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Mini-column: Two words for acquisition of Morneau

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

The Pirates have just acquired Justin Morneau from the Twins in exchange for Alex Presley and Duke Welker, and all I have to say to that is precisely two words.

All in.

Yes, in the same connotation as last summer’s ‘All in’ admonishment.

Yes, in the same connotation as last month’s ‘All in’ challenge to acquire Morneau.

Yes, in the same connotation as this week’s ‘All in’ closing tease to add Morneau even after getting Marlon Byrd and John Buck from the Mets for two prospects.

Say it with me: All in.

So before getting into any of what Morneau might mean to this lineup and this pennant race — and it’s considerable — it only seems fair to start with a few tips of the cap …

To Bob Nutting, for stepping up with the cash. And I mean seriously, I never want to hear another syllable about the cheap thing. The owner told me back in spring training that he wanted his front office to spend their allotted payroll up front this year rather than stashing away for the deadline. That tells me this money toward Morneau is out of budget.

Good for him.

To Frank Coonelly, for overseeing a process in which it has to be extra-tempting for baseball  men to make baseball trades sooner than necessary. He’s been too prudent in the past. Not this time.

Above all, to Neal Huntington, who just capped the greatest career reversal I’ve ever covered with a magical offseason, then, yes, finished the job.

Want two words to describe what Huntington just did?

Ray Shero.

This is what needed to be done.

This is what the fans of Pittsburgh deserve.

This is a complete recognition and appreciation of all that’s occurred this summer, on and off the field, as well as of the opportunity that lies ahead.

Stop right here, and tip the cap to all three.

If you’re a baseball fan, nobody needs to tell you much about Morneau. If not, here’s his official page with all the goods. Boiled down, he was the 2006 American League MVP, then was slowed by injury and mostly struggled before the current strong second half in Minnesota. As I’ve written in the pleas this month, the scouts watching him will support that the output is real. He looks healthier, stronger, quicker than in years.

Here’s the upper-deck blast he hit last night in Arlington for a look.

As with the Byrd/Buck trade, forget any long-term implications. Doesn’t matter. All of them can walk as free agents, the Pirates can come away empty-handed, the players they sent out can become stars, and these trades are still winners. For the simple reason that this is what winning teams do when they get the opportunity. They get bold. They go for it. They give their manager and players the best tools with which to get it done.

Nutting, Coonelly and Huntington did exactly that. And they didn’t hold back.

All in.

I’ve got two more words for what now should be the Pirates’ next goal, but I’ll hold off on that.

PHOTO: Will Graves/AP

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

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

Comments

  1. florida steeler says:

    I will never criticize Huntington again. He has done everything we hoped–now it is up to Clint and the players. If Pedro gets a little more consistent, we have a great chance at this thing.

  2. likeabugonarug says:

    Gotta love it! Beat ‘em BUCS!!

    After Jones’ great night last night, you gotta feel a little sorry for him since he’ll probably be the most impacted. But, who knows if that was a one night streak or something he’d sustain.

    Kevin

  3. JRay3 says:

    Absolutely HUGE move, great work by NH working til the end of second deadline. Great job by ownership for allowing it to happen.

    Losing AP is no big deal as he did not fit in teams plans and as I understand it did not take his last demotion to AAA all that well.

    Very nice post up above DK, could not agree any more.

  4. JMB says:

    I said “all in” too!

    great minds~~ haha.

  5. JRay3 says:

    +1….NH has earned plus marks for what he did this offseason and now what he has done at waiver trade deadline. Bold moves.

  6. John Lease says:

    How could the Reds not block this? Are the Reds all in too?

    Let’s not go hog wild on how much cash was thrown Dejan, remember Buck and Byrd came WITH cash. We will find out if Mourneau did too.

  7. Lad9 says:

    DK you said it as well as it can be said. Any doubt that this management team wants to win this thing should be banished from the mind of even the most skeptical Pirate fan (even though I know it won’t work that way). Thank you Bob, Frank, and Neal. Now lets get after it on the field. Go Buccos!

  8. likeabugonarug says:

    If true, interesting take on Alex. Hopefully though he looked in the mirror to see the person most responsible.

    No matter what happens, no one can say the FO didn’t acquire some quality players by the deadline. As florida said, it is now up to those same players to produce. It will be interesting to see who moves off the 25 man to make room for him.

    Kevin

  9. Lad9 says:

    Morneau cleared waivers earlier this month. The only way anyone could block it was to acquire him with a better offer.

  10. JRay3 says:

    All of a sudden a lineup that looks like this:

    Marte/Tabata
    Walker
    Cutch
    Morneau/Alvarez/Byrd
    Byrd/Alvarez/Morneau
    Alvarez/Morneau
    Martin/Buck
    Mercer/Barmes

    Wow, going to be a fun 28 games down the stretch.

  11. 21sthebest says:

    How could the Orioles not acquire Byrd and get Morse instead?

  12. Patrick says:

    Glad to see them make this move. It certainly can’t hurt.

    After today and what Shero did, this puts a lot of pressure on Kevin Colbert to make a big splash in Week 6 to keep up the trade pace in this town.

  13. likeabugonarug says:

    And even more important in there is the potential protection for Pedro. Maybe it might help him to keep from swinging at so many bad pitches. Although he didn’t look so bad last night.

  14. Matt hoffman says:

    I am in the minority here as I liked Presley, but this was a great move! Cutch, Pedro and Byrd should see better pitches now.

  15. Nate83 says:

    I was not a big supporter of trading for Morneau, however for what we gave up I like the move. I question how much of an actual upgrade he will be but for the price of zero top prospects he is a nice veteran addition that could pay off big time.

  16. 21sthebest says:

    “The owner told me back in spring training that he wanted his front office to spend their allotted payroll up front this year rather than stashing away for the deadline. That tells me this money toward Morneau is out of budget.”

    Maybe. Or they left some budget on the table when the season started. Or they upped the budget during the season.

  17. JRay3 says:

    Byrd was claimed by Pirates before he had chance to go to AL teams, waivers go by league first, all NL teams would have had to have passed on Byrd for O’s to have shot.

  18. Baywatch says:

    Very nice, DK! NOW GET THAT BOY ON THE PLANE FROM DALLAS-FORT WORTH TO PITTSBURGH. Want to see him TONIGHT! Up here, Fans! I haven’t had this much to cheer about since the Beatles played Shea Stadium!

  19. William says:

    Another spot on post DK. This week Neal was Shero-esque. We have work to do this weekend, but that away series with Texas looms. I’m All In!

  20. Scott says:

    “All in” is exactly what I thought too. Major props to NH and the front office for making a serious push to strengthen the roster with the goal of actually winning the World Series, not just making the playoffs. That they got Byrd and Morneau without giving up significant prospects is remarkable.

    I’ve said many times that I believe this could be the best shot to win the Series this nucleus of Pirates will ever have. I’m not in the camp that believes the team will automatically be a perennial contender from now on (look how the Nationals disappeared this year, for instance), so seeing the organization fully pursue this opportunity is incredibly satisfying as a fan.

    Can’t wait to watch as it all plays out.

  21. twentytwo22 says:

    That homerun he hit last night showed his intelligence. The previous batter tied the game on a 2 run homerun off a Yu Darvish fastball. Morneau got into a hitter’s count and sat offspeed/breaking and hit it into the upper deck in right field. It’s the kind of smart hitting that can have an impact on the core of young hitters the Pirates have.

    Byrd and Morneau should add a lot to this team on and off the field.

  22. 21sthebest says:

    My fault. I thought he cleared waivers first.

  23. Slackboss says:

    Actually a Harrison/Walker platoon is warranted given Neal’s numbers from the right side and Harrison’s splits against lefties. Hurdle is occasionally doing that and it needs to be more frequent down the stretch and through the playoffs…Did I just write ‘through the playoffs’? God that felt good!

  24. Mike P. says:

    Two more words: no excuses.

    As with the Pens, the front office has done their job. It’s now up to the players and coaches to do theirs.

    Exciting times for sure…

  25. twentytwo22 says:

    The middle of the Pirates lineup now has

    17hr 74rbi
    32hr 86rbi
    22hr 74rbi
    17hr 74rbi

  26. pattonbb says:

    I have no idea if Morneau will work out or not, but these are the types of deals a front office with higher expectations than just winning 82 games make.

    And good luck to AP. I always thought he was a nice ball player. Hope he finds some success in Minnesota.

  27. BarryVanBonilla says:

    Not the case at all, and benching Jones now would be the height of idiocy, not just because of last night but because on the season, he and McCutchen are tied with the highest line drive rate on the team, at 25%. Before August, Jones was highest, at 33%. If anybody is or was a candidate to turn it around, it is Jones more than any of the other blah hitters in this lineup.

    In any case, he is a better right fielder than first baseman, and his platoon should shift to right from 1st. Marte isn’t going to be back or effective any time soon, so you play Byrd in left and Jones/Tabata in right. When Marte is back, if Jones is hitting, Jones and Byrd platoon. If any of Morneau, Byrd or Tabata isn’t hitting and Jones is, you’ll see him in there.

    If Jones has a hot month don’t be surprised to see him back, given that Presley is gone and Byrd and Morneau are very likely to be. People write his obituary every year, and they are wrong, every year. I believe Marlon Byrd is correct. Jones can be a 30-40 home run guy. Whether it is here or elsewhere remains to be seen, but if the latter next year prepare for some serious wailing and gnashing of teeth.

  28. Jeff Z. says:

    Mike Lange is someplace now thinking Buy Neal a drink and Get Frank & Bob one too! Justin Morneau

  29. JAL says:

    Well, well, nice move. Morneau replaces Presley on the 40. Only question is if they will have him on the 25 tonight and make a short move or tomorrow when roster expand.

  30. Karen22 says:

    I will now say it: ALL IN!!

    And I most certainly will NOT criticize the FO (Neal in particular) any more! The time is NOW, and they have stepped up to the plate in recognition of that fact. The rest is up to the Buccos on the field. They now have the tools.

    JUST DO IT!! ALL IN!!

    (I’m a little excited). :)

  31. Thundercrack says:

    +1

  32. Thundercrack says:

    Nice post DK.

    Now can you come over and explain to my wife why she shouldn’t be so sad that Presley is gone.

    No kidding.
    She said he’s worked so hard and he should be able to jump up & down on the field when the World Series. I told her that he would still get some extra money for it.

    She’s worried.

  33. Patrick (ri) says:

    Spoiler alert: World Series!

  34. Thundercrack says:

    To Frank Coonelly, for overseeing a process in which it has to be extra-tempting for baseball men to make baseball trades sooner than necessary. He’s been too prudent in the past. Not this time.
    ——————————-
    DK, how involved in the trading ‘process’ has FC been this season and last?

  35. Thundercrack says:

    To Bob Nutting, for stepping up with the cash. And I mean seriously, I never want to hear another syllable about the cheap thing.
    ——————
    I would like to be in the room when you explain that to Mark Madden.
    :-)

  36. Thundercrack says:

    The team can now use a combination of Garrett Jones and Morneau against righties, and then trot out Byrd and Gaby Sanchez for southpaws.

    That sounds good to me.

    And I wonder what the Cardinals are thinking now in their clubhouse.

  37. Thundercrack says:

    This also makes our choices for later inning pinch hitting a lot better.

  38. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’ve got two more words for the trade.” Excellent analysis” of the trade and process, DK.

    From what we know, there’s not much better they could have done than these latest moves, including protecting the future while going “All-In” for this year.

    We have a chance.

  39. 21sthebest says:

    We should have made these trades years ago.

  40. JHadar says:

    Meaningful baseball in September in Pittsburgh.

    Presley for Morneau. That farm system is producing in more ways than one. Lambo and Polanco made Presley easily expendable, even before Byrd — but even so I’m surprised that we were get him for Presley. Wishing Alex success as long as it’s in the AL though.

    Now let’s hope that Morneau gets off to a good start at PNC the same way Byrd did and the pitching staff can hold it together down the stretch.

    And for everyone who said they’d believe when they saw how this team looked come September, it’s a day early, but welcome aboard.

  41. Arriba Wilver says:

    Yeah, PLEASE don’t predict a World Series, DK. PLEASE ! ! !

  42. Thundercrack says:

    This moves solidifies Tabata’s place on the team NEXT YEAR

  43. pattonbb says:

    I have no idea which thread this should go on, but the Steelers just announced their cuts. Adios Jonathan Dwyer and Alameda Ta’amu.

  44. pattonbb says:

    Why rain on my parade?

  45. bizrow says:

    The attendance has “upped”, maybe that gave them the extra moolah

    Regardless, good move ;-)

  46. Drew71 says:

    Presley gone??

    I hope Bob Hassis is ok.

  47. Thundercrack says:

    I’m much more worried about my wife.

  48. pattonbb says:

    I thought the same thing.

  49. bizrow says:

    Did Moye make it?

  50. bizrow says:

    She still has you ;-)

  51. pattonbb says:

    yep

  52. Thundercrack says:

    Steelers cut Jonathan Dwyer at the same time Pirates acquire Morneau.

    Who’s foolin’ with who?

  53. Drew71 says:

    You thought about Thunder’s wife??

  54. bizrow says:

    Great, thanks

  55. Thundercrack says:

    At this point Biz, I’m not sure she is super thrilled with that either. :-)

    I like the deal. And she is actually coming around to it.

    She likes underdog type players. The Fort is her favorite.

  56. Thundercrack says:

    And Presley is a Littlefield guy.

    This is all starting to make sense now.

    #theregime

  57. bizrow says:

    AP was in his last option year, so it was only a matter of time. He’ll probably get a chance with the Twins.

    Yeah, I remember you talking about her and Fort

    Fort is a hard guy not to like

  58. 21sthebest says:

    Canzler was a Huntington guy.

    There goes your theory.

  59. Thundercrack says:

    Russ Canzler has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Indianapolis after being designated for assignment earlier in the week,

    He’s back.

  60. cmat0829 says:

    wow, you must really like AAA players with attitudes when they don’t get the job done when given ample chances at MLB> Good luck with liking players like that.

  61. cmat0829 says:

    Presley is not a prospect anymore folks… he hasn’t been for about 3 years. Hope he does well in Minnesota, he seems like a good kid (not so much a kid anymore….) and we should always hope players do well when given yet another chance. But he’s not a prospect. Best part of this move was only having to give up on a player they already gave up on.

  62. cmat0829 says:

    The best, best, best, best part of this “all in”…. we still have Taillon. And Polanco. And Hansen. And Heredia. And Glasnow. Yes Byrd, Buck and Morneau are Bucs for this fall only… they will go their separate ways, hopefully after leading us to much postseason success. But fear not, the core is still in place for 2014 and beyond. And there will be payroll room to address RF and 1B for 2014 also.

    who knows? maybe Byrd or Morneau wants to re-sign for a value-based price. But if not, no worries.

  63. cmat0829 says:

    not clear if they need him on the 25 by midnight or before the game or even at all until he shows up…maybe someone can clarify… but right now they are carrying extra offensive player, so they can send Pie or Lambo down if need be…. or if they want they can demote Hughes who is not likely to pitch tonight anyway.

  64. JHadar says:

    Read again.

    Lambo and Polanco made Presley expendable.

  65. Mrevo says:

    Justin Mourneeeeeeaaaaauuuuu, Wooooooooooooot!

  66. Mrevo says:

    A little excited? I’m all tingly!

  67. cmat0829 says:

    presley made presley expendable. not sure lambo has anything to do with it. Polanco is the RF, no doubt about it, perhaps as soon as June 2014 … but if he struggles a bit, then 2015. Lambo is filler, a Jones-type perhaps. Presley had his chance and wasn’t coming back in 2014 regardless.

    Amazing how much the asking price reduced for the Twins on Morneau…no one will talk probably but would love to compare the July 31 asking price with the Aug 31 haul…. paying $2.5M, perhaps more cash and Alex Presley is pretty cheap.

  68. cmat0829 says:

    not a thing wrong with tabata’s play for the past few months. i’m happy he will still be around, he provides some value. but there are those whose opinions are cemented, just like opinions of nutting, frank and neal are. Tabata can probably drive in the winning run in the world series and be the mvp and people will still dog on him. It’s cool, though. Opinions are free.

  69. cmat0829 says:

    yep, and like all the rest of littlefield guys who can’t hold a MLB player’s jock, good riddance.

  70. Reading says:

    33 obviously not available, so 36 is the number.

  71. cmat0829 says:

    dont follow the steelers as closely as the bucs, but isn’t it a surprise that dwyer has been cut? thought he might be the starting RB until Bell is back…??

  72. theplanisworking says:

    + a bunch.

  73. Bill maloni says:

    I started to ask if Ray Shero had snuck into the Bucco front office, but you beat me to it, DK.

    Is he in the lineup tonight?

  74. Bill maloni says:

    “He” being Morneau.

  75. cmat0829 says:

    exactly. walker is a platoon player now, painfully close to what NH assessed him to be back in the day…. :)

  76. JHadar says:

    Yes the outfield depth in the farm system made it easy to offer a reserve outfielder although even without that it is a good deal.

  77. KenKopp says:

    I put the transaction page up on MLB.com this am and kept going back and refreshing it. I’m guessing Huntington got a better deal by waiting until the last minute. Good job! Wow! Hate to see Presley go, but we have guys coming up to play the outfield the next few years and only one hole to fill with Cutch and Marte in place.

    2:35 to first pitch. Lets go Bucs!

  78. cmat0829 says:

    just curious, why do you hate to see presley go?

  79. theplanisworking says:

    Before I get to the actual trade, and column, I would like to offer this statement………..

    I am officially whelmed. And officially wrong.
    neal has proven everyone wrong.
    neal has done all he can to improve the team. He has done a complete 180 from years past.
    He has improved the team, while keeping the top 10 prospects for the future.
    He has given the most powerful message he could give the players that it is time to win.
    He has finally stopped kicking the can down the road.
    He has realized that the goal is to win NOW.

    I still reserve the right, as a fan, to criticize when appropriate. I still reserve the right to not forget the massacre that was neals first years on the job. But I am very, very pleased with this series of moves from him, from Liriano, to Martin, to ByrdBuck, to Morneau.

    Now it will be interesting to see if my statement above, admitting I was wrong, will please the people who love to give me crap on here. I admit when I am wrong, lets see a few more posters do that. It doesnt hurt, fellas.

  80. cmat0829 says:

    i’d have given up more for Morneau (glad i”m not the GM!)…and I’d have given Presley away for almost nothing. someone like an extra bullpen type like Qualls2013.

  81. PirateFaninGA says:

    Little bit of a harsh reaction there. Obviously Presley seemingly having a problem with the last demotion doesn’t help, but the guy hustled and was sent down numerous times this year when he was playing better than other bench players. He is a fourth or fifth outfielder at best. He had options so he got the demotion to save players out of options. Which just sucks but is the reality of MLB roster management.

    What I liked was the hustle unlike others on this team (mainly Tabata, but even Cutch doesn’t run hard some times). A good trade but I am not going to think negatively about AP because of the last send down issue. Good guy who just couldn’t make it past AAAA status.

  82. theplanisworking says:

    DK,

    you have a way with words that makes us all feel better.
    Your column is so spot on it isnt funny.
    This is what we have been waiting for, as fans.
    Nice to see neal grow in his job that when he saw a drastic need, and addressed it.

    For anyone who criticizes the past weeks trades, the object is to go for it while the opportunity exists. Yes, they wont be here after the season, but they are here NOW.

    Now lets see how the final month plays out.
    GO BUCS !!

  83. tdb1977 says:

    Come on DK. Say it. Your last line on the blog entry. Say it. Divison title! End of story. Time to put the hammer down and put seperation between the Cardinals and Reds. And we can do that with 11 remaining against both of these teams.

  84. Dadtackular says:

    Okay Okay.. I admit you were wrong.

  85. Thundercrack says:

    plan,
    Are you underwhelmed or whelmed by this past week?

  86. Steelag70 says:

    Very well said Plan…

  87. Thundercrack says:

    Sorry, I didn’t see your earlier post.

    (I always start at the bottom of the page)

  88. KenKopp says:

    Because I’m a stupid softy and loyal to my players. I would suck as a GM and I know it. No logical reason. Obviously. Just too nice for my own good sometimes.

  89. MadTurk says:

    I agree with you! I liked Presley as well and to cmat below I don’t think he was given all that much off a chance. Not saying he would be starter her long if Polanco works out in the near future but may have been a good bench piece and spell all three outfield positions.

  90. cmat0829 says:

    ok, not going to argue the hustle thing… but takes more than hustle to take up room on a good team’s ML roster. Takes talent. and pretty clear to me AP doesn’t have what it takes to be a very good ML player. No room at the inn anymore for guys that try hard and are really nice and do ‘decent enough’. If you fill a roster with mediocrity, guess what you get as a team?

    On a talent basis, JT>AP. And I am pretty sure, though it’s close, that TS>AP. Looks like to me, limited sample size, that even AL and FP > AP.

    If AP could ever learn to hit the ball on the ground and not hit 250 feet fly balls, then he may have something. But he didn’t /couldn’t. I’d love to see him do well in Minnesota. To some extent Ryan Doumit has done OK in Minnesota, and I root for him too. Don’t want him back, because the time has past that our goal is mediocrity.

  91. KenKopp says:

    Neil has learned from the past. He’s gotten better. No Shero yet, but not a bad year.

    His best move this year? No required skeet shooting trip the day after returning from a West coast trip. From worst to first in GMing.

  92. cmat0829 says:

    need guys like you in my fantasy league. You may still have Edgerrin James on your roster :)

  93. cmat0829 says:

    guessing the skeet shooting is more a FC thing and not something the ‘baseball side’ of the operation really controls but just my two cents.

  94. theplanisworking says:

    Thunder, as you are a poster who argues with me on every single thing, including the color of the sky, I would have thought you would be the first to acknowledge the fact I admitted I was wrong on this. I am giving your boy all the credit in the world, yet silence from you.

    How sad. But not surprising.
    I feel this just goes to show you will always argue with me for any reason, or no reason at all.
    I really dont know why you do this, but whatever.

    I dont know what it will take for you to ever acknowledge I know what I am talking about, so you would ever not argue with me. If my above post doesnt do it, I guess nothing ever will.

  95. So you’re sayin’ there’s a chance?

    :D

  96. Even he won’t mind getting Morneau.

  97. PirateFaninGA says:

    I agree that AP was not in the long term plans and had to go eventually so this is a perfect trade; however, my response was that you sounded like you had something personal against the guy. I liked AP but he was nothing better than a AAAA guy which as you point out is no longer good enough for a winning team.

    I agree that Tabata has more talent than AP but smarts and instinct….don’t think so. When Jose learns how to read a flyball, hustle, and take a consistent mental approach at the plate…he’ll earn his contract.

  98. There goes our 8.3 share. Might be up to 9 now.

  99. Yinzer says:

    Don’t forget Arnold Slick from Turtle Crick. He always likes a good tall one.

  100. MadTurk says:

    Got it Plan you were wrong. :-)

  101. KenKopp says:

    You’re probably right.

  102. MadTurk says:

    A Shero like move? Let’s hope not after last season. Those stunk and to Eric who will say he played Iggy out of position I did not see anything that makes me believe he would have played any better anywhere on the ice.

  103. theplanisworking says:

    Like I said, I admit when I am wrong.

    The blog would be better if others did that occasionally also. :)

  104. Thundercrack says:

    I apologized and said that I didn’t see you’re earlier post.
    And I did think your post was good.

    But I have no idea why you would be waiting around for me to acknowledge it. Why are you concerned about ‘silence’ from me?

    But whatever.

    ps: I don’t have a boy and I don’t think you always know what you are talking about.

    Have a nice night and enjoy the game

  105. Lad9 says:

    As a nice side benefit, the acquisition of Morneau has put a cork in the great TV ratings debate that dragged on interminably yesterday.

  106. MadTurk says:

    Just pulling you large hippo leg.

  107. Baywatch says:

    Free Opinions!

  108. KenKopp says:

    No, but I took a flyer on Wheaton. Hope he makes the final cut. And for your information, I came in dead last in my fantasy league last year.

  109. MadTurk says:

    I thought Drew was you boy? or are you his? :-)

  110. theplanisworking says:

    I know. :)

    I expect much grief tonight for admitting neal was right. ;)

  111. Naje says:

    Just wondering if Tabata is still the most worthless player in the game and if Barmes is in the same category.

    Guess I’ll wait for an answer from Bob H.

  112. Foolish, foolish, foolish statement!

  113. Baywatch says:

    Drew, THIS is where we draw the line! :-)

  114. theplanisworking says:

    I was expecting the person who always argues with me on everything to at least acknowledge I was supporting your view.

    I wasnt waiting around, just pointing something out.

    I never said I always know what I am talking about. Nice try. I was just originally asking why you can never admit that I know what I am talking about. Now I know.

    And, since you always defend neal, I wrongly assumed he was your boy. My fault, and apologies.

    You have a nice night, and you enjoy the game also.

  115. Thundercrack says:

    :-)

  116. Thundercrack says:

    No! I would like to see the ratings of Morneau’s first game with the Pirates vs a meaningless practice game of the Steelers.

  117. likeabugonarug says:

    I remember being very ticked off when the Bucs traded Taveras for Foli. Couldn’t believe it. Well, we all know how that one turned out.

    Kevin

  118. Dejan had to make up something to give Frank credit for. He was a bystander.

    Nutting on the other hand deserve something.

  119. theplanisworking says:

    I wish I could share your enthusiasm on that topic, Lad.

    How are you this evening, being the Bucs have signaled “damn the torpedoes” on this pennant race?

  120. Don’t forget Clint Hurdle is the stupidest Manager alive!

  121. Not “Division Title”

    secret words = {W.S.}

  122. Not supposed to be here. Supposed to be up there ^

  123. theplanisworking says:

    I thought the 2 words were “Plan Parade”. ;)

    As a fan, I feel much better today, than I did last week. :)

  124. 21sthebest says:

    “ps: I don’t have a boy ”

    :-(

  125. theplanisworking says:

    What about Leyva? ;)

  126. Drew71 says:

    ewwww.

    just ewwww.

  127. Drew71 says:

    I just had a weird thought. Even for me.

    Do you think people in St. Louis might now be worried about the Pirates?

    Weird, right?

  128. theplanisworking says:

    Very weird.

    I feel St. Louis thinks they are better, and more talented than the Bucs. I think they overvalue themselves. And, I hope they fall flat on their faces.

  129. JMB says:

    The bigger ? Is whether the Braves & Dodgers are now worried!

  130. Johnny Ray III,

    Rumor only about attitude problem.

    Don’t relate that here or half of the blog will take it as gospel and hang “attitude” on Presley from now on.

    Not fair!

  131. Tabata, Barmes, and Hurdle are Hasty Bob’s “Big Three”———or, as he would call them, “The Worthless Three”

  132. theplanisworking says:

    Hahaha.

    Billy Groat, how do you feel today, now that we have acquired Morneau?

  133. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I won’t say I won’t ever criticize Huntington again because his track record through six years is not very impressible.
    However….I’ve been VERY critical of him and this is the first time I really feel he and the Nutting Regime are “all in.”
    I wish it would’ve happened a month ago, but better this week than not at all.
    Effort!….That’s all I ever asked for.

  134. MadTurk says:

    Who cares as long as the Pirates worry about themselves all will be fine in Burgh Land of the ratings battle.

  135. Patrick(RI) says:

    Everybody worries about playing the Pirates – in Pittsburgh. In the dbbb&m(days before Byrd, Buck & Morneau) I was pretty well convinced we would end up playing in Cincy or St. Louis. Now, I find that much less a certainty. This could REALLY be the year!

  136. likeabugonarug says:

    Travis also mentioned it in his column.

    Kevin

  137. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    All past criticism of the Nutting Regime was more than justified.
    This is the first week that I have ever gotten the official feeling that they want to win.
    There was no wrong is criticizing them….And there is no wrong in commending them for some effort.

  138. MrB says:

    DK – thanks for providing an early and substantial analysis of this trade. I appreciate the effort. For what it’s worth, here is my two cents concerning the trade, your commentary and the team:

    The Morneau trade is obviously a great acquisition and I agree that the front office should be credited. That said I was more impressed with Huntington’s acquisition of Byrd and Buck merely for the fact that nearly everyone was talking or speculating about acquiring Morneau. Now I’m admittedly not a baseball news junkie, but the first time I read anything on Byrd was when we got him.

    Alex Presley to me always played very hard and with a lot of heart. I can’t ever recall him taking a play off. There has to be room somewhere in MLB for a player like that and I hope he finds it with the Twins. Whatever the Pirates earn (if anything) in the post-season, he deserves a full share. Of course I think that any player, who has done any one positive thing this season deserves a full share.

    A bit more about the front office and your commentary DK. I suspect that you have no real idea as to whether Nutting has ponied up extra money or not. Regardless, as a fan I will NEVER blindly accept the suggestion that the owner from this point forward will always be spending what he should be spending on the team. I’m judging the budget based on the market and what comparable teams spend. Blind faith in your leadership will certainly make you look foolish.

    I have no idea what Frank Coonelly actually does with respect to the organization and whether or not it provides a benefit with respect to this deal.

    I think Huntington is slowly, but surely maturing into his job as a GM. Thank goodness. He has come a long way from the Garcia/Wilson approach towards contracts and deal-making. Getting Martin and Liriano in the off-season has worked out brilliantly. I don’t know if these latest acquisitions are the result of his reacting to every “expert” posting for help at 1B and RF or not. Regardless, he got the job done and certainly did not sacrifice the future in doing so.

    Now with respect to the team, some final questions and observations:

    Is anyone concerned with the starting pitching down the stretch? I have faith in just three starters in the following order. Liriano, Morton, Burnett. With Liriano, I have nearly complete confidence and why wouldn’t anyone? I never expected Morton to rebound so quickly from Tommy John surgery and pitch effectively. That has been a real saving grace to this team. I respect Burnett, but his head concerns me. On the mound, he needs to STFU and pitch effectively.

    Now that the calendar is about to flip over to September every member of this team, from the Manager and coaches down to the last call-up needs to approach every game (and every AB, pitch or fielding chance) with a playoff mentality. EVERY GAME and not just match-ups with the Cardinals or Reds. That means things like humping it full speed out of the box on what appears to be a routine single. I don’t know who gets this point across to them. They are still a very young team and I guess the veteran playoff hunting leadership has to fall on Burnett and Martin. Recently, this team has screwed the series-pooch with Colorado, San Francisco and worst of all Milwaukee AT HOME. That crap has to end now.

    They have a wonderful opportunity and every Pirate fan knows it doesn’t happen every year or every twenty years. Make the most of it boys and play ALL IN with no regrets. I’m going to continue to enjoy the ride.

  139. Naje says:

    Good luck to Presley, but he really never did a thing to distinguish himself other than a five week stretch in late 2011. The glove: below average. The arm: below average. Cutting down runs because of good routes to the ball: not much there. Getting on base: below average.

    He had many, many chances to distinguish himself and never did. Good luck in Minnesota.Thanks for the memories…more thankful for Morneau.

  140. DemonDachshund says:

    I would disagree with “All In” for one reason. “All In” implies that you’re putting all your chips on the table to try to win big now. I would argue that NH actually did BETTER than what Shero did, as while both drastically improved their teams while giving up little, Shero at least slightly mortgaged the future. The Pirates got exactly what they needed and gave up even less than the Pens did at the deadline.

    A+ for Shero. A+++ for NH. They’ve done just about everything they can to win this year without needing to go “All In”.

  141. radio wave says:

    Lambo sent down.

  142. 21sthebest says:

    Morneau activated.
    Pimentel recalled.
    Hughes and Lambo optioned.

    No Lambo leap.

  143. 21sthebest says:

    I wonder if Neal (aka, Thundercrack’s boy) has a nice spot on his mantel for his Executive of the Year trophy?

  144. 21sthebest says:

    Moreau to wear #66 starting tomorrow.

  145. 21sthebest says:

    Make that Morneau.

  146. John Lease says:

    Now, if only the ratings could spike…

  147. John Lease says:

    I guess they really WERE pissed off at Dwyer…

  148. radio wave says:

    Morneau Will be activated tonight according to Huntington interview on XM radio.

  149. KenKopp says:

    He has to be activated by 11:59 pm to be on the postseason roster.

  150. KenKopp says:

    Our ballgirls fielding percentage must be off the charts. Best in the league and best looking.

  151. Hell Unleashed says:

    When is now?

    Now, is now…

    Go Bucs

  152. TJA says:

    A little late coming to today’s party. Like I said yesterday: 5 months of baseball and the Pirates are in 1st place. Now with this trade…maybe we really will see baseball in October in Pittsburgh! How cool is this news today?!

  153. KenKopp says:

    I have to get up a 2 am to go to work. Safe to go to bed and have sweet dreams? I’m going to stick around for another inning.

  154. Sisyphus says:

    Copy and paste this to a text file, as I’m sure you’ll be using it again many times.

  155. Sisyphus says:

    It looks to me like everybody needs to pause and take a deep breath.

    I like the trade. They gave up about as much as the should have for Morneau. But he didn’t come with a time machine, and Morneau today isn’t much of an improvement over Garrett Jones.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s entirely possible that he’ll have a nice September, continuing what he did for most of August. It’s also possible that he’ll have another month like July, with a sub-.600 OPS. It’s also possible that Jones will leave his terrible August slump behind him and repeat his July OPS of .800+ in September. As I see it, it’s basically a coin toss which of our left handed platoon first basemen helps the team more from here on out, with maybe a slight edge towards Morneau. I’m guessing that Hurdle will just ride the hot hand from here on out.

  156. Bas says:

    Yes, I felt the same about Taveras, who hit triples and stole bases. But Foli solidified the infield.
    I also liked the curve-baller they gave up for Madlock, but of course, that was a great deal from the start. (His name will come to me…)

  157. Dan Finnegan says:

    Certainly have to give kudos to NH and the FO for the moves they’ve made. Just as much kudos to the players already on the team and the coaches for forcing the FO’s hand by not collapsing like last year and being in position to at least contend for a wildcard spot, not to mention breaking a streak that should never have existed this long in the first place. Keep it going one and all and bring home the hardware!!!!!

  158. Stuart says:

    Very positive on the trade. Alex was, at best, a fifth OF.

    Feel better about waving the divisional gonfalon!

    Stuart

  159. Bas says:

    Ed Whitson..

  160. Kevin says:

    I don’t usually log-in here on the weekends.. too busy with other stuff. Anyway, I finished cleaning up the “keeper” pile on my desk.. you know, all those bills and receipts you notice and then throw in a pile to pick up quarterly or so. I sit down on the couch with my delicious home-brew in hand and start catching up to the game on my DVR.

    I was browsing and mainly rewatching the 5-run 3rd inning and managed to catch one of the tweets about the Morneau trade. Initial reaction was “oh, my, God” someone picked up Morneau. Then, double take, “oh, my, God” its the pirates. Not believing it I forwarded further into the game to see the MAN himself arriving in the dugout, chatting amicably with the his new teammates.

    I was dying to hear more of the chatter and possibly less importantly to see what we gave up. Nobody will remember but I did post the possibility of this happening several days ago and compared it to the great RAY All-IN move earlier this year. Granted I was skeptical that the GMTIB would follow that example. And wow… ALL-IN BABY!

    Thanks DK for the mini-column. Very nice. And very excited for our first place BUCS!

  161. TJ says:

    I had to come out of mini-retirement to ask the question…

    Did everyone see the reactions in the dugout when Morneau walked in?

    I don’t think there is going to be any problems with chemistry.

    I’m in awe right now.

  162. Ghost says:

    These are good points, Sis, but we did actually cover this territory on the game thread. Myself, I gotta believe Morneau is now the starter at 1B. He’s having the better season, he’s had the better career, and the Bucs didn’t trade for him just to ride him on the bench. Jones is now first lefty bat off the bench.

  163. theplanisworking says:

    Doubt it.

    You may want to use it………………

  164. irishjim says:

    Limited computer action for me this holiday weekend….Good morneau everybody! I am still hopeful of the sweep I predicted Thursday night! Safe travels everyone.

  165. hockeymonster says:

    @DK

    Shero acquired a bunch of over the hill has beens at the deadline that reduced our team speed…what Huntington did was acquire players still in their prime years or atleast still productive.

    Why do I feel like burning a sid bream jersey at home plate?

    Lets win it all!!!

 
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