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Morning Java: The Cobra’s battle

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> I call special attention this morning to colleague Joe Starkey’s Tuesday column on Dave Parker, the Pirates’ MVP right fielder of the 1970s, and his biggest battle.

Best wishes to the Cobra.

>> Saw this figure the other day: The NFL has suspended 16 players for performance-enhancing drugs in 2013.

Did you know that?

Better question: Can you name a single one of them?

If not, why do you suppose it is, given the NFL’s stature in our sporting society — No. 1 by such a distance that No. 2 should be left blank — that football avoided all the big, ugly headlines we’re seeing all over the country this morning related to baseball’s latest scandal?

Could it be that the NFL simply issues a press release, the guy gets suspended, and that’s that?

No dragging out a drama over months?

Roger Goodell is rightly criticized for a lot, but give him huge props for keeping his PED manhunt a lot more discreet than Bud Selig has, even as the NFL has taken significant steps toward, you know, not ignoring steroids anymore.

Here’s the Trib’s coverage of the Biogenesis scandal.

>> The Pirates face the Fish again, and all that pitching.

Here’s Marlins coverage from the Miami Herald.

Here are official game highlights from

And here is what all the gang on WPXI-TV’s ‘The Final Word’ thought of the Pirates staying in first …

>> Pitt opens camp on the South Side today. Jerry DiPaola has the hold. Shaping a young roster will be Paul Chryst’s main challenge.

>> Markus Wheaton is catching up quickly in Latrobe, writes Alan Robinson. If Wheaton somehow can work his way onto the field in something more than four-wide sets, that would be a boon for the Steelers.

Also, Cortez Allen insists he’ll be ready for the opener.

Mike Adams and Marcus Gilbert have switched tackles.

And there’s a new no-purses policy at Heinz.

>> That’s all for this morning. It was a light Monday, and I’ll be off again today. The radio show is tomorrow, as is my next trip to the ballpark.

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. War Horse says:

    An interesting comment by Mark McGwire Monday as he returned to St. Louis as the hitting coach for the hottest team in the NL, the L.A. Dodgers:

    McGwire said the current Dodgers, who entered St. Louis on a 14-game road winning streak, remind him of the 2011 Cardinals who won the World Series.

    “We were just going through the season and had a lot of injuries, then a big trade. It took time, and all of a sudden, the team gelled together and look what happened, won a World Series,” he said. “That’s sort of the feeling that’s happening here in L.A. That’s a great feeling. Guys are putting things together.”

    My feeling is that you might say the same thing about this year’s Pittsburgh Pirates.

    Full story here:

  2. JohnS says:

    I am a huge Cobra guy. This is sad to hear. Best of luck Dave Parker.

    Cobra HOF.

  3. Drew71 says:

    Career statistics

    Batting average .290
    Hits 2,712
    Home runs 339 (95th)
    Runs batted in 1,493 (53rd)

    Career highlights and awards

    2× World Series champion (1979, 1989)
    1978 National League Most Valuable Player
    2× NL batting champion (1977, 1978)
    7× All-Star (1977, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1985, 1986, 1990)
    1979 Major League Baseball All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award
    1985 All-Star Game Home Run Derby winner
    3× Gold Glove Award winner (1977, 1978, 1979)
    3× Silver Slugger Award winner (1985, 1986, 1990)

  4. Drew71 says:

    By comparison, look how similar his numbers look to HoFer Jim Rice’s:

    Career statistics

    Batting average .298
    Hits 2,452
    Home runs 382
    Runs batted in 1,451

    Career highlights and awards

    8× All-Star selection (1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986)
    2× Silver Slugger Award winner (1983, 1984)
    1978 AL MVP

    Taking nothing away from Rice, note the defensive award recognitions for Parker in my earlier post.

  5. Tom P. says:

    Anybody else remember Dave Parker throwing out Brian Downing from the warning track on an attempted sacrifice fly in the 1979 All-Star Game? As a recall, Gary Carter of the Mets did a great job blocking the plate.

  6. Tom P. says:

    The Cardinals are now 3-9 in their last 12 games, all against likely playoff teams. They certainly are not peaking too early.

  7. JoeyBats says:

    Hoka Hey everyone!
    Here’s an update on the performance of the top picks in the recent Pirate drafts:
    2013: (1st round, 9th pick) Austin Meadows….OF…GCL Pirates …. .304/ .390 / .533 … 2 HR, 10 RBI, 22 K, 12 BB, 1 SB, in 23 games and 92 AB’s. Austin bats from the LEFT side.
    2013: (1st round, 14th pick) Reese McGuire…. C …GCL Pirates …. .366/.423/ .455 … 0 HR, 14 RBI, 11 K, 9 BB, 3 SB, in 25 games and 101 AB’s. Reese bats from the LEFT side.
    2012: (1st round 45th pick) Barrett Barnes…OF…West Virginia…. .268/.338/.399 ….5 HR, 24 RBI, 48 K, 17 BB, 10 SB in 46 Games and 183 AB’s (Mark Appel was selected #1 and went unsigned). Barrett bats from the RIGHT side. [ Barrett has been on the DL for the 2nd time this year …last game played was July 23]
    2011: Gerritt Cole…RHP…pitching with the Pirates
    2010: Jameson Taillon …RHP … Altoona…4 W, 7 L, 3.67 ERA …..110.1 IP, 112 H, 106 K, 36 BB, 8 HR….1.34 WHIP; JAMO was promoted to Triple AAA Indy this past week…..pitched 5 innings in his first start last night ……3H, 3 ER, 5 K, 3 BB ……5.40 ERA
    2009: Tony Sanchez…. C ….Indy…. .288/.368/.504 … 10 HR, 42 RBI , 60 K, 28 BB, 0 SB, in 76 games and 260 AB’s. Tony bats from the RIGHT side. ** Currently on the Pirates roster :-)
    PS: Stetson Allie (2010 draft…2nd round) was moved up to Bradenton about 8 weeks ago. His line there is .238/.348/.364 … 2 HR, 14 RBI, 56 K, 25 BB, 0 SB in 41 games and 151 AB’s. He bats from the RIGHT side.
    Beat Em Bucs !

  8. John Lease says:

    Nice article on Parker, he was the man of my youth. The Pittsburgh media did him a huge disservice as they ran him out of town, they only guy who stuck up for him really was Lanny.

    I hope he starts taking his medicine, and even more hope that they find a cure for it, a very devastating disease.

  9. John Lease says:

    McGwire find the right steroids for them?

  10. Drew71 says:

    I feel terrible.

    Yesterday I forgot to wish everyone a Happy Biogenesis Day.

    Happy belated.

    I’m hoping that by next August 5, Hallmark stores will have a Bio section.

  11. JW says:

    To be fair, if two NFL stars the magnitude of Braun and Rodriguez were to be suspended, it would be a much bigger deal than Weslye Saunders.

  12. JD says:

    + 39! I always loved watching the Conra play. Lets hope he makes the HOF while he can still enjoy it.

  13. scapper says:

    Still the greatest Pirate I ever saw and still my all-time favorite Pirate. No Pirate played the game harder on every single play. He’d give it up full force on every two-hopper to the second baseman. Infield pop-up? He’d go full throttle around first base until the ball was caught. Didn’t matter if it was opening day, a huge September game or a Tuesday night in July against the Padres. The man hustled all the time.

    I remember a game at Shea when, after a rundown between third and home, Milo Hamilton went nuts because the player covering home plate was Dave Parker, who had started the play from right field.

    I believe he was also the first player ever to win back-to-back Player of the Month awards, a feat made more incredible by the fact that he did it during that magical run at the Phillies in ’78 when every game was vital.

    Great column. Love hearing how at peace the big guy is despite this hard, biting slider that life has thrown his way. Here’s hoping it’s not a Steve Carlton slider. Lefty was the only pitcher who consistently made the Cobra look foolish with that hellacious slider!

  14. JAL says:

    JAL’s Cold Wind in August 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

    Pirates Playoff Roster Projection: Choosing a Champion

    First Pitch: It Pays to Use Steroids

    VIDEO: Pirates Roundtable Live — Episode 4

    Prospect Watch: Taillon Makes Triple-A Debut; Lambo Hits 29th Homer

    7 Bucs Dugout

    Taillon recovers from rough 1st inning

    8 City of Champions

    PiPittsburgh Pirates winning with intelligence, evoking Tampa Bay Rays

    9 The Green Weenie

    2014 Pitching…Same Ol’ Gang?

    8/5: First Radio Game, Stargell Blasts, Great Pitching, Maz Record, Nellie Briles & More…

    10 Rumbunter

    Analyzing the Potential Trade For Giancarlo Stanton Between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Miami Marlins

    11 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Game 102 Preview: Pirates vs. Marlins

  15. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 Yahoo Sports

    Who Is the MVP of the Pittsburgh Pirates?

    13 KDKA

    Will Offensive Frailties Matter For Pirates In Stretch Run?

    14 Alamogordo Daily News

    MLB suspensions overlook the real victims

    15 Miami Herald

    Young Miami Marlins pitchers making impact

    16 CBS Sports

    Marlins at Pirates: Game Preview

    17 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Bonus Bytes: The Biogenesis fallout

    18 PBC Site

    After dominating, Liriano named NL Player of the Week

    Young arms face off in Pittsburgh after off-day


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    The Holding Company

    20 Fangraphs

    MLB Suspends Alex Rodriguez Through 2014 Season; 12 Others Get 50 Games

  16. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Cortez Allen aiming for return in Week 1 vs. Tennessee Titans

    Maurkice Pouncey didn’t realize MIke Adams was at left tackle

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Steelers Defense Ends To Rush More in 2013


    23 Daily Telegraph

    Luis Suarez, Gareth Bale, Wayne Rooney – how biggest transfer battles have turned toxic

    24 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 5th August, 2013

  17. JAL says:

    Cold Wind in August Van Morrison 1977

  18. The Gunner says:

    For you younger fans on the blog, the man who gave Dave Parker the nickname Cobra was the late, great HOF Voice of the Pirates, Bob Prince (aka The Gunner).

    Sounds like #39 has realized the mistakes of his youth in the latter days of his Pirate career. He was a great player surrounded by an equally great supporting cast in 1979 (Stargell, Garner, Foli, Madlock, Easler, Bill Robinson, Candelaria, Blyleven, Bibby, Tekulve). Then there was likes of Lee Lacy & John Milner on the bench, either of whom would have been a regular on most other teams.

    Hang in there, Cobra!!

  19. TJ says:

    Morning all –

    Finally have a chance to comment on the article written by DK questioning whether the Pirates knew what they were doing to/for the city. In the article were examples of fans that have sat through games good and bad and stuck loyaly by the team.

    I have no problems applauding someone that has sat through every home game for the past 20 years. Awesome; good for them.

    But I want to say this to all of you that come to this blog faithfully. I don’t think it takes going to every home game or owning a season ticket package is required to be considered a faithful and loyal fan.

    All of you that come on here are passionate about your sports in this town; every sport. Who wouldn’t love the freedom or finances to go to every home game? Unfortunately for some of us our jobs don’t allow it or our pocket books don’t allow for it.

    To me that makes you no less of a fan than the guy that has gone for 20 straight years. I was a senior in high school and remember to this day watching that 9th inning and can see Bream coming around third to break my heart. I have lived in 3 states since but have never stopped loving or following the Pirates.

    So I salute all of you sports loving lunatics; to me you are just as important as the guy who goes to every game rain or shine.

  20. Jandy says:

    Guy this man a drink, and get his dog one too!

    Well said, TJ!

  21. Jandy says:

    Darn Jandy Typo.

    BUY this man a drink…

  22. Jandy says:

    Let’s hear it for Francisco Liriano, NL Player of the Week! This man is overlooked too often.

  23. Wild Bill says:

    My favorite Parker memory actually took place in Philadelphia. I saw a game there in the old Vet that was a classic between the Bucs and the Phil’s. Late in the game, we were down a run or so and Cobra was facing the Phil’s closer, who I think was Al Holland at the time. He kept pumping fastballs and Parker kept fouling them off. I kept saying out loud, “Keep throwing that fastball, baby.” The Phil’s fans thought I was crazy, but they didn’t know Cobra. One fastball too many came, and Parker hit what I still think was the hardest hit ball I have ever seen, a screaming home run to right center that you could have hung laundry on. It seemed like it took two seconds to get out of the park, and my grad school friends found out what I meant. Parker was deadly on fastballs.

    I am saddened by the news that Cobra is ailing with what is such a difficult disease. I will always remember him for hustle and that deadly, sweet stroke. May he and all other Parkinson’s patients be blessed.

  24. Jandy says:

    Maybe Wal Mart will have one too.

  25. Thundercrack says:

    I wonder what the response would be if a big ‘star’ like Aaron Rodgers broke most of the single season passing records, was the league MVP, and led his team to the Super Bowl, and then was busted for using PEDs –what the reaction would be.

    And no one seems to care if a left guard or inside linebacker get caught using PEDs

    Baseball players seem to still be busted every year. But this latest case involved some pretty well known players – including the most well known player. In this case ARod is a repeat offender and tried to obstruct the investigation. MLB wanted to make sure they nailed him. It also included a very popular player (Braun) who failed a test but got off on some crazy circumstances.

  26. Bob Hasis says:

    Great recall of those names

  27. Jandy says:


  28. Jandy says:

    I would LOVE it if Rodgers were using PED’s and got caught. Can’t stand the guy.

  29. Bob Hasis says:

    My memory may be a little dusty, but I thought Lacy was a starter with the Dodgers for a while, and Milner for sure with the Mets.

    Our GM, Joe L. Brown (I think?) saw plenty of talent in them and acquired them.

    He was correct and they were terrific components of our team

  30. Drew71 says:

    Do you think Jennings (pre-apology) was right, or is it for other reasons?

  31. Drew71 says:

    Boy, I hope that song isn’t a harbinger for the Pirates of the rest of the month.

    I don’t think I’ve ever used harbinger before.


    Somehow it felt right after the Pirates’ last two Augusts.

  32. Bob Hasis says:

    The pathetic figure of ARod yesterday lamenting that “the last seven months have been a nightmare”, and seeking sympathy.

    He didn’t mention the previous 14 years or more, riding high on life with starlets, models, fast cars, five-star hotels, finest restaurants around, luxury living in million-dollar mansions, multi-millions if not billions “earned” in salaries, etc.

    Who among us would not enjoy that?

    But he needed more.

  33. Thundercrack says:

    I was just using him as an example, Jandy. Didn’t want to get you fired-up

    I was also going to use the example: If Running Back X broke the single season rushing record (whatever it may be) and was caught using PEDs , would fans be outraged.

  34. Jandy says:

    He needs my size 9 wides up his rear!

  35. Jandy says:

    LOL TC, I know…but just HAD to say it…he makes me want to barf. ;)

    I’m pretty sure fans would be outraged, tho. I know I would be.

  36. Drew71 says:

    Yes, Teej.

    Like the crazy who spends a cold day in mid January opining in here about the Pirates. Four weeks after the last Pirates acquisition. Six weeks before “Pitchers And Catchers Report.” (i LOVE that phrase.)

    Yet he/she/us spends all day ducking his/her/our boss to throw up 39 posts about the Pirates.

    From any of the 200 locations and 30 countries (or whatever) in the Biz List.

    That’s freaking crazy.

    (aren’t we?)

  37. Drew71 says:

    I get the outrage if he did that. Why the general disdain for him?

  38. Bob Hasis says:

    I said 14 years – it is really more like twenty.

  39. The Gunner says:

    Lacy was sort of a super sub for the Dodgers and Milner was the starting 1B for the Mets. Too bad the Bucs don’t have someone with Lacy’s or Milner’s ability to play RF today. Tabata & Presley both would have had trouble making the Bucs AAA team in ’79, ha ha.

  40. theplanisworking says:

    You are way too eager to do that !!!!! ;)

  41. JAL says:

    Fits the suspensions yesterday

  42. theplanisworking says:

    I would like to see A-Rod talk 24/7 here.
    I think it would be a hoot.
    Watch his every move.
    See who he hangs out with.
    What he eats, drinks, etc.
    See if he gets injured.

    With live updates from Bleacher Report.

  43. JohnS says:

    Like Shawn Merriman was?

  44. Wild Bill says:

    Hippo, I sure hope you’re kidding. I’m sick to death of this whole story and the way it sucks all the oxygen out of the room for other worthy stories in baseball – like our Pirates.

  45. theplanisworking says:

    Morning sir. Happy Tuesday to you.

  46. theplanisworking says:

    Au Contraire !!!

    I would like to hear about A-Rod trade rumors to the Bucs.
    Who we would have to give up for him.
    See people faint when the mere thought of “prospects” may be involved. ;)

    With live updates from Drew and Thunder.

  47. Wild Bill says:

    Ok, you got me.

  48. theplanisworking says:

    Hey look!
    Its Jandy, the BioGenesis Nun!

    How are ya today?
    Ready for a Bucco sweep?

  49. Nate83 says:

    I wanted to ask a hypothetical question about Nelson Cruz. He was due a large contract at the end of this year. He is unlikely to get what he was hoping to get because of his PED suspension. He could be interested in a 1 or 2 year contact for a good sum of money to establish himself again and then collect his big payday in a year or two. Would you be interested in the Pirates signing him to like a 1 or 2 year contract at 12-15 million per year? He would fill an obvious void in right field and hold that position until Polanco is ready. Or do you want nothing to do with any player connected to PED’s? Or do you think it doesn’t matter because somebody like the Angles, Tigers, Red Sox or Yankees will give him that 6 or 7 year contract?

  50. Jandy says:

    What kind of drinks are you serving Hipposter???

  51. Jandy says:

    I’m hoping for a Bucco sweep! I’m just a silly Nun, tho ;)

  52. Jandy says:

    He just rubs me the wrong way, always has. Then his big mouth over Braun. Meh….just shut up, Rodgers! lol

  53. theplanisworking says:

    When you pull out the 9Wides, you become a steroid nun! ;)

  54. Jandy says:

    Being crazy is a prerequisite for being a Lunatic.

  55. Jandy says:

    LOL! Wow, that’s wild ;)

  56. theplanisworking says:

    The gooooooooooooooood ones.

    The guys at Bleacher Report showed me how to make them. ;)

  57. theplanisworking says:

    You know, the Pirates are on a special season, 23 games over .500, best record in baseball, generating much excitement, and you hear nothing about that. Its ARod, Ryan Fraud, and Sleepy Bud 24/7.

    Now there are some people to put the 9Wides to!!

  58. Iceman says:

    I want to say thank you to the other 12 players not named A-Rod who received suspensions yesterday. Sure it makes me mad that they were cheating and were getting away with it for at least a period of time, however, they have taken their suspensions, owning up to their decisions and moving on. There is alot to be said for that.

  59. theplanisworking says:

    Tell us how you really feel! Dont hold back!

  60. scapper says:

    Jandy…heard two Baltimore DJ’s do a long segment on the conventioneers you had to contend with during your trip to Baltimore. Sounds like they were as disturbed as you were. Glad you made it back unscathed, but uh…you might want to self-monitor for signs of PTSD.

  61. Jandy says:

    Don’t be tempting me!

  62. BidDaddy13 says:

    I have heard many things, but does anyone have the true reason Lanny Frattare is no longer the voice of the Pirates? I feel he should be here enjoying this run by the current team.

  63. Jandy says:

    scapper, LOL! We took WIDE paths around them, trust me. Even a pony would!
    My 22 month old grand daughter just stared at them in wide-eyed wonder. I’m glad we didn’t have to explain their idiotsyncrasies to her.
    Then, if you had to wait for an elevator or God forbid, got IN the elevator with them, the BO about killed you!

  64. theplanisworking says:

    Tempt, tempt. :)

  65. Arriba Wilver says:


  66. pattonbb says:

    I want some “Free A-Rod” hats made up. Maybe we can get those lovable Pouncey brothers to wear them.

  67. Jandy says:



  68. Jandy says:



  69. Jandy says:

    Top o’ the mornin’ to ya, Revvie!

  70. JohnS says:

    Maybe they wanted to extra excitement of Tim Neverette calling every flyout a HR before he realizes that it is caught in front of the warning track.

  71. Nate83 says:

    I didn’t realize he won the player of the week. Great news for him. Really deserved.

    Never would have thought we would have 3 options for “staff ace”. Each guy Burnett, LIriano and Locke are very different as well. Both personalitity wise and pitching style wise. I currently would go with LIriano if the Pirates needed one win with Burnett being second and Locke a distant 3rd.

  72. Jandy says:

    I saw it in the local newspaper this morning at work. But also check out JAL’s link #18.
    I’d go with Liriano first as well, Nate. He’s on a roll.

  73. SeanAY says:

    Don’t be ready to pat them all on the back just yet. As I recall, several of them – at least Jhonny Peralta and Nelson Cruz, anyway – are free agents at the end of the year. They wouldn’t want to appeal and potentially have their suspensions extend into next year and damage their value.

  74. NMR says:

    Guy is gonna play half the year at age 34.

    Nobody was giving him more than 3-4 years with or without the PED suspension.

    And I have zero problem, morally, with signing or trading for a player who has been suspended in the past.

  75. Tom P. says:

    Interesting note about the Cardinals schedule. Beginning with their series with the Braves in late July, the Cardinals play 35 of their next 44 games against likely playoff teams, ending with the Pirates on September 8.

    After that, the Cardinals do not play a playoff team the rest of the year. The Pirates might benefit from gaining some separation from the Cardinals by September 8 because I see the Cardinals getting really healthy against some of the weaker teams at the end of the year.

  76. pattonbb says:

    Adrian Peterson returned from a torn acl AND mcl in 8 months. He also returned in the best shape of his life. Somebody remind me, when is the NFL going to start HGH testing? Oh, they’re not?

    A-Rod deserves everything he gets. But, the fact that reporters across the country knew what the punishment was, who was involved, and in some cases, had even seen the evidence against these players BEFORE yesterday’s announcement shows how big of a joke the commissioner’s office has become. The next CBA negotiation is going to be interesting.

  77. theplanisworking says:


    FREE A-FRAUD !!!! ;)

  78. Jandy says:

    MLB has been a joke forever and it will be as long as Selig is in charge when it comes to important issues like this. The next CBA, everyone should stipulate that Selig MUST GO!

  79. Arriba Wilver says:

    I don’t recall the media running Parker out of town. I would recommend the book “The Pittsburgh Cocaine Seven.”

    But I agree with Starkey and Parker. The fans and Parker have put it behind them. And I agree with Dave: once a Buc, always a Buc. And I wish him well and hope he returns to visit and be recognized at PNC as a great Pirate.

  80. Nate83 says:

    I did not realize he was 34 years old. I agree in that case.

  81. JohnS says:

    The list of NFL players is really long. I think 50 since 2006. The best was Merriman getting suspended in 2006 and then still making the Pro Bowl. One of the things the NFL does to kind of hide the PED suspensions is to just suspend them under the NFL Drug Policy.

  82. Arriba Wilver says:


  83. Nate83 says:

    Adrian Peterson has also been one of the most outspoken players against those who use PED’s. He has said he wants tougher punishments for those using and it’s not fair to those that are doing it the right way. I really like the guy and I hope he isn’t using because it would make him look like the biggest hypocrite.

  84. TJA says:

    I know about Parkinson’s all too well. My Dad passed away a few years ago from complications of this disease. My thoughts and prayers to “The Cobra”.

  85. Lad9 says:

    I spent last week in Florida, and was able to take in a Marauders game in Bradenton. I promised a scouting report, and here it is.

    The good news is that McKechnie Field is a jewel. Very nice park, and you can have a really good time very cheaply on Thirsty Thursday. It was too bad I had to drive back to Clearwater and had to behave. We sat right behind home plate in the second row, and the only negative in the whole park was the open sewer grate under us, which would occasionally provide some aroma therapy. A couple of things you only would see at a minor league park. Ran head on into the umpiring crew behind the stands as they were coming out to start the game, and the mascot helped the grounds crew change the bases out between the third and the fourth innings. Awesome!

    As for the team, well let me start with a disclaimer; I only saw one game and anything I say needs to be taken with the small sample size warning. That being said, the sewer was an apt metaphor –the Marauders did not play well. It was more than the performance – they were lifeless and had no spirit at all. I know it is a job and a grind now for these guys, but the Blue Jays were into the game and I would have to say they were much better coached. Bobby Meacham was their manger by the way. They ran when they wanted (4 SB’s), and even pulled off a double steal without drawing a throw.

    As far as individual players, Zach Dodson was the starting pitcher and he was throwing batting practice. They Jays hit rockets off of him – even the outs were smoked. He was gone after 4 and was lucky to give up only 3 runs and 8 hits. Was consistently up in the zone and the breaking ball didn’t do much. I really can’t see him going any further. Tyler Waldron pitched 2 innings and he is nothing special, but he was hurt by an error. Has trouble holding runners on. Zac Fuesser pitched the final three and was the best of the bunch, giving up no runs and striking out 3. He may have a AAA ceiling or even sneak to the show as a long man.

    The position players mostly struggled. Very weak collection of bats in the outfield. Junior Sosa is a nice defender in CF with a good arm, but his .244 BA and .609 OPS tell the tale. The LF, Taylor Lewis, hit ninth and was asked to bunt with first and second and no one out and let two very good pitches go by before fouling one off to strike out. It seemed an affront to him that he was asked to bunt based on his body language, and asking your LF to bunt with two strikes at that level say all you need to know.

    The infield was a little better. Jacob Stallings caught and did show some hustle, but can’t hit and appears to drop his arm throwing to second and has the ball sail on him. He threw one into centerfield. Stetson Allie went 0-4 with a K, a popup, and two soft grounders. His swing is a really long and will need some work, but I am not prepared to write him off yet. He had one nice scoop at first and no other difficult plays. Dan Gamache played second, and he hit the hardest ball off the night, a 2B off the wall in the 9th. He had a bad error and looked a little stiff on the pivot. He could make it as a utility guy – more pop than Brock Holt for sure. Gift Ngoepe was recently demoted from the Curve and played SS and brought some energy with two hits, but also got picked off and was caught stealing. I get the sense he could make a manager nuts, but he has some skills and could also be a utility guy. But man, is he small. The last player of note would be Jose Osuna who DH’d and went 1-4 with the only Marauder RBI of the night in the ninth. I don’t feel like I got a good enough look at him to comment much, but he was the youngest guy on either team and he did hit 2 HR’s on Saturday, so there might be something there. He is a corner infielder.

    That is pretty much it. We had a great time, but in my opinion there is probably not a major league regular on this squad that I saw. Comment by the wife was “you would think that they would play harder with the opportunity they have”, and my oldest said that “They need to get down here and clean this up”. Like I said, limited sample size and I would be very glad to be wrong.

  86. 21sthebest says:

    For me, it’s important to dig a little deeper when comparing MLB’s and the NFL’s suspensions for drugs. The NFL hasn’t had the BALCO and Biogenesis scandals and I suppose that shows that the NFL has done a much better job in cleaning up their sport than baseball but who really knows. And I’m not suggesting that the NFL is sweeping their suspensions under the rug but have there really been any big names suspended since Shawn Merriman? Again, that’s probably a good job by the NFL but does that mean the NFL is handling this issue well or that people just don’t care to talk about it? I don’t really know.

    Baseball has obviously had big names involved and I wouldn’t say that they have dragged this drama out for months in the manner that Dejan mentioned. I think it’s a pretty difficult issue and from the sound of things, baseball has undertaken a thorough investigation resulting in the suspension of 13 players who didn’t even fail a drug test and aren’t appealing and I think that’s extremely significant. Alex Rodriguez is insisting on dragging this out further and although I think that part of it is unfortunate, I hope that positive steps come out of it from continuing a national dialogue on the topic although I think the reality is that they will never be able to clean up the sport completely.

    Additionally, it appears that there is a lot of momentum from the Commissioner, the Owners, and the Players’ Union to stiffen the penalties and I expect that to happen before next season.

    I hope I don’t sound like I’m patting MLB on the back because I’m not, but in some ways I think that yesterday wasn’t really that bad of a day for the sport. And by the way, MLB instituted a test for HGH prior to the 2013 season while the NFL is still battling their Players’ Union over this issue and as reported yesterday, no agreement appears imminent.

  87. Arriba Wilver says:

    I don’t think it’s a fair comparison to compare the NFL suspending guys for a failed drug test to the Biogenesis situation. Failing a drug test, in either sport, is a simple connect the dots thing (unless someone like Braun appeals). The Biogenesis deal is much different. If you want to compare it to how the NFL handled the ” Bounty” investigation, that would be fairer since it was something different. I’m actually a little surprised, and yes applaud, MLB for going after this without failed drug tests. The speed with which they handled it is way down my list of concerns.

    (Plan—I’m just speaking for me.)

  88. pattonbb says:

    yea, Ryan Braun said the same things.

    I like Peterson. A lot actually. My post wasn’t meant as a slam against him in any way. Just showing why the NFL won’t add HGH to their list of banned substances.

  89. Jandy says:

    Welcome home, Rad Lad! Sorry the game was such a bummer. Allie in particular. I’d love to see him have some success. Yes I know, small sample size ;)

    Thanks for the detailed scouting report. I can almost see it thru your eyes. (Glad I can’t smell the aroma therapy, tho) ;)

  90. Drew71 says:

    Yes. It does.

  91. Brandie says:

    Awesome post, Teddy Bear. I would have been a freshman in college when Did Bream did his damage. I have followed this team since I was a very small child and continue to follow in spite of the losing. I have memories of how hard Dave Parker played and how thrilling it is to see our young guys hustle.

    Thank you for recognizing that not attending all of the home games does not make you less of a fan.

  92. Drew71 says:

    “Baseball has undertaken a thorough investigation resulting in the suspension of 13 players who didn’t even fail a drug test and aren’t appealing and I think that’s extremely significant.”

    I wish I had written that.

    In fact, from this point forward, if anybody asks, I did.

  93. Arriba Wilver says:


  94. 21sthebest says:

    “In fact, from this point forward, if anybody asks, I did.”

    I won’t lose any sleep over it.

  95. 21sthebest says:

    +1 :-)

  96. Lad9 says:

    Smiling… It was still fun though. I love the between innings promotions. They had one where two couples had to break water balloons between them by squishing themselves together in several configurations, and in the back to back iteration, one of the guys came away with two handfuls that had the crowd (and the young lady) in stitches. The whole place was like a party. Good stuff.

  97. Jandy says:

    I love it when you guys place nice ;)

  98. Jandy says:

    Ah man that DOES sound like fun. Glad you enjoyed it :)

  99. Brandie says:

    You mean A-Roid!

  100. TJ says:

    I wish the MLB was like college sports. Find out someone played while intelligible and you forfeit those victories. Don’t want to hear any crying about it not being fair to punish the whole team. If it was fair for them to win with the help of a cheat they can deal with the consequences.

  101. Brandie says:

    DSO’S new bassist is wonderful. Just thought I’d let you know.

  102. Nate83 says:

    I agree this is significant but what is also significant is the this is one of just many labs supplying PED’s to professional althetes and only 3 of the 16 players tested positive while using. How many other players are using and not testing positive? I have no doubt in my mind that these are not the only 16 players using in the entire game of baseball. They will not get it out of the game until it is considered a violation of these players contracts and the contracts become void.

  103. Arriba Wilver says:

    I didn’t know it was something we were supposed to lose sleep over. :-) :-) :-P

  104. Kevin says:

    not to be overly comparative, but what would be good examples of that in the NFL? Most of the people I would think would use steroids would be lineman. The people that are most known, the QBs, the RBs, the WRs probably would have less reason to use?

  105. JohnS says:

    The NFL had several players (mostly Raiders) linked to the BALCO investigation and nothing happened to any of them.

    Nothing happens with Biogenesis if TOny Bosch doesn’t stiff the Fischer guy. Fischer basically said his whistle-blowing was to get revenge on Bosch. All of this was over a few thousand dollars.

  106. Brandie says:

    Good to hear from you Rad Lad! I like the detailed report, though I wish the result and the play of the team would have been better. I agree with your son’s assessment…they need to clean this up. There is no reason to have your entire team play such a pi$$ poor game.

    I am glad you and your family had a good time and arrived back safely.

  107. NMR says:

    Fine idea, though, Nate.

    Wouldn’t hurt to keep tabs on the market for him, maybe make a play if he’s only getting one year offers under $10m or so.

  108. Dom says:

    Who would everyone define as the single season home run leader?


  109. Dom says:

    Who would everyone define as the single season home run leader?


  110. Brandie says:

    Revvie Darling!

  111. Brandie says:

    Good Morning Romper Room!

  112. Dom says:

    Sorry for the double post.

  113. Kevin says:

    discount double check!

  114. TJ says:

    Travis Snider

  115. Sisyphus says:

    The NFL list is long because they do not differentiate between PED users and weed smokers.

  116. Sisyphus says:

    Duh, what you said.

    I need to read more closely. I totally missed your last sentence. Sorry.

  117. JohnS says:


    For better or worse. Every era of baseball has had issues and it will moving forwards as well.

  118. Lad9 says:

    Brandie!!! Thank you – we had a ball.

    How is my favorite muppet? Good time at the festival?

  119. Sisyphus says:

    It’s ridiculous to punish the whole team, and if you think that the NCAA is PED-free, you are delusional.

  120. Dom says:

    I agree with John and would go with Bonds but I can respect your choice of Travis Snider.

  121. Sisyphus says:


    Or Maris, because he didn’t use steroids.

    Or Ruth, because he wasn’t popping greenies in the clubhouse.

    It’s Bonds. He hit the most home runs in a season.

  122. SeanAY says:

    Did they settle on a full-time guy yet?

  123. The Gunner says:

    Neverette can’t carry Frattare’s jock

  124. Arriba Wilver says:

    Ruth in a 154 game season,

    Maris in a 162 game season,

    McGuire and Bonds don’t count.


  125. Dom says:

    I didn’t want Jimmie Foxx to feel left out.

  126. pattonbb says:


    There aren’t any asterisks.

  127. Arriba Wilver says:

    Good morning, Miss Janey.

  128. Arriba Wilver says:


  129. JohninOshkosh says:

    Amazon creator, Jeff Bezos, bought the Washington Post from a family that owned it for generations.

    Don’t know what to think of that. I would be interested in the thoughts a newspaper insider like Dejan.

  130. JohninOshkosh says:

    My magic mirror says, “I see YOU, Arriba. I see YOU, Brandi.”

  131. Arriba Wilver says:

    That was weird, huh? I think my mom sent my name in one time.

  132. Jandy says:

    TJ LOL!

  133. Jandy says:

    I thought it was Miss Patty??

  134. Jandy says:

    Hmmmmm another family business gone. Wow.

  135. pattonbb says:

    There’s a rumor that Warren Buffett was approached about buying and declined.

  136. Arriba Wilver says:

    Not for me. They apparently had different local “teachers ” depending on your locale.

  137. Jandy says:


  138. Naterosboro says:

    If it makes the team better, do like Lloyd Christmas said and….

    PICK ‘EM UP!

  139. Arriba Wilver says:

    The Post was the Bible to me in college. Watergate was happening then. But I can’t see a newspaper as a great investment opportunity at this time. But if anyone can make it so, my money’s on Bezos.

  140. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Damn, that sucks about Dave Parker.
    I lost my grandfather to Parkinson’s.

    It’s truly a terrible way to go.
    I hope he is able to fight long enough for a cure to be found.

  141. Jandy says:

    That would be quite the feat…fight…and a cure is found.
    Prayers to Cobra and his family.

  142. JohnS says:

    Good to see Taillon has moved to AAA. Bummer for me because I wanted to take a quick jaunt to Altoona watch him pitch. Procrastination gets you every time.

  143. Bob Hasis says:

    I can tell you this; he and his wife are strongly in favor of gay marriage, and the predominance of his contributions went to Democrats.

    I doubt the editorial philosophy will change

  144. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Thanks for the stats Drew, Parker was before my time, but I have always heard about how great of player he was.

    Not sure if he’s HOF worthy, but he’s gotta be aweful close.

  145. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    If Rice can make it, there’s not reason why Parker shouldn’t be in the HOF. I do think there was a bigger push, at least publicly, for Rice. I don’t hear many people yelling for Parker to be in.

  146. Sisyphus says:

    I do think that Parker was the better player, but I don’t think either belongs in the HOF. Very close, though. If Parker had healthy knees he’d have been a no brainer for the Hall.

  147. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I was wondering how he got the nickname. Has to be one of the greatest in any sport.

    My question is why? Why was he called that?

  148. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    So does that mean Barry Bonds is still a Bucco?

  149. Jandy says:

    if my vote would help, I’d vote him in.

  150. Jandy says:

    I’d say he has to want to be one, and I highly doubt that he does.

  151. Jandy says:

    Good for me, cuz I intend to drag hubby to a Curve game very soon :)

  152. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Keep an eye on Jeff Locke tonight. I’ve been very impressed with his season thus far, but I’m not sure if he was a lot left in the tank. I hope I’m wrong, but his BB totals have been increasing lately.

    Liriano or AJ if the Buccos need one win…what a tough choice.

  153. BidDaddy13 says:

    Still no one with the answer? And I don’t believe he just retired on his own accord.

  154. Jandy says:

    Crap, I read that wrong. I missed him too lol

  155. Patrick(ri) says:

    Credit to the Tribune-Review for the sensitive and non-exploitive coverage of little Logan. The little guy never had a chance to grow up in what looks to be a great pittsburgh family.

  156. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I dont know this for sure, but didnt Bob Prince do that whenever on the radio?

  157. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    DISCLAIMER: Not comparing Neverett to Prince.

  158. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1. That was sad to read,

  159. Jandy says:

    I’d say Dejan is the best qualified person to find that answer.
    I honestly have no clue.

  160. Arriba Wilver says:


  161. Jandy says:

    pfft I’m chopped liver :P

  162. Arriba Wilver says:


  163. 21sthebest says:


  164. BidDaddy13 says:

    I believe DK knows, but he won’t disclose the answer.

  165. Arriba Wilver says:


  166. Arriba Wilver says:

    I didn’t know for sure before today, but if Parker gets in the Hall, I think he will go as a Bucco. If Barry ever gets in it will be as a Giant. End of story.

  167. Jandy says:

    Parker was nicknamed “The Cobra” by Bob Prince who observed the lefthanded hitter was always poised to strike at the plate.


  168. Bob Hasis says:

    Just checking the standings (NL);

    Atlanta and LA Dodgers appear lock solid to win their division
    Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Cincinnati seem that they will all make the playoffs.

    Arizona is 4 1/2 games behind Cincinnati, 9 behind St. Louis and 11 behind Pittsburgh for the last WC, is the only possible intruder – I believe.

    Although Arizona is only 6 behind L.A. in the West, the Dodgers are getting stronger.

    Things could change a little, but I doubt this scenario will be affected

  169. Jandy says:


  170. Jandy says:

    That would suit me just fine :D

  171. The Gunner says:

    I agree with you about that. I suspect it was one of the BMTIB’s cost cutting initiatives when they arrived on the scene. And, they wanted to do it in a positive light so they got Lanny to agree to “retiring” in return for a nice severance package.

    The BMTIB didn’t want to have the same type of public relations nightmare that occurred when Bob Prince was fired after the 1975 season.

    Again, this is all speculation on my part.

  172. Jandy says:

    We can’t make him tell, either.

  173. Arriba Wilver says:


  174. The Gunner says:

    Prince wasn’t perfect but I believe he called a very good game on the radio. He’s in the Hall of Fame for some reason, wouldn’t you agree?

  175. Brandie says:

    Not sure, but if that guy, who looks like blonde, frizzy headed Phil Lesh is it, I am satisfied. Got a April 1969 show.

  176. Arriba Wilver says:

    I don’t think the BMTIB was a villain in this. JMHO

  177. Jandy says:

    Bob Prince was excellent. There was just “that certain something” about him and how he called the games.

    Neverette is into it, but he isn’t Bob Prince.
    Just my humble opinion :)

  178. Arriba Wilver says:

    Oh, but Neverett does suck. It just isn’t relevant to Lanny leaving in my view.

  179. Jandy says:

    He ain’t no Bob Prince :D

  180. Arriba Wilver says:

    He ain’t even Lanny Frattare, and I was never a Lanny fan. I do like Brown better than Lanny, as long as he stays away from grading Neal. :-P

  181. The Gunner says:


    Bob Prince was one of a kind, he was outstanding. He was better than Lanny as well as today’s crew. I really question how Prince’s “shtick” would work in the 21st Century.

  182. The Gunner says:


    You are right on the money. He really made the games exciting & he knew his stuff. And, he was quite “the card” & extremely entertaining.

    He lived and died for the Buccos.

  183. Arriba Wilver says:

    Gunner–I agree with every word you said/keystroked.

  184. Arriba Wilver says:

    About Prince.

  185. Jandy says:

    me too!

  186. The Gunner says:


    I hope you also agree with everything I could potentially be saying about Tabata and Morton over the next week or so.

  187. Jandy says:

    He bled Bucco Black and Gold.

  188. JaxBuc says:

    I’m going to be in Indianapolis next week on business. If I am able to get to one or more games, I will file a report. Was hoping to see Taillon pitch but the schedule doesn’t look favorable for me.

  189. Arriba Wilver says:

    l doubt it. But you never know. I calls them as I sees them. :-)

  190. radio wave says:

    plus hof

  191. radio wave says:

    That is a case of playing in Boston vs. a “small market”. I’m not saying it’s justified. I would vote for both of them.

  192. Jandy says:

    That’s just one of the things I like about you, AW :)

  193. radio wave says:

    In some of the posts above, it is noted that Parker is HOF worthy. I agree with that. For those of you who have Sirius-xm radio, there is a Saturday morning host who has been pushing for Al Oliver for HOF for years. Does he deserve it?

  194. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:


  195. Sisyphus says:

    Apparently he bought it himself, and Amazon is not connected to the purchase. So still a family business, just a new family :-)

  196. Tom P. says:

    That has been my assessment this week, too,

  197. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    To be honest, he did play for the Giants the longest time and I believe that’s what the HOF recognizes.

    IF Parker goes in, he should be a Bucco.

  198. Jandy says:

    my pleasure.

  199. theplanisworking says:

    Bob Prince was so good at calling games, that baseball had him call WS highlights for years, with Mel Allen. High praise there.

    NBC also used him for calling live WS games, with Curt Gowdy. Again, high praise there.

  200. Sisyphus says:

    Again, very, very close, but not quite over the bar for me. Another 250 hits would have put him over 3,000 and in the Hall, I think.

  201. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think the player has a say in it.

  202. theplanisworking says:

    Good Morning, Miss Muppet. ;)

  203. theplanisworking says:


  204. theplanisworking says:


  205. pattonbb says:

    I agree. I think an argument can certainly be made for the HoF. But to me he’s in that group with Steve Garvey, Jack Clark, Will Clark, Dale Murphy, and yes Dave Parker. Great ballplayers, but not quite Hall of Famers.

    That’s just my opinion.

  206. Jandy says:

    pffftt!! :P

  207. theplanisworking says:

    You’re welcome. :)

  208. Jandy says:

    ya nut! :D

  209. Jandy says:

    Good luck, hope you get to see some good baseball, Jax.

  210. theplanisworking says:

    I freely admit to it. also!!! :)

    You know Jandy, I have read a lot of “Parker for HOF” here today. I dont think that has merit. Parker lost 3-4 years of his career due to cocaine use. He has no one to blame but himself for just narrowly missing the Hall.

    And this comes from a person (me) that used to view Parker as my favorite player, along with Stargell. And, I lost my mother due to Parkinsons also.

    Quite the sad tale with him.

  211. Zico says:

    I know that Mr.Frattare teaches for Waynesburg University now. I believe he is in the communications department.

  212. Jandy says:

    I personally feel he should be in. But I won’t get really upset if he doesn’t make it.
    He was a dynamic player for some years.

    Quite the sad tale. And so sorry that was what happened to your mother. It’s a horrible disease.

  213. theplanisworking says:

    Yeah, she had the dreaded duo:
    Parkinsons and Alzheimers.

    Good seeing you here this afternoon. Just missed the other blog legend, Brandimal. We need you two for sweeping da Fish this week. Being you just went to an aquarium, you should know how to do that! ;)

  214. Kevin says:

    woo +1 d&d ref

  215. buggee says:

    nope, not Wally’s, cuz it’s not good for the kiddies

  216. buggee says:

    linemen use a steady dose of suet during their careers

  217. TJ says:

    No clue who you are but the door is that way ——–>

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