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Morning Java: So it’s Liriano and … who else in playoff rotation?

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The weekly chat will take place right here on the blog at noon. As soon as you see the post get published, you’re free to submit entries. All topics welcome.

>> No Friday column. My apologies. Rough day. Back at it today.

>> Clint Hurdle dropped his first few hints about the Pirates’ pitching into the playoffs yesterday, making clear they’ll line up Francisco Liriano to start either the season finale in Cincinnati — on short rest — or the wild-card game.

That’s wonderful. Liriano’s been my choice for weeks. He’s the guy on the staff most capable of outright greatness, he’s shown it more often than anyone else, and his simply being left-handed could neutralize either the Reds’ best hitter or the Cardinals’ entire lineup. In any single-game setting, you’ll take every edge you can find before the fact. Liriano gives you that in nearly every category.

From there, the current rotation leads logically to A.J. Burnett being next. Sure, he’s been tagged for five or more runs in half of his past eight starts, but his continuing strong K rate — seven or more in six of his past 10 starts, eight in the most recent — against only 19 total walks in that same span powerfully suggests he’s holding up just fine.

Besides, at the risk of going all intangible on you … he’s A.J. There’s nothing barring injury that should keep him from starting in the playoffs. The man’s earned it, and he’s done so in part because of his fierce competitiveness. He’s exactly the type you’d want to take the ball for a fledgling playoff participant.

It gets a little murky after that.

Do you go with a three-man rotation and tiptoe through the playoff schedule’s built-in off-days?

Not me. Remember, all those September callups vanish, and you’re right back to a 12-man staff. Assuming Jeff Locke and Jeanmar Gomez are the long men, you could go with Charlie Morton as No. 3, Gerrit Cole as No. 4 — or flipping the two based on matchups or other circumstances, doesn’t really matter — and still keep everyone fresh with six other relievers.

Cole’s not a clear-cut case, even after that sensational 12K showing yesterday. It’s great that the Pirates no longer are limiting his innings, but it also holds true that he is now the only pitcher in the rotation to have pitched continuously since the opening of camp. Locke had been the other, but he recently was given that week off to recover. Cole hasn’t had that. And even if you toss aside injury concern — never smart — it’s worth weighing in the broader sense that he’s more likely to hit a wall than anyone else.

If Cole goes fourth, there are two benefits:

1. He keeps fresh.

2. He’s shown quite a bit lately he embraces the stopper role. In the event of trouble, Game 4 is as good a place as any for a pivoting point.

3. In a desperate situation leading into a Game 7, he could be available to piggyback.

Would love to hear your thoughts. List your four starters, in order — regardless of a wild-card game — as well as your eight relievers.

I didn’t even mention Jason Grilli, who could pose one of the most difficult questions of all.

Anyway, back to the current world …

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The Pirates showed their resilience again. by avoiding a four-game sweep by the Padres. Travis Sawchik reports from PNC Park.

Tony Sanchez made the dugout catch of … what, the century? Karen Price focuses on that.

Here’s our full Pirates coverage.

Here’s Padres news from the San Diego Union-Tribune, Reds news from the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Here are official game highlights from MLB.com.

>> Ryan Clark discusses the Steelers’ immediate goals. Ping pong beat writer Alan Robinson reports.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage, including a Le’Veon Bell update.

Here’s the latest on the Bears from the Chicago Tribune.

>> Speaking of the Bears, the Penguins and Blackhawks will take over Soldier Field in the winter, but what about facing the Flyers at Penn State? Rob Rossi inquires from Chicago.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage., including a strong effort from Sidney Crosby in the shootout win over the Stanley Cup champs last night.

Here are official game highlights from NHL.com.

>> Pitt’s seeking more takeawaysJerry DiPaola takes it away.

>> Penn State and West Virginia will meet again … when we’re all a lot older. Chris Adamski looks way ahead.

>> I’ll join TribLIVE Radio at 11:30 a.m., a half-hour before the chat. Hope to have you aboard.

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. bighatfunny says:

    Not terribly worried about Cole wearing down ala Locke because unlike Jeff he has that workhorse pitcher’s frame. His last fastball today clocked in at 96-97 on his ~95th pitch. He’s shown no signs of wearing down and doesn’t have goofy mechanics like Strasburg did pre-Tommy John days so I don’t see any real risk of injury beyond the standard.

    Cole is a Verlanderian specimen. Give him the ball when it’s his turn and let him do what he does.

  2. Mike says:

    Maybe I’m just being sentimental but I think Grilli has earned a prominent role. Factor in some adrenaline and I think he will rise to the occasion if given the chance.

    Absolutely agree with Cole 4th. He’s exactly the guy you’d want out there if you find yourself needing to turn the momentum if you’re down 2-1 in a series. Or if you’re up 2-1 and you give him the chance to turn out the lights.

  3. Rich says:

    I’m not sure you keep 12 pitchers for a postseason series.

    Starters: Liriano, AJ, Morton, Cole
    Bullpen: Melancon, Watson, Wilson*, Mazzaro, Gomez, Grilli*, Farnsworth (*if fully healthy, Morris, Johnson, Pimentel, Locke all options if not)
    C: Russ, Tony
    1B: Morneau, Gaby
    2B: Neil, Josh
    SS: Mercer, Barmes
    3B: Pedro
    OF: Marte, Cutch, Byrd, Tabata, Jones

  4. Belinda says:

    Not much debate…

    Liriano-AJ-Morton-Cole
    Locke-Gomez
    Watson-Wilson
    Grilli-Melancon-Mazzaro-Farnsworth

    I trust Farnsworth more now than I do Morris. And I only use Locke as a last resort long man.

  5. Eric Bowser says:

    Playoff Rotation: Liriano, Burnett, Morton, and Cole…

    Weak organizations ban ping pong… “OBVIOUSLY”, I’m not surprised by this…

  6. Rob Scott says:

    My rotation is based on playing in the NLCS: Liriano, Cole, Burnett, Morton. If playing at LA or ATL, I want Burnett pitching first game back home in game 3 and also a veteran playoff tested guy throwing in game 7 if necessary.You can’t have Cole/Morton go in game 3 as that would set them up for a game 7 start.

    Here is my 25 man playoff roster:

    Rotation: Liriano, Cole, Burnett, Morton

    Bullpen: No need for Locke as Morton could be stretch guy w Gomez if necessary.
    Gomez
    Farnsworth
    Mazzaro
    Grilli
    Melancon
    Watson
    Wilson

    Bench:
    Tabata
    Barmes
    Pie
    Harrison
    Jones
    T. Sanchez

    Lineup:
    Marte
    Mercer
    Cutch
    Byrd
    Mourneau
    Alvarez
    Martin
    Walker
    SP

  7. Jason81 says:

    With the way the schedule sets up for the Wild Card and then Division Series, Liriano could pitch the WC game and then pitch game 3 of the NLDS on his normal rest. He would also then be in line to start game 1 of the NLCS if the team moves on.

    So, for the rotation, I’d go with this:

    WC Game: Liriano
    Division Series: Burnett, Morton, Liriano, Cole, Burnett

    As for the rest of the roster:

    Bullpen: Gomez, Wilson, Watson, Morris, Farnsworth (if eligible), Grilli, Melancon
    C: Martin, T. Sanchez
    1B: Morneau, G. Sanchez
    2B: Walker
    SS: Mercer, Barmes
    3B: Alvarez
    Util: Harrison
    OF: Cutch, Byrd, Marte, Tabata, Jones

    If Farnsworth isn’t eligible, I guess you go with Locke and hope you’re only using him in an emergency.

  8. Mike Leigh says:

    G. Cole has NEVER faced the Cards or Reds. (He mentioned it in his post game interview today on The Fan.) Why not then use him in the Wild Card game as an element of surprise? I would give this serious consideration. I think he could dominate either team without having ever faced them.

  9. Nate83 says:

    That is a very interesting thought but I can’t imagine a team that has been absent from the playoffs for 20 years would hand the ball to a rookie for a one and done winner take all game.

  10. SDBurghman says:

    Say Pirates and Cardinals tie for the division, then there is a one game playoff for the division and loser plays Reds in wildcard playoff game. Do you pitch Liriano in the division tiebreaker or save him for the one-game wildcard game?

  11. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Liriano
    Burnett
    Morton
    Iginla

  12. Ghost says:

    Alright, I’m having one of those “Is it me, or is everybody else here acting weird?” moments. (Don’t answer that!)
    Yes, Charlie Morton had a great game, last time around. But the time before that he lasted only five innings. The time before that, only 1.2 innings. Cole meanwhile, has pretty much turned in quality starts all season long except for those two hiccups the first week in August.
    I’m really happy in what we’re seeing from Morton. And may have turned the corner, but nobody really knows. Cole is my No. 3 starter all the way. Not even close. That was even before last night.

  13. Ghost says:

    Pitch him in the tiebreaker. That essentially IS the first playoff game.

  14. Ghost says:

    A.J. is my No. 2 also. But the bullpen has to start loosening up in the fifth, and be ready to go at a moment’s notice in the sixth on. If A.J. finds another gear for the playoffs, great. If he only can give us five and a half or six A.J.-like innings — then Clint makes a timely switch — I’m more than happy with that, too. Our bullpen is our great advantage over other teams and the post-season becomes more of a sprint than the marathon that 162 games is. Pull out all the stops.

  15. Ghost says:

    The assumption, of course, is that it’s a close ballgame and the Pirate bats are doing their usual AWOL number on A.J. Obviously, not as urgent if they actually give A.J. some nice run support.

  16. tmp444 says:

    I’m with DK – Liriano, AJ, Morton, Cole — but I also like Jason81′s setup a ton w/ Liriano going in the WC game and Game 3 of the NLDS.

    Here’s my question – Watson or Grilli in the 8th? I think right now it’s Watson. With the way the bats are going (save yesterday of course), the two best relievers must go in the 8th and 9th. Right now, that’s Watson and Melancon.

  17. tmp444 says:

    And DK — hope everything is cool on your end!

  18. John Lease says:

    If Felix Pie is on the postseason roster, I’m blaming you personally Rob.

  19. John Lease says:

    I never put the cart before the horse.

    Need to focus on winning as many of the last 9 games as possible.

    All 9 would be really nice.

  20. Tom P. says:

    With 9 games to go, the Pirates magic number to clinch the second wild card is 4 (vs. Nationals), to host the wild card game is 9 (vs. Reds), and to win the division is 11 (vs. Cardinals).

    Series of interest this weekend: Reds at Pirates, Cardinals at Brewers, Marlins at Nationals, Dodgers at Padres, and Braves at Cubs.

    If the Pirates beat the Reds 4 out of 6 games the next two weekends and beat the Cubs once at Wrigley next week, they can do no worse than host the wild card game.

    The Cardinals finish at Brewers and home against Nationals and Cubs.

  21. NMR says:

    Not gonna mention the six consecutive starts going at least six innings and giving up two runs or less before the two you mentioned?

    It’s you.

  22. NMR says:

    I’m with you, tmp. Gotta be Watson.

    Grilli got the results yesterday, but he was still up out over the plate with just about all his fastballs. We know he can get by with that when he’s throwing 93-95 mph, but he has been far less successfull now that he’s throwing 91-93 mph.

  23. Jandy says:

    It’s gonna be a wild fun to the finish!
    Thanks for the update, Tom P!

  24. Jandy says:

    at this point I’d like Snider or Pie over Jones.

  25. Jandy says:

    ++++++

  26. Jandy says:

    Yeah Ghostie, Charlie has been solid…gotta give him credit.

  27. Dom says:

    I thought that Vince Williams played well on Sunday. He was on the field for less than 1/2 the time but still managed to record a solid seven tackles. Does anyone think he could be our long term answer at ILB?

  28. meglasdad says:

    One thing to keep in mind with Grilli, even before the injury, if it wasn’t a save situation he would get hit some. What to do about it I’m not sure. Not comfortable putting him back in closer role, unless teams have figured out Melancon. Guess that’s why Hurdle, instead of me, gets paid the big bucks.
    As for my playoff rotation: Liriano, AJ, Ground Chuck, Cole Train.

  29. NMR says:

    Hope all is well, Dejan.

    Liriano, Burnett, Morton, Cole. But…

    If they end up playing the Dodgers or Cards, serious thought has to be given to pulling Morton from the rotation. Overall, Charlie has absolutely “earned” a spot. But when we’re talking about single game match-ups that could decide a playoff series, I don’t know how you can trust him against lefty-heavy lineups. He still simply cannot get them out.

    Not only would he have to deal with tough righties like Puig and Hanley Ramirez, but also lefties Crawford, Ethier, and Gonzalez. Same goes with Jay, Beltran, and Carpenter of the Cards. Good luck.

  30. The Justice Avenger says:

    Morning to All! Oh, fun day at the ball-yard yesterday…love day baseball and it was just a special day yesterday, Important win, too. I am just getting caught up this morning on the blog: You know, it still amazes me that we are talking about playoff baseball and
    lineups and such. The Pirates. In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Twenty years. Still hard to get our heads wrapped around this. Have a good Friday, everyone.

  31. Jandy says:

    hey TJA, you sure got a treat yesterday :)
    TGIF

  32. JAL says:

    JAL’s My Old School School Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pj9Rs56u8YY

    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: Gerrit Cole Starting to Look Like an Ace When it Counts

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/09/first-pitch-gerrit-cole-starting-to-look-like-an-ace-when-it-counts.html

    Pirates Plow Padres, 10-1

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/09/pirates-plow-padres-10-1.html

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Cole, Tabata, Walker key Pirates’ 10-1 win

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/9/19/4749704/cole-tabata-walker-key-pirates-10-1-win

    6 Rumbunter

    Pirates GM Neal Huntington on RumBunter Podcast

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/09/20/pirates-gm-neal-huntington-rumbunter-podcast/

    7 WHYGAVS

    Game 153: Pirates 10 Padres 1

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/september-2013/game-153-pirates-10-padres-1.html

    8 The Green Weenie

    Feast or Famine Buccos Chow Down on Padres 10-1

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/09/feast-or-famine-buccos-chow-down-on.html

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Pirates 10 Padres 1

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2013/09/pirates-10-padres-1/

    10 City of Champions

    Pirates powered by Cole, lumber in blowout win over Padres

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2013/09/19/pirates-powered-cole-lumber-blowout-win-padres/

  33. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Reno Gazette-Journal

    Pittsburgh Pirates on verge (finally) of MLB playoffs

    http://www.rgj.com/usatoday/article/2832199

    12 San Diego Union Tribune

    Bucs finally beat Padres at PNC Park

    http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/sep/19/padres-mlb-pirates-win-at-pnc/

    13 Washington Post

    Bryce Harper three-run home run sparks Washington Nationals to 3-2 win over Marlins

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals/bryce-harper-three-run-home-run-sparks-washington-nationals-to-3-2-win-over-marlins/2013/09/19/d30abd52-2198-11e3-966c-9c4293c47ebe_story.html

    14 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Erardi: Wake Reds fans up when September ends?

    http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20130920/SPT04/309200060/Erardi-Wake-Reds-fans-up-when-September-ends-

    15 New Yorker

    Why Everyone Should Root for the Pittsburgh Pirates

    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/sportingscene/2013/09/why-everyone-should-root-for-the-pittsburgh-pirates.html

    16 CBS Sports

    Pirates v Reds Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20130920_CIN@PIT

    Pitching lined up for Pirates, Reds as showdown begins in Pittsburgh

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/writer/scott-miller/23735116/pitching-lined-up-for-both-pirates-and-reds-as-showdown-begins-in-pittsburgh

    17 St Louis Post Dispatch

    Cardinals KO’d in 15th round

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/cardinals-ko-d-in-th-round/article_8309e42c-1de7-5be1-aab2-41154c0db1f4.html

    18 PBC Site

    Cole’s career-high 12 K’s help end three-game skid

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_09_19_sdnmlb_pitmlb_1&mode=recap_home&c_id=pit

    Notebook: Liriano could be busy man down the stretch

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130919&content_id=61069934&notebook_id=61070338&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Billy Hamilton and Getting Excited Responsibly

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=21845

    20 Fangraphs

    The National League’s Most Unhittable Starter

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-national-leagues-most-unhittable-starter/

  34. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Trent Richardson trade: The post-24 hour mark leaves the picture a little bit clearer on the Browns intentions

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/9/19/4748666/trent-richardson-trade-browns-colts-analysis-reasons

    Why all the injuries in the NFL?

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/9/19/4745440/injuries-steelers-maurkice-pouncey-ike-taylor-offensive-line

    22 Steelers Gab

    What The Bears Are Saying About The Steelers

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2013/09/19/what-the-bears-are-saying-about-the-steelers/

    Soccer(football)

    23 London Evening Standard

    Tottenham 3 Tromso 0: Defoe at the double but injuries mar Spurs’ group-topping victory

    http://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/tottenham-3-tromso-0-defoe-at-the-double-but-injuries-mar-spurs-grouptopping-victory-8827934.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 19th September, 2013

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-19th-september-2013

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Pens Points Friday: Looking Back at the Win Streak

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/9/20/4748242/pens-points-friday

  35. defil21 says:

    I’m good with whatever lineup wins us the World Series.

    WC Game: Liriano
    Division Series: Burnett, Cole, Liriano, Morton, Burnett

  36. The Justice Avenger says:

    It really was, Jandy. An afternoon date with my wife…nice lunch…Pirates win…good day indeed. Only complaint was parking. A real issue on the North Shore. Indeed, this Sunday with the Pirates and Steelers going…should be very interesting.

  37. The Justice Avenger says:

    ++++ Great first line, Defil 21

  38. JAL says:

    Notice the posts about playoff rosters–couple of tings to keep in mind

    1–You change the roster from series to series. For example if Pirates win a 5 game series to move to the championship series they can change the roster for the upcoming series.

    2-Pirates will have some flex spots for their players who have been on the 60 DL more than 60 days. That mean they can make players eligible for the playoff who not currently on the 40. It get very confusing.

  39. JAL says:

    My Old School Steely Dan 1973

  40. Scott says:

    I think you nailed the rotation if the Pirates do have to play the wild card game. That would be the perfect setup.

    I’d hate to see Locke not make the roster after what he did for most of the season, but you have to go with your best players right now. Still, I might lean towards Locke over Morris in a bullpen role, depending how he performs in his final start.

  41. DJ says:

    I’m with you, and we’ve seen more 91 than 93 from Grilli lately.

    He needs to get his fastball in line to set up his breaking stuff.

  42. Jandy says:

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

  43. NMR says:

    Heads up to anyone worried about parking Sunday…use the garages Downtown and the lots in Station Square and take the T to the North Shore.

  44. Dom says:

    Check out #15 on the list of links. Excellent find Mr. JAL.

  45. Derek Smith says:

    Here is my roster.

    Rotation – Francisco Liriano, A.J. Burnett, Charlie Morton, Gerrit Cole

    Long Relievers – Jeff Locke, Jeanmar Gomez

    Middle Relievers – Vin Mazzaro, Justin Wilson, Kyle Farnsworth

    Late Inning Relievers – Tony Watson, Mark Melancon

    Closer – Jason Grilli

    Lineup vs RHP

    1. Starling Marte, LF

    2. Neil Walker, 2B

    3. Andrew McCutchen, CF

    4. Justin Morneau, 1B

    5. Marlon Byrd, RF

    6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B

    7. Russell Martin, C

    8. Jordy Mercer, SS

    9. Francisco Liriano, LHP

    Lineup vs LHP

    1. Starling Marte, LF

    2. Jordy Mercer, SS

    3. Andrew McCutchen, CF

    4. Marlon Byrd, RF

    5. Justin Morneau, 1B

    6. Russell Martin, C

    7. Pedro Alvarez, 3B

    8. Neil Walker, 2B

    9. Francisco Liriano, LHP

    Bench -

    Clint Barmes, R

    Gaby Sanchez, R

    Garrett Jones, L

    John Buck, R

    Jose Tabata, R

    Thoughts -

    I love that rotation, I think it will have no problems. I like Locke and Gomez as my long guys who can eat some innings if needed. I think Farnsworth has beat out Bryan Morris for that other bullpen spot at this point. I like Morris a lot, but I love the veteran Farnsworth. Late innings, Watson has been as good as anyone, with Melancon. I think Grilli should be your closer! I like Melancon just fine in the closer role, don’t get me wrong. But I think Grilli is healthy, and he thrives there. He is a team leader who shows great energy in the closing situation, and I love that.

    The offense and defense, there is nothing I put down there in terms of the lineup that is too noteworthy. I am putting Mercer as my main guy at SS, though I like Barmes too, and have no issue with either one. And I want to see Morneau stay in their vs lefties. The bench is tough. I like Tony Sanchez, but I think Buck and his experiance is better in the playoffs. Tabata is a great 4th outfielder, and Garrett Jones being your only lefty bat is a concern, but I think your going to have to go with it. I still love Garrett by the way, always a favorite of mine. Gaby is great against lefties, and I like Barmes’ experiance. The only question I have is Josh Harrison, but I am leaving him out. I think he is just the odd man out.

    That is my postseason roster. I have never posted anything this long before, don’t know why I felt like it now, haha. Good blog post too, Dejan.

  46. Derek Smith says:

    I have posted off and on on here before, so I am not sure if I am a ‘newbie’ or not. I do read everyday. Nonetheless, I love the blog, and I like coming on here. My hometown is Bradford, PA.

  47. Jandy says:

    Hey Revvie, good morning to ya :)

  48. NMR says:

    Extremely cool article on Reds speedster Billy Hamilton. Looking forward to seeing this kid live.

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/majors/just-how-tough-is-it-to-throw-out-billy-hamilton/

  49. Good read. Puts a lot into perspective for all of us.

  50. Thundercrack says:

    Looks like two teams from California are classless. Padres don’t help Tony Sanchez and the Dodgers clinch the division and go swimming in the pool in Arizona’s stadium.

    I saw most of the comments about the Sanchez play yesterday. I would have liked to have seen the Padres make just a little more of an attempt to make sure TS didn’t get hurt. I think it is a little too much of ‘old school baseball rules’ that says you get out of the way on a fly pop near the dugout.

    And I do think what the Dodgers did was wrong. Show some class/respect.

  51. The Justice Avenger says:

    Wonderful update…thanks, Tom

  52. Jandy says:

    What Spunky said!

  53. The Justice Avenger says:

    Righto, NMR. Very good advice. My wife I parked at a lot near the Western Ave, area (near CCAC) and walked to PNC Park. Parking around both PNC and Heinz Field was crazy. MOST of the lots are prepaid.

  54. The Justice Avenger says:

    Steely Dan was a great band, JAL. Thanks for mentioning…

  55. Jandy says:

    Tony said he didn’t expect them to catch or help him.
    I don’t know the “unwritten” rules…so I can’t really say.
    But, doesn’t that make Tony a classy person ;)

  56. Jandy says:

    Oh, and screw the Dodgers lol

  57. The Justice Avenger says:

    I agree, TC. As a Dodgers fan, too, I am embarrassed. No excuse for that. With apologies to Mike Lang…”Shame on them for 6 weeks…”

  58. NMR says:

    Glad you had fun, Avenger. I enjoyed the recap!

  59. Derek Smith says:

    +++++++++++++++++++

  60. Nate83 says:

    When I watched it I took it as if they were getting out of the way as to not interfere with the play and had no way of knowing he would actually flip over the railing. When he did the 2 or 3 closest players went towards him but had no way of getting there on time because it happened to quickly. I personally had no issue with how the Padres handled it.

  61. Arriba Wilver says:

    Yes, same here.

  62. THERE’S the Lease to Own I know and love! [shaking his head, head in hands]

    Actually, I’m with you. Focus on winning the division and Bucs won’t have to worry about a Wild Card one game debacle. Win now——today——and let the Post Season take care of itself.

  63. Jim S. says:

    Great point, Mike. If we get into a series with either of those teams, I’d definitely use him.

  64. SeanE says:

    Amen to that. Cole is simply a moose. His legs are like tree trunks. When your pitch count is in the 90′s and you are still hitting 97 mph effortlessly with excellent mechanics then the worries should be limited. I think that is why the Pirates have little concerns about Cole’s innings.

  65. Jim S. says:

    That is a very weird situation, isn’t it? Two teams with higher seeds playing each other, with the loser having to go play the team that finished behind both of them.

    Could easily happen, though. If I’m St. Louis, and I have to come to Pittsburgh for that game, only to turn around and have to go play at home vs. Cincy, I’m thinking that is a lot of running around that my lower ranked opponent did not have to face.

  66. Nate83 says:

    Interesting Steelers facts I heard this morning. 31 total rushes in the first two games and only 7 total rushes in the second half of 2 close games. That is just amazeing and to think a lot of people were concerned that the Steelers would just line up and run the ball last week just to be stubborn.

    I’m not sure what the answer is but you can’t be one dimensional on offense unless you have the talent to support that. The Steelers don’t seem to have the talent to overcome defenses just lining up know the pass is coming. You have to have more balance then 7 rushes over the course of two games in the second half. These were both close games and if not for turnovers winnable games.

  67. I believe Tony will be alright. He will be a good backup for Martin next year and will continue to improve and possibly replace Russell when he leaves.

    He’s one of a hand full of players I’ve seen come through Low-A here and really look like they’ll be bonafide major leaguers.

    The others were Robbie Grossman, Matt Moore, Starling Marte and one other Rays’ pick I can’t remember who hasn’t made it yet.

    Tim Beckham is not on that list.

  68. Thundercrack says:

    Everyone is a scout.
    :-)

  69. Jim S. says:

    Exactly, NMR.

  70. NMR says:

    -Not only do I not have a problem with what the Dodgers did, I wish Yasiel Puig would’ve “twerked” on home plate after the final out.

    Screw the Diamondbacks and their macho man tough guy “gritty” schtick. How’d that work out this year, Kirk? I’m sure when you have your starter bean a Dodger next year you’ll feel much better. That’ll show ‘em!

    -Maybe I’m missing something, but wouldn’t the whole fielder-in-the-dugout problem be solved if the fence was a foot higher? Seems a hell of a lot simpler than expecting guys to catch him.

  71. Patrick(RI) says:

    So the Dodgers had a pool party. In a pool, no less! A centerfield pool gets what it deserves, imho.

  72. Unwritten baseball rule for as long as I have played and watched:

    “Surround your own guy to talk and give him comfort/catch him;
    vacate the area for an opposing player, so all he can see/anticipate is a 5 foot drop to unforgiving, hard concrete.”

    I support that unwritten rule!

  73. Patrick(RI) says:

    I would stay out of that pool for a day or so . . .

  74. gregenstein says:

    Farnsworth isn’t directly eligible as he wasn’t on the 25-man roster or on one of the major league DLs on August 31, but they could use him with one of the “flex spots” they have to replace a guy currently on the DL since he was in the organization on August 31.

    The problem of course is that you can’t just willy-nilly remove guys from the roster; they have to be optioned off or DFA’d. If you DFA a guy, he’s gone.

    So while it is possible T. Sanchez is on the playoff roster, it’s unlikely John Buck gets booted since he was on the August 31 roster (and NH acquired him specifically for catching depth). I could see optioning Jeff Locke to make room for Farnsworth and maybe optioning Morris to make room for T. Sanchez.

    I see little point in posting a roster though that doesn’t include John Buck. He’s going to be there, even if only as the emergency catcher and situational pinch hitter.

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/08/mlb-playoff-roster-9-important-points-you-should-know.html

  75. I don’t claim to be a scout or know anything beyond what my 60-year baseball eyes can tell me. Note I said “look like” major leaguers.
    I don’t claim to see the intangibles. Never did.

    I also thought Quincy Lattimore had a gun for an arm when I saw him. So do the Washington Wild Things.

  76. Jandy says:

    hey! I l liked what I saw of T. Sanchez in Altoona :P

  77. Jandy says:

    lolol!!!

  78. Jim S. says:

    The problem, Nate, is that it is usually 3rd and 8 after 2 runs. But, I agree with you. They need to find a way to not have defenses just focused on taking Ben’s head off. That will happen in short order.

  79. Arriba Wilver says:

    I went through a period, before Aja came out I think, when I “had to” buy all their albums (as in LP’s). Aja was the first one I bought as a CD.

  80. I have NOT been a supporter of Tony Sanchez, based on what I saw in two Spring Trainings (with Milo) and his continual forays into immaturity.

    I have not believed he blocked balls in the dirt well enough.
    I have felt his concentration wandered.

    His play in last couple weeks has me reconsidering.
    His game calling seems much improved and, although with lapses, his pitch blocking seems more dedicated.

    I’m teetering on changing my mind. Yesterday’s play sure helped.

    The Fort makes that play. Russell Martin maybe makes that play. John Buck does not make that play.

    Those balls he drives to right also make me smile. I love rightfield hitters.

  81. Arriba Wilver says:

    Oh, and this song was one of my favorites.

  82. The Justice Avenger says:

    A real baseball field does NOT have a pool. I am way too much of a traditionalist…Fenway…Wrigley…Camden..Dodger..even our own PNC…etc. Don’t like the fountains and pools and rocks and much of the stuff we out there…

  83. Arriba Wilver says:

    I don’t know that the Fort from this year (pre-injury, of course) makes that play.

  84. Same to ya, Jandelita.

  85. gregenstein says:

    I’m with you that I’d take Cole over Morton, but it matters little. It would only matter if they make it to the NLCS or World Series with their rotation ready start at #1 (Liriano) for Game 1. Neither guy is getting a 2nd start until maybe Game 1 of the NLCS at the earliest unless you put one of them in front of AJ, and Hurdle’s not doing that.

    Unless of course they go with a 3 man rotation, but I doubt they like their chances of picking between a rookie who’s never throw this many innings or a vet still just 2-3 months removed from his 1st start after Tommy John surgery.

  86. AGAIN . . . . . . you have him on right wing on the wrong line!

    Fire Bylsma!
    Fire Hurdle!
    Fire Tomlin!
    Fire whomever coaches that team that plays in Highmark Stadium!
    Fire the Pittsburgh Pythons coach! {Oh, that team folded? Fire him anyway!}

  87. Steve says:

    What’s wrong is a swimming pool in baseball stadium.

  88. The Justice Avenger says:

    Thanks NM

  89. Steve says:

    + 1000

  90. Karen22 says:

    It sure was, JA!! And a happy morning to all in the asylum! :)

    Hubby and I are 3 for 3 at PNC Park this season…ALL Gerrit Cole wins! So I don’t care WHERE he pitches in the postseason, somebody had better give me a ticket to attend!

  91. NMR says:

    HAHAHA, yes!!! Thank you!

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks it is ridiculous for a player to claim it is classless for another to jump in their pool as celebration.

    You have a friggin’ swimming pool in your friggin’ outfield. THAT is classy?

  92. Iceman says:

    Watched the Pens game last night and I have to say, I was pretty impressed with how Bortuzzo looked out there. He had a little rust to shake of as this was his first preseason action, but he played with grit, speed, and his reach is just ridiculous. If he plays like that, he is looking like he should make the team as a bottom third pair defenseman.

    Also, as much as I hate to admit it, Engelland looked better last night than he did all last year. I do not envy the Penguins coaching staff in making decisions about who makes the team as a defenseman.

  93. Jim S. says:

    You can pretty much throw a hat over the season stats of our 4 starters that would be considered for postseason duty. The WHIPs are reasonably close. For me, Liriano is my #1 starter, particularly for any game in PNC – if I have the luxury of setting it up any way I want. Since the most likely scenario is a series vs. Cincy, he’s my first game starter against their heavy lefty lineup (Choo, Votto, Bruce). A lefty can shut that group down, and Liriano has shut everyone down in PNC. I would try to avoid Morton vs. the Reds because he does not handle lefties so well. I don’t care what AJ has supposedly earned over the last 2 years. I think Cole has earned more over the last 2 months, and I’d be inclined to go with him over AJ. The goal is to win the series, not give out lifetime achievement awards.

    So, against either the Reds or Cards, I would go with: Liriano, Cole, AJ, Morton.

    I’d fully expect the consummate professional AJ to go ballistic at the mere thought that the rookie would get to start ahead of him, and that would be a huge distraction. AJ can save his tantrum, though. I seriously doubt Clint would start Cole over AJ in Game 2. He’ll play the “playoff experience” card, and I suppose there is some merit to that.

    For me, though, with the way Cole is pitching right now, he has to be my starter in Game 2. I would also say there is a lot of time between now and the playoffs. These guys will mostly get 2 more starts, and maybe 2 starts vs. the Reds, in fact. Clint may jockey things up down the stretch. We don’t know how they will perform the rest of the way. That could still change things dramatically.

  94. NMR says:

    Milo sent you a shout-out in yesterday’s game thread, in case you missed it.

  95. gregenstein says:

    This is a very good point, but I don’t know if Jeff Locke is a better choice to be honest with you, and that’s what you’re faced with. At this point, I live with Morton unless he’s hurt.

  96. Karen22 says:

    Ohhhh yeah!! PARKING!! We ALMOST just had to give up and drive HOME! Got to the ramp next to Heinz Field at 11:30. Got to our seats just before the first pitch at 12:40!! UNBELIEVABLY frustrating…Finally found a spot over a mile away. AWFUL situation.

  97. Batman,

    Does a “real baseball field” have cute hedges that spell out their team name in center?

    Sort of like junior high girls who write their boyfriend’s name all over their tablet covers!

    Love the palm trees in Dodgerville, love the fountains in Kansas City, love the pine trees in Denver, love the rocks in Anaheim, love the PIRATE hedges in the Burgh . . . . . . and love the bikinied girls sitting around the pool in Phoenix! Think about it, Batman: can’t have the bikinis without the pool!

    I am a hedges, fountains, rocks, and pool supporter! I also like fireworks after homeruns!

  98. defil21 says:

    Have to try to establish the run so the Defense will respect play action. Right now no one respects the run game, so play action isn’t working. I would like to see a couple more screens pass’s to utilize Jones speed. We could also use:

    HEATHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

  99. Jim S. says:

    As for the everyday lineup, I hope Clint is done experimenting with whether Morneau can hit lefties well enough to start everyday. More importantly, since we are not likely to face a LHP starter in a series vs. either Cincy or St. Louis, I hope Clint realizes he needs to pinch hit Gabby for Morneau in a late inning, high leverage situation. Gabby has hit LHP his whole career, and Morneau has not hit them well in a long time. In the even that Cingrani does start for the Reds, Gabby must be our 1b.

    I don’t want to see John Buck at all in the playoffs. I’m going to just leave it at that.

    Mercer is my guy at SS. This team needs help on offense most nights, and Mercer is a lot better hitter than Barmes. CB is my late innings guy when I have a lead.

    A tough call is how much playing time Tabby gets. Unfortunately, Marte has not had a chance to get rehab at bats, and I think he is struggling recognizing pitches right now. San Diego pretty much dominanted him with curve balls. (Congrats, on the baby, BTW Starling. I hope everything turned out well.). Anyway, I would give strong consideration to Tabby getting a start or two over Marte, simply because of the rust factor. Hopefully, Starling can make that a moot point by the end of the season. But, suddenly, Tabby is a dangerous bat. I like that insurance.

  100. JohninOshkosh says:

    Yep. Big boy game played by big boys. Nothing in the rules say you have to go into a dugout. You are free to let it drop. I support the Padres 100 %

    Caveat emptor.

  101. JohninOshkosh says:

    I think if the Pirates had done that, everybody on this blog would have been saying how fun and cute it was and how great it was that everyone could enjoy the moment.

    No problem at all with what the Dodgers did. Especially, since the two teams hate other.

    I bet if Cutch climbed up that slide in Milwaukee after a clincher and slid down, everyone would think it was hilarious.

  102. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m with yinz guys.

  103. JohninOshkosh says:

    Ha! Remember the shower the White Sox had in centerfield at old Comiskey ?

  104. Thundercrack says:

    Is that the first time the term “twerked” was used on this blog?

    Let’s hope it is the last.
    :-)

  105. Nice of him. It’s more of a gut feeling with me. Nothing more.

    We used to get to some games in Nashville when they were the Bucs’ AAA affiliate. That’s a lot harder to call.

    Lots of AAAA guys, guys at the end of their careers, mixed with up-and-comers.

    I missed on a lot of them. I thought Bobby Hill looked like a keeper then.

  106. Thundercrack says:

    +1

  107. Thundercrack says:

    ‘I’d fully expect the consummate professional AJ to go ballistic at the mere thought that the rookie would get to start ahead of him, ‘

    Would a consummate professional go ballistic?

  108. Nate83 says:

    Jim I agree and I’m not calling for them to run 60% or even 50% of the time but you have to have more then 7 rushes in what equates to an entire football game in the second half of the first two games. They have both been close games.

    Cutler has been known to throw interceptions. This team can’t win if they lose the turnover battle. Hopefully they can force a few this weekend.

  109. Thundercrack says:

    Just saw the replay again on MLB Network and I don’t have a problem with the Padres.

    And I don’t have a problem with Luck being our regional scout…no matter how old his eyes are.

  110. Showing off Badger/Northern Iowa education with quoting dead language.

    I also support Tony Sanchez playing the game the way a 12 year old would play——forget the score, make the play!

  111. JohninOshkosh says:

    Right with you. Bikinis and baseball go together like peas and carrots. Have you seen the talent in the Clevelander in Miami!

  112. Jandy says:

    I wonder how many hit batters we will have tonight?

  113. Iceman says:

    I understand what you’re saying here Nate, however, there is one problem. They can’t run the ball!!! I understand you have to run the ball for play action to work and all that, but when you are only averaging 2.4 yds per carry as a team, running the ball just isn’t working. That 2.4 yds doesn’t take into account all the bubble screens they have run that have resulted in 0 yds either. This team cannot run the ball so I can see why they aren’t running when they are down in the second half and they need to move the ball.

  114. Tom P. says:

    In case anyone missed it, St. Louis blew 1-run leads in both the 8th and the 9th innings before losing in 15 innings to Colorado yesterday. The game included Matt Carpenter being picked off first when he stepped off the base to dust off his pants without calling time.

    I guess it rains om the just and the unjust.

  115. Iceman says:

    I’m with you on Buck. He just doesn’t seem to be framing pitches well for Pirates pitchers. I’ve been much more impressed with Sanchez lately and he also seems to be staying much more focused behind the plate so he is blocking a lot of pitches he may have missed at other times.

  116. 21sthebest says:

    I always loved his OBP in relation to his BA and I use that as a sign that more positivity might be coming.

  117. Reading says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing him walk back to the dugout after striking out.

  118. Milo Hamilton says:

    If Jeff Locke isn’t starting for you in the post season, and he won’t be, there’s no reason to have him on your active roster at all. Have a reliever fill a reliever’s spot, or take an extra position player.

  119. Iceman says:

    That said, Engelland did take two stupid penalties and Bortuzzo does what Engelland does but better (well Engelland is a better fighter,but I don’t really care about that).

  120. tdb1977 says:

    I wish my wife and I were 3 for 3 this year. Unfortunately – we are 9 and 13 this year. Not the best of records but we have definitely had some great memories this year. Have one more game this weekend – Sunday – so hopefully we can get to the 10 win platform.

  121. Jim S. says:

    That was my point, TC. I don’t think he’s been anyting near the consummate professional, but he is often described that way. I think AJ has proven to be pretty selfish most of this year. What he wants for AJ comes before what the team needs.

  122. Jim S. says:

    +++, Ice.

  123. NMR says:

    I think you missed the sarcasm.

    Jim apparently does not hold AJ in very high regard.

  124. Jim S. says:

    Painful loss for the Cards yesterday. Their bullpen aces (Rosenthal and Mujica) both blew it, and their offense did not come through in the 15th with the bases loaded and one out. That one had to hurt. :-(

  125. Jandy says:

    twerkin’ right ;)

  126. Jim S. says:

    Agreed. Unless he somehow pitches lights out the next 2 starts, which I don’t expect, I would not allow him to pitch in Oct. I’d go as far as to say that if he doesn’t pitch well this weekend, I would replace him for his last start. No medals for effort in a pennant race.

  127. Jandy says:

    But that’s just it, Oshkosh, Cutch wouldn’t do that. He has too much class :)

  128. Jandy says:

    I second that! Go Spunky!!

  129. 21sthebest says:

    I just had that discussion with someone and said the same thing. The only chance he’d pitch would be a blowout or a long game so it’s not worth having him on the roster.

  130. Jandy says:

    That settles it then! Tony plays over Buck!

  131. 21sthebest says:

    I think he’s only getting one more start at most.

  132. NMR says:

    Gotta disagree.

    Think Tim Lincecum last year.

    There is always a need for pitching. And it ain’t like the Pirates are overflowing with valuable position players.

  133. Jandy says:

    Thanks Tom P

  134. JohninOshkosh says:

    POTD.

  135. NMR says:

    Couldn’t disagree more.

    Is Locke paying AJ to mentor him?

  136. Milo Hamilton says:

    Doesn’t even need to be replaced. There’s an off day.

  137. Jandy says:

    ZING!!!!!

  138. Jim S. says:

    I thought the swimming pool stuff in AZ by the Dodgers last night was bush league. Makes them even easier to dislike, if you ask me.

    Some people compare them to the Yankees of the last 15 years or so because of their huge payroll and ability to fill whatever roster needs they have. Well, I think there is a big difference. I never saw the Yankees put on a display like that in another team’s park. I doubt that sat very well last night with Mattingly.

  139. tdb1977 says:

    Let me also throw in you dont need amusement park attractions in your stadium like Comerica has. No need for a ferris wheel on one baseline and a marry go round on a other.

  140. Thundercrack says:

    Locke is not Lincecum.

    Lincecum struggled last year but he found a groove in the bullpen late last year.
    And I think it would have been very tough to leave a vet like Lincecum off of the playoff roster.

    I haven’t made up my mind yet if I would like to see Locke on the roster. Farnsworth is pitching his way on. And Morris is not.

  141. Jim S. says:

    Could be a few, Jandy. :-)

  142. Thundercrack says:

    Buck looks almost too big to be a catcher.

  143. JohninOshkosh says:

    If Jeff Locke pitches in a WC play in game, then I don’t think we will have to worry about the postseason roster.

  144. Arriba Wilver says:

    I get where you guys are coming from, and it makes sense. But that would be a VERY tough call. Maybe the info JAL mentioned above about being able to change the roster for each series provides some flexibility.

  145. Jandy says:

    Someone get their hand puppet ready to count ‘em ;)

  146. Thundercrack says:

    I did miss it. Sorry Jim

  147. Arriba Wilver says:

    Is Farnsworth eligible?

  148. Thundercrack says:

    I don’t understand why you have to go crazy with your celebration over a division title.

  149. Jim S. says:

    I actually did for a long time, NMR. I’m actually still a fan of AJ. But, I think he has had some disturbingly selfish outbursts lately. Showing up your Mgr by ignoring him, just for taking you out of a game where you have lost your effectiveness, staring down and scolding a SS for where he is positioned by the coaches then denying it later, intimating that fans are not doing their part to come to games, losing your composure at times because you don’t like the calls of umps. Should I go on?

    There is a fine line between being a competitor who keeps his team fired up and one who harms the team with his selfishness. I don’t think AJ realizes that this team is a lot more competitive this year. They don’t need his outbursts.

  150. Milo Hamilton says:

    Exactly. For the Wild Card game, why can’t a team just dress their starter & 10 relievers.

  151. NMR says:

    Locke and Lincecum struggle with the same issue. Command.

    What makes you think Locke wouldn’t find success as a 2 inning guy in the pen?

  152. Arriba Wilver says:

    Ok, in looking to see when he was acquired I see it was August 16, but I also see why you guys want him on the post-season roster—his wife. ;-)

  153. Jim S. says:

    So, standing next to Locke in the dugout made him a good pitcher for the first half of this year?

    I didn’t say everything about AJ is bad. Lashing out every time things don’t go your way is the sign of a selfish and immature player. We don’t need that.

  154. Couldn’t agree more.

    Like TD celebrations. Act like you’ve been there before.

    A division title is just one more step on the gold brick road.

  155. NMR says:

    Except you’re wrong on half of his “selfish” moments.

    AJ deserves far more than what you’re giving him.

  156. 21sthebest says:

    I’m having a tough time criticizing the Dodgers for this. I’m not sure the Yankees had an opportunity to celebrate in a park wth a swimming pool or anything similar.

    Heaven forbid if a team clinches something in PNC Park, I won’t criticize them for playing in the kiddie playground near the river walk.

  157. Jandy says:

    why doesn’t that surprise me?

  158. Jandy says:

    maybe we could just suggest they all just jump in the river?
    ;)

  159. Jim S. says:

    I would also say that if AJ has some useful mentoring to do, Cole should be the guy he mentors. I can’t say he isn’t doing that already, or even if Cole is receptive to it. But, AJ as a young pitcher profiled a whole lot more like Cole than Locke. Locke could be an afterthought in 2 years. Cole won’t be.

  160. Jim S. says:

    Ok, what am I missing?

  161. Jim S. says:

    No worries, TC.

  162. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’ve posted several times about how ridiculous I think baseball celebrations are. Almost always the responses are against the post.

    Like I have said. You don’t see this stuff in football, basketball and hockey until the finals. Might be a few fist bumps etc but none of this ridiculous mobbing each other, etc.

    That being said, if there are going to be such celebrations, they can be as ridiculous as they want.

  163. Jim S. says:

    He is monstrous. The older a big guy gets, the tougher it has to be at catcher.

  164. 21sthebest says:

    I wouldn’t wish that on anyone Jandy.

  165. 21sthebest says:

    Which makes what Carlton Fisk amazing.

  166. Jandy says:

    LOL! I was being facetious;)

  167. Jandy says:

    I gotta few extra band aids ;)

  168. Milo Hamilton says:

    I could see having him as an extra lefty to get 1 or 2 lefties out in the middle innings. Except our manager doesn’t manage that way.

  169. Jason81 says:

    I figured with Farnsworth that he could be used in that flex spot to replace Wandy, but I don’t think it’s a 100% certainty that he’ll be there.

    As for the catchers, if you feel Buck is on the roster no matter what, do you carry 3 catchers? And if so, what player do you remove…Harrison? Jones?

  170. 21sthebest says:

    I know I know!

  171. Drew71 says:

    A New York State of Mind…

    - Bars open early AM. Not just hard-liquor-for-hard-men places. But the 45-rotating-taps-of-European-ale-pinkie-finger places that I like. Breakfast of Champions.

    - Trying for a NY transportation grand slam of sorts. We’ve walked to destinations, rickshawed (man powered), taxied, executive car’ed, and hope to horse-carriage, subway and train it while here.

    - This isn’t a NY thing but boy was I surprised to see a Front Page, A Section, Above-the-Fold, continued-on-page-2 cover story in today’s USA Today, um, today about the freaking PIRATES.

    - Despite my first sentence, there are few artists as cringeworthy to me as Billy Joel. (Saying that can get you beaten up in NY.) Don’t know if it is the grating voice or dissing Christie Brinkley. Maybe both.

    Off to Times Square because we’re…sigh…tourists. Me and Times Square is a lot like Dejan and the Beach. But I’m not as huffy about it.

    Well. Maybe I just blew that huffy thing.

  172. Jandy says:

    Bortuzzo is playing like he belongs.
    period.

  173. Jandy says:

    Jones. yes.

  174. Jandy says:

    So how long are you in the Big Apple?
    Did you get a bite out if it yet, Drewster?

  175. Jim S. says:

    What was the point? Kind of like spiking the ball on the Cowboys’ star or stomping on that Terrible Towel by Cincinnati. I know it really doesn’t mean anything in the big scheme of things. But, I just think there’s no point other than to rub in your victory, and I have never been high on that.

  176. Drew71 says:

    Until Sunday.

    I got the worm.

  177. Milo Hamilton says:

    I thought the beach was like pizza & ice cream, everyone likes it.

  178. Drew71 says:

    And for once I’m not talking about Thunder.

  179. Thundercrack says:

    Watching the first two innings of every start after the all star game does not make me think Locke would find success as a 2 inning guy in the pen.

    And I don’t think him sitting out in the pen not exactly knowing if or when he is going to pitch is really going to help him at this point.

    Just my opinion. Not based on any hard cold stats

  180. Drew71 says:

    Though it fits

  181. Drew71 says:

    Only humans.

    PS…I don’t like ice cream.

  182. 21sthebest says:

    The point was to celebrate. People say it’s a kids game. They acted like kids. Didn’t bother me. Stomping on the Terrible Towel doesn’t bother me. It’s a towel.

    I don’t view it as rubbing anyone’s noses in it at all. They were just celebrating together as a team after months and months of hard work.

  183. Arriba Wilver says:

    You had me until you mentioned stomping on the Terrible Towel. ;-)

  184. 21sthebest says:

    Billy Joel is my favorite artist. Been playing his stuff on piano since the 70′s and let me tell you, playing it in sorority houses when I was in college has benefits.

  185. 21sthebest says:

    Yeah I know I’m in the minority here. I just don’t think folks in other places can appreciate what it means to the yinz….errrr…Pittsburghers and I don’t hold it against them. It’s all in good fun to me.

  186. Jim S. says:

    Say it ain’t so, Drew.

  187. NMR says:

    Good points, guys.

  188. Arriba Wilver says:

    I hadn’t thought of that. But maybe he’ll adjust for the Playoffs. Could happen?

  189. The Justice Avenger says:

    Hi Karen – We were frustrated, very much, too, but once the game got started that took the “parking sting” away, a bit for me. I do agree with you.

  190. Jim S. says:

    Frequenting sorority houses with working pianos is nice, from the get go.

  191. 21sthebest says:

    LOL

  192. No one on the Pirates has been there before.

    I hope they go crazy. I will!!!

  193. theplanisworking says:

    Playoof pitching?

    1. Liriano.
    2. 3. 4. Choose any between AJ, Morton, Cole. All have their good and bad points. Just hope AJ doesnt have another temper tantrum in the playoffs.

    Tony Sanchez with a catch for all-time yesterday. While some people debate classlessness or no, Sanchez took an extremely high road, stating he was just concentrating on the ball. Wonder if the people bitching today would feel the same way if the teams were reversed yesterday? Nah……….

    I never thought I would see the day that the Chiefs looked much better than the Steelers, but they do.

    I would like to see at least 2 bean balls tonight………….. one at Phillips, one at the Toothpick. Just sayin. And Skyline chili sucks…… cant hold a candle to anything I can make, or they make in the Burgh.

  194. Drew71 says:

    Recently I told my wife that I had a nightmare. In the dream, I was forced to eat ice cream.

    Dreadful.

    No foolin’

  195. NMR says:

    Rub in their victory?

    In front of a mostly empty stadium and home dugout?

    It’s not like they sprinted out after the final out.

  196. The Justice Avenger says:

    Can’t say I agree with all you said, Groat, but I love the spirited debate for sure! I do agree on your comment about Dodger Stadium and the palm trees on those golden hills. Fantastic setting for a ballgame. That much I’ll give you.

  197. NMR says:

    Gotta add Citi Bike to the transpo experience!

  198. The Justice Avenger says:

    +++++

  199. hockeymonster says:

    Kumbaya! :)

  200. NMR says:

    HAS to adjust in the playoffs. Not even a question.

    If he doesn’t, the opposing manager will.

  201. Milo Hamilton says:

    This is the 1st time ever, I’ll say that again – EVER, that the Steelers & Ravens have been home dogs the same week.

  202. Jim S. says:

    I am in total agreement with you on how Sanchez is playing of late, Groat.

  203. hockeymonster says:

    I thought despres and that mikkelson dude looked good too. I can see mikkelson and Harrington being the top 2 call ups in case of injury. Def tough decisions on the roster. I’m sure shero and the coaches figured someone would get hurt and things would work themselves out but either way I believe pens need to go out of their way to get despres, bortuzzo and dumoulin nhl experience early so they’re ready for the playoffs.

  204. Arriba Wilver says:

    I agree. And I think he will. We’ll see, hopefully.

  205. Jim S. says:

    I don’t know, Osh. I would hope he wouldn’t do it, and would be embarrassed if he did.

  206. There are some, but not when they were with the club.

  207. Milo Hamilton says:

    How about this, the Arizona organization asked the Dodgers not to celebrate on their field. There’s one sure fire way to prevent that, isn’t there.

  208. Jim S. says:

    I’m not disagreeing at all, Nate. I just think the problem is they can’t establish the run by getting stuffed in the backfield.

  209. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    1. Liriano
    2. AJ
    3. Morton
    4. Cole

    I dont think there’s much arguement. Though I haven’t read the above entries, I’m sure there’s some arguing going on.

  210. Jim S. says:

    Clint will adjust how he uses pitchers in the playoffs. He won’t be managing workloads for a 162 game season at that point.

  211. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Agree

  212. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Yinzers!!!!

  213. Jim S. says:

    I guess we’ll agree to disagree on this one, 21. Celebrating is popping champagne bottles and spraying each other with it in the clubhouse. What they did was to say, “Hey, we hate these guys. What can we do to really PO them and their fans?” I really don’t think it had anything to do with celebrating.

    If you’re ok with that, fine. I’m not, and I don’t want my kids thinking that is how you celebrate.

    And I really don’t think Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera would have ever thought that.

  214. The Justice Avenger says:

    you know…I’ll probably have a glass of bubbly when the Pirates clinch something some sort of playoff spot. I think us long suffering fans should celebrate, too.

  215. toochca says:

    If you don’t want them celebrating on your field, don’t let them beat you!! Simple solution, yes. Always acheivable, no!

    Also, don’t state that you don’t want them to swim in the pool if/when they clinch the division. Why give them the idea.

  216. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    So it doesn’t just happen to the Pirates?

    Amazing.

  217. The Justice Avenger says:

    I’m praying for you, Drew!

  218. Jim S. says:

    The Chiefs took the “total collapse” route a few years ago, and stockpiled tons of high picks. It seems to be working. Take your lumps and then regroup. The Browns seem to be going that route now, too. I can’t say I totally disagree. How else do you get multiple impact players but to have extra picks in impact positions in the draft? It’s a hard reality for Steelers fans.

  219. Arriba Wilver says:

    At least they didn’t pull their shirt tails out.

  220. Jim S. says:

    No consideration to Cole being higher, Nor Cal?

  221. 21sthebest says:

    +11111

  222. theplanisworking says:

    You alos have to have a player personnel director/GM that can make the nest of said picks.

  223. The Justice Avenger says:

    I am off to a meeting and training for the remainder of the day. You guys and gals are great! Been a fun day in the Loonie Bin…as always. Have good weekend and Go Bucs! Let hope we can bring that playoff spot home this weekend…with a little help from the Marlins. Would be great to do it in front of the fans at PNC. Later all…

  224. theplanisworking says:

    Is Jandy hiding in my keyboard?
    I cant spell.!!!

  225. toochca says:

    If you don’t want them celebrating on your field, don’t let them beat you!! Simple solution, yes. Always acheivable, no!

    Also, don’t state that you don’t want them to swim in the pool if/when they clinch the division. Why give them the idea.

    Just for the record, I don’t like the Dodgers. I live hear and have to put up with all their annoying fans as well.

  226. 21sthebest says:

    You’re really making assumptions here that may not be true. I don’t feel like that’s what they were doing at all and it was only about celebrating.

  227. Jim S. says:

    This is true, plan.

  228. Jim S. says:

    That was my take. I could be wrong. That happens a lot, 21. :-)

  229. 21sthebest says:

    I liked what that symbolized but that I’d save for the clubhouse.

  230. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    If higher, I’d put him 3rd.

    But I like DK’s points of extra rest and shutdown performance.

  231. tdb1977 says:

    What happens if this takes place…

    With the forecasted 1 to 1.5 inches of rain coming in starting later tonight and going through tomorrow evening, what happens if the field is too wet to play baseball tomorrow night. Do they go with a doubleheader on Sunday and really add more misery to the traffic on the north shore Sunday? Play Saturday’s game in Cincy next weekend and have the Pirates be the home team and Cincy is the away team? Do the off days match up where both teams are off next Thursday where they can come back to Pittsburgh and play? Play the game on September 30th, and push back any play in games that are needed to Oct 1st and then play the WC game on Oct 2? Has MLB thought this out yet?

  232. Thundercrack says:

    I am off from work today.
    Just finishing my list of questions to submit to today’s Chat at noon.
    I’m at 48 questions.
    That should make the moderator happy.

    While comprising my list I am listening to Billy Joel. Just as my own protest to another certain someone.

  233. Jason81 says:

    There was a reason he was the last name on the list. Already have a left-handed first baseman in Morneau, and Harrison can fill in out in RF in a pinch.

  234. toochca says:

    Reds and Pirates both have off days on Thursday the 26th

  235. Thundercrack says:

    When I eat ice cream it turns into a nightmare – - for my wife

  236. tdb1977 says:

    Then thats pretty easy to settle then. Thanks!

  237. Thundercrack says:

    I am certainly not ‘anti-celebration’.

    I just think that the whole ‘spray champagne’ thing is getting old. Plus they do it for the division title, then 2 playoff victories.

    If you win the World Series — go at it.

    And I do think there is something wrong with running across the field and jumping into a pool at your opponent’s field. Something wrong – that I can’t seem to put into the right words.

  238. Jandy says:

    Double ZING!

  239. Dom says:

    Chat time!

  240. Jandy says:

    Training? Do well…and good luck! :)

  241. Jandy says:

    You’re taking my name in vain again, El Dorko Hippo! :P

  242. Brotherhood of the Redus says:

    I think you are right about how infinitely more useful those two seem….but the homerun is so huge in playoff baseball, and let’s face it….jones can hit em

  243. hockeymonster says:

    Thought jeffrey had another solid game and d’agastini looked better and better too. Jeffrey-sutter-d’agastini has the makings of a good 3rd line. I like the roster i suggested the other day even better now.

    DK: I’ll need to see more. Right now, that does nothing for me.

  244. toochca says:

    You’re talking about Bud Selig!! Nothing is easy!!

  245. Arriba Wilver says:

    You get your uniform wet?

    Just trying to be helpful. ;-)

  246. Brotherhood of the Redus says:

    I am back to defend the retention of Jones on the playoff roster….homeruns kill in playoff baseball. He can hit them

  247. theplanisworking says:

    Hi, La Dorka Nuna!

    You be scrambling my com-pooter!

  248. Jandy says:

    +++ Jim on Jeter, Posada and Rivera.

  249. Arriba Wilver says:

    So, you’re Leonard to DK’s Sheldon?

    Who’s Penny!

  250. JohninOshkosh says:

    Amazing.

    I’ve been a Bears fan since I took my first breath. These are exactly the type of games they historically lose. I would take the Steelers and the points.

  251. Brotherhood of the Redus says:

    Steve Blass never does it without the Fez on

  252. theplanisworking says:

    Heh heh heh. ;)

  253. Jandy says:

    Not I, my friend, you must be drinking the wine from the shallow end of your pond ;)

  254. theplanisworking says:

    I dont do wine.

    How are you this fine day?
    Spotted your daughter late last night.

  255. Jandy says:

    I’m doing ok…catching up a bit on the backlog, so I will go into the weekend feeling better about Monday lol.

    I saw Brandelita was on….she is a busy girl!

  256. theplanisworking says:

    Good.

    Looking forward to beaning the Toothpick. :)

  257. Arriba Wilver says:

    Good advice. And the “trouble” with weekday day games for parking is the lots that are normally available for Events are filled with everyday commuters. Not much parking space. And not much they can do about it.

  258. Jandy says:

    we can dream, right?
    ;)

  259. Jandy says:

    Groat makes the chat!

    Comment From Groat2Maz2Strangeglove
    Although I’ve not been a Tony Sanchez supporter, he has even me noticing his new found pitch blocking, his improved game calling, and, of course, his over-the-top defensive play yesterday. Any inside info on his chances to make Playoff roster over John Buck?

  260. Isn’t it interesting that, after all the handwringing and discussion/arguing for last 3-4 weeks (2-3 months for Clemson Travis) about the selection and organization of pitching rotation for Wild Card and Playoffs . . . . . . it comes out exactly as they are already ordered!

    (unless of course, Liriano goes on 3 days rest for last game of season matchup for Division Championship)

    1/ Liriano/Burnett/Morton/Cole, without one guy having to pitch short rest or skip days.

    2/ Is Clint Hurdle so smart that he had this set up long ago . . . .
    . . . . or is Hasty Bob right and Hurdle is just lucky?

    3/ Bye bye Jeff Locke. Maybe they’ll still let you wear the uni and sit in the dugout like Wandy if you don’t make the Playoff roster. If I were you, I would make your last outing of the year Sunday a doozy!

    Despite National Mart of Record’s protestations, Morneau will win Bucs more games in Playoff series than Gaby Sanchez.

  261. theplanisworking says:

    Might be a waste of a good baseball. ;)

  262. JohninOshkosh says:

    Extra security needed at Macy’s this weekend.

  263. Oshkosh b’Gosh,

    Leake stole your avatar!

  264. Nate83 says:

    I do not think it was a lucky mistake at all. If you decide that Liriano is your man no matter if it’s for a 1 game wild card or a series it’s not hard to line him up to do that. He has been the obvious choice for a while. You just work backwards from game 163 and figure out how many games you are off with like 40 games to go and then you come up with a game plan to make up those games.

    Maybe you have Cole go on 8 days rest so that you essentially have a six man rotation for one time through the rotation. You also could have a 4 man rotation one time through the rotation if you have some off days.

  265. JohninOshkosh says:

    Happens when I use my phone. lol.

    I’m too cheap to buy anything designed by Apple. Prefer to spend my money on car parts.

  266. Jandy says:

    “Prefer to spend my money on car parts.”
    Smart man ;)

  267. John Lease says:

    Not me, it was juvenile and classless.

  268. They have this new thing these days called “payments” on new cars.

    “Payments” save you time, towing, and the cost of Borax and Lava to get the grease out of your fingernails!

    Unless you are “restoring” a 56 Chevy in the barn——then let the fingernail grease accumulate!

  269. theplanisworking says:

    I would rather spend it on women and song………. ;)

  270. They told me too much wine, women, and song was really bad for my health.

    So I gave up singing.

  271. theplanisworking says:

    + many.

    A man after my own heart…….. thankfully, I could never sing to begin with. :)

    And, I use Groupons. ;)

  272. Armeen says:

    For parking you are much better off coming down Ft. Duquesne and parking either at 6th Street or Stanwix. Never thought about taking the T from Station Square though, That’s an excellent idea.

  273. Armeen says:

    For parking you are much better off coming down Ft. Duquesne and parking either at 6th Street or Stanwix. Never thought about taking the T from Station Square though, That’s an excellent idea.

  274. Jandy says:

    Spill the wine…get that girl….spill the wine…get that pearl…

  275. Jandy says:

    Restoring, Groat, restoring…

    not to mention, hubby doing my brakes and oil changes saves a TON of $$$$

    :)

  276. Jandy says:

    Hello Armeen, are you new here? or just a lurker?

  277. Jandy says:

    Thunder makes the chat:

    Comment From Thundercrack
    Is AJ really a leader or is he just a veteran player?

  278. theplanisworking says:

    How about……………..
    Spill that wine, …… and pass the ammunition? ;)

  279. Jim S. says:

    But, it’s not my field, toocha. And I didn’t like it.

  280. Jandy says:

    and the answer:

    Trib Total Media:
    You don’t play a prominent role in changing the attitude of a 20-year loser without being a leader. A.J. is actually more of that than most people will ever know, not least of which in terms of how he’s handled the Pirates’ folks OVER his head.

  281. Jandy says:

    doesn’t rhyme lol

  282. theplanisworking says:

    Dejan said he hit a wall yesterday. Maybe writers block.

    NEED MORE COWBELL !!!!

  283. Jandy says:

    LOL nah…needs more large chai with 3 extra pumps ;)

  284. theplanisworking says:

    Or more ratings………….. ;)

  285. Jim S. says:

    I just struggle with the “AJ is perfect because he came along at a time when we really needed him and pitched well last year” mentality. He’s still a good pitcher, and he has had another good season. For the most part, I am a fan of AJ.

    But, he has a tendency to do selfish things that detract from the team. That seems pretty obvious to me.

  286. JohninOshkosh says:

    C’mon, Groat. You grew up on a farm just like me. You know you are at your Daddy’s side underneath a hood before you can barely walk. That doesn’t get out of your blood. The tractor breaks down in the fields, no one from the city gonna help you out!

    I wouldn’t feel like a man if I couldn’t replace a cracked manifold!

  287. theplanisworking says:

    Dont care.
    I am Disco Hippo……… doesnt have to rime.
    Just pass me a good lime. ;)

  288. Jandy says:

    +++++

    Oshkosh, YOU DaMan! :)

  289. Jandy says:

    Lemon too? :P

  290. theplanisworking says:

    Like a lemon to a lime a lime to a lemon / I sip the def ale with all the fly women.

    :D

  291. Jandy says:

    Good stuff, Plantainimal! :D

  292. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Agree. No luck envolved.

    He is, dispite what some think, a smart guy and good manager.

  293. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    kinda like “something and beer?”"

    my favorite combination.

  294. I spent many a night laying on my back in the grass by my Dad while tranny fluid dripped all over my arm.

    “Hold that wrench tighter, Boy!”

    When younger, never had a car (OR tractor) that didn’t need work!

    Intriguing memories, Oshkosh b’Gosh.

  295. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    How about a 1960 Mercedes?

  296. Cracker,

    Don’ be busting on AJ!

    Actually, good question———and excellent answer from Day-shawn.

  297. theplanisworking says:

    Jandy,

    No Sleep Til Pond-lyn. ;)

  298. NMR says:

    That selfish b*stard!

  299. Jandy says:

    I want more of that wine….lol

  300. Jandy says:

    Do the Beasties drink wine???

  301. NMR says:

    Hope you caught DK’s response, Jim.

  302. Nice car, especially diesel . . . . . . but we farmers don’t be hankering to be finnin’ up those fur-inn cars.

    Buy American!!!!

  303. Jandy says:

    ewwwwwwwwwwwwww

  304. Thundercrack says:

    Me, DK, or AJ?

  305. Jandy says:

    Careful what you ask!!! ;X

  306. Karen22 says:

    Great points, Jim. I’m with you on all of them!

  307. 21sthebest says:

    I’m with you on this one. And I want him Baum next year.

  308. Thundercrack says:

    Thank you. I had submitted a much longer version of the same question. Glad DK picked it and answered it.

    I believe DK – because DK is around these guys. But I still am not totally sold that AJ is the leader of the team…or how solid that notion really is. I think winning has done a lot to change the attitude, too.

    I think AJ is a good pitcher and totally appreciate what he has done on the field and what he may have done off the field. But I also think some of it is an act. One which I don’t care for at times (showing up the manager and shortstop during a game).

    But when I hear guys like Kaboly and Mark Madden on The Final Word saying that AJ is the leader of the team and he should pitch the wild card game, I just laugh and wonder when those two have actually been in the Pirates’ clubhouse or interviewed AJ Burnett.

  309. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    funny thing is, its powered by America.

    long story. Not diesel.

  310. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    you obviously haven’t seen it…….lol

  311. You know, I will never say this again . . . . . but I would trade Tim Neveritt even up for the announcer I hate most in the world: Milo Hamilton. I’d even throw in a PTBNL (or ATBNL)!

    I actually shuddered as I typed that, Milo!!

    The guy talks and talks and talks and TALKS and TALKS and TALKS———about anything but the game!! You hear the bat hit the ball but he keeps on talking about NOTHING!!

    Did you ever go to a sportsbar or restaurant to watch a game and the guy sitting next to you wants to prove how much baseball or sport he knows . . . and he talks right through plays, important plays? Timmy N.

  312. theplanisworking says:

    No, but they sure did smoke!

    :D

  313. JohninOshkosh says:

    Sweet ride, Ryan.

  314. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I would like for them to bring back Lanny………You’re right about Tim.

    Especially when they play the Rockies in Colorado.

  315. Jason81 says:

    To me, and again, it’s just one opinion, I’m definitely not saying I’m right and everyone else is wrong, the decision comes down to this. Jones, Harrison, and Buck. Pick 2 of the 3. Some people would say the choices are Jones, Harrison and T. Sanchez and that’s fine.

    It certainly is nice to be having discussions like this in September. Beats the normal discussion about the Pirates at this time of year…NOTHING.

  316. theplanisworking says:

    I would trade Neverrett for an expired groupon, if it got him out of town.

    That saucy babe from SD would be a great trade too. ;)

  317. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Is it wrong to read this in a pirates voice?

    Especially with what yesterday was.

  318. Jandy says:

    Sorry, Ryan, I’m just not a fan of Mercedes.
    But if it’s yours, I’m sure it’s sweet :)
    Motor?

  319. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    It is, thank you. And how it was acquired is even sweeter.

    Short version: ATF, SF

  320. Jandy says:

    “But I still am not totally sold that AJ is the leader of the team”
    That’s the catch, TC. AJ isn’t THE leader of the team, but he is A leader of the team. Just one…not THE.

    “I think AJ is a good pitcher and totally appreciate what he has done on the field and what he may have done off the field. But I also think some of it is an act. One which I don’t care for at times (showing up the manager and shortstop during a game).”

    Agreed!

  321. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Ford……..289.

    Cobra emblem on the side…..cause that’s what powers it.

    Traditionalists dont like it, obviously.

  322. NMR says:

    FWIW, don’t forget Dejan’s answer in last weeks chat:

    “A.J.’s ruffled a whole lot of feathers with the Pirates — way more than Clint Barmes the other day, believe me — but there’s also a genuine recognition and appreciation for what he’s done. He’s got to be a priority, as is the case for anything related to starting pitching.”

    Being likeable isn’t a requirement for a leader. In fact, often times its the opposite.

  323. Jandy says:

    I’d love to see a pic, if you can post one. I’m not exactly Traditionalist, just have an irrational dislike of Mercedes…I even admit it lol

  324. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    And there’s only 2 left.

  325. theplanisworking says:

    Sadly, yes.

  326. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I have no idea how I would post. Its pretty cherry, custom paint.

    google search M/B 190 SL. Its a 2 seat convertable.

  327. I’m liking it more and more, Nor Cali Ryan!!

    Those drug buy cars are ni-i-i-ice!

    I’m smiling at the Cobra emblem. Had a 289 Mustang once.

  328. Jandy says:

    Ahhh it’s a roadster….sweet! You must have a lot of fun in it.

  329. 21sthebest says:

    Back next year

  330. National Mart of Records,

    “You know I love me some nerdy stats and whatnot, but this series is exactly why the whole run differential/pythogarean concept is bullsh*t. Baseball just doesn’t work that way.”

    I just read your comment here listed from yesterday about an hour ago.

    Of the 760 some comments yesterday, I appreciated it the most!

  331. Jandy says:

    me too. I don’t always agree with everything AJ does or says, but as I said the other day, without him this team isn’t where it is today.

  332. JohninOshkosh says:

    Cubs host Atlanta and then Pittsburgh.

    Good chance both clubs will clinch playoff spots at Wrigley on successive series.

    Maybe someone will run out and water the ivy?

  333. Nate83 says:

    This line reminds me of AJ “When you meet an a-hole in the morning you met an a-hole. When you meet a-holes all day long, maybe you are the a-hole”.

    This is not a bad thing. He can get all fired up and show emotions as long as it doesn’t interfere with his play or others. I don’t feel like it does. Everyone on the team knows Hurdle is the boss and everyone know AJ’s competitive fire. They know that what he does during the heat of battle stays in that moment and doesn’t carry forward into the next week, game or even inning.

    I for one like having a few guys on the team with over the top emotions. It’s much more entertaining having STFD then please take a seat sir.

  334. Jandy says:

    :snicker:

  335. Jandy says:

    Good way to look at it, Nate…the latter of “please take a seat, sir” would be rather hypocritical, eh?

  336. Jason81 says:

    By water the ivy do you mean…oh, nevermind. ;)

  337. Didn’t Aphonso Soriano do that many times?

    Certainly, Moises Alou did it to toughen his hands.

    Quite a celebration———just don’t cross the streams!

  338. Jandy says:

    that’s why EYE snickered :P

  339. Jandy says:

    Oh Lord! ;)

  340. Lanny’s heart seemed amiss in the broadcasts for about 3 years before they invited him to leave. He started getting crotchity . . . . actually just like the real Milo Hamilton.

  341. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Not really. We don’t have the time to just roll out the 2 of us. 4 kids keep us busy.

    But we’ll use it more later on in our lives.

  342. Jim S. says:

    See, the thing is, when you disagree and someone puts forth some specifics, it is nice to counter those specifics with more than just “he doesn’t get paid to mentor Locke.”

    All I said was AJ has a tendency to be selfish. I pointed out several examples. I even said that I like AJ in spite of it, and that he’s still a good pitcher – but, that it is not helpful to the team when he acts the child. Never read a rebuttal yet. Easy to take cheap shots. Harder to win arguments like an adult.

  343. Jim S. says:

    Agree totally, TC.

  344. Jandy says:

    True, our kids are grown….so we have the time to take our Shelby convertible out :)

  345. Jandy says:

    well said, Jim :)

  346. Jim S. says:

    But, a leader needs to be more than just a guy who always opens his big mouth. A leader needs to be unselfish. AJ has some leadership qualities, for sure. But, I don’t think he’s any sort of pied piper on this team. Not this year. They don’t need him telling them how to act. And Clint doesn’t need young pitchers thinking it is ok to turn your back on the Manager when he takes you out of a game.

    Just pitch well, AJ. That’s all I think anyone wants at this point. This is not that young of a team now.

  347. hockeymonster says:

    What are you referring to? 3rd line or roster I suggested?

  348. NMR says:

    I didn’t respond because there is nothing to debate, Jim.

    “Tendency to be selfish” is far from ALL you said up there.

    You’ve personally judged events to be something they weren’t. AJ did not call out Barmes or fans. If we can’t even establish a baseline of factual events on which to discuss, what is the point?

    You think he’s selfish. I strongly disagree.

    That’s a boring conversation to me.

  349. NMR says:

    Reporting from the Pittsburgh Pirates clubhouse, Jim S.

    Over and out.

  350. 21sthebest says:

    Speaking of Dejan’s chat answers, I agreed with this one:

    That was a strange outing the other night. It was very clear from the entire San Diego series that the Padres’ advance scouts — to their considerable credit, being well out of the race — did terrific work against a non-division foe. With Melancon in particular, it’s evident they instructed their right-handed batters to go inside-out on him, meaning to drive a ball that’s running away from them into right field. That’s all you saw, too, dink, dink, dink into right field.

    In fairness, Melancon got a little stubborn and kept feeding that, maybe defiantly, but he’ll need to adjust.

  351. Nate83 says:

    Maybe they will pull Andre Dawson out of the Ivy.

  352. Jandy says:

    Now, that’s a reply :)
    I’ll let you two duke it out.

    I have to get this darn paperwork done, or I’m in hot water.

    Be good, guys :)

  353. Jason81 says:

    + Number 1 :D

  354. NMR says:

    I’m sure some could read that and think I pick and choose stats arbitrarily depending on my argument, but that is not my intention. I’m just skeptical of accepting ALL these sabermetric assumptions as fact.

    And this whole idea of throwing all runs scored and runs scored upon into an equation and having it spit out your “real” record just seems ridiculous.

  355. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Understand. He’s the voice of the Pirates for me, at my age. I dont know of the other guys. Other than by name and myth.

  356. NMR says:

    Weren’t we talking about this before? I know Arriba was in on it.

    I’ve definitely come around on the “stubborn” part, although I think our conversation put more of the blame on Buck for the pitch calling.

  357. You and I are in agreement.

    BASEBALL!!!

    Not Strat-o-matic. but tendencies——sure.

  358. Jim S. says:

    I think he can be selfish, yes. And he does it quite often. Please tell me how what he did to Barmes was not being selfish. Just because he comes up with another story after the game doesn’t make it not so. And, even in the case of Barmes and the shifts, if it was not Barmes he was showing up, then it was his boss he was showing up. It was unprofessional, and we all know it.

    Turning away from Clint when he takes him out of games when he’s obviously lost his effectiveness – does that fall under great leadership or unselfishness? How about his arguments with the Manager in the dugout while the game is going on? There have been several games where AJ could easily have been taken out sooner, and maybe we would have survived his big inning. But, I think Clint tends to defer to him because he knows a fit is coming if he doesn’t.

    How about getting into disagreements in games with umpires almost every night? Calling out fans for not attending to the level he would like? I’ll bet he has not paid a dime to attend a sporting event in his adult life – certainly not a baseball game.

    I think AJ is a terrific pitcher, and I have been a fan. But, I think he detracts from the team when he acts like a spoiled brat. I wish he would not do it as often. The team would be better off, in my opinion. It is possible to think someone is a good player but also recognize that they have some character issues. “That’s just AJ being AJ” is getting old for me.

  359. 21sthebest says:

    Yeah but I wasn’t part of the who to blame discussion. I just thought he kept putting the pitches out there which puzzled me.

  360. cmat0829 says:

    Hurdle’s fault.

  361. Jim S. says:

    Reporting from the real world is more like it.

    Just saying I’m wrong about him being selfish and then taking your customary cheap shots (which you do to everyone and I do to no one) is really immature.

  362. cmat0829 says:

    Two words. Jay Cutler. Take the Steelers and the points.

  363. cmat0829 says:

    NO WAY IN HELL DO THE PIRATES LET THE GAME BE SCHEDULED IN CINCY AND BE THE “HOME TEAM”.

    And they can play the game late, late, late into the night so as long as it isn’t deluging rain, they will get the game in.

    wouldn’t it be interesting if because of a DH, the Stillers and Pir-ahts both are playing at the same time?

  364. Kevin says:

    +1 for Morneau. Still a big fan… if only for choosing #66 for a reason that is very different from the one in my head.

  365. Gregg Bosak says:

    Greetings, I am a newbie and a Pittsburgh native now living in upstate NY, Hoosick Falls to be exact. I grew up with Maz and Bill Virdon and Jim Pagliaoni and oh yeah, Roberto and Pops too. I’m normally hesitant to read these comments sections after being poisoned by the chicken littles at he p-g site but love the positive vibe I’m getting from the posters here. Go Bucs! Go Steelers! Go Pens! Go Panthers!

    DK: Gregg, welcome! But do me a favor, please and copy and paste this onto the most recent thread up top. Thanks!

  366. NMR says:

    Reality? Immature?

    Jim, you’ve never met AJ Burnett. You’ve never met someone who has met AJ Burnett.

    You watch him play a game. On TV.

    And you not only find this enough to make personal judgements of his character, but also decide what actually happens behind closed doors.

    Take a step back and think about this, man.

    Talk about needing a reality check.

  367. cmat0829 says:

    My two cents on the postseason roster (how cool is that to be talking about a postseason roster for the Pirates!!????!!!)

    Rotation: Liriano, AJ, Morton, Cole. Pretty clear to me that is what it will be. Charlie has earned it. My personal order is AJ 4th but I fear his tweet in response so I will just keep that amongst us chickens.

    Bullpen: Melancon (closer). Watson (setup). Morris. Mazarro. Gomez. Wilson*. Grilli* (*IF BOTH ARE HEALTHY AND CAN PITCH TO THEIR LEVEL). If not: Farnsworth & Locke (lefty).

    Agree that there is NO NEED to carry Locke in the bullpen. Love the kid but no need for his skillset. I begrudingly list him as replacement for Wilson if he isn’t 100% as we need another lefty option in my opinion. As to Grilli, if I’m Hurdle/Searage I say, Jason, we are gonna give you a chance to pitch over the next week..if you can get that velocity back, then you will be in the pen for the playoffs…if not, sorry, we have to go with other options. I won’t protest much either way as he is a key part of 2013 success, but just like with Locke, it’s a ‘new season’ and you have to go with your best.

    That would be 11 pitchers, so I’d go with an extra position player for flexibility.

    I’d go with Sanchez over Buck. Not sure I see the Bucs doing that, though.

    Bench for me is : Harrison, Barmes, Gaby, TSanchez, Jones, Tabby.

    WILDCARD: Not out of the question the Bucs have the same “Grilli” discussion with Marte… if he can’t swing the bat with authority, they’d have to seriously consider his place on the roster… I give a slight lean to keeping Marte on the roster even if he is just a pinchrunner and defensive sub, but Pie/Snider might be considered.

  368. cmat0829 says:

    I really like Greg Brown, especially compared to Neverett. I think Tim’s problem is that he isn’t a good conversationalist but that’s the style of announcer he tries to be (I guess that’d be the Vin Scully model, not comparing him in terms of talent but approach)….

    Better given his skillset to just focus on the game and the facts and just set up the color analyst to do more of the talking…. he also needs to employ something other than saying the player’s last name as he swings and puts the ball in play at varying degrees of excitement… ends up being, more often than not, wrong. Better to just say something like “in the air to right, drifting back Denorfia to make the catch, one down” than “WALKER SWINGS AND HITS IT TO RIGHT FIELD, in front of the warning track Denorfia makes the play”… suggestion for Roots execs… put Neverett on a word count… if he goes over, he pays a fine (for fun or charity)… I think it would improve his performance a lot.

  369. cmat0829 says:

    and bring on the jokes about me being on a word count for the blog.

  370. Jim S. says:

    So, this is not a blog anymore where people express opinions about what they see? People speculate about what they see? Again, this part keeps eluding you. I pointed out several specific instances that I feel point out how he can be selfish, and that maybe he is not always the leader some writers and fans make him out to be.

    Are you saying you have not speculated about traits of guys you’ve never met on the Pirates? I’m only pointing to things he does ON THE FIELD. I didn’t say he was a bad guy away from the field.

    Please try to stick to the argument. I’d hate to be a kicker trying out for a football team you coach. I’d never know where the fieldgoal posts are from one day to the next.

  371. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jim , not to get in the middle, but isn’t

    ” But, I think Clint tends to defer to him because he knows a fit is coming if he doesn’t.”

    kind of disrespectful to Clint? I don’t think that at all.

  372. Jim S. says:

    Sorry, everyone. I actually don’t like side fights here. That was not my intent in originally stating that AJ can be and is often sefish on the field. NMR and I disagree, apparently vehemently, on that point. That’s the purpose of a blog – to agree and disagree.

    But, I don’t want to be part of anything nasty or distracting to others. So, I’ll just say, let’s agree to disagree, NMR. I consider you one of the more knowledgeable people on here, for sure. I actually agree with you a lot more than I disagree, and I enjoy your posts.

  373. toochca says:

    Wasn’t distracting to me. But I tend to agree with you on most if not all of your points. He is acting now almost the same way he was acting in NY his last year there.

  374. NMR says:

    You’re going to really take that cop out, Jim?

    I never said you couldn’t express your opinion.

    I just used my own to express how ridiculous it is to personally attack a man’s character, of which you don’t have the slightest idea.

    Any more argument cliches you wanna throw in there? Ad hominem? Strawman?

  375. Jim S. says:

    You’re right on that, Arriba. I am a fan of Clint. I think, for awhile, he was allowing AJ to act badly in some situations because he knows all of the positives of AJ (great competitor, very good pitcher, mentoring of Locke, etc). So, I thought he was sort of acting like, and this may not be a great analogy but is the first one that came to mind, that mom we’ve all seen at the mall whose kid is more than ready to go home but she has a bunch more shopping to do. She can either have it out with him right then and there, or let him act out a little in hopes he does not have the full meltdown in front of everyone that would keep her from getting her shopping done.

    I think we have seen at least one occasion where Clint has said, “Enough is enough” and sternly let AJ know who is steering the ship. But, sometimes I think he believes that he can’t just confront AJ on the spot, as his instincts are probably telling him, because it might cause a scene that is not beneficial. One of the great things about Clint is that he is mature enough that he doesn’t feel he needs to ascert his control all the time.

    I think the way Clint handles the team is maybe the part about him that I appreciate the most. A different Manager might not have gotten as much out of AJ as he has.

    And, I hope I have not made it appear that I think AJ is not a huge part of this team. He was their best pitcher last year, and he has been very good this year. He was exactly what we needed last year.

  376. Arriba Wilver says:

    I was, and I put the blame on Buck to the extent that if Martin had been in he might have called something different. But I have no idea whose idea it was to keep throwing out there. Honest! ;-)

  377. NMR says:

    Now do you understand why I didn’t want to engage in the first place?

    Like I said, no good conversation to be had.

    Hope you can understad if it ever happens again.

  378. Jim S. says:

    I called him out for being a selfish jerk on the field quite often, NMR. ON THE FIELD being the key point that you keep leaving out. I, in no way, hinted that AJ is a bad guy off the field. I actually have been pointing out a lot of good things he does on the field as well.

    Lots of players are probably great citizens, fathers, husbands, friends away from the game, but don’t carry those traits over in the heat of battle. I won’t argue it any longer.

  379. NMR says:

    Well, you convinced me, and I like Melancon, therefor Buck must be a bum. :)

  380. Arriba Wilver says:

    Thanks, Jim. You were talking about ” my boy.”

    :-D

  381. Jim S. says:

    I hear you. There is a way to disagree courteously. A lot of us stray from it at times. It happens.

  382. Arriba Wilver says:

    That’s always been my feeling on it too. It’s a tool, and sometimes a valuable tool, but not the “answer.”

  383. Arriba Wilver says:

    :-D

  384. Jim S. says:

    I thought it was getting obvious, after the 2nd hit the other night, what the strategy was for San Diego. But, it was not an “inside out” strategy. It was simply a going with outside pitches strategy.

    Melancon has been pitching righties out there all year, with great success. None of those balls were hit particularly hard. They just found green space.

  385. Arriba Wilver says:

    It’s easy for me to blame the new guy, especially since he hasn’t distinguished himself. But Melancon being stubborn never even crossed my mind. Not to say I buy it without more. I mean, he came up with the “shark tank.” ;-)

  386. most likely wouldn’t end in a tie breaker game. when both teams are in the playoffs they go with tiebreakers…the 1st of which is head-to-head winning %. http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Resolution_of_ties_in_division_races

  387. Jim S. says:

    IC AW T.

  388. Ghost says:

    Or I could have mentioned the too lesser starts he had just prior to those six of yours. That wasn’t my point. My point was NOT to bash Morton or shortchange him on anything he’s done this season. He’s given us more than we could have hoped for coming off TJ surgery AND his hip surgery. And like I said above, he may have turned the corner. But we knew coming into this season that it would be an up and down, unpredictable one with Charlie. Tell me you didn’t hold your breath when he left the game early and had to go back to Pittsburgh with an injury, just two starts back. You can stop playing your silly “gotcha” games because my post was not anti-Morton, it was pro-Cole.

  389. Ghost says:

    I do, Jandy. I do. Should have been explicit about that. He’s done a great job coming off two surgeries. I just think Cole’s been even *more* solid and that his and Charlie’s order should be switched. That’s all. ;)

 
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