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Morning Java: Two football teams, one HQ

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> Spent a small but productive portion of my Monday with the Steelers and Pitt football, which is, of course, easy to do since they share the same structure over on the South Side …


Rules between the NFL and NCAA prohibit any actual shared facilities, but the Steelers and Pitt easily circumvented that because, again, all that’s common is the structure. What you see there is actually two of everything, split right down the middle. There are even separate entrances out front, right next to each other. And all else is that way, too, from weight rooms to classrooms to offices.

Think of it as a Siamese football facility, if that isn’t too tacky.

Anyway, I arrived at a bit before 11:30 a.m., checked in with the Steelers’ front desk, stepped outside to do 15 minutes by phone on TribLIVE Radio, was done just in time for the locker room to open at 11:45, went inside, cornered Antonio Brown at his stall for three minutes (for tomorrow’s radio show), then stuck a video camera over the group as Jarvis Jones allowed Pittsburgh to breathe a sigh of relief with the following …

When the group was done, I approached Jones to ask the specifics of the incident itself, and he described it thusly: “I fell on the football, and their guy fell on me. It hurt, man.”

No doubt.

After a couple more hellos, I saw it was 12:02 p.m. and knew Paul Chryst’s pre-Florida State news conference had just begun. Went over there and found a media contingent just as large in numbers, which kind of surprised. Maybe it shouldn’t have. Lots of college reporters and the like. I asked the coach one question toward a column for next Monday, then spent some time with a couple of the student-athletes, and that was it. Back in the car by 12:30 and off to Starbucks.

Having all of our teams so close together is actually a huge blessing compared to the situations in most other cities, where they’re scattered miles apart.

>> If you missed it Sunday, here’s what our panel on WPXI-TV’s The Final Word had to say about Chryst …

Here’s our full Steelers coverage and our full Pitt coverage.

>> The Pirates open up with the Brewers tonight back home. They’d need to sweep the entire six-game homestand to have 82 happen at home, which is unfortunate. The season-ticket holders and other longtime fans deserve to see that for themselves.

So does the guy running Yinzers in the Strip who put up this sign over the weekend …


Here’s the rest of our baseball coverage.

Here’s the latest Brewers news from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Here are official game highlights from

>> Russia’s strict anti-gay laws already are a big topic, and they’ll be an even bigger one when the Olympic torch is lit in Sochi. Several NHL players, including Sidney Crosby, have spoken on the topic in recent days at their national camps.

>> I’m off today but back at PNC Park tomorrow, right after the radio show at 2.

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.


  1. Two football teams, one HQ, zero post-season games?

    Just funnin’. The Steelers will find a way and bounce back.

  2. By the way, Dejan. When you spent three paragraphs of the morning thread talking about a building, I was thinking to myself, Please No, Please No.

    But you avoided the temptation. No column. Good Man.

  3. JAL’s Silver Springs Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Pittsburgh Pirates Stats

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: The Most Important Two Weeks of the Year

    Frank Coonelly: Replay System May Not Increase Game Length

    Prospect Watch: Pimentel Struggles in Latest Start; Dickerson Hits 16th Homer

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Pimentel struggles, Dickerson goes deep

    6 Rumbunter

    Jose Tabata Is Quietly Producing Again

    The Most Interesting Week In Pirates Baseball Since GNR Rocked VMAs in 1992

    7 City of Champions

    Great Scot: Pittsburgh Pirates and the law of averages

    8 The Green Weenie

    Pitching In September…Mostly OK, But With Some Workload Issues

    9 Neon Tommy

    The Race For The NL Central: Three Teams, One Title

  4. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    10 KDKA

    Perrotto: Time For Alvarez To Grow Up Versus Lefties

    11 Fox 59

    Treanor relishes return to the Triple-A postseason

    12 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates Second Baseman Neil Walker A Key To Playoff Push

    13 Yahoo Sports

    Which Jeff Locke Can the Pittsburgh Pirates Expect Down the Stretch??;_ylt=A2KJ3CSfgBxSqVIA9ZzQtDMD

    14 Bluefield Daily Teelegraph/b>

    Column: Popovich played 11 years in Major Leagues

    15 Brew Ball Crew

    Series Preview: Visiting PNC Park

    16 CBS Sports

    Brewers-Pirates Gam Preview

    17 St Louis Post Dispatch

    Burwell: Cards make it feel like October at Busch

    18 PBC Site

    Pirates aim to reclaim top spot in NL Central

    Notebook:Bucs would tab Liriano, A.J. to lead playoff rotation


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Baseball’s Biggest Coaching Bias

    20 Fangraphs

    The Determinants of Multi-Run Homers

  5. Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Bruce Gradkowski and Landry Jones will get extra work for Steelers after release of John Parker Wilson

    Steelers Film Room: Why Steelers defensive lineman Brian Arnfelt makes this team

    22 Steelers Depot

    Steelers Had Two Bad Penalty Calls Go Against Them In Loss To Chiefs


    23 The Telegraph

    Manchester United v Chelsea: five things we learnt at Old Trafford

    24 World Soccer Daily

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


    25 Pensburgh

    Pens Points 8/26: Power Shifts East; Olympic Camps Kick Off

  6. With 32 games left, the Pirates magic number to eliminate Arizona is 24, to host the wild card is 29 (vs. Reds), and to win the division is 33 (vs. Cardinals).

  7. Morning All! Well, it sure appears the Cardinals and Reds know what to do when they get men on base. 14 runs in that game…including the Slam by the Red Birds. Have a good day everyone.

  8. Does anyone know if they’re replaying the Pirates’ edition of Mission October?

  9. Who is everyone rooting for in the reds/cardinals series?

    • I’m rooting for the Reds but all games have to be at least 14 innings long and involve at least one injury.

    • I guess the Reds. If they can put the Cards in second place, the Bucs still have games left against the Reds after Sept. 8.

      • I heard the announcers on the Cards radio broadcast last night say that the Reds have won 3 of the past 29 series’ in St. Louis. Talk about having a team’s number. I don’t see Cincy winning the next 2, especially after their demoralizing collapse last night. I think we’ll be lucky if they don’t get broomed. I hope I’m wrong about that.

    • Agree that we need the Reds to win the next two. I like their chances tonight with Latos against Kelly, but tomorrow the Cards are pitching Wainwright against Bailey. Not so good.

    • I’m rooting for a massive brawl in which both teams have their entire 25 man rosters ejected, resulting in losses for both teams.

      A man can dream.

    • You root for the team that is the most lower in the standings, compared to the Pirates.

      Don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure that one out.

    • always and forever, rooting for the scoreless tie that has to be suspended due to injury… longest game in MLB history please!

    • A meteor or astroid or space junk to land in the middle of the field. Problem solved :)

      • bah… its bad luck to wish death on people. Some sore shoulders and sprained knees never hurt anyone though. I guess I’m just saying, I don’t want them permanently disfigured or ended, just at a handicap for the next 5 weeks or so.

  10. Alright folks so here we are at the Driver’s License Center in McCandless. Thought I’d try a little social experiment. And that’s right, it’s the same center where Sid got ushered to the front of the line under Pennsylvania’s Celebrity Statute. Or is it statue?

    Anywho, of course my renewal showed up the same day that Sid was in the news for this and since I live two miles from the place, thought I’d do some live blogging to see 1. how long this process will take and b. if I can get celebrity status and moved to the front of the line.

    Now it’s not that I’m a celebrity, but sometimes I get mistaken for Tom Cruise so let’s see what happens. Inside I go! Stay tuned!

  11. The Cards did a nice job of hanging in there last night. They fell behind 4-0 early, then got the Holliday bomb to make it 4-3. The Reds seemed to right the ship and held a 5-3 lead in the 6th, when it appeared plainly obvious Leake had nothing left after the first 3 batters of the inning. He was getting knocked around pretty good, but Dusty being Dusty, left him in as he continued to struggle. Finally, Dusty went to the pen, and the Cards unloaded some more on the relievers. Craig hit a slam. He has been great with runners in scoring position all season. One thing St. Louis has in its favor is a lineup full of guys who are battle tested: Beltran, Holliday, Craig, etc. They were all in the center of that comeback. They know what pennant chases are all about. We cannot expect other teams to take them down. We’ll have to do it ourselves, starting this weekend.

    I think we must have 2 wins, minimum, vs. Milwaukee. 3 would be ideal, of course, and would ensure we pick up significant ground on at least one of our opponents. But, if we lose 2 of 3 to Milwaukee, we will almost assuredly trail St. Louis when they come to town. We were in that spot 3 weeks ago, so it is nothing new. But, I sure would like at least a tiny cushion. I am expecting the Bucs to take 2/3 vs. St. Louis. So, if we hold a 1-game lead on them come this Friday, that would get us back to 2 up after the weekend.

    If I did my math correctly, I believe we will miss Kelly/Wainwright this weekend. They pitched Thur/Fri vs. Atlanta, which should set them up for Tues/Wed vs. Cincy – unless Matheny slips in a 6th starter this time through the rotation. Those 2 guys seemed to give us the most trouble in the last 2 series’ IMO.

    • I *HATE* the Reds.

      (That was for Osh Kosh)

    • Pirates website has the match-ups for the weekend as the following:

      Friday: Miller vs. Liriano
      Saturday: Lynn vs. Burnett
      Sunday: Lyons vs. TBD (Locke if he takes his normal turn)

      • We’ve hit Shelby well a couple of times. We might be the only team that can say that. And, I think we have good history vs. Lynn. Lyons blew up last night.

        • I know looking ahead like this can always lead to bad things, but I definitely like the match-ups. Even if it is Locke on Sunday. Just might need the offense to pick him up.

    • Good points all around Jim. Especially on the pitching match ups coming up against the Cards. 4 out of 6 at home is a must at this point. We will probably need a good 3 or 4 game cushion on the cards going into the last 17 games because they do not play a team with a winning record over those last 17. As you mentioned they have a pretty veteran team and will probably take care of bussiness and win a majority of those games.

  12. The Pirates have lost 4.5 games in the standings in the last 15 days. They certainly haven’t collapsed, but they sure are floundering.

    • Gee, thanks Milo.


    • What is their record in the last 15 days?

      • Looks like 6 – 9, if I can still count right

        • I went from 70-46 on the 10th, they were 4 games up.

          • Dip, agreed, otherwise meaningless. Prior to Bucs being 4 games up the Cards lost more than 4 games to them in less than 15 days. That is the ups and downs of the season.

        • Our high water mark was 70-44 after the Miami series. We are now 76-54, so we have actually lost 10 of 16. That is more than 15 days, but I think that is the funk’s duration. Those last 2 in San Fran stung.

          • Only 3 of those games were at home, correct?

            • Yes, I was thinking of that the other day. Our losing streaks have coincided with road trips. We are only 2 or 3 over .500 at home, and close to 20 games over .500 on the road. We did lose 2/3 at home vs. AZ, though. Other than that, we have dominated at home. Need some more of that starting tonight.

              • Welcome to major league baseball. Only Texas out of the contending teams has a road record that is close to as good as their home record. The Colorado series hurt the most. They also lost 4 extra inning games in that stretch. If they just split those games they are 8-8 over those 16 games with 13 of them being on the road.

              • Sorry, I got my splits backwards (obviously).

              • I bet that hurt ;)

    • If you look at the home/road splits of the teams currently in contention in the NL,
      and check out just how many games those teams have been playing at home versus on the road in the last 3 weeks,
      it shows why some have gained and others have lost.

      Most of the teams left in the race are right around .500 on the road, and way above .500 at home.
      If I’m not mistaken, the Pirates have a majority of their remaining games at home.
      They can easily make up the ground they have lost.

      • Good point, Playoffs. All 3 teams have been dominant at home.

      • 17 at home, 15 on the road. Just about even.

        • Don’t we finish with the last week on the road, including 3 at Cincy, Milo? Or, do I have that wrong?

        • That big 11 game home stand in the middle of September will determine where they play in October.

          If they can find a way to win 7 or 8 games out of that 11, it will go a long way to helping their overall playoff position.

          Gotta win 2 of every 3 at home and stay above .500 on the road.

          • I’m going to say it will take 8 or 9 of 11, Playoffs. I just read Milo’s recap of how St. Louis closes, and they play a lot of teams that will be playing kids all over the place.

            • I also think we need to probably expect to have to beat St. Louis 4 of the last 6. We have handled them 8 of 13 so far, including the one we gave away.

          • How was that A-game?

            Going to one Saturday. Low A.

            • It was good.
              Thanks for asking.

              Felt like I was watching the Pirates, though.
              Only 2 runs scored the entire game.

              $1 hot dogs and $1 dollar tickets.
              Can’t beat that anywhere.

              • $1…dayum, I’m jealous :)

              • I enjoy those games because everyone is running practically on every pitch. People in motion.

                When someone hits a HR, it usually hits a house or building or a car. Something entertaining. (unless it’s your car)

                Umps running everywhere because there are only 2 of ‘em. Different brand of ball, but enjoyable.

      • Speaking of schedules, while we’re finishing up with 6 of 9 against Cincinnati, the Cardinals last 19 games are against Milwaukee, Seattle, Colorado, Washington & the Cubs.

        • On September 9th the Cards will be done with the Reds & the Pirates. They probably need to be ahead when the Pirates leave town that day.

        • I will say that the Cardinals have been much better this year – and every other for the last 21 – at taking care of business against the Milwaukees, Seattles, Colorados, Washingtons and Chicagos of the MLB World.

    • Yeah, try and tell that FACT to Nate.

      Truth seems to find real tough skin on him. Can’t penetrate!

      • This comment got misplaced. It was intended as a response to Milo, regarding the Pirates having lost 4.5 games in the standings in the last 15 days

      • Bob,

        This is off the subject but I saved it for you. I’m getting ready for Hollidaysburg this week & I unearthed this little nugget: In their 2 games against TJ last year they were outscored 118-19. OUCH.

  13. Rad Lad in DaHouse! :)

  14. Sheesh still tied for first place; took 4 of 5 vs the Cards when they were in town last, should have taken at least 2 of 3 in St Louis and all we are talking about is how many games up we were. How many games back were we to get to first place in the division?

    • Not tied for 1st place.

    • I don’t hear doom and gloom from anyone, TJ. Everyone is just stating facts. We had built a 4-game lead, as Milo pointed out. That lead is now gone. We still control our destiny, to use that old phrase.

      • Actually this talk about schedule going forward is much better then the last 10 days of discussion. The Cards have 13 games straight against us and the Reds starting yesterday. If they come out of that in the lead they will be tough to catch with their remaining schedule. Like Jim said above winning 4 out of 6 agains the Cards and taking care of bussiness against the Brewers would be huge.

    • Sorry Milo your right; half game back; with the Cards having played one more game than the Pirates

    • I hate to say it but I’m not even thinking about the playoffs. I don’t even think the PBC is thinking about the playoffs other than the extra $$$$ it will bring in.

      This isn’t negativity but to me 82 is all I care about at this point. The front office is so stubborn to stick by its plan and show everyone they were right and we were wrong that they will let this team that is so impotent on offense go on the field day after day after day and hope that Jekyll shows up and not Hyde.

      Rays and Nationals are prime examples of teams that thought they were built for division runs year after year after year. Just really turns my stomach to watch this FO turn its back.

      And before DK or anyone else comes up with well the Pirates went after this or that or someone else or would they really improve the team. Bottom line is that they have done nothing. And spare me the Stanton and Trumbo trade rumors. Still have a few days left to make a deal but to me its flat out arrogance on the part of the front office trying to be his on moneyball man.

      Can only imagine the excitement when the first round of the playoffs comes around and they introduce the starting lineups. Playing first base Garrett Jones!

      • While I don’t see your post as negative, I see it as quite jaded.

        Do you really think Neal Huntington hasn’t made a trade to “show everyone they were right and we were wrong”?

        Are the other teams that haven’t made moves just trying to prove somebody somewhere wrong as well?

        And isn’t it natural to believe in the guys you already have in that have played pretty damn good baseball so far this year and are now sitting 0.5G back of St. Louis with 1 month left to go with 1 of the best records in baseball?

        I don’t disagree with your premise that Neal Huntington needs to do something to help his offense over the next couple days.

        I just think your thinking on why it hasn’t been done yet is extremely jaded, almost to conspiracy theory level!

        • Nate:

          We’ve kicked this back and forth for weeks; since the July 31st deadline. Everyone knows NH won’t break up his farm despite the claims of he was willing to get crazy but not insane. To me you have to get insane to acquire the players he was supposedly shopping for in terms of Stanton and Trumbo.

          I believe they are sticking to their plan. Do I believe he’s sticking to it completely just to prove he’s right? No. But I do believe he’s greatly limited his chances to get what this team needs TODAY just to protect what he believes this team can be 2 or 3 years from now.

          • I would say that he’s unwilling to make certain risks so that the team can continue to compete next year and beyond. I think you could argue that he’s put his faith in the current team as it stood on July 31st and I’m also thinking that NH is a bit of a chemistry guy.

            • So you think he learned his lesson from last year?

              I’m just really curious though if in the mind of some of these guys they aren’t getting as frustrated with Jones as we are. I’m all for chemistry but nothing does better for confidence and chemistry than winning.

              But 21 I agree that he likely learned his lesson about chemistry after last year.

              • I think they are very frustrated with him. They gave him a fair chunk of money to play for the Pirates. If you remember he was rumored to possible be traded during the off-season. They decided to make him an important part of this team this year and he hasn’t delivered.

                Looking back it has to be considered one of the worse decisions they made this year along with the Karstans signing. Both seemed to be moves a majority of pirate fans agreed with and wanted.

              • ah hah! so the problem is he is gun-shy.

              • I don’t think there was a lesson about chemistry to be learned. Although some of the team complained about breaking up the chemistry, not everyone complained.

              • I don’t think the Karstens signing was a bad decision at all.

              • Grape Nuts….he eats too much of them. For the last time Jonesy, No More Grape Nuts! I am sorry but there will be other indulgences….go on and lay this one down.

              • 2 million for 0 regular season innings pitched this year. The fear was he couldn’t stay healthy. He more then proved that to be a legitimate fear. I wasn’t against the signing. I also wasn’t for the signing. It was really one of those things where if he left I was OK with it and if he came back at the right price I was OK with it.

              • $2M doesn’t strike me as very much. I thought it was a decent risk and I’m not going to Monday morning quarterback it now. Along the same lines, I liked resigning Charlie at the time.

          • Do you think the Rays or A’s would trade away 2 of their top prospects for Trumbo? Those teams are consistantly in the the thick of things. Their fans get treated to meaningful games in September more often then not. The reality is the Pirates play in a league that requires them to manage things a little differently then the Red Sox, Dodgers and Yankees of the world.

            Yes they need to add a bat but I personally do not believe them not getting a bat would mean that the FO thinks they are smarter then everybody else.

            • Lets keep living for 2015 and hoping every prospect that is going to take us to the World Series or division title actually develops into the player NH believes they will be. Oh and lets hope that St Louis, Chicago, and the Reds all fall apart and don’t continue on their winning ways.

              I don’t play for something I can’t see; I play for whats in front of me. I seriously hope that 2 years from now we aren’t asking the “what if” question because players didn’t develop.

              • That is a completely logical thought process. It’s not my mindset but I definately respect and udnerstand those who think that way.

                I think this team as presently constituted are not just 1 piece away. If a big piece was available I think maybe it could be the difference but mostly what I am seeing out there are small pieces that may or may not help us. I’m fine with adding those pieces if the return being asked is reasonable and maybe even a little more then most would expect. I don’t want them to make a trade at an cost. That is just reckless and I don’t see anyone out there that is a guarentee to help like C.C. Sabathia and Greinke had been in the past.

      • I wouldn’t say they’re turning their backs… but they’re definitely not stepping up to the plate either. Or if they are and we just don’t know it, they just offer half-hearted swings at off-speed pitches and strike out like Pedro or Garrett. Ha! Analogies are fun.

  15. “HEY YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!!”

    Going old school. This morning’s greeting brought to you courtesy of PBS’s The Electric Company.

  16. So I read over the afternoon and evening posts in yesterday’s thread…..

    The heck is going on in here these days?

  17. Are we all on agreed that they’re going to make the playoffs ?

  18. MLBTradeRumors is listing a couple of more waiver Claims, Marlin Byrd, Pence to name a few

    • Either would help. Not expecting it, though.

    • Byrd will probably be moved. Smells like Cincinnati to me.

      • The Harvey injury just changed everything for the Mets.

        • I think what happened to Harvey is part of the rationale for why so many of you say a team should always go for it now. Tomorrow is never promised. This proves there is merit to that. Any pitcher could go down for a year+ at any time.

          It also points to why you need close to 10 prospective starting pitching candidates to begin each season.

          Too bad for Harvey.

        • No reason the Mets shouldn’t have opened up the store in July. Why they didn’t jettison the vets and go young earlier is beyond me. As much as I don’t fully understand ‘prospect hoarding’ I understand much, much less the “reluctant selling GMs”. Seattle GM too IMHO screwed up their situation… I also think the Nats could’ve been more active, someone like Werth would have been a big bat they could have sold off and got rid of that contract….

          But that’s just me. I guess things like attendance and PR matter more than roster makeup and payroll flexibility.

    • At this point the only players the Pirates could have a legitimate chance at are those that already cleared. As the races get tighter teams will start claiming just to block

    • Lincecum and Pence also claimed; though neither are expected to be traded.

    • Grab both! They’re better than what we got!

      • They talked about Pence last night on MLB network. Actually mentioned the Pirates but in the end they said he was happy in SF and they are happy with him so he will probably resign there unless they just get overwhelmed with an offer. But as we all know the Pirates are in the bussiness of underwhelming.

  19. There has to be 1 bat that can trickle down to the Pirates.

    NH better get on the horn, and not do something insane, but maybe do something stupid.

    This team needs a bat, plain and simple, no excuse!.

  20. Well, gotta run! Literally … I need to get a run in. Talk to you all later. It is going to be ok with the Bucs. Maybe they win the division, maybe they don’t. But, I see them definitely getting in the playoffs, either way.

  21. Morning, Everyone!

  22. Hey folks, if you want a little joy this morning, take a look at that link JAL gave us about Brian Arnfelt of the Steelers. Love those guys who come from humble beginnings and can really play when given a chance!

  23. I don’t run, but I also need to move along, maybe catch you all after lunch sometime. Enjoy your day, loonies!

    • Hol’ up! Who needs MIKE & MIKE in the morning! We got BRANDIE & JANDIE! (Now I KNOW I ain’t the first one that thought THAT up!)

  24. NL team has claimed Byrd. I would agree that it was likely the Reds

  25. Bleacher Report has taken a vote (889 cast) on who people feel put a claim in for Kendrys Morales. The majority have said OUR BUCCOS! 33.1 percent PIRATES, 28.3 percent ORIOLES, 12.6 percent RANGERS, 26 percent OTHER. (“Other” presumably the Yanquis!)

    • I wonder if the majority understand the waiver rules. No way he made it through the AL without being claimed.

      • Exactly. We probably claimed him, but I’ll bet we’ve claimed a bunch of guys. Punishment for having such a good record I guess.

      • Morneau and Dunn went unclaimed completely so you never know. I believe Moralas is more then just a this year commitment and possible even two more years. Seattle will probably want a good return for him. I’m not sure the Pirates would want to give up much for a more DH type player seeing that they are in the NL. He would be a nice addition in the short term.

        • I’m pretty sure he’s a free agent, Nate. At least, I thought I read that.

          • Morales is a FA at years end. They have already mentioned he may end up back with the Angels.

            • Thanks for the info. My fault. For some reason I thought he signed and extension when he got traded. Well that was a bad decision by the Mariners unless of course they get something of value in return for him now. I wonder what they gave up to get him.

    • Bleacher Report!

  26. I was excited to that the “Pirates announced playoff ticket info”. However there was this caveat; In the event the Pirates fail to make the playoffs, there will be no monetary refunds, and that your purchase price will be held in escrow until they DO get in – either next year or next millennium, or until Mr. Nutting sells the team.

    Company policy or the new normal!

    • I see the line forming already – or is that for the block of cheese give-away at the fire hall

    • Last year the funds were used to pay for this years season tickets.

      I would think the same thing will happen this year if they don’t make it

      You were also allowed to put in a down payment with future payments required.

      So for my 20 game plan this year, I put in the deposit and then had to follow up with another 50 buck payment or so.

      • Yes. Everybody hurry up & buy your strips now so they have $100,000 to pay Marlon Byrd for the rest of the season !

    • Yikes; held until the team does make the playoffs??

      I’d ask for at least 5% interest every year.

      • In today’s economy, that 5 per cent seems like a good investment.

        But my caveat – caviar – was a trivial attempt at some humor

        • You got me; but its sad but true that your statement was believable based on the ownership!

          • If the team misses the playoffs, and you made a payment on playoff tickets for this year, you can get a full refund this year.

            • Is it true you have to buy tickets for all potential playoff games (at home obviously) ? Is that what they mean by “strips?”

          • before we get off on another “bash the Pirates FO and ownership thread”, I’m pretty confident the Bucs approach to playoff tickets is pretty standard across the league…except I am not sure other teams provide such discounts to season ticket holders over the individual game price. But I’m sure some will want to hold Nutting out as some sort of mizer for a standard policy and then others will want to praise him for the sun coming up this morning and I’ll have to scroll extra hard to get past all of the back and forth ‘discussion’. :)

            • The reason EYE asked is because my buddy in DC told me he had to last year. And I thought he told me he found out it was standard, and maybe an MLB rule. My, how things change in 20 years. ;-)

  27. Casey Kotchman was released by the Marlins yesterday. I would almost rather see the Pirates sign him for September than deal with Jones every day.

  28. Two of the more dull, boring and disinteresting things I know of are talking about the weather and listening to NH speak. In either case it’s barf-time.

  29. Byrd and Pence were both claimed off of waivers. The claiming team is not known but I doubt they fell all the way down to the Buccos.

  30. I can see Byrd being a Pirate as he is cheap and can play RF. He is having a very good year and while the Mets may want a very good prospect, I think a 11 to 20 prospect pitcher with the news of Harvey will be of interest. Pirates are deep in pitching prospects so Byrd adds more value than one of 10 RH flame throwers.

    • I’ve wanted Byrd since June, too bad the Mets were irrational and wanting to hold on to their veteran players, no idea why. Hard to see the Reds not claiming Byrd and allowing him to fall to the Bucs…but if he did fall, I do expect the Bucs to make an offer to pick him up.

  31. I wanted him as well, but he was a productive player for them. Looking at it from their perspective, they weighed his value to their team for the remainder of the year vs. what teams were willing to give up for him. I bet they don’t think their demands were irrational. You always value your own guys more than the marketplace values them, I think.

  32. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few GM’s lost their jobs this fall. With so many teams looking to acquire and teams like Seattle not making one move at the deadline is crazy to me. They were trying to drive up prices when they likely could have received a very good return.

    • Yeah, I don’t understand why Seattle was unwilling to part with 2-3 guys who will probably not be around next year. I was informed that the GM was worried about keeping his job but if I was the owner, I’d be more upset at him not getting what he can for them.

      • Seattle’s GM was given a 1 year contract extension before the beginning of this year that was just announced to the public quietly about a week ago. This information really doesn’t make his decisions any less unusual. I just wanted to point out he isn’t going anywhere.

      • I’m not sure why some of these teams didn’t make these deals at the deadline.
        They could have gotten more then.

        But too many are afraid of what signal it sends to their fans. (and some of that fear comes from their owner too).

  33. Yahoo Fantasy Football

    League name is Dejan’s Lunatics

    Still good seats available

  34. Williingham placed on waivers per MLBTradeRumors

  35. John Buck & Marlon Byrd is heating up. And it may be the Pirates.

  36. The Pirates got Bird and Buck??

    • MLB Trade Rumors is reporting it

    • Woo-Hoo! The saviors! :–)

    • I must say I’m rather shocked.

      Will be interesting to see what was sent back or if we are eating the salaries

      • Heyman reporting Mets get a “minor leaguer and ptbnl.” Pirates get them both, plus cash.

      • Munch, munch + decent but not great prospects, I would think.

        I am not a Buck fan (although, interestingly, I am a Buc fan), but he is nice insurance here.

        And Byrd is having a very good offensive year. I think this may be saying more about the extent of Starling’s injury than anything else. He bats righty, so I don’t know that he replaces Tabby who is hitting pretty well and getting on base of late. But, I wonder if they are thinking Starling could be out more than another week. I don’t know. Just speculating. If they know Starling is coming back in 6 days, I would think a lefty RF would be more logical.

        • I was wrong about the munch, munch part. Apparently, we got cash. That means the prospect given up was more highly rated. Personally, I would have rather they eat the contracts and give NYM a lesser prospect, but maybe that wasn’t a choice NYM was willing to offer.

          I like Dilson, but you have to give something to get something.

  37. Anybody hear anything about advance ticket sales for the Brewers series? I’m sure they will shoe horn 115k in over the weekend, but can we expect at least 90k over the next 3 nights? I hope the place is rockin’. Bucs need all the support they can get.

  38. Nice job by the beat writers.

  39. Mets are also sending cash for a player to be named & a minor leaguer.

  40. Byrd, who turns 36 on Friday, is having a surprising career year despite his age. In 464 plate appearances, he’s batting .285/.330/.518. His 21 homers and 136 OPS+ are both career-bests. Byrd is no longer a regular center fielder (just two games there in 2013), but his defense in right field grades out to a solid +6.6 UZR/150, and The Fielding Bible pegs him at nine runs saved. He’s owed just $130K for the remainder of the season before he will be a free agent, so he’s an affordable upgrade for the Pirates, financially speaking.

    Buck, 33, has cooled off considerably following a meteoric start that saw him club 10 homers in his first 25 games (23 starts). Since May 1, he’s hitting just .206/.290/.302 with six homers, and he’s owed $1.1MM. However, with McKenry out for the season following surgery to repair a torn meniscus, his pop and veteran leadership should be welcome additions for Pittsburgh. Buck has also caught a strong 30 percent of potential base-stealers.

  41. Dilson Herrera is the minor leaguer.

    • I beat you on that one, Bay!

    • They must have liked the HR he hit off their minor league team the other day

    • Scouting Grades* (present/future): Hit: 3/6 | Power: 3/5 | Run: 6/6 | Arm: 5/5 | Field: 5/6 | Overall: 3/6
      Some international prospects come to the United States and are, at least initially, overwhelmed. Not so for Herrera, who made his U.S. debut in 2012 and was among the Gulf Coast League leaders in a host of offensive categories. While he’s not the biggest guy in the world, he’s shown he can really hit and projects to be an above-average hitter in the future, with more power than you’d expect from a guy his size. A well-above-average runner, the Colombian infielder should be able steal bases consistently, and that speed should also help him with his range as he continues to get used to playing second base, having shifted from playing third in the Dominican Summer League in 2011 after signing.

      Ranked as No. 11 in system, per the PBC Website

  42. Now if we can get a 1B and send Jones packing…

  43. Nice aggressive move by NH to acquire an OF bat and Byrd with his .285 AVG and .848 OPS sure looks nice, and to get Buck with his 15 HR and 60 RBI, nice late inning bench piece and bat.

    Was hoping team would spend off day making something happen, leading into six key games with Cardinals in next two weeks and they have done just that.

    Can no longer find fault, with the FO for this attempt to strengthen team for last month of season, now its time to go win a Division Title.

    Let’s Go Bucs!

    • OK…we can all stop complaining now! Welcome to the Burgh, Mr. Byrd!

      • And hopefully it will silence the Pirates are afraid to give up prospects talk as well. Herrera is rated the #10 or #11 prospect in system by most outlets.

        Good signal to rest of the team that they are trying to go all-in this year and make a run.

        • How are we gonna go 162-0 in 2015 without Herrera?

        • I think this is one of the better moves NH could have made. Byrd has been good this year with the bat and is an obvious immediate upgrade. I would think he would slot in as the #5 hitter. Plus, while he is no longer playing center he played there for years, and will essentially give us three CF capable guys when Marte returns, so our D gets much better. Buck is a bonus, though I was not unhappy at all with Sanchez.
          Herrera is a nice piece for the Mets, but we didn’t give up a crown jewel. And I have to believe the PTBNL is going to be from a list of lower level prospects. Good job NH. Hope it works out. We are due for one of these to turn out in our favor.

          Go Buccos! Going to game tonight. I don’t expect Byrd will be able to fly in on time but still stoked to go. Lets keep the rain away too….

  44. Byrd’s .848 OPS is 5th among NL right fielders.

  45. I think now is a good time to mention that the Nutting’s are in the process of purchasing Hidden Valley Ski Resort for $10 million in cash.

  46. ::Doing my best Tom Hanks impression from Castaway


  47. I bet if Buck becomes a star, Dejan will love him. Get it?

    Star Buck?

  48. Maybe the player to be named is Moises Alou.

  49. Adios Sir Felix, we hardly knew ye

    And betcha McPherson to 60 day DL

  50. I’m not Underwhelmed. :-)

  51. ESPN reporting the Pirates have acquired Justin Morneau

  52. They gave a pretty good prospect. (that should make some here happy! :-)

    I hope it works. I am not a fan of Byrd for the fact that he got busted.


    • Yes, Sir, TC, Sir!

    • They did give up a pretty good prospect. A really young one that could end up being really good. I am perfectly fine with what they gave up. I think it is appropriate for what this team was lacking and the quality of players they got in return. It definately wasn’t playing for 2015 and I would think it didn’t underwhelm. I wonder where they will bat Byrd in the line up?

  53. Now can everyone take a deep breath. This is a good move. I hope it doesn’t mean they know more about Marte’s injury then they are telling us. I like Byrd better then Morneau but I think the bigger hole in the line up currently is First base.

    • I really don’t believe this has anything to do with Marte’s injury. I think it finally came down to a player slipping through waivers that they liked (inexpensive/having a good year) and they jumped on him. It would be interesting when Marte is healthy to see if they go Marte/Byrd/Cutch.

    • I speculated on that as well, Nate. Byrd is more a replacement for Tabata rather than a compliment to him, since they both bat righty. Or, as you say, maybe he is a longer term fill-in for Starling. Either way, I still think they may need the left-handed hitting half of a platoon at either 1b or RF. Please snap out of it, Garrett.

  54. (Duh duh, duh duh)


    (Duh duh, duh duh)


  55. Love this trade.

    The Pirate add 36 HRs and an everyday RF. Byrd is a guy that was mentioned at the deadline. John Buck, good back up catcher with a lot of power, low average though, but someone they need for a playoff push.

    • 36 hr = 1/4 of the team total of 123. They become #3 and #4 on the team in HR’s.

      • Huh? I’m just hoping they can combine for about 8 in the next 5 weeks. After the season, they are gone.

      • Yup.

        Does Buck play any at 1B?

        I assume that the platoon at 1B stays and Jones doesn’t see anymore time in RF.

        Tabata goes back to the bench once Marte returns.

  56. Byrd to the middle Martin to 7th. Byrd has been batting cleanup for the Mets. Martin has a .681 OPS hitting 5th. 1.044 batting 7th.

    • I think Pedro will stay at 4, but Byrd batting behind him can improve Pedro as well.

      I like Bryd #5.

  57. Does anybody know if Byrd can get to Pittsburgh in time for tonight’s game?

  58. I guess Clint Hurdle and Neal Huntington were as unimpressed with Tony Sanchez’ defensive prowess behind the plate as Milo and I are.

  59. 1 Marte/Tabata
    2 Walker
    3 McCutchen
    4 Byrd – Career .908 ops 4th
    5 Alvarez highest career ops is 5th .818
    6 Martin career .767 ops here
    7 Jones
    8 Mercer

  60. So is Byrd to replace Tabata and Jones in right or is it an insurance policy because marte will be out for some indeterminate period of time?

  61. Remember Matt denDecker? He’s getting called up to replace Byrd

  62. Dejan should be thrilled. The blog just got 300% happier :)

  63. I like the deal. And I don’t care what newspaper or network broke the news.

    John Buck has some power and decent defense.

    • And, this should spell the end to Tabata in RF, which also makes me very happy.

      • Once marte comes off the DL yes. But for the next week you still get to see Tabby in either right or left. Byrd will man the other spot. And We will still likely see some of Jones at first. Not sure whih is worse aainst a right handed pitcher. Jones or Gabby. Gabby is putrid against righties.

  64. Hidden benefit – Byrd’s probably younger than Tabata.

  65. So, if you are a Reds fan right now, are you PO’d that your owner wouldn’t open the purse strings and get Byrd? Seems like an upgrade to Ryan Ludwick, who is still rounding back into shape hitting-wise, and cannot match Byrd in the field.

    I’m glad we got Byrd and Buck. They should be a nice boost to a team that needed an infusion right about now.

  66. Tonight is Marlon Byrd T-Shirt night at Citi Field, by the way.

  67. Gotta like the trade. Maybe a LH First baseman is still in play also!


  68. So, where’s Dejan?

    And I don’t wanna hear he’s off today!

  69. I didn’t like that Kelly Shopach was our backup behind Tony Sanchez.

    When all the crap was happening in Boston last year, I heard he wasn’t too well liked by his teammates.

  70. i can’t wait for Starling, Byrd, and Cutch to be manning the outfield in the same game.

    That will be one outfield that can really FLY!!!

    Does the team plan on giving Marte any type of rehab games?, or will he be ready to rock and roll as soon as his 15 days are up?.

    • I’m guessing that he will be good to go after 15. If he isn’t the DL stint will be extended. I thought I heard he has an actual partial tear in a ligimate on his hand. It seems like something like that is either better or not better.

    • I just heard this on MLB radio. Casey Stern (afternoon guy with Jim Bowden) said, “Good news coming in for the Bucs with Starling Marte. He will not need surgery. Should be swinging again in a couple of weeks.”

      Not very specific, but assuming he is correct that means Starling is out 2 weeks more + rehab. That could be another week. That is about 18 more of the 32 remaining games. Now, this report may not be completely accurate. We’ll have to see how it plays out. But, if it is accurate, then the move for Byrd was all about replacing Starling for 3 more weeks or so.

  71. For Dejan’s blood pressure:

    It’s about time that the BMTIB got off their duff and did something!

    That FO must have answered the Mets’ phone call by mistake!

    Bob Nutting is just ticked that Marlon Byrd missed the clay pigeon shoot! He may hold a 2nd.

    Neal Huntington said, “The reality is, John Buck has a better downward plane than Tony Sanchez! And Buck does NOT use Twitter.”

    Frank Coonelly said, “Is Marlon Byrd that owner of the Stoll Inn calling back?”

    That should add some Zzzzzzzzzz to Dejan’s smoke!

  72. OK I got stuff to do.

    Good work by the PBC….Beat ‘em Bucs!

  73. This is a serious question because Jones just seems lost right now at the plate and we still did not address that issue. Can Lambo play first? Has he ever done it before? I’m not a huge fan of his but he couldn’t be worse then Jones right now if his defense is passable at first. Also getting Bryd means we need one less middle of the line up bat. Lambo can bat later in the order with very little pressure.

  74. LOVE the festive atmosphere here now!

  75. That’s for all of you Walker bashers!

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