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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Yankees 4, Pirates 2, exhibition

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates vs. New York Yankees, exhibition

Time: 1:05 p.m.

Site: McKechnie Field, Bradenton, Fla.

TV, radio: MLB Network (tape delay)

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. chris says:

    Just got to get some things off my chest …
    The Pirates are so close to overtaking the Cards in the division, but the lack of willingness to make the final moves is just frustrating to the everyday fan. A platoon first baseman, not even an everyday powerhouse first baseman, but a platoon first baseman is one of the only moves we needed to make. Now we are stuck either with a full-time Gaby (which may not be a bad thing in the end) or a combo of Gaby and a AAAA journeyman. Now we will wait until the trading deadline to trade a top prospect for a player we could have just paid in free agency. Losing a prospect like that is much worse than losing a draft pick, especially at number 27 in the draft. SO GO OUT AND SIGN KENDRYS MORALES! He has numbers like a Garrett Jones in his career year constantly, so why not make the move? The system is full of young talent, and signing a legit bat compared to whatever pops out at No. 27 in the draft seems like a fair trade.
    Another topic that really “grinds my gear” (Peter Griffin) is grandfathering Edinson Volquez into the rotation just because the front office does not want to look foolish for this signing. Brandon Cumpton has a 2.21 ERA and is being bested by a guy with a 9 ERA and head problems. Head problems and pitching do not mix aka Ian Snell/Rookie days Charlie Morton. You can fix mechanics, but it will take years to get the mental game right with this guy, if at all. If the FO is interesting in winning rather than taking their licks for a bad signing then Cumpton should be No. 5. And if we lose out on a playoff spot because of Volquez’s 10 losses I hope the FO has a better understanding on letting their pride go and common sense take over.

  2. Good post, Chris. You left out JMac when you mentioned head cases.

    Morales would be pretty one-dimensional. Injury-prone to some extent, too. Carp should be the man if they can get him.

  3. Jim S. says:

    I am not saying I’m an expert on Morales’ defensive pedigree, but a lot of people seem to think he is strictly DH material at this point due to his knees.

    If the Pirates feel he can still play adequate defense, maybe they are waiting until the draft so that the compensation for him goes away. I have been wondering that for awhile now. One thing is for sure, no one else is jumping to sign him so far. I guess we will see shortly if the Brewers are going to do another of their “late swoops” to grab him, as they have done with Lohse and Garza the last 2 springs, since they just cut one of their 1b.

  4. JRay3 says:

    Jim- Saw your question about Stewart late yesterday. Latest I had heard was Stewart was said to be pushing to be ready for start of the season and that he felt very good and rehab is going extremely well. Both the team and his rep are said to be slowing him down and are not going to rush him back.

    Seems like the 4-5 week timetable continues to be in play and that late April appears to be the ETA of when he might rejoin the team.

  5. NMR says:

    Somebody tell me why all yinz apologists aren’t outraged at this Keon Braxton dumpster dive!

    First Volquez, then Vorley, now Braxton. Unbelievable.

    Thanks Obama!

  6. Jandy says:

    What’s a Keon Braxton?


  7. Jim S. says:

    Thanks, JRay.

  8. Jim S. says:

    A soon-to-be 24 year OF currently slogging away in AA who has never distinguished himself at any level. A team with a wealth of future OF talent such as the Bucs has no need for him except to fill a spot on a minor league roster for a certain period of time.

    Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see a lot of upside for him.

  9. Jim S. says:

    Having said that, if he is any relation to 90’s soulful R&B star, Toni Braxton, and it gets her to Pgh to sing the National Anthem a few times, count me as being very much in favor of this trade. ;-)

  10. Jandy says:

    hah! Thanks for the info, Jim.


  11. Probably somebody to make up for the Rule 5 we lost to the Brewers from Rookie League.

    A warm body.

    Or, as our illustrious blog comic so aptly puts it:


  12. Brandie says:

    No soap on that one since his last name is Broxton.

  13. Brandie says:

    It is quite odious indeed.

  14. Nate83 says:

    If Morales is willing to sign a one year deal after June 1 to re-establish his value then I say go ahead and do it. More then one year is too risky for my blood for a guy we are not even sure can make it through the year playing the field. Who knows the opportunity to play the field might be something he is interested in. If he does it well it doubles the number of teams that could be interested in him.

  15. Nate83 says:

    That is great news. I think he adds a lot of value to this team. Especially to the younger pitchers. To have two great defensive catchers that the pitchers can trust is a benefit few teams have.

  16. Nate83 says:

    Toni Braxton once broke up a promising young Dallas Maverick basketball team, but Keon Braxton I really have no idea.

  17. Jim S. says:

    How did she do that, Nate?

  18. Milo Hamilton says:

    I was always of the mind that the Pirates would acquire a 1st baseman before departing Florida. Wrong again.

  19. Bizrow says:

    He’s supposedly the most athletic player the Diamondbacks had in their system

  20. Nate83 says:

    Jim Jackson and Jason Kidd both dated her at one point. It caused a rift between the team and eventually the Jackson/Kidd/Mashburn trio where broken up and traded.

  21. NMR says:

    Thank you. Makes me laugh how people can write off dudes they just found out existed six hours ago after a five minute glance at FanGraphs.

  22. bpn8pitt says:

    They checked one of the dumpsters over by the Ball Park Deli but there was nothing in it.

  23. Damon says:

    There’s still a couple hours left….right?

    I as well was almost sure since December that they would do something at some point before the season starts. I thought it was smart to be patient, but I guess I was a bit naive…

    One thing to think of though, NH may have looked into getting Carp or Smoak or Moreland or someone, but the asking price may have been – say Polanco, Taillon or another top notch prospect that he didn’t want to give up on. We don’t really know. But once again I may still be naïve….

  24. bpn8pitt says:

    …Or talk about how good his fastball still is even if he hasnt pitched well in three years, right?

    Works both ways.

  25. Jim S. says:

    I do faintly recall that.

  26. Nate83 says:

    Jim attached link tells the story. The team was bad for a long time before and after that until Cuban took over.

  27. The Gunner says:

    I like Cumpton a lot. Last year, he showed a lot of poise (and ability) when called upon. He’s a real gamer.

    But, we have to quit crying and bellyaching over this Volquez thing because he is a lock for #5 slot…………..FOR NOW. I just hope if this Volquez thing starts to show signs of not working out, the BMTIB moves quickly and swiftly to pull the plug on him.

  28. Brandie says:

    In all seriousness…I hope Keon Broxton has a resurrection of his baseball career in the Pirates organization. I hope his athleticism shines and he can push our regulars yo go beyond their best.

  29. College sports will indeed have changed 5 to 8 years from now, but then, obviously, and for various reasons, the process has already begun and it will continue, regardless of what finally becomes of Northwestern University’s footballers’ attempts to unionize, since all sports are changing fast enough in various ways whether or not we like it very much.

  30. Bizrow says:

    I need some advice from the lunatics

    Fantasy BB question.

    I’m in a league, not blog related, where you can stash a minor leaguer. Right now I have OTavares, think I should drop him and pick up Polanco? Only trouble is I already have Cutch and Marte (they were keeper choices from last year, too good to pass up)

  31. Nate83 says:

    I think teams have until Saturday to make final cuts so there is a little time left to make a deal. If nothing is done then Gomez or Mazzarro seem to be the guys in line to get cut. Gomez seems less likely. Ishikawa will need to be added to the 40 man so Oliver would probably be waived.

  32. Nate83 says:

    I guess it depends on how quickly you think others in your league will want to get Polanco. Tavares is a good player and probably more likely to contribute in a big way this year in my opinion. Eventually you will run into a problem with fielding a team on days the Pirates have off.

  33. That would be nice, Brandeon Broxton.


  34. Jim S. says:

    Because you would never make a snap judgment on a player’s ability unless you scouted him with your own eyes.

  35. Arriba Wilver says:

    At least we will be cutting better quality players than we used to. Used to be it was “who the heck do we have to fill out the 25 man?” ;-)

  36. Jandy says:

    And there’s your silver lining ;)

  37. Nate83 says:

    +++ Couldn’t agree more.

    I will hate to lose Vin. He is definitely a major league quality pitcher. He was pitching in a new role last year. It was the first time he was a reliever and not a starter. He may become even better as he progresses. He definitely belongs on a 25 man before Ishikawa but the needs are different at each position. I’m sure he will contribute somewhere this year and I hope it’s with an AL team so we don’t have to face him.

  38. Jandy says:

    Pens morning skate info:

    All the healthy Pens players are on the ice, as well as Kris Letang.



    Zatkoff in goal.

    Now, back to the regular comments :)

  39. 21sthebest says:

    “Jim Jackson and Jason Kidd both dated her at one point. ”

    Did the three of them make a video by any chance?

  40. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hope he didn’t work them too hard. Nice job by the boosters to make sure they all had a sandwich & juice box afterwards.

  41. bpn8pitt says:

    The days off in June are equal, 3 each. However the Cardinals second week has 2 days off, which is significant if its weekly head to head. Chances are that is filled by a rainout, but you never now.

    I think I would keep Tavares. Not saying he’s the better player or even going to be, just that you would be triple stacked with the Bucs.

  42. buggee says:

    sign Mike Trout. If you’re gonna pony up, pony up with the big boys.

    (doesn’t hurt to dream does it?)

  43. buggee says:

    I dont even know what the hell that is. Isn’t that a pop singer or something? You know, someone who plays with Miley Cyrus ‘n’ ‘at?

  44. The Pens have a chance to cinch a playoff spot tonight, although one would certainly hope they’d play for more than that. There’s no question that they’ve been battling injuries and fatigue but with the playoffs staring them in the face, they need to play better and with more urgency than they lately have.

  45. buggee says:

    hot dog buns don’t pitch (unless they’re named Jimmy Anderson)

  46. buggee says:

    I would definitely snag Polanco if you can get him

  47. Jandy says:

    and fruit snacks, don’t forget the fruit snacks!

  48. Jandy says:

    They had the same chance to clinch that playoff spot Tuesday night.

  49. Jandy says:


    BUGGEEEEEEE how are you???

  50. Jandy says:

    eww…tell him to wash his hands!

  51. bpn8pitt says:

    There is another guy you may consider…

    I know hes having some elbow issues, but Sano i think is going to be pretty nasty down the road.

    Had the Pirates come up with another half a million or so awhile back, there wouldnt be any argument over who should be at 1st right now.

    That argument is coming down the road on this blog shortly.

    But hey, Travis Ishikawa and cuban sandwich buns for all…

  52. All the Pens need tonight is a lousy point, although I would certainly hope they can beat the L. A. Kings tonight at the Consol Center.

  53. Nate83 says:

    That argument has already made it appearance many times on this blog. DK did an excellent job of covering the entire story as it happened.

  54. Thundercrack says:

    I posted this on the morning thread:

    Alex Presley waived by the Twins. Picked up by the Astros.

    Interesting to look back at that Morneau trade

  55. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Astros have claimed Alex Presley off waivers. And I thought Indianapolis was the only place we’d see that Alex Presley – Robbie Grossman outfield.

  56. Jandy says:

    I was hoping they’d beat the Coyotes Tuesday night at the Consol Energy Center.

  57. Milo Hamilton says:

    So how you holding up today Thunder ? Looks like our dream of an MLS franchise has been dashed.

  58. Bizrow says:

    Sano had Tommy John surgery recently,

  59. JohninOshkosh says:

    The Astros are the great sabermetric experiment, right ?

    Apparently Presley fits into the sabermetricians’ plans.

    Just remember, if the Astros fail, all mankind fails. Or so we are are told by Brian Kenny.

  60. Brandie says:

    Wow! Good one Buggee!

  61. Brandie says:

    Would be nice indeed.

  62. Just had the most enjoyable 1 1/2 innings listening to the Pirates on the internet.

    Tim Neveritt somehow got his mike turned off, and we could only hear John Wehner’s color and the PNC Pres Sol talking, sporadically.

    Hard to follow action, but still a bonus. Amazing how much silence there was———amazing how much Neveritt talks while saying nothing!!!

  63. Jandy says:


  64. bpn8pitt says:

    No, not that argument.

    Im talking about when Sano comes up and starts to rake.

    That one.

  65. bpn8pitt says:

    Like I said he has the elbow issues, but if your league is geared towards power, him or Buxton wouldnt be bad get.

  66. Oshkosh b’Gosh,

    Although I had shut my ears and my mind to college basketball after you know what, I discovered today that your Badgers and Sweet Jimmie’s Dayton Flyers are still on the go, starting tonight.

    Go Get ‘Em!!!!!!!

    Love to see Wisconsin and Dayton make the Final Four!

  67. JohnS says:

    Think about all the lazy fly balls that Tim thought were HR’s that you missed.

    He really adds to the excitement of the game.

  68. NMR says:

    Wouldn’t have happened if Nutting wasn’t so cheap!

  69. JohninOshkosh says:

    Just printed the schedule and taped it to my fridge. Had to take down a picture of our cat. My wife hates it when I put baseball schedules up so I do it while she is gone.

    When I was a kid, I would write a letter to the Pirates each spring requesting a pocket schedule. They always obliged. I still remember the thrill of getting mail from the distant and exotic city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania!

  70. Jandy says:


  71. bpn8pitt says:

    I had tucked Profar away for awhile and that hasnt gone as well as expected so, consider the source I guess.

  72. NMR says:

    I have to say, Jim, it does make me feel less bad about being an ass when you dish it right back. This could be the beginning of a great relationship. ;)

  73. Jandy says:


  74. bpn8pitt says:

    As I said, Travis Ishikawa and busted prospects for all…

  75. Nate83 says:

    Yes very exotic.

    Actually I’ve had so many people from the area I live in (Northwest Ohio) tell me how surprised they had been when they visited Pittsburgh. They were amazed at how much fun they had and how clean the city was compared to their preconceived image of it. Those of you that live in or around Pittsburgh should be proud.

  76. Jandy says:

    My oldest daughter loves it. She’s fiercely protective and loves living there.

  77. JohninOshkosh says:

    Thanks, Groat. I’m trying not to get my hopes up too high! This talk of Final Four is rarefied air for Badgers fans. When I went to school there, I would bring reading material (precursor to mobile devices) to the Fieldhouse.

    Oh, I just finished “Wooden, A Coach’s life” by your fellow Dukie, Seth Davis. What a remarkable human being Wooden was. Devoted to his wife and job. That old yarn about Christianity hasn’t failed, it’s never been tried, did not apply to Coach Wooden. Anyway, I saw an interview with Coach K talking about it. Wooden retired at 65 and Coach K is now 67, I think. Wooden retired, in part, because he grew weary of fans’ expectations about always winning a championship (and that was, of course, pre-internet). Coach K confided that he could empathize.

  78. +++++++++++++ on the two above posts

  79. NMR says:

    Still don’t see the point off getting rid of a reliever to make room for Ishikawa.

    Wouldn’t surprise me at all if they carried 13 pitchers for a minute.

  80. Nate83 says:

    I defend it whenever I can. I didn’t grow up there or even ever live there but spent enough holidays growing up at my grandparents to know and understand their love for the city and it’s sports teams. So I try to correct people when they say something like Pittsburgh why would I want to go there.

  81. Nate83 says:

    I don’t disagree. You convinced me that carrying 2 first baseman just for the sake of carrying 2 first baseman isn’t logical if one is not a major league caliber players. However I would be surprised if they actually made that decision themselves.

  82. JohninOshkosh says:

    I hope you didn’t think I was being, facetious, Nate. I truly was thrilled and truly did think of Pittsburgh as an exotic city. It was like the time Stan Lee once wrote back to me! New York!

  83. Bizrow says:

    Folks ask me why we don’t move south, I just tell them I will never leave ;-)

  84. cmat0829 says:

    Say it ain’t so… not the world-beater, should have been given more of a chance in Pittsburgh, Alex Presley??? The Twins who sounded so confident when picking him up that his skills could definitely play every day in their outfileld….. I guess he gets a chance to hit 280foot flyballs at MinuteMaid Park…. (Alex, keep that fly ball swing of yours, really makes sense given your speed/power ratio)……

  85. bpn8pitt says:

    I agree with that too.

  86. cmat0829 says:

    I’ve got Wisconsin tonight, though I’m reading on the mother ship and elsewhere that Baylor is the trendy pick, matchup wise…. not sure I buy that… but we’ll see.

    I don’t think Wisc can get past Arizona though, AZ is playing really really well.

  87. Nate83 says:

    No, I thought you where serious. Especially from the eyes of a child. My son still ask me yearly to go to the Pokémon world championships. If we did go no matter what city it would have been in it would have been magical and exotic to him even if it was Cleveland because it is where something he loves existed. It’s like going to see the wizard in Emerald city.

  88. cmat0829 says:

    over/under on how many “goodness gracious” from Rock in the 1 1/2 innings… let’s set it at 5 shall we?

    That said, I love Rock… he’s rough around the edges but gives a good honest analysis without being cheesy. I do like Walk and Steve, but both have their faults…. Steve is a bit too ‘chamber of commerce-y’ at times and Walk can be really silly and annoying.

  89. Somewhere Bob Hasis is smiling.

  90. Arriba Wilver says:

    Not to discount Vin, but if losing Vin is a game changer we have way more problems.

  91. Jandy says:


  92. Arriba Wilver says:

    And, what is Neal’s best quality?


  93. Jandy says:

    His smile?

  94. Thundercrack says:

    I am crushed Milo.

    Actually I hope they get their house in order. (hmmm..riverhound….would that be a dog house?)

    I enjoy talking about the business of soccer (and sports) much more than I like talking about the game of soccer.

  95. Arriba Wilver says:

    Smiling? Alex was his boye! ;-)

  96. NMR says:

    Certainly not a game changer, AW.

    But that’s still no reason to roster the inferior player, is it?

  97. Arriba Wilver says:

    No Virginia love?

  98. NMR says:

    Sorry, what I PERCEIVE to be the inferior player.

    I stand pat in believing that if Ishikawa makes this team, it’ll be because Clint Hurdle saw some sort of change in him. And Clint Hurdle knows a hell of a lot more about baseball than I do.

    Just absolutely zero statistical logic in rostering him, but there’s plenty more to putting together a baseball team than spending most of your work day on FanGraphs.

  99. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m not a big believer in the “best 25″ except as a general rule. You need a first baseman? You have an excess of relievers? Take the first baseman. Sorry, makes sense to me.

    Just for argument’s sake, your best 25 includes 3 3rd basemen. Do you take all of them? They are the best 25.

  100. Thundercrack says:

    Vin said he is learning a change-up. Maybe that is why he has had some rough outings.
    And that he heard Spring Training doesn’t really matter.

  101. Yeah, smiling that he’s not out of baseball or back in AAA where he owns a ranch.


  102. Nate83 says:

    I’m rooting for Virginia all these Tom Izzo, Michigan State kool aid drinking fools in my area of the country picked Michigan State to win it all. I picked them going out against Virginia just to spite them.

    Actually I like Virginia and don’t think you go 20-1 against ACC competition without being really good. They are athletic, deep and unselfish.

  103. None. On Wisconsin!

  104. bpn8pitt says:

    With some early days off and spring weather rainouts, I think that plays into it too. Extended spring training, pushing Volquez back that day…

    Yeah, Wilver Im not big on “best 25″ either. Early going is probably one of the times of the year were rosters are really fluid anyway.

  105. buggee says:

    Better than I deserve Jandyluffigan gorgeous!

  106. buggee says:

    it takes great discipline to plant one’s head in the sand and leave it there despite the incoming tide!

  107. Arriba Wilver says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but Final Four includes 4 teams.

  108. NMR says:

    I’m not a big believer in filling a need with a player that doesn’t actually fill the need.

    Unless Ishikawa has significantly bettered his game, having him on the roster solves absolutely nothing.

    As for your hypothetical, I would roster three 3B if I didn’t have a pitcher, catcher, or outfielder that provided more value. You can always get creative with starts and pinch hits, assuming their ability to play 3B also means they can move across the diamond in a pinch.

  109. Thundercrack says:

    Who is your backup first baseman then?

  110. NMR says:


    My thoughts on the extra reliever, even temporarily, also stem from the uncertainty around Volquez, Wandy’s health, and Morton’s lefty troubles.

    I wouldn’t trust Volquez for more than five innings right now. Which is fine, if you have a couple relievers that can go multiple innings. The Pirates have like five of them.

    Morton’s splits against lefties scare me more than three times through the order. Again, fine as long as you have guys to eat the innings.

    Generally speaking, this stems from my thoughts on bullpen arms in general. I think having a bunch of 1 innings guys is pretty inefficient. Starting pitchers are historically less successful each time through the batting order. If you have a good bullpen with guys that can go multiple innings, why push a starter through the order a fourth time?

  111. theplanisworking says:

    Read Milo above being silly thinking the Pirates would acquire a 1B. The pirates haven’t cared about that position for over 30 years! One has to go back to the Stargell days. I glanced yesterday that someone would take 1998-2000 Kevin Young. Um, no.

    So, IMHO, the Pirates will never care about the position, unless they strike gold in the draft, and the stars align.

  112. NMR says:


    If Josh Harrison can play shortstop, he can most certainly put on a 1B mitt for a few innings until Ishikawa or whoever is called up from Indy the next day.

    I can’t think of a more useless role on a 25-man roster than a backup 1B.

  113. Thundercrack says:

    Josh Harrison is not tall.

  114. NMR says:

    This is your new crusade, eh?

  115. Thundercrack says:

    I guess Snider may have had some experience at first base. Maybe he could practice a little – for an emergency.

    But he is not tall either.

  116. Thundercrack says:

    Did the Pirates not care about the position when they acquired Justin Morneau last season?

    Did they not care about the position when they acquired Adam LaRoche? (which was also within the last 30 years)

  117. theplanisworking says:

    Nope, just stating facts.

    But call it what you will.

    Coming from the man who yells VIVA LA REGIME daily………

  118. JohninOshkosh says:

    Time for all soldiers to come to the aid of the Pirates. Season starts Monday and, for better or worse, we engage the enemy with the 25 that go North.

    Pittsburgh calling to the far away towns!

  119. NMR says:


  120. bpn8pitt says:

    Earlier today looked at the free agents coming up in the next couple of years…Not to say the Pirates would be even able or willing to overpay for a one…but its bare bones even for guys they could afford, which wouldnt be much better than what they have now or recently. And that went for Catcher and Shortstop too.

    I guess they’ll have to get creative and lucky there. Maybe move a prospect there or come up with some kind trade.

    Merced was okay too back in the day. Not great, but a professional hitter.

  121. bpn8pitt says:

    I thought he meant development.

  122. theplanisworking says:

    Morneau was a rental for the stretch last year. I really don’t think the Pirates saw him as a long-term answer for the position.

    LaRoche? Please.
    It amazes me how certain players, after they leave a team, are held in such high regard. LaRoche was serviceable, but he was doormant the 1st 2 months of every season, and when the Bucs finally traded him, they got little in return………. so he couldn’t have been that good.

    I stand by my original comment………. the 1B position hasn’t been cared for since Stargell. Unless of course we can pull some other chestnuts out, like jason Thompson and Jeff Clement.

  123. theplanisworking says:

    HA !!!

  124. NMR says:

    Well, to be fair, there were also 8 other positions that the Pirates didn’t care about for the last 20 years or so. ;)

  125. NMR says:

    Which is exactly what they should do.

    Take a look at the history of successful smart market ballclubs. You’ll rarely, if ever, find high dollar 1B. It just isn’t a relatively valuable position.

  126. theplanisworking says:

    Yeah, touche!

    But you know what I mean……… 1B always seems to get short shrift with the Bucs. They always seem to pay attention to 3B, OF, P, etc…………. I just feel that a corner IF spot should have a little priority for some power and defense. I am not expecting a HOFer, but what the Pirates have presented for so long is not the answer……..

  127. Thundercrack says:

    “The pirates haven’t cared about that position”

    That was what you originally said. And I stand by my two examples. I think they cared about the position – because at the time they felt they made an upgrade. And they seemed to be excited to get left handed ‘power’ hitters for that position. They cared. Both ended up stinking, but they cared.

  128. 21sthebest says:

    ” I glanced yesterday that someone would take 1998-2000 Kevin Young. Um, no.”

    “Nope, just stating facts.”

    “Coming from the man who yells VIVA LA REGIME daily………”

    The question was to name the last good Pirates first baseman. I thought Kevin Young was good from around 1998-2000 so I mentioned his name.

    And I believe I’ve typed the words, “Viva La Regime” once and that was today.

    You’re 0-3 including where you said you were just stating facts.

    Pipe. Smoke.

  129. theplanisworking says:

    I am too lazy to go look when things started to change, but I remember growing up the quality 1B all over both leagues, and having 1B challenge for HR and RBI titles yearly. Keith Hernandez, Stargell, D. Evans………….. the position used to be valued by many teams, now it isn’t. I don’t know if things changed with Beane and SABR stuff, but I would guess to look there.

  130. theplanisworking says:

    First, I wasn’t even referencing you.
    I was saying to NMR about the Viva La regime stuff.

    After Stargell, the fact is there hasn’t been a good 1B for the Pirates………. but you are certainly entitled to any opinion you wish.

    So, as usual, you are 0-for-everything when speaking to/about me.

    Pipe, smoke?
    Trouble. maker.

  131. bpn8pitt says:

    No, I agree. But if you arent going to develop either…Think they traded away that Alex Dickerson for Decker, right? Not saying he was this elite prospect…

    They arent gonna pay, they arent going to part with a decent prospect to acquire one, you fail to develop your own…hence dumpster, NMR. Your Clements, Overbays. Ishikawas.

    Not to start an argument. Just saying.

  132. Bizrow says:

    Just read that The Fort is heading to the minors

  133. Thundercrack says:

    ‘There hasn’t been a good first baseman since Stargell’ is not the same as ‘they haven’t cared about the position for 30 years’.

  134. theplanisworking says:

    In your opinion, yes.

    But tell me, when did the Pirates try to get a viable long-term solution to the 1B position over the past 35 years. If the pirates didn’t try to specifically draft one, or sign one, I feel they didn’t care about the position. I understand you don’t agree with that, which is fine.

    But compare that with the Pirates willingness to draft/develop/sign other positions like OF, P, 3B. They come up way short.

  135. 21sthebest says:

    ” I glanced yesterday that someone would take 1998-2000 Kevin Young. Um, no.”

    Who was this referring to?

  136. NMR says:

    Pass that pipe this way while yinz are sorting all this out.

  137. 21sthebest says:

    Do you care what’s in the pipe NMR?

  138. NMR says:

    Economic inequality in the game changed the 1B position, not sabermetrics. Guys who mash get paid. Heavily.

    Stargell would be a $20m+ player in todays game. Pirates would’ve never been able to keep him.

  139. theplanisworking says:

    It was referencing to no one, because I forgot who said/wrote it.

    Try again?
    Getting desperate?

  140. NMR says:

    “Dumpster dives” are exactly how they should be looking to acquire a 1B.

    They just actually have to be successful at it.

  141. theplanisworking says:

    Ok, that makes sense.

    I just was trying to reference when it occurred, but the 2 examples seem to be close when they occurred.

    Still would be great for the Bucs to send someone/something out there that was competent. (With apologies to Gaby, and his struggles with RHP).

  142. bpn8pitt says:

    Penny wise, and pound foolish.

  143. 21sthebest says:

    I suggest that before you grab comments out of context when claiming to misremember who said it, you double check who said it and get the context correct.

  144. NMR says:

    Oh, absolutely.

    I’ll put it this way, I’m a heck of a lot more worried about their track record of shortstops than I am with their track record of 1B.

    I pick my battles with the Pirates futility for my own sanity, I suppose. ;)

  145. theplanisworking says:

    And I contend, as I always have that you stop responding to me for any reason, and stop your trouble making ways.

    But you never seem to get that message, correct?
    Grow up.

  146. theplanisworking says:

    Like you said above………. over the past 20+ years, many positions weren’t cared about.

    Or if they were, it sure didn’t seem like it.

  147. theplanisworking says:

    Bpn, is this why the Pirates are a small-market team? ;)

    They have many pennies, and not enough dollars?

  148. Coming up on Monday is the season opener versus the Cubs at PNC Park. And, hopefully, the Bucs will win that one, which I hope to follow on WGN Chicago which I can get here in Daytona Beach, Florida, weather permitting.

  149. 21sthebest says:

    I wouldn’t have responded to you if you didn’t grab my comment from yesterday and bring it over here and change the context. It’s not my problem that you allegedly couldn’t remember who said it.

  150. JD says:

    I always pull the mini Pirate helmet out of the drawer and put it on my dresser on Opening Day. It stays there until the season is over. It was finally nice to see it exposed to some October air last year. My wife thinks I’m a dweeb for still doing it, but i don’t care. Let’s Go Bucs!!

  151. cosmo says:

    Anyone know if Playoffs is bringing the window back to the blog for the upcoming season?

  152. Thundercrack says:

    I saw on twitter a person with the Twins ( not sure if he is a scout or assistant to the GM – didn’t recognize his name)

    At the end of last season he would have bet that Alex Presley would have made the team out of ST this year.
    He said he was surprised that his speed didn’t ‘play better’ in the outfield and on the bases.

  153. theplanisworking says:

    I will eagerly wait for you to attack someone else if they do it in the future. I will have a long wait.

    And, nothing is ever you problem, eh? Never.

    You didn”t HAVE to respond, you CHOSE to. It was just another opportunity to cause the same trouble you have for years.

    The world, and this blog does not revolve around you, hate to break that news to you. You need to get over yourself, fast. And, there was no “allegedly”. I don’t keep Cliff’s Notes about what who says what every single time I read something.

    Grow up.

  154. Thundercrack says:

    ” If the pirates didn’t try to specifically draft one, or sign one, I feel they didn’t care about the position”

    I’m sorry Plan but that just doesn’t make any sense. So you are totally ruling out trades as a way to show that they ‘care about the position’ (which I feel is another statement that doesn’t make much sense either).

    If you use google and find the stories written about them acquiring Adam LaRoche I think you will be surprised how much they cared then, and how they felt that they had a somewhat long term solution for the position. He was a going to be the guy who could really field the position and provide power from the left side…and hit possibly hit plenty over the Clemente Wall.

  155. NMR says:

    Expensive first basemen, the new market inefficiency.

  156. theplanisworking says:

    So players like Ortiz and Fielder will be reserved for big spending teams?

  157. NMR says:

    AND let’s not forget that Huntington capitalized on a breakout season by Garrett Jones and gave up a first round draft pick to find him a platoon partner. I don’t blame Huntington for Garrett Jones immediately crapping the bed.

  158. NMR says:

    @plan – they already are.

  159. theplanisworking says:

    Oh, I don’t blame Huntington for that either. I was excited at first when the Bucs acquired Gaby.

    I just am a little bit more old-fashioned when it comes to building a team. I realize that you simply can’t have all-stars at every position, but the more positions you wave the white flag on, the lesser your chances for success. Unless you are the 2003 Marlins that is…………

    And now with the way small market teams are behind the 8-ball in regards to affording players, it will only get worse. I am fearful for what happens with Pedro and Cole……..

  160. JohninOshkosh says:


  161. Arriba Wilver says:


  162. bpn8pitt says:

    Guy needs to stay out of the Federal Street dumpsters.

  163. Arriba Wilver says:

    Obviously not a Pirate fan. ;-)

  164. bpn8pitt says:

    Suprisingly, the Twin bloggers weren’t harsh with Worley. As bad as he was.

    A lot of comments about being out of shape after surgery, the AL to NL positives.

    We will see what Benedict can do with the Vanimal. I went overboard yesterday.

    Hard to look at Burnetts ERA and IP leave, to be replaced with Volquez and Worleys awful numbers and be encouraged. Didn’t help they were awful in Spring.

    I will try to exercise some patience, Wilver. No promises, though. Forgive me later.

  165. Arriba Wilver says:

    FWIW, I was referencing TC’s post about the Twins guy being surprised about Elvis not making the Twins roster out of ST.

  166. bpn8pitt says:

    Wonder what Marlins fans are trying to convince themselves about GI Jones?

  167. There are two more exhibitions in Philly, Friday and Saturday, and that’s it before Monday. And then, you all can offer prayers in Church on Sunday for another hopefully good Pirates season.

  168. bpn8pitt says:

    I’m not comparing Pedro and Miggy…but man, El Toros price tag just ticked up some more.

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