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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Pirates 22, Blue Jays 5, exhibition

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates vs. Toronto Blue Jays, exhibition

Time: 1:05 p.m.

Site: McKechnie Field, Bradenton, Fla.

TV, radio: 93.7 The Fan

Here’s the official live box score.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page. And here’s our Bucco Blog with all the pitching matchups, lineups, etc. Rob Biertempfel is on the scene for the Trib.

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.


  1. Andrew says:

    Is there any Pirates news today?

  2. Just that the Lambo experiment has temporarily fizzled.

    And, I have to say this:

    Travis Ishakawa was shocked when he heard it.

  3. bpn8pitt says:

    Yes, as I understand it now, the reason Volquez sucks is because of Tony Sanchez. Had he been paired with Russ Martin, he would be good.

  4. cosmo says:

    also not a good day for ex Pirates. 3 released so far.

  5. Baywatch says:

    I forget who said it on the other thread, but I look for us to swing a deal for Mike Carp before we head north. Neal Huntington’s remarks about the Lambo situation CLEARLY didn’t sound like a vote of confidence for Ishikawa. At best, a He’s In The Platoon For Now.

  6. Bizrow says:

    • • Welcome Lunatics, if you don’t see your current location below, please add a reply to this post

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    • 3/25/2014 11:59 AM

  7. hap2009 says:

    Geno out 2-3 weeks with foot injury per Bylsma on gamecenter app

  8. Jandy says:


  9. Bizrow says:

    Well, just get him ready for the playoffs

  10. Arriba Wilver says:

    Time to get his mind right—Strother Martin.

  11. chethejet1 says:

    Malkin out and hopefully he comes back 100%. I move Suter to the second line center with Neal and JJ. Bennett when he returns can play LW with Goc at center and Megna or Vitale when healthy at RW.

  12. Bizrow says:


  13. Baywatch says:

    Zach Duke just made the Brew Crew’s 25-Man!

  14. Jandy says:

    Sid got Geno’s mind right…Geno needs to get healthy and get it in gear!

  15. NMR says:

    And Pirates Rule 5 draft pick Wei-Chung Wang. That Brewers Bullpen will be deadly!

  16. Thundercrack says:

    Don’t try to take the attention away from the Tigers’ bullpen.

  17. Thundercrack says:

    While I agree that their is money that the Pirates could spend I probably disagree with some on how they should spend it.

    And their situation at first base is not ideal, I still believe that they have a lot of good players at a lot of the other positions. And I think that a lot can still happen (improvements) over a 6 month season. We’ve actually seen that happen the past three seasons.

    So back away from the ledge!!! :-)

  18. NMR says:

    That we never got to discuss due to rain!

    Speaking of, Joba Chamberlain may very well be the Detroit Tigers best releif pitcher after Joe Nathan. Joba Chamberlain.

  19. JohninOshkosh says:

    All the Crew fans I know are excited about the upcoming campaign. Most think they improved their roster and are legitimate division contenders.

    You know some things in Piratedem are dire when folks be lamenting not signing Jones.

  20. Bizrow says:

    On the latest FAN update, they are reporting that the deal for a SS ain’t gonna happen.

    For what that is worth

  21. The Gunner says:

    I finally got one right, Lucky. Too bad for Lambo but, if he starts to knock the cover off the ball, he’ll be back with the Buccos pretty quickly, in my opinion.

  22. JRay3 says:

    Some good news to report…Jeff Locke threw 47 pitches in three scoreless innings against Pirate AAA hitters and gave up no hits, two walks and struck out five.

    Encouraging performance.

  23. Bizrow says:

    Aren’t they supposed to get more rain in Florida today?

  24. NMR says:

    Ha, its all relative, I suppose.

    That Overbay/Reynolds 1B platoon has Division Champ written all over it!

  25. Arriba Wilver says:

    On the other hand, bad news for Pirate AAA hitters. ;-)

  26. NMR says:

    Haha, stole my thunder.

  27. Bizrow says:

    Guess not, radio crew is not mentioning the weather

    Re – Tigers bullpen

    Tigers game is on ESPN

  28. Jandy says:

    ha! This blog is on a major roll today :D

  29. JohninOshkosh says:

    Serious questions. Would you flip the Brewers and Pirates starting 8 and rotation man for man (no cherry picking allowed!) as they stand today? Will their respective places in the division come down to bullpens?

    Not baiting at all. Just curious what you people who know more about baseball than me think.

  30. Bizrow says:

    Scoreless first for Wandy, gave up a single

  31. Nate83 says:

    Joba Chamberlain offers a lot to a major league baseball club. Things like humor and then he also adds humor and then I think I missing one other thing. Oh yeah he adds humor.

  32. Nate83 says:

    Wandy pitching 180 innings this year will more then offset any bad performance we get from a number 5 starter for a month or two. I will take Cole, Frankie, Morton and Wandy as a starting 4. I’m confident when the dust settles we will eventually have a serviceable number 5. I’m not sure who it will be but there are enough options to find something. It could be Locke, Stolmy, Taillon if he is healthy, heck it could even be Volquez. His last start was pretty good after a rough start.

  33. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    Ishakawa stroke similar to Jones perhaps….power numbers never as big, but I mean in terms of the dynamics of the swing….anyone else see that? I know he’s not going to be 2009 Jones but there’s a similarity in the few number of times ive seen him swing it…

  34. Nate83 says:

    We just need him not to be 2013 Jones. Even if he plays well and sticks as the solution for the entire year I don’t think he gets more then 40-50 starts. Gaby to begin the season should get a majority of the at bats even against right handers. Ishakawa has never shown himself capable of deserving 400 at bats in a season. Hopefully Gaby is the one that gives us 2009 or 2012 Jones.

  35. JRay3 says:

    Agree, with Wandy healthy the Pirates are starting this season in far better shape than they did the 2013 campaign as it relates to the rotation. Volquez did settle down in his last spring start versus the Yankees and was able to piece a couple solid innings together. Am with you on the fact that if Volquez does falter and I truly believe he will be given 8-10 starts or until sometime in May to see if he can hold the position, the Pirates do seem to have an array of options to fill the #5 spot.

    In the spring stats don’t matter department, Wandy now has a spring ERA of 1.00 after two scoreless innings of work so far today. This spring has been very important for Wandy not so much in the stats department but to feel comfortable and get the confidence in his arm back. Have been very encouraged from that stand point.

    Gaby Sanchez has a double, Tabata a single, Walker a double and the Bucs have five hits and two runs still batting in the 2nd off of Happ.

  36. Jandy says:

    WOW. Wandy homers~

  37. Milo Hamilton says:

    Juan D. just jacked a 2 run homer. That gale coming off the gulf is a glorious thing.

  38. Jandy says:

    And Wandy just homered.

  39. Bizrow says:

    Wandy just hit a homer

    But AJ Happ is pretty happless

  40. JRay3 says:

    Everybody hitting Happ today, Bucs with 4 runs and 7 hits, still batting in the second.

  41. Jandy says:

    yeah but still…a homer? :D

  42. The Gunner says:

    If Ishikawa comes north, he will be most likely be a temporary solution at best. That is, unless he quickly demonstrates he has become a productive major league hitter who can go deep more often than he has in the past.

    Maybe a trade for a real 1st baseman is in the works.

  43. Arriba Wilver says:

    Tim Williams had a post today (before the Lambo announcement) where he said that Ishi’s career numbers were comparable to Jones 2013 ##. But that his defense was better. JAL’S link 19.

  44. Arriba Wilver says:

    We’re a long way from Wandy pitching 180 innings this year. Encouraging so far? No doubt, but . . .

  45. Milo Hamilton says:

    There’s a stat for everything these days. Someone needs to research pitchers ERA the inning after they hit a home run. I bet it’s over 10.00.

  46. Baywatch says:


  47. NMR says:


  48. Jandy says:

    wow…talk about whammys!

  49. Nate83 says:

    Agree 100%. I wasn’t predicting it just showing possible unexpected value. He is the most reliable pitcher on the team when healthy to give consistent quality starts. They are a good collection of arms but none have done it as consistently and well as Wandy has for 5, 6 years.

  50. 21sthebest says:

    You don’t think the AAA hitters were paid off Arriba?

  51. Nate83 says:

    To be fair Micah Owens probably accounts for half the home runs and he isn’t a good pitcher before he hits a home run.

  52. Arriba Wilver says:


  53. Jim S. says:

    Here’s one I ran across. Pitchers’ ERAs is highest in the innings in which they give up runs. Who knew? :-)

  54. NMR says:

    No no, very good question…

    I’d take the Pirates at five positions – C (very close), 1B, 2B, 3B, CF

    I’d take the Brewers at two positions – SS, LF

    And push in RF (not buying the Crush Davis show).

    I’d also take the Pirates rotation as I think Gallardo took a significant step back last year and Wandy Rodriguez makes the Pirates legit four deep, but a Wily Peralta break-out could change that.

  55. Arriba Wilver says:

    No, but is Lambo there? (Low hanging fruit).

  56. Jim S. says:


    I appreciate conversing on here and on Travis’ blog with you. I will try to avoid going all Dr. Phil on you in the future.

  57. Brandie says:

    Everybody have fun Tonight!

    Everybody Wei-Chung Wang Tonight!

  58. Jim S. says:

    “are” highest.

  59. NMR says:

    But with that being said, I don’t believe the Pirates advantages are significant anywhere but 2B (also not buying the Scooter Gennet experiment) and top of rotation.

    If Milwaukee stays healthy I don’t think the Pirates are more than 5 games better, based on talent alone.

  60. Jim S. says:

    The book on him has always been that he can pick it. I think that is the thing that made them decide to bring him north. Well … that and the fact that the only alternative appears to have been McGuinness.

  61. NMR says:

    I see more Chase Utley than Garrett Jones. Short, inside out stroke. Based on swing alone, really surprised at how much Ishikawa strikes out.

  62. Hopefully, the Pens can beat Phoenix tonight regardless.

  63. Jandy says:

    Coyotes are missing Mike SMith. Pens had better win!

  64. Brandie says:

    Good afternoon all. Just had an interview at the hotel here in town for front desk. Hope I get it….

    Wait a minute…If Wandy can jack a homer, surely I can get this job! :)

  65. No, not today. It’s supposed to go down into the 40s tonight here in Daytona Beach, though.

  66. That’s right, Luke.

  67. JohninOshkosh says:

    Saw a coming attraction trailer for “Million Dollar Arm”. I’m not sure any Pirate FO people are portrayed in the film, but I think Louis CK is playing Dejan. (Kidding).

  68. Brandie says:

    Am I the Joba Chamberlain of this here blog then?

  69. Jim S. says:

    I’m still counting anything north of 120 to be a windfall.

  70. Jim S. says:

    What do you mean, he JUST homered? What more were you expecting from the guy? :-)

  71. JohninOshkosh says:

    Funny, here people are excited because it’s supposed to get UP to the forties tomorrow.

  72. Wow. That would be a great job for you. Think of all the names you can come up with from customers’ names, then you can relay those to us.

    Can’t wait, Brandocevic.

  73. Sweet 16, JiO. On Wisconsin!

  74. Brandie says:

    This just in…It gets dark at night!

  75. Brandie says:

    Brandocevic…The Chocolate Serbian! I like it!

  76. Jandy says:

    Sounds kinky to me ;X

  77. Jandy says:

    what is this, the new Garden of Eden???


  78. Jandy says:

    I’m tellin ya, Oshie! I’d LOVE to see the 40’s!

  79. Brandie says:

    My hair is all about the kink!

  80. Jandy says:


  81. Jandy says:

    Oh Jim, now you went and ruined it all.


  82. Jandy says:

    WOAH! best of luck to you, Sistah! I’ve been praying for you to find something, hopefully, prayers answered!

  83. Tabata with 3 hits already in the bottom of the 4th. That about doubles his spring output, doesn’t it. And a dinger to boot.

    Raise the Jolly Tabloid!

  84. NMR says:

    Hey buddy, water under the bridge on this end, and I hope the same for you. My apologies.

  85. Milo Hamilton says:

    Another hit & RBI for Wandy. He’s done more with the bat in 4 innings than Silence of the Lambo did all spring.

  86. Jandy says:


  87. Jandy says:


  88. Jandy says:

    Raise it HIGH!

  89. Brandie says:


  90. We ain’t a-hopin’ and a-prayin’, we be prayin’ and believin’!


  91. Jandy says:

    I was hoping for another school yard brawl..but man, I love this…my boys are cool again :)

  92. Thundercrack says:

    Beat me to it Milo


  93. Jandy says:

    Free SOMEBODY who can play first and hit too!

  94. Jandy says:


  95. Doesn’t seem like Esmil Rogers is fooling anybody today. But he’s probably tall with a good downward plane.

  96. Brandie says:

    Dayum Wandy! Swinging like Cutch!

  97. . . . . . Since I have been relegated to “Moderation” for 45 minutes on the Baseball Blog:

    So . . . . are we finally, finally permitted to be critical of Neal Huntington?!?

    1/ When he released Garrett Jones over $$$, we were told “Give him time——it’s early.”
    2/ When he did not extend a Qualifying Offer to AJ, we were told, “Don’t worry——he has a plan.”
    3/ When he made no moves during the Winter Meetings to fill holes in right field and at 1st Base, we were told, “It will happen at the right time. Not every trade must happen in November or December.”
    4/ When he low-balled AJ and implied that no team would pay him as much as QO, it was said, “He knows what he is doing.”
    5/ When he signed Edinson Volquez for Burnett’s rotation spot, we were reminded that Pirates have “the Pitcher Whisperer.”
    6/ When James Loney and Justin Smoak and Logan Morrison and Mitch Moreland and Kendrys Morales were dangled as possibilities, we were constantly reminded that Andrew Lambo hit 33 homeruns last season. Why overpay?
    7/ When the Pirates approached Spring Training with little promise and poor defense at 1st base, we were assured that 1st Base was the easiest position to learn and fill.
    8/ When guys like ME who went to Spring Training and reported firsthand HERE that: a) Lambo’s footwork around 1st was poor; b) his hands were stiff, not soft; and c) Lambo hit more “infield homeruns”——Major League pop-ups——than he hit homeruns over the fence, we were ignored or told to give him time to acclimate.
    9/ Now the truth is that Travis Ishikawa is the answer to the big Neal Huntington 1st Base acquisition!!

    10/ Unless, of course, Neal Huntington makes a PANIC acquisition in the next 3 days.


  98. Brandie says:

    Thanks for the fire and the new Pirates Tag Line Revvie!

  99. Jim S. says:

    Wandy is hitting like ST hitting stats matter.

  100. JohninOshkosh says:

    Thanks, NMR. I don’t want you to get a big head or anything, but I do appreciate your thoughts on baseball!

  101. Jandy says:

    Dang, Groatie, whose Cheerios did YOU wiz in??

  102. Jandy says:

    13-1 top of the 5th inning…really????

  103. Thundercrack says:

    I also Lambo in person and I thought he fielded the position just fine.

    Their plan for RF is a guy named Polanco.

    I thought part of the reason they let G. Jones go was because he stunk so bad in 2013.

  104. Brandie says:

    Which is why Lamebo was sent down…because ST stats do matter…or do they matter more for some than others…hmmm?

  105. Brandie says:

    There is no Mercy Rule in adult baseball! Guess the Blue Jays do not deg a trophy today.

  106. JohninOshkosh says:

    Yeah I was at the game, Lucky. One of the most exciting sporting events I’ve been to. The Badgers were very fortunate to be playing in Milwaukee. The crowd really lifted them. For a fleeting moment, I actually felt a bit sorry for Oregon. Then, I remembered that they are swimming in Nike money and that feeling passed. Varsity

  107. Brandie says:

    Get a trophy.

  108. Milo Hamilton says:

    I wouldn’t know. I saw 3 games & he played a grand total of 3 innings at first base.

  109. Garrett Jones’ worst year is similar to Travis Ishikawa’s best year.

    I don’t have a problem with BMTIB doing away with him IF they replace him.

    How’s that “Volquez is only needed until June when Jamison Taillon will replace him” working out?

    Gregory Polanco has 9 ABs at AAA, and only 68 games at AA. Don’t count on him until he’s ready. Dejan himself said that Polanco is not ready!

  110. tdb1977 says:

    Wandy? :D

  111. Jim S. says:


    I missed the part where people here ever stopped feeling free to criticize Neal Huntington. I think that is always how it should be. If you don’t like something he or anyone else is doing, point it out. He gets criticized every day here. I like what the guy is done, but I have scratched my head a lot this winter.

    I’m not going to list all of the things I believe he has done that have helped this organization immensely over the past few years. I’ll just say every GM makes mistakes, and that, on balance, I think his positives outweigh his negatives.

    But, if you look around baseball, every fan base skewers the GM. Well, except for Mozielak. It’s been hard to find negatives there. I can’t think of many others that aren’t considered idiots by half their fans.

  112. Milo Hamilton says:

    In response to Mr. Groat. I think this off season is a prime example of what happens when you have ownership that’s not fully committed to winning. There is a big difference between wanting to win & being committed to winning.

  113. Thought you might have been there. They had me concerned for a while, but justice prevailed.

    Three BiG teams and three SEC teams. Hard to fault the committee with those results.

  114. Thundercrack says:

    I thought Dejan said he isn’t ready to start the season in the majors.

  115. Nate83 says:

    So what’s your prediction for wins this year for this horrible team? There is no doubt that they dropped the ball on the first baseman and have left money on the table but they have lost zero games this year because of their first baseman. What did they not get for first base that you are confident will outperform what we end up getting at first base this year. Loney is really the only player that I believe they went after that offered value and didn’t come with question marks.

    I know it’s not your money but I personally don’t wan’t the Pirates giving Morales 2 or 3 years at 12-14 million per year to play first when we don’t even know if the man will be able to walk at the end of the contract. Smoak, Morrison, Moreland, Davis and even Carp all com with huge question marks. Not a single one of those guys have put together anything resembling a consistent major league career.

  116. Brandie says:

    He may end up being the Bugs Bunny of this team!

  117. Brandie says:

    Thank you Jandie!

  118. I’m waving my hands and calling out AMEN!

  119. Jim S. says:

    That 2nd half was a frenzied atmosphere, Osh. It looked very exciting.

  120. Thundercrack says:

    How’s that “Volquez is only needed until June when Jamison Taillon will replace him” working out?
    I’m firing up my time machine. I’ll go to June and then come back and tell how it is working out

  121. Jim S. says:

    Is that anything like a White Russian?

  122. Then keep Garrett Jones, who hit 100 homeruns for the Pirates over the last 5 seasons.

  123. Nate83 says:

    Agree 100% Milo.

  124. The Bucs lead the Blue Jays in the 5th 13-2, so the bats have finally broken out after yesterday’s rainout.

  125. Milo Hamilton says:

    Is it a DeLorean ? :)

  126. Jim S. says:

    Same here.

  127. Jeff Locke will have more Major League wins (for somebody) than Edinson Volquez has on June 2.

  128. Thundercrack says:

    I have a Prius time machine. Takes me a little longer but saves fuel

  129. Bizrow says:

    Hope but expect ;-)

  130. Jandy says:

    Well…ummm…errrr…Nevermind :slinksawaytohideinthecorner:

  131. JohninOshkosh says:

    I thought Ryan’s technical to close out the first half was the proverbial nail in the Badgers’ coffin, but I think it lit a fire under the team and Ryan made some outstanding adjustments, particularly defensively, at halftime. Heckuva coach, he is.

    Congratulations to Dayton. Glad to see the A-10 breakthrough.

  132. Thundercrack says:

    At the end of last season Jones looked like he may never hit another home run.

  133. Bizrow says:

    ESPN is talking about the Tigers bullpen……

  134. Nate83 says:

    But your rant was specifically about NH. Not one mention of commitment to winning or ownership not giving the needed support to allow management to take chances like signing Morales and having it go badly.

    I can just imagine that conversation with Nutting. Yes NH you can sign Morales but there will be no money to build around him and if it goes badly no money will be available to dig yourself out from the hole so you will be fired. Essentially as a GM you are being asked to go all in with a hand that is Morales which no other team wants at this point. Not even an AL team which makes more sense for his skill set which doesn’t involve running.

  135. Bizrow says:

    Ralph Wilson owner of the Bills has passed away at 95

  136. Brandie says:

    With a little bit of soul for your bowl.

  137. Nate83 says:

    I know we won’t remember to do this but we need to go back at the end of the year and see how all these game changing first baseman the Pirates missed out on ended up performing. My money is on only Loney being a 2.0 WAR player and maybe Morales getting over 1.5.

    Lind could be up there as well but I’ve never heard any evidence that he is actually available. At least not in the sense that a team actually wants to move the player. In other words Cutch is available make an offer and see what happens.

  138. Arriba Wilver says:


  139. Milo Hamilton says:

    Within months of Bud Adams. I think that’s the last of the original AFL owners.

  140. Bizrow says:

    The No Fun League will now penalize a player if he dunks over the goal post after scoring

  141. Baywatch says:

    18 hits through 6 innings today, WHO NEEDS A FIRST BASEMAN? (Backed off the “ledge,” TC!)

  142. Baywatch says:

    (I mean the OTHER way … uh …)

  143. Baywatch says:


  144. Thundercrack says:

    I thought they don’t want players dunking because sometimes is messes up the alignment of the posts

  145. 21sthebest says:

    I thought Jones looked like he aged about 5 years in the last 3 months of the season but I was just told he was let go because of money.

  146. Jandy says:

    Are you sure it doesn’t cause a power outage>???

  147. Baywatch says:

    Hey, Milo! Up HERE for “SILENCE OF THE LAMBO!”

  148. Baywatch says:


  149. 21sthebest says:

    That’s a shame because I enjoy watching most of them end up just throwing the ball because they can’t dunk it anyways.

  150. Jandy says:

    Jordy Mercer 2 for 4 with a Single and a Double today so far.

  151. Baywatch says:

    I’m gonna draw this line RIGHT HERE in the dirt, fellows. Anyone COMMITTED to winning, just cross right on over with me. Anyone WANT to win … just stay right where you are. Signed Colonel Brett “Baywatch” Travis, Alamo, 1836

  152. Baywatch says:

    That’s BUM production for today! :-)

  153. Jandy says:

    LOL! greedy lil Baydro, aren’t ya? ;)

  154. Bizrow says:

    Just read the link below, that is their argument

  155. Don’t want Kendrys Morales. Never ever wanted Kendrys Morales! I felt out of fairness and honesty I needed to include him in the list above, because some did. And I left off Adam Lind, who would have been a more viable option.

    But I want SOMEBODY!!! I want more than “Lambo looked good in 1/2 season of AAA last season, so let’s give the job to him.”

    NOW, when Lambo cannot even cut it in Spring Training, Pirates are “worse than the first!”
    (recognize that quote, Kentuck Knob?)

  156. Jandy says:

    Dirty Sanchez just hit in two more runs…17-3 now….sheesh

  157. Dom says:

    Mercer’s the man.

  158. Jim S. says:

    If the Blue Jays score, and then score again and go for the 2 point conversion, we could still lose this game.

  159. Arriba Wilver says:


  160. Jandy says:

    Jim, are YOU wizzing in MY Cheerios?????

  161. Arriba Wilver says:

    I thought we were talking basketball with the dunks.

  162. Jim S. says:

    Yep, that’s their biggest problem. In fact, Aaron Hernandez was just heard muttering that the other day during his one hour in the exercise yard.

  163. Milo Hamilton says:

    Pirates lead 17-3. Lambo must be thinking, “couldn’t you have kept me around just one more day ?”

  164. Jandy says:


  165. Jim S. says:

    I would never do that, Jandy. I just liked the football-like 17-3 score, and ran with it.

    Now, I might steal your Cheerios and eat them myself. ;-)

  166. Jim S. says:

    That’s so true. They start their jump like they think they are LeBron, then they realize they have 20 pounds of equipment on, so they just go with the finger roll or the tear drop in the lane.

  167. Jim S. says:

    You wanted Smoak, and I wanted him, too. Not that he was going to be a savior, but he would have helped, I thought.

  168. The Gunner says:

    No reason to worry about 1B…………….at least today!!

  169. Bizrow says:


  170. Jim S. says:

    As you know, Groat, I’m wrong quite often. But, I think Garrett is now on the downside.

  171. Bizrow says:

    Tigers bullpen is taking a whopping today

  172. bpn8pitt says:

    Thank you, Groat.

  173. Nate83 says:

    I’ve never seen a league make such a big deal about trivial things when they have so many larger issues on the table. They won’t let players be individuals and require them to all where their socks at a certain height but they won’t mandate for the players to collectively wear the safest helmets technology has available because the players don’t like the way it look.

  174. I do. Let’s cast the demons out of Huntington and he’ll be empty, swept and garnished.

  175. Take a look at yesterday’s article in the West Palm Beach Post (I think) where Marlins are pleased with Garrett Jones and expecting him to “protect” Stanton in the line-up.

    “Miami Marlins believe ex-Pirate Garrett Jones can protect Giancarlo Stanton in lineup” is the headline.
    Palm Beach Post – 20 hours ago

  176. Kentuck Knob,

    I truly laughed out loud!

  177. Jim S. says:

    Thanks, Osh.

    I love Bo Ryan, and I love watching that team this year. When people say he never changes or adjusts, they are not watching how the Badgers play offense this year.

  178. Milo Hamilton says:

    Bad day for Western New York. Ralph Wilson passing & the news on Jim Kelly sounds pretty bad. Prayers out to him, he’s good people.

  179. Jim S. says:

    The Jim Kelly thing is heart breaking, Milo. That’s a good man. I hope he gets a miracle.

  180. What the heck are you guys talking about!!!

    Basketball season ended last Friday!

  181. Milo Hamilton says:

    Ian Krol again, big piece of the Fister trade. He was right in the middle of that 7 run meltdown I saw in Tampa. Why is it that all these teams with lousy bullpens don’t have extra first basemen ?

  182. Milo Hamilton says:

    21-3 now. Bucs having no trouble with those new 40 yard extra points.

  183. Jim S. says:

    You gotta love Spring Training. Cutch goes 2-5 and his average takes a tumble.

  184. Jim S. says:

    A Milo Instant Classic.

  185. Brandie says:

    Wow. Keeping Jim Kelly and Ralph Wilson’s family in prayers!

  186. Jim S. says:

    Does Marte have time to break that Rennie Stennett 7 hit record?

  187. Jim S. says:

    Did I hear this right? The Pirates have decided to have someone go get Lambo and bring him back before this game ends, just to get an at bat? Something about “No one should miss out on this blood bath.”

  188. Jim S. says:


  189. NMR says:

    Hey, they don’t pay me the big bucks for nothin’.

  190. Jim S. says:

    +++, Groat.

    You’ll be celebrating another #1 recruiting class very soon.

    In the meantime, I’m enjoying my school’s first trip to the Sweet 16 in a long time. They also got to the Elite 8 that year. I would love to see that again.

  191. NMR says:


    (deep breath)…Bahahahahahahahahahaha.

  192. Jim S. says:

    Where do you come up with these lines, Brandie? You make me smile all the time.

  193. Nate83 says:

    Wait….they are paying you. I hope they are not paying you more then that lazy a** that goes around making up stories.

  194. NMR says:

    Clearly would’ve gotten more to hit with Garrett Jones prote…BAHAHAHAHA…oh my goodness, I couldn’t even get the comment out without laughing.

  195. Nate83 says:

    I also love Bo Ryan. He is the best interview in college basketball. Him and Izzo are the only coaches I would take over Matta at Ohio State which is my team. That is not a knock on Matta. I think he’s excellent. Maybe plays it a little to close to the vest sometimes but you can’t like everything about coach. What fun would that be?

  196. 21sthebest says:

    What do you expect them to say Groat?

  197. 21sthebest says:

    Sometimes I just can’t believe what I’m hearing when a referee says after a touchdown, “Excessive celebration.”

    The irony to me is that the flag needs thrown when a wide receiver celebrates a first down reception down 24 in the fourth quarter and not after a play that results in points.

  198. 21sthebest says:

    Speak of Dave Littlefield draft choices, my son met Dave last night in Vero Beach. They talked baseball for a bit but I’m not sure Dave learned anything.

    Ba dum tsssss.

  199. Brandie says:

    The smiles inspire me Jim-Jam!

  200. theplanisworking says:

    Groat bringing the high heat !!!!

    You are spot on for every point you made.
    But, Neal knows best.

    Underwhelming, isn’t it?

  201. theplanisworking says:

    We have plenty of hope, but the expecting part……..LOL

  202. theplanisworking says:

    You and I might have more major league wins than Edinson Volquez come June.

  203. theplanisworking says:

    I wonder if this means the Bills will be leaving Buffalo?
    Mr. Wilson was the sole reason they stayed there…….

  204. Bizrow says:


  205. Brandie says:

    I don’t care if it is spring training or not…22-5 definitely puts a little pride in your glide.

  206. buggee says:

    oh Brandi-Iron, total GROAN!!!!

  207. cmat0829 says:

    Funny, if NH’s approach to 1B was to re-sign Garrett Jones, I think he’d have been the blog-equivalent of ‘tarred and feathered’ long before now.

    Last year, the Pirates had to go out and get Morneau because Jones was awful at the plate; hard to see that improving this season. Best of luck to him.

    I think timing played a big factor in this — Pirates Plan A was to sign James Loney. They made an offer and didn’t get it done. To make that offer they had to decline to sign Jones.

    If the choice were keep Jones now vs. Ishikawa, I’m sure NH would prefer Jones, marginally. But that is a false choice, isn’t it…

    I think it’s universally viewed that the Pirates plan at 1B right now is not acceptable; not sure it warrants a mob rally, but it is indeed work in progress at best.

  208. buggee says:

    everything sounds kinky to you JandyLama. Try this: “paper towel” See? total kink

  209. buggee says:

    it was inevitable wasn’t it?

  210. theplanisworking says:

    But does the slide in your glide matter if it’s ST?? ;)

  211. Wow! 22-5 Bucs over Toronto in exhibition ball today! If only the Pirates’ bats could come through like that during the regular season when it counts! Now let’s see if the Pens can score anything over Phoenix tonight!

  212. Jim S. says:

    I’ve always wondered if the guy being protected has to pay protection money to the guy doing the protecting.

  213. Brandie says:

    Is that like that tree falling in the woods question? If Andrew Lambo’s stock falls to the ground in Spring Training, does it make a sound?

  214. theplanisworking says:

    Yes, Brandie, it’s called THUD ! ;)

    Hope you are doing well…..

  215. Jim S. says:

    Does the Pope wear a funny hat?

  216. Andrew says:

    Travis Sawchik ‏@Sawchik_Trib
    Pirates announce they have acquired RHP Vance Worley from Twins for cash considerations

    I cannot wait for the outrage.

  217. theplanisworking says:

    No, Jim, but I do.

    It’s called a rally cap.

  218. Jim S. says:


  219. theplanisworking says:


  220. Jim S. says:

    That would be a shame. I’m sure Toronto is salivating at the thought.

  221. Andrew says:

    The correct response is “terrible.”

  222. Milo Hamilton says:

    Vance Worley doesn’t rate outrage. Now Joanne Worley, that would be a different story.

  223. theplanisworking says:


  224. theplanisworking says:

    Well, Richard Worley was a pirate in olden times……….
    ( 1718 olden) ……..

  225. Andrew says:

    I live in the center of the state, so I recognized the name, 5th starter/spot starter for Phillies in 2011, 2012. With the Twins’ organization last year, fairly awful in 10 starts, maybe AAA depth, Locke and Tallion are not ready.

  226. Milo Hamilton says:

    Worley is apparently out of options. It’s getting more outrageous.

  227. theplanisworking says:

    Next thing you know, we will find out he is making $5 million a year………

  228. Milo Hamilton says:

    Fortunately it has been announced as a minor league deal & Worley will report to minor league camp. Less outrageous.

  229. Lad 9 says:

    Worley?? Well , Indianapolis needs arms I guess. He is pretty bad…. Joanne might be better, though I never was a fan of her either…. Now Goldie Hawn… :)

  230. Thundercrack says:

    Acquiring Worley = Nuttting spending cash.


  231. Arriba Wilver says:

    Is it time for NMR and me to “laud” it?

  232. theplanisworking says:

    Underwhelming. :D

  233. theplanisworking says:


    Too bad it isn’t a 1B we can “laud”……..

  234. Arriba Wilver says:

    We laud every $5 million purchase. Doesn’t matter the position. It’s the magic of the number.


  235. theplanisworking says:

    LOL !

    If one spends $5 million for a decent player, fine.
    If one spends $5 million for a player that is the worst at a position, doesn’t matter the position, then……….

    I understand Worley is a “depth” move. Fine.
    Volquez should have been a “depth” move also…….. not given $5 million (plus incentives) and a spot in the rotation. But Milo said earlier he might be a convenience list candidate, so….

  236. NMR says:

    Thanks for protecting Nuttingz wallet!

  237. NMR says:

    What do you know from his time in Philly that I don’t from looking at his numbers? Dude posted a FIP around 3.6 over 260+ IP. That is obviously not anywhere close to “terrible”.

  238. David Kiebowick says:

    Midlothian Virginia

  239. Why on earth did the Bucs acquire Vance Worsley for? He was 1-5 last season, 7.23 era in limited action for the Twins, and had a 13.50 era in 10 and 2/3 innings for the Twins this spring. Are the Pirates really certain that they can get anymore out of him than the Twins did?

  240. theplanisworking says:

    The Pirates have the pitcher whisperer………

  241. Andrew says:

    I was more referring to last year’s incarnation, had surgery at end of 2012, to remove bone spurs, and was bad in both AAA and the majors. I remember he wasn’t good enough for Philly fans and their “four aces” but you are right effective 5th starter.

  242. Andrew says:

    When I went to games it was Worley or Kendrick, tickets were cheaper.

  243. Thundercrack says:

    And just like that we’re concerned about the record of the Indy Indians.

  244. And as for Travis Ishikawa, well, he’s a .260 hitter, 19 homers in 382 games, and 3 stolen bases, so it’s plain enough that Gabby Sanchez’s backup at first doesn’t hit for power either, although, hopefully, he’ll be a little better than Lambo, who hit only .095 this spring.

  245. It’s also true that Vance Worley was 11-3 in 2011 as a Phillies rookie, but that was 3 years ago and this is now.

  246. NMR says:

    Why shouldn’t they be?

  247. NMR says:


    I don’t see why this isn’t worth a AAA roster spot, but it is pretty incredible how fast he fell.

  248. Thundercrack says:

    A lot of those first base options that we’ve been clamoring for were also good 3 years ago

  249. JohninOshkosh says:


  250. I have no problem with Neal not signing Justin Morneau if . . . he had a plan to replace him.
    I have no problem with Neal not signing Garrett Jones if . . . he had a plan to replace him
    I have no problem with Neal going after James Loney if . . . he had a plan if Loney didn’t sign.
    I have no problem with Neal trying out Lambo at 1st if . . . he has a plan if/when Lambo fails.
    I have no problem with Neal pursuing a better 1st Base option if . . . he has backup plans if/when thing don’t go as he planned.

    I have plenty of problems if Neal leaves Pirates with a worse 1st Base option than last year, when he had a whole off-season and a good chunk of money to pursue a true PLAYER.

  251. I like the Vance Worley signing. Worth taking a chance on.

    As long as BMTIB didn’t give him $5 million to sign, that is.

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