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Morning Java: For whom the Bell rolls …

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> Today’s TribLIVE Radio show — on its new day and new time, 2-3 p.m. — promises some good stuff. It will feature special guest Le’Veon Bell, the Steelers’ most talked-about performer in Latrobe, and maybe your starting running back.

We’ll also talk with Travis Sawchik, one of our baseball beat men, and @SuckMeter, too.

To listen, just click on the link above. It’s free, easy, no signup. If you’ve gone mobile, we’ve got the upgraded TribLIVE Radio app.

I want you involved, too, so email at sportstalk@tribweb.com or call 412-320-7925. And you can email the show at any time.

>> Josh Harrison? Oh, for real. The Pirates walk off in style against the Marlins. Rob Biertempfel has details.

Here’s the rest of our baseball coverage.

Here’s Marlins coverage from the Miami Herald.

And here are official game highlights from MLB.com.

>> Troy Polamalu spoke candidly about his future with Ralph Paulk in Latrobe. That was before the Steelers had yesterday off. They’re back at it, pads and all, this morning.

>> Pitt’s first day of practice saw a key linebacker switch. Jerry DiPaola reports.

>> I’ll head to the yard right after the show for the Thursday column.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

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

232 Comments

  1. The Pirates keep doing it. Glad to see Harrison hit that jack when it counted. He is a good guy.

    It is nice to see the Steelers draft picks doing well in camp. I have never seen so many contributors in a single class like this. Of course the first preseason game has not been played yet. I remember everyone getting excited about frank summers and Stevenson Sylvester their rookie years as well. Take care Lunatics.

  2. Hello everyone. My name is Dadtackular and I am a recovering “fanoholic”. It has been 20 years since I last tasted a winning season for the Pirates. I hope to jump off the wagon this year.
    Who’s with me?

  3. What a great game and super atmosphere at the ballpark.
    27907 were there to witness it.

    Bryan Morris with a very good inning of work.

    And I said this earlier in the night: any talk of moving McCutchen out of centerfield is just crazy talk.

    • TC, I must have missed all the “remove Cutch from center” talk.

      Who did this?

    • I was watching the Marlins broadcast because I live in Four-PM-Dinner-Land.

      After The Catch, the Marlins announcers were going nuts, sounding like Pirates fans. Some guys just get it when it comes to good baseball.

      Some center fielders too.

      Not only the ability to make that catch, but the baseball IQ knowing the situation in the game. That he may as well go for it because if not, with the runners going, at least two runs score anyway. The risk-reward: if he misses, it probably only means one more run than if he had played it safe vs ending the threat with zero runs and staying in the game.

      Brilliant. But then. Don’t forget the ability, too.

      • I missed the game last night. Dayum.

      • Brilliant catch for sure – Brilliant analysis also Drew. ++++

      • That would be a good trade to work out with the marlins, their announcing team for the Pirates.

        Josh Harrison has more big hits in the last 2 weeks, than Inge had in his 2 month tryout.
        I guess that “veteran leadership” may be a little overrated, after all!.
        Harrison may never be a major league regular, but he is good guy to have on this team, even though he is under 35 years of age.

        I would still like them to give this Lambo guy a few Ab’s at the major league level, sooner than later.
        Tough call to on who he would replace on the roster though.
        I guess Presley could always go back to AAA, but he seems like a good team player.
        Just wishing they could find a trade partner for Tabata.
        His team friendly deal is probably the main reason he is still on this roster.

  4. A lambo would look nice in my garage, but I might be willing to settle for A. Lambo in RF. Nos. 30 and 31 tonight … If Jordy Mercer can hit his way into the lineup…

  5. Another amazing night for the PIrates!
    As a fan…I went from being totally angry that they could go scoreless with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth….To total elation over Josh Harrison’s surprising game-ending HR.
    Wow!….

  6. Totally unrelated, and no sarcasm intended, but Johnny Manziel is starting to remind me of Lindsay Lohan.

    Young star. Out of control. Self indulgent. Squandering opportunity.

    • And criminal too?

    • He has become “Johnny Football” instead of Johnny Manziel.

      • I can see a rapid fall for this kid to where he will be know as Johnny Foosball if he doesn’t wake up. And top o’ the morning to ya Jandy and Brandie. :)

        • Hey, Rad Lad! Good to see you :)
          I missed the game last night…but was glad to hear we got the win :)

          • Yes, you were conspicuous in your absence. :) What a great win! And the blog negativity was fairly minimal until a couple of posts near the very end and he shut down quick. Most everything offered before that was legit and reasonable. Good night in blog land. Hope the Bucs can do it again tonight. Am splitting a 20 game package with 3 others for the rest of the season and can’t wait.

        • Manziel is also young. Think of Roethlisberger as “Big Ben” and how he had to dig his way out of that. Raaaaadddddd Laaaaaaaddddddd! I am so jealous! Have fun at the games!

      • Johnny Goofball is a more fitting nickname.

    • There are several similar examples as well.

      Very good point though.

      He is self destructing

    • I find it a little funny that an entity (NCAA) basically has entire control over these kids.

      Does Johnny maybe party a little too much? Possibly. But what 19-20 year olds don’t? I don’t see how you can hold that against someone, or use that to judge them.

      I bet a lot of the people in here are much different than they were at 19 or 20.

      Yet, the NCAA will strike down a kid who has made them a lot of money all because he signs a few autographs.

      Its disgusting.

      And remember…Johnny Manziel, as was the case for all others before and after, (basically) cannot get to the NFL without playing college football. And he has to be there for at least 3 seasons. They’ll advertise his face on TV, and use him to get TV ratings. And they’ll sell his jersey (without his name on the back of course, b/c, you know, that makes it ok. If there’s no name on the back, it could be anyone!) for more profit.

      Basically my question is, how can the NCAA make money off these kids identities, yet not allow them to make a few dollars OFF OF THEIR OWN IDENTITY?

      Monopoly much?

      • “I bet a lot of the people in here are much different than they were at 19 or 20″
        At nineteen I was married and keeping my own house and paying my own bills. SO, yup, I wasn’t a hell raiser.

        I agree that the NCAA is being hypocritical. But didn’t Johnny sign any papers that said he wouldn’t do what he did?

        • Haha! I said a lot Jandy, not all. Not all of us can be saints… ;-)

          And all these players I guess have to sign something saying they’ll play by the NCAA’s rules…

          But that’s my issue here.

          These kids are essentially signing 3-4 years of their life away in the hopes that they’ll be able to stay healthy and get to the NFL to get their “payday”. All while the NCAA is using their likenesses for profit.

          Doesn’t anyone see how wrong this is?

          • I think you’re fighting a different battle, Nate.

            • Oh I am.

              I’m just using Manziel here to get my gripes about the NCAA out.

              They essentially use slave labor (yes, a very strong and harsh term, and somewhat hyperbole, but, in the simplest of terms, they pay these kids nothing, and make massive profits off of them, to the tune of millions of dollars).

              But more people (not necessarily in DK blogland; just in general) have a problem that there’s not a playoff in college football.

              Something’s wrong here, and the only way to correct it is to continue to talk about it and take the NCAA to task.

              I will continue to fight the good fight.

              • Look, I think the system could use some tweaks. But why don’t you suggest a system with no scholarships and just paying these guys to play instead? Because right now the scholarships are the payment. (As well as the national recognition the few who really benefit get, leading to big contracts).

              • But if they are paid to play, then aren’t they professionals?

                The scholarship to get a free education is good. But that can’t be it (while giving up essentially any other way to make money for 3-4 years). These kids should also be getting some sort of monthly stipend (or be allowed to sign autographs or endorsement deals in college).

                There’s way too much of an imbalance there.

              • Nate, believe me, I see your point. The NCAA is extremely hypocritical.
                And trust me, I’m no saint ;X

              • Like I said, tweaks. But not the dastardly evil system you are portraying. Who is going to get helped by being allowed to sell their name? Mostly the guys who will end up with NFL careers anyway.

                I think being paid to play making them a professional is an NCAA rule, so it gets kind of circular.

              • Arriba

                If you can, take a look at this link.

                http://barstoolu.barstoolsports.com/m/

                I think it spells it out there pretty clearly.

                And it wouldn’t be that big of a deal if the NCAA wouldn’t come down like a hammer fist on these kids for “violations”.

                Johnny Football is getting too big for them. Gotta put him back in his place.

              • I did go to Barstool.Com, but didn’t see anything that spelled anything out clearly, other than “Penn State Student arrested after getting caught ___ing off in an academic building.”

                C’mon, man, can’t you at least get a Bleacher Report citation?

                It did reaffirm my belief In the validity of the Freeh Report.

            • I see two very different arguments…one is the extent of NCAA power and whether college athletes are compensated correctly (let’s not forget that scholarships have value, but also not forget that many of them really don’t see value in the education and don’t take the opportunity to get a good one)…. the other is Manziel has broken the rules and is showing terrible judgment, regardless of how old he is. You can’t break the rules because you are a narcissistic d/bag and then cry about the rules themselves and distract attention… you knew the rules, you purposely violated them, and you think you can get away with it because you are “johnny football” ..that is not a good combination of things and yes, it usually leads to bad consequences.

      • I can think of plenty of 19 or 20 year olds who didn’t feel like they needed to sew their wild oats. Every single one of the folks who I’ve been acquainted with that also played D1 college sports (not necessarily football) had strong work ethics. Very few of them engaged in anything remotely resembling the rolling frat party that is Johnny Goofball.

        That’s no excuse for the NCAA though. They are hypocrites and a corrupt organization of the highest order. I personally see nothing wrong with good old capitalism. Let the kids get endorsement deals from car dealerships, get free tattoos, have people pay for their autographs, whatever. These are all things regular people are free to do.

        • Yea, but you can also think of plenty of 19-20 year olds that do “sew their wild oats” (like that term btw).

          And, I also think you’re taking it a little far by questioning his work ethic. Just because the kid partys doesn’t mean he’s not a hard worker.

          I don’t see how the 2 are correlated.

          Good thoughts on the NCAA tho. You are officially in the HeMan NCAA Haters Club.

  7. Hoka Hey everyone!
    .
    Pirates win…Pirates win!!! ….LXVIII wins down, …and XIV to go.
    .
    Yes, GM Neal and Mgr. Clint ….82 wins DOES make a difference.
    .
    Beat Em’ Bucs !
    .
    PS: BUCCOS = Best winning percentage in all of MLB …. :-)
    .
    PSS: Nice hitting Josh Harrison….CONGRATS.

  8. Anyone want Brandon Inge back instead of Harrison?

    I didn’t think so!

    A win for Morris, is a good thing.

    Vin Mazzaro barely got out of it, he hasn’t looked very good his last few outings, might be an issue there. I saw him get rocked in DC, his velocity was low 90′s last night but he was getting drilled. McCutchen’s catch saved that game.

    Although Pedro SHOULD have won it in the bottom of the 8th. Looked at strike 3 right down the middle.

  9. “It will be a progression this week,” Snider said. “We’ll see how my body responds.”
    —————————————–
    Hey buddy, YOU HURT YOUR BIG TOE!

    • He must be hanging around Walker too much.

    • He should give it a couple of extra weeks, like the 2nd week of september, just to be sure it’s healed.

      I liked the trade, at first, but the team is better with him on the DL.

    • Hey buddy, a sore big toe ended the career of Jack Lambert, so cut the kid a little slack here. He tried to play on it for a month.

      • Hockey players these guys are not. Hockey players play on broken toes and feet.
        But hey, Presley and JHay are filling in nicely, so it’s all good. Even Tabby smacked a few good ones.

        • It’s also possible that it’s easier to skate with a broken foot than it is to cover the outfield grass at PNC park without hurting your team.

          Not that it’s EASY. Just that a stiff cast placed inside a hard skate isn’t the same as a stiff cast inside a leather shoe.

          • who said anything about a cast?? These guys don’t have casts. They wrap them up!
            But I was being facetious….since I am a hockey nut ;)

    • Didn’t a toe injury force Jack Lambert into retirement?

  10. JAL’s August 7 4:15 Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9fxB-6SWsk

    GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

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

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

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

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)

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

    4 Pittsburgh Pirates Stats

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

    5 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Pick Signing Tracker

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

    BLOGS and such

    6—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: The Bench Has (Almost) Been Fully Upgraded

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/08/first-pitch-the-bench-has-almost-been-fully-upgraded.html

    Josh Harrison’s Pinch-Hit Walk-Off Homer Wins for Pirates 4-3

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/08/josh-harrisons-pinch-hit-walk-off-homer-wins-for-pirates-4-3.html

    Prospect Watch: Andrew Lambo Adds Two More Home Runs

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/08/prospect-watch-andrew-lambo-adds-two-more-home-runs.html

    7 Bucs Dugout

    Josh Harrison hits walk-off blast in 4-3 win over Marlins

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/8/6/4596310/josh-harrison-hits-walk-off-blast-in-4-3-win-over-marlins

    8 WHYGAVS

    Game 112: Pirates 4 Marlins 3

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/august-2013/game-112-pirates-4-marlins-3.html

    9 Bleacher Report

    Looking at Jameson Taillon’s First Triple-a Stint for Pittsburgh Pirates

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1728390-looking-at-jameson-taillons-first-aaa-stint-for-pittsburgh-pirates

    10 Rumbunter

    Pirates and Nationals: A Tale of Teams Headed in Opposite Directions

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/08/07/pirates-and-nationals-a-tale-of-teams-headed-in-opposite-directions/

    11 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Pirates 4 Marlins 3

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2013/08/pirates-4-marlins-3/

  11. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 Fish Stripes

    MLB Scores: Miami Marlins 3, Pittsburgh Pirates 4

    http://www.fishstripes.com/2013/8/6/4596352/mlb-scores-miami-marlins-3-pittsburgh-pirates-4

    13 City of Champions

    Could Jose Tabata be the Pittsburgh Pirates’ answer in right field?

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2013/08/06/could-jose-tabata-be-the-pirates-answer-in-right-field/

    14 Beaver County Times

    Pirates Insider: Harrison’s blast lifts Bucs

    http://www.timesonline.com/sports/pirates/pirates-insider-harrison-s-blast-lifts-bucs/article_270a9080-74f1-58ae-a80e-3143dccc9074.html

    15 Miami Herald

    Miami Marlins blow lead, lose on walk-off home run

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/08/07/3547232/miami-marlins-blow-lead-lose-on.html

    16 CBS Sports

    Marlins at Pirates: Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20130807_MIA@PIT

    17 KDKA

    ‘Bucco Time Machine’: What We Were Saying A Year Ago Today

    http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/08/06/bucco-time-machine-what-we-were-saying-a-year-ago-today/

    18 PBC Site

    Harrison’s heroics give Bucs walk-off win in opener

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_08_06_miamlb_pitmlb_1&mode=recap_home&c_id=pit

    Notebook: Melancon bringing calm demeanor to closer’s role

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130806&content_id=56075166&notebook_id=56078128&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    The Foundation of the Front Office

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=21451

    20 Fangraphs

    A Few Different Ways To Look at The Steroid Era, Graphically

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/a-few-different-ways-to-look-at-the-steroid-era-graphically/

  12. Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    ‘Swinging hammer harder’ philosophy of this year’s camp shows Tomlin’s depth of leadership

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/8/6/4594618/steelers-coach-mike-tomlin-2013-training-camp

    Keisel is betting on a big season for Steelers safety Troy Polamalu

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/8/6/4594124/steelers-troy-polamalu-injury-status-health-2013

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Thoughts on the Steelers as They Reach the Halfway Point of Training Camp=Part 1

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/08/2013-steelers-training-camp-thoughts-part-1/

    Thoughts On The Steelers As They Reach The Halfway Point Of Training Camp – Part 2

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/08/2013-steelers-training-camp-thoughts-part-2/

    Soccer(football)

    23 Daily Telegraph

    Paul Ince asks ‘has someone got to get stabbed before we listen?’ after pitch invasion at Preston v Blackpool clash

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/blackpool/10224974/Paul-Ince-asks-has-someone-got-to-get-stabbed-before-we-listen-after-pitch-invasion-at-Preston-v-Blackpool-clash.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    Brian Glanville-German Doping Report Is No Surprise

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/uncategorized/brian-glanville-german-doping-report-is-no-surprise

  13. Does anybody know if Tailion is scheduled to pitch in Toledo on Saturday or Sunday?

    • Should be Saturday:)

    • I watched him pitch monday in Indy and after the first 4 batters he settled down and looked good. Fastball at 97 and good offspeed stuff. The first three batters got free passes and the 4th hit a firstpitch fastball for a bases clearing double. I am confident that he will fare better Saturday with his arsenal of pitches.

  14. Question – if the MLB season ended today, would the Pirates play the Dodgers and not the Cards-Reds winner because they are in our division? Didn’t know if that changed with the additional wild card team or not. Just looking at it, playing the Dodgers, Braves, Cards or Reds would be tough….but would be wonderful just seeing the Bucs in a playoff series again.

    • I don’t think it matters whether the Wild Card is in the same division as the #1 seed. It’s the winner of the Wild Card playoff vs #1 seed, #2 vs #3.

    • Also the Braves have a very easy schedule the rest of the way and currently sit just 1 game behind the Pirates. It would seem likely that they will secure the #1 seed. However it seemed likely the Pirates wouldn’t win the 95 games Clint Hurdle predicted at the beginning of the year but here we are on pace to win 95 games so who knows. I certainly do not.

  15. Bell’s got to be the most crucial member of the steelers season. If he’s a bust then we’re in deep dodo.

    Will both Redman and Dwyer make the team this season? Since we brought in that RB from Arizona would we really need 4 backs?

    Also, does anyone know how many WRs does a team normally run with? Are we going to be able to keep Plex on the team if we already have Brown, Sanders, Cotchery, and the two guys we drafted?

  16. Just checking in here today to see how many people are “taking back everything bad they said about JHay” because of last night… I went to bed a bit early and missed the whole thing :(. Also missed what happened after we loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the 8th… good thing, I guess.

    • A studied silence has ensued.

    • I am pleased to be able to offer some bragadaccio: I “knew” it and said so.

    • Well, you have to take that in context. If you are the type of person that lives for “gotcha”, or “I told you so” moments, then you should be pleased as punch today.

      I have seen JHay get picked off base to edn the game, struggle, have baserunning goofs, fielding errors, etc. I have called him what I think he is…………. a AAAA player. I am super happy he hit the HR last night, but let us not annoint him the Second Coming just because of that.

      If he does him on a consistent basis, then people will change their minds.
      Until then, people will think as they want to.

    • JHay is a fine utility player and a decent 12th or 13th man on the bench. Much better player right now than Brandon Inge.

      I don’t think that makes him a starter, but yeah, he’s decent enough as a bench player.

      • Exactly, only I would argue he is more like 10th or 11th on this bench, with emphasis on his versatility(recall he moved around twice the day he had all those hits).

        • I agree with the assessments of JHay being a nice bench piece and definite upgrade over Inge.

          But what I loved about his HR last night was that as soon as the bat made contact with the ball he took off sprinting to 1B and was half way to second when it cleared….he was thinking Triple if it doesn’t clear the wall.

          If you are going to stare at a HR ball, it better be 10-15 rows deep. I love Cutch and the guy is MVP caliber for sure but he has hit a few lately that he took a nice look at before realizing they were not leaving the Park. Hustle needs to be this offense’s middle name.

  17. Interesting article by Tim Williams on “upgrading” the bench in JAL’s Link #6. Very interesting about Lambo, too.

    • Two more homers from Lambo. Bring him up already.

      • Last night brown made a comment saying he asked NH if Lambo not being on the 40 man was the reason for him not being here already. NH said no, pointing to the fact that they actually have two sposts currently open on the 40 man.

        Walk asked brown if he then asked what the hold up actually is. Brown said he did not because NH was already shaking his head and telling him he was just like a typical fan.

    • Very timely piece. When is someone finally going to get a big pinch hit around here ?

    • “He might not be a 30 homer a year guy in the majors. A conservative guess would put him closer to 20 homers a year.”

      Stuff like this is why I can’t take Williams opinion peices seriously.

      He’s either wildly optomistic or doesn’t understand the meaning of the word conservative.

  18. DK, the Polamalu link above sends you to Miami, not Latrobe.

    Very happy for all the Pirates fans on here. Great season for the Bucs.

    It was 43 degrees here in the mountains this morning–autumn is just around the corner. A collapse is looking less and less likely.

    • You’re in Colorado aren’t you, CWalton?

      I’m taking vacation in Ouray, Telluride, and Denver over Labor Day. Any chance the Aspens start changing early?

      • Yes, Estes Park. And ther is a good chance the Apens will change early. We’ve had a wet summer, and now early cool temps. And you should think about visiting here too. RMNP is only 90 minutes from Denver.

        • Nice! I’ve heard Estes is really growing.

          I spent a summer in Mintern a while ago and made it up to RMNP a few times. Great area, especially with proximity to Denver in mind.

          This will be our first time in the San Jauns, or else RMNP would’ve been our choice.

      • Love Telluride. Great skiing – a little pricey, though.

        • Just saw a list of the friendliest cities in the US, and Telluride was in the top ten. I think it was a Huffington Post poll.

    • Hey don’t use that C word around here.

  19. A brief recall of the game from sec 318…

    What a game last night. After being down 3 by the midway point of the 3rd inning, it felt like the stadium had lost some air in it. Then came the hits and the baserunners. By the time Cutch came to the plate, the stadium was beginning to become electric. Cutch drives in 2 and the place is going nuts. Pedro up next. All he needs to do is a little base hit and the score is tied. Screw the small ball, Pedro goes big with a triple and the stadium is now in full rocking and rolling mode. Locke didn’t look himself but was able to get through 5 2/3. Vin came in and got the final out of the inning. Still tied at 3 going into the 8th. Miami starts to mount a charge for the lead, but an amazing catch by McCutchen saved the inning from getting away. Stadium is abuzz again with the catch. Still abuzzed going into the home half of the inning and our amazing Bucs have the bases loaded with none out. My buddy and I like what we see coming up. Noise is loud and chants of Let’s Go Pedro rain down from the crowd. But, a scene we have seen all to often an a Pedro strike out. Still have the bases loaded and only one out. My buddy tells me, we can still make this work, all we need is a ball hit to the outfield and Martin is coming up. Should be easy task, but no – Martin ground weakly to second for the inning end double play. The air is completely gone from the stadium at this point. A great opportunity squandered. Only hope now is for a walk off to occur for home half of the 9th. Morris comes in and sits the fish down pretty quickly. The big board plays the clip of the movie to “Hoist the colors”. Fans start to go crazy and Jolly Rogers are waving throughout the stadium. I look around and am amazed at how many flags are waving in the stands. Harrison is announced as the pinch hitter and it feel like a little bit of a buzz kill took place. He takes the first pitch, if my memory serves me correctly. The next pitch he deposits in the right center seats, barely clearing the wall and the stadium absolutely erupts. 29K and its deafening roar with the walk off victory. We stay around to watch Josh get the pie in the face from AJ. What a night.

    Going back for game 2 tonight. Hopefully, they can get out in front of the fish early and run away with this game because the match up on Thursday is going to be a tough one.

    • They showed a replay of the HR during the cardinals /dodgers game, and the droopy card’s announcer said it may have been

      “fan interference”, but was not reviewed.

      From the replay i saw, it hit the guy in the 1st row, clearly above the fence/yellow line.

      I am really hoping they can get to at least a 4 game lead before the st louis series.

      Just don’t want to get swept by them.

      • When I first saw the play in real time I thought it might have been interference. When they showed the replay from a closer angle it cleared the fence before it was touched…barely.

    • Way to bring home the win, tdb!~ Do it again tonight :)

  20. If there was one person on here who was unhappy that Brandon Inge was finally cut lose I missed it. We’re sure hearing a lot about those non-existent people today, though.

    :-)

  21. What a great finish to a very shaky game; this is the sign of a special team when they find ways to win on an off night for most. Jay-Hay yesterday – who knows who will be huge tonight!

    Off now to Rochester, where I will represent the Anyone But Tiger part of the gallery for the next few days. Keep those wins coming, Bucs and loony supporters! Especially, humble that Fernandez kid a little bit tomorrow night.

  22. What time is Riley Cooper scheduled to say he’s sorry today ?

  23. My notes from last nights pirates loss:

    - Locke was mediocre again for the second time in a row. 9 hits over 5-2/3.

    - I can’t believe Pedro went for the triple. Seemed like the outfielder got to the ball just as Pedro was rounding 1st. I dunno if the guy bobbled it or what. The expression on pedro’s face was absolutely hilarious though. He obviously knew he was taking a big chance. Great slide though.

    - Luckily we were playing the fish and not the cards. Gotta take advantage of your opportunities when they are slapping you in the face like that bases loaded no outs 8th last night.

    • HA – I said pirates loss. It felt like a loss because I went to bed before the 9th inning.

      • I think we’re seeing that regression everyone was worried about the Locke. Good news about it though is that he’s managed to battle his way through and keep the team in the ballgame. He might have another couple of games like this, but I’m worried about him like I once was.

        This is more what a natural regression looks like, unlike what we witnessed last year with James McDonald. I think he’ll be fine and eventually lady luck will tilt back in his favor.

        • Count me as one who sees the same pitcher over the last three starts as the first 19.

          • The only thing I can see is he’s not spotting his pitches quite as well as he was early on (aka missing spots) and his control has also been a bit off (with the higher walk totals recently).

            But, of the 9 hits he gave up last night, weren’t like 7-8 singles?

            Kid will be fine.

            • These were my thoughts too. Several of the hits given up last night were seeing eye, ground balls that just made it through the infield. I thought Locke kept his composure and continued pitching. AJ taking Locke under his wing looks to have been the confidence boost Locke needed.

              • Agreed 100% on AJ. It’s helped immensely. I crack up when they show those two putting their heads together during games. They look like two schoolboys plotting mischief!

        • No regression. Just a little bit of bad luck. Outside of the third inning he didn’t get hit hard once. Piddly dribbler ground balls loaded the abses in the second and he did wwell to get just the sac fly. The third inning was dicey but other than that it wasn’t that bad of an outing. He usually walks a lot more guys than he did last night so he is somewhat used to working out of those jams.

    • Locke was shaky, but for Locke. Still ” only ” gave up 3 ER’s and all in one inning. I mentioned the JMac comparison last night, but I’m not hitting the panic button yet on Jeff.

      • Did you notice “the look” come back in the 5th and 6th last night?

        • At the game last night.
          I was surprised that some of those hits didn’t go over the fence…way over.

          But I was also surprised that some of the Marlins’ hits ‘sounded’ like they were really smacked good – but were just dropping in to the shallow part of the OF or at infielders.

          If Locke also learned how to handle the bat a little better, especially bunting, he would really be helping himself a lot.

          • I notice this every year about this time at PNC. the ball just stops traveling. hits that were sure homers in June and July barely make it to the track at best.

        • No. Do you mean the “look” to the dugout? I only saw parts, and heard some on the radio. That could possibly be bad, if It’s what I think you’re saying.

          • No, I mean “the look” of no confidence that was plastered on his face while getting knocked around the last two Septembers.

            Ever so briefly I saw a bit of that creep back while he was scuffling through the 5th and 6th.

            Which made it all the more relieving to see him make the best pitch off the ball game when he froze Hechavaria high and tight to end the 5th.

            • I wonder if his back is hurting him.

              Or the thought of a bad back is hurting him.

            • Like I said, I missed it. He sounded pretty confident after the game. And that is a big part of his game and JMac’s. We shall see, I guess. But thanks for bringing it up.

            • I was at the game so I didn’t see any replays or closeups, but I thought at times in the 5 and 6 he may have had the ‘bulldog’ look on his face.

              • One of the announcers, forget who, noted that Locke was looking frustrated, might have been Walkie

              • I think I did hear that on the radio, but it would have been Steve or Tim. BTW, Tim still sucks.

      • I don’t see a comparison between JMac and Locke. A bad night for JMac turned a 7-1 lead into a 7-7 tie in less than three outs. When Locke struggles, as he did some last night, he gives up three runs before none were out in the third, but gives up no more runs until he was removed with two outs in the sixth.

        Yes, his results have not been as good lately as they were earlier in the year. My guess is that hitters have made some adjustments, so he will have to make some also. It’s part of the game.

  24. Q: What makes Andrew Lambo different frome Steve Pearce and/or Brad Eldred?

  25. Q: What makes Andrew Lambo different from Steve Pearce and/or Brad Eldred?

    • He hasn’t sniffed the majors yet.

    • A1. He’s never been given his chance

      A2. He’s spent most of his minor league career in AA or AAA.

      A3. He’s had a longer minor league career. In theory, his numbers might be a little more projectable.

      Personally, I think he’ll be more like Garrett Jones where he’ll have a nice career, probably a platoon guy, maybe hit 6th or so on a decent teams’ lineup. That’s more than I can say I think of Tabata, Presley, or Snider at this point.

  26. Regression.

    Baseball’s new buzz word

  27. Speaking of Garrett Jones…

    he’s now hitting .249.

    Weren’t we supposed to trade for the better version of him at the deadline? Whatever happened to that trade? Anyone know why it hasn’t come to fruition?

    • Maybe you missed it, all those guys were traded to other teams at the deadline.

    • His July line of .261/.311/.493 WAS that guy.

    • My sentiments exactly!

      We WASTED a perfectly good opportunity by not obtaining anyone at the deadline. I heard that Seattle asked a lot for Morales and this was a problem why?

      The point now is to win the World Series. We have to make a foolish move for the long run in order to win now in the short run. As much as I would have hated to do it but I would have parted with someone of the likes of Hanson and Glasnow for Morales.

      Couldn’t we have even obtained a bench guy?

      • You missed Nates point.

      • “We WASTED a perfectly good opportunity by not obtaining anyone at the deadline. I heard that Seattle asked a lot for Morales and this was a problem why?”

        Apparently because it was more than he was worth. I notice that nobody else bothered to trade for him.

        “The point now is to win the World Series. We have to make a foolish move for the long run in order to win now in the short run. As much as I would have hated to do it but I would have parted with someone of the likes of Hanson and Glasnow for Morales.”

        I’m glad you’re not the GM, because the difference in our chances that a bench player would bring is too high a price to pay for 20 more years of irrelevence.

        • Are you saying Morales is a bench player? He has 17 homers and is nearly batting 300. Are our chances better or worse with him?

          We obtained Zane Smith for Moises Alou when we were in the playoff race 20+ years ago. Were we a worse team in the future for it? Sure but the point back then was to win the WS and that trade gave us a better chance than if we didn’t go ahead with it. Plus, if we kept Alou, he would have been part of the sinking ship over the next few years.

          • Dom, you’d have traded your grandmother and DK’s mom to minimally upgrade the Pirates bench. Trading Alou in the 90′s made sense because it was a caretaker ownership group. It has little to no relevance today. They got a starting pitcher to help defeat their then nemesis New York Mets. It worked. morales does not equal a starting pitcher. And these guys are looking long term.

            • “Dom, you’d have traded your grandmother and DK’s mom to minimally upgrade the Pirates bench.”

              Hahaha…

              Dom, we love you, but that one rings true.

            • That’s where we see things differently, I am not looking long term. The point is to win this year. We might not and probably wont have the best record years from now when and if guys like Polanco, Hanson, and Glasnow are in the majors.

              • 2011 was “lightening in a bottle”

                2012 was “all-in”

                Both years the win-now-at-all-cost meme was pitched with the logic that the team will never have a better chance.

                Do you see the pattern forming?

              • Dom–where I think we differ is since around the deadline and thereafter you’ve been pitching crazy deals that scream ” just do something, everything else be damned.” That’s my read. Rationality has gone out the window. It’s beyond “All-In.”

                But I agree with NMR, you’re the best. :-)

          • Nope, I simply failed to include his last sentence when I cut and pasted.

          • We didn’t win the WS. We didn’t even play in the WS. We did have the pleasure of watching sub-.500 baseball for 20 years, though.

            Still, I wasn’t opposed to that deal, as Zane Smith was a much better player than any of the stiffs I saw connected to the Pirates at the latest trade deadline.

  28. For all of you in the Burgh area, will there even be baseball tonight? I saw the national weather map and it looked like rain extended from down here in Georgia all the way up to the Great Lakes and said it would be that way for the next 48 hours.

    Bucs don’t need another off day…just had one and will have another next Monday. I’d rather them have a few in September.

  29. Hey, Happy Birthday, Sid :)

    • Just kidding around Bream’s birthday was just a few days ago though. Sid turns 26. All downhill from here.

      • Nah….life starts at 40, Dom ;)

      • I had this exact conversation just the other day. I contend that “middle age” is from 30-50. And you can be considered “old” after 50 and “young” before 30. This is all based on the national (US) life span average of ~80 years. 0-30 young, 30-50 middle, 50-80 old, 80+ dino old. (40 still being the hill). Although I heard just the other day that if you survive (cancer & other ailments) by 65 yrs old, there’s a much better chance of living well past 80.

        Of course all this being not very useful, you’re as old or young as you want to be. It just comes down to the choices you make and the way you want to live. I plan to still be middle-aged well into my 60′s just as I plan to be young well into my 40′s.

        • I recall a moment when a now deceased comedian was on tv giving a concert. He commented he was getting old, that he had turned 60. A woman in the audience shouted “you’re not old, you’re middle aged. The comedian replied,”thank you madam, I’m not going to live to 120, 60 is not middle aged.”

        • “Of course all this being not very useful, you’re as old or young as you want to be. It just comes down to the choices you make and the way you want to live. I plan to still be middle-aged well into my 60′s just as I plan to be young well into my 40′s.”

          ahhhh…the joys of youth :)

        • My brain wants me to be 30, but some of my joints are arguing that I’m 80, so my real age of 52 doesn’t seem so bad.

    • Coming back from vacation on Saturday and hopped on the airside shuttle at Greater Pitt, looked up and there stood Sid Bream. He knew I knew who he was and just nodded and I nodded back and I chose to think about what a good man he is, and how he played hard for the Pirates, rather than get a mental image of him sliding into home plate and sending us on a 20 $#*%*@# YEAR losing streak because STERIOD BOY couldn’t throw and Chico Lind couldn…. (slapping self) Well anyhow, I really tried not to think that…

  30. I know some people don’t like Greg Brown, but his call on Harrison’s home run last night was priceless. Watched the replay a couple of times just to hear that call.

    • People who don’t like Greg Brown need a stronger dose of Potash, Steigy, and Errey

      • Greg Brown, Lanny Frattare, Bill Hillgrove, (and the inexplicable move of) Mike Lange (being relegated to Radio) are the best of the 80′s, 90′s. 00′s, and “teens?”

      • And I’ll throw in Blass and Kent (yo – as in you know) Tekulve

    • He is as pure and genuine as is possible to be. Refreshing, just like last night’s, and all of his impromptu ad lib calls

    • I’ve always enjoyed Greg Brown, you can hear his passion and it is evident he bleeds black and yellow just like a fan.

      Having to call games for this team the past 20 years, he has to feel like a kid again watching pennant race baseball and witnessing the scene at PNC each night.

      • I remember Greg being nearly in tears once in 2005 saying that one day “this team will win again”. So glad he is on board and enjoying it. Seems like a great guy.

    • No one will ever top the Gunner for me, but I do like Greg Brown, and of all The Gunner’s successors, he is my favorite. I thoroughly enjoy his passion also.

      • The Gunner was the best. Lanny was a real pro & always had my support. Milo Hamilton was awful here as was Dave Martin (does anyone remember him – I think he got fired before the season was over, he was soooooooooo bad).

        Brownie is doing a fine job and I support him. He has both some “Gunner” and some “Lanny” in him.

  31. Well JHay has earned himself a start, playing RF batting 7th tonight. CH did say he was going to let the hot hand play RF.

  32. It’s interesting that Sid’s birthday is 8-7-87

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