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Morning Java: One fun at-bat in photos

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Friday column from PNC Park touts the Pirates’ middlemen for their decidedly non-middleman role.

Here’s some of what Justin Wilson had to say on that topic …

No one captures baseball like our Chris Horner, and you’re missing out on a sweet slice of all that’s happened this summer if you aren’t checking the Trib’s Pirates galleries regularly.

From one at-bat in yesterday’s 5-4 victory alone …

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Here’s the rest of our baseball coverage.

Here’s Marlins coverage from the Miami Herald.

Here are official game highlights from MLB.com.

>> The weekly chat is today at noon, right here on the blog. Come on, come all, bring Doritos.

>> Mike Tomlin sets the stage for what could be a riveting first dozen snaps tomorrow night for the Steelers, as Alan Robinson reports from Latrobe. In particular, Le’Veon Bell is essentially being handed the ball.

Speaking of the Steelers, an addendum to my July 28 column from Latrobe: One of the perils of any kind or article from early in any training camp is that things change quickly. Emmanuel Sanders came into camp being discussed as the team’s designated X receiver to replace Mike Wallace and, as you can see from his quotes in the piece, that’s what he was told upon arrival.

That interview was done the morning before the first practice and two days before the first full practice in pads, after which it became clear that a change was afoot: Antonio Brown was the X receiver, and Sanders the Z. Now, the Z is still a departure for Brown in that it still sends him from the slot to the outside.

Similarly, the two tackles switched sides, Mike Adams ending up at left and Marcus Gilbert at right.

Just wanted to catch up on the Xs and Zs there.

>> The Riverhounds have two more key matches this weekend, including the penultimate home date Sunday. Beat man Matt Grubba describes how they’re back in the playoff picture thanks to the back line.

>> I’ll be all football all weekend. American football on the North Shore tomorrow, obviously, then that other football on the South Shore the next afternoon. Looking forward to both.

>> Oh, and a half-hour before today’s chat, I’ll check in with TribLIVE Radio at 11:30 a.m.

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.

447 Comments

  1. Hi Dejan.

    DK: Hello, Newman.

  2. Hi Dejan, Hi Drew.

    Another good day to be a Buc fan.

    Goodnight Dejan, Goodnight Drew.

    Go Bucs!

  3. * It really is happening… Pirates lead NL Central by 4 games!

    * Andrew Lambo not being on the 40-man roster by August 31 is quite stupid but what do I know, I’m just a poster on this blog, right Frank.

    * Plaxico Burress reportedly has rotator cuff tear, likely done for season. A weak group of receivers just got worse.

    • There are 2 vacancies according to the brain trust. What’s the relevance of whether Lambo’s on the 40 man? I’m serious, maybe there is, but I don’t get it at this point!

      • Are you asking relevance towards why I think he should be there?

        If so, as long as he’s on the 40-man roster, he’s eligible to be on the playoff roster and if he plays in September and produces, he should play in October.

        • Being on the 40-man does not make a player eligible for the postseason roster. He would have to be on the 25-man by August 31st.

          “Under Major League Rule 40 (a), the pool of players eligible for the postseason consists of the 25 players on the active roster and any players on the disabled, bereavement, suspended or military lists before midnight ET on August 31.”

    • Eric – I like you posts most of the time…well thought out. I don’t view the recieving corps as weak however…you are going to see a side of Sanders that hasn’t been available for a couple years….great routes and better instincts at what is hopefully 100% health.

    • where do you see this report, Eric? (about plex) That is extremely disappointing news. I think TO is still available. Any chance we pick up a vet?

  4. Yesterday’s game convinced me this Pirate team is truly a team of Miracles.
    Down 4 to Miami’s ace, scrap, scrap, scrap, then win in it in the 10th.

    I have seen things this year I have never seen before.
    I have seen this team commit stupid errors, yet win.
    I have seen this team strike out more than a bowling alley, yet win.

    Miracles, Destiny, Go Like ’60 (for you, Biz)………… it seems that they cant do much wrong.
    Never saw the Whiz kids, but this team has similarities to that team.
    Hell, even the “Eeyores” love this team (at least Eye do)………..

    Most of the parts of this team succeed like I have never seen. Sure the hitting stinks, but they can whiff 10 times, then win the game in walk-off style.

    Need a great start? Done.
    Need great middle relief? Done.
    Need a closer? Done.
    1st closer gets hurt? No Problem. Bring on 2nd closer. Done.
    Need a clutch hit? Done.
    Need a stolen base? Done.
    Need a runner to tag to put himself in scoring position? Done.

    Yep, I think Jandy has blessed this team.
    82 is not the goal. It will remove the 20 year curse, but I want more.
    Onward, upward, keep going one game at a time.
    Smash 82.

    • Jandy has nuttin to do wit it, other than lending her heart and soul to the support of these guys, who support each other to get it done. Oh, and pray a lot…

      • You are much too humble.

        You have the Big Guy right down the hall on speed dial.
        You say you just pray a lot? Pshhhhhhhhh.
        Taht team is afraid of the 9 Wides!!!!!
        They know better!

        Now, I need a drink.

    • not to be Buzz Killington or anything.. and a win is a win against good pitching too. But they just swept the worst team in NL east by outscoring them by a total of 4 runs.

      • there is no reason then to BE buzz killington to make a post like this Kevin.

        Go ahead, spend your day finding the clouds for every silver lining… 114 games in, best record in baseball, and it’s not about the opponents, it’s about the Pirates.

      • True, but last year, (or most any of the past 20 seasons), they would have outscored them by 4 runs, and lost 2 of 3.

  5. With Wandee coming back soon, Cole, Locke, Morton semi-struggling, there may be some talk of getting another pitcher.

    Clint, neal, will discuss these things, and run it by Frank.
    Clint will say, “we need to get another pitcher, sir”

    Frank will say “Thats a great idea!!! Just make sure you get me a driver this time! ”

    ;)

  6. Magic Number: 45.

    • Reading–

      Your short post gave me goose bumps. The last time we were talking about the Pirates and magic numbers, I was in 6th grade. My English teacher was a big Pirate fan and wrote the magic number on the board each day in September of 1992. I’m 32 now.

    • I calculated that yesterday too! It’d been awhile.

  7. I can’t help myself with this 70 win mark… I looked at the teams of the 90′s and found that the earliest the Pirates won 70 games was game 116. So I decided tonight to look back at some of their other winning teams and found the following keeping in mind that this 2013 team has won 70 out of the first 114 games.

    2013 are 70-44 and won game 70 in 114 games
    1992 went 96-66 and won game 70 in 123 games
    1991 went 98-64 and won game 70 in 116 games
    1990 went 95-67 and won game 70 in 119 games
    1978 went 88-73 and won game 70 in 134 games
    1977 went 96-66 and won game 70 in 121 games
    1976 went 92-70 and won game 70 in 127 games
    1975 went 92-69 and won game 70 in 125 games
    1974 went 88-74 and won game 70 in 133 games
    1973 was a losing season at 80-82
    1972 went 96-59 and won game 70 in 112 games
    1971 went 97-65 and won game 70 in 115 games
    1970 went 89-73 and won game 70 in 127 games

    World Series teams
    1979 went 98-64 and won game 70 in 119 games
    1960 went 95-59 and won game 70 in 113 games
    1927 went 94-60 and won game 70 in 120 games — LOST WS
    1925 went 95-58 and won game 70 in 115 games

    Pretty amazing to think this team has reached 70 wins faster than any other Pirates team since 1972. Then you have to go back to 1960 before another team did it faster.

    • Hard to believe the Bucs have a 4 game lead at this point. It just goes to show what a superior pitching staff can do with an average offense. The Dodgers made this model work in the mid 60s as well as the 1969 Mets, the Giants did it recently and now, the Bucs are doing it. There appears to be a sound method to Huntington’s madness (and I have bashed him on countless occasions). He’ll probably be GM of the year if everything stays on track.

      With our ace, Mr. Liriano on the mound tonight, the Bucs will prevail in Denver!

    • You are missing the 1903 team that won 70 games after playing in 107 games. They lost the first World Series that year in 8 games (best of 9 series in 1903,1919,1920, & 1921)

    • Just a minor point. The 71 team also won the World Series.

  8. Eric Snowden just released a taped conversation that took place between Locke and JMac.

    JMac – Hello?

    Locke – JMac its Jeff Locke

    JMac — Jeff Locke the All-Star??

    Locke — Yep its me

    JMac — dawg where you been man; the entire city has been looking for you since the AS break

    Locke — thats why I’m calling man. I need some help figuring out whats different

    JMac — An all-star pitcher is calling me for advice??

    Locke — Yeah man I know you struggled last year; how did you get through it

    JMac — well in case you didn’t notice I didn’t make it through; but man once you start struggling each start gets tougher and tougher; the pressure is intense man

    Locke — Man I was afraid you were going to say that; by the way where are you?

    JMac — I’m in Pittsburgh man

    Locke — Pittsburgh? What are you doing in town?

    JMac — Uhh well umm; NH said you might be hurt in the coming weeks so he wanted me ready

    Locke — I’m going to be hurt?? Is he psychic?

    JMac — naw man; when things go bad; and get worse you find yourself on the DL. Kind of like sending a horse to the glue factory.

    Locke — What can I do??

    JMac — either turn it around or start packing

    • I’m not worried about Jeff Locke.

      :)

      • I’m concerned a little. He has kept his ground ball rate down he just doesn’t have as much late movement on the ball and hitters are squaring him up more. Balls are finding holes right now. If he keeps the ball on the ground and doesn’t walk people he will be OK.

  9. Enjoyed the column DK.
    About a week ago I mentioned how important all this experience the young relievers were getting this year & how it could help them next year.

    ( and it seems like even Brad Lincoln wore down after he left us last year)

  10. • Tony Watson, maybe the most underappreciated performer on the roster,

    I’m not sure I agree with that. But I’m not sure I can think of a player that is “most under appreciated”. Barmes?

    DK: The word ‘performer’ was deliberate. Limiting to guys who have done very well.

  11. Sanchez’s somewhat more colorful version: “Ray told him, ‘Just get this guy out! That’s enough! Get him out!”

    The funny thing about the picture was that Searage was covering his mouth with his hand. Didn’t want the opposition to read his lips and know the Bucs’ strategy in that situation.

    :-)

  12. I see.

    And what are we still doing up?

  13. Great column DK. Agree completely. How many times in the past 20 years did we watch guys like Mark Wilkins, Jeff McCurry, and Brian Boehringer pour gasoline on a fire and then throw an incendiary bomb in for good measure? Makes for a whole different dynamic as you pointed out.

    I listed Melancon on yesterday’s blog as my 4th choice for league MVP as much for his work in the middle as the end of the pen. Later even heard on a national radio show where the Pirates bullpen was mentioned as the collective MVP. Good stuff and rarefied air for the shark tank. Or would that be uncharted waters….

    • Can you have a collective MVP?

      • This blog can :)

      • It’s possible if all the players received the same number of points and were tied for first. Pretty unlikely to happen for relievers. There has only once been one case of NL Co-MVPs that was in 1979 when Willie Stargell and Keith Hernandez(STL) both finished tied in MVP voting

    • I still say Russell Martin. Has come through in the clutch and been a rock behind the plate. Amazing what having a catcher that can throw out base runners can do for a team.

  14. 12 to go.

    Out of 48 left.

    I like the odds!

  15. “Jeanmar Gomez kept things cool in the 82 degree heat

    heat?

    HEAT?

    That’s windbreaker weather at an early spring training game.

  16. ‘Four-run lead squandered as Miami Marlins lose fifth in row’

    That’s the headline in the Miami Herald.
    I guess they still can’t be referred to as just the Marlins…..people need to be reminded they are now in Miami

    DK: That’s done by some outlets to facilitate Google searches.

  17. Great topic, Dejan, and well written as always. Very enjoyable read.

    Just about everyone – myself included – has criticized the starting rotation for not going deep enough into games and/or Clint Hurdle for not letting them. But in light of your column, should we consider the possibility that Hurdle has done this deliberately?

    Look at the performances of the players Dejan listed in his column. Is it that crazy to imagine that Hurdle would rather throw a fresh Morris/Gomez/Wilson/Watson/Mazarro than force a starter out for the 6th or 7th inning as he approaches 100 pitches and faces his 3rd time through the batting order?

  18. “I like Russell Martin,” Cashman said Friday at a charity event in Stamford, Conn. “I’m a big Russell Martin fan. But ultimately we have a lot of holes to fill and we have to be very careful how we spend our money.

    That’s what Cashman said back in December after Martin signed with the Bucs.

    I guess he wasn’t careful enough with that Yankee money.

  19. “I didn’t want a long-term contract, especially coming off the season I had,” said Martin, who hit a career-low .211 in 2012. “I feel I can play much better, improve myself, and go at [free agency] again in a couple of years.”

    Well, Russell Martin is certainly following through on his plan so far.

    • Russellsplanisworking

    • If this fairytale keeps being read aloud over the city’s loudspeakers…does Russell consider finishing his days out in black and gold?

      • It’s going to cost them.

        • The next era in Pirates baseball is about to begin. We will now get into the roster makeup decisions of contending teams …they will need to determine overall payroll budget (likely higher than today due to better revenues for better attendance plus more MLB national TV money)…. lock in as many of the core as possible (Cutch is, Marte next…)… see what the ceiling is for Taillon/Polanco, etc… determine timeline of others – Hanson, etc….

          And then make hard decisions on Pedro and Walker (Pedro affordability and is Walker truly part of the core)….

          As to then keeping around veterans like Martin, AJ, Liriano, etc. it will come down to price/performance and overall fit. Martin would be worth every penny, but it all depends on Tony Sanchez…if Tony is a decent ML catching option, then they may not need to put all of that investment in Martin….AJ, especially if a 1-year deal, would make sense… Liriano though would be the priority.

          But this is the stage the Bucs needed to get to…they will need to not overreact when good young players and talented veterans get to a point where they go elsewhere… they in fact should follow the Tampa model (and not Miami) and actively move talent closing in on FA to restock and reload.. (David Price will be traded this offseason as yet another example of this in Tampa)….

          • Nice layout of the process….If I didn’t know better, I’d think you either are the Huntington, or you are one of his writers!

            I agree with the way you spread that though for sure

          • You just ridiculed Kevin up above (aka Buzz Killington) about the reality of our three-game sweep of Miami. What he said is true but you seem to have a different opinion of exactly what occurred

            Then you write this. Why don’t YOU just enjoy what is taking place NOW, and let tomorrow take care of itself.

            While your opinions may be well thought out, they have no meaning at this time.

            I’m worried about tonight – NOT NEXT YEAR.
            Enjoy.

            • I’m not worried at all… just stating facts and tempering my enthusiasm.

              • I don’t think Mr. Hasis was referring to you, Kevin. And Mr. Hasis and I don’t see eye to eye often, but I agree with him here.

  20. JAL’s August Song Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBYoQtOTQDk

    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: Putting Neal Huntington’s Amazing Off-Season in Perspective

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/08/first-pitch-putting-neal-huntingtons-amazing-off-season-in-perspective.html

    Pirates Complete Third Straight Comeback Win to Sweep Marlins 5-4

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/08/pirates-complete-third-straight-comeback-win-to-sweep-marlins-5-4.html

    Prospect Watch: Minor League Starters Combine For Impressive 1.45 ERA Tonight

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/08/prospect-watch-minor-league-starters-combine-for-impressive-1-45-era-tonight.html

    The Fixes That Will Help Jeff Locke Avoid the Dreaded Regression

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/08/the-fixes-that-will-help-jeff-locke-avoid-the-dreaded-regression.html

    7 Bucs Dugout

    Bucs finish off sweep of the Marlins in extra innings, 5-4

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/8/8/4603254/bucs-finish-off-sweep-of-the-marlins-in-extra-innings-5-4

    8 WHYGAVS

    Game 114: Pirates 5 Marlins 4

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/august-2013/game-114-pirates-5-marlins-4.html

    9 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates’ Mark Melancon Cares About Playing Game, Not Numbers

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/08/08/pittsburgh-pirates-mark-melancon-cares-about-playing-game-not-numbers/

    10 Rumbunter

    Trust: The Great Pittsburgh Pirates Experiment

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/08/08/trust-the-great-pittsburgh-pirates-experiment/
    The Pittsburgh Pirates Magic Show Continues

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/08/08/the-pittsburgh-pirates-magic-show-continues/

    11 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Pirates 5 Marlins 4

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2013/08/pirates-5-marlins-4/

  21. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 Fansided

    Starling Marte Matrix parody video

    http://fansided.com/2013/08/08/starling-marte-matrix-parody-video/

    13 Denver Post

    Clint Hurdle’s sizzling Pittsburgh Pirates descend on Denver

    http://www.denverpost.com/rockies/ci_23826408/clint-hurdle-pittsburgh-pirates-bringing-baseballs-record-denver

    14 New York Dailey News

    Roberto Clemente is remembered

    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/roberto-clemente-remembered-article-1.1421777

    15 Miami Herald

    Four-run lead squandered as Miami Marlins lose fifth in row

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/08/09/3551236/four-run-lead-squandered-as-miami.html

    16 CBS Sports

    Pirates at Rockies: Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20130809_PIT@COL/piratesrockies-preview

    17 KDKA

    Pirates On Pace To Soon Surpass Last Year’s Attendance Figures

    http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/08/08/pirates-on-pace-to-soon-surpass-last-years-attendance-figures/

    18 PBC Site

    Bucs walk off in 10, complete sweep of Marlins

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_08_08_miamlb_pitmlb_1&mode=recap_home&c_id=pit

    Notebook: Out of lineup, McCutchen picks up first pinch-hit

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130808&content_id=56320036&notebook_id=56319854&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    How the Mets Got Great (at Taking the Extra Base)

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=21474

    20 Fangraphs

    Cardinals, Dodgers Achieve Backwards Baseball

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/cardinals-dodgers-achieve-backwards-baseball/

  22. Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Sean Spence injury: Reporter notes seeing him in workouts, he doesn’t ‘look like a guy who will be out all season’

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/latest-news/2013/8/8/4603336/sean-spence-injury-progress-timetable-return-2013-season

    Steelers running backs coach Kirby Wilson doesn’t want a running-back-by-committee situation in 2013

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/8/8/4602642/steelers-running-backs-depth-chart-fantasy-football-projections

    22 Steelers Depot

    Tomlin Says All His Tight Ends are Dual Position Flexible

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/08/mike-tomlin-tight-ends-depth-chart-training-camp/

    Soccer(football)

    23 Daily Telegraph

    The ‘goal that wasn’t’ has ensured that Frank Lampard has helped take football into the 21st century

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/competitions/premier-league/10230362/The-goal-that-wasnt-has-ensured-that-Frank-Lampard-has-helped-take-football-into-the-21st-century.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    New season in Germany: 2013-14 team-by-team guide

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/features/new-season-in-germany-2013-14-team-by-team-guide

  23. Hoka Hey everyone!
    .
    Pirates win…Pirates win!!! ….LXX wins down, …and XII to go.
    .
    Yes, GM Neal and Mgr. Clint ….82 wins DOES make a difference.
    .
    Beat Em’ Bucs !
    .
    PS: 9-2 homestand…..on top of the NL……sweet.

    • I can’t wait to see your posts after we get to 82.

    • Bart: Those Shelbyville kids think they’re so hot, but you know what? They’re not

      Milhouse: I really agree with you on this one, Bart.

      Edna: Class, please! If you don’t learn roman numerals, you’ll never know the date certain motion pictures were copyrighted.

      Nelson: [bursting in] Everybody come quick! Something’s happened. No time to explain.
      [all the children run out]

      Edna: No, children, no! Your education is important. Roman numerals, et cetera. Whatever. I tried! [lights a cigarette]

  24. A couple of observations after reading the other local paper this morning:

    - Quincy Latimore hit a 3-run homer last night for the Wild Things. Maybe our new right fielder is closer than we think. :-)

    - Some guy wrote a letter to the editor complaining about AJ Burnett’s pie-in-the-face celebrations. He doesn’t think it is funny anymore.

  25. On a ESPN podcast yesterday, they were talking about MLB pichers who will be shut down before the end of the season. Cole was on the list.

    • Why would he get shut down?

    • ESPN also said that the Pirates are a good bunting team yesterday and that the team has done small things like hit Sac Flies all year. I believe NH when he says that Cole will be able to pitch all year if healthy. He may have a few 5 inning outings or be skipped one or two times in the rotation but they will keep his innings where they want them.

    • Cards rookie Shelby Miller threw only 18 more innings than Gerrit Cole last year, yet nobody talks about him being shut down this season.

      I’m not a doctor, obviously. 18 innings may actually be a significant number. But it certainly doesn’t seem that way.

      • On Huntington’s show Sunday he said not only does he see Cole finishing out the season, he sees a role for him in the post season. Hopefully that role includes him actually pitching better.

        • Reliever or specialist. Come in and throw the gas when its needed in the playoffs.

          • It’s just a guess but I think NH sees him as the 4th starter for the playoffs. Although he could easily be used like Price was his first year in the playoffs. The only thing about that is they already have guys filling those roles and all of them have been awesome. Who’s role would Cole replace?

            • Cole can put up efficent innings…very demoralizing for a team even when they have a 4 run lead. He takes whatever spot he wants to take.

              • I promise teams don’t give a crap how many pitches he’s throwing if they’re scoring four runs off of him.

          • One thing I forgot and this was forward thinking on their part. I can’t believe I just said that. Anyway, after his season was over they stretched Cole out some more in the instructional league. Huntington said the Pirates are counting those innings toward his total. So he’s still about a month away from his total of last year.

        • That’s a role I’d embrace :)

  26. Some thoughts from round one of the PGA:

    I was surprised by the intensity – almost grim intensity – of the players, even while they walk together. Very few smiles except in reaction to a great shot. This tournament is a deadly serious business for these guys.

    Tiger and Phil are followed by fanatics from hole to hole, but few other golfers are. Tiger does not seem to even acknowledge that his groupies/fanatics are there. The best way to watch is to be near a green that has a nearby tee. Let them come to you on one hole, and watch them go on the next.

    The euro golfers are very controlled in their play. Very balanced, and don’t try to do too much on any one shot. That’s why they are really good in these settings, where the rough is ridiculous. Tiger and Phil both paid on 18 for stray shots that not many others made.

    How far these guys hit the ball with those very balanced swings they take is amazing.

    The galleries show wonderful courtesy to the players, but a really annoying new reality is the “phone nazi” – guys whose whole job is to make sure no one is using their phones to take pictures of players. It’s not the noise of cameras, I’m convinced, it’s about controlling access to player images. So cheap, for such a wealthy organization, PGA.

    Rough is not an adequate description for the stuff on the sides. Most of the time, the ball disappears completely in it. That rough is being balanced out by the damp, softer conditions of the course this week. The players are not afraid to flag hunt, and that’s why the first round scores were so low. Fun to watch, too.

    Oak Hill is a beautiful course, and here in Rochester with a five month winter, that’s not easy to produce. Bunker conditions to die for. And – I noticed how far forward these guys play bunker shots in their stance. I can’t wait to try that out myself.

    Many more women fans than I expected to see, and a lot of children too.

    Well done to all of you for keeping the Bucs on the winning path while I’m away!

    • Like it Wild Bill – A lot get’s lost when people only see Tiger not winning majors, but that guy is still every bit as dominant as he once was….he’s just not bludgeoning people anymore is all.

    • Not going to say he’s old at 37; but he’s not in his late 20′s any more either. Hard to dominate once you start getting up in years and have fought some knee issues etc.

    • Glad you’re enjoying yourself, Wild Bill!

    • Thanks, Wild Bill. Well done to you!

      I could wait for Dom to ask, but I’m going to go ahead and ask– what do you mean by “flag hunt?”

    • Like this a lot. Thanks, Wild William.

    • Loved the info, Untamed William.

      Thanks for reminding me of the forward trap stance. I keep forgetting that and end up playing it back and taking way too much sand.

  27. I have heard more then one analyst say the Pirates don’t have the starting pitching depth or bullpen for playoff baseball. I don’t get this comment. How does a team get a team ERA that is 1/3 of a run better then anybody else by not having enough depth. That ERA includes Sanchez and Zagurski.

    I understand that they are not picking the Pirates to represent the NL in the World Series but the reason they are giving doesn’t make sense to me. Not getting hits in important situations, striking out to much, or overall team batting average would seem to make more sense.

    • “…for playoff baseball.”

      That’s probably a significant point in their analysis. If Wandy is not able to make it back, you’re looking at Jeff Locke and Gerrit Cole / Charlie Morton taking half your starts. None of those guys have proven they can sustain a full regular season of success, let alone pitch into October. Doesn’t mean they can’t, but until they prove it the question seems understandable.

      As for the bullpen, the national guys just simply aren’t paying any attention if they don’t think the Pirates have bullpen depth, at least relative to any of the other current NL contenders.

      • I thought that as well about Locke/Cole/Morton but then I started thinking what the other playoff teams in the NL would have and wasn’t exactly overwhelmed. The Reds may have the best group when they are healthy and pitching like they can but they haven’t been. The Dodgers have Kershaw and Greinke but I don’t think AJ and Liriano is much behind those two. The Cards have some unproven pitchers as well and the Braves where hurt by Hudson’s injury.

    • Nate I agree; Its like they are saying the first 114 games for the Pirates pitching staff has been a fluke. Just because they don’t sport ERA’s under 2 in the bullpen doesn’t mean they don’t have a quality bullpen. The rotation you can’t argue; especially if Wandy is able to come back and pitch with some consistency. I’d almost move Cole to the bullpen once Wandy comes back.

      The offense absolutely terrifies me. But this is a team that took 4 of 5 against a good Cardinals rotation. But they have too many games where they can’t get the offense going early and like you mentioned they strike out way to often.

  28. Now that Plex is out I suppose our WRs will be: Brown, Sanders, Cotchery, Wheaton, and Justin Brown.

    I don’t think we’ll be losing a lot since Justin Brown is 6’3 and could be a certain goaline threat.

    It looks like Plex’s career is over. I’ve always been a fan and was hoping he could have made a better comeback since getting out of prison.

    Is there any chance he could be a hall of fame candidate? He did score the winning TD in SuperBowl 42, if you recall.

  29. I figured out this morning that the Pirates have picked up 6.5 games on the Cardinals in the last two weeks. The Pirates have gone from 2.5 down to 4 up.

    I am starting to thing the Pirates have figured out they do no need to hit a grand slam to score four runs. A two run single and two sacrifice flies does the same thing.

    • The Cardinals are 4-11 in their last 15 games.

      #snapshots

      • Playing the Braves, Pirates and Dodger’s will do that to a team. I think those teams are a combined 31-5 in their last 36 games.

        • Unfortunately, they got the Cubs, Buccos, Cubs again, and Brewers for their next 12 games and the first six are at home.

          • Bucs lost 2 of 3 to the Cubs in Wrigley. Not saying its going to happen but not going to say wins are a given either.

          • Dom that’s not a bad thing…the Cards are reeling right now, much like the Pirates were last year at this time when several games against the Cubs should have done the trick but had quite the opposite effect.

            If there is a jolt to be had for them it will be when Yadier returns. They are barely treading water without him and you can bet that if he is even at 75% he will come back as a force to be reckoned with….

            • Do you know when he’s due back?

              • He is on the 15 day so at the earliest it would be another 6 or 7 games which will be after our series with them. He means so much to that team. There may not be another player in the league that would hurt a team more if you took them away. Not even Miguel Cabrera in my opinion. I’m not saying Molina is better then Cabrera just that he means more to his team.

              • He can come off Thursday.

              • Thanks Milo, Hopefully he will be coming back to a 6 game defecit.

  30. I have always wondered what would happen once the Pirates would win their 82nd game to snap that streak. Would they celebrate and break open the cheap stuff or not.

    Based on the mentality of this team I think they will recognize the importance of the win for the city but don’t see them celebrating it.

    • I doubt it gets the amount of attention we thought it would if we would have hit 82 wins at the end of last season. Now that new goals are set, this has become secondary.

      • Agreed. I think it will be recognized and moved on from quickly.

        • I agree. It will get media coverage and the fans will go crazy if it’s done at home but I think the players will treat it almost like any other victory being that it is coming in game 135 instead of game 160. I’m sure the players will acknowledge the fans and tip their hats to them but there won’t be any crazy celebration.

          • That’s class. Our guys have it.

            • They really do Jandy. There are few in the game as good as Cutch that are so humble. I’ve heard so many Pirates interviewed after games this year and every single last one of them spoke of team and always put the focus back on team when asked about individual accomplishments.

              • Agree totally, Nate. This team is different. They are all in for each other. There are no “I” players here. I am totally enjoying this season.

    • I don’t think you could find a single guy in that clubhouse who will give a d**n about the 82nd win.

    • The goal instead should be 100. Would be super swell to see them break 100 for the first time since 1909.

  31. I’m still trying to get over a team being demoralized when they have a four run lead.

  32. Going on vacation today! An interesting concept for someone who has now been retired for 6 months!

    Have to follow lunacy with ipad from the beach, and follow Bucs on radio. Keep their feet to the fire Jandy, Brandie, and Rev.

    Going to OBX where there are usually multiferous Pirate fans.

    Playoffs, Do you have the genes for sabremetery, or are you self-taught? The lines have been devilish. Feeling lucky to be Even.

    Stuart

  33. ***ATTENTION***
    Newbies and lurkers, we want to chat with you!
    If you list your hometown, Bizrow will add it to the list of Dejan’s Lunatics’ Asylum.
    Don’t be shy, we don’t bite :)

  34. This just in … Chad Qualls just gave up another hit. And then fell down.

  35. Nice piece DK…was talking with a few season ticket holders yesterday about this very topic. The pitching is the bedrock of this team. From 1 thru 12, it’s got to be the best unit in the 40+ years I’ve been a fan… better than Leyland’s bunch 22 years ago; and pretty darn close to the ’79 group, too.

    With this staff, the margin for error on the team has increased. If a starter has a so-so outing, the door gets shut and the lineup goes to work late in the game to make a difference…thriving on opposing relievers.

    Credit to Huntington for stockpiling so many hard throwing arms.

  36. Tiger now 9 shots back of Adam Scott. Jack just offered to buy lunch.

  37. Does anyone know if the Steelers game with the Giants is on a national outlet. Or is it only being televised locally ?

  38. Just in case anyone is still wondering what buying teams had to deal with at the deadline, take a look at the trainwreck that is ChiSox GM Rick Hahn:

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130808&content_id=56340476&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

    There’s denial, then there is that. Yikes.

    Quick recap: We know we have a lot of work to do (shocker!), and we’re not going to do it with big trades or big free agents or big prospects. But the players think we’re better, so we’re going to be.

    • Perhaps he was locked in a room for a week, where he had to endure listening to Hawk Harrelson calls. And, being denied food.

      Also, I didnt know failure was a shape.
      Yikes is right.

    • Could not believe he asked for Profar in return for Rios at the deadline

      • yep, and the blowhard GM of the Sox ends up taking the Ranger’s 20th ranked prospect, ONE PROSPECT, for dumping Rios today on the Rangers.

        how’d the ‘sell high’ work for ya, Rick?

  39. The Pens have hired Jacques Martin as an assistant coach. He will fill the role of mean guy.

  40. The Beacher Report predicts the Buccos will defeat the Reds in the one game WC playoff and then get eliminated by Atlanta in the divisional round.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1730478-full-2013-mlb-playoff-predictions-all-the-way-through-the-world-series

  41. Morning (albeit a late one back east), Ladies & Gents!

    • Welcome, Tex

    • hey hey, Baywatch :)

    • Bay! I see Johnny Manziel is from Tyler. Any local flavor on him?

      (I know Drewman is going to have a field day with that question)

      • Manziel is going to make Pryor look like a saint.

      • Actually, Arriba, he has relatives at the church I attend.

        • Do they like him? I don’t know much, so I’m just asking without any preconceived notions what the answers are. He did come up on the blog yesterday, which is why I was curious.

          • I know nothing about him, but I love the Johnny Football character. It’s like 1964 but with twitter, ESPN and around the clock surveillance. I say good for Johnny, and hopefully he performs even better this year.

            He’s not going to hide that he is a college kid….that happens to be pretty good at football. Trust me, if you ask him, all that autograph money went to charity and he left the Manning passing camp early because his cousin’s kid was getting baptized the next day and his mom wasn’t making two trips across the state, “get in the dang car Johnny, I don’t care who Peyton Manning’s dad is or what kind of tea bags he hands out.”

            Go get ‘em Johnny!

          • Actually, I should have put the qualifier: We don’t attend church there much anymore. Just heard from our son-in-law, who does attend regularly, about the connection.

  42. Keith Olbermann’s on Sportscenter. Hell hath frozen over. Wonder how long this one will last ?

  43. The Pens still need a goalie coach and today was Joy Behar’s last day on the view….

    Connect the dots people….

    • To be replaced by Jenny McCarthy, I do believe.

      My wife loves to do that Fred Armisen as Joy Behar bit to me, “So what. Who cares?”

  44. Did anyone catch Mark Cuban on Leno? Had some pretty strong things to say about Selig & Co. I’m not a big Cuban fan, but he’s entertaining.

    Also, there’s absolutely zero chance they’ll ever let him own a baseball team.

    • Which is exactly why he unleashed on the MLB.

      • It’s such a snobbish group of owners. Heaven forbid somebody like Cuban owned a team. Maybe there would be something besides bring your dog to the game promotion nights. I don’t know what they think he will do that is so bad. He is a businessman first and makes decisions based on that. He is not as reckless as some think and he has done more good for the NBA then most realize.

        • He speaks his mind, and tweaks his Commisioner.
          Cant have either of those, can we?

          Bud likes sheep.
          Cuban is a wolf.

          Sums it up pretty well.

          • I think if you asked David Stern his opinion of Cuban most would be surprised by his answer. His passion for improving the game often went over the line and Stern fined him appropriately when needed but at the end of the day I think Stern and him had a really good working relationship.

            If all owners in sports had the passion and drive to improve their sport that Cuban does the leagues would be more successful and entertaining. Players and management would get along better as well. He treats every employee from the ushers to the GM of his team the exact same way.

            • + many. Many!

              Your point is even a greater reason why Buddy and the Boys will never let him have a franchise.

            • I agree with up you, Nate. I have no problem with Mark. But his responses on Leno about ARod show he is still smarting from his treatment by Bud ( maybe justified), and that he doesn’t understand the CBA on discipline (not justified if he’s going to speak out about it).

              • I don’t know where that “up” came from. Freudian slip talking about how Cuban sees Selig–up you?

          • Damn good comment, plan.

          • You are right on that….most powerful men are afraid of Cuban because at the end of the day, he knows how to take them over and have their sons call him Daddy.

          • Can you imagine Cuban with these horrible umps???
            That may be a better spectacle than any pennant race.

        • You don’t have to sell me, Nate. I can’t stand Selig.

        • I guess I’m in the minority here. I think he’s an assclown that the game doesn’t need. I also don’t believe the SEC has dropped the insider trading charges against him so he may go to trial. Don’t see an update on that one since March though.

  45. Priceless:

    Comment From Patrick
    If you could pick one song to never hear again at a sporting event, what would you choose?

    12:53

    Dejan Kovacevic:
    Oh, that wretched Black Eyed Peas thing about tonight being a good night or something

  46. Even more priceless:

    Comment From Guest
    Hi Dejan.

    12:55

    Dejan Kovacevic:
    Hi.

  47. Greetings Jan-dee, Hippo Longstocking, and Birdman (AKA Lad9) and all of My Blog Family,

    Today is August 9th. This day is my father-in-law’s birthday, my dad’s sister’s birthday, my dad’s birthday, and my parent’s 40thb wedding anniversary.

    I tell you that to tell you this…

    I just spoke with my mom. I told her we were going to see the Buccos AA affiliate, the Altoona Curve. She asked me how I liked my Pirates?! I told her at 70 and 44, I liked them a lot.

    She responded that her mother, who has been gone for 19 years, was liking them mighty fine too, so much in fact that my mother, her daughter, who does not even like baseball, has caught Bucco Fever. My mom was cheering for them to win yesterday and has been following them this season.

    Imagine a 64 year old me and you have my mother. Wow! You see, the winning, the losing, the comebacks and how this team comports itself, it all matters. They are turning people who would not give baseball the time of day into believers. I think that is so cool!

    Good vibes too you all!

  48. How long do you think we should wait before we start counting down the PBCs “Magic Number” to clinch the division?

    Just askin as for some reason I am real rusty at doing that ;-)

  49. I bet y’all have already covered this, but I thought it was really cool, the story James Santelli did for Pirates Prospects on his 2015 Roster Projection! And even cooler to consider his possibilities that it just might be a 100-win season!

    • Been waiting on his thoughts on the 2028 presidential race.

      • Milo as per our exchange yesterday, regarding Leyva foolishly sending Walker,
        those are just the kind of plays where the seemingly fragile Walker gets hurt.

        One thing we do not need is for him to be out of the lineup

      • I know, like how do you REALLY project this stuff! Big Sports Illustrated had the Nationals taking it all this year, I believe. I could sorta see that, but they’re not even .500, are they? What’s up with them? And other than some soothsayer, who was going to project us to be sitting at 70-44 right now!

    • James Santelli should write for Bleacher Report.

    • I think they may still be in the 20 year losing streak. We’re winning. Different paradigm. At least in August and September, and, dare I say, October?

  50. Alex Rios was traded to the Rangers for a player to be named later or cash.

    The Rangers also get cash.

    I am not one happy camper.

    • Look at it as good news Dom. Now the Rangers won’t be claiming every outfielder that comes down the pike. Also, I’ve always been dubious that the Pirates are willing to add payroll. Now that they let Adam Dunn go through without a claim, I’m convinced.

      • I’m upset b/c we could have apparently given up a minimal prospect for Rios and obtained him a couple weeks ago. Why did we not do that?

        • If he tanks, there will be an easy answer for that: Neal’s Crystal Ball!

        • I really think the contract was a major factor. The Rangers apparently will pay all but $1 million of what’s owed Rios this year & next. Rob Biertempfel has been saying since late in Spring Training the Pirates were pretty much tapped out on payroll. I don’t know if that’s changed but hasn’t reported that it hasn’t.

          • The Buccos as well as the other teams are to obtain something like an extra $26 million in TV Revenue next season. I can’t imagine that we couldn’t afford him.

            Neal said a deal was never made due to the amount of prospects other teams wanted. I guess that was a lie.

            • What’s happening today may be very different than what was happening on July 31 and earlier.

              • True but I find it hard to believe that we couldn’t have given up someone like Alen Hanson in exchange for him. I know that a high price but hey, it sure beats having Alex Presley in RF.

              • Hanson will be playing 2nd for us in the distant future.

                No disrespect to Neil Walker or Jordy either.

                We still have many years of high-caliber ball to play after this stellar season is in the books.

              • Hanson’s numbers are not all that impressive. He’s a darn good prospect but for all we know, Dilson Herrera could be our 2nd baseman of the future.

                He COULD be a future all-star and MIGHT lead us to the playoffs in the future but for right now we KNOW we’re almost certainly guaranteed a playoff spot and needed to have RF upgraded by now.

            • Also, if Hanson was too much then we could have still parted with someone like Barnes or Allie or Herrera and still had a rock solid farm system. It’s better than what Neal did and that was nothing.

            • We’ve got upgrading on the brain, all of us sometimes.

              The best record in baseball and all we can think about is upgrading.

              I know RF is a weakness of sorts, but why throw away the future for 50 games?
              JMHO

              • +1

              • You make it seem like our prospects are a sure thing. If RF is a weakness now then it’s probably going to be a weakness in the playoffs. Why keep someone who might be someone years for now when we have a known commodity in someone that is a credible major leaguer now when we’re essentially a playoff team?

                I’m not sure where you’re getting the 50 games from. Rios is under contract till the end of next season.

              • I’m looking at approximately 50 games (hopefully more) in this season. 48 regular season and whatever in the playoffs.

                Hanson’s career, if he even makes the majors, should last many more years than Rios’s.

                I’m just saying, if the plan got us here, stick to it. Trade prospects if you have to, but not the ones with the higher potential.

                There will be more seasons after 2013.

            • Also the White Sox may have called a bluff and lost. They thought they could hold out and get a couple of top prospects for Rios. Didn’t happen, and now they’re basically dumping his salary for almost nothing, if the reports on the PTBNL being that iffy SS are true.

              • Possibly. Since the White Sox could have waited till the offseason for a better deal, it seems likely to me that they would have been willing to part with Rios at the deadline. Remember, all what we got in return for dealing just Hanrahan and Brock Holt. I think the Sox could have at least got that in return.

          • Dom,
            Is Alen Henson our #20 prospect? (that’s what Texas gave up for Rios).

            If you wanted to give a more premium prospect then who is..the #17 prospect in the Pirate system.

            • I just threw Hanson out there as I knew he would have gotten the deal done. Vic Black is our #17 according to pirates prospects. Harold Ramirez is #18, Blake Taylor is #19, and Jin-De Jhang is #20. We can’t trade Taylor since he was drafted this year but any other guys I listed would have been superior than what the White Sox got.

              • You have no idea who Leury Garcia is or what the Rangers farm system is like compared to the Pirates.

                You’re literally making things up at this point.

              • Yea, Hansen is our #3 prospect.

                Be careful on what you ‘throw out there’

              • NMR,
                Of course. I can only assume who was available at the deadline. My point is that it seems unlikely to me that the Sox GM was headstrong on getting a solid prospect 10 days ago and now is willing to get whatever was able to get.

              • Why?

                Deadline deals are always who blinks first. And you have to be serious. But then reality sets in. I think your logic is faulty.

              • I have to agree with AW, Dom

                But to be fair, I’m not sure anyone knows what logic Rick Hahn is using right now. You could be right for all I can figure with this guy.

              • I think the logic Rich Hahn is using that he believes teams, including his, can get things turned around in a short period of time.

                I read that he said that –and feels his team doesn’t need to be stripped to the ground and to a total rebuild.

                Not sure if I agree with that regarding his team.

              • What I heard in his comments was a lot of Neal Huntington, without a lot of Neal’s confusing BS. He thinks he has a pitching staff core, so it’s a different situation from 2008 here. The fact he’s now willing to part with Rios for next to nothing may, or may not, speak volumes about Alex Rios.

              • Right, TC.

                He said that right before trading his best position player and right after trading his second best pitcher for what mostly amounted to salary relief.

                But yeah, logic.

        • I love the speculation. And who knows that the price for Rios wasn’t more than a minimal prospect a few weeks ago?

          And I don’t really like Rios —- a guy who seems to have some issues with ‘hustle’

        • Name one thing you know about Leury Garcia.

        • wrong . a couple of weeks ago the Sox kept their price high…Rangers wanted him but turned down the request for THREE good prospects…

      • Milo,
        Do you want the Pirates to acquire Adam Dunn?

        • If he didn’t have that contract for next year, it’s a no brainer for me. I still think they should consider it. 26 homers & .340 OBP and he’s red hot right now.

          • Interesting.

            But they seem to be putting an emphasis on defense.

            And he K’s a lot, and we have a lot of those type hitters already.

            • You’re right about the defense, but I watch Jones play 1B everyday & I’ve seen Dunn actually throw the ball to second without hitting the runner or the umpire. Moot point unless Neal can work his magic and make the other team pay a good chunk of the contract.

              • Now it’s Jones’s fault that the ump can’t get out of the way? If the ump gets out of the way, then Marte throws the runner out at the plate when he tries to score. It was pure genius by Jones, thwarted only by more umpiring incompetence. :-)

          • Who says the Pirates have to keep him next year?

            Dunn is on fire right now. Not Pedro on fire, 2 1/2 month on fire.

            He makes this team significantly better.

            • Dunn would be good to have on the roster when we have that big bench clearing brawl with the Reds.

            • He cleared. He’s available to be traded anywhere. Since I read the story you posted earlier, at least I’m clearer on what the White Sox are thinking (yeah right).

              • Ha, no kidding.

                I don’t know. $15m is ugly. No getting around that.

                But who is going to play 1B for the Pirates next year? Jones/Sanchez? Great. But be ready to spend at least $8m in hopes that Garrett Jones isn’t actually the hitter he’s been in ’10,’11, and ’13.

                If the ChiSox chipped in even $3m, Dunn makes a ton of sense.

    • Here is pirates prospects writeup on it:
      http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/08/alex-rios-acquired-by-texas-rangers.html

      According to the article, the Rangers are rumored to give up a C+ prospect in exchange for Rios. Could we not offer a B- prospect a couple weeks ago. This makes no sense.

        • He’s due 12.5 million next year. That’s a lot but not a gigantic amount. Assuming we would be obtaining one million, like Rangers, then that’s down to 11.5. We probably would have obtained more in return had we given up a better prospect.

          Also, as I said before, we are going to obtain an extra $25 million or so next year for TV contracts.

          I don’t think that contract is unreasonable. If we cannot afford that then there is no business for us to be around.

          • Cutch will make 7,250,000 next year, and Rios isn’t a starting pitcher.

            • I Cutch so egotistical that he would demand a new contract b/c we bring in a new guy? We’ll worry about our payroll next year and we should have worried about the RF for the future playoff run a few weeks ago.

              • Dom– you’re running around like a guy whose hair is on fire. Did you use to work for the NSA?

                All I did was add a fact to the discussion. You ran with it. It is a fact. And more of a fact than what happens now has to do with what could have happened on July 31 or before.

                Facts matter.

              • Somebody keep an eye on Dejan’s mother. Dom is on a rampage.

              • I’m upset that we didn’t get Rios but I’m just engaging in a friendly debate with you all. I’m not upset at any of your and will admit you’re making valid points. I just disagree. Let’s keep Dejan’s mother out of this!

              • Ha! Dom, you’ve engaged us in the best conversation all day.

                I sincerely hope you receive my comments, and I’m guessing those of most others, as playfull and not personal.

                You’re a treat to converse with on here.

                (P.S. I would’ve been secretly happy if the Pirates had traded for Rios)

              • What NMR said.

              • Is there anyway we can get Dom to host a weekly chat?

              • Dom, you are one my faves here ! What AW said about what NMR said !

              • Yes Dom, but don’t let it go to your head and start using the bold print

          • I wouldn’t make the assumption that we didn’t acquire him solely because of his contract.

          • Rios is not worth the 11.5 million. Yes the 25 million is there but I would rather spend it on somebody worth that money. If you spend it on him it’s not there to spend on somebody else.

            • Maybe not but he would be worth the extra 3-4 million for the rest of this season. We could have found a suitor for Rios at the end of the season if we’re worried about his contract, just like we did with Hanrahan.

              Again, I think if we have up a better prospect, they would have obtained more moo-lah in return.

              • What does that tell you about what they rest of baseball thinks of this guy, Dom?

                You know, people that are paid to make baseball decisions.

              • He might have a bad attitude. He might not be very high on any team’s charts.

                But he’s a lot better than what we got. I really don’t see how Presley or Tabata are better options. What happens now if Presley goes down and we have to start Tabata or Harrison every game?

              • He is very streaky and the end result is not that much better then the Presley/Tabata stat line. We have to take Sniders stats out of the equation. He took up more then half of the right field at bats and is no longer an option. 11.5 million is not worth the same batting average and a little more power then Presly/Tabata.

              • “…and the end result is not that much better then the Presley/Tabata stat line. We have to take Sniders stats out of the equation.”

                I laugh when I read this false logic from Williams, Santelli, & Co.

                Yeah, lets take out the only player that actually has a reasonably representative sample size because it hurts our argument and claim that Tabata/Presley could equal Alex Rios’ offensive production.

              • Snider not part of the equation or at least he shouldn’t be going forward. Presley/Tabata have 220 at bats combined. That is hardly a small sample size. Then there is that little thing of Tabata having over 1200 at bats in his career. Is that too small of a sample size? Or does what he did during his entire career not count?

              • Thats simply not how sample sizes work, Nate.

                You cannot add up multiple small sample sizes and say the aggregate is representative.

                And if we’re talking career numbers, Rios is so far superior its not even an argument.

              • If Snider is not going to get any playing time for the rest of the season why would you factor his stats into the equation? Seems like you wouldn’t if you’re trying to compare/determine future production.

                That is what we’re doing right?

              • I’m not suggesting Snider’s stats be factored in.

                I’m saying that he’s the only one of the three thats had enough at-bats to give us a good idea of what he is going forward.

                Even Snider looked good in a small sample.

                Taking Tabby/Presley RIGHT now assuming that is what they’re going to be in a larger sample goes against the sabermetric principles those guys claim to espouse. They just only use them when it suits their opinion.

              • Dramatic much. Far superior??? Which career stats are you looking at. He had one really good year with Toronto and a good year last with the White Sox. Between those years he was not very good at all batting .227 and .247. He hasn’t had an OBP higher then .337 in the last 6 years. He act like he is Carlos Beltron or something by saying far superior.

                When did the words equal production ever come out of my mouth? 220 at bats is not a small sample size. Thanks for explaining sample size to me. What is that exact number of at-bats that allows me to say it’s a big enough sample size? What is that magic number? I just want to make sure so I can write down. I want to keep all of my NRM definitions in order.

              • “I’m not suggesting Snider’s stats be factored in.”

                So we are on the same page. Awesome….so what was it again you had a problem with on my original post? Because it seems like you had a problem with me saying Snider’s stats should not be factored in.

              • +50 OPS with much better defense and baserunning is far superior to me. Baseball is more than just hitting.

                I never said equal production came out of your mouth. I said the meme from the Pirate blogger crew insinuates that Tabby and Rios are close if not equal.

                Here is a great sample size explanation:

                http://www.fangraphs.com/library/principles/sample-size/

                And again, 220 isn’t the sample size. One is 166. Another is 65. We’re talking about two distinct people. They can’t hit at the same time.

                And none of those sample sizes are considered to be statistically stable.

          • again, wrong. Rios contract goes up $1M due to being traded, so the $1M they kicked in were just to keep his contract at $12.5M next year.

            We seem to complain about right fielders who:
            1. K a lot
            2. Show a lack of hustle
            3. Have a mediocre batting average, OBP, etc.

            If we acquired Rios, we could add 4. Make a ton of $$.

            • Oh. I didn’t realize that. Thanks for the clarification.

              However, it’s just $1 million. Which is nothing in the baseball world. I can’t imagine a deal wasn’t done over just $1 million.

              Harrison, I presume would have been the guy cut if we obtained rios and his OBP is 50 points lower. I think that’s a big variance when you’re talking playoff baseball.

      • Ah, I see you got James Santelli’d.

  51. I’ll be at the Bucs game on Sunday in Denver. Will try to keep up with the blog if my hands aren’t too fool of beer. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

    • At $8-10 a can of beer, most balllparks, yeah, I’d say you might too FOOL of beer! Ho! Sorry, couldn’t resist that one, CWalton! How much is beer there, anyway? I got my first Coors LONG time ago, just out of high school (1972) at a bar up in Fort Collins. Explorer Olympics on the campus of Colorado State! I came in second in the banana eating contest, sponsored by Chiquita!

    • have fun CW, and bring home the W! :)
      Drink a beer for me…keep those hands FOOL :P

    • Don’t drink and blog, CW !

  52. Great move by Shero and Bylsma! Vokoun’s quote says it all!

    Go bucs! :)

  53. A Friday TGIF post:

    This is apropos of nothing but I have learned a few things about the great state of Pennsylvania lately.

    From the blog I have learned that Mallo Cups are made in Altoona. I admire their resolve to keep their packaging retro!

    Amanda Seyfreid was on Jimmy Kimmel. I learned that she is from Allentown. I went to Wikipedia and learned that Allentown is the third largest city in your Commonwealth. My money would have been on Harrisburg or Bethlehem. I also learned that the lovely Ms. Seyfried went to one of the two public high schools in Allentown. I would have never guessed that the third largest city in the state would only have two public high schools.

    I learned from the Princeton Review that Penn State University is rated by them as the ninth biggest party school in the nation, one behind my alma mater.

  54. Ryan Doumit has been placed on the 7-day Ryan Doumit disabled list. He took a foul tip off the mask last Sunday (yeah, go figure) and didn’t get around to telling anyone about the symptoms until Wednesday (yeah, go figure).

  55. Getting a little testy in here today. I’d hate to have seen it if we had lost yesterday.

    And I LIKE Mark Cuban.

    :-)

    • Me too !

    • Mark Cuban was a breath of fresh air when he first became owner… he changed the culture of the Mavs and added a bunch of player friendly stuff…. now that is the norm around the league (even the Clippers) and Cuban has just become annoying more than anything else.

      He isn’t necessarily any smarter than any other owners, nor is he the most wealthy.. his biggest claim to fame is likely the fact that he sits courtside in t-shirts and jeans vs. up in a luxury box.

    • I like him too. I didn’t before, but then I saw him on one of the interview shows and he came across as very smart.

      I don’t mind opinionated owners but I don’t like owners who seem to like be too much the center of attention…ie Jerry Jones.

    • And there is still time for us to lose tonight!

  56. Alex Rios-The Great Divider

    • On the contrary.

      Haven’t seen this many Lunatics united on one thing in a while. And then there’s Dom.

      Sad trombone. :)

  57. Dejan just tweeted that Matt Spaeth needs foot surgery.

    Not a good thing for Steeler Nation

    Maybe we can get Tebow from NE to play tight end….

  58. Where do you people get your inside Steeler info? (other than twitter – which I’m beginning to notice is a semi-reliable source)

  59. NEED ONE OF YOU KIND SOULS TO RE-POST THIS FOR ME ONCE THERE IS A GAME THREAD. THANKS!!

    TRIP-TRIP-TRIPLE PLAY FRIDAY!!!

    ******PLEASE READ WHAT IS WRITTEN BELOW******
    PLEASE PLACE YOUR “WAGERS” AS REPLIES IN THIS COMMENT BOX
    Makes my job a helluva lot easier when I don’t have to hunt to find everyone’s “wagers”

    Max “wager” is 100 units on any single line.
    All “wagers” must be in multiples of 5 units.
    Play as few or as many lines as you’d like.
    As always, this is for fun and entertainment purposes.

    NEW PLAYERS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME & ENCOURAGED!!!

    Line #1
    Total Combined HITS + WALKS by Gaby Sanchez in tonight’s game
    Line is 1.5

    Line #2
    Total Combined WINS POSTED by Pirates STRARTING Pitchers this weekend vs. Colorado
    Line is 1.5

    Line #3
    Total WINS by the Pirates this weekend vs. Colorado
    Line is 1.5

    Please Note – All games must be considered official games in order for line(s) to be valid. Any postponement, cancellation, or suspension of game(s) will void line(s).

    GOOD LUCK!!!

    70 Down, only 12 more to go!!

    Anything is possible if a person believes
    Mark 9:23

    KEEP CALM & BREAK .500

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