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Morning Java: Imagine adding Superman

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

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>> The Monday column celebrates the maybe, possibly, we’ll-see return of the real Troy Polamalu.

Here’s some of what the Mane Man had to say late Saturday night …

The Steelers’ Sunday was brightened by word that Jarvis Jones’ chest injury wasn’t a break or fracture. But, as Alan Robinson reports, many questions remain.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage.

>> Doesn’t take much to get an exclamation point out of the Browns these days. This one’s even better, from their seventh-round pick.

Sorry. Candy from a baby and all.

>> We talked much Steelers and Pirates last night on WPXI-TV’s ‘The Final Word.’

>> The Pirates scored zero runs against the Giants, and not even their outstanding pitching can overcome that. Travis Sawchik is in San Francisco.

Throwing in my own two cents here, three opinion-free facts:

1. The Pirates are 67-18 when scoring a mere three runs.

2. The Pirates’ front office, after the most magical of offseasons, has made no outside moves since the start of the season.

3. Garrett Jones is batting .121 in August, now 7 for 58. That’s the bar over which to upgrade.

That’s all I’ve got, but here’s the rest of our baseball coverage.

Here’s Giants news from the San Francisco Chronicle, Brewers news from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Here are official game highlights from MLB.com.

>> Hard to believe, but exactly one week until Pitt-Florida StateJerry DiPaola sizes up the Seminoles.

>> Which of Pitt, Penn State or West Virginia will fare best in 2013? Joe Starkey’s column tackles that.

>> Dreadful finish to an otherwise dynamite second half for the Riverhounds. I’ll have more about their inaugural season at Highmark Stadium later in the week.

>> 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.

512 Comments

  1. * Can’t comment much on Sunday’s baseball game, didn’t see one pitch but I’ll continue to say what I’ve said since last year…. this team needs bats.

    * August on-base percentages at the top of the lineup is exactly what you’d love to have…
    Starling Marte – .408 / Jose Tabata – .397
    Neil Walker – .354
    Andrew McCutchen – .543

    * Here’s why we’ve got problems
    Pedro Alvarez – .710 OPS
    Garrett Jones – .525 OPS <—————————— OUCH
    Russell Martin – .687 OPS

    * Justin Morneau's OPS in August – .876 <———– AVAILABLE

    * When Clint Hurdle was hired, he came up with the cute phrase, "All In".

    * Everyone said, when the Pirates were good, Bob Nutting would prove us wrong by spending the money to win.

    I'm waiting….

    • We all are…

      • This made me smile a lot. Thanks for sending me to bed in a good mood. I knew exactly what it would be but it still made me laugh.

    • This isn’t earth shattering news. The Pirates offense has been Cutch for the last 3 years now.

      He needs some support.

      I saw the players piling on to the buses after the game, was surprised that NH himself was there, but I didn’t see Hunter Pence tagging along. Too bad he couldn’t have stolen him away from the Giants. He’d look good out in RF.

      So I’ve stuck by Jones long enough. The guys a bench player. Need to add either RF or 1b. Not suggesting any names, that’s been played, but its time.

    • Not sure about putting the blame on Nutting here – not like he can open up the wallet and sign a free agent in August. Neal just says it’s a tough market. Neal also doesn’t do too well with his in-season trades (in the actual season the trades are made). He’s acquired two players in season, mid crash both times, who played well, but it didn’t exactly help (Lee and Wandy).
      And as painful as it is to watch Garrett Jones right now, it also doesn’t help that your All-Start 3rd baseman/cleanup hitter is failing to hit .200 for the month.

      DK: It’s a tough market.

      • Well said on all points.
        Pedro continues to perplex. I’m beginning to waiver on him again. No longer convinced that his occasional HR makes up for all his other shortcomings. I’ll be slayed for saying this, but his trade value might never be higher for us, this coming off-season…

        • Ghostie, you know I was thinking the same thing myself (re Pedro). Don’t see a replacement in the minors though. He ought to be worth some hi-level infield prospects. Trade him to one of the Yankee’s rivals now.

          Stuart

        • Ghost, what would you give up for Pedro?

          • Trading Pedro makes zero sense. He is in 2nd full year of starting in MLB and will get better… how much better is the question. If he gets a little better in reducing Ks and elevating OBP, then he’s very good. If he ‘figures it all out’ he’s off the charts.

            Let’s now see that happen in another city before it’s time.

      • neal ALWAYS says its a tough market.

        That is said to protect neal when he makes a gaffe.

        6 days left to the trade deadline.
        Prepare to be underwhelmed.

        • I made a mistake above regarding Diehard’s line, “…not like he can open up the wallet and sign a free agent in August.” Actually, opening up the wallet and making a deal with a player expensive enough to pass through waivers (if the other team then eats part of the $$$ owed) is exactly the kind of bold move I’ve been hoping against hope will happen. Not holding my breath, though…

        • Fact is it IS a tough task to deal in August but fact is also upgrades are out there if the Bucs pull the trigger.

          So NH is both right (it is a tough market) and wrong (not acting to upgrade NOW). It doesn’t have to be either/or.

    • I would be shocked if The Nuttings have spent one dime of their vast financial arsenal.

      I believe the only money they spend is from generated cash flow of the Pirates, in other words from operating capital of gate receipts, concessions, parking, and external monies received from the Yankees, et al.

      Hurdle has too many cute phrases which as I have said before (yawn!), but are pure rhetoric and catchy. By him saying, he’s all in, does that mean anything to Mr. Nutting?

      • Haven’t seen any financials since 2009 but they’ve also done a good deal of spending through 2009 with money borrowed from banks.

  2. So why exactly is it OK to use such a small sample size for Morneau. The guy is a shadow of his former self one month doesn’t erase his previous 3 years anymore then a good month from Tabata or Drew Sutton. This offense does need a jump start but he is not the answer. Who is to say he even wants to come here. Isn’t he a 5 and 10 guy who can veto any trade. He has been the face of that franchise for a long time. He may be content finishing this year out in that city with that team.

    DK: You need someone for two months. The guy’s been in the majors nine years and hit a hell of a lot better than anyone on this roster ever has. On top of that, if you read material out of Minneapolis, there are strong indications this isn’t a small-window surge for Morneau.

    But don’t let that stop the excuses.

    • He’s not a 5 and 10 guy but some reports say the Twins have given him those rights. He does have a limited no trade clause though (6 teams).

    • Once again….It’s NEVER the right guy unless Huntington says so.
      Never..Never..Never….

      • Never My Love
        The 12th of Never (Donny Osmond ver.)
        We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together

      • neal is the smartest man in ANY room, Daquido!
        Have you forgotten that crucial piece of information?

        Morneau stinks!
        Morneau isnt an upgrade!
        Morneau costs too much!
        Morneau would require parting with a prospect!!!

        Just more excuse makiing for a FO that has fans. Not people wishing for the FO to do well. Actual fans, who make excuses for them at any time. Amazing.

        • I’m not sure why this is amazing. How many Pirate fans are there out there? Hundreds of thousands? More than a million? A couple of million? This is why it doesn’t surprise me when you see just about every opinion imagineable. I don’t expect everyone to have the same opinion and I expect there to be some opinions that I would consider to be the outliers, the norm, and everything in between. Not sure why we can’t just disagree with the opinion instead of putting people down because they have a certain opinion.

          Personally, I don’t give a hoot about the front office. As good as this year has been, it wouldn’t bother me if Neal were fired. Frank should’ve been gone several years ago, IMO, and I think Nutting owed it to us to sell.

        • Not defending NH for the sport of it, but when has he said any of those things about Morneau?

          For all we know, NH may want to acquire Morneau but perhaps ownership won’t approve the $$… or maybe NH doesn’t want Morneau… who knows. Fact is the offense needs upgrading and the front office has a few days to get it done. Anything short of taking action is a disappointment and a failure. But not sure it adds anything to the discussion to bash NH for stuff he hasn’t said and maybe doesn’t believe…or on the other hand to defend NH without any criticism.

          • He didnt say that.
            The posters here over the past 6 weeks have said those things.
            Sorry for the confusion.

            • cool.. I wasn’t for trading for Morneau on July 31 but I most certainly am for trading for him now. The reason? The August performance of GI Jones and to a lesser extent Pedro and Neil.

              I won’t buy any argument now that he isn’t an upgrade or worth the asking price… but I also won’t bash NH for not making the trade for him in July.

    • Did anyone actually read my post? At absolutely no point did I defend the FO. I don’t even mention them. I even said that the offense needs a jump start and they should get a bat. The entire post is about how I think Morneau is not the right guy. Thanks for proving that it is not some that defend the FO at any cost but instead some that go out of thier way to bash the FO. At no point did my post have anything to do with being a FO apoligist. Some of you read what you wanted to and commented likewise.

      As far as your comment DK there are no excuses on my end. I don’t believe Morneau is the answer and it is as simple as that. Do you believe it actually took him 3 years to recover from a concussion? The team needs a bat but it deserves better then just getting a guy that has stats that are actually worse then Jones over the last 3 years and crossing your fingers and hoping it works. Why stop at Morneau why not pick up 4 or 5 guys and throw them all at the wall and see which one sticks. Why not just purchase a truck load of rabbit feet. That may do the trick.

      • ” Some of you read what you wanted to and commented likewise. ”

        Nate, I believe everyone does that.
        Some would call it opinion, maybe?

        If not Morneau, then who?
        Which player would make you happy to have come here? Seriously?
        Or are you a person who truly believes there is no upgrade available, even thought there is?

        • There isn’t much available. I like Dunn a lot better then Morneau myself. I think he gives this team what they need which is the occasional 2 or 3 run home run. I don’t see Morneau doing that. Other then those two they would have to get creative and convince somebody to trade somebody they where not planning on trading. That is why they get the big bucks.

          Just to be clear I think a bat is needed but I will be able to move on and enjoy the rest of this year if a move is not made. I won’t make daily post complaining about it. Every team in this pennent race has weaknesses. The top 5 teams are seperated by 3 games. Other teams are not making moves to address their issues. I’m sure those teams are looking for ways to improve but it has to be the right move for the right price.

          • Nate, thanks for the response.

            I personally dont care what the other teams are doing.
            The other teams have more natural talent than the Bucs. I really dont thing the other teams care about what the Pirates do either.

            And you do realize Dunn was criticized more on this blog than Morneau?

            My main point is, the Pirates have weaknesses that arent being addressed. For me, all other points dont matter, the other teams dont matter.

            Just my 1 cent again.

          • “There isn’t much available.”

            At this point, wouldn’t just about anybody be a better choice?

            As for other teams in the race having weaknesses, I can’t think of any that have as glaring a weakness as ours.

  3. I blame myself..

    Ha ha. Love that ball park! Had a blast as always.

  4. Since this West Coast swing fizzled pretty badly at the end, the only bright spots I take away are:
    1) Against the Giants, and for the entire month of August, Tabby has actually done a respectable job.

    2) Andrew Lambo does show the patience at the plate we heard about. And he’s hit the ball nicely a few times, though it hasn’t always showed up in the box score. He got on base two out of three times yesterday, which is more than any of the other Pirates can say. Keep playing the kid. There’s more of an upside to doing that than continuing to run the struggling Jones out there.

  5. I’m not getting a good feeling about Marte’s injury.
    IF he was to miss the rest of the season, I believe the Pirates would be finished.
    He has been the every day guy that has put the Pirates over the edge.

    It’s now August 26, and there is still no offensive help via the Nutting Regime.
    Waiting…Waiting….Waiting…

    • “Waiting…”

      “…on a Friend(?)”
      “Time Waits for No One”
      “Time Is on My Side”

      • “Time”- The Chambers Brothers
        “Time”- Pink Floyd
        “It’s About Time” – Lemonheads

        Great read about Troy Polamalu as Superman.

        Hey Troy,

        If the football thing doesn’t work out, the Pirates sure could use you.

        C’mon guys, it’s a better option than doing nothing except (NH) wasting our precious time.

        • I’d take a gamble on Sid Crosby and Polamalu, sign em up!

          • We know that Crosby can go yard at PNC and he IS a left handed bat… Hmmmm

            • Here’s Lad 9 to join the Par-tay!

            • That’s what I’m getting at Rad Lad! You caught on really quick lol
              How the heck are y a?

              • Good morning Crue! Doing fine and dandy hanging with Brandie and Jandy. Gonna be pressed for time this week, so will be an infrequent day blogger. A few thoughts:

                - I am in the group that is worried about Marte’s injury. Hand injuries and hitters do not mix. At least his hamate injury from a few years ago was on the opposite hand.

                - Looking forward to getting Grilled Cheese back this week. Melancon has been super, no complaints there, but slotting Grilli back into the ninth will activate the “accordian effect” with the bullpen and will squeeeeeze Lurch right of the mix. (Hopefully)

                - Trying real hard to see where the Steelers have upgraded over last year. My concern is depth – a significant injury almost anywhere could expose us to what other teams have suffered with for years when they get caught in salary cap hell. And the same issue could play havoc with the special teams, which have not been special for a long time.

                - Waiting to see who wins the Matt Niskanen derby.

                - I love Paul Chryst. Love the way he handles himself and his program, and I completely believe he is the right man for the job. I will feel the same even if FSU blows Pitt off the map next week. I am concerned though, that our recruits for 2014 that have been announced in the past few months have mostly been a parade of “he was also considering Kent, Akron, and Temple”. I would be nice to get a high impact guy like Shai McKenzie from Little Washington.

                - If Sid were a baseball player, what position would he play anyhow? :)

              • Lad, sorry, just saw this….busy as heck here too, as you can tell…
                Sid would play SS or 2nd base, I think. And be darn good at it, too :)

                Niskie…I’m kinda sad he’s going, but he’s peaked and it’s time to give some of our stock-piled younger d-men a chance…

      • “Waiting for the world to change.”

    • You will be waiting until 2014.
      neal isnt going to do anything, except sit on his hands.

      What you see is what you get.
      And with this offense, that isnt very much.

      But hey (or HOKA HEY), 2016 looks mighty good!

      • 2013 looks pretty damn good. You should start enjoying it. Morneau is not Joey Votto, Prince Fielder or Adrian Gonzalaz. Heck he is barely even Gerrit Jones. He does not give this team a better chance to win. Yes he could go on a hot streak (or continue his hot streak) but it is no more likely then any Pirate player going to that hot streak. There is nothing over the past 3 years that would convince me trading for Morneau improves the Pirates chances of winning the World Series.

  6. All Rolling Stones songs…

  7. Ah, maybe I was too harsh on neal above. After all, the following happened today……

    the crickets nare chirping,
    the birds are singing already,
    the town drunk is passed out on a bench in the town square,
    the sun WILL rise in about 90 minutes,
    i woke up, so Bless the Lord for that,

    in other words, its a normal day!!!
    I wish one thing wasnt normal, and that would be for neal to do something related to the lineup. But, the team has gotten this far, 2013 wasnt expected to be anything, and we always can look forward to 2015 and beyond.

    So maybe I will go to the town drunk, give him $7, and tell him to get a hot meal.
    It is supposed to be a glorious day, so I wont let our FO ruin it for me.

    After all, its just baseball. ;)

    • This is your 4th post ripping on the GM and it is only 6:30 AM. This might even be more annoying than the insufferable pond updates.

      Relax dude, chill out.

      • jd,

        This is the 1000th time you have told me to Relax. Chill out.
        Take your own advice.

        Relax. Chill out.
        See how that works??

          • Hey, Good Morning!

            I am just relaxing here. Chilling out, Jandy.

            Saturday was a banner day for me on this blog.

            I had certain people calling me “too negative” for dare bringing up that neal wasnt God for 2007-2010.

            Later, I had trolls saying I was “too positive” because I wouldnt criticize Hurdle.

            First time I ever saw that on this blog. I feel special.
            Didnt think it was possible, but hey………..

    • “the town drunk is passed out on a bench in the town square,”

      Hi Frank.

  8. Heroin. The Velvet Underground.

    Hey. It works for me.

  9. Hoka Hey everyone!
    .
    PROSPECT UPDATE:
    As the minor league season wraps up. 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 …. .305/ .403 / .543 … 5 HR, 20 RBI, 39 K, 21 BB, 3 SB, in 40 games and 40 AB’s. Austin bats from the LEFT side.
    .
    2013: (1st round, 14th pick) Reese McGuire…. C …GCL Pirates …. .321/.381/ .383 … 0 HR, 19 RBI, 17 K, 15 BB, 5 SB, in 42 games and 162 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 first week of August…..he has pitched 24 IP, 19 H, 25 K, 13 BB, 1 HR …..1 W , 1 L, 3.75 …1.33 WHIP

    2009: Tony Sanchez…. C …. ** Currently on the Pirates roster and he just hit his 1 MLB homa :-)
    .

    PS: Stetson Allie (2010 draft…2nd round) was moved up to Bradenton about 12 weeks ago. His line there is .232/.353/.367 … 4 HR, 21 RBI, 75 K, 38 BB, 2 SB in 57 games and 207 AB’s. He bats from the RIGHT side.

  10. With 32 games left, the Pirates magic number to eliminate Arizona is 24, to host the wild card is 30 (vs. Reds), and 33 to win the division (vs. Cardinals). The Pirates are tied with the Dodgers and Cardinals for the second best record in the National League, one game behind Atlanta. That’s pretty good company. (The Tigers winning percentage is somewhere between the Braves and the Pirates/Cardinals/Dodgers).

  11. David Schoenfield of ESPN picks McCutchen to win the NL MVP. See item #6 here.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/39512/ten-predictions-for-the-stretch-run

  12. The Pirates are 67-18 when scoring a mere three runs.

    So why can’t they just follow that same formula for the rest of the season?

  13. Not to make excuses, but today is the first day off the team has had in two weeks. Judging by its record in that time, it appears to be a much needed rest, if only for a day and night. In the past two weeks, the Bucs have won six and lost seven. They took one series from the Padres, lost one series each to the Cardinals and Diamondbacks, and drew one with the Giants. In the 13 games, they scored a total of 52 runs and gave up 48, including 15 to Arizona in one slugfest.
    For August, in games decided by one or two runs, the Pirates have won two games and lost four by one run, and won 3 and lost 3 by two runs. That makes a total of 5-7.
    Overall, for the month of August, the Bucs are 10-12. Runs scored in August: 84. Runs given up: 96.
    Starting the month, the Bucs had the best record in baseball: 65-42 = .614. One week later, on August 7th, they had won five in a row and still had the best record in the majors: 70-44 = .614. They were 4 games ahead of the Cardinals and 7 up on the Reds. (Meanwhile, over in the East, the Braves were winning 13 straight.)
    From that point on, from the game against Colorado on August 8th until today, the Pirates have won 6 and lost 10, four of them by one run.
    If that doesn’t appear to anyone else like it might be the beginning of a slide rather than a “correction” over a long season, you need to put away your rose-colored glasses, turn off the tap on the beer keg, and start thinking positively about next year.

  14. JAL’s Brass in Pocket Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3K9j-3-1vgU

    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 Pittsburgh Pirates Stats

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

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: MTV VMAs — The 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates Version

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/08/first-pitch-mtv-vmas-the-2013-pittsburgh-pirates-version.html

    Vogelsong, Giants Hold Pirates to Only Three Hits in 4-0 Loss

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/08/vogelsong-giants-hold-pirates-to-only-three-hits-in-4-0-loss.html

    Prospect Watch: Some Good Performances From Possible September Call-Ups

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/08/prospect-watch-some-good-performances-from-possible-september-call-ups.html

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates’ offense flops against Ryan Vogelsong, Giants

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/8/26/4658796/pirates-offense-flops-against-ryan-vogelsong-giants

    Pennant race flashback: August 25, 1979

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/8/25/4651374/pennant-race-flashback-august-25-1979

    6 KDKA

    Clardy: A Fan’s Got To Accept The Pirates’ Limitations

    http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/08/25/clardy-a-fans-got-to-accept-the-pirates-limitations/

    7 WHYGAVS

    76 Wins

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/august-2013/76-wins.html

    8 The Kittanning Paper

    Winning Baseball Leads to New Band Hit

    http://www.kittanningpaper.com/2013/08/26/winning-baseball-leads-to-new-band-hit/39733

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Giants 4 Pirates 0

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2013/08/giants-4-pirates-0/

  15. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    10 San Francisco Chronicle

    Vogelsong shuts out former team as Giants win 4-0

    http://www.sfgate.com/giants/article/Vogelsong-shuts-out-former-team-as-Giants-win-4-0-4760384.php

    11 San Jose Mercury News

    Giants’ Ryan Vogelsong throws eight scoreless innings in shutout win over Pittsburgh Pirates

    http://www.mercurynews.com/giants/ci_23939356/giants-ryan-vogelsong-throws-two-hitter-shutout-win

    12 Rant Sports

    5 Pittsburgh Pirates That Should Be Called Up In September

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/08/25/5-pittsburgh-pirates-that-should-be-called-up-in-september/#slide_1

    13 Yahoo Sports

    How did the Pirates end up with a Cubs batting weight in San Francisco?

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/did-pirates-end-cubs-batting-weight-san-francisco-181816339.html

    14 Trenton Times

    Editorial: Roberto Clemente Park in Trenton reopens after years of renovation

    http://www.nj.com/times-opinion/index.ssf/2013/08/editorial_roberto_clemente_par.html

    15 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Reds fall to Brewers, lose series

    http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20130825/SPT04/130825015/Reds-fall-to-Brewers-lose-series

    16 CBS Sports

    Vogelsong, Giants blank Bucs

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/recap/MLB_20130825_PIT@SF/vogelsong-helps-giants-beat-pirates-40

    17 St Louis Post Dispatch

    Strauss: Snap verdicts about Cards have no value

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/joe-strauss/strauss-snap-verdicts-about-cards-have-no-value/article_e55817be-fdb6-5892-bdad-8b74ffca319a.html

    18 PBC Site

    Bucs quiet, miss chance to move ahead of Cards

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_08_25_pitmlb_sfnmlb_1&mode=recap_away&c_id=pit

    Notebook: Rookie Sanchez learning as Liriano’s personal catcher

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130825&content_id=58366474&notebook_id=58367544&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES
    19 Baseball Prospectus

    The Week In Quotes

    http://baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=21633
    20 Fangraphs

    10th anniversary: the Brian Giles trade

    http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/blog_article/10th-anniversary-the-brian-giles-trade/

  16. Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Projecting the Steelers 53-man roster following preseason loss to Chiefs

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/8/25/4656712/steelers-roster-projection-cuts-chiefs

    5 things we learned in the Steelers loss to the Chiefs in Preseason Week 3

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/8/25/4656548/steelers-chiefs-preseason-highlights-stats-jarvis-jones-injury-status-condition?utm_source=behindthesteelcurtain&utm_medium=nextclicks&utm_campaign=blogs

    22 Steelers Depot

    Steelers LB Stevenson Sylvester Likely Watching His Roster Spot Slip Away On The Sideline

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/08/steelers-lb-stevenson-sylvester-roster-spot-preseason/#axzz2d1dMZRni

    Soccer(football)

    23 London Evening Standard

    Clash of the titans: David Moyes v Jose Mourinho

    http://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/clash-of-the-titans-david-moyes-v-jose-mourinho-8783297.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 23rd August, 2013

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-23rd-august-2013

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    2013 Penguins Top 25 Fan Vote

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/8/23/4651862/top-25-fan-poll

  17. What are the Twins asking for Morneau? If he was just sitting out there and could be plucked up like Jason Grilli last year that would be one thing. But they have to trade for him. Morneau would be a clear upgrade over Jones/Gaby at first, but if the Twins are demanding top prospects for him then no way can you make that deal.

    • The Twins have a 3B in AA with Pedro-like power numbers, but a much higher average, and probably a higher ceiling. Maybe we can get him for an extra $2 million.

  18. Morning Fellow Loonies! Hope everyone had a good weekend. Have a question for you all: What is the best scenerio that the Pirates could hope for…would want…will happen…when the Reds and Cardinals tangle for 3 in St. Louis this week? Do we want to see St Louis get beat up or the Reds?

    • Since St. Louis is neck and neck with us, and Cincinnati is 2.5 games behind, I’d say we want St. Louis to lose maybe 1 more than the REDS lol.

    • Personally, I would like to see both teams sucked into a black hole if mediocrity. I want the whole series to be rained out. I want there to be a cheating scandal so bad that both teams have to forfeit their entire seasons for the next twenty years.

      If none of the above scenarios work, then I would like to see the Reds take 2 of 3. For as much as I cannot stand the Reds, I get so sick of hearing about the Cardinals and the Cardinal way!

    • TJA, it’s an interesting question, but I think that the Bucs better take care of their own business. The Brewers aren’t going to just roll over for us, and the haven’t been lousy lately. With the Reds and Cards, we will only gain on somebody if we win our own games.

      • Although I do like Brandie’s scenarios as well!

      • Well said, Bill! I see and agree with what Jandy and Brandie said above, too, but, yes, the pirates need to take care of their own business. What a painful weekend in SF.

        • Yep, we were all pretty jazzed up after the first two games, and now we feel let down again. Maybe not totally fair.

          • Yep. If we had lost the first 2 and recovered and won the second 2 people would feel better. At least I would. I’m pretty sure if you went back and checked that most people who commented on the west coast games beforehand thought 4-3 would be O.K. Not great, but at least OK. (This is NOT saying they don’t need a bat)

            If we beat the Brewers without Cryin’ Ryan, do they really count? ;-)

            • Any win counts over that team.
              To think of all the wins that they got over us were fueled by that disgusting cheat makes me a little ill.

              4-3, while disappointing, is still better than West Coast trips of the past.

            • They sure will. The Brewers totally enjoyed pounding on the Bucs when we ………were playing less well.

            • Wilver Dornel,

              Quit being so logical!!

              Fandom is not logical! My world is destroyed and the sky is falling because Bucs failed to win last two games. If Barmes had not been so lucky as to golf that low inside pitch over the wall for the 3-run dinger, they could have lost that one also!

              Woe is me!! The Bucs are falling! The Bucs are falling!

      • Good point, Bill. Let’s face it: It’s mighty close to September and EVERYbody takes their game up a notch. Well, maybe not the Pirates! Think about it: It may have been since John Russell was here that the Bucs have played like Septemberers (was that a group that played on the VMAs last night?) – spoilers, you know. The past two years we spent September swooning.

    • TJA, I would like to see both teams lose 3 to each other. I know that isnt possible, so I would like to see the Reds lose more. They have made up more ground that the Cardinals.

      Realistically, I would like to see the Pirates ignore both those clubs, and take care of their own business by winning games! If the Pirates win, what those 2 clubs do doesnt matter!

      Just my 1 cent.

    • Reds sweep the Cards, while the Pirates sweep the Brewers…

  19. DK…

    Just wondering, has “Win, or be fired,” been replaced by “ADD A BAT (err, scratch that), ADD MORNEAU, or be fired…”…?

    • I love how we look at our players with the glass half empty but other teams players with the glass half full.

      • Look out, Nate is on a roll! :)

      • Nate, while I cant speak for others, I personally dont think that is the case.

        I see Jones hitting 7 for his last 58. I dont see others teams players doing that.
        I see Pedro hitting maybe .175 this month. I dont see other teams players doing that.

        There are players out there that would be upgrades, regardless of what posters here think to the contrary. I know the bell has been sounded here many times that the players available arent upgrades. I think that is just a smokescreen to NOT acquire anyone.

        I see the glass as BOTH half-empty and half-full.

        But in any regard, the Pirates need a full glass. Not excuses.

        • There are in fact other players in the Majors having slumps as bad or worse than Jones or Alvarez.

          • On contending teams?
            Players that are in the heart of the order?
            Players that are being counted on to supply a big % of the offense?

            I see you have decided to start with me again.
            You were doing so well not responding to my posts, but whatever.

            Please dont respond to my posts.
            Quit causing trouble.
            Or as your friend JD says……….. Relax. Chill.

            • 21 stating fact is not starting or causing trouble. Take some time and look at other teams line ups. Their are guys in every line up batting below .250 for the year.

            • “On contending teams? Players that are in the heart of the order? Players that are being counted on to supply a big % of the offense?”

              Yup. Also players that have been considered good trade candidates for us at the end of July and still might be if they’ve cleared waivers.

              Nice goalpost move, btw.

              • It was only a goalpost move in your world.

                Please stop responding to my posts.

              • “I dont see others teams players doing that.”

                Then the criteria changed to:

                “On contending teams? Players that are in the heart of the order? Players that are being counted on to supply a big % of the offense?”

              • +1. Rock on 21. Keep up the good fight! Don’t get bullied.

              • hey JD, that’s *MY* line, get your own!

              • JD,

                being you love to styick up for your friend, even when he starts crap, I have a message for you.

                Relax. Chill out.

            • Maybe I didnt word it correctly enough for you in my original post.
              I specifically used Jones, and Pedro. # 4 and 5 hitters in the heart of a lineup. I dont see other teams 4 and 5 hitters doing as poorly as those 2. Yes, maybe the Cubs and Astros have a player struggling, but not to the extent as our players.

              No goalpost move at all.

              And, as your re-started this war again yesterday by jumping in on my posts, calling them “baloney”, and accusing me of making things up as I go along, when you clearly could have stayed out of it………..
              stop responding to my posts.

              You started this crap all over again, and I would love to hear an explanation why. But I will hear the same crap I have heard from you the past 4 and 1/2 years all over again.

              • “Maybe I didnt word it correctly enough for you in my original post.”

                I thought you worded it fine.

                And I’m just challenging some comments I disagree with to challenge my own opinions. I think it’s a great way to learn.

              • “That is all a bunch of baloney”.
                “You are making things up as you go along”.
                “Nice goalpost shift, btw.”

                Yep, with comments like that, I see where you think its a great way to learn.

                Stop responding to my posts.
                Thanks for re-starting the war.
                Another thing you have done for the past 4 and 1/2 years.

              • There is no war.

              • When you attack me and constantly cause trouble, there is. And you are always in denial. Always.

                Thanks for re-starting this. You had absolutely no reason to attack me yesterday. None. Yet you started all over again. I asked you yesterday why you did this, but as usual, you couldnt answer.

                I simply dont understand why you had to do this.
                It lacks logic.
                But, as always, it is what you specialize in.

                Stop responding to my posts.
                Stop causing trouble like you have for the past 4 and 1/2 years.

              • I disagreed with some of your posts and I felt like responding, so I did. Those aren’t attacks.

              • ““That is all a bunch of baloney”.
                “You are making things up as you go along”.
                “Nice goalpost shift, btw.”

                Those arent attacks???
                You have got to be kidding me.
                I expected as much from you……….. you always hide behind the “I was just responding” crap you always spew.

                If you would have disagred to me without these attacks, I would have continued to ignore you.
                But, that isnt your MO. You have to start trouble everywhere you go.

                Stop responding to my posts.
                Stop causing trouble.
                I know thats all you are capapble of, and I am sick of your crap after 4 and 1/2 years.

                Enough, troublemaker!

              • Those aren’t attacks.

              • Yes they are.

                Thank you again for re-starting this.
                DK warned us to stop.
                I did. You didnt.

                Typical troublemaking from you, as always.

                Stop responding to my posts.

              • I just disagree with you.

                And to be 100% accurate, Dejan asked us to keep it to baseball (or other sports related topics I would assume) and not debate personal stuff. I haven’t been debating personal stuff.

              • hey guys, my head hurts from reading all this crap. Someone send me some migraine medicine ;)

              • Take two shots and call me in the morning.

              • Ah, I forgot. Whatever suits your fancy Jandy. If you’re happy, I’m happy.

              • Well, since I’m clocking out for the day, I’m happy. Have a nice evening, everyone :)

              • DK said no personal attacks.

                By stating I am making stuff up as I go along, that is a personal attack.

                I didnt respond to you since DK’s edict.
                You have, and you attacked.

                You can spin and lie all you want.
                You attacked, and I wont tolerate it.
                You have done this to me for 4 and 1/2 years.

                Quit responding to my posts.
                Quit lying and saying you didnt attack. You did.
                Quit causing trouble.
                Since you have started this again, I will never stop calling you out.

                You lie.
                You start trouble.
                You attack.

                Stop. Now.
                You will never get me to leave here.
                You are trying.
                But you wont succeed.
                Stop your lies.
                Stop your attacks.
                Stop responding to my posts.
                Until you stop, this will go on forever.
                Its up to you, pal.

                Things were peaceful when you didnt respond to me.
                Now, you are attacking and starting this crap all over again.
                Quit lying by saying the things you said to me arent attacks.
                Of course, you will never stop, because you never do anything wrong.

                Just stop.

              • All of that is inaccurate.

              • No its not.
                It is 100% accurate.
                You are in denial, just so you can continue to attack and cause trouble.

                Every single line is accurate.

                Stop responding to my posts.
                Stop causing trouble.
                Until you do, this will go on forever, because you started attacking again.

                DK: It won’t go on. Just don’t respond to each other, please. Simple as that. Neither of you has a problem with anyone else, so that seems the fairest solution. Thanks.

              • DK……… Thank You!!!

                This re-ignited with him attacking me on Yesterdays morning thread. I didnt respond to him one single time since you said your piece last time.

                He didnt listen to you last time.
                I hope he does this time.
                I really do.

                DK: Just drop it. Drop it. Last post on this.

              • DK, if I see facts presented inaccurately regardless of who it is, I’m probably going to respond.

          • Somebody do a study … Quick! Which teams have players slumping like Jones and Alvarez in August? And I’m heading to the fridge ’cause my milk glass is LESS than half … half … they ain’t NOTHIN’ IN THERE!

            • Cincinnati (2 players), Atlanta, Oakland, Cleveland, Oakland, just amongst the contenders. At least by my analysis.

              • I have a terrible headache but by neighbor’s dying of cancer, so I won’t take anything.

              • I don’t know what your point is Milo. If your point is that I don’t think we should acquire anyone, you would be dead wrong. There are a bunch of players that I’d acquire.

                Anyways, I was merely answering a question.

              • My point is that the Pirates needing to upgrade their offense has nothing to do with any team but the Pirates. While others may have slumping players, the other 4 playoff teams are in the top 6 in runs scored. The Pirates are 11th. There is no comparison.

            • You’re preaching to the choir Milo.

            • And my only point was to answer what PlanIs said WAYYYY up there about:

              “I see Jones hitting 7 for his last 58. I dont see others teams players doing that.
              I see Pedro hitting maybe .175 this month. I dont see other teams players doing that.”

              With a simple “there are other teams doing that.”

              The numbers don’t lie … we need some lumber. BUT we’re not the only ones “doing that.”

        • I agree with Plan and almost everyone else that thinks we should add a bat. Look, we need help. Garrett (covey splash not included) is just not cutting the mustard. I am hoping Pedro bounces back but I am fully ready to write off Garrett at this point. And since I’ve said it multiple times already… FREE MORNEAU!… oh and FREE LAMBEAU! (he’s already technically free but I think now that he’s got his feet wet, he’ll start heating up too).

          I don’t like the comparisons to other teams have middle order batters struggling as well. Just as much a reason to add a bat as any.

          • Like the reference to “cutting the mustard,” Kevin. At this advanced stage of life, it always reminds me of a favorite song by Mel Tillis, “I Ain’t Too Old To Cut The Mustard, Just Too Tired To Spread It Around!”

  20. Point being, there is just no pleasing everybody. When the Bucs win the World Series, there will be complaints because it was not done decades ago!

  21. With the last two losses it seems apparent that our 82nd victory will not happen at home. We would have to actually sweep the next two series for it to happen. Bummer.

    • It is, Dom, but we will take it over having to wait till the next time they come back, won’t we?

    • 82 @ home ….STILL could happen…..THURSDAY Sept.12 vs. the little Cubbies…….of course we don’t want to see them go into a tailspin and do it that way! ;-)

    • It’s definitely better that 82 doesn’t happen at home. That would be a sad scene to have a massive ovation for simply clinching a winning season. It’s obviously a nice achievement, but this season isn’t about 82 – it’s about earning a playoff spot and competing for a championship.

      If people go nuts over 82 I can imagine an expletive-filled tirade from AJ Burnett in which he reminds everybody that 82 is meaningless. I fear that the Pirates would be a laughingstock around baseball if their fans went berserk just for posting a winning record.

      I’d prefer to act like we’ve been there before.

      • Yeah, you’re right.

        If we were just battling around .500 and we won our 82nd game in late September, then that would be a different story.

    • It might be poetic justice to get No. 82 in Milwaukee. Kind of like exorcising the demon that that wonderful stadium represents.

  22. Its STILL AUGUST

    Just sayin ;-)

  23. Pirates are only able to make moves as the market allows. This is a lousy trade market and no GM can force teams to make good players available. NH is correct in his stance that any move that is panic or driven by a lopsided deal is not worth it. The players have to perform and the ones who fail to deliver will help NH address the upgrades for next year. It is a long season and players have ups and downs. But when the downs come to often at crunch time then you have a understanding of the changes that need to be made.

      • I don’t know, Lucky. Sounds to me like “no-soup” thinking that we’ll trade the guys in the off-season who aren’t performing now for better players. That ” logic” escapes me. And we really don’t know what the market “allows” because they haven’t tried anything we know of. We’re all dealing with less than perfect “facts.”

        • That is correct and we probably will be dealing with less then perfect facts until the end of time. The closest we get is when somebody like JRay talks to Bryan Morris and hears first hand that the asking price was too high. However that is Morris’s own opinion and he didn’t give specifics so there still isn’t anyway to know. Maybe his own name was included in trade talks and he has a very high opinion of himself.

        • I agree with your points, AW.

          I think the success of the season so far has made Neal and Bob think they know what they’re doing and thus, what they do is off-season rather than mid-season “upgrading”.

          I think Chet’s point about upgrading from this so far successful season will be handled in-house. We have some first basemen/outfielders in the system.

          That said, I sure would like to see Morneau or even Dunn and his bag of K’s. We just flat-out need some offense from more than a couple guys.

    • But what about DK’s point that NH hasn’t made a single in-season move all season? (Aside from internal upgrades, like replacing Inge with Mercer, which any other GM would have done much sooner.)

      Right field has been a black hole all year, ever since Travis Snider had a hot couple of weeks in April. It’s easy to make excuses for NH once the trade deadline passes, but he had plenty of opportunities to upgrade the club’s depth earlier and chose not to. Sorry, Neal doesn’t get off the hook.

      • But what about DK’s point that NH hasn’t made a single in-season move all season?

        ———
        I don’t think he’s need to make one until the past month or so.

        And there aren’t many trades April-early June.
        ( I said MANY, I know there have been some trades during that time)

        • Each day that goes by solidifies my position that the Nutting Regime has no interest in being in the post season.
          Their only goal is to finish over .500.
          IF something else happens….It will happen with no assistance.
          I’ve seen nothing to show me differently.

    • I feel like a LOONIE who just went in and got a makeover from a shrink. SCHTACK! Thanks. I needed that!

  24. it’s getting a bit rough in here. I have work do to….Nun outta here. have a nice day everyone :)
    (I’m making like NMR) ;)

  25. I disagree that Troy is our superman. If there is one on our team, it would be Big Ben.

    My cable went out before the game on Saturday. How did Troy do? Is he still sluggish?

    • Well if BBR is Superman, Troy is Batman.

      Aside from looking like he guessed wrong a couple of times, he played well and was as quick as I seen him in a couple of years.

      The critical element is staying on the field.

    • My uncle says he looked like he lost 5 steps. People on here (including DK) seem to have a much better opinion of him that he looks like a rejuvenated Polamalu… like looks as good as 3-4 years ago (according to Clark). I don’t know. I’m certainly not willing to label him as the superman. Of anyone, we need Bell to be the superman. I think he’s the only guy that can save Big Ben and our offense.

  26. In the first round of cuts, the steelers let go of Stevenson Sylvester, Baron Batch, and David Gilreath. They also placed Sean Spence on the reserve PUP list so, he’ll miss the first six games but he’ll most likely miss more if not the entire season anyways.

  27. I’d love to see Troy back to his all-world level this season.

    I still think the team should have kept Harrison & drafted Lacy, but Troy is the straw that stirs the D’s turnover/TD drink.

  28. To use a word from “the plan”, having seen these EXHIBITION GAMES, I am underwhelmed at the Steelers prospects for the year. I don’t see any consistent playmakers – besides Ben – that we can count on.

    I’m predicting 5-11 at best, and 4th in our little kibbutz called AFC North.

    • Ouch!!!! 5-11 at best. I’m pretty sure Vegas has them at odds between 7-9 wins. I could see predicting them to be 5-11 but adding at best to it seems a lot lower then other expectations. Of course two weeks ago you had the Pirates possible losing 17 straight and the seasom being over at this point.

      • Just proves I’m a rank amateur, which I know you wanted to say, but hesitated.

        I don’t recall saying 17 in a row, and I know you are “hallucinating slightly”, but while my comment was negative – on the Pirates – what have they done to convince you I was wrong.

        Regarding the Steelers, what did you see that I may have missed?

        • Bob your exact comment is below.

          “The next six games – 3 at St. L. and 3 @home with Ariz. – could yield six more losses added to the three in Colo – plus we then go to feisty SD for three and the equally feisty SF for four, and our season could be over.”

          We are now at the end of the stretch of games you were referring to. Even the most pessimistic Pirate fan wouldn’t consider their season even being close to being over. They are in first place 9 games from being out of the playoffs.

          • Well that is not 17 games in a row, is it?

            And we are no better than when that stretch began, and everyone here seems somewhat disgruntled, and apprehensive I would say

            • I stand corrected it is 16. I think the overall general attitude of Pirate fans is still postitive. Unfortunately people don’t go to blogs to say positive things. A manager at a restaurant only hears from the unhappy costomers not the happy ones. A blog is the same way for the most part.

      • Slight correction; Vegas picks a number, and you bet it Over or Under and lay 11-10 or 6-5, depending on which “parlor” you are visiting.

        A range of 7-9 doesn’t make sense

        • Of course each betting house doesn’t always have the same number, but in a case like this, if one house steps out a has a different number, they could cause every house including theirs to get “middled” or “whipsawed”.

          And very quickly the lines would be adjusted, and be in conformity to all of the others, because of a deluge of action!

          • I’m not a betting man Bob. I’m not exactly sure how betting on records for an NFL season works. My point was and still is I have to imagine that those who predict the amount of wins a team will have in a season to set the line would have them somewhere between 7 to 9 wins.

            Maybe I’m wrong. I don’t have the abilitly to check Vegas lines but I’m pretty confident it is not set at 5 for the Steelers and you had that as their best. You have every right to have that opinion I just personally thought it was little over the top.

            • I never said it was set at five – that is my prediction.

              I was trying to explain, IF Vegas had lines out there at “between 7-9″, the “wise guys or sharpies” would bet 10k over 7 and bet 10k under 9, and if the Steelers won 8, those people would win both ways. Vegas ain’t ever going to let that happen knowingly.

              In the scenario above, if Steelers won 7 or 9, the bettor would tie one and win one, and Vegas ain’t going to let that happen knowingly.

              That is why the 7-9 equation is false

              My man, over the top is a weird statement used frequently these days. It means nothing to me. Five is my opinion.

              Vegas puts out A NUMBER. You can over or under PERIOD.

              • And now we have come full circle. I was only guessing at the Vegas line (hence the 7-9 margin). I wasn’t claiming that is the line you said it was. I was just pointing out your prediction of 5-11 at best is well below others that do this for a living. Most people (almost all) would take you up on a bet of the Steelers winning more then 5 games.

              • Sir with this last entry, you have unsuccessfully tried to spin what you said originally.
                You haven’t a clue ( I guess you admitted that) about lines, but it was you who introduced 7-9 as something in Vegas. I just correctly addressed that.

                But you can’t be serious that most everyone is still rock solid confident about the Pirates.

  29. Still looking for fantasy football owners

    Yahoo League

    Dejan’s Lunatics

    Thanks

  30. If anyone’s seen Lamar Odom, his in-laws are looking for him.

    • I think he is hanging out with Justin Morneau and Adam Dunn, which explains why NH or the Bucs haven’t been able to find him. Check with Mike Rizzo, he seems to know where people are, even if he doesn’t want to find them.

    • If they were my in-laws I’d hide too….

  31. Steelers traded for Felix Jones? Did I just hear that or imagine it?

  32. I didnt take my lucky Pirates coffee cup to the lakehouse this weekend. You have seen the results. Cards finally lost, Brewers take 2/3 from the reds…and goose egg. This week is pretty big.

  33. My two cents….

    1. It took a while, but count me in on the “we MUST add an outside bat to this lineup this week” committee. I will leave the torches and pitchforks to others, as well as meaningless back and forth BMTIB chatter which is stale for about 3 years now… but my patience has run out. And it is because of Jones/Pedro/Martin and does NOT have anything to do with Tabata/Barmes and other blog whipping boys…..

    2. Lambo is Exhibit Z of the ridiculousness of the #FREEMINORLEAGUEFLAVOROFTHEMONTH movement. This FO has many flaws but they generally know about prospect readiness and the manager knows a lot about who the best options to put on the field are (and no, Bob Hasis, I do not welcome another debate about Barmes or Nick Leyva’s 3B coaching). Tabata is the best option in RF now and it isn’t close.

    3. We may not notice it folks, but we (and the Bucs) have turned a corner… we are no longer in ‘collapse 3′ mode/discussion, we are now in the ‘complain about a 4-3 west coast road trip because it isn’t 6-1′ mode…and rightfully so. But amidst all of the teeth gnashing, thought I’d point out that quietly this team has jumped a hurdle (and don’t get exited, CH-bashers, I don’t mean that they fired their best manager since Leyland left for Miami (and likely a few years before that when he stopped being effective without great players on the team).

    4. Big opportunity for the Bucs this week.. 6 home games before a big road trip and Cards play next 13 games vs. Reds and Pirates. Anytime the Cards and Reds play each other is a GREAT opportunity for the Buccos. One of them has to lose. No matter what happens Bucs benefit.

    • Thank you for making great points, cmat.

      • thanks for thinking my two cents is at least worth the pair of pennies. :)

        • I’d give you at least a nickle. Really good points made all around.

          Sorry for being part of the endless chatter over the last 3 years. I promise myself every week not to get involved.

          • Not to say that ‘body of work’ discussions don’t have their place, it’s just my view that their place isn’t each and every time the front office either makes a move of doesn’t make a move…. in my mind, history doesn’t shape merits of the current transaction (or failing to do a transaction)…. like DK has said a few times NH and the FO had a ‘magical offseason’ but that doesn’t mean they don’t need to act now… you can substitute that NH and the FO had a miserable 2008-2010 but that doesn’t mean they don’t need to act now…

            That’s just how I see it. We can have the ‘body of work’ discussions, perhaps best in the offseason and not each and every time the FO breathes (or doesn’t breathe).

            • I think we are on the same page on this. I do want them to pick up a bat this week but I don’t see it as a pass and fail type thing. It’s not that black and white. It’s one of dozens maybe 100′s of decisions made this year that they should be judged on. Their entire body of work not one move made in late August decided were this team will eventually end up.

              • We are definitely on the same page, but I have noticed a palpable difference in the approach, sense of urgency, etc. by CH and the field management since day 1 this year… I think taking action in August to bolster an offense that is clearly not good enough is the same vein… actions speak louder than words. Avoiding another tailspin (I wont’ say collapse) and falling short of the goal (and the goal now is winning division not 82 or even making the playoffs) requires ACTION. Morneau shouldn’t require Taillon or Polanco or Glasnow or Hansen… so take the plunge. Plug him into 1B vs RHPs and plug Jones into the mix in RF… if Morneau struggles, then you bench him. Simple as that. We know we aren’t going to acquire Miggy Cabrera at this point, so we shouldn’t wait for the ‘sure thing’.

    • +1 cmat. The Pirates have certainly raised our expectations. And to paraphrase a European history instructor I had somewhere along the way, it was the rising expectations of the French working class that paved the way for the French Revolution. At the beginning of the year, we would have been happy with 82+ wins. Now anything less than a home wild card game will seem like a major disappointment to some.

      • Count me in the “some,” and proud to be there.

      • and count me as those that would be majorly disappointed if they don’t win the division. Raising the Bar is not only OK but it is the right thing to do… I just wish we’d all enjoy the ride…this is what being in a pennant race is… high highs and low lows…. Reds must be pretty low dropping 2of3 at home to the Brewers… it happens. No need to slit wrists, a roller coaster this will be. NO need to compare the Bucs to the Steelers, the Pens or the Hounds (or really to anyone else).. just enjoy the roller coaster… if you can’t take the lows with the highs, then you need a different hobby.

  34. No one would ever ask me but…

    Why all the carping back and forth about acquiring a bat? It has been a marvelous season to date but anyone can see that this team needs a professional hitter who has some success somewhere in his past. If and when Grilli comes back ripple effect makes everything better. Same with getting a professional bat. There is no perfect candidate but this team needs someone anyone as long as it does not gum up finances down the road. I believe Dunn has another year and it is pretty expensive ( not 100% sure) so I rule him out. This blog says Soriano would have been a poor choice or would not have come to Pittsburgh. I will give you he may not have come but if he did he would have been the solution. I don’t care about his defense. The only name that seems to be available is a guy who has had success then struggled mightily and is a bit hot now and who has no financial obligation past this year. If he is not a former Twin and a new Pirate by Friday then shame on the FO. Is it so awful to clearly point out a flaw in a 1st place team? Is this the team you want next April? If you don’t want this next April why would you be against change in August? Seriously can anybody be as bad as Jones right now? Will every prospect be a gift from Jandy’s boss in the next 2-3 years?

    I saw a blog discussion on a Vegas line for Steeler’s win/losses. How about a local line on Troy P. …oops I mean Superman? over/under games played this year. I will take 9 or less. My first guess will be calf and second guess will be concussion. Superman??? not anymore.

    Not sure I understand why in a 1-0 game in the 8th we do not go to the bullpen? I guess we were using it as a teaching moment? Sure their starter was the greatest pitcher in baseball history yesterday (sarcasm) but didn’t you have to give yourself a chance in the 9th?

    Speaking of over /under… what would be a line on number of games Steelers score 24 points or more? I am thinking 7 or less. If we go 9-7 or worse it will be due to a lack of scoring. Any reason to think the O wlll be better than last year? Are we really feeling good about these high O lineman picks? How many of them play 12 games or more?

    On the positive side I would agree Pitt has found their football coach finally! The Pens will have a great regular season …(talk to me in April when I will start to watch the Fleury Folly’s) and despite the obvious flaws and going against all logic other than good pitching solves a plethora of problems the Pirates will play in a play-off game in 2013.

    • Bluffton Bill, very well stated but is it that simple. I have to believe a player like Morneau who has been with a team so long and is such a fan favorite may have a say on if he is traded or not and where he is traded to. What if he doesn’t want to come here and the Twins honor that wish. I agree a bat is needed or Jones has to figure it out but I just don’t see it as pass/fail and season defining.

      • ” Will every prospect be a gift from Jandy’s boss in the next 2-3 years?”
        My boss wouldn’t gift prospects. He’s a fan of golf ;)

        But, hey, welcome to the Loonie Bin, bluffton bill. If you’d like to share your hometown, Bizrow will add it to the list of Dejan’s Lunatics’ Asylum :)
        I see you’re not shy!

        By the way, pretty impressive post up there.

      • Morneau would be a fan favorite here too. We generally like our french players… maxime talbot, kris letang, marc andre fleury (err strike that last one).

    • I agree that he may not be willing to come much as we suspect Soriano was not willing to come. If that is the case then as the GM I am making that clear to my fans. I tried and he said no. No harm in stating the truth in that instance. In this case I lean toward assuming (I know the line about assume!) an upcoming Free Agent is willing to get into a pennant race for 2 months.

  35. Mr. Playoffs and I will be enjoying the sights and sounds of Single-A ball this evening.
    I haven’t been to minor league game in close to 20 years now.

    Last one I went to saw Pete Rose, Jr. hit 2 home-runs.
    That is one tough act to follow.

    • Well I had to go look up Jr. because I met him in Maryland in 1988 and I’m surprised to see that he played ball for 21 years up until 2009 (39 years old). 11 years in the minors and 10 years in Independent Leagues. .271/.342/.399. Not too shabby.

      And don’t even think it. He didn’t play much right field.

    • Playoffs, I saw Pete Rose Jr. play with the Reading Phillies in 2000. I lived in Bedford at the time, and drove up to Altoona with my son to see them play the Curve. He played third base. Other notables on that team were future Phillies stars Nick Punto and Jason Michaels (also a former Pirate) and the catcher Johnny Estrada.

  36. Lost in the bad news of a shutout loss on Sunday was the good news of Grilli throwing with no set backs. Thursday a simulated game and he hopes to be game ready by the end of the month (Thursday is the 28th!).
    Some welcome news! Hope it continues that way…

  37. Just heard on XM that the batting average for NL hitters is .251. Not sure if that includes pitchers.

    4 of our 8 position players in yesterday’s game were over that.
    Morneau’s has a higher average than that.

    • I stated yesterday that Mercer and Tabata have the 3rd and 4th highest averages on the team behind Cutch and Marte who is currently out. That is both weird and scary. The team could definately use a bat. Hopefully they can find a match.

  38. Fact: the Bucs need a bat.
    Fact: the FO agrees and have been actively looking for external options.
    Fact: the FO has yet to acquire that player.

    Conjecture: the FO knows who is out there, who has been blocked by others, and what the asking prices are.

    No idea: whether the FO agrees that who is available is worth acquiring
    No idea: If yes to the above, if the FO agrees to the asking price for who can be acquired
    No idea: If yes to the above, if ownership has or will approve of the asking price, especially the $$s.

    Not sure what is served by blogging back and forth with such conviction over the stuff NONE OF US HAS ANY IDEA OF…i.e. is it ‘cheap Nutting’ that is gumming the works…is it ‘NH being the smartest guy in the room’ that is stopping the acquisition..is it ‘NH hoarding prospects’ that is the problem… is it all THREE? Is it CH not wanting to acquire who NH has identified based on either lineup or club cohesion concerns? Is it all FOUR?

    I have NO IDEA and NEITHER DO ANY OF YOU.

    I will be majorly disappointed if the FO doesn’t act by Aug 31 deadline…but I also will not waste any blog words by speculating/tar and feathering anyone for why the acquisition hasn’t happened already…nor will I listen to excuses offered by any of the protagonists. The FO will either make the necessary move or they won’t. If they don’t, it will be a major error, IMHO.

    Can that error be overcome by the team in September? Sure, just like any errors, but we are really stretching the capabilities of the existing club by piling on another burden.

    • Another fact, IMO, anyways, is that its been a very weird and slow trading year. It seems as there have been very few deals made and for the most part, none were real splashy, albeit there were a few.

      Reds and Cards have made no moves either, not that it matters as to what the PBC should do.

      I’d be real surprised if we pick anyone up. If we were going to do that, should have done it already.

      • I’d agree with the fact that the pre-trade deadline was very slow, but I’d also list as a fact that trades for upgrades have been made, both pre and post deadline… I think most fans want an upgrade, not Giancarlo Stanton, so not sure the fact that few true impact bats were moved or available fits the narrative of August 26th. That, as with everything else I post on a blog, is my view/perspective, of course.

      • Wait a minute, it can t be called FACT and then IMO?

        but I agree with you…definetly seems to be a weird trading season.

  39. Enjoy your posts, cmat. They are astute and to the point and well-stated.

    But I can’t agree with your 3rd and 4th paragraphs on this one. We all have a right to an opinion, even an annoying one, and I think we all DO have an idea of some of the causes. Blogging back and forth helps release frustration of 20 years of hog slop.

    Also, are “we” stretching the capabilities of the existing club by piling on another burden? What do we have to do with it if we have no idea what the problem is and how to solve it?

    • I didn’t say others can’t blog their opinions, just said I won’t be blogging mine. And ‘protagonists’ to me is NH/FO not bloggers. My use of ‘we’ in the last sentence should have been “Pirates management”.

      yes, the blog is for opinions, so fire away.

      • ah hah the royal WE

      • I think you were saying more than you wouldn’t be blogging your opinions. Otherwise, why say this?

        “Not sure what is served by blogging back and forth with such conviction over the stuff NONE OF US HAS ANY IDEA OF…i.e. is it ‘cheap Nutting’ that is gumming the works…is it ‘NH being the smartest guy in the room’ that is stopping the acquisition..is it ‘NH hoarding prospects’ that is the problem… is it all THREE? Is it CH not wanting to acquire who NH has identified based on either lineup or club cohesion concerns? Is it all FOUR?

        I have NO IDEA and NEITHER DO ANY OF YOU.”

        But I defer to Lucky.

        • suuuurreee you do, AW :P

        • I don’t think it is my opinion that none of us posting on the blog (unless we are members of the front office) have any idea if: NH has decided he doesn’t want to acquire a player; NH wants to acquire one but doesn’t want to pay the price; NH wants to pay the price but Nutting won’t approve it; or CH is blocking an acquisition based on his assessments. Now, we know Frank regularly reads the blog so he is excluded from this rant.

          But yes my opinion is that the blogging back and forth, sometimes heated, over conjecture is not that entertaining but to each their own.

          DK: It’s as dull as an NBA timeout.

          • And I thought Lucky gave you a very respectful and sincere response to your rant, and you didn’t give it the respect it deserved in response. That’s my opinion, and I’m not going to bore anyone further about it.

            Like I said, I’m deferring to Lucky on this.

          • or the incessant game stoppages in the NCAA tourney down the stretch for TV>

          • No dissin the Rev! >:/

        • I think you may be reading something in my posts that isn’t there, but Lucky, in all sincerity, I appreciate your viewpoints and also understand you and others wanting to post speculation about FO motivations and ownership issues due to 20 years of frustration.

          My broader point is that in such speculation it may be best for all of us to be very open-minded that others may speculate the other direction…and any ‘back and forth’ should allow that in such speculation, and not facts, it is unlikely any posts, no matter how strongly worded, will change opinions…. and I’m not sure there is as much value in those volleys vs. other discussion threads that share more information or cause more thought and analysis.

  40. Jon Paul Morosi reports that Kendrys Morales has been claimed by an unknown team.

  41. If anyone is interested, the series Mission October premieres tonight on Fox Sports 1 at 7:30 and features the Pirates.

  42. Morales would be a nice fit.
    Switch-hitting 1B batting .285 with 17 hr & 67 RBI. pretty even splits rt vs lt and he doesn’t K a ton compared to the Buccos

    • 1B being a relative term in his case.

      • I’m just as guilty of this as anyone, but I love when we discuss the defensive shortcomings of 1st basemen when ours can’t even throw the ball to 2nd base. “That guy stinks in the field …oh yeah.” :)

        • I was referring his DH status in Seattle. Haven’t seen him in the field to form an opinion.

        • Yeah, and I think at this point we need a hitter more than we need to worry about defense. We’re only talking a number of weeks, not years.

        • He can’t be much worse than Jones in the field. That just isn’t possible. The play yesterday where AJ’s quick reflexes saved Jones was classic GIJ on defense.

          The Pirates actually put Gaby in for defensive purposes quite often, and his range is the inside of a phone booth.

          • Morales has only 1 error in 27 games at 1B this year. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. I played shortstop my 12-year-old year of Little League and threw out ONE batter/runner at first base. That was BAD. Of course, it makes it easy to remember the good play.

            • Could you hit…to make up for your poor defense?
              Free Baywatch!

              • LOVED to hit, TC! I fancied myself as quite the hitter, but hey, what 12-year-old extrovert didn’t! Made the Little League All-Star team that year, but didn’t play an inning in THE GAME (one and done) … but went to a Shoney’s for the first time, after the game. What a treat! #1966!

              • Bay—you’re an extrovert?

            • Where did you play Little League, Bay?

              • Jand, I’m from a little town about 20 miles north of Charlotte, NC, Cornelius. You may have heard of Davidson College. Davidson is the next town north of us, and was also in our league. Interestingly, a teammate of mine on that 1966 North Mecklenburg All-Star team, his son played at the Little League World Series in 2002, for the Southeast Little League Champs.

    • Yes he would be a very nice fit. I’m not sure he is available. Maybe for the right price. I would definately prefer him to Morneau.

  43. Busy at work lately for me, and not much time to join the discussion.

    Tough loss yesterday. I don’t think it would have changed anything, since we never did end up scoring any runs. But, I really didn’t get CH leaving AJ in the game in the 8th. It has probably been discussed to death here today and yesterday, but that was a head scratcher.

    * We have today off, so no need to try to save the bullpen
    * He looked gassed, and was already just about at his high mark for pitches on the season.

    Seemed to me like a Dusty Baker-type move. Go ask the vet pitcher who has not gotten a lot of run support (and therefore not many wins) this year, and see what he wants to do. Or, just decide on your own that he has some unique ability by virtue of his experience to continue to pitch well after being tired. Either way, I thought the result was predictable.

    I don’t care what AJ’s won-loss record is, and neither should CH. I felt like that figured in there, whether he wants to admit it or not. To me, that is putting a personal stat for a player ahead of team performance.

    I don’t feel CH has made many mistakes this year. In fact, he’s right at the top of my list for NL Manager of the Year. But, I thought he blew that decision and cost the Bucs of any chance of winning that game.

    Need a big week at home. I think we’ll get it, and we’ll be back up by 1-2 games at this time next week.

    Please find a LH-hitting 1b to replace Jones, NH. He has no confidence, and he has hit very few balls well the past month or so.

    • I STILL say Jonesey can’t friggin see!

      • I agree. Opposing pitchers really should try to throw Jones more big fat meatballs right over the plate. It’s not fair when they throw that inside change-up pitch that Jones always swings at.

    • I am ok with Burnett going out for the 8th but shocked he wasn’t pulled after the leadoff single. Reason for the loss…0 runs scored, so I don’t tend to give that game any deeper analysis. Yes, AJ and the pen gave up more runs but to me not worth scratching any heads.

      • A+ for rational clash w/o rancor or over-the-top descriptive adjectives re the poster or the players involved.

      • I should have been more clear, cmat. I was ok with him starting the 8th as well, although I probably would have pulled him after 7 solid innings. But, as you say, at least pull him after the leadoff hit.

    • I hate to be a smart azz but I usually am anyway…

      But AJ giving up those 3 runs made no difference. The Pirates had a total of 2 hits going into the bottom of the 8th. I don’t think having AJ give up those 3 runs set the mentality of the hitters as “well we don’t have to try as hard now” going into the top of the 9th. Bottom line is the offense once again fails to show up. Against another pitcher with an ERA over 5 none the less.

      I remember a bucco game a few weeks ago where they were auctioning off baskets assembled by the players wives that were full of items their husbands enjoyed. They interviewed Jones’ wife and she stated he was a “cheap” date loving things like the Olive Garden. I’m starting to think he might be saving up his money because I don’t see him making 4mil a year anytime soon after this year.

      • On Jones, don’t bet on him not cashing in next season, TJ. He won’t be getting any big contract, but if the trade deadline and the subsequent weeks has shown anything it is that there are not a lot of competent LH hitters out there, for whatever reason. I think someone will bet on him bouncing back, and will offer him a decent contract. Maybe he gets a 2/$10M from someone. Or, 1 yr and $5M. I could be wrong, but he is only one season removed from crushing RHP.

        Also, I did point out that it probably didn’t matter that we gave up the 3 extra runs there since we were shut out. But, don’t you think the goal should have been to have the pitcher in the game there that gave us the best chance of keeping it 1-0? All year CH has sided with the fresh arm. I thought it was an odd decision, and I wonder if it was trying to give AJ a chance at a win.

        • I thought the same thing, only AJ gets to go out for the 8th inning, but not sure that’s a bad thing to defer to your veteran who was pitching his ass off with no support.

          But yes, no question to me that was purely to throw AJ a bone to avoid a tantrum.

          • Agreed, which is why you don’t do that IMO. AJ is a great competitor, but we both know wins for starting pitchers only matter to starting pitchers and some managers. If he keeps having tantrums, then there is an issue that needs to be addressed.

  44. Good afternoon all –

    The jekyll and hyde story known as the Pirates offense continues to play out for all to see (except for Garrett Jones who can’t seem to see anything)

    As I was driving today I began to think back to the pennant races the Pirates were in during the 90′s. Whether it was Zane Smith, Steve Buechele, or Danny Jackson the team always seemed to try to improve itself.

    But the one thing that stood out the most to me was the rumors of a trade for Ruben Sierra. How the Pirates wanted him badly in 1992 to help put them over the top. I can even recall how Leyland had left a blank spot on one of the lineup cards as the deadline approached just to have some fun with the media and send everyone into a frenzy thinking that Sierra was coming to town.

    If you look at the 1992 team its amazing how much it resembles the current team. Strong pitching and a good bullpen with a weak offense. Lets take a look…

    By Position with AVG/OBP

    C – Mike Lavaillere – .256/.350 – in 95 games
    C – Don Slaught – .345/.384 – in 87 games
    1B – Orlando Merced – .247/.332
    2B – Jose Lind – .235/.275
    SS – Jay Bell – .264/.326
    3B – Steve Buechele – .249/.331 — Traded in July for Danny Jackson
    3B – Jeff King – .231/.272
    OF – Barry Bonds – .311/.456
    OF – Andy Van Slyke – .324/.381
    OF – Alex Cole – .278/.335
    OF – Cecil Espy – .258/.310
    OF – Lloyd McClendon – .253/.350

    Team totals – .255/.324

    Now compare that to the current day roster…

    C – Russell Martin – .244/.344
    1B – Garrett Jones – .235/.293
    1B – Gaby Sanchez – .243/.350
    2B – Neil Walker – .252/.347
    SS – Clint Barmes – .221/.262
    SS – Jordy Mercer – .274/.329
    3B – Pedro Alvarez – .233/.294
    OF – Starling Marte – .282/.343
    OF – Andrew McCutchen – .321/.399
    OF – Travis Snider – .219/.287
    OF – Jose Tabata – .269/.342

    Team totals – .244/.312

    Would Ruben Sierra have put the Pirates over the top in 1992? We don’t know and will never know because the Pirates never traded for him. Part of history is learning from it and making sure you don’t make the same mistake twice. The stats don’t lie; the Pirates needed a bat in 1992 to play the OF on a regular basis and did not get him; instead the went with a combo of Cole, Espy, and McClendon.

    The Pirates of today should learn from the Pirates of 1992. There is no guarantee that this team will make the playoffs. I am confident they will make the playoffs but they should look back at 1992 and how their OF merry go round worked out for them before the deadline on August 31. Would that bat put the Pirates over the top? Chances are we will never know because I don’t believe they are going to acquire one.

  45. Kendry Morales claimed off waivers by an “unknown” team.

  46. Matt Harvey of the Mets has a partial tear in his elbow; Tommy John surgery possible

  47. Whew, it’s a bit warm in here today! I’ve been somewhat distracted researching bedbug bites, trying to determine if we had company under the covers up in the Finger Lakes last week. YUCK!! :(

    So I’ve finally just waded through a dayful of posts and it’s STILL official! The Pirates need a BAT! And since the season is now 80% done, it’s also official that Garrett Jones has run out of time to “figure it out!” He’s done, too…or should be. Make a move, Neal! Or at least tell us that Morneau has said “no-no” to the Buccos!

    • You’ve been consistent on this, Karen. I want Garrett to snap out of this funk and get back to what he was last year, but he’s killing us at the plate and in the field right now.

    • Loving Karen,

      Morneau can’t say, “No-No” to the Buccos because he has only been in the Majors 9 years. A player has to be in the Majors 10 years, with the last 5 years with the same team (the so-called “10/5 Man” designation).

      Morneau has 6 teams listed in his contract to which he cannot be traded, but Buccos are not among those six.

      The only ones who can say, “No-No” are the Twins Front Office and BMTIB. Neal is holding all the cards. Go Fish!

      • Good point, Groat! I’ve been pro-Huntington since last winter, but I see no reason not to go hard after Morneau now. I don’t know that he is the answer, but it is past time to see.

        I also didn’t get not going after DeJesus. Again, he’s no star. But, he’s better than can be expected of Pie.

        Can Lambo play 1b?

        • Lambo has to hit first before we plug him into 1B. Not sure Gaby vs. RHPs isn’t the best next option if we are ready to move on from GI Jones.

      • Ohhh…didn’t know that, Groat. NO excuses then. Get it done!

  48. DK: FO, NH, BMTIB … ZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz

    Honestly, one mention of the front office in the main post, and it … whatever, my mistake. Or not. I’m guessing the talk would have gone that way regardless. Usually does.

    Even in the context of baseball alone, there’s so, so much more to talk about than the same … tired … topic … day after day.

    • How about those special teams for the Steelers?

      DK: How about them?

      Anything would be more invigorating to discuss at this point, don’t you think?

      • You’ve had a few comments about the FO the past few days
        On the main thread and inside the threads

        You lit the torches. :-)

        DK: Guilty as charged. Heaven forbid, though, that we can discuss how the Pirates could benefit from upgrading on a .121 first baseman without revisiting all the merits/flaws of the front office over six years and sniping about vendettas and other crap.

        • -DK: Sure they count. Never heard of an ‘A’ for effort?
          -DK: Yes, that’ll be quite some test, if they can address this in the offseason. You know, after this irrelevant season is over.

          -But don’t let that stop the excuses.

          -DK: You’re right, TC. All that matters is that they try really hard.
          ———————————————————————

          DK, I do like when you jump on the blog and comment. I really do.
          And like you I am tired of revisiting the merits/flaws of the FO over the past six years. (and all the other crap too!)

          Above I have listed some of your comments from the past few days. I’ll only speak for me on this, but it sends a message on what you think of the FO or at the very least what you think of their performance right now. And to me, that is just going to invite the type of discussions & debates that have been going on here. All the re-hashing.
          So I believe that the finger should be pointed back at you and wagged…to a certain extent.

          But hey, it’s you’re blog. You run it the way you want to.
          And stop by and comment more often.

      • DEJAN! (REVERTING TO DARRYLE!)

        It’s 5 days until the deadline for rosters to be set for Playoffs.

        The Pirates are tied with the Cardinals for 1st and the games they lose are because of meager offense.

        What should we be talking about? A bogus exhibition game this Thursday? Whether Derek Moye or Justin What’s-his-Name makes the roster as last receiver? Who will be the back-up offensive linemen after Beachey?

        Seems to me that Bucs needing a hitter to NOT be a Wild-card and only 5 days for BMTIB to pull the trigger IS THE BIGGEST STORY OUT THERE!! (THANK YOU, DARRYLE!)

        That’s not criticism of Neal & Company! That’s just Sport in Pittsburgh on August 26!

      • I am LMAO that you deleted my other posts….especially the first one.

        #nofunzone

    • So, you would prefer posts quarreling with your reference to Polamalu as Superman?

      Don’t answer that, I know you would. ;-)

      But, your reference to Ziggy Hood in your column got me to wondering how he’s been doing?

      DK: No, not at all suggesting that the column gets discussed. I’ve never done that, never will, unless you count the occasional question I’ll pose.

      Just really, really tired of the same topic day after day. Can’t make it any clearer. Absolutely my favorite thing about getting off the beat was getting off that topic on a daily basis.

      Ziggy’s been nothing special. Same goes for all the DEs. And if you missed this, yeah, that was Cam Heyward out there in the final minutes Saturday doing mopup duty.

      • Biggest problem on the Steelers, to me, is they have struggled the last handful of years to find or develop talent on either line. It has led, more than anything, to the decline of the team IMO. Then, when a guy like McClendon shows real promise, they seem to hold him back until they have no other choice.

        I am not pretending to know more than the Steelers about building a team. But, it seems to me there are other teams that are doing a much better job of it recently.

      • That was my impression of Ziggy. Partly because there hadn’t been much I’d seen written about him. And I don’t think defensive ends in the 3-4 are like OL’s where the less you hear about them the better.

        And, no, I wasn’t suggesting you thought the column had to be discussed. It just had interested me.

    • you forgot the “Nutting regime”, cheap Nutting, etc. too.

    • Apparently not. I was looking forward to discussing some stuff up in here, but there really doesn’t seem anything worth talking about.

      Can’t blame you. Enough blame as been thrown at the FO.

      I notice that NH and Shero get mentioned a lot in conversations, but not much about the Steelers FO. Are they exempt? I have no complaints, just curious.

      Wait, do we even have to complain to mention something on here?

      Seems to be what’s for, bit of a shame really.

    • You’re just like Pat LaFontaine. Go into the corner, start a ruckus and then craftily position yourself behind the linesman and say – who me ?

  49. Which team wins a playoff game 1st from this point – Pirates or Steelers? In fairness to the time of year, I think if the Pirates win their 1st playoff game and the Steelers do also, it is a tie.

    • Bucs close to a lock to get to play a playoff game, I’d have to objectively say the Steelers are more of a longshot to make the playoffs. And you need look no further than the offensive line to determine their fate. Fun to talk about running back du jour, WR starters, and Polamalu’s presence (or absence) but this team goes as far as their line takes them.

      Sad in that Big Ben doesn’t need much from the line, just to keep him from being murdered every other play and the line can’t seem to provide even that.

  50. OK let’s talk about Pedro. I think he is hitting .200 or so since the ASB… and his HR production is down, also. It’s pretty obvious how pitchers are going to work to him… keep it out and away, slow stuff, try not to throw strikes and let him swing himself out.

    I watch Pedro walk back to the dugouts every time he Ks in the hope that some sort of recognition will spark into his eyes but I only see the same blank gaze….. is it too much to expect him to respect the way pitchers work to him and make adjustments? Hurdle talks a lot about ‘saying the same thing over and over…for the players to work middle to opposite field’, but I see very little evidence Pedro is working that way.

    Yes, his a power bat, I get that…and he is going to K a lot, I get that too. But when he continues to swing for fastballs only to be light years ahead of offspeed pitches, I have to begin to question his batting IQ. Can someone ask him why he swings fastball so often when it’s offspeed? If he is ‘guessing’ at the plate, shouldn’t he be guessing offspeed down and away and not fastball middle of the plate??

    I’d love a forum to ask Pedro what his approach at the plate is, how he attempts to drive offspeed pitches for RBIs…..

    • -maybe someone can ‘tweet the booth’ this week that question, or maybe next week when Rock is on….

    • He doesn’t have the ability to recognize spin or speed as quickly as better hitters. Nor does he have the bat speed to adjust, as Cutch often does, when he is fooled. He is what he is. He strikes out a ton. And he hits the ball really, really hard when he gets hold of it.

      As for making adjustments, I think he is trying to go to LC with pitches out over the plate more and more. He launched a few shots into the LC gap on the West Coast trip. But, I get frustrated when he seems bound and determined to pull everything at times. I think he’s trying, but …

      • ok so if you can’t recognize pitches (perhaps he needs lasik surgery, though unlike Dan Uggla, he should wait for offseason), then you may need to guess …. and my thought is why guess fastball all the time as he does? That’s a really really bad guess 9 times out of 10.

        I’m pretty sure at this point I can predict the pitch pattern to Pedro and I’m no batting expert (I just stay at Holiday Inn Express as often as I can)… why can’t Pedro do the same?

      • Someone asked last week, if Jones had a vision problem.
        Maybe Pedro has one also, and that is why he only has one speed of swing?

        Could laser surgery benefit these players?
        Or am I reading too much into this?

        • seems that there isn’t that many variables for a hitting coach/hitter to deal with… one is vision and ability to pick up the pitch early enough; the other is approach and guessing if need be…. of course there is big talent in being able to square up the baseball and drive the ball, but assuming that is there (and for Pedro it is), then you need to focus on the approach and vision.

          I have to trust they are working at this , I guess I am just wondering why no marked improvement, or at least to my naked eye.

          • Maybe , since he knows he is counted on so much to hit the HR, maybe he is outsmarting himself? Too much pressure on himself, instead of naturally letting it come to him?

            Or am I reading too much into that also?
            It does seem baffling………….

            • maybe it’s too obvious a question and maybe it’s been asked and answered and I’ve missed it, but has CH or JB discussed whether Pedro can recognize pitches? I know in the past teams had drills to recognize pitches in BP (colored threads I think or markings on the ball)… can Pedro not recognize pitches? Or is it something else? Seems to be a simple question but maybe a tough one to ask if you cover the team everyday. I think Wehner offers a lot of insight on broadcasts but haven’t heard a definitive answer from the team.

              • I think if they came out and said that, the other teams would read/hear it and use it to their advantage.

                If they are not already, of course.

  51. If this was posted before, apologize

    Bad news about Matt Harvey, out for season with elbow injury

    Gotta be careful with these young gems

    • Its becoming the norm that TJ is a rite of passage for young arms… the sooner the better in some ways but yes, tough news for the Mets and Harvey. All the more reason to be careful with Cole… isn’t popular but it is prudent.

      • This seems to be happening with many pitchers.
        Where are these problems starting?

        Little League? High School? College? The Minors?
        It just seems weird how many pitchers go through this.

      • Tommy John surgery wasn’t an option for pitchers before Tommy John himself, had it. But also, I am a firm believer that the contemporary pampering of pitchers had made them more vulnerable to injury. Today, a pitcher approaches 100 pitches and his manager is standing on the top step itching to yank him. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as pitchers now seem to tire out and lose effectiveness on cue once they pass 100 pitchers. Before the advent of relief specialists on every team, pitchers routinely finished games. Also, some teams are still heavy-handed in regulating throwing regimens. It seems to me that pitchers who engage in long-toss programs (not 120 ft., but 300+ ft. and then pull-downs) do not injure their arms. Tim Lincecum only got hurt once he quit long tossing. Long tosser Barry Zito has never had an arm injury. Gerrit Cole long-tossed at UCLA. I’m curious if the Pirates allow him to keep up with that regimen.

        • This is one of the long list of items I have no clue about. But a couple of things that are kind of under the radar give me some pause.

          1. I coached little league baseball and they encourage those guys to throw ALL out for whatever number of innings are allowed.

          2. The money. Really, with all the risks/chances of actually having a long career and making the BIG money, the general goal may be to throw all out to just get to the majors as a high draft pick. And anything else is gravy.

          • About Little League, they instituted pretty specific pitch limits about five years ago which are fairly well enforced. A few years back, I did read an article that said that kids who pitch from a young age actually become more inured to arm breakdown as their arms develop with stronger ligaments and tendons. Of course, with young arms I am all in favor of responsible supervision. I knew a high school kid last summer who broke his arm, mid-pitch, because he pitched on two consecutive days, throwing mainly curve balls. The stress builds up from that, especially with an immature arm. His dad and coach were idiots.

            • Wasn’t aware of that. It’s been about 5 years since I did it, and at the time there were no pitch counts, just innings and days. And the vast majority, I think, of the Dads who do it care about the kids. But there are always those ones where winning, even a little league game, is it. And I just assume it doesn’t get much better going up the ranks. Pure speculation on my part about that.

              • You’re speculation is on the mark. That’s why they had to implement the strict pitch counts. And there are parents, like the dad I mentioned above, who do try to cheat on what pitch counts are recorded. It took till high school, but it finally caught up with his son.

    • Biz……..

      I understand they were limiting his innings already.
      Did they fear this a while ago?

    • You mean like only starting them 3 times in September, with a week off in between at only 5 innings per start ?

  52. I really don’t understand the need to criticize the topic discussed on this blog by people who come here on a regular basis.

    Yes God forbid we go a day without discussing BMTIB or NH or anything else; but ya know what its not just about the past 6 years; its about the past 20 years.

    You name me one product ever developed and provided to the public that sucked for 20 years but remained in business and still had dedicated following.

    What we’ve been served for the past 20 years is the equivalent of generic preparation-H. Its not something you want to have to pay for; but without it life just isn’t the same (or comfortable) At least with preparation H you know the problem goes away in time; this hemorrhoid known as the PBC over the past 20 years would like you to believe they are the real thing; but lets be real…. they’ve been nothing more than a generic version.

    So yeah lets criticize everyone for talking about the same topic. We should take the past 20 years of our lives and say all is forgiven. That stadium that fans paid for with the promise of a winning team because of it.

    I’m seriously baffled by someone complaining about people that openly and willingly come to this blog to discuss the Pirates and are criticized for it because its the same topic.

    DK next time you sit down with Nutting maybe you can take one of these every day conversations with you and show Mr. Nutting what his true fan base believes.

  53. Just able to read today’s column, sorry, but someone has to work around here.

    “This isn’t the savvy, stay-in-control Polamalu we’ve witnessed the past couple of years, hoping to merely limit the other team’s damage, hopping to the sideline play after play, a fraction of his former superlative self.”

    Injuries aside, but is it possible tha Troy lacked confidence in his cornerbacks over the last couple of years that he might’ve had to try and control himself a little? Maybe give them more help?

    A healthy Polamalu does nothing but good things for the Steelers defense.

    I would love to see what Jarvis Jones does…I admit that I haven’t been able to see any of the preseason games, but he looks like he will be a force to be reckoned with.

    I’m not sure what the Steelers will do THIS season, I kind of think they are in a bit of a rebuilding year but have drafted some good young talent.

  54. Just read an SI report that Forbes is saying that the Astro’s is/are the most profitable team in 2013. (No idea how they know)

    Just struck me as funny.

  55. For the first time since I can remember, I honestly am not thinking too much (yet!) about the Steelers.That’s amazing! The Steelers have always been my first love, but the Pirates have always been ahead of any other team I’ve ever cared about. And this year they are flipped in my order. All the excitement is with the Pirates. Until their season is over, they have me obsessed and have pretty much crowded the Steelers out of the picture for me. Incredible!

  56. Come on guys, you thought my “I’m waiting…” was about the Pirates?

    I’m waiting on Matt Niskanen to be traded……

    …. yeah, that was it.

    I AM STILL WAITING…

  57. Is the Reds-Cardinals thread up yet? :-)

  58. Did anybody else notice that Mike Golic is on the Steelers roster?

    That should get some Mike and Mike attention, unless he’s been cut already.

    • He’ll be cut soon. Very soon.

      • If you stuck him in with the starters and put him in the jersey of one of the other guys would you notice the difference? OL has been beyond bad. Would not be surprised if he ends up on the taxi squad.

        • I haven’t watched any of the games, but all I hear is how bad this OL is.

        • You might be right TJ, but has he even played one down yet? I didn’t see the game this week, but I don’t think he played in either of the first two games. That can’t be promising.

          • I agree with you Patton. If his last name was not Golic he may never have gotten this far. Not seeing any snaps likely means he has yet to grasp the zone blocking scheme. Everyone thinks its tougher for certain positions than others to pick up the NFL game but OL have to learn just like everyone else; especially if they have never played the style the Steelers use.

            If you think he has upside but not ready why put game film of him out there. Much better chance of hitting the taxi if no one sees how he performs at this level.

  59. Did it ever occur to anyone that what we perceive the Pirates need and what the powers that be think the Pirates need are entirely different things?

    With that said, I am not, repeat, AM NOT, trying to start another FO bash go round.

    GO BUCCOS!

  60. FREE the Kendrys Morales information!

    • If he made it through the AL without being claimed by the Yanks, Orioles, or Rangers I would be amazed. No way the Pirates ever got close.

    • Heath Bell and Javier Lopez also placed on waivers today.

      Bell has another year left on his deal but of the 9mil he is owed 8 of it is being paid by the Marlins.

      Either of these guys might be worth discussing because of the amount of innings our pen has currently logged and the constant need to call up fresh arms.

  61. Brandie you might be right…

    We the fans perceive the need for a quality hitter while the BMTIB could be thinking their real need is a bar on the floor of the executive offices filled with a variety of draft beers.

  62. Many teams drop their best players out on waivers, doesn’t mean they stay there or anything happens to them.

    I also read that some teams drop their entire 40 man roster on waivers so the other teams don’t know who they really want to “sell” on.

  63. 4-0 OUR Redlegs!

  64. Mike Leake’s August ERA coming into tonight’s game is 6.26.

  65. On the subject of PED’s, MED’s and DEAD-HEADS, I would like to nominate Albert Pujols and Tiger Woods.

  66. For Plan and others interested…

    Check out the surfing Hippos on YouTube. Can’t post a link because I am on my tablet.

  67. A night of bold reamings on that subject we must not discuss.

    The Bucs needed that off day, but we didn’t.

    But the future is as bright as the present. Taillon in AAA. Meadows and McGuire are raking in Rookie League. Adam Frazier, the little SS from Miss. St. is hitting .341 at Jamestown. Excellent draft this past June. Bell having a good comeback year in low A after last season’s injury. Dickerson coming along.

    A lot to look forward to. Just like to see some sticks now.

  68. Grand slam by Craig puts the Cards up 8-5. As we used to say back in my hippie-wannabe days: Bummer To The Max.

  69. JJ Hoover Sucks!

    Cards up 8-5!

  70. BOOOOOOOOOO!! We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto (or first place).

  71. Which NFL coach gets fired first this year? Everyone seems to think it’s between Rex Ryan or Jason Garrett. I’d vote for Marvin Lewis. Bungles could be 1-4 to start the season.

  72. What time does the game start tonight?

    Any game . . . Any sport.

    What are we going to talk about?

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