

    16 CBS Sports

    Deadline winners/losers: Orioles fly high, Rangers shoot blanks

    17 KDKA

    Huntington: Pirates “Were Willing To Do Something Stupid, But Nothing Insane”

    18 PBC Site

    Bucs rustle up fourth straight win on Martin’s hit

    McKenry out for season after left knee surgery


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Trade WARP: Evaluating MLB General Managers

    20 Fangraphs

    Orioles Acquire Bud Norris and his Platoon Problems

  49. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers emphasizing running game in live team drills

    No message to be sent in Bell working with Steelers starters

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Steelers LB LaMarr Woodley Hopes To Rush More And Drop Less In 2013


    23 Daily Mail

    Tottenham confirm Soldado deal as transfer record is smashed for second time this summer with £26m capture of Valencia star

    24 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 31st July, 2013

  50. JAL says:

    I Feel the Earth Move Carole King 1973. Her album Tapestry was the first to sell 10 million and it held the spot as highest selling album ever from 1973 to 1979 though in 1976 the Sound of Music retook the spot for a year then Tapestry retook it in 1977.

  51. Brandie says:

    I am glad your time here was great. Be safe! Good vibes to you cans your family.

  52. likeabugonarug says:

    Soriano didn’t want to come here, Cubs were looking to get rid of him. Do you really want Peavy? Who knows with Wilson whether he will be able to come back. I think those names are on the way down hill.

    If that’s a sampling of what was available for a reasonable price, I’m not upset at all that nothing happened. What was out there that he could’ve possibly obtained for a reasonable price and that we knew was going to provide the final piece of the puzzle?


  53. meglasdad says:

    Goodness. Never thought I would see the day when participants on this blog would be DEFENDING Neal Huntington. For NOT making a deal. Who’d a thunk it? I’m glad he didn’t just get a right fielder. If he couldn’t get a true upgrade, why bother? I’m perfectly content with what, or what didn’t, happen yesterday.

  54. Thundercrack says:

    I enjoyed your column this morning. Lots of good insight.
    But I do wonder if you felt this way last year regarding a deal for Chase Headley

    “Maybe that’s because on this date last year I was made privy to a complete list of the top players the Pirates had been trying to acquire as well as the corresponding asking price for each. And those prices were … well, beyond insane.”

  55. Brandie says:


    Great column today. I guess NH had to take a good hard look at himself and make the necessary changes as well as asking that of his staff. As we all can figure out making an acquisition to make an acquisition and shut everyone up pleases no one and doesn’t fix what is broken. Sometimes the loudest sound is, get ready for it, absolute silence. Cheers for TBRIB (The Best Record In Baseball) as well as the best story in baseball.

    Take that Yasiel Puig!

  56. Jandy says:

    Mornin Brandimal. Great win last night! These guys just keep getting the job done They never quit. I’m loving every minute of this!

  57. Brandie says:

    Yea Buddy! Hope all is well with you my dear one!

  58. Jandy says:

    Doing well, indeed. Taking tomorrow off, going to Inner Harbor with daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. Looking forward to a mini vacation. :)
    Hope you’re doing well, any concert plans?

  59. Arriba Wilver says:


  60. Brandie says:

    Leaving today to see one of Sean AY’s favorites…Dark Star Orchestra in Hughesville, PA for 4 day festival. Will miss well of you and our Buccos. :(

  61. pattonbb says:

    Without knowing what the actual asking prices were for Pence, Rios, Shierholtz, etc., it’s hard to defend or indict Huntington for not making a move to strengthen RF. If the rumors are true that Polanco and/or Taillon had to be included for any of those 3, then by all means he did the right thing.

    If the Trumbo or Stanton inquiries didn’t go anywhere because NH’s unwillingness to include either Polanco and/or Taillon’s names, well that’s a different story. I’d have both of them headed to Miami if that’s what it took to get Stanton. Again, this is all hypothetical because we weren’t privy to any of the conversations.

    Maybe i’d feel differently if the Cards or hated Reds were active at the deadline. Both of those teams have glaring needs too, and they couldn’t get any deals done. I mean, the Cards lost the best catcher in baseball and they still couldn’t find any help at the deadline. Teams just weren’t willing to deal this year. At the end of the day, I think NH did the right thing.

    But, as an admitted member of the dreaded “anti-Front Office” gang, I reserve the right the quit praising NH the minute our next 3 game losing streak happens, pick up my pitchfork and torch, and chase him through the streets screaming, “Hoka Hey!!!!”

  62. Bdubb says:

    I was fine with no deal being done yesterday. I saw another quote from NH where he said because of the money teams get these days that no one seems in dire need of cutting salary. Baseball created a second wild card team so that more teams could be involved (to play in a ridiculous one game playoff) and the result of that is a boring trade deadline.

    What I will be interested to see in years to come is what to do with all the pitching depth. Part of building the depth is the ability to use as pieces to gain from the outside. This year I could see parting with a top pitching prospect (not Taillon) for Trumbo. But I am sure teams wanted a top prospect for the used-up right fielder who in reality is worth a fringe prospect at best.

    Overall I am fine with stance NH took as long as it was a case of teams wanting too much

  63. Jandy says:

    hey, enjoy it! Hope the weather is good for you!

  64. Brandie says:

    Enjoy that quality family time. Like these baseball moments, you cannot get those back.

  65. Joe D says:

    Some people are never happy.

  66. John Lease says:

    He has been an awful outfielder everywhere, not just at PNC. Before that he was a terrible 2nd baseman. He’s a DH waiting to happen, Pirates don’t need him or his attitude. Good non-pickup.

  67. John Lease says:

    +17 more, let’s not get happy.

  68. Jandy says:


  69. John Lease says:

    17 more, just win baby.

  70. Thanks, John and Brandie!

    Roy, where are you right now? :) Willi didn’t come with us, he stayed with my parents in São Paulo. I have posted some pictures on Twitter (@agiesbrecht) and Facebook, if you want to take a look.

    Eric, whenever I see your name I remember of the lists of links in all those Penguins websites in the 1990s. Mine is still up, though without updates for some twelve years, hidden in my domain and only in Portuguese. Those were fun times, when Geocities was sort of a social network. I learned a lot with some of the sites there.

  71. Leaving Pittsburgh in a couple hours, going to NY for a night and then back home. Wonderful experience. Guys, please take care of the city and its teams. I’ll be back as soon as possible, to watch the Penguins, too!

  72. Stuart says:

    I am pleased for the opportunity to start the ball rolling for the next big movement:

    Seriously it’s time to see what he’s got.


  73. MadTurk says:

    Oh man you left Willi at home? He has been a big fane since his birth! Anyway I am currently in the Netherlands, been doing a European trip for the last couple of weeks and will be heading back home sometime next week. Still have a few stops I would like to make first. Safw travels to you my friend. I will check out the latest photo’s of Willi when I get home. Forgive the spelling errors for I can seem to fix them on this device.

  74. The Gunner says:


    NH did the right thing this year at the trade deadline. JayHey is no all star but he is a huge upgrade as compared to washed up Inge. Sanchez is an upgrade over the Fort. Presley is somewhat of an upgrade vs. Lunch Box Snider. And, Lambo will be here soon.

  75. JHadar says:

    Dance with the ones that brung ya. Best record in baseball. Still a young team. Could be better next year. Should be.

    Oh, and hello Alexandre . . . extremely busy of late, but nice to see you here.

    Sweep the Cards.

  76. SJB says:

    I think the sound might have been louder if the hundred or more people (aka: suits) who had seats behind home plate would have even bothered sticking around til the end of the game. A game like this tied in the 8th and people are gone?…lots of people. I guess they came for the face time on national TV and that was good enough.

    Pretty sure the kind of people who can afford those seats don’t have to get up at 3:00 in the morning to drive a garbage truck, so there really is no excuse, or maybe BMW’s and Audi’s turn into pumpkins after sunset? Those people are probably still not at work as I type this. Probably better they left though, as their presence and lack of emotion would have only muffled the sound from everyone else with their worthless body fat.

    Would have been nice of them to at least give their ticket stubs to people staying so they could use the vacated seats. I guess that would actually mean speaking with and making eye contact with common folk which is just gross to them.

  77. gregenstein says:

    Shout out to Michael McKenry. The dude played catcher for 3 innings AFTER he tore the meniscus in knee. Taking one for the team.

    That’s hockey player kind of toughness.

  78. theplanisworking says:

    Brandie, Jandy……………
    Enjoy your mini-vacas. Be safe, have fun.

    Oh, and you two get a room here, k? ;) ;)

  79. Arriba Wilver says:

    SJB—you OK?

  80. theplanisworking says:

    Honored you came.
    This here blog was better for it, too.

    Hurry back……… you and DK can have a celebratory dinner toasting everybody’s success.

  81. theplanisworking says:

    AW, if you really have to ask, I think you already know.

    Although, I did see an orange Audi once………….

  82. Wild Bill says:

    Good morning, all. As I’ve mentioned, I live in central Pa. now. Last evening I was with friends after a round of golf, and we went into a brewpub with a lot of sports on the big screens. As usual, no Pirates and five Phillies screens. I asked the waitress if they could put the Pirates on at least one, and they actually put the Pirates up on four of them. Not one person complained, and I noticed that more people were watching than had been the case before. This area has always been dead even with Steeler fans vs. Eagles fans, but to see the Bucs more popular than the Phils here is Alice in Wonderland stuff for me.

  83. Wild Bill says:

    Really well said!

  84. Vette60 says:

    Agree. Funny, but my folks were at that Bears game. The Bus had a great day in the snow and scored one of his best TDs when he ran over Urlacher.

    Pens too. After Bylsma was hired the Pens when on a long road trip and won all 5 games…one of which was a shoot out in DC with Sid netting the winner. Great memory for me – tix were a Christmas gift!

    Anyway, let’s go Bucs!

    Randy in RVA

  85. Naterosboro says:

    Someone give Biz a cookie.

  86. Jim S. says:


    I never did find out what made you come to Pittsburgh, of all places, for your visit. Glad you enjoyed yourself.

  87. Thundercrack says:

    Yesterday I went and looked up Greg Brown’s call of The Fort’s first major league home run. August 2011 against Marmol.
    The hit and the call are tremendous.

    If you look it up, take a look at who was in the Pirates’ dugout at the time.
    (and it includes a great reaction from Walker when McKenry goes out for his curtain call)

  88. Jim S. says:


    Our our outfield defense does not have butchers in it. Did you notice how bad Matt Holliday was on two consecutive plays on Tuesday? Multiple those gaffes by 10 to get Soriano. He is not what you think he is. We are better off with Presley and Tabata in RF, although I agree with you that an upgrade was needed to the platoon. DeJesus or Schierholtz would really have helped.

  89. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    That’s not what I’m saying.
    I’m saying those three teams managed to address a need.

  90. Coulie says:

    While I was hoping for a RF bat, maybe the Pirates have improved ever so slightly with Inge being bumped, Fort (although sad) getting injured… Maybe Tabata will get injured again (he’s due) and we see Lambo?


  91. Jim S. says:

    I love a whole lot of sports for a whole lot of different reasons. But, as a fan, for me nothing compares to the excitement of a playoff chase in baseball. That is because it is an every night thing. I can wait each night to tune in and see the game. Last night, I had to stay at work very late and ended up listening to the end of the game on XM while driving home. Walked in the door to a high 5 from my kids just after it ended. They were home watching, and I was sharing the experience even though I wasn’t there with them. This is a very cool summer. I can’t wait to get to Pittsburgh next week for a couple of games.

  92. Ghost says:

    That makes a lot more sense. We still ran Martin into CS’s – both that time and after his game-winning hit – because we couldn’t execute the hit-and-run. On the other hand, great base-running by Walker on the play before the second CS. And Cutch got us our second sac fly since 1992, so there are those improvements.

  93. Jim S. says:

    We were all frustrated that the Fort was not hitting this year like he had last year. But, then I think we all sensed that he was slowly getting it back together for a nice offensive finish to his season. I feel badly for him that he won’t get to be a part of this playoff run.

  94. Arriba Wilver says:


  95. Karen22 says:

    Safe travels and God Bless, Alexandre! So glad you had a memorable visit, to say the least!

  96. Arriba Wilver says:

    Never mind. I got it, a little slow on the uptake.

  97. SeanAY says:

    According to Rob Biertempfel, the Pirates made the Marlins an offer for Stanton so enticing that it gave their front office pause. However, the owner quashed it because he felt Stanton should be the centerpiece of a new core.

    Reports I saw regarding Trumbo were that the Angels weren’t very motivated to move him. As I pointed out last week, trading Trumbo would have been shocking in that he’s one of their corner spots that’s actually performing very well this year, and he’s doing it for cheaper than Pujols.

  98. Bas says:

    1979…two consecutive weekend series w/ Phillies, July/Aug, punctuated by two classic late pinch hit grand slams by Milner and Ott. That was the springboard for their (should I say “OUR”) World Series drive…

  99. Karen22 says:

    Soriano?? YUCK! He’s a jerk and didn’t want to be here last year, so I absolutely wouldn’t want him on OUR bandwagon this year. And besides, he kind of stinks at this point in his career.

  100. SeanAY says:


    Saw Yonder Mountain String Band with Danny Barnes last night at Bell’s. The show sold out just before the doors opened. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve seen Jeff Austin, so I was thrilled when I was pleasantly reminded, “Oh yeah, that guy’s really f’ing good on the mandolin.”

    Danny Barnes is a bit out there, but there’s no denying he’s one of the best bluegrass banjo players out there today.

  101. Jim S. says:

    Pirates bullpen has been lights out in this series. Jeff Locke finally had a bad outing, but Vin, Tony & Mark picked him up.

    Starling can be frustrating when he flails at low outside breaking balls that we all know he should stay away from, but I maintain as I have all year – that kid is special. His stolen base was crucial yesterday, and his defense has been stellar all year. All you have to do is think back to Matt Holliday’s play in LF this series compared to Starling’s, then think about Cutch vs. Jay, and that will give you a big indication of why this team is better than the “experts” think. The Pirates OF is where hits go to die! It doesn’t show up in the box score, but it is very, very real.

  102. Naterosboro says:

    He does make a lot of errors. But he also makes a lot of spectacular plays as well. And, at least while he’s got it, why waste that cannon of an arm at 1B?

    Pedro stays at third for the forseeable future.

  103. Karen22 says:

    Thanks, Playoffs! This has been fun. Can’t believe I’m still a hair above the middle of the pack. Consistently mediocre. LOL!

  104. Nate83 says:


    George Carlin called, he wants his material back. It’s good to get things off your chest. It made me laugh and that is always a good thing early in the morning.

  105. SeanAY says:

    Happy Birthday Jerry Garcia!

    That’s the “U.S. Blues” encore from 4/12/78 at Duke University. The way Jerry and Bobby do the “synchronized” jump and strum at the end puts a smile on my face every time.

    “Somebody has to do something, and it’s just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.” – Jerry Garcia

  106. Jim S. says:


    I seem to recall a huge come from behind victory at the Vet on a Sat. that year. Was that one of the games you are talking about?

  107. theplanisworking says:

    Its ok.

    Hope this finds you doing well this morning.

  108. Karen22 says:


  109. Jim S. says:


    I’m just guessing, but I wonder if a lot of those really expensive seats are “corporate” purchases. Maybe those companies sometimes give them to out-of-towners in Pittsburgh on business? Just a guess.

  110. 21sthebest says:


  111. Sisyphus says:

    Your still just blowing your “cheap Nutting” horn.

  112. Dom says:

    Harrison might have credible #s now but he might regress to where he was at last year and that was a AAA at best guy. I’d wish we picked up someone who had a little more pop in his swing.

    In regards to Sanchez, well time will tell how he’ll perform but his #’s in AAA weren’t spectacular and he is not performing well at the moment in majors. I really wish we’d over pay for someone like Morneau who the Twins showed some interest in moving. If Martin goes down with an injury, would anyone really be content with Sanchez being the everyday catcher? Not this guy. What happens if someone like Harrison gets hurt and we have really no legitimate options in the minors?

    Come playoff time I think everyone will be wishing we grabbed someone for our bench. If we are in a elimination game and in need of a pinch hitter, wouldn’t you want a proven veteran to step in?

  113. Ghost says:

    Shouldn’t be an issue — 1B is always the refuge for players who can no longer play elsewhere. In Pedro’s case, ever since being drafted he has been projected as a player to eventually be moved to 1st. This year he leads the entire Major Leagues in errors (all positions) and he tied Starling Castro for that ‘title’ last year, too. Put “30-40 HR’s at first.” It’s not like he’d be replacing a GG-er. Meanwhile, Petey IS a liability at 3rd.

  114. NMR says:

    It was a mistake for the organization to lose their minor league affiliation with State College.

    Good to see the Bucs catching on!

  115. Arriba Wilver says:

    Just saw ESPN show a clip from the game last night. They showed Walker’s groundout in the first that moved Marte over. They then said Walker ended up being the hero, but not on that play. I really don’t get into or care about how ESPN treats the Pirates, but that just seemed bizarre.

  116. Dom says:

    If you’re referring to me then, you’re right, I’m never happy. But, if we would have added someone, I would have been less miserable.

  117. Jim S. says:


    Maybe the trade environment will be better in winter?

  118. Karen22 says:

    ABSOLUTELY agree! Time for the next audition.

  119. Ghost says:

    You’ve still only got obnoxious things to say to people.

  120. 21sthebest says:


  121. Jim S. says:

    Funny stuff, patton.

  122. Karen22 says:

    I know! I feel so bad for him! He is truly a gutsy player and awesome person. Love you, Fort!

  123. Arriba Wilver says:


  124. Arriba Wilver says:

    Same to you, plan. Hope the Pond is calm.

  125. Jim S. says:

    Did they quickly move on to an “NBA off-season story?”

  126. Vette60 says:

    Wow. Chance for the 5 game sweep. My folks are heading to the game tonight and I will make sure they bring their brooms!

    Been enjoying the games while on vacation, following along on Gamecast and the blog.

    Regarding the deadline and lack of moves, I am ok with that in that the Cards and Reds didn’t do anything as well.

    Looking forward to tonight’s game – rainy @ the beach today, off to the aquarium!

    Take care all – let’s go BUCS!

    Randy in RVA.

  127. Nate83 says:

    The 4 letter network which I was forced to watch being out of town flashed up some ranking for leadoff hitters when Starling came up. I didn’t realize he ranked so high in some of those catagories. He was 1st in extra base hits, 2nd in hits, 2nd in runs and 2nd in Stolen Bases. Except for on base percentage those are pretty much the key catagories for a lead off man.

    Since early June I have always been on the side of moving him down in the order and having somebody with a higher on base lead off. Watching him over these last few games I think he should remain at lead off for at least this year. He puts so much pressure on the other teams defense while on base that the extra 20 or 30 on base percentage points you would get from another player isn’t worth it.

    I’ve heard some interesting thoughts of putting Cutch 2nd. I’m not sure I’m sold on that but it may be interesting especially if his power numbers are closer to 20 HR instead of 30. Could be something interesting to look at over the next 2 or 3 years if this team can add some other bats.

  128. twentytwo22 says:

    July. 13 home and 13 road. The Pirates went 14-12 and picked up 1/2 game on St. Louis (13-12) and Cincinnati (14-13).

    Play well and you can beat anybody. Play poorly and you can lose to anybody. Obviously, the schedule doesn’t matter as much as how well they play, but the Pirates have the schedule advantage this month.

    15 home, 13 road
    3 days off.
    9 games vs winning teams
    19 games vs losing teams

    17 home, 12 road
    2 days off
    20 games vs winning teams (14 home, 6 road)
    9 games vs losing teams

    15 home, 12 road
    4 days off
    12 vs winning teams
    15 vs losing teams

    If they play their best baseball of the season in August, they could cruise to a division championship with a .500 September.

  129. NMR says:

    Dang, thats close to home, isn’t it?

    Cannot beat that talent in an intimate venue.

    Yonder’s bassist has Pittsburgh roots, from what I remember. Wore a Steelers shirt last time they were in town.

  130. Ghost says:

    +++++++. for this and all the comments for the Fort.

  131. Arriba Wilver says:

    Don’t know. It was just on from the game last night. Then I turned it off. :-)

  132. Naterosboro says:

    The bubble kush

  133. Eric Bowser says:

    I think I win, I’m 35, lol

  134. NMR says:

    Yeah, I get frustrated with the routine errors, don’t get me wrong, but you cannot waste his arm.

    Just can’t.

  135. NMR says:

    He was only projected to move to first as he aged due to his size and agility.

  136. Ghost says:

    I mentioned just yesterday that Marte is destined to be moved to the middle of the order, probably the 5th spot. That would protect Alvarez better than Jones or whoever. Can’t remember who commented on my post, but they weren’t liking it. I think the idea will pick up steam and that the Pirates themselves already have that in mind for some day soon, rather than later.

  137. 21sthebest says:

    I got a kick out of Walker’s reaction last night in the dugout after he scored the go ahead run in the 8th.

  138. Arriba Wilver says:

    I know the game’s changed, but Clemente was the no 3 hitter. So was Van Slyke if I recall. You don’t need 30 HR power to be a No. 3. Cutch is exactly where he should be. I agree on Marte, though. He’s fine at lead off this year.

  139. Ghost says:

    But what’s the difference? If he can’t field 3rd adequately, might as well get on with the long-term plan.

  140. SeanAY says:

    Close to home? The show ended at 11:30, I had my garlic grilled cheese on the stove top going at 11:35!

    The first time I saw them at Summer Camp two years ago they were good, but I thought Cornmeal (who came on before) and Greensky Bluegrass (played late night) were better. Then I saw them at Bell’s two years ago and I enjoyed it much more.

    Last night, though, was just stellar. You can’t beat a night under the stars with a Two-Hearted Ale and bluegrass music in Larry Bell’s back yard.

  141. theplanisworking says:


    I am fuzzy as to what happened there.

    Didnt State College want out of the affiliation agreement?
    But I cant remember why.

  142. Reading says:

    Great call by Hurdle to remove Locke after the fourth. Although J-Hay didn’t knock in the run, the bullpen put up five zeroes afterwards.

  143. theplanisworking says:

    Yesterdays 6pm Sportscenter spent 15 minutes on A-Rod.

    Trade deadline? 3 minutes.
    Racial slurs by an Eagles player? 3 minutes.
    All the other sports stories? Minimal coverage.

    15 minutes on A-Rod, 10 more minutes on Boston getting Peavy.

    And that is why SC has ZERO credibility.

  144. Ghost says:

    It’s not they can’t find anybody else to make a strong throw across the diamond. We get dazzled by third baseman throws, but they ALL look good when they do that.

  145. Jim S. says:

    That is a tough one, Ghost. I think you are correct that Starling will probably migrate to the middle of the lineup if his power #’s continue to improve. He has a chance to end up with middle of the order pop (XBH). But, his speed screams top of the order.

    I am looking ahead, and there are no guarantees with Polanco’s development, but if he ends up the player he is projected to be (similar XBH potential to Marte, but closer to Cutch in terms of OBP and batting avg.), plus with high SB potential, he could bat leadoff, 2nd, 3rd, 5th. That would provide flexibility for other guys to be moved around in the order.

    Again, it is all a big if with a kid just in AA. Just dreaming here. That is what admitted prospect hoarders do!

  146. Arriba Wilver says:

    I agree Pedro should stay at 3rd for now, but I went back and looked recently at the articles when he was picked, and was struck by the near unanimity of opinion that he would be moved to first sooner rather than later. They really didn’t give him a chance of sticking at third, even in the short term. I credit him for changing that perception, to the extent he has.

  147. diehard says:

    I don’t see a move to first either – especially as Pedro’s fielding errors are almost all because of his glove, not his arm. I don’t think moving Pedro to first would suddenly give him soft hands, the ability to scoop the ball cleanly, or flexibility. Leave him where he is.

  148. 21sthebest says:

    I think he fields third adequately and maybe even better than that. Obviously the errors aren’t good but I think he gets some outs with his arm that his replacement or others in the league might not. So I think his arms makes up for the errors a bit.

    Preseason, Fangraphs had third base ranked 14th in the Majors. I’ll be curious to see their rankings this coming offseason.

  149. Jim S. says:

    I flipped on ESPN Radio on my way to the office today, Plan, and it was wall-to-wall ARod for Mike & Mike. That is about as close to talking baseball as they get. Doesn’t cut it for me. I guess I’m officially not in their target audience.

    On a related note, LeBron had Cheerios for breakfast today and Kobe had Cap’n Crunch. Breaking news.

  150. Ghost says:

    The Angels will be revisited. Whether for Trumbo or no , I don’t know. But I think we all smell a big sell-off coming out of So. Cal now that Pujols is out and Moreno /Dipoto have to reconcile the mess they’ve put themselves into.

  151. Milo Hamilton says:


  152. NMR says:

    It is your opinion that he cannot field 3rd adequately.

    Think about his peers like Sandoval, Cabrera, Zimmerman, Young, etc. Do you really think Pedro costs the team more outs due to his errors than he makes up with his arm and range?

    Errors aren’t the only judge of a fielders worth.

  153. theplanisworking says:

    I read somewhere that ESPN is very close to becoming a PPV channel. The rates they are charging cable companies is obscene, and they dont have any interest outside of the big markets they cover……. read NY, LA, CHGO, and Lebron and other superstars.

    They arent objective, are shills for only certain teams/players, and I only watch it for some breaking news………… after which they go right back to A-Rod.

    Really sad, and if they do go to PPV, I wont miss them.

  154. 21sthebest says:


  155. Ghost says:

    Even if Marte finishes with, say, 15 HR’s this year, he hits enough gappers and balls to the wall (no pun intended) that I think he’s be a bona fide bat to protect Pedro and keep teams honest. Two days ago Bowser posted a nightmare scenario where all we have is Martin protecting the heart of our order. Martin is actually not that bad, but Marte plugged in there might leverage his bat even more. Don’t know who goes to leadoff, though…

  156. Eric Bowser says:

    Here’s a point that I haven’t seen anyone write about, at least recall it being made.

    Pirates owner Bob Nutting deserves a ton of credit for having the faith in the plan, in giving Neal Huntington all the rope without hanging himself & not firing him after last year’s embarrassing moves giving up a compensation pick to get Gaby Sanchez or dealing Brad Lincoln for Travis Snider. Nutting made the very unpopular decision to retain Huntington and his lieutenants after the “Hoka Hey” became public.

    Most owners would have fired Huntington last year or two years ago and I was very much against the Dejan column where he said Huntington deserved the extension and still have my doubts about him but when we as fans just simply point to the scoreboard and say, we want results, not talk…. then we better do the same when things are going well.

    I am disappointed about the lack of a move at this year’s deadline and will reserve my final judgement on Huntington’s future when the season is over but right now, Nutting did what any GM could want, he had support.

    Now it is up to Clint Hurdle and those 25 men on the field to execute and win.

  157. Jim S. says:

    Really good stuff, Milo. Thanks!

  158. theplanisworking says:

    + 162.

  159. Ghost says:

    We don’t have a viable replacement for Marte at leadoff. Once we do, however, everything you say about other No. 3’s is true.

  160. Baywatch says:

    So great to follow your sojourn to Pittsburgh the past few days on Facebook, AG! Safe travels back. You and the rest of the fans at PNC have ROCKED US WILD this Cardinals series!

  161. NMR says:

    Ha, didn’t even have to snag a heady grilled cheese on lot!

    Jeff Austin is a mad man. Watched a 20-something hippie chick literally hit the floor halfway through second set a few years back trying to keep up with their energy. Pace yourself, girl.

    Love me some Bell’s, and love me some bluegrass.

  162. Baywatch says:

    Good one, DK! I’ve known people in my lifetime, too, who pleasantly disappointed me by proving not to be a train wreck!

  163. AJS says:


    Loved the article this morning. Great work. I said this yesterday about Lamb when it was suggested teh Pirates should forget trading and just plug him in. A move like that reminds me too much of Starling marte coming up last year. He has been a great asset to the team this year but didn’t relly provide much more last year than what they were already getting.

    Now that they did NOT get a RF, I could see giving Lambo a shot for a week or two to see how it goes. My point was never that Lambo wasn’t AN option, it was just that they certainly should not stop searching via trade and make Lambo the chosn one. In fact if they let the fact that they had Lambo as a possibility even remotely influence their search for a RF it was a mistake. That discussion should purely have been about prospects and the guy coming in. Lambo should have been a non factor.

    I am still reluctant to throw a guy who has had his problems and set backs in the minor leagues into the fire of a penant race, but he can’t be that much worse than the current options…though I do like Presley more than the others.

  164. Ghost says:

    “Errors aren’t the only judge of a fielders worth.” Never said they are the “only judge.” But they are big and they are especially big on this team that is now correctly trying to leverage above average defense as a way to win. Like I said above, he also misplayed the bunt and was no where in the area code of where he belonged. It could even get to the point that a pitcher begins to lose confidence serving up a ground ball to the left side with runners on. Mark Mulder was just talking about that on last night’s broadcast.

    Please don’t be mesmerized by the strong arm. Trust me, others with strong arms are out there. It’s Huntington’s homework to find one or two for next year.

  165. Baywatch says:

    Up here, Everybody! To our next challenge: AUGUST & BEYOND!

  166. SeanAY says:

    That’s only because no one was cooking any. And that’s only because it was raining and I left the grill at home.

  167. Ghost says:

    I haven’t seen all 19 of his errors so far this year, but I can clearly say of the ones I’ve seen that they are because he is not positioning himself well. Last night’s error was a perfect example of how he misplayed the hop because he tried to play it off to the side. As for his throws, wasn’t he making a number of throwing errors this season too? Seems that’s what I heard. But a 19 and counting, he probably has all kinds of different errors committed. :(

  168. Nate83 says:

    Agree completely that is why I said I personally was not sold on the idea of him batting anywhere else. I just thought it was an interesting thought especially when/if they start adding other bats like polanco to the line up and wanted to see what others thought.

  169. likeabugonarug says:

    And if you had left out your last sentence then I would buy your reasoning. But it changes the whole complexion of your comment, IMO.


  170. AJS says:

    I would say the ridiculous run of victories by the Pens in February right after Dan Bylsma took over the team that propelled them into the playoffs and eventually to s Stanley Cup were pretty key.

    But I agree with DK. Why do we need to start comparing franchises?

  171. Kevin says:

    Very well said, Kevin. I actually thought last night would be the let-down. Especially after Locke had the start he did. But no, the bucs kept after em as Mr. Bowser well illustrated. I still thought they’d lose, my expectations are what they are and was fully expecting a let-down game after all the excitement on Tuesday.

    As for the other question about mid-season streaks. The penguins winning streak just last season comes to mind. They won 16 in a row and came close to breaking their 93 team streak record. Obviously the end result kinda makes it feel hollow, I guess that’s why people are picking the mid-season hiring of Dan Bylsma as more memorable.

  172. War Horse says:

    If you study Pedro’s errors, you see that almost all of them happen on sharply hit ground balls that take unforseen hops–very fast, hard to anticipate hops. True, a few errors have been made on throws, but almost always in difficult, challenging circumstances. The Pirates’ ground crew would do well to make and keep the playing surface around third base as amenable as possible to consistent and more easily determined hops, and to work with Pedro toward that end.
    At the same time, it has to be said that Pedro has turned as many near hits into outs as you could wish for–far more than his errors.
    In his first year with the team, Pedro made an over the head catch in foul territory while running 180 degrees away from the field at the same moment his steps were taking him over the relievers’ pitching mound at full speed. Not once did he look to see what was in front of him, his eyes always on the b all in flight. Now, that’s defensive class of the highest order.

  173. NMR says:

    My recollection is that the contract was up for renewal and the Spikes were upset with the quality of play. I don’t believe they ever fielded a winning team in five years or whatever it was.

    They did enter negotiations to stay, but nobody from the Pirates ever returned the call. Bunch of asses.

  174. Brandie says:

    DSO is playing Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe 11/27 and the State Theatre in State College on 12/4. Come on down so’s I can meet yinz! :-)

  175. Naje says:

    I was at that Tuesday night game, TC… what a crowd and what a response… think there were 34K in the house that night…great time!

  176. Brandie says:

    Actually watched the fireworks with Nershi at Grateful Fest 2 years ago.

  177. NMR says:

    Oh come on now.

    You should know the the coaches do the positioning on this team, not the players themselves.

    And you’re severely reaching for a narrative if you think the pitchers are going to get scared off of groundball outs.

  178. The Gunner says:


    I think the Bucs will be OK the way things are and as long as their pitching holds up. Lambo will be here soon, too.

  179. AJS says:

    Wow. Justwow. He had a bad game but typically Pedro’s defense at third is pretty solid. And that cannon of an arm usualy helps cover up some deficiencies.

  180. Brandie says:

    Thanks Planet Hippo!

  181. Ghost says:

    Now don’t start alibiing the grounds-keeping. As for the highlight reel play you saw, again, all third baseman have those. It’s the “hot corner. ” Those kind of plays occur there with regularity. Jose Bautista used wow us with some plays from there too, when he played third.

  182. Drew71 says:


  183. AJS says:

    I was unaware he had so many errors this year. I will recant my last post and hang my head in shame.

  184. Kevin says:

    mini-van? how’d you get that? I was kinda digging Mark the Shark.

  185. SeanAY says:

    Sorry, can’t do it. That’s right in the middle of basketball season.

    My free time from August 30 – March 20 (or thereabouts) is essentially nil. I’ll probably make it back for two days ’round Christmas.

  186. NMR says:

    Remember the second half of last year when Cutch was getting pitched around even though Jones was top 5 in OPS?

    No pitchers are shying away from Starling, guys. They’re attacking him.

    And not to be a stickler, but his power numbers are actually down from last year.

  187. AJS says:

    You mention three teams who can afford to give up any asking price out ther ebecause they will just turn around and buy free agents to fill the holes. The rest of the league doesn’t work like that. they can’t ompete with the big 3 on cost of FA so they have to be a little more tight with their prospects.

  188. Ghost says:

    Not me “reaching” for “narrative (your favorite overused word); that was Mark Mulder, who I think knows a little something about what a pitcher is thinking about his defense behind him.

    And you can’t blame any coach for Pedro misplaying the bunt and breaking for third — THERE WAS NO RUNNER ON SECOND AT THE TIME! It was a pure screw-up by Pedro. Hey, that happens to the best of them. But you don’t excuse it. And Pedro has too many accruing screw-ups. It WILL cost us if it goes unattended.

  189. Ghost says:

    I don’t know about having anything to be ashamed about, but he led the Majors last year with 27 (tied with Castro) and is in 1st place by himself, right now with those 19.

  190. War Horse says:

    Expect to see him in uniform and in the dugout as soon as that leg can stand the strain.

  191. Jandy says:

    Thanks Hippo, my fine friend. :)

  192. Jandy says:

    Bon Voyage, Alexandre!

  193. Brandie says:

    Oh well! Glad you were able to catch Yonder Mountain. Sounds like it was a good time. Agree about Cornmeal and Greensky Bluegrass. Check out Cabinet and Rumpke Mountain Boys as well as Still hand Stringband for good bluegrass.

  194. JAL says:

    Cards have not been swept in series of 5 games or more since 1916. Not as big a stat as one might think because 5 game series are rare. Still, long time ago.

  195. Jandy says:


  196. Arriba Wilver says:

    War Horse. If you’re going to claim a “study” of Pedro’s errors would give a certain result you should probably study them first or point to an article that does. My off the cuff recollection, which I’d bet is what yours is, doesn’t jibe with yours. I’d be happy to accept a real study that might show differently. And I think Pedro should stay at third for now.

  197. Jandy says:

    He’ll be there willing the guys on to wins! The Fort is class!

  198. theplanisworking says:

    Planet Hippo.
    That there is some fine comedy from youz. ;)

  199. Drew71 says:

    Dejan just called. From the airport.

    Evidently the Cards just boarded a plane and are trying to sneak out of town now.

  200. Jandy says:


  201. theplanisworking says:

    If they are giving away free lambo at my local restaurant, I’m there! ;)

  202. Reading says:

    Root Sports said last night that the Pirates last swept a five-game series against the Cardinals in 1911.

  203. Thundercrack says:

    I agree with you.

    But I wouldn’t exactly call “giving up a compensation pick to get Gaby Sanchez or dealing Brad Lincoln for Travis Snider” as embarrassing.

  204. SeanAY says:

    I’ve watched the Rumpke Mountain Boys jam out behind Disc-O Pizza at the Ledges on a Thursday night. Cool bunch of guys, them.

  205. Jandy says:

    Wild Bill, then you’re close to Brandie and maybe me too.
    Where did you golf?

  206. 21sthebest says:

    He played that off to the side because he was trying to position himself for the throw which is how they’re taught. In that case he was going to make a throw to second.

    He’s also ranked 5th in the Majors in range factor. I feel like he can improve and cut down on the errors in future years, hopefully this year still. All reports are that the guy works as hard anybody. I remember one of the local writers saying that he’s consistently one of if not the first guy at the ballpark.

  207. Ghost says:

    “No pitchers are shying away from Starling, guys. They’re attacking him.” They would have to anyway, if he’s protecting Cutch.

    Marte is our best bet at leadoff for now. But if we ever get a prototypical leadoff batter, Marte has to go somewhere and I think the 5 spot might be whre he grows into (if not sooner, should Bowser’s nightmare scenario threaten.)

  208. theplanisworking says:

    Well, sorry to say, that is behavior I expect from the BMTIB.

    Now they play in New York somewhere? In a dilapidated stadium?
    Very strange.

  209. Thundercrack says:

    On the way to work this morning I saw two Cardinals fans standing outside the Holiday Inn.

    I resisted yelling “Suck It!” out the window.

    But I did mutter “Give my regards to Tony LaRussa”

  210. Naterosboro says:

    Thoughts on a I-haven’t-done-this-in-awhile-and-there’s-a-lot-to-react-to Thursday…

    * I was probably like everyone else that was waiting anxiously for the Pirates to make a trade that was not to come by 4pm. Once the deadline passed, and the Orioles acquiring Bud Norris was the biggest move, I was Ok with the situation. Yes, the Pirates didn’t fill a need or 2. But neither did Cincinnati or St. Louis. So now (barring August waiver additions) it’s up to the 25 we have to get it done.

    * I think you’ll see the Pirates be active in the waiver trade market in August. While the Pirates could use an everyday RF, they could also probably get a guy like Nate Schierholtz in August. Obviously, with their record, it will be tough to make claims (and St. Louis or Cincinnati can claim people to block), but again, small additions are the ones made in August to “solidify” for September and October.

    * Great comeback win last night. Neither Jeff Locker or Wainwright was sharp. Jeff Locke, however, “limited” the Cards to only 4 runs on 10 hits over 4 IP. Normally, that line (10H over 4IP) would come with 6 or 7 ER. As DK said in his opening monologue, maybe Jeff Locke can just get hitters out with men on base. Then, credit to the Shark Tank (Mazzaro, Watson & Melancon) for 5 shutouts, and a clutch 2-out RBI knock from Russell Martin. Complete team win. Going for the sweep tonight!

    * I still don’t get the argument I see a lot (and I saw it a lot on Twitter yesterday) that you don’t make a trade b/c you will disrupt the chemistry of a team. TALENT. That’s what it’s all about (well, 99%; that other 1% is a smattering of things including luck). If you can acquire a player that is a clear upgrade in talent and makes the club better, you do it. Chemistry [not the scientific kind] be damned!

    * I’d like to see if the Pirates could acquire Michael Morse from Seattle in August. Seattle was a team that seemed like they would maybe buy yesterday, and then went sell hard mode late by pushing Morse. Yes he’s been injured a little bit recently, but he’s healthy right now, and could be exactly the player the Pirates need for an October push.

    * Clint Hurdle set the bar at 95 wins in spring training. I’m setting it at 97. 97 wins will win the Pirates the division. 32 more to go.

    * I loved the opening monologue by DK in that EVERYONE was wrong on the Pirates. I especially enjoyed the thoughts on Jeanmar Gomez. This guy was an after thought. A guy who couldn’t pitch in Cleveland. A simple mechanical change (keeping his head still through his delivery) has this guy getting outs on a regular basis, either as a starter or reliever.

    * At the beginning of his tenure as GM, it’d be Neal Huntington acquiring Quincy Latimore from the Indians for Jeanmar Gomez. He has come a long way since 2008, but he still has a long way to go. It is encouraging though, that since 2010, he seems to be building a better ball club each year.

    * Mark Melancon is a bull dog. Simple as that.

    * Please no one tell Frankie Liriano that it’s 2013. Seriously, that change up is sick, nasty right now. Especially with his fastball sitting at 94-95 right now, and the amount of movement he gets on it (especially away from right handed hitters). It is a joy to watch him pitch right now (as it is with most on the staff).

    * The Pirates almost took my advice and went for the splash deal yesterday. I admit I got a little excited when I saw Trumbo’s name pop up on the radar. I saw it as, if you were going to have to pay a high price for an average player, why not just pay the high price for the good player. Unfortunately, they just couldn’t get it done.

    * There were lots of people that were upset at last year’s deadline when the Pirates made small deals. This year, they stand pat, as they don’t like the prices, and people (not all) are upset they didn’t make a deal (despite holding a roster that has the best record in the MLB at the time). I guess you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

    I think that’s a good place to end.



  211. Jandy says:

    I hope the new FOX 1 SPort channel is good. Maybe ESPN will go extinct lol

  212. NMR says:

    I’ll add that if one is to trust the reporting that Huntington made a strong enough offer for Stanton that it took Jeffrey Loria’s rejection, approval from Nutting most certainly was given first.

    That would’ve easily represented a $40m investment over the next three years.

  213. Jandy says:

    Jim I agree on Marte. But you know, he sat out a game, and seemed more focused the next game he played.
    I hope he gets some one on one help with those darn outside pitches lol

  214. theplanisworking says:

    Jandy, funny you mention them.

    When I was reading, the crux of the article was FoxSports1, and NBCSportsNet were discussed as alternatives to ESPN, if they go the PPV route.

    Truly sad what they have become.
    They are a shell of their former selves.

  215. NMR says:

    I don’t follow your logic, Ghost.

    The only way Marte “protects” Cutch is if pitchers give Andrew more to hit in fear of putting him on base in front of Marte.

    What gives you the impression that anybody fears Marte?

  216. Thundercrack says:

    My recollection was that they didn’t handle it well.

    But I think their (Pirates) plan all along was to own their own team.
    And I think Nutting wanted to bring another team to West Virginia

    I still wish the Spikes were a Pirate farm team. I went up there a few years ago and loved it.

  217. Ghostc says:

    His right arm is more lined up to make the throw if he gets in front of the ball than if he turns funny as he did. Regardless, he’s a big boy being paid lots of money to field the balls.
    As for the “hard work” and ability to “cut down” on them — sure. I’m all for that. But he better start cutting down on them, pronto then. He’s been a professional 3b-man for six seasons now. At Vanderbilt before that. Better get a move on.

  218. theplanisworking says:

    I wouldnt call the deal for Sanchez embarrassing either.

    I WOULD call the Snider deal embarrassing, however.

  219. 21sthebest says:


    Starkey wrote a column in July praising Nutting that got a lot of discussion here.

  220. Jandy says:

    Milo, I <3 you for that! :*

    I even saw Pedro with a smile…big smile…not often you see that!

  221. Jandy says:

    yes, Starkey did. I remember the bitterness of the comments about it, mine included.
    Gotta give all the management credit.

  222. Jandy says:

    How about a four game series?

  223. Jandy says:

    ++ to both of you!


  224. theplanisworking says:

    He has always done that, Ghost.

  225. Reading says:

    I’m not sure. They mentioned that, I believe, during the broadcast. Possibly 1992.

  226. Naterosboro says:

    Not to be a d*ck

    but, who cares if the State College Spikes were winning games? I mean, perhaps State College, but in terms of the Pirates?

    It’s only about individual development until you get to the MLB level.

  227. 21sthebest says:

    I can’t agree with that Ghost on his positioning to make that throw if you’re trying to do it as quickly as possible which is what I think that play necessitated. Straight would require turning and probably stepping, or throwing across your body which would be ridiculously tought, IMO. Making the turn and using proper footwork allows him to make a quick throw, stepping as he catches the ball and then snapping a throw to second.

  228. War Horse says:

    Brad Lincoln pitched in 13 games for Toronto this season, worked 21.2 innings, racked up a 4.15 ERA, and found himself shuffled off to Buffalo in early July. Snider has a continuing role to play for the Pirates, as does Gaby Sanchez.

  229. Kevin says:

    “I sure do like pumpkins, Cotton!”

  230. TJ says:

    I’m going to go in 2 different directions this morning…

    First I’m thrilled with the way that this team is playing. They will snap that 20 year drought with out a doubt in my opinion; pop the champagne. But thats where the party ends for me.

    I’ve heard the comments about how neither the Cards nor the Reds made any moves to get better. Is winning the division the objective or winning the world series? Do you just have to play the Cards and Reds or do you have to play other teams? They both have more talent than we do and the fact of the matter remains that we could walk into the playoffs and end up playing the Reds or Cards and have it all come crashing back down.

    The fact of the matter remains that this offense still has glaring needs. Obvious needs. I applaud NH for trying and working to get a quality offensive player to bring in to this team to improve the lineup. But what about the bench? Couldn’t have traded for someone better than Andino?

    To me it seems like NH had tunnel vision yesterday. Wanted to solve the biggest problem with a big splash but failed to even address some of the minor needs. Perhaps they were cost prohibitive as well but as excited as I am about how this team is playing right now; we’ve seen series against teams like the Cubs and Marlins where the bats do not show up.

    I believe this team will win and make the playoffs; but I don’t see a deep run when none of the needs were addressed yesterday. And before its said yes I know deals can be made in August but having the best record in baseball and no financial flexibility you are not going to see players slipping through waivers to the Pirates unless they have huge contracts like Rios and then end up stuck eating all of his contract.

  231. Ghost says:

    “What gives you the impression that anybody fears Marte?”
    Probably not many do, you’re right about that. I’m just saying that we don’t really have good hitting after 3 and 4, but that I think Marte will grow into a good 5. For now he stays at 1 because he’s our best option there. And Pedro goes to the other 1! (Next year. That, or 21 gives him special fielding lessons since Perry Hill is long gone. {Just went there, didn’t I? :o })

  232. 21sthebest says:

    Anyways, I thought his problem was that he took his head off the ball too quickly.

  233. NMR says:

    That’s not why the relationship broke down.

    Greenberg felt they had an agreement in place and neither Coonelly or Butting ever bothered to call him back.

    Unprofessional and arrogant.

    By the way, the Spikes are 2nd in the league this year as an affiliate of the St Louis Cardinals. I think they know a bit about player development.

  234. John Lease says:

    Toe massage taker is a role?

  235. Ghost says:

    Yeah, he needs to lighten up, kick his socks and shoes off, and just join in the Pond party with the rest of us.

  236. NMR says:


  237. theplanisworking says:

    Ghost, thats funny.

    Hope this finds you doing well today.

  238. Kevin says:

    yep. I well and fully have switched over to MLB network.

  239. Jandy says:

    Gotta give Searage a lot of credit for Liriano and Jeanmar Gomez’s resurrection.

  240. Naterosboro says:

    B/c he drove to the All-Star game in a Mini-Van.

  241. Nate83 says:

    Spot on NMR. That is probably the best thing I heard all day yesterday. I have been tougher then most on Nutting but for him to show the willingness to take on that size contract is a good sign going forward that money may be spent when appropriate.

    I know they will never sign Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols and to be honest I don’t want them to but it shows that if there is a glaring hole such as RF is right now that maybe the money will be spent on a free agent or trade to bring in a proven player on something like a 2 year/10 million per year contract.

  242. theplanisworking says:


    Some minor-league teams are at least competitive…… while still developing players. They arent necessarily exclusive things.

    Nutting (Butting is so much better, NMR) didnt want Greenberg as an affiliate owner. So now they play in a delapadated stadium in the middle of nowhere. Smart call there.

    Not that Low-A, or developmental ball is any great shakes. But you still have to be able to put butts in seats.

  243. theplanisworking says:

    Funny for the day……………..

    I think it is absolutely terrible and disgusting how everyone has treated Lance Armstrong.
    What, he won 7 Tour de Frances while on drugs.

    When I was on drugs, I couldnt even find my bike.

    Thanks to Wille Nelson for this. :)

  244. Ghost says:

    I think you’re correct about taking his eyes off the ball a split second too soon.
    As for positioning, if you are going to throw at a target, you (ideally) stand sideways with your lead leg closest to that target and your throwing side back. This is how he would have been aligned if he squared up to the ball. Instead, he played it off to the side (which is poor fundamentals, though I realize the pros do this all the time). By playing it off to the side and having his body roughly squared towards second, he actually has to take an extra step before he is aligned to throw.
    Anyway, I’m pooped out. Everyone wants Pedro to stay at 3rd. I do too, but only until the off-season. Next year is another story…
    But I’ve gotta go. Been fun wrasslin’ with everyone.

  245. JAL says:

    P2 explains August waiver trades

    How Do August Waiver Trades Work?

  246. NMR says:

    I agree with you in theory, but that still doesn’t address the reality of this years deadline.

    You think the Bucs were the only team out there looking for bench help? Obviously not.

    So where were all the moves? What bench players were actually traded?

    Hey, you wanna get upset because the Nats beat out Huntington in the Scott Hairston sweepstakes two weeks ago, go for it.

    But otherwise, the moves just weren’t there. Period.

  247. NMR says:

    Gotcha. We’re talking future growth.

    I guess I’m just worried that forcing him into a “power” role before he develops it naturally is going to make his strikeout issues even worse.

    Although at this point, I can’t see any signs that Marte changes anything in his approach regardless of coaching or spot in the lineup.

  248. 21sthebest says:

    Yeah, I just don’t see it that way at all. No extra step was needed. You field the ball as you’re putting your left foot down then snap the throw.

  249. Dom says:

    I read a few places that the Twins were looking to deal Justin Moreanu in August so hopefully, we can make that one work out for us.

  250. NMR says:

    “There were lots of people that were upset at last year’s deadline when the Pirates made small deals.”

    ^the irony here is that Wandy would’ve easily been the biggest trade of the 2013 deadline season. It’s all about perspective.

    “A simple mechanical change (keeping his head still through his delivery) has this guy getting outs on a regular basis, either as a starter or reliever.”

    Adding to this, pitch selection has been Gomez’ biggest improvement. He’s throwing his sinker 11.4% more in 2013 than 2012 leading to a 9.5% increase in ground ball rate and cutting his home run rate in half.

    I’d love to know if that can be attributed to Martin or Searage.

  251. NMR says:

    Haha, honest typo, I swear…

  252. JohninOshkosh says:

    Boy. It was not at all my intention to compare franchises. I’m sorry the question implied that. I love all the major sports (even the NBA). But my greatest love is history-whether it be sports, cinematic, music, cultural, social or political. I love the study of history, and was wondering what other regular season instances, in any sport, held such significance.

    I did not want to imply one sport or franchise was better than another. I really wasn’t even comparing. Each sport has its significant moments and history, and I was really trying to draw on the wealth of experience this blog has to offer to find out what those significant moments were.

    I try to comment on all the teams here because I enjoy following all of them. I try not to comment on the Pirates on Pitt threads, for example. I am sensitive to Dejan’s concerns that the Pirates tend to overtake the blog and chill the responses of Steelers fans, for example.

    I thought Dejan might have ascertained that from my past posts, but I suppose that was an incorrect assumption. I’m sure he has a hard time keeping track of the personalities of the many posters here! Assuredly, I will not post anything in the future that might call for comparison of teams, even if the comparison is innocuous and attempts to be devoid of any implication that one sport or franchise is greater than another.

  253. bizrow says:

    + 1

  254. NMR says:

    Does Indy need a 1B?

  255. Dom says:

    Wouldn’t you rather have a .262 batter with 8 homers than Tony Sanchez?

  256. AJS says:

    They won 11 in a row in 92 against the Cards. Not sure if any of those were 4 game series.

  257. Naterosboro says:

    It seems like to me though, the relationship was soured due to people in State College upset about the product.

    As you state, yes, I think the Pirates did want to move that team to WV.

    But had the relationship been amicable, it wouldn’t have ended with the Pirates not returning a phone call (if that is truly what happened; I’m just going off these accounts).

    And to the point about the Spikes this year, again, I don’t care what the win total is for our short season team. It’s all about individual development. If that translates to winning games at that level, fine.

    If not, again, fine.

  258. Sisyphus says:

    Is there anything in my post that is untrue?

  259. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Great column DK

    Glad to see the GM maturing at this point and for NH to say something like that, to me, really shows how relaxed he was with the decision.

    I have no problem wih something not getting done, but a RFer still needs to be acquired, hopefully Lambo can be that guy to step up.

    What about the Pirates looking for a catcher now that the fort in out for the season? Can Tony Sanchez learn enough in a month from Russell Martin about the staff to assume the full time back up duties? We have a month to find out, let him get his reps in and lets see what he can do. I would think that he would catch Gerritt Cole since he has some history with him.

  260. Naterosboro says:

    Perhaps the sinker has been more effective due to the mechanical change (perhaps due to greater command of the pitch).

    I’d also say that with that command, they’ve (some sort of combination of Martin, Searage & Gomez) come up with a plan of attack for Jeanmar.

    And it is paying off big time.

  261. Jandy says:


  262. Naterosboro says:

    That’s why I think you’ll see a lot of those deals happen in August. Asking prices for marginal players was just too high yesterday.

    For everyone.

  263. Jandy says:

    True, can’t discount Martin’s impact in this as well.

  264. Jim S. says:

    Good response, NMR.

    I guess we can either take NH’s word that he stretched to make trade offers that he was uncomfortable with from a “value in return” standpoint, or we can just say he is incompetent and nothing he says is ever to be taken seriously.

    I would say the evidence is mounting pretty heavily on the side of him not being incompetent at his job.

  265. Sisyphus says:

    I’m trying to remember who was the last person I saw here who Dejan was forced to chastise for making personal attacks. Can you help me out with that?

    I didn’t attack Daq’s character.

    I didn’t call him any names.

    I pointed out that he managed to work his “cheap Nutting” meme in yet again.

  266. Jandy says:

    thanks guys

  267. Arriba Wilver says:


    Hey, Bay!

  268. Jandy says:

    and I would say Dejan would back you up on the last point, Jim.

  269. theplanisworking says:

    Welcome back.

    You missed a heck of a party yesterday. Food, music, dignitaries, Had it all.
    I may throw another party today, havent decided yet.


  270. Naterosboro says:

    Can Morneau catch?

  271. NMR says:

    Ugh. The Pirates can do no wrong…

  272. Jandy says:

    That typo cracks me up…seems Buttman has company ;)

  273. Jandy says:

    I won’t be around for the next few days much, Hipposter. Nuts at work getting things done…then pack and stuff tonight. Won’t look at a computer Friday or Saturday in Inner Harbor…so if you party, have a drink for me :)

  274. Jim S. says:

    I think he stays at 3b as long as he at least average defensively there, because his offensive production for an NL 3b is very high right now.

    1b that have power and offensive production can be found a lot easier than 3b with those attributes.

  275. theplanisworking says:

    Nate, technically you are correct. The name of the game is development.

    But, and this is a big but, the team has to draw enough interest to get butts in the seats. Telling the fanbase that “we are only interested in player development” doesnt cut it. Greenberg has won kudos for correctly running minor-league teams. State College has a state of the art stadium, and still needs to put butts in the seats.

    If development is the only thing necessary, just have traveling squads with no home town. Solves the problem.

  276. theplanisworking says:


  277. JohnS says:

    I agree. I am in State College and have no interest in attending Spikes games anymore.

    The Pirates now have Jamestown as their NYPL affiliate. They happen to be the team leading the Spikes for the Pinckney Division crown.

    The Spikes did go through some hard years.

  278. pattonbb says:

    A month from now he’ll be a .220 hitter with 8 hr.

    Morneau is really struggling.

  279. Naterosboro says:


    I’m not saying it wasn’t an unprofessional move. They certainly should’ve returned the call.


    Well, minor league affiliates have to worry about how to get fans into their stadium. That’s their issue. Not the Pirates (or any MLB clubs).

    That’s why you see ridiculous promotional deals and a lot of fan involvement during games.

    But, as far as the Pirates are concerned (unless they own the affiliate, and then it wouldn’t be an affiliate would it?), that team is there to serve their developmental needs.

    They should be unconcerned with how many tickets are sold for their minor league affiliates.

  280. NMR says:

    The “tunnel vision” comment is one I really don’t understand, no offense TJ.

    I mean, was there a name on the market NOT connected to the Pirates?

    Hitter, pitcher, you name it. Bucs had an iron in the fire.

  281. Dom says:

    Why whatever do you mean? He has a .998 fielding percentage. Doesn’t Sanchez has 15 or so throwing errors this year?

    Does anyone know of any website or something that has the players that passed waivers?

  282. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I don’t think there’s anything in my post that’s untrue.
    But….That’s how opinion works.

  283. NMR says:

    “What we’ve got here, is a failure to communicate.”

  284. Jandy says:

    Dejan doesn’t chastise anyone on here for much of anything. He lets us work out our own problems.

  285. Jandy says:

    A mere young’un ;)

  286. Jim S. says:

    I would say that a huge component of Pedro staying at 3b is his relative offensive value at that position vs. what it would be if he played 1b.

  287. NMR says:

    That’s a shame, John, but I don’t blame you.

    The few times I was at Medlar Field left an impression of a first class operation.

  288. Jandy says:

    have a good one, Ghostie!

  289. Jim S. says:

    He is hitting .219 (yesterday) with 2 HR in over 200 road at bats. It is better to look how a guy is playing in more environments than just his home park. That is a much more objective sampling, generally.

  290. theplanisworking says:

    …………until they have to go scrambling for another affiliate, like they had to this past winter.

    “Well, minor league affiliates have to worry about how to get fans into their stadium. That’s their issue. Not the Pirates (or any MLB clubs). ”

    Then what is the incentive to have a minor-league affiliate? Looks like a 100% loss for the minor league town. Dont know why anyone would go thru the headache of ever owning one, if they are guaranteed to always lose money, just to serve as a developmental club.

    My point still stands, both can be achieved.

  291. 21sthebest says:

    Kind of an interesting comment from Buck Showalter on the Yankees possibly getting out from under ARod’s contract:

    “If Bud lets them get away with that, they’re under the luxury tax, if they can reset, they can spend again and I guarantee you in two years Matt Wieters is in New York.”

  292. Naterosboro says:

    What I’m saying is Dom, is that, now with McKenry out for the season, Tony Sanchez is staying on this roster, unless the Pirates make a waiver deal for a backup catcher.

    If Morneau is acquired, that would probably push JHay off the 25 man. Shouldn’t require a move to the 40 man as McKenry going on the 60 Day DL should open up a spot.

  293. Lad9 says:

    Jandy I have had more than a few for you and others this week. Have fun at the Inner Harbor!

  294. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    How are the Bucs going to be significantly active in waiver wire activity?
    Huntington (while in the announcers booth during yesterdays game) clearly stated that he was not optimistic about that because of where the Pirates are in the standings.

  295. theplanisworking says:

    That incident was because of someone who had attacked me for years, and I wasnt going to take it anymore. DK didnt chastise anyone, he just wanted it to stop. So I did, and dont engage certain people.

    Ghost was 100% correct, you are obnoxious to many here, and he called you for it.
    And, I know you have gone after Daquido for years, including on other blogs.

    And you did attack Daq’s character. He brought up 2 other points in his post, but you conveniently ignored those, just to take a shot at him, which you have done to him for years.

    I always say, there is a scroll bar to the right ——->, if you dont like him, or his posts, use it.

    I see you still havent addressed his other 2 points in his original post.

  296. Jandy says:

    Thanks Rad Lad! I’ll return the favor while at Inner Harbor :)

  297. theplanisworking says:

    No, but you mare incomplete. You singled out one thing to attack, and ignored the other 2 points.

    You both have a right to an opinion, as do I, but your treatment of others is getting a bit much.

    Again, dont like an opinion, skip over it.
    Works wonders.

  298. theplanisworking says:


    Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

  299. pattonbb says:

    My 2 cents about that –

    1. Buck needs to shut his trap and mind his own business.
    2. Buck is right.

  300. Dom says:

    Why would you feel Morneau would push Harrison off of the 25 man roster? Why wouldn’t they just demote Sanchez? Even if an extra spot is needed on the 40 man roster, they could remove Russ Canzler.

  301. Wild Bill says:

    I live in Snyder Co., Jandy, about 50 miles north of Harrisburg. We golf all over, from the Blue and White at State College, to Hazelton area to the Williamsport area. Yesterday we were at Edgewood in the Pines, in Drums, near Hazelton.

  302. theplanisworking says:

    I really dont want to lick up the paper for a drunk and disorderly nun. ;)

  303. theplanisworking says:

    I really dont want to lick up the paper for a drunk and disorderly nun. ;)

  304. Dom says:

    I didn’t know that. That is not good.

  305. Naterosboro says:

    Absolutely. But again, in terms of getting the fans to their stadium to watch those games, it is the job of the minor league affiliate to worry about making money. That’s why they employ people to sell tickets and advertising (just as the Pirates do this to serve their team).

    I’m not sure where you got the idea I was implying that minor league affiliates lose money. If I led you to that, I apologize, I did not intend to with my comment.

    I’m sure some do, as I’m sure some top franchises lose money, but not all (I don’t know any percentages or numbers, but I’d say the majority do not lose money, otherwise, they wouldn’t be in business).

    Again, both goals can be achieved, not disagreeing with you there. But, in terms of how the Pirates view their Short Season affiliate, it should not be concerned with ticket sales or how many games that team is winning.

  306. Brandie says:

    Atta Bay, er Boy!

  307. Jandy says:


  308. I thought maybe you were in South America. I’ve been to the Netherlands 13 years ago; beautiful place!

    Our trip would’ve been hard on Willi, since we have driven for over 2000 kilometers. On one day (from Portland to Niagara Falls), we drove 900 kilometers! But he’s fine with my parents. My mom has been keeping us updated through Skype, FaceTime and all those wonders of nowadays. When I made a Schuleraustausch to Germany, twenty years ago, I got to talk on the phone to my parents only for around five minutes a week, and didn’t even have the option to email them! :)

  309. Brandie says:

    Rad Lad. Glad you are enjoying yourself.

  310. Drew71 says:

    I was fascinated by Buck’s take re the impact on the Yankees.

    If I was Wieters, I would be offended for being called out like that – for doing nothing – and for being put in the position of having to answer stoopid Qs about whether I’m going to New York in two years.

  311. 21sthebest says:

    I think it is his business but I wouldn’t have mentioned any players names. I’m glad he brought this issue up.

  312. theplanisworking says:

    No need to apologize, Nate.

    I just feel some of the “unprofessional responses” between parent clubs and affiliates can be avoided if they work together.

    I see no logical benefit to becoming an affiliate for the local community/owner if they are treated as an afterthought. I certainly wouldnt buy an A level team under those circumstances.

    And, I think we are agreeing on the same points, just not from the same direction. :)

  313. Nate83 says:

    He is right but should have never mentioned one of his own players. Now Weiters will get asked questions about it and that is just another distraction that isn’t needed.

  314. 21sthebest says:


  315. 21sthebest says:

    Interesting take.

  316. theplanisworking says:

    What movie is that from?

  317. Naterosboro says:

    B/c I’d rather have Gaby Sanchez’s bat coming off the bench and starting against some LHPs, then Josh Harrison.

    If you acquire Morneau, you’re essentially making Garrett Jones your everyday RF (unless there is a LH SP).

    So maybe with that thought, Presley goes down (as I believe he’s on his last option but Tabata is out of options I believe).

    All I really wanted to say was that the acquisition of Morneau would not push Tony Sanchez off this roster, as Morneau cannot catch.

  318. Sisyphus says:

    “Ghost was 100% correct, you are obnoxious to many here, and he called you for it.”

    I’m pretty sure that I’m obnoxious to plenty of folks elsewhere as well. A lot of people can’t stand it when you counter their opinions with facts, for example. But I don’t make personal attacks unless I lose my temper, at that rarely happens. You seem to be making quite the habit of it, though, as you’re at it again.

    “And, I know you have gone after Daquido for years, including on other blogs.”

    I have never gone after Daq. I have gone after his love of making so many Pirates stories into an anti-Nutting screed. I’m convinced that Daq isn’t one of those folks out there who would rather see the Pirates lose than be proven wrong.

    “And you did attack Daq’s character. He brought up 2 other points in his post, but you conveniently ignored those, just to take a shot at him, which you have done to him for years.”

    You really do need to find out what a character attack is, because that ain’t it.

    I always say, there is a scroll bar to the right ——->, if you dont like him, or his posts, use it.”

    I always say, take your own advice first before handing it out to others.

    “I see you still havent addressed his other 2 points in his original post.”

    I don’t usually do requests, but I’ll make an exception

    It takes two to tango.

    Soriano refused to accept a trade to any team but the Yankees.

    Peavy, Nolasco and Wilson don’t play right field.

    Have a great day.

  319. theplanisworking says:

    Denying something doesnt make it true.

    You dont get it, and you never will, I guess.

    I wont engage you any more, and I ask the same from you.

    Have a great time.

  320. Lad9 says:

    Thanks Brandie. Have fun at the music fest!

  321. Dom says:

    Oops. I was thinking Morneau was still a catcher. That explains the miscommunicaiton. Sorry.

  322. Naterosboro says:

    I think they’ll be actively pursuing waiver deals in August. Guess I worded that statement wrong. Huntington knows this team has weaknesses.

    Will they get something done, well, as you (and the GM) state, it’ll be tough.

    Just as July 31 passed with no deals done, so may August 31. But just as happened yesterday, I think the Pirates will be actively trying to get something done.

  323. theplanisworking says:

    Brandie, Jandy, I hope to see you two tonight in the game thread.

    If not, have fun, and be safe, please.

  324. theplanisworking says:

    Brandie, Jandy, I hope to see you two tonight in the game thread.

    If not, have fun, and be safe, please.

  325. 21sthebest says:

    You know, Buck did give me a good idea on how to get rid of Jose Tabata and his contract. Remember the Seinfeld episode, “The Revenge”?

  326. Naterosboro says:


    Think you were thinking of Mauer. I don’t think Morneau was ever a catcher (at least at the MLB level).

  327. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    As of 4 PM yesterday….The situation is out of their hands.
    It’s going to take about 30 GM’s to pass on a guy to have him end up with the Pirates.
    Not likely….Unless the player is poor.

  328. NMR says:

    Cool Hand Luke?

  329. NMR says:

    That is an excelent problem to have. :)

  330. Bob Hasis says:

    If this team goes into the tank, it will be because of (in no particular order);
    The starters
    The bullpen
    The offense of Cutch, Pedro, Marte, Walker and Martin (any of three can carry the rest
    The health of Martin behind the plate

    All of the other things that we all have beaten to death on this blog will not figure in the equation of failure. Things like (in no particular order of importance)
    The bench
    Right field
    First base

    These things do not represent “the core” of the team. They will take care of themselves, in the same way they already have – very adequately!

    If by some chance they exceed what we have already witnessed, then all the better.
    This evaluation does not require mention of the BMTIB or the field management. Everything is in the players hands. They have proven to be well above average so far, and I, as a devout fan, TRUST THEIR SKILLS the rest of the way.

  331. 21sthebest says:


  332. theplanisworking says:

    Ok, I will take that.

    My movie remembering is a bit fuzzy.

    After all, I am the guy who still swears the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.

  333. Jim S. says:

    Good insight, Plan. I heard about the possibility of PPV for ESPN also. They have a right to their money, and the audience has a right to decide whether they want to provide that profit.

  334. Nate83 says:

    I agree with this strongly Bob. No move made last year could have prevented the losing that occured because the starters and bullpen had drastic downturns in their performance and the players that are part of the core of the team didn’t perform how they did in the first half.

  335. Thundercrack says:

    The hosts on XM thought that it may also have been Buck’s way of getting a message to his ownership: we may want to get sowmthing done now with Weiters.

    And I love that he brought this up.

  336. theplanisworking says:

    I think with the conclusion of this underwhelming trade deadline, I would like to see some changes made.

    The trade deadline was effected by the new CBA this year like never before.
    The addition of the 2nd wild-card has convinced teams, even teams 20 games out that they are “in contention”, so they hold on to players.
    The elimination of compensation picks also has led to teams holding on to players.
    The signing of younger players to longer contracts has also led to teams holding on to players.

    These factors will be in play for many years, so here is my potential solution to this, to stop having clunkers like this year……………………

    Push back the trade deadline to August 21st, ending on August 31st. This will allow more teams to determine whether or not they are buyers or sellers.

    Or, eliminate the in-season trade deadline altogether. Just have the offseason trade deadline.

    Just my one cent worth here.

  337. Naterosboro says:

    There are many reasons why a team would pass on a player in the waiver wire, other than the player being poor, such as contract commitments.

    I’m really not sure what your issue is with my statement.

    Will the Pirates be actively trying to upgrade their team thru a waiver deal? I think that’s a 100% given.

    Will something get done? Again, tough, but I never said it would, in any of my statements this AM. Just that the Pirates won’t be sitting on their hands from here on out.

  338. AJS says:

    I totally agree with this. The success of this team hinges on what it is built around. Pitching and a core group of about 5 players.

    The addition of the health of Martin being a real issue is one that miraculously popped up today after the back up catcher who never played anyway and was hitting sub mendoza had knee surgery. Is Sanchez really that much worse than Fort? I know Fort was starting to come around.

    This is not to say that Martin’s health isn’t important. It is just to say that it is no more important today than it was yesterday and yesterday no one was throwing it around like it was in doubt.

    I will worry about martin’s health when he starts to show signs of me needing to get concerned that there is something wrong.

  339. Kevin says:

    Nobody else really said it.. feels like Barmes is the bat we got from the end of July. He looks like a different guy in there. Hitting .33x or so in his last 12 games.

    Is Sanchez a direct plug-in for wherever Fort would have started? Or, how do things change?

  340. AJS says:

    You have to have some kind of trade deadline. You can’t have teams buying at game 162 so that they completely change the dynamics of the playoffs. 62ish games gives everyone the ability to play it out under rosters that will be consistent through the rest of the season. It sets a new playing field. Being able to change that playing field right up until the playoffs start is crazy.

    I do like the move to the 21st though. Even the 14th would have the same effect.

    The biggest problem though is the comp pick issue. You used to be able to send out prospects for a rental and then when you lose the rental get a comp pick to essentially replace your prospect. Now you don’t get comp picks for rentals meaning that even the buyers aren’t as willing to buy as they used to be. So there aren’t as many sellers because of the second wild card. Meaning the market is thin and when the market is then the price is higher for more marginal players. But the buyers don’t ant to pay those high prices for even the best players because of the comp pick removal so they sure asheck aren’t paying it for the marginal talent available. This creates a completely mismatched market where nothing will ever get done. Say good bye to upgrading at the deadline folks.

  341. Kevin says:

    whats the problem with shortstop?

  342. Jim S. says:

    I think if we saw more LHP, Marte’s numbers would go up just by that alone. There really are not many LHP starters in the NL Central not named Locke, Liriano or Wandy.

    But, he really has to improve in terms of recognizing and staying away from the breaking balls that run away from him, low and in the dirt. That is a tall order for an aggressive hitter like Marte, but good pitchers make him look foolish on it right now. That is a common issue for aggressive righties. Soriano still struggles with it, and so do a lot of guys. That will keep Marte from being a great hitter. I think his ceiling is .275 if he stays susceptible to that pitch. He swings at a lot of balls in general, but that is the biggest, most persistent issue he has, IMO. Very tough to solve that.

    Otherwise, he has the talent to bat 5th. I’m not sure his power #’s are declining this year, though. 40 XBH going into tonight, and after tonight we have completed 2/3 of the season. That puts him on a 60 XBH pace, if he gets none tonight. How many leadoff hitters in the NL are at that level? I don’t know, but it seems like good company. I would say it it is probably decent “5th in the batting order” production for a guy just completing his first full season.

  343. Drew71 says:

    A mickey or cement?

  344. Jim S. says:

    Agreed. Patience is a virtue, right? He has none at the plate. The count always seems to be 0-2 after 2 pitches lately.

  345. theplanisworking says:

    Sorry AJS, maybe I didnt explain a point clearly.

    When I said get rid of the in-season deadline, I meant no trades allowed in-season. Only off-season trades allowed. Of course it would be bad to trade players right before game 162. Sorry for any confusion……… it was just meant to get thoughts about improving the trading, which was abysmal this year.

  346. Jim S. says:


    Have you flooded your boss’s inbox while he is away?

  347. Naterosboro says:

    You’ve got a “mickey” source?

    I can’t even believe I’m saying the word “mickey”.

  348. Jandy says:


    Good one, Jim ;)

  349. theplanisworking says:

    Just a link to show you never, ever who to believe regarding trade rumors.
    It contains info that completely contradicts each other.

  350. Jandy says:

    YES! He just needs to slow down, just a bit…

  351. Jandy says:

    Sounds good, Wild One. You’re two hours east of me, and DaBurgh is 2 hours west of me…I’m right in the middle :)

  352. Jim S. says:

    Some of us were not all that wrong about the Pirates, Nate. In fact, a lot of us said this team was different from last year back in April – even if DK didn’t want to even be bothered to discuss the Pirates then. I recall a few big regression discussions where a lot of us said that even with regression of Grilli/Melancon/Locke, this team had a lot of upside opportunity from guys like Cutch, Walker, Pedro to improve as the year wore on. I’ll admit I only thought at the start of the season that this was an 85 win team, but with some luck I thought it could win 90. I am happy to say it should now exceed 90 wins.

    I also recall that some of us were in on the defensive efficiency/BABIP against discussion long before it became fashionable.

  353. Nate83 says:

    I agree with most of what you posted as far as things that affected the trade deadline. Going forward I think it is a good thing for the Pirates that will benefit them. We will always value prospects more then teams like the Yankees, Rangers, Boston, LA……..They will almost always outbid us and offer more prospects so the new system will do one of two things. The players they would have outbid us for won’t be available or the asking price will be so high that they will have to give up even more prospects which will weaken their team in the future. It also will allow the Pirates to get more in return when and if the day comes that they can not keep 4 or 5 really good players that are all 1 or 2 years years away from free agency.

  354. 21sthebest says:


  355. 21sthebest says:

    AJS, the postseason roster has to be set at 11:59 pm, August 31.

  356. Jim S. says:

    He has struggled the last couple of years, Dom. If we could literally get him for just a chunk of his salary, I’d take a flyer on him for a couple of weeks to see if he got re-energized. I would not count on it, but it might be worth a mini-shot for a couple of weeks. I think he’d just be a PH at this point.

  357. Jim S. says:

    I’ve been saying that for 2 weeks. This big show about all of the evils of steroids being the fault of one guy is at least partially about allowing the Yankees to wiggle out of the stupid contract Hank S. negotiated against himself.

  358. Jim S. says:

    “Mickey” must always be preceded by the phrased “Slipped him a.”

  359. Dom says:

    Probably but Morneau was drafted as a catcher. That might have been what was confusing me.

  360. Darrell27 says:

    Two questions dominate my thinking today. 1.) When Andrew Lambo finally gets called up to patrol right field, will the section in the right field stands rooting for him be known as Lambo Field?

    2.) Now a serious question. Really would like the opinion of this blog on this one. I am still scratching my head somewhat on the lack of movement across the board yesterday at the deadline. I get a team that because of the two wild cards, still feels like they can make a run, even if they are under .500. In the past, those teams would have been sellers. I get the teams, that although they know they are out of it by 15 games or more, still have valuable assets to move, but hold on to them because they still have a couple years of control with that player. Their hope is to use those players to build around next year by hitting the reset button on 2014. What I don’t get, and smells fishy like collusion, are the teams that are absolutely brutal and have players that will be free agents next year but still asked a king’s ransom for them. Players like Schierholtz, DeJesus, Ibanez, Morales and yes, Pence. I understand the Marlins saying no on Stanton and the Angels saying no to Trumbo. But the arrogant clubs like the above mentioned who sat on players they knew they were likely to lose without getting anything for them, baffles me. I don’t have an answer. Are they being difficult just to spite the teams in contention? I really don’t get it. Collusion, thoughts?

  361. Dom says:

    I can understand us not getting Stanton but why were we unable to at least pry someone like Byrd away from the Mets? It seems hard to believe they would turn away some Nick Kingham away for just two months of Byrd and they could have signed him at the end of the season anyways.

  362. NMR says:

    I’ve heard the argument that the elimination of compensation picks has hurt the deadline, but I can’t see how this makes any sense in relation to the old system.

    The Rays broke the old compensation pick system. They laid the roadmap that other draft-minded teams would no doubt have followed.

    Between 2010 and 2011, the Rays obtained ELEVEN draft picks between #24 and #75 overall as compensation for losing free agents like Carl Crawford, Raphael Soriano, Grant Balfour, Greg Zaun, Brad Hawpe, Joquin Benoit, Randy Choate, and Chad Qualls.

    Think about that list of players. Crawford was the only guy that even started, and yet many of them were worth top 50 draft picks under the old rules.

    There is no doubt that teams would’ve caught on and eventually strangled the deadline market.

  363. Drew71 says:

    I gotta GREAT source.

    You wanna knock somebody out? Make him read this…

    It’ll be like a building fell on him.

  364. NMR says:

    And what sense would it have made for the Pirates to make such a move?

  365. theplanisworking says:


    I just like the fact the Pittsburgh reporter said the Pirates talked with Miami about Stanton, forcing them to consider the trade. The Maimi reporter said no one talked about Stanton.

    Gotta love it.

  366. theplanisworking says:

    Never thought about a collusion angle. Very interesting.

    Do clubs still get compensation for losing free agents?
    Say Pence goes to another team this offseason. Do the Giants get compensation for that?

  367. NMR says:

    Only if they offer him a qualifying contract, which is something around 1 yr / $14m.

    They would then get the first pick of whichever team signed him.

  368. theplanisworking says:

    So there is still a system in place for FA comp, just not trades.

    This new CBA is a bit confusing.

  369. The Gunner says:


    NH did the right thing this year at the trade deadline. Clarify this for me – If they put the Fort on the 60 day DL, doesn’t that free up a roster spot for Lambo?

  370. NMR says:

    Yeah, thats such a typical cop out for someone who was clearly wrong.

    “Hey, its not just me, NOBODY saw the Pirates being THIS good.”

    No, but a lot of people saw them being much improved. And they were mocked for it.

    Why not talk about that?

  371. NMR says:

    Here’s another one I’m sure you’ve heard…

    “Nobody saw Melancon being THIS good.”

    It implies luck. That Huntington got lucky in the Hanny trade. And it is always from the mouths of people who thought the Hanny trade was poor at the time.

    Did Huntington see Melancon as a guy who would come in and post a sub-1.00 ERA? Of course not. But he did clearly see a guy with the skills and tack record to become a good late inning reliever. Something almost nobody else did.

    Don’t diminish that fact with some “THIS good” disclaimer.

  372. Darrell27 says:

    Marlon Byrd is another one that comes to mind. I had forgotten about the compensation for losing a free agent, but you have to think that whatever a club offered for any of these guys would be better than a pick.

  373. NMR says:


  374. Jim S. says:


  375. Jim S. says:

    + many. He has to be involved with turning them around.

  376. Thundercrack says:

    Didn’t Tony Sanchez take McKenry’s spot on the roster?

  377. Jim S. says:


  378. Sisyphus says:

    I’ll be the first to admit that Snider has been a disappointment, but it cost very close to nothing to get him. I’d make the same deal today, except I’m pretty sure that Toronto doesn’t have much use for Lincoln.

  379. The Gunner says:

    Thanks for the clarification NMR, that’ll probably happen in the next week or so, don’t you think?

  380. Thundercrack says:

    I heard a GM on XM this afternoon when he was asked about moving the deadline back – he said that teams would still wait for the deadline and you would only have the player for one month (if the deadline moved to Aug 31) instead of 2 months now. I agree with him and like where the deadline is now.

    Jim Bowden actually said something insightful today. This year too many teams didn’t want to trade prospects and that there is so much money in the game that there aren’t enough teams looking to shed contracts (Rios). That perfect storm contributed to the quiet deadline this year.

  381. Sisyphus says:

    You stay active by making claims. True, many of them may be no good, but you have to try, because you don’t know if anybody else is going to claim the guy you want.

    Some very good players get through waivers, usually due to their contracts. You might get surprised this year. Probably not, but it does happen.

  382. Sisyphus says:

    I had them at 86 wins and thought Hurdle was nuts with his 95.

    Mea culpa, Clint.

  383. Jim S. says:

    Exactly. I believe NH had a strong suspicion that Melancon was due for positive regression. I say that because he mentioned it at the time of the trade. There was also reason to believe that Hanny might very well go the other way. Unfortunately, Hanny struggled early and it was probably just because he was badly injured. But, there were warning signs last year on declining performance.

    Melancon was not good last year, but he had already proven himself to be good enough in this league from before last year that it was reasonable to assume he would bounce back. He had a few horrible outings last year that doomed his ERA for the entire season. That he bounced back like this was beyond anyone’s expectations. That part is just good fortune.

    Whether it is NH, or some guys analyzing tendencies in front of a computer, great scouting, or a combination of these things, the Pirates organization seems to have a better ability than most to predict upside in pitchers they acquire on the cheap.

    But, Jim. What about J Sanchez? We are still talking about pulling CD’s out of the bargain bin. They won’t all deliver.

  384. Sisyphus says:

    It’s not Morneau vs. Sanchez, it’s Morneau vs. Jones. Sanchez is the only one of the three who can hit lefties.

  385. NMR says:

    I honestly don’t know. That would make sense, considering one would imagine he’d be the first player needing added.

    But they may very well wait til September callups to the big club.

  386. NMR says:

    The 25-man. Sanchez was already on the 40-man.

  387. Sisyphus says:


  388. 22 Squared,

    Thanks for the schedule breakdown!

  389. Milo Hamilton says:

    I hear Russell Martin won’t be playing tonight. That knee is a real concern. They’re really going to need a veteran catcher as insurance.

  390. Milo,

    Made me smile so much my teeth got cold!!!!

  391. NMR says:

    Another one I can’t stand is “NOBODY saw Bautista being THIS good”.

    No, but Toronto saw him being better than Robinson Diaz, which he clearly was. And they were also good enough to transform his raw talent into a star.

    Fair is fair.

  392. Jim S. says:

    I heard that as well.

  393. NMR says:

    Speaking of those computer nerds, I’ve got a post brewing about how meaningless it is to scout pitchers ERA using the 2013 Pirates as proof that will drive all the old school stat guys nuts. :)

  394. 24/7 says Huntington pursued Stanton.

    The reporter in Miami says no such offer was ever made.

    Who to believe?!?

  395. Thundercrack says:

    Where are all the McKenry haters now?


  396. JRay3 says:

    His injury certainly looms a bit larger at this point. Team needs to play it safe with Martin, you see right across the dugout what pushing an ailing catcher can get you as Matheny just could not get himself to not put Molina in the lineup and now he is looking at 2-4 weeks.

  397. Milo Hamilton says:

    Why did they let him go to the All Star Game ? Really stupid.

  398. Sisyphus says:

    As in “Slipped him a Mickey Mantle”?


  399. Sisyphus says:

    Aww, that’s no fun.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing it moved back to June 30, though.

  400. Hasty Bob,

    Very well thought out, positive comment. I like it!!

    And . . . . you didn’t blast Hurdle or Barmes once! I’m impressed!

  401. Nate83 says:

    Wow it was amazing how many times Wainwright had to wait to get the correct pitch called or needed to conference with cruz. I bet he was getting frustrated. I bet if Carpenter was still pitching for them he may have went crazy. That guy got fired up pretty quickly on more then a few occasions.

  402. cmat0829 says:

    I think it’s noteworthy that the Pirates made ‘STUPID’ offers and sellers STILL DID NOT TAKE THEM… the bigger story is all across the league, very very few deals were made, including to teams that have glaring needs like Pirates RF (Cards Catcher, Rangers offense, etc).

    This is the new normal, get used to it… in many ways, it will be good, no reason to disrupt a good race by having roster scramble in July….

  403. cmat0829 says:

    Maybe so, but if Pujols falls apart like a cheap Transformer toy, won’t the Angels need to keep people like Trumbo? Arte Moreno is now like a high-stakes gambler… he is down a lot of $$ so instead of leaving the casino and licking his wounds, he will double down to chase his $$ and make it all back.

  404. Kevin says:

    I don’t usually read JAL’s links. Mostly because they are links that I usually can’t get at work (blockage). Found it very interesting to read the #13 links from St. Louis Dispatch. And to look at other side of the coin, cause, until Monday St. Louis was in 1st place by 1.5 games. Now they are in midst of a 7-game losing streak and 2.5 games out from pirates. I dunno just interesting what those people are thinking about. And it looks similar. A call to not panic, a call for more timely hitting, and bemoaning the fact they just lost their best player to injury.

  405. cmat0829 says:

    wow, to be clear Lincoln was a decent bullpen arm and now that I see this year’s arms, he was middle of the road at best on this team….that is dealing from surplus, taking a chance that an offensive talent figures it out in the majors…definitely not embarrasing, not even close.

  406. Dom says:

    Depth, power, and a superior recent history. There is no guarantee he’ll play better by the end of the season but I like his odds a lot better than Presley playing at this ability or someone like Snider.

  407. cmat0829 says:

    no real reason to approve the Marlins owner (who has his own credibility isues) over the Pirates staff…. both can be correct interpretations… hard to believe Bucs didn’t inquire about Stanton, that is obviously true… I’m sure NH floated who could be had from our side… was it a ‘formal offer’ or a discusion? Does it really matter?

  408. Coulie says:

    Maybe give Martin night off tonight… Play him twice over weekend and then an off day Monday? They are in the midst of an 18 games in 17 days cycle…

  409. cmat0829 says:

    Bob, I AGREE COMPLETELY…. have been citing “THE CORE” for a few weeks now… it is in their hands… and I think they will deliver.

    Much too much is made of the impact Presley or Tabata have on us winning or losing… is Pete Kozma the reason the Cards may fall short?? He is as bad at SS as our RF situation….

  410. cmat0829 says:

    yes, will start 1x a week .

  411. Jim S. says:

    Funny, they need timely hitting? They are still on track to be, by far, the best hitting team of all-time with RISP.

  412. Jim S. says:

    Bring Sangy in from the BBQ shack. Doesn’t get any more veteran than that.

  413. Sisyphus says:

    I sure expected more from Snider, but I didn’t think that Lincoln would fall off of the earth, either.

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